Here’s a pretty neat little modern throwback horror movie I took a chance on recently that turned out be quite a bit of fun. ‘Book of Monsters‘ is a low budget British creature feature that clearly makes it’s best attempt to harken back to the gory glory days of 80’s horror flicks like ‘Evil Dead 2’ & ‘Night of the Creeps’. It takes place on the main character, Sophie’s 18th birthday, when she reluctantly decides to throw a birthday party at her house. Her and her two friends are hardly the cool kids in school and aren’t even sure anyone will actually show up. To their surprise the birthday bash attracts a whole crew of unruly teens and even a few of the school bullies. Well it doesn’t take long before some weird supernatural shit goes down due to meddling with a necronomicon type of book. A full on bloodbath occurs when some creatures emerge from another dimension, invade her house and begin to slaughter the rowdy party guests. Sophie and her pals must band together to fend off the attack and protect their classmates from monster carnage.
It’s a simple story to follow and with a short run time of 84 minutes it’s a perfect party movie (literally) to watch on a Saturday nite with a gang of old school horror fans. One of it’s strongest parts is the protagonist Sophie, who’s a totally likable heroine who struggles with self esteem, teenage sexuality and the strange events of her past which tie into the supernatural events that occur. She’s also one of the only gay horror hero’s I can really recall seeing and they present this aspect of her character in a way that doesn’t feel fully forced into the narrative. Sure we got some bigoted bullies and typical teen jerks but those were always prevalent in the 80’s teen horror movies that likely inspired this one.
Now onto the horror aspect of things, though I liked the movie, I’ve got to admit I’m a bit tired of the ‘evil book/necronomicon’ angle of things, it feels pretty played out and I kind of wish they’d have used a different reasoning for the summoning of the monsters. Hardly a complaint really as once things get going here it’s pretty fun & action packed. The monster & gore effects are pretty ambitious for the most part. For the budget they had to work with they deliver a fair share of cool practical fx work avoiding for the most part cgi entirely (if my memory serves me correctly). The monster designs are pretty good too, one looks a bit like it was ripped out of M. Knight Shyamalan’s the village, one’s like a standard slasher dude and the other is kind of like a “Natasha Henstridge” Species/cenobite type-o creature. They all do a decent amount of gory, goopy damage too & it’s all executed in a fairly cartoonish way so it could easily be digested by the light weight horror fans. Oh yeah some evil garden gnomes are thrown in as well, that with a little more budget could have been far more crowd pleasing- but still an “A” for effort. There’s lots of chainsaws and general ass kicking done by the three female leads and even though most Hollywood blockbusters are trying to currently shoehorn girl power into movies ‘Book of Monsters’ does it in a tasteful way that doesn’t feel like it’s blatantly pushing some agenda for brownie points.
If ‘Book of Monsters‘ had been released in 1987 it’d have been a bonafide cult classic, it’s a nice switch from all the shoddy CGI & digital blood of modern horror movies. It leaves the door open for a sequel and I think if it gets one with more cash behind it, there’s a possibility the second installment could very well end up as a modern day cult classic. For the meantime though I think the best crowd for ‘Book of Monsters’ are those who miss the glory days of 1980’s schlock, goofy gore & teen horror flicks!
I finally checked out Stitches which I’ve been waiting some time to see as it finally arrived on Netflix watch instantly. If you’re a fan of old horror icons like Freddy Krueger or Leprechaun then this movie will NOT disappoint! This cool little Irish horror comedy has got a pretty awesome little plot, based on a bit of a cliche. Clown goes to kids party, mean kids ridicule clown, clown dies by way of something one of the kids does.
Well though that seemed a little like previously trodded horror plot, the movie goes deeper into the evil clown mythos. It turns out that in this movie clowns get together in creepy dungeon like places and practice supernatural rituals. Which is one of the reason “Stitches” the clown comes back toget his revenge on this group of kids that are nowa bunch of jerk-off teenagers!
The vibe of the flick kinda gave me that Freddy feel, as Stitches is a full on wise cracker and comes up with the most inventive ways to get his revenge on with these kids. You’ll see him use a bunch of supernatural clown gadgets and you’ll see some pretty impressive special fx here as well. The movie is also pretty damn funny, picture if the kids in American Pie were hunted by a crazed undead clown at one of their wild ass parties-that’s pretty much how this one plays out. I was pretty surprised at how much I enjoyed this one. It’s got a nice simple premise and it’s a perfect party flick, beer, weed and cocktails are a must for viewing! Check it on Watch Instantly on Netflix! I’m hoping for a sequel!
Hey check out this cool new trailer for Attack the Block! It looks like a lot of fun and hey it’s got Nick Frost in it and is from the producers of Shaun of the Dead & Scott Pilgrim! Here’s the Synopsis and the brand new trailer!! check it out…
“Attack The Block is a fast, funny, frightening action adventure movie that pits a teen gang against an invasion of savage alien monsters. It turns a housing estate into a SCI-FI PLAYGROUND. A tower block into a fortress under siege. And weapon wielding teenage thugs into heroes. Think ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 only with monsters and a tower block. Or LA HAINE crossed with ALIENS. It’s inner city versus outer space.”
I heard about this film a while back, but typical of me, I did not do my due diligence and follow up…well now Colin, a new British zombie flick is gaining some critical mass. The most shocking thing is that this movie was made for only $70 or more appropriately, about 42 pounds and 50 pence (based on current exchange rates)!