Reflections on Themes in Film: Pediophobia

Friday the 13th: The Series - The Inheritance (1987) screenshotWhile logic attempts to rescue all pediophobic people from their fear of dolls, the majority are never saved. Why are dolls so scary? What is it about them that ups their freak factor?

Pediophobia: The fear of dolls or, more generally, of false representation of sentient beings, such as mannequins or robots.

The above definition touches upon one possible explanation: false representation.

When we look at a thing, our brain automatically places it into its tidy drawer in the file cabinet of “the known.” Therefore, when we discover the thing is not what we labeled it, oftentimes completely the opposite, our fear of the unexpected, of the unknown, is triggered. An inanimate object modeled after human beings, such as a doll or mannequin, with a secret life of its own, feeds into our fear of the unexpected. If we can’t trust a thing to remain as we know it to be, then what can we count on? Our sense of control over things beneath the “all powerful human” takes a huge hit. Continue reading Reflections on Themes in Film: Pediophobia

Don’t Be Afraid to Read Your Movies

For anyone who visits this blog on a regular basis – hopefully there’s a few people now 🙂 – or for anyone who knows me in the “real” world, my addiction to movies is fairly obvious. It’s hard to explain, my addiction, but watching movies is never boring and it allows me to explore not only the filmmaker’s imagination and experiences but my own as well. I just dig movies.

And over the years I’ve discovered that foreign movies are largely overlooked by American audiences. Why? From what people have told me, what I’ve overheard people say, and what I’ve read in reviews the main reason is people don’t like to read subtitles. My film-loving heart breaks when I hear or read that: those people have no idea what they’re missing out on.
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7 Must-See Indie Horror Movies

Girl zombie eating her dad Night of the Living Dead 1968Independent films have really become my go-to for great movies. Sure, sometimes the production value isn’t as high as those backed by a major studio or the actors could use a few lessons and more experience, but the writing and the story’s authenticity overshadows the minor flaws in those lesser-known gems. That’s not to say I don’t end up sitting through some real crap films from time to time. However, when it comes to indie films – especially indie horror – the risk is worth the reward. The following indie horror films appear to be of the high caliber variety and promise to entertain true horror fans and film lovers.

Side note: I’ve only watched the trailer, not the full-length movie, and these films are in various stages of production – from planning/fundraising to completed projects – so please show your support.
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The Collector (2009) – Horror Movie Review

Photo The Collector Movie PosterThis one’s all horror, baby. It’s what I refer to as a home invasion slasher, complete with a masked madman who never says a word and whose history is never revealed. His motives should be obvious, though, just read the movie’s title. And if you can handle the gore and overlook a teensy bit of unrealistic plot then you will probably like The Collector (2009) as much as I did.

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4 stars out of 5

Remember when horror moviegoers used to pee their pants for movies with killers they didn’t know a thing about? Sometimes the killers wore masks and moviegoers never even saw the killers’ faces? And the mystery added to the film’s scariness and the villain’s badass factor.

Ah, the good old days.
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The Signal (2007) – Movie Review

Poster The Signal (2007)Alrighty, as promised in my review of The Other Side, this post discusses the film The Signal (2007), written and directed by David Bruckner, Jacob Gentry and Dan Bush, which will most certainly be a love it or hate it experience for many. Personally, I find something new to love every time I watch it.

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4 stars out of 5

Watching THE SIGNAL I experienced every emotion known to man except disappointment. There were some really bloody, violent scenes that made me cringe. Then there was a good 20 minutes or so where I thought I’d pee myself from laughing so hard — the scene with Clark and Lewis, “not Jim Parsons…” was friggin’ hilarious whilst being an excellent way for the writers to show us just how deranged some people might be in that situation.

I didn’t realize THE SIGNAL was directed by three different people until after I’d already watched it; however, that totally explains the three sequences and their almost bipolar variances in dialogue, tone and atmosphere. I enjoyed the basic plot of the film: a signal broadcast over the TV and radio causes people to go homicidal (“Do you have the crazy?“) but not in the traditional zombie sort of way.

The love story / love triangle, which had me pulling for Mya and Ben until the very end, was vital to the film’s success. Had the writers not given me someone to care about before the darkness set in I might not have connected with the story. And hands down, without Anessa Ramsey, Justin Welborn and AJ Bowen, I would not have enjoyed Mya, Ben and Lewis quite as much.

Despite repeated views, I’m not quite sure I get the movie or its ending, but I was definitely entertained. Like I wrote earlier: a love it or hate it flick, for sure. Oh yeah, the brief nudity mentioned in the rating is a quick shot of Justin Welborn’s butt at the beginning of the film.

Very weird movie; check it out for yourself.

Do you ever question the effects of all the signals zooming around us every day? Or what would happen if someone manipulated those signals?


The Signal official site | on IMDb | on Netflix | Purchase from Amazon

(Watched Instantly on 6/14/08)

Boy Eats Girl (2005) – Horror Movie Review

DVD cover Boy Eats Girl (2005)A zomedy that delivered on its promises, Boy Eats Girl (2005), written by Derek Landy and directed by Stephen Bradley, won’t win any awards, but it entertained my zombie lovin’ self for 80 minutes.

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3 1/2 stars out of 5

Okay, if I’m being completely honest, a few of those 80 minutes I wasn’t entertained; hence, only 3 1/2 stars. But when the writing dulled or the plot holes threatened to swallow me whole, either the great soundtrack or the chunks of gore saved the day. Or, Nathan’s best friends, Henry and Diggs, dropped some comic relief, which caused me to laugh and overlook the not-so-stellar moments.
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The Other Side (2006) – Movie Review

Poster The Other Side (2006)The Other Side (2006), written and directed by Gregg Bishop, was one of those low-budget movies with relatively unknown actors that doesn’t fit neatly into one genre slot. There were horror and action elements – mixed in with a love story – that I think fans of mild horror with supernatural thrills would enjoy. It wasn’t perfect, but it was highly entertaining.

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4 stars out of 5

Whether the audience connected with this movie rested almost entirely on whether they liked Sam and cared about his relationship with Hanna. While I wasn’t given a lot of time to emotionally invest in Sam before the bad stuff happened, Bishop did an adequate job later on through hearsay and flashbacks that showed me why I should care.
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Upcoming Releases: The 4th Reich (2010) – Horror Movie

Image The 4th Reich movieI recently discovered the Nazi zombie subgenre and consequently went on the hunt for more. That’s when I found a link to The 4th Reich (2010) on IMDb. It’s still classified as in pre-production with production set for spring 2010 but I had to get it posted here so I wouldn’t lose it in the shuffle of the hundreds of movies I want to see. Yes, you read correctly, hundreds.
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Dead Snow (Død snø, 2009) – Horror Movie Review

Poster Dead Snow Død snøYou had me at In the Hall of the Mountain King (Peer Gynt) by Edvard Grieg as the score in the opening scene while a young woman runs for her life from a mob of…what? I could not tell. Dead Snow (Død snø, 2009), directed by Tommy Wirkola, only gets better from there.

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4 1/2 stars out of 5

The plot is nothing new: a group of college students trek to a secluded cabin in the snow-covered mountains of Norway only to discover the area’s sordid history which includes torture, murder, and zombies. But not just any zombie. Nope. These are Nazi zombies!
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Teeth (2007) – Horror Movie Review

A coming of age movie with a bite, er, twist that could have failed had it not been for Dawn O’Keefe and a well-developed plot. Some may call Teeth (2007), written and directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein, a heavy-handed feminist movie. Me? I call it pure black comedy / horror entertainment at (close to) its finest; thus, it’s best enjoyed as such.

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4 stars out of 5

It’s so rare to find a movie both touching and disgusting, funny and sad, comedic and horrific. I was laughing one minute and nauseous the next.

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