Sunday, 15 April 2018

Review: Day of the Dead: Bloodline (2018)

Image result for day of the dead bloodlineStars: Sophie Skelton, Johnathon Schaech

Budget: $8 Million

Directed By: Hector Hernandez Vicens

Jeez what can I say about this?
A pseudo remake of George Romero's Day of the dead, which no one asked for.
Since the dawn of the dead remake which was good these remakes have gone steadily down hill. There was another day of the dead remake a few years back in 2008 with Ving Rhames and Mena Suvari that had no similarities to the original at all.

Then there was Day of the Dead 2: Contagium which was meant to somehow be a sequel to the original Day of the Dead, also baring no similarities to the original. Both of these films were absolutely awful and if i haven't reviewed them already I may or not torture myself into watching them again.

Anyway this remake, starts of quite promising, we see how the disease kind of starts this time (having no bearings on say dawn, or night that came before it). Except this time we have a student doctor working in virology who has a creepy patient with a higher than normal white cell rate than anyone. I seen where this was going right from that point on, he's obsessed with Zoe so much so he carves her name into his arm.
When the zombies inevitably attack (possibly from a strain of influenza H1N1, that in itself a possible nod to the game H1Z1) the creeper is bitten and Zoe manages to escape.
A few years later we see Zoe in an underground bunker as a main researcher/doctor of the base, just like the bunker in the original. It houses soldiers and civilians a lot more than the original film did too.

Zoe is caring for an ill girl who has an illness that needs stronger antibiotics than the base has to hand for her. Zoe suggests to the irritable base leader (so much of a pale shade compared to sergeant in the original version of him) that they should go to the hospital where she worked to get the better drugs.
He doesn't like this as it's out of their 'patrol zone' but agrees reluctantly to let them go so long as they're quick and efficient about it.
The get to the hospital after some car trouble that really doesn't lead into anything serious other than to pad out some time. In the hospital however after getting the drugs, Zoe STUPIDLY wanders off to get some photos from an old room.
She also picks up some random extra supplies and the camera focuses on some ammonia she picks up, plot point for later!! She is then attacked by the half zombified creeper. Shooting she attracts the attention of other zombies and the others suddenly realize Zoe is missing. One of the members is killed and the rest escape back to the trucks and get on the road back to the base.

Unknown to them the creeper (Max) has latched onto the bottom of the trucks and gets a free ride into the base on them. Listen this film is bad, Max ends up some weird sexually frustrated pseudo Bub from the original except now his blood may and does indeed hold the cure, no not cure immunity from from the virus. So you can't cure the already dead infected people but can halt an infected live person and then make them immune to further infection.
Of course things goes wrong Max escapes zombies get in, many people die, some stupid situations where if people had said something, reacted better, earlier arguments and accidents may of prevented completely.

THN doesn't totally hate this as theres some good acting on some people parts especially Max and Zoe play their parts believably. So we won't totally spoil the ending and if you are bored and want to watch a brainless zombie flick and haven't seen the original so it won't feel like someone just set fire to an original copy of it in front of you it might be worth watching.
THN Awards Day of the Dead: Bloodline 2 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Review: Happy Death Day (2017)

Image result for happy death dayStars: Jessica Rothe, Rob Mello

Budget: $4.8 million

Directed By: Christopher B. Landon

So, happy death day, was not a film I thought
I would enjoy quite as much as I did. Not a
true horror film, more of a comedy horror
with slasher elements.
In a nut shell think mean girls, mixed with
scream to the tone of groundhog Day. Which
is what drew me to watch it, groundhog Day is one
of my favourite non horror movies.
With the theme of repetition till you get it right
being it's main focus.

Made for a modest 4.8 million dollars it's not
a major bank buster film either. Which shows,
though not in a bad way.
The effects are subtle but effective and a lot of the
gore kept to a minimum, probably to keep age ratings down for more butts on seats.
This is evident with the nude bit which I'll get too a bit later.

So we first see Tree wake up in a college dorm room. Her phone blaring it's her birthday, which low and behold it is!
She seems irritable even more so that it's a dorm room and she's apparently slept with this guy, Carter.
After pestering him for headache tablets/pills and telling him to keep quiet she flees as fast as she can bumping into Carter's room mate who refers to her as a fine piece of puss, if I remember rightly.
It's clear already Theresa is not a nice person, in fact she's quite a bitch to a lot of people on the way back to her frat house.

Inside we meet some proper college tropes from the airhead girl to the room mate, Lori who has made Tree a little birthday cupcake. Which she promptly throws to the ground. I think here and a few more scenes into it before her first death the movie tries to set up as many people who would have a motive for killing Tree as possible. Even more pointers that she is a nasty person, such as not sticking up for people and even having an affair with her doctor/teacher too!
My initial guess though was surprisingly right but I was thrown off a number of times despite that and questioned it, even with the 'fake reveal' these movies always do which certainly gave this film a large lift in points.

So later on we join Tree wandering back again when she stumbled into a man wearing a mascot mask. Then a few moments later she is ambushed by him in a tunnel after finding a wind up music box thing.
Though fighting back she is inevitably killed.
Only to immediately awaken in Carter's bed with its your birthday blaring on her phone again. She doesn't seem to really notice this 1st time that she's reliving the same day and almost goes through it exactly the same for a while. Until the tunnel bit where manages to avoid the killer this time. Only to end up be killed at a frat party instead.

This time waking up shes terribly disoriented and stumbles around a lot. She seems to realise it's the same day this time and ends up barricading herself in her frat room. Unfortunately for her the killer was either already in there or found a way in, she fights back again but is murdered once more.
Waking in Carters room again we actually see a small change in Tree this time, we also learn that Carter didn't sleep with her just made sure she was okay.
She explains to him what she thinks is going on and even proves certain things, now to me he's slightly excepting of this a bit fast, but time of the movie and pacing it has to happen. Also i mean what would you be like if some you hardly knew told you they were living the same day over and proved it with timed accuracy. Carter tells her if she really is living the same day over and over she has ample time to find out who is killing her and stop them.

Several times we see Tree observing and investigating people who she thinks is the possible killer and either they aren't or she learns something about them. All through this we see her slowly changing as a person too, though later on we do learn why she has turned her feeling off to a degree, though to me it's a bit late and would have been a bit nicer if it was expanded on a bit more throughout. She lost her mother three years ago and it kind of twisted her (though still not a massive excuse for some of the things she does, mainly the affair).
Later we find out that she can't actually (unlike groundhog day) keep this reliving the same day over and over thing up for much longer as each time she dies she gets a little bit weaker. This raises some plot holes especially the fact she seems to retain internal scarring, wouldn't that make her have a shorter life span? A number of other minor ones that just niggle me.

Before she finally works out how to sort everything out Tree has one more blow out and struts around the campus naked. Again as I mentioned earlier kept to shots from behind or shoulder level for age rating purposes, which brings me to this point. Jessica got naked for that scene, well probably with modesty strips etc but, its like why?
Okay it's a scene where she doesn't care anymore, its liberating and funny but quite pointless in the grand scheme of things. This draws me to my last point too, Tree, she hasn't done this that much, I think we see every iteration of her deaths on screen, not like GH day where some are hinted at or just not seen. Tree seems to come to terms with her nastiness and grows as a person very fast, breaking habits, friendships and behaviors ground into her for years in the span of two to three weeks?
A little unbelievable in that sense. So I wont spoil anymore of this film and i'm pretty much done except I will say there's a few nice nods to the films that influenced this one at the end. One last thing a sequel is also in the works for this thanks to its massive $122.4 million return, though its said this one will not be a retread of the first like most sequels are, this will carry on from the end of the first and we will discover how she managed to relive the same day over and over.

So Happy Death Day is a pleasing film and definitely a good waste of spare time or a movie night choice, not quite a four out of five but a very very strong 3 out of 5 stars with recommendation to watch from THN!

Monday, 26 March 2018

Review: The Evil Dead 2 (1987)

Stars: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Betty

Budget: 3.6 million

Directed By: Sam Raimi

Sequel to one of the most influential horror films of all times. This takes a slight retread at the beginning giving us a sort of recap/retelling of the first film.

It was also the first evil dead to include more of a comedic vibe and make use of Campbell's amazing slapstick abilities. You'll usually find that this will be the first entry most people watched, then went back and watched the first film.
At least that's the way I've experienced it and a lot of people I've spoken to have also. Although as with a lot of films I do recall attempting to watch the first film at a very early age.
A poor VHS copy in the UK when i was about 7 or 8 years old, it did not scare me I just think I didn't get it nor watch all of it at that time.
It was only years later about 11 or 12 after watching this one did i re-venture and watch the first one with renewed vigor and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Some people don't the comedy line the series took, luckily they are in the minority. It took a long time between each film to get a sequel out, around six years per film. Unlike today's sequels where they are popped out on a conveyor belt though these were worth the wait.

So we get a 30 minute or so recap/redo/parody of the first film, except only Ash and Linda venture to the deserted cabin this time. Finding Knowby's tape player once more Ash unleashes the forces evil upon him and his hapless girlfriend. Linda of course gets taken and possessed by the forest spirits and attempts to try and kill Ash a number of times.
That is until Ash manages to kill her by decapitation and then he buries her body. Ash is then taken on a joy ride throughout the forest by the demonic spirit, finally smashing into a tree he falls face first into a deep puddle. Raising from the dirty pool of water we see Ash himself has been possessed by the spirit of the forest. Though the sun comes out and quickly dispels it's effects over him.

Though his respite is short as the evil powers move the day along at an accelerated speed. Ash quickly gets in his car and speeds towards the bridge out of the forest.
Unfortunately it's nothing more than a twisted load of hand shaped metal when he reaches it. Chased once more by the speeding demon he manages to drive back to the cabin and get inside and hide before it gets him this time.

We then see proffesor Knowbie's daughter Annie and he fiance arrive back via aeroplane where it seems they have found some extra pages of the necronomicon. Arriving at the bridge they meet a hillbilly Jake and his girlfriend Bobby Jo, they explain the bridge is out and Annie fools Jake into carrying her heavy luggage and alternate route through the forest to her father's cabin.
Mean while Ashley has been going mad in the cabin seeing weird things and gotten his hand possessed and then chainsawed off.

The other group spook him out arriving at the cabin and he ends up shooting but only hurting Bobby Jo. Entering and seeing all the blood and gore splattered around Annie and the others think Ashley has killed her father and mother, not helped by the fact he shot bobby Jo either they lock him in the cellar.
Playing the recordings further they begin to realise Ashley might be telling the truth about his ordeal. This is backed up when Annie's mother erupts from the cellar floor and tries to kill Ash.
They free him though one by one the others are either killed or possessed. This is until Annie realises there's a spell to end it all in the new pages. Ash dons dons his trademark chainsaw hand to retrieve the pages from Annie's mother.

I won't spoil anymore because this film needs to watched, not many liked the first film this is where the slapstick took off in the series too making it a fan favourite.
It certainly is one of mine THN awards evil dead 2 a full 5/5 stars with recommendation to watch.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

THN Games: Last Year, New Slasher Game!

Slasher games, a newish genre for games currently led by dead by daylight and Friday the 13th. A new one coming to the genre is the 90s slasher based game called Last Year, it's more based on the human kind of slasher that the 90s made popular.
In contrast to the invincible killers like Jason, Freddy and Micheal. The human aspect is going to play into it well as the killer can be incapacitated if set about by more than one or two of the teens unlike ft13th or dbd.
The killer though of which there's going to a few to choose from can respawn and travel around like that. It seems like it's all about setting up and stalking.

Unfortunately I only have a console and a shitty laptop as this game is slated for pc release only, INITIALLY, they would like to see it on consoles only when they've totally ironed out its running on pc.
So here's hoping they get their act together and get it to us that can't afford the likes of a gaming laptop or desktop!

Additional information can be found on their official site

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Review: Bad Taste (1989)

Stars: Peter Jackson, Terry Potter

Budget: $30,000

Directed By: Peter Jackson

So here we are, we are at 200 posts amazing hey?
I've been doing this for so many years too it's a little overwhelming but hopefully i'll see another few more years and maybe 200 more posts!

So to mark this landmark event in my calendar I've done this, the first official film that got me into horror. I was 8 or 9 years old and my older friend had this on a fuzzy old copied VHS.
I didn't know what I was getting into but i'm glad I did get into it. I would also find out many years later that this was Peter Jackson's first feature length film too.

This is the thing that helped him launch wingnut films and go strength to strength with each subsequent film, one of his next films was the ultra violent puppet show parody Meet the Feebles. Another one I love.

There are so many things I love about this film and so many things that make me wince too. Not only that there's visible mistakes too, these don't matter one bit though they only add to the films charm. With a tiny, tiny budget the film did some spectacular effects with it's cash too, from alien costumes to rocket launcher explosions. Because the film is more a tongue in cheek gore fest rather than a genuinely scary film I think eased me into the genre nicely.

The film starts with an empty town, the town of Kaihoro and some specialists sent in from the fictional forces of AIDS (yeah I know right?) which stands for the Astro Investigation Defence Service. The team of four bumbling guys comprise of Derek (Jackson), Frank, Ozzy and Barry who are trying to deduce the whereabouts of the towns population.
Some of the others are attacked and kill some blue shirted aliens, Derek captures himself what he believes to be an alien to. It could be his bearded brother (mainly because ever including Jackson plays at least 2 or three other people/alien) this alien is called Robert. Derek tortures him to try to learn what the aliens are up to, unknown to him Roberts screams are attracting the surrounding aliens to his aid.
Derek bravely dispatches these reinforcements, accidentally leaving the torture knife in Roberts foot, when our nerdy hero turns from killing the drones he quickly realised Robert has escaped. In some good cutting and camera angles he fights himself, Derek is unfortunately seemingly knocked to his death from a cliff top.

A fake or seemingly fake charity collector is attacked by Robert next, though he does manage to escape to a large house. Thinking he's safe he's unfortunately knocked on the main alien hordes door he is knocked out and dragged indoors.
Down from the cliff top Derek awakes, his head seemingly saved catastrophic damage by hitting and killing a seagull in it's nest. unfortunately it's not saved him enough as a flap drops open on the back of his head and some of his brains fall out. Derek after convulsing crams his brains back in and stops the flap up with a hat.

The other guys manage to infiltrate the aliens house and after tearing off an aliens head Frank wears the blue shirt to mingle in with the other aliens. Robert is commended for taking out Derek and is given the pleasure of serving his vomit in a bowl to the masses. Frank after eating some (and enjoying it) finds out the towns populace has been packed up as a new source of fast food for these aliens and about the trapped charity worker.
After getting back to the others Frank explains the aliens plans and they plan to save the charity guy once the aliens have gone to sleep. They attempt to but are attacked by the aliens who get alerted, a stray shot knocks off Dereks hat and he loses a chunk of brain by stepping on it.
He quickly rescues the rest and uses his belt now to keep his head together grabbing a chainsaw he goes on a rampage in the aliens house saving some of the others in the process. He even uses some of the aliens brains to replace his lost chunk too.

So that's as far as i'll spoil this delightfully strange, gruesome yet incredibly fun film, THN awards Bad Taste the highest 5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Review: The Evil Dead (1981)

Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss

Budget: around $380,000

Directed By: Sam Raimi

Evil Dead, one of the horror greats and trend setters and something I watched very early on a very poor VHS copy and I didn't really understand it's weird claymation stuff and disjointed feel so much so I never finished it until I watched it again at a later date.

Which i'm glad I gave it another chance, especially since I saw evil dead 2 before re-watching this which gave me a better understanding.
watching this series all out of order at around 11-13 years old was not good, yet despite this on watching it again especially being older gave me a totally new perspective on this film.

I realised the film was pretty low budget and once i discovered it was filmed months apart at some points I understood why it felt disjointed at times.

This is the beginning of a series of films that would end up being something much, much bigger and something we all wanted so much more of for so long before it finally got a TV series (I would have preferred a movie but that's for another time)

Ok so lets get on with the movie, to be honest it was/is a very simple premise some friends hear of a cabin in the woods and decide to go there for a weekend away. Then after some ancient words are spoken and releases an evil they all die one by one.
Yes so in more detail, Ash Williams (Campbell), his girlfriend Linda, sister Cheryl, Scotty and his girlfriend Shelly travel to an abandoned Cabin in the woods they have heard about. It's a bit run down but they neaten it up by the time they go to have lunch.
while eating the cabins basement door blows open, this leads the youths to take a look what did it. Finding a tape recorder, ancient book, knife and shotgun they bring them all up into the cabin and proceed to listen to the recordings.

Unknown to them the words spoken on the recorder awaken an evil force out in the forest. Later a scared hysterical Cheryl goes out into the forest when she thinks she hears something out there.
Searching around for a few minutes she is attack by tree branches which rip at her clothes and eventually violate her. Ash has given Linda a small silver magnifying glass necklace which she adores, Cheryl is unable to convince the others so talks ash into taking her into town.
He agrees though unfortunately when they reach the bridge it is totally destroyed, sending Cheryl hysterical again. Heading back to cabin they listen to more of recordings, Cheryl starts to predict the cards being pulled from a deck and spins around floating in the air possessed by a demon.

Cheryl manages to stab Linda in the ankle with her pencil before the guys lock her in the cellar, unfortunately Shelly becomes possessed also. Scotty having heard that they need to be dismembered from the recording grabs an axe then proceeds to hack her up.
Scotty also tries to flee after this to find some kind of trail through the forest back to town, while he's gone Linda also turns yet she just sits there taunting Ash. Not very long later Scotty bursts back in very bloodied and hurt by unknown assailants.
Linda and Cheryl pretend to be normal again but revert quickly forcing Ash to throw Linda outside she however attacks him until ask manages to use the dagger against her. He goes to use the chainsaw in the tool shed to dismember her but can't bring himself to.
He ends up just burying her corpse, which once done she immediately leaps from her grave, only to be decapitated by a shovel. Heading back inside Cheryl has freed herself from the basement and ash manages to wound her with the shotgun, Ash heads to the basement to find more ammo.
Emerging from the basement Ash is shocked when Cheryl attacks again and also Scotty comes back as a demon too.

I'll leave it here as we're near the end of the film and this is one film that NEEDS to be watched by any horror fan, trend setter and franchise maker THN awards Evil Dead 5 out of 5

Sunday, 4 February 2018

THN News: Halloween 2018

Are you looking forwards to this?
Are you terrified it might be bad?
Confused as to whats going on story wise?

All these things and more we are all wondering even here in THN, we are however keeping an eye on all fronts soaking up every bit of knowledge and news we can to keep everyone informed. As always this may contain spoilers for the film series or even the upcoming film so if you don't want to know either then please turn away now.

Still here? Okay then here we go.
We like many are a filled with a bit of trepidation when it comes to sequels, especially sequels that plan to forget nearly everything from every other sequel past the first film. You all know if your avid THN reader I;m a massive sucker for a franchise.
Be it Friday the 13th, Chucky or even leprechaun, I lap them up like a cat with creamy milk. So as you see above and may have seen other places there's a familiar face returning to the franchise. One Jamie Lee Curtis in the form of Laurie Strode, her real name Cynthia Myers. First seen in the original film from 1978 In the film we learn she is the only remaining member of the Myers family a family massacred by their one member Micheal when he was only a mere 8 year old kid himself.

Micheal after escaping from asylum workers returns to Haddonfield many years later to finish the job of killing his family in the form of the now teenage Laurie, adopted by the Strode family and renamed. Pictured above, after many attempts and killing a bunch of other teens he fails to kill her in the first movie. Thwarted by the late great Donald Pleasance in the form of Micheal's personal psychological worker Dr Loomis. Despite being shot many time and falling from a high balcony Micheal manages to survive and disappears at the end.
The second film is basically a retread of the first except set in a hospital where Laurie is recovering from her ordeal. Micheal once again tries to murder her while dispatching hospital workers in a myriad of creative ways.
Loomis shows up to help again and Micheal seems to be killed by being set on fire by an ether explosion set off by Loomis, who we also assume is dead. (He's not he returns in a later Halloween film) Somewhere between the second film and the sequels up to Halloween H20 Laurie fakes her death and moves, she also changes her name.

Now set 20 years after the second film and pretty much ignoring 4, 5 and 6 Laurie now known as Keri Tate has been living a relatively normal life and had a son named John with a guy she had a bad relationship with.
A head teacher living on campus with her son everything seemed peachy on the surface, she even had a new relationship blooming with school guidance counselor Will Brennan. Unfortunately due her past experiences and hiding her real identity she turned into a functioning alcoholic (someone who can drink get drunk but still go about 'normal' life).
Over protective of John, when he rebels against her telling her Micheal is dead she does proceed to be more lenient with him, allowing a school trip. unfortunately she makes a link between being an early teen and Micheal turning up to kill you and yes he does indeed attack John and his girlfriend.
Saving them and after a bunch more people including Will meet their demise Laurie sends John and Molly to call the police.
She confronts Micheal herself with a fire axe, both of them hurt each other but Laurie comes out on top after stabbing Micheal repeatedly and sending him off a high balcony. The police arrive and they load Micheal's seemingly dead body onto an ambulance, Laurie managed to steal the ambulance knowing Micheal would rise again.
He does and after a few more tense scenes she beheads her brother and thinks it's finally over.

In the next film we learn that the man at the end of H2O was not Micheal but the security guard who Micheal has crushed his larynx preventing him from speaking and disguising him as himself.
She ends up in an insane asylum due to this, she seems to be in a catatonic state but this is just to fool the sanatorium workers. She has however been setting things up for when he murderous brother eventually returns.
Setting a trap on the roof of the building, when he eventually comes for her she fights back leading him up to then roof. Once there she spring out on an unsuspecting Micheal triggering her trap, she says she doesn't fear him anymore as he dangles over the roof by his ankle. Micheal manages however to fool her by clawing at his mask making her think it could be a different person again. When she attempts to make sure he grabs her and brings her over too, the rope breaks but Micheal grabs onto the roof and stabs Laurie with his other hand, thus ending her role in the movies.

Bleh, bleh and more bleh especially part 2. enough said about them.

So we can ignore every movie after the second one now, some people are saying this is just like a retread of H2O or maybe a H4O lol. Though from what I've seen it does look suitably different. Even though I do hate it when they retcon a series if it's done right it can be a decent addition to the series, well redone series.
Things i don't like are the implied thing that Laurie being Micheal's sister may well be wiped from the cannon, why?
That's one of the main things that links her to the protagonist give the first film it's meaning and reason. So if it's wiped why is Micheal even back now, 40 whole years later?

We won't know until we see where McBride decides to take this idea and if he does indeed run with it. So yes its set 40 years after the original now with a Laurie who isn't Micheal's sister still worrying about if he will ever return after his disappearance at the end of the original.
She does have children, even a granddaughter Karen and Allyson respectively.
John Carpenter is back as executive director, which does give me a little hope that it go in a good direction. Also the fact that McBride and David Gordon Green are massive Halloween fans themselves makes me want to believe it can work.
We've seen set photos such as this:

That are places and houses done up to show its Halloween night much the same as the original film this means Micheal will be retreading his steps in Haddonfield on that night again. Speaking of Micheal there's been also been on set very distant pictures taken of the killer himself such as this:

He's blurry but that's definitely  him by the tree on the right hand side there. That's almost everything we know here at THN so I hope this has helpful getting you caught up with Halloween where it was, where it's gone and where it's going.
Slated for an October 31st release date, believe me THN will be there to see where this takes the series first hand!