Since we have all been slacking a bit on the Horror Month this year, I thought I would go ahead and get a jump on starting the discussion for our final Horror Week!
The horror films I watched this past week are:
Rattlesnake (2019) – A Netflix original that just dropped on the service, this story follows a mother who is offered a deal by a mysterious woman: kill a stranger and save her daughter’s life, or ignore the warnings and let her daughter die. Also, the mother only has until sunset to decide (Sunset, by the way, would have been a much better title for the film)
First, this is less of a horror and more of a psychological thriller, but it is listed on Netflix as a horror, so we’ll call it that.
Second, this should have been a short in an anthology film or an episode of Black Mirror or The Twilight Zone, as even at one hour and twenty minutes, the story still feels extremely stretched and so many plot contrivances are required to keep the story limping to the end. It is an interesting concept (though we have seen it before) but the filmmakers do not do anything with it or offer anything original. Plus, there are no explanations as to why this is happening, what is really going on and they never play with the idea that maybe the mother is suffering from heatstroke or sleep deprivation and is making everything up, which would at least have been more interesting.
I would say SKIP IT – there are better ways to spend an hour and twenty minutes.
Sinister 2 (2015) – Picks up after the first one and follows Deputy So-and-So as he tries to prevent the demon from taking another family, this time a single mother and her two boys.
I enjoyed this one, but I was not expecting much. It does have several jump-scares and the plot “twist/reveal” is easily guessable from the first scene (similar to the first Sinister) but James Ransone is charming as the naive Deputy and there are enough creepy moments to warrant checking it out – especially if you were a fan of the first one.
I would say RENT IT – it is currently available on Netflix!
Bliss (2019) – Follows an artist struggling to finish her painting, who takes a new drug called “Bliss” and travels down a drug-induced rabbit hole filled with violent depravity.
I wanted to like this one, but really, there is very little going on here. In addition to the fact that we have seen this same concept done much better before (Limitless, anyone?), there is the fact that all of the characters (especially our protagonist) are aggressively unlikable and the theme of the film only seems to be “Drugs are bad”.
Think Requiem for a Dream, but heavily neon-tinted visuals and with an end reveal of… vampires? Highlanders? Full disclosure, I ended up having to fast-forward past a lot of this as nothing was happening very slowly – SKIP IT.
Girl on the Third Floor (2019) – CM Punk renovates a haunted house.
I didn’t know what to expect from this one, but I was very pleasantly surprised! The acting here is great – especially for CM Punk’s debut performance and he plays off the other actors really well, which, though I am not an actor, I would imagine is a difficult skill to perfect.
In addition, we get a mid-point reveal and a nice final moment with a supporting character that I did not see coming. For the gore-hounds, there is some nice practical gore and monster effects, including someone peeling off their own skin, and there is even a Silent Hill-like creature in the walls. The film is very clearly paying homage to classic haunted house pictures like The Shining, but this one still manages to find its own voice and unique take that I enjoyed.
Though some of the dialogue leaves a bit to be desired, this was a fun little film and I would certainly give it a RENT IT.
Horror Month isn’t quite over! I still have the script review of the film Countdown (2019) coming to you later this week and Hank has his own spooky review as well. Until then, what horror films did you watch over the week and what made you jump this week?
Let me know below!
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