Last month was already surprisingly full of scary movie reviews, as could be seen in the overview of (blog) life in October 2017, but digital streaming service Netflix also offered some scare-jumps and laugh-out moments.
The good thing about watching movies online with only a monthly subscription that usually costs less than one or two BDs is that one doesn’t become as disappointed and annoyed if one grabs the bad ones. Hellions looked like a perfect Halloween treat, but it turned out to be a confusing and ultimately boring wannabe art-house mess, which was surprising, because the director also did Pontypool, a pretty cool zombie flick set in a radio station. I didn’t expect much from the US remake of The Grudge, as I found the original Japanese one already overrated and boring, but at least I thought it did things differently than just using some American actors and actresses, including Sarah Buffy – The Vampire Slayer Michelle Gellar and Bill Spaceballs Pullman. Maybe I should have taken the hint that the same Japanese director was responsible for this bore-fest…
Not being a remake, but simply trying to imitate the successful gory Saw horror thriller series, Chinese movie The Precipice Game had some nice ideas, but completely failed to create suspense and a connection with the bland characters, while the twist at the end was so stupid that this actually comes as a guilty recommendation. Being very similar in its setting to The Descent, The Cave might not be the most innovative entry in the horror adventure genre, and it had far too many shaky camera effects and a forgettable cast, but it was at least entertaining.
The Babysitter was such a fun and surprisingly gory blast with so many witty dialogues and memorable action sequences. Being an interesting mix of comedy, slasher and Home Alone house survival, this should be added to every party movie marathon. Unfortunately Little Evil missed the mark on being funny and scary. Having a child give the evil eye isn’t enough to take him as seriously as in other child horror movies, and with the whole good-hearted parenthood morale, the movie was simply too tame in its humor and the few violent scenes.
Late Phases was another missed opportunity. While the idea to have a blind veteran fight werewolves had potential and the acting together with some very fun one-liners was great, there was simply not enough horror or tension to hold one’s attention. It didn’t help that the creatures looked ridiculous, which was a shame, as the main character was a likable anti-hero, but as the movie couldn’t decide if it wanted to be a drama or werewolf flick, it ultimately ended up to be a lukewarm rather than a chilling experience. Creep was a much better example of the found footage genre, although the horror only slowly built up through dialogues. The less one knew about it, the better, so give this a try if you want something more disturbing than the standard running-around-with-a-shakycamera-in-dark-places-one-can’t-see-anything formula.
The Babysitter (2017) [10/10]
The Cave [7/10]
The Grudge (2004) [4/10]
Late Phases [6/10]
Little Evil [5/10]
The Precipice Game [4/10]
It was the month of only one horror TV show, American Horror Story, and it was a pretty good anthology. Even if the first season, Murder House, about a haunted house wasn’t particularly innovative and the second one, Asylum, was too confusing and a bit ridiculous with its alien abduction theme thrown in, they were fast-paced, gory, and had some good acting and very touching endings. Season 3, Coven, was more straightforward with its young/old witches story, but also much funnier, especially with Kathy Bates’ involvement, while Freak Show was even crazier and bloodier. Unfortunately, relying too much on violence meant that Season 4, Hotel, lacked suspense or characters one cared about, which was too bad, as the mix of ghost, serial killer, and vampire themes was quite unique. Lady Gaga’s involvement wasn’t the issue, but this was definitely the weakest link in the chain of fun horror stories that were surprisingly entertaining with many actors/actresses playing completely different roles each time.
The animated Archer series was still fun to watch, even if it’s questionable that the whole sexism/racism humor will work without repetitions in the coming seasons. The final episodes of the concluding season of Trailer Park Boys felt tired and unspectacular, but at least one usually got a few laughs and raunchy humor in the process. The less said about the Trailer Park Boys: Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys movie (only 45 minutes long), the better, as it was neither very funny or original. Trailer Park Boys: Out of the Park – Europe also showed that the cast and scriptwriters didn’t really know what to do in London or Berlin. It wasn’t necessarily because of the main characters, but the supporting cast that became annoying, and tasks they had to do which weren’t half as funny as the original TV show. So maybe one should have stayed in Canada and visited other trailer parks or go sightseeing there…
American Horror Story (Seasons 1+2+3+4+5) [7/10, 7/10, 8/10, 8/10, 6/10]
Archer (Season 1, Episodes 5-10) [9/10]
Trailer Park Boys (Season 11, Episode 2-10) [7/10]
Trailer Park Boys: Out of the Park – Europe (Episodes 1+2) [5/10]
Trailer Park Boys: Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys [6/10]
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