As I’ve mentioned before, I love horror movies. But my friend Rob Schlotz REALLY loves them. Every week, he scours the local Redbox for horror films and checks out every one of them. And for the record, yes, he does have a life. More so than I do. Although that’s not setting the bar very high.
As far as I’m concerned, that makes him eminently qualified to review horror movies. See, he and I don’t always agree on movies. In fact, we frequently disagree — leading to bitter arguments, slammed doors, tearful recriminations and, not infrequently, fisticuffs.
But I want to provide reviews on this blog that will be valuable to horror fans. And I figure that since Rob’s such a horror fan, that’s precisely what qualifies him to write reviews. If he likes something, and you’re as big a horror buff as he is, you may like it too.
Another advantage is that Rob checks out the “Grade B” offerings in addition to the mainstream Hollywood stuff. And as I’ve written about before here, Grade B horror films have historically produced some hidden gems. Maybe Rob will stumble across a few of them.
We’ll see how this goes, but I’d kind of like to make this a regular feature. Feel free to chime in if you have any comments, or if you just want to welcome Rob aboard.
Well, enough of my gum-flapping. Take it away, Horror Maven!
Here are my movie reviews for the week. Movies rated on a 1 to 4 star basis with 4 being must see and 1 being take a nap.
Sinister – 3 stars
Sinister makes a creepy flick minus any type of gore or merciless killing. While the images are extremely creepy, it is the vibe that gets you. The premise is a writer who moves his family into the home of a recent mass killing where the last family was all hung from a tree. The rest of his family is unaware of the events of the house they moved into until crazy things start to happen. The building up stage is a little slow but as it gets there it keeps you on the edge and scare factor is pretty damn good. The last 20 minutes make the flick.
The Possession – 3 1/2 stars
Ok. I know everyone has seen a million demonic possession flicks since “The Exorcist.” And no, this is no “Exorcist” and nothing ever will be. But as exorcism flicks go, this is one of the best of recent years. A man’s daughter purchases a suspect box from a yard sale and things go quickly south from there. This movie has some great effects and keeps you jumping as the tension mounts. The family aspect of this movie helps it to hit home. It is a unique turn in the devil possession series that doesn’t disappoint.
House at the End of the Street – 3 stars
A very good suspenseful flick — once again, without any gratuitous gore. It is refreshing to see some good movies that don’t need bloodshed to make you jump. A mother and her daughter move into a new gorgeous home next door to where a crazy family murder occurred. The only survivor was the son who was away at a mental institution before coming back to fix up his family’s house. While you see where the movie is going pretty quickly, it still manages to keep you entertained and involved in the story and has a unique twist.
Paranormal Activity 4 – 1 star
This is a series that has gone two movies too long. A great premise has turned into a tedious 3rd person viewing nightmare. After falling asleep on this garbage twice I finally made it through to the end and if there is a fifth installment of this, with all due respect, I will not be wasting my money on it. Sometimes a good idea needs to stand alone and not be improved on. Anyone who has seen previous movies in this series knows the premise and anyone who has not, please watch the first two and pretend this movie was never made. To provide a small bit of insight, this movie continues the demonic possession idea via movie camera in a new family’s house with some previous reference to old characters.
Grade B Flicks
The Day – 3 stars
Don’t be fooled by the WWE Studios production of this movie as it is definitely worth a view. While it is basically in black and white after an apocalyptic episode, it has a very well-built story. It provides twists and turn that are unexpected through the movie, which is very refreshing. The one lone drawback is it is quite dark at times and leads you to try and figure out what the hell is going on. There are some great tense moments though and the fact it is in black and white does not detract from the episodes of violence and gore that exist. One of the better endings I have seen in a movie of this low budget caliber.
Vile – 3 Stars
A very unique twist with almost a “Saw” comparison. Four friends are kidnapped and must torture each other for a pharmaceutical company to collect chemicals from their brain. It is a wild ride to see what people will do to each other with the promise of release. Not overly gory but definitely overly violent. A dark ride into the matter of people’s minds. Highly recommended for your grade B movie night and I think you will enjoy. The acting is a bit subpar but hey, what are you looking for? At least the plot is sound.
Wrong Turn 5 – 1 star
Ok. I have an affinity for the Wrong Turn series, with even part 4 not being too bad. Sometimes someone in charge needs to say “enough is enough.” We have gotten so far from the creepiness and special effects from the first movie that it looks like I could have filmed this in my basement. The acting is terrible and the special effects and gore are even worse. The mountain men now look like Halloween costumes as opposed to looking legit in the first couple of movies. Once again, a movie series that needs to be put to bed for good. Basically, the movie is about a fair attributed to the mountain men themselves which they use to essentially massacre the town after one of their own is captured. If you plan on renting this movie, please send the money to me instead. I guarantee I can make better use of it.