Archive for the Monsters Category

MOVIE REVIEW: ANNIHILATION

Posted in Aliens, Beauty, Eye Candy, Fantasy, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2018 by darklordbunnykins

ANNIHILATION

Paramount’s decision to sell Annihilation to Netflix for all territories outside Canada, the US, and China is great if it gets the film a wider audience than would pay to see it in a theatre. The shame is that Ex-Machina writer-director Alex Garland’s adaptation of the Jeff VanderMeer novel is a stunning work of art whose natural home is a darkened movie house. Indeed, on a big screen with a great sound system, Annihilation‘s thrills, chills, and ideas are that much more profound and intense.

null

Left to right: Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson in ANNIHILATION, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

Natalie Portman (Black Swan) plays Lena, a soldier-turned-scientist whose military husband Kane (Ex-Machina‘s Oscar Isaac) returns to her a year after going missing. His assignment: to investigate the Shimmer, a mysterious phenomenon slowly engulfing the southern coast and making its way towards populated areas. An ill Kane is re-captured by the military, and Lena goes with him. Eventually she persuades Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), the leader of the next team to go into the Shimmer, to let her come along. What she discovers there is best left unexplained, as it is alternately astonishing, beautiful, and terrifying.

poster

Indeed, while the IMDb classifies Annihilation as “Adventure, Drama, Fantasy,” it possesses a bloody streak of body horror. Some of the most genuinely weird and wild images ever seen in a big-budget Hollywood production are on display here, and its visual and thematic debt to both John Carpenter’s The Thing and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Annihilation mark it as a bold work of imagination.

WRETCHED REVIEWS: TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D

Posted in Gore, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Sequels, Serial Killers, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2013 by darklordbunnykins
Heather (Alexandra Daddario) is menaced by Leatherface (Dan Yeager)

Heather (Alexandra Daddario) is menaced by Leatherface (Dan Yeager)

TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D

Starring Alexandra Daddario, Trey Songz, and Tania Raymonde

Directed by John Luessenhop

Written by Adam Marcus & Debra Sullivan and Kirsten Elms

VVS Films

 

Nearly 40 years after its release, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is no longer “just” a horror classic. It is a brand, with the direct sequel Texas Chainsaw 3D, out today, just the latest iteration in a line of sequels, prequels, and remakes. The fact that this new Chainsaw manages to draw fresh blood makes it all the more impressive because, really, who thought this might actually be good?

Continue reading

WRETCHED REVIEWS: CITADEL

Posted in Devils, Monsters, Movies, Reviews with tags , , , , , , on November 16, 2012 by darklordbunnykins

CITADEL

Starring Aneurin Barnard, Wunmi Mosaku and James Cosmo

Written and directed by Ciaran Foy

Mongrel Media

With the DLB about to become a father himself, the Irish horror film Citadel (which was mostly filmed in Glasgow) – about a single father trying to protect his infant daughter against evil – hit home pretty hard, even if its foundation is not quite rock solid.

Aneurin Barnard stars as Tommy Cowley, a young father left to raise his infant daughter Emma alone when his pregnant wife is attacked by a gang of hooded thugs in their crumbling council estate high rise. She is left comatose and he is left a single father crippled by agoraphobia. Tommy is helped by a caring (and attractive) nurse (Mosaku), but an encounter with a volatile priest (Cosmo) leaves him fearing for his and Emma’s safety as the thugs – who may in fact not quite be human – return.

Barnard is utterly convincing as the fearful Tommy. Beyond the makeup that makes him look as though he has not slept in a year, Barnard radiates sheer terror but also evinces a steely strength as a poor young dad who will do anything to protect the only family he has left.

Writer-director Ciaran Foy, making his feature debut, is smart enough not to reveal too much too soon. The nature of the hooded creatures that attack Tommy remains mysterious until near the film’s end, and Foy drops enough strange visual cues (empty buses, deserted streets, half-glimpsed horrors) to evoke Adrian Lyne’s classic mindfuck film Jacob’s Ladder. Things get a bit silly at the end as Tommy and the priest face off against a high rise full of the feral things, with back story filled in a bit too quickly by the priest, but the end result is mostly horrifying.

With its near-apocalyptic vision suburban blight and a creeping sense of menace, Citadel is one of most dread-filled (and least dreadful) horror films of 2012.

 

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Citadel opens in Toronto at Yonge & Dundas, with more cities to follow.

 

WRETCHED REVIEWS: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4

Posted in Devils, Ghosts, Halloween, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Rue Morgue, Sequels, Supernatural, Witches with tags , , , , , , , on October 19, 2012 by darklordbunnykins

 

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4

Starring Kathryn Newton, Matt Shively and Katie Featherston

Directed by Ariel Schulman & Henry Joost

Written by Christopher Landon

Paramount

 

Rue Morgue Magazine received a lot of incredulous feedback when they published my review of the first Paranormal Activity film. I had written that it was the scariest filmgoing experience I had ever had; that was misinterpreted as “Paranormal Activity is the scariest movie ever made.”

It is true: the Paranormal Activity films are best experienced in a movie theatre, which is why Paramount uses night vision footage of screaming preview audiences to hype each new film.

So it will be interesting to see how audiences react to PA4. The guy to my left at last night’s screening was talking, checking his email and texting throughout, and said, “Thank God that’s over” at the end, while the four teen guys to my right were vocal about their enthusiasm for each set piece. (“Bitch got owned!” greeted the death of one character.)

Continue reading

WRETCHED REVIEWS: FRANKENWEENIE

Posted in Art, Eye Candy, Fantasy, Goth, Monsters, Movies, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on October 5, 2012 by darklordbunnykins

FRANKENWEENIE

Voice cast includes Charlie Tahan, Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara

Directed by Tim Burton

Written by John August

Disney

It is slightly ironic that 30 years after Disney allegedly fired then fledgling animator Tim Burton for wasting their money making his (somewhat) macabre short movie Frankenweenie that the studio would hire the iconoclastic director to flesh out the concept in stop-motion and at feature-length. But Burton’s legacy of creativity and profit (he returned to the Mouse House to direct Alice in Wonderland) means that the professional oddball can pretty much do what he wants, with or without Johnny Depp.

Continue reading

EXCL: “NIGHTBREED: THE CABAL CUT” SCREENS IN TORONTO TONIGHT!

Posted in Events, Eye Candy, Fantasy, Gore, Interviews, Monsters, Movies, News, Rue Morgue, Serial Killers, Supernatural with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2012 by darklordbunnykins

The DLB recently spoke to Russell Cherrington, the restoration director of Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut, the extended/re-purposed version of Clive Barker’s notoriously troubled second film as a director, for MSN Canada. You can read that article here.

Cherrington, alongside Mark Miller from Barker’s Seraphim Films and effects animator Paul Jones, will be in Toronto tonight (July 19) to present the new Nightbreed as part of Rue Morgue Magazine‘s Cinemacabre film series. The screening starts at 9pm and takes place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St. West).

Continue reading

EXCL: JUAN CARLOS FRESNADILLO TALKS “INTRUDERS”

Posted in DVD, Fantasy, Ghosts, Interviews, Monsters, Movies, Supernatural, Thriller with tags , , , , , on July 17, 2012 by darklordbunnykins

28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s follow-up film Intruders hits DVD/Blu-ray after receiving only a limited theatrical release this spring, and we recommend it to rent. The dark fantasy film stars Clive Owen (Closer) as a father whose daughter Mia is being terrorized at night by a figure in her room she calls Hollow Face. A parallel story shows a boy in Spain dealing with the same monster. There’s a connection we won’t give away, but figuring it out is half the fun.

I got the chance to talk to Fresnadillo about Intruders at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Continue reading