Mar 14

Horror Movie Review -The Invitation

Title: The Invitation
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Drama
Director: Karyn Kusama
Writers: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
IMDB Link:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2400463/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NO SPOILERS

After seeing this movie on Netflix, I will never say…

 

I no longer want invitations to anyone’s dinner party.  Keep your invites, really.

 

Synopsis

Will and Eden were once a loving couple. After a tragedy took their son, Eden disappeared. Two years later, out of the blue, she returns with a new husband… and as a different person, eerily changed and eager to reunite with her ex and those she left behind. Over the course of a dinner party in the house that was once his, the haunted Will is gripped by mounting evidence that Eden and her new friends have a mysterious and terrifying agenda. But can we trust Will’s hold on reality? Or will he be the unwitting catalyst of the doom he senses?

Drafthouse Films

Opinion

I admit, the beginning of this movie bored me.  The man seemed out of it and his mood was flat.  I thought he was on some kind of medication.  It also made me wonder why the woman was with him.  Then, it turns out that they’re going to a party at the home of his ex-wife….with the new girlfriend.  That earned an eye roll, because, I wasn’t sure this was going to be a good idea.

Plus, the party was in the hills of California somewhere.  Ugh.  I don’t like going out into old crazy country without a way to get out of there.  In some of those places, you can’t even call a cab or Uber!!

Anyhoo, what a bunch of weirdos at the party. Folks not wearing any shoes.  Folks with vacant smiles and blank eyes.   As soon as all the characters get together, there’s a general feeling of unease. The folks seem loving and accommodating, but there is something just off about the entire gathering.  The man finds strange things around his ex-wife’s house.  In addition, we are subjected to hazy flashbacks about their shared past.

As the film rolls on we eventually realize that there is something going on, and it bubbles over the surface in a shocking scene.  Obviously, I won’t give it away, but I will say I was glued to the screen until the end.  

The film starts quite slow and threatens to lose the viewers’ interest.  But I advise you to stick with it and go along for the ride.  The ending will make you sit back in your seat, mouth open and head shaking.   Additionally, this movie will keep you from going from any strange dinner parties in isolated areas, I promise you that.

Grade A-:  Jeez, this was creepy and unsettling as hell.  

The Invitation:  Trailer

Here’s to watching horror movies in the morning!

Dahlia

 

You may also enjoy:

Feb 12

Horror Movie Review -Train to Busan (Busanhaeng)

 

Title: Train to Busan  – Busanhaeng (original title)
Genre: Horror (Zombies), Thriller, Drama
Director: Sang-Ho Yeon
Writers: Sang-Ho Yeon
IMDB Link:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5700672/

 

NO SPOILERS

Me after seeing this movie on Amazon Video:

PLOT SYNOPSIS: (imdb.com) While a zombie-virus breaks out in South Korea, a couple of passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.

Before I even begin, I’m going to say I loved this movie.  A lot.  

Many horror movie viewers are cynical and jaded.  They claim that “they’ve seen it all” and “nothing can scare them now”.  That’s all well and good, but once you claim that, where is the fun in watching movies?  Movies are escapist creations, much like many fiction books.  The point of any given movie is to immerse yourself in the experience, and in a manner of speaking, let the filmmaker have his way with you.

As a film viewer of the age that I am at now.  (Don’t you love that sentence?) I can easily say, sure, nothing put on film can scare me any more than real life.  I have children, a husband, and other loved ones, and believe me, if you asked me to answer truthfully what scares me, it wouldn’t be a random zombie outbreak or a killer stalking teens.

Movies are escape.  That’s the name of the game.  Claiming “nothing scares me” certainly takes the life out of viewing horror, doesn’t it?

But I digress.

I haven’t laughed, cried and been scared by one film in a while.  That is to say, I’ve laughed at films, I’ve cried over films and I’ve been scared by films, but never all three in the course of an hour and a half.  Train to Busan is a zombie film ride I sort of wished wouldn’t end.  

The setup was great.  For those who haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it, but I was like whoa….this is how this is going to go?  I rolled along with the cliched characterization, because, zombies.  In addition, the actors did so well, I didn’t care that I’d seen the same character in other movies.

Even in the scenes where I KNEW a character was going to do this or that (and there were a few, because, you know, film-watcher of a certain age and all..) but again, I was so caught up in what was going on that I did not care.

Grade A:  I literally laughed, cried and gasped in fear.  Highly recommended.

Train to Busan: Trailer

Here’s to watching horror movies in the morning!

Dahlia

 

You may also enjoy:

Feb 01

Wordless Wednesday – Feb 1 2016

You may also enjoy:

Jan 31

Music Monday – Top 5 Elton John Songs

Since I did Billy Joel last week, it’s only fair that I praise my other favorite piano man, Elton John.  I first heard of Elton John (to know he was Elton John) during the eighties. Upon further exploration of his discography, I discovered that I had been enjoying his songs for quite a while, even though I hadn’t known who he was.  This was back in the olden times of radio and DJs….

Without further ramblings, here’s my top five mix of Elton John songs. As always, they are in no particular order.

 

 

I’m Still Standing

Rollicking upbeat elton.

 

Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road

The vocal riff of “Oh…oh…oh….” is what sells it.

 

The One

“All I ever needed was the one……”

 

Candle in the Wind

His tribute to Marilyn Monroe, and later Princess Diana, still brings a tear to my eye.

 

Rocket Man

 

 

Honorable Mention – Bennie and the Jets

 

And there’s my faves from Elton John..  Have any Elton John favorites?  Drop them in the comments!

 

Peace, Love, Unity

Dahlia

 

You may also enjoy:

Jan 29

Horror Movie Review – Grave Encounters 2

 

Title:  Grave Encounters 2
Genre: Horror, Found Footage
Director: John Poliquin
Writers: The Vicious Brothers
IMDB Link:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2231554/

NO SPOILERS

PLOT SYNOPSIS: (imdb.com) A film student who is obsessed with the movie Grave Encounters sets out with his friends to visit the psychiatric hospital depicted in the original film.

We’re back!

After seeing Grave Encounters, I just had to see if there were a Grave Encounters 2.  And, lo and behold, it was!  I quickly queued it up and sat back, prepared to be as scared as I was with the first one.

Alas, this was not the case.  Now, this is not to say the movie wasn’t pretty good. It just took a bit of a time to get to the point.

Don’t go into this expect a retread of Grave Encounters.  The screenwriter and director  went in a bit of a different direction, which saved the movie from being a boring retread of the first movie.

A film student who is obsessed with the movie Grave Encounters sets out with his friends to visit the psychiatric hospital depicted in the original film.

I will say the characters are a little less likable in this movie than they were in the first one.  They skewed younger and were less the “seasoned professionals” of the first movie and more snot-nosed college students.  Being a woman of a certain age, their antics grated on me a bit, but I was eager to see what the asylum would do with them.

And the haunted asylum didn’t disappoint.  

Things are not what they seem at the old homestead and the place starts acting up right away.  We, the audience, know what they’re in for, having seen the first movie, we’re just waiting to see how the asylum plays with the new crew.

There’s shouting, there’s yelling, there’s running. There’s spooky stuff afoot and a surprise.

Watch it, if just to have the story continue. Grave Encounters 2 is not as good or as chill worthy as Grave Encounters, but it’s still a pretty good ride. 

My advice:  Push through the annoying college age antics at the beginning and stay for the scary parts.  There is some lore added and maybe a door opening for Grave Encounters 3.

Here’s to watching horror movies in the morning!

Dahlia

 

You may also enjoy:

Jan 27

Wordless Wednesday – Jan 25 2016

You may also enjoy:

Jan 23

Music Monday – Top 5 Billy Joel Songs

Heidi-ho, it’s music Monday and I’m here once again to thrill and wow you with my musical choices.  Today’s list comes from my piano lessons as a youth.  I began piano lessons at the age of five.  I hated them.  But then by the time I was in middle school, I’d discovered Billy Joel, and thought that I, too, could be  Piano Man.  Alas, that did not work out, thankfully, I think, but that hasn’t tarnished my love for Bill.  Take a gander at my favorite songs (at least today) from this artist. The list is in no particular order.

 

Piano Man

The song that started it all.  For some reason, I was fascinted by the fact that you could sing and play the piano.  (Bear with me,I was kinda young at the time.)

 

Downeaster Alexa

The music beneath the melody just makes you feel like you’re bracing yourself against the sway of a rolling boat.

 

Goodnight Saigon

A sad song about lost, broken, lives.

 

River of Dreams

In the middle of the night….

 

Pressure

That jabbing synthesizer rift….

“You have to learn to pace yourself.”

 

And there’s my faves from the piano man.  Have any Billy Joel favorites?  Drop them in the comments!

 

Peace, Love, Unity

Dahlia

 

You may also enjoy:

Jan 20

Horror Movie Review – Grave Encounters (2011)

 

Title:  Grave Encounters
Genre: Horror, Found Footage
Director: The Vicious Brothers
Writers: The Vicious Brothers
IMDB Link:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2364842/

NO SPOILERS

Plot Summary: (from imdb) For their ghost hunting reality show, a production crew locks themselves inside an abandoned mental hospital that’s supposedly haunted – and it might prove to be all too true.

How do much do I love watching “found footage” horror movies?  I don’t know why…it’s a strange addiction indeed.  Something about the first person perspective, the shaky cam and the odd angles appeal to me.

As a huge fan of those ghost hunter shows – I’m looking at you Ghost Adventures and Ghost Brothers – I was especially eager to see this film.  Cynical “ghost hunters” who will pay people to say they’ve seen a ghost? Check.  “Haunted” insane asylum? Check.  Found footage? Whooo, baby! We got ourselves a movie.

Do not come to this movie expecting high art, a never-before seen twist or some other movie technique that will blow you out of the water.  This movie is a horror movie, designed to scare you.  It’s like those live haunted house experiences.  You know something is going to jump out at you, it’s just a matter of when and how gross it’s going to look.

The plot is basic.  Ghost hunters lock themselves in overnight to experience all that a haunted asylum has to offer.  And boy, do they so get what they think they’re looking for.   The movie begins with a producer explaining the found footage and how it mysteriously appeared, blah blah.  You know the whole set up….now let’s get to the haunting!!

Don’t expect much from film angles and the like.  This is found footage and surveillance camera footage.  Most of it is in glowy black and white and shaky cam. However, when I compare it to other found footage movies, it’s pretty good!  The jump scares aren’t over-done and there’s some serious creepy stuff going on.

For a good fright, watch this with the lights off and with no distractions.  Being a scaredy-cat, I had to watch it in the morning, but I was still scared.

Don’t think too much about the how and why of the movie.  Just let go and enjoy the ride.

I am not posting the trailer as I usually do, because it gives far too much of the movie away.  Just watch it!

 

 

 

You may also enjoy:

Jan 20

5 Fandom Friday – 5 Films I’m Excited for in 2017

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time and followed it through all its iterations, then you know how much I love movies.  Not just horror movies, but movies in general.  Usually these movies are a couple years old, if not older, but today you have a special treat.  Since I’m doing Five Fandom Friday, come with me to the future as I discuss the films I’m looking forward to this year.

 

Get Out

From Wikipedia: A young African American man visits his white girlfriend’s family estate where he learns that many of its residents, who are black, have gone missing, and he soon learns the horrible truth when another frantic African-American warns him to “get out”. He soon learns this is easier said than done.

Written and directed by the Jordan Peele, the shorter half of the comedy duo Key and Peele, this film truly presents an interesting premise. What is happening to the Black residents of this town?  And will our protagonist be able to fight against it?  What is IT anyway? I can’t wait to find out!

 

Alien: Covenant

 

From Wikipedia:  Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant find what they believe to be an uncharted paradise. What the crew discover is a dark, dangerous world, inhabited by the “synthetic” David (Michael Fassbender), the sole survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition, and monstrous creatures that are hunting them.[3]

 

Okay, so Prometheus was a mess.  Even when I watch it again, I am amazed at the actions of the characters, especially the scientists in the cave.  I mean, I don’t bend over to put my face in a strange dog’s face, and I like dogs, so for those who saw it…yeah.  Don’t do that, stupid.  However, the movie had great special effects and Idris Elba, so there you go. Ridley Scott is directing, so it can’t be all bad.  Can it?   We shall see.

 

 

John Wick 2

From Wikipedia:  Legendary hitman John Wick is forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome, where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers.

Oh, my goodness. Keanu Reeves, guns and a gray pit bull?  How does it get better than that?  I loved the crazy shoot ’em up of the first John Wick and am looking forward to this one. And Laurence Fishburne too!

Kong:  Skull Island

From Wikipedia: In the 1970s, a team of explorers and soldiers are brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean – as beautiful as it is treacherous – unaware that they are crossing into the domain of monsters, as well as the mythic Kong, the “king” of the island.

I just realized that I dig monster movies, Godzilla, King Kong, Gamera, Rodan…I’m looking forward to this one.  It takes place in the 70s too, which is reminiscent of the times I’d watch all these films on the 4:30 movie. John Goodman! Sam Jackson! Tom Hiddleston! Also, King Kong himself!!

 

The Dark Tower

From Wikipedia: Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) is a young 11-year-old adventure seeker who discovers clues about another dimension called Mid-World. Upon following the mystery, he is spirited away to the land Mid-World where he encounters the lone frontiersman knight Roland Deschain (Idris Elba) who is on a quest to reach the “Dark Tower” that resides in End-World and reach the nexus point between time and space that he hopes will save Mid-World from extinction. But with various monsters and a vicious sorcerer named Walter Padick (Matthew McConaughey) hot on their trail, the unlikely duo find that their quest may be difficult to complete

 

I never read The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, but just the fact of Idris Elba in a long, black trenchcoat sporting a pair of revolvers is enough to see this film.  I’m also intrgued by the fact that it’s a sci-fi, western, fantasy.  You really can’t get any better than that.

Roland Deschain (Idris Elba) in Columbia Pictures’ THE DARK TOWER.

 

So there you have it!  The films I’m excited about for 2017!

What are the movies you’re most anticipatign for this year?

 

Peace, Love, Unity.

Dahlia

 

You may also enjoy:

Jan 17

Music Monday – Top 5 Songs – The Police

There were five Police studio albums released between 1978 and 1983.  I know this because I owned them all.  For Music Monday, let’s take a trip down memory lane and name my favorite track from each of these studio albums.

Outlando D’Amour was the first album released by The Police.  They “broke out” with the hit “Roxanne”.  I don’t need to go into the whole story now, everyone knows what the song is about.  However, while I did like Roxanne, my oh-so-favorite track from this album is “So Lonely”.

 

Reggatta de Blanc

Released in 1979, the hot “hit” from this album was Message in a Bottle. While I do love Message in all its iterations (the acoustic version is especially stirring), here’s my go to from this album:

 

Zenyatta Mondatta

The song “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” hit the U.S. charts with a bang and spent three years there.  I guess….people liked it? 😉  The songs did have staying power.  My personal favorite, because I know you’re waiting for it is…Shadows in the Rain.  Who can resist a song that begins “Woke up in my clothes again this morning/Don’t know exactly where I am…”

 

 

 

Ghost in the Machine

Their fourth studio album.  My pick:  Secret Journey

 

Synchronicity

The final studio album before Sting broke out on his own, although after listening to some of the early “demos” on YouTube, it seems that The Police was mostly Sting and two guys.  Regardless of who wrote what when and where, my pick from this album is Tea in the Sahara.

 

There you go, there it is…my five favorite Police songs!

Peace, Love, Unity

Dahlia

 

 

You may also enjoy: