Archive for eli roth

‘Clown’: This ain’t no kiddie show

Posted in horror, Movies, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2017 by aliciamovie

clown

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Director: Jon Watts

Studio: Cross Creek Pictures

MPAA Rating: R

Review Rating: 7 out of 10

A harried father, wanting to make his sons birthday not clown-less, dons an old clown costume he found in a house he’s renting and soon discovers to his horror, he can’t take the cursed thing off!

One would think, from that oversimplified version of the plot I just spouted, that the movie is just going to be a gore-fest of body-Horror-turned-hack-n-slash, which is fairly standard for Eli Roth’s MO. However, Roth had little to do with the film in the beginning and was half seduced and half strongarm-convinced to lend his name and reputation to Clown. While yes, there is plenty of body Horror, as poor hapless Kent discovers himself literally turning into a demon, and lots of hack n slash as Kent makes his way towards the sacrifice the demon demands, the story behind the clown skin is quite cool and very different, a welcome unexpected treat.

So Kent McCoy (Andy Powers) is your standard real estate contractor type, he sells houses and has a wife and son he loves; your average schmo who’s done not a thing to deserve this nonsense. It just so happens that Kent wants his kid Jack (Christian Distefano) to have the happiest birthday possible, and if that means donning a borrowed clown costume he found in the trunk of some house he’s renting and going out to be the entertainment his damn self, he’ll do it. Good for you, Kent. The trouble is, now, he can’t take the damned clown suit, or that idiotic nose and the rainbow hair, off. Kent’s early attempts to get the cursed suit offa him, or at least cover it up, are some of the bright spots of a very dark movie.

Kent’s wife Meg (Laura Allen), well of course she’s mighty concerned, and it doesn’t help that the bit of clown-nose she managed to get off Kent only to have it eaten by the dog, is now causing the dog to act funny too. Tracking down the costumes previous owner, Dr. Martin Karlsson, proves difficult, but his brother Herbert (Peter Stormhare) has some answers that Kent really doesn’t like. And here is where Clown takes an abrupt turn down a very different Krampus-like path – Herbert informs Kent of the legend of Cløyne, an ancient demon of Northern Europe that requires a sacrifice of five children, one for each month of winter where it comes from, to eat before it is satisfied. That clown suit that is now taking over Kent is no suit, it’s the actual skin and hair from a Cløyne demon, and that is precisely what Kent is becoming.

From there, we have a mix of hilariously dark moments where Dadclown is still trying not to turn into Cløyne by killing himself and it so doesn’t work, or Dadclown deciding to get some revenge for his kids bullying while getting his demon parasite fed at the same time, interspersed with some truly odd moments with Herbert showing back abruptly to try and finish Cløyne off himself. Things come to a showdown in a Chuck E. Cheese’s, of all places, and we are forcibly reminded that there are few things scarier in this world, even moreso than an actual demon, than a mother afraid for her children.

The makeup affects for the body horror and transformation in the film are astounding, and they had better be, considering there’s practically nothing in the way of CGI. The feeling of plausibility that comes across, this could happen to you too in the right (wrong) circumstances, is also well done and gives the movie that extra creepy kick. While the slaughter-y scenes certainly do have Roth’s signature on them, one would be hard-pressed to tell that from the rest of the film. Director of the film Jon Watts, who also did Cop Car (and directed and freaking co-wrote the upcoming Spiderman Homecoming movie), gives us a stylized Horror flick that he clearly felt passionately about. For all Watts’ love of the movie and the Cløyne legend of the demonic clown, we are treated, almost tricked, into a Horror flick that has a bit of everything, and that is what the dark carnival is all about.

Visit the legend of Cløyne in Clown on Netflix!

The Sacrament

Posted in drama, horror, Movies, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2014 by aliciamovie

the-sacrament-movie-poster

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Magnet Pictures

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Ti West

Review Rating: 6.5

News journalists from Vice magazine travel to an undisclosed location to take a look at the newfound life of the recovering-drug addict sister of one of them, at a place called Eden Parish, overseen by the charismatic man known as Father.

This is another Ti West movie, and there have been some films of his I rather liked and some that were…less than stellar. Even discovering that The Sacrament was a found footage film, which normally I can simply do without, wasn’t a deterrent in the beginning. The three guys going to check out Eden Parish are journalists and at least one of them is used to camerawork, so the entire film wasn’t covered in shaky-cam shots, I’m pleased to say. There are a few shots interspersed in the film that almost gave me a headache trying to watch, as the guys holding the camera are being chased or are hiding, and it’s perfectly understandable that the first-person POV camera shots are shifty and gritty; at least there was reason for them to be that way. So the found footage aspect of the film itself isn’t all that bad. But that honestly doesn’t help the story, and that is the main focus of our review here.

So Patrick (Kentucker Adley), he’s a reporter for Vice magazine and is concerned about his sister Caroline, a recovering drug addict. He receives a letter from Caroline (Amy Seimetz), inviting him out to this utopian community where she’s clean and off drugs, to come see the place that is her salvation. Patrick decides to go and take reporter Sam (AJ Bowen) and cameraman Jake (Joe Swanberg) with him, which immediately leads to issues, when they discover they have to be flown by helicopter to an undisclosed location and the armed guards at the entrance to Eden Parish take issue with the fact that there are three of them instead of just one. Already overtones of stuff-isn’t-right-here are setting in, and our trio haven’t even made it in the front door! But hey, Sam and Jake and Patrick make it inside and are greeted by Caroline, who hauls Patrick off for some brother bonding time, leaving Jake and Sam to their own investigative devices.

From here, I really wish I could say that Jake and Sam discover instances of ritual sacrifice, cannibalism or hell even tax fraud, but no. The Parish has a big ole party that our guys are invited to, with revival Baptist style singing and all, and Father (Gene Jones) sits down to what was supposed to be an in-depth interview in front of everyone, but turns out to be a rant about the corruption of the outside world and all Father has done to shield these people from it, here in Eden Parish. Sam is quite off-put over the fact that Father tried to turn the interview around on him and creeped out a tad by the whole thing. Father takes Caroline with him to his house when its time for bed and after a teeny tiny confrontation with a mother who wants our reporters to take her daughter away with them, all we’re left over the course of the night is an undefined sense of wrongness about Eden Parish until morning. But in the light of day, fully a third of the Parishioners have packed and want desperately to leave, and the rest of Eden’s folk are trying to stop them, by any means necessary. Our reporters are being hunted down by the guards with machine guns and Father has ordered that the Final Solution (with the kool-aid, I kid you not) be brought out and distributed amongst all the Parishioners. Father tries to explain to his flock that this Final Solution is all that’s left to them now, as the reporters bad influence will bring the law and executions down on all of them, and how it’s better to take that choice from them before they get here. And Father sits calmly down to watch his flock die in what is absolutely not like drifting off to sleep forever, as he promised them. Caroline decides to take matters literally into her own hands and, after offing her poor brother Patrick, douses herself in flammable liquids and bids a final flaming screw-you to the world. All we’re left with is cameraman Jake, who did manage to make it out despite the fact that the helicopter pilot took a bullet, and his filmed evidence of the massacre at Eden Parish.

Yes, the film manages to maintain a semi-creepy vibe throughout the entire thing, but that’s all we have, as far as real Horror. Honestly, it’s like watching a documented version of the Jonestown massacre with a few small changes, and that’s it. You know what they say, don’t drink the kool-aid!

Movie Moxie’s 31 Days of Halloween – Day 29 – Masters of Horror

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Fantasy, Foreign, Historical, horror, Movies, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2013 by aliciamovie

mastersofhorror

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: AnchorBay

MPAA Rating: R

Review Rating: 8

A two season collection of hour-long horror films made by some of the finest Masters of Horror today – John Carpenter, Eli Roth, Tim Sullivan, Wes Craven, Joe Lynch, Robert Rodriguez, Mary Lambert, Dario Argento, Tobe Hooper, John Landis, and others.

This was an amazing series and I was always so bummed they never put out any more of them. Just two seasons and that was it. *Pout* At any rate, each story is it’s own self contained unit, there is no intro from the director or anything, following an anthology series format. The introductory theme is always the same and I always let it run, because like Dexter, it is simple and stunning and always worth a listen. The stories range from Poe to Lovecraft and everything in between, there is even a short story by one of my more favorite horror authors Bentley Little turned into the show “The Washingtonians”, and the directors really seem to relish the extra possibilities just a television show brings. Each and every show is its’ own contained little world, so one does not need to watch the shows in order, or see every single one. Though I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t, given all the talent that goes into these shows.

“Sick Girl” was the first episode I ever saw, and is still one of my favorites – a show about a shy lesbian with an obsession for exotic insects. “Haeckel’s Tale” reads like an old fashioned Grimm fairy tale, a real one, where the ending is fraught with dark magic and sheer mind-blackening terror. “We All Scream For Ice Cream” puts one in the mind of Stephen King’s IT, what with psycho killer clowns and vengeful spirits. Many more delightful and terrible gems of storytelling await you, see Masters of Horror today!

Spotlight on Asian Horror — The Butcher

Posted in horror, Movies with tags , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2010 by aliciamovie

 

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Director: Kim Jin Won

Studio: Palisades Tartan

MPAA Rating: N/A

Region: Korean

Review Rating:  Six Eyeballs

A small group of murder victims fall to the torture and killing of a gang of film makers and their pig-head-wearing mutant Butcher.

It’s actually very hard for me to sum up the plot for this movie, because frankly, there isn’t one. Things start right off with approximately four victims, each one has a camera mounted to their head, and the entire movie is either shot from the victim or murderer point of view. I would guess the purpose is to bring the audience as close to the reality of what they’re being shown as possible, for me all those jerky camera movements and stark shots of gore are just barely disconcerting. Like Hostel, the film seems to try very hard for unflinching atrocity, all substance and no story. Which, if you happen to be a horror-phile of that variety, is just fine.

The film-makers, if you want to call them that, interact some with their victims. After the first few shots of the victims all huddled together and one of them being dragged off to some unknown horror, the real show begins. Next, and last, is the husband and wife pair who are set up in the killing room across from eachother, both awake and more or less aware and forced to watch the other being tortured. The director, again if you want to call him that, proceeds to commence a very sick game in which he promises if the husband can endure everything that happens to him for ten minutes without, as it was censored for the review, “chickening out”, he and the wife will go free. Of course the husband can’t do it, so the stakes are upped: give the director new and inventive ways to torture and kill the wife, and save the husbands life. After an escape attempt, being hunted through the filming warehouse, the nasty death of the wife and a final battle, the husband actually does manage to escape entirely, and rides off into the sunset to bawl like a baby. I think I mentioned it before, but basically the film is very much like the movie Hostel, but without any real attempts at that silly trifling thing called a plot.

It is very graphic, just bear that in mind. There’s a rape scene, an eyeball-popping scene, and more blood than I think there is in a few dead bodies, splashed everywhere. I would guess it’s a new-ish style of horror film-making, but for us jaded Americans the movie didn’t do much. The Butcher gets six eyeballs, we didn’t need those anyway.


The Last Excorcism

Posted in horror, Movies, suspense with tags , , , , , , on October 7, 2010 by aliciamovie

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Strike Pictures

MPAA Rating: PG 13

Director: Daniel Stamm

Review Rating: 5 Pentagrams

A difficult Evangelical minister travels to Louisiana to perform his last excorcism, and agrees to have it taped.

It’s not a horror flick, not in any manner that I can see. Sure, there are scenes where the supposedly possessed girl bends backwards and cracks her neck, mystic symbols on the wall, and all the growling and cursing you can stomach. It’s an excorcism, right? But…the ceremony is being performed by a minister who’s, on his own admission, lacking in his faith and belief in excorcisms in the first place. This is the same man who gives sermons with card tricks. (Long long ago, cards themselves were denounced by the Church, but I digress.) It kind of reminds me of Stigmata, where we have a priest who actually gets sent out by the Vatican to debunk fake stigmata sufferers and the like. The minister here, Cotton Marcus, speaks of people suffering in their own minds and his desire to help them, and well maybe performing an excorcism will bring them some peace of mind, and after that we strongly recommend mental therapy for a long time. Not real scary yet.

So, apparently at random, Cotton selects a house in Louisiana that wrote him asking for an excorcism performance for the daughter, Nell. And he takes a camera crew with him. Again, seems rather unfaithful to me, but whatever, we go on. Sure enough, Nell is suffering, but well, she’s your fairly typical backwoods uneducated hick type, and her father won’t hear of there actually being something wrong with her head. He swears up and down it’s the Devil got his daughter, while he stands there holding his shotgun. It comes to light that Nell may or may not have been pregnant at some point, there’s debate over who the father could have been, and even a little investigation that doesn’t really turn up diddly. Cotton performs one excorcism that doesn’t satisfy anyone, least of all the audience. Things continue on their merry way, Nell gets worse, people are attacked and bleeding, and Cotton swears he’ll perform a second excorcism, as he believes it now. Local clergy are brought in for help, and it all seems to be more or less taken care of. The only meat in this entire story is in the last five minutes of the movie, where a total spoiler alert is lurking. The movie ends on an uncomfortably unfinished note, we don’t get to find out what happens to Cotton or Nell, and we don’t get movie-God confirmation that Nell was indeed possessed by, well, anything. Everything is left open to interpretation and assumption, and the movie itself doesn’t have a strong enough story for that. A great deal of the camera work is done in a Blair Witch style, all shadows and jerky running angles and close-ups and gritty supposed realism.

Patrick Fabian stars as minister Cotton Marcus, and he does well at the Vegas magician-style entertainment while giving his sermons, but that’s a sad character to have him playing. Ashley Bell twitches a lot as Nell, the performance is good, but they had her trying very hard for an Excorcist Reagan type and it doesn’t fit. Louis Herthum stars as Nell’s gun-toting father Louis, he did a fair job bringing across passion and fear for his daughter at least.

The Last Excorcism actually only gets 5 pentagrams, because I really really expected more from this movie. It doesn’t even have an R rating!


Inglorious Basterds

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Historical, Movies, suspense with tags , , , , , on February 28, 2010 by aliciamovie

 

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Universal Pictures

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Review Rating: 7

A gang of Jewish-Americans known as “The Basterds” take on the Third Reich in Nazi occupied France.

In order to really appreciate this style of movie, you really have to be a fan of Tarantino’s. And not just the kind of fan who happened to like the crazed pace of Pulp Fiction, no, this is much more in the manner of Four Rooms, which I personally adored. However, Basterds doesn’t have anywhere near the sympathetic agony and fun for an understaffed hotel with an overworked bellboy. Every moment in Basterds seems categorized by this horrible insidious fear that the Nazis are going to commit some atrocity. And while yes, that’s exactly what they often did, the taut way Tarantino wrings tension out of every last scene with the Nazis is life draining to the movie watcher.

Consider the very first scene, where a hail-fellow-well-met Nazi comes and talks to a known Jew sympathizer. The man’s daughters are hauled outside, and we watching don’t know what happens to them, but it could be any number of agonies. Meanwhile, this stereotypical Nazi has a quiet conversation with the sympathizer, the upshot of which is if he doesn’t give up the Jews he’s hiding, his world will essentially end. You can see horror after endless horror being calculated for and against in the mans mind; I sure hope that was Tarantino’s intention.

Most of the rest of the movie is Brad Pitt leading the Basterds off to be, as he says, killin’ Nat-zis. There’s a lot about a movie house, the attractive female lead who owns the movie house, a visitation from the Fuhrer himself, and a plot to blow everyone to kingdom come. And yes it all comes together in a very Four Rooms fashion towards the end of the movie, but there’s hardly any FUN! Pitt’s Fight Club style of shenanigans don’t pair too well with the tension-filled performances delivered by the likes of Melanie Laurent.

Tarantino seems to be making his own niche in the filmmaker industry, and if you’re a fan, you’ll like this one.

Spike Scream Awards 2009 Voting Begins

Posted in Action, Cartoon, comedy, Comics, drama, Fantasy, Foreign, Historical, horror, Movies, Musical, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2009 by aliciamovie

SPIKE TV ANNOUNCES NOMINEES FOR “SCREAM 2009”-

“STAR TREK” TOPS LIST WITH 17 NOMINATIONS

 4th Annual Global Event Honoring The Blockbuster, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror and Comic Book Genres of the Year

Tapes Saturday, October 17 At The Greek Theater In Los Angeles

 “SCREAM 2009” Nominees Chosen By Advisory Board of Hollywood And Genre Leaders Including

Tim Burton, Wes Craven, Roland Emmerich, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, Eli Roth,

Zack Snyder And Many More

 Two-Hour Event To Reveal Exclusive World Premiere Footage Of The Most Anticipated Releases of 2010

 Voting Begins Today Only At Scream.Spike.com

 

New York, NY, August 31, 2009 – “Resistance is futile” this October as Spike TV
<http://www.spike.com/>  presents the fourth annual “SCREAM,” the first and only
global event of its kind to honor the best in  sci-fi, fantasy, horror and comic
genres.  Taping on Saturday, October 17 at The Greek Theater in Los Angeles, CA,
“SCREAM 2009” celebrates the hottest films, tv shows, comics, actors, creators,
icons and pioneers who have influenced and shaped the industry.  This year’s show
will also continue the tradition of featuring exclusive World Premieres from some of
the most anticipated movies of 2010.  The two-hour extravaganza will premiere on
Spike TV on Tuesday, October 27 (10:00 PM-Midnight, ET/PT).  Presenters and musical
performers will be announced shortly.
 
“Eight out of the 10 highest grossing films of all time are in  the ‘SCREAM’ genres,
which is due to the incredible passion and loyalty of these fans,” said Casey
Patterson, executive producer of “SCREAM 2009” and senior vice president of event
production, talent development and studio relations for Spike TV.  “We’re thrilled
to once again to present the only global event honoring their heroes.”
 
Some of the nominees’ reactions include:
“Without all of the fans, the claws would have been sheathed a long time ago! 
Thank you so much,” said Hugh Jackman after hearing he was nominated for two
“SCREAM” awards and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” was nominated for 13.
 
“Everyone knows it's the VILLAINS who have the most fun.  Thanks to the ‘SCREAM’
team and congrats to everyone at ‘True Blood.’  This is very exciting for the whole
show,” said Best Villain nominee and star of  HBO’s “True Blood” Alexander
Skarsgard. 
 
"Thank you for the nomination and thank you for letting me frighten you.  I look
forward to doing it again sometime soon,” said Ryan Kwanten after hearing he was
nominated for Best Horror Actor for his role as Jason Stackhouse on “True Blood.”
"Getting nominated for kissing a Vulcan is a better fate than logic," said “Star
Trek’s” Zoe Saldana after getting word she received two “SCREAM” Awards nominations
for Best Breakout Performance: Female and Best Science Fiction Actress.
J.J. Abrams’ Sci-Fi action-adventure “Star Trek” tops the list with 17 nominations
including The Ultimate Scream, Best Science Fiction Movie, Best Director, Best
Ensemble, Holy Sh*t Scene of the Year and a nod in the all-new Fight-to-the-Death
Scene of the Year category.  Comic book-inspired blockbusters “X-Men Origins:
Wolverine” and “Watchmen” each nabbed 13 nominations, while HBO’s vampire-themed
television series “True Blood” garnered nine nominations. 
Ballots were sent out to Spike TV’s “SCREAM 2009” advisory board, consisting of some
of the most respected and well-known members of the horror, sci-fi, fantasy and
comic book worlds who were responsible for advising on categories and determining
nominees in each category.  All films, television shows and comic books were deemed
eligible for inclusion if they were released between August 9, 2008 and July 15,
2009 and were representative of the genres listed.  Winners will be determined by
online voting at scream.spike.com <http://www.spike.com/event/scream2009/> .

 

 

Esteemed members of this year’s advisory board* include:

*A full list of Spike TV’s 2009 Advisory Board members can be found on spike.com.

 

Tim Burton, (writer/director/producer “Edward Scissorhands”)

Wes Craven (writer/director “A Nightmare on Elm Street”)        

Roland Emmerich (writer/producer/director, “Independence Day,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “2012”)

Neil Gaiman (writer/producer “Beowulf,” “Stardust,” “Mirrormask”)

Frank Miller (writer/producer/director “Sin City,” “300,” writer/producer “The Spirit”)                                      

Eli Roth (writer/producer/director, “Hostel,” “Cell”, “Cabin Fever”)         

Zack Snyder (director, “300,” “Watchmen”)

Beginning today, Monday, August 31 and continuing until Saturday, October 17 fans can vote for their favorites, as well as view exclusive red carpet and backstage coverage of the event, by visiting scream.spike.com.