Mr. Jones Review

Mr-JonesMr. Jones

Hey look, it's a horror movie I didn't hate. I mean I didn't like it especially much, but that's rare enough on it's own when your movie watching is the equivalent of a garbage disposal system.

The IMDB synopsis is pretty unhelpful, so I'll get you up to speed myself. Probably massive spoilers follow because I have no filter.

A couple decides to move to the middle of nowhere because they have artistic aspirations. This eventually becomes an issue when they start arguing about how they left perfectly good jobs so the guy can make a stupid documentary or whatever. At the same time they find weird sculptures around their property and adjacent areas, eventually realizing they are the work for an artist that's a bit of a underground sensation. Unfortunately he's well known for the fact that everyone who buys his sculptures has terrible shit happen to them.

The movie is basically about solving the mystery of this artist and his creations, via the medium of found footage.

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Mostly but the numbers for the first half, it turns into some serious what-the-fuck territory in the latter half. Don't watch this while high or tired, it's pretty nightmarish. The movie as adequate at most things, managing some creepy moments here and there by actually utilizing the whole handheld camera aesthetic. The couple is kinda irritating, but what horror movie couple isn't. I wasn't gnashing my teeth while watching it so it must not have been too bad.

The ending...well... I don't know what to say about the ending. It wasn't disappointing exactly, but it was so convoluted and messy that I'm not sure what the hell supposedly happened. It kinda tries to throw a twist at you but it's all very confusing and open to interpretation. Feels like they tacked on some wtf-ness to make it more interesting, but I don't think they landed it.

2 out of 5 creepy-ass branch sculptures (I'd say 2 and a half, but I don't like decimals)

After (2012)

After-2012-Movie-Poster-e1342638056815Oh boy. I don't even know. A cut rate Silent Hill clone that somehow manages to be completely boring and predictable. Hell, it even gives away its own twist in the first 20 minutes. Plot synopsis says ''When two bus crash survivors (Steven Strait, Karolina Wydra) awake to discover that they are the only people left in their small town, they must form an unlikely alliance in a race to unravel the truth behind their isolation. As strange events begin to unfold, they start to question whether the town they know so well is really what it seems.'' These two end up in their hometown who is suspiciously devoid of people, except for when they seem to travel back in time and there's a bunch of people they can't interact with. It takes them about half an hour to figure out what's going on, because at no point do they think about reaching out and touching one of these phantom people. Imagine the frustration as they go ''Hello? Hello?'' for the duration of each scene while everyone around them ignores then. Everything looking like a totally radical 70s sitcom doesn't give it away either. Mystifying.

A situation that could have been creepy as hell becomes completely toothless at the hands of this director and actors. Ugh, I can't even go on.

Just watch the trailer, it's enough to give you a migraine.

0 out of 5 Silent Hills.

 

Insensibles

insensibles_xlgOh Insensibles. A movie I saw the trailer for ages ago and tried really hard to find, but failed at the time. I was into occult horror movies at the time. Alas, it was not meant to be. Until now. Set in Catalonia, Painless weaves two stories: in one, starting during the Spanish Civil War and running through to the '60s, an asylum attempts to rehabilitate children who feel no pain, by teaching them physical suffering. For some reason these kids habitually injure themselves and others and this is why they need to be locked up in solitary. Hm... In the second, in the present time, a brilliant neurosurgeon who needs a bone marrow transplant, discovers this dark past when he searches for his biological parents.

I finally got a chance to watch it the other night and was mostly disappointed. There wasn't a lot of supernatural or occult elements in it and they never really did show up either. I'm not sure why it was such a big deal those kids couldn't feel any pain. It's a disease that is real and as far as I know, people who have it don't light themselves on fire or eat their own flesh on purpose. They just have to be careful to not injure themselves and unwittingly die from blood loss or something. The plot mostly follows one of the kids, probably because he's the most hardcore of all (dude cuts a nurse's Achilles tendon for slapping him around).

One of the writers of Insensibles is behind Rec (not bad!) and Rec 3 (kinda bad), but I'm not sure who to place the blame on for the pacing of this flick. You could have easily cut out twenty minutes before Berkano (nurse slashing kid experiences a rebirth as a torturer) shows up.

alexbrendemuhlinsensibles

I don't want to say it was closer to Hellboy than say, Ninth Gate, but... it could easily have been a BPRD case, what with the Nazis and the super creepy torturer guy who can't feel pain and lives in the ruble of an old prison. In that sense, it wasn't bad. The Berkano dude was pretty creepy (he was also in Snowpiercer) and I really wish we had gotten to that point sooner and given him more screen time.

Spoilers after the break.

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The point the movie largely fails for me is the ending. Such a cop-out. It doesn't really resolve anything, and whatever meaningful implication they tried to point out by showing the protagonist's baby isn't enough to save it. So the non-pain feeling guy had a kid and that kid grew up to be a great surgeon but as far as I can see, he fails pain normally and his eyes are fine. So his kid will also...be a surgeon? I don't know and really, who cares. Bit of a letdown for what could have been pretty interesting.

That aside, the movie had some solid directing and acting, though no real outstanding performances. I can't stay mad it, but I probably wouldn't watch it again.

2.5 out of 5 creepy bald fuckers

October Challenge 2013: The List

This is the list of movies we're watching this October. I expect some of the movies to be switched with others as the mood strikes, but that's okay. It's a weird list because it's really not a top 30 of my favorite horror movies or anything. Lots of movies didn't make the list because I had re-watched them recently or just because I didn't feel like re-watching them. Let's see if I can come up with anything interesting to say about these flicks after the jump.

list

 

1. Stake Land - I've seen this one before and I still enjoy it. It has some goofy kung fu stuff going on, but I like that they took the time to do some world building in this one.

2. Haunting of Helena - First viewing. I posted the review yesterday. Not something I'd re-watch.

3. Pontypool - It has an interesting premise and I've forgotten enough about it to want to re-watch it.

4. Lords of Salem - Re-watch solely for the visuals.

5. Paranorman - We watched this recently so we might end up not seeing it again, but it's just really good and a perfect fit for Halloween.

6. Livide - This one was a bit of a letdown when it finally came out, but it has some of the best scenes I've seen in a horror movie. Definitely worth a re-watch.

7. Vanishing on 7th Street - This one isn't really that great, but the girlfriend hasn't seen it, so we will.

8. Monsters - This one I actually like, but I've definitely watched it too many times. Girlfriend hasn't seen it though.

9. Coraline - It's pretty good. Worth a re-watch. I think the director is the same as for Paranorman.

10. Splinter - While I'm getting tired of watching this, it's still a fun movie. I dig the monsters.

11. The Burrowers - This one is a bit slow, but it's been a while and I want to see how it holds up on repeat viewings. Cowboy horror!

12. GP - One of my favorite horror movies. Looking forward to watching it again.

13. Trick 'r Treat - Might save this for Halloween. It's the perfect movie.

14. Teeth - I've described the movie to my girlfriend a hundred times, but we still haven't watched it. So in it goes.

15. Cold Prey - I'm not a huge fan of slasher flicks outside the classics, but this Norwegian movie has a nice setting and it feels pretty fresh for what is essentially a run-of-the-mill slasher movie.

16. Slither - Always fun.

17. The Dark - I liked some of the visuals. I think Sean Bean dies in this one.

18. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil - Probably the best horror comedy in existence.

19. Dead Air - I don't actually remember this at all and I've watched it.

20. R-Point - Another Korean horror movie. Not as good as GP, but still good.

21. Undead - I haven't watched this in ages. I remember it's a pretty crazy Australian zombie flick.

22. My Little Eye - Mostly for nostalgia's sake.

23. Bride of Chucky - The only Chucky film I haven't watched yet.

24. The Nightmare Before Christmas - Needs no introduction.

25. The Blob - I like this remake. I watched it as a kid and fell in love with it.

26. Teen Wolf - Not sure about this one, but it's definitely been a while since I last watched it.

27.

28.

29. All the Evil Dead movies.

30. The Conjuring - Heard good things.

31. Pacific Rim - I guess this is cheating, but I wanna watch it and can't wait till November.

32. The American Scream - Bonus round. A documentary about families and their Halloween decorations.

 

 

 

 

October Challenge #1: The Haunting of Helena

haunting-of-helena-face I'm running a bit behind, but I'm still watching one horror movie for every day of October this year.

Me and my girlfriend started out with The Haunting of Helena, a horror flick that takes place in Italy for some reason. Some of the plots points are tied to historical events, but there really is no point to it actually taking place there. Everyone speaks English (except for a psychologist guy who was dubbed) and everyone acts like they're in the US, so whatever.

The-Haunting-of-Helena-Theatrical-Poster1Anyway, IMDB says ''A single mother moves into a new house with her daughter. Soon after the young girl has her first baby tooth fall off, she begins to recount that she is having nocturnal visits by a tooth fairy. It seems the house has a sinister history'' which sounds about right. The irresponsible dad isn't in the picture because he's roaming the world. The mom likes to overreact at everything, like when an elderly neighbor says hello and asks if she's the mom of the little girl that lives in the building. She looks at him like he's the boogeyman. He eventually does turn creepy when he says ''GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN'', but I wasn't sure why the mom was creeped out from the get-go. Then the kid loses a tooth and it disappears because the tooth fairy took it. Eventually the mom is called to the school because apparently her daughter was buying teeth from the other children. I have to say two things about that:

1. That's actually a pretty neat idea for a short story.

2. Why the fuck would a teacher care if a kid is buying up baby teeth? Kids will trade fucking everything, including teeth, cat skulls, Pokemon cards and dead pigeons. This isn't cause for alarm.

Anyway, the mom is really disturbed and takes her to a psychologist and she gets like a hundred CAT scans. Her dad calls and thinks it might be epilepsy (that's not how epilepsy works) but eventually the mom sees the ghost! Shit goes downhill from there. Spoilers follow, including THE ENDING. Mark the text to read them.

Turns out the woman that used to live in the house had a really jealous husband. He got really angry and pulled out all her teeth and left her to die in a closet. Now the lady haunts the house and is trying to get her teeth back.There's a huge jump in time after the mom and daughter escape the house and the ghost. The kid is in a mental institution and finally the dad has shown up. He's an asshole and wants to take the kid back to the US. It took him four years to come see his daughter, two of which she was in the institution. Talk about a shitty dad.

The mom figures out that the lady ghost wants her teeth back and does some research to find them. She eventually does (it really wasn't that hard) and goes back to the house to drop them off. That's when the plot twist ala The Ring happens. Turns out the lady wasn't the victim of a jealous husband, she was a fucking cannibal that murdered kids. Her husband found out and took her teeth out to save the town kids. Now the ghost lady had her teeth back, she was free to eat kids again, which she does immediately. All in all a happy ending.

Anyway, this movie wasn't terrible, I liked some of the effects and some of the ideas behind it. It's a perfectly passable b-movie with mediocre acting but decent CGI effects. The plot twist is kinda apparent but it takes so long to happen that you're almost fooled, but I can't give it too many points for that.

 2 out of 5 baby teeth