Number 3 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : When a 12-year-old girl is possessed by a supernatural entity, her mother seeks the help of a priest to save her : Based on William Peter Blatty’s novel, The Exorcist came out in 1973 from filmmaker William Friedkin who also directed The French Connection & Sorcerer amongst others : I don’t think there’s ever been another horror movie about possession that’s even come close to scaring me half as much as The Exorcist still does, the way Friedkin slowly tells us the story of Chris MacNeil an actress and her 12yr old daughter Regan entwined with Father Karras who’s struggling with the loss of faith & loss of a loved one is not only compelling, but adds so much depth to the film and it’s characters, so by the time the possession truly takes hold of Regan and her bed starts rocking, head starts spinning and the vomit starts flowing the fear factor has already set in, your pulse is racing, your breathing has become shallower & you start burying your head in your hands in an attempt to hide from this devilish force of intimidation : I revisited The Exorcist two days ago and apart from the shocking possession scenes that include Regan violently masturbating with a crucifix, spider crawling down the stairs, forcing her mother between her legs & her head spinning 360 degrees there are also so many terrific sub-moments, I really loved the excavation scenes, the sound, color and imagery is so haunting during this beautifully shot opening to the movie, watching the broken Karras visit his mother in the hospital is emotionally draining, the subliminal hidden image of the demon shown during a scene with Ellen Burstyn really caught me off guard again and the scene with Lee J. Cobb’s brilliant Lieutenant is questioning Chris at her home is captivating, “can I have your autograph” really was a lighter moment : Jack Nitzsche’s score flows through the film better than most in it’s genre, it’s haunting and memorable and adds greatly to the films atmosphere and considering it’s low budget the film really come through with it’s creepy special effects that haven’t aged one bit : I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better performance by Ellen Burstyn the way she portrays being the helpless mother is phenomenal, Jason Miller is the embodiment of a broken priest and considering his limited screen time previous to this film was outstanding, Max von Sydow plays the elderly, tired yet commited Father Merrin wonderfully well but it’s Linda Blair as Regan who you will remember when think about this film, her vulgar, unpleasent display whilst being possessed by the devil is something to behold : The Exorcist is not for the faint hearted, it’s an unforgettable, multi layered horror movie that contains one of the most horrific final acts in cinematic history ★★★★★
Number 22 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : Five friends travel to a cabin in a remote region of Tennessee, where they release flesh-possessing demons : Sam Raimi’s THE EVIL DEAD is still after all these years a joy to behold, a guilty pleasure, a wickid low budget scare fest that sees actor Bruce Campbell get pretty much everything thrown at him and his friends? well they get attacked, possessed and wreak holy havoc : there’s no doubt that the two sequels to The Evil Dead are great fun but it’s Raimi’s original released back in 1981 that holds a place in my horror loving heart : right from the offset when their car crosses that rickety old bridge on their way to the cabin, the banging of the swing porch and then as the key is retrieved from it’s place above the door the swing stops, the poster nod to Craven down in the cellar and for a budget of $400,000 the effects throughout are impressively gruesome especially Cheryl’s possessed demon who’s one mean, twisted servant from hell : I rememeber watching this over a friends house during my early teens a few years after it’s initial release and being scare senseless, from it’s shaky camera work, the wind effect, the tree attack to the body dismemberment all had a lasting effect on me growing up and still does : The Evil Dead is pure brilliance, shoe string budget filmmaking of the highest standard that MUST BE WATCHED at least once a year : speaking in my best demonic voice JOIN US ★★★★★
Since 2004 film maker James Wan has impressed & scared the holy moly out of me, in the horror genre he’s been a revelation, a breath of fresh air and dare I say the best horror director in the last ten years, a modern genius, dark and twisted yet alarmingly smart – he has this uncanny knack of getting it right, he knows his audience & how to tap into their fears, his haunting camerawork, clever use of casting and his usual heart stopping soundtracks add to the overall tension & creepiness of his narrative, I have not seen this consistently in the horror arena since Carpenter ruled the screens in the late 70’s early 80’s – his films including that devilishly fun & violent Saw, the twisted underrated Dead Silence, both scary ass Insidious movies and 2013’s spine tingling The Conjuring gave me nightmares for weeks after – so upon visiting the big screen for his latest offering expectations were already high, not only was this a new James Wan horror movie but this was a sequel and as any movie fans know creating that same vibe, that same intensity of any original movie is a hard task to get right but James Wan is better than your average film maker, his horror’s are uncomplicated, low budget but most importantly they will scare you in spades and guess what? THE CONJURING 2 is certainly no different, it’s Wan at his delicious, frightening best, a nail biting pillow hiding feast of supernatural horror at times reminiscent of the classics of yesteryear such as The Exorcist and maybe just maybe this will go down as one of the Best Horror Movie Sequels of all time – Once more at the heart of a James Wan feature, almost like a muse is the brilliant Patrick Wilson his chemistry with Vera Farmiga is a pleasure to watch, at times it’s like watching Tracy & Hepburn bounce off each other, their energy infectious, their acting sublime and their roles of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were just made for them two actors to play – there are too many good bits in this movie that scare and are downright creepy, from “The Crooked Man” to the “Nun”, to that “ghostly flooded basement” and that scary ass “Rocking Chair” all of which will make you look for that light switch but for me the opening scenes where Farmiga’s character Lorraine witnesses the Amityville Murders via a seance is as good as any of them, it’s heart thumping, spine tingling cinema, your glued to your seat, in the dark as you watch the camera pan from room to room, the echo of the gun going off as each of the murders are committed, the cinematography is spectacular yet completely terrifying – Overall: The Conjuring 2 is some scary ride, if your a fan of the supernatural and things that go bump in the night then James Wan’s latest will help raise your heart beat to a new level – also take note of this name Madison Wolfe one day soon she will be a huge star – Brilliant !!
Oculus (2014) – Movie Review ★★★¾
Director: Mike Flanagan – Cast: Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Kate Siegel, Annalise Basso & Rory Cochrane – Synopsis: Growing up 10yr old Tim and his 13yr old sister Kaylie were inserprable that was until Tim was sent to a psychiatric hospital for the supposed murder of their parents – Kaylie always suspected that an antique mirror haunted by a supernatural entity was responsible for these hideous crimes & spent the time her brother was locked away researching & documenting the lives and deaths of everyone who came in contact with it – upon Tim’s release from the hospital 11yrs later Kaylie sets out to prove her brothers innocence & destroy this supernatural force forever – Verdict: The film is based upon a short by Flanagan that was released in 2006 titled Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the Plan – using flashbacks Oculus entwines two parallel stories that center around the Russell family in the past & present, this is cleverly used by Flanagan helping develop the structure of the story and adding to it’s creepiness – rather than the mundane, uninspired found footage format or the blood & gore from the general run of the mill slasher flick Flanagan injects a dose of horror reminiscent in style of James Wan, that’s almost a throwback in style to the 70s and 80s, with some fabulous character building, interesting camera angles and a film brought to life by a group of very talented young actors including Battle Star’s Katee Sackhoff, Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan and the talented Maleficent star Brenton Thwaites who all turn in excellent performances -made for just under $5 Million Oculus is a gem of a ghost story – yes at times the movie get’s a little lost in it’s illusions & hallucinations and forgets to scare but Overall: there’s enough to this movie to keep you rooted to your chair and have you avoiding mirrors at your home for days after….
47 Ronin (2013/4) – Movie Review ★★★★
Director: Carl Rinsch – Cast: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Kou Shibasaki, Rinko Kikuchi and Jin Akanishi – Synopsis: A fictional account of the forty-seven Ronin, a real-life group of Ronin in 18th-century Japan who sets about to avenge the death of their master who was set to death after a demon used magic tricking him into an act of aggression that resulted in him betraying his kind and execution – after his death the band of Ronin led by Oishi must seek the help of Kai – a half-breed previously shunned by the Ronin to help them defeat an evil Warlord and his magical army – Verdict: Forget all the haters ! rent it or buy it 47 Ronin is worth the watch – the movie has everything from some decent CGI, a whole bunch of fun & colorful characters and action delivered on a grand scale with some fantastic sword fights and hand to hand combat – now okay I’m a big fan of Keanu Reeves and adore his films from the 1990s that includes Point Break, Speed and The Matrix but 47 Ronin has more to offer than just Neo – Hiroyuki Sanada (The Last Samurai & Helix) gives an intense performance as the proud Samurai turned Ronin leader and Pacific Rim’s Rinko Kikuchi looks deliciously evil and totally bad ass as the Warlord’s magic squeeze – some of the locations used in shooting the film were impressive & atmospheric including the backdrop of The Isle of Sky doubling for 18th Century Japan – overall: Carl Rinsch’s film debut is all sorts of bonkers fun and whilst the story has been slightly bastardized for entertainment value 47 Ronin is without question an enjoyable movie romp that’s dark in it’s story telling and respectful in it’s execution….