Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 069: Sinister 2 (2015) and No Escape (2015) and Alien Abduction (2014) and The Visit (2015)

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It’s HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies… Episode 069 is another of our Frankensteinian episodes where we bring you a mad mix of reviews, including Sinister 2 (2015) and Jay’s survival horror recommendation, No Escape (2015). One Sick Puppy of the Dead as Hell Horror Podcast joins Jay for those reviews.

Dr. Shock also brings us a review of the found footage flick, Alien Abduction (2014).

And we have a great surprise with a very special guest — The Wolfman’s wife, Rachel (aka Rach-Hell, aka The She-Wolf) of Movie Stream Cast — who helps us review M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit (2015).

We also bring you the remaining portion of an interview with the Found Footage Critic, Michael Steinberg. Join us! Continue reading

The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)

The Last Exorcism Part II DVD coverVerdict: 1 ( Avoid )

Premise: Immediately following the events of “The Last Exorcism” (2010), this sequel picks up with Nell disoriented and on-the-run. She is placed in a girls’ home, where she tries to believe that her seemingly absent demonic possession was never real.

Mini Review: I can’t remember the last time I saw a major, theatrical horror release that was this terrible. “The Last Exorcism Part II” may very well be the most boring horror movie I have ever seen — and that’s saying a lot, because I’ve seen “Suspiria” (1977)! Honestly, this movie is more of a drama than anything else. One problem is that this sequel has absolutely no story. And what little semblance of a story it tries to muster doesn’t make one bit of sense. Another problem is that this horror film is rated PG-13, so kills are either non-existent or shown off-screen. (It’s rare that a PG-13-rated horror film can be effective; “The Uninvited” is one exception.) Ashley Bell is a talented actress whose contortionist abilities made the first film creepy. Inexplicably, they barely use those talents at all in this sequel! Anyone could have played this role. “The Last Exorcism Part II” has five or six cheap jump scares, which didn’t even make my friend jump in the theater (and he doesn’t do well at horror movies). We were the only people in the theater, and we actually started laughing out loud at this movie. At one point, my friends decided this movie should be titled “An EKG and a Chicken,” because yes, it features an EKG and a chicken… I like the first film. It has a great premise. I rated it a 5 out of 10 and called it a Rental. This sequel falls into the “Let’s Pretend This Doesn’t Even Exist” category. It’s a 1 out of 10. Avoid — even if it’s free.

Directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly. Starring Ashley Bell, Louis Herthum, Spencer Treat Clark. Sub-genre: Possession / Supernatural. Runtime: 88 min. MPAA rating: PG-13 (for horror violence, terror and brief language). U.S. theater release: March 1, 2013. DVD release: n/a. Country: U.S. Language: English. Mini Review by Jay of the Dead. 0008.

Web site: Horror Movie Podcast.com
On Twitter: @HorrorMovieCast

The Hounds (2013)

The Hounds DVD coverVerdict: 4 ( Avoid )

Premise: Four friends (three guys and one girl) retreat deep into the wilderness for some camping, but after finding a dead body buried near their campsite, they are preyed upon by a shape-shifting, organ-stealing killer.

Mini Review: “The Hounds” rewards those who are patient … very patient. It is a textbook example of a film that has a great concept that is completely undermined by its poor execution. I’ve rated this movie a 4 out of 10: Two points are for its concept (or ultimately, its twist) and two points are for an especially sickening scene where a character’s kidney is ripped out. “The Hounds” reminded me of a Canadian horror film called “Dark Reprieve” (2008), another good idea that was executed terribly. In both movies, the screenplay fails to carry the story to its horrifying conclusion. One brief example: You know your script is weak if you have a character who is alone and has to talk to himself for the benefit of the viewers. The cinema should show, not tell. Plus, this is what good actors are for: conveying emotion without needing to speak. I have to give “The Hounds” credit, though: It is about one of the worst things that could ever happen to a human being (in real life). But you’ve got three characters, a tent and nothing but forest. That could be incredible, but it’s very boring. There’s a secondary story that seems completely unrelated to the primary plot. Naturally, we later learn the correlation, but until we arrive at the end of the movie, it’s very frustrating to watch. And unfortunately, “The Hounds” follows a trend in horror that I really hate, which is, casting multiple actors and only one actress, especially in a one-against-many scenario, where one killer is individually picking off a group of young men and women.

Directed by Maurizio del Piccolo and Roberto del Piccolo. Starring Maddie Moate, Paul Tonkin, David Drew. Sub-genre: Supernatural / Slasher / Mystery. Runtime: 87 min. MPAA rating: Not rated (but would be R). U.S. theater release: January 20, 2013. DVD release: February 26, 2013. Country: UK. Language: English. Mini Review by Jay of the Dead. 0007.

Web site: Horror Movie Podcast.com
On Twitter: @HorrorMovieCast

Mama (2013)

Mama DVD coverVerdict: 6.5 ( Rental )

Premise: When their criminal-on-the-run father strands them at a cabin in the woods, two little girls spend years holed up inside with only a supernatural and malevolent being attending to them. But when the feral girls are discovered five years later and adopted by their aunt and uncle, their new “mama” is jealous and doesn’t want to share her guardianship.

Mini Review: “Mama” is another rare case of a PG-13-rated horror movie that’s actually scary — not horrifyingly scary — but it has its moments. There’s a scene early in the film where a distraught father prepares to kill his daughters before committing suicide, and this bleak moment is more upsetting than any monster-related aspect of the film. The “Mama” character is largely a CGI creation and though passably creepy during the film, she seems rather cartoonish as I reflect on her in retrospect. The young actresses that play the daughters give exceptional performances — especially Isabelle Nélisse as Lilly. There is a tug-of-war scene in this movie that will chill your spine, but the best part of “Mama” is its sound design: “Mama” makes terrifying noises. Unfortunately, the script is overly convoluted (particularly Mama’s back story), so the scenes don’t flow into one another. And as far as horror movies go, “Mama” is a little too long and too slow for my tastes.

Directed by Andres Muschietti. Starring Jessica Chastain, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nélisse. Sub-genre: Supernatural / Ghost. Runtime: 100 min. MPAA rating: PG-13 (for violence and terror, some disturbing images and thematic elements). U.S. theater release: January 18, 2013. DVD release: n/a. Country: U.S. Language: English. Mini Review by Jay of the Dead. 0002.

Web site: Horror Movie Podcast.com
On Twitter: @HorrorMovieCast