Don’t Breath 2016 A Quick Review

Don’t Breath 2016 A Quick Review

Don't Breathe Blu-ray Cover

In Don’t Breathe, three college aged burglars decided to break into a blind Vietnam veteran’s home for an easy score but soon discover, there’s nothing about it that is going to be easy.

When I first saw the trailer for Don’t Breathe, I wasn’t that excited to see it. It didn’t look like a horror movie to me, though that’s what it was being sold as. It began to get good reviews and I still wasn’t too interested in seeing it. Then my son saw it with his wife and they enjoyed it. Said it was pretty good. My son isn’t the horror movie fan that I am. My daughter and I share the love of the genre but my son just never got into them. I didn’t know what to think about him liking it. I started to become more interested in it. I ordered the Blu-ray from Amazon, and here we are.

I watched it last night. I was about 20 minutes into watching the Pro Bowl competitions before the game and decided to pause that and watch this instead. I am glad I did. Turns out that I was right in the fact that it isn’t really a horror movie. It’s got a shit-ton of suspense. Don’t Breathe is the perfect title for this film. “Butt Pucker The Movie” might be another title they could have gone with it because there was a whole lot that happening as I watched it. I haven’t seen anything this suspenseful since Silence of the Lambs. In fact, this is more in line with that type of movie than actual horror movies. But, it is what it is as it and I highly recommend Don’t Breathe.

Don't Breathe's Dylan Minnette and Stephen Lang in the hallway.

It starts off almost boring. It tries to add some depth to the two main characters and I wasn’t buying it. Jane Levy’s character Rocky plays a stereo-typical messed up teen/early 20 something from a stereo-typical white trash home. She gives a little speech to the other main character Alex, played by Dylan Minnette. It was all about her father leaving and how horrible her mother is. Her acting wasn’t the problem. She was terrific. The problem was that the film is trying to make me like her. We’ve already seen her break into a house and damage it for no reason as they went along with the burglary. So, I was like, here’s the part where they try to humanize these unlikable people. It didn’t make me give a shit about her character. At least it didn’t at first.

At the beginning of her little speech in the car while casing their next house to burglarize, I saw what she was doing. She wasn’t sharing her past with Alex because she cared about him. She was just telling a story to manipulate him. There was something she wanted from him and she was just using her past as tool to get what she wanted. As the story she told went on, it started to work on me a little. I started to soften, a little towards her. This was more about the writer than the actress. This was brilliantly written. I think what started out as manipulation turned into something deeper as the character continues to tell her story. It was very well written and acted.

I need to digress for a moment here and talk about Jane Levy. I’ve seen her in two films now. I recognized her name when they movie started but I didn’t recognize her until about 20 minutes into the film. She was the brunette lead in Evil Dead. She gave a hint of a look that I saw her give in the Evil Dead remake. She looked so different then. That level character acting amazes me. Some of the biggest stars are pretty much the same person in every movie. Stallone is basically, Stallone in every single movie he does. You know it’s Stallone. You know it’s Schwarzenegger. You know it’s Sean Connery. There’s nothing wrong with that. They are great at what they do. But, in my opinion, the best actors are the ones that can go from role to role and are almost unrecognizable. They seemed to just blend into the character they are portraying. It appears that Jane Levy is that good. I truly look forward to seeing her again. I just hope she doesn’t turn her back on the genre.

Don't Breathe's Jane Levy Crawling Through an Air Shaft

Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…

Everyone’s performance in Don’t Breathe was good. Stephen “Look at those fucking guns” Lang was amazing in this. Dylan Minette as Alex, the stuck in the friendzone, friend of Rocky was also really well played. Then there was Dylan Zovatto who played Money, the 3rd person in the trio of burglars. I instantly didn’t like his character. I know people like him, I don’t like people him. I don’t care that deep down he may have a heart. I just can’t stand dipshits like him. The funny thing about that was seeing the special features. Dylan is nothing like the character he played. In real life, he looks like a 14-year-old. A really nice guy, it seems. Nothing like he’s douchey character. It was a pleasant surprise to see that he too wasn’t just being himself more or less but was actually acting. Becoming someone he is not. All around great acting in Don’t Breathe.

There’s not really any gore to speak of in Don’t Breathe. It’s not really needed and I should admit that it’s not really needed. This movie has so many other things going for it. I’ve already mentioned the suspense and the acting. But, the most surprising thing about Don’t Breathe to me were the twists and turns. You wouldn’t think going into this movie that there would any real twists. I mean, most of the movie takes place inside a two-story house with a basement. Going into this film, I wondered how they were going to make this movie last 88 minutes. Well, they did a great job of keeping it interesting. And, they did it without pissing the audience off. None of the character’s do anything terribly stupid.

If you’re looking for a good “horror” movie, checkout Don’t Breathe. Suspense, twists and turns, great acting, a lovable dog and a Turkey Baster. What more could anyone ask for?

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Last Shift 2014 Quick Review

Last Shift 2014 Quick Review

Last Shift 2014 Poster Image

Last Shift. It’s Jessica Loren’s first shift as a police officer. She must spend the graveyard shift alone, babysitting the last night of a closing police station. The question becomes, is she really alone?

Last Shift is scary, creepy and interesting. It’s also frustrating and filled with so many, “Don’t fucking do that!” moments that keep it from being a great film. The acting is fine. Juliana Harkavy is totally believable in the role of Jessica Loren, the rookie cop. She’s in every scene and her performance never grows old or stale. The story is also good. It’s just a few of the little things that ruin the overall experience. Just too many times when I grew frustrated at the decisions our young rookie cop made.

The special effect are well done. There are some very nice closeups of the various makeups and they’re all wonderfully gruesome. You don’t see a lot of closeups of the makeup in a lot of lower budget movies because the quality just isn’t there. It’s a lot of quick cuts and the camera keeps its distance from the effect. That’s not the case in Last Shift. Really strong effects done by Lee Grimes.

Creepy Girl | Last Shift

There’s just so much to like about Last Shift. Last Shift also contains some homages to other great films, A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Sixth Sense to name a few. It’s obvious the filmmakers are fans of the genre.

I’m on the bubble here. I think what bothered me were all the slamming doors or the expectation of them. At one point Jessica, the rookie cop gets herself locked in a room. Sort of predictable. Then it’s scene after scene of her walking into other rooms and she seems to have no memory of getting locked in the last room. One would think after that mistake she’d be a little more wary of walking into rooms without making sure the door isn’t going to swing shut again.

Then, there was the ending. I don’t want to give it away but I wasn’t thrilled with it. I liked parts of it. I can’t go into detail without ruining it so I will say, I liked all of it but the finality of it. After you see it, you’ll understand what I am saying.

A good ending can make or break a film. The only exception to that is Titanic. Serious, they kill off the main character for no reason. Then, to top it all off, old Rose throwing that priceless diamond into the ocean and people loved the fucking movie! Brilliant film otherwise. Anyways, Last Shift’s ending just didn’t work for me. I got where the film was going. It just wasn’t the outcome I was looking for. The ending basically said, “You just watched and cared for no reason.” But, I honestly don’t know how the film could have ended any differently.

So I say watch it. Let me know what you thought of the ending. As I write this sentence I’m also at the end of the Last Shift. I always have the movie on as I write these reviews. Maybe it’s me and not the ending. Maybe all that needs to be said about this movie is how I started this review? “Last Shift is scary, creepy and interesting.” When it comes down to it, that’s kinda the point of a horror movie.

To all two and a half fans of this site, it’s on you now. Watch it and tell me what you think.

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Abattoir 2016 Quick Review

Abattoir 2016 Quick Review

Abattoir 2016 on Blu-ray

In Abattoir, an investigative reporter investigates why a good guy one day murders his sisters family. She teams up with a cop and the investigation leads her to learn things she should have left alone.

First, thing that stood out about The Abattoir was the hair and makeup. I know that’s odd for me to say. In the fist scene we meet the the wonderfully talented Jessica Lowndes’ Julia Talben character and her hair and makeup makeup is so 1940’s it just pops out at you. Not that I didn’t like it. It’s just that I think the director was trying to set the tone of those great noir films of the time too hard. In the very next scene we meet a cop played by Joe Anderson and his hat is an obvious throwback to the great fictional detectives of the time. It was just so much that for a moment I was taken out of the film and thought maybe this was set in the 40’s? Then I noticed the desktop top monitor in the background.

Jessica Lowndes in Abattoir with Joe Anderson in the background.

As I mentioned, this wasn’t a bad thing and I liked what it was trying to say about the film. It put me in the mood for a good mystery and that’s exactly what I got. Just think it could have been done more subtly. Aside from that there were no other glaring issues.

There was much to like about Abattoir. A solid mystery and ghost story. Solid acting and as usual Dayton Callie was excellent. I have enjoyed his work greatly since his standout role in Deadwood. He has been acting since the early 80’s. He was even episodes of CSI: Miami, The Practice and NYPD Blue. All shows I watched regularly but Deadwood finally gave him something he could really sink his teeth into as an actor. The whole, cast did a wonderful job in telling this story. And, how could not mention Lyn Shaye. Just awesome in everything.

I don’t recall much gore. I am sure there was some at the murder scenes. Nothing gratuitous. The visual effects were another standout. The last 20 minutes or so especially. And, the house. That could not have been more perfect. That design was outstanding. I think that credit goes to Jennifer Spence, the production designer. Fantastic. Makes sense, the work she has done over the years is incredible. Insidious 2, Lights Out, three Paranormal Activity movies to name a few.

Obviously I am recommending you see Abattoir. I didn’t find it to be too scary. But, it was wasn’t really supposed to be. It is however, very interesting, atmospheric and well worth the watching. A good solid mystery that with visually stunning scenery. And a top notch cast. Very well done. The perfect movie for rainy night in.

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Jessabelle 2014 Quick Review

Jessabelle 2014 Quick Review

Jessabelle 2014 Poster Image

Jessabelle 2014. After barely surviving a horrific car accident Jessie Laurent returns home to Louisiana to stay with her father while she recuperates. She discovers three old VHS tapes left to her by her late mother. They soon reveal that Jessabelle is being haunted and if she wants to survive, she will need to go down a dark path.

I saw Jessabelle about a year ago and what I remember most is how really, really good it was until the end. It wasn’t a bad ending, it didn’t ruin the movie. Just wasn’t the happy ending I was looking for. I would be interested in hearing what others think about it. Great story, good acting, creepy, scary with a solid spooky atmosphere.

The acting was good with a lot of character actors you’re sure to recognize. I don’t recall a bad actor in the bunch. I have Jessabelle on as I write this review and was just reminded of a few of those character actors. The story was strong. There’s a real mystery here. The best ghost stories have them. It’s all about the who and they why. These are the kind of supernatural tales I love the most.

Jessabelle Bathtub Scare Scene

The locations were beautiful. It’s supposed to be set in Louisiana but was filmed in North Carolina. I’ve been to Louisiana several times, never noticed Jessabelle wasn’t really filmed in Louisiana. Still they managed to capture the feel of Louisiana. Jessabele’s father’s house she works as creepy but not over the top. The outdoor scenes don’t disappoint either.

Everything about Jessabelle is well done. If you love a good ghost story, I think you’ll love this one. If you’re looking for some teens have sex and get killed, this isn’t it. Looking for a solid story that is creepy and scary. Watch this. Side note, there’s nothing wrong with horror movies with teens having sex and getting killed. Just saying, if you’re mood for one of the few horror movies that doesn’t involve that, this would be a great choice.

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7 Underrated Horror Movies You Need To See

7 Underrated Horror Movies You Need To See

So many movies to choose to from. Below are 7 underrated horror movies I think you might like too. I started making a list and soon found that there are dozens of underrated horror movies. I narrowed it down to 7 for now. I say for now because I am sure I will make another list soon. With the Halloween season freshly upon us I thought it’s the perfect time to make some seasonal suggestions. Yes, I know there are more than 7 underrated horror movies but I don’t have all damn day to make this list for you. I’ve got a job, responsibilities and 7 isn’t enough for you? You get started on these and get back to me when you’re done. Hopefully, I’ll have new list by then. So here’s the first 7 to get ya started. The following list is in no particular order.

Don’t Blink 2014

Ten people arrive at a secluded mountain resort to find it completely deserted. With no gas for the return trip, the visitors are forced to stay and investigate the mystery surrounding the abandoned lodge. – IMDb

I originally reviewed this movie back in December of 2014. I said that I was on the bubble with this one. So why am I recommending it now. Good question! The answer is that in the almost two years since I last saw this movie I have thought about it often. I found myself recommend it to friends. I would warn them about the ending. And, I will do the same here. This movie is so interesting. It’s not a gorefest, it’s not make you jump in fright kinds film. It’s just wonderfully, interesting in a scary a way. You can’t help but wonder what you would do if was happening to you.

I have said many times that a bad ending can ruin a good movie. This movie would have been great, if they didn’t fuck up the ending. But, I am hoping for a sequel maybe that will someday provide some a why to the whole thing. But, if you liked movies like The Birds, this, in my opinion is even better.

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Frailty 2001

A man confesses to an FBI agent his family’s story of how his religious fanatic father’s visions lead to a series of murders to destroy supposed “demons.” – IMDb

Director: Bill Paxton
Writer: Brent Hanley
Stars: Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Powers Boothe

Frailty came out way back in 2001 and I saw it on VHS shortly after it was released. I was late to the DVD game. In the early ’80’s I was a Beta guy. I was forced to make the sad jump to VHS. Then it was Laser Discs. When DVD’s came out, I was done. Not wasting my time and money on another fad. But, that’s a rant for another time.

The devout religious scare the hell out of me. And, this movie is about religious fanatic who’s thinks he’s killing demons. I’m not religious at all but I love a good religious story and this movie delivers. It’s creepy, it’s got supernatural stuff going on. And, it’s got some wonderful twists and turns along the way. Not to mention, a spectacular cast. And, something I just remembered, because I just typed it 5 minutes ago, Bill Paxton directed this bad boy. What more could you ask for?!

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Grave Encounters 2011

For their ghost hunting reality show, a production crew locks themselves inside an abandoned mental hospital that’s supposedly haunted – and it might prove to be all too true. -IMDb

It’s been a number of years since I saw Grave Encounters. Here’s what comes to mind when I think about it. Scary. Creepy. Even better if you watch it alone, at night, in the dark. The other thing I think about often is, “There’s a sequel, why haven’t watched it yet?!” I can’t answer that. I want to see it. I guess, I’m just waiting for the right time. As for Grave Encounters, it’s been 4 or 5 years since I saw it and I recall specific moments that were pretty damn scary. So, I have to recommend it to you. If you see it, and don’t like it, let me know about it.

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The Other Side of the Door

After her young son is killed in a tragic accident, a woman learns of a ritual which will bring him back to say goodbye, but when she disobeys a sacred warning, she upsets the balance between life and death. -IMDb

I loved The Other Side of the Door for many reasons. The heartbreaking story, the acting, the ending. I put off watching this movie because one of the things I hate more than anything in horror movies is when a character we’re supposed to care about does stupid things. The preview for this movie starts with a premise. That is, no matter what you do, don’t open the door. We all know, she’s gonna open the fucking door. I hate that.

When I reluctantly sat down to watch this movie I pretty much knew within a few minutes that I was going to the characters lead no matter what. The tragedy she endures makes her breaking the rules, completely understandable. I wanted to be pissed off about it but I kept telling myself, if that was there’s a good chance I’d have done the same thing.

However, the story is so much more than that and the ending, is just one of those ending, that is reminiscent of The Twilight Zone. It’s the emotions that make this movie great. The scares certainly add to it but it’s the heartbreak and the ending that set it apart.

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The Hive 2015

A young man suffering from amnesia must dig deep into the far reaches of his mind to remember who he is and save the love of his life before a virus that has infected him takes over. -IMDb

The Hive has a lot of things going for it for me. It’s not the normal form of story telling. It’s a mystery, a love story and it’s got zombies or I guess “infected”. It turns into a race against time. The story takes some twists and turns along the way that I really enjoyed. I saw several reviews slamming this movie, all I can say, fuck them. This is a solid movie worth watching. I’m guessing the ones who didn’t like it, just didn’t get it. They probably made the mistake of trying to figure shit out instead of just letting the movie unfold.

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The Abandoned

The Abandoned is about a young woman trying to get her life back in order. She takes a job as a security guard during the graveyard shift. It’s her first night working in this beautiful old building. But, the more she learns to about the buildings dark past the further down the rabbit’s hole she goes.

I reviewed The Abandoned not too long ago and it’s still with me. I just wasn’t expecting that much from it. It sounds predictable, two nightwatchmen, watchpeople? Whatever. There’s Jason Patrick’s character who is the experienced, just there to collect a check guy and then the new girl, played by Louisa Krause. Their jobs are to sit and watch an old abandoned building in the middle of the night. One of them does the rounds, while the other sits and watches on the surveillance camera’s. Sounds ripe for some spooky stuff to happen. It does happen but there’s more to it than what we see. There’s a real story here and it comes out of nowhere. You think you’re watching a spooky movie and BAM! There’s a bit of mystery that begins to unfold and it’s just so well done. A good story that doesn’t sacrifice anything to be told. Scary, creepy, fun.

Here’s a link to the original review if interested http://www.badhorrormovies.com/abandoned/

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Near Dark 1987

A small town son of a farmer joins up with a group of vampires when he falls for a sexy and mysterious wanderer.

Two of the best things to happen in 1987, Near Dark came out and I graduated from high school. Near Dark is one of the best vampires movies ever. I have no doubt it would have been a big horror movie hit of the year and most would know the movie by name. However, Near Dark came out in October. Perfect timing for a horror movie. But, The Lost Boys had come out back in July and Near Dark just got overshadowed by it. Also, some other classics came out that year as well, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, Evil Dead 2, The Monster Squad, Hellraiser and Predator.

What made Near Dark great was it’s simplicity. Boy meets girl. The dialogue was so good. On the verge of beeing campy, but not. One of the lines I still remember to this day, “I hate’em when they ain’t been shaved.” The vampires were gritty. They were grunge before there was grunge. These vampires, played with their food. It’s a must see and a must for any horror fans collection.

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Final Thoughts

I have tried to write this article several times. Something always comes up. I had the first 5 films added. In fact I had all seven, but the last two I had in there, I actually added before I saw the movies. I was sure that I was going to like them based on reviews I had heard. Then I sat down to watch them and was disappointed in them. So they I removed them and thought long and hard about what should replace them. I went I stood before my horror movie collection and thought to myself, what do I have that needs to be seen? I soon realized, dozens! So I picked two of them, one is recent, the other I dove into my horror past.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe 2016 | Bad Horror Movies

The Autopsy of Jane Doe 2016 | Bad Horror Movies

The Autopsy of Jane Doe 2016 Poster Image

Father and son coroners find themselves pulled into a mystery of what killed Jane Doe, the beautiful young woman found dead and partial buried in the basement of what appears to some kind of murder suicide. It’s up to the

The Autopsy of Jane Doe centers around a beautiful young woman who is found partially buried in the basement of an apparent brutal murder suicide. The catch, Who is Jane Doe and what does she have to do with it? Her discovery seems almost unrelated to the murder suicide that happened upstairs. The coroners job is to determin cause of death. The further the father & son team get into the autopsy of Jane Doe the more they come to realize that how she died isn’t as important as who and what she is.

Director: André Øvredal
Writers: Ian B. Goldberg (as Ian Goldberg), Richard Naing
Stars: Emile Hirsch, Brian Cox, Ophelia Lovibond and Olwen Catherine Kelly as Jane Doe

I really enjoyed the The Autopsy of Jane Doe. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. I will say that it starts off with all the intrigue of films like Silence of the Lambs. Unfortunately it doesn’t sustain this level throughout the rest of the film. The Autopsy of Jane Doe is more about the the who and what Jane Doe is. It’s the journey in getting there that is what sets this film apart. Once the mystery is solved, the film goes from something special into just an above average horror film. What I am trying to say is that this movie could have been great. It was good, don’t get me wrong. It’s got some really good creepy scenes and it’s so interesting until the final act. Scary, weird, and morbidly fascinating. It’s just that the final act of the film, it’s where it goes from great, slightly above average stuff we’ve all seen before. It’s just hurt by not having as strong an ending as the rest of the movie.

Olwen Catherine Kelly, Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch

Things that make The Autopsy of Jane Doe great. The acting. Brian Cox is exceptional in everything he does. Emile Hirsch, I don’t really know him from anything he’s done. Though looking at his IMDb page, he’s in a few movies that are my list to see. It also stars Ophelia Lovibond. I LOVE her! Though her character isn’t around much, it was a surprise to see. Many will recognize her from as Alex from Guardians of the Galaxy. However, I recognized her as Kitty from Elementary. Just a strong cast in every role.

The story is so interesting. The suspense slowly builds and it’s just so oddly fascinating. What killed this beautiful young women? Who they hell is she? What in the hell happened to her. As the father and son coroner team discover as the autopsy progresses, the more interesting and creepy it gets. The storm brewing outside is matching the storm brewing on the inside. As they progress, strange this start happen. Unexpected sounds here and there. Those eerie freezer doors open for no explainable reason. Have some of the corpses reanimated?

Strange and creepy things are afoot at the morgue.

Now, the few things that I didn’t like. The Autopsy of Jane Doe has one scene that was so predictable, I saw it coming from mikes away. it was so obvious what was about to happen that it ruined any emotional impact the scene should have had. I sat there knowing it was coming and it just took me out of the film and that’s sad because it should have been a powerful scene and instead the emotional moment was ruined by its predictability.

This is how the third act ends. The Autopsy of Jane Doe was so great until this moment. The forth and final act, wasn’t bad. Had some interesting moments in it but with the conclusion of the 3rd act it becomes obvious this is now just a horror movie. Sure, we knew that going into the movie but it was on another level up until this point.

In conclusion, I really do strongly recommend The Autopsy of Jane Doe. It’s creepy with a slow methodical suspense that builds and draws you into the mystery. It’s got a little for everyone. It’s got gore, a solid and very interesting story with a lot of creepiness. It’s a must have for any horror fan’s collection

Sadly, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, at this point isn’t going to be released on DVD and Blu-ray until May 2nd, 2017. The good news is that you can rent on Amazon right now! I sincerely recommend it.

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