Posts Tagged ‘Creepy kid


The Boogey Man (1980)

Every movie needs a shot like this.

Every movie needs a shot like this.

The first time I watched The Boogey Man, I’d never heard of its director, Ulli Lommel. A few years later I watched Strangers in Paradise and thought it was stupidly amazing. I wanted more Ulli Lommel, so I decided to revisit The Boogey Man.

Unfortunately, the two are nothing alike, except maybe that they’re both batshit crazy weird. That worked for Strangers in Paradise, which I think benefits from being a whacked-out mess. The Boogey Man, on the other hand, is just a terribly ill-conceived horror film that only succeeds at confusing its audience.

After having seen the movie twice, I still can’t really tell you what it’s about, but I’m going to try anyway.

Lacey's husband's idea of therapy: broken mirrors!

Lacey’s husband’s idea of therapy: broken mirrors!

Lacey and Jake suffer abuse at the hands of their drunken mother and her drunken boyfriend. Lacey gets the biggest knife she can from the kitchen to cut the rope with which her brother’s been tied to the bedpost. Then Jake takes the knife and murders the hell out of that boyfriend. Then he never talks again. Then years later mirrors break and an evil is unleashed and people start dying again. Lacey’s asshole husband doesn’t care that she’s emotionally disturbed and makes her keep a broken mirror in the kitchen, especially after Jake decides to paint all the other mirrors black.

It’s not really until looking at the description of this film that I realize the point of the mirror thing: Lacey apparently witnessed the murder through the mirror’s reflection and when the evil boyfriend died his

Not only is Jake a mute, he's also really into choking people.

Not only is Jake a mute, he’s also really into choking people.

spirit was caught in a mirror. So clearly that means mirrors everywhere harbor his evil spirit?

Yeah, dudes, I don’t know about this one. It’s confusing, arduous to get through and has little payoff. I spent most of its 82 minutes scratching my head, trying to figure out what the heck was going on. I will say that some of the shots are strangely amusing, like the knife bobbing up and down in the hallway, or the young boy whose head gets caught in a slammed window, but these oddly-shot moments don’t add up to a worthwhile movie. Still, something in me doesn’t want to give up on Lommel yet. I don’t want to believe that Strangers in Paradise was an anomaly. I want to believe instead that this is the anomaly. I’m almost certainly going to be disappointed…


The Conjuring (2013)

Honestly, I didn't know they had five kids until this shot.

Honestly, I didn’t know they had five kids until this shot.

Well, the ghost story has struck again. This time, it’s The Conjuring that had me clutching stuffed animals from my childhood to my face in hopes of stifling my screams. Now, it is important to note that a ghost story doesn’t have to be particularly good, or even particularly scary for that matter, to work on me like a charm. It just takes a little “boo” here and there and I turn into a pile of fear jelly.

The Conjuring is supposedly based on a true story. The same “paranormal investigators” that inspired The Amityville Horror and A Haunting in Connecticut, Ed & Lorraine Warren, are behind this one, too. This time, they’re called upon by a woman in absolute desperation: she and her family (husband, five girls) are being terrorized in their new home. Selling the thing is out of the question; they sunk all their money into the place.

Ugh, creepy toy!

Ugh, creepy toy!

Her children can’t sleep, and she is covered in mysterious bruises, which she blames on anemia. Lorraine Warren has a different suspicion, though, and despite her husband’s reservations is determined to help the family in need. Her research yields terrifying results; you’ll have to watch (or heck, read Wikipedia for the details) that lead to plenty of screams and spilled popcorn.

Yes, this movie scared the crap out of me. Surprisingly, I did not suffer nightmares or the need to run from the bathroom to my bed in the middle of the night like I did after The Innkeepers. Perhaps part of the reason for that is the movie kind of gets a little ridiculously over the top towards the end, or it just might be that the build-up is always more exciting to me than the actual ghost-human

Mr. Livingston, you should have stayed in the office.

Mr. Livingston, you should have stayed in the office.

confrontation. And, since The Innkeepers is 95% build-up, that would explain why it’s scarier to me, and more effective than this movie. But, if you like ghost stories, you shouldn’t miss this; it is pretty standard, but it does its job pretty well.

Ghosts aside, though, the costume and set design is a mid-century cream dream! The film is set in 1971, and the clothing, the kitchenware, the furniture, everything is just to die for. I think I actually said a few times I’d live in that horrible, terrifying, haunted house if it came fully-equipped with that gorgeous freaking kitchen! This is probably not going to be a distraction for most viewers, but for me, it actually helped make me feel a little more at ease when I know I was supposed to be tensing up. I wonder if I’m the only one that felt the urge to hit up etsy after watching this?


Screamers (1995)

I <3 Peter Weller!

I ❤ Peter Weller!

Screamers sounds awesome: a science fiction flick based on Philip K. Dick with robots and post-apocalyptic war-zones starring Peter Weller? Sh’yeah, sign me up, right? Unfortunately the film itself isn’t as good as one would hope. That’s not to say it isn’t good, it just isn’t great.

As most science fiction plots are, it’s complicated. There’s a war on a mining planet, and both sides have just about exhausted their resources. Joe Hendricksson (Peter Weller) is lucky; his side created a pretty intense weapon that has kept them safe in their bunker: Autonomous Mobile Swords, or Screamers. Because, well, they scream right before they’re about to kill you.

An orphaned child; the perfect camouflage.

An orphaned child; the perfect camouflage.

The Screamers detect your heartbeat, and that’s when they strike. The only way to survive when they’re near you is by having a device on your body that blots out your heartbeat’s signal, so you become invisible to the screamers. Any enemies without this device will soon be dinner for the screamers.

Some stuff happens and Hendricksson is soon convinced he and his company have been left on the planet to die. He takes a fresh-faced, idiot-boy soldier with him while trekking to the enemy’s headquarters. While he’s out there, he finds some really weird shit, namely Screamers that have taken a completely different form. Has the other side learned from and improved upon their

Weller and Rubin, suited up and ready to go.

Weller and Rubin, suited up and ready to go.

technology? Or, have the Screamers evolved into new “life” forms of their own volition?

As I said, it’s complicated, and frankly I didn’t really follow it until my husband explained it to me. Science fiction plots are often a weakness of mine, unfortunately. So, anyway, I don’t see the sense in explaining the whole thing here because, well, that wouldn’t be so much fun for you if you decide to watch the movie. Anyway, a whole lot of people with credibility thought this movie was pretty okay. I agree, it’s okay, but really nothing more. I was a little irritated with the characters; they’re all pretty one-dimensional and, well, some of them are straight-up annoying. There’s also that 90’s-badass-chick thing going on with the female lead, Jessica (Jennifer Rubin), and I find that stuff pretty insufferable. But, if that’s sort of thing, this isn’t a bad way to go.


Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)

The safest way to open the box is by making a robot do it. Clever, Merchant. Clever.

The safest way to open the box is by making a robot do it. Clever, Merchant. Clever.

Ever wonder why that darned box was made in the first place? Or why all the chains? Well my friends, wonder no more! The fourth installment of the Hellraiser franchise will answer these questions and so much more!

Well, it all starts in the 22nd century. No, really. A scientist has commandeered a space station to use for his own purposes: he’s going to raise hell and banish the Cenobites into eternal space! Of course, no one believes him because, really, who would. But he’s got a long story to tell, and a pretty girl to listen to him, and so, here we go…

Seems this scientist is the last in a long line of guys that all look exactly the same and who all have some weird affinity for building things that look like, well, that box from Hellraiser. The troubles began when his great-to-a-high-power grandpappy, Phillip L’Merchant, was commissioned to

Evil powdered-wig guy raises demons!

Evil powdered-wig guy raises demons!

make a puzzle box by a Marquis-de-Sade type in powdered-wig times, Paris. L’Merchant had no idea what his creation would be used for, and he and his growing family desperately needed the money, so he went for it.

Turns out, the box is used to animate the dead corpse of a peasant girl into a demon to do powdered-wig-man’s bidding. L’Merchant is none-too-happy about this and sets off to create an antidote, so-to-speak, but to do so he needs the original box back. Well, of course he doesn’t get it, and the demon, Angelique, curses him and all of his descendants.

Wouldn't be a Hellraiser movie without weird-looking Cenobites.

Wouldn’t be a Hellraiser movie without weird-looking Cenobites.

Then some stuff happens in the 1990’s, and then we’re back on the space station and more stuff happens. The good news (or, perhaps, the bad news, given the disaster Hellraiser 5 turns out to be) is that if you eradicate Pinhead in the 22nd century, we can still make movies about him in the present day!

This movie is not good. I knew it was bad when I saw in the theaters at fifteen-years-old, and it isn’t any better watching it as an adult. That being said, it certainly is not the worst of the Hellraiser flicks. Oh, no, that one, my friends, comes next.


Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981)

omeniiiposterThe Netflix queue giveth and the Netflix queue taketh away, so when we saw Omen III: The Final Conflict only had two days left on instant, we snatched it up like starving waifs. I’m fairly certain I wasn’t aware that Sam Neill was in it until I committed to watching it, and of course this prompted me to ask the eternal question: “Why is Sam Neill in everything?”

Well, I don’t know the answer to that question, and I fear it shall plague me for the rest of my life. What I do know is that Neill is pretty darn good at playing the devil’s spawn. Yes, Damien Thorn is back, fully grown and ready to take over the world! The stars are aligned (literally) for the second coming of Christ, but the child won’t live if Mr. Thorn and his weird group of followers have anything to do with it.

See, Damien Thorn is a lot more than just the spawn of satan, he’s also a powerful politician who’s just been granted the position of ambassador to Great Britain. There, he convinces scores of people to hunt and kill any male child born at the particular time when three stars aligned; after all, it’s the only way to ensure the Christ child does not survive. With the savior out of the way, Damien Thorn will rule the world!

But the Christ child isn’t the only thing Thorn has to worry about: a ragtag group of priests are hot on Damien’s tail, ready to stab him with blessed daggers that are the only weapon that can kill him. Can the priests get to Damien before he and his disciples murder the Christ child and plunge the world into eternal darkness?

Well, so, this movie’s a thing. A thing with Sam Neill in it. It’s okay; fairly creepy in certain parts (I mean, come on, we’re talking about Sam Neill here) but it’s nothing special. Oh yeah, and it’s not the Final Conflict, either, because Damien’s legacy lives on in Omen IV: The Awakening. Given everything I’ve said about this movie’s mediocrity, if you asked me if I’d watch the fourth installment in the franchise, sadly the answer would still be yes. I’m a glutton for punishment in the form of crappy horror, what can I say?


Dream Demon (1988)

Diana dreams of beheading her fiance on their wedding day. Pretty strong indication something's wrong, I'd say...

Diana dreams of beheading her fiance on their wedding day. Pretty strong indication something’s wrong, I’d say…

What do you get when you take Vanessa Redgrave’s niece Jemma, that obnoxious actress (Kathleen Wilhoite) that played Lucy’s sister on Twin Peaks and add hints of A Nightmare on Elm Street and Hellraiser? The answer: a pretty trippy and surprisingly good psychological horror film that you’ve probably never heard of called Dream Demon.

Diana (Redgrave) and her mostly-absent fiance have just moved into a new apartment. Ever since, Diana’s been having bizarre dreams that expose her anxiety concerning her impending nuptials. After a run-in with some nasty paparazzi, she meets Jenny (Wilhoite), an American who has returned to England to discover her repressed past, which centers around Diana’s new home. The girls become fast friends, and end up going on a pretty terrifying journey together where dreams become reality and repressed memories and emotions are brought to life.

Creepy little girls never make for good dreams.

Creepy little girls never make for good dreams.

This movie surprised me at every turn. While it became pretty clear early on this was going to be a movie about repression, the discovery and confrontation of repressed memories and emotions is handled in some very unique ways. While yes, the idea of a film blurring dreams and reality is nothing new, it is approached differently here than I’m used to. While A Nightmare on Elm Street attempts to terrify its audience with a slasher who kills you in your dreams, all the terror in Dream Demon is psychological. Rather than scaring you with blood, guts and knived hands, Dream Demon unsettles you as you watch a young woman delve into the depths of her mind and confront all those horrifying bits she can no longer hide from herself, and that definitely makes for a more effective fright. I definitely had trouble sleeping after watching this!


Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

Langenkamp grows up.

Langenkamp grows up…

Like it or not, a top-grossing horror villain will never die. Sometimes when they come back, it’s the same old story. Other times, there’s a twist or two. More often than not, it’s the same old story wrapped up in a gimmick. Unfortunately, I’d have to put Wes Craven’s New Nightmare in the last category.

Heather Langenkamp (the actress who played Nancy from the first and third Nightmare on Elm Street films) isn’t doing much

...and her creepy kid is having those Freddy-type dreams.

…and her creepy kid is having those Freddy-type dreams.

acting these days; she’s settled down with her husband Chase and son Dylan. The days of Freddy are long behind her, except for that pesky stalker who keeps calling her on the phone singing 1, 2, Freddy’s coming for you…

Things get meta when Freddy creeps into Heather’s real dreams and people close to her start dying. Not long after the shit hits the

...Robert Englund becomes an artist...

…Robert Englund becomes an artist…

fan, Heather finds out Wes Craven is “having nightmares again,” and it’s those nightmares that he’s translating onto the page for the next installment of the Nightmare franchise. It’s up to the actress herself to delve into the real world of Freddy and defeat him once and for all.

This movie could have gone really interesting places, but it didn’t. I kept hoping the film would ask interesting questions about

...And Freddy gets a makeover!

…And Freddy gets a makeover!

Heather’s sanity; how an actor’s job of blurring the lines between fantasy and reality can affect their life. Or, maybe better still, we’d find out Heather’s stalker was Craven or Robert Englund, so wrapped up in the character they helped create they want to make it a reality. Alas, ’twas not to be – it just ended up being another slasher film, only slightly different than the rest. What a total bummer! Don’t get me wrong, it’s allright, but despite its claims, it’s nothing special.


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