Just finished up a round of horror movies recently. Honestly these movies end up being comedies for me, since I usually don’t feel much sympathy for the protagonists. Oh well, at least they weren’t “found footage” movies.
I was informed by trusted sources that this movie was definitely scary. Since I was in the mood for a good scare, I turned out the lights, threw on my trusty headphones (you catch all the ambient background noises that way) and pressed play.
The story: Family moves into obviously haunted house and is surprised when they proceed to be haunted.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s sometimes difficult for me to empathize with the main characters, since they should have realized from jump-street that there were ghosts in the damn house. When the dog doesn’t want to go in the house, don’t go in the freakin’ house!
Well, the usual antics occur. The ghosts toy with them for some time, trashing the house and escalating the violence with each incident.
Luckily for the family, there is a ghostbusting husband and wife duo teaching at a nearby university who are willing and able to hop in and lend a hand.
JG’s Deal: I couldn’t feel bad for the family, since they never should have moved in there in the first place. They apparently picked up the house at an auction. Damn, man you never asked why you bought the house for a dollar??? And for the love of PETE, don’t go down in the scary BASEMENT!! Geesh!
Not only that, but we discover in the movie that if you don’t go to church and aren’t baptized, the Church isn’t trying to do a damn thing for you. They were willing to let bureaucracy allow the family be possessed and killed all because they had to get permission to help people who weren’t members of the church. Now that’s cold. The priest was afraid of getting written up so he let the family continue to suffer ghostly torment. Nice people.
Anyway, the movie definitely had some jump scares, but I can’t say I was really afraid for the family.
Supernatural Score: I’m a big fan of the CW TV show Supernatural, and I tend to judge these horror movies by how fast Sam and Dean Winchester from the show could solve this problem. My official rating on this one is that the two brothers would have settled this little problem in about one hour -no muss, no fuss. 4/10.
I checked this one out a few months back. Honestly, I got confused between this one and the movie Insidious. Oh, well…
The Story: True Crime writer with a flagging career moves his family into the previous home of the last victims of the murderer he’s chasing. Shit gets crazy after this.
I will say this, Sinister actually had some moments where it was pretty scary. The sheer malevolence of the killer was something you had to come to grips with.
As you could see from the trailer, the killer took old reel-to-reel footage of his victims playing or otherwise enjoying being a family. Then he would take more footage of the family being murdered. These two scenes would play back to back.
The main character watches these films alone at night in the dark. Boy, that’s stupid!, I thought, as I watched the movie alone at night in the dark.
Family slowly realizes that they are in danger, but don’t really have anyone equipped to help them.
JG’s Deal: There was an unexpected supernatural twist in the middle that I kind of didn’t like. Again, I couldn’t feel too sorry for the main character, because he was placing his own career above his family’s safety. I guess I felt bad for them, but the kids were kind of bratty so there was only so much empathy I could feel…
Still, there was some definite unease during the first half of this movie. I did begin to feel very afraid from the family as the father kept watching those films. Honestly, I might have tried to watch the films, but those old reel-to-reels can be tricky, and I would likely give up and go watch a video game playthrough or something.
Supernatural Score: As it turned out, I think this one would have been a run-of-the-mill case for the Winchesters. I could see them wrapping this one up in a one-hour show and driving off while the credits roll. 5/10.
I know I seem a bit hard-hearted here, but in the previous two examples the worst could have been avoided if the families wouldn’t have tried to get over. Buying the murder house was the catalyst for these events, and although there wasn’t much to be done once everything started (especially in Sinister), if the first family would have checked the history of the house they likely wouldn’t have moved there. In the case of Sinister, if the father wouldn’t have been so desperate to revive his career that he was willing to put his family in the line of fire he could have avoided the drama, too.
In the next two movies, it turns out that there was no escaping what happened to them, no matter where they would have moved.
Since this is the one I meant to watch when I picked Sinister, I finally went back and got a chance to watch it.
The Story: Family moves into big new house that looks as if it could lend itself to being haunted.
Tragedy strikes as their son falls into a coma, with no medical explanation. Soon it becomes apparent that there are supernatural forces at play, and that no one is really safe.
Things pick up when a ghost-hunting medium and her perpetually arguing assistants show up to break down the case. Actress Rose Byrne does an excellent job of looking worried in this one…unless…that might just be the natural state of her face.
JG’s Deal: I did feel bad for the family in this one, because they really didn’t ask for all this. Through no fault of their own, they were caught up in some supernatural drama and the only way out was through.
I thought there were some generally scary moments in this one. Some good jump-scares, but also a sense of fear for the family as what was really going on became clear to them. Especially when the father’s role and what he would have to do became revealed.
The really scary part was again that this was something that was likely to happen whether they wanted it or not. Lack of information made mistakes happen, and by the time they were finally ready to act it was almost too late.
The ending was pretty awesome, so I knew there was going to be a sequel.
Supernatural Score: This was a tough one. I got the feeling that this might be one of those story arcs that goes on with the Winchesters (or at least one of them) unawares, until finally they become suspicious enough to investigate. 8/10.
Luckily, by the time I watched Insidious, Insidious 2 was already available for rental so I was able to just slide right into that one.
The Story: Everything should be fine after the events of the first movie, but it becomes clear that everything is most definitely not fine. Hell no.
Mustering up new levels of facial expression, Rose Byrne is somehow able to look even more worried than the last movie. But why? There’s no coma? Kids seem to be cool. Everything’s cool, right?
Wait. Last movie, the ghosts and demons had a goal, and it appeared that goal was not reached. But what if it was…just in a different, more insidious manner than was expected?
Oh, them demon ghosts. You so crazy.
Ghost Hunters, UNITE!!
Time to (re) kick some ghost ASS.
JG’s Deal: It was awesome. I can’t say I was really scared though. Again, somehow they made me feel for this family. I felt bad for them and wanted them to succeed/survive. These days you can’t be sure a movie will have a happy ending. In that respect I guess you could say I was scared.
What I really liked was how they tied in to the first film with some of the tiny idiosyncrasies that you may have wondered about in the last movie. It was all explained. It made me think the whole thing was planned out, instead of spewed forth on demand after the success of the first movie.
I think the Insidious movies deserved a lot of the hype they got.
Supernatural Score: Yeah, I gotta go with my last rating. This is definitely a low-level operation that the Winchesters would need at least a few episodes to pick up on and stop. 8/10.
As I wrote this, I thought about the last movies that really scared me. Well one was definitely the movie Saw:
Some say it’s not a true “horror” movie, but rather a “thriller”. I don’t know the difference, but the shit freaked me out.
The Story: If you don’t know the story of Saw or can’t watch the trailer, Saw is short for Jigsaw. The Jigsaw killer kidnaps people and puts them in horrendous traps that eventually brutally murder them.
Here’s the thing, he always give you a chance to escape. It just depends on what you’re willing to do.
Man, this movie disturbed me a lot. The rest of the sequels were bad, but that first one is brilliant.
The other movie before this one that scared me was The Blair Witch Project:
This movie is very polarizing. Some hated it, some loved it. Personally, I credit this movie for the start of the whole “found footage” phenomenon. Some film major will always turn up to list some other little-known movie that should get the credit, but whatever…
I have to admit that when I watched it (in the theater no less), I was afraid of what was going to happen next.
I felt bad for the characters because they were just drawn into something that they didn’t have the power to escape.
Honestly, it seemed to play on your imagination a lot, and the fear could just keep building that way.
You’d never catch me out in the woods like that, so it sure as hell wouldn’t happen to me, but I felt like the protagonists did what they could to survive a malevolent force that was intent on tormenting them.
The ending was crazy! I knew people who were into hunting that would stay out in the woods while on their trips. Even they told me they were freaked out after watching it.
If you haven’t watched it, then you should really check it out. Do NOT watch the sequel. Repeat: AVOID the sequel at all costs. It will make you think less of the first movie.
Lighten up a bit…A Haunted House
After all the horror movies I watched recently, I had to go for a funny one.
This movie is by Marlon Wayans and is a parody of the Paranormal Activity movies. I watched the first two of these and enjoyed them, even though I didn’t find too many scares in there.
Anyway, this movie is too funny. I cannot stress that enough. I almost ruptured my stomach laughing, and I know my neighbors had to be wondering what was wrong with me.
Essentially, almost everything that you’re thinking about these horror movies is addressed. There’s something for everyone in here, so if you want a laugh I would highly recommend checking this one out.
I haven’t seen the sequel yet, but I will once it hits Netflix, no doubt.
The Wrap Up
Ok guys, that’s my most recent batch of horror movies revealed. If you saw any of these let me know what you thought, and if you have any scary movie suggestions let me know that, too.
With that said, I’m outta here, see you guys next time!