Tag Archives: horror movie

Carpe Scream Day 16

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Okay I tried to watch this movie a few days ago and couldn’t even get through it. Today I finished it and I got to say, I don’t have a lot of love to spend on Oculus.

Oculus, 2014, WWE Studios

I mean, I think the trailer and the posters are actually 10 times scarier than the actual movie. The keyword for this movie is DISCOMFORT. The characters are uncomfortable, the pacing is uncomfortable, the soundtrack/ambient noise sounds like the score to a panic attack, and I get the feeling that even the actors are uncomfortable that they have this snoozer of a script to follow. Either they’re saying really dumb contradictory crap, or they’re Sam the Explaining the hell out of everything to the point where I stop caring. It’s almost all Karen Gillan and she’s always making THIS FACE while talking too fast.

“It’s plot exposition! It has to go somewhere!”

I was hoping for over-the-top demon-fighting with a mirror that eats people and dogs. What I get is people tearing off fingernails and eating lightbulbs. That’s not scary. It’s just gross. This psychological thriller would have done better if there was actually more thriller and less psychology (which mostly sounds like it was ripped off wikipedia and shoehorned in to over-explain things). But hey, from the minds behind the “paranormal activity” franchise, I probably shouldn’t expect too much. The worse sin being, that because we keep spastically jumping from past to present and crossing our pasts and maybe-pasts and perceived present, we don’t have an anchor, it’s really confusing, and it turns real peril into just a mishmash of “stuff happening.”

Apparently I’m not alone in my hatred of this movie because this guy,cinemasins nailed down about everything I hated about this movie.

WARNING SPOILERS, FOUL LANGUAGE AND GRAPHIC IMAGES!

Carpe Scream Day 11

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Today, I watched a classic Monster B-Movie, that wins the best movie song award: The Blob (1958)

Super Groovy.

This one features Steeve McQueen as a “young teen” that rallies a town to defend itself from an interstellar parasite that devours and absorbs flesh.

17 going on 28.

As far as movies go, this one certainly has a more sophisticated, compellingly written and well shot production quality, and is just plain entertaining. I love the cast, the varied characters, the real struggle of the teens fighting for their town and the people who eventually help champion them. My only complaint is that the pacing can get a bit slow in places.

It’s also not afraid to laugh at itself, which any horror movie should be if it can help it.

I think there’s some requirement that all 50’s SciFi movies contain a character named “Steve.”

I remember seeing this one when I was younger, and finding the blob pretty terrifying. I mean, it “dissolves” you. How horrible is that?

It also makes a great marinade.

As a parting gift I leave you with The Blob drinking game:

Every time someone says “Steve,” take a drink. Don’t die.

Carpe Scream Day 10

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Today, I watch a classic Corman Film, Edgar Allen Poe’s the Haunted Palace.

The Haunted Palace, 1963 American International Pictures

Well one thing this movie does NOT have is anything by Edgar Allen Poe save one poem at the end. This movie is almost 100% H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.” In interviews,Corman stated that he was very much a Lovecraft fan, but no studio wanted to produce a story a story by this “unheard of schlock writer.” That’s when it was decided to rename this picture, “The Haunted Palace,” and claim it was based on a poem by Edgar Allen Poe, seeding the “castle” angle throughout the movie. After all, Corman had already made several well-received Poe pictures with Vincent Price, so why not?

Pictured: Zero Ravens.

That being said, this is actually one of the strongest movie’s Corman’s ever directed. The pacing is better than your usual Corman, the story is well presented and visually interesting. Price’s performance is, as always, very entertaining, and the final sequence is satisfying and nicely grim.

GO PATS!

This is a jewel of classic B-Movies, and definitely worth a watch.

Carpe Scream Day 7

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Today I watched Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.

Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, 2005 Warner Bros. Pictures

I remember the excitement over this movie coming out in 2005. I think we were all waiting for another enchanting Nightmare Before Christmas with a Victorian grimdark flair. Unfortunately when you set the bar at the top, anything less is just…well lesser.

The movie starts out promisingly, with a strong cast, interesting premise that’s rife with old world mystery and charm and Burton’s famous stark colour palettes of greys and blues. And then somewhere around the middle the story just starts to slow down. Our zany underworld characters are more twee than charming and seem a bit forced in for comic relief, like Cinderella’s mice.

Peter Lorre is SO big with the kids these days.

The Peter Lorre impersonating maggot is to blame for most of it. The kids didn’t get the reference and he didn’t earn more from the adults than a tired eye-roll. The songs start out strong, but sort of peter out as Elfman rather phones in the later numbers.

That being said, it’s still a fun movie. I love watching it with my kids and thrilling to the creepy Emily, laughing at the goofy ghosts. They even get all swoony over Victor and Victoria, which is remarkable in a kids’ film and they got so excited when Christopher Lee (God rest him) showed up.

Now it’s a party, bitches.

When all’s said and done the worst thing that could be said about Corpse Bride is that it’s not Nightmare Before Christmas, and that ain’t bad.

Carpe Scream Day 6

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So, today I saw the 3rd installment of the Omen franchise, The Omen III, (The Final Conflict)

The Omen III The Final Conflict, 20th Century Fox

This movie was a rather dissappointing finale to the storyline. There’s just a whole lot of nothing happening in it and it’s chock full of thrilling poorly-lit action sequences.

the omen 3

Pictured: Actual action-packed action (probably).

Seriously, when you compare this to the almost cartoony deaths of Omen II, these deaths are almost like in Disney movies when we have the bad guy fall off a cliff into shadow.

When things do start to happen (at around the Half-hour mark) it gets good. Sam Neil has some great performances and things start moving, we’re introduced to the second Christ, and then…. a baby-killing sequence. Fun. Stuff. I get that it’s supposed to set the tone and be a parallel to the infant genocide of King Herod, but it’s a gruesome sequence and uncomfortably long.

It’s also the 3rd movie where we’ve seen absolutely no conflict of powers between God and Satan. Whenever Satan attacks something holy, it’s a one-sided struggle (and I use the word struggle lightly). It’s the 3rd movie, and we’ve still seen no real conflict, not even an internal one, which they hinted at in the second movie.

When Damien is a little boy, he’s weaker, vulnerable, and there’s a sense of danger and uncertainty. Now that Damein is a big strapping grown-up, it’s pretty boring.

Please, Lord, help to ease Monica’s pain and let her not have to watch this movie again, Thy will be done.

I was hoping for an ultimate showdown at the end, but end came as a quick “bam”, some cheesy lights, and the Mormon Tabernacle choir. UGGH. There was so much more they could have done with this if they’d led with characters and not with events.

Final note on the Franchise: Watch movies one and two, and then read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. 

Carpe Scream Day 5

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Today, I watched one of my Halloween Favorites: Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow, 1999 Paramount Pictures

Let me just start out by saying, that this movie is pretty much what I wanted Sweeny Todd to be. It’s just so much over-the-top, gory, grimdark fun! It’s got its weak points like the zero-chemistry between Depp and Ricci, the terrible writing for Katrina’s character, and oodles of anachronisms (yes, I know, it’s just silly fun!). But the stark palette of black, white, and red is visually gripping. Elfman’s terrifying score gives me fever chills every time I listen to it. It also features a large talented cast of “Hey,I know that guy!” fame.

Pictured: Alfred, Principal Rooney, Chancellor Palpatine, Uncle Vernon, and Dumbledore

All and all, the wonderful cast and story, are all whimsically dark and entertaining. I harbor a secret wish that Burton returns to some of this witty, nutsy, style of movie soon. Hell, he can even stick Depp and Bonham-Carter in it. What the hell.

Fun Fact: Johnny Depp himself stated that Ichabod Crane was an easy character to get a hold of, once he imagined himself playing a 16-year-old girl.

Escort Miss Depp to the fainting couch.

DOUBLE FEATURE

These days, I ALWAYS follow up this movie with the Disney Short of the same story.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, 1949 Walt Disney Pictures

This one is much more faithful to the original story, in fact the narration is taken almost entirely from it. And it’s narrated by the king of the velvet voice, Bing Crosby. Disney perfectly captivated this wonderfully humorous story of two ruthless gold-diggers out to nab the richest, hottest peach in town.

She’s got huuuuuuuuge tracts of land!

My favorite part is the Halloween Dance and the musical number Bing performs. This cartoon used to scare the hell out of me as a kid, but damn if I didn’t love every bit of it.

This is definitely one of my favorite stories and an American Treasure.

Carpe Scream Day 3

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Well, I’ve seen the Omen several times, so I decided to finally watch the sequel…

Damien Omen II, 20th Century Fox

I have to say, this one is slightly less of a thrill ride. The pacing is pretty slow, and the movie relies more on stunning color pallets and gorgeous location shots than it does on plot.

Apart from that, I like that we got to know Damien’s character as he’s starting to grow up and discovering his dark powers. Johnathin Scott-Taylor’s performance as the 12-year-old antichrist is really captivating and heartbreakingly sympathetic at times. I also love that we get to see another huge classic actor like William Holden take the reins as the next father figure/martyr. Plotwise, I had to laugh because it’s almost like a very dark version of Harry Potter.

“Yer a Wizard, Harry.”

The only thing I didn’t like was that we spent so much time with “Uncle Rich’s” work and a lot of side plot-lines that seemed disconnected and didn’t really seem to go anywhere except to provide us with a body-count. The deaths themselves were also faster, bigger, splashier, and in the end more cartoony than interesting, because they had to top Patrick Troughton’s skewering and David Warner’s decapitation. I laughed at every cheesey death, where with the first Omen movie, I gasped. They could have trimmed all that and added more scenes of Damien bumping off classmates and teachers while discovering himself as a man to make it better. Like discovering girls…

“…and then I set her on fire!” Hahahahaha!

I’ll probably go ahead and watch the Omen III and IV to see how I like the over-arching story, but maybe I’ll do it later.

Inktober Day 3

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Just as luck would have it, I’m participating in another challenge this October, the October Horror Movie Challenge. It gives me an excuse to watch all the movies I’m usually too chicken to watch under the excuse of “research” for my horror comic. That being said, I did this while watching Cabin in the Woods. I’ve always been inspired by the fabulous inking style of Colleen Doran, so I tried to use some of the technique I’ve observed in her art while doing this.

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“Dont Go In There!” by Monica Marier available for $35

Note: Horror movies are rubbish to watch while inking because the jumpscares always screw up my lines. It’s a bit like trying to ink on a plane where someone keeps bumping your elbows.

Again, feel free to post links to your inks after this post, or critique mine! If you want to join in, go on ahead. Additionally, if you see an inks of mine that you like, they are available for purchase. Email me through the blog contact form if interested. International shipping will be charged extra for outside US rates.