Genre : Horror
Country : USA
Director: Bobby Roe
Recovering from the trauma of being kidnapped last Halloween by the Blue Skeleton – a group who take “extreme haunt” to another level – five friends decide they must face their fears in order to move on. Heading back out on the road to visit more haunted house attractions, signs of the Blue Skeleton start appearing again and a new terror begins.
A Real Fixer Upper
2014 was a big year for independent horror. Modern classics such as The Babadook and It Follows were hits both critically and commercially. Meanwhile lo-fi movies such as A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and Creep became instant cult classics. And thanks to the prevalence of streaming access to these kind of independent movies is easier than ever. One of the most popular being The Houses October Built. While not perfect it was a fun found footage film with a lot of potential for the future. Unfortunately with The Houses October Built 2 it doesn’t quite work out.
Perhaps the biggest problem is how little it deviates from the original. By the end of the first film the Blue Skeleton come off as a cool, mysterious villainous collective. A group that terrorizes people under the assumption of just being a haunted house once a year. It’s an interesting concept that director-writer Bobby Roe could have ran with in a lot of different ways. Instead we get more of the same. Like the first film we follow these 30-somethings go from haunt to haunt before going to one run by the nefarious Blue Skeleton. It’s virtually the same plot of the first film with the only difference being that Brandy from the first film is reluctant to do it again.
Of course when it comes to repetition horror can be one of the more forgiving genres. In fact, franchises like Friday the 13th have devoted followings partly thanks to sticking to a dependable formula. The key to it working is having a good amount of scares throughout the movie. Sadly this isn’t the case with The Houses October Built 2. Aside from the occasional hint here and there about the Blue Skeleton following our main cast it takes a surprisingly long time for any actual horror to get going. Instead the first hour feels more like a documentary than a horror movie. Just following our main cast as they go to different attractions. By the time the terror does start it is too little too late. A shame because what we do see is pretty good. A mix of practical and special effects it all looks great. It’s just happens so fast and so late into the film that it feels underwhelming. That all said The Houses October Built 2 isn’t a complete loss.
The one positive thing carried over from the first film is the cast. Led by Brandy Schaefer the cast work amazingly well with each other. Able to pull off both comedy and more dramatic moments they have the kind of chemistry that you can only get from being real life friends. I also think that Bobby Roe has improved as a director since the first movie. Thanks to the use of drones and different cameras he is able to avoid the typical monotony that plagues lesser found footage movies. He also does a better job at pacing the movie never letting scenes drag for too long. While it doesn’t redeem the movie completely it does make The Houses October Built 2 easier to digest.
I can’t say I disliked The Houses October Built 2. In fact, I found myself having a fun time catching up with this crew of friends and seeing different Halloween events around the country. If the intent were to make a travelogue or a documentary it would have been perfect. But as a horror movie it doesn’t work out. An overall lack of scares and predictability really hampers the entire film. I look forward to seeing more from director-writer Bobby Roe but it might be time to close shop on The Houses October Built series.
Links : IMDB
The Houses October Built 2 is available on Blu-Ray and DVD on January 2nd, 2018
Easy To Survive Five Nights At Freddy’s
Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Lail, Kat Conner Sterling, Piper Rubio, Mary Stuart Masterson and Matthew Lillard
Directed by: Emma Tammi
Written by: Scott Cawthon, Emma Tammi and Seth Cuddeback
Based on the video game series by: Scott Cawthon
Produced by: Jason Blum and Scott Cawthon
Executive Producers: Bea Sequeira, Russell Binder, Marc Mostman and Christopher H. Warner
Chica and Mr Cupcake from Five Nights at Freddy’s (Universal Pictures)
Recently fired and desperate for work so that he can keep custody of Abby, Mike agrees to take a position as a night security guard at an abandoned theme restaurant: Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. But Mike soon discovers that nothing at Freddy’s is what it seems. With the aid of Vanessa, a local police officer, Mike’s nights at Freddy’s will lead him into unexplainable encounters with the supernatural and drag him into the black heart of an unspeakable nightmare.
Movie Review (No Spoilers)
The movie takes its inspiration from the Five Nights At Freddy’s videogame series and the franchise of the same name. The franchise currently consists of a total of 20 video games (10 main games, 6 spin-offs, and 4 troll games), a total of 48 books (3 novel books, 21 anthology books, 8 graphic novels, 5 guidebooks, 3 coloring books, and 8 other books), as well as a horror attraction, Snapchat lenses, this movie, and an ongoing batch of merchandise.
We see Josh Hutcherson and Elizabeth Lail’s play the part of Mike Schmidt and Officer Vanessa Shelly respectively. They played their parts well and their performance definitely contributes to the dramatic effects within the movie. The story was nicely adapted from the narrative in the video games. Being familiar with the video games I expected Five Nights at Freddy’s to be filled to the brim with jump scares. Sadly, the jump scares were quite infrequent and there is definitely a lack of gory scenes, leaving you with the feeling that the animatronics might not be that scary at all. The animatronics were well designed.
The movie successfully delivers a plot twist at the end. The story ends in such a way that you can expect a sequel and I hope that if we get to experience another night at Freddy’s that we get to experience an even greater scare.
I rate this movie a 3 out of 5 based on expectations. As a fan of the game series you will definitely enjoy this because this movie takes a lot of the Five Nights At Freddy’s lore into account with a few variations.
I personally feel the trailer delivers a bit of a scare, however it reveals a little bit too much information about the story. There is a mid-credits scene and a potential secret audio message at the end of the credits. Feel free to stick around.
The Exorcist: Believer Review
The Exorcist Films
The Exorcist (1973)
Regan, a young girl, displays bizarre behaviour after playing with an Ouija board. Chris, her mother and an actress, consults two priests who conclude that Regan is possessed by a demonic entity.
Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
A priest is tasked with probing the death of another priest who died while exorcising a girl four years ago. However, the latter does not remember the incident and is under the care of a psychiatrist.
The Exorcist III (1990)
Lieutenant Kinderman sets out to investigate a series of brutal murders with the trademark of a serial killer, The Gemini. However, he uncovers disturbing facts which leave him troubled.
Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)
While doing missionary work in Africa, Father Lankester Merrin comes across a boy who is behaving strangely. Further investigation reveals that he is possessed by an ancient demon.
Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)
Father Lankester Merrin has his first encounter with a demon when a church is excavated from beneath the sand. Soon, he discovers several signs of devil worship inside the church.
The Exorcist: Believer
When his daughter, Angela, and her friend Katherine, show signs of demonic possession, it unleashes a chain of events that forces single father Victor Fielding to confront the nadir of evil. Terrified and desperate, he seeks out Chris MacNeil, the only person alive who’s witnessed anything like it before.
Movie Review (No Spoilers)
The movie doesn’t rush too quickly into the dramatic aspects of the film. It really provides a different feel to that of the predecessors. Olivia O’Neil and Lidya Jewett really brought their A-game and I really appreciated their performance. As always, the possessed voices are always done excellently. There is a treat for longstanding fans of the Exorcist movies with the return of Ellen Burstyn who returns as Chris MacNeil, which was teased in the movie trailer as well. The soundtrack along with the use of strategically placed jump scares contributed to the overall scare, however, most of the massive scares are closer to the end of the movie. I recommend watching the other Exorcist-related movies to really have the background. A lot of effort was done in the make-up, special effects and with the religious elements that have been factored into the movie.
Just a word of caution though, this movie is not for the faint-hearted and sensitive viewers.
There is no post-credits scene at the end, so no need to wait till the end. The official trailer I feel gives away a lot of the movie in terms of some of the plots, so watch perhaps the movie before watching the trailer. I rate this movie a 3.5 out of 5. Really looking forward to future projects in the Exorcist film series but I really hope they can deliver a scary surprise in a future sequel.
Catch it at a cinema near you!
Night Swim | Official Trailer — In Theaters January 5th, 2024
Release Date: 5 January 2024
Director: Bryce McGuire
Writer: Bryce McGuire
Based on: Night Swim, short film by Rod Blackhurst and Bryce McGuire
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Production Companies: Atomic Monster and Blumhouse Productions
Cast: Wyatt Russell, Kerry Condon, Amélie Hoeferle & Gavin Warren
Night Swim Movie Poster (Universal Pictures)
No running. No diving. No lifeguard on duty. No swimming after dark.
Ray Waller, a former major league baseball player forced into early retirement by a degenerative illness, moves into a new home with his concerned wife Eve, teenage daughter Izzy and young son Elliot. Secretly hoping, against the odds, to return to pro ball, Ray persuades Eve that the new home’s shimmering backyard swimming pool will be fun for the kids and provide physical therapy for him. But a dark secret in the home’s past will unleash a malevolent force that will drag the family under, into the depths of inescapable terror.
Catch the trailer online now!
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