Monday, April 30, 2018

The Babysitter (2017) 1h 25m

I've heard mixed things about this Netflix original.  It's a McG production and, despite sounding like a forgotten 90's McDonald's mascot, you probably recognize that name if you've ever watched the credits to an episode of Supernatural... or Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.  I'm not going to judge you, the Charlie's Angels remakes were actually trashy good.  Just avoid the PS2 game as it's stick your dick in salted glass shards bad.  Now the question is, is The Babysitter that bad?

I just had to look at the IMDB because I forgot everyone's name in this.  Cole is one of those super geek kids that is supposed to be 12 but looks like he is about to graduate high school.  He has an awkward knowledge of sex (despite being able to look up and read the entirety of the plot to Mad Men in a night), thinks Pluto should be a planet again, and still has a babysitter.  Enter Bee: the super cool/hot older girl that Cole has a crush on because puberty crushes on your babysitter isn't weird at all.  Of course that gets complicated by the fact that Cole finds out that Bee is running a demonic cult ritual in his living room while he sleeps.  Complete with murder, stereotypes, and the Korean-American girl from the Pitch Perfect films.
Do you like my script?

I wanted to give this movie a fair shot, despite what I had heard.  I made it about twenty minutes into it before I was pretty much done.  It's one of those movies where I picture the person that wrote the script and I assume it's the Steve Buscemi meme of "how's do you do, fellow kids?"

From there it had the goofiness of Murder Party but none of the heart.  The cheerleader is obsessed with her gun shot tit, the jock attempts to get Cole to stand up to his bully while simultaneously trying to kill him, and I don't even remember what happens to the black guy in the movie because that's how unmemorable they made him.  Also, why the hell is the ground so foggy?!  That's probably something bad and you should move!  It'll make your balls shrink or something.

The only thing The Babysitter has going for it is its use of licensed music.  When we first meet Bee it's cued in by Peaches "Boys Wanna Be Her" which has that dirty 70's two-note guitar riff which probably has the power to give erections in some cultures.  We also get the ending scene backed by Queen's "We Are the Champions," but it doesn't fit as well.  Shaun of the Dead already used "Don't Stop Me Now" perfectly, so I think this should've been swapped out with some "Stone Cold Crazy" or maybe the guitar solo into the end of "Death on Two Legs."  I would much rather write about Queen songs than this movie, in case you couldn't tell. 

I give The Babysitter a 2 copies of Adventures in Babysitting out of 5 because it has merit, just not that much:

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Interview: Douglas A. Ewen (writer/director) of Harmonized Combustion

If it weren't for the Troma film Terror Firmer then I probably wouldn't have ever made this website.  I know that's a weird pull, but stick with me here.  In college, it was the first Troma film I had access to, but more so than that it was the first time I was able to really recognize independent film.  Previously my associations with independent film were neutral.  It didn't feel accessible for just anyone to make a film, until I saw the absurdity that was Troma.

So what does this have to do with Douglas A. Ewen?  He is an independent writer and director making his own film dream come true.  His first project, Harmonized Combustion, is in the process of wrapping up and running an IndieGoGo to film its final scene.  What is Harmonized Combustion?  Glad you asked:

"In this devilish romance tale of revenge, glamorous 80’s dark synth and bandmate battles. Rae, our cursed beauty, finds herself hopelessly in love with the one person who she can never truly be with, Parker. The frontman to a rising local band and the love of all who hears him play. Parker hosts one last show in the memory of his fallen bandmate, Charlie. As the crowd begins to pile in to hear the melody of memory they're none the wiser that this is the one concert that will literally blow their minds."

Thanks for joining us on 30 Days of Plight, Douglas. How about we start with you telling our readers about your background with horror? I know in your IndieGoGo video you spoke of being a fan of Cronenberg.

My background with horror… I would have to give my older brother credit for that one. He is ten years my elder and he was watching horror movies, mostly slashers, before I was born. I was born in ’85. One sunny afternoon, he had some friends over and, as many younger siblings, I always wanted to be around them. They were watching Friday the 13th, the original, and as I sat there in pure terror and watched this gore fest my older brother looked over at me and asked “You’re not afraid are you?” As the brave young lad I was I responded sharply, while chewing my fingernails, “Not at all” Later that week I was going to the beach with the neighbor’s family and it was on my mind a lot. Swimming, boating, fishing, and just relaxation. So, as I sat on the couch in between what seemed to be the biggest man I have ever sat beside, at that time, I was thinking about fishing and right as that popped into my head little Jason Voorhees plunged out of the water. After that, I was hooked. I started watching everything I could, my parents were liberal when it came to me and cinema. They knew I was not dumb enough to do the stuff I saw and I knew they wouldn’t see me doing the stuff they told me not to do. We had a good understanding of that. As I grew up and fell in love with Cronenberg, I understand a lot of people do not consider it ‘horror’ all the time but, there are only so many times a bump in the night or a scream on screen can shock you until you realize, ‘I saw that coming’ My chum in public school introduced me to Twin Peaks and everything Lynch, in high school my friend got me into the world of Craven. Nightmares never frightened me. I always thought it was better to feel the adrenaline of intensity rather than the mellow minded comfort of a fantasy.

I have watched and have been watching everything I can get my hands on from Lucio Fulci’s Zombie to Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski’s The Void. It is one genre I do not give up on even when I see it be done the same way over and over again.

So right now you're wrapping up on your short film Harmonized Combustion. You have a crowdfunding campaign that's going to pay for your final scene (which we'll get to in a minute), but tell us what Harmonized Combustion is about. What about it is going to knock the world on its ass?

Can one still knock the worlds on its ass? The streets seem to be more horrifying than films as of late. I prefer to take them out of their heads, make them uncomfortable; when they walk away from the film they have to pat themselves down, as if they forgot something and soon realizing the film took a piece of them. A piece they will not get back, whether it is fear, thought, laughter, or a piece of themselves they didn’t need anymore. Fulfillment can be as creditable as shock.

I always viewed film as an escape from reality. A way for us to reach other worlds and life, culture, and dreams that do not exist in our present life. After we return to our world we will have the power to create change within ourselves and in our lives. Gaining knowledge from unexplored territory can put your present view of yourself and the environment around you into perspective.

You've been working with The Far Removed and Jupiter Marvelous. With music being such a focal point with your film, how have they been adding to Harmonized Combustion? Have they written any original material for the film?
The Far Removed has been working in the business for decades, in different bands and on other side projects. The music they supplied were original songs that they produced and wrote, not specifically for the film, but, music people have not heard. They then worked further with me to cut, edit, and mix the music and feel of the film to add a bit of originality that was personal to Harmonized Combustion. Jupiter Marvelous is scoring the film as well as mixing. All his recordings are originals for the film and he has been working close with myself and The Far Removed. Also, Shadow Cell Theory has allowed me to use music and mixes for particular scenes I needed a more ‘industrial metal’ sound for. A lot of great talent has been guiding me along the way and showing me the ropes. They are responsible for creating a weapon from a piece of beauty. There are not too many people/musicians who can do that. Not hurt you emotionally but, actually make a song and a beat that you fear to hear because of the outcome.

Getting back to your final scene, or the "Score of Gore" as you call it, you have something major planned,correct?

It’s major in the way that I wrote it and am going to reveal its intensity to the audience. I did not sit back at my computer and say “Well, how can I get money to do something over the top?” It was written in. It was a thought that is going to be a reality, not only to show something extraordinary on screen, it was already extraordinary.

My philosophy is, if you don’t have something to say then I do not suggest you write it. If you write something to show what could be, or in the sense of ‘look at me mom no hands!’ then it is not worth the time or the ink. It was planned the moment I wrote it. A single thought turned into a magnificent evil. It will be the impact of the scene not the action, the violence, or the SFX you see.

I enjoy Cronenberg, Lynch, Kubrick, and though I do not know them or have heard their secrets. I don’t recall reading on something ‘major planned’ If the scene calls for it, and it happens to be large in capacity, then it shall be major. The more I put into it and into my cast and crew the more they can prefect the scene. That is what is major to me. Making sure everyone has the tools they need to accomplish the madness I scribble on paper, then make the script pretty in Final Draft or does Final Draft make it pretty?

So your IndieGoGo right now is to do this final scene and reimburse your FX designer, Hannah Grace Rooney [Laurie Holden's (Andrea) make-up artist for The Walking Dead], for what she donated to your film? Speaking of Hannah, how did she become a part of this project?

Hannah came to me after seeing advertisement I had acquaintances, friends and family post down south, Toronto, for me. We talked, I explained it to her and she seemed ‘iffy’. Freelance volunteer work after you have worked in the industry for as long as she has is not the most intriguing offer to give someone. Then she read the script, we met, and she was on board. She has worked on a lot of features, she happens to be back in her home city continuing her education, in the same college as I, so she needed to keep her hands busy creating.

The IndieGoGo campaign is not just to replenish Hannah, though she would love that! It is more for production design, we have to re shape an entire basement bar/music stage into our vision. A team of over 30+ people, including actors/actresses who need to eat and be accommodated, as well, film festival entry fees. Plus, we are bringing the whole gang with us when we go. We worked hard and we will play hard afterwards. It is nice to get down to Toronto and enjoy the blood thirsty scenes of their festivals.

Harmonized Combustion is going to hit the festival circuit in November, where can our readers catch it while it's on tour, and do you have anything set up yet for people to request the presence of your film?

The Blood in the Snow Film Festival is where we will be debuting Harmonized Combustion. Until then, the only way to get a copy of the film is through perks on Indiegogo. Also, I love criticism. I would be more than willing to let people watch it and review it, critique me, and make my drive stronger.

Finally, once the film is out, we get a chance to review it, right?

Of course! 30 Days of Plight deserves to let their readers know what they’re getting themselves into and as soon as we wrap up in early June, I will be sending it your way!

If you're interested in helping with Harmonized Combustion, the IndieGoGo campaign will be running until May 14th.  For only $10 Canadian (that's $7.79 US!) you can get your name in the credits as well as have access to Harmonized Combustion before it hits the festival circuit!  There are other options, also with some really great perks including Associate and Executive Producer credits!  Impress your friends or random people that think they're cooler than you with a possible IMDB credit!  Make business cards with that!  Seem super cool!

We want to thank Douglas again for doing this interview and wish him luck with the last of Harmonized Combustion!

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Eyes of My Mother (2016) 1h 16m

If you take nothing else away from the entirety of this website, for as long as it may exist, I want you to remember one thing:  You can't spell "fart" without "art."  Now keep this in mind because I'm going to drag you along with me through this film student project.

IMDB's description for this film is "A young, lonely woman is consumed by her deepest and darkest desires after tragedy strikes her quiet country life," but that's too vague for The Eyes of My Mother.  Francisca's mother was a surgeon in Portugal.  I'm not sure why they're in bumfuck USA (probably something dumb like love) but the mother has been passing her skills and knowledge onto her child.  Then, one day, a man shows up on the property and kills the mother.  The husband comes home, knocks the man out, and chains him up in the barn.  The girl eventually cuts his tongue and eyes out, but not before he answers her question of why he does such things.  Everything from this point is dumber than all the preceded it.

This is something that I would expect to see at a local film festival.  It's entirely in black and white, switches between English and Portuguese, and has long static shots of people sitting in a room or a car driving across the screen or some bullshit.  The attempts at body horror aren't as shocking as they want them to be.  In a time where we have torture porn like the Saw and Hostel films, you can't bring your tiny indie weenie to the big dick competition and expect to stand up against porn star meat slings!

I'm not totally writing this film off as it might be for someone, somewhere.  It just did nothing for me.

I give The Eyes of My Mother 1 ancient Japanese scrolls with men farting out of 5:

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Veil (2016) 1h 33m

Oooohhhhh shit!  I fucking love cults!  Between this NXIVM stuff that's all coming out, a documentary series on the Rajneesh group from 80's Oregon, and meeting someone currently in a legit cult, I've been getting my fill recently.  Now throw a bunch of supernatural shit in it and I'm all on board.  I don't want to join your cult, I just want to watch the craziness.

Think of the Jim Jones cult, then cut that down in size and put them in the south of rural America.  After this group appears to have all committed suicide, the only remainder is a small girl, Sarah.  Fast forward to her adulthood and an indie documentarian wants to take Sarah back to the land where the cult was and film.  The thing that the crew doesn't know is that more than Sarah have a connection to the events that happened there, and the cult killed themselves because they knew they would come back.

I'm legitimately all in with this film.  The setting is creepy, there are strange unexplained things happening all around them, and throughout the whole film you just keep getting handed more and more pieces to the puzzle.  Then, once it's complete, you're treated to one of those "holy fuck!" moments.  It's worth it, 100% worth it.

I give The Veil 5 cult members out of 5:

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Children of the Corn (1984) 1h 32m

You know that scene in Spaceballs where Yogurt is talking about the merchandising of Spaceballs and shilling things like Spaceballs the toilet paper, Spaceballs the three-hole punch, or whatever?  That's kind of how this felt.  Although, instead of selling you something it makes sure that you know that this is a work by Stephen King.  The title card and poster both say "Stephen King's Children of the Corn," as well as having other works by him listed, and it goes as far as to have a copy of Night Shift (The post Penthouse option for this story) sitting in paperback form on the dash of the outlander's car.  I'm surprised the two helpful kids here haven't had their names changed to "Stephen" and "King" for the film!  Okay, I'm jumping too far ahead of myself now.

Children of the Corn takes place in Gatlin, Nebraska where a drought has caused a lack of crops in this farming community.  A boy, Issac, gathers the other youths in the town, claiming he has some divine contact with a entity known as "He who walks behind the rows," and gets the children to murder all of the adults in the town.  Once this is done the corn crop flourishes and the remaining under-18 crowd create a new society and religion.  Cue our adults, Burt and Vicky.  Their coming is foretold by a clairvoyant young girl and Issac, Malachai, and the other cult children prepare for their coming.

Children of the Damned and Children of the Corn are probably the most quintessential creepy children films.  Between Issac's voice and appearance, and Malachai's penchant for violence, there's always something to make you feel just slightly unsettled.  In addition to that, there's no down-time with this film.  It's just scene after scene after scene of something happening or plot development.  I'm not complaining, it's just something that I haven't payed attention to on previous viewings, but it really keeps you engaged with the film.

The only major issue I have with Children of the Corn is that its effects are dated as fuuuuccckkk!  The rotoscoped lightning and claiming of Issac, the sky color change, and let's not forget when Issac is on a cross and it just shoots up and spirals in the air like a child throwing an action figure.  I'm sure they did what they could with what they had, but damn!  Also the unexplained actions of the children ransacking Burt and Vicky's car and then just filling it with corn stalks seems excessive.  We get it!  Your shit is corn!  Calm the fuck down!

Fun fact to end this review on:  While researching this I found out that the kid that played Issac also played Cousin It in the Adams Family films (and MC Hammer video).

I give Children of the Corn 4 rotoscopes out of 5:

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Patchwork (2015) 1h 26m

There's been such an interesting 80's revival happening over time.  Maybe it's starting to taper off a bit, but we've had this odd nostalgia with the uptick of 80's inspired synthwave and all of these remakes of old beloved things or just homages to that time period.  Stranger Things hit that hard, the soundtrack to Drive (which, let's be honest, is fucking great), and the It remake.  I know the original It came out in 1990, but I get some leeway here.  So with a poster like I have posted above, I was expecting some sort of nod or throwback, which I got concept-wise, but it was so much more...

Patchwork is a horror comedy where Dr. Frankenstein hung out with Herbert West and they just happened to have three recently deceased women to combine into one.  However, instead of being of a single mind, each of the three women still exist inside of this creature.  It's kind of like an old episode of Herman's Head only each of them can be in control at the same time.  Their plan is to find out who did this to them, but along the way they turn their investigation into an outright murder spree.

I'm getting this out of the way first, but before the 3-in-1 woman unifies her look, she looks like a genderswap of the anime character Blackjack.  Seriously, look at this shit!

After I got over that revelation I got really into this movie.  There's a reference to Reanimator with a glowing green-filled syringe being the device that reanimates the body, a character playing the original Castlevania and doing the Frankenstein's Monster/Hunchback boss fight, and probably the greatest 15-seconds of film ever with the release of the Owlcat.  The acting is fantastic as our ladies' body movements are jerky and broken in all the right ways.  We're also treated to a wonderfully done rampage section in a frat house where she just puts in ear buds and dances/dispatches douche bags left and right.

You should definitely add this to your must-watch list for horror films if you haven't seen it yet.  It's just a fun time with a great take on body horror.  I will most likely add this film to my personal collection when I have the money.

I give Patchwork 5 surgical staplers out of 5:

Monday, April 23, 2018

P (2005) 1h 50m

I have no clue what "P" stands for or is short for.  I'm letting you know this up front because if you are looking for answers, I don't have them.  If you have answers though, then hit me up at and let me know what the hell the "P" means.  I think that pretty much sets the tone for this review as well.

Coming to us from Thailand, P focuses on a young girl (Aaw, later Dau) that is being raised by her grandmother.  While she attends school like the other children, Aaw is an outcast because her grandmother is the local witch and has been training her granddaughter in the craft.  When the matriarch becomes very ill Aaw attempts to get rice and medicine for her but is told they owe too much money to the local merchant woman.  In order to pay for their needs Aaw is tricked into being a prostitute at a club in Bangkok.  To survive, and get what she wants, Aaw uses what her grandmother taught her, but eventually forsakes the two rules she was told to never break: 1) never take payment for magick done, 2) never eat raw meat.  Breaking these rules lets the evil in...

There's a bit of a disconnect between the home and Bangkok sections of this film.  I can't tell if it's an intentional break but it felt like the film was heading in one direction but suddenly spun the wheel and ended up eating a raw pork salad in the city and letting everything go to shit.  There are a few other disconnects I faced while watching this but I think that they're more of a cultural difference and a misunderstanding on my part so I won't go into those.

Suangporn Jaturaphut does a great job in the role of Aaw/Dau as well as when acting as the evil version of Dau.  It's the subtle evil you find common in J/C/K/T-Horror but it is effective here.

If black magick and foreign horror aren't your thing, then at least look up the scene where Dau uses her darker magick for the first time and a scum bag gets his dick bit off by a snake.  More scum bags need their dicks bit off by snakes, at least in my opinion.

I give P 2 snakes out of 5:

Friday, April 20, 2018

Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (1988) 1h 37m

To start, if you've never seen Hellraiser then you might want to click on that and read my review from way back in my first cut.  I glanced at it and it is an epic read compared to how I do these now but it'll fill you in on everything you need to know.  Why?  Because I never realized how much you need to have seen the first Hellraiser to understand all of Hellbound: Hellraiser II.  The first Hellraiser movie we watch quarterly, like it's some sort of solstice celebration.  "Let us celebrate the time of harvest with demons in bondage gear!"  But it's been some time since I've seen numero dos.  So is it time to play?

Hellbound: Hellraiser II takes place shortly after the end of the first Hellraiser (ignoring the very end with Kirsty and her boyfriend trying to burn the Lament Configuration only to have some weird Spawn villain steal it from the fire).  Kirsty wakes up in a hospital where she sticks to her story of her skinless uncle and tramp step-mom (Julia) murdering her dad, a puzzle box that opens the gates of hell, and demons.  It is quickly uncovered that the doctor in charge has had an obsession with the Lament Configuration and the Cenobites.  It comes upon Kirsty to once again deal with Pinhead and his gang, stop the doctor and Julia, and save a young girl named Tiffany.

Despite the fact that Hellraiser II has a ton of spliced-in scenes from the first movie, I tend to prefer this one over the original.  This film takes what little we know about the Cenobites and basically hands us an encyclopedia of expanded knowledge.  We find out there are multiple Lament Configurations, that the Cenobites were all human prior to being changed, how Cenobites can be created (and destroyed), and what their world really is.  It's the kind of lore dump that causes a person like me to pause the film and just try to read and make out everything that's in the scene because it's overflowing with info.

This is an odd statement to make, but this film feels more Clive Barker to me than Hellraiser was.  If you've ever seen Mr. Barker's art then you'll know that he doesn't hold back on sex and sexuality (read as: cocks everywhere).  The concepts of "pleasure" and "pain" have a greater visual representation in this installment.  We see a three way with people moaning all while hooks and chains are pulling at their flesh.  We have covered bodies writhing and moaning before the sheets stain with blood. Then there's Julia, who wields sex as if it were a knife in a mugging.  Just the phallic imagery alone in this film would make Giger froth in anger at all the changes he had to make to his Alien designs.

Hellraiser has become a shadow of what it once was, and that's disappointing.  I know that Mr. Barker stopped having major input after the fourth film and it shows (he had very minor input on the sixth, just FYI).  If nothing else though, we do have these first two films which are great... then three which has a Cenobite that shoots CD's... just fucking shoots CD's.  His name, CD.  Fuck that dude.  But four makes up for it with Angelique.

I give Hellbound: Hellraiser II 4 latex ladies out of 5:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Little Evil (2017) 1h 34m

This is the third fuckin' horror movie I'm doing on here that has Adam Scott in it! Piranha, Krampus, and now the Netflix original, Little Evil!  Is he becoming the new Christopher Walken, popping up all over the place because he doesn't want to get bored?  I'm not complaining.  He became a boy mayor and blew the town's money on a giant winter sports complex named Ice Town!  And if you don't understand that then go watch Parks and Rec you uncouth fart!

Little Evil is a horror comedy based around the premise of The Omen... or maybe just an AC/DC album since the kid looks more like Angus Young than Damien.  Gary marries the woman of his dreams without having ever spent time with her son Lucas.  Lucas is literally the child of the devil, conceived through some strange cult ritual.  Gary just wants to be a good step-dad for his step-son, Lucas wants to bring about the apocalypse, the mother is oblivious.  It's a step-dad support group vs. a doomsday cult while Gary attempts to become the father he never had.

Netflix hasn't really been pumping out good content when it comes to their original horror films (ex: I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives In the House) but they do a much better job when it's a cross-up such as this.  It's like an America swing at making a film in the vein of Shaun of the Dead.  We get nods to The Shining, Poltergeist, and some Ghostbusters humor thrown in.  We're also treated to one of the best uses of Rush's "Tom Sawyer" for a device reveal.  I had a good time watching Little Evil.  It's one of those films where you could have some friends over, order some food, and make a Friday night of it.

I give Little Evil 3 copies of High Voltage out of 5:

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Curse of Sleeping Beauty (2016) 1h 29m

Someday, I can only hope to have an unknown uncle leave me a house full of mannequin parts and blood magick.  I have an entire branch of the family tree that split from my side a few generations back, so it could happen.  Suddenly I could get a letter in the mail about secret basement rooms in a creep house while I have dreams of a mildly attractive scene girl.  I mean, I don't care about the girl, but the creep house I'm all in for!

So that's part of the plot of The Curse of Sleeping Beauty.  Thomas inherits a large and strange country home from an unknown uncle.  In the letter he is told of how he is tied to the house by blood and to never go into the secret basement.  After a quick visit, in hopes to get the house ready to sell, he finds out that it's associated with a series of disappearances and carries a heavy anxiety with the locals.  With the help of a local woman (that is searching that home for her brother), Thomas uncovers some apocalyptic shit involving demons, djinn, and a mysterious woman known as Briar Rose that is sleeping somewhere below.

This was a surprisingly good movie.  There was a great mix moments where you're holding your breath in expectation and straight up visual horror.  The application of the mannequins in the house and their role in the story improved with each bit of lore.  The set, prop, and character design gave me this sense of Guillermo Del Toro meets City of Lost Children meets Silent Hill:Revelations.  The only thing that felt out of place was the strange hacker character that they bring in to help translate a journal.  He doesn't serve any real purpose except to have an "oh shit" moment while everyone else is traversing the chamber of secrets like Harry fuckin' Potter.

The very ending of this film appears to be leaving things open for another film.  If so, I hope their plan is to work through other fairy tales because this really should be a one-and-done.  If not, they'll kill what momentum they had going for it.  At the same time, this could also turn into a really long and shitty episode of Supernatural if they fuck it up.

I give The Curse of Sleeping Beauty 3.5 copies of Grimm's Fairy Tales out of 5:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Descent (2005) 1h 39m

I'm not sure how, but I have never watched this film before.  I've heard really good things about it, knew the general plot, and liked the fact that the poster copies Salvador Dali's "In Voluptas Mors," yet I have never felt the urge to sit down and watch The Descent.  Then the universe decides it's time and I have to sit down and watch it.  The question is, over a decade later, will I like this as much as other people did?

The Descent leads us along with a group of women coming together to do some cave spelunking.  This is their first group outing since the death of the husband and child of one of their members (Sarah).  While it's meant to be a healthy and healing gathering, their interpersonal issues cause a lot of tension, especially when a new girl is introduced to the group.  What was planned as a simple trip down and through an established cave formation turns dangerous when the planner actually takes them to an undiscovered cave and a cave-in traps them inside.  Lost in unmapped and unfamiliar terrain, they attempt to find a way out but instead find why no one has ever survived to talk about these caves.

Okay, confession:  I don't think this lived up to the hype.  It was close, I'll say that, but I think the difference in time might be what knocked The Descent down a few pegs for me.  About 90% of this film I was down for.  The only things I found lacking were: 1) I wish the Native cave paintings would have included something about the creatures.  Even just one weird little mud guy slapped on there.  2) The creature design didn't do it for me.  I think this is because I've been watching too much FaceOff (the show, not the movie) but it's just this bat/human hybrid which is such a go-to design for something cave dwelling.

Oddly enough they made a sequel to this movie in 2009.  It even has Shauna Macdonald reprising her role of Sarah.  I can only assume this was a cash grab on the popularity of the first movie.  Odds are if it ends up on Netflix then I'll end up watching it for this site.

I give The Descent 3 pictures of why I will never go spelunking out of 5:

Monday, April 16, 2018

Nails (2017) 1h 25m

I've recently been trying to get back into shape.  I was never ripped but I played ice hockey from the age of 5 up until I moved to the deep South... where ice exists only rarely and when it does the entire city shuts down.  Why am I sharing this info with you?  Because if I take nothing else away from this film, it's that you can try to be as healthy as you want but you can still get wrecked as fuck by something beyond your control.

Dana is a track coach going through her usual yoga/morning run routine when she is hit by a car.  The driver immediately leaves the scene and only through sheer luck does Dana end up in the local hospital.  When Dana comes to she has the feeling that she's being watched by an unseen figure at night time.  During her recover she finds that the hospital had an orderly that acted as an "angel of mercy" to five sick children before he was found out.  His nickname was Nails, due to his habit of keeping fingernail clippings from the children in envelopes.

This is another film that would've worked out much better if it were a thirty-minute short.  There's a sub plot of Dana's husband having an affair that serves no real purpose aside from the ghost showing Dana a weird video of it.  We also get a large amount of time spent showing that the hospital is poor and practically in disrepair.  It's filler that did nothing to further the main plot and only padded the movie out.

The final act of this film jumps the rails completely.  In fact, it doesn't just jump the rails, it jumps to another rail, grinds that into a combo and finds a secret tape hidden there.  We become established with why Nails wants to kill Dana but now he's just killing anyone and everyone in the hospital.  It's one of those moments where you ask yourself why he didn't just do that shit in the first place.  You're a ghost with ghost powers, use them!  Ghost it up!

I give Nails 2 weed leaf nails out of 5:

Friday, April 13, 2018

Gantz:O (2016) 1h 35m

Here's something new to the 30 Days of Plight.  I've covered live action films of manga/anime with the Netflix Deathnote film, I talked about the anime inspired Castlevania series in my Choice Cuts, but now we get a CG film based on a manga/anime.  I just need a legit video game movie to pop up now.  Maybe one of the three Resident Evil animated films... which I own on blu-ray... shut up!  I like them!

Gantz:O is like watching an hour and a half video game cutscene (I'm looking at you Kojima!).  After Kato is stabbed and killed by some psycho in the train station he wakes up in an apartment with four other individuals and a large black orb known as the Gantz.  In this version of Japan some people die only to resurrect as part of a game where they battle real life monsters in order to gain points.  If a player collects 100 points in a round then they are granted a "wish" where they can get a special weapon, bring back a dead teammate, or be set free from the game and never have to play again.  Kato needs to survive, not only for himself but for his younger brother he cares for.

This is my first exposure to anything Gantz.  I knew of it, but never what Gantz's plot was.  After watching this though I definitely want to check out at least the manga.  I was afraid the use of CGI was going to detract from the film.  Luckily the CGI is just lifelike enough that your mind is kind of tricked into thinking it's live action.  This is in opposition to other similar films such as Advent Children.  Keep in mind though that Gantz:O is years later than Advent Children so technology has only improved.  The creature design for Gantz was impressive, with a great collection of creatures inspired by Japanese mythology with parts swapped out like custom action figures.

I will say that certain plot lines get confusing with this, especially when it comes to the very end.  I had to look up interpretations online but this just left me with more questions as this timeline apparently takes place after Kato's second death and he has no recollection of his prior time in the game.  These elements don't detract from the movie though and even the ending part could be read as set-up for a sequel.

I give Gantz:O 3 Onna Nue out of 5:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Ravenous (a.k.a. Les Affamés) (2017) 1h 44m

Do you like Cormac McCarthy?  In particular did you like The Road?  Do you wish that rather than the strange Mad Max raiders he put in there that the big bad were some sort of zombie/cannibal?  Do you also want it all presented to you in Canadian French?  Then brother I have a film for you!

Ravenous takes place in rural Quebec where a viral outbreak has turned people into a zombie-like state with a craving for flesh.  Our story focuses on a single man that tells jokes like your drunk uncle at a wedding.  He exists to lose his friend, gain a new female friend, acquire a small child, and join another small group of survivors.  Who lives?  Who dies?  Who was at risk of falling asleep during this movie?  Spoilers: The answer to the last one is me!

I'm not saying Ravenous is a bad film, it's just slow.  It's slower than most films I've complained about being slow.  Even when we're faced with someone fighting the infected it's not enough to get the adrenaline pumping.  This isn't helped by the generic attempts at getting the audience to establish a personal interest or connection with these characters.

Then I have my personal complaint with this film.  The woman that takes on the "mother" role of our group carries an accordion with her almost everywhere.  I own an accordion and let me tell you that those mother fuckers are heavy.  There is no way in hell I would consider carrying it on my back in an armageddon situation.

I do appreciate the personality of this film's infected.  They retained enough intelligence to be able to set traps as well as have an almost communal or pack mentality.  They don't overexert themselves by chasing prey until they drop and they work together.  They aren't perfect.  We get a few scenes of them just standing in a field waiting for something to catch their eye, but it's progress.

I give Ravenous 1.5 accordions out of 5:

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

When Animals Dream (a.k.a. Når dyrene drømmer) (2014) 1h 24m

Denmark: A country that I looked up a bunch of facts on and, while most of them are pretty cool, I don't feel like sharing them on here.  A land where people live simple lives and work at a factory that processes fish.  A land where one guy is a total asshole to his female co-worker and he and a friend do a fake sexual assault using a fish, as if that makes the shit joke okay...

When Animals Dream is less of a horror movie and more of a light thriller with a horror element.  Marie lives with her father and ailing mother.  She lands a job at the local fish processing plant and all seems to be going well.  That is until she starts to unravel a secret about her mother being part of some Russian tests and that whatever the mother has might have been passed on to Marie.  I'm being vague but long story short, it's some kind of lycanthropy, and everyone in the town knows what's up.  Some people end up missing and they come for Marie and her mother.

This film was incredibly slow if you're looking at it solely from a horror stand point.  The actual wolfwomen segments are minimal and it's not a shock because I guessed what this was going to be about just based on the title.  I don't know why werewolves are the thing to associate with this "coming of age."  Just last week I covered the same general plot with Uncaged.  There's also Ginger Snaps which everyone knows by this point.

I get it!  Puberty sucked for us all.  Hair where the was no hair before, adult teeth bumpin' in, primal urges to jizz into all the tissues that exist in the house, yeah, we get it.  The same with the passage from teen-to-adult.  We fucking get it!  After watching this I spent a bunch of time trying to think of a different monster we could use for this metaphor but nothing really works well... except for maybe the Creature From the Black Lagoon.  You could hit puberty and get weird dick gills or something.  Oh god, that'd be the worst.

I give When Animals Dream 1 t-shirt of wolves howling at the moon out of 5: