Entries Tagged '3-D is awesome' ↓

Day 20: “You’ll grow to like it here.”

Man, I shoulda reviewed Haunting of Winchester House last night right after I watched it, rather than waiting 24 hours. While it was playing, I was kind of...into it, or at least feeling generous enough to pretend I was into it. There I was, aware of all its faults (and oh, there are plenty), yet thinking that there was finally a film from The Asylum that was actually successful. Now, picking out screencaps and going back over the whole thing, I have to wonder if I was, in fact, wasted last night. Perhaps someone snuck into my house and laced my Celestial Seasonings Gingerbread Spice Holiday Tea (LIFE ON THE EDGE) with PCP or something. I suppose it's possible. Therefore, I'm going to suggest that if you're going to give Winchester House a go, you consider taking PCP to enhance your experience. Wait, that's probably an irresponsible thing to put out there on The Internet...ah! You should consider drinking Celestial Seasonings Gingerbread Spice Holiday Tea before watching this movie. Hugs not drugs and all that.

Haunting of Winchester House opens with one of the most horrendous CGI shots I've seen in a while. It's a little difficult to make out here, but trust me- it's an "epic" sweeping establishing shot that starts out looking like a plastic diorama but ends with shoddy computermanship: the back end of the box truck is warped out of perspective, and I don't even know what's going on in the sky.

Ah, The Asylum.

Anyway, we learn in a prologue that the house is haunted when some broad's chalk circle and cries of "You are not welcome here!" don't prevent her from getting bitch slapped by some malevolent force. Later, a family rents the property; they receive their keys in the mail, and we never do learn who currently owns the mansion. Oh well.

The large house is still obviously made out of computer. In the few shots where characters have to interact with the exterior in some way, such as going through the front door, the shots are framed so tightly that you can't tell what the structure really looks like. This would be a clever way around budgetary restraints if only the long shots didn't look so damn fake and the trickery wasn't so obvious.

The eeeevil spirits residing within soon make themselves known, and they don't waste any time in kidnapping the daughter of the family. It's up to mom and dad to figure out what's going on and to find her; luckily for them, a paranormal investigator likes to hang out on the property and he offers to lend a hand with their problem. He explains the difference between Level 1 and Level 2 poltergeists, and why some spirits are mean...he's like Tangina, but he's a regular-sized black dude. He wields a blessed implement as he busts ghosts- I realize it's just a plumb bob, but I preferred pretending it was a giant pewter tampon (what was in my tea last night?).

During their quest to find their daughter, the couple learns a bit about the history of the house via that ol' cinematic chestnut, The Newspaper Clippings Tucked Away in Boxes- the proprietress was Sarah Winchester, inheritor of the Winchester rifle estate and prime kookadook and WAITAMINNIT. This was the point when I realized that yes, the filmmakers intended for us to think that this movie was taking place in THE Winchester Mansion. Here's a little history lesson for those of you who are unfamiliar with the story:

Sarah Winchester married into the family that created the famous Winchester Rifle. Her grief over the deaths of her only child and her husband caused her to seek the services of a spiritualist, who told her that the family was indeed cursed by the spirits of those killed by firearms manufactured by Winchester Arms. She was told to build a new house for herself and the spirits...and to never stop building it. So, 24/7/365 for the next forty years, she spent her sizable fortune adding onto a farmhouse until the structure became a twisted, hulking thing- what's known today as the "Winchester Mystery House". The construction was done at Sarah's whim without the aid of architectural plans; in order to trick and elude the angry spirits, the house became a puzzle with stairways to nowhere, doors opening into walls, and windows between rooms. The number 13 is woven throughout the building, whether it be 13 circles in a stained glass window, or the 13 bathrooms or what have you. It's a fascinating place and a fascinating story, and it seems ripe for the cinematic picking.

The title of this movie didn't click in my head because...well, this is the Winchester Mansion, as it stands today:

A little different than the CGI monstrosity up above. None of the enigmas of the mansion's interior- those creepy staircases and doors, for example- are in the film (in fact, all the action takes place in one of three rooms or a single hallway). I suppose it's got to do, once again, with budget constraints. Maybe there's some legal issues and the actual house couldn't be recreated even with pixels. I have no idea...but if that's case, then why use the real story? Why not call this movie Haunting of Shminchester House so all the inaccuracies don't affront my precious brain cells? Or am I just being too picky? It's a famous real place and real story, though...I mean, it wouldn't be very smart of me to make a movie about how Jimmy Carter was haunted by the ghosts of peanuts past or some shit while he was President, and then when I show him at the White House it looks like this:

On second thought, that may be the smartest thing I could ever do with my life, ever.

Historical inaccuracies aside, how did Winchester House add up in my cold, sober post-Celestial Seasonings eyes? Mehhhh. It probably is the best thing to come out of The Asylum, but that's not exactly a ringing endorsement- although I have noted my perverse love for Asylum flicks before. Writer/director Mark Atkins wisely keeps the spirits in the dark as much as possible; in fact, about 4/5 of this film takes place in the dark. That's good, 'cause when it's bright enough, you can see things like, oh, obvious latex applications and the such.

Come on, no one saw that huge line and took the time to fix it?

There's a few instances of WTF? when footage is sped up for no reason, and the acting and dialogue are par for the course terrible. There's some successful sound design, I'll say that, and a few sequences are genuinely creepy. Still, the dark figure walking quickly through the frame jump scare is used about 14 times, which is 13 and a half times too many. The score, while dark carnival-appropriate, is too overpowering by the end of the movie. The music just. Never. Stops. Why are some filmmakers so afraid of silence? Turn off the music and the scenes with people walking around in the dark will be at least 65% scarier, and that's a scientific fact I just made up.

I still would have said all these things last night, even with my tea goggles on...I would have ended it all, however, with a "But it was surprisingly good!". Today, I'll end this with a "But it was surprisingly not terrible!"...although I fear it may have actually been terrible. Or maybe not. I can't tell anymore.

By the way, the DVD features a 3D version of the film as well, although I don't think there was anything spectacular in the movie that would really benefit from having an extra dimension. Then again, can't everything benefit from having an extra dimension?

10 Sentence Review: The Final Destination

It was love at first sight: from the moment I first caught a glance of Final Destination across a crowded room, I fell and I fell hard. I was only a little ashamed to admit that these films (which showcase Death's blacker-than-black humor as he employs a Rube Goldberg meets Grand Guignol meets Milton Bradley's Mouse Trap devices to slaughter those who try to cheat him) had become, perhaps, my very favorite modern franchise. Part 3 had left me a little cold, but I hoped Part 4- which promises to be The Final Destination- would rekindle our love affair...after all, it's in 3- uh, excuse me, REAL D, and I loves me some...err, 3D. Real D. Crap flying at my face from the screen...whatevs.

As I'd hoped (and as we all expected), the death sequences in The Final Destination are such a hoot that they're, like, supersonic and you can't even hear said hoots. Blood and chunks fly as Death makes good on his life-claiming promises- as you know by now, no one can beat him. This franchise has never been about character development or plot...the films have always been little more than a showcase for Death's grand design. Unfortunately, the folks behind The Final Destination have finally admitted as much, and the nonexistent effort put into the violence-free sequences makes this entry in the series the weakest of the bunch, Real D mayhem or no. There's still tons fun to be had, for sure, but it's glaringly obvious that sadly, Death is on his last legs.

you guys, Tom Petty was SO right…

...the waiting really IS the hardest part! Everybody's posting it, so why don't I? The trailer for The Final Destination (or, FINAL DESTINATION OH MY GAHD 3-D!), that is...

The Final Destination trailer

I'd be excited even the film was in a mere two dimensions...but three? Please. California needs to legalize gay marriage NOW so that the expected marriage bedlam will ensue and people can then marry whom- or whatever they want, so I can marry this fucking movie.

Come on, August, what the frig is taking you so long to get here??!

news and the such

Today's edition of News and the Such is brought to you by everyone's favorite excited person, Briefcase Woman. Wheeee!

  • Shock Till You Drop has posted the newest trailer for the forthcoming Friday the 13th documentary His Name Was Jason, which drops on February 3rd. The 2-disc DVD features gobs (GOBS I SAY) of interviews with some of the most positively random Friday alums around as well as short films, a tour of the Jarvis house, and more. Jasonites should check it out, and I'm not just saying that because I worked a teeny tiny bit behind the scenes on it, I swear.
  • My Bloody Valentine 3D is getting heaps o' praise from critics and fans alike. It's undoubtedly some of the most craptacular modern horror movie fun you're apt to have...unless you're this guy. I saw it again this past weekend, and my friends couldn't decide if it was simply the worst thing they'd ever seen, or if it was a subversive/genius piece of 80s-flavored horror. I told 'em it was the latter; I have no idea if they ended up believing me.
  • For the second year in a row, Final Girl has been nominated for a "best blog/website" Splatcademy Award, courtesy of the kind folks over at Dead Lantern. Click here to vote. I'm honored to be listed alongside some of my biggest influences and cyberpals, such as Curt and Co over at Groovy Age of Horror and David Zuzelo of Tomb It May Concern.
  • This just in! I've consolidated my web-ness just a bit and I've just launched my eponymous website. That's where you'll now find my daily photo updates, Toosday Toons, all my art galleries, random bloggery and whatever- pretty much anything I'm doing / have done / will do that isn't Final Girl. Visit if you like, comment if you want. Just make sure you bring over a welcome basket. I like cookies.
  • Talking about tomorrow TODAY: check out my Horror Hacker column tomorrow at AMC to learn about Stars Before They Were Stars and the Horror Movies in Which You May Find Them. Check out Final Girl tomorrow for something or other.

Harry Warden is back, baby…

My review of My Bloody Valentine 3D is up over at AMC. Go read it!

Essentially, it comes down to this:
  • go see it
  • it's so much fun
  • gore
  • full frontal nudity
  • go see it
  • it's 3D
  • I super heart 3D
  • I loved it
  • go see it
  • Tom Atkins
  • go see it, it's so much fun
I didn't even get to the Little Person!

eh, just do it yourself.

I wrote up a bit of an ode to the back yard filmmakers of the world over at AMC this week. Go read it. Or don't, see if I care. You just think you're so big, don't you?

I finally caught the finale of VH1's Scream Queens last night and...ridiculousness aside, I think it was the first time in the history of ever that my favorite contestant from the beginning actually won a reality competition.

And yet, I still feel empty inside.

And I still won't go see Saw VI.

What I will see, however, is My Bloody Valentine 3D, which opens on January 16th. The commercials are starting to air and dammit, I'm excited. The Harry Warden costume looks great and just as scary as the original, and I find myself not caring a whit- NOT A WHIT I SAY- that it's a remake. Perhaps that's owed to the fact that the words "three" and "dee" are tacked on to the title- as we all know, I fucking love 3D. So much so that I would probably go see The Runaway Bride if it were re-released in 3D. So much so that I would probably go see some romantic comedy/frat comedy/heartwarming Christmas movie with an all-star cast that features Paul Reiser, Julia Roberts, Charlie Sheen, Cameron Diaz (I just don't get her), Jack Black (I just don't get him), and the Welch's Grape Juice Children if it were in 3D...and that's saying A LOT because for some reason those Grape Juice commercials really angry up my blood, especially this one.

But today is not a day for angried-up blood! Let's all GET PUMPED to the strains of "Rock n' Rock" from the little1986 masterpiece called Killer Workout. So much rock, they don't have time to roll! Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go make out with my KW videocassette.

wednesday nuggets

Over yonder at Ye Olde AMC, my column this week lists 10 horror movies you may not have seen, but you should. I'm pretty sure I've talked about each of them at one time or another here at good ol' FG, but as we all know, I'm nothing if not completely unoriginal. But go take a gander- who knows, maybe something on there will be new to you. Or maybe they're all old news to you, Little Miss Seen It All. Fine, get all uppity about it, why don't you? Go ahead! Put on this t-shirt and tell me to cram my list! I hope it makes you feel big!

In keeping with today's theme, which is "Totally Lists!" I'm going to bust out a meme for which I was tagged by Jason over at Invasion of the B Movies, wherein I'm tasked with listing a movie I like for each letter of the alphabet. I stuck with horror movies (go figure), and it proved to be fairly tough. For some letters- S and C, for example, I had a difficult time narrowing it down from a whole lotta nominees. For some letters, I came up with el zippo (seriously, what up Y? Q? X? Those are untapped markets, people!). In the interests of diversity, I tried- TRIED- to add a few movies I like but I don't necessarily yap about all the time. And let me reiterate: these are simply movies that I like, which doesn't necessarily mean they're any good. I've never claimed to have any taste!

Enough! It's time for less list talking, more list posting. I know you're peeing your pants with excitement.

That's gross, by the way.

A - Alice, Sweet Alice

This is, of course, on the remake block. I don't know...the killer's getup is amongst the creepiest EVARRRRR and I hope it remains. The original also has a nice layer of scuzz to it which I see going bye-bye with An Updatening.

B - I'd like to reserve this space for the as-of-yet-unseen The Boneyard, but in the interests of list-making, I'll have to say Black Christmas. It's just so damn good!

C - Carnival of Souls

This movie has come up at least 50,000 times in the last month, so it's fresh in mah noggin'. Fresh and creepy, just like Uncle Roy.

D - You probably think I'm going to say The Descent here, right?

Damn straight I am!

E - Evil Dead

F - Final Destination 2

I love sooooo many horror movies whose titles start with "F" (you can tell I really mean it because of all those "o"s I used), but in the end I figured I'd go with this little joyride of a movie. I can't wait for part 4.

G - Ghost Story

Why do I have such a soft spot for this movie? It's not that great...plus there's that early scene with the bad superimposed fall featuring Craig Wasson's private no-no parts- you'd think that would be a deal breaker. It's nice that Ghost Story features a beautiful and creepy Alice Krige, though, and not just a creepy and creepy Alice Krige, as modern movies do.

H - House on Sorority Row

Here's another one I like probably more than I should...but then, I have a weakness for movies featuring friends who keep a terrible secret which comes back to bite them in the ass. Hmm...guess that explains Ghost Story, too. Wow, what a fucking revelatory day!

I - Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

From Donald Sutherland's 'stache-n-'fro to Brooke Adams (I heart her!) to that ending, IBS rules. IBS does not rule, however, when it's used as an acronym for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Not that I've ever suffered from that, but if you have...consult your local librarian for information that may help you. Or something.

J - Jacob's Ladder


K - Killer Workout

I know, I know, I know. Someday, I swear. For now, let's all just click here and get that song stuck in our heads.

L - Let's Scare Jessica to Death

Here's another movie that's been on my mind a lot lately...and not just because my VHS copy used to belong to Tori Spelling! Okay, maybe a little bit that's why.

M - My Bloody Valentine

The 3D remake is imminent. The best part of that sentence is the words "three" and "dee".

N - Night of the Living Dead (1968)

I just love this damn movie.

O - The Orphanage

I'm really digging Spain's output at the moment. This movie was far schmaltzier than I'd anticipated, but that's good. Unless you hate schmaltz. Which might make you a jerk.

P - Pieces

I don't know when, exactly, I became obsessed with Pieces but it happened and I'm just going to embrace it. Basstarrrrrd!

Q - I got nothin' for Q, homies. I did see a horror movie called Quiltface once, but it stunk and I can't justify including it on this list, although in some weird way I just did. I suppose if I'd seen Quarantine, I may have included that. But then I feel the need to include...

R - [REC]

...because it's so damn awesome.

S - Superstition

Wow, I had a hard time choosing for S. Up until I started typing, I'd intended to name Silence of the Lambs...but then, I'm a woman and it's my prerogative to change my mind! I'm also a bad driver and I'm simply terrible at math...but boy, you should see my shoe collection! This uterus is a blessing and a curse, I tells ya.

T - The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Sometimes I think TCM is the perfect horror film. Sometimes I think about how I'd like to have a jetpack.

Those aren't necessarily related, I am just saying.

U - Unsane

Perhaps listing Dario Argento's Tenebre as Unsane is cheating, perhaps not. There's not a lot of U out there, so I do what I have to in order to get RESULTS.

V - The Vampire Lovers

No list of anything is complete without the addition of lesbian vampires. Seriously. Even a list of, say, breakfast cereals! That's right- don't forget "Lesbo Vampire Crunch", which appeared on the market briefly in 1971 before a coalition of angry parents acting "for the sake of the children" got it pulled from shelves. Boxes still turn up on eBay every once in a while.

W - Wrong Turn

Yay inbred cannibals! YAY I SAY!

X - ?

Y - Like I said...?

Z - Zombi

I'm citing this film for many, many reasons, the biggest of which may be that iconic "We are going to eat you!" Conquistador Zombie. When his big grody face appeared on the cover of Fangoria back in the day, it about blew my mind and grossed me so far out the fucking door...plus, this movie features zombie vs shark. Plus..."We are going to eat you!" is so made of awesome it's not even funny. NOT EVEN.

Well, that was fun. Thanks for the tag, Jason!

If anyone's got any suggestions for the letters for which I came up empty...please, let me know what I'm missing. For all I know, the best horror movie in the history of ever may very well start with Q.