Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween from the jaded viewer!


Ahh Halloween. It isn't until tomorrow but I'm sure everybody is prepping their costumes for parties and parades.

So I'll take this time for you to dig through my limited Halloween archives. Below is some of my Halloween themed posts and reviews. And as a trick and a treat, I've posted some of Adam Green's Halloween shorts. Enjoy! Now share some candy will ya?

jaded viewer Halloween linkage:

Trick 'r Treat (Review)
Rob Zombie's Halloween (Review)
Sexy Halloween Costumes

NYC Haunted House Review linkage:


Nightmare: Vampires (Super Scary Review)
Blood Manor (Super Scary Review)
Insano Steve vs Blood Manor (Review)

Adam Green Halloween shorts

Jack Chop






The Tiffany Problem





Happy Halloween!

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Paranormal Activity (Original Ending)

Well it finally hit the interwebs. Paranormal Activity's original ending (via MovieWeb and Bloody Disgusting). I first mentioned this in my review that I was intrigued by this ending. Now having seen it, here are my thoughts.
  • The ending keeps the "real" feel of the entire movie.
  • That rocking back and forth is really creepy
  • The discovery of Micah's body is only heard in voices...makes it really tingly mesmerizing
  • The cops shooting Katie seem kinda off...but she did lunge at them with a knife
  • The demon makes a noise in another room and the cops see nothing...there should be one final scare in this flick
So I'm mixed. They had elements they could have kept in this ending but you do need that one final "Spielberg ending" scare shot to end the movie with a bang. The dedication is a little goofy too.

What did you guys think? Spielberg ending or the original ending? If a gun were pointed to my head, I'd have to go with the sigh Spielberg ending. But intertwining the two would have worked.

I think this will be part of the Paranormal Activity Effect where big studios just change the film.

OK. Enough talking. Watch the original ending yourself.



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Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Shortround: bad GirLs

[Well I'm going to start another little on and off segment on the jaded viewer called The Shortround. Basically the premise is this. If you see a short around the interwebs, tell me about it and I'll post it up. Let's keep the indie horror and indie interweb scene going!]

Well the Soska sisters dropped me a line to tell me about their spankin new short called "Bad Girls"that was created in 48 hours for the 2009 Blood Shots fast horror film competition.

My first look at these demented twins work was when I watched the trailer for Dead Hooker in a Trunk. They haven't missed a beat in this awesome short.

Check it out below.



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The Shortround: Her Name is Laura Panic

[Well I'm going to start another little on and off segment on the jaded viewer called The Shortround. Basically the premise is this. If you see a short around the interwebs, tell me about it and I'll post it up. Let's keep the indie horror and indie interweb scene going!]

Well continuing this Shortround Thursday, I bring you Adam Wingard's (director of Home Sick and Pop Skull) new short called Her Name is Laura Panic.

I particularly liked the first one (which is below as well) because of the lovely and beautiful Hannah Hughes. Wingard's indie slyness blended in with a touch of dark humor mochas into a delicious appetizer.

Check out all the shorts below. They are part of his "Forgot My Meds" trilogy.

Laura Panic (Part 1)





Cerebella (Part 2)






Her Name is Laura Panic (Part 3)



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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Incest Death Squad (Review)

Incest Death Squad

Incest Death Squad (2009)

Directed by Corey Udler

Well if you're reading this review, you probably realized that my quote is on the cover of the DVD box.

Yup, it's right damn in front in bold freakin letters it reads:

"Are you going to hell if you see this movie? Probably so."

I still stand by that quote. Because after watching Incest Death Squad, you really are going to hell if you see this flick. It's probably what right wing, Christian conservatives will tell you but I'm sure they've never seen a Rated R flick in their lives. But seriously, I've never seen a film which casually displays religious iconography and then counters it with a brother and sister soaked in blood while going all incesty.

Yes folks. Incest Death Squad has incest, it has death and it has a squad. Not necessarily in that order.

IDS is a mixed bag of screwball comedy, Tromaville humor, perverse exploitation and some wicked foreplay. But it also has a few moments of lag, some shaky camera shots and a letdown of an ending.

So you take the good and the bad and you come out with a modern day exploitation film that fucks with your head but leaves no traumatic scarring to the most jaded viewer. And my hype for the film was just that. I was hoping Udler would push the proverbial 'sploitation frontier and take it to the next level. Sort of like where Nekromantik took that other fetish that should not be named.

So want to head to hell as well? Keep reading.

Boring Plot-O-Matic

Meet Jeb and Amber Wayne, an incestuous brother and sister who have been given a message from God. KILL ALL TOURISTS.

Meet, AaronBurg, a big city newspaper reporter sent to the Northwoods of Wisconsin to get a story on Chronic Wasting Diseas. What Aaron doesn't know is that his life will soon be turned into an orgy of bloodlust at the hands of the Waynes.

Awesome Review-O-Matic

So with a title called Incest Death Squad you're going to get my attention. I mean how do you treat the first word with anything but disdain and disgust. With necrophilia and bestiality as the other parts of the trio of fuckedupness, you really have to either go with an artsy fartsy approach, be a bizzare comedy or go all grindhouse.

Here IDS goes 2 of 3 by adding comedy to such an exploitation bonanza. The movie is set up in two parallel storylines, one involving Jeb (Greg Johnson) and Amber (Carmela Wiese) Wayne, our bro and sis children of God who use Amber's lusty vixen to lure dumb redneck fisherman to their deaths. The other storyline is one revolving around Aaron (Tom Lodewyck), our intrepid reporter as he digs for facts and meets a motel owner (Melissa Jo Murphy) as they venture off into a budding relationship.

The Jeb and Amber scenes are where we get our fix of horror. Jeb is a minister of death and is the one who invokes the Creator to fulfill his missions. But I really dug the performance by Wiese as Amber. She puts the I in IDS, playing a local Venus fly trap with her lusty sexpot advances on the man population. In the one penultimate scene that lives up to the "I" in the title, they get all down and naked covered in blood. It's not as gritty and sick as it seems but is highly uncomfortable.

In our comedy portion, we follow the slapstick adventures of Aaron and Andrea. Aaron, gets his assignments from a cameo from Lloyd Kaufman (complete with Poultrygeist branding on his shirt). It's pure Troma madness ("I want more dead hookers!") and Kaufman as the newspaper editor is his indie horror DIY best.

Aaron and Andrea scenes were mostly snoozy consisting of casual conversating and pizza eating. These scenes of very Troma-ish humor and visual aided ha ha's were ill timed and sometimes overplayed. I just didn't find any LOLs in Aaron's ineptitude. I mean this dude is hooking up with people left and right and playing the goofball. It felt a little imbalanced but the biggest thing that grinded my gears was towards the end where he encounters the squad.

It's the ending that could have been the complete WTF moment here. Jeb gets holy on a corpse and Amber wants to marry now hostage Aaron. Confused and bewildered, I was hoping we'd see these two get their comeuppance (but then there would be no IDS2). I felt we could have seen some serious carnage and total insanity. But it ended on a quiet whimper.

I think I totally overhyped this movie in my head after watching the trailer. So it didn't live up to my expectations but hell not a lot of movies do. Udler does a good job in his first feature flick taking a good concept and story and adding some comedy and vulgarity to the mix. Kudos to Udler for taking a chance on making a flick that defies all that is mainstreamy. I think he has a bright future in the indie horror scene.

Some of the performances were wicked, others not so much. However, Udler goes all Americana with the visuals of a small Wisconsin countryside. Because like I've said many times before, the USA is the best at making movies about the horrors of backwoods, USA.

Incest Death Squad is a film bent on making you uncomfortable, showering you with clean, goofy comedy than spewing you with disgusting visuals that make you want to stab your eyes out with a rusty scissor.

So should you watch it?

Probably so, but remember do not pass Go. You're going straight to hell and if even if you don't you're probably going to end up in jail.

Gore-ipedia

Snapped neck
Unseen weapon to the face
Bloody nose

Nude-ipedia

Amber boobage
Man parts

WTF moment

Jeb gets holy on one of the victims (wink wink)

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

Incest Death Squad will be at the Crypticon in Minneapolis from November 6th to 8th. It's also now available on DVD. Check out the official site, the MySpace page for more information.

I'd like to thank Cory Udler for the DVD and the quotable quote on the DVD cover. I've always dreamed one day a quote of mine would be on a DVD and now it has. Yay.

Will we see a IDS2? Most definitely from what I can tell. Here's hoping that the movie pushes the boundaries of all good taste. I'll be on the frontlines when that happens.

Rating:

Check out the trailers.








jaded viewer related linkage:
Incest Death Squad (Trailer)
Incest Death Squad (DVD Release Date)

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gnaw (Review)

Gnaw

Gnaw (2008)

Directed by Gregory Mandry

You've all seen the posters for Joss Whedon's upcoming Cabin in the Woods right? The taglines take a shot at all the slasher convention "rules" of well cabin in the woods horror films.

These rules were obviously made famous in the Friday the 13th flicks but they've infiltrated many other flicks as well. Cabin Fever, Hills Have Eyes, etc.

Well before you see Whedon's flick, you should watch a movie like Gnaw to know what they are probably going to parody. In the posters for Cabin in the Woods the taglines are....

If an old man warns you not to go there..

Make fun of him.

If you hear a strange sound outside...

Have sex.

If something is chasing you...

Split up.

All the characters in Gnaw follow these rules to a tee. Just a generic horror movie for the generic horror generation. I really thought the UK would be a little better than this. I mean cannibal families in the UK country? Sorry, I just don't buy it. You're too damn civilized for that premise. What else, what else?

Oh yeah, did I mention that the killer family grinds up their victims and makes them into pies?

It's not as cool as it sounds.

Boring Plot-O-Matic

In this dark, tongue in cheek, British Horror,
six friends take a holiday in the heart of the English countryside which turns into a culinary nightmare when they discover that their hosts are a sadistic family of cannibals, set on turning their guests into their next meal!

It's nice to have your friends for dinner.

Awesome Review-O-Matic

It's the speed review. I'm here to answer all your pertinent questions about Gnaw.

1.) How many dumb kids go into the woods?
Six.

2.) How many have sex?
Two.

3.) Do they eat the human meat pies?
Yes.

4.) Is it gross?
Not really. They discover a hair in one, a gold tooth in another and a ring in some soup.

5.) Is the caretaker landlady in on it?
You betcha.

6.) Is the final girl preggers?
Yup which makes sure she'll survive all the way to the end.

7.) I heard the slasher dude is known as the Slaughterman, so is he bad ass?
Think a younger Vinnie Jones meets David Beckham with a pitchfork.

8.) Is his mask a raccoon tail with eyeholes?
Yup. Wow strike fear into your victims with roadkill on your face.

9.) Any awesome scenes of kill carnage (aka Gore-ipedia)?
Err.Umm. Ehhh. Girl gets stabbed in the stomach. Some tongue trauma and some grind chipper foot. Nothing to write Fangoria about.

10.) Boobies (Nude-ipedia)?
Yeah, real and not spectacular.

11.) For a movie about cannibals, do they even eat their victims?
Nope. WTF?!?

12.) Is there a scene where one of them says "We can lose him in the woods."
Here be your WTF moment.
OMG, yeah. When has a victim fodder ever thought they could outrun a killer in the woods? I mean honestly.

13.) The ending sucks right?
Fuck yeah it does.

And there you have it. I was expecting a little more effort from a indie UK horror production. I'm gonna have to call out the UK and say leave it up to the revolutionists across the pond when it comes to cannibal, redneck horror. We kinda do it better and it's a little more believable.

Gnaw's tagline is "It's nice to have your friends for dinner". It should be "Been there done that, don't watch this movie"

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

Umm. That's it. The end. Go home now. Review is over. Good night.

Rating:



Check out the trailer.





jaded viewer related linkage:
The Cottage (Review)
Dismal Eat or Be Eaten (Review)


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Monday, October 26, 2009

NYC Haunted House: Blood Manor (Review)


[First a disclaimer: I'd like to thank Claire and Joan from Blood Manor's PR staff for the opportunity to visit. Insano Steve and I had a great time and got totally spooked and thrilled by all the actors and awesome designs of each room. Thanks! Also, I have some pics of the crowd and the exterior. None of the interior. With a week to go before Halloween, you'll have to experience it for yourself!]

On a rainy Friday night, I invited Insano Steve to go with me to Blood Manor, New York's premier haunted house. I had already went to Nightmare: Vampires, so a visit to the more high budgeted, very popular and uber famous Blood Manor would complete my pre-Halloween frightfest.

The Friday night crowd was massive. A line had formed prior to the 7:30pm opening and you could tell people were revved up to get their scare on. Tweens, teenagers, Joe and Joanna Moviegoer, tourists, jabronis and horror geeks and core-ists all huddled together for a night of chills and thrills.

Located on 27th St between 10th and 11th Avenue, it was a walk to get to, but well worth it. Oddly enough it's located across the street from the infamous Scores strip club (how ironic that horror and boobies go together).

Blood Manor is the Michael Bay of NY Haunted Houses. It's got high production values, extraordinary sets, rooms that dazzle the eye and horror professionals who know how to get under your skin. To top it all off, they've added a 3D fright vision. Blood Manor is the equivalent of a summer blockbuster movie filled with twists and turns, jump scares and film homages to all that is great about horror.

It doesn't lack in imagination. Any nightmare you may have dreamed of is alive at Blood Manor. From your favorite slasher to dysfunctional serial killer families, you'll see them living and breathing and talking right next to you. Walking though Blood Manor is taking a journey into your worst fears come to life. But if the psychological isn't enough the inner gorehound in you will be given a happy. Severed heads, decapitated arms, stomach churning blood soaked rooms are all on display. It's like the best of both worlds.

The inital entrance gets you spooked right off. Joining a group of 4 others (6 people enter at a time) Steve and I entered complete darkness. It really is disconcerting to be in complete darkness actually knowing somebody who is paid to scare you WILL scare you.

The whole experience can take as long as 20 minutes but going nice and slow and pacing yourself pays off in the end. 30-40 minutes should be your average time to get the whole experience. In the first few rooms, Steve quickly disappeared from sight. I quickly called out to him, slightly concerned he'd fallen into hell or was being tortured by some chainsaw wielding psycho.

"Steve! You there?!?" Where the hell are you?", I screamed.
"You lost? How the hell can you get lost in the first room?", I asked.

Still in a room of utter darkness, I was greeted by some rather insidious cackling and a voice whispering in my ear, "Where's Steve?" The voice sarcastically repeated my question over and over again.

"Steve's not here, he's probably dead." added another voice.

I gotta admit, that was a hell of an interactive experience. Knowing Steve, he'd probably taken a wrong turn and got lost. He was probably either fascinated by some cannibal carnage or in the seventh level of hell. (Steve will post his own review, so he can tell you his experience in his own words).

Later, Steve found his way back on the interstate and we continued the journey. Our party soon disappeared being scared shitless and running out of the rooms like they had witnessed a murder. Steve and I however, admired each room to its fullest using the slow burn approach.

The greatest part of Blood Manor is the anticipation of entering each room. Before you enter, you gulp some air and put on your brave face. But it really doesn't help, because the rooms are designed to get you mesmerized and excited. Your admiring a toilet with a decapitated head and looking at a burnt up Chucky doll. It's mega cool. So in this daze of awe, you get caught with your proverbial pants down when some costumed grotesque comes out of nowhere and scares you.

It works every time and in every room. It's a tried and true formula.

Some of the rooms that caught my eye were just spectacular. A zombie strippers roomer was appropriately stimulating. A pig slaughterhouse with pigs hanging on meathooks provided a fun chaotic runaround. A few poor souls were in a torture chamber well being tortured. Another room menaces you with snake fear. In one room, a rather ghoulish she-devil, informed me of her devious plan asking what I should do with the severed head she was a carrying.

I responded, "Toss it, it looks like Lindsay Lohan."

Another room was a sickly recreation of Texas Chainsaw Massacre's infamous dinner table scene that was quite clever. The one thing Blood Manor isn't short of is using the chainsaw to get you cut up with scares.

Kudos to the actors who play ninja all day to get you frightened. I make myself an active participant in these places. I like to talk to the actors and exchange some quick banter, either by trying to be all quirky and funny (making them get out of character) or by replying to their hilarious demands just to see what they would do next. You should do the same. If one escaped asylum patient asks "Where's my medicine?" Respond by pointing to an oblivious stranger in your party. It really works and it's funny to scare the shit out of someone. With the actors are animatronics interspered throughout each room. You never know if a prop may be an actor, a animatronic machine or just a simple prop.

As we approached the tail end of the house, we were given 3D glasses and were greeted by the most terrifying creature of all.

A freakin clown.

I know clowns are not all people's kryptonite, but they do make me feel a little weirded out. The 3D is quite ingenious as everything around you becomes amplified including the actors. It works effectively as your eye is so dazzled by the neon and bright colored lights, you don't see the evil lurking around the corner.

One of the most eclectic people you'll meet during this time is what I have dubbed the "Happy Killer", a very cute but serial killer Alice in Wonderland girl. It made me chuckle to hear her recite her lines. Think Harley Quinn come to life.

Strobe lights will come into play later and chainsaw sickos are quickly on your tail. And thus your journey ends.

Blood Manor is so jampacked with horror goodies, it's like a carnival of wickedness. You really feel like they've made every effort to get you scared and the level of detail in every room is quite magnificent. The team at Blood Manor is very aware of horror culture, referencing all your favorite slasher icons and adding a few of their own. Simply, it's the perfect dessert after eating a bucket full of candy goodness.

I believe the only drawback will be the crowds and the massive line you'll have to endure to get to this live action freak show. But if you do brave the weather and the rooms, there is no other haunted house like Blood Manor. It really lives up to the hype its received and shows why its one of the best haunted houses in the nation.

So if you are brave enough to head over to Blood Manor, put on your courage suit of armor and get some knights and damsels to come with you. Just remember, if you get lost you'll be all alone. Well, you're not really going to be alone. You'll have zombies, psychos, maniacs, demons, ghouls and all the freaks to keep you company. Good luck.

jaded viewer related linkage:

Insano Steve vs Blood Manor (Review)


Blood Manor is open now and will be open all Halloween week (excluding Monday). Check out the schedule at the official site. This week, the hours run to 1am and on Fridays and Saturday run up to 2am.

It's located at 542 West 27th Street (btwn 10th & 11th Ave).

Tickets at the door are $30. Online for $25 and there are special "RIP" passes at $40.

Here are some links for more information.


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Insano Steve vs Blood Manor (Review)



So the jadedviewer asks me "Hey, you want to check out this haunted house?". Initially, I was very skeptical of the experience. I'm about as "jaded" as they come to such silly so-called interactive role playing adventures. But with the promise of free tickets, who was I to say no? So off to the 'Blood Manor' we went, .....

On a cold wet Friday, we proceeded to the far far far west side of Manhattan to the infamous Blood Manor. As we approached our destination on the desolate street, suddenly my jabroni sense started tingling. Lo and behold, the jabronis were out in force that night. Much to my surprise, it was not fun loving hipsters waiting on line. Instead, the jabronis skewed younger, and much more ethnic. This was not the usual horror crowd. My indifference was slowly increasing.

With the power of the jadedviewer's press credentials, we were whisked to the very front of the line by the friendly PR lady. Oh yes, the guilty pleasure of preferential treatment! Yeah, I hate those people when I'm on the other side, but when you're getting the VIP treatment, it beats the hell out of waiting in the rain like a sucka. Our tour guide really sold us on the horror that awaited us, and that along with skipping the line, actually got me pretty psyched for our trip through the house.

What first struck me was how high the production values were in the individual rooms. Each room had a specific theme to them and the specific details in each were quite impressive. The mannequins in the rooms and the animatronic characters were all well researched and realistic enough. The actors' makeup was movie quality and their acting was professional yet lighthearted.

My favorite room was the 'Apocalypto' room with the caged cannibals and random savages. Other highlights included the slaughterhouse, the stripper zombies and semi-hot ghoul girls, multiple cameos by slasher movie icons, the 3D rooms, and the guy with a penis for a head. These may sound like spoilers but you really have to experience for yourself to take it all in. If you are somebody predisposed to be scared by horror movies, this will definitely be a huge thrill.

The only couple of annoying things I felt was in the beginning, I got a bit lost in the all dark room. A helpful ghoul was nice enough to get out of character and nudge me towards the exit. Also, not a huge fan of the strobe light, but I do see it's merit in terms of the context of a horror movie. Otherwise, I actually wanted to linger around the rooms a little longer to take in all the handiwork the creators put into the rooms, but the actors were so busy 'scaring' me, that I kind had to move along on the tour.

In summary, me and the jaded viewer had a good time at the Blood Manor. During the Halloween season, it really puts you in that creepy mood. A lot of the other people on the tour looked like they were having a great time as well. And certainly, you will be talking about all of the action afterwards, especially who got scared by what, and who screams like a girl. So, if you have the chance, it's definitely worth your time to head out to the far west side and get your horror on. Yup, the Blood Manor is creepy fun for urban youth of all ages!

Blood Manor is open now and will be open all Halloween week (excluding Monday). Check out the schedule at the official site. This week, the hours run to 1am and on Fridays and Saturday run up to 2am.

It's located at 542 West 27th Street (btwn 10th & 11th Ave).

Tickets at the door are $30. Online for $25 and there are special "RIP" passes at $40.

Here are some links for more information.


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Saturday, October 24, 2009

See Black Dynamite, Save Orphans from Smack!

Well this is a rare Saturday post because we have an emergency.

Did you know if you go to the theater and watch Black Dynamite an orphan gets detoxed from smack?

You didn't know that did you. Well it's true. I know you guys don't want to see a 6 year old, addicted to smack breaking into your home looking for some loose change so he can get his next fix.

So do something about it! By donating money to see Black Dynamite, you get that kid off the street and into a detox program where he will be given the best in medical treatment (plus he gets a lollipop and a a dollar worth of quarters for the local arcade).

In all seriousness, Black Dynamite has gotten this theatrical run due to the blogs, fan hype and word of mouth. But this has not equaled box office success. If the movie doesn't get more dead presidents, it'll be pulled from it's theatrical run.

So let's get crackin. Do it for the orphans and for the blaxploitation engine that could.

If that doesn't convince you, then check out the links below.

jaded viewer related linkage:
other awesome linkage:

So here are all theaters in the motherfuckin USA that are showing Black Dynamite.


BLACK DYNAMITE Locations & Theaters

New York
Regal E-Walk Stadium
Angelika Film Center

Los Angeles
AMC Burbank Town Center
The Bridge
The Arclight Hollywood

Philadelphia
AMC Loews Cherry Hill

Atlanta
Regal Atlantic Station
Regal Hollywood
AMC North Dekalb Mall
AMC Parkway Point
AMC Discover Mills 18

Seattle
AMC Pacific Place 11
Varsity Theater
Regal Parkway Plaza 12

Chicago
AMC Loews 600 North Michigan
AMC Loews Pipers Alley
ICE Chatham

Check out the trailer.





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Friday, October 23, 2009

Trick 'R Treat (Review)

Trick 'R Treat

Trick 'R Treat (2009)

Directed by Michael Dougherty

After many visits to Best Buy, I finally got a copy of Trick 'R Treat. Jeezus, I forgot how much the horror-sphere hyping and blogging can affect my own chances of watching a film I'm hyping.

But I finally watched it on a lazy weekend afternoon with my cousin and we both dug one of the best horror films of 2009.

Yes folks, It's another glowing review of TRT. What can I say? I dug the twists and turns, the star packed cameos (it's Ballard from Dollhouse!) and good ole Sammy, a horror icon in the making.

I'm not going to rehash how Warner Bros butchered the release of this awesome flick, you can definitely find out from other horror sites. But it's just another example of how the big studios have no idea what the hell they are doing.

It doesn't disappoint horror minions. If your willing to sit in and eat all that candy you should have been giving out on October 31st, watch Trick 'R Treat and you'll feel all Halloweeny inside.

Boring Plot-O-Matic

Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband.

Awesome Review-O-Matic

I slowly realized short reviews are better than long reviews as we all have one form of ADD or another. So I'm trying something new whereas I try to get my thoughts down in a few hundred words or less.

Let's break this down via the 4 stories that go all intertwining in TRT.

The Principal

Steven Wilkins story goes all zippity doo daa then WTF you are taken one road, we go down the more fucked up one. It's full of all those Threes Company costume and scenario mishaps that make it quite fun to watch. All the horrible Halloween urban legends are in full effect and there's never a dull moment when we follow Mr. Wilkins as he connects with the others.

School Bus Massacre

It's my favorite of the 4 stories because I was the one that tried to scare my younger tweeny cousins back in the day. The foreshadowing is rather obvious but the payoff is still awesome. Each of the kids does a brilliant job of making their stereotypical archetypes obvious in such a short amount of time. Which one are you? Macy (the angel)?, Sara (the witch)? Schrader? Chip (the pirate)? It's all fun because we've all tried to be the scarer and not the scaree. And doesn't all small or suburban towns have local legends we can use on the most scariest night of them all?

Little Red Riding Hood

Laurie (Anna Paquin) is trying to lose her "virginity" with the help of her sister and her friends. This is like our teenager terror focus and it works perfectly. Alas, you may see the twizzler twist coming, but who it happens too is still rather WTF. To top it all off, to see the awesome "transformation" is a sword of Omens moment. Sight beyond sight. Yay. It's a total 360 on the Little Red Riding Hood story indeed.

Sam

The opening of the movie shakes and stirs all the 4 stories into one. But it's Sam, our new horror icon that makes it uber cool. (Be on the lookout for lots of Sam costumes this Halloween). The final story blends the local urban legend with a fight pitting Kreeg vs Sam. The unmasking of Sam (he's on the cover of the DVD box!?? Why?!?!) makes you feel jipped but it's full of crazy wickedness.

The ending puts all the pieces of the puzzle together and as you throw away the candy corn and search for a 100 Grand, it's taste so good. So very yummy.

Trick 'R Treat is the best Halloween movie since Halloween. For an anthology collection, it ranks right up there with Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt. You wonder why nobody makes movies like these anymore. I'm going all Nostradamus here but I think TRT will spawn more anthology horror movies and either that's a good thing or a poisoned candy apple.

So enjoy this blood soaked goodness this Halloween and keep humming the revised Trick or treat jingle...

Trick or Treat
Smell my feet
Give me something good to eat

If you don't
I don't care
Sam will kill you in your underwear

Gore-ipedia

Slice and dice
Gobble Gobble
Severed Head
Kid-a-cide
Ocular trauma
Chocolatus Vomitous Gratuitous

Nude-ipedia

No Anna Paquin boobies but some post meal bonfire boobies

WTF moment

The transformation
Mr. Wilkins kid
Sam's unmasking

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

Trick 'R Treat is one of the best horror movies of 2009. What more needs to be said? With Halloween only a week away, you'll never find a better movie to get your fright on. It does live up to the hype and you'll be asking why is this only 80 minutes long. So load up your candy sacks, dress up as scaredy cats and dig the best Halloween movie in the last 10 years.

Just make sure you check your candy for razor blades. Oh that Sam.

Rating:



Check out the trailer.





jaded viewer related linkage:
The Paranormal Activity Effect
NYC Haunted House: Nightmares: Vampires (Review)
Paranormal Activity (Review)

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

What's the kryptonite for horror bloggers?

I was thrilled to be asked by HorrorBlips.com to be part of their ongoing horror topic of the week. In this weeks edition, I was part of the question posed by Robyn, Editor of HorrorBlips.com:

What’s the one movie theme or freaky character that never fails to scare you every time?

Check out what your favorite horror bloggers had to say below (including myself!)

Horror Bloggers Reveal Their Weaknesses

photo

While it might seem that true horror fans are unscareable, they all have their soft spot. Even Superman has Kryptonite right? For me, movies that feature ventriloquist dummies are off my tolerable scale. Something about the eyes, and the fact that they seem like they’re alive, when they aren’t, and then they do come to life…it gives me the creeps.

We wanted to know what horror bloggers claimed as their own personal Achilles heel. What makes them squirm or scream every time? Check out their answers below, you might be surprised to find out what it takes to freaks out the un-freakable.

Mike Snoonian, All Things Horror: photoIf there’s a sure-fire type of fright flick that keeps me up into the wee hours of the night, it’s anything dealing with tightly claustrophobic settings and premature burial. There’s something about viewing someone trapped in a confined space, barely able to move or breath that gets my heart racing and nerves twitchy. When watching a scene of this type, I put myself in the character’s place, pinned in a pine box or hole in the ground, the air growing staler and thinner until it finally runs out, leaving me gasping for my last breath alone in pitch blackness. That’s why “The Descent” remains one of the scariest theater experiences of my life. Even if the cave dwellers had never been introduced, the story of the women trapped and lost in pitch-blackness with the constant threat of the walls collapsing around them was more than enough to leave me sweating in my seat.

B-J C, Day of the Woman: For some reason, I’ve always been really uneasy with dead children. My mother has run a daycare out of our home for years, so whenever photoMichael Myers chased down Jamie Lloyd, or when little Gage dies in “Pet Sematary,” it always really really bothered me. As far as something that I see constantly, I’m really bad with eye injuries. Eye gouging, stabbing, bleeding, anything of the sort always makes me squirm. The scene in “Opera” is pure torture for me as well as the “Zombi 2” infamous wood to the eye scene.

Stacie Ponder, Final Girl:I’m a total sucker for possession movies. It doesn't matterphoto if it’s a low-budget 10th generation Exorcist rip-off, I’m gonna be creeped out. It’s not the religious angle that gets to me—I’m not a particularly religious person— it’s more of an aesthetic thing. Weird eyes, crusty skin, oozing liquids, barfed-up pea soup, and a deep demonic voice are all it takes for me to freak. I guess it’s just a visceral reaction, because the people who get possessed in these movies don’t ever do much except lay around in bed all day, stinkin’ up the joint and cussin’ up a storm. No matter! Even the lowest movies on the possession totem pole work for me.


Johnny, Freddy In Space: My one Achilles heel when it comes to horror is without question Zelda from “Pet Sematary.” Movies don't scare me too often and it’s even rarer that characters themselves scare me, but Zelda always has and always will put the fear in me. Lock me in a room with Freddy Krueger, a zombie, a ghost, or the devil himself—I’ll calmly assess the situation and find a way out alive. Lock me in a room with Zelda and I will die of fright before she can ever even lay a finger on me!


BC, Horror Movie A Day: Fish and other, smaller water creatures. Sharks are OK, but you put a snapper turtle or a piranha in a movie, you can guarantee that I'm going to get unsettled. Even if they aren't the “villains” of the film, if they just show a fish doing that pucker thing with his mouth in someone’s fish tank or whatever, I feel uneasy.

I also used to be afraid of clowns, but so many terrible killer clown horror movies have actually vaporized my fear.



Monster Scholar, Monster Land: My horror Achilles heel would have to be disembowelment and/or vivisection. It’s been a hot button for me ever since I ate a bad yogurt parfait and had nightmares about someone cutting me open and removing my organs with toothpicks. This initial fear was only made worse by seeing “House of a Thousand Corpses” as a teenager and watching Dr. Satan perform gruesome surgery on his live victims. Yuck.


Becky Sayers, The Horror Effect: Home invasion films get under my skin. Sometimes it takes the hard-hitting intensity of a movie like “Inside” to terrify me, but other times the simplest slasher can make me uncomfortable. Perhaps it roots back to my indoctrination into the horror genre with “Halloween.” I remember trying to sleep after watching John Carpenter’s masterpiece for the first time. My bed was situated against a wall, which I faced, leaving my back exposed to the empty room. I kept imaging that Michael Myers was standing behind me, his pallid mask hovering like a ghost in the darkness. However, my fear of the home invasion might be based on something more elementary. I grew up on 10-forested acres in a rural area of Washington state. There was no next-door neighbor. There were no paved roads for a mile. If someone were to prey on my childhood home, it might resemble scenes found in “The Strangers” or “Them.” Whatever the circumstance, it is horrifying to imagine that you are not safe in your own residence. Absolutely no one wants to wake up to the sound of unknown footsteps downstairs or to the sight of a shadowy figure leaning over the bedside.

Jeff, The Jaded Viewer: That'’ a very interesting topic. I gotta admit, I get the uber shivers from creepy crawlies, swarms of bugs movies and killer parasites. You know the movies, like “Splinter,” “The Thaw,” “The Ruins,” “Slither” and don’t get me started about “Arachnophobia.” I love these movies but when I see a horde of bugs or parasites on the movie, it gives me chills. I start squirming and I get the feeling these creepy crawlies are attacking me.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

the jaded viewer goes on vacation.....again

Well I will be MIA for the next few days as I travel to New Orleans for some much needed R&R. I figure while I'm there, I'll head down to the Louisiana bayou and visit my old friend Victor Crowley.

Me and Vic (his friends call him Vic, his victims call him "NOOOOOO! Argh!!!") We go way back. I visited him after he got that Hatchet in the head. We played Monopoly, Jenga and Trivial Pursuit. Vic also liked to kill animals with his bare hands. I just never got into that.

I'm hoping to bring back some souvenirs. Maybe a severed head, a decapitated arm and possibly my very own hatchet.

So while I'm eating some jambalaya, crawfish and creole food, drop me a line and let me know what's the what. Let me know what you think of the jaded viewer. Do you want more lists? more commentaries? more reviews? more porn?

Let me know or I'll get Vic to drop by your house. I warned ya.





And as a added bonus check out Adam Green's newest Halloween short "Jack Chop"!!!
His shorts are hil-freakin-larious. You can check some of them by going here.





Be back soon!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Children (Review)

The Children

The Children (2009)

Directed by Tom Shankland


[this is a review I wrote for UGO.com's Movie Blog, hence the shortness and the letter grade]

The Children represents a subgenre of horror that will never be fully accepted in the United States of America. Oh yeah, we’ve had our share of “killer kids” films, namely Children of the Corn, The Omen and The Good Son but it’s probably never going to be mainstreamy anytime soon.

Well thank the UK for keeping this creepy ubergenre alive. Tom Shankland’s The Children brings the chills and the wickedness of kids not being kidlike as they go murderous against the adults. It’s succulently evil and scary it made me a very happy horror fan.

The movie’s set up is rather simple. At a New Years gathering, two families come together for a celebration. They consist of two older sisters and their husbands, an eldest hottie Rachel Bilson looking daughter and all their kids (4 total younglings).

The adults, in a twist are almost irrelevant as they are the victim fodder. It’s the children that work so effectively as the little Dennis the Menaces. They soon develop a H1N1 like virus that starts turning them irritable then very serial killery. Each little tyke brings performances that match any Damian persona and even though they are overtly cute, they show their dark side instantly.

Soon, the adults are on the run like teenagers at a summer camp. Many of the scenes are simple, yet effective. Violence between the kids and the adults erupt at a greenhouse, then within the snow covered woods and then inside a house.

Shankland builds up the suspense with some playful foreshadowing and just a hint of quick edits for those gratuitous jump scares. Also, there is some decent amount of gore with head and ocular trauma, broken vertebrae and neck wounds. The movie doesn’t tread lightly on the adult-icide or kid-acide which makes it more chilling when the death scenes occur.

The overall moral theme that gets grappled is one that encompasses all these killer kid films. Would you be able to kill a kid or *gasp* your own child to save your own or another child’s life?

Many of the characters struggle with this and the paternal and maternal instinct are so ingrained, their logic becomes illogical and more emotion. Many might not be able to view such a film where kids wink with such evilness, especially parents.

But for those who are brave enough to watch The Children, you will never see a playground the same way again.

Grade: A

You'll like it if....
  • You love creepy kids being creepy movies
  • You dig an anti Disney, suspenseful, scary and thrilling kid killer horror movie
  • You like movies like The Omen, Children of the Corn and Them aka Ils

You won't like it if....
  • You’re a parent who morally objects to killer children movies
  • You can’t stand the sight of gratuitous gore and head trauma
  • You think children killing adults is just ridiculous and cheesy


The Trailer



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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Thaw (Review)

The Thaw

The Thaw (2009)

Directed by Mark A. Lewis

[this is a review I wrote for UGO.com's Movie Blog]

“They’re bugs and they eat people, it’s that simple.”

It’s a simple premise for a simple movie. However, this movie wants you to think it’s more than that. If you haven’t heard of an ecological horror movie, let me introduce you to The Thaw. The overarching theme is we should all be ashamed of ourselves. Little did we know our gas guzzling SUV’s, aerosol cans and non recycling lifestyle would lead to the rise of a creepy crawlies epidemic on a global scale. You didn’t see that coming, right? It’s a horrible inconvenient truth and definitely a horror film Al Gore would love!

There have been a number of creepy crawly movies with an environmental global warming theme of late. OK, maybe just one. The Last Winter, directed by Larry Fessenden is the one film that The Thaw will draw comparisons too. Also think Splinter or The Ruins but in the Arctic. The threat of little parasites infecting you is almost a universal fear, something you’d see on TLC or Discovery. The fact that these creatures exist, makes this movie work effectively.

The Thaw introduces us to Dr. David Kruipen (Val Kilmer) and his team as they discover a wooly mammoth thawing in the Canadian Arctic. Unknown to them, they also discover a prehistoric parasite that has been hibernating in the animal’s as well. Quickly, the team gets infected and the opening shot of a bug making its new home in the head of a woman clearly will makes you feel jittery.

Later, Bart a helicopter pilot flies a group of students led by Kruipen’s daughter, Evelyn to the base camp. The students are an eclectic group of characters that are not typically the stereotypical, oversexed, dumb teenagers we usually see. Evelyn is a very effective final girl; Atom plays out as a level headed counter to Evelyn while Federico portrays the everyman, the guy who will do anything to survive. Finally, Ling is the hottie who has early demise written on her forehead. I found something interesting in these characters; they played out as real to me, not hipsters doing hipster things in a horror movie.

But the real star of the film is of course, the bugs. Created with a very decent amount of CGI, their scenes bring some panic into the fold. A tense moment in the lab will get you itching. The bugs also enable us to witness a very effective arm cutting scene with a cleaver. But the most chilling scenes are just seeing the infected with bite marks all over their bodies and devouring a carcass. It’s downright gross, but somehow successful in getting the point across.

However, the movie does have some flaws. With the creatures swarming all over the camp, our supposedly smart students show disregard to the fact that they could get infected by staying in areas they should be avoiding. Also, the bugs though highly contagious seemed very ineffective in the suspense scenes later on in Acts II and III. Other movies took the parasitic nature and evolved it. Here, the bugs seem to be slightly boring and could have been more menacing and scary.

The ending brings home the global warming theme back home though to tell you the truth I’m one of those people who have an indifferent approach to the whole greenhouse effect thing so I wasn’t converted. Overall, The Thaw is an effective sci-fi horror film that draws our fear of parasites run amok. Though the parallel to global warming bringing about a bugpocalypse is a little farfetched, when you’re putting on the hand sanitizer it’s that fear that The Thaw latches on to. So recycle, ok?

Grade: B


You'll like it if....
  • You love creepy crawly horror movies
  • You believe global warming is a threat to humanity
  • You’re a big fan of sci-fi horror flicks

You won't like it if....
  • You hate any sight of bugs and bug infestations
  • You hate environmental themed movies
  • The sight of parasitic bugs and Val Kilmer scare you

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