Thursday, September 27, 2012

IAmA REAL Blackout Haunted House Survivor, AMA

Some guy on Reddit is claiming he's been to Blackout Haunted House. I mean sure, if you've gone to 1 haunt last year, you're a survivor....but does that make you can expert? Fuck no.

You've read my walkthroughs and reviews and I think I can do a better job of answering your questions and so can The Raven & Black Cat who's been to most of them as well.

Head over to OUR IAMA and ask away!

Hello Reddit! Check out all my Blackout Haunted House Reviews!

Hello Reddit! It seems you found my walkthrough of his amazing haunted house in NYC. As a fellow Redditor myself, I've posted links to my experiences in the past. Never actually been on the front page though.

I've been going to this haunt since 2010 when it was super secret. I've even went to all the Spring haunts (where only 20 people get invites) to participate in glorious horror role playing.

All are fucked up as advertised.

Check out all my walkthroughs and reviews of Blackout below.

If you have any questions or comments let me know. Maybe I should do an AMA? I'll be going to Blackout next week so be sure to check back here to read a review of the 2012 version.

You can go also leave any comments/questions on The Jaded Viewer Facebook Page or on Twitter.

I hope you all read in horror of my experience at NYC's best haunted house.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blackout Haunted House 2012: Tickets now on Sale

News has hit over at Blackout Haunted House. First, tickets are now on sale. Second, they've opened up a second front in Los Angeles. So LA gets to experience torture terror for the first time.

Head over to the official site and Facebook page for more info.

Also, they've dropped a new video preview. Check it out below.

Monday, September 24, 2012

I Am a Ghost (Review)

I Am a Ghost 

I Am a Ghost (2012)

Directed by H.P. Mendoza

You'll have noticed a lack of reviews of late. I've been focusing on that other blog I do. The other reason for the lack of reviews is I've just been picky in what I've been watching. The horror screeners I get are full of poor men's attempt at what Hollywood wants. That's not what indie horror is.

H.P. Mendoza's I Am a Ghost is what indie horror is.

I have to be thankful I am part of a horror blogger inner circle that makes sure I see films like this. Thanks to Cortez the Killer at Planet of Terror (see his review) I feel reinvigorated in writing reviews for The Jaded Viewer. This film was a breath of fresh air and my fellow inner circler Chris at All Things Horror agrees (see his review here). It's what we as horror bloggers live for. Seeing something different, something unique and something with tons of risk that pays off big time.

Mendoza's I Am a Ghost is a slow burn ghost story that channels all the suspense of Kubrick film and releases it's madness Ti West style. You have to admire a film that throwsback to a cinematic style of vintaginess and still delivers. Add the fact the entire movie is centrally focused on one character, Emily (Anna Ishida) and in one setting, an old Victorian house and it's a bit risky endeavor. But that's why indie horror is a frontier. You'll never know if it will work if you don't try right?

I Am a Ghost plays with the viewer, forcing a WTF in every brief but cryptic scene until it slowly lets you in on the secrets that plague our dear Emily. Like a non linear jigsaw puzzle, all the pieces begin to make sense as the picture progresses (the eggs!!!) and once you see the entirety of the film, it's quite a sight to behold. It's full of chilling moments, superb acting and a twizzer twist on the ghost genre.

Boring Plot-O-Matic

Emily, a troubled spirit, haunts her own house every day, wondering why she can't leave. With the help of Sylvia, a clairvoyant hired to rid the house of spirits, Emily is forced into a 'patient/therapist' relationship, uncovering disturbing mysteries about her past that may help her move on to 'the next place'.

Awesome Review-O-Matic 

I've slowly tried to give some leeway into the slow burn horror film. In both Ti West outings, I've been for and against it. It just depends on what's burning. In Mendoza's I Am a Ghost, the burn is full of dreamlike imagery of scenes of repetitiveness. Emily is a girl that seems oddly off. We see her repeat activities such as waking up, eating breakfast, getting groceries and cleaning. She's stuck in routine, but it seems her life in this Victorian house is not as it seems.The first quarter of  the film is a slow burn to get us use to what's been happening before were thrown into this story. Whereas you'd be bored by a slow walker, a creaky floor or a few jump scares or whatever, the snapshots of Emily in "her life" and its loopiness is a montage of foggy delight. You're put in WTF mode and it draws you in.

In her parent's room, she hears a disembodied voice of Sylvia a medium (hired by the homeowners) who is trying to help her "to the light". She cannot see Sylvia, and vice versa. In a farside twist where the ghost doesn't know she is a ghost, Emily is TOLD she is a ghost and believes it. Read that sentence again because it's important.

Sylvia's conversations with Emily revolve around the nature of "closing", her memories, her death and her routine. If she leaves her parent's room she forgets everything. The movie is a cinematic darling in it plays with a stylized Del Toro-ness. There is a bit of shabby humor between Sylvia and Emily that breaks all the spooky tension. It's like modernity meets a stubborn old man stuck in time. The conversations slowly give us a glimpse of Emily's situation as does the imprints she has left in each room.

As the film concludes, a reveal puts all the pieces together and Emily confronts what she has dreaded the most.

Anna Ishida's performance is stellarly fantastic. To act by yourself, with a voiceover as your only partner must have been challenging and she does a great job in pulling it off. There would be a point where you'd think she'd have to be overmelodramatic but her subtlety in her performance was without a doubt what made it great.

Mendoza's story could easily draw comparisons to The Sixth Sense, The Others and The Innkeepers but that would be a disservice. What this film does is create a sense of dread, hopelessness and mystery and reveals a young woman's disturbing secret has not been eliminated in death. It's a journey through a photographic album of a life that was full of hardship and pain, where our instinctive nature to see a happy ending won't be answered. The very nature of the ghost story is that it is suppose to scare you. But here we are in a comforting role though the scares do come in a frenetic ending.

H.P. Mendoza is a talented filmmaker who clearly has pulled the best the old guard and the new guard have created and made a film that resembles the best of both. You will not be disappointed to see a film that has a new story to tell, a style all it's own and an eerie take on the what goes bump in the night.

Make sure you see this film.


A few scenes of the red stuff, nothing your grandma couldn't handle

WTF moment

The visual of Emily's secret...shivers

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

I Am a Ghost is playing the film festival circuit. Be sure to check out the official site, follow H.P. Mendoza on Vimeo and Twitter. He just wrote a film called Yes Were Open starring Parry Shen. I'm pretty psyched to see what other films Mr. Mendoza has in store, hopefully he continues to do a few more in this genre.


Check out the trailer below.

I AM A GHOST (Reviews Trailer #1) from H.P. Mendoza on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Dead (Review)

The Dead

The Dead (2010)

Directed by The Ford Brothers

I wrote a list last year of my The Remaining Best of the Rest Horror Movies of 2011. I had only seen 3 movies on that list and now I've seen my 4th. The Dead was #6 on that list and I figured it had the making of a classic zombie film.

I wasn't wrong.

The zombie craze has died down a bit (we still have The Walking Dead thank the Universe) and so this hit my radar in a big way. It's a film that has shades of Cannibal Holocaust mixed in with Lucio Fulci's Zombie 2 and a tad of Day of the Dead. Shot on 35mm, it really has a look of a film discovered from the 70s or 80s. And it that way it honors the past of the essence of a zombie film. Slowly decaying reanimated corpses, slow moving hordes of the undead, bright blue eyes of the infected and the craving of living flesh.

It's the roots of a zombie film and it's awesome. The African setting is a sight to behold. The scenery, the cinematography can't be duplicated. The grittiness, the sweltering heat, the jagged mountain formations and the never ending desert are sights to behold.

Sure the story was rather pedestrian, the action scenes generic but the feel of zombie madness is ever present. You feel like your in danger in the pitch darkness as is our main character and it's all about survival, not jokes. The reality of The Dead is that you only can think about one thing: survival.

It's the zombie film that countless others have tried to make but failed. This isn't your Resident Evil zombie film. It's a "no more room in hell" one.

Boring Plot-O-Matic

When the last evacuation flight out of war-torn Africa crashes off the coast, American Air Force Engineer Lieutenant Brian Murphy (ROB FREEMAN) emerges as the sole survivor in a land where the dead are returning to life and attacking the living. 

On the run in a hostile and inhospitable parched landscape, where sudden death lurks around every sun-burnished corner, Murphy has to use his wits and ingenuity if he is to get home alive to his family. When Murphys path clashes with that of Sergeant Daniel Dembele (PRINCE DAVID OSEI), whose village has been torn apart by the reanimated dead, they join forces. 

The two desperate men from two very different cultures fight side by side to survive across the incredible vistas of Africa as the world succumbs to the deadliest of viruses. 

Awesome Review-O-Matic

From the opening scene to the last, it seems our mercenary mechanic Brian Murphy is always in danger. Every successive scene seems to have zombie danger. From crash landing on to the beach, BOOM! zombies on the attack. Zombies in the jungle, zombies in the villages, crazy zombies all over the place. Armed with a gun and nothing else, our trust Macgyver is able to get a car running in the sweltering heat.
He soon meets up with  Sgt. Daniel, a AWOL soldier who is looking for his son. They team up and look out for each other in this new hell. What The Dead does is a bit different in your typical zombie movie team up. Nobody becomes super buddies. It's a more serious tone, jokes are a rarity. Both Brian and Dan know that the land is full of potential hazards and they gotta keep on their toes.

The two kick ass elements of The Dead are surely the scenery and the zombie kills. The rural landscape of this Africa is where no zombie movie has gone before. Zombies in cities, on farms. We've seen it. Seeing zombies in that Fulci island sorta way is taking it back to its roots. Zombies on beaches, zombies on dirt roads, zombies in the dead of night with those ominous blue eyes. That's some spooky, suspenseful shit.

At one point our duo go to an abandoned air field and Brian investigates a tunnel in a hanger. It's an effective scene. As they bring back gas for their car in the middle of the night, they both are throttled by hungry flesh eaters, many in different forms. Legless zombies, armless zombies.

Which brings us to the kills. Sarge Daniel is armed with an M4 and a machete and he knows how to use the fuckin Machte like Treach from Naughty by Nature. Decaps, arm caps, you name it. From what I can tell, we get our kills o'natural. Less CGI which made me happy. Sure the standard gunshot to the heads are there but it had that Zombie 2 feel to most of the kills.

The personalities of both Brian and Daniel are plain, but there logic echoed my own. At one point Daniel sets up a string can detection system. In another Brian sleeps in a tree. It makes sense and I'm glad the Ford Bros made it a point to put that in there.

Clearly there is a point of African war theme here. It seems tribal factions have stopped fighting in order to unite to fight the common enemy, the undead. The theme of family, sense of identity and survival are all present as well but don't become to preachy.

The Dead is a throwback to the vintage undiluted zombie apocalypse movies of old. African zombies are actually a new twist to the cluttered world of the genre but proves quite effective. We've seen the  Resident Evil game have a version within Africa as a setting but in a movie it makes it feel all the more gritty and hostile.

The movie is indeed short on story, developed characters and thrilling WTF awesome action scenes. But it makes up for it in a landscape of beautiful cinematography where this safari is no longer one inhabited by animals, but of the dead. A movie that can take the genre back to why I love Fulci gives me hope. And oddly enough, that was the message it tried to echo at the end.


Zombie kills galore
Machete mutilation
Hit and run trauma
Tire head trauma

WTF moment
Somebody dies in the most stupid way that got me going WTF

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

The Dead is quite effective to making me reminisce about the golden age of B-movie zombie films. It's not at the tier of Zombie 2 or Dawn/Day but it never dumbs it down for the audience. It's seriousness made it all the more terrifying. In the end, it's a survival movie and one that can be called a cult classic in the making.

The Dead is out on Blu-Ray and DVD.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Van Damme in Mortal Kombat: Bloodsport Edition

Well this video below is absolutely post worthy. Bravo TheVanDammeFan2009. This made me want to watch Bloodsport all over again. This Van Damme fan has made many such video game Van Damme mash ups but this has gotta be the best.

Check it out below.