Upcoming Horror Movies 2018

2017 bought some pretty good horror movies like Get Out, IT, Creep 2, and Alien Covenant.  2018 is shaping up to be a good year for horror as well.  We’ve had A Quiet Place, Veronica, and the Ritual that were pretty good, but there’s a lot more coming out to keep your horror hungers satiated!

The First Purge

Always been a fan of the Purge series, they’re fun and entertaining.  The latest entry looks to up the chaos in all the best ways.  We get to see how the country came to the point where the concept of an annual purge was a good idea to implement.

The Nun

A spin off of the popular Conjuring series.  This one follows the creepy character that had a minor part in Conjuring 2.

The Meg

Another shark attack movie, except this one features a giant shark!  This one looks to be a blockbuster.  Will it measure up to Jaws?  Probably not.  Will it be good?  I hope so.

Venom

Venom actually looks amazing in the trailer.  Follows Eddie Brock as he becomes one of the most iconic comic book villains ever.  Somehow there’s no Spider-Man in this and that worries me.  Might have to sit this one out till its on DVD.

Slender Man

Based on the popular creepypasta meme that’s been floating around for a bit.  This one looks like it’ll be genuinely creepy.

Predator

Another Predator movie!  As long as its better than Predator 2 it should be a hit.

Halloween(2018)

The original scream queen returns for the “final” (they said that last time) showdown with her deranged brother Michael.  This one takes place 40 years after the original film ignoring the previous sequels.

Overlord

World War II movie that takes place on D-day.  US troopers drop behind enemy lines to find a Nazi occupied village experimenting with supernatural forces.  J. J. Abrams is attached and there’s speculation that it could be related to the Cloverfield franchise.  Giant monsters maybe?

Suspiria

An american travels to Europe to join a prestigious dance academy.  She finds herself in the midst of brutal murders that may have a supernatural connection.  This ones a remake of the 1977 film.  Never saw it, but I plan to before this one comes out.

-Andre

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Creep 2 Review

Creep-2 posterCreep 2 is the sequel to the sleeper hit CreepCreep 2 picks up the story of the “Peachfuzz killer,” as he takes out another ad for a videographer.  Sara, an up and coming video artist answers his ad and upon their initial meeting he confesses to her that he’s a serial killer.  Sara doesn’t believe him but decides to stay and film him anyway, hoping it’ll be interesting enough to bring attention to her art.  By the end of their day together she laments answering that ad when she realizes she’s made a big mistake.

Spoiler Warning

Creep 2 is similar to the first film in tone, but it doesn’t really have the same slow burn as the first. In this movie we learn more about Peachfuzz, from his past and his motivations for what he does.  Yet he still manages to keep the same mysterious persona even as he reveals details about himself that may or may not be true.  From the start of the film, Peachfuzz is going through a sort of midlife crisis, hes killed thirty-nine people so far and after his 39th kill he feels unfulfilled and believes that he needs to do something spectacular for his 40th kill.  This causes him to have internal conflicts that bubble to the surface of his usually hard to read behavior when interacting with Sara.  Contrary to the first movie where he was disarmingly friendly, he’s erratic and sets off multiple red flags causing Sara to arm herself for protection.

Unlike with his previous friendship with Aaron, Peachfuzz bonds more with Sara as she displays some of the same eccentric behavior that he does.  Tactics that he’d used to toy with Aaron, and most likely victims before him were fairly ineffective on Sara.  Everything he’d do to try and throw her off or cause her unease, she’d respond in kind.  This lead to an interesting dynamic as its still obvious that Sara doesn’t believe him about being a serial killer, but we can see that Peachfuzz is achieving some sort of calm as the day goes on.  This ultimately leads to him deciding that his 40th kill will be himself, as he attempts various suicide attempts, culminating in Sara deciding she’d had enough.  As with Aaron in the first film, Peachfuzz manages to expertly manipulate her back to him and letting her guard down.  Peachfuzz attempts yet another suicide attempt, this one causing Sara to realize he’s been telling her the truth about who he is this entire time.  Following this final attempt, Sara is wounded but manages to escape.

Creep 2 follows its predecessors formula and improves on it.  Although the plot remains roughly the same, he characters are still intriguing and engaging.  I like the development they’ve given to Peachfuzz, he went from being this quirky, mysterious weirdo, to a more complex villain with internal struggles that still leave you questioning his actions.  Is he genuinely trying to find someone to be his companion or is this just how he gets close to his victims?  Overall I enjoyed this movie and can’t wait for the third title in the series.

8/10

-Andre

Creep Review

creep posterCreep is a very simple movie driven by good acting from the only two characters in the film, Aaron and Josef.  Aaron answers an ad online to film a video message for Josef’s unborn son, as Josef has limited time left due to cancer.  Throughout their short time together Aaron starts to realize that Josef isn’t what he seems.

Spoiler Warning

Creep has a really slow burn to it.  The first half of the movie is slower character development with nothing important really happening until later in the day.  I loved the antagonist in this.  From the first time you see him Josef, is really unsettling and creepy.  He maintains intense eye contact whenever he speaks to Aaron, he breaks his personal barriers by embracing him immediately after meeting him, and he shares some of the most intimate moments of his life when they are essentially strangers.  All of these may seem a bit innocuous but as the film goes on you start to feel that there is more of a sinister undertone to Josefs actions.  Josef makes a great villain because of how he psychologically manipulates Aaron.  He toys with him throughout their interactions, pushing his boundaries to see how much he can creep him out before he pulls him back in with a sympathetic plea and it works because he can read Aarons character so well.

Aaron is generally a nice guy, even when Josef does the weirdest things like “tubby time,” he remains sympathetic and understanding.  As far as he knows, Josef is dying and won’t ever get to see his son, so he grants him extra leeway with regards to his weirdness.  Towards the end of their day together Aaron is noticeably upset by Josefs behavior at this point and wants to leave.   It gets to the point where Aaron is finally fed up, culminating in a scuffle where Aaron escapes and heads home.  The following days Josef continues to send Aaron DVDs attempting to explain his behavior, even breaking in to leave one inside Aarons house.  Through all of this, not once does Aaron go to the police.  Josef has managed to convince Aaron that even though he’s lied to him about everything thus far, it’s because he wants him to be his friend.  Aaron falls victim to his own empathy when he agrees to meet a seemingly repentant Josef at a park, setting his camera up to record the interaction for his safety.  Josef shows up and puts on a wolf mask and murders him with an ax.  We next see Josef recording a final farewell to Aaron, puzzling over his kindness and naivete before adding the video of Aarons murder to a collection of DVDs bearing first names of presumed past victims.

Creep is a character driven movie.  Josef is one of my favorite antagonists in horror movies because he’s such an intriguing character.  It’s a nice cut from the cliche slashers and generic horror psychos that just chase people down and kill them.  Although the first half of the movie draws things out, its worth it to stay to the end.

7/10

-Andre

Bedeviled Review

Bedeviled-movie-poster-1

Bedeviled is a supernatural horror film released in 2016.  Bedeviled follows a group of high school friends who all get a link from their friends phone after her mysterious death.  Naturally, they all click it and have an unknown app called “Mr. Bedevil” installed to their phones.  The app is essential Apples Siri, if she were Pennywise the Dancing Clown.  Mr. Bedevil is some kind of supernatural force that preys on the fears of those who install the app, eventually scaring them to death.

I found this film to be lackluster yet entertaining for all the wrong reasons.  For starters I find it hard to believe that six kids would click a random link sent from their dead friends phone.  Also from the beginning Mr. Bedevil lets on to the kids that he knows everything about them and is capable of controlling their environment.  I don’t think many people would be comfortable with an app that they known nothing about having the ability to control appliances in their home, but these kids initially love it until things get more malicious.  Mr. Bedevil never really goes after any of the teens unless they’re alone, which they happen to be for the majority of the film.  There are six teens in the film being stalked by the app and we only see one of the teens parents for a few minutes.  The rest of the kids are shown walking home on deserted streets, changing in empty locker rooms, sitting home alone, and running through empty parking structures alone.  I’m not sure why they felt the need to have the characters isolated so much as the movie shows at one point that Mr. Bedevil is capable of possessing other people around them in order to harass them.

The movie borrows heavily from other films in the horror genre, the grudge, the ring,  final destination, and IT.  There were actually two scenes that were exact copies from IT in this.  The characters were pretty bad and stupid and their solutions made no sense.  They realize that the Mr. Bedevil uses their fears to kill them, yet none of them make any attempt to overcome what they’re afraid of.  One of the characters had a fear of her grandmother when she was a child and Mr. Bedevil is still able to torment her with this fear years later.  Their solutions to get rid of the app make no sense from the information given in the movie.  They cant uninstall it by regular means.  One character literally breaks his phone and it’s magically repaired before him.  But somehow the solution to get rid of the app is to write a code that uninstalls it when Mr. Bedevil is in their world and it works for some reason.  How though?  The app installed itself to their phones in the first place once they clicked the link and can manipulate the world at will.  Even though they uninstall it whats stopping the spirit from just installing it on their phones again?  If it can magically repair a destroyed phone in a blink of an eye how does uninstalling the program do anything?

Overall this movie is riddled with cheap jump scares and a cliche plot that drags.   The acting was bland.  Characters seemed bored when they spoke to each other.  I liked Mr. Bedevil even though his “original form” is laughably bad the different forms he would take to torment his victims were pretty creepy.  There were some scenes that were funny on purpose, such as when one teen was talking to Mr. Bedevil on the bus and got insulted. As well as some that were unintentionally funny, same teen as before is being chased through the parking structure by Mr. Bedevil and runs past the exit to outside and gets cornered.  All in all its a pretty “meh” film.

4/10

-Andre

Killing Ground Review

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Killing Ground is an Australian horror/thriller movie from 2017.  It’s the story of a couple taking a camping trip for New Year’s Eve in the Australian outback.  The pair decide to camp on a remote beach next to an abandoned tent, believing the occupants would return later on.  Their trip takes a drastic turn for the worse when they find a baby wandering their campsite the next day.

Killing Ground is a slow movie.  It’s an hour and a half long, and it doesn’t get interesting until about the last thirty minutes.  The movie throws you off with its use of flashbacks between scenes, as you don’t initially know that they’re flashbacks.  It takes a minute to realize what’s happening with this and it kind of distracts from the movie until you figure it out.  The acting in this was decent, characters played their roles convincingly.  The couple played their roles really well, particularly the doctor.   The villains are your basic cookie cutter woods psychos in the spirit of Eden Lake, Wolf Creek, or Texas Chainsaw Massacre, except they’re dumber.  It works for them though because the protagonists aren’t the smartest as well.  The movie has some scenes in it that leave a bad taste in your mouth, but thankfully you never really see them happen in real time.  One thing that I really didn’t like about this movie was the ending.  It leaves loose ends that I feel should’ve been resolved.

SPOILERS

The couple kill their captor after crashing the car and wake up in the hospital and we don’t get to see them interact which I feel takes away from some character development possibilities.  When things really got intense, the doctor abandoned his fiance.  The viewer as well as the fiance are initially led to believe that he left her because he was saving the baby, but no, he left them both to save himself.  I think that it would’ve been interesting to see how this whole ordeal effected their relationship, or if they even still had one.

The movie never shows what happens with the baby.  The last you see of him he’s alive and unconscious in the grass being guarded by a dog.  This is before the couple even kills their captor and wakes up in the hospital the next day.  It’s reasonable to assume that the authorities found the couple as when the doctor left he came back with police who were promptly killed by the psycho.  Logically if two cops went to investigate a murder and were never heard from again would more cops not show up?  Did these additional cops search the area?  Did they find the dog guarding the baby?  We’ll never know and that sucks.

Altogether it’s a decent thriller with good acting but the pacing, the way they use flashbacks, and the ending hold it back from being good to me.

5/10

-Andre

 

Would You Rather Review

would-you-rather-2012-poster01Would You Rather is a horror movie about a young woman living with her sick brother struggling to make ends meet.  She accepts a dinner invitation from the wealthy Lambrick family under the pretense of having a chance to change her life by simply playing a game.  Unfortunately for her and the seven other guests, Mr. Lambricks game isn’t as harmless as advertised.  As can be gleaned from the title, the guests end up playing a harrowing game of Would You Rather, with rounds increasing in intensity as the night goes on and players drop out.

I thought Would You Rather was relatively entertaining.  The acting was OK, I can’t really point at anything and say it was specifically bad but you won’t be blown away by anyone’s acting chops on the other hand.  The characters aren’t too interesting, no one really has a standout personality or significant character development. I have a hard time remembering any of the other guests besides the main protagonist.  They’re given little to no backstory outside of an initial introduction when they all arrive.  Outside of maybe three characters you don’t find out what’s going on in their lives and why they’re in need of Lambricks charity.

The story was average as well, a bunch of guests get tricked and taken advantage of by a rich sociopath.  It’s a formula that’s been done before and Would You Rather brings nothing new to the field in that regard.  If you’ve any experience with horror movies this one’s fairly predictable at times.  There’s some scenes that make you cringe, such as when Lambrick has a guest slit their own eye open with a razor instead of attempting a two minute submerge in a water filled barrel.  Then there’s scenes that turn out to be unintentionally hilarious due to a dumb decision by the characters, such as when a guest takes down an armed guard, yet he decides to advance on Lambrick with a whip instead of taking the guards gun and is promptly shot dead.

Would You Rather provides a decent amount of entertainment for a night.  It brings nothing new to the genre, yet it doesn’t ruin anything as well.  It’s an alright movie that doesn’t leave an impression.

5/10

-Andre

Archery Through the Pages II

Welcome to Part II! For readers who crave for purely traditional archery, they can look no further than the Ranger’s Apprentice series. For 150 years, the Kingdom of Araleun has employed an organization known as the Ranger Corp to protect the realm from her enemies, foreign and domestic. When 15 year old Will’s plans to become a knight falls through, he unknowingly proves himself to become one of Araleun’s secret protectors.

Ranger-s-apprentice-the-rangers-apprentice-10757786-1280-800Will advances with his recurve bow while Halt covers his apprentice with his longbow.

Throughout this book series, there are two types of bows that are known and used in the world of the Ranger’s Apprentice. The first is a recurve bow. This bow is given to apprentice rangers who are just starting their archery journey. Its appearance is similar to traditional Asiatic bows, particularly those used by the Crimean Tatars of the 16th century CE. These are composite or horn bows made of a wood core, layered sinew on the back of the bow, and horn on the belly of the bow. This combination of materials enables a bow of a short length to be used without breaking. In the book however, this bow is made of a lamination of several different kinds of woods to produce the same effect. It’s also said that while recurve bows produce high kinetic energy at lower weights, it cannot be made to higher draw weights which is why it’s only used by apprentices. This is contrasted by both horn and wood laminate bows of our world, which can be made to very high draw weights, in excess of 100 pounds if need be. Also in our world, horn bows are typically drawn using a thumb ring, which protects the thumb from harm as bow is only pulled with the thumb as compared to the three finger draw that is used both in our world and in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. When an apprentice is claimed worthy to be a Ranger, they put aside their recurve bow and is given another legendary weapon, the longbow.

Paragon Bows - 33-1500x1125Robert Pozderka using the thumb draw method with a Crimean Tatar bow. Note that the arrow is on the right side of the bow, rather than the left. This would be unusual when using the three finger method of drawing a bow, but is correct for the thumb draw.

While the recurve bow has taken inspiration from historical examples, the longbow of the Ranger’s Apprentice is identical the very same used by English and Welsh archers, to great effect, during the 100 Years War during the 14th century CE. These bows were typically 6 feet tall and made of a single piece of wood such as yew, elm, or ash. The wood is cut in such a way so that the natural features of it behaves similarly to a horn bow. The younger sapwood handles sheering or stretching force while the older heartwood handles compression. And the reason that the bow must be as tall is to allow the bow to be drawn as long as they typically do. Modern bows are usually measured to and only draw up to 28 inches. English longbows have been known to draw from 30 to 32 inches. If the bow is shorter, it cannot be drawn as far. That’s important because English longbows typically use heavy arrows that are three feet in length and are loosed at long distances. And to reach those distances, the draw weight of the bow must be heavy. 70 pound draw weight is typically considered the minimum for a military bow, but they go upwards of 100 pounds and more. Gloves or a leather tab for the fingers are a must as well as a bracer for the bow wrist for protection against the bow itself. For these reasons, the longbow is considered to be a bow only for fully fledged Rangers, as only with their experience and strength can they handle these types of bows.

Mark Stretton warbow archersMark Stretton, in the brown vest, is the Guinness World Record holder of pulling a 200 pound war bow back to 32 inches, the full length of a medieval English arrow. He and a fellow war bow archer are pulling heavy bows that were used by English archers of the 14th century CE and the Rangers of the Ranger’s Apprentice books.

 
Tony with a longbowThis post’s author with a Victorian style English longbow.

So now you’ve read a few books featuring some archers and you want to pick up a bow and loose some arrows of your own. I’d say it’s time for you to go to your local archery shop, which usually features a range for people to practice or to test any products they may want to try. Just in Bolingbrook, there is an archery range in the Bass Pro Shop. Being a big box outdoors store, their gear is primarily based towards hunting but you can get a decent start there. If you’re looking for a wider array of equipment styles, especially of the traditional leaning, Archery Custom Shop in Forest Park is a commonly cited place for that.

Nearby is also Chicago Bow Hunters, a private archery club that also has an indoor range and some property for field archery. They hold monthly events that are open to the public. Lastly if you’re willing to take a 30 minute drive to Warrenville, you’ll find the archery range inside the Blackwell Forest Preserve. It is an outdoor range that goes out to 100 meters and is totally free to the public. You just need to provide your own equipment. It’s my home range and during the warmer seasons, I’m usually found there on the weekends, but sometimes sporadically on the weekdays.

I hope that these books and the archers found inside them inspire you to read more stories about them and most of all, to pick up a bow yourself and become a part of a noble tradition that is as old as humanity itself.

-Tony