Posts Tagged ‘ horror ’

[REC] 2

MILD SPOILERS TO FOLLOW.

So I finally got to see [Rec] 2 last night and have to say that I was quite happy with the movie.

[Rec] 2 you say?

You don’t recall there being a movie called [Rec]?

Well of course you don’t cause when it came out back in 2007 Sony bought up the rights and made an inferior remake that they released as Quarantine.

Sound familiar? Well [REC] was the Spanish original and it’s better, it’s easily one of the scariest movies that I’ve ever seen, the last 10 minutes or so are just pants splatteringly terrifying. And the rest of the movie is pretty awesome to boot.

And in case you were wondering [REC] stands for Record, as you’d see it through a video camera, so yeah it’s one of those hand held camera footage sort of horror films. You know like Paranormal Activity, or The Blair Witch Project.

So the first movie is about an incredibly cute reporter and her camera man who are doing a late night special on some fire fighters, and follow the firefighters to a building that’s gotten an emergency call. When they get there, they find out that things aren’t right and there’s some crazy shit going down. It would seem that there’s a sort of zombie disease going through the tenants of the building they’re in. The police show up quarantine the building and trap them inside. Things get bad very, very fast.

The movie is super intense, insane, and hardcore. It’s one of the best horror movies of all time in my opinion, it’s pure visceral edge of your seat thrills.

The sequel, available on demand right now from Amazon or the Xbox marketplace, takes place roughly 10 minutes after the first movie.

The first part of the movie follows a SWAT team into the building. It’s good to know that the characters are well armed this time around, though it only helps them out a little, cause once the infected show up, well they’re pretty much fucked too.

It’s from the beginning that the movie fully embraces the religious overtones hinted at by the ending of the first, this might put off some people, but I loved it. I find religious themed horror to be some of the most effective thematically, cause it helps the plausibility when it’s based on something billions of people actually believe in.

We find that all the implications from the end of the first film are in fact, the reasoning behind the happenings. We got some full on, crazy as fuck demonic virus spreading around here. Demonic Zombies! SCORE!

So now that things are set firmly in the supernatural, it leaves us open for even crazier scary stuff. We got demon zombie children climbing on ceilings, demon zombie children using scary demon voices, and then some faith in God versus demon action. It turns out the technichian that the SWAT team had brought with them is really like a secret undercover Priest who doesn’t take no shit from anyone, demons included.

He’s just like “SHOOT THEM IN THE HEAD!”

Which happens quite a few times. He just fuckin blows away the aforementioned ceiling crawling zombie kid. It’s awesome. Faith and shotguns are a potent mix.

The movie does detour a bit when the focus shifts to some kids who’ve gotten into the building, who just happen to also have a camera. Iit kinda messes the pace up a little, but some of the coolest parts happen from their point of view; so it’s OK, cause it just adds to the craziness. During their section, there’s an amazing part involving a demon zombie getting a bottle rocket shoved into its head.

The two storylines eventually connect and then there’s more mayhem, some more demon zombies, some more folks die, and then there’s a pretty decent twist. It’s not exactly hard to figure out, but it’s a good twist none the less. The horrifyingly emaciated zombie girl from the end of the first film returns, things get even worse for the characters and ultimately nobody has a good day.

Overall the second film isn’t quite as good as the first, but still pretty great in its own way. It gives us more of what we loved about the first, zombies and first person point of view, and builds respectably onto the mythology.

If you’re looking for some fast paced horror movies to keep you thrilled [Rec] and [Rec] 2 are great options.

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Taxidermia Is Pretty Fucked Up

(Spoilers ahead)

Uncomfortable.

That’s how you feel watching 90% of Taxidermia.

You’ll laugh every once in a while, you’ll cringe more often, and for a good portion of the run time, you’ll wonder why you decided to watch the movie in the first place.

It’s one of those creepy, dirty, fucked up movies that comes from Europe. Like Ex Drummer. It’s like if you mixed Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and David Cronenberg into a nasty Hungarian concoction.

The movie is three vignettes set in different time periods in Hungary, following three generations of a fucked up family line.

The movie starts with a guy and a candle, it seems kinda arty. It’s flickering, the guy is playing with the fire, you wonder why he seems so entranced by it, and then he ejaculates a stream of fire out of his penis. Which you can see in the European poster for the movie to the right.

It’s pretty much right there that you have to decide to either continue watching or to go back to the Netflix menu, cause it’s pretty much all downhill from there.

This dude is our main character for the first 20 minutes or so. He’s got a harelip, is dumb, constantly being a perv, and seems to be the only soldier at an army post. He has a commander who spends all day giving him shit, but you don’t really feel bad for him cause he’s a gross creeper sort of guy. He spends about half his screen time being creepy and ‘batin. At one point he gets his dick pecked by a rooster, which is amusing, and at another point after having creepy/weird fantasies about a younger girl he ejaculates so hard that his seemen flies into space and becomes stars.

Yeah you read that right, he ejaculates into space. WTF?

His sequence ends soon enough, cause after his commander fiends him engaging in some hardcore pig carcass action he gets shot in the head. YAY he’s dead! Unfortunately if you’re still watching at this point, you’ve just had to see a guy have hallucinatory sex with a pig carcass. Ewwww.

And so the second portion of the movie begins. It’s disturbing in totally different ways than the first part! It’s about the son of the guy from part 1 growing up to be a competitive speed eater, coached by the commander from earlier. He’s on the Hungarian speed eating team, and he’s trying to be a world champ. So you get a whole bunch of morbidly obese guys eating a whole lot of food really fast, and then they hold strategy talks over their vomit troughs.

They encourage use of the cross over swallow, it helps for faster food intake.

There’s a love story of sorts involving the new morbidly obese main character falling in love with a large, morbidly obese lady. There’s a happy times montage, and then some betrayal, and then more gross scenes of fat people eating. I haven’t been as grossed out by eating in a movie since I saw Singapore Sling.

Things go on until the fats folks have a kid kid, who in turn end up being quite skinny, creepy looking, and the main character of the third part of the story. He’s like DJ Qualls, If DJ Qualls was more sketchy and evil. They guy loves him some taxidermy. He’s got his own taxidermy shop, full of dead animals and stuff.

His father, the fat dude, has turned into a monstrous, fat, abomination; similar to the fat vampire in the first Blade. He is so big he’s stuck in his apartment, unable to move, where he raises giant cats that eat margarine. Like these a big ass cats. He’s trying to train them to be championship eaters too. He’s brought cady bars by his creepy skinny son who loathes his existence, and eventually gets fed up and lets him die.

His son who is pretty much insane, stuffs his father, stuffs his father’s freaky, huge cats and then performs self taxidermy on himself. In what is probably the most sickening scene in the film, he puts himself into a self-embalming device, removes his own vital organs, leaving his body preserved. Almost the whole sequence is done in close-up, so you’re never quite sure what’s being cut, or how the process is actually being done, but it’s really gross none the less.

What follows next is just one of those ending that stays with you. The final scene is one I shall not ruin. It’s creepy, and wrong, and you just kinda don’t understand the sort of people who could have made such a movie, but it’s borderline brilliant in how wrong it is.

Taxidermia isn’t a movie I can really recommend. Cause most people wouldn’t ever watch something like this. It’s a strange Eastern European social commentary of some sort. I know it’s got some sort of meaning, I’m just not sure what most of it is. Watch Taxidermia if you’re in a bad mood, or if you hate things that are nice, or if you just want to feel a slow retch build in the pit of your stomach.

Uncomfortable. Yup, pretty much sums things up.

Taxidermia is available now for free on Netflix Watch Instantly, just in case you feel like letting your morbid curiosity get the best of you.

Salem’s Lot or Hey You Remember Back When Stephen King Was Great

So I hadn’t read anything in a while till a few weeks ago when at about one o’clock in the morning one night I decided to finally read The Giver. Great book, and it’s easy to see why a ton of people have to read it in middle school. It’s young adult dystopian novel that’s really well put together, with some great thematic and dramatic revelations. It’s an easy read that comes recommended.

But after that I decided to continue the theme of reading books that I’ve been meaning to read for years and chose ‘Salem’s Lot. It has always been one of his more famous novels, and as an avid King read for a good portion of my life I’d always wanted to read it. I’ve had it sitting on my bookshelf for about three years now; so even after putting in the effort of purchasing the book, Id never managed to get around to reading it.

Having finished it yesterday, I have to say that it’s easy to see why it is one of his most famous works; it’s pretty straightforward and pretty great.

It’s the first time that King uses a full small town as his cast of characters, making the reading feel like a behind the scenes presence at times in all the little dramas of small town life. The whole thing starts off slow, with plenty of buildup. So by the time the vampire stuff really starts in around page 200 you’ve got a decent investment in the main characters, and an idea of where most of the secondary characters stand. So even though some characters are mentioned  briefly and then brought back later on, you still get the feeling that they’re all in the middle of the shit that’s going down.

I think that King said it quite well when he said that ‘Salem’s Lot has more in common with Invasion of the Body Snatchers than Dracula. Cause the book overall is just as much about the entire town succumbing to the vampire menace as it is the characters themselves. You see early signs of King’s habit of using small Maine towns as characters of their own. It’s just as chilling to watch ‘Salems Lot the town shrivel and die helplessly as it is to read the terror of the characters.

To give credit where credit is due, King’s work has at times been some of the most frightening stuff I’ve ever read. I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything that terrified me the way Pet Semetary did; and I remember at one point while reading The Shinning when i was twelve, I had to turn on all the lights on in the house before I could fall asleep.

Having said that there is one masterful sequence in the book that for me genuinely left me freaked out and uncomfortable for a while. It’s just a sequence in which one character hears a bump on the second floor of his home, and though frightened tells the woman he’s with to continue talking to him as he slowly ascends his stairs. As a reader you know what’s going to be at the top, and the character knows it too, so the entire sequence is just a great little passage of tension building that manages to be borderline perfect.

Through much of the book the idea of the vampires plays out not as a bunch of monsters, but as a sort of unstoppable, subversive force, which enables them to actually be frightening. Because seriously vampires are mostly played out, have been for a while, and it takes some skilled handiwork to make them menacing in any manner beyond “OMG MONSTERS”. It’s the feeling of powerlessness to stop the inevitable that King brings to the main characters and the reader, that creates most of the terror, and it works.

Unfortunately like a lot of King’s novels he doesn’t totally nail the ending, it seems slightly easier than it should have for the characters, but it doesn’t ruin the book at all, it’s just kinda “Really that’s the big finale?”. The coda pretty much makes up for it  though as it’s kinda badass; and as a seasoned King reader I was just grateful that he didn’t pull a really stupid “good magical forces save the day through plot convenience” like he does a couple times in his later works, Needful Things and The Dark Half being the worst offenders in my opinion.

Honestly if you’ve never read Stephen King, or only read a few of his more famous works, the I’d recommend Salem’s Lot as a good King Starter novel. It’s creepy and shows a pretty good example of his writing, before the King Universe became as intertwined as it did in the later years.

It’s about vampires who are actually bloodthirsty and frightening instead of the ones that are effeminate and sparkle, and these days that’s always a plus.

Salem's Lot or Hey You Remember Back When Stephen King Was Great

So I hadn’t read anything in a while till a few weeks ago when at about one o’clock in the morning one night I decided to finally read The Giver. Great book, and it’s easy to see why a ton of people have to read it in middle school. It’s young adult dystopian novel that’s really well put together, with some great thematic and dramatic revelations. It’s an easy read that comes recommended.

But after that I decided to continue the theme of reading books that I’ve been meaning to read for years and chose ‘Salem’s Lot. It has always been one of his more famous novels, and as an avid King read for a good portion of my life I’d always wanted to read it. I’ve had it sitting on my bookshelf for about three years now; so even after putting in the effort of purchasing the book, Id never managed to get around to reading it.

Having finished it yesterday, I have to say that it’s easy to see why it is one of his most famous works; it’s pretty straightforward and pretty great.

It’s the first time that King uses a full small town as his cast of characters, making the reading feel like a behind the scenes presence at times in all the little dramas of small town life. The whole thing starts off slow, with plenty of buildup. So by the time the vampire stuff really starts in around page 200 you’ve got a decent investment in the main characters, and an idea of where most of the secondary characters stand. So even though some characters are mentioned  briefly and then brought back later on, you still get the feeling that they’re all in the middle of the shit that’s going down.

I think that King said it quite well when he said that ‘Salem’s Lot has more in common with Invasion of the Body Snatchers than Dracula. Cause the book overall is just as much about the entire town succumbing to the vampire menace as it is the characters themselves. You see early signs of King’s habit of using small Maine towns as characters of their own. It’s just as chilling to watch ‘Salems Lot the town shrivel and die helplessly as it is to read the terror of the characters.

To give credit where credit is due, King’s work has at times been some of the most frightening stuff I’ve ever read. I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything that terrified me the way Pet Semetary did; and I remember at one point while reading The Shinning when i was twelve, I had to turn on all the lights on in the house before I could fall asleep.

Having said that there is one masterful sequence in the book that for me genuinely left me freaked out and uncomfortable for a while. It’s just a sequence in which one character hears a bump on the second floor of his home, and though frightened tells the woman he’s with to continue talking to him as he slowly ascends his stairs. As a reader you know what’s going to be at the top, and the character knows it too, so the entire sequence is just a great little passage of tension building that manages to be borderline perfect.

Through much of the book the idea of the vampires plays out not as a bunch of monsters, but as a sort of unstoppable, subversive force, which enables them to actually be frightening. Because seriously vampires are mostly played out, have been for a while, and it takes some skilled handiwork to make them menacing in any manner beyond “OMG MONSTERS”. It’s the feeling of powerlessness to stop the inevitable that King brings to the main characters and the reader, that creates most of the terror, and it works.

Unfortunately like a lot of King’s novels he doesn’t totally nail the ending, it seems slightly easier than it should have for the characters, but it doesn’t ruin the book at all, it’s just kinda “Really that’s the big finale?”. The coda pretty much makes up for it  though as it’s kinda badass; and as a seasoned King reader I was just grateful that he didn’t pull a really stupid “good magical forces save the day through plot convenience” like he does a couple times in his later works, Needful Things and The Dark Half being the worst offenders in my opinion.

Honestly if you’ve never read Stephen King, or only read a few of his more famous works, the I’d recommend Salem’s Lot as a good King Starter novel. It’s creepy and shows a pretty good example of his writing, before the King Universe became as intertwined as it did in the later years.

It’s about vampires who are actually bloodthirsty and frightening instead of the ones that are effeminate and sparkle, and these days that’s always a plus.