Imagine agreeing to babysit a child, but when you are brought face-to-face with it, it turns out to be a creepy-ass porcelain doll named Brahms. Would you reject the offer and leave, or would you, like Greta (Lauren Cohan), an American nanny in The Boy, directed by William Brent Bell, agree to cuddle, sing, and even kiss the doll goodnight for a paycheck?

Greta, like any normal person, finds babysitting a doll strange, and finds the rules accompanying him even stranger. Brahms must never be alone, must always be read poetry in a “loud, clear voice,” must listen to music loudly, and must always be kissed goodnight. Needless to say, Greta fails to follow the rules, instead covering Brahms with a sheet – and that is when weird things begin to happen.

Certain items begin disappearing and reappearing; a childlike wail can be heard echoing around the pitch-dark hallways; the lifeless doll begins moving around the house, knocking on doors, making peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, and, in a tiny voice, pleading for Greta to follow the rules.

After speaking to Malcolm (Rupert Evans), local grocery man, about her tragic past, involving an abusive boyfriend and her child’s death, Greta becomes more affectionate and maternal towards Brahms – much to the dismay of Malcolm and Cole (Ben Robson), Greta’s ex-boyfriend. Together, all three will discover who Brahms truly is, and what is lurking behind the walls of the Heelshire House.

Even though the trailer terrified me and the synopsis sounded fantastic, The Boy disappointed me with classic horror clichés, such as a stupid protagonist, countless jump scares, unanswered questions, and a terrible ending.

Greta, to be blunt, is a dumb protagonist – when she hears creaking boards in the attic, she wanders upstairs with no light, no weapon, and wearing only a towel, giving herself away by shouting, “Who’s there?” And instead of expressing fear when she discovers her doll might be possessed, Greta gleefully hops up and down, all smiles! What?!

I am not a fan of jump scares – they cheapen a movie. The Boy, unfortunately, is chock-full of them.

As for unanswered questions, I honestly wanted to know, “What the hell made Brahms odd?” Was he born evil? What other qualities did he exhibit that deemed him “odd?” I mean, the characters attempted to weave together a spooky backstory, but it fell flat – it would have been more terrifying had Brahms’ parents, who desperately wanted a child, had summoned an evil spirit or demon which, once Brahms perished in the fire, had transferred itself into a porcelain doll, intent on haunting them for life unless they found a fresh soul to sacrifice.

I was not a fan of the twist ending – it was complete shit.

The Boy wasn’t scary; it was a disappointment.

To watch the trailer, click here

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, especially when a white-furred creature, covered in frozen flesh and blood, is chasing you through the snow-covered hills of Canada in Snow Beast (2011), directed by Brian Brough.

Three researchers and one rebellious daughter arrive in Canada to study wildlife – yet something has gobbled up every hare and lynx in sight! What could’ve done this?! Only when this question has been asked does the snow beast emerge slowly from the snow, eager to begin the chase for his next meal.

The origin of this snow beast, unfortunately, is never explained. Did he, like one character suggest, board a plane from Tibet and travel to Canada? Is he a genetic mutation? (Personally, I’d like to think he is a distant relative of the wampa from Hoth.)

Mr. Snow Beast is ape-like; he has white-fur, sharp teeth, and a KILLER slap/punch combo! He spends his days barreling through the woods, searching for lost snowboarders, destroying snowmobiles, and dragging frozen corpses back to his snow den.

His diet consists of hare and lynx – Mr. Snow Beast, it seems, would rather punch his human victims and drag them several miles to his home than devour their tasty flesh. Not one victim had a bite-mark – instead of being consumed, Marci (Kari Hawker-Diaz) was frozen into a wall and Rob (Paul D. Hunt), who was gut-punched to death, was left to freeze on the chilly ground.

Instead of devouring Jim (John Schneider), head of the research team, the beast delicately placed him into the snow cave, covered him with freshly-fallen snow, and left him, like Rob, to freeze. Jim, left outside in freezing temperatures for an entire day, should’ve shown signs of hypothermia. But when Emmy (Danielle Chuchran), his daughter, discovers him, Jim awakens, feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to run!

I expected an epic battle between researchers and the beast – instead, I received an anti-climactic ending, where Jim and Emmy, armed with their flare gun, bury the snow beast in an avalanche. Oh, and they don’t even make sure the beast is dead – they just leave, hand-in-hand, smiles plastered on their unflawed faces.

Boredom is what I experienced while watching Snow Beast – there is nothing horrific about an ape-like beast lumbering around Canada, bitch-slapping people and snarling occasionally.

If you want a campy monster movie, don your deerstalker, cozy up in a cabin, grab some cocoa, and watch Snow Beast.

To watch the trailer, click here

Faithful readers and fellow horror maniacs,

It has been some time since I’ve last penned an entry, has it not? Life, it seems, filled with daily stresses and constant demands, has left me feeling rather withered, and I have been unable to breathe life into new horror reviews.

Do not fear, though, faithful readers, for I intend to create numerous reviews to quench your thirst for horror this year. Together, you and I will traverse petrifying places, witness ghastly ghouls, and scream at atrocious acting.

And together, we will attempt to discover the perfect horror movie – one that chills us to the bone, one that makes us afraid to turn out the lights for fear something might be lurking in the shadows.

I hope, fellow horror maniacs, to bestow upon you knowledge about upcoming and past horror movies – the BEST ones to watch and the ones which you should bury, never to unearth again.

With much love,

The Horror Movie Maniac

Goosebumps, written by R.L. Stine, scared me as a child; now, the monsters, including gnomes, beasts, insects, and ventriloquist dummies, will haunt me on the big-screen when Goosebumps, directed by Rob Letterman, is released in theaters on October 16th.

Aliens and Area 51 are the main focus in Area 51, a found-footage film directed by Oren Peli.

Something is pulling four young conspiracy theorists “toward the base,” and because “what it contains is a mystery,” they decide it would be a brilliant idea to don their handheld cameras, pull on their specialized suits, and hop the fence into Area 51.

Once they hop the fence and enter the building, which seems like a piece of cake, they have free-range to explore the vast underground hallways, seeing as not one scientist or military-man appears to work there.

We shall, horror maniacs, “discover the secret” of Area 51 on Friday, May 15th, 2015.

Grandmothers are usually generous, sweet, and kind – unless she has been plucked from The Visit, a horror film directed, written, and produced by M. Night Shyamalan.

In The Visit, the grandmother, sporting grey hair and a cookie-stained apron, becomes, once 9:30pm rolls around, increasingly strange. And Pop-Pop, too, begins acting bizarre when he points a shotgun into his mouth or stands atop his storage unit. As the children put it, “They’re weird during the day, and even weirder at night.”

The two children, sensing that Nana and Pop-Pop “are hiding something,” charge their handheld camera and begin documenting the weird happenings of their elderly relatives all while Skyping their frazzled-looking mother.

Seeing as this is a Shymalan movie, what do YOU think the twist will be? (I guess we’ll have to see what happens when The Visit appears in theaters in September.)

The Devil, impeccably dressed in a nicely-pressed suit, and his demon minions eagerly await your arrival in Kingdom Come, directed by Greg A. Sager.

Numerous individuals awaken in an abandoned hospital, and begin trying to find a way out of the maze-like building. Seeing as no one trusts one another, the large group slowly begins dissolving into smaller and smaller groups. And one by one, individuals are cornered and tormented by their past sins. Will everyone escape, or will the Devil and his creatures tear them apart first?

Sam Becker and Jessica Martin, the leaders, become the film’s main characters, along with Ceilia, a God-like child. But our brave and heroic main characters are not without sin – Sam drove while drunk, killing an innocent man, while Jessica had an abortion. Ceilia, though, who possesses godly powers, forgives them both, and allows them to start fresh.

The other sinful characters are not so lucky – they, instead, meet their sins head-on, along with the Devil and his creatures. One character is torn apart by the women he raped, while another character, a drug addict, is killed in a bloody bathroom stall after being handed a bloody syringe.

On this note, Kingdom Come had incredibly dark backstories for each character. One character, a racist, killed his own daughter and blamed it on another man, while another character, a pedophile, ruined young girl’s lives. (Each backstory became increasingly darker and darker throughout the film.)

Daniel the Devil was a brilliant antagonist – besides, he’s incredibly fashionable. Oh, and his demonic roar was great, too. His eyes possess a sinister gleam while watching his “little pigs” attempt to escape while he rips their souls from their chests painfully.

His creatures, on the other hand, weren’t great – their costuming was just…off, I think. I mean, they could have been creative and terrifying…but their clothing tatters, wigs, and bizarre hop-walk made them unrealistic-looking.

Overall, Kingdom Come showcases evil overcoming goodness – it’s a dark horror film filled with twists and turns, deceiving demons, hopping creatures, and copious amounts of death.

To watch the trailer, click here

A revengeful clown, terrified teenagers, and copious amounts of gore await you in Stitches, a delightful horror-comedy directed by Conor McMahon.

It all begins once Stitches (Ross Noble), an unfunny clown, stumbles into Tommy’s birthday party. After belittling him and enduring his terrible jokes, the children decide to prank Stitches by tying his shoelaces together. Little did the children know, though, their prank would cause Stitches to stagger, fall, and die.

Now, six years later, Stitches has risen from his earthy tomb to crash Tommy’s birthday party – will Stitches make the teenagers laugh…or die?

Stitches, the ultimate antagonist, was both hilarious and evil with an amazing set of qualities:

  • Ability to throw knives and umbrellas with precision
  • Ability to detach his clown nose and “sniff” out his victims
  • Ability to decapitate individuals with one swift kick
  • Ability to ride a tricycle fast with over-sized shoes on

The murderous clown also showcased his clown-like ways while killing his victims:

  • Creates crude balloon animals from torn intestines
  • Inflates heads like balloons until they burst
  • Scoops out brains like ice cream

And lastly, Stitches was a pun master, which I loved, and here are three of my favorite puns:

  • “This party’s really kicking now.” (A head pun mentioned after someone’s head is kicked off.)
  • “He had to head off.” (Another head pun.)
  • “I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight.” (This song played while Stitches held a dead teenager in his arms.)

If you are looking for a fantastic horror-comedy to watch tonight, then for fuck’s sake, watch this! It will leave you in stitches!

To watch the trailer, click here.

Earth Day in Wisconsin, unfortunately, is pretty damn chilly, so I fully intend to celebrate by wrapping myself in a fleece blanket, heating up some cocoa, and watching several frightening eco-horror films, such as:

Day of the Animals (1977)

Director: William Girdler

Synopsis: “A battle for survival as hikers encounter a chemically imbalanced forest” (imdb.com).

Slugs: The Movie (1988)

Director: Juan Piquer Simon

Synopsis: “Killer slugs on the rampage in a rural community” (imdb.com).

The Thaw (2009)

Director: Mark A. Lewis

Synopsis: “A research expedition to the Arctic discovers that a melting polar ice cap has released a deadly prehistoric parasite” (imdb.com).

Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010)

Director: James Nguyen

Synopsis: “A platoon of eagles and vultures attacks the residents of a small town. Many people die. It’s not known what caused the flying menace to attack. Two people manage to fight back, but will they survive Birdemic?” (imdb.com).

The Bay (2012)

Director: Barry Levinson

Synopsis: “Chaos breaks out in a small Maryland town after an ecological disaster occurs.”

Happy Earth Day, fellow horror fanatics!

On Saturday, September 26th, 2015, why not run away from blood-thirsty zombies at the Wisconsin Zombie Mud Run 2015, presented by Wisconsin Feargrounds?!

You have three options:

Option #1: Be a Runner

  • Runners “run among the living and see if [they] can survive.”

Option #2: Be a Zombie

  • Zombies “see how many of the living [they] can take down.”

Option #3: Be a Volunteer

  • Volunteers make sure things run smoothly at the event.

Registration Fees:

$50.00: Runner

$35.00: Zombie

*A portion of all registration fees will be donated to Don’t be a Monster, an anti-bullying campaign.

C’mon, register and join the fun; you’re not scared, right?!