Horrors of Netflix: “Stitches”

Leave a comment Standard

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.

Continue reading

Horrors of Netflix: “The Den”

Leave a comment Standard

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!

Continue reading

Horrors of Netflix: “Apartment 1303”

Leave a comment Standard

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.

Continue reading

Horrors of Netflix: “A Haunting at Silver Falls”

Comment 1 Standard

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.

Continue reading

Review: “Come Back to Me”

Comments 4 Standard

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.

Continue reading

Top 8 Summer Flicks.

Comment 1 Standard

Although the Summer Solstice isn’t until June 21st, I’m already preparing for the season by getting together all of my essentials: Bronzer? Check. Sea-salt spray? Check. Gold eye shadow? Check. Cute wedge sandals and a big beachy hat? Check and check. I’ve even picked up a bright, lightweight tote to make my hustling and bustling around the hot, humid city a little easier through the most sizzling months of the year.

But apart from my wardrobe changing and my makeup regimen getting switched up- one thing that definitely gets me in the Summertime frame of mind is gathering around with friends in front of the A/C (or strategically placed fans,) with a popsicle or frozen yogurt, and watching a good Summer-y movie. Over the years, I’ve accrued a handful of go-to favorites that never get old that I thought I’d share for anyone who needs a break from getting sunkissed for an hour or two- or for an all-night marathon.

So here are my top eight Summer flicks!

DazedAndConfused1. Dazed and Confused (1993)

“AIR RAID!” Matthew McConaughey just looooves those high school girls, Ben Affleck can’t seem to let go of his (two-time) senior bully status, and Parker Posey initiates (and humiliates) the incoming freshman girls by covering them with ketchup, mustard , eggs, and flour while wearing an impressive pair of tube socks. ‘Dazed and Confused’ is a cult classic with a terrific ensemble cast and an awesome soundtrack as the movie depicts the carefree craziness, the hilarious mischief, the innocent crushes, and the poignant coming of age during of the last day of school in the Summer of 1976.

WetHotAmericanSummer2. Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

Another cult classic with an impressive ensemble cast. ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ is one of the funniest, most insane movies of all time. Featuring the likes of Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Janeane Garofalo, Christopher Meloni (as Gene- my favorite character,) Michael Ian Black, and Paul Rudd- among so many others- this movie follows the counselors and campers during the last day at Camp Firewood in the Summer of 1981. There’s a talent show, a gay wedding, fridge-humping, sweater-fondling, an inspiring dance segment- and a piece of a sky-lab falling from space that threatens to destroy them all. Years later, and I laugh from start to finish whenever I watch this.

Grease3. Grease (1978)

Although ‘Grease’ doesn’t just take place during the Summer, and instead follows the tumultuous romance between greaser Danny Zuko and good girl Sandy Olsson (as well as he ups and downs of their friends- Rizzo being my #1 girl!) throughout their senior year of high school in the 1950’s- I only ever watch this movie during the Summer. With a ridiculously catchy, can’t-help-but-sing-a-long soundtrack- this movie’s questionable “change yourself for the person you have a crush on” moral/ending was a tad on the ridiculous side- but it’s still a classic nonetheless- and Jeff Conaway was a babe as Kenickie.

TheTexasChainsawMassacre4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974 & 2003)

You can’t have a Summer movie marathon without one or two good horror movies- and they don’t get much better than ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, both the 1974 original and the 2003 re-make (which I’m actually a big fan of,)  that needs no introduction. Five teenagers are traveling through desolate Texas when they encounter an unhinged hitchhiker and make the mistake of picking them up- setting in motion a series of horrifying events that include, but are certainly not limited to torture, murder, cannibalism, and power tools. Even though I’ve watched these movies countless times, I still jump and cringe during certain scenes. The sound of the chainsaw gets me every. single. time.

NowAndThen5. Now and Then (1995)

I have a special place in my heart for “Now and Then,” which I watch every Summer with my mom at least once- and have done so since it’s release when I was a kid. The funny, often touching film follows four girlfriends in their small town during the Summer of 1970 when they are coming of age, dealing with changes in their families (divorces, death, etc.) saving money to purchase a tree house, feuding with neighborhood boys, and attempting to solve a murder mystery after a seance gone awry. The movie often fast-forwards to the four friends as adults in the 90’s, where they have reunited in their old neighborhood for the birth of a child and reminisce about the lessons they learned during that Summer and the mistakes they’ve made since. This movie is a tear-jerker for sure, but I love it.

DirtyDancing6. Dirty Dancing (1987)

With moves that make ‘Grease’s’ Danny Zuko look like an amateur, Patrick Swayze’s portrayal as Johnny Castle was nothing short of swoon-worthy, and his chemistry with Jennifer Grey as Frances “Baby” Houseman make them one of my favorite on-screen couples of all time. ‘Dirty Dancing’  follows Baby and her family during their Summer vacation at a failing resort in the Catskills Mountains in 1963. She meets Johnny, the resort’s seasonal dance instructor, and through unfortunate circumstances surrounding his dancing partner- Baby ends up temporarily taking her place- and the two eventually fall in love despite the disapproval of Baby’s family and the meddling of Johnny’s superiors at the resort. Everything works out in the end, though- with a poignant dance number and Baby nailing the lift she’d been too afraid to try earlier in the movie. It’s a beautiful scene that may or may not bring a tear to my eye (it totally does.)

TheSevenYearItch7. The Seven Year Itch (1955)

Hands down one of my favorite and most beloved Marilyn Monroe films, ‘The Seven Year Itch’ has withstood the test of time, still being clever and funny all these years after it’s release. Richard, an ad executive with an overactive imagination, and whose wife and son are vacationing out of town for the Summer, befriends his beautiful new neighbor (played by Monroe.) He develops an innocent attraction to her- never actually leading to anything that would spoil the overall good nature of the film and it’s characters- but his fantasies and paranoia make for some really fun scenes.

LordsOfDogtown8. Lords of Dogtown (2005)

And lastly, a biographical movie with an incredible soundtrack- ‘Lords of Dogtown’ is based on the rise of the Z-Boys, skateboarders who paved the way for extreme sports in the early 1970s in Santa Monica. I saw this in theaters with friends and was not only impressed with the music used throughout the film, but by how beautifully shot this movie was and by the performances from all of the actors- especially the late Heath Ledger’s portrayal of Skip Engblom. Even if you’re not a fan of skateboarding- this is a must-watch.

And there you have it! Eight films that are sure to get you ready for the Summertime. A lot of these titles are currently available on Netflix, should anyone want to watch them right now!

And of course, I am always open to recommendations- so if anyone wants to leave their favorite Summer movies in the comments section- feel free! I’d love to check them out!

Review: “Devil’s Due”

Comment 1 Standard

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.

Continue reading

Horrors of Netflix: “A Haunting in Salem”

Comments 2 Standard

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.

Continue reading

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

Leave a comment Standard

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.

Continue reading

Horrors of Netflix: “Inkubus”

Leave a comment Standard

InkubusMoviePosterIt’s nearly impossible not to love Robert Englund. He’s Freddy Krueger, for God’s sake- one of the most recognizable, memorable, witty-yet-terrifying horror movie villains of all time. What other villain could make sleep- one of the best things in the world- such a frightening thing? What other villain could take on Jason Vorhees, and, in my opinion- completely kick his ass? What other villain could make that striped Christmas-esque sweater look so chic?

Not Michael Myers. I can tell you that much.

Robert Englund is the star of “Inkubus,” a gem I found on Netflix, and judging by the cover, knew I had to watch and dissect. A brief summary, courtesy of Netflix:

“A group of cops stuck on the night shift find themselves thrust into a world of supernatural brutality when a man claiming to be a demon named Inkubus wanders into the precinct house, holding a bloody severed head and looking to settle an old score.”

Alright. It sounds a little over the top and ridiculous- but how bad can it be, right?

Oh. Joey Fatone’s in it.

… Shit.

FOR NARNIA.

Continue reading