Sunday, November 28, 2021

Gerald's Reindeer Games


Hey, hey, Horror Nuts!  Welcome to another edition of WTFHM!

So, I just want to take a second to express my mild dislike for a certain type of movie and it directly stems from the fact that I hate snow.

It's winter. Movies that take place in the wintertime are already behind the eightball for me. I get cold just watching them. And I don't like being cold.

It's just a mild dislike, but it gets worse when it's a horror movie because, well, not only are you running from murderers and zombies and ice vampires, but you're also freezing your ass off!  So, whenever I run into a movie like that, I already know, this filmmaker better bring the scares because I'm already in a pissy mood at the opening credits.

Which brings us to This Week's Movie!

Till Death starring Megan Fox, Eoin Macken, Callan Mulvey, Jack Roth, and Aml Ameen.

Let me open this by saying, fundamentally speaking, I don't have any kind of beef with Megan Fox as I know a lot of people do for some reason. She was in one of my favorite horror movies Jennifer's Body - a movie that, on paper, I should have hated, and yet, I dug a lot, largely because she did a pretty good job in it.

This movie, however...

Let me set this up for you.

Fox plays Emma, a woman married to a lawyer Mark(Macken) who, at the beginning of the film, you get the vibe that he's got kind of a creepy Christian Grey thing happening with her. She also looks perpetually miserable throughout the entire film. Like, this is her face all the time:

Naturally, being the unhappy wife of a rich dude, she's of course cheating on him with Tom (Ameel). But those of you on the moral police, worry not! She breaks it off with him because today is her anniversary.

Hubby Mark takes her out to a fancy dinner, then drives her to their lake house where after doing the whole rose petal thing and photos of their wedding hanging in a dark room (not sure why there's a darkroom? There's no indication that either of them are photographers) he romances her and they make mad passionate love.

The next morning, she wakes up to find her husband has handcuffed himself to her. Slightly freaked out, she's like, "Um, what the hell?" and he's like, "Hold that thought." Then he pulls out a gun and shoots himself in the head...

...leaving her to drag his body all over the house trying to get free.

Pretty fucked up, right?

While she's schlepping around the house with a corpse attached to her wrist, Tom shows up like, "You called?" And she's like, "Nope. Must have been Mark. You should probably not be here."  And she says this to him because at this point she's figured out two pretty important things about this situation:

A) Mark knew about her affair.
B) Mark wants her to die.

Enter generic bad guys Bobby Ray(Mulvey) and Jimmy(Roth). See, Bobby Ray attacked her at some point off-camera and now he's back for revenge. But it was her husband who put him away, so, clearly, he's been hired to do the dirty work of murdering both his wife and her lover.

Which means, sadly, Tom falls victim to the black guy dies first trope...kind of? I mean, if you don't count Mark.

Aaaanyway, the rest of the movie is just Emma trying not to get killed by the guy who tried to kill her before, which, admittedly, is fairly action-packed and suspenseful and all that. It's not a bad movie per se...except...

Well, I'm clearly too much of a pedantic asshole for this movie because there were so many truck-sized plot holes and Deus Ex Machina events that it was really hard for me to suspend my belief. 

For instance:

1) What's the story behind Emma's attack?

Y'all, I wasn't expecting a fully detailed storyline here. But I was expecting something. All we know is that she was attacked. We don't really know if she was mugged or raped or just attacked for fun. I could have let that information slide if it didn't come up as Bobby Ray's prime motivation for even being there.

Like, Mark set the whole thing up by telling him, "There be diamonds", but when things start to go really south and it's clear that they should just cut their losses and run, Bobby Ray's all about "finishing the job" and murdering Emma because she half-blinded him and called the cops on him and...

Look, I'm not saying that criminals aren't motivated towards revenge...but most of them aren't quite THAT motivated unless there's a story behind it and we don't really get a whole lot. And what we DO get, we sort of get after the fact in a rushed dialogue between him and Jimmy.

I'm just saying just a five-second thing about how he was a serial killer or something would have sewn that particular hole up. 

2) Knife Fight

At a certain point, rich wife Emma gets hold of a knife and attacks Bobby Ray like she's part of the Deadly Assassination Squad from Kill Bill. To the filmmaker's credit, she gets her ass handed to her, but still, are we supposed to believe she's ever used a knife to do...well...anything before now? 

3) Why is Tom there?

So, Tom shows up presumably because Emma texted him. First of all, Tom is just the booty call, how did he know where the Lakehouse was in the first place?

And assuming that was all in the text, why didn't he call first? Or call the cops? Or, like, anything other than driving all the way out to the middle of nowhere in the frickin' snow based on an "I'm in trouble" text. 

I'm saying, a lot can be inferred that might motivate her boo thing to come all the way out in the snow to check up on her, but there's no explanation or even any real surprise when he shows up. In fact, when Emma sees him her first knee-jerk reaction is not "OMGCALLTHEPOLICEHURRY!" which in it of itself is weird since she's handcuffed to her dead husband.

4) Mark thought of everything...except the ax in the boathouse

Okay, so while Emma is dragging her husband around by the wrist all over the house, she discovers that Mark took the time to painstakingly make it so she'd be trapped. He drains the car of gas, he gets rid of all the tools that might help her free herself, he breaks her cell phone, he even sets up the darkroom to show incriminating photos of her after she was beaten up and when she was hanging with Tom.

Yet, there is very conveniently an ax in the boathouse with which she uses to chop off Mark's hand to squeeze out of the handcuffs.

The guy who planned this whole thing out down to the most minute detail forgot to get rid of a whole ax. And no, we're not going to explain that either.

And those are just a few examples.  There's a lot of Why-would-they-do-that-oh-so-that-the-movie-can-happen kind of shenaniganry going on in this movie.  

And with that being said, I'd like to give it a jewel, but I think I'm going to give it one conditionally.

That is to say that this is a pretty decent flick so long as you don't think about anything that's happening.

So, next week! I've been putting this off, but I'm gonna tackle Blood Red Sky! See you next time!


Sunday, November 21, 2021

Nasty Girl


Hey, hey, Horror Nuts!  Welcome to another edition of WTFHM!

So, I don't know if you all are aware of this, but...the 80s were weird, yo.

Specifically speaking, once upon a time, videotapes and VCRs were all the rage. With this new technology came the flood of B-Movie horror. And with B-movie horror came moviemakers that stretched the limits of gore on film.

In England, these movies were called "Video Nasties" and the public was incensed about them. In fact, there was a whole campaign to censor these Fangoria gorefests. Some films were even banned for their heavy grossness quotient.

See, the whole idea was that such movies were corrupting the minds of the public. You know, like they said Rock and Roll, 2 Live Crew, Yoga, Holistic medicine, and Marilyn Manson were corrupting the public? Hey, I lived through all that and I'm just fine, right?


starring Niamh Algar, Michael Smiley, Nicholas Burns, Vincent Franklin, Sophia La Porta, Adrian Schiller, Adrian Havill, and Guillaume Delauney.

Once upon a time in 1980-something censor person, Enid(Algar), is doing her job watching the Video Nasties and suggesting cuts to the filmmakers so that they won't get their gory movie banned.

So, Enid has some problems and first, they seem like normal "girl in the 80s" problems. Her coworkers hit on her and call her uptight when she doesn't reciprocate. You know. Overt Sexism.

She also has a sister that went missing when she was a kid. Her parents hit her with a death certificate and most definitely blame her for her sister's disappearance.

So, that's a nice amount of trauma for one person who watches horror movies for a living. And I'm not saying that combination is a recipe for disaster, but...

Okay, in this case, it's totally a recipe for disaster.

Enter film Producer Doug Smart (Smiley), who immediately hits on her and impresses upon her to watch the new Frederick North movie, which she does. 

Enid immediately becomes obsessed and gets hold of one of Frederick North's banned videos. While watching it, she notices that the main actress, Alice Lee (LaPorta), looks a whole lot like her long-lost sister. 

So, it's about at this point that Enid loses her ever-loving mind. She finds out where Doug lives and shows up at his house. Doug, who was on the make from the beginning, thinks it's sexy time. When she tries to get information about Alice Lee from him, he tells her that she's on her way out and "you know what that means."

Which, to a normal person, usually translates to #Dmovieactresslife!  To Enid, it clearly comes off as MY SISTER IS IN DANGER! 

Doug throws his penis at her and she rejects him hard. When he tries to force himself on her, she accidentally kills him and the roller coast begins.

Enid finds out that Frederick North is filming his sequel with Alice Lee in some woods. So she shows up there and the crew thinks that she's one of the other actresses. They get her in costume and makeup and send her into what looks like the pivotal scene. Oh, and they hand her a real ax.

So, already unstable and pretty much a murderer coming into this, she perceives the actor playing The Beast (Delaunay) as someone who wants to hurt her sister and goes all chop choppy on him.

Well, being that she really killed someone on a movie set, everyone loses their mind. Alice runs away with Enid hot on her heels, covered in blood and carrying an ax. It's a bad scene.

Enid starts hardcore hallucinating at this point. In her hallucination, she finds a car, drives her sister back to her parents and her parents love her again...

Of course, that's not what really happens. The movie ends with the hallucination superimposed over reality, which is a blood-covered Alice Lee running to Enid's parents, begging them for their help while Enid looks on madly.

Theee End...

Yeah, I liked this movie a lot.  It was a great commentary on censorship, trauma, all that stuff that we fear is going to happen to us with the wrong influences (whether those fears are substantiated or not). Beautifully done.  I'd give it two jewels if that was my thing.

It should also be noted that this movie was done by female director - Prano Bailey-Bond. We don't have enough female directors in general and definitely not enough in horror. I'll be watching for her. She's got my attention.

Okay, so next week let's watch Till Death starring everybody's favorite "chick we're all supposed to hate because she has the nerve to be pretty", Megan Fox!  Should be fun!

See you next week!




Sunday, November 14, 2021

Don't Bother 2


Hey, hey, Horror Nuts!  Welcome to another edition of WTFHM!

Have you ever really looked forward to a fight?  Like, really look forward to it because you just know one of the guys is going to bury his opponent? Like, how you were looking forward to watching a trained fighter beat the snot out of...well...a little snot?  Remember that feeling?

Yeah, so, imagine you're all hype for this fight and then...

Uh-huh. Only, we're not rooting for the little girl in this analogy.

On a totally unrelated note, this week's movie!

Don't Breathe 2 starring Stephen Lang, Madelyn Grace, Brendan Sexton III, Adam Young, Rocci Williams, Christian Zagia, and Stephanie Arcila.

(heavy heartbreaking sigh)
Real quick, Blind Dude (Lang) has a kid now. He's training the kid to be an American Ninja Warrior or something. Kid, or Phoenix (Grace), is, like, 12 and wants to go to a normal school instead of a boot camp.

Little Phoenix goes into town and she meets a creepy guy in a public bathroom. Creepy guy (Sexton III) and his buddies follow her home and break into Blind Dude's house.

Now, everything up until this point is fine. I mean, it's a good setup. Bad guys break into Blind Dude's house, Bad guys quickly realize they've made an extremely poor life decision, Blind Dude will make short work of these jokers and we'll all laugh and laugh.

Yeah, that does not happen.  Blind Dude basically stumbles through his own house trying to fend off his attackers while they whoop his ass and kidnap Phoenix. Granted, he eventually finds out where she is and administers some whoop-ass in their lair...a totally unfamiliar place to the blind dude because THAT makes sense...

There aren't too many highlights to this film. There's just a laundry list of things you expect to happen, but don't. We never get to see American Ninja Warrior kid be a warrior. We see a a guy gets his face glued shut, but he makes it out okay. The main bad guy gets his eyes gouged out but then he lives, Blind Dude only does cool blind samurai shit maybe twice in the whole movie...I mean, what is this movie?

God, this movie just hurt my feelings.

I mean...I don't know who THIS blind dude was, but it wasn't the same guy from the first movie.  Like Blind Dude from the first movie was scary. Like, he had me like:

Cuz, you know, Blind Dude was the baddest thing walking and talking. The guy in this movie though? 

So, basically, I spent 50 minutes of an hour and a half movie watching Blind Dude get his ass handed to him by the bad guys. Ever watch a blind dude get his ass kicked?  It's not as fun as you might think.

To Quote Huey: "We all could all be reading a book right now." Totally judging you, Rodo Sayagues. I don't know what movie you were directing, but this wasn't what we asked for.

Yeah, this is a short, but abrasive review. But hey, I expected much better from these filmmakers. So, it should be no surprise what I'm giving this movie:

Okay, so, next week's movie!  Censor starring some people doing some stuff! See you next week!