I don’t usually buy movies before seeing them, but I took a chance and went ahead and bought The Loved Ones shortly after it was released on DVD. I heard it was a breakout horror flick so I had intentions of viewing it soon but wasn’t sure when I’d be available through Netflix or Redbox. Well one whole year later, I finally got around to viewing it. And three months later after watching it, I am finally getting around to reviewing it!
The film begins with a flashback; teenaged Brent is driving while his father is alongside him in the passenger’s seat. The two are laughing and having fun and it is obvious the two are close. Out of nowhere, a battered figure stumbles across the road, causing Brent to veer into a tree, killing his father. Continue reading
Hall Baltimore (Val Kilmer) is a mediocre horror novelist who typically writes about witchcraft. On a book signing tour, Baltimore stops into a quaint unnamed town with a peculiar and sad history of disappearances and unsolved murders.
Upon meeting the town sheriff, Bobby LaGrange–who we learn is a fan of Baltimore’s books, Baltimore is invited back to the police station (and morgue) to view an unusual corpse of a recently murdered young girl. What’s unusual you ask? Well, she has a 3-foot-long stake protruding from of her chest. Sheriffe LaGrange is an aspiring writer and proposes the gruesome crime would make a great story.
Baltimore declines seeing the deceased girl’s face and finds modest local motel to rest his eyes for the night. In a video chat with his wife, we learn that Baltimore has money troubles. He is searching for inspiration to write his breakout novel and the odd lore and scenery of the town are providing the right motivation he needs. Baltimore dreams that night of the town, meeting a handful of colorful characters, notable a ghostly young girl named “V” and also Edgar Allan Poe, whom Baltimore learned earlier in the day had once visited the town’s once majestic but now ramshackled historical Chickering Hotel. Continue reading
Also known as “Communion,” Alice, Sweet Alice is almost criminally overlooked by horror fans. I had read recommendations for this movie in passing on multiple horror review sites and put it on my radar to watch at some point. I notice it available through Netflix awhile ago and there it sat in my queue for far too long. A few weekends ago on a quiet Saturday, I decided to attempt to watch it (with the boyfriend at my side–which means there’s a better chance I will actually finish a movie).
The movie starts off slow. Catherine Spages, mother of 12-year-old Alice and 9-year-old Karen (played by Brooke Shields) are visiting with their family priest. Karen’s communion is coming up and Father Tom gives Karen a customary Catholic communion gift, a crucifix. We first see here Alice’s extreme of her sister Karen. Desperate for attention, Alice sneaks off to the kitchen of Father Tom’s house and slips on a simple–yet effectively creepy clear mask along with the school-issued yellow rain slicker, and purposely sneaks up on Father Tom’s housekeeper, scaring her.
Back home, we see more favoritism of Karen and more of Alice’s insecurity and terrorism. Alice steals Karen’s favorite doll and lures her to an abandoned building where she traps Karen briefly, threatening to leave her there if she tells. Later on, we see their mother again doting on Karen, preparing her for the upcoming communion and ignoring Alice. Again seeking attention, Alice puts on Alice’s communion gown and veil and parades around the apartment upsetting Karen and their mom. Continue reading
Regrettably, I cannot compare this remake to the original film as I have not seen all of the original. The original 1980 Maniac was on Netflix Streaming about a year ago and I never got around to finishing it. I will note that I watched about 20 minutes of the original and had a hard time getting into it; Joe Spinell was just too disgusting for me to look at and it took a lot of effort to make it just 20 minutes. Unfortunately, I never got around to finishing it before it was pulled from Netflix.
This remake of Maniac has been on my radar for awhile. Seeing Elijah Wood associated with the film peeked my interest; I thought he did a great job as a young actor in both The Good Son (1993) and The Ice Storm (1997). I don’t care much for the fantasy Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies so I don’t remember his performance in those, but generally I enjoy Wood’s acting. In Maniac, however, I was really let down. Wood felt distanced from the role and almost uninterested. That is a problem especially considering the movie is filmed mostly from his point-of-view, in first-person. Continue reading
I didn’t make it through all my to-be watched movies for November so I have re-listed those I didn’t get to for December. I have an awkward holiday work schedule and have to work a few days over the break, but I do get some days off and a few extended weekends.
Psycho II (1983)
Kill Baby…Kill (1966)
Hatchet III (2013)
Saint Nick (2010)
Room 237 (2012)
Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2013)
Black Christmas (2006)
Insidious: Chapter 2
*Dexter: Complete Series (2006-2013)
*I started re-watching Dexter in November, beginning with Season 1. I plan to make it through the entire series, hopefully before February.
Already-watched but reviews are in process for:
Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)
The Following: Season One (2013)
The Loved Ones (2009)
Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2013)