2017 Upcoming Flicks

Where is the time going. February is nearly half done and I’m late to getting to the movies of 2017. So, here is the list of what I’m looking forward.

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Justice League Dark – February 7 – I just finished Volume 1 of the Justice League Dark New 52 and I’m a fan of Constantine which is the draw here.

John Wick: Chapter 2 – February 10 – Well, the first one was good and there have been plenty of good reviews for the follow-up.

Patient Zero – February 17, 2017 – Super virus. Highly intelligent infected with a special language and a search for patient zero. Add in some decent casting with Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer and Clive Standen and it may have potential however, I’ve heard very little about this movie including where it is available to see.

A Cure for Wellness – February 17, 2017 – Creepy wellness centres. Mixed reviews so far but I’m still interested.

giftsThe Girl with All the Gifts – February 24, 2017 – Read the book, which I enjoyed so I’m curious to see how it translates to film.

Logan – March 3, 2017 – Grizzled old Logan. This looks like it will be the best one of the bunch as far as Wolverine movies go.

T2: Trainspotting – March 3, 2017 -21 years after the original was released, it’ll be interesting to see how they mature these characters and if the follow-up maintains the gritty edge of the original.

Kong: Skull Island – March 10, 2017 – Not usually my kind of movie (something about giant, talking, thinking gorillas bugs me) but the trailer for this makes it appealing. Have to see what the reviews say.

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The Belko Experiment – March 17, 2017 – People locked in at work, forced to kill one another….office work is a bitch. Violence bred by the instinct to survive and the bending of people’s morals and conscience. Would you kill to save yourself?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5 – Probably more of the same as the first movie but there’s nothing wrong with that plus, little Groot.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – May 12 – A King Arthur flick directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Charlie Hunnan should be a great. Add in an impressive cast and Charlie Hunnan shirtless, nothing wrong with that. Let’s hope the best part of this isn’t the trailer.

The Dark Tower – July 28 – It’s unclear which books of the Stephen King Dark Tower series are going to be in the first movie but from what I’ve seen, it kind of looks like it will meld The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three. I’ve read the first 4 books of the series and am in the process of going through the series completely. Really like the casting of Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey and I this is one of the rare good Stephen King adaptations.

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IT – September 8 – Another Stephen King based movie. Loved the book and while the TV movie tried to bring the story to life it hasn’t held up over time (just realized that I have it on DVD). Hopefully the movie is as good and creepy as the book.

Murder on the Orient Express – November 22 – An updated adaptation of an Agatha Christie classic. Love her books and most of the previous film/TV adaptations that I have seen have been good.

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Movie Goodness: The Halloween List

This is the second to last list of Movie Goodness (LOTR to come).  So let’s enjoy the last day of the spooky season with the two movies that I only watch on Halloween.

Happy Haunting!

The Crow (1994):  Based on the graphic by James O’Barr, this is a tragic love story told in comic form and on film.  After the death of his fiancé by a drunk driver, James O’Barr turned to creativity to deal with the loss and was inspired to create this masterpiece of undying love, tragedy and revenge.  The night before Halloween, Devil’s Night, a young couple is preparing to marry the next day but they fall victim to inner city tyrant Top Dollar’s ambitions at the hands of his minions.  The groom, Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) is murdered and his bride, Shelly Webster (Sofia Shinas) is brutally raped and beaten and suffers hours of pain before dying.

The movie is dark and gritty and shrouds a love story in the horror of poverty and degradation.  And it’s brilliant. This movie came out a couple of months after I got engaged and set Halloween as the wedding date, so the line “Who the fuck gets married on Halloween” was priceless.  And the soundtrack was one of the best I have ever heard and we played it at the wedding reception.  This was also the most prolific and sadly, final movie of Brandon Lee’s short film career.  Tragically, Lee died on the set of the movie when a gun misfired.

Lee was brilliant as the tortured, born again man desperate to get vengeance on the horrible men that took away his true love.  The supporting cast was also quite good.  Ernie Hudson as the former detective, now beat cop who becomes Draven’s side kick is a great character.  The neglected and jaded young Sarah (Rochelle Davis), is a sad portrait of lost childhood in a poverty-stricken and drug infused environment.  Also among the talented actors in the supporting cast: Michael Wincott (Top Dollar), Bai Ling (Myca), David Patrick Kelly (T-Bird), Michael Massee (Funboy), Tony Todd (Grange).  This is one of the very few flicks that I actually get emotional watching.  A wonderful movie from start to finish.

Trick ‘r’ Treat (2007): Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0862856/)

This movie was very delayed in being released and sadly, didn’t get a theatrical release. It’s really too bad because this flick is one of the best Halloween movies to get you into the spirit of the season.  Werewolves, zombies and a psycho principal make up some of the colourful characters that haunt Trick ‘r’ Treat.  And don’t forget that cute little guy above, Sam the spirit of Halloween.  And there he is below without his hood and looking creepy as hell. I have a replica of him on my fireplace mantle and without the hood, he really is that unnerving.

The cast of this seasonal gem includes: Dylan Baker (Steven), Quinn Lord (Sam / Peeping Tommy), Anna Paquin (Laurie), Brian Cox (Mr. Kreeg), Leslie Bibb (Emma), Jean-Luc Bilodeau (Schrader), Britt McKillip (Macy).

Movie Goodness: Horror>Other

Alright, so this is the last list for the Horror genre.  No real rhyme nor reason to these movies, just a list of some I forgot and some I didn’t think could easily be categorized. There are some movies that I have not included at all in the Movie Goodness Horror spiel but those will be special for Halloween.  I am also doing a special post on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, so don’t fret, I saved the best for last.

Ravenous (1999): This is one of my favourite Robert Carlyle movies.  A group of disgraced American soldiers in 1847 are holed up in a fort in the Sierra Nevada mountains during the dead of winter.  Their biggest enemy is themselves as they try to stave off boredom and get through each day in their snowy hell. Shortly after the arrival of Captain Boyd (Guy Pearce), a soldier who survived during the Mexican-American war by hiding under dead bodies, a strange man (Robert Carlyle) stumbles from the frozen night with a dark tale of murder and cannibalism.  The camp of misfits is drawn into the stranger’s web as he devours them and attempts to manipulate Boyd into his cannibalistic ways with promises of enhanced virility, fast healing abilities and renewed energy from eating human flesh.  I just love everything about this movie.  The story, the setting, the music and of the cast which includes Jeffrey Jones, David Arquette and Neal McDonough. The music is hard to explain but it just fits into each scene perfectly.

Triangle (2009): This is a bizarre, mindf**k of a movie.  A young single mother with an autistic son is invited to spend a day on the ocean with a group of friends while her son is school.  She is reluctant at first but goes and tries to enjoy herself.  Things take a strange turn when they come across an abandoned ocean liner and odd things start to happen and the members of the group begin to disappear.  And that is all I’m going to say about the movie because I highly recommend it and it takes a very unexpected and weird twist after they board the ship.  Stars Melissa George, Liam Hemsworth, Michael Dorman, Henry Nixon.

The Devil’s Chair (2007): Another bizarre movie that blurs the lines between reality and delusion.  Nick (Andrew Howard) and Sammy (Pollyanna Rose) drop acid in an abandoned asylum and find a strange chair in one of the rooms.  Nick wakes up sometime later covered in blood and Sammy is nowhere to be found.  He is sent to a metal hospital for the criminally insane where a doctor wants to find out what happened and decides to take Nick and a small group from the hospital back to the asylum with hopes that Nick will be able to recall the events of the night Sammy disappeared.  He does and it is flipping weird and very bloody.

Frozen (2010): Two buddies (Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers) go skiing along with one of their girlfriends (Emma Bell) and find themselves in a terrify situation as they are inadvertently stranded on the ski lift the night before the resort is set to close for a long weekend.  They are trapped in the air and try to figure out what to do before they freeze to death.  What would you do if you were in their situation, stuck on a ski lift as night falls and it’s start to snow? They do what instinct tells them and – watch the movie.  Its dark and disturbing and very well done considering it’s 3 people on a ski lift for the majority of the movie.  Good stuff.

The Ruins (2008): Four friends ( Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, Laura Ramsey, Shawn Ashmore) are vacationing in Mexico and decide to head into the jungle with another vacationer from Germany (Joe Anderson) in search of his missing brother, who was on the hunt for an ancient and undisturbed pyramid.  It has remained undisturbed and guarded by locals due to the flesh-eating vines that surround it.  Nasty foliage.  I’m in the process of reading the book, so I’ll see how it compares. But the movie is fantastic.

Movie Goodness: The Drama List

I swear this isn’t a Kevin Spacey list; it’s just a coincidence that he is in a good portion of my favourite dramas.

Se7en (1995): John Doe (Kevin Spacey) is giving the world a glimpse of his idea of the seven deadly sins with gruesome acts of savagery and murder.  Brad Pitt, a young detective taking over for retiring detective Morgan Freeman, must work together to try to stop John before he completes all seven.  The story, the depictions of the sins and the acting are all brilliant.  A great movie but not for those with a weak stomach.

L.A. Confidential (1997): Period piece set in 1950’s Los Angeles about police corruption, prostitution and murder.  Based on the James Ellroy novel of the same name, the movie is beautiful in capturing the glitz and grime of 1950’s L.A.  I love the old fashion style and the way the men and women dressed and the old cars.  The story is engaging and the movie has a top bar cast including Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger, Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe and James Cromwell among many of the wonderful and talented actors.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997): Another Kevin Spacey movie based on a book.  Midnight is drawn from the non-fiction book by John Berendt about a Savannah, Georgia, murder case involving a wealthy antiques dealer, Jim Williams (Spacey) and his young male companion Billy (Jude Law).  Set in the ’80’s, the story is told from the perspective of journalist John Kelso (John Cusack) and deals with the taboo yet, silently accepted and purposely ignored gay nature of the relationship between Jim and Billy.  Williams was acquitted of murdering Hanson but died of natural causes shortly after being released from prison.  The setting of wealthy Savannah is gorgeous with old world charm and prejudices being clearly shown.  Add in some voodoo and you have a good movie with a good story.

The Usual Suspects (1995): Number four in the Spacey, I mean Drama List.  Five cons are unwittingly thrown together by mysterious criminal mastermind, Keyser Soze, to pull off a heist that they can’t say no to.  I won’t say anything more if there is anyone out there who has not seen this movie.  I wouldn’t want to ruin the wonderful story.  And it is a great story also starring Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Pollak and Benicio Del Toro.

Honourable Mention: Schindler’s List (1993), American History X (1998), Bronson (2008), 8mm (1999), The Town (2010), Gothic (1986), Little Women (1994), Steel Magnolias (1989), Momento (2000), Red State (2011), Platoon (1986), Silence of the Lambs (1991).

Movie Goodness: The Action/Sci-Fi List

May I present the Action Sci-Fi List.  I feel like I’m forgetting to add something on this one but I can’t quite pinpoint.  Anyway, here it is.

Serenity (2005): This is the movie follow-up to the most excellent and all too soon cancelled Firefly.  Captain Mal and his crew are traversing the Verse once more, ducking Reavers and finding out why an entire planet just sat down and died.  Any fan of  Firefly should see this movie.  It was a great follow-up to the series.

Star Trek (2009): A younger Captain Kirk and his crew battle the Romulans who have traveled back in time to destroy Spock’s home and the Earth.  I’ve never been a big fan of the original Star Trek, preferring The Next Generation but I really enjoyed this movie from the story to the cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Zoe Saldana, Eric Bana, John Cho  and the original Spock, Leonard Nimoy.

Equilibrium (2002): Set in a future where a drug suppresses emotions and all forms of art are forbidden and destroyed, Christian Bale plays a Cleric -a kick ass government law enforcer who helps to track down sense offenders and maintain the emotionless society. After his partner is killed for being an offender, he stops taking the drug and goes on a mission to destroy the corporation and authority behind the drug.  This is a very good movie but the comparisons to The Matrix kind of hold it back from being great. I still recommend it for the interesting story and the action sequences.

The Matrix (1999): I don’t know how to explain this movie other than to say: woah.  Neo (Keanu Reeves) finds himself falling down the rabbit hole after he is contacted by the beautiful hacker Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne).  This is a mind f**k movie when Neo wakes up in the real world.  Unique story and killer action sequences with a mini love story thrown in.

Event Horizon (1997): Hey look, another Laurence Fishburne movie.  Set in one of the scariest places, deep space, a crew is sent on a rescue mission to recover the star ship, Event Horizon.  What they find is terror and death on the seeminnly abandoned ship which they discover has returned from a black hole.  This movie was creepy as the rescue crew encounters malicious entities (ghosts? aliens?) that destroy the ship and their souls.  Scary shit.  Also stars Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs and Sean Pertwee.

Honourable Mention: Empire Strikes Back (1980) Best of Episode IV, V, VI, the others don’t count; Mutant Chronicles (2008) I can’t justifiably explain why I like it other than the creatures were an influence; Jurassic Park (1993) Freaking dinosaurs!; Sucker Punch (2011) I liked it for all its cheese; The Mummy (1999) It was fun and beautifully shot; District 9 (2009) The prawns are creepy but it’s a good story; The Terminator (1984) A classic with an interesting story.

Movie Goodness: Cult List

I’m not sure if Cult is the right word for this list but I really couldn’t think of a better one. Check it out and if anyone has a better word or phrase let me know.

Trainspotting (1996): Renton (Ewan McGregor), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), Begbie (Robert Carlyle), Spud (Ewen Bremner) and Tommy (Kevin McKidd).  A group of Scottish heroin addicts (except for Begbie) journey through addiction, withdrawal and petty theft in the pursuit of getting high and numbing themselves to life that is less than ideal.  I remember when the movie first came out and some critics were saying that it glamorize heroin addiction.  There is nothing glamorous in this movie.  It is sad and if anything, a warning of the perils of addiction.  Powerful, depressing and well done.

Boondock Saints (1999): Two Irish brothers in Boston go on a mission to take out the worst criminal elements in their city.  Guided by God (or their Da?) they start out their vigilante mission by accident but soon make it their new career.  Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery are wonderful as Murphy and Connor MacManus.  I admit that I did not care for the sequel at all.  I really wanted to like it but it just seemed like the same story told 10 years later.  I was disappointed.

Reservoir Dogs (1992): The song ‘Stuck in the Middle’ will always conjure forth images of Michael Madsen cutting off a guy’s ear.  A group of jewel thieves heist goes horribly wrong and they try to pin point who the rat could be that set them up. This was the second Tarantino flick I saw, Pulp Fiction being the first of course.  In some ways I preferred RD because it was more about the story and the characters without being over stylized or weighted down with at least one big celebrity per scene.  Not saying there weren’t great actors/celebrities in Dogs but Pulp Fiction just seemed to have more of them.  Speaking of the cast: Tim Roth, Havey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, Chris Penn, Quentin Tarantino, Edward Bunker and Lawrence Tierney.

Pulp Fiction (1994): Alright, so I just put this movie down in the Reservoir Dogs gist but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it.  I liked the intertwining stories and Samuel L. Jackson was my favourite part of this one.  There are too many actors to mention and as far as the story, come on, who doesn’t know what Pulp Fiction is about.

Death Proof (2007): More Quentin Tarantino. This one stands above the other two because the leads are women and they are kick ass, strong and independent.  Kurt Russell is great as the psychotic Stunt Man Mike, stalking and killing girls with his car. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and it was fun to watch it in theatres with Planet Terror as part of Grindhouse.

Fight Club (1999):  The brilliant Edward Norton stars as a man with insomnia who becomes fed up with his life of consumerism and fitting into the norm.  Helping him to rebel against those social norms and the trappings of consumerism, is the charismatic and free-living Tyler Durden.  Who is Tyler Durden?  All becomes clear at the end of the flick and you feel like you were just slightly mind f***ed by the revelation.  Joining Norton is Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, Jared Leto and Meatloaf.  Based on the Chuck Palahniuk novel of the same name.

Velvet Goldmine (1998): Let me preface this one by saying I hate musicals.  I hate TV shows with episodes where the cast sings throughout.  I can’t explain it.  Anyway, this isn’t a musical in the way that the actors just burst into song while walking down the street.  It’s a musical in the sense that music plays a character in the movie and I loved the glam rock music.  Set mostly in the 1970’s, the story revolves around glam rocker Brian Slade’s rise and fall from fame and a young man’s journey into his own soul through that music, as he recalls his encounters with the glam scene in London and his acceptance of his true self. Starring: Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and a very young Christian Bale. I just love this movie.  Beautiful.

A Clockwork Orange (1971): Welly, welly, well.  A bit of the old ultra-violence.  Disturbing and moderately repugnant, Alex De Large (Malcolm McDowell) is both at the tender age of 18 (in the movie I believe this is his age).  Malcolm McDowell is one of my favourite actors and he played the arrogant, psychotic rapist and murderer wonderfully.  I have a hard time watching movies that involve rape and that is one of the reason that it took me several years to watch this again after seeing it for the first time when I was 16.  It still disturbs me but the movie is good if not hard to watch due to the violence.  It’s staying power is clear in pop culture today from people dressing like Alex for Halloween to music videos (Rob Zombie) and ‘A Clockwork Orange’ inspired photo shoots (my daughter did one and it was fantastic).

Honourable Mention: Dogma (1999); Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (1998); Snatch (2000); Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001); Heathers (1988)

Movie Goodness: The Action List

 

Action Jackson!  There’s no real reason for that, it’s just catchy (never seen the movie, never will).  Anyway, here is the Action List.  Please note, I will be doing a separate post for movies that I consider to be Action Sci-Fi, so there may be things missing and you might be saying: “WTF woman…where’s The Terminator.”  And so forth.  Patience, people, patience.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) & The Last Crusade (1989): The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Raiders of the Lost Ark is that theme music and just how cool archaeologists are.  I’m serious about that.  Indiana Jones traipsing around the world, fighting baddies and still being the noble good guy who gets the girl.  The 3rd movie in the series was great with Sean Connery as Indy’s Dad.  As far as I’m concerned, these are the only two movies in the series.  The others, don’t count.

Casino Royale (2006): Bond. James Bond.  The legendary spy has been around for many, many years and has undergone many makeovers by way of actors.  Daniel Craig as the smooth talking, ass kicking agent from MI6 is by far my favourite incarnation.  Sean Connery is a close second.  I used to watch the Bond movies when I was younger with my Dad when they would repeatedly be showing on one of the movie channels.  I remember For Your Eyes Only and A View To A Kill the most.  I think Craig’s version of Bond is the most action packed and he gets beatings as good as he gives.  Plus, he wears that suit really well.

Red (2010): I’m a sucker for Karl Urban and I really liked his dead pan, nearly emotionless performance in this movie (of course he shows a soft side later in the flick).  This is a fun movie with an amazing cast about retired spies and what happens when they are forced back into action.  Not particulary poignant but still entertaining. Also stars Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Mary-Louise Parker.

Plunkett & Macleane (1999): Who and who?  I don’t know many people who have seen this gem but I highly recommend it.  Set in 18th Century England, Plunkett is an alchemist and theif and Macleane is a gambling, whoring, gentleman.  The two team up to rob the rich and keep the money for themselves.  This is a great flick and stars Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller and Liv Tyler.

Honourable Mention: Die Hard (1988) yippee ki yay motherf***er ; Taken (2008)  I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you wantThe Grey (2011) Once more into the fray. Into the last good fight I’ll ever know. Live and die on this day. Live and die on this day.  Review: https://dawningcreates.com/2012/06/18/the-grey-review/

 

Movie Goodness: Horror> Demons & Devils

May I present the demons and devils list.  Some of these movies deal with demonic possession, which disturbs me, and others focus on those who worship and seek to summon the Lord of Hell and his minions.

Hellraiser (1987):  A classic and the first movie in a franchise that has been, for the most part, poorly done.  The flick is based on the Clive Barker novella The Hellbound Heart and what makes both the movie and the book memorable, are the Cenobites.  Creepy, leather clad and mutated humans transformed into hellish minions seeking pleasure through pain and suffering.  Love it.  The novella was pretty good as Barker illustrates the demons and their pursuits artfully.  It is a shame that the movie didn’t focus on the Cenobites more but it was still pretty good and Pinhead looked awesome.

The Exorcist (1973) & The Exorcist III (1990): What’s a list about demons without The Exorcist.  I saw this when I was about 8. I had a little tiny TV in my room and it was on Superchannel.  It scared the crap out of me for years and I avoided seeing it again for nearly 20 years.  I have watched it a couple of times since then, including the release with the previously cut scenes, and it still scares the crap out of me.  As I said, demonic possession disturbs me.  I felt that the Exorcist III was a somewhat better movie as far as the story goes.  E1 was good but I enjoyed the story of E3 more. There is one scene in E3 that freaks me out: when the nurse is walking down the hallway and the sheet covered person with the scissors follows her.  Sends chill up my spine.

The Ninth Gate (1999): I don’t know too many people who like this movie but I just love it. Johnny Depp (sigh) plays a rare book dealer hired by Frank Langella to find the only authentic copy of a book said to be penned by Lucifer and able to summon the Beast to earth (it’s been awhile and I get lost in Johnny, so my plot might be a bit off).  Another one based on a book called El Club Dumas penned by Spanish author Arturo Pérez-Reverte.  I liked the book but the movie was much more enjoyable.  You can almost never go wrong with Johnny Depp…sigh.

The House of the Devil (2009): I had to watch this twice before I really liked it.  The first time I wasn’t sure what to think but after a second viewing, I really did like it. Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) is desperate to move out her dorm and into an apartment but only has a couple of days to come up with the damage deposit.  In a desperate move, she takes a babysitting job for a creepy man (Tom Noonan) and his creepy wife (Mary Woronov).  The catch: there is no kid and she will be watching after the man’s mother.  All of this is taking place on the night of a rare lunar eclipse when the vibe is already weird.  Set in the 1980’s, the movie totally has an ’80’s feel not just from the aesthetics but from the production aspect as well.  A good movie that steadily builds to a disturbing conclusion.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005):  I watched this a couple of years ago and was impressed by the subtle but powerful performances of Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson and Jennifer Carpenter.  The story is sad and frightening and reportedly based upon true events.  A young, somewhat sheltered woman from a rural area leaves home to attend college only to begin experiencing disturbing events that her and her family and priest attribute to demonic possession.  The girl dies during an exorcism and the priest who performed it is put on trial for her death.  Linney’s character is picked to defend him and slowly begins to encounter strange and supernatural events.

Honourable Mention:  Black Death (2010) more witchy than demony but it was still quite good.  Night of the Demons (2009) just plain bad but fun.  The Devil’s Rock (2011) -very good, check out my full review, https://dawningcreates.com/2012/03/07/the-devils-rock-review/.  Shelter (2010) a different style of possession and quite well done.  The Shrine (2010) a trio of journalist head to Poland in search of a missing backpacker and uncover a sinister secret, full review https://dawningcreates.com/2011/09/04/the-shrine-review/

Movie Goodness: Horror>Creature Feature List

Oh dear…I’ve been lax in my duties but here I am, back to real work.  Up today is the Horror>Creature Features List.  All the slimy essence of corruptions crawling their way from the depths of horrid darkness to tear you to pieces.  Enjoy!

The Cabin in Woods (2011): I can’t say enough good things about this movie.  It was original, fun, scary and stars Chris Hemsworth.  What more could a girl ask for?  I wasn’t sure where to categorize this movie but decided on Creatures as there are many, many creatures in it.  This is the best movie I’ve seen this year because of all the elements listed above.  Pure entertainment.  I don’t want to say too much about it for anyone who hasn’t seen it.  I recommend going in blind on this one and enjoying the ride.  My full review:  https://dawningcreates.com/2012/04/15/the-cabin-in-the-woods-review/

The Mist (2007):  Based on a Stephen King short, the story was really good but I enjoyed the ending in the movie more.  The day after a terrible storm hits a small Maine town (this is a King story remember) a strange and deadly fog rolls in, enveloping the town and releasing terrible, nightmarish creatures hiding in the deadly mists.  This is by far my favourite Stephen King adaptation and in my opinion, the best.  From the story to the production to the cast.  Even featuring the typical King character types, the movie is well done and the actors play their parts well.  Stars: Thomas Jane, Laurie Holden, Marcia Gay Harden, Andre Braugher.

In the Mouth of Madness (1994):  Bestselling horror novelist, Sutter Cane (Jürgen Prochnow), has disappeared shortly before the anticipated release of his newest novel.   His publisher hires insurance investigator John Trent (Sam Neill) to find him.  Trent heads to a fictional small town in search of Cane and finds more than he could have ever imagined finding as the lines between reality and fiction are erased and monsters, ala H.P. Lovecraft, ravage the world.  A good, mind tripping movie with monsters, writers and insanity.  Three things perfectly matched.

The Midnight Meat Train (2008):  Another Creature flick based on a short story but this time it comes from the dark mind of Clive Barker.  A New York photographer trying to make his mark and get that one shot that will propel him into stardom, stalks a man he suspects of being a serial killer in his ill-conceived pursuit.  I think this was the first movie that I saw the lovely Bradley Cooper in and he does a fine job as the ambitious and foolish photographer, Leon.  This is gritty, bloody and wonderful.  I read the short many years ago and it affected me with the imagery and horror; the movie has a much more intense impact as Leon loses all rational thought and so much more on his journey.  Also stars Vinnie Jones as the silent and creepy, Mahogany.

The Descent (2005): A caving expedition goes horribly wrong when an all female group of explorers are tricked into entering a cave that has never been mapped or recorded as being explored.  This is a tense, emotional movie as the women deal with betrayal by one of their own and come face to face with subterranean monsters, fighting to survive and to find the light at the end.

Dog Soldiers (2002): Another Neil Marshall gem (he also direct the above).  This time out, a group of soldiers on a training mission in the Scottish woods encounters the impossible, werewolves, and must survive the night hiding in a farmhouse surrounded by the ravenous creatures.  Starring the brilliant Sean Pertwee, Trevor McKidd and Liam Cunningham, this movie surprised me by being so well done.

The Thing (1982): I actually saw this for the first time last year and I really liked it.  Even though it is 30 years old, I think it has aged well.  A group of scientists in the Antarctic come face to face with an alien that morphs and assumes the appearance pf the scientists as well as the poor, doomed puppies.  Creepy as hell and defiantly has an ick factor.  I’m glad I finally watched this.  I have yet to see the one that came out in 2011 but will get to it when it’s time to clear out the PVR.

Movie Goodness: Horror>The Ghost List

 

I like being scared.  Scared like there is something creeping in the shadows, not scared like being tortured to death.  Some of these movies aren’t necessarily scary but are enjoyable ghost/paranormal movies.  I’m always looking for good, scary movies, so recommendations are welcome.

Paranormal Activity 1 & 2 (2007 & 2010):  Alright, so I’m slightly behind on this series because my husband refuses to watch Paranormal Activity 3 until Halloween.  I saw the first one in theatres and loved it!  The build up to increasing attacks, the bangs and thumps that make you jump; burning Ouija boards, sibling hopping demonic presence and home video. Good times.  I will eventually watch 3 and might even make it to the theatre for 4.

Grave Encounters (2011):  I wasn’t sure about this one but I really enjoyed it.  A group of reality TV wannabe’s decide to film an episode of their show, Grave Encounters, in a haunted asylum with no real belief or hope that anything supernatural will happen.  Of course, all hell breaks loose and the asylum takes over, making their reality show more real than any of them could have anticipated.  Good scares but as it is a found footage flick, some of the camera work is too unfocused and shaky. (https://dawningcreates.com/2012/07/02/grave-encounters-2011/)

Ghost Ship (2002): A salvage crew head out to sea at the behest of a mysterious stranger in search of an abandoned ocean liner.  The ship is found but there is more to it then merely being adrift for 40 years.  A surprisingly good movie with  a good story and great cast:  Gabriel Byrne, Karl Urban, Julianna Margulies, Ron Eldard, Desmond Harrington, Isaiah Washington and Emily Browning. (https://dawningcreates.com/2011/10/03/ghost-ship-review/)

The Others (2001): Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) and her two children, who suffer from an extreme allergy to sunlight, live in isolation in a mansion in Jersey during World War II.  Her husband is fighting in the war and to help maintain the house, she hires a creepy trio.  Not long after the three servants move in, Grace begins to see and hear strange things and becomes convinced the house is haunted.  I won’t get into the ending of this movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it.  The atmosphere of the countryside during war when there are frequent black outs, the isolation that Grace imposes on herself and her children and the creepiness as she spirals into the unknown make this one of the best and most subtle ghost movies out there.

Book of Shadows Blair Witch 2 (2000): First off, I did not like The Blair Witch Project and second, Book of Shadows is really nothing like the first one.  It uses the same setting and plays on the same history but it really is quite different and in my opinion, better. Is it really scary?  Not so much except for the creepy dead kids.  I liked the acting, characters and the story.  I think I’m in the minority on liking this one.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): Freddy’s coming for you in your dreams!  The razor fingered, dirty red and green sweater wearing, burned up child murderer has terrified viewers for 28 years.  I’m not sure if this one can really be classified as a ghost movie but here it is anyway.  I love this flick.  Even today it has the power to freak me out. There’s just something about Freddy that sends chills down my spine; always has and always will.  I intensely disliked the remake and the multiple follow ups were mediocre.  ANES is an original and scary movie.

The Shining  (1980): I debated including this one as a favourite.  I can’t stand Shelley Duval and Jack was only OK and boy, is it dated but the story and the setting are what really make this one of the great ghost stories.  I would like to see King’s tale redone (again) in this century because I think it deserves a worthy and modern adaptation.

Honourable Mention: House on Haunted Hill (1999); 1408 (2007); The Grudge (2004); The Ring (2002); A Haunting in Connecticut (2009); The Haunting (1999); The Amityville Horror (1979); Mirrors (2008); Wind Chill (2007); The Frighteners (1996); Poltergeist (1982); House (1986); Stir of Echos (1999); Session 9 (2001), Absentia (2011); The Innkeepers (2011); Insidious (2010); Rose Red (2002); 13 Ghosts (2001).