monster that has attached itself to her mother. This sounds a bit to me like it could be a sequel to 2015’s excellent horror film The Babadook (I want credit if Hollywood takes that idea), and there are quite a few similarities. The mother has obvious depression and psychological issues. The young boy can be sweet at times, but he can also be annoying as all get out. The movie makes it seem like the mother can just take a pill and make all her problems go away. This makes a disease into a convenient plot point, and that’s a shame. Overall, the mother’s issues do tie into the monster’s backstory, which makes everything feel a bit more compelling than what we normally see in a horror film. I don’t really like what it says about mental illness though.
However, the way that the majority of it is delivered is full of expository nonsense. I feel like it would have been much better if things were delivered in a manner that was more visual. I know that there were parts of it that were full of flashback type things, but the way it was given felt lazy to me. That may just be my interpretation of it, but there it is.
The monster (Diana) was pretty well-done. I think her backstory itself was worthwhile, and her motivations were solid. I was a bit confused about the way her powers manifested, and exactly how she got around. That seemed a bit rushed in the movie as it was trying to establish things quickly and get to the action. She was incredibly terrifying though. There are few things that play on man’s primal fears like the dark. It’s something that is innate within us from an extremely young age. Most small children go through a bout where they are afraid of the dark; I was no different. Therefore, there were scenes where the lights flickered and the scene went dark that caused my heart to stop and flutter.
Another side note while I’m going one sentence paragraphs – I was sad to see Billy Burke mostly wasted in his role. He’s too good for quick roles.
My final thing that I wasn’t super fond of was the fact that blacklight scene. It was pretty interesting if you think about the science behind it… but it was dumb. We didn’t need to see her. That’s the whole point! I liked the dark shadow version. And she looked like a retread of another James Wan film – the original demon woman from The Conjuring.
So, despite having such high intentions when I started writing this review, I’m going to give Lights Out a “C+”.
Thanks for reading!
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
This is not a good movie. I don’t even know if it attempts to (actually, that’s not true. You can see the attempt by some people, but not all of them). The movie is a mashup of all these other movies from the 70s that you can tell that Zombie idolizes: specifically, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, etc. Those movies were considered on the fringe of viewing because they were overwhelmingly violent for the films of that time. They had that grungy handmade feel to them, and that was welcomed over the gloss of the horror films to that point.
Therefore, when Zombie attempts to do the same things here (and he even manages to rehash his own movies), it’s so boring it’s laughable. I really wanted to like this: it’s got terrible Grindhouse classic written all over it. However, it’s so aware of this fact that it plays it up so much it keeps hitting you in the face with a giant Clown hand.
I guess I should talk about what the movie is about huh? I wonder how easy this will be.
“This movie is about a bunch of carnies that get captured and put into a version of ‘The Most Dangerous Game’ (an excellent story), but instead of a man with a rifle, it’s a variety of clowns with edgy names.”
Yup. That pretty much sums it up.
Brake as Doom-Head. He’s one of the few who you actually believe is off his rocker completely. He owns his script lines, chewing on them delightfully while the drip onto the screen – and his violence is terribly convincing as well (I had to go with the fun terrible pun). Special points to the opener.
I have to say, normally language in a film doesn't get to me that much. But all the language here was so totally unnecessary that it completely made me stop paying attention after a while. I was consistently rewinding the film in order to catch what was actually being said.
Are there better ways to spend your precious Halloween time? Absolutely. Are there better ways to spend that include a Nazi dwarf clown? Uh… I’m not sure, but I’m sure it’s out there.
31 only gets a “D-“ from me. Stick to It and Killer Klowns from Outer Space if you want a clown film this Halloween.
For more on this, check out IMDB.
The Remaining is another found footage horror film (third one this month after Creep and The Blair Witch Project). It follows a group of young people as they attend the wedding of one of their number. Aside from the obvious plot points of unrequited love and such, you can’t much see where the film is going to take you for the first fifteen minutes. And that’s good – whereas some Christian films begin to Bible beat you from the opening salvo, The Remaining holds off, allowing suspense to build.
Even when the Rapture occurs, and people begin to drop dead, it’s still not clear to the viewing audience what is occurring. As our characters find themselves running to the safety of a church, we begin to see where the movie is going, but by this point, you have been treated to some decent CGI effects, some nice foreshadowing, and a great unseen demonic force.
The acting throughout is mixed. Some performers like Liz E. Morgan and Alexa Vega really shine, while others such as our leading male trio of Tommy, Jack, and Dan (played by Johnny Pacar, Shaun Sipos, and Bryan Dechart) lay it on a bit too thick. One of my favorite performances was that of the left behind preacher Pastor Shay, played by John Pyper-Ferguson. He illustrates the angst and fear that you would feel if you had lived the equivalent of a lie for your whole life.
(besides about movies). But I think the movie does a great job at showing what could happen in the Rapture: the terror of being Left Behind (capitalized because the books were such a huge Christian phenomenon), the fear of unknown devils prowling the air, the sacrifice of certain people for the good of the group, etc. Whether the movie does a good job selling its point for a belief, I’m not entirely sold – but for me, it didn’t matter. The movie was enjoyable throughout.
I enjoyed The Remaining and think that most people would too. The grungy, dingy, blue-tinged city had a distinctive The 100 type feel to it, and the story was decent. I’m going to give it a “B”.
Any ideas for our upcoming 100th post? Send them in to DoubleFeaturePreachers@gmail.com!
Thanks for reading!
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"