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.


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.


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.  


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.


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

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Apology & Jess Franco's Brilliance

First off, I'm sorry for my most recent bout of absentitis.  This time around I've had an unhealthy addiction to the Olympics, compounded by the misfortune of yet another RRSP season, and the snowballing demands of a pregnant wife.  Oh the trials and tribulations of growing up!  I promise I'll get to finishing the ever intriguing filmology of Eric Stanze and then start bangin' out posts again. 

All that aside, I HAD to post this email I received this morning...why would I not join in on the naked and gory fun of a Franco film?!?!?!  

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I Spit On Your Corpse, I Piss On Your Grave [2001] - Eric Stanze Week

If the title doesn't divide the horror masses - Spit n' Piss's content surely will.  Eric Stanze's follow up to the ultra-controversial indie masterpiece-of-shit Scrapbook (and that's a compliment I swear!) is either the maturation and evolution of a once young and up-and-coming filmmaker - or a promise kept to Emily Haack after being mounted and pissed on for an hour and a half.  Either way, I bought my ticket - now let the road to degradation begin!

Some four-eyed Betty's car breaks down; and while mulling over her inconvenience a guy in a red bandana appears (never good).  The obviously really bad ass dude chases her down and kills her (like I said, never good).  During the investigation really bad dude's gonna-be-bad-sooner-or-later younger brother tries to help cover up the crime but winds up in prison himself.

The now really bad younger brother summons all the badness of his brother's badass red bandana and breaks out of jail with a little revenge on his probably once mulleted mind.  He kidnaps his former girlfriend (Haack) along with 3 others who wronged him at the trailer trial.  And just when you think you know where you're heading - wammo!  Haack turns the tables on him in a surprising plot twist not even a monologue insinuating it was going to happen would lead us to believe!  But let's say you got lucky and saw a red herring amidst a red herring parade coming...Stanze then blindsides us again by conveniently adding past violations of the 3 captured unto Ms. Haack...and payback's a mutha-fuckin' broomstick!  

Stanze formulas Spit n' Piss with similar foundations as Scrapbook.  He utilizes the same successful nuances as his previous effort (exploitative gore, sporadic death metal, irritating synth, a grimy setting) but also tries to correct it's flaws and underachievements with minor tweaks and slight variations (turning the victim to victimizer, adding a deeper story, polishing production, hiring better actors, and going just a tad further in schlock).  But you can't make the same delicious dish with different ingredients and serve it to the same guest with hope of getting the same results.  As the saying goes, you can never get a second chance at a first impression - so Spit n' Piss just comes off as an overthought and lame sequel.

(No...please...don't put it...no, c'mon...PLEASE...ahhhhhh, uuyuck)

But for horror fans seeking the most depraved and sickest shit this side of 2 girls 1 cup - Spit n' Piss is definitely worth a go around - maybe just for the final rape/revenge scene alone.