Ten Reasons We’re So Psyched for American Horror Story: Asylum to Premiere October 17th!

Well, it’s about a week or so until the big night arrives the season premiere of American Horror Story: Asylum on Wednesday, October 17th. Now that’s gonna be a looooooong week for us AHS fans! Here’s ten reasons why.

REALLY looking forward to the things in the woods that Sister Jude went to feed in that very early promo. and there is no way that’s not raw meat in the buckets. Plus, is that part of a human arm I see on the ground?  I heard a rumor the creatures are the result of hideous medical experiments gone horrible wrong…

1. This season takes place in 1964. How about a S4 Mad Men crossover? Just have Don Draper or Joan Harris, circa 1964, stroll into frame for a few seconds? Of course that’s not going to happen, but the period mid-60s detail style will be incredible.

2. The return of half the actors from American Horror Story S1, including Jessica Lange as Sister Jude, Sarah Paulson as Lana (a lesbian reporter), Evan Peters as Kit,  Zachary Quinto  as Dr. Thredson, Lily Rabe as Sister Eunice, and Frances Conroy (though they haven’t specified as yet what part she’ll play, I was psyched to see her name).

3. Sister Jude’s dark, perverted back-story —or “troubled past” as I’ve heard it referred to in the press materials.  Speaking of that, you know else had a “troubled past” on American Horror Story last year? Dr. and Mrs. Charles and Nora Montgomery, for one! During the early episodes, it was referred to as a “troubled past”, but boy, what an understament. Their back-story that shocked the hell out of me (and created “the Infantata”,  and made me giddy it was so over-the-top and cool old-school horror. Oh and hey, know who else had a troubled past? Tate Langdon! Surprise surprise, that didn’t go so fucking well for anyone unlucky enough to be involved or get in his way.

4.  A really horrifying serial killer housed in the Asylum known as “Bloody Face”, who Ryan Murphy tweeted about saying he’s ‘this year’s Rubber Man’. I’ve seen photos of Bloody Face in the makeup chair and I’m about twenty times more scared of him than Rubber Man.

Suddenly, Rubber Man doesn’t look so scary…

5. Hopefully finding out what the ‘Easter Egg’ Ryan Murphy described in the S1 episode “Birth” is, and what it has to do with this season. He will not tell ANYONE. Or he could have just been fucking with us. Murphy has also (allegedly)  indicated that, some lingering questions from season 1 may get answered in season 2. Like oh, I don’t know… the ANTICHRIST?   “Now what am I going to do with you? “ Constance asks the unholy toddler lovingly after she came home and discovered he had cut open his nanny’s throat and apparently has had himself a little snack. Maybe that’s why he looked so happy…

6.  Lots of practical effects! Again, I’ve seen photos… the below photo was in also in  Entertainment Weekly when they did a cover story on AHS:Asylum at the end of August …

 

7. The things in the woods that Sister Jude went to feed in that very early promo. I linked to the Entertainment Weekly directly just now because it has a photo with a little more detail, and there is no way that’s not raw meat in the buckets. Plus, is that part of a human arm I see on the ground?  I heard a rumor the creatures are the result of hideous medical experiments gone horrible wrong (at least I HOPE it wasn’t intentional) by…

8. James Cromwell’s character, Dr. Arden. I am now quoting directly from EW.com:  the not-so-good doctor is behind one of the season’s newest frights: the Raspers. The mutated humans lurk in the forest outside of the institution and are a product of Arden’s diabolical experiments on Briarcliff’s inmates  (end quote)  Raspers.  Just that name for them is ghastly!  Raspers (and how they got that way ) show some serious  promise!

9. Some of the talent they’re bringing in as guest stars. Let’s see, among others we got Clea Duvall as the lesbian partner of the reporter played by returning cast member Franke Potente  (Run Lola Run, The Shield, two Bourne movies) Eric Stonestreet (he played a patient terrified of an urban legend about “The Pig Man,” in the season 1 episode “Piggy Piggy” and only lived through the last act of that episode), Chloë Sevigny as Shelley (an inmate committed for her nymphomania–though the 1964 definition/diagnosis was quite different back then), who I miss watching riding the crazy train on Big Love ), and Uncle Ring-a-Ding AKA Hector “Tio” Salamancas himself from Breaking Bad, Scarface, and Oz. Sorry, though, as a diehard Breaking Bad fan, he’ll always be Uncle Ring-a-Ding to me! And I sure wish they’d brought back Denis O’Hare, but when there’s not a schedule conflict, I bet he’ll show up in another role at some point. This just in: Ian McShane, who, as a hardcore Deadwood Fan, I’ll probably always remember as Al Swearagen, is signed for a guest spot. Welcome to the fuckin’ Deadwood Asylum!

10. (SEMI-SPOILER ALERT- highlight to read, though this bit of info was from the EW cover story on AHS, so maybe many people know. I’m just going to err on the side of caution, though). A giant spider-like alien (as also described in that Entertainment Weekly cover story). How cool would it be if they used a mix of  practical and CG effects on that? Or just practical? SOTA could probably come up with it. Maybe we’ll be extra lucky and  (as shown in Mega-Spider, which SOTA effects did some pretty cool spec work for) it’ll have a defense mechanism where it could spray someone with an acidic substance that burns into and melts away human flesh! I was concerned that nun all in white except for her black eyes* (they used her image on the first teaser promo poster, and it’s hard to miss her in those creepy teasers) was the alien. Actually even if she is the alien, or related to that story thread, I still have total faith in Ryan Murphy to make it work. He said in the EW article that spiders scare the hell out of him, which is why he chose the creature design.

* “Black eyes, lifeless eyes, like a doll’s eyes”… (Quint from Jaws  )

 

Name That (Horror) Frame – Week of 9/23/12 – Masters of Horror Edition!

The  Masters of Horror series doesn’t get near the amount of recognition it deserves. And yes, the best episodes truly are the stuff of nightmares.

Now would be an appropriate time for me to repeat I do NOT own the copyrights for any of the images here, nor own them in any way–I put them here for entertainment purposes only!

Well, if you’re anywhere near as big a fan of the Mick Garris-produced Showtime series Masters of Horror,  you’ll be in luck this week.  Those shows (OK, most of them, they got pretty hit-or-miss in the final season) were very, very memorable.  Just the opening credits (the frames above, and directly below) were a disturbing work of art. Actually, I’m not sure why I’m using the past tense …they still creep me out.

Yep, that’s someone burying an axe is someone else’s head.

So, if you can name these episodes, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll win a DVD. I’m working on a list of the top ten episodes of Masters of Horror, but I’m having serious trouble narrowing it down. Hell, I own more than ten of them. I might just have to spotlight the best ones and forget lists. By the way, I definitely count the unaired Takashi Miike-directed “Imprint” as an official episode. So much sick shit went down on the series that I still wonder if it was a publicity stunt Showtime pulled, or something.. I’ll have to look into that. There’s a torture scene in that episode that makes the notorious one towards the end of Miike’s Audition look tame.  I still have to cover my eyes with my fingers for most of the “Imprint” scene, it’s that hard to watch.

But I digress. The photos below are all from different episodes… feel free to comment if you just want to know which episodes they are! The Masters of Horror  series doesn’t get near the amount of recognition it deserves. And yes, the best episodes truly are the stuff of nightmares.

I believe the above frame took place during the opening credits of the episode…

And below, what the last thing you’d want to see written on a wall when you woke up at the bottom of a pit?

and finally, thanks to the genius of Greg Nicotero’s make-up and FX work… what a shot.

That’s it (for this game) until next week. Don’t forget, American Horror Story Season One comes out on DVD and Blu- ray Tuesday. Expect at least one piece on it this week!

Imprint (Masters of Horror)

Imprint (Masters of Horror) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Red Band Trailer of the Week – The Revenant (2009)

It’s actually embarrassing that this breakout horror-comedy somehow slipped under my horror geek radar till now. Well, I saw on my IMDB account that I added it to my watch list at some point in the last year, so I must have been really tired or inebriated (or both) when I added it. Hell, it probably was in Fangoria last year or the year before, and I read about it then filed it away, or it was one of the rare issues I didn’t read from cover-to-cover after it showed in the mail. Check out this very entertaining brand-new Red Band trailer!

C’mon, now how fucking cool is that? Too bad that can’t be used as a tagline, because it’d sure fit and definitely put asses in seats. The Revenant: How Fucking Cool Is That?

I’m guessing somewhere along the line, something did not go as planned here…

The Revenant roared through the Festival circuit in 2009, winning a ton of audience awards. The official website is right here, and is packed with information and fun stuff. I do recommend skipping the Comments section if you haven’t seen The Revenant and are planning to, because the section is teeming with spoilers from people who have seen it, most wanting to discuss the ending.

Here’s the official plot description from the “Press” section of the official website…

A horror comedy in the vein of SHAUN OF THE DEAD and ZOMBIELAND, the film tells the story of a soldier (David Anders, from TV’s 24 and Vampire Diaries) who is killed in Iraq and then finds himself resurrected as a “revenant,” or one who has returned from the dead. He turns to his slacker best friend (Chris Wylde, of Descent and The Ten) to help him manage his newfound thirst for blood, and the duo quickly realize that this zombie-fied state is a perfect opportunity to become vigilante crime fighters. However, their adventure quickly becomes more complicated and bloody than they expected as the movie escalates into a series of unexpected and horrifying twists.

Here’s an extended (4+ minute) clip. A little more conversation and a little less action than the above trailer, but it’s pretty cool. Check it out below:

I’m going to have to get way more proactive about local film festivals. Oh, and yes, 2009 is right; it took THIS GODDAMNED LONG for the flick to get a distribution deal. Well, as fucking frustrating as it is, the movie is in good company; The Cabin in the Woods, Trick R’ Treat, and Army of Darkness had to go through the same bullshit (and I don’t think they even got the chance to go through the festival circuit). I doubt I have to convince anyone reading this, though, that when they finally do get a chance, the wait is worth it for us.  But man, time slows to a crawl when you’re trying to be patient!

Heh!

Heh!

 

 

Name that (Horror) Frame Contest- Week of 8/5/2012!

Maybe I should stop ending so many of my headers with an EXCLAMATION POINT! Anyway, here’s three more shots. To read the rules and prizes, you can read last week’s info here.

This time I tried not to go out of my way to make them ultra-obscure. Bet there’s at least one you’ve got a good guess on!

First Up: an all-time favorite shot of mine!

“The map says we’re fucked.”

Up next, we have…

Two tickets, pleeeeeeEEEEEEEE!

and finally…

Now where could he have gone…

Did I Watch Too Many Scary Movies Last Week?

Hell,  I don’t know. You know what, though? Either way, I probably wouldn’t change a thing, because I saw some got-damn AMAZING movies!

Last Sunday evening, I went to our pantry because I needed a decent flashlight to look for a spider that may or may not have been in my walk-in closet. Thinking– the second that I arrived in there and thumbed the ON switch– well, this is where I shine my flashlight on a Thai ghost’s hovering, dead feet or on a homicidal maniac’s face.

The day after that, I dropped a Vitamin D tablet on a hardwood floor, walked a few steps over to where it had skittered and bounced, bent down to pick it up, then right before I stood up, thought if this were a horror movie, when the camera follows me as I lean down then slowly straighten up again, there’d be a reveal right now where someone or some thing scary is now standing/hanging behind me for a cheap ‘jump scene’.

…the week of Friday May 25th to Friday June 1st, I had a little downtime. Headaches, temporary technical difficulties with my laptop, and insomnia –the kind where about all I could focus on was a movie. I ended up seeing seventeen entire genre movies in seven days.

Five minutes after I’d finished watching one of the last supernatural movies (I’m not saying which one, it’d be a huge spoiler), and was following my daily routine, I had a half-formed idea about my life being a version of ‘maybe I’m dead and don’t know it’. Uh, please note that I didn’t actually believe this or find this plausible at all for a second, but I felt like if I really focused, I could shake out an idea for a short horror story (which, if I write now, will have to be under a pen name, since anyone that reads it would probably be same ten or so that follow this blog).

So, yeah. This might not happen again for a while– I’d probably have to really apply myself– but the week of Friday May 25th to Friday June 1st, I had a little downtime. Headaches, temporary technical difficulties with my laptop, and insomnia* –the kind where about all I could focus on was a movie. Long story a little shorter, I ended up seeing 17 entire genre movies in seven days. At some point after I started watching, things picked up momentum, and I watched a couple back-to-back. Hey, they were there in the house, except for one case where my very thoughtful husband offered to look for one of three movies on my ‘want list’ while he stopped at Scarecrow Video while he was out,  I went for it and thanks to him, watched one of the 10/10-rated on my list, The Loved Ones. Some I (finally) found on You Tube for the first time, some had showed up from Netflix after a wait**, some were On Demand. I only actually purchased one, a $7.99 rental charge for the HD (and 2D) version of Piranha 3DD. Some blew me away enough that I watched them twice …especially one with the kind of twist/reveal ending that makes you want to see the entire movie again as soon as the credits roll.

Here they are, in no particular order, and I’ll write at the very least, a capsule (100-word) review. For now, I’m going with the IMDB grading scale of 1-10 stars, though I may change it to the Entertainment Weekly (A+ to F) grading system, and maybe a 1-10 star scare level, and gore level (because gory doesn’t always mean scary, does it, Saw: The Final Chapter)? I added will add links to the IMDB pages, in case anyone who knows it’ll take me more than a couple of weeks to get reviews posted for all of them and just has to know more. Plus, I’ll post trailers along the way for a few (trailers that don’t give too much away, because plenty of them did). My review for the creepy Korean movie on the list, Cinderella will probably be up first, so keep an eye out! An asterisk means I’d seen them before and had an urge for a re-watch, a possible exception being Natural Born Killers, since I hadn’t seen the Director’s Cut yet. I also put the year of release down if there’s been a remake, or more than one version of the movie, to clarify which one I watched last week…

Screen at Kamchanod 5/10
The Road  6.5/10
The Woman in Black (2011) 9/10
The Eye* (2002) 9/10
Rabies 9/10
The Unseeable 10/10
Devil 8.5/10
Phobia 2* 8/10 (Final segment is a rock-solid 10/10)
The Loved Ones 10/10
Shutter* (2004) 10/10
Piranha 3DD 5.5/10
Colic 6/10
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2011) 10/10
The Haunted Drum 5/10
Natural Born Killers – Extended Director’s Cut* 7.5/10
Cinderella* 7/10
Ghost Mother 5/10

Until I have more time (and before I forget) here’s a dozen random facts that I learned via watching the above movies:

  • No matter how many times you watch Shutter, it never gets any less scary. You may even notice subtle details you missed before that freak you out even more.
  • The animated version of the new Hammer Production logo before The Woman in Black* is one of the coolest goddamned logos I’ve ever seen (kind of like the Marvel logo, but with painted/comic-book images for horror fans)!
  • “Pee” in Thai  (with a special accent mark over the first “e” that is not available on my keyboard) means “spirit” or “ghost” in English
  • Tommy Lee Jones had to have a head cast made for the scene in Natural Born Killers when the rioting inmates put his head on a stick and wave it around like a trophy
  • M. Night Shyamalan did not write or direct Devil, only his production company was involved (and if I’d been clear on that, I wouldn’t have waited this long to see it)
  • A TV movie of The Woman in Black (from the 1980s) ended with a giant tree suddenly falling on a boat and killing all the surviving characters
  • Piranha 3DD has a listed running time of 82 minutes (theatrical/VOD release). The actual movie runs approximately 10 minutes less than the running time (possibly more than 10 minutes). The remaining time consists of what IMDB calls “crazy credits’.***
  • The male lead in Colic strongly resembles the male lead in Shutter, but they are in fact two different actors
  •  Rabies is a Israeli horror movie re-titled for the US release.  The title is actually  Kalalvet. It meansrage(and sometimes, “rabid)” in Hebrew. which would have been a more appropriate title, but I suppose they figured there’s already more than one US horror movie titled Rage, and Rabid is the (awesome) Cronenberg movie from the 70s.
  • The Unseeable takes place in Siam in the 1930s
  • A little of David Hasselhoff playing himself and winking at the audience goes a long, long way
  • One of the more seasoned, unflappable lead actors in the Aussie shocker/drama/horror movie The Loved Ones began to have nightmares during the shooting for the first time in his acting career.

So that’s seventeen total, sixteen if you don’t count the documentary in the list because it’s not fictional (though show me one person who doesn’t agree there are strong elements of horror in Paradise Lost, and I’ll show you either a liar, someone who was confused and thought you were discussing a different movie, or a stone-cold sociopath), and twelve if you also don’t count the ones that weren’t first viewings. I haven’t sat through the entire original version of the Pang brother’s The Eye since 2008, though, only re-watched a couple of clips –mainly to post here.

A whopping eight are from Thailand (even for me, that’s a lot of Thai ghost movies to see in a week). Hell, only five of them are officially US productions (four of them if you don’t count The Woman in Black, shot in the UK with a mainly UK cast, director, and writer).

Step right up!

Here’s the trailer for The Unseeable. It’s all in Thai, but trust me, you don’t need subtitles to be impressed or make the temperature in the room drop 20 degrees (which I swear on every pair of my go-go boots actually seemed to spontaneously occur the first time I watched this same trailer on You Tube in 2008.) . I don’t know what the hell they’re saying, but it could be spoiler-ish, so really, you’re better off this way. This one is definitely going on my upcoming ’10 More Trailers To Keep You Awake’ list. The sound alone is creepy. Oh, here go hell come!

The trailer might look as though it gives too much away. It doesn’t. I saw one that did, an international trailer, but I prefer this one. If you can find a copy of The Unseeable to watch online (which you may need to do because so far, no US Region Two hard copy seems to exist) I recommend it. To do it justice, though, make sure it’s got good picture quality; as I’m sure you can tell from the trailer, the period sets and warm color palette are drop-dead gorgeous (so to speak). I dream of seeing it in a theater with a big fun crowd one day. If you’re feeling brave and are watching it after dark, turn off the lights… yes, I really am daring you!

*The insomnia was not related to any of the movies. It was just that kind of week.

**If you do rent The Woman in Black (I think it’s worth a watch) and have the option for DVD or Blu Ray, go for the Blu Ray.  The production design, immaculate attention to detail, and rich color pallets are nothing short of beautiful, and the film-makers took pains to shoot on Yorkshire, Essex, Oxforshire, and even the Osea Island Causeway. It’s kind of sad when shooting on location and production scouts being used are the exception rather than the rule. When I listened to the commentary and found out that almost none of the exteriors are CGI, especially the long shot of the causeway (that had to be painstakingly timed with the tide), that bumped my grade up from an 8.5 to a 9. I’ll gush more when I write a piece on it.

…and this shot doesn’t even do the Causeway and the large surrounding marsh (to the fictional Eel Marsh house) justice. When the tide comes in, it seeps up through the marsh itself–not unlike quicksand– rather than roll in like a regular tide. Would YOU want to take that ride?

***I submitted a “Crazy Credits” description to IMDB for Piranha 3DD, which they are still deciding whether to post or not. My guess is not, because even though I tried to just list what the kar-razy kar-redits consisted of, I couldn’t resist adding that David Hasselhoff “appears to be inebriated.”.  I was still being tactful, he was fucking HAMMERED.   His lines really aren’t that complex and he flubs the repeated line, “Little moron ginger!”  Three words, and I swear there’s 10 takes of him saying, “Little ginger …moron?” (prompted from someone off camera, “It’s ‘little moron ginger’.”) “Oh. Little ginger moron.” (prompted: “Little moron ginger.”) DH: “Little ginger what, now?”  Also there’s some out-takes where he’s standing on a bed in his bathrobe with a drink in his hand (to be fair, I’m 99% sure that the drink and bathrobe were scripted, he didn’t just show up in his limo for shooting like that) and you can hear someone tiredly asking him, “Uh, can you come down now? Uh, David?” At first it’s funny, but after a couple of minutes it’s just kind of sad. He looks like he’s getting a big kick out himself, though. OK, here’s my submission, minus spoilers. I couldn’t really get creative, so don’t expect fireworks: The final 10 minutes of the running time consists of more “crazy credits” than actual traditional credits. They include a mock music video of David Hasselhoff on a beach in his red swim trunks singing, “Fish Hunter” a modified version of the song he is ‘composing’ during his first scene in the movie, while dancing around waving a plastic trident. The remaining credits are interspersed with bloopers, out-takes, ‘behind the scenes’ shots being set up, David Koechner improvising quite a bit of alternate dialogue for the water-park commercial scene early in the movie,  and black-and-white scenes of Gulager directing the final scene. Most of the blooper footage consists of Hasselhoff flubbing his lines and breaking character. He appears to be inebriated during these clips. Also included are some scenes of female nudity, as well as “gross-out moments” that didn’t make the final cut (as well as a couple of the ‘gross-out moments’ that were in the movie). They also show set-up and prep for some of the gorier scenes. Also included during ‘crazy credits’: when the film has a very gruesome, bloody (Deleted due to spoiler of one of the few really satisfying scenes) title cards come up, there’s quite a bit of black-and-white footage shot of (Deleted, blah spoiler blah-blah) still twitching slightly at intervals. The last ‘crazy credit’ is a short scene included in the TV spots/trailers, but not included of the final cut with Hasslehoff’s comment about “natural selection at its finest”).

Ten Trailers to Keep You Awake #8 – The Eye 10 (2005) AKA Gin Gwai 10 + Review!

 

The Eye 10, also known as The Eye 3 and The Eye Infinity*, isn’t the 10th installment in te series (this might be why some American releases titled it The Eye 3, God forbid anyone doesn’t see it because they think they’d have to see the original and nine other sequels). All it has in common is that characters begin to see ghosts, and after a bad scare (the first in a series of many, many bad scares) really, really wish they could stop.  Fun fact:  the original Thai title for The Eye and the others in the series is Gin gwai 10, which I was told means Seeing Ghosts in Cantonese.

I went into this not really expecting much (I hadn’t seen the below trailer), and became very frightened as soon as the first method of seeing ghosts worked, and stayed that way until the Pang brothers were done playfully kicking my central nervous system around the room. I also stupidly watched it at 1 or 2AM, the only light in the room coming from the TV. I had two kittens and my husband asleep next to me, so I’d hate to see how freaked out I would have gotten if I’d watched the movie alone with all the lights off. Not that I would have done it; I’ve gotten more than I bargained for with a horror movie many times, but I’m not a total imbecile. I’m well aware that would be about as smart a way to treat my insomnia as taking an entire box of No-Doz.

When this movie sets out to scare you, be ready to feel your heart leap to your throat the way it would during that first huge drop on the coaster, because you’re in for one fucking scary, memorable ride!

The official plotline is this:  While visiting their friend Chong Kwai (Ray MacDonald) in Thailand, cousins Ted (Bo-lin Chen) and May (Kate Yeung), May’s friend April (Isabella Leong), and April’s boyfriend Kofei (Yu Gu) are introduced to The Ten Encounters, a Thai book (called, I believe, “The Ten Encounters”) detailing ten ways to see ghosts.  For fun,** they try out some of the easier methods and get sucked deeper and deeper into the game until it becomes tragic, even after Ted and May return to Hong Kong.

 

Fun? For FUN? Jesus Christ, HOW BORED would you have to be to resort to that? They can’t, I don’t know, get high and go to a park and play Frisbee? Go see a movie about ghosts? Plenty of those to pick from over in Thailand! Great ones, too! Have a beer, maybe even smoke a joint, and go see 4Bia or Taai Hong, Death Place with all your ‘bored’ buddies together at a midnight showing.  Or go and rent a couple of them, hell, rent and watch  Jackass: The Movie.  Even if there’s no Cantonese subtitles, they’d still be rolling on the floor laughing. Go find and chew some “bozo leaf”–whup, sorry, wrong movie, that’s Bedeviled from South Korea I’m thinking of.*** Trying hard drugs would probably be safer than fiddling with this book. Not that I recommend trying hard drugs, I’m just pointing out that it’s about as smart and safe of an idea as following the methods described in an ancient book (especially one that just kind of showed up in a store out of the blue one night, rather than having to go out of your way to be able to locate and purchase it) that not only appears to have certain illustrations of some kids who look almost just like you, but also that you were warned strongly against fucking with by several very wise, elderly people who had personal experience with the supernatural. Come on, what’s the worst thing that could happen? All you have to do on one of the first ones is dig up a dead body to prepare for the ritual!

Anyway, apparently,  the book says once you start the first method, you have to go through all ten of them or something horrible will happen (worse than getting in an elevator crowded full of hideously burned ghosts that appear and hover around you the second the doors close, or vividly hallucinating that your entire eyeball suddenly fell out of the socket and is resting in your hand, I guess). As far as I recall, no-one bothers to tell them this key piece of info until after they finish one of the rituals.  They mention, rather vaguely, in the trailer that once the game is started, it must be finished, but that’s not really specific enough. Which of the games? Oh, when you said ‘the game’ you meant all ten of them? Thanks for not waiting until it was way too late and we’re too terrified to leave our apartments, or sleep. No, it’s cool.

You don’t need to have seen the classic original (or The Eye 2, which I thought was definitely the weakest of the series and was glad I watched on Netflix Steaming rather that waste a disc rental on) to make sense of this (though you should see the original regardless). There’s about a two-second nod and a very brief clip of the first two films during a montage, that’s it. Like The Eye, it’s really a pretty simple concept that the Pang brothers just fucking go to town with. There’s a couple of awesome and even clever in-jokes, as well as nods for viewers of the first movie, however, (“Have you seen my report card?”) so I recommend seeing The Eye first, if you haven’t already. After I finally caved and bought this movie, there’s a featurette with the Pang brothers. They said they wanted this final installment to be akin to a roller-coaster ride with scares and fun, and I think they definitely made that movie. There’s more comic relief (intentionally) in this installment, not the least of which are a few of the character’s reactions to having seen ghosts (if you saw the trailer, you get the idea). On that first badly-timed 2AM viewing, I recall watching with the blankets almost pulled up to my nose after only 15 minutes or so, but I remember being surprised by laughing more than twice.  It only came out as a nervous semi-muffled heh heh at the time, but I also knew I was in the hands of someone with a genuine sense of humor as well as horror. When this movie sets out to scare you though, be ready to feel your heart leap to your throat the way it would during the first huge drop on that roller-coaster, because you’re in for one very fucking scary and memorable ride! Strap in. And if Thai ghost movies already scare you? Then you really might not want to watch it alone.

Finally, I included a clip of one of the most memorable and frightening set-pieces (as I like to call it, “Fuck it, I’ll Take the Stairs”) from the original 2002 The Eye …just in case you still feel sleepy. You can count on the Pang Brothers to keep your ass awake!  This scene should be shown in film scools to illustrate an example of how to build a mood of suspense, tension, and utter terror without using one drop of blood. If you haven’t seen the 2002 film, this will probably help you decide whether or not it’s too creepy for you to handle after dark. Feeling a little off-filter/jumpy at the moment? Save this to watch when you’re not alone…

*In more than one case, I’ve even seen it titled The Eye …Infinity.

**Rather than putting away the book in an extremely speedy manner and walking away as fast as possible, then immediately pretending the book never even existed, something I would have probably excelled at doing, I’ve found that upon occasion, I can surprise myself with pretty decent compartmentalization skills).

*** Though if I lived in the small community that Bedeviled takes place in, I’d be chewing ‘bozo leaf’ 24/7 just to escape the completely wretched reality of being female while stuck there for life. Then I’d probably take a dive off the cliff if I saw the bozo leaf supply was about to run out. I doubt any other women who have seen the movie will disagree with me on that.

 

(pee pants)

Ten Trailers to Keep You Awake #1- The Divide (2012)

Thia is, as you probably figured out already, number one in a series of ten very, very scary trailers. These are ones that I regretted watching when I was home alone, and I deeply  regretted watching alone (or was I?) and after dark. I have amusing stories (that were not at all goddamned funny at the time) regarding the ridiculously bad timing I had watching some of it.

Grow up in the 80s like I did? Did most of the teachers at your middle/high school basically convince you that you would die in a nuclear holocaust before you graduated? Did they make watching The Day After pretty much required watching?

This movie is supposed to be brutal as hell, and though I haven’t gotten my copy yet or seen anything but trailers and clips, I’m pretty sure no-one is exaggerating. Here’s the first trailer I saw; definitely called an official trailer by several websites, including the official site for the movie. It actually appears to be the opening of the film. I know I got chills seeing it.

Grow up in the 80s like I did? Did you go to a school where most of the teachers at your middle/high school basically convinced you that you would die in a nuclear holocaust before you graduated? Did they make watching The Day After pretty much required watching so, at the very least, you could have a student assembly the next day so you could discuss it?  If so, this might freak you out just a tiny bit…

This movie is supposed to be brutal as hell, and though I haven’t gotten my copy yet or seen anything but trailers and clips*, I’m pretty sure no-one is exaggerating.  When the movie’s tagline is:

THE LUCKY ONES DIED IN THE BLAST

well, you get that gut feeling that maybe you should just rent the movie, not buy it. Also, that it might be gee, I don’t know, kind of depressing.  A little bleak, perhaps, and maybe I should use my common sense about the timing of watching it. Nope, I still ordered it so I could get it on the day it was released (April 17, 2012). I didn’t put it together until I was listening to the commentary that it was directed by Xavier Gens. He directed a little French horror movie called Frontiere/s, which I own but cannot watch after dark. Well, I can watch it after dark, it’d just be a really bad fucking idea if I wanted to fall asleep before dawn.

The above is the first trailer I saw- definitely called an official trailer by several websites, including the official site for the movie. It actually appears to be the opening of the film. I know I got chills seeing it. Maybe it isn’t as insomnia-inducing if you didn’t grow up until after the 80s.

Maybe.

*I saw it (review to follow) and it was darker than I thought. Then again, I didn’t put it together until I was listening to the commentary that it was directed by Xavier Gens. He directed a French horror movie called Frontiere/s (2008), just, oh, a teensy bit scary and gruesome. One of the most nightmarish movies I’ve ever seen, that’s all …which I own but to this day cannot watch after dark. Well, I can watch it after dark, it’d just be a really bad fucking idea if I wanted to fall asleep before dawn.

Discovering The Host (Gwoemul)

…the memories are there, fresh as that night five years ago, when I forgot about everything that was not The Host for the two hours I watched, even the fact that I was sitting in a theater.

Five years ago on this very night*, I discovered the South Korean monster movie The Host. Five minutes ago, I accidentally deleted an elaborate, thoughtful post, because apparently I STILL haven’t learned my goddamned lesson about composing posts in RTF or MS Word format and ‘saving early and often’ before I post them.  I’ll add my post, because this is not only an amazing, flawless, highly entertaining horror movie, it has sentimental value for me on many different levels. For one, it led to me discovering that some of the finest films ever made were South Korean.

But enough of that for now, before I delete this too. Hey! Here’s the trailer!

Great Trailer- STILL Doesn’t Do the Movie Justice

Fun Fact:

Director Bong Joon-ho and the designer of the creature nicknamed it Steve Buscemi, based on the actor’s screen persona and the way he acted in the movie Fargo. ** (OK, the scene I linked to isn’t a great example, but I’ve seen that clip 100 times and it’ still gold every time.)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468492/trivia?tab=tr&item  :

Not-So-Fun Fact:

The event described in the beginning of the film is based on an actual event. In February 2000 at a US military facility located in the center of Seoul, a US military civilian employee named Mr. McFarland was ordered to dispose of formaldehyde by dumping it into the sewer system that led to the Han River, despite the objection of a South Korean subordinate. The government attempted to prosecute Mr. McFarland in court, but the US military refused to hand over the custody of Mr. McFarland to the South Korean legal system. Later, a South Korean judge convicted Mr. McFarland in absentia. The public was enraged at the government’s inability to enforce its law on its own soil. In 2005, nearly five years after the original incident, Mr. McFarland was finally found guilty in a court in his presence. However, he never served the actual prison sentence, and there have been no sightings of a mutant creature in the Han River …yet.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468492/trivia?tab=tr&item=tr0663591 :

Though one of my least favorite qualities in a person and especially in myself is cynicism, I actually figured something along these lines had happened before I discovered the actual facts. One of the main complaints on message boards about this movie (not a valid one, as far as I’m concerned, but it’s up there, sadly) is that it is “Anti-U.S. Military”. Riiight, because there’s certainly no history of the US Military (especially during the Bush administration) making cowboy mistakes that result in going to other countries and ruining them over mis-information that no-one bothered to do much research on, then making up some total bullshit fabricating information to save face.

…and that’s not the worst news.

More to come soon.  It’ll also help add a little flavor to this post when I dig up my copy of the movie to watch it, but as I said (or DID before the fucking post vanished, grrr), the memories are there, fresh as that night five years ago, when I forgot about everything that was notThe Host for the two hours I watched, even the fact that I was sitting in a theater.

Uh-oh.

*March 19, 2007 – which happened to be one of the absolute shittiest months of my life, other than the evening I watched this kick-ass movie.

**Oh, screw it. One of Buscemi’s funniest lines in the movie (and every line he had was funny) that I doubt other Fargo fans will mind watching again: