Hellraiser 2022

A take on Clive Barker’s 1987 horror classic where a young woman struggling with addiction comes into possession of an ancient puzzle box, unaware that its purpose is to summon the Cenobites. (IMDB)

The second movie of our Halloween evening was a blast and probably our favourite of the franchise.

Changing the cenobites to female characters probably made more than a few fans angry but I love it. Jamie Clayton (The Priest) and Selina Lo (The Gasp) managed to breath new life into their characters while remaining twisted and super creepy.

Doug Bradley, who originated the role of the Hell Priest/Lead Cenobite/Pinhead, had this to say about Jamie Clayton’s take in a Twitter post: “I’m a bit blown away by this! The clever re-design of the make-up; the shimmer of the “pin heads”; the palette; whatever that keyhole/locket/tracheotomy thing is at the throat. It’s simple, subtle, disturbing and sexy. Everything it should be.”

The new cenobites aren’t the only change I enjoyed… To be honest, I never really enjoyed the hell dimension and I was very happy to see a Hellraiser movie happening in our reality.

The plot was excellent and managed to keep us on the border of our seat during the entire movie. David Bruckner did a fantastic job bringing an 80s classic to this era.

Halloween Ends

Four years after the events of last year’s Halloween Kills, Laurie is living with her granddaughter Allyson and is finishing writing her memoir. Michael Myers hasn’t been seen since. Laurie, after allowing the specter of Michael to determine and drive her reality for decades, has decided to liberate herself from fear and rage and embrace life. But when a young man, Corey Cunningham, is accused of killing a boy he was babysitting, it ignites a cascade of violence and terror that will force Laurie to finally confront the evil she can’t control, once and for all. (source: IMDB)

Once more, we don’t agree with the critics. I had read so many bad things about this movie that I was almost afraid to watch it. While it’s not perfect, it was a nice entry in the franchise and, most importantly, we had a great time watching it.

What we didn’t like: Definitely Jamie Lee Curtis. I know that Laurie vs Jason is pretty much the core of this new trilogy, so she had to be in its final episode, but it’s time that both the actress and the character take a break from the franchise, forever! She’s boring, heavy and kind of disruptive of a nice plot.

What we liked: The romance between Allyson and Corey. Both characters are great and their story is amazing. It was so good that it could have been a movie on its own.

In the end, the mix of the “Laurie & Jason” story with the “Allyson & Corey” romance gave a nice rhythm to the movie. It’s definitely not as good as the original, but it’s much better than Halloween kills. I’m glad that this trilogy could receive a proper ending.

It’s Fucking Halloween!

Being horror fans, Halloween has always been a special day for us. We decorate our table, we eat Sisqi’s infamous pumpkin pastas and we watch horror movies.

This year, we’ll spend our afternoon hunting Baa’l, World of Warcraft’s Secret Demonic Goat. Then, we’ll watch Halloween Ends (which is very scary, not because of the horror, but because of the extremely bad reviews), followed by the new Hellraiser.

When you celebrate Halloween in a country like Belgium, where barely anyone decorates his house and no trick or treating is going on in the streets, you can’t help but feel lonely. That’s why I’ll be playing Caroline Kornstar’s Lonely Halloween until our ears bleed, because something has to bleed on Halloween, right?!

Sinister (2012)

A controversial true crime writer finds a box of super 8 home movies in his new home, revealing that the murder case he is currently researching could be the work of an unknown serial killer whose legacy dates back to the 1960s. (Source: IMDB)

There’s almost no blood and no gore in Sinister. In fact, the movie could have been rated PG13, wasn’t it for the nature of its content, which is often being deemed the scariest movie ever made. As a matter of fact, Forbes Magazine conducted a study where the heart rate of the viewers were monitored while they watched a number of horror films. Out of 35 films, this movie won, having the highest average heart rate at 86, spiking at 131BPM.

Of course, whether a movie is scary or not is entirely subjective. Sisqi and I didn’t have many jump scares. However, we found the ambiance disturbing, almost as if you’re actually watching a snuff movie. The fact that a real super 8 camera was used to shoot the kill clips really helps creating a creepy atmosphere. The soundtrack is also a perfect fit, I especially enjoy the song “Gyroscope” by Scottish electric band Boards of Canada.

Trivia

The family that was hanged on a tree were all played by stuntmen, however when the scene was first done the stunt coordinator botched the preparations for the scene resulting in the actors being legitimately hanged and choked. Fortunately they survived, and the coordinator was fired soon after. (IMDB)

Do you wanna know how to easily identify which snakes are non-venomous? Do the rhyme, “Red on yellow, dangerous fellow. Red on black, friend of Jack.” The snake that is seen in the movie is a non-venomous King snake.

The Haunted in Connecticut

When the Campbell family moves to Connecticut, they soon learn that their charming Victorian home has a disturbing history: not only was the house a transformed funeral parlor where inconceivable acts occurred, but the owner’s clairvoyant son Jonah served as a demonic messenger, providing a gateway for spiritual entities to crossover. (source: IMDB)

The movie is really well made, the writing is powerful and the acting is excellent. So why only 3 stars? All the ingredients are there to make me love it, yet I just manage to like it.

Maybe haunted mansion stories didn’t manage to scare me anymore? But it’s not the case, since The Enfield Poltergeist (The Conjuring 2) is one of my favourite horror movies. However, by comparing these two movies that I finally found out what’s wrong with The Haunting in Connecticut: it doesn’t manage to build a feeling of terror, while The Conjuring 2 does it perfectly.

When an horror movie is supposed to be creepy, it has to create a deep sense of threat, the malevolent entity has to inspire a sense of terror. The Haunting in Connecticut, while dark doesn’t do any of that. I guess that the story of the sick kid and the unnecessary drunk father overshadows the occult part of the movie.

Anyway, it’s not a bad horror movie but, with such a potential, it’s sad that it doesn’t manage to hit its mark.

By the way, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who are known for involvement in The Enfield Poltergeist case, were also investigators for this case.

It Follows

What would you do if you were followed by an entity that slowly walks toward you and kills you when it reaches you, no matter where you go? It cannot be stopped nor killed. The only way to get rid of it is to pass it on to someone by having sex with him/her, like a twisted game of “tag”.

This movie was one of our favorite horror movies of the last decade, and I can’t believe that we never wrote anything about it… The plot is amazing and the casting is excellent. It has a great vibe and a sense of dread that is felt almost immediately.

The characters are not the usual horror idiot that makes you think “why didn’t they do this or that…”. They address the danger as real people would, they’re not magically filled with some convenient insight and they’re not face-palmingly idiotic, either.

It was already a rerun, and we’ll probably watch it again, some day.

Piranha 3D

After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area’s new razor-toothed residents.

Source: IMDB

So we’ve watched Piranha 3D in 2D because we don’t have a 3D TV (yet), nor do we have 3D glasses (which would be cool, if we had a 3D TV). So if, like me, you’re a sad person who’s looking for the movie in its 2D version, the title is “Piranha”. It’s as simple as that.

Where most Jaws-like movies only tease with a few kills but fail to deliver on any real confrontation, Alexandre Aja created a fantastic gore fest at the beach. I won’t spoil anything by saying that some scenes look as if a giant lawnmower was being used under the water, where hundreds of teens are swimming.

Eli Roth spraying water at the girls during the wet t-shirt contest

There are few happy surprises in the cast: Elisabeth Shue (as the sheriff), Steve R. McQueen (Jeremy from Vampire Diaries) and Eli Roth.

We went with low expectations but we had a total blast. Now, we’ve read that the sequel is far from being as good… However, we’ll watch it because 1. David Hasselhof plays in it 2. It’s getting warm again and there isn’t much to do with such a heat.

Hellbender (2021)

A mother and her daughter live a life almost in seclusion in a mountainous area of the United States. The adolescent Izzy only has as a friend, her mother, a woman full of secrets with whom she shares a primitive rock band. The mother does not want people to come near daughter , but Izzy manages to escape to the city several times. There she will discover that her family has a past related to witchcraft. (source: IMDB)

The movie is definitely on the slow side but it manages to create a special ambiance without ever getting too slow. It’s also different than the usual witch movies because of the special relationship between the girl and her mother.

The actors are great in their roles, Zelda Adams is perfect as both a drummer and a witch and Toby Poser manages to create a real aura of mystery around their family. The movie is written and directed by Zelda Adams (the daughter), Toby Poser (the mother) and John Adams (the uncle). Zelda Adams and Toby Poser are mother and daughter in real life too. Now I get how they managed to create such a great chemistry between them. Also, parenting done right!

I love witches and I love stories with witches, so the movie theme earns extra points for giving me a Saturday eve filled with dark magic.

All in all, I’m a fan and I hope that the Adams family (lol) makes more movies in the future.

Dead End (2003)

Christmas Eve. On his way to his in-laws with his family, Frank Harrington decides to try a shortcut, for the first time in 20 years. It turns out to be the biggest mistake of his life. (source: IMDB)

While Ray Wise did a big mistake to try a shortcut, leading his family to a grim end, I did a big mistake trusting Youtube reviews, leading our Saturday horror eve to a ditch.

Never trust Youtube comments!

It wasn’t so bad that we wanted to stop watching before the end, but we had more than a few (maybe even too many) “What the fuck?” moments. We even cried of laughter, so bad it was. It felt as if we were tripping.

I wouldn’t advise this movie to anyone, unless you’re a die-hard Twin Peaks fan and you want to see Leland Palmer cry one more time “Lauraaaaa”. Yep, his daughter in the movie is also named Laura…

Escape Room 1&2

A bunch of teens get trapped in an escape room, but is it really designed to let them escape? If you need a synopsis to know what this movie is about, I wonder how you even made it to the internet.

Both movies were entertaining enough for our Saturday horror evenings. They aren’t bad movies but Taylor Russell (Lost in Space) did most of the heavy lifting.

Since I don’t have much to say about these movies, here is a trivia:

After the death of five Polish teenagers, killed by fire in a real-life tragedy which occurred within an escape room in Poland, the release date of the film was pushed back a few months in a number of countries out of respect for the girls who died. (source: IMDB)

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