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

The Pact 2012

The Pact 2012

The Pact 2012…

The Pact 2012 DVD CoverThe Pact is a 2012 American horror film written and directed by Nicholas McCarthy and starring Caity Lotz and Casper Van Dien. The film was made following the success of McCarthy’s short film of the same name which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The film follows Annie, whose mother has recently died, as she tries to discover what caused her sister, Nicole, and her cousin, Liz, to disappear. The film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival on January 20, opening to generally favourable reviews.
– Wikipedia

I watched this last night after hearing some good reviews for it.  I understand the good reviews, I really do.  But, I have to disagree with them.  Though I don’t want to go full hate on this film, it isn’t a truly bad horror movie.  But, it’s got some issues.  There was a scene that is completely misleading and when you’re making a ghost story mystery movie, you can’t do that.  Mysteries are to be solved and when the film lies to the audience that’s bad writing and just wrong.  There was also some characters doing really stupid things.  I hate that.  It’s okay for a simple slasher film that’s all about a sex and body counts.  But, this is supposed to be a serious story.

One really misleading scene involves a character leaving a camera on the floor while they are looking at something else.  We see a wide shot of the camera and the room beyond it.  Visible is the camera’s screen also showing the room beyond it.  In the camera lens we see the ghost walking across the frame but in the actual room we see nothing.  It’s a nice little effect but it’s misleading.  That ghost, we later discover isn’t a ghost at all.  There is a ghost in the film and it’s quite possible that what we saw was supposed to be the real ghost.  I call bullshit on that theory because the ghost we see is the same skinny dude that later turns out to be a real person.  The only real ghost in the movie is a young women who was murdered.  Not the same thing we see through the camera lens.

At the start of the film we meet Nichole played by Agnes Bruckner.  She seems slightly troubled but likable.  Then in typical slasher horror movie fashion she goes from being likable and smart to a complete idiot.  She’s believes she’s not alone in the house.  There’s an open door down the hall.  We can’t see into it, complete darkness.  What does she do?  She slowly walks down the hall and into the very dark room.  It was out of character from what we had just been led to believe about her and it was so tragically stupid of her to do that.  I’m a big guy, I can handle myself, I’ve been a cop, a bouncer and a bodyguard and I wouldn’t have walked into a dark room believing someone was in there.  And, if I did, I would at least be armed with knife or a bat and the first thing I would have done is to have reached in and turn on the fucking light.  Not Nicole, balls of steel this woman has.  Spoiler Alert!!!  It didn’t work out too well for her.

Caity Lotz in The Pact 2012

Hey let’s go down into the serial killers basement, wait what? The lights suddenly go out?!

This movie has a few decent creepy parts, I will give it that.  It’s just that it had the potential to be great.  I am so tired of seeing wasted potential.  If you’re not too picky or if you’re just not that bright, you will probably like this movie.  It wasn’t horrible.  It just wasn’t good.  I’ve seen worse, that’s for sure.  But, I can’t call this good, I just can’t.  The acting was decent.  I thought Caity Lotz as Annie Barlow (Nicole’s sister) was really good.  Casper Van Dien as Bill Creek was also good, again not the brightest of characters but his acting was good.  So much going for this film and yet it failed.  Oh and I have to mention the performance of Haley Hudson as Stevie.  She was really good and I have to admit that I now have a crush on her.  Sure, I’m almost old enough to be her father but true love knows no bounds.

There is a sequel, I hope to watch it today.  I have some videos that I need to render for my day job so I plan to do some serious horror movie watching later this afternoon and evening.

Cast of Characters:
Caity Lotz as Annie Barlow
Casper Van Dien as Bill Creek
Agnes Bruckner as Nicole Barlow
Mark Steger as Charles (“Judas”)
Haley Hudson as Stevie
Kathleen Rose Perkins as Liz
Samuel Ball as Giles
Bo Barrett as Jesse
Dakota Bright as Eva
Jeffrey T Ferguson as Officer Benson
Rachael Kahne as waitress
Santiago Segura as dishwasher
Sam Zuckerman as County Clerk

Haley Hudson in the Pact 2012

Of course I had to include a photo of my new girlfriend. Don’t judge me.