Thursday, August 23, 2012

REVIEW: Lord of Illusions (1995)

Am I dreaming? Is this movie part of some kind of freakish, nightmareish sub-reality in my mind brought on by some guy sticking his fingers in my head? Is Clive Barker stupid or actually so subtly gifted and talented that I can’t even perceive how great he truly is? Was the Kennedy assassination the work of a lone gunman, or was there something more at work? For the answers to all of these questions…don’t watch this movie, because it’ll just confuse the shit out of you and you’ll spend your time pondering the answers to those questions PLUS the myriad more brought on by the film’s insanity. Trust me. I know. I’m a survivor of Lord of Illusions.

Director: Clive Barker
Starring: Scott Bakula, Kevin J. O'Connor

After watching this, you will be transformed! Transformed into someone who hates the art of cinema! Into someone who thinks the only way to make a good movie is lots of referential crap to dated stuff that nobody watches anymore, plus tons and tons of gore! Transformed into a mindless slave of the Clive Barker cult of nonsense!

The film begins with some people going in to stop this fat, balding guy who apparently has magical powers from using those powers to do something with a girl he kidnapped – it’s not entirely clear what his plan is. Except, of course, for being a fat, balding guy with no charisma, charm or acting skills…seriously, what is the draw to this guy? People are apparently worshiping him and lining up to join his magic cult thing, but this is the first really big hole. Who would follow this guy? He’s about as charming as a wooden fence post.

So yeah, I’m not kidding here, THIS is the leader of these mercenaries…rebels…whatever the hell they are:

What is that? The bastard child of Steve Buscemi and a weedwacker? Well, whatever, he goes in and tries to save the girl, telling her it will be OK but not actually saving her yet. Isn’t that the best kind of rescue? Also, why do they always gag people in movies where they can still talk? Doesn’t that go against the point of a gag?

She can clearly still talk through that, and as we'll see in a few scenes, she can still pick up and use a weapon even with her wrists tied like they are. So basically this is a failure of a hostage situation.

Then we see the best method of villainous plotting ever conceived – hanging out behind a rotating wall and then dramatically revealing yourself when you could have just stabbed your enemy from the start when he came into the room:

I guess the plot here is that this magician guy, Nix, is obsessed for some reason that is never fully made clear with that Steve Buscemi lookalike, whose name is Swann, and so he wants to “show him the truth of the flesh” or some inane bullshit; you know, the usual Clive Barker formula. Have a guy intone deeply and say cool sounding things that mean nothing, and then play some gory shots over it that also mean nothing. Maybe his philosophy is that two meaningless things, when put together, will create something of substance. But I think it’s fair to say it just annoys the living piss out of his audience and makes him look like a giant tool.

Then Nix gets shot in the back by the hostage girl he tied up. Gee. Maybe you shouldn’t have left her hands untied enough for her to use a gun. And maybe you shouldn’t have been so unobservant as to let her near that gun in the first place. You’re really not much in the brains department either, are you Nix? How the hell are people following this guy again?! They bury him underground and say he’ll never come back, but since the movie still has an hour and a half left, how much do you wanna bet he comes back?

They're putting down their bets right now...and hoping to win! The woman in the middle is putting all her rent money on the table even.

Oh, and this was all in less than the first ten minutes, by the way. Isn’t that a beauty? I’ve talked about so much already and the movie isn’t even close to starting its main plot yet. Ugh…

We then fast forward 13 years to New York City, where some private detective named Harry D’Amour gets a house call from his boss, generic frumpy white businessman. The conversation that follows is – I’m not gonna lie here – probably the most generic movie conversation ever made in the history of cinema. The guy in the suit says he has a job for D’Amour, who is skeptical about it while popping a bottle of beer. But we know he’s going to say yes and just go. Why wouldn’t he? When in the history of movies has the drunken, down-and-out detective ever said no to the One Final Job?

5 o'clock shadow? Rich 1%er boss with one last mission for him? Alcoholism problem? All checked off! You are officially the lead character in your very own terrible detective story...and seriously, how poorly acted is this character anyway? He blends into the background so much you almost forget he's even there most of this movie. I mean, he's only supposed to be our moral center of things. I guess that wasn't important.

So he ends up in Los Angeles chasing some guy who apparently is conning someone. He follows some guy to a fortune teller’s office where he finds a guy holding the fortune teller hostage, having already stabbed him several times in the chest. Then D’Amour is attacked by some bald bodyguard guy. How will D’Amour beat this guy? He slams the door in his face aaaaaaand that stops him cold!

Ugggghhhhhhh doors!!! I was trained for everything except fighting through them! Doors are my mortal enemies!

When the bodyguard FINALLY gets through the door several minutes later, D’Amour throws him out a window. Truly this guy was the best henchman ever. Then the other guy leaves as well, leaving D’Amour to tend to the wounded fortune teller, who dies. What are D’Amour’s chilling, poetic words to summarize witnessing such a painful death scene? None other than “Shit.” That’s all he says, and isn’t it just perfect? I think I’ve heard better eulogies from a five year old flushing her goldfish down the toilet.

So I guess the story behind this is that someone or something is killing off all the members of the squad who brought down that Nix character 13 years ago. Why did the killer take 13 years to get started with that brilliant plot? Because that fits the time this movie was released in the mid 90s. There literally is no other reason besides that. D’Amour gets hired by the wife of that Swann weirdo who is now a big time stage magician, who wants him to figure out what the hell is going on. Even though…he was already doing that anyway and didn’t need to be hired twice. Oh, wait! I know the reason!

"We have no reason to be attracted to one another besides the fact that I'm the main hero in a poorly written film noir detective story! Let's have sex!"

Literally without even saying anything, you know they’re going to have sex before the movie ends. It’s that friggin’ obvious. Why else even have this shit in the movie at all, if not for a cheap and poorly written romantic “plot”? This movie is as predictable as a weather forecast in the middle of a drought. I know it’s trying to be all homage-y to classic film noirs and detective stories, but god, would at least a little bit of energy and cleverness be too much to ask for?

Then D’Amour ends up going to one of Swann’s shows with the wife, whose name is Dorothea. The show is…well, it’s not really much of a magic show. It’s more like what would qualify at the video store as “special interest.”

Is that the Yogurt statue from Spaceballs?
Yeah, nice Power Rangers poses there you morons.

If you like seeing a bunch of mostly naked men wrapped up in metal wiring dancing around a statue of an ambiguously Indian-looking idol statue, well, then you would be in for a treat. I just imagine here all the people who brought their young children to see this, expecting a magic show. Wouldn’t this be just so strange to them?

Then Swann performs his ultimate trick – bloody, violent death!

Eh, I've seen better magic shows. 7/10.

And in the words of Harry D’Amour to describe the situation: “Shit.” That about sums it up.

Afterwards, D’Amour investigates some other magician guy and comes across the name Nix, which he figures is connected to the deaths of all these people, and when he asks Dorothea about it, she sends her butler to tell him to stop working and go home. So he finds out what she was looking for and she doesn’t like it? He DID HIS JOB, WHAT SHE ASKED HIM TO DO, and her response is telling him she doesn’t like it? What the hell? Is some kind of semblance of a logical sequence of events REALLY THAT HARD? Jesus Christ, Clive Barker! What’s wrong with you? Can’t you even just…try, for once, to write something that isn’t totally talentless hack work and just, maybe, I dunno, might be a crazy idea, TELL A REAL STORY? God!

So after that D’Amour ends up going over to Dorothea’s mansion where they have this conversation:

D’AMOUR: [Swann] thought Nix was coming back, didn’t he? Didn’t he?
[DOROTHEA slams her hands on the table and looks distressed.]
D’AMOUR: I can’t help you unless you talk to me.
DOROTHEA: Nobody can help me.

Normally dialogue like this wouldn’t be anything worth pointing out, except for what follows:

I mean really, REALLY?! "Oh, I just want to help you solve this crime" = making out with a stripper pole between your boobs? What universe is this?

Well, I called it, and it was totally predictable that they would end up having sex. But honestly, what the hell led to this? They were talking about the case and then, bam, they were making out, and one scene later they were in bed. Did Barker just miss a page of the script where they started flirting with one another? There was no build up to this at all! Usually there’s…something, at least, like a scene or two of them sort of being coy with one another, but here it’s literally just a totally unrelated conversation leading to them doing it! It’s like a parody of a film noir rather than a homage. But then again, expecting Clive Barker to start understanding anything about human interaction now would be an exercise in futility.

Then we see the worst special effects this side of Cube II: Hypercube as the ghost of Nix chases them around the palace and stuff:

If they were going for "childish red crayon scribble" then they got that one 100% correct!

After that, we find out that Swann is actually still alive, and faked his death so that the ghost of Nix would leave him and his loved ones alone. This is so stupid that even a dunce like D’Amour can point out the holes in it, like that Dorothea was the one who actually shot and killed Nix to begin with, so why wouldn’t he go after her anyway? It all just comes to point out how much of a goddamn pussy Swann is, and him being alive…really adds nothing to the rest of the movie, seeing as it’s almost over. So why add it? To pad out the running time, of course!

So apparently that one guy from earlier, who killed that fortune teller, is the main villain now as he kidnaps Dorothea and takes her to the site from the beginning of the movie, where they raise Nix from the grave as the incarnate of Frank from the first Hellraiser movie:

Can you tell this was made by the same guy yet? If the poorly written story and lack of serious atmosphere didn't give it away...

He almost kills Dorothea, but D’Amour saves her. Nix decides that he wants to explode Swann’s brain, so he does exactly that, rendering him a brainless vegetable. Then we see that he corrupts D’Amour by sticking his fingers in his head and making him see other people like this:

Well to be fair watching Clive Barker movies for too long makes me see people that way too.

…until Dorothea shoots Nix in the head and kills him!

Oh, did I say that kills him? I’m sorry. I meant he’s still alive after being shot! I always get those two confused…and seriously, can’t this shit JUST END ALREADY?! They push him down into a hole and kill him that way. What did we learn from this? That if you push people into holes and shoot them, they die? What the hell was the point of any of this garbage? I feel ill just thinking of the time wasted on this that I could have been using for something more productive, like watching paint dry, or reading my neighbors’ tax returns.

Lord of Illusions’ only real illusion is that it somehow got green lighted. You thought you were getting a good movie, movie studios? Well POOF! Bait and switch and you’re left with Lord of Illusions. God, what a mess. Did people ever really take this seriously? I mean Hellraiser is one thing; that at least had an iconic and memorable main villain. This? This has N-O-T-H-I-N-G. Sigh. It’s like Clive Barker has some kind of magical spell over his audiences blinding them to his talentlessness…some kind of strange pull over the minds of the weak…

…nah, people are just too easy to please and that’s all there is to it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

REVIEW: Children of the Corn (1984)

For a horror fan, is there any higher example of the genre than Stephen King? Don’t answer that with some really old or obscure reference that most people wouldn’t get. But seriously, though he can get overdramatic and his stories can go on a little TOO long, I really like King’s work. I think he’s got a great style, some really cool and creative ideas and a real knack for scaring the shit out of his audiences, from his humble start in the 70s to the modern day where he’s revered as a God of popular literature. Which he rightly deserves.

But really, are the movies based on his works any good? Some of them, like IT, The Stand and the Bag of Bones TV movie from last year, are pretty poor and underwhelming, and while not all bad, fail to capture what makes his books so great. Paradoxically this happens by sticking too close to the source material, which thus robs the movies of having any individuality or style of their own. While I understand wanting to stay faithful to the books and stories the movies are based off of, I think there is something to be said with taking creative liberties and doing one’s own thing with a popular story. Which is why the Children of the Corn movie is so good!

Director: Fritz Kiersch
Starring: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton

Yes, I actually do not hate this movie – is that a miracle of my review blog or what? Usually I rip stuff a new one on here. But this movie I actually thought was really very good. Oh, I don’t mean there’s nothing to make fun of; just that I don’t regret watching it like I do a lot of the other shit I’ve been watching lately for this site…let’s dig into this festival of eerie and campy horror fun, Children of the Corn.

We start off with some goofy narration from a little boy while we see a bunch of people in a diner slaughtered bloodily:

Charming…very charming. And oddly enough that does not scar the little boy for life as he just keeps on narrating as happily as he can overtop these morbid scenes. It fits about as well as peanut butter on a turkey sandwich. And if that wasn’t jarring enough for you, the next thing we see is THIS:

Yes, that’s right, we follow up a bloody death scene with another scene of Linda Hamilton singing an 80s pop song to her husband Peter Horton on his birthday. It’s weird, embarrassing and kind of creepy, and even Horton himself seems to agree as he puts the covers back over his head and tries to escape the reality of the crazy woman he married. Luckily she never sings anything again in the movie. And at least they’re not our main characters---

Dammit! So we have to put up with these two white-as-whitebread squares for the rest of the movie?! Yes, I just said “squares”…that’s what the sheer cheesiness of these characters has done to me…

Anyway, so we see two kids, Job and Sarah, ordered around by some other kid, and we learn that they’re not allowed to have any fun. They’re not allowed to play games, listen to music or even read anything, because it would be sinful. Apparently they aren’t allowed to take acting classes either, because these kids are about as credible as wooden planks! Acting classes truly are the work of the Devil. Why is everything good affiliated with Satan? It’s like the holy just can’t catch a break.

Then we see that kid who tried to leave get killed off and shoved in the road, right where our main characters Whitey Whitenson and his wife, Missus Whitebread, are driving along and slam right into him with their car – okay, their real names are Burt and Vicky. Happy? Anyway they think that they killed the kid at first, but Burt, being a doctor, figures out that he was already dead and was shoved out into the street by someone else. He goes to investigate, while Vicky has a dream that the kid in the road jump scares her in the mother of God of all jump scares:

I really have to give this movie props - THIS is how you do a friggin' jump scare!  So many modern movies get it wrong  - they waste them on silly, inconsequential moments that are just thrown in half-assed to get the teenage girls in the audience to jump. Here we have something actually relevant to the story, and the moment in context is actually very scary and surreal as well. Very well done.

So after that, we see Job and Sarah get captured by Malachi, the redheaded stepchild of the group. They get taken to Isaac, played by Cousin Itt from the Addams’ Family – yes, really. He looks like a wrinkled old man in a child’s body and when he talks it sounds like when you fast-forward a VHS tape and the voices get all high pitched. Truly the picture of fear.

"I am the ruler of ALL the muppets!"

We see him preaching to the crew of inbreds and miscreants that make up this ridiculous town, and all I can think is, is this what a Chick Fil A board meeting is like?

"And then we will make sure our chicken is filled with only HETEROSEXUAL chicken meat...only the purest of them all!"

Burt and Vicky find a creepy old guy at a gas station who, when he sees them coming, says to his dog, “Ooh, a car, you know what that means!” Uh…no, I don’t know what it means. But I am suddenly reminded of another film that started off with a gas station and ended in brutal rape and murder exploitation. I sure hope this movie is a little less dark when it comes to the fate of our protagonists. I don’t really need to see rape scenes by a bunch of country kids in the middle of a cornfield, thank you very much.

So the guy tells them to go to this other town to use a phone to report the murder of that kid. So they drive around in circles for a while and get lost like every city-slicker does in the country. Oh how silly. Then SOMEHOW, they end up back at the gas station from before! Only they don’t realize that the kids killed the old man for disobeying them…yes, he was working for them. Why didn’t he just leave? Because I guess the prospect of being a flunkie to a bunch of crazy religious teenagers and ten year olds was just too good for this guy to pass up, and now, he paid for it with his life.

Burt and Vicky end up in this town where all the kids have taken over and turned it into a wasteland. They find Sarah the little girl in this one abandoned house, and Burt, being a doctor, is totally against talking to her with any kind of understanding or patience, like all good doctors are! Being tolerant of people who are afraid or confused just isn’t a very doctorly thing to do.

The best doctor in the world...catty, sarcastic and totally against understanding people's differences! Oh yeah.

So Vicky gets kidnapped by Malachi and the kids while Burt ends up on the run. He finds a bunch of kids in a church drinking blood and all kinds of other stuff and calls them out on being weirdos and freaks. He then gets stabbed in the chest, and like all stab wounds, it’s just a minor annoyance and is easy to walk off, am I right? Maybe his doctor powers allow him to avoid getting stabbed too fatally or something. Or maybe the knife was just made of corn husks…I dunno.

Meanwhile in crazy nutso corn-religion land, they decide they don’t like Isaac anymore and prefer the only slightly different mode of religion that Malachi has, which is more aggressive and involves more teeth:

Has this kid ever thought about doing some work for dental commercials? I'm sure he'd make a bundle.

Burt goes running through the town and teams up with Job and Sarah to hide in an old bunker that apparently, was once used to hide from Communists. Now wait a second. So Burt is already in this crazy town full of kids who are trying to kill him, and he just TRUSTS THIS KID without a second thought? He doesn’t even consider that it could be a trap? How does he know these kids are trustworthy at all? And what’s the point of entrapping yourself further underground? You’re out in the open country! It can’t be that hard to find some place where they can’t find you! Hiding underground where they can just surround you just seems…stupid!

Ugh, okay, so Malachi takes Vicky hostage and parades her through the streets, threatening to kill her if Burt doesn’t come out. They eventually just give up and take her back to the cornfield anyway, alive still, so I guess they’re a bunch of pussies or something. Burt shows up and confronts them and ends up fighting with Malachi and beating him. That comes to an abrupt end when Isaac, who is tied to a cross with corn husks all around it, is eaten by what looks like early MS Paint diarrhea:

I will also accept "molten lava vomit."

That sends everyone running for their lives, but Malachi is pulled back by a demonized Isaac and apparently gets killed.

This is actually really cool. I wish we had seen more of it beyond just one or two scenes...

Burt and Vicky and everyone else hide out in a barn, which…is apparently immune to the wrath of the giant pissed off demon outside? Huh. I guess wood and hay are its only weaknesses. Whodathunkit. Burt goes outside and ends up torching the damn thing with a Molotov cocktail. You know, I think I do like this guy after all.

They adopt the two kids and walk back to their car, only to find one last Child of the Corn waiting for them with a pitchfork, so Burt hits her in the head with his car door, because abuse to children is OK if they’re crazy and religious! And on that note the movie just ends. I should be annoyed by how abruptly it ends, on that abusive note, but it’s just so funny to me, and at least they didn’t waste their time with any bullshit epilogues or drawn out “sequel bait” cliffhangers. That’s always cool.

So Children of the Corn is goofy and campy, but it’s also awesome. The atmosphere is killer, evoked by some eerie shots of cornfields both in the daytime and at night – and it’s surprising how scary this is even when most of the film takes place during the day. The kids, while not GREAT actors, do get the job done and manage to come off as legitimately creepy rather than just silly. The main characters are both good, with real personalities and as an added bonus, they actually DO things rather than just letting things HAPPEN to them, which is a big problem a lot of horror movies have. By avoiding that pitfall, this movie has a lot of drive and momentum and remains consistently exciting all throughout its duration.

There are some plot holes, sure, which I’ve made fun of here, but it was all out of love, trust me. And hell, compared to a lot of stuff I review, this was one hell of a tightly constructed movie. It’s not perfect and could have been even darker and bleaker, but as it is, Children of the Corn is a classic. If you haven’t seen this yet, get on it! Stat!

Pics copyright of their original owners. None of 'em are mine.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Machine Gun Preacher (2011)

Starring: Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Shannon

You know how Africa has a lot of problems? All those wars and child soldiers and everything? Ever wanted some guy to go around and kill all the bad guys with a machine gun and then make a movie about him with the guy from "300"? Then this is the movie for you! Or is it...?

Based on the true story of Sam Childers, Gerard Butler plays the protagonist, a drug addict just out of jail who does not seem too concerned about changing his ways. But after a night on the town goes terribly wrong, he decides to follow his wife's advice and becomes a born-again Christian. He starts to turn his life around by getting a job as a building contractor before eventually starting his own company. But things really start to change when he takes part in a Sudanese outreach program and becomes heavily involved in their cause. Wanting to build and run a church, he is constantly under attack by the rebels who are trying to either kill the children in the area or turn them into soldiers. Eventually he has enough, so he picks up a machine gun and starts wiping them out, determined to stop them at all cost.

This movie is one of those films that "is what it is." Despite its title, it is not really about religious faith, but it does highlight the moral issues surrounding the plight of African children. Childers represents these issues at various points in his mission and it becomes clear that he does not do well with the word "no." Despite his controversial ideas and actions, he keeps pushing forward until he gets his way. He gets very angry when a friend of his who shortchanges him on a check to give to his church while throwing a party at his multimillion dollar house. However, it also happens when his daughter asks to rent a limo for her formal, with her responding with the quote "you care more about those black babies than you do about me." It shows how people in the developed world can dismiss those in the developing world, but also that those who fight for a good cause can sometimes go overboard, however pure their intentions may be.

You have to give credit to Butler as he does a good job showing Childers in the various stages of his life. While it is not exactly an Oscar-worthy performance, for his own sake, it is good to see that he can actually act. Not that he did not do an amazing job in the classic that is "Gamer," ( but it just seemed like he got overshadowed by a masturbating fat guy and Dexter trying to pull off Frank Sinatra/Michael Jackson. Yes...classic...

There are probably two big flaws with this film. First of all, it does not have very good pasting, particularly in the beginning. It just bounces from Jail, Drugs, Redemption, Happy Life, Africa in really short order. I know that this first part is not really the main focus of the movie, but they could have slowed it down a little it by adding an extra scene here or there. Luckily it gets easier as the film goes on.

The second problem is that the film comes off as being really heavy-handed. This may seem a bit obvious since this is about genocide in Africa. I guess it feels especially so because it is very blunt; while it may talk about the big issues and how it effects people, there is no real subtly to it and at times it feels like it is being thrown in your face. But in a way, that is kind of the point. Childers is a very straight forward person and the style of the picture seems to put that upfront and center.

So that is that. Like always, I am judging the movie based on what I saw, not on what actually happened (they do show some photos of the real-life Childers during the end credits and it concludes with a video in which Childers poses a poignant, if rather disturbing question, to the camera). I cannot say that this movie is for everyone because of everything I just mentioned, but I personally liked it overall, and if it seems it suits you, I recommend it.

I do not own the rights to these pictures and links; they belong to their respective owners and are being used for entertainment purposes only. Please do not sue me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

REVIEW: Forget Me Not (2009)

Oh, boy. If I could forget I saw this shit, you bet I would do it faster than you can say ‘turn the TV off.’ Forget Me Not is a movie with the incredibly original plot of a ghost getting revenge on people who wronged her in the past. Oh, well, it would have been original if I Know What You Did Last Summer didn’t exist maybe, as well as the thousands of rip-offs that are spewed out every year by talentless hacks who couldn’t come up with a good idea if it was flat out handed to them on a platter. Well, I think that sums up Forget Me Not really well actually! But I’m going to review the whole thing anyway, because I hate myself.

Director: Tyler Oliver
Starring: Wait, who was in this movie again?! I CAN'T REMEMBER! The ghosts must have erased my brain!!!

I mean, OK, the plot has the one original element of having the ghost erase the dead victims from peoples’ memories instead of just killing them off – that’s kind of a unique concept. But the movie doesn’t do anything with it, and the whole thing is incredibly tasteless and boorish to levels that would make even most 80s slashers blush. Let’s get this over with.

We start off with some montages of people having sex and cheating on one another. We know nothing else about them, so being invested is out the window, and on top of that, they act like such wretched douchebags that we’re also pretty much disinclined to care about them at all for the rest of this whole movie! It would be one thing if this was a campy, lighthearted flick that used its characters as punchlines, like some of the old Friday the 13s or something, but Forget Me Not takes itself so seriously and the tone is so unpleasant that I can’t get behind it at all.

"Quick, I promise I'm not kicking you out of your own house to have sex with my girlfriend! I'm helping you escape this movie! Run, my child, run!"

Basically, I hope these characters are raped and killed by a Chupacabra, upon whence their graves would be desecrated by an army of drunk hillbillies wearing Michael Myers masks. Unfortunately none of them have particularly grisly death scenes…damn you movie, damn you!

So after some throwaway scenes at a party that I think Project X would like to have a word with, the group all go to a graveyard to play “the Game,” an old favorite pastime of theirs in which they recite some kind of really morbid, macabre chant that sounds like something you’d hear in a bad Goosebumps episode. These high school kids, who are obsessed with partying, drinking and drugs, are going to go out in a graveyard at night and recite this incredibly elaborate chant, and NONE OF THEM find it weird in the least?

Uh huh. Right. Unless they're going to bury each other alive in that graveyard I don't care.

I’m sorry, that’s the first big hole with this. No normal kids would ever play this game. I mean it’s basically just like tag. Why all the pointless theatrics? It’s pretty bad when My Soul to Take is outdoing your movie in plot coherence. At least that one just let it all hang out that it was a big stupid joke. This movie actually thinks it’s something to be taken seriously.

So this one girl who nobody knows comes and asks to play with them, and literally everything she says gets interpreted by the guys with innuendos mixed in. “Oh, can I play?” “Sure you can, baby.” Wink wink. Nudge nudge. What’s next, is she going to ask how the weather is and then end up talking about what Kama Sutra positions she likes because of it?

So they play tag and everything goes accordingly until the mysterious girl who no one knows and no one bothered to ask about, jumps off a cliff. The main character Sandy, i.e. the only one who is not a total piece of trash, starts to have strange flashbacks to when she was a kid, when she played the weird graveyard tag game with another girl who had asthma. Despite this, she still doesn’t put together that it may have something to do with what’s going on. Because she is a goddamn moron.

Yay, good parenting IS letting your kids play in a graveyard unsupervised! Won't leave them scarred at all am I right?

Meanwhile, the next morning, one of the idiots wakes up in a car by the lake with his girlfriend. They get out and he says he wants to break up with her, so she throws some little necklace thing into the water which is never explained, and he starts to make her feel bad…for him breaking up with her? Whatever. He leaves her there in her underwear by the side of the lake. That’s a total dick move there! It’s almost like these characters are complete wastes of air…

After that, they all decide to go on a trip to the beach. Look at this one chick; she’s practically a porn star already:

Ha ha, sorry girl, Girls Gone Wild was filming at the OTHER crappy suburban set piece. You're stuck in a degrading B-horror movie about ghosts.

She does this in front of a bunch of people already in relationships, plus her father – why? What’s the attraction? It’s not like anyone there really wants her that much. Even the only single kid in the group, the little brother of Sandy, already likes one of the other girls! But it’s OK. Her boyfriend is off at a factory getting his arm chopped off by one of the machines. Is that an asinine and convenient way to kill off a character when you have no other ideas? Yes. Yes it is.

Then we see more of the movie’s brilliant special effects as one of the assholes who was late to the party runs into a ghost that looks like something that even the American remake of One Missed Call would have rejected:

Go back to whatever R.L. Stine book you came from, demon! I banish thee!

And really, this plot doesn’t work that well. Want an example? How about the scene where the whole gang is running around in the woods looking for their friend whose screams are leading them to her? When she dies, they forget about her entire existence just like every time someone dies in this movie. So WHY WERE THEY IN THE WOODS THEN? What kind of excuse did their brains make up to rationalize randomly being in the middle of the woods for no reason? Are you seriously telling me these kids didn’t have some weird blackout in their mind, some gap in their train of thought that they want to look into? Yeah, because I guess doing things with your plot is overrated. More generic slasher cliché, please!

They end up at some motel where one of the girls has sex with Eli, Sandy’s brother, which I guess would make sense, provided that she’s into Justin Bieber:

Now I can tag Justin Bieber in this review's tags - bet you never thought you'd see the day, huh?

After that she gets killed and then the brother was never there at all, apparently only having come with them for that girl. Sandy and her boyfriend go in search of this convent where apparently the girl who is making all of this happen lives. They go by and pretty much accomplish nothing except getting Mr. Boyfriend killed off by more of those stupid-ass ghosts that look like something you’d see on a Hallmark Halloween card, and so he never existed, and the world wasn’t better or worse off for it since, well, he was a pretty bland character…

That's not scary, it's a bored study hall doodle of a Troma flick.

Eli comes to get her and then they go to the hospital to find coma-girl, who, through some handy flashbacks, they discover that they accidentally put into a coma by scaring her to death with ludicrous Insane Clown Posse makeup:

ICP legions RISE!!

At the hospital, the sheriff, her parents and some other random people have apparently staged an intervention for her. She gets tied to a table and sedated just for saying some crazy things and crying, and it’s up to Eli to save the day! Only before he can even turn around, he gets ambushed by the stupidest scene this movie has yet to show us, which, if you’ve been keeping up, is a pretty goddamned big accomplishment. Feast your eyes on THIS:

I'm sorry, I didn't realize I'd put in the new Cradle of Filth video...

Wow. The amazing incompetence on every single level of what this was going for, is just astounding. The incredible asininity and ridiculousness of this scene would get five full stars if I was rating for incompetence. I mean, if they were going for stupid, by god they succeeded! Full marks on that front, movie! But unfortunately, given the tone of the rest of this, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that it was supposed to be scary and ominous…sigh…so I have to keep on saying it sucks I guess.

Then the movie ends with Sandy confronting coma girl in her bed and just unplugging the machine. At least she doesn’t go full stop and choke the bitch like that girl did in Red Mist…but then the movie ends with coma girl magically waking up and jump scaring Sandy so bad that SHE goes into a coma while the original coma girl wakes up and is totally fine. Now, wait a minute. How did coma girl have all these powers to begin with? It’s never explained! How was she erasing people from existence? They don’t even TRY to make that make any sense!

I guess we’re just supposed to NOT pay attention to those gaping, crater-sized plot holes because the movie is so scary and cool! But even that fails, because this movie is about as cool as disco music and bell-bottom pants. This is just heinous – HEINOUS! I can’t think of one good thing about this one. If I could erase this movie from existence by doing this review and killing it metaphorically, I would do so in a heartbeat. In fact, I’m going to try that right now!




It’s a long process. Working on it though….

These images do not belong to me, and the copyright belongs to...wait, huh? What am I doing here?