Tag Archives: Horror reviews

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Netflix 2022, review. (Mostly Spoiler Free)

INTRODUCTION: Ok, I make it not secret that I cannot stand the Texas Chainsaw Massacre film series. Yes, as a horror fan, I know this piece of shit is sacrosanct, but I could never find a way to like it. I went into this with lower than average expectations, even lower than I have with politicians, which is saying a lot, so was good?

STORY: Douche-bag Youtubers buy shit ghost town, accidentally kill leatherface’s mamma and how they’re fucked. Very Original/sarcasm

DIALOGUE: Mostly good, minus two cringe moment, one about death following one chick to this shitty town and the other about the wanna be Laurie Strode not being remembered by Micheal…er, leatherface.

SFX: Standard, but good.

VISUALS: Very good looking town, realistic for what is probably just stand ups as opposed to actual full sets. Sadly the shitting yellow lighting of a good portion of the movie to remind us the original was set in the 70s, was annoying.

KILLS: Decent, but not amazing. At one moment, what could of been a great massacre on par with Darth Vader in Rouge One, is plagued by “humor”.

SUBTEXT: Seriously? Consider the source material.

CONCLUSION: For a movie that is just a rip off of Halloween (2018), it is still the “best” this “series” has to offer and sadly way too late to be really worth your wild. When I say rip off, it is nearly point for point in the structure. Ignore all but the original movie? Check! Have actors that aren’t the most photogenic? Check! Have the original villain be smarter than he was in previous versions? Check! Original, albeit recast, character making a comeback for a show down? Check! Cliche ending? Check! This movie wins the 2018 horror movie bingo. Sadly, it is still just a mediocre horror movie at it’s core.

3 stars out of 5 for a normal horror movie.

4 out of 5 stars for a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie.

Kageoween: The Haunting of Bly Manor

INTRODUCTION: So, I’ve just finished The Haunting of Bly Manor, a sequel season, to an anthology series of haunted houses, all of which, are apparently mansions. Presumably because the ghost of the mansions are subtext for white guilt because Ole Mike here is more successful than you and feels bad about it. I digress though. This is an adaptation of an old gothic horror novella from 1898, one of which I will now make sure to read. Is this “show” worth it though?

STORY/PLOT: An au pair takes a job at a haunted mansion, how original of Netflix, uh? They really pushed the boundaries of a narrative here.

CHARACTERS: Not bad for horror, but could of been better overall. I know he gets praised for developing characters in horror better than horror normally does, but I feel like his development is equal to that of a prepubescent child with hard nipples from the winter chill as opposed to a fully developed adult woman, but for horror, I’ll take whatever I can get. It isn’t always easy to develop characters well anyways.

Once again I find myself dismayed at the LGBTQ representation being the equal to that of a fratboy having fantasies. I mean, I haven’t hand a chance to know every lesbian in my lifetime, but I do know drunken benders that lead to lesbianism, do not seem to be the major narrative in a lot of gay love stories. It’s more dishearten, given he has his wife play another Lesbian character, whom identifies as Bi, so Mike should know better, but atlas, I will have to put up with shitty characters that don’t even have build to them being lesbians, it’s just trust onto us. I mean, he is only 8 years old than I, but is lesbianism really a shock and awe moment? Kind of behind the 8 ball on this one.

ACTING: Mostly shit, except for two actors. The cook and the guy who played the farther in the The Haunting of Hill House.

STYLE/VISUALS: Kind of reminiscent of early 2000’s dramas for me, like The Practice or Boston Legal. Since this story is based in the 1980’s, it works, but still nothing exciting.

WRITING: Very good.

DIALOUGE: I get it’s England, but a lot of it is fuckin’ cringe.

TENSION: Quite splendid for this show. Sadly it was a big let down to nothing of worth at the end. Once again he added in a scare that I didn’t expect and I’m not afraid to admit it. I lothe the heavy reliance on jump scares though.

MUSIC: Forgettable at best. This show’s tension at it’s highest when there isn’t a score anyways, so.

SUBTEXT: Not a lot, but for me it seems to be about legacies and the impression one makes on others, family and friends being the most important, so that one isn’t forgotten about.

CONCLUSION: While the mid-season twist were perfectly predictable, I like the first 5 episodes even better than I the original. Sadly it wears out its welcome by episode 8 and 9 seems like a tedious epilogue that wasn’t needed. My thoughts are the complete opposite with The Haunting of Hill House, which was boring up until the end. I was afraid this was going to go Deus Ex Machina, but that would of been welcome to the let down of an ending we did get. Episode 8 was so out of place, it really seemed tacked on, when it could of been at the beginning of the season and while a diversion from the narrative, it was somewhat integral to see where the story was heading. It’s just one more let down though, but I’ve wasted my time on worse.

3 out of 5 stars.

EDIT: ADDED WRITING AND DIALOUGE BLOCKS. 18 OCT 2020 AT 2:15 PM

Kageoween: I Chuckie, a review of the 2019 remake.

INTRODUCTION: I was excited to see that Child’s Play was getting the reboot treatment. I was never the biggest fan of the series, but up to three was good. There is an argument to be made for Bride of Chucky but I was pretty much out at that. The concept was kind of hoakie, but it worked in its time frame, remember, it came out in 1988 and every movie had characters with weird backstories. This one removes the weird voodoo in exchange for a more realistic take. Was it better off?

SYNOPSIS: A company like Apple produces an Amazon like Alexa, but in the form of a doll. The doll goes rouge due to a disgruntled employee having shut off the safety precautions. All hell breaks loose.

CHARACTERS: Pretty shallow to say the least. They could have developed them more, or at least the main characters. Overall, very weak, but so wasn’t the original Child’s Play.

ACTING: Fantastic! Not a weak actor among them all. They all did superb.

DIALOGUE: Not a single bit of cringe! It was excellent and at times very comical.

KILLS: Weak and not very inventive. We have seen most of these things before and it was tame.

PACING:It tried to be an old school story driven movie, but the pacing wasn’t right for it. It didn’t build tension correctly and that is a shame, because I would have loved more build and tension.

SUBTEXT: If we ignore the overt text that is the dangers of AI, Child’s Play at its core is really about being involved in your child’s life more and not allowing negative things to influence them, as Chuckie was. Everything he learns, he picks up from others and I think that is a worthwhile takeaway.

CONCLUSION:
The story could have been better and Andy’s hearing aid could have been a much bigger plot point. It was a missed opportunity to make him seem crazy, so by the end, he would have been redeemed in a most stellar fashion. The modernization was much needed and a fantastic break away from the old. While not an amazing film, a sequel could be beneficial and wouldn’t be minded. I loved the Isaac Asimov homage of the three rules that cannot be broken and there are a few other reference, like RoboCop that are within. Even with the comedy, this movie just could not get me to like it. Objectively speaking, not bad, just slightly flawed. Subjectively speaking, I really hope if they do make another they expound on this one with more developed characters, better kills, a better story and more tension.

Overall
3/5

Fashionably Late Movie Reviews: Scream

INTRODUCTION:
With all the reviews I do, sometimes I don’t get around to reviewing old movies, especially ones I love and have impacted me a lot. One of those movies is Scream. I loved it back in 1996 and I love it today. I am reviewing some twenty three years after the fact and I am not going to hold back on my thoughts, because all is fair for a skewer or praise, even my own favorite things. So what is your favorite scary movie? One of them is Scream!

SYNOPSIS:
Woodsboro is a quiet town where not much happens. It has seen better days then the murder of a young mother, but a year after that, things become hectic, and Woodsboro is never the same again.

CHARACTERS:
Shallow as puddles. I mean, exposition attempts to give us back story, but not really in a way that is needed, since it is being shown. For instance. Dewy saying to a smoking chief, “I thought you quit” when he is smoking, yet the body language is enough for us to see he is tense, his past doesn’t make this scene more poignant than it already is. A longer movie that build up the relationships better or better chemistry between the actors would of helped a lot. Otherwise, you really don’t care for most of them.

DIALOUGE:
Not bad at all. Although I do have some issues with one aspect and that is Randy’s Rules for a horror movie and one other aspect about the boyfriend always being a suspect. First about the boyfriends, what movie was it ever the boyfriend? It never was! I’ve seen 1000’s of horror movies and this was never a thing and while I haven’t seen every single horror movie made, I still can’t even find movies where it turned out to be the boyfriend. This seems like made up bullshit that found its way into the series. Second are the rules are never actually real rules. Let’s take rule one, being a virgin. Not a single survivor girl is ever labeled a virgin, we’re just presumptuous because usually the survivor girl is typical girl next door, reads books, but the question must be asked, whose perspective are these written from? I would expect a popular chick to not want to bang the nerdy kid, but not a single man picking up the easy nerdy female ass? I get if a killer is on the loose not to run off to a room to get off, because you’re going to be venerable, but Come on now, to think every character that ever went up against a killer in these movies couldn’t get laid or never did, well, this insults my intelligence. The other two make sense, but they really aren’t rules for a horror movie, more like, how to survive period. Don’t get intoxicated for instance. Well no shit Randy Meeks! How about, always have a gun? The “I’ll be right back” aspect also barley happens in movies. It seems to me that screams meta aspect, while there, is over inferred and whatever movies Williamson was watching were not movies I was watching nor anyone else. One of the weaker parts of the movies that is never discussed.

ACTING:
When I first saw this, I hated Officer Dewey, but David Arquette is really the guy who jumps off the screen with the best acting of them all. He never hams it up on screen or has an uneven performance. I have to appreciate David and his acting through this series more now than I ever did in the past. He is really good! The rest of the cast are uneven and one wonders if this is the first acting gig for most of them or if they were too cool to bother putting in the effort on such a low brow film. The answer is probably a mixture of both. Courtney Cox gets an honorable mention, even though Gail is over the top, she seems to have taken this seriously and brought an A game perforce and she is another character I loathed in the series.

PRODUCTION:
Production is weird on this. Scream, regardless of what some think, is not Wes Craven’s finest hour. It features weird 1960’s batman angles which not only look like shit, but add nothing and I noticed this was nixed later on in the series. A poor choice that, thankfully, didn’t hinder this movie or his career, because it seems so amateur. The set style attempts to be so not 90’s that somehow it is even more 90’s than being dated would have been, if that makes sense? The clothes are not teenage choices of the era, the set dressing barley have anything 90’s about them. I would presume they wanted to go “evergreen” so it looked good no matter the year, but somehow made it look like this was created by two out of touch old men. Then there is the police, which are all dressed like 70’s California Highway patrol. I don’t know where Woodsboro is, but it seems like it should be in New England, given that Dunkin Doughnuts outside of the region where hard to come by back then, so I don’t know how these Eric Estrada fanboys were getting it.

KILLS:

Awesome! They’re just right for the film series. Gory but not over the top and weird.

SUBTEXT: None

CONCLUSION: Scream worked well in its time frame because few movies were like this. You had Jason Lives with the meta aspect and that was all. It still mostly holds up, even though the cloning of cell phones was a dated reference even then, the fact Sid manages to make a 911 call on a system that never existed in the 90s, right after she tries the phone. Back then, this would have disconnected her from the net and she would have been frustrated waiting to reconnect via dial up. Kudos to her for being the first woman to ever have DSL before it existed. The production seems to be done by out of touch old men and the acting is typical fare for these films of any era, never mind the shallow cast of character. Scream’s charm lies not in how original it was or wasn’t but in how real it was, especially in the original decade of school shooters. It could happen anywhere and that is where the really scary part comes into play. It’s a movie that, had I seen as an adult, I don’t think would of influenced me as much, but because I was the right age and right time, it ultimately is one of my favorite horror movies and I am glad that I had the chance to see it then, because it really is a great and fun movie, despite all its flaws.

3.5 out of 5.

The Exorcist Book Review

INTRODUCTION
The Exorcist is one of those iconic movies that no matter when you were born, you probably heard about it. The movie was so intense for the time period that it is claimed it sent people reeling from the cinema in droves, which is believable, given no audience prior to had seen such atrocious scenes laid out before them. Night of the Living Dead was one such film of its timeframe in 1968, but by 1973, the film landscape had changed so vastly that Night of the Living Dead just seemed tame in comparison. Still to this day, few movies with more balls have been made. Can you imagine forced pedo-sapphic incest happening on screen today? Nope and this is why this film is still considered legendary. Having first seen this film in the 90’s, I thought it was tame. I honestly hate anything religious, especially religious horror, because the idea of possession is so mentally absurd, that I can’t suspend my disbelief to believe it is happening. Unlike Freddy, which we know isn’t believed by idiots, we can easily suspend disbelief. Regardless, I decided all these years later to give the book a go and this is my thoughts on Blatty’s iconic novel.

SYNOPSIS
A young Hollywood actress’ daughter becomes “possessed” by a “demon” and you guessed it, an exorcism happens.

CHARACTERS
The only thing less developed then the 12 year old lead in this book is the supporting cast. Most are just there with nothing overly interesting about them. Karras and Lt. Kinderman are the only interesting characters in this novel as with the movies.

PROSE
It’s alright, but it isn’t better than most New York Times bestselling books out there. Blatty had his moments, but it isn’t overly painful to read like Game of Thrones is, either.

SUBTEXT/THEMES
Thematically the book deals with mental illness, religion, belief and other “fun” concepts, but subtext is pretty non-existent, minus one Youtuber who pointed out that the movie had great subtext for sexual abuse. Sadly, while I agree with it, the point of view and how this book is written, along with how the movie goes, pretty much refutes that. Blattly himself even said he didn’t intend for it that way. So, sadly, possession in both the movie and book are quit literal.

CONCULSION
Hardly the worse book I’ve ever read, but it seems more like a parody of the movie. I mean, Regan is a dork, red head kid and the iconic scenes of the movie don’t register the same in the book, they seem weird and don’t fit. Calling the kids rags, is laughable and a horrible nickname. Everything people love about the movie, in this book, seems more mocking in tone, which was clearly not the intent. Mind you this book is 40 years old, along with the movie, but the movie, while I loathe it, holds up better. If you really want to give it a go, feel free to, but otherwise, much like how the book was received prior to a lucky chance appearance by Blattly on a talk show in the 1970’s which catapulted it to fame, I think it is better ignored.

3 out of 5

Kagegiving: Interview with the Vampire Book Review

INTRODUCTION
     Long before vampires sparkled, they brooded and could not shut up about it. I should probably point out, I was never an Anne Rice fan. I read Servant of the Bone, since she was recommended to me, because I liked Stephen King when I was a child and hated it. That was 20 years ago, so I decided, hey, why not give it another shot. Oh boy, was that the wrong way to think. This review is going to give a subjective opinion, but with an objective star rating.

SYNOPSIS
     Young, possibly gay or bisexual, introverted male, gets turned into a vampire by extroverted bisexual vampire, who then live a weird life of pedophilia together and bitch like a married couple, whilst nothing else of merit happens. Oh and a holocaust so easy to cause, that it would make Hitler blush.

CHARACTERS
     Let me start by saying that Anne Rice is very good at making her characters developed with very little. What would make other character’s shallow by other writers, she can get away with. So I’m very pleased that the characters are evenly built and seem like real people, when they are not just melodramatic and throwing tantrums. The main character is an analogy for herself, because homosexuality makes great subtext for your wishy-washy feelings about god. Lestat is a boyfriend, apparently similar to her husband and then there is the sexually abused girl.

DIALOGUE
     This is something I have often overlooked in reviews, mostly because it takes a hell of a lot of effort to write really bad dialogue, but I’m going to start including it here. Dialogue is mostly decent, given one or two weird spots. Not much to complain about.

PROSE
     You can tell Anne didn’t know if she wanted this to be third person or first person, so she settled for both, but wrote 99% of it in first person. The book is annoying in third person, with great lines such as “The vampire looked at the interviewer.” How the hell does anyone know he’s a vampire yet and if God is telling the story, why the fuck do we have to deal with a whiny emo bitch? Once she finally picks a fuckin’ narrative, business picks up. Spoiler alert, she picks first person, presumably because she realized what an “Interview” was and that it did not allow for third person, but I might be giving her too much credit here.

     She is descriptive enough to make the world seem plausible. She does not overdo it with too much description, but it isn’t lackluster either. That said, this woman doesn’t know what the fuck a chapter is, nor what a scene break is and the writing is dense as fuck. To be fair, by the end of this book, she finally got scene breaks right, but far too late as reading this is a nightmare.

     Other than those technical aspects, the only flaw would be the waxing philosophical about nonsense topics. Pseudo intellectualism has never been more fun with such shallow topics. Interview with the Vampire is like doing your Philosophical PhD thesis on the Insane Clown Posse, but instead of being laughed at and ejected by the college, people willingly paid you hard earned money to read your work. It wants to be literary and in some cases, it has merit, but like I said, it isn’t decent enough to be called such.

CONCLUSION
     While Anne is on record saying the main character is an analogy for herself, which always makes for horrible writing, at least I could understand why this was fresh in 1976. Up until that point, most vampires were vicious and here is one that is different from all the rest. The homosexual aspect was not needed. I’m on record as stating that vampires being dead, do not need a sexuality. I’m not saying you cannot see them as analogies to feeling like an oppressed minority, but straight up making them that way is dumb. One of the things that makes classics is the ability for multiple people to pick up different aspects of subtext, which could have worked to make this a classic like Dracula, but falls way short of that. Vampires are predators, first and foremost. Sexuality is a sirens call, at best and an easy way to trap prey. I noticed that Anne and others like pointing out the vampire’s fetid breath, normally to showcase dead people do not bush their teeth. Logic states that if vampires don’t eat or brush their teeth, they don’t have enough time to suck cock either, just saying. Regardless of that gripe, she at least cut out a lot of stupid shit, like garlic and crosses, so that was a plus. She was the progenitor of the near sparkling vampire though. Also, it could of removed the weird pedophilia shit as well. So is this book something to be thankful for? Nope, it is like giving a small pox blanket to a Native American.

     3 out of 5.