A hit and miss weekend for me as I tried to chip away at my list of horror to stream—and even interrupted that list with a couple of titles that have received some positive praise recently. Remind me to never do that again….
THE HALLOW (2015)
While nothing epic, The Hallow is kind of like The Descent meets the Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark remake, so it has its fair share of thrills. Joseph Mawle (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Awakening) and Bojana Novakovic (Devil, Drag Me to Hell) star as a couple that moves to a house in the woods with their baby. It isn’t long before the wife discovers gross black goo dripping into her baby’s crib. Then something is thrown through their window, a cop tells them about local superstitions, and a weird dude sneaks into the house to leave a book that looks like it was sitting next to the Necromonicon in the Evil Dead basement for heaven knows how long.
Needless to say, I would have been the fuck out of there when black shit dripped into my baby’s crib. This couple stays, the black goo propagates, the family dog gets into trouble, and then we begin seeing glimpses of the freaky, humanoid demons living out in the woods. We learn they finger prick you in the eye to start your transformation into one of them, and they’re afraid of light, so it’s handy to have a camera with a flash lying around….
There’s nothing new here and the film isn’t overwhelmingly terrifying, but there are cool ghouls to keep you entertained. And most importantly, it feels like a horror movie….
DEAD WITHIN (2014)
Calling all “it’s what you can’t see that’s scariest, and I like horror movies that make me think” snobs. This is the movie for you, because you won’t see shit, and the whole time you’ll be thinking, “When the fuck am I going to see something in this movie?”
A couple is trapped in a cabin after the zombie apocalypse, I guess, since they have everything boarded up and we hear moans and shuffling outside. They’re running low on supplies, so the husband goes out daily to scavenge, while the wife stays home, talking to someone on a walkie-talkie and having flashbacks of the horrible things they did in order to stay alive. This happens over and over and over again, until eventually, the wife starts to lose her shit, convinced her husband wants to kill her. And I was convinced he should.
HE NEVER DIED (2015)
This one has quite an intriguing beginning, thanks to the quirky performance by Henry Rollins—and the fact that we don’t know what the hell his deal is. He lives by himself in an apartment, skulks around town, has run-ins with some baddies, and keeps seeing a man in a black coat and hat. He also has an admirer in a waitress who is clearly desperate, considering he pretty much seems like the shy, quiet, psycho killer type!
On top of that, we start to see that he seems to be some sort of monster and eats human flesh. But he only targets really shitty people. Awesome. Things get even better when he’s stuck caring for his energetic teen daughter and has to hide his condition from her. This is getting really good. Even “Melancholy Man,” my all-time favorite song by The Moody Blues, is featured in a scene.
Forget all that, because this turns into a vigilante movie with some dark humor and a whole load of headache-inducing details about who and what Rollins is, at which point my iPad started calling out to me. I called back.
If you want a home invasion film with a masked psycho terrorizing an impaired chick, I’d highly recommend you skip this supposedly really scary film and watch the 2013 Mischief Night. That one is a thrill ride about a blind girl on the night before Halloween.
Hush is about a deaf chick at a house in the woods. If you’ve never seen a film of this sort, you’ll probably find it exciting because it is well done for what it is. After its delicious setup, I personally found it to be pretty fucking annoying. The psycho outside her house has a creepy mask on—for about a hot minute. Then he takes it off, whips out a crossbow, and pretty much just becomes a douchebag circling her house for the remainder of the film.
“I think I just didn’t hear something!”
On top of that, this deaf chick does one stupid thing after another. For starters, she doesn’t seem to comprehend that she’s deaf while he can hear every noise she makes (bitch, if you can’t hear every noise you’re making, stop moving all over the place). She doesn’t consider that since she’s deaf, this dude could crash through any window at any time and she wouldn’t know it—therefore, she should be making good fucking use of her eyes. But that doesn’t even matter, because she repeatedly tries to leave the house. The dude can hear you and has a crossbow, you stupid bitch.
Take one guess if she gets shot.
Seriously, she creates all her own drama. The dude isn’t even trying to get in the house. His stance is pretty much, “If you need me to chase you or shoot at you, I’ll be out here twiddling my thumbs.”
Best of all, when it comes down to do or die, the brilliant decision was made to shock the audience by throwing in what turns out to be a fucking daydream sequence (which would have been awesome as an actual ending instead). Right after that, the deaf chick’s out-of-body alter ego shows up (I’m not kidding) to tell her that she’s being a stupid bitch (so glad someone else sees it) and needs to take charge. So…the bitch does something else stupid! Yeah, another film that can suck it.
LEGION: THE FINAL EXORCISM (2006)
Sometimes, after a streak of “quality” horror films, I just have to cleanse my palate with shit. Legion: The Final Exorcism is from back when low budget, direct-to-DVD trash was hitting the Best Buy shelves every Tuesday, and before rip-offs of The Exorcist were cool.
A young woman walks into a barn and a pig starts talking to her in a demon voice. What a fucking relief! I’m home. Next, we meet a hot ex-priest turned possession investigator who has a nightmare while shirtless. What a fucking relief. I’m homo.
Did I mention his furry chest glistens with sweat ?
He also narrates the movie (awful) as he helps the young woman and her family. Roddy Piper is present on the farm, but I have no idea who he’s supposed to be, because he’s not the father.
Of course the movie sucks, with way too much filler that will bore you to tears, and more filler in the form of constant flashbacks to demon scenes that already happened. However, the chick playing the daughter gets freaky Regan face, levitates, flicks her tongue, writhes on the bed—she simply rules.
On top of that, there are gnarly demon hands galore, nasty pig squeals, projectile puking, and a fun exorcism in the barn, all of it drenched in red light. So much worth—cheapened by a horrendous happy ending narration by the hot ex-priest! This film needs to be edited down into a half hour short focusing strictly on the possessed chick.