Night Monster (1942)
Director: Ford Beebe
Main Stars: Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, Leif Erickson, Ralph Morgan, Irene Hervey
Storyline: A rich recluse invites doctors to come to his mansion located in the swamp to meet their deaths.
Review (Spoils): Crippled Kurt Ingston (Ralph Morgan) lives in the swamp with his daughter Margaret. Her sanity is being checked as she is acting strange but seems healthy. All the doctors that have been assigned to her and her father are invited to the lonely mansion located in the swamps. During the visit one of the doctors end up murdered and they must track down the killer before more die.
I personally started off this film picturing this to be a monster film staring Bela Lugosi, wow was I wrong. He is barely in the film and plays a secondary part in the film as a spooky butler. Instead the film becomes a murder mystery surrounding around the mysterious Ingston family and the medical professionals that were involved with them. The film is dark and has lots of fog as that is what you get when you live in the swamp. The sound effects in the film also play a nice game as when the murders happen the sound goes blank.
Rating: The film is actually not bad for something that I thought would have a monster movie. But yet again it is a more of murder mystery than a horror film even though the energy of the film is very dark. The plot and aspect of the film did not make sense what’s so ever but the characters were well acted and written so it can be forgiven.
The Monster (1925)
Director: Roland West
Main Stars: Lon Chaney, Gertrude Olmstead, Hallam Cooley
Storyline: A troubled clerk doubles as a detective is investigating strange going ons at the local mental sanitarium.
Review (Spoils): A madman named Dr. Ziska (Lon Chaney) gets rid of the staff at mental sanitarium and uses the patients as his new staff. The lunatics start to work at the place as Ziska collects bodies to experiment on. As the new detective walks around with the book of “How to be a Detective?” as he is trying to find missing people. As Ziska is abducting people for his experiments the detective gets on the case.
The story line borders on comedy and fun more than the actual horror. The scenery is amazing in this film and make up of Lon Chaney’s character is outstanding. The film itself can be pretty slow moving as the actors are limited as there only a few in the film to hold interest. Part of me thinks that the talent and make up of Chaney was wasted a bit in this film as it was the Wow factor of the film.
Rating: Going to be honest this is one slow moving film with some small laughs, but the Chaney steals the film. The next interesting character is his henchman that helps him with the dropping mirror from the tree to cause cars to run off the road, so they can capture them. The film is fun silent with some scary make up but do not expect to be thrilled or scared.
Director: Akiva Goldsman
Main Stars: Shree Crooks, Frank Grillo, Anna Torvo
Storyline: A young girl is alone after a mysterious global crisis battling against an unknown evil entity.
Review (Spoils): Stephanie is home all alone except with her stuffed turtle named Franklin and her dead brother. The questions are where is everyone, what has happened and what are the strange shadow things that haunt her that she is hiding from?
Stephanie is a strange little film that has you asking the above questions over and over until about a little over half way through as the story line starts to show its light. The problem is I personally like the story line I had in head better (as you are guessing) more than the actual story itself. Shree Crooks steals the show of the film that is for sure and the father would be a close second, Frank Grillo. Not sure if it was the lack of character build or just Anna Torvo but it was not believable. Do not expect blood and gore at all as the film relies on the secret of what is really happening and the shadow creature so to speak.
Rating: Honestly this film leans on Sci-Fi way more than horror. Sure, it has some unknown evil entity to it, but it was unbelievable that it became space like. This film could of went a few ways in the story line revel but unfortunate for me it was not a path I would of took as the final story. But like said before it was worth watching once and Shree Crooks played the character very well even outside of the crappy CGI.
Director: Danny Perez
Main Stars: Natasha Lyonne, Chloe Sevigny, Meg Tilly, Mark Webber, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos
Storyline: A struggling drug addicted wakes up from a night of party with a strange illness.
Review (Spoils): Lou (Natasha Lyonne) is a struggling drug addict and hangs around mostly with street walkers and drug addicts. After a wild of night of partying and not remembering she and her friends Sadie (Chloe Sevigny) try to find out why she has been feeling so strange. Is she pregnant or is there something more wrong happening? After possibly being pregnant, struggling with body changes, mind trips and of course indulging in drugs and booze Lou life starts to spin. Also, to add to the mix the wandering Lorna (Meg Tilly) who seems to know too much comes to her door and the truth starts to unfold.
This film is a bit of trip itself. Not sure if it was the drugs, the use of red and purple lighting, the rubber baby monster or the fuzzy fun zone apes but man this film was all over the place. The storyline jumps right in but it was slow run to get to the point. Some of the graphic were nice and gross like the belly, the classic foot scene and the picking of skin but there were long gapes of just conversation in between that it seemed longer than it should have been. Natasha Lyonne and Chloe Sevigny did a great job playing out their characters but I hard time getting into Meg Tilly’s. It just lacked info or backstory. There could have been more scares and gore , hell even more fuzzy apes would be fun!
Rating: Overall the film was okay and entertaining. Chloe Sevigny is a joy to watch and Natasha Lyonne always plays a good junkie (Orange is the New Black). The ending felt a bit rushed as there was much going on in the final 20min and it was a bit cheesy, but overall the film was not bad. I was expecting a lot worse but they could of cut down on the dialogue and gave us more trippy apes.
The Forest (2016)
Director: Jason Zada
Main Stars: Natalie Dormer, Eoin Macken, Stephanie Vogt
Storyline: A woman goes to Japan to find her lost twin sister and enters a forest that is known as Suicide Forest.
Review (Spoils): Sara and Jess Price has a tough childhood after their parent’s death. Jess witnessed it and Sara turned away. One of the twins became dark as the other became lighter. When Jess disappears her sister, Sara decides to travel to Japan to find her and tracks lead to the Suicide Forest.
The forest is kind of lacking its has some backstory and flashbacks and the basic don’t stay in the woods after the night or you will see things and die. Or also the lame don’t walk off the path hint. The movie itself was not horrible and Natalie Dormer is entertaining but there were not enough scares (or any) and the fall in a hole and flips back and forth was kind of known what was really happening. This film was predictable and dragged on to long to get to the actual whole point of the film.
We have green forests, dark forest, a hole (surprise) some back and forth on what is real and what is not. Of course haunting children, some blood and a nasty hand wound, stabbing and drama that really I could not care about. Why would a twin sister who could not give a shit about her sister all of sudden give a shit because she may dead..??? Sounds pretty lame to me.
Rating: When two strangers become best friends over night and exposes their darkest secrets within 4 hours I call bullshit. And this is what exactly this film did and they lost me after that. (which was half through the film). The forest had some great scenery but the frights were not there. But if you like looking at Natalie Dormer you will be ok for the 1.5 hours.
Sinister 2 (2015)
Director: Claran Foy
Main Stars: James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, Robert Daniel Sloan, Dartanian Sloan, Lea Coco
Storyline: A separated woman and her two child stay at a haunted house that once was part of the sinister cult.
Review (Spoils): The beautiful Courtney is on the run with her two boys from her abusive husband. They shack up into one of the old haunted houses that was part once of the sinister cult. (See first film). Strange things start to happen to the young boys as one of them starts to see and talk the haunting children and starts to watch films created by them on killing their parents to please the demon Bhughul.
This film started off pretty all right with the chase and wonder what Courtney is really running away from. The second part of the story with people looking into the hauntings and tracking down all the old buildings of the sinister cult. The problem with this is he looks like the dude from The Office and it really was not very exciting. The best part of the film was the actress Shannyn Sossamon as she held the film and her character was interesting but the rest of the characters were assholes that you wanted to die, lacking or over the top CGI (the kids of the cult were done bad).
This film gives us more details on the sinister cult, video tapes, burnings, a real stupid rat scene with some blood, bad CGI kids and house fire, the classic Bhughul and some electrical burning. This film lacked on scares and wasted time on stupid cheap CGI.
Rating: The first film was a classic for this age of horror but this sequel was disappointing, If you do not have money to do good special effects than you do not have enough money to do a film. I am extremely tired of lazy CGI that looks cheap and shitty. Thank god, for Shannyn Sossamon saving this film, if I did not know better I would think it was a Children of the Corn film.
Scream Blacula Scream (1973)
Director: Bob Kelljan
Main Stars: William Marshall, Don Mitchell, Pam Grier, Lisa Fortier
Storyline: A voodoo cult has some internal issues so they resurrect Blacula to fix them.
Review (Spoils): Blacula (William Marshall) has returned as an internal disagreement happens in a voodoo cult on who should be the new leader after the elderly woman dies (yes this is the plot). One man is so fit in rage of not being chosen he digs up the bones of Blacula and brings him back to make them pay. Of course, from the get go Blacula bites him and makes him one of his spawn. During which Blacula works his way through the female members of the cult until he has a large grouping of spawns. However yet again Blacula falls in love with one member (Lisa Fortier) and this weakness ends his life again.
Much like the first film of the series, we have bright red blood marks, some smashed windows, some seductive neck biting, some jive talking, pimps, bad Blacula make-up, some cool vampire spawn make-up and a horrible storyline. At least this round Blacula has dropped the growling noises but some of the story if just whacked. A prime example of this is when they discuss the possibility of a vampire existing, while Blacula sits in the room like a normal man but in his black and red cape. (Can’t make this shit up)
Rating: I personally believe this is the last movie of this series and I can see why. This was a bad plot and the film is very laughable. The movie is pretty much the same as the first one except you have some more voodoo involved. The film is not horrible but I was expecting more in this sequel than what I saw. Blacula was okay but I was much more interested in his vampire spawn as the make up on some of the characters was good for its time. This film is still as cult classic as the series holds its own.