Sunday, May 29, 2016

Copycat Movie Review 392

Copycat is a 1995 thriller directed by Jon Amiel and starring Sigourney Weaver, Dermot Mulroney and Holly Hunter.

Weaver plays a woman called Dr. Helen Hudson who is an expert on serial killers. She has been giving a lecture to some criminal psychology students when she is attacked by a psycho called Daryll Lee Cullum(Harry Connick Jr.). He catches her in the bathroom and she thinks that she will die. She survives but she becomes an agoraphobic and will never leave her apartment. She has everything that she needs there. She is helped by a pal, Andy(John Rothman) and she spends her life on computers instead of meeting people. When murders begin to happen in San Francisco where she lives, the cops want her help. Inspector Monahan(Hunter) and her partner, Goetz(Mulroney) come to her as she is an expert on murderers.

Helen does not want to get sucked in by murders again. She doesn't want to help the cops, but she eventually agrees. She realises that the killings are copycat murders of famous serial killers such as Ted Bundy, Hillside Stranglers and Son of Sam. The killer is trying to emulate these monsters. The killer also wants Helen and he begins to stalk her through her computer. She is scared that the cops cannot protect her from him. The cops get in contact with Cullum to get his help on the case. Goetz gets killed in the line of duty and Monahan has to work with Helen to get the guy.

They figure out that he is a guy called Peter Foley(William MacNamara) and they try and get him but he is very clever. He captures Helen and brings her back to the bathroom where she was attacked by Cullum. He tries to commit the crime exactly as Cullum did, but this time he will finish her off. Monahan turns up but he shoots her. Helen messes up his scenario and he goes mad. He wants her to pose exactly the way she should and this enables her to escape him. He chases her to the roof and there is a showdown with Helen, Monahan and Peter and Monahan shoots him dead. The movie ends with Cullum writing a letter to a fellow killer telling him how to kill Helen and we realise that he was in cahoots with Foley all along.

This is a very good thriller. I liked the cast and the story line. I have read many books on serial killers so this was interesting to me. I thought that Connick Jr was very different as Cullum and he was creepy which is hard to imagine if you know his other movies and his musical career. A solid thriller which I would highly recommend. I will give this an 9/10.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Halloween 3:Season of the Witch Movie Review 391

Halloween 3:Season of  the Witch is a 1982 horror movie directed by Tommy Lee Wallace and starring Tom Atkins and Dan O' Herlihy.

The  movie begins with a man who is being chased by men in a car. He is attacked by them but manages to escape and ends up in the hospital. He tells everyone that 'they are going to kill us all'.
He has a Halloween mask with him from the Silver Shamrock company. That night, he is mysteriously killed by a guy who then goes outside and sets himself on fire.The dead man's daughter, Ellie(Stacey Nelkin) goes to see the body and identify him. She meets Dr.Daniel Challis(Atkins) and they talk about her dad. She can't understand why someone would want to kill him. They decide to investigate and they go to the Silver Shamrock company for answers.

The company is in the town of Santa Mira, California. It is an eerie town which owes its lifeblood to Conal Cochran(O'Herlihy) who owns Silver Shamrock. They decide to stay at a local motel and there are other guests there and they all have business at the factory too. There is a curfew imposed at night. Daniel sneaks out and meets a local who warns him about Cochran. Afterwards, he is caught by Cochran and killed. One of the motel guests gets zapped by a Halloween mask from Silver Shamrock. She is taken away by Cochran and some of his employees. He later tells Daniel that the guest was fine and has gone home. Daniel and Ellie go on a guided tour of the Silver Shamrock company. They think that something weird is going on and they try and call the cops but cannot get through. Ellie goes missing and Daniel tries to find her.

He goes back to the factory and gets caught by Cochran. He sees robots there. He finds out that Cochran has a rock from Stonehenge and it is very powerful.Cochran's plan is to have all of the kids wearing his masks on Halloween and then they will all die. He thinks that this will bring about an age of witchcraft or something like that. When the kids watch his commercial on TV, it will activate a chip in the masks and this will release insects etc which will kill the kids. Daniel tries to escape with Ellie. They manage to destroy the factory and Cochran along with it and his robots. Ellie turns out to be a robot and he has to kill her. He gets to a phone and tries to call the TV stations to stop them from broadcasting the advert but he doesn't make it in time.

This was an interesting movie. There is nothing about Michael Myers in it, so it is unusual for this to be part of the Halloween franchise. It could have been a stand alone movie. The plot was interesting but I did think that the reveal at the end was a bit far fetched, but anyway, I enjoyed it all the same.Dan O' Herlihy was entertaining as the strange Cochran. I will give it a 6/10.

Monday, May 16, 2016

House on Haunted Hill Movie Review 390

House on Haunted Hill is a 1999 horror remake directed by William Malone and starring Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Ali Larter and Peter Gallagher.

Steven Price(Rush) owns amusement parks and he has a dark humour. He is married to Evelyn(Janssen) who hates his guts. She wants to have a party for her birthday and she gives Steven her guest list. He decides to invite other people and he is having it at a haunted house which was once an asylum. The asylum had a very dark history with rumours of a Doctor Vannacutt, played by Jeffrey Coombs, performing awful experiments on the patients. The patients got their revenge and killed all of the staff and set the place on fire. The cruel doctor had booby trapped the place so that it shut down, trapping himself and the patients inside and doomed them to a horrible death. Price's guest list is somehow deleted by some unseen force and other people are invited instead.

When the people arrive, Price and Evelyn don't know who they are. They tell them that they were invited. Price offers each of them a million dollars if they stay the night in the haunted house. Price has some help from an employee of his. The employee is helping him to scare the guests. They all get locked into the house and they cannot leave. Price is surprised by this and he asks his pal why he did it. His man tells him that he didn't. Price wonders who it was who sealed the house. The guests are Sara Wolfe(Larter), Eddie(Taye Diggs), Melissa(Bridgette Wilson-Sampras), Dr Donald Blackburn(Gallagher) and the owner of the house Pritchett(Chris Kattan). Pritchett thinks that the house is haunted and he thinks that something bad is going to happen.

Of course with this movie, you can write the plot really. Things happen, people die. There are real ghosts there. Vannacutt turns up. Evelyn and Donald are lovers and conspire to kill Price but it backfires. It is also revealed that ghosts specifically invited the guests who are descendants of staff members from the asylum. They wanted to finish the job. The evil swallows Evelyn and it comes after the others. Sara, Eddie and Price are the only ones left. They try and escape the house. Price sacrifices himself so that they can get out and they do. They wonder how they will get down from the roof and they spot the million dollar cheques waiting for them. There is a post credits scene where Evelyn and Price are being tortured by the patients in the asylum as ghosts for eternity .

This film wasn't really great. I liked the original with Vincent Price, but this left me bored by the first hour. I didn't really like the movie at all. As a remake, it sucked. I just thought that it was not very good. It had plenty of gore, but not much substance. It gets a 3/10.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

My Favourite TV shows of 2016!

I am an avid TV watcher and obviously I don't just watch horror all of the time. At the moment, we are spoiled for choice with great TV shows. Some TV shows are as good as movies in the production and the special effects. Let me just go through my favourites at the moment.

My first one will be The Walking Dead, of course. I have followed this from the first episode way back in 2010 and it has been consistently good. I liked it from the beginning. I think that some of the characters have been so so over the years, but I like most of the core group. Rick has turned from a total wuss into a leader who is bad ass now. I enjoyed all of the storyline with The Governor and now I am looking forward to the struggle that the group will have with Negan. This is my favourite show at the moment. Next is Penny Dreadful which is a great show with a very talented cast. Eva Green, Josh Hartnett and Timothy Dalton star in this Gothic TV show which hosts a load of literary characters such as Dracula, Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and Dr Jekyll. I love the strangeness and the creepiness of this show and there are some genuinely scary moments. It is well made and it has some great story lines. If you enjoy Gothic horror, then you will love this!

The Blacklist is next on my list. This action show is great with so much happening in every episode. James Spader in the star of the show really and without him, I think that this would not work. He is great as Raymond Reddington,  a criminal who is helping out the FBI for his own reasons. He is suave and cool and he seems to know the right people all of the time. He is working with Elizabeth Keen and her team at the FBI and he seems to have a reason for wanting to work with her. There is something in his past that links her with him and we haven't found that out yet. This show is very good and Spader excels as Reddington. The revival of The X Files was great fun. I watched the original series when it was out and this was a real treat for me. I loved the old gang getting back together and the stories were great. I hope that we might see more of this series as I realised how much I used to enjoy it.

Sleepy Hollow is another TV show that I enjoy. It is a modern take on the classic novel. I like the story lines in this series and Ichabod Crane played by Tom Mison is a good character. The female lead I am not so mad about. She is irritating I think but the show is not bad. It has a horror theme which I like. I will give a mention to Game of Thrones which I do follow from time to time. I am not a huge fan of this series. It started well and then I just lost interest in it. I also liked American Horror Story but the last season was so so and with Lady Gaga in it, I just didn't think that it was on the same level as the other seasons. On a better note, I am really looking forward to the Twin Peaks revival. That will be the highlight of 2017. Most of the TV shows that I like to watch are old. I prefer classic TV to most of today's shows. I think that there are some really terrible TV shows out there but these are my favourites anyway!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Walking Dead, Season 6 Finale

It was all leading to this final episode of season 6. We knew that Negan was going to make an appearance. This episode begins with Rick and the others being intimidated by the Saviors who are blocking all of their routes. They have no way of getting by them. Carol meets Morgan. She is injured from where she was attacked by the Savior she met. He is not dead, though and he comes back to finish the job on her. He shoots her in the arm and leg and he is going to finish her off when Morgan comes and saves her. He meets a stranger who is a good guy and he is going to help them, so this introduces a new group, maybe?

Rick and his group have to face off with the Saviors who have Daryl and the others held hostage. There is something inevitable about their being captured too. They end up being disarmed and meeting the big man himself, Negan played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. He is a leather clad baddie with a baseball bat called Lucille. He is pissed at them for killing his men and he wants retribution.
He tells them that they work for him now and that they will give him half of everything that they have, no matter what. Failure to do so will not be pretty. He tells them that they have to pay for what they have done and he selects one of the group to die. Who is it? We don't know and all we get to see is the screen going black as the victim is beaten to death. 

The ending annoyed me as I felt that we should have seen who it was. Waiting for months on end to discover this is just irritating. On a brighter note, I enjoyed the scene with Negan. It bodes well for the future of the series. You have to have a good baddie and he looks good to me. Let's hope that season 7 will be worth waiting for!

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