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Brian Fowler

HALLOWEEN HAVOIC VI!!!!!!

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No one reviewed my pick

It was assigned, it never got written.

I did get Kurt's review this morning though:

Film: Tourist Trap

Chosen by: Skeeball Wizard

t's an odd, soooky hidden gem of a horror flick. It pretty well bombed on its release, but I found it to be a fun, quirky and eerie watch. If there's an audience for this movie I feel like this board is patient zero.

Reviewed by: Lawful Metal

Well, I tried. All Halloween season I tried to watch a scary movie that actually scared me. I failed. As Above, So Below, Sinister, Late Phases, The Harvest, probably more that I'm not remembering now. I guess a byproduct of having so many kids is that when it's time to find a movie to watch, it's hard to find a consensus (or a movie that anyone hasn't already watched). When I got Tourist Trap for my Halloween Havoc assignment, we watched the trailer immediately. Yikes.

I've seen plenty of 70s horror, and I liked a good amount. I Spit on Your Grave (the original, not the remake), Cannibal Ferox, Pieces. Actually, now that I think of it, Pieces would probably be a great addition one year to Halloween Havoc in that it's rather underseen and pretty clever (and a fairly obvious influence on May). Anywhoo, from day one I was dreading having to watch this rather silly looking assignment.

And no one else in the family wanted to watch it either. So, I'd have to go it alone, apparently.

After watching Blade II for the nth time after some very successful trick or treating with the little ones (Darth Vader, Rainbow Dash and Slenderman) (and a candy coma of sorts), I put Tourist Trap on. Number one, It's not much of a tourist trap. These people didn't want to end up in this silly Wax Museum. They were looking for their friend who was looking for a gas station for a flat tire repair. So, the movie lied to me with it's title. A far more interesting movie would have some kind of tourist trap where the annoying tourists would get picked off one by one. No, that's not the movie made here.

I guess this movie is supposed to play to your fears of mannequins. Which hasn't exactly ever been terribly scary. Maybe dolls (see animated short "Alma"). But I mean, ever since Kim Cattrall was cursed by the Egyptians there hasn't exactly been some great fear of mannequins. I take it back. "After Hours" episode of the original Twilight Zone did it well. There was good atmosphere, some confusion, some good misdirection, and the acting was appropriate.

This is a horror movie in the 70s, so I guess the acting is fine for what it is. But what it isn't is scary. Ever. The killer looks for most of the movie like a cross-dressing, fright-wig-wearing, fat and shiny Gary Busey. Actually, now that I think about it, it looks like a fat and shiny Gary Busey mask. Which now that I think about it, might have made for a scarier movie. His powers are all over the place, sometimes overpowering, sometimes not.

I fell asleep probably three times.

The second person he kills is probably the best -- he describes turning her into a mannequin, putting the plaster on her face, how it's going to hotter and hotter as it hardens, how he's putting it over her eyes and she won't be able to see again, how he's putting it over her nose and mouth and she'll never breathe again, but it's not a big deal because her heart will explode from fright before she suffocates, all accompanied by the audio of her heartbeat. It's a good moment, not exactly ever scary per se, but intriguing. Never followed up on, nothing matches it.

I think I've said enough. It sucked.

Lawful Metal (Pronounced "Awful Metal")

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I haven't been able to find a free copy of my movie, so I'm gonna bite the bullet and pay a couple of bucks to watch it tonight. Sorry for the delay. I'm poor and cheap.

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Rise up my zombies, it's early morning feeding time. Happy Halloween

Film: A Cat In the Brain

Chosen by: The Mad Dog

"one of Lucio Fulci's final films and is notable for self-reflexively summing up his career."

Reviewed by: Jingus

A CAT IN THE BRAIN (directed by Lucio Fulci, 1990): 6/10

You missed the rest of the reason I chose it:

 

"I was randomly searching up horror films and was gripped by the title alone. I didn't personally watch it last year, but it is literally the first one on my list to watch this year. The poster alone is a selling point for me..."

 

Which then disappointed me, because the titular cat is in the movie for about 10 seconds. :(

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Sorry about my review being so crappy. I was pretty drunk and it just kind of hit a nerve. Really, really funny movie that I'd rewatch in a second, though.

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But I'm not dead yet.

Film: The Guest.

Chosen by: Lawful Metal

This deals with many horror tropes, and really plays with your expectations and who you're rooting for. It's really good, but might not be horror.

Reviewed by: twiztor

The Guest from 2014 is an independent thriller film about a family who lost their son during military service. One day, one of his squadmates shows up and is welcomed into the house with open arms. It is ultimately revealed that this man is not exactly who he says he is, and multiple people end up dead.

the movie starts off a bit slow, but not necessarily in a bad way. instead the plot is revealed in small pieces, many of them fairly subtle so that you stay interested. David, the main character/titular "guest" is played by Dan Stevens (i've never heard of him either), who does a great job in transitioning from serious situations to friendly dude. He also has fantastic eyes (closeups are shown plenty of times throughout).

if there's a protagonist, is is the family's daughter Anna (played by Maika Monroe). She does a very nice job of conveying emotions and you can really feel what she's feeling.

There's a good use of music in the film. no recognizable songs but they are played at the right times and really do enhance the mood. nice choice, musical director!

Probably my favorite character was the dad, Spencer (Leland Orser) who hates the guy immediately, but warms and opens up to him very quickly after a few beers. He doesn't even play that large of a part, i just love the "i just need a drink" dude. Pretty much every time you see him, he comes home frazzled from work and rushes to calm himself with alcohol.

the climax of the film comes when the military shows up, David kills the people sent after him, murders the parents, and attempts to kill the kids. This leads to a ridiculously out-of-place scene at the high school gymnasium, which has a Halloween maze set up for prom or homecoming or something. I really felt this killed the mood of the movie, as everything has been pretty sparse and serious, but now ends in a maze of mirrors and skeletons and all those cheesy bloody halloween decorations.

in the end, David survives three (or maybe four) gunshots and two stabbings and walks away unnoticed. the reveal of the military medical experiments and exactly who this dude are gets left unresolved.

overall, i would have given it a solid B with a decent ending, but it just gets dumb at the end. C-.

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David, the main character/titular "guest" is played by Dan Stevens (i've never heard of him either), who does a great job in transitioning from serious situations to friendly dude. He also has fantastic eyes (closeups are shown plenty of times throughout).

 

He's also in A Walk Among The Tombstones, and apparently has a regular role on Downton Abbey (which I don't watch).  Thought he was really good in The Guest, playing someone who's outwardly polite but is also holding their cards very close to their vest, but then saw Tombstones and I'm not sure if he has much acting range.  He's definitely got a great look, though.

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As much as I would like to rage and say that Lawful Metal is dead to me, a lot of the 70's horror like Tourist Trap that terrified me as a kid has aged horribly.  Maybe because I've seen Tourist Trap dozens of times.  There are parts of the movie that still freak me out and I still enjoy it for the most part, but It is definitely a movie steeped in the times.

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David, the main character/titular "guest" is played by Dan Stevens (i've never heard of him either), who does a great job in transitioning from serious situations to friendly dude. He also has fantastic eyes (closeups are shown plenty of times throughout).

 

He's also in A Walk Among The Tombstones, and apparently has a regular role on Downton Abbey (which I don't watch).  Thought he was really good in The Guest, playing someone who's outwardly polite but is also holding their cards very close to their vest, but then saw Tombstones and I'm not sure if he has much acting range.  He's definitely got a great look, though.

 

 

Was on Downton Abbey. Apparently he left after 3 seasons and people were not pleased.

 

He also is going to be starting as the Beast in the live action version of Beauty & The Beast where Emma Watson is Beauty so he is about to blow up

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re: The Guest.

I liked how this movie played with your expectations and who you were rooting for.

Opening shot is of David running, so we know he's bad news. Then we meet him, and he's super nice and super polite. He helps out the little brother in a super badass way. He's cool at the party, defends the girl with the abusive boyfriend, and is completely awesome in the scene with the principal.

Then he goes off and kills Spiral and Can't hardly wait, and you're disappointed he's evil. When you find out the evil government / corporate military types are after him, you feel sympathy for him again. Then he goes off and starts killing everyone he came into contact with, and he's evil again. But he's not in control, so sympathy again? Final battle against corporate special forces guy, and you're definitely rooting for him again. Then against him again in the final girl battle with It Follows. And then, really, when he walks out in the fireman get up, you cheer.

Yeah, it devolves into silly horror movie stuff at the end with the haunted house stuff, and the Captain America super serum stuff is a bit ridiculous in the amount of punishment he takes, but it's really fun. Plays with your head in fun ways. I found Adam Wingard in Q is for Quack in the ABCs of Death (best one in the first ABCs) and loved You're Next.

Also, the soundtrack is fantastic. I guess cool 80s synth stuff Follows Maika Monroe around. "Haunted When the Minutes Drag" by Love and Rockets is on the permanent life playlist.

Re: Tourist Trap. I tried.

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Re: Tourist Trap. I tried.

 

As I told my daughter the last time she tried asparagus, "You tried it and obviously don't like it, so you are allowed to make faces from now on whenever it is mentioned."

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re: The Guest.

I liked how this movie played with your expectations and who you were rooting for.

Opening shot is of David running, so we know he's bad news. Then we meet him, and he's super nice and super polite. He helps out the little brother in a super badass way. He's cool at the party, defends the girl with the abusive boyfriend, and is completely awesome in the scene with the principal.

Then he goes off and kills Spiral and Can't hardly wait, and you're disappointed he's evil. When you find out the evil government / corporate military types are after him, you feel sympathy for him again. Then he goes off and starts killing everyone he came into contact with, and he's evil again. But he's not in control, so sympathy again? Final battle against corporate special forces guy, and you're definitely rooting for him again. Then against him again in the final girl battle with It Follows. And then, really, when he walks out in the fireman get up, you cheer.

Yeah, it devolves into silly horror movie stuff at the end with the haunted house stuff, and the Captain America super serum stuff is a bit ridiculous in the amount of punishment he takes, but it's really fun. Plays with your head in fun ways. I found Adam Wingard in Q is for Quack in the ABCs of Death (best one in the first ABCs) and loved You're Next.

Also, the soundtrack is fantastic. I guess cool 80s synth stuff Follows Maika Monroe around. "Haunted When the Minutes Drag" by Love and Rockets is on the permanent life playlist.

see, i didn't get my emotions played with. As soon as he interacts with anyone (except the mother), i knew he was hiding something and had another agenda. i really felt that he was trying to seduce the sister and that was creepy. i didn't feel bad for him when the military showed up (although the way they just destroyed the house with nonstop gunfire was a whole 'nother problem).

as the bad guy, he really did help out the younger brother in a completely awesome way tho.

i certainly didn't cheer when he came out in the fireman getup. i had the same reaction as the sister. "really?"

 

 

He's also in A Walk Among The Tombstones, and apparently has a regular role on Downton Abbey (which I don't watch).  Thought he was really good in The Guest, playing someone who's outwardly polite but is also holding their cards very close to their vest, but then saw Tombstones and I'm not sure if he has much acting range.  He's definitely got a great look, though.

i looked him up on wikipedia as i wrote that, and hadn't seen anything with him in it, but it did look like he'd been in shows that people had seen. Noticed the Beauty & the Beast bit too, which i thought was actually a good bit of casting for him.

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I really like asparagus, and I really liked Tourist Trap when I saw it. Creepy as fuck all. Shamefully I didn't grab the DVD of it at Rentertainment when they were closing up; most of it is on Youtube but it's missing the beginning.

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I really like asparagus, and I really liked Tourist Trap when I saw it. Creepy as fuck all.

 

Oh, no doubt it creeped the hell out of me when I first saw it as a kid, but I respect LM's right not to enjoy it because he was able to watch it in a vacuum and review it through a different context.

 

I still find the ending to be one of the most unsettling things I've ever watched, but repeated viewings as an adult have better prepared me overall not to be as freaked out as I used to be.

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I might have to do the Youtube redux after all because it's been so long since I watched it. I was well of age and quite hardened by the time I saw it but it still spooked me.

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