2Spoopy: A Halloween Giveaway!

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It’s the most wonderful time of the yeeeeeaaaar! No, not Christmas (I don’t even want to think about that right now)– It’s almost Halloween, everyone- and it must be celebrated accordingly! Like last year, I wanted to put together a little giveaway for readers of Legally Redhead to get into the spooky- I mean “spoopy”- spirit!

Also like last year? This giveaway isn’t limited to just residents of the United States. Since I’ll be taking care of the postage and any applicable shipping fees myself- I wanted to include everyone! If you’re outside the U.S., don’t fret- I’ve got your back! All you have to do is enter and cross your fingers.

But before I get into how exactly to enter the drawing for this prize pack- I wanted to show what’s included, first:

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It’s no surprise to anyone that I’m an avid collector of FUNKO’s adorable POP! figurines (so much that I’m running out of places to display them!) but picking just one out of the numerous horror-themed collectibles they have available proved to be a bit difficult this time around. That’s why this year, instead of selecting just one to include in this giveaway- I’ve chosen a set of three mini-figurines for the lucky winner! This particular set includes Ghost Face from ‘Scream’, Chucky from ‘Child’s Play’, and Billy from the ‘Saw’ movies. You can leave them in the box they’ll arrive in, or display them around your space however you wish!

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A spoop-tacular All Hallows’ Eve isn’t quite complete without some horror movies by candlelight- and it’s just an added bonus if those candles happen to smell nice. Included in this year’s Halloween Giveaway is this medium sized ‘Trick or Treat’ Yankee Candle– which smells like a combination of their candy corn and buttercream fragrances (so it’s a sweet and rich combination!) 

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I wanted to pay homage to the late and great Wes Craven in this year’s giveaway, and I thought this ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ Collection Blu-Ray was the perfect way to do that. Featuring all 7 original ‘Nightmare’ films in one convenient package- this is the perfect series to binge watch on Halloween night with your friends (or alone, if you’re feeling brave.)

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Finally, for the relaxing bath-lovers in all of us, I included this “Heebie Jeebie!” Bat set from Lush. What’s inside this cute round ball with fangs, you might be asking? Well, this set contains a 2.0 ounce bottle of Lush’s ‘Lord of Misrule’ shower gel, and a 3.5 ounce tub of their ‘Nightwing’ shower jelly (I didn’t photograph the contents of the bat since I didn’t want to break the safety seal around the packaging- but they can be viewed on Lush’s website for anyone who is curious!)

I’ll also be adding a couple of other small surprises for the winner, too- including but not limited to plenty of candy!

Now, the most important part- how does this giveaway work?

Here’s a couple of ground rules:

The giveaway is running from now through 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, October 21st, after which time a winner will be selected at random through Rafflecopter and contacted directly via e-mail to obtain additional information to process shipping. If selected, you’ll have 72 hours to respond to the confirmation e-mail. If I don’t receive a response in that time, I’ll unfortunately have to select another winner, instead!

Nothing in this giveaway can be traded or swapped for something else. What you see is what you’ll be receiving if you win!

HOW TO ENTER:

First and foremost- please visit the Rafflecopter page for the giveaway by CLICKING HERE to make sure your entry is properly counted!

1. Comment on this post with your name and e-mail address. Please keep in mind that I have comment moderation turned on to avoid spambots- so if your comment doesn’t appear right away- don’t panic! I’ll put it through as soon as I’m able!

2. You can tweet about the giveaway and link back directly to this post or to my homepage: legallyredhead.com

That’s all there is to it! Just two simple steps and you’re in!

Good luck to everyone who enters! I’m really looking forward to choosing a winner next week!

xx

Horrors of Netflix: “Twixt”

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TwixtPosterIn the three years I’ve been writing my “Horrors of Netflix” posts, it’s only recently dawned on me that I’ve never written one about a vampire movie. Sure, I’ve sat through my fair share of ghosts, serial killers, and other paranormal entities (and there was also that one incident with Gary Busey), but the most classic of horror figures- Dracula and his ilk- are scarce.

I decided to rectify that gross oversight this year- and skimmed through the “Vampire Horror Movies” category on Netflix (it’s a real thing!) to find a bottom of the barrel bloodsucker film. To my surprise, I came across a one-star rated flick from 2011, “Twixt”, which was written and directed by none other than Francis Ford Coppola.

While Mr. Coppola is undoubtedly one of the finest writers and directors of all time- he’s also been responsible for some Godawful contributions to the cinematic world (hello, ‘Godfather: Part III’!) and judging solely by the synopsis for ‘Twixt’, this is another one to add to his scrap pile of movies he probably wants to forget about. Unfortunately for him- the internet forgets nothing.

From Netflix:

“In this gothic horror film from Francis Ford Coppola, a has-been writer becomes embroiled in a murder mystery during a stop on his book tour.”

While reviewing the synopsis, I also noticed that this movie stars Elle Fanning, and- wait for it…

… Wait for it…

Val. Kilmer.

I didn’t choose this movie for that reason. I swear.

As usual, I’m putting my break-down of this movie behind a “Continue Reading” tag. If you don’t want to be spoiled and would rather see this movie for yourself- DO NOT PROCEED. You’ve been warned!

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Horrors of Netflix: “The Traveler”

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TheTravelerPosterOh, you’re damned right I’m kicking off October with one of my favorite traditions- reviewing the absolute worst horror movies that Netflix has to offer! Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a masochist, since watching most of these 1-2 star rated flicks on a regular basis over the course of a month could be considered a form of torture or punishment to those with a more refined cinematic palate- but I really and truly do enjoy it. You could say I’m even inspired by these typically low-budget filmmaking endeavors- because you know that as bad as they are (and they usually are pretty terrible)– they came from a place of love and respect for one of my favorite genres, and were made with the best of intentions…

… They’re just almost always executed awfully from start to finish.

Choosing the first movie to sink my teeth into for what will be my third year of doing “Horrors of Netflix” proved to be slightly difficult. I mean, I wanted to start this season’s reviews with a bang. Scrolling down my recommendations and watching as the rating for each film that passed by my eyes gradually became lower and lower and the covers became more and more cheesy- I wanted something that looked suspenseful, not-too-old- and, wait–

— oh my God, is that Val Kilmer? The same Val Kilmer I had a crush on when I was nine?

We have a winner.

2010’s “The Traveler” boasts a rating that falls just a fraction higher than one star. The synopsis, via Netflix:

“A mysterious drifter wanders into a small-town police station and confesses to a series of murders, none of which has occurred… yet.”

Wuh oh. That “yet” in the description is pretty ominous!

As always, I’ll be posting the thorough and detailed review under a “Continue Reading” cut for those who would rather watch the movie for themselves. You’ve been warned! If you don’t want to be spoiled- do not proceed!

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Top 8 Christmas Flicks.

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With my holiday shopping done (finally!) and a pre-Christmas Sunday dinner with some of my family wrapping up a few hours ago, I’m preparing to unwind for the evening before I begin what will be a short work-week tomorrow morning by watching a couple of my favorite classic Christmas movies. Back in June, I compiled a short list of some of my favorite Summer-centric films that never fail to entertain me and get me into the seasonal spirit- and with us being right in the middle of the most celebrated season of all- just days away from Christmas- I thought I’d put together another list of my favorite Holiday movies.

Now, it wasn’t easy- there are SO many Christmas movies I love and cherish, but I narrowed it down to the ones that I will stop and watch- no matter how far along the movie is when I tune in- and watch until the end, over and over- and never get tired of them.

‘Tis the season- and here are my Top 8 Christmas Flicks!

NationalLampoonsChristmasVacation1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

“And why is the carpet wet, Todd?”

“I don’t KNOW, Margo!”

Of all the Christmas movies I adore, ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ is by far my favorite. Not only does it ALWAYS make me laugh- pretty much every scene, really- but I think nearly everyone at some point can relate to the chaos that ensues when Clark Griswold tries to put together the perfect ol’ fashioned family Christmas for his family. Struggling to get the lights on the exterior of the house to work? Bickering in-laws? Unexpected visits from the more eccentric (and kinda’ gross) family members? Being subscribed to a Jelly of the Month Club in lieu of a Christmas bonus? Squirrels hiding in the Christmas Tree? We’ve all been there in one way or another.

AChristmasStory2. A Christmas Story (1983)

You would think that a movie that gets aired 24 hours straight from Christmas Eve through the end of Christmas Day would get tiresome after a while, but that isn’t the case with “A Christmas Story.” Like Clark Griswold’s mishaps and meltdowns- Ralphie’s quest to get a coveted Red Ryder B.B. gun for Christmas despite his teacher, his mother, and a mall Santa telling him he’ll shoot his eye out is hilarious and stands the test of time.

From the Old Man’s “Major Award,” and the triple-dog-dare by the iced over flagpole, to the bunny pajamas from Hell and Ralphie’s Life Buoy soap punishment- 24 hours never seems like enough time to view this movie. Also? Visiting Ralphie’s house is on my to-do list.

HomeAlone3. Home Alone (1990)

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without watching Kevin McCallister set traps and outsmart two bumbling, idiot thieves while learning about the importance of family. While I’m also a fan of “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” (although Child Protective Services really should have intervened and investigated Kevin’s parents after that one,) but nothing will top the original.

Watching Marv shriek in pure terror as Buzz’s tarantula crawls across his face will always be one of my favorite moments from when I watched this movie with my family when I was a kid- but as I get older- I find myself tearing up (in a good way) when Kevin’s neighbor, Old Man Marley, reunites with his son and his granddaughter while Kevin looks on from his window as the snow falls. It gets me every time.

TheHoliday4. The Holiday (2006)

I’m not one for romantic comedies, but “The Holiday” really touches me on a personal level because I connect so much with the character, Iris, played by Kate Winslet. The movie, for those who haven’t seen it or heard of it- follows two women, strangers to each other and frustrated with the complications and disappointments in their love lives- who agree to swap homes for two weeks around Christmastime on an Airbnb style website. Iris ends up in Los Angeles while Cameron Diaz’s character- Amanda- ends up in Surrey, England. Predictably, both women find love, as well as inner-strength while they’re visiting abroad- just in time for Christmas.

A little cliché, sure- but the movie delivers strong performances from Winslet, Diaz, Jude Law, Jack Black- and some really great, poignant lines from the late, great Eli Wallach.

MuppetChristmasCarol5. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

I think I’ve seen every possible version of “A Christmas Carol” that has ever been made- but my favorite will always and forever be the one with the Muppets, because they just make everything infinitely better. No disrespect to Bill Murray or Patrick Stewart, who did phenomenal jobs in their roles in their interpretations of this story- but with catchy, thoughtful musical numbers and a Tiny Tim frog with a little crutch that will melt even the iciest of hearts- this is a must-watch for me every year.

And my absolute favorite part of this movie is watching the regal, classy Michael Caine’s (Scrooge) banter with my two favorite Muppets- Statler and Waldorf- who play Ebenezer’s ghostly former associates. It’s the BEST.

WhiteChristmas6. White Christmas (1954)

The oldest movie on this list is also the one that many consider to be the most classic. “White Christmas” reminds me of many things- mostly Christmas Eves or Christmas Days spent visiting at my grandparents’ house when I was a kid and listening to Bing Crosby holiday records playing from their living room. This movie was almost always playing on a television set somewhere in their home, and I would almost always sit down- bundle up in blankets- and watch intently as Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye sang and danced their hearts out to save a pitiful inn somewhere in Vermont.

While the story itself might not exactly withstand the test of time, there’s plenty of lovely musical numbers and a much-needed happy ending for all of the characters to keep even the most cynical of viewers entertained and feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

5d4f6f42276b16734fb60709e674e63382730ab57. The Santa Clause (1994)

Before inspiring a couple of unnecessary sequels (and I think may have inspired “Christmas with the Kranks,” which was also unnecessary) that I never had any interest in seeing, there was simply the first “The Santa Clause,” which my parents took me to see in theaters when I was younger . Putting aside the fact that Scott Calvin (Tim Allen,) who gradually and reluctantly transforms into Santa Clause after accidentally killing the original man in the red suit- had the most irritating, whiny son on Earth- the story was, at the time, really unique for a Christmas movie and had plenty of silly jokes for kids and even more “adult” jokes geared towards the grown-ups- which I didn’t get until another viewing when I was much, much older.

NightmareBeforeChristmas8. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

My favorite thing about “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” apart from the animation and the music- is that this movie has the distinction of being both a Halloween movie, AND a Christmas movie. It’s a great combination of creepy and festive. The best scene, following Jack Skellington’s twisted take on delivering presents for Santa Clause, is when the toys come to life and proceed to terrify the living hell out of the human children who received them. The little boy screaming while the gigantic toy snake devours his Christmas tree never fails to get me to laugh- and songs like “Making Christmas,” “What’s This?” and “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” deserve a spot on a lot of holiday playlists.

I love to watch this movie in October, and then again around this time of year because whether it’s Halloween or Christmas- I always feel festive.

And that’s it! Eight of my all-time favorite Christmas movies- a blend of comedies, classics, and childhood memories. Not included are annual specials like “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman,” or the animated version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” since I consider those separate from full-length feature films- but I always make a point to watch those every year, too!

And if anyone wants to share their favorite holiday movies, too- feel free!

xx

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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