Dark Was the Night (2014)

Directed by Jack Heller.  Written by Tyler Hisel.  Starring Kevin Durand, Lukas Haas, Nick Damici, Bianca Kajlich and Sabina Gadecki.

Plot: a small town legend turns out to be true and very deadly as is often the case

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Putting aside the fact that I love both Kevin Durand and Lukas Haas, I still love this movie as well.  As does DJ.  Why?  Because there’s likable characters, good acting, a realistic story and a damn good amount of rules that are followed to a tee.

There’s an old Native American legend about creatures that protect the native land.  When loggers come in and start decimating the forest, people and animals begin to go missing.  People like to take land that’s not their’s.  White privilege!  Am I right?!

It’s a simple story that’s been told again and again, but this telling is an amazing one.  Really kept our interest.  The ending is a bit unfortunate, but that’s just how it goes sometimes.

We give it a 74.  Pretty rad.

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Darkness Falls (2003)

Directed by Jonathan Liebesman.  Written by Joe Harris, John Fasano and James Vanderbilt.  Starring Emma Caulfield, Chaney Kley, Lee Cormie and Emily Browning.

Plot: a vengeful spirit took the form of the tooth fairy and now haunts people in the dark

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Darkness Falls has gotten a lot of flack over the years, but let me start off by saying that I love this movie.  So, this will actually be a positive review.  I’ve heard the movie itself is too dark and you can’t see anything.  I’ve heard the tooth fairy isn’t scary.  I’ve heard it’s all a big cliche.  To this I say… PHOOEY!  While the movie may be a tiny cliche, the tooth fairy is damn scary and the movie is supposed to be dark.  It’s called DARKNESS Falls.

In the movie, a man named Kyle (Kley) is haunted by the tooth fairy and wants very much to live in a world that never gets dark.  Alas, he cannot.  Meanwhile, his old friend Caitlin (Caulfield) is having trouble with her little brother, Michael (Cormie), who won’t sleep in the dark because he’s being haunted by the same evil entity.  Of course, the three meet up eventually and the whole movie bursts open from there.  There’s death and destruction and plenty of jump scares to keep you happy.  Or at least, we think so.

Bonus: the little boy is adorable.  He’s also naturally Australian and his accent rips through sometimes making him even cuter.  When he screams, “Caitlin, no!”, I just want to smush his face.

I supposed the movie isn’t for everyone, but we suggest it completely.  I love it.  DJ really liked it as well.  I give it a 75/100.  DJ gives it a 60.

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COMING SOON

We have been having some technical issues for quite a while now.  Recently, however, everything’s coming up roses and we’ve got a new computer to bring you the latest and greatest horror movie reviews.

Thanks for being so patient with us.  We hope you like what’s ahead.

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The Windmill (2016)

Directed by Nick Jongerius, Chris W. Mitchell and Suzy Quid.  Written by Nick Jongerius.

Starring Charlotte Beaumont, Ben Batt, Noah Taylor, Patrick Baladi, Tanroh Ishida and Fiona Hampton.

Plot: after a tour bus breaks down, the people on board accidentally awaken an evil that kills them one by one

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A tour bus full of stupid jerks – seriously, even the main girl is fucking crazy as hell – breaks down on an isolated road.  Off in the distance they can see a windmill, so some of them decide to go check it out.  It’s not like they have anything better to do, right?!  Well, that turns out to be a huge mistake because…

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… all the passengers on the bus are sinners and the windmill is the gate to hell.  The scarecrow looking killer shows you some misdeed from your past and then kills you violently.

The problem with the movie is that it breaks it’s own rules and then makes up new ones. It suggests that if you’re remorseful, you get to live, but that’s not true.  As we find out later, the bus driver is in on the whole affair and if you aren’t killed by Mr. Scarecrow, he kills you instead.  UNFAIR!!  Plus, everyone is annoying.  There’s no working together.  No Freddy Claws.  And it really could have been scary with a killer that looks the way he does, but the direction wasn’t good enough to pull scares off.

The one beautiful thing about the movie is the effects.  They were gory and very well done.  The acting isn’t bad either.  I mean, we hated everyone and I think for the most part, we were supposed to.

I can’t in good conscience recommend this one.  If you scare easy and don’t mind stupid plot lines then maybe it’s for you, but otherwise, I’d stay away.  We gave it a 29/100.

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Them! (1954)

Written by Ted Sherdeman, Russel Hughes and George Worthing Yates

Directed by Gordon Douglas

Starring Edmund Gwenn, James Whitmore and Leonard Nimoy

Plot : Early atomic testing mutates ants into giant man-eating monsters.

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For this movie i took into account that it was 1954 near the height of nuclear paranoia but this movie doesn’t actually need any help to be good, it just is.

It opens beautifully, the little girl is so cute and such a great actress. I was also impressed with the accuracy of the science in the movie. Fantastic Freddy claws considering it is a giant bug movie. It was even funny in places. It manages to be relevant and politically charged.

We found it to be original, realistic and had a good cast. Tara really enjoyed it with a score of 78 out 100 and I loved it with a score of 86 out of a possible 100. Watch it or more appropriately, watch THEM!

 

“He’s either lying or he’s deaf. And he aint deaf.”

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RIP George Romero

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Occasionally you have to write the sad stuff and this is beyond sad.  The man was a legend.  He propelled my love of horror and of writing.  We were lucky enough to get to meet him.  I personally got to hold his hand while he inspected a tattoo I had just gotten on my wrist.  It was a ladybug.  He said he loved it.  I named it George in honor of him.

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Squirm (1976)

Written and directed by Jeff Lieberman.  Starring Don Scardino, Patricia Pearcy and R.A. Dow.

Plot: a storm causes power lines to fall, drawing millions of man eating worms out of the ground

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Let me start by telling you a little tidbit about myself that is completely strange: I have vermiphobia.  Vermiphobia is the fear of worms.  You’re probably thinking, “Tara, why such an irrational fear?  Worms can’t hurt you.”  Well, I have no answer for you.  It just is what it is.  Next question: “Tara, why would you watch such a movie knowing you have vermiphobia?”  Answer: I like to be scared.  And I did watch it primarily through my fingers.

Now, about this fun little movie itself.  Because it is fun to watch.  Sure, the soundtrack sucks, there are a couple of scenes that don’t make any sense and the worms seem to be magical – disappearing and reappearing at will.  But the rest of it is aces.  The accents are so thick that you can’t understand them half the time, but that’s so bad it’s great.  You can make your own dialogue it you want to.

The people are likable.  The specials were really, really good for 1976.  And the ending was cool.  Gross, but cool.  There’s a Roger Monster that I suspect will be in one of my nightmares somewhere down the line.  Some people lived though and that’s always nice when a movie can creep you out and still keep some people alive.

Me and DJ agreed on this one.  We really liked it.  Gave it a 65.  If you can find it, see it.  It is classic.

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Within (2016)

Directed by Phil Claydon.  Written by Gary Dauberman.

Starring Michael Vartan, Erin Moriarty, Nadine Velazquez, JoBeth Williams, Blake Jenner, and Tom Wright.

Plot: a widower moves his daughter and new wife into a new house for a fresh start, but of course their ideal suburban home is anything but ideal

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This movie starts out like any other “haunted house” movie.  Young Hannah (Moriarty) starts seeing strange things.  Doors opening and closing by themselves.  Furniture suddenly moved from it’s spot.  But even she ignores these first clues that something is wrong.  Then she sees a man in her attic and all bets are off.  She wants out of the house, but her father (Vartan) doesn’t believe her.  You see, Hannah’s been trouble before and her father can’t believe a word she says.  Her stepmother (Velazquez) sort of has her back, but won’t really go against her husband’s word, so she’s essentially useless.

Now, I didn’t really like this film when it came down to it and DJ almost hated the thing by the end, but I have to tell you that once you see the man that Hannah saw, it is just awful.  He totally freaks me out.  Very zombie like dude that sort of glides around rather than walking.  Honestly, sitting here typing this I keep looking behind me because the movie is still that much with me.  It was genuinely unsettling and in that respect it did the job that all scary movies are supposed to do.

However, there are a lot of things left up in the air when the movie ends.  We wondered where certain bodies went to.  Whether the cat left the movie because he knew it was about to start sucking ass.  It was unrealistic and there were no rules whatsoever.  And DJ is absolutely sick of the indestructible monster.

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The cast delivers great performances though.  I believe everyone is who they are supposed to be.  The effects are also very good.  Like I said, the man isn’t pretty.  Whoever did the makeup in this one was a genius.  It’s subtle, but terrifying.  It’s just a shame that the end of the movie shit the bed.  We really were with this whole thing almost to the end and then it lost us.  Completely.  But do I recommend it?  Yes.  Our scores aren’t high, but watch for the thrill of it.  If it had ended differently I think it may have been one of my favorite movies of the year.

DJ only gave it a 26, but I gave it a 43.  See it for yourself.

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Just Before Dawn (1981)

Written by Jeff Lieberman, Mark Arywitz and Jonas Middleton

Directed by Jeff Lieberman

Starring George Kennedy, Gregg Henry, Chris Lemmon, Mike Kellin, Ralph Seymour and Deborah Benson

Plot: a group of young people ignore several warnings and go deep into the woods for camp where they encounter inbred killers

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These people start off ignoring the park ranger which is stupid enough , but then they ignore the crazy old man which we all know not to do. Needless to say Tara and I would not be in this situation. There is even a third warning so i did not really feel sorry for these people at all.

The one girl has excellent tree climbing skills lol watch and you will see. This movie boasts one of the coolest kills we have ever seen. I won’t spoil it for you. Plenty of boob shots. good direction and unintentionally funny.

Overall I was bored a little bit, but i loved the ending, part of which is kinda funny, again won’t spoil it for you. We gave this a solid score of 64/100.

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We all know remakes are a contentious subject. But…

If you could have any horror movie remade what would it be and why. For me i would remake Hellraiser 2. Clean up some storyline issues and make that fight scene absolutely epic!!!!

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