Review Roundup #2

That’s 9 more reviews in the books and over three weeks of consistently posting daily content – not bad for throwing this all together on a whim. So far, I’m pretty happy with the quality of the stuff I’ve been putting out there, and hopefully, you are too. Again, this is an ad-free endeavor I’ve got going on here, and I intend to always keep it that way – this is an outlet for my love of horror movies and my aim is to help you sift through the vast amount of material out there and find the truly worthwhile ones to REVIEW RUBRICwatch. Of course, that can be highly subjective, so perhaps I should explain my reasoning more specifically. I’m trying to look at the full spectrum of qualities when watching a horror film – premise, story, characters, pacing, visuals, acting, atmosphere, effects, musical score, and the presence and quality of what can just be called ‘horror elements’. I don’t use any kind of formula or assign scores to each of those categories individually; I just attempt to assess each one, determine which need to be stronger than others (or present at all) depending upon the premise, and then weigh them all out into an overall grade. I guess that kinda makes me horror’s obnoxious English teacher, but if it produces quality reviews for people, then I’m willing to accept that. For the next round of reviews, we’re going to have the new Netflix exclusive Malevolent, the long-awaited sequel The Strangers:Prey at Night which debuts on Amazon Prime this Friday, and likely, some dead puppets. If you could like and follow on Facebook, Twitter (I really need to get the ball rolling on that – I got a ghost town going on over there), or WordPress, it would be much appreciated and earn you the title of ‘truly awesome human being’ (title only redeemable at participating outlets).

Gerald’s Game – 2017 – Grade:B+

GERALD'S GAMEAvailable on Netflix. In this adaptation of the reputedly unadaptable 1992 Stephen King novel, a married couple, Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) head to their lake house to rekindle their failing marriage, things go very awry, leaving Gerald dead and Jessie with both arms handcuffed to the bed frame. Full review here.

The Ritual – 2018 – Grade: B

THE RITUALAvailable on Netflix. A group of buddies gather every year for an annual bro retreat. This time, they’re on a rigorous hiking trip through the Swedish wilderness to honor the memory of one of their own who was brutally murdered several months earlier – an act to which one of the men was a witness. When an injury complicates their trek, they opt to take a shortcut through the nearby forest instead of remaining on the well-traveled trail – a decision that may kill them all. Full review here.

The Girl with All the Gifts – 2017 – Grade: B

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTSAvailable on Amazon Prime. In a world ravaged by a fungal outbreak that turns people into ‘hungries’ (they’re zombies), a military outpost keeps several dozen children who are infected yet intelligent in captivity – performing experiments on them in hopes of finding a cure. When the defenses are breached by a ravenous horde, a scientist (Glenn Close), a teacher (Gemma Arterton), a soldier (Paddy Considine), and one of the hybrid children (Sennia Nanua) manage to escape, but is there anywhere left to escape to? Full review here.

Marrowbone – 2018 – Grade: B-

MARROWBONEAvailable on Hulu. Four siblings must hide the death of their mother if they wish to remain together. Before her passing, they had fled England for her childhood farmhouse in America, attempting to escape the stain the father’s criminality had left on their name. They must keep their secrets until the eldest Jack (George MacKay) turns 21, but with months still remaining, the outside world is closing in while a sinister presence pervading the home is trying to get out. Full review here.

Tales of Halloween – 2015 – Grade: C+

TALES OF HALLOWEENAvailable on Netflix. A horror-comedy anthology of ten stories from ten different horror directors where all manners of terrors – killer kids, killer pumpkins, monstrous neighbors, murderous urban legends, and the like – are visited upon the residents of a suburban town on Halloween night. Full review here.

Dig Two Graves – 2017 – Grade: C+

DIG TWO GRAVESAvailable on Netflix. Set in the year 1977, a teenage girl, consumed by remorse from the tragic and mysterious death of her brother, is offered a seemingly impossible proposal to bring him back to life, but the cost that must be paid and the secrets that will be unearthed threaten to destroy and the rest of her family forever. Full review here.

Wither – 2013 – Grade: C-

WITHERAvailable on Amazon Prime. (In Swedish with subtitles.) A group of twenty-somethings head to a remote cabin for a weekend of hard partying, only to unleash an ancient evil that takes over their bodies one by one and turns them into vicious killers. That sounds familiar…in fact, this is the Swedish Evil Dead with no real apologies or reservations for that. Full review here.

Extremity – 2018 – Grade: D+

EXTREMITYAvailable on VOD through most major outlets. A young woman with a very troubled past turns to the services of an extreme haunt, Perdition, to help her overcome her traumas as a form of highly intensive shock therapy. Neither she nor the group who operates the haunt fully appreciate what they’re committing themselves to. Full review here.

Hell House LLC II – 2018 – Grade: D-

HELL HOUSE LLC 2 Available on Shudder. In this mockumentary sequel, it’s eight years after the events of Hell House LLC, an investigative blogger and her team, along with a paranormal investigator and a survivor from the first film, sneak back into the titular hotel searching for answers despite every piece of evidence they have suggesting that it is a terrible idea. Bad shit happens to them. Full review here.