I believe this is my first foray into Into the Dark on Hulu, the Blumhouse conception aimed to please those who run out to see any half-assed horror flick in theaters by producing these bite-sized, holiday themed options that are available right at home. I second-guess myself because there are so many now that it’s hard to keep track of what I may have turned on one random night before passing out in my Beefaroni. Into the Dark classifies itself as a TV anthology series, but I hate to break it to ya: when your “episodes” are all feature-lengths (80mins or above), are self-contained with completely different casts, and there are monthly gaps between releases, then they are movies not shows.
The “Thumb Parodies” are somewhat of a curious personal legend. All the way back in 2008, when I first joined Netflix, the series caught my eye and I added the short films to my queue. Ever since then, they have been there waiting, watching me as I added more and more movies in front of them on my list. Well, today they are ignored no longer. I have finally rented The Blair Thumb.
Going into Mr. Jones I was ready for the worst. Netflix predicted I would give it two stars and for someone like me to give a horror movie that bad of a rating surely meant the public reviews averaged out to be less than two stars. On the surface it looked like one of those movies where the budget is tiny and the story would be lacking. I anticipated a slow, boring trod through the woods with a 2-man cast and a bunch of creepy stick-scarecrows. Nothing scary or supernatural would happen and the ending would reveal the characters jumping at their own shadows, effectively wasting the viewers time. Basically, I prepared myself for a RIPOFF of The Blair Witch Project. Continue reading
There was a time when a little horror movie was being developed by Adam Wingard (You’re Next) under the moniker “The Woods”. Then, in an abrupt turn of events two months ago at San Diego Comic Con, that film was revealed to be a third entry in the Blair Witch series. To help keep the secret while in production Wingard actually filmed the movie in Vancouver, as opposed to the original being filmed on location in Burkittsville, Maryland. I think it’s safe to say that nobody saw this coming, especially nearly 20 years after The Blair Witch Project took the nation by storm. Immediately following the reveal I was extremely void of excitement. The trailer looked like a cheap attempt at rebooting a classic and left me with not only a bad taste in my mouth, but a streak of anger. But as the release date got closer and the reviews started pouring out I found not a single write-up that condemned Blair Witch as I assumed they all would. So, I decided to re-balance my expectations and see it in the theater. Maybe there was a lot more to this incarnation that wasn’t hinted at in the trailer. Continue reading
Unfriended is a horror movie told completely through the screen of a single computer. To be more clear, it shows you the “live” monitor of the main character the whole time. The story unfolds through a series of Skype video chats, as well as other popular sites like YouTube and Facebook. The only top site missing was Twitter (maybe because 250 characters wouldn’t add anything of importance). It is an interesting concept, although quite ridiculous. A group of cyber-bullying teenagers are talking online together on the anniversary of a colleague’s suicide when their chat is visited by an unwanted guest. Harassment ensues. I gave it the benefit of the doubt.
WNUF Halloween Special is a curious work of art. It was made in 2013 but appears to be filmed in 1987. In fact, its grainy appearance is what grants it its charm. It was a very small release, costing only $1,500 to make. The creators wanted to keep it shrouded in anonymity, so they pursued a silent ad campaign consisting of throwing VHS copies out of car windows and dropping off piles of tapes at conventions. The whole entirety of WNUF was supposed to capture the essence of an earlier era of entertainment. While I’m all for a heavy heap of nostalgia, unfortunately this film takes it too far.