Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Netflix on a Nickel 2

Halloween is coming and I've got some spine-chilling, hair-raising and bloodcurdling movies for you to watch. Clear out your queue and prepare to scream, its Horror movie mayhem!

All Cheerleaders Die
            Lucky McKee is a popular name with horror fans; he is credited with creating amazing and shocking new horror films.  All Cheerleaders Die is the definition of modern horror. McKee hits all the appropriate beats while maintaining quality. The beginning of the film starts out as a self-shot teen flick; thankfully that ends quickly.
             A rebel girl signs up a group of cheerleaders to help her take down the captain of their high school football team, but a supernatural turn of events thrusts the girls into a different battle. All Cheerleaders Die is fun and fast-paced while maintaining the gore and scares. While full of superficial jokes and plot devices the film also covers gay rights, bullying, rape and domestic abuse.
             All Cheerleaders Die is a horror film that most people can enjoy but because the target audience is 18-to-21-year-olds it might fall flat for older audiences. 

            Some films ask the audience to be patient, with the promise that the film's experience will be rewarding as a whole, Contracted is exactly this kind of film. The pace is slow and the plot slowly unfolds which might bore modern audiences. Eric England, the indie director from Arkansas, wrote and directed Contracted.
            A young girl, Samantha, contracts what she thinks is a sexually-transmitted disease but it is actually something much worse. Najarra Townsend's performance as Samantha is captivating and her emotional journey is a roller-coaster of extreme ups and downs.
            The scares come in the form of the grotesque infection and Samantha's physical transformation. Personally I loved this film and enjoyed it from beginning to end. However, because of the slow pace, it is not for everyone. Fans of infection films should check it out.

Argento’s Dracula
         Dario Argento is famous for combining the grotesque and the beautiful, as he showed in Suspiria. Combining Argento with Stoker seems like a match made in horror heaven, but the reality is quite disappointing.
            Argento’s Dracula has copious amounts of nudity and gore but no plot and phoned-in acting. Thomas Kretschmann plays the infamous Count Dracula like he’s constipated with laryngitis. Van Helsing was played by the legendary Rutger Hauer. While Hauer has the best moments in the film, he seemed to need an oxygen machine or a nap based on his overall performance.
            For an enjoyable horror experience watch the original 1931 Dracula or even the 1992 remake but avoid Argento’s Dracula.

Big Trouble in Little China
            John Carpenter is the horror master, known for Halloween, The Thing, Christine, The Fog, They Live, In the Mouth of Madness, Vampires and The Ward. Few directors have the scope and the longevity that Carpenter has. Not all of his films are horror, and some, like Big Trouble in Little China, combine horror, action and fantasy with generous amounts of humor.
            Big Trouble in Little China is the story of Jack Burton, a trucker who thinks he is a living legend and a self proclaimed ladies' man, as he gets dragged into centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown. The effects are dated and the film is definitely a product of the 80s, but it holds up.
            The film is loaded up with cheese, memorable quotes, and ridiculous over-the-top action sequences. While not a horror film, it will provide an entertaining and fun palate cleanser between horror films this Halloween.

            Have a terrifying and creeptastic Halloween. If you have any movie suggestions leave them in the comments and in the mean time, watch more movies!

(Originally written for Midland College Press a week before Halloween.)

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