Monday, October 27, 2014

Bluray Tuesday!

October 28th 2014

Its almost our favorite day of the week again! Halloween is 4 days away and there are a few horror themed titles being released this week to get to celebrate before the month ends. But we all know for a Horror fan all year is Halloween season lol. This week the biggest release comes from Sony with Deliver Us From Evil i actually enjoyed this film The Overlook Theater did see opening night when it was released in theaters. Happy Halloween Everyone!

Deliver Us From Evil: Amazon - $22.99

Failing in his attempt to find a rational explanation for a violent crime spree, a hardened New York City police officer's eyes are opened to a frightening alternate reality when an unconventional Jesuit priest convinces him demonic possession may be to blame.

Deliver Us from Evil (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art 

NightBreed: Amazon - $24.99
Limited Edition: Amazon - $71.97

A community of mutant outcasts of varying types and abilities attempts to escape the attention of a psychotic serial killer and redneck vigilantes with the help of a brooding young man who discovers them. Based on the Clive Barker's novel "Cabal"
I never saw this film but i am interested in picking this one up the limited editions has a bunch of cool features 3 disc theatrical and directors cut and lots of bonus features as well. Best Buy does have a bit cheaper at $59.99 but still bit big price for a blind buy but i will check this out soon.

Nightbreed (Blu-ray) 
Regular Release

Nightbreed (Blu-ray) 
Limited Release only 10,000 copies

Squirm: Best Buy - $24.99

At the beginning of the film, we learn from one of the characters that earthworms can be called to the surface with electricity, but somehow it turns them into vicious flesh-eaters. Sure enough, a storm that night causes some power lines to break and touch the ground, drawing millions of man-eating worms out of the earth, and into town where they quickly start munching on the locals...
Another release i have not seen as well this one came out 1976 and shout factory is releasing this collectors edition. I will check out in the near future too

Squirm (Blu-ray) 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Box of Dread 10/17/2014 and McFarlane's Walking Dead Playsets

The October Box of Dread is finally here! Since this is the most appropriate month for something called a Box of Dread, there is naturally a bit of pressure to deliver (pardon the pun). So even though this has taken me a while to post, lets take a look inside Octobers box.

Above is all the little fun stuff that was sent: two buttons, two stickers, and an advertisement for Teddy Scares. The buttons are pretty cool, especially the headless horseman one. My favorite in this lot would have to be the "Something Strange" sticker, it's just too cool.

This is pretty straight forward and even though Maggie is far from my favorite character I still totally opened and played with her. Yes, this is what I do on Friday night. 

Here's the picture I shared on my Instagram.

I've yet to open this CD but the production quality is good enough that I will for sure give it a shot in the near future.

Last but definitely not least where the 5 Zombie Pumpkin patterns hidden on the bottom of the box. If you haven't visited you've been missing out! The patterns they have for sale online are amazing, I've bought a ton over the years and people are always impressed. The site is wonderful if you lack freestyle pumpkin carving talent.

In the end I can't say I'm totally satisfied this month but I can also say this is far from the worst box I've ever received. Now with that said, McFarlane just released some awesome boxsets to accompany whatever random Walking Dead toys us horror fans have. The 3 playsets below are as follows: The Prison, The Governors office, and a stretch of road with Darly's motorcycle.

All 3 Playsets rule but I will for sure be getting the Governors office. The light up fish tanks are just too cool!

-Lord Battle

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

See No Evil 2 or The Twisted Twins' Third Film

7 of 7 Viewers "Liked" "See No Evil 2" (2014, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

The Impostor - "See No Evil 2 is a refreshing slasher film to watch. I have been waiting 8 years for a sequel to this original slasher film. Jacob Goodnight is a lot more sinister looking with his mask and I thought it brought more to his character. Only thing that kinda bothered me was the constant flash backs to the original film but all in all I loved this slasher and hope to see a "See No Evil 3" in the near future." - 4 Stars

Lord Battle - "The Soska Twins help Kane hit his slasher stride, attract a solid pair of horror maidens, and try to influence this film as much as possible. I would have liked to see this film shot with a script they wrote. At the end of the day See No Evil 2 is a weak film but a strong slasher (Pun intended)." - 4 Stars

The Berkeley Blazer - "It's a marvel to see Kane burst through portals in a shower of debris, but despite being directed by talented auteurs the film was like a plodding nightmare dreamed up by no one in particular. Despite the tepid style the film wasn't necessarily boring. Watch in a group or with pro-wrestling aficionados." - 2 1/2 Stars

Math Mage - "Why don't more slashers break down doors, it's really effective & really scary. Also, I liked that all the characters kept remarking on how maze-like the building was, helping suspend disbelief as they remained trapped despite abundant exit signs." - 3 Stars

Book Wyrm - "I can't describe why I like this movie. The slasher was scary and the setting felt hopelessly never ending. I wanted the characters to get out. I liked this movie but I don't know why! It scared me." - 4 Stars

Huntress - "Jacob Goodnight is a welcome addition to the new slasher family! He embodies a very scary combination of murderous qualities; a hulking stature and mental vulnerability, both of which become weapons. The character gets fleshed out further in this sequel, and Kane's wrestling background gives him a new level of dexterity. The Soska Twins did him justice." - 4 Stars

Ice Giant - "4 Stars, each time Kane smashed through another door it gained another star." - 4 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

First, I'd like to start by saying the Overlook Theatre has been waiting a long time to see the release of this film and I'm happy to finally write this review. It feels like a long journey since I had screened "Dead Hooker in a Trunk", "American Mary", and "See No Evil" in an attempt to build awareness of the Soska Twins and ultimately excitement for "See No Evil 2". After seeing the film I honestly believe the twins didn't have full control over any aspect of this project. None of this film really held any of the style that made them the renownly polarizing story tellers we've come to love (or hate). I know that's saying a lot about directors that have only made 2 features but the level of pulpy substance in the past films is so great that it makes "See No Evil 2" feel almost empty, and strung together by "filler", which has never been a problem for them.
With that said, Kane is awesome as Jacob Goodnight. The first film featured Kane as a boring, straightforward slasher. Which is fine for most films since you just write a cool background story and design a cool mask and voila an awesome character. But See No Evil had a unique problem, Kane obviously was the main draw for the film so it made sense when they didn't want to cover his face with a mask but they should have done what the Soska's did in the sequel and let him talk. 
I constantly talk about the two different groups of slashers, the masked and the unmasked and how big of an impact this simple difference really makes. Without getting too far off topic, the idea is that Jason was played by 4+ different actors and it didn't effect the character (too much...) but no one can replace Robert England, Warwick Davis, Tony Todd, Doug Bradly, etc... without killing the character. Essentially, masked characters are written and an unmasked character is acted. Kane is an acting athlete or a pro wrestler and these guys get no credit, they go out 300+ days a year and put on a live and physical improv show. The bottom line is Kane should be owning Jacob Goodnight just like the other unmasked actors I mentioned above. And the Twins giving him a clear mask is ingenious! It let's him act and show emotion but it also allows him to be a door destroying super killer like Jason or Hatchet Face. Doors being destroyed has come up quite a bit and you'll instantly know why when you watch the film, it conjurers up memories of Resident Evil 2.
In closing, "See No Evil 2" is an awesome slasher with Jacob Goodnight exploding with sequel slaughtering potential but as a Soska Film it felt very constricted and ultimately a let down.
- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bluray Tuesday!

October 21st 2014

It's that time of week again! This week sees releases of some nice horror sequels that should arrive on my doorstep today. I'm excited to start Wrong Turn 6 and Snowpiercer which received many good reviews. The sequel to The Purge is also out today and I thought it was better than the first but I still wanted more. I'm hoping the 3rd installment will be epic. Halloween in 10 days as well and that also means the end of one of my favorite months.

Snowpiercer: Amazon - $14.99

After a failed experiment to stop global warming, a new ice age destroys most life on the planet. The only human survivors are the inhabitants of the Snowpiercer, a vast train traveling around the globe, powered by a sacred perpetual-motion engine. A rigid class system evolves on the train, with the poorest and hungriest imprisoned in the rear cars while others prospers and indulge at the front, but a revolution brews.

Snowpiercer (Blu-ray)

See No Evil 2: Amazon - $15.99

A group of friends pays a late-night visit to the city morgue to surprise Amy on her birthday. But the surprise is on them when the one-eyed corpse of brutal psychopath Jacob Goodnight unexpectedly rises from a cold sub-basement slab. Their wild party quickly turns into a terrifying slay-fest as the sadistic mass-murderer resumes his savage rampage complete with hooks, surgical knives and power saws.
We screened this recently in The Overlook Theater and all pretty much enjoyed this film. Stay tuned to our review of this slasher sequel.

See No Evil 2 (Blu-ray)

Wrong Turn 6: Amazon - $12.99

A sudden and mysterious inheritance brings Danny and his friends to Hobb Springs, a forgotten resort deep in the West Virginia hills. Hobb Springs is being looked after under the watchful care of Jackson and Sally, a socially and awkward couple who introduce Danny to the long lost family he's never known. Soon, Danny is forced to choose between his friends and his bloodline.
I actually really enjoy the Wrong turn films and look foward to watching this one soon.

Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art

The Purge Anarchy: Amazon - $22.99

During the Purge, a government-sanctioned evening in which crime, including murder, is legal, five innocent people band together to fight to survive the night. They are reluctantly protected and led by a former military man who has set out to avenge a past wrong.

The Purge: Anarchy (Blu-ray)

The Scribbler: Amazon - $18.99

A young woman is facing her destructive multiple personalities using an experimental new procedure known as "The Siamese Burn."
This is made from a graphic novel I believe and it seems interesting. I am gonna check this out soon too. Especially for the mini Buffy The Vampire Slayer reunion with Eliza Dushku & Michelle Tractenberg who played rouge slayer Faith and Buffy's little sister Dawn.

The Scribbler (Blu-ray) 

Friday, October 17, 2014

3 GhostBuster Designs

In honor of the GhostBusters 30 year anniversary, Ript Apparel is currently featuring three parody images that you can get printed on a T-shirt, sweater, onesie, poster, or set of coasters. This site used to offer a much wider variety of surfaces, which included headphones, iPhone cases, and mouse pads but these have been discontinued. There's only about an hour and a half left so hurry!

And what if you only saw this after the time ran out? You get one last chance to get your order in during the 24 hour last call period following the official timer. After that, they reside in the graveyard forever. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Houses October Built

5 of 6 Viewers "Liked" "The Houses October Built" (2014,USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Book Wyrm - "This movie terrified me although the ending was a bit lackluster. I got confused at the end and didn't know who was who. I now have no desire to ever go to a haunt ever but I enjoyed the film nonetheless." - 4 Stars

Lord Battle - "It's 2014, if you plan on making a found footage film you better bring something new to the table, luckily for "The Houses October Built" the haunts steal the film." - 3 1/2 Stars

Drum Machine - "Decent job building the story but the ending didn't really payoff. It was a great promo for haunts." - 3 Stars

Huntress - "Although this movie reinforced my fear of cross country RV trips, it didn't play out like I had hoped. I loved the idea and the story, but felt somehow unfulfilled when it was over, maybe because the fear you feel in a haunt wasn't successfully conveyed through the film and it took too long to get the story I was expecting. As the details came together, this movie did get very creepy but it felt limited." - 3 1/2 Stars

Ice Giant - "The haunts in the movie were awesome, the movie was okay but how they stupidly went along with everything was a little frustrating even for horror movie characters. It really made me want to visit a haunt." - 3 1/2 Stars

Math Mage - "This film had the disadvantage of following a viewing of the actually scary Silent Hill playable trailer. - Spoiler - The ending would have been better if it actually had been a haunt and it ended with the employees frantically digging the girl up to save her from hyperventilating, maybe that did happen & the fools are all fine and they posted the video to draw up publicity for Blue Skeleton. But now I feel I'm making excuses for them." - 2 Stars

The trailer below is the better of the 3 circulating, with that said I still feel too much is shown. So watch at your own risk!

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

"The Houses October Built" is a typical run of the mill found footage film. It does offer the unique usage of actual footage taken of real haunts and some pretty creepy characters (i.e. Doll girl above) but other than that, nay say-ers of found footage should stay away.
 With that said, I myself love found footage, I personally feel the "gimmick" has proven it's staying power and deserves a fair shot whenever released. Sadly, "The Houses October Built" falls very short in it's creative department, so much so that it seems to borrow a little too much from the haunts that let them film within. To the films credit, they did create some awesome characters to inhabit the haunts and eventually stalk them through the country. This is incredibly important for the film since the main characters are poorly fleshed out and are almost interchangeable.

The most enjoyable part of this film for the Overlook Theatre came after the credits rolled. Now I'm not being snarky and ironic, I'm actually being serious. Drum Machine always likes to talk about his theory of the "Blair Witch Project", In his theory the girl in the group is actually leading the guys out in the woods to kill them. She does this of course to empower her film. "The Houses October Built" has a very similar situation going on, this time it involves the internet and a mysterious person posting about them. I actually think Drum Machines theory is stronger when applied to this film simply because a lot of things make much more sense when using this motive. Also the character who really wants to film this extreme haunt seems to find things like the forum that carried the video of them sleeping, which would definitely fit into this theory. 
The other element that really works with the inside job theory is the ways in which people were scared. In the film, everyone talks about what they fear most and after the first appearance of the Doll girl, the haunts seem to be tailored to their personal fears. The best example of this that I can think of right now would be the way they handled the female character at the end. First she was separated from the group, which they of course said they would make sure didn't happen again (After the bathroom incident). Then at the conclusion of the film, she is buried unmasked in a small wooden coffin. This has to be because she stated earlier that she was claustrophobic (when she was trapped in a haunt earlier in the film).
At the end of the day, "The Houses October Built" was a fun film, one I'm not sure I would revisit soon but one I'd likely buy. This film is for horror fans only, don't waste your time showing tourists.
- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bluray Tuesday!

October 14, 2014

My favorite day of the week is here! It's a light week this week for horror blurays. I'm looking foward to next weeks See No Evil 2 and Wrong Turn 6 myself, I love slasher horror films. Biggest release this week is X-Men Days of Future Past and a couple of retailers do have cool exclusives for this release.

Hallows Eve: Amazon - $12.73

Years after a tragic accident leaves a young child scarred for life, the people responsible pay - with their lives.
This film stars Danielle Harris, one of my favorite survivor girls and I am gonna for sure check this film out soon. I may have to preoder myself a copy or hit up best buy. 

Hallows Eve (Blu-ray) 

X-Men Days Of Future Past: Target - $17.99/ Best Buy - $22.99

The X-Men, including Wolverine, must set aside old rivalries and travel in time to change the past to avert a future crisis which threatens the mutant population and the world.
Best Buy will carry this as a 3D giftset exclusive with the sentinel packaging. I already preordered mine and it should arrive today! Also, Target will carry the exclusive Metalpak which I will be double dipping on as well. The collector in me wants to have the complete set, I do own all the Xmen/Wolverine films in the Metalpak form.

X-Men: Days of Future Past 3D (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art 
 3D Best Buy Sentinel Packaging with trask files on each mutant

 Target Metalpak

X-Men: Days of Future Past 3D (Blu-ray)
3D Ultimate Edition regular release

X-Men: Days of Future Past (Blu-ray)
Regular single 2D release

Penny Dreadful Season 1: Amazon - $27.99

In Victorian London, figures such as explorer Sir Malcolm Murray, American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, enigmatic medium Vanessa Ives, and others combat supernatural forces. Murray is searching for his adult daughter, now a vampire, and hopes to cure her.
I havent seen this yet, I am interested to one day check this out as well, and Target does have a cool slipcover exclusive for this release.

Penny Dreadful: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

Penny Dreadful: The Complete First Season with Exclusive Cover Art (Blu-ray)
Target Exclusive Slipcover

Dracula The Complete 1st Season: Best Buy - $29.99

It's the late 19th century, and the mysterious Dracula has arrived in London, posing as an American entrepreneur who wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. He's especially interested in the new technology of electricity, which promises to brighten the night - useful for someone who avoids the sun. But he has another reason for his travels: he hopes to take revenge on those who cursed him with immortality centuries earlier. Everything seems to be going according to plan... until he becomes infatuated with a woman who appears to be a reincarnation of his dead wife.
I tried to watch this when it first aired on tv last year, but I didn't get into it. This may have been canceled due to low ratings and poor reviews, so I may netflix this sometime just because I am a fan of vampires and Dracula so when I am bored and looking for something to watch I may look into this.

Dracula: Season One (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art

Update on Fear Overload

So it turns out Fear Overload had no idea what they were booking when it came to Hammershot... The under-exposed, under-rated band was only able to play one of their three scheduled dates before they were asked not to return. Apparently, they were told several times to turn down the music, specifically the bass, which was piercing the walls of the haunt. 

The other issue people seemed to have with the band was their stage antics, Since hearing about Hammershot, I have only heard about their shows getting progressively crazier, from getting showed in sparks created with a hatchet and power grinder, to live suspension during songs. They also dabble in sideshowesque acts, like having someone lay on a bed of nails or get needles through their skin on stage. So when I heard that the front man got sideways looks for stapling his face during a song, it was obvious that this was not the venue for them and that they are not for the faint of heart. 

Here are a couple of shots I took of the band in action:

My introduction to Hammershot

A "Saw" style Tug-o-war

I guess the lesson here is to just see Hammershot at their full potential on their own terms

Friday, October 10, 2014

SF Haunt, "Fear Overload"

The trailer above is for a highly rated "Fear Overload" haunt located in the Bay Area. Normally this would be the main subject of the post, but this time a metal band name Hammershot will be playing and selling merch featuring art from the Overlook Theatre's own Johnny Ocelot. The dates they'll be playing are the 10th, 11th, and the 24th.
 I'll be heading out one of these dates and honestly I don't know what to expect but we need to support horror related events up here in Nor Cal so they will continue to pop up.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Houses October Built American Haunt Map

Many of the haunts featured in "The Houses October Built" are real locations and to help promote the film (which comes to theaters, VOD, and itunes this Friday - 10/10/14) they've released this map. Several major/noteworthy haunts are marked on this map with little jack-O-lanterns, but the blue skulls mark locations that appear in the film. Too bad most of the locations are southern or on the East coast, I would have loved to take a trip to one near by.
If you aren't familiar with this new found footage film yet I've added the trailer below. I personally think this trailer shows a bit to much so view at your own risk!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bluray Tuesday!

October 07, 2014

Tomorrow is our favorite day Bluray Tuesday! This week is pretty light on the horror side of the new releases but im really excited for American Horror Story Coven this week out on bluray and dvd just in time for Wednesday's season 4 premiere American Horror Story Freakshow. Bates Motel also out this week im also ready to catchup on especially after that season one finale cliffhanger.

American Horror Story Coven: Amazon - $32.99

A school has opened in New Orleans to teach young witches how to protect themselves. The long-absent Supreme, Fiona, arrives to ensure the safety of the coven and their secrets. Fiona's daughter, Cordelia, teaches at the school. Events reveal a long-held rivalry between the witches of Salem and the Voodoo practitioners of New Orleans, as well as a historic grudge between Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau and socialite serial killer Delphine LaLaurie.

American Horror Story: Coven (Blu-ray) 

Hemlock Grove The Complete 1st Season: Amazon - $31.69

The mangled body of a teenage girl is discovered outside a rusted Pennsylvania steel town, where every resident harbors a dark secret. Suspicions and accusations mount as a manhunt for the killer intensifies, even as evidence mounts that the suspect is not a man at all.

Hemlock Grove: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) 

Bates Motel The Complete 2nd Season: Amazon - $29.99

A teenage Norman Bates and his mother Norma move to an old house overlooking the adjoining motel which they are renovating. The house and motel both come with secrets of their own as does the new town which the Bates family now calls home. A modern re-imagining and prequel to the movie Psycho (1960).

Bates Motel: Season Two (Blu-ray) 

Alien The 35th Anniversary: Amazon - $21.24

A space ship answers what they believe to be a distress call, and unwittingly let a vicious alien on board.
Alien: 35th Anniversary (Blu-ray) 

Sharknado 2 The Second One: Amazon - $12.99

A freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a Sharknado on the population and its most cherished, iconic sites - and only Fin and April can save the Big Apple.

Sharknado 2: The Second One (Blu-ray) 

The Following The Complete 2nd Season: Amazon - $29.99

Former FBI agent Ryan Hardy attempts to recapture serial killer Joe Carroll following the latter's escape from prison. Hardy soon discovers that the charismatic Carroll has surrounded himself with a group of like-minded individuals (which he met while teaching and while in prison), and turned them into a cult of fanatical killers.

The Following: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray) 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Annabelle - The New Story that wasn't Ruined in "The Conjuring"

4 of 6 Viewers "Liked" "Annabelle" (2014,USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Lord Battle - "The new mythology they've come up with for Annabelle is very entertaining. Since "The Conjuring" pretty much gave away the whole true story, a rewrite was inevitable and believe me, this isn't the "Child's Play" film you were expecting." - 4 Stars

The Impostor - "I wasn't expecting much going into the movie but it genuinely surprised me. Annabelle was a lot of fun. The jump scares were pretty effective, I love how we didn't see much of the doll like we'd expect but it played more of a symbol of the present evil. I also enjoyed the old school feel and the little to no use of CGI gave the film more realistic scares and sustained tension. Overall I'd recommend this film and it's a great start to the Halloween season." - 4 1/2 Stars

The Berkeley Blazer - Spoilers - "Where the potentially dullard and cookie-cutter Catholic cosmology of The Conjuring was made glorious by a cast and direction full of kinetic power and elan, this prequel can only be described as dumb, dumb stuff. The handful of brilliant and even disturbing scare moments have their spell broken by two lifeless leads and some kitschy demons that look like they escaped from the local Spencer's. If this isn't the last film I see this year where demons pursue the offspring of upper-middle class arian families, then I may have to revise my position on the existence of pure evil. Without the frustrated and hilarious commentary of the Math Mage at my right I don't think I could have endured." - 1 1/2 Stars

Ice Giant - "I went into this not expecting much so to be treated with such a great movie really blew me away, the trailer did give away some of the best moments but not all of them like I thought when I first saw it. The characters you actually cared for and believed they weren't your typical stock horror couple, and it had enough jump scares to keep any horror fan happy." - 4 1/2 Stars

Huntress - "With the rampant short comings of recent new horror, I was a little worried about this movie, but I couldn't have been more wrong! This was an awesome story, filled with authentic characters that I didn't want to die. Seemingly predictable moments did not go as expected, which made them much more tense and scary. I definitely left the theater creeped out, and not just because of Annabelle's face! - 4 Stars

Math Mage - "A formula haunted house story that manages to be boring despite a strong opening and several good sequences but why is it boring? Because I don't care about the haunted couple and I'm not interested in the success of their marriage. A good haunted house movie makes you care about the family and success of their marriage despite the trauma of ghost attack! This family was too boring and unlikable." - 2 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

-This section is better to revisit after seeing the film-

Annabelle is the second in what hopefully will be a rash of rated "R" Ed & Lorraine adventures. With that said, this film actually feels more like "The Conjuring" director James Wan's other film "Insidious" and not just for the superficial fact that the demon's in both films look so similar they could be related. No, I say it more closely resembles "Insidious" because of the story telling, "Insidious" packed more punch in it's visuals than it's narrative. "The Conjuring" on the other hand had a whole new way to tell a ghost story by splitting the film among two struggling families united by a common goal. Not to mention "The Conjuring" actually had a satisfying ending, which is unheard of in haunted house films!
Enough about previous films, Annabelle does suffer from a couple that feels very stale, but I wouldn't go as far as The Berkeley Blazer in pushing this, in fact I felt that Mia (Annabelle Wallis) was a great victim and excelled when performing alone. Actually the lack of chemistry between Mia and John (Ward Horton) strengthens the second act of the film, as the not so religious couple is put to the test by a very evil looking doll and the real story hidden between the lines, raising a little girl in the ever declining state of America. 
It's established very early on in the film and even literally talked about how the world is seemingly coming apart, this to me was the perfect kind of fear for a twenty-something soon to be mother to dwell on. I could even use this time to argue that the film is really about her losing her mind (my favorite point when arguing this is that the only person in this film to witness anything paranormal is also suffering from the loss of her own child and currently seeking a meaning to live...).
Annabelle will definitely be well received from horror fans (as proven above in the review section) and I think it's pretty obvious that this film was made by horror fans. There are a number of moments in "Annabelle" that we've seen a million times but each time they are executed in a different manner, unless it plays to the films advantage to keep the troupe intact.

James Wan and Director John R. Leonetti talk "Annabelle" and get into how "Repulsion" and "Rosemary's Baby" were heavy influences. I must say, they aren't just making this connection up, you can really see Polanski in the set design of the second apartment and its awesome.

The real Annabelle story is told in the first 10 min of the video below. The show is okay but ultimately a worse version of Coast to Coast, just watch the for the story.

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Buddy Boy or HBO's Prequel to The "Wire", "The Carcetti Story"

8 of 8 Viewers "Liked" "Buddy Boy" (1999, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

The Great Hornito - "I loved everything about this movie. The cast was great. The story was really creepy and mysterious. I loved the pace and tension. This movie had cool twists and the ending didn't disappoint either." - 5 Stars

The Berkeley Blazer - "This slow-burn meditative potboiler explores the darker corners of powerlessness & Catholic guilt. Strong performances and competent direction make this a worthwhile sleeper." - 3 1/2 Stars

Book Wyrm - "It felt too long & made my head hurt but I didn't dislike the film. Very confusing but also intriguing." - 4 Stars

Lord Battle - "This dark apartment drama plays out like "Repulsion" mixed with heavy Hitchcockian themes. Definitely a worth a look, even if only to see Tommy Carcetti in a new light." - 4 Stars

Huntress - "More movies should have awesome interesting sets like this one did. The over the top slumminess of Francis's apartment made it feel way more surreal." - 4 Stars

The Impostor - "Buddy Boy is a disturbing, bizarre look at the troubled life of a lonely man. But not all is what it seems, most of the time I was on the edge of my seat trying to map out the film. The ending still has me wondering what is real and what wasn't." - 4 Stars

Johnny Ocelot - "With a cadre of zany characters this off beat abstract piece will distort your senses. I felt it was pretty straight forward but appreciated the themes of paranoia and social dread. To me, Buddy embodied a lot of things I like in film but didn't quite hit the mark. I don't fault the film, it may be my exposure to like films of the genre." - 3 Stars

Ice Giant - "I usually hate movies with a huge twist but this one pulled it off great." - 3 1/2 Stars

I couldn't get an embed trailer to work, so below you'll find the whole film! Enjoy while YouTube still hosts it.

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

I purchased this film used almost a year ago from an FYE for $2. The reason I picked it up was one of the tag lines made me laugh out loud (or Lol), it read: 

"Combines the creepy intensities of
   David Lynch and Roman Polanski."
                                                    - L.A. Weekly

I knew any film boasting this would either be a pretentious flop or a "worthwhile sleeper" (as perfectly described by the Berkeley Blazer). I found this film to be the latter. 
superficially "Buddy Boy" does resemble a David Lynch film but only with its use of blaring contrast, both technically (video equipment) and narrativly (use of light/shadows). Saying this film has a Polanski pace is basically just saying it's slow, although the film would fit right into his apartment trilogy, for obvious reasons. 
"Buddy Boy" seems to spark a lot of questions from viewers, mainly along the lines of "What really happened?" and "What did ------- scene mean?". To me, films that leave people clueless are a ton of fun and offer each viewer some liberties with the story. This isn't always a good thing, in fact some films totally alienate their audience by including too many loose ends. So rather than try to answer all the questions this film leaves us with, I'd like to point out a major theme, "Beliefs".
Beliefs doesn't sound like much of a theme at all, let alone a major one. But if we take a look at the driving motivations for our main characters, it all comes down to what they believe to be true. Without spoiling everything in this film let me just offer a couple suggestions when applying this theme. Francis has his faith but as the movie progresses what really motivates his choices? When dealing with Gloria, don't get caught up on her diet so much that you don't hear what she's saying... The other characters practically come out and explain their issues with reality or lack or it.
I find myself writing and erasing a lot when it comes to discussing this film. Mainly because I don't want to ruin anything.
With that said, please feel free to ask questions in the comments section. I and many other reviewers would love to share what conclusions we've come to and hear yours as well!
- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.