Friday, February 09, 2018

Carter and Lovecraft

There are a lot of novels out there about the Lovecraft mythos, but this is the first in a long time to break the mold. 

The story begin when ex-NYPD Daniel Carter inherits a bookstore.  Carter has recently retired from the force after a case went bad.  Having nothing pressing he decides to go check out the store he's inherited.  He finds the store is being managed by a woman named Emily Lovecraft, the last known descendant of H.P. Lovecraft.  She also happens to be African American.  Which knowing H.P.'s well documented racism, is a bit of a shock. 

The novel is very fast paced and while filled with the Cthulhu mythos, it nevers feels bogged down by them.  It's refreshing to read something that is original and offers a new twist on old stories. 

This was the first in the series, the second novel "After the End of The World" was released last year and I enjoyed it even more than the first. 

These novels have TV series written all over it and I would love to it made into a Netflix series. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Happy Death Day

College student Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) must relive the day of her murder over and over again, in a loop that will end only when she discovers her killer's identity.

This is one of those movies I was on the fence about.  I heard good things about it, but I still wasn't sure if we needed another Groundhog Day inspired movie.  It turns out we did. 

While the film follows the basic formula established by GHD it adds enough twists to separate itself.  There is also enough humor to lighten the mood and make you really like the characters. 

Jessica Rothe does a great job of going from the bitchy sorority sister to final girl.  To make a great slasher movie you need two things, a great final girl, which they have in Rothe.  The other thing you need is a great killer.

While the killer never gets a name he manages to be very creepy and still have the morbid sense of humor we want from a slasher. 

Produced by Blumhouse for under $5million it managed to make over $100.  While a sequel seems unlikely I'm always glad to see horror films do well. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Top Ten of 2017

It's the end of the year and time to make our list of favorite films of the year.  So without further adieu....

10.  The Void

It's Assault on Precinct 13 meets John Carpenter's The Thing, and to me that's a good thing (pun intended). 

9. The Blackcoat's Daughter

From director Oz Perkins (the son of Anthony Perkins) comes this slow burn chiller.  It takes a while to get where it's going, but it's worth the trip. 

8. Better Watch Out

A home invasion film with a twist, this is a new holiday classic. 

7. Annabelle Creation

I love director David Sandberg and this film cements him as an amazing director. 

6. IT

This was probably the most anticipated horror movie of the decade.  I can't say it's superior to the original because this is only the first part.  I did enjoy this and I have high hopes for the sequel. 

5. A Dark Song
An intimate and creepy film about loss and moving on it shows a side of mystical ceremonies we never see. 

4. Mayhem
Director Joe Lynch shows us the ultimate hostile work environment and makes us kind of want to be there. 

Director Mike Flanagan continues his streak with a film many thought wasn't adaptable, he proved them wrong


A horror film that broke into the mainstream and started people talking about the film and our country. 

This movie combined several of the things I love and was my favorite of the year.  Heavy metal, ghosts and serial killers all add up to a great film. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Better Watch Out

On a quiet suburban street, a babysitter must defend a twelve-year-old boy from intruders, only to discover it's far from a normal home invasion.

I knew absolutely about this going in, and I think that is the best way to see it.  Things are so easily spoiled now that it's good to be surprised. 

I was expecting Home Alone meets The Strangers, but got so much more. 

Co-writer and director Chris Peckover deliver a very unique holiday horror film that delivers on tension and surprises.  

I wouldn't be surprised if this shows up in a lot of top 10 horror movie of the year lists. 

Never answer a call when you're isolated in a house.  
Add this to your holiday watch list today!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Annabelle: Creation (mini-review)

This was a  film that I missed in it's theatrical run, but finally caught it on Blu-Ray.

I have to say that I was impressed by the film.  Director David Sandberg does a masterful job of delivering scares, with little or no CGI. The actors all deliver great performances and the script does a great job of connecting to the first Annabelle film. 

All in all a great horror movie!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Thing Homages

John Carpenter's The Thing is an undisputed horror classic.  Being a classic the movie has had it's share of imitators.  They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery so here are two of my favorite imitators of The Thing.

The X-Files- Ice 
Season One/Episode Eight

Mulder and Scully are sent to an arctic research facility to investigate some bizarre deaths.  

The Ice episode written by Glen Morgan and James Wong is probably of the most famous imitators of The Thing

If the sets and general look of the episode remind you of The Thing it could be because production designer Graeme Murray worked on both.

The armed stand off! 

"Ice" does a great job of capturing the paranoia and isolation from The Thing.  This episode is one of the breakout episodes from the first season of the X-Files. 

Star Trek Deep Space Nine- The Adversary 
Season Three/Episode 26

The third season finale of DS9 finds the crew confined on-board the Defiant with a shapeshifting alien called a Changeling.  The Changeling sews confusion and paranoia among the crew. 

This episode borrows liberally from The Thing in several scenes.

The crew scanning each other to try and determine who the Changeling is just the first.

When they do discover his identity he reverts to his natural shape and escapes.

The Changeling also has a fondness for using tentacles to murder crew members.

No Thing homage would be complete without an armed stand off.

This episode even features a blood test scene.

The Thing has influenced multiple generations of filmmakers and will probably continue to for years to come.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

IT (2017)

Hurricane Irma slowed this down a bit, but I wanted to share my thoughts on IT.

First, everything you've heard is true, the movie is phenomenal.

Where the movie really succeeds is in the relationships between the kids.

All of the "Losers Club" deliver great performances.  They all feel like real kids, they're probably the best ensemble of kids since The Monster Squad.  Watching them takes you back to the 80's and really lets the nostalgia well up in you.

I can't say that I'm 100% on board with the new look of Pennywise, but I certainly can't find fault with Bill SkarsgĂ„rd's performance.  His Pennywise is every bit as creepy and disturbing as you would imagine.  

The only complaint I have about the movie is that I want the second half now.  The movie is great but having read the book, it feels a tad incomplete without the adult half of the story.  

That said, it's still a milestone horror movie.  I can only it's amazing box office will give us more top notch horror movies.