STREAM QUEEN: 6 flix that have their moments

Nothing in this marathon of movies gave me the urge to own what I was watching, but there’s definitely some good horror fun to be had in each film (some more than others). Here’s the rundown…

DARK, DEADLY & DREADFUL (2018)

The Fun Size Horror crew is back with another anthology of well-produced shorts covering a smorgasbord of subgenres, so you’re bound to find a few tales you like. Here’s what you can expect:

– Makes the idea of going into a public restroom stall more of a nightmare than it already is (particularly a ladies room). Eek! Love this quickie.

– Even if this taste of cannibalism is a little cliché and predictable, it’s campy fun when a couple goes out to eat and picks up a dude whose car broke down.

– There’s some DEEP vajayjay action when things go horrible wrong during a couple’s sexcapades.

– A fantastically unnerving visual exploration of a putrid house leads to a hideous payoff.

– This one is kind of artsy and weird, but also amazingly old school Euro horror in style, so I couldn’t keep my eyes off it. A woman becomes obsessed with the idea that there’s someone…or something…in the empty apartment next to hers.

– Weird tale about a guy who talks to a stuffed octopus with an ulterior motive.

– This is like Asian horror meets Silent Hill when a girl finds herself trapped in a hellish asylum.

– This is silly stupid fun, with kids and a Ouija in a quickie comedy of grammatical errors.

– The most epic tale is saved for last as none other than Heather Morris of Glee plays an actress who takes the role of a possessed girl on a live streaming exorcism reality show.

VOODOO POSSESSION (2014)

It’s literally a voodoo possession film, but man is it much more complicated than it has to be all the way to the very end when we finally get to see a monster.

A guy travels to a derelict asylum in Haiti in search of his missing brother. In order to give a familiar name top billing, Danny Trejo is featured in several completely pointless flashback possession scenes. Already way too complicated.

Meanwhile, with the help of a voodoo expert, the main guy and his peeps learn how to go into memories to figure out what happened to the brother. They also seem to be haunted with different forms of guilt. My head hurts just trying to explain this movie.

They’re eventually forced to go into a voodoo realm to save the brother (which is simultaneously in the memory realm, it seems), and that’s when we finally meet the pretty cool guilt monster briefly.

This movie is a major example of why I often find low budget flix to be way more impactful than more polished films. It sort of leads to the same place as the film Voodoo, which disturbed the hell out of me but has been trashed online as looking amateur. This movie would probably get higher ratings from those same haters even though it has absolutely no soul (and the hellish dimension just seems to be an old basement filled with sheets of plastic), but to me it’s just another conveyor belt horror movie I’ll forget by this time next year. Voodoo was an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my horror years, whether or not I want it to.

KEEP WATCHING (2017)

A home invasion is live streamed for hours to entertain everyone on the Internet. If you can get past the question of how it’s possible that no one watching a viral stream actually knew anyone in the house in order to send the cops there, then you’re in better shape than I was.

Next come lots of killer and camera POVs, plus a stream of cheap jump scares that scream desperation to keep you watching until something actually happens.

The family does endless stupid things once the masked killer enters the house…a house full of numerous windows and doors they could leave from at any time…

Don’t get me wrong. If you like home invasion films, there are some genuinely creepy moments (especially if you’re old enough to know what a Polaroid camera is), but they’re mostly diluted by an overall generic film with brutal shaky cam that just sucks all the fun out of the thrills.

Finally, Carl from The Walking Dead is surprisingly relegated to background noise as the son in the family.

OUIJA 3: THE CHARLIE CHARLIE CHALLENGE (2016)

Forget the word Ouija has been attached to this movie at all or it will ruin it for you. Hell, at this point why anyone would watch yet another movie with the word Ouija in the title is beyond me…unless they were planning to write a blog about what a shitty movie it was. 9 times out of 9 they wouldn’t even have to watch the movie to be right…

The Charlie Charlie Challenge starts off with a fun, classic teen horror vibe. Three girls play a game in which you use pencils to point to the words yes or no as you summon Charlie Charlie. It apparently works…

The film has a campy, comic tone, right down to the whimsical horror music, and it all begins when we meet the wacky owner of a haunted attraction that is drawing absolutely no customers. For publicity, he offers a reward to anyone who will come stay the night and play the Charlie Charlie game.

The group, which includes a Carly Rae Jepsen clone (Call Charlie Maybe?), gets a tour from the entertaining owner, who tells them Charlie was a Mexican demon.

They play the game…then sit around for a long time doing nothing. The few employees who work there (one dressed as the clown from AHS) are sporadically chased by Mexican demon POV (we don’t see them die).

46 minutes in the kids begin exploring the place, the girl from the beginning shows up to help them, and things finally pick up.

They run through the attraction, they find bodies of the already dead, they get killed, they come back…if the movie had just done this sooner, it could have lived up to its playful midnight movie tone, but instead it kind of drags for a good portion of its running time.

BLACK CREEK (2017)

A Native American demon jumps from one kid to another in the woods and gouges out eyes? I’m so in.

One of my favorite most basic premises, it’s hard for me not to like this kind of rip-off of the basic Evil Dead premise.

This one is even easier to like thanks to some funny moments and likable characters. One beefy dude who goes into the woods for sex with his girlfriend is adorable.

One of the guys in the group of main friends is funny, especially when he films little snippets introducing each of his friends as if he’s doing found footage…while making snarky digs at each friend.

And the sheriff on the case is a gruff daddy with a sexy cub deputy. Dream catchers also play a role, there is some mystic Native American music, the main kid has a great scary dream, and the kids eventually start turning and…eek!…scalping each other!

I was entertained by the laid back, early 2000s teen horror flick vibe. It gave me a little nostalgic tickle.

SOUL EATER (2017)

There’s so much potential here based on the final half hour of the film, a trend I’m noticing with many films I watch. A lot of indies these days don’t delver the goods until the last 20-30 minutes, but unlike classics with a successful slow burn before getting there, these films just crawl along building no anticipation or suspense.

A couple sneaks into a creepy old abandoned house, the guy is dragged away, and the girl heads to the police for help.

She ends up locked in prison while the sheriff goes to investigate. A rogue priest is in town looking for a portal to another dimension, so he teams up with the sheriff.

Meanwhile, a tough biker dude rolls into town with his biker buddy, who totally gives off a gay leather daddy vibe and is an underutilized hoot…as is most of the humorous cast, because they don’t get together and have fun until that last half hour! Argh!

So they all end up in the creepy dark house looking for the portal…and zombies attack!

This could have been a fun zombie flick if they’d all just gotten there earlier…and along with the zombies, been chased down by the tentacle-armed demon that comes out of the portal for like a split second at the end of the film.

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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