Month: October 2010

Saw 3D

Saw 3D (Saw VII) | Horror | rated R (L,V,G) | starring Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Cary Elwes, Sean Patrick Flanery | 1:30 mins With detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) surviving the trap laid out for him at the end of Saw VI, he now sets out to stop Jigsaw’s widow Jill (Betsy Russell) for control of his legacy. When Jill goes to a local cop (Chad Donella) for help he finds himself trying to stop a new game targeting the leader (Sean Patrick Flanery) of a group of Jigsaw survivors who seeks to find the life-affirming good in the death traps they were put through. When Saw debuted in 2004 it offered a fresh take on the slasher genre and a very welcome return to gruesome, horrifying R-rated gore against the trend of neutered PG-13 J-Horror remakes.  Oh how the pendulum has swung. 6 years and 6 movies later, Saw is the inspiration for the phrase “Torture Porn” and gave us the millenium’s first icon of horror. Jigsaw began as a truly menacing villain. Presenting himself on video tapes as a clown puppet sadistically telling the poor souls in his traps that he just wants to play a game. The twist, and the interesting thing about Jigsaw, was that he didn’t actual kill anyone, just put them in situations where they had to kill someone else or give up their vanity, spill blood or limb...

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Dead Snow

Dead Snow | Horror/Comedy | rated R (A,L,S,V,G) | In Norwegian with English subtitles | 1:31 mins A group of medical students retreat into a mountain cabin for a week of drinking, snow ball fights and hooking up. When a wandering stranger shows up to tell them the story of that town’s history of Nazi occupation during World War II, it is only the start of the madness. Soon an army of swift undead Nazi zombies descend on the cabin, forcing the students to fight for their lives. Dead Snow starts out like every other horror movie and horror comedy and horror parody I’ve seen recently. Specifically Cold Prey but also Friday the 13th, Severance, One Eyed Monster and a few like Evil Dead that the movie’s movie geek character himself references when Snow points out this cliche. The isolated cabin is a well-worn set-up. But calling out it’s own cliches – as it also does when the group can’t get a signal and they call out the phone by brand name – doesn’t make Dead Snow a great film. No, what makes it a great horror/comedy is a finely tuned tonal balance between the horror and the comedy and a wicked imagination when it comes to an already different and delightfully ridiculous premise. Since Shaun of the Dead the zombie comedy has been a popular subgenre for aspiring low budget filmmakers. The...

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Laid to Rest

Laid to Rest | Horror | rated R (L,N,V,G) | 1:30 mins When a woman (Bobbi Sue Luther) wakes up in a casket in a funeral home without her memory she immediately finds herself in a life or death run for her life from a masked serial killer with giant serrated knives and a shoulder-mounted video camera he uses to tape his murders. Like the similarly celebrated Hatchet, Laid to Rest is a low-budget 80s slasher throwback making a case that IT’S villain should be the next cult horror icon. Between the two, the top shlock slasher prize definitely goes to Laid to Rest. It’s a dumb, fun, outrageously gory flick so sloppy, disgusting and unflinching in it’s impish blood-lust over carved up throats that it feels like it should be a good solid NC-17. As star of the movie and purveyor of all this mayhem, Chromeskull is at times a pretty good villain, other times he is a creation so desperate to be a good villain that it almost becomes self-referential. It’s a character chalk full of gimmicks. He wears this chrome skull mask, he kills you with two giant serrated butcher knives, he locks you in coffins when he doesn’t kill you (for reasons unexplained), he video tapes everything he does (also unexplained), he speaks through phone text messages and those are mostly in piggy metaphors, he has vast surgical knowledge and his...

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From Paris With Love Review

From Paris With Love – Was that one of the Bond movies?  First of all, and most importantly, for me this movie was planned to be bad from the beginning. Otherwise no real producer would allow such a name. This one is obviously trying to cheat some poor young and not so young people to buy tickets for the theatre, reminding them of the great classic 007 movie “From Russia with love”. What did not surprise me was the plot which was a pretty bad combination between the very trivial CIA and terrorist attacks, together with action, many fights and not-so-funny puns. The main plot was jumping from one story to another and, to tell you the truth, I had a pretty bad time trying to follow it. So what is it all about? We have James Reese (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who lives a very enviable life in Paris “the city of love” with his fine occupation and a pretty French girlfriend. Of course, he actually isn’t what he seems. He is a junior CIA Officer who dreams of becoming a really successful one on the field. When the opportunity of a life-time is served to him and he accepts the offer, Pandora’s Box is opened again.  As a junior officer James cannot do the job on his own, though it really looks promising. He really sees it as...

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Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

Trick ‘r Treat has been a film that had been stewing in the minds of horror fans for over a year before it got released. It was shown at a few horror festivals, and the people who saw it there ended up loving it. After watching it, these people wrote blog entries and online reviews regarding the film. It managed to attain near-cult status before it was even released. When Trick ‘r Treat finally came out, it was still met with critical praise, and ended up being a “must-see” film during the Halloween season. I’m here to tell you that it isn’t, and isn’t by a long shot. On paper, Trick ‘r Treat is something that sounds like a very good idea. It takes 4 main stories, all of which are connected in some way, and tells them out-of-order before finally connecting them at the end. All the stories involve a child named Sam, who is always present whenever things start to go wrong. Plans are changed, and people die. It’s quick-paced, lasting just under 90 minutes, so it shouldn’t manage to get boring. The main lesson that you can take away from it is that you do not disrespect any tradition on Halloween, or you will be killed one way or another. What results is much different. The stories end up only being vaguely being connected, with one...

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