31 Days of Horror :: Day 22

Mirrors (2008)

Plot: An ex-cop and his family are the target of an evil force that is using mirrors as a gateway into their home.

Review:

Aside from one gory scene, which was spoiled with pics well before the film’s release, there is nothing to this movie. It’s too long, not scary, and Kiefer’s character turns into Jack Bauer halfway through (he was much more interesting in the beginning as an alcoholic loser that no one listens to).

Rating: 5.5/10

Trailer:

31 Days of Horror :: Day 21

Evil Dead II (1987)

Plot: The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holds up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack

Review:

Now this was awesome. Even though Bruce Campbell has been my hero since Brisco County Jr. I have never seen any of the Evil Dead films, in spite of all the praise I’ve heard. This one totally lives up to that hype. Yes it’s cheap, disjointed, and a bit silly at times but it works. It’s a definite classic that I will surely watch again.

Rating: 7.5/10

Trailer:

31 Days of Horror :: Day 20

Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Plot: A loan officer ordered to evict an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse, which turns her life into a living hell. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.

Review:

About as scary as the Spider-Man films but not nearly as funny. It’s an average movie that gets a slight bump for a decent ending. I was totally not impressed with Sam Raimi’s horror game, until….

Rating: 5.5/10

Trailer:

31 Days of Horror :: Day 19

Grace (2009)

Plot: Madeline Matheson is eight months pregnant and determined to deliver her unborn child, Grace, naturally. When an accident leaves Grace dead inside her, Madeline insists on carrying the baby’s corpse to term. Weeks later, when Madeline delivers, the baby miraculously returns to life… With an appetite.

Review:

This movie doesn’t have a lot of gore or scares, it’s more about the horror of creeping unease and discomfort and it does this very well. I’ve seen a few Asian films like this, but not too many American ones. It was a nice change of pace that left a lasting, disturbing, impression.

Rating: 7.0/10

Trailer:

31 Days of Horror :: Day 18

Seventh Moon (2008)

Plot: Melissa and Yul, Americans honeymooning in China, come across the exotic ‘Hungry Ghost’ festival. When night falls, the couple end up in a remote village, and soon realize the legend is all too real. Plunged into an ancient custom they cannot comprehend, the couple must find a way to survive the night of the Seventh Moon.

Review:

Not bad at all for a PG-13 horror film. The monsters look good (think I Am Legend without CGI), the story takes a few interesting turns, and the leads really do a great job of coming across as believable and sympathetic. Worth a watch if you see it on cable one weekend. A must see if you like Amy Smart.

Rating: 6.5/10

Trailer:

31 Days of Horror :: Day 17

Eden Lake (2008)

Plot: Refusing to let anything spoil their romantic weekend break, a young couple confront a gang of loutish youths with terrifyingly brutal consequences.

Review:

I can’t remember the last time a movie made me as angry as this one. The villains are a bunch of chav brats who manage to be incredibly infuriating well before the killing starts. Of course getting people emotionally involved in your film is the point so this was a definite success. I’m not sure Americans will pick up the social commentary subtext in the film, no Daily Mail scaring us with tales of roving bands of feral chavs, but it’s disturbing all the same.

Side note: Like The Ruins, which I loved, this is as good a nature film as it is a horror film. Lots of lingering shots of beautiful scenery to calm you in between fits of teeth grinding anger.

Rating: 7.0/10

Trailer:

31 Days of Horror :: Day 16

The Call of Cthulhu (2005)

Plot: The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society presents its all new silent film of The Call of Cthulhu. The famed story is brought richly to life in the style of a classic 1920s silent movie, with a haunting original symphonic score. Using the “Mythoscope” process — a mix of modern and vintage techniques, the HPLHS has worked to create the most authentic and faithful screen adaptation of a Lovecraft story yet attempted.

Review:

This film sets out with a simple objective and executes it with perfection. It’s great adaptation of the work, and entertain in it’s own right. As a Lovecraft fan I thoroughly enjoyed it and I imagine most people open to the retro-style liking it.

Rating: 7.0/10

Trailer:

31 Days of Horror :: Day 15

Scanners (1981)

Plot: A scientist sends a man with extraordinary psychic powers to hunt others like him.

Review:

More amazing, ahead-of-its-time stuff from Cronenberg. Strong story, brilliant concept, and effects that still look great nearly 30 years later. Includes possibly the greatest movie ending fight scene ever and yet not a single punch is thrown. Cronenberg does no wrong in the 80s.

Rating: 8.0/10

Trailer:

31 Days of Horror :: Day 14

Offspring (2009)

Plot: Survivors of a feral flesh-eating clan are chowing their way through the locals. Amy Halbard and Claire Carey strive to survive their abduction by the cannibals and save their children.

Review:

This wasn’t the best film, but it was far from the worst. The acting is a bit weak at parts (except for the lead female cannibal, who was great), but it’s made up for by a fairly good storyline and a surprising amount of well done gore. This is a worthwhile rental if you enjoyed Wrong Turn or The Hills Have Eyes.

Rating: 6.0/10

Trailer:

31 Days of Horror :: Day 13

Session 9 (2001)

Tagline: Fear is a place.

Plot: Tensions rise within an asbestos cleaning crew as they work in an abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back.

Review:

This film gets its characters, story, and mood just right. It’s tense, unpredictable, and comes across as a lot more realistic than the average psychological thriller. Between this and Deadgirl, I’m definitely going to visit an abandoned mental hospital in the near future.

Rating: 7.0/10

Trailer: