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 Some good flicks for Halloween

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SteelCityMom

SteelCityMom

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PostSubject: Some good flicks for Halloween   Some good flicks for Halloween EmptySat Sep 29, 2012 11:15 am

Right, so Halloween usually starts for me when the leaves begin to fall and the air gets chilly. That's when I go into horror movie mode (which is just a notch above my viewing of the genre for the rest of the year lol). Over the past couple of weeks I've made it a point to go outside my usual horror movie fare (which typically includes Scandinavian horror, or something I've already heard of). I've found some really good (and occasionally really bad...thanks Canada) picks. They're not anything Oscar worthy, and they don't usually include any actors you've ever heard of, but for horror/supernatural thriller entertainment, they do the job fairly well. I've also found I'm far more eclectic in this genre than I thought I was.

Anyway, here are some of my top picks, and I'll keep adding to them as I come across them. They are all available on NetFlix streaming.

I'll start with an Asian movies I watched a few weeks ago or so. I used to avoid J-horror and Asian movies in general like the plague...but I'm recently finding that I absolutely LOVE them.

My favorite (so far) is the Korean film, A Tale of Two Sisters. I'd go as far to say it's become one of my all time favorite horror movies. With a 7.3 IMDB rating, I'm not the only one who really likes it. I myself am no good at writing reviews, so I'll direct you to the top review on IMDB, as it mirrors my feelings on the movie perfectly. (I promise, the rest of my recommendations won't be this long lol).

The Beauty. The Terror. The Poetry. The Horror. The Innocence. The Guilt.

Maybe that's just about all I should write in this comment for A TALE OF TWO SISTERS. The best thing is to just watch this movie without knowing anything about it. I myself didn't even know one single thing about the history of the two girls when I went into this movie. I just took a look at the nice cover-art, didn't even read the synopsis on the back and popped it into DVD-player. I only knew that it won several prices on festivals around the world and that it came highly recommended.

The DVD-cover read "The Most Frightening Film since THE RING, THE GRUDGE and DARK WATER". Though the frightening-part might be right, you can forget about the rest, because the only thing A TALE OF TWO SISTERS has in common with those movie is... a ghostly apparition with long black hair. It's even a bit unfair to compare it with those famous Japanese movies, because this Korean movie has a lot more to offer and is in fact a bit more complicated and intelligent than those others.

This movie simply is a small masterpiece, and here are some reasons (without telling anything about the plot): The movie itself caught me off guard at least two times with clever surprise-twists. And just when you think you've had the conclusion (whether you get it or not, that's irrelevant for the moment) and you think the movie will end... this movie goes on a bit longer. The cinematography is amazing, using bright colors during the day and dark shades at night. The camera-work is excellent with the director sometimes choosing impressive, if not, innovating angles. Some shots are pure poetry (e.g. the top-shot with the two sisters at the lake). It all looks very stylish. There are only four main characters, but the intrigue surrounding them is intense. The story itself starts a bit slow, but there's a lot of variety in tone and emotions to keep it interesting. There was even one scene (when the girls took off towards the lake) that suddenly had me remembering Peter Jackson's HEAVENLY CREATURES. But when the horror kicks in, it's quite effective. There are also a few successful surprise-scares in it. Damn, I jumped right up from my sofa. The musical score is great, and at times when it's not supposed to be scary, I couldn't help but noticing that it had sort of an Italian feeling to it. A bit strange for a Korean movie. But nevertheless, a great score. So much care went into every detail of this film, including a perfectly balanced surround sound.

I also think that calling A TALE OF TWO SISTERS just a horror movie is giving it not enough credit. It's more a mysterious horror-drama that works both on a psychological and supernatural level. No matter how you look at it, this is Asian horror that ranks way up there amongst the finest. It might not be gory, but it gets pretty scary at times and the subject matter is pretty disturbed. So if you haven't seen it yet, then find a copy, pop it into your DVD-player, go with the flow and make sure you give this movie your full attention for it's 110 minutes running time.

There, I hope I did a good job praising it without spoiling anything.


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My second high recommendation is the Spanish movie, Shiver. A fantastic, original story line with some great twists. If you're not completely against watching a subtitled movie, I highly recommend it.

When a sunlight-phobic teen (Junio Valverde) moves to a remote mountain town -- coinciding with a series of mass killings -- everyone naturally suspects the strange newcomer. But the forest holds a spine-tingling secret that explains everything. Academy Award-winning production designer Pilar Revuelta (Pan's Labyrinth) applies her artistic eye to this atmospheric Spanish-language horror film that premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2008.

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Next, is a little French flick called Them. At an hour and 16 minutes, it doesn't take long to get into the action of the movie, and the pace is pretty good. They don't waste a lot of time getting into the back story of the main characters, because that's not really important. It's the ending that makes this movie. If you enjoyed High Tension, you'll probably like this.

Late one night, Lucas (Michaël Cohen) and Clémentine (Olivia Bonamy) encounter strange events in their remote country home. It starts with prank calls and strange noises, but when the power is cut off and their car disappears, the terrified couple is trapped by the unseen force. Is it simply kids from the school where Clémentine teaches, or could it have something to do with a mother and daughter who mysteriously vanished the day before?

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Lake Mungo is an Australian mockumentary film about a family being haunted after the drowning of their 16 year old daughter. There's no blood, or gore, but they did a good job relaying an uneasy, spooky feel to the movie. It's just under an hour and half, but it didn't feel nearly that long. Not anything mind blowing, but it was quite enjoyable.

When a series of inexplicable supernatural events strikes their home, Russell (David Pledger) and June (Rosie Traynor) Palmer try to figure out exactly what is behind the tragic drowning death of Alice (Talia Zucker), their 16-year-old daughter. A psychic (Steve Jodrell) might be able to help them. Joel Anderson writes and directs this psychological thriller; Martin Sharpe, Scott Terrill and Tamara Donnellan co-star.

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While we're on Australians (and this isn't a horror flick, it's an action/thriller...but I liked it enough to mention it here) is the movie Tomorrow When the War Began. While it's not the best action/thriller you'll ever see, I liked it enough to want to start reading the series of 7 books (which starts with the book by the same name). You have to kind of take it for what it is, and not worry to much about some of the unbelievable plot. Just sit back and enjoy the story.

After spending a holiday in the countryside, seven Australian teens return home to find that their country has been invaded by a foreign power. With the help of another local, the kids band together to become guerrillas and rescue their families.

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Another French supernatural thriller to watch, is House of Voices. You won't need subtitles, because they English dubbed the movie (and did a decent job of it). A little bit slow in parts, but all in all I really enjoyed it. The ending may seem a bit confusing, but it kind of leaves a bit open for interpretation, which is nice sometimes.

A young cleaning woman (Virginie Ledoyen) is dispatched to tend to a crumbling orphanage called Saint Ange that houses only one child. While going about her duties, the new housekeeper begins to witness supernatural occurrences, causing her sole co-worker, a cook, to question her sanity. Directed by Pascal Laugier, this atmospheric ghost story (originally titled Saint Ange) serves up plenty of spine-tingling chills and twists.

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This next one, Apartment 143, is I guess the Spanish take on Paranormal Activity....but better (no need for subtitles). It's not anything mind blowing, but the acting and storyline are much better than any of the Paranormal movies. If you're in the mood for a bowl of popcorn and a few jumps, you'll enjoy this.

Hired by a family to investigate supernatural activity in their apartment, a paranormal research group find themselves haunted by a malevolent force. Their investigation is derailed as the strange manifestations become gradually more violent.

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Lastly (before I make a new post on the Bloody Disgusting films) is From Within. It's a little bit Red State-ish in the fact that it deals with extremely die-hard Christians, but with more of a supernatural element to it. All I can say is just watch it. It drags in the middle a bit, but I really enjoyed the story and plot.

When a rash of mysterious suicides strikes the idyllic burg of Grovetown, it galvanizes the faith of the largely Christian community, which staunchly clings to its evangelical beliefs. Convinced that the deaths are the work of something far more sinister than sheer fate, teenagers Lindsay and Aidan band together to unearth the real culprits and uncover a shocking revelation.

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SteelCityMom

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PostSubject: Re: Some good flicks for Halloween   Some good flicks for Halloween EmptySat Sep 29, 2012 11:31 am

Ok, on to the collection of Bloody Disgusting films that NetFlix has to offer (that I've watched so far...I'll be watching another one here shortly). There are a good number of them on NetFlix, and so far, while I haven't loved them all, I haven't hated any of them.

First is the British movie, Outcast, which is set in Ireland. The movie could have used a bit more back story, as it deals with what seems to be Celtic mythology, but it's still a very good story.

Mary and her son, Fergal, are Irish nomads in a shadowy world of magic, where a deadly hunter stalks their every move. When Fergal falls in love with Petronella, a beautiful girl in their new village, it makes mother and son easy targets.

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Next is Exit Humanity (with Dee Wallace and Bill Mosely...since I haven't been able to drop any names yet lol). VERY good zombie flick set 10 years after the Civil War. An excellent, fresh storyline to the zombie genre...HIGHLY recommend.

A decade after the Civil War, Edward Young returns home from a hunting trip to find that his son is missing and his wife has become a zombie. Edward sets out to find his son among the hordes of the walking dead and documents his story in a book.

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YellowBrickRoad...as the first reviewer suggests, this movie is very polarizing. You're either going to love it, or hate it. I loved it. I recognize the problems the movie has (not the best acting, disjointed at times), but some of it is just so damn creepy that it makes up for those problems. I watched this (as I do most movies) on the Nook with headphones on...it makes a ton of difference with this flick. Don't think to much about it, and don't go analyzing the reviews...just watch it and decide for yourself.

A small team of explorers heads into the New Hampshire wilderness to investigate the unexplained disappearance of the residents of Friar, who left their homes 70 years earlier -- without their money, their clothes or a word about where they went.

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Lastly (for now lol) is the Mexican movie Atrocious. What can I say, not the best movie I've seen, by far...but it freaked me out. It's a handheld camera movie, so if you're sick of those, don't even bother. If you don't mind them too much, give it a shot. There are a couple scenes where I got sick of them running around the woods...but some of it was just so damn creepy.

When Spanish police discover a crime scene in which a family has been brutally murdered, they turn their attention to the most riveting evidence -- 37 hours of videotape. Soon, new evidence comes to light that there may be more victims.




That's it for now (phew!). Post up your recommendations as well and let the horror begin!

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PostSubject: Re: Some good flicks for Halloween   Some good flicks for Halloween EmptySat Sep 29, 2012 4:23 pm

Bookmarking this shit, you went all out! I'll read it over when i'm ready to chill tonight.

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PostSubject: Re: Some good flicks for Halloween   Some good flicks for Halloween EmptyThu Oct 04, 2012 12:10 pm

Well, some of the ones I've watched the past few days have been utter crap, or just meh.

Two that stood out for me were The Tall Man (not really a horror, more of a mystery thriller) and Grave Encounters. (both on NetFlix streaming naturally)

The Tall Man is a pretty original film (or at least mostly original, not a story I've ever really seen before). Takes place in a depressed mining town that is haunted by a lethal force known as the Tall Man...who is taking the towns children. The movie has some really good twists to it and though I wasn't as happy with the ending as I was with the rest of the movie, it was still quite enjoyable.

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Next is a movie that I just watched last night...and genuinely creeped me out... Grave Encounters.

Many may have already seen it, or know what it's about. It's another handheld, found footage movie (which I'm a sucker for, even the bad ones). If you don't like this style at all, even the decent ones, then just move on. I put it up there with [REC], not because the acting is superb, or that the story is anything original...but for intense scare factor. Horror movies are supposed to be a cheap thrill (good acting and original plot are just gravy for me), and this movie delivered in spades.

Story is, a crew for a reality TV ghost hunting show spend the night locked in an abandoned mental institute to find out if it's haunted or not. The acting was pretty sub-par, but that didn't bother me at all, because you have to keep in mind who these actors are portraying...sub-par reality tv ghost hunters. Their characters are already full of cheese that you expect. The pacing was good...just what you would mostly expect from these flicks. Starts out tame, and tension builds exponentially.

I cannot stress enough though how creeped out I got. Not just a couple of jumps, but eyes wide open, heart racing, hands shaking a little bit, took me 3 hours to fall asleep after watching, kind of creeped out. That is extremely rare for me.

As with basically any horror movie I'll recommend (minus cheesy slasher flicks), I recommend viewing this late at night (get some candles out for ambiance) with headphones on.

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