Sunday, March 31, 2019

Road Dead

Hey, hey, horror movie fans! Welcome to another edition of WTFHM!

So, this week, we’re going back to the Ds because of a new edition to the collection AND because this week's movie happens to star Lin Shaye and Ray Wise. Now, I can excuse you from not necessarily knowing who Ray Wise is. I feel that only those of us of a certain age and disposition towards horror and Sci-Fi have an inclination as to the identity of this character actor.

But Giiiirrrrllll, if you don’t know who Lin Shaye is, I’m seriously gonna need you to turn in your WTFHM card.

No, like, seriously. You would have to have been living under a rock for the last fifteen years to have missed her. 


Now, you can imagine my general happiness when it comes to checking out movies with a good scream queen. Needless to say, my hopes were high with this one.

Too high...apparently. Anyway, let’s do this thing.

Dead End starring Ray Wise, Lin Shaye, Mick Cain, Alexandra Holden, William Rosenfeld, and Amber Smith.

A family is going on a road trip to grandma’s house only to end up on an unending highway where a ghostly apparition begins stalking and systematically murdering them one by one.

Now, instead of doing the normal breakdown of the movie (because the premise is pretty straight forward), I decided to do a little Do’s and Don’t’s list for finding yourself in a horror movie while traveling for the holidays.


Stay on the main road. I cannot stress this enough. STAY ON THE MAIN ROAD.

The problems with this family are numerous from the beginning (They’re all kind of jerks) but things don’t start to get life-threatening until Frank (Wise) decides to take a shortcut to gramma’s house. It is that decision that becomes the catalyst for all the trouble they end up facing.


Pick up, hitchhikers. I don’t care what they look like. I don’t if they appear to be in trouble or not. Serial killers, psychos, and murders come in all different flavors. Do not tempt fate by bringing an ax murderer (or in this case, an apparition) in your car. Unless they happen to be a wandering three-year-old or a puppy, it’s not worth the risk (and sometimes not even then). Call 911 from the car and keep on moving.


Stay in your behind in the car. Suffice it to say that every time someone gets out of the car in this movie, bad things happen. Which leads me to my next don’t:


Let your girl walk by herself down a dark scary road in the woods. Imma say that louder for the people in back. DON’T LET YOUR GIRL WALK BY HERSELF DOWN A DARK SCARY ROAD IN THE WOODS.

I don’t know, maybe I’m old school in the thinking that if your daughter or fiance or sister elects to get out of the car to let in a creepy hitchhiker and you let her do it without some serious objections that maybe it might suggest a general lack of chivalry on your part. And also a lack of common frickin' sense. I mean, the likelihood of your girl getting jumped by a rapist is pretty high on a dark scary road in the middle of the woods. It doesn’t even have to be a supernatural rapist, either.


Jerk off in the woods. Just don’t do that on general principle. As a side note, don't sleep with mysterious naked women in the woods either. I should think the reason is obvious.


Carry a weapon of sort, but DON’T bother if you’re dealing with ghosts. I mean, at a certain point in the story, I was a little surprised that it hadn’t fully hit the remaining members of the family that a gun is probably not going to do much in a supernatural situation. As the family so hilariously demonstrates, you’re more likely to hurt yourself before you’d do a ghost any harm.

Mess with your exposed brain...should it happen to become exposed from cracking your head on the cement. Again, just don’t on general principle.


Avoid weird stuff in the road. Note: This advice that circles back to staying in your car.

And lastly, DO:

Be a decent human being. I can’t say that I mourned any of the deaths in this movie because they all kind of sucked in their own way. I imagine that was the whole point though, which, in a horror movie, I have no objections to. Horror has always sort of been a good reflection into society’s moral compass, so if you’re a jerk in a horror movie, that usually works against you. Basically, do your best not to be an ass.

So, I was pretty sure I was gonna raspberry this one, but I think Dead End falls in the range of the “OMGTHISMOVIEISSOBADILOVEIT” file in my brain. I’m not gonna lie. It’s terrible. It’s really, really bad and if not for some really memorable moments with Lin Shaye in particular, I’d have panned this movie in a heartbeat. That being said, Dead End gets a jewel.

Okay, so next week we’re covering a newer movie -- The Girl with All the Gifts, which is great because I wanted to see this one when it was out! I love it when I get to see the movies I missed in the theatre. :D


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Ghosthunter, Inc.

Ahoy-hoy horror lovers. Welcome back to another WTFHM!

So, yeah, I missed a week. Again. I was sick.

But! I’m back this week! I was going to do a double feature, but I wanted to spend time discussing this week’s movie instead, cuz, it’s worth talking about.

Yay! So, let’s get down to business:

Ghost Stories starring Andy Nyman, Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse, Alex Lawther, Nicholas Burns, and Paul Warren.

So, the story starts with a flashback of a Jewish family at a Barmitzvah. Flash forward to a young woman with the boy from the Barmitzvah and her boyfriend, who’s Asian. Flash forward-forward to the girl’s parents freaking out, presumably, because she’s dating an Asian kid.

This little vignette is pretty much the whole set up for the protagonist’s, Professor Goodman’s(Nyman) sole purpose in life, which is to not let superstition ruin people’s lives because that’s what happened to his sister. Goodman has made an entire career on this concept as a paranormal skeptic.

Goodman gets contacted by the OG of paranormal skeptics, Charles Cameron, who’s now old and on his deathbed. He presents Goodman with three cases that he was unable to find proper explanations for. Goodman, eager to please the OG of paranormal skeptics, happily takes on the cases.

Okay, so first story:

The Case of the Mildly Racist Night Watchman

Goodman meets with Tony Matthews (Whitehouse), who used to work as a night watchman (before the ‘foreigners’ took his job, you see). He tells Goodman that his wife died of cancer and his daughter...well, he doesn’t want to talk about that.

So, he tells the story of when he was working one night with one of the new guys (A guy we never see with a bad Russian accent). He starts getting weird messages through the radio and his walky-talky. Thinking that someone is playing a trick on him, he decides to check out the old warehouse/mental hospital he’s guarding.

After a few creepy moments in some dark hallways, he manages to track the noises to one room full of old mannequins. He is lured in by what looks like someone covered in a sheet. When he finds it’s just another mannequin, the door slams behind him and he’s trapped in the room with a creepy ghost girl in pigtails.

The creepy girl goes walks up to him and puts her nasty, creepy, undead finger into his mouth.


Next story:

*Screams in Teenager*
So, the next story is about Simon Rifkind(Lawther) a teenager who lives with his parents. When Goodman goes to talk to him in his weird house where there are pictures on the wall from Goodman’s childhood (spoiler alert) and mysterious people running around in the bedrooms upstairs. Simon’s spastically tells him that he wasn’t always a spaz. His tells Goodman that his parents hate him and he hates his brother.

Oh, there’s a great moment where they play a rousing game of what-happened-to-your-hump-what-hump when Goodman brings up someone in the upstairs room.

Goodman: “And who’s in the room upstairs?”

Simon: “What room?”

Goodman: “ upstairs....”

Simon: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. What’s a room?”



Goodman: Oooh-kay.

So, Simon tells him that one night he was driving his parent’s car home from a party. He’s driving through the woods with his parents calling and yelling at him every few minutes. While arguing on the phone with his father, he accidentally hits somebody.

Freaked, he gets out of the car to find a very dead demon behind his car. He does what anyone else would do in that situation. Gets back in the car and drives away.

Right, so he drives until his car suddenly breaks down. He calls the National Breakdown Line--

By the way, if there is anyone reading this from the U.K., is there really a National Breakdown Line? Like...a phone number anyone can call? For real? I legit want to know.

Anyway, he calls the National Breakdown Line and they tell him they’ll be there in 45 mins. Great. Simon goes back to his car. He waits for a few minutes in the dark before something hits his car. Then opens the back door and sits behind him and puts its hands on his shoulders and says; Staaayyy.

He reacts accordingly:

And runs out of the car and into the woods where he is promptly attacked by a giant tree monster.

Last story:

Poltergeist, U.K. version

The last guy Goodman talks to is an executive, Mike Priddle(Freeman) that he meets somewhere outdoors, presumably to go hunting. Between answering business calls, he tells him the story of his wife who was also an executive and their decision to have a baby. He tells Goodman that after she got pregnant, she started having some complications and had to spend some time in the hospital.

While she was away, strange things started happening around the house. Diapers flying off tables, items stacking up miraculously, you know, garden variety poltergeist stuff.

So, later that night, he is in the nursery with the baby crib. A blanket takes the shape of a baby for a minute and it gets ice cold in the room. In the shadows, his wife appears and tells him that she and the baby are dead...and screams...scarily.

In the present, he tells him that when the hospital called, he already knew what had happened. His wife was dead and the baby was horribly deformed. After telling him the story, he promptly uses the shotgun he was hunting with to kill himself.

Traumatized, Goodman goes back to Cameron and tells him that he’s figured out his ruse. There was nothing unusual about the stories, they can all be explained rationally. He was just trying to usurp his place as the town skeptic.

Cameron tells him that he doesn’t get it. Then takes off his face.

Yes. He takes off his face. Just peels it right off. Don’t worry! There’s a face underneath.

Apparently, Cameron is really Mike Priddle. Priddle tears open the scenery to reveal a door. He tells him to follow him. He leads Goodman back in time to when he was a kid.

See, when Goodman was a kid, he took part in the death of one of his classmates. Two bullies made his handicapped classmate go into a tunnel where he freaked out, had an asthma attack and died. Goodman, freaked out, runs away from the scene where Mike Priddle confronts his cowardice.

Goodman, faced with the horror of what he’d done, collapses. A few moments later, he’s attacked by the rotting ghost of the handicapped boy.

The boy leads him down a white hallway leading to a bed. He puts Goodman in the bed, then crawls in with him and puts his finger in his mouth.

So, yeah, what does that mean...exactly? Well, as it turns out, Goodman is in a coma. Has been for the whole movie, in fact. He attempted suicide and fried his brain in the process.

Okay, so, what did I think of this one? Big Old Jewel.

It wasn’t without its problems, I’ll admit. It was pretty low rent in terms of how it was structured but made up for it with some cool special effects and a decent storyline overall. It was a good watch. I’d recommend it.

All right, so next week, we’ll be watching Dead End starring Lin Shaye and Ray Wise, which in it of itself seems promising. Here’s hoping it is!


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Friday After Next

Hidey-ho, faithful fans! Welcome to another edition of WTFHM!

When last I left you, I mentioned that I was kind of bummed out that the next movie I would be reviewing was the Friday the 13th remake. That would be because, generally speaking, I am not a fan of remakes. I could probably count on one hand the horror remakes I have watched and thoroughly enjoyed. I don’t know, for some reason, there are a lot of directors out there that would like nothing more than to butcher really good originals.

So, you can imagine my lack of excitement at the prospect of watching this one. Let’s get down to it. Shall we?

Friday the 13th v.2 starring Jared Padalecki (Holding for fangirl screams)

Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Woo, Derek Mears, Jonathan Sadowski, Juliana Guill, Ben Feldman, Arlen Escapeta, Ryan Hansen, Willa Ford, Nick Mennell, America Olivo, Kyle Davis, AND Nana Visitor.

Yes, Deep Space Nine fans. THAT Nana Visitor. She does a cameo as Jason’s mom in the very beginning. If you blink, you’ll pretty much miss it.

By the way, a minor correction. This isn’t a true remake, per se. This is a reboot. Not that that makes a difference to me as I don’t like reboots either. Buuuut, anyway…

So, as per usual, we will be following the Slasher movie protocol for this review. That is Blood, Boobs, Body Count and Bad Acting. Does this reboot make the grade? Let’s find out!

Blood: A+

Lots of blood. Lots and lots of blood. Plus, I was pleasantly surprised to see that that the filmmakers were in keeping with the great tradition of Friday the 13th’s creativity level in Jason style murders. Get ready for lots of stabby-stabs, arrows to the face and eyeballs, impalings, brutal baseball bat beatings etc. usually while someone is having sex and/or getting high or engaging in some other lustful sin.

Which leads me right into the next category. 

Boobs: A

Yes, lots of titties, however, I have a sneaking suspicion that the casting director has a thing for oversized fake porn titties. No haterade or anything as I’m sure the horror fan who is also a purveyor of big tiddy scream queens could care less, I just personally have not ever seen that much silicone in a movie before. Well...not an R-rated one anyway. Moving on.

Body Count: A+

I was gonna give this one a B, but when you consider that the original had a body count of ten and this one had a total of fourteen, I have to get credit where credit is due. When the main cast consists of about fifteen people and fourteen bite the dust and it's NOT an apocalypse style movie, it's worthy of a high grade.

Bad Acting: C

So, I waffled with this one a little because they were all pretty good actors with only a couple of exceptions. Everyone fell into their own archetypes pretty well. The Aggro Jock was really unnecessarily aggro, the Stoners were always high, the Good Girl was super virginal and in contrast, the Slut was really slutty. And Padalecki as the resident Exposition Man did his job pretty well.

(By the way, it's worth mentioning that the spellcheck on my computer keeps correcting the spelling of his last name to its proper spelling. Yes, girls. Even Grammarly is a Supernatural fan.)

And for Bonus Points, this guy played Jason, y’all: 

I’m saying. Homeboy is scary as hell without the mask.

So, yes. Yes, I am giving the reboot of the OG of all slasher films a freakin’ jewel. Its good, folks. I would even recommend adding it to your collection. I'll thank you not to rub it in.

All right, next week’s movie is Ghost Stories, which I’ve never actually heard of. The cover looks pretty sweet, which is half the battle. Let’s hope the rest of the movie is just as sweet.