Sunday, July 15, 2018

When Life Gives you Demons...

And here we are. Demon movie number 3 in the Demonathon portion of Ferndale Public Library’s horror movie collection. A side note: Pretty soon, the horror section and all of the DVDs will be in alphabetical order making it not only easier for the staff and myself to locate our beloved movies, but also, you, the patron. That means that if there is anything that you see here that you think you want to check out, it’ll be MUCH easier to find in the future.

So. Okay, let’s get to it.

In the criminal justice system, demons are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: The detectives, who investigate crime, and the psychiatrist dating the detective investigating the crime. This is their story.

And that about describes this week’s movie, 2015’s Demonic. Starring Maria Bello, Frank Grillo, Cody Horn, Dustin Milligan, Scott Mechlowicz, Megan Park, Aaron Yoo, and Alex Goode.

Okay. So. Here’s how it breaks down.

The story starts with Detective Lewis (Grillo) being called to the scene of a grisly mass murder in an old house where another grisly murder happened years ago. Apparently, someone took an ax to a whole lot of people, leaving only one man alive. Detective Lewis calls for backup, then calls his girlfriend, Dr. Klein(Bello) who happens to be a psychiatrist to interview the poor shaken up John(Milligan) and to piece together whatever happened.

So, through a series of flashbacks, John tells Dr. Klein what exactly happened which was just this:

John is having nightmares about his mom in the town murder house. John’s girlfriend, Michelle(Horn) and brother, Sam(Alex Goode), convince him that the way to get rid of the nightmares is to go to the murder house and face his fear...or something. In the meantime, they get to team up with Michelle’s ex-boyfriend, Bryan(Mechlowicz) and his ghost fighting crew.

Fast forward to everyone playing Ghosthunters in the murder house. Bryan spends most of the time being super insecure and aggro towards John because he’s the new boyfriend as opposed to doing things like taking appropriate precautions in an old abandoned house and making sure people are safe.

Things kind of jump back and forth from past to present as Detective Lewis tries to piece together the murders. John tells them that his girlfriend and Bryan are still alive and they have to find Bryan because he’s possessed and he’s the one that killed everybody.

Okay, so in the flashbacks, we see them experiencing little things. Closing doors, crucifixes turning upside down, normal, beginning of the movie demon stuff. Eventually some seriously messed up stuff starts to happen. A room spontaneously catches fire and Ghosthunter Jules(Park) gets pulled out of the room by an unseen force.

Here is the part where you will scream; “GET THE HELL OUT OF THE HOUSE STUPID!” They don’t, of course, because screw logic.

It’s not until they discover a ballerina music box that points to a rug in the next room (Yes, the next room. Don’t think about it too hard) where they find what appears to be a circle of Satan carved into the floor.

Now. It’s around this time that things get seriously messed up. They get the bright idea to use the circle of Satan to summon spirits to talk to them. Jules assures everyone that if they stay in the circle and stay connected to one another they’ll be fine. You can see where this is going, right?

Things are not fine. The house starts shaking, things start flying off walls, everyone runs screaming in different directions and Bryan gets possessed and goes Lizzy Borden on everyone.

At least, that’s John’s story anyway.

Now, I was going to post the twist to this story, but you’ll figure it out waaaayyy before anything starts to happen. I mean, I had it all worked out within John’s first five minutes of screen time, but I watch a lot of horror movies, so…yeah. I’ll leave it to you. Maybe it’s really a big surprise and I just watch way too many horror movies.

So, jewel or no jewel. Yeah, I mean, it wasn’t quite bad enough for a raspberry. I mean, the ending kind of made up for it…but not really since it was fairly obvious that’s the way the story was going. I mean, it was bad, but not that bad. Wasn’t that good, either. I’ll give it a Pink Diamond.

Heh. Shout out to my Steven Universe peeps. The show is bomb, right now, right??  ;)

So, next week is Darling. Looks very college, Indie film, which doesn’t mean it’s bad. There’s lots of good Indie Horror out there, so I’m looking forward to it.

-- O~

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Basic Demon Movie

So, remember last week when I said I didn’t know what to expect for this week’s movie?

Yeah…I really wish someone had warned me.

Also, apparently, since we’re on the Ds now, that means that I’m gonna have to watch a whole lot of demon movies since apparently, in Hollywood, D stands for Demon more than anything else in a horror movie. Yay, me!

Normally, that’s not something I would mind, exactly, but this week’s movie…sigh…let’s just get into it, shall we?

The Darkness starring Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, David Mazouz, Lucy Fry, Ming-Wa Wen, Ilza Ponko, Alma Martinez, and Paul Reiser. Yes, that Paul Reiser. You know, Mad About You, really just there for comedy relief Paul Reiser. Yeah. And you might think that Reiser has a more serious tone in this movie. You might think that, but you’d be wrong.

Okay, so, I’ll give you a second to get your Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon connections out of your system. Don’t worry. I found myself realizing that with Ming-Wa Wen being in this movie that means everyone in Agents of Shield has a Bacon number of two. It’s fine.

All right, done? Okay, let’s move on.

First, let me just say that this movie suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucccccckkkkkkkssss. Like sucks. Like not scary, barely interesting, and pretty inflammatory to autistic people and Native Americans and Mexicans. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Basic synopsis. So, Alcoholic Wife(Mitchell) is married to Mr. Can’t-keep-it-in-his-pants (Bacon). They have an autistic son (Mazouz) and a bulimic daughter (Fry). Before we go on, these are pretty serious issues ESPECIALLY when a whole family of four has to contend with them. You’d think that the screenwriters might have done a little bit of research…right?

NO! Of course not. Why do research when making it up is SO much more fun?

So, family of four go out to some canyon on a trip. Autistic son falls into a cave and finds stones with weird carvings on them on a makeshift altar. He, of course, pockets them and takes them home.

Pretty soon weird stuff starts happening around the house. Doors and cabinets opening by themselves, sooty handprints all over the place, you know, basic haunting stuff.

From there, autistic son starts acting out, which, I gotta pause for a second here. Outside of the fact that the son is the only one of them, that really doesn’t look like any of them…like at all…like he looks like a completely different race than the rest of the family…like maybe mom hooked up with the Jewish mailman kind of different…yeah, it’s weird.

So, outside of that fact, they don’t talk about their son’s condition. I mean, they do, but they do it in a weird, vague kind of way like: “He sees things we don’t see” and “He’s just different from the rest of us”. We don’t even hear anyone refer to him as being autistic until he tries to kill his grandmother’s cat.

Okay, so son’s acting out, then ghostly stuff starts happening, all the while, the family is fighting with one another and, by the way, there is zero chemistry between any of them. I was basically watching four actors just trying to get through a dang shoot. Even Kevin Bacon seemed to just be giving up halfway through his lines in spots.

Somewhere along the line, Alcoholic Mom hears about a psychic healer through her husband’s boss’ wife, played respectively by Reiser and Wen. So, she tries to bring it up, but hubby blows her off until a bunch of soot tries to kill Little Miss Bulimia.

They move out to a hotel and call the psychic healer (Martinez), who shows up to the house with her…daughter(Ponko), I think. (I was looking at my Facebook by this point) Anyway, the healer, through translation because, of course, she doesn’t speak a word of English, tells them that ancient demons from a long-lost Native American tribe are haunting their house and if they don’t stop them, then the end of the world will come.

But no pressure.

Psychic Healer and her translator set to work banishing the spirit all “Go into the light, Carol Ann” but end up failing…miserably. Autistic boy, who’s been totally cool with being kidnapped by Ancient tribe of demons opens a portal and proceeds to step through. Mr. Can’t-Keep-it-in-his-pants finds him and decides, right then, that he actually does care about saving this stinking pile of a movie and opts to sacrifice himself for the life of his son.

But wait! It gets worse!

Autistic son finds the stones that opened the portal in the first place, puts them back on the altar (which is in the portal he stepped through) and banishes the demons. Himself. No need for anyone to banish them with strange Mexican powers…cuz that’s a thing.

And they all live happily ever after effectively killing any hope of saving this movie by perishing in a ball of blue flame like I’d hoped.

Do I really need to say that this is getting a raspberry? I mean, gah. It was really just...basic. Basically awful.

Okay, so next week is Demonic. Number four in this impromptu demonathon. I feel like I remember when this one came out, but, to be honest, I don’t think I’ve seen it. Guess I’m changing that next week.

(Yay, Demons!)


Sunday, July 1, 2018

Demons, Demons Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink

Hey, everybody! So you might’ve noticed that I missed two whole weeks in a row. Well, if you’ve been keeping up with the blog, then you know that those two weeks was time I spent following my dream to take over the world…with my books. :D

So, yeah, for info on how my book fairs went, head over to my website and click on the News link.

Okay, so, since I bailed on your guys for two weeks in a row, I suppose I owe you a double feature. Let’s get on with it, then.

The Conjuring 2, starring Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Madison Wolfe, Frances O’Connor, Franka Potente, and Bonnie Aarons as this chick:

Arguably, one of the coolest monster makeup jobs.

Now, when last you left WTFH, I made the statement that I wasn’t really expecting very much out of this one. Saw the first one in the theatre and totally fell for the whole “It’s the scariest movie you’ll ever see” movie voice and I was not impressed, even though all my people kept saying things like: “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DIDN’T LIKE THE CONJURING??? IT WAS SO SCARY! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? ARE YOU A COMMUNIST OR SOMETHING?”

Yeah, yeah, I watch a lot of horror movies and yeah, maybe I’m a little more desensitized than most people. But I’ve also watched enough horror movies to know scary when I see it, even if it doesn’t keep me up at night and The Conjuring did not keep me awake at night. It barely kept me awake in the theatre.

So, what, then, did I think of part 2?

Well, lemme set the scene for you. If you’ve seen part one, then you know that we, the audience, are following the adventures of Ed and Lorraine Warren, Ghostbusters. Now, these stories are also “based on a true story”, which, FYI, means everything from “everything in this thing happened just like we’re telling you” to “well, at least, the names are spelled right”. The debate on where that falls for the Warrens is one that’s been historically and fervently documented for the better part of thirty years. I’m not going to dive into that pool for this review, though. It’s kind of better to leave everything you might know about the Warrens in the hall before you walk through the door.

So, in this movie, Ed (Wilson) and Lorraine (Farmiga) have decided to retire from ghostbusting as it’s getting to be too much for Lorraine. The whole Amityville thing went a little sideways when Lorraine witnesses her husband die in a vision, so, Lorraine convinces Ed that maybe it’s time to hang up the old medium hat.

Meanwhile, in London, the Hodgeson family suddenly starts experiencing supernatural occurrences in their little flat. Occurrences that begin with the middle child, Janet (Wolfe), who decides it would be fun to play with a homemade Ouija board. Pretty soon, little Reagan Janet becomes possessed by the ghost that lives in their house.

Things quickly get out of hand and before long, news of the Hodgeson’s case reached the Warrens. They go out to investigate at the behest of the church, who want to know if this is a hoax before they do the whole “The power of God compels you” thing on little Janet.

So, they go, much to Lorraine’s dismay. This is where things get interesting. Weird and messed up things start happening to everyone, but very little is actually documented conclusively. Most of what The Warrens (and other Ghostbusters that have decided to join them…I don’t remember why) experience, they experience firsthand. To make matters worse, little Janet is caught on tape faking a poltergeist attack. Once the Ghostbusters see the footage, they decide that the whole thing is a waste of time and pack their things to leave, much to the Hodgeson’s dismay. And as soon as they dip out, Janet is promptly attacked by the evil Demon Nun ghost.

Fortunately for her, The Warrens figure out that the ghost made her fake the incident and rush back just in time to save her in an epic battle in the rain...because it looks more awesome that way.

Now, I know all of that sounds a little meh, but I’m leaving out a lot of detail to the story. It actually plays out in a way that makes enough sense to keep your attention. Wilson and Farmiga as The Warrens come off as downright pleasant, even likable. I actually found myself rooting for them by the end of the movie. Plus, some pretty neat things happen special effects wise. Like this for example:

What the heck are you looking at, you ask? She's in the wall, folks. In the freaking wall.

So, as much I really don’t want to, I begrudgingly give The Conjuring 2 a jewel. I’m not a fan of the franchise and the first one sucked, but at the end of the day, good is good and part 2 was actually pretty well done.

Okay, so next movie:

Deathgasm, starring Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, Kimberley Crossman, Sam Berkley, Daniel Cresswell, Stephen Ure, Delaney Tabrone, Colin Moy, Jodie Rimmer, Nick Hoskins-Smith, Errolls Shand, Andrew Laing and Kate Elliot.

Let me begin by saying New Zealanders really know how to make a messed-up movie. It was like The Gate, Evil Dead, Dead Alive, and Cannibal Corpse had a massive orgy. A really bloody orgy.

I’m not kidding. It’s really freakin’ gory. Do not watch this one while eating.

So, the story goes that Brodie’s (Cawthorne) father passes away and his meth addict mother is put away in a mental institution for doing crazy meth addict things. He’s sent away to live with his Aunt (Rimmer) and Uncle (Moy) in the small town of Greypoint. Brodie hates it because it’s a small town and Brodie is a metalhead. His love of metal directly clashes with his Uncle’s Christian values and his cousin David (Hoskins-Smith) is a jock and a bully and hates him because he’s a metalhead.

Brodie finds friends, however, in two nerdy kids Giles(Cresswell) and Dion(Berkley) and fellow metalhead Zakk (Blake)…who by the way looks a lot like Danzig...except taller...

So, Brodie and his new friends decide to form a metal band, aptly named Deathgasm. During their adventures, they discover that legendary Rock God, Rikki Daggers (Ure) lived in an abandoned house somewhere in town. They find said house and, subsequently, find Daggers. After Daggers gives them one of his albums and tells them to guard it with their lives, they go back home only to find they’ve been Rick-Rolled with a Rick Astley album.

Okay, so, in the album cover they find mysterious sheet music and decide to play it. That’s about when things enter the “It’s so metal that” realm of the movie.

The song is so metal that it possesses the whole town, turning everyone except the band members (and Brodie’s love interest) into Evil Dead style Deadites.

They kill the Metal Deadites in many, many metal ways. Ax to the face, Weedwacker to the junk, etc. But the most imaginative was when Brodie and Zakk are forced to kill his aunt and uncle using sex toys.
You read that right. And now I bet you’re wondering how you kill a Deadite with a Rabbit.

Okay, so, this movie isn’t Shakespeare, but as I always say, in horror, you don’t have to. Just be entertaining. And this movie is that. Lots of blood, lots of gore, and in the end, our heroes saved the world using the power of Metal.

So, yeah, totally getting a jewel from me. It was exactly what I expected and I felt like I got a little blood on me by the end of the movie, which is always a plus.

All right, so next week I open the Pandora’s box that is Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with “The Darkness”. Never seen it and I really have no idea what to expect. See you next week, folks.