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Friday, May 29, 2009

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

I remember as a kid watching Chiller Theater in the basement of my grandparents house. It came on at 11:30 pm on Saturday nights. It was a very memorable time in my life because it developed a love of horror movies that I have not lost. There were also many sci-fi original movies played on the show as well. I was probably around 12 years old the first time I saw the original '51 version of The Day The Earth Stood Still. Comparing movies from that era to now is rather foolish in my mind because the technology back then was so young. I have often re watched movies from the past and while they were good movies I would think how much better they could be today. Some people get so wrapped up in the originals that they hate the remakes... like it is some kind of blasphemy to remake them. I don't hold that same thought. I judge each and every movie on its own merits. Basically, did it entertain me. This remake was very good in my opinion. I'm not a fan of Keanu Reeves, nor am I a hater of him. I think he is an average actor at best. However, I thought he was perfect for this role... why? Because he is normally stiff and lacks personality. There is a great supporting cast in this movie that do well with their roles. I like Kathy Bates, but her role did not do anything for me. Shes a great actress, but her role in general didn't do it for me. Also, the little kid was quite obnoxious. Other than those mild grips, the movie was a worthy remake. I recommend watching both. Check out the trailer below and give this one a shot!

PG-13 For some sci-fi disaster images and violence

Length:
104 minutes
Director:
Scott Derrickson

Cast:
Keanu Reeves
Jennifer Connelly
Kathy Bates
John Cleese
Aaron Douglas
Jon Hamm
Kyle Chandler
Robert Knepper
James Hong
Sunita Prasad


In this updated version of the 1951 classic sci-fi thriller, Keanu Reeves stars as an alien named Klaatu who's sent to Earth to warn the leaders of the world about the consequences of their dangerous ways. Joined by a heavily armed robot companion, Klaatu informs the people of Earth that the constant aggression carried out against one another has raised the ire of an alien species, which is now threatening to exterminate all of mankind.

Picture from the '51 original...




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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Walled In...

I get really annoyed when a movie is put in the horror genre when the movie really isn't horror. I try not to take out my anger on the film, but sometimes you just can't help it. However, I was able to refrain from such condemnation on this movie. Aaron, Ashely, Matt, Chris, Tina, and I watched this movie last night and all in all, it was an interesting movie. The story centers around a young demolition engineer who is chosen by her father (Owner of a demolition firm) to go to this remote "apartment" building to prepare it for demolition by marking all the spots for the demolition crew to put the dynamite in. The building was designed by an eccentric architect who supposedly murdered several people and placed them in the inner walls of the building and encased them in concrete. The whole concept was interesting, the problem though, it didn't come across on film as well as I had hoped. This "thriller" could have been so much better if they would have explored into the architect and his belief in the occult of ancient Egypt more. There was some tension in the movie, but it was not all that "scary". I must admit though, it was not all that bad either. It did have some entertainment value and it did keep me interested throughout. The bottom line is that it is a good movie, but not great. It could have been great, but it just didn't bring it all together in my mind. There are also some eccentric residents still living in the building who make the young engineers time there very difficult. Check out the trailer below and see if this movie is one you might like to see. Not a bad movie night... just have plenty of popcorn!

Young engineer Sam (Mischa Barton) is hired to oversee the demolition of a remote building. However, she learns that the architect, in a perversion of Egyptian mythology, buried people alive in the walls. As Sam works to unravel the mystery behind this awful place, she is haunted by the spirits of the victims -- and the discovery that she may be next to die. Cameron Bright and Deborah Kara Unger co-star in this eerie thriller.


R For some violence
Length:
92 minutes
Director:
Gilles Paquet-Brenner

Cast:
Mischa Barton
Deborah Kara Unger
Cameron Bright
Noam Jenkins
Shannon Jardine
Darla Biccum
Sophi Knight
Rob Roy
Josh Strait
Rob van Meenen


Film adaptation
A film adaptation of his best-seller French-language novel Les Emmur├ęs has recently been adapted into a film, Walled In.


This is the bestselling book that Serge Brussolo wrote that the film was based on. Brussolo is a French writer whose works range from science fiction, fantasy, to thriller.




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Sunday, May 24, 2009

My Bloody Valentine (2009)

We watched this movie last night. It is a remake of the '81 film with the same name. I thought it was an OK movie, but Tina liked it more than I did. The funny thing is, it seemed to have that typical 80's feel to it which I really don't care for. The 80's did bring us some good horror... Hellraiser for one, but it also brought us a load of campy crap. I was hoping for a little more updated feel. Kind of like the Rob Zombie Halloween. I don't remember seeing the original, but from everything I've read it follows the original to a tee. The movie has some of the goriest scenes with a pic axe and shovel that I have seen in some time. The story revolves around a mining town where on Valentine's Day one of the miners goes nuts and starts killing teens who were having a party at the mine that night. There's a fair amount of tension and fear in this film. The Ackles character (Tom) is the son of the mine owner and witness' the massacre and only survives because the sheriff got there in time. Tom leaves town for 10 years and only comes back to sell the mine after his father's death. That's when the killings begin all over again. There's a few interesting twist to the story and it does have entertainment value. It is an 80's gore fest! Check out the trailer below and I think you will enjoy it as well.

Haunted by the mining-related massacre that took place there on Valentine's Day a decade ago, Tom (Jensen Ackles) returns to his hometown to find some closure. But no sooner does he arrive than a pickax-wielding madman begins a new bloody killing spree. Now, many suspect that the murderous miner has returned to claim his final victims -- including Tom. Patrick Lussier directs this remake of the 1981 horror classic.

R For graphic brutal horror violence and grisly images throughout, some strong sexuality, graphic nudity and language

Length:
101 minutes
Director:
Patrick Lussier

Jensen Ackles
A friend of mine loves this guy... mainly because she loves the show Supernatural.





Cast:
Jensen Ackles
Jaime King
Kerr Smith
Kevin Tighe
Tom Atkins
Marc Macaulay
Betsy Rue
Megan Boone
William Kania
Brandi Engel
Chris Carnel
Jillian O'Neil




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Monday, May 18, 2009

Eden Lake (2008)

I have been waiting to watch this movie for quite some time. I had read a lot about it on Bloody-Disgusting.com and had seen the trailer and many pictures from the gallery. There is some apprehension when you have so much anticipation before viewing a movie. Some times you build it up to the point that the movie could never live up to your hopes. However, this movie did not disappoint at all. It is one of the most twisted/sick movies I have seen in a while. The difference between being "sick/twisted" bad and "sick/twisted" good is the story and the acting. This movie had a ton of tension and the scenery around the lake was spectacular. The movie begins with a loving couple going to a lake for a romantic weekend. While lounging on the lake beach, a group of loud and obnoxious teens come to the shoreline a few hundred feet from the couple. With their music blaring and arrogant attitude, trouble begins between the teens and the couple. That is just the beginning. What happens next is like a snow ball rolling down a mountain and getting bigger and picking up steam till it hits the bottom. This is a very well made movie and the entertainment value is quite high. The ending is a surprise and a little difficult to take, but it fits the the rest of the story. This movie is well worth a watch. Check out the trailer below and run to the video store to get this one!

R For strong brutal violence, pervasive language, some nudity and brief drug use
Length:
91 minutes
Director:
James Watkins

Cast:
Kelly Reilly
Michael Fassbender
Finn Atkins
James Burrows
James Gandhi
Thomas Gill
Thomas Gilleran
Jack O'Connell
Thomas Turgoose
Bronson Webb


Jenny (Kelly Reilly) and Steve (Michael Fassbender) are in love and about to get engaged during a calm lake getaway -- but they'll first have to survive a pillaging and murderous gang of kids, led by the psychotic Brett (Jack O'Connell), who suddenly arrives on their front lawn. When Steve tries to quell the violence, matters turn from scary to gruesomely deadly. James Gandhi, Bronson Webb, Thomas Gill and Thomas Turgoose co-star.



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Friday, May 15, 2009

Against the Dark (2008)

Seagal's venture into the horror genre is little more than a little better than average zombie movie. While these creatures "drink" blood, they also ravage their victims bodies like zombies. The story is somewhat interesting and the acting is well above the "B" status, but Seagal has about as much more screen time as an extended cameo. The movie tries very hard to be an action packed/gorefest, but it falls a little short in several areas. For one thing, Seagal is NOT the main character. Unlike most of his other movies, where there is some environmental issue or "sinister" corporation, in Against The Dark, we have crazy zombies. Love him or hate him, Steven Seagal has had some very entertaining action films. Under Siege (1992) R, Out for Justice (1991) R, Marked for Death (1990) R,The Glimmer Man (1996) R, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) R, On Deadly Ground (1994) R, and Fire Down Below (1997). Mostly, these are his early work. I like Seagal because his movies have action, heart, and are for the most part very entertaining. Definitely, not his acting ability. I have him in that category one notch above Chuck Norris... same type of movies. So... as far as horror movies go, this one was just average for me. I appreciate he wanted to branch out, but he needs to stay within his action genre. So check out the trailer below and see if this movie interests you!

After the face of the planet is overrun by bloodthirsty vampires, special ops squad leader Commander Tao (Steven Seagal) must extinguish the menacing bloodsuckers and save the future of the human race. But for those who have survived and taken refuge in an abandoned hospital, hope is running out -- as well as supplies and food. Jeff Chase, Emma Catherwood and Skye Bennett co-star in this action thriller.

Steven Seagal
Born in Lansing, Mich., on April 10, 1951, action star Steven Seagal moved to California with his family at age 5. He developed his interest in martial arts a few years later and began studying Aikido at a Japanese dojo near his home.
At age 19, Seagal left for Japan to study Buddhism and Aikido. When he returned to the U.S. in 1982, he opened martial arts schools and trained many Hollywood elite, including Michael Ovitz, who got Seagal a role in his first film, Above the Law (1988). This success was followed by a series of vigilante/renegade cop roles in Hard to Kill, Marked for Death and Out for Justice.

It was his role as Navy cook Casey Ryback in Under Siege (1992) that got him his first critical acclaim. Since then, Seagal has tried his hand in key supporting roles (Executive Decision), comedies (The Glimmer Man) and environmental awareness efforts (Fire Down Below).


R For bloody violence/gore, some language and brief nudity
Length:
94 minutes
Director:
Richard Crudo

Cast:
Steven Seagal
Linden Ashby
Skye Bennett
Jeff Chase
Tanoai Reed
Emma Catherwood
Jenna Harrison
Emma Catherwood
Daniel Percival
Danny Midwinter
Joel Shock

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)

I know that prequels are the rage in Hollywood, but they don't always live up to expectations... this one did! I loved the storyline in this movie and thought it told the beginnings of the war between Lycans and vampires well. If I had to say a negative thing about the movie it would be that it was visually too dark at times and also vampires can fly... so why didn't they??? OK, that was two things. The acting was superb, especially Bill Nighy as Victor, the leader of the vampires. His intensity was fantastic and he was visually dominate in his role. Michael Sheen as Lucian, the leader of the Lycans was equally as passionate in his role. I have to say that I didn't miss Kate Beckinsale at all. The character of Sonja, played by Rhonda Mitra was as strong a character as Beckensales. The story begins with the Lycans being slaves to the vampires and Lucian being a favorite of Victors. There are struggles outside the walls of the castle between "wild" werewolves and the Nobles who depend on the vampires for protection and the vampires in turn are paid for this protection. Sonja is rebellious and disobeys her father (Victor) on many occasions. As Lucian and Sonja's relations is kept hidden, it is just as quickly revealed and that is when the battle truly begins. This movie is full of all the elements of a great movie... good storyline, good acting, interesting characters, and well played action. The only concern for me is that the CGI was a little over done. I've never been a fan of so much CGI, but I overlook it when the movie has so many other great attributes. This movie is so worth a watch! Check out the trailer below!


A prequel to the first two Underworld films, this fantasy explains the origins of the feud between the Vampires and the Lycans. Aided by his secret love, Sonja (Rhona Mitra), courageous Lucian (Michael Sheen) leads the Lycans in battle against brutal Vampire king Viktor (Bill Nighy). Determined to break the king's enslavement of his people, Lucian faces off against the Death Dealer army in a bid for Lycan independence.

Rated R
For bloody violence and some sexuality

Length:
92 minutes
Director:
Patrick Tatopoulos

Cast:
Rhona Mitra
Bill Nighy
Michael Sheen
Shane Brolly
Steven Mackintosh
Kevin Grevioux




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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Boogeyman 3...

We've seen all three Boogeyman movies now, and I can't say I'm all that impressed. The first movie was very good, but the last two have been average at best. I guess the real problem is that the whole concept of the "Boogeyman" is silly and campy to me. A lot like Pumpkinhead and the like where the "evil" character just doesn't scare me or thrill me as a horror character. Just the name alone... "Boogeyman", is enough to make me think "camp." OK, enough of that... the movie is just your typical teenish slasher movie. Albeit, these are collage students, it still has that teen slasher feel. Another issue I have is the film tries to be to smart. You have a college student who is a psychology major and an "advice" radio announcer for the college radio station. Along with her college professor, they do a talk radio show for the college students. In my mind this feels like a film that is screaming to be taken seriously in spite of itself. The character of the Boogeyman is inconsistent in his "terror." At times all you have to do is shut the closet door and you will be safe. Other times, he will pull you under the bed or move effortlessly through a room. I guess my just not a fan of the character. So all in all this is just an average horror movie. So check out the trailer below and see if this movie interest you.

Although her best friend supposedly committed suicide, college student Sarah Morris (Erin Cahill) knows the girl's wounds weren't self-inflicted. But her insistence that the Boogeyman was to blame only prompts her roommates to think she's losing her mind. Now, Sarah's splitting her time between trying to convince her campus friends that their lives are in serious danger -- and trying to save her own.

Director:
Gary Jones

Cast:
W.B. Alexander
Erin Cahill
Elyes Gabel
Chuck Hittinger
Kate Maberly
George Maguire
Mimi Michaels
Matt Rippy
Nikki Sanderson
Matt Rippy




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Thursday, May 7, 2009

From Within (2008)

We've seen 6 of the 8 Movies To Die For so far. I have been pleasantly surprise how good several of these movies have been. The After Dark Horror Fest has been going on for three years now, and usually there are only a few movies that are really good and the rest are average or worst. However, this year at least four of them have been good or really good. From Within is your typical "Good Vs Evil", God vs Satan movie... but that's where it starts... that is not the whole story. Usually there is a distinctive line between good and evil, but in this movie, the lines are blurred. Is there anyone good in this movie? The religious fanatics in this movie truly believe and trust in their faith. It reminded me of the fanaticism of the Salem Witch Trails. The "good" people of Grovetown need to blame someone for the mysterious suicides that are taking place in their town. They blame a family that they believe practice witch craft. It really is a struggle to like these fanatics. They don't have many redeeming qualities other than their strong faith in God... no matter how misguided it was. With out giving to much of the movie away, there is a true battle to get to the bottom of this suicide curse. Elizabeth Rice plays Lindsay, a young high school girl who believes in God, but doesn't have the same religious fervor that most of the town has. She befriends Aidan played by Thomas Dekker. Aidan is a family member to the first victim and is believed to be responsible for all the suicides. The movie moves well and there are many interesting "twist" to make the storyline more interesting. This movie is well worth a watch! Check out the trailer below!

(R)For violence, disturbing images and some language.
Length:
95 minutes
Director:
Phedon Papamichael

Cast:
Elizabeth Rice
Thomas Dekker
Kelly Blatz
Laura Allen
Adam Goldberg
Rumer Willis
Margo Harshman
Brittany Robertson
Jared Harris
Steven Culp
Amanda Babin



When a rash of mysterious suicides strikes the idyllic burg of Grovetown, it galvanizes the faith of the largely Christian community, which staunchly clings to its evangelical beliefs. Convinced that the deaths are the work of something far more sinister than sheer fate, teenagers Lindsay (Elizabeth Rice) and Aidan (Thomas Dekker) band together to unearth the real culprits … and uncover a shocking revelation.



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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Uninvited...

This is a very well made, creepy thriller. All the while I'm watching it, I'm trying to figure out who is the "guilty" party in this movie. Every conversation, action, and scene in the movie seems to have a couple of different meanings so that you are really struggling to figure out who is the "bad guy" in the movie. The acting was good and the story itself was very interesting and kept you guessing throughout. Having said that, I never saw the ending coming. I was completely surprised by it. This movie kept you enthralled all the way through. You sit there completely pulling for the Anna character to get to the truth and solve this serious problem that she is facing... mainly an "evil" step mom to be. The movie moves quickly and is very entertaining. I highly recommend watching this movie if you like twisted, creepy thrillers.

It is a remake of a Korean film titled A Tale Of Two Sisters. I don't like subtitles at all and have no interesting in seeing this film, but the American version is awesome. Emily Browning plays Anna who has been hospitalized since her mothers tragic death. As the synopsis below states, she is released from the hospital and goes home to find that her dad and her mother's former nurse are getting married. She is not at all happy about that. Anna has visions and dreams that seem to point to the fact that her mothers death was no accident. Ghosts, and dark, creepy settings make this movie very tense. I love tension in a movie... it seems to suck me into it so much more that just gore alone. Check out the trailer below and give this movie a shot!


Committed to a mental hospital after her mother's tragic death, teenager Anna (Emily Browning) discovers upon her release that her father (David Strathairn) plans to marry his deceased wife's former nurse, Rachael (Elizabeth Banks), a woman who may not have the best intentions. Foreboding warnings from her mother's ghost only cement Anna's suspicions in this remake of the 2003 Korean chiller Janghwa, Hongryeon.

Cast
Emily Browning as Anna Rydell
Arielle Kebbel as Alex Rydell
Elizabeth Banks as Rachel Summers (Stepmother)
David Strathairn as Steven Rydell (Father)
Maya Massar as Lilian Rydell (Mother)
Kevin McNulty as Sheriff Emery
Jesse Moss as Matt
Lex Burnham as Iris Wright
Danny Bristol as Samuel Wright
Mathhew Bristol as David Wright
Don S. Davis as Mr. Henson
Heather Doerksen as Mildred
Dean Paul Gibson as Dr. bopp





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