HPH - The Possession

Hump Day Horror – The Possession (2012)

Here we are. Another Hump Day.

source: Wikipedia

Now, when I watch movies at home, I usually try to keep a pad of paper or a Word doc open and just stream my thoughts as the film progresses. In going over my so called “notes” for this film, I decided my play-by-play stream of consciousness was coherent enough to just copy/paste here as a review. Though, a word of warning, my stream of consciousness doesn’t care about spoiling it if you haven’t seen it. Just, be aware of that.

So without further ado, let me introduce myself.

Shanna’s

Spoilerifically Hilarious In-real-time Thoughts

Or Shanna’s S.H.I.T. for short.

i like how they don’t play around with the “the box has something in it”. no wasting time here. we all know what it’s supposed to be about, etc., no need for time wasting set up. let’s get right into the mix here.

My stream-of-consciousness self doesn’t capitalize. Deal with it.

i’m not okay, however, with the character development of the whole divorce/kids and dad thing. sort of, but it just seems forced at moments. — perhaps i’m wrong though. maybe that’s what teenage girls are just like, cause i certainly wasn’t, so i don’t know..

“i think you’ll feel better if you just stop giving a shit” …. spoken like a true teenager.

Dead Like Me FTW

source: Ehmgeew on Tumblr

 Who could possibly embody this idea better than George? (From Dead Like Me, by the way.)

i love that the box opens by itself. that’s cool.

sometimes i hate the whole mirror shit — so she’s brushing her teeth, looking into a mirror, and doesn’t see the bug flying around behind her? and what’s with all the running water??

Yes, because as everyone knows, when you’re brushing your teeth you’re far too caught up in staring at yourself and making sure to do 32 cycles of up and down to notice anything happening behind you. Am I right? I know I’m right, because this is what all the movies and t.v. shows show us. Focus everyone, focus on those teeth!

Oh, and waste water like it’s 1999. Or 1899. Or 1599. Or some time period that makes the “don’t they know better than to waste water?” joke funny. But then again, she is like 10 or something years old, so I guess it’s completely normal. Or not. My kids harp on me about wasting water all the time thanks to their GREEN education in school. And they’re both younger than her. Hrm. She’s just wasteful, I guess.

definitely has some nice creepy touches… the sounds of eating suddenly seem sinister..

i like the whole child abuse aspect.

ha. new dudes a dick.

i like that dad took matters into his own hands. he don’t fuck around. very go getter. i like that.

ha. i knew mom would come bursting in, that was fairly obvious.

the movie’s an hour in, how long before mom figures it all out?

haha. cool. it could be seen on an mri. ha.

i’m assuming there’s a conversation missing somewhere, where he describes what the issue is to her mom, she dismisses it, and later becomes a believer – awkward lack of discussion. maybe unnecessary, but it’s still left out.

i like the family aspect of the ceremony. that’s cool.

they’ve unleashed a demon on a hospital. awe-some. though, seriously, i already know it’s not going to end as well as it possibly could — how neat would it be if it was a screwed up ending and the demon gets the girl’s body, and just starts slaughtering people? all cause of a yard sale…

halloween 2Oh, wait, they already did that, didn’t they?

cool. it climbed out of his mouth. that was neat.

haha. i knew it was gonna get hit by a truck.

interesting how much influence it wields even outside the box, even locked inside.

anyway, overall, i liked it. i have a special place in my heart for possession/exorcism/demons/etc. i like what they did with this one. it was AWESOME to see the jewish version of a typically catholic/christian demon possession, and it’s especially creepy the weird shit that went on behind the scenes. must do more research into the dybbuk/dybbuk box thing. apparently that shit will freak you out.

heck, and it’s even based off some “real “events, in that a “dybbuk box” was bought on ebay, and said to be haunted — strange events and unfortunate occurings happened to the box’s owners and anyone in proximity (nightmares, hair falling out, one woman had a stroke, allergic reactions, welt, hives, etc.) And it contained weird shit to boot.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dybbuk_box

the real box and it’s stories.. http://www.dibbukbox.com/story.htm

http://web.archive.org/web/20051105000557/www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/rubyc/eBay_dibbuk.htm

Well, if you’ve read to this point it means you must have already seen it, or if you haven’t seen it, I just ruined it for you.

My sincerest apologies.

That said, it’s not a bad flick as long as your expectations aren’t too high. If you’re already a fan of the whole “possession/exorcism” genre of horror films, you pretty much know exactly what’s going to happen whether it’s about Jewish demons or Japanese revenge spirits. In that case, it’s more about what they did differently, and I think The Possession will stand out for 1) actually being a film about demonic possession that wasn’t about Christianity (which counts as unique in my book) and 2) it had a few really neat moments, was pretty well-acted, and the story wasn’t bad considering the real story it’s based on. If you haven’t checked out those links yet, please do. The real story behind the Dybbuk Box is about as interesting (if a lot shorter to read) than the film.

Perhaps it’s an even greater coincidence that I finally wrote this blog up about The Possession and The Last Exorcism 2 is due out this Friday. I watched the first ages ago, and there is indeed on my hard drive another Shanna’s S.H.I.T. for it. I plan to go see the 2nd this weekend, because I can and a solo trip to the theater in my tiny burg is less than $15 bucks – including popcorn, drink, and a candy of my choosing.

Next HPH – The Last Exorcism 1 & 2.

Mama Movie Poster

Hump Day Horror – Mama (2013)

Source:  Wikipedia

Tonight I saw Mama. It was the last time it was playing in theater in my tiny little burg, so I had to.

Man, am I glad I did. It’s a fantastic film. I jumped a few times. (And even covered my eyes once. *shh* Don’t tell anybody.) The film has an amazing atmospheric tension. Even now, sitting at home in a well-lit room in front of a humming laptop, I still haven’t been able to completely ditch the dreadful feeling that something is looking for me in the dark. And there’s not even any shadows nearby!

tumblr_mfuto5ghC41s1sys3o1_400 - black cat loki's page

Source: Black-Cat-Loki on Tumblr

Don’t even try and tell me that’s not freaky.

I really don’t want to spoil it for everyone by giving away crucial details. I will say that if you know anything about the supernatural (ghosts, demons, e.g. watched a TON of horror flicks and read a TON of horror stories) you’ll realize fairly quickly this is a little twist on the La Llorona mythos.  The story, written by  Andres Muschietti, really draws from the La Llorona mythos and expands upon it into fresh territory. Muschietti originally penned this script as a short film which Guillermo del Toro later saw and decided it deserved to be a feature film.

I agree with Guillermo wholeheartedly. Muschietti created an atmospheric, startling, and honestly, beautiful horror story. Through the entire film my heart is pumping, I’m biting my knuckles to keep from yelling at the screen (although Jessica Chastain’s Annabel actually listened to my psychic ranting and DIDN’T do… whatever.. it was.. *not spoiling*), I’m sitting in a wee bit of fear and thinking I drank WAY too much soda . . . and then the dramatic conclusion comes and . . . it’s not at all what I was expecting.

I nearly left the theater in tears.

tumblr_lnzz9d6eXd1qivsub -- stewie

Source: MoralCodeofBuzzards on Tumblr (and Family Guy)

Overall I thought the movie was great. It had all the best elements of horror, none of the shtick, and some decent creepy CGI. And the girls playing Victoria and Lily = awesome.

So I know I can’t quite suggest going and seeing it in theaters (if it’s already left mine, then I KNOW it’s already left yours), but whenever it becomes available on DVD, go pick it up.

Hump Day Horror – Movies with Mike

Pictured: Mike’s usual face

So I’ve got this pretty amazing kid. I have to start there. He’s really embraced the lifestyle, and spends as much time as I do watching horror movies (nothing too scary) or thinking about crazy weird stuff. And since I’ve been planning to see Prometheus, he has been excited to tag along.

But how can I take him to a prequel without giving him a tour of the series?

introducing the classics

Yesterday we watched Alien. It was awesome. Mostly because his reactions are freaking priceless (also in green, his favorite color):

Complete and utter ennui while the story is set up and established and Mom, where are the aliens!? Who’s gonna die?

Did that thing just grab his face? He’s dead, isn’t he? Yup, he’s gotta be dead. He’s not? Wow.

It’s gonna kill them now. They’re gonna get it on their face, yup.

And at that oh-so-pivotal moment–

O. M. Gee, that alien is awesome!

(That’s my kid. #parentalpride)

Ok, for my birthday what I want is that game Minecraft and the alien plush toy from that magazine Forget Call of Duty – just Minecraft and the plush. (ThinkGeek is a staple catalog in our home. He said “plush” a lot. It was killing me. He said it so much it sounds all weird now, alá Adventure Time. See video below. Plush. Pluuuushh.)

Back to Alien:

Lots of advice: Don’t go in there! Leave the cat! Just go!

And when the xenomorph is tossed out the airlock:

Look at him, he’s cooking. Let’s have some alien barbecue!

Pictured: Google search of “alien bbq” because

“xenomorph bbq” turned up nothing suitable.

So, Alien went over pretty well. Today, obviously, it was time for Aliens.

Are there boring parts? *sigh* Why do they need to have boring parts?

That company is evil, so evil.

I definitely want that alien plush for my birthday. Don’t forget. 

He even fetched the ThinkGeek catalog to remind me, and then asked if we could look up some more on the Internet. Found a load at this site here. He asked for one of each.

That one guy is stupid. That guy is a bad chicken.

–At the elevator scene–

The Queen’s going to get in the other elevator, isn’t she? She did, I predicted it! Those aliens are so smart!

–At the bitch-slap-wrestling-match between Ripley and the Queen–

(running back to the armchair by the tv) Front row seats for the fight!

Pictured: Front row seat(s)

post-movie Q&A

Let’s look up plushes! I don’t care about the history of aliens. Let’s look at pictures of the Queen. 

Following a big picture hunt of close-ups so he could better examine them, we discussed the other kinds of xenomorphs (Dog Alien/Runner from Alien³, PredAlien from AvP: whatever) and I had to give a quick summary of Alien³ and Alien:Resurrection.

Then he got bored and went to watch more Minecraft videos on the youtubes. It’s my fault really. I once looked up a tutorial/walk-through for a game I was playing (Dead Island) that he was watching me play (family thing) and ever since all he does is look up video game walk-throughs.

But speaking of youtube and munchkins, the other little one, Alexandra, spends all her computer time looking up My Little Pony songs, home videos girls a little older than her make with their toys, and recipes. (Seriously. She’s addicted to this one lady’s series about cupcake decorating, and keeps demanding we – her and me – make graveyard cupcakes for Halloween. *sigh* At least she’ll be a better cook than I am.)

Here’s how she watched the movie with us.

Pictured: My freckly shoulder. And a sleeping mini.

I really enjoyed watching the movies with Mike. He’s hilarious to listen to, he asks the oddest questions, and he’s willing to go fetch me a bottle of water or the remote while Alex is super-glued-dead-asleep to my side. (^_^) Look forward to more of these. Movies with Mike is definitely going to become a regular (infrequently regular?) segment. It will probably get me blogging more, since there really hasn’t been a whole lot of recent horror films released that are particularly interesting or worth watching. At least watching old flicks with Mike has some point of conversation. Maybe next time I’ll pause the movie and record particularly funny things he says for your enjoyment. Or just record the whole thing and edit it? I’ve never done that before. Food for thought.

Oh yeah, and…

Prometheus in 24 hours, 33 minutes and counting!!

Hump Day Horror — Double Shot

This special (belated) Hump Day Horror edition is a double shot of goretastic flavorfulness. Half Indie, Half Mainstream. A mix of your two favorite flavors: bloody and terrifying.

bloody and terrifying.. deliciously terrifying...

 

So let’s take this double shot straight to the head!

Hump Day Horror

Double Shot

 

Necromentia

Directed  and Written by Perry Teo; Co-Written by Stephanie Joyce

Starring Layton Matthews as Morbius; Chad Grimes as Travis; Santiago Craig as Hagen; Zelieann Rivera as Elizabeth; Zach Cumer as Thomas; and Nathan Ginn as Mr. Skinny

For an indie film, this one isn’t bad. Fans of the genre will immediately notice a striking similarity to Clive Barker’s Hellraiser in visuals and atmosphere. The premise is interesting: a Ouija board carved into flesh has the ability to open a doorway to Hell, offering a grieving man a chance to recover his lover… and that’s where the cover description ends and after about 45 minutes you realize the movie isn’t exactly all Dante’s Inferno (the game, not the poem). There is far more back story involved, and it isn’t until you reach about the hour mark that you realize the story is being told entirely backwards (alá Irréversible) and that’s when you start catching on to what’s really happening. A disgusting man is searching for his lover; a lost and still living soul seeks his brother; and a … well, that’s supposed to be the surprise part of the end, so I won’t ruin that.

But suffice it to say, the movie overall is good enough for a single-viewing, maybe even a second to understand it better, but I can’t see this film really standing the test of time. I think there was a lot left unsaid that could have really helped the film go past that line, but that’s the burden of the indie film. Low budget done well can be really good, but rare is the low budget film that will last a lifetime.

The best part of the film is a strange dream/hallucination (maybe more?) sequence where a dancing pig named Mr. Skinny manipulates a mentally disabled teenager. The insane song Mr. Skinny sings will definitely be an aspect that stands the test of time, as well as Chad Grimes’ performance as Travis, the living and lost soul searching for his brother. Be prepared for some intense and bloody torture scenes, some disgusting insinuations, and that crazy lullaby. Good job on the song, Mr. Teo. Really good job.

 

My Soul To Take

Directed by Wes Craven

Starring Max Thieriot as Adam “Bug” Hellerman; John Magaro as Alex; Denzel Whitaker as Jerome; Zena Grey as Penelope; Nick Lashaway as Brandon; Paulina Olszynski as Brittany; Jeremy Chu as Jay; Emily Meade as Fang; and Raul Esparza as Abel

For a mainstream teenage pop horror flick, this one isn’t bad, either. Craven is certainly showing that he hasn’t lost his skills. The film is filled with tension from beginning to nearly-end. Unfortunately, for the experienced movie-goer (and plot-writer), the ending is fairly easy to spot, but it’s not too hard to suspend your instinct to keep enjoying the movie anyway. The best part is in the beginning, when the original Riverton Ripper is acting out his .. possession? mental illness? hallucinations? Something like that. Either way, it’s a pretty good scene and well-acted by Raul Esparza. Later in the film, “Bug” has similar scenes and Max Thieriot does the scenes justice as well.

The movie is fairly straightforward. The idea is that there was once this bad guy who swore he’d be back for revenge, and 16 years later to the day, the day turns bloody. Seven kids born that night, one of whom has inherited the soul of the murderer, and no one can be quite sure who it really is. There’s an interesting sub-plot that could have been better developed. Another member of this “group,” Emily Meade as Fang, is revealed to be a crucial character only near the end, and you wonder how she ended up as the school’s female Godfather, running the “Mean Girls + One Idiot Jock Mafia.” Aside from the main character, Fang is the next most interesting character and could have used more development, but it is understandable. There’s only 2 hours and how much can Craven really fit in?

At the very least, the film isn’t Craven’s attempt at a “Jennifer’s Body” type of teenager flick, with some hot girls titillating the movie audience. It’s a sound film with a solid plot that might be obvious at times, but is enjoyable in the end. It’s also not a movie likely to last a lifetime, but it is a fun watch on a stormy spring evening. You might even jump at the shadows when it’s over. Maybe.

 

For a second opinion on Necromentia, try this review at QuietEarth and for another on My Soul To Take, try RottenTomatoes.

Final Tally
Necromentia     Three Bloody Hearts
       My Soul To Take     Three and a Half Bloody Hearts


Hump Day Horror – The Human Centipede

I know it’s been a bit since my last post . . . . . . but that’s Life. The kids are doing fantastic at school. The boy has entered first grade and is impressing his teachers. The girl is finally a Kindergartener, and her teacher has already sworn to never let her advance to first grade. She loves that girl too much!! As a family we’re doing amazingly well with our transition to Texas, and things couldn’t be better.

That said, I could still be blogging and writing more often.

To renew my dessicated website and writing career, let’s pump it full of life-giving primeval ooze and other substances with the consistency of pudding. Starting with a new feature:

Hump Day Horror

With my husband’s new schedule, the old Saturday Night Horror Fest is out. He gets every weekend off, and since he works 4 or 5 graveyard shifts during the week, I am not taking my precious evening time away for a horror fest on Saturday. It’s going to become a Wednesday night thing. I’m going to try to review newer movies, but if I’m short on time (or Netflix is slow), I’ll be giving a taste of the old, too.

This week, to peak your interest, I’m offering my thoughts on The Human Centipede. Which is coincidental to a story I’m currently working on, featuring none other than a crazy German doctor. Odd, no?

the-human-centipede

 

*Spoiler Possibility Alert*

Many apologies, but there could be spoilers below.


 

Taking notes as the film began to roll, I noted a feeling of trepidation, apprehension. Having seen the trailer previously, I knew the basic plot: a German doctor decides to make his fantasy of flesh a reality by creating the first Siamese triplet connected by the gastric system, or in other words – the human centipede. (100% medically accurate, as the tagline informs us.) As much as the thought intrigued me, it was also completely disgusting and I really wasn’t looking forward to that part. Not even in a “I like to watch sick horrific things,” because really… I don’t. I can enjoy visceral, grotesque horror occasionally, but most times my preferences lie in atmospheric horror that keeps you jumping for hours afterward, not hawking up your lunch.

I realized, then, that the reason I’m watching this movie is out of curiosity. I already know what the doctor does; I have an insatiable need to know why.

Disappointingly enough, the creators never really examine what event or idea took hold of Herr Doktor that led him to kidnap and mutilate 3 human beings in such a way. There’s a mild suggestion of his past as a former Siamese separator, and that he has now decided to . . . make a Siamese . . . triplet? I know. It seems a stretch. He does explain his plans, and there may have been a tiny amount of exposition as well, when he’s making his presentation to the victims — uh — test subjects, but it was covered in a ton of Japanese and subtitles. He could barely be heard over A’s racket, and any exposition is tossed into the wind.

Featuring a nearly unknown cast, which isn’t always a bad thing, but here the storyline and graphic nature of the film could have benefited from better acting. The most memorable characters were Doctor Heiter and Katsuro/A, the lead segment. B, the second segment, or middle piece, Lindsay, would fall next on the list, with Jenny, the tail, falling dead last as the worst actor in the bunch. Her emotions were dead pan and she lacked any believable lines, and truly, as the viewer you’re feeling a little guilty and grateful that she got her comeuppance in the end. The same could be said for Lindsay, whose only saving grace is that she doesn’t reveal herself to be an 8 year old who got her hands on some human growth hormones to appear 20-ish.

As far as characterization goes, the only worthwhile character is Katsuro. Having very little time for exposition, his character is still revealed as a leader, both strong and stubborn. He is unwilling to silently obey and works diligently, always seeking that opportunity for escape. The Doctor, while an interesting character, is never given a chance to fully present himself. We see him only in small snippets as the man, and most always as The Doctor.

 

 

the_human_centipede

 

Creepy Alert: Level RED

This keeps his Creepy-Factor high, but since the movie is lacking in meaning already and is just another form of torture-porn, a little more ambiance and presence may have helped salvage the movie’s disturbing lack of substance. The actor playing The Doctor truly does make the character, however. His ability to look upon his subjects as a loving father would look upon his children, but as though he’d decide to finally cook them for dinner and teach them about having mouths to feed, is one of the more truly disturbing moments. The two girls seemed written in a way to deliberately have the viewer think they deserved their fate, if not at the least dislike them as people. This was a blatant attempt to trick the viewer on the writer’s part, and as a one who has already set aside my disbelief to partake in a film about a mad German doctor performing risky and highly unlikely surgery (much less the acrobatics not revealed later in how he transported these delicately attached bodies) for seemingly no real reason at all aside from his own personal aesthetics, I do not enjoy being shown a crappy sleight of hand illusion.

I could begin to list the sadly large amount of plot holes that will be extremely obvious during viewing, but this review seems to be getting long enough as it is. Just play “Spot the Stupidity” while you watch, and then categorize if it is an oversight on the writer’s part or the director’s. It is a fun game.

Ultimately, I spent the first half wondering why the Doctor performs this catastrophic and debilitating surgery, and the other contemplating the various surgeries the victims would need to fix their bodies if they survived. Very little time was spent on wondering about the characters, their suffering, or even the Human Centipede itself. The novelty of a “human centipede” quickly lost its appeal.

There are very few reasons to see this film. Everything is pretty much covered in the trailer, and about 10 minutes after the surgery takes place, the grotesqueness of the situation becomes droll, and you’re looking forward to the end. I would advise wasting money, or the hour and a half to watch it, only if you’re truly curious about what a human centipede would look like crawling around, and … that’s about it.

 

Starring:

Dieter Laser as Doctor Heiter

Ashley C. Williams as Lindsay

Ashlynn Yennie as Jennie

Akihiro Kitamura as Katsuro

 

I give the film two and a half screams out of five.

 

 

 

For other opinions on the film, check out:

THC @ Rotten Tomatoes

THC @ Metacritic

THC @ AllMovie

Don’t forget the awesome (and totally not a 3 minute spoiler)  trailer:

 

File this under more likely to scare you than The Human Centipede:

scarierthanthc