The Thing (1982)

John Carpenter is considered by many the master of horror movies so, although I was not a fan of Christine, his adaptation of Stephen King's novel, I decided to check out The Thing, one of the most popular horror movies out there. 

The film follows a group of scientists and workers of a small research American base in Antarctica. After a group of seemingly mad Norwegians dies in the process of chasing and shooting a dog from a helicopter, the American team finds the Norwegian base only to discover that everyone is dead or missing. They also find the remains of a burned creature and decide to take it to their base and, too late, they realise the Thing is alive and dangerous as it can take over and assimilate into other life forms, including humans.

The Others (2001)

There's a song by an Italian rapper which spoils the ending of some of the films with the most shocking twists. I love that song but it spoiled several films for me —The Sixth Sense, The Prestige, The Game (which I'm yet to see), and The Others. This is the reason I've been putting off this film, hoping that I would eventually forget about the twist. I realised that, unless I hit my head really hard, I will never forget it so I finally watched it. 

Set around the end of WWII, the film follows Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) and her two children, Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), who are both allergic to sunlight. They live alone in a mansion on a British isle as the husband and father (Christopher Eccleston) is yet to return from the war and the housekeepers have mysteriously vanished. Suddenly, three friendly caretakers, an old lady, Mrs. Mills (Fionnula Flanagan), a mute young girl, Lydia (Elaine Cassidy), and a gardener, Mr. Tuttle (Eric Sykes), arrive, strange events occur and Grace begins to question her sanity.

Happy Anniversary! — 4 Years of A Film A Day

It was exactly four years ago that, after kinda thinking it through, I posted my first review with the goal of posting one every day for a whole year. It seemed like an impossible task to me, someone who gets bored with everything very quickly and easily, but, to my surprise, I reached that goal. And I was enjoying it so I kept doing it, even though at the time my audience was virtually non-existent —but how could I blame anyone? My reviews were terrible!

Chopping Mall (1986)

I stumbled upon Chopping Mall many times over the years but, since I already had my share of cheap 1980s horror movies for that year, I always passed it. This year I focused more on quality horrors and I picked this one to be the crappy one. 

The film takes place in a mall where a new security system has been presented which includes three high-tech robots programmed to disable and apprehend thieves. Four couples of teenagers, Rick (Russell Todd) and Linda (Karrie Emerson), Greg (Nick Segal) and Suzie (Barbara Crampton), Mike (John Terlesky) and Leslie (Suzee Slater), and Ferdy (Tony O'Dell) and Allison (Kelli Maroney), decide to have a late night party in one of the store. They are enjoying themselves, having sex, drinking and all, when a lightning storm strikes, the robots start malfunctioning and go on a killing spree. 

The Black Cauldron (1985)

When you think of animated Disney films, horror or dark fantasy, or however you want to call the genre of this film, is not something that crosses your mind. So I was very surprised to find Disney's The Black Cauldron in a top 10 list of best animated horror movies and out of curiosity I decided to check it out. 

This film tells the story of a young man, Taran (voiced by Grant Bardsley), an assistant pig keeper who dreams of becoming a great warrior. When Hen Wen, the magical oracular pig he was supposed to protect, is kidnapped by the evil Horned King (voiced John Hurt) who needs the pig to discover the location fo the black cauldron which has the power to create an army of unstoppable soldiers, Taran joins forces with a pestering creature, Gurgi (voiced John Byner), the stubborn Princess Eilonwy (voiced by Susan Sheridan), and a minstrel, Fflewddur Fflam (voiced by Nigel Hawthorne), to find the cauldron before the Horned King does.

The Lure (2015)

While I was searching the most popular movie websites for horror movies to watch for the 31 Days of Horror challenge, whether I was looking for musicals or foreign language, there's a movie I stumbled upon multiple times, The Lure (Polish: Córki dancingu), a Polish fantasy, horror, romantic and musical film. In other words, a movie I could not pass. 

Set in Warsaw in the 1980s, the film follows two mermaid sisters, Silver (Marta Mazurek) and Golden (Michalina Olszańska), who are adopted by a family of musicians after assuring them they won't eat them and soon start performing at a nightclub as strippers and backup singers. While Silver falls in love with the bassist, Mietek (Jakub Gierszał), Golden cannot escape her bloodthirsty nature and kills people.

Apostle (2018)

I'm not into period movies and the poster has enough, more like too many crosses for my liking, so when I saw Apostle pop up on Netflix, I passed it. After watching Aronofsky's Pi and realising it was not a horror (by the way, screw you IMDb for listing it as a horror and whoever it was that added it on a horror movies list), I remember Margaret from Cinematic Corner said we should watch it and, since I'm a great person, so did I. 

Set in 1905, the film follows Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens), a former missionary who travels to a remote Welsh island to rescue his sister, Jennifer (Elen Rhys), who has been kidnapped by a mysterious cult demanding a ransom for her return. In order to find her, he pretends to be a follower of the cult leader, Prophet Malcolm Howe (Michael Sheen).

Thursday Movie Picks: Halloween + Television Edition: The Weird

In several occasions, because of the things I sometimes say out loud without even realising it, I have been told that I'm a weird person, in a creepy, scary way. What I'm trying to say here is, if Netflix (cause in them I trust unless they give me the Iron Fist treatment, in that case, I'd go Punisher mode on them) made a show about me, I'd immediately know what to pick for this week's Thursday Movie Picks, the weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. But since such show doesn't exist --mainly because I'm not famous but also because it'd bore the shit out of y'all-- I had to put on my thinking cap and this is what I came up with.

Insidious: The Last Key (2018)

As if Insidious: Chapter 3 wasn't awful and pointless enough, a clear sign that writer Leigh Whennell had run out of ideas, here it comes Insidious: The Last Key, the ultimate proof that Whennell has run out of ideas. 

Set after Chapter 3 and right before the first Insidious, the film mainly revolves around psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye). She is having nightmares with her childhood in New Mexico, where she lived with her small brother Christian (Pierce Pope), her supportive mother, Audrey (Tessa Ferrer), and her abusive father, Gerald (Josh Stewart), who used to hit her every time she claimed she had seen a ghost in the house. It's not long before she gets a call from Ted Garza (Kirk Acevedo), the man who is now living in her childhood house, and asks Elise for help as he believes there are supernatural forces lurking in the house. Reluctant at first, Elise accepts to help Garza and travels to her old house with her assistants, Specs (Leigh Whennell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson).

Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)

Although Insidious: Chapter 2 turned out to be a huge disappointment, I still decided to check out Insidious: Chapter 3, naively thinking that a change of director and cast could bring the franchise back from the dead. I was wrong as it turned out.

The film is set several years before the events of Insidious and follows Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott), a teenage girl who, after trying to connect with her dead mother (Ele Keats), asks psychic Elise Reinier (Lin Shaye) to help her. Elise refuses to help her, Quinn tries again to contact her mother alone against Elise's advice and ends up awakening and being haunted by The Man Who Can't Breathe (Michael Reid MacKay).

Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

I think we can all agree Insidious is no horror masterpiece. Despite this and the fact that sequels are usually disappointing, I was expecting Insidious: Chapter 2 to be a solid horror. You know, it's still directed by James Wan, the same guy, Upgrade's Leigh Whannell, wrote it,  and the cast is pretty much the same. And I couldn't have been more wrong. 

The film picks up where the previous left, with Renai (Rose Byrne) being interrogated by a police detective (Michael Beach) about the death of Elise (Lin Shaye). While the police continue their investigation, the Lamberts move in with Josh's (Patrick Wilson) mother, Lorraine (Barbara Hershey), and try to put everything behind them. However, the spirit world isn't done with them yet. 

Insidious (2010)

I almost watched Insidious many years ago when I mistook it for Ingenious, a dramedy starring Jeremy Renner which was awful by the way. As soon as I realised it was the wrong movie, a horror moreover, I put it off. Today, since I enjoyed James Wan's Conjuring movies, I decided to check out this series. 

This first film follows the Lambert family, Josh (Patrick Wilson), his wife Renai (Rose Byrne) and their three children, two boys, Dalton (Ty Simpkins) and Foster (Andrew Astor), and a little girl, Cali, after they move into a new home. One night, while exploring the attic, Dalton falls from the ladder and hits the head on the floor. The next morning, he is in a comatose state. Three months later, horrible things start happening in the house, Renai believes the house is haunted and asks the help of Elise Rainer (Lin Shaye), a medium and paranormal investigator. 

Vincent (1982)

As I've said in the past few weeks, finding horror animated films has been a real struggle; so when I stumbled upon Tim Burton's short stop-motion horror film, Vincent, I watched it right away. 

The film tells the story of Vincent Malloy, a 7-year-old boy who dreams and pretends to be just like actor Vincent Price. He does experiments on his dog Abercrombie to create a Zombie dog; he is obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe's tales and while reading them, he loses touch with reality completely to the point that he believes he's been deprived of the woman he loves and he is afraid of being tortured. He is a very well-mannered boy but his continuous macabre daydreaming really annoys his mother who always finds a way to get in the way and bring him back to his lonely, tedious life. 

The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

I have mixed feelings about Joel Schumacher as I loved Phone Booth and Tigerland, but I hated Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. Ergo, although Katy said very nice things about it in her Against the Crowd blogathon entry, I didn't know what to expect from The Phantom of the Opera.

The film tells the story of a disfigured man known only as the Phantom (Gerard Butler) who lives beneath the Paris Opera House. He falls deeply in love with Christine Daae (Emmy Rossum), a talented and young chorus singer, and starts tutoring her while terrorizing the rest of the opera house and demanding leading roles to be always given to her. When Christine meets back up with her childhood friend, Viscount Raoul de Chagny (Patrick Wilson), and they fall in love, the Phantom, insane with jealousy, kidnaps her.

Before I Wake (2016)

Mike Flanagan's Hush is the first film that comes to my mind when I think of horror and it'll ever be. It's not a perfect movie but the way Flanagan plays with his audience there, it's absolutely brilliant. And he did it again in 2017 with Gerald's Game. So, after years, I finally decided to check out Before I Wake, which came out about a year after Hush although it was supposed to release about at the same time.

The film follows a married couple, Jessie (Kate Bosworth) and Mark (Thomas Jane), who, while still grieving the loss of their child, Sean (Antonio Evan Romero), decides to adopt. When sweet 8-year-old orphan Cody (Jacob Tremblay) arrives into their lives, everything seems fine. But soon, Cody's dreams start physically manifesting into reality as he sleeps and his dreams eventually become nightmares.

Thursday Movie Picks: Halloween Edition: Technology

Technology isn't that scary or threatening in real life unless you are a Neanderthal or someone who wasted years studying something *coughs*accounting*coughs* any idiot with a computer can do nowadays. In movies, it's a whole different story as technology often takes over humans. That's exactly this week's theme for Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks.

Dumplings (2004)

Dumplings (Chinese: 餃子 Jiǎozi) was one of the films Dell over Dell on Movies picked for his entry of the non-English language themed week of the Thursday Movie Picks series. It sounded interesting great so I decided to check it out. 

The film is set in Hong Kong and follows Mrs. Li (Miriam Yeung), a once-famous TV actress who is losing her good looks and her husband (Tony Leung Ka-Fai) with them as he's having an affair with a much younger and attractive woman (Pauline Lau). In order to rejuvenate, she seeks the help of Aunt Mei (Bai Ling), a retired gynaecologist now famous for her dumplings with a mysterious ingredient that can restore youth.

The Conjuring 2 (2016)

If you have read yesterday's review then you already know that The Conjuring blew me away. I don't remember the last time a movie scared me that much. Actually, I don't believe it ever happened. That, the recurring cast, Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, and the recurring director, James Wan, set my hopes pretty high for The Conjuring 2.

Just like the previous film, this one too is based on true events and follows Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) as they travel to London, England, where a single mother, Peggy Hodgson (Frances O'Connor), and her four children are being haunted by an unknown, evil entity who eventually posses the second oldest daughter, Janet (Madison Wolfe).

The Conjuring (2013)

I'll start this by saying that I'm an atheist, I don't believe in paranormal activities and therefore I don't like to waste my time with paranormal horror movies. But there's someone in the blogosphere *cough*Margaret*cough* who keeps praising James Wan so I decided to watch one of his most loved films, The Conjuring

As you probably know the film is based on true events and tells the story of the Perron family who shortly after moving into their "new" dilapidated farmhouse in Rhode Island begins to experience paranormal events. Fearful, they ask for the help of Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga), two paranormal investigators that soon discover there's a witch haunting the house and the area surrounding it.

Hereditary (2018)

I saw the trailer of Hereditary a couple of times in cinemas before the movies started but it didn't impress me so I decided I would pass it. Over the past months though, pretty much everyone in the blogosphere has been speaking so highly of it that I rethought my decision and decided to watch it for my horror challenge.

The film follows a family of four, Annie (Toni Collette), her husband, Steve (Gabriel Byrne), son, Peter (Alex Wolff) and daughter, Charlie (Milly Shapiro), after the death of the family matriarch. While each member is still trying to handle the grief their own way, a tragedy occurs and they learn things aren't as they seem. 

Wicked City (1987)

As soon as I decided I would do the 31 days of horror thing, I realised I didn't know any horror animated movie. Actually, I did, but I already had reviewed those so I started searching and, list after list, I always came across one movie, the anime Wicked City (Japanese: 妖獣都市 Yōjū Toshi). I figured it oughta be good so I picked it.

The film is set in a world where most humans unknownly co-exist with an alternate dimension populated by supernatural demons. There's between peace between the two worlds for centuries and agents from both sides cooperate to keep it that way. However, as the end of the 20th century approaches, a group of demons wants to destroy the human world and it's up to two agents, a human playboy, Taki (voiced by Yūsaku Yara), and a beautiful demon, Makie (voiced by Toshiko Fujita), to protect a 200-year-old man, Giuseppi Mayart (voiced by Ichirō Nagai), the only one who can keep peace between the worlds.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

The first time I watched Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street I was 15 and I didn't like. The thing is that I didn't know it was a musical and I guess that spoiled the movie for me. Despite the fact that I can't stand Depp, I decided to give it another chance. 

The film tells the story of Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp), a London barber whose life was destroyed when the powerful Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) fell for Barker's beautiful wife, Lucy (Laura Michelle Kelly), and accused and exiled Barker for a crime he did not commit so that he could have her. Fifteen years later, Barker returns to London under the name of Sweeney Todd, seeking revenge against Turpin. In order to get his revenge, he sets up a barber shop and teams up with Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter), the owner of a meat pie shop below his shop.

Unsane (2018)

I take pictures and videos with my iPhone all the time --it's simply more practical than a camera as I have it with me all the time, and the quality is great. So when months ago I read about Steven Soderbergh's Unsane, the director's first horror film which was shot entirely on an iPhone, I knew I had to watch it.

The film follows Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy), a young woman who, after admitting suicidal thoughts resulting from a stalking incident, is involuntarily committed to a mental institution. Things become even more frustrating for Sawyer when she sees her stalker, David Strine (Joshua Leonard), working as an orderly under the assumed name George Shaw.

Raw (2016)

I've read tons of reviews of Raw (French: Grave) and there was something that has kept popping out, the fact that the film was horrific, that people left cinemas in the middle of the film because of how intense it was. Apparently, people even fainted while watching this. Which also happened with the first Paranormal Activity movie and since that one had no effect whatsoever on me, I decided to check this out. 

The film follows Justine (Garance Marillier), a first-year veterinary student who was raised a strict vegetarian. The school has pretty messed up traditions and initiation tests, and Justine is forced to eat a raw rabbit kidney by the senior students, which includes her older sister, Alexia (Ella Rumpf). That night, Justine develops horrible, itchy rashes all over her body and, shortly after, she starts craving meat, particularly human flesh. 

Thursday Movie Picks: Halloween Edition: The Dark/Night

I'm 24 years old and I'm scared to go downstairs after dark because I'm afraid someone or something could be lurking in there. Why am I telling you this embarrassing fact about myself? Because this week's theme for Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks is the dark/night. Without any further ado, I leave you with my three creepy picks. 

Eraserhead (1977)

We all know what watching a David Lynch movie means, getting yourself into some pretty weird shit. To that, add the fact that this is a horror movie and I don't love horrors. Those are the reasons I kept putting off Eraserhead for years. 

The film follows Henry Spencer (Jack Nance), an introverted and lonely man who works in a print factory. His life takes a turn for the worst when his estranged girlfriend, Mary (Charlotte Stewart), gives birth to their child, some sort of deformed mutant/alien baby who cries all the time. Driven hysterical by the situation, Mary leaves Henry and the child, and Harry must take care of it.

Tale of Tales (2015)

It doesn't happen every day that an Italian filmmaker works with international actors so I was very interested in seeing Matteo Garrone's Tale of Tales when it was released. Unfortunately (or fortunately considering how I felt about the film), it wasn't screened nearby and I eventually forgot about it. 

Inspired by a collection of tales from Giambattista Basile's Pentamerone, the film tells there intertwining stories: the tale of a queen (Salma Hayek) so obsessed with having a child that she is willing to whatever it takes; the tale of two elderly sisters, Imma (Shirley Henderson) and Dora (Hayley Carmichael), one of which reduces the king (Vincent Cassel) with her voice; and the tale of a princess (Bebe Cave) whose fate is in the hands of her  neglecting father (Toby Jones). 

Antichrist (2009)

I've been meaning to watch more Lars von Trier films ever since I watched and loved Nymphomaniac. But he is not the easiest director to watch, so I kept putting them off until now, as I decided to watch horror movies for 31 days straight and I picked Antichrist

The movie tells the story of a couple who has just lost their child. After the funeral, She (Charlotte Gainsbourg) falls into the depression hole and He (Willem Dafoe), a therapist), tries to help her by figuring out what her fear is.  To do this, they head off to their cabin in the woods. Once there, however, her mental state rapidly deteriorates. 

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)

Like I said several times before, I grew up watching Scooby-Doo. I loved the 20-minute long episodes but I loved even more the movies because they were longer and you know how kids are, the more the better. As much as I loved them though, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island is the only one I still remember after so many years as it's always been my favourite and the only one I rewatch multiple times a year. 

In this film, the Mystery, Inc. gang has gone their separate ways as they got tired of unmasking criminals: Daphne (voiced by Mary Kay Bergman) and Fred (voiced by Frank Welker) have started a successful television series; Velma (voiced by B.J. Ward) is the owner of a mystery bookstore; Shaggy (voiced by Billy West) and Scooby (voiced by Scott Innes) are custom agents at the airport. For Daphne's birthday, Fred reunites the whole gang for a trip to Louisiana for Daphne's show. After many disappointing adventures, they meet Lena (voiced by Tara Strong), a local girl who invites them to her haunted house on Moonscar Island.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

I don't know exactly how I discovered The Rocky Horror Picture Show as cult movies weren't something I'd watch. I just know that, when I first watched it, many years ago (I believe I still was in my teens), I was not ready for it but I loved it nevertheless. Since I'm doing this Horror October thing, I figured it was time to rewatch it. 

The film follows Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), a newly engaged couple whose car broke down in the middle of nowhere during a rainstorm, and, while seeking a telephone, stumbled upon the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a transvestite from transsexual Transylvania. From then on, a series of weird and bizarre things begins to happen.

Mandy (2018)

When I first heard people saying how great Nicolas Cage's latest movie, Mandy, was, I thought they were kidding. Then I checked on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, I saw it had a good rating on both sites so I checked it out. 

Set in 1983, Mandy tells the story of a loving couple, Red (Nicolas Cage) and Mandy (Andrea Riseborough), who lives in a cabin in the woods. Red is a lumberjack; Mandy is an artist who works at a nearby gas station. They lead a happy, quiet life until one day the crazy leader (Linus Roache) of a cult lays eyes on Mandy and conjures a group of motorcycle-riding demons to kidnap her, leading to Red spiralling into a madness-fueled revenge. 

Shutter (2004)

Many years ago, in my early teens, horror was one of my favourite genres and See No Evil was my favourite movie. That's how I ended up with a girl crush on Rachael Taylor which ended up with me watching another of the terrible horror movies she starred in, Shutter. It's only recently, after I started blogging, that I discovered it was a poor remake of a Thai movie, also named Shutter (Thai: ชัตเตอร์ กดติดวิญญาณ), and I decided I would check it out.

The film tells the story of a young photographer, Tun (Ananda Everingham), and his girlfriend, Jane (Natthaweeranuch Thongmee), who, on their way home after a wedding reception, accidentally run over a young girl (Achita Sikamana). Tun persuades Jane to flee the scene and they drive off. Everything seems to be fine until Tun develops his next roll of film and he finds some mysterious shadows in the photos.

Thursday Movie Picks: Halloween Edition: Home Invasion

Lock your doors because shit is about to get real with Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks as it's time for the Halloween edition, and the theme for this first week of October is home invasion, probably the most varied horror/thriller subgenre.

Dead of Night (1945)

Although I can't quite put my finger on it, I'm pretty sure Birgit over BB Creations talked about Dead of Night at some point on her blog, probably in one of the Thursday Movie Picks entries, I found it interesting and decided to check it out. [Update: it was not Birgit. Maybe it was Joel]

The film follows an architect, Walter Craig (Mervyn Johns), who is summoned for a job in the countryside by a new client, Eliot Foley (Roland Culver). Upon his arrival, he is introduced to the other guests and Craig reveals that despite never having met any of them, he has seen them all, in that same house, in a recurring nightmare. One of the guests, psychiatrist Dr. Van Straaten (Frederick Valk), doesn't believe in supernatural so, as an attempt to convince him/prove him wrong, each guest recounts their own supernatural tales.

Before I Go to Sleep (2014)

Since it's listed as a horror and it has a very interesting cast --Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong--, I picked Before I Go to Sleep as one of the movies to watch this October (I'm doing 31 days of horror).

The film follows Christine Lucas (Nicole Kidman), a forty-year-old housewife who wakes up every day with a stranger in her bed, her husband Ben (Colin Firth), who explains to her that she had a car accident ten years earlier which resulted in a brain damage that erases her memory when she goes to sleep. One day, when Ben leaves for work, she receives a phone call from Dr. Mike Nasch (Mark Strong), a neurologist who is apparently treating her, who reminds her to record her thoughts and daily progress on a camera and instructs her to not tell her husband. Soon, she starts discovering the truth.

A Cure for Wellness (2016)

I must have read positive reviews about A Cure for Wellness if I decided to add it on my watchlist. I can't remember though as I kept putting it off forever because of its length, two and a half hours. I mean, who's got time and willpower to watch such a long horror? I'm talking to non-horror lovers like myself. Anyway, I finally check it out and damn, it was good. 

The film follows Mr. Lockhart (Dane DeHaan), a young and ambitious financial executive from New York who is sent to a mysterious wellness center in the Swiss Alps to retrieve his company's CEO, Roland Pembroke (Harry Groener), whose signature is necessary to complete a merger. It is supposed to be a very easy task but soon Lockhart begins to question the true nature of the center and finds himself trapped at the wellness center as well.