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Quickie Review(s) - Horror Fest - 11 Films

It's been a while since I've bothered mentioning my feelings on horror flicks. I usually don't write much about them here, because horror films seem to be so incredibly subjective.  If find some men love the T&A slashers of the 80's, while women deplore them, instead craving the revenge flicks of the last ten years. I've always gone for more of the cerebral films, maybe not even true horror to be honest. Psychological thrillers, with gore are fine, but the horror films that turn me on are the ones that appear to be about one thing, but are about something completely different. Wes Craven's The People Under The Stairs, might be one of the greatest examples....unless of course, you want to get back into Martyrs again. So I'll keep these quick and to the point...unlike most of the films.

ABC's of Death 2 - Absolutely horrible, with the exception of four segments. S and X are absolutely chillingly brilliant. J and T are definitely above average. The rest are awful, with maybe F, getting a passing grade.

Starry Eyes - Great lead performance by Alex Essoe can't trump the truly awful acting by her supporting cast. especially the ridiculous Marc Senter, who is so excruciatingly bad in everything he's in, I'm convinced his very presence is an in-joke. The premise is silly, but some a nice kitchen seen and a weird quirk from the lead, make this passable.

Cronos - Del Toro's first feature. How've I missed this for 20+ years. Brilliant in almost every way. Little quirky throw-ins and some wonderful nose-thumbing to Hollywood, just add to this brilliant take on the vampire genre. No capes, not teeth no necks, just a story about eternal youth and being careful for what you wish.

Annabelle - Everything The Conjuring had hoped to be was achieved in this one. With a beautiful and competent lead and an (unintentionally???) funny supporting role from Alfre Woodard, the movie really clicks. It's also very careful not to break a cardinal rule, which ruined the Chucky movies...sort of.

White Zombie - Yes, it's 1932, so we give it a little credit, but even Bela can't pull the magic out of this horror show. The music and cinematography add, but the plot is terrible and the acting is atrocious. Definite pass.

Omnivores - Spanish tale about, well, I can't say. This one surprised me. Beautiful people (truly stunning), good acting, great plot, but a red herring the size of Moby Dick that ruined the last 20 minutes of the movie for me. That being said, it's beautifully done with just enough mental morality to keep you thinking about this one for a long time.

Open Grave - I had heard this was great, but once again nothing really happens in this. Even the slow build is littered with holes and the payoff is nothing more than an open ending to allow for a sequel, that would, we assume, have little to do with the first.

Crazy Eights - Frank Whaley, Traci Lords, Dina Meyer....what could possibly go wrong? Oh yeah, Gabrielle Anwar never made it big and I'm still wondering what happened? She's still beautiful and can act. She's the best part about this, but unfortunately, the first or second to go. I'll save you some time. Do the math.

Honeymoon - Many are dubbing this a psychological thriller with a huge plot twist. Unless you consider it a twist to go from sucking to sucking differently, there is no twist. Oh yeah, and if you ever want to see how not to act in front of a camera, watch this. I thought Donner Pass was bad acting, but this is epic.

Ravenous - Robert Carlyle. That's it. Movie is terrible, but he's about as enjoyable an actor as their is to watch. He is special in this, because he sort of....well, just see it and then see everything else you can with Robert Carlyle. He's been in some awful movies, but he's always the best part.

The House of the Devil - There are people who like Ti West and then there are the other 99.9% of the world who isn't related to him. Just kidding. He's awful at what he does and it's a shame, because if he took his craft as serious as he takes himself in interviews, he might be putting out some better work. This homage to 70's and 80's slashers forgets one key ingredient. Shock, gore and a anything happening in the first 41 minutes. I'm not joking, not a single thing happens other than two girls getting pizza, making a phone call, trying to rest and driving. Nothing else...for 41 minutes. Then something shocking happens and not a single thing happens for another 23 minutes. Nothing. If you're still awake it gets weird, but not in a good, exciting or scary way. Then it ends.


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