Archive for satan

Portland Horror Film Festival 2017: Short-Length Horror Shorts Part 2

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Fantasy, horror, Movies, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2017 by aliciamovie

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‘Blackbird’

Country: UK

Director: Tim Fellingham & Charlotte Stente Nielsen

Review Rating: 7 out of 10

What happens when the one you think is your savior, turns out to have been your tormentor all along? Here on a lonely stretch of nowhere, a man with a concussion and severe memory loss, apparently from getting tossed from his motorcycle, goes to save a runaway maiden in a nightgown. The both of them hole up together trying to figure out what they’re running from, and through a series of dreams and flashbacks and one horrible “gotcha!” moment involving a blackbird tattoo, discover they really do know each-other, a little too well for either ones comfort.

The use of Memento-like timelines and flashbacks can be perfectly fine, but I thought a little too much emphasis was placed on atmosphere and not enough on the story itself. If a movie, either short or feature-length, has only two actors in it, it is very likely that the villain is one of them; it kind of lessens the potential shock value. Nevertheless, should the story be expanded, the short could have real potential.

‘The Dark Hunger’

Country: USA

Director: Anthony Williams

Review Rating: 8 out of 10

What to do when one discovers a supernatural cannibal terrorizing your neighborhood? No calling in the CIA or some paranormal equivalent, no, some sort of mafia-like gang kidnaps the man they call Dead Fred and stick him in a cell, to be fed their enemies. Because Dead Fred is a full cannibal and always cleans his plate, so there’s no evidence left behind. And when we meet up with our cannibal hero, it looks like he’s been enduring this setup for awhile.  His Dark Passenger, the actual cannibal vampire in his skull with the awesome deep voice, is content to stay in prison so long as the captors keep feeding it, but Fred has other ideas. Despite that not actually being his real name, Dead Fred decides to embrace the pseudonym and make a deal with his Dark Passenger to get out of this prison and find the man at the top, the real mastermind monster who put Fred here in the first place!

It’s never easy to combine a supernatural element with an attempt at Hannibal Lecter-like characters, and yet somehow The Dark Hunger manages it nicely. The short reads like a trailer for a film that I would certainly watch, and I sincerely wished the short was one of the longer short films, so I could pretend it was a movie. With even some of the better notes of 30 Days of Night thrown in, The Dark Hunger should make Director Williams an up-and-comer worthy of keeping an eye on.

‘Chateau Sauvignon: Terroir’

Country: USA

Director: David E. Munz-Maire

Review Rating: 7.5 out of 10 

If you could ever imagine what a winery run by Children of the Corn would be like, then the Chateau Sauvignon is for you. The stark landscape, dead animal skulls and eerie wine-making equipment that looks suspiciously like butchery pressings all serve to provide an atmosphere that screams Horror. And almost immediately, it turns out, the vitner equipment really does still make wine for the tourists and all, but is also being used in the butchery of at least some of those tourists, to keep Mom alive. (Whether Mom is a zombie, some kind of vampire, cannibal or anything else, is unclear.) But the meat juice is beginning to run out, Son is becoming concerned, and Dad is just trying to hold everything together, despite Moms condition. Two new tourists have come late to the winery and Son wants to give them the full tour, no matter what Dad says – here sample some of our wine, over here is some of the processes we use to make our vintages, and by the way, your son is a jackass, here’s a glass pouring beaker shoved into your skull. Because Mom needs to be fed, and wine isn’t cutting it anymore.

A very fine short, all kinds of atmospheric and moody, though I would have liked to have a bit more to the story. What kind of creature is Mom now, how did she get this way, what happens to all of them when the meat juice finally runs out? Perhaps for the next series of Horror shorts from Director Munz-Maire, or, he could turn the whole thing into a feature-length jaunt – I would watch it.

‘Death Metal’

Country: USA

Director: Chris McInroy

Review Rating: 7 out of 10

Dude man, I get you, hail Satan and Metal is God and all that, you bet. But if you’re handed Grand-dad’s axe (as in guitar), that he supposedly got from the Dark Prince himself, along with three important rules to follow when using it, you’d want to adhere to them and be respectful wouldn’t you? It doesn’t seem as though frustrated metal-head Lars gives two damns about any of that, and immediately goes off to break all three rules jamming in the afternoon at the park on the axe. Is it any wonder that the axe-head breaks off from the rest of the guitar and goes hog-wild?

I saw Lars and his dumbassery at another Horror film festival and thought it was hilarious then, as now. It’s always so cute to see the Metalheads tossing the horns and headbanging for all they’re worth, because of course Satan’s all kinds of into that. Just never forget, Lucifer has a very wicked sense of humor, too.

‘As They Continue to Fall’

Country: USA

Director: Nikhil Bhagat

Review Rating: 8 out of 10

Whether you’re a fan of the Prophecy series, or saw the film Legion and the short-lived Syfy show it spawned, Dominion, Angels are fairly well-known these days as something other than the be-winged halo’d bringers of light and Gods love. What we have here is the somewhat now-familiar trope of the hobo hero hunting bad guys, in this case actual Angels, and it must be said, doing a fair job of it. From the looks of the feather trophies that line his coat, keeping him warm, our hobo hero is no-one to be trifled with. (Because really, depending upon which hierarchy of Angel you’re fighting, you could strap a nuke to the Angelic type and he’d laugh at you.) Our hobo hero has been dealing with Angelic visions all his life, but now after the apparent end of the world, has taken to hunting them down with vim and vigor. And who could blame him? What is an Angel, after all, but another Devil just waiting to fall?

Many of the minds who worked on this short have made major names for themselves elsewhere (Sinister, Deus Ex, The Thing, the NBC TV show Dracula, to name only a few), and they managed to cobble together a short awesome to watch. The future dystopian world where our hobo hero hunts Angels is clear and perfectly understandable, while much is still left open to audience interpretation and judgment, and in building a world like this, that is what we would prefer.

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Movie Moxie’s 31 Days of Halloween – Day 26 – Hocus Pocus

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, horror, Kids, Movies, Musical, Romance, Sci-Fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2013 by aliciamovie

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Reviewed by Alicia Glass

 

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

MPAA Rating: PG

Director: Kenny Ortega

Review Rating: 8

The Sanderson sisters are brought back from the dead when the black flame candle is lit by a virgin on Halloween night, to eat the lives of all the children in Salem!

Not all of Halloween needs to be dark dank and dreary. Granted these are witches who worship Satan, monster zombies and disbelieving virgins, but come on – it’s the Disney version. This means the sister witches are Bette Midler as Winifred, Kathy Najimy as portly Mary, and Sarah Jessica Parker as ditzy blonde sister Sarah; Satan and his beleaguered wife are the famous Marshalls; spirited black cats can not only talk, they get the best one-liners; and every last thing to do with magic, no matter how bad it sounds, is just adorable. Doug Jones, of the interesting contortions and roles, is Billy Butcherson, poor lost soul and risen zombie with a heart of gold (and moths). Sean Murray is the actor for and voice of Thackery Binx, the talking black cat that is the ultimate Halloween accessory. Omri Katz is main character Max, in what is fairly likely his best role to date. Vanessa Shaw is love interest Allison, and a very young Thora Birch is Max’s sister Dani. An awesomely adorable cast and even a musical number makes this very Disney tale an absolute must for every Halloween viewing party!

Movie Moxie’s 31 Days of Halloween – Day 12 – The Devil’s Advocate

Posted in drama, horror, Movies, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2013 by aliciamovie

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Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Warner Bros.

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Taylor Hackford

Review Rating: 8

A young and talented recruited lawyer heads for a prestigious New York firm, only to discover suspicions that he may in fact be working for the Devil!

This is a highly talented remake of a 1977 film, given an astounding cast with Keanu Reeves as Kevin Lomax, Al Pacino as Old Scratch himself and John Milton, even Charlize Theron as Kevin’s wife Maryanne. Kevin is a hotshot attorney from Florida, running from his religious mother, and in general winning a string of victories for possible bad guys, ignoring the whole moral code deal just to flatter his own vanity. Suddenly he’s whisked away to New York and the prestigious law firm Milton, Waters & Chapman, where the cases are darker, the surroundings are weirder, and hey his wife begins acting strange. Lusting after his extremely attractive colleague Cristabella (Connie Nielsen), Kevin runs from his own wife’s issues about children and buries his head in the sand called work, which happens to be a case that he’s still finding objectionable. Milton is merrily leading Kevin into temptation everywhere, he’s downright jolly about it. Things are spiraling out of control for Kevin, and when Maryanne takes her own life while Kevin’s mother is in town for a visit, Kevin’s suspicions turn to accusations against Milton in a final fiery showdown!

This fantastic piece owes itself in no small part to one simple fact: Al Pacino does some of the best rants anywhere. This film in particular stars Mr. Pacino as the Devil, giving ranting sermons defiant in the face of even Mr. “Little Friend” Montana. Not a thing is wrong with Keanu’s performance, except perhaps for the Floridan accent that flits in and out, otherwise Neo is golden as usual. Charlize takes the part of Maryanne, a role that originally could have likely fit any number of other actresses, and drives it like she owns it, even including the hysterics. Connie Nielsen’s Cristabella, you know, that lady who was Maximus’ love interest in Gladiator, is a stunning piece of work, and boy does she work it on Milton’s orders. Eddie Barzoon, acted by Jeffrey Jones who has actually played the Devil himself before, plays a great sacrificial lamb. Even Judith Ivey, who plays Kevin’s mom Alice, gives a gloriously strained performance, right up to her confession of who Milton really is to Kevin!