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REVIEW: Terrifier

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One thing that Damien Leone’s ‘Terrifier’ did right was their partnership with Dread Central, which helped promote this movie and provide it the exposure to draw in more viewers.

It certainly paid off huge with this flick.

The other thing that the movie did well was it’s casting of Art the Clown, played by David Howard Thornton, who played the role perfectly, from his facial expressions to his toyful taunting of his victims.

But as far as everything else, this film misses some marks.

While the brutal kills are cringeworthy, and the special effects are definitely solid, the film goes off track too many times to really maintain momentum.

The main character roles are swapped around too much, the logic of some of the story’s twists and turns seemed a bit hollow and rushed, and the character of Art the Clown seemed above the film, because, well, he was.

Art the Clown has potential to be really memorable. David Howard Thornton captured a true essence with his portrayal and it has laid the groundwork to become something much bigger.

But being caught in a slasher that loses your interest not even halfway through, will be unfortunate if it continues.

I’m a big fan of slasher films and I understand their sense of humor, I appreciate how they don’t take themselves too seriously, and how slasher flicks live in the gore and the killing, famously, and humorously, shooting for the lewd and ridiculous over a serious tone, more often than not.

But ‘Terrifier’ doesn’t seem like it’s living in the slasher genre, it seems to want to be taken seriously and relies on, what it thinks is a solid story, and navigates through this story in a confusing and perplexing way.

I read a lot of reviews regarding the film and mostly all of them rave about the potential of Art the Clown as a horror movie icon.

But the character needs a bit more than what ‘Terrifier’ delivers in terms of depth, he needs a movie that seems on par with what he is delivering, because had David Howard Thornton not delivered the performance that he did as Art the Clown, this movie would probably been utterly unwatchable for me, despite it’s twisted kills.

The film does offer some pretty disturbing kills and scenes, such as the death of Dawn and the plight of Victoria, but it’s not enough to prop up an otherwise sloppy film.

With that being said, the movie is worth seeing, and memorable because of Art the Clown and because of some gory kills, and it will give you hope of something bigger for a horror character with a lot of potential.

But its challenging muddling through the parts of the film without gore, or Art the Clown’s behavior, and that will drag this film down, even for the experienced slasher fans.

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65.5 frights
Summary
Art the Clown has potential to be really memorable. David Howard Thornton captured a true essence with his portrayal and it has laid the groundwork to become something much bigger.
Fright Nerd Score65.5

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REVIEW: IT Chapter 2

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IT Chapter 2

The wait, the anticipation, it all came to a head this week when IT: Chapter 2 finally hit theaters.

Pennywise the Dancing Clown is back after 27 years, and he is more brutal than ever as he feasts on the citizens of Derry, kids and adult alike. The restart of the horrendous killing spree prompts the reunion of “The Losers” who must fight back their oppressed memories, and overpowering fear, to defeat Pennywise once and for all.

While the film is a continuation of Chapter 1 in a fluidly sewn in story, it has a much darker, more sadistic feel to it. Pennywise is far more aggressive, and the scenes in which children die, quite brutally, leave a lasting impression while reminding us just how evil the killer clown is.

If you had read Stephen King’s book, and/or watched the miniseries back in 1990, then the story that was told in IT Chapter 2 won’t come as a shock, in fact, it told more of the book than the miniseries did.

I found it interesting that the movie delved into Adrian Mellon, and the anti-gay culture of Derry, which was a meaty part of the book, something the miniseries stayed away from.

While it touched on that element of the story, it quickly veered away from it, which is unfortunate given how important it was in the overall tone of the book.

However, with a run time of 2 hours and 50 minutes, it’s easy to understand why we couldn’t fully hashout the entire book. Had this been a 3 part story, than it would have been more feasible.

The runtime itself is a marathon, but it doesn’t drag too often, keeping the audience from losing interest.

The movie takes some predictable turns and roads, but it does a good job at avoiding becoming mundane or losing volume. Grant it, it is not the same work of art that the first part was, which is disappointing, but it’s a different movie that probably wouldn’t fit that tone.

All in all, It Chapter 2 is a horror movie, much more so than Chapter 1. It brings you to a darker side of Pennywise. It makes you uncomfortable as you watch the children he preys on meet a brutal, terrifying end. It hashes out a wonderful story that makes sense, aside from the Native American tie in and the tripping, and given that this is a horror movie, it delivers in a way that exceed traditional expectations.

Any of the critics poking holes in the flow or format are likely confusing the genre.

It Chapter 2 is what you want and expect it to be. It has plenty of jump scares, it tells a solid story, it makes you cringe watching the deaths, and despite a lapse in consistent chemistry between the cast, it does a good job at rounding out, and ending, the story.

Fright Nerd Score
85 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
All in all, It Chapter 2 is a horror movie, much more so than Chapter 1. It brings you to a darker side of Pennywise. It makes you uncomfortable as you watch the children he preys on meet a brutal, terrifying end. It hashes out a wonderful story that makes sense, aside from the Native American tie in and the tripping, and given that this is a horror movie, it delivers in a way that exceed traditional expectations.
Fright Nerd Score85
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REVIEW: Ready Or Not

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Ready or Not

A game of hide and seek always seemed like a good premise for a horror movie, and many horror films have taken the spirit of the game while approaching the telling of their story.

‘Ready or Not’ is one such film, and it puts a gloriously gory spin on the age-old game.

Starring Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Andie MacDowell, Mark O’Brien, and Henry Czerny, the film tells the story of: “Grace couldn’t be happier after she marries the man of her dreams at his family’s luxurious estate. There’s just one catch — she must now hide from midnight until dawn while her new in-laws hunt her down with guns, crossbows and other weapons. As Grace desperately tries to survive the night, she soon finds a way to turn the tables on her not-so-lovable relatives.”

Sprinkle in a little cult worship, a sacrifice ritual, and some satanic worship and this film’s meat is bloodier than most.

Grace is thrust into an awful family ritual that, thanks to the bad draw of a horrible card during a game, and now has to survive once she realizes the innocent game she has known as a child is something far more sinister, and deadly.

While it seems ridiculous and campy at first glance, Ready or Not has a general understanding of how to properly flow, adding in touches of comedy, suspense, and some gory kills that keep the film moving along and void of any boring lapses.

The film was fun to watch, and kept me engaged from start to finish, making this an easy recommendation to anyone looking to for a cool horror flick to check out.

Fright Nerd Score
75 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
While it seems ridiculous and campy at first glance, Ready or Not has a general understanding of how to properly flow, adding in touches of comedy, suspense, and some gory kills that keep the film moving along and void of any boring lapses.
Fright Nerd Score75
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REVIEW: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

This past weekend, and with much anticipation, Andre Ovredal’s ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ hit theaters.

According to the synopsis: “The shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large in the small town of Mill Valley for generations. It’s in a mansion that young Sarah Bellows turns her tortured life and horrible secrets into a series of scary stories. These terrifying tales soon have a way of becoming all too real for a group of unsuspecting teens who stumble upon Sarah’s spooky home.”

Despite the promising premise, I couldn’t find anything to differentiate this film from the run-of-the-mill Goosebumps installment, which left it lacking in many areas, and buried it so deep in stupidity that not even their strong displays of special effects made this a worthwhile time investment.

I couldn’t find a reason to care about any of the main characters such as Stella (Zoe Margaret Colleti) or Ramon (Michael Garza) because this film simply failed to hold my attention.

Rooted in compelling horror stories that may have done well if done completely different, this fill clunked and bored it’s way from start to finish.

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