Rabid Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

There are some movies where right from the jump you know it’s going to be a miss and this is one of those. You’ll be shaking your head the whole time here because this vampire type film just isn’t it. The world doesn’t handle the threat very well and the whole film is going for grim violence the whole time. It’s basically a B grade slasher film but in all the wrong ways.

The movie starts with Rose and Hart driving down the road at massive speeds. They are defying destiny to try and make them crash and sure enough they run off the road and do in fact crash. Hart has a lot of broken bones but he’s mainly okay while the same cannot be said for Rose. She is taken to a nearby hospital where they run a very experimental surgery on her. Basically their justification was that she was not going to last otherwise but the head also needed quick results because funding wasn’t going well. Unfortunately while the surgery was a success, it came at a great cost.

See, by mistake the surgery gave Rose a giant stinger in her armpit which she could now use to destroy everyone in her way. She no longer has a taste for real food and only seeks to consume the living. Whoever she drains becomes a zombie and this infection continues to spread. Basically she is patient zero and the only silver lining of this is that she keeps some semblance of free will while everyone else becomes mindless zombies. She’s always hungry now too so she bumps a lot of people off and then afterwards it is unclear just how much she knows about it. See, she knows enough that she wants to always get away from her friends to murder a stranger instead but then seems to have headaches and isn’t totally sure of herself. It’s almost like a split personality but that may be giving her too much credit and she was just trying to make the whole situation look like that.

Regardless that is basically the entire plot in a nutshell. Rose goes around murdering everybody and nobody can figure out how to stop her because nobody even knows that she is the one doing it. She always waits until only her victim is in the room and then she makes her move. Whether it’s a poor girl just trying to have a refreshing swim or a doctor who leans in too close, Rose takes them all down. Often times the people she’s destroying aren’t even bad people which is the most tragic part like the truck driver who was just trying to help out. They all meet rather gruesome ends before the adventure concludes.

The movie is rather unrelenting in that respect. There is always something sinister or dark happening at all times and so the viewer can’t catch a break. There is no time for lighthearted banter or any really happy scenes to be honest. Instead we just see the world descending into chaos. They also squeeze in some animal violence of course as Rose goes after a cow or a horse. I forget which but of course she can’t control her hunger again and this is why she has to be considered as one of the main antagonists here. In the end she could not control her abilities at all and that was a big problem.

She also makes some very bad mistakes like at the end deciding to prove her innocence by trying a blood transfusion with someone. It’s great to test out a theory but she didn’t have any kind of safety precautions and so it’s really as if she just blew herself up. There was never going to be a positive outcome from all of that and that was the problem here. It just makes for a really dark ending and ends the film on a super sour note. Not that the film had any hope left by this point mind you but at least having a decent ending would have been nice. Instead the film is doubling down on making everything as tragic as possible which is definitely unfortunate. Not what you want to see from a title like this.

Hart also has almost no point in this film. Rose may as well have been driving by herself in the intro. He barely appears until midway where he runs in to call her a monster and runs off. By the time he cools down it’s already too late for Rose. Rose’s roommate did a better job of being there for her and even then she was doomed from the jump. In this film nobody is really safe and all you can do is make a run for it or you will probably be devoured next. Now is there anything I can say in favor of the film?

Unfortunately no, but I can at least say that the concept of having a stinger in your armpit is unique. Not even sure if I would say it’s unique in a good way but it’s a premise I had never thought of before and will probably never think about again. It’s just so weird but that’s the kind of idea that can make you rich if it’s handled right. This one just wasn’t and the film gets lost in the sauce really quick.

What the film should have done was to focus on the world at large a bit more and how they were handling it. Of course one governor just said they should shoot the infected while a lot of other people were panicking but focusing on the government a lot could have been fun. Lets see what they think about all of this. Sure, the virus is spreading fast but the zombies are really slow right now so you don’t figure that they should be a big threat at any rate. Just take them out and all it a day. I want to see a zombie invasion film from the start of when it was happening for once and how the government handles it. I think there is a whole lot of possibility there. Perhaps it will be negated by all the blood sucking and zombie eating but maybe it could pull this premise off.

Overall, Rapid is a film to stay away from without a doubt. The whole time you’re watching it you will be realizing that there are much better films to check out. Nobody has heard of this film for a good reason. It’s just not that good and certainly ahs not aged well either. This is not the kind of film you would ever rewatch either and so in the end what that means is that you will be shaking your head here the whole time. I don’t know where I would start in trying to tell someone how to do a good remake of this one so instead I’ll just say that the whole premise is probably doomed and you shouldn’t even attempt to make a movie like this.

Overall 0/10

Goosebumps: Dead of Night Review

This is one of those games that I basically got on a whim as I needed a low priced game for the Gamestop deal and it ended up being a bit of a gem in the rough here. Goosebumps is a short game but one that handles the first person horror genre well. It’s a fairly niche genre if you’re looking for a game like Bendy without going all the way extreme. This one’s definitely aimed a bit younger but they really put effort into each of the scares and level designs. So the game ends really quick but you’ll only need to spend a few bucks in order to get it so it balances out.

The game starts with you heading inside a house and finding out that R.L. Stine has been locked in a book. Slappy managed to turn the tables on him and cast the writer away while also ripping the pages out of the sealing book used to stop the dummy. You must now find all of the pages and take him down but you must dodge a whole array of monsters in the meantime such as the clown, the werewolf, and a zombie lady. You better run fast!

This game definitely reminds me of what a Five Nights at Freddy’s game would be like. There is danger around every corner and you’re always looking around. You can only run for a few seconds before you lose all of your stamina so you really want to be careful about when and where you run. You can outrun any of the monsters but walking is another matter entirely. There are plenty of places to hide so you can go under the table or in the shower for example but sometimes there will be a monster there as well. That’s how the clown got me once. Granted, there is an incentive to dying which is that just about every death to a different monster will get you a trophy the first time it happens. So sometimes you can just let them finish you off so that you can see what happens.

The gameplay is really simple though since it’s playing out as if you were really there. So you can only walk, run, and interact with objects. Only in the very last level do you get a laser gun although of course that is fun. The game wants to remain spooky though so it does come with a whole lot of restrictions. You can only fire for a few seconds and if you miss one of the enemies for even 1 second then it won’t be enough to defeat that fighter. You have to then wait for the cooldown and try to survive in the meantime. That cooldown also means that if you are up against more than 1 opponent at once then you are definitely going to be losing that encounter.

Each world also starts getting you involved in some new mechanics real quick. There are only 3 chapters in the game though so it does go by in the blink of an eye though. I’d say it’s probably a little longer than the 2 hours you see listed online but it’s probably around that time, maybe 2.5 hours at best or something like that. So if you see this game for $50 or something then it’s probably not worth getting until you find a discount. It’s not the kind of game you have to play day 1 after all, just play it once you see that it’s a convenient time to pick it up.

The graphics aren’t trying for anything special here but they look good enough. The characters are all recognizable right away. I’d maybe say this is more on the PS2 level than PS4 but as long as it’s clear that is the important part. The soundtrack is for the most part not very memorable but that does change in the final level where we get a final techno type theme once you get the gun. I thought that was a lot of fun and the game manages to give you a solid tune for the two boss fights against Slappy. I also give the game props for actually coming up with two real boss fights that have actual villain attacks and mechanics outside of the rest of the game where you’re just walking and interacting.

It’s the little things like that which showed that the game put in a bit of a real effort here. Ultimately it probably didn’t work since I hadn’t really heard anything about this game online before now but at least they tried. If they made a sequel to this I’d certainly be interested even if I think that is probably a long whiles away if it even happens at all.

So in the end whether you like this game or not will likely depend entirely on if you enjoy the first person style. You have to be in the mood for a fun horror game like this but if you enjoy that style then you will have a great time here. There are also a lot of important quality of life features here like constant save points so when you die you don’t have to redo a whole lot. That makes sense since the game is built around you dying a whole lot so it wouldn’t make sense if you had to go back every time. That would just end up being a drag right? One big issue that they somehow missed though was how you can’t skip dialogue. So if you die at the beginning of the boss fight then the villain will get his whole speech again.

It’s possible that the devs didn’t think about this because there aren’t many boss fights but wouldn’t it stand to reason that this is where you would be most likely to die? That’s definitely one thing I would change. The game is actually reasonably challenging which I appreciate. You will die a few times but in that case you don’t want to be stuck in cutscenes. Nothing will top the first Avatar game for Gamecube in that category but it’s always rough to feel stuck like that.

Overall, Goosebumps is a pretty fun game. You’ll definitely appreciate all the attentions to detail here. The first level is probably the best in terms of being a horror game though. Levels 2 and 3 start to become a bit more of an adventure. Particularly the third level since you get a gun in there while the second is more of a psychological horror as someone is giving you instructions and you have to decide if you will listen to him or not. The first is a classic horror though as you’re in an abandoned house with no way out and monsters around every corner. That’s definitely the level that you would be buying the game for without a doubt.

Overall 7/10

The Walking Dead Review

The Walking Dead is an interesting film. I bet a lot of you think about the TV show when you hear this title but this movie predates that by a considerable amount of time. It does sort of have a zombie as the main character though which is a fun coincidence as it were. What makes this film fairly unique is it’s a revenge film of sorts but one where the main character doesn’t really get the revenge directly. He spends most of the film being rather confused to be honest.

The movie starts off with a nice old man named John being tricked into being the fall guy for a bunch of crooks. The cops figure he is guilty of murder and unfortunately nobody can help him out. John’s own attorney is in on the scheme and intentionally defends him in a really poor way so that it appears John was insane and evil the whole time. John is sentenced to death and executed. Fortunately Dr. Evans is able to revive him using a very experimental procedure. John is now back from the dead and has a 6th sense in a way where he is able to tell someone’s true intentions and knows if they were partially responsible for his death. So he wants answers….why would anyone possibly want to bump him off or was it just a matter of being at the wrong place at the wrong time?

The uniqueness of the movie is in a way also part of the issue. See, in concept I’m not opposed to a revenge film like this where the main character is more interested in finding out the truth than enacting revenge. I think that can actually be rather compelling but for most of the movie it just feels like John is really unsure of himself and sort of hesitating a lot instead of being like a true detective. John is older so I can cut him a bit of slack but it means that he isn’t always the most engaging main character. You get the feeling he’s lucky that this was an older film because there’s a number of ways the mafia types could have taken him out in the present.

Where this premise gets fun though is we see weaponized karma to an extent as every villain starts getting bumped off in crazy ways. They just can’t help but die throughout the movie as they are bumped off one by one. You could maybe even say it is as if John is bumping them off through some kind of bad luck ability. In a way for the characters the scariest part about this is it means even if they were to quickly apologize or run to the cops they may still die. It’s not as if John is controlling these abilities. For most of the film he barely even knows what is going on.

The end of the film also tackles the question on if you should revive someone if you can or if that’s taking things a step too far. Personally I don’t believe it is possible to ever conquer death so the question is moot but hypothetically if we had the ability should we use it? It’s an interesting question and I would actually say yes to it. Because the way I see it, if you have the ability to save someone then you have to use it and I see the ability in that context. Of course someone like John had already lived out most of his life so you can see why he wanted to stay dead but letting him die is almost like destroying him so it’s a really tricky position.

In most things I say you let the individual choose what they want to do but this is a really close one. I dunno I don’t think it’s an easy question but it’s an interesting scenario. At the end of the day though when you see a title like “The Walking Dead” you are picturing a slasher type film where zombies are eating everyone and causing a mess. I’m super glad that wasn’t the case of course but the whole story almost feels a bit misleading. It’ a lot more subtle and low key than you may have been expecting. I would also say it’s less violent than I expected.

Yes, there are a lot of deaths and some of them are quite painful but it’s not like your classic Hammer film that really wants to zoom in on the details and slow everything down. The deaths here are mainly matter of fact so they go by really fast. The film also introduced the villains are being very unlikable so you were ready for them to get bumped off. As always the writing was very solid for this classic film though and so it worked pretty well to supplement the main story. With weaker writing this film could have easily crossed the line into being boring but fortunately that didn’t happen.

I do have to give a shout-out to the two witnesses at the beginning for being rather awful characters though. They were too scared to tell the truth of what happened which is the only way the frame-up was able to work at all. If they had spoken up sooner then they would have basically avoided this entire film. Sure the villains threatened them but letting someone else take the chair for you is a step too far. I’m glad they eventually came to the right decision of wanting to help him out but it was too late at that point thanks to the villains seemingly being everywhere so they were able to slow this down. The villains definitely planned this one out thoroughly.

Overall, The Walking Dead is a fairly chill film but once I understood that this wasn’t going for a more action packed angle then it worked well enough for me. The opening scene actually is fairly tragic because it’s probably everyone’s worst fear to have an attorney intentionally sabotage you. Once you are in the court room you are really putting your life in the attorney’s hands so to see this backfire has to be incredibly unnerving. It’s also hard to know what to do at that point and even if you were to jump in and say you want to represent yourself, it’s too late by that point. I think you’ll have a good time with this one. It’s also quite short so it’s not like it’ll take much time for you to watch this one all the way through.

Overall 7/10

The Invisible Man (2020) Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

It’s time to take a look at the Invisible Man. After the Mummy remake turned out to be fairly bad, it was time for this one to shake things up. Unfortunately I am here to tell you that the Mummy was significantly better which is not a good thing. This one ultimately takes an approach to the story that was likely doomed from the start and any promising aspects are overwhelmed by the negatives. I do think that a sequel would automatically be starting off in a much better place though and I’m ready for that.

The movie starts off with Cecilia escaping from her abusive boyfriend Adrian and drives off with her sister Emily. Cecilia lives with James and his daughter Sydney as she hides out from him. One day she finds out that Adrian destroyed himself but it feels rather odd that he would just give up like that. Sure enough, he appears to be back but invisible somehow and he intends to keep tormenting her and isolating her from her friends and family. Can Cecilia stop him or at this point is he a ghost that can’t truly be stopped?

Right off the bat what the film did wrong here is it went too far on showing just how psychotic Adrian was as the villain. We learn quite a bit about the abuse and how far it went into gritty territory and once you go there it’s pretty much a death sentence for a film. You want to go in there and get ready for some thrilling chase scenes and wonder how the heroine will come out on top. Instead now there was already so much damage done that it’s like you’ve lost the fight before it even began. Just a very unfortunate way to kick things off and so you’re not able to have a whole lot of fun during the film. Cecilia is naturally very traumatized for almost the whole film. There’s a lot of crying and a somber tone throughout the movie so at the end of the day what you’ve got is a very emotional horror title as opposed to a thrilling one.

Now, when you have a villain who is invisible you figure it’s going to be very hard to stop him. That’s part of the fear factor in dealing with such a villain and yet the movie starts to mess up there. There’s one point in the film where the Invisible Man murders someone right next to Cecilia and then tries to frame her for this. The big issue of course is that with the security footage you should immediately be able to see that the knife was lifted on its own and that she didn’t do it. This was a very fancy restaurant so they had to have cameras in there and the worst part is that you could have easily written around that. Have him wait until she picks up the knife to eat some food later on and then stab the victim with that.

There wasn’t any food ordered yet but that’s just a clean way of doing it. Most aspects of the Invisible Man work beyond that like his being super silent is fine. I can definitely see that working based on how the invisibility works. It’s not really a stretch. I’m a bit more iffy on his walking through the metal detectors at the entry of the prison but sure lets say the suit is fully plastic. One more iffy part is when he’s taking out a whole platoon of guards though. So for context his suit was damaged earlier so he was flickering in and out a whole lot, however during the fight it almost works perfectly so he vanishes for large amounts of time. It starts flickering again once he’s outside but even if he was invisible the whole fight, the guards could have handled that way better.

It’s obvious that Cecilia isn’t stabbing them because she’s on the ground many feet away. So once the guards start going down they should be firing in all directions to clip the villain or throwing a punch. They should be doing something at least right? Instead they just keep pointing their guns at Cecilia and telling her to stand down when that’s not helping matters at all. It is an interesting fight scene of course and I can even buy the Invisible Man beating them all, but just not in the way that it went down.

If I’m going to drill down further I think another big issue here is the film overexplained why this would all be feasible for Adrian to the point where people should have believed this more. Adrian is the world’s foremost expert on optic technology. If someone were to be invisible, well it would have to use optical technology right? That shouldn’t be a stretch to say that he found a way to do it and faked his death. So at least have someone look into it. Additionally his mansion seemed fully intact and as if nobody really went in to dig around. If they had then they might have seen something.

Now the film does have a pretty intense ending that has a lot of potential for a sequel. It was a drastic way for one character to go but I think it makes for a powerful ending and honestly there probably weren’t any alternatives at that point. There was no way to take things further within the realms of the law there. I hope this character puts on the brakes and doesn’t escalate further though as there was sort of an implied threat at the end. Right now I think this person would follow through on that threat but I hope it doesn’t come down to that. My only issue is that one character looks worse retroactively here.

Put it this way, there is only one way for the ending to work and it requires having certain equipment. The owner of this equipment should have known way before this scene that it was gone and that would eliminate the element of surprise right? I mean this character knows there is only one person who would steal this and so he would be very prepared for what might come later on? You also question the house alignment not to notice what was being prepped.

Well, there’s a lot to analyze here but pretty much all of that I can overlook except for the restaurant scene which was a bit much. Maybe also the kid (Sydney) getting punched since you can really tell the difference when you’re getting punched by the Invisible Man or Cecilia. Cmon now there is a massive difference there and the texture would also be very different considering how the Invisible Man would have hit her. Okay this actually makes another nitpick come to mind here.

So when he follows her into various places like the prison cell, hospital, etc. No matter how fast he is, how does nobody notice how the door stays open for an extra second? Unless you tell me that he perfect times it to dash after them before the door closes or slips under their arm while they hold it open, that should be really tough to manage each and every time. This one’s a full nitpick though since it can be done and since the Invisible Man is a martial arts master he has full control over his body and all.

The concept of the Invisible Man is pretty cool and there’s a lot of utility there in a horror, action, or even comedy context. There’s a lot you can do with this but they should have just made him a random psycho/mass murderer instead of going for the abusive angle here. If you’re going to go that route then just don’t go all the way and keep it to minimal physical/emotional violence like a few hits or something. That’s still incredibly serious without going all the way into grim dark territory.

I was glad that the dog didn’t die here so I’ll give the film some props there. Ultimately while Cecilia didn’t handle some situations as well as she could have, she did well in escaping during the intro and taking care of business by the end. I’d say she worked well as the lead. Her sister Emily also did a good job It was a bit annoying that she was so slow to starting the car in the intro which nearly cost Cecilia everything but beyond that she was a steadfast ally the whole time. Ultimately she had to go through a lot and it was reasonable that she had a point where she got upset because it’s hard to believe that what happened to her was a frame-up.

James was a good guy who helped give Cecilia a place to stay and heal on her terms. He was a supportive guy all the way through to the end and that’s why if Cecilia were to turn on him then that would lose her a lot of points. Yes he also had a point where he distanced himself but considering the context I don’t see how you could possibly blame him at all. I don’t see how Cecilia could either because she would fully understand. Same goes for Sydney who does her best to be supportive to a point. The final supporting character is Adrian’s brother Tom and naturally you’ll be suspicious of him the whole time. The instant that he says he’ll just let Cecilia have all the money without a fuss you figure there has to be something to this guy.

Overall, The Invisible Man’s main problem is that it’s just not a very enjoyable film for most of the run as it can be tough to watch for large chunks of it. It’s a very somber title with a whole lot of dark elements and while a horror film can be visually dark, it should also be very engaging and have its share of moments where it’s lighthearted or at least you’re having fun enjoying something. The film can be quite violent but I would say it’s definitely not on the same level as most slashers or big time horror films so the movie actually did show some restraint on that end. Now based on what the plot for the sequel can be, we’re either going to see one of the biggest jumps in quality for a sequel yet or it’s going to double down and things will get tricky from there. We’ll see how it plays out but as long as it includes some fun this time around then we should be good.

Overall 1/10

Jaws of Satan Review

This review is of the TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

Jaws of Satan is certainly a very dramatic title. Right off the bat you can tell that this will not be your average snake attacking the world. That being said, it sort of plays out like one anyway so it’s not like there is a whole lot of difference here. It’s very similar to a frog film I saw a while back where you had this mysterious frog giving everyone orders. Here it’s a King Cobra instead but of course it may have a real identity which you can figure out based on the title.

The film starts off with two guys travelling via train with a shipment of a lot of animals in the cargo area. Unfortunately what they haven’t realized is that Satan has hitched a ride with them. He’s currently in the body of a snake and intends to destroy everyone that he can! Using advanced telekinesis he blasts one guy out of the train and takes the other one down. He’s not getting close to his actual target, Father Farrow. Farrow is warned by a psychic that he is being targeted but he doesn’t believe this until she is bumped off shortly afterwards. Maggie from the hospital calls in Paul, a snake specialist to deal with this epidemic of evil snakes but deep down Farrow knows that he is going to have to step in. Can they win this battle?

Now we are meant to believe that this is Satan himself from all the dialogue and such but it still seems like a bit of an odd move to have him show up as a snake to slowly order other animals to finish the humans off instead of doing it himself. All horror villains have some kind of rules by which they abide of course but we need something so we can understand what they are. Instead in this way I don’t really know why he’s doing things the way that he is. I also think some dialogue would have been nice.

So in a way it didn’t matter whether this was Satan himself or a generic King Cobra because aside from the telekinesis it wouldn’t really change much of anything. I guess it does give the title a bit more of a bite though and while I wouldn’t say this was a very good film it does handle the atmosphere well. The whole town starts to feel a little more spooky as everyone is taken down by the snakes so I would have to say that this part was very effective.

Now where the film trips up is first that the characters aren’t very solid. So you have Evelyn as the town psychic who is decent enough but needlessly cryptic. Look we’re not dealing with the FBI here so why couldn’t she have just told Farrow what she knew over the phone instead of having to drive over there? Of course she never ends up making it and as a result it takes him longer to piece together the puzzle. Then you have Maggie who is good at her job. She has to deal with a lot of traitors like the coroner who hides one of the bodies but ultimately she gets around that. I liked the scene of her commandeering the ambulance itself because after a while you definitely do have to go with some drastic measures here.

She has to get the body to convince Paul after all. Paul is also good at looking at a snake bite and determining things but he does get off on the wrong foot with Maggie and it’s completely his fault. He comes across as rather judgmental and quite a bit rude so it was funny when Maggie talked about how nice he was. That’s not really the first thing that comes to mind when you think about this guy…but hey I guess I am probably underestimating him a little bit here. I don’t think the dialogue in this film was always very well thought out.

The heroes have basically no teamwork here as they all get sent into the cave one by one. Again, if this is Satan here you’d think he would have some more powers than having to trick everyone into a cave one at a time but I guess that’s just how it goes. It’s hard to be all that afraid of the snakes though as even with the music and all you feel like the humans should beat them most of the time. Snakes can move really fast through lunges but that’s about it so if you are standing away from one then you should definitely be able to outrun it right? I mean it shouldn’t be as crazy or scary as the film would have you believe.

There’s one long scene where the snake gets on the bed and has a stare down with the heroine. I think at that point you just have to jump up and run. Your odds shouldn’t be terrible and I’d argue that they’re better than waiting for Paul to show up with his net. Just make a break for it and you should be good! Feels like the film basically squeezed in the whole scene just as an excuse for some fanservice early on though which you tend to see in the B grade horror films so that tracks even if it is unfortunate. I guess it’s also a way for them to get closer but after the first impression you’d like to think that this wouldn’t be in the cards either way.

The film can have some disturbing images like with the bites and some of the usual violence but for the most part I would not say that it is as excessive as other similar films. It seemed to show just a little bit more restraint which is always nice. I also liked how some of the snakes could actually be defeated at least like the farmer who captured it and showed the body to Paul. I mean at the end of the day they are just snakes aside from the leader. That said, having snakes as a villain also inevitably means there will be some animal violence and unfortunately that does happen here. One snake gets shot to bits in what was a pretty intense scene and it’s why we need mecha snakes. Animal films are always going to be doomed because at the end of the day one of them is going to get hurt.

Overall, This film wasn’t going to be going very far either way. The cast isn’t quite good enough to hold their own film and the main villain may as well be a normal snake. We could get some good banter now and again during the film but for the most part we would just watch the snake slowly order the others to take people down and it felt like long periods of time would go by without much happening. The climax at least has a fun fire visual but you’re just not going to be taking much out of this film. It beats the average horror type film and at least has some semblance of replay value but there’s not enough here for me to recommend you give it a watch.

Overall 4/10

Piranha Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

It’s that time of year again folks, it’s time for a creature feature! Now you may be thinking this should count as more of a horror film and that’s fair but these piranha really mean business and whenever they are on screen you know that things are about to get tricky. They take no prisoners and take no breaks. They just shred everyone in their way. At the end of the day it is a bit of a Jaws homage to be sure but I like how they go all in on this. I dare say it’s pretty close to Jaws in quality too but of course you know that’s not necessarily a good thing.

So the movie starts off with a pair of teenagers deciding to make a foolish mistake and that is to jump in the water near an abandoned testing site. How clean would this water be even if there weren’t piranha around? Well Maggie is called in to find them so she looks around a while and eventually comes across a guy named Paul who enjoys a quiet existence in a little cabin of his. He’s got a good gig going there and doesn’t want to be mixed up in any trouble but there isn’t really any dissuading Maggie so they check out the old government installation. They fight off a crazy guy and release all the piranha accidentally. Now these creatures are headed to a nearby town to take everyone down!

One thing that’s harder to capture in a newer film is how suddenly things happen. The heroes just wander into a crazy little hut and release a terrifying force onto humanity. There isn’t a lot of build up or foreshadowing to this. It just happens and the execution is fairly decent. The scientist could have potentially made things a little better for the world if he had tried to talk instead of immediately going to beat these characters up. C’mon this guy should have known that strategy wasn’t going to work and while it was an emergency, there were lots of ways to quickly get this across instead of the way that he did it. Ultimately this cost him his life which was a really heavy price to make for a simple mistake but that’s how things can go in these films.

Maggie is a decent heroine. She was persistent in her search for the teenagers which is admirable because I don’t think anyone would have faulted her for taking a step back after not finding any trace in the mountains instead of recruiting the old guy to help her. She really just wanted to see the job through and that’s always good. She never lost her determination throughout the film. As for Paul, he’s less of your classic hero and is just someone trying to stay out of harm’s way. He very reluctantly helped out with the search. Sure he did get going once they figured out what was happening but he just as easily would have rolled back into bed if Maggie wasn’t so insistent on his coming. Fortunately he can fight which came in handy against the scientist.

The army actually get involved later on which was nice since I always like to see them around. The only mixed thing here is the way the heroes escape just felt really cheesy. Cmon the security cannot be so weak that they basically just run out after a quick gag. The movie’s fairly serious so perhaps they thought we needed some humor thrown in but it almost feels out of place. I think they could have done a lot better with this whole plot personally. I wanted to see the army get some action even if in a way it would be hard to do when the enemies are fish. Have them fire at the water to no effect or something. They do use some poison but of course that isn’t going to do much here.

The movie does lightly touch on the classic conspiracy angle though. The government naturally doesn’t want anyone to find out what is going on here and they do a good job of covering it all up at least until that is no longer possible. They just didn’t seem very smart with how they handled it. They are trying to salvage things again by the end though so they are consistent. You have to give them some props there. Ultimately the instant you make mutated creatures that have super skills there probably isn’t much of anything that you can do but you still have to try hard. I would have had the film end with a piranha starting to grow a fist or something. Hey with mutations it should be possible right?

The effects aren’t bad but the soundtrack is on the forgettable side. The film’s best quality is its overall atmosphere but at the end of the day that’s really all that it’s got. With the Piranha murdering everyone everywhere it quickly just becomes another animal attack film. Fortunately with piranhas there is less chance of animal violence as it’s mostly just them eating people. It’s still fairly violent as it sure takes them a long time to shred people to bits though. This is not one for the faint of heart. Ultimately it is another good reason why you don’t really want to be in the ocean at all. I feel like on land you can reasonably protect yourself against most threats or feel like you have a shot but in the water there is nothing to anchor you or to really give you good ground beneath your feet so it’s all a lot more terrifying.

I wouldn’t say the movie is particularly scary to be honest but if you put yourself in that position then you can absolutely understand what the fear would be like. It’s not really my kind of film though. I would need more quality characters and a bigger role from the government for this title to really take off. I also think just by nature of the film it would be difficult for this one to be pretty good. When you have an evil animal you’re either going to see the humans destroy it or the animal destroy them and in each case it’s likely going to be a rather violent affair.

Overall, Piranha must have been quite the hit with how many films it has spawned but ultimately I would say that this is one that you can really skip on. There isn’t a whole lot of reason to watch this one when you have much better options on the horizon. Watch Godzilla vs the Sea Monster instead if you want to see what an aquatic animal can really do with full size enhancements to take on the government. Yes that’s definitely the way to do it!

Overall 2/10

Prom Night Review

This review is of the TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

It’s time for another school movie where a disaster takes place. There isn’t a huge explosion this time around but there may as well have been as things get really intense here. The movie doesn’t start off on the best note, nor does it end in a great way either. This is really just your dime a dozen slasher movie going through its paces and it never tries to be anything more than that. As a result this movie just isn’t very good at all with a lot of forgettable characters.

The movie starts off with a bunch of cruel children picking on one girl until they corner her by a window where she falls through and dies. They decide not to tell anyone and run off. Years later, someone has decided to avenge the girl. Each of the children who were involved start to get threatening phone calls confirming that they will all be dying at the prom. The heroines are grown up now though and figure these are prank calls and don’t worry about it. As the bodies start piling up they have to be careful though. Can they actually stop this monster before they are obliterated?

Schools really are quite huge so it does work as a big battleground here. For example with the big prom taking place in the main lobby, the rest of the school is completely empty. That gives the murderer plenty of places to hide. It’s a location where you can buy into a cloaked figure even camping out for the whole day. You’ve got several floors each with 12+ rooms plus restrooms and such that are completely empty. Naturally some students leave to go and have affairs and such which makes them easy pickings. In that way the prom was the easiest date to pull this off for because everybody is making the job easier. They split off on their own without telling people intentionally.

Of course it’s also annoying to see them all fall for this by the same token. You just know that the characters are doomed the instant the villain appears. As always they all just don’t know how to fight at all and can’t defend themselves. The only exception to this is a guy named Slick who has a lot of self confidence. It was impressive how he just rode up in his big car and got someone to go out with him immediately although whether it’s a feather in his cap or the lady was too easy is something we can’t say. It’s as rushed a romance as you can get so I’m not exactly going to give that a high score.

Surprisingly Slick actually made this a real fight and went back and forth with the villain for quite some time though. That scene went on for way longer than I had anticipated. Yeah the ending is probably inevitable to be sure but I always prefer when someone puts up a fight rather than meekly going down. When your life is at stake you better find some adrenaline to fight back because if you lose then that’s game over. There is no retry option or anything like that even if it would be cool to have one of those.

The main heroine here is Kim and she does feel bad about what happened. It’s just like 10 years too late but I’ll take what I can get. There isn’t a whole lot to her character though. I mean in a way her character is that she isn’t nearly as desperate as the others who are all either one with the world now or have completely moved on. You just know that they’re all doomed while Kim at least has a chance of figuring things out. Well, she is the main character so that makes sense but she also just seems a lot more reasonable than the others. She feels like your average everyday character if that makes sense.

It’s not a bad thing, I’ll take being a forgettable character over being a really bad one but you can tell that this movie was more about putting the effort in to how everyone would be bumped off rather than the characters. There actually is one side bonus to this although I think it’s probably unintentional. The characters are so forgettable that when they reveal who the villain is, it takes you a minute to remember who the character is. You quickly understand from the context clues but there will be a few moments where you scratch your head and just wonder what’s going on. It all does make sense in hindsight and in a way this is the only culprit that would make sense.

The film does offer an obvious red herring from the start but the movie forgot to be subtle about this so because of that nobody falls for it. Now in a way slasher films are always going to be doomed no matter what setting they take place in but I would argue that taking place at a school puts you at an extra disadvantage by default. First you have all of the drama and poorly developed romances going on. It makes the characters look really annoying and unprepared from the jump. Then you have the fact that the teachers and principal are inevitably not going to help or do much anyway so why even include them in here? If the movie takes place on the mountains or something then at least it’s a unique environment and you have the extra tension of trying to escape from there in one piece.

It won’t solve the core issues but it’s a start. As you’d expect the film suffers from excessive violence and poor writing. There are no really likable characters as it’s really hard to forget that opening scene. I don’t care how young they were, you have to be pretty messed up to attack that little girl the way that they did. It was a really rough way to start the film and unfortunately set the tone for how the rest of the movie was going to play out. It’s really hard to recover from a moment like that.

Overall, At least the principal tried to help things out by putting the pressure on with locating another criminal on the loose. I give him credit for doing his best, he was just doomed from the start and you as the viewer knew it. Some things just can’t be easily stopped. I don’t think there is really anything you can get from this film that can’t be found in any number of other slashers. The movie doesn’t have much in the way of redeeming values as even the mystery of trying to find out who the killer is won’t interest you very much.

Overall 2/10

Alligator Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

You ever watch a film and then afterwards think to yourself: “Oof!” That’s basically this film in a nutshell. Alligator didn’t have great prospects right from the start to be honest because films about an evil animal rarely ever do well but even for that sub genre this one wasn’t very good at all. You have a whole subplot about a bunch of dogs dying and at that point I knew there was no hope for this film. It was just going to keep falling and falling as the movie went on and that’s exactly what happens here.

The movie starts with a girl getting a pet alligator of her own but unfortunately her father flushes it into the sewers. The alligator swears revenge and over the next 10+ years it begins to grow to monstrous size. It has been destroying all the animals in the sewers and even claims a few human lives. By the time it enters the surface it is quite powerful. Can officer David manage to stop this beast? He is quick on his feet but has a reputation for bumping off his partners which is hard to lose. Additionally everyone thinks he is crazy and don’t believe in an alligator. This town is about to be in a whole lot of trouble.

So the first big issue here is the subplot that I mentioned earlier. Basically there is a scientist running experiments on growth hormones and how to make animals extra big. To do this he is kidnapping a bunch of dogs around town and murdering them all. This ends up giving the alligator more fuel of course but it also adds a lot of animal violence that just wasn’t needed in the film. It makes you cringe every time you see these scenes and there are quite a lot of them. The heroes aren’t able to do much about this guy either because he is protected by someone who is rich enough to own the police. It’s a rather vicious cycle of corruption at the top and everyone is powerless to stop them.

The worst part is that the plot doesn’t add anything of value to the story. Just have the gator find some ooze in the tunnels or something which causes him to grow. Or have a syringe fall down there which makes him big but adding all of those dogs in was just a really bad idea. I haven’t seen a film go this far with the dog deaths in quite a while and of course all of the bodies are there in full display the whole time to make things get even more gruesome. The actual violence in the film isn’t particularly surprising as you are expecting the gator to be chomping people up right from the start anyway. So when it happens that is just par for the course although of course the film should have had a bit more restraint. you don’t need to quite be to excessive with that kind of content.

There’s even one scene where a small child is eaten which I thought was also a bit much. It’s certainly a very dark scene but one that you could have done without. By this point we already know what a monster this thing is so why add onto that any further? The Alligator isn’t super fast so you like your odds when going up against it but unfortunately fort he humans they tend to trip and freeze under pressure which makes them easy targets. If they had just kept on going then things could have gone differently for them. One of the only ones you can’t blame is the kid since he was pushed into the water.

As the main character David is very underwhelming. I like that he is always very eager to solve a case and that he doesn’t let the public get to him too much. Unfortunately at the same time it is easy for one of the reporters to rile him up the whole time and his romance with Marisa is pretty bad. He just gets mean at some points for no real reason and then barely even apologizes to her. He didn’t give her much of a chance at the beginning of the movie so the whole romance is really rushed and makes no sense. It just seems to happen rather suddenly and he looks really desperate.

Sure the romance isn’t great on Marisa’s end either but at least outside of that she is decent enough. I like how determined she is to say that Alligators can’t possibly grow as large as David was saying even though all the evidence points to it. Once she has a theory she will stay very resolved in sticking to it. Then you have Thomas who is the big reporter here. He has a really personal grudge against David for some reason and is always trying to put him on the spot. A little random perhaps but this guy is trying to sell issues and maybe he just knows that David is a much easier target than most others would be. So he’s just engaging in smart business decisions here. It doesn’t make him any less of an antagonist though and you know he’s doomed from the start.

Then you have David’s boss who is in the pocket of his bosses. He will do whatever they say no matter who and what he has to betray. This guy’s really petty and not loyal at all but he is fun. The guy may get off easy but in a way it’s because David isn’t taking him seriously. Whether he plays nice or not, the boss will be listening to his bosses the whole time so it almost doesn’t matter. Finally you have Brock who is a really big hunter who is supposed to be mega impressive. Unfortunately the guy doesn’t have a good attitude and feels out of his depth from the tart. You know that he has no shot but it’s still fun to watch him because of how arrogant he is. The guy holds nothing back and also knows how to manipulate people around him into going on missions. No matter what else you think of him, the guy absolutely knows how to talk his way out of a situation.

It’s hard to know on where to start if you were going to try and fix this movie. There’s just so many bad things about it but removing the dog subplot probably does need to be the first thing you do. Throw in some better main characters while you’re at it. I think either way you don’t want to make another large alligator film again but if you have to do one for some reason then make that the main focus and don’t worry about other stuff. At the end of the day you gotta approach this carefully.

Overall, There isn’t much to like about Alligator at all. When the characters are bad and the romance is rushed in addition to everything else then you may as well just take the L because there is no coming back from that. I highly advise staying far away from this film. There just isn’t any reason to watch it and the movie will certainly drag on for you. Perhaps the sequel will actually end up being better. I don’t doubt that it will surpass the first but that’s easy to do so will it actually be a good movie or not? I’m in no immediate rush to find this out though.

Overall 1/10

The Raven Review

I was pleasantly surprised by how good this film was. To be honest I really had low expectations for it. With that name you’re a little worried about the characters having to fight an actual Raven which would be no good and it just had the look of an old horror film that wouldn’t withstand the test of time. Instead it actually ended up being a really solid experience and had a little humor to balance things out too. For a minute there I even thought some of the dialogue was fake and added after the fact but that’s just how fun the series could be when it really tried.

The movie starts by introducing us to Craven who hasn’t been having a good time of things. His wife Lenore died a while back and yet he has not been able to recover. One day a sorcerer named Bedlo shows up after having been turned into a Raven by the notorious Scarabus. That guy is the most powerful sorcerer in the world and you absolutely do not want to get on his bad side. Craven wants nothing to do with him but Bedlo claims that he saw Lenore there. Craven knows that this is impossible and yet he wants to be sure so they head on over. Will this end up being a fatal journey for the crew or will they overcome all obstacles?

Craven does have magical abilities of his own but he’s just not sure about taking a foe like this on. He is far more powerful than Bedlo but at the same time you feel like that isn’t really saying a whole lot! It’s always best not to pick a fight when you can help it and Craven was a fun character the whole time. His own lair is quite mysterious as well the whole time. His dead father seems to still be alive to an extent with how his eyes glow and Craven seems to have a lot of resources for someone who considers himself to be a fairly meager mage.

As the film goes on we learn more about Craven and it helps him continue to improve as a character the whole time. He does great during the climax and was a determined fighter. He is polite but won’t let anyone walk all over him. If you stay on Craven’s good side then you’ll be okay but if you try anything funny then you will be in for a real shock. There is a whole lot of depth to Craven’s character and it would have been fun to see him return in a sequel or something. The world of magic introduced in this film is very interesting. Craven also just has that natural confident demeanor that makes him very likable.

Meanwhile Bedlo is more on the annoying side. He’s supremely weak and yet he is constantly mouthing off and picking fights. You’d think he would have learned his lesson the first time but the guy is blinded by his own arrogance. He’s impressed with Craven performing spells with a wand which is apparently a basic skill and he thought he could beat the most powerful sorcerer on the planet? Yeah the guy isn’t very smart at all and it really shows. You’re not rooting for him to win at all as the film goes on. Just let him be defeated already and everyone will be happy.

As for Scarabus, well he’s an interesting villain. The guy is fairly calm and doesn’t seem like someone who typically picks fights. If you show up before him then you are fair game though. The guy is still a full villain even if he’s not going around targeting people. He was fully ready to destroy Craven and friends in the end. The guy earned his reputation so you can be sure this wasn’t the first time as well. His powers were also the real deal so this made him a good adversary.

Part of what sets the film apart is the solid magical fight scenes here. Not just any film can deliver a really fun magical battle but this one pulled it off. It’s even more impressive when you remember how old the film is because the effects have absolutely aged very well. It was a creative way to show what they can do and the bright colors probably shocked the audience back in the day. Yes this was a good way to close out the film and it exceeded my original idea of how it would all turn out.

Additionally the humor was always very clever. Strange things happen and Craven always responds to them in a super calm way himself. That’s part of the charm and then other times something funny will happen really quickly while you are still processing what is going on. When Bedlo first starts talking as the Crow it’s really surreal since you just weren’t expecting that. The film had seemed so serious at the start which made the payoff for this scene so good. After that it has fun with the dry wit.

The movie’s fairly short too so it all moves at a really brisk pace. Something is happening in every scene and even before they arrive at the villain’s base you’re already off on the right foot. As for whether Lenore is a ghost or not I’ll let you decide but the way things play out is satisfying. I won’t say that everyone gets a happy ending but everyone does have a conclusive one.

Overall, The Raven is a fun film and a must watch for all horror fans. It’s not every day that you get to watch a horror with comedic elements like this after all. Vincent Price always does well as the lead and this movie is no exception to that. No matter what opponent or challenge gets in his way he will conquer it and keep it moving. I don’t think any other adaptions of Poe’s story could possibly ever beat this one.

Overall 7/10

Windchill Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

This is one of those films where I can’t say I was super hyped for it but it still managed to go below my expectations. There are really two ways this film could go. The human villain route where the guy driving the main character is a creep or the supernatural route. I would pretty much always choose the supernatural route but this film shows that sometimes you can still mess that one up too.

Gotta admit that I didn’t even notice that none of the characters had names until I looked it up. It’s a pretty interesting tactic for sure since it lets you just jump right into the story. Would have been cool if I noticed this right away but it just be like that sometimes.

So the main girl is looking for a rideshare to save some money and fortunately there is a guy driving to her destination. This is about as lucky as she can get and so they get into the car but she rebuffs all of his efforts to talk to her. She wants to be an unruly passenger and even insults him while they’re driving so now he feels sad. Eventually they crash when trying to dodge another car and now they’re stranded in the middle of nowhere in sub zero conditions. Definitely not the way you want to go out. Can they survive the night if they stay in the car or should they take their chances and try going back to the gas station?

This film loves its red herrings and making everyone look suspicious. Trust me on that one, we’ve got everything except the villainous smirk that a lot of suspects tend to have. There is just a whole collection of issues here so it’s hard to know where to start. I guess I’ll start with the characters not being very likable at all.

First up there’s the girl who has a bad attitude from the jump. First of all she’s the one who is late to the meetup spot so I don’t see where she gets off being so upset at the guy. She insults his car for no real reason and is just extremely rude. The girl doesn’t really get better until the end and even then it’s a life or death situation by that point so just about anyone would be a little nicer when their life depends on it.

I totally get her being hostile once he took them off on a shady shortcut and crashed the car. From there on out it makes sense to treat him like an enemy 100%. He does nothing to make you feel like you can trust him and only actively makes himself look less and less honorable.

Now for the guy, yeah he’s pretty bad too. For starters, driving off the road to a shady shortcut with no good explanation is naturally going to turn the girl against him. He should have realized that, it’s just patently obvious. The road didn’t look good from the start either. So he was doing this to impress her but there are better ways of doing it.

Then there’s also the fact that he acts a bit like a stalker. He knows pretty much everything about her and followed her around so he would learn about her schedule and be there to be carpool buddies. It shouldn’t have even been hard to keep this a secret but naturally he says things that he shouldn’t know and so she gets tipped off. If this guy is trying to start off with a good impression then he absolutely failed here.

The tension of if the guy is a super crook is definitely intense even if it isn’t quite my favorite scenario here at all. So then we get to the supernatural elements but that’s where the film really falls off of a cliff. So you’ve got an early instance of this where the ghosts lock the girl in the bathroom and turn off the sound so she can’t yell for help. Or more specifically she yells but nobody can hear her.

This doesn’t have much to do with anything so you can write it off as the ghosts messing around. We do see a shady guy at one of the tables who looks a lot like the Patrolman though so maybe he was already making moves. Once the crash happened then they start to really go in.

It takes a while to get going but basically the Patrolman is an evil spirit of a guy who died a while back so now he goes around murdering everyone he can. He has the ability to lower your body temperature to the point of freezing and then you die. It’s difficult or impossible for a living person to stop him since he’s a specter and he can mildly mess with reality/cause hallucinations. I mean his car is clearly very real which is always the annoying thing about fighting guys like this.

They can become intangible when needed and then go physical just in time to land a hit. Unless you have super powers of your own then you’re really doomed. The most annoying thing here aside from the heroes just being doomed against this guy is the backstory is unnecessarily edgy. Basically as a corrupt Patrolman he would force people into his cars and then ultimately murder them.

It’s a pretty tragic circumstance and this guy has been running around unchecked for many, many years. What about all of the victims he murdered? Well they’re all specters as well but are basically powerless to keep on repeating the same actions over and over. They yell and beg to be avenged and all but why don’t they fight back? The guy is able to fight as a specter so what about all of the endless people who died here? They have the numbers advantage with ease so it shouldn’t be a question of power. They should be able to win against a single guy.

It’s just a case of the villain being stronger for no real reason. If you’re going to go supernatural then go all the way with a powerful demon or something but not a normal serial killer who was so angry at the world that he got powers? Eh that’s not a great explanation at all.

There also isn’t a whole lot of scenery over here as it’s just snowy everywhere. It can be a bit spooky with all the ghosts running around too and all but it just wasn’t enough. Nothing happens for a long time and once the flashbacks start to occur then you want to go back to the present already.

Now talking about red herrings, there is a suspicious scene where the guy walks away saying he will check out the gas station but then he returns almost immediately and says that it’s closed. The girl points out that he wasn’t gone long enough to actually check and why would it be closed so early? She almost calls his bluff to check it out but decides not to. My issue is…it was too far for him to check. So did he lie about it? Did the ghosts mess with her flow of time so she was walking around for a really long amount of time? The film doesn’t give you any indication of this so we have to assume that he’s lying and it’s yet another reason not to trust him.

The movie also gets dangerously close to trying to start a bit of a romance here and that’s really not going to work. Aside from the fact that they don’t get along at all, there are much bigger things to think about right now. The ole body heat technique also feels like it’s just around to force some relationship building for them when I don’t see that working very well and you’ll just end up freezing each other.

Overall, Wind Chill is a film that I would definitely recommend avoiding. It’s a fairly classic horror film that isn’t trying to do anything new but doesn’t really commit to the approach as much as it should. The whole time loop with the evil patrolman didn’t do the film any favors either. There are some things you can do with that if the flashback was more interesting or something but this guy was a pretty awful villain so no luck there. He’s also apparently been bumping people off every year since the 60s and nobody’s thought to start an investigation? Definitely give this one a skip.

Overall 1/10