Are the main girls in these four horror films just seeing things…and real or imagined, are those things actually scary?
ABANDONED DEAD (2015)
So there’s this awesome movie I covered a while ago called Last Shift, about a lone cop terrorized by otherworldly beings in a police station the night it’s closing. Good stuff.
So…Abandoned Dead is basically the same movie with an alternate ending. This time, the main girl is a security guard. On Memorial Day weekend, her boss is in a pinch and convinces her to work the night at a psychiatric clinic.
She immediately starts getting spooked because she’s alone. Maybe she should have chosen a different career. She does a lot of walking around with a flashlight in dark rooms and calling out “Who’s there?” She makes a gross discovery explained away by a creepy caretaker – who is pretty much forgotten for the rest of the film. He may as well have been listed in the cast credits as “the cheap jump scare.”
The main girl then starts having run-ins with zombie-like people and dead bodies, which is my kind of party.
There are mysterious flashbacks giving us some insight into the main girl’s backstory. And there’s a distracting side plot of some male doctor thinking aloud in his mind as he goes over a case. His presence and his scenes feel “cheaper” than the main story, which really takes you out of it. A LOT. Otherwise, there are some fairly chilling and suspenseful scenes with the main girl.
In the end, the twist (which you eventually see coming) makes this film differ from Last Shift. And we also get a cameo from Night of the Living Dead star Judith O’Dea.
NECESSARY EVIL (2008)
Lance Henriksen and Danny Trejo bring horror cred to a movie that entertains simply because it’s such a convoluted mess.
Necessary Evil feels like it could be an elongated episode of Freddy’s Nightmares – one of the ones that didn’t revolve around Freddy.
Danny Trejo and a team of military baddies head into an underground cave with no idea why…I think? They unleash a demon from a tomb and it possesses one of the guys. Lance Henriksen is a mad doctor that abstracts the demon from the guy, so I guess he tricked their asses?
Whatever. Now Henriksen goes around terrorizing individuals in a nice suburban town and injecting them with demon juice.
And he seems to have a supernatural power himself – he gets to walk around with a cool fog machine swirling around him.
A cop and a reporter join forces to investigate when a young teen becomes one of his victims.
The reporter eventually becomes Henriksen’s target and spends the second part of the movie being chased by the demons of her past in a hypnotic state/alternative dimension/our bland old regular dimension? I’m not quite sure.
And the poor cop gets dragged into the whole mess—his confrontation with the actual demon kicks ass.
GRINDSTONE ROAD (2008)
It’s like an alternative universe when wicked witch Fairuza Balk plays the emotionally broken woman in what feels like a made-for-TV haunted house movie from the 1970s.
I really struggle to see Balk as anything but a psycho bitch from hell who can kill all the sharks in the ocean with her mind and shit, so I don’t find it all that scary when she gets spooked by dripping water in the basement of her new house.
Anyway, she and her hubby move into their new home hoping to get past the fact that their son is in a coma. Weird shit starts to happen (even weirder than the dripping water), and hubby thinks Balk is having post-traumatic responses to the accident that left their son comatose.
What would a 1970s made-for-TV haunted house movie clone be without nosy neighbors who know more than they’re telling about the history of the house? The nice old couple here tries to warn Balk of the dangers of living in the house…and the house warns them to stay the fuck out of it.
Balk begins to uncover a history of tragedy in the house. Ah the nostalgia. All that’s missing is the microfiche. And then come the people only Balk can see. Raise your hand if you remember how husbands used to treat wives who experienced supernatural shit in their new homes in 1970s made-for-TV movies.
I guess you could consider this a little throwback if you miss that kind of film. If you weren’t around back then and missed Balk in her ultimate roll in The Craft in the 90s so have some sort of objective perspective on her, maybe this film will give you a few goose bumps?
THE SNARE (2017)
A third wheel joins a hot guy and his girlfriend…for a weekend getaway on the top floor of an empty high-rise apartment building? You know it’s time to start taking ADHD meds when a good number of sentences in your movie blog end with question marks.
The third wheel begins to get weird vibes about the place…and from the boyfriend. Personally, I was liking the vibes he was giving off.
Soon, she begins having horrific hallucinations and is all ready to cut the vacation short when…the threesome gets trapped in the building with no way out.
The horrors intensify in the apartment as the threesome struggles to survive on minimal food. Tensions escalate between them, and our main third wheel begins to dabble in the occult hoping to contact the presence she believes is keeping them captive in the building.
It’s the final act when shit gets FUCKED UP…because the friends begin to turn on each other.
There’s gore, there’s insanity, there are other unspeakable acts that force our main third wheel to really step out of her comfort zone.
Although I’m not a huge fan of The Snare, the final act definitely saves it for me because it gets so down and dirty.