How Not to Die in a Horror Flick

happy halloween 2k17!

I love horror movies. I am one of those rare people who can watch limbs being ripped off and horrific murders without breaking a sweat. Call me disgusting if you will, it’s a gift. I credit this condition to the many crappy “scary” movies I have seen that make me laugh rather than scream. The ones with characters so moronic that you’re actually hoping they will kick the bucket or serial murderers so hideous you cannot bear to look at their ugly mug for another second. In between the massacres with chainsaws and nightmares on Elm Street, I have been able to compile a list of things that will keep you alive if you find yourself in a horror movie situation. They are as follows:

1. Don’t be stupid. The main cause of death in most horror movies is stupidity. If you hear a noise in the attic, don’t go look. When there is an axe murderer outside, don’t go outside. If there is a shark in the water, it might not be the best day to go for a leisurely sail. You’re definitely going to need a bigger boat. [Jaws] If you walk into a creepy room with a hospital bed surrounded by bloody utensils, for the love of God do NOT lie down on the bed. That’s a sure fire way to get your Achilles tendon chopped. Come on Jared Padalecki, this is common sense. [House of Wax] And the winners for stupid decisions: “So, there’s a movie that kills you when you watch it. It probably killed my niece and three of her friends. Well, I’m still going to watch it.” Now you’ve got a decrepit, albino-pale contortionist girl calling you ‘mommy’. How did that work out for you? [The Ring] and “There is a paranormal spirit in my house. The specialist told me not to piss it off. Well, I’m still going to do it.” Now you’re dead. Nice. [Paranormal Activity]

2. Shoot until they’re really dead. While a single bullet to the heart may have been enough to kill Keith Scott in One Tree Hill, most horror movie villains tend to be more invincible. Most victims just shoot/stab/burn/etc. the psychopath once and pat themselves on the back. Do not just stick a hanger in your adversary’s eye and call it a day. [Halloween] Shoot that creeper until he is nothing but a bloody mass on the floor…or at least until you are 500% positive he’s dead. Because most of the times they’re just waiting for their moment to jump out of the lake and attack just when you’re about to find rescue. [Friday the 13th]

3. Believe the kid. They may be young, but most children in scary movies know their stuff. If your daughter starts saying, “They’re here!” creepily and stares at the static on your television, take note parents. This is probably not part of puberty. [The Poltergeist] Do not set free an evil little girl who has been chilling in a well for x number of years, especially if your son (with uber creepy eyes) is whispering, “You weren’t supposed to help her! She never sleeps.” Good job, mom. [The Ring] And if your patient tells you that he can see dead people and you’ve just had a near fatal accident and no one seems to care…DING DING! You’re probably dead. [The Sixth Sense]

4. No one is who they seem to be. Appearances are very misleading. The nice woman you met during a fake movie audition thinks a typical date includes sawing off your foot with a piano wire and plunging acupuncture needles into your eyes. And that’s not S & M buddy, that’s torture. [Audition] The introverted little girl who always gets picked on at your summer camp is capable of committing grizzly murders to those who make fun of her and was biologically born male! Now that’s ballsy…no pun intended. [Sleepaway Camp] And the school freak whose locker you stuffed with tampons and dumped pig’s blood all over at prom has sick telekinetic powers which she will use to extract revenge. [Carrie]

So people, the bottom line is: be smart, use your firearm, make friends with kids, trust no one and you will escape from the murderer/evil spirit unscathed.

An Unnecessary Star Wars Ramble

Enjoy a very belated and random review of the new Star Wars movie.


I saw Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens in a packed theater on Christmas Day. It was one of those audiences that whooped when the main titles started and continued to clap whenever one of the veteran characters showed up on screen. Overly enthusiastic audiences during movies is one of my major pet peeves (Magic Mike was a nightmare), but it didn’t completely kill my spirits. I can imagine it’s how I felt when the first Harry Potter movie came out, but then again, I still didn’t outwardly show my glee. I suppose that goes along with the whole “conceal, don’t feel” a la Frozen bit I’ve got going on…but I digress.

I went into this viewing with absolutely no expectations. I agreed to see both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith for two reasons: Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen. This movie has no Ewan McGregor or Hayden Christensen. I basically signed up for R2D2, who had a minute of screen time. Boo. BB-8 ain’t got nothin’ on you.

However, I was greatly surprised by how much I enjoyed the movie. I’m not a fan of action movies, but I always enjoy a “good vs. evil and good prevails” type of film. My viewing partner aka dad was not so impressed, but maybe it’s because this wasn’t a highly anticipated film for me.

The new cast is good. That seems pretty basic to say, but it’s true. Strong, female protagonists are pretty cool, and newcomer Daisy Ridley chose the perfect film for making her debut. From the talk show appearances he’s done, John Boyega seems perfectly likeable and Adam Driver has the perfect voice for a villain. Also, props on the diversity.

**Here’s your second spoiler warning**

I’m extremely impressed that the Internet kept the death of one Han Solo underwraps. (And admit it: you had a feeling that Kylo Ren wasn’t just going to turn back to the good side that easily.) But still, for an iconic character, this was a pretty bold move. Although, I’m sure they’ll find a way to bring him back for the next two movies. A hologram or something, probably. I’m also not onboard with the actors on the shortlist for a young Mr. Solo, even though Scott Eastwood is nice to look at. Hopefully they’ll pull another Daisy Ridley and find another talented unknown to play the coveted role.

And who do I think Rey’s parents are? Jury’s still out. It would make sense for the series if she is secretly a Skywalker. If she’s Leia and Han’s kiddo that could lead to an epic brother-sister showdown with Kylo Ren, and I’m completely up for that. Or maybe we haven’t met them yet…

I still wouldn’t consider myself a devoted Star Wars fan, but this movie was generally an enjoyable experience for me. I hope the sequels bring new pretty faces and more R2D2.

REVIEW: The Unforgiving

When I am left in a confused stupor after watching a movie, it’s never a good sign. And no, I have never seen Inception. This was, hands down, the worst after-movie experience I have ever had. My head was already reeling from the jittery hand-held camera movements, add in the booming chorus of “what the hell did I just watch?” repeating inside my head, I had no choice but to take a nap. I was that exhausted. So what was this movie that made my mind work serious overtime? It was The Unforgiving, a 2010 horror film directed by Alastair Orr.

The Unforgiving tells the story of two torture victims, Alice (Claire Opperman) and Rex (Ryan Macquet), who are abducted after they are left stranded on a freeway in rural South Africa. Their abductor is a gas-mask clad madman who looks like he was plucked directly from My Bloody Valentine. Through a series of flash-backs, flash-forwards and varying viewpoints, the survivors recall their experience to Detective Hirsch (Michael Thompson), who attempts to piece together their wildly mismatched tale.

The IMDB review promised me a “horrifying climax.” Well, they were playing pretty fast and loose with the word “terrifying.” In the very least I expected either…A. One of those torture scenes a typical person can’t stand to watch; B. A twist so shocking that the viewer spouts a stream of four-lettered words; or at the very least C. The identity of the psychopath is revealed.

Granted, I am pretty desensitized at this point, but when a film is likened to the Saw series and Hostel, I expect to have to cover my eyes at some point. That did not happen. I managed to grasp enough of the plot to acknowledge that there was some kind of twist involved. And I did spout a stream of four-lettered words, but it was out of sheer frustration not shock. I will give them props for the score, however, that was pretty rad.

This is by far the crappiest review I have ever written. And I blame my inability to understand what the hell happened. Apparently everyone else understood it because I have not been able to find a complete explanation online. So I guess if you are up for a not-so gory movie that will make your head hurt in the end, look no further than The Unforgiving.

REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


I generally go to the movies with low expectations. It’s fairly difficult to reach the caliber that I hold movies to.  When it comes to film adaptations of books, it’s nearly impossible to outshine its written form. Unlike other franchises, the Harry Potter films have been pretty decent overall. But after the travesty that was Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, things really could only improve. On the other hand, this is the last chapter of the Harry Potter saga, a well-loved childhood staple of gazillions of people across the planet. Greatness is expected. Armed with popcorn and Diet Pepsi, I settled myself in a seat with a questionable stain and prepared myself for what hopefully was going to be an epic experience.

I am happy to report that of approximately 2:45 a.m. yesterday, my Harry Potter heart has been so incredibly happy. But this is me, I can find the negative in anything. Yay pessimism.

The cast of Harry Potter must be the most awkward pack of kissers I have ever seen on film. Every single kissing scene in these movies has made me cringe. First, the Harry/Cho kiss where their arms were awkwardly pinned to their sides like soldiers. Second, well, I’m not even going to into the Ron/Lavender mess. Third, the Harry/Ginny smooches. It doesn’t help that she’s taller than him, I see no chemistry between them whatsoever and their relationship has always been paired with scenes of extreme awkwardness. In the sixth movie, there was the whole “Your shoelace is untied, let me do that for you.” I remember the entire theater expressing their confusion. Um, Ginny what exactly are you doing down there? This movie we got Ginny asking Harry to “zip her up.” Classy. Harry seemed to have a tough time with that zipper, it took like five minutes to close the damn dress…and then he went in for the kill. And the Harry/Hermione Horcrux mack was way over the top. Did they need to be naked? No. Did they need to eat each other’s faces? No. I hope the Ron/Hermione kiss in the next movie lacks the above nastiness. We’ve been waiting forever for this moment. Don’t screw it up.

Which leads to my next subject, the interactions between the Trio. Ron and Hermione were So. Freaking. Adorable. The fangirl in me was smiling the entire time. Harry and Hermione’s friendship got an emphasis while Ron was MIA. The addition of the H/H dancing scene was cute, a tad unnecessary but cute. While I don’t consider any of the Trio to be terrific, Oscar worthy actors, they have gotten better over the years. When they cry it’s semi-believable now.

A few minor tweaks were made for what I assume would be time limits: no goodbye scene between Harry and the Dursleys, no ghoul in pajamas, Harry wasn’t disguised at the wedding, the Ministry of Magic expedition was pretty brief, no in-depth explanation of Dumbledore’s family, Wormtail didn’t die etc. In addition to the dancing scene, some extras were also thrown in mostly for comic relief. Now to the deaths, two points:  A) If you read the books you knew they were coming and B) They weren’t THAT sad. The girl next to me cried constantly throughout the entire movie. So either she just suffered a heartbreaking breakup or she’s emotionally unstable.

My last rant for this film goes to the wardrobe department. Harry and Ron were dressed in some of the ugliest effing sweaters I have ever seen. You’ve got what must be a multi-million dollar budget, loosen the purse strings a little here.

Don’t get me wrong, the HP7.1 was good, great even. I am sure I will see it at least one more time in theaters, but it just wouldn’t be typical of me to just address the positives. Can it be July 15 now?

Oh and Voldie? Try some spray-on tan and consider getting a rhinoplasty.

REVIEW: Charlie St. Cloud

Any film that involves me staring at a distraught but still uber-hot Zac Efron for nearly two whole hours is already guaranteed four stars in my book. Yes, the story felt a bit forced at times and the constant panning of the camera had my motion sickness almost ready to blow, but the twist in Charlie St. Cloud still threw me for a loop. And did I mention the film was full of pretty?

Zac Efron plays the title character, Charlie, a young man emotionally and spiritually shaken after the car accident that took the life of his younger brother, Sam. While dealing with the whole moving-on process, Charlie is reintroduced to Tess, a former classmate and the two form a..ahem…special bond. I honestly didn’t know the female character’s name until halfway through the movie, either I wasn’t listening hard enough or just marveling in the much improved acting of Zac Efron.  Efron is crying uncontrollably for a good chunk of this movie. While I find his sincerity impressive and his anguished face adorable, it definitely took away from the time that he could have been shirtless, which I am depressed to say is only about five minutes of the film.

As much as I want to know if I was the only idiot who didn’t see where the story was going, I will do my best to refrain from spilling the “WTF?!” moment in the movie. From the previews, it’s made clear that Charlie can “see” his deceased brother and plays baseball with him every night at sunset. That’s all well and dandy, but when the plot twist presented itself, I for one suffered a major brain explosion. Maybe I was too caught up in the eye-candy that is Zac Efron to see the whole Sixth Sense thing taking shape, but I was definitely thrown for a loop.

To prove that I can be objective, there were moments when I found myself saying “Okay…” in my head in that slow sarcastic way that draws out the last syllable as long as needed to make a point. I found Charlie’s renewed faith just too planned. I could feel the moral of the story being forced down my throat ever so slightly.  This film also requires a minor suspension of disbelief that in this seemingly normal town, a guy can see / talk / have sex with dead people…in a non-necrophilia way.

I wouldn’t pay to see this again, but I can’t say that I regret my $9.25 spent on the film. Charlie St. Cloud is admittedly a bit bland and a tad too coincidental at times, but it’s entertaining nonetheless. If anything, it’s an excuse to stare at pretty people in a pretty location for 100ish minutes. Oh and Zac Efron is in it, in case you didn’t know.

REVIEW: The Human Centipede

While browsing through Entertainment Weekly’s website today, I came across an article by Clark Collins titled “‘Human Centipede’: Is this the most disgusting horror film of all-time?” Obviously as a horror movie buff, I was intrigued. I should have read the article thoroughly, but I didn’t. Huge ass mistake. I just began downloading the movie. I felt pretty confident that this movie wouldn’t phase me. This is a girl who laughed during the Saw movies and didn’t even blink during Hostel. Half-an-hour in my mind was completely changed…this movie makes Haute Tension and The Descent look like Disney movies.

I have officially seen the most horrifyingly disturbing movie. Ever.

I went back to Collins’ article and actually read it. If I would have simply skimmed the piece I wouldn’t have watched this monstrosity of a film. The trailer alone would have haunted my nightmares for weeks on end. This horrible movie is about a demented surgeon, Dr. Heiter, who has the insane fantasy of creating a human centipede by attaching people from mouth to anus to form a solitary digestive tract and then slicing a tendon at their knees to make them permanently bent. For all those non-medically minded people, this means that middle and end people are forced to swallow the other peoples’ crap. If your cookies are not all ready tossed, this is where you lose it.

Dieter Laser aka the psychopathic surgeon is without a doubt the scariest man in the history of the world. If that guy so much as looked at me I would probably have an immediate heart attack and keel over. If I ever see this man grace my screen again I will flip so much shit. His sick sadistic pleasure in his creation is absolutely awful. Seriously, who thinks of this stuff?! You have a sick mind, Tom Six. And I thought the creative team behind the Saw franchise was severely unhinged…

I have never been so repulsed by a movie before in my life. I think it’s safe to say I will be steering clear of horror movies for a while.

photo credit: Entertainment Weekly