[Month of Horror] The Psychic/Sette note in nero

Sette note in nero

A woman’s vision leads her to discover a murder.

This movie might be pushing the envelop a bit. To my mind, it’s more Thriller than Horror flick, with much of the good stuff happening in the final act.

Still, this is a very good movie, hampered by some really bad gore effects (the suicide at the beginning being chief among them.) It starts tame, turning the screw as it goes, until the climax.

I’m going to say something here: once again I saw the end coming to a movie I’d never seen before. I don’t know what’s happened. Maybe I’ve watched one too many of these things and know the melody a trifle too well.

Doesn’t matter, because I enjoyed the hell out of this flick. Made by Gore Master Lucio Fulci I’d expected something quite different and was pleasantly surprised by this great film (2.0). This might join The Thing and Suspiria as movies I can just sit back, watch, and enjoy.

Speaking of Suspiria

4 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Second Week Summation

Told you no repeat of the ten movie watch. This week I watched eleven. And skipped a day.

The movies are as follows:

  • Blackbird (Short)
  • In Vaulted Halls Entombed (Netflix Show episode)
  • Chainsaw Maid (Animated Short)
  • Deadstream (Feature)
  • Waiting (Animated Short)
  • Dagon (Animated Short)
  • Laura Hasn’t Slept (Short)
  • Withered (Short)
  • 2AM: The Smiling Man (Real Short)
  • This Is Not a Test (Short)
  • The Shrine (Feature)

Note: Unless noted otherwise, the shorts I watch for these reviews are on You Tube. Except for Laura Hasn’t Slept , which has been pulled by Paramount.

Looks like more shorts than features. Not my intent for this series, but real life writes the plot. I’m already doing better for Week 3.

Only two of these were perfects. No film dipped below 2.5 points, which might be an improvement. Depending on where you stand on the matter.

The top three, in order of preference more than quality:

1. (tied) Deadstream/Chainsaw Maid

3. The Shrine.

Though 2AM comes close to edging out The Shrine.

The worst flick I watched would be Blackbird.

Film pushing the Short category to its limit: Dagon. Really, it’s more of an audio with pictures.

Two weeks down. A new week begins…

[Month of Horror] The Shrine

The Shrine

An ambitious reporter finds her search for a big break taking her to the one place she shouldn’t go.

Whoa, was this a good one. Still trembling. Probably the best Horror flick I’ve seen in a while. And I’ve been seeing good ones the past few weeks.

I don’t want to go into this one too much. Had it sitting on the shelf for the longest time, a little nervous about how good it might be.

It’s good. Grueling in the way a good Horror film should be. No way in Hell should any Hollywood studio try to remake this; they’d just screw it up.

Great flick (2.0). I don’t think I can honestly say I loved it, though (1.5). It’d put it on the list of films that I’d might watch again, but not for a while.

Always good to see a great Horror flick.

3.5 out of 4

[Month of Horror] 2AM: The Smiling Man/This is Not a Test

2AM: The Smiling Man

2AM is a short film about a night walker encountering a stranger night walker while roaming the streets. At a little over 4 minutes there isn’t a lot of time for nonsense, and, wisely, the film makers don’t do that. It helps that this flick is based on a really short story.

It’s a very ambiguous piece, and that’s one of its strengths. With one possible exception there are no silly bits of rule breaking to spoil the fun. The acting is spot on as is the direction.

It is what it is: a creepy short. Great job (2.0). I really like this one (1.5)

3.5 out of 4

This is Not a Test

This is Not a Test is a short film about a young man confined to his apartment due to some sort of paranormal anomaly happening in his country. It’s run time is a little longer that 2AM and it, too, uses its time wisely. I don’t think it’s quite as successful as our previous subject. It doesn’t hit its notes quite as well, and while the actors here aren’t bad, they don’t have the… I dunno… reality maybe? Somethings off about the performance, is what I’m saying. It could be just me, but it was there.

Outside of that criticism, the only thing I’ll say is that it’s a tad predictable. It’s good (1.5) and I liked it (1.5), but it could have been better.

But that’s just me. Both films can be found on YouTube.

3 out of 4 points

[Month of Horror] Laura Hasn’t Slept/Withered

Laura Hasn’t Slept

A woman seeks counseling about her dreams.

Note: Unless noted otherwise, the shorts I watch for these reviews are on You Tube. Except for this one. This one has been pulled by Paramount. Which is their right.

Right at the end of September I watched the hit Horror flick Smile in a theater. It wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen a hundred times before. I’d guessed the end well before we got there. All said, though, it was a good representation of its plot, it had good scares, and while it has some padding here and there it wasn’t a bad time. I liked it.

So when I learned it was based on a short film, today’s subject, I sought it out on You Tube.

It has a plot you’ve seen before. You’ll guess the ending way before you get there. And there’s some padding where you probably don’t need it.

And like Smile, I had a blast with Laura Hasn’t Slept. It is an extremely well made example of its kind.

I would even go so far as to say this is the better of the two films.

Great flick (2.0). Not sure I’d say I loved it, so we’ll go with like (1.5)

3.5 out of 4

Withered

A man digs up something nasty in his garden.

This one I wasn’t so lucky with.

Oh, it’s fine. It has some jump scares that made me jump (at least one that really shouldn’t have, so props for that). And it wasn’t too irritating.

It’s just that there’s something missing.

Part of it is the acting, which really isn’t good. It’s also a bit lack luster in places in terms of direction and special effect.

But what really kills it is that it suffers from a lack of motivation for what was going on and no set rules for the antagonist. It does what it does because of plot.

This is a common problem with a lot of shorts. I realize that sometimes you don’t need a motivation. Laura Has Slept‘s villain doesn’t say why he’s doing what he’s doing, or what he gains out things. But there’s an in-story reason why this doesn’t matter.

No such luck here.

All that said, I don’t think a meh works for it (it did do its job and scare), so we’re saying a low good (1.5). Personally I’m sort of meh on it all together (1.0)

2.5 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Waiting/Dagon (Short)

WAITING

Two women wait for a ride in the dark of night.

Short films tend to be hit or miss, but I’ve been finding the cartoons to be more hit than miss. This particular little flick I found on You Tube is no exception to this.

It’s basically animated with no voice acting. Still, it’s a good tale well told (1.5) and I rather enjoyed it. (2.0)

3.5 out of 4

Dagon

An escaped prisoner of war discovers that he might have been better off not escaping.

This particular short (again on You Tube) really isn’t a movie. What very little animation it has is even more basic than Waiting; the rest is (admittedly well done) drawings inspired by the H. P. Lovecraft story.

The whole thing is showcase for the reading, which comprises I believe the entire text. The reader does a great job with the telling of the tale.

The problem is that Dagon isn’t one of Lovecraft’s best works. First published, not a bad effort, but he gets a lot better.

All said and done, a good effort (1.5). I kind of like it (1.5).

3 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Deadstream

DEADSTREAM

I’ve never reviewed a movie this new. It came out last week. I’d have reviewed it before now, but for some reason it wouldn’t pop up on Shudder for me.

Which irritated the crap out of me, because like with It Crawls Beneath I saw the trailer and knew this was a gotta see. This internet influencer goes off and does everything that scares him. His latest fear is staying alone in a haunted house, so he picks one to spend the night in by himself. Naturally he chooses poorly.

Anyway, this is another in a long series of “Found Footage” films, but in this case it’s more of a streaming video, meaning what’s happening is happening “live”. You see the protagonist set himself up for a horrible night, then slowly but surely things build up to less Blair Witch Project and more Evil Dead. It’s a beautiful thing.

Now like entirely too many modern films I’ve watched of late I was ahead of the game here and there, but in this case, that’s the point. The protagonist is an idiot, doing dumb things for dumb reasons. You’re supposed to be ahead of him.

This isn’t to say I have no problems with the film. There are questions about the plot I’m not sure about.

Here’s the thing, though. I don’t care. I had a blast with this film, and I think it might be one I revisit again through the coming years.

Great flick (2.0). Loved most every moment of it (2.0)

4 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Blackbird, In Vaulted Halls Entombed, Chainsaw Maid

Blackbird

In Vaulted Halls Entombed

It’s probably telling that I watched both of these and honestly considered not mentioning either of them

Blackbird is about an amnesiac who rescues a woman who’s running from the masked man who held her prisoner. Which probably tells you all you need to know about the “shocking twist” at the end of the film.

In Vaulted Halls Entombed, meanwhile, follows a group of soldiers entering the wrong cave. It was a part of the Love, Death, and Robots cable series, and thus was very well animated. It, also, was very, very dull. That I read the story it was based on probably didn’t help matters. Though let’s also consider I’ve watched Deep Red multiple times and still felt a thrill with that.

So, anyways, both films are well produced, well acted, and, honestly? The stories on the surface aren’t that bad.

It’s just both of them came off as lifeless as hell.

In Vaulted Halls Entombed is the worse in this regard. I watched people torn a part and I. Just. Didn’t Care. It was boring. Not something I associate with the series it’s a part of. Well, more or less.

Both I’d say were good flicks (1.5) that I’m very meh about.

Blackbird:
2.5 out of 4

In Vaulted:
2.5 out of 4

Chainsaw Maid

Now in comparison, take this short, which I watched between the previous two (I had such high hopes for In Vaulted Halls Entombed) It’s a badly animated clay flick about a maid defending the people she works for from the Undead. It has absolutely no dialogue, its plot is an excuse for a series of clay gore effects, and it steals music from Twin Peaks. It is as goofy as hell with no scares whatsoever.

This one I love to death.

Really.

It’s the bomb.

Before the reboot, this was my most linked video by far. Seriously, it wasn’t even close.

In fact, let’s get that merry-go-round started right now:

I adore this movie.

Does it say something about my taste? Probably. It’s still today’s winner by far.

Calling it great is probably pushing it, but I’m doing it anyway. Chainsaw Maid is great (2.0). I love this little flick (2.0). I does my heart good to see it.

4 out of 4

[Month of Horror] First Week Summation

Okay, this first week of the Month of Horror I watched ten films (don’t expect a repeat).

The films were:

  • The Mummy (1932)
  • Bride of Frankenstein
  • Rood (Short)
  • Eldritch Code (Short)
  • Shinsen (Short)
  • I See You (Short)
  • They Crawl Beneath
  • Deep Red
  • Chopping Mall
  • C.H.U.D.

The average score I dished out last week was 2.95, so as a rule whatever I watched was between good or average. One flick in particular brought the whole thing down. Which is only interesting statisticwise.

Six out of ten were full length films. Two were short films. Two were cartoons.

I gave out three perfect scores. None hit zero. A good thing. For me.

The top three, in order of preference more than quality, were as follow”

  1. Deep Red.
  2. Bride of Frankenstein
  3. C.H.U.D

The worst of the lot was They Crawl Beneath.

The guy who got dumped the hardest: Boris Karloff. Two flicks and he never once got the girl.

Actually, I don’t think Boris ever did get the girl.

Any way, on to the next review.

[Month of Horror] C.H.U.D

C.H.U.D.

Mutated monsters stalk the streets of New York looking for flesh.

I’m going to keep this short, cause I’m writing this past my bed time and I have work tomorrow. But man! What a flick. Watching it back to back with Chopping Mall really shows just how shallow the robot slasher flick was.

Don’t get me wrong. C.H.U.D is every bit as familiar a flick. You got government conspiracies, sleazy reporters, and several plot holes. But everything comes together in a well done little B-Movie.

Great flick (2.0), love it to death (2.0)

4 out of 4