The Thing (1982) Movie Review

The Thing (1982)

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Director: John Carpenter

Starring: Kurt Russell, Keith David

Summary

Based on the novella Who Goes There?, by John W. Campbell, Jr (Check it out) and it is a remake of the black and white The Thing from Another World (1951). This is one of those book adaption remakes which are a rare breed to come around. It is also probably the BEST horror remake compared to the dozens that have been coming out. I’m not talking strictly about the last 10 years, I am also referencing the Hammer horror remakes from the 60s. John Carpenter is one of the horror masters with Halloween and The Fog already under his belt. This one stars Kurt Russell who is leading a cast of all males. This is huge for a horror movie when most of them focus on teens and female leads. The story is about a group of scientists stationed in the Antarctic when their camp is visited by a running dog being chased by a Norwegian man who can’t speak English. The Norwegian fires his rifle and is killed by the station commander. The dog is placed with the other dogs and kills them. The dog becomes a creature and they have to burn it to kill it. When they perform an autopsy on the body they believe the creature copies the cell structure of its victims and the cells are still living. The group investigates the Norwegian camp to discover everyone is missing and a lot of it has burned to the ground. The find a flying saucer that the camp had recovered and they realize this creature came from space. As the film goes on the paranoia of if the creature is among them begins to break the group a part. No one can be trusted if the creature can take their identity. When the monster attacks it takes many different forms. They do a blood test theory to prove if anyone is actually the monster. When they figure it out many of the group is killed and it’s up to Kurt Russell to blow the creature up. They have to kill it because if it would ever make it to civilization it would mean the end of humanity. The process of this burns the camp to the ground and Kurt Russell and Keith David are left still believing either one of them could be the creature as they stand by drinking into the cold.

The Good

Awesome special affects! The stop motion animation was great and gruesome! My favorite was the severed head that grows spider legs. It was creepy and disgusting. Carpenter and team did a great job. The prequel that was made (Same name 2011) used all CGI and took all the fun out of what made this movie so great.

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The Thing (1982)

Acting is pretty solid for the all-male cast which I mentioned earlier that is a weird and strange trait.

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The Bad

The climax felt rushed and according to some reports was that they were running out of money from all the stop motion animation.

Overall

This is one of my favorite Horror movies. Simple and cool with great stop motion. 4.5/5

Fun facts

Kurt Russell’s beard…Just look at it! So cool….

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What’s Next?

Wouldn’t you like to know? I sure would…..

Trick ‘r Treat Review (2007)

Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
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Director: Michael Dougherty

Starring: Dylan Baker, Brian Cox, Anna Paquin

Summary
Just a great movie. I never heard much about it before it came out but it was instant love after first viewing. It is the ultimate Halloween movie and with a new Horror monster for us to love in a cute way. The movie is composed of all the events that occur in a town on Halloween night. It is told in little stories that mix back and forth with each other. I can only tell it like this..

Red Riding Hood: Anna Paquin plays a girl who is getting ready for a Halloween party. The film makes it to be that all of the older girls are pushing her to lose her “virginity” at a Halloween party. She wears a red riding hood costume and she is looking for a guy. She is being pursued in the woods by a guy in a vampire (Dylan Baker) She beats him and throws him in the party with a broken leg. It is revealed they are all werewolves and her “First time” is when she rips her skin off and feeds. images (3)

Carving Pumpkins: Earlier in the night the man (Dylan Baker) poisons a child who doesn’t check is candy. He tries burying the bodies of the dead children in his back yard. His son is yelling at him from the window annoying him. He finishes the job and goes inside to help his son carve a pumpkin. The film makes it out to be that he will murder his son. When he goes to lunge the knife it lands into the severed head of one of his victims. “Don’t forget to help me with the eyes.” images (2)

Zombies: A group of kids collect Jack o Lanterns to place as an offering for the souls of mentally challenged kids who were murdered by a bus driver when the bus went into a lake. They bring a witch who is a young girl that they like to pick on. They tell the tale of the kids who died, take her down to the lake and scare her as zombies. When she falls and breaks her glasses the kids laugh and knock the jack o lanterns out. An old myth says to never blow the pumpkins out before midnight. The actual mentally challenged kids rise from the lake as zombies and try to eat the kids. They ask the witch for help but she leaves them to die.

Bus Driver: Following where the kids left off their story. The bus driver who is a bitter old man who scares away a few Trick ‘r Treaters from his door. When Sam (The horror monster) sees this he comes to make him pay. He attacks the bus driver in a brutal fashion that goes on all over the house. The bus driver shoots him to pieces and after pulling his mask off reveals to be some type of pumpkin monster that eats candy. He is about to kill the bus driver with a half bitten sucker (Signature weapon) but sees a candy in his pocket and takes it. Since he was given a treat he will let him live. Hours later the bus driver is handing candy out to the kids when he is visited by the zombies of the mentally challenged kids they proceed to kill him.

The Good

Great movie. It was filmed like a comic book and played on these myths of Halloween like never blow out the Jack O lantern before midnight and always give treats and not tricks for Trick ‘r Treats. Always check your candy was a good solid one too. It was original in a horror film, clever, and funny at times. Upon rewatching I saw clues hidden for the werewolf story line. When they are changing they tell the sister if she doesn’t come out then they will “Huff and they will puff” which was all a wolf reference. There are a few clues to their actual nature throughout their scenes. Sam is a great character. He is supposed to be this little kid in makeshift potato sack mask who is seen in every storyline. He is a demon who murders people who do not follow Halloween traditions. I think with a few more well worked movies he could become one of the great horror monsters. The acting overall was good for a lesser known movie.

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The Bad

It’s dull in a couple scenes but that is usually forgotten. It’s so original it is hard for me to diss. It is told in a style similar to movies like Crash or Pulp Fiction but with good twists and turns. I can’t hurt it too much.

Overall

Fantastic! Best Halloween movie ever! I hope you didn’t even read my review went straight into watching it. 4.5/5

Fun facts

Sequel is coming!

What’s Next?

I lied about the next review so don’t hold me to it….it could be anything!

31 Nights of Horror #6 I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

I Spit on Your Grave

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Director: Meir Zarchi

Starring: Camille Keaton

Summary Spoilers (I’m saving you a 101 minutes of garbage)

The worse movie I have ever seen. Here we go…..Years ago I was first told to watch this movie. “It’s soooo disturbing and soooo much worse than The Last House on the Left.” It’s true it is sooooooooooo much worse. Not because of what the movie depicts, it’s just because it is one of the worst movies ever made. In so few words it is about a girl who is writing a novel who is eventually gang raped by three country hicks and a mentally challenged man for about 25 minutes. She goes to church asking for forgiveness and then seduces the men and kills them in brutal ways like cutting the balls off and disemboweling another with a motor boat.

The Good

NOTHING

The Bad

Terrible acting by everyone, especially the rapists. All the sound quality is horrid and the script is just ridiculous. Hardly any speaking and no direction and so flat and simple. I have no idea how this film even received a budget. The original title is Day of the Woman and some people tried to argue this film is about empowering women. So a raped woman gets revenge by sinking to the rapist’s level and beyond? I can’t see how that is feminist. I feel the director wanted to make the film rougher than The Last House on the Left. They are both exploitation films this is true, however Wes Craven knows how to direct a movie (I have shown this already) and this Meir guy has no idea. I think Meir’s idea for a good movie was to make the most graphic rape scene ever just so people will talk about his movie and go see it. I can see why this guy has had little to do with any other movie since then.

Overall

0/5

Fun facts

The late Roger Ebert put this film on his “Most Hated” list.

What’s Next?

I need to get this movie out of my head….maybe a video game? (Resident Evil 2)

31 Nights of Horror #5 Silent House (2011)

Silent House (2011)
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Director: Chris Kentis, Laura Lau

Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, Adam Trese, Eric Shaffer Stevens

Summary Spoilers
A remake of the Uruguayan film, La casa muda. It features Elizabeth Olsen. (Younger sister of the Olsen twins and better actress) The film is about a girl named Sarah (Olsen) who is at her family’s country side house. Her father and Uncle are fixing it up and while she is there she meets a girl about her age who says they used to play together. Sarah has no memory of this but she agrees to hang out with her later. She hears weird noises in the house and then her father goes missing. She learns that she is locked in her house and a mysterious figure follows her through the home. She finds clues that maybe someone has been staying in the house and she finds her father’s body who is still alive. She escapes the home and sees a little girl down the goes to find the intruder inside the home. The car starts to open and she runs back into the house. She finds her Uncle who is eventually attacked by the intruder. She begins to see strange events around the home like a little girl in a bathtub full of blood. She comes down stairs and finds her father tied up under plastic. The girl from earlier is in the house and hands her a key to unlock something, but it is not the doors. She hides when the intruder comes and she realizes it’s herself dragging her Uncle’s body. She is getting confused and the girl vanishes after she tells her to unlock a small box. When she does she finds pictures of herself as a little girl that her father took when he molested her. She unties her father who begins to beat her. He takes his belt off to beat her even more and her Uncle stops him. When he turns around Sarah bashes her father across his head with a sledge hammer and hits him one more time to finish the job. Her uncle begs for his life saying he is sorry for allowing her father to do that. She throws down the hammer and walks out of the house.
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The Good

Interesting movie. It is shot in a style where the camera constantly follows Sarah and never cuts away. It was similar to the movie Rope. (Hitchcock and a good movie) Some of the intense moments where she is being chased are terrifying. Olsen is amazing in her performance. She is beyond a scream queen and you can tell she can really act.
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The Bad

The twist in the movie seems to fall on its face. It really wasn’t that hard to figure out and they gave too many clues for it. The images she saw as her repressed memories start flooding back, and when her father hid those pictures she finds from her. Parts of the movie were just her crying and wondering around the house and it dragged a bit. I wish the plot was more terrifying and was thicker. Maybe more scenes from the mysterious girl. They should have really worked on building that twist.

Overall

2.5/5 Could have been a lot better. Olsen was the best part of the movie.

Fun facts

Apparently the original film is based on true events from Uruguay in the 1940s.

What’s Next?

The film I hate the most…..I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

31 Nights of Horror #4 A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

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Director: Chuck Russell

Starring: Heather Langenkamp, Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne, Robert Englund, John Saxson

Summary Spoilers

During the height of the slasher genre the sequels were spewing out left and right. After the disappointment of the sequel Freddy’s Revenge (1985) many people were pleased with Dream Warriors. They brought in a few writers like the series creator Wes Craven and Frank Darabont. (The Shawshank Redemption, the Green Mile, the Walking Dead) The film acts like a direct sequel to the first film bringing back two of the original actors, Heather and John. The film opens with Patricia’s character Kristen is having nightmares of Freddy. He slits her wrists but her mother thinks it’s a suicide attempt and has her put into a mental hospital. It was there she meets a group of kids all with different personalities but all are bound by their nightmares of Freddy. Kristen dreams of Freddy again and pulls Nancy into the dream. Freddy recognizes her when she rescues Kristen. They escape and Nancy is able to convince the Neil to proscribe a drug called Hypnocil but he can’t go far with it. That night the boy who plays with puppets has a dream where Freddy slices his legs and arms and uses him as a puppet.
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He takes him to the edge of the building and makes it look like suicide as he falls to his death. The next night another patient stays up to watch television and falls asleep. Freddy appears coming out of the television and smashes the girls face into it. Nancy reveals that all these kids are the last of the remaining Elm street children. They perform a hypnosis experiment to help the kids learn how to control their dreams by giving them abilities to help fight Freddy. One of the patients, Joey is lured by Freddy with an attractive nurse. He holds Joey captive over a pit from hell. When everyone awakes from the dream they realize that Joey is in a coma. Around this time Sister Mary Helena reveals to the doctor Freddy’s past and how he was conceived by a nun being raped by over 100 maniacs. She tells him that putting Freddy’s bones to rest are the only way of killing him. Neil tries to convince Nancy’s father to help him find the bones while the rest of the patients are sedated. One girl is killed by Freddy with syringe fingers, another who pretends to be the Wizard Master fights but is killed by Freddy. When Nancy’s father takes Neil to the junkyard where his bones are a skeleton Freddy fights them. Nancy’s father is killed in the fight. Meanwhile Kristen, Nancy and another patient are in the dream fighting Freddy and saving Joey. Nancy stabs Freddy and starts talking to her father who she realizes has passed on. It is revealed to be Freddy in disguise and he mortally stabs Nancy. Neil is able to put Freddy’s skeleton to rest with holy water and a cross, thus finally killing Freddy. The last scene reveals that Sister Many Helena was Freddy’s dead mother. At the end the model of Freddy’s house has a light come on indicating that he is still alive.
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The Good

The special effects are fantastic. The use of stop motion Freddy bones and Claymation Freddy puppet were really creative. The puppet death was one of the best of the series and Freddy’s attitude being dark and funny was very appealing. I love the return of Nancy and her father and the plot is full and thick and seems to work with the flow of the movie. I really like the way they kill Freddy. It seems original and almost like a vampire which I thought was a better way to kill him compared to the first film.
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The Bad

The acting is bad on many levels. I never understood why Freddy’s voice changed since the first movie. It goes from creepy to deep and rough. The movie had plot holes all around. Like How Neil preforms hypnosis on all the patients but somehow happens to be in the dream with them even though he never fell asleep. I felt that Nancy should have died in a smarter way. I just fell she should have been smarter about the situation and should have known she wasn’t safe. I always liked how Freddy was in the first movie and he has become iconic because of sense of humor but I have always felt that his most iconic trait was also his worse trait. The humor makes people take Freddy as a joke rather than an icon of horror.
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If they would have kept him serious and maybe went with Wes Craven’s original script the movie may have even been better. I feel more of the side characters at the asylum could have been killed off in more grotesque ways. The movie seemed to go in a dark direction with the first death scene but seems to go soft as it goes on.

Overall
One of the best of the series, but not close to being the best. 3/5.

Fun facts

The hair metal band Dokken wrote a theme song called Dream Warriors. Check it out….it’s fun …

What’s Next?

Silent House (2011)…..starring the better Olsen actress

31 Nights of Horror # 3 Annabelle (2014)

Annabelle (2014)

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Director: John R. Leonetti

Starring: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Alfre Woodard

Summary Spoilers!
This film is a spin off of The Conjuring (2013) James Wan, the director of The Conjuring returns to Annabelle as a producer. This film is the latest in the popular demonic possession genre. In The Conjuring we were introduced to an evil little doll named Annabelle. The popularity of that film spawned a spinoff placing the possessed doll in the spotlight. This film takes us back to what caused the doll to have a spirit attacked to it. A cult member committed suicide and a demon that she summoned attacked itself to the doll. As the movie continues the doll starts causing havoc to the family with only the wife believing something was going on. As the wife’s mental state goes down she meets an older woman who lives grieving for her daughter that died in a car accident. A priest is brought in to see the doll and he takes it with him to a church. While entering the church he is brutally attacked by an unseen force. The doll returns to the house and is trying to steal the soul of the baby. The husband learns of the intentions of the doll while visiting the Priest and rushes back to his wife. The demon hides the baby in the house and will not give her back without a soul in return. The older woman holds Annabelle and jumps out the window to sacrifice herself to help the baby. The doll vanishes from the dead body and wasn’t seen for some time. The movie jumps to a clip of a woman purchasing the doll from a pawn shop for her daughter, leading us to the events of The Conjuring.

The Good

The film has some good scares occasionally. A scene in the basement was the most suspenseful. If the viewer is extremely afraid of dolls then this is the perfect scary movie for them.

The Bad

The film isn’t terrible it just lacks anything new and creative. The plot follows the same formula as other films. The father doesn’t believe the wife scenario. Women are crazy, men are logical. It takes forever for the male to believe what’s going on. This takes it away from the film and I feel a whole lot of effort wasn’t put in to make it better. It had the potential to make Child’s Play look even worse (If that’s even possible. More on that later.) but fails in the long run and doesn’t hold up on original scares.

Overall

2/5. It could be well liked by doll lovers.

Fun facts

The doll is based on a real doll named Annabelle that is locked in a glass case that belonged to Ed and Lorraine Warren. The events of this film are a fictionalized origin story.

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What’s Next?

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors

31 Nights of Halloween #2 Event Horizon (1997)

Due to technical problems I fell behind on the reviews. They all are still coming!)

October 2, 2014

 

 

Event Horizon (1997)

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Director: Paul Anderson

 

Writer: Philip Eisner

 

Starring: Sam Neil, Lawrence Fishburne, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Jack Noseworthy, Jason Isaacs, and Sean Pertwee.

 

Summary (Spoilers)

 

Hitting another 90s horror flick I choose this forgotten science fiction horror. Space has been and will always be one of those fearful ideas I think most people have. We are afraid of things we can’t understand and with a lot of space it can be hard to wrap our minds around the concept. Movies have been using space for an element of fear for years. The most famous is the Alien Franchise. So it is no surprise that every so often a new one comes out. This movie failed at the box office and with critics, but did gain a small cult following. It starts out with a quick summary of the past. It talked of the ship Event Horizon that went missing. 7 years later it comes back by Neptune and leaves a distress beacon. The Event Horizon was a new ship with abilities to create a gate that could help them travel over space faster. It is believed to have gone into another dimension. Dr. Weir the man who built the Event Horizon (Sam Neil) joins a rescue team to find the Event Horizon, find any survivors, and figure out where the ship went. The team is led by Captain Miller (Lawrence Fishburne) who is a strict captain who just wants to get the job finished. A few of the characters are suffering from some traumatic events that effect their mentality. Dr. Weir’s wife committed suicide and he is haunted by dreams of her, Captain Miller still hears the scream of one of his fellow soldiers he left to die years before. Peters (Kathleen Quinlan) has guilt for her crippled son back home. When they arrive to the ship they learn that the ship is reading trace amounts of life forms, but they can’t find any crew except for some gore. They learn that the ship seems to be alive, or possessed and is using the weaknesses of Miller, Weir, and Peters to wear them down. One by one the ship begins tearing the group apart, killing them when possible. Justin (Noseworthy) Gets possessed and tries to commit suicide and barely makes it out. Smith (Pertwee) is blown up, D.J. is mutilated, and Peters falls to her death after trying to help her son during a hallucination. They find a video that shows the last crew mutilate themselves on camera. The longer they stay the worse the situation gets as Dr. Weir becomes possessed and blows up the ship they arrived on to keep them on the Event Horizon so he can take them back to the dimension. He kills anyone who stands in his way. Weir even cuts his eyes out and tries to kill Miller.

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Weir gets himself sucked out of the ship and Miller makes the decision to blow up the ship and escape in its escape pod. When he goes to set the bomb off he is attacked by Weir who claims the ship brought him back. Meanwhile the rest of Miller’s crew battle against the ship as it comes to life trying to stop them. Miller is being manhandled by Weir and refuses to let the Event Horizon take the rest of his crew.

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He sacrifices himself by detonating the bombs, to destroy the Event Horizon before it takes everyone with them to Hell. The remaining crew members are rescued 72 days later while they were in Stasis a rescue team finds them.

 

 

The Good

 

The movie had tons of potential to be really scary. It did have its creepy moments and I do enjoy the cast pretty well. Sam Neil is very scary playing a bad guy and he nails it better than some other villains. Most of the scares come from graphic images that we see. The movie had a very Stanley Kubrick feel. Many can compare it to 2001: A Space Odyssey, but I feel it’s more like The Shining in space.

 

 

The Bad

 

To start I have never liked Paul W.S. Anderson as a director. He ruined my favorite video game series. (Resident Evil) So I was skeptical from the start. Some of the scenes should have been redone and some of the dialogue is really cheesy. I do not understand why they did the whole Peter’s kid scenario since she played little to no part of the movie and trying to save a hallucination of her son seemed too stupid for her to actually believe the boy to be real. I didn’t have a good feel of the other characters and they all seemed generic. Each character should have had a mental weakness that the ships tries to exploit. It would have given better insight and more depth to all of them. The ones who survive should be based on the ones who conquer their weaknesses. Apparently a lot of gory images were cut from the movie fearing that it would be too disturbing, but I feel that at least would have helped the film stay memorable to the audience. I would love to see the original cut of the film (130 minutes compared to 95 minutes.)

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If movies like Day of the Dead (1985) can show a man get ripped apart while screaming “Choke on them!” (More on that later) I find it hard to believe that the missing footage is more disturbing than that.

 

Overall

 

I liked it, but it could have been better. A movie I really think should be restored to its 130 minutes

maybe not

 

(Maybe Not)

or at least have a good remake. (Better Director) 2/5

 

 

Fun facts

 

Anderson turned down X-men to direct Event Horizon. Looking at what’s popular nowadays I think he made a bigger mistake than the Resident Evil franchise.

 

The original cut of the movie had apparently been lost up till 2012 when one copy of it was found. I hope that a special Blu ray version will be released with the original cut of the movie.

 

 

 

What’s Next?

 

The new horror film Annabelle (2014)