Saturday, April 4, 2015

Willow Creek [2013]

Willow Creek [2013]


For many horror fans Bobcat Goldthwait's name won't ring any sort of bell, but for many of us on the scarier side of 30yr old it rings loud and clear.  So when I see a film being advertised as "the first horror written and directed" by "Zed", from Police Academy fame, it's clearly a must-see.


Told via found footage,Willow Creek tells the tale of a two twenty-somethings fresh out of the city, on a documented adventure exploring the folklore and mystery of Bigfoot.  Along the way they stop in a small touristy town, drowned in Bigfoot dollars, meeting both believers and non-believers.

I put that shit on everything...
The slow, albeit humorous, lead up outside of the woods is well done and purposeful.  We find out our two protagonists are likeable and relatable, both equally vital and necessary to carry our viewers through the arduous journey these two will be taken.

Either I'll rape you or the sasquatch will?  What's your preference hipster douchebag?
Having left the comforts and hilarity of the small town the two make their way deep into the woods, where the only "confirmed" evidence of the giant biped was filmed.  When the couple finally stop to camp and the sun goes down, Willow Creek and Goldthwait make themselves memorable.


For what must be a painstaking 20min long, unedited and uninterrupted scene, shot within their tent, with only the actors portrayed fear and terrifying formulaic sounds found outside the thin nylon structure to carry itself is...incredible.   With every tree knock, twig snap, grunt and groan, coming closer...and closer...it's truly a behind-the-couch moment in horror that I won't soon forget.

Are you serious Jim?  Another found footage film?
From then on Goldthwait continues with the less-is-more formula and teases us with a horrifying climax that never comes.  And it is that, that Bobcat missed his opportunity to do something really special.  He put his lure in the water, we bit as expected, he tugged and reeled us closer to the boat but before he can net us, he cuts the line.  Intended or not, I'm not sure, but it was disappointment nonetheless.

6/10





Friday, April 3, 2015

Nurse 3D [2013]

Nurse 3D [2013]


Abby is an experienced nurse whose job by day "is more than sticking thermometers in butts and looking pretty" and punishing cheating husbands at night.  When Abby takes newly hired Danni under her wing and into her twisted life, blood will spill, boobs will be shown, and I'll almost turn this fucker off.


Garbage.

From it's idiotic opening scene all the way to it's laughable clich├ęd ending, Nurse 3D is an overt cult hit wannabe.  But despite plenty of nudity, more than it's fair share of gore, and dark comedic undertones, Nurse 3D manages to swing and miss at every pitch, and is more insult than injury to any self-respecting horror fan.

Let's find out why...


Paz de la Huerta isn't sexy, and even further away from alluring.  Maybe from the neck down, or if she doesn't speak, but in no other way is she either.  And Nurse 3D exemplifies her punch-drunk acting and her drunk-punched face almost continuously and ineptly.  Both, in which, are bad.

Maybe the winning formula would've been less this...



...and more this.  Just sayin'.


It's attempts at dark humor come off inane and forced.  "My schedule's been murder."  So was watching this drivel, Abby.  An equally failed attempt at a back story just adds minutes to the film, not the intended explanation of a believable motive.

4/10









Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Finder's Keepers

When I arrived home tonite I didn't know what to expect from my better half.  

I think I got lucky, or I'll pay for it later.

Wife "Well, those look..." *pause* "...nice."  *Walks away*








Monday, March 23, 2015

Starry Eyes [2014]

Starry Eyes [2014]



"We'll be in touch."
 Everyone knows the old adage, "patience is a virtue", but in some of my favourite long-winded horrors I tend to preach to those often bored and fidgety in such predicaments, "patience...and they'll hurt you", and so is the case for one of 2014's best horrors Starry Eyes.


Sarah is a struggling actress trying not to "blend into the sea of thousands of forgotten girls" who aren't even cast aside, let alone given the leading role.  In between auditions she hangs out with equally untalented friends, courts an eligible van-living love interest, holds down the coveted "Tater's girl" moniker and pulls out clumps of her own hair if things don't go her way.  Throw in the Satanic cult out of left field a la House of the Dead [2009] and we 're in for one hell of a finale!


Starry Eyes is a perfect blend of 70's b-movie devil horror and modern day gore-porn.  For the better part of an hour the filmmakers brilliantly trek us down a satirical tale of acting in Hollywood, and the descent of madness and desperation it's victims are succumb to.  And when that desperation turns to sacrifice Starry Eyes goes full gangbusters and pulls no punches in a violent and bloody drenching finale that will shock and gut-punch any horror fan.

8/10




Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Found. [2012]

FOUND. [2012]


Found. is a gripping and visceral coming-of-age story that will resonate with you long after its over.  Not since Martyrs [2008] has a horror film lingered within me, demanding extended time for complete and proper digestion.  And what I've been left with is absolute horror gratification.


Marty is a 12-year old child dealing with the full gamut of the banes of adolescence:  bullying, racism, family issues, abuse, self searching, sexuality.  And if that wasn't enough, Marty discovers his older brother, who's just beyond that all important age gap for siblings to have any symbiotic relationship, is a serial killer.  As cheesy as that last detail sounds, Found. is anything but cheesy.


Found. is powerful and emotionally draining, with sincere, honest and thought provoking themes.  All credit goes to the performances of the on-screen brothers, excellent direction by first time captain at the helm, Scott Schirmer and very able sound and photography crew.  Further credit goes to the production staff for their work with amateur equipment and a budget under $10,000.  But back to the performances.


Any film with a leading actor under the legal age to drive, the end result will solely depend on the child's ability to carry the film, and actor Gavin Brown (Marty) quite simply owned Found.  Not only was Brown believable, but he evoked feelings of sympathy, caring and understanding.  Ever his equal was Ethan Philbeck who plays the role of older brother and serial killer, Steve.  Their scenes together were fantastic.


Not without faults, outside of Brown and Philbeck, most performances in Found. were forced and distracting, but at least short in duration, so as to not detract anything from the overall value of the film.  The fake film "Headless" shown during the film seemed out of place, inconsistent and unnecessary, considering the mostly implied violence of the climactic ending and general tone.


Found. does so well what other indie horrors don't even dare to pursue.  It has shock without exploitation, depth without loss, and meaning without complication.  Fantastic horror.

9/10






Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Babadook [2014]



Three years and FearFinder is back?  Why?  Well the kids are getting older, giving me more time, and I heard The Babadook was so good it would drag me back to bloggin'.  So was it?  Well let's find out.


We're introduced to Amelia and Samuel, a mother and son interesting enough to cheer for, but also annoying enough to root root root for The Babadook-dook-dook.  Samuel is part RedRum and part Bobby from House By The Cemetery ie  you want to punch him in the face and give him a hug all at the same time.  But he dabbles in amateur magic and medieval weaponry so he's all good in my books.


Samuel gets kicked out of school for bringing in his home made dart shooter and Amelia decides to call in sick for paranormalghost-a-sitis.  So the two decide to camp-in in their 3 bedroom 2-story with modern melancholy grey decor and hope someone else fixes their life problems.  Enter The Babadook.


What is the Babadook?  Couldn't tell you.  We got no back-story, no explanation, and no rhyme or reason of why this character shows up besides 10 pages of a poorly drawn pencil doodles.  The book just shows up on Samuel's book case amongst the Dr. Seuss and Robert Munsch collections and decides to fuck these fuckers up.


For the next 30mins The Babadook gives a few decent scares but ends without a satisfying climax, not even Amelia could climax, sorry honey, you need to put a lock on that bedroom door.  It was like cinematic blue balls.  


Don't get me wrong.  The Babadook is a good movie.  In fact, it's very good movie.  The photography is spot on, dark and unsettling, the sets are atmospheric and dreary.  It's a well constructed film; written brilliantly, acted professionally, and confidently executed.  It's just not a great horror film.  

6/10




Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Silent House [2010]


The Silent House, or more natively known La Casa Muda, is most likely a film you've heard rumblings about since it's 2010 festival tour through Cannes, Sitges and Stockholm, or stumbled upon after hearing of a US remake . Marketed as being filmed in one continuous shot and rumoured to be as shakey cam scary and as groundbreaking as Blair Witch and REC, none of which is true. But hey, it's a fuckin' horror film Uruguay...Urrrruuuugauuuuuay...ya. Fuck...I'm sure I've ate their soybeans and cheered against their soccer team so I felt like I owed them a once over.

Are those two mosquito bites under your shirt or are you just slightly happy to see me.

Laura and her father are a phenom tandem of house cleaners who prefer to sleep in arm chairs and show up to work up a day early. There next assignment is running a gambit with swiffers and schtickies on Nestor, a friend of the family's uninhabited country home. After Nestor leaves 'em be, they crank the clock radio and tuck it for the night.


Laura's awoken by some strange noises upstairs, which totally irks her because Nestor said don't go up there, so instead she wakes her dad and sends him up to investigate. He dies, she cries, and all the doors and windows are locked, yay. And this is where the fun and confusion starts.

Don't do it bitch, Nestor said "No.".


She tramples around the house looking for a way out whilst avoiding the entity that killed her father, hiding when necessary but not even a bird can hide in the shit-hole of a cottage. When she does an end up escaping Nestor finds her and drags her back to the house! Classic horror unrealism!



The rest of the movie is reminiscent of REC's final scenes of limited sight and flashes of attempted explanation of the lead-up of events and inevitable conclusion. But this time, first time director Gustavo Hernandez goes rogue and presents it devoid of terror, purpose and coherency.


I applaud the filmmakers for getting their creation out of the armpit of South America and into the depraved collections and film queues of horrors fans in the rest of the air-conditioned world, but that's about it.

5/10

ps - Make sure you stick around after the credits to be gifted with one more final scene of glorious ineptitude!