Isle of the Dead (1945)
Director: Mark Robson
Main Stars: Boris Karloff, Ellen Drew, Marc Cramer, Katherine Emery
Storyline: On a Greek island during the war people are quarantined on the island due to a plague
Review (Spoils): During the war of 1912, people are trapped on an island located on the side of Greece. Legend and tales from a peasant woman is spread that there is a haunting presence of an undead spirit vampire known as the vorvolaka. The people on the island are told by the general (Boris Karloff) that they cannot leave due to a plague that is causing people to feel ill, weak and then slow death. The battle of legend and politics starts to happen between the people on the island as the sickness spreads. Does the faith in the goddess over power the tales of the spirit of evil.
The setting of this film is well done as it builds the backdrop of the war and the environment of the island. We have Boris Karloff not playing really the monster in this case but instead the hardheaded general who is trying to protect the people but at the same time contain the plague. Katherine Emery plays the part of the woman who fears of being buried alive which does come to terms within the film. Of course, we have the lovely Ellen Drew playing the lead woman who may or may not be a vorvolaka spirit.
Rating: This is actually not a bad film but there is something that is missing from the formula. Not sure if it was because they did not get into the details of the haunting evil spirit idea or it was lacking scares. Ellen Drew was great and of course so was Boris Karloff but something when it came to the horror of the tale was missing. Except of course, the scene of live person in a coffin scratching is a nice touch.
Director: Jason Todd Ipson
Main Stars: Corri English, Scot Davis, Joshua Alba, Marisa Petroro
Storyline: A possible spirit is killing off all that have handle or desecrated the body at the morgue.
Review (Spoils): So at the medical school we have students Alison (Corri English), Brian, Carlos (Joshua Alba) and Rick who get the body of young woman (Marisa Petroro) who seems to have been butchered for their dissection class. Alison feels a connection with the body and has a feeling she is trying to communicate with her. As Alison looks into the history of the woman, we learn that she was once a prostitute that killed off her johns. As the class and the boys become morons, she starts to kill them off one by one.
The film really focuses on the past of the mystery women and the connection with the lead Alison. We have the odd want to show skin scene (hey it’s a horror film), blood pools, some nasty cuts, haunting woman screaming and some shady video footage. Near the end, we have some gore and the actual creepy tale goes full flight.
Now the bad of the film. The stupidity of people and their actions in this film. Why are these kids still living at the hospital while all this weird shit is going on? They are fighting a curse but act like oh boy I wonder what that was I better open the door. The film lacks the thought train.
Rating: The two women of the film is what makes it along with the sounds and the creepiness that exists. The storyline (back-story) is actually nice and new but the film does have some flaws. The film is actually not bad for being part of the After Dark Horrorfest. Marisa Petroro is a memorable villain.
One Missed Call (2008)
Director: Eric Valette
Main Stars: Edward Burns, Shannyn Sossamon, Ana Claudia Talancon, Ray Wise, Azura Skye
Storyline: Voicemails start to show up from people’s future selves, which details their own deaths.
Review (Spoils): Remake time again, man horror has to be the worse for this. A young woman gets a voicemail detailing the date and time she will die and it does happen. A friend of hers starts to investigate the accident with the girl’s boyfriend. We learn that he got a call also and then meets his death. The detective for the investigations sister was the first victim and they try to tie the killer to her and a name of woman Marie Layton. What is with Marie Layton that is causing this on going voicemail curse?
Bring out the jump scares of clichés. We have lots of phone calls, flip phones, bad acting, poor storyline, creepy music and oh possessed cell phones. This film is lacking in much as it does not make much sense. The jump scenes are too common and you can sense them by the music so the scares are lacking and the whole ghost through the phone is just lame. We have some ghouls, ghosts and some similarities to the Final Destination series.
Rating: Go to the original film please, stay away from this one unless you want to see Shannyn Sossamon on the screen only. This film is full of holes, lack of a solid plot and somehow the device is tied to a long time curse. So stay away from your voice mailbox and you will live. Unless you are a cat then you will die for no reason except your owner is a idiot.
Killer Party (1986)
Director: William Fruet
Main Stars: Martin Hewitt, Ralph Seymour, Elaine Wilkes, Sherry Wilis-Burch, Alicia Fleer, Joanna Johnson
Storyline: A group of young girls try to join a sorority and are part of a hazing at a haunted house.
Review (Spoils): A small group of friends (who look in their thirties so bad selection of girls for the part) want to stick together and join a girls sorority. So to make the cut then need to do a large amount of stupid stuff like stealing shirts from the boys group, setup props, raw egg eating, goats eyes and goat heads. While this is going on for a near hour of the film, we have backstory (with lack of information) of a once man named Adam who was killed and haunting and old sorority house.
This movie did not age well. The film is acting silly and boring for the first hour … if you can survive it then the actual last part is actually entertaining. Outside the stupidness of the storyline when the haunting possession kicks in it is actual fun ride for about 15-20min. The special effects of the demon possession is actually fun and well done. It reminded actual of Evil Dead for the last 15min. too bad the film is poor and boring till that point.
Rating: Not the greatest 80s horror film at all. It is stupid when it comes to all the college crap and boy chasing crap. However, if you can get past that the ending is entertaining and the special effects are cool. So we have 80s chicks, tight t-shirt boys and a bee scene which gives us the typical 80s TA.
Filed under Haunting, Occult
As Above, So Below (2014)
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Main Stars: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, Francois Civil, Marion Lambert
Storyline: A young woman gets a gang of explorers to venture into some catacombs underneath Paris to uncover the secret of the City of the Dead.
Review (Spoils): The young and beautiful Scarlett (Perdita Weeks) is an adventurous explorer who wants to live up to her father’s name and make sure his life and death was worth it. She starts a documentary on her choices and her travels as she tries to break into where the City of the Dead is located. She travels to the eastern lands and cracks into a hidden catacomb and takes with her video and pictures of the lost words. She uses her charm and gets help from fellow explorer George (Ben Feldman) to get it translated and they end up in Paris. In Paris they track down a bigger group of young explorers and they travel underground to find the lost City of the Dead.
We have the typical young and wild party people, the very talented and gorgeous Perdita Weeks, ghosts, jumpy camera, a stone bull, flashes of supposedly scary people, some flying blows, a nasty gored out fall, a crazy head bash (one of the best in the film), a healing stone, the cute Marion Lambert, some closer phobic moments and the same damn film as Grave Encounters.
Rating: I was expecting a lot more from this film. I read a number of reviews and they seemed to be great but once I started watching the film it screamed Grave Encounters and/or a horrible version of [REC]. I am personally so tired of the video camera view when it comes to horror films. It has been overdone like 5 years ago! As soon as I see this now in a film I scream to myself no budget but wanted to make the film anyways. When you have such a beautiful talented actress like Perdita Weeks do not waste it with this replicated horror stuff. Such a waste.
Filed under Haunting, Occult
Director: Jaume Balaguero
Main Stars: Anna Paquin, Lena Olin, Iain Glen
Storyline: A teenage girl and her family move into a remote country home and it is haunted
Review (Spoils): An old country house has a hidden old past of terror and is now claimed to be haunted. 40 years after that a family moves into the house with a new family. A young boy of the family starts to be frightened and starts to see things and act funny and drags his old sister into the worry. After investigation we learn of the 7 children hidden past of the house that is haunting it. We learn about the Darkness.
The film tries to take your basic haunting like film and uses other elements to the story of fright such as the mental issues of the father and the oddness of the son. The acting is well done and the star of the film Anna Paquin shines. The movie does not scream on the blood and gore but instead it works but sound and lighting which is a bit different then the generic haunting films we see nowadays.
Rating: The twist ending is a not a surprise and that part actuals downgrades the film. Yes, the film follows the normal formula for horror but what the director did to this film to present it is different and worth checking out. Plus it has Anna Paquin before she was really famous.
House/ Hausu (1977)
Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi
Main Stars: Kimiko Ikegani, Miki Jinbo, Kumiko Ohba, Mieko Sato, Eriko Tanaka
Storyline: A group of schoolgirls spend the summer at one or their aunts and learn that the place is haunted.
Review (Spoils): The film starts with a group of schoolgirls that have strange names and they discuss what they are each doing for the summer. When all their plans fall though they lean to a young girl named Gorgeous to travel to her forgotten Aunt’s home for the summer vacation. Through the film we learn that each girl’s name is named after a personality trait of their own (learning this through the dialogue of character development). When the girls arrive to the aunt’s house they settle right in but what they don’t know is the aunt is actually dead and the place is haunted.
Ever take acid and watch a film? Me either unless it was a long time ago…well that is what this film feels like. I personal believe if you took drugs and watched this film it would make total sense or you would die from the special effects and weirdness of it. There is so much going on in this film (outside of story) that it is one big acid trip. We have cut out edits with the camera like it’s a sitcom, Asian schoolgirls, bad dialogue, blood, floating body parts, a piano that eats people, a light fixture that eats, weird background sceneries that would make Stg. Pepper make sense, a cat that spews blood and some sexual symbolism to top it.
Rating: This film is bad so bad that it was entertaining and I can understand why it’s a cult classic. Part of me wants to watch this film a second time but hammered. We have so much going on in the film and the characters alone are a trip on their own. Warning this film is not for everyone!