Tag Archives: movie review

Review: Old 37 Starring Kane Hodder & Bill Moseley (Available on DVD Today)

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What is better than a film that stars Kane Hodder or Bill Moseley? A film that stars both of them! The duo of horror icons play Darryl (Moseley) and his little brother Jon Roy (Hodder). Old 37 is a twisted tale that is sure make you think twice about calling 911. 

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Old 37 was written by Paul Travers and Joe Landes, directed by Alan Smithee. Besides Hodder and Moseley, the film stars Jake Robinson, Sascha Knopf, Olivia Alexander, Brandi Cyrus and Kenneth Simmons. 

There are not enough synonyms for “awesome” to use that would accurately convey how great this film is. It is original and chilling with a dash of comedy. For me, it brought back the Chop-Top Bill Moseley, many of the lines that he had reminded me of his lines from TCM 2 when they break into the radio station studio, I was waiting to hear “lick my plate you dog dick!“. Kane did what he does best, he destroyed people. It was a bit like watching him play a combination of Jason Voorhees and Victor Crowley, he was shy, silent and brutal. Combining Moseley’s humor with Hodder’s intensity make for the perfect storm.

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Old 37 is a bit like a drama meets horror, it’s almost like watching two different films in one. More times than not, those types of films tend to fall apart and only leave the audience scratching their heads, but the different stories within Old 37 are blended perfectly to make up one awesome movie. The conflict within this film are endless, there is domestic violence, insanity, murder, revenge, betrayal, standard bitchy teenage behavior and so much more. What’s not to love?

The plot twists are insane. I saw a couple of them coming, but it was entertaining nonetheless,I enjoyed it and I am not going to hold it against the film. There were a few that did catch me of guard. Long time horror fans may see what is around the corner, but if you are newer to the genre, you are in for one twisted roller coaster ride.

The cast as a whole was phenomenal. There were veterans and some newer to the game, but everyone was so professional that it was difficult to tell the difference between them. 

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Final Verdict

If you are into disturbing, revenge filled films, Old 37 is perfect. I loved the film and would love to see Travers write another film and include Moseley and Hodder, his writing combined with their talent and chemistry make for one hell of an awesome horror movie. I am going to have to recommend Old 37 to everyone that I know and you should probably tell a couple friends too. 

Get social with Old 37 by liking the Facebook page and following @Old37movie on twitter. You should also check out old37themovie.com for more exclusive videos, photos and awesome merch.

Old 37 is available on DVD today at Walmart, Best Buy and other retailers, so head out an get a copy! Use #OLD37 when sharing your thoughts and pictures.

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Unfriended: A New Reason To Watch What You Post

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2015 has brought us quite a few new horror films, but Unfriended is a horror film for a new generation. Combining bullying and the social media frenzy with some immature, mean teens, the film is the ultimate new age horror. 

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Unfriended was written by Nelson Greaves (Sleepy Hollow TV series) and stars Heather Sossaman (Desecrated), Matthew Bohrer (Weed Shop: The Musical), Courtney Halverson (The Hammer), Shelley Henning (Ouija), Moses Storm (The 4 to 9ers), Will Peltz (Paranoia), Renee Olstead (Still Standing) and Jacob Wysocki (Pitch Perfect). 

Shelley Henning, Blaire, was phenomenal. She is a genuine actress; her emotions were believable which made the film feel more authentic and more terrifying. You want to feel bad for her, but you know she’s not innocent. 

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Shelley Henning as Blaire

Anyone that loves 80’s slasher films can appreciate a good jump scare; Unfriended is full of them. There is no visible killer and it’s a bunch of teenagers on Skype, so how else are you going to make the film terrifying? Loud bangs, lights going on and off, camera malfunctions, you get the gist. Every jump scare incorporated in the film only add to the already frightening story line. I appreciated the effort that was made to creating the scares. It may not get some of you horror veterans, but if you want to introduce a younger fan to horror and scare the pants off of them at the same time, Unfriended will get the job done.  

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There isn’t much character background given, but throughout the film, their darkest secrets are brought to light. By mid-film, you will find yourself almost rooting for their demise. Typically in a horror movie, there is at least one innocent soul, but everyone is guilty in Unfriended, everyone has a secret.

When the trailer first debuted, I heard a lot of mixed feelings, but after watching the film not once, but twice for myself, I can honestly say that for a “teen thriller”, the film is incredible. If this type of film is the future of the genre, I’m OK with that. Unfriended is original, thrilling, suspenseful and visually awesome. Whether you have been watching horror movies for decades, months or days, you will appreciate this one. I am 26-years-old and have been a horror nerd since I was about 7 and my niece (who watched the film with me in theaters) is 14-years-old and becoming a horror nerd, we both loved it. As previously mentioned, if you are looking for a film to introduce a horror nerd in training to the genre, Unfriended is perfect.

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I love a good paranormal horror movie, and when you throw technology into the mix, it is even better. Unfriended is not just a ghost story, but I feel it is also kind of a cautionary tale. Teens partied, one got out of her mind drunk, her friends posted the video to the internet, girl got bullied, girl killed herself. Underneath the fake horror is a real horror story, cyber bullying; sure, nobody gets this kind of punishment, but kids do die over this very same stuff. Unfriended is like a boogeyman story for the tech generation. 

All in all, Unfriended is a quality “new age” horror film that I would watch again. I am going to have to recommend this one to you guys; give it a watch and let me know what you think.

Unfriended is currently available on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD in the US, and is currently available on Digital HD in the UK and will be available on DVD and Blu-ray September 7th.

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Get social with Unfriended on Facebook and twitter (@UnfriendedMovie).

Movie Review: Asylum of the Dead (2014)

asylumAsylum of the Dead was directed by Michael Rooker and stars Haylie Duff (Napoleon Dynamite), Beverley Mitchell (7th Heaven) and Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead). 

Synopsis:

For decades, Pennhurst psychiatric hospital has been haunted by turbulent supernatural forces. When a television crew embarks on a mission to capture this paranormal activity, they discover something completely unexpected. As restless souls from their past torment the crew members, they fear for their lives as one by one they are gruesomely murdered. In a surprising revelation, they discover something more terrifying than ghosts is responsible.

The first thing that drew me to this film was that it was directed by Michael Rooker, but what really persuaded me to purchase the film was that it is set around one the most notoriously haunted buildings in America, Pennhurst psychiatric hospital. Just the lore that surrounds that building and it’s past is enough to create one frightening film.

From the beginning of the film, it kind of pokes fun at the television phenomenon that is known as the ghost hunting show. Every network has one nowadays it seems. I feel that it gave a bit of a comedic element. One complaint that I have is that the audio is a bit hard to hear unless you have it cranked up. It is shot in almost a “found footage” style making the audio less refined and more difficult to hear. In a way it kind of adds to the film though giving it that raw feel of really walking around Pennhurst with a group of “ghost hunters”.

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Haylie Duff in Asylum of the Dead

What threw me off was seeing Beverly Mitchell’s name at the top of the cover. I remember her as sweet as apple pie, preacher’s daughter Lucy Camden from the 90’s family drama 7th Heaven. I was pleasantly surprised by her performance. She certainly has shed that squeaky clean image in Asylum of the Dead. I see a bright future for her in horror.

Haylie Duff’s performance was fantastic. She has really come a long way from the Napoleon Dynamite days. Her role could have gone one of two ways, great or horribly corny. She was far from corny, giving a believable performance. I look forward to seeing more from Duff in the horror genre.

The menacing character of “Dr. Death” was played by horror and film veteran, Michael Rooker. He brought elements of two of his most well known characters, Merle Dixon (The Walking Dead) and Henry (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer). The witty dialogue that Dr. Death has with his victims is very reminiscent of lines we may have heard from Merle, but he was also quite cold and calculated like Henry. Rooker was genius, and no one can play a villain you love to hate, but end up kind of liking in the end quite like he can.  

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Michael Rooker as Dr. Death in Asylum of the Dead

The ghostly sound effects were a little hokey, but I don’t feel that it took away from the film. To make up for the corny sound effects, the visual effects were really quite impressive for a straight to DVD film. I wouldn’t call Asylum of the Dead a splatter fest, but there were some pretty unique death scenes that called for some pretty unique effects and they were executed beautifully. 

Not to give too much away, about midway through, there is a joke about the popular 90’s film The Sixth Sense. The ending to this film has a few similarities to the ending of that film. I’m not sure how to classify this film. It is a film about a haunting, but there are also elements of a slasher film. The best way I can describe this film is a cross of Friday the 13th and The Sixth Sense. Asylum of the Dead is appealing to fans of both the slasher and haunting sub-genres of horror. 

The critics gave this film an average of about 3.5 stars. I disagree with them, I am going to give Asylum of the Dead a 6.5. The film was well written and offered an amazing cast, but it was a bit short and I feel they could have extended the film a bit more and incorporated a bit more. I do recommend this film to fans of indie style horror films and anyone looking for a horror film that hasn’t been done before. It is unlike any other haunting movie out there right now. The ending is quite a shocking plot twist, and I did not see it coming at all. This film does not have the same stereotypical, happy ending that many films like this have. I absolutely loved it.

I could not find an official trailer for Asylum of the Dead, so below is a short clip from the film.

Movie Review: The Bay (2012)

Automatik EntertainmentWritten By: Michael Wallach and Barry Levinson

Directed By: Barry Levinson

Starring: Will Rogers, Kristen Connolly, Kether Donohue, Frank Dealer and Stephen Kunken

Synopsis:

Chaos breaks out in a small Maryland town after an ecological disaster occurs.

The Bay is quite a different pace from the other gory movies I typically review.  This film is more of an attack on many people’s worst fear, a severe bacterial outbreak.  What makes this film scary is that it is a horror that very well could happen to us.  It is that fact that makes it more chilling than a movie with an unstoppable killer.

The Bay is shot in a different manner than other film.  You view the film through the prospective of police dash cameras and video that was filmed by others.  I do not want to go into it too far because I do not want to give too much away.  I am not typically a fan of this style of filming, but The Bay really was creatively done.402384_026

This film was definitely disturbing and I would compare it to a modern day Jaws.  Clearly there isn’t a rogue man-eating shark on the prowl, but in my opinion, this is much worse.  Having lived near the Chesapeake Bay, it freaked me out a lot more.  If I was still living there, not to sound like a big wuss, but I don’t think I would want to just hop in the water for a while.  That’s what makes a horror film great though, making people think and making the-bay-outbreakthem want to take that extra second before they just jump right into something.  When people begin to get infected, the sores that form on them are rather grotesque.  I by no means have a weak stomach, but there were a couple of scenes that made me turn my head.  I would not recommend enjoying your lunch or snack while watching this one.

The effects in The Bay were quite believable.  There were a few parts that I said to myself,imagesthat is so a dummy“, but I admire that in a film.  Not every effect was an expensive CGI masterpiece and for that I give this film more acknowledgement.

I am not typically a fan of films like this, but The Bay really got me thinking and actually made me turn my head away a couple of times.  It was really a roller coaster ride.  For that I did really enjoy it.

I feel like The Bay was low balled by the critics with an average rating of 5.5.  I give it an 8 out of 10.

Movie Review: Mama (2013)

1-Mama-PosterI have written a lot of positive reviews and a couple of negative ones as well, but I’m not too sure how to categorize this one.  Mama was interesting to say the least and I did not love it or hate it.  I am on neutral ground with this film.

Written by: Andres Muschietti, Barbara Muschietti and Neil Cross

Directed by: Andres Muschietti

Starring: Jessica Chastain (Annabel), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Lucas/Jeffrey), Megan Carpentier (Victoria) and Isabelle Nelisse (Lilly)

Plot:

The senior partner of an investment brokerage Jeffrey has a breakdown and kills his two associates and his wife. Then he takes his three-year old daughter Victoria and the one-year old daughter Lilly and drives his car through a winding snowing road. He has a car accident and fall off a cliff, but he brings his daughters to an abandoned and isolated cabin to kill them, but the children are saved by a creepy ghostly creature. Five years later, Jeffrey’s brother Lucas finds the children that were raised without social relationship and claim that they have been raised by Mama. Lucas disputes the custody with the children’s grandmother but Dr. Dreyfuss, who is studying the girls, selects Lucas to take care of the children. Lucas lives with his girlfriend Annabel, who plays in a rock’n’roll band, and Victoria and Lilly moves to their house. Soon Lucas and Annabel find that the girls were not delusional and they are not alone in the house.

images (1)With all the hype that Mama received and the seemingly promising trailer, I thought this film would be mama-01much better than it really was.  This was another case of an over hyped trailer that gave way too much away.  The story line for the film was promising, but there were a lot of missed opportunities for a real great film.  There were moments where the film seemed to be rushed and not completely thought out.

The cast was fantastic and made up a little for the holes in the plot.  Jessica Chastain was brilliant as she always is.  Megan and Isabelle were amazing for being child actors.  The whole cast was very convincing and sold the story well.  It was a bit of a let down to have such a talented cast and not have a better thought out script for them to act out.  Having an actress like Jessica Chastain portraying one of the lead roles is not enough to salvage a sub par script. mama-ghost-chase-movie-2013-e1359216253606

18MAMA1_SPAN-articleLargeMama was creative, but not at all what I would consider “horror gold”.  The film was entertaining, but I’m afraid that is it.  The “surprising” or “scary” parts were not exactly spin tingling.  There were however a few heartbreaking moments.  The story of Edith (Mama) was very depressing.  The ending was sad and very strange. images

Like I said previously, I did not love it but I did not hate it either.  I think Mama would have been much better had there have been more thought put into it.  As of right now, I think Mama, the way that it was written, would make a far better campfire ghost story than a full length film.  With that being said, I am giving Mama a 6.5.

Here is the trailer for Mama.  Give it a watch and see if this film is for you.

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