The Not Quite Halloween Horror List of 2021by nmn34 | created - 5 months ago | updated - 2 days ago | Public
A new year, a new Halloween. Only, these didn't quite make it yet. To explain their rating a bit, if a movie is so bad that its on the verge of being painful, it would fall somewhere within the 1-3 range. The 4-6 range is for movies that are not good but still watchable to good movies that have left little long lasting impression. 7-10 are movies I enjoyed to love.
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1. Pi (1998)
R | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.
Votes: 172,176 | Gross: $3.22M
Through 90% of this movie, I had no clue what was happening. And I still enjoyed it. There is a lot of talk about the Golden Rectangle and the Golden Spiral, I never really was a great math student, but what made this movie work was its art design. Done in HEAVILY saturated black and white, it has a very ethereal quality that makes everything pop like nobodies business. And the tone is very reminiscent of Eraserhead, get ready to see some real skin crawling stuff that makes no damn sense. Only thing is, it wasn't until the movie was just about over that I realized what the stakes were. And that is a bit of a problem as he allies and is then double crossed by people for reasons I am not yet privy to. Unless you are a numerologist or some other form of mathmagician, this may be better for someone more willing to shut their mind off and go for a wild ride.
2. Underwater (2020)
PG-13 | 95 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
A crew of oceanic researchers working for a deep sea drilling company try to get to safety after a mysterious earthquake devastates their deepwater research and drilling facility located at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
This was pretty bad. I had heard mixed opinions but now I have to really side with the negative. Its very much like Alien, only nowhere near as good. In Alien, the characters acted very much like they were a crew working with each other for some time, and were more or less veterans. The crew here may have just met, they know next to nothing about each other or what they actually do. And there was one exchange that really drove that home. When one discounts his knowledge of what is going on with "I just watch anime," and is then responded to with "You watch anime, too?" One woman can't do the deep walk because she never did that before, which left me wondering, how the hell did she get here? Like physically, how was she there? I felt nothing for any of these characters, mostly because I was never introduced to any of them. The movie skips character building to have the crisis, then tries to convince you of how good these characters are after they're already dead. Except the survivors, who they never bothered to develop at all. This was just bad. Watch Alien.
3. Alien Invasion (2018)
82 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
A journalist experiences a terrifying Alien abduction, when researching an extraterrestrial encounter in an old war shelter.
Where do I begin? When you direct, write, and produce your own movie, there is really no one to blame but yourself. The basic idea is sound and I a can see what he intended. The trailer even made it sound very interesting without giving away much of anything. The problem is this movie devolves quick and hard. There isn't much more in the way of suspense and what does pass as it is quickly disarmed by the acting. The actors are mediocre. Its not entirely their fault, the written dialogue is just awful, but they still deserve blame for their terrible facials that kill the scenes even more. There is no rhyme or reason to the stories progression, they just kind of hop from one location to the next because its there or through sheer coincidence. The alien doesn't hold up either. Its very cheep CGI and its painfully obvious the actors aren't really reacting to something that's there. In general, its a pretty poor movie. Not quite painful but certainly disappointing.
4. I Am ZoZo (2012)
Unrated | 85 min | Horror, Thriller
On Halloween night, five teens decide to liven up their party with some innocent fun: by summoning the spirits.
There was a demon in this, right? Zozo is a real thing, as far as accounts of demonic entities go, dating back to Tibetan demonology in the 18th century. It became associated with Ouiji boards in 2009 by a guy who read about it from Le Dictionnaire Infernal, a compilation of demonic possession accounts written in 1818. And since then, there was a ton of rigmarole pertaining to and this movie is just intolerably boring. They spend a great deal of time dedicate to the supposed signs of the demon's presence and how the Ouiji board works and its not nearly as scary or interesting as you would think. The acting is sub par and the writing is either an exposition dump or inane drivel. The demon is invisible through out the movie but what makes it truly awful is that it has no presence whatsoever. Even in the 'rape' scene, its entirely obvious that there is nothing actually going on and they are shooting the actress from the chin up to hide the fact they have nothing to make it look like she is being attacked. The only horror to this movie is the music, which is either inappropriate for a horror movie or made from the melodious screams of cat being drowned. Fair to say, this was in the painfully terrible category.
5. Masked Mutilator (2019)
76 min | Horror
After accidentally killing an opponent in the ring, a professional wrestler takes a job at a group home for youth offenders. But when a psychopath wearing a wrestling mask begins butchering... See full summary »
A movie about a pro wrestler serial killer, acted by pro wrestlers. Its not great but not bad. The movie was released in 2019, but it was filmed in 1994, so it doesn't look particularly great. A mix of standard def video and the early 90s fashion really date it. The acting is not good either, and it isn't because of the wrestlers either. The 40 year old teenagers are hammy, but not enough to be really entertaining. Doug Flex does passable, and if your a fan of Troma, Brick Bronsky is still a plus. The hook that the killer uses wrestling to kill people is pretty good but some of the time its hard to tell what is happening because of the camera work. The bear hug death in particular just shows the killer's head. For how low budget the movie is, the action isn't bad as the actor does have some martial arts background. Its no Game of Death but its alright. Honestly, this movie is average at best, even for B movies, but coming off I Am Zozo, it may as well be Citizen Cain.
6. The Signal (2007)
R | 103 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A horror film told in three parts, from three perspectives, in which a mysterious transmission that turns people into killers invades every cell phone, radio, and television.
Votes: 20,585 | Gross: $0.60M
This was an interesting anthology in that it tells a single story. An interesting concept marred by a lack of budget and a need for some ab crunches. 50,000 is a tight budget but the first story/chapter manages to spend it well. As soon as everything starts going south, it has a great sense of confusion and paranoia. And while I preferred the first, the third does manage to wrap it up, albeit with an open ending, with some clever ideas. But the middle tries to play a dark horror comedy and its just awful. Its a complete reversal in tone to the other two and to make it worse, its simply not funny. It seems to mistaken insanity with stupidity as no one acts like a rational human being. There is no straight man to work off of so it turns into a village idiot contest.
7. The Curse of la Llorona (2019)
R | 93 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm.
Votes: 42,323 | Gross: $54.73M
And the Conjuring decline continues. A bad take on a Mexican boogieman tale, its just everything wrong with "ethnic" Hollywood movies. Need someone to be foreign, make them speak another language. But how will anyone know what they are saying? Have them repeat the line again, but in English. Nobody knows the source material being used except this fraction of a demographic? We'll paint it as exceedingly common within the community until its a stereotype. But these are all trivial matters when you sit through two thirds of the move and only then does it actually start. The first two thirds is nothing but padding as the ghost pops up to do something, and no one tells anyone what just happened. The characters speak so vaguely in this movie, they should all be politicians. They never say anything that can't and will be interpreted incorrectly, requiring saintly patience from the audience to get things started. I knew this movie was bad. And I watched it anyway. I have no one to blame but myself.
8. Island of Blood (1982)
Unrated | 82 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A group of actors are assembled in a small island to film a low-budget movie. Soon, they begin to fall prey to a mysterious killer who uses the lyrics of a weird song to determine his method of murder.
I never intended to like this movie so much. This is some of the worst acting I've seen in years and most of the movie is too dark to actually see anything. A lot of the movie feels like it was made on a lark. But it somehow manages to come together with some entertaining deaths and a catchy gimmick. I love the song that the killer plays during each of his murders describing each murder to them before it happens. You'd think they would use that more in the writing but unfortunately not. The burn me deaths stand out, even if they are pretty much the same effect, because of how brutal they are. The movie is also pretty funny, though the timing is so perfect at times, I don't know if its intentional or not. This movie has a lower bar for being the low budget movie it is, but among the B movies its very good.
9. The McPherson Tape (1989 Video)
Not Rated | 66 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
On a typical fall evening in 1983, a young man was videotaping his niece's 5th birthday party. As the night's strange occurrences took place, he kept his video camera running, recording the entire event.
So this is a bit confusing. I saw this a while ago and remember it being really unnerving. The scene where the cameraman is frozen while the alien examines the camera and when the woman gets hit with a laser gave me goosebumps. So imagine my surprise when I showed it to someone else when none of that happened. In fact, while familiar, everything seemed off. Well, that was because back then, I had stumbled on the remake from 1998 and had shown them the 1989 original. And that may be what hurt this movie, as the remake does everything better and more. The aliens weren't as convincing, this was a no budget shot on VHS movie, and really, just track down the remake.
10. Black Moon (1975)
R | 100 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
To escape a gender war, a girl flees to a remote farmhouse and becomes part of an extensive family's unusual, perhaps even supernatural, lifestyle.
Well this was a slog. This is a dark fantasy film and French, I don't know why I was expecting otherwise. The plot is nonsense, just an excuse but for what I don't quite know. Things just seem to happen and I was in for a ride. Only, its Mr. Bones Wild Ride, devoid of anything thrilling or scary, and I was strapped in damn it. Set in a war between men and women, a premise so stupid it can be mistaken for modern day politics, and with enough naked children I can only assume it was shot in a certain location, the lead is kind of an idiot. She disguises herself as a man, which is code for she put on a hat and didn't even bother cutting her hair, is harassed by sheep, falls off a ladder, and nobody wants to talk to her. I ended up watching it in either Italian or Spanish which I'm admittedly not 100% fluent in, but I got the gist of it.
11. Schalcken the Painter (1979 TV Movie)
68 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Can Schalcken save his love, Rose, from the clutches of a ghastly suitor before it is too late?
I have a very troublesome history trying to find this movie. One that spans a couple years and Halloweens. So when I found it this time, I figured it best not to wait. This was great. Maybe a little overly theatrical at times, but overall, this was a fantastic made for TV movie. While not scary by most modern standards, the more novel format makes for a very cozy experience, like being read A Christmas Carol in bed. The way that they work the paintings of Schalcken into the narrative does well to convey his state of mind during the periods of time in his life. This was well worth the wait and headache.
12. Slumber Party Massacre II (1987)
R | 77 min | Comedy, Horror, Music
Courtney Bates, the younger sister of Valerie, and her friends go to their condo for a weekend getaway, but Courtney can't get rid of the haunting feeling that a supernatural rockabilly driller killer is coming to murder them all.
Wow, this movie starts pretty meh. The action doesn't really start until the final act. It's slow and to be frank, kind of boring. I got some chuckles at some of the facial expressions one of the guys would make, but the build feels to stall. Then the Driller Killer finally shows up and the movie does a complete 180. He makes small appearances earlier that are entertaining but when he is actually in the movie, he just chews up every scene he's in and is just amazing. Its like the movie has abandoned all pretenses of being a serious slasher and just went hog wild on the rockabilly aspect. And the guitar drill is beautiful, a work of art that belongs in a museum. If the movie made that jump sooner, it might actually have been one of my favorite movies ever.
13. Brain Damage (1988)
R | 84 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror
One morning, a young man wakes to find that a small, disgusting creature has attached itself to the base of his brain stem. The creature gives him a euphoric state of happiness but demands human victims in return.
This is not a subtle movie. Its about addiction and beats that point home with a hammer. And that is actually good because it is so blunt. They don't get clever with it, its literally this stuff makes you feel good and it messes your life up royal, hurting everyone you love, and ultimately it is going to kill you. And on top of that, that is Zacharley! The horror movie host out of New York for those who don't know, and he kills his role as Aylmer. Just hearing him say "juice," it really makes your skin crawl. He is so wicked as the parasitic drug, he really feels like an irresistible compulsion to ruin yourself. And Rick Hearst is no slouch either. He really plays the role of the addict incredibly well, struggling fruitlessly for control only to find they aren't strong enough. I very much recommend this movie.
14. Evils of the Night (1985)
R | 84 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
Vacationing teens are systematically kidnapped and taken to a strange, rural hospital, run by a mysterious group that needs their blood.
Now admittedly, I rate movies to scale. I don't expect as much from a no budget B movie than I do a blockbuster and take that into account when I rate them. This movie was just boring. For the majority of the run, nothing happens. People are kidnapped and are maybe given to the aliens, or not as there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to when the transaction takes place. On a couple occasions, I thought the teens were captured at the hospital, only to then be tied up at the gas station. The evil attendants are terrible at their job and most of the deaths are boring, with the exception of two. Its watchable but about an hour in, you start to feel ts wearing out its welcome. Though I will be remiss, sorry Heather, but you are far, far too old for Prince Andrew.
15. Beyond Re-Animator (2003)
R | 96 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
After 13 years in prison, the mad scientist from Re-Animator (1985) gets a new chance to experiment with the arrival of a young prison doctor, who secretly hopes to learn to reanimate dead people. Good intentions turn to horror.
I was told this wasn't great because of lack of funding, but I disagree. The writing is the bigger offender here. Its one of those movies where you can tell that for the guy writing it, English is not their native language. Its not wrong per say, but there is something in the dialogue that just isn't quite right. That isn't to say that it isn't entirely doable. An actor with enough chops can deliver them. But unfortunately the list begins and ends with Jeffrey Combs. But its a watchable movie still. Its budget certainly shows but it isn't a complete travesty and they try to get the gory spectacle of the previous movies. And to their credit they didn't resort to cheap and crappy CGI. It is certainly the weakest of the Re-Animators however.
16. The Video Dead (1987 Video)
R | 90 min | Horror
A family takes delivery of a new television set, unaware that it is the gateway by which killer zombies enter the world.
Another video store classic though I confess I never actually saw it in mine. Which is a shame as it does have some pretty cool box art. And cosmetics are what I have to say is the strong point to this movie. It looks really good. Yes its obvious there is no screen that the zombies are crawling out of, but they look very good with such a limited budget. And on top of that, they are all very unique. While there is no actual backstory about them in the movie, you can pick up little tidbits of one just by their portrayal. Its a shame the quality doesn't carry over to the actors with actual speaking rolls. To call them subpar is possibly the understatement of the year. The end result is alright though. Maybe a little better than average but not quite in that area where I would recommend it to everyone.
17. The Asphyx (1972)
PG | 83 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
English country squire Sir Hugo Cunningham searches for immortality by literally 'bottling up' the Spirit of the Dead, or Asphyx.
This was a movie I became interested in after seeing a classic trailer and saw the ghost. Little did I expect that this would be a very good reimagining of the legend of the Wandering Jew. The Christian overtones help drive this even further, both as an excuse to trespass where man was not meant to go and as divine punishment for doing so. By capturing one's asphyx and sealing the ghostly manifestation away, one can attain immortality, for whatever that may entail. And the asphyx looks great. Using a similar method used to create the ghosts in Ghostbusters, it looks like a wretched, tortured thing whose pained wails really get under your skin. The same can't be said about all the effects however, as the old man mask at the end of the movie is simply awful. This turned out to have been a pretty good time, had I found it later and knew more on how long Kanopy streams their movies for, I'd have saved it for Halloween.
18. The Keep (1983)
R | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Nazis are forced to turn to a Jewish historian for help in battling the ancient demon they have inadvertently freed from its prison.
Votes: 11,176 | Gross: $3.76M
this was much weaker than I suspected it to be. Michael Mann knows how to make the scenes look kind of nice but that's kind of it. And even then, they're still incomprehensible. Either its the backlighting swallowing up the characters or no lighting at all, whenever something seems to be happening, rest assured you will understand none of it. And this carries over to the writing as well. It doesn't seem to matter what the characters are saying, there is no telling how any conversation will take a turn. The confrontation with the priest especially had me dumbstruck at how fast it escalated. then there are the little details like the one character casting no reflection and the priest going mad. There is no pay off to any of them, or even a coherent explanation. Now these aren't major inconsistencies but there sure are a lot of them. In spite of these criticisms, its not an awful movie. As I said, there are some brief moments where the cinematography shines and they are just enough to carry the film to its conclusion. Maybe saying its a bit sub par is a good description.
19. Urban Legend (1998)
R | 99 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A college student suspects a series of bizarre deaths are connected to certain urban legends.
Votes: 61,851 | Gross: $38.07M
A movie inspired by Scream to its detriment and at the time did little to stand out amongst the imitators. But as its own film, its not that bad. The gimmick is unoriginal, urban legends are the horror film's non union Mexican equivalent, but they do make for a worthy place to start a film. While the 90s griminess is very in your face at the beginning, it does balance out as you become more acclimated to it. But the number of references is off putting, and kind of feeds into the criticism that the movie is painfully unoriginal. And the killer, Ghostface is a recognizable villain even today. The Urban Legends killer is a bloke in a fur lined winter jacket. A fur lined winter jacket that everyone in the world has on campus. In what looks like 110 degree heat. This makes it interesting because of the number of red herrings, but it is still pretty ridiculous. This movie is on the upper end of being average. Its done well enough but it doesn't stand out in a crowd.
20. Beware! The Blob (1972)
GP | 87 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
A technician brings a frozen specimen of the original Blob back from the North Pole. When his wife accidentally defrosts the thing, it terrorizes the populace, including the local hippies, kittens, and bowlers.
Votes: 1,874 | Gross: $0.05M
Will all y'all please shut the hell up!? Much of this movie was improvised and boy does it show. Dialogue is often incoherent rambling and the actors are frequently stepping on each other's lines. There are some really big names in here, for five minutes, and nothing could have been gotten out of any of them. The comedy is bad, feeling both very dated and probably not even that funny at the time. Which is a shame, as the blob itself looks good. Not as good as the 80s remake but better than the 50s original. And the bowling alley set was great. But that still doesn't make this a good movie, just slightly more tolerable.
21. Evil Takes Root (2020)
91 min | Horror, Thriller
Paranormal investigator Felix Fojas arrives in a sleepy Midwest town to investigate the mysterious loss of his old lover, Amanda, and reconcile sins of the past. While investigating he ... See full summary »
I think the biggest problem with this movie is that it never quite clicks. There was an attempt but nothing was really compelling. I couldn't bring myself to care for the characters. I couldn't take the monster seriously. I just kind of sat there, struggling to keep my brain from shutting off. It doesn't help that the folklore the movie is based on has absolutely no roots, heh, in the region where the movie takes place. The monster is too obscure, and it doesn't help that it isn't explained until late in the movie. Its lackluster. There is no better way to describe it.
22. Tremors: Shrieker Island (2020 Video)
PG-13 | 103 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
When a group of hunters genetically modify Graboid eggs, they face an all-out war against the larger, terrifyingly intelligent Graboids, and the swiftly multiplying Shriekers.
Its far better than the series low point at number 3. Its still far from its high point at the first movie. The Tremors franchise has a rocky history starting out strong, cratering at its third outing and then pretty much flatlining in mediocrity. The CGI is alright this time around and the shriekers look good, but its still has that same problem of being not quite real. This is especially evident with the CGI globs of viscera which look out of place and don't interact with anything. The deaths aren't anything special and the characters are just Burt Gummer and who the hell cares. There is nothing really left to this series. The African variant, the prehistoric variant, and now the GMO; the franchise ran its course with the second movie and has been left in a vegetative after 3.
23. Lady in White (1988)
PG-13 | 113 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
An author tells the story of how, as a young boy growing up in a 1960s small town, he was haunted after witnessing the murder of a little girl.
Votes: 6,344 | Gross: $1.71M
Its a little old but still good. This movie may be the most traumatic representation of a child murder put to film. When the ghost girl reenacts her own death, it actually gets to you even more so than Pennywise biting off a kid's arm. And a lot of this has to do with how good the young actress played the scene. The rest of the movie never quite reaches that point again, but still maintains a good suspense throughout. The ghost effects are very dated, particularly the lady in white's gown lifting before she throws herself over the cliff, but there is some very consistent writing in the main plot. Perhaps too much as the story branches off into a secondary story pertaining to racism, and its still very well told, but has absolutely nothing to do with anything else. It doesn't tie back to the kid nor does it influence the father in the end, it just wraps itself up and is never talked about again. Which is a shame. There is also an issue where maybe what you can do isn't what you should do, as the ending of the movie has a special effect scene that feels radically out of place. And on top of that, seeing everyone around the burning house not doing anything, especially when there may be someone still in there, and now that I think of it that kind of is a flaw with the movie. Quite a bit of time passes, you'd think that matters would be handled during the time lapse, but that would interfere too much with the side story. Look, the movie works. Try not to overthink it.
24. Furcht (1917)
72 min | Horror
After years travelling the world, Count Greven returns home with the art treasures he has collected. But his disposition has altered dramatically and he is a troubled man. Will he suffer ... See full summary »
Its hard to really write about silent movies. Its difficult to differentiate performances as the technique is so exaggerated. And Bruno Decarli is not an exception. But I was surprised by Conrad Veidt was however. Playing the Buddhist that haunts the Count, his portrayal was very muted which in turn makes him stand out even further. Paranoia plays a key role in the film, which makes the film very interpretive. The Count is very manic in his portrayal, helping drive home the unreliability of the narration. As far as silent movies go, its good. Not a standout movie for Veidt like The Hands or Orlac or The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. Maybe it would benefit from a more modern version like Mad Love was for Orlac.
25. Portal (2019)
75 min | Horror, Thriller
When an ambitious ghost hunter performs a risky ritual, opening a portal to "the other side," he and his team quickly find themselves way in over their heads in a fight for survival against an ancient demonic force.
I was wondering what the guy behind The McPherson Tape was up to. The answer is not much. Its not that its poorly written, so much as it really was ill conceived. Like, every take, you wonder if that was really the best take. It feels like there isn't one direction that actors are working towards and none of them are able to read the room. The native American talks in a foreboding manner, than his sister sarcastically tells the story of how she killed her father, and it throws the tone of the scene into utter chaos. Ultimately, it makes it so you can't take anything seriously. Then there are the events that sound scary on paper but are ridiculous in execution, like locking a door only to immediately hear the possessed girl dive head first through a window in the next room. Look, this is bad. But I did laugh so I'll give it a little more leniency than it probably deserves.
26. Grotesque (2009)
Not Rated | 73 min | Horror, Thriller
A doctor kidnaps a young couple and forces them into a game of torment that slowly extinguishes their hopes for survival.
The director of the only found footage I like, Noroi, does another horror genre I don't like, torture porn. I still don't like it. I don't oppose gore in general but when that is the only thing the movie has, its just uncomfortable. Which is what the movie was going for and its camera work does well to emphasize it, but I personally just get sick of it. Coupled with the nihilistic ending, I was bound to have a bad time. There is competence here, the camera work is good and the gore is very well done. If you are a fan of just torture for an hour straight, go ahead, but its not going to make any new fans.
27. Mourning Grave (2014)
90 min | Horror, Thriller
A teenager, with the ability to see ghosts, returns to his hometown to face his demons.
The equivalent of a young adult novel, it could be worse. Its a very soft horror movie in spite of some of the box art. There isn't much in the way of scary scenes as its more of a venue to discuss school bullying. Kind of like 13 Reasons Why without the melodrama and being accidentally the funniest story put to film. There are humorous scenes but they are entirely intentional and usually involve his shut in uncle and resident not-so-evil spirit. And the two of them are great. As a horror movie this is a bust but as a YA novel it could be far worse.
28. The Batwoman (1968)
80 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi
Batwoman is called to investigate a whacked out scientist that is capturing wrestlers and using their spinal fluid to create a Gill Man.
Enjoyable schlock is the best way to describe this. This movie is laughable at times. When they claim a car is coming and proceed to gradually get into their cars and slowly drive off with never a car showing up. When the villains get the drop on Batwoman as she discreetly squats in the middle of an empty hallway to peep through a keyhole. Or when she keeps the monster at bay with a flare underwater, which proves far less impressive than you would imagine. And the monster is by no means the Creature from the Black Lagoon, its clunky and constantly giving off bubbles from its concealed scuba tank. And that the creature is made by combining a fish with an action figure, I can go on forever. As a lucha movie, you'll be astounded by the lack of wrestling. Mainly because the lead actress isn't a luchadora herself and has an obvious stand in during the moments she does wrestle. But she looks good in a bikini. Its a cheesy B movie not to be taken seriously and it manages to entertain, even if it is by no means scary.
29. Phenomena (1985)
R | 116 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery
A young girl, with an amazing ability to communicate with insects, is transferred to an exclusive Swiss boarding school, where her unusual capability might help solve a string of murders.
I'm not especially fond of Italian horror and Argento has burned me before, but this wasn't bad. not something I would put in my favorites but a good outing. There are some good gory kills like the spear through the mouth scene and the girl being stabbed in the hand, which were unfortunately not in the theatrical cut but were fortunately put back in. It still has that problem of accents as they don't necessarily line up, like the Italian woman playing the Swiss boarding school mistress. I liked the monster effects which gave me a Funhouse vibe but done much better. And the use of insects were actually well done in spite that it sounds a bit hokey. Talking to them sound like a stupid super power but seeing them swarm the killer actually looks really good. But the length is a bit much. At nearly two hours, I felt that it could have used some tightening up and trim 20 minutes in the second act. One of Argento's better movies, its no wonder its also one of his favorites.
30. The Lift (1983)
R | 95 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A lift technician finds himself drawn into a web of mystery and peril as he investigates the perplexing deadly accidents occurring in the elevators of a new office building.
A killer elevator, who could have guessed this movie wouldn't be a goofy mess. First thing to get off the bat, I watched this dubbed and the English VAs are bad. Like an audio book narrated by Stephen Hawking bad. But what it lacks in human emotions, it does make all the dialogue very clear. Now you may say that there are only so many ways an elevator can kill someone. And you would be right, they made the kill count rather small and they still manage to repeat some of them. But that doesn't mean that its any less traumatic when it is implied that the elevator is going to decapitate a little girl like it did a security guard earlier. The story is very active which helps with an otherwise ridiculous premise, not letting you have time to think that an elevator obtained human intelligence and a taste for murder. Its a good movie in all and now I'm a little intrigued with seeing the American remake.
31. Sick Nurses (2007)
Not Rated | 82 min | Crime, Horror
A group of sexy nurses who harvest organs are haunted by the vengeful spirit of one of their dead patients.
A forgettable gory movie. The Thai movie has some scary ideas that don't pan out. There isn't so much blood in this as there is a lot of red water, like if Dead Alive didn't have the blood budget. The characters aren't particularly well handled, while the actual body images they have are well thought up and play into their deaths, the structure of the movie doesn't make it easy to root for anyone. They're stealing organs, they aren't meant to be approved of, but the ghost's backstory isn't explained until the tail end so its hard to have interest in her either. The deaths are gruesome on paper but only one really plays out in a way that isn't silly. The big reveal at the end isn't even all that interesting as it isn't as shocking in its reveal. Ultimately, this is a movie that is neither good or bad and nothing to be remembered.
32. The Fear (1995)
R | 102 min | Horror
A group of college seniors spending a weekend at a cottage for a psychological experiment called "fear therapy" find a human-sized wooden figure called Morty, which triggers everyone's deepest and darkest secrets and emotions.
The scenery looks nice. And the mannequin looks creepy when it isn't seen moving. And that's the end of the positives. The script is a wreck, the characters are one dimensional, and the twist, I had long forgotten the opening scene and wasn't going to refresh my memory any time soon. The deaths incomprehensibly bad, none have any impact and half the time you're left wondering when did that happen. The deaths are disappointing to say the least, like suddenly being aged or bopped on the head a couple times with a trap door. The real issue is how many plot points are going on, from an incestuous relationship involving not Paulie Shore, embezzled money, rape ninjas, none of which are going to get any screen time nor will they be recalled ever again. The suit for Morty doesn't look too bad until he starts moving, then the rubber starts scrunching up and ruins the whole wooden doll aesthetic. The Fear is why Vincent Robert is better served as a location manager than a director.
Not Rated | 66 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A group of lonely Viking women build a ship and set off across the sea to locate their missing menfolk, only to fall into the clutches of the barbarians that also hold their men captive. ... See full summary »
At an hour and change, this movie's title is longer than it. This movie is dirt cheap. From the props to the acting, Coreman didn't spend a dime on this movie. The boat tentatively floats, the monster is a sock puppet and the armor is a t-shirt with scale male drawn on with magic marker. The acting is sub par, everyone doing the Neanderthal talk, and then there is Johnathon Haze. His introduction may be the height and the depth of this movie, screaming and weeping like a little girl, nothing like the evil warlord's son as they script him as. You'd think this would play a role in the story in some way. Then you have never seen a Roger Coreman movie, there are no character arcs here. Its a cheesy, no budget B movie but its an hour long and moves along brisk enough to be entertaining if you like cheesy, no budget B movies.
34. Blade the Iron Cross (2020)
Not Rated | 70 min | Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi
In 1945 a psychic war journalist gains a telekinetic link to a murderous puppet and uses its help to sabotage a top secret Nazi experiment that involves using a Death Ray to transform people into zombies.
The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over... Puppetmaster is a series I hold dear but its really showing rot in the wood. Their first streamed movie hits all the notes we've seen before, the puppets are brought back to fend off NAZIs. Only, this time its just Blade. He looks alright. The acting is the usual Full Moon quality, just a little better than Troma. But really, its tired. Hopefully Dr Death's one off will fare better. Hopefully we can finally leave WWII.
35. Strange Invaders (1983)
PG | 94 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Alien beings, whose settlement in a small midwestern town, are disturbed by a young professor determined to rescue his son from their clutches.
Votes: 2,688 | Gross: $1.36M
A trilogy that never was, I stumbled on this movie by complete accident just looking for some back ground noise. Little did I think anything about it until I looked up and saw an alien implode a little boy. Needless to say, I had to start this over from the beginning. I got some strong Steven King vibes from the plot, albeit on a budget. The aliens look great, the spaceship could use some work, and the deflation scenes are top notch. The only problems were one actress and some of the pacing. There were times where I just started to laughing because of bad timing. Its a shame that this movie was so unsuccessful as its homage to the alien invasion movies of the 50s was very good. It was a solid movie that just failed to perform.
36. Sphere (1998)
PG-13 | 134 min | Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi
A spaceship is discovered under three hundred years' worth of coral growth at the bottom of the ocean.
Votes: 100,790 | Gross: $37.02M
You know what really kills a death scene? Intermittently cutting to a character not giving a damn. I want to say that this was the making of a good movie. It just never actually does anything. There are moments where it looks like there is some conflict between the characters, but then nothing comes of any of it. Then there are the nonsensical scenes like Norman being accused as to why they can't return to the surface when it was obviously Harry's fault or that they misnamed the alien for seemingly no reason at all. The effects were good though. The jellyfish scene and the encroaching giant squid, which shows how dated the movie is as they don't believe such an animal exists, dropping its eggs all around them make for some great claustrophobic scenes. In the end, I think that this is better than how it was reviewed, but it still feels empty and unfinished.
37. Prom Night (1980)
R | 92 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
At a high school senior prom, a masked killer stalks four teenagers who were responsible for the accidental death of a classmate six years previously.
Votes: 16,277 | Gross: $14.80M
Competent is the best way to describe this movie. There isn't much to make it a must see. For a slasher, its not particularly gruesome. There is a decapitation but the rest of the kills are slightly out of view. They blew up a pretty nice van though, not a hunk of junk they got from a scrap yard. Nor are the characters that memorable, I kept confusing three of the girls and two of them were in direct conflict with each other. But what it does have is a pretty solid cast. You can't go wrong with Jamie Lee Curtis and Leslie Nielson. And the mystery is pretty good as well. There are enough red herrings to obfuscate an otherwise obvious killer's identity. Even if they aren't explicitly accused, you get a weird enough feeling from them that you want to keep an eye on them. Its an early slasher before they really started to find their groove but still manages to provide an entertaining watch.
38. Sector 7 (2011)
Not Rated | 101 min | Action, Sci-Fi
A crew, drilling offshore for oil south of Jeju island, finds a lethal alien life form instead.
OSHA would see these working conditions and break out into a cold sweat. Every day working on this oil rig would be suicide, if it didn't look so fake. The whole movie was done in green screen and damn it, it shows. Everything looks plastic, from the metal pipes to the monster, and lacks any presence. The monster is passable at best, but its very inconsistent. At times I assumed it was blind and it seems to develop new traits as it goes along. And it shows itself far too often. That isn't to say the movie lacks positives. The acting is alright and there were story ideas I was really intrigued by. But they were dropped for the monster and resolved very poorly. This might make an entertaining action movie if you don't mind its Playstation aesthetic, but not a great horror movie.
39. Eden Lake (2008)
R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller
Refusing to let anything spoil their romantic weekend break, a young couple confront a gang of loutish youths with terrifyingly brutal consequences.
Votes: 78,796 | Gross: $0.01M
Well, this was a downer. The movie was very good, but I certainly don't feel happy about it. This was a tough watch at times and there were some obvious things that could have been fixed. The main character comes across as an idiot most of the movie. She constantly does things that give herself away instead of ever doing anything to improve her situation. But what it does well is set an atmosphere of tension and despair. Yes its the sprained ankle trope, but it has been made so gruesome that its inclusion does come out as comical. The hoodlums however, most of them proved unnecessary. Nothing becomes of two of them and its like they just walked out of the movie. But their leader, as Norm McDonald would say, he's a real jerk. The ending was especially dour, denying you of any catharsis. I will acknowledge this was a pretty great movie, but I will never watch it and hopefully never think of it again.
40. Cellar Dweller (1988)
R | 77 min | Fantasy, Horror
A comic book artist Whitney Taylor is doomed to repeat history in a most grotesque way when she unleashes a demon after drawing it..
If I may go on a tirade, I am a fan of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure but there are still just those chapters where the fight just isn't quite there. Maybe its that the rules to their ability are too simple or that the answer is underwhelming, you kind of want it to move on so that a better fight will begin. This movie is Jojo's Bohemian Rhapsody. The whole movie plays like a "horror" comic where it isn't quite scary with more emphasis on gruesome imagery. Only its a little on the cheap end in that part. The deaths are shown through comic stills with just cuts to the monster doing something. There are scenes where the monster is eating people which makes up the vast majority of the gore. As to its design, its fine. There aren't any terrible flaws and it's mechanics work. It doesn't share much time with the other characters however so it may have been a bit unwieldly to shoot well. Jeffrey Combs is killed off before he could even get a cup of coffee, and the rest of the cast, well, they're better known for their TV work for a reason. If I were to describe this movie, if this were to compete with two other movies of less than stellar movies, this movie is good enough to be in the middle of them.
41. I Am Fear (2020)
Not Rated | 87 min | Horror, Thriller, War
Held captive by terrorists, celebrity reporter, Sara Brown, sits in a cell awaiting her filmed beheading. Sara's captors wish to show the world the true face of terror but how can they, when even they have not seen it yet?
Votes: 433 | Gross: $0.01M
I was wondering the other day, what is Chop Top doing these days? Not much. I don't want to belittle the actors here. They are mostly bit actors and tv actors, but they are better than the ones in Cave Dweller. But this movie does nothing for them. The story is told through non linear storytelling but is hard to follow because of that decision. There was a lot of social and political commentary but its handled like a Neil Brein film, not at all. There is talk of the California wildfires being started by a single person and Congress coming together to tighten immigration reform, nothing that any news channel would ever say in 2020 and likely never will again even if it were true. It wants to say something, but I feel it is too stupid to actually have any critique worth thinking about. This was a pass.
42. The World Beyond (1978 TV Movie)
60 min | Horror, Thriller
A golem made of mud terrorizes a couple on a remote Maine island.
A delightful 70s TV movie with a rather short run time. It says an hour but its really just 41 minutes and change. This was the sequel to another movie, The World of Darkness, that had aired a year prior, so it breezes throught the explination of how the hero garnered the power to talk to spirits, but it really is just a ploy to place him on the island anyway. the acting is very good and the drama is decent for the amount of screen time it could be alotted. The monster isn't as good but they use it well. Rarely do you get a good look at the golem but its wailing is positively chilling. The hand effect wasn't to bad either for the time and budget constraint. The two films were supposed to serve as a pilot for a show that never aired, leaving them to fade into obscurity but this was certainly worth tracking down.
43. Sorority House Massacre II (1990)
Unrated | 77 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller
Five college women buy the old Hokstedter place for their new sorority house. They got it cheap because of the bloody incidents from five years before. They decide to stay in it for the ... See full summary »
Sorority House Massacre II shares more similarities with Slumber Party Massacre than it does Sorority House Massacre. It even used scenes from the other franchise to establish the backstory, and pad the film. And between the two sequels, I think it may be the better of the two. I certainly prefer the Driller Killer to Clive Hockstater, but as a whole, Sorority House Massacre II delivers what you want faster and harder than Slumber Party Massacre II. There is more sex and violence and delivers it without muddying itself down by floundering with a psychological aspect. It still isn't perfect, the women were hired more for their looks than their acting chops and the kills are done in silhouette. But it has its own answer for the killer off the other in Orville Ketchum, who easily becomes the best character in the movie. Everything about him just works for what he is, from his size, his lack of stamina, and his open mouth breathing. Its a B movie, but I can't say I went home unhappy after watching it.
44. Herbert West: Re-Animator (2017)
83 min | Horror, Sci-Fi