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Offline SJP

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Re: October Horror Movie a Day 2013
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2013, 04:05:42 PM »
Are we doing the awards again?

I can see about making a big certificate sort of thing for the end of the month, but with my schedule, I may have to bow out on making up the Achievement/Trophies/Fake Awards-type thing.  I have a feeling I'll barely do the 31 movies as it is, though I will try my damnedest to do so.

Anyway, Day 2 movie:
The Collapsed
This $40,000 budgeted indie horror follows a family of four Canadians as they struggle to survive the end of the world...or at least Toronto.  Unfortunately, they start getting picked off by murderers in the woods, all the while something...else...seems to be omnipresent.
The intriguing premise is kept simple...and, surprising considering the budget, the effects are actually pretty good.  The smoke from the buildings and the horizon looked WAY more realistic than anything the Asylum could ever hope to achieve, and thankfully the relatively small amounts of blood and gore are done practically and effectively.  The big issue?  The acting.  Oh, boy, the acting.  I believed this was a cohesive family about as much as I believe a four-year-old in a school play is actually a tree.  The only one who does even OK is lead John Fantasia (yes, that is his real name, as far as I know), and combine it with some dumb dialogue that should've been cut if only for repetition sake, and you've got a film that could've been WAY better.  Still, it is watchable, although how you'll feel about it may depend on whether what you're thinking you'll get out of it.  It is thankfully NOT a zombie film for once...there's actually something else going on instead:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
RIFF FACTOR: Medium.  Film is actually fairly well-made considering its budget, even with the piss-poor acting and occasional stupid dialogue.  However, the extremely thick Canadian accents do add a touch of extra fun to the proceedings.  Plus, the IMDB trivia page is hysterical in that every single bit of trivia looks to have been added by the filmmaker, since it's all written in the same matter-of-fact style and a lot more 'trivial' than most trivia.

EDIT:
Okay, I just listened to a sequence in a film where a five year committed suicide.
Yeah, think I'm going to go take a walk for a while.

Good grief!  Really, if you need to watch some classics, feel free.  No need to drive yourself insane.  That's not what Horror Movie a Day is all about.

Wait, maybe it is...;)
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 04:13:48 PM by SJP »
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Offline Compound

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Re: October Horror Movie a Day 2013
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2013, 07:40:03 PM »
Death Machine 1994 (Frontline Morale Destroyer. And Brad Dourif)

Okay, we've  on an evil arms making corporation developing various unethical arms programs. One of their VPs develops a conscience and decides to clean up the place.  So she heads down to visit the eccentric weapons designer, Dante (Brad Dourif). He falls in love with her as apparently she's the first woman he's seen in quite a while.  Discovering that the CEO wants her dead, he unleashes his pet project, the Frontline Morale Destroyer aka The Warbeast, a robotic killing machine on the CEO.  Finding what remained of the CEO, the security chief calls the VP back in to deal with the mess. Meanwhile, a humanist terrorist group (just nod and smile) launches their plan to infiltrate the Chaank building (Yes, that's really the corporation's name) and blow the place up. Frankly, from what I've seen that's not a bad idea. They arrive while the security chief and Veep are confronting Dante. They need access to the central computer core, which is under heavy security, but Dante volunteers to take them there since the VP fired him a few minutes prior. Instead he takes them to the Warbeast's vault and sics it on them. One of the 3 terrorists is killed and the remaining pair return to the chief and VP and then decide that with a giant killer robot on the loose, they should probably get the hell out of the building.

That makes these terrorists some of the smartest people in any horror movie. Ever.

Anyway, they attempt to leave. The chief gets killed by the bot and the remaining trio try to dispatch the robot using some of the other weapons projects around the tower. Yeah, Die Hard. Again. But this time Gruber's forces are a giant killer robot with cusinarts as hands. Eventually they run into Dante, get the jump on him and lock him and the bot in the vault, with the bot targeting Dante.

Eh. This wasn't bad. Yeah, it's got a strong dose of Die Hard in it, but the characters  are fairly engaging as fleshed out. And Dourif is pretty engaging every time he's on screen. I will note that the writers named most of the side characters after either Alien references (Weyland, Yutani, Scott Ridley) and horror directors. Except they went the rather blatant route by naming them John Carpenter and Sam Raimi. Yeah, might want to be a little bit more subtle there. Anyway, fairly watchable.

Virus/ Day of Resurrection/ Fukkatsu no hi (1980) (Virus, Oh, and man.)

Okay, brace yourself on this one. Big budget film here, with a big name cast. George Kennedy, Edward James Olmos. Robert Vaughn. Sonny Chiba. Glenn Ford. Chuck Connors, who is inexplicably sporting a British accent. Er, yeah. Anyway, a Japanese production from the folks who later brought us The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. And somehow it's public domain. Unfortunately, the version I got was the Japanese  version, which is 2 and a half hours long and is completely unsubtitled. Thankfully, there's only about 20 minutes in Japanese, with the rest in English, but it's tough during those minutes.

Anyway, back in the far off future of 1982, an East German scientist has a deadly virus that he's trying to smuggle to the Swiss so that they can develop a vaccine for it. It seems this virus will latch onto practically every other disease in the world and is almost universally lethal. Plus it'll affect practically every living thing. Elephants. Birds. Sheep. Humans. But an evvvvil group of American CIA types divert it instead. Then a few minutes later, their plane crash into a mountain, releasing the virus. Yeah, you'd think that they'd be a bit more careful with the thing given the whole "will kill everything in the world" warning.

Anyway, the disease gets loose, killing off a Mongolian sheep herd and then resurfacing in Italy as "The Italian Flu." From there it starts killing pretty much everything.  There's a subplot about how the virus was developed by the US as part of a bioweapon research project, stolen from them and then attempted to be stolen back.  And as everyone dies, one of the Generals keeps trying to convince the Pres that the Soviets are behind this and we should activate all our defenses because this is all an excuse for the commies to nuke us. We flip between Toyko, Washington watching people die, and as the President and Senator Vaughn are dying in the Oval Office,  the Senator notes that the disease doesn't do well in cold weather, prompting the President to remember our Antarctic research stations, which are all unaffected by the plague as it's dormant in cold temps. This isn't a surprise to the viewer as we keep viewing their POV as well.  But the President tells the Antarctic that it's their responsibility to carry on with humanity.  Then General McCrazy shows up demanding that the missile response system be activated. The President calls him a doofus and then dies. General Looney Tunes then heads down beneath the White House to activate the ARC system.  I'm pretty sure that no single person can activate any sort of missile system, but hey, I suppose all the military guys that I've known were just lying about that just to justify the extra jobs.

Now note: No disease is 100% lethal. Even if 1 in 10 million people were immune, and that's a ridiculously pessimistic number, there would still be a few hundred people around who were just immune. Plus there'd be places that just weren't frigging exposed in addition to other perpetually cold places in the world where the disease wouldn't spread. But whatever.

Anyway, there's 850 guys left in Antarctica. And 8 women. Which is an issue. An English sub, commanded by the very British Chuck Connors (rolls eyes) shows up later as well.  All the Antarcticans band together to help run the place. Some years pass. We're told early on they only have about two years worth of food left, but given the size of some of the babies, it seems that it's been longer. The sub has been traveling around the world checking on if the virus is still present. It is.  They return to Palmer Station to work on a cure. But the third act drama arrives! The Japanese scientist, whose name probably came up in the Japanese segments but in the English bits, not so much, is a geologist and is predicting an earthquake by Washington DC.  One of the military guys notes that our automated missile system would likely interpret the 8.0+ quake as a nuclear impact and then launch our missiles. A Soviet military officer then notes that their response system was also armed and oh, by the way, the Russkis thought that the Americans might be building a safe haven at Palmer Station so they set a missile or two to nuke it too. Whoops. Admiral George Kennedy then sends a pair of people, including the American Major and Japanese geologist to Washington to try and disarm the system, and just in case, he'll load up the icebreaker with the girls, kids and a few guys and send them to safety, just in case.

Now, a brief diversion. See this map?



The station constantly referred to in the film is in the circle to the left. It's actually a fairly small station with about 40-50 people in it during the summer. The actual large American base is in the lower left circle and it's always staffed with a few hundred people. So, if a nuke is coming in a few weeks, you could, you know, go to a different base. When the major walks outside after volunteering for the mission, it's bright and sunny which suggests it's summer in Antarctica. Rather than just saying "Eh, c'est la vie!" and waiting for the nukes, you could travel a few hundred miles to a different station. What's more. Suppose that Palmer was nuked. Look at the other circle there. That's (if my measurements are correct) roughly 5000 km away from Palmer. Nuking Palmer would have as much effect on McMurdo as nuking Washington DC would on Dublin.  Antarctica's a pretty big place. So the drama of one place there being nuked isn't really a huge deal.

The French scientist develops a theoretical vaccine and gives it to the pair. They hop on the sub and head to Washington, which looks completely empty. So, basically the same as it does during the shutdown, minus the barricades around the monuments. (rimshot) They  journey to the White House and as they start to descend, a re-shock causes a cave-in, pinning the Major underneath. Whoops. Guess you might have wanted to send more than two people on the mission to save the world. The geologist continues on and finds the control room, spots the "off button" and as he's walking across the room, the big one hits and all the nukes launch. He's literally about 10 seconds away from the button when the first nuke launches. He and the suddenly free but dying major have a scene and then he walks up to the oval office, warns the English sub that the nukes were launched and informs them that the vaccine works. Then he waits as the nuclear explosion stock footage begins.

But the film isn't over.

More Japanese title cards. Dunno what they say, but we see a figure trudging across the nuclear wasteland. It's Geologist guy.... Hold it. He was physically in the White House as the nukes hit. Washington DC would have multiple nukes aimed at it.  Not only would the nukes be bouncing the rubble there, but the bouncing rubble would then itself be bounced.  Plus, I'm fairly certain that the Soviets would have aimed at least one warhead directly at the White House itself. But somehow he's alive. He visits a church. More Japanese text appears. I'm sure it's deep and meaningful, but meaningless to me.  He keeps walking past a beach. Then he's at... Machu Picchu? Really? He's walked to Peru? There's food somewhe... you know what? I don't care. There's still 15 minutes to go and I just want it over. He keeps walking and somehow finds where the Antarctic survivors have gone to. And in four years they've built one building. Nice work there, guys.  And he reunites with the Norwegian scientist that I haven't been talking about. The end.

Oh, this is 150 minutes of unrelenting sadness. There's nary a moment of joy or happiness anywhere in the film . I think The Road was slightly more upbeat than this film.  Avoid it unless you feel ... you know what? Just avoid it.

Oh, and this was the film with that suicide I mentioned. Let me describe the scene. I'll spoil it, because hey. You might not want to read it.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Gosh, thanks Japan. Yeah, it's pretty damn manipulative. And to quote Bill "Oh, please show that a few more times so that my nightmares are nice and vivid."

Gah. Going to go listen to some hockey now to lighten my mood.


Offline Compound

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Re: October Horror Movie a Day 2013
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2013, 07:56:48 PM »
Okay, sticking this here, just because it's appropriate.


Quote
Warning: This is a tale of monster sex. This story was written to unlock your darkest fantasies and innermost desires. It is not for the faint of heart and is not your mother's erotica. All of the sexual descriptions found in this book are very explicit in nature. It's not suitable for someone under 18 years of age. Read at your own risk.

In a land before time, Layla hunts for her tribe.  The men belittle and threaten her, a woman who hunts like a man, until, desperate, she sets out alone after the most fearsome beast in the world- a T-Rex.

As she hunts the giant predator, a very special T-Rex is hunting her- this T-Rex has psychic powers and a desire for human flesh.  Naked and alone, Layla bargains with the beast: her body for her life.

Can Layla accept the beast’s carnal demands?  Can her body accommodate its relentless desire?  Can she hold to her part of the bargain?  Or will she become the T-Rex’s next meal?

...okay, giving up on humanity now.  Bye everyone! Heading to Venus!


Offline Raven

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Re: October Horror Movie a Day 2013
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2013, 09:43:20 PM »
So far I'm keeping up.

Day 1: Carrie 4/5 - Since they're doing a remake, I decided to watch the original. A classic.
Day 2: Flatliners 4/5 - My wife had never seen this one and I like pretty much every member of this cast.  Some random bits that don't make a lot of sense but a solid movie anyway.  Looking forward to watching Cole and Janet's riff as well.  Always thought this one was perfect for a riff because of the variety of things going on. 


Offline Compound

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Re: October Horror Movie a Day 2013
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2013, 10:47:25 PM »
Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961)  Sea Monster

Ah. Roger Corman. Yeah, this will lighten up my mood.

A crew of gangsters, along with a CIA spy, sign up to help some Batista loyalists smuggle part of the Cuban treasury  out of Castro's Cuba. However, the head gangster decides to steal the gold for himself using a legend of a local sea monster as a cover story for the deaths of the Cuban soldiers. Unfortunately, the real monster soon shows up...

Yeah, this is a caper film with a horrible looking sea monster, a CIA spy who has a phone disguised as a hot dog and some dill pickles and a gangster whose main asset is the ability to imitate various animals. Oh, and a song in the middle to eat of 5 minutes of the 70 minute run time.  It's not terribly good, but then again, most Corman movies aren't.  This is one of his "crank it out and get something in the theater" films and it wouldn't have been out of place on an episode of MST3k, excepting that even Corman seemed to be aware that this one was a bit lackluster.

Fun fact- the CIA spy/ hero?  He later went on to write in Hollywood, pumping out scripts for films like Mission Impossible,  The Firm, Days of Thunder, and Chinatown. (He also wrote Heaven can Wait too, but no one is perfect.)


Offline JimJ

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Re: October Horror Movie a Day 2013
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2013, 11:28:52 PM »
Watched The Hamiltons for October 2nd.  Wasn't impressed.  It's about a seemingly normal family that kidnap women.  Saying anything more would be kind of spoilery, so I won't, even though I don't recommend anyone watch it.  I was very bored by it.


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: October Horror Movie a Day 2013
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2013, 05:59:45 AM »
Day 2 - MST3k - Zombie Nightmare

C'Mon Rifftrax, do Rock and Roll Nightmare.  Anyway, this is not nearly as oddball.  The murders are actually the dullest part of the movie.  Adam West livens up the film and the twist that he was that evil thug at the beginning is an interesting twist.  Why couldn't THAT be the film.  It seems like it doesn't fit with all the teens getting murdered.  Those deaths must have been too grisly for MST3k since they are all edited out... rather clumsily.

Day 3 - 28 Days Later

I've seen it before, but it's been a while.  A great horror/grim adventure movie.  A very good set up (the scene of the empty London is haunting) and there is a real sense of loss when a character dies in this movie.  It is also refreshing to see a horror movie with a happy ending.  The very nature of horror makes it hard for good horror to have a "happy ending", but in the end, though there are some stuff that sticks with them, we see a satisfying one where it is earned.  It's also good to have when you got to watch a lot of horror movies.  I should have saved this one for mid-way through the month as a palette cleanser.


Online The Lurker

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Re: October Horror Movie a Day 2013
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2013, 06:27:47 PM »


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: October Horror Movie a Day 2013
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2013, 06:34:13 PM »
Ah!  Doggy Green Teeth!  The British were right!


Offline SJP

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Re: October Horror Movie a Day 2013
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2013, 07:24:12 PM »
Day 3: Hollow (2011)

This is described on one of its posters as "The British Blair Witch Project."  Eh, sort of.  It's a found footage movie, which...spoiler alert!...begins with a policeman saying how he found all the dead bodies hanging in this tree.

Yep.  Ending is told to you before the title card even shows up.  The next 90 or so minutes is all about the HOW.

Kind of torn about this one.  On the one hand, the acting is WAY better than The Collapsed (though Steve-O farting out beer into a cup is better acting than most of The Collapsed), but the premise in this is really kind of clunky.  I mean, I'm not the biggest found footage movie guy (though I do tend to see a lot of them), but even though nowadays it's okay to just accept someone is filming this whole thing and not question why, this one actually has the gimmick of "the flashlight on the camera doesn't work unless it is rolling."  Which is harped on several times.  We get it, someone is filming eerie stuff when there's no logical reason to do it, we'd have no movie otherwise, move on already!  It's also a little silly when everyone in the film is generally nice and pleasant to each other until they hear that the old spirit goads people into doing bad things...and then someone whips out a bag of cocaine completely out of nowhere.

There are some creepy moments in it, and the British accents (in my opinion) do set it apart from other found footage movies, but then, as someone who doesn't like the Paranormal Activity movies, I'm willing to give lesser efforts the benefit of the doubt if only because I can't stand the most popular series of these out there.  Heck, I even liked The Bay; narration aside, that scene where you can hear (but not see) practically everyone in the town screaming simultaneously and the scene with the two police officers (again, heard but not seen) were some of the best found footage moments I've ever seen in a movie.  This one?  I'd say it's merely OK.  Not unpleasant, but slow to start and only a few decent creepy moments.

RIFFABILITY: Low.  Not dumb enough to be easy prey, too slow unless gags were fast, furious, and on target.
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Offline JimJ

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Re: October Horror Movie a Day 2013
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2013, 09:20:29 PM »
I Spit on Your Grave 2 was my movie today.  The sequel to the remake, I assume.  Might as well be just a generic rape revenge flick, no connection to either the original or the remake that I could tell.  Anyway, wasn't horrible as far as these movies go but nothing special.  The lead actress was not nearly good enough to carry the movie though.


Offline Raven

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Re: October Horror Movie a Day 2013
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2013, 09:56:30 PM »
Day 3:  Scream 4.5/5 My favorite of the series by far and a classic as it pertains to my childhood.  Perfect mix of scary and funny with a bit of genre parody as well.


Offline Compound

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Re: October Horror Movie a Day 2013
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2013, 10:48:15 PM »
Tossing in a quick review:


Ship of Monsters aka La Nave del Los Monstruos
(1960) Space Monsters y Vampiros

En espanol!

Yeah, not quite sure what possessed me to watch a film in Spanish with no subtitles, but hey. It's an experiment to see how much of it I can follow.

We start off on a planet with all women with an important looking one giving a speech to a crew in front of a rocket. I presume it's "Our planet is doomed. Please find a place for us to live. Etc. Etc." Two crew members head off, a blonde and a brunette, along with a space robot, which actually is fairly well done for the time. The rocket launches, but a component breaks causing them to head towards the nearest planet. I'm guessing that it's Earth, unless some other planet has developed Mexican singing cowboys.

Yes. You read that correctly.

Anyway, they land and contact the vaquero and after a few attempts to communicate (I'll note that Spanish was several attempts down the list), their universal communicator gets tuned to Spanish and they talk with the cowpoke. They wander off, recontact the queen and then head to a cave to summon some space monsters.  The monsters decide that, yeah, whatever is being offered, the better choice is to kill the damsels, but their robot freezes the monsters. They return to the cowboy's house, and deliver the "what is love?" scene. Or to be more appropriate "Que es el amor?" They then wander back to the ship to talk to the queen some more.

And then the blonde space girl turns into a vampire.

No, no idea why. Nor am I sure if they were always vampires or what.  But she snacks on a farmer before the robot teleports back in and takes her back to the ship. Commander brunette yells at her. She repents but asks to visit the cowboy again. The commander relents and as she turns around, blondie cold cocks her and locks her in a space closet. Then she releases all the monsters and sets them loose on the world. They eat his cow and then threaten him. He escapes and heads into town to warn them, but the bar just assumes he's drunk. There's a quick scene of the space monsters making moves on blondie. Yes, as in, "Hey baby. I'm a saucer man. Want to make out?"  Ick. Another song! The third one!  The robot arrives and teleports the cowboy back to the ship. Blondie gives a "I think you're cute. Help me and we can rule the world!" speech, but he refuses. She pulls a space gun on him and then leads him back to the monster's cave. But as she does so, the cowboy's kid sneaks into the ship. (I didn't mention him before, but he was in the house.) Song number 4. Oh, and a tango! I don't know where a space vampire would learn that, but she picked it somewhere. As the "Is this dance love?" song ends, he steals her gun and the robot's control unit and escapes from the cave. She turns into a vampire again and he runs back to the rocket and as the monsters approach, it blasts off. The kid frees the commander and she steers the rocket back to Mexico. The kid leaves the ship, the cowboy and commander kiss and then they remember "Oh, yeah. Space vampire. Need to take care of that." They return to space monster cave and a fight ensues. The robot and kid appear too. The kid manages to off the wussiest looking alien and the space vampire returns, lunges at the commander and impales herself on a tree branch. The monsters are dispatched. They return to the ship and contact the homeworld the queen that "We can not destroy these folks because I'm in love" and then the robot takes the rocket back to the homeworld. Singing. Singing a duet. Singing a duet with the cowboy's jukebox. (Shakes head)

Okay, let's check a site to see how much I got of that. The girls are Beta and Gamma. They're from Venus, which has been ravaged by nuclear war. They head off to collect things to help rebuild Venus. The ship breaks down. Yadda, yadda. Beta is a vampire and apparently that's a bad thing as Venus HQ wants her killed. She escapes and grabs the monsters to take over the world. The rest I seem to have gotten right. So, not too far off really.

It's, well, pretty darn goofy. But it's got a bit of charm that makes it fairly watchable.



Offline Bob

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Re: October Horror Movie a Day 2013
« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2013, 02:44:21 AM »
From Netflix I have the euro film "Frankenstein's Army" waiting for me tonight.


Offline Relaxing Dragon

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Re: October Horror Movie a Day 2013
« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2013, 10:26:06 AM »
As I expected, my work schedule has already made me fail the main challenge (on October 1st, no less). Still, I plan to get to as many horror movies as I can this month, and report back on them here, because the more the merrier (scarier?), right?

V/H/S/2. I didn't care too much for the first V/H/S. The concept was novel (and I'm the sort who's generally pretty easy on found footage), and most of the segments had some interesting ideas, but none of them, save for the stellar haunted house bit, really paid off in any memorable or worthwhile ways. Happily, the sequel, while still have plenty of issues all its own, manages to be a great improvement over its predecessor. The overall pace of the movie has been quickened thanks to the trimming of the number of shorts from five to four, which helps things from feeling like they're getting bogged down. While the wrap-around segment is still by far the weakest (and these movies are still far too obtuse about whatever sort of mythology they're trying to build in regards to the tapes), each of the main segments are pretty solid. The excuses for the found-footage format have gotten more creative -a recording device in a prosthetic eye (literal first-person view), a helmet cam, spy cameras worn by investigative reporters, and a little camera strapped to a pet dog's back by some kids)- and the executions more solid.

The first segment, following a guy starting to see ghosts (and more) in his house, isn't too grand, but still decent enough. Plenty of spookhouse scares and creepy little girls. The next one takes the traditional zombie format and actually manages to do something interesting with it, creating a short narrative on the rise and fall of a newly-created member of the walking dead. It actually manages to have a lot of heart, even if it may upset some of the purists out there. The third segment, following a group of reporters as they look in on a cult compound... this is the big one. I thought I figured out where it was going, but then it got completely crazy and caught me way off-guard. There's a ton of super cool imagery and creativity in this one, and that's before things take a dive into such madness that you've just got to see it for yourself. The final segment, dealing with a group of kids and the strange things that come calling in the night, plays well enough. It's ace in the hole is the creepy loud noises, which it uses in excess (and somewhat makes up for the fact that it shows far, far too much of the baddies).

Overall, I dug this one. I liked it considerably more than the first one, even if the overall idea still needs to be fine-tuned down to something truly special. For folks out there who still like found footage, definitely give this one a look. For folks who get motion sickness every time they stand up from their chairs, they might want to pass.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 01:55:33 PM by Relaxing Dragon »