Tag: Horror Film

Twixt (2012)

 

Have you ever finished a movie, and while the credits are rolling ask yourself, “What were they thinking?” Well that’s exactly what I did after watching this next film. With a film that had as much hype behind is as this one, I was surprised at the outcome. What was the killer of the film? Read on for my thoughts.

TwixtTwixt is about a struggling writer named Hall Baltimore (Val Kilmer) who has resorted to drinking and the moniker of “a bargain basement Stephen King”. Hall is tired of writing failing witchcraft stories and while in a small town, gets an offer of his dreams. While investigating strange deaths in the town, Hall is thrown headlong into a blended world of dreams & reality.

The film is not the completely terrible; there are moments when you really want to find out what happens next, but with bad green screens, cgi, and extremely bad pacing issues the film becomes hard to watch and ultimately a letdown. Written, Directed & Produced by Francis Ford Coppola the film never really had a solid sense of direction. I feel like too many plot elements resulted in the film being overly complex.

The acting in the film was one of the only qualities I enjoyed in the film. Val Kilmer holds his own, and re-affirms why he was so popular in the 90’s, Young Elle Fanning hits a homerun as V, and gives her older sister a run for her money. The rest of the cast is decent, but none really stand out as great.

Unfortunately, Twixt is not for everyone. Some will hail its artistic cinematography and used of “Touch Of Color”, will others will really get lost in the muck. The pacing issues are the hardest to get through. The middle of the film makes the film drag on for what seems like an eternity. Lack of movement and anything exciting left me wanting more, so when the film actually starts to pick up, it abruptly ends. The ending left me saying “WTF” and “You got to be fucking kidding me”. Nothing is resolved and nothing is really explained.

The most distracting aspect of the film is the weird and often overly fake green screen. By the looks of it, the effect was to add a dreamy aspect to the film but unfortunately it fell very short. I get the goal but it just wasn’t successful.

The film just doesn’t really do much for me. There are just too many aspects of the film that make this a very low caliber film, and effort by the great Francis Ford Coppola. Plagued by terrible pacing, low rate cgi green screens GLP gives Twixt, a 1 out of 5 stabs. If you want to see this film for yourself you can check it out on Amazon.

 

GLP Rating:

GLP 1 Stab

All Hallows’ Eve (2013)

Halloween is a time for tricks, treats, ghosts, goblins, monsters, and skimpy female costumes. Halloween has had its fair share of negativity over the years. Razorblades in apples, cyanide in Pixy Stix and kids being abducted while trick or treating are just some of the creepy stories we all heard growing up. The question is, what would you do if you found a VHS tape in your candy bag? Would you watch it?

All Hallows' EveWritten & Directed by Damien Leone, All Hallows’ Eve is a Halloween anthology film. The film follows a babysitter watching two children for a friend. The boy finds a VHS tape in his candy bag and persists on watching it. The tape contains three horrifying tales of terror, all involving a frightening clown named Art. With the completion of each film strange things begin happening around the house and the babysitter makes a shocking discovery.

All Hallows’ Eve is a pretty damn good film. Each of the three tales are written very well, and are very different from each other. The standout story lines for AHE are the last short and overall arch story. The other two tales are good, but pale in comparison. I think the first two films are missing the shock value of the others. Although when they are put together the pacing works great. It seemed to gradually get more intense as the film drew on, culminating to the shocking final moments of the film.

The film stars Catherine A. Callahan, Marie Maser, Katie Maguire, and Kayla Lian. Each leading lady did very well in their respective roles and an all-around fine job. Making his return is Art the Clown played by Mike Giannelli. Before All Hallows’ Eve came to fruition, a short film named Terrifier made an appearance on YouTube. This film would serve as the catalyst for All Hallows’ Eve’s inception, as well as, the start to Art the Clown’s reign of terror. This short film is included in the feature as the last VHS tale and I will say Damien Leone left the best short for last.

The film is heavy on the gore for all you blood hungry freaks. Boasting some pretty incredible practical effects, the viewers at home are treated with severed limbs, deformed creatures, a beheading, aliens, and tons more. I was also impressed with some of the weapons that were used including a chain with rusty blades and needles attached to it. One of the films greatest strengths is its use of camera filters. The aged look of the film stock really boosts its credibility and puts a nice touch to the film. The film is light on nudity and only has one scene that is questionable but I won’t give that away. The best part of All Hallows’ Eve is Art the clown. In my opinion Art has the capability of becoming the next big horror movie icon.

Released by Image Entertainment in association with Ruthless Pictures All Hallows’ Eve is one hell of a ride. Starting from humble beginnings to a full length feature the film, All Hallows’ Eve makes a strong case to put itself amongst the Halloween greats. With an iconic main villain and strong practical effects GLP gives this Halloween mainstay a 4 out of 5 stabs. You can pick up the DVD here.

 

 

GLP Rating:

4 stabs

Banshee Chapter (2013)

Mind control, hallucinogenic drugs, government experiments, mysterious radio broadcasts…These are all things that have at, one point or another, I have been curious about. The scary truth about most of these, is that we (civilians) do not know much about these things.  Government experiments alone are enough to make my skin crawl, not to mention the numbers stations.

Banshee Chapter is about Anna (Katia Winter), a journalist looking to uncover the truth about the mysterious disappearance of her friend James (Michael McMillian). The deeper she gets into uncovering the mystery…the farther she spirals into a world of government cover ups, testing, and mysterious radio broadcasts.

Banshee Chapter is a film that blends many different styles of horror into one. Directed by newcomer Blair Erickson,  the film utilizes found footage, archival footage, and traditional shooting Banshee Chapter Posterstyles to portray its story. The film sets a nice pace early on, and it keeps it up throughout most of film. From the amount of things that are intertwined to comprise the story, the film could have easily been convoluted and hard to follow. Written by Daniel J. Healy and adapted for the screen by Blair Erickson, The film story is strong, and keeps you on your toes.

The acting was another big plus for the film. Banshee Chapter stars Ted Levine (Silence of The Lambs, Joyride), Katia Winter (Dexter, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow), & Michael McMilian (True Blood).  All three did an amazing job with their roles, but Levine and Winter were outstanding throughout.  Levine’s character Thomas Blackburn, resembles that of Hunter S. Thompson which was an added bonus.

The film is rather light on the gore. Fans of red stuff get a few blood sprays and some intestine entrails. The special effects of the film are subtle but pulled off well with lighting tricks and camera angles. We were also treated to deformed humans, which is a pretty cool treat.

Banshee Chapter is a smart and thought provoking film that will make you really think about what you think you know. The film is shot, written, and acted very well and was a very nice way to start the new year! GLP gives this conspiracy theorist dream a solid 4 out of 5 stabs for creative story, great acting, and solid effects. You can find the movie on Amazon.

 

GLP Rating:

4 stabs

Presidents Day (2013)

In the 80’s, horror fans were treated to a very common slasher theme. Holiday Slasher films became very popular and as a result ton sof titles were subsequently released. Titles like Silent Night, Deadly Night, My Bloody Valentine, April Fools Day, New Years Evil, Halloween were flying off of home video shelves and filling theaters alike. However as the genre died so did the amount of holiday-based slasher movies. Sure some still trickled into video stores but, those really didn’t do anything for seasoned fans. Its hasn’t been until recently that holiday slasher films have started making a slight comeback,Granted most are in the form of remakes like My Bloody Valentine 3D, Rob Zombie’s Halloween 1 & 2, Silent Night, but I’m also seeing some upcoming original films like Easter Sunday… and the yet to be made Eli Roth fake trailer Thanksgiving! Presidents Day is no exception to this group!

Written by Jimmy George & Chris LaMartina Presidents Day is basically about a slack named Berry, he gets a hard on for the new girl and notices she’s running for student council president. As a way to get to know her more, Berry also runs for President. Little do they know another President is in the running, and this time he’s killing the competition.Presidents Day

Being that the film was shot in 2009 and just now released,gave me worries but Presidents Day is a really good new slasher film.Everything is good about this film. Acting, Practical Effects, Story, Editing,and Directing are all just pieces of what makes this film so successful. The film notably stars Bennie Mack McCoy IV as Berry, Lizzy Denning as Joanna,Nicolette le Faye as Chelsea, fellow film reviewer Shawn C. Phillips as Dennis and Ryan Thomas as Officer Kennedy. All the actors, even the ones I didn’t name did great jobs with their respective roles. I felt that every character was believable and seemed like they were all around the age of high school students. Bennie was the stand out for me, he did some subtle thing in reactions and mannerisms that really helped bring a fluid & natural feel to his character.

The gore in the film was done very well, and the body count is very high. Practical effects took the lead in the effects department offering up some choppings, decaps, slices, dices, burnings, hangings, suffocation,smashing, some comical dismembering, and more. This film is not without the red stuff and gore hounds should be satisfied. Also the film boasts some skin for the guys including two breast shots, and a lingerie shot. The ladies are out of luck on this one, sorry girls better luck next time.

The story is fluid and there were no big plot holes or continuity errors. My only disappointment is I knew who the killer was right off the bat. It doesn’t take anything away from the film as the reveal was still good, I just had my suspicions. Editing of the film was also very well done, no harsh cuts or terrible dialogue levels, I believe this can be attributed to the direction of Chris LaMartina, nothing was out of place or weird. We got some fairly straight forward shots and as a result the film is easily watchable.

Obviously, GLP loved Presidents Day and we thing you will to, It does everything a slasher film is supposed to do. Independent films are taking the for front of Horror and I am not complaining. GLP gives Presidents day a solid 4 out of 5 stabs for great story, gore, acting, and behind the scenes work. I highly suggest hunting down this film and grabbing your copy. It’s a great flick and has classic written all over it. The film is currently available on DVD through Amazon.

GLP Rating:

4 stabs

Cassadaga (2011)

The best part of finding a movie that is actually worth watching, is when comes in the form of something that you normally would not have given the time of day. With the film dabbling in such topics as murder, psychics, and self mutilation the film takes itself seriously and doesn’t let up until the final reel.

Directed by Anthony DiBlasi, Cassadaga is a film about a deaf woman who uproots her life after she experiences a devastating tragedy. Not long moving to a new town she realizes that something is not quite right when she starts experiencing unexplainable events. Written by Bruce Wood & Scott Poiley, Cassadaga’s strengths lies in its story. The tale is an intriguing one at that and guessing whos the killer is the best part. The film seems familiar at times but seems to come into its own as the film progresses.

Cassadaga Movie PosterCassadaga stars Kelen Coleman, Kevin Alejandro, and Academy Award Winner Louise Fletcher. The acting in the film is not bad, there are some parts that could be better. Overall the actors did a very good job with their respective rolesThe beautiful Kelen Coleman did a wonderful job as the deaf Lily, however I really wish the writers would have incorporated more barriers with Lily’s disability. The way the character was portrayed was like she wasn’t deaf at all. Kelen did a great job, and in the process showed off some pretty decent talent in the process. Kevin Alejandro (True Blood) did a decent job as Mike, although I feel his acting skill was best put to use in his time on True Blood. The other actors in the film did a good job with their respective roles and helped take the film to another level.

My favorite aspect of the film was that of the serial killer dubbed “Geppetto”. His story is twisted, dark and all around creepy which makes for good cinema. What makes Geppetto such a strong selling point for me is because i don’t recall seeing it before. As the amazing poster art implies Geppetto turns his victims into human marionette puppets! That alone would be creepy enough, but as it turns out, is a major selling point for the film.

When talking about the effects the film, the crew makes use of some decent film & sound editing techniques. As for special effects make-up the film boasts limb removal, self mutilation, some maggots, rotting corpses, and a pretty cool ghost makeup. Also for the subject matter in the film, its rather light on red stuff. Thats is ok because the film doesn’t need the gore shocks to get it point across. It mainly uses creepy imagery and atmosphere to get its point across. As for skin…forget about it…You get 1 or two scenes of the gorgeous Kelen running around in short nightgown, and on strategically placed camera angle during a love scene.

Cassadaga is a very good horror movie with ideas of its own. With solid cast, a great script, and a fine director the film stays true to itself and delivers of good original storytelling. A unique killer, with a pension for puppets brings the film to a whole new level of creepiness as well. GLP gives this indie gem a solid 4 out of 5 stabs for creative killer, script, and acting. If you are interested in getting the movie you can find the DVD here.

 

GLP Rating:

4 stabs