Here’s the first installment of 2023 for The Capn’s most beloved time of year…
Slotherhouse – This might partly be my fault, as I never bothered looking at what this was rated. You have a movie title that’s a play on words for Slaughterhouse, with a killer sloth. What the hell else should this be rated? There’s barely any gore in this; aside from a few scratches, most of the kills happen offscreen, where characters get strangled to death. Since this was set in a sorority, I thought at least some nudity would be implied. No, none of that. The humor is also terrible. The plot alone is pretty stupid, so it isn’t outside the possibility of making this concept funny. Just like the nudity, it’s nonexistent. I started horror month off with a real stinker. This is no Monkey Shines, that’s for sure. The only positive I can give for this is that at least they used an actual prop instead of CGI for the sloth. The movie is bad enough; we don’t need to add to it even more. This gets a SKIP!
All Fun and Games – The biggest gripe I have about this movie is the fact that they chose to open with the ending. You automatically know who survives and what happens to our villain right out of the gate. I wanted to see this one mainly because of the cast, as it stars Asa Butterfield from Sex Education and Natalia Dyer from Stranger Things. This movie wasn’t bad, just very mediocre. And when you have a kind of bland horror film that you already know the ending to, my interest levels drop fast. RENT.
The Nun II – Maybe better than the first one, but not by very much. It was like they knew their whole nun demon character wasn’t as scary as they thought, so to compensate, they just tossed loud noises at you. Which is exactly what The Conjuring films do. How do you know something scary is happening in those films? Because you can’t hear anything over the loud noises you’re bombarded with! The only interesting bits, maybe, are shown in the trailer. Everything else is pretty boring to sit through. It isn’t like we care about any of these characters. The plot for this demon nun to find saint’s eyes so they can be an angel again is also ridiculous; maybe you’ll care, but I was bored. I zoned out so hard that I’m not even really sure what happened in the end. There was an after-credits scene connecting it more to The Conjuring, but I’m not a fan of those movies either, so I don’t care. SKIP!
Haunted Mansion – I decided to watch this mainly because it premiered the same night Ahsoka had their finale. Which was terrible, by the way. A little extra Ahsoka review mixed in with your horror reviews but both starred Rosario Dawson, so I thought it would be poetic. Like Star Wars, it rhymes. I couldn’t tell if this was a reboot or a sequel to the Eddie Murphy one that came out in 2003. The thing that version of the movie had going for it was Eddie Murphy. In the 2023 version, you can’t really say that. Sure, it has some familiar faces, but not enough to make you excited to see it, which is why this is hitting Disney+ after its obscure theater run. I mainly found this movie boring. It’s for kids, not really for me. It’s also way too long, at 2 hours. RENT.
The Mean One – This was better than something like Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, which took itself seriously, but that isn’t to say this film is good. The first noticeable issue I had was the sound mixing. It was either not mixed properly or unfinished. They also chose to film a lot of scenes that should have been at night in broad daylight. Either because they didn’t want to bother with lighting or maybe it was a time issue, I don’t know. The Grinch is clearly meant to be a spoof of the Jim Carrey one from a few years ago. I can’t remember if I managed to sit all the way through. I guess their way around copyright issues is that the Grinch is never called by name, only the Mean One. The film really suffers from what most low-budget films suffer from: bad sound mixing, a weak script, and terrible acting. I don’t think I can recommend this one in any capacity, so it gets a SKIP.
V/H/S/85 – This is how these films usually go. You have about two really decent shorts, making a sandwich out of two or so really bad ones. The first and last shorts I got the most out of were: the first about a trip to a lake where a killer shows up and snipes them from the shoreline. The catch is, however, that if you were in the water, you become zombies. The biggest issue, however, is that the story just ends, and we move on to the next one, only finishing it after the third short. The other two after it aren’t really worth mentioning, but the final one I thought was great and maybe the goriest of the bunch. A killer is filming his murders and sending them to the police, but they haven’t happened yet. The wraparound story was also pretty weak and really did nothing to connect the tapes we were watching, like previous VHS films have done. RENT.
Monsters of California – This movie is a lot like Blink-182. Complete garbage. I’m not sure what I was expecting from a band member of one of the worst bands out there, but this makes perfect sense. Some of the worst dialogue you’ll ever hear, read by the worst actors imaginable outside a Neil Breen film. I’m not sure who the lead actor is, but he might need to find a backup plan because this whole acting thing just isn’t for him. At least the film is consistent in how bad it is; right out of the gate, we get how bad the dialogue is going to be, and if you think well, maybe the story will get you through it; think again! Most of this comes off like ramblings from a tinfoil hat loon, and the rest is outright boring. Not much happens aside from an encounter with Bigfoot, which is utterly pointless and explained in the most bizarre way, maybe somehow connecting it to aliens. This whole movie feels like a nutjob wrote it. This is a giant SKIP, almost at the edge of the very rare AVOID AT ALL COSTS rating, which is hardly ever given out, but this is pushing it in that direction.
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