Friday, November 23, 2012

The Pact (2012)


Synopsis taken from IMDb
As a woman struggles to come to grips with her past in the wake of her mother's death, an unsettling presence emerges in her childhood home.

This is one of those films that slowly crept its way up my list, after finally watching it I'm wishing I hadn't waited so long. This film was scary pretty much from the start, I really enjoyed this one.

The film starts with Nicole Barlow (Agnes Bruckner) taking to her sister Annie (Caity Lotz) on the phone, making preparations for their mothers funeral. From what Nicole says, it appears Annie didn't like their mom and doesn't seem too enthusiastic about helping with the arrangements. Next Nicole is on her laptop talking to her daughter via video chat and this is when the film really kicks it up. The suspense hits you quick like an uppercut. Nicole enters a dark room in the house.

When Annie arrives Nicole is nowhere to be found, making Annie suspicious. She makes some calls to see if anyone's heard from her but gets nowhere. Later that night Annie has a weird dream about her mother and someone else she doesn't know. She also dreams of a shirtless man crying. Annie sees a figure in the house and follows it into her cousin Liz's (Kathleen Rose Perkins) bedroom. She then is attacked by an unseen force, but before it gets too severe she's able to escape.

Annie tells her story at the police station but is overlooked, officer Bill Creek (Casper Van Dien) is suspicious of Annie taking part in her mother sister and cousin's disappearances. Later that night, Annie dreams of the shirtless man crying again. Soon after, she contacts Stevie Hudson (Haley Hudson), someone who's said to be a psychic. Stevie agrees to come along and check out Annie's house, it doesn't go well. Stevie becomes hysterical and screams the name "Judas" as shes moved around on the floor by an unseen force.

From there on the movie just becomes more and more suspenseful and doesn't ration the scares and jumps. There's plenty of all. There's a good handful of nail biting moments, the really turn the pressure up. It was an entertaining ride.

The acting was impressive, the movie appears low budget but they rock it. A movie of this caliber often isn't supported by the casts ability, but this cast did a convincing job. It definitely helped the movie and made the story more intriguing as it went on.

The twist was brilliant, I couldn't have called that one. When I realized what was going on I was surprised and uneasy. This film definitely heaps on the creepiness.

The ending was strong and no doubt helps add to the overall solidity of the film. Very solid horror film, it gave me just about everything I look for in a horror movie. It wasn't perfect, the acting suffered at parts and I didn't like the music choice for some scenes, it became annoying to me. Other than that, this film was really good.


Monday, November 19, 2012

247⁰F (2011)


Synopsis taken from IMDb
Jenna, Renee, Ian and Michael arrive at a lakeside cabin owned by Ian's uncle, Wade. Intending to enjoy a carefree weekend, instead, three of them become locked in the hot sauna. First they think it's Michael playing jokes on them, but soon realize that help is not coming and they must find a way out before the heat kills them. As the heat rises they are pushed to their physical psychological limits- staying alive is not easy any more. Breaking a small window- may be the worst thing they can do, because cool air will trick the thermostat to run the heater full blast. They need to get out, but all they can do is wait! Wait for what, wait for who?! How long could you wait in the heat up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. 

In a world where survival horror is hitting a peak, they throw another log on the fire (no pun intended). This is pretty much the exact opposite of Adam Green's Frozen (2010), in this film these teen suffer from extreme heat instead of freezing. However, what surprised me was that it actually not bad.

The cast has it's strong points, but it's overacted at other parts. Still, all in all, you see that this cast is somewhat strong. Travis Van Winkle and Scout Taylor-Compton stand out amongst the rest of the cast. Although Scout does do some of that overacting I mentioned, Travis does a really good job in this film. He was a very likable character.

Ian (Travis Van Winkle) and his friends go to his uncle Wade's (Tyler Mane) lakeside house. His uncle Wade does the fire works at a local town celebration. Ian and his friends do some drinking and he looks to hook up with Jenna (Scout Taylor-Compton). However, she's still on over the death of her boyfriend from a nasty car wreck, and she doesn't know if she can move on. As the film progresses we learn the extent of her condition. 

While uncle Wade's away the party begins. Ian and Mike do some heavy drinking and decide to go into Wade's sauna for some relaxation. Mike and his girlfriend Renee (Christina Ulloa) hope for Ian and Jenna to hook up. Renee wants Jenna to move on and stop living in the past, letting it drag her down.

Michael leaves the sauna in a drunken stupor, leaving his friends and girlfriend to laugh at his expense. After a few moments pass we hear Mike walking into some things and something heavy his the door. Ian, Jenna and Renee try to get out of the sauna, but their laughs and joking become screams for help very quickly.

I like the realness this movie portrays. I think that it's done very accurately and I don't know if there's anything I can pick out about it that wasn't accurate. This is a atmospheric horror film, it centers on the claustrophobia of the situation. Ian of course, is the smart one of the group, keeping them all alive with his knowledge of the downside of their situation.

There isn't hardly any character development due to their situation. There isn't much time to focus on anything but them in current time. The cast does a good job at keeping us entertained though and the movie doesn't have any boring parts. Seeing how calm Ian remains is incomprehensible to me, considering how Renee is constantly being rude and making things worse with her attitude and mouth, I did not like that character. She was that whiny character you wait to get killed off.

All the while, Michael is no where to be seen and uncle Wade is off doing the fireworks downtown.

The movie gets pretty intense with some parts that are tough to watch. I was impressed as the story unwound, and if this story teaches you anything, it's that it isn't always cool to get drunk and act like an idiot. Sometimes there's consequences to pay.

Ultimately this film is entertaining and good at making you feel the severity of their situation. The acting was good enough and pulled the story through. It's a crazy situation their in and it makes you realize how easy it is to be in a life or death situation from things you commonly use and wouldn't ever consider harmful.

Now this film isn't perfect, it has its many flaws. It's better than a lot of other survival horror films, though.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Let The Right One In (Book Review)

(aka Let Me In)

Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Written by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Synopsis taken from book cover
Oskar and Eli. In very different ways, they were both victims. Which is why, against the odds, they become friends. 

And how they came to depend on one another, for life itself. 

Oskay is a 12 year old boy living with his mother on a dreary housing estate at the city's edge. He dreams about his absentee father, gets bullied at school, and wets himself when he's frightened.

Eli is the young girl who moves in next door. She doesn't go to school and never leaves the flat by day. She is a 200 year old vampire, frozen in childhood, and condemned to live on a diet of fresh blood.

I've seen both film adaptations to this novel and I liked them both, I do favor the American version over the original Swedish version though. After having questions about the films with no presumable answers, I did some reading online and found out that the big picture was in reading the book. So I was sold, I bought a copy and flew through it. I was very impressed and think the book is better than both films.

I love how dark this book is, there's nothing glorified or pretty about it. It's dark and mean, even depressing. John Lindqvist has a great vision for vampires and nails it in this book, giving us a fresh story with lots of layers. It's grotesque at parts, but it's exquisitely written and detailed. This book is a drama one second and scaring you the next, I love how it switches up on you.

This is one of those books that pushes boundaries, I loved it for that because I didn't expect it to go to the places it goes. It's relentless. Some of the things that happen in this book kept it glued to my hand, I couldn't stop reading. You don't think it's going to go as far as it does. 

The fact that this is an original, dark story automatically intrigued me, because here is a book that finally gets it right. Lindqvist makes the reader know and understand how being a vampire isn't about getting laid and being a ladies man. It isn't about living the life of a rock star, recklessly. It's about survival. It's about staying low key and just getting by. It is a curse and it's a curse you don't want, which is how it should be. 

Today's society thinks it's cool to be a vampire due to all the fangirls and boys of pop culture cinema. Let The Right One In is a real vampire book.

It can be downright chilling and shocking, not what I was expecting. I was enthralled in it. It has it's scary parts and overall it's just a damn solid story. Everything about this story works. I'm sure that while reading this my eyes were bulging out at points and I probably had some laughable facial expressions.

By far my favorite part of the book was the explanation of the disease. Lindqvist really paints a picture for you, explaining how it takes part in the circulatory system and centers in the heart. If you don't feed you look like hell and stink like a corpse, but when you feed you look rejuvenated and don't stink. This may be my favorite telling of vampirism.  

There are some characters in the book that are not in the movies, so this was fresh for me. Added to the all around good storytelling. The book really gets you inside of Oskar's head and you understand him on a new level. In the book he keeps a piece of mattress foam in his pants to catch the urine he dispels, which is something new that I wasn't expecting from this story. I also liked how you get to see Oskar's relationship with his father, you really see why this kid is screwed up.

Eli is one of the best vampire characters I've ever encountered in a book or on screen. Her back story is twisted and dark, she's cursed with being a vampire and is incredibly lonely. She has a big secret that I'm not going to ruin if you haven't read this book or seen the film versions, but her character is well done and you really sympathize with her. 

Hakan, Eli's watcher is a middle aged man who's a pedophile. He hates what he is and is disgusted with himself. He even wishes for death. His character was the biggest improvement in the book over the movies, I can see why they'd have to cut out a lot of what his character does and goes through for the films though.

Tommy, Oskar's neighbor is a big part of the book as well. His part is really interesting and you can see that his part is building up to something big, and it's a good payoff.

Let The Right One In is one of those books that will be remembered for a long time. It's a staple in vampire literature. It's a good read for fans of vampires, especially those looking for a true, traditional type of vampire book.


Friday, November 16, 2012

The Haunting of Whaley House (2012)


Synopsis taken from IMDb

Just because you don't believe in ghosts, doesn't mean they don't believe in you!

Here we go again with another story about "the most haunted house in the world" or "the most haunted house in America". How can their be so many haunted houses that are the most haunted? I hate when movies use this as a promotional tactic to get people to watch their film. However, the Whaley House is supposedly the real deal.

I'm not exactly an expert on the Whaley House. I don't know the story behind it, so I have no clue how accurate or inaccurate this film is, so I'm not judging it on that.

Ghost stories are just as bad as zombie movies nowadays. Everyone and their mother thinks they can do a haunted house story, the same way people do with zombies. They're the most overused topics in horror films. I can't stress how badly they're overused and how bad most of them are. It's to the point where whenever I come across a haunting or zombie movie I get real iffy. I'm tired of wasting my time.

The film is about a group of teens who visit the Whaley House, despite being warned not to. Of course some of them don't believe in ghosts and only want to come along for laughs. Others are into the paranormal and really believe in ghosts.

This movie had very little character development, they gave you some bits and pieces of a back story between characters but nothing that holds water, or that we care about. Their acting and character development fits the standard of almost all low budget horror films, it's nothing to get you behind the characters. Characters are the most important part of the story, whenever you have a kick-ass horror film you usually have a great lead character. This film lacks that.

 The effects in this movie were disappointing. They fit a movie of this stature, but that's what hurts this film. When you do this you fit in with other films who took the cheap route due to budget. This film lacks motivation and gives you cheap parlor makeup that look like they were done at home. If you want to stand out and make a good movie that leaves an imprint and doesn't get lost in all the other deplorable ghost stories, you need something that stands out, that makes an impression. Putting more money into the makeup department on this film would have helped alot.

There's a scene in this film that stands out to me where one of the teens becomes possessed, and it was a damn near direct ripoff of The Evil Dead when Cheryl gets possessed. I appreciate the homage to a horror classic, but don't be so obvious and don't waste it on a cheap generic plot.

The acting was horrendous. I appreciate these actors and actresses playing in this movie, but they didn't put any effort into making their characters likable or believable.

Although the house in this film isn't the actual Whaley House, I liked the house. It was a nice touch. It looked like it had history and could be haunted. It looks like one of the houses you see on Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures.

I really liked the ending to this film. It was quite a shocker. The last 10-15 minutes of the movie actually got interesting and I thought the twist was obviously common, but it was done in a manor that made it not matter. The final scene of this film is powerful, sad and tragic.

In the end, The Haunting of Whaley House has it's perks and redeemable parts, but not enough to overlap the generic story and really bad acting.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Citadel (2012)


Synopsis taken from IMDb
Tommy Cowley is a young father inflicted with chronic agoraphobia since his wife was brutally attacked by a gang of a twisted feral children. Trapped in the dilapidated suburbia of Edenstown, he finds himself terrorized by the same gang, who now seem intent on taking his baby daughter. Torn between the help of an understanding nurse and a vigilante priest, Tommy sets out to learn the nightmarish truth surrounding these hooded children. He also discovers that to be free of his fears, he must finally face the demons of his past and enter the one place that he fears the most- the abandoned tower block known as the Citadel. 

This movie caught my attention because it's an Irish horror film, and I can't think of too many Irish horror films I've seen. So instantly I was intrigued to watch Citadel. The trailer was well put together, it didn't show you enough to know exactly what the film's about, but it showed you enough and made you want to see it.

It was a major letdown to find this movie to be somewhat of a dud. It didn't deliver like I was hoping and the ending was anticlimatic. The film is largely based around Tommy's agoraphobia, and this is what I found to be disappointing to an extent. I like that they did this, but they should have focused more on making this film and the little children scarier.

 This film had a few good jump scenes in it and the suspense is strong, it's the lack of it that makes this movie drag on and become boring.

I thought the acting was good, but overall this movie didn't meet it's expectations, despite the critical appraise it's getting. It didn't live up to the backing it had and failed to meet it's potential.

The film centers around Tommy how much of a victim he is after seeing his wife murdered. The scene where she's murdered is one of the best parts of the film for me. Tommy is stuck in the elevator and the doors won't open, so he's stuck hopelessly watching her demise. This made me think of how frustrating and horrifying it would be to be in Tommy's shoes in this situation.

After that he becomes the definition of a victim, he even takes classes to help make himself stop looking so pathetic.He walks in short, quick steps and hunches. This makes the tense scenes even more suspenseful and chilling. It's truly a shame they left so much of the movie bleak and didn't build more suspense and jump scenes.

The children wearing white hoodies reminded me of David Cronenberg's The Brood. They were mysterious children who wreaked havoc. I did like the look of the kids faces. I liked the makeup used and the design. I don't want to give too much away so I'll leave it at that.

There are some good chase scenes in this film that I liked. They were filled with high tension and dread. Tommy being stranded at night time (the worst time to be out) in an area he isn't familiar with.

He is pursued by the children and we get some shots of their faces and begin to think something is definitely wrong with this picture and that Tommy may be in over his head. Once his child is kidnapped by the children, Tommy finds the priest and joins forces.

The priest is deranged and seems psychotic. Tommy needs him though, because only the priest can help him get his kid back. The priest's plan is to blow up the Citadel, where all the children live. Tommy is terrified of this idea but will do whatever it takes to get his daughter back.

Ultimately, this film has the setup to be a great horror film but it drops the ball. They did a great job of making us know how terrified Tommy always was, but there was nothing there to terrify us, the viewer.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Blue-ray Review- American Horror Story: Season 1

Ryan Murphy is the creator of the retired FX original series Nip/Tuck. The show went downhill for it's remaining seasons and had a disappointing finale.  This left us wondering what was next for Ryan Murphy. As it turns out, he's behind creating another FX show, American Horror Story. A supernatural horror drama that's completely opposite of his previous work with Nip/Tuck. I'm not jumping the gun when I say that AHS has already outdone Nip/Tuck.

AHS centers around the Harmon family, Ben (Dylan McDermott) and Vivian (Connie Britton) and their teenage daughter, Violet (Taissa Farminga). Ben and Vivian's marriage is on the rocks due to Vivian being pregnant with a stillborn and walking in on Ben having an affair with one of his students. Ben and Vivian has no trust in their relationship. In an attempt at a fresh start, Ben and Vivian move into a beautiful home dubbed "The Murder House" unbeknownst to them. The house has a dark past full of blood and is extremely sinister. As the show goes on you uncover al the grisly details that give the house it's dreadful history.

Violet is the weird kid at school, instantly making enemies at school. We uncover something shocking at the end of the season about Violet and it's a brilliant twist. She becomes enchanted with Tate (Evan Peters), one of her father's patients.

Tate is dark and somber like Violet, so they instantly attract. He even helps her get rid of some bullies. We see Tate has a dark side and as the show goes on we learn his demented history and origins.

One of the shows most famous characters, and definitely the most iconic character of the show, The Rubber Man. No one knows who he is, other than he prowls the house in a kinky sex suit. In the later episodes of the season we learn the sex suit's history. I love who The Rubber Man turns out to be.

The Harmon's maid, Moira (Alexandra Breckenridge) is a truly good character. Learning her dark, sexy path is one of the best elements of the show. Ben sees her as young, sexy and seductive because the house allows him to see what he wants to see. Her real appearance is of an old woman with a blind eye. Vivian sees Moira for who and what she really is.

There's a severely burned man named Larry (Denis O'hare) and he begins to harass Ben and wants to be paid a thousand dollars. His history is deep and tragic. I really liked this character. He becomes a key player in the cast.

Chad (Zachary Quinto) and Patrick (Teddy Sears) are a gay couple who have a history with the house and are haunting it. Their story plays out well and answers alot of questions.

Hayden (Kate Mara), Ben Harmon's student that Vivian walked in on him having an affair with, shows up with some harrowing news. Her story and what happens with her is very clever. I liked her story as well.

Dr. Charles Montgomery (Matt Ross) and his wife, Nora Montgomery (Lily Rabe) are the first owners of the house and give the house it's bloody beginnings. Their story is a twisted Frankenstein, it's evil and twisting, but enchanting. Their past is one of the top best things of this show.

And of course, there's Constance (Jessica Lang), played to perfection. This character is elegant and twisted. She steals the show and ties in with all the other cast members. She has a dark, morbid past and connects everyone together. Lang won a well deserved Emmy Award for this role.

American Horror Story is storytelling done to perfection. It's as elegant and charming as it is frightening. It's full of rich character development for characters you care about. The story unfolds wonderfully, there's some loose ends but everything doesn't have to be explained. Some things are better left unsaid. I'm a big fan of this show, it's entertaining as hell. Season 2 has already aired and is off to a not unexpected great start.

- The Murder House presented by Eternal Darkness Tours of Hollywood: this the tour you see on the show, only you get the whole tour and go inside the house and see its interior. 

-Behind The Fright: The making of American Horror Story, it takes you deeper into the mind of the show and it's creators. I like going into the belly of a show and seeing what makes it tick. This was cool to watch.

-Overture to Horror: This was my favorite feature on the special features, it's about creating the title sequence of the show and the creepy theme. Once I found out Nine Inch Nails was behind the theme I realized how obvious it is.

-Out of the Shadows: This feature is all about meeting the house guests and going in depth with their characters. I liked viewing this one as well.

American Horror Story is a show you should own without needing special features. It's a really good show and deserves the credit it's given. 

The Blu-ray or DVD is worth a purchase if you like owning good television shows. It's in my collection.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Bait (2012)


Synopsis taken from IMDb
This movie is about a group of people who get trapped in a Supermarket after a Tsunami hits the coast of Queensland, Australia. But they soon find out that they have more to worry about than being in a flooded grocery store, there's a 12 foot shark swimming around them, and it's hungry. 

This film starts with getting introduced to Josh (Xavier Samuel), the films lead heroin. There's some character dialog, but the build up is all for a grisly shark attack that comes out of no where. The victim is an old man out in the ocean swimming.

From the beginning of this film you can see the influence Piranha 3D (2010) has had on this film. It's not meant to be a great film, they're going for an entertaining film.

A year later, Josh hears there's a shark migration happening on the TV. He then heads to the Supermarket. Meanwhile, there's a robbery being discussed in the parking lot and we see a couple making out in their car.

Inside the Supermarket, a shoplifter, Jaime (Phoebe Tonkin), is being chased by a security guard. She hides in the back room of the Supermarket and finds her boyfriend, Ryan (Alex Russell) who works there. Before Ryan can make her put the merchandise she stole back on the shelves his boss comes in and calls the police and fires Ryan.

In the store Josh is stocking shelves when he sees Tina, his love interest we meet in the beginning of the movie. Tina has a new boyfriend named Steven (Qi Yuwu).

In the parking lot an agreement is made about the robbery. The robbers names are Doyle (Julian McMahon) and Kirby (Dan Wyllie). The robbery is instantly compromised and goes wrong.

Suddenly a Tsunami hits and floods the store. This scene is total chaos. Everything going on between so many characters hits a sudden stop when everything is flooded and it becomes a fight for survival.

You've got people dying, people struggling to hold on and you've got the survivors who jump to the top of the shelves to get out of the water.

In the midst of coming up with a plan things go terribly wrong when they realize they can't leave. A great white is in the store with them, forbidding them to get off the shelves and come up with an escape plan.

It's truly horrific to see how the characters mesh. A great deal of the film is just them staying safe on top of the shelves interacting. And you'd think that with such a weird array of characters that it would prove to be interesting to see them have to work together. Instead it shows you how pathetic the cast is by making it these scenes completely boring. The shark is the ice breaker, it's what makes those scenes even remotely interesting. It really is a case of the film makers not knowing what they're doing and leaving the film on the casts shoulders of a hollow cast incapable of handling it.

This film is a cheap version of Piranha, it's Piranha without the Girls Gone Wild aspect. The sex is toned down a lot in comparison with Piranha, and overall I have to say that this movie fails.

It isn't suspenseful. It isn't scary. There are hardly any jump moments and the story is so cliche it'll make you slap your head in disbelief of how bad the acting is. All of these elements combined with the lack of character development cripples this film.

The actual shark they show, not the CGI one, is very detailed and real looking. But they should have left the shark tale to Jaws. This film is as forgettable as a bad day. It holds no significance in any way.

The shark attack scenes are the only interesting part of this movie. The effects and gore aren't bad. It's just a shame that they're wasted on this movie.

Based on the trailer and poster art I can't say I'm surprised this movie was a disaster, I'm just shocked at how bad it actually is. It's lazy and predictable. This film makes you instantly desire to watch Jaws, you need something refreshing to take the bad taste left in your mouth from Bait.

This film is nothing but stuff we've seen before done better, only they want to win you over because it's in 3D. This 3D thing gets out of hand when it's used as a means to tell a story. They don't make a good story and incorporate 3D in it. They just think of a bunch of cheesy overused ideas and add 3D to it thinking 3D makes the movie good. It doesn't.

The ending of this movie shows hope of a "fresh start". I sure as hell hope that a "fresh start" doesn't include a sequel.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Raven (2012)


Synopsis taken from IMDb
When a madman begins committing horrific murders  inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's works, a young Baltimore detective joins forces with Poe to stop him from making his stories a reality.

This film has generated mostly negative reviews and has actually barely made it's budget back from grossing's. The movie was made on $26 million and grossed $26.5 million. There is also 2 previous movies with the same title taken from Poe's poem. However, they don't have any connection to one another.

John Cusack has been in some movies that I enjoy such as 1408, Identity, and High Fidelity. While I don't credit him as a very good actor, he's very good in certain roles. Edgar Allen Poe isn't one of them. For one, I can't understand why they'd give Poe a well groomed goatee. Everyone knows Poe had a mustache. They went for a more over-the-top Poe.

This got me thinking of how good a movie about Edgar Allen Poe could be if given the same treatment as Stephen Spielberg's Lincoln. If there was a real historic movie about Poe with a legitimate actor I think that would make a great movie.

This film takes place during the last 15 days of Poe's life in which no one knows what happened. It opens to police heading up a staircase, following the screams of a woman in an apartment. After hearing the door lock from the inside, they enter to see the screaming woman dead on the floor. The killer somehow has disappeared from the room even though all exits were sealed. This puzzles the police.

Detective Fields (Luke Evans) brings Poe in to show him the paper headlines. Fields instantly recognized the murder as one of Poe's stories. He informs Poe on the murder and after ruling Poe out as a suspect, he decides to have Poe tag along during the duration of the investigation so he can give his input.

Shortly after, they're called to a new crime scene that resembles Poe's story "The Pit and the Pendulum". After investigating the scene they find that the crazed murderer has left a clue as to what story he'll re-enact next; "The Mask of Red Death".

They show up to the masquerade to try and stop the crazed man from committing another murder. Poe finds out his beloved Emily has been kidnapped and becomes even more invested in finding the perpetrator.

Poe and Fields investigate another murder that re-enacts a scene from Poe's "The Mystery of Marrie Roget".   A dead prostitute in theatrical clothing. Poe becomes desperate to find Emily and begins to fear she may already be dead.

This movie dwindles down at a fast pace and while it keeps you watching, it doesn't keep you very interested. They tried to update the old mystery movie feel with gore and effects. This film would have been much better if it took on a Sleepy Hollow approach and was darker, it would have allowed for the proper story telling that a movie of this stature needs.

The climax is lazy and a letdown. It wasn't that bang I was expecting, it was rather dull. A really good ending could have redeemed this movie a bit, but that's not the case. While I enjoyed certain things this movie had, I also disliked a lot of things in this movie.

There are things that they got right in this movie as far as accuracy, but this film overall was mostly inaccurate. There is a lot of false information displayed about Poe in this movie. They got it right with him being an alcoholic and being very blunt and harsh, but Cusack didn't pull it off right. He came off as goofy and not to be taken seriously. I just didn't see Poe when I saw him, I saw someone doing a bad job at acting like him.

I suppose this movie was meant to cash in on the success of  Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012), using a historical character and trying to change their history into something unrealistic. However, Abraham actually had some really cool action scenes and a pretty good story for what it was. The Raven didn't come off was well thought up or conceived. It didn't do Poe justice. I think Poe might turn over in his grave if he saw this film. I'd love to hear what he would have said about it.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Sleep Tight (2011)


Synopsis taken from IMDb
You wake up day after day to the comfort and security of your home. But how safe is it really?

Sleep Tight is a Spanish horror film that was developed under the title Flatmate.

The film centers around Cesar (Luis Tosar), an apartment building manager. Cesar is a very depressed man. The film starts with Cesar narrating, saying how unhappy he is and how he has never ever been happy, not once.

Cesar is fixated on a tenant named Clara (Marta Etura), she's got a beautiful smile and always appears to be in a happy mood, the ideal girl. She's also very nice to Cesar.

Marta starts looking rough and disheveled in the mornings, when Cesar asks her what's the matter she says she doesn't think she's sleeping right and is tired. Even though she gets plenty of sleep.

Little does Marta know that Cesar is to blame. Cesar is sneaking into her room every night and hiding under her bed. He waits for her to fall asleep and then uses chloroform to keep her unconscious so he can crawl into bed beside her and cuddle with her.

Cesar does this night after night until one night when he hears Clara making fun of him on the phone to her boyfriend. After this he decides it's time for Clara and himself to step things up, take things further...

Throughout the whole film Cesar is blackmailed by a little girl living in one of the apartments, she's onto him and uses that to get what she wants. This really added a good dimension to the film, keeping it very suspenseful.

When Clara brings her boyfriend over it only makes things more hectic and complicated. This is when the film picks up and really starts hitting hard. Clara's boyfriend isn't as blind when it comes to Cesar, he knows he's suspicious and doesn't like him.

This film comes off like an Alfred Hitchcock movie, it's brilliant! It's slow paced and takes its time building up. The suspense is nothing less than nail biting. It can be paralyzing. There are some good jumps as well.

What makes this film so terrifying is the realism of it. It taps a core nerve, the fear of invasion, living your life while someone obsesses over you and knows your every day routine. Someone being in your home night after night without you ever knowing.

The acting in this movie was great, Luis Tosar did put on a powerhouse performance. There are scenes with his mother where you get to see a more emotional side of Cesar, get to see what's in his head and how he thinks. Tosar's performance sells this movie, he's the main focus and carries the movie.

This movie is a gem and should be seen by any fan of the genre. It's one of those movies that creeps you out days after you've seen it. Sleep Tight will keep you looking over your shoulder...or under your bed.


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