Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Hunt for the I-5 Killer

The Hunt for the I-5 Killer
(2011) John Corbett, Sara Canning, Tygh Runyan, Andrew Wheeler, Matt Bellefleur, Mike Dopud, Kirsten Robek, Garry Chalk, Bo Derek

i5-killer

This movie has been on my pvr for probably over a year, so I finally decided to watch it. I was a little leery (ok, a lot leery) at first because it’s an IFC film, and those tend to be pretty awful, but I do love me a good serial killer film, so I decided to give it a go. And I was pleasantly surprised. It was so much better than I’d been expecting. The acting was pretty good all round, Corbett doing a great job as the harried detective in charge of the case, and the killer, who was surprising when we found out who he was, was suitably creepy. I’ll be curious now to read up on the case now (it was a true story), since at the end there was a disclaimer that said some things were fictionalized, to find out what actually happened. Maybe it wasn’t so bad in real life..? No, I guess that’s just me dreaming again. I’m really glad that the cops were finally able to nail the fucker who did it to the wall though. Sicko. All in all, a pretty entertaining true crime film. I just wish it wasn’t on IFC. I hate bloody commercials…

7.5/10

This film isn’t currently on Netflix, but if you can find it, it’s worth your time 🙂

M.

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Review Club #6 – Agora

agora_poster05

To switch things up a little, here’s my review first (I know, I’m a wild one!):

Mel’s 10 Things About: Agora (2009)
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Max Minghella, Oscar Isaac, Ashraf Barhom, Rupert Evans, Homayoun Ershadi, Michael Lonsdale, Sami Samir

agora

So this was a pretty hard movie to watch. It had a hard time finding distributors, and yeah, I can understand why. I’m having trouble completing full ideas today, so here’s a list of my thoughts about the film. {SPOILERS AHEAD}

1. I like Rachel Weisz. She’s hot.
2. The young slave is also hot. Who’s he, and where’s he been all my life?
3. The acting ranged from decent to good.
4. The sound mixing was AWFUL. The music would blare one second and then the talking was so low it was ridiculous. My tv volume went from 12 to 34 regularly. It’s annoying.
5. I don’t understand why Davus turned so fast and became a murderous dick. Did I miss something? And don’t say it’s because she called him an idiot in the heat of the battle. He’s smarter than that.
6. It made me angry and sad to see the Library of Alexandria get trashed. “We don’t need all this stupid science when we have God”. Ugh. So much knowledge, destroyed. How much more advanced would we be now if all of that needn’t of been relearned?
7. The film just fueled my disdain and, shall I dare say, hate?, of organized religion. All of them, not just Catholicism. “It’s written in a book, so it must be so”, right? In that vein of thought, vampires are real, we’re all pod people, and werewolves occupy positions in government offices. Ridiculous.
8. The film was shot beautifully, the sets and costumes absolutely gorgeous.
9. You’d think the most disgusting character would be the Bishop in black, but he’s not. He’s evil, yes, but always was. The worst character is Hypatia’s friend, the Bishop in white, who turns on her in the blink of an eye after hearing a quote from that damned book.
10. It’s a real shame Hypatia didn’t have a Davus to kill her peacefully at the end in real life. The poor woman was stripped, stoned, dragged around town behind a horse, her body being skinned and torn to bits, then she was burned. This lady didn’t have a good go of it.

8.5/10

M.

 

Up next is Eric, from over at The IPC.

Agora AKA One Million Angry Christians in the House

I had never heard of this movie before Mel assigned it to us but I saw that it had Rachel Weisz in it so I got a little excited – I think she’s super hot and can act well sometimes. My semi-chub was reduced to nothing pretty quickly as this movie started and NOTHING happened for any amount of time. The only thing I could think of was “fuck these Egyptians are awful white” and I couldn’t keep track of any of the male characters because they ALL had white skin, black hair and had a name that were five syllables long and ended in “ius”. Erictheopolius. Ericmeniopolius. Ericmomonius, etc. So there was that and the fact that this was REALLY boring so I didn’t care. The most interesting and bizaare thing to happen was when Weisz’ character brings one of her suitors a blood stained rag and says “this is the essence of my womb” or something which I guess was her way of saying “I don’t want to go out with you”

blood rag

Then the Alexandrian Whites got angry and started killing the Christians who got mad and then started killing the Alexandrians and destroying everything so the Alexandrians converted to Christianity and then they all started throwing rocks at Jews who threw rocks back and then the Jews were all killed or exiled and Weisz figures out that the earth revolves around the sun so they stone her to death. I have to admit that this movie looks really pretty but the dialogue is atrocious and silly and it was kind of embarrassing to see Weisz commanding her slave to “Grab the bag! Just grab the bag! Do as I say and grab the bag!” during the big siege scene. Oh well – I didn’t like this very much. Say – someone once told me that my first Gravatar image looked like a “period stain” – what do you think?

theipclogo5a

2 bloody rags out of 5

 

Up next we have my darling husband Francois, over at FrankishNet.

Agora – a short review

I have mixed feelings about Agora.

The first feeling is love. I loved it. The historical accuracy and setting, the costumes, the actors. It is also original in the sense that it is an “Historical religious move”, and yet not, since it’s about science. I position myself with our heroine: there is science, the rest is not really worth believing in, as it is a tool to serve a political agenda, or to justify hate and murder. On this account, this movie brilliantly demonstrated the relationship of hate and horrifying acts justified by religion, that we live in daily still today.
No wonder they had troubles distributing the movie…

The second feeling is hate. I hated it. Already charged with political, scientific and religious turmoil, the movie was already heavy for the regular watcher. Then add in the mixed opinions on slavery and possession. Our heroine is gentle and intelligent and respects the slaves. Yet, they are still slave and are meant to obey. And that is totally normal given her birthright, upbringing and era.

However, her acts of kindness toward a slave, who is very intelligent and kind as well, are twisted and transformed in his heart, making him fall in love with his mistress. How is this represented? He asks the gods to “own” her, and ultimately kills her himself, after betraying everything he had learned with her, because she had reminded him of his slavery when the library was being taken.
Yes this adds a lot of dimension to both the movie and the character. But with a movie that was already heavy with subject matter, this felt too much and out of place. They should have left the topic of “Slaves wanting to own their mistress so badly that only them are allowed to kill them, and that is fine” out of the movie and kept it as background noise. “There are slaves. Slaves are slaves. Its the era, its fine”, and let us cry horribly when she is stoned to death, as happened in history.

So here, a good mix of hate and love. It was a very heavy movie, that does not leave you feeling good with yourself, but it did a great job at making us reflect on just how much pain are we ready to take or inflict for our believes, and if those believes aren’t just in truth disguised lust for power, or survival.

I’ll give it a solid 8/10 in its “historic” category, and a mixed 5 in “I enjoyed watching it”.
(Except for her ass. Her ass is 10/10).

 

And finally, rounding things out is Rob, from over at MovieRob.

Before Mel chose this as the next Review Club entry, I had never even heard of this and upon reading the summary, it definitely seemed interesting.

This movie does a very interesting job of trying to discuss modern seemingly contradictions between religion and science set in an ancient world.

Many people nowadays still believe that these two subjects cannot coexist in society in the same way it was believed during the time that this movie takes place 1700 years ago.

Unfortunately, despite it revolving around a very interesting subject matter, the story itself is less interesting and I actually got tired of the soap opera-esk storyline.

I didn’t find any of the male characters compelling enough for a story like this and as great a job as star Rachel Weisz does here, her role isn’t ‘meaty’ enough and in some parts of the movie even seems like she is completely wasted.

As far as historically accurate movies go, I have no idea what really happened or not in real life. Personally, I don’t go to the movies for historically accurate depictions on the big screen, I go to be entertained by the stories. If I did, I’d be better off just watching ‘The History Channel’ all day. 😉

Some of the effects in the movies were done well, but the coolest effect is the use of ‘Google maps’ to zoom in and out of cities and magnifying things to minute details.

This could have been so much more interesting, but instead it was a wasted storyline that comes off quite mediocre.

5/10

And that’s it folks! Join us again in two weeks for when we review Chef!! 🙂

 

PS, what do you guys think of my new review format? I was having trouble making a coherent paragraph for Mel’s 5 Second Review, so I came up with Mel’s 10 Things About. Do you like it? Which format do you prefer? Let me know please! 🙂

Mel’s 5 Second TV Review: Born to Kill?

Born to Kill?
(2005 – 2012) Christopher Slade, Katherine Ramsland, Louis B Schlesinger, Helen Morrison, and David Wilson

Born to Kill

This show, in my opinion, is one of the very best of it’s kind. Along with details of the horrible crimes, a lot of the focus is on the killers themselves, and that age old question: was it nature or nurture that drove them to kill? We’re treated to Forensic Psychologists and Psychiatrists, Criminologists, plus the police and detectives who were assigned to the various cases, who give us facts of the cases and their opinions on the killers. We’re shown locations of murders, and even a few pictures, but never the really disturbing ones. Well, I mean they’re all disturbing, but… bah, you know what I mean! :-p As far as I know, there are 25 episodes, and only one which I still haven’t seen (edit: wrong!! hehe). Killers included in the program are well known serial killers like Jeffrey Dahmer, Aileen Wournos, Ted Bundy, and John Wayne Gacy, and some lesser known, like Beverly Allitt, Donald Neilson, Donald ‘Pee Wee’ Gaskins, and Dennis Nilsen. You can see the whole list (edit: nope, a partial list) here. On the whole it’s a very well made and informative show, and I give it a well deserved 9/10.

This show is unfortunately not on Netflix. It currently plays on the Identification Discovery channel, but it may take a while to see all of them, since they’re played in random order all the time. And never mind that, I just checked on YouTube, and there’s a playlist of 31 episodes! So that means there’s more episodes than I knew of, which means I’m not done yet! More grizzly horror for me to watch, yay!! Uh… yeah. Maybe I shouldn’t sound so enthusiastic about that…

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Mammoth Book of Bizarre Crimes audiobook

The Mammoth Book of Bizarre Crimes (2010)
Written by: Robin Odell
Narrated by: David Shaw-Parker

Bizarre Crimes

(Questions from Audible’s reviews form)

If you could sum up The Mammoth Book of Bizarre Crimes in three words, what would they be?
Fun, fast-paced, informative.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?
The narrator does a great job telling the gruesome stories in the most light-hearted way that he can. I wasn’t sure I liked him at the start of the book, but I grew quite fond of him quickly. He’s also one of the best I’ve heard at doing accents, he was pretty amazing!

Have you listened to any of David Shaw-Parker’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Nope, this was the first one. And will probably be the only one, unless he adds more books to his resumé. Of the 14 or so books he’s got on Audible, this is the only one that interested me. Too bad 😦

If you could give The Mammoth Book of Bizarre Crimes a new subtitle, what would it be?
Or, The Depravity of Human Beings

Any additional comments?
This book gets a wonderful 9/10 from me. I’d have given it a full 10 stars, but I skipped the whole section on contract killings, mafia hits and assassins. That kind of stuff has never really interested me. But everything else was a great, albeit sometimes gruesome, read (or should I say listen? hehe). Only about half of the stories (of which there are 300) are what I would call truly bizarre, but maybe that’s just me being slightly blasé on the subject, after having read so many books and watched so many shows about it. I’d definitely reccomend this book to anyone who, like me, has a penchant for the macabre.

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Quiet Ones

The Quiet Ones
(2014) Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Olivia Cooke, Erin Richards, Rory Fleck-Byrne, and Laurie Calvert

quiet ones

I do love me a good haunting or possession story, so I was really looking forward to this film. So imagine my disappointment when I put this on and discovered it was one of the most boring possession films I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t scary at all, most of the characters are thoroughly unlikable jerks, and it just takes forever to get anywhere. It feels like a (bad) ripoff of Richard Matheson’s Hell House. Jared Harris is usually pretty good, but all I wanted to do is smack him upside the head (with a chair). And the constant smoking… ugh. I know it takes place in the 70’s, and it was a thing, but ugh. Even just seeing it onscreen disgusts me. I stopped the film about 25 minutes before it ended because I was tired and needed a nap, telling myself that I’d finish it some other time. Over a week later, and I still haven’t gotten around to it, nor do I feel the need to. Dull and pointless (and “based on a true story”, yeah right), it barely merits the 3/10 I gave it.

This film is currently streaming on Netflix UK, and is also on YouTube. But don’t say I didn’t warn you :-p

M.

My Top 50 Horror Films

So, articles like the one you’re about to read are actually one of the biggest reasons that I decided to start blogging in the first place. I love reading Top 10 (or more) lists about all sorts of stuff, but I always get frustrated that a lot of the stuff that I enjoy the most either are low in the lists, or not there at all. And the top spots are often reserved for the same old “classics”, most of which I don’t like. After reading the millionth Top Horror Movies article with movies like The Shining, Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Suspiria and others in the top spots, I decided that I’d make my own blog where I can show people that there are other movies than those in the world, and they’re just as good (or better, even) than those so-called classics.

I also won’t be putting them in exact order, because I just don’t have the patience to sit there and sort them all. I also doubt that I could choose a definitive order to put them in. So what I’ll do is kind of make it a Top 5, each number having a 10-way tie. And those 10 won’t be in any order, either. So with that said, allons-y!! 😀

 

NUMBERS 5

 

Cube

Title: Cube
Released in: 1997
Starring: Maurice Dean Wint, Nicole de Boer, David Hewlett, Nicky Guadagni, Andrew Miller, and Julian Richings
Directed by: Vincenzo Natali
Written by: André Bijelic, Vincenzo Natali, and Graeme Manson
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Seven strangers awaken to find themselves captive in what seems like an endless cubic maze, each door leading either to safety or a gruesome death.
Why I Love It: A brilliant, character driven film that doesn’t shy away from the atrocities that humanity is capable of in a survival of the fittest kind of environment. And while there are a few gruesome scenes when the prisoners accidentally enter a booby trapped room, the film never goes too far with it. Nothing like buckets of pointless gore to ruin a great film.

 

Jeepers Creepers

Title: Jeepers Creepers
Released in: 2001
Starring: Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck, Patricia Belcher, Brandon Smith, and Eileen Brennan
Directed by: Victor Salva
Written by: Victor Salva
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Siblings Darry and Trish are driving home together from school when they are followed and attacked by a humanoid creature driving a big, rusty truck who wants to eat them to regenerate its own body parts.
Why I Love It: It’s a slightly ridiculous concept with sometimes shaky acting, but the visuals and effects are great, the villain is suitably creepy, and the whole film just gives off a vibe of great fun. It’s not very scary (to me anyways), but it’s always a good time.

 

Re-Animator

Title: Re-Animator
Released in: 1985
Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale, and Robert Sampson
Directed by: Stuart Gordon
Written by: Dennis Paoli, William Norris, and Stuart Gordon
Based On: Herbert West, Re-Animator by HP Lovecraft
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young medical student finds himself in over his head when new student Herbert West arrives with his experiments. Experiments to bring dead flesh back to life.
Why I Love It: This film is totally nuts, start to finish, but it’s got that 80’s horror charm, and Jeffrey Combs is electrifying, eating up the whole screen every time he’s on it. The film also boasts the most uncomfortable-to-watch “sex” scene in the history of film. You’ll spend most of the film not knowing whether to laugh or cringe, but that’s just part of the appeal of this classic gem.

 

Saw

Title: Saw
Released in: 2004
Starring: Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Danny Glover, Ken Leung, Dina Meyer, Monica Potter, and Shawnee Smith
Directed by: James Wan
Written by: Leigh Whannell
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Two men wake up in an almost empty room, each chained by the foot on opposite ends of the room, with a dead man sprawled on the ground between them. A cassette player informs them that to escape one must kill the other, or saw their own foot off with a provided jigsaw.
Why I Love It: When it first came out, Saw was unlike anything the horror genre had seen in a long time, a real breath of fresh air. It was a wonderful idea, and very well executed, with only a little shaky acting sometimes. Unfortunately, with all the sequels that came after, the Saw name became synonymous with “crap”, and the brilliance of the first film became lost in the sea of awful sequels.

 

The Crazies

Title: The Crazies
Released in: 2010
Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker, Christie Lynn Smith, Brett Rickaby, and John Aylward
Directed by: Breck Eisner
Written by: Scott Kosar & Ray Wright
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Remake of 1973’s The Crazies, directed by George A Romero and starring Lane Carroll
5 Second Synopsis: After having their water contaminated, inhabitants of a small town become infected by a virus that makes them incredibly, mindlessly homicidal.
Why I Love It: Despite its rather silly name, this is a great film. I’m not much of a zombie movie fan, so I was reluctant to watch this one, but I was really glad I finally did. It may be classed as a zombie film, but besides a few similarities to the genre, it’s thankfully quite different. No dead people shambling around trying to eat flesh, this film is tense and sometimes scary, with great acting and awesome effects. This isn’t your grandfather’s zombie film :-p

 

The Pit & the Pendulum

Title: The Pit & the Pendulum
Released in: 1991
Starring: Lance Henriksen, Rona de Ricci, Jonathan Fuller, Stephen Lee, Mark Margolis, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Jeffrey Combs, and Frances Bay
Directed by: Stuart Gordon
Written by: Dennis Paoli
Based On: The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No. While The Pit and the Pendulum has been made into several films, this one isn’t a remake of any particular film.
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: An innocent young woman is arrested for witchcraft and tortured, while the leader of the inquisition, the evil Torquemada, lusts after her.
Why I Love It: I love Poe’s stories and poems, so it’s no surprise that I’d love the films based on his works. The film screams 90’s camp, but that’s hardly a bad thing. Lance Henriksen is wonderfully evil, he really makes the film the little gem that it is.

 

The Relic

Title: The Relic
Released in: 1997
Starring: Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, Linda Hunt, James Whitmore, Clayton Rohner, Chi Muoi Lo, Thomas Ryan, and Lewis van Bergen
Directed by: Peter Hyams
Written by: Amy Jones, John Baffo, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver
Based On: Relic by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A detective teams up with an anthropologist when strange murders are committed in a museum, bodies discovered with the hypothalamus of the brain missing. They discover a strange, monstrous creature living beneath the museum, and it seems to need to eat these missing brain pieces.
Why I Love It: Now, I saw this film before reading the book, which is a very, very good thing. If I’d have read the book first, I’d have been very upset, since the main protagonist of the book series (Special Agent Pendergast) isn’t even in the film! But since I saw the film first, I was able to just take it as it was, and I loved it. It was the best monster movie of its time, and still holds up well today. A real fun ride.

 

Thirteen Ghosts

Title: Thirteen Ghosts
Released in: 2001
Starring: Tony Shalhoub, Embeth Davitz, Matthew Lillard, Shannon Elizabeth, Alec Roberts, JR Bourne, Rah Digga, and F Murray Abraham
Directed by: Steve Beck
Written by: Benjamin Carr & Richard D’Ovidio
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Remake of 1960’s 13 Ghosts, directed by William Castle and starring Donald Woods
5 Second Synopsis: When his uncle dies, a man takes his two children and their nanny to visit the house that they inherited. While looking through the gorgeous glass house, they unwittingly release 12 very powerful, very homicidal ghosts.
Why I Love It: I’m not sure why I love this one so much, but I really do. I know it’s far from being a perfect film, but I don’t know, I just have so much fun watching it, and the ghosts are just so cool and well done that it doesn’t matter that half the film doesn’t really make sense, hehe.

 

Underworld

Title: Underworld
Released in: 2003
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, Bill Nighy, Sophia Myles, Erwin Leder, Robby Gee, and Wentworth Miller
Directed by: Len Wiseman
Written by: Danny McBride
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A beautiful vampire warrior allies herself with a newly bitten werewolf when she begins to suspect that the war that has been raging for centuries between their two races is built on lies.
Why I Love It: A whole lot of style with a little substance, but it hardly matters. This film is so fun to watch, so visually pleasing that you can’t help but love it. And the story, while it’s the same old same old rehashed stuff, is just different enough to keep you entertained. And talk about eye candy, my goodness…

 

Warlock

Title: Warlock
Released in: 1989
Starring: Julian Sands, Richard E Grant, Lori Singer, Mary Woronov, and Kevin O’Brien
Directed by: Steve Miner
Written by: David Twohy
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: An evil warlock opens a portal from his time, the 17th century, to the present day to escape execution. A righteous witch-hunter jumps into the portal after him just before it closes, and vows to stop the warlock’s evil for good.
Why I Love It: Julian Sands. Do I really need another reason? Oh, I do? Well, I guess it’s a good thing that the film is so much fun, then! Wonderfully campy and acted better than most movies in its genre, it’s definitely a gem of the 80’s.

 

NUMBERS 4

 

Event Horizon

Title: Event Horizon
Released in: 1997
Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Joely Richardson, Kathleen Quinlan, Jason Isaacs, Jack Noseworthy, Richard T Jones, and Sean Pertwee
Directed by: Paul WS Anderson
Written by: Philip Eisner
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A rescue crew is sent to investigate a ship that has been missing in deep space for years. Once on board, they realize that the abandoned vessel isn’t as empty as they first thought.
Why I Love It: Everything about the film is awesome. Great acting, great effects, great story, and just enough gore to slightly turn your stomach but not enough to just make it a gore-fest (which, you all may know by now, I’m not fond of). Almost 20 years later, it still gives me shivers while watching. A sign of a job well done!

 

Frailty

Title: Frailty
Released in: 2001
Starring: Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Matt O’Leary, Jeremy Sumpter, and Powers Boothe
Directed by: Bill Paxton
Written by: Brent Hanley
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A man confesses to an FBI agent his family’s story of how his religious fanatic father’s visions lead to a series of murders to destroy supposed “demons.” (Taken from IMDB, I was having a hell of a time trying to make a small synopsis, hehe.)
Why I Love It: It’s absolutely brilliant. Well written, incredibly acted, a wonderfully creepy story with a killer twist, before twists were a dime a dozen. Just wonderful.

 

Ginger Snaps

Title: Ginger Snaps
Released in: 2000
Starring: Katharine Isabelle, Emily Perkins, Kris Lemche, Jesse Moss, Danielle Hampton, John Bourgeois, and Mimi Rogers
Directed by: John Fawcett
Written by: Karen Walton
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After being attacked by a large, furry creature on the night of a full moon, teenager Ginger and her sister Brigitte are on the lookout for clues that she is turning into a werewolf.
Why I Love It: It’s fun, it’s bloody, it’s smartly written, well acted and has cool practical effects. Werewolf films are hard to do without getting schlocky, but Ginger Snaps manages just fine. Also, Katharine Isabelle is a fox. And she loves making horror films, good news for us pervy horror fans! 😉

 

Idle Hands

Title: Idle Hands
Released in: 1999
Starring: Devon Sawa, Seth Green, Jessica Alba, Elden Henson, Vivica A Fox, Jack Noseworthy, Katie Wright, and Christopher Hart’s hand
Directed by: Rodman Flender
Written by: Terri Hughes & Ron Milbauer
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A stoner’s hand becomes possessed by an evil spirit and it kills his two best friends. To try stop the killing, he chops his hand off but, much to his chagrin, it just keeps moving and escapes his house to go wreak havoc at a school Halloween dance.
Why I Love It: Despite its silly subject matter, this film is actually quite good. Laugh out loud funny with awesome special effects (that still hold up today), it’s a great popcorn movie. Plus, Devon Sawa. Total 90’s babe. Meow.

 

Near Dark

Title: Near Dark
Released in: 1987
Starring: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein, Joshua John Miller, and Tom Thomerson
Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow
Written by: Kathryn Bigelow & Eric Red
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After being bit by a beautiful vampire, a young man is given an ultimatum by her “family”: make a kill within a week, or die. When he realizes he can’t kill, he and the girl run off, with her family in hot pursuit.
Why I Love It: I saw this for the first time as a teenager, and it had everything a teenage girl could possibly want. Romance, eye candy, and lots and lots of blood. Oh yeah 😀

 

Repo! The Genetic Opera

Title: Repo! The Genetic Opera
Released in: 2008
Starring: Alexa Vega, Anthony Stewart Head, Paul Sorvino, Terrance Zdunich, Sarah Brightman, Paris Hilton, Bill Moseley, and Nivek Ogre
Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman
Written by: Terrance Zdunich & Darren Smith
Based On: Their play of the same name.
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Set in a future where surgery has become a fashion statement, a chronically ill teen longs for the outside world. When she finally gets her wish, she’s quick to notice that not everything in her life is as it seems.
Why I Love It: A goth musical? With Sarah Brightman, Ogre, and Giles? How the heck could I not love it?? Great songs, great performances (even Paris! *gasp!*), and killer costumes, this was an instant cult classic. So much fun.

 

Signs

Title: Signs
Released in: 2002
Starring: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin, Cherry Jones, and Patricia Kalember
Directed by: M Night Shyamalan
Written by: M Night Shyamalan
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A preacher and his family find giant crop circles in their corn. Then they, and the rest of the world, come to realize that this time, it’s no hoax.
Why I Love It: A lot of people say that this was the beginning of the end for Shyamalan’s films, but I really liked this one. Yes, there’s a lot of self indulgent bullshit, but there’s a lot of great, tense moments, too, which more than make up for it.

 

Sinister

Title: Sinister
Released in: 2012
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Fred Dalton Thompson, James Ransone, Michael Hall D’Addario, Clare Foley, and Nick King
Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Written by: Scott Derrickson & C Robert Cargill
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A true crime writer moves his family into a house where a horrific quadruple murder took place. He finds old reels of home video in the attic that leads him to believe that these murders were just one in a string of horrifying serial murders, taking place as far back as the 60’s.
Why I Love It: This is an excellent piece of film. Well acted, well written, awesomely atmospheric. Us horror fans are blessed that an actor of Ethan Hawke’s caliber loves doing horror films. But before you write this off as “just another ghost story”, think again. It’d probably have been higher on the list, but I’ve only seen it once, and so many others are higher simply for being loved longer, hehe.

 

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Title: The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Released in: 2005
Starring: Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Jennifer Carpenter, Campbell Scott, Colm Feore, Joshua Close, Kenneth Welsh, Duncan Fraser, and Mary Beth Hurt
Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Written by: Paul Harris Boardman & Scott Derrickson
Based On: A true story
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A tough lawyer takes on the case of a priest who is accused of negligent homicide after the death of a young woman on whom he had performed an exorcism.
Why I Love It: Exorcism movies, I find, are either amazing, or they’re crappy. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. This one is amazing. You wouldn’t think a courtroom drama and exorcism horror would mesh well together in the same film, but they really do. I don’t believe for a moment that this is actually a true story (not the possession part anyways, the exorcism and trial were real enough, though), but it’s captivating, and all the acting is wonderful, especially from Dexter actress Jennifer Carpenter.

 

The Exorcist III

Title: The Exorcist III
Released in: 1990
Starring: George C Scott, Ed Flanders, Brad Dourif, Jason Miller, Nicol Williamson, Scott Wilson, Nancy Fish, and George DiCenzo
Directed by: William Peter Blatty
Written by: William Peter Blatty
Based On: Legion by William Peter Blatty
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Sequel to 1973’s The Exorcist, directed by William Friedkin and starring Linda Blair.
5 Second Synopsis: As a police lieutenant mourns on the anniversary of his friend’s death (Father Karras, from the first film), a serial killer strikes whose MO is eerily similar to a killer’s who’s been dead for 15 years.
Why I Love It: This is the sequel that The Exorcist should of had, instead of the abomination that was made (seriously, what the hell was that??) It’s a great story, and has real scares, with none of the camp that 90’s horror was so famous for. A real, under-rated gem.

 

NUMBERS 3

 

Constantine

Title: Constantine
Released in: 2005
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Rachael Weisz, Shia LeBoeuf, Tilda Swinton, Djimon Hounsou, Gavin Rossdale, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Max Baker, and Peter Stormare
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Written by: Kevin Brodbin & Frank A Cappello
Based On: Hellblazer by Jamie Delano & Garth Ennis
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A supernatural detective stumbles on a world-ending plot while ridding the world of demons.
Why I Love It: I won’t try give credit where none is due, Keanu Reeves is still a pretty bad actor. And yet this movie is awesome. The film doesn’t follow the books very closely (but that’s ok with me since I didn’t enjoy them all that much anyways). But the story is great, the effects are amazing, and the supporting cast is very strong, giving poor Keanu all the help he needs.

 

Dracula 2000

Title: Dracula 2000
Released in: 2000
Starring: Gerard Butler, Justine Waddell, Jonny Lee Miller, Christopher Plummer, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Esposito, Omar Epps, Jeri Ryan, and Nathan Fillion
Directed by: Patrick Lussier
Written by: Joel Soisson
Based On: Characters created by Bram Stoker
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No. The Dracula story has been told in countless films, but this film, while based on the same story as all the others, is its own film, not based on its predecessors.
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: In modern-day London, the long-entrapped Count Dracula is unwittingly released by thieves, and goes to New Orleans to find the one born of his blood, Mary Van Helsing.
Why I Love It: It’s fun, hip, relatively well acted, and has a neat new idea for the identity of everyone’s favourite Count. Gerard Butler turns in a mesmerizing performance, it remains one of my very favourite on-screen vampire portrayals of all time. And he’s so sexy in this. So very, very sexy…. mmmmmmm… *snaps out of it* Ok, I’m done, sorry :-p

 

From Dusk Till Dawn

Title: From Dusk Till Dawn
Released in: 1996
Starring: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Tom Savini, and Ted Williamson
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Written by: Quentin Tarantino
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Two brothers on the run from the law take a father with his two kids hostage to sneak across the border into Mexico in their RV. Once there, they hole up in a brothel for the night to await a contact. Little do they know that this brothel is also a vampire nest, and they’re going to have to fight through the night if they want to survive.
Why I Love It: What not to love about this film? Badass characters, hyper-violence, buckets of blood, and lots of boobage, this movie is a ton and a half of fun, while still boasting a solid cast of good actors, and killer practical effects. Grab the popcorn and have a blast!

 

Identity

Title: Identity
Released in: 2003
Starring: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes, Alfred Molina, Clea DuVall, John C McGinley, William Lee Scott, Jake Busey, and Pruitt Taylor Vince
Directed by: James Mangold
Written by: Michael Cooney
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A group of strangers gets trapped in a small motel while a storm floods the roads. Elsewhere, a doctor awaits the arrival of his patient, who is on death row and is to be executed the next day.
Why I Love It: Despite some rather shaky acting from some of the smaller cast members, this film is amazing. Good acting from the core actors, awesome story that’ll keep you guessing till the very end, and a killer twist that actually makes sense. I’d have preferred the last 2 minutes to be cut from the film, though, I find it kinda cheapens the whole thing, which is why I gave it 9 stars instead of 10.

 

Queen of the Damned

Title: Queen of the Damned
Released in: 2002
Starring: Stuart Townsend, Aaliyah, Marguerite Moreau, Vincent Perez, Paul McGann, Lena Olin, and Matthew Newton
Directed by: Michael Rymer
Written by: Scott Abbott & Michael Patroni
Based On: The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Sequel to 1994’s Interview with the Vampire, directed by Neil Jordan and starring Brad Pitt.
5 Second Synopsis: A long-sleeping vampire wakes when a bold and arrogant younger vampire decides to start a rock band, and divulges “vampire secrets” in his lyrics.
Why I Love It: The acting is pretty shaky, the story is so far from Anne Rice’s original idea that it probably shouldn’t be allowed to claim to be based on her books, it’s full of clichés, and yet I love it. And nothing anyone can say will change my mind. Trust me, people have tried :-p

 

Stir of Echoes

Title: Stir of Echoes
Released in: 1999
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Erbe, Illeana Douglas, Zachary David Cope, Kevin Dunn, Conor O’Farrell, and Jennifer Morrison
Directed by: David Koepp
Written by: David Koepp
Based On: A Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After being hypnotized, a family man starts to unravel after he starts seeing cryptic messages from a ghostly girl.
Why I Love It: Wonderfully acted, creepy and atmospheric, and well written, this is an almost perfect ghost story.

 

The Exorcist

Title: The Exorcist
Released in: 1973
Starring: Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller, Max Von Sydow, Lee J Cobb, William O’Malley, and Mercedes McCambridge
Directed by: William Friedkin
Written by: William Peter Blatty
Based On: The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, a true story
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After playing with a Ouija board, a young girl is possessed by a malevolent demon. Her mother begs a priest to perform an exorcism to save her.
Why I Love It: Just the right amount of body horror with psychological terror, this is one of the original greats. Saw it for the first time when I was 16, and it still scares me today. A true classic.

 

The Last Man on Earth

Title: The Last Man on Earth
Released in: 1964
Starring: Vincent Price, Franca Bettoia, and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
Directed by: Ubaldo Ragona
Written by: William F Leicester & Richard Matheson
Based On: I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After an epidemic sweeps the globe and turns everyone into blood-sucking monsters, a lone survivor searches for a cure, while killing as many of the monsters as he can.
Why I Love It: Vincent Price, Richard Matheson, and vampires? Of course I love it! No other reason is necessary! 😀

 

The Mummy

Title: The Mummy
Released in: 1999
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachael Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Kevin J O’Connor, Oded Fehr, Jonathan Hyde, and Patricia Velasquez
Directed by: Stephen Sommers
Written by: Stephen Sommers
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Reimagining of 1932’s The Mummy, directed by Karl Freund and starring Boris Karloff
5 Second Synopsis: Adventurers looking for treasure and artifacts on an ancient Egyptian site accidentally awaken an evil mummy that had been buried for thousands of years.
Why I Love It: I love anything to do with ancient Egypt, supernatural or otherwise, so it was a given that I’d love this one. Thankfully, it also happens to be great fun to watch.

 

The Stand

Title: The Stand
Released in: 1994
Starring: Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Jamey Sheridan, Adam Storke, Laura San Giacomo, Ruby Dee, Rob Lowe, Corin Nemec, Matt Frewer, Miguel Ferrer, and Ray Walston
Directed by: Mick Garris
Written by: Stephen King
Based On: The Stand by Stephen King
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After a man-made super flu kills 99% of the people on earth, the survivors band together into two groups, one drawn by dreams of a kind old lady, the others by an evil man.
Why I Love It: I saw this at 13 when it first aired on tv, and I hadn’t read the book yet, which was probably a good thing, since it allowed me to love the mini-series, and not continuously compare it to the book. When I read the book a few years later, I was amazed at how much extra stuff was in it, but my love of the show was already cemented, hehe. It’s hopelessly dated, but it’s still a fun watch.

 

NUMBERS 2

 

Aliens

Title: Aliens
Released in: 1986
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein, and William Hope
Directed by: James Cameron
Written by: James Cameron
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Sequel to 1979’s Alien, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Sigourney Weaver.
5 Second Synopsis: The sole survivor from the first film assists a tough group of space marines in containing the Xenomorph threat, while a malevolent company wants the alien offspring captured alive. Naturally, stuff goes very wrong.
Why I Love It: Do I really have to explain myself? A definite success in the merging of sci-fi and horror genres, it was, and remains, one of the best films of its genre. Everything was done so well that it’s easy to forget that the film wasn’t made recently, but rather almost 30 years ago. A sign of a job well done!

 

Beetlejuice

Title: Beetlejuice
Released in: 1988
Starring: Michael Keeton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones, and Glenn Shadix
Directed by: Tim Burton
Written by: Michael McDowell & Warren Skaaren
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After a young couple tragically dies in an accident, they’re told that they will have to “haunt” their house for quite a few number of years. When a new family moves in and start making changes to their beloved home, they contact a “bio-exorcist” to make them leave.
Why I Love It: This film almost didn’t make the list at all, since I wasn’t sure if I should include it in a horror list, but it’s so awesome that I decided to go ahead and add it. Wickedly funny with awesome practical effects, this has been one of my favourites since I was a kid.

 

Cabin in the Woods

Title: The Cabin in the Woods
Released in: 2012
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Anna Hutchison, Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins, Amy Acker, Jodelle Ferland, and Sigourney Weaver
Directed by: Drew Goddard
Written by: Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: Five friends go to a remote cabin in the woods for some R&R. Meanwhile, a government office seems to be preparing for something that involves the group. And that’s pretty much all I can say without giving spoilers, just in case there are still a few horror fans who haven’t seen this.
Why I Love It: “Written by Joss Whedon” was all I needed to see to convince me to go see it. It was so much fun, so tongue-in-cheek, that’s impossible to not love it. There are so many winks to so many horror films and tropes that even after multiple viewings, there’s always something I didn’t notice ‘last time’. Just awesome.

 

Dracula

Title: Dracula
Released in: 1992
Starring: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Sadie Frost, Cary Elwes, Richard E Grant, Tom Waits, and Monica Bellucci
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Written by: James V Hart
Based On: Dracula by Bram Stoker
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No. The Dracula story has been told in countless films, but this film, while based on the same story as all the others, is its own film, not based on its predecessors, and is actually closer to the book than the rest.
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: After seeing a photograph of a woman who resembles his long-dead wife, a centuries old vampire travels to England to find her.
Why I Love It: I don’t really think I need to explain why I love this film, hehe. The only thing that’s not perfect is Keanu Reeves’ acting :-p

 

House on Haunted Hill

Title: House on Haunted Hill
Released in: 1999
Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Ali Larter, Taye Diggs, Peter Gallagher, Chris Kattan, Bridgette Wilson, Max Perlich, and Jeffrey Combs
Directed by: William Malone
Written by: Dick Beebe
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Remake of 1959’s House on Haunted Hill, directed by William Castle and starring Vincent Price.
5 Second Synopsis: An eccentric millionaire offers a million dollars to one of four guests if they can survive the night in a supposedly haunted mansion, which used to be an asylum with a horrifying past.
Why I Love It: Such a fun film that doesn’t rely on jump scares to creep you out. I absolutely love this one. Strong acting, strong writing, and a superbly creepy setting make this film step ahead of a lot of others in its genre.

 

It

Title: It
Released in: 1990
Starring: Tim Curry, Richard Thomas, Jonathan Brandis, Annette O’Toole, Emily Perkins, Harry Anderson, Seth Green, Dennis Christopher, and John Ritter
Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace
Written by: Tommy Lee Wallace & Stephen King
Based On: It by Stephen King
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: In 1960, seven outcast kids known as ‘The Losers Club’ fight an evil child-eating demon who poses as a clown. 30 years later, they are called back to fight the same clown again. (from IMDB)
Why I Love It: I watched this when it came out,which meant I was 9 years old. Pennywise traumatized the crap out of me, and I’ve hated clowns ever since. But despite all this, I loved it, and still do. I’m not sure I’d have liked it so much had I seen it for the first time now, because it absolutely screams early 90’s, so I guess it’s a good thing I saw it way back then, hehe.

 

Pitch Black

Title: Pitch Black
Released in: 2000
Starring: Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Claudia Black, Rhiana Griffith, Keith David, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, and Simon Burke
Directed by: David Twohy
Written by: Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat, and David Twohy
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A cargo ship carrying a dangerous fugitive crashes on a planet that is always bright. When the sun finally goes down, though, the survivors realize that they are not alone.
Why I Love It: I can’t really explain why I love this one so much. It should have just been a generic crash-land-on-dangerous-planet thing, and yet just because all components were slightly better than usual, it made this film a total gem. At least to me, hehe.

 

Stigmata

Title: Stigmata
Released in: 1999
Starring: Patricia Arquette, Gabriel Byrne, Jonathan Pryce, Nia Long, Thomas Kopache, Rade Serbedzija, Enrico Colantoni, and Dick Latessa
Directed by: Rupert Wainwright
Written by: Tom Lazarus & Rick Ramage
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young woman is plagued with vicious bouts of stigmata, the wounds of Jesus Christ while being crucified, after receiving a rosary from her mother from Brazil. A priest from the Vatican is sent to investigate.
Why I Love It: I’m usually not big on religious stories, but this one spends more time on the characters, and less time being preachy, and so I enjoyed it very much. The story is great, most of the acting is great, and Gabriel Byrne is a stone-cold fox. Three great reasons to love it, hehehe.

 

The Eye

Title: Gin Gwai (The Eye)
Released in: 2002
Starring: Lee Sin-Je, Lawrence Chou, Candy Lo, Yut Lai So, Edmund Chen, Chutcha Rujinanon, Sue Yuen Wang, Pierre Png, and Yin Ping Ko
Directed by: The Pang Brothers
Written by: Oxide Pang, Danny Pang, and Yuet-Jan Hui
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young woman, blind from birth, gets cornea transplants, allowing her to finally see. But she soon realizes that her new eyes see much more than everyone else.
Why I Love It: Asian films are often too weird for me to enjoy, but when they get it right, they get it damn right. The acting, effects, and atmosphere are all stupendous. A definite gem, express from Hong Kong.

 

The Woman in Black

Title: The Woman in Black
Released in: 2012
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer, Liz White, Shaun Dooley, Mary Stockley, Roger Allam, Jessica Raine, Sophie Stuckey, and Misha Handley
Directed by: James Watkins
Written by: Jane Goldman
Based On: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Remake of 1989’s The Woman in Black, directed by Herbert Wise and starring Adrian Rawlins.
5 Second Synopsis: A young, widowed lawyer is sent to close the estate of an old woman who just passed away. While getting her affairs in order in her manor, he is plagued by an evil presence that brings a horrible end to some of the towns’ children.
Why I Love It: Superbly acted and creepily atmospheric, this film was a masterpiece. Young Daniel upped his game for this role, and he did a wonderful job. It’s hard to be in a film with so little dialogue and still be entertaining, but he, and the rest of the cast, managed beautifully. In my opinion, it’s one of the finest films to come out of the horror genre in the last 15 years. The only reason it’s not in the number ones is because all the films up there (save one) are long-time favourites.

 

And now, for the best of the best, my very favourites, the top 10 horror films that I strongly suggest everyone see, even those people who don’t really care for horror. As usual, these aren’t in any order, it’s a 10-way tie for the number 1 slot, hehe. There’s only one recent film, one from 2002, two from 1999, and then the rest are 1994 and earlier. But, like I said in my intro, you won’t be seeing hardly any of the ‘usuals’ in this spot. My number one spot(s) is reserved for films that are actually good 😉 So, without any further ado, here are my-

 

NUMBERS 1

 

Fright Night

Title: Fright Night
Released in: 1985
Starring: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall, Stephen Geoffreys, Jonathan Stark, Dorothy Fielding, and Art Evans
Directed by: Tom Holland
Written by: Tom Holland
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A teen becomes suspicious of his new neighbour when bodies of young women are found dumped in trash bags. He soon realizes the suave, handsome man is an evil vampire, and he tries to enlist the help of a tv vampire slayer to stop him.
Why I Love It: One of the original great horror-comedies, this film is fun, campy, and scary. The actors are perfect in their roles, especially Chris Sarandon as the evil yet seductive Jerry Dandridge. The remake, while nowhere near as good as this one, is still worth a gander.

 

Interview with the Vampire

Title: Interview with the Vampire
Released in: 1994
Starring: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, Stephen Rea, Domiziana Giordano, Indra Ové, and Thandie Newton
Directed by: Neil Jordan
Written by: Anne Rice
Based On: Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young man who has lost his wife and baby in childbirth is offered immortality by a charming but ruthless vampire. We follow him through his centuries of life as he tells his story to a young writer.
Why I Love It: So beautiful and sumptuous. Incredibly acted and written, it follows the book quite closely (which is to be expected when it’s the author who writes the screenplay). A lot of the actors don’t look like their book counterparts, but the movie is so well done that I was able to forgive this.

 

noes

Title: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Released in: 1984
Starring: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Johnny Depp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Charles Fleischer, John Saxon, and Ronee Blakley
Directed by: Wes Craven
Written by: Wes Craven
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: In the dreams of his victims, a spectral child murderer stalks the children of the members of the lynch mob that killed him. (From IMDB)
Why I Love It: This was the very first horror movie I ever saw, even before The Lost Boys, which means I was just a wee thing (only 3 or 4 years old) when I saw it. And it’s stuck with me ever since, still one of my top 10 favourites, even with the sometimes laughable acting and effects. When a movie is this good, lots of stuff can be over-looked! hehe

 

Poltergeist

Title: Poltergeist
Released in: 1982
Starring: Craig T Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight, Heather O’Rourke, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, Martin Casella, and Zelda Rubinstein
Directed by: Tobe Hooper
Written by: Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, and Mark Victor
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young family are visited by ghosts in their home. At first the ghosts appear friendly, moving objects around the house to the amusement of everyone, then they turn nasty and start to terrorize the family before they kidnap the youngest daughter. (from IMDB)
Why I Love It: An absolute classic of the genre, it’s still one of the very best haunted house films ever made, even 32 years later.

 

Sleepy Hollow

Title: Sleepy Hollow
Released in: 1999
Starring: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Jeffrey Jones, Casper van Dien, Richard Griffiths, Michael Gough, Marc Pickering, Lisa Marie, Ian McDiarmid and Christopher Walken
Directed by: Tim Burton
Written by: Andrew Kevin Walker
Based On: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A slightly eccentric Constable is sent to the small town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate killings that the locals are sure were committed by a ghostly headless horseman.
Why I Love It: This is Burton and Depp at their very best, when the creative mojo was still mojoing, and they were still making terrific pictures together. The scenery is dark and brooding, the characters are all captivating, and Johnny Depp is, of course, absolutely gorgeous. Simply wonderful.

 

The Conjuring

Title: The Conjuring
Released in: 2013
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland, Joey King, Mackenzie Foy, Kyla Deaver, Shannon Kook, John Brotherton and Joseph Bishara
Directed by: James Wan
Written by: Chad Hayes & Carey Hayes
Based On: The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren by Gerald Brittle, a true story.
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: When the strange occurrences in their new home become more frequent and violent, a family of seven asks a husband and wife team of paranormal investigators to help them.
Why I Love It: The most recent film in my whole list, and yet it blew right to one of the top spots almost immediately. Everything in this film is perfect. All the actors are in excellent form, the writing and directing are phenomenal, and it’s more than just a little scary. Not many recent films have this kind of power and atmosphere. If you haven’t seen this yet, I highly reccomend that you drop everything and go watch it right now!! 😉

 

The Lost Boys

Title: The Lost Boys
Released in: 1987
Starring: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Keifer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Barnard Hughes, Edward Herrmann, Jamison Newlander, Alex Winter, Billy Wirth, Brooke McCarter, Chance Michael Corbitt, Folsom the Dog, and Cody the Dog
Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Written by: Jan Fischer, James Jeremias, and Jeffrey Boam
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: When brothers Sam and Michael move to a new town after their parents divorce, they quickly realize that the town is over-run by vampires. Sam gets help from self-appointed vampire slayers, but for Michael it may be too late…
Why I Love It: It was the first vampire movie I ever saw, and was the beginning of a life-long love affair with all things that go bump in the night. The story isn’t really anything new (I’m not even sure there’s any original ideas left anywhere), but the ride is so fun that it doesn’t matter. Their vampires are the ‘real’ deal; they’re strong, fast, sexy and oh so evil, just the way vamps aught to be, hehe.

 

The Ring

Title: The Ring
Released in: 2002
Starring: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman, Brian Cox, Jane Alexander, Lindsay Frost, Amber Tamblyn, Shannon Cochran, and Daveigh Chase
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Written by: Ehren Kruger
Based On: Ringu (Ring) by Kôji Suzuki
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: Yes
Of what?: Remake of 1998’s Ringu, directed by Hideo Nakata and starring Nanako Matsushima.
5 Second Synopsis: After her niece dies under mysterious circumstances, a journalist promises her sister she will investigate the death. What she finds is a cassette tape that kills you in seven days if you watch it. With the clock ticking, she must figure out what the spirit in the tape wants, or else die like everyone else who has seen it.
Why I Love It: It doesn’t happen very often that a remake is better than the original, but this happens to be one such instance. Despite the dated nature of some of the plot points (does anyone even own vhs anymore? lol), this film is still immensely watchable and creepy, even 12 years later. Everything is wonderful, acting, effects, writing, everything. Not just one of my favourite horror movies, it’s one of my favourite movies, period.

 

The Silence of the Lambs

Title: The Silence of the Lambs
Released in: 1991
Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Frankie Faison, Brooke Smith, Lawrence T Wrentz, and Diane Baker
Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Written by: Ted Tally
Based On: The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A young FBI rookie is sent to ask the help of brilliant cannibalistic killer Dr Hannibal Lecter in catching another killer who kidnaps his victims, holds them for many days, then skins them to make a “woman suit”.
Why I Love It: I love serial killers. I’ve got this weird, morbid fascination with them. I watch a lot of true crime stuff, read true crime books, and of course, I love serial killer fiction as well. And this film, even after so much time, is still the best of the best. Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill are still two of the creepiest serial killers ever to be captured on film, and it’s still, to my knowledge, the only horror film not only to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, but to win it. And it was very much earned.

 

The Sixth Sense

Title: The Sixth Sense
Released in: 1999
Starring: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams, Trevor Morgan, Mischa Barton, and Donnie Wahlberg
Directed by: M Night Shyamalan
Written by: M Night Shyamalan
Based On: N/A
Remake/reimagining/sequel?: No
Of what?: N/A
5 Second Synopsis: A boy who communicates with spirits that don’t know they’re dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist. (from IMDB)
Why I Love It: I do love me a good old haunting. I remember when I saw this for the first time. I went to see it at the cinema with my cousin. And we were both so blown away by that ending, we went back to see it again right after, just to see if we could spot any mistakes that would have the twist make no sense. We couldn’t. And thankfully, unlike a lot of films with such twists, this film is so good that even knowing what’s going to happen doesn’t take any enjoyment away from the film.

 

PHEW!! That’s it! I’m finally done!! I hope you guys really enjoy this article, it took me more than 3 weeks to complete! (Not working at it full time, obviously, but still!) I had loads of fun making it, and I hope you have as much fun reading it.

Thanks for coming by, and stay tuned for more! (I’ll try my best to return to a more regular posting schedule 🙂 ).

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Haunting in Connecticut

The Haunting in Connecticut
(2009) Virginia Madsen, Kyle Gallner, Elias Koteas, Martin Donovan, Amanda Crew, Sophi Knight, Ty Wood, Erik Berg, John Bluethner, John B Lowe and DW Brown

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For a film with such a generic title, it was pretty darn good. Great story (that I don’t believe for a second is true, but that’s besides the point), great acting, great everything. Scary too. It’s strange sometimes the things that end up scaring you the most. I can watch lots of different kinds of horror and not be fazed, but every so often, one film comes along that just hits every nerve just right (or should that be just wrong?) But I’m glad I discovered it nonetheless. Now that I’m massively creeped out though, it’s time to watch a chick flick. Or a kid’s film. Or funny cats on YouTube. Anything to change my mind from those creepy freaking ghosts! hehe. I give it a great 8.5/10.

This film (and its sequel, which I still haven’t seen) is currently streaming on Netflix if you’re in the mood for a scary good time! Enjoy! 🙂

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Fourth Kind

The Fourth Kind
(2009) Milla Jovovich, Will Patton, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Corey Johnson, Enzo Cilenti, Elias Koteas, Eric Loren, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Raphaël Coleman and Charlotte Milchard

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So, this is a pretty big meh. Had a few good scenes, but nothing spectacular. Also the “actual footage” thing only works when said footage is real. The “real” Dr Taylor is played by an actress named Charlotte Milchard. That kinda kills the whole credibility thing. I had heard that the film was really scary, so my expectations were pretty high when I started watching it. Needless to say, my expectations were nowhere near met. A very disappointing 5/10.

This movie is currently streaming on Netflix, if you don’t wanna take my word for it.

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Conjuring

The Conjuring
(2013) Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland, Joey King, Mackenzie Foy, Kyla Deaver, Shannon Kook, John Brotherton and Joseph Bishara

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A little slow in some parts, this was nevertheless an excellent film. The acting, atmosphere and effects were all top notch, and the reliance on boo!scares were kept to a bare minimum. I don’t buy for a second that this is anywhere near to true, but it makes for a damned good film. There really isn’t anything else to say about this film, just that it’s great, and if you haven’t seen it, go! Go now! It gets 9.5/10, it’s darn near a perfect horror film.

I don’t think this film is currently on Netflix, but it’s well worth the price of a rental, or even the price of buying the dvd/blu-ray, so go track it down!

 

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Black Dahlia

The Black Dahlia
(2006) Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Mike Starr, Fiona Shaw, and Mia Kirshner

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Halfway through the film, and I was already super disappointed by it. It’s really quite boring, and the acting is pretty shaky all round. After debating on whether or not I was going to finish it at all, I decided on not once it had gotten so boring that my eyes crossed. And, I’m not sure, but there might have been some drool. And, I know it was set in the 40’s and it was a thing, but god, so many cigarettes! It’s nauseating. If I took a shot for every cigarette lit in the first 55 minutes of this film, I’d get alcohol poisoning and die. Twice. I give it 1/10, and that’s purely for the eye candy. The film itself gets a big, fat zero.

The film isn’t currently on Netflix, but do yourself a favour: don’t bother.

 

M.