Written by Scott Edwards
As we continue to watch as our world changes, it has become apparent that climate change is real. Living in Colorado and only having three snow storms in the city this year, well, it just goes to show you that something is happening, and my home state wasn't the only place in the country that had a warm winter as 70 degree days in the Midwest makes it feel like summer outside in the dead of winter. You can say what you want about the subject, but there is one thing that you will have to face and that is that the weather is truly changing.
Needing to get something fresh for his photo shoot, Brooking books a cabin in Alaska during the middle of winter to get the new shots that will sell even better than his last batch. With his models Ella and Quincy game to do a little bikini snow shoot, everything seems to be going according to schedule. Getting set up in Martin Nakos’ cabin and hearing about what the sun does this far north, Brooking has everything that he needs and is ready to start working when the sun comes up. But before anyone gets too antsy about the shoot, the groups sit down to dinner and the folks from the south hear about a local legendary bear, Maneater, who once terrorized the area, so thank goodness all of the bears are still hibernating so that will not be a problem.
Getting out to the lake and having his models dressed up in bikinis and furs, the shoot is going swimmingly but when Quincy needs to take a bathroom break, it becomes apparent that they are not alone in the wilderness. Finding a half-eaten wolf on the ground, Nate is worried about what might be coming for them. Keeping his eyes on the vast surroundings, he is shocked to see that the ice on the lake is starting to break. Trying to keep everyone calm, he sees something that nobody has ever seen before when a bear's paw comes up through the ice and snatches the other model Ella, from where she stands. In disbelief, the group heads back to the cabin while Nate stays behind to see what he can do, but it does not end well for him.
Telling Martin what they had just witnessed, the old hunter heads out to the lake to see if he can find out what really happened. Finding some sort of animal tracks, he gets distracted when Dr. Hanna Lindval comes stumbling out of the woods. Returning her to the cabin to get her warm and find out what she knows, Martin knows that since she works for Clobirch, and she will lie about everything. When Dr. Hanna finally is ready to talk, she comes up with a story about a polar bear attacking her and her team, but Martin knows better and wants to find some real answers. Heading out to try and call for help, Martin sees that the polar bear that is stalking them is not ordinary at all and when stumbling upon the Doctor’s crashed truck with her dictation inside, he knows that he was right all along. But needing to get help and all of the surviving guests out of his cabin is more important. In a race against time and facing off against a genetically enhanced polar bear, Martin tries to find a way to safety, but he does not fully understand the power that the bear possesses and what it will do to get another meal.
It’s funny, when I read the description of this movie, I thought about a cute little polar bear grabbing on to someone’s leg and just looking precious, I did not expect a massive freak of nature. And thank goodness for that, because the polar bear is looking to kill anything that gets in its way and it is great at it. I do admit that the modeling story was kind of funny, bikinis in Alaska during winter just seems like a stretch and Brooking knew exactly what he needed. But I did not like Brooking at all, especially after Ella was taken away from him, he barely shed a tear and could care less about anything or anyone else whose life was in danger. Same with Dr. Hanna, but for other reasons in that she would not come forth and tell anyone what she was doing or that she gave the polar bear a great advantage to the hunt and it was her fault that everyone was getting killed off. With a giant polar bear, girls in bikinis and furs, an old hunter, massive teeth crushing skulls and a native named Buffalo, it is not a bad little flick, especially since it did not shy away from any violence. Stay Scared.
Written by John Edward Betancourt
There was a time, when the horror market consisted of bold new films that were immediately followed by a bevy of sequels, a move that of course, drew ire as the years wore on in that there wasn't enough original content being produced in the genre anymore and well, those cries were answered with a touch of irony because as the years progressed, the sequel gave way to the wonder of the remake/reboot and the appetite for the re-creation of horror classics has been downright ravenous since they continue to enjoy massive financial success at the box office.
However, while one can spend hours pouring over the possibilities as to why this remake phenomenon has and continues to occur with incredible success, I think we can agree on one particular thing, that there are some stories that are simply too iconic to tinker with and while some may scoff at that, and are able to cite the success of remakes as the basis for their argument, there are examples that exist that prove otherwise, and there is one on my mind that to this day leaves me shaking my head in surprise that it was ever green lit...the 30th Anniversary remake/special edition of Night of the Living Dead.
Yes, you read that correctly, in 1998, John Russo, the co-writer of this iconic motion picture felt the need to release an enhanced version of the film that featured new scenes and a beefed up storyline that he firmly believed would give this legendary horror story the gravitas he felt it always needed and well, if you haven't heard of it or never knew that it existed, there's a good reason for that...it was absolutely awful and an outright failure and never should have been made in the first place.
For starters, the remake of Night of the Living Dead that arrived in 1990 (which was also written by George Romero) was the revisiting that the film sort-of deserved by giving the story modern day characters and updated effects but beyond that...let's be honest, the 1968 iteration of NOTLD was absolutely perfect. It was a powerful story that left the audience confused for all the right reasons as they sat down to witness the beginning of the end of the world. It was filled with mystery and tension and it played out like real life disasters play out on television, making Russo's decision to 'enhance' this film downright silly.
Why he truly did it, aside from money I will never know, but what he added to the mythos was absolutely laughable and counterintuitive to what the original film accomplished. For example, we never needed a backstory for the Cemetery Zombie. He was merely a force of nature, a resurrected corpse whose rotten brain was focused on consuming human flesh. Yet here, he's a child murderer, and everyone is celebrating his passing as a gift from God, and my issue with this, is that it adds a Biblical overtone to a story that never made use of such concepts. In addition to that, Beekman's Diner, the titular place that was overwhelmed by the dead takes on new life here with an expanded story and well...who cares? Ben telling the story about what happened at that diner was all we ever needed and this little side plot of giving said diner more weight merely bloats an already well-paced motion picture.
But perhaps the greatest offense of all, is that the performances that go with these new scenes (minus horror legend Debbie Rochon, the only bright spot in all of this) are simply abysmal. It's over the top schlock that truly adds insult to injury. So if anything, this film needs to serve as a cautionary tale for the horror industry and its love of remakes in that...if the film is that iconic and beloved, leave it be and commission something new. But if a producer simply has to remake or reboot that property, respect it and take it in a bold new direction. Don't let another abomination like this be created, and for fans of George Romero's work or zombie films as a whole, avoid this one like the plague, and revisit the original Night or Dawn of the Dead instead.
Written by Scott Edwards
Looking for the once in a lifetime opportunity that will change your life forever is something that we are always searching for. If it is just winning the lotto, getting your dream job, or marrying the love of your life, there is always something out there that you know will make you happy. But how far would you go to attain this dream? If it involved something out of the ordinary to get it done, would you still go through with it, no matter the consequences?
Red Cavanaugh is about to be hung by the neck until he is dead. Not believing that he will die with the blood of the devil running through his veins, he threatens his executioners, saying that he will kill each and every one of them. As the trap door is about to be released on Red, ending his life, a team of bandits hit the town freeing him and leaving a trail of dead bodies in their wake.
Being led by Guerrero, the Blackwater Gang is unstoppable and will do anything to take care of their own, no matter the consequences. As Red gets his senses back he tells the gang about a job he has just planned that will leave them all wealthier than their wildest dreams. Listening to the plan, the group heads to Colorado to take a look at a little town that is having mineral rights disputes and housing plenty of gold to make every man rich. Breaking into the bank and getting all of the gold is not a problem for this band of thieves, but leaving town with their fortune is.
As Guerrero is happy with the job, he goes to fetch Red who is drinking in the saloon. Red tells his brother that he is not ready to leave the town, in fact he wants to run it. Guerrero is not impressed with this change in the plan and tries to get the rest of the Blackwater Gang to leave with him, but the offer Red has for his group is much more promising. Turning on their leader, Guerrero is gunned down by his own men in cold blood and sent to Hell. As Lucifer starts to torture him, Guerrero comes up with a way to send more souls the Devil's way as he wants to get revenge on his old group. Lucifer reluctantly agrees to the deal, but only gives Guerrero one day to kill all of his old gang.
An old western type of story with a new twist added on and for good reason. With all of the action that Dead in Tombstone provides, it might be a little bit difficult to remember that there is a reason behind all of the killing. This movie has a kind of Faust feeling behind it and I think that is why I was pleasantly happy with watching it. With some actors that you will remember from your favorites and with Danny Trejo in the lead, there is little that this movie has done wrong. Happy Viewing.
Written by Scott Edwards
There are plenty of reasons to take trips as a family, shoot, I have been on so many I cannot remember them all at this point. Getting away from the house and seeing the world with the ones you love can help to bring a new perspective to everyone and something new to bond over. Going to so many places over my years, the only adventures that I truly cherish are the trips I have taken with my loved ones, for one reason alone, seeing how they react. With eyes being opened to the outside world, it would be crazy to think what I would have become without these experiences.
Going down to the Grand Canyon for a couple days with their friends, the Taylor family is living large on top of the world. With no worries about life and their everyday problems, they see that there is plenty of opportunities to do something new. Even their youngest autistic son, Michael, is seeing things first hand that nobody ever dreamed about. But after falling into an old cave, Michael stumbles upon a set of ancient stones that he will cherish for the rest of his days.
Returning home, Bronny starts to see that her son has a new imaginary friend that he is happy to talk to. But this friend has sort of a devious side as she is about to find out as water faucets are being left on and a strange odor has taken over the house. Michael knows exactly who is behind all of these strange actions and tells the family that it is his imaginary pal, Jenny, but no one is willing to believe him. While his older sister Stephanie is having problems of her own and trying to make herself skinnier from throwing up every meal and the father, Peter, is being tempted by a new hot young employee, Bronny is the only one trying to keep the house together.
Watching as things are changing drastically around the house, Bronny dabbles with the thought that there might be a haunting going on and finds everything she can about what she has noticed. Not wanting to believe that her son might be in trouble, she comes across an old Anasazi legend of the bringers of darkness and it is matching what she has seen and heard for the past couple of weeks. Wanting to find out what is best for her son and get him back to his old form, Bronny tries to talk Peter into the idea, but he will not listen. That is until the events around the house start to get worse and Peter gets spooked by a coyote in his tree house and sees the shadow of what appears to be a buffalo in his son’s room. Knowing that there is something strange happening that they cannot explain, the family is forced to look for someone who has dealt with things like this before and find that it will come from someplace they never expected.
I will admit that I only watched this movie because it had Kevin Bacon in it, so with that being said, it was not as bad as I expected. There is nothing revolutionary about the story as it is one that you have seen for years on end and the outcomes are always the same. I really liked the demon story that the family learned about, with the dead gods of the Anasazi planning to bring darkness to the world upon their return, definitely a new legend to look into. But besides that, it was pretty textbook to what you would expect a horror movie to bring and it is kind of a shame. There was not a very good storyline for the characters as well, which was also a shame as you don’t know who you should care about, especially when everything is about to hit the fan. With some fun scares, shadows, wild animals, ash and ghostly ash, it is a fine time killer, but will not deliver much more than that. Stay Scared.
Written by Scott Edwards
There are many skeptics out there that don’t believe that there is anything paranormal happening around the world, even when there are so many reports to back them up. You will never believe it, even if you see it with your own eyes and while that is understandable, I still am left to question, why the closed mind? I know my life goal is to become a ghost that comes out of nowhere, frightens the crap out of people in a hotel and gets recognized for doing so. I know not everybody has that lifelong ambition, but as I have said before, I am far from a normal person.
After investigating the Amityville house and coming to the conclusion that Lusk was not alone while he killed his family, Lorraine Warren is ready to take a step back once again. Being grilled on national television about herself and husband Ed being a sham, and seeing a new demon in her dreams, Lorraine wants to take it slow and make sure that the vision she has seen with her husband being killed never comes true. But the Warrens work is never done and when the church comes calling for a consult, Ed is more than willing to say yes and Lorraine will not allow him to go on his own.
Across the pond in London, England; Peggy Hodgson is having a difficult time making ends meet, much less keeping her family fed. Getting word from school that her daughter Janet was caught smoking outside, she cannot keep herself from listening to the reason behind it. Trying to plead her case, Janet has something that will take her mind off of things, a spirit board that she and a friend made at school. Trying to ask it questions with her sister Margaret, no answers come their way, but something is awakened in the house. Having terrible dreams, Janet fears for her family’s safety and tries to scare off whatever spirit she has awoken, but the old man is not going anywhere. As the haunting starts to get stronger in the house, no one is immune to the spirit’s devious tricks and once Peggy sees a dresser being pushed along the floor with no one behind it, she starts to fear what is happening in her house.
With the police witnessing the strange happenings in the house, they can only file a report which will do nothing for the struggling family. But when a reporter comes calling and is able to get Peggy’s story out to the world, the church takes notice and contact the Warrens to check it out. Not being able to feel anything in the house spirit wise, Lorraine is dumbfounded as to what is controlling young Janet. While having a chat with the spirit, the family discovers that he is a former resident of the house, Bill Wilkins, but still not being able to feel him makes Lorraine question if the family is faking their haunting to try and cash in. With all signs pointing one way, the Warrens start to head back home when Ed is able to find the one thing that could break the case wide open, a demon has taken control of the spirit of Bill Wilkins and in turn taken control of Janet as well. With no time to spare in trying to save the girl’s life, the Warrens are forced to face evil head on once again, but do the spoils really go to the victor?
This is a great second installment to the Warren saga that I hope continues on for another couple movies. With so many great stories that are waiting to be told, I don’t think that there should be anything holding them back. I liked the pacing of the movie, even while you are taking a slow stroll down a dark hallway, you are trying to see what Janet is seeing and while the demon cannot be seen by all, he can be seen by who he wants to torment the most. The Hodgson family is just great, I am still trying to figure out who the leader of the kids really is, because young Johnny has got some stones to take on the unknown for his sister’s sake. Another family saved by the Warrens which is what they are known for doing, regardless of what problems they are having in their personal life. Stay Scared.
Written by Scott Edwards
It is difficult to finally come to the decision to let someone that is not family take care of your children. I think this is called hiring a babysitter, I think I had plenty of these growing up and while I don’t remember my earlier ones, I do remember some very entertaining ones that I got when I was older. I always thought that when my parents were gone, that there would be no rules, but damn, I was wrong. More often than not, my little plans to get away with doing things I did not normally get to do were always cut off at the knees and while I did have fun, it was not as exciting as I would have expected.
It is an important night for Dan and Joyce, but a little problem has arose, as their normal babysitter is not available. Getting passed on another name of one of Maggie’s friends, Anna should be a great replacement and the two parents should be able to get on with their special anniversary night. Talking Dan’s ear off in the car, Anna seems to be a nice girl and when arriving at the house, she meets young Sally, younger Christopher and the eldest of the bunch, Jacob. With the little ones eating right out of her hand from the moment she walks in the door, Jacob will be a tougher one to crack, but Anna will not let up.
Waving goodbye to Joyce and Dan, the night is off and filled with games, but not like the normal ones the kids have played before. Turning a game of dress up into a game of pretend, Christopher breaks one of the cardinal rules of the house by ruining some pillow cases, but Anna does not seem to mind. Getting ready for their next game, a game of hide and seek, Jacob gets roped in by the flirty Anna and is willing to give it a go. While counting backwards from one hundred, Anna starts searching the house for something, going through closets, drawers and jewelry boxes until she finds what she is looking for. As the countdown ends, Jacob finds her first and is forced to help the young woman who is on her period.
Knowing that there is something not right going on with the babysitter, Jacob figures out her little secret when she announces the movie for the night. Finding out that she is not Anna, but Emelie, Jacob needs to ask someone for help, but his friend Howie is cut off and they will have to meet later in the night. With a rough bedtime story that explains all of Emelie’s past, Sally and Jacob are ready to take a stand. Finding that their father’s gun has been left out, Jacob tries to scare the strange woman away, but she does not seem to fear him at all. But when Christopher picks up the gun and pulls the trigger, Emelie knows that she has found exactly what she has been looking for. With a plan in place to get her baby cub back, the doorbell rings and Maggie comes to visit the kids, but seeing a stranger with her friends is only the beginning of what turns into a deadly evening on so many levels.
I did not know what to expect when turning this movie on, but I must say that I was kind of impressed. Evil Babysitter movies have come and gone with the same storyline and while this one did not deviate too far from the proven formula, it will stick with you. Emelie is just a charming young woman, she almost charmed the pants off of Dan and seemed like the coolest babysitter ever when it came to letting the kids do whatever they wanted. But the flirtation with Jacob to get him to play with his siblings was something that I have not seen before and even he knew that there was something wrong with it, even though he would have a story to tell. Watching Jacob grow up on the screen was just fantastic since he did not seem to want to deal with his brother and sister, but when he was needed most, he was there for them, high five for brotherly love! Emelie was something of a conundrum before you saw her story and then you fully understand her intentions of taking the job for the night and only one thing could get in her way of pulling it off, Maggie. Oh Maggie your screen time was short, but thank you for being there. With juice, drugged juice, a cute babysitter, all rules off of the table, a parent’s sex tape and python eating live prey, this is a good little ride that will leave you wondering what your babysitter is doing with your kids when you are not home. Stay Scared.
Written by Scott Edwards
What a wonderful world it would be if you could take a vacation for as long as you wanted to. To get your mind right and be able to accomplish everything that you ever dreamed of. Alas, the sad reality of things is that it costs so much to do these things, even to take a road trip and find a place to lay your head. But getting away from the job for at least a week is good for the mind and body, so at least most people are able to work that into their busy schedules, if only to get some rest.
Trying to get his little brother away from real life for a little bit, Josh is more than happy to pick on him as well. Even though Mike knows that Josh is having a good time at his expense, he still does not want to get too out of control, but when Josh decides to drive with his eyes closed, the two find out that they are on a trip that they will never forget. Almost crashing into a couple of the locals, the two find themselves being run down by a gang of rednecks and crash their car in the local stream. Needing to get their car out, the two start making their way to town, only to find out that it is just as backwards as the roads.
Trying to get the attention of a local man stumbling out of the bar, Mike follows him in to the back alley and sees that the man is dead. Needing to get help, Mike and Josh head into the bar where they find their old friends from the drive into town drinking and looking for a fight. Being led by Albert, the group is ready to take a pound of flesh from the brothers, but when the Sheriff walks in, everything is put on the back burner for the night. Telling Sheriff Will what they found, the three head out to the back alley and find another man sleeping in the same place where Mike saw the dead body. Although the dead man is missing, Sheriff Will sees something strange on the ground and picks it up to have it checked out by his favorite doctor.
Getting Mike’s wounds patched up from the fight, Josh and Mike are put up in an old woman’s house for the night, but are ordered to leave as soon as they get their car fixed. Waking up late in the afternoon, Josh is shocked to see that his little brother has gone missing. Heading into town to try and get a tow truck to get his car out of the ditch, Josh sees that most of the businesses are shut down for some strange reason, but the bar is open, so he heads on in. Finding school teacher slash bartender Holly, Josh is starting to rethink his position on the town and is able to catch a ride to the other gas station that should be open, but the two have a quick stop to make at the school where screaming is heard down the hallways. Investigating what is going on, Josh makes his way down to the boiler room and finds a dead girl who falls on top of him. Not only that, but his old buddy Albert is in the room as well and ready for round two of the fight.
While Sheriff Will is having problems around his little town, he is usually able to keep it under control, but something has changed. Finding out that the ooze that he found on the ground is a kind of blood that expands when it touches human blood is disconcerting, but now with finding the dead little girl in the school, he knows that something strange is happening. Thinking that Josh may have been involved with the girl’s death, he starts to keep an eye on the out of towner, but that might not be enough when all is said and done. Giving Doctor Myra a go at the dead girl’s body, he is hoping to find out what it eating at the residents of his town and hopefully put an end to it. But the findings are just too shocking for anyone to believe with a chemical reaction taking place in the human body that nobody can survive, yet they do, and require living blood to feed on.
I typed in classic horror movies on my search prompt to find this gem and am happy that it came up. I am a huge fan of 80’s horror movies, mostly because they are so out there and in my case, recognize a couple of actors/actresses that I have seen in bit roles down the road. This one (also known as Night Shadows) was no different, with a new breed of zombies that I do not remember, who have the power to burn and melt anything they touch with their hands. While I am still unclear why this power does not happen on the rest of the body, I will say that the changing of these people to zombies is different than anything I have seen before and I like that. The characters are fun in this movie, and while Josh seems to be the lead, the Sheriff really steals the show with his story of retribution and his love for Doctor Myra. Not really a lot of the standard red blood in this movie, but there is plenty of splatter, Molotov cocktails, blue skinned zombies and some toxic waste. Stay Scared.
Written by Scott Edwards
The fear of losing a family member is something that nobody should have to go through, but so often they do. Turning their lives upside down to make ends meet is something that we hear on a daily basis for people experiencing the fight to keep their family member alive and it seems for them, there is no end in sight. Giving up everything that was important to them, it is a miracle when everything comes to an end and they are able to get back on their feet. No matter what the cost is, so many people give everything they have without question and would do it again in a heartbeat to save a loved one and that should be commended when all is said and done.
Driving back and forth between the hospital and their home, Sara Campbell is having a more difficult time every day watching as her son Matt continues to suffer in the back of the car. Knowing that the drive hurts him, she is looking for an alternative and the thought of finding a house closer to the hospital seems like the only way. While Matt is getting his cancer treatment, Sara takes to the road and finds a house that would be perfect for her family, but it has one flaw that the landlord lets her know about. But when driving back home and seeing that Matt is worse off than ever before, she pulls the trigger and lets the rest of the family know that they are moving to a new home.
Before the rest of the family shows up, Sara offers Matt the opportunity to pick his own room and her son decides on the basement. Saying it picked him, he would rather be out of the way of his younger siblings, especially when he starts to get sick again. But there is something else about the room that has grabbed his attention as there is another locked room in the basement and he is dying to find out what is behind the door. When the rest of the family shows up, little Billy and Mary pick their own rooms while niece Wendy gets assigned the room with the great painting on the wall and Peter and Sara of course get the master. Everything seems great in the house, but Matt is seeing things moving around and since these visions do not seem to be going away he needs someone to talk to.
Reverend Popescu who is in the same treatment program offers Matt a helpful ear when it comes to dealing with the dead. With both of them being so close to death, it is like opening a doorway to the other side and the dead like to take that as an opportunity to be seen and heard. None of this is reassuring at all for Matt, since he just wants to find a way how to make them stop so he can live the remainder of his days in peace, but when his little brother Billy gets stalked by a ghost and Mary falls through the attic floor, Matt and Wendy find out the dark secret that the old house is holding on to. With the house being build atop a former mortuary, the two also find out that the previous owner Ramsey Aickman and his understudy Jonah used the building for séances and over time, Aickman found a way to improve the power of his medium to channel the dead. Passing their story on to the Reverend, he tries to help, but is thrown out when Sara finds out that there is a stranger in her house, but little does she know who else is there with her family that can only be seen by those who are close to death themselves.
It has been a couple years since I watched this the first time, but sitting and watching it again, I am a little more impressed with it. I really liked the backstory the house got and the dark practices by Aickman being shown on the screen, especially when the dead take Jonah from the land of the living. The fear that Matt not only shows for dying, but being kicked off of the medical trial that he is a part of is great and he sees that keeping anything hidden is no good for his chance for recovery. Matt’s father Peter could have used a little more story, as you see him break down and go back to his old habits that got him in trouble with the family, who knows how long ago, but he is fighting spirits of his own throughout. Sara really had the best all-around story, trying to keep her family from falling apart when everything seems to be crumbling in front of her face. I like the family, I like the games they play and how each member tried to cope with the imminent demise of Matt in the house, even though they want him to get better, there is very little that even science can do to save him, but maybe a greater force can. Stay Scared.
Written by Scott Murray
Goodnight Mommy introduces a simple premise of doubt: Our main characters, two twin boys, have their mother return from some medical procedure with her face wrapped in bandages. Her behavior is very different from how it once was, however, and the boys become worried that she is not their real mother. The film revolves around the question: is this really another woman posing as their mother, or are the boys simply going mad?
The film plays out more like a very slow mystery than a horror, presenting evidence which supports one or the other idea throughout most of the film. It actually reminds me of something like Chinatown or Shutter Island, where you can never really be sure who is telling the truth or what is real. These parts of the film are presented well, with a fantastic combination of confusion, logic, grossness, and human weirdness. It plays on our unfamiliarity with the family: is this behavior really unusual, or do they simply have different habits than we’re used to? The film being foreign, and so about a family from a culture and world which is different from ours, actually gives this more weight: we can never really be sure about how much of what we’re seeing is actually unusual, and how much is just the boys going mad or the mother stumbling in her imitation. This is presented to us with some fantastic cinematography and great lighting work which make the film a joy to simply look at regardless of how slowly the events sometimes take to plod onward.
Eventually, we pass into the endgame of the film: the boys make their decision and tie down their 'mother,' intent on torturing her until she reveals what happened to their real mother. All clues, hints, and plot progression rather understandably come to a halt as the boys lay into her with gruesome yet simple interrogation methods that are downright painful to watch. This all leads up to the final climax where the truth is revealed. It really was a great twist, so I won’t spoil it here. Suffice to say it is hinted at perfectly: The plot doesn’t leave us with zero clues so it can ambush us at the last second, but it doesn’t project the twist obviously either.
Unfortunately, the film is let down by the lead up to this climax: when the boys tie the woman down and the back-and-forth of 'who’s telling the truth?' is suspended, the film simply goes on and on and on and on, content to simply spin its wheels with more torture. In fact, just as I was wondering how much longer the movie could possibly be, my roommate (who was watching with me) actually paused it to see how many minutes remained. As far as I know he still can’t read minds so I must conclude that we both felt that particular segment of the movie dragged on for too long without giving any sense of progress.
All in all, Goodnight Mommy is a tightly directed and shot film, (with fantastic performances from all three main performers) that sows doubt effectively and deftly presents its mystery for the audience to ponder, but is let down by a third act that drags on too long and overstays its welcome.
Written by Scott Edwards
There is something to be said for people that fear the end of the world. While the rest of us are worried about what happened in the past, they are looking towards the future and coming up with plans on how to survive anything that might be coming our way. Building fallout shelters is one way that folks are preparing for the end of the world and these are great idea. Being embedded in the earth’s crust, away from what is happening on the surface may be a great way to survive for quite some time and even though there might be some hard questions to ask about living there, there may not be an answer until you actually have to hunker down and lock the door from the outside world.
Trying to run away from her bad situation, Michelle is driving along when her car gets sideswiped off of the road. Waking up in a strange room with an IV in her arm and chain on her leg, she has no idea what happened, much less where she is. Seeing that his new guest has woken up, Howard brings her something to eat and knows that she is in for the shock of a lifetime. Trying to be hospitable, he gives her the key to unlock herself and some crutches to help with her knee until it heals. But Michelle believes that she has been kidnapped and uses her knowhow to get whittle a spear out of one of the crutches to try and fashion an escape. Not getting noticed as quickly as she wants for her attack, she sets an old shirt on fire to get Howard’s attention.
Arriving and subduing the situation quickly, Howard explains to the young woman that the world outside is not what she remembers. Not knowing if it is gas or nukes, everyone on the outside is dying and there is no stopping it. Needing to wait it out, being safe underground for a couple of years is not completely out of the question. Finding out that there is someone else in the bunker with her as well, Emmett makes himself known and tries to help Michelle understand what has just happened in the world above, but when she hears a car driving over her room, she even questions Emmett’s sanity. But when Howard decides to show the woman what he knows to be true through the window of the bunker, she is starts to understand that there is something happening outside, but not knowing exactly what, is killing her.
Wanting to escape never leaves Michelle’s mind as she is trying to come up with a plan of how to get Howard’s keys to unlock the door. Flirting a little bit with Emmett at the dinner table, she is able to see the rage that Howard has kept inside and uses it to her advantage. Smashing her host in the head with a beer bottle, Michelle is able to make it to the top of the bunker, but when she sees a sick woman outside wanting to get in, she finds out that what she has been hearing is true. Knowing that there might no longer be life as she knows it outside, she starts to give in to what she has been told and is making the best of things with her captor underground. With everyone more at ease with each other, Michelle gets to know Howard and the love he had for his daughter, but when finding out that the girl in the picture was not his daughter, but a kidnapped victim, she knows that it is time to leave, she can only hope that Howard does not find out that she has a plan and he will not be able to stop her.
You know, I have been waiting to see this movie ever since it came out and when our movie group canceled on it due to scheduling, I should have known something was up. I will give the movie one thing, the buildup and characters were great, but that was about it. I started to notice little nuance things starting to infect the screen, the main one being Howard’s head wound being bigger and smaller over the passage of time, and it grew bigger for sure as the story progressed. This does not really get to me, but when the finale of the movie started, I was less them impressed by the path that it took. With a 'blink and you'll miss it mentality,' I am glad that I have the ability to watch this more than once to make sure I did not miss anything, but overall, not a huge fan of trying to set up a sequel. That is the one thing that the first movie did well, it just ended in a bang while this one tries to continue the story. I don’t know why it went so wrong, but it ruined the rest of the movie for me and while I really wanted to like it like the first one, there is no way that it should even be compared to it. Even the aliens were disappointing, different from the first Cloverfield, but very disappointing, the movie would have been fine without them. The psychological parts of this movie are well worth watching, but if you don’t want to feel like you have been cheated, you should turn the movie off when the second escape attempt takes place and leave it at that.