Scary Movie Reviews P
:: The Pack :: 2015 :: Nick Robertson ::
Hey now! I was not entirely anticipating how much I would like this movie, but it’s really tense! I’m particularly affected by this story because, while I’ve never heard of an attack on a person, I’ve seen packs of wild dogs roaming Philadelphia before, and it’s really terrifying to see so many dogs seeming so…animal. Anyway. This movie is brutal. The death scenes are violent and fucking scary, this is not a “let’s have fun and feel spooky on a rainy night!” kind of horror movie. However, with that in mind, they also do practice one of my favorite arts of the horror movie genre, Less-Is-More-Ism. The attacks don’t last long, and the movie doesn’t over-romanticize the violence. This movie has one major flaw, which bugged me a little (not a lot - I was able to more or less suspend my disbelief and go along with it): Why couldn’t the dogs seemingly ever find the people when they were sneaking around? There have been times when I’ve been looking out my second floor window, and a dog walking by notices me. We grew up with dogs - one of our old guys, Sparky, was just impossible to sneak up on, he could hear me walking on the carpeting, smell me, whatever. So you’re telling me these people are sneaking through a creaky house and whispering to each others, and the dogs just around the corner are just oblivious? Eh, but again, it’s pretty easy to forget this and really get into the movie. Win.
:: Pandemic :: 2016 :: John Suits ::
Horror movies just love to test novel approaches to filming. It’s one of the greatest perks of a genre which really delights in B-grade movies: there’s enough spirit and ingenuity to try things, even when they don’t work out entirely. While the first person shooter approach to this movie was a little shaky and cumbersome at times, it was able to differentiate itself from found footage films by constantly shifting viewpoint, person to person. It at times became a little difficult to remember who I was following at any given time, but I didn’t mind it much. It was kind of a hoot to see people speaking directly to me, an experience not unlike playing a Resident Evil game. The movie has a lot of pros: desolate cityscape, decent acting, solid zombies - they didn’t overdo it on the makeup, which helped everything not look quite so fake or ridiculous. It helped that they expanded their description of what a “zombie” was into five different categories, allowing most of them to just look like bloodied people, but also allowing some variation and more fun. Many zombies are just sick people, able to still rationally think and set traps make things as tense as possible. The director kept the CGI light, which was great. There were some fake-looking fires and stuff, but not enough to make the whole movie look cheesy. I don’t know why anyone even really tries it anymore. Anyway. It has a lot of cons, too, and ended up being a bit of a crummy movie, again not able to keep its momentum and excitement beyond the first 45 minutes or so. Actually, I’d go so far as to say the last 25 minutes are nearly unwatchable. Anyway, it’s not the worst movie, when all is said and done, particularly since there are so many absolutely terrible movies. But I can’t say I’d actually recommend you watch it.
:: Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension :: 2015 :: Gregory Plotkin ::
I mean, we know what to expect from the Paranormal Activity movies by now, right? This was a decent installment in the series, with some good creepy scares and some more interesting ideas. I loved what they did with the old tapes. It’s a sequel, which I thought actually made it weaker - call me old fashioned, but I thought these movies were a lot more effective when they focused on a singular haunting instead of an ancient horror kind of thing. Worth a watch, particularly the first 30 minutes or so, but don’t expect anything to knock yr socks off.
:: Plague :: 2014 :: Nick Kozakis & Kosta Ouzas ::
Picture this: Australian outback. 2014. A zombie plague has broken out. Civilization is in ruins. A group of survivors are camped out in an old storage building. Sounds exciting, right? Now imagine that you never see any zombies - not really. The whole movie is about talking. And not even necessarily interesting conversation. Someone gets shot in the first ten minutes of the movie. After that? No action. Of almost any kind. Sounds great, right? Right. Eh. I get what they were going for, but some awkward acting, stunted dialogue, and lack of real action keeps this from being interesting. It has some spikes of action, but generally, not worth it. I’d pass on this one.
:: Poltergeist :: 2015 :: Gil Kenan ::
So, there are some things about this movie that I like. I like Sam Rockwell. I mean, did you see Moon? If you didn’t see Moon, go watch it now. Instead of this hunk’a junk. Moon is good. Poltergeist is bad. I also love that the paranormal researcher is Mel from Frasier. That’s life! Anyway, just another crap remake aimed at teenagers, complete with scary dolls that come to life, weird and unnecessary CGI, and the most horrific thing of all…CHILD ACTORS. This movie has none of the subtlety, panache, or genuine scariness of the original, and should be avoided at all costs. This movie breaks the #1 tenant of all horror movies, possibly all movies, possibly everything in life: Whatever else may happen, NEVER be boring. This movie, simply put, is boring. And not scary.
:: Pontypool :: 2008 :: Bruce McDonald ::
Did NOT expect to like this movie, really didn't. Very interesting spin on the classic zombie story, won’t give any more away. I love the sparse environment, too: How do you deal with having a small budget? Have the entire movie take place in one building. Really impressed with this movie. Had a few small issues: one major pet peeve of mine is when zombies obviously disregard their instincts, ie. one is “hiding” behind a chair while everyone walks in. I mean, aren’t they mindless eating machines? When did they become tacticians? But very much worth the watch if you like zombie movies.