Trailer: Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

A new trailer has been released for Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013), the anticipated sequel to the creepy and atmospheric horror Insidious (2010).

I enjoyed the atmosphere and tone of the first movie and am curious to see what they do with the sequel, seeing as the end of the first film was quite dramatic and abrupt.

Insidious: Chapter 2 will be released in theaters Friday, September 13, 2013.

Review: Evil Dead (2013)

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So I went to the movies for the first time since before Christmas (I think) and saw Evil Dead (2013) with my little sister who just turned 16 today.  Let me first start by saying that this is, in fact, not the scariest movie I have ever seen.  However, it is by no accounts a terrible film.

I’ve never seen the original The Evil Dead (1981) series, so I don’t know how true to the original this was.  I’m still unsure of whether that’s a good thing or not while writing this review.  Does it make my opinion of this irrelevant if I haven’t seen the original series?  I hope not!  Regardless, here we go… (This review will contain some spoilers)

Evil-Dead-2013.-Book-of-the-Dead-1.1In order to help his sister, Mia (Jane Levy), go through drug withdrawal, David (Shiloh Fernandez) and three other friends (Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, and Elizabeth Blackmore) bring her to their family’s cabin out in the middle of the woods to help with her rehabilitation.  During their stay, they discover a gruesome scene in the basement: dead cats hanging from the ceiling of their basement along with an ominous bound book.  With curiosity getting the best of him, one of the inhabitants of the house opens the book and reads from it, releasing an evil that possesses Mia and starts to consume each of them until only one is left to make a stand.

First things first, this film is EXTREMELY gory.  If you’re into that stuff, then this film is probably for you!  If gore is not your cup of tea, then you probably shouldn’t see this film!  A lot of the effects that were done in this movie were done with prosthetics and even though the results are nasty, they’re really impressive!  The only time I recall CGI being used was in a scene at the beginning of the movie where a possessed girl is burned alive.

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Jane Levy gave a stellar performance in this movie!  Her character was the only one that I can honestly say I really cared about, and I thought for sure that she was going to be the first to die.  I’m glad that she got to be the final girl.  She goes from being completely terrified to pure evil and it’s amazing to watch.  She also kicked ass in the final showdown.

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Other than Mia being the final girl, I felt that the rest of the movie was pretty predictable, probably because we’ve heard “the cabin the woods” story so many times.  I jumped once and it was over something that wasn’t even scary (which was embarrassing).  Maybe I’vejanelevy1 just become accustomed to horror movies and their dynamics and that’s why I wasn’t particularly scared while watching this film (that’s highly unlikely).  However, just because I didn’t find it scary doesn’t mean other people won’t think it’s scary.  And a lot of people really enjoyed this film.

Evil Dead is definitely a force to be reckoned with.  Even though I’ve never seen the original series, I hope that, for the fans, this film did it justice.

Review: The Omen (1976)

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So, it’s been a while.  I had a busy semester.

But now I am finally on my break! And I would like to get myself back into the swing of things with a review of the last movie that I watched: The Omen (1976).

After a series of strange and disturbing events that happen after his sons fifth birthday, an ambassador named Robert Thorn starts to believe that his son, Damien, is the Antichrist.

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Obviously there’s a lot more to this story, but in order to make things less complicated, we’ll stick to that summary.

I only recently realized that Gregory Peck was Robert Thorn in this movie.  It came as a surprise to me because I’m not used to seeing someone like him (and by “like him” I mean “like the man that played Atticus Finch”) in a movie like this.  I like Gregory Peck and I liked him in this movie because it was so different than anything I’ve ever seen him in.

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I’ve seen a whole semesters worth of horror films, and I learned a lot about the horror genre.  Compared to the films that we watched this semester (The Silence of the Lambs, The Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween) none have really messed with my mind as much as The Omen.

This is a very psychological movie and if religion and horror is not your forte (i.e. my mom) then this movie will probably freak you out.  This is pretty impressive because there is no real supernatural experiences or events that happen in the story.  They’re insinuated (like the fact that Damien’s father is the Devil), but never present on screen.

The Omen focused on the distrust of the government and society in the 1970s.  This film was made during a really terrible time period in American history: the Vietnam War, the Watergate Scandal, etc.  There was a lack of faith in our government (I touched on this in my review of Texas Chainsaw Massacre as well). The Omen placed the threat of the Antichrist right in heart of a system that was already under so much scrutiny.  Instead of the threat coming from an outsider (like in horror movies from the 1930s) the threat was coming from within our own society, from a system we’ve placed so much of our trust in: the government.

The end of this film is probably one of the creepiest end scenes I’ve ever seen.  It just adds to the dread and the feeling of no hope that becomes prevalent throughout the film.  There he is, this creepy little evil child, holding hands with the most powerful man in Western society, the President of the United States.  He turns and looks at us, and smiles.  As an audience, we know that he is aware of what he is, and with that little smirk, he’s letting us know that his reign of terror has only just begun…

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Review: The Exorcist (1973)

Happy Halloween!

I hope my fellow east coasters are doing okay after Sandy!

Fun fact about today’s review: I had never seen The Exorcist before.  My mother is very Catholic and downright refused to ever watch The Exorcist and basically instilled in me a huge fear of this movie for a very large part of my adolescent and teenage life.  But recently, I had to watch it for one of my classes.  So while watching this movie, I was essentially facing my fears.

The Exorcist tells the story of a little girl named Regan (Linda Blair), who becomes possessed by an unknown, evil entity.  After undergoing failed psychological testing, Regan’s mother seeks out the help of a priest to perform an exorcism on her daughter.

After I was done watching The Exorcist, I couldn’t help but think that my mother completely over exaggerated how scary this movie actually was.  I didn’t faint or go into hysterics while watching it!  But everything about the atmosphere of this movie made me feel very uneasy and disturbed and… scared.

If you’re expecting any jump scares or things of that nature, from what I watched, there are none in this movie, which I was actually relieved about.  The build up to everything is what makes this movie so frightening.  Be prepared for a lot of disturbing images and scenes (I watched this with my dad, so those moments were pretty awkward).  I had heard that the special effects and make up in this movie were corny.  Taking into consideration that this movie was made in 1973, I thought that they were great!

 

Cinematically, I thought The Exorcist was a beauty.  There are some really great shots in the movie.  Some that come to mind are the scene with the statue at the beginning, and the scene of Regan rising from the bed during the exorcism.

There are some things that I didn’t understand, mainly how and why the demon went from Iraq to Washington and why it possessed Regan.  I do want to go back and rewatch this movie again to see if I can answer those questions for myself.

Nearly 40 years later, and The Exorcist is still considered one of the scariest movies of all time.  I’m no expert on horror, but it is definitely one of the best scary movies I’ve ever seen.

Review: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

I’m baaaaaaaack!

First off, I want to apologize for the almost month long absence.  I’ve been busy, y’know, trying to get an education.

Second, I miss this blog a lot.  And I feel terrible that I haven’t had the time to write.

Third, I’ve watched about maybe five or more movies during my absence and I’m going to try and review them all, but it will probably be awhile, considering the fact that my time management skills are just so awesome!

The review today is a film that I just recently watched in class on Monday night:  The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974).

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre follows the story of five teenagers traveling to their grandfather’s old home when they are hunted down, tortured, and killed by a crazy cannibalistic family.

Prior to seeing this, I had never seen any incarnation of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.  I had a vague idea of what the story was about, but I was under the impression that Leatherface was the only villain.  So I was pretty unaware of exactly what was going to happen in the movie.

The movie starts out kind of slow, however, there’s a lot of foreshadowing going on: desecrated and robbed graves, slaughterhouses, and the creepy hitchhiker.  However, when the film ended, I was left feeling disturbed and scared and very aware of the fact that it was 10 o’clock at night and I had to walk all the way to the bus stop, and then all the way back to my apartment BY MYSELF.

I can’t really remember the last time a movie left me feeling the way I felt after watching The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.  I thought it was extremely disturbing, and I’m glad I was left feeling like that because this is a horror movie after all!  I’m also glad that we watched the original, because I feel like the remake would not have had any sort of effect on me whatsoever.

Something really interesting about this film was that, in a way, it was very symbolic of the time period.  The Vietnam War was going on when this was released and the Watergate Scandal had just happened in ’73.  So there was a real loss of trust in the government and society as well as a decline in the belief of the American Dream.  This movie does a good job at reflecting that through its portrayal of the cannibal family.  The dinner scene is so demented and a good example of showing the breakdown of society and essentially evil taking the place of what is supposed to be good.

I also really like the whole apocalyptic tone of the movie.  There are a lot of shots of the sun that are very foreboding and eerie.  One of the characters, Pam, keeps reading from an astrology book with basically just bad news all around.  And every time we hear a radio, there is always bad news being broadcasted.  There is literally no sense of hope at all in the movie, and even though the final girl, Sally, escapes, it’s at the cost of her sanity and the killers aren’t captured and nothing is resolved.

I have to say that for as disturbing as this movie was, there was very little blood and guts shown, which is actually quite impressive!  The scared and disturbed feeling comes mostly from the tone set throughout the movie.

As far as horror movies go, this is probably one of the best that I’ve seen ever (which might not be saying much; I’m not exactly an expert on horror).  But it left me feeling uneasy and very disturbed, which is ultimately what I expect to feel when watching any horror film.