I'm the foulmouthed horror movie critic. I post new reviews every Sunday, so stay tuned =D
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of '30 Days of Night' (2007)
Here's an example of a movie that just did everything right. Should I start with spoilers? I feel like everyone knows what this movie is about. I mean it's right there on the movie poster. There's also the source material which is even more famous than the actual movie. But the movie goes out of its way to treat it like a secret, and even does a big reveal regardless of the fact we all know what's going on.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Candyman' (2021)
It would be impossible to talk about this movie without mentioning the political undertone. I mean, you basically can't even talk about the original Candyman (1992) without mentioning the political undertones. The first was more about Redlining and the creation of the Projects, and the new one is more about gentrification and police brutality, but both stories were told with a purpose. The director and writer of both movies wanted to tell a story that highlights the systematic oppression of black people and how that's exploited by white people. The first one didn't pull any punches and neither did the second. Frankly, it's a fantastically brilliant way to create a mythos. The urban legend of Candyman takes on a life of its own in the real lives and real struggles of black people.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Smile' (2022)
This movie was just really poorly cut. This is actually becoming a problem with horror movies in general as more and more of them try and reach for that two hour limit instead of the traditional hour and a half. This one, for instance, was an hour and fifty-five, and honestly it was really only about an hour and thirty of good cinema. They could have cut about thirty minutes, at least, in scenes that were practically just dead air. The pacing is way off and honestly, it's like my complaint of The Block Island Sound (2020). There is too much time between things actually happening. Sure, eventually it takes off, but for the most part it just lags. It feels like more and more movies should be failing my 30 Minute Rule for the collective time they spend meandering between the plot. Yes, shit is technically happening, but it's to little and to far between.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Life' (2017)
You know, I get that this movie is very similar to a low-tech Alien (1979), but they are two distinctly different movies, and while there are many similarities, they are not the same. So I'm not really going to get on the bandwagon of calling this an Alien Knockoff, tempting as it is. I think, while this movie is nowhere near as good as Alien, it clearly stands out on its own with its own merits. And, to be fair, Alien is still my all-time favorite movie.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of '1408' (2007)
I'm actually pretty impressed with what they do in this movie with such a simple concept. The whole movie is just a room with a spoooooooky story. That's it. But this movie does more with that than most haunted house movies do with a twenty minute exposition on the haunted house's origins. They do give you a little bit, just enough, explaining that dozens of people have died in room 1408, but that's it. The rest of the movie is just the room torturing the shit out of Cusak's character Mike Enslin. That's it. No real motivation, no "bad ghost," as Samuel L. Jackson puts it, it's just an evil fucking room. It doesn't really exist for a reason, it doesn't really have a motivation, it just wants to torture the inhabitance. Sure, there is a sort of motivation explained later, but that's more about how Mike ended up in the room and less about the room itself. And holey shit, this room is fucking deranged.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'X' 2022
You know, it would have been totally appropriate to have the acting in this movie only be good enough for porno. I know they were going for serious, but that's not the only direction they could have taken this. I mean, this movie basically is a single X porno with horror in it. But hey, some of the best USA Up all Night horror movies were basically single X pornos. They could have easily leaned into that.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Drag Me To Hell' (2009)
I think what makes this movie so brilliant is how brutally unfair it is. I've mentioned this before in early reviews, it's hard to take the horror seriously if you're rooting for the killer to win. In order to really drive horror home, you have to make the viewer empathize with the victims. That's what really makes something terrifying, being able to step into the shoes of the horror victim. And here's the thing, this movie is kinda silly. So, imagine a movie that's kinda silly but with characters so well developed and easy to sympathize with that it's still good horror. I mean, the plot is what really drives it home. Imagine if an absolute Karen was given the ability to send people straight to hell. Scarry, right? I mean, if we really go over it, Alison Lohman's character really didn't do anything wrong. Yeah, it's never fun to be the other person on the end of evicting someone out of their home, but as she said, her boss really has the final call. Sure, the guy tries to absolve himself by telling her she has the last say, but so did Paunchous Pilot when he "Washed his hands" of the execution of Jesus. Her boss knew he was dangling her whole life over her head and through that was clearly using coercion to get the answer he wanted. Seriously, only an absolute Karen would blame the employee and not the Boss. You imagine if someone that self-righteous was able to just pick who goes to hell? Frightening shit right there.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Cold Skin' (2017)
SPOILERS!!! I have to start early with the spoilers because there's no talking about this movie while dancing around the fact that both male leads fuck a fish woman. That's kind of the whole plot, really. A lighthouse keeper just wants to tend his lighthouse and fuck his fishwife. Only problem is, the fishwife's relatives keep showing up trying to kill the lighthouse keeper. What's a guy to do other than arm himself to the teeth and make his lighthouse a fortress. That's seriously the whole plot. What this one guy is willing to do so he can keep fucking his fishwife. I get that this guy is an obsessive prick but I'm not sure anyone's that obsessive. I mean, this guy goes to war a couple times every month just to keep fucking his fishwife. At some point he'd have to tap out. I'm flat-out shocked he isn't dead. Defending the lighthouse is a serious job and every time is a near-death situation where he almost loses.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'The Frighteners' (1996)
This movie is proof that Peter Jackson isn't a total hack. A hack couldn't produce something this clever. And yes that means I like this film and I think you should watch it. General PG-13 Audiences will love this movie.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'The Devil Below' (2021)
You know, this was okay. It had the production quality of a SyFy Channel Original. That means shitty CGI minimum. And yeah, that's what you get. The monsters really look like garbage up close. Hell, you see that maw at the bottom of the movie poster? That shit would be good, but they look nothing like that. They kinda look like a shitty CGI version of the Fluke Man from X-Files but with a giant head. I mean, they had practical FX costumes for the monsters, so why not go all in on practical FX? Hell, a shitty rubber monster looks better than a shitty CGI monster. But they basically use lighting and camera filters to cover how bad everything looks. I mean, I know rubber monster suits are expensive, especially when you need at least a dozen, but that's why you have one really good one for up close and a bunch of really basic ones to cover with the lighting and filters. I mean, that's what lighting and filters are for. Like I said in my review of Alien Abduction (2014), it's okay to cover up your shitty rubber monster costumes. You can make the worst rubber monster look good with the right lighting and filters. And, I mean, they seemed to get that in this movie, because they go out of their way to cover up the FX with lighting and filters. So why half-ass CGI when you can whole-ass latex?