Tagged: james wan
M. Night Shyamalan Doesn’t ‘KNOCK AT THE CABIN’ Hard Enough!
Oh M. Night Shyamalan I always return to you! Yes he really got a hold on me ever since the ‘Sixth Sense’ and never really let go. I’m always willing to give Shyamalan the benefit of the doubt on whatever he decides to get behind. I can still remember the very first time I saw the Sixth Sense in the theater and was completely blown away. Then he brought us my favorite of his films, ‘Unbreakable’. M. Night stayed pretty consistent in my opinion all the way up until ‘The Happening’. Yes, I really do like ‘Lady in the Water’! DEAL with IT!
He had a few misses there but came back STRONG in 2015 with ‘The Visit’, then ‘Split’ and ‘Glass’ (which I loved) but then imo quickly returned right back to poor form with ‘Old’. Now hes back with ‘Knock at the Cabin’ which sadly is yet another big miss for Mr. Night. Of course, to his credit, all of his films are beautifully shot and well acted but that alone just don’t cut the mustard for his latest endeavor!
Probably the best thing about this movie is the group of strong protagonists, a gay couple and their adopted daughter who’re renting a cabin in the woods. This trio had so much potential to shine, as they’re all really well acted, likable characters that I was hoping would be in a far more compelling horror thriller. Unfortunately I’m sad to say, if you’ve seen Knock at the Cabin’s trailer you’ve basically seen the entire damn movie. Yeah, there’s not much to be said, as it’s sort of feels like a “cliff note” version of the film. Whoever made the decision to release it this way made a serious misstep. Nothing much more of real interest actually happens and it’s a pretty standard paint by number plot. That’s not to say that he always needs to incorporate a “twist” into his pictures. In this there was too much revealed and not enough diversion from the trailer. I was really hoping the movie might move in more interesting directions, hoping perhaps the cabin scenario might be just the first third of the film’s plot, as it was a good set up-the movie never took us much of anywhere else relying on a few flashbacks and tv broadcasts to try and fill in the void on the one location premise.
‘Knock at the Cabin’ doesn’t really bring much of anything else to the table of interest and it certainly doesn’t switch paths to any sort of unexpected narrative. Sure there is a thick hazy fog of tension looming throughout it’s run time but M. Night decided to (spoiler) change the ending drastically into something far more tame and much less interesting than the book it was based on. I gotta confess I’ve never read the book but I knew exactly where this movie was going every step of the way, which is not the way you want to experience an M. Night Shyamalan flick.
That seems to be the big problem, M. Night started out with arguably his greatest film of all time and ever since then he really hasn’t been able to live up to the intensity & mystery of The Sixth Sense. Every time I go to the theater to see one of his films I’m hoping that what he’s going to give me will rival his early films. That’s not an easy task for a filmmaker to achieve 24 years after a crowning achievement with one of the best movie twists in cinematic history. Watching his movies can be difficult when you’re yearning for the movie to pull out the big guns in the plot. What I wish for honestly at this point would be for M. Night to just simply direct some high level horror scripts, ones that he DIDN’T write himself. He’s an incredible director but at this point hes just sort of hit the wall idea wise. I’d love for him to take us to a true ‘R Rated’ level of horror, completely take the gloves off and give us something truly terrifying. His first venture into R-Rated horror was truly pathetic with ‘The Happening’. Knock at the Cabin starts off strong with a great small cast but quickly meander into mediocrity. Truth be told I didn’t even realize his latest film was ‘R Rated’, it felt pretty tame and maybe he needed to amp up the horror/red stuff a few notches to make his mark this time? Where does this film stand in the scope of his filmography? Here’s my ranking:
2: The Sixth Sense
4: The Visit
7: The Village
8: Lady in the Water
9: Knock at the Cabin
10: The Happening
11: After Earth
13: The Last Airbender
I’ve never seen Praying with Anger (1992) or Wide Awake (1998) but I have heard they SUCK! What’s YOUR ranking?
‘Evil Dead Rise’ Trailer Feels Like a ‘Conjuring’ Spin-off?!
There’s a lot of hype lately around the return of the “EVIL DEAD” franchise with Evil Dead Rise and personally I’m just not feeling the heat so far. Sure it’s kinda neat to see the classic Necronomicon book again onscreen, but at least in the trailer, that’s about the only thing that’s feeling “Evil Dead” about the whole affair in my opinion.
When I saw the poster, the first thing that came to mind wasn’t the classic franchise, it really looked eerily similar to the 2022 horror film “SMILE’. For a moment I thought it WAS perhaps a SMILE spin-off being announced.
In fact if you took out the Necronomicon from the trailer I’d have honestly thought this film was a James Wan produced spin-off sequel set in his “Conjuring” universe. Or like a sequel to ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ or something. And don’t get me wrong, I like James Wan’s movies but Evil Dead Rises doesn’t do anything at least in the trailer to separate itself from the current horror trends-and why would it? It looks like another Blumhouse film (maybe it is?) and to me seems almost like a pointless franchise reboot that’ll probably be forgotten fast in a sea of 2023 similarly stylized corporate Hollywood horror films. Where’s the flavor of the original films?
I often wonder if Hollywood is even capable of making a movie that looks and feels like something like the original Evil Dead films? Everything looks too slick, I think someone needs to step in and dial things back, legions of fans would truly flip out if they could replicate the real atmosphere of the the originals, this ain’t it. That’s not to say I won’t eat my words, perhaps Evil Dead Rise will be the BEST of all Evil Dead films?
I think fans deserve something different if you’re really going for an honest attempt to revitalize Evil Dead. I’d rather have a movie sequel to ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ Season 3 personally. I’d much rather have a sequel in tone to Evil Dead 2 or Army of Darkness, that feels really like part of the old franchise. It could even be more in tone with the 1981 OG film, set in the 80s with more of a classic look?
Or follow Pablo and Kelly from Ash vs Evil Dead if we really want to steer clear of Ash. I think there’s likely a much better way to transition Evil Dead back onto the big screen and so far this seems like a mis-step.
I’m going to see it and I hope I’m proved wrong but it all just looks and feels too familiar to the modern horror films of the last few years. I like modern horror, but if you’re going to try to bust out a classic franchise again you’ve got to capture what made it so special to begin with…
‘Arachnophobia 2’ With John Goodman? Count me in!
Well here’s a bit of interesting news, it seems that James Wan (Insidious, The Conjuring) is looking bring back everyone’s favorite spooky spider film ‘Arachnophobia’ with a brand new “sequel”. 1990’s family friendly horror flick is one of my favorite, most underrated little Amblin movies. This is great news and Wan’s already eyeing up John Goodman to return in his role of master exterminator Delbert Mclintock to fight another pack of pesky spiders.
If this movie indeed does happen I hope they amp up the spider mayhem ten fold and again incorporate the use of real spiders on set. The main reason why Arachnophobia was so effective was because the real thing is just so much more creepy than CG arachnids. Let’s hope they don’t rely too much on CGI to create the spiders and hopefully there will be yet another even bigger spider to face off against in the end.
This could really be a ton of fun and even though most sites are calling this a reboot Wan’s already confirmed that this will indeed be a sequel. Maybe we could see Jeff Daniels come back too? Either way I think this could be awesome and since the ‘Roseanne’ canceling/controversy it seems Goodman may indeed have the time to come back and kick some spider butt once again….
5 Upcoming Movies You Gotta Be Pumped For!!
Dammit! This was a weak ass summer for movies wasn’t it? Well at least “IT” is now in theaters!! Well I’ve been thinking about some cool movies that look like they’ll be redemption for a rather underwhelming summer of Hollywood Sludge! Here’s five new upcoming movies to be excited about!
5. Dave Made a Maze (Out Now)
Here’s a truly unique looking movie about a dude named Dave who decides to build a maze in his living room out of cardboard as an art project. The maze ends up having magical properties to it and soon Dave ends up totally lost within. Good thing his friends come to the rescue only to find an insane world inside filled with pitfalls, magic & monsters all made out of cardboard!! Looks like damn good time…
4. Insidious: The Last Key (January 5th, 2018)
Insidious is one of my favorite modern horror franchises, I dig all three previous movies and Lin Shaye’s character has become the centerpiece for them. I especailly love her in the role of master ‘astral projector’ Elise as she’s off again on another ‘out of body journey’ into the mysterious dimension called ‘the further’ to battle another evil spirit. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while!
3. Early Man (January 26th, 2018)
I’m stoked for this new one from ‘Wallace and Gromit’ creator Nick Park! His movies pretty much always hit a surefire home run and this one looks to be on the same path. It looks like some crazy cave men will doing battle against the lords of the bronze age as they fight to save their city from an evil lord. Always a fan of the incredible stop motion adventures of Park and crew this one is sure to continue the the laugh & charms of his previous movies-sign me up!
2. Cult of Chucky (Oct. 3rd, 2017)
October just can’t come quick enough! That last ‘Chucky’ flick proved Don Mancini has still totally got the chops and then some. Fuck the whole Child’s Play remake idea, Mancini is showing all these classic horror franchises being remade lately that you can continue an original story and give the fans EXACTLY what they want! Picking up where ‘Curse of Chucky’ left off this one boasts the return of Andy Barclay (the little kid from the first two movies), played by original actor Alex Vincent who’s looking to end Chucky’s evil reign once and for all! Bring it on!!
1. The Terror of Hallow’s Eve (2017)
Here’s a cool spooky looking horror movie that looks like it’s workin’ with all the right ingredients. This follows a special fx obsessed teenager who’s brutally beaten up by bullies at his high school and makes a wish to get revenge upon them all while carving some sort of freaky magic pumpkin. It releases some sort of evil genie who gladly promises to do it for him! Set back in the 80’s I’ve heard this movie is a ton of fun filled with cool practical fx and a boatload o’ monsters!
Astral Projection, Shadow People & Sleep Paralysis in Current Pop Culture!
I’ve been noticing more recently the increased interest in astral projection, sleep paralysis & the shadow people phenomenon (all three that often times go hand in hand) becoming quite popular subjects lately in pop culture. If you’re unsure of what the three of these things are let me briefly explain. First astral projection (also referred to as an out of body experience) is when your consciousness or “soul” separates from the physical body. Sleep paralysis is when someone “wakes” from sleep and finds their body paralyzed for a short period of time. Finally “the shadow people phenomenon” has been reported by countless people while in the state of sleep paralysis and involves coming in contact with shadowy beings who appear near you or around you. These encounters are often described as terrifying, with strange voices and sometimes feelings of being attacked or suffocated by these shadowy beings.
What many people don’t know is that sleep paralysis, despite how modern horror movies depict the phenomenon, is actually a state that people who attempt or practice astral projection strive to get to. So to some who might not understand what’s happening during sleep paralysis this is a frightening experience but to others this is the sweet spot needed to induce an out of body experience. You see, when someone attempts astral projection it involves a certain amount of concentration or meditation, basically you are trying to let your body completely fall asleep while keeping you mind awake. When doing so successfully you body once calmed enough will become paralyzed, we all experience sleep paralysis every night when we go to bed, it’s what keeps us from acting out our dreams physically. In some cases sleep walking occurs when the body isn’t paralyzed completely. If you can successfully keep conscious while the body falls in sleep paralysis you’re actually very close to astral projecting, which is an amazing thing. Sleep paralysis is considered in a way the gateway to another dimension. Most of the movies and such out there today portray the experience in a negative & frightening way when in reality it’s a direct step to an incredible, life changing experience. Continue reading
Insidious 3 Delivers the Scares!
The Insidious franchise is one I’ve been quite intrigued with for quite some time. I really enjoyed the concept of the first movie as it was one of the first horror flicks I’d seen which at it’s core used the OBE (out of body experience) or as many know it Astral Projection as the main plot device. A truly original basis for a “ghost story” and a topic in which the first had gotten me quite interested in researching. It was a breath of fresh air in Hollywood horror, a lean and ultra frightening movie that literally had me cringing in my movie seat. Add in the appearance of Lin Shaye (who’s been in countless movies from my childhood) in a similar role as the kind of Zelda Rubinstein character in Poltergeist for that little bit of nostalgia factor and you have a super fun fright film. However the second chapter didn’t impress, it was bland and a bit boring much like most big Hollywood horror sequels trying to quickly cash in on the success of the first film.
So I had quite low expectations for Insidious 3 and I’ve gotta say it actually turned out to be quite a good time! It’s simple story is about a young girl being terrorized by a weird ass ghost who wears a respirator on his face and leaves behind gross tar like footprints wherever he appears. This one’s focused a lot as well on Lin Shaye’s character and how she joined forces with the two younger paranormal investigators from the first flick.
The movie itself actually has some impressive acting as well when usual the third flick in a franchise can bring a cast of stale actors together for a mega bland script. This chapter also has a ton of scares around every corner. None of these are the kind where loud music blares and it’s nothing scary at all, like a cat jumping out of shelf or something. Nope every scare is actually something pretty gosh dang frightening. The only thing missing was exactly who and what the films creepy villain really was? I guess not everything can be explained right? This one also delves deeper into “The Further” the astral dimension where Shaye’s character really shines, it’s a pretty cool sight to see this old woman battling demon’s there with her dreamlike powers manifesting while she quietly sits in a chair in a deep trance in the “real” world.
Well plain and simple they succeeded in a pretty sweet little third entry in the franchise, it’s already got me excited to re-watch the original again. Check this one out if you’re looking for a nice creepy little movie that gets your hear a racing then this one is certain to do the trick!
The Conjuring: A Scary Breath of Fresh Summer Air!
I checked out ‘The Conjuring’ last night, a movie I was looking forward to for quite a while amidst this season of over blown shiny rubbery looking blockbusters. My verdict? It was a helluva lot of fun and was jam packed with scares a plenty and then more scares after that! I’ve gotta say I’m really kinda liking James Wan as of late, the guy who I originally considered a hack, mainly for my loathing of movies like Saw and Death Sentence. I’ve got to admit though the guy, though not pulling out anything ultra original has pretty much mastered the Ghost Story / haunting horror genre. I was a huge fan of Insidious and this latest offering is just as good if not perhaps an even more solid haunt flick.
Based this time on the “true” story of Ed & Lorraine Warren who were demonologists back in the late 1960’s and 70’s and their most bizarre case which involved the haunting of The Perron Family in their new home in Harrisville, Rhode Island. From the get go you can tell it’s going to be one heck of a creepy ride as the films opening sequences, which involve once again a creepy ass doll (I love creepy dolls!!) foreshadow what’s yet to come later. This is a great back to basics summer horror/suspense film which doesn’t rely on explicit gore, green screens or video gamey CG to get the crowd’s blood pumping. It relies on what you don’t see(yet many times what you do!) to craft it’s chills. It had me squirming in my seat and at times wanting to cover my eyes. It’s well acted, well shot and the special effects are perfectly executed in a way that makes you feel as if you’re right there in the creepy house with the rest of the family.
It’d have been a damn near perfect viewing experience had it not been for the guy in front of us who for some reason felt like he had to narrate the scares for the whole theater, somehow feeling as if perhaps everyone in the theater had actually paid to come listen to him attempt to be a stand up comedian while a tense horror flick played alongside him. Uggh…perhaps I’ll see it again with out the annoying live commentary, however seeing it for the first time won’t ever be as good as the scares run rampant in this one and you never know exactly when the shit is yet again going to hit the fan. It certainly will make you think twice about playing hide and seek! Now however, what I really wonder is how much of this story was actually true? This film delved pretty heavily into the Catholic church and the power of religion to ward off evil spirits so hopefully the real story bares some real resemblance to what we saw onscreen and Wan wasn’t trying to convert it’s audience.
I really recommend this one if you’re looking for something different this summer. It may not be the most original idea to hit the screen but it’s easily one of the best movies out in theaters thus far this summer. Take a chance and test your nerves and if you got a loud mouth who can’t refrain from thinking he’s part of the MST3K crew make sure to creep up slowly behind his seat and scare the bejeezus out of him, then quietly tell him to shut the fuck up!
And here are a couple clips of the real Ed and Lorraine Warren!
All Hollywood Blockbustered Out?!
We keep hearing about how worried Hollywood is that the huge blockbusters are going to flop since the mega poop bomb “The Lone Ranger” dropped into theaters. What’s the deal I wonder? Is all this worry for nothing? Is Pacific Rim going to be the the next big thing or the next big monster turd?! I can only really speak for myself and that’s that I’m kinda all blockbustered out already. For me Iron Man 3 was the cream of the crop and after seeing a few more big glossed over CG stuffed over hyped films I’m currently not feeling that there’s anymore room in my stomach for more fluff!
Could it be that I’m not the only one? Because I feel as if maybe, just maybe people might be looking for a bit more from their summer movies? Even a movie like Pacific Rim, done by my man Del Toro for some reason hasn’t really gotten me fully amped up and at this point I’m not really sure I’ll even see it at the big theater. That movie should technically should have me salivating at the mouth but for some reason it hasn’t quite ignited the spark, even with all the hype. Now maybe what I’m really saying is that a lot of these blockbusters simply have no soul and are purely there to feed the cash cow. However, early reviews of Pacific Rim seem to be pointing to the opposite of my assumptions.
Perhaps I shouldn’t second guess Guillermo? From what I have heard in the last couple days it’s got more than a bunch of big shiny CG (though it’s got it’s fair share of that) it’s got heart. So perhaps I’ll jump back in the blockbuster game again or hell maybe I’ll see The Conjuring instead? It’s gotten some great reviews thus far from a ton of horror sites..It might be a breath of fresh air to see a great little horror flick in the midst of rubbery cg monsters and explosions….then again? Hmmm….
The Best Horror Film of 2011?
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
Castlevania the Movie!
Let me first start of by saying that Castlevania was probably the BEST game EVER for the NES! There were obviously some other really good ones but I will have to say this game pretty much blew my damn mind as a kid! I was the first one to beat the damn game too of any kid or teen in my whole neighborhood! My friend Dave Park (My NES partner in crime back then) and I liked it sooo much that when I beat it we were recording the final battle I had with Dracula on a VHS tape! Yeah you could do that back then. I almost lost my mind when I beat Dracula and then he suddenly turned into that HUGE white demon-then I had to kick it’s ass too! Anyway you can tell it was pretty epic for me and I still think I am some kinda video game hotshot still because of that.
Well it turns out that they are making a “Castlevania” movie now. I am not sure about you but I don’t think that video game movies have ever turned out that good. I guess Resident Evil had some promise but really these movies end up to be clunkers. Unless this movie has all the camera angles from the side view and all the bosses from the original game it just might as well not be made! The Simon Belmont better have a whip, some crosses and big jugs of holy water to toss too. Ok I admit maybe I am being a little too picky.