Creepy Cinema 2018 | Attack of the VHS | Week Two

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Ghostbusters 2 - 1989

If you know Markus, you know he is a HUGE Ghostbusters fan. He has heaps of vintage Ghostbusters memorabilia, and even has every version of Egon Spengler from the 80s Kenner toy line. It’s really quite adorable and it’s only natural that we have both movies on VHS. Previously, we watched the first Ghostbusters for Creepy Cinema. We always need a little levity every year, so Markus suggested that we add the sequel this year.

The film is set five years after the first and follows Egon, Ray, Peter and Winston as they navigate life after saving New York City from the demi-god Gozer. You would think that they would be treated as kings, but humanity always has a way of being ungrateful. The guys are forbidden to have anything to do with the supernatural, but of course spooky things always have a way of finding the Ghostbusters. I remember this film from my childhood and it has always been a favorite. I haven’t seen it in ages, but it was nice watching it again, especially on VHS. Usually sequels aren’t as good as the first, but this one was still pretty good. In some ways it was better, like not have to go through the set up and getting straight to the good stuff. Ghostbusters is a classic 80s movie that never gets old and is always fun to watch!


Christine - 1983

It feels like the past few years have seen a surge in all things Stephen King. Not that I’m complaining, if you followed last year, you know I reviewed the new IT and absolutely loved it. A year later, I still love it and wish all scary movies were just as fun. Admittedly, I didn’t know much about Christine, I only knew that it was a about a killer car, so I knew it was going to be interesting. I was also happily pleased to see it was directed and scored by John Carpenter, so I knew it would have a nice synth soundtrack.

The film follows a nerdy kid named Arnie who is bullied in all aspects of his life. His only reprieve is when he’s with his best friend and jock, Dennis. Arnie becomes obsessed with restoring an old junky car to it’s former beauty which is named Christine. After Christine is restored, strange and deadly things start to happen to people in Arnie’s life. I was hesitant to give Christine a “So good” rating, but I also don’t think it warranted an “It’s aight.” I like the premise of a possessed car terrorizing people in the name of a bullied teen, but there were some things that I couldn’t look past. The pace of the movie is quite slow and the storytelling is quite disjointed as it goes back and forth between Arnie and Dennis. We don’t even see Dennis for most of the second act. I did love the soundtrack, the premise and of course Christine, who is one cool car. Overall, it wasn’t a perfect film, but it was definitely an enjoyable ride!


Wishmaster - 1997

I knew nothing about Wishmaster before we added it to the list this year. Judging from the title, I assumed it had something to do with wishes going wrong and I was totally right! The story begins in an ancient Persian palace, where a king’s wish goes horribly wrong because of and evil djinn (genie). The djinn wreaks havoc on a huge celebration, and what ensues is the stuff of nightmares. Extreme body trauma, people turning into giant snakes, and monsters galore. However the king’s alchemist stops the djinn by trapping him in a jewel. We then jump forward in time to the present day (the late 90s), where the djinn manages to break lose and wreak havoc on humanity once again. This time he specifically preys upon the main character, a woman named Alex.

I really enjoyed this movie and thought it was really well done. Also adding to the fun of this movie, there were tons of little cameos from iconic horror actors, like Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger), Tony Todd (Candyman) and horror special effects wiz Tom Savini. Since I’ve been doing this for six years, it’s actually quite fun being able to pick out these people. However the real star of this movie is the Wishmaster himself, played by Andrew Divoff. He was phenomenal as an evil djinn, and was probably one of the best and most unique villains I’ve seen in a long time. Every time he was on screen, my eyes were drawn to him. The way he spoke and the intenseness of his gaze was really captivating. All the other characters were just filler until he returned on screen. In fact he was so good, that I’m interested in seeing him in other films. He’s a real Jeffrey Combs in my eyes. I cannot recommend this movie enough, even if it’s just to see Divoff portray a deranged djinn in a movie bookended by great special effects horror.


Creepy Cinema 2018 | Attack of the VHS

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Guys, it’s my favorite time of the year! There’s a crispness in the air, the leaves are starting to change and all my sweaters have come out of storage. It’s literally the perfect season for me, and with the changing of the seasons also comes Creepy Cinema! For those of you that don’t know, Markus and I spend all of October watching horror films, and if you know me, I’m not normally a fan of these kinds of movies. However six years ago Markus and I had the bright idea to start Creepy Cinema, and I have to admit that over the years I’ve started to look forward to it. Now I actually really enjoy it! This year we thought, since Markus still has the VCR he bought in college, we would scour our local geek shops and acquired some VHS horror gems to add to our collection. So this year’s theme was conceived, “Attack of the VHS!” We’re watching 12 horrors movies from several eras — all on VHS tapes. So without further ado, scroll down to see the twelve movies I’ll be watching and reviewing! Also, let me know which movies you’re most excited about and which ones you haven’t seen!


The first six movies include so many recognizable classics, and I’ve surprisingly only seen two of them. I’m sure you could guess which two, Evil Dead 2 and Ghostbusters 2. I’ll still be watching them again, because, let’s be real, I would watch them even if they weren’t on this year’s list.


I haven’t seen any of the next six films, so I most excited to watch this set. There’s also nice variety in this set. We’ve got your Jinns, Beings, Freddies and Bowies. It’s a real exciting lineup and I can’t wait to check them out. If you know me, I’m pretty sure you can guess which one I’m the most excited about!

Creepy Cinema: Grab Bag | Week Three

1. Crimson Peak - 2015
Of all the films on this year’s list, this was the one I anticipated the most. If you don’t know, I’m a HUGE Tom Hiddleston fan. Not only is he dreamy, but he’s a brilliant actor and fantastic in anything he does. I couldn’t wait to see Crimson Peak for Hiddles, but also because it features so many things I enjoy. I’m a sucker for anything with a gothic romance, an old crumbling mansion, and  a Byronic hero with deep, dark secrets. This was by far my favorite Guillermo del Toro film. I do think that he is an excellent director and creates incredibly intricate and beautiful films, but for some reason they just don’t strike my fancy. I think it’s because the story or acting in those movies never really resonated with me. However in this case, from the minute the film began until it ended, I was completely and utterly captivated. I felt as though del Toro reached into my soul and created this movie from what he found. All the actors were incredible in this film, Hiddles goes without saying, but Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain were just as good. Although, I do feel that the real hero of this film was the set design. I haven’t seen such a visually stunning film since Atonement, which for me, is the end all be all of beautiful movies. If you had to choose one film to watch from this year’s list, this would be the one that I recommend. You won’t regret it!  

2. The Collector - 2009
This film was my living nightmare. I know what kind of scary movies I don’t like, and it’s movies like The Collector. I can handle scary movies when there is some of kind of supernatural element. This was not the case for The Collector. It was basically a demented version of Home Alone, but instead of a lovable elementary school kid, it’s a sociopathic killer that has booby trapped the home of a family to torture and kill them. The main protagonist of this film is an ex-con/cat burglar who happened to case out the same house The Collector booby trapped. Now trapped inside, this thief must make a moral decision to either escape from the house and save his own skin, or save the innocent family trapped inside. I can’t watch movies that involve torture or suspense of this caliber, so this was hard for me to get through. I know Markus meant well when we decided to put this on the list, however the film was so intense that I had to pause it three times to take a break from the intense fear. Finally, I gave up and stopped the movie all together. I do feel a bit bad about not finishing it, but it was just too much. In the future, I’ll be sure to steer clear of any movies like The Collector

3. Nightbreed - 1990
This was a really strange film. It’s almost as if the director didn’t know what he wanted the film to be, so he just threw together a bunch of things hoping it would work. One of the things that was hard for me to wrap my head around was the soundtrack. As soon as the movie opened, I immediately recognized the style of music from Danny Elfman. It’s both good and bad that his music is so recognizable. Unfortunately, the soundtrack did not go well with Nightbreed. The score is whimsical and you half expect Edward Scissorhands or Jack Skellington to make an appearance. Sadly they do not and you’re stuck with the most depressing bunch of monsters in film history. The movie begins with a troubled young man and his search for a place he continuously dreams about called Midian, the land of monsters. When he finally makes it there, nothing is explained, but he somehow becomes the savior of Midian, and the whole affair culminates in the killing of an entire police force...also there’s a psychopathic killer antagonist that looks just like The Collector...the film basically goes off the deep end. I wish that the director just decided on a tone and stuck with it. If they had done that, it’s quite possible that Nightbreed could’ve been a great cult classic.

4. The Host - 2006
Can you believe that The Host is the first Asian horror movie in Creepy Cinema history? You would think that I would’ve had heaps of them on the list, but I think it’s because most Asian horror films involve ghosts or some form of torture, and as you can tell from the above review, I am not a fan. Thankfully The Host was a classic monster chase film that follows a family trying to save their youngest member, Hyun-seo, a young girl that was kidnapped by a crazy mutated monster. Even though the family faces countless obstacles, the love they feel for Hyun-seo drives them to find her against all odds.  I really enjoyed this movie and loved that it was set in Korea. It was like catching a glimpse of my second home, even though there is a crazy monster running around killing people. Like most Korean films, this one runs a bit too long at 2 hours. Although I didn’t feel the length as much as I normally do. Overall The Host had a lot of heart and I really connected with the theme of family-bond that strung the whole film together.

Creepy Cinema: Grab Bag | Week Two

1. Candyman - 1992
When I was a kid, I walked in on my brother’s watching Candyman. It was a scene where he was brutally killing someone. Ever since then, I promised myself I would never subject myself to that horror. I was traumatized for life. Cut to this year and somehow it ended up on the list. I have to admit, I hesitated the night we were going to watch it. My old childhood fear took over and I sat with a blanket on my head and hands over my ears. As the story progressed, the blanket eventually came off and my hands fell to my lap. In the end, Candyman surprised me. It was entertaining, and I really enjoyed it. The fact that it was set in Chicago was both exciting and unnerving. The film mostly takes place in Cabrini Green, an infamous housing project that was well known for being rife with gang activity, rape, murders and other unspeakable horrors. It was definitely the perfect setting for a film like this. The movie was creepy as hell, but the story was both intriguing and interesting, which is all I can ask for a Creepy Cinema film.  
2. Puppet Master - 1989
In addition to being terrified of anything that goes bump in the night, I’m especially scared of puppets or dolls. There is something unnatural about them that makes me feel uneasy. So for these obvious reasons, I wasn’t eager to watch Puppet Master. Apparently I wanted to torture myself this year and watch things that terrified me as a child. Unfortunately, this film wasn’t worth the wait like Candyman, which was sad for me. I really thought it would deliver but instead it fell flat. The film opens in the 30’s with a stunning hotel set, however 20 minutes later, we jump ahead to the 80’s, where it all goes downhill. The acting was stilted and much of the story was convoluted. Also, it took forever for the puppets to make their reappearance from the 1930’s opening scene. I realized that in the end, I just wanted to see some puppets kill people, and boy, did they kill people. Those puppets were real freaky, ranging from a pale faced Nazi puppet with blades for hands to a creepy leech girl. Overall, I was really disappointed because the story had so much potential but the execution caused the entire movie to fall flat. 

3. The Awakening - 2011
I was really excited that it this film was on the list, and was looking forward to watch this film. It has everything that I adore, the 20’s, creepy ghost boys, an old mystery, the English countryside and amazing vintage fashion. The Awakening reminded me of a film that we watched a few year’s back, The Woman in Black. The set design, costumes and cinematography are incredible and absolutely stunning, which was the part I enjoyed the most. The film was well cast with Rebecca Hall as the lead. Her performance was believable and sympathetic. It also stars a young Bran Stark, and all I wanted to to do was pinch his cute little face. I liked The Awakening, however it moved quite slowly. I think if they trimmed down some of the fat, it could’ve been virtually flawless. Like Puppet Master, it had so much potential to be everything I wanted, but in the end it just left me unsatisfied.  

4. The Brood - 1979
This movie is really freaking weird, like ridiculously weird. I kept asking Markus to describe the premise before we watched it and he kept saying it was hard to describe and that if he did it would ruin the movie. After watching The Brood, I have to agree. It’s a typical David Cronenberg movie and really out there. I have to confess, after doing Creepy Cinema for four years, I’ve learned something about myself: I’m not a big fan of 70’s horror films. I’m not saying that all films from the 70’s are terrible, there are exceptions like Alien and Jaws. However the pacing of a lot of the films from this era seem too slow, consisting of scenes where not much of anything is happening. It makes it hard to focus, and I find that I’m always slightly confused. This was the case for The Brood. The plot itself was interesting, and I really wanted to know what the mystery was behind all the deaths and the main characters’ marriage, but man did it drag. I kept saying over and over, “get to the point!” Visually, I liked the look and feel, but it wasn’t enough to make it a great movie. Also, there are genuine moments where I was like,”Whuuuuu?” Actually, the whole movie was one long “Whuuuuu?” moment for me. So this one definitely was not my favorite.  

Creepy Cinema: Grab Bag | Week One

I have to admit that I've been looking forward to Creepy Cinema. It's become such a staple in our lives and a wonderful tradition. The first three films were all very good and I can't wait to share my thoughts with you!

1. Tales from the Darkside - 1990 
This film is a little known horror anthology which is comprised of three short stories and a subplot. The first story, Lot 249, was a delightfully creepy tale of an archaeology nerd’s revenge. I loved seeing a young Steve Buscemi play a young intellectual who becomes consumed with vengeance. The short also stars Christian Slater and he gets a bit crazy, which is when I enjoy Slater the most.  The second story, Cat from Hell, started off a bit campy, but the ending was terrifying. It only further confirmed my distaste for cats. I just can’t trust them and you wouldn’t either after watching this. The third story, Lover’s Vow, was by far the weirdest of the three, and was on it’s own level of horrifying. The plotline was predictable, but the visual effects were incredible. The last scene is so haunting that it will forever be etched in my memory. I was less interested in the subplot, but it was nice to see Matthew Lawrence. Overall, I enjoyed Tales from the Darkside and it was the perfect start to Creepy Cinema! 

2. The Babadook - 2014
For a while now, I’ve heard Markus and a few friends sing the praises of The Babadook. I knew from his comments that it would be on this year’s list, which only added to my fear and trepidation. I watched the trailer and I could tell it would be the kind of movie that would make me cover my ears and close my eyes. After watching, I have to say, that it was spectacular and lived up to the hype. There is so much to love about this movie. The acting is amazing by both the mother and young boy, Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman. In the beginning of the film, you really begin to hate the boy and don’t understand why his mother let’s him act out. Then throughout the course of the film, things begin to subtly change and become more clear and more sinister. What I loved most is its simplicity. The film relies heavily on the acting and not on jump scares or tactics. There were moments that were so intense and that I had to pause the movie. Despite being terrified most of the time, I can’t deny that The Babadook is a great film that I would recommend to anyone.

 3. Carnival of Souls - 1962
I really enjoyed watching this independent horror film from the 60s. When Carnival of Souls was originally released it wasn’t well received but over the years it gained popularity and became a cult classic. I read somewhere that this film influenced horror titans David Lynch and George A. Romero, which totally makes sense. The ambiance and imagery is hauntingly beautiful, and there’s something off kilter about the main character, Mary Helen. I was so invested in her life and wanted to know more about her. She seemed lost and in search of something. When she finally moves to her new town and begins her new life, I desperately wanted her to succeed. I felt bad for her when her next door neighbor kept forcing himself on her. What a creep. More importantly though, why does a creepy, pale man keep following her? The twist was predictable, but it didn’t reduce my enjoyment. The film was quite refreshing and not like any I’ve seen in awhile.