Movie Recommendation of the Week #9

The premise of Point Blank isn’t anything terribly original. A man’s wife gets kidnapped and now he’s trying to get her back. While the film isn’t wholly inventive, it is executed well.

Be aware that this is more of a soft recommendation than usual. Point blank isn’t great or even very memorable, but it is an entertaining french action thriller, that most people probably haven’t seen.

This is not something that you need to go out of your way to watch. It is currently on Netflix, or if you happen across it, then give it a watch. Point Blank is a harmless entertaining movie, and sometimes that’s all you want.

Movie Recommendation of the Week #6

assault on precinct 13 poster

assault on precinct 13 poster

Assault on Precinct 13

For some reason a lot of people seem to think that Halloween was John Carpenter’s first movie. It was actually his 3rd feature length film and it wasn’t even his first great film.

Assault on Precinct 13 was John Carpenter’s 2nd feature film and it came out in 1976, two years before Halloween in 1978.

The movie’s title is actually a big misconception. The assault doesn’t take place on Precinct 13, nor is there a Precinct 13 anywhere in the movie. The precinct in the movie is actually Precinct 9, District 13. John Carpenter’s original title was “The Anderson Alamo”, he later changed it to “The Siege”, but the movie distributors changed the title when they released it to “Assault on Precinct 13”, because they thought it sounded cool, and they were just not bothered to check their details.

Reasons to watch:

John Carpenter is in great form – Even though this isn’t a horror movie, it has Carpenter’s signature dark and foreboding style. It’s an action thriller (idealized as a western) that has a horror like atmosphere that works surprisingly well.

Great action – While there may not be a ton of action, what is there is great. The effects are fantastic. This is back in the 70’s so we have all the glorious assaultsquibs that sadly aren’t as prevalent in more modern films. The action is well shot, well performed, and is very intense.

Good characters – The acting is very good and the characters are very well rounded. The character development is done surprisingly well.

It seems like the kind of movie where you wouldn’t care about the characters, but John Carpenter did a great job as writer/director making the characters napoleon wilsonlikable and relate-able. They are believable in the situation and the good guys are fun to root for.

One character in particular is just so damn cool. Partially because of the excellent writing and partially because of the fantastic performance given by Darwin Joston. That character is Napoleon Wilson. This character is so Goddamn cool, he has to be on a list of coolest movie characters, but I feel he often goes overlooked.

It’s an overlooked classic – Assault on Precinct 13 is one of John Carpenter’s best films and it really is a classic.

Lasting aftertaste of Prohibition in books

Boardwalk Empire

By Amy Lyn

“Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City”, by Nelson Johnson
“Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City”, by Nelson Johnson

In January 1920 the 18th Amendment, which banned the manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors ushered in the Prohibition era. Despite very early signs of success, prohibition was difficult to enforce. People who wanted to keep drinking found even more inventive and potentially dangerous ways to do it.

Individuals made “moonshine” or “bathtub gin” at their houses, illegal nightclubs selling alcohol known as “speakeasies” were plentiful and supplied by the rise of criminal activity associated with bootlegging.

These illegal operations fueled an increase in gang violence, and the rise of the most notorious gangster in American History, Al Capone who ran Chicago’s largest bootlegging, gambling and prostitution syndicate.

It took 13 years before the law was repealed by the 21st Amendment ending prohibition on December 5,1933. The age of Prohibition changed the face of fashion, music and the criminal underground. It was an era of over indulgence that left behind a fascination and hunger for fact and fiction on an era that is immortalized in books with thrilling stories of an age not soon forgotten.

Here are some books based on the Prohibition era that you should check out.

“Vixen” (Flappers #1), by Jillian Larkin
“Vixen” (Flappers #1), by Jillian Larkin
“Water for Elephants”, by Sara Gruen
“Water for Elephants”, by Sara Gruen
“The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York”, by Deborah Blum
“The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York”, by Deborah Blum
“The Untouchables”, by Eliot Ness, Oscar Fraley
“The Untouchables”, by Eliot Ness, Oscar Fraley
"Live by Night” (Coughlin #2), by Dennis Lehane
“Live by Night” (Coughlin #2), by Dennis Lehane
“Once Upon a Time in America” (BFI Modern Classics / BFI Film Classics), by Adrian Martin
“Once Upon a Time in America” (BFI Modern Classics / BFI Film Classics), by Adrian Martin
“Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition”, by Daniel Okrent
“Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition”, by Daniel Okrent
“The Great Gatsby”, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“The Great Gatsby”, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Black Duck”, by Janet Taylor Lisle
“Black Duck”, by Janet Taylor Lisle
“Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition”, by Karen Blumenthal
“Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition”, by Karen Blumenthal

Macabre Month of Horror 2013 movie review #26 – The Butterfly Effect (2004)

posterThe Butterfly Effect is a landmark film. It marks Ashton Kutchers only good performance outside of That 70’s Show. Ashton is not usually a very god actor, but he does a great job here. Some people are turned off from the movie, thinking that Ashton Kutcher isn’t able to do a dramatic performance, but he does manage a solid performance here.

The concept and story of the Butterfly Effect is very complicated. The difficult script is handled intelligently and the story is incredibly strong. There are a few little plot-holes but they are completely forgivable. Mostly just simple things that the character could have done differently. Here’s an example SPOILER ALERT in the reality where he is a college fratboy and he has the girl and everything is practically perfect, except for the fact that he kills Tommy which lands him in prison. So there is no reason why after he gets things settled and goes to the reality after the prison that he can’t have another go. In the logic set up by the movie he should be able to go back to that reality and try it again, and this time he just doesn’t kill Tommy. He knows that Tommy is there now, so he could get the police, or restrain himself, or even just walk a different way and everything would be all set and ethan supleehunky dory from then on. Another moment that always annoyed me was when he was in the prison and he makes the marks appear on his hands to convince his cellmate to help him. He makes marks appear in the center of his hands by going back to when he was a  little kid and stabbing his hands on something in the classroom. So there are a couple of problems here, first off I think that if in the middle of a class a kid stabbed himself in the hands something different would happen. The movie is about how little tiny actions can change everything, and I would call impaling your hands a pretty f*cking big action. I think that would change the course of his life and he would end up somewhere different than in the prison, and the big thing is that even if he did still end up in the prison, the marks wouldn’t have just suddenly, in this reality the marks would have been there since he was a child and thus the cellmate wouldn’t see anything different.  END SPOILER. These little things don’t take too much away from the movie. As long as you don’t think about it too much. Time travel movies almost always have little plot holes and inconsistencies so just don’t think too much about it.

The acting it very good overall. Ashton Kutcher actually gives a very good performance and the rest of the cast is great for the most part. Amy Smart does a fine job, but her younger counterpart actually steals the show from her. For a young actress, her performance is great. The character is very dark and tormented but she pulls it off in a nice subtle way. The actress, Irene Gorovaia tier 2ended her career after this film. She did two films before the butterfly effect and none afterwards. She went on to be a dancer so, follow your dreams I guess, if that is what she really wanted to do. The guy who plays Evan at age 13 does a great job as well, unfortunately the same can not be said for the youngest tier of actors. There are 3 ages for most characters. There’s college, high school, and elementary school. The youngest group of actors for the elementary school age is definitely the weakest. The only one that really has a big part at this age is Evan and this actor is terrible. His expressions and line readings are always way off target. He makes light of very dark situation and is very bad. He completely took me out of the movie. Upon doing research for this review I found out that the same kid also played the son in 3:10 to Yuma and he was dreadful in that as well. This guy is a bad actor.young evan

One particularly strange thing i noticed is that in the credits there is an actor credited as playing “Evan at 3” and there is no point in the movie where we see Evan at age, not even in the directors cut. to make matters just a little bit weirder the actor, J. Jackson Kocela, has no picture on IMDB nor does he have any other acting credits. I was unable to find any outside information on the guy other than the Butterfly Effect credit. It’s a strange little mystery.

There is some twisted subject material in this film. The Butterfly Effect deals with some heavy elements. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the most disturbing and messed up moments in the movie. SPOILER Child Pornography/pedophilia, dog burning, a woman and her baby being killed, a little girl being blown up, a man eric stoltzbecoming a quadriplegic, prison rape, child murder, and in the director’s cut there is a fetus committing suicide. Yeah there is a lot of twisted depraved subject matter crammed into this not terribly long movie. It’s only 113 minutes long and with all that scarring material in there you could potentially be traumatized every couple of minutes.

All the messed up material is handled very maturely. The directors understood perfectly that sometimes what is implied is more effective than what is blatantly shown. A perfect example of this is when the mother and child are blown up. There is an explosive in a mailbox and the mother and child are approaching. The situation is intense enough just from that, but it really comes to a head when you see the baby’s hand grasp the edge of the mailbox. They don’t need to show the explosion. We just cut to a shot of the kids reacting as one of the harshest explosions can be heard from off screen resulting in a quick flash. That is good film making.butterfly effect prison

END SPOILER

The Butterfly Effect is a very competent film. The script is fantastic but it is not airtight. There are little inconsistencies, character errors, and plot holes, but most of those can be forgiven. The Butterfly Effect is highly engrossing and a very very god movie. It’s not much of a horror film, more of a thriller, but it is certainly disturbing. The first I watched the movie Eric Stoltz creeped me out. The second time around not so much, but his character is still messed up. The Butterfly Effect is a great film and i highly recommend it.

Macabre Month of Horror 2013 movie review #11’Session 9′ (2001)

session 9

session 9 poster“Session 9” is directed by Brad Anderson, the same guy who made the Machinist. I accidentally happened to watch both these movies in the same night before I knew who Brad Anderson was.

“Session 9” is about a group of asbestos removers who are doing their thing in an insane asylum. The movie was shot in a real insane asylum. I’ve actually been to this place and it’s creepy as hell. It’s a great location to film a movie.

The cinematography is fantastic. They really know how to film this place. The way you see the asylum on screen is pretty much exactly how it is in real life, so the location does most of the work for them. I almost feel as though the location could have been better utilized by a stronger script.session 9

The story is not terribly strong. The characters and performances are unremarkable. The twists near the end of the movie, never really come to fruition, and leave you feeling unfulfilled.

The main problem I have with the film, is that it doesn’t go far enough. It never quite crosses that line into horror territory. The film is presented with a number of opportunities to turn into a horror film, but it plays it too safe, and ends up suffering for it. Session 9 frequently borders on creepy but doesn’t make the plunge.

The ending of the film feels a little bit rushed and sloppy. The twist is not well constructed, and the fallout of it, is unremarkable. The film builds excellent tension, but there’s just no worthwhile payoff. It doesn’t end up amounting to much.session 9 2

The direction and cinematography of Session 9 are very well done. The film can be engrossing, but might leave you wanting more.

CLICK HERE if you want to check it out on DVD. Keep checking back all October long for a new horror review everyday, with this year’s Macabre Month of Horror.

Vacancy (2007) – Macabre Month of Halloween Horror 2013 #4

vacancy poster

MACABRE MONTH OF HORROR #4

vacancy poster

I wasn’t expecting much going into “Vacancy“. I figured it would just be your run of the mill “gorror” film. My interest was officially peaked when I spied a particular line in the description for the movie. “A suspenseful, classic thriller, in the tradition of Alfred Hitchcock“. A horror movie from 2007 emulating Alfred Hitchcock? This I had to see. Would it do the master of suspense justice, or disgrace his name just by associating him?

“Vacancy” draws influence from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho“. Both involve a motel run by a crazy killer who preys on his guests. They really shot for the Hitchcock feel with this movie. There is a cool opening credit sequence that looks and sounds like something out of an old Hitchcock thriller. The pacing and even the tone are similar to Hitchcock films. Vacancy is darker and, visually, is more modern, but it’s a nice little send off to Hitchcock. Other little references, like stuffed birds on the motel desk are a nice touch.

The basic plot of Vacancy is that a married couple’s car brakes down and they have to spend the night at a motel run by a creepy Frank Whaley. They discover that the hotel is used as the set for snuff films, and that they will become part of one.

vacancyThe two leads of the film are Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale. They both do a good job, and the acting overall is above par for a horror film of this stature. The relationship between the two characters is well constructed and realistic, but they do sometimes beat you over the head with their exposition.

Mostly the exposition is cleverly danced around, but sometimes it comes off as heavy handed. A problem with many horror movies is having a protagonist the audience doesn’t care about. If the audience doesn’t care whether the characters live or die, then there is no tension. Often times you end up rooting for the bad guy, how often do you watch one of the “Nightmare on Elm Street” sequels and root for the teens? You don’t. You always root for Freddy, but not in “Vacancy”. You really root for the protagonists. You want to see them get out of this situation.

The brettfilm has some surprisingly good dialogue near the beginning and the actors deliver it well. The motel manager is played by Frank Whaley AKA Brett from “Pulp Fiction“. He looks like Matt Damon’s character from “The Informant!” in this, but he manages to be really creepy. He gives a strong performance. He’s no Anthony Perkins, but he’s still creepy.

The cinematography is really good. Again, above par for a horror film. Shots are framed well and the lighting is great. The film really knows how to use darkness to it’s full potential. The beginning of the movie builds superb tension before hitting you with the scares. They let you get to know the characters, establish the setting, creep you out a little bit, and then it unloads all it has on you. When the creepy stuff first begins to happen it’s at it’s strongest, by the end of the film it’s run it’s course and feels a little dragged out, and doesn’t introduce any new ideas for a while.

The direction is solid. “Vacancy” was directed by Nimrod Antal, who besides having an awesome first name, is more than competent when it comes to building tension. I remember the marketing for this film making it out to be a trashy, gory, unintelligent, generic horror film, when in actuality it’s a well constructed dark thriller. The marketing for this movie was terrible and was probably why the movie didn’t do so well.

“Vacancy” really blew away my expectations, that being said though, there are some problems. The film starts to run out of steam towards the end. “luke wilsonVacancy” falls into quite a few horror cliches seemingly by total accident.

One major drawback of the film is that there are a group of people who attack the main characters, but outside of the Frank Whaley, none of them are very threatening, they just seem like mindless goons and that really takes away from the film. The tension immediately drops when you get a good look at them and realize how non-threatening they are. Luke Wilson probably could’ve just beaten them up, he looks tougher than them, and that’s a big no-no for horror movies.

Something that sets Vacancy apart from other horror films of its class is its capacity to be subtle. Most horror films is recent years feel the need to shove everything in your face, but vacancy understands the unknown and the obscured are often more frightening than what is presented to you.

One of the best shots of the movie is when one of the snuff films is playing on the TV, except Luke Wilson’s head is blocking the TV, so you only see the very edges of the video and you hear the sounds of chaos. That is a brilliant and well chosen shot that is much more effective than it would’ve been to just show the TV. Vacancy also makes use of literary devices that horror films often neglect. There is some excellent foreshadowing in the beginning that is reincorporated later on.

Owen Wilson spent his early career making appearances in bad horror movies, his brother Luke Wilson managed to star in a good one.baddie

They went on to make a Vacancy 2 and in 2010 there was a blatant rip-off of the film called Terror Trap calling itself “a reproduction of Vacancy.” Unfortunately the film stars Michael Madsen who I really wish would get the chance to make good movies again. He is a good actor who just hasn’t had a good role in a while.

Vacancy far surpassed my expectations. It’s no Psycho, but it’s still a damn good movie. Vacancy is currently free on Crackle so definitely check it out and keep checking back all month long for the rest of this year’s MACABRE MONTH OF HORROR.


Click to purchase on Amazon

 

Top 3 movie strangulations

no country for old men strangling

I wanted do a top list that I’m pretty sure has never been done before. This is the top 3 best strangulations  wait that doesn’t sound right. Top 3 coolest- no. Top 3 most memorable and best executed strangulation scenes in films. Quick addendum before we get the list started. We have an honorable mention for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Nurse Ratched gets strangled. You really want to see her die. The movie gets close to killing her off near the end. When Jack Nicholson starts choking the life out of her it is so gratifying. Your rage as audience uses R.P. McMurphy as a catalyst as and explodes onto the screen. Unfortunately he gets pulled off before the job is finished but damn was it satisfying while it lasted. It doesn’t make the list because she didn’t die. Another honorable mention to the creative and intense bike lock strangulation from Breaking Bad, but this is Movie strangulations only, no TV.

god bless america

3. God Bless America- Long Shot

Bobcat Goldthwait’s American Masterpiece features a number of impressive long shots, one of which happens to be a strangulation of a pedophile in a motel room.

no country for old men strangling

2. No Country For Old Men- Setting the Bar

The Coen brothers wanted to front load their violent film, with the most violent scene in the entire film. Javier Bardem’s facial expression really sells the scene, and makes seem all the more brutal.

1. Inglorious Basterds- The Dark Side of Hans Landa

Christoph Waltz and Quentin Tarantino bring the most intense, violent, and memorable strangulation scene (That I can think of in 10 minutes) in film history. Christoph Waltz sells this scene. He turns red and looks like he’s about to pop a blood vessel in his eye. What makes this scene even more effective is that fact that for the rest of the movie leading up to this moment, Landa was not a violent person. At least not with physical actions. He has a very threatening and commanding presence, but he’s always calm and calculative until this moment, and that is what makes this the greatest movie strangulation.

The Number 23 (2007) Macabre month of horror #23

Cover of "The Number 23 (Unrated Infinifi...
Cover via Amazon

The Number 23 is Jim Carrey trying to be serious. I actually think that Jim Carrey does a pretty good job. At least in one of his roles.

 

The plot seems simple. A man becomes obsessed over the number 23. In actuality it’s deeper than that. But honestly, I’d prefer if it wasn’t. The other plot is about the character as some detective, and has this death obsessed girlfriend. I found this part of the movie to be absolutely dreadful. The movie would be much shorter and much more enjoyable if it stayed away from the side story.

 

The main story I found to be … okay. Jim Carrey’s performance was good, but nothing special. He really got over inflated over the role though, he started trying to do all serious film, and damn near killed his career. He’s still trying to recover.

 

The movie prides itself on being a smart mystery with a great plot twist. None of those things are true. It is true that the movie has a plot twist, but I don’t there is anyone who didn’t see it coming. The movie ends with plot holes. I mean a lot of plot holes. I mean a lot of plot holes! There are soooooo many things that don’t add up or make sense. Not because the movie is mysterious, but just because there is a genuine lapse of time in the life of this character, that doesn’t make any sense.

 

The atmosphere and lighting can be very good at points, but can also be terrible. The movie goes overboard on darkness, quite a bit.

 

The character is always finding the number 23 all over the place. Some of the way’s he finds it can be really convoluted and are just plain stupid.

 

The movie is definitely bad, but the movie is often proclaimed as one of the worst ever made. I do not think that is true. It’s not good, but I found it to be entertaining enough. It’s not nearly as bad as a lot of people say but still nothing too good.

 

And now I leave you with 10 instances of ridiculous ways to find “The Number 23

1. At the Bakery

 

  • A house if 5 blocks away from a bakery that charges $6 for 3 muffins.
  • The muffins are bran which has 4 letters
  • The word four itself has 4 letters.
  • 5 + 6 + 3 + 4 + 4 = 22 and all this goes into 1 sentence making 23

 

2. In a name

  • The name Jim Carrey has 9 letters but the J and the C are capitalized so they count as 2 letter each
  • C is the 3rd letter of the alphabet and J is the 10th
  • 9 + 2 + 3 + 10 = 24
  • The movies run time is 1 minute over 100 minutes
  • 24 – 1 = 23.

 

3. In the movie ratings

  • This movie has an 8 on rotten tomatoes
  • It’s rated 6 on imdb that’s 14
  • 14 + 10 – 1 = 23 (I assure you they are really this bad)

 

4. 23 is a number

 

5. In the spelling

  • When you spell out “twenty three” you get 11 letters
  • 23 ends with 3
  • 11 * 3 = 33
  • 23 starts with a 2 in the tens position meaning 20. in the 33 the tens position contains a 3 meaning 30. We change the 3 to a two from 23 and end with 23.

 

6. In a date

  • Jim Carrey was 45 when the movie came out in 2007
  • His first television appearance was at the age of 18 in 1980
  • 45 – 18 = 27
  • The number of years between 1980 and 2007 is 27
  • Jim Carrey has won 40 awards and been nominated for another 67
  • 67 – 40 = 27
  • Maybe they should make a sequel called the number 27 where Jim Carrey just Google’s himself for an hour and a half.

 

7. In simple addition

  • This is number 7 on the list
  • 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 = 28 – 7 = 21
  • There are 2 more numbers before the final one
  • 21 + 2 = 23.

 

8. In movie titles

  • “Friday the 13th” + “se7en” + “9” + “The 6th Day” = “The number 23”

 

9. On my blog

  • This is review #23 for my month of horror reviews
  • Jim Carrey has done 23 interviews, 29 articles and 33 magazines. and 2 biographies
  • There are two 2’s and two 3’s 23.

 

10. Everywhere you look

  • Jim Carrey has 50 titles on his filmography + 8 writing credits + 12 soundtrack credits + 3 producer credits + 1 crew credit + 3  thanks + 47 archive footage credits – 155 self credits = -31
  • The opposite of -31 is 13
  • His height is 6’1 which is 1.87 meters
  • Take away the decimals and you’re left with 6 and 1 which = 7
  • 13 + 7 = 20
  • He is a Capricorn which is associated with the letter E and is directly across on the star chart from Cancer which is associated with the letter W
  • The symbol for Cancer is a 69
  • E and W are two of the four cardinal directions
  • The four cardinal directions are E,W,S,N, which is an anagram for the word news
  • News was invented in 59 B.C.
  • 69 – 59 is 10
  • There are 12 symbols on the star sign chart 12 – 10 = 2
  • This is the last on the list. The last could be thought of as ten or as 1 if you look at it in reverse chronological order. 2 + 1 + 20 = 23

 

 

One Hour Photo (2002) Macabre Month of Horror #12

one hour photo robin williams
Cover of "One Hour Photo (Widescreen Edit...
Cover of One Hour Photo (Widescreen Edition)

‘One Hour Photo’ is a horror/thriller starring Robin Williams. You may think this is really strange casting decision. Robin Williams is mostly known for his comedy roles. A good number of those comedies are also geared towards little kids. But “One Hour Photo” is not one of those films.

The basic plot is that Robin Williams’ character works in the photo development section of a Walmart like conglomerate, and becomes obsessed with a particular family that he develops photos for. I think this is a very interesting concept. This family has developed their photo’s at this place for years. Robin Williams’ character has handled the photo’s of the birth of their children, sports, birthday parties, all noteworthy events. He feels as though he has gone through all of life’s most important experiences with this family. One of the opening lines of the film is a narration saying “People take photos of times they want to remember. You don’t take photos of things you want to forget.” This line is good foreshadowing and gets the viewer interested in the film from the very beginning.

He continuously tries to get closer to the family, but the family does not share the same desire. He isn’t obsessed in the common movie sense. He doesn’t want to kill them, or do anything sexual, he just wants to be part of their family. He doesn’t even want to take the role of one of the existing family members, he thinks of himself as an uncle.

So how does Robin Williams do in a horror role? Fan-freaking-tastic! His performance is amazing. The screenplay, directing, cinematography; all very good, but they could suck, and his performance would carry the movie. Robin Williams really is a great actor. The man doesn’t get the credit he deserves sometimes. He play’s this role very subtly and makes it work perfectly. He has this perfectly creepy smile. All of his emotions come off as very real.

There is a line where Robin Williams says that he broke his collar bone falling out of a tree. I’m not sure if this was the intention or not, but I get the impression that he was probably watching someone from a tree and fell.

There are a lot of long shot’s with no dialogue and pulsating tension music. These shots work really well especially in the sets designed for this movie. Most of the set’s are very bright and immaculate. Almost sterile looking. Lot’s of stark blank white walls. All this adds to the creep factor. The soundtrack is great. All droning pulsating themes, that continue to amplify.

In a particularly creepy scene; he goes into the family’s house, and doesn’t do anything. He just lives there for a few hours. He eats their food, watches their TV, even wears their clothes. He almost seems like an obsessive fan. They could have easily made the movie about a fan of some movie star who stalks them, but instead it is just a normal family that this man has grown a strong attachment to.

For a movie about photo development there are an awful lot of bad shots. There are quite a few shots where the lighting is all off, and the picture is browned out and hard to see.

The movie isn’t very horrifying, it’s creepy though. Nobody dies, and there isn’t really any blood, except for one dream sequence, which is great. The horror comes from how realistic the situation is, and how easily possible it is for something like this to happen.

Near the end of the movie he starts to do more extreme things.  I actually feel like this took away a little bit of the creepiness, but the progression was well paced, so it still works. Very close to the end of the movie, Robin Williams makes this face, which I swear is one of the creepiest faces I’ve ever seen. You really believe that this guy is insane.

“One Hour Photo” is very underrated. I highly recommend checking it out. It’s worth it just to see Robin William’s go crazy, in a different way than usual.

Psycho (1998) Macabre month of horror #10


The Psycho remake is one of the worst remakes of all time, and that’s really saying something.

A remake of psycho was completely unnecessary. The original is a timeless classic. It has had an audio upgrade, a picture upgrade, it has even been colorized. So why was a remake made? Money? Or maybe just to piss off fans.

Not only does the psycho remake lack all of the suspense and mystery of the original, but it also has the worst casting decisions ever. I’m not talking about one miscast person, the entire cast is dreadful. There are some good actors in the film, like Robert Forster, and James Remar, but they are just horrible in the movie.

Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates made my head explode
Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates made my head explode

But nothing can forgive perhaps the single worst casting decision of all time; Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates.

Who the hell thought this was a good idea?! Norman Bates is such a complicated character and Vince Vaughn can barely pull off the one character he plays in everything. I would say that this ruined the movie, but it was already ruined before he even shows up. He’s just the final nail in the coffin.

There is absolutely  no reason to watch this movie. It’s a shot for shot remake which makes it even more pointless. You would think with better technology the effects would be improved, but they are worse as well. This is not one of those “so bad it’s good” movies that you can laugh at.  This is a “burn before viewing” type of movie that should never have been made.