Executed killer’s soul lives on. Ghosts/aliens. Something’s in the water (maybe). A horny psychic possessed chick. I take on four more modern films.
HOLD YOUR BREATH (2012)
Hold Your Breath is pretty much your typical slasher, with a group of pretty people heading out on a camping trip. This time, as they pass a cemetery, one chick begs them all to hold their breath so evil spirits can’t get inside them. Leave it to the pothead to inhale instead. Soon after, the gang stumbles upon an old abandoned prison.
You’ve seen this plot before. Executed killer’s soul gets away and uses the bodies of living people to kill others. And man, does this group of kids massacre the fuck out of each other. There’s plenty of modern horror CGI used for the kills, and it’s not particularly a scary movie, but it’s still kind of entertaining. The electric hand mixer kill is my fave. And Katrina Bowden, the cute girl from Nurse 3D, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, and Piranha 3DD is present; she’s racking up the scream queen status!
High cutie count as well. Personally, I’d take the thick, hairy pothead….
DARK SKIES (2013)
Combine Poltergeist, The Fourth Kind, and Paranormal Activity and you’ve got Dark Skies.
Keri Russell and her family begin experiencing weird things in their house. When Felicity finds objects impossibly stacked up in her kitchen, you just know that someone is going to walk up behind her and grab her without saying anything first, because that’s how these connect-the-dots scary movies work. You can feel it coming. So the jump scare fails on us professional horror film watchers. And, since Felicity has obviously seen Poltergeist, she asks her little boy if he knows who has been defying gravity in the kitchen….
Pictures go missing right out of their frames. Alarms go off. The kid and the dad sleepwalk. Birds bombard their house. The kid becomes mesmerized and screams in the park. The older son smokes pot. Bruises appear on the younger son. Drama ensues. Dad sets up video cameras to search for paranormal activity. But Felicity is convinced the family is being visited by aliens. So they go to an alien abduction expert then get a dog and guns to protect themselves from the inevitable close encounter.
Hey. The shift in genres is wicked clever, but in the end, all we get are some cool shadows of aliens in the house. You could save yourself some time and just look at a cool picture of alien silhouettes on the Internet. Or this picture….
THE REEDS (2010)
Much like Dark Skies, the movie The Reeds has it all! A group of friends goes out boating, their boat gets caught in the reeds, and then they start getting picked off in bloody and violent ways. There are ghosts, zombie-esque beings, lots of underwater corpses, what looks like the POV of some sort of creature stalking them, a room full of human cages, and a killer. WTF is going on here? You’ll just have to watch to find out.
There are plenty of cute guys, plus suspense, blood, and confusing twists to keep you entertained, but when movies like this veer off in various directions to keep you guessing, your mind kind of steers away from the plot and you simply don’t care what’s actually hunting down the kids after a while. It’s like, no matter which of the various possibilities it ends up being, you’re left disappointed.
The film is packed with cute guys, including O-T Fagbenle from HBO’s gay series Looking.
BLACKWATER VALLEY EXORCISM (2006)
This is one dramatic possession. Blackwater Valley Exorcism is the story of a young woman who lives in the boondocks with her mother and father. Hunters find her walking like a zombie in a field, her mouth all bloody from devouring an animal raw.
She starts speaking like a demon, speaking in tongues, cutting herself, and revealing nasty secrets about anyone who comes near her, including Re-Animator’s Jeffrey Combs, who plays the sheriff—and immediately runs the fuck out of there after she exposes his awful truth.
“You suck cocks in hell!
Yeah. That’s the plan.
There’s a local guy who believes in possession, so he gets involved. There’s a priest who has just been put on the exorcism force at his church. There’s a local boy who is in love with her even though her father hates him, so he gets involved. There’s incest drama. There’s sexual seduction galore because sex is the root of all evil (and all life, which would explain why it’s live spelled backwards). Everyone starts turning on each other.
The possession eventually moves to a barn. Nope. It wasn’t stolen from The Last Exorcism. This came first. At the very end, the girl turns freaky demonic for a moment then everyone wakes up in the barn, it’s morning, and all is right with the world. But live never dies!
If you think The Exorcist is the best possession movie ever, there’s no lowering your standards to like Blackwater Valley Exorcism. If you think The Exorcist is a big joke and The Last Exorcism is terrifying, then have at it.