Sunday, July 31, 2022

Don't Disrespect Weird Creepy Rituals


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

I need to stop listening to TikTok for my horror movie recommendations.

I'm serious. You know how you're scrolling through your TikTok and you run into somebody saying "I DARE YOU TO WATCH THIS SUPER SCARY MOVIE IT GAVE ME NIGHTMARES OMFG!"

And then you watch it and you're like,

So, because I really didn't feel like leaving my house this week, I decided to forgo Black Phone to watch something else and because social media reads your thoughts, one of these TikToks popped up on my For You Page and here we are.

This week's movie!

Incantation starring Hsuan-yen Tsai, Ying-Hsuan Kao, Sean Lin, and Ching-Yu Wen.

(So, just a short side note: this one is only available on Netflix.)

Okay, so this one is a found footage movie about a young mother who fucked around six years ago and spends the rest of the movie finding out.

So, it basically breaks down like this. Six years ago, Ruo-nan(Tsai) and her two buddies roll up on a cult and spend time wholly disrespecting their demon rituals and practices. Fast forward six years and Ruo-nan has a daughter who's slowly becoming ill because of said demonic presence.

That being said, let's pro and con this thing, shall we?

Con: Are we there yet?

So, like, I'm pretty well versed in Asian storytelling in horror movies and I realize that the pacing is way different in a lot of their movies. Slow burns are pretty common as far as I can tell.

But when I tell you I felt like I was riding in the back seat of the car wondering where the hell we were going for most of this movie...

I'm just saying, I could have given you a more detailed synopsis, but the way the story is told is really convoluted. Trust me, I just did you a favor by shortening the whole thing for you.

Pro: Telling me this story just to tell me another story

There's a lot of backstory in this one. At the beginning of this film, we find out that Ruo-nan spent some time in a mental institution and lost custody of her daughter, but she got her back and was now trying to raise her right.

And all that's fine, but between that back story and the back-back story of what happened six years ago, by the time we're halfway through the movie...well, see the above con.

But I'm giving it a pro, still, because it's all pretty important to the whole story'll allow it.

Pro...maybe: Based on a True Story?

So, apparently, this one is based on a true story, which isn't a surprise for a found footage movie. There's not a lot of information, though, and I'm not sure how it matches up with this story?

I mean, I'm kind of inclined to believe that it's hype. I'm not that mad at it though. Hype is what got us here with found footage in the first place, so...

Con: I just don't care about these characters
I don't know where they lost me. Maybe it was the whole "Let's go trash a ritual shrine for views" setup or what, but at the end of the day the only one I felt bad for was Ruo-nan's daughter who, presumably, would be fine if her mom didn't have custody of her.

Pro: Decent Roller Coaster

Just like about half of the rides in the amusement park, once you actually got to the horror in this movie, the scares were fairly top tear and pretty creepy. It just takes a minute to get there...approximately 58:43 actually.

But once we're moving, we're moving and it's a pretty sweet trip.

There's also this element of Ring or chain letter curse that is kind of chilling. I have to say a love a movie that has me looking over my shoulder for the rest of the evening.


If you've got Trypophobia (you know, that whole fear of holes thing), be warned. There's a bit of that in this one.

All in all, I wasn't mad at this movie. Like, it wasn't worth the TikTok hype at all, but, again, I didn't hate it.

Yeah, let's give it a pink jewel.

Next week!  Moloch. A movie that I'm going in totally blind on.  :D

See you next week!



Sunday, July 24, 2022

WIld Animals Throw Wild Parties


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

So, with the Pandemic still going strong in the U.S. of A., I was quoted as saying that there was only one movie that I would risk my life in a movie theatre for. And that movie, my friends...

Nope starring Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, Barbie Ferreira, Brandon Perea, Michael Wincott, and Keith David.

Yes. I'm jumping right into it this week.

So, this movie JUST came out and normally for new NEW movies that people have been anticipating, I try to keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible. At the very least, I try to save the good parts for you all to experience.

Except this time, Mr. Jordan Peele has made a movie that makes it nearly impossible to talk about without spoiling key plot points...which is gonna make this review quite a challenge.

Here's what I can tell you:

Once upon a time, a family of horse trainers are living their lives when the patriarch dies from a freak accident. And then really weird UFO shit starts happening.

Of course, there is! The problem is that even a vague mention of the rest of the plot is going to give away major spoilers. 

I'm not that mad at that. I mean, I gotta give it up to Jordan Peele for crafting the movie this way. It's frickin' genius.

But anyway...

So, instead, I'm gonna give you 5 hints instead of spoilers this week. Yes, hints. Hey, it'll be fun, trust me.

Okay, so from the trailer we already know the following:

1. Horses
2. UFOs
3. Daniel Kaluuya and Steven Yeun
4. Keke Palmer on 11

Right. Moving on.

1. The Title of this Blog Entry is a Major Plot Point

I almost named this week's blog something else entirely, but I realized that Jordan Peele himself gave this clue at the premiere during an interview with RDC world's Mark Phillips so I didn't feel so bad about letting this one go.

But even telling you that much won't spoil it until you watch the movie. I didn't even put it together after I was on my way home.

2. Something in These Posters is Important to the Plot

All I'll say is that it's in every one of shots. You'll know it when you see it.

3. Anime

Okay, so I have no idea if Jordan Peele did this on purpose. Like there are definitely western and certain horror directors' influences mixed in with this movie, but there are definitely subtle anime influences in this movie, too. But they are very subtle. In fact, I didn't catch them until my daughter said after the movie, "Jeez if Jordan Peele wanted to make an anime, he should have just done that."

So, anime fans, look out for those references (especially you old heads out there).

4. Art Imitates Life

So, this one might be one just for the old heads. There are several references to a particular real-life event that happened way back in the 90s. The person involved in the event was interviewed by Oprah and I kind of feel like if you weren't around when this whole thing happened, you might not get it right off.

But, yeah, certain things happen in this movie that are clearly a reference to this real-life event. Google it after you watch the movie.

5. Plastic is Bad for the Environment

Did you know that most fish in the ocean consume plastic because of pollution?

(Sorry, that's all I got. This is a big clue, so I can't really say much more than that.)

But was this movie any good?  I mean, if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you already know how I feel about Jordan Peele's movies.

Like, in the world of horror, he really is elevating the game and Nope is no exception.


Next week's Movie!

I'm thinking maybe Black Phone even though I haven't read the book and it is a Joe Hill joint.  

See you next week!


Sunday, July 17, 2022

Bland Fried Okra With Baby Snakes


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

Lemme open this week's review by stating that southern horror is a favorite thing of mine. I've never quite been able to explain why because it's a feeling more than anything else.

It's like the taste of crawfish while sitting on a dock of the river in the summertime. It's the smell of the humidity in 102-degree heat and short-shorts and tank tops. But mostly, it's the warm night air and the sound of night creatures in the darkness.

Like it's a very, very specific brain trigger for me and when Southern horror is done well, it's one of the fastest ways to my cold black heart.

It's all very cool...except when it's not. Case in point, This week's movie!


The Long Night starring Scout Taylor-Compton, Nolan Gerard Funk, Deborah Kara Unger, and a totally unrecognizable Jeff Fahey.

Come on, my old-head horror nuts know who I'm talking about. You know, Lawnmower man, Body Parts...this guy:

Wait, wait, hold up. This guy:

Remember? That whole scene in Body Parts where he gets into a car chase while handcuffed with another dude? That dude.

Anyway, our story starts with Grace(Taylor-Compton) and Jack(Funk). Grace and Jack live in New York. Grace is looking for her long-lost family as she grew up in foster homes and stuff. She gets a call from some dude about a house in the south that might belong to her family. So, off they go.

Now, crammed in here for no particular reason, there's this whole bit about them stopping in the Hamptons to meet Jack's family. We don't ever see that happen, though. Just the aftermath with them talking in the car about how bad it went.

So, early on, Jack gets a clue that something is really wrong with this place. After getting locked in a bathroom while Grace gets...I don't know, possessed by somebody in an animal mask, he's all, let's get the fuck out of here.

By then, of course, it's too late. The house is surrounded by creepy cult members, ready to terrorize them for the rest of the movie. Which they do.

And Jeff Fahey shows up for some reason, but he kind of gets the coveted Scatman Caruthers award in that it seems like he might be able to help them, but about fifteen minutes later...

Anyway, the cult people terrorize the young couple because they want Grace for some reason. Jack finds this out pretty early and nothing ever comes from that.

Like, there's kind of a moment where it looks like he might be struggling with just giving her over, but that's it. There's no moment of weakness. There's no internal struggle. It just kind of goes away. 

There's like a lot of that, actually. The movie starts with these character decisions throughout the film that don't go anywhere.

But then there are these wild visions that Grace has. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any gifs or anything of them, but I can give you a short list of what they involve.

-- Snakes, lots of snakes
-- A naked woman with an animal mask lying on a bed of moss in the woods while light shoots out of her vagina.
-- A pregnant woman getting a rather unhygienic c-section in the woods.
-- A two-headed baby snake coming out of said womb
-- A computer-rendered space scene complete with a floating space baby

The movie takes a pretty hard left for no reason and ends up with the cultists catching Grace and telling her that she has to bring forth an ancient snake demon to 'cleanse' the world.

And for some unexplained reason, Grace goes along with it in the end, becomes the demon snake monster and kills everyone.

Yeah, that's it, folks.

Now, in this movie's defense, there are some good horror moments throughout the movie. Things do get plenty bloody and I could arguably say the scares (few that they are) are warranted.

Like, the intentions are all there and everything, but it comes off really disjointed plotwise. It was a little difficult to keep up with, actually. One second we're running from cultists, the next we're watching a naked woman with a glowing vagine.

 Oh, and let's not forget the lack of seasoning in this so-called southern tale.

Look, this is a story that takes place on a southern plantation that involves ancient spirits and the filmmakers gave us this white bread with mayonnaise story about pilgrims and natives, which would have been fine if this had taken place where the story began. In New York.

The south is chock full of history to pull from. Enough to create a really cool backdrop for this kind of movie and the filmmakers just straight missed out.

I think I'm the most disappointed by that if we're being honest. This one had a lot of potential and if there is one thing I hate more in a movie is missed potential.

That being said, I have no choice but to give this one the old Bronx Cheer:

Next week! I'm going to check out Good Madam just because it kind of looks interesting.

See you next week!