R-RATED REVIEWS

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So, we can’t animate fast enough to give you Scream Freaks full blown reviews of all the horror movies we’ve been watching lately, but we can give ya our straight shoot’n thoughts in bite size chunks. We like to think you trust our opinions, but remember, we’re fans of Killer Tomato movies!

Look up a review: # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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LOST HIGHWAY (1997)

A moody saxophone player gets manipulated into some kinda murder rap after bein’ harassed by a reality warpin’ mystery man from a Tim Burton movie but luckily transforms into a different person which pardons him from jail long ‘nough to have a dangerous affair with a road ragin’ mobster’s girl who looks like his dead wife. Barely a horror flick, I don’t know why Entertainment Weekly once praised this as one of the top 25 scariest flicks of all time. The videophile who seems to be everywhere at once is creepy, but beyond that, this is just yer typical David Lynch project that takes its sweet time experimentin’ with surreal moods and sounds ’til it all takes a random right turn that creates a whole new movie, accented with pops of memorable violence. If you can stick with it through the first transformation scene, the pace really picks up after that with more traditional storytellin’. Porno parties, lotta love makin’ with boobs, lotta Patricia Arquette in her birthday suit, home invadin’ videos, mumblin’ dialogue with blasts of music, demolition derbies on the road, police chases, slit throats, impaled heads on coffee tables, gunfire executions in the desert, spontaneous boy swappin’, and lotta B-roll of asphalt in motion! 3/5!

APOLLO 18 (2011)

In this found footage period piece, a gang of astronauts are on a top secret mission to snatch more chunks of the moon for Nasa’s rock collection, but they end up discoverin’ the galaxy’s original pet rock — a buncha killer space spiders in disguise! Not a lot to say ’bout this one. While the filmmakers do a fine job makin’ this look and feel like vintage recordings from the ’70s, it barely has ‘nough character to make me care what happens to any of the astronauts. It’s pretty straight forward and comes ‘cross more like a student film exercise for special effects. And I’m no expert, but I didn’t think the moon had as much gravity as this outer space horror suggests. Lift offs, offscreen crashes in orbit, parasitic removals, cosmonaut corpses, infections, and cg boogers explodin’ outta folk’s faces! 3/5! 

THE EMPTY MAN (2020)

An ex-cop investigates the disappearance of his neighbor’s daughter and gets mixed up in a bottle blowin’ urban legend that conjures some kinda supernatural killer with a three day deadline an underground cult thinks has ties to e.t. airwaves surroundin’ the planet. Based on a graphic novel, the filmmakers try their best to make this a great movie with a solid cast, eerie images, and creative camerawork, but the story’s too heady for its own good and plays like a Outer Limits episode that runs away with itself at ’bout two and half hours. Boastin’ one of the most convoluted monsters I’ve ever seen committed to celluloid, the biggest sour I think hurtin’ this flick is its confusin’ plot point regardin’ the creature’s flip floppin’ goal as a boogey man slasher or interstellar prophet that’s only made more unclear with a twist endin’. Possible possession, self mutilation, scissors to the face, boobs in the spa, bottle blowin’ galore, willed manifestations, ring ’round the rosey cults, car wrecks, funerals and affairs, kidnappin’s, mumbo jumbo sermons, hangin’s galore, throat slittin’, and fatal freefalls! 3/5! 

THE NIGHTS BEFORE CHRISTMAS (2019)

A respectable sequel to Once Upon a Time at Christmas, the psycho dressed as Santa is still after his estranged daughter a year later with the help of his Harley Quinn-wannabe sidekick, and this time they’re flushin’ her out with a hit list of folks who wronged ’em. Spendin’ the bulk of the movie with costumed killers on a quest for revenge that’s a little all over the place, the only thing this sucker’s missin’ is Batman bustin’ ’em up. The other thing missin’ is an eye for continuity as I couldn’t resist startin’ a drinkin’ game based on the “fuck-it” disregard for how dirty or clean Santa’s wounds are and the lead FBI agent’s alternatin’ hair and make-up from one scene to the next. Axes to the face, car wrecks, women beatin’, board meetin’ massacres, jailbreaks, Christmas light stranglin’, severed penis tossin’, blood pissin’, Christmas PTSD, amateur strip teases, gunshots to the shoulder, flesh carvin’, kidnappin’, boobs on a slab, CSI magic with lights, impaled necks with spiked heels, lotta repetitive information, perverted priest beatin’, hospital showdowns, surprise poisonings, and human matchsticks! 3/5!

FOLLOWED (2018)

A rag tag team of vloggers spend Halloween weekend pokin’ at the spooks and legends in one of L.A.’s most infamous hotels to attract more subscribers and end up pissin’ somethin’ off from beyond the grave. Decently shot and starrin’ a fairly engagin’ cast with genuine screen chemistry, this sub genre cross ‘tween found footage and social media horror offers ‘nough hooks to keep its spin on haunted hotels from feelin’ hackneyed but lacks alotta impact thanks to throwin’ too many things at the characters for me to understand which booga boo is the big bad everythin’s buildin’ up to. The other notable sour is the pointless video editor whose isolated freak outs should’ve been left on the cuttin’ room floor,’cause her offscreen hysterics add absolutely nothin’ to the story. Camera drones, mystery masked men chases, elevator lore, secret family histories, panic attacks, ghost young’ns, timewarp doorways, fake severed head gags, and spectral videography! 2/5!

THE HIDDEN 2 (1993)

Turns out the criminal space slug from the first flick survived its execution by either clonin’ itself or spawnin’ creepy crawly young’ns with its memories, and after years of hibernation, it finally finds an opportunity to rinse repeat the same body hoppin’ antics as ‘fore with a new Jerry Seinfeld lookin’ space cop tryin’ to kill it. While The Hidden was fun fast paced violence with likable characters, its sequel is a sad imitation with ho-hum action, lame payoffs, borin’ runarounds, and leadin’ love interests who’re ’bout as engagin’ as raisin oatmeal no matter how much screen time’s devoted to developin’ their relationship. Nearly a third of the movie’s recycled footage from the first, and I endin’ up watchin’ the last 45 minutes on fast forward without missin’ a beat what’s happenin’. ’nuff said! Inconsistent agin’ rates for body jackin’ e.t.s, mouths full of puppet effects, The Thing-wannabe dog effects, explodin’ e.t. eggs, street brawlin’, gunshots to the gut, car jackin’, restroom brawlin’, sandwich stealin’, boombox jackin’, e.t. lovemakin’, dumb jump scare endin’s, e.t. balls of energy, oral light shows, teeth brushin’ lessons, break-ins, finger cuttin’, rave clubs that don’t play into the plot ‘nough, dance floor bangin’, and impalement! 2/5!

THE MORTUARY COLLECTION (2019)

Clancy Brown’s a geezer mortician and humors his new apprentice with yarns of different corpses’ immoral death throes. A kick-ass lookin’ anthology with top shelf effects, style, and one good twist at the end, the only sour bringin’ this sucker down is its unrelatable characters and all too serious tone. Worth checkin’ out but not as fun or rewatchable as Creepshow or Tales From the Hood. Medicine cabinet tentacles, dust to dust suicides, crispy young’ns, tooth yankin’, folks foldin’ in half, poisonin’, head impalement, corpse choppin’, funerals, reanimatin’, prego dads, monstrous births, surreal elevator rides, cursed jobs, Halloween nods, and escaped psycho brawls! 3/5! 

THE CHILL FACTOR (1993)

A convoy of snow mobilists take shelter from a blizzard in a remote church after one of ’em gets mangled in a wreck, and to make things worse while they wait for help, these yahoos kill time dickin’ ’round with a Ouija board that brings a kill happy demon into the mix. This flick has plenty goin’ for it as far as the ideas, story, and camerawork are concerned but really suffers from a draggin’ pace that takes its sweet time gettin’ to the horror which has its own issues with a wonky build-up to the finale. Snow mobile drag racin’ and chasin’, wrecks, explosions, possessions, evil healin’, mince meat ceilin’ fan deaths, repeatin’ icicle drops to the face, eye gougin’, inappropriate times for bangin’ ‘tween the sheets with no boobs, bar brawls, hints of incest, barbwire to the face at high speeds, cult backstories, clumsy strangulation in volleyball nets, and human matchsticks! 3/5! 

SPONTANEOUS (2020)

A class of high schoolers begin to spontaneously combust over the course of their senior year for no good reason, and two oddballs decide to seize the day and love and live as much as they can ’til their explosive end comes. A lot like the mentality behind The Walking Dead not bein’ ’bout the zombies, this ain’t so much ’bout the how’s and why’s to kids turnin’ into human water balloons, but a heavy handed metaphor for millennial angst that’s hidden under just ‘nough charmin’ performances to make it all endearin’ ’til the narrator unloads alotta pent up emotions at the end that make me wanna roll my eyes. A good watch but barely qualifies as a horror flick. Blood baths galore, underage drinkin’, offscreen bangin’ ‘tween the sheets, birthday barn dancin’, Halloween costumes, jaw bone fragments to the face, graduation proms, picketers, car wrecks, E.T. nods, and pill poppin’ solutions! 4/5!

HAUNTING OF THE MARY CELESTE (2020)

There’s a spooky legend ’bout the crew and passengers of the Mary Celeste gone mysteriously missin’ at sea, but one gal’s gonna charter a boat to some sweet spot of water to prove they really vanished in some interdimensional rift. I could not begin to care less ’bout this story. I ain’t given a good ‘nough reason to care ’bout any of the characters, there’s zero tension with non-existent threats, I don’t know if folks are dyin’ or crossin’ realities, and the lead’s drivin’ motivation behind all this is just confusin’. Self stackin’ coins, underwater hugs, hauntin’ hums from who knows where, and comatose crossovers! 2/5!

HOST (2020)

A gang of friends don’t take a seance over Zoom seriously ‘nough and accidentally invite a demonic force into each of their homes that just wants to fuck their shit up. Barely feature length, this Covid age horror tries tappin’ into the same digital terror as the Unfriended series but falls short due to its scattered build-up and disregard for paranormal rules like the evil attackin’ folks who really have nothin’ to do with its summonin’ toward the end. And while it defeats the point of the movie, doesn’t it make more sense these gals would shut the computer off if they thought some booga boo was tryin’ to get ’em through it? Flyin’ bottles to the head, freefallin’ corpses, human matchsticks, heavily foreshadowed music boxes, head slammin’, hangin’ feet, laugh out loud filters, invisible man scares, jump scares deliveries, and flyin’ chairs! 3/5!

GetAWAY (2020)

In this bland indie take on Urban Legends 2, a gang of college filmmakers set out to shoot a campground slasher for class, but someone ‘mong ’em wants to turn it into a snuff film for dark web fame. Borin’ and uninspired, this is a competently made movie with the bones for a great horror flick but lacks the style and creativity to stand out from the rest of the formulaic paint by numbers horror out there. Backstabbin’ partnerships, axes to the back, girlfriend drama, stabbin’s, beatin’s with a bat, Xbox come ons, head whackin’, hostile sets, and roadside scarecrow thefts! 3/5! 

THE CURSE OF HOBBES HOUSE (2020)

When two feudin’ half sisters meet-up for the readin’ of their dead aunt’s will, they learn of a confusin’ family curse that sics a small army of wannabe zombie lifesuckers on ’em who’re forced to rise from their crypts to protect the family estate from bein’ possessed by the bank. While this is a decently shot flick with an entertainin’ ‘nough cast of characters fightin’ for their lives, the story’s just too convoluted and confusin’. The long-winded family tree exposition’s waaay too detailed and set-ups the wrong impression fer what kind of world I’m preparin’ for, the endin’ makes no sense ‘less the sisters are goin’ to war with the bank who’ll bring the police to legally evict ’em, the service beyond the grave curse makes no sense ‘less I’m supposed to think every employee ever’s been buried on the grounds or makin’ their way to the property from wherever they’re takin’ their dirt nap, and hello — how can the filmmakers miss the opportunity to have the evil king who started this mess lead the graveyard charge? Impalement on antlers, semi-possessions, Darwin bankers, undead maulin’s, tandem bike escapes, bullet swallowin’, and possibly the worst escape plans EVER captured on celluloid as far as pickin’ wheels for a getaway! 2/5! 

A DARK PATH (2020)

Two sisters break down on a remote road in the wilds of Eastern Europe and encounter what looks like shit caked beasts in a disjointed series of ridiculous events. While the filmmakers’ manage to make me care’ bout the leads in this flick, it completely falls apart the second it jump cuts from bein’ a chick drama to a sad man’s creature feature full of pissin’ time and characters makin’ senseless decisions. Even worse — the story abruptly ends without any resolution as if the cast and crew even lost interest in what’s happenin’ and said “fuck-it!” Night vision runaround, monstrous dingle berry road hazards, vomitin’, amateur first aid, leg wounds, silly slappin’ deaths, and life threatenin’ help! 2/5!

THE GIANT (2020)

A mumblin’ mouth breathin’ teen emos her way through summer half asleep with a small town killer on the loose and reflects on alotta past drama that may or may not have anythin’ to do with that. The best way to describe this non-stop parade of poignant moments is it watches like someone’s lucid stream of consciousness from characters’ superficial relations to one ‘nother to the camera shootin’ everythin’ on its peripheral fringes. Regardless of its magnetic mood hookin’ me in with pops of soulful dialogue, however, this indie goes full artsy fartsy in the worst ways and frustratingly builds up to a failure of a punchline that don’t make a lick of sense. All I wanna know is what anythin’ has to do with one ‘nother, what’s the deal with the giant boomin’ sounds, and what’s with the mom’s suicide?!! 2/5!

SLEEPAWAY SLASHER (2020)

A buncha yahoos spend a week at an exclusive filmmakin’ camp where an actress accidentally died on camera decades earlier, and it’s anyone’s guess what’s out to end their wannabe careers in the movie biz. It’s either 1) the pissed off ghost of the dead actress, or 2) the dead actress’s dead director’s son who’s either possessed, gone off the deep end after watchin’ his pop’s death reel so many times or legit tryin’ to rid the camp of its seemingly harmless ghost problem with a sacrificial ritual. This sucker starts off promisingly ‘nough with a decent concept and some standout talent, but as soon as the flick stops to play a short film in its entirety, everythin’ goes to shit in a hand basket. On ‘nother sour note, nothin’ anyone does from the cops to the filmmakers is believable. It’s obvious the filmmakers were too lazy to research real police protocols, and no camp full of filmmakers, amateur or not, would ever put an actress in a scene with fire and not get a single shot of the flames. Blair Witch Project nods, show and tell snuff films, human matchsticks at the stake, girl power, stabbin’s, and blame games! 2/5! 

SHORTCUT (2020)

Things go from bad to worse for a buncha teens when their bus ride through the wilderness gets hijacked by a serial killer then breaks down in a thirsty vampire’s hidey hole. An overall fun creature feature with an engagin’ cast of baby face actors, the only thang I ain’t the biggest fan of is the story’s lack of a lead to help me get more attached to the characters, and the needless backstory of the previous guy huntin’ the fanger who’s more like a pointless afterthought to explain the monster killin’ toys than an integral part of the film. The lack of a meaningful body count’s a bit of a bummer too. Neck suckin’, bus jackin’, botched buddy systems, shriveled corpses, air drum beat boxin’, flashlight defenses, torched bat beasts, blood droolin’ facials, and dumb endin’s with adults not believin’ teens reportin’ dead bodies and kidnappin’s! 3/5!

FEMALIEN: COSMIC CRUSH (2020)

When an interstellar field trip to an ancient temple risks releasin’ a horn dog parasite and its pleasure pods on the universe, higher bein’s gotta intervene and keep the cosmos in check while learnin’ all they can ’bout makin’ whoopee. One of the best entries in Full Moon Empire’s Deadly Ten series, this is top notch softcore full of practical special effects, monstrous make-ups, and a convincin’ cast doin’ a bang up job suspendin’ my disbelief despite their modern day tats threatenin’ to distract from the fantasy of it all. Everythin’ from the sets to the costumin’ is thoughtfully crafted and kudos to writer/director Lindsey Schmitz for managin’ to slip a couple of tender moments in here for artistic integrity. Interstellar infomercials, girl on girl action, guy on girl action, horned up e.t. truckers, tentacle turn ons, pod toys for the bedroom, lotta strippin’, shape shiftin’ cat girls, seductive possessions, forked tongue play, wafflemaker spaceships, and boobs galore! 4/5!

A CREEPSHOW HOLIDAY SPECIAL (2020)

Believin’ he’s become a werewolf, a fella seeks help from a shapeshifter support group full of wereturtles, boars, and cats and accidentally brings ’em under attack by their greatest enemy – a Power Rangers lookin’ Santa Claws and his army of street corner Kringles! A fun ride on the wild side of Christmas, this Creepshow special from Shudder does a fantastic job deliverin’ an epic holiday horror in its usual forty minute time constraints with properly developed characters, well paced build-ups to what their animal forms look like, and a special effects filled Santa slaughter to cap it all off. Only thang I’m little sour ’bout is Anna Camp’s feral facelift, but I’m picky with my cat girl makeups. Button shittin’, poop shoot pullin’, Santa spies, gypsy curses, magic shapeshiftin’ elixirs, biblical grudges, rod puppets, electric drill claws, merry massacres, hippo wannabes, and monstrous transformations galore! 5/5! 

EVIL EYE (2020)

A superstitious mama from India believes her abusive ex she killed decades ago has been reincarnated, and if that weren’t bad ‘nough, he’s gonna unhappily marry her daughter ‘less she interferes. No ifs, ands, or buts ’bout it — this snoozefest marathon plain sucks. The first hour lazily spins a hamster wheel plot with the flick rinsin’ and repeatin’ the same back and forth bullshit with the mom makin’ me wonder if she’s crazy or not over this evil eye stuff that don’t make the most sense regardin’ how it all started, and just when the villain starts to show his true colors, his motives aren’t all that clear. Stabbin’, head slammin’, face scratchin’, stalkin’, mama drama, horoscope match makin’, and reincarnations! 2/5! 

LETTERS TO SATAN CLAUS (2020)

A grinchy journalist has to get so hammered to cover her hometown’s newsworthy Christmas celebration, she accidentally writes a hateful letter to Satan ‘stead of Santa and brings holiday hell down on the unsuspectin’ town folk. A clever horror spoof on Hallmark’s cookie cutter Christmas flicks, this is one of the Syfy channel’s best lookin’ originals as far as the production’s concerned, but its story falls short with an unlikable hero whose actin’ reminds me of Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy from Batman & Robin, and a monster followin’ a buncha non-sense rules. Like if the motivation of the devil/demon/whatever prancin’ ’round as Santa is gettin’ back at the reporter for pissin’ it off with her drunk hate mail, why is it wastin’ all its time killin’ folks she wouldn’t mind seein’ dead? Drunk Power Wheel joyridin’, head explodin’ Christmas tunes, eye gougin’, nativity corpses, attempted threeways, North Pole riddles, deeply suppressed tragedies, gift wrapped decapitations, and sing-a-long last stands! 3/5! 

TOYS OF TERROR (2020)

In this Syfy original, a step family thinks a remote murder house the parents are flippin’ makes for the perfect holiday getaway, but it ain’t the Christmas spirit they find when the young’ns open a toy chest full of killer stop-motion toys from the Reagan era. A decent concept for a TV flick that’s well shot with respectable ‘nough actors fightin’ with a surprisin’ ‘mount of ol’ school lookin’ Puppet Master kinda effects, the only sour draggin’ this sucker down is its lack of story details regardin’ where the toys come from and what their drivin’ purpose is. Without these pertinent details for context, I’m basically watchin’ useless hunks of plastic be thrown at the family with little to no escalation to keep me carin’ what happens next. Impalement, rickety floor boards, evil monkeys, suffocatin’ stuffed animals, bare bones backstory, retro video games that either mirror or control reality, chokin’ on spider topped popcorn, car wrecks, ghost young’ns, flyin’ toy dragons, and ghost nannies! 3/5!

FREAKY (2020)

A magic dagger swaps a high school wallflower’s body with a slasher’s, and the spiritually displaced teeny bopper’s got twenty-four hours to reverse the spell ‘fore she’s stuck bein’ the ultimate scapegoat for the killer’s heinous crimes. Freaky Friday with a horror twist, this flick’s every bit as gory and fun as I want it to be, but the story’s missin’ alotta important details regardin’ the killer’s backstory and motivation, not to mention his involvement with the dagger. Was he originally after the dagger or did it just happen to be there and kinda magically possess him? Is he supernatural or what’s with all the freakish strength? Just what is the payoff for sacrificin’ folks with the dagger anyway? It’s like watchin’ Jason Goes to Hell cold for your first Jason flick with no knowledge of the series. On a separate note, I’m also disappointed in how Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton’s copycat performances of each other pale in comparison to Rob Schneider and Rachel McAdams in The Hot Chick. Most that blame falls on their characters bein’ too similarly stoic with very little need for either lead to flex their range as an actor. Fatal deepthroats with bottles, home invasions, spear chuckin’, impaled noggins galore, chainsaw massacres, hooks to the eyes, mangled dicks, deep freeze mean girls, table saw splits, chair legs through the chest, homo come ons, man on boy kissin’, hard cut dressin’ room confessions, rubber mask disguises, and bullets to the chest! 4/5! 

NOCTURNE (2020)

An ambitious music student finds a suicidal girl’s notebook that somehow manipulates things in her favor to be a superstar for no good reason, but her ivory key masterpiece might just be her Black Swan song. A Blumhouse original for Amazon Prime streamers, this teen angst ridden commentary on the cutthroat world of aspirin’ musicians delivers on characters that pull me to the edge of my bar stool in baited anticipation for what happens to all these folks, but the myth ‘hind the whole supernatural side of things don’t make the most sense and culminates in a pretty disappointin’ endin’. This would be a lot better if the filmmakers somehow tied the girl’s mentor in with the magical hoodoo of the suicide notes, so he could more directly explain its purpose and goal for me to better understand the counterintuitive finale which lacks any clarity regardin’ the student’s actions as her own or not. It also doesn’t help how the student’s final actions to fulfill the prophecy too closely mirrors her twin’s accident she kinda caused, ’cause that’s basically a sacrifice of sorts with her talent bein’ takin’ away from her. Fatal freefalls, crushed head spooks, slappin’, cake throwin’, jail bait affairs, Aunt Flow cameos, bloody tampon pranks, bangin’ with no boobs, and mystical light shows! 3/5!

FEAR OF THE DARK (2003)

A young teen believes shadow roamin’ cowboy boogies have been wantin’ to eat him for years, and they may finally get their chance when the power goes out the night he and his older brother are home alone. This family safe scare has all the ingredients for a lighthearted Goosebumps kinda horror with some tough lookin’ monsters, but the story spins its wheels with way too many rinse and repeat scenes of the brothers scarin’ each other while explorin’ bumps in the night with the same broken record reactions, and the logic behind the monsters don’t make the most sense either. Not too mention, the threat of the monsters ain’t very suspenseful when we already know they can’t catch one snot-nosed brat with a flashlight all these years. Possessed TVs, flashlight covered body armor, bright light defenses, and bed sheet force fields! 2/5!

THE BLOOD LANDS (2014)

In this uneventful snooze, new homeowners spend most their first night in their remote fixer upper arguin’ over suspicious noises they hear ’til pig masked home invaders jump ’em and dump their asses back in the city while they move ’emselves into their vacated abode. I’m fairly certain I caught all the pertinent details to clue me in to what’s exactly  happenin’ and why in this flick, but its lackluster endin’ is so vague, I’ll be damned if this ain’t one of the most unsatisfyin’ horror’s I’ve ever seen. There’s some sweet cinematography and actin’, but not ‘nough to overcome the shallow storytellin’ that builds up to alotta nothin’. Bangin’ in the woods with no nudity, jumpscare pigs, face slashin’, head smashin’, home invadin’, Achilles heel cuttin’, and kidnappin’! 2/5!

DEAD SEA (2014)

A marine scientist begrudgingly returns to her hometown to investigate a nasty set of chompers that returns every thirty years or so to gobble up swimmers in a waterhole and ain’t too happy when the locals decide sacrificin’ her will help ’em be rid of it. This low budget creature feature is a narrative mess that’s riddled with plot holes, forced expositions, and character developments that are all outta order. If the monster just needs to eat one townie to go away, then why are all these toss away characters bein’ fed to it? If the sacrifices mean prosperity for the town, then why does it look like a dilapidated shithole since the last time it ate? This ain’t a coastal town dependent on the lake or whatever, so why don’t folks just stay outta the water when the monster’s ’round? This flick’s only savin’ grace is some of its actin’, and the surprisingly effective underwater scenes with the creature that’re too few and far ‘tween for my entertainment. Dead fish galore, booze cruise massacres, jelly covered faces, unnecessary war scenes in Afghanistan, side boobs, semi-confusin’ time jumps, bullets to the leg and face, daddy’s girl melodrama, and head pummelin’! 2/5!

PORNO (2019)

Holy rollin’ teens workin’ at a small town theater in the ’90s discover a hidden movie screen and accidentally release a succubus from a satanic porno reel wantin’ to blow their junk off if it can’t bang ’em into an orgasmic massacre. A thoroughly entertainin’ flick from beginnin’ to end, this horny horror boasts a convincin’ ensemble of likable characters and wince worthy gore, but fumbles a little with its stop-go climax. It could really stand more exposition to better explain the origins of the abandoned skin flick wing and the rantin’ hobo’s confusin’ agenda with it, and suspension of disbelief be damned anyone’s runnin’ ’round so easily after their nads explode. Copyright movie workarounds, peepin’ toms, peein’ fetishes, shapeshiftin’, blood vomitin’, bangin’ with boobs, offscreen gay sex, interdimensional jumps, demonic possessions, satanic rituals, chest carvin’, full frontal seduction, finger suckin’, dong close-up, graphic popped nut surgery, cursed flicks, flamin’ buckets of severed penises, and secret hidey holes! 4/5!

THE NEW MUTANTS (2020)

A handful of wet behind the ear mutants are stuck in a bubble ’til some unseen entity deems ’em capable of corrallin’ their powers for some suspicious purpose, but the arrival of a new patient upsets everyone’s plans when she cluelessly brings their worst fears to life as the openin’ act to some big ass CGI bear they gotta defeat. I’m pretty sure this swing at a Marvel comics horror movie was supposed to be scarier, like A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 with X-Men, but terror takes a backseat to alotta character buildin’ drama that unfortunately (despite genuinely makin’ me care for these super powered misfits)  falls flat without a central bad guy steadily raisin’ the stakes. The filmmakers could’ve taken some notes from Sphere for a more effective payoff and skipped the confusin’ bear stuff that completely took me outta the story with its empty performance. Rocket powers, past traumatic hang ups galore, crispy corpses in the pool, imaginary hand puppet friends, teleportin’, werewolves, arm sword fightin’, Buffy the Vampire Slayer nods, human matchsticks, closecall suicides, energy bubbles galore, face clawin’, chew toy doctors, weaponized youths conspiracies, neck brandin’, hardcore holy rollers, nightmare sequences galore, freaky smiley face goons, buddin’ lesbo romances, and attempted executions by lethal injections! 3/5! 

BOOKS OF BLOOD (2020)

An anthology based on Clive Barker’s Books of Blood series, three shorts barely crisscross each other featurin’ a clueless thug after the Book of Blood for a payday, a con man pissin’ off the spirit world, and a noise hatin’ millennial uncoverin’ a remote bed and breakfast’s sick secret in their walls. A top shelf production through and through from its visuals to its choice of cast, the only sour I can nitpick is the bed and breakfast short bein’ spread out ‘cross the film for no good reason, endin’ on a sour note that lacks any satisfyin’ conclusion thanks to the filmmakers forgettin’ to include the girl’s motivation for a past sin that compels her to make a crazy decision. Payback from beyond the grave, bookstore assassinations, threats over coffee, eye gougin’, severed ears and tongues, crawlspace guests, kitchen operations, bullets through the brain basket, possessed Dodge Chargers, ghosts galore, con graffiti, young’n deaths, paranormal writin’s in flesh, obnoxious chewin’, head clubbin’, psych-out rats, stabbin’s, and car wrecks! 4/5! 

THE CURSE (1987)

A hayseed step family believes God’s punishin’ ’em for their sins with poisoned crops and disfigurements, but Wil Wheaton knows it’s really got somethin’ to do with the crashed meteorite nearby nobody wants to talk ’bout. Based on The Colour Out of Space by Lovecraft, this ain’t the most excitin’ watch despite the escalatin’ craziness it packs in, ’cause it fails to develop Wil’s increasin’ desperation to save his family. Mainly ’cause he’s written ’em all off save his little sister and more or less sits tight ’til someone else saves the day. Disfigurin’ boils, hand sewin’, self mutilatin’, cow patty fightin’, pissed horses, feral dog attacks, disappointment cellars, DNA alterin’ water, sexual affairs, pig headed holy rollers, bug infested fruits, house traps, real estate plots, peckin’ mad chickens, explodin’ bug filled cows, mutant meltdowns, crumblin’ homes, and stabbin’s! 3/5! 

CURSE 2: THE BITE (1989)

After a couple plow their truck through a sea of mutant snakes on a desert highway, one of ’em critters manages to hitch a ride and bite the driver, slowly transformin’ his arm into a monstrous hand puppet that turns him into an inside out snake farm. A sequel in name only, this body horror starts slow and steady with a young romance and comedic motorists keepin’ me awake, but the closer the flick gets to the end credits, the horror doesn’t just ramp up — it flies off the fuckin’ rails with craziness like I’ve never seen ‘fore! The best part is when the reveal of the deformed snake hand brings new meanin’ to an earlier scene with hot and heavy pettin’. Mutant snake bites, guilt ridden lawyers, snake-o-vision, offscreen mutant pooches, lady smackin’, bar brawls, CB trucker chatter, deep throatin’ fists, wrist snappin’, snake vomitin’, jaw rippin’, severed hands/heads, regeneratin’ limbs, venom spittin’, tongue whippin’, eye poppin’, severed tongues, monstrous body shreddin’ transformations, tunnel chases, mudhole rescues, and blow apart puppets! 4/5! 

CURSE 3: BLOOD SACRIFICE (1991)

Another sequel in title only, a gang of civilized folks from the 1950s barge into an African hoodoo ritual to save a goat from bein’ sacrificed and incur the wrath of a machete wieldin’ fish man only a witchdoctor like Christopher Lee can save ’em from. The first “curse” movie to spin a story off the true definition of the word, this is a pretty straight played monster in the shadows movie that offers run of the mill entertainment that neither disappoints or excites me. The concept of the monster’s pretty ridiculous despite its sweet design, but it has too little screen time to be worth hecklin’. Make-out tent massacres with boobs, meat locker displays of death, boobs in the bathtub, flamin’ fields, magic bags, and pyro defenses! 3/5!

ATTACK OF THE UNKNOWN (2020)

A surprise e.t. invasion throws a monkey wrench in a SWAT team’s routine transport of a dangerous criminal ‘cross town, and they gotta decide if it’s worth the trouble seein’ it through. Mashin’ S.W.A.T. (2003) with Mars Attacks! sounds great on paper, but the filmmakers really fumbled the ball regardin’ the details in its execution that leaves this feelin’ like two different movies hard cut together. The invasion scenes take a backseat to the cop drama, important plot developments like the e.t.’s weakness are quickly dismissed, and several character buildin’ scenes and escalatin’ dangers seem out of place. Drug busts, cop killin’s, bangin’ ‘tween the sheets with boobs, cops ‘n crooks gunfights, silly e.t. backstories that don’t pan out, 1950s lookin’ e.t. soldiers, flashback cameos with Tara Reid, cancerous blood defenses, and spaceship finales! 2/5!

SUPERSTITION (1982)

When a church moves an alky pastor and his fam into a busted ol’ house, they disturb a witch’s watery grave in the nearby pond, and she’s got a centuries ol’ score to settle with holy rollers for executin’ her. A bit of a drag, this Amityville wannabe has well paced pops of tame gore with an abundance of silly character motivations for hecklin’ fodder, but the filmmakers can’t decide whose story they’re tellin’, so I’m left feelin’ pretty indifferent ’bout what’s happenin’. Severed hands, drownin’s, witch hunts, basement hidey holes, explodin’ mirrors, shrapnel deaths, holy cross defenses, pranksters cut in half by closin’ windows, persistent policemen,  red herrin’s, ghost young’ns, flyin’ table saws to the chest, botched blessin’s, hangin’s, church burnin’s, brutal beatin’s, flamin’ ponds, and stakes through the brain basket! 3/5!

SUPERSTITION 2 aka WITCH STORY (1989)

Tied to Superstition in title only, some yahoo siblin’s inherit a shithole of a farm house in bumfuck nowhere and convince their friends to help fix it up, but renovations come to a halt when the vengeful ghost of an executed witch from the 1930s possesses and seduces ’em to bitter deaths. About as borderline entertainin’ as the first one, the editin’s a bit choppy, and the witch’s plot doesn’t make the most sense, but the buttload of victims this sucker packs in manage to be pretty fun to watch. Non-graphic blowjobs, meat cleavers to the shoulders, feedin’ anf gainin’, fatal freefalls through walls, folks flung through windshields, witch burnin’, secret hidey holes, chainsaw kills in the pool, head bashin’, holy rumbles, flyin’ firey crosses, explodin’ windows, explodin’ witches, explodin’ young’ns, young’n deaths with tractors, jumpin’ young’n suicides, possessions galore, geezer priests to the rescue, and stabbin’s galore! 3/5!

HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN 1997 (1997)

In this ’90s monster mash, an LA cop’s got his hands full when a bloodsuckin’ fat cat wants to seduce his new werewolf for a girlfriend and wrangle in the recently resurrected Frankenstein monster to be the centerpiece at his night club, House of Frankenstein. For a three hour TV movie, this ain’t half bad. The actin’s pretty good, the story’s fairly entertainin’, and the special effects are cool . . . It’s a notch or two ‘bove yer average Syfy original but nothin’ phenomenal ‘nough to warrent much higher praise than that. Thawed revivals, Antarctic search parties, monstrous blood transfusion reversals, intermonster romances, armies of the dead, fatal freefalls, monstrous transformations, friendly hobos, green screen flyin’ effects, monster brawlin’, age ol’ grudges, and werewolf attacks! 3/5! 

DEATH OF A VLOGGER (2019)

A vlogger’s show booms after he supposedly films a ghost in his apartment, but skeptics turn the internet ‘gainst him and his hoax of a ghost huntin’ partner which sends him on a depressin’ flip-flop quest to redeem himself on the web. This found footage flick starts off decent ‘nough as a cheap horror with promise, but goes downhill fast. The biggest reason bein’ its constant ping-pongin’ back and forth ‘tween the ghost bein’ legit or fake, and when the lead dweeb really believes in it or not which makes his journey too confusin’ to follow much less invest in. Writin’ on walls, movin’ objects, seances, spooky ladies, paranormal debunkers, suicide watches, and internet haters! 2/5!

FOLLOW ME aka NO ESCAPE (2020)

For the web’s entertainment, a video bloggin’ superstar spends his birthday in Russia’s most extreme escape room courtesy of his buddies, but when things start spinnin’ dangerously outta control with a risin’ body count, the viewer’s gotta place their bets whether or not it’s all a prank ‘fore the credits roll. A solid made flick that reminds me a lot of The Game (1997), this tired concept benefits from a high production value and likable characters, but its semi-predictable endin’ leaves me shoutin’ at the screen when the star victim comes face to face with a character anyone with common sense knows is a stupid move, no matter the outcome of the movie. Near drownin’s, bullets to the head, gear games, electrocutions, severed limbs, head bashin’, kidnappin’s, eye gougin’, and brushes with the mob! 3/5!

FATAL PULSE (1988)

In this whodunnit joke of a slasher that could’ve been a contender with Pieces, girls can’t take a hint to get out when a psycho keeps killin’ sisters in their sorority house night after night, but luckily, one of their red herrin’ boyfriends makes it a point to catch the murderer with the help of his room mate whose brain’s been fried by Saturday mornin’ cartoons. This is a borderline good bad movie that’s almost too intolerable to watch with its rinse repeat storytellin’ and characters makin’ alotta non-sense decisions that really challenge my suspension of disbelief. Its only savin’ grace are a buncha boobs peppered in ‘fore each death with the occasional zany moment pullin’ me back with confused questions. Throat slittin’ with vinyls, One of the most curse ridden sentences ever spoken on film, stranglin’ with underwear, red herrin’s galore, topless electrocutions, superzero beat downs, rub-a-dub deaths with boobs, love ‘tween the sheets without boobs, miscast college youths, fatal freefalls through windows, death by plaster, lynch mobs, sound effect entrances, and Joe Estevez as a crazed peepin’ tom vet! 3/5!

FIREBIRD 2015 AD (1981)

It’s Mad Max meets The Dukes of Hazzard when the government outlaws folks from burnin’ precious petrol in their own rides, but a couple of ol’ rednecks risk their wheels and freedom ‘gainst murderous patrol squads for the sake of cruisin’ the countryside. This semi-apocalyptic flick is unique to say the least. The stakes are flimsy, the rebel riders never do anythin’ all that heroic, and the hick soundtrack is ‘nough to wanna deep throat a muffler to end it all. There’s a cute little buddin’ romance ‘tween young lovers and some drama ‘mong the maraudin’ law officials after ’em to keep the story from bein’ too aimless, but it ain’t ‘nough to give this the substance it needs to be anythin’ special. Drag race gamblin’, boobs in a barn, dirt bike chases, dune buggy wrecks, gas pump hideouts, explodin’ cars, and ol’ coot rescue missions! 2/5!

AWOKEN (2019)

A fella with fatal familial insomnia is gonna die if he doesn’t get some shut eye, so his dull witted medical student of a sis sticks him in a secret underground sleep lab with other slumberin’ oddities and slowly figures out he’s really possessed by a shit eatin’ grin demon responsible for killin’ their mama. This is one of ’em unfortunate low budget horrors that boasts nuggets of interestin’ ideas and an above average production value, but the script fails at providin’ realistically rash characters for me to invest in much less root for. Hangin’s, bone protrusions, Bible rippin’, exorcisms, VHS tapes full of exposition, family secrets, busted elevators, illegal medicines, and demonic mutterin’! 2/5!

THE BABYSITTER: KILLER QUEEN (2020)

Bee’s circle jerk of satan worshippin’ yahoos are back from hell thanks to some surprise allies, and they continue their hunt for Cole whose virgin sacrifice will mean their return topside with perks. Every bit as fun as the original minus Samara Weaving’s crowd winnin’ charisma (’til the last second that is), this is a terrific follow-up that maybe hits one too many of the same beats as ‘fore, but through and through entertainment none the less. The only hint of a sour I feel compelled to let slide is the twist at the end I had trouble comprehendin’ ’cause it comes off a little half hazard with its details which kinda retcons stuff in the last flick. Hangin’ decapitations, satanic resurrections, offscreen sex scenes, car wrecks, dooby swappin’ dads, crazy pills, boathookin’ deaths, satanic sacrifices, closet make-out sessions, sunrise deadlines, surfboard decapitations, semi-human roadkill, human silly string matchsticks, propeller mincemeat, combustin’ dealbreakers, golden showers, undead meltdowns, kidnappin’s, botched rituals, and carjackin’s! 4/5!

BEYOND THE WOODS (2018)

I can sum up this review in two words. Skip it. A gang of friends reunite for a getaway in the countryside, and after a little over an hour of snooze inducin’ drama over marriages and friendships bein’ torn apart by a threesome, some booga boo from a nearby sinkhole swoops in for a couple of lackluster scares. It’s a competently made flick, don’t get me wrong. It would just be better if it had more escalatin’ horror elements consistently woven through it. Offscreen threesomes, loopedy loops trails and roads, accidental stabbin’s, and backward actin’ reaper wannabes! 2/5! 

BLOOD BAGS (2018)

In this spaghetti horror, different folks break into an abandoned mansion and end up trapped with a diseased killer who needs their blood for survival. The flick and its special effects look great, but its uninspired Tom and Jerry plot featurin’ a weak last girl leaves a lot to be desired with a longwinded psych-out of an endin’ insultin’ the last shred of respect I had for it. Only worth a look-see while explorin’ yer furniture fer loose change. Break-ins, lock-ins, stabbin’s, blood lettin’, nods to other horror flicks, red light district blood, homicidal family affairs, and curious cops! 2/5!

THE RENTAL (2020)

When two couples discover their getaway rental for the weekend’s got peepin’ tom cams spyin’ on ’em, secret affairs keep ’em from rattin’ out the owner which leads to a whole bloody mess of miscommunication and cover-ups that prove to be more dangerous than the pervert manipulatin’ ’em. A solid flick through and through, this is more drama than horror for my taste, and the details for the sicko behind it all are too hard to follow regardin’ whether or not he has any real relation to the seemingly clueless host. Sex in the shower, violent outbursts, secret hidey hole control centers, unharmed lost and found dogs, hot tub flirtin’, dope house parties, car wrecks, and body dumpin’ over steep cliffs! 3/5! 

DEAD ANT (2017)

Has-been rockers needin’ a comeback trip balls on some dangerous peyote in the desert that brings ’em so in-tune with Native American stompin’ grounds, they inadvertently piss off a colony of CGI ants that grow bigger with every vicious attack. A fun big-ass bug comedy with a modest ‘mount of gore, there ain’t too many likable characters worth rootin’ for and the endin’s pretty predictable, but the pace is great, the humor’s consistent, the hair metal soundtrack’s decent, and there’s a nice mix of distinctive talents to keep things interestin’. Severed hands, midget sidekicks, rock’n roll versus cartoons, desert concerts, full frontal openin’ acts, pissin’ on talkin’ ants, flamethrowin’ aerosol cans, explodin’ cars, last stands in an Airstream, ripped apart roadies, explodin’ arrows, rock concert massacres, and human buffets for ants! 4/5! 

THE GOOD THINGS DEVILS DO (2020)

It’s Halloween night in hicksville, and things go from bad to worse for a backwoods curator of the macabre as he accidentally resurrects a mail-order vampire in his basement the same time murderous thieves break into his home. This modest flick boasts crisp camera work, respectable effects, an elevatin’ score, and manages to squeeze as much screen time as it possibly can outta horror legends Kane Hodder and Linnea Quigley in some decent roles, but there’s unfortunately a couple of sours that really drag it all down. While there’s a buncha distractin’ story details surroundin’ the dorky curator to the true nature behind the robbers’ heist, the biggest sour is the movie’s competing tones ‘tween a forced comedy and a down and dirty horror that just makes everythin’ feel disjointed and fallin’ short of whatever mark the filmmakers were shootin’ for. Car jackin’, home invadin’, step daughter non-sense, voice imitatin’, mind controlled mutilations, forced suicides, stabbin’s galore, shotguns to the head, kidnappin’, young’n deaths, neck bitin’, blood suckin’, scream queen nods, Night of the Demon nods, resurrected corpses, trick or treatin’, eye gougin’, monstrous transformations, last ditch prayin’, and one of the dumbest survival tactics EVER – duct tape boxin’ gloves with knives! 3/5! 

BLOOD VESSEL (2019)

A life raft full of World War II soldiers from every corner of the globe boards a Nazi ghost ship, and after some lengthy explorin’, they discover the kraut vessel’s haulin’ a buttload of vampires below deck bustin’ to be free. A well made period piece the seasoned horror fan will pick apart as John Carpenter’s The Thing meets Ghost Ship meets The Strain TV series, Blood Vessel is entertainin’ ‘nough for the most part, but it kinda drags its boots from one scene to the next with alotta misplaced character buildin’ that don’t ‘mount to much. Mainly ’cause the story never really hones in on any particular character ‘mong its ensemble for me to relate to much less care ’bout as I indifferently watch ’em fight a buncha cool lookin’ fangers who never do anythin’ all that excitin’. Mind controllin’, bloodsuckin’ young’ns, gunfightin’, propeller mincemeat deaths, contagious scratches, monstrous transformations, crispy corpses, nearly decapitated captains, fancy coffins, stabbin’s, explosions, drownin’s, neck bitin’s, head knockin’, and shapeshiftin’! 3/5! 

SPELL (2020)

It’s Misery with voodoo dolls as a storm sends an upper-class family’s plane crashin’ into mountain country where the dad awakens to find himself alone and at the mercy of a seemingly kind witch he suspects the worst of. Perfect cinematic fodder for film school know-it-alls to debate and dissect, this black horror flick really packs a captivatin’ wallop with its delicate mix of racial themes and artsy camera work while playin’ with the all too familiar horror tropes. Only criticism I have is the dad becomin’ a pro at boogedy magic in five minutes ‘fore he goes all Rambo ‘gainst his captors, which I think is somewhat explained by his tragic past that’s as breezed over as the witch’s sinister agenda he’s somehow perfect for. There’s ‘nough details hinted at to connect some dots in the story, however, I’d appreciate some clearer plot points. Plane crashes, busted feet, magic organ swappin’ with animals, goat eyed tattle tales, salt barriers, barn burnin’, boogedy dolls, voice stealin’, crooked cops, backwood cults, backstory basements, coffins full of corpses, cannibalism, severed hands, big ass nails driven up into heels, roof hoppin’ escapes, cursin’ birds, stabbin’s, airborne geezers, crash courses in magic, knock-out powder, ridiculous truths with bones, animal graveyards, and flooded lungs! 4/5!

THE PALE DOOR (2020)

After a train robbery goes all kinda sideways with loot that turns out to be a gal locked in a trunk, the Dalton Gang takes her home to a more than welcomin’ brothel that turns out to be a toasty buncha ceilin’ crawlin’ witches wantin’ their most baby faced gang member for some unexplained ritual. This is essentially From Dusk Til Dawn with outlaws and witches and even follows the same mid-movie flip from crime drama to an all out monster mash. But whereas From Dusk Til Dawn’s a monstrous good time of tongue in cheek gags opposite an extravaganza of special effects, The Pale Door takes itself a little too seriously despite moments that watch like theme park stage actin’. I also think the costumes and sets looks waaay too clean for a period piece in the ol’ west, but regardless of these mildly distractin’ sours, it’s an enjoyable flick overall and does its best to deliver a well rounded story full of horrific action with some heart for good measure. Slow bleedin’ out deaths, shapeshiftin’ murder of crows, train robberies, doggy style witch bangin’, creepy bulges movin’ under gals’ skin, witch burnin’s, voodoo hair dolls, mouth mutilatin’, eye gougin’, possessions, blood vomitin’, infectious witch bites, bulgin’ wounds, throat slittin’, fatal quick draws, gamblin’, farmhouse shoot ’em ups, crispy ladies birthin’ crows, witchhunts, holy ground barriers, blood doused breasts, witchy whores, maulin’, resurrections, and a fail of a wire stunt that made me feel like I was watchin’ a high school production of Peter Pan! 4/5! 

OPEN 24 HOURS (2020)

If ya think servin’ time in the slammer for bein’ yer boyfriend’s audience to a buncha grisly murders is bad, it’s even tougher findin’ a job afterward, which Mary learns when her only option for employment is a graveyard shift at a hole in the wall truck stop. Before she can collect her first paycheck, however, she hears her psycho killin’ ex is on the loose ‘gain and has gotta separate the reality of him findin’ her from her own traumatic hallucinations. To save ya the worry of a High Tension endin’ and increase yer enjoyment of this sharply made flick without ruinin’ anythin’, yes, the barbecued boyfriend is back and droppin’ bodies everywhere. Mary’s paranoid delusions are just meant to create some tension, not serve a “is she crazy or not” plot. That said, this is a damn fine film with alotta convincin’ actors, beautifully lit sets with cinematic pops of color, and some gory moments that surprisingly make me flinch a time or two. Highly recommended for fans of the grocery store slashin’ classic Intruder. Clawed hammers to the face, gasoline showers, gunshots to the face, head bashin’ with sledgehammers, stabbin’s galore, plastic bag suffocatin’, fatal hammer blows to the back, blood floodin’ toilets, pickled pig tongue chewin’, stalkin’, blood splattered visions, kidnappin’, and shotgun blasts to the head! 4/5!

THE BARGE PEOPLE (2020)

A la-dee-da barge ride down the British canals turns into Texas Chainsaw Massacre when flesh eatin’ muties climb ‘board, and a handful of feudin’ couples gotta put aside their differences to survive the night. A lovin’ postcard to ’80s monster movies from the openin’ credit sequence to the score and practical special effects, this flick starts off well ‘nough with semi-interestin’ characters worth carin’ ’bout, but the story runs ahead of itself with an irregular pace as soon as water breathin’ inbreds from an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer enter the picture, resultin’ in an erratic escalation of danger that fools me into thinkin’ the movie ends three different times! Well, least it looks amaze-balls! Toxic dumpin’ backstories, face and neck bitin’ galore, butcher knife swingin’ on a chain, home invasions on top o’ home invasions, barge feuds, spiked drinks on the house, social butterfly scientists, severed fingers, Hellraiser nods, stabbin’s galore, muties bleedin’ like punctured water beds full of milk, hackin’ galore, untrustworthy yokels, missin’ dogs, and barge massacres! 3/5!

THE UNFAMILIAR (2020)

A combat medical technician comes home from a tour in Afghanistan and slowly suspects her family’s bein’ possessed by Hawaiian booga-boos her husband pissed off on his travels. Best described as a Spielberg version of The Skeleton Key, this sharp lookin’ flick’s a family themed drama at its core, but offers a lot more bang for yer buck than yer average haunted house horror. My only gripe is how rough the story progresses with the G.I. mom leapfroggin’ suspicion over unnecessary scenes and transitions, and how underdeveloped the threat of the evil spirits’ ultimate goal is, which I think is just to write kids books. Magical black tar facials, chantin’, last minute heroines, demonic chases, radio chats from beyond, spirit dimensions, tiki totems, witchy women, rigged seances, possessions, bee attacks, lagoons full of bodies, drownin’s, and pill poppin’! 3/5! 

BLACK WATER: ABYSS (2020)

A thrill seekin’ gang of friends explore a hole in the jungle they find and end up trapped in a floodin’ underground cave with a big ass croc in the water. A sequel in theme only, this Aussie flick has the most realistic crocodile effects I’ve ever seen, not to mention some of the most brutal lookin’ kills. There’s plenty of what-would-I-do moments keepin’ me on the edge of my bar stool, lotta escalatin’ tension, all the action’s believable for the most part, and there’s even a bit of cheatin’ affair drama thrown in for some spice, but nothin’ as ruckus as say The Descent. The only thing that makes me shake my fists in the air is the last few minutes of escape when things take a ridiculous turn for the worse. Cancer survivor snacks, fatal freefalls, lost tourists, broken legs, lotta bite wounds to the abs, underwater attacks, blood filled water, torso floatin’ distractions, spastic offroad sinkin’, and guns versus crocs! 4/5! 

DEEP BLUE SEA 3 (2020)

A floatin’ village full of shark enthusiasts is under attack by a pack of big brain bull sharks who escaped the end of Deep Blue Sea 2, and in their wake is a boatload of ruthless mercs paid to cock block ’em from matin’ by any means necessary. A major improvement over the last sequel, this is a thoughtful story that acknowledges everything that’s happened ‘fore, moves the series into new territory, and ups the stakes while successfully rehashin’ ol’ gags that made Deep Blue Sea so memorable in the first place. Only sours that distract me is the exact purpose of the floatin’ village and how everyone on it, as remarkably few as there are, relate to one ‘nother. Really impressed with this creature feature’s action sequences as well as its perfect set-ups for unexpected gore. Great white shark carcasses, shark mama beacons, magnetic mines, explodin’ ships, garbage disposal traps, crushin’ deaths, explodin’ sharks galore, double kamikaze fisted blow-outs, scuba divers chomped in half, severed arms, chum spewin’ drones, street brawlin’ decapitations by shark bite, shark brain dissectin’, chest stabbin’s, and high dive deaths! 4/5!

THE POOL (2020)

While a fella takes a snooze in an abandoned 20 foot pool that’s nothin’ but deep end, nobody tells him it’s bein’ drained, and he ends up trapped at the bottom for days with his poor dog chained above, and a hungry CGI croc tryin’ to eat him and his dumb ass girlfriend who falls in later. One of ’em single location survival flicks, this is well made overall, but two sours make me absolutely hate it. One, the filmmakers never give a definitive sense of the geography, so there’s a lot of frustration over the fella not explorin’ every nook and cranny of this pool I’m thinkin’ could mean escape. Two, (spoiler here), the girlfriend makes me boilin’ mad when she first takes a plunge off the divin’ board without realizin’ how low the water is and accidentally gets the dog killed after the pup survives alotta near misses! Barbwire climbin’, broken leg falls, croc egg stealin’ and eatin’, tunnel rat action, near drownin’s, couch defenses, heads split on the divin’ board, duct tape galore, hung hounds, snatchin’ crap outta croc’s mouths, leg chompin’, impalin’, dehydration, baby daddy drama, and croc punchin’ with fists of barbwire! 3/5!

SHARK SEASON (2020)

One of the dumbest shark movies I’ve ever seen that doesn’t even have a gimmick to it, some folks paddle three hours off the coast of Florida to the middle of nowhere for a photo shoot on a rock, sharks attack, and two final girls gotta bitch and paddle every which way from CGI sharks while a wide eyed Michael Madsen casually phones in help from his kitchen for a quick paycheck. My biggest problem here is the script’s chunky scenes and silly logic its characters follow. There’s just blocks of awkwardly long winded conversations one after ‘nother, and why would the photographer make his model and makeup girl paddle ocean currents for three hours under the roastin’ sun ‘fore a shoot ‘stead of takin’ a damn boat?! Pointless jet ski deaths, National Geographic recitin’ boat captains on shark life, chats ’bout feelin’s, dolphin rescues, high tides, and one fella turned to chum for sharks! 2/5! 

DOLL HOUSE (2020)

A cursed dolly possesses a mute girl to kill everyone in a halfway house for troubled youths for the sheer hell of it, and despite her projectin’ her kills in folks’ heads with plenty of warnin’, only a mute celebrity’s lucky ‘nough to turn the tables on her. If the script bothered to establish and develop its characters more clearly, and the editin’ didn’t show us everythin’ that’s gonna happen twice within the first few minutes, this could’ve been a fairly decent movie. There’s one too many mutes with no real payoff, I don’t understand the supernatural link ‘tween the dollhouse and the evil doll that’s too big for it, I can’t make heads or tails what point the over the top scenes with the psychic serves, and the how/why the paranormal blogger latches onto the halfway house in the first place is lost on me. Ax whackin’, eye pokin’, impalin’, stabbin’, clubbin’, possessions, respawnin’ dollhouses, barbecued dolls, cursed yard sales, screamin’ flashbacks, post-its galore, tub drownin’, attempted suicides, and suffocations! 2/5!

BLADE: THE IRON CROSS (2020)

Followin’ the events of Puppet Master: Axis Termination, death ray zappin’ Nazis are determined to turn Americans into obedient zombies, but Dr. Ivanov’s psychic reporter of a daughter’s on the story and brings Blade outta retirement to save the day. Puppet Master’s first spin-off flick starrin’ its break-out star, I’m happy to see the continuation of Ivanov’s story (even if it’s through his headline chasin’ daughter), and even more thrilled at the Nazi’s scheme springboardin’ off events from Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge which restores a little continuity to the series’ head spinnin’ timeline. I wish Blade was more integral to the story given he’s the star, but the filmmakers almost make up for that with alotta new characters and details added to the Puppet Master lore while impressively producin’ a period piece on a tight budget. Stabbin’s, mad scientists, dissolvin’ bodies, full frontal kidnappin’s, flesh tearin’ zombies, psychic manipulatin’, injections, prop wigglin’, peepin’ toms, nods to the Mad Gasser of Mattoon, topless hair washin’, decapitations, hooks in heels, impaled hands, death ray towers, zombifications, cop drama, flesh cuttin’ fetishes, saps smotherin’ in boobs, mad lab massacres, bio energy science, mechanical hands, puppet smashin’ with a sledgehammer, and a rip snortin’ chestburster of a finale never seen ‘fore in a Puppet Master flick! 3/5!         

THE BEACH HOUSE (2020)

While two couples play nice after unexpectedly findin’ themselves sharin’ the same beach house for their getaways, some geological event’s happenin’ offshore that’s either turnin’ ’em into the crawlin’ dead or a breedin’ ground for monstrous oyster boogers. This flick . . . putrid polecats. The actors are capable, the camerawork’s sharp, the effects are great, the idea’s fine, but this sucker moves at a snail’s pace with frustratingly underdeveloped characters, halfhearted tension, and an environmental threat that’s terribly undersold. Snoozefest. Girls on the can, steppin’ in jelly shellfish from who knows where, emergency foot surgery for removin’ flesh squirmin’ worms, lotta money shot pukin’, hilarious bashin’ with an air tank, rotten egg fog, pot brownies, long walks to a watery grave, and car wrecks! 2/5!

NYMPH (2020)

In this short from Ireland, it’s eye for an eye payback as a mythical force curses a love triangle’s campin’ trip after one of ’em accidentally turns an innocent critter to pavement pizza. The editin’s a little jump cutty every now and then, and I hate how the campers are pretty clueless there’s even a pissed off creature after ’em, but despite that, this is a solidly entertain’ film that manages to make 15 minutes feel like a lean mean feature with all the expected horror tropes filtered through alotta creative camerawork. Nymph feels like a classic spaghetti horror at times, utilizes film techniques reminiscent of Spielberg, George Miller, and Hitchcock, and is wonderfully elevated by an atmospheric score in the vein of It Follows. Lotta buddin’ talent I can’t wait to see more from. Graphic roadkills, mutilated dogs, peanut allergies, hit and runs, and horse stampedes! 3/5!

UNDERWATER (2020)

A minin’ operation six miles underwater is suddenly goin’ to shit in a handbasket, and as a handful of survivors in deep sea mech suits hurry to escape a watery grave, they discover a school of hungry sea monsters from the Mariana Trench are to blame. A creature feature that hits the ground runnin’, this special effects bonanza watches like a video game with a buncha nobodies racin’ the clock to make a series of checkpoints while fightin’ their way through an escalatin’ threat of mean marine life that culminates in a titanic boss battle. As light as all this is on character development, however, the flick still manages to make me care who lives or dies after awhile and creates ‘nough solid tension to make this an instant classic ‘mong sea monster fans. Implodin’ miners, human chum, lucky rabbit dolls, leg rippin’, explosive meltdowns, testicle lookin’ worm critters, wraith lookin’ sea vamps, mountain size monsters, escape pods, crushin’ depths, mile hikes through total darkness, and crawlspace corpses! 4/5!

YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT (2020)

Spoilers, ahead for what shoulda been called You Should Have Left This Movie Alone! Kevin Bacon takes his Fast and Furious trophy wife and their little girl from Hollywood to a remote getaway home in Wales for some R&R, and after an hour of family drama regardin’ his troubled past as a high rollin’ banker cleared of killin’ his wife, the movie finally starts to resemble a horror with the house turnin’ into some supernatural cat and mouse maze of the devil’s for trappin’ sin-ridden souls like Kevin’s. Why? ’cause after convincin’ the audience he didn’t kill his first wife the whole flick, it turns out he really let her drown in a tub outta hate when he coulda easily yanked her out. This is too much metaphorical, the hero’s their own worst enemy bullshit for me. There’s never ‘nough of a blatant physical threat to the characters, it takes forever to get to the horror, the openin’ scene makes no sense, and the endin’s anythin’ but satisfyin’ for everythin’ I sat through. The actin’ and cinematography is great, the story just sucks. Cheatin’ affairs, supernatural time travelin’, peepin’ toms with polaroids, tub ghosts, manic mazes, face bashin’ with crutches, evil doppelgangers, and yer best weapon in a house of the devil is a right angle! 2/5!

PANDAMONIUM (2020)

A slasher fer hire in a ridiculous panda/skull mask crashes a sexist law firm’s office party full of strippers and goes on a stabbin’ spree ’til we learn who (obviously) hired him and why. Nothin’ too wild or memorable ’bout this flick aside from the killer himself, but it’s an easy fun watch to pass some time. Could stand more creative kills, boobs fer all the strippers it packs in, and better color correctin’, ’cause the post work on the footage looks like shit. Neck stabbin’, corporate ladder bloodbaths, severed penises, restroom bangin’, blowjobs, head stabbin’, back stabbin’, door slammin’ decapitations with humorous stunt dummy heads, costumed themed strippers, booger sugar, and MacGuyvered weapons from office supplies! 3/5!

EXORCISM AT 60,000 FEET (2020)

A priest boards a plane for ‘nam with Bill Moseley’s possessed corpse, and unexpectedly finds himself rescuin’ a plane full of horror icons from demonic rinse repeat possessions ambushin’ ’em through the ventilation system. A fun time in the unfriendly skies where Catholic horror meets the disaster film, this genre shake-up is never borin’ and brings a lot of familiar horror favorites together in a way more satisfyin’ way than Death House ever does. The only sours I can fault it for are its inconsistent comic delivery that teeters ‘tween the extremes of a Troma movie and the slapstick sight gags of flicks like Airplane!, and its lack of escalatin’ danger that gets pretty derivative toward the end. Kelli Maroney breast feedin’ a Dwarf boy with Tourette, barf bag rippin’ upchuckin’ galore, nacho cheese lookin’ face melts, bodily pools of adulterers, head spinnin’ doggy style mile-high club initiations, booger lips, bloody tampon jokes galore, drinkin’ and flyin’, ammo packin’ crosses, bullets to the head, fatal freefalls through windows, The Exorcist nods, possessions galore, topless nun on nun action, Bill Moseley on the wing, The Twilight Zone nods, explodin’ muscle heads, terrorists with removable nose bombs, rabbis makin’ out with priests, Adrienne Barbeau scalped by a re-animated pooch, wacky tobacky smokin’, and a nutty plan for freezin’ a demon to the point of defeat! 4/5!

THE TURNING (2020)

It’s the ’90s for no good reason, and a college gal with a loony bin mom to support takes a job homeschoolin’ some dead rich couple’s orphaned kids she eventually thinks are out to get her, possibly under the influence of a child molestin’ rapist’s ghost. This flick looks promisin’ with its polished camerawork and interestin’ lookin’ cast, but tarnations, the story sucks sooo bad. There’s no real tension, very little scares, the kids in Problem Child 2 and Mr. Nanny come off more threatenin’ than these feather weight yard monsters, and the whole ghost angle never comes together in any satisfyin’ way ‘fore the movie abruptly wraps up in one of the most vague endin’s I’ve seen since Mulholland Drive. Waste of time and film. Creepy mannequins, bodies in the pool pranks, maze mansions, bedtime creepers, accidental murders, nightmare psych-outs, whipped horses, koi stompin’, and filmmakin’ bullshit galore! 2/5!

ABOMINABLE (2020)

Jumpin’ into the action feet first without any buildup or character introductions, a mixed team of Navy SEALs and scientists assault a snow capped mountain to investigate a missin’ expedition in search of a plant that grants immortality but piss off a limb rippin’ yeti in the process. This creature feature has a decent chance for bein’ an entertainin’ movie with its plot and production value, but its story is for shit. It never takes the time to develop anyone’s character much less designate a main protagonist, it drops me in the middle of the action without a whole lot of context to put it all in perspective, everyone’s runnin’ ’round with their own agendas from hackin’ computer secrets to lookin’ for the sacred plant and huntin’ the yeti for folks wantin’ to buy his blood on the black market, and there’s some bullshit ’bout time travel shoehorned in for good measure. Only salvageable thing in here for comedic value is the bad actin’ and laughable reveals, specifically ‘tween the woman with brain cancer and the hunter who likes screamin’ in the yeti’s face to look at him. Arm rippin’, face tearin’, lotta shootin’, jaw rippin’, corpse pummelin’, and yeti’s bitin’ new airholes into folks’ necks! 2/5!

DELIVERED (2020)

In one of the lamest Into the Dark entries yet, a couple with a baby on the way is invited to dinner at a woman’s remote farm, and (as any good horror fan worth their weight would predict) become permanent guests ’til their demented host gets the baby she always wanted. This is either lazy filmmakin’ or an amateur’s first stab at a horror flick who’s playin’ it safe with tried and trusted tropes. While the film is well shot and cast, it lacks any kind of tension or scares, and that’s ’cause the lead prego has as much personality as curdled oatmeal which leaves me with zero fucks for whatever happens to her or the baby. I don’t know if she wants the baby or not, what I’m supposed to take away from the thin’ ’bout a second man in her life which doesn’t ‘mount to a hill o’ beans, and her and the husband act more like strangers than a three year ol’ relationship. Kidnappin’, roofies, knock-out shots, useless men, vehicular chicken, abortion fake-outs with skinned cats in the toilet, neck stabbin’, lakes full o’ bodies, too many dumb nightmare psych-outs, births, mucus plug covered TP, and childbirth roleplay ‘fore bed! 2/5! 

BEHIND YOU (2020)

Two sisters are passed ‘long like hot potatoes after their mama dies and end up at their estranged aunt’s house where a jerky demon trapped in a mirror tries usin’ ’em to escape its supernatural bonds to wreak havoc on the world. Great sets and set-up for a tense little monster movie, but there’s barely anyone with a personality, the story feels like it ends more than once, and there’s a few details the filmmakers could delve into more. Like how did the evil end up in this house, why does the movie start with an evil mirror in the bathroom then put all the focus on a completely different evil mirror in the basement, why doesn’t the aunt just burn the house down or destroy the mirrors, how could the young’ns forget to mention a peanut allergy ‘fore diggin’ into a near fatal meal, and what exactly was the plan when the girls were ’bout to be let loose in the streets as orphans? Not bad by any means, but I’ve seen better mirror horrors. Demonically possessed little girls, lifelong debts of gratitude, mirror daggers, supernatural messages in blood on the walls and dusty ol’ mirrors, forbidden rooms, whisperin’ dolls, throat stabbin’, ripped out throats, murder cover-ups, young’ns with guns, siblin’ violence, folks yanked through the air, and a possible horror first – exorcisms by peanut butter! 3/5! 

TOKOLOSHE: AN AFRICAN CURSE (2020)

In this African version of The Shining, a woman confronts her childhood trauma and revisits the cursed hotel that ruined her family. I don’t normally review a flick I didn’t watch from beginnin’ to end, but I had to call it quits ’bout halfway through when it was painfully obvious this is nothin’ more than a poorly edited mess of spooky snippets that’d be better served as visual fodder for some horror band’s music video. It’s got ’bout one or two decent actors, and some respectable camerawork, but that’s pretty much it. Just skip it. Hoodoo dolls, ghost bartenders, unhinged writers, little girls on even smaller you bikes, spooky twins, creepy dolls, cursed lands, and supernatural messages! 2/5!

CORONA ZOMBIES (2020)

As Coronavirus zombies overwhelm the world, a special task force is assembled to locate the motherload of TP and fight the epidemic at its source in a Chinese bat soup factory. Exploitation filmmakin’ at its best, Full Moon’s fast track response to the Coronavirus epidemic is made possible by humorously redubbin’ an edited down version of Hell of the Living Dead like a lost episode of Rifftrax and slippin’ in clips from Zombies vs Strippers with newly shot bimbo footage bookendin’ it all. A funny new spin on an Italian splatter classic that keeps me laughin’ from beginnin’ to end, the only curious sours I’ve got to gripe ’bout is why the bimbo’s shower scene is in her clothes and how or why she randomly teleports to a different scene at the very end! 4/5!

I AM FEAR (2020)

A high profile reporter gets kidnapped by decapitatin’ terrorists wantin’ to make a political statement at ‘merica and after a buttload of semi-borin’ drama, she turns into a demon at the last second and flips the whole movie on its head. I don’t know what this is ’bout, Scream Freaks! It’s 95% spies and lies twisted up with some kinda revenge story, and 5% horror with an almost random demonic outburst that lacks any motivation or history I can sensibly follow. This movie has the right ingredients for a decent story, but it’s all blended together wrong with too many convoluted details preventin’ me from rootin’ for any particular characters. Only worth watchin’ for the make-up effects and Bill Moseley pretendin’ to be Larry King. Decapitations, CIA spies, kidnappin’s, throat slittin’, nightmare sequences, demonic transformations, neck bitin’, explosions, political cover-ups, mean lookin’ coked-out visions, and bullets to the head! 2/5!

POOKA LIVES! (2020)

Into the Dark’s first sequel, a spiteful writer and his friends create a new creepypasta-like challenge with the Pooka doll based on its creator’s murder-suicide and unwittingly manifest a murderous world-wide booga-boo through the web’s unwaverin’ belief in it. Racin’ to reverse what they’ve done, things ain’t any easier as the internet adds more grisly details that make the legend more dangerous everyday. By far, this is the best flick I’ve seen from Into the Dark. It’s funny, easy to follow, the characters gel well together and are likable, and there’s a lotta of cool monster action with some creative entrances like the datin’ app and bedroom lightshow. Sooo much better than that emo head trip bullshit the first movie was. Scissors to the head, maulin’s, parkin’ lot assaults, vandalism, stabbin’s, eggin’s, ash eatin’, dancin’, hell holes in unbelievably well kept abandoned homes, endin’s that feel like the filmmakers ran outta money, and Wil Wheaton shows up long ‘nough to be killed! 5/5!

THE GRUDGE (2020)

A sideways sequel to the original 2004 Grudge with a plot right outta Grudge 3, some poor woman’s haunted all the way back to ‘merica by our favorite shower spook and kills her whole family in a fit of possessed rage that creates an all new family of Grudge ghosts. Now, an overachievin’ cop’s gotta catch up to what the audience already knows and solve a series of murders and suicides the angry dead’s responsible for whenever folks enter their cursed abode. Kudos to the filmmakers for excellent lightin’ and make-up effects, but this whole thing is soured by its divided points of view that rob it of any meaningful character for us to follow from beginnin’ to end, and the confusin’ logic behind the next generation of pissed off spirits is a little confusin’. Like, should the mom be cursed as a Grudge ghost if it was really the pissed off spirit from Asia that possessed her to violently kill her family? Not a terrible movie, but certainly the weakest in Grudge’s ‘merican series. Prego killin’, severed fingers, human water balloons, fatal freefalls, attempted bullet swallowin’ suicides, filthy tub scares, shower hair scares, ooze vomittin’, arm rupturin’, cars full of corpses, rottin’ husbands, house fires, shapeshiftin’ tricks, eye gougin’, drownin’, and stabbin’s! 3/5!

THE HUNT (2020)

Some highfalutin fat cats are pissed and steal a page from The Most Dangerous Game to take their anxiety out on a handful of regular folks they hunt for murderous satisfaction. Problem is, one of their victims turns out to be an unstoppable spaz faced killin’ machine who’ll stop at nothin’ ’til they’re all dead. Not a lot of story or even tension to this familiar plot. Just an hour and a half of a bad ass beauty effortlessly tearin’ through amateur game hunters without breakin’ a sweat ’til one epic cat fight with Hillary Swank at the end that puts Kill Bill throwdowns to shame. Junk food violence for the brain, and we loved every second of it! Head explodin’, shot up piggies, bunker massacres, shotguns to the chest, poisonous gases, poisoned donuts, death by arrows, trunks full of bodies, human roadkill, neck stabbin’s, twisted new takes on the tortoise and the hare story, kitchen appliance impalement, first aid with a creme brulee torch, and grilled cheese victory meals! 4/5!

DON’T LET THEM IN (2020)

Two social workers spend Halloween checkin’ on a recently released murderer livin’ in his family’s abandoned hotel and are surrounded by masked demons needin’ to fulfill a satanic ritual started years earlier. Mediocre at best, this European flick’s savin’ grace is the comedic liveliness of the male social worker who serves as the sensible everyman viewers can relate to. Not to say there ain’t a little tension with pops of face splatterin’ gore, but the endin’ does drag a little with everythin’ wrapped up in a slightly complex twist. Decapitations, stabbin’s, last stand hotels, demons in the cellar, back stabbin’ betrayals, eye gougin’, hitch hikin’ regrets, and demonic lynch mobs! 3/5! 

CRAWLERS (2020)

A secret hive of copycat e.ts. get spooked by a town’s St. Patty’s bar crawl and ruin everyone’s holiday with a body snatchin’ plot only a handful of college yahoos have any luck of shuttin’ down. One of the better Hulu flicks from Blumhouse’s Into the Dark series, the set dressin’ and wardrobe do an awesome job deckin’ nearly every scene in a celebration of green that puts most other St. Patrick’s themed movies to shame. The cast is pretty enjoyable as well, but there’s just too much dull dialogue with a lotta hit and miss chuckles keepin’ ’em from shinin’ the way the filmmakers were obviously strivin’ for. Somethin’ I’d be willin’ to overlook if there were more e.t. effects stuck in here. Green blood, bitin’, knives to the head, CG explosions, knife throwin’ to the face, attempted butt-dialed assaults, e.t. meteors, cop cars full of corpses, lotta lotta drinkin’ games, e.t. blood tests, and e.t. doomsday mamas! 3/5!

THE LODGE (2020)

In what I’m assumin’ is a love letter to movies like Hereditary and The Shining, it’s been six months since a couple of young’ns’ mom ate a bullet, and they’re none too happy their dad wants to temporarily strand them with his ex-suicide cult girlfriend at a remote cabin for the holidays. As soon as he leaves, their bondin’ time goes to hell in a hand basket as their supplies go missin’, the power cuts off, and a blizzard rages outside. Did they die? Are the rugrats playin’ a sick prank? Or is it all in the woman’s head who’s one pill away from sheer madness? All I know for sure is it’s a looong dronin’ flick with barely any dialogue or action happenin’. There’s never any immediate danger, no escalatin’ threat – it’s just a buncha forebodin’ shotgun camera angles, pops of nerve shreddin’ noise, and folks givin’ each other the stink eye ’til the director decides to leave things open endin’ for the audience to decide how it all wraps up. Dead dog-cicles, staged hangin’s, kneelin’ on fire logs, bullets to the mug, frostbitten faces, boobs in the shower, frozen lake rescues, hangin’ turkey decor, Thanksgivin’ in the cold, zero Christmas spirit, and movie night with John Carpenter’s The Thing! 2/5!

THE INVISIBLE MAN (2020)

After runnin’ away from an abusive relationship with a controllin’ scientist, Cecelia is convinced her ex-squeeze is gettin’ payback by fakin’ his death and harassin’ her in an invisible suit he built. Now, it’s a war of wits as she fights to prove he’s alive ‘fore he convinces everyone she belongs in the nuthouse. A different take on an invisible man flick that doesn’t follow the title character’s journey, this offers an entirely new kinda story told from the victim’s perspective. Despite the audience knowin’ what they’re gettin’ into from the get go, the filmmakers still manage to deliver plenty of suspenseful moments with whodunnit teases and some of the most bad ass invisible man kills I’ve seen yet. It’s not without it’s sours, however, like the non-sense logistics behind the scientist’s faked death and the lack of iconic imagery for such a universal monster. Slit throats, framed murders, kitchen fires, roofied job interviews, airborne women, young’n beatin’, macin’, car window punchin’, car wrecks, stabbin’s, fatal gunshots, bed sheet pranks, and nuthouse massacres and escapes! 4/5! 

CLOWN FEAR aka CIRCUS ROAD (2020)

When a carload of bridesmaids breakdown in Clown City, USA (not even jokin’), they mingle with the grease face fearin’ locals ’til their forward thinkin’ ways land ’em in hot water with a gang of homicidal clowns sworn to protect their town’s way of life from outsiders. Inspired by the real-life Clown Motel ‘cross from a cemetery in Nevada, this cheap laugh has its moments, but not ‘nough to justify its nearly two hour runnin’ time! While it manages to spotlight a handful of good actors and deliver some respectable scenes like the fairgrounds trial at the end, there’s still alotta poorly shot scenes (the filmmakers can’t properly light a black man to save their life), needless blow by blow editin’, ridiculous actin’, and confusion whether or not the clowns are supernatural. Head bashin’ with bats, kidnappin’s, Stockholm syndrome, driver seat grindin’ with boobs, topless swimmin’ hole dippin’, Russian roulette, throat slittin’, stabbin’s, boobs in the bath with nude undies, scared girls pissin’ ’emselves, throwin’ knives to the face, exploitative clown flashbacks, and cellphone boob pics! 2/5!

FANTASY ISLAND (2020)

Based on the classic TV show, a gang of contest winners are flown to a remote island where its overseer, Mr. Roarke, turns their deepest desires into reality. When their dream vacation turns into a twisted nightmare, however, they suspect they’re really part of someone else’s revenge fantasy. First off, for you Fantasy Island fans out there, this flick could actually fall in line with the original series if ya just imagine Michael Pena as someone who found the island and somehow assumed the role of the original Mr. Roarke. Other than that, the island still serves as an exotic escape for tourists, fantasies are still tainted by ironic twists and self awakenin’s, and Mr. Roarke is still a gracious host but forced to indulge one person’s dark fantasy thanks to the new origin behind the island’s powers the filmmakers felt necessary to include which is somethin’ the TV show never explained. There’s zip boobs and gore, and the plot’s a little hard to follow, but still a worthy watch that doesn’t shit on its source material. Wishin’ water, fantasy rocks, eyeball poppin’, panic rooms full of bikinis, lotta firefightin’, masked home invadin’, off the chain pool parties, time travelin’, torture chambers, stappled mouths, fatal freefalls, cave mazes, explosions, drownin’ reunions, covert jungle missions, resurrections, evil doppelgangers, electro shock, bullets to the head and chest, flame engulfed flashbacks, and Michael Rooker as a filthy P.I.! 3/5!  

CUPID (2020)

A bullied teen summons a demonic Cupid on Valentine’s Day for payback on some mean girls at school but accidentally curses her teachers and classmates in the process. Now, she has ’til midnight to beat a 24 hours curse and save everyone from bein’ pumped with poison arrows. A lot like an episode of Supernatural without the Winchesters, this is a solid watch with a decent ‘nough cast, story, and effects, but tarnations, Cupid’s makeup looks awful save for his wings. Arrows to the eyes, sawed off arms with unconvincin’ reactions, fast spreadin’ infections, restroom stall murders, throttlin’ specters, love spells, long winded storybook expositions, and arrows through the face! 3/5! 

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