Mr. Sardonicus Review

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It’s time to look at an old horror film about torture and violence. If this doesn’t already sound like a one way ticket to Amityville then brace yourself because we’re in for a very slippery film that just keeps on falling down the tunnel. It’s often hard to say when a film like this one first ends up falling as it couldn’t even start on a high note. What I will say is that the film certainly is impressive in how poorly written it was for the 60s. That era usually had quite solid writing.

The film starts with Robert getting a mysterious letter from an old friend. He was close to Maude for a time but then she ended up marrying a rich baron so Robert traveled overseas to get rich by being a doctor. Well, she wants him to come to her manor to chat about old times and if he doesn’t come then she will surely die. Robert hurries over and is so excited to see her again that he ignores the torture and murder happening within the building. Still, there won’t be anyone left to save him if he dawdles too long. Sardonicus will release him and Maude if Robert cures his face. If he does not, then he shall die. Can Robert do this?

Robert isn’t a very heroic character. He is proud of his Knightly ways and cannot bring himself to harm even a villain. That’s why even though a lot of terrible things are happening in the castle he cannot make a move. To do so would be impolite and as a gentleman he must be courteous at all times. Even when he gives his word to protect one of the servants from any future violence he leaves her alone with the villains multiple times as he heads off to enjoy a meal. It’s hard to root for Robert at all since he isn’t even smart. After reading the letter and everything mentioned above, he is swayed by the sob story of Sardonicus. Maude even tells him upfront after this that her life is at stake and Robert jokes that as a wife of course she is worried for Sardonicus. You’d have to have gotten hit in the head really hard right before saying that to really believe such a thing. Robert is just as dense as a brick. Lets also not forget that he won’t even use any of the risky treatments on Sardonicus because he worries for the villain’s safety. Even though such a decision would result in Maude’s death. This is our main character?

Naturally Sardonicus isn’t a good villain either. His sob story amounts to him trying to rob a grave and getting his face defiled for his efforts. Karma occurred very quickly and now he will take it out on everyone else. I can’t say that I feel bad for him and it just reminds you even more that he is a rather petty villain. His excuse for all of the inhumane experiments is to find a cure, but half of them had no actual correlation to his affliction and he later admits that he just does it as punishment. The guy can’t even decide on why he does what he does.

Then we have Maude who definitely isn’t the smartest of characters. Lets just think about this again. Sardonicus is all alone in the castle except for his one attendant Krull. Krull is often sent on faraway missions like heading to the city to recruit Robert. At that point Maude could have easily escaped. Sardonicus is often locked away in his room as well. Now perhaps her father is still a hostage but then that character would have to be so inept that I can’t even comprehend it. Furthermore the film doesn’t even try to make sense with this. Before I get into it I should mention that the same thing applies to Krull. The film tells us a few times that he is a very strong man who obeys Sardonicus absolutely. But why though? He is strong enough to destroy his master and live a very comfortable life. Especially since nobody actually sees Sardonicus anyway so he could just keep on using his money. Instead he let Sardonicus punish him a few times without actually trying to fight back.

All right, time for the real plot hole here. So, Sardonicus is feared by everyone on the island. It’s to the point where the men of the island allow their daughters to be sacrificed to him every year. Why not move away? Why not storm the building? Again, this could make sense if Sardonicus had a lot of people under his influence like in most similar films of this genre. Here he is just a single man with a single attendant. It would be a simple matter for a mob to enter and liberate anyone still alive. At the very least they could easily destroy him. Instead for whatever reason the police refuse to do anything and people don’t even move away. At most this could make sense if Sardonicus had some kind of political clout, but the sob story showed that he was just an ordinary guy who happened to win the lottery and got rich. That doesn’t give him any kind of diplomatic immunity. The film just couldn’t even think its own plot all the way through.

Overall, This was a pretty terrible film. It’s just gritty to be gritty and none of the characters can think for themselves. They just go along with whatever Sardonicus has planned and never stop to question why they are doing this. The plot’s flimsy and the characters aren’t good. The film feels like it lasts for an eternity before it’s over and the whole time you will just be wondering how this got past pre production. The narrator who appears at the beginning and end of the film is also a chore to get through. His jokes don’t land at all and he takes forever to get to the point. I would highly recommend staying away from this film.

Overall 0/10

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Lights Out Review

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It’s time for a fairly recent horror movie. This one actually managed to be fairly decent as far as horror movies go. Unfortunately, it slipped up towards the end of the film. The ending may not be as terrible as something like The Innocents, but it’s certainly still a Debbie Downer. It may not be winning any awards from me, but you could certainly do worse if you’re looking for a quick scare before Thanksgiving is upon us.

The film starts off in an abandoned toy factory esque place. The assistant notices that someone has broken into the building and warns her boss about this. He basically tells her that he has no time for games so she leaves. Afterwards, he gets ready to leave, but the creature attacks him and the guy doesn’t live through the experience. It’s a fairly solid way to start the film off and it isn’t even all that violent. For once, the scene is actually handled fairly well and the creature’s design was pretty good. Honestly, I felt like the whole film should have taken place in that shadowy store.

Moving along, the creature is named Diana and she has become friends with Sophie, Rebecca’s Mom. Sophie and Diana have become quite close and that’s why Diana wants to murder all of Rebecca’s friends. She can’t let anyone come in between them. Unfortunately, this is having a negative impact on Martin, Rebecca’s brother. Child services get involved and Rebecca decides to keep Martin for a little while. The board won’t have it so Rebecca has to head back. She decides to spend the night, but will she be able to vanquish Diana or is it all over for her?

The film seems to lose its sense of direction at several points, which is where things get rough for it. For example, Diana is shown to be a fake friend. She is just using Sophie because she wants the Mom to feel the same sadness that she felt. Okay…but her plan only works if Sophie ends up being messed up. Unfortunately, that is the case as Sophie doesn’t mind being thrown around since she believes that she deserves it. Sophie’s a pretty terrible character as she puts Diana before Martin and Rebecca several times. She seems to want to be a good Mother, but then back pedals at other points. At one point, she gives Rebecca a letter saying that she needs help before she is dragged back into the darkness. So, Sophie seems to be somewhat aware of the fact that Diana is not her friend, but then forgets it again. I suppose it’s just part of her whole Martyr disposition, but it definitely doesn’t do the character any favors.

Diana’s power level also seems to fluctuate quite a lot. In some scenes, she can’t stand the light to the point where she won’t go near it. By the end, she’s going through the light no problem. It burns her, but she can take the heat long enough to do whatever she wants to do. She has a good amount of super strength as she can throw people around and quickly stab others, not to mention that she is also bullet proof. At the same time, the heroes can struggle against her quite effectively so maybe she’s a little weaker than Captain America. Regardless, she makes for a good villain, but not really a great character. I’d prefer her goal to simply be “Destroy everyone” or something rather than just sparing people sometimes and attacking in others. Going after Martin seemed like a random move towards the beginning when they were watching a film. Wouldn’t that instantly destroy her “friendship” with Sophie? I imagine that it would override her current condition. Diana also took a while to make her move since we find out that she has been around, even when Rebecca was a kid. I guess she just didn’t attack if you didn’t get in her way.

The main problem with the ending is its one of those classic “I can’t beat the villain so it’s time to exit the game” moments. It’s portrayed as the right call of course, but it’s definitely not the best way to win. There wasn’t really any other course of action in this example, but that just makes it all the more tragic. Not to mention the fact that the character’s reputation is going to be slung through the mud now since nobody will know the truth.

As per usual, the cops don’t look so good here. You can’t blame them quite as much this time since they are up against a monster that can easily defeat them, but they still could have handled the situation better. The cops take a while to find the main characters and even once they do, they don’t do a good job of handling the situation. They clearly know that they’re dealing with someone dangerous, but they still don’t watch their distance. They did try shooting at least, but one of the cops just waved the main character off when she tried to give some advice. It’s a good thing that Rebecca had a lot of survival skills earlier because those were more dependable.

I can’t say that I was really a fan of Bret. He does help out a lot and certainly does better than most horror characters, but he’s just not that likable. The scenes with him trying to show Rebecca that she is making the wrong move didn’t really go over well. Taking Martin definitely seemed like the right call although she did handle it in a pretty sour way. He may have been right, but he started off rather accusing so it makes sense that Rebecca would get defensive. Rebecca got to be a decent character by the end although the beginning makes sure to show you why she’s not a good role model for Martin. She certainly went far with the whole rebellious streak.

This is another horror film that doesn’t play out as you would typically expect it to. The body count increases by the end, but it’s more of a slow burner as Diana doesn’t do anything for quite a while. It works well to an extent and as I mentioned, this is technically one of the better horror films. On the other hand, it means that there isn’t a whole lot for Diana to do except give us some fake jump scares. I can live with that if it beats the alternative I suppose.

Overall, Lights Out isn’t half bad. The film never has a gritty moment just for kicks and the whole film is rather chill when it comes to that. The monster is fairly good and the backstory is rather tragic while not being over the top. The characters may not be great, but they are better than their counterparts. On the other hand, the romance with Bret and Rebecca is fairly poor. It just reminds you why these two are going to have a hard time trying to win custody. The ending isn’t very good either and it was hard to really get Diana and Sophie. Sometimes they acted rationally and other times they did not. Sophie really could have handled this whole debacle a lot better and if Diana was serious about destroying everyone, she could have really done it at any time. She waited too long due to plot hax. If you’re a big fan of horror movies then this could be a decent one to check out. If you want a film that I could recommend to everyone, check out Scooby Doo: Zombie Island!

Overall 4/10

Cat People Review

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It’s time for an old school horror film. The Cat People is one of those films that makes you shake your head. It was pretty good for about 90% of the film and then drops off the mountain in the closing scenes. It was so close to being a good film, but just couldn’t hang in there. It’s like they say about entering competitions. It’s not about how you start, but how you finish. It may not seem fair, but a bad 10 minutes can completely nullify a good 60 minutes. Negative moments have always had more influence than positive ones because they will just stick in your mind. That’s basically what happens here.

The film follows a lady named Irena who is approached by the flirty Oliver. Clearly this guy isn’t shallow despite going on the offensive immediately so Irena drops what she is doing and the two of them become a couple. The one problem is that Irena comes from the clan of Cat People and she is cursed with the ability to turn into a cat whenever things get past the friend zone. Oliver doesn’t buy this and slowly gets fed up with Irena. He decides to quickly get a new girlfriend before actually breaking up with Irena. He then lets her know about this after she goes through the long ordeal or curing herself. Well…it’s time for revenge!

Irena is actually a pretty good main character. She successfully fights off her impulse to destroy Alice the whole time and also prevents herself from going into the cage where the Black Panther was. She was doing it all to cure herself and become a normal person, but being back stabbed at the last second was the final straw. It was a shame, but now this forced Irena’s hand. The final bit gets rather crazy as she basically destroys herself and then the cat that she freed also dies as it is run over. The ending will just have you shaking your head. What happened to the writers?

Well, the film definitely makes Oliver as unlikable as possible. I wonder if it was intentional though because it doesn’t necessarily feel like it was, but you can’t really tell sometimes. Well, the intent doesn’t matter so much in the end though. You’re rooting for Irena to get him, but this just doesn’t happen. Oliver is too crafty and Irena is too nice for her own good. Alice certainly isn’t any good either. She goes after Oliver the whole time despite knowing that he is taken. She essentially tempts him into making the wrong call. He’s just as guilty as she is, but it doesn’t make either one of them likable in the slightest.

Judd is the psychologist who tries to cure Irena. At first he was a likable enough character. He knew what he was doing and wasn’t handling the situation all that badly. Unfortunately, he decides to go mad with power after that and decided that he wanted Irena all to himself. It doesn’t end well for him, but the whole plot was rather pointless and certainly didn’t need to be included. It’s just another moment where you have to wonder where the film was going with this.

The scenes with Irena as a cat were cool. She did a good job of really putting the fear into Alice and again, I have to give her credit for not finishing the job. Instead, she merely settled for intimidating Alice and subtly hinting what would happen if she didn’t stop playing games with Oliver. Alice ignored this in the end, but Irena still didn’t destroy her. By the end, Irena was certainly willing to, but chose to simply end it all instead of going for revenge. It’s a decision that is incredibly rare for this kind of film.

Unfortunately, we had to have that animal violence towards the end. Having the cat get run over was just pointless and I don’t think that Irena needed to have such a sad ending. Couldn’t the film have just had her go back to her village or just roamed the forest on her own? It would have been more satisfying and not quite as grim. The whole rushed plot with Judd also didn’t do any wonders for the movie. Such a shame, if the film had run its course without any of that nonsense, it could have definitely gotten a 6 or maybe even a 7 depending on what the alternate ending would have been. Still, what ifs and could haves don’t ultimately mean much. Also, another scene of animal violence had a bird die either of shock or Irena’s hands were too much like a cat’s and pricked the bird. Either way, it was another sad moment which really stopped the film’s chances of being good.

While this is sort of a creature feature film, it’s played more seriously than titles like Creature From The Black Lagoon and the old Showa Godzilla films. I think it did try its best to be a horror film. The scene where Irena stalks Alice through the shadows and Irena barely makes it to the Bus Stop is definitely a horror moment. The music cuts away and it gets eerily quiet as she slowly starts to run instead of walk. There’s a lot of tension in the air and the scene was definitely handled well. It was a fun moment and again, I thought that Alice was going to die there. The whole film’s approach would have been different had that occurred as Irena would have likely just taken everyone out. Of course, then it’d just be a generic slasher film and it probably would have been even worse.

Overall, The Cat People is a film that had promise and handled itself pretty well for a while, but then it fell down. It’s still a lot more classy than most other horror titles. Unfortunately, the film simply couldn’t keep it up and Oliver really did his best to put himself in a bad position. The ending really prevents me from recommending this film and you should probably just watch an old Scooby Doo film instead. Those films typically have good endings and you’ll still get your share of scares in the meantime. You won’t have to think about lost possibilities either or wonder why Oliver got to have a happy ending despite being such a mean character the whole time. Also, why did a lady from the lost village show up if she was just going to vanish and never appear again? She was definitely real since everyone saw her. Maybe she traveled all the way to the big city just to mock Irena. I guess I wouldn’t put it past her.

Overall 3/10

Mama Review

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I’m afraid that it’s time for another horror film and this one is certainly not very good at all. In fact, it’s one of the weaker horror films, but I suppose the writers and producers can take solace in the fact that they tried to grab as many horror tropes as they could. This is probably a good film to show people if you want to explain why the horror genre just isn’t good. There’s no other reason to check this film out though so you’ll want to stay as far away as you possibly can.

The film starts off with a guy taking his kids to an abandoned shelter in the forest so he can destroy them, but a creature puts an end to them first. This creature then takes care of the kids for many years until Lucas shows up and brings them back to civilization. Together with Annabel, he tries to rehabilitate them and get them to act like normal kids. The problem is that the creature doesn’t like this turn of events and prepares to show them what true power really is.

While the plot may sound slightly different, it’s essentially the same old same old. The ghost is now in the house and it keeps haunting Annabel time after time after time. “Mama” never actually does anything though so maybe she was just enjoying the jump scares. No matter, it worked out well for Annabel. Even when the creature had Annabel alone, it never made a move. At least we do know that it can fight though so I’ll give the film some slight props there. Mama is slightly weaker than other characters like the Grudge as it doesn’t seem like it can really do any reality warping. Still, it has the ability to corrupt and destroy what it touches. It steals the life force of its prey, albeit a little slowly. It has basic super strength and speed as well. We can’t forget the levitation either and its ability to summon edible moths. Mama’s not a great villain, but at least the monster actually got to appear and had a distinct design and power set. It could have almost been sympathetic since it helped the kids out and all. The ending wrecks that though as it decides to take out another kid for the prophecy. The ghost should have realized that such a move would probably hurt the kid, but I guess she’ll settle for having the ghost spirit as a friend instead.

Lets start talking about the array of negatives in the film. To start with, there is animal violence. I definitely saw that coming. The two wolves dying in the opening credits weren’t as bad as they could be since it was all drawn using crayons. However, we then saw the kids eating moths later on which was very gruesome and disturbing. That’s a nice way to lose some points, but the film was really just getting started.

Annabel and Lucas are pretty bad characters and that’s why you will end up rooting for the Step Aunt, Cousin, something person. She wanted custody of the kids and while she wouldn’t have fared too well, she would have done better than this pair. Lucas is knocked out for most of the film and when he does show up, he’s knocked out rather easily. He talked a good game, but crumbled when it counted and shouldered all of the responsibility on Annabel even though she never wanted a part in this. He was rather rude the whole time. Annabel’s not that great either although at least she ignores the bad advice that her friends were giving her. She gradually learns to get better with the kids. Still, she helps us get to the next horror cliche of the two leads messing around with each other only to stop when the villains…or in this case the kids show up. One thing you know from horror movies is that ghosts don’t like to see any inappropriate behavior and it usually costs your life.

As for the beginning of the film it still doesn’t make a lot of sense. I thought it was hinting that the Dad was going to murder the kids because of the ghost or some kind of plot twist. By the time you reach the ending, the only real conclusion you can come to is that the guy was just insane. It’s rather grim and dark for no real reason and the plot didn’t have any reason to be here. It’s good that the ghost was watching, but we didn’t need any more villainous characters. The ending manages to top the beginning in how bad it is though and destroys the movie even further. What could have maybe scratched by at a 2 ends up going all the way over.

By the end, it was all futile. The ghost grabs one of the kids and jumps off with her. The little girl dies and will likely now be a moth monster like the Mama. It’s definitely pretty dark and that’s the kind of ending that you never really want to see. I don’t mind the classic “Villain comes out of the closet in the final scene to destroy the main characters” as it is more of an implied sad ending as opposed to a direct one. Ending with this just makes the whole story pointless. The villain won and now she can return whenever she wants to get the other kid. I also don’t think it makes much sense since she had been raising the children and protecting them all those years.

Naturally, I also didn’t care for the fact that the film revolved around the two little girls so much. It was rather gruesome to see them in the initial appearance as they were in very poor condition from living in the wilderness so long. They even lost their ability to speak for a while and while the older one started to get better, it was definitely a pretty dicey plot. It’s one that wasn’t handled all that badly, but throw in the deranged Mama who was watching their every moves and it was definitely not all that fun.

Overall, Mama is not a good horror film in the slightest. The ending cements it as a completely terrible movie. The characters are all pretty bad for the most part and the villain doesn’t make any sense either. Lucas in particular is rather annoying as he takes the time to get lost in the forest for a whole day even when he knows that Annabel is being haunted at home and asked him to get home as soon as possible. It’s little things like that which remind you that this is a horror movie so none of the characters are going to act very smart. If you want a good horror movie to watch instead…you’re going to need to do some intense searching!

Overall 0/10

The Amityville Horror Review

Disclaimer: This review is of the edited TV 14 version of the film. All thoughts written below should be addressed accordingly as a review of the unedited version would likely be even more negative.
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The Amityville Horror is a film that you could probably judge from the title and know what to expect. I came into the film with reasonably low expectations and it still managed to crash way below them. This title is filled with red herrings and uninteresting characters to distract you from the fact that not much really happens in this film. If you haven’t seen it, now’s your chance to quickly back away to spare yourself some time.

The plot involves George and Kathy as they decide to move to a new house. They are pretty strapped for cash, but they really want a new house. Unfortunately, that’s just how it is in the modern world. The house is really beat up and the previous occupants were participants in a gruesome act, but the new owners don’t mind. They quickly pay up and the real estate agent was probably thrilled that someone finally fell for her tricks. The heroes settle in with their 3 kids and things seem to be going smoothly. Then, mysterious things start to happen and the heroes realize that the house may be tougher than it looks.

Well, there are many placed to start with this film. Let’s talk about the characters first. George is a pretty terrible lead and his “strength of character” is nonexistent. All it takes is an artificial chill that the spirit produces to start corrupting him. He loses his temper constantly and yells at the dog just to provide him with some amount of “toughness” for his character. It really just makes him look petty and even worse. I wasn’t rooting for him almost from the second that he appeared. He is distracted by romance, but not enough so that he can resist the influence of the dark spirits. Feeling cold isn’t fun, but his mind deteriorates way too quickly through this feeling. He continues to crack as the film goes on. He gets a heroic scene towards the end to try and redeem his character, but that was basically impossible by that point. It helps his character to be sure, but it’s simply too late for him.

Kathy is the main heroine and she doesn’t really look much better. SHe keeps on telling George that they shouldn’t get the house, but then she relents and they move in. From then on, she basically just has to watch as George goes crazy and she can’t really do anything about it. In the climax, she decides to fight, but it’s one of the worst attempts of all time. She gives up after a few seconds and she really showed no combat experience. That’s all right, but anyone can throw a punch and I would expect a much better fight out of someone who’s fighting for several lives. That was pretty poor form and she never became likable as the film went on.

The film plays out as a reverse slasher in the sense that the spirit picks off everyone one by one, but it doesn’t typically finish them off. It just gives them a scare so they will leave the house. Failure to comply with it will result in a car crash or permanent paralysis. Sometimes both. It’s a unique approach I suppose, but you do have to wonder what the point of it all is. The spirit gets some character development towards the end, but it’s very slight.

The film also really wanted to push the “Even God can’t save you now” angle. I suppose that it can be seen as the ultimate scare since you would really be doomed. Ignoring that this scenario would never even be possible, it just goes very far to show this. The heroes put up a mini statue of the cross and the spirit makes sure to burn it. Later on, the Father at one of the churches comes over to bless the house and the spirit overwhelms him with a powerful curse. We see him try to leave a Bible, but the spirit forces him to pick it back up and run away. Later on, he tries to go back, but the spirit just takes out his car and essentially ends his life since he’s almost brain dead at this point. Most Hollywood/mainstream films like to point out that demons and spirits can be alive while the same isn’t true for Angels and God. It’s a film so they can always mess with the rules that way, but it makes the whole thing pretty lopsided. The film is also trying to claim that it’s from a true story although I suppose that we all knew better about 15 minutes into the film. Demons are real so some horror stories are probably real, but this is one of the tales that was probably just made up for a quick buck and their 5 minutes of fame.

Another negative would be the George getting corrupted part. It’s so overdone and it’s one of the worst horror plots. Give us a supernatural enemy who can’t be stopped (Which is bad enough) but let’s at least give the main characters some determination and a will to fight back. Seeing him turn on everyone is just not enjoyable and it’s an easy way out of using special effects or good writing. The hit towards the end was basically the cliff that the film went over since he was no longer redeemable although he may have already passed that part earlier.

The film is not the most violent horror film that you’ll encounter. There are only a handful of scenes, but one of them is particularly brutal as one of the main characters has a dream. It’s enough that you could instantly guess that this film was a little stronger than your average summer blockbuster and it didn’t do any wonders for the film. Violence against noncombatants always ends up appearing as a negative compared to fighting violence. See, a fighter getting injured is way different than a pedestrian getting hit since they are prepared for two vastly different roles.

The kids are also pretty bad characters. The girl has an imaginary friend once again who turns out to be the spirit of the house. It explains that it wants them to stay in the house forever so that’s basically why it wants George to destroy them all. Or, so it would seem. The spirit is evidently strong enough to destroy them all on his own, but I guess it wants things to end up just like how they did last time. It mostly seems to have power over the mind, but its abilities have a real impact on the human world so it’s not just simple telepathy. Most likely it has advanced reality warping abilities since that’s a favorite for most horror writers. You don’t have to do any work, just make it able to do literally anything and you can call it a day.

I’d say that the film is actually more grotesque than scary. The film came out decades ago so you can mostly anticipate everything that it’s going to do, which is why it can be tough to be scared. The grotesque part goes back to the flies, which were some of the worst scenes in the film. One thing that I’ve never liked are insect scares since it’s just about insects crawling all over somebody so you can imagine the worst. It was a painfully bad scene as they attack the Father and force him out of the house. The guy takes his time leaving even though an ordinary person would have dashed out. The spirit continues to torment the guy with boils and such since the guy keeps trying to warn the heroes of the imminent danger.

The other scary scene would likely be when the babysitter is trapped in the closet. You’re supposed to be extra worried for her since she already has braces so everything is a little tougher for her. It’s really more unpleasant and sad to watch than it is scary and the lights turn off, but we already know that the spirit refuses to destroy anyone. It just wants to scare them over and over again until George cracks and does the work for him. The Babysitter literally had no point in the story. She was just there to get taken down.

The heroes have a dog and he’s probably the only positive thing that I can say about the whole experience. There is a little dog violence unfortunately as he scratches at a wall so hard that his paws bleed. Luckily, the film redeemed itself by saving the dog at the end so he wouldn’t have to bring the film down even more. It’s a shame that the other characters wanted to leave him (Kathy did anyway) but I would expect no less from her. George went back, which was good since it shows that he could have been a good character if not for the mind control.

The soundtrack was better than your average horror film so I guess that’s another positive. Considering when it came out, it’s surprisingly fast paced at times and it’s decently memorable. A horror film having a soundtrack in the first place is pretty surprising and it being a good one even more so. If only we had some good scenes to go along with it.

The spirit’s true form is only shown twice, but he seems like a decently tough demon. He’s pretty large, but he can probably shape shift at will so he will likely look different each time. He would have been a little cooler if he had fought some more, but the budget probably wasn’t there yet unless they used a suit like in the old Godzilla films. That would have been pretty interesting.

Some plot lines never really get time to develop either since the film didn’t know where it was going. We have the Detective who tries to act tough and sneaks around for clues, but he never ends up doing anything. He just abruptly disappears and ends up playing no role in the story. He was just there for filler, nothing more. Another woman is possessed by the spirits and tells them that the well is a gateway to Hell. Okay…I think we could have guessed that when we saw the endless tar coming out of it. What does that have to do with anything? The heroes never decide to close the well and the info didn’t help anyone out. I’m guessing that the original climax would have had the heroes plug it up, but maybe it was written out due to time constraints and a rapidly falling budget.

Overall, The Amityville Horror is not a film that you’ll want to check out anytime soon. The monster design is pretty good and the soundtrack is good as well, but everything else about the film really hit rock bottom. There was only 1 or 2 jump scenes and neither of them worked since we weren’t watching the film in super 3D in the dead of night with speakers that make you shiver with loud noises. The gross scenes will just make you back up a little and George’s plot is extremely wince worthy. The film also gives the Father way too cruel of a fate just so it could make a point that wouldn’t help the film anyway. Burning the cross and effectively destroying the Father…we get the point. (We also can’t forget making the Nun so sick that she has to end up leaving the house almost immediately) It’s hard to tell which negatives pushed my buttons the most to deserve a 1 since there were so many of them and they just kept adding up and up and up. Ah well, at least it was a pretty easy decision. I had the rating set before the film had even ended. While you’re steering clear of this film, just play a scary game like Dirge of Cerberus or take the opposite effect and take this time to rent Megaman Battle Network 5. Either way, you’ll be better off as this film goes into Sucker Punch levels of terrible. If you do watch the film, you should try to make a list of plots and characters that ended up not adding anything to the film.

Overall 1/10

The Fog Review

Disclaimer This review is of the edited TV 14 version of the film. All thoughts written below only pertain to this version as the uncut review would likely be lower.
fog-1980
It’s time for a Halloween horror film! The Fog presents us with a film that follows the classic formula. The characters are slowly offed as the film progresses and you have to try and figure out how many characters will really survive the experience. It’s a formula that always churns out a low score, but it remains entertaining while watching it. In that sense, you could consider The Fog a success for its genre…but that may be a stretch.

The plot involves a nice little town that is about to celebrate its 100 year anniversary. They are dedicating it to their founders who made such a great voyage back in the days. Stevie has her own radio station as she plays some tunes to celebrate and the world seems to be at peace. Unfortunately, a mist…I mean a fog is rolling into town. The Weatherman doesn’t think that it’s anything to worry about, but a few fisherman disappear at sea. One of the bodies is found, but it looks like he died years ago. Mr. Malone also finds out a startling truth about the founders. Will The Fog consume the entire town…or will it engulf the planet!? Only time will tell.

As I said earlier, the film plays out rather predictably. We see a few poor travelers who are drunk (of course) and they notice the fog. Unfortunately, they were not ready to take on these supernatural forces and are quickly dealt with. A third member doesn’t notice that the other two have been defeated and he doesn’t put up much of a fight since he barely notices when he bites the big one. After that we get a “peaceful” break for a good 20-30 minutes. Then, the fog strikes back, but this time it’s hear to stay. These guys don’t plan on leaving until they fulfill their objective.

Mr. Malone found the book from the dead people so he should have known what they wanted, but he couldn’t bring himself to keep on reading after he heard about the tragedies. This was a job for the main character and it was a tense moment since he would have to dash a few feet to the couch to grab the book and the fog was approaching. Luckily, he only took his time to contemplate briefly as he was able to make it back. This is a true main character right? Well…..I suppose that he helped out in the end.

Mr. Malone isn’t really one of the main characters, but the casualties really begin to rise because of him. If he had given the villains what they wanted in the first place..maybe they would have left. Okay, they still weren’t going to leave without destroying 7 people, but maybe he could have bought the heroes some time. Hiding in the basement until the climax is not the way to become a likable character.

Stevie is the main character although she doesn’t see a lot of action. She’s always ready with a message to broadcast, but she sounds so dead over the radio. I definitely wouldn’t be tuning into that station at night! (Something a little more lively would be my preference) The stakes get real when her son gets involved in the crisis, but Stevie just doesn’t do much. She’s really a bystander in this whole occurrence and her brief fight against the two undead guys may have been good for her, but I would just call it plot hax.

Nick Castle is one of the main leads and he gets more chase scenes to himself. He was just driving down the road one day when he saw a hitchhiker. He let her in and it turns out that she is just heading in the direction that he is. They drive and we learn that Elizabeth doesn’t have any more morals than Nick so they devolve into the fake romance tropes. I say fake because that’s how it seems given how quickly they moved past the friend zone. Not cool! Nick’s big moment is where he saves a kid or when he goes for the book. That’s good for him I suppose, but I can’t say that I ever found him to be likable.

Elizabeth is the hitchhiker and she’s no better than Nick. She didn’t notice when one of the guys got up from a stretcher even though that would definitely make some sound and she didn’t help a whole lot in the climax. She’s definitely another character who didn’t really stand out in the end and ended up being a negative aspect for the film. (Let’s face it, most of the characters will fall in this pile!)

What about Joey? There’s no Joey to be found, but we do have Blake. Blake is the main villain of the film and he’s the leader of “The Fog.” The Fog is created to mask the locations of his army and they all attack when he gives the go ahead. I don’t think that they are bullet proof and they don’t seem very quick. They may have some slight super strength, but it’s definitely not a huge amount since they can barely break a door down. Blake’s design isn’t bad although it’s not quite as memorable as your average horror villain. The film doesn’t try to make you sympathize with his goal, which is always a plus since I wouldn’t have bought into it anyway. As a villain, Blake really isn’t bad. I forgot how awful he may have been during his sob story, but as an undead he had his villain morals. He only went for the destruction of his opponent and he didn’t beat around the bush. He easily beats the average horror villain.

One of the reasons why this kind of horror film never ends up getting a positive score is that everyone dying just lacks the replay value appeal. Even for the initial watch, you’re kind of hoping that the heroes can start to fight back, but it never happens. I think the film also went a little too far when the nice old lady is taken out by the villains. Did that really have to happen!? The film just should have made the baby sitter a beefy 30 year old who talks a good game. It would have been more fun. Another victim is the Weatherman, but he makes the same mistake as the old lady. Both of them open the door and then give the outside world their back. It’s not very wise to do such a thing when you’re on such a shady island during a fog storm.

The violence isn’t terrible considering the hooks that the villains use. We do see a body that is a little graphic and we can see the villains stabbing the heroes. We just usually do not see the damage that the stabs are doing, which is good even if we can still hear everything. Aside from that aspect, another negative would be the romance moment that has nothing to do with anything. It’s a classic horror trope that someone has to make out at least once before a jump scene, but it’s a trope that should really just fade away at this point.

It should be noted that we do get a twist ending. Let’s face it, you never want to have a horror film that doesn’t have a twist right? Well, let’s just say that Blake wanted to have the last laugh and boy was he going to get it! You almost feel bad for his victim, but the victim was being a little too inquisitive. “Why didn’t Blake destroy me when he had the chance!?” is basically his last line. Way to tempt the villain sir……

Overall, There were a few other characters to be found in this film, but there’s not a whole lot to say about them. We had the “tough” sidekick to the lady giving the speech, but they were both just around to show the audience (us) how to react to certain plot twists. The character cast was pretty weak and this is really just your average horror film where everyone dies until they figure out how to avenge the wrongs that their ancestors did. Nothing happens for a while in the film so you begin to wonder when the villains are going to strike. As you’re waiting, the film isn’t getting any better. There’s nothing special here and it really isn’t a fun film. If you want to watch a scary film that also has heart..check out the Subspace Emissary cutscenes from Super Smash Bros Brawl. That’s sure to send a shiver down your spine!

Overall 3/10