First-person/found-footage/point-of-view (POV) style movies don’t bother me as much as they do some horror fans. Sure, not all of them are good, but I don’t avoid a horror movie if I see that it is POV.
Last year when I learned of 388 Arletta Avenue, all I knew of the movie was that it was a horror movie with Devon Sawa and Nick Stahl–two actors I really like. I was also intrigued because, despite it being out for a few years, I hadn’t heard of it. After doing some (non-spoiler) research online, I was surprised to see many favorable reviews of it. Continue reading
Last fall when I heard about the new TV thriller drama The Following I was intrigued. As an English major and gothic literature fan, as well as a huge horror enthusiast, I was even more interested after hearing the killer was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. I am, however, a stickler for watching television shows in order. So when I learned that The Following was premiering on a Monday night, I was bummed (I work Monday evenings). I was even more upset when I heard a colleague talking about how much she enjoyed the show “except for the gore.”
I don’t have a DVR and didn’t catch when the episodes were scheduled to re-air, so I had come to terms that I wouldn’t be watching The Following anytime soon. Early in the fall while I was browsing Netflix Streaming, I was stoked when I saw Season 1 of The Following available. The boyfriend and I sat down one weekend soon after and had a marathon , progressing through the first season in 2 weeks. I don’t know if I would have been committed enough to catch every episode as it aired weekly, so I am glad that the streaming option was available. It makes it convenient, especially for the two of us to watch at our own pace if we had to work late.
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
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