THE SUPER (2017)
Let’s start with a really dumb movie with really convincing acting. It’s sort of sad that the actors – including Val Kilmer – had to make this movie at all because they’re obviously talented, even the young ones. Kilmer plays a crazy man who does spells in the NYC apartment building where he lives. Patrick John Flueger plays a widowed father of two girls, that takes a job as the super of said building. When people start going missing, Flueger blames Kilmer. Of course, that would kind of be too easy if it were really him. Plus, everyone in the movie is strange in some way or another. And as it turns out, one of them doesn’t even really exist. At the end of this, DJ and I were just like, “OMFG! What did we just watch and why did we watch the whole thing?”
Another movie that veers wildly off course, is Marrowbone. I dare say that it isn’t even really a horror movie. It’s a murderous drama more like, if that makes sense. I mean, no, it doesn’t make sense, but the movie as a whole doesn’t make sense. So, there you have it. George MacKay is the eldest of four siblings, who promises his dying mother that he will care for his younger siblings after she dies. This involves lying to everyone about her being dead to make sure the four of them can stay together. The house though, is apparently haunted, and after they use some of their dead father’s money, they think the ghost is back and they are cursed. See, it turns out that their father was abusive and it’s implied that the older siblings – MacKay, Charlie Heaton and Mia Goth – bricked him up in the attic area and let him starve to death. When Anya Taylor-Joy shows up as MacKay’s love interest, he even lies to her about things, but she inevitably becomes the catalyst for the big reveal. SPOILER ALERT – Their father was a serial killer and the last people he killed were the three younger siblings. Another movie where not everyone actual exists. In this though, the three siblings end up becoming personalities within MacKay’s character. While he does end up going to a hospital after the climax, when Taylor-Joy brings him home to love and care for him, she decides to ignore the doctors, cease his medication order and let him keep seeing his siblings and believing they’re still alive. Like, what?
THE TURNING (2020)
Twins, Carey and Chad Hayes, loosely adapted Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw for Floria Sigismondi to direct right into the ground. The acting was the only truly powerful piece of the movie. Mackenzie Davis and Finn Wolfhard were persuasive as they usually are, but it was little Brooklyn Prince that stole the show. After the nanny abandons Prince, Davis takes the job because she knows what it’s like to grow up without parents – her own mother is in a mental institution. However, as soon as Davis arrives, shit is miserable and when Wolfhard is expelled from his school and forced to join them at the house, things get even more abysmal. The children are completely spoiled by the estate’s caretaker, Mrs. Grose, so much so that Prince never even leaves the property because Mrs. Grose gives her everything she wants. Soon, Davis is dealing with the children’s pranks, a creepy mannequin, strange noises, disturbing visions, Prince flipping out on her and Wolfhard trying to kiss her. She’s not interested in that jailbait though, but she still chooses to stay on. DJ and I would’ve been gone at this point, which is lucky for us because we wouldn’t have been there long enough to start seeing the ghosts. This adaptation ends muddled at best, with a dark, open-ended thought which is very unlike the book. We suggest that potent read over this pitiful interpretation.
THE REEDS (2010)
A weekend boating party turns into a nightmare for a group of British friends in this ineffectual horror. As in The Turning, the usual unsettling things happen first – strange noises, creepy visions and several encounters with some rotten looking kids. Then, of course, one of them is injured, all of them are nervous and that’s when they hit something and become stranded in the reeds. The real scares happen after that and there’s some pretty strong special effects throughout. We even found that the characters were compelling and the actors were expert at bringing them to life. However, everything else about the movie was pathetic. There are side characters whose presence is never explained. There are animal deaths which you know I personally find to be a useless addition to almost any story. And then there’s the (and I use this word reluctantly) twist that is absolutely appalling. Literally, when the movie was over, DJ and I sat there starring at the screen for several moments, waiting for something more to happen. It never did. And we are still confused as to the rubbish that occurred.
AMONG THE LIVING (2014)
From other French horror movies we’ve seen and heard of, we know that the French can be a very fucked up people. This movie is the perfect example of that. We are introduced to three young kids who decide to skip school and explore their countryside village. They stumble upon a masked assailant dragging a bound woman into an abandoned film studio. The three kids decide to try to save her, but they fail, are seen and have to flee. They wisely go to the police, but the police are unwise and do not believe any of their story. However, the masked man fears the cops will eventually believe and since he’s pissed off anyway, he comes for them, one at a time, in their own homes. He almost ends up Jason Voorhees like in the way that he is almost unstoppable. It works in Friday movies though, here, not so much. Plus, Jason doesn’t go after young kids and in this movie, it’s no real spoiler that not all the kids make it out alive. I won’t give it all away, but I was sorry I watched it. We almost turned it off, too, when the baby was stuck in the washing machine, but luckily it was rescued. Still, the entirety of the movie was sick for sick’s sake and we cannot recommend.
THE SECRET (2018)
The last movie I’ll discuss is from Indonesia. DJ and I are often excited by Asian horror movies, but this was crap. The story follows a young woman, Kanaya, who is appropriately unhappy when her father marries someone her own age. She drives away from them angry and gets into a car accident that lands her in the hospital. When she begins seeing frightening things, including a nasty old woman, her ex-boyfriend comes to take her to a better facility. Unfortunately, this place looks nothing like a hospital and is also seemingly haunted. So, now she’s in a big house and there’s a ghost and no one seems too concerned at all. We actually had to stop this movie for reasons outside of our control, but we never did turn it back on again. We realized that neither of us actually gave a shit about anything going on and since there’s so much better horror out there, we moved on. I suggest you do the same.