The Resident (2011)
US (dir. Antti Jokinen)
Cast: Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Christopher Lee, Lee Pace
Synopsis: When a young doctor suspects she may not be alone in her new Brooklyn loft, she learns that her landlord has formed a frightening obsession with her.
Review: COMING SOON!!!
The Hitcher (1986)
US (dir. Robert Harmon)
Cast: Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell and Jennifer Jason Leigh
Synopsis: A young man who escaped the clutches of a murderous hitch-hiker is subsequently stalked, framed for the hitcher’s crimes, and has his life made into hell by the same man he escaped.
Review: COMING SOON!!!
The Roommate (2011)
US (dir. Christian E. Christiansen)
Cast: Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Cam Gigandet, Alyson Michalka, Danneel Harris, Frances Fisher, Tomas Arana, Billy Zane, Nina Dobrev
Synopsis: A psychological thriller about a deranged college freshman who becomes obsessed with her new roommate.
Review: I wasn’t really expecting much from “The Roommate”, especially with it being another feature from Screen Gems, the laughably titled production company known for spewing out PG-13, in-name only horror remakes such as “When a Stranger Calls”, “Prom Night”, and “The Stepfather”. This little gem of a film is a college dorm version of “Single White Female”, likely aimed for a target audience of preteens and “Gossip Girl” fans who most likely have never heard of “Single White Female”. The all-too-predictable “crazy killer female” set up reeks of laziness on behalf of the screenwriters, yet at the same time it is amazing to note that this is one of the few times where a Screen Gems film has felt more in touch with the source material, despite assertions that this is an “original” film and in no way a remake (yeah, right). Couple the predictability of “The Roommate” with Cam Gigandet’s constant, squinty-eyed mugging for the camera, atrocious acting on behalf of both Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester and maybe two minor jump scares and you have a strong forerunner for the worst horror movie of 2011.
When A Stranger Calls (1979)
US (dir. Fred Walton)
Cast: Carol Kane, Charles Durning, Colleen Dewhurst, Tony Beckley, Rachel Roberts, Rutanya Alda, Carmen Argenziano, Steven Anderson, Arell Blanton, Charles Boswell, Michael Champion, DeForest Covan, Frank di Elsi, Trent Dolan, Kirsten Larkin, Dennis McMullen, Carol O’Neal, Joe Reale, Wally Taylor, Louise Wright, Randy Holland, Cheryl Wilson, Lenora May, Bill Boyett, Ed Wright
Synopsis: A psychopathic killer terrorizes a babysitter, then returns seven years later to menace her again.
Review: COMING SOON!!!
The Loved Ones (2009)
Australia (dir. Sean Byrne)
Cast: Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy, John Brumpton, Victoria Thaine, Jessica McNamee, Richard Wilson
Synopsis: In order to avoid a ghostly figure in the road, high school senior Brent Mitchell wraps his car around a tree, killing his father. Constantly confronted by his mother’s emotional collapse after the accident, Brent escapes into a marijuana fueled world of loud metal music to block the pain and guilt. Dejected and out of sorts, he has a shot at happiness with his girlfriend Holly, a grounded, caring girl with drop dead good looks, a dream date for the high school prom. But his plans are thwarted by a disturbing series of events that take place under a mirrored disco ball, involving pink satin, glitter, syringes, nails, power drills and a secret admirer. Brent has become the prom king at a macabre, sadistic event where he is the entertainment.
Review: So I finally get a chance to see “The Loved Ones”… and oh boy was it ever worth the wait! Despite the trailer revealing 90% of the film plot and criminally spoiling the meaning behind the film’s title, there was still quite a bit of unexpected nastiness oozing out of this delightful little indie horror film. A superb cast, mixed with a great soundtrack and beautiful cinematography makes “The Loved Ones” the type of film that has “instant horror classic” written all over it. And despite the review on the movie poster indirectly comparing “The Loved Ones” to “Wolf Creek” (likely due to the sole fact that both films are Australian) do not be fooled. This ain’t no “Wolf Creek”; this is more “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” than anything else, and yet at the same time it is its own movie . You certainly feel the influence of other American films on it, but it can neither be considered an homage nor a rip-off. This is probably the best Australian horror film released to date (sorry, “Lake Mungo”).
The Lost (2006)
US (dir. Chris Sivertson)
Cast: Marc Senter, Shay Astar, Alex Frost, Megan Henning, Robin Sydney, Misty Mundae, Ruby Larocca, Michael Bowen, Dee Wallace, Ed Lauter
Synopsis: Hanging out at some campgrounds one nice summer day, 19-year-old Ray Pye decides to murder two young women. His friends, Jen and Tim, witness the murder and help him cover it up. Four years later, Ray has never been arrested for the crime. Detective Charlie Schilling and his ex-partner, Ed Anderson, know that Ray did it. They just could never prove it. Charlie figures it’s about time they did prove it. He’s ready to push Ray harder than ever. Meanwhile, Ray has met his match in a new girl in town. Her name’s Katherine Wallace. Kath is a bad girl. Her and Ray are a potentially explosive combination. Throw in the fact that Ed is having a summer fling with Sally Richmond – a girl young enough to be his daughter. And Sally’s just gotten a job at the motel that Ray manages. Ray has his eye on her. Charlie and Ed never found the gun that Ray used to murder the women at the campground. That rifle, as well as a handgun, are hidden behind the mirror in Ray’s bathroom. Ray can only be pushed so far. The time will come when he takes the mirror off the wall and shows everyone who is in charge.
Review: DVD Special Features Review (September 2010)
My DVD of “The Lost” signed by author… ahem, ahem, ahem… Jack Ketchum seems like it has some pretty neat features attached to it, however sadly there’s nothing really special about them at all. There is a storyboard sequence, audition footage, outtakes, and audio commentary with Jack Ketchum (yay!) and… Monica O’Rourke (yeah, ‘who?’ is a pretty good response right about now).
UK (dir. Anthony DiBlasi)
Cast: Carl McCrystal, Elissa Dowling, Eva Wyrwal, Hanne Steen, Jackson Rathbone, Jonathan Readwin , Laura Donnelly , Paloma Faith , Shaun Evans , Vivian Gray , Kirean Murphy , Zoe Stollery
Synopsis: The film tells the story of three students who decide to study people’s fears for a video documentary college class. Initially they simply interview their subjects but then one of the students progresses to setting up situations where the subjects are forced to confront their fears.
Review: The idea behind “Dread” captivated my interest almost immediately. I like when films play around with the concept of people’s specific fears, and “Dread” is a movie which does pretty much just that. The film is based on a Clive Barker story, which at first led me to suspect that there would be some sort of supernatural explanation tacked on to the end of the film to explain the preceding events (as was the case with “The Midnight Meat Train”). Fortunately that wasn’t the case. The film is solidly grounded in reality with the exception of certain psychological breakdown parts where characters lose their grip on reality due to past psychological traumas. The movie is well executed and with the exception of a few minor flaws, it’s an entertaining and fairly horrific horror film.