Monday, November 12, 2018

Overlord (2018)

A few weeks ago, while watching a football game, I saw a kick-ass trailer on TV that prompted me to text my brother right away.

Me: "We need to see Overlord!"

Brother: "Whoa, this is freaky. I literally just watched a trailer for that like two minutes ago and was going to text you the exactly same thing!!"

Me: "It's a sign. Hopefully a sign that it's awesome and we'll really enjoy it!"

Brother: "Oh shit, you must be watching the Seahawks game!"

Us: Hahahaha!

Although I thought fate was working some mysterious magic on us for a second there - instead we were just watching the same game at the same time - the real magic is that when we both saw this trailer, for the first time, we both knew what had to be done. Overlord had to be seen. 

I rarely ever see movies on opening weekend, let alone opening day. I just don't like people crowds that much. I made an exception for this film. 

I can't put in proper terms how excited I was to see this film, and I can't tell you exactly why I had to see it except that it had the look and feel (based on the trailer alone) of a film sure to kick ass and take names. I'm also not sure if it was released on Veterans Day weekend purposefully, but this proud ten year+ Veterans Affairs Administration employee and member of a military family was All Over this film, and not wrong at all in my suspicions of it's ass kickery.

Going to take a moment here to reiterate my Twitter post - sent about 10 minutes after walking out of the theater: 

Just remembering the opening scenes gives me palpitations. Holy SHIT.

I was working in a movie theater when Saving Private Ryan was released and remember hearing about WWII Veterans needing to walk out because the visuals/memories were all too real. I've never been in a war zone. I never want to. But this film's opening scenes help give the audience an experience of what D-Day - war in general - entails. 

That's a horror story in itself. 

And then the zombie things show up....

This is a war film. This a military show. This is a horror story. This is a creature feature film of epic proportions. Bonus: Punching Nazis in the face! 

My brother and I argue about how much of a creature feature film this is - you decide for yourself by seeing it. I felt the creatures played a significant role. He felt they were secondary to the other horrors happening. 

All in all, here's what you need to know: A handful of American soldiers with a mission to dismantle Nazi communications head into France on the eve of D-Day, and then they stumble upon experiments....

Thrilling, adventurous, people making bad descions, people making sacrificial descions, real monsters, medical monsters, heartfelt, insane, gross, gritty, fast, and kick-ass: See This Film. 

For the best experience, see this film in the theater

***As I was typing this up I just got the news that Stan Lee passed away. I'm adding this news to this post because his comics played no small role in my youth - finding the hero in yourself and in others - and the role he played as hero to so many, in comics and in person. Cheers to you, sir. For everything. Travel on to that next world peacefully. 

Cheers, heros. F*ck you Nazis.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween! Here's 18 Short Horror Films You Need To See! (2018 edition)

October Challenge Day 31:

Happy Halloween everyone!! Here is 18 brilliant short horror films to spook up your day.

Why 18 you ask? Because this is the 8th month of the old Roman calendar and the 10th month of the current calendar. BRAINS!

So without further ado, below is my pick of some of the best out there. With a review of 18 words or less, and in no particular order, please enjoy Horror Habit's 2018 Short Horror Film Festival.

Behind: CRINGE BINGE GALORE! Absolutely Frightening. The mother is just trying to protect her child ... from something...

Coffer: A quiet night at home leads to a Jump Out Of Your Seat (I literally did) evening.

The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon: LMFAO

The Visitor: A creatively done little story with a neat twist. 

The Maiden: Spooky haunted house story goes sinister. Dare you to play the Scary Grandma game after seeing this.

Larry: Careful what you browse through in the lost and found. This creature is terribly scary!!

Into the Mud: Well this took a turn I certainly did not expect!!! Brilliant story, cinematography, and acting. 

The Bridge Partner: This is one very serious bridge game. Fun, fresh, and wonderfully made - great story for all horror fans.

Good Luck, Mr. Zombie!: This is a clever little side tickler!!

In The Tall Grass: A fantastic, wonderfully made animated horror story about the horrors of our mind.

The Election: You might think you know what this film is about, but I can assure you - you don't.

Green Eyed: Brilliantly created original story about a girl, a monster, and a jealous yuppie.

The Crossing: A genuinely disturbing story about love, loss, and the nightmares in-between. Lovely work, terrifying story.

The Little Mermaid: Fantastical, beautiful, and chilling.

Waffle: Sometimes making friends is very difficult. Gruesome and unsettling, this short is also a cautionary tale, of sorts. 

The Silent: A troubling but beautiful visual experience, and a look into grief. 

Midnight Story: A little story about actual monsters in our home... one of the best animated films I've ever seen. 

Zombies and Cigarettes: "What are they?!" "Zombies, I think". [screaming and chaos everywhere]. "Zombies in Spain?" Smart, gory good fun.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Witch in the Window (2018)

October Challenge Day 18

Three days ago I was watching a loved one hold on to life by a thread, and they very nearly lost their grasp. Today I received a call from them - they used all their strength to whisper over the line: "I'm sorry."

A torrential downpour of tears and every variety of emotions took my breath away.

It was a tremendously emotional day, to say the least. Tremendously emotional. So much so that I felt like I could sleep for three days, and it was only 3:00 PM. Instead I got home, sat in the living room chair and very nearly fell asleep at 5:00 PM. The cats made sure sleep was not happening that early, so instead I decided it was time to try and watch a horror movie.

Scrolling through the latest horror movie news, I came across a film that I noticed was just released today on the Shudder channel! This film was apparently plucked from the film festival circuit and is now, as of October 18th, showing exclusively on Shudder. Ladies and gentlemen, I present: The Witch In The Window.

I don't recall the last time I watched a movie on 'opening night'. I often wait weeks to see a film when it comes out in theaters. I hate the ticket lines, really crowded theaters, and generally I prefer that the hype chills for a bit. Hell, I don't even like going into a museum exhibit if there are more than five people in there at time. I love people, I have a tremendous love for people. I just don't like too many of them near me.

So when I saw that it was a movie 'opening night' that I could enjoy from the living room chair that I could barely move from, all while trying to wrap my heart and mind around the day's overwhelming heart bursts, I was more than happy to continue to sit there and let my mind melt into the safe world of stories and make-believe.

As in almost all my movie choices, I have no idea what I'm getting into aside from the occasional vague reference or description. All I knew about this film was that it was opening day and a father and son were going to bond while fixing a house together.

If you like tenderhearted spooky stories where things linger in the background to menace your idea of safety, then get this one ready in your to-watch queue!

I strongly believe that really good ghost stories are actually heartbreaking love stories under the cold, angry surface. In life and in stories. Here we have a love story. A love story about family and dysfunction. There also happens to be a pretty stellar ghost involved. Bonus: there are a few elements in this little spook factory that really, really, really surprised me.

This film was able to create some very original and disturbing scenes using nothing more than the sense of normalcy. BRILLIANT. These scenes will, in fact, haunt me. *looking directly at you 'son slowing waking up' scene*. I was most pretty blown away by this film's story telling magic.

I also just needed this type of story right now. I needed a spooky little drama/horror. I needed a place for my mind to cozy up to - in a world where loves never dies. I also needed a place where my heart could find treasures in some of the forgotten corners of our diverse emotions.

This film is not for every horror fan, but it's likely a really good choice for those looking for a ghost story that is more focused on the living.

I watched this film on Shudder, or use the Find It! Watch It! links on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this heartfelt story.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Marrowbone aka The Secret of Marrowbone (2017)

October Challenge Day 9

Hold on to your heart strings - it's about to get dusty in here (I'm not crying you're crying)! It wasn't until after I watched Marrowbone that I saw it was written and directed by Sergio G. Sánchez - who also wrote The Orphanage [deep, guttural sob].

There are five siblings in our family, and I would do anything for my brothers - and they would do anything for me. We are tight and a force to be reckoned with should anything threaten our unit. So you can image how invested I quickly became with this story: siblings doing anything to stay together and protect themselves.

SOB. I'm already sobbing. 

In this story sibling are trapped together in a spooky old mansion, out in the woods, armed and ready to go to war their #1 threat: Their Father.

Things are already dark in this twisted tale and they get darker, terribly so. Although their home/prison/under more normal circumstances most children's fantasy palace is a mixed blessing, the story quickly reveals how this cohesive unit survives on a day-to-day basis. There is so much charm and kindness in this shadowy story, making the unraveling of it all the more shocking and (again) *dusty for the eyes.

Ghosts in the attic, fantasy in the woods, board games at night - it's hard not to fall in love with these kids. It's hard not to sympathize with their plight, especially whey their secret might be found out...

Fantastic cinematography, spooky atmosphere, wonderful acting and writing: bravo on all fronts. But prepare yourselves folks, this is a harrowing little story that will leave you with many different feelings by the end. Pairs with fresh vegetables, water, and tea. Best watched from a blanket fort.

I watched this film on Hulu, or use the Find It! Watch it! links on Horror Habit's sidebar to locate where else you can find this original and jarring twisted tale.

Bad Taste (1987)

October Challenge Day 8

This film has been on my To Watch list for YEARS. Why it's taken me so long to see it (especially since I love Peter Jackson's other hilarious gore show, Dead Alive), I have no idea. But finally the day came. Finally I made time for Bad Taste.

As you can tell by the poster image, this movie doesn't care what you think.

Here we have a bunch of aliens that landed in New Zealand to harvest humans for their fast food chain. Sit back, crack open the beers, and let the hilarity begin!

There's something about this film that feels like a day drinking idea that was spontaneously made with your best buds after an already raucous evening. Then things went sideways. Something you'll laugh about later of course, but sideways all the same.

This is a ridiculous, witty, gross film with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Particular laugh-out-loud humor, however. Sure, there's a lot of just laughable gross moments, but the banter is quick and takes no prisoners so keep up! The gore also takes no prisoners - prepare to cringe while (periodically) uncomfortably giggling.

Silly, smart, and absolutely disgusting, this is a great film for a lazy day drinking day or a goofy night with a small group of friends. Pairs with bad ideas that intended to be good ideas. Watch in clothes you haven't washed in weeks.

I've watched this film on Hoopla, or use the Find It! Watch It! links on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this splatter festival.