Archive for January, 2016

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

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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