Post by Mike Morbid on Jun 19, 2017 14:18:35 GMT -5
A few months back I wrote several weekly review collections before life interrupted it. This was the first one. If you like it, I can post the other ones.
Good evening. I am Mike Morbid, and I watch a lot of horror movies. A friend suggested that I review a few that I haven’t seen before that can be seen on different streaming services, to which I thought “Dear lady, how very right you are. I must pursue this idea, posthaste.” So here we are. I spent the next week viewing helpless victims, searching through viscera, and delighting in terrified screams. After I was done with that, I watched the following movies.
I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House (2016) Netflix
Not a lot happens in this movie, but it is very spooky nonetheless. A young nurse (played by Ruth Wilson), becomes a live-in caretaker for an elderly horror writer who lives in a remote urban house. The nurse, Lily, provides the bulk of the dialogue, mostly through narration. She lets us know right off that this story is not going to have a happy ending.
For the next 87 minutes we follow Lily as she gradually learns that the house has a dark secret. She is not very pleased about this. She confesses during a phone conversation that she doesn’t deal well with fear. Unfortunately for the rest of her stay she will be continually forced to cope with it. She feels duty bound to the elderly lady in her care, though, so she stays in spite of her dread.
The elderly writer, Iris Blum, is in an advanced state of dementia and can offer no explanations or comforting to her young nurse. The only other person who occasionally comes to the house is the estate manager, Mr. Waxcap, and he is obviously a man of little imagination who wouldn’t consider the possibility of supernatural activity. However, he does tell Lily that Blum’s most popular novel is about the house. She is reluctant at first to read it, but curiosity eventually compels her to look for answers in the pages. Thus begins her journey into the house’s haunted history.
Most of the horror in this movie comes from suggestion and anticipation. There are numerous shots of dark doorways, and you are frequently expecting to see something. Perhaps some terrifying visage will jump out, or maybe you will just see movement. This movie doesn’t rely on frequent jump scares like the average modern chiller though. There are only two of them in the entire movie, and one is rather understated. I found the constant expectation of something leaping toward the screen provided me with more fearful moments than if it actually happened.
For those of you who like quiet horror, Pretty Thing is just the movie for you. It reminds me of the scary movies of the classic era, the ones that relied on atmosphere to give you shivers. It is like dark poetry put on the screen. It is almost entirely a one character show, and Wilson excels in the role.
Iris is played by Paula Prentiss, but the role was supposed to be filled by Deborah Harry, the lead singer of Blondie.
Squirm (1976) TubiTV
Are you looking for a movie that you can watch with some friends and make bad jokes while throwing popcorn at the screen? Well, I got out the shovel and dug one up for you. Come with me to Fly Creek, where some crawlies want to creep up and get to know you better. You could say they are going to get inside you and find out what makes you tick. Welcome to the wrong side of the food chain.
A storm has knocked down power lines in the community, and it seems the electricity makes the worms turn, as well as hunt and even scream. You ever hear a worm scream before? Watch this movie and you’ll be able to knock it off your bucket list.
The people you’ll meet here are rather eccentric. The sheriff never met a tourist he didn’t hate, and he seems to think little things like probable cause and common sense get in the way of his duties. Naomi Sanders, the mother of our heroine, is gradually going insane for no apparent reason. She’s just bored, I guess. The curdled cream of the crop though, is Roger. He apparently thinks bodies are meant to be collected, perhaps to put on his mantle as a conversation piece. He also has personal experience with exactly what electrified worms can do, but it doesn’t occur to him that this information might be important when townspeople are disappearing or suddenly coming down with a bad case of death.
These killer squirmers have all the speed and urges of the average worm. This means that they slowly travel from one place to the other, and the majority of their victims are people who weren’t really expecting to suddenly meet up with hordes of man-eating worms. There was one remarkable scene though where a group of them are highly motivated. A fellow falls down on a bunch of them. Not only are they not crushed, but in the span of two seconds they have crawled out from under him and burrowed into his face. These worms were real go-getters. They knew what they wanted, put a plan in motion, and went into action. This eventually sets up my favourite line of the movie; “You gonna be ‘da worm face!”
Is this a good movie? Hell, no! If you are in the right mood and with the right people, though, it can be a fun movie. Just make sure to not overly butter your popcorn, though, or the tactile sensation could be unpleasant.
Kim Basinger auditioned for the role of the heroine. I’m guessing she is now glad to not have it on her resume.
Creek (2007) Screambox
(There is no trailer for this movie, which should serve as a warning.)
Squirm might be a bad movie, but at least it was made by professionals. Creek is the sort of thing film school students might make while they are drunk, and later destroy out of shame. Every aspect is awful. The sound is sub par and you often can’t hear the dialogue over the music, which is actually a good thing. The acting is atrocious. The story is annoying and makes no sense. The camera work might have been done by neanderthals. The production work actually made things worse. There is one character who for some reason always has a black bar hovering over his back. During important scenes, or what passes for them in this travesty, I would find myself distracted by that bar, wondering if it was intended to cover up something or was just a mistake that never got corrected.
It opens with a group of stereotypes taking a road trip to some kind of convention. I knew from the description I read that they would soon meet up with some kind of lunatic. Within thirty seconds of meeting the kids I thought I would be rooting for the lunatic. I was wrong, because within thirty seconds of meeting him I was hoping somebody would drop a nuke on the whole bunch of them and be done with it. Seventy-five minutes of watching a mushroom cloud dissipate would have been preferable to the rest of the movie.
Here is an example of the stupid I was subjected to. In a flashback scene a prospector, who has just finished killing all his competitors, sees some gold in a river. During his attempt to get the treasure, he drowns in about six inches of water. Now yes, people have drowned in scant amounts of water, I know. In this case however, the only part of him actually in the water is his head. From the chest down he is lying on the river bank. I saw no indication that he was trying to kill himself, especially as he was trying to get the gold. If there was something keeping his head submerged, it wasn’t evident on the screen. Perhaps the character knew he was in this movie and yearned for the sweet release of death.
There isn’t a real ending to this movie. The last survivor walks away, and then the ghosts, or ghouls, whatever they are, follow him. Fade to black, the end. I didn’t really mind though, because I was happy my torment was finally over. If anyone ever suggests that you should watch this, punch them in the throat and then run away as fast as you can put one foot in front of the other.
This movie had a budget of $150 000. I assume most of it was spent on getting new identities for the actors.
From the Dark (20014) Shudder
I usually prefer creature features to have at least six central characters so that people can get chewed at a regular pace. This movie only has two people throughout the majority of the run time, and yet I really enjoyed it. It is a low-budget Irish movie that is better than most of the recent releases from the major studios.
Sarah and Mark are a couple driving through the country. Their car gets stuck of course, and right before nightfall as well. They spend the rest of the movie trying to survive attacks from a creature with a severe allergy to light. It never comes right out and says it, but it would seem that this is the sort of beastie that inspired vampire legends.
If I was in a dangerous situation, I would want to have someone like Sarah in my corner. She is obviously scared, but she is able to keep it together in her struggle to survive. She goes through things that would make the average action hero have to take a few minutes to recover.
The creature is visually quite similar to the things from The Descent, with the exception that it is wearing robes. We don’t get much of an explanation about it, but none is needed. It is there, and our heroes have to deal with it. If there is a sequel perhaps we will find out more.
There is a fair amount of time spent with Sarah trying to find yet another source of light, and reasons why she loses or has to leave the one she has. In a lesser movie this would get tedious real fast. Here I was caught up in the moments and didn’t begrudge the repetition. I didn’t really expect much going into this movie, but it turned out to be the best horror movie I watched in recent weeks.
The director, Conor McMahon, is best known for a movie called Stitches, which I am now looking forward to watching.
That is it for the reviews, but I will leave you with a recommendation. Since I have already seen this movie it doesn’t meet the requirement for these reviews, but perhaps I shall so so at a later time. As this month is dedicated to women in horror, I recommend you watch See No Evil 2, directed by the Soska Sisters and starring Danielle Harris and Kane from the WWE. It is a charming little tale about a poor guy who wakes up on a slab and takes issue with all the young people partying while he is trying to get some rest. For you slasher fans, this flick has a real edge.
That’s it for now. It’s the weekend, it is time for you to partake of some scariness of your own. If you liked this, let me know and I’ll write some more. If you didn’t like it, I’ll be under your bed waiting for you to go to sleep. Pleasant dreams!
I'm just here for the fear. If you use Twitter, I gladly accept follows, and usually follow back.
Post by Tony Hates Everything on Jul 1, 2017 8:41:37 GMT -5
You have a fantastic skill for writing, I feel that I enjoy your review more than I would the film itself.
I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House - After reading your review I honestly wanted to give this film a shot. I watched the trailer after reading and it killed a good amount of my excitement. From the Dark - I don't even want to watch the trailer I'm just going to take your word on it and try and find time to watch it this weekend.