Tuesday, December 06, 2016

All good things...


Wow, time flies.  For the better part of 12 years Horrorthon has been a fun part of my life.  Over the years I have spent the first hour of nearly every weekday scouring the internet to find fun things to generate conversation.  It has been a place for me to stay connected to everyone who has contributed to this site and it has been a terrific way to pass the time during downtime at work.  

For whatever reason, there has been a steep drop off in participation over the past couple years, especially this year.  Twelve years is a long stretch of time and I’m certain that the low traffic is due to life's responsibilities/priorities.  I also believe that these days people tend to stay connected through Facebook and other social outlets rather than Horrorthon.  Given that people are not really looking or posting on this blog any  longer I have made the decision to stop the upkeep of this site.  This doesn’t mean that the blog is ending; people are always welcome to post things, it simply means that I will no longer be making daily updates.  If people are interested in writing horror movie reviews during October I would be delighted and I would gladly do so myself (heck, there are 15 movies I didn’t bother to write reviews for this past October).  Thanks to all who have contributed over the years, it has been so much fun!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Awesome international trailer for "Star Wars: Rogue One"!

Freaky trailer for "Tank 42"

Want: Star Wars Clue


From geekology, This is the 3-D Star Wars Clue game available from Hasbro ($25). It plays like a traditional game of Clue except it takes place onboard a 2-story Death Star and instead of figuring out a murderer, weapon and location, you have to solve what planet Darth Vader plans to use the Death Star to destroy next, which room the Death Star plans are hidden in, and what escape vehicle was used to escape the base. That sounds like fun. Tatooine, in the men's shitter, with a TIE fighter! "Not even close." Whatever, I just wanna play video games.

'Kong Skull Island' trailer

Friday, November 11, 2016

Donald Trump ruined my Horrorthon

Wait.  Before you say anything, watch this in full screen!



I was planning to do a light-hearted post with this title, apologizing again for my lack of Horrorthon participation, because the truth is I was extremely anxious about the election and I was letting it get in the way.  I couldn't help it.

After National Curl Yourself in a Ball Day (November 9th -- it'll catch on!), I've managed to find some semblance of myself and I wish to reconnect with Horrorthon anyway.  Because I need it and I love it.  And because I choose hope.  Doesn't matter if I'm wrong, that's what hope is.

I've been thinking of starting a political blog or Facebook page or something else of questionable significance to get my thoughts on the world out there -- but not here.  This is where we talk about movies and TV and whatever weird, scary art catches our fancy.  I was listening to Abbey Road today and feeling rueful about it, because they weren't dealing with what we're dealing with.  But well before it ended I realized that didn't matter.  They're cheering us on from back there, all of us.  Urging us forward and wishing us well.  And someday our descendants will have crazy space adventures.

Now watch it again.  I love you guys.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Monday, November 07, 2016

Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story


(2015)***

Cameraman, Milo, and his reporter, Sarah, and their boss, Charlie, are assigned to cover a story on house foreclosures. They are perplexed when they stumble across a house that still looks lived in. They soon conclude that the family has vanished without a trace. Milo breaks into a locked closet in the basement and discovers a box of videotapes. Upon viewing the tapes it becomes clear that the family was being stalked by a faceless man in a suit seen in the far background of their videos. Soon Milo, Sarah, and Charlie are “marked” and they realize that the shadowy man is now stalking them. The man can only be seen through a camera lens.

Bearing similarities to “It Follows”, “Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story” (terrible title) combines the found footage and the unstoppable “monster” genres with fairly satisfying results. The shadowy man stalking them, “The Operator” is clearly based on the “Slenderman” mythos and his sudden appearances are effectively creepy. Similar to the Paranormal Activity series, with every slow pan around the room you are expecting to be jolted. With such a cookie cutter genre to play with, “Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story”, is a slight cut above the others.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

The House That Would Not Die


(1970) ***
 
 
 

All ABC Movies of the Week from the 70’s through most of the 80’s get 3 stars from me, no more, no less. There’s something about them that feel like a comfortable pair of jeans and they’re best served on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The House That Would Not Die is the first of three that I watched this past Sunday on YouTube and boy am I ever glad I did!

Ruth Bennett moves into the home she inherited from her deceased aunt along with her niece. Rumors of the house being haunted prompts her friend to conduct a séance. I love séances in movies because they have a 100% success rate when it comes to contacting spirits of the deceased unlike real life séances which yield a 0% success rate. After they make contact with the ghosts of Revolutionary War casualties the house starts to terrorize them. A couple of people get possessed and there was also a guy with a mustache who was pretty cool. That’s about all I remember.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Ghostbusters

Image result for ghostbusters 2016 poster

(2016) ** 1/2

A few nuclear physicists have been investigating the paranormal all their lives.  Something changes, and multiple specters start to appear around NYC.  So, they steal some equipment from the institutions that drove them out, and devote themselves full time to trying to capture and study ghosts.

Remade of course from the 1984 classic, the new Ghostbusters is different enough from the original, and even improves on it in a number of ways, but overall, works less well as a film.  The film isn't lacking for comedy.  Melissa McCarthy does her schtick well.  Kate McKinnon is definitely the highlight as the quirky egghead, and Leslie Jones is brilliant doing her Leslie Jones thing.  Chris Hemsworth too shows that he may have a future in comedy once he hangs up the Thor cape.  In many ways, this cast may actually be superior to the Murray/Aykroyd thing of the original.
Image result for ghostbusters 2016
Unfortunately, Ghostbusters struggles to create continuity.  Similar to Paul Feig's previous films and SNL skits, there are isolated scenes that are hilarious, but overall, there is little that seems to propel the story forward.

Then, scenes and toys are interjected as if the film was required to use up as much of its budget as possible.  What results is little sense when regarding the arsenal of ghost-fighting devices.  Do they stun the ghosts?  kill them?  Capture them?  There's really no sense to it.  And the final solution is really invented at the spur of the moment with one line of dialogue declaring that it would work.  And the ghosts are a beautiful pallatte of neon blues and greens that look so corny they would fit far better in, ironically, an '80s comedy.  Visually, the film looks much similar to Eddie Murphy's The Haunted Mansion (did anybody see that?  Because that's not a good thing).

Image result for ghostbusters 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House

(2016) ****

“Three days ago, I turned 28 years old, I will never be 29.”

Nurse Lily has been sent to care for an elderly horror author, Iris, during her final days in an old house in Braintree, MA. Soon after moving in she becomes unsettled. The large house seems to be from a bygone era and it is slowly decaying. Iris will only call her “Polly” and during moments of lucidity she accuses “Polly” of leaving her, only to return. While perusing Iris’ many novels she discovers a character named “Polly” and she begins to piece together the terrible secrets of the old house.

I loved this movie. Dripping in atmosphere the simple story follows Lily over a period of one year. This is a slow burn replete with a disquieting aura, the darkest of hallways, a crackling, creepy ambiance and a minimal score. Beautiful cinematography and excellent performances add a level of quality to the eerie tale. This is a very slow burn (e.g. think “House of the Devil” or “Lake Mungo”) that induces impalpable dread. I highly recommend this Netflix exclusive.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

 Image result for paranormal activity ghost dimension





(2015) ***
Family moves into a home, strange things start happening, captured on home video, yada yada yada.  This is the sixth Paranormal Activity movie, and they’ve all had the same plot, so I’ll skip that part.

Looking at previous reviews of the PA series, all our reviews range from 2 ½ to 3 ½ starts.  And that’s where I find this one falling as well.  It’s no better or worse than any of the other entries.  The marketing for this movie really tried to differentiate it from the others, it that now we can “see” the activity.  And yeah, that was true, and kind of cool, but it also leads to basically a huge plot hole in the movie.  The parents of the young girl in this movie videotape their daughter sleeping, see a ghost standing over her, see the ghost assault the mother, see the ghost gaining a more concrete shape, and their only response is to call a priest and continue videotaping said ghost.  Really????  There’s never any reason given for why these parents don’t leave the house except for a throwaway line from the priest like, “the spirit may follow your daughter no matter what”.  Sure.  Wouldn't seeing this picture make you have your kid sleep in bed with you...

Image result for paranormal activity ghost dimension
In terms of answering questions for fans of the series who paid attention to the first five movies, there is a continuity in the series, and this movie kind of answers questions.  It turns out that a demon has been trying to possess a child.  In this 6th movie they add, oh, it turns out the demon needs two kids.  Oh.  Okay. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

House of Good and Evil (2013)

***

So imagine a "soon to be" talented writer building his very first script.  That is this picture.  It has potential.  The story starts in the city where you see a couple having a fight, domestic abuse happens.  The next scene, you have the pregnant wife and husband rushing to the hospital for the delivery.  I will leave the rest from here to you.
Then following scene, they are driving up a very country road to their new home.  No TV, no telephone, no cell, the place runs on generator.  Sounds heavenly to me, but not in the flick. Anyway.. the movie is about a woman going crazy.  Nothing new, I know, but the ending was a great twist.  I thought I had it figured out, but I was wrong.
No special effects.. Heavy mood..  Rather enjoyable.