Comforting Skin is Uncomfortably Bad

Has art gone too far? Or not far enough? Comforting Skin is one of those shitty artsy film festival thrillers that try to be a lot of things and fails catastrophically at most of them. Let’s be honest here, pretentious art films are horrifying in and of themselves, but when done badly… Oh, if I hear that same set of somber piano notes one more time whilst the nude protagonist continues to look distantly contemplative in an uncomfortable sexual situation that calls for no such behavior, I may just smash something. If you’re afraid of feeling uncomfortable and/or annoyed while watching a movie, Comforting Skin will scare the unholy hell right out of you.

First and foremost, nudity. Lots of it. All the time. Are you, dear reader of reviews, at all interested in seeing Victoria Bidewell nude? Yes, no? Regardless, you will. This is an art film about living tattoos, you main-stream film inundated sheep. If there isn’t a bare breast every third cut, the material is too willingly oppressed by social taboo and is consequently rendered mundane and uninteresting to real film connoisseurs. Get it? Got it? Good.

Comforting Skin 2Koffie (Bidewell) is an attention-starved junkie loser who lives with her neurotic, antisocial composer friend Nathan (Tygh Runyan). Nathan relies on her to do most “outside” things, like going out for breakfast with him or buying his groceries, and has exactly one truly amusing moment in which he fumblingly tries to order sausages and eggs at a breakfast joint. Following that, he’s relegated to being an emotional crutch for all of Koffie’s inane bullshit. It’s a little disappointing that the film would rather show us Koffie prancing around naked than explore Nathan’s personality a little further; the fact that he has no sexual interest in her (or her promiscuous junkie friend) makes him the most complex movie persona in the universe.

Once upon a time, Koffie was out partying, and when nobody paid any attention to her, she decided to get a tattoo. And then, for some inexplicable reason, this tattoo began to speak, and proceeded to help Koffie masturbate when her intention at the time had nothing to do with masturbation whatsoever. Between the tattoo’s pseudo-surreal, whispery, annoyingly indistinct voice, its appropriately (initially) comforting discourse, and its tendency to jack her off in elevators while appealing to her self-directed toe fetish, Koffie feel deeply, deeply in love with it. If there’s any semblance of self-love and self-acceptance buried in this movie’s metric ton of frustrated sexuality, you won’t see it. Actual happiness isn’t nearly pretentious enough.

Then some shit happens and the tattoo gets jealous of Koffie’s relationship with Nathan and that plays on her fear of being alone so she goes movie crazy. Like, cliché crazy, mumbling how the tattoo is hers and she loves it and it loves her over again while ignoring everything around her. And then she cuts her toes off with a white collar machete.

Comforting Skin 3Maybe I’m wrong, though. Maybe this movie is actually art, and I’m the inundated sheep I sarcastically mentioned. All I know is that my final impression of Comforting Skin was one of irritation. I cannot stand self-important “I have a message buried in tumultuous human nature” garbage. Give it a watch, throw down a comment if I’m wrong, and please tell me why and how Comforting Skin is good. Also I’m lying, and if you actually comment that the movie is good then you really need to reevaluate your standards. “See past the nudity”, ha-gosh darn-ha.

The Bloody Disgusting review of Comforting Skin thinks that Nathan’s gay, but I think they’ve got it wrong, man. Nathan’s just not willing to subject himself to the romantic turbulence that comes with dating/screwing Koffie. But hey, whatever, it’s never explicitly stated. Or… maybe it is? I can’t remember, I was too busy wading through nearly two hours of angsty bullshit. Read the Bloody Disgusting review here, and go away. I need to watch something that doesn’t make me feel bad.

Oculus, a Reflection

Oculus

As a movie, Oculus was fresh, unique, and interesting. As a concept, it made me a little nervous. The metaphorical sun this star system of spooks orbits is an antique mirror haunted by a particularly nasty spirit that gets its rocks off by screwing with people’s minds before driving them to suicide. You might think, “But if the spirit’s power is connected to the mirror, why can’t the protagonists just smash it?” First of all, this is a horror movie. How dare you suggest the obvious solution. Secondly, the mirror doesn’t just mess with minds; it peels them apart and drags out your deepest, darkest memories, tormenting you at a growing pace via vivid hallucinations. You thought you were smashing the mirror? Nah, you were just watering a plant. Have a gun pointed at it? Double check you’re not pointing it at yourself. Lock and load!

OculusTim Russel (Brenton Thwaites) just got released from a mental institution, supposedly fixed after suffering a particularly nasty and mirror-oriented childhood trauma. His big sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan) has followed the Lasser Glass to an auction house, and marks it for “repair” so she can transport it to their old family home and set the record straight. With recorded evidence of ol’ Lassie Glassie’s supernatural nature, big sister can finally prove to the world that in fact the mirror killed her mother, not their father, who was driven to violent insanity by Lassie’s aura. See, the problem there is, Kaylie is afflicted by the teenage delusion that she’s invincible to Lassie’s influence, and Tim has been mentally “fixed” so meticulously that he initially doesn’t want anything to do with the project when his sister lays down the brass tacks.

Through a system of timers, cameras, and one weighted mirror-cracking killswitch on a timer, Kaylie hopes to threaten the mirror into defending itself against the threat of destruction, consequently recording tangible proof of its supernatural influence. It sure seems like a great idea, until the siblings start experiencing none other than violent, vivid hallucinations that take them right back to the darkest days of their childhood. And yes, they’re not allowed to leave. Not until the haunt is done with them.

See, due to the psychological nature of the Lasser Glass’s power, the backstory and the present are interwoven seamlessly, to the point where you wonder what’s real and what isn’t. Not only are Kaylie and Tim having flashbacks that shut off their awareness of the present, they’re also prone to normal hallucinations that screw with them to the same extent. Seriously, Kaylie goes to take a bite out of an apple and it turns out to be a light bulb. Or does it? I’m not gonna tell you because it would be spoiling one of my favorite moments.

OculusYou can get your hopes up for the Russel siblings, but you probably shouldn’t. Oftentimes the human mind is the only thing that can conquer deranged killers and spooks, but without that… You’re even more screwed than the idiots who keep leaving machetes and chainsaws next to the supposedly dead murderer’s body. Basically spoiled the nature of the ending, but at least you get to wonder just how catastrophically they fail!

Kofi Outlaw of ScreenRant was none too happy with the ending, saying that it went out with a fizzle instead of a bang. I’m on the same page, but I do think Oculus is creative enough to warrant a curiosity watch and a rewatch for clarity at the very least. Kofi explains the origin of the film in his review, so if you want the full Oculus review experience, take a dive through here: http://screenrant.com/oculus-reviews-movie-2014/

Haunter is Horror Evolved

Haunter

Which makes it Gengar. You may not have heard that I was gonna Raichu a review about it, because I’m glad you came and Togepi-k to see what it was all about anyway.

I haven’t seen Groundhog Day in maybe four, five years, but Haunter brought the memory right back. The genres are completely different, Groundhog day being a romantic comedy with Bill Murray, and Haunter being a vaguely psychological horror thriller with Abigail Breslin. You remember Abigail, right? The adorable girl from Little Miss Sunshine? See, there’s no sunshine where she is this time around, but there is plenty of fog. And ghosts. I had trouble transitioning from stripping and dancing to Super Freak, but I digress.

HaunterHaunter’s premise and execution are commendable, making this one of the few horror movies that’s actually worth watching for the plot. In it, Lisa (Breslin) is quite dead, but isn’t aware of it. What she is aware of is the single day that she’s forced to experience over and over again, all variations caused by her actions insignificant and lost when the next loop begins. Her attempts to break free of the cycle incite a medley of strange sounds and voices, all of which serve the dual purpose of startling both you and her while pointing to clues that explain what the heck happened.

That’s when the Pale Man comes. Disguised as a phone line repairman, he politely asks Lisa to ignore the strange happenings in the house and to just act as if everything is normal. There certainly won’t be any problems if she does that. She doesn’t listen, of course, and he doesn’t like it. The more Lisa listens to the whispers, the closer she comes to understanding the nature of her reality. Trying to find where the bodies are buried ends up taking a literal turn and revealing that she isn’t the only one whose spirit has been claimed by the house.

HaunterHaunter is a once-off watch, but that isn’t a bad thing. The intricacies of its plot are unique enough to keep you guessing what’s going to happen, and though it isn’t terribly visceral or full of jump-scares, you’ll find yourself in a perpetual state of unease until the climax. The ending is bland, but as with happiness, the meaning is in the path you walk, not the destination you seek. This film may not be happiness itself, but it’s definitely a fun way to waste an hour and a half.

Dee Rudebeck of TheGuardian mentions Groundhog Day as well, which makes me a little sad inside because I’m not the unique butterfly I thought I was. Also according to the speaker of the guardian, Haunter is a bit slow and uninspired, which I COMPLETELY DISAGREE WITH GO WATCH THE MOVIE. Ahem. Here’s the link to the alt review: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/apr/03/haunter-review-horror-abigail-breslin#start-of-comments

The Woman, or Feral Sex Slave

The Woman

Hold onto your Stockholm syndrome, lads and lasses! This one’s a doozie. Bloody Disgusting indeed. Every time I see that buzz-saw skull, I know I’m in for a real treat.

The Woman. Now, there’s a simple title. What could possibly hide behind such mystifying ambiguity? Surely it couldn’t be a blatant rape fantasy disguised as a would-be noble message of anti-misogyny? Oops, spoiler alert. Truth be told, I went looking for a bad movie based on title alone, and it seems as though my nose is sharp, and my criticism sharper. Let’s crack this nut, shall we?

The WomanThe description should send a message to any interested in rape roleplay, as it suggests a woman living in the wild is captured by a sadistic lawyer who then tries to “civilize her.” This is no Tarzan and Jane story we’re dealing with, I’ll have you know. Torture, nudity, molestation, rape, it’s all there. Quality entertainment. Ever wanted to watch a child perform nipple torture with a pair of pliers? This is the flick for you! There’s no way to look around it, because it’s basically the entire movie.

Plot-wise, there isn’t much to go on. The “protagonists” are a family of four consisting of a chronically depressed (and pregnant) daughter, a delinquent son, a submissive mother, and a complete monster of an abusive father. The father goes hunting, finds the woman living in the woods, knocks her out, and ties her up in his cellar. Then, because he’s such a generous soul, he lets his entire family participate in her civilization. Rather, he forces them, but the film is about sensationalizing rape so that goes without saying.

The WomanThe concept driving the film is designed to cause its viewers to question the difference between “feral” and “civilized.” You would obviously side with the woman after seeing what the lawyer and his son do to her, but I’m of the opinion that it’s easier to express and propagate feminism without portraying its exact opposite to an offensive extreme. As a viewer and not a director, I’d have to say that all The Woman did was piss me off. As such, my review comes down to a matter of taste, and I find this particular film profoundly distasteful.

I shan’t be attaching an alternate review this time around due to the fact that I can’t seem to find a concurrent opinion, and I’d prefer nobody else be subjected to this sensationalist garbage. If you look up an alternate review on your own, you’re going to come across the Sundance festival incident. All you need to know is, there were plenty of walkouts. That’s all. Have a great time not watching The Woman.

The Fourth Kind Probed Itself Wrong

The Fourth Kind

The Fourth Kind is a horror movie that wants its audience to believe that its content is true. We’re not talking about a murder with a vaguely supernatural nature, by the way. We’re talking about aliens. Hold the cream and sugar please, I take my aliens straight. This flick is so adamant about being real that it plays “actual” recorded footage side by side with the actual feature. And you used to scoff when movies said “inspired by true events” and left it at that. What an utter delight that is by comparison. On top of that, it has a pair of opening and closing segments in which its actors speak out of character about how very REAL the footage is. To paraphrase, “I’m not saying the events of this movie are real, but they are and we have video evidence to prove it.” Effort only a mother- excuse me, paranoid alien conspiracy theorist could admire.

The Fourth Kind

The idea driving The Fourth Kind isn’t bad on its own; several of a psychiatrist’s patients begin sharing the same dream and having panic attacks when hypnotized. The psychiatrist takes note of their behavior, and upon studying all the facts, suddenly concludes that aliens are responsible. After she hits that point, the movie says “yeah definitely aliens” and throws in some large ovular UFOs, a mandatory quasi-nude probing scene, and makes sure to not actually show any aliens by having every camera suffer a stroke at every potentially revealing moment. I’m not referring to the probing thing, but you don’t get to see anything anyway.

The Fourth KindYou see, The Fourth Kind goes about inspiring fear and awe with all the subtlety and tact of a surgeon with a chainsaw who happened to forget his subtlety and tact medication. Borrowing elements from the possession subgenre of horror, victims of alien attacks apparently float, hear voices speaking in Sumerian, and start breaking things while hypnotized. After that, they go crazy and murder their families because they don’t want to remember being abducted. They even have a skeptical cop who goes out of his way to be a complete prick to the protagonists, because he doesn’t believe in aliens and only assholes don’t believe in aliens. Have you not seen all the proof? LOOK AT ALL THE PROOF ALIENS ARE REAL SHUN THE NON-BELIEV-

*cough*

The Fourth KindPoor Milla Jovovich. Even as sci-fi actress royalty, this was not one of her finer roles. Not because of her acting, mind you, but because of the content. If only aliens would come down and extract the memory of her ever having participated in the filming of this movie, eh? Tee hee.

Oh, yeah, and one last thing. If you have seen or are going to see The Fourth Kind, replace the aliens with demons and tell me the transition isn’t unusually smooth.

Annalee Newitz of io9.com claims outright in her review that The Fourth Kind is a hoax. That’s kind of tongue in cheek, because you’d have to be pretty oblivious not to be able to tell. You can sell a movie by the nature and quality of its content, but when your selling point hinges on your audience believing your work of fiction to be truth… you better do a damn good job making it seem real. And The Fourth Kind didn’t. Here’s the alt review link: http://io9.com/5397359/the-fourth-kind-is-a-hoax

Lovely Molly, Attack of the Ghost Horse

Lovely Molly

I’ll explain the title momentarily.

Speaking of titles, Lovely Molly was originally going to be called The Possession, you know. Considering the title “The Possession” is about as original as all the Paranormal Activity spinoffs out there, I’d say Lovely Molly is a better choice. Though not intended, I interpret the title as a sort of sarcastic jab at Molly’s descent to madness throughout the film. Seriously, you’ll have a laugh too once I explain everything. Ahem!

Lovely MollyFirst of all, the real reason Molly is so “lovely” is because her insanity orbits around sex and ultraviolence. Mainly sex. You’ll see Gretchen Lodge nude often enough to wonder if the director was recovering from an overdose of Viagra while filming. It’s all part and parcel of demonic horror movies, really. Everyone knows Satan loves him some booty.

As far as backstory goes, Lovely Molly sits right on the border of interesting and meh. The premise is that Molly and Hannah were sexually abused by their scumbag father up until Hannah killed him. Not content to leave the world early, the evil in his spirit brought him back as a demon, and he haunts their family home in an attempt to exact revenge by driving them mad. Simple but effective, right?

Lovely MollyI said “Attack of the Ghost Horse” because scumbag ghost dad is a horse demon, thus clops around when he walks. Having seen pictures from Molly’s childhood that contain horses, I was under the impression that perhaps something had happened to her pet horse as a kid and it was coming back to wreak havoc. That would have been absolutely hilarious, especially when done in this movie’s dire tone. But hey, Rapey Undead Demon Dad works too. But not as well as Vengeful Ghost Horse, let’s be honest with ourselves.

Right! Now to actually explain the story! Molly and Tim are newlyweds, and they have moved into Molly’s old family home because they’re broke. Tim is a truck driver, so he doesn’t get to spend much time with his darling wife who also happens to be a recovering heroin addict. Lovely lovely! Soon, creepy things start happening, and Molly slowly begins to flip out. Most of her madness involves seduction and cannibalism, which would be much more entertaining if the malevolent entity was just a horse. Instead of all that inane would-be creepy singing, there could be whinnies and neighs. Lovely Ghost Horse made me do it, officer.

Lovely MollyIn short, the only reason you need to see this movie is to understand all the jokes I made while reviewing it. See? It’s kind of like an entrapment scheme. Now that you know my glorious sense of humor has shone light upon this horsey booby spectacle, you have no choice but to view it by whatever means are available to you. I used Netflix, just so ya know.

Ryan Turek of ShockTillYouDrop offers much tamer and less spoiler-filled review of Lovely Molly. Isn’t it a shame that you’ve already indulged in my sparkling potpourri of goofy horse oriented opinions? Read different words about the same thing right here: http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/reviews/169235-review-lovely-molly/



Grave Encounters, Madmen in Mascara

Grave Encounters

Grave Encounters has accomplished something that I haven’t ever seen done in a horror movie: Self-insert cliché-heavy irony. It’s a movie about a movie that claims to be real whilst engaging in a multitude of horror clichés, namely mostly night-time, haunted asylums, and shit jumping out of the walls and yelling at the camera. I’d give a sarcastic tip of my hat to the facial effects used for scares, but the setting wound up making Grave Encounters a fun watch! I wouldn’t watch it again unless I was bored stupid, but nevertheless, it’s tip-top on my list of throwaway scary movies.

They start the movie out by having a character tell you that everything in the movie in the movie is real. Of course, him being in the movie means that the movie in the movie is real only in the movie-universe, so they don’t actually want you to believe that Grave Encounters is an actual documentary gone awry. If you mentally queued an Inception joke, kindly shut your computer down and climb into your dishwasher.

Grave EncountersThe general idea is that the crew of Grave Encounters  investigates an abandoned asylum in order to theatrically hunt for ghosts and then actually find some. If done in a different way, perhaps more simply, I would have branded this flick a steaming pile o’ poop. The aspect that really kept my interest was the inescapable nature of the asylum. I’ll avoid spoiling anything, but suffice it to say that their attempt at breaking down the main doors in order to escape will probably blow your mind at least a little.

If I had to boil everything down to straight ratings, they would be as follows:

  • Characters – 4/10, horror movie wallpaper.
  • Setting – 10/10, inescapable asylum. Yes indeed.
  • Eerie Factor – 6/10, lots of hallways and noises and tension.
  • Jump Factor – 8/10, you know it’s coming. And then it does.
  • Effects – 3/10, only points coming from the ghost movement crap.
  • Sequel – 2/1 in quantity, not quality; should’ve stopped.

Grave EncountersHell, I’m pretty bad at numeric ratings. I prefer adjectives. The adjective that comes to mind when thinking of Grave Encounters is “almost good.” I like what they did with their scare-floor, but it isn’t new territory overall. Good laughs in the beginning, though, despite the Herman Munster looking guy’s corn. So should you see it? Yeah, it’s worth a shot. Admittedly, it will be a once-off, but that’s one shot put to good use!

Steve Pulaski of Letterboxd took a shine to Grave Encounters, appreciating the lack of satire surrounding paranormal TV shows, which in this instance means the characters don’t say, “It’s actually real!” over and over again until you fire back with, “YEAH WE GET IT.” I’m glad I haven’t come across to many of those movies, or if I have, I’m glad I don’t remember them at all. Check out the review here: http://letterboxd.com/stevepulaski/film/grave-encounters/

ATM Had its Card Rejected

ATM

I’m going to have more fun reviewing ATM than I had watching it. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love reviewing movies that are outright terrible; when the horror is based on a concept so- what’s the best word for it? Perfunctory. A concept so perfunctory and sloppily executed that suspension of disbelief doesn’t even factor in. Some movies have moments when you throw a hand up and say, “Come on! That doesn’t even make sense!” ATM is a living, breathing, “come on!” moment. Let’s take a closer look.

The idea is that a creepy guy hangs around the outside of a walk-in ATM and traps a trio of yuppies inside. The setup plot isn’t even worth describing, because the characters are completely unlikable. Rather than describe the events that take place throughout the film, I’ll just describe every last thing that made me do a full stop. To start things off, once they are all inside the walk-in ATM, The Man (or so the credits title the fuzzy-hooded, faceless antagonist) murders a guy outside with his bare hands. They decide to stay in the heated glass box and wait him out. Let the list begin.

One. Both the dudes left their cell phones in the car, and the lady’s is out of batteries. First cliche, so it isn’t that bad. Or is it?

ATMTwo. They’re able to tell that The Man is unarmed, but nobody ever considers that they’re three strong and can probably kick his ass.

Three. The movie tries to use temperature as a horror aspect. The Man cuts off the heat to the ATM, and apparently it’s below freezing outside, so they begin to freeze immediately; proof that yuppies have no natural body heat, even when agitated.

Four. After the lady writes “HELP” in lipstick on one of the windows, a security guard comes in. The wind suddenly picks up so they can’t hear them telling him to turn around. He promptly dies to The Man. Calculated.

Five. A bystander enters the walk-in ATM without swiping his card and the yuppies murder him, thinking he’s The Man. He doesn’t say a thing, even when they’re fighting, and must not have seen the giant “HELP” sign.

This is fun, isn’t it? I’m having fun. You might want to watch after all. Play a drinking game! Every time something stupid happens, drink! You’ll get absolutely smashed. Anyway.

Six. The Man tries to flood the ATM by stringing a Christmas tree farm hose through the air vent after blocking the door with a car. I’m absolutely certain that all walk-in ATMs are completely air-tight with unbreakable glass. The more you know!

Seven. The most hectic part, selected to be a negative point because it is in fact not very interesting. One yuppie down by now due to a screwdriver in the gut. The other two set off the fire suppression system to get help. So, The Man crashes a car into the front door of the ATM, killing the lady. Two down!

ATMEight. When does it stop?! The final yuppie creates a Molotov cocktail from a half-empty bottle of tequila and throws it at some obviously human-looking clothes that The Man had set up on his chair. Yuppies believe that homicidal maniacs are morons that don’t try to run when having a firebomb thrown at them, y’know.

Nine. After the cocktail goes off, the police arrive and take the remaining yuppie into custody. The video recording from inside the ATM machine somehow makes it look like he is responsible for every last thing The Man did.

Ten. Yes, there are ten. There is no hope. In the final moments of the movie, it’s revealed that The Man does this for fun all the time. He literally plans on bothering people to death in gas stations, convenience stores, and yes indeedy, walk-in ATMs.

That’s… that’s just fantastic. Rodrigo Perez of IndieWire’s stumbled upon a few that I missed. That puts the list past fourteen. I feel like reading further about this crappy movie is entirely unnecessary, because you already know how good it is. All the same, here’s a second look at this B-movie abomination: http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/review-atm-is-an-impossibly-implausible-hilariously-bad-b-movie-20120404


Oh, and eleven. The glass on the windows looks like scotch tape.

The Hole is Deeper Than I Assumed

The Hole

The Hole. I know it sounds like some sort of generic slasher, or a porno whose title isn’t at all creative, but surprisingly, it’s one of the best thrillers I’ve seen in a while. I should have figured it was good when I saw Thora Birch, Kiera Knightley, and Desmond Harrington in the opening credits, but you can’t really trust Netflix instant-view, can you? Such a pleasant surprise. Anyway, I’d like to start this review off by stating that despite the fact that the setting is in Britain and not all of the cast was British, there were no outright horrible accents. In dramatic moments, Thora slips a bit, but that doesn’t take away from her overall performance. Let’s begin.

There are five main characters in this story: Martyn, the articulate above-society geek, Elizabeth, the desperately lonely shy girl, Mike, the dreamy son of a rock star, Frankie, the image-obsessed popular girl, and Geoff, the raunchy jock. Frankie and Geoff are a couple, Martyn’s been friends with Liz since they were young and wants to take things a step further, but she is hot for Mike to a degree that would leave you with first degree burns. See what I did there? … Sorry.

The HoleLiz wants to hook up with Mike more than anything, but she can’t figure out how to get him to notice her. She asks Martyn for help, and despite his feelings, he offers up a rather unusual opportunity for them to get to know each other better. The plan is for the four (not Martyn) to spend a three day stay in an abandoned military bunker whilst skipping on a field trip. The isolation would give Liz a chance to show off her charm to Mike, and Frankie and Geoff could just diddle in a corner somewhere I guess.

Only, on the third day, when Martyn is supposed to open the hatch, he never shows up. The four find themselves sealed in with only a limited supply of food and water. From the beginning you see Liz speaking to a therapist about the incident, which suggest that everything turned out all right in the end. As you progress, however, the sequence of events takes a very dark turn indeed, and it becomes clearer and clearer that there’s more to Liz’s story than anyone could have imagined. Maybe.

The HolePardon the intentional lack of specificity, but I really don’t want to spoil this one. It’s good enough to glue me to the screen, so it should do the same for you as well. There are moments that earn The Hole its R rating, but none of them are overdone or obviously for the sake of shock value. They compliment the gravity of the story well, and will seem to blend into the background when everything starts coming together.

Dr. Doctor of CinemaFreaks made a rather positive diagnosis of The Hole’s condition. Though its initial symptoms were rather unsettling and its genetic predisposition suggested worse things to come, Dr. Doctor was happy to see that the patient pulled through in the end. In my own medical opinion, a little bit of crazy can go a long way in the realm of entertainment, especially when it isn’t overacted Hollywood crazy. Grab your own copy of The Hole’s charts here: http://docuniverse.blogspot.com/2011/06/review-hole-2001.html

Shrooms Takes You on a Bad Trip

Shrooms

Crawling out of the B-horror movie depths of contemporary hooligan shenanigans comes Shrooms, the tale of a group of friends who go to Europe to blow their minds on magic mushrooms. Only, one of them has a bad trip, and freaky things start happening. People wind up missing. Some die. And in the end, you’ll understand the entire movie after you witness the plot twist. … Shit, that was basically the entire synopsis. Good game, guys. A 10/10 review for a 4/10 movie. See you all next time.
ShroomsBeing serious for a brief moment, I almost enjoyed the flick because of the main character and the European friend. They’re the only two that aren’t absolutely obnoxious and utterly at odds with one another, and they’re also the only characters that are more than expendables. Tara, the blondie, eats a super-dangerous mushroom that Jake, the shroom expert, says will give you superhuman strength and foresight if you survive its initial effects. After she has a seizure and is put to bed, Jake tells a spooky story about a religious coven that holed up in the very woods they are to trip in.

And then all the horrors he described in his stories begin to happen in real life! Tara, oddly enough, claims to have foreseen each and every one of them. After the first death or two, everybody splits up and runs around the forest until there’s only one left. They run around the ramshackle home of the indigenous drooling duo, they barrel through the fort of the coven, and they have a small trek through the shallows of the lake.

ShroomsThere aren’t too many jump scares to worry about, as Shrooms instead favors an ominous, eerie mood created by Jake’s campfire story and the resulting disturbing hallucinations. I can’t guarantee constant, edge of seat tension, but I can guarantee an okay-why-not watch if you’ve been looking for a good horror movie for a few hours but can’t lower your standards enough to watch the truly bad ones.

Duncan Bowles of DenOfGeek provided me with a tidbit of information that was rather disappointing. Apparently Shrooms was supposed to be nouveau and not a rudimentary slasher. They really should have done more than rely on the hallucination aspect to set them apart, because once the twist is behind you, you’ll realize that it was just a big boring old slasher with mushrooms. That actually turns my 4/10 to a 3/10. Here’s the other bigger review that can better detail why Shrooms is uninspired: http://www.denofgeek.us/movies/friday-the-13th/6590/shrooms-review

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