Friday, October 23, 2015

Cube (1997)

Starring: Maurice Dean Wint, Nicole deBoer, David Hewlett

Run time: 1:30:00
Quick Synopsis:  Six strangers find themselves trapped in a deadly maze.

Vincenzo Natali put on a clinic in low-budget filmmaking when he made this cult classic.  Cube checks all of the boxes that need to be filled when working with limited resources.  The plot is both original and interesting, the acting is good enough, and the film makes you think throughout.  Most importantly, Natali is able to make a small set feel like a limitless maze that plays the main foe during the film.  This foe helps to give solid insight into the human mind and how it works with adversity and anxieties.  There is a decent amount of tension built throughout and will help to keep the viewers attention with ease.  The effects are simple, but definitely work in this setting.  There are some points where the dialogue can either get corny or just plain bad, however, it never takes you out of the moment.  Additionally, if you care more about a few shitty phrases than the films ability to dissect how fear and paranoia affect the actions of the characters, you are a pretty worthless person.  Cube is a great low-budget awful horror movie.

Fun Fact: The film was shot on a single 14' by 14' set that is made to look like many "cubes" using different-colored panels.

Hidden Gem: All of the characters are named after prisons.

Total Kill Count:
Alderson- Julian Richings (3:00) Body Sliced into Sections Gore Rating: 7
Rennes- Wayne Robson (16:00) Acid to the Face Gore Rating: 8
Holloway- Nicky Guadagni (58:00) Dropped a Long Way Down Gore Rating: 1
Leaven- Nicole deBoer (1:22:00) Stabbed in the Back Gore Rating: 
Quentin- Maurice Dean Wint (1:24:00) Cut in Half Gore Rating: 5
Worth- David Hewlett (1:26:00) Stabbed in Stomach Gore Rating: 6

             Horror Film: 8
             Entertainment: 8
             Gore: 6
             Overall: 7.5

Bones (2001)

Starring: Khalil Kain, Bianca Lawson, and Pam Grier

Homicidal Maniac: Snoop Dogg as Jimmy Bones

Run time: 1:36:00
Quick Synopsis: Jimmy Bones has come back for revenge, 20 years after his murder.

No one went into Bones thinking they were going to get a good horror movie. As long as there were a few laughs and the plot did not bore me to death I was going to leave the movie feeling satisfied.  And guess what, I was actually more than satisfied.  Snoop's character is a complete joke of total silliness, but this was not a bad thing for the most part.  Additionally, most of the cast actually impressed me, especially the younger characters.  The movie is filled with both intentional and unintentional comedy that will keep you in a good enough mood to no complain about the shitty flaws in the second half of the plot.  There is definitely some substance to the first hour of the film so I will not completely trash the plot.  Unfortunate Bones starts to shit the bed, probably worse than any movie I have seen recently.  The effects are cheap, but I liked them for some reason.  I guess they had an old school feel to them. I am usually not a mark for that nostalgia shit though, so who knows what's up with me today.  Either way Bones is an entertainingly awful horror movie.

Fun Fact: The film was shot in Vancouver, not some ghetto in the United States.

Hidden Gem: Snoop Dogg is not a fan of kickers who miss field goals.

Total Kill Count:
Palmer- Kirby Morrow (5:00) Sucked into Jimmy Bones' house Gore Rating: 7
Jason- Josh Byer (5:00) Sucked into Jimmy Bones' house Gore Rating: 7
Jimmy Bones- Snoop Dogg (53:00) Shot and Stabbed Gore Rating: 6
Maurice- Sean Amsing (1:00:00) Mauled by Dog Gore Rating: 9
Shotgun- Ron Selmour (1:08:00) Throat Slit Gore Rating: 7
Stank- Deezer D (1:10:00) Cut Up by Bones Gore Rating: 6
Weaze- Garikayi Mutabirwa (1:10:00) Cut Up by Bones Gore Rating: 6
Snowflake- Erin Wright (1:14:00) Found in Trash Dead Gore Rating: 5
Eddie Mack- Ricky Harris (1:15:00) Stabbed/Decapitated Gore Rating: 8
Lupovich- Michael T. Weiss (1:17:00) Cut Up by Bones Gore Rating: 7
Jeremiah- Clifton Powell (1:23:00) Ripped Apart Gore Rating: 3
Bill- Merwin Mondesir (1:26:00) Ripped Apart Gore Rating: 7
Pearl- Pam Grier (1:29:00) Burned Alive Gore Rating: 3

             Horror Film: 4
             Entertainment: 8
             Gore: 6
             Overall: 5.5

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Annabelle (2014)

Starring: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, and Alfre Woodard

Homicidal Maniac: A Demon Within a Doll

Run time: 1:39:00

Quick Synopsis: A new family is terrorized by a supernatural occurrences following a home invasion.

My biggest worry going into this film was that it was going to be a rushed money-grab attempting to make quick money off of the successful The Conjuring from a year earlier.  For the most part, that concern was warranted and the movie did nothing to change that opinion.  Annabelle does not feel as rushed as I thought it would be, however, there was not much of a story to rush.  The plot could best described as bland with very little risk or payoff in any form.  The films ending is mostly anticlimactic lacking any feeling of either tragedy or joy.  This is due to an inability to develop the characters (more specifically secondary characters) in the film.  It is hard to care about the sacrifices a character makes if we do not care about the actual character.  There is some level horror in many scenes, but there is just not enough to ever pull you into the story.  The acting is forgettable but in no way a major cog in the films problems.  The man who comes out looking the best after watching the movie is James Wan, director of The Conjuring.  It is insane how a film that looks so similar to another could feel so different.  Annabelle director John R. Leonetti is just not in the same class as Wan.  Annabelle is an unnecessary awful horror movie.

Fun Fact: The real Annabelle doll was actually a large Raggedy Ann doll.

Hidden Gem:  The baby mobile above the Gordon baby's crib plays the same tune as the music box in The Conjuring (2013).

Total Kill Count:
Sharon Higgins- Kerry O'Malley (16:00) Stabbed Offscreen Gore Rating: ---
Pete Higgins- Brian Howe (16:00) Stabbed Offscreen Gore Rating: ---
Annabelle's Boyfriend (17:00) Shot Gore Rating: 5
Annabelle Higgins (18:00) Slits own Throat Gore Rating: 8
Evelyn- Alfre Woodard (1:31:00) Jumped Out Window Gore Rating: 6

             Horror Film: 5
             Entertainment: 4
             Gore: 5
             Overall: 4.75