Category Archives: Just Fun

Tuesday Terror: Dance Break (Crypt Jam)

 

The Crypt Keeper is throwing a monster bash – come on down! (It’s skeletons of fun.)

 

 

Tuesday Terror: Little Evil (2017)

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Gary met, fell in love with and married Samantha. In addition to being a loving husband, he’s signed up to be stepfather to young Lucas. Lucas doesn’t want a new daddy and does everything in his power to drive Gary away. It sounds like a typical family comedy – except Lucas is powered by Satan – his birth father.

With Gary and other forces vying to win Lucas’ affection (and soul), can this family be saved?

Little Evil is a horror comedy that is heavy on the comedy and “eh” on the horror. It feels like a bunch of friends got together over a weekend or two and had a really good time putting this movie together. Will the viewer have fun? This is mostly a parody of The Omen, so how much you enjoy this movie may depend on your memory of the 1976 classic.**

Samantha’s backstory is pretty interesting; I  wish it was a bigger part of the movie. Besides ignoring most of the bad things her son does, she’s constantly encouraging Gary to try harder to “reach” Lucas. There’s not much else for this character to do.

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Gary is okay. Bland, but okay. It’s everyone around him that puts the zing into his life. Thankfully, he joins a stepdad support group which contains some colorful characters. They are the ones that help him cope and will be there when it’s time for the ultimate showdown with evil.

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Al, Gary’s coworker and fellow stepdad, is the one who introduces him to the group. Al is played by Bridget Everett and reminds me of a younger, less mature version of Dan Conner. Some articles reference Al as queer (butch lesbian, gender fluid, or a transman) and make a big deal about the character being fully accepted and respected by their male, (presumably) CIS gender peer group.

Except for a bit early on where Gary is trying to figure out which side of the “step” binary Al falls into, gender/orientation really isn’t brought up again. Is this revolutionary? Not to me but your mileage may vary.

If you are looking for a horror movie, look somewhere else. If you want a chuckle or two, Little Evil works.

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Tip:
*Before marrying the woman of your dreams, consider developing a relationship with your future step-demon.
*Take Your Demon-possessed Spawn To Work Day would be awesome.
*Satan is My Co-Parent is a book that would fly off of parenting/self-help shelves.

**I saw the 2006 remake of The Omen. Other than it’s release date – 06/06/06 – I can’t remember a thing about it.

Terror Tuesday: Darna Zaroori Hai (2006)

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In this horror anthology, children take shelter in what they think is an abandoned house to escape a rainstorm. They’ve inadvertently invaded the home of a grandmotherly woman who is happy for the company. After one of the boys boasts about not being afraid of anything, she offers to tell them six horror stories and promises they will all be scared by the end of the night.

Darna Zaroori Hai has a Tales From the Crypt feel. Even when the story has a twist that you can see coming, it’s still enjoyable.

Before the opening credits there is a bonus story that help sets the creepy yet comedic tone. Satish demands that his mother give him money so that he can see a late showing horror movie. Despite her warnings, he cuts through a cemetery to get to the theater. Anyone else would understand that walking through graves on a moonless night is bad enough; however, it’s also Friday the 13th.

Satish makes it to the movies and rushes the concession stand. “Hey quickly – give me the fried snacks!” After a night of laughing at the screen, something is waiting for him on his return home…

The other tales include: a professor who sees a ghost, a motorist looking for help lands on the doorstep of a weird couple, a family contending with an unwelcome guest, a film director writing his first horror movie, a man who wakes up in prison and doesn’t know why, and the wrap around.

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Tip: Calling spirits to you is easier than getting rid of them.

Tuesday Terror: Horror Story (2013)

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Seven twenty-somethings decide to have one last wild adventure by spending the night in a haunted hotel. The plan is to investigate an infamous room and pull pranks on each other in the darkened hallways.

After a brief intro to the characters, the story gets them quickly to the hotel. Even though the building is the site of numerous deaths, the group takes no precautions. The hotel purposely draws them in. After a few creepy incidents, they find the room and an evil spirit bent on their destruction.

Horror Story is an action-packed, haunted house flick with deaths a plenty. However, it’s not a very graphic flick. The frights comes from the building and releasing of tense moments.

Grab a bowl of popcorn and settle back for some fun.

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Tip: Don’t follow your friends to the haunted hotel; go home.

Tuesday Terror: Trip To Bhangarh – Asia’s Most Haunted Place (2014)

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At a reunion, five friends decide to go to Bhangarh, a haunted fort. The place has such a bad reputation that visitors are required by law to leave by sundown. They return home and bring a curse back with them.

Trip to Bhangarh is neither a horror movie nor a thriller. Whoever categorized it as such on Netflix and IMBD is trolling horror fans.

This is a lackluster, Scooby-Dooish mystery/comedy. The musical numbers are fun but that’s it. The “strange” events that happen after the trip to suggest a curse are stupid. (Oh no, the sexy guy’s girlfriend broke up with him – what evil is this?!)

I stuck with the movie through the end and wish I could get that time back. When the evil doer is unmasked and explanations start flowing, sympathy for most of the main characters evaporates.

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Tip: Avoid this movie. Marvel at the video for Slow Motion.

Tuesday Terror: 6-5=2 (2014)

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A group of friends go on a hiking trip and discover that the physical challenges are the least of their worries.

6-5=2 is the Hindi remake of a similarly titled Kannada film. The story draws inspiration from The Blair Witch Project.

The film does something very smart. It opens with a journalist interviewing Raja, the lone survivor.The young man is traumatized and is handled very gently by the newscaster. The journalist explains that they found the video camera used on the trip and asks Raja’s permission to share the footage with the world. Like a crime program on the ID channel, it gives the “found” video more of a documentary type of feel.

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Once the movie switches over to the footage, I almost turned it off. The men of the group are annoying when they “prank” each other. Imagine waking up one morning, peaking out from under the covers and finding a butt/anus hovering over you. Yeah. Once they start the journey in earnest, there’s no time for crude jokes.

After a long day of trekking through the forest, the group is tired and decides to set up camp for the night. Two guys go to gather firewood and come across a tree that is full of human skulls and voodoo dolls. What do they do next?
1) run back to the group and insist they camp somewhere else
2) grab a skull and take it with them
3) cancel the remainder of the trip and start walking back down the trail
4) pull out a phone and see if they can find info about the tree on the Internet

Did you pick 2? You are correct – they bring it back to the group and explain where they got it. No one freaks out about the tree full of skulls.

After this, nothing goes right for our friends. The group gets lost, their provisions get burned up and a malevolent force closes in on them.

Oh well.

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Tip: Don’t disturb human remains.

Tuesday Terror: Bedeviled (2016)

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Five teenage friends download Mr. Bedevil, a personal assistant app. This sassy, creepier version of Siri is actually a portal for a supernatural entity that takes issue with people who over-indulge in social media. Mr. Bedevil knows all of their childhood fears and jumpscares them to death.

Even though the teens have different fears (clowns, ugly teddy bears, grandma, etc), the deaths feel a bit repetitive. The victim is always alone in a place that has little in the way of light, there’s some teasing (a noise, a shadow) and them bam! I would have liked more scenes with the spirit haunting them in daylight.

No, you can’t just delete the app from your phone. Destroying your phone won’t work either. The movie offers several ideas for the why behind the evil app. I would have liked to seen this fleshed out a little more.

It’s a decent enough teen-scream flick. This is a nice appetizer before your main horror flick.

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Tip: Stop downloading strange apps; you’re going to get a virus.

Tuesday Terror: Temple (2017)

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Three Americans visiting Japan decide to find an ancient temple with a troubling history. Almost everyone they encounter tells them not to go. Guess what? They find it and trouble.

Our trio consists of Kate (the beautiful), James (the jealous, yet unfaithful) and Christopher (the troubled). Kate and James are a couple. She and Christopher have been plutonic friends since kindergarten. James and Christopher are meeting for the first time. While the men are passive-aggressively challenging each other, Kate smiles her way through.

Take this relationship drama and drop it in a dark forrest with a haunted temple and you get a thimbleful of potential and a bucket of disappointment.

The movie uses a familiar narrative frame: a person is being interviewed by police about the events of the past few days because something bad has happened. The survivor/suspect has bandages all over their face – which one of our three main characters can it be? I won’t spoil it, but the answer isn’t too hard to figure out.

For every attempt at misdirection, there”s a huge clue pointing squarely at the culprit.

The story is lacking in a few other ways. For example, Kate’s is supposed to be visiting various temples for a class/research but she doesn’t act like it. She shows up with no plan, no list of temples to visit and no Japanese language basics. How do they find out about the temple? By flipping through a book at a random store.

Once the action gets into full swing at the temple (if takes our friends a while to get there), we are suddenly presented with several supernatural baddies. We are on the cusp of excitement! Then, despite an unexpected turn of events, the ending falls flat.

How to explain the ending without giving it away…

Imagine watching a show featuring an inexperienced magician. He’s earnest and easy on the eyes, so you overlook the extra card falling out of his sleeve. You smile politely when he accidentally drops the wand. For the last trick, all he has to do is pull a rabbit out of a hat. You can tell something is wrong; he’s hesitating.

Suddenly, a fire alarm goes off and everyone starts running. On your way out the door, you look around and realize the magician is still on the stage. He is smiling, relieved. The hat has toppled over and no rabbit is inside.

This is what Temple is like – a magic act that substitutes an abrupt ending for a real finale.

Tip: Night time in the woods is not a good time to have a heart to heart with your boyfriend.

Tuesday Terror: A Christmas Horror Story (2015)

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Once a month, Graveyard Shift Sisters hosts #FridayNightHorror – it’s an extremely fun live-tweet of a horror movie. This month’s selection was A Christmas Horror Story.

This anthology movie has a variety of horror baddies woven together like a scarf: Krampus, evil elves, angry ghosts, teens who make stupid decisions, families whose dramas are propelled by trauma and William Shatner.

All of the characters in A Christmas Horror Story are on team bad decisions but not annoyingly so. Some of the tales may have you re-thinking the way you interpret traditional Christmas stories. This isn’t really a gory movie, but there is a moment or two that’s uncomfortable.

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The scariest part of the movie? A black family in the woods – trespassing – to get a tree. The red flags were waving red flags here. (Yes, the wife tries to be the voice of reason; love with make you go along with things.)

In the big showdown between Santa and Krampus – you win. Trust me on this.

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Tips:
*If you hear William Shatner on the radio, just skip the holiday. Everybody doesn’t need to celebrate Christmas.
*You’ve spent the whole year being naughty? Suddenly doing the right thing may get you into heaven. Krampus don’t care.

Tuesday Terror: The Snake Woman (1961)

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In ye bad ole days (early 1900s), a small English town is hit be a wave of deaths via snakebite. Could the local myth of a beautiful but deadly serpent girl be true? Well, duh! This film is about educated medical men finally catching up with local and folk wisdom; it just takes a death or ten for them to figure it out.
As our story opens, we learn that a scientist has been treating his wife with snake venom for an unspecified illness. The woman is afraid this cure is having a detrimental effect on her unborn child. The husband dismisses her concerns.
When the baby is born (the mother doesn’t make it), the midwife knows something is unnatural about the child. The infant is cold and never closes her eyes – traits of a snake. She believes the baby is evil and should be killed.
The scientist/husband and the doctor, however, are fascinated by this and want to keep the baby alive to study it. As the mid-wife rallies the townspeople to action, the men flee with the baby. They almost immediately give it to a stranger to raise.
From here, our were-snake grows up on the outskirts of the village. She attacks people for the hell of it. Luring men and boys close while in human form, she transforms into a giant snake and sinks her teeth into them. We don’t see any of the murders – this is a 1961 film – but reactions from townspeople suggests the deaths are horrible.
Meanwhile, a hip, new man of science in the village. Eventually, he’ll come to realize that the midwife and townsfolk aren’t superstitious fools.
There are so many unanswered questions: why does the snake woman wear clothes? Is she slithering down to the village at night and stealing the latest fashions? Perhaps she’s robs women…is frock-jacking a thing?

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Tip: Sure, follow that sexy, mysterious women into the woods. Make sure your have your affairs in order first.

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