July 30, 2011

Quick Review: Fertile Ground (2011)

"Uninteresting Ground..."

Is the After Dark Horrorfest losing its bite? Asking that implies that it ever had a grip to begin with, but after last years' solid line up, we had hope for its future...

Of this years entries that we've seen so far, we really liked Prowl, and Husk was decent, though it played like a Sci-Fi Channel movie for the most part. Now that we've seen Fertile Ground, we can honestly say that it plays like a like a Lifetime Channel movie of a week, just with some boobs and a little bit of blood.

Emily and Nate Weaver leave the city for the rural comfort of Nate's ancestral home in New Hampshire. There, isolated and haunted by inexplicable noises and horrifying visions, Emily learns she's pregnant while Nate is possessed by the homicidal spirit of his forbearers. In a house haunted by past victims, Emily learns that she's the latest target in a murderous tradition. 

Why are you on the roof?
It's a nice little film, it really is. It's well made, stars the sexy Leisha Hailey, and has a decent story... but as a Horror movie, it's just too bland and uneventful.

I mean the movie opens up with a shot of Leisha Hailey -and her amazingly amazing boobs- buck naked and rubbing herself in front of a mirror... how do you go wrong with that? Show her having a bloody miscarriage all over the floor, that's how. That will take the wind out of any sail.

Fertile Ground made us sad too, Leisha.
Add to that some old genre stand-by's such as; troubled couple moves to country to make a "fresh start"; the old home the move into has a "mysterious" and "troubled" past; odd things begin to happen, which all point to "creepiness"; our heroine has odd dreams which all point to "creepiness"; hubby slowly loses his mind and becomes increasingly mean and evil... oh, and don't forget the jump scares.

There's nothing original at all here, and worse than that is the fact that what is there isn't even compelling to watch. This honestly could be a movie on the Hallmark Channel (nudity aside, obviously), for all of it's Horror and Suspense.

Leisha Hailey really does give it a good go with her role, but she's working with very little here. Same with Gale Harold. Nice try, you two. We dig you.

Udderly beautiful.
Fertile Ground isn't atrocious, it's just nothing worth making an effort to see. Catch it when it hits Cable if you find yourself bored one afternoon, but other than that, give it a pass.

Unless you like Lifetime Channel movies. Then, watch it asap.


Leisha Hailey is a Hottie.

July 26, 2011

Quick Review: Quarantine 2: Terminal (2011)

I guess the best thing we can say about Quarantine 2:Terminal is that at least it isn't a direct remake of [REC2]; The producers went their own way with the material, and for that at least, they get some kudos. That's not to say that there's nothing else good about Q2, because it wasn't all that bad...

Beginning sometime directly after the events of Quarantine, Q2 is the story of a late night flight and a little stowaway virus that wreaks havoc on the passengers.

I guess you could technically say the virus is airborne at this point, right?

Heh. Yeah.

It appears that she does not appreciate our humor.
The plane is nearly empty save for a fat guy who needs two seats; a tough-as-nails kid who is tough enough to fly all by himself; an annoying young couple in love; some hot stewardesses; and a sweet-as-pie scientist, who just so happens to have a cage full of hamsters with him... now guess which one is responsible for dooming them all with the virus? If you said the fat guy, you're wrong. Sure, fatties are to blame for most pandemics, and his burly ass does get sick first, but for me, it's the hamsters.

They're filthy little creatures, and I don't trust them. I never have. 

They're always watching. Always.
After team hungry goes on his infected rampage up and down the aisleway, they land at the closest airport, and hide in the baggage area until help arrives. Little do they know that when help arrives, they will be...QUARANTINED (part 2)! Much as you'd expect, everyone spends the rest of the movie running around in a panic, glaring at each other suspiciously, and dying.

...and injecting shit into their eyes.
Q2 was not as good as Q1, which was certainly no [REC], which it was a direct remake of. What in the hell does that even mean? Well at its essence, it means stick with [REC] and [REC2], which are much better films. To a lesser extent, it means that Quarantine 2 wasn't bad, but it was no Quarantine. which was no [REC]... eh, you get the point.

Even after infection, she still seems less than amused at our attempts at humor. Who so serious, huh?
Q2 didn't have the same feel as its predecessor did, and that's due mainly to the fact that the shaky POV camera style of the first movie (as well as the [REC] films) was absent. Looking like a "regular" movie made it feel less regurgitated in a way, although the jarring POV style does bring with it a certain amount of tension, and a fair amount of scares. It wasn't the biggest deal in the world, it was just different. I'm analyzing this movie way too much.

For some reason, this scene felt very Fulci-esque to us.
In all fairness, Q2 is about as good as a direct to DVD movie can hope to be these days, though it does have its faults. It's fairly predictable, it's not all that creepy, though it has moments of decent tension throughout, and the acting is less than stellar. Still, it's a decent direct to DVD sequel, and even has a decent ending. If you're down with the whole infected/zombie sub-genre, then by all means check this one out. You might just have fun with it.



She's in this. Meow.

July 21, 2011

VOD Review: The Shrine (2011)

"Who knew Poland could be creepy?"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1341710/ Sub-Genre- Supernatural
Cast Members of Note
Aaron "The Other" Ashmore, Cindy Sampson, Meghan Heffern, and a bunch of people pretending to be Polish.

The Shrine is yet another story about an over-ambitious woman getting herself and her friends into a shitload of creepy trouble (e.g. The Tunnel, Blair Witch, etc...) Carmen is a journalist who is tired of writing stories about bees. When her boss sends her on a trip to write yet another scathing expose' on bees, she instead takes off for Poland, to search for a missing backpacker. Of course she can't just go alone, so she brings along her trusty intern sidekick and her photographer boyfriend.

"Come on guys, nothing could possibly go wrong if we go down here!"
The missing backpacker was last seen near a creepy little town in the remote countryside of rural Poland (which looks a lot like Canada), and so Carmen decides to snoop around. It's not long before they meet a creepy kid and her blood-covered dad, who shoo them off with angry Polish curses. Carmen has to get her story though, and she refuses to leave well enough alone, so she begins snooping around even more. When the investigative trio finds an odd swirl of fog in the middle of the woods, they figure, "hey, let's see what's in the middle of this!" That turns out to be a great idea.

Completely normal. Completely natural. Nothing odd about this at all.
And what exactly is in the thick depths of the absolutely unnatural fog? A statue of a Demon, that's what. A creepy f'ing statue that bleeds. It's interesting to note that the statue bears a certain similarity to another creepy Demon statue we've all come to know and love... what was it called... oh yeah, Pazuzu!

"Wait a minute... you... you want a hug?"
So now they have angry Polish Villagers, a Demonic statue, a creepy kid, and a haunted fog bank after them, which pretty much means they're screwed. What is going on in this crazy Polish town? What was with that fog? Why are the kids in these movies always so creepy?* Far be it from me to spoil it for you, but suffice it to say that when the answers are revealed, they find out what happened to the missing backpacker.

*because kids are creepy in general, that's why.

Yeah. Shit gets crazy, and this is where we end up.
I can hardly believe that this movie was made by the same people responsible for Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer. That movie was one of our Do Not Want's last year, and The Shrine is something we very much Do Want. So to recap, Jack Brooks sucked, this didn't. Now that we've cleared that up...

Aside from our Downright Horrendous gripe below, The Shrine was enjoyable from start to finish, although the first half was a lot slower that the latter half. It wasn't "bad slow," but it's only fair to note that the set-up and build took a little while. Once the movie kicked into high gear though, it was engrossing and even induced nail-biting at times.

Best of all, it was creepy; Jon Knautz did here what I'm always begging Horror directors to do, and that's use subtlety to scare me, not jump scares and music cues. His approach worked very well. If Knautz keeps this kind of thing up, he might just be one of the genre's most important directors in a few years.

The look, the feel, the acting; all solid. It's just a great story. The twists and turns that the movie takes were solid and not cringe inducing (for a change), and the ending was actually an ending. No cliffhangers. No lame ambiguity. It came to a climax, had a bit of resolution, and it ended. That was all really nice to experience for a change.

Where are the subtitles? I need to know what they're saying! *The subtitles for the Polish-Language parts were left our on purpose, so as to add to the reality and ambiguity of it all. Dicks.

We don't even know what he's screaming!

For the love of Christ, here are another bunch of characters that make the worst decisions in the world. Boss tells you to go investigate bees in Kansas? Nah, go to Poland to search for a missing backpacker. Get caught poking around in the Polish forest by angry locals One covered in blood) who tell you to leave? Turn the car around and keep snooping. See an unearthly looking fog? Explore it. And when the creepy kid takes you to an underground bunker in the forest, by all means, trust her. Find coffins in the bunker? Don't run like hell and enjoy the rest of your life, open them. See what's inside! Bah!

They can't even use a mirror properly!
The Shrine is no slouch when it comes to the bloody bits. There's some nasty eye violence, sacrifice, a mass murder home invasion... not overboard, but definitely sufficient.

Also, don't forget about the eye violence.
We get a tiny bit of side-boob and a few shots of naked and wet girls, though the good bits are all covered up.

Tits or GTFO!
Don't fuck with Polish Priests. Also, it's always the woman's fault.

Sometimes, it's a Demon's fault.
This movie surprised the hell out of us and we couldn't help but love it. Aside from the all-too-common "characters doing the dumbest things at the worst possible times" messiness, there wasn't much to not like about The Shrine; it looks good, it's creepy, the actors nail it, and and the ending was pretty awesome.

In the U.S., if you have Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, Cablevision or Bright House, it's on VOD now, and you should make this one your next rental


The Shrine is available now on DVD.


Meghan Heffern in this.

July 20, 2011

Horror Hotties: We would go to Zellwood with Sara Jean Underwood any day...

We're not sure what this movie is actually about -it's billed as a zombie movie, but from the trailer, it looks more like a backwoods stalk-and-slash- but the important thing to note here is that it stars Playboy Playmate/G4 Sexpot, Sara Underwood.

Two young couples take one last relaxing trip to the country before moving to different cities. One final weekend getaway with good friends. Secrets revealed around the campfire bring out vengeful jealousies as the weekend takes a deadly and unexpected twist with an airboat captain and his two daughters caught in the middle.

Whatever. We'll see this for Sara, and that is the only reason.