Yo! It’s the Horror Boom Found-Footage Drinking Game V.2 : Now With Aliens (Plus Movie Suggestions)!

Okay, so! We almost added “Alien-themed found footage” as a category last time, but didn’t think there were enough of them out there. Well, guess what… there are more than we figured. Bigfoot-themed movies were going to be on there, but honestly, there’s only two that we know of.

Oh, and Mrs. Horror Boom here watched the worst, shittiest found-footage movie I’ve ever seen (which is REALLY saying something): The Bell Witch Haunting. It was so sloppy, lazy, and boring (toss in some terrible, terrible acting) I ended up writing a short review on IMDB just to warn people away, in case anyone thought it might be a “so bad it’s good” or “guilty pleasure” type of bad. Nope, it was just wretched. TBWH gives all supernatural found-footage horror movies a bad name. It gives all found-footage horror movies a bad name. It gives all horror movies a bad name. It gives all movies a bad name. We’ll post a review soon, we can guarantee you will be more entertained reading what we thought of it than watching the actual movie (watching your lawn grow for the running time would also be more entertaining than watching TBWH).

Here we go!

Horror Boom Presents The Found-Footage Horror Movie Drinking Game!
Or, list of clichés – take your pick!

 

In fact, depending on what movie you watch, you might want to forgo the alcohol altogether (unless it’s something under 10 proof) and just make out some bingo cards. Now that I think of it, we’d do it if I had the energy technology* to construct an actual PDF of, say, 4 different bingo boards that had some of the clichés on them scrambled up, so all you would have to do is print it out and use easily obtained household items to assemble the game of “Found-Footage Bingo”.  I suggest if the movie in question has a 2-star or less Netflix or Amazon review average, or less than a 5 out of 10 star rating on the IMDB, don’t use hard liquor, and really pace yourself.

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Pick a category below; we’ve included four common set-ups for found-footage horror movies, a “General” category that should work for just about any found footage movie, and a fifth group of things that have happened in good and bad found-footage horror.   Remember to drink responsibly,  and if you’re a minor, don’t drink anything with alcohol in it! I’m pretty sure that disclaimer is required! How’s milk sound? Try a glass of milk, we shouldn’t condone underage drinking.

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1. General Plot: Involves some type of demonic possession that was intentionally or unintentionally documented (and seems to have been pieced together). Look for the word “Devil” or “Possession” in the title. Many found-footage horror movies involving possession are notorious for vague, inconclusive endings that actively piss the majority of the viewers off. Some examples to get you started: The Devil Inside, The Devil’s Due, The Last Exorcism.**

Drink/sip when any of the following happen:

  • Interview with priest or other theological expert (or more than one) shown
  • If a married couple are the main characters shown in the footage, and the possessed one ends up killing their spouse
  • If a child is possessed, and they kill one or both of their parents/caretakers
  • Grainy footage of a documented possession and/or exorcism that was filmed by the Catholic church or other organized religion is shown
  • Someone films the possessed character defying gravity by climbing up a wall, scuttering across the ceiling, or crouched in the upper corner of the room like a damn spider
  • Possessed character bends over backwards waaaay farther that is normal and/or “spider-walks”. Take an extra drink if you know that the actress or stunt person is double-jointed or a contortionist and actually did this, rather than employ a CGI effect (IMDB trivia or a detailed Wikipedia entry will usually include this information).
  • Possessed character snarls/shrieks, and leaps across the room right at the camera while being filmed. Take an extra drink if the movie ends this way (you earned it)
  • Camera-person stupidly approaches a previously possessed character who has their back to the camera and isn’t answering them; character turns around to the camera and their eyes are completely white (or completely black)
  • Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 6.22.33 AM

 

 

2. General Plot: Some type of paranormal investigators visit a certain location where they’ve heard strange events are happening. If the title is “The [fill in the blank] Experiment”, there’s a good chance the plot will be similar. Examples: Grave Encounters (and Grave Encounters 2,  which is a good companion piece and while not quite as good as the original, works well for the game), Paranormal Entity, Apartment 143 (not recommended).

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Drink/sip when any of the following happen:

  • A door opens or closes by itself
  • Inanimate object moves or levitates by unseen supernatural force
  • Inanimate object suddenly tossed/flies at a character or smashes against a wall by something we can’t see
  • A character wants to bail out of the project because they have a feeling staying and filming could get them hurt or killed
  • Someone else yells at a character who wants to bail out, because “We signed on to document this, man!”, or “Nothing like this has ever been documented before!”
  • Character lifted off their feet by some unseen supernatural force (usually by their neck), then dropped to the floor, unconscious
  • Character suddenly flies across the room, away from the camera, tossed by some unseen supernatural force
  • Character is dragged along the floor out of camera range (trying to grab things to keep from being pulled, while yelling/screaming for help) by some unseen force
  • Dead or unconscious character is dragged across the floor and out of camera range (this will usually happen when the camera has been knocked to the floor but keeps running, or captured by automatic surveillance camera) by some unseen force
  • Treat yourself to an extra drink if the previous rule is the last shot of the movie. You didn’t deserve that. No-one does.Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 8.54.06 AM

3. General Plot:  Aliens show up, frequently they will intrude on a family vacation (as in Alien Abduction) or get-together.  Sometimes, documentary film crews will go to some location to film the activity (such as in Skinwalker Ranch). Advance Warning: if you use the segment “Alien Abduction Slumber Party” from V/H/S 2 for this, we strongly suggest you drink nothing stronger than wine (in a plastic cup, as once things go wrong all hell breaks loose and it can be pretty intense) unless you want the evening to end with you passed out drunk.  It’s only around 20 minutes or so long, thus you won’t really be able to pace your drinking out like you would over a feature-length movie. Examples: Alien Abduction, Skinwalker Ranch, and Alien Abduction Slumber Party from V/H/S 2.

  • Aliens look like a version the typical “Grays”
  • Aliens have an original creature design that clearly took a lot of work and craftsmanship was put into: drink twice (especially if they used practical effects)
  • When an alien suddenly crashes the party out of nowhere, everyone wisely sprints off in all directions
  • An unnatural-looking light beams down to focus on one person, they rise into the sky/are sucked up and out of camera range.
  • Unexplained set of lights in the distance being filmed are suspiciously flying saucer-shaped
  • Entrance of alien/s accompanied by an ear-splitting blast of sound
  • Extra-terrestrial lights flood the screen along with the ear-splitting blare or blast of sound
  • The entire fucking movie passes without you seeing one fucking shot of a fucking  alien, or all you see in a blurry limb yanking someone out of camera frame: go ahead and have a shot, you deserve it!
  • Someone with the camera strapped to them (or somehow held onto by them) is yanked up and abducted, then very shortly after is dropped back to the ground (things usually are rushing back up or zip by as they drop). The camera falls with them and cracks as the unlucky character dies on impact. (Yes, this actually happens in at least two alien-themed found-footage movies)*** For this one, take two sips and toast if it looked moderately realistic.
  • Screen shot 2014-07-04 at 6.23.00 AM

    Man, the poor, fairly small family dog doesn’t deserve to have a Go Pro strapped to his head, let alone have a pack of roaring, highly dangerous aliens chasing him around, for Chrissake!

 

4. General Plot:  Students collecting footage to document some project get more than they bargained for (they’ve usually travelled to do this). Potential titles that follow this plot will commonly either be the name of the place they are trekking off to, followed by the word “Project” or “Diaries”. Here’s some examples to start you off: The Blair Witch Project, Devil’s Pass, Atrocious, The Frankenstein Syndrome. Banshee Chapter might also work, although that one is actually better than average and has some genuine scares.

Screen shot 2014-05-24 at 8.03.16 AM

 

Drink/sip when any of the following happen:

  • A character that was key to the safety of the cast gets killed or injured, and they’re on their own
  • Person in charge of the project turns out to be a selfish asshole who doesn’t care if someone gets mangled or killed because “the project is more important”
  • Character snaps and starts screaming at the character in charge of the project for putting them in the situation
  • Someone says something to the character holding the camera along the lines of, “Dude, what the fuck is wrong with you still filming this! Put down the fucking camera, this is not cool to be recording!”
  • During interviews shown as part of the ‘found footage’ during the start of the movie –usually the characters/camera crew ‘talk to some of the locals’– said locals warn them away, tell them a creepy anecdote, are uncooperative and hostile, or clearly insane. None of this registers with any of the enthusiastic, genius main characters on the project as serious red flags.
  • A card at the end of the movie tells us viewers that to this day, whereabouts of the film crew are unknown… all that remains… is this footage.
  • blurryshotjustsobbinggraveencounters.jpg

 

General: These should work for any basic found-footage movie. Some examples to get you started: any of the Paranormal Activity series, Quarantine, Delivery: The Evil Within, V/H/S and V/H/S 2 (careful on those last two! You may want to skip the game for the entire movie and just do it every other segment), Cloverfield, Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes (that last one is not recommended unless you don’t care how stupid what you’re watching while you drink is)

Drink/sip when any of the following happen:

  • Cover art/poster for the movie is a shot of someone (usually young and female) being dragged away from the viewer and into the dark by something we can’t see as they try to dig their fingers into  the ground or floor for purchase.
  • Someone continues to film even though any sane person with working legs would say, “fuck this,” and drop the camera to run to safety/call 911
  • Person filming freaks out and runs while still holding the camera, treating us to an exciting montage of blurry, jerky movements where we can’t see shit (treat yourself to an extra drink if this continues for over a minute)
  • A soundtrack –or music stinger during “jump scene”– is added, even though this is supposed to be raw, unedited footage (at which point you are completely justified in turning off the movie and watching something else)
  • Such a cheap, shitty, obvious, lazy CGI effect is used that the entire movie screeches to a halt (you are also completely justified in watching something else in this case, especially if the effect was supposed to be the movie’s best part or “money shot”**).
  • Camera’s “night vision” is used during climactic scene (not necessarily a bad thing, it sure as hell worked in [REC] and Grave Encounters, for example)
  • Picture conveniently gets very bad or turns to static when we are about to see something that would have been expensive or required some creativity on the part of the film-makers to include
  • Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 8.11.07 AM
  • Camera used as a weapon while filming
  • 911 call transcript
  • Cheap “false alarm” jump scare
  • Something so genuinely frightening and/or awesome happens that you’re pretty sure you’re going to have trouble sleeping: toast and take a celebratory drink (if you didn’t spill it, and after you calm down)
  • You literally cannot tell, or see, what the fuck is going on (other than hearing the characters freaking out) Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 6.40.52 AM

 

5.  General Things That Can Actually Work In A Found-Footage Movie

Why end this on a negative note?   I think I’ve seen more found footage movies in the last two years than I have all put together since both of us went to a midnight showing of The Blair Witch Project. Interesting trivia: while we walked to our car in the parking lot, Mr. Horror Boom actually said, “That was scary,” and meant it. If this has happened more than twice during our marriage–hell, entire relationship–I don’t remember it. Now, I’m not saying the ones I watched were all good. I’d say only about 25% of them kept my interest from straying to my iPad, most were mediocre, and I’ve seen some pretty terrible ones (not on purpose, though).

But ... over the years, I’ve discovered that one out of ten found footage movies turns out to be memorable enough for me to watch more than once and give a pretty high IMDB rating. And out of that 10%, one or two will be fucking gold, special enough to make wading through all the lazy ones– the ones that gave me approximately two minutes total (or less) of adequate entertainment– completely worth it. When found footage horror works–off the top of my head, Grave Encounters, [REC],  [REC2], and several of the short from both V/H/S movies–it works. It scares the shit out of the watcher, sometimes enough to forget it’s being presented as found footage, only knowing we are watching a rare horror movie gem. So here’s that last list. These are tropes that I’ve seen in some of the best out there… though they’ve popped up in the shitty movies too, they can actually work effectively.

OK, what is the absolute LAST thing you want to see when you switch on your night-vision setting? (from [REC])

Drink/sip when any of the following happen:

  • Whoever is filming uses something other than a camera( to lug around) or cell phone to record, such as glasses with a recording device, one of those button-cams, or a Go Pro strapped to a bike helmet
  • A character is alone with the camera and films themself to make a ‘confessional’ because there’s a good chance they won’t get out of this alive. They usually fall into two categories: A. the person barely keeping it together (sometimes weeping openly) and asking whoever finds this to tell their family they love them very much, oh God, they are so sorry and don’t want to die, etc. and B. the character saying, “I’m recording right now because I might not make it out of this. Whoever finds it, do everything you can to make sure this footage gets out… because the world needs to know.”
  • The camera operator starts swearing under their breath, “Holy fuck, you see that shit?” or panicking and yelling variations of “fuck” when all hell breaks loose, usually during the climax. Fairly believable reaction, as the below image from Grave Encounters is an example of:ohfucktonguegraveencounters.jpg
  • A character off-camera can be heard crying and heading towards a meltdown
  • Someone asks, “What… the fuck.. .just happened?”
  • We can see something horrible creeping into the background that the person facing the camera can’t see
  • Someone loses their shit and angrily curses at the camera, or person filming:
  • graveencountersfuckallyall1.jpg
  • Blood or gore splatters onto the camera lens
  • Someone turns to the camera and tells them to “record everything”, no matter what
  • Effective seat-jumping scare that you in no way saw coming (clean up your spilled drink first, then have two sips)

 

...and this is how it's done. (from [REC])

…and THIS is how it’s done (REC).

*actually, one of the two writers/staff that Horror Boom is composed of has the skills and even access to technology needed to do that, but not the time. Last year, a total genius out there (I can find the link if you ask me) made a carefully and cleverly crafted version of Monopoly called Breaking Bad-opoly (or maybe it was Heisenberg-opoly) that was composed of a detailed board, “Chance” cards, everything, all for free, though you needed access to a large-format printer and some decent backing-board to complete it. We really, really want to construct this and the other half of Horror Boom has the skills and tools, but we haven’t had time and that’s on the list first.

**No, this term is not confined to use within the porn industry.

***There’s actually a pretty decent one out there–better than the last three combined, at least it takes a different approach, gets a lot done for such a low-budget, and features a ton more gore (bonus points for nearly all of it being practical) than most found-footage movies–called Chasing the Devil. You can rent it on Amazon for a couple bucks and who knows, may even be on You Tube.

Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 7.51.40 AM

 

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Variety Film Review: ‘Haunt’ (So You Want To Hear A Ghost Story?)

Hey, good news: if you want to see this R-Rated haunted-house movie and don’t mind paying the price to rent it on VOD, Xfinity On Demand has Haunt (click for IMDB page) under IFC Midnight. If you live in one of those “Limited Release” cities (up in Seattle, the closest they usually get to us is Portland–if that–and I’m a pretty loyal movie geek, but it’d take a lot to get us drive down to Portland to see even a really cool horror movie, such as being escorted personally by Bruce Campbell the entire time and not having to wait in line) then you may get to see it theatrically in March 2014.
Check out the mostly positive review by Peter Labuza here; as an aside I’d like to bitch about how irritated I get when genre movies are referred to as “Following on the coattails of (insert similar, better-known box-office success film here)”. Yeah, the original Insidious came out before this movie, but it sounds like the filmmakers just saw The Conjuring was a huge hit and slapped something together to cash in. OK, yes, some genre movies–which I try to avoid–really do only get made in hopes of cashing in on a current trend.* Anyway, if a review is going to make a comparison of something that might be made in the same vein (so to speak) but independently, just use a different phrase other than “following on the coattails.” A more memorable, less vague title than “Haunt” is the only complaint I can think of right now–then again, some of the most unforgettable, exceptionally terrifying movies I’ve ever seen have simple titles (take Inside, [REC], The Thing, and most recently, The Conjuring–though that beats the film’s original boring-ass title, “The Warren Files”) Take a gander at the awesome Haunt poster below:

Screen shot 2014-02-13 at 5.00.57 AM

…and check out the review. There’s no “Parent’s Guide” section on the IMDB page to skim over; however, sounds like this movie, unlike Insidious and The Conjuring, does contain some violent and grisly moments (unlike the first two which scared the living shit out of people with relied on creeping dread, ‘fridge scares’ AKA creepy reveals, and jump scenes that didn’t contain violence or gore but elicited plenty of screams). The reviews we’ve read do point out that the film does have its share of creepy moments, however, so we’re in. Note: for some reason, either Variety or WordPress has changed their link to “re-blogs” from “Read More” to “View Original”, so to read the entire Variety review, look for a link that says that instead.

Here’s a second less-than-subtle poster, though it does feature what we thought was the better tagline: SO YOU WANT TO HEAR A GHOST STORY?  Fuck yeah, we do! Let’s hope it’s a great one!

Screen shot 2014-02-13 at 5.22.25 AM

*There are some really, REALLY bad found-footage movies out there; some even have the balls to use something close to the title (“Paranormal Entity”) as if horror fans are such fucking morons we won’t be able to tell the difference. The half-hearted rip-off crap that gets released just to do that borders on insulting, and–OK, I’m preaching to the converted here, probably, and I was yelling at the hacks out there, not you.

Adam Wingard’s “You’re Next” – We Get The Feeling You REALLY Want Spoilers (Spoiler Alert)!

Due to the fact that several variations of “You’re Next spoilers” have been our top Google search term per our WordPress statistics for the past ten days, and the fact that a Variety review that we “Re-Pressed” that simply contained the tag “you’re next spoilers” because there were some mild spoilers in there has been getting top traffic …even over The Conjuring pieces and brand-new American Horror Story Coven details (and even the notorious ‘ Is This The Face of Javier Botet as Mama?’ piece, which is responsible for something like 30% of Horror Boom’s total number of hits over the last year). If those weren’t enough big enough hints, we’ve gotten a flood of actual requests.  So!  We’re guessing people would be happy if we posted some spoilers for Adam Wingard‘s You’re Next, which opens August 23rd.

A 'blink and you'll miss it' shot from the trailer

A ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ shot from the trailer

We had two options after combing online for specific details: either write a long, thoughtful piece that combines every single spoiler into a coherent, elaborate synopsis of the entire film that’s as close as we can get without having seen it, or give you a series of direct links to the pages that contained the most details. For now, we’re going with the latter due to 1. time constraints and using all our energy to find what we already did (going through endless message board threads takes longer then you’d think, and there’s a surprisingly small amount of spoilers for this flick out there) and 2. we already feel sort of vulgar blurting it out.  People have been going nuts to see this (after waiting since 2011, the first Midnight Madness at TIFF premiere) and anticipation is high (despite the really lame TV spots and, sadly, countless instant comparisons to The Strangers and even The Purge that some–sorry–ignorant moviegoers have been assuming from a glance at the posters without doing any further investigation into what the movie is about). Thus, we don’t think it’s gonna flop at the box office due to spoiler spillage. This writer still feels slightly tacky for posting these major spoiler links, even though people have asked repeatedly (and politely).

Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 12.20.56 AM

OK then! SPOILER ALERT, these links contain SPOILERS! You may have to highlight or mouse over the text for some, but they’re right there. You want spoilers? Here’s the links and what you get.

  • At the end of this thread (if it’s not already, set preferences to ‘flat’ so all the posts in the thread are inline and you don’t have to click a dozen times to get to what you want to read) there is a list of how every character dies, and who survives. Then there’s a newer post that elaborates and clarifies all of them. THEN someone asked for clarification and key plot points late in the movie, and pretty much all the big reveals are… revealed. Maximum spoilage, so tread lightly! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1853739/board/flat/212515132
  • Here’s a funny, good review of the flick I found on Topless Robot (heh) that really sets up the plot and characters in the movie, and contains spoilers (including on kills). It’s good reading (if you don’t mind some spoilers; this is NOT a review I would even think about recommending to anyone who wants to read a review, but also go in as clean as possible before seeing You’re Next). It’s also a handy guide to keeping the characters straight when you’re reading spoilers that name names: http://www.toplessrobot.com/2013/06/laff_review_youre_next.php
  • And last but not least, here’s the IMDB parent’s guide. Several people contributed and wrote  the “violence/gore” spoilers, meaning you’ll see some things repeated. One of the contributors, though, took pains to mention character names and sort of set up the scenario for the act of violence/gore in a very, very spoiler-y way, basically explaining entire scenes. Those red “Spoiler!Spoiler!” areas you need to mouse over, added specifically so that no-one accidentally spoils themselves by merely glancing at some words before they realize it, were inserted by yours truly.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1853739/parentalguide

Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 12.09.18 AM

We hope this scratches that spoiler itch for You’re Next. Honestly, we’d advise you to wait till you see the movie–hey, you waited this long, you can make it till opening weekend–to preserve the surprises, but if you really must know… then you’re welcome.

Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 12.32.58 AM

Oh, and the below photo–shown VERY fast in the trailer–is spoiler-y. It’ll fit right in if you read the IMDB Parent’s Guide we linked to. You’ll know who this chick is…

Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 12.31.01 AM

“You want to (spoiler) me on top of (spoiler)?”

*I had to actually take a break from researching because I got sick of threads with titles like “Total ripoff of the strangers? U can totally figure it out”. Then I just started to get noticeably depressed when I saw that quite a few groups of people thought that it was about an actual wolf, lamb, and tiger who were hunting humans in their home. (Rant warning) For some reason the ‘actual animals’ in question in this imagined scenario would bother to dress up in people’s clothing and wearing white masks over their real animal faces (I guess, so they’d be incognito),plus be able to operate crossbow mechanisms. When I started seeing arguments about how it was unrealistic to have animals as the masked killers because sheep, big cats, and wolves couldn’t operate doorknobs,  my brain just made a unilateral decision to power down in order to protect itself.  This stupid bullshit wasn’t one or two stupid people or grade-schoolers, but entire fucking  factions.  I guess I was asking for it… but these are the kind of idiots who give real horror fans a bad name, and that pisses me off. (End of rant).

Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 12.16.17 AM

Is this connected to the “five knives” scene mentioned in those spoilers? We kinda think so…

Red Band Trailer For Spike Lee’s Oldboy Remake Is Here – How Original.

(I got so worked up in my first edit that I realized I forgot to include the actual trailer; so here it is, wheeeeee):

Call this a red band trailer? We’re not that impressed. It looks as though (other than the actors)  Spike Lee‘s only change was having it be 20 years, not fifteen. We’re supposed to buy he’s, what, 25 years old in that first clip? Also, that no blood would come out when… OK, deep breath… see how many shots in this gallery from the remake trailer look a little familiar (and still watered-down).

 

 

Surprised the honeycomb-style wallpaper didn’t get ripped off, too. Oh wait, that’s right– it’s not a rip-off if they call it an homage, I forgot. Hey, you know what? Let’s see Josh Brolin look at cool as Choi Min-sik did while wearing those goofy sunglasses he finds. Chan-Wook Park said on the commentary for the REAL, SOUTH KOREAN Oldboy  (I was lucky enough to get the Vengeance Trilogy Boxed Set as a gift from my thoughtful husband) that they tried to find the most girly, stupid-looking sunglasses for him to wear, but that the actor still looked bad-ass no matter what. Plus, good luck looking that cool holding a hammer.  Hey Brolin, let’s see you lose 20 lbs. training over six weeks and do almost all your own stunt work. Let’s see you do your first fight scene where you beat the shit out of several thugs without the cigarette coming out of your mouth once. Let’s see if you have the dedication as an actor to eat four entire live baby octopi for a movie and your director while keeping your game face on and not gagging or throwing up. OK, WAIT! HOLD UP! Please in fact don’t try it, no-one should ever do that and the one (big) problem I have with the original is that they couldn’t find away to do that ‘bit’ without actually eating the poor things. Even if they were already on the chopping block for dinner, that was unnecessary and I still have to avert my eyes every time I watch that scene.

 

Screen shot 2013-07-12 at 12.55.54 AM

Anyone here with an AB blood type, raise your hand.

 

OK,  I’m not even sure who I was yelling at there;  probably Lee, or the whole goddamned Hollywood system for cashing in to make a shitty American remake of an amazing foreign movie instead of just re-releasing it.  Not really mad at Brolin, he’s just doing his job… it’s just that Min-sik is an impossible act to follow. And so is Chan-Wook Park.

OK, here’s the corridor fight scene for Oldboy (2003) to cheer you up. Yup, it really was only one take – it took seventeen takes over three days to get the right one.

*Trivia fact: Min-sik is a Shinto Buddhist and said a prayer for each and every one of the octopi.  He didn’t refuse to do the scene, but he felt really sorry for the creatures.

Note: I was going to look up what actor Spike Lee cast as the Woo-jin Lee character, but then I just suddenly got really depressed and tired just thinking about going to the IMDB page for the remake. Even the fact than Samuel L. Jackson is in the movie doesn’t perk me up any (no matter how many times he says “motherfucker”), and I love Jackson in almost everything he does.

John’s Horror Corner: Curse of the Puppet Master (1998), and what should have been the death of a franchise

Here’s a great, and hilarious, review by John Leavengood on the worst movie in the Puppet Master franchise, with lots of helpful photos. I suppose I could review it myself, but guess what? I’M NOT SITTING THROUGH THIS SHITTY MOVIE! So thanks, Mr. Leavengood, for falling on the grenade for us, we appreciate it, plus your review is much more entertaining than the flick itself. We horror fans gotta stick together!

 

Movies, Films & Flix

http://shenanitims.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/curse-of-the-puppet-master-1998/

MY CALL:  Hands down, the worst of the franchise.  Even serious fans will likely find nothing but disappointment here.  IF YOU LIKE THIS WATCHPuppet Master(1989), Puppet Master II(1991; the most slapstick crazy of the first three), Puppet Master III(1991) and Puppet Master 4(1993).  Also try Ghoulies(1985) and Ghoulies II(1988).  SEQUEL SIDEBARPuppet Master III(1991; set in 1941 and having the highest production value of the first three franchise installments) is actually a prequel to Puppet Master(1989), which occurs decades later in present day and is seamlessly followed story-wise by Puppet Master II(1991; which was the least serious, most zany installment).  Puppet Master 4(1993) returns us to present day after Puppet Master IIPuppet Master 5(1994) picks up right where part 4 ended and marks the most noticeable drop in quality of any other…

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Total And Complete Movie Spoiler for SCARY MOVIE 5 (Save Your $ For A Better Movie)!

Ok, first up, we’re sprinkling quotes from the IMDB from Scary Movie 5 (AKA Scary MoVie- see what they did there?) throughout, in case you are still tempted to see the movie just for some snappy dialogue. This includes knowing where they used up their PG-13 allowed ONE use of “fuck”. You’ll thank us later, when you hear from someone who works at a movie theater telling you how many people walked out and asked for refunds (which were given). Actual dialogue from the prologue of the movie:

Lindsay Lohan: I don’t want to end up all over the Internet. I pride myself on keeping a low profile. My private life is private… wait, what are all these?

Charlie Sheen: Oh, just some movies I rented.

Lindsay Lohan: Me and Brandy, missionary?

Charlie Sheen: A tale of two girls who become nuns.

Lindsay Lohan: And what are all those?

Charlie Sheen: Oh, it’s just your standard home security setup, basic run of the mill.

Lindsay Lohan: And why do you need security cameras pointing at your bed?

Charlie Sheen: In case a burglar tries to steal my sex tapes.

AAAAAHHAAAHAHAHA! Whoo! That’s some funny shit right there. We’re still holding our sides, tomorrow we might have hoarse voices from so much raucous laughter!

Movie Spoiler for the film – SCARY MOVIE 5.

 

Click the big red link above to read a total, complete plot spoiler for Scary Movie 5 from start to finish. The movie has been met with in-your-face total hatred by critics and fans alike. It’s lazy, none of the cast members came back except Simon Rex, the male lead from the last two movies (who is funny, or had his moments in the last two), but can’t save this sloppy excuse for a box office weekend flash sale. The phrase “franchise ender” has been coming up quite frequently across the board.

Christian Grey: How do you like my blue room?

Jody Campbell: It’s red.

Christian Grey: Oh. I’m color blind, my decorator assured me… never mind.

Keep in mind: this utter disgust is coming from someone who OWNS Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2, and Scary Movie 3 (that last one we got used for $2.99, in our defense, and with all the Grudge/J-horror spoofs/in-jokes it was worth it. Oh, and we saw Scary Movie in a PACKED theater who roared through the whole thing (including both of us–and certain bits still make us giggle)…

AND a Scary Movie 2 matinée in a not-so-packed theater. Maybe 50 patrons, tops. James Woods was hilarious  (the prologue with The Exorcist spoof got the biggest laughs, along with the bit involving a bag over a head and Marlon Wayans), David Cross was as funny as the material let him be (some of his funniest scenes ended up in the DVD “additional scenes”), but most of the time we were distracted by how much filth, nasty sights (such as on-screen blow jobs—among other things) that the Wayans brothers somehow slipped by the MPAA. You should see the deleted scenes on the DVD, which I’m not even going to describe here.  We both think the NC-17 ones were stuck in so they could get away with the stuff in the R-Rated version, including (highlight to read, due to level of offensiveness) David Cross’ character giving himself a sloppy blowjob, Tori Spelling getting banged across the room by an invisible ghost (think ‘The Entity‘ if it had an X-rating and for some reason the lead character was very horny for the Entity, not to mention very athletic) and Shawn Wayons being attacked by the poltergeist clown puppet and ending up forcing himself on it, and pulling the clown under the bed with his dick while it (the clown) screams for dear life. BLEH.-there was this sort of uncomfortable silence in the theater even among the rowdiest patrons until the scene was over..  Oh, and a graphic handjob where gallons of, er, the white stuff they got away with showing in the original hitting a window and run down , hiding it. OK, enough on that, you get the idea.Also, the whole gag with Tim Curry‘s character reveal long, long, chewed-up, disgusting nipples was really uncalled for. Maybe he’s being a good sport, but COME ON, let him, (and his fans, especially those who still worship him as Dr. Furter) keep some semblance of dignity.

So there’s that. The series should have stayed R-rated with the Wayans brothers in the loop.

Snoop Dogg: When we get this reward, we gonna get ourselves a boat, some bitches and a shark-

Mac Miller: Why are we gonna need a shark?

Snoop Dogg: We just gon’ need one.

Nope, we don’t feel guilty at all on spoiling and roasting this one- they’re not even fucking trying. Save your money for a movie that DOES! Like, oh, The Evil Dead remake. You’ll get your money’s worth and won’t hate yourself before you even get halfway through the movie. Deal?

Screen shot 2013-04-09 at 3.41.06 AM

Peter: I’m gonna need a little help, I have to go to the bathroom. My penis is in the corner.

Eric: This is fucked up!

 

Why You May End Up Deciding To Skip The Last Exorcism Part II (2013) – Review/Spoiler Link (Best-Horror-Movies.Com)

“Missed opportunity is the theme of the day with this film, and even the good performers couldn’t save the fact that nothing ever really happens… Even the climax, which should by all accounts be the most exciting and fear-inducing part of the film, was so wrought with obviously fake dummies flying out windows and CGI flames that it was laughable, almost an insult. If an audience is going to sit through a slow and tedious script watching set-up and drama unfold, then that same audience is due some kind of payoff. The Last Exorcism Part II has no payoff whatsoever.”

– From “The Last Exorcism 2” review, © Don Sumner  (Editor-in-Chief of best-horror-movies.com)

All very good points. All very good reasons to avoid this movie like the plague, as well.

We haven’t seen the movie yet; furthermore, we’re not going to. Me personally?  Ole Mrs. Horror Boom admits to a strong dislike of the first film (seen for free on Netflix streaming and I still was mad I’d wasted my time). Ashley Bell was the best and creepiest thing about the movie, I have no quarrel whatsoever with her and was in fact impressed by her talent.  Even if the movie hadn’t been filled with plot holes you could drive a truck through and a batshit ending (batshit in the worst way, not the fun kind), they lost me when they broke the first rule of what NOT to put in a found footage horror movie: ADDING A GODDAMNED SOUNDTRACK in post, including ambient music to set moods and worst of all, “stingers” during jump moments/reveals.

Okay… deep breath…

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Some people/reviewers who had mixed feelings about the first movie but a modicum of hope for Part 2 have said they actually ended up preferring Part 1.  I had a sliver of optimism due to the fact A. this time it wasn’t found footage they could bungle like before and B. seemed to promise a more coherent story arc*. I also thought Ashley Bell’s performance might make up for any shortcomings. Then I saw…

Uh-oh…  well, that doesn’t guarantee a failure, I thought. Then I started reading review after review from publications I trust, and most of them end up being as disappointed in the movie as Best-Horror-Movies.com in the below review…  click on the big red link to check it out!

The Last Exorcism Part II (2013) Review (from Best Horror Movies.com)

 

If you want a complete spoiler for the film, the same cool horror website has also provided one! I personally appreciated this, as I wanted to read what this train-wreck consisted of (especially the notoriously stupid ending that seemed to knock every single reviewer’s already low-grade/rating down a notch).  They usually don’t run detailed spoilers,  and we rarely link to them because we’re usually writing about movies we’re pulling for and rooting to make enough well-deserved revenue. Not so much in this case. Click on the even bigger red link below to check out a complete spoiler for The Last Exorcism 2;  it’s probably got to be more entertaining than sitting through the flick.**

The Last Exorcism 2 Explained – Complete Spoiler For The Sequel,  Spoiled By Don Sumner (We’re Pretty Sure The Thing’s Already Rotten, Though).


Uncle Creepy from Dread Central wrote
in a comment (after Jinx’s review of the movie went live on Dreadcentral.com) that he hated it, and it easily made his worst of the year list thus far.. Check out the links above to read them;  the review on DreadCentral.com has ripped into it the least so far, or was the most tactfully bad review.

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We’ll leave you to look up the Rotten Tomatoes Rating…

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Original poster art that exceeds the quality of the movie (and the poster they ended up using) by far.

*As opposed to the “I think I’ll end the movie riiiiiiiiight…. HERE!” approach taken by the director, all too popular in recent shitty found-footage movies (and some non-found-footage ones also, sadly).

**You want entertainment, be sure to check out the last link under “Related Articles” below, which shows the Last Exorcism 2  “Beauty Shop Prank”‘. Lots of people said they would have just laughed at the mirror reveal (and some do). Depending on what kind of mood I was in (example: *ahem* mellow and relaxed, or ‘watched a few too many creepy Asian horror films recently’), I would have at least jumped and/or blurted out, “What the FUCK!” before I figured it out. “Nell” spider-walking suddenly through the room, though? I would have been out of my chair and down the street within seconds, probably even on Xanax.

House at the End of the Street: The Abridged Script From The Editing Room – Guaranteed More Fun Than The Movie!

WOW, am I glad I stayed away from this turkey in theaters (and I’ll be skipping it on DVD)! Ugh, sounds TERRIBLE.

Fortunately, the movie was at least good for a hilarious Abridged Script. Read on! Click the link OR the image below to read the parody. Elisabeth Shue needs a new agent, she’s better than this…  save your hard-earned money and check this script out instead!

House at the End of the Street: The Abridged Script | The Editing Room.

Sinister (2012) – Disturbing New Red Band Trailer Will Put Asses In Seats!

The Red Band trailer for  Sinister is unnerving because we’re used to dialogue–or voice-over narration– telling us the set-up for the film. Here? No such thing. We simply see all the increasingly scary images, and the tension builds to freaky levels...

I think I first saw the Sinister  trailer this summer, and it definitely and swiftly was added to my “must see”  list.These days, that doesn’t always equate to “must see in theater”,  sometimes it’s “must watch as soon as I can obtain it, as long as it costs less than ten bucks”, but you get the idea. However this, THIS  new Red Band trailer, may very well get my ass in a movie theater seat!

OK, I’m not above admitting the main thing that sold me was that ten-word review from Eric Walkuski at JoBlo.com:. SINISTER IS GOING TO FUCK UP A LOT OF PEOPLE.  DEAL,  Sinister!  I am ON BOARD! If it were up to me, that’d be the tagline. Sinister: It’s Going To Fuck Up a Lot Of People.  OK, before I write about what else for this trailer has a lot going for it, check out this pair of short but promising HD clips:

Not too shabby …and if you go to the official website for the movie here,  they’ve got loads of even more impressive and creepy media there. Whup! Time-out, let me clarify. The description of the media as ‘creepy’ only applies if you watch it in the daytime. Watch it after dark and the scare level ratchets up to very frightening. The site keeps the official plot description short and sweet:

SINISTER is a frightening new thriller from the producer of the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY films and the writer-director of THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE. Ethan Hawke plays a true crime novelist who discovers a box of mysterious, disturbing home movies that plunge his family into a nightmarish experience of supernatural horror.

Supernatural horror can be one of the trickiest things to pull off successfully. To really sell it, you don’t just need scares and a storyline, you need to set the tone right with the soundtrack, camera choices, staging, score, and general atmosphere. Oh, and characters that we care about or identify with.  Two other supernatural horror movies that got a wide release this summer had me looking forward to them: The Possession,  which seemed to have a fresh take on the familiar exorcism theme (according to reviews from many critics and friends I trust, it really didn’t, but worse yet, wasn’t scary) and The Apparition,  which…OK, not so much excitement on The Apparition,  especially as it got closer to the screening date (and I didn’t even consider putting up a ‘milestone’ countdown to the release date, as I did with The Possession).  My point is, the general consensus was that they were a let-down.

The Red Band trailer for Sinister  is unnerving because we’re used to dialogue–or voice-over narration– telling us the set-up for the film. Here? No such thing. We simply see all the increasingly scary images, and the tension builds to freaky levels simply because we (like Ethan Hawke’s character) don’t know what we’re looking at.

We do get familiar images of a family settling into their cozy home for the evening, tucking the kids in …then the father find an old storage box with mysterious reels of Super-8 footage.* He sets it up and starts calmly watching what appears to be a cheerful family enjoying their pool party on a playful sunny day, having snacks, then the next footage we see of the family–after dark– looks like two bodies bound to sun-lounge pool furniture, roughly pulled into the deep end of the same family pool by something off-screen (I assume with bricks or cinderblocks attached to them).  Wait, WHAT?  Then it just gets freakier. We’re not sure what we’re seeing, but we become increasingly confident that whatever it is, it’s going to be fucked up.

By the time we get to the really  disturbing shots at the end of the trailer, there’s no music shoved in our faces as the home movie footage reel shows an entire family of four being hung (it looks less like a suicide and more like a lynching by some invisible force). No music at all, in fact. There’s just the quiet whirring of the film projector, then a cut to black.  Boom.



I also was impressed that the trailer did something different for a contemporary horror trailer (besides no dialogue), which was to toss the ‘seat jumper’ moment (if that upside-down shirtless kid unfolding weirdly out of the cardboard box, then stretching his mouth open and letting out a demonic yet terrified screech at the top of his lungs didn’t make you jump,  I’m pretty sure you temporarily felt like your blood run cold) into the mix 2/3 of the way through, rather than after the title card. One TV spot is guilty of that, but I doubt that was a conscious choice by the filmmakers.  By now, I was automatically cringing after the title card, waiting for an in-your-face loud jolt, that never came …just the card ominously melting through.

I don’t think I’m the only one fed up with this cookie-cutter format for genre trailers. I was sick of the trend–which first turned up in TV spots, then spread to theatrical trailers–over ten years ago. EVERYONE is ready for that jump. The vast majority of US horror trailers now take this by-the-numbers approach: Establishing scene, plot exposition, a creepy (or what they think is creepy) moment, building to a flurry of images while the music speeds up along with it, then TITLE CARD, then wait for it… LOUD NOISE, CHEAP JUMP! followed by a voice-over such as  The (insert vague and shitty title here)… Opening in theaters (insert date here).

Speaking of release dates,  Sinister  will be hitting theaters on October 12th. The website has enough cool content to check out now (just the font they chose is original and creepy), but also certain pages are “Coming Soon”. I’m guessing we’re going to get quite a bit more information (hopefully not so much we go in partially spoiled) and press on Sinister   between now and then), and I’ll be passing on all I can!


*thank God that for once, this is as close to ‘found footage’ as the movie comes –since later in the trailer the projector bursts into flames, apparently after the projector starts running on its own in the middle of the night. Love the shot of Ethan Hawke stepping in front of the screen,  foreshadowing him turning into a character on one of the doomed family’s reels.

Nightmarish First Trailer for “The Bay” (2012) Shows Found-Footage Horror Can Be Fun Again

Do you ever watch a trailer for an upcoming movie and sort of hope it won’t be that  good, because you know if it is, you’re going to have to wait what seems like forever to see it?*

Well, with The Bay, I saw the poster (above)  and thought OK, bland title, but it looks interesting. Body horror! Maybe even a creature feature! As soon as the trailer started I thought, oh shit! Not more  found footageMy current opinion on found-footage horror movies, based on sitting through one too many of them, is that for every great, entertaining found-footage horror movie there’s about ten boring, forgettable, frustrating, or just downright shitty ones, now that everybody has cashed in (or at least tried to) on it.

…seems like a fresh breath for found footage horror. Actually, a pretty fresh breath for a medium-to- wide-release horror movie, whether it’s found footage or not. Contagion was very effective, but did the virus manifest itself in the form of parasites eating the infected ‘from the inside out,’  including their tongues?  No, it did not!

The trailer for The Bay RAINED found-footage clichés.*  Opening of trailer consists of transcript of a woman calling 911, the operator calm but the female caller crying and panicking? Check. Title card describing vague mysterious incident that happened in specific location on specific date? Check. Title card informing us that the US government/military/CDC has held back this footage (…Until Now )? Check. Someone earnestly talking to the camera about how important it is that this footage gets out? Check. Screams, crying, other incoherent sounds of people seriously losing their shit off-camera/out of frame? Check. Security-camera footage integrated? Check. Shaky-cam? Check. Night-vision? Check. Skype? Check. Sound of police radio, walkie-talkie or other static-y communication device indicating the situation is deteriorating/ escalating (“…repeat,  we have a code blue, request back-up immediately…”)? Check. Picture suddenly going into static/pixels right after jump moment? Check.

From what I’ve read, the horrible thing is this is actually a very early stage of the virus…

I’m going to stop listing them now out of compassion for you, the reader, but it’s safe to say we hit the majority of them here. However,  there’s not nearly enough clichés to make me roll my eyes and forget about it the second the trailer ends. Check out the trailer for The Bay  below…

Did that  look boring? Nope! Here’s what the trailer has going for it that I think most horror fans, even those that found-footage has just about worn out their welcome with as much as me, will make a mental note NOT to miss The Bay  for:

  • What seems like a fresh plot for found footage horror. Actually, a pretty fresh plot for a medium-to- wide-release horror movie, whether it’s found footage or not. Contagion  was very effective, (I’m not even a mild germaphobe, but it made my blood run cold more than once) but did the virus manifest itself in the form of parasites eating the infected ‘from the inside out,’  including their tongues ? No, it did not!
  • ‘Body horror’. Someone involved in the creation of The Bay has to be a Cronenberg fan.
  • Also, gory medical horror is all but guaranteed from the trailer.
  • Since the novelty of found footage dissolved, I’ve found the smaller number of characters it focuses on, the less excited I get about seeing it. The Bay seems to have an ensemble cast and a larger scale.
  • The ‘Miss Crustacean’ Beauty Pageant is already fun as hell – imagine adding body-eating parasites into that scenario. Hopefully during a Fourth of July parade.
  • Certain moments in the trailer gave me a genuine feeling of dread.
  • A strong “Don’t Screw With Mother Nature” theme
  • The sense that we might get we may get an ‘all hell completely breaking loose resulting in total fucking gory chaos everywhere’ scene. When the film-makers get it just right, I practically levitate and forget everything and everyone around me, including the fact I’m sitting in a theater… and when really done right, repeat viewings give me the same high, and just as pure.  I realize that it sounds like I’m talking about uncut Heisenberg-formula blue crystal meth cooked up by Walter White and Jesse Pinkman themselves when I try to describe my visceral reaction to these kind of scenes …but I’m pretty sure there’s no narcotic in the world that could make me feel as great as I did watching, say, the last act of The Cabin in the Woods.
  • OK,  I admit it– The Bay  had me at “eating them from the inside out”.

You can find the official website for the upcoming flick here, though as of this writing, all it has is a trailer and the words, “Coming Soon”.

Always, ALWAYS check the back seat!

*Now all the reviews from TIFF are coming in, and everyone has more or less raved about the movie. The word “skin-crawling” comes up a lot in the reviews. The only complaints are that it’s too gruesome, and OH GODDAMNIT HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT TILL NOVEMBER 2nd? THAT’S OVER A FUCKING MONTH!   OK… breathe…

**Let’s see, where’s that list for my Found Footage Horror Movie Drinking Game™ I was putting together? I’m not joking. I’ve been jotting things down and I still plan to post it once I add some more clichés, then figure out a way to lay out the rules so no-one ends up passing out halfway through the movie.