Horrors of Netflix: “The Pact”

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ThePactPosterI can’t believe October is nearly over, and with it’s conclusion, my “Horrors of Netflix” reviews wrap up for another year. I’ve had a lot of fun (mixed with a good amount of misery, of course,) watching a handful of terrible, ridiculous, poorly rated horror movies over the past few weeks- and I hope those of you who have read the reviews have enjoyed them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. I’ll be continuing the tradition next October, since Netflix will undoubtedly have plenty more awful films to browse.

For my final review this month, I chose a movie that was continuously recommended to me each and every time I logged onto my account: 2012’s “The Pact.” A brief synopsis, from Netflix:

Feeling obligated to return home for the funeral of the mother she despised, Annie soon senses an evil presence in her childhood home.

The movie apparently did well at Sundance that year, which doesn’t really mean anything when you consider some of the other films that have received good reviews over the years and have turned out to be absolute garbage. I’ll take this one at it’s 1 1/2 star rating.

As usual, I’ll be spoiling the hell out of this movie- so if you don’t want to know what happens (or if you just really don’t care,) then DO NOT CLICK “CONTINUE READING”

Onward!

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Horrors of Netflix: “Stitches”

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StitchesMoviePosterGrowing up, I’ve never been afraid of clowns. My parents took me to the circus and to carnivals plenty of times without incident- and most of the circus-themed rooms/attractions at haunted houses or Halloween events like New England’s “Spooky World” have done little more than get me to laugh at some of my other friends who are terrified of them (which is making this season of ‘American Horror Story’ particularly enjoyable to watch with them.)

I digress. Despite the likes of Insane Clown Posse being comically terrible and John Wayne Gacy’s overall creep-factor- with and without makeup- clowns just don’t freak me out, but Netflix is loaded with crazy, murderous clown movies. Up until now, I’ve managed to skip over them- but the poster for “Stitches” (and it’s terrible rating,) caught my eye and I felt compelled to give it a shot.

The synopsis, from Netflix:

“After his accidental death, Stitches the criminally insane clown is on the loose and hunting down the young partygoers who caused his untimely demise.”

Right away, I wondered how a group of kids accidentally killed a guy in clown makeup, and from there- I only fell further into the rabbit hole.

As usual, full-spoilers lay ahead. If you don’t want to know what happens in this movie (for whatever reason,) DO NOT CLICK “CONTINUE READING.” YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

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Horrors of Netflix: “The Den”

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TheDenPosterI’m not going to lie, for this installment of “Horrors of Netflix,” I tried to find the shortest movie possible, but one that also had a terrible enough rating where I would still hate myself for sitting through it and the world around me for allowing it to be made in the first place. As much as I inexplicably enjoy torturing myself with bad horror movies- sometimes 90+ minutes of one feels like an eternity and I need a break to appreciate a condensed version of a cinematic atrocity.

My search yielded 2013’s “The Den.” The synopsis, from Netflix:

“While investigating webcam chat habits, a young woman witnesses a gruesome murder online. Now she and those she loves are being pursued by the killer.”

As someone who occasionally uses the webcam built into my laptop and has made the horrible mistake of visiting Chatroulette before- I’m pretty sure seeing a murder would fall into the “tame” spectrum of things I’ve witnessed on the internet. Is “The Den” a cautionary tale of internet stranger-danger? Or is it an ingenious social commentary on this generation’s blind trust and faith in technology and social networking disguised as a 76 minute horror movie with a 1 1/2 star rating on Netflix?

There’s only one way to find out.

As always, this movie will be spoiled- heavily– under the “Read More” tag, so if you want to see this film for yourself and don’t want to know what happens until you do- TURN BACK NOW. You’ve been warned!

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Horrors of Netflix: “Apartment 1303”

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Apartment1303PosterMaking the transition from star of a popular TV series- typically geared towards teenagers- to serious and well-respected film actor/actress can’t be easy- and success stories are far and few between. Dustin Diamond of “Saved by the Bell” fame ended up being a gross, arrogant and unlikable prick that made a short return to the spotlight (if you could even call it that) on reality television, whereas Will Smith reigned supreme on “Fresh Prince” only to go on to create blockbuster gold time and time again over the years.

Mischa Barton, previously of the once enormously popular “The O.C.” unfortunately falls into the not-so-successful category. After dropping out of the show (did they kill of Marissa Cooper? I can’t remember. I sort of lost track about halfway through the second season,) Mischa all but went M.I.A. for years, I was surprised to see her name attached to this. Same thing with Rebecca De Mornay. For a movie that was somehow released in 3-D (although I cannot for the life of me ever recall hearing about this film being shown in any theaters, ever-) and having a currently working movie actress and formerly employed television actress receiving top billing- I hadn’t expected to find this at the bottom of the barrel of Netflix horror- usually reserved for unknown and aspiring actors looking to build their resume. Then I noticed the one star rating and knew I was in for a disaster that both Ms. De Mornay and Ms. Barton probably wish would fade into obscurity forever.

The synopsis, from Netflix:

“After Janet moves into a 13th-floor apartment and falls out the window to her death, her sister aims to reveal the frightening truth about the place.”

As always, I will spoiling this movie at length and in vivid detail. If you don’t want to be spoiled- DO NOT PROCEED FORWARD.

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Horrors of Netflix: “A Haunting at Silver Falls”

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AHauntingAtSilverFallsIt’s that special time of year again- when buying bulk packages of candy isn’t frowned upon, the prices of Halloween costumes skyrocket, gory and morbid decorations on your lawn don’t result in a frantic call to police by your neighbors- and when I suffer through the worst of the worst horror movies Netflix has to offer solely to rip them to shreds for your reading pleasure.

Despite braving bad acting, even worse CGI, and pointless plots- I had a lot of fun with my “Horrors of Netflix” series last October. So much fun, in fact, that I’ve decided to do it again this year. The great thing about Netflix, apart from obvious perks like convenience and a wide selection of critically acclaimed shows and movies available to stream in an instant- is that there is a never-ending supply of poorly written independent endeavors to choose from. Just type “horror” into the search bar, hit enter- and prepare yourself for what is essentially a game of Russian Roulette with awful films.

Choosing a movie to kick-off this year’s collection of reviews was a challenge, especially since my very first “Horrors of Netflix” post last year was one of my favorite, love-to-hate films, “Dead End.” After perusing titles and posters for a good length of time, I decided on “A Haunting at Silver Falls” from 2013. Clocking in at just over an hour and a half, this movie has been given 1 1/2 stars via the Netflix page.

Awesome.

The synopsis, also from Netflix’s page:

“In this creepy thriller, an orphaned teen arrives in a Pacific Northwest town to stay with relatives, only to find herself haunted by murdered twins.”

Now, I detail these movies from start to finish. I spoil pretty much everything. I regret nothing (except maybe watching the movie in the first place,) but I digress- if you want to see this film for yourself- DO NOT CLICK THE “READ MORE” LINK. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

Let’s do this.

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Review: “Come Back to Me”

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ComeBackToMePosterIf any of you reading this have kept up with this blog for any extended amount of time, then you’ll know that I have a tremendous amount of fun reviewing horror movies- especially around October when I completely ruin my recommendations list by watching and ripping apart the worst of the worst- bottom of the barrel horror and slasher flicks Netflix has to offer. I’m scathing, spoiler-filled, and my critiques could be (and probably are) considered borderline mean to anyone involved in the creation of the films. That’s not to say I don’t encourage and support artistic endeavors and efforts- but I live for insane plots, cheesy special effects and shoddy CGI- and I definitely don’t hold back about it.

So I was admittedly pretty surprised when I was actually ASKED to not only watch, but also review an independent horror movie here on Legally Redhead last week. I felt like I would be the last person anyone promoting a film would want to go to, considering my knack for movie-mockery, but I went into the assignment, for lack of a better word- and the film itself- with an open mind. Not too long after agreeing to watch and dissect the movie: 2014’s ‘Come Back to Me,’ I received a gigantic version of the poster shown near the left in the mail. I plan on adding it to my “Horror Den,” which sounds far more diabolical than what it actually is- a spare bedroom filled with all my horror genre-related stuff.

‘Come Back to Me’ is available for rent and download on iTunes, and also as a rental on Charter on Demand. A quick plot summary, per the movie’s IMDB page:

“Sarah & Josh are married suburbanites. After a car accident, Sarah suffers blackouts & ends up pregnant though Josh is sterile. As her life spirals she hides a camera in her home & unlocks a horrific secret with far-reaching consequences.”

Before I begin, I would like to add that despite being asked to review this movie as opposed to just watching it on my own- I critiqued this like I would any other- giving it a final rating which will be revealed at the end of this post.

And, as always:

FULL SPOILERS ARE AHEAD. DO NOT CLICK THE “READ MORE” TAB IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW IMPORTANT PLOT POINTS- INCLUDING THE ENDING OF THIS MOVIE. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

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Review: “Devil’s Due”

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DevilsDuePosterWhat happens when you take take the concept of “Rosemary’s Baby,” and then proceed to remove all of the elements that made that movie good and instead replace them with a plot riddled with loopholes, bad acting, predictable jump scares, and the nausea-inducing and overused hand-held camera style of filming that has plagued the horror genre for the past few years?

You get “Devil’s Due.”

It’s been a while since I sat down to do a good old fashioned horror movie review. Not only because there hasn’t been a whole lot of new horror movies that have piqued my interest as of late, but because my “Horrors of Netflix” review series back in October was pretty traumatic (I’ll be doing it again this October, however- so apparently not traumatic enough.) I saw previews for “Devil’s Due” right around the time they released trailers for “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones,” which I contemplated seeing since I’d already suffered through the last two in theaters- but last night I ultimately I decided to pass on “getting motion sickness while this franchise tries to desperately tie the plot from the first two movies into these sequels as much as possible,” and instead went with “getting motion sickness while this seemingly new franchise sets the bar for horror even lower.”

Before you click the “READ MORE” link below, I do want to give the obligatory warning that I will be breaking this movie down and posting a TON of detailed spoilers. If any of you want to see “Devil’s Due” for yourself without knowing what happens- DO NOT CONTINUE READING.

You’ve been warned.

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Horrors of Netflix: “A Haunting in Salem”

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HauntingInSalem1It was a difficult decision, but after careful deliberation, I chose to wrap up this month’s series of reviews & recaps of the best of the worst horror movies on Netflix with a viewing of “A Haunting in Salem,” based on a true story- which means it never happened at all. Ever. I have to say, as excruciatingly bad as all of these movies have been to watch- I’ve rather enjoyed writing these posts, and I hope anyone who follows this blog has enjoyed reading them, too. I have a feeling I’ll be subjecting myself to this unusual form of torture again next October- right around the time my Netflix queue should be finishing up with it’s recovery from all the damage watching these movies has caused it.

Here’s a brief summary of “A Haunting in Salem,” provided by Netflix, in case the movie title or it’s DVD cover weren’t self-explanatory enough.:

“In this spine-chilling indie horror flick, a sheriff relocates to Salem, Mass., with his family — only to discover that the house they’ve moved into is plagued by an ancient curse and haunted by malicious spirits.”

Finally, a movie about ghosts and spirits that takes place in Salem! How innovative and refreshing!

SPOILERS AFTER THE CUT. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW HOW THIS MOVIE ENDS- DON’T CLICK IT.

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Horrors of Netflix: “100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck”

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100GhostStreetReview1Ever since I started on this October/Halloween-inspired project of watching the worst of the worst horror movies available to stream, I fear I’ve caused irreversible damage to my Netflix recommendations. What was once filled with suggestions for witty shows and thoughtful movies or documentaries has now turned into an endless parade of cheesy gore and bad acting. I don’t think it will ever recover.

“100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck,” which has the honor of being the movie with the most unnecessarily long title, was recommended to me based on my recent viewing of ‘Inkubus,’ (Review HERE) which is never a good sign. A brief outline, courtesy of Netflix:

“A group of paranormal investigators sets out to film mass murderer Richard Speck’s ghost at the site of his heinous killing spree in Chicago, where he strangled and stabbed eight student nurses in July 1966.”

Realizing this was one of those ‘Blair Witch’ style documentaries that haven’t worked since, well, ‘The Blair Witch Project,’ and seeing that it barely passed the two-star mark in the Netflix user-generated ratings- I grabbed some Dramamine for the shaky-camera induced motion sickness I knew was on the way, got comfortable in my chair, and prepared to watch director Martin Andersen’s attempt to exploit a pretty horrific and real event.

Halloween is almost here, everyone. These horrible movies are almost over. Hang in there.

AND AS ALWAYS- SPOILERS AFTER THE CUT. DON’T READ ON IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW HOW THIS MOVIE ENDS.

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Rock N’ Shock 2013 Recap: Day 2.

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While Friday night’s kick-off to the 2013 Rock N’ Shock Convention was all about meeting and greeting actors and performers, yesterday evening was spent almost entirely in the artists gallery discovering new work, and perusing different vendors who had set up shop for the weekend. My VIP access had granted me my own “swag bag” upon entry, which was filled with little trinkets, a commemorative t-shirt (that I’ve already wrinkled,) and vouchers for some of the local businesses and upcoming events/promotions in the area. I got some other neat stuff, too:

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Initially, the only autographs I had wanted were from the cast of ‘The Walking Dead,’ to add to my collection of signed paraphernalia, and Michael, Scott, Lew, and IronE were king enough to help out (the Daryl Dixon laminate poster was a bonus,) but when I saw Gunnar Hansen and Zack Ward (FARKUS!) were in attendance, I couldn’t resist- I picked up a couple of photos and asked them for their signatures, too. They both portrayed two of my all-time favorite movie villains- but were, of course, so lovely in person. I briefly forgot how badly Leatherface had traumatized me as a kid while I talked to Gunnar, since he was so kind and polite- but then I look at the picture he signed and get chills all over again.

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One of my absolute favorite apparel companies, SKULLebrities, had a booth set up with a bunch of their morbid/fun/cute designs on display (I currently own the Amy Winehouse-inspired t-shirt and I get a lot of compliments on it,) and although they were unfortunately out-of-stock on their recently released Breaking Bad shirts- they did have this great Boston design for sale. I picked up a t-shirt (and they threw in a matching sticker, too,) that I wore proudly today as a way of celebrating the Sox making it to the World Series last night.

I really can’t say enough good things about SKULLebrities. Truly. I was first introduced to the brand about 2 or 3 years ago, and I’ve I loved their stuff ever since. It’s so unique and well made, and the folks who run it are just some of the nicest, most fun people around. I highly recommend taking a look at their website and checking them out on social media. You’ll definitely find something you like.

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I had met up with my friend Evan last night at Rock N’ Shock, who bought me this little plushie Daryl Dixon doll as a present. I’m pretty sure I squealed when I saw it. Between the poncho and the crossbow, it could very well be one of the most adorable things I (now) own. My friends know me all too well.

Now I just need a matching Merle plushie doll to go with it.

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Lastly, there was a booth set up that sold authentic Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) items. The holiday fascinates me, and I find myself marveling at the colorful, eye-catching sugar skulls used to commemorate the days. This particular skull, while made of ceramic instead of sugar, was so bright and beautifully painted that I knew I had to have it. There’s a hole carved in the bottom where you can place a candle or a tea light to illuminate the space you place it in through the nasal and eye cavities- which will make it a pretty interesting decoration for Halloween, too.

I did stop by Rock N’ Shock briefly this afternoon for the third and final day, as well- but it was mainly to take one last stroll throughout the convention center, bid farewell to a few familiar faces, and have a brief chat with Robert Englund while it was quiet. If you ever want to meet a man who is so grateful, open, and warm to his fans- Robert Englund is the man to see. He was very excited to talk about his upcoming projects (one that involves Malcolm McDowell- the love of my life,) and to get to know some of us who had come by to say hello. Total class act.

All in all, I had a phenomenal time this year. It was fantastic to get to see and speak at length to some of my favorite actors and meet some wonderful new people who are working on incredible things. Rock N’ Shock, despite being considerably smaller than other conventions I’ve been to, remains one of my favorites for the overall laid-back attitude of the guests and attendees. There’s no insane rushes to get from panel to panel, no ridiculous lines, everything (except food or water, of course) is reasonably priced, and as long as you aren’t behaving like a rowdy drunk or a creep- security are pretty lenient and very helpful.

I’m looking forward to seeing what they have in store for next year.