Dark Circles 2013

Dark Circles 2013

Dark Circles 2013…

Dark Circles 2013 DVD CoverHaunted house film about a pair of sleep deprived parents who begin to experience disturbing visions after moving from the city to a country estate. Alex and Penny have just become parents of a baby boy when they decide that the city is no place to raise a child. Relocating to a farmhouse, the couple finds their relationship deteriorating due to the demands of caring for a newborn, including a lack of sleep. When Alex and Penny begin seeing a mysterious woman around the house, they at first dismiss the sightings as hallucinations brought on by sleep deprivation. But as the visions appear more often, the parents are forced to consider that evils are at work in their home. By the time the truth about their new home is revealed, their tenuous grip on sanity has already begun to slip.
Written by John Doe TW

I’m on the bubble again.  I should just flat out say it’s a bad horror movie.  But, it did hold my interest even though Pell James character as Penny was mostly annoying.  She went from bat shit crazy to loveable wife at the drop of a hat.   Her character’s behavior was so frustrating, I just wanted her to die.  I wanted the ghost to just fucking kill her and be done with it. I mean she would do stupid shit and then just turn around and blame her husband Alex, played by Johnathon Schaech.  Some will say, “she’s sleep deprived, it’s not her fault”.  I say, the fuck it isn’t?!  She’s a grown woman, the husband is just as sleep deprived and he puts up with her shit for a long time before he finally starts to give a little back.  And, his “giving a little back” is in the form of trying to help her by getting her some drugs so she would finally shut the fuck and get some sleep.

Even though her character annoyed me because I’ve dated women just like her that always have an excuse for their emotional inappropriate and threatening outburst, I let it go.  For the sake of making it through the film, I rationalized her disgusting behavior as just being sleep deprived.

So, if I except the premise that she’s not a horrible person, it’s just the lack of sleep then why don’t like this film?  Because some things happen that are so stupid, they take me out of the film.  And, worse than that, the movie lies.  It sells you on a premise that isn’t true.  Basically, key facts of the film are lies.  It’s one thing to mislead the audience but when you flat out lie, that’s a bad horror movie.

Some of the stupid things.  Our sleep deprived husband looses his shit and walks next door to the construction site and uses a 2 x4 as a bat to busts up some construction guy’s truck.  The site has been making noise almost every day since they moved in and he finally loses it.  Do the constructions guys get mad and beat the shit out of him like what would happen in real life?  Nope, the foreman is calm, tells the sleep deprived husband that he understands and will try to keep the noise down.  Doesn’t even call the cops on the husband.

Another stupid thing.  They hire a babysitter, she’s hot, there’s no way, no matter how sleep deprived the mom is that she’s going to allow some unknown girl to watch their baby and stay in their home while they sleep. Specially, a hot baby sitter played by Jenn Foreman.  Not gonna happen.  But, once again, I let it go.  She’s tired, husband basically picks up a teen girl from the supermarket and crazy wife is good with it?  Whatever.

Dark Circles 2013 Pell James as Penny

The killer, she’s behind me on the stairs, isn’t she?

Of course that all changes when they wake up in what they think is the next morning.  They later discover it’s a actually a full day later.  They were so tired they slept a full day.  But, Penny the mom goes back to full psycho mode when she sees her baby is covered in shit because his diaper exploded after not being changed in day.  Why has it not been changed?  Because our ghost killed the babysitter.  Now crazy mom instantly blames the husband.  Like she had no say in the matter to hire this babysitter.  When her and hubby sat on the couch together and interviewed the babysitter.  Still, I let it go.

A few days later, crazy mom Penny is being chased through the house by our ghost and stumbles upon the dead babysitter.  At this point, I wonder, did no one smell the corpse that must be starting to smell pretty ripe by this point.  Apparently not.  Once again, I let it go.  Even when instead of taking the drugs her husband tried to force on her, for her own good, she instead uses them to secretly drug the husband.  I let it go.  She’s done with him at this point.  He can live or die as far as crazy mom Penny is concerned.  Of course that lasts for about minute.  As soon as the ghost comes after her, she’s all back in love with her husband and trying to wake him up and crying for him to be okay.  Yet, again, I let it go.

Crazy Mom Penny and Husband Alex

Sorry I drugged you baby, please wake up, I love you again.

Then the I discover that we have been lied to this whole time.  Our ghost isn’t a ghost.  She too is a crazy lady and has just escaped from a mental institution.  She lost her baby and went crazy insane.  So all the ghost things this lady has done.  All just imagined by our crazy mom Penny and husband Alex.  All the times the ghost took the baby and then magically brought it right back, I guess it was all in crazy mom’s head.  And, that my friends was the last straw for me.

As I have said, a good film can misdirect you.  The best example for this is The Sixth Sense.  It didn’t lie to us.  The film is very good about going back and showing us how we what we had seen wasn’t what really happened.  Dark Circles just flat out lies to us and suggests that what we saw was just both crazy mom and husbands delusions.  That is total bullshit.  They could have done it without lying and it would have made this a really good horror movie.  But, instead they took the easy way out and cheated.

I will say the acting is really good.  The creepy mood throughout the film is set well.  And, for all the bitching I have done about crazy mom Penny, it was Pell James acting that sold me that she was crazy.  I wouldn’t have been so pissed off at her character if I didn’t believe her as Penny.  Any time an actor can actually take a character and make you feel some emotion for them, good or bad, they are a great actor.  So, if you can ignore the flaws, the stupid behavior and being lied to, check out the film.  If you like it, let me know why you do.  Maybe I am wrong?  Maybe I missed something?  But, if you’re limited in time and don’t want to risk it, please, watch something else instead.

Cast of Characters:
Johnathon Schaech as Alex
Pell James as Penny
Philippe Brenninkmeyer as Michael
Jennifer Foreman as Nancy
Andrea Frankle as Johanna

Don’t Blink 2014

Don’t Blink 2014

Don’t Blink 2014…

Don't Blink Poster Art 2014Ten 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.

Well, this one was almost fun.  I was really enjoying right up until I realized how it going to end.  I am not sure what it was or how I knew.  I of course don’t want to give away the ending.  The best I can do for you is say that I didn’t like this for the same reason I didn’t like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Never mind, I have to spoil it a little.  So if you read further, do so at you’re own risk.

Here’s the deal.  The movie is a mystery of sorts.  A group of friends arrive at a vacation resort in the mountains and low on fuel.  Upon arrival the soon learn they are all alone up there.  No people can be found.  Food on the table as if people were right in the middle of the their meals when everyone suddenly vanished.  I am loving the movie at this point.  I can’t wait to learn or figure out what’s going on.  Sadly, it never happens.

I am sorry to Alfred Hitchcock fans for shitting on the ending to the birds and to the makers of this movie but it’s just weak writing and nothing else.  You don’t suggest a mystery and then not solve it by the end of the film.  It’s not deep, it doesn’t make you ponder anything, it’s just pathetic.  You have one job as a writer, write a story with a beginning, middle and end.  I don’t care what order you tell them in.  Just make sure that they are there.  If you can’t even accomplish that, you have failed.

As far as the acting goes, I thought everyone did a wonderful job.  I thought the directing was pretty good as well.  This movie had so much talent it makes it even more tragic that this movie had such a shitty ending.  Obviously there were people who cared about making this movie.  But, somewhere along the way they just decided to ignore how frustrating bad the ending is.  Just hoping people will like the movie so much that they will just ignore the shit ending.  Something people like need to realize is that it’s actually the reverse that is true.  You can take a shitty movie, give it a killer ending and people will recommend it to others.  Fuck the audience at the end unless you’re Alfred Hitchcock come back from the dead the movie is going to suck.

I was really enjoying the movie until I started to see that we never going to be told what in the fuck is going on.  We are left to guess that perhaps it’s some kinda something the government is aware of but that’s it.  Did the cause the phenomenon or are they just tracking it?  We certainly do know.  Now some will say, the ending is left up to your imagination.  I say, are you fucking kidding me?  I’m not paying to see your movie so I can just imagine it!  If I wanted to imagine it, I could have just stayed at home and imagined the whole damn movie and saved myself a trip to the fucking theater and a whole lot of cash.

Cast of Characters:
Mena Suvari … Tracy
Brian Austin Green … Jack
Zack Ward … Alex
Joanne Kelly … Claire
Robert Picardo … Man in Black
Fiona Gubelmann … Ella
David de Lautour … Noah
Leif Gantvoort … Sam
Emelie O’Hara … Amelia
Boots Southerland … Sherrif
Curtiss Frisle … Lucas
Samantha Jacober … Charlotte (as Samantha Jacobs)
Nathan Lorbietzki … Man in Black #2

Don't Blink 2014 Joanne Kelly

The beautiful and talented Joanne Kelly as Claire is having a bad day

Rosewood Lane 2011

Rosewood Lane 2011

Rosewood Lane 2011…

Rosewood Lane 2011Rosewood Lane “When radio talk show psychiatrist, Dr. Sonny Blake, moves back to her hometown, she takes notice of her neighborhood paper boy’s unusual behavior” – Unknown

Well, that doesn’t tell us much.  Sadly, neither does this movie.  There’s several well known actors in this movie including the leading lady, Rose McGowan who plays the radio Dr. and Ray Wise who plays the Detective investigating the complaints that are made by McGowan’s character Dr. Blake about the neighborhood’s strange paper boy.

This movie keeps things vague.  Is this paper boy something supernatural?  Is he just crazy?  And, what’s with the dogs always chasing him out of the neighbor hood.  You see all things could make for an interesting movie if they eventually pay off but they don’t.  There comes a point in the film where you feel like you should have an idea what’s going by now with this kid.  And, by kid I mean older teenager.  The fact that you don’t know what’s going on by that late in the film it stops being interesting and becomes frustrating instead.

Rosewood Lane is filled with all the things I like in a movie.  Good acting, it’s well made but the story is just week.  It’s never made clear what in the hell is going on.  Instead, we just spend the whole time being frustrated that there’s nothing anything can seem to do about this kid.  The neighborhood fears him and think his some kinda unnatural being. So many unanswered questions. Top that off with the characters doing some really stupid things and you want to just stop watching it but you’ve already put so much time into it that you figure you might as well just ride it out and hope for some clarity at the end.  Then it ends and now you’re mad you didn’t stop watching it 30 minutes ago.

One of those unanswered questions is WTF is going on with the dogs?  Several times in the movie the paper boy is chased out of the neighborhood by neighborhood dogs. Somehow these dogs are suddenly all able to get out of their houses and backyards to chase this kid off.  But, then we later find that the paper boy killed Dr. Blake’s father’s dog in some horrible fashion as a warning to him.  So that had me scratching my head wondering why do he let the dogs run him off if he’s not really afraid of them as we are led to believe?

Even The Actors Need A Drink To Make It Through This Movie Rosewood Lane 2011

Even The Actors Need A Drink To Make It Through This Movie

The movie just isn’t put together well. There’s plots that go nowhere.  Characters making really stupid decisions. It gets frustrating.  All the great actors, a good director (Victor Salva who directed Jeepers Creepers) and they just couldn’t make this film work because it doesn’t matter how good everyone is if the writing is bad, good actors aren’t going to make it better.  I think everyone making the film new there were holes in it but hoped it would somehow add some mystery to the whole thing.  It didn’t.  It simply is a bad horror movie.

Cast Of Characters:
Rose McGowan as Sonny Blake
Daniel Ross Owens as Derek Barber/Paperboy
Lauren Vélez as Paula Crenshaw
Sonny Marinelli as Barrett Tanner
Lesley-Anne Down as Dr. Cloey Talbot
Ray Wise as Det. Briggs
Tom Tarantini as Det. Sabatino
Steve Tom as Glenn Forrester
Lin Shaye as Mrs. Hawthorne
Bill Fagerbakke as Hank Hawthorne
Rance Howard as Fred Crumb
Judson Mills as Darren Summers