Review: The Conjuring 2 (2016)

Pfffft.  Screw that new Ghostbusters movie coming out next week.  Ed and Lorraine Warren are the REAL ghostbusters and they’re all about busting up the fun that several nasty entities are having in the long awaited sequel to James Wans’ 2013’s stellar flick The Conjuring, appropriately titled The Conjuring 2.  The question on everyone’s mind when a horror sequel comes out is always whether or not it’s as good, or maybe even better, than the original.  And I’ve read some reviews calling this new incarnation ‘The best horror sequel ever!‘.  Well, as the great Harvey Keitel once said…..Let’s not go sucking each other’s dicks just yet.   Continue reading

Review: Bite (2016)

When I first heard about the movie Bite, I was definitely intrigued and my interest grew steadily.  I dig gross-out horror movies that involve bugs or people turning into bugs.  And when the trailer arrived, my interest grew larger.  And then the early reports of screenings came out where people were passing out and throwing up and my interest kept growing, and growing, and growing..…until it was ready to explode all over the….. Continue reading

Review: The Invitation (2016)

Unsettling horror movies are about as fun as having a hamburger at Taco Bell.  They can be a nerve-racking chore to sit through, but if they have a big money shot at the end – well then it’s alllllllllll worth it.  Such is the case with the new horror/thriller The Invitation.  It’s the type of movie that gets under your skin, pretty much from the beginning, and doesn’t decide to burrow out until the final 20 minutes.   Continue reading

Rapid Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

What’s a rapid review, you ask?  A more condensed version of my original reviews of course.  Duh.  Ok – let’s go!  10 Cloverfield Lane – for those who don’t know, was originally a script called The Cellar.  And that script sat on the shelf – until JJ Abrahms’ company got a hold of it, read it, and decided to modify it to be a loose ‘sequel’ to 2008’s Cloverfield.

Ok, so we’ve got Mary Elizabeth Winstead who plays Michelle, a girl on the run from a relationship who gets in a bad car crash, wakes up in a bunker of sorts chained to a bed.  Then comes John Goodman who plays Howard, a peculiar ‘Doomsday’ preparer who built the shelter in case of a nuclear fallout or worse.  Rounding out our threesome is John Gallagher Jr. who plays Emmett – a guy who helped Howard build the bomb shack and a guy who’s not as dumb as Howard makes him out to be.  And all three of these happy campers are living underground in a pretty sweet bunker, while some not so sweet shit’s going down up above them.

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What’s going on?  That depends who you ask.  Howard insists it’s war – but with who?  The Russians?  Aliens?  Pffft.  Aliens.  Yeah right.  Howard is intense and he likes to clench his fists at the dinner table and is terrible at board games.  Michelle and Emmett try and figure out whether or not he’s telling the truth about why they have to be down there.  Howard is happy, angry, sad, and likes to dance by the jukebox.  Is he crazy?  Sane?  Rhythmically challenged?  Therein lies the beauty of 10 Cloverfield Lane and why I loved it.  It’s a guessing game with more twists than Chubby Checker.  Geez, that was bad.

The acting is aces and John Goodman theoretically should get an award nod for his performance.  The first 3/4 of the movie is a tense mixture of a Twilight Zone episode with a little nod to Hitchcock.  And spoiler alert:  The last section does involve some aliens to tie everything together to Cloverfield, but it is a bit abrupt and awkward.  Nevertheless, as with a lot of other people, 10 Cloverfield Lane (still hate that name though) is THE surprise movie for me in 2016 so far.  And good god that sound design nearly made me piss myself a few times.  Any film that nearly makes me urinate uncontrollably deserves an extra Dirty Horror head in their final score.  Go see it!

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(4 out of 5)

Review: Cabin Fever (2016)

When I first heard that Eli Roth’s Cabin Fever was being remade, I had to do some serious math in my head.  Add the 2, multiply the 4, carry the 3 and……holy shit – it’s been almost 15 years since it was released!  Even though that seems like a somewhat high number and makes me feel slightly old, I’m not sure it’s long enough to warrant the remake treatment.  But with Eli Roth’s blessing and guidance, writer Randy Pearlstein and director Travis Zariwny set out to accomplish just that, with early news breaking that they would ‘put their own spin’ on Roth’s original.  Well they must have been drinking contaminated water when they said that, because the only spinning going on here is from your head wondering why this was even made.  Harsh?  Yeah.  So let’s get into it.   Continue reading

Review: ScareLA Convention (Pasadena, CA)

With Halloween less than 3 months away, what better way to start to get into the mood than by going to a convention that caters to everything that is Halloween?  And that’s exactly what I did this past weekend at the ScareLA Convention in downtown Pasadena, California.

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Now in it’s third year, the ScareLA Convention is easily one of my favorite horror-related conventions to hit up, and this year they had a new bigger and better location at The Pasadena Convention Center.  And because of that bigger and better venue, there were bigger and better treats and surprises as well!  For instance, an entire section of the convention center was dedicated to local haunted houses, where you could stand in line and get a taste of what they had to offer by walking through mini-versions of them.  This was definitely a highlight for me, as the area really captured the Halloween spirit with fog machines, darkness, and the occasional costumed creature popping up.

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There is a ton to do at the ScareLA Convention, so you definitely won’t be bored if you decide to go when it comes back next year.  In addition to the mini haunted houses, you can check out some movie screenings or sit in on a panel like the Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights one where they announced this year that a brand new Michael Myers maze will be coming!  Numerous ghouls and ghosts walk around the convention while you stop by the many booths full of Halloween and horror-themed art, trinkets, and delicious pastries.  There is even a kiddie section set up where you can take the little ones so they can join in on the spooky fun as well.  Overall, you won’t find more bang for your buck if you’re looking to get into the Halloween sprit and the ScareLA Convention definitely keeps improving every year!

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(5 out of 5)

Review: Creep (2015)

2015 has surprisingly been a pretty solid year for horror movies so far, especially the crop of independent entries like It Follows and We Are Still Here.  One of my most anticipated indie horror offerings has been Creep, the latest addition to the found-footage craze.  I’m a bit nauseated with that whole subgenre, but I was hoping Creep would act as my Pepto-Bismul and make me feel better.  And you know what?  It did!    Continue reading

Review: We Are Still Here (2015)

The housing market is booming right now, and it’s the perfect time to buy!  Just be careful if you come across an old house that used to be a funeral home and awakens every 30 years or so to murder whatever family is living in it.  Hey, it can happen.  And happen it does in the new independent haunted house offering, We Are Still Here.   Continue reading

Review: It Follows (2015)

Do you ever get the feeling that someone is following you?  Maybe an old lady who shuffles aimlessly towards you at a snail’s pace?  A normal looking guy with an Abercrombie & Fitch shirt on?  Or maybe a naked lady with no front teeth who pees uncontrollably on the floor as she gets closer?  That last one may seem a bit specific, but not if you’ve seen the new buzzworthy independent horror film, It Follows.    Continue reading

Review: Clown (2015)

I’ve got coulrophobia.  No, it’s not contagious and it’s not something that I have to go get checked out at the doctor for.  There is no medicine.  There is no cure. Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns.  And thanks to the new Eli Roth produced horror movie Clown, my coulrophobia is out of control.  Continue reading