Author Topic: Hal's 2010 Horror Marathon Reviews  (Read 25966 times)

hal9g

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Hal's 2010 Horror Marathon Reviews
« on: October 02, 2010, 12:55:16 AM »


Title: The Eye: 2-Disc Special Edition
Year: 2008
Director: David Moreau, Xavier Palud
Rating: PG-13
Length: 97 Min.
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: English: DTS-HD High Resolution: 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo, Other: Dolby Digital: 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish

Stars:
Jessica Alba
Alessandro Nivola
Parker Posey
Rade Serbedzija
Fernanda Romero

Plot:
Sydney Wells is blind and has been so since a childhood tragedy. After undergoing surgery to restore her sight she learns to see again. But soon after, unexplainable shadowy and frightening images start to haunt her. Not knowing if they are an aftermath of surgery, her mind adjusting to sight, her imagination, or something horrifyingly real, Sydney is soon convinced that her anonymous eye donor has somehow opened the door to a terrifying world only she can now see.

Extras:
Scene Access
Feature Trailers
Deleted Scenes
Featurettes
Digital Copy
TheaterVision: English descriptive audio.

My Thoughts:
More of a thriller than a horror movie, it was still entertaining with a few "scary" moments.  The plot was somewhat predictable, even including the final resolution, but the journey kept it interesting and of course Jessica is certainly easy on the eyes.

Rating:
« Last Edit: October 02, 2010, 09:41:12 PM by Hal »

hal9g

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Rest Stop: Dead Ahead
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2010, 05:38:00 PM »


Title: Rest Stop: Uncut
Year: 2006
Director: John Shiban
Rating: Unrated
Length: 110 Min.
Video: Widescreen 1.78:1
Audio: English: Dolby TrueHD: 5.1, English: Dolby Digital: 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Stars:
Jaimie Alexander
Michael Childers
Jennifer Cormack
Gary Entin
Edmund Entin

Plot:
Jess is at the wheel. Nicole rides shotgun. At the end of the road stretching before them is glamorous Hollywood. They're on a road trip, all right...straight to hell. When the runaway lovers pause at an abandoned rest stop, Jess disappears. And someone else appears - someone with his own demented sense of fun. With drills. Staple guns. Box cutters. All the tearing, grinding, ripping tools needed to hew wood. Or metal. Or people. Especially young, pretty people just like Nicole. Director John Shiban, writer and executive producer of The X-Files and Supernatural, keeps the terrors and twists coming, each out-shocking the last. Stop. Stay awhile. But don't expect to rest.

Extras:
Scene Access
Feature Trailers
Deleted Scenes
Featurettes

My Thoughts:
I have to admit this movie did get my stomach in a knot at times and had me cringing during a few scenes.  I found it quite effective that the antagonist is never actually seen, at least his face; just adding to the fear as you envision in your own mind just what the face of evil might look like.

I still haven't quite figured out the RV family scene.  It just doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the movie.

There are three alternate endings on the DVD.  They definitely selected the right one for the theatrical release.

Rating:
« Last Edit: October 02, 2010, 09:39:03 PM by Hal »

hal9g

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Rest Stop: Don't Look Back
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2010, 09:31:01 PM »


Title: Rest Stop: Don't Look Back: Uncut
Year: 2008
Director: Shawn Papazian
Rating: NR
Length: 89 Min.
Video: Widescreen 2.40:1
Audio: English: Dolby TrueHD: 5.1, English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo, Portuguese: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Stars:
Kelly Albanese
Michael Childers
Brionne Davis
Edmund Entin
Gary Entin

Plot:
One year ago, the mysterious Rest Stop killer drilled, ripped and splattered young road trippers Jesse and Nicole.

Now three more unsuspecting travelers come looking for the missing duo. And that means the killer gets to sharpen his horrific torture skills all over again - only bloodier and scarier than before. He's not alone, either. The Winnebago full of creepy living corpses is also back, roaming the old highway. And Jesse and Nicole's brutalized ghosts seek revenge, determined to give as gory as they got. Watch if you dare. But whatever you do, Don't Look Back!

Extras:
Scene Access
Feature Trailers
My Thoughts:
Jess' older brother Tom, back from Iraq, goes looking for him a year after he disappeared in Rest Stop: Dead Ahead.

Just more of the same blood and gore as in the original, but with a further explanation of the RV family and "The Driver's" seeming immortality thrown in.

Pretty much ho-hum in the acting department.  Not much reason to revisit this one in the future.

Rating:

hal9g

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Hostel
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2010, 02:54:41 AM »


Title: Hostel: Director's Cut
Year: 2005
Director: Eli Roth
Rating: Unrated
Length: 94 Min.
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: English: Dolby TrueHD: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Portuguese: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish

Stars:
Jay Hernandez
Derek Richardson
Eythor Gudjonsson
Barbara Nedeljakova
Jan Vlasak

Plot:
College friends Paxton and Josh are lured by a fellow traveler to what's described as a nirvana for American backpackers - a particular hostel in an out-of-the-way Slovakian town stocked with Eastern European women as desperate as they are gorgeous. The two friends arrive and soon easily pair off with exotic beauties Natalya and Svetlana. In fact, too easily... Initially distracted by the good time they're having, the two Americans quickly find themselves trapped in an increasingly sinister situation that they will discover is as wide and as deep as the darkest, sickest recess of human nature itself - if they survive.

Extras:
Scene Access
Audio Commentary
Feature Trailers
Deleted Scenes
Featurettes
Gallery
Multi-angle
Interviews

My Thoughts:
Well, this is the third movie I've watched today that includes an obsession with electric drills.  This movie starts out being your typical "buddy" movie with two guys traveling Europe in search of as much sex as they can find.  Then about half-way through, they "hook-up" with two girls who lure them in with a roll in the hay, but who have ulterior motives for their actions.

Some pretty gruesome scenes for the feint of heart, especially, with the young Asian girl.  It is a little hard to believe that the human body can endure some of the treatment depicted without the owner passing out, but what fun would it be to torture someone who's unconscious.  It would be like screwing a corpse.  Then again, I hear there are people who go for that sort of thing, too.

If this is a prime example of Tarantino's work, then I now know why I've avoided it thus far.

The acting was fairly decent and the cinematography and score were decent. Those are the only things that keep me from rating this lower.

Rating:

Najemikon

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Re: Hostel
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2010, 12:31:06 PM »
If this is a prime example of Tarantino's work, then I now know why I've avoided it thus far.

 :o

I do think the Hostel movies have a bit more going for them than average torture porn, as they at least come from a grain of truth (businessmen travelling across the world being provided with a prostitution service, and Eli Roth finding a website offering exactly what the film is about), but don't be fooled by Tarantino's name above the title.

It is very much Roth's film. He wrote it and directed it. Tarantino simply helped him get it made. "Prime example"? Not remotely.

I guess from your comment you are yet to see Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, etc? You really must, if only to see the difference. You may not like them any better, you might end up joining Antares and Jimmy in the anti-QT club, but I'm sure they wouldn't consider Hostel as typical fare from him.

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Hostel
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2010, 12:49:29 PM »
I'm sure they wouldn't consider Hostel as typical fare from him.
I sure don't, but I can't stand Eli Roth even more and this film is just ridiculous (I bought it, took many attempt to watch it and I've no intention to lost any more times watching it)...

hal9g

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Re: Hostel
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2010, 03:32:43 PM »
I guess from your comment you are yet to see Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, etc?
[/quote]

I have both Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction in my collection (and have for a very long time), but have yet to watch them.

Based on your comments, I am reserving my view on QT.

Roth would have been better served if he had done this as a documentary as he originally intended, although as he said, he probably couldn't have raised the money for it or had any "witnesses" to come forward and live.

hal9g

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Hostel Part II
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2010, 09:31:24 PM »


Title: Hostel Part II: Unrated Director's Cut
Year: 2007
Director: Eli Roth
Rating: Unrated
Length: 95 Min.
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: English: PCM: 5.1, English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai

Stars:
Lauren German
Roger Bart
Heather Matarazzo
Bijou Phillips
Richard Burgi (1958)

Plot:
Presented by Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Vols. 1 & 2) and written and directed by Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever), HOSTEL PART II is the shocking and gruesome sequel about the underground torture ring where rich businessmen pay to torture and murder their victims.

The second installment in this terrifying franchise centers around three young American women (Lauren German, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Bijou Phillips, Bully, and Heather Matarazzo, Welcome to the Dollhouse) who are studying in Rome. They are lured into a hostel by a beautiful young woman who sells them in as the next victims of a murder-for-profit business. Also starring Roger Bart (TV's "Desperate Housewives") and Richard Burgi (Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation).

Extras:
Scene Access
Audio Commentary
Feature Trailers
Deleted Scenes
Featurettes
Interviews
Outtakes/Bloopers
Interactive Surveillance Camera Footage

My Thoughts:
The carnage continues in this sequel to Hostel but with young women as the targets instead of young men.  We get a little closer look at the inner workings of the "enterprise", and a little less of the blood and gore; not much less but a little.

The role reversal of Todd and Stuart was an interesting and unexpected twist and Stuart's fate will give lifelong nightmares to any red-blooded male!   :o

Rating:
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 08:56:15 PM by Hal »

hal9g

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The Invasion
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2010, 03:08:37 AM »


Title: The Invasion
Year: 2007
Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Rating: PG-13
Length: 99 Min.
Video: Widescreen 1.78:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, English: Dolby TrueHD: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital: 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Stars:
Nicole Kidman
Daniel Craig
Jeremy Northam
Jackson Bond
Jeffrey Wright

Plot:
Something terrifying has come to Earth, something that attacks us while we sleep and turns us into soulless replicants. The clock is ticking as Washington, DC psychiatrist Carol Bennell (Nicole Kidman) and her colleague Ben Driscoll (Daniel Craig) embark on a heart-stopping journey into a nightmarish world where the only way to stay alive is to stay awake. No one can be trusted. No one is safe in producer Joel Silver's bold new take on Jack Finney's classic novel The Body Snatchers.

Don't fall asleep! The Invasion is here.

Extras:
Scene Access
Featurettes

My Thoughts:
This was a pretty good remake of the old classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  The use of the actual space shuttle explosion over Texas, then expanding on that to have it carry a deadly virus back to Earth and spreading it widely has just the level of plausibility to make for a viable story.

Even though the plot was fairly predictable, Kidman, Craig and Kaufman did a good job of maintaining the suspense level throughout.

The timing on this movie seems to b directly related to recent outbreaks of SARS and avian flu.  Maybe they should have waited for the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic!  I do have a bit of a problem with the fact that the CDC guy is in Washington, when anyone who knows anything about them knows they have very few people in D.C. and do all of their infectious disease studies in Atlanta (I worked there for 7 years).

At any rate, I enjoyed this one, especially after the last four I've watched in this horror marathon!

Rating:
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 08:56:37 PM by Hal »

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Hal's 2010 Horror Marathon Reviews
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2010, 04:21:20 AM »
I don't like Tarantino either...and I have seen some of his movies.  I just don't like them.

I haven't seen any of the Hostel movies...they just don't have any appeal to me.

Offline Achim

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Re: Hal's 2010 Horror Marathon Reviews
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2010, 07:04:45 AM »
Then one major fault I always found with Hostel is, that the two American buddys are shown with such appaling bahaviour, I almost cheered when they had their fate coming their way. There was a lot potential in having them more likable instead...

hal9g

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The Covenant
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2010, 09:28:20 PM »


Title: The Covenant
Year: 2006
Director: Renny Harlin
Rating: PG-13
Length: 97 Min.
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, English: PCM: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai

Stars:
Steven Strait
Laura Ramsey
Sebastian Stan
Taylor Kitsch
Chace Crawford

Plot:
To the students of the Spenser Academy, the Sons of Ipswich are the baddest boys on campus. But that's not all they share. The four friends also share a 300-year-old secret: they're warlocks, the teenage descendants of a 17th-century coven of witches. So when the long-banished fifth son suddenly appears and threatens to kill their loved ones, they realize they must face their enemy in order to prevent him from stealing their powers and shattering THE COVENANT forever.

Extras:
Scene Access
Audio Commentary
Feature Trailers
Featurettes

My Thoughts:
This was an enjoyable film with an interesting premise.  It's one of those really dark movies where it's rather difficult to actually see what is going on.  Seems to be a very popular filming technique for this genre.  I'm not sure why the four didn't band together to fight the bad guy, or why Caleb is more powerful than Chase after ascending and inheriting power.  After all Chase had ascended and inherited power also.  I guess an old-fashioned one-on-one, good against evil was required and four against one wouldn't seem quite fair.  Not that I give a damn about fair in these type of fights!

Worth a look see.

Rating:

hal9g

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Day Watch
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2010, 09:39:24 PM »


Title: Dnevnoy dozor: Unrated
Year: 2006
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Rating: Unrated
Length: 146 Min.
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: Russian: DTS-HD High Resolution: 5.1, English: DTS: 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: Chinese, English, Korean, Spanish

Stars:
Konstantin Khabensky
Maria Poroshina
Vladimir Menshov
Galina Tyunina
Victor Verzhbitsky

Plot:
In this thrilling sequel to Night Watch, only one thing stands between peace and Armageddon: the supernatural agents of Day Watch, who fight to control the armies of Light and Darkness. When the son of a senior Day Watch officer turns to the Darkness, incredible forces are unleashed....and the fate of the world hangs in the balance!

Extras:
Scene Access
Audio Commentary
Feature Trailers
Featurettes
D-Box

My Thoughts:
I probably should have read the overview before watching this, since I would have seen that this is a sequel to Nightwatch, which I've never watched, even though I do own it.
At any rate, I found this one a little hard to follow, probably due to concentrating on subtitles most of the time and I'm not sure the translation was the best, or either, they use phrases that have no equal in English.  Some hot looking babes and lots of "action" are about the only things really going for this film.

Rating:
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 08:57:35 PM by Hal »

hal9g

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Vengeance
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2010, 09:48:41 PM »


Title: Phairii phinaat paa mawrana
Year: 2006
Director: Pleo Sirisuwan
Rating: NR
Length: 103 Min.
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: Other: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Other: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo, English: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: English

Stars:
Andy Tungkaprasert
Chalad Na Songkhla
Chirapat Wongpaisanlux
Surachai Sangagard
Chaiwat Chirawattanakarn

Plot:
A team of police officers must track down a group of ruthless criminals who have entered a mysterious forest that is said to be cursed. Once inside the forest, the police and the criminals discover a bizarre world where mythical creatures exist and the curse of ancient treasure hidden within the forest is in fact real. As they make their way through the forest, they must fight against the creatures within and each other - in hopes of escaping alive.

Extras:
Feature Trailers
Featurettes
Music Videos

My Thoughts:
A little slow getting started, but the action picks up after awhile.  Photography is quite stunning at times, but the acting left a bit to be desired.  Again it may have more to do with concentrating on subtitles.
An interesting story with some nice CG monsters and several little unexpected twists to the story throughout.
Worth a look.

Rating:
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 08:57:58 PM by Hal »

hal9g

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Dark Water
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2010, 10:05:39 PM »


Title: Dark Water
Year: 2005
Director: Walter Salles
Rating: PG-13
Length: 105 Min.
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1
Subtitles:

Stars:
Jennifer Connelly
John C. Reilly
Tim Roth
Dougray Scott
Pete Postlethwaite

Plot:
The terror of Dark Water reaches new heights on Blu-ray Disc. Starring acclaimed actress Jennifer Connelly, the film Rolling Stone calls "a torrent of suspense" is a visual and auditory wonder in this revolutionary high definition format.

Life becomes a living nightmare for Dahlia Williams and her daughter when their new apartment begins to take on a life of its own. Experience every heart-stopping moment in razor-sharp 1080p, and feel the grip of every blood-curdling scream delivered in 5.1 48 kHz, 16-bit uncompressed audio. See, hear and feel the excitement with Blue-ray High Definition.

Extras:
Scene Access
Audio Commentary

My Thoughts:
This movie combines both horror and a psychological thriller.  The director does a good job of making the viewer question whether things that are happening are real or just figments of Dahlia's or Ceci's imagination, reminiscent of movies like Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte.  I'm still trying to figure out exactly why they used "Dark Water" as the manifestation of the little Russian girl.  The hair coming out of the faucet was kinda gross, though.
Definitely worth a spin.

Rating:
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 08:58:19 PM by Hal »