A great period film, which vehemently portrays the aggressive and inhuman domain of the inquisition, Cry of the Banshee is undoubtedly indispensable for anyone who appreciates the classics of the genre.
Cry of the Banshee is a 1970 American / British horror co-production, starring legendary horror icon Vincent Price. With a history set in 16th-century England during the witch-hunt, the plot tells the story of a malevolent and depraved inquisitor, named Edward Whitman (played by Vincent Price), who exhibits a sardonic, hostile and perfidious behavior, in his obsessive and dehumanizing designation of imprisoning, inquiring, and killing anyone suspected of practicing witchcraft or engaging in pagan rituals. Using the most aggressive tools his malicious and cunning character has at his disposition, such as abuse of authority, coercion, violence and cruelty, Whitman diffuses a reign of fear, affliction, and terror, which expands the ignominious pragmatism of his authority over the inhabitants of the village where the history happens, besides intensifying the hatred that the pagan peasants nourish towards him.
In a cruel twist, as formidable as it is unusual, Whitman ends up getting what he deserves, when he least expects it. An excellent film, whose definition of genre would best qualify as a historical drama with elements of suspense, than actual horror. Nevertheless, definitions aside, Cry of the Banshee is a magnificent, realistic and interesting movie, where the qualities are plentiful, and the deficiencies are practically nonexistent. With a solid and cohesive script, marvelously elaborated in a dense and panoramic plot that explores a difficult, tense and troubled historical context, the film's excellence is crowned with the magnificent presence and lucid interpretation of Vincent Price, one of the greatest icons of horror films in the history of cinema. Interpreting a malevolent, aggressive, self-absorbed, egocentric character – but to some extent articulate and charismatic – the frivolous density of the plot becomes even more consistent by profusely taking advantage of the three-dimensional nuances of well-crafted characters, who definitely understand the period in which the story presents itself, being cohesively compatible with the situations presented.
A great period film, which vehemently portrays the aggressive and inhuman domain of the inquisition, Cry of the Banshee is undoubtedly indispensable for anyone who appreciates the classics of the genre.
The Disappointments Room is a 2016 American supernatural horror film, starred by Kate Beckinsale and written by Wentworth Miller. Kate Beckinsale plays Dana, a woman who moves with her son and her husband to a new house in the countryside, just to discover a hidden room in the place, that is submerged in the mysteries and secrecies of a dark and turbulent traumatic past.
When Dana and her family move to a new house in a very small provincial town, initially everything went exactly as they wanted. The happiness, joy and excitement of a new life surrounds them, and, although some rooms in the house are in ruins, in need for serious repairs, the family of three is satisfied, and ready to initiate a new chapter in their lives.
Nonetheless, everything changes when Dana discovers in the attic a mysterious room, which is locked, and she can’t manage to open the door. When she finally finds the key to the mysterious room, which was above the doorframe, Dana enters what appears to be a very large and abandoned empty space. Stricken by intuitive bad thoughts and feelings, Dana becomes eager to discover the real purpose behind the hidden room, so she goes to the town library, and starts doing a full research. With the help of the elder local librarian, she finally discovers that the hidden room in her house was used by its former residents as a disappointments room: a common habit within wealthy and aristocratic families in the past, they used to hide relatives that had some kind of morbid congenital disease or grotesque physical deformity in a secret place within the household, preventing the isolated family member to have any kind of social interaction. This measure was adopted by the family as a means to avoid social shame or shunning, and the secluded relative had completely denied the possibility to have a normal life. Tormented by visions from past events related to the family that has lived in the house several generations ago, Dana starts to feel the suffering inflicted by a mysterious man on an innocent deformed child, that probably was related to him. The visions achieve a climax, when Dana sees the mysterious man killing the deformed child. Suddenly, she starts to feel that a very unwanted and sinister presence is hidden somewhere within the house, putting herself, her husband and her son’s life in danger.
The Disappointments Room is a movie very difficult to evaluate precisely, because it’s as good as it is bad, having its share of good moments, in the same amount of bad moments as well. Undoubtedly, the story is intriguing. With potential, and a very promising and interesting premise, the overall plotline eventually falls in several tiresome and predictable genre clichés, and sometimes seems to revolve around literally nothing. With very intrinsic dynamics, the movie alternates between very intense and interesting moments, and scenes where literally nothing happens, finishing in extremely obvious plot devices. Almost everything revolves around Dana – Kate Beckinsale’s character –, with everything created to gravitate around her, or towards her. Nonetheless, several elements of the plot are frozen in a very obvious atmosphere, specially her relation concerning the bad things that had happened in the disappointments room, and the visions she has related to it.
In general, The Disappointments Room can be considered just another ghost movie, with a more intriguing and sophisticated plot, that falls into a generic and predictable storyline. Nevertheless, the major flaw of the movie is the fact that it is too short. The entire movie feels like a large and compelling introduction, and when you think that the movie will finally begin, in fact, it abruptly ends. Conclusively, what you really have in this movie is an interesting beginning with a very peculiar premise. But as the movie progresses, the story eventually falls in a series of clichés and obvious plot devices, that in the end turns the movie into something a little less than a total waste of time.
The Disappointments Room ended up as a major disappointment, being scorned by critics and audiences alike. The final product is better described as a very interesting premise, wasted in a very ordinary movie. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not completely terrible. If you are an intelligent and lucid spectator, you certainly manage to absorb some fragments of good art here and there. But generally, it doesn’t worth the time. Actor Wentworth Miller, though, is revealing himself a talented screenwriter. He had also scripted Stoker, a far more decent, somber and clever movie, which was released in 2013, starred by Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode. Unlike The Disappointments Room, Stoker is totally worthwhile watching it.
Black Water Vampire is a 2014 Found Footage Horror Film, directed by Evan Tramel. Exceedingly interesting, certainly can be regarded as one of the best in the genre. The plot device follows four friends – two girls, a director and a producer, and two guys, a cameramen and a sound engineer – that heads towards the community of Black Water, Washington, to shoot a documentary about four mysterious murders that occurred in the region, all in mysteriously bizarre, but similar circumstances. For the last four decades, four girls had been found murdered – one every ten years, all killed in the winter solstice – in the woods of Black Water. All the four victims have been found with bite marks on the neck, completely drained of blood and with a mysterious symbol drawn in blood on their skin. One man has been imprisoned, found guilty and convicted for these murders, and he was sentenced to death. Believing he is innocent, the girl leading the group and shooting the documentary wants to discover the truth behind the crimes, and to find the one who is really responsible for them.
Heading towards their destination, first the group interviews one of the detectives that originally investigated one of the murders. Then they stopped at the penitentiary upon which Raymond Banks (Bill Oberst Jr.), the criminal incarcerated for the murders, is serving his sentence. A sinister figure, with prominent scars on his face, he reveals that he became a scapegoat for the crimes, upon discovering what the villagers where really doing in the woods. Telling the group that he has been slowly poisoned throughout the years, in the hopes of dying faster – and he proves his claims by grabbing a portion of his hair, showing that is easily falling off his head – the convicted individual is mysteriously explicit and ambiguous at the same time, about the bizarre events that for so long had been unfolding in the darkness of the woods in Black Water.
When they arrive at a cabin upon which they had rented to calmly rest, and keep their baggage and equipment, the next day the group is prepared to enter the woods, and start shooting the documentary. In the first day, they seem to be doing fine, as everything seems to be happening according to the plan. But at night, when they are sleeping on the tent, they hear alarming and unidentifiable screams, becoming fearful that their lives might be in danger. When they leave their tent in the morning, they become terrified on seeing painted in what appears to be blood – in front of the tent –, exactly the same mysterious symbol found painted in blood on the victim’s bodies.
Determined to go on in their search to find the truth, the group becomes lost in the woods. With the help of a map, they try to figure out where they really are, but rapidly the situation deteriorates, and discussions and misunderstandings broke out between them. Feeling something weird is going on, the sound engineer feels an urge to go back, but the cinematographer encourages him to accompany them further. Telling him that they have walked for almost one day and a half, it would not be easy for him to find his way out of the woods. He says that it’s better for all of them to stay together; soon, the documentary will be shot, and everything will be over in a matter of hours. If he starts to feel bad again, they will completely understand and approve his wish to go back. The sound engineer, upon insisting that he could easily find his way out of the woods, agrees to stay with the group.
But very soon, the situation goes bad again. The sound engineer walks away from the rest of the group, and becomes lost. Several hours pass by, but he doesn’t return. Soon afterwards, the other three are struck by despair, as the night falls, and they haven’t found their friend. The cinematographer and the two girls have a discussion about whether it’s better to search for him, or to set up the tent, sleep, and look out after him in the morning. They eventually chose the last option, which is safer, as they really don’t know what dangers may lurk in the dark, and literally their visibility will be severally compromised by the darkness, turning fruitless any attempt to search for their friend and collaborator in the night.
But this turns out to be the occasion upon which everything falls apart. Deeper into the night, they hear again the same growls they have heard in the previous night, but these time appears to be louder and closer. They are eventually attacked by a bizarre, dreadful and ferocious creature, that eventually captures the girl that is the leader of the group. The other two, the movie cinematographer and the producer manages to escape, but the producer wants to go back to rescue their friend. The cinematographer strongly objects, and the two wander in the forest, in a desperate attempt to avoid the creature.
Walking until the day breaks, they eventually find their friend, the girl responsible for the movie project, completely naked and disoriented. She has a terrible bite mark on her neck, and seems to be in shock. The cinematographer puts out of his backpack several clothes for dressing her, and they rapidly try to go out of the woods. But as their friend reveals herself to be in a week and fragile condition, they fail to advance in a fast pace. To make matters worse, they wander completely lost and without any notion of their whereabouts, realizing that leaving the woods will be almost impossible. Soon, they realize that their friend, the girl that has been attacked by the creature, is not only week, but she is experiencing a strange sickness too. She says that she feels an unexplainable thing inside her, and on grabbing up her blouse, she shows up her belly, and is clearly possible to see something moving beneath her skin. In a rage of despair fuelled by his survival instinct, the cinematographer screams with the two girls, saying that he will leave them, but after just a few moments, he is surprised and killed by the mysterious creature, at broad daylight. The two girls, shocked by the killing, do their best trying to escape.
As the night falls again, they see the mysterious symbol – the one that appeared in the bodies of the four murdered girls, and that was also drawn at the entrance of their tent – drawn apparently in blood in several trees surrounding them. They manage to encounter a strange and ruined cabin, upon which they hide. But soon the creature locates them, and they are forced to leave the cabin. Soon the girls are outdoors, and they see a lot of the townsfolk people surrounding them, but their hostile faces make pretty obvious that their intention is not to help. The producer tries to escape, but is killed in the process. The only surviving member of the group, the girl attacked by the creature, is thrown in the floor by the group of stalkers, and they strongly hold her into the ground. She soon starts to scream, and appears to be giving birth, as one woman that was part of the group of deranged stalkers, off camera, seems to be doing the work of delivering the baby.
Soon, one year later, we see a group of people gathering in the dark, inside of a cabin, celebrating with a cake the birthday of one year of a baby. They are all the same community members seen before, that killed the producer girl, and delivered the baby of the girl impregnated by the Black Water creature. We see here the woman that rented the cabin for the group of filmmakers in the beginning of the movie, and we see, with an extremely unhappy face, the girl that wanted to shot the documentary, the only surviving member of the fatal ordeal that victimized her three friends. She was impregnated by the mysterious creature, with the blessing and the collusion of the townspeople, and apparently, is now a member of their community. The film ends showing the hybrid baby creature, half-human and half-monster.
For a found footage film, Black Water Vampire is simply amazing. Doing the best to avoid and to escape the clichés of the genre, this is a serious work, with a truly genuine and unexpected cinematic feeling. One of the best movies of the genre that I have seen, Black Water Vampire is filled by an atrocious atmosphere of the unknown, that really captures, evaluates and explores the validity of a deep sense of undeniable anguish throughout its entire run. At first, as suggested by the title, you may think that this is just another boring and ordinary vampire movie. But we should never judge a movie by its title, the same way we should never judge a book by its cover. Black Water Vampire manages to be an intelligent mindset of unrestrained, embracing and sensible captivity of surreal – but exponentially realistic – horror. The movie slowly builds on its deleterious urge a sinister, malevolent, fearful and lucid atmosphere of agony and affliction, as you delve deeper and deeper into the mysterious secrecies of a forest that you soon perceive to be held by a hostile and malevolent force, that doesn’t want anybody to wander on its premises.
Although the overall center of the plot is simple, and the formula upon which the movie unfolds is typical of the found footage genre, the atmosphere upon which the story reveals itself relies on a sinister background that manages to be not just genuine, but authentic and functional, slowly increasing, and showcasing its potential, as the movie progresses. The fear generated by the danger that subtlety reveals itself within the story is exceptionally grotesque, and as the danger becomes more plausible and palpable, the agony becomes more evident, lacerating and hurtful, to the point that you almost see yourself as part of the story, wandering what could you do to possibly get out of the forest alive.
Evidently, Black Water Vampire is a lot similar to several other found footage films, in instances like structure, style and the unfolding of events. But here, you have a cohesive story, intelligent movie making devices, decent technical skills, a salutary and well-elaborated plot, and a coherent and credible acting, as well as a lot of other qualities. Nonetheless, they are inserted so subtlety, that if you’re not really paying attention to the movie, you will probably miss some of the details that, combined altogether, managed to make this movie superior from other movies of the genre. Although the story unfolds calmly, it has the ability of slowly involving you in a wider spectacle of affliction and apprehension, that becomes deeper and deeper as the movie progresses, to the point where you firmly believe that you don’t have any more the opportunity to escape.
Don’t get me wrong. You may not be surprised at all at first, but if you really see this movie, appreciating it in the calmness it deserves, you will positively be captured by the genuine atmosphere of horror that this film wonderfully creates, and more marvelously, liberates towards its audience.
As typical for the genre, the movie is shot by the perspective of their participants, with the four main actors taking turns in recording the images (although the actual scenes were obviously recorded by a professional cinematographer), so you mostly see only three of them at a time, and less, as they begin to disappear. Departing from the prerogative of an adventurous endeavor, they leave for their destination towards an atrocious fate, upon which there would be no return. An excellent movie, despite its simple premise and common ground rhetoric that at first seems to be equal to other movies of the genre, Black Water Vampire certainly can be regarded as one of the best found footage films ever made.
Meat is an infamous YouTube Channel, which has attracted a lot of controversy and attention in recent times. It was a mysterious channel, with a lot of disturbing, dark and distressing videos, seemingly random and purposeless. Inhospitable landscapes, women caught alone in desert places and disturbing repetitive imagery were some of the things captured on the videos. To this day, nobody knows who managed the account, and a lot of speculations could be read on the section comments for every video downloaded on the channel, with the opinions going to both extremes: while some people wrote that this was only a person with a lot of time available doing some videos to please himself – while laughing a lot when reading the absurd comments people wrote on his channel –, others speculated that this was a vicious, insane and highly intelligent serial killer, that was actually recording on camera desolate places to dispose bodies, registering landscapes with highly disturbing resonant sounds in the background, shooting images of dark and sinister interiors and recording people in the open, whilst he was hidden behind trees or bushes, possibly preparing himself to attack. Scary, isn’t it? But who knows the truth, besides the owner of the controversial channel? Probably, nobody else.
Well, there is, undoubtedly, several channels a lot scarier than Meat, but while some of the videos were a lot softer than the urban legends created behind every single one of them, what used to be even scarier than what the videos were showing, was the things not appearing on the screen: if you really paid attention to the ambience, the sound, the background images, the landscape and all the adjacent information in every single video, you would certainly guess the person recording this certainly was doing a lot of things one is supposed not to do. But this was just the beginning of a wide range of speculations, not just on my part, but on the behalf of every single person that saw the videos, drowning deeply into the dark side of the mind behind the recorded images. Okay, perhaps it was just my imagination, taking too seriously the things I saw.
While doing some research myself (yes, I like playing the detective sometimes, probably the result of reading too much Arthur Conan Doyle in the past), I’ve collected enough evidence, which says that this individual is probably Canadian. Well, I have never been into Canada, so how could I know, right?
Well, a lot of the landscapes, buildings and sites in his videos are typically Canadian, with some residents correctly identifying at least some of those places and sites in the video comments. One viewer correctly identified one of these as the Victory Soya Mills Silos, an abandoned facility in the vicinity of Toronto. Another loose set of references points out Canada as his area of activity as well, but you have to be very attentive to find this out. In one of these videos, it was possible to see a sign written in two languages, French and English, which are the two main languages of Canada.
Well certainly, a lot of the things we write and think about this individual and the videos uploaded on the channel were a matter of pure speculation, and a lot of these same speculations helped a lot to inflate the internet urban legend on which the Meat Channel built its reputation. Probably this is nothing more than a work of a bored individual, that doesn’t know what to do in his spare time. At least, I hope this is the case.
As my desire to show you this grew, unexpectedly, for no apparent reason, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you see) the owner of the channel deleted all videos some months ago, except one, a video upon which he explains – in a written message – why he decided to erase all the videos. Also, we may be talking not of a male person, but a female one. If you take a look into the Facebook and Twitter account of Meat – yes, he (or she), had both [if it was not deleted as well], the name given in the context possibly points out to a female person, not a male one. But of course, this person – whatever the sex gender may be – can be deliberately trying to fool us. It can be a prank, like a lot of the things we see on the internet these days.
In the end, I think Meat probably would remain being one of those dark internet mysteries to remain unsolved. I can only hope seriously that this is just a dark prank, from a bored – and very smart – aristocratic student, with a penchant for dark humor, from a very expensive college in nearby Toronto, with a lot of time in his hands, than the more dramatic rumors that the more drastic Meat fans have speculated about. Well, unfortunately, there are a lot of demented maniacs and serial killers out there, and some of them are cleverer, more than what we could possibly like to admit… and maybe one of these insane individuals was the mastermind behind Meat, recording and uploading his videos on YouTube until recently, while laughing hysterically about how he was easily getting away with murder, while showing through his YouTube channel little pieces and fragments of his illicit activities. Very dark and psychotic, right? Sincerely, I don’t even like to think about it, but let’s face it… there is always the possibility! Well, while his videos were ambiguous enough to let us point out innumerous interpretations – from the most terrible and sadistic ones to the more plausible and naïve probabilities –, one thing is certain: it doesn’t matter trying to speculate. Whatever the truth may be, we will simply never know.
Well, being home alone, for most people, means liberty, freedom, happiness, the chance to finally hear out loud the music you want to, to see that really cool television show that only you like it, and do whatever pleases you the most, until the parents, the roommate, the wife or the husband gets home, which means that the fun you had, when you were totally alone, is gone for good.
Well, being alone means fun, right? Well, not always! Let’s remember that very good horror movies make useful the pretext of being alone, to do a very cohesive and scary fearful story. Movies like When a Stanger Calls and Mischief Night are perfect examples on why being home alone is not always a very good situation, and how what appears to be a chance to finally feel on your own could turn into a very dreadful and deadliest situation, as fast as the blink of an eye.
Of course, for a situation like this to be scary, you have to add the elements that disrupts the tranquility of the ambient, like the night, strange noises, and, of course –
the main component – a pervasive and dangerous assailant, which means that you will regret the decision of a quiet solitary night, in the comfort of your house.
Experience a situation like these in real life can be really frightening. Can you imagine hearing things outside, look at the window, and see nothing? And suddenly hear the slow and cautious walk of an intruder, and have that feeling, that you know something is very, very wrong? And have to hide under your bed, or inside the closet, praying for the intruder not to find you?
Well, while this kind of situation is very unwanted and potentially dangerous in real life, they really do very nice and frightening horror stories and movies. And they appeal to us in such a high intensity because it could happen to any one of us. The tension and the fear built in the air is especially painful just because you don’t know who exactly is the person trespassing, what it is the main motive behind the intrusion, what the intruder will really do (steal? rape? kidnap? kill? all of these options?), and if you have enough physical strength to overcome him, and possibly escape alive well, or not. And in the right mood, in the correct pace and in the proper tension, this kind of story can be scary, more than we could possibly imagine.
Well, for your fun, the video below has 10 scary stories, that will make you think twice, the next time you’re about to be home alone. But you have to listen to them completely on your own, in the dead of night, in the darkness of your bedroom. Otherwise, it will have no effect. Everybody is brave and courageous with other people at broad daylight, but completely alone, in the darkness of the dawn… well, that’s when you really see if you are brave enough… or not!
I know that Jack Torrance is the main character of Stephen King’s The Shining, but today’s talk is about another Jack Torrance: a freaking and terrifying YouTube channel. Jack Torrance – whose name was obviously inspired by the aforementioned character – is a creepy and sinister YouTube channel that has a lot of found footage videos, some of them terrifyingly creepy, dark and disturbing.
The channel claims these videos are all real, and that they were found at an estate sale, near Austin, Texas. Now, the person who runs the channel is digitalizing all those videos, to upload it on YouTube.
Some videos are really creepy and disturbing. Apparently all of them decoded, they are usually very short and sinister. In less than half an hour you can see them all. The two minute video Found Footage Super 8 Reel 13.49585.76: Fragment 86t shows what appears to be a person in a dark place, with a flashlight. The individual enters an elevator, and suddenly, passing ahead of this person, there is a dark, unrecognizable figure, and breathing in fear and agony, the person who is filming the video goes to the panel of the elevator, and try to push the buttons to another floor, in an attempt to escape whatever the dangers the mysterious figure could possibly inflict. A very vague reflex of this person can be seen in the elevator door. When this person reaches another floor, after a few steps, an acute noise is heard, and the video suddenly finishes.
The almost sepia forty three seconds video Found Footage Super 8 Reel 97.16521.61: Fragment 5s, shows disrupted images of a girl playing, when, in the end, what appears to be a thin, long cryptid arm with enormous, giant fingernails, goes towards the little girl. The thirty seconds Found Footage Super 8 Reel 45.876.78: Fragment 87t, although it has a very unclear image, shows someone inside some place sinister. After opening a creaking door, the person sees the frightening figure of a long-haired dark apparition in a rocking chair, and then the person shooting the video tries to escape.
The one minute and a half video Found Footage Super 8 Reel 15.656.9: Fragment 5b it is one of the most mysterious and disturbing videos of the channel. It is set in a creepy place, with a lot of bizarre objects. You can see skulls, old photographs, a demonic mask hanging from a wall, a strange hand-like chandelier, and a fox mask, encircled by candles burning, in what appears to be the place of a ritual. Afterwards, you will see a mysterious unidentified object, and a shadow embracing it, that suddenly disappears (obviously, through editing), and someone with a bizarre, horrible mask comes along, in front of the camera, for the rest of the video.
The Found Footage Super 8 Reel 10.4566.26: Fragment 44X shows a very nervous and anxious person, breathing deeply in affliction, investigating a dark place. When he (assuming that it is, indeed, a male person) opens up a curtain, we see a dead corpse (again, assuming that it is one, the image is very dark and distorted), and the person apparently panics, and a strange noise suddenly disrupts over the video. If you freeze the image in a proper time in the one minute and five seconds Found Footage VHS Cassette 031 Fragment 25n video, you can see what appears to be a demonic figure slowly appearing behind some clothes in a wardrobe. You can freeze the image several times throughout the video, and caught the demon in different positions, as it is moving forward, pushing away the clothes. It has gigantic hands, and a very large, ugly face.
Not all videos are interesting: some of them have just ordinary images, or dull sequences. But most of them are intriguing, to say the least. Of course, this could be just a hoax, given the fact that practically all videos have, very conveniently, distorted, vague and unclear images, to give the impression that they are old. At least, the product of antique film reels, or Betamax format, like it is explained, in the channel description. Despite being curious, the channel failed to attract attention from a lot of the more mainstream web mystery solvers. Some of them probably think that the channel simply doesn’t worth their time. But the question here is: these videos are authentic, or not? At least, some of them could be real? What do you think? Could we solve the mystery behind the channel Jack Torrance someday?
Personally, I think it is a very cool, but somewhat misleading and pretentious hoax. Certainly, from the perspective of someone who analyzed some of the creepiest and sinister YouTube channels, I think Jack Torrance is more like an entertaining, funny joke. Sure there are some cool videos, but a lot of things simply don’t match. To make fake videos nowadays is so easy, especially if you have the correct technological paraphernalia… if you own a Macintosh, a good digital camera, and really knows how to handle movie programs, to shot this kind of video, and set all the arrangements to give it a dark and old style impression is easy beyond any possibility… but we have to recognize the creativity – at least in some of the more well finished videos – of whoever it is behind this project. Despite being an inferior enigma, especially if compared to the more sinister YouTube channels, in my personal evaluation Jack Torrance remains being a very interesting YouTube mystery, that deserves, at least, a little attention.
Sweet Home is a 2015 bilingual Spanish horror/ thriller film, directed by Rafa Martínez, and starring Ingrid García Jonsson and Bruno Sevilla. The story follows a couple, imprisoned in an abandoned derelict building, fighting for their lives against a group of brutal criminals, looking to kill them both.
The movie tells the story of a night in the life of Alicia (García Jonsson), a civil inspector, responsible for the state of preservation of home buildings in urban areas. One afternoon, after one routine inspection, she accidentally grabs the keys of an abandoned apartment, and decides to keep it for the weekend, as she sees the location as the perfect place for a surprise party, to celebrate her boyfriend’s birthday.
After blindfolding her boyfriend Simon (Sevilla), she leads both to the unsuspected location for a romantic night, as a couple, in the abandoned apartment. After a good start, they discuss, and after separating just for a little while, Alicia notices there are more people in the place, which – with the possible exception of one old man who refuses to leave, whose apartment was inspected by her earlier that day – should be empty.
After being noticed, Alicia is successful in escaping the criminals, but her boyfriend doesn’t have the same luck. After a fight ensues, he manages to escape, just to be caught and stabbed by one of the assailants. When Alicia by chance locates her boyfriend, she manages to help him, and he successfully kills his offender. When both reduce the entire gang to simply one man, they think that escaping alive would be easy, but when reinforcement arrives in the person of one professional sadistic killer, things become really terrifying for the couple, especially when she uncovers the fact that this men were probably all hired by the real state agency, to kill the few remaining residents of the building – mostly aged and solitary people – to demolish the structure, and build a whole new set of luxury and expensive flats.
The end, painstakingly aggressive and exceedingly surprising, will simply make you jump from the couch. And you will certainly have the desire to see this movie again.
With great moments from the very beginning to the last final seconds, Sweet Home is a terrific movie, with absolutely no faults at all! Great acting, dramatic moments, agonizing tensions, fearful scenes, afflictive downturns and an amazing soundtrack are all greatly combined, working splendidly altogether, with the final result being this fantastic and superb masterpiece.
The script, decent, cohesive, well-structured, realistic and abrasive, it is beyond convincing: its dark undertones are extremely grounded in real possibilities, with the timing and the correct unrolling of events being a major highlight, completely favorable to the plot, having an almost perfect mathematical set of sequences.
There are no complaints about this movie. With excellent actors doing their best, an impeccable set of technical proficiency – with special mentions to its refined cinematography and a very lucid photography, responsible for its bright artistic visuals – terrifying scenario, correct timing and pace, everything possible in this movie is beyond compliment; in fact, all compliments in the world still wouldn’t do justice to the professional level of artistic excellence this movie easily achieves.
With a great history of filmmaking, Spain rarely gives us bad movies. Fortunately for us, this artistic legacy continues to this day. With such a groundbreaking excellence, having executed brightly such a common concept, Sweet Home is a first class movie that certainly deserves one hundred stars, or more, but since I can give to it only five, it is five stars indeed. But it remains being just a few, since it deserves a lot more.
Agoraphobia is a 2015 supernatural horror movie, written, directed and produced by Lou Simon, starring Cassie Scerbo. In the film, Scerbo plays Faye, an agoraphobic woman, who returns to the house of her childhood, in a desperate measure to overcome her disorder, soon to discover that, apparently, the house is being haunted by a supernatural entity.
Well, unfortunately, from the beginning, the movie is a total disaster. The acting sometimes, becomes so artificial, that the actors in general give the impression to simply spit up their lines, in a much trained sequence, without any emotion or credible tension, just for the sake of obligation. At times, the scenes become so conventionally picturesque and cartoonish, that resembles more a British afternoon soap opera, than an actual horror movie. And soon you pick yourself up just wandering “why the hell in this world am I watching this movie?” Well… do yourself a favor, and don’t!
Although the lead actress deliver a performance that is – at least, for a movie of this category – somewhat decent, the plot doesn’t have nothing in its favor. Very common ground and ordinary, what is really happening, Faye discovers near the end of the movie, is that her husband and her best friend are having an affair, and both are planning to put her in a psychiatric institution, to take full control of her vast inheritance. They somewhat take advantage of her psychiatric condition, to deliberately execute tricks and deceits against her. As a result, she becomes really disturbed, giving to others the impression that she is losing her mind, becoming delusional and insane. As soon as Faye discovers their plan, they decide to kill her. Nonetheless, the house is indeed inhabited by a ghost – of Faye’s deceased mother – that was seeking to reveal to her daughter the dangers she was facing, in the risk of the conspiracy, on which she was the victim. In the end, the spirit of her mother is what saves her life.
Besides the mediocre plot, that is not what the movie has at its worst; things are slow, at times it seems more like a family melodrama, than a real horror movie, and the acting are very unforgivably dull and mechanic. The fact that the entire movie develops completely indoors (of course, she’s agoraphobic) is another major cause of monotony (lacks movement in the structure of the plot). With the possible exception of the performance delivered by Cassie Scerbo, that is quite convincing – and at times, it seems the work of a professional actress [which is quite an achievement, given the below the average performance skills from the rest of the cast] –, the movie is superbly monotonous, and boring beyond imagination. A very low class average low budget B-movie, highly generic, that really doesn’t worth your time. Nonetheless, I have learned to appreciate the positive points that even this kind of movie has to offer: in this case, a very good photography – in a very classic style, for the genre – and a somewhat intriguing lead character, facing a rather peculiar condition, in a very unusual situation. But the movie doesn’t have anything more to offer, so it is very poor, especially in terms of plot, acting performance, originality and intellectual sophistication. One star and a half does the rating for this movie, quite well.
Charlie’s Farm is a 2014 Australian horror film, starring American actress Tara Reid. It concerns a group of four friends that decides to go out on a trip, to investigate an isolated farm, on which supposedly lives Charlie, the violent and ferocious cannibalistic killer, that grew all by himself in the vast desolation of the completely abandoned farm – that belonged to his parents –, after they were killed by locals, who discovered their vicious and sadistic rampage of kidnapping, murdering and cannibalizing innocent farm laborers. Assuming this to be folklore, and all part of a local legend, thinking little of it to be true, despite being warned, the four friends decide to spend a couple of days in the abandoned farm, only to be victimized by the atrocious and violent murderer.
This is a movie with as much as positive as well as much as negative aspects, although the positive ones, somewhat, in the end, seems able to overcome its overall misdemeanors. One of its major problems is the pace of the movie, being incredibly slow. Only after forty minutes the group finally arrives at their destination, and the horror begins at one hour of movie. And when it begins, the excessive and explicit amount of violence it ensues is far too heavy to tolerate, even for a horror movie. Nonetheless, the movie has its remarkable features, like a cohesive and realistic plot, believable background elements, coherent unfolding of the events, well-structured story and good acting, to say the least, which makes it very difficult to evaluate, being so good, and so bad, at the same time.
Well, the movie is watchable, that is for sure. If you feel patient, and really appreciates a story being told in a very calm, slow manner, with no hurry, and don’t mind turning your head a little bit when the blood (and skull fragments, and many other body parts) starts to spill, you will like this movie. It is remarkably well done, has the 3 C’s (Cohesion, Coherence and Consistence), which is vital for a good plot, and, unlike many other horror movies, comes with a somewhat painstaking degree of audacity, since none of the characters survives the horrible ordeal, which is a rare feature, very hard to find in horror movies these days.
Yes, definitely this movie has it all to be a good entertainment, since – by a very thin margin – its positive points, in a certain way, can redeem a little its flaws. It’s a very nice horror piece, with potential to become, one day, a cult classic. Definitely, it deserves three and a half stars, out of five.
Martyrs is a 2016 American horror film, which is a remake of the 2008 French Canadian movie of the same name. Directed by Kevin and Michael Goetz, it stars Troian Bellisario and Bailey Noble, as two girls unveiling a dark conspiracy by a group of people who kidnaped young children, to torture them, and study their capacities to endure pain and distress, to see which one had potential to become a martyr.
Lucie (Bellisario) and Ann (Noble) become childhood friends in the orphanage on which both live. Ann, upon noticing how lonely Lucie was, take the girl upon her wings, and they develop a strong friendship, learning deeply to rely on each other. Soon, Lucie is adopted, and when she finally believes that her life will take a change for the better, the very opposite is what really waits for her.
Years pass, and when Lucie is a grown up woman, she decides to take revenge on her entire surrogate family. One day, she finally storms in with a gun, and kill everybody in the house on which she used to live. After the killing, she calls Ann, to tell her what she did, and to help her in hiding the bodies and the evidences at the crime scene. Claiming that she was abused for years, Lucie finally reveals the fragile side of her personality, and confides to Ann all the horrendous things that she had to endure while living imprisoned with her abusive family.
Initially dismissing all of the things that Lucie tells her as being paranoia, or symptoms of mental instability, soon the two girls are trapped by what appears to be members of a mysterious group, fronted by an old woman that shows an obscure interest in Lucie, although she don’t reveal at first what her intentions are. When both girls are trapped in the house, locked in separate cells in a dark basement, Ann begins to realize that all of the things that Lucy told her are possibly true.
When Lucie and the mysterious woman finally got the chance to be alone, you finally discover that an obscure and horrendous organization is torturing individuals since their childhoods, to select the stronger ones, and determine which one has the potential to become a martyr. They submit their experiments to physical and psychological pain, and make they go through hard traumas, to specially observe the most resistant ones. And this is why Lucie is so special to the organization, since she bravely endured the harder tests inflicted upon her, although not without extremely psychological consequences.
When Ann manages to escape her confinement, she notices other iron cages, and in one of them, she sees one little girl, that she decides to rescue. In a dramatic downturn of events, Lucie is finally able to transcend who she really is, and finally get her revenge on the people that inflicted on her the most abhorrent time of her life.
While not particularly an excellent movie, Martyrs do have some interesting concepts! The visuals, the acting, the rhythm of the story, and all technical elements that make a good movie, in fact, are all there! The movie is not boring or dull, and the awkward situations, as well as an intriguing plot, compels you to pay attention to the whole story, as the movie has the ability to entice your curiosity, to see it to the very end. The movie have a decent, colorful drama, serving as a coherent background, and Troian Bellisario, who portrays Lucie, gives to the movie a very interesting element, portraying a troubled and traumatized character, with a profound sense of realistic characterization, and great degree of vigorous and abnormal instinct of survival. The relationship of the two girls as two best friends since childhood, with a deep bond, is also a remarkable feature of the movie, with an intensity and a sense of completeness that really fuels the dramatic tones of the story.
While the movie have its merits, there’s nothing on it that you haven’t seen in a hundred movies before. Although it is not just a generic, formulaic drama driven horror movie, you will hardly be impressed with its artistic achievements. The movie is a great one hour and a half entertainment, but doesn’t go beyond that. As soon as the movie finishes, you will forget entirely what you have seen. Nonetheless, it is a very well done more of the same, and certainly deserves a three and a half stars.