We received a screener of this film free from the company for review consideration.
Apocalypse Rising Review
The opening credits for Apocalypse Rising give the illusion that it’s going to be something special. Epic music plays while we get a nice scrolling slideshow of Hieronymus Bosch paintings. Once the film begins however, it quickly becomes apparent that this is no B-grade movie, it is Z-Grade.
Watching this film is like watching a child play with a random assortment of action figures. There is no cohesion and it makes little to no sense. What the hell is it even trying to be? Fantasy? Sci-fi? Horror? Comedy? Biblical allegory? Softcore porn? Well, it seems like it’s trying to be all these things, but it fails at every one.
What’s that? Why yes, I did mention softcore porn. That is the level of writing and acting we have here in Apocalypse Rising. Also, there are “sex scenes”, however, everyone keeps their clothes on and are hardly even shown in the act. What we mostly get is a lot of grunting and moaning in the background while the other characters converse. I think it’s trying to be humorous, but it just comes off as really obnoxious.
The music in this abomination is generic and all over the place. It hops from one genre to the next and is never-ending. Seriously, there are no moments of ambient sounds. It’s just track after track after track. It’s like watching The Wizard of Oz while listening to The Dark Side of the Moon, only, you know, not good.
There was exactly one thing I enjoyed. At one point a character decapitates themself with a sword. I love the absurdity it, and by the end of this film it had me wishing I could perform such a maneuver on myself.
We only have so much time on this planet and I’m sorry you’ve wasted some of yours by reading this review. Please don’t waste any more of it by watching Apocalypse Rising.
Release Date: 2018-9-14 | Length: 121 minutes | Rating: 5 out of 5
Note: Look for Frankie’s recap of the live Q&A that streamed after Mandy after the review!
Panos Cosmatos just gifted the world with his masterpiece. Mandy is a majesty of horror.
Viewing this film is a near hallucinatory experience. The visuals are so striking and the mood is otherworldly and dreamlike. It’s a bit disorienting considering the imagery is paired with a dark heavy metal rock opera score. Everything seems to resonate in an unsettling way but still tantalizes on some primal level. It all FEELS heady and intoxicating, so much so that you may question your sobriety.
The performances given by Nicholas Cage and Linus Roache were nothing short of brilliant. Cage’s believable, palpable pain in Mandy split me in half. It was material. It was in the room with me. His pain reached out and shook me.
Likewise, Linus Roache performed just as masterfully. His character’s cosmic sized god complex was true horror, and he pulled it off beautifully.
Stepping back after digesting this movie and reconstructing it in my mind as a whole, as a singular creation, is kaleidoscopic – in mood, in perspective, as well as visually. The use of color and camera work set the tones that elevated this film to a new level of artistry.
Panos Cosmatos gave us all of this! And grotesque violence. And frightening savagery. And terrifying, leather clad, Mad Max-esque sadists from your worst nightmares . And it’s all married to gorgeous cinematography! He wanted to show us how beautiful the dark side of humanity could be, and he did. Panos led us into a new cinematic dimension. He showed us the ecstasy of evil.
The live Q&A that streamed after Mandy
Kevin Smith interviewed Nicolas Cage, Panos Cosmatos, and Linus Roache.
First of all, Panos Cosmatos, the director of Mandy, and Kevin Smith both look like they would be perfectly comfortable playing video game and smoking weed in a basement together. Smith was in his iconic Kevin Smith attire, and Cosmatos was wearing shorts and a hoodie with what looked like to be a folded up hat sticking out of the pocket. Very laid-back and unassuming. Panos seemed a little shy in front of a camera and the audience. He never quite looked anyone in the eye. I suppose he is far more comfortable behind the scenes, making all of the magic instead of describing his process for our entertainment.
Smith asked Cosmatos how he develops a story. Cosmatos described that he pulls from so much of what he digests, audibly with music, visually with art and cinematically inspired by works like Road Warrior and Evil Dead. It’s not so much a plot-line or character he begins to develop a story around, but rather a mashup of all of his external influences that begin to whirl into a mood or a vision. And fire. He repeatedly talked of burning his down. And boy, did he BURN SHIT DOWN int his film! It was spectacular on the big screen!
Nicolas Cage got to speak bout why he turned down the role of Jeremiah Sand, played by Linus, explaining he didn’t feel he had any real life experiences to pull from to give a believable and authentic performance. (Elijah Wood is actually the lucky ingredient to this film as he introduced Cage to Cosmatos and urged him to read the script.) Instead, Cage immediately wanted the part of Red Miller. Thank the movie gods for that because there is no way anyone could have left everything they had there on the screen quite like he did. No one could have reached that level of intensity in quite the same manner that fit so perfectly with Panos Cosmatos’ vision.
Linus Roache. Let us not forget Linus Roache! There is a particular “revealing” scene in Mandy involving him that was so vulnerable and raw. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but suffice it to say that it would have been a deal breaker for most actors. Smith asked Roache if he knew about the scene and what was expected of him prior to signing on the for the role. Roache admitted that it was absolutely off limits at fisrt and that he only agreed to the role after Panos agreed to leave it out. Later, during the filming process, he realized how right the scene was for the character. He changed his mind and the scene was shot. I wholeheartedly agree with this decision! It was right for his character and only aided in giving audiences the understanding of the state of the character’s psyche. Absolutely brilliant performance.
All in all it was a short but sweet Q&A and I feel fortunate to have watched it!
We received a screener of this film free from the company for review consideration.
I was ready to give this film a 1/5 rating because the first half of VooDoo is so full of cringe. As the characters hopped around LA while having the most vapid conversations imaginable (and meeting Ron Jeremy for some reason), I was sure I was going to give this film a 1/5. Then everything changed.
The second half of VooDoo is quite different, and for me, very quickly elevated it from a 1/5 to a 5/5. This is because once the supernatural stuff starts happening, the film gets batshit crazy. I’m often disappointed while watching horror films cause I feel like they don’t go far enough with disturbing content. This, I think, is simply due to the fact that I’m so desensitized to much of it. VooDoo goes pretty far past the point of other horror films though, and really surprised me.
I’m not sure if the filmmakers consider this to be a found footage film, but I do. The entire thing is filmed with a handheld camera. It’s more in the vein of The Blair Witch Project than something like V/H/S because there’s no narrative outside of the “tape”. It’s as if you’re watching it yourself. There is some shaky cam but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. And there are many shots where they set the camera down so it’s stable for a good amount of time. Of course, all found footage films have the issue of, “why are the characters still filming at this point?!” It’s even more absurd in this one but I’m giving it a pass cause, well, I enjoyed what I saw.
I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’m intentionally withholding much of the details. However, I will present you with this question: Have you ever been to a haunted attraction? Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights? Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream? Knott’s Scary Farm? If you enjoy these events, I think you’re going to enjoy VooDoo very much. It’s more than a film, it’s an experience.
Trigger Warning Spoiler
In the very first scene a child is repeatedly stabbed, though you only see their legs while this is happening. Towards the end of the film it shows two newborn babies being ripped out of their mother’s bodies. One of them is said to be dead and the other is eaten by a demon.
Show Yourself synopsis: When his friend Paul dies unexpectedly, Travis heads into the woods to say goodbye. As Travis deals with his grief, and the way it has affected the relationships in his life, he starts to realize that he actually might not be alone in the woods. Curiosity turns to horror as Travis comes face-to-face with something both inexplicable and frighteningly familiar.
Tagline: He Came to Let Go…Something Won’t Let Him
Starring: Ben Hethcoat, Corisca Wilson, David McElwee, Barak Hadley
Source: Netflix but we received a request from the production company for consideration of this movie to review.
Show Yourself Review
Show Yourself falls into a growing subgenre of emotion-invoking horror movies, where jump scares are limited, and the monsters live within. This movie hooked me with its premise and I looked forward to watching the plot unfold, but when the end credits rolled, I wished for more than what the movie delivered.
Movie audiences need backstory, tension and steady progression of plot, a lot of which can be achieved through character interactions. However, our protagonist Travis goes into the woods alone to grieve his deceased friend. So we learn about his character and backstory through phone conversations, video chats between Travis and friends, as well as home movies he re-watches. Plenty of modern horror films are employing these sorts of storytelling techniques, but in Show Yourself the character interactions felt forced and superficial. When backstory needed to be injected, Travis watched a home movie. Whenever a plot point needed to be revealed, Travis called a friend and the point was wrapped in a bow and handed to the viewer. When it came to understanding Travis’s motives, the movie told me what to think rather than allowing me the pleasure of evolving my own conclusions. The conversations became repetitive, and for a man who claims he wants to go to the woods to “unplug”, Travis spends the entire time on his phone or computer reminiscing with friends.
I rarely feel the need to mention the soundtrack, but this movie’s music distracted me. It tried too hard to be provocative. It was an odd mix of eerie, upbeat folk music coupled with the type of peppy instrumental mix you’d find in a kid’s movie where the protagonist is a talking dog. Very odd choices to try and connect Travis’s personal journey to the viewer’s sense of sympathy, especially in a horror movie.
But this movie has one major redeeming item. The climax shines. It haunts you, raising your pulse in a well-crafted and unique manner, not overtly terrorizing but chilling none-the-less. However, this moment rests on Travis’s guilt over certain aspects of his relationship with his deceased friend. The guilt revolves around a moment in time in their friendship, a moment where Travis feels he’s made a mistake. But the stakes weren’t high enough. The mistake never seems big enough to warrant all the emotional baggage Travis carries around. So while the climax sucked into the story world, the revaluation once again had me wondering how great this movie could have been, if it had taken a few different turns.
This film’s foundation was interesting, and it had an intriguing set up. Typically, I enjoy this type of horror, but ultimately, Show Yourself failed to show anything other than misguided potential. However, I have a lot of respect for the attempt made and hope to see more horror movies explore the genre as well as focus more on the horrors that haunt us all.
SHOW YOURSELF Trailer - YouTube
This movie is available for free on Netflix and available to own on DVD.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJSe1l-6Mjo
We received a screener of this film free from the company for review consideration.
The Grand Son Review
BANG! They’ve been shot! What to do now? Report it to the police or try to hide the body? What if I’m caught? That would never happen…or would it? Only one way to find out…
I loved The Grand Son. There were so many great elements here. The story, the acting, the cinematography, and the family unit. They are close in a way that I sometimes wish my own family was. Freely discussing sexual activities while using all manner of expletives. More like close friends than blood relations. It’s a nice fantasy but I do wonder if I would actually enjoy it. Anyway, it’s a closeness I always appreciate seeing on screen.
This is my first time watching these actors perform and I thought they all did a fantastic job. Lesley Ann Warren plays Judy, the grandmother, and she reminded me of Susan Sarandon much of the time. Rhys Wakefield plays “The Grand Son”, Tod (yes, with one D), and gives a brilliant performance. He goes through a range of emotions but always manages to land back at cool, calm, and in control. And my god does he have a gorgeous smile. It’s like looking at The Grand Sun! (You know, cause it shines so brightly.) Fabianne Therese plays his sister, Lani, and she’s simply delightful throughout.
As I said before, I love this family unit, but especially the relationship between Tod and Lani. They’re very close and you can tell they really care about each other. It reminded me of my own relationship with my sister, which was quite a nice surprise.
The strange thing about The Grand Son is that the marketing doesn’t seem to accurately represent it. To me it makes it seem like everything is planned out by some evil genius. Actually though, the misdeed is an accident and the perpetrator is basically winging it for the remainder of the story, trying not to get caught, which I find much more interesting.
One more thing I wanted to mention is the end credits song, which I think fits perfectly. It conveys a nice sense of accomplishment and hope which will have you walking away from a somewhat dark film, feeling good.
Again, I loved The Grand Son. Going in I was expecting one thing, got another, much better thing, and now have a new favorite film that I’d love to add to my collection. Please watch it when you have the chance. I think you’ll enjoy it too.
Grand Son - Trailer - YouTube
The Grand Son released digitally on 8/14 and will be on DVD on 11/6.
There will be SPOILERS for the movie and (possibly) the book as well. I’ve never read it so I don’t know how closely The Woman in Black movies follow the book.
The Woman in Black (1989)
The Woman in Black was produced by the BBC as a televised movie in 1989. Until I went looking for remakes I had no idea that The Woman in Black (2012) was a remake. I knew it was an adaptation of the novel by Susan Hill but I didn’t know they had made a previous one.
As before I’ll be covering the original and Nico will be joining me to review the remake, The Woman in Black (2012).
The Woman in Black starts out similar to the remake but there are already large differences. The original has our intrepid solicitor happily married with a small boy and brand new baby daughter. Everything’s pretty peachy at home. No deceased spouse, no mounting bills and debt. His only impetus for going off to Eel Marsh House is simply his boss’ insinuation that if he doesn’t then he’s not going to advance in the law firm.
Things move rather slowly for awhile. Arthur sees The Woman in Black a few times. The first time is at the funeral so he doesn’t think much of it. At the marketplace the next day a little girl is almost crushed by logs. She gets injured but Arthur saves her from being thoroughly squished. The second time is in the graveyard and he runs in fear from her. He’s told at the local inn that he should stay away from Eel Marsh House but everyone is predictably vague about the whys and how comes.
Arthur gets warned about the causeway. When the tide is in it is impassable and can sweep people out into the marsh. It’s called Nine Lives Causeway if that gives you any idea. After a few nights of not much happening on a fog-bound day Arthur hears a carriage accident, screaming and a little boy calling for his Mommy. He thinks it’s his usual driver but the driver arrives safely, leaving Arthur to wonder what exactly he heard. He hears it several times over the next few days. He also listens to a brief wax recording about The Woman in Black.
Arthur gets a bit of the history from a local man, Mr. Toovey. Toovey also gives him a natural explanation but Arthur isn’t really having it. Toovey tells Arthur he should stay away from the place or get some company. Arthur would love company but no one will go with him. So Toovey sends his dog, Spider, with Arthur. Aww, that’s sweet. Arthur likes the doggle and takes him back to the house. They are lured to the upstairs where Arthur finds a locked door. As he returns to open it he finds it standing ajar. Inside is a pretty magnificent nursery. He hears the giggle of a little boy. We don’t get to see him, just hear his voice and laughter. He doesn’t seem evil. In fact, he slips a toy soldier into Arthur’s hands. The lights dim and Arthur makes a run for the electric crank. Something whistles outside and Spider goes running into the night.
Arthur is saddened by the doggie’s departure. He feels certain that Spider was lured onto the marsh to his death. He begins to go through some papers in the desk and finds a couple of death certificates and some wax cylinders. They appear to be a recorded diary of the woman who lived there. She is talking about The Woman in Black. She says she refuses to be frightened or threatened by her kin, no matter what she’s become.
Shortly after, Arthur hears hoofbeats. He braces himself for another round of crashes and screams but it’s only Toovey. Spider arrived home and he thought something was wrong with Arthur so he’d come to check on him. Arthur is super-relieved that Spider is safe. I liked Arthur before but this made me love him so much. And the movie as well. Arthur shows Toovey what he found and Toovey finally gives Arthur the full story. I’ll do my best with it but, even though I rewound it twice it was a little muddled to me.
The woman who owned the house had a sister, Janet, who got pregnant out of wedlock. The child was adopted out. I’m assuming by the sister but it’s not quite clear. This drove Janet to desperation. She went running through the streets, stole a pony cart and kidnapped the child. Driving on the Nine Lives Causeway, however, she lost control and they were both lost in the marsh. Arthur tries to show Toovey the nursery but now it’s dilapidated and trashed. He faints. Toovey bundles Arthur into the buggy and drives him back to the town. On the way he tells Arthur the rest of it. Since the death she’s been haunting the area. Her appearance always heralds the death of a child.
Once at the inn Arthur tries to sleep. Nathaniel, the child, gives him the toy soldier again. Arthur wants to know what he wants. The Woman in Black visits him and he falls ill. His wife is sent for and she comes. He gets better and when his fever has broken Toovey tells him that Eel Marsh House has burned to the ground. Arthur is worried it was something he accidentally did. Toovey assures him (very pointedly) that there are other causes.
Once he’s well Arthur returns home, happy to be with his wife and children again. But he’s not unaffected. He wakes in a sweat when he hears the hoofbeats of the milk wagon. When he goes back to work he learns that his boss had been to Eel Marsh House and suspects that he didn’t go himself because he was afraid so he sent the unsuspecting Arthur. He tells Arthur that his suitcase had been sent from Crythin so Arthur goes to have a look. He tears it apart. I think he’s looking for the toy soldier. Relieved that it’s not there he starts to relax. His juniors come in to mention that they saw a woman pacing about outside. They think she was a widow…she was dressed completely in black.
Arthur tweaks out and burns everything in his suitcase and then the suitcase itself. He does this in the office. Naturally his boss wonders if he’s quite well. In other words, has he hone mad?! Arthur jumps his boos, trying to strangle him and yelling that he knew but sent Arthur anyway. His boss sends him home. For good.
His wife tries to cheer him up and suggests an outing. So they go a-rowing on the pond because that’s the smartest thing to do. He sees The Woman in Black standing on the water. A tree starts to break and falls on them. Arthur tries to protect his family valiantly but it doesn’t work. We’re left with a very still pond and smashed bits of tree and canoe.
The Woman in Black Review
While I didn’t hate the Woman in Black (2012) it just didn’t grab me and even now I can recall the big plot points but little else. I really enjoyed The Woman in Black (1989). It is slow moving so I can’t see it being for everyone but it really gives you time to get to know Arthur and is a bit less dreary than the remake. Arthur seems a bit more lively than his newer counterpart. Which is fair enough. Arthur Kidd has a thriving family and good job. Arthur Kipps (played by Daniel Radcliffe) has recently lost his wife and is sinking in debt. No reason he should be cheerful.
The original Woman in Black sets a premium on atmosphere rather than twitch/jump scares or that ever popular “Guess who’s behind you right now?” trope. Whether this is because of budget limitations (it was produced for television, after all) or just a different vision, I’m not sure. Either way, it worked. I honestly don’t recall the remake having too many ‘Gotcha!” type moments because one of the things I liked about it was a lot of the creepiness seemed to happen in the background. For the most part. But for being a television movie the production value was very nice. The one scare that could even slightly be called a ‘jump’ scare is very subdued and actually made my skin crawl, which is no mean feat.
I liked the story of the sister much better in this version. It’s still judgmental as all get out but a bit more realistic, I thought, and relies less on melodrama. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still dramatic but in a bit realer way and The Woman in Black’s sister doesn’t seem like such a horrible ogre.
I liked, also, that Arthur seems like an everyday guy. He has courage but it’s believable courage. He protects when he must and faints when he’s overcome by the weirdness with the nursery.Which really caught my attention. He’s no extraordinary hero. Quite the contrary, in fact. Rambo he is not.
The parts I thought it failed a bit were in the story of Janet and what happened to make her such a wrathful ghost. The story is slightly muddled. And the boy ghost. Why is he stuck there? Is it because of her? Is he evil as well? I’m going to have to read the book to see which is more accurate. I’m very curious now. I also liked this ending better, even though it’s a bit more of a downer ending. It seemed to fit and was creepier in a way. It wasn’t trying for a clever “Uh-oh” moment but it showed her to be implacable and somehow scarier.
The Woman in Black (2012) Review
It’s difficult to create a new spin on a haunted house movie, and The Woman in Black proved this to be true. It’s a typical story. A lonely man with a tragic past ends up alone in a giant haunted home. Ghosts appear, there’s some jump scares, and the motive for the chilling premise is revealed.
But that doesn’t mean the movie wasn’t a pleasure to watch. Daniel Radcliffe shook off his Harry Potter vibe and portrayed a heartbroken widower very believably.He committed to the role, making his terror become my terror. And while I predicted much of the movie, it was still well executed, with a chilling soundtrack to keep me engaged. The haunting imagery and spooky ghost sightings added a fun level of fright.
There are some moments in the plot that suspend belief. The ghost’s motives seemed a little over the top, but for the purposes of the movie, I think they were necessary. My favorite part was the ending, which didn’t wrap up the way I expected. And I heard they’ve made a sequel, although I’m not entirely sure how that would work. Still, I’ll give it a watch.
Not every horror movie needs to be cutting edge to entertain. The Woman in Black is such a movie.
I did find out a bit of interesting trivia when I looked up the actor who played Arthur Kidd. In Woman in Black (1989) Adrian Rawlins plays Arthur Kidd. In Woman in Black (2012) Daniel Radcliffe plays his counterpart, Arthur Kipps. But Adrian Rawlins also plays James Potter, Harry Potter’s father in the Harry Potter movies. I thought this was a pretty cool piece of trivia. Adrian Rawlins also has a cameo in the sequel, Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death.
All in all we each seemed to enjoy our version of The Woman in Black. I’d have to give the slighter preference to the original but it might move a bit slow for some people. It’s probably as close to a tie as we’re ever going to get on an Original vs. Remake.
Yep. This is how my experience with The Meg went. How do you bland-ify a movie about a gigantic prehistoric shark? Well, you hire Jon Turteltaub as the director, and cast Jason Statham as the lead for starters. Then you methodically go through and remove everything that made the book work so well except for the giant shark. Because, really, who needs the human drama at all? Big fucking shark should carry it through, right? RIGHT?!
I mean just for starters, Jonas from the book, as just a regular old submersible pilot obviously wasn’t cool enough. He needs to be a rescue diver. As soon as I realized that was one of the changes they made, I pretty much knew the movie was fucked. Jonas wasn’t the only problem with the characters either. The little girl grated on my nerves because hey, every summer movie needs a cheeky kid with unrealistic dialogue in it, right? I could go on, but you get my point.
Anyways, I had paid for all three of us to see it, and we were watching it in 3D, so I figured I would still get some entertainment from it. I was definitely gonna have at least a few shots of the shark coming straight at me, right? They had to have planned to shoot this in 3D, knowing the amount of people like me that would want to see it. Nope. We get a ball flying at our face in one case, and one or two other instances where the 3D actually worked. That was it. Jerk-offs.
Being honest, there were some fun scenes. They were entirely predictable, but still fun. (The best scenes in the movie are shown in the trailer, by the way.) I jumped a few times, but I’m the type of person who would jump if I saw Elmo walk on unexpectedly on Sesame Street, so take that with a grain of salt.
Overall? The dialogue was cut-and-paste, the characters were almost completely lacking in any traits that made them not cliche characters. The shark was okay. The price I paid for 3D was completely not worth it. Rent the original Jaws. It’s better. If you are craving some silliness, rent the original Deep Blue Sea. Its better too.
The Meg wasn’t awful. I would have actually preferred to hate it, I think. It was just completely forgettable, and for a movie about a gigantic prehistoric shark, I think that’s the worst possible feeling to be left with.
However, to be fair, I think Miss L loved it, and she wanted to give her own review, so here it is, with Mama dictating:
I LOVED IT. My favorite scene involved the doggy that we saw in the trailer. His name was Pippen. But the shark – he was crazy! He was super big – like fifty to sixty feet long, I think. I think Megalodons could still exist because you probably couldn’t tell the difference between a baby Megalodon and a Great White shark. So maybe we have seen them and just haven’t realized it.
It was filled with action! I jumped a couple of times. I liked Jonas because he was really funny and he was brave. I liked the little girl too. Her name was Meiyeng. I wouldn’t have screamed like she did, though. (Mommy interjects: That’s a damn lie. She would have ran and pissed herself just like I would have.) I liked how she got mouthy with Jonas a lot though. It was funny and I laughed a lot.
The end was pretty amazing. I would like to ride in one of those gliders some day.
I rate it 5 out of 5 stars. If there was a second Meg I would want to go see it. I also don’t wanna go to the pool because what if there was a Meg in there to eat me?!
Synopsis: A chronic sleepwalker reads from a mysterious book that foretells his impending demonic possession. He then struggles to hold his family together as the ancient evil threatens to consume everything he holds dear.
We received a screener of this film free from the company for review consideration.
It Lives Inside Review
Have you ever seen The Amityville Horror and/or The Shining? If so, you’ve already seen a better version of this story. It Lives Inside is incredibly boring, and though things do happen in the film, it feels like nothing is happening and time is, in fact, moving backwards. Sadly, my time didn’t actually move backwards, it was simply wasted.
The majority of this 90 minute exercise in patience has no music or sound effects. When it does though, it sounds like it’s ripped straight from Spooky’s Scary Halloween Haunted House Music & Sound FX Vol. 13 purchased for $4.99 at your local Target on November 2, 2002. Mostly, what you will hear is painfully dull and stiff dialogue. There is also a montage of a character putting out mouse traps that’s set to a cheesy jazz song and the whole scene is just very out of place.
This is going to be more of a personal point. Now, I have seen fantastic amounts of gore in films and it’s something that I quite enjoy, but It Lives Inside even disappoints in that aspect. You see, even though I’m ok with rubber guts and buckets of “blood”, when it comes to messy food, that’s when my stomach starts to turn. The blood in this film looks like barbecue sauce and it was making me feel sick. In addition to that, there’s a scene where a baby is making a mess with a bowl of spaghetti and it was just the worst thing.
Having said all that, there were a couple things that I enjoyed here. The first is when we got to see the demon in its full form. It was made of black smoke and fire and looked really badass. I just wish it wasn’t wasted on this project. The second was the last 2 minutes of what felt like eternity. Not only was I overjoyed that it was finally over, but I really liked how it ended. Unfortunately, these things aren’t enough to save the rest of the film.
So, should you watch It Lives Inside? Only if you have a time machine. Otherwise, go watch one of the movies I mentioned up top and you’ll have an infinitely more enjoyable experience. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to see about constructing a flux capacitor.
Critical darling psychological thriller The Shelter starring Michael Paré is now available world wide via Vimeo On Demand
MONTREAL, Quebec – The critically acclaimed psychological thriller “The Shelter”, starring iconic actor Michael Paré (“Streets of Fire”), is now available for viewing around the world, thanks to its newfound home on Vimeo On Demand: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/thesheltermovie.
The film, which the L.A. TIMES said was “remarkably ambitious” and was “a concise genre piece that doubles as a heavily metaphorical character sketch”, had previously been released on DVD and VOD in the United States, and was also sold in various countries around the world including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden and South East Asia.
But now the rest of the world gets their chance to watch the psychological suspense film which critics loved at the London Frightfest, as well as the Sitges Film Festival.
The film is about a homeless man named Thomas (Michael Pare) who finds shelter for the night within a lavish abandoned two-story house. He eventually discovers that he is not alone and the premises won’t let him leave.
“The Shelter” marked ArrowintheHead.com founder John Fallon’s directorial debut, a renaissance man who had previously written 12 films and acted in over 20 movies before directing his own. The first-time director said that “Since The Shelter’s domestic release, we’ve done all that we could do in terms of the classic distribution routes, but now it’s time for us to splash the film around the world, so that fans from anywhere can watch it whenever they want, from wherever they are!”
The film was shot entirely in Louisiana and provided lead actor Michael Pare with some of the best reviews of his career including kudos from WeAreIndieHorror which said that he gave “one of the best performances of his long career” and AintItCool.com which said “Pare really gives it his all here, plunging to emotional depths I never thought he was able to do and doing them with a real sense of soul.”
The Shelter Trailer
The Shelter - Trailer - YouTube
The Shelter Thoughts:
I just watched the trailer and this one looks really exciting. The idea of a person staying in a fancy “abandoned” house and then finding out they’re not alone just sets my imagination on fire. There seems to be some supernatural elements here, and that excites me as well.
I can’t wait to watch this one, and actually, you can watch it too cause it’s available right now!
We received a screener of this film free from the company for review consideration.
The Forest of the Lost Souls Review
The Forest of the Lost Souls is a black and white Portuguese horror film with subtitles. So it’s definitely not going to be for everyone. But for me, it was perfect. It takes place in a fictional suicide forest based on Aokigahara in Japan. Now that’s a location that fascinates me. Why are people who are seeking to end their life drawn to this place? Is it because they’re not likely to be caught? Maybe it’s cause, though filled with sorrow, it’s still beautiful and peaceful. There are many possibilities.
The first act felt very much like the film Lost In Translation. An older man and a young woman cross paths as they search for their final resting places, but they soon become entangled as they begin to form a relationship while exploring a forest filled with the dead. I loved this part and would’ve been happy if all 71 minutes were just this. But no, oh no. It becomes much more. Imagine Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson enjoying their time exploring Japan, when suddenly Michael Myers shows up and starts a body count. That’s what you get here, and it’s wonderful.
The cast all give believable performances and I especially enjoyed the lead played by Daniela Love. She’s charismatic, sly, and intense. I feel like I should go watch her past work, and I look forward to seeing her future projects.
We get a really nice song for the intro sequence, which seemed to use stop-motion animation, and I always appreciate that. The music throughout the film is fitting but didn’t stand out to me in any way. It serves its purpose.
What really shines though is the cinematography. It’s gorgeous. There were so many shots I would gladly frame and hang on my wall. Really, I was consistently stunned by how good it was. Also, you know that effect where when someone gets a text, it shows up in a text bubble in the frame? Yeah, they do that and it’s a visual element I always enjoy. Something very modern that you’ll never see in films of the past.
I found The Forest of the Lost Souls to be quite thought provoking, especially the ending which made everything click nicely in my mind. All told, this film was fantastic and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys these types of films (black and white with subtitles).
One more thing I wanted to mention is that the killer seems to view themself as a savior. If any of you watch this film I’d love to discuss this aspect with you.
The Forest of Lost Souls is scheduled for limited theatrical release, along with VOD and DVD this August.