Leatherface (2017)

This is the story of Leatherface. Again. No, “The Beginning” was not his origin, “Leatherface” is. I’m not sure what “The Beginning” was supposed to be. “Leatherface” is the official prequel to the iconic movie maniac, they promise. And once again, like “The Beginning,” 2017’s “Leatherface” is really just a tired, nasty, unpleasant road film following a group of psychopaths. Leatherface’s actual origin is reserved for the final ten minutes where he just reverts to Leatherface mode because—um—it’s familiar! Familiar is good, right? Once again, no one seems to be interested in actually dissecting the madness of Leatherface, or why and how his persona of wearing human skin and carrying a chainsaw relates to him. In the original Tobe Hooper masterpiece,

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Jeepers Creepers 3 (2017)

The definition of disappointing is the big lead in to who or what the Creeper is. The writing makes a big deal about how you’re able to read its origins by touching a severed part of it, even staging a scene where a group of people channel its origins. There’s a close up of its magical spears and emphases on its car which is built like a virtual indestructible tank, and in the finale Creeper wails in anger as crows fly around, reacting to a sign that reads “We know what you are.” Guess what? We’re never told what the Creeper is. There isn’t even a hint of an explanation. The writing tries to cop out by metaphorically explaining that the creeper is a monster that changes and destroys lives. Damn it, to hell with stupid clichés and tell me what the hell the Creeper is!

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Red Christmas (2017)

I think that there is a very good movie hiding beneath the nonsense and absurdity that is Craig Anderson’s “Red Christmas.” I want to say that I appreciated it’s willingness to just certain taboos, but in the end I could never figure out if the film was an indictment on the pro choice movement, an indictment of the pro life movement, or maybe just an altogether mushy mélange of nonsense meant to dismiss both sides of the argument. I didn’t know and I really couldn’t care less, because “Red Christmas” has some very strong performances backing it up. It’s just sad that it’s a mean spirited, ugly, tedious, and altogether tonally confused home invasion horror film.

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Mayhem (2017)

Joe Lynch is a filmmaker not prone to delivering just everyday horror and genre outings, and “Mayhem” is proof of that. This is a man who should be delivering his off beat storytelling and directorial style to big budget features like James Gunn, but that is by no means a slight on the director. “Mayhem” is a demented dark satire and horror film filled with gore, dark humor, and a biting commentary on the doldrums of the work place and world of corporate back stabbing. Director Joe Lynch takes “Wolf of Wall Street” and “Warning Sign” and drops it in to a blender creating one of the most ruthless balls to the wall meshing of genres I’ve seen in a while. While Lynch is very liberal with the use of gore and splatter, there’s a damn good reasoning for all of what goes down.

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You Should Watch “Freakish”

I’m not a subscriber to Hulu but my mom is, and she’s often on the hunt for horror series’, as someone whose own love for horror dwarfs my own. For the last year, she’s been insisting that I check out a show called “Freakish,” a show that she describes as a “great zombie show” and one I’d particularly love, since I tend to have a real weak spot for shows about zombies and the apocalypse. Hell, I am a regular viewer of “Fear the Walking Dead,” “The Walking Dead,” and even love “Dead Set,” so “Freakish” is kind of up my alley.

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Bonejangles (2017)

One thing I will say about “Bonejangles” is that it has a lot of enthusiasm. It has so much enthusiasm, in fact, that every bit of coherence is thrown out of the window in favor of a horror mish mash that makes no sense, is unfunny, not scary, and feels like it was put together by someone who had a lot of ideas, all of which were not enough for one feature length movie. It’s a shame too since Bonejangles is a cool slasher villain with a lot of potential, he’s just bogged down in to a movie that is without a doubt a humongous waste of time. I’m not against nonsense, but “Bonejangles” is directionless, random nonsense that felt sloppily composed from minute one.

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Never Hike Alone (2017)

I dare say that not only is “Never Hike Alone” one of the best fan films ever made, but it’s easily the best “Friday the 13th” fan film ever made. A mixture of “127 Hours” and “Friday the 13th,” director and writer Vincente DiSanti provides a riveting small scale sequel to “Friday the 13th” where he offers up a brand new twist to the conventional tale featuring Jason Voorhees. It’s a shame we might never get an actual sequel to the series because with a small bit of polish, and twenty extra minutes of extrapolation on our main character, “Never Hike Alone” could pass in theaters as the sequel to the series that we’ve always wanted. I’d say it surely is the sequel that I’ve always wanted, as it focuses less on cannon fodder and T&A and spends a lot more time on build up and suspense.

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The Sand (2015)

I kind of appreciate what “The Sand” is going for. It tries to be a summer time survival movie that evokes “The Raft” from “Creepshow II” with a bit of “The Blob” for good measure. The problem is that it spends so much time on unlikable characters and ridiculous plot points that it feels like a sub-par prequel to a good movie. The film literally ends on a scene that made me think “That is the movie I want to see!” Set on the night after a graduation, a group of friends go out on to the beach for a night of drinking, and teenage antics. Little do they know that a small gooey ball they’ve discovered is some kind of substance that is alive, and has embedded itself in the sand.

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