Horror Movie Round Up Week Four: October 22nd-31st

maggieMaggie (2015)

Synopsis:
In a post Zombie Apocalypse world, the disease that causes cannibalistic tendencies is managed enough by authorities so that family members can spend their last few weeks together before fully turning. This story follows a father who has to learn to deal with his daughter’s infection, and inevitable death.

Review:
I was really struck by how sad this was. I thought Arnold Schwarzenegger was quite good. He is mostly quiet throughout the film, and relies more on body movement and facial expressions to convey emotion. I loved the tone of the whole film, and the question it raises of what would you do to ease the suffering of a loved one.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

babadookThe Babadook (2014)

Synopsis:
A single mother suffering from an undiagnosed case of depression must learn to cope with her emotions in order to protect her son from harm.

Review:
This movie gave me one of the worst nightmares I have ever had, which should be an indicator of how good it is. It’s scary and emotional, and plays on reality versus psychological terrors. The overall impact was very effective, and I love the ambiguity of it all.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

the-furyThe Fury (1978)

Synopsis:
After a failed assassination attempt on his life, a father searches for his psychic son who was kidnapped by government agents.

Review:
Another weird one from the creative genius of Brian De Palma, and another John Cassavetes film. This was interesting, kind of a fugitive-on-the-run flick mixed with supernatural elements. I thought the two genres worked well together, and I liked Kirk Douglas, as always. The ending was also a perfect payoff.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

 

brotherhoodofsatanThe Brotherhood of Satan (1971)

Synopsis:
A family of three gets stranded in a small town where the children have been going missing, and rumors of Satan worshipping are beginning to seem more and more likely to be true.

Review:
For about the first half hour of the film you have no idea what is really going on, and while it can get a bit confusing, I think as a storytelling technique, it works. The rest of the movie is a race against the clock and the anxiety continues to rise until the very last minute of the film.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

 

kinopoisk.ruThe Mummy (1932)

Synopsis:
A cursed mummy comes back to life and stalks a young woman who he is convinced is the reincarnation of his lover.

Review:
The classic monster movies are classics for a reason. There is magic, mystery, and death around every corner. Plus, the special effects still hold up. This is such a good story told succinctly and effectively.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

PROM NIGHT

Prom Night (2008)

Synopsis:
A teenager is stalked at her prom by an escaped murderer who is obsessed with her.

Review:
Sadly this was only slightly better than the original. The killing scenes are at least viewable and offer some pretty good slasher fun. I thought the characters were better developed, and the killer’s strategy more planned out and logical. Though I thought the setup of the original was better, the execution of this film works more for me.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.

 

the-grudgeThe Grudge (2004)

Synopsis:
An American nurse working in Tokyo visits a patient at a house that has a supernatural curse on it, and is subsequently exposed to the terrors of the curse.

Review:
I’m not entirely sure what it was about this movie but it really freaked me out. I didn’t think it was super scary but the idea of being unable to escape this terrible supernatural entity was very creepy. I also liked that the story was told semi out of sequence, and without title cards for the flashbacks. I thought this added tension and mystery to the film.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

 

the-flyThe Fly (1986)

Synopsis:
A scientist’s experiment goes horribly wrong when a house fly accidentally ends up in his teleportation device as he is testing it on himself.

Review:
Why did I wait so long to watch this? Jeff Goldblum is one of my favorite actors and this is such a perfect part for him. He is convincing as the earnest scientist Seth Brundle who believes his invention will “change the world.” His transformation into a terrifying and unfeeling human-fly hybrid is that much more tragic for knowing that as a human his intentions were good, and his mind brilliant. The special effects in this film are practical in nature and more convincing and gruesome as a result than any computer could generate.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

 

the-mistThe Mist (2007)

Synopsis:
A group of townspeople get stuck in a grocery store when a mysterious mist spreads over their city bringing with it strange creatures bent on making them their next meal.

Review:
I had a tough time with this one. I loved the first hour and a half of the film with the uncertainty of what was going on, and the terrifying creatures showing up in waves. I also really liked all of the philosophical questions raised about human nature and psychology. What I didn’t really like was the ending, which I thought was really harsh. I get that that’s the point of it but it left me feeling gut-punched rather than melancholy and thoughtful, which is what I felt for most of the movie.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

 

bride-of-frankenstein
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Synopsis:
Frankenstein’s monster survives the attempt to kill him, and searches for companionship. Simultaneously Dr. Frankenstein is persuaded by his former mentor to continue his research on reanimation.

Review:
The Frankenstein novel is one of my favorite books, and although the movies aren’t super faithful adaptations, I have always enjoyed them. I can’t believe I hadn’t seen the Bride of Frankenstein before now. I know I’ve seen the Son of Frankenstein and I’ve seen other interpretations of the original story. I really liked this movie, even though the title character doesn’t appear until the last ten minutes of the film. I liked that it explored more of Mary Shelley’s original themes about nature versus nurture, and the harsh reality of quick human judgement.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

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