Mel’s 5 Second Review: Introduction and Hellraiser

So, I figured I’d try out a regular, daily post. But since I don’t want to spend hours on it every single day, I needed it to be something that I could do quickly, but would still be interesting. So I decided to review movies. Movies from any year, not just the new releases. It could be a film as old as film itself, or it could be a film that was released yesterday. The only rule is that it shouldn’t take you any longer than a minute to read, a minute or less. Hence the title: 5 Second Review. Of course I know a minute is longer than 5 seconds, but really, who needs to be so literal in life? For my first review, I’m going for a film that I’ve done nothing but bash since the first time saw it, more than 10 years ago; Hellraiser, based on the Clive Barker masterpiece, The Hellbound Heart.

(1987) Ashley Laurence, Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Sean Chapman, Doug Bradley, Oliver Smith and Robert Hines


Alright, so I have to admit it, Hellraiser is nowhere near as bad as I remember. That said, it’s still not the masterpiece everyone heralds it as. It’s, simply, a good movie. Although why they turned Kirsty into Larry’s daughter instead of being his ex is beyond me. It added nothing to the story. And why is he called Larry, anyways? His name was Rory. Also, I think they should have had the Cenobytes respect their bargain with Kirsty, as they did in the book, instead of trying to take her too. They may be demons, but they had their own sort of honour. Hopefully the remake will stick even closer to the book. In case you’ve never seen it, I do recommend it for any fans of the horror genre, and since I’m so nice, I found a full copy for you to watch. Aren’t I sweet?

And that’s today’s 5 Second Review. I’ll keep them coming every day from now on. Hope you enjoy, and stay tuned for more!



30 Day Horror Challenge (in 6 days): Days 1 to 5

So, I’ve already done a movie challenge like this before on my Facebook, which was pretty fun. But when I came across this one, I found it even funner, but didn’t want to stretch it out over 30 days again. So I’ll do 5 a day, for 6 days instead. So without any muss or fuss, let’s get into it.

Day 1 – First Horror Film: A Nightmare on Elm Street


I was three years old when this film came out, so I obviously didn’t see it in theaters. But I remember seeing it, hidden in the hallway, peering from behind something, when I was 4 years old. It’s a vague memory, but it’s there. My teenaged cousins were babysitting me and, thinking I was safely tucked away in my bed, started the film. I’m not sure how much of it I got watch before they caught me, but it was a significant amount. And from that moment on, I became a fan of horror films. I watched as many as I could sneak, until my mother finally got tired of catching me at it and, seeing that they didn’t give me nightmares (or turn me into a psychopath), just let me watch (and read) what I wanted.

Day 2 – Last Horror Film Seen in the Cinema: Evil Dead


I love going to the cinema, and I don’t get to go nearly as often as I’d like. Most of that is due to the fact that where I live they don’t always have the films in their original versions, and I refuse to see dubbed films. So I’ve only probably seen about 5 films in the last year, and only two of them were horror, I think. So the last horror film I saw in the cinema’s was this summer’s Evil Dead remake (or reboot, whatever you want to call it). Now, I wasn’t a fan of the original film. I saw it late, in either the very late 90’s or early 00’s, and I guess the magic of it was lost on me. I found it stupid and dull and not remotely scary and more than a little silly. Which was a shame because the story (while very simple) was still interesting. So when I heard that they were remaking the film, and promising that it be “the most terrifying film you ever experience”, I was looking forward to it. So while in Montreal one weekend this summer, I grabbed a friend and prepared to be terrified. Well, terrified I wasn’t, but it was still quite a good film, the acting and effects all much much better than the original. I’m not a huge fan of excessive gore, though, so I spent a good amount of time staring at my friend’s shoulder. It doesn’t scare me, it just makes me slightly sick, so I’d rather not.

Day 3 – Favorite Classic Horror: The Last Man on Earth


I love old movies. I always have. But they have to be good old movies. I’m not a fan of the extra cheesy (unless it’s superbly done), and I need a good story to keep me interested. I can even overlook some not-so-great acting if the story is really good (which is a good thing, because unfortunately a lot of old films have pretty shabby acting). Vincent Price is, by far, my favorite old timey actor, and of all his films, my very favorite is The Last Man on Earth. (A tie might be considered for his voice acting in The Great Mouse Detective, still one of Disney’s best, in my opinion, but we’re here to talk horror, not Disney, so carrying on…) A film version of Richard Matheson‘s I Am Legend (later to remade in the dull Charleton Heston vehicle The Omega Man, and again in the Will Smith dud), The Last Man on Earth tells the story of one man’s struggle to find a cure for a malady that has wiped out the entire population and turned them into blood drinking monsters. But who’s the real monster?

Day 4 – Movie I Thought I’d Like, But Didn’t: Hellraiser


So many films could have gone into this slot. I saw a lot of the “classics” late, most of the horror I saw were the ones my mother bought on vhs (and tried to hide) or that my cousins or other family members rented. And except for a select few, they didn’t rent or buy any of the so-called classics, so I saw them all finally after I moved out at 17, and could rent what I wanted. And, for the most part, I hated a good amount of them. Hellraiser was the most disappointing though. A movie about beings from a hell dimension of torture? Yeah! Bring it on! I made a big bowl of popcorn, put the tape into my dusty machine and prepared for a frightfest. Boy, was I woefully disappointed. I was so bored, I think I may have nodded off at one point, and that never happens. I even sat through the next 3 films, just in case it got any better, but, with the exception of the 4th which I rather enjoyed (finally), they just got worse. I haven’t bothered to watch any of the 800 subsequent sequels. I heard Clive Barker is penning a remake. It can’t be worse than the original, so I’ll likely see it. Maybe it’ll have the Evil Dead effect…

Day 5 – Favorite Horror Remake: The Ring


People love to hate on remakes. Usually even way before the film is even in the cinema, or sometimes even before it’s made. I’m of the opinion “how about seeing a film before saying it sucks?” But more on this later. I’ve a whole post in mind about remakes, so I’ll save it for later. As we all know, Hollywood loves a good remake. Whether it’s a remake of an older film, a foreign film, a tv show, or even remakes of remakes. Sometimes they get it wrong, sometimes they get it very wrong. But sometimes, just sometimes, they get it just right. So right that it far surpasses the original material. One such film is The Ring, the 2002 remake of Japan’s Ringu, based on the novel of the same name by Kôji Suzuki (which I also read and loved, despite being as different as it could possibly get from the film). I loved it so much, in fact, that even now, 11 years later, it’s still in my top 10 favorite films of all time. And that’s all films, not just horror.

And that’s all for today! Stay tuned for days 6 to 10 tomorrow! 🙂