Sunday, December 29, 2019

Exactly What Comes at Night?

Hidey-Ho, horror nuts! And welcome to another WTFHM!!

So, this week we're covering a movie that was kind of like spending your time watching paint dry while waiting for a zombie apocalypse that never comes. 

Yes. I know.  And, look, I realize that, essentially, this isn't a bad movie, really, it's just...well, remember when I said I was pretty sure that I'd seen it before and fallen asleep? That's might actually be true. I have no working memory of seeing this movie, but I imagine that if I hadn't had the forethought to take a nap before watching this movie, I wouldn't have a movie to review this week.

Anyway, here we go:

It Comes At Night starring Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Riley Keough, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Griffin Robert Faulkner, and David Pendleton.

Okay, so meet Paul (Edgerton), Sarah (Ejogo) and Travis (Harrison Jr.). They're all living in a house somewhere in the woods and they just had to put down Grampa or Bud (Pendleton) as Paul calls him.

See, Paw-paw is sick. With what? Don't know. He's all black-eyed and veiny and stuff and, you'd think this was a prelude into a zombie movie. 

Heh. So, they bury him and burn him alive because that's what you do with sick people in this movie, and life goes on. Paul and Sarah live their off the grid lives and so forth and so on, until one night Sarah hears somebody breaking in. They all get their hazmat suits and guns on and Paul takes the lead to investigate while his wife and son say behind.

They find a guy breaking into their house. See, the guy didn't realize there was anyone living there and broke in. Too bad for him because Paul knocks him out and drags him outside and ties him to a tree.

NOW, you start thinking "Oh! He's going to be eaten by whatever comes at night...right?" You could argue that this is the moment that we get a clue as to the horrors this family is really hiding from. You could argue that, sure, however:

Yeah, so, homeboy spends the night tied to a tree and screaming for help. No one comes. Not even Paul. In fact, Paul, Sarah, and Travis go to bed.

The next morning, Paul goes out to the guy and asks him what his deal is. The guy, who's name is Will (Abbott) by the way, tells him that he was just looking for water for his wife and son. Paul says he's got water if Will has food and maybe they can make a trade. Will's like Bet. Then Paul's let, let me talk to my wife first.

Paul talks to Sarah who says, why not just bring them all here? More people, more defense (against...other people I presume?) Let's just do that. Paul's down with it.

Paul and Travis drive through the woods and almost immediately run into people with guns. Paul shoots and kills them all and chastises Will for not warning him about them, like:

Paul: "Why did you tell me people would try to kill me?"
Will: "They weren't here when I came through!"
Paul: "Yeah, right."
Will: "Hey! They tried to kill me too. I swear I'm innocent."
Paul: *grumbles suspiciously*

Anyway, they drive the rest of the way and pick up Will's wife Kim (Keough) and his son Andrew (Faulkner) and now they're all one big happy family. Things go good for a while. Paul's still suspicious of Will, Will and Kim are having monkey sex in the next room, Andrew's being five years old, and Travis is busy ear hustling through the house.

Like...a lot.

I mean, I realize that there can't be that much to do when you're living in a boarded-up house with no electricity in the middle of nowhere, but apparently, Travis' favorite thing to do is crawl around in the attic and listen to what everybody else is up to.

So, everything is cool in this nice little post-apocalyptic nuclear family until one day, Paul, Travis and Will are all in the woods and the dog goes running off after something it heard. Travis freaks out and immediately goes running after it and, of course, finds himself alone in the woods with strange noises all around him.

And so, now, NOW, you're thinking "Poor Travis is about to get eaten by whatever ate his dog" or some grand monster is going to pop out and chase Travis down and we'll be treated to a few minutes of a big Oogie-Boogie terrorizing everyone. Right?

Yeah, no. Paul catches up with Travis and yells at him because running off into the woods can get you killed what with the Nothing out there to get you. He commands him back home, Travis wants to wait for the dog, Paul assures him the dog can find its way home...

...from the scary woods...with the unseen monster in it...that Paul JUST got finished yelling at Travis about because he ran just through it.

Things are cool until one night Travis happens to discover little Andrew is not in his bed. He finds him sleeping on the floor downstairs. He puts Andrew back in his bed in his parent's room. On the way back, he hears a noise near the red door that leads outside that Paul told everybody to stay out of. The door's unlocked so Travis goes to investigate.

There he finds the family dog. Bloodied and sick and very clearly ill with the cooties that they're all worried about getting. He wakes Paul up who (after yelling at Travis for not putting on his hazmat gear before looking at the dog) gets geared up, takes the dog out and burns it.

Which brings the question of why was the door open in the first place. They all sit around and argue about it. 

Paul: "Why'd you open the door, Travis?"
Travis: "I didn't open the door, it was open already."
Paul: "But why were you even down there?"
Travis: "I found Andrew outside his room, so I put him back in his parent's room."
Kim: "How'd he get out of his room?"
Travis: "I don't know."
Sarah: "Maybe he was sleepwalking."
Sarah: "No, I'm just saying. I mean, how did he get there, then?"
Paul: "Hey, maybe he was sleepwalking because he got sick."

After that spirited debate, Paul suggests that for the next day or so, they should all stay in their rooms...just in case. Everyone agrees.

So, Travis has a nightmare about his Paw-paw. The next morning, he's ear hustling in the attic and he overhears Will and Kim in a panic because, shock of shocks, Andrew's sick. He also hears them talking about leaving before anyone would notice them.

He tells Paul who wigs out because he realizes that if they leave, they'll be taking some of their supplies with them. So, he and Sarah suit up and confront them. Well, Will tries to escape and they get into a big fight that ends up with Paul and Sarah leading them out of the house to be finished off.

Which they do. Paul and Will get into a fight, during which Sarah shoots Will in the back. Kim freaks out and runs. Paul shoots at her and ends up hitting Andrew and killing him. Kim gets hysterical and Paul shoots her too.

So, they do all this and then we find out that Travis is, of course, sick too. 


Yeah. That's it. See why I didn't like this one?

Like, first of all, I (and the audience) am operating under the assumption that this is a plague apocalyptic scenario. They never actually say so in the film, which is fine with me. I can live with a horror movie that doesn't explain everything.

But I have some vital questions that I'd like answered, like WHAT COMES AT NIGHT??? It's not the plague because that can come at any time in this movie. Is it a monster and y'all just forgot to reveal it? Is it a figurative sort of thing like paranoia or suspicion? Was it Will? Was it the dog? I mean, what was it for Pete's sake?

There's probably going to be a sequel...and Lordt help me I'm going to end up having to watch it because the filmmaker couldn't even leave a hint as to What the Nothing is suppose to be in the first place?  

Yeah, so:

Next week is a newer movie that I've been DYING to see: The Curse of La Llorona! 

See you next week!

-- O~

Sunday, December 22, 2019

I'm Dreaming of a Blackish Christmas

Hidey-ho Horror Nuts! Welcome to another WTFHM!

So, I know I am supposed to be reviewing It Comes and Night and while I do plan on doing that, I’m going to push it back a week because it just so happens that this week is CHRISTMAS!

Yes, I still have room in my cold dead heart for Christmas. I’ll be watching lots of Christmas horror movies over the next few days so, let’s deviate from the rules this week and talk about the recent reboot of a classic.

This week’s movie!

Black Christmas starring Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Lily Donohue, Brittany O’Grady, Caleb Eberhardt, Simon Mead, Madeleine Adams, Nathalie Morris, Ben Black, Zoe Robins, Lucy Currey, and Cary Mf’n Elwes.

Yes, your favorite swashbuckling, skinny mustache wearing, “As-you-wish-death-can’t-stop-true-love-only-delay-it-a-while” first serious schoolgirl (and some of you boys – I see you) crush, Cary Elwes.

And girl, he is British in this one.

Now, since this is a current movie that’s still in theatres, it’s only fair to warn you that there will be spoilers, here. If you don’t want anything ruined for you, stop reading, right now. Go read a book or decorate a  tree. It’s okay! I’ll see you next week. Thanks for stopping by!

Okay, so, first off, this is less of a remake and more of a reimagining of the classic movie…one that happens to be jumping on the Get Out/Stepford Wives style of horror. Not that I would dare to condescend to hate on Jordan Peele’s work. Get Out is still the reigning champ of Stepford remakes. I bow before its greatness. 

However, Black Christmas 2019 is the newest in the trend of social justice horror and, quite frankly, this is a trend that I’m all the way here for, even when it really should have been an R movie. (This remake is PG-13…and it shows).

Aaaanyway, this is still a slasher movie, so let’s do a round of Blood, Boobs, Body Count, and Bad Acting.

Blood: D

There isn’t a whole lot of blood in this movie. There just isn’t. The most blood you get is what’s on the actresses as they defend themselves against their attackers. There’s even a prime moment where there could have been a great, gory shot.

They punk out though. I assume that’s an ax in her face. The world will never really know because that's all you really see.

Boobs: F+

No Boobs. None. Not even a side boob.

I imagine that might’ve been in poor taste given the subject matter of the movie? Like the whole overall point is that all the frat boys are possessed with the spirit of the sexist founder of the college and are killing women they feel are “out of line”. So, even though it’s a bad grade, I can understand the lack of boobage.

Body Count: D

There aren’t any stats available on the body count just yet, but by my count only about three or four of the sorority sisters bought the dust. I’m not counting all the frat boys that burned to death at the end, but if I did, that might hoist it up to about fourteen or fifteen…but then you don’t ever really count the killers in body counts so…yeah…

Bad Acting: F++

These were not bad actors and actresses? I mean, they weren’t award-winning either, but they all did a pretty good job. I don’t have any complaints.

That being said, I’d like to drop an honorable “Final Girl” mention to Aleyse Shannon who played Kris in the movie. She was giving me all kinds of Ripley in Aliens type energy in this movie. I can’t wait to see her in other things.

The overall grade is dismal, yes, I know, but I didn’t hate this movie. Honestly, the only thing keeping me from giving it a jewel is the fact that the filmmakers punked out and made it PG-13. This would have been a much better (and much scarier) movie if they’d just gone for the R. The subject of social justice can get messy…but, then, horror’s messy. What better way to drive the point home than to use all the resources horror has to offer.

Anyways, Next Week we finally do It Comes at Night and boy do I have a lot to say about it.

See you next week!


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Return of the Living Horredy

Hey there Horror Nuts! Welcome to another WTFHM!

Okay, so this week we’re going to circle back to the good old fashioned horredy (Yes, it’s still a thing I’m doing. Just roll with it.)

As previously mentioned, I like a good horredy. I also like decidedly stupid movies.

Hard to believe with as many raspberries that I’ve put out there for the crime of being stupid that I should have an affinity for stupid movies. You see, there’s an art to good stupid movies. Well, not so much of an art as a basic philosophy: Why so serious? It’s only horror.

That’s pretty much the vein in which this movie lives.

I Sell The Dead starring Dominic Monaghan, Larry Fessenden, Angus Scrimm, Ron Perlman, Brenda Cooney, and John Speredakos.

Okay, so we open this story with the beheading of Willie Grimes(Fessenden) local grave robber. His partner Arthur (Monaghan) is in jail awaiting execution. While he’s waiting he gets a visit from Father Duffy(Perlman) and tells him to tell him his story.

Arthur tells him he and his partner are innocent and that they were set up. Father Duffy doesn’t buy it, but gives him whiskey and tells him to tell his story anyway.

So, the story is that way back when Arthur was a kid, his mother sends him out into the world to find a job. She tells him to talk to a friend of Willie’s and Willie would help him at his job…which is grave robbing.

Now, the reason they’re grave robbing in the first place is kind of fuzzy. Apparently, they live in a town where you can sell dead bodies to people and make a profit, I don’t know.

Anyway, they meet a few obstacles along the way. First, they get blackmailed by local scientist Dr. Quint (Scrimm).

Okay, so you know I can’t just let this go forward without giving a shoutout to Angus Scrimm. If you don’t know who that is, turn in your horror movie lover card right now.

If you have not seen Phantasm, stop what you’re doing and watch it. Right. TF. Now. I mean it! You’ve been robbed in life if you haven’t experienced one of the creepiest, weirdest horror movies of all time and now you’re sitting here reading this disrespectfully going “What kind of name is Angus Scrimm anyway?"

I’m not playing with y'all. Go watch Phantasm. I’m confiscating your cards. You'll get them back when you can quote a line from the movie.

Anyway, Dr. Quint blackmails the grave robbers by telling them that he’s going to sell them out unless they steal bodies just for him. They do and this goes on for many, many years until one day Willie and Arthur find a vampire corpse. 

They, being typical horredy protagonists, don’t know what a vampire is or why the corpse they’ve found has a garlic necklace on it and a stake through its heart, so, of course, they remove the necklace and the stake and shenanigans ensue.

Once they stake the body again…and again...and again because she keeps coming back to life, they decide to send her to Dr. Quint.

Dr. Quint gets the body, removes the stake and the vampire comes back to life and murders him.

Okay, so then Arthur goes into that one time that they got hired to dig up a strange coffin without opening it. Well, the coffin (which is encased in frozen dirt and is frozen itself) is so cold that they can’t carry it with bare hands. They try to carry it their shirts when they accidentally drop it.

The top comes off and they find…

Yeah, seriously. So, they both go, “That’s weird…but it’s easier to carry now” and lift the alien body out of the coffin in order to carry it off. They’re interrupted by Cornelius Murphy (Speredakos) of the infamous House Murphy. The following conversation ensues:

Cornelius: Drop the weird body.

Willie: Okay. We don’t want any trouble. Arthur drop the body.

Arthur: No. Why should I?

Cornelius: Because you don’t want this smoke.

Willie: We really don’t. Arthur, do what he says.

Arthur: Nope. This was our find. Back off.

Cornelius: Okay, I’m just going to take it from you.

And the three of them fight over the body until a light comes out of the sky and takes it away and they don’t run into anybody from House Murphy for quite some time. 

Until one day, Arthur and Willie and Arthur’s girlfriend and grave robbing apprentice Fanny Briers (Cooney) are chilling in a pub, playing drinking games and living life, when they hear from the bartender who heard it from a neighbor of his that a local mortuary just lost a bunch of crates with zombies in it. And zombies are worth a lot of money.

Anyway, a bunch of the crates washed up on an island where House Murphy was going to go collect them in the morning. Both Willie and Arthur having gotten the whole program on how dangerous House Murphy actually was, decline on the offer.

Later that night, Fanny starts talking all kinds of crap to Arthur about how much of a punk he is for not taking the job. Arthur gets so frustrated with being called all kinds of punks that he finally relents and the three of them end up going to the island.

At the island, they find the crates and start opening them and, of course, get attacked by zombies. They manage to subdue one, but not before one of the Murphies shows up and threatens Arthur. Fanny quickly dispatches him. 

Yeah. Like that...except for real. 

So, that’s fine until Cornelius and a Masked Female Assassin Murphy show up, kill Fanny and tie Willie and Arthur to a cage with the zombie in it. Then the following stupidness occurs. Having them tied up, they decide to gloat about their victory and open the remaining crate. The zombie in the crate attacks the masked woman, the zombie in the cage Willie and Arthur are tied to gets free and viola, Cornelius and Masked Murphy are eaten, giving Willie and Arthur time to escape.

Father Duffy asks Arthur which one of them was actually responsible for Cornelius and Masked Lady’s death and Arthur reiterates that they just left and didn’t actually kill either of them. This makes Father Duffy unnecessarily angry.

So, he flips tables and threatens to kill Arthur using a mace. You see, Father Duffy is really Samuel Murphy of the House Murphy. He’s about to kill Arthur when he’s murdered…by Willie…holding his head. 

See, back when they were fighting the zombies on the island, Willie had been bitten, thus, making him undead. The two of them leave the jail cell with Willie joking about being ravenous.

The End.

Oh, yeah, and Cornelius jumps out of a watery grave all Friday the 13th style.

So, what did I think? Well, this is one of those movies that if you happen to be one of those staunch, humorless movie watchers that only like deep, philosophical, kinds of movies that win Oscars, then skip this one. This is not a movie for people with little or no sense of humor.

However, it wasn’t Army of Darkness or Monty Python level of funny. I got a few chuckles out of it, so I’ll give it a Pink Diamond.

Next week! It Comes at Night. Pretty sure I’ve seen this one too and fallen asleep on, so I guess we’ll see.