Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]
Welcome to Fear Itself!

Username:   Password:
Add Reply
Kevin's Review Catalogue; Reviews, reviews! Step right up! UPDATE: Now its own website!
Topic Started: Nov 30 2012, 09:53 PM (1,522 Views)
GhettoSpiritMedium
Member Avatar
Whore
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL D:

I know your pain Kevin <3
Posted Image
they're all gonna laugh at you
http://w11.zetaboards.com/Death_Awaits/index/

Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
SusanAgreesWithYou
Member Avatar
Final Girl
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Olandex
Dec 26 2012, 11:10 PM
LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL D:

I know your pain Kevin <3
What pain? This movie was horrible yet fun in the second and third half. :)

Denise ftw! (queen)
Posted Image

http://w11.zetaboards.com/Death_Awaits/index/

This is the real, OFFICIAL forum we moved to. No trolls, no drama, plenty of horror discussions.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Menstrual Monster
Member Avatar
Red Herring
[ *  * ]
And now for something halfway decent.

Silent Night (2012)

Posted Image


Silent Night is a better '80s slasher than Woodchipper Massacre was, despite being made nearly a quarter-century after Reagan left the White House. It's got a plot that doesn't make a lick of sense, but it's also got blood, babes, a sky-high body count, a selection of great kills, Jaime King as a kick-ass horror heroine, and a wonderfully Christmas-hammy Malcolm McDowell as an "all-American" "Midwestern" (LOL) sheriff.

First off, let's get this film's biggest problem out of the way first: the plot. The reveal of the killer was awfully anti-climatic, what with him turning out to be a fairly minor character who had barely figured into the story. On top of that, knowing who the killer was, his killing spree didn't make all that much sense, given that there were only a few characters who he could have some justified grievances against. Many of his victims were assholes, to be sure, but ultimately the film falls into the time-worn slasher convention of having the killer be a "scourge of God" out to punish the wicked. It's gotten stale by this point. Whatever happened to just plain crazy? Lastly, the killer did engage in the whole "how did he get there so fast" game once or twice, and some of the decisions made by the victims bordered on brain-dead; the stripper in particular stands out here. (When you're being chased by a psycho, don't turn around and check to make sure he's still there!)

On the other hand, while this film makes many of the same mistakes as so many '80s slashers, it also revels in what made them so awesome. The body count runs above a dozen, and these kills aren't weak. We get eyes exploding, a man gutted, fingers sliced off, a head getting chopped in half with an axe, and one kill that had me going "nice rack!" This film is very much R-rated, and it revels in the sleaze of its inspiration, from the gratuitous nudity and scantily-clad babes to its willingness to push the line of good taste, including establishing that bratty little kids are not safe. The film also throws in a reference to a famous scene from Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 that had me rocking in my chair laughing. Lastly, while some of the performances from the victims are subpar, both Jamie King and Malcolm McDowell keep the film on solid ground. King once again (after her similar turn in My Bloody Valentine 3D) shows that she can play a tough final girl with the best of them, while McDowell... plays the same character he always plays, but that's hardly a bad thing.

Score: 3 out of 5

The makers of this film knew that this wasn't high art that they were making, so they embraced the cheese and turned in a solid throwback to '80s slasher movies that can hang with many of that era's "finest" efforts.
Posted Image
Bang, bang from the closet walls / The schoolhouse walls / The shotgun's loaded

My stories: Burned / Untold Tales from the Zombie War

Kevin's Review Catalogue -- Reviews, reviews! Step right up! UPDATE: Now it's a blog too!
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Menstrual Monster
Member Avatar
Red Herring
[ *  * ]
As I now note in my OP, I now have a blog of my own, titled Kevin's Review Catalogue. I've taken all of the reviews I've written on this site and copied them over to my own site; don't worry, you can still read them here. In fact, from now on, I'm gonna be posting reviews of horror films both here and there simultaneously. Non-horror films will be posted in KRC exclusively, with only a link in this thread.

Speaking of which, I've just posted my review of Django Unchained up there. The link is here. I debated whether to post it here or not after I saw it on the cover of Fangoria, but I decided not to, given that it's not a pure horror film or thriller, but a modern-day blaxploitation spaghetti Western. Bloody? Oh hell yes. Horror? No.
Posted Image
Bang, bang from the closet walls / The schoolhouse walls / The shotgun's loaded

My stories: Burned / Untold Tales from the Zombie War

Kevin's Review Catalogue -- Reviews, reviews! Step right up! UPDATE: Now it's a blog too!
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
SusanAgreesWithYou
Member Avatar
Final Girl
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Thanks for promoting our site on your blog. :D
Posted Image

http://w11.zetaboards.com/Death_Awaits/index/

This is the real, OFFICIAL forum we moved to. No trolls, no drama, plenty of horror discussions.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Menstrual Monster
Member Avatar
Red Herring
[ *  * ]
You're very welcome. The least I can do for promoting my blog on your site.
Posted Image
Bang, bang from the closet walls / The schoolhouse walls / The shotgun's loaded

My stories: Burned / Untold Tales from the Zombie War

Kevin's Review Catalogue -- Reviews, reviews! Step right up! UPDATE: Now it's a blog too!
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Menstrual Monster
Member Avatar
Red Herring
[ *  * ]
New review: Les Miserables (2012). Check it out!
Posted Image
Bang, bang from the closet walls / The schoolhouse walls / The shotgun's loaded

My stories: Burned / Untold Tales from the Zombie War

Kevin's Review Catalogue -- Reviews, reviews! Step right up! UPDATE: Now it's a blog too!
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
SusanAgreesWithYou
Member Avatar
Final Girl
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Les looks great but waiting for home video release.
Posted Image

http://w11.zetaboards.com/Death_Awaits/index/

This is the real, OFFICIAL forum we moved to. No trolls, no drama, plenty of horror discussions.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Menstrual Monster
Member Avatar
Red Herring
[ *  * ]
Given that I've shown my love for this film on more than one occasion, I figure that a formal review of it is long overdue.

(Can also be read here)

Carrie (1976)

Posted Image


Carrie stands as one of my favorite films of all time. While limited in budget and special effects, it more than makes up for that with a chilling story that resonates even more today than it did in the '70s, excellent performances from a cast led by Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie, and some remarkably stylish direction by Brian De Palma. Carrie is not just a horror film (though it is certainly that too), but also a study of bullying, fanaticism, and bad parenting that has stood the test of time far better than the fashions in the film.

I will confess that this film does hold a lot of personal value for me, and that this fact has probably skewed my perceptions of it. I first saw it when I was in middle school, a time when I was, to put it bluntly, not the most popular kid in my class. I was bullied a good deal, to the point where my mother at one point used the threat of getting a restraining order against one of my tormentors (something that she knew would've made every paper in New Jersey, and probably the New York Post as well) to get the school to step in. To me and countless other bullied teens, Carrie White was an idol of sorts, a girl who went out with a bang and made sure that everybody who was responsible for her sorry life got caught in the blast radius. I'm not surprised why the original novel is one of the most challenged books in school libraries. Things got a lot better in high school and college, but to this day, I still love both this film and the book, which just so happened to have gotten me interested in the work of Stephen King.

But watching the film as a grown adult, how does it hold up on its own merits? The answer is "amazingly". To start, Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie are responsible for most of what makes this film work, since their drama makes up so most of the story. (This was a big problem with the 2002 remake -- while Angela Bettis was a good replacement for Spacek, Patricia Clarkson wasn't able to match up to Laurie, and the film suffered for it.) There is a reason why the two were nominated for the Oscars for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, rare honors for a horror film -- they were just that good. Spacek manages to play dowdy, gorgeous, and monstrous at various points in the film, remaining utterly convincing throughout, in a role that rightly made her career. Laurie, meanwhile, had me consistently terrified that she would come banging down my door to preach her fire and brimstone. She was nuts, and the film was all the scarier for it.

The rest of the cast, while clearly outshined by Spacek and Laurie, pull their weight well. Nancy Allen captures the queen bee Chris' callous evil perfectly. Amy Irving as Sue, the repentant lackey of Chris' who is the closest thing the film has to a hero, does quite well, even if her character is substantially reduced from the book. The sole weak link in the cast is, ironically, the one who went on to the biggest career afterwards -- John Travolta as Chris' delinquent boyfriend Billy, who didn't come off as anywhere near as menacing as his on-screen girlfriend. The scenes where Billy slaps Chris around come off as staged; Travolta was afraid of hurting Allen, and the light taps on the cheek he gives her (with obviously overdubbed sound effects) look more playful than abusive. Between that and the scene with the cop and the beer (one scene that did work), he makes Billy seem like a more comic character than he should be. Even then, Billy is a comparatively minor character, and Travolta leaves the film little worse for wear, especially with Allen picking up the slack in his scenes.

The direction is also top-notch. Brian De Palma is known as a master film stylist, and this is a perfect example of why. His staging of the prom scene stands as one of the great moments of horror cinema, a masterful example of a slow buildup that makes the rousing climax all the more engaging. It's hardly spoiling it to say that she snaps and people die, so much like in a Hitchcock film, rather than framing the moment as a twist, the film builds up to the characters realizing that something is wrong. He's no slouch in the rest of the film, either, mixing moments of levity (the boys picking out tuxedos, the girls at the hairdresser, the detention) with darker moments (the shower scene, every scene with Margaret, the ending) into a cohesive whole rather than having them clash with each other. The characters all feel nicely fleshed-out, having clear motivations no matter how petty they may be. Helping De Palma along was Pino Donaggio's score, which borrows heavily from the Psycho theme but still stands on its own, greatly helping to build up the tension in critical moments.

As for the film's famous ending... unfortunately, I had it spoiled for me beforehand, so I didn't get the full impact of it, but my grandmother (the one who spoiled it for me -- thanks) told me that it was the scariest thing she'd ever seen, so there's that. Something tells me that, after forty years of countless horror movies ending on shocking notes, it likely won't have that same impact for modern viewers. Still, it's a pretty minor part of the film, so whatever is lost as a result of time isn't that much.

Score: 5 out of 5

Pretty much the greatest "teen" horror movie ever made. Carrie is a masterpiece, its few flaws barely noticeable against the rest of the film's wonderfully horrific display. Make this part of your collection now.
Posted Image
Bang, bang from the closet walls / The schoolhouse walls / The shotgun's loaded

My stories: Burned / Untold Tales from the Zombie War

Kevin's Review Catalogue -- Reviews, reviews! Step right up! UPDATE: Now it's a blog too!
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Menstrual Monster
Member Avatar
Red Herring
[ *  * ]
Two reviews today! First, I went to see Judd Apatow's latest This Is 40 in an early afternoon matinee (my review of that is up here), then afterwards sneaked into the next showing of Texas Chainsaw 3D to make my day a double feature. And boy, am I grateful I didn't pay money to see the latter.

So without further interruption, here's my review of...

Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

Posted Image


(Note: I saw the 2D version of this film, so I can't cast judgment on the quality of the 3D. I can, however, say that the film had an abundance of scenes of chainsaws and other sharp objects pointing out at the screen.)

Wow. That's all I can say about this film. It amazed me on so many levels... namely, just how badly they managed to bungle both a straightforward slasher film formula and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. It felt like a SyFy original movie with the TCM name and better special effects, possessed with several major plot holes, stupid characters, a twist that only serves to make the film far less scary, and constant reminders as to how much better the original (hell, even the Platinum Dunes remake) was. To explain why, though, I'm gonna have to venture into spoiler territory at a point in this review.

I'll start with the spoiler-free problems. First of all, the timeframe of the film makes absolutely no sense. The main character, Heather, should be close to 40 years old, given that she's an infant in the opening scenes, which occur right after the events of the first film in 1974, and the rest of the film takes place in the present day of 2013. Instead, she's depicted as a young woman, played by 26-year-old Alexandra Daddario. The filmmakers must have realized this error, since any instances of the date of the original film's events deliberately avoid mention of the year; even when it's in writing, like on a gravestone or in a newspaper, the year is conspicuously cropped out of the camera's sight. It doesn't make it any better for those who have seen the original.

Worse, the characters are walking bundles of stupidity. Yes, the acting ranges from decent (Daddario makes a pretty good final girl, doing what she can to salvage her character from the shoddy writing) to awful, but that's par for the course for this genre. This is a problem that can be traced back to the script. Only two of the victims, the hitchhiker and one of the cops, had any excuse for their stupidity -- the hitchhiker was a greedy asshole, and the deputy was following orders. Otherwise, we get all the usual signs of imminent mortality -- people continuing to look for their friends rather than running and calling the cops when they see clear evidence of a bloody fight, people calling out to Leatherface wielding his chainsaw rather than trying to hide before he notices them, trying to ram a car through a heavy iron gate rather than listening to the person saying that they should open it first, etc.

I will grant that the film is gory as all get out. Limbs are hacked off, a man is cut in half at the waist, heads are bashed in, and one victim is even thrown into a meat grinder and graphically pulped and ripped to shreds. These moments were the highlights of the film, and helped to make the whole affair more bearable. However, the film possesses little creativity with the setup to its kills. The only scene that had much tension is when one victim is looking down a dark hallway, hearing the sound of... something clanging against the wall, which of course turns out to be Leatherface's meat hook. Most of the rest of the kills consist of him jumping out of nowhere and bagging his quarry. One particularly cringeworthy scene was when the deputy turns on his phone's FaceTime and the sheriff and mayor back at the office watch the proceedings; it feels like an attempt at imitating a found-footage film, and it's unnecessary and falls flat.

On top of that, the film sets up and then squanders a massive potential setpiece of carnage. We get Leatherface chasing Heather into a crowded carnival, wielding and revving his chainsaw and even threatening a guy with it. We know that he's a psychopath who loves killing and bloodshed, so a scene like this could've been like the initial attack in Piranha 3D, a crazed display of gratuitous, almost cartoonish violence. A funhouse, filled with mirrors, Leatherface seemingly in every direction. (Imagine what could've been done with the 3D in that scene!) A head getting lopped off and then flung into a game booth, knocking down the pins or buckets. And yet, he doesn't kill anyone at the carnival. It was as though the writers thought of something that sounded cool, and didn't know how to follow through on it.

The biggest problem, though, is still to come. Remember what I said up top about spoilers? Well, if you still have any interest in seeing this film, you might want to skip to the bottom.
Spoiler: click to toggle


Score: 1 out of 5

As a sequel to one of the greatest horror movies of all time, this film is a travesty. Bloody as all hell, sure, but with unoriginal kills, no suspense, no fresh ideas, and a screenplay that has its head up its ass, this film gives every other horror film of the next 361 days a laughably low bar to clear to avoid being named "worst of 2013". Easily among the worst films bearing the TCM name. Somewhere, Michael Bay is sipping a Budweiser, muttering "miss me yet?" to everyone who paid money to see this film.
Edited by Menstrual Monster, Jan 6 2013, 01:45 AM.
Posted Image
Bang, bang from the closet walls / The schoolhouse walls / The shotgun's loaded

My stories: Burned / Untold Tales from the Zombie War

Kevin's Review Catalogue -- Reviews, reviews! Step right up! UPDATE: Now it's a blog too!
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
1 user reading this topic (1 Guest and 0 Anonymous)
DealsFor.me - The best sales, coupons, and discounts for you
Go to Next Page
« Previous Topic · Reviews · Next Topic »
Add Reply

Theme designed and coded by Pando of Zathyus Network Resources and GForce.