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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query horror movie reviews. Sort by date Show all posts
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Thursday, March 7, 2019

#HorrorMovie Reviews - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Sequels and Remakes Part 2

I’ve seen a few minutes here and there of Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), but never sat down to watch it, partly because I’d never seen the real deal from 1974. Now that I’ve lost my virginity on that one, I continue the TCM binge.

I’m watching this thinking it’s similar but not the same, like a strange bout of Déjà vu or even a dark overlay dimension where you think you know where you are, but you’re not in Kansas anymore. The Hewitt family like the Sawyers and Slaughters are freakish and creepy.

This version of events has its perks, including seeing Leatherface without his mask; I guess he has a skin ailment and that is the reason for the mask. His motive is revenge killing because of the way he’s been treated by “pretty” people. I guess this means that the Hewitt’s aren’t cannibals like the Sawyers in the original reality, but that remains unclear in this version of events.

I liked this chapter, and I give it 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006) takes us back thirty-four years to 1939 before the massacre took place. It shows the birth of Thomas Hewitt aka Leatherface, who was born in a slaughterhouse, then discarded in a dumpster because he’s malformed and gross. The opening credits show his childhood years in flashes filled with wonderful visuals, and I wish they would’ve focused more on this part of his life than regurgitating the same thing.

After the initial shock and awe, the movie turned into the standard teen slasher horror flick. It fits into the cookie cutter style that I’ve grown to love and hate for so many reasons. What would a horror movie be without TNA? Oh, and I almost forgot the “protagonists” are pretty, white kids, at least one of them is Matt Bomer, who entranced me in American Horror Story: Hotel.

The initial mask is cool with pieces of canvas sewn together, showing part of his face. They kept the set from the previous chapter. However, they should’ve aged it more in the 2003 movie since it is thirty-four years later.  One scene was lost on me, but I guess they had to get to it somehow; it’s toward the beginning, but I won’t mention which one.

This movie doesn’t offer anything new, only giving a basic backstory of Leatherface’s life and the Hewitt’s in general, but at least they confirm that they are cannibals. The thrills and gore are good though, so I’ll give it 3.5 out of 5 Stars, too.

Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013) opens with footage from the 1974 film, and supposedly where it left in “actual” events mentioned in the ending narration. It’s weird having all those people in the house; I don’t understand who they are, they weren’t there in the original. They did come close to replicating the original meat-mask, but they tried too hard. At least, they returned to the original name of Sawyer.

Decades later, we meet Heather, who is a butcher, and decorates art with bones, an exciting family trait as it’s no mystery who she is, though she doesn’t know at this point. For being a Sawyer, she’s hot, how is that possible from that clan? The tie-ins from previous movies are cool, some as insignificant as a dead armadillo.

I’m concerned about the timeline as it seems they hopped too far into the future. If Heather were a baby in 1974, then she would’ve been a young adult in the mid-90s, and in 2013 she would’ve been in her mid-40s. Then there’s Leatherface. In ’74 he was, what, early twenties? In the mid-90’s he’d be 40ish, but in 2013 he’d be at least sixty, running around like he’s thirty.

Had they kept the timeline straight I would’ve given Texas Chainsaw 3D more stars, but because of that, I can only give 2.5 out of 5 Stars.

The next and currently final in the TCM franchise is Leatherface (2017) not to be confused with Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990) is a prequel to the original 1974 film. The Sawyer family is much how I would expect, interbred and freakish. Even Lili Taylor’s character, Verna Sawyer, is demented, which is fun to see her play a role like this.

This movie is more of what I expected from the 2006 “prequel,” showing the story of young Jeddiah. In the initial scenes, he’s eight, and then they jump ahead ten years with him in a mental ward where he is known as Jackson. The story is unexpected, not going the way I had thought it would, and I like it for the most part. There are details that I would’ve omitted and added, but all in all, I liked it. The explanation for his face being mangled made more sense to me than a birth defect or skin disorder.

Leatherface had a good story, and I enjoyed most of it, so I’ll give it 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

My Updated 2019 #HorrorMovie Watch List

As of today, there are only 86 days until Halloween, so I figured I’d revisit my 2019 Horror Movie Watch List. I’ve seen 15 that were both on the original list, and others that got added along the way. I’m finding myself liking the Indie films so much more than the big budget producers, and I’ve only seen one in the theater and how I wish that I wouldn’t have wasted my gift cards on it; at least, I didn’t lose money, I guess. I’m also noticing that the Indie producers are more appreciative of the reviews, and respond to me on Twitter and Instagram.

The categories are On the Previous List, Added to the List, and Watched. The links in On the Previous and Added lists go to the trailer, while the links in Watched go to my review.

(edited 9/18/19)
(edited 10/14/19)

On the Previous List

An American Werewolf in London – I’m thinking this isn’t going to be. (remake list)
Automata (The Devil’s Machine) – I’m still unsure about this one, but I’ve seen the other two movies that fell into THE LIST OF MOVIES THAT I PROBABLY WON’T WATCH. I loved The Hole in the Ground, but the other, I watched on accident and hated it (I know I could’ve turned it off).
Rabid – I’ll wait with baited breath. Just kidding. (remake list)
Depraved – it’s very strange, this was released on March 20, 2019, but I haven’t seen a listing for it anywhere. (won’t die list)
Doctor Sleep – I’m not going to rush to see this when it is released (won’t die list)
Eli – it shows up in the Netflix search but can’t watch it (top 9 list)
IT: Chapter 2 – of the remakes lately, I liked Chapter 1, so I can’t not watch Chapter 2. (remake list)
The Lodge – another for November (won’t die list)

Moved to 2020

Antlers (top 9 list)
Conjuring III (top 9 list)

Added to the List

Brahms: The Boy II – I always wonder about sequels, probably not uncommon. I liked The Boy, so hopefully they don’t fuck it up.
Darlin’ – another fun Catholic School torture movie. It looks disturbing. It’s on Amazon, so who knows.
Dolls – not a remake of the 1987 film of the same name. Looks gruesome.
I Trapped the Devil – IFC has been putting out some good horror in the last few years.
Jack in the Box – this one made it to my list the other day after reading a tweet about it.
Mermaid: Lake of the Dead – this came up in a recommended listing on Amazon a while ago. The “poster” looked intriguing.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – I wasn’t in the generation when these books were popular, so I missed them completely.
They’re Inside – creepy masks with a not so original story
Tone-Deaf – sometimes trailers show everything good about a movie, hoping this isn’t one of them
The Wind – another IFC film that intrigues me.
Wounds – this movie supposedly came out on March 29th, but I haven’t been able to find it, not even a trailer.
The Wretched – my interest is piqued, let’s hope it doesn’t suck


The Final Wish (top 9 list)
Velvet Buzzsaw (won’t die list)
Among the Shadows (probably won’t see list)
St. Agatha (top 9 list)
The Hole In The Ground (probably won’t see list)
Pet Sematary (top 9 list)
The Silence (added)
Mercy Black (added)
The Prodigy (won’t die list)
Isabelle (added)
The Haunting of Sharon Tate (added)
We Have Always Lived In The Castle (added)
Room for Rent (added)
Nightmare Cinema (added)
Trespassers (added)
Hex (won’t die list)
The Banana Splits Movie (added)
The Dead Don’t Die (added)
Haunt (added)
The Curse of La Llorona (top 9 list)
Escape Room (won’t die list)
Artik (added)
Candy Corn (added)
Child’s Play (remake list)
The Black String (added)
The Curse of Buckout Road (added)
Annabella Comes Homes (top 9 list)
Midsommer  (won’t die list)
Polaroid (won’t die list)
3 From Hell (top 9 list)

Here’s the link to the original list.

My 2019 #HorrorMovie Watch List

Friday, August 16, 2019

#Happy Birthday, @Madonna

Today is Madonna’s birthday, so I figured I’d throw together some reviews of a few of her movies. I hear the question in your mind, How is a horror author and fan a Madonna fan? The answer is simple. She’s fabulous. Inspiration comes from so many places, adding to the strange and interesting facets of who I am. Then again, no one should be surprised by what I like or don’t; I’m a huge Doris Day fan, too. Now, on to the Madonna Movie Marathon.

I think my problem with Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) when it came out was that it was touted as the Madonna Movie. That never made sense to me since Madonna was in very few scenes, which disappointed the fuck out of me. Thirty-plus years later, I’ve finally let that go, making this film much more satisfying and enjoyable.

The story revolves around mistaken identity because of a jacket with a pyramid on the back that belonged to Jimmy Hendricks or Elvis Presley depending upon whom you ask. Roberta buys the jacket, and that is where the fun begins. When she hits her head during a struggle with a super creepy dude, she loses her memory. While that’s not exactly the most original storyline, it’s fun as hell.

The few scenes, Madonna is in as Susan, are fantastic, bringing a smile to my face that can’t easily be erased. I love the scene of her taking selfies with a Polaroid. Who hasn’t done that? Sorry, for those of you who are too young to know what a Polaroid is, it’s a camera that instantly developed pictures…shit…think of it as a smartphone connected to a printer.

The entire cast is interesting. There are actors in it that I’d totally forgotten like Laurie Metcalf. I also didn’t remember how hot Aidan Quinn was back in the day. Will Patton plays a spectacular creepy dude, another I hadn’t placed being in the cast.

Even with only one Madonna song, Get Into the Groove, in the soundtrack, I give Desperately Seeking Susan 4.5 out of 5 Stars. I totally get it now.

Why would your father wanna watch you turn over stolen goods? Nikki Finn

Who’s That Girl? (1987) is not only my favorite Madonna movie, but it also reaches into the top ten of my all-time favorite movies. I wore out the VHS at least three times, and I have seen this film no less than one hundred times. Excessive? Nope, I don’t think so.

The entire movie is filled with excitement and camp. I think this is more the “Madonna Movie” than Desperately Seeking Susan, and now that I ponder it, could be the sequel had they not given the lead character the name Nikki Finn.

Nikki’s interactions with Loudon Trott, Griffin Dunne (yeah, he was in American Werewolf in London) are endearing even when she’s manipulating him. The adventures through NYC are hysterical at times. One of my favorite of their escapades is fight with the Pimp and the Fat Man (Raoul and Benny) in the limo as it teeters on edge before eventually falling into the water.

I’ve also played the soundtrack so many times before having a CD player that I burned through several cassette tapes. If you haven’t seen this film, you should, it’s a sweet Romantic Comedy with action and adventure in the streets of NYC.

Without question, I give Who’s That Girl? 5 out of 5 Stars.

Body of Evidence (1993) is an Erotic Thriller about a woman who is accused of killing her lover. Madonna’s character, Rebecca Carlson, says she didn’t kill him, of course. I think this movie is highly underrated by critics. Obviously, they haven’t seen some of the movies that I have that are so much worse.

The movie reminds me of Law and Order, any episode, any of the franchises. The courtroom scenes left me underwhelmed, but most of the film is exciting and steamy. Rebecca’s seduction of Frank was like a succubus tempting a man, then taking his soul while they coupled. I can’t think of a better actress for the role than Madonna.

With any thriller, there’s a twist, and while this one isn’t exactly a surprise, it’s done with a touch of depravity that makes it better. There are bland moments, but I can’t think of a movie that doesn’t. There’s a lot of sex happening throughout and countless Madonna boob shots, so I easily forgive the boring bits.

I don’t care what anyone says, I like Body of Evidence and give it 4 out of 5 Stars.

Monday, June 3, 2019

#HorrorMovie Review - The Prodigy (2019)

Horror in 2019 has had quite the array of movies so far. I haven’t seen everything that’s been released this year, and probably won’t, I just hope that the others from this year that I do see are as good as The Prodigy (2019).

I know I’ve been complaining a lot lately about horror-light, and I’m relieved that this film doesn’t fit into that category for me. There are several sphincter tightening scenes in this one, making me quite happy. I’m impressed on how quickly events escalate, too, there’s no waiting around to find out what’s going to happen.

I’ve mentioned the musical score hindering or trying to make the movie something it wasn’t in past reviews. I’m happy to say that the soundtrack in The Prodigy matches the intensity of each scene, and doesn’t try to distract from the fact that the story is bad, because this film is excellent.

One thing that I thought as I watched this movie was the similarity to one of my favorite franchises from the 80s. I’m not going to mention names, because that might prevent you from watching it, and I don’t want you to miss this one. It, also, might just be me.

I’m excited to say that I’m giving my first 5 out of 5 Star review for a movie released in the US in 2019.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

#TBT #HorrorMovie Review – Wishmaster (franchise) #PromoteHorror

Wishmaster (1997) is the first and the best in the four movie franchise, probably because Wes Craven made this one, but not the others.

There’s some great cameos and supporting roles by actors from other horror movies, which was fun to see them in different roles, though it’s always strange to see Robert Englund in any role but Freddy Krueger.

I’m not going to say much about this one, because I did really like it. The story is pretty solid, the effects good, and acting better than some movies in this genre during the late 90s.

I give the first Wishmaster installment 4 out of 5 Stars; you’ll enjoy it.

Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies (1999) continues the series, starting with an art gallery being robbed, and there’s a shoot out with the thieves, one of which gets shot and the other shoots and kills the guard. During the gunfight, a statue is hit by a stray bullet with the opal in it. Of course, the thief takes it, and escapes.

There are some strange inconsistencies like when the boyfriend wishes he’d never been born, and he gets what he asked for, somehow Morgana remembers him; eye-roll. The effects weren’t bad for a made for video movie, I wasn’t sure if they’d planned to release it in theaters then decided against it because of the bad pre-release reviews.

I liked this movie, yes, it’s not perfect, but it has some great comedic scenes, which gave it an extra bit of cheesy fun. Another, strange thing was the Djinn needed 1000 souls and Morgana’s three wishes. I guess, the creators didn’t really pay attention to the first one.

Oh well, I liked it, and give it 3 out of 5 Stars.

Here we go again, another damaged woman who survived something traumatic, at least they are consistent with this part, this time it’s Diana Collins. The beginning of Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell (2001) shows flashbacks of a car accident that killed her parents. The only time a man was responsible for releasing the Djinn was the beginning of the first, but then we skip thousands of years and Alexandra is linked to it. It just seems redundant.

How is the opal in a box-shaped like the star of David, OK, it used to be in a statue, how’d it get in the box? I don’t know why for a third time, they are rewriting the lore. Well whatever. On to more exciting news, Professor Joel Barash wants to get into Diana’s pants. Wow, he’s not even being coy, he’s just going in for the kill, then when she says something about her boyfriend he’s all, I don’t know what you’re insinuating.

Too bad they couldn’t have gotten Andrew Divoff, but I guess he was over it, and they got John Novak. The Djinn doesn’t look right, he’s waxy. The voice is wrong, and obviously the face since it’s not Andrew; almost reminds me of some of the messes they made with Pinhead.

The camp level is about the same in this chapter, which is fine, too bad the acting wouldn’t have gone up, though it is a direct-to-video release, I shouldn’t expect anything. The gore isn’t bad, for a low-budget wannabe 80s horror franchise; then there’s the sound effects, dang that’s some funny stuff. After thirty minutes, I’m not sure why they did the next sixty, I guess, as always, I was expecting it to get better.

This installment only gets 2 out of 5 stars. Now on to the finale in the series.

Wishmaster: The Prophecy Fulfilled (2002) is just another regurgitation of the first three movies. The story is exactly the same, minus some details about the tragedy and the damsel in distress and how the Djinn manipulates is different. My understanding was that he could only do things if they were wished, but the attorney certainly didn’t wish what happened to him.

Lisa makes three wishes, but he doesn’t grant the third because of the wish. Then it gets weird. Um the Djinn is trying to get her to love him. She doesn’t have visions of the deaths or wishes granted. At least, they changed it up, I guess.

This is better than 3, but only by a margin, and I give it 2.5 out of 5 Stars.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

#HorrorMovie Reviews - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Sequels and Remakes Part 1

Well, now that I’ve finally seen The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), I figured I’d binge the others, including the remakes. There are twelve years between the original movie and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II (1986), but the opening scroll and the narrator said thirteen. The biggest thing I’m noticing from the first/original is the level of cheese is on high in this movie; gotta love the 80s influence.

The merits of this film are entirely different from the oozing darkness in the first. First, the soundtrack is fantastic. Sometimes in the 80s, it felt like the soundtrack was put in place as the focal point of movies, then the film was shot around the tracks. This may or may not have been the case, but the music choices in this film played to the scenes.

The Leatherface mask is fresher skin than from the original, making it almost comical, and it kind of reminds me of the Elephant Man. However, the new one he makes is better, and he gives it to Stretch to wear. Chop Top is hysterical, though I don’t know where he came from, and he keeps the cheese thick in every scene. The gore is different in this edition, too, it’s blatant and unforgiving, making me know that, yeah, this was an 80s film. I enjoyed Stretch’s (Caroline Williams) screams and theatrics; they were almost slapstick.

I like how they ended this one. I give The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II 4 out of 5 stars.

This is another one of those franchises where they change the story just a little. In the previous film’s narration, they said no one was found, but in Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990), they say that W.E. Sawyer stood trial and died in the gas chamber. Um, who now? Sometimes binge-watching isn’t the best for movie franchises such as this because the details are too fresh in my mind.

This film had another character that was a carryover from the previous installment, Stretch. However, her role is that of a TV reporter and lasts only seconds in the beginning. I wonder why they didn’t take her storyline from where 2 left off.

Seriously, how many are there in the Sawyer clan? They added three more “brothers” in this one, “Mamma,” and a little girl, who I have no idea who she is. Anyway, they reduced the cheese significantly in 3, making it more strange and eerie. They also decreased the acting quality, but the suspense and terror levels are good, so I can’t complain too much about the acting. The Leatherface mask is better in this chapter also.

I enjoyed Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III enough to give it 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

The next sequel is Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994), and the family’s last name is now Slaughter. I can’t figure out for the life of me why they changed the name. One thing I’ve noticed in this is that Leatherface seemed more content chasing and scaring with the chainsaw than killing with it.

The first time W.E. was mentioned is in the previous film during the opening narration, and it was said that he stood trial and was put to death in the gas chamber, but that doesn’t matter, he’s in this one. Another thing I noticed that is strange is that in the previous film Leatherface had a leg brace, but it’s Vilmer Slaughter (Matthew McConaughey) who has it.

Renée Zellweger played the nerdy Jenny, who has the face that Leatherface now wants to wear. Beyond that strangeness, there’s so much more that made no sense like the secret society, and Leatherface being a transvestite, which Alexis Michelle appears to have styled herself after this interpretation. Yes, I understand that it was touched on in the original 1974 film. A quote I found out of place was; I want the people to know the meaning of horror, Rothman. OK? Is he part of the secret society? The leader maybe? And why the hell did he lick Jenny’s face?

Though I didn’t understand many of the things in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, I found it to be charming and deranged. I also loved the Sally Hardesty cameo at the end. I give it 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

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