September 30, 2011

The 31 Days of Horror for 2011 is nigh!

If Horror movies have taught us anything over the years, it's that kids are creepy as hell. They try to kill you, possess you, drain you of your blood, eat you, torture you... it's a wonder that people still even bother to have them.

This year for our 31 Days of Horror celebration, we decided to take a look at the creepiest of the creepy kids that have graced our TV and Movie screens since we started watching movies. We found all sorts of lists online of creepy or evil kids from movies, but were distressed to find that for the most part, they all listed the same 10 or so kids/movies. How boring is that?

On our countdown there will be no:

  • Omen
  • Exorcist
  • Night of the Living Dead
  • Shining 
  • Ju-on
  • Village/Children of the Damned 
  • Bad Seed
  • Sixth Sense
  • Ring
  • and nothing starring Cameron Bright...

As awesome and even terrifying as most of those movies (and the kids that populate them) are, every damn "Creepy Kids" list that you find via Google lists these same selections over, and over, and over, so forget them.

But then what's left? Plenty.

We are focusing on some of the more obscure movies (and a few popular ones too), because contrary to what you find online, there are more than 10 movies out there that have creepy, evil, and nasty little kids in them.

So get ready, because every day in October we will offer up a new terror tyke for you to savor. Maybe you've seen them before. Maybe you're meeting them for the first time. Either way, you'll probably hate kids by the time it's all over. We already do.

See you at midnight.

Oh, don't be such a little pussy!

September 29, 2011

Quick Review: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)

"Do be afraid to spend your money on this movie..."
There are so many things wrong with this movie that it amazes us that Guillermo Del Toro's name is anywhere near it. Not only did he produce it, but he wrote the screenplay? Baffling, because Del Toro is a craftsman with narrative, and the script here is full of plot devices and plot holes galore. It's just a weak, weak movie.

*A Quick note on Guillermo Del Toro: For those of you not familiar with who he is, you need to be. Above all else, the guy seems like one of the sweetest, most genuinely kind people on the planet. He's also a massive film geek, which coupled with his kind sensibilities has allowed him to make some breathtaking, creepy, and emotionally powerful movies.

He really is one of the best directors working today, along with names like Fincher, Wook Park, Tarantino, Nolan, Jackson, Boyle, among others, instantly demands an audiences respect and at least their curiosity.

Seek out Pan's Labyrinth, and experience his talent the way it should be. Don't let this movie represent his level of talent or storytelling ability.

If you haven't seen the original 1970's Made for TV movie from which this film version comes, it's basically the story of a family that moves into a gorgeous old mansion with a troubled past. It has a secret basement you see, one that has been sealed of for many years, and for good reason; there's pretty much a tunnel to Hell in the furnace, which is home to hundreds of evil, hungry, little imp-things.

The family is made up of Dad, who is clueless about pretty much everything, including how to be a Dad; Daughter, who is bratty and annoying; and Step-Mom, who is the least annoying of them all. Strange things begin to happen, and it eventually becomes apparent that there's something "wrong" with the house...

Beautifully shot and fairly atmospheric, it's sad to see that this movie dropped the ball in so many ways. First and foremost are the plot holes. When the creepy old handy man wanders into the basement, he's attacked by dozens of the little monsters who stab him repeatedly with various tools and sharp implements, leave scissors stuck in his neck and a screwdriver jutting out of his head, and it's explained as an "accident?" No one panics, no one asks what type of accident leaves a strong, huge man full of more holes than a pincushion, and above all else, no one leaves. The scene where the little girl is taking a bath felt odd too. She draws the shower curtain around her tub, which felt like it only served to make a tense scene of "things" poking at the shower curtain. I know she's a kid, and kids do odd things all the time, but who pulls the curtain closed during a bath?

Forced scene is forced.
Even when the daughter is attacked in the library during a dinner party, which leaves a dead monster corpse and arm (I think I remember an arm) laying on the floor, no one does anything sensible. "Something odd is going on here..." No shit, jerk-nut. How about you leave the house? But of course, they don't. The ending is as lame as what preceded it as well; I won't spoil it for you here, but I will say "Come on, Guillermo! Just come on, man!" It all just felt forced and convenient, and not much of it rang true.

The opening scene was interesting. Visually, the movie is gorgeous. The whispers of the creatures work pretty well when you can decipher them. Aside from those few positives though, the rest is tedious, cheesy, and not creepy at all.

Don't look so surprised, Katie.
I'm sure that I'm going to take some flack for this next part, but screw it. The worst part of the whole thing, which for me made it all the more unbearable, was Bailee Madison. I know she's a kid, and I'm not in the habit of insulting little children (even when they have it coming), but for Christ's sake is she ever unbearable to watch. To behold her on screen is about as pleasant as chewing tin foil, or maybe or dragging metal wire across a chalk board... She comes off as pretentious and fake to us, and it's impossible for us to find her compelling in the least. With or without her, the movie is still a clinker, though we honestly believe that with another kid in the movie -one who could act convincingly, and is actually cute- it may have softened the blow a bit.

It's true hun, they like Tom Cruise better than you LOL!
As for the rest of the cast... Guy Pearce, who is usually amazing, pretty much phoned it in here. Oddly enough, the best actor in this mess was Katie Holmes. She's mostly famous for marrying the High Priest of the Church of Xenu, but she's actually good here, and manages to make her character worth half a damn, which is more than we can say for the other two leads.

"Why did I marry the Son of Xenu?!?"
We will never fully understand how this movie, in the hands of one of the best filmmakers of our time, went so bad, and in so many ways. Were it not for the quality of the visuals, we'd DO NOT WANT this one in a hot second. As it stands though, it's a pretty movie, with hollow, contrived insides, that manages to frustrate instead of scare. Seek out the original 1970's version, which for being a TV movie, was pretty damned creepy. We adore you, Guillermo, but this one we just can't love at all.


Katie Holmes is still pretty cute, though we miss the old school version of her; you know, before the whole uncomfortably creepy marriage thing. *FYI, we still like Tom Cruise, even with his crazy and all.

September 22, 2011

Review: Red State (2011)

"Dogma is still Kevin Smith's best movie..."
As much as we love the comedic genius of Kevin Smith, we honestly went into Red State not expecting too much. He's funny, that's his thing, and as much of a Genre Geek as he may be, Horror can be a tough nut to crack, even for genre masters.

So with no expectation, but full of hope, we showed up to support they guy and pray for the best. The results were a mixed bag.

Red State is basically the fictionalized story of the Westboro Baptist Church and its leader, the gem of humanity, Fred Phelps. These are the fucktards that protest Military Funerals, waving around signs that say "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" or "Fag Sin = 9-11." They hate Jews and Blacks too, because they're the devil apparently. So basically, they're inbred nut-jobs who are really lucky they haven't caught a stray bullet yet. Then again they have God on their side, so maybe we ought to listen to what they're... nah.... let's stick with stray bullets.

Anywho... That's what Red State is about.

God's messenger.
A crazy, creepy old pastor and his even creepier, glassy-eyed Cult of a family, kill a few dumb kids who were just out to gang-bang a hooker, prompting the Police to call in the Swat Team and have themselves a Waco-like standoff. Down south that's called a "hootenanny." I love that fucking word. Hootenanny. It makes me smile.

Red State isn't really a Horror movie so much as it's a horrific portrayal of the state of hate in America. It's also a little jab at Republican Rednecks, hence the title. It's interesting enough, and it has some bloody bits and a creepy vibe about it, but it's also full of quirky dark humor. The humor bit reminded us at times that Kevin Smith was at the helm, albeit a seemingly depressed and bitter Kevin Smith. There's a lot of message and political comment at work here too. I guess I was expecting more bloody fun than preachy sentiment, because I hate being preached to. Not to say that I agree or disagree with the movie's point and message, but come on Kevin Smith, I count on you to bring the fun, not make me think. And in the realm of Horror, I expected you to go over the top with this one, as you so often do in your funnier flicks.

Pretty hate machines.
There were moments of brilliance sprinkled throughout the movie, but amidst those were moments of confusion, indecisiveness and plain old uneventfulness. It's as if Kevin Smith had a few good ideas about what he wanted to do here, and where he wanted it all to go, but just kind of mixed them altogether and called it a day instead of taking one idea and running with it. So some greatness, some blandness, both in fairly equal parts, and not enough of either to call the movie one way or the other.

The best part of the whole affair was John Goodman. Playing it funny or straight, he's got this lovable quality about him that is always great for us to experience. Here he plays it straight, and steals the show. We'd be remiss not to mention the greatness of Michael Parks while were here too; he plays intense very well, and he is great as the shepherd of the movie's creepy flock. They're both good enough reason to check this movie out.

That gun is not big enough to kill Roseanne.
The ending shit the bed a little bit too, offering us something that could have been truly bold and interesting, but instead switching gears, dismissing it, and just kind of ending on a bland note. I won't spoil what I'm talking about, but suffice it to say that for a minute I was like "What in the hell.... wow!" Then I was like "Oh... that sucks." It truly was a missed opportunity that could have strengthened everything that came before it. It felt like a cop out, especially for a movie that tackled such a fundamentally deep and touchy subject as Religion. Having seen Dogma (another Smith film for those who don't know), I can see why he went the way he did, because to do otherwise might challenge his own belief system... but as far as movie moments go, despite belief or lack thereof, it could have been a truly great moment. Brilliant, even.

Michael Parks is the fucking man.
I have to imagine that Red State will polarize audiences; some will love it for its message and raw delivery, while others will hate it for exactly the same reasons. Honestly, we here at THC feel both ways about it. We loved some of it, and hated the rest, and in pretty equal amounts. If Kevin Smith had pushed the envelope and focused the story a bit more, we would most likely love it fully. It's nothing that we'd watch again (unless we get a John Goodman jones, because he really was awesome in this), but we're glad we saw it once.

As for you, if the bashing of Politics and Religion set you off on a tangent, you may want to sit this one out. If you can kick back and roll with controversy, then you may just dig it.


It's a Hootenanny of Hotties!

Quick Review: Bitten (2008)
When I found out that Kevin Smith movie staple Jason Mewes (He's the Jay in Jay and Silent Bob) was in a vampire flick, I found myself growing curious, because I'm a fan of theirs.

See, Kevin Smith is snarky and vulgar, so he's right up my alley. As for Jay, he's kind of this skanky, burnout moron (on film anyway) who tends to say and do the dumbest shit possible, which usually ends up being hilarious. The guy is wicked funny. He also tends to bring an this odd likability to his characters; where as you know you should despise him, you end up liking him. It just can't be helped.
She likes him, right?
I got to meet Jason Mewes once. Long story short, I was working in a large retail store near the Menlo Park Mall in NJ, when I find this guy who looks a lot like Jay from Jay and Silent Bob standing in the action figure aisle. I ask him if he needs some help, and he says he needs some Fantastic Four figures for his comic book store in Red Bank. We talked for a few, and he told me if I could get my hands on what he wanted, that I should give him a call and bring them down to The Secret Stash. I'm leaving a lot of the details of this story out, because I'm pretty sure they involved weed and whores, but the point is it was an awesome geek moment for me. This was before Dogma came out, and even back then Kevin Smith's movies were like geek dogma to a guy like me. Many guys like me.

She might hate him.
Anyhow... After watching Red State, I came across this DVD that I had never watched, saw that Mewes was in it, and said why not. The verdict? Even though it wasn't the greatest movie in the world, I'm kinda glad I watched it.  

Bitten is the story of a loser paramedic (Mewes) who lives in shitty apartment, doesn't have a pot to piss in, and just got dumped by his girlfriend. As luck would have it, he finds a girl in the alley who is all bloody and looks to be dying, so he takes her home and tries to fix her up, being a man of medicine and all. She turns out to be a vampire, and the rest of the movie involves an awkward romance, and a lot of asshole people becoming snacks for her. As a vampire flick it's not bad. It's subtle, but it gets its point across. It seems as if it's more a romantic comedy about a vampire than a horror flick, but hey, we can't win 'em all, can we? The thing is though, it has heart, lots of blood, tons of T&A, and Mewes doing his thing, and not sucking in a mostly not funny role.    

That guy gets all the chicks.
Aw yea, yup yup! Just as Cool as Ice captured the hearts and minds of the 43 people (us included) that actually saw it, so does Bitten. Maybe Cool as Ice sucked. Maybe Vanilla Ice can't act. But maybe, just maybe, it's the best musical ever made involving a white rapper. Don't deny it. With ill rhymes and dope dance moves like his, who wouldn't want Vanilla Ice dating their daughter? Sure, you can poke fun at my man Vanilla for his shaved eyebrows, frosted hair, and cheesy music, but you're lying to yourself if you say that you don't crank up the radio every time Ice, Ice Baby comes on. Best guilty pleasure song ever.

Bitten is about forbidden love too, and in many ways, Jason Mewes is like the slacker version of Vanilla Ice. Only less black. Sure, both movies are shameful and "not good," but we love them all the same.

Erica Cox is hot. Also, her last name is Cox... and we looooove the Cox.

September 16, 2011

Review: Creature (2011)

This is definitely a direct to DVD movie, so how in the hell did it get into theaters?
Creature was one of those flicks that was kind of fun, and it could have been a whole lot better with a little effort (and it needed to be a hell of a lot better.) As it stands though, it was mostly a jumbled mess that left us feeling cold and even a bit pissy by the end.

It was an odd watch for us.

For as "not good" as the movie is, it's amazing to us that it got a Theatrical Release at all, when so many great indie Horror flicks barely ever see the light of day aside from being dumped on DVD.

We do not understand.
"Aw hell no, here come the script!"
Creature tells the all-too-familiar story of a group of twenty-somethings that head into the backwoods to party, piss-off some locals, get duped into a bad situation, lose cell phone service, get drunk and high, have sex, wander off alone, and end up being picked off one at a time by a... Creature. When I say Creature here, I mean a guy in a funny rubber suit, who kinda looks like Louis Gosset Jr. from Enemy Mine.

That's the plot. You've seen it tons of times before, and done tons better. It was very reminiscent of House of 1000 Corpses plot-wise, except this one has a crazy inbred family guiding a group of morons to a Creature, instead of a Dr. Satan.

It even has Sid Haig basically reprising his Captain Spaulding gig, sans make-up...
The problem with Creature is that it has no clue where its own plot is going by the 2nd half of the movie, and aside from some good T&A, it doesn't give us much else to chew on along the way. It tries to be witty, but it's not. We see very little blood and gore on camera, which could have been its saving grace had they bloodied things up a bit. Or a lot. As bloodless as they were, the "fight" scenes were on the cheesy side too.

The girls were nice though.
The cast is a mixed bag; Sid Haig is always fun as hell to watch. The guy was born in 1939, and he's still on screen kicking ass, and looking nowhere near 72 years old. Eggs from True Blood (Mehcad Brooks) was good here too as a bad-ass Navy Seal who actually kinda saves the day. The girls were hot, and they all played their parts pretty well... the rest were all fair to middlin'. I still can't figure out what Pruitt Taylor Vince was doing in this movie. Maybe his Nephew was the key grip or something.

He could be a marine, but I swear I heard them say Navy Seal.
There were a few scenes that delivered, such as the opening scene which gave us the only good gore of the movie. The slut tied to the chair was interesting too, but that's about it. If the movie got one thing right, it's that the nudity was plentiful; we get one chick fully naked (bush and all) taking a swim in a swamp; the group slut flashing her goods, the group slut getting the group goody-goody naked and trying to bang her, the group slut giving a hand job to some guy while they watch another couple bang... so there's no shortage on the T&A. At least there was that.

Don't even get us started on the ending(s)... One of which happened in a hole, off camera, and another which was meant to surprise, but just made no sense.

At least she's handy... zing!
The only reason that this movie wasn't a "Do Not Want" was because of the naked chicks, Sid Haig and Eggs. Aside from those positives, the rest of the affair was bland, mostly bloodless, confusing and uneventful.

Pay for it in Theaters if you want -some Horror peeps will probably have fun with it- but for most of us this is a "wait for cable" kind of movie. Even then, you will most likely flip the channel.


More Hotties from Creature can be found below...