The Other Side of the Door – Horror Movie

Other Side of the Door

Other Side of the Door(2016) was written and directed by Johannes Roberts with help writing from Ernest Riera. Starring Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead), Jeremy Sisto (Six Feet Under), Sofia Rosinsky, Logan Creran, and Suchitra Pillai.

MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS. ALSO IF YOU HAVE LOST A CHILD RECENTLY DO **NOT** WATCH THIS FILM

Maria and Michael (Sarah & Jeremy) decide based off of Michael’s booming business, that their family will move to India. The culture is shown off in the film with cafe’s and tuk-tuks in the street, how crowded it is and all the beautiful people throughout this film. Other than that, this was the worse idea for the family EVER. Maria is driving home with Oliver (Logan Creran, the son) and Lucy (Sofia Rosinsky, the younger daughter) when the car goes off a bridge and starts to sink into the river it was traversing over.

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This part was daunting and it was broken up throughout the film as flashbacks, but for clarity I’m beginning with it. The story is articulated perfectly gliding between the past and present, never loosing my interest.

Oliver gets his leg stuck between the seat and his car seat, while Maria tried to get him free. Without a knife it did seem nearly impossible, especially since she had Lucy in her arms already. She swims to safety with Lucy when the passersby stop her from jumping back in to save Oliver. Unfortunately Oliver drowns and when they finally free his lifeless body they drag him to the ground in which Maria refuses to leave his corpse.

I never have had a child, but I knew that if I had spawn and they died this, this scene is exactly what it would be like. The emotion from Sarah really shown through and I’ve seen The Walking Dead so this was a major surprise.

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So Maria goes into full grieve mode and does the whole ignore your entire ALIVE family because of the one death, which I’ve heard happens, but in this case it seemed dramatic. Michael spends a majority of the film off screen and away from Maria giving her space after she freaks out at him for not giving her space. So the film begins to really focus on her.

Their nanny/caretaker person, Piki (Suchitra Pillai) had learned of a place in which Maria could talk to her son one last time for closure. She herself apparently had gone their for the same reason. AND like any movie with something sacred (Army of Darkness) there are rules that need to be followed precisely.

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This was while Maria was in her hospital bed after her suicide attempt, that Piki tells her “take the ashes of your son and spread then on the steps, lock yourself inside and wait till dark, he will come to you.” She then repeated tells her if she does this DON’T OPEN THE DOOR, no matter what she hears.

I knew when I heard that last line, that she was too weak to listen. She would hear her son and open the door anyway. So was I surprised? No. She goes to fix her mind and promises her husband that she will come back whole. She leaves to Piki’s hometown and walks out into the forest to find this thinly veiled door to the other side (See what I did there!). She spreads Oliver’s ashes on the steps, taking a moment to accept that he is gone and then goes inside closing the door behind her. She has a couple of torches going and she waits and waits.

This was a great moment of build up that really got me interested in the film, I knew she was going to open the door, I knew she was weak and would not listen, yet this moment still had me watching.

Long story short, nightfall happens and there is some noises that happen behind the door, she finally starts talking to her son, but only for a short minute. Then the film insinuates that he is being ripped away against his will. Of course, Maria opens the door.

She runs from the place and pretends it never happened, because that always works in the films. Soon after she gets back her son comes to her in voices and then takes over the body of her daughter. The film gets real creepy quick with some scary tribal men popping up everywhere. Piki tries to help again, but this time pays the ultimate price as she is tricked into being killed by an Indian deity Myrtu guards the underworld.

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The native shamans and Myrtu really put this movie over the edge and the entire film gets more and more intense as you learn that Myrtu is there to take Oliver’s soul back and to take Maria for creating the entire mess.

The very last scene is an intense fight between the shamans, Maria, and Michael. This is the moment that Michael finally seems to be clued in and that very moment is when Maria dies and Myrtu takes her soul. Lucy played by Sofia played a significant part as well, being a creepy possessed little child and causing an immense about of chaos as possessed by an malevolent Oliver.

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Despite some jump scares, the makeup in this film really gave me shivers and decidedly adds to the entirety of the film. It was impassioned and it shows. The lighting, the script, the ambiance that is created, really places you in India and gives you the foreboding feeling as the pandemonium lets loose.

I have to give this film only an 8 out of 10 arms of dieties, because Sarah’s acting fell flat a couple of times (she was doing so well too) and the script was predictable in some places. But it was definitely worth watching.

Hush – Horror Movie

Hush

Hush (2016) was directed by the up and coming horror director Mike Flanagan. Written by Mike Flanagan and Kate Siegel. It stars Kate Siegel (Demon Legacy and Oculus), John Gallagher Jr. (10 Cloverfield Lane), Michael Trucco (Huge TV star and aparently up in Bye Bye Man), and Samantha Sloyan (has not appeared in any horror).

MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.

Mike Flanagan is getting to be big in the horror industry for whatever reason, I say this because his films: Absentia, Oculus, and Before I Wake, have not even peaked my interest. Well actually that is a lie. I went and watched Oculus in the theater, but that is a review for another time.

I saw some previews for Hush, being marketed entirely as unique. The problem that I see is that it was not unique. This is a home invasion film. Maddie the main character is a woman that lives alone and a “man” (actual name of the character) seriously tries hard to invade the home, torture Maddie and kill her. This is a typical home invasion film. The ONLY uniqueness is that Maddie is deaf in both ears. She was not always deaf. She reads lips, she signs, and apparently she is a writer who lives in the cabin alone in the woods.

I wanted to believe that Hush was the film that would display uniqueness to this particular sub-genre. What this film did was display a fully functional adult acting as a deaf person. I’m not sure what studying was done, though I do know that the sign language that is used is correct for the most part.

Hush the Man

Things that I loved about this film, the man. This character was given no background, no intentions, and the most creative mindset of the whole film. Never given a name, the man sneaks into the unguarded home of Maddie and steals her phone. He goes right back outside. So immediately we know that he isn’t in it for just the kill, he wants the chase, the thrill. Most of the time as a viewer, we want an explanation. We NEVER get it. He tortures Maddie inside her mostly glass home, where he could easily destroy all the glass and make his way in.

The film not so subtly hints at some foreshadowing in the story with a smoke detector that is extremely loud and bright in order to grab the attention of the our deaf Maddie. This plot device is used in an extremely obvious manner, making me want to gag. The computer, phone, and other devices along the way also are super apparent.

I’ve recently made a friend with a deaf person, because my best friend is dating him and I was excited to see his culture represented in my genre. But now, I feel a bit of shame. This film was not as good as promised. The script was too easily written and the characters that were meant to have depth fell flat, while the ONE character with no background was predominately stealing the show.

Out of 10 bloody iPhones, I give this film a mere 3 and 1/2. I really want a better representation of horror and deaf culture coming together.

Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse -Horror Novel

Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse

Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse

By Jack Strange

2016 Kensington Gore Publishing

A review by Aunty Demented

I went into this story completely blind, without even a blurb to tell me what it was about or what it was trying to do.  After reading it in its entirety, I still don’t know what the hell this story was trying to do.

Young Robert Turner, an employee at a crappy TV station, is given the task of revamping the show of long dead celebrity chef Floyd Rampant.  Conveniently enough for him, he has a scientist uncle who just happens to be working on a machine that can raise the dead, appropriately named the Lazarus Engine.

Don’t get attached, we won’t be seeing Robert, his uncle, or the machine for very long.

Robert runs over the neighbor’s cat, Henderson, and they decide to test the machine out.  They successfully bring him back, albeit a bit squashed around the middle, not that it matters since every single character who sees a cat with a flattened body walking around alive in this book shows only mild interest in the fact.

Inspired, Robert comes up with the brilliant plan of bringing Mr. Floyd Rampant back to life.  Most unfortunately, it works.  Rampant wakes as a zombie, hungry, horny, and ready to use an upcoming ChefCon to make himself an army of celebrity chef zombies.

So, here’s the thing, darlings.  This novel has some very good off the cuff satire here and there and some seriously good gems.  Rapey prisoner vs zombie lady (hint: it does NOT end well for his genitals), Kat De Vine zombie and just horny zombies in general filled your Aunty D with unending delight.

Unfortunately, those are only a few gems and you have to dig through clunky writing (Rampant goes from ‘Hey I’m a zombie’ to ‘Take over the world!!!’ awfully quick, for instance.), bad dialogue and a story that seems unable to make up its mind in order to find them.

It seems like it wants to be an over the top horror comedy until you hit Part III when it seems to decide it wants to be hard hitting political satire.  And frankly, it doesn’t work as either.

I think my main bone of contention with this story was that it wasn’t nearly over the top enough.  Granted, that could be a particularly personal gripe of mine.  I’m willing to forgive a lot in a horror comedy if it pushes the boundaries, including characters that are blatantly stupid.  If I’m reading a story about horny zombie chefs, I want copious amounts of sex and gore and Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse didn’t give me anywhere near enough of either to satisfy my twisted little heart.  I wanted celebrity chef groupies gleefully banging the undead and celebrity chef zombies giving an audience details on how to properly prepare a human body in a red wine sauce with liver and onions on the side.  That kind of shit.

Part III gets us involved in the bureaucracy surrounding trying to deal with the zombie army.  Also fine if that had been the tone set from the beginning, but springing it on us in the last part really doesn’t work for the story and slows the pace down even more.  A hardened mercenary actually gives a shit that zombies have lawyers?  Please.

Another main bone of contention is something I mentioned earlier.  We’re introduced to the story through Brian Turner and his uncle, both of whom are killed off almost the second Rampant is brought back to life.  Now if this had been a one time thing, I wouldn’t have a problem with it, but it happens over and over and over until we truly and honestly don’t have a main character to follow.  You can pretty much bet anyone introduced will get three chapters or so giving us their backstory before they’re promptly eaten.  The ones that do survive, like Inspector Jardine, the policewoman investigating the rash of murders, aren’t given enough time or characterization for us to really care about them.  Or Dave Sykes, who is so fucking stupid I was actually disappointed when he didn’t die.

As far as first novels go, this wasn’t the worst I’ve ever read, and Strange has potential to build on in future novels but I just can’t get behind this one.  I can kind of see what it was trying to do, but it didn’t really go far enough in any direction to live up to it.

 

Aunty Demented 6/26/16

The Conjuring 2 – Horror Movie

The Conjuring 2

The Conjuring 2 was directed by James Wan, written by Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes, James Wan, and David Leslie Johnson and starring Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring) and Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring, Bates Motel).

The Conjuring 2 was set up to be a spectacle sequel to the original, I don’t think it lived up to those expectations. The film was able to create some decent jump scares, but it lacked the finesse and creepiness that the original created.  If you have seen the trailers, you have seen this character that the movie appears to be about. A deeply disturbing-looking nun. This character was true to nature, really actually dug into my sense of fear.

Basic plot is that an English family is dealing with a possession. What really got to me about this, was that ALL of the proof that they displayed to prove the possession, THEY, the characters disproved in the film. Then they continued as if to ignore what they just did. It really took me out of the story. I didn’t care about the characters anymore.

Superfluous characters were very well developed at first (the siblings) but they kept getting sent away so that you could not react with them. The plot made you think that certain characters would be key to the story, but then dropped the ball. It definitely acted like most sequels by not standing up to the original.

There also appeared to be less hype, though one article boasted of killing an elderly man that watch the film in India. I wouldn’t personally think this film was entirely that scary. Really it was merely a few jump scares with a little bit of the creepiness we have come to love from James Wan. I have to say personally I was disappointed and may wait to see The Nun (potential spin-off) or The Conjuring 3 (also possible film) on DVD or Netflix instead of in theater. Personal Note: James Wan, I’m so disappointed. I was getting used to your fresh vibrate take on horror, but sequels are not your game.

Out of 10 I give this film a 7.  It was good, not great. It was worth watching at least once, it has some scare, but lacked a focus and understanding. It needs work but potential to watch again isn’t there. Still better than average.