The climax owes something to previous efforts like The Exorcist . Unfortunately, the film-makers lacked the budget for anything more than a bit of dodgy blue-screen work. And some pea soup, of course.
Our heroine is an expert in fraudulent hauntings, in 1922 England. The land is still suffering from the loss of life in the First World War. She is summoned to investigate a haunting in a remote country house. The result is a stack of references to other ghost movies.
The house is now in use as a boarding school for young boys. Dominic West (The Wire) is the Headmaster, and Imelda Staunton (a vicious teacher in the Harry Potter series) is the cook.
The sub's dead Captain seems to be haunting the vessel. Specifically he is targeting the senior officers - Bruce Greenwood ( The Core ), Scott Foley (Scrubs, The Unit) and Holt Mcallany ( The Losers ). Luckily, the Final Girl has Matthew Davis ( Vampire Diaries ) on her side. Yes, there are a lot of very pretty (and unrealistically well-groomed) folk on this boat.
Despite the overly attractive main cast, the director ( David Twohy ) does a great job with the visuals and the atmospherics. The spookiest aspects come from the script, written by Darren Aronofsky . Unfortunately, the submarine set was built 33% larger than a real submarine. This facilitates access for the cameras and crew when filming. However, it undermines both the authenticity and the claustrophobia of the unique environment.
His wife ( Charlize Theron ) hangs around with Tamara Tunie , and begins to hallucinate. Is she going insane? In truth, she did a better version of this in The Astronaut's Wife . However, this story is focused on Keannu - the small-town boy being corrupted by the temptations of the big city. He finds himself fantasising about co-worker Connie Nielsen (who looks just like Dina Meyer ).
Ron Silver ( Time Cop ) tries to save her. He is a Parapsychologist, and he plans to freeze the demon with liquid nitrogen!
Was the remake of Halloween worth watching? Or Assault on Precinct 13? Disk Jockey Selma Blair is a poor replacement for the original ( Adrienne Barbeau ), and the rest of the movie is similarly disappointing.
The ghost of former headmaster MC Gainey ( Lost ) and his demonic sidekick start to bump off pupils and staff. Victims include School Librarian Charisma Carpenter , in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene that wastes her talent.
A young woman motorist has a creepy encounter at the Kilometre 31 road-marker outside Mexico City. Her twin sister investigates the ghostly goings-on.
The ghost in this case is La Llorona - also used as freak-of-the-week in Grimm. In an interesting stretch, the river she haunts flows past the mile-marker, and through a storm drain under the city.
The problem seems to be that the TV show Supernatural has ruined this entire genre. The Winchester brothers would sort this all out in 42 minutes, plus time for advert breaks and the end-credit sequence.
This was Peter Jackson 's adaptation of a popular novel. It is a divisive film - made to cash in on a book, it is uninspiring as a stand-alone piece.
The film is basically a rehash of 1408 , with predictably excessive use of the untruthful narrator. There are one or two powerful scares, but once it becomes apparent that the characters' perception of reality is corrupted beyond all recognition by the mirror itself the whole story becomes essentially meaningless.
This was produced by Sam Raimi , who wrote and directed the far superior Drag me To Hell . That film featured Gypsy magicks, whereas this one has Yiddish mysticism. Both are examples of the Magic Negro cliche, where any non-mainstream culture is only involved insofar as its purported magical concepts.
The result is quite a let-down. Supernatural possession in the American suburbs was done to death by the Paranormal Activity series, and this effort is not in the same league. Quite disappointing, in all.
As an American author, she moves into a remote house in England. There she has visions of people being brutally murdered.
As with many terrible horror movies, the individual behind this effort both wrote AND directed it. That said, there is actually a nice twist ending
This is only partly found footage, so like Insidious the pseudo-realistic feel means the writers can use the usual cliches. For example, there is a power cut and everyone runs around with the camera providing the light.
The cast is first-rate, but the let-down is the script. It just has nothing new to offer.
This is billed as This year's Sixth Sense . From that, one gets a sense of predictability. A supernatural thriller with a twist in the end? The same route has been ploughed by all four leading stars lately: Olsen's big break was the disappointing effort Silent House , Murphy did Redeye, Weaver was in Cabin in the Woods , and (if you go back a few years) DeNiro was in Hide & Seek .
If anything, this particular twist is … unforeseen despite being foreshadowed. But it is ultimately a bit unsatisfying. As if the whole thing really did not amount to much. The ending of Sixth Sense makes you re-interpret the entire film, and allows you to enjoy it on subsequent viewings. This effort ends on something of a non-sequitor.
Our protagonist is Elizabeth Olsen - taller and more buxom than her sisters, and already being spoken of as a potential Oscar-winner. She, her dad and her uncle are fixing up their decrepit holiday home. The house has been targeted by local criminals in the past, so all the windows are boarded up. Combined with the fact the power is shorted out, and the sun is setting, means there is no light to speak of in the house. The lonely, remote house with no land-line or cell-phone coverage, plays the perfect venue for a suspense/horror film. It is a Cabin in the Woods.
The middle Act of the film consists of the protagonist being chased through the darkened labyrinth of rooms by unseen stalkers. This was done so much better in George Clarke's film The Last Light . Is she up against bloodthirsty hill-billies or murderous ghostly presences? She does not care, she just blubbers like Heather Donahue in Blair Witch Project .
The climax has a twist ending. Yes, how predictable. There are three other films mentioned in this review, and all three are better than this one. Its redeeming feature, other than the buxom protagonist, is the real-time aspect.
He winds up in New Zealand, where he shacks up with Xena - a young Maori woman, not Lucy Lawless . A demonic ghost hunts down and murders everyone he tattoos. His only option is to find out who the ghost was, and appease the undead spirit.
The pair get trapped in a snowdrift on a lonely mountain road. They start bickering as they fall apart under the strain. This is one of the better things about the film - the Blair Witch Project type examination of a group under stress. They enounter ghostly figures - first some mysterious hooded monks, then a vicious Highway Patrolman.
As well as an unoriginal script, the film is also let down by choppy editing.
A twenty-something couple in suburban San Diego, California, install security cameras around their home. The events captured by those cameras indicate that an invisible demonic entity is at work there.
This ties in with the original film in a surprising way, providing additional backstory to the demonic haunting occurance.
Her mother is played by genre star Alexondra Lee , a fact that destroys suspension of disbelief built up by the Found Footage setup.
The story follows a pair of latino teenagers in a working class area. They suspect that their neighbour is a witch. This follows on from the previous film, where the demonic entity was linked to a coven.
The camcorder contains a tape from 1988. When they play it back, they see events from the family in Paranormal Activity 3 , the prequel movie. The young girls on the tape seem to have precognitive powers, and it appears that they can see the people watching them on video.
Skyler ( Olivia Taylor Dudley ), a friend of the family, is into yoga and feng shui. She gives a bit of exposition about spirit photography. There is also a local priest who knows a bit about exorcisms. Will the victims actually have a chance of surviving this time?
This is adapted from a novel, but there was actually a British TV version in the early 1990s. Despite being adapted by Jane Goldman ( Kick-Ass ), this version is actually a bit disappointing. It has been inflated up for the big screen, giving the ghost a lot more screen time. The original was a masterpiece of suspense, where the ghost was sometimes heard but rarely seen. This time, the sounds are more akin to the Lewton Bus, when it is all just a fake scare. The ghost itself is seen regularly, about as frightening as CGI can get (i.e. not at all). And the ending? Well, the facts have been altered so the tone is not so bleak. Basically, a dumbing-down for the mass-market audience who want a happy ending.
The ghost can apparently read the minds of her victims, as well as possessing them. The young lady teacher (the Final Girl horror movie trope) has a secret – she once had her own child up for adoption, and never found him. One of the boys in the class has been orphaned, and he also gets special treatment from the ghost.
The problem with this film is that it is basically just a ghost story. There are a lot of jump-scares (AKA the infamous Lewton Bus) – but while ghosts can make you jump, they really cannot do much to you. Except in the inevitable over-blown climax, but that is a different matter. The truth is, as with all ghost stories there is a lot of suspense but no pay-off.
We flash forward to the year 2010, before the events of the first movie in the series. Lin Shaye and her team of parapsychologists are called in by Kirk Acevedo ( Arrow: Season 6 ) who is now living in her childhood home. The ghosts and demons are still on the loose.
A young boy is haunted - not by a ghost, but a Dream Demon, like something out of Nightmare on Elm Street . His mother ( Rose Byrne ) tries everything. They eventually have to call in parapsychologist Lin Shae .
The parapsychologist team have info on a haunting when he was a child. Lin Shae was the original investigator.
The young woman lives with her father (Dermot Mulroney - Stoker (2013) ), who makes her look after her younger brother. Naturally she misses her dead mother, which is her motivation for transgressing with the supernatural. Basically, with the best of intentions she opens a portal to hell and lets a monster out. This particular monster has a fetish for leaving muddy footprints around, which raises the audience's suspense, and dangling from the ceiling so it can grab a victim and shock the audience.
Elise reluctantly tries to help. After all, the same monster that is harrassing the family also attacked her. But the woman in black is out to get her, and attacks her every time she enters the other realm. The father then calls in a couple of guys with a ghostfacer website - Angus Sampson ( Shut Eye ) and Leigh Whannell. Yes, this is the team's origin story!
The demon's powers seem inconsistent. Sometimes it can only play mind-games with victims, but other times it can use overwhelming physical force.
A doll-maker (Anthony Lapaglia - ) and his wife ( Miranda Otto ) lose their daughter in a terrible accident. Twelve years later, the couple invite a nun and a half-dozen orphaned teenage girls to live in the house. Creepy things start to happen.
Annabelle is not just a killer doll, like Chucky in the Child's Play series. She is more of a conduit for a demonic entity. This means that by the climax, there is a massive demon on the loose to terrify the victims. It also seems to teleport, because it possesses the ability to move instantly between locations.
This film achieves the three main things that any good horror movie should deliver, but so few actually do. It creates an atmosphere of suspense, it introduces characters that the audience cares about, and it subjects them to convincing jeopardy.
The woman and her husband live in a city that lives in fear of satanic cultists. Just like Los Angeles in the late 1960s, with the Manson family on the loose. And by incredible coincidence, one of the cultists lives next door.
The woman's creepy new doll seems to be possessed by the ghost of one of the Cultists. However, it turns out that the Cultists were trying to summon a demon. All this seems to contradict the events of the prequel, which indicates the doll was possessed by a previous demon from
To up the ante, the pregnant woman gives birth to her child. This reduces the movie to the old child-in-jeopardy storyline, which is a step up from the tweenager-fem-jep one.
The Warrens have a daughter. When they go away for a few days, they leave a teenage babysitter in charge. The babysitter's friends drop by, and one of them transgresses.
The main story takes place in 1973. A widow ( Linda Cardinelli ) who works for Child Protective Services has to confiscate two young children who belong to Patricia Velazquez . Unfortunately the real threat to the children is not their mother - it is the ghost of La Lorona herself!
The widow has two small children of her own, and they soon find themselves menaced by the ghost. The widow goes to a Catholic preacher (Tony Amendola - Stargate SG-1 ), who previously appeared in Annabelle (2014) . That is the only connection between this movie and the others in the series, in case you are wondering.
The preacher puts the widow in touch with a freelance exorcist, Sniper from Training Day (2001). Since La Lorona is a Catholic ghost, she is highly vulnerable to Catholic magic such as holy water. This is very inconvenient for her, since she is a water-based spirit who tries to drown her victims.
This is a somewhat lightweight effort. Since there is a very small number of central characters and a monster that has no real physical form, there is little or no bloodshed. As a result, there may be suspense but nobody really cares about the outcome.
A family (including five daughters) move into an old farmhouse. They eventually explore the basement ... Yes, this is a trope that has already been done in Cabin in the Woods , and this should advise you what kind of film this is. The director also made Insidious , so the suspense level is high. But there is nothing really original or surprising in it.
This film has been condemned as anti-female, because the antagonist is the ghost of a witch-woman. But with strong roles for a couple of critically-acclaimed actresses (both aged over thirty-five), this is about as good as it gets for a film set in the Seventies.
A family (two sons and two daughters) move into an old house. They play with a ouiji board ... Yes, this is a trope that has already been done in The Exorcist , and this should advise you what kind of film this is. The director manages to keep the suspense level is high. But there is nothing really original or surprising in it.
The husband has abandoned his family, so when spooky things happen the mother ( Frances O'Connor ) calls in a couple of Ghostbusters - Ed (Patrick Wilson - Watchmen ) and Lorraine ( Vera Farmiga ). As befits the Magic Negro trope, the outsiders happen to be experts in the exact same superstition of the demon. The Ghostbusters work for the Roman Catholic Church, so it turns out that the demon is a Catholic one. Surely it should be an Anglican Episcopalian one, since that is the State religion of England.
The Exorcist and his camera crew go to a small farm in Louisiana where Nell ( ) is supposed to be demonically possessed. En route, they interview some locals like in Blair Witch Project and end up hearing tales of a satanic cult. Of course, they ignore everything they hear. After all, since the exorcist is a fake they assume the demonic possession is fake too.
Things get creepy soon enough. The combination of night-time shooting and gun-toting rednecks hostile to strangers is enough to guarantee that, even without the supernatural element.
The film starts slowly, with repeated use of fake tension to make it seem suspenseful. We see things from the protagonist's perspective, so we are unclear (until the end) as to whether she is insane or if the demonic events are actually happening.
Nell ( ), the possessed girl from the first film, is the sole survivor of a blaze that apparently killed her entire family. She is unscathed, although thanks to daylight she seems to have aged about ten years.
In the late 1940s, Merrin (Stellan Staargard - ) is hired by creepy Ben Cross ( First Knight (1995) ) to work on an archaeological dig in East Africa. Somewhere within driving distance of Nairobi, Kenya, they have discovered an ancient Byzantine church. Cross says it is from the year Five, which is of course impossible. Merrin instinctively knows that he means the year Five Hundred, and points out that the idea of a Byzantine church in Kenya is still impossible.
Someone gets possessed, and their face has the look of the classic possession makeup Regan had in The Exorcist (1973) . When Merrin starts the exorcism, the possession victim starts climbing the walls like a cartoonish CGI version of the one in Exorcist 3 (1993) . In other words, this movie has a few surface references but lacks the depth of the Franchise's greats.
It is several years after the events of the first film. Reagan ( Linda Blair ) is an attractive young teenager, trying to get on with her life. She has to see a psychiatrist ( Louise Fletcher ) for her bad dreams, but on the surface she has gotten over her possession.
An exorcist priest (Richard Burton - Medusa Syndrome ) is assigned to investigate Reagan's exorcism, which was the last case of his mentor. His interviews with her (using a machine with flashing lights that apparently allows people to merge consciousnesses or something) allow the seamless integration of scenes from the original film.
The backstory of the demon is completely different from the other movies in the series. In this it is called Pazuzu (as in the gargoyle from Futurama ). Apparently Pazuzu is the demon of the air, the embodiment of a massive locust. The priest becomes obsessed with the demon, and travels to Ethiopia to find the demon's first victim (James Earl Jones - Conan The Barbarian ).
So what is so bad about it? The actors tend to stare into the camera a lot. Some of the dialogue is particularly dreadful. Also, the musical score by Ennio Morricone is typically overwrought. Worst, Director John Boorman reputedly hated the script.