I’m nearing the end of my Prime watchlist, so let’s get right into the three I just crossed off it.
WHILE WE SLEEP (2021)
If you need an exorcism itch to be scratched, you might get a hint of relief for a few minutes near the end of this film. But what you’ll mostly get is a whole lot of character and plot development (all the stuff that happened while I slept…).
How does the little girl get possessed? As far as I can tell, she inhales a demon from a birthday cake while blowing out her candles. I’m not even kidding.
After that she starts acting different. Her parents bring her for tests. Eventually they invite a sleep specialist to the house to monitor her. This specialist seems to want to hook up with the husband and also secretly uses questionable techniques to help the girl.
Eventually the wife kicks her out of the house and the possessed girl does a bunch of CGI gymnastics around the house.
Meanwhile, the sleep specialist teams up with some other dude who thinks he has all the answers to saving the girl.
That’s in the last half hour and the point where I couldn’t make much sense of the film anymore.
And no, there’s no Linda Blair demon face or pea soup.
8 DAYS TO HELL (2022)
This anthology doesn’t even bother to ease us in with a wraparound. It goes directly to DAY 1, and each story counts us down until we eventually reach hell. It’s a fun concept, especially since the stories are linked together by shared characters (mostly killers). It’s also a load of indie fun reminiscent of episodes of 80s anthology shows, but personally I found that the longer stories, which come at the end, kill the momentum the quicker early stories so perfectly build. Here’s the breakdown of tales.
Day 1 – Eric Roberts is holding auditions. When he tells an actor he isn’t convincing as a mobster, the guy comes back to prove how convincing he can be. Eh. Not exactly a horror story.
2nd story – now this is horror, and it even draws us into the Halloween holiday season. A guy hooks up with a horny woman who pulls out a surprise in the bedroom that really bugs him out.
3rd story – a woman leaving a Halloween party finds herself the center of a satanic ritual…
4th story – a killer goes to confessional.
5th story – this one was unexpected. A killer is confronted with a zombie situation!
6th story – my favorite story because it features some camptastic werewolf moments.
7th story – tooooo long of a story about a book in which the drawings bring the dead back to life.
8th story – this is where it was all heading…straight to hell when an idiot sells his soul to the devil.
It’s just plain silly horror fun with a variety of subgenres and some Halloween spirit. I liked it.
THE ARBORS (2020)
This film is a fairly compelling creature feature with a sad underlying plot, but the fact that it runs a staggering 2 hours long and becomes highly repetitive really does it a disservice.
It’s the story of man who has a strained relationship with his brother. His loneliness in contrast to the life as a married father his brother is living is the focus of the character development.
Meanwhile, when he comes across a dead deer in the road, the lonely main guy stumbles upon a weird, bug-like creature and captures it.
Pretty soon it escapes, starts killing off people in his town, and begins growing much bigger quite fast. The bug scenes are by far the highlight here.
The main guy attempts to keep the creature’s existence a secret while keeping himself from falling under suspicion as the killer. At the same time he uses the tragedies as a way to mend his relationship with his brother and recapture the happiness of their youth.
Unfortunately, this results in a moody film that drags on and on and feels like there’s just no end in sight, with our main man lurking around making paranoid faces for a majority of the film. I really liked the film, I just think it needed to be trimmed down by at least fifteen minutes.