Monday, October 31, 2016

New Nightmare (1994)

Happy Halloween everybody!!! I love this holiday and I am so excited to take my kiddos out Trick-or-Treating. They look so cute in their costumes and I just love hearing how cute they look by all the people we visit. As a parent I just love people gushing over my kids. If it wasn't for the fact that by the time we get home and get the kids to bed I'm just exhausted, I would do what I used to and watch as many horror movies in the dark as I could until I passed out on the couch. Instead I saved the best for last. 

Freddy Krueger is one of my all time favorite monsters. I say this but I must clarify that he is one of my favorite next generation monsters. The Universal Studio monsters are still classics but there are those that came after. Freddy Jason, Leatherface, and Michael Myers; these are what I consider the next generation of monsters. Nothing has really come since them and the original movies may be considered classics but there really hasn't been a good monster character boot up a new franchise. At least not one I know of, so if I'm wrong please let me know.

Ok so why do I think this is the best movie of this Netfilx list. Not only is Freddy Krueger one of the scariest monsters out there but this movie crosses the barrier of fiction to reality. I know what you are thinking, I have lost my mind because this is still a movie and a pure work of fiction. In this movie most of the original cast of A Nightmare on Elm Street is back but they are back as their real life selves. They show interviews and such and how these actors are living their lives after this movie masterpiece has been out and about. Freddy is starting to push through the lines of fiction and effect Robert Englund and Heather Langenkamp which pulls Heather into the movie as Nancy once more.

This is the perfect Halloween movie and I recommend it to anyone looking for a fun scare. I say fun scare because the first time you watch it it can have it's moments that can really get under your skin and push the goosebumps out, but it is still a campy horror comedy that is just a fun ride. Robert Englund is also the absolute best Freddy Krueger out there. He created the screen version of the character that set the rules and tone for the remake and any future remakes. No one will ever play the role as well as he did. This wasn't the last time he donned the makeup to bring Freddy to the screen but it was one of the last. 

I can't say how much I love this movie and it may not be the best horror movie out there but I rank it very highly. I was so glad to see this on the list so I had an excuse to watch this a review it here for Halloween Week. 5 out of 5 stars for this one. Happy Halloween. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Would You Rather (2012)

I'm so sorry I'm a little bit behind on my post for today but we had a big day yesterday and I didn't have time to write this up. So let me start this by asking you a simple question. If your life was in a dire place and you could turn it around in the blink of an eye, what would you do to make this happen? I'm sure we all have played the game would you rather at some point in you life. Like would you rather risk a speeding ticket, or be late to the interview of your life? It can be harmless and funny, but it can also take a dark turn. This movie is the dark dark version of what this game could be. 

Iris has lost everything and given up even more. She lost bother her parents, and her brother has cancer. She gave up school and a job to move back home to take care of him while trying to cope with the mounds of bills that her parents left her. One day she gets the offer to come to a dinner party and play a game, compete in a contest to win life changing amounts of money to save her brother's life and allow her to get back to hers. Of course she is skeptical and not even considering it until desperation cuts deep and she feels there is no other option but to go. At this dinner party the game is played until only one person is left standing. Not only does Iris have to fight for her brother's life, but she has to make decisions to save her own. 

This movie really made me think about what I would have done in the same situation. Could I do what was asked of these characters? One thing I can say is I would think that no matter what amount of desperation I wouldn't attend a weird to go to be true dinner party offer. I hope I never have to find out. This movie was interesting and disturbing all in one convenient package. There is some blood but not as much gore and grossness as you would expect based on the movie poster.

I give this movie a solid 4 out of 5 stars. I might even watch it again for another Halloween marathon. I am including this in my RIP challenge for the very last two days of the event. This may be my last entry since my final movie posts tomorrow and it is back to work for me and then Trick-Or Treating with the kids so I usually don't get on my computer on Halloween. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hush (2016)

So I know there are very few people who read this blog but I do this for me. Life happens and it has been a rough week and I happen to be on vacation. I almost didn't get this posted or watched but I like to keep up with my traditions. My wife and I just finished this movie and you know it isn't the best movie when your wife asks "How much of this movie is left"

This movie is about a writer who is def and mute. She lives in isolation because she is isolated because of her disability. At the very beginning of the movie Maddie is a character you just like and root for all the way to the bitter end of the movie. It was very interesting to see her struggle from her point of view. It has to be so difficult to not wonder if someone is sneaking up behind you when you can't hear them coming. 

This is a short movie but it felt longer. I think this clocks in at about an hour and 20 min. The suspense builds and then stalls very quickly. The ending of the movie wasn't bad but I had heard so much amazing stuff about this movie I was a little let down. This movie has a bit more blood and gore than the last selections as my wife pointed out to me. My Halloween week has been a bit light on the blood and guts movies this year. 

I give this movie a 3 out of 5 stars. I'm glad I watched this movie but I wont be re-watching it I think. Once you have seen it the suspense is gone. I knew how this movie was going to end early on but once it is confirmed then it completely deflates. This is going to be another entry in my RIP Challenge  as part of Peril on the Screen. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Dark Skies (2013)

I have to be honest. I'm not usually one for alien movies aside from the original Ridley Scott's Alien, or Independence day. Still this movie is on the list for best Halloween movies and I like Keri Russell. I've seen some of her movies and they have been enjoyable. I liked her in the Adam Sandler movie Bedtime Stories. So this movie is of course about a family plagued by Aliens and have no idea how to stop them or even if they can stop them. 

For not being all into Aliens this movie really creeped me out. The thing that is so scary about this is that Aliens could be watching you for years and you'd never know until they decide they want you and its over. You could be living a peaceful happy life and be watched by Aliens and you'd never know it until it's to late. That is a really horrifying idea to wrap your head around which makes this movie scary on a different level. What do I mean by this? Well, normally when you watch a horror movie, you can easily realize you know more than the character. "Don't go in there!!!, If that were me I wouldn't have decided to live in the house that tried to eat my dog," and on and on. You can also rationalize movie plots like, I know I'm safe because I have lived in this house/neighborhood for a long time and these people moved in and BAM, they were haunted. You feel safe because of rational thought. 

Since this movie plays on the fact that if you try to rationally think you way out of it, you will only dive deeper into the rabbit hole. Bravo for luring me in like this and holding my attention for the most part all the way through. To be fair, My wife and I were carving our pumpkins the night we watched this so I wasn't exactly watching when I was cutting out the face of my Jack-O-Lantern. Still, I had plenty of moments when my goosebumps were practically flying off my skin and my heart rate was a little elevated. 

I highly recommend this if you are looking for a good scare this Halloween. So far i haven't had a gory slasher flick in the bunch and a lot of great psychological thrillers. Once again I am going to include this in the RIP challenge for my Peril on the Screen section. Thanks for joining me on this 5th day of my Halloween week event. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Lazarus Effect (2015)

I'm not going to lie. I love Olivia Wilde. I will pretty much watch anything she is in even if I don't care for the movie. The trailer for this looked so creepy that I was really excited to see it, yet, when it finally came available to rent or stream I always found an excuse to watch something else. 

In this movie a group of scientists start out trying to find ways to help coma patients regain higher brain function and end up stumbling on the cure for death. They find a way to bring the dead back to life and not in a way that turns them into the Walking Dead brainless zombie. They begin with bringing back a dog and find that the dog isn't exactly quite right. Just at the peak of their research a pharmaceutical company swoops in and takes all of their research.  With hours left before they are locked out of their lab for good they decide to recreate the experiment and something goes wrong killing doctor Zoe. What what is left they go against the laws of nature and bring her back to life. 

This was a pretty good movie but the beginning was a little slow. the last 20 min of the movie however was intense. If you can make it through the slow build then it is worth it. I don't want to give anything away but the serum has some extra effects that the group is learning about the hard way. 

I did enjoy this movie and I'm so glad I finally watched it. This will not be on my to watch every Halloween list but I'd watch it again. I give this one 4 out of 5 stars when really it should be a 3.5 star movie. This will also be added to my RIP challenge in the Peril on the Screen section. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Awakening (2011)

I knew nothing about this movie but had seen it in my recommend section on Netfilx. The article I chose to be the theme for this year's Halloween Week was all the nudging I needed to give this a watch. I can't believe it took me so long to watch this movie. It was amazing!!!! I'm going to go against my usual format and just rate this now. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and if you wish to read on you will find out why. If you have read enough and want to experience this for yourself then by all means. Hit up Netfilx and enjoy.

This move was so scary and at the same time had a great story and a good ending. I will do my best to not spoil anything for any future viewers. This movie is about a woman Florence Cathcart who is racked with guilt and grief after the passing of her fiance during World War 1. She has made it her mission to debunk every psychic, ghost hunter, supernatural sitting, and fortuneteller. She wants to make sure her love isn't still out there and he is actually gone.

With her experience she is called upon to check out a mysterious sighting of a boy ghost is sighted at a boarding school. This movie relies heavily on the pop out scare but at the same time is very cerebral. The story gets into you and you start to live with the characters as the story plays out. It's psychological and not a gore fest. So many movies these days rely on the gross out gore to scare an audience and this one doesn't which I loved. It is a good old fashion ghost story. 

I really loved this movie and it was one of the best horror movies I have watched in a long time. I bet this remains my favorite of the new movies I watched for this week. Re-Animator and Wes Craven's New Nightmare I've seen but there are 6 movies I haven't seen in this weeks line up. If you like ghost stories and a good scare as well as a great story/plot then you have to see this movie. This is going onto my RIP Challenge as an entry in the Peril on the Screen section. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Re-Animator (1985)

This is a classic. One of the best cheesy horror movies out there and this is only the second time I've seen it. This has every aspect of an 80's horror movie should have. Cheesy over the top gore, a story that is so out there it can be hard to wrap your head around, and gratuitous nudity. So what is this movie about? A scientist Herbert West is pushing the limits of life and death. He has developed a serum that restores life to a corpse. The movie opens with him and his professor in Sweden grappling in an office because West has brought his dead professor back to life. 

I haven't read this because my exposure to Lovecraft is rather limited. Having said that though this movie really makes me want to read his stuff. This movie isn't scary but it isn't so goofy you tune this out. The story was really interesting and I was hooked from the very beginning, and I was so happy to see this pop up on the best Halloween movies to stream on Netfilx. I'm not sure I would have written a review on this movie ever had it not been on that list. As much as I like this movie and want to watch it again, I really don't know what to say about it. It's not that this movie is forgettable, but I have so much floating around in my head that trying to put it in to words and not spoil this movie is proving to be a challenge. 

The serum is highlighter yellow and easy to pick out in any scene. It not only brings back a cat and several corpses but it brings back a head too. each scene plays out so well in this movie and the acting was very good for this type of horror movie. I do enjoy this movie quite a bit and if you are looking for a classic horror movie I highly recommend it. Check out the trailer below for yourself. 

I do wish this movie was scarier but it is still on my short list of favorites. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. This is my second entry in my Halloween week and for my Peril on the Screen for RIP. I highly recommend you check this out this Halloween for your own sake. It is worth the rental. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Holidays 2016

I knew nothing about this movie before I watched this except that Kevin Smith write and directed a segment, and his daughter is in it. I had heard so many different things that either claim this as a cult favorite and the worst movie ever made. Usually if people claim a horror movie is the worst ever made it has to be good. This movie is a collection of segments or mini movies for each holiday.

This movie is messed up and bonkers crazy. Some of the movies really held my attention because I wanted to know what was going to happen, but others were just goofy and dumb. It was a good mix of the two which I feel does raise this up to a cult horror favorite. The holidays I didn't care for were St Patrick's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day. St Patrick's Day was just weird and Mother's day was a subject matter I'm not ok with. Father's Day could have been good but there was a whole underlying back story that was missing to make the short little ending make so much more sense.

On the flip side I did enjoy Halloween, Easter and Valentine's Day. These had complete stories that felt well put together for how short they are. Halloween and Valentine's Day have a sort of revenge aspect that I liked in context of the story and Easter was just a creepy take on a cute little bunny holiday. I also have to say that I have such high expectations whenever Kevin Smith directs or writes something. He did Halloween and it was the best one in the bunch.

Ok, so how on Earth am I going to rate this movie? Most of them were either ones I didn't like or just kind of Meh. Three were really enjoyable so should I rate highly because of those 3 I lied or should I rate lower? I've got to give this a 2 out of 5 star rating. It came down to the fact that I've seen it, I don't think I will ever watch this again. It's over and I can put it behind me and that isn't a good sign when it comes to enjoying a movie. I am entering this as my first movie for Peril on the Screen with the RIP Challenge.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Halloween Week 2016

Happy Halloween week!!! This is my 4th annual Halloween Week and I can't believe it has been 4 years. I look forward to Halloween every year and no matter what I may be going through I have fun writing these every year. I have been trying to figure out what I was going to do this year because I like to have a theme. This year I poured over different topics and things just didn't seem to work out for me. My Blu-Ray player crapped out on me so I was limited to only movies I could stream. There are a lot of great streaming services that are out there but when you are looking for a specific movie it always seems none of them are ever available. 

If you google Best Halloween Movies on Netflix there are a lot of great articles out there. I looked through so many different lists and then decided to pick my own movies on Netfilx that I wanted to see and finally clean out my watch list. I then found this one titled Your Guide to the Scariest Movies Streaming on Netfix in October. This had a bunch of the movies I already wanted to see and could get my wife to watch with me. When we were younger she loved Horror movies as much as I did, but having kids changed her. She just doesn't watch as many as we used to and for the most part I'm on my own. 

So here is my list of what will be reviewed during this ever so horrific week of fun, in no particular order.

Would You Rather
The Lazarus Effect
The Awakening
Dark Skies
Wes Craven's New Nightmare

So here it is and lets see how many of these are worthy for Halloween movies. I realize that my reviews come as we get closer and closer to Halloween but maybe my reviews with help you figure out new movies to watch for next Halloween. Stay tuned for the reviews this week. Same Bat time, same Bat channel.

Friday, October 21, 2016

From a Buick 8 by Stephen King


I've had this on my to read list for a long time and this seemed like as good a time as any to give it a read. Of course when I saw the title I figured this had to be a re imagined version of Christine which was a great book. The more I read about this book I could see similarities but also differences between the two books. I honestly saw a lot of similarities between this book and NOS4A2 which just shows the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. 

This book opens with one of the weirdest events I have seen in a King novel. A man shows up with this customized Buick at a gas station and heads for the bathroom. After about a half hour the Attendant starts to wonder what happened to the guy. The Buick he left behind is taken by the local troopers and kept in a shed out back, Weird things start happening like fire work like shows coming from the the Buick as well as strange creatures coming from the trunk. Ok, this is about all I can say about the book that wont ruin the good parts. 

I had such high hopes for this book and after the reading funk I have been in I thought what would be better to bring me out of it than a Stephen King book. Boy was I wrong. This not only didn't bring me out of my funk but I couldn't wait to get finished with this because I was bored. There wasn't enough substance to keep me interested. I found myself day dreaming about anything but this book and wondering how much I had left to go constantly. 

I swear, this year and last, the RIP challenge has been the kiss of death for my reading life. I have yet another disappointing selection. It's not the challenge's fault I have just made really poor choices it seems. I read this in audio for and there were several different actors to read the different character parts, and these are fairly popular actors. Normally this would be a big plus but I found myself getting lost with the quick change not only between the different characters but also between the different time periods. Oh yeah, we get the story from characters in the present as well as when they were experiencing the story as it unfolds. 

Maybe my reading funk had an effect on my enjoyment of this book, or maybe this wasn't one of King's best. All I know is I'm glad I'm done with this book and it will not be on my re-read list. 3rd book in a row I have given a 2 out of 5 star review. This is the week of 2 star books. I really need better book choices. This will be my 5th entry in the RIP challenge.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Dawn of the Dead by George A. Romero


I absolutely loved this movie, both versions too. The 1978 was just the right level of campy horror and lame special effects gore to make it one of the best cult zombie films. The remake in 2004 was a bigger budget movie with amazing special effects and a cast that fit their roles perfectly. So when I saw this book on Audible for 1.99$ last year as an after Halloween sale I jumped on it just for this year's RIP challenge. 

I was so excited to get started on the book version of this and I hate to say it, but I preferred the movies. This is all about the end of the modern world. Zombies are popping up everywhere and those that have survived are constantly fighting to stay that way. A random group of people which includes swat officers and a reporter find their way into the local Mall and try to make a home. One thing I found reading this book is that, when you take out the over the top gore, campy horror make up and zombie action scenes, there really wasn't a lot to keep me interested. 

For me the fear and horror that comes with zombies needs to be seen. My imagination can only picture so much. The decay and peeling flesh is so much scarier when you can see it so the fear factor of this already dropped. My next little issue was with the story itself. It was kind of slow and where you would expect this kind of story to have a lot of character development, I felt this book didn't even have that. It was just a day in the life of an apocalypse survivor. Since I have seen the movies first this kind of story was far from what I expected. This is probably why I was kind of bored through most of the book. Had I read this before I saw either movie I might have enjoyed this more. 

Sadly, I am going to have to review this and it is not the rating I had hoped to give this when I started. I give this 2 out of 5 stars. So far the books I had been saving for the RIP challenge were kind of a let down. This is the second year that I haven't had the greatest selections for the challenge. This is my fourth entry in the RIP challenge and this completes the commitment I made. I am going to keep reading and submitting until the end of October. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Locke & Key by Joe Hill


I first read this series the way it was originally intended, in Graphic novel form. When I saw this was offered as a free pre-order last year on audio through I jumped all over it. Since I have already read this series I saved this specifically for the RIP challenge this year. Let me start off by saying this review is based on the audio version only.

I loved the series. These books were expertly written and drawn. This is a story about a house who holds all kinds of different keys and doors that have all kinds of magic. One Key separates the soul from the body, one puts your soul in the body of an animal, and other keys do things from controlling shadows and allow the user to open their head and remove or put in anything they wish. It is a very creative idea and I loved finding out all about the different keys as the story progressed.

The Locke family has been through a horrible tragedy. While on vacation two students or the father kill him and brutally beat his wife. The oldest son Tyler walks in on the brutality and beats both assailants to a bloody pulp almost killing them. After the funeral the family moves into the old family mansion  where they stumble on the keys. The magic only works for the kids and once they grow to adult hood they will forget the magic like it was nothing more than a dream.

This audio was really cool on first look. This is done as a radio drama with several different actors, sound effects and an impressive musical score. I may have waited for a year to listen to this but I was excited to finally get to it. As I listened to this I realized that it really shouldn't have been made into an audio. The problem with this series is it was written for comic books which means the movement and pace of the story relies heavily on the art work to move the story in several areas. There are moments of action sequences where all you hear is grunts and sound effects because the book didn't have any dialogue.  I was kind of disappointed because of how much they relied on the musical score instead of just describing what is going on.

If you haven't read the comics or comic books are just not your thing then this is worth the experience. Radio dramas are a thing of the past and when I find a good one I tend to hold on to it. The story is also very good. Sadly where I loved the series on it's own I have to rate this Audio book as a 2 out of 5 star book. This is my 3rd entry into the RIP challenge and one more will meet my goal of 4 books.