Semi-Recent Horror Vieweings: 3/13
March 13, 2016

It's been a while since I've done one of these. Then again, I haven't had much time to write one up or watch many horror movies. For the most part, I've been devoting my free time to seeing if I can finish/win Alphabet Marathon. I had hoped to catch Last Shift and We Are Still Here (regardless of the harsh non-critic reviews it's been receiving), possibly even The Witch within the last few weeks, but all of my plans have fallen through. I did, however, watch:

Ring 0: Birthday (2000)
An origin story for Sadako where one, at least in my opinion, wasn't needed. I'm not usually fond of horror origin movies because filling the viewer in with background lessens the mystique and scare factor behind a franchise antagonist like Sadako. I don't mind a slow feed of info, like they did with Freddy Krueger, but I'm not keen on everything at once.

Although it doesn't have Ring 2's punch, it's still a decent film that casts a sympathetic light on the villainess. My only qualm with the movie, as with the rest of the series, is that it's pretty slow. It's not the kind of horror movie you want to watch after a long day's work with a beer or two in you. Let's just say I had to rewind a lot.

The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)
A found-footage flick about an Alzheimer's patient who also becomes the victim of a ghostly possession. The spirit of a child killer enters her body and she begins a steady transformation into the madman, culminating in a creepy final act that transpires in a cave. There isn't much new ground covered here, but what little is covered is done so effectively. The movie has a wonderful cast of likable characters and a few unforgettable scenes.

The Unseen (1980)
My quest to watch the '80s horror flicks I haven't seen yet continues. This one is about a reporter and her crew (two other women) covering a story about a German (Austrian?) festival in a small town. They had booked a room at a hotel, only to discover their reservation wasn't properly documented. A local shop owner offers them space in his giant, eerie house, complete with sexually abused sister, mummified corpse in a locked room, and a mysterious being dwelling in the basement.

I was pumped to see this movie after watching the trailer on YouTube. Sadly, I wasn't all that impressed with the movie. It's a technically sound thriller with a few predictable surprises and well-worn plot devices. However, it's also a very tame film, and it relies too heavily on a plot twist that isn't that much of a shocker. I will say I rooted for the sister during the closing act.

The Canal (2014)
A man catches his wife in the throes with another man. When he goes to confront her, he witnesses her death at the hands of a demonic entity that drowns her in the local canal. After the incident, he becomes very neurotic and protective of his son, whom he alleges the demon is stalking.

It's visually striking and well shot, not to mention loaded with some great mind-bending and disturbing imagery. Sadly, all of that doesn't mask the movie's predictability. It's still slightly above average, but I have to say that I called its unoriginal plot twist before its conflict even took off. That's pretty sad...

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