It was time to knock a bunch of films off my “need-to-see” list. Turns out several of them were definitely on the wrong list….
BANSHEE CHAPTER (2013)
You can just move on from this one if you’ve seen dozens of found footage films. The early scene featuring the God-lover-turned-gay-vampire dude from True Blood is pretty much the best part.
For the remainder of Banshee Chapter, his female friend investigates why he just disappeared after trying some experimental government drug. She listens to audiotapes. We see footage of test patients. We see footage of Bill Clinton! The chick hangs out with a couple of druggies. They scream and run from various scary faces and keep ending up in scary locations for reasons I didn’t pay enough attention to understand.
The title Banshee Chapter fits only because all the “scares” involve people screaming like a banshee at the camera to make you jump. There’s some Lovecraft stuff thrown in so horror elitists can use their go-to “most people just don’t get the film” excuse to defend their enjoyment of a movie most people trash.
THE DEN (2013)
Of course, every once in a while you come upon a found footage film that does something a bit different with the genre and is actually bone-chilling. The Den is seen through the lens of webcams as a young woman does a study on video chatting…and witnesses a murder in the process.
The killer begins targeting her and hacking into her computer. And what makes this so scary is how the film reflects the reality of how addicted we are to being online. Despite everything this chick is seeing and experiencing as the killer moves in closer to her personal life, she still doesn’t completely go offline! That’s not just a horror movie character doing something stupid to keep the film moving forward. People seriously cannot give up their online life these days.
While it begins very much confined to the chick’s house and computer, The Den eventually takes you on a terror trip. There is indeed a “den” that adds a Saw /Hostel feel the film.
The movie is scary, intense, suspenseful, gory, has a major full-on man wiener flash, and even has a laugh-out-loud penis puppet that shoots a load right on the webcam lens. Plus, the main chick Melanie Papalia was in the movie Smiley and the detective is played by the studly daddy sheriff from the slasher Lover’s Lane.
I had my own freakish moment while watching The Den. Much of the time, we are seeing the desktop of the main girl’s computer as horrible things are happening. All of a sudden as someone is killed on screen, a message flashes that says that my friend has gone offline. It took me a second to realize that it was just a status message from my Playstation 3 and that I hadn’t somehow fucking crossed over into the movie!
THE DAY (2011)
In The Day, a small group of apocalypse survivors finds a house to hole up in…but soon discovers (the hard way) that it has been booby trapped by a bunch of hungry cannibals.
This is a hot cast. Horror twin Shawn Ashmore. Bendy twisty The Last Exorcism chick Ashley Bell. Shannyn Sossamon of Devour, Catacombs, and One Missed Call. Dominic Monaghan of I Sell the Dead and Lost. Cutie Cory Hardrict of Warm Bodies and (two of my faves) Return of the Living Dead 4&5! And sexy, Mohawked Michael Eklund of See No Evil 2, Nurse 3D, Bates Motel, and The Call.
Cannibals. A post-apocalyptic world. A huge cast of horror veterans. And yet, The Day isn’t really a horror movie. Don’t expect gut munching. This is pretty much just a gang fight movie—and a story of a cannibal coming to terms with who she is and what she’s become (and eats). It’s a pretty cool character driven flick with a lot of that Ginsu-knife-slicing-easily-through-butter sounding CGI violence and gore. You know the kind.
If the prize for the Ultimate Fighting Championship was to eat your opponent, it would be Starve. Yep. Three young people come to a creepy old town, hear a legend about cannibalism, and end up in a dungeon duking it out for dinner.
Bobby Campo, the main boy from The Final Destination, is the lead here. He and his girlfriend must try to escape the prison together (without eating each other) as they face off against cannibalistic enemies who are desperate for some nourishment. There’s also a troublemaker in a gas mask wielding an electric rod and shooting a smokescreen at the captives every once in a while. Plus, there’s a head honcho on a loudspeaker using school metaphors to instruct his captives of what they need to do to stay alive.
It’s pretty much a backwoods family movie that doesn’t take place in the woods. And this family has the dumbest fucking sob story ever. But it does make for a pretty gritty movie.
DARK TOUCH (2013)
A young girl’s family is killed by evil forces in her home so the neighbors take her in. Then shit starts flying around their house and everyone starts to fear she is evil.
If you think movies like Insidious and The Conjuring are the most brilliant scariest films ever and love the atmosphere created by movies that are relentlessly pitch black with just a bit of blue light shined on the actors in the movie, by all means, have at Dark Touch.