The Babadook (2014)

Rating: 7 of 10

movie poster The Babadook (2014)Sometimes the scariest monster of all – who lurks in the darkest part of our being – is the one we create by first denying our true feelings.

Synopsis: “Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is at a loss. She struggles to discipline her ‘out of control’ 6 year-old, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), a son she finds impossible to love. Samuel’s dreams are plagued by a monster he believes is coming to kill them both.

When a disturbing storybook called ‘The Babadook’ turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the Babadook is the creature he’s been dreaming about. His hallucinations spiral out of control, he becomes more unpredictable and violent. Amelia, genuinely frightened by her son’s behaviour, is forced to medicate him. But when Amelia begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence all around her, it slowly dawns on her that the thing Samuel has been warning her about may be real.” (source)

THE BABADOOK shows exactly why I love horror movies: on the surface you have a spooky story designed to affect a physical response; simultaneously, on a deeper level, you explore a universal experience that touches everyone’s lives. In this case, it’s the death of a loved one. What happens when you deny your pain and grief, stuff them down, and pretend like everything’s fine? A monster is born, and the more you deny its existence, the bigger and stronger it becomes.

What I was most impressed by were the spooky daytime incidents. It’s a no-brainer to set a scene at night, which is inherently scary. But, to terrify me with a scene set in broad daylight, something as routine as driving down the road, is no small feat.

Highly recommended if you enjoyed movies like GOODNIGHT MOMMY, THE CHANGELING or INTRUDERS.

Check out THE BABADOOK on IFC Midnight | official website and trailer | on IMDb

(Watched on Netflix 7/4/2015)

Neverlake (2013)

Rating: 7 of 10

movie poster Neverlake (2013)Don’t be fooled by the poster art. NEVERLAKE is an atmospheric dark fantasy that feels more like a forgotten Italian fairy tale than a modern horror film.

Synopsis: “A teenager visiting her estranged father in Italy stumbles across the Neverlake, an ancient lake said to be guarded by the spirits of the dead. There she befriends a peculiar group of children who are each plagued by strange injuries. As she uncovers the horrific secrets behind the lake – and her new friends – she becomes haunted by disturbing visions that connect to her own mysterious past. However, the ghosts of the past may be more dangerous than she ever thought possible.” (source)

The poster really is misleading. While the movie is scary, it relies more on creepy atmosphere and mystery than the carnage normally associated with modern horror movies. There is a sort of medical thriller/body horror angle involved, but the overall tone of the movie ends up closer to classic horror. Seasoned viewers will likely see the twist coming after a certain point, but it’s a fun journey filled with plenty of thrills and chills.

Highly recommended if you enjoyed movies like PAN’S LABYRINTH, THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE or THE ORPHANAGE.

Check out NEVERLAKE’s official website and trailer | on IMDb

(Watched on Netflix 1/31/2015)

The House of the Devil – Horror Movie Review

The mixture of babysitter slasher and supernatural tossed in with a bit of satanism is nothing a veteran horror fan hasn’t seen before; nonetheless, I enjoyed it. But I’m not gonna lie: I love the 80s. When I watch 80s movies or listen to the music, there’s undeniable nostalgia.

So please consider that whilst reading this “review.”

The House of the Devil (2009) might possibly be in my Top 10 Horror Films of 2009. Trick ‘r Treat (2008) and Zombieland (2009) being number one and number two, respectively.

3 1/2 stars out of 5

The gritty film quality, the score, rotary phones with 20-foot cords, payphones, the cars, the clothes, the hair, the electronics — I actually checked the DVD sleeve to verify it was indeed made in 2009. It could’ve been something from a vault of lost 80s tapes. Did I mention the huge soft spot I have for 80s horror and thrillers?
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All Boobs, No Brains? Me Thinks Not

Or, in my case: all brains, no boobs.

I’m only kidding.

Or am I?

Anywho…

While revising my response to Bloofer Lady’s post, Rant On Horror: On Being A Female Horror Fan, I realized it was way too long to add as a comment. So I decided to post it on my blog instead of bogarting all that space in her comments section. Below is an excerpt and this is pretty much the only section of her post with which I disagreed.

Lastly, I would like speak about how women are portrayed within horror films. I realise that as a woman I am not as physically powerful as a man, but that doesn’t mean that I am a screaming bobble-head without a brain. There have been a few horror movie heroins such as Ripley from the Alien franchise, but they seem to be far and in-between. These days the female lead characters in horror films are often screaming teen chicks with fake boobies and no brain between their ears. The Descent totally broke that mold a few years back and I wish that others would realise that you don’t need to show tits constantly to make a good horror film. I don’t mind boobies, hell I own a pair, but some of the movies being made these days, such as Hostel, border on being porn.

I’ve wanted to rant about the topic of female horror fans for a long time so kudos to you for putting your two cents out there. While I agree with many of the points in your post, I have to respectfully disagree about all women, Click to continue reading >>