“You know the part in scary movies when somebody does something really stupid, and everybody hates them for it? This is it.” – Trish
SYNOPSIS: A brother and sister driving home through isolated countryside for spring break encounter a flesh-eating creature which is in the midst of its ritualistic eating spree. – via IMDB
I remember this movie being a pretty big deal when it came out and I was a rugrat. I remember I watched the crap out of it, too. I remember watching it a few years back and thinking that there were a hell of a lot of issues with it, and there are a lot of silly logic issues with it. I didn’t enjoy it very much. Then I felt like watching this the other day and I enjoyed it… if you can find it in you to not look at those things a touch too closely, you might be in for a relatively decent horror.
That could also just be because I get nostalgic when watching this, I don’t know. There are flaws to be found here, sure, but that is most movies, and a problem that especially plagues horror movies. There is also a lot of fun to be had with this, too, if you let yourself have it. Justin Long is quite entertaining here, and manages to hold his own in a lead role. The characters make a lot of super stupid decisions, but are also quite aware of their shortcomings, too. I just need to reiterate how stupid these characters are, and the things that they do defy logic, but I suppose it would be a totally bland story if they saw him dumping bodies, called the cops, went home, and heard no more. That doesn’t sell movie tickets.
The monster, too, is icky. He’s a weird one, and is kak creepy in his truck and his duster, but the effect is somewhat ruined when you get to see too much of him. At least the movie doesn’t insist on this. But seriously, initially out in the country and being chased by a crazy trucks, one you later see the occupant of dumping bodies and then hunting you down? It works so well. Gets a little deliberate after that, but it’s okay. It’s a crazy ride. There are a lot of things that remained unanswered when watching this, and things that aren’t really addressed. The characters are not overly complex, neither is the story, it just wants to give us some screaming college kids running (unsuccessfully) for their lives, and it works for some light popcorn entertainment.
Overall, Jeepers Creepers might be flawed, but it is also a fun horror to watch. It’s a quick one, too, and doesn’t overstay its run time, and has a very high school horror night feel going for it, which is great. Sometimes that is all you want. If you aren’t looking for horror movie classics, this should be entertaining enough for you. If you can overlook how ridiculously stupid it can be. I guess that’s what makes for the love/hate relationship one can have with this movie.
SYNOPSIS: Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, a man has established a tenuous domestic order with his wife and son. Then a desperate young family arrives seeking refuge. – via IMDB
I have been looking forward to this one for a while based on the trailers and the posters and, of course, Joel Edgerton. I had high hopes or it, it looked super creepy, and I definitely liked it quite a bit, though there were issues. My husband was livid about having wasted time watching this, and was major peeved about many aspects of it, which I will get into.
Joel Edgerton was well worth a watch here again, as always, though there was a particular scene (out in the woods) that was just jarring and didn’t really flow so well and felt awkward, which is unfortunate, and is the only time you wonder what the hell that was all about. I enjoyed the fact that there were so few characters to deal with in this movie, it made it feel so very claustrophobic and scary. It was almost suffocating, and the way that it was shot, tight and dark, with the soft, complementary score over it made it even more so.
The plot is simple and never really gets too into what happened, why everything is the way it is, exactly what everyone is afraid of (aside from it being a sickness) and how the illness affects people. Now, I didn’t mind this so much, the ambiguity lets the imagination run rampant, and the atmosphere of the movie is so tense as is that you can just go crazy thinking about the possibilities, and how something like this could plausibly happen. It Comes at Night focuses more on the people and their fear and isolation as opposed to the how and why, and while I was okay with it (though it was frustrating at time – we are so used to be given everything on a spoon), my husband was pissed. He was waiting for the what comes at night, and got no answers, just more questions.
So while the ambiguity is refreshing, it is also frustrating. The movie is put together extremely well, and looks and sounds excellent. The execution of this is really good, but I think that this is going to divide audiences. You cannot deny that the movie is well crafted and does keep you hooked, but it is also unsatisfying in the sense that nothing is resolved. It felt like something was missing. The movie gives you a section, a slice of time to look at, to chew on, but that is all you get. So I suppose it will depend on how you feel about that.
It Comes at Night may be flawed with some issues and lack of actual story aside from this one section of time it is focusing on, but it is atmospheric as hell and the score truly runs this point home. The actors are all pretty good, and the movie looks and sounds suitably creepy, and the ambiguity works both for and against this movie, so it really depends on your mood when going to watch it, that’s for sure. That being said, I quite enjoyed it, but it was lacking something.
“Seeing is not believing. It’s the other way around. Believe, and you will see.” – Aurora
SYNOPSIS: A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, which used to be an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend. – via IMDB
Finally got to checking this out, too, and again, another one I am pleased to have checked off my list. For years and years it has been recommended to me and I have always been like Captain Eventually about it, but this year was the year for me! I honestly didn’t know too much going in to watching this, not about the story, nothing (except maybe that the kid from above was in it), and I am grateful for that. This is the kind of movie where the less you know, the better.
The movie gets into the swing of things gradually, not too rushed or anything, and you get the backstory for what is going on. When Simón goes missing, the effect on the Laura and Carlos is heavy. Their hope dwindles as time moves on, and to see the way they handle it is really sad. I think the story is woven so well, because there is a psychological and emotional aspect to this and it is handled deftly throughout. You really get caught up in the story and their suffering, as well as the mystery.
The performances from Belén Rueda and Fernando Cayo are truly good, as they are the ones that sell the story to you throughout. The Orphanage is a creepy film – it does not go big for jump scares, but a subtle chill that creeps in, which is awesome. Jump scares are overrated, and I always prefer a movie that works more with the atmosphere and the psychology. This one definitely goes for more of a look at the parents, specifically the mom, and how she is dealing with it. I wish they had explored a little more how it was for her to be back at the orphanage she grew up in.
So we have covered the performances and the pacing, which leaves us with how the movie looks and sounds, and I think both work wonderfully to weave that dark, mysterious, magical feel of it. It all works together to create a fantastic atmosphere. I didn’t expect it to have as much of an emotional core as it did, but I really think it takes The Orphanage from being a generic mystery/horror to having a little dramatic spine which elevates the whole experience.
The Orphanage is such a good movie and it has so much going for it. I was mesmerised from the off and enchanted throughout. It is a magical, mystical, dark, creepy film, and well worth checking out!
“I… I need to stand there, I need to look him in the eye and I need to know that it’s him.” – Robert Graysmith
SYNOPSIS: A serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area taunts police with his letters and cryptic messages. We follow the investigators and reporters in this lightly fictionalized account of the true 1970’s case as they search for the murderer, becoming obsessed with the case. Based on Robert Graysmith’s book, the movie’s focus is the lives and careers of the detectives and newspaper people. – via IMDB
This movie is absolutely brilliant. I loved it when it came out, I loved it in subsequent rewatches, and I still love it. Why? Because it is put together extremely well, the cast carrying this show is fantastic, and it looks amazing. There is really just too much to love about this and not anything to seriously complain about.
Jake Gyllenhaal never disappoints (seriously bestie, you must watch more of his work) and his Robert Graysmith is really interesting to watch, like a dog with a bone. Robert Downey Jr. is excellent as prick crime reporter Paul Avery, and showcases how he really has more talent than just Tony Stark/Iron Man. I really miss when he used to take real other roles. The final big player here is Mark Ruffalo, and I always enjoy watching the man in anything. His detective character David Toschi is also a big draw, and I really like how these three characters each had their own obsession, they all danced around one another, were all similar but completely different. I think the movie really runs home the point of obsession, and how it interacts with everyday life, which is very interesting. Not only that, the movie is obviously shot phenomenally because, well, David Fincher.
The script it also tight, laying out all the pieces of evidence you need in the case of the terrifying Zodiac killer, who freaked people out beyond anything, even though he was never caught. I think that Robert Graysmith did a great job of investigating and seriously has the strongest case stacked against Arthur Leigh Allen. Zodiac is engrossing and mesmerising and demands your attention throughout, and barrels along at such a pace that you are not left behind, but are gripped, and does not allow your attention to wander for even a moment.
You cannot miss that immense amounts of work, interest and passions that went into the film, everything from costume design to the sets that were done, and reading up on the trivia for it, all this is confirmed. I have not read Graysmith’s book, but I will most certainly be looking into it as soon as possible. If you have not seen Zodiac, it is high time you rectify that.
SYNOPSIS: Four men set out in the Wild West to rescue a group of captives from cannibalistic cave dwellers. – via IMDB
So much yes. Yes, yes, yes. Ryan and Eric both praised and enjoyed this, and usually we see mostly eye to eye, and so I checked it out. I fell in love. What you get is a western horror. I was all for that. It sounded interesting, intriguing, and I was curious to see how they were going to pull this off. Well, flawlessly to say the least. For the majority of the movie, it plays out exactly like a western. No bells and whistles, lots of drama, the desert, men being all hardcore, the like. But just enough time was dedicated in the beginning to set up the fact that there will be room for horror, and the conclusion shifts away from the western a little and focuses on the horror aspect, and this blend is done just perfectly. The cast that carries this movie is fantastic – each member works wonders with the material they are given. You care about them, you worry about their plight, you wish to see what they will accomplish, you wonder about O’Dwyer’s wife, the missing criminal, the official who went missing and the troglodytes that were present that night. Where have they gone? Not to mention that there is humour laced into this once in a while, but it is dark and used sparingly, and in so doing it is effective. The film was shot well, and I loved that slow burn pace. It really set the film and the events up, and played out all the pieces just right. Bone Tomahawk also stays with you quite a while after it is over, so that is really good. The brutality and creepiness of this movie is wonderful, and executed just right – I know that sounds bad, but it isn’t just gratuitous, and it is nasty, so sensitive viewers, be warned. I cannot recommend this highly enough!
I was thinking about opening credits of television shows the other day, and it occurred to me that some shows have some exceptional credits to open with, whether those shows be good and bad. Some of these credits stick with us because they are awesome, some because they are fun, some because they are annoying, and others because they linger after the fact because they got under your skin. Seeing as this is the month of October and all that, I figured I would take some time to pick out some opening credits for shows that I loved for all sorts of reasons, but the primary reason being that they are all hair-raising in some way. I would not call this the definitive list, but here are five choices.
If you have opening credits that you would like to have added to the list, give me a shout with a reason why (email me or just stick it in the comments) and I will most certainly put it up here!
Okay, right off the bat we all know that I am a huge Hannibal addict. In fact, when it was announced that NBC would not be continuing with the show, I went into a mourning state. How dare those bastards cancel such a great show?! I hope another network picks it up and continues, but if not? Season three ended flawlessly, so even if that is the end of our journey, it was at least a good one. Now, the intro of Hannibal is perfectly suited for the show – stark, clean white background with these face moulds that are drenched with red blood liquid to enhance their features and that tune that is just poignant, understated and chilling the entire time. The Hannibal intro highlights the fact that less is certainly more sometimes. It didn’t go overboard for guts, gore, or darkness, but it went for white, stark and creepy – definitely drives home the entire concept of the show!
This is likely going to be the most well-known intro of the list, and for a damn fine reason! The X-Files was an excellent show that I absolutely loved watching with my folks when growing up (I know – I was way too young to be watching it with them but they had no qualms and I was totally not going to complain). The into is scary, it is weird, it’s awesome and entertaining as hell – that tune is infamous for a reason and speaks of nothing but bizarre and freaky, and the images as they are displayed on screen? They just fit. In fact, as soon as I am free of my exams I am definitely going to be doing an X-Files marathon – I just can’t wait!
I apologise – again something I cannot get to play while embedded in the post!
A show that ran rampant and gained incredible popularity for all the right reasons (well, season one at any rate – I haven’t heard anything good about season two thus far). Dark country song Far From Any Road sets the tone and scatters disjointed images of the South, factories, Rust and Cohle, religion, desolation, stark reds, fire, plenty silhouettes and just more plain down strange to drive the point home. The opening credits linger, and really get you into the feeling of a season that was executed with precision and really chills you to the bone. The credits don’t rush, which reflects the show down to a tee, and they are weird, which really captures the essence of what True Detective season one had in spades.
American Horror Story
Come on, no matter what happened with this show, the intro has always been one to scare the hell out of people (with the exception of Freakshow – which had so much wasted potential). I have uploaded a compilation of the seasons and their respective intros, because while that disturbing music plays, the most grotesque and spine-chilling pictures/short clips play on the screen, and they are all so dark and messed up and absolutely perfect. They are like the epitome of freaky, horror filled opening credits. It is a pity that eventually the show no longer reflected the super wicked intros – maybe Hotel will be the redeemer, but I have my doubts. I know that this is a great choice because I have plenty of friends who get too unnerved to watch the intro for this show (and even struggled with the content of the first two seasons) and so they always skip it. Now, if that does not attest to the forbidding nature of the intros, then I don’t know what does.
I am sure most people are familiar with True Blood, the show renowned for all its insanity and the way it embraced its absolute cheesiness and ludicrous nature and played it up for seven seasons, that was fun but went downhill at a crazy pace. However, the one thing that was always excellent about the show was its intro. Jace Everett’s Bad Things was an excellent choice for song, being all heavy and seductive, and meanwhile there is this montage of all this crazy stuff – lonely swamps, kids with bloody mouths (but fruit people!), religious exorcisms or just getting real up close and personal with the Spirit, river baptisms, highly sexualised encounters, dancing, all flickering across the screen? I thought it was brilliant, and I have always loved it. Truly a great piece.
Now this is a great intro that peeves me no end. Why? Because the show freaking sucks and does in no way reflect the intro really at all. Which is a real pity. When I hooked the show up to watch and it opened with a brand spanking new Manson track (Cupid Carries A Gun) I was so amped. The song is suited, brash, in your face, haunting, all underscored with this insane little intro – I mean people were bound to chairs, dumped in water, hung, full moons, flames, torture and messed up dolls swinging in trees? Scratchy writing naming the cast? Sweet goodness, sign me the hell up! That was freaking fantastic! However, in no way does it really highlight what is coming, which will rankle me for life. I mean just watching the intro again I am amped to watch it, except, sadly for me, I know what an immense disappointment it will be.
Ah, how could I forget this one?! It’s unforgivable! Thanks to Adam over at Consumed By Film, this has to be put up here. Daredevil’s intro is sullen and dark, what with everything bleeding red tones and being built up with images taking shape, the symbolism of religion and justice, it all comes together in a very chilling way and is all highlighted with that beautiful tune that builds into a driving crescendo as the credits continue. Adam is right, it is so moody and eerie, two words to perfectly sum up the intro. Daredevil itself is dark, gritty, and heavy, and the intro does not miss a beat when it showcases all these things seamlessly in the opening credits.
The Twilight Zone
The lovely Miss Mutant of Cinema Parrot Disco volunteered The Twilight Zone, providing the following:
I’d add my favorite TV show EVER. It’s not “creepy” in the same way these are but the music became so iconic and is so often spoofed now for when anything is “weird”.
Vic of Vic’s Movie Den has said that Sleepy Hollow has a creepy into, and so I have added it to the list!
Imogene is young and beautiful. She kisses like a movie star and knows everything about every film ever made. She’s also dead and waiting in the Rosebud Theater for Alec Sheldon one afternoon in 1945….
Arthur Roth is a lonely kid with big ideas and a gift for attracting abuse. It isn’t easy to make friends when you’re the only inflatable boy in town….
Francis is unhappy. Francis was human once, but that was then. Now he’s an eight-foot-tall locust and everyone in Calliphora will tremble when they hear him sing….
John Finney is locked in a basement that’s stained with the blood of half a dozen other murdered children. In the cellar with him is an antique telephone, long since disconnected, but which rings at night with calls from the dead….
The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past… – via Goodreads
I am sure it is common knowledge by now that I am a massive Joe Hill fan (thank you Cara). This is one of the few books I haven’t read, so when Melissa at The Creative Fox Den let me know she was reading 20th Century Ghosts, she sparked all sorts of envy in me and I jumped at the small gap in my schedule to fit in another book. Wow, worth every single second. This book is a compendium of short stories by Hill. Some are brilliant, some are alright, some are downright bizarre (which I appreciate, it means he thinks outside the box), some are freaky, others make you think, and some are just so weird you don’t even know how to comprehend what you just read. Some of the shorts showed you small ideas that were later realised in his bigger novels, or you can draw parallels to, and those really get under the skin. I was fascinated from page one, and loved the collection of stories that came together in here, so many different types, some that stand out more than others, but all of them pretty well written. Voluntary Committal was an incredibly interesting and exceptionally creepy story, I loved it and think it was hands down my favourite one, and the longest short in the book. That could definitely have made one crazy novel, but I sort of like it just being that short little bit. Obviously the book is a good read and relatively fast read, too, and it is engaging (as if I expected any less). I enjoyed every moment with this book for so many reasons, and I can most certainly recommend it!
“According to The Oxford English Dictionary, the word “snapshot” was originally a hunting term.” – Sy Parrish
SYNOPSIS: An employee of a one-hour photo lab becomes obsessed with a young suburban family. – via IMDB
This was definitely a movie I enjoyed Robin Williams in. I know he freaked my other half out a bit, he kept on waiting for Williams to crack jokes and stuff, and instead he got a really creepy, weird, lonely and obsessed stalker dude. However, the film itself isn’t bad, and it keeps you entertained for the duration. It is not a movie that can be rewatched a lot, it is something you can go back to every now and then over the years. The dream sequence Sy has (if you’ve seen this, you will know) is likely the most memorable scene out of this, and it all came together rather well. Sometimes the acting was a little wooden, but Williams certainly delivered. He managed to find a way to have you pity him, and yet at the same time he repulses you and you resent him. There were times where I just wanted to shout at the characters because of how stupid they are, I mean really, if someone chatted with me the way Sy did members of that family, alarm bells would be going ballistic! As always, it was nice to see Gary Cole here, I do like the man. Something that did not jibe is the way that Sy is telling us that photos only capture the great memories, and not the bad (granted), and we see the very happy Yorkin family. All this is going fine, and they are together, and laughing at pictures and all, then next thing we know Will and Nina are fighting. I understand what they were trying to show (as he was talking about only the good being captured on film), but it wasn’t implemented well at all. It felt like a sudden and ridiculous thing seeing them fight, and jarring. No little things to build up to it, just a sudden disagreement. This movie is chilling on some levels, but fails in other places to really and truly make that resonate. It is a good film, but it falls short of being a great film. One Hour Photo is not one that a lot of people have seen (here by me at any rate), but it is definitely one worth looking into if you have never seen it, or to check out again if you haven’t seen it in a while.
Now we all know The Conjuring was exceptionally good when it came out and has numerous fans because Wan did a phenomenal job on focusing on the atmosphere and not just jump scares. Didn’t mean there weren’t jump scares thrown in between the atmosphere to really freak us out though! One of the most memorable is, without a doubt, the wardrobe scene. The whole thing came together perfectly… the acting, the setting, the score, the camera work, everything just worked for that crazy payoff.
If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at email@example.com with a link to the scene and an explanation as to why.
“Just tell me one thing, Burke. You’re going out there to destroy them, right? Not to study. Not to bring back. But to wipe them out.” – Ellen Ripley
SYNOPSIS: 57 years after her ordeal with an extraterrestrial creature, Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team during her hypersleep. When she discovers that transmissions from a colony that has since settled on the alien planet suddenly stop, Ripley is offered a chance to team up with a group of marines to descend on the planet and investigate the alien presence. Determined to end the memories of the alien creature, Ripley agrees to the offer and is once again thrown back into her living nightmare. – via IMDB
Now, I might be burnt at the stake for this, but as much as I liked this one, it does not hold a candle to the original (for me). I know most people find it an equal sequel and, in some cases, superior to the original, but I don’t think so. Obviously my score says I liked it just fine, and I did. Aliens is a damn fine film that has a hell of a lot going for it and is a supremely fun film. It is shot well, looks great and allows you plenty of time to ogle the xenomorphs, which is awesome, and offers immense amounts of action and drama, but there are a few things that irritate me.
I think the biggest irritation for me in this is Bill Paxton’s Private Hudson. He is whiny and screaming constantly and shouting and just sounding like a dweeb without fail, and it isn’t cool. It starts out as one thing and ultimately ends up working on your last nerve. It isn’t funny. It isn’t entertaining. It induces eye rolling. Also, sometimes the score just didn’t seem to work as smoothly as it could’ve, and some of the performances were overdone in places. This all, however, does not make it a bad movie. There is much to love.
Ellen Ripley is back and she is kicking some major ass all over the show, and the queen xenomorph is nasty as sin, and that birthing system? Ick. Then there is Hicks, and the relationship that is budding between him and Ripley the whole time, allowing you to hope for the best, and Newt becoming an important redeeming point for Ripley, whose daughter had passed while she was lost in space, and Newt (who can scream like few others), who lost her family to the aliens on the planet her folks had relocated to. Michael Biehn and Sigourney Weaver were brilliant opposite one another, and I really enjoyed seeing every second of them together.
I was also a fan of Bishop, though it was incredibly evident that Ripley couldn’t give a damn about him, and after Ash, who could blame her? Lance Henriksen was a great Bishop, and I liked him from the beginning, even with the misgivings after the last psycho android that Ripley came upon. The ending, while I liked it, dragged in places. It’s almost like a test to see how many times you can throw a life-threatening a last minute xenomorph encounter up and have it accepted. It carried on for just a tad too long, in my opinion. I loved seeing the xenomorphs here, while they were still creepy as hell and not killed with CGI *hem hem Alien 3*. It was great for them to get so much screen time, plus the immense amounts of action scenes and choreography is also well worth watching. Aliens is a solid movie with a lot to like about it, though it does have a few hiccups.