With days off due to the holidays and snowstorms, it was time to clean horror house, catching up with a bunch of stuff in my watchlists and on my “to see” list. So, was it time well spent? Let’s see how these six films worked out for me.
THE NIGHT BEFORE (2017)
Halloween horror gets a rather bizarre approach with this abduction flick.
A woman drives her daughter to a house that is ablaze with Halloween lights and is supposedly the address of a big Halloween bash. But when no one answers the door, mother and daughter are confounded…and then abducted.
Finding themselves tied up in a room by a redneck weirdo in a gas mask, they try to come up with a plan to escape. But the dude just seems to want to strike up a romance with the mom.
While there’s plenty of suspense here and a dose of creepiness, the problem is it becomes a ridiculous rinse and repeat situation. The mom buddies up to him just long enough to take some sort of jab at him and then attempt and fail to get away before the process starts all over again.
And the most the guy does to teach her a lesson is to take her daughter out of the film for a majority of the running time, leaving her to wonder what he did to her.
But the FINAL chase and battle is pretty dang cool, and involves an axe embedding scene that is brutally realistic.
LAKE NOIR (2011)
This one shouldn’t have even been an hour long, let alone 90 minutes. Sure there was a time when horror flicks were loaded with sex, but an entire film built around guys and girls in the woods talking about sex and wondering who’s going to get laid that night is absolutely unbearable.
I don’t even know if there was a script or if everyone was just ad-libbing.
Somewhere back at the beginning of their road trip, a guy at a gas station warned them of something that lived in the lake. It finally starts killing them in the last half hour.
There are a few okay kill moments and the “monster” looks pretty creepy, but I would have sooner watched a different film than to sit through this one just to get to the end.
BED OF THE DEAD (2016)
Imagine Stephen King’s “The Raft” from Creepshow 2 in a sex club, and you’ve sort of got Bed of the Dead.
The big challenge for me was getting past the off the wall premise that two straight couples would go to an underground sex club for their first foursome, especially when the two females are so absolutely frigid about the idea from the start, while both guys are absolutely giddy.
Their room, although dusty, is lavish, with a huge ornamental bed. The girls awkwardly try to start things off with a failed kiss. When one girl snidely suggests the guys kiss, hunk Dennis Andres asks, “Will that turn you on?”
Yes, Dennis Andres. Yes, it will.
Sadly, the two cuties never kiss. Shit gets insane pretty fast. Turns out they soon learn that if they get off the bed, they meet bloody, horrific deaths.
Even bloody sheets get sprung for Dennis Andres.
And the bed actually lures them off the bed in various ways by fucking with their minds, often in freaky ways that scare them off the bed. Although, if I had Dennis Andres to hold me tight, I’d stay on the bed forever.
It’s quite cool for a while, but then begins to drag…once the guys are dead and we’re left with just girls.
Hey, I’m not blaming it on the girls, I’m just saying. Things pick up a little when the bed turns the girls against each other.
CURSE OF THE SLASHER NURSE (2017)
What I liked about Curse of the Slasher Nurse: she is one gnarly looking bitch, and the kill scenes are well worth a watch. Also, there are some good 80s-style rock tracks sprinkled throughout the film.
Having said that, everything else is pretty dang rough to get through. Clearly a low budget indie, this one is seriously hurting in terms of writing, with excruciating dialogue.
Plus there’s the redneck/white trash mentality of the whole thing, which offers up shit like guys constantly calling women they don’t like dykes, as well low class white people calling each other the “n” word.
Premise: horny white trash goes to cabin in the woods. They fight, they have sex, they get killed off by psycho nurse.
There’s a torture scene, but unfortunately it’s too dark to see much of what’s going on. However, it’s the BJ kill in the woods that gets the award for best scene in the movie.
Roadside reunites director Eric England (Contracted, Madison County) and actors Ace Marrero and Katie Stegeman, who all made the awesome little Halloween short The Trick or Treater together.
Roadside is filled with suspense and will hold your attention, but it ultimately has way too many questionable scenarios and leaves way too many questions unanswered.
It’s Christmas, and a couple is traveling desolate roads on a snowy night to get to a family gathering. She’s pregnant, and they have brought their dog along for the trip…which immediately had me knowing I wasn’t going to be happy about the dog’s fate in the film.
After being harassed by a guy in a pickup truck for no reason, they eventually come upon something blocking their way on the road. The husband gets out to move it, a disembodied voice carries through the night telling him not to get back in the car or else…and then the shooting begins.
The couple is held captive on the road for the remainder of the film by an unseen shooter, the wife trapped in the car, the husband forced to stand out in the cold. They face the usual pitfalls of this type of scenario as they attempt to figure out how to escape their predicament, there are a few casualties, and dirty little secrets about the couple’s relationship are revealed…which leaves us wondering about the killer’s identity and knowledge of their personal lives, because the movie ends without clarifying anything.
Sometimes I learn the downside to avoiding pretty much any online information about a movie before watching it. Vinyan has been on my “to see” list for ages. Had I bothered to look at what others thought of it, I would have known from the start that most agree it is totally mismarketed as a horror film. Instead, I watched. Sigh.
A couple lost their child in a tsunami. The wife is so consumed by grief that she is convinced the kid is still alive. She sees him everywhere she looks, including some video she gets a glimpse of from some jungle. And so the husband agrees to let her drag him through the jungle to look for their son! WTF?
They travel through the jungle looking for their son, they meet shady people in tribal villages who try to sell little Asian children off to them as their white child, they have sex while natives watch, she has trippy delusions of freaky children.
She’s so fucked in the head with grief that the ending is bizarrely sadistic, but that’s pretty much the only place the horror comes in. It’s definitely not my thing, but I can appreciate what they were going for (I’m just saying that because that’s what you’re supposed to say).