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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THE BANANA SPLITS MOVIE (2019)

A TV studio uses terminators to play its most popular characters, the Banana Splits, and for no real reason at all, they go awry and tear their latest studio audience apart. It ain’t the most thoughtful plot, but there’s still ‘nough goin’ on in this Five Nights at Freddy’s wannabe to keep me thoroughly entertained with tolerable young’ns, surprisingly messy gore, and a well written mix of distinguishable characters fightin’ for their lives ‘gainst these Hanna-Barbera leftovers from the ’60s. The only sour I have to fault it for is not tyin’ the Banana Splits’ malfunction in with their sudden cancellation, but I guess a disgruntled inventor sickin’ his robots on an unsuspectin’ employer was too cliche for these filmmakers. Hand crushin’, hammered faces, human matchsticks, messy obstacle courses, limb rippin’, battlebot brawls, hit and runs, splattered roadkill, fatally deep throatin’ lolly pops, fatal magic tricks, TV audience massacres, kidnappin’s, bad programmin’, bungee nabbin’, head stabbin’s, and mental breakdowns! 4/5! 

TRICK OR TREAT (1986)

A high school metal head accidentally summons the super charged ghost of his favorite rock warrior Sammi Curr to help him get even with his bullies, but all deals are off by Halloween night when innocent scares and pranks escalate to everyone in sight bein’ zapped to ashes by the musical menace. One of the better heavy metal themed horror flicks, this is a fun time with decent actors, impressive practical effects, and tolerable tunes. The only sours that bug me is how flat and tagged on the metal head’s potential girlfriend is written, and how underdeveloped Sammi’s motives are as an angry spirit with no real backstory to explain his explosive predicament. Fatal Halloween concerts, Halloween dances, explosions, stereo system violence, gooey ears, vacuumed corpses, hand painted lightenin’ effects out the ass, secret vinyl messages, bedroom aerobics, pool party pranks, school bully chases, demonic rape, supernatural undressin’, possessed cars, possessed shop classes, explodin’ heads, radio station smashin’, cursed cassettes, water weaknesses, toilet defenses, and quickie cameos by Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne! 4/5! 

UNCANNY ANNIE (2019)

A houseful of bores rather spend Halloween playin’ board games than party but unfortunately pick a game that’s haunted by a gigglin’ ghost who wants their souls for packagin’ art ‘less they beat a mix of slumber party challenges and escape her alternate box dimension. A successful horror spin on Jumanji‘s concept of a cursed board game, this Into the Dark flick from Hulu is a cut ‘bove the rest with a memorable villain terrorizin’ a cast of likable ‘nough yahoos I half-heartedly root for, but its monsters aren’t very scary, and there’s a major disconnect between the openin’ kill and the gang’s long dead buddy who I thought were one and the same ’til we got pretty far into this thing. Throat slittin’, stabbin’s, endless darkness, shallow drownin’s, spin the bottle, interdimensional traps, reality alterin’ ghosts, futuristic sight, Bloody Mary kinda dares, truth or dare, hide and seek, pranksters, keep-away, reaper-lookin’ henchmen, rigged outcomes, and supernatural drillin’! 4/5! 

IN THE TALL GRASS (2019)

Passin’ motorist get lost in a never endin’ maze of ancient time-bendin’ weeds and gotta out think the aggressive turf ‘fore it converts ’em all into grass worshippin’ minions to fondle its massive rock. Based on a trippy little father son story from the King family, this Netflix original is pretty fun to watch and one of the toughest what-would-you-do scenarios I challenged myself to think through in a long time. The filmmakers do a lot with very little, the actors are incredibly compellin’, and the production value is top-notch from the camerawork to its special effects. Ever shiftin’ grounds, portals, parallel doppelgangers, dirty limericks, weed men, what I think are dirt babies or souls, dead and resurrected dogs, skeletal remains, eye gougin’, stranglin’, near fatal free falls, prego last girls, stabbin’s, Stephen King Easter eggs, and new born snacks! 4/5! 

DISCARNATE (2018)

A gang of curious egg heads skip the whole Flatliners approach to provin’ existence beyond death and test an experimental drug that allows ’em to actually see the flipside of the grave. Problem is, this link creates an open channel for a shapeshiftin’ spirit called a discarnate to invade their lab space and consume their flesh ’til it has ‘nough skin to walk the mortal plane. This little known flick has a really cool concept with a pretty wild monster huntin’ a bunch of likable characters, but unfortunately underwhelms me with ineffective story editin’,  laughable shortcuts ’round beefy transitions, and a lotta heavy handed pseudo-science shoehorned in. Spiritual planes, hoodoo drugs, explodin’ kitchens, ghost grabbin’, mangled faces, stabbin’s, dead lab rats galore, kidnapped young’ns, suicidal wives, evil doppelgangers, drug addicts, needle pokin’, and monstrous transformations! 3/5! 

DEEP RED (1975)

After a pianist sees someone kill a psychic from afar, his eye witness account is greatly exaggerated in the papers and makes him the next target of a pair of homicidal hands in this killer ’70s flick from Dario Argento. While I recognize and respect Argento as a revered director behind many of Italy’s finer examples of cinematic horror, this mystery thriller with horrific pops of violence covered in barn red paint just ain’t that fun or interestin’ with a bunch of long-winded shots of uncompellin’ characters followin’ cryptic clues and a seemingly unrelated body count to an indifferent reveal. Only thin’ worth watchin’ are the over the top death scenes and one of the most disturbin’ toy puppet scenes ever captured on celluloid! Scaldin’ deaths, steamy clues, gender guessin’ games, WTF daddy daughter relations, distractin’ background extras actin’ as natural as storefront mannequins, fatal fish tailin’ in the streets, psychics  goin’ face first through windows, shredded throats, and mumblin’ drunks! 2/5! 

THE DEAD DON’T DIE (2019)

In this solemn comedy that reminds me of a Wes Anderson flick, polar fracking has thrown the Earth off its axis, and toxic lunar light is re-animatin’ the dead of a one-diner town with police chief Bill Murray and his deadpan police station as its only protection. If ya like yer zombies slow, Scream Freaks, then this is the feet draggin’ indie flick for you where even the victims refuse to move beyond a brisk walk. With as much excitement as a rockin’ chair, this flick doesn’t go to the trouble of developin’ any characters or plot, and ixnays any blood ‘n gore for CGI dust, but manages to keep my attention with a magnetic cast of Oscar-worthy actors meanderin’ through the nearly two-hour runtime. Meta filmmakin’, decapitations galore, hermit spies, skinned squirrels, diner massacres, flesh eatin’, last stand hardware stores, UFO escapes, Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid showdowns, Night of the Living Dead nods, Ghoulardi Easter eggs, explodin’ heads, shotguns to the face, theme songs to the max, drive-by beheadings, and vomittin’! 3/5! 

CANDY CORN (2019)

After small town bullies kick the life out of the local slowped for Halloween fun, his new employer at the travelin’ freak show resurrects him as a candy corn munchin’ zombie who halfheartedly tears his killers apart one by one. Despite this bein’ a wonderfully produced throwback to the VHS era with the same revenge story I love in The Crow and Pumpkinhead, the filmmakers’ sloppy treatment of their characters completely ruins the film. The slowped lacks any substance for me to to give a shit ’bout his situation, interconnectin’ characters fail to gel with ’em spendin’ more time apart than together, and I don’t know who to root for ’cause the guilt-ridden girlfriend and backwoods sheriff constantly compete for the story’s point of view which ultimately results in one big ineffective endin’. The only cast member to come out unscathed is The Greasy Strangler‘s Sky Elobar as Gus, the skeezy party guy. Slowped lynchin’, somewhat understandable dwarf magic, arm rippin’, mouths stuffed with candy corn, spine rippin’, throat crushin’, fantasy boobs, restroom stall executions, head yankin’, movie theater make-out sessions, strange Halloween decor featurin’ some musical cat, tooth pullin’, P.J. Soles on the phone, and Tony Todd in an eye-patch! 3/5!

POLAROID (2019)

A scarf lovin’ high schooler unknowingly snaps her friends’ pictures with a haunted camera and has gotta make things right ‘fore a shadowy ghost mundanely kills ’em all. Basically a Supernatural treatment of a familiar Goosebumps story, Polaroid‘s a well made flick with a neat ‘nough idea, but it’s soured by pretty unimaginative scares and kills (save one fella gettin’ split in half), the last girl’s tragic backstory meanin’ nothin’ to the overall story, and a criminal lack of chemistry ‘mong the core teens. Most memorable scenes to take away from this are the one’s with folks gettin’ fucked up whenever their voodoo cursed photos are messed with. Slideshow scares, psycho dads, paranormal stabbin’s, costume parties, killer karma, cop sluggin’, head twistin’, bogus scares galore, short pissin’ time stints, hospital hangin’s, and near fatal human matchsticks! 3/5!

HAUNT (2019)

A disposable circle-jerk of friends cap off Halloween night with a visit to an extreme haunt and find out its weirdo performers are out for more than a few screams. One of the better flicks ’bout folks really dyin’ in a haunted attraction, Haunt delivers solid entertainment with top dollar production and unforgettable killers with a thing for facial deformities but its stars lack any chemistry and could have endured more creative tortures. The worse cinematic sin, however, is the pointless build-up to the last girl’s slap-happy boyfriend arrivin’ without any satisfyin’ payoff. Halloween club scenes, party fouls, abusive relationships, carcass buckets, face peelin’ with hammers, hand crushin’, deep arm cuttin’, ineffective backstories with flashbacks, wife beatin’ daddies, sledgehammers to the face, escape rooms, hall-o-mirrors, chainsaw totin’ loons, bullets to the head, booby-trapped shotguns, facial modifications galore, facial poker brandin’, rooms full of sharp edges, sticky traps, impaled feet and hands, tricky switcheroos, infernos, home invasions, batter batter defenses, and spiders! 4/5! 

IT CHAPTER TWO (2019)

The Losers’ Club is all grown-up and returns to Derry after 27 years to once again stop Pennywise the Clown from eatin’ young’ns in his toothy vagina cave. The challenge of this semi-sequel ain’t toppin’ the second half of the original TV version of It (which doesn’t take tremendous effort), but out-doin’ the re-envisioned first half from 2017 that became a runaway hit. Unfortunately – it doesn’t. The filmmakers do their best to stick to King’s original vision, give us a strong cast (that’s a little overshadowed by Bill Hader’s performance), and strike those same scary notes as the first time ’round, but it just feels like three hours of lukewarm entertainment with only two to three unnervin’ scenes at best to speak of. Pennywise simply doesn’t up his game (even as a giant CGI spider), scared adults just ain’t as compellin’ as scared children, and I’m not the biggest fan of the story here bein’ told in compartmentalized chunks as opposed to a natural flow of interweavin’ story threads. Still a movie worth watchin’, but could be better. Hall of mirrors chasin’, monster scenes lifted right out of John Carpenter’s The Thing, leper chokin’, creepy dads, underground hidey holes, flamin’ hair-dos, fat shamin’, belly carvin’, haunted houses, dragon balls, Native American rituals, chest bitin’, monster killin’ through the power of belief, heart crushin’, red balloons galore, giant Paul Bunyan attacks, tall gangly hags, face stabbin’, impalement, goo vomitin’, severed dancin’ legs, monstrous dogs, car wrecks, lotta graphic close-ups of Bill Hader vomitin’, kiddie eatin’, gay lynchin’, childhood flashbacks galore, and roofied storytellin’! 4/5!

READY OR NOT (2019)

In what’s basically The Most Dangerous Game with satanists, a clueless bride upholds her fat-cat in-laws’ weddin’ tradition with a game of hide-and-seek and quickly realizes she’s gotta fight tooth and nail to win or be sacrificed to the devil by board game barons believin’ they’ll die by sunrise if they lose. Full of fun tension, this weddin’ horror hits on all pistons with escalatin’ dangers, solid characters, dark humor, thoughtful cinematography, and an entertainin’ build-up to one of two equally great endin’s! Samara Weaving continues to soar as one of horror’s newest icons, provin’ fantastic at every level from victim (Ash vs Evil Dead) to killer (The Babysitter) to the last girl in this flick. Only minor sour I can bitch ’bout is the backstory to the family’s pact with the devil bein’ a little too convoluted to follow. Bare minimum weddin’ scenes, Clue board game nods, hot tea pots to the face, impaled hands, young’n smackin’, dead maids galore, bullets and arrows to the face, dumbwaiter deaths, decapitations, strangulation, car wrecks, spontaneous combustions, satanic rituals, dead pits, goat pens, house fires, poisonin’, head bashin’, what I think are cursed boxes, stabbin’s, and booger sugar! 5/5!

CRITTERS ATTACK! (2019)

The Crites return to Earth, and they’re in a race with an e.t. slaughterin’ Dee Wallace to catch a small-town babysitter’s flock of pre-teens who stuffed their alien queen in a backpack. Returnin’ to its semi-serious roots, this latest entry in the Critters series does a great job checkin’ all the boxes regardin’ character development, escalatin’ threats, a steady body count with consistent gore, and we even get a break from the tired bounty hunters from space routine with Critters alum Dee Wallace (who may or may not be the same character from the first Critters) slingin’ the heavy artillery. The only hint of sour I get from this flick is feelin’ like the pacin’ could be a little quicker with how soon the main characters come ‘cross our favorite tumbleweeds from space, and the lack of realistic reactions to everythin’ happenin’ which is more than likely intentional. Projectile quills, big-ass critter balls, rub-a-dub deaths, explodin’ Crites galore, bagpipe mix tapes, maulin’s, Crite on Crite violence, secret e.t. monitorin’ rooms, spaceships, Crite pups, meteors, drunken law officials, air horn defenses, Crite stowaways, dead dogs, and sushi chef street fightin’! 4/5! 

SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK (2019)

In this Halloween/Election Night horror set in 1968, a gang of teens are cursed by a dead girl for stealin’ her book of scary stories from her local haunt and are now bein’ killed by monsters she’s pennin’ into existence through new tales written just for ’em. Based on the infamous series of kiddie books mamas made a national stink ’bout forever ago, ya might be quick to compare this motion picture adaptation to the Hollywood treatment of R. L. Stine’s work, but let me tell ya, this ain’t Goosebumps! This creature effects spectacle dares to push the envelope and features blips of gore and an impressive number of death scenes folks don’t come back from. The only sours I have to bitch ’bout are some cop-out scares (the lazy way the toe monster finally nabs the one kid and the girl with spiders in her face bein’ hidden under so much darkness you can barely see her), and the confusin’ nature behind what exactly the filmmakers are tryin’ to say gives the dead girl the power to write people’s fate from beyond the grave. Livin’ scarecrows, straw man transformations, flamin’ projectile bags of poop, car wrecks, drive-in chase sequences, draft dodgers, mutilated body parts, toe stews, home invadin’ corpses, young’n absorbin’, monstrous huggin’ fatties, tragic backstories, shady business cover-ups, hospital chases, car vandalizin’, creepy recordin’s, neck snappin’, monstrous car chases, wailin’ ghosts, spider baby pimples, and stories written in blood! 4/5!

ANNABELLE COMES HOME (2019)

The second sequel to a spin-off of The Conjuring that falls who-knows-where in the continuity of director James Wan’s movie-verse, Annabelle the evil doll escapes her day job as a haunted prop in the Warren’s museum of cursed oddities and raises some PG-rated hell sicin’ a houseful of spooks and demons after her captors’ daughter and sitter’s souls. This flick ain’t as violent or creepy as the last Annabelle movie and periodically drags from time to time , but it’s still a fun little feature full of likable characters and ghostly threats that feels like an episode of the Real Ghostbusters. Possessed bridal gowns, attempted stabbin’, ghostly visions, sinister shadows, soul suckin’, hell hounds, zip body count, future broadcastin’ TVS, haunted piano tunes, angry ghost dads, gangs of eerie ferry men who seem to be payin’ folks to ride with ’em versus the other way ’round, supernaturally locked doors, gravely lynch mobs, birthday parties, haunted samurai armor, school bullies, spooky nether regions, handsy board games that take too long to be executed in lackluster ways, and possibly the first exorcism ever performed through a home movie recordin’! 4/5!

CHILD’S PLAY (2019)

When Andy’s given a factory busted robo-doll named Chucky for his birthday, the toy’s malfunctionin’ iPhone for a brain copies what it sees in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and assassinates anyone it sees as a threat to their artificial friendship. A reimaginin’ of the ’88 horror classic featurin’ a serial killer’s spirit trapped in a My Buddy spoof, this legal loophole of a film ixnays all the hoodoo voodoo in favor of technophobia with the killer ankle biter now written as a confused robot linked with surroundin’ devices it can sic on folks. I think this is a solid movie overall and should really be a vehicle for introductin’ an all new horror villain ‘stead of recyclin’ Chuck for an easy payday. Especially since this robo-Chucky is never self-aware, leavin’ it devoid of any personality or grit that made the original psycho-doll so much fun to watch. The only sour I have to bitch ’bout is the horrible castin’ regardin’ age range, ’cause Andy looks way too old for this toy, and the chemistry between him and his youthful lookin’ mama feels more like siblin’s than parent and child. Cat stranglin’, dissin’ palybacks, bone snappin’, wrong uses of the word “poetic,” stabbin’s, massacred heads, several E.T. nods, killer drones, self-drivin’ car wrecks, pervy maintenance guys, table saws up the crotch, robotic operations, gift-wrapped watermelon’s decorated with cheatin’ lovers’ faces, dead cats, hacked TV bashin’, killer doll vision, kidnapped milfs, fatal freefalls, extremely disgruntled factory workers, retail store massacres, doll lynch mobs, small armies of killer dolls, and Mark Hamill slips into Joker for the briefest second at the very end! 3/5! 

MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL (2019)

Agent M is the newest rookie to join the world’s only defense ‘gainst intergalactic scumwads, and her first assignment is at the M.I.B.’s European branch where she meets Agent H and investigates a suspected mole in the organization who’s aidin’ an e.t. invasion of Earth. It ain’t easy followin’ a box-office act like Agent K and J after three solid movies, but the filmmakers successfully give the franchise a fresh new spin while keepin’ things familiar. The newest M.I.B. partners are brilliantly written as clever role reversals of J and K, the series mythos is effortlessly expanded, and the story allows for a more epic adventure. The biggest sour, unfortunately, is I don’t think any of it is funny, and the filmmakers lack that stylish touch that makes director Barry Sonnenfeld’s movies so special. I also have problems with some story points, understandin’ Agent M’s trainin’ timeline and her exact expertise, and silly melodramatic moments forced into a fizzle of an endin’, but would forgive all that if any of it made me laugh. E.T. tentacle sex, slow-mo powers, illusion fields, neuralizers, beard e.t.s, e.t. agents, poisonous snake bites, weaponized car accessories, explosions, e.t. dance clubs, drugged darts, three armed hotties, pocket-size canyon blastin’ guns, toyetic sidekicks, space portals, Thing-themed e.t. baddies, Eiffel Tower set pieces, flyin’ bikes, bunch of dead e.t.s, trans-continental super trains, flyin’ cars, and fatal meltdowns! 3/5!

GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS (2019)

When a scientist builds a fancy bird caller to yap it up with the world’s biggest critters, she manipulates them to wreck the planet in the name of cosmic balance. Things get out of hand, however, ’cause the three-headed dragon Ghidorah’s starts callin’ the shots, and it’s up to Godzilla and a monster stalkin’ organization to restore the natural order. Arguably the best Godzilla flick yet, it definitely blows the other two American attempts at capturin’ Japan’s biggest mon-star outta the water. Lotta kaiju brawlin’, epic globe trottin’, and a cast of root-worthy humans perfectly co-existin’ with impressive special effects exhibitin’ genuine girth. Godzilla vs Ghidorah vs Rodan vs Mothra, volcanic entrances, maybe the lost city of Atlantis, gift wrapped nukes, atomic booms, plane crashes, in-flight ejection meals, stormy body odor, nuke beams, three-way dragon’s breath, regeneratin’ appendages, Fenway Park chaos, metamorphosis, King Kong references galore, history lesson wall art galore, submarine rescue missions, 3-4 background beasts of city stompin’ size, and Blue Oyster Cult’s tune is finally used in a Godzilla flick! 5/5! 

BRIGHTBURN (2019)

A horror spin on Superman’s origin, a couple from Brightburn, Kansas raise a crashed e.t. baby as their own, but come to regret that decision as he approaches puberty and undergoes dangerous changes that make him an unstoppable super threat manipulated by the space wreck he arrived in. An interestin’ genre mash-up, this bizarro version of Smallville doesn’t bring a lot of surprises to the table, but does offer a jaw droppin’ moment of gore or two and some unsettlin’ jump scares I can’t believe work. Not a spectacular flick mind ya, but impressively noteworthy none the less. Shattered glass in eyes, crushed hands, heat vision galore, plane crashes, fatal freefalls from 30,000 ft., super strength, hot heads, dissected corpses for wall art, chicken coop massacres, splattered law enforcement, farm 51, peepin’ toms, dislocated jaws, super flight, murder scene callin’ cards, tell-all doodle art, flickerin’ power outages, and one home wreckin’ super young’n throwin’ the temper tantrums to end them all! 4/5!

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