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Watch 5 Halloween/Horror Films You’ve Never Seen

October 24, 2011

Seems like it only lasted for a week, but there was this group on Facebook where I was invited (along with the other members) to watch five horror films for Halloween that we’d never seen before. I looked for the group tonight to see if I could report back on the five films I’ve watched, but it seems the group is gone. I figured I did the work so I want the credit so to speak and that brings us here.

The five films I got to watch were completely random. One was from my Netflix queue and the others were from AMC’s Fear Fest or SyFy and such.

#1 – 28 Weeks Later (Netflix)

#2 – Survival of the Dead

#3 – The Unborn

#4 – Tales from the Darkside The Movie

#5 – Splinter

Bonus: Flight of the Living Dead

 

28 Weeks Later

OK, so it’s been a while since I saw 28 Days Later but it’s hard to forget Cillian Murphy‘s performance in an otherwise hum drum movie. Yes, I said it was a hum drum movie… FOR ME. I was excited by parts of it, I was scared by some, but overall I thought it was boring and I still think it’s boring when I try to think about watching it again. I don’t think since the first time I watched it that I’ve ever been able to make it through the entire film. 28 Weeks Later comes along and I didn’t find myself all that interested, but it’s been enough time that I’ve gotten curious, and that’s why it was on my Netflix list.

I’m glad it was too, because it was way better that the first film! I was really surprised. The story was better; the cast was better; the presentation was better. As with almost everything else that has a sequel better than the original, it wouldn’t have been anything if it were not for the original film in the first place. At the same time, you don’t need to see the first movie to see this one which is what makes it even better.

This was a great way to start off my quest!

 

Survival of The Dead

I’m not much on zombie’s, they give me some serious heeby geebies. I do dig some of the Return of the Living Dead movies because they are funny and kind of spoofy; not serious at all and that makes them “safe”. I am not a huge Romero fan as his films just make me nausious. Still, I dig Night of The Living Dead for it’s classic status, Dawn of the Dead for it’s cult status, and Land of the Dead just because it was a fun movie. I have never seen Diary of the Dead and I don’t really want to. I’m not into the “reality” presentation movies with the handy cam footage and all that rot. I did want to see Survival of the Dead though because I thought it would be a return to something like Land of the Dead.

Unfortunately for me, I was wrong. It turned out to be more like a bad SyFy channel movie than any worthy Romero stuff. I enjoyed the story, the idea of an island sanctuary of sorts for humans, the idea of a secluded town that had take back it’s place from the undead, and the idea that someone wanted to keep the dead around and teach them how to not eat people… intriguing and the natural next step in the whole story. The acting was crap though, the cast was unimpressive and the thing looked like it had a SyFy channel budget hence how the thing turned out to look like that to begin with. I know Romero was trying to get back to the roots of his original Living Dead film with the last couple flicks, but it just isn’t working out.

 

The Unborn

I saw the other The Unborn movie when I was younger and I’ve forgotten more about that film than I can even begin to remember. This film has pretty much nothing to do with that one, but the name still attracted me to it and since it was on TV and I’d not seen it and Gary Oldman was in it, I figured why not.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the kid from TV’s The Middle [Atticus Shaffer] was in this too, someone I recognize and I feel is a great actor… He was super creepy in this and that was awesome! As for the rest of the cast, meh. I didn’t really think it required any of the actors in particular to make this movie was it was. Even Gary Oldman’s character wasn’t anything to bother mentioning.

For some reason, most ghost stories don’t get me the way a good slasher flick does. I’m not sure if it’s that they are poorly executed or crap out at the end, but you don’t see many that are like 13 Ghosts; most are more like The Others or The Messengers, both of which dissappointed me. This one was no different. the story was just kind of boring and lame. I remember movies like The Manitou [yes I know it’s demonic spirit and not ghost] or Amityville 3D & Poltergiest that just went the distance and really kicked ass. These newer ghost stories just lack so much.

 

Tales From The Darkside The Movie

I honestly didn’t remember this movie existed. When I saw it was playing on TV I quickly set up the DVR and watched it when I had a chance. Lots of cool people were in the flick, especially the first of the three stories… Steve Buscemi, Christian Slater, Julianne Moore – just to name a few. Oh and don’t forget Blondie [Deborah Harry] as the witch.

I enjoyed this for what it was, a throwback to when I was a kid. Movies like Twilight Zone and other anthology flicks of the period are few but fun. I’m not sure if the mini stories inside a single story hurts or helps for you, but for me, breaking a movie up like that makes me less interested. Probably because the stories get progressively worse as you go, but that’s just me. By the time this got to the end I had to force myself to not just turn it off and delete it. I stuck it out though and got all the way through to the Hansel & Grettel ending.

 

Splinter

I’ve seen bits and pieces of this flick, but never stuck around long enough to check the whole thing out. I remember when this came out I really wanted to see it, but something about it being on television just turned me off. I saw it was on again and figured it was time I gave it its due. I’m kind of glad I did because I was satisfied.

I don’t have much to say about the actors… I know Jill Wagner from TV shows like Teen Wolf and Wipeout and she’s cool. The boyfriend, Paulo Costanzo, I know him from the comedy flick Road Trip and he’s cool, but didn’t really do anything special here. The others I’m not all that familiar with and they didn’t seem to matter for the characters they played. This was Shea Whigham‘s big chance to play the unlikely hero and he did ok.

I’m not saying it was the best movie I could have chosen to watch, but it was new [to me] and different and I like creature flicks. This one was a bit wicked in it’s execution which I really liked, but I think the lack of people in the movie killed it a bit for me. I was totally looking for something less intimate and wanted to see something more like Feast.

 

That about does it for my five films I’ve not seen before, and I came up about even. Two movies I liked a bit, probably wouldn’t watch them again unless there was nothing else on and the others I probably wish I could unwatch. This brings me to my bonus film that I’m just now wrapping up as I’m writing this. It was barely good enough to keep my attention. I’d seen people comment on it saying how it was corny and bad in all kinds of different terms, but I like to make my own judgements and so I took a shot and I probably should have listened to the masses.

Flight of The Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane

This follows the outbreak of a ton of stupid movies that came after Snakes on a Plane. It’s not any better either. The cast… nothing to say here, they were what they were and that’s it. Even Kevin J. O’Connor or Erick Avari could save the movie and I love those guys.

The story is what attracted me… the idea that you have a zombie outbreak in such a small space, what the hell could you do?! Well, apparently what you’d think you could do… die. HA HA… awwww. Disappointment. 

The best airplane movie I’ve seen that was a thriller or was Turbulance with Ray Liotta, I don’t think we’ll ever get much better than that. Not that it was a fantastic film itself, but it should be used as the standard from which to get better. Instead most airplane thrillers have just fell flat. Flight of The Living Dead was absolutely no exception. Oh well.

At this point I feel like I went to Vegas, gambled, and had to hitch hike home with my accounts overdrawn. Bummer. The upside is I got to check out movies I’ve not see before and now I don’t have to be curious about them. There were some fun moments in each movie, so it’s not a total loss. I have the experience I take from watching them and that can be priceless. Next time I might leave myself time to prepare and not just take random movies that jump out at me.

 

– Mr. Frights

http://about.me/mrfrights

 

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