Archive for October, 2013


The Bay (2012)

The-Bay-24-ชม.แพร่พันธุ์สยอง

It’s been four years since the horrific 4th of July innocent in a small Maryland fishing town, when hundreds of people died under mysterious circumstances.  Up until now the government has done a good job keeping everything quiet, but someone wants the truth to get out.  This shadowy figure has found one of the lone survivors of that day who saw everything go down, a female reporter who was doing her first assignment as an intern, and she has agreed to be interviewed via Skype.  The movie then switches between her cameraman’s footage from that day, other cameras that were found and security footage to tell the tale, with her narration over the footage to keep it going where needed.

The whole outbreak started a few weeks earlier with some marine biologists noticing an abundance if dead fish. Turns out they were killed by parasites in the water, which isn’t really a big deal, it happens all the time.  But these parasites were much larger than normal, it is almost although they mutated in some way.  It couldn’t be due to the runoff from the local chicken farms that use excessive amounts of steroids in their chicken feed?  Yes. Yes it is. Soon the ‘roided up parasites begin breeding exponentially and the larvae make it into the town’s drinking water supply, where they grown inside the townsfolk and eat them from the inside out.

Alex’s Thoughts:  I wasn’t too sure about this movie after sitting through it for the first half hour.  There is a lot of buildup to the outbreak, and it takes a little too long to get there, but once it does, it hits hard and fast.  You sort of get lost in the fallout as people are dropping left and right and/or bleeding out of their faces.  Once you finish, you realize that it has been sort of preachy the entire time about genetically enhanced livestock and pollution, but the gore and viscera more than make up for that being shoved in your face.  It has a few jump scares here and there for the horror fans, and is a pretty good watch. Alex Rates This Movie 7/10

Tim’s Thoughts: I am never swimming again. At least not anytime soon, in a natural body of water. While this movie clearly has an agenda, it’s not all that different than the  old Godzilla movies talking about radiation, and nuclear power being the reason he pops out and stomps Tokyo to dust. So that caveat aside, I think this is an excellent horror movie. Found footage without the shaky cam, and showing you plenty without showing you too much. Unlike Alex, I thought the pacing was excellent, and I was rapt almost immediately. The various accounts are interwoven perfectly, and the suspense (especially because you already know why it’s happening) is sickening. I cringed every time they showed someone doing ANYTHING with water. Effective and entertaining, you can’t ask much more from a movie, especially a horror movie. I won’t even knock it’s preachiness, what classic science fiction movie isn’t a thinly veiled morality tale? Sometimes that’s what makes them great. Tim Rates This Movie 10/10

the bay

View the IMDB entry for this movie here.

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Room 237 (2013)

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Most movie fans are familiar with the Stanley Kubrick film The Shining, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name; and many consider it to be one of the greatest horror movies of all time.  What you may not know is that there is a small percentage of the population who believe that this movie is more than just a movie, and is filled with a much deeper message.  There are nine different theories explored in this documentary, and they are as diverse as the enthusiasts who present them.  Some of the theories presented are out there… like, way out there; and all are based in visual clues, some of which only appear for a few seconds in one scene. Here are some examples:

Throughout the Overlook Hotel there are pictures of Indians, so therefore this movie is about the plight of the Native Americans.

There is a prominent maze in this movie, which doesn’t appear in the book, so this must be Kubrick’s homage to the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.

There are several scenes with people walking, writing or speaking backwards, so that can only mean that you have to watch the movie backwards.  This leads to a new interpretation of the movie.

Danny is wearing an Apollo 11 sweater at one point, so this can only mean that this is Kubrick’s way to tell the world that he filmed the faked moon landing.

Finally, the number 42 seems to be pretty predominant throughout the film. According to one person, this refers to 1942, the years the Nazis began the holocaust. So… there is that too.

Alex’s Thoughts:  I love The Shining. Love it.  There is all sorts of symbolism in this thing, and I’m sure there are still things that I have not picked up on yet.  But personally, I can’t come up with a single running theme in this movie, as there is just too much crazy going on.  I know Stanley Kubrick was a certified genius, so I’m sure this movie is about something, and there are probably specific reasons he diverged from King’s book, but I can’t quite nail them down.  I guess that is the sign of a good movie, in that it keeps you thinking about it, even thirty years after its release.  As a documentary goes, this is by far the best out there, but if you like The Shining, Room 237 will hold your attention and make to want to watch the source material again!  And as far as the theories, based on that fact that I am writing this, I can’t really judge other peoples opinions. Alex Rates This Movie 6/10

Tim’s Thoughts: The Shining is an iconic film, obviously, and there is a ton of bizarre imagery throughout the entire film, and yes, Kubrick was such a control freak that it’s hard to take any of it as coincidence. That being said, this film, while entertaining gives too much credence to too many theories. It’s more interesting to focus on one or two. Instead we range from a few credible ideas, all the way to the most ridiculous theories you can imagine. The director undercuts the entire film with one line that I will paraphrase: It doesn’t matter if Kubrick meant for this movie to mean anything, people are going to attach their own ideas, and meanings. To me that instantly cheapens all of the ideas for what this movie could possibly stand for. With that rationale I could insist that this is Kubrick’s elaborate and desperate attempt to get his wife to make him 42 ice cream sandwiches. After all, 42 is predominately featured, and Halloran did offer Danny ice cream. It’s that silly. All of those gripes aside, I enjoyed most of this, and I think that fans of Kubrick, or the Shining should check it out. Just be ready to sift through the nutjobs.  Tim Rates This Movie 7/10

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View the IMDB entry for this movie here.

View the IMDB entry for this movie here.

V/H/S 2 (2013)

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This movie opens with pretty much the same scenario as the previous one: people huddled around a bank of static filled televisions with a stack of video tapes just waiting to be watched.  This time around it is a pair of private investigators at the home of a missing college student.  They check out his video blog and see that he was watching these tapes before he disappeared, so let’s make some popcorn and watch 3 or 4 of these together shall we

PHASE I CLINICAL TRIALS – These held-held camera point of view movies try to find something to use instead of just a shaky camera, in this case it is an artificial eye that gives the wearer the ability to see again, but also conveniently records the images.  Not long after getting the implant, a man goes all Sixth Sense and starts seeing all these dead people in his house.  They don’t do anything, just sort of stand and stare.  The next morning a girl he recognized from the doctor’s office shows up and tells him the same thing is happening to her with her cochlear implant: hearing these dead folks talk all the time.  She tells him to ignore them and they can’t her them, but how do you ignore a house full of corpses?

A RIDE IN THE PARK – A guy is going for a quick mountain bike ride through the woods, straps his Go Pro on his helmet and he’s off!  Dude is tearing up the trails… big time, until he comes upon a chick looking pretty beat up and asking for help.  There isn’t much the guy can do for her and she dies right away, but since this is a horror flick and she is covered in bites, you know she going to come back as a zombie; and gives him a little love bite.  We are then shown a first-person perspective of a living person’s change into a zombie, and it isn’t pretty.  Now we have the first ZOMBIE CAM as he hunts along with other zombies; and all hell breaks loose as they encounter a little girl’s birthday party at a nearby park.

SAFE HAVEN – A documentary crew meets up with a controversial cult leader, and they ask for his permission to come to his compound so he can set the record straight about all the crazy stuff the public thinks is going on out there, but mostly they just want to see what this kook is up to.  He reluctantly agrees, and it turns out the public might have legitimate concerns, as this leader wants to purify all he followers by putting his greasy wang in them.  They picked a good day to come over, as it turns out today in the rapture!  As the crew is filming, the Jonestown flavored Kool-Aid is passed out and consumed by the women and children, and all of the men put a bullet in their own heads.  So it turns out this nut job was right since a huge demonic goat shows up and starts killing everyone!

SLUMBER PARTY ALIEN ABDUCTION – We see mom and dad pulling away for a weekend away from the kids, and seconds later the kid’s friends start to show up for a party weekend.  Things are going well, with plenty of fun being had and pranks being pulled.  The big sister puts a mini camera on the family terrier to catch her bother touching himself in his special place, and everyone had a good laugh. It’s then that they hear a loud noise followed by bright lights around the house.  The lights go out, and all of a sudden the house is full of aliens!? That’s right kids, it’s abduction time!  The kids and their little dog spend the next ten minutes running around with nothing but a strobe light to see by.  If you don’t end up having a seizure, you get to see the aliens catch these kids, where we’re sure they will have something stuck up their butts within the hour.

Alex’s Thoughts: I really liked the first V/H/S. It was low budget, but full of imaginative stories by small time indy directors.  I was excited to see a larger budget sequel with big time horror movie directors was in the works.  I think I hyped myself up too much, because I was sort of disappointed.  This isn’t to say that V/H/S 2 isn’t good, and doesn’t have some great moments because it does.  I guess I was just expecting for bang for buck.  The highlights for me were A Ride on the Park, with the exception of the ending, and Safe haven, which was gust so good due to it’s shear strangeness.  The other two I didn’t like quite as much. For one, watching an alien abduction happen from a dog’s POV with no lighting except for a strobe is enough to make almost anyone queasy, but there isn’ enough of a payoff for all of that nausea.  The robot eye story wasn’t bad, but I didn’t connect with the actors, as their sense of dread just didn’t come through for me.  I would say that if you like the first one and horror movie anthologies, you will enjoy this.  Alex Rates This Movie 8/10

Tim’s Thoughts: Unlike Alex I was not disappointed with VHS 2 at all. It suffers from only one weak story (Slumber Party) and the wraparound story is much better this time. I really found the first story creepy, and the zombie bike ride was a lot of fun. Like a lot of horror movies the Safe Haven story went on about 1 minute too long, and could have ended stronger, instead it just gets silly. Not having much hope for this I came in skeptical, and left impressed. Unlike last time, I am looking forward to what they come up with next. Plus some of the anthology horror movies are the best, i.e. Creepshow. Tim Rates This Movie 8/10

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View the IMDB entry for this movie here.