Demons, aliens, ghosts, and big bugs

It’s a mixed bag of subgenres and a mixed bag of satisfying with this foursome of flicks I checked out. Let’s get into them.

I AM FEAR (2020)

I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been seeing so many movies these days with a really good concept that the creators don’t quite find a way to work smoothly into a horror environment, and I Am Fear is another one of those cases.

For starters, this is a film with a very controversial and sensitive political plot. Horror queen Kristina Klebe plays a celebrity news reporter that scores the exclusive opportunity to interview the leader of a terrorist organization.

In other words, brace yourself, because this film is predominantly about terrorists. However, it poses a very strong question that I’ve often thought of myself—basically, how do these people who do everything they do in the name of their god not realize the absolute evil they’re doing and how antithetical it is to the concept of god, how do they live with themselves, and would they really recognize evil if they stared it in the face considering they are the epitome of evil?

Suuuuch a great concept.

The film sets up the perfect scenario. Klebe is covered in a hood and brought to an undisclosed location to meet the leader and is then held captive. Eventually…and I mean eventually…an evil is unleashed and terrorizes the terrorists.

But, a majority of the film jumps all over the place non-sequentially, hitting us over the head with political talking points and social commentary, introducing us to too many characters to follow or connect with, and switching from color to black and white film. It’s so bogged down by its own philosophy that it fails to get its most basic points across clearly or while keeping us interested and engrossed…and even resorts to the old dream sequence when it realizes it’s failing to deliver any horror.

Which really sucks, because once the evil presence is finally revealed, the twist is perfect (and might possibly insult those of particular political perspectives), and we are at last delivered a cool demonic horror movie. All this film had to do was focus on a handful of terrorists with varying levels of moral compasses in the single setting, remain chronological, have the evil get out earlier, and let the men confront their psychological struggles through their battles with the demon.

SKYLINES (2020)

This is the third film in a series that began a decade ago as a cool alien invasion film, and was followed up by another cool alien invasion film that resulted in a hybrid alien/human baby, which is all summed up at the beginning of Skylines.

That hybrid child is now a woman, there are a bunch more hybrids, and there’s a virus that turns hybrids against humans. So, they need a cure…that can be found on the planet of the aliens.

Hybrid girl is our hero, along with her alien brother and a bunch of human military types.

This is pure action sci-fi special effects extravaganza silliness. It has its cool scenes and it’s absurdly CGI scenes that might as well just be a video game.

There are some awesome battles, some nice splatter moments, some hunky guy, some…

Eh. It’s a CGI alien action movie. You either like them or you don’t. I’m done talking about this one.

INNER GHOSTS (2018)

Considering the latest installment of The Conjuring hit HBO Max the weekend I watched Inner Ghosts, I would say this is definitely one to give a chance if you are a fan of franchises like that and Insidious.

The focus is on a psychic medium that gave up the practice after the death of her child. But now she wants to try communicating with those whose brains have stopped functioning, and she believes to do so involves taking a detour through the spirit realm.


She’s sending a message…I think she’s saying, “I am not Lin Shaye.”

Armed with a machine left to her by the woman who taught her everything she knows about ghosts, she sets out to prove her theory with the help of her assistant and a young woman being haunted by otherworldly entities.

This is predominantly a film that takes place in one room, with the three women around the machine, conjuring up a pretty freaky demon now and then. Great creature effects, some good atmosphere, and some cheap jump scares keep the film moving forward, and it takes an unexpected turn near the end that delivers one super gory moment. But you definitely have to be into ghost and spirit movies to truly appreciate this one.

LOVE AND MONSTERS (2020)

This was a good one to watch with the hubby, because it has monsters, humor, cutie Dylan O’Brien of the Teen Wolf series, and his faithful dog companion. In other words, it’s a family-friendly flick!

And yet we still get some gratuitous O’Brien bod.

And it’s also a gooey onslaught of giant squirmy wormy creatures. Ick!

The apocalypse happened, it turned the planet’s bugs into giant mutants, and the remaining humans have gone underground for safety. In Dylan’s bunker, he is the cook because he freezes up when danger is near, so he is useless as a fighter. However, he wants to travel to the colony where his girlfriend from before the apocalypse is living. So he sets out alone. He meets a dog. They battle various big mutant bugs in scenes that reminded me of moments out of the likes of Star Wars, Tremors, and Peter Jackson’s King Kong.

If there’s any problem with the film, it’s one I’m having with all kinds of movie genres these days. There seems to be a push to make everything two hours long again, but the filmmakers don’t seem to know how to fill that time usefully, leading to some agonizingly slow patches that serve no purpose, which is what happens here. But you have to love the take that robots are useless in the future instead of controlling the planet.

Then, all of a sudden, Dylan arrives at the other colony to reunite with his girl, and a new plot line is rushed in the final act …right after the movie busts out a retro throwback with everyone partying to Lakeside’s funk classic “Fantastic Voyage”. Fun final act, just should have been longer and come a little sooner.

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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