Last night I had the pleasure of seeing a fantastic lost haunted house 80’s gem from Japan called ‘Sweet Home’! I only heard great things about this one recently online while looking for obscure horror movies and just had to check it out for myself. It was never released here in the USA but luckily there’s a great site called Twisted Anger that has some excellent lost cinema you can purchase if you’re not thrilled about watching movies on Youtube (it however is indeed on Youtube).
Sweet Home has some real sweet things going for it, right from the start of the movie it’s clear some love went into the production of this one. It’s beautifully shot and filled with some stunning locations and sets peices. Writer & director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who’s probably most well known for his 2001 horror film ‘Pulse’ does a great job here letting his spooky tale unfold on screen with tons of color and a great score to accompany it as well. We follow a TV production crew who’re making a documentary about the legendary, now deceased painter, Mamiya Ichiro. They trek out into the foggy countryside to his creepy abandoned mansion and begin exploring, discovering his strange paintings about the house. Soon they begin filming & are confronted by a deadly presence that intends to possess and destroy all who remain inside.
It’s a simplistic story that takes some nice twists and turns along the way and is filled with some colorful characters as well as some nice comedic moments thrown in for good measure. The real star of the show however is clearly the movies excellent special fx work from American master of trade Dick Smith. Smith’s got an impressive resume too as he’s well known for his work on movies like The Exorcist, Poltergeist 2, Scanners, Altered States, Taxi Driver, to name a few. The movie starts off with a quiet tone however when weird shit begins to go down Smith’s stunning fx work really pushes the movie into new territory and is a true glory to behold. The quiet little ghost story by the finale explodes into an action packed visual feast with one of the best onscreen ghostly monsters of the 1980’s. Creepy babies, melting men, monsters & with tons of that 80’s electricity I adore so much, it really contains some “why the fuck have I never seen this before” moments that if you’re a fan of that classic decade of horror you’ll truly appreciate and likely never forget.
From what I’ve read about this movie, it’s been said the director wasn’t happy with this or really most of his 80’s work. Like ‘Poltergeist’ where it’s rumored Steven Speilberg was actually the one on set with the megaphone rather than Tobe Hooper, Sweet Home’s producer was also rumored to be quite an imposing force to director Kurosawa’s final vision. Still the movie manages to be one helluva good time despite any behind the scenes squabbling and is must see for any fans of ghostly 80’s horror done right. The movie also spawned a rather hard to find Nintendo NES Capcom video game as well as being the main inspiration of ‘Resident Evil’. I recommend seeking this odd little lost treasure of flick out this halloween, the fx alone are worth the price of admission!
You ever have those movies that sit in your Netflix dvd Queue forever and then after years FINALLY arrive?! First off yeah I still got a dvd account with Netflix, the selection is totally way better and I also have the streaming too-so there. Anyway, get over it people, my point is I’ve got like 200 movies in that damn thing and most of em’ I probably will never get the time to check out. Surprisingly a movie snuck it’s way into the mix, ahh yes….’Superstition’ from 1982. I was pretty happy when it came in the mail, I’m always down for a good 80’s flick but I’ve been under the assumption these days that if I haven’t heard about a movie by now then it probably isn’t anything to write home about. Yep, I watch way too many movies, a lot of clunkers but every now and again I see something pretty damn cool that takes me by surprise.
‘Superstition’ (AKA “The Witch”) is one of those movies, from the opening scene it’s clear that you’re in for a bit of a treat. It’s essentially a haunted house movie, with some creepy witch business cleverly thrown in. The opening sequence has a some numb nut teenagers making out near a creepy old house in the woods, their sexy times get cut short by some meddling pranksters who give them a scare with some creepy props they’ve fastened in the trees above. After the two lovebirds flee for safety of course the pranksters can’t resist going into the house to fuck around. What follows are some impressive over the top gory kills, one of them gets thrown up into the ceiling, then winds up decapitated with his head in a microwave oven & eventually we get to see it explode. The other kid witnesses this and ends up being severed in half by a closing window. This opening sets the stage for a pretty entertaining little horror story. We have a bunch of religious nonsense as our main character is a priest who decides to fix up the property which belongs to the church readying it for a family to move into. Weird shit goes down almost instantly but you guessed it, the show goes on with little worry from anyone!
This one is definitely worth a watch, it’s only about 80 minutes long too, which I love, because one thing I’ve been noticing is there are a lot of movies from the 1980’s that would be fucking fantastic if you just cut 20 minutes out of their run time. Superstition succeeds in bringing some cool ass scenarios to life while trimming all the usual boring 80’s B.S. plots that go nowhere out of the mix. It’s a lean mean super solid retro haunted house movie, with some cool old school 17th century possessed witch flashbacks neatly inserted to give you the scoop on just what the hells going on. It’s got a ton of ridiculous characters in the frenzy of things as well with some comedic moments sprinkled in for good measure. I also think it’s got a pretty rock solid finale where the priest runs around with a magic cross he uses to ward off evil and blast open doors. Anyway I could go on but hey if you’re looking for a good gory 80’s haunted house movie look no further Superstition has got the goods!
Housebound has got to be one of my favorite movies of 2014, easily one of the best “horror” comedies I’ve seen in quite some time! This splendid little flick from New Zealand is filled with a ton of mystery, some great scares, creepy cool atmosphere and a lot of laughs. This one kinda plays out like a twisted Scooby Doo adventure. It’s a simple premise here, our troubled heroine Kylie gets caught trying to rob an ATM and is soon sentenced to home detention back to the house she grew up with her mother. And what a large creepy house it is!
It doesn’t take long before things get weird as Kylie one evening insists on using the phone, while her chatty mother tells her she’s taking an important phone call. Leading to one of my favorite moments in the movie, as Kylie heads of flustered into her bedroom she turns on the radio to a station that’s got a “Coast to Coast” style paranormal program in progress. She notices they’re taking a live phone call from a woman who sounds oddly just like her mother, claiming that the house she lives in is haunted.
From here the story gets incredibly interesting taking twists and turns galore and to give away anymore of the plot would be a crime! Housebound is a nonstop thrill ride and will have you guessing right up to the very end. It’s a crazy little adventure, with real heart at it’s core. That’s not to say it’s devoid of scares or even gore, this one has it all tightly wrapped into one helluva humorous yet creepy package. The house where much of it takes place is pretty awesome as well, filled with more than enough odd rooms, long hallways, creaking doors and mysterious closets and cabinets! It’s also got a great sequence with a Teddy Ruxpin type talking bear that’s pretty damn incredible as well as the most genius use of a cheese grater you’re likely to ever see. So I highly recommend checking this one out if you’re looking for a great Saturday night popcorn flick! A ton of fun & one of the best flicks I’ve seen all year…
Last night was an epic evening at the theater! You know the kind of experience where afterwards you feel like you hung out at an amusement park for and hour and a half? Yeah it was that fun and worth every penny spent. I have to say I had pretty low expectations for James Wan’s newest flick “Insidious”. I was not a fan of the Saw franchise, I thought Dead Silence was anything but scary and Death Sentence was hokey as hell.
So why the hell did I shell out the money for this one? Pure chance..But a chance well taken as I am willing to bet this one is going to be my favorite horror movie of 2011. Continue reading