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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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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Horrors of Netflix: “Inkubus”

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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.

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Horrors of Netflix: “Lizzie”

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LizzieMoviePosterAfter suffering through “Dead End” and wondering what the hell I was thinking when I decided to do these reviews throughout the month of October, I once again found myself perusing through the horror section of Netflix, cracking up at the movie posters and cringing at the brief plot outlines. I stopped when I saw the poster for “Lizzie.”

An overview, via Netflix:

“The brutal 1892 hatchet murders of the infamous Lizzie Borden acquittal come alive when present-day Lizzie Allen moves back into her childhood home. Suffering from amnesia, she struggles to uncover the mysteries of her youth — and the distant past.”

Sounds terrible enough for me- and- wait, what’s that? Gary Busey is in this?

Well then, what are we waiting for?!

And like always whenever I write a movie review, this post will include some detailed spoilers, so if for whatever reason you feel compelled to actually sit through “Lizzie,” don’t continue reading.

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Horrors of Netflix: “Dead End”

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DeadEndMoviePosterI haven’t done a movie review in a while, mostly because the majority of movies I’ve seen in recent months have fallen under the action and/or comedy category, and critiquing horror films is really more of my forte. Thankfully, with Halloween approaching, there is no shortage of scary movies to be found, be they in theaters or on television. My favorite collection, however, lies in the seedy underworld that is the Netflix queue. You see, Netflix, while having a brilliant selection of movies and compelling TV series available for viewing- is also a treasure trove for some of the worst, the cheapest, the absolute most unwatchable movies and shows in the history of film and television. This rings especially true in the horror movie category.

I love cheesy horror movies almost as much, if not more, than I love genuinely well-made horror movies or cult classics. I like watching the particular bad ones with a group of friends, which almost always turns the screening into something right out of “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” with all of us laughing at and/or adding commentary during the movie.

That being said, I decided to get into the Halloween spirit this month by selecting some of these unquestionably bad horror movies on my Netflix queue, suffering through them, and reviewing them for your (and my) pleasure. I’m calling this series of posts “Horrors of Netflix,” and first up on the list is 2003’s “Dead End.”

I’ve seen “Dead End” before. More than once, actually. The first time was with friends, back when Blockbuster Video was still an active thing and not a relic from the past that people can look at in museums these days to learn about ancient civilizations, We had been looking for a horror movie to pass a lazy Saturday night and the cover to “Dead End” caught our attention.

The second time I watched this movie was days after the first time, when I wanted to confirm that it really was as bad as I’d originally thought and that I hadn’t hallucinated it’s terribleness or anything.

Needless to say, when it popped up on Netflix, I was pretty excited to get the opportunity to watch it in all it’s awful glory one more time to kick things off for this series of reviews.

Please be warned, this review will contain spoilers. If you DO NOT want to know how this movie ends, do not click the link below.

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