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Project Power (2020) is a bit unsettling (Netflix Review)

I watched Project Power featuring Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The movie, set in New Orleans, follows a man, Art, looking for his daughter. He was experimented on in the military in their efforts to create super heroes. His daughter, Tracy, developed special abilities and was later abducted by the government in their efforts to steal her gifts and sell them.

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Underwater (2020) is full of terrifying moments | Movie Review

Despite not having any expectations of this movie, the first moments of Underwater were reminiscent of Alien. I thought I was wrong, but I was definitely on to something.

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List: 5 Chilling Horror Films

There are so many horror films available. Most of them could probably give me and many others nightmares or cause to keep out feet under the covers at night. That’s the aim of a horror film after all. In this list, I thought about all of the movies that creeped me out the most because they occurred while the characters were just living their unassuming lives. With that in mind, take a look at some picks of the most spine-chilling horror movies.

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IT: Chapter Two (2019) – review

Horror films are an acquired taste. Watching them offers a level of anxiety that I have to prepare for. Movies such as Sinister, Child’s Play (the 80’s version), and IT deal with supernatural hauntings and freak me out the most. 

Sitting down to watch a movie that aims to blatantly terrorize the unseen horrors that may or may not exist sucks. At least for me. Movies like IT creep me out so much that I had to send my friends to watch it before I would even think about sitting down and torturing myself. 

So I sucked it up and guess what. This movie is full of jump scares and creepy moments. Bill Skarsgård once again is the freakiest thing on the screen. The movie is very story-heavy, and you will be lost if you didn’t watch IT (2017). But the good news is, the almost 3 hours of run time was used well. 

The flashbacks in the movie were well placed. As someone who only watched IT (2017) once squinting through my hands, I appreciated the director’s thoughtfulness for the viewer. Some perspective is absolutely needed when watching this film and the flashbacks did that. Especially when you consider everyone watching this film may not have read the Stephen King book or the mini-series. The flashbacks do not make up for missing IT (2017), you’ll be lost, but like I mentioned the perspective helps.

The manifestation of childhood trauma and fears was used very well in this movie and the way that they turned that same manifestation on Pennywise in the end. 

Pennywise terrorized these children and used their fears against them when they were younger and technically they were still dealing with those effects as adults. Sure, they got away in the end on IT (2017) but IT: Chapter 2 (2019) brings them back to their hometown to face their fears once again. 

Luckily, through the power of positivity and a concept my dad likes to call “mind over matter”, these children (now adults) face their fears and banish the fear-eating spider-demon. 

All of the characters were heroes in this movie, but Mike is the one who stayed in his hometown and lived with his terrifying memories. His research leads to the Loser Club’s ability to defeat IT for good and allow everyone to get the closure they needed at the end of the movie. 

IT: Chapter 2 (2019) close to the IT saga. A very long but, epic saga that takes you on a journey with characters in peril. These characters were handicapped by the experiences of their childhood but gain redemption. I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t afraid while watching this film. I was. But, that’s just how I am with horror films. 

Opinion: Fantastic Four (2015) in retrospect is a sci-fi horror film

After watching Dark Phoenix, I was not blown away by the story and felt that certain story arcs should have been explored more to help with certain character development. I wrote a full review about it here.

I don’t feel like I was overly critical because I’m a glass half full kind of person. So even though I wasn’t blown away, I’d never say Dark Phoenix was bad. I just figured that the reboot may have been wrong for this point in time.

I mean this is an era of superhero movies that evoke tears! This is an era where people rewatch and rewatch until every easter egg and theory has been explored. Some times, the type of connection that fans have with a film could cause it to be re-released in theaters only one month and some days after the initial release.

Cough cough, Avengers: Endgame.

Dark Phoenix didn’t evoke that.

That being said I decided to go back in time to 2015. To a time when the world saw a reboot of another story about the Fantastic Four.

Previously, in the 2005 version, it was a story about 2 scientists, a researcher, an astronaut, and a pilot journeying into space to experiment with cosmic energy against the better judgment of certain party members. They get caught in a storm that turns them all into superheroes. Right away three out of the four participants use their powers for good, the fourth one eventually comes around and the Fantastic Four save the day while the fifth powerful being goes rogue.

The film was light-hearted enough. No real consequences that interrupted the flow of the world. Plus at the end of the day, the Fantastic Four stood victorious and all was well.

Cool.

Now that we’re up to speed, let’s look at the most recent reboot.

Reviews for Fantastic Four ( 2015) weren’t the best. In fact, if you google the film you’ll see mostly negative reviews. But I watched it for myself four years later and I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ve been thinking about this all wrong.

This isn’t a whimsical story about superheroes. This is a sci-fi horror film!

Think about it.

Five teenagers who are under supervised with chips on their shoulders use their expertise in science to create a portal to an unknown planet. They have no respect for authority, barely get along with each other, and of course, there is a love triangle involved.

The lack of supervision gives them time to set up an exploration of the unknown planet and when they arrive there is an unknown entity waiting to pounce.

Student number one gets crushed by rocks, student number two is burned alive, and student number three is presumed dead after falling off a cliff into an acid lake.

While trying to bring their ship back,, student number four gets infected due toa blowback blast causing her to go into a coma. And student number five seemly gets away without an issue until he realizes that he is permantly deformed.

Student number five flees after the four surviving members of his group are captured by a private sector of the government. Pleagued by guilt due to the cost his friends have paid he leaves them to be experimented on by the government.

Eventually, the student who fell into the acid lake comes back when the adults, who weren’t paying attention in the first place, try to revisit the unknown planet. His skin is charred and he is unrecognizable. He’s seeking revenge. He’s being bent on death and destruction. He is no longer a human and now his only goal is to kill those who left him behind and destroy the earth by sucking it into a black hole.

See doesn’t that sound good?

Granted the end of the movie sees the four other teenage students band together to destroy the threat but, some horror films have happy endings too.

So next time Fantastic Four (2015) is on TV watch it with new eyes and tell me what you think.

Swamp Thing S01 E02 | My theory confirmed (review)

Last week, I watched Swamp Thing for the first time. I watched it without referring to any source material and without any preconceived notions. The only thing I knew about the series was that it had been canceled. With only one episode available, the Swamp Thing series on DC Universe would end after episode 10.

After watching the first episode, I had a few opinions but I didn’t see anything that would warrant such a hasty cancellation. I actually enjoyed episode one. So I’ve decided to continue watching it. Episode two turned out really weird, so I’ll start with the easy stuff first.

Spoilers ahead

Last weeks episode left me with a theory of my own regarding Avery Sunderland. The first episode set him up as the wealthiest man in the town and we found out that he was Holland’s employer. This led me to believe that he had to be the person hiring boats to drop the mutagen accelerant in the swamp.

I was proven correct in this episode. Turns out that Avery is the reason that the accelerant is being dumped in the swamp. Apparently, he consulted two scientists (Jason and Caroline Woodrue) to find out ways to make use of the swamp.

The accelerant was their idea. It was supposed to help the swamp thrive, but of course, that backfired and now the townspeople are dying. Jason Woodrue stands firm that an accelerant would not cause disease. He pretty much said blame the swamp for doing swamp things.

Avery is definitely the big bad! All through this episode, he made strides to keep people from investigating the swamp and the dumping. He denied Abby the help she asked for to find Holland (who is presumed dead as far as the characters are concerned). He also threatened the scientist he consulted with blackmail, and he admitted to those same scientists that he is “handling business” to keep his name away from the swamp problem.

So, if we read between the lines, we can deduce that Avery had Holland killed by the mysterious man with the rocket launcher from episode one. Remember, Holland went up to Avery after a town hall meeting and told him that something was happening to the water. This must have prompted him to kill Holland so that he would not figure out the full scope of the conspiracy.

Little does Avery know, he created a swamp monster with a vendetta.

Here is where weird things start. Apparently, patient zero (Susie Coyle) has a psychic connection with the swamp.

I don’t understand how because she was not in the swamp when the initial attack by the vines happened. But okay.

In the last episode, when her father (Eddie Coyle) revived on the autopsy table, Susie had a moment where she called out to the dead corpse that was being controlled by vines. In this episode, she escapes the hospital in order to go meet the Swamp Thing.

The first time she tries to escape the doctor catches her. He asks her why she is trying to leave. Susie says it’s because the man in the dark is scared and needs her.

What could he possibly need from her? Does she hold the cure?

Eventually, Susie does escape and the sheriff’s office and doctors are looking for her in the swamp. Abby is scared because she has seen the Swamp Thing before and no one has believed her up to this point about the dumping, the monster, or the Holland conspiracy.

Susie ends up on a boat with some men who have been hired to dump by Avery. They don’t know she is there and after they have a disagreement, one of them kills the other.

This death prompts the Swamp Thing to rise from the water and save Susie. He rips the boat henchman apart and Susie is saved. However, Abby finds them just in time and takes Susie away.

After they escape the swamp, Susie tells Abby that the Swamp Things name is Holland.

Oh, snap. Here’s more information for the town not to believe.

We also have a bit of story progression for Maria Sunderland. It turns out that she has been dabbling in voodoo and having a witch doctor communicate with her dead daughter (Shawna) for the last 14 years.

As a result, we see that Shawna has not been able to rest in peace and is stuck in a realm between the living and the dead. The witch doctor tells Maria to let her rest because the balance with the living and the dead is shifting. The witch doctor felt that bad things are happening in the swamp.

Here’s the thing. After this weeks episode, I need to understand if Swamp Thing is a sci-fi horror thriller or a supernatural horror thriller. The characteristics of Holland as the Swamp Thing remain horrific. He’s killing people and groaning in pain. Normal stuff.

However, with the addition of Maria’s seance in the swamp, I got confused. How does this play into the swamp? Was the swamp haunted before the accelerant was dumped into it? The first episode never shows Holland and Susie speaking, so how is Susie connected to the Swamp Thing? When did the connection start?

This episode may have muffled the identity of the show a bit. But, it was still interesting. There are so many questions that need to be answered. I’m hoping as I keep watching, the show can clear up some of the confusion.

EPISODE 1 Review: Swamp Thing S01 E01 | Is it worth saving?

Swamp Thing S01 E01 | Is it worth saving? (review)

Before I even had the chance to watch Swamp Thing on DC Universe, the show was trending on Twitter confirming the cancellation of the show.

I don’t know the history of shows that have been canceled, but the decision to cancel Swamp Thing after only one episode had been aired felt rushed. So instead of automatically assuming that the first episode was complete garbage, I watched it for myself.

The pilot episode of Swamp Thing gave me serious sci-fi horror vibes. There is a lot of suspense in the first episode and the creators did a great job making the contaminated swamp graphics gross and unnerving. It’s a great presentation.

What about the story?

It’s a good story. However, I think the pilot episode may have given away the biggest part of the series too early in the season.

Spoilers ahead

We’re introduced to the swamp as a dark and mysterious place in Marais, Louisiana right away. A group of fishermen and a tech genius were hired to drop some sort of device in the swamp. They end up being attacked by the swamp and killed.

One fisherman, Eddie Coyle, makes it home somehow and infects his daughter. His daughter goes to school, passes out with a bloody nose and becomes patient zero.

Dr. Abby Arcane is ordered by the CDC to leave the Congo, where she is fighting an epidemic, to come back to Louisiana and cure the mysterious illness in Marais.

She ends up entrusting a somewhat awkward biologist named Alec Holland who has been commissioned by Will Sunderland, a wealthy member of the community, to run tests on the swamp. Initially, Holland is meant to help discover positive means to help the community flourish, but he discovers a fertilizer accelerate that is “jacking up” the mutagens in the swamp and causing the town to become sick.

There is also a side story line about Abby’s past where a childhood friend of hers died before they graduated high school. It turns out that friend was the daughter of Will and Avery Sunderland. Avery is not happy that Abby is back in town. At first, she attempts to intimidate her to leave the town, but then she asks her to save the town in the same breath.

Earlier, I stated that the pilot episode gave away too much information. What I am referring to is the end of the episode. Abby and Holland figure out some new information and plan to go study it more at the hospital. They are hoping that it will lead to a cure. However, Holland wants to go fish out the devices in the swamp first because they are causing the sickness.

A mysterious “I know what you did last summer” man somehow knows that Holland is going to do this and shoots him in the chest two times with a shotgun then blows him up.

While watching, I thought to myself, “Oh he’s definitely the Swamp Thing”. I didn’t realize that with 4 minutes left in the episode, this theory was going to be confirmed. That took a lot of the steam out of it. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t find out, but maybe not in the first episode.

Technically, there could have already been a Swamp Thing and Holland’s character could have been a bait to throw off the viewer. I guess he still could be, but I don’t think so.

At the end of the episode, Abby boats out to the area where Holland should be and finds fire, dead swamp bodies, and moving swamp branches. Then the branches subside and the Swamp Thing reveals himself.

Here’s a question. Why did the swamp bond with Holland and not with Coyle earlier in the episode?

I hope that we find out this season.

My Theory

There are 9 episodes left before the season ends. My ultimate theory involves Will Sunderland. I think that he is the anonymous financial backer to the fishermen boats that are poisoning that swamp in Marais. He’s already been cast as the rich member of the community. And maybe he has a “V for Vendetta” because his daughter died all those years ago.

Is this series worth saving? We’ll have to see. This coming from someone who has not read the comics and is going off of the show alone. I definitely think the episode was attention grabbing.

Movie Review: US (Spoilers)

So, I got to see Jordan Peele’s Us over the weekend and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. A few things to note, Gabe (the husband) made my skin crawl with his antics. He was so oblivious and he did grasp the severity of the situation at all. That frustrated me the most. It didn’t surprise me when Adelaide took matters into her own hands.

When Adelaide decided to take things into her own hands and start getting rid of the doppelgangers and other threats herself, it made sense because Gabe was pretty much being counter productive the whole time.

But then when I found out the twist at the end of the movie, I was like it makes even more sense.

Spoilers below this line…

A young Adelaide wondered off from her father after her mom went to use the rest room. Her mother clearly asked him to watch her. Granted, young Adelaide was old enough to stay put. But her dad should have paid attention and she wouldn’t have had an opportunity to walk off. But then again if he had paid attention, there would be no movie, at least not in this capacity.

Again men in this movie are depicted as oblivious and and unhelpful. What a stressful mess.

Anyway, young Adelaide makes her way to a house of mirrors where she runs into evil young Adelaide and there is when the twist happens.

Evil young Adelaide ends up abducting the real Adelaide and taking her place in the sun. So now Evil Adelaide is above ground and the real Adelaide is below ground. Effectively turning the real Adelaide into Red and taking her place.

She legitimately lives out her entire life and comes back to her childhood home with her husband and children for a summer vacation in Santa Cruz.

Here’s where I start to get confused. The real Adelaide, Red and her doppelganger family come from underground, attack and hold the above ground family hostage.

Red never says, hey I remember when you choked me out and took me into the catacombs or whatever. She starts to talk about being her exact shadow and points out specific benchmarks in Adelaide’s life.

These milestones included getting married versus having to settle just because the husbands had the same face. And also their tragic differences in child birth. How above ground Adelaide needed a c-section, and underground Adelaide, Red needed one too, but had to do it herself.

This makes it seem like a spiritual connection in the outer realm, one being in the shadows and having to live through the above grounds choices on the dark side, plagued to only have terrible outcomes.

But then you find out it was a government operation gone array that was shutdown.

I’ll bypass the random questions I have like…

  • When did the program shutdown?
  • How many people were cloned?
  • How did Red even find out what was going on?
  • Who gathered the supplies for the revolution?

Because that’s besides the point, right.

My real confusion is, why wasn’t Red able to control above ground Adelaide because she was in fact the real one? Just because they swapped places doesn’t mean the chain of command changes. Does it?

Other questions I have include:

Does the tether get weaker the farther away you go from your clone? And if they share a brain bond, why wasn’t above ground Adelaide able to sense the revolution?

Confusion aside, this movie is deep and urges US to take a deeper look at ourselves, our values, and the things we take for granted because we could easily be in a terrible place and circumstance.

It’s a great movie and I’d recommend seeing the movie even if you’ve spoiled yourself. There are so many over arching themes that my head is still spinning.

And that is a good thing.

-ABD


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