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REVIEW: Dead Night

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Let’s face it, the demonic possession niche in the horror genre will always be viable, but it’s hard to make these films fun in the same way that Evil Dead or Dead Alive did, making those films cult classics.

But, in 2018 writer/director Brad Baruh took a shot at putting some old school fun, and nonsense, into his filmDead Night‘.

What makes this film enjoyable is that it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a campy, fun, and sometimes nonsensical excuse to tell a brutal horror story of murder and demonic possession.

Sprinkle in some possible cult like aspects and sacrifices, and you have yourself Dead Night.

In the movie, James (A.J. Bowen) and his wife Casey (Brea Grant) load up their two teenage kids, along with their daughter Jessica’s (Sophie Dalah) friend (Elise Luthman), and head out to a remote cabin in Oregon for a weekend trip, which turns out to be some sort of healing retreat for those with terminal illnesses (James).

The movie doesn’t do a ton of backstory, nor does it go a long way to develop any background for the characters, but this is why these movies work, because they don’t try to be anything but an excuse to see campy horror.

When the family helps an injured woman, Leslie Bison (Barbara Crampton), who happens to be running for political office, found in the woods, things take a turn for the worse as the woman is somehow tied to a cult and is only interested in impregnating a host with a demon seed.

The movie does a lot of “back and forth” between past, present, and post-murder, which makes it a bit fun to keep up with and shows the clear line between the “reality” and the “assumptions”, but toys with the viewer into deciphering the answer for themselves.

Demons, brutal kills, a group of old women that hang out in the woods killing random folks, and a challenge to viewers to decide what is really going on, is what makes Dead Night fun, campy, and entertaining.

Chances are, if you’re not a horror movie buff, you won’t be too fond of this flick.

But, if you are, this is the kind of entertainment you can appreciate.

Fright Nerd Score
70 frights
Summary
Demons, brutal kills, a group of old women that hang out in the woods killing random folks, and a challenge to viewers to decide what is really going on, is what makes Dead Night fun, campy, and entertaining
Fright Nerd Score70

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REVIEW: Child’s Play

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While we are a bit late to the party, we did get a chance to take in the new ‘Child’s Play’, which dropped on June 21st.

Starring Aubrey Plaza (Karen), Gabriel Bateman (Andy), and Mark Hamill (Chucky) the film tries it’s hand on modernizing the 80s horror classic.

The concept of a modern Buddi doll is brilliant. A walking, interactive, and intelligent AI that can control multiple things in your home, and can help in life, gives a very strong, fresh spin on the tale.

Now, the film starts off by rushing and bumbling it’s way to the reason why Chucky is cursed, and while it’s nice that it didn’t involve any curses, it still fell very flat and seemed rather brushed aside, a big flaw.

Something a bit more detailed, and with some substance to make me care about the process would have benefited this movie in the long-run.

Despite the bumpy start, the rest of the movie plays out smoothly, and although it isn’t anything to write home about, aside from the strong concept, it checks enough boxes to earn a decent rating, basically due to Hamill’s performance, which worked so well.

I just wish there was a bit more meat on the bone.

Fright Nerd Score
52 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
Despite the bumpy start, the rest of the movie plays out smoothly, and although it isn't anything to write home about, aside from the strong concept, it checks enough boxes to earn a decent rating, basically due to Hamill's performance, which worked so well.
Fright Nerd Score52
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REVIEW: Annabelle Comes Home

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Another entry into The Conjuring universe arrived this past weekend with the release of Annabelle Comes Home.

“Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren lock the possessed doll in the artifacts room in their house. But when the doll awakens the room’s evil spirits, it soon becomes an unholy night of terror for the couple’s 10-year-old daughter, her friends and their young baby sitter.”

The movie’s plot is setup by an appearance of the Warrens (Vera Framiga, Patrick Wilson) who remind everyone of the danger that is Annabelle.

The two investigators leave the home, where Annabelle is kept in the infamous Artifacts room, and leave their daughter Judy (Mckenna Grace) in the care of her babysitter Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman), who brings her friend Daniela along (Katie Sarife).

Daniela, who recently lost her father in an automobile accident, pushes her way into the home, and into the Artifacts room, hoping that she can use the room as a way to communicate with her deceased father.

Daniela lets Annabelle out, setting forth a wave of terrifying and horrific events that terrorize the 3 girls.

What the movie may lack in story, is made up for with the scares, which are executed brilliantly. While this is the more far-fetched story in the universe, it delivers on other fronts, where The Nun failed miserably.

All in all, worth a watch…with the lights off!

Fright Nerd Score
65.5 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
What the movie may lack in story, is made up for with the scares, which are executed brilliantly. While this is the more far-fetched story in the universe, it delivers on other fronts, where The Nun failed miserably.
Fright Nerd Score65.5
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REVIEW: Brightburn

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David Yarovesky’s ‘Brightburn’ is an intriguing thriller that puts a unique spin on the classic story of Superman, with the results turning much more sinister.

Dropping on May 24th, the film stars Elizabeth Banks, Jackson A. Dunn, David Denman, Matt L. Jones, and Jennifer Holland.

According to the synopsis:

“What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister? With Brightburn, the visionary filmmaker of Guardians of the Galaxy and Slither presents a startling, subversive take on a radical new genre: superhero horror.”

The chemistry among the characters is immediately evident, as the dialogue flows in a natural manner, helping the film move fluidly along as the story unfolds.

The origins of the Breyer’s son, Brandon, is kept a mystery throughout the film, as is the origin and purpose of the voice(s) he continues to hear as he unravels into an evil entity, which makes the film that much more intriguing and interesting.

Brightburn keeps itself footed in the horror genre with some gory kills and tense moments, such as Brandon stalking a classmate, that really stand out in a movie that seems to perfectly and consistently balance the varying tones of the film.

From start to finish the film delivers and packs plenty to like in it’s 90 minute runtime making Brightburn a must see as we head towards Memorial Day Weekend.

Fright Nerd Score
82.5 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
Brightburn keeps itself footed in the horror genre with some gory kills and tense moments, such as Brandon stalking a classmate, that really stand out in a movie that seems to perfectly and consistently balance the varying tones of the film.
Fright Nerd Score82.5
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