Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Woman in Black (2012) Netflix Review

Written By: David Roden

"I believe the most rational mind can play tricks in the dark.”

Unfortunately for Author Kipps (Radcliff) there are no tricks here, just a pissed off ghost and a great deal of sadness.

I want to start by saying I have not seen the original TV movie. This will not be a comparison of the two. I have heard great things about the original, so I’ll be watching it as soon as I can get my mitts on it.

The story follows a lawyer from London who is sent off to go try and sell an old house. Before he heads out we meet his son, played by his Radcliff’s actual godson. They did that to make the relationship between the two feel more genuine. It worked.

From the moment he arrives in town there is a feeling that something is off. They did a great job in creating an atmosphere of discomfort. It’s obvious the locals don’t want him there at all. I won’t go too far into the actual plot.

It’s very rare that I actually get creeped out watching a ghost story these days. The last time was Insidious and I can’t even remember a time before that. It’s all so formulaic these days. It goes a little something like this: angry ghost, jump scare, sad protagonist, jump scare, dark secret, jump scare, and a rushed attempt at appeasing the ghost…and a jump scare.

Jump scares are in my opinion the lowest form of scaring someone…there were five. With this wonderful, creepy atmosphere, there is no need for even one. Fortunately, that alone isn’t enough to make me like this any less.

Location, location, location; from the streets of London to the old house itself, these locations stepped forward and stole the spotlight. That might have something to do with how beautifully they were shot. Most notable were the aerial shots of the house and the road leading to the house.

I say give this one a chance. What it lacked in gore it made up for with genuinely creepy moments. So maybe they reached back in time for the majority of their scares, somehow it worked. There isn’t anything new here but from what I hear that was intentional.

The Woman in Black

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (Netflix Review)

Written by: David Roden

“I just think that so many conflicts and problems in the world are caused by a lack of communication, ya know?”

Here we have the perfect example of taking and old genre cliché and finding a way to do something completely new with it. At first glance it may seem like another in a long line of b-horror films that can easily be forgotten, but that isn’t the case here.

T & D isn’t a film about a group of teenagers camping in the wood and being terrorized by “hillbillies.” It’s about what happens when you combine stereotypes with a complete lack of communication or an unwillingness to listen. It’s a commentary on not letting your pre-conceived notions of people rule you.

Even though this movie’s title features two names, it is really only about one…Dale. Dale is one of the most likeable characters to have ever graced my TV screen. He drives this story with his heart…and jokes. While there is a fair share of violence and gore found on the steps of this cabin in the woods, it’s the heart and humor that made this movie what it is. Tucker plays his role and he plays it well, but he is still just another side character in the grand scheme of things.

Once again we see something that impresses me every time: The main theme of the film being explained in one line or one scene. In this case it’s the quote at the top of the page. It makes me feel like the man who made this really understood and cared for the material.

This film is a combination of equal parts violence, humor and intellect. It really delivered on all counts but I shouldn’t be surprised, Magnet doesn’t release bad genre films (Let The Right One In, I Saw The Devil). If you are unfamiliar, head on over to their website and look at their archive.

I really only had a problem with Chad. Chad was supposed to make you hate him and I did. Chad was also supposed to make you empathize with his struggle…I did not. Even with his awesome backstory sequence I couldn’t bring myself to feel a damn thing for this kid. I just can’t decide if it’s because of his double popped collars or my love for Dale.

Netflix: 4.1/5
David: 4.5/5

Other Netflix Reviews:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) NetFlix Review

 Written By: David Roden

No Quote for this one.

What to say about a film that happily skips it’s way into the depths of depravity displayed here? I cannot (will not) say I liked it. You don’t like a film like this. There are things about it I will admit to liking but I will never say I liked the film itself.

The first film is a poor example of shock cinema. I sat through the first one and when it ended I just kind of forgot about it and moved on with my life. I have not been so lucky with this one.

To those of you that haven’t seen it, go watch it if you had fun with A Serbian Film.  If not, see my other reviews.


In the first film we had a medically trained professional (madman), here we have and fanboy to the millionth degree. This in my opinion was the proper way to continue this story. The fact that he has no training is what leads to the death of a lot of his victims. He doesn’t intend to kill them but he has no clue what he is doing.

He never talks. That makes me think he may be mentally handicapped which almost makes me feel sorry for him.  That combined with the abuse from his father and his criminally insane mother, make for the perfect victim turned victimizer scenario. You feel bad for him but hate the things he does or even who he is.

I love violent, dark, gory, bloody, depraved films but even I have my limit. The scene where the pregnant woman tries to escape and ends up smashing her newborn baby under the accelerator pedal was just a tad too much for me. I can’t decide whether to be impressed or disgusted.

I see absolutely no reason to watch this film more than once.

Netflix: 1/5
David: 1/5

Other Netflix Reviews:

  • The Woman
  • Kidnapped

  • Friday, May 11, 2012

    The Woman Netflix Review

    Written By: David Roden

    “You don’t really think I would want to miss out on heaven, do you?”

    Great horror film sequels do still exist. Over the past few year I have been subjected to some truly terrible sequels, The Woman is my savior. This film is dark, gruesome, original and at times funny. That is basically every thing I look for in a horror film these days. Leave it the director of May (a disturbing film about an outcast) to break this cycle.

    Lucky McKee’s The Woman, which is the follow up to The Offspring, an adaptation of the Jack Ketchum novel of the same name is a film to be reckoned with. This is very gruesome stuff, only intended for those us that can stomach it with a smile. If you can see through the gore and violence you will be treated to a very dark family drama with complex characters and interesting direction.
    The Woman follows the surviving member of a clan of caveman like barbarians that were traveling up and down the coast of Maine, breaking into homes, murdering, and eating families. We pick up the story with her wounded and alone in the woods. A local hunter captures her and chains her up in his cellar with the intention of civilizing her.

    The first thing that struck me was a beautifully shot title sequence. From there we move on to the family that will be holding her captive. An instant mood change from dead serious to fun lets us know that this movie will (hopefully) be a dark comedy. This is a complete departure from The Offspring, which was serious at all times. I feel this was a great way to bridge the two films.

    The next thing to catch my eye is a scene where the patriarch of the family first finds the woman bathing herself in a stream. We see her through the scope of his rifle as he watches her. It’s at this point that something unexpected happens. Rock music begins to play as we take on his perception of her: a sexy naked woman bathing herself in slow motion. She dresses herself in what little clothing she has and walks away but for a split second we see her naked again. I believe this is to show how the hunter feels about her.

    Sean Spillane's score for this film is absolutely amazing. I was expecting a traditional score but instead got unique songs that somehow completely reflect the mood of the scene. This score is one that I listen to daily. I certainly hope to hear more from this man soon. 

    This movie takes an “out there” concept and grounds it by using the real world family problems. The interactions between the family members could have been a film on it’s own.

    One thing that always impresses me is when a director knows enough about his movie that he can summarize the entire film with one line or one dialog-less scene. In this case they used the latter and it could not have been more effective.

    I have seen The Woman a total of 7 times since I first got my grubby little fingers on it and I will be surprised to see a better horror film this year. Enjoy.

    David: 5/5

    Other Netflix Reviews:

    The Devil's Rock
    The Human Centipede 2

    Thursday, May 10, 2012

    Kidnapped Netfix Review

    Written By:
    David Roden

    “Dad, they’re already here. They’re already here and they shot mom!!”

    Let me just get this out of the way, I LOVE HOME INVASION FILMS. If done correctly a home invasion can be devastating (Inside). The whole idea is that you don’t have to have done anything wrong or be anywhere you aren’t supposed to be in order to suffer. The idea of someone coming into your home to deliver these horrid acts is more than chilling, it’s an attack on your very own sense of security.

    Kidnapped is not the most violent film I’ve ever seen but I feel they found a good level of violence for this film’s purposes. It never feels cheesy or gratuitous, while still being able to shock the audience. I myself am as desensitized as they to come to on-screen violence but still found my jaw hitting the floor on occasion.

    More important than all the gore and shock factor being tossed about is the technical achievements of this film crew. With a runtime of 85 minutes this movie has only 12 shots. Yes, you absolutely read that correctly. 12 shots. I support any filmmaker that wants to test his technical prowess with extended takes likes that.

    What makes it the most impressive to me is the subject matter. Showing that level of violence without cutting away makes it feel so much more ruthless. In typical horror films they cut quickly to avoid you seeing too much. Here they used different ways to achieve this. Instead of seeing a character get hurt we hear it as we following a different character into a different room. This caused my imagination to do terrible things to this woman to cause her to make those noises. I love it when they do that.

    I was very pleased with all three of the thieves. We’ll call them Head Thief, Strong Thief and Young Thief. They all played their part to keep the momentum of the film up. I was impressed with the relationship between Strong Thief and Young Thief. ST is clearly a bad ass who gives zero fucks and enjoys eating the family’s food and doing blow. YT is a compassionate young man who still has faith in people and wants nothing more than to keep the family safe. Watching those two interact is just priceless. Head Thief did what head thieves do, he handled shit.

    If you want a tense, violent home invasion film, this is for you. No it isn’t a perfect film but it’s expertly shot and it will make you feel something for at least one of the characters. This is one I will be revisiting from time to time for sure. Enjoy

    Netflix: 3.1/5
    David: 4/5

    You like this review? Then why don't you read another great Netflix reviewThe Woman .

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    The Devil's Rock

    Editor's Note: For those who have indicated that The Devil's Rock isn't a part of Netflix's database we do apologize for the mistake and hope that you nonetheless found the article enjoyable.

    The Devil’s Rock

    Written By: David Roden


    I can assure you there is nothing in god’s name going on here.”

    Of all the horror film clichés I must say I find the Nazi trying to use supernatural means to win the war to be one of the most entertaining. Nazis make the perfect villains, as we all already view them as such. Throw a demon into the mix and you are looking at one happy horror fan.

    The film is about a two man Kiwi spec-ops team that is raiding a Nazi bunker on an island in the English Channel during World War 2. They come across a Nazi colonel who has found a way to summon a demon in hopes of having said demon fight for them.

    We open the film with a beautiful shot of the beach our boys have landed on. Complete with barbed wire and tank busters, this looked like a shot of the beaches of Normandy on D-Day morning. We are introduced to our two commandos as they make their way up the minefield of a beach. Everything goes great from there. We get an early taste of the viciousness of this movie when our hero dispatches a Nazi with his knife.

    Upon entering the bunker we are treated to some truly fantastic dead bodies provided by Weta Workshop. To be perfectly honest, this was my favorite part. It’s a fantastic way to tell your story without all that boring talking. You can read an entire story by using their wounds as words.
    We then get to meet out villain, a Nazi colonel in charge of finding ways to use the occult to sway the war in their favor. This is where I felt the film stumbled a little bit. The big, bad Nazi colonel doesn’t have a German accent. I don’t know if this was explained and I just missed it but whatever the reason it was a bad choice. I really wanted to hear this man deliver his lines with a full, rich, thick accent. What I got was an SS officer that sounded like Clive Owen.

    I won’t say much about the demon or it’s origins but I will say that I enjoyed every moment of it on screen. It had the perfect mixture of charm and danger.

    For those Cthulhu fanatics out there, you will be treated to a solid reference to The Great Old Ones. It’s little things like that that speak to the level of care that was taken when writing this.

    Overall, this isn’t something I’ll still be talking about this time next year but I did really enjoy myself. Aside from an accent mix up and some pretty serious pacing issues this was a solid genre film that will hopefully garner some attention for a filmmaker with a lot of potential.

    The Devils's Rock

    Sunday, May 6, 2012

    The Cabin In The Woods

    “Ok, I'm drawing a line in the fucking sand. DO NOT read the Latin!”

    The Cabin In The Woods is next to impossible to review without spoiling EVERYTHING, so what I am going to do is split this review into two sections.

    Non-Spoiler Section:

    GO WATCH THE CABIN IN THE WOODS. I can’t say much else about it to be honest. I will however offer this warning, DO NOT watch any trailers or read anything about this film online. Simply coming here and reading this before seeing it was, to be blunt, a mistake. You will be doing yourself a service going in blind. Now run along to the theater and make it happen. Be sure to come back and read the rest of my review when you’re done.


    For those of you that have seen it, let’s chat. I for once followed my own advice and didn’t read anything about it or watch any trailers prior to watching this film. I went in just praying it wouldn’t suck…and boy was I pleasantly surprised.

    I’m going to talk about just a few key points in this film because I can see myself getting very long winded with this one.

    Before we delve into the horror aspects of this film let me take a moment to talk about the characters. One of the big problems horror films deal with is what I like to call Characters vs. Caricatures. Yes, we are given five very stereotypical college students to follow but just five minutes in you can tell this is intentional. For example, Curt is not a guy acting tough, he is a guy who just so happens to be tough. I feel a lot of these directors don’t understand this distinction, Goddard does.

    On to the horror! By far the best aspect of this film is the possibilities of the different “hauntings” these characters could potentially face. The scene in the cellar where they unknowingly choose their fate really pulled me in. I wanted to see these people go through every one of those nightmares. Then the movie falls on it’s face.

    Redneck zombie family? Really? That was more worthy of an episode of Supernatural than a big name horror film. That would have been my last choice next to Merman. Luckily we don’t spend too much time dealing with that family and their “husband boners.”

    It isn’t easy to combine horror and comedy without it coming off as campy, this movie nailed it. I was giggling like a little girl from the first scene on.

    From then on I was completely unaware that there was anything else going on in the world other than the beautiful monstrosities slaughtering their way across the screen. The third act of the film was a horror fan’s wet dream, a thank you for sticking around through all the re-makes, sequels and adaptations we’ve had to endure these last few years.

    Finally I just want to say thanks for the absurd amount of horror references sprinkled throughout. We really got the gambit here, from Pinhead to The Strangers to the “Old Ones.” The only thing missing was a giant tentacle coming out of the ground at the end instead of a hand. Oh well, close enough.

    Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to go try to get my mitts on a coffee mug bong.

    Image Source:

    Saturday, May 5, 2012

    Scary movies you got to love em- I know I do

    Scary movies, everyone loves them. We go to the theater to see them and when were not doing that we watch them on television. Some of us can't get enough of scary movies.

    I love scary movies because I grew up watching them. They have become a part of who I am as a person and I absolutely wouldn’t have it any other way.

    My baptism into the eerie world of horror movies was a process that took place over the span of a series of Saturdays for me as a young boy as I would spread out in front of the television and watch those wonderful timeless classic scary movies that to this day hold a very special place in my heart.

    One of the things that I love about scary movies, which I think, makes them somewhat unique from other movie genres are their various sub genres. There’s seemingly countless types of scary movies, which basically means that whatever your type of horror movie or kind of horror film fan you happen to be there’s probably something out there for your individual taste.

    Some horror movie fans can only stomach some of the older more cheesier scary movies whose death scenes and the way they are depicted are decidedly tempered compared to some of the gory movies that we’ve seen put up on the big screen over the last few years. For example movies such as Ely Roth’s Hostel, which was an absolute blood bath, along with Hatchet written and directed by Adam Green.

    Some scary movies can really be a white-knuckle roller coaster ride of an experience, which is one of the things that appeal to true fans. Sometimes the movie can captivate your attention to the point that you are not just fully engaged but fully invested in either one of the main characters plight or that of a group of characters, kind of what happened to us as moviegoers when we first were exposed to the group of teens in the original Friday The 13th.

    How could you not feel sorry for the “horny little fuckers” that were slaughtered while having sex in the movie? I mean where is it written that if you are getting a little “head” when you should be doing something else, such as working, you should “lose your head” as punishment?

    But all jokes aside, scary movies have had the distinct ability, unlike other movie types, in that they have become indelibly engrained in the collective psyches of horror movie fans to the extent similarly to my early experience with the genre, as fans live and grow as individuals the many movies that we all have seen and their respective images have in a weird kind of way become a part of who we are, who we become, and as for me, again I wouldn’t have it any other way.