Quick looks at modern horror part 6

THE POSSESSION OF MICHAEL KING (2014)

possession of michael king cover

The Possession of Michael King is definitely out to grab the Paranormal Activity and The Last Exorcism crowd—but it’s kind of better than both. It’s much darker and more sadistic. And while it’s sort of a “found footage” film, it doesn’t often feel like it, relying mostly on steady camera angles within a house. The only time the camera being in motion is kind of ridiculous is when Michael is already possessed—yet carrying the camera around with him to…capture the memories?

In short, Michael had a great life with a wife and kid. Tragedy strikes and Michael, who is already a non-believer in God or the Devil, decides to prove neither exists…by doing everything he can to summon a demon! Clearly this guy has more faith in the possibility of summoning a devil than an angel.

Several visits to occultists and such make for some of the freakiest and most frightening scenes in the film. Eventually, someone does the trick and Michael starts to act all demonic in his house. He begins to lose his mind and get more and more dangerous leading up to the film’s climax.

possession of michael king shirtless

The Possession of Michael King is dark, tragic, creepy as hell, and features some graphic, stomach-turning visuals. Plus, lead actor Shane Johnson gives a great performance and looks damn good with his shirt off.

THE SHORTCUT (2009)

shortcut movie

The Shortcut is sort of a slasher. It starts way back in 1945, where we see a couple sneak off into the woods for some fun. Naturally, someone doesn’t make it out alive.

Flash ahead to modern times and kids are warned to stay away from a section of the woods known as “the shortcut” because a creepy old guy lives back there. So of course, our likeable group of kids, which includes budding scream queen Katrina Bowden and the big burly jock from Jennifer’s Body—who is once again the big burly jock—just have to go poking around his place.

shortcut stud

I’m your jock!

The Shortcut is a tame little horror film. It cuts back and forth between the present and the past to try to give us the background of the old man in the woods. When the kids finally sneak into the old man’s house to learn the truth, we get some typical clichés: newspaper clippings, mannequins, specimens in jars, scary kiddie paintings.

Some kids bite the dust, there’s a chase scene, and there are a couple of twists. But it’s all very routine, PG-13, and not particularly suspenseful. The scariest part of the film is actually a prank earlier on (which is a really good suspense scene)…and the twist on top of the twist at the end.

BATTLE OF THE DAMNED (2013)

battle of damned cover

It’s Dolph Lundgren and I, (zombie killing) Robots vs. the living dead. Do I really need to say more? Some dude hires Dolph to go into a quarantined zone to save his daughter. All Dolph’s guys either die or quit after the immediate zombie action, so Dolph goes in alone.

battle of damned zombies

Dolph finds the girl and the people with whom she’s hanging. There’s drama and some of the usual suspects, including one evil dude who has ulterior motives to stop Dolph from completing his mission. Think he’ll be able to?

battle of damned robots

The I, Robots don’t come in until more than halfway through the movie and then it’s all over pretty fast. Yawn.

TRUTH OR DIE (2012)

truth or die cover

If you’ve seen movies like Inhuman Resources and Among Friends, then you know what to expect from British film Truth or Die. A bunch of friends finds themselves strapped to chairs while some crazy guy acts out a revenge for a truth that we learn as the movie unfolds.

truth or die group

So…torture porn. And of course, the friends start turning on each other in their attempt to survive and not suffer any pain. The guy torturing and killing them throws around a lot of gay slurs…and you’ll find out why at the end of this scandalous film (damn homophobic society!). I have to admit, although the twist is kind of ridiculous, I like the turn the action takes near the end of the film.

truth or die hottie

Hate gays, but I’d do me!

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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