Tag Archives: horror

Inktober Day 27

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Here’s today’s Inktober and this might be my favorite one this year. I’m watching Sweeney Todd for Carpe Scream and I started thinking about a picture of Sweeney Todd I’d drawn when I was in college (about 1999). I’d never SEEN Sweeney Todd, I only had the soundtrack, so in my head I had to imagine what everyone looked like. In my head, Sweeney was thin as a rail and blond. Everyone was like “what?” but I thought it was cool. Anyways, here’s an updated pic of both Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett. It was done with Faber-Castell pen and a Crayola red washable marker.

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Todd and Lovett, by Monica Marier 2015

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Carpe Scream Day 24

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Today I watch a great gothic anime Movie, Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust.

Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust, 2001 Madhouse Animation

I’ll just start off by saying, Oh My God Madhouse,

Oh My God Madhouse,

Oh My God Madhouse.

This is SO visually gorgeous, I love this. Every second is eyeball candy. The writing’s pretty punchy and very entertaining, voiced perfectly by wonderful voice actors. The only thing is that there’s so much obvious world-building behind this series that I sometimes get a bit lost and have to hit Wikipedia. We also get very little of everyone’s story, so unfortunately the story is not as compelling because we don’t get to ride in any one character’s head. The vampire hunters, come kind of close, but they’re not really the main characters either.

So for a beautiful, scary, gory, creepy, vampire festival from the classiest neighborhood of Hell, I highly recommend Bloodlust. Just don’t ask me a lot of the story, because I still don’t know. (Apparently the books are like this too).

Carpe Scream Day 22

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Today I watch my first Freddie movie. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, 1994, New Line Cinema

This was on TV when I was in College. I was aware of Freddy as a kid. One could hardly avoid the Halloween costumes, parodies, pop-culture references or that popular Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince rap about him. I also recall the outrage that Freddy had been “killed off” in the last movie. So when New Nightmare started and I realized that it was the actors playing themselves against a movie-Freddy come real, I knew enough to get most of the references and I was too hooked to turn the movie off,

First of all I LOVE this concept. Love, love, love, love seeing Wes Craven, Robert Englund, and Heather Langenkamp and a score of other Hollywood actors playing themselves in a terrible shifting dreamscape of what’s real, what’s Freddy’s trap, and what’s only a movie. It was especially cool to see Robert England as more of what he’s really like, instead of a creature actor, even if it does betray his love of tinted Lennon glasses.

“Sorry. It’s the 90’s”

It’s has that self-awareness and face recognition of a Muppet Movie with a dark macabre monster twist. I now know that it’s lost the cartoon-y feel of the previous Nightmare films, and watching it a second time, it does seem to lose that “Craven” feel to the whole affair. I prefer more when he’s over the top and unabashed, than when he attempts more stark realism. 

We did get THIS gem again.

So, in my opinion as far as Nightmare movies go, watch the first one, and then watch this one. Also, apparently Depp would have done this movie but Wes was too shy to ask him (since Depp’s rise to stardom). What a missed opportunity!

Carpe Scream Day 21

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Happy Future Day, Hill Vallians! We didn’t get hover-boards, but I think being able to stream movies via internet is a pretty awesome feature. So today on Netflix, I watched The Others, and now I will use future technology to tell more than my kids about it!

The Others, 2001, Warner Brothers

I had never seen this movie before, but sadly I’d had the ending spoiled for me about 10 years ago. And the scariest seen was already given away in the freaking trailer.

*siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh*

That being said, it was really entertaining to watch with the twist in mind. I could actually follow the second story very well and I liked the characters a lot. It made it definitely less-scary, but no less interesting. I’m not a huge Nichole Kidman fan either, and I found her captivating in this.

Nitpicking:I did flinch a few times at inaccuracies. The weird not-at-all-doctrinal views of supposedly Catholic teachings made a few scenes really groan-worthy. And memorial photos to “preserve souls?” Please. Memorial photos were mementos and nothing more, usually taken because family photos cost a tidy sum and there were very few occasions other than a birth or a wedding that people would gladly plonk down money for them.  Also, I like Christopher Eccleston, but I really don’t know why his character was even in it. His brief appearance didn’t give us any new information and it was sort of pointless and confusing

It would take a lot for me to say “no thanks” to this.

But the cinematography and great story-telling made this a great movie. I’ll add it to my yearly roster from now on.

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 14

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Wednesdays are family movie nights, so this Wednesday, I bring you another family-friendly monster movie: “Wallace & Gromit, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”

Wallace & Gromit The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, 2005 Dreamworks

This is a fabulous send-up of your usual monster movie. Man wants to benefit mankind through science, something goes horribly wrong, man is now cursed to transform into being that stalks and destroys the people he was trying to save. Though in this case it’s vegetables. The movie is set in a sleepy Yorkshire village where everyone is trying to win the prize vegetable competition.

The send-ups and parallels of other famous monster movies like The Wolf Man, King Kong, and Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde are brilliant and well worked in. Gripping dramatic camera shots, haunting music and brilliant animated expression add horror and gravitas to a very silly story.

My favorite is when Gromit comes across a mass of half-eaten vegetables and the camera gives you a graphic shot of pulp and seed and juices, while the orchestra goes nuts, and Gromit reels against the door, overcome by the senseless destruction. You can almost just imagine that a half-eaten squash is as horrifying to him as a bloodied broken corpse. It’s really well done and a great movie to share with the family.

Carpe Sceam Day 12

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Tonight I took a look at The Blair Witch Project.

The Blair Witch Project, 1999 Artisan Entertainment

I remember this coming out when I was in High School. The hype behind it was as subtle as this:

Movie studios don’t lie, do they?

The movie studios plugged this as hard as they could as a genuine documentary filmed by three dead people. They even went as far as to pay IMDB to list their credits as (missing: presumed dead).

And I think almost every high school student in the United States fell for it. I mean, with camera footage this crappy, with really bad sound and editing and obviously no real dialogue, what else could it be? A REAL studio wouldn’t release this motion-sickness inducing home video, right??  And really that’s why it was deemed to be one of the scariest horror movie of all time.

But the minute you realize that this was all a “plausible” hoax filmed in a public park with 2 handheld cameras (they had to stop filming every time families on their bikes road by), it really takes the wind out of the Blair Witch’s sail. Every vomit-inducing quick pan. Every sound blip, every time they TALK ABOUT THE F*** MAP…

(NSFW Language)

it just makes me really kind of angry at the studio for being the unholy mother chosen by Satan to give birth to all the found footage movies that are saturating the horror-movie genre right now: rollercoaster rides full of clunky dialogue and NOTHING HAPPENING.

Paranormal Activity 6: The Ghost Dimensions? Yeah. THANKS Blair Witch.

Go stand in the corner!!