Archive for Horror


Posted in Comedy, Horror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 06/29/2018 by joycereview

Cabin Fever (2002)

This review is not so simple to make. To movie critics, it is my opinion that this genre, “horror-comedy”, is the most troublesome to dissect. Take for example the amazing and hysterical, Cabin In The Woods (2012)- clearly a comedy. Evil Dead (1981) and Evil Dead 2 (1987) were horror films that introduced audiences to the not-so-serious, “campy” horror flick that some people try to successfully make. Obviously when juggling the weight of two genres, you may miss on both fronts.

A group of five college graduates; Paul (Rider Strong), Karen (Jordan Ladd), Marcy (Cerina Vincent), Jeff (Joey Kern) and Bert (James DeBello) rent a cabin in the woods and things go south when they begin to fall victim to a flesh-eating virus.

Eli Roth’s Cabin Fever (2002), now a cult classic, is certainly a film I enjoyed elements of and while some scenes and acting were cringe-worthy, it often feels like many of these were on purpose. Can you fault something performed or delivered poorly if it’s done on purpose? (See, The Room)

For instance, some of the dialogue is so bad it’s good. As a teenager in the 90s, the time period that this story takes place in, it paints a very realistic picture of the way kids talk.

Paul: “Why would you want to kill squirrels?”
Bert: “cus’ they’re gay.”
Karen: “Bert, don’t be a $&#ing retard.”

Thank you Eli Roth and Cerina Vincent for adding the two sex scenes and the bath scene that are quite the stable of horror movies. And quite realistic too! Not only would this be what would really happen, but is what attracts many teenage horror fans – let’s be honest. As chauvinistic as it is, the “the nude girl” is kind of a staple and the “treat” to the viewer’s “trick or treat” night. Some people would learn from this… like Michael Bay walking away from Friday the 13th (2009) because there was “too much sex.” BTW, thank you (Winston-Salem native) Julianna Guill!

Gas Station scenes…
Perhaps the clichés of all clichés in the horror genre (besides teenagers in the woods) would have to be an eerie gas station stop. This movie was no exception and one of the highlights of the film. I won’t spoil it for you here… but watch for it!

In any respect, Cabin Fever is beloved by many, especially “splatter” B-film lovers. Director Peter Jackson liked it so much that he held three showings for his crew while filming Lord of The Rings. While it would be fun to watch with a group of friends, I doubt I’d watch it more than once. However, would I add it to my list of must-own horror flicks … this, most definitely!



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Posted in Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 05/13/2018 by joycereview

A Quiet Place (2018)

It doesn’t happen often, but we scored this movie (initially without knowing) the same as the average IMDB voters- an 8. A Quiet Place was not even an unsure or uneasy 8… instead, it was a solid, heartfelt one.

A Quiet Place is the story of a family of five who must live in relative silence as particular sounds attract deadly creatures; grotesque monsters that have overrun the planet.

John Krasinski (of The Office fame) and Emily Blunt (who are also married in real life) play parents that are doing everything they can to keep their family safe. From padding their walking path with sand to marking the planks of wood susceptible to creaking, they try to eliminate any sound that might attract one of these creatures.

Silence, especially in this film, does nothing but build a sense of tension. Will they accidentally drop a pan, step on a twig, or God forbid one of them talks in their sleep? This movie was superbly done. The acting, screen play and directing (which was all Krasinski) was especially brilliant. Emily Blunt was phenomenal as her role demanded a bit more in terms of fear, shock and pain.

If anything went wrong with this film, it did so in the third act. It is hard to describe without giving away spoilers…however, let’s just say that the ending may come to a surprise to movie goers – I even heard a chuckle or two from the audience, probably from disbelief. Not that I disagree with the ending, but I feel that certain elements such as driving a truck down the driveway and (small spoiler!) certainly having a baby are situations when death is (at least should be) guaranteed.

But I understand the reasons behind many of these moments. Like many horror films it gets you thinking, “Well, I would have done this, this and then, this.” Despite what you may or may not have done, there remains a logical reason why things were done the way it was in the film. Hence, it’s no surprise that A Quiet Place has reached it’s high marks. It has already grossed over $50 million dollars.

There are many types of horror, and though the fans of gore my scoff, this is about as good as it gets when it comes to an “edge of your seat thriller”… certainly one that borders on horror and science fiction.

My advice… do see it while it is still in the theaters.  

The scares and chills are always bigger there.




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Posted in Fantasy, Foreign, Horror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 05/11/2018 by joycereview

The Hallow (2015)
I enjoy hearing the Irish accent, and am a fan of Michael McElhatton (playing Mr. Donnelly), not to mention that many of us Joyces came from the area of filming, Galway, Ireland. So when I saw the trailer that featured these major checkmarks… I was intrigued to say the least.

Acknowledging that fairy tales ARE basic “OG” horror, you have to wonder why it hasn’t been played up more than it has. You can comb the many books of folklore and mythology and you’ll find many illustrations of fairies, ghosts and banshees… that any creature creator might be able to turn into screen gold. However, what we get is simple grotesque gollums – that are clearly actors in suits. Though I am NOT against actors in suits, I believe that any suit should be made to distort the image of human proportions. The Hallow did not succeed in this arena.

I also don’t mind the many horror clichés if they are well-done and able to scare, shock, or create uneasiness. The Hallow, again, fell short of this mark.

Starting with the main characters, Adam (Joseph Mawle) and Clare (Bojana Novakovic)…[and baby], you get an image of a young couple who move into a rural cottage whereby the neighbor warns them (again) about the fact that they shouldn’t be there. Obviously they don’t heed the warning – even after several strange findings by Adam. When will these guys ever learn?

But again, it’s not the cliché, but the lack of background, the lack of character intelligence and chemistry. Without giving too much away,… if you are hiking with your newborn, would you lean close to a rotting animal carcass? If your significant other gets hurt… let’s say, he or she falls or gets something in their eye, would you show not only concern but major concern (seeing as though your survival might just rely on each other)?

There are a lot of people that say that director Corin Hardy is the up-and-coming horror guy. With this being his first feature film, I’m going to give him a pass. I have no idea what type of budget he had on this film and it certainly wasn’t the worst movie I’ve seen. It just wasn’t for me, nor my wife (who also gave it a 3). IMDB users give it an average currently of 5.7.

If you’ve seen it, what did you think of it?




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