Saturday, December 27, 2014

Jug Face (2013)

Ah, another day of sleeping in till 9:00 AM, slowly roll out of bed ... and immediately watch a horror film.

Jug Face has been taunting me with it's ugly mug for a while now. Seeing as Netflix is going to cut it loose from its streaming options by the end of this month, I figured it was now or never.

Somehow it seemed it appropriate that I watch this one in the kitchen, barefoot, and baking. Baking actual homemade bread, that is. There are and happily never will be any other types of buns+ovens in this house. Nope. But I'm getting off topic here...

SO! Like I said, there I was, barefoot, in the kitchen baking some bread, watching Jug Face.

I can absolutely see why this film has been widely applauded and criticized. There are sharp, smart, and cleverly creepy elements in the acting, cinematography, writing, and character development. Unfortunately, there are also some plot holes and cheesy supernatural scenes (particularly with a ghost). I did not find these scenes overwhelming or a distraction from the film as a whole - I simply made a sad face and moved on.

Throughout the film I found myself grumbling at organized religions as a whole, I see most of them as the bully to progress and self respect, but Jug Face pulled a fast one on me as the movie was coming to close. I found I could no longer grumble at their particular religious customs (per se), but rather at the greater significance of the creature in the pit.

This movie brought to mind the 2010 Canadian film, The Shrine. They share some similar arguments for/against back-wood community religions.

I like those little plot twists, I guess you can say that I appreciate when my grumbling can be redirected then broken and disseminated into more diverse perspectives.

This is a damn fine disturbing and thought-provoking film. I'm glad I finally saw it. This is not a film for everyone though... please keep that in mind should you venture into this crazy little community. You're going to have to keep an open mind (see also: religions).

Recommended pairing: opossum or squirrel meat sandwiches. Homemade booze. You could also watch this while standing up in the kitchen, leaning against the sink, smoking a cigarette and drinking a breakfast beer. OR pack yourself a picnic and watch it outside, preferably alone and in the woods.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Long Weekend (1978)

Happy Holidays, everyone!!

One of my favorite things about the holidays is all the pajama time. PAJAMAS. I'm living in my jimjams this entire holiday season and I couldn't be happier.

You know what goes great with a ton of jimjam time? Movies. Lots of movies.

I kicked off my vacation time watching Long Weekend at my brother's place on Christmas night.  It was the best, I couldn't have asked for a better way to end the holiday.

So there we were - me, my Husband, brother, and my brother's friend, all snug on the couch, when my brother asked, "Should I bring out a blanket? Would that be weird?" No way, man! It was the cherry on top of this already great start to the evening. The four of us with a long weekend ahead, Christmas night, all curled up under this blanket, prepared to watch a movie none of us knew a single thing about is the best.

This is a beautiful, compelling film. There is little doubt that the increase in environmental awareness played a huge role in this one. In fact, although not a huge focus in the film world, this is one of the best nature-fights-back-because-humans films that I've ever seen. Long Weekend will leave you chilled and dumbfounded by both the plot and the cinematography.

That said, this is also a good film to share your inside voices to. Although we really enjoyed the film silently, we also really enjoyed pulling out some Mystery Science Theater 3000 commentary skills. We had plenty of fodder to work with, most notably with the wardrobe and the husband's jaw-dropping jerkness. The jerkness played an important role in the film. The clothes, however, were a distracting reminder that we should never let the 1970s happen ever again.

This is a creature feature of nightmarish and triumphant proportions - and yet it is not, it's something totally different that will certainly haunt your conscience, likely for a lifetime.

There are scenes in this film that can not be unseen. There are implied images in this film that can not be unimagined. This film focuses on topics that could erupt into after-movie arguments, late night coffee house discussions, or help toss around a dozen cans of worms (don't litter though - pick up those cans and put them in the recycling).

Again, I couldn't have asked for a better holiday season, and in true Horror Habit fashion, I celebrated it all with a really bad ass horror movie.

Recommended pairing: organic, earth friendly, vegan products bought from your local farmer's market.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Haunt (2013)

Stumbled upon this one while unpacking from a summer of travel.

Normally I wouldn't choose this one to watch because I actually base a movie on it's cover. Not always books, but certainly movies.

The cover of Haunt :

This does not amuse or excite me. Based on this cover image I was expecting a typical, cheep story line with over-the-top creepy child ghosts crawling the walls in jerky movements - all of which is getting old for me.

And.... there is a little bit of all of that in this film....but not as much as I expected.

I was impressed with the opening scene. It was a little heart breaking and quite unsettling. And then the narrator added "...every ghost story starts with a house and a tragedy." SURENUF. I like where this powerful and chilling beginning is headed!

Although, it weakened a bit throughout the film (based on the powerful beginning), it didn't loose my interest and I really wanted to see where things were going. That said I can see where some enjoyed the film and others found it bland, or confusing.

I was confused at times:
  • Why is that teenage boy living in an attic when there appears to be a TON of great bedrooms in that huge house?!
  • The younger sister. Everything about the younger sister seemed unnecessary. 
  • The portrait in the closet. Um. That whole scene seemed unnecessary as well. 
  • Overall, there were points made in the film that didn't seem to fit anywhere - they were wayward and lost. 
However! This was still a pretty good ghost story! Creepy, sad, spooky, and strange. Although I suspected where some things were going, in the end it still surprised me.

This is a good venture for anyone in the mood for a creepy ghost story on a spooky, stormy night. It might not blow your mind but it's still time well spent. This all coming from a huge ghost story fan.

Recommended pairing:

Your comfort food as a teen, pajamas. Be sure to watch it late at night, preferably alone.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

My Ghost Story (Television Show, 2010)

Not much in the realm of paranormal movies or shows actually *scare* me. Startle me, spook me, give me chills, keep me awake for a while at night - yes. But scare me, very few.

So imagine my surprise at finding a television show from the Biography Channel moved to Lifetime that actually had me pull the bed covers up to my face and fear going to sleep because: straight up scary ghosts.

And I love ghost stories. LOVE THEM. Place me in one of those human hamster ball things, fill them full of nothing but a ton of ghost stories in every format, and I'll be entertained for days - if not weeks, depending on my food and water source. But My Ghost Story is a little something different, it has a sudden and startling ka-pow that you simply don't want to believe because sanity.

Not every episode is an earth shaker, and there are still plenty of episodes that even devout paranormal believers might roll their eyes to, but every once in a while there is a gem that will knock you right out of your socks.

It should come as no surprise that if you are not a paranormal fan or believer then this show might bore you. Or or or! It could become your weeknight comedy chill-out time instead of, I don't know, Three And A Half Men, or something...

My Ghost Story bills its self as a television show staring real people sitting down to a camera and sharing their personnel paranormal experiences - complete with evidence to prove their experiences! The evidence is the scariest part of this entire show, actually. For reals.

I thoroughly enjoy this show not because it proves anything - convincing people via TV of the existence of ghosts is a pointless and fruitless endeavor - I'm watching it because it's brilliant entertainment. Every story is fresh and new, you sort of want hug all those who shared their story, episodes are quick and dirty, you can not predict the ending 99.9 percent of the time, and it has wonderfully random little jolts of thrill no matter your belief.

I love this show. Love it's cheesy reenactment moments. it's simple and straightforward look into the controversial, it's lack of judgement on the storyteller, and that it has so many bad ass crazy videos. There, that's about it - oh and it's sometimes completely and totally terrifying.

That all said! I already believe in the supernatural. I don't need no convincin'. Straight up. I've got enough personal stories to send chills up the spines of my friends and family for the rest of my life already. And yet, I also have no energy to convince others of the paranormal, not my job. So, although my belief system may play a strong role in my devotion to this show, I also just love the storytelling.

And now, another plug: FOR PARANORMAL FANS

If you are as addicted to ghost stories as I am, then I highly recommend checking out Lex Wahl's Anything Ghost show:

Perhaps the very best collection of ghost stories from around the world. This podcast is a beautiful and intimate show filled with nothing but people (sometimes) timidly sharing their stories to an awesome guy who reads their words to the world. No additional commentary, no ideas, no sharing of thoughts - just the world sharing their supernatural story one at a time. A World Wide Web campfire.

It's something to experience - I'll just leave it at that.

I've been looking for a way to promote Anything Ghost here for a while now, and I couldn't think of a better movie/TV show than My Ghost Story.

And that about ties it up for this post, folks.

Turn off all the lights, get yourself settled into the couch for a viewing of some crazy CRAZY ghost stories and videos, or curl up next to the computer speakers and prepare to have your spine chilled till morning...

Take care!