The Revenant


ImageOkay, so I was looking up horror movies when I came upon The Revenant.  I still can’t get over how I missed this movie.  It came out in 2009 and has a 6.9% rating on IMDB, which is pretty darn good.  It’s touted as a black comedy-horror/buddy movie.  That’s accurate.  It’s no Sean of the Dead, but it has a lot of great moments.

ImageThe Premise:

Bart dies under mysterious circumstances in the Middle East.  His body is shipped back for his funeral, which his best friend Joey, his girlfriend, and his girlfriends best friend attend.  Bart’s girl is devastated by his loss and sleeps with Joey for comfort.  That night, Bart wakes up and heads over to Joey’s apartment.  Joey, after freaking out, sets out to help his best friend–cooking for him, when that doesn’t work because Bart’s body craves blood, Joey steps up and helps him try to get homeless men. Bart refuses but then opportunity presents itself when the buds get held up at gunpoint and Joey manages to knock the guy (Miguel) out.

Joey also finds out what Bart is–a revenant,  one who returns from the dead in corporeal form and seeks out blood.  (yeah, I had to look it up, but Joey gives a kick ass definition in the movie as well), to which Bart asks,  “Yeah, that’s me…so what the hell do you do?  Drink holy water and recite the Lord’s Prayer backwards, what?”Image

Anyway, after they manage to save a convenience store owner from being robbed (and gain Bart some blood), the guys go about at night as vigilantes-known to the media as the gunslingers.

Here’s one particular moment that cracked me up:

I enjoyed this movie quite a bit.  Joey’s character provided much of the funniest lines and was a good side sick for Bart.  The end was a little weird.  Can’t really put my finger on it, except that the movie never really takes itself seriously.  Then you get this random, right out of left field ending.

Bottom Line:  This movie is a fun movie to watch.  Give it a look-see.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: Blackwood’s Guide to Dangerous Fairies


When I heard that there was going to be a remake of the movie Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, I was excited, simply because I love Guillermo del Toro ever since I saw The Devil’s Backbone. Since then, I have seen Pan’s Labyrinth, The Orphanage, Hellboy, and Rudo Y Cursi.  And a few others.  I am sooo excited that he is taking part in bringing to life and to the big screen one of my all time favorite books, The Hobbit.  A part of my pride is that I am a Mexican Americant, and Guillermo del Toro is from the motherland.  And while my people have been creating works of art since prehistory, it’s so nice to see it be appreciated in mainstream media.  But I digress. 


1973 Helpless Pre-Women's Lib Sally


2011 Still Helpless But Acceptable Because She's 8 Sally

So, I rented the original Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.  It was….interesting.  And also made for t.v., and it showed.  But I don’t mind that, what bothered me, and was laughable, was the main character, Sally is a young housewife who is, hopeless, I mean helpless.  While she is freaking out, begging her husband to get her out of the house, he responds with sedating her, and keeping her in the house.  And she stays, and hardly puts up a fight. I was especially frustrated with her falling asleep because of the meds despite being in mortal danger.  She kept waking up just enough to whine about getting out, but never enough to make her try.  Come on! I mean, didn’t women’s lib begin a decade before?  You would never have guessed that in this movie.  

The remake makes the helpless Sally more real by making her a child (so much more sense).  Naturally, as it was not made for t.v. and nearly 40 years after the original, the effects were much better.  And I really really like that the step mother (Katie Holmes) is a good guy in this movie.  I mean step moms get a bad rap, it’s about time.  This movie was way more girl power than the original.  I appreciated that and I enjoyed it.  If you haven’t seen it, give it a go.  You won’t be disappointed.  I’m kind of hoping for a sequel.  


But I digress again.  I don’t know about you guys, but I’m always going through my recommendations.  And Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was recommended to me (thank you  I was about to click on I own this, when I realize, it’s a book!  Image

It’s a prequel to the movie.  The book is a fairy encyclopedia put together by Emerson Blackwood, who, if you saw the movie-then you know he was the previous owner of the house, whose child went missing and who created that creepy mural that Katie Holmes’ character found under some wallpaper. It’s really more of a description of mythical creatures that are dangerous and should be avoided.  In between that is the story of Emerson Blackwood’s travels to find them (and he does), his falling in love, and eventual marriage.  His knowledge of the “others” puts him and his family in danger.  I don’t want to spoil this for you, but the story he puts together of these creatures is pretty entertaining.  It also makes me afraid of the tooth fairy.  Or as they are called here, toothbreakers.  

Honestly, I want more, I want a prequel to this prequel.  One perhaps of the story of the toothbreakers making a treaty with the vikings, the slaughter of the children that led to the war between the toothbreakers and the vikings.  And/or what led to the treaty with the Vatican.  That would be awesome!



Minimalist Horror Movie Posters Deux


Well, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged anything, but c’est la vie.  So, I will ease back into this with an easy blog.  Minimalist Horror Movie Posters–I love them, so should you.  Here you go.



Okay, so I’m a little late on the bandwagon on this one.  This particular gem actually came out in June.  And I started to watch it, only, I got distracted by, you know–life, and I just back to it this past week.  And wow!  There’s a movie I hadn’t realized I would like so much.  It could be potentially silly, could of  been ridiculous, could have been campy and laughable.  But it wasn’t.  I’ve never in my life, including childhood been scared of trolls.  The only thing I knew about trolls, is from childhood fairy tales about  The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  And the trolls in The Hobbit (one of my all-time faves, it’s the book that introduced me to the idea that trolls turn to stone in the daylight).   I have to say, though, this movie won’t scare you, it’s not horror, but it’s a damn good movie that you shouldn’t pass up.

This is Hans, Trollhunter Extraordinaire!

Okay, Synopsis:  There is a young camera crew (a trio) who are looking for this guy that, according to the bear hunters in the area, is poaching bears.  So the camera crew find him–his name’s Hans, and he’s all like, “Nope, I don’t poach bears, I’m a troll hunter.”  So the camera crew, who think this guy is either soft in the head or just joking, ask if they can come along and tape him whilst troll hunting.  And lo, and behold–there by trolls in that forest!  Once again, I gotta say, the troll could have cartoony or just stupid looking, but no, it’s a pretty decent looking troll with three heads, and Hans, trollhunter, gives him a dose of his truck mounted UV lights and the troll turns to stone.  And the camera crew is shocked and exhilarated-this guy is for real!  I mean, come on, anyone would be-if you just found out that a mythical creature exists and your government’s not only aware, but goes to great pains to hide the fact.

Check it out--Troll as big as a skyscraper and Hans is like, "I got this"...

Alright that enough spoilers–if you haven’t seen it, don’t wait like I did–it’s pretty darn good.  And I hope there will be a Trollhunter 2.  I just love random movies that bring some new element in, and just make it work.  This is one of them.  Now, I need to find some sort of troll books to bone up on my troll mythos.

Can't have a troll movie without a bridge scene

Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark by Alvin Schwartz


Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark---Seriously, what kid could resist this?

Even though the books and illustrations of Edward Gorey are wonderfully creepy, when I was kid, I’d never been exposed to his work.  One of my first exposures to the wonderful genre that his folklore/urban legends/horror (besides my mother) was this series–Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark by Alvin Schwartz.  The series is basically thin books each with some creepy tales based on folklore and urban legends.  Anyone who knows me, knows I love love love urban legends like I love breathing, and this is the series that introduced me to them.  The books are mostly black and white, the tales themselves, pretty creepy, especially when you’re a 8 year old kid reading at night by the light coming from the bathroom (it was the only way I could read at night, considering I shared a room with 2 sisters.  Anyhoo, those little tales were made even creepier with Stephen Gammell’s illustrations…pure genius!  I’m pretty sure I even had a few nightmares that my kid psyche forced me to repress…that’s how good they were, and still are.  I highly recommend traumatizing your tykes–buy them these(who are we kidding, buy them for yourself)–they will love them!  In all seriousness though, this set is one of the most challenged books according to the American Library Association because of their violence (hey I turned out alright).  Keep in mind though, that The Harry Potter Series and books like A Wrinkle In Time are on that list of challenged books too.



Srsly? Who let me check these books out?

Remember:  buy your kid the books, don’t let them read till bedtime, tell them they can’t read because they have to go to sleep, but leave a flashlight conveniently on their little nightstand, then let the the fun begin.  Be prepared to have an impromptu sleepover though, or, as in my particular case, be prepared to have an insomniac pre-teen (be kind, buy the kid a nightlight).

Nightmare inducing? I think so.

There are some great stories that I think most of us would recognize, like the oft-told around campfire tale of THE GOLDEN ARM, and the one about the girl with the beehive in which a spider laid its eggs, and the bride that was never found after a game of hide and seek….good stuff.  


It’s when I recall books like this, I can’t wait to have a little girl to scare the bejeezus out of her.


Seriously, it’s Halloween time…the series is perfect.  Check out some of the stories on youtube.  There are quite a few posted on there.


Red State


A horror movie by Silent Bob, I mean Kevin Smith, naturally, I was intrigued.  I love Silent Bob.  I love his love for Star Wars, his small role in the latest Die Hard, his itty bitty cameo in Scream 3, and I love Dogma. Red State is  not really a horror film in the typical sense.  Basically, the premise, without giving too much away is there is creepy preacher dude who leads a cult of mostly family members, who basically hate everyone whose not white and straight.  Of course, creepy preacher and his family/cult live in an out of the way compound armed to teeth for-I don’t know-Armageddon, or for when the ATF or FBI or Homeland Security decide to “intervene”.  Now the preacher of this intolerant religion, played to perfection by Michael Parks, is taking action against sexual deviants in the name of the lord.  You should watch, and I don’t want to give away to much details.  I will say though, that they do entrap some poor idiotic teens just looking for some action.

I don’t know about you–but intolerance sure horrifies me.  And if that isn’t horrifying enough, John Goodman (whom I love), is the ATF (person, officer, idk what, but guy in charge) who leads his team to the compound.  They are unaware of hostages inside.  John Goodman’s character is a good guy, yet, he follows orders, and they aren’t necessarily good orders–I’m pretty sure they weren’t legal orders.  Let’s just say–the same guys probably made the same decisions for Ruby Ridge and Waco.

This type of blind devotion always gives me the heebie-jeebies

Then there is this great trumpet scene (yes, I’m being deliberately vague) that for a while made me think this movie was going to go all M. Night Shyamalan spooky, but it didn’t. But it wasn’t a disappointment, because it turned out to be a great comedic angle that only Kevin Smith can pull off.

There’s no typical horror fanfare.  No mirror scare, no creepy music, no evil children or satanic possession or any other typical horror film elements.  But it’s still horror, because it does elicit fear and disgust (in people, in creepy intolerant religions, government, etc.) and it’s all the more horrifying because there’s no devil to blame it on.  No supernatural or psychopath to point the finger at.  Just horrifying, disgusting people.

Creepy, Intolerant Redneck PreacherIdiot teenagers, wrong place-wrong time