Alien creatures, Bigfoot, infected folks, demonic possession…these are a few of my favorite things. But did other countries do them right? Let’s take a look.
DEAD SHADOWS (2012)
The 74-minute length had me doing a happy dance…until the movie ended, at which point I realized it needed another 15 minutes to actually make sense of everything that had been presented. And, you know, more of this hottie wouldn’t hurt.
It is really absolutely infuriating that this increasingly thrilling film leads up to what seems like a series of edits that cause huge plot holes. The conclusion gives you the sense there wasn’t enough money to finish the film, although there might be an underdeveloped twist that would explain a lot. Just not sure if I was reading it right or overthinking it.
The upside is that Dead Shadows feels like a mashup of Invaders from Mars, Night of the Comet, and the first Cloverfield. A young man who is afraid of darkness—he’s on meds for the issue—suddenly notices people acting weird after news surfaces that a comet is about to come close to the planet earth.
When he gets invited to an end of the world party by a girl he likes, the night spins out of control…fast. They may seem like infected or zombies, but as people begin mysteriously turning into crazies, they also have some serious tentacle issues!
From the first appearance of the infected at the party, this film ramps up to an awesome thrill ride as the main guy goes on a hunt for the girl he likes. While CGI is used for tentacle moments, the gore and makeup effects are practical and totally awesome.
That is why it is unfathomable that the film ends suddenly, leaving viewers totally confused.
COLD GROUND (2017)
It’s another found footage Bigfoot film. I think. The creature kind of looks like a werewolf because it has big ears. But perhaps the filmmakers were just trying to challenge what we’ve been conditioned to believe Bigfoot looks like.
Either way, both mythical creatures are speculated to be the culprit by the cast. What pisses me off is that one girl asks what a Bigfoot is. Look, I’m willing to suspend disbelief of epic proportions, but I refuse to believe someone doesn’t know who Bigfoot is.
Documentary filmmakers and scientists go into the cold winter woods to investigate cow disappearances and animal mutilations. After this sexy scene, that is.
It’s the 1970s, so the found footage…has a grindhouse filter? Still easier to accept than the chick who doesn’t know Bigfoot.
Next question. Were there portable video cameras with lights on them that could last for hours in the 70s? Yet another question. Would people be able to survive for days in the freezing cold mountains in tents without ever once lighting a fire?
Anyway, it’s like an hour of finding animal tracks in the snow, coming across dead animals, and science jargon in both French and English. Seriously, subtitle/audio vacillating totally fucks with my head. I can watch with my ears while doing other stuff…have to focus on the screen…back to looking away and listening…focus again…listen…look…listen…look…. It’s exhausting.
When the action finally amps up, it’s about as typical and disorienting as can be for found footage. The gore and glimpses of monster are entertaining enough, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—if you want found footage Bigfoot, just watch Exists.
DANNY’S DOOMSDAY (2014)
This is like Attack the Block in a nice, upscale white neighborhood. During an inexplicable heat wave, all the local dogs start getting ornery. A teen boy and his younger brother soon find out why when their house is attacked by big black walking fish monsters!
Initially locking themselves in the basement, the brothers are soon joined by a neighbor. The moment this guy walked down the stairs, the hubby and I both blurted out, “Oh, daddy!” Sadly, we weren’t referring to each other.
This simple little movie uses camera work and timing to create some fantastic suspense scenes without actually showing the creatures until late in the film, when the boys decide they have to go to the mall to save their mother.
From there it turns into a sort of teen creature feature with all the predictable clichés as they meet up with their high school friends, making this a safe one to watch with kids. Definitely horror/sci-fi lite.
This film is way too highbrow for my tastes, with religious symbolism and, well, that’s enough to kill it for me.
Even so, if the 2-hour length had been hacked down to about 75-minutes, retaining the handful of awesome demonic possession scenes and typical ghost girl shtick, I would have been thoroughly entertained.
A young woman is booted from the convent and comes back home to find her mother dead, her dad bandaged up like a mummy, and her sister pissed at her for deserting them.
After some drama with her sister’s friends, she joins them on an excursion, and they are soon delving into occult rituals.
No, I don’t get any of it (I’m sure it probably has something to do with purity, loss of innocence, losing your faith, temptation, blah blah blah), but there’s a fun scene involving nuns, a birth, and an exorcism, so I was okay for a while.
Lots more confusing shit happens then finally the main girl and a nun have to battle a young possessed dude who leaps around a big room as he terrorizes them. I was into that part, too.