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review 2017-06-30 19:59
Train to Busan
 
 
 

 

Train to Busan
Zombie Film 
Released 2016
While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.

See it on Netflix or Amazon
 
My Thoughts:
 
It's been ages since I've gotten off my bum and written a horror film review. I've seen a ton of films but usually can't remember a thing once the credits roll and that makes it hard to write any kind of review.  But this one? This one has been lingering and rattling around in what's left of my brain for days. Now it's screaming at me to write a review, if only to get it out of my head. I'll likely get the names spelled all wrong and maybe some of the details too but I'm going to do this anyway. Sorry in advance.

This is a movie you MUST see if you're a fan of character driven, action-packed zombie films (yes, they really do exist!). This is how horror films should be done, if you ask me. It's a South Korean film and has subtitles and the run time is just under two hours but don't let any of that put you off. This movie is spectacular. I'm not exaggerating. My husband who is not a horror fan by choice keeps bringing it up so I know it stuck with him too. It's currently running on Netflix. You really need to drop everything and go watch it. Seriously.


Seok-woo and his wife are separated and his wife has moved out. For her birthday his little girl Su-an only wishes to take the train to see her mother. She is a strong willed little kid and will do it alone if she has to! I really loved Su-an. She is adorable and has a fine backbone. Her dad is a workaholic businessman who misses all the important moments in her life but his latest and greatest mistake was to miss her recital. She's angry at him and he's a little miffed about the whole thing but decides to do the right thing and accompanies her on the train to mom's place thinking he'll be back to work in a few hours. They board the train together and then a zombie outbreak happens.

These zombies are fast and hungry and initially the people on the train are clueless as to what exactly is happening and they are all trapped in sections of the train as it speeds to its destination. This scenario is claustrophobic and completely terrifying.

The cast is filled out with a hoard of characters because the train is packed with people. As the movie progresses few of them remain human but those who do are really fleshed out into realistic people you will root for and, of course, there's one you will despise because there has to be at least one villain! I love that the movie took the time to develop its characters and was able to keep the action going. Many of the people start out as stereotypes but truly surprised me with their strength and humanity and bits of humor even as the terror brutalized them. 

This movie is violent and heartbreaking and one of the best I've ever seen.  It will probably leave you a weepy mess but it will also give you hope in some of humankind, at least, and I think we all need a little of that kind of hope right now. I had the ending spoiled for me by a bigmouth on a horror movie podcast (to which I've now unsubscribed) so do yourself a favor and go into this without reading any reviews other than mine, of course! Trust me, you do not want to spoil it for yourself.
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review 2016-12-02 15:16
Horror Film Review: Krampus
 
Krampus (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)

 

Holiday Horror 
Legendary Pictures' Krampus, a darkly festive tale of a yuletide ghoul, reveals an irreverently twisted side to the holiday. When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family's home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.
 
 
Well, I must say this was a bit different than what I was expecting. It’s a little bit National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Evil Dead and Gremlin’s with some of the Krampus mythos thrown in. I was expecting more of a flat out Krampus legend with child snatching and such but the addition of his minions were fun and creepy (oh gawd, their laughter!) and kept things on the lighter side.

It’s Christmas time and a middle class family has fixed their house up beautifully for the holiday and for unappreciated relatives. Mom is hoping for the best and trying to remain cheerful despite the fact that her sister along with her redneck, terribly rude hubby, their three awful creatures children and a horrible, uninvited aunt have shown up on their doorstep to mooch off of them and complain about everything for a few days. They will endure make the best of it even if it kills them. And it just might . . .

Things go from awful to much worse for our nice family. When their youngest son turns his back on the holiday he accidentally unleashes some good old-fashioned holiday mayhem. A blizzard arrives, their teen daughter goes missing after going to check on a neighborhood friend and then, well, then Krampus and his cohorts arrive to tear their little neighborhood to pieces and snatch a few kids. Everyone must come together to save themselves so all can end sickly sweet and happily ever after. I’m not going to tell you if it did but will only say that I loved the ending.

The movie was fast paced and well-acted and Max, the main boy, did a great job as the heart of the family. It’s nightmarish, claustrophobic and just evil fun. This movie nails the annoying holiday ruining relatives and I highly recommend it.  
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review 2016-10-25 17:00
Horror Film Review: The Forest
I've been having a hard time concentrating for long so here's a film review of a movie you can maybe skip ;)

 

3 out of 5

The Forest 2016, Horror-ish Thriller 

This movie wasn’t scary. It wasn’t sexy either. Gory, funny, suspenseful or enraging? No, no, no and nope. I felt nothing but boredom. There is nothing here for me to enthusiastically recommend it. It’s most definitely a wait for network tv kind of movie that you’ll want to watch while you’re folding laundry and just want something on in the background.

So, imagine you are an identical twin and you have the magical twin powers of connection or whatever they’re called. Your twin is the darker one (as in, she dyes her hair black and smokes out her eyeshadow). She’s also the more adventurous one. You are the more average of the two with your natural hair, makeup and wardrobe. One day you learn that sister has wandered into the Suicide Forest in Japan where people only go to, well, you know. . . You are certain she’s alive, twin powers and all, and you decide to trek out there on your own to find her because no one else cares enough to do it themselves. You are engaged (maybe?) to a decent guy but once you are near the forest, you allow a strange handsome guy you meet in a bar (I think? The memory, it is a fuzzy thing) to join you, along with a professional tour guide, because handsome fella says he knows the lay of the land. But night closes in and the actual tour guide leaves in a hurry, strongly advising you both to do the same. Handsome guy sticks around to keep you company during the night because he’s such a good guy and all.  Ummm hmmmm.



But, most sadly, it's not that kind of movie either.

 



Anyway, some quasi-spooky things happen, there’s lots of running about in the forest and flashbacks of a tragic childhood but alas nothing creepier than that happens.

 


If this scares you, you may like the movie more than I did and I wish I were you.

 

 

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review 2016-10-14 15:52
My Favorite Horror Film
I wrote this guest post/review for Scifi and Scary.
 

 

Near Dark, Released 1987
The word "vampire" is never mentioned in Near Dark, but that doesn't stop this 1987 cult favorite from being one of the best modern-era vampire films. It put then-unknown director Kathryn Bigelow on Hollywood's radar and gave choice roles to Aliens costars favored by Bigelow's ex-husband James Cameron: Lance Henriksen is the leader of a makeshift family of renegade bloodsuckers, nocturnally seeking victims in rural Oklahoma; his immortal gal pal is Aliens and Terminator 2 alumnus Jenette Goldstein; and Bill Paxton is the group's deadliest leather-clad ass kicker. Fellow traveler Jenny Wright lures Okie farm boy Adrian Pasdar into the group with a love bite, and he's soon turning toward vampirism with a combination of frightened revulsion and relentless desire. With Joshua Miller (River's Edge) as the youngest vampire, Near Dark is Bigelow's masterpiece of low-budget ingenuity--a truck-stop thriller that begins well, gets better and better (aided by a fine Tangerine Dream score), and goes out in a blaze of glory. --Jeff Shannon
 
5 out of 5 
 
When Scifi and Scary mentioned she was looking for book bloggers to share a bit about their favorite horror movie, I knew instantly what I was going to write about because only one movie has stuck with me from my childhood. I grew up in a time of some amazing and amazingly terrible horror films. We spent our summers haunting our local video rental store for every horror flick we could find and they were easy to find back then. We grabbed everything from The Exorcist, Halloween, Pumpkinhead, Puppetmaster, Pet Semetary, The Stuff, The Hitcher, to Last House on the Left and Bloodsucking Freaks (anyone remember that one?!). It was a beautiful time to be a horror fan and though we were possibly too young for most of it, we watched it anyway.
 
But then I found Near Dark and that was it. I had found my film. I was in love. This movie was a unique mix of brutality, familial ties, insane road trip and, of course, a story of sweet romantic love. My young, messed up heart could barely take it all in. Now, many moons later, its allure hasn’t faded for me. This film is something special.
 
It starts when a farm boy named Caleb, played by a very young Adrian Pasdar, sets out for a night of fun with his buddies. They spy a sweet faced beauty just hanging out, licking an ice cream cone and Caleb is the only one brave enough to walk up to her and ask if he can have a lick of her cone and tells her how she’s just about the prettiest girl he ever did see. He’s not exactly smooth with the words but he’s cute and this awkward seduction surprisingly works. Before you know it, Mae is in his truck and talking about how enraptured she is by the night but he’s more interested in her lips to really take in her words. He gets his steamy kiss and a little more in the form of a love nip that leaves him bloody and a little stunned. She then runs off into the night she so adores.
 
As Caleb is walking home (his truck has broken down), dawn arrives and he starts to feel extremely sick. His dad and little sister start heading towards him to help him out but a strange RV speeds by and swoops him up. This is how he meets Mae’s “family” which consists of Lance Henriksen and Jenette Goldstein as the leaders/parents/what-have-you, a wild-eyed and wicked Bill Paxton and a boy named Homer who is possibly the most chilling member of the group. Caleb soon learns that he must kill in order to become an official member of their murderous little family.
 
 

Damn. All he wanted was a little kiss.

 

Caleb quickly realizes that they are not kidding about the killing bit when they visit a bar for some refreshments and all hell breaks loose. Intense violence and fright ensues as well as a few classic one-liners. “I hate ‘em when they ain’t been shaved.” Make of that what you will . . . Anyway, the odds are upped when Caleb’s family, who has been trailing the RV, catches up with them.
 
This movie is violent, sexy, ruthless, sweet, gory, scary and romantic and it gets all of the beats right. Some people complain about the end but I’m a romantic, I suppose, and it made me happy. The pace is steady, it has an emotional heart and the entire film feels grimy which perfectly fits a murderous life on the road.  If you’ve never seen it, you need to get going on that.
 

What's your favorite scary film?
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review 2016-09-30 18:14
Horror Film Review: Don't Breathe
 

Product Details

A trio of friends break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they’ll get away with the perfect heist. They’re wrong.
 
 
 
4 1/2 out of 5, here's why:

Today, to change things up, I am reviewing a movie I actually enjoyed.
 
In Don’t Breathe, we have a trio of down on their luck teens stuck in a desolate, hopeless land where anyone with the means has already hightailed it out of there. These kids are too inexperienced and young to get real jobs, if there were any, and too desperate to leave town without cash so their solution is thievery. I know, I know but I kind of feel for two of them (one of them is just a dick but there always has to be one, right?). Their plan seems to be working out for them until they set their sights on a retired veteran who, they learn, is sitting on a big pile of cash he received in a settlement when his daughter was killed in a car accident. They think it’ll be an easy score, he’s old and he’s blind, they have a key and a remote that allows them to disable the security system. They figure it’ll be a breeze.
 
Whatever could go wrong here? Well, just about everything you can imagine and then some nightmare making things that you might not want to think too long and hard about.
 
This movie was excellent. It was tense and violent and surprising and I never spent a moment rolling my eyes or feeling bored. The sense of desperation is set up beautifully from the start with brief but painful looks into the bleak lives of some of these characters. Rocky, the main girl, had my sympathy the entire way. Her family life was dreadful, stuck with a mean-spirited mother; she only wanted a better life for herself and her younger sister. Everything in this movie looks dirty and worn out and the deliciously revolting twist, as nutty as it was, seemed to fit just fine into this world.
 
If you only go to one film in the theater a month, like I do, I’d say this one is definitely a worthy choice but please people don’t bring your kids. I beg of you. This is not a movie for the kiddies. My theater was filled with more kids under ten than adults. There was a three year old sitting next to me whose parent told her not to cry or they’d have to leave. WTF is wrong with people? And then there was the stupid mother who asked her preteen boy what part he liked best as they were leaving the theater.  And he says the
turkey baster
(spoiler show)
 scene, naturally, and then went on and on about it as mom pats him on the shoulder and says that was her favorite scene too. I tell you, I have never been more creeped out or worried for humanity than I was at that moment. 

Anyway, this was an excellent movie filled with suspense and resilient characters and a beautiful Rottweiler. Your sympathies and loyalties will change as the movie goes on and I loved that. 
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