Friday, October 30, 2009

REVIEWS – THE HALLOWEEN SPECIAL

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This review will comprise of the 8 recent scariest movies of the year, and but it would also appeal to those who are not really into gory movies. So if aren’t cut out for the whole Halloween craze (Pumpkin cut-outs and costumes) or you don’t celebrate it (like me), but you don’t want to feel left out then here are some movies which can make up for a thrilling night (either at home, DVDs, or the theatres).
1.      PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
The first thing that should come to your mind before you see this movie is that it was shot for a meagre $15,000, and last weekend’s box office it was No.1, having grossed $61,580,588 in the U.S and Canada alone. The movie which was released in 2007 was shot in a documentary style like The Blair Witch Project and The Last Broadcast.
The movie centres on a young couple, Katie and Micah, who are hunted by a supernatural presence in their home. Micah, a day trader, and Katie, who claims that since her youth that she has been haunted by a ghost, suggests that the ghost has followed her to two storey house in suburban San Diego, California. This development causes Micah to buy a video camera, to record the paranormal activity, a project that will ultimately last for three weeks. The movie also sees the couple attempt to communicate with ghost through an Ouija board, a psychic and eventually a demonologist; I think that a call to the Winchester boys (Supernatural) could have saved them from all the drama they had to put up with. Also there are moving objects, sounds ranging from voices to growls, lights and televisions switching on and off and finally the ultimate, demonic possession.
This is a surprising movie given the fact that its director Oren Peli has been afraid of ghosts his entire life, including Ghostbusters. Although the movie was previously released to limited screenings but it was after its success that Paramount pictures announced that it would release the movie nationwide if the demands for the movie hit 1,000,000; which saw the movie title as a regular trending topic on the social site, Twitter, for weeks. On Saturday 10 October the counter had already hit over a million requests, and on the 27 of November, in the UK.
Already a sequel has been announced, Paranormal Activity 2 anyone?
2.      SAW VI
Jigsaw is back, and he is taking his game to the next level. This instalment also sees an addition to Jigsaw’s apprentice, Jill, who is Kramer’s widow.
The setting of the movie is an abandoned zoo, with new director Kevin Greutert going back to basics on this one, meaning? – people in traps with a time limit take up the lion’s share of screen time. The second trilogy of the Saw franchise focuses on the post-death effects of the Jigsaw Killer and his successor Mark Hoffman. Hoffman sets up a new trap for an insurance executive while the FBI trails the last living Jigsaw accomplice suspect, Peter Strahm.
This game focuses on William Easton, an executive at a health insurance company. He and his subordinates decide whom to cover based strictly on probabilities of health or illness, and he turned down one of John’s claims for this very reason. William is captured, taken to an abandoned zoo and the games begin. But first in true Saw fashion a ‘pre-game’ is first shown and it comprises of Simone and Eddie, two predatory lenders, are placed in head harnesses with screws poised to drill into their skulls. The person who cuts off more weight in body parts in 60 seconds will live, while the other will be killed by the screws. The overweight Eddie slices fat from his stomach, but Simone chops off her arm to tip the scale in her favor and save herself.
Also the movie would also shed more light on how John Kramer became Jigsaw, as well as more pieces of puzzles which we fans of the franchise have come to love, and come to think of it Healthcare! But don’t even begin to think that this is the final part of the Saw franchise as Saw VII is already being discussed.
3.      DRAG ME TO HELL
Sam Raimi is back, but this isn’t a new Spider-Man movie but one of the scariest movies made this year, as this has been is first horror feature since the Evil Dead films.
The plot revolves around loan officer Christine Brown (Alison Lohman), who tries to impress her boss by refusing to extend a loan to a gypsy woman by the name of Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver). In retaliation, Ganush places a curse on Christine which, if not passed on to someoneelse within three days, will plunge her into the depths of Hell to burn for eternity. Sounds scary don’t it, well the movie starts out In 1969, Pasadena, California, a young Spanish couple rush to the mansion of wealthy medium Shaun San Dena). Their son had stolen a necklace from a wagon of gypsies three days prior, and has been complaining about seeing and hearing creatures. San Dena tries to help the boy in a seance, but she and the boy's parents are attacked by an unseen force. The boy is grabbed by demons and pulled down into "hell" in front of San Dena. Oh! And Ganush placing a curse on Christine, by taking a button off her shirt.
4.      WHITEOUT
Based on the 1998 comic book of the same name, the movie is based on a U.S. Deputy Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale), who’s volunteered to be stationed, for two years, at the most isolated area on the planet: Antarctica. But now a man has been murdered and Stetko only has a few days to find the killer or else she and her crew (Tom Skeritt, Gabriel Macht, Columbus Short) will be stuck to suffer the blinding storm approaching.
During the last three days of her assignment, a body is found encased in ice and Carrie is obliged to take part in the continent’s first-ever murder investigation. With the Antarctic winter drawing close, Carrie must work diligently to complete the investigation before the arrival of an incoming storm. Carrie is unaware that she is involved in a sixty year old murder that the killer would do anything to keep secret. While working on the case, Stetko crosses paths with a UN operative (Gabriel Macht), who has also been assigned to the case as an investigator. As Stetko chases down suspects, she finds evidence of more murders. Stetko is maliciously attacked by the killer and left for dead in the harsh Antarctic storm. Stetko must reveal the killer before he finds her again. The movie shows the effects of the below-freezing temperature, like a cup of coffee instantly turning to a popsicle coffee which is nice way of reminding viewers things can get deadly fast. The movie is not your gory horror but it’s quite thrilling too, enjoy.
5.      SORORITY ROW
This remake is based on the 1983 slasher film, The House on Sorority Row. The movie casting includes Briana Evigan, Leah Pipes, Rumer Willis, Jamie Chung, Margo Harshman, Audrina Patridge, and Carrie Fisher.
The movie centres on a prank that goes too far, when college sorority Theta Pi, home to seniors and best friends Jessica (Leah Pipes), Cassidy (Briana Evigan), Ellie (Rumer Willis), Claire (Jamie Chung), Chugs (Margo Harshman) and Megan (Audrina Patridge) who, despite Mrs. Crenshaw's (Carrie Fisher) best efforts, constantly throw wild parties. During one of these parties Megan discovers her boyfriend Garrett (Matt O’Leary) is cheating on her and, with her friends' help, decides to pull a prank on him as payback, faking her own death while making out with Garrett. With help from the sisters, Garrett brings Megan out to a steel mill, intent on dropping her body down a mineshaft. After the sisters (jokingly) mention they need to release the air out of her lungs so her body won't rise to the top, Garrett stabs Megan with a tire iron, actually killing Megan. Panicking, the group dumps Megan's body in the mineshaft, vowing never to speak of the events that transpired ever again. Eight months later, during the party held after graduation, the girls all receive a picture sent to their phones: a hooded figure holding the bloody tire iron Garrett used to kill Megan. As the haunting and (clever) killings begin...
6.      THE FINAL DESTINATION
Also known as Final Destination 4 is the fourth installation of the franchise is more or less like its predecessors in terms of the ‘Freak Accidents’. The premise also stays the same as no one cheats the grim reaper as this guy seems on a roll in this movie.
The movie begins with Nick (Bobby Campo), whilst watching a race at McKinley Speedway for a break from studying, has a premonition of a showstopper-an over-the-top, fiery massacre at a racetrack (a giant engine is hurled into the crowd, flaming tires tear through the stands, panicked fans trample one another fleeing the Penske-fueled inferno, crushing some spectators and resulting in the stadium partially collapsing, which would have killed almost everyone present in the 180 section). In a panic Nick manages to convince his girlfriend Lori Milligan (Shantel VanSanten), and friends Hunt Wynorski (Nick Zano) and Janet Cunningham (Haley Webb) to leave. The quartets are followed out by a handful of others who have become angry with Nick after he pushes past them to escape. A security guard named George Lanter intervenes when everyone begins to argue outside, just as the catastrophe Nick had foreseen occurs. After a memorial service at McKinley Speedway, two of the spectators who followed Nick and his friends out of the stadium - Carter Daniels and Samantha Lane - die violently in freak accidents: Carter is blown up with his tow truck and Samantha is killed by a flying rock propelled by a lawnmower, which goes through her eye. Before their deaths, Nick had seen omens of how they would die. So character by character gets killed in grisly accidental deaths in the order that they escaped their original fates. Nick tries to "break the chain" by intervening.
7.      ZOMBIELAND
The only comedy of the bunch, Zombieland, according to the Lyon’s den, looks on the bright side of an undead apocalypse, a very hilarious but yet gory movie.
The film takes place within a post-apocalyptic world, beginning with narration from Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a college student from Austin, Texas, who is on his way to Columbus, Ohio to see if his parents are alive. He explains that his survival so far has been due to not having any friends to be attached to and not being close with his family, as well as a list of "rules" for surviving the zombie apocalypse (triggered by a virulent form of human adapted mad cow disease), which becomes a recurring motif in the film. Columbus also describes his fear of clowns and the need to use the bathroom frequently even though one of his rules is to avoid them. Losing his car to an accident and now walking he encounters Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), whose life goal is to find the remaining Twinkies on Earth.  This journey leads them to a grocery store containing surviving sisters Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), con women who quickly separate the less-bright fellas from their vehicle and guns. It's California they're heading for-and an amusement park that is reportedly zombie-free.
8.      JENNIFER’S BODY
Diablo Cody’s back again with another wonderful girl-driven horror flick, directed Karyn Kusama and stars Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Brody and Johnny Simmons. The movie is based on a sacrifice gone awry, which in turn possesses a teenager, Jennifer Check (Megan Fox) into a sexy serial killer specializing in killing her male classmates as best friend "Needy" Lesnicki, (Amanda Seyfried), strives to stop her. Oh! And you get to see Adam Brody portray a front man for an indie rock band, Low Shoulder, who worships satan; and after flirting with Jennifer and taking her for a virgin (which she isn’t), leaves their sacrifice awry and Jennifer, possessed by a demon, now unhinges her jaw like a snake and tears into boy-flesh with her teeth, then she scoops out organs for snacks. Needy is also in danger, as Jennifer's appetite "goes both ways" and keeps her indestructible. The only snag (like there isn’t always one) is that when she’s hungry, she looks awful, but all in all the killings are not as gory as your top horror movies nut there are some very shocking scenes and then there’s the sexiness if the killings which makes you question your own morality.