Saturday, October 12, 2019

Rabid (2019) Review





Rabid (2019) Review
By William Pattison
For Horror Bob’s Blog


Gore and Scare everyone! It is now my pleasure to once again review a film done by The Twisted Twins, Jen and Sylvia Soska. The film in question is the remark of David Cronenberg masterpiece Rabid, a very challenging thing to do.
Rabid tells the story of Rose (played excellently by Laura Vandervoort) who is a meek introverted and rather plain aspiring fashion designer who is working under the iron hand of fashion mogul Gunter (played by Mackenzie Gray). Rose’s adopted sister and best friend Chelsea (played by Hanneke Talbot) tries to help Rose get out of her shell by getting her a date with fashion photographer Brad (played by Benjamin Hollingsworth). While at the party Rose goes to the restroom to quell her anxiety caused by being with Brad and being at the party. While sitting in a bathroom stall she hears two shallow model twins (played perfectly by Jen and Sylvia Soska) talking shit about her and laughing about how her sister had to talk Brad into going out with her. This is enough for Rose. Upset she tries to leave riding her scooter. She doesn’t watch where she’s going and gets hit by a car. After she wakes in the hospital to find the lower part of her face disfigured and her intestine damaged so she would never eat normally again. Luckily an experimental surgeon who was obsessed with transhumanism offers Rose a chance to be healed through a unique stem cell procedure. The result is that Rose’s face and body are completely healed, though the doctor has her drinking special nutrient drinks as part of her recovery. Unfortunately, for Rose she doesn’t realize she is the carrier of a new strain of rabies that has a shorter incubation period. Also, she finds she has strange dreams and a hunger for blood. Oh, and not to mention the worm-like appendage with a needle-like point that comes out through her mouth and armpit. Now the city is in danger of being overcome with the new rabies plague and Rose is the cause.
Now comes the part you’ve been waiting for…what I thought about this film. Well, first off obviously this film is nowhere near the masterpiece that the original Rabid is. There just was no way that Jen and Sylvia Soska could outdo Cronenberg. Cronenberg is a horror master and he has far more education, skill, and pure artistic genius than The Twisted Twins could ever muster. But I will say that as a remake and homage to David Cronenberg’s work the Soskas film is not bad. I honestly have to say this the best film they’ve done in the horror genre. This film is solid. The ladies' use of pace, shock, and gore value were matured, unlike their earlier attempts. I was glad they stuck to classic practical makeup FX rather than CGI, like they did in See No Evil 2. Also, as much as the red doctors' gowns and gloves gave me a red light in the trailer, but when I saw it in the context of the film itself it worked excellently and really pushed the fact that the doctor was like a cultist. Also, the ending is royally Cronenberg and kind of reminded me of The Brood.
Since I was first introduced to the twins years ago, when they were promoting their film Dead Hooker in a Trunk, a film I loved, I’ve been royally disappointed in the films they’ve done since. I felt the films for the most point felt shallow and lacking the spark I saw in Dead Hooker. With Rabid I see that the girls have matured as filmmakers and in the case of this film took the time to really craft a film that shows the potential I saw in those fresh film students I knew who were running around in bars showing their first film. This was the work I was waiting to see come from them. I hope they take these words to heart and continue to craft their film rather than just throwing things out quick and not putting the love into the work. That is the lesson you should get from David Cronenberg. He puts everything into his art and never compromises. One little suggestion for Jen and Sylvia…if you could please go back to your roots in a future project. Leave the shallow world of social circles and give the fans a well-crafted grindhouse horror film, like of like your own From Dusk Till Dawn. I’d like to see a bit of grit and humor again. Congratulations on your achievement ladies.
If I was to rate this film from a 1 to 5 rating I would give Rabid a hard 4.
Keep on Creepin’, Horror Bob’s Blog.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Review: My Dinner with Herv'e



Review: My Dinner With Herv’e
By William Pattison

I know this isn’t a horror or sci fi film but after watching My Dinner With Herv’e I could not hold back the urge to review this HBO Original film presentation.
My Dinner with Herv’e tells the story of reporter Danny Tate and how in 1993 he was given the assignment of doing an interview with author and screenwriter Gore Vidal. Also, his editor decides that while he is in LA he will do another interview with former Fantasy Island co-star Herv’e Villechaise for the anniversary of the James Bond film Man with The Golden Gun, which Villechaise acted in. Tate is trying to get his life back together after being twenty days sober and being separated from his wife and child. His editor has told him that he can’t screw up these interviews because his job is on the line.
Tate meets and has dinner with Villechaise. Villechaise, who hasn’t done an interview in years, is surprised by how boring and standard Tate’s interview is. Villechaise starts prodding Tate and offering “the real story”. Tate tells him he has to leave because he has another interview, but Villechaise is insistent and even resorts to calling Tate a “Junior” which irritates the reporter. Tate leases frustrated and ends up being twenty minutes late getting to his interview with Gore Vidal. Vidal is angry and refuses to do the interview. In an attempt to try and salvage his trip Tate goes back to Villechaise to hear the real story. The result is an evening of Villechaise going from one crazy antic to another while telling Tate the story of how he was rejected by his mother for being a dwarf through his time as an artist, and on through becoming an actor and in the end destroying his own career over his marriage to a money grubbing actress.
Actor Peter Dinklage is fantastic as Herv’e Villechaise. Through Dinklage is quite a bit taller and looks nothing like the late Villechaise, he still manages to capture the feel of this tragic celebrity. Also, Jamie Dornan does a good job as reporter Danny Tate. But some serious credit needs to be given to Andy Garcia for his performance as Richardo Montalban.
Director and writer Sacha Gervasi presents a very tight and well written film that shows a no holds barred presentation of the rise and fall of this much beloved television star. This is a film you don't want to miss. I cannot give a higher recommendation for this film.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Review: House of Thaddeus




Review: House of Thaddeus
By William Pattison
For Horror Bob’s Blog

Gore and scares everyone. Well, this time I’ve got a genre busting film that is neither a drama, mystery, or horror film, but has aspects of all. That film is 2013’s House of Thaddeus.
House of Thaddeus tells the story of Tom and Claire. Tom is a science teacher who believes in reason. Claire is a pianist who has a belief in the spiritual. They’ve gotten a great deal on a four level house that was once a bed and breakfast. The inside of the house is rather odd in the in every room are these strange gold symbols with orbs with red crystals in them. The man who sells them the house tells them they were made by the man who built the house, who was a sort of cult leader named Thaddeus, so he could watch over the house in death.
Soon after moving in Claire gets injured when a windows slams down on her hand. Claire ends up with her hand in a cast and the doctor informs her that there is a chance she will never play the piano again. Then to make things worse one of Tom’s fellow teachers tells him that the house was location of a brutal murder. After hearing about this Claire becomes obsessed about learning more about Thaddeus and the murders. Tom is opposed about this. Then people start showing up wanting to see the house because of the murders. Tom keeps trying to kick them out while Claire welcomes them. Claire starts putting on tours of the house while Tom is at work. This causes stress with their marriage when he finds out.
It is at this point that Claire meets a medium who tells her that she needs to find the surviving daughter of the family who was murdered so she can let her talk to her family  and close her wounds. Claire does this even though Tom is opposed. Claire finds the daughter but Tom ruins the séance. After he tells her he wants a divorce. Claire tells him she wants the house.
This film is not for most horror fans because it doesn’t have ghost FX, creepy lighting or music, nor does it even have a stormy night scene. The ghosts in this film are simply presented as the history of the house and how it affects the people living in it. This film is mostly about differences in ideologies and beliefs and how these differences destroy the main couple’s marriage. It is the writing and performances that propel this film rather than special effects and camera tricks.
So in the end I have to highly recommend this film if you want to see something intriguing without any jump scares….
Keep it Creepin’, Horror Bob’s Blog!!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Review: Ghost Stories




Review: Ghost Stories
By William Pattison
For Horror Bob’s Blog

Gore and Scares everybody! For my review this time I’ve got the 2017 English art house horror film Ghost Stories.
Ghost Stories tells the story of paranormal debunker Professor Goodman. Goodman one day gets a message from his mentor, who he thought was dead, Professor Charles Cameron. Goodman travels across England and finds his mentor living in a broken down trailer in the middle of nowhere. Goodman asked Cameron why he went into seclusion and he tells him because he had found that the paranormal was true and he was living in fear because of it. Goodman asks him why he didn’t share his findings, but instead of giving him a straight answer Cameron hands Goodman the files he had of his last three cases. He tells Goodman to look into these three cases and that will give him his answers. But as he leaves he sees Professor Cameron watching him and behind him is a mysterious dark figure he can’t clearly see.  So, Goodman takes up the challenge and investigating these three chilling stories. But what Professor Goodman doesn’t realize is this investigation is going to twist his ideas of reality.
I have to say I loved this film. First time filmmakers Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman (who also plays the part of skeptic Goodman) show they know what they are doing. The story which was created by Dyson and Nyman as a stage play is complex and full of twists and turns and clues to the final plot twist that turns the story in a totally new direction. The film work is incredible for a film that was shot on a shoe-string budget. The locations where the stories take place are shot with extreme shadows that make them that much more creepy. The ghost FX and makeup are top notch and not over the top yet stunning and freak inducing. I have to say the last time a movie ghost freaked me out like these did was the ghost in the Guillermo Del Toro classic The Devil’s Backbone. But a great film can’t be great without wonderful performances and this film has them with the standout performance being Andy Nyman as Goodman, Martin Freeman (Sherlock, The Hobbit) as Mike Pribble, and Alex Lawther as the frightened teenager Simon Rifkind.
So, if you like a scary film that keeps you guessing and is loaded with interesting characters then Ghost Stories just might be the film for you. I know it was for me.
Keep on Creepin’, Horror Bob’s Blog!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Review: Hellraiser: Judgment




Review: Hellraiser: Judgment
By William Pattison
For Horror Bob’s Blog

Gore and scares everybody! For my review this time I have the latest film in the Hellraiser franchise, Hellraiser: Judgment.
                Hellraiser: Judgment tells the story of police detectives Sean Carter (Damon Carney), his brother David Carter (Randy Wayne) , and Christine Egerton (Alexandra Harris). They are on the trail to capture a serial killer who is called The Preceptor. Unfortunately during the investigation Sean finds himself going through a new portal to Hell and having his life auditor by the minion of hell known as The Auditor. It seems Hell has found that the Lemarchant boxes are outmoded and are now inviting the wicked to come to their hell house for judgment. But when the Assessor and the judges are overwhelmed by Sean’s sins the Auditor must consult with the hell priest Pinhead. It is then they are approached by an Angel from Heaven who demands that Sean be released. The Auditor goes to check on Sean only to find that he has escaped and has taken one of the Lemarchant boxes the Auditor had on display. So, will Sean and his associates solve the mystery of The Preceptor or will Sean fall for the trap that is The Lemarchant Box?
                I have to say that Hellraiser: Judgment was the most enjoyable Hellraiser outing I’ve seen since the Hellraiser anthology, Hellraiser: Bloodline. Director Gary J Tunnicliffe (who also plays The Auditor) weaves a wonderful twist filled tale of brutality, judgment, and madness. He corrects the mistakes he made in his last Hellraiser outing, Hellraiser: Revelations, and brought back the Cenobytes as well as expanded the hell started by Clive Barker with a bunch of interesting new minions of hell including The Auditor, The Assessor,The Cleaners, The Judges, and The Surgeon. Also he brings us a new reimagined Pinhead played by Paul T Taylor, who brilliantly takes over for Doug Bradley. And Tunnicliffe further expands the Hellraiser world with the Angel Jophiel, played by Helen Grace Donald. Also, Nightmare on Elm Street actress Heather Langencamp makes an appearance as a creepy landlady.
The only bad part of this film is that it was made on a small budget and you can tell. But this is still far better than the last five films which is unfortunate for a once groundbreaking horror franchise.
Keep on Creepin’,Horror Bob’s Blog…

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Review: Victor Crowley




Review: Victor Crowley
By William Pattison
For Horror Bob’s Blog

For my review this time I have the fourth film in the Hatchet franchise, though this time director/writer Adam Green has simply titled it Victor Crowley after the film’s supernatural slasher.
In this fourth edition of the franchise we are introduced to Cloe (Katie Booth), her boyfriend Alex (Chase Williamson), and their friend Rose. These three are trying to make a film on Victor Crowley and Cloe came up with the idea to have Andrew Yong (played by Parry Shen), the survivor from the last time Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder) massacred people in the film and the trailer they are planning to shoot to entice investors. They try to meet and talk to Andrew at a book signing for his book I Survived but his agent Kathleen (Felissa Rose) pulls him away when she gets a call about a big interview at the scene of the massacre. So Cloe and her friends head to the swamp and meet up with Dillon (played by Dave Sheridan), a swamp tour guide with aspirations of being an actor. Cloe has Rose recite the magic spell that rose Victor Crowley from the grave but Rose can’t pronounce it right. Cloe uses Rose’s phone and programs videos of various people saying the spell from Youtube. Suddenly they hear a loud plane crash. It is the plane Andrew Yong was in to get to his interview. It ended up crashing right near the ruins of Victor Crowley’s house. Unfortunately in their rush to check out the crash Rose drops the phone which is still playing the spell being said. The spell brings Victor Crowley back and Cloe, her friends, and the survivors of the crash must now this undead terror….
First of all, I can’t say I’m a fan of the Hatchet franchise or Adam Green’s writing. I’ve seen all of them and I have to say this is the weakest installment to the franchise. The acting was way over the top which really messed with any attempt at tension that Green tried to create. Honesty, the only performances that I found even slightly tolerable were Parry Shen as Andrew and Tiffany Shepis as the camera girl Casey, even though she spent most of her performance trapped and unable to move under some metal pieces waiting to drown. The humor in this film, yes this is supposed to be a horror comedy, was really crude and didn’t impress me at all. Finally, due I suspect to lack of budget the gore FX looked horrid, like they were done by amateurs. Shoot, the fake head of the girl in the opening scene where she gets her limbs hacked off and then her head did not even look like the actress at all. It looked like the majority of the makeup budget went to the Victor Crowley character makeup.
So, I can honestly say that even if you are a fan of the Hatchet franchise I doubt you’re going to really enjoy this outing but who knows.
Keep on Creepin’, Horror Bob’s Blog

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Review: Ghost House



Review: Ghost House

By William Pattison

For Horror Bob’s Blog

Gore and scares everyone. I know I just posted my top 10 favorite horror films of 2017, but just consider this film the eleventh, because I would have definitely added this one to the list.
Ghost House tells the story of American couple Jim (played by James Landry He’bert) and his girlfriend Julie (played by Scout Taylor-Compton) who are vacationing in Thailand. Upon arrival Jim and Julie hire the polite chauffeur Gogo and his van at the airport. They sightsee Bangkok and learn the legend of the ghost houses, miniature houses where spirits peacefully live and do not haunt the living. Then Jim proposes Julie to marry him with an engagement ring. They meet the British Robert and Billy in the hotel lobby and are invited to celebrate their engagement with them. Robert summons Jim to visit a fleshpots and Billy stays outside with Julie. When they leave the spot, Julie has an argument with Jim that is drunken and accepts Robert's invitation to visit ghost houses at the outskirts. Robert puts a piece Julie's scarf about a doll's neck and then he flees with Billy leaving the American couple in the middle of nowhere. Julie does not feel well and Jim calls Gogo to find them and take Julie to a hospital. However, when Gogo sees Julie, he takes her to a nearby village where his aunts live. Then they take Julie to a monk that wears amulets about her wrist and Julie recovers. They return to the hotel and when Julie removes her amulets, she has dreadful visions. What has Robert done with Julie? Now Jim and Julie along with GoGo are being pursued by the raging spirited of a betrayed woman who will stop at nothing to drag Julie’s very soul to the spirit realm.

The one thing I really loved about this film is the fact that it takes place in Thailand, a country rich in ghost lore. The whole ghost house lore was definitely an interesting subject to explore. Also the ghost in this film is plain scary and far more interesting that the ghosts in the films The Ring or The Grudge. Also besides the character of Gogo there was the amusing performance by actor Mark Boone Junior as the sort of underworld getter of all things Reno. He was for this film what Lin Shaye is for Insidious.

So, to put it simply this is another outstanding horror film for 2017 and I highly recommend you find it on VOD, but more importantly on DVD/ Blu-ray because this one is a keeper.

Keep on Creepin’, Horror Bob’s Blog