Archive for wes craven

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!

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Movie Moxie’s 31 Days of Halloween – Day 11 – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, horror, Movies, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2013 by aliciamovie

NewNightmare

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: New Line Cinema

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Wes Craven

Review Rating: 8

Using the new Freddy Krueger movie as a conduit, demonic spirits plan to invade, and it’s up to Heather Langenkamp, the actress of Nancy in the original Nightmare movies, to stop it!

Arguably the best Freddy movie to date, it has to be understood that unless you know and love Freddy’s backstory and all his iconic moves and legend, this movie won’t mean as much to you. A movie, about the first Freddy movie on it’s ten year anniversary, a new movie being made inside the movie we’re watching – is a very Wes Craven gimmick, and one I always enjoyed. This particular episode of the Freddy Krueger chronicles styles our beloved Master of Nightmares as something much more sinister than usual – a monster from the Outside, like a Grimm fairy tale come to terrible life. These days, we have a healthy respect if not fear for those olden tales, so it actually works to make Freddy in theory that much more frightening. It even shows inside New Nightmare, where we see what we know damn well is Robert England in a lot of makeup, and then much later, when we see a much more demonic version of Freddy rise like an evil Djinn!

Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, and even Wes Craven himself all reprise their own roles in this movie, just you know, to make it all the more believable. With the same question raised in John Carpenter’s In The Mouth of Madness, “If enough people believe in something, does that make it real?”, brought to full frontal purported real life inside the film, that’s rather scary too. And yes I know, there’s a bunch of traditional Freddy scares – the tongue in Heather’s phone; the kid strapping steak knives to his fingers for Freddy’s glove; the oh OW death of the husband – it’s all but a requirement anyway. Half of everyone’s favorite burnt psycho nightmare, half of an in theory actually possible plot, and we have a Nightmare on Elm St. opus.

Movie Moxie’s 31 Days of Halloween – Day 2 – Wishmaster

Posted in Action, horror, Movies, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2013 by aliciamovie

wishmaster

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Live Entertainment

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Robert Kurtzman

Review Rating: 8

A demonic Djinn tries to free himself from an enchanted ruby, to bring the horde of his terrible brethren and Hell on Earth!

I know, it might seem a little ridiculous. A Djinn, after all, is the original, the devilish counterpart if you will, to that beloved Genie from Aladdin and anywhere else you’ve heard of Genies. A Djinn is a spirit of fire, an evil baddie from Middle Eastern mythology, and for them, all kinds of scary. So it stands to reason if you know all that, you could be scared too. But as Westerners, a good deal of us are way too jaded when it comes to horror, so not only do we need to be educated on the whole Djinn story, the filmmakers need to find some way to make it scary too. Fortunately for all of us, this first incarnation of Wishmaster is a present from that amazing and talented horror master Wes Craven. Which means his zany brand of humor, evidenced in the Nightmare on Elm St. and Scream series, is in clear evidence in this movie. Plus, hey, we’ve got the treat of Robert England too. And I’ve met the man who played the human portion of the Djinn, Andrew Divoff – he’s great, if not actually somewhat shy in RL. Plus there are a bunch of other big names for horror-philes – Reggie Bannister, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, Ted Raimi, and Angus Scrimm. (Referencing, respectively: the Phantasm series, 4 of the Friday the 13th movies, Candyman and Final Destination, Evil Dead, and also the Phantasm series again.)

So the Djinn grants wishes. The whole movie starts off in the court of some great Caliph in like ancient Eastern whatever kingdom, where the King tells the Djinn, show me wonders of the world. And the Djinn, being literal like he is, turns the Kings court into a Hell of a wonder, where people turn into monsters or inside-out or become live art. After all, one man’s wonder is another man’s terror. Anyway, the court sorcerer is called in to deal with the Djinn, and imprisons the monster in a special ruby the size of my fist. Cut to present day, where the ruby is in a statue being sent to some art exhibit in New York, and through a series of supposed accidents, ends up in the purview of Alexandra, who is of course the main Protag and apparently the only one who can really get that Djinn. The fiery villain himself gets some of the best one-liners around, including, “That which is immortal cannot die. But if it’s any consolation, sweet Alexandra, that hurt like hell!” after Alex has the Djinn shoot himself. Oh yes. This kind of story is where we get the expression, be careful what you wish for, and is demonstrated very enjoyably in Craven’s unique style. I know there are like 4 Wishmaster movies now, but nevermind that, the first one is all you need. Proof is proof were needed, that there is a concept of Hell no matter where you go on Earth, and there is no escaping the dark desires of the human heart.

Scream 4

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, horror, Movies, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2011 by aliciamovie

 

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Dimension Films

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Wes Craven

Review Rating: 6 Screams

Sidney Prescott returns to Woodsboro on the ten year anniversary of the murders, to find new Rules for a new generation and a whole new series of murders!

There’s something wrong with this whole setup. I adore Wes Craven and his style of movie making, but this Nightmare on Elm Street vibe he has going inside the latest Scream opus is rapidly sliding from funny to stupid. Take the opening scene, wherein we the audience find out that the two pretty girls set to watch a scary movie when the bad guy calls is actually the opening for another Stab movie inside the movie already going, not once but twice. This is three actual turns of “Gotcha!” at the very beginning of the movie. I don’t like where this is going. Dear Mister Craven made a career out of smart, stylish horror movies, and this that isn’t. Moving on.

So Sidney is considerably older, although she still dresses like she did in the first Scream, well whatever. She’s come back to Woodsboro, let me get this straight – on the ten year anniversary of that whole mess, to promote her new survivors book and check on her little cousin, Jill, who looks a lot like her and isn’t thrilled about being attached to such an infamous family. Gail and Dewey married, Gail writes regular stuff now or tries and fails to, and Dewey is the Sheriff, complete with a Deputy who obviously wants him. Annnnd round the midst of the traditional Stab-athon, Ghostface of a new generation starts making an appearance. We can all assume Sidney is the target, what with new Rules for a new generation and all, but Ghostface apparently wants Sid to watch and suffer while others die around her, again, before offing her.

Now, what I see are a lot of kids underage, drinking without their parents or any other kind of supervisor around, and then getting set to watch horror flicks or you know, drive home. Is this actually better than other bad stuff they could be doing? Throughout most of the movie I had a hard time believing that really was Courtney Cox as Gail Weathers, she looks somehow different. We have Hayden Panettiere of Heroes as Kirby, friend of Jill’s and a victim in ways you might not actually expect.

I won’t spoil it and give out who Ghostface is this time, but I will say, even if you’re only barely paying attention, you can guess who it is and even be right in the first 30 minutes of the movie. Seriously. I expected better and frankly, Scream deserved better. It’s not terrible, but it is terribly obvious that this is the fourth movie installment in what is now a franchise, le sigh. Scream 4 gets a rating of 6 screams, although they should probably be groans.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010

Posted in Action, horror, Movies, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2010 by aliciamovie

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Warner Bros.

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Samuel Bayer

Review Rating: 7 Gloves

A man murdered by avenging parents for what he did to their children, haunts the dreams of the now-teenaged kids for revenge.

Well now. Some of us cut our teeth on Freddy Krueger and his movies as far as beginning horror freaks go. Despite him only directing like 2-3 of the actual movies, I’m a huge fan of Wes Craven and he began a legacy with this whole storyline. I also always thought the finest Freddy movie was Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, wherein Heather Langencamp has to play Nancy in real life just one last time, because some demonic force in the real world chose Freddy as its host. Despite all that, I was willing to give this new re-imagining of the horror icon that IS Freddy Krueger a try.

It’s not a failure, not exactly. But what is the point of a re-imagining where there’s hardly anything new? The original Freddy and those movies were 1980’s horror icons: the fedora, the striped sweater, the glove of course, that burned visage, Robert Englund’s laugh, and so on. And this new movie kept all that, except for Robert Englund. But no new and separate style has been brought to the movie itself, they kept trying to fold together iconic things from Freddy’s world: the rhyme, the little girls in pinafores, the boiler room, etc; together with action and chase scene shots done in Wes Craven’s original style like the Scream movies, but with modern sensibilities thrown in miss-mash as well. Like the scene where Nancy finds one of the preschool kids, now a teen-ager, with an online blog going on about his nightmares and how he’s terrified of sleeping. Or when the kids, now petrified of sleeping, filch vials of adrenaline from the hospital and proceed to shoot themselves up in the thigh, and this is after taking who knows how much ADHD speed equivalent to stay awake too.

There’s a whole period in the movie where a few of the damaged kids are actually trying to convince their parents that Freddy was innocent and they lied, and a whole remembrance scene where Fred Krueger is chased down by the angry parents and the building he’s hiding in is set on fire. Now, stay with me, because we horror-philes all know one thing: Freddy is a villain, and never apologized for it. So that didn’t help. Most potential new fans of the genre and Freddy in particular, after cutting their teeth on other horror powerhouses like the Saw series, seeing this new Nightmare, simply aren’t going to be scared. The movie directors actually seemed to shy away from the truly terrible parts, like the pictures Freddy took of Nancy when she was a preschooler. Sure that would’ve been truly horrifying, but that’s the point isn’t it? If you can have a horror icon that stalks kids in their dreams and kills them like a bear would, in slices, you simply can’t flinch away from something like child pornography; wuss.

Jackie Earle Haley, of Watchmen and Shutter Island and Human Target fame, does his best to bring star power to the role of Freddy Krueger. And yes, he does manage to come off as more scary than psycho-jester, like a lot of the latter Freddy movies did. He’s a lot shorter and his human-Freddy looks a lot more diffident, the burn makeup is noticeably different, and he has his own iconic laugh now. It’s not his fault that the movie itself isn’t scary, he did manage to make the new Freddy at least partially so. Rooney Mara of Youth in Revolt fame stars as the new Nancy, and while she looks rather similar, frankly I just miss Heather Langencamp. Kyle Gallner of Big Love and Smallville and Jennifer’s Body stardom does pretty well as Quentin, who ends up helping Nancy save the day. (Or night, they were asleep.) And we have Thomas Dekker of Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles fame as one of the disbelieving kids who gets sliced and diced.

All in all, this new Nightmare is alright. Nothing brand new to knock your socks off, and frankly I think the original Freddy would just laugh contemptuously before slicing the film into ribbons. But hopefully this new Nightmare will follow the trend set by the original and spawn a whole host of sequels that get crazier for each one! A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 gets a rating of seven gloves, for trying.

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.