Philbs13

IMDb member since September 2002
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Reviews

The Happening
(2008)

Absymal Disappointment
Seriously, 844 10/10 ratings? I realize this site is overrun with ignorant kids that have absolutely no respectable insight into film history, but come on. This movie is absolutely abominable. I got a really good laugh out of a board topic claiming that the people that didn't like it are brainless. What's there to actually think about in this movie? M. Night Shyamalan's trail of movies is progressively getting worse. This is literally his most abysmal attempt at entertaining people with his imagination and failing miserably. There isn't a single believable character in this movie, the dialogue is hokey and unfunny, the story goes literally nowhere, after keeping the audience waiting for about an hour for something remotely interesting to happen, the movie just ends with the most predictable and slapstick possible ending, there's no trademark twist, every single death scene was dragged out apparently just to get the unnecessary R-rating, the bizarre "phenomena" isn't even remotely thought-provoking, the fact that it causes people to kill themselves isn't frightening because this poses absolutely no threat to the main characters and the single most important scene that involves humans being their own worst enemies is completely marred by a poorly executed buildup.

Kids, seriously. I realize you are narrow-minded about your opinions, but you will think twice when you get older and look back on this movie.

Killer Pad
(2008)

Almost unwatchable.
Three stereotypical guys...though in this case all three come off as homosexual airheads...move to L.A. to "start their lives" where they are directed to a mansion by a transsexual realtor. After moving in, it's apparent that the house harbors a gateway to Hell, but they ignore this to throw a party under the persuasion of three stereotypical sluts. What had potential to be a decent, tongue-in-the-cheek parody of horror films quickly turns into a virtually unwatchable, unfunny, horribly acted and scripted take on what America has ignorantly considered to be funny for the last ten years: feces jokes, unrealistically slutty teens, midgets, and token racial characters. It's blatantly obvious why this film went straight to DVD with very little marketing. Englund really should have used the alias "Alan Smithee" instead of taking credit for the direction.

Cry Wolf
(2005)

Efficient but mediocre
Since you're capable of reading what the premise of this movie is at this site, I'm just going to post my comments: Cry Wolf is a great example of how a horror film can hit every cliché level in the book, but also show that there is still undiscovered talent willing to put a decent effort into directing a horror film. While it is a mediocre and honestly predictable film, it does have a lot going for it. Aside from Jon Bon Jovi, it was a great call to cast a group of virtually unknown actors...a huge plus that other horror films of late have been avoiding. The direction and camera work are pretty good at establishing the obvious suspense scenes and despite the formulaic elements that make up every slasher film since the 70s, this one never seems to become as cheesy and hokey as recent films. I'm surprised this one didn't go straight to video considering how much of a tribute it really is, though it seems those are the films that are really worth the buck.

Land of the Dead
(2005)

Dead Weight
Though entertaining on a rudementary level, Romero's political satire and gore are still there, but this time around it's like watching another drab post-80s horror film. The story itself is expected, where else would we be so many years after zombies have overrun the Earth? But there are so many problems with the story and characters that you don't feel like it's a Romero film and not just another modern knockoff. This time around, you don't care about anybody in this movie. The people on the streets are paper-thin, you tend to despise the residents of Fiddler's Green including it's leader, and our main characters don't engage in any conversations or situations that you actually grow to like and feel sorry for them. The lead zombie is also really annoying. It's obvious that he's an advanced form of "Bub" from Day of the Dead, but you can't like or hate him...he's so obnoxious you just keep hoping he will be shot in the head. It just makes it more painful to sit through the entire film knowing that he won't be killed off until the end or never at all. The other thing that irks me is that after 3 Dead films, why does a trained army still shoot the zombies in the chest? Obviously the main characters are smarter, but that's no excuse. In the gore department, Romero still lives up to his name. Despite obvious darkness of certain scenes and quick cuts away to avoid getting an X-rating, a lot of on-screen and suggested gore still makes an impact. Unfortunately, that's the only thing that arises any emotion out of you while watching the film.

The Zero Boys
(1986)

Guns, woods and college students
Wrong Turn is definitely a ripoff the general idea in this movie, only that movie is a serious horror film and this one is more of the standard B- horror with a twist of humorous adventure. It's labeled a horror film, which by all comparable standards to 80s horror films it is, but you're not entirely sure where the movie is going in the first 15 minutes. The box art and opening sequence both set this up to be more of a light weight version of Deliverence mixed with some B- soldier heavy artillary jungle warfare. What you actually get is a paint ball battle in a deserted town, followed by a random weekend in the woods that goes awry. For the first 30 minutes, nothing particularly horrific happens, then the rest of the movie is a lot of running through the woods survival. It's blatantly obvious by both the cast and the box art that this film is total B- territory and I obviously only recommend it for fans of these films. I just wish that the energy from the opening sequence was carried through the entire film. There's some definite cult status here, but the second half of the film strays too far into cliché horror territory that you forget the initial premise from the opening. Unfortunately there is also NO ending to this film.

Aside from the short-comings, I have a lot of respect for Nico Mastorakis as a director, writer and producer. He's one of the rare few that doesn't conform to the BS that is Hollywood. I'm also glad that there are some great featurettes on his DVDs on the making of his movies including his commentary as well.

Haute tension
(2003)

First intelligent slasher in over a decade
Since it is easier to discuss why a movie is so bad, this one will be short considering for the most part it is really good. 3/4 of the movie is actually relentlessly edge-of-you-seat. I haven't seen a movie that doesn't conform to the usual cliché American horror film standards in a long time...which probably means that foreign horror films have always been better...but that's another argument. The only problem with this film is that the plot twist towards the end of the film is actually ripped right of an American horror film and since it didn't work in that film...it most certainly doesn't work in this film. In fact, by tacking on this twist the film becomes totally disappointing from a story point of view. However, since it is a horror film...the preceding elements do a satisfying job of staying true to the genre.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse
(2004)

Entertaining Shlock
The first film was definitely a lot better than this one...as a film and as PREQUEL to the video games. That film was very good from beginning to end. Despite the simplistic storyline...it was very entertaining and well put together. Even the soundtrack was great.

As for the second film...I will blatantly say that it was dumb...but that doesn't at all make it not ENTERTAINING. But what can we expect without Anderson working entirely on this project and a newbie director at the helm? Aside from the unnecessary opening commentary about what happened in the first film, the movie starts out pretty good. The movie begins to dramatically cheapen after the church sequence, but here's the reasons why:

a) Jill Valentine is a paper-thin character. If you've played the video games, you know who she is, what happened to her prior to the events in the second movie and why she was "disgraced" from the STARS unit. In this film, they don't explain ANYTHING. So basically she's just another random character dressed like a slut and carrying a gun.

b) STARS isn't a special unit in the RPD...they ARE the RPD. I think this was a huge discrepancy between the games and the movie and goes along with why they never explained why Jill was disgraced. I think the writers decided to drop STARS involvement with the mansion incident completely to avoid a lot of explanation..though they could have sat down both Jill and Alice in the film and had them discuss things to bring even the audience up to speed. Instead they briefly mention that STARS is highly skilled and one of two targets to test out Nemesis on.

c) The Church sequence. This section starts out just fine with the protagonists, even though this is the only time we see any of the lickers, but then when Milla comes crashing through the window...yeah it was fun...but what does that have to do with anything? How did she know there were human survivors in there? She can detect virus carriers, but the whole city is overrun...why would she come crashing in there blindly?

d) The graveyard was a totally unnecessary sequence. If the town was overrun with the virus...why would completely intact zombies rise from the ground in the first place...or all at the same time?

e) At first I thought going to the movie that the whole plot theme of Milla being genetically altered was stupid since she did just fine in the first film. But as reference to Code Veronica...it's passable. However, setting her up to fight Nemesis was a total eye-rolling experience. I definitely wanted to see her confront Nemesis and remember Matt in the process...but this was totally the wrong way to go about it.

f) The epilogue was totally disappointing. The movie should have ended with just the news reports about the Umbrella cover-up. All the final hospital stuff should have been left for the third film...where it would have been a great opening sequence. It just feels tacked on at the end here.

Anyway, that's my breakdown of what was wrong with the film. It's made and we can't change it. So needless to say, it was silly, but no less entertaining. I enjoyed it moreso the second time I watched...since this time I was just watching for the action and any other references I may have missed the first time through. Watch it if you enjoyed the first movie or you like the games...avoid it if you have no idea what's really going on in the video game-to-movie world.

Cabin Fever
(2002)

Finally a great, cheesy horror flick!
With a dash of weirdness a la David Lynch, this could-have-been-run-of-the-mill backwoods horror flick is actually a really fun, tongue-in-the-cheek, gore-filled gem. The main point here is to pile on the gore and humor similar to what was done in films like Bad Taste and Dead Alive. Anybody expecting another cliche stalker-on-the-loose horror flick should learn how to read up on horror films before seeing them because not all great horror films follow that theme. In fact the majority of crap that's been released lately follows that theme because people are dumb enough to go see anything labeled "horror".

This film is also more of a nod to fans of old school horror from the 70s and 80s. That means you annoying teenagers that went to see the film and hated it...you need to realize that there were actually horror films made before Scream. Decades of them.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
(2003)

Disappointing As Expected
I blatantly refused to pay to see this film from the beginning and only agreed to view it in the theater when a friend agreed to pay. I'm very glad that I did not fork over the $6.00 because this film was just as disappointing as I expected. I strongly urge everyone that did not see the original to rent it before seeing this garbage...you will have a greater appreciation for what works better in low budget than with a big budget.

More of a remake of Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III than a remake of the original film, the plot surrounds a group of teenagers similar to the ones in the original, pitted against a town of wacky, backroads crazies, including the notorious Leatherface. While it does reference the opening van sequence from the 1973 classic and a few brief moments scattered through out, the movie doesn't have the look or feel that Tobe Hooper captured in his original. Walking away from the original film, I felt weak and abused...that's a good horror movie. After watching the remake, I felt bored and there's just nothing about it to remember but it's faults.

Here's what ruined the film: (1) Although John Larroquette returned to voice the same opening dialogue from the first film, his voice-over is marred by unnecessary B&W imagery and interrupted with an annoying, Blair Witch-inspired crime scene investigation (2) the assortment of backroad crazies in no way compare to the realism of the Family in the original film, they just seem cartoonish (3) Biel cannot capture the terror that Burns portrayed in the original film, the new chase sequences lack the suspense of the original...and this is the 70s, what's with Biel's bra under the tank top!? (4) Even though you don't see the deaths in either film, the implication of a horribly violent death is so much more vivid in the original, and that says a lot considering the budget (5) the farmhouse is more of a plantation mansion and there's no grotesque living room! (5) There's no dinner sequence! (6) Too many references to other horror films; ie. Jeepers Creepers, Blair Witch Project, Hills Have Eyes (7) The soundtrack is annoying; they leave out the opening song from the commercial and all the build-up sequences, chase sequences and remote suspense have a BGM that lacks any sense of terror...the budget soundtrack of the original gave the film a sense of raw grit that made it scary, even thinking about the sounds (excluding the chainsaw) still creep me out (8) When discussing the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert that the teens have front row tickets to, Biel says "I hope they play 'Free Bird'." HELLO! Obviously they are going to play 'Free Bird'. Apparently the writers didn't think EVERYBODY would know who Skynyrd is.

I saw a horrid trailer for the upcoming Dawn of the Dead remake before viewing TCM, it seems that the horror industry has either run out of ideas or would rather make money off garbage remakes of low budget classics. One would think after the last 2 decades of crap that SOMEBODY would make a horror film worth paying to see. And what's with remakes? Too afraid of the sequel curse? The film is going to suck whether or not it's a remake or a sequel. Period.

Wrong Turn
(2003)

Definitely Some Good Horror
When I first heard about this movie I thought it was going to be disappointing...which is how I feel going into all horror films in the last decade. But I was genuinely entertained. The movie begins similarly to The Final Terror (which is a pretty good backwoods horror movie) but quickly turns into the cliche car broke down - Texas Chainsaw Massacre routine. Fortunately, I have seen so much of this pattern and I still enjoy it. But this film actually generates plenty of suspense and some good edge-of-your-seat survival action. The characters are your standard idiots in the woods and it's very predictable from the get-go just who will die and who will survive, but the main casting was pretty good, namely Eliza Dushku and Desmond Harrington. Instead of relying on a single, unkillable Bigfoot type killer, the impact is based on three backwoods, inbred, genetically mutated freaks that have some good prosthetic work done to achieve their grotesque appearance. There's also a decent amount of gore, mostly implied, but enough to make horror fans smile. There's also a good number of unsuspected death sequences that I almost started clapping. The orchestral soundtrack also helps to develop a suspenseful atmosphere.

The only draw-back, and I may just be picky, is some base dialogue from the lesser likable characters, some blatant cliche "jump" moments, the illogical handling of "police" (things just don't happen that way, but I don't want to spoil anything), and the tacked-on cliche extended ending.

This film may also remind people of the disappointing Jeepers Creepers, but I must say that this film is notches better and never let's up on the suspense.

8/10 worth watching, especially with the few good horror films that have been out lately.

Maniacts
(2001)

Tongue-in-the-cheek
I don't know who designed the cover art for this movie...but they have NO idea how to market a good movie. Based on the cover art, which depicts a ghostly, screaming face with metal things holding the eyes, nose and mouth open, I thought this was just another post-90s garbage, straight-to-video horror romp following in the footsteps of other crap like Python, Subterrano, The Vault, She Creature and Dead and Rotting. What I was presented with WAS IN FACT not a horror film by any standards. The film begins with the arrest of a psychopathic killer (Jeff Fahey) and an atmosphere of a cliche suspense. Then what follows is a tongue-in-the-cheek look at a corrupt mental institution where the inmates are abused by the guards. The humor, especially Fahey's impersonation of Christ on the cross and other antics which get him sent to solitary, and his romance with woman whose violence is induced when hit in the face, drive this relatively entertaining film that ultimate concludes in a literally depressing manner. Worth watching, provided you can force yourself past the HORRID box art.

The Hot Chick
(2002)

Entertaining Garbage
The main problem I had with this film is that in the beginning, you are introduced to a cliche group of obnoxious, conceited cheerleaders that you love to HATE, but by the end of the film...the makers actually expect you to LIKE the cheerleaders. I'm sorry, but cheerleaders are the most revolting click in high school and are best made fun of on screen. But how can I feel sorry for the bitch that is forced to be ugly, taking on the role of the victims that she scorns? It's like saying that I feel sorry for the fat, unpopular girl that gets tortured and embarassed by the cheerleaders, but I'd feel worse if one of the cheerleaders suddenly became fat and unpopular.

SHE DESERVED IT!

Nevertheless, the film is entertaining and never boring. Although what I noticed by the film's conclusion is that all the funny parts were most of the scenes not featuring Rob Schneider.

The Rules of Attraction
(2002)

Interesting Adaption
Rules of Attraction is an interesting adaption of Bret Easton Ellis's 80s novel. Even though the film trims a lot of information from the book, as in hefty character development and expanded relationships and situations, the film is actually filmed in a unique way. I really liked the backwards sequences and the great soundtrack. I also liked the cast selected to play the main group from the novel.

Anybody interested in checking out the novel should read Ellis's "Less Than Zero" before reading "Rules of Attraction." Then read "The Informers". Characters in the first book make appearances in both of the later two books.

The Matrix Reloaded
(2003)

Brilliant
After watching this film, my face hurts from smiling, gaping and trying to not cry with excitement. The action scenes were absolutely brilliant and I was impressed with the choreography and how well it was captured. A lot of martial arts and action sequences are cut too fast nowadays and I'm glad that this film toned down the BGM and flash editing and orchestrated a beautiful ensemble that will be extremely difficult to top in the third film. I won't get into the story details, because anybody that saw the original film knows that the Matrix is something to be experienced rather than explained. Aside from the awesome action sequences, the next big highlights include the unique characters additions (I mean everybody just seems to stand out and maintain their own level of intrigue) and how well the depth and size of the locations are captured on film (the "real" sewers, freeways and skyscrapers actually give you the feeling of the capacity and distance).

Finally I want to say that all the people who love to get up and leave during the credits...you're going to miss the bonus ending.

Dracula 2000
(2000)

GARBAGE
Let's put it this way, I never leave during the credits when I see a good film, even if it's mediocre. But I got up the moment the credits started because this film has been the worst horror flick I've seen in years.

Specific reasons: Poor casting of Dracula, zero eroticism, annoying dialogue, bad extras, bad use of Vitamin C, awful script, wrong direction and a total waste of Johnny Lee Miller.

There was 2 good things: Johnny Lee Miller and the line about God still loving you. Wish I could offer a direct quote, but I've been trying to block this waste of money out of my mind. GRADE: F

I mean, please, the poorly dubbed version of the German film "Nosferatu" was easier to sit through.

X2
(2003)

Brilliant
I wasn't thrilled with the first X-Men, mainly because of Halle Berry (Storm was useless: afraid of everything, gets her ass kicked, then goes berserk) and the fact that there was virtually no story. I suppose it really served as a 2 hour trailer for X-Men 2...well, and to show off Mystique.

I was very impressed with X-Men 2. This film was absolutely brilliant. The characters all appeared as more of a team and as the ultimate superheros that I remember from the comics. The action was much better than what I saw in the first film and there's some great humor. Highlights are Wolverine's rampage through the mansion, Pyro's destruction of police cars, the foreshadowing of Phoenix, and OF COURSE every sequence involving Mystique! I also liked that this film was on the edge of not being a movie for kids...which is great considering the original fans of the comics are now adults.

I just hope the original cast stays on for more sequels!

Killer Party
(1986)

Canadian Horror is always original
I've never seen a horror movie with a greater opening sequence or finale. This movie isn't really scary at all, but it's so well put together and laced with great tongue-in-the-cheek humor that it's hard to believe someone not enjoying it.

The movie begins with a funeral in which one family member is dragged inside the coffin after scoffing the deceased and ends up in the crematory because the funeral workers are listening to headphones and do not hear the screaming. Then this image appears on a drive-in movie screen where the focus is on two teens watching it. Amidst the cliche boy wants to make-out and not watch the movie idea, the girl decides to get more popcorn. The confection booth is empty so she steals the popcorn and returns to find her boyfriend missing. Then he appears at the window, looking rabid and attacks her, jump-starting a random hair band video which incorporates the awesome (but forgotten) Canadian band White Sister and the drive-in. While the girl attempts to escape a drive-in full of zombies, the band (inside the confection area) belts out the song "April" which just so happens to be the girl's name. Then the name of the band appears on the lower left of the screen (MTV style) and as the camera pulls back, this is all just a rock video that one of our main characters was watching.

Then begins our movie. The focus is on 3 college girls pledging a sorority. Random deaths begin to occur around an abandon frat house which will later be used as an April Fool's Co-ed party. Lots of humor and some great characters and dialogue lead us to a point where things seem to be just your average cliche slasher, but then the finale is definitely refreshing and very tongue-in-the cheek.

other great Canadian horror films include: Hello Mary Lou, Prom Night 2 and Ginger Snaps

Feardotcom
(2002)

GARBAGE
All I have to say is that anybody who gave this film a 10 is on crack. As with Dracula 2000, I almost left the theater and got my money back! And I've never felt that way with horror films. This has got to be one of the most unnecessary waste of decent actors and the tax payers money. Not even deleted scenes in the DVD can save this garbled mess.

Jeepers Creepers
(2001)

Dumb
I gave this movie 2.5 out of 10 exclusively for the first 15 minutes of the film, which were actually scary. But as soon as the kids get off the phone with the psychic lady, things plunge to predictable stupid. Not even the awesome cameo by Eileen Brennan can save this disappointment.

Slammer Girls
(1987)

Cheesy and funny
This film is definitely not for everyone, and by that I mean if you were not a fan of USA Up All Nite movies, then you probably will not see the humor here. Slammer Girls is so much full of tongue-in-the-cheek humor, it's hard not to find it funny. The humor is obnoxious and it is chocked-full of corny, but hilarious one liners. And it's a women-in-prison movie! It's supposed to be out-of-control, cheesy, full of nudity and laughable.

This is a good film to play drinking games too.

House of 1000 Corpses
(2003)

The definitive horror film post-1990
Although, House of 1000 Corpses is a compilation of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and elements from Nothing But Trouble, this film is the definitive horror film post-the 1980s. Since almost all horror films post-1990 (with the necessary exception of John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness) have sucked, it's finally refreshing to see something worth watching. NOTE: See Texas Chainsaw Massacre before you see this movie. If you don't have a strong background in 70s and 80s horror, the value of this film may not be much to you. (Unless you are a die-hard Rob Zombie fan-then it will impress you anyway...or at least confirm that Zombie is psycho)

I'm not going to get into the whole thing, but this film is most notable for the excellent cast (lots of 70s and 80s exploitation stars), some nice editing of creepy/flashy imagery, an awesome soundtrack (of course), great use of sound, some great humor and I loved the way history's infamous killers were incorporated (Manson women, Ed Gein, etc.).

Extra note: There's two sides to a scary movie: Psychological horror (probably can't happen but it's creepy)and Reality horror (this could happen).

If you saw the American bastardization of The Ring, and thought it was scary...that film isn't a horror film, it's a suspense film. The film tries to scare you by making you jump at opportune moments WHILE bombarding you with too many plot elements.

House of 1000 Corpses is a reality horror film. While there's a few "jump" moments, the main focus is on scary people, gory situations and what would most likely happen given the situation. Texas Chainsaw was as real as you can get, House just makes things more perverse and flashy.

And...good horror films:

a) don't have to have a happy ending b) don't necessarily have to have a plot c) don't have to make you jump every 2 seconds

If you disagree, then you don't know squat about horror movies and probably liked Halloween Resurrection, Haunting (remake), House On Haunted Hill (remake), Dracula 2000, anything after the opening minutes of Scream (including sequels) and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (even though they are all GARBAGE).

Swimming Pool - Der Tod feiert mit
(2001)

Refreshing installment to the slasher genre.
I should comment first that anyone who despises films featuring actors who speak English but have European accents, should stay away from this one. I don't understand it myself, but any horror film that's dubbed or noticeably un-American, is too often considered stupid, cheesy or poorly acted. This one isn't dubbed, but it is filmed in Europe. If you can get passed the accent issue, then The Pool is a refreshing installment to the slasher genre. Going into the film you should already be aware that slasher films contain: promiscuous students, stupid situational choices and inventive death scenes. The original idea here is that it doesn't feel like a stale American horror film, it has some substance to it. Instead of being a focus on how creative the next victim can be knocked off, the score, sound effects and editing manage to build enough to suspense to make an impact. The cast is actually likable, if compared to the losers in most recent American slasher films (ie. Halloween Resurrection, Jason X, Urban Legend 2) and the American-influenced "latest bands" soundtrack isn't bad. The only problem is that looking at the film as a whole, it's one big cliche. And that's okay, because horror fans like the old formula and this one manages to refrain from turning stale.

Resident Evil
(2002)

Resident Evil is a fun, energetic and entertaining film.
After all the years of watching horror films and seeing how lousy and contrived and cliche they have become, I went into RE assuming it was going to suck because I knew the movie wasn't based on the first few games. I was actually stunned at how much I enjoyed RE. Yeah, it took a lot of liberties from the games, but it was very close to the story line and actually leads into the story lines from the games. Anderson did a good job of translating the main game elements (a secluded mansion, an underground lab, a viral outbreak, a mysterious pharmaceutical company and an employee that reports to somebody on the outside) and managed to wrap it all into one fresh, suspenseful entity with some nice editing and an energetic score. There's been a lot of complaints that the movie has ripped off a lot of films, but what horror/action movie hasn't ripped off other movies? And why start attacking here? Besides, horror films weren't made to to win Oscars and shouldn't be critiqued in this manner. Resident Evil is a fun, entertaining film. And that's all that really matters.

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