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rukaio101 last won the day on December 23 2014

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About rukaio101

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    King of the Pirates

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    Wherever a man cannot live in simple dignity, wherever a people cry out for justice

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  1. Me before the trailer: Wait, are they seriously doing a Detective Pikachu movie? With Ryan Reynolds? This sounds super dumb. Me after the trailer: OH MY GOD THIS STILL SOUNDS SUPER DUMB BUT I WANT IT SOOOOO BAD!
  2. Since fucking when?! Like 90% of the bad things I hear about either of those movies are about their ending fights.
  3. rukaio101

    Ruk Watches 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days

    Ruk's Halloween End of List Ranking + Best Of Awards! Basically what it says on the tin for this one. This is where I look back at every single movie I saw during this spooky month and sort them into that classic internet format of 'The List'. I'll admit I'd usually do more of an elaborate introduction for this, but I'm kinda tired enough already, so let's jump right in with the rankings of all 33 Horrors movies I watched for the first time this year (I'm not counting the original Halloween since, as mentioned, I'd already seen that before). So, without further ado, here are all the films I saw this October ranked from Best to Worst! Eraserhead Alice (1988) The Orphanage The Horror of Dracula Village of the Damned Candyman The Others The Howling Eyes without a Face Hausu The Eye Piranha 3D Scooby Doo & the Gourmet Ghost Re-Animator Don’t Look Now Halloween (2018) Happy Death Day Dark Water Audition Alligator Venom Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968) The Fog Tenebre Phantasm Whistle and I’ll Come to You (2010) Les Diaboliques Kuroneko The House with a Clock in its Walls Zombi 2 Tarantula The Blob (1958) Seoul Station And now, as an added bonus, here are a few 'Best of' Awards that I thought would be nice to do. Scariest Film: Actually fairly tricky to pick this one. While there were lot of movies here that I enjoyed, there’s no one movie that really stood out from the pack in terms of being actively terrifying to me. Specifically as in, ‘turn down the volume, barely look at the screen’ sort of terrifying that a lot of my favourite horror movies manage to achieve. Funnily enough though, in spite of it not cracking the top half of the list, I actually think I’m going to go with ‘Dark Water’ for this one. As mentioned before, stringy-haired ghost girls kinda have a type advantage against me, but even without there, there were a lot of really unsettling scenes in this that managed to stick with me. Silliest Film: HAUSU. Not even close. Hausu all the goddamn way. Biggest Positive Surprise: There were a few good options I could’ve gone with with this one. My favourite of the month, Eraserhead. The unexpectedly quality classic Village of the Damned. The surreal creepiness of Alice. All perfectly reasonable picks. But, in the end, I really think I have to go for Candyman as the winner of this round. I went in expecting a generic slasher and got something that was so much more on so many levels. Thematically rich, profoundly surreal, with an outstanding soundtrack, setting and performances. It was something I wasn’t expecting and was a genuine favourite of mine on this list. Biggest Disappointment: I guess Zombi 2? I love Lucio Fulci and his gore effects and have so commonly heard this described as one of his most famous. And while it certainly didn’t disappoint on the gore and make-up front, it did on almost everything else, with a boring mystery and flashback sequences taking up far too much of the movie, compared to the significantly more effective zombie stuff. Scariest Character: The fucking White Rabbit from Alice! Just look at this bastard! Look at him! Scariest Scene: In spite of it also being my biggest disappointment, I kinda feel like I’ve got to go with the door splinter scene from Zombi 2. I mean, Jeeeeezus. What is it with you and eyes, Lucio Fulci? And by extension, stop it with the eyes, already! Silliest (non-Hausu) Scene: There are so many I could pick from Venom. So so many. From Tom Hardy’s magnificent over-acting to the hilarious wig in the post-credit scene. In the end though, I’m actually going to go for a silliest song. I’m really disappointed that I never got to mention it in the review itself, but Eminem’s credit song is astounding in how silly it is. I swear it’s like ‘So Bad its Good’ distilled into perfect auditory form. It’s magnificently silly as fuck. Best (non-monster) Protagonist: Surprisingly, quite a lot of solid options for this pick. Peter Cushing’s charismatic Van Helsing, the trio of haunted motherly protagonists from The Orphanage, Dark Waters and The Others, the increasingly off the edge female protagonist from Candyman, the return of Laurie Strode in Halloween (2018). All good picks. In the end though, I think I might surprise people by going with Theresa ‘Tree’ Gelbman from Happy Death Day. In a lot of ways, she did have an advantage here since I’m pretty certain the entire movie is from her point of view and she goes through a fairly big character arc through the movie, but she does it really well. The actress does great, balancing a variety of different moods and reactions and her development from bitchy alpha to genuinely good person feels realistic and works well. Best Monster: It was tough selecting this one. I very nearly went for a three way tie between Christopher Lee’s Dracula, the children from Village of the Damned and the Candyman. But, in the end, I had to go with Candyman. Because that voice, man. It’s like goddamn nectar to the ears. And, I think that's gonna do it for the year. This was a lot of fun, if a bit difficult to keep up with, and I can't wait to try it again next year. In the meantime, I'm really goddamn tired, so I'm going to go to bed. Good Halloween Night to you all.
  4. rukaio101

    Ruk Watches 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days

    Halloween Marathon #3: The Horror of Dracula Premise: S'Dracula. He dresses in black and drinks people. Y'all should know this by now. Thoughts: Yup, I decided that the best way to finish the Halloween month off was with a classic horror movie adapting a classic horror story from a classic horror movie company (Hammer Horror), starring a classic horror actor (the late great Christopher Lee). And I’m glad I did, because this movie was great fun. Ostensibly, this movie at first seems like a fairly basic adaptation of the original Dracula novel by Bram Stoker, but it quickly goes off on its own path, with unexpected twists and changes that really work to simplify and adapt the book for the film screen, while also working to differentiate it from the infamous Bela Lugosi Dracula movie (which is also great). And this reflects in the portrayal of the titular character himself. Where Lugosi’s Dracula was offsettlingly foreign in his speech and mannerisms, Lee’s Dracula is more a dark, intimidating shadowy gentleman who immediate sweeps in and steals the room by sheer force of presence. If you twist my arm, I’d say I prefer Lugosi’s Dracula just slightly, but the fact that Lee is even in the same conversation just tells you how good he is. However, as good as Lee was, Peter Cushing was every bit as good as the infamous Van Helsing and met Lee beat for beat. This movie shifts Van Helsing to more of a protagonist role than the original novel, something I’m occasionally mixed on when it comes to other movies, but I think works great here in combination with the other twists and turns involved. And Cushing is great as Van Helsing. Dignified, competent, capable of being both badass and sweet and friendly when the situation calls for it. Honestly, I think he’s possibly my favourite Van Helsing. Credit also has to go to the set designs and colour grading, both of which give all the various settings a distinct feeling of identity while, once again, making them feel seperate from the Lugosi Dracula. It has that unmistakable 60’s look to it, that I felt really worked here. And a lot of the special effects look great even to this day, especially Dracula’s eventual death. In conclusion, this was a lot of fun and a great way to finish off this Horror movie marathon. And I’ve had a lot of fun doing this. I’ve watched a lot of varied movies, most of which I at least liked and some of which I downright loved. Plus there were plenty of great surprises and scares to be found. I’ll have to think about doing this again next year some time. Hopefully without the long accidental hiatus’s. Was is Scary?: Not too much, but Lee is fantastically unsettling in the role Was it Silly?: Once again, not really. (Man, not so much in the way of silliness in this marathon, is there?) Overall Grade: A
  5. rukaio101

    Ruk Watches 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days

    Halloween Marathon #2: The Others Premise: A few years after the Second World War and the loss of her husband, a young mother hires some new servants to help look after her two young children, both of whom suffer from an affliction that hurts them if they go out into the sunlight. However, not long after, mysterious things start happening, noises and footsteps can be heard and the mother comes to learn that not everything is as it seems... Thoughts: Now this was more like it. Don’t know what it is about Spanish Ghost Story movies this month, but both this and The Orphanage seriously blew me away with how good they were. However, while the Orphanage was very much a spiritual successor to the Devil’s Backbone, this movie reminded me a lot more of the classic British Horror movie, ‘The Innocents’, about a questionably sane British Governess looking after two children and dealing with suspicious ghostly figures. In this case, the questionably sane mother looking after two children, is played by Nicole Kidman and she does a fantastic job as the uptight and increasingly unbalanced mother, as more and more spooky goings-on keep happening. In fact, almost all of the cast does a good job in this, even the child actors. Speaking of spooky goings-on, like Les Diaboliques, I actually did know the big twist in this going in, but it didn’t ruin the experience for me in the slightest. On the contrary, it really made me appreciate the sheer amount of clever foreshadowing and careful execution of the movie, all building up to that one reveal. From simple things like seemingly off-hand comments to even just simple looks and reactions. Even if I wasn’t surprised, I was still impressed at the level of forethought and detail that went into the film. As for the scares, there were quite a few good ones, such as the old woman behind the veil and the piano scene. Not to mention, the very setting and its constant need to be kept in shrouding darkness makes for an excellently frightening atmosphere. There was a good balance of transition scenes, mystery scenes and scares and the pacing kept up well enough that I never felt bored. So yeah, unlike Les Diaboliques, this happened to be one horror that met the hype. Now to see if the final movie of this month and this movie marathon did as well… Was is Scary?: It's a creepy haunted house flick. You gotta bet there's some scares here and there. Was it Silly?: Again, not really. Overall Grade: A
  6. rukaio101

    Ruk Watches 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days

    Well, since it's Halloween, I decided I wanted to do something a little different. Specifically, a horror movie marathon of some of the bigger names on my list than I never got around to. Plus, at the very end I'm going to do a ranking of all the movies I've seen, along with a few favourite categories to celebrate. Halloween Marathon #1: Les Diaboliques Premise: The wife and the mistress of a scummy headmaster get together to plot the man's murder. After seemingly pulling off the crime, they are surprised when his body disappears and strange things start happening. Could the man secretly be alive...? Thoughts: Starting off my Halloween Horror marathon with a very classic French thriller that inspired the likes of Hitchcock. Or Psycho, at the very least. Been looking forward to seeing this one for a pretty long while but… honestly, I was a little bit disappointed by it. I think a decent part of this might have been that I just watched Eyes Wide Shut the day previous, a movie that shares a lot similarities with this, but that I thought was done a lot better. Besides which, this movie shares a lot in comparison with Psycho (little surprise since it was a direct inspiration) and I’ve never really considered Psycho one of Hitchcock’s best in my eyes (although, like this movie, it does have more than a few standout scenes and moments). Still, something about this just felt kinda lacking to me, like it didn’t have the kind of tension and suspense I was expecting, minus a few key moments. Now, I’ll admit that part of this might have been down to knowing the big twist beforehand, which obviously changes a lot how you view the movie. But honestly, I’ve never really found knowing spoilers to really negatively affect seeing a movie for me all that much, even with movies that are heavily predicated on their twist like this one. (On the contrary, I’ve found it tends to let you appreciate the foreshadowing and execution significantly more). Yet something about this clearly didn’t quite work for me. Perhaps it’s just that so many other movies have taken from Psycho and, by extension, this, that the tropes and techniques that made it so effective for its time just feel a bit stale to me. Who knows? Still, even if I was underwhelmed by it, I won’t call it a bad movie. It has a simple but effective premise and some interesting twists and strange turns here and there. The acting is solid and the dialogue is decent. Plus the infamous climax is fantastic, in spite of me already knowing the twist. I can see exactly where and how the likes of Hitchcock were inspired by it, even if I think he ultimately did a better job with the techniques used, so in that regard this film deserves its place in movie history canon. It just didn’t do all that much for me, is all. Was is Scary?: I felt like Hitchcock did a lot of it better, but this still has some standout scenes. Especially the bathtub scene at the end. Was it Silly?: Not really Overall Grade: B-/C+
  7. rukaio101

    Ruk Watches 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days

    Day 30: Eyes Without a Face Premise: A genius scientist whose daughter has been disfigured in an accident, decides that the most reasonable course of option to help his daughter is to kidnap pretty women, surgically remove their faces and reattach them to his daughter. Things go about as badly as you'd expect. Thoughts: Man, the daughter's mask really is creepy as shit, isn’t it? You really wouldn’t think it would be so bad, being a fairly basic sort of theatre mask, but put it in motion and it suddenly becomes really goddamn unsettling. All without needing to try all that hard to be scary. Or maybe it's just the expressive, almost bulging eyes staring out from behind said mask that is so uncanny about the whole thing. Either way, it's freaky as shit. Anyway, I actually enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. Reading the premise going in, I just assumed it was going to be a fairly typical ‘immoral scientist doing immoral experiments’ sort of story, which I was kinda getting a bit sick of. And yeah it kinda was exactly what I thought, but, once again, I got reminded that it’s not about the story itself, but how well you tell it that truly matters when making a movie good and this film tells its story excellently. First of all, the make-up and visual effects are outstanding. Honestly, there’s not a single effect in the movie that doesn’t hold up almost perfectly to modern standards and there’s shit like a face being surgically peeled off a woman’s body. Plus Christine’s disfigurement, which I genuinely didn’t think they were actually to bother to show, but ultimately ended up looking really damn good (or… well… not good, since that’s kinda the point, but… well, y’know.) The story itself is simple, but again well-told, with good pacing, strong characters and excellent use of its black-and-white format to really create a strong Frankenstein-esque atmosphere. In fact, Frankenstein (the film, not the scientist or the monster) is actually probably a fairly good comparison for this, albeit with a tragic heroine instead of a tragic monster. If I had to give any kind of criticism, it’’s that the film does end a bit abruptly, but it’s still an excellent piece of work. And may or may not also secretly be a prequel to Face/Off. At least in my headcanon, at least. Was is Scary?: That mask is still creepy as shit Was it Silly?: 60's science ain't that much better than 50's science. Overall Grade: A
  8. rukaio101

    Ruk Watches 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days

    Day 29: Don't Look Now Premise: After the tragic death of their daughter, John and Laura Baxter attempt to rebuild their lives and their relationship in Venice. However, when Laura runs into a blind woman who sees the dead and claims their daughter is attempting to warn John from a great danger, strange things start to happen... Thoughts: Fun Fact: This movie was actually Entry No 1 when I created my horror list for this month. As in the first movie that came to mind when I was thinking of famous horror movies that I’d not seen before that I wanted to see. So needless to say, I had pretty high expectations for it. And did it live up to those expectations? Well… it may not be Eraserhead good, but it’s still a pretty dang interesting watch.. A lot of what really works about this movie are the visuals. Not like the usual thing you think of when you hear ‘visuals’, like practical effects or CG or that sort of thing, but stuff like the cinematography and the set design instantly helps created this strange mood and tone for the movie that really helps sustain it throughout. Most of the movie is set in Venice and the city’s high buildings and narrow streets manages to create almost a sense of low-key claustrophobia and mystery, like the city itself is some kind of eerie giant urban maze that our characters are lost in. Often time, you don’t know what’s supposed to be paranormal and what’s supposed to be normal (which, to avoid spoilers, really compliments certain plot twists in the movie a lot). I’ll also compliment the movie on setting a strong tone and sense of grief very early on, which drove a lot of the mood and atmosphere of the film. Seeing these characters attempting to move on after a genuinely tragic event, really adds a lot to their motivations and personalities, while also adding that particular ‘something’ to the horror proceedings yet to come. I’m not entirely sure how to describe it, but it reminded me a lot of what they did in The Changeling, one of my favourite horror movies of all time and needless to say they worked it in well here. If I had to pick any reason though that I came out a little bit underwhelmed, it would be that, in spite of a strong beginning and very strong ending, it really feels like it needed a few more bigger moments in the middle of the film to fill the gap. The occasional spotting of a figure in a red coat and Donald Sutherland dangling from a platform are all well and good, but the second act felt like it could’ve used something a bit… more, if that makes sense. Still, this really was a good film. I’ll admit I initially came away from it feeling slightly underwhelmed, in large part down to the sky-high expectations I had for the film, but having had time to think of it, I honestly really did enjoy it and it certainly kept my attention for a lot of its bigger scenes. Especially that ending which, in spite of having known how it ended beforehand I’m afraid, still really impressed me. It was kind of like the ending to the Usual Suspects for me where, even thought I knew what was coming, the excellent editing and combined with the use of foreshadowing that even I hadn’t properly noticed, still made it gripping and affecting to watch. So yeah, good movie. Was is Scary?: More tense and gripping than outright terrifying. Although that final scene... Was it Silly?: Donald Sutherland's acting in the opening scene was a little much. Overall Grade: B+
  9. rukaio101

    Ruk Watches 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days

    Day 28: Piranha 3D Premise: An earthquake causes a underground chasm to open up, containing thousands of angry, bloodthirsty prehistoric piranhas. Also a large number of scantily clad teens are throwing an enormous party not far away. What the fuck do you think is going to happen? Thoughts: I can’t hate Piranha 3D. I really can’t. It’s a movie that promises three things; gore, tits and cheese, and it delivers all three in spades. It’s almost pure, in a squicky gratuitous immature sort of way. It delivers all three of its promises with reckless abandon and some actual kinda competence and talent behind the camera. Plus, it actually has some genuine pretty horrific and disturbing moments in it, which I really wasn’t expecting from a cheesy Piranha B-movie. I recall hearing somebody talking about this movie as ‘the sort of thing Snakes on a Plane should’ve been’ and yeah, I really can’t disagree with that. This is a movie that knows its audience and is more than happy to cater to them as often as possible. It never gets overly bogged down in the uninteresting human cast, never leaves too long between the big setpieces and doesn’t bother to spend hours and hours keeping the monsters in the dark or shadows in an attempt to ‘build up tension’. (That last one in particular is why I appreciate Kong Skull Island so much for just saying ‘Fuck it, let’s show off Kong in the first 5 minutes and just have him wreck shit from the off.) Honestly, if I had to pick anything bad about the film, it is that the human characters are fairly uninteresting. Minus Christopher Lloyd and Jerry O’Connell hamming it up as a marine biologist and a sleazy porn producer respectively, most of the main human cast are generic whitebread horror protagonists. But the movie never feels like it overly focuses on their problems, without taking the time to throw in a good handful of cheese/gore/tits to distract you. Still, nobody comes to these movies for the human protagonists to begin with, they come for the Piranha attacks. And in this regard, this movie definitely delivers. The piranha attacks in this movie come heavy, come often and are showing in incredibly gory detail. Possibly too gory at some points (which just makes me feel old to say). You see people’s flesh and skulls being picked apart in pretty gruesome detail, which admittedly turned my stomach at a few points. There’s a solid mix of practical effects and obvious CG and I’d never say that the Piranha’s look all that real, but it does the job. And there are some cool gory set pieces here and there. So yeah. This movie is basically just what it sets out to be and honestly does a fairly good job. The only question is just how much gore, tits and cheese you’re willing to swallow. And, needless to say, I can swallow a lot. (....Wait, that came out wrong.) Was is Scary?: More disturbing than I expected it to be. Was it Silly?: See aforementioned points about 'gore, tits and cheese.' Overall Grade: A-
  10. rukaio101

    Ruk Watches 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days

    Day 27: Happy Death Day Premise: A bitchy college student is murdered by a masked killer on her way to a party one night. However, rather than simply die, she ends up reliving the previous day in a timeloop over and over, in an attempt to find out who keeps killing her. Basically, it's Groundhog Day with more stabbings. Thoughts: Pretty recent movie this time. And it’s not about science going wrong! Huzzah! Seriously though, this is a movie I actually really wanted to see last year, but never really quite got around to. It had good reviews and an interesting premise, but I ended up prioritizing watching other movies first for my end-of-year list and it barely missed out. Shame too, because it’s honestly a pretty fun movie. The first film that comes to mind when I watched this was The Final Girls, which similarly worked as a fun send-up of slasher horror movies. And I’d honestly say I enjoyed this movie as much as I did that one. Like I said, it has a fun premise, which allows for a lot of fun moments and has a good main character who we clearly see grow throughout the movie. It’s a slight, but perfectly enjoyable horror movie. That said, if I had to pick apart anything about this movie it’s that, while it’s fun and enjoyable and a perfectly good horror, it never really has anything that takes it that final step from ‘a good horror movie’ to ‘a great horror movie’. And maybe that’s a little unfair as a criticism. After all, the characters, the setting, the kills, the story, the writing, they’re all good. But I’m not exactly going to be thinking about them weeks from now, compared to something like Eraserhead or Candyman or Alice, just to pick a few from earlier this month. In that regard, it really is a lot like The Final Girls, which I enjoyed a lot while watching, but promptly forgot about it not long after. If I had to pick any reason it never really made that final step, I’d narrow it down to the handling of the timeloop premise. It’s not done at all badly, just to be clear, on the contrary I’d say it’s written perfectly ‘good’. But I can’t help but feel the movie could’ve gotten even more interesting things out of mixing it with the horror genre. Something really gory and shocky and terrifying. Admittedly, the PG-13 rating certainly didn’t help in this regard, which is probably another reason it never quite rises above ‘good’, but I digress. Still, even if it’s not likely to amazingly stick with me, this is still a good film and the sort of movie that I’m pretty likely to think fondly of looking back. I was never bored, I followed along easily enough and there were some inventive moments and ideas here and there. And even if it never quite ascends to greatness, sometimes good is still good. Was it Scary?: I feel like it could've been moreso, if the PG-13 rating hadn't held it back. Was it Silly?: In appropriate ways. Overall Grade: B+
  11. Inside Out, huh? Well, it did make my Top 10, so I guess I'm happy with it. Overall, I thought the list wasn't too bad. Better than last time, if I remember correctly. Sure, the usual overhyped Disney/Pixar suspects still ended up coming out on top, but I can't be angry at a list with such a heavy Satoshi Kon representation. Plus Wolf Children finally made it on! Doing a quick tally, around 59/100 films from my personal list made it onto the final list, which was about what I expected. Funnily enough, that ratio was also actually fairly representative of my Top 10, where only 6/10 films made it. Not entirely surprising, since half of them were hardly mainstream, but an amusing coincidence nonetheless. Speaking as someone who found it fairly 'meh' when it came out, I did a write up in my 2016 end of year list a while ago that I think still sums up my issues with the movie fairly well.
  12. I'm guessing these are the ones that I put on the list. Alice and, to a lesser extent, Hausu I get, but I'm genuinely surprised no-one else apparently voted for Tremors.
  13. rukaio101

    Ruk Watches 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days

    Okay, this is going to call it for the day, I think. I'll do the rest of my catch-up tomorrow. Day 26: Tarantula Premise: The mysterious death of a severely deformed scientist draws the attention of a small-time Arizona doctor. Curious about the strange death, the doctor decides to investigate the scientist's former colleague Dr Gerald Deemer, a man working in secret on what he believes to be a formula that will revolutionise science as we know it. Also, a giant tarantula decides to fuck shit up. Thoughts: Huh. So that’s two movies in a row now that are basically ‘WHAT HATH SCIENCE WROUUUUGHT!!!’ horror movies. This one isn’t quite as good as Re-Animator though. Basically, remember when I covered The Blob a week or two ago and said it had more in common with those 50’s sci-fi movies than most modern horror movies? Well, this is exactly the sort of 50’s sci-fi movie I was referring to. A scientist is out in the desert doing misguided science, there’s an easily solvable mystery about what kind of science he’s doing and it all leads to a big disaster at the end, in this case involving a giant tarantula. Pretty standard stuff. That said, while I enjoyed this movie more than I did The Blob, it’s still a bit ‘eh’. There’s not really much in the way of heavy tarantula action until the climax and the ‘mystery’ about the professor’s experiments is both significantly less interesting and incredibly easy to work out almost instantly (spoiler alert, the shot of him examining giant animals suggests that he’s creating giant animals). Still, there’s some neat build-up to the tarantula attack and the effects for the titular tarantula range from ‘actually fairly good’ to ‘clearly pasted onto a screen, but not too awfully’. Heck, there’s actually a pretty good shot of it peering in through a window during said climax. Overall though, it’s still not great. And there are much better 50’s giant monster movies out there. Like ‘Them!’, for example. ‘Them!’ was great. And even as someone not particularly fond of spiders, it was never really that scary. Still, there are far worse cheap monster movies out there, so if you’re interested, give it a shot I guess. Was is Scary?: I guess if you're terrified of tarantulas maybe? Was it Silly?: I guess if you're not terrified of tarantulas clearly pasted onto the screen via 50's effects 'magic', maybe? Overall Grade: C
  14. rukaio101

    Ruk Watches 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days

    Day 25: Re-Animator Premise: Scientist Herbert West has discovered a method to re-animate the dead! What could possibly go wrong?! Many many things! Thoughts: I finally got around to covering an adaptation of a Lovecraft story! Huzzah! I mean, sure, it was a short story and has very little to actually do with the rest of his cosmic horror oeuvre, but it still counts, right? Anyway, this is one of the more famous and popular horror movies that I haven’t seen yet and it’s easy to see why. After all, it is very very good, in a campy sort of way that finely treads the line between horrific and goofy quite expertly. Jeffrey Combs is great as Herbert West, the Frankensteinian (as in the scientist, not the monster) Herbert West, who treads the line between ‘unsettlingly deranged’ and ‘frustrated scientist who just wants people to stop fucking with his shit’. And David Gale is clearly having great fun hamming it up as the incredibly creepy and assholish Dr Hill. The story itself is fairly simple, but effective. Herbert West has created basically Pet Sematary in a vial, experiments with it, shit gets quickly out of hand, people die which requires more reanimation, which causes more problems, etc etc. You can guess the rest. But the movie works thanks to its excellent cast, gory effects and what feels like a genuine enjoyment in regards to adapting its source material. David Gale talked often about how much fun he had making this movie, but you can tell the same was true for a lot of the actors and production staff involved. If I did have to include one criticism, it’s that the main (non-Herbert West) character is a bit bland, the love interest is a bit bossy and I’m pretty sure I sympathised waaay more with Herbert West than the movie wanted me to. I mean, hell, the guy has invented the cure for death, wants to scientifically test it to work out the kinks, yet everyone gets in his goddamn face about it. Let the fucker cure death already, you assholes! That’s a (mostly) good thing! Still, this was a very fun movie and I can see why it has such a strong reputation. Admittedly, it’s certainly not one you think of when you hear ‘Lovecraft’ but that doesn’t make it plenty fun enough on its own. Was is Scary?: Not that kind of horror movie, really. Was it Silly?: Significantly more that kind of horror movie. Overall Grade: A-
  15. rukaio101

    Ruk Watches 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days

    Day 24: The Eye Premise: Mun, a violinist who has been blind from birth goes through an eye transplant with an unknown donor to restore her eyesight. However, not long after the surgery is complete, Mun starts to see strange visions and ghostly people around... Basically,- Thoughts: Boy, it sure has been a while since we had a good Asian horror on the menu. Maybe I just used too many up in the first few days, but they’ve been pretty scarse lately. Still, this one was plenty good enough to fill the void and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I may have joked about it while writing the premise but, in a lot of ways, this movie really does remind me of the Sixth Sense, albeit if it was specifically focused on the kid, there was no Bruce Willis and the entire premise played a lot lot more for horror than it already kinda is. The spirits in this movie are creepy and unhinged and disturbing to watch and the premise itself allows for a lot of quick little spooky setpieces with them, a lot of which were really fairly memorable. There was the jumpscare of the calligraphy ghost, the unsettling mystery of the report card ghost and an incredibly tense sequence involving one elderly ghost in an elevator that it didn’t surprise me to learn that many people consider one of the standout scenes of the movie. But yeah, I honestly really ended up really enjoying this quite a lot. Or at least for the first half. The second half, however, I wouldn’t exactly call bad, but it ends up transferring more into a mystery than a straight horror and isn’t quite as interesting as the protagonist just going around and seeing all kinds of strange and unsettling supernatural events. There is a great twist that sets it off involving a mirror, but the mystery itself didn’t compel my attention as much as all the ghostly stuff. And as for the climax… I’m kinda mixed on it. I get what they were going for and I think it really could’ve worked well and indeed was fairly emotionally affecting at some points, but it also suffers from the movie clearly not quite having the budget they needed to pull it off and ending up resorting to a lot of cheap looking CGI, which kinda undercuts the tragedy of the moment a lot. Still, as much as I’m sounding down on this movie and its second half, I did really enjoy it a lot. The premise was inventive, the spooks were strong and it had some great horror sequences. And even when it lost momentum a touch in the second half, I’d never really call it outright bad, just not quite as good as it once was. Overall, while I’d say it’s less overall consistent than, say, Dark Water, it made up for it by having higher highs and more spooks and scares. Was is Scary?: I will never trust an old man in an elevator again. Was it Silly?: Bad CG at the end did not help things Overall Grade: A-

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