October Horror Movie Challenge 2014by cinemajunky | created - 02 Oct 2014 | updated - 31 Oct 2014 | Public
I picked up a compilation of 50 classic horror movies and figured I would watch as many as I could. I'm also going to use this as an attempt to clear out some of my Netflix titles and I just found out about IMDB showing full movies as well as Youtube so I guess I'm just going to watch whatever catches my eye this year. :)
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1. Carnival of Souls (1962)
PG | 78 min | Horror, Mystery
After a traumatic accident, a woman becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival.
After nearly dying in a car wreck, Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) leaves her hometown to be the church organist in a nearby town which features an abandoned bathhouse/dance hall/carnival. She catches glimpses of a pale faced ghoul (director Herk Harvey) throughout and behaves strangely when confronted by the various men surrounding her. This isn't a terrible transfer, but sometimes the music overwhelms the dialogue and it comes across a little muffled, especially in the beginning. On top of that, the audio doesn't always sync up with the video. It definitely relies on the music to build tension and the high pitched tones are enough to keep its audience slightly unnerved. However, like a lot of movies around this time, it could definitely do with some editing. The early 60s attitude towards women is hilariously awful. The lodger across the hall, John Linden (Sidney Berger), continuously hits on Mary and leers at her every chance he gets. When he finally guilts her into a date, he proceeds to get drunk and tell her to "thaw out", insisting that she's frigid because she's not mooning over his drunken advances. When he reminds her of how much he's paid for the one bottle of beer on the table, she timidly takes a sip and even that's not enough and he confronts her over how suddenly she's changed into a "mouse". Nevermind the fact that she had just lost her job and maybe was a bit too classy to not be embarrassed by his obvious public drunkeness on their first outing, it's her fault that she can't relax. Unfortunately, the scares take a backseat to all the other characters talking about how strange she is and it's just a tad underwhelming.
2. Ghost Team One (2013)
R | 84 min | Comedy, Horror
Two roommates deathly afraid of ghosts both fall in love with a girl who believes their home is haunted.
This one doesn't count because it's not technically horror. Two friends, Sergio (Carlos Santos) and Brad (JR Villarreal) living as roommates throw a party and come face to face with a ghost lady. They laugh it off as a joke until one of their guests, Fernanda (Fernanda Romero), says she believes in ghosts and wants to try to contact the ghost lady. Vying for her affections, the two make various attempts at contacting the ghost of Lady Azalea, a pioneer madam who ran a brothel out of their house and was involved in two murders. They succeed in enraging their newly sober roommate Chuck (Tony Cavalero) who quickly steals the scene whenever he's on camera. Honestly, it's pretty funny. There's ghost head, an awkward threesome make-out session, and a hilarious exorcism scene. It's great as long as you're not looking to be scared.
3. Atom Age Vampire (1960)
Unrated | 87 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A stripper is horribly disfigured in a car accident. A brilliant scientist develops a treatment that restores her beauty and falls in love with her. To preserve her appearance the doctor ... See full summary »
When her boyfriend Pierre (Sergio Fantoni) breaks up with her for being an exotic dancer, Jeanette (Susanne Loret) drives her car over an embankment and it amazingly catches fire for absolutely no reason at all. She survives the fire miraculously and gains a burn scar that stretches from her cheek to her neck despite the fact that the entire cab of the car was a fiery inferno that no one should have survived. Enter Monique (Franca Parisi) whose supermodel good looks are hidden behind a mousy haircut and cat frame glasses. Monique tells Jeanette that her disfigurement doesn't have to be permanent and that she should come to the house of Professor Alberto Levin (Alberto Lupo) where they are working on a serum that will regenerate damaged tissue. Once Jeanette's beauty is restored, Alberto tosses Monique aside and avidly pursues Jeanette like a creep. Unfortunately, the scar begins to reappear and taunts the Professor who decides that only blood from a young woman will do the trick. Meanwhile, Pierre is hot on the Professor's trail with a few bumbling policemen after he gets fed up with waiting for Jeanette at the bar with all her scantily clad ex-coworkers. I wouldn't label this a vampire movie because no one is drinking blood and no one is undead. It's a love story between two shallow people that gets waylaid by an equally shallow professor. Rather than go for the adorable and intelligent coworker in front of him, Alberto would rather ignore Jeanette's romantic rebuffs because what does a pretty woman know about who she loves unless there's a smarter man there to tell her? They draw a parallel between the "poor bastards" at Hiroshima and the fact that the Professor uses radiation to cure himself of his intentional disfigurement so there's a bit of ambiguity over what would have been a newer technology.
4. Carnival of Souls (1998)
R | 90 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A young girl witnesses the brutal rape and murder of her mother by a circus clown and begins to have nightmares when the carnival comes back to town when she is an adult.
As an 11 year old, she watched a clown kill her mother and, after twenty years in prison, he comes for revenge. But, then he's dead, possibly at her hand.... or is he? Maybe she's just going crazy, but it starts and ends with the circus across the pier. This is Wes Craven's re-imagining of Carnival of Souls - the producers bought the rights to the 1962 movie, but they junked everything except the concept of a woman surviving a watery car crash only to be stalked by a spooky force. Wes Craven was the King of the Quintessential 90s Horror Movie and this is just another one to add to the pile. I never knew you could do so many sex scenes using mostly clothed actors. The demons are creepy enough, but nothing about this movie is scary. The wide-eyed Bobbie Phillips approaches every scene like she's underwater and she's just floating through the set. It's worth mentioning that Shawnee Smith of Saw fame plays the younger sister and belts out a tune midway through. The reason why it's a RV-ish (repeat view) is because I'm pretty sure I've seen bits and pieces of this before.... pretty sure....
5. Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961)
Unrated | 63 min | Comedy, Horror
A crook decides to bump off members of his inept crew and blame their deaths on a legendary sea creature. What he doesn't know is that the creature is real.
An American spy, Agent XK150 (Robert Towne) sets off on a boat with a group of criminals smuggling fleeing Cubans when he learns of their nefarious plan to rid themselves of the Cubans in order to keep their gold. In order to keep the remaining Cubans from getting suspicious, the gang leader, Renzo Capetto (Antony Carbone) - alias "Cappo Rosetto", alias "Ratto Pazetti", alias "Zeppo Zacato", alias "Shirley Lamore" - sets his men to creating a monster to blame for the deaths. Little does he know that a real monster is stalking the boat! Robert Towne is hilarious as the bumbling lady-killer spy and his narration makes the movie great. Without him, it's just another man in a rubber suit monster film. There's not much in the way of scares, but it's still a pretty decent watch. The transfer isn't great with the picture too dark in some places and washed out in others and the audio sounding muffled more often than not, but it gets better towards the end.
6. Nightmare Castle (1965)
Unrated | 90 min | Horror
A woman and her lover are tortured and killed by her sadistic husband. The pair return from the grave to seek vengeance.
After ridding himself of his cheating wife and her lover, Dr. Stephen Arrowsmith (Paul Muller) marries her stepsister Jenny (the lovely Barbara Steele plays both the wife Muriel and the sister Jenny) in order to drive her mad and collect her inheritance. Muriel curses Stephen just before she dies and she takes her revenge through possessing Jenny and her dreams. With the arrival of Dr. Derek Joyce (Marino Mase), Stephen and his newly rejuvenated assistant Solange (Helga Line) plot to use him in order to prove his new wife's instability of mind. There's still a slight syncing issue with the audio, but the video is spectacular. Paul Miller's cold glares along with the ever present music keep the tension up throughout. I think they could have gotten rid of the silly blood transfusion idea and just focused on the ghost story, but they had to do something to keep Helga Line's character relevant.
7. Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)
PG | 93 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
Two skeptical reporters are sent to Transylvania to find the Frankenstein monster - or get fired. They are laughed at there but something suspicious is going on - maybe there are monsters, vampires, mummies and werewolves.
Votes: 6,174 | Gross: $7.20M
When reporters Jack Harrison (Jeff Goldblum) and Gil Turner (Ed Begley Jr) are sent to Transylvania to follow up on a story about Frankenstein, they find more than they bargained for. I love Carol Kane; she's hilarious and adorable in just about every role she's in. It was fun to see Michael Richards as Fejos, the slapstick comedian butler who keeps harassing Begley's character. Gena Davis has a small role as Odette, the sexually compulsive vampire. This is only a FTV-ish because I'd only previously seen part of the ending before adding it to my Netflix queue which I'm very glad I did. However, even though Netflix lists it as horror, it's more of a comedy unless we're counting Jeff Goldblum's hair as horror. Therefore, it doesn't really count for the challenge. :(
8. This Is What Remains (2014)
Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
Six months after the outbreak, a man and woman have survived by isolating themselves in a remote cabin. Starved for resources, they must confront the horrors that threaten them from outside and from within.
Six months after the outbreak and the death of their friends and daughter, a couple, Mike (Dean Chekvala) and Kim (Amy Cale Peterson) survive by isolating themselves in a remote cabin, but their resources dwindle, forcing Mike to go out for supplies. Each day that Mike leaves, Kim goes through a routine to await his return until the day that he doesn't come back. With the water no longer flowing and no food to be had, Kim starts hallucinating and becomes more and more paranoid. With the trollers (zombies) an ever present threat, will Kim keep it together long enough to see Mike's return? I understand why this has such a low rating on Netflix - it's a very slow burn, psychological take on the zombie movie. Instead of following Mike on his supply runs, we get to watch Kim suffer a mental breakdown in the most agonizing way possible. Absolutely nothing happens until the very end and you still have to question how much of it is in her head. I enjoyed it, but it would be dishonest of me if I didn't confess that I did check the time remaining a couple times.
9. April Apocalypse (2013)
Not Rated | 84 min | Comedy, Horror, Romance
After years of yearning for the girl next door, Artie finally builds the courage to woo her... only to find out the girl of his dreams and best friend, April, is moving away - sending Artie... See full summary »
Artie (Reese Thompson) and April (Rebekah Brandes) grew up next door to one another and are best friends, although Artie secretly pines for April's affections. When she moves away, his life goes nowhere as his family is quick to point out so they schedule him an appointment with a doctor to get happy pills. Once medicated, he becomes determined to reunite with April and tell her how he feels. If only that zombie hadn't popped up in the middle of the road causing him to crash, he might have done just that. Walking home, he realizes that he now has to contend with zombies on his quest for love and a possibly infected bite had given him a countdown. This movie is brutal to sidekicks! Don't get attached to anyone; it's not worth it. Warm Bodies did a nice job with the zombie romance, but this is more of a survivor/infected survivor romance so the message is slightly different. The music adds a pervasive feeling of despair and anxiety as it moves along which is highly appropriate considering the fact that Artie has no clue whether or not he's going to turn before he gets to April. They spend a lot of time in the build up so there's just a cut scene after the final sidekick dies where Artie finds April and it winds back to the scene in the beginning with them running away. The cut scene feels a little disingenuous after such a long build up, but there's more to the story so it makes sense not to have a long drawn out reunion. I didn't particularly like Ms. Brandes' acting, but she's supposed to be the object of love rather than a person so her not having a great on screen personality doesn't break the movie.
10. Funny Games (2007)
R | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Two psychopathic young men take a family hostage in their cabin.
Votes: 85,716 | Gross: $1.29M
A family arrives at their lakeside vacation home and starts to unpack and settle in when the neighbor's strange guest (Brady Corbet) arrives asking for eggs. What begins as a polite exchange turns darker play when the guest's friend (Michael Pitt) shows up and the two become ever more imposing until they refuse to leave when asked and strike out violently against the family. For the remainder of the evening, the two strange boys play various torturous games with the family, pushing them to their limit for no real stated purpose. This is the shot for shot remake of the original 1997 Funny Games with the only exception being the language and actors. The German names are anglicized for the benefit of an American audience and the German Shepherd becomes a Golden Retriever, but it's the same movie even down to the multiple times Peter breaks the fourth wall. Tim Roth plays the father and Naomi Watts plays the mother and Devan Gearhart (who has really grown into his awkward face!) plays the son. I'm not really sure why another version was needed. I keep thinking about all the times the fourth wall was broken. When Peter scopes the house while Ann is getting the first set of eggs, he looks at the camera. It's unsettling. From that moment on, we know there's something wrong and we're in on it whereas the Farber family has no clue what's about to happen. We have no more clue than they do outside of the fact that we know it's supposed to be a horror film and, with that simple fact and the look towards the camera, we the audience are acknowledged as complicit. Right as Peter and Paul reveal themselves as the antagonists, Paul introduces the bet and accuses us of being on "their side" and asks who we're betting on; he's not talking to Peter and it doesn't make sense for him to be talking to Ann and George who obviously would be on their own side. Of course we're on the protagonists' side - we want to see them survive and possibly take revenge. We know it's a horror movie so, when the knife is accidentally left in the boat, we can only expect that it will be found later when one of the three escapes to find it and use it in their revenge. That's what we've been conditioned to expect. Three quarters of the way through, when Ann begs Paul to just end it, he protests, "Do you think it's enough? I mean, you want a real ending, right? With plausible plot development, don't you?" Not only are we complicit in the suffering of Ann and her family, now we're the sole reason for their suffering. When Paul gives all the various reasons for why Peter could be involved (dad divorced, mom divorced, incest, drugs), the final resonating reason is the entertainment value which is presented rather offhandedly but appears the most genuine. Ann and George suffer for our entertainment and that's it. There's no big revenge scene. In fact, when Ann manages to get the gun and shoots Peter, Paul negates the act with a remote, proving that the narrative has always been stacked against what we perceive as the protagonist. In this case, the director, Haneke, has told us that our protagonists are not the innocent family struggling to survive; we're only on their side so long as they suffer, but we're the reason they're suffering so how can we be on their side? Haneke wants us to think about the way we consume violence and stay detached from the glossy version provided by Hollywood; he wants to us to experience, not the visceral act so much as the lame reality of the aftermath and there's a certain elegance to that disappointment. We're used to seeing the violence so it no longer shocks us and, in order to keep our attention, movies have responded by giving us bigger violence - we're chasing the violent dragon and, like any addiction, it's not doing us any favors. Maybe Haneke realized that foreign language movies don't really do so well in America and he missed his target audience. Maybe that's why we get another version a decade later...
11. Enemy (2013)
R | 91 min | Mystery, Thriller
A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie.
Votes: 149,952 | Gross: $1.01M
College professor Adam (Jake Gyllenhaal) watches a movie recommended to him by a coworker and catches a glimpse of himself as a background character. When he researches the actor, he finds Anthony (also played by Jake Gyllenhaal). Anthony is everything Adam is not - Anthony is in a strained marriage with Helen (Sarah Gadon) while Adam is in a lackluster relationship with Mary (Melanie Laurent), Anthony is confident and charismatic where Adam is self-conscious and awkward, and Anthony is egotistical and self-centered while Adam is caring and considerate. Anthony soon takes advantage of their identical looks and bullies Adam into a deal of switched identities. I don't understand the spiders. I really don't understand the ending. I listened to the special features and it's intentionally ambiguous on what's going on at the end and even the exact nature of the two main characters is a mystery. Is Adam just an alter-ego for Anthony or is Anthony an alter-ego for Adam? Helen accuses Anthony of cheating and then he goes on a romantic weekend with Mary. Adam has a fleeting relationship with Mary, but he appears to yearn for more, actually blooming a little when in Helen's presence. Adam's mother tells him to give up his dream of being a third rate actor when he is in fact a college professor.... so maybe the duplicity is the break down of a psyche instead of a tale of two different people sharing the same face. Either way, the ending is a bit strange and feels out of place in an otherwise engaging film.
12. Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero (2014)
Not Rated | 91 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
When a group of friends enjoying a bachelor cruise in the Caribbean stumble upon a research facility on a remote island, a deadly virus is unleashed. The group must find a way to survive before the flesh eating virus consumes them all.
For his bachelor party, a group of friends take Marcus (Mitch Ryan) to a secluded island to drink, smoke weed, and dive around the reef. When his brother Josh (Brando Eaton) and ex-crush Penny (Jillian Murray) get back from a dive where all the fish were dead, Penny has an allergic reaction that causes painful welts raise on her arms and legs. Things just go downhill from there once they realize that there's a medical facility on the island that went on lock down after a flesh eating bacteria was loosed by a crazy contagious man and an egomaniac doctor. The first two had a good bit of humor to them. This sequel, not so much. It was decent enough as a virus movie where everything goes wrong, but the ending is missing a little logic. There's a pretty funny and rather gory chick fight that ends with death by dildo.
13. Dracula (2006 TV Movie)
90 min | Horror
The Romanian count known as Dracula is summoned to London by Arthur Holmwood, a young Lord who is on the verge of being wed. Unknown to Arthur's future bride Lucy, her future husband is ... See full summary »
Count Dracula (Marc Warren) is summoned to England by Lord Holmwood (Dan Stevens) who has contracted with some devil worshipers in order to clean himself of a blood disease before he consummates his marriage to Lucy Westenra (Sophia Myles). When Count Dracula shows up at Holmwood's home, Lucy's friend Mina Murray (Stephanie Leonidas) becomes the target of his affection. This is actually a new take on an old story and it's definitely interesting. There's decent acting throughout and the locations are very pretty. Overall, it's an enjoyable film and Mina becomes something more than the wilting flower enthralled by the mysterious vampire; she actually gets involved in her own protection which is a refreshing take.
14. Sick Girl (2007)
83 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller
With her parents dead, an already unstable teenager embarks on a blood-soaked journey of torture, violence, and retribution, as everyone unlucky enough to cross paths with her ends up dead. Is the brutal Sick Girl capable of mercy?
After her older brother Rusty (Chris W. King) leaves for the Marines, Izzy (Leslie Andrews) is left to raise her younger brother Kevin (Charlie Trepany) by herself. When she discovers that Kevin is being bullied by kids at school, Izzy, who has already enacted revenge on her own school tormentors, decides to get revenge on those tormented Kevin. Ugh. Poorly shot, poorly acted, completely amateur. The actress who plays Izzy is particularly terrible, but I can't decide if it's because of the terrible story and dialogue or if it's actually just her. The quality of the dialogue is basically them reading the script and it never gets better. There's literally nothing redeeming about this movie. Oh wait! It's got a bit role for Stephen Geoffreys of Fright Night and gay porn fame!
15. The Revenant (I) (2009)
R | 117 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
In Los Angeles, a fallen soldier who has joined the ranks of the living dead reunites with his best friend in order to deal with the city's drug dealers and killers - a perfect way to collect the blood that one of them so desperately needs.
After dying in a foreign land, soldier Bart Gregory (David Anders) is returned home and buried by his friends and family. Later that night, he rises from his grave and embarks on a rash of vigilantism against the drug dealers and gang members of Los Angeles in order to get the blood he needs to stay undead. Joining him in his endeavors is his friend Joey (Chris Wylde) who's not quite okay with his recently returned friend, but is willing to go along with it for the party factor. Good for a couple laughs and it sets up for a sequel that we will probably never get. All in all, it's a very well done low budget movie; in fact, it's hard to tell that it's low budget - the fx are mostly make-up and puked blood with the rest of the movie just relying on the acting of its two leads. The leads play off each other and move the movie along at a good pace.
16. The Seasoning House (2012)
Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
Sold at a brothel deep in the woods to work as a caretaker, a hapless deaf girl must summon the courage to fight for her life.
Abducted from her home by soldiers and forced to work in a brothel, deaf and mute Angel (Rosie Day) keeps the girls drugged, somewhat clean, and fed while they're chained to their bed and regularly raped by Viktor's (Kevin Howarth) customers. While not being directly supervised, Angel moves around in the crawlspace and shows kindness to one of the girls who can sign. When the men who invaded her village come to call upon Viktor's stock, Angel seizes the opportunity to ensure her escape. Everything is dirty in the house, even the men who show up to rape the drugged out girls. The set design is dizzying with hallways that open upon doors that house rooms barely big enough to be closets. Most of the movie consists of Angel being ushered through the house and, as minimal as the acting was, it was still pretty solid.
17. You're Next (2011)
R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of the victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.
Votes: 82,156 | Gross: $18.47M
On the night of their parents' 35 year anniversary, the Davison family gathers with their significant others only to be hunted by masked men. As they fall one by one through various methods, the middle brother's girlfriend, Erin (Sharni Vinson) proves that she has the skills to stay alive. Someone ruined this movie for me when it first came out and told me the reveal, but they didn't tell me who the reveal was about so it was a 90 minute guessing game that I figured out 10 minutes in. The kills scored by the bad guys are pretty standard fare with nothing even remotely new or interesting. On the reverse, Erin's survival tactics make this less "terrifying home invasion movie" and more "grown up Home Alone" and she torments the killers using everything from a kitchen mallet to nails hammered into a board.
18. The Purge: Anarchy (2014)
R | 103 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Three groups of people intertwine and are left stranded in the streets on Purge Night, trying to survive the chaos and violence that occurs.
Votes: 129,256 | Gross: $71.96M
With two hours until the annual purge, Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez) are cutting it close and their run-in with the creepy makeup kids didn't help one bit as they're stranded on a bridge with no safe shelter in sight. It's just their luck that they run into Sergeant (Frank Grillo) as he finishes saving Eva (Carmen Ejogo) and Cali (Zoe Soul). Sergeant's quest for vengeance on the drunk driver who killed his son gets a little delayed when he has to lead the ragtag bunch through the streets of Los Angeles. There's no real continuity from the first movie to the second so you can watch the sequel without watching the first and not miss anything. The story is mostly solid as is the acting. There's a new element added of a resistance group and that adds an interesting spin and the concept of governments sending out Kill Trucks with Strike Teams seems a little like cheating. It's never explained why Big Daddy wants to kill Eva and Cali or why they're targeting specific people in the first place.
19. Nymph (2014)
Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Two young American women go on a Mediterranean vacation and uncover the watery lair of a killer mermaid hidden beneath an abandoned military fortress. What was once a carefree adventure becomes a deadly fight for survival.
Lucy (Natalie Burn) and Kelly (Kristina Klebe) meet up with an old college friend Alex (Slobodan Stefanovic) and his fiancee Yasmin (Sofija Rajovic) and, together with Yasmin's friend Niko (Franco Nero), they explore an abandoned military outpost on the island Mamula in the Mediterranean Sea near Montenegro. Unbeknownst to them, a killer stalks the fortress and keeps a mermaid imprisoned within its rooms. The movie kept a fair bit of tension throughout, but I was surprised at how fast these "old friends" wrote each other off whenever they disappeared from line of sight. The only one who pushed for continuous reunification was Kelly and even she completely writes Alex off once he calls her a bitch. The mermaid was actually done very well and I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that they tied it to mythology of Scylla. The ending might leave room for a sequel or maybe you're just supposed to assume how it ends considering how utterly screwed they are. There's some back story with Kelly being afraid of the water because of an early trauma, but that only pops up at annoying times rather than being any real major plot device. There's also a bit about Lucy and Alex maybe hooking up during a drunken first night, but I guess that justifies when Kelly ditches him. [Spoiler...sort of..] The explanation is sort of meh, but the larger back story is more interesting - the Nazis used Mamula as a weapons dump and built an underwater tunnel to the island. While building, they discovered the mermaid after it had killed six of the seven builders. Apparently the Greeks had the location of Scylla completely wrong and it was actually Mamula.
20. The Ward (2010)
R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
An institutionalized young woman becomes terrorized by a ghost.
I saw the ending of this one on Syfy. After running away from the psych ward, Kristen (Amber Heard) burns down a house before being dragged back. While there, she sees a mysterious female figure stalking the halls and discovers that some girls from the ward seem to be missing and no one will tell her where they went. When she's attacked by a badly decomposed ghost in the showers, she makes it her mission to save the rest of the girls from whatever is out to get them. I can honestly say that I was more interested in it the second go'round considering the fact that I knew how it ended. On second viewing, it's a tight thriller that doesn't exactly play it close to the chest - there are scenes all over the place where the writer is trying to give it away before the reveal. I'm not sure why it bored me the first time other than the fact that there are long stretches with absolutely nothing going on and the tense scenes are unnecessarily drawn out to provide ammunition for pointless jump scenes. The reveal was neat, but it's nothing that hasn't been done before. At least the kills are kind of cool - lobotomy, electroshock, cutting, maybe an axe or something.
21. +1 (2013)
Not Rated | 96 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Three college friends hit the biggest party of the year, where a mysterious phenomenon disrupts the night, quickly descending into a chaos that challenges their friendships - and whether they can stay alive.
On the night of a mysterious comet's descent, college partygoers attend Angad's (Rohan Kymal) house party as it gets increasingly wilder as time goes on. However, for lovelorn David (Rhys Wakefield) and his friends, the night contains only possibilities and horrors when the lights blink on and off again and there's a second set of themselves doing the same thing they did fifteen minutes prior. Teddy (Logan Miller) manages to woo Melanie (Natalie Hall) only to be cockblocked when his second self shows up and Allison (Suzanne Dengel) gets to know herself a little better after she saves her second self from humiliation. While Teddy whips the original party into a fearful frenzy, David uses Jill's second self as a second chance to win her back after he shared a kiss with her fencing competitor earlier. Rather than the story being anything about the weird phenomena that's causing a second group of partygoers to appear and disappear, the story is more about David's attempt to get Jill back. Teddy even asks David at one point if it matters to him which version of Jill he gets and it doesn't, not really. He's supposed to be the good guy, but his actions are ridiculously self-serving and it just sets up whatever relationship he has with Jill as potentially abusive so I wasn't even rooting for him to get the girl. Actually, I was rooting for Teddy and Melanie because their hookup is more real than whatever David seems to think he has with Jill. All in all, it's a new-ish concept that was done well, but I didn't like the characters I was supposed to like.
22. Juan of the Dead (2011)
Not Rated | 92 min | Action, Comedy, Horror
A group of slackers face an army of zombies. The Cuban government and media claim the living dead are dissidents revolting against the government.
Votes: 9,340 | Gross: $0.02M
A group of neighborhood con men witness a zombie outbreak in Cuba and begin their own zombie killing agency before they're overrun and forced to flee. Juan (Alexis Diaz de Villegas) tries to reconnect with his daughter Camila (Andrea Duro) while keeping her away from his friend's amorous son Vladi (Andros Perugorria). Meanwhile, Cuban media and officials are claiming that the zombies are political dissidents sent by the US and that the people should host a parade to show them their spirit. Overall, the movie was pretty funny and well done. The characters are fleshed out and the acting is pretty believable and the set design is gorgeous. In terms of originality, Shaun of the Dead did it better.
23. The Loved Ones (2009)
R | 84 min | Horror, Thriller
When Brent turns down his classmate Lola's invitation to the prom, she concocts a wildly violent plan for revenge.
It's prom night and Brent (Xavier Samuel) is preparing to pick up his high school love Holly (Victoria Thaine) when he is waylayed by the well-meaning Daddy (John Brumpton) who is just trying to give his little princess Lola (Robin McLeavy) the prom she deserves regardless of the fact that Brent turned down her invitation earlier. Tied to a chair and tortured, Brent has to survive Lola's affections as she reveals her dating history. Funny at times and terrifying at others, The Loved Ones was actually pretty good. There's a backstory that's revealed halfway through the movie and it manages to link everyone together, but it's a silly backstory and could have been left out since all it did was give a small bit of relevance to the fact that the best friend Jaime (Richard Wilson) gets to hook up with Mia (Jessica McNamee) at prom while Brent is being tormented. Brent gets a little bit of a tortured past as he believes he's responsible for killing his father, but even that is wrapped up in a neat package that's not really necessary. I feel like they padded the crap out of this movie because the initial concept doesn't really warrant 90 minutes. They could have focused on the interaction between Lola, Daddy, and Brent, but they wanted to tie in more actors and it doesn't really help the plot at all.
24. All Cheerleaders Die (2013)
Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
A rebel girl signs up a group of cheerleaders to help her take down the captain of their high school football team, but a supernatural turn of events thrusts the girls into a different battle.
After the death of her best friend, Maddy Killian (Caitlin Stasey) joins the cheerleaders and quickly sets out to destroy them from within. After bedding the cheerleader captain Tracy (Brooke Butler), Maddy pushes Tracy to confront her football captain boyfriend Terry (Tom Williamson) which leads to Tracy getting punched in the face. When the girls threaten to go to the police, the boys initiate a car chase that ends with the girls' car crashing into the river. However, lovestruck witch Leena (Sianoa Smit-McPhee) using fortune stones to bring the girls back to life and drags them all back to her house. When they wake, an unnatural hunger grips them and they drain all the blood from a neighbor before heading to class. While the acting wasn't terrible and the premise was interesting, the movie ultimately falls flat because it doesn't really go anywhere. Terry is a ridiculously evil bad guy that comes across more sociopath than jerk jock. The girls discover Maddy's plan, but Terry's arrival and systematic hunting of the girls destroys any climax that might have caused. The ending is unbelievable and seems more wishful thinking than foreseeable outcome. It's campy and it has its moments, but it's ultimately forgettable.
25. The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)
Unrated | 54 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A defecting Soviet scientist is hit by a nuclear explosion near Yucca Flats and roams around as a beast.
When the atomic bomb testing site irradiates a spy (Tor Johnson), it turns him into a bloodthirsty monster intent on strangling men and women alike! While this beast prowls Yucca Flats, a family is separated and stalked by this menace and the well-meaning sky-diving police officers! I'm pretty sure the only one who got paid for this movie was the narrator. Tor Johnson reprises his role as hulking scary guy who punches or strangles everyone for no real reason at all. MST3K apparently used this film for an episode and I can see why - it lends itself nicely to commentary. After the Beast strangles a motorist and his wife, he carries the wife off into a cave where she is later discovered by the cliff scaling police officers who declare that not even a doctor could help her now despite the fact that they say she's breathing. After being discovered, the actress simply disappears and the police officer jumps out of an airplane to shoot at the father of some boys who have gone missing. Honestly, I think the whole budget went into the plane rental.
26. Witching and Bitching (2013)
Not Rated | 112 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy
A gang of armed robbers finds a safe haven in a secluded village crammed with witches--only to encounter the bizarre, the unexpected, and the occult. Can they save themselves, and the rest of the world from the next witch apocalypse?
On the run after a daring robbery of a pawn shop, Jose (Hugo Silva), his son Sergio (Gabriel Delgado), his accomplice Antonio (Mario Casas) and their kidnapped taxi driver Manuel (Jaime Ordonez) flee the city and end up in Zugarramurdi, a town of cannibal witches. After they run over the grandmother Maritxu (Terele Pavez), they meet the mother Graciana (Carmen Maura) in the town and give her a lift back to her home. The daughter Eva (Carolina Bang) arrives behind them and they immediately try to win her affections, totally ignoring the disappearance of Sergio who has been kidnapped by grandma who plans to bake him in an oven. Rescuing Sergio, they accidentally leave the bag of stolen wedding rings behind and have to return to retrieve it. Once back, the ladies go from harmless women to man-eating witches and the men soon find themselves running for their lives, trying to survive their witchy ways. Outrageously funny and inventive, this is probably my favorite movie from the challenge so far. A lesser film would have gone too far with the fantasy and lost the humor and the horror, but Alex de la Iglesia has done a fantastic job of keeping the crazy story grounded in reality. There's a lot of little jabs at women and marriage as almost all of the men share stories of betrayal and loss and some of those jokes come across a little thin, but it doesn't derail the movie.
27. Alien Abduction (2014)
Not Rated | 85 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A vacationing family encounters an alien threat in this thriller based on the real-life Brown Mountain Lights phenomenon in North Carolina.
A family goes out into the woods to go camping and they stumble upon the North Carolina Brown Mountain Lights phenomena when they take a wrong turn. After a quiet night of strange lights in the sky, the family gets lost trying to find the next camping spot and comes across a tunnel filled with empty cars. While inspecting the cars, dad is whisked off by aliens while the kids run back to mom and hightail it out until their car stops working and they have to impose on a local redneck. First off, this is a found footage film and it's all being documented by the autistic son who does remarkably well considering. There's weird sexual tension between the teenage son and daughter, but I think that's more the actors than the characters. For a low budget scifi-horror short movie, it's not terrible; the pacing is consistent and the tension stays throughout. They didn't show too much of the aliens so it doesn't get hokey like some low budget alien movies.
28. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)
R | 93 min | Horror
A cop chases two hippies suspected of a series of Manson family-like murders; unbeknownst to him, the real culprits are the living dead, brought to life with a thirst for human flesh by chemical pesticides being used by area farmers.
In Manchester, the owner of an antique shop George (Ray Lovelock) rides his motorcycle to Lake District in the countryside with a couple of antique pieces to a house where his friends are working. When he stops at a gas station, the driver of a Mini Copper Edna (Cristina Galbó) reverses her car and hits his motorcycle. George orders Edna to take him to Lake District to compensate the damage but she asks him to go first to Windermere since she needs to visit her problematic sister. Then she would lend the car to him. George drives Edna to her sister's cottage but they get lost in a dead end road. George leaves Edna in the car and walks to a nearby farm to ask for directions. He meets three men from the Department of Agriculture using an experimental machine to kill insects through ultra-sonic radiation in the range of one mile. Meanwhile Edna is attacked by a strange man and she runs toward George but the man disappears. Director Jorge Grau's introduction was great and I recommend his interview regarding LSCL to anyone who's into that sort of thing. Just as George and Edna arrive, her sister's husband is attacked and killed and the local police suspect the widow and her strange companions of being Satanic hippies. The Inspector (Arthur Kennedy) discounts all evidence of an attacker and accuses the survivors of plotting against the husband and then systematically harasses them throughout the movie, arrogantly ignoring all clues of the shambling dead. As such, this is supposed to be more of an anti-establishment movie and less zombie. In fact, the zombies have such a small role and only show up to create suspense, but they are rather well done in terms of makeup and overall creep factor.
29. Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006)
R | 80 min | Horror
Both an homage to and a re-imagining of the original 1968 film, this update follows a group of survivors trapped in a farmhouse battling a siege of undead zombies....in 3D!
Votes: 3,289 | Gross: $0.22M
Barb and Johnny drive into the countryside to attend the funeral of their mother's estranged sister. When they arrive, they find the grave site deserted and Barb (Brianna Brown) watches in horror as Johnny (Ken Ward) is attacked by two strangers and leaves her to fend for herself. Not content to simply scream and bite her fist, this Barb runs from the zombies and takes refuge in a mortuary slash crematorium until it's overrun and she has to leave behind its proprietor, Gerald Tovar Jr (Sid Haig). After running into Ben (Joshua DesRoches), she's brought to a country house filled with people who are spending their time getting high and watching Romero's Night of the Living Dead. If I could describe this movie in one word, it would be painful. The acting is awful, like they're just doing a dry read and are waiting for their line to pop up. When turned, the zombies waste no time in decomposing and becoming rather bitey. There's gratuitous tit shots which become gratuitous zombie tit shots later on. Sid Haig is over the top campy and giving him this many lines outside of a Rob Zombie movie is a bad idea.
30. Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)
GP | 89 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A recently institutionalized woman has bizarre experiences after moving into a supposedly haunted country farmhouse and fears she may be losing her sanity once again.
After she's released from an institution, New York couple Jessica (Zohra Lampert) and Duncan (Barton Heyman) buy a house out in the country and try to fix it up with their friend Woody (Kevin O'Connor). As soon as they arrive, they meet Emily (Mariclaire Costello) who is squatting in the abandoned home. They convince Emily to stay and eat, bathe in the lake, and play music together. All is well until Jessica begins to hear and see things that make her question whether or not she's still well. Taken at face value, this is a standard 70s horror flick where the women are either homely or otherworldly beautiful. The camera focuses in on Emily's eyes way too much and it creates a disconcerting effect while Jessica suffers from too much attention being paid to her horse like mouth. There are parts that could have very definitely been cut without hurting any of the plot, but then we'd be left with maybe twenty minutes of unease followed by an unending reveal that never gets resolved. (Spoilers) If, instead of taking it at face value, we see the movie as less of a creature horror film and more of a psychological horror film, the whole movie takes on a bit more of a sinister message. What if everything was in Jessica's head? What if it's not a vampire, but it's Jessica who kills everyone? Unable to stop herself from spiraling further and further into madness, Jessica's paranoia surfaces as violence against those who would have her committed back to the institution. Emily is an adversary only because she's competition; Emily is a mentally well and attractive woman whereas Jessica is homely and very obviously sick.
31. The Substitute (2007)
R | 93 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
A group of sixth graders are convinced their new substitute teacher is actually a menacing alien.
Ulla Harms (Paprika Sheen) is the new substitute teacher for the sixth grade class and she's come to challenge them to be better in order to earn a trip to Paris. In reality, she's an alien entity who has stolen the body of a farm wife in order to learn the concept of love in the only way she knows how - by constantly belittling and berating her class for being idiots with too many feelings. After losing his mom in a car accident, Carl (Jonas Wandschneider) presents himself as a target of both bully and teacher alike and, only after Ulla tells him to climb a rope until he can see his dead mom in Heaven does the class rally behind him. Finding a strange photograph in Ulla's bag, Carl leads the class in exposing Ulla and constantly opposes her every step of the way. There are some tense moments and the scene settings are absolutely gorgeous, but this isn't going to scare anyone older than ten. It's a decent premise, but the whole learning to love thing comes across as kind of corny. Why couldn't Carl let her learn how to love? Sure, her method would mean they would all be guinea pigs in space, but whatever!
32. The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)
R | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Horror
In 1946, a hooded serial killer terrorizes the residents of a small Arkansas town.
In 1946 Texarkana, Arkansas, a hooded killer stalks lovers lanes, killing teenagers despite the growing manhunt. All bets are off when the locals bring in an officer known as The Lone Wolf who gets the force organized. The movie is half narration and half acting and it moves along fairly quickly. A lot of it is sensationalized of course, but it's good cinema. Best part ever was the murder by trombone! This movie was supposed to have set the standard for slasher flicks and it makes sense because it follows the formula it created: teens are alone in a place they shouldn't be, masked killer appears, hijinks ensue as teens try to get away but are ultimately murdered, police baffled and impotent to stop the threat. The fact that it's based on a true story (aren't they all?) just makes it all the more real.
33. Hansel & Gretel (2013 Video)
PG-13 | 90 min | Horror
In this modern retelling of the classic horror tale, teen siblings are enslaved by a psychotic recluse within her gruesome house of horrors in the woods.
After hearing of their father's impending marriage and relocation, teen slacker Hansel Grimm (Brent Lydic) throws a tantrum and runs off only to find himself caught in a bear trap. His twin sister Gretel Grimm (Stephanie Greco) chases after and frees him from the trap and discovers her boss in a remote cabin. Lilith (Dee Wallace) graciously accepts them into her home and binds Hansel's wounds while he stuffs his face with her cooking. The next morning finds Hansel chained in the basement with a couple other tasty morsels while Gretel is groomed for witchdom by Lilith and her sons. I know it's low budget and there's cheese all over this, but it's actually kind of fun. The ending is beyond ridiculous and derails the whole thing, but there are some creepy moments (broken fingernail, Lilith's #nomakeup face, and the LSD trap) mixed in with some weird humor. It's not a great movie, but I was expecting it to be a lot worse than it was.
34. ABCs of Death 2 (2014)
Not Rated | 125 min | Comedy, Horror
Another 26-chapter anthology that showcases death in all its vicious wonder and brutal beauty.
Directors: Rodney Ascher, Julian Barratt, Robert Boocheck, Alejandro Brugués, Kristina Buozyte, Alexandre Bustillo, Larry Fessenden, Julian Gilbey, Jim Hosking, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, E.L. Katz, Aharon Keshales, Steven Kostanski, Marvin Kren, Juan Martínez Moreno, Erik Matti, Wolfgang Matzl, Julien Maury, Robert Morgan, Chris Nash, Vincenzo Natali, Hajime Ohata, Navot Papushado, Bill Plympton, Dennison Ramalho, Todd Rohal, Jerome Sable, Bruno Samper, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, Sôichi Umezawa | Stars: Eric Jacobus, Andy Nyman, Simon Barrett, Teela LaRoux
Votes: 7,560 | Gross: $0.01M
Twenty six directors are tasked with making a short horror film for each letter of the alphabet. I think the first one was better. Most memorable shorts - O is for Ochlocracy, Z is for Zygote, and A is for Amateur. The rest range from decent to terrible. I've decided that I am not a Bill Plympton fan; I just don't like his work so H is for Head Games was annoyingly long.
35. Horns (2013)
R | 120 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy
In the aftermath of his girlfriend's mysterious death, a young man awakens to find strange horns sprouting from his forehead.
Votes: 72,208 | Gross: $0.16M
Accused of killing his girlfriend and convicted in the court of public opinion, Ig flails about trying to discover who really killed her. When he grows devil horns (they're more Satyr-like in my opinion), he finds that the curse is actually a blessing as people say and do what's really in their hearts and he finds himself getting closer and closer to the truth. The scene with the parents was heart-breaking and the eventual reveal was the second punch that makes this film a knockout. Once Harry Potter stopped whining and got down with his devil self, the pace picked up and he carried the movie through the end. It's a dismal ending though, so don't expect much rejoicing at Hogwarts.
36. V/H/S Viral (2014)
R | 81 min | Horror, Thriller
A Los Angeles police chase sends a fame-obsessed man on a wild ride to save his girlfriend from a cybernetic terror.
Votes: 14,164 | Gross: $0.00M
Since it's an anthology, let's address each segment in turn.
Vicious Circles: The first two wraparound segments set up the reasoning behind why we're watching all these shorts - we're watching what the wraparound segment characters are watching and reacting to. All good anthologies do this part well because it draws the viewer in from the start. Unlike the first two, Vicious Circles is little more than a chase scene with random violence going on in the background with no explanation. And, if that wasn't bad enough, it ends in the most lackluster way possible and never actually reaches a climax. Where the first two movies set up that creepy vibe, the third never achieves that same feeling and we're just left not really caring about any of the characters enough to invest any emotion into their eventual demise.
Dante the Great: Wizard of Gore did it better. It's not really an original concept and murderous magicians are never that scary. While the characters were decent, it broke the found footage mold and I, personally, found the switch back and forth rather distracting. The effects were neat, but the story wasn't worth the effort. And then we have that silly ending! Honestly, the scariest part is supposed to be the monster, but all we get are a pair of long clawed arms extending from darkness. They should have used some of their effects budget for a decent makeup artist who could've built them a decent monster.
Parallel Monsters: A predictable premise with some unexpected humor, this one wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't sandwiched between such utter garbage. If it were included on either the first or second, I wouldn't have considered it the weakest of the bunch since it's the strongest on the third. However, being the shiniest peanut in the turd isn't really something to be proud of.
Bonestorm: Stupid name for a stupid segment that goes on way too long and has absolutely no payout. The build up takes forever and could've been cut - who needs to see kids wiping out on skateboards and being chased off by security? They could have started it right in Tijuana from the point that they see the first girl in the street. They skate around a drainage ditch filled with freaky wards and none of them have anything to say. Then suddenly, they're surrounded by a deluge of bad guys and skeleton guys and creepy Dia de los muertos ladies. Fight scene, fight scene, fight scene, fight scene, fight scene, CGI fight scene, CGI fight scene, fleeing, end. Are you kidding me?! Two of their "friends" get killed and their only acknowledgement is "hey, do you feel bad that you don't feel bad?" "Nah." "Yeah, me neither." And boom, that's the end.
It's just not that good. The entire movie feels rushed and manufactured. It doesn't feel like anyone put their soul into it to really try to scare anyone. Honestly, I just think it fell victim to the "third movie in a series" curse where they know they've already got an audience and so they don't try as hard.
37. Zombeavers (2014)
R | 77 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
A fun weekend turns into madness and horror for a bunch of groupies looking for fun in a beaver infested swamp.
Votes: 15,280 | Gross: $0.01M
Three sorority sisters arrive at a cabin in the woods in order to forget one's cheating ex-boyfriend, but then the guys crash the party just in time for undead zombie beaver attacks! Campy good fun and an obviously low budget helped make this one of my favorites of the challenge.
38. Honeymoon (2014)
R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A newlywed couple finds their lake-country honeymoon descend into chaos after Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night.
Votes: 23,358 | Gross: $0.01M
A newly wed couple goes to her family's cottage in the woods and everything seems blissful until he wakes up one night and she's missing. When he finds her standing naked in the woods, he tries to get her to tell him what happened and why she seems so different now,