Since there was a pretty hefty load of horror DVDs to hit the shelf last month, and quite a few I wanted to check out, I took it upon myself to watch as many as I could and give you the scoop on ‘em. Here are my brief thoughts on the DVD releases of August…
This quiet film takes place in director Sebastian Silva’s homeland of Chile where teenage girl Alicia is visiting her American cousin abroad. What was supposed to be a holiday for the naïve girl turns out to be a living nightmare where she must question if everything is real or horrifying illusion. With splendid performances by all, this film stars Michael Cera, Juno Temple and Emily Browning. This is a psychological thriller that was to me impressive and unique; it really puts you in the unraveling mind of the victim. You might even begin to feel reality slip away… You can view a full review I wrote on Magic Magic here!
For as long as celebrities have been around, people have been fascinated by them, and easily obsessed. People will do strange things to feel connected with them; Brandon Cronenberg’s film considers this infatuation, and imagines the lengths that fans will go to to feel intimacy with their idols. Even though the fact that this is the debut film of legendary director David Cronenberg’s son is reason alone to see this film, it helps immensely that it is interesting, beautiful, poignant and well acted by lead Caleb Landry Jones.
Everyone has heard of The Amityville Horror—a book/movie that was inspired by the actual slaughter of the DeFeo family in their home in New York. The Amityville Horror is also supposedly based on facts; the family who moved in after the murders (the Lutzs’) claimed to experience sinister supernatural activity. This documentary by Eric Walter goes in depth with Daniel Lutz, who was just a child at the time of the alleged haunting. While extremely fascinating for those interested in the hauntings, it is also a portrait of a disturbed individual who suffered from an abusive stepfather. Even if you don’t believe in demons and ghosts you can still enjoy this quality-made documentary—which is Eric Walter’s debut! Check out Christine’s full review on My Amityville Horror here!
The second film on this list to have a Chilean director and take place there! Eli Roth lends his pen and his acting talents to Nicolas Lopez’s disaster film, Aftershock. A group of tourists don’t exactly get the good time abroad they are looking for when an earthquake hits and then the whole city goes to mayhem. There’s much for our protagonists to be worried about in this film but none of that really makes us worried about them—they’re all douche bags! This could have been a cool flick if it didn’t think with its dick.
Bayou butcher Victor Crowley is back for the third installment of the Hatchet slasher films. Also returning is heroine Marybeth (Danielle Harris) and writer Adam Green, who was penned all three films and directed the first two. Directing for the first time is BJ McDonnell who until now has spent all his time right behind the lens. While the film has it’s moments both fun and gore-ific, the storyline and characters seem to be a bit tired out. Sometimes immortality can be a curse…
From the director of the Midnight Meat Train comes No One Lives, a torture flick with a twist! A murderous group kidnaps a couple on the highway, thinking it will be a fun, easy kill. What they don’t expect is that they’re dealing with a villain of their own—which means they’re fucked. Ryuhei Kitamura seems to know how to make a jolly good slasher flick, with substance to boot! I enjoyed No One Lives; it brings something a little different to the formulaic plot of torture films.
This comedy by Paul Middleditch makes a mockery of the Rapture foretold in the Bible, following a young couple and their families as they struggle to survive and adapt to Hell on Earth. With a pretty solid cast (Anna Kendrick, Craig Robinson, John Francis Daley to name a few) you’d think it’d be a fun flick—at least I did. However, almost all of the jokes fall flat—it seems like the writers were trying to hard to fit a
punch line into every line of dialogue instead of coming up with quality material. Save yourself from eternal damnation and leave this one on the shelves.
Well, I hope this was somewhat helpful and informative for you guys! I had fun watching these films, even if I didn’t necessarily enjoy all of them. I like to make it a point to stay current with what is going on in the horror cinema world. I’m guessing you probably do too, since you are reading this…
The ones I didn’t get to were Do Not Disturb, 5 Souls, Jack the Reaper, Zombie Massacre, Evidence, American Ghost Story, Alyce Kills, Among Friends, A Resurrection, and Ritual. Let me know if you have seen any of these, and if you have any thoughts on them or the ones I talked about!
This was fun; we should do this again sometime. See you next month?