These days I’m really struggling to find any horror worth watching on any streaming service that isn’t Tubi, and this trio I watched on Prime is a perfect example of why I should just stick to Tubi.
THE RETURN (2020)
This is simply a lower budget take on the many ghostly female specter movies out there, so if you can’t get enough of them, you should definitely check this one out. For me it had its moments at first, but then we are continuously bombarded by bogus jumps and dream scares that numbed me to any fear.
A young man returns with friends to his home after the mysterious death of his father.
What ensues is the usual attempt to unravel what happened and how it relates to his childhood.
All the while he is haunted by a CGI phantom of black smoke with glowing eyes.
By the final act, the main guy is hunting the ghost with a special ray gun, and there’s a sort of alternate dimension element, and I just couldn’t take it serious anymore.
This is a different kind of killer mermaid movie that is focused more on folklore and the occult than on a deadly fish woman.
A group of girls goes to stay at a cabin in the woods, and one of them convinces the others to perform a ritual that is supposed to summon the mermaid Erzulie, mother of the waters.
Much to their surprise, it actually works. We don’t see the mermaid with a fin very much, because half the time she seems to have been blessed with legs like the Little Mermaid, plus the girls keep her hidden away until they can figure out what to do with her.
In the meantime, a bunch of redneck dudes catch wind of the mermaid and decide they can make a lot of money off her. Toxic men will never learn…
I wish the film wasn’t so dark with choppy editing, because the final act delivers some excitement, but you can’t see much of anything, so I was left unsatisfied.
LAND SHARK (2017)
Yay! I stumbled upon another goofy shark movie that could have been a fave on SyFy. This is an Asian film that has been dubbed. I don’t know if the original tone was meant to be funny or serious, but much of the dubbing definitely feels like it is intentionally done for comedic effect.
Numerous aspects of this movie are going to make you think it ripped off The Meg, but it actually came out a year before. However it does feel like a rip-off of Deep Blue Sea at times since one shark infiltrates a flooded underground facility for a good chunk of the running time.
The opener is a scene from much later in the movie—you won’t realize it until that moment hits, so it’s a very confusing intro.
Naturally scientists have been doing experiments that created the land shark. Once it busts into the underground facility, we get that whole Deep Blue Sea clone situation. However, once the survivors make it onto land, the hilarity ensues as this shark starts skidding through grass and swimming through dirt in a relentless hunt for humans.
It’s all shark action and typical character stereotypes. My fave is the hunky daddy leader of the military team that shows up.
When we hit the 50-minute mark, this magically transforms into a land Megalodon movie with some nods to Godzilla, and the silly fun shark action continues super-sized.
And finally, the explanation as to why the shark became a land shark is as cheesy good