Lasting impressions

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Just some words about a bunch of movies.

The Other Side of The Door (2016)

Another one with a good concept gone wrong. There were too few moments that resembled anything worth calling horror. The ending was very predictable. Most of the time I don't see anything necessarily wrong with predictability, a lot of films can be predictable and still be captivating. This was just predictable and dull. Seems almost impossible for horror directors to try anything new and take some risks. Too many disappointments lately.

Baskin (2015)

This was somewhat disappointing. I was impressed with the effort they put into the special effects and the fact that it was practical effects. But I have to say that for a film that's supposed to portray hell it wasn't quite gruesome or horrifying enough. It was being promoted as an in your face, pure horror film so I was expecting something more intense, especially when you consider the subject matter. I still think that the best depiction of hell in a movie is the bit we see in Event Horizon. I guess I was expecting something more along those lines, not afraid to be horrifying and grotesque. It came close a few times but mostly just dropped the ball. Now, it wasn't entirely disappointing, I don't dislike it, it's better than a lot of horror films that came out that year and continue to come out. I just wish they would've taken more chances.

They Look Like People (2015)

What a great surprise this turned out to be. It was not at all what I was expecting, especially considering the short film that inspired it. The special effects could've been better but the overall story and its execution I think were handled superbly. I can't really go into the specifics of what I enjoyed because that would contain spoilers, but I highly recommend this.

Coherence (2013)

Great premise though the dialogue and acting could've used some work. I watched it twice, so knowing the general story it allowed me to appreciate the little details, which were many. I love films that put effort in even the smallest things and this was definitely one of those films. I just wish it was better polished, it would've been higher up on my list.

KEANU (2016)

A fairly funny movie to just lay back and enjoy at face value. I was already familiar with the brand of humor from their show so I knew what to expect and it lived up to those expectations.

Blind (2007)

She's an albino who can't stand the sight of herself. He's blind and can't stand being around others. The connection they eventually develop is full of turbulence and passion. I'm not usually into Romance dramas (actually after going through my recommendation thread it turns out I'm very into Romance dramas, go figure) but the synopsis caught my attention so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I'm very glad I did. It's a simple story, but it has a lot of heart which makes for a powerful experience.

Zero Motivation (2014)

Starts off well enough. But by the second half it begins to feel like I'm watching a different film entirely. Just didn't seem to have a hold on anything in particular. It's not a bad movie, I liked the characters and it still had some charm to it. Just seems confused as to what it's trying to convey.

Cousin Jules (1972)

It was an intriguing film. Watching the elderly couple going about their everyday routine was an educational experience. To watch someone who's life consists of bare necessities, having worked hard for everything they have and how appreciative they are for those things was inspiring. Makes you realize how much we take for granted and how much we've changed as a society in regards to our self-reliance. It's amazing how something as basic as two people just going about their lives can have such an affect. But then again it's something altogether foreign to most of us that it can't help being fascinating. I would have rated the film higher, but I went with a 3.5 solely due to the technical aspect. Certain decisions the director made concerning film angles and footage used were questionable. But it conveyed what it needed to and it's well worth it.

The Ones Below (2015)

Decent start but quickly turned silly and nonsensical by the end.

Symbol (Shinboru - 2009)

This was a hassle to find and eventually I had to settle for the German dvd. Seeing as I don't speak Japanese or German I decided to visit some sites that reviewed the film without any major spoilers so I could at least try and get an idea. It helped a bit. Obviously I would have preferred to make my own assumption, but it's difficult with no dialogue. But It's not entirely hopeless, seeing as the story also unfolds from a visual standpoint and what it offered was captivating and hilarious. I gave this a 3.5 because even though I had no concrete idea as to what's going on I was still entertained. The rating isn't final, even though I doubt I'll ever watch it with English subtitles. Ah let's face it, it most likely is.

A Night to Remember (1958)

I'll start this off by saying that the fact it gave several perspectives instead of focusing on a couple of core characters was something I appreciated. Now with that said, as much as it focused on several different characters, those characters felt too secondary, like props even. They lacked any development that when the time came for the Titanic to sink I felt nothing for them. This made the film suffer. Its to the point approach and lack of buildup left it too emotionally detached in my opinion.

Green Room (2015)

It lived up to the hype.

The Triangle (2016)

I would say for a found footage film it had phenomenal acting, but it would be as if I'm diminishing that aspect. So I'll say it just had phenomenal acting, period. At times it even felt as if I was watching a documentary. It featured very realistic characters that you can't help but connect with. On a technical note, the movie sometimes splits into a double screen view, it takes some getting used to but eventually becomes a great asset. It also features an audible effect which I'll admit gave me a bit of a headache and it's featured a lot so if you can't tolerate that sort of thing (but you want to watch it), I suggest turning on captions and lowering the volume a significant amount when the sound occurs. Now as much as I liked it, it definitely isn't a perfect film. The ending, though it had a good amount of mystery and suspense could have been better. I liked the mysterious element but in comparison to the rest of the film it felt somewhat lackluster. With that said, I'm glad I stumbled upon it and I do recommend it to anyone who likes found footage/cult oriented films.

Mr. Right (2016)

It tried to be this charmingly quirky and funny film but fell very short of both in my opinion. The humor wasn't that humorous and the action was sub-par. I didn't have much to hold on to. It wasn't completely devoid of humor, it had its moments, but if it wasn't the writing the so-called humor was stifled by its delivery. Sometimes it seemed as if the actors were just winging it and wanting to get the scene over with and it translated all too well on-screen. It all felt very superficial.

Hardcore Henry (2015)

What an amazing ride this was. There were some inconsistencies but they're easily dismissed when you put into consideration the heart-pounding action heightened by a brilliant soundtrack. On top of it all it balanced the humor very well. I know the biggest complaint will be the filming technique and I don't blame anyone for that. It can get a little nauseating at times, but I think it's well worth it.

Evolution (2015)

Beautifully shot. It not only captures the wonders of its environment but also manages to slowly and effectively bring about this menacing atmosphere lurking just underneath that breathtaking landscape. Watching it I couldn't help but notice the Lovecraftian inspiration and it definitely doesn't go unappreciated. There was a certain scene that I think clashed with the overall mood it was trying to convey, at least for me, but it was nothing I couldn't overlook. Altogether I would say this is a definite gem of a film and everyone should watch it.

The Mind's Eye (2015)

This could've been a great film in the hands of someone more experienced in both directing and writing. Unfortunately, this seems to be a recurring theme in Joe Begos' movies, it has a strong premise on paper but the actual execution ruins all potential it could've had. Not only the story needed work (because a lot of it made no sense), but the dialogue was especially cringe-inducing and made its characters dull and lifeless. Now, whether these decisions were on purpose or just misguided attempts, the only thing they achieved was in draining the film's potential charm and any form of substance. The only redeeming aspect was the last half hour where the action finally picks up and we see some pretty nice special effects. But it was a long strenuous journey getting there.

Into the Forest (2015)

In the near-future circumstances happen that force two sisters to live in isolation. I wanted to like this movie, but it lacked the emotional punch it was trying to achieve. Things transpire hastily to the point that you never really have enough time to take it all in and allow for any emotional connection. I wanted the relationship between the sisters to be more in-depth. Clearly there was a dynamic that begged to be explored further, but for some reason it just wasn't. If I recall correctly this is based on a novel, it's very common for films based on books to lack what gave the book depth to begin with. Usually they assume the only people watching will be those who read the book, so a lot of things aren't added or mentioned and if you haven't read the book you're basically at a loss. Unless the movie is scene for scene like the book, in that case this story would've been better as a pure drama. Speaking solely of the movie, mixing the story with science fiction was almost a hindrance. They seemed to have difficulty depicting both elements equally and fittingly.

The Suffering (2016)

Another one with an interesting concept executed in the most uninteresting way possible. The movie is jam-packed with cheap scares and I mean really cheap. From the too predictable jump scares down to its unnecessary score cues (which played as the only real form of suspense). The acting was mediocre at the best of times and the way the story unfolded was too unstable and often times very boring. It left little to no wiggle room to even attempt to appreciate the effort.

Observance (2015)

Now this is more up my alley. Though, I have to say it's a little disheartening to see films like this so easily dismissed with complaints that it's too vague. I know, to each his own, but still. I personally felt it gives you just enough to piece it together while keeping you at the edge of your seat. Too many films lately (and not only in horror) spoon feed its audience, which is a big problem. The pace was handled superbly and it did a phenomenal job building tension. My only gripe would be that a few times it showed a little too much. In those particular scenes I think less would've been much more effective. But this is still a great effort and I hope the director continues on this route. I'm seriously looking forward to what he has up his sleeve for his next project.

Lights Out (2016)

A silly story that seemed to have been put together on a whim just to make a feature. The actors were too often drab, as if they were just going through the motions and the scare attempts were very feeble. But I can't say I didn't expect it. When it comes to short films being made into features, especially in horror, they rarely work out. So I tend to go into it with low expectations. But when those expectations are met it still bums me out.

Black Road (2016)

This may have worked out better as a short film. There were some interesting concepts but the movie itself was too drawn out and eventually began to lose its appeal. The editing needed to be better polished as certain scenes didn't transition too well. But as I said, it did have some interesting ideas and I commend that at least.

Breaking All The Rules (1985)

Obnoxious characters, horrible soundtrack and the Mother of all generic storylines. Throw in some cheap jokes and top it all with gooey cheese and here you have it.

WARNING: In case of ingestion (accidental or otherwise) it's imperative to immediately take a full bottle of pepto and have a sit down with one of your favorite movies to help in the digestive process. In rare cases, death is imminent.

Accion mutante (Mutant Action - 1993)

Took me a while to find this, but it was well worth the effort. Bloodshed, mayhem, lunatics and love make up this celluloid of hilarity and utter deprivation. Yeah, this move is all over the place and often nonsensical and it works for it all the more. I happen to be a big fan of movies that cater toward its aesthetics of surrealism and the absurd. It's what I love so much about 80's and 90's horror cinema. I liked the energy this had, to the point where every character, even those meant to be only a secondary (or less) role was dynamic and just had a life of its own. There are however certain elements where it's evident there's an influence from other films, but it did a nice job combining those elements and utilizing them in a creative way. One gripe I have is about the music used in some scenes. Which with different and better choices it would've heightened the action more and made it that much more awesome. Also, in the editing department, there were certain shots that could've used less time and others more. But other than that I would say this was a success and this director has my undivided attention. Then again, he always had it.

MonnoM has great taste, so this thread will too!
It'll definitely be...varied. I'm thinking of also adding TV shows, but that's still pending.

Creature Feature (2015)

I knew going into this that it wasn't going be some masterpiece, but I wasn't quite ready for just how far away from that it was. The sound quality was horrendous and it looked like it was filmed by a prepubescent. The cast looked like a bunch of porn stars, which is fitting because this is basically a soft core porn with some horror thrown in the mix (in more ways than one). But I'll give them some credit in the special effects department. That wasn't entirely horrible, not great, but at least there was some effort put into it. Which is more than I could say for the rest of the film.

Awesome. Looking forward to discovering some more hidden gems.
Funny, because I think the same thing about your thread.

By the way, since you're big on Lovecraftian films, have you seen Dark Waters? I think it would be right up your alley.

Funny, because I think the same thing about your thread.

By the way, since you're big on Lovecraftian films, have you seen Dark Waters? I think it would be right up your alley.
No. It was on my watchlist though. If I can find it, I'll try to get around to it soon and post thoughts in the movie tab.

A Patch of Fog (2015)

A writer is blackmailed into friendship with a security guard. Though it's labeled as a pure Drama, it's really a Drama/Comedy. I think of it as more of a tame version of Misery. The movie tends to be over-the-top at times, and not very believable considering certain situations but it still makes for an entertaining flick once you get past that. Once you get to know more about Sandy (the writer) and what he's been through and we learn more about the novel that took him to stardom along with his situation concerning Robert (the security guard) and their general dynamic, it all had a certain poetic quality to it that I felt brought a sense of refinement. To be honest I thought those scenes were actually rather moving and I would've liked to see more of that. But, as I said it's also a comedy and there are several funny moments, though it's a subtle rather than in your face sort of humor. In the end this movie, though flawed, did have some pretty nice moments so I gave it solid 3.

The Immortal Augustus Gladstone (2013)

A fine debut by Robyn C. Miller not only as the director of the film but its starring role as Augustus Gladstone. It's a simple enough story, but what makes it so great is the obvious amount of passion put into it. Augustus is a charming, charismatic character you can't help but feel for and connect with right away. The balance between comedy and drama was executed superbly where everything unfolded naturally. I hope Miller comes back to filmmaking, because he has a real knack for it.

LFO (2013)

If you're looking for a Sci-Fi film, I can't recommend this enough. A refreshingly unique experience. The only reason it's not rated higher is because of the sound played in the film (it's part of the plot) that gave me a headache, but I'd gladly go through it again and again. If you decide to watch it DON'T look up the trailer or any synopsis, trust me.

The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh (2012)

This isn't your typical horror film. I've actually never come across a horror movie that evoked so much emotion from me. This was genuinely creepy but also extremely poignant. The horror elements make sure to never hinder or surpass that of its dramatic story. As a matter of fact the reason why the horror aspect worked so well is due to its quiet existence. It's always something that's lingering and while you're going through an emotional roller coaster with our main character, we always have a sense of foreboding that sticks with you throughout. I commend Rodrigo Gudino for such an ambitious effort, especially when you consider the fact that this was his first feature film. The man really knows how to tug at the heartstrings while unnerving his audience. Brilliant piece of work, I know I've used the word before but this is truly poetry in motion. However, this will be the first and probably last time I'll use this word to describe a horror movie, but Rosalind Leigh has an elegance to its execution that will probably never be matched. I've yet to come across anything that has.

Smooth Talk (1985)

Based on the short story "Where are you going, where have you been?" about a misguided teenage girl who ends up coming in contact with the wrong man. Now, I think this is a fine adaptation, in fact I really like it, but there are some differences in the movie compared to the short story. The ending for example. The movie version is still effective in its own way, but I would've preferred the short story version which is darker. They specifically changed that ending because it was too dark. But I still liked it, a lot, it still captures the mystery and packs the emotional punch. Also, Treat Williams and Laura Dern are great as their respective characters, so it's a winner in my book.

Ghostumentary (2015)

Not much happens here and the last half hour or so felt more like a filler. However, the humor was enough to keep me interested and if I ever want to become a ghost hunter I know what device does what and that you should always have a psychic!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of The Shadows (2016)

Definitely better than the first film but still lacking. I love the fact that this movie had Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang and Casey. Unfortunately with Bebop and Rocksteady they managed to make them as useless, annoying and often times boring as possible. Krang was actually alright, they stayed pretty true to that character and the CGI worked well in bringing him to life. I still think casting Megan Fox in the role of April was a bad decision, though in this second film she was slightly less dull. Now on to Mr. Jones. They completely destroyed Casey in my opinion, there may as well have been a cardboard cutout that Megan Fox lugged around from scene to scene and it would've produced the same result. Absolutely lifeless. The turtles were great, they looked great and this time around embodied each personality perfectly. This was an improvement on the first film, even if a miniscule amount. So maybe if there's a third installment it'll be that much better.

Jane Wants A Boyfriend (2015)

At first glance this seems perfunctory, with Louisa Krause playing a girl with Asperger's, or more so, how she thinks someone with Asperger's would likely behave. At times it even came across mockingly exaggerated. But as the movie progresses and begins to get its footing there's a certain appeal that's undeniable. It was weird because Krause was both dubious and lovable in her role. Sometimes I couldn't help but roll my eyes and others I felt complete empathy for Jane (Louisa Krause). Gabriel Ebert, on the other hand, was a nice addition as Jack, he did a good job portraying this funny, relatable and misguided character. He was the only comedic part of the film that was actually funny. They tried to do this with Jane and Bianca's parents but they were only good for moving the plot along, at best. Eliza Dushku was also great in her role as Bianca, the tightly wound, loving yet often overbearing older sister. You both felt her plight and also wanted to smack her senseless, but by the end of the film you realize that it was just as much about her struggle as it was about Jane's. In the end, it's a cute film, nothing outstanding but it did it's job sufficiently.

I still think that the best depiction of hell in a movie is the bit we see in Event Horizon.]
I agree, that was very impressive. It also owed a great deal to Hellraiser. I imagine that what Clive Barker was going with was the idea that if heaven is being free from a corporeal, finite body, hell involves being 'imprisoned' in flesh and blood forever.

The 90's Post:

Time to switch it up and make a post solely dedicated to the wonderfully silly, innovative, totally insane time that is 90's cinema.

HEADS UP: I decided to delete most of my posts in the recommendation thread and I'll be adding those films here at some point, along with the ones still in that thread. I'll be sure to add a few words at the very least to give an idea of what to expect from each movie.

Stay Tuned (1992)

A man decides to buy a Satellite dish from a strange visitor and all hell breaks loose. This movie is twisted but in true 90's form. It's like stepping into the mind of a lunatic strung out on happy pills. It's fun, funny and awesomely demented.

Closet Land (1991)

This one is gripping from beginning to end. From the second the film starts we're filled with a sense of intrigue. We, along with our female lead, have no idea what's happening, what's real or fabricated and it's both exciting and unnerving. What makes this movie even better is the fact that the entire thing features only two actors. But the story is so complex that it gives the film a brimming quality.

Little Sister (1995)

A story about the intense relationship between a brother and sister. Great soundtrack to boot.

Szamanka (1996)

One day a girl walks into a room and is met by a man whose attraction to her turns violent. Only to later discover this is just what the girl was looking for and he just may have bitten off more than he could chew. The way the film is constructed can be off-putting at times, but the story's provocative nature was its saving grace. That and Iwona Petry was perfect in her role.

Ed and His Dead Mother (1993)

Man loses Mom, Mom comes back. Only this time she's got a mean appetite. Great cast who do a phenomenal job combining horror and comedy to give this movie a twisted sense of charm.

Meet The Applegates (1990)

Insect beings disguise themselves as humans in order to gain access to a weapon that will destroy all humans. An environmentally conscious film, it's the grittier, more gruesome side of a bug's life. Does a nice job conveying a message in an entertaining way.

Fever (1999)

It's been a while since I've seen this but it has always stuck with me. It lives up to its name because as you're watching it, it feels like a fever dream. It's a story about a man whose implicated in a string of murders and as the movie progresses we are on a wonderfully surreal journey to find out just what the hell is going on. This was written and Directed by Alex Winter, yes, that Alex Winter, who I think is vastly underrated not only as an actor but a filmmaker and screen writer.

Lunatics: A Love Story (1991)

A man refuses to leave his apartment as his delusions begin to take control. This is such a hilariously absurd movie I can't help but adore it.

If Looks Could Kill (1991)

A high school kid is mistaken for a CIA agent, given some pretty neat gadgets and told to save the world. Obviously not perfect, but it's cheesy fun full of your typical 90's action scenes and that's always a keeper in my book.

More to come...

Stay Tuned is fun. I haven't seen Meet the Applegates in years, but weirdly enough, that movie haunted me as a kid. I really want to give it another go. Closet Land and Szamanka look really interesting too; added to the watchlist.

BTW, I watched Dark Waters; awesome movie. I'll post some thoughts in the movie tab eventually.

Stay Tuned is fun. I haven't seen Meet the Applegates in years, but weirdly enough, that movie haunted me as a kid. I really want to give it another go. Closet Land and Szamanka look really interesting too; added to the watchlist.

BTW, I watched Dark Waters; awesome movie. I'll post some thoughts in the movie tab eventually.
It's been a long time since I've seen some of these, so I had to struggle a bit to remember enough to write something. Stay Tuned is just a ball of fun and craziness, I love it. Meet The Applegates has some pretty dark themes, so I can see a kid being traumatized by it. If you're going to watch Szamanka and Closet Land I urge you to start with Closet Land. Just google it, it's easy to find.

I'll be on the lookout for your thoughts on Dark Waters.

Tale of Tales (2015)

Visually stunning adaptation of Giambattista Basile's fairytale stories. A great cast helped bring these melancholy tales to life and even if you're not familiar with any of these tales you'll certainly be captivated by the film's rendition. Now as visually stunning and well acted as it was I thought that it was a little too convoluted sometimes. The editing decisions of when to transition certain scenes didn't seem logical to me, these are different tales made to correspond with one another but it came across choppy. I think it's also the fact that each story had a limited time frame so they were clearly rushed where it would've done them more justice if they were better fleshed out. Also, though few, certain scenes were depicted as more comical than I thought they should be. A more serious tone would've really intensified the overall movie. But they didn't hinder the film in any way, it's just what I would've preferred.

Web Junkie (2013)

In China internet addiction is considered a real problem. They built facilities specifically for kids whose parents deem addicted to the internet or gaming, etc. It's a real eye-opener and makes you not only see that yes, internet addiction can be devastating but you see that a lot of these kids just want a form of escape. You feel for the parents as well, because in many cases you see how much they care for their children and would do anything to try and help them. In other moments you see that the parents are the problem and their kid is trying to reach out only to be met with disappointment. Also, the method in which some of the parents used to bring their kid to this facility was pretty messed up. I get it, it's really the only way to get a lot of them there, but that alone would cause some serious trust issues. Altogether, this documentary not only opened my eyes to internet addiction and what it's doing to the youths, but also how China treats their youths. There does seem to be genuine concern there and though it may be viewed as excessive, the militant structure is a necessary element for some of them. It's not something we're used to seeing, but it does make you think about how far should one go and what steps should be taken to cure this fairly new affliction. Especially when most people don't see it as a problem.