Continuing my Bad Film June month I give you part 2.
To see part 1 click HERE
Day 16: Rage (2010)
A low budget cat and mouse film about a biker that stalks attacks cheating suburban man Dennis.
I’m not going to mark this down because of budget but more the slightly misleading DVD cover which sadly is another trend of modern horror I dislike.
He only uses the Chainsaw once so don’t watch this thinking that’s his thing.
The director tries to be creative but with some below par performances and script but especially a score that simply doesn’t suit this film at some of the most important times that only succeeds in removing any tension from the scenes.
I also really didn’t like the rape scene but then I don’t like to see rape scenes anyway.
I did quite like the ending it’s just a shame the rest of the film wasn’t up to the same standard.
Verdict: Bin it
Day 17: Prowl (2010)
Another After Dark original but a very well made one.
Susie, or for the purposes of this little review we’ll call her Rey as in Star Wars, feels restless and wants to escape the little town she’s stuck in so over the course of 24hrs the planets align simply to give us viewers enough convenient plot points to telegraph the obvious plot twist coming later on and to get her and friends exactly where the film needs them to be that works as long as you don’t give it any thought at all.
There is another necessary I suppose setup scene involving a tramp at the end that’s too on the nose.
Ah, clever writing.
I’m being a bit too sarcastic. The obvious plot twist does save this film from being another The Descent (2005) and like I said it is nicely filmed with the director giving us good 30 Days of Night (2007) crossed with The Descent Vampire\creature enemies but everything in the film is too obvious a setup.
Like most halfway decent modern horror it’s worth one watch but not your money
Verdict: Keep it I suppose
Day 18: Emelie (2015)
These are getting posted later and later thanks to the Euros.
A couple are celebrating their 13th anniversary and hire a babysitter but naturally she isn’t their usual babysitter so that means she’s nefarious.
I really enjoyed this one. Suitably tense throughout and a decent performances especially by Sarah Bolger. I’m naming the cast so that shows I liked it.
I was expecting it to be darker, more disturbing and violent but still I’m happy with the results.
The children in this film are little shits at the beginning (I’m going to blame their parents) but I’m guessing they wont be after this so maybe this is exactly what they need.
It’s also refreshing to see it being the son and not the daughter as we usually get as the one who has that completely unbelievable survival instinct that the heroes of horror films seem to posses and despite his ability to perfectly time when fireworks go off, I rolled my eyes at that one even if it did look good, he wasn’t too unbelievable.
I liked it but it probably is a bit tame.
It does puss out with what happens to Emelie though
Verdict: Keep it
Day 19: Primal
With Euro 2016 having its games later today I’m getting my review in earlier.
I should’ve picked a different month than one with a major Football tournament.
I like Aussie horror. I like Aussie films. They don’t pander to American audiences like British films tend to do so the Aussies do their own thing and that’s reflected in their films.
Reading the back of this box, first time I’ve done that since starting this, I almost didn’t put it on due to how generic it sounded but then I read it was Australian.
Starts of well even if we do have to sit through a pointless and as lazy as can be thought out backstory as to why one of them is a perennial victim so she has a reason to be claustrophobic.
Spotted the final girl yet?
A group of friends take a trip because one of them wants to check out Aboriginal paintings for his thesis.
Shit this is sounding like the Leprechaun remake and that was shite.
One of the girls goes skinny dipping and then becomes primal.
A great first scene involving new primal girl gives the viewer false hope that this will be anything but predictable.
There are some great scenes in here and fucking lousy characters apart from the comic relief.
Guess who’s the first to die.
The primal girls boyfriend annoyed the fuck out of me. I’m all for understanding someone being reluctant to accept a loved one has changed but he really took it took far even if he did have a really good showdown with the alpha male.
Some good scenes in here and it is well made but sadly like I said it is predictable and I couldn’t root for any of the characters.
I hope this isn’t the start of Australian horror films becoming as bland and generic as western horror has become.
Verdict: Bin it
Day 20: House at the End of the Street (2012)
I was not looking forward to this.
Not a big fan of Jennifer Lawrence, far too bland and overrated, and teen appealing bigger budget horror films are also bland and overrated.
So it starts of with a young girl killing her parents with a hammer in a completely unbelievable scene and then we have newly divorced Elizabeth Shue who belongs in much better films than this move into the house next to the one with the murders.
Her rude, stuck up daughter and you can guess who plays her becomes friends with the brother of the young girl.
What we have next is a bland but not as boring as I was expecting film with some awful dialogue that made this film feel like it should be an early noughties drama.
It starts to become interesting only to show us how films these days solely rely on cliches rather than original ideas.
If you’re a fan of Jennifer Lawrence then I’m sorry and you are probably the only ones who will like this one.
Verdict: Bin it
Day 21: Dyatlov Pass Incident (2013)
Using the real life Dyatlov pass incident that happened in Russia in 1959 as the bases for a documentary a group of college students go hiking in the Ural Mountains to try to find out what happened.
Here we have the usual mismatch group and all the bickering that goes along with it.
The group just aren’t interesting enough for this 100 minute film that drag its feet getting to the explanation which is a shame given the beautiful scenery and how nicely filmed the mountain scenes are.
Finishing with video game like CGI is a shame as well as how long it takes to find the bunker that was woefully underused.
Not enough story for the length of the film and the characters once again let this one down.
On a side note why is it in films especially horror films when people are making documentaries that the footage we see they take is something that could never be used in any documentary ever.
Maybe it’s because I grew up on BBC docs that I’m used to a higher standard but seeing how much of a mess the ones in films are it makes me wonder if the films makers have ever watched one.
Directed by Renny Harlin who directed Die Hard 2. What happened?
Verdict: Bury it in an avalanche
Day 22: Splice (2009)
A scientific couple working with genetic engineering introduce human DNA into their experiments.
One of the couple Elsa is truly a morally bankrupt character.
No matter what she does, what mistakes and consequences arise from her actions she does not accept any responsibility nor cares for her partner Clive but sadly the film decides to make her a victim, give her the moral high ground over Clive, turn her into the hero and give her exactly what she wanted all along as well as get paid handsomely for it too.
The film could be interesting but in reality it doesn’t know how to tackle the ethics that are central to the theme in this film and given the lack of ethics from the main character this isn’t a shock.
It has one good and funny scene with the company presentation to the press but that’s it.
I don’t like seeing characters get rewarded that shouldn’t whilst everyone around them that they are supposed to care about suffers because of every single action they make.
Verdict: Bin it
Day 23: Haunter (2013)
Directed by the same person that directed Splice…
At least he likes to use David Hewlett in his films and he appears here so like Splice there’s at least one reason to watch the film.
Lisa is stuck in a time loop that only she is aware of and cannot escape her house.
She must find out who is keeping her there and stop them before her family pays for her curiosity.
Also appearing is Stephen McHattie from the really rather good Pontypool (2008) in another film based in just one setting giving another fantastic performance.
Very nicely filmed and creative too with for once a well thought out story that is a bit basic but does enough to work and be engaging.
Abigail Breslin plays Lisa and while some of her expressions of fear and terror might be a bit forced shall we say she does a good job and Lisa is a very good character to watch.
The film doesn’t descend into any sort of slasher Jane Rambo nonsense at the end and she isn’t some sort of unbelievable resourceful, super capable final girl that we are subjected to these days.
She’s a 15 year old girl trying to figure things out and that makes her believable and likeable in as much that you would believe any 15 year old wouldn’t fall about panicking and crying in this situation but by film rules she is.
A very refreshing change.
This shows with a bit of thought given to the story and trying something different means no-one will watch it and you will have a forgotten film because the film watching audience want’s the same crap over and over again so you better make yet another generic slasher instead.
But it is at least a rare treat that keeps things simple but has enough tricks up it’s sleeve to see out its playing time.
Verdict: Keep it
Day 24: Throwback (2014)
A very low budget Australian creature feature about two men hunting for lost gold but end up finding a Yowie (Aussie mythical bigfoot type creature) or more likely the Yowie finds them.
Along with a park ranger and an a detective that appears in one scene but it seems the film forgets about they must fight to save themselves from the Yowie and a traitor amongst them.
Now when I say low budget I mean AU$4,000 low budget so whilst the man in the suit looks like a man in a suit the director has enough sense to never show the face for more than a second and keep it in a shadow.
Some shots do linger for longer than they should’ve like when one of them is lining up his shot on the Yowie but the humour was good and Anthony Ring gives a particularly good performance when he gets going.
This film succeeds far more than it fails, or other films with budgets that dwarf this ones fail, just needing bit more expediency in places. I have to say that I don’t mind films on micro-budgets so I can’t be too harsh and overall I did enjoy it so if you don’t mind micro-budget films at least check out the trailer.
I do happen to have one of the original poorly mastered DVD’s that causes a scene to repeat and removes 9 minutes of footage.
Verdict: Keep it
Day 25: Camp Massacre (2014)
Filming of a reality TV show in which ten overweight men compete to lose weight for $1 million but someone starts killing them off one by one.
So last time I reviewed a low budget film shot for reportedly AU$4,000 and now here’s one filmed for reportedly US$10,000.
If that budget is true then fair play to the director for the filming locations and for managing to get Bree Olson of Human Centipede 3 and former WWF wrestler Al Snow.
Now that I’ve paid probably the only compliments I can to the film on with the review.
This doesn’t look as cheap as it should but the makeup effects are as bad as the direction and only slightly less worse than the acting but unlike the director at least the actors tried.
The jokes are flat, the fight scenes are appalling which is made the more shocking by the fact they have a professional wrestler and trainer in Al Snow appearing but then he, like Bree Olson only appear for 5 minutes before being killed off.
The poster for this film proudly displays their names even though they are bit players making nothing more than cameos.
On the back of the DVD’s cover the heavily airbrushed and much slimmer than in the film Bree is shown holding an obviously photoshopped machete but she is not only holding it the wrong way the machete is in front of her but her arm is behind her and you can see where they have cloned the image.
The girl behind her who is also on the cover and not actually in the fucking film is holding a photoshopped chainsaw.
Did I tell you this film is over 2 hours long!!!
It’s when the film reaches it’s slasher finale that it really descends into a clusterfuck and despite all the nonsense I had witnessed so far I still found myself saying “really?”
Don’t bother but you probably already knew that
Verdict: Burn it
Day 26: Cassadaga (2011)
Took a while to work this one out due to it being a mess.
A teacher moves to Cassadaga and the first scene of her arriving in this town lead me to believe that the town would be some sort of creepy supernatural town but no.
Just like the killer the town is of very little importance which is probably why the film is named after it.
The killer if we ignore the final scene has 4 scenes that probably barely total 6 minutes of screentime.
If we include the final confrontation that might reach 10 minutes and I’m not joking. This film is almost 2 hours long and he’s in it for around 10 minutes which is a shame because if we ignore the usual lame, unoriginal confrontation scene that everyone has witnessed a thousand times now in horror films from the last 30 years his appearances are the only good part of the film.
He cuts up a victim and makes her into a marionette which is very impressive to view.
But the final girl I hear you say before stopping to clarify that it is a final girl in this film.
It isn’t only the final confrontation that is lame and unoriginal.
Well everything is done to make you feel sorry for her.
Dad left when she was young- yep,
Mum died when she was young- yep,
Had to raise her young sister- yep,
Young sister happens to be the most perfect sister anyone could wish for and is so amazingly smart that she’s already finishing high school even though she’s probably too young to start it- yep,
Young sister then is killed outside her work right after a conversation they had about their upcoming move to France- yep,
Finds perfect boyfriend only to lose him because of his douchbag ex-wife fucking up her perfect relationship- yep oh and she’s deaf if you didn’t feel sorry enough for her.
She lives in complete silence as the film keeps showing you but her English is so perfect that she needs to keep remind everyone she’s deaf and can lipread even when the person isn’t looking at her.
This plays out more like a drama with the occasional ghost or innocent woman having her severed limbs reattached as to make her into a living doll.
Honestly the total runtime of all the ghost and gory bits maybe totals 11 minutes if I include the total time the killer is on screen even when he doesn’t do anything disturbing.
Crappy messy story that couldn’t be saved even if they focused more on the only interesting aspect of the film that is the killer.
Verdict: Bin it
Day 27: Open Grave (2013)
Starring Sharlto Copley as a man that wakes up to find himself in an open grave who is then saved by an unknown woman.
He manages to find a house in the woods where several people have taken shelter and all have lost their memory.
As the film goes on they try to find out who they are and why they are there whilst being attacked from slightly more compos mentis 28 Days Later type raging infected.
Except the infected don’t seem to want to attack unless the survivors do everything they can to let them know of their presence.
The survivors are idiots to put it nicely. All they do is bicker and think they are married or in a relationship with each other.
They have a lab there at the house but no-one bothers to check the house properly instead wondering into the woods to make as much noise around the infected that obviously want them dead.
They left nothing to help them with their memory loss which they knew was coming.
I like Sharlto Copley but this film is too much of a mess story wise for him to waste his time being in.
This film does have possibly the largest open grave in film history that only serves to remind you that this could’ve been something better.
Verdict: Bin it
Day 28: The Pit aka Jug Face
In a backwoods community Ada finds out she’s pregnant from an incestuous relationship she has been having with her brother.
A marriage is then arranged for her but as if the universe doesn’t have enough shit to put her through the Pit chooses her for a sacrifice.
Through one of the community the Pit communicates with him and he makes a face jug of the person to be sacrificed.
If he doesn’t then the community no longer benefits from the health and safety of the Pit leaving them prone to disease and the Pits wrath itself.
Not a long film at all and overall doesn’t waste its time.
You get a good enough sense of Ada’s family life as well as the communities so that you feel like you understand exactly why she needs to escape.
Lauren Ashley Carter who plays Ada does a very good job and overall I really enjoyed this film.
I was a bit worried at first seeing how it started and only having my imagination to go on as to what this film could be about but I’m glad I stuck with it.
It does many things right and doesn’t play to too many tropes and cliches especially at the end.
I don’t know how many people would like a film like this but I did.
Verdict: Keep it
Day 29: Dead Silence (2007)
One more day to go and this month will finally be over.
Jamie receives a package containing a ventriloquist doll and shortly after his wife is murdered.
He goes back to his home town to find out who sent him the doll as he thinks it is linked to his wife’s murder due in no small part to the towns superstition with ventriloquist dolls and is being watched by the detective investigating his wife’s murder played by the man famous for being Mark Wahlberg older brother.
Now this is more like it.
A great look, fantastic ghost story with lots of atmosphere. You can tell this was made by the Saw people but given some of the dire attempts at film-making I’ve witnessed this month and how much I like the Saw franchise a bit of the same is ok with me.
I knew from when the killer was revealed who would win given this is a modern horror but the journey there was lively and more than entertaining to watch so that made up for it.
I’ve been wanting to watch this film for a long time and now I have I’m only sorry I couldn’t watch it in Blu-ray because I think a crisp HD picture would really benefit the film.
Verdict: Keep it
Day 30: Maryrs (2015)
Final day of this and overall the films haven’t been as bad as I feared but they do show horror is out of ideas, bland and more interested in pushing the same old stories with the same political agenda as well as being labelled extreme but really are dumbed down.
Take the Martyrs remake for example.
Now be warned there are spoilers so if you don’t want Martrys spoiled for you then I recommend you never watch this film and only see the excellent French original.
Having watched the original 3 or 4 times now it has lost some of its first impact but is still an absolutely fantastic film, this one on the other hand had no impact on me from the start.
The first half of the film is a basic rushed re-hash of the first half of the original and had me thinking I wished they would’ve tried something different.
They did and that had me wishing they had made a simple re-hash of the original.
There was zero tension and while I didn’t mind Anna I also didn’t care that much. So she finds the underground bunker and another girl but remember this is the Disney version of Martyrs so no nailed in and glued on face plate here.
We have a young girl that probably wants to make a snowman with I think she had a bruise or maybe she was eating tomato soup and spilled some.
The point of getting these women to enter the martyrdom phase is through intense physical torture but here Anna gets a few electrocutions and an explanation that also seems dumbed down probably because the woman doing the explanation is nowhere near as intense or scary as the old French woman.
It starts to get good when we come to flaying scene but seeing as Anna and Lucie have only been there for what seems a day or two and they proclaimed Lucie ready only giving the viewers sounds of her being tortured but not showing it because as I’ve stated this film lacks any punch to it, literally.
But sadly she only has some minor skin grafts taken from her back and she’s good to go.
That isn’t the real problem. The real problem is that this then becomes your generic American slasher flick.
I don’t like what the final girl trope has become in modern western horror. Take any spoiled princess or unlikable twat with no real world experience and suddenly she finds her inner strength and survival skills that even Dutch in Predator would be jealous of as well as such incredible tolerance to pain and physical trauma just because that’s all young filmmakers have seen growing up and no doubt not wanting to piss off feminist that will complain either way and you have the modern final girl.
Guess what we have here? She becomes Jane Rambo just ploughing through everyone and freeing all the trapped women.
Not days or even weeks of torture and possible starvation nor bullets nor knife wounds will stop her let alone slow her down.
I’m not fucking kidding.
It is simply lazy unoriginal writing when they could’ve taken some time to give us something more meaningful that wouldn’t have pissed on what the original was trying to do.
Coupled with the happy (sort off but really it is) ending and you have the real reason a lot of horror is shite these days.
Pandering for a variety of reasons beyond what I’ve suggested here at the expense of story.
The very, very, very last bit of the last scene I thought was nicely done but far too little far too late to make up for the rest of the films mistakes and blandness.
The music was good though.
Verdict: Flay the disc and bury it in a mass grave with its family
Horror is dying by its refusal to challenge anymore and push boundries.
By the filmmakers not caring about what they do and giving us the same characters and tropes, situations stories over and over again.
Even the films I thought were good was only good in comparison to the crap it is up against.
An over-reliance on the final girl cliche and the fact anyone can make a film as long as they have the cheapest camera available and After Effects on their PC.
We’ll add in the blood later and no man in a suit please because I have a friend who uses Blender so we’ll add that later as well.
Horror isn’t about pandering and not upsetting certain groups. It isn’t about being restricted and claiming to be extreme but giving us the same watered down, sanitised and within the rules (that don’t have to be followed) nonsense that the other genre’s give us.
But there is still a wealth of old horror films I haven’t seen so they should get me past this dark depressing era while the horror industry is on life support until it can get back on its feet.
Get well soon…PLEASE!