HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: ONE MISSED CALL (2008)

CAST
Edward Burns (27 Dresses)
Shannyn Sossamon (Sleepy Hollow)
Ana Claudia Talancon (Fast Food Nation)
Ray Wise (Robocop)
Azura Skye (28 Days)
Johnny Lewis (Aliens vs Predator 2)
Jason Beghe (The Finder)
Meagan Good (Minority Report TV)
Ariel Winter (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns)
The film opens on Shelley, a college student, sitting outside a Japanese style house near a koi pond. Her pet cat is near the pond, and after hearing a strange noise there, Shelley goes to investigate. A hand reaches out of the pond and grabs Shelley, pulling her under. Seconds later, the same hand drags the cat down to its death. A red hard candy floats to the surface of the pond.
College student Beth Raymond is talking with her friend, Leann, who attended Shelley’s funeral. Leann’s cellphone rings with a lullaby-like ringtone, and it says it’s from Shelley. Leann listens to the voicemail, which is herself screaming. The voicemail is dated three days in the future. Leann begins to experience hallucinations that make her increasingly anxious. While walking home minutes before the time on the voicemail, she calls Beth. Beth runs to get to Leann, and arrives in time to see Leann fall off a bridge and get hit by a passing train. Although obviously dead, Leann’s hand dials a number on her phone.
At Leann’s funeral, Beth’s roommate, Taylor, is talking about Shelley receiving a strange voicemail before her death, just like Leann had. Brian, Leann’s ex-boyfriend, begins to see disturbing apparitions, and leaves the funeral in a rush. Beth catches Brian outside a coffee shop and Brian shows her a voicemail he received the night Leann died, from Leann’s phone. Beth realizes the voicemail is dated mere seconds away. An explosion at a nearby construction site sends a rebar through Brian’s torso. Brian coughs out a red hard candy and collapses, as Beth stares in horror. When Beth arrives home, a distraught Taylor is waiting for her. Taylor says she knows she’s next, even though she hasn’t received a voicemail. Beth assures her that it isn’t going to happen, and takes the batteries out of both their cellphones to ensure they can’t receive calls. Later that night, Beth and Taylor are awakened by the lullaby ringtone coming from Taylor’s battery-less cellphone. Despite having no power source, Taylor’s phone screen displays a video message of her death, dated two days in the future.
The next morning, Andrews visits Beth, saying his sister was the one who called Shelley, despite his sister being dead at the time of the call. He also says he traced the voicemail left on his sister’s phone and was going to find out more about the person who sent it, Marie Layton. Andrews goes through the local autopsy reports, and finds a report for Ellie Layton, Marie’s eldest daughter, who died of an asthma attack. They find records for hospital visits for Ellie and Laurel, who is Ellie’s younger sister. Laurel was injured often, which leads Beth to suspect abuse from her mother. As Taylor’s time approaches, Beth races to her, and sees Taylor being choked to death by an unseen force. A red hard candy falls out of her mouth. Suddenly, Beth’s phone begins to ring and she finds a voicemail dated for tomorrow. In an effort to save herself, Beth decides to find out more about the hospital fire alone. At the hospital and with less than half an hour left, Beth is frightened by various apparitions. She runs into Andrews, and the two try to escape the hospital. They are separated and Beth finds a crawlspace. She discovers finds Marie’s body, burned to death and clutching a cell phone. At the time of Beth’s foretold death, Marie’s corpse assaults her while weeping. It is later revealed that Marie was actually protecting Beth, not trying to hurt her. Beth survives her predicted death.
While visiting Laurel, Andrews goes to her room and finds her teddy bear with a video disc in its back. The disc is a video of a camera Marie hid to monitor Laurel and Ellie. The disc reveals that Ellie had cut Laurel’s arm with a butcher knife. Marie had entered and realized that the abuse she has been blamed for has been Ellie all along. She then left to take Laurel to the hospital, locking Ellie in the bedroom. Ellie suffers an asthma attack and dies while dialing her mother’s cell, making Marie the first real victim of the curse. Laurel tells Andrews that though Ellie hurt her, she always gave her the red hard candies, the ones found in the mouths of all the victims. Andrews’ cellphone begins to ring with a voicemail dated for thirty minutes later.
Andrews realizes that the force behind the murders is Ellie, and races to Beth. After he arrives at her house, the two hear a knock on the door. As Andrews looks through the peephole, a knife stabs through it and kills him. Ellie’s spirit appears and reaches out to kill Beth. The spirit of Marie then appears and grabs Ellie, saving Beth yet again. A red candy spills out of Andrews’ mouth and his cell begins to dial a number on its own, revealing that Ellie’s ghost is still out there, and more people will die.
One Missed Call is a really fun little movie to watch and it’s also nice to see Shannyn Sossamon back in a leading role. Well-timed scares, a decent plot, some great creepy moments and a very fast pace all add up to a pretty decent night in

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: EXCISION

CAST
AnnaLynne McCord (Nip/Tuck)
Roger Bart (Hostel – Part II)
Ariel Winter (One Missed Call)
Traci Lords (Blade)
Matthew Gray Gruber (500 Days of Summer)
Jeremy Sumpter (Peter Pan)
Natalie Dreyfuss (The Originals)
John Waters (Seed of Chucky)
Malcolm McDowell (Halloween 2007)
Marlee Martin (My Name is Earl)
Ray Wise (Robocop)
The film depicts the life of a disturbed and delusional high school student, Pauline (AnnaLynne McCord), with aspirations of a career in medicine and the extremes to which she goes to earn the approval of her controlling mother. Pauline has a younger sister named Grace (Ariel Winter) who suffers from cystic fibrosis. Pauline has vivid dreams about herself and others being mutilated with excessive amounts of blood; and after each dream wakes panting in an orgasmic state. Pauline decides to lose her virginity to a boy named Adam – explaining what she wants from him and gives him her number. Because of her fascination with blood she arranges their meeting while she is on her period. While having an orgasm she imagines herself choking Adam and the bed filling with blood. At the end she asks Adam to go down on her, which he obliges. After a few moments he runs to the bathroom disgusted by the blood, as he was unaware she was on her period.
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During sex class, Pauline takes a sample of her blood and puts it under a microscope to check for STDs. Later on she sees Adam on the bleachers with his girlfriend. She tells Adam she doesn’t have any STDs and asks his girlfriend if she has any, who states that she doesn’t. Pauline then tells them that if the girlfriend doesn’t have anything neither will she. After she walks away Adam’s girlfriend deduces that he was unfaithful.
 
Across the street from Pauline and Grace is a teenage girl that jumps rope in her drive way. Pauline invited the girl to jump rope with her, but she found Pauline weird and refused. Grace defends her sister and storms off, pulling Pauline with her. Adam’s now ex-girlfriend and her friend TP Pauline’s house and spray paint ‘cunt’ and ‘whore’ on it. Pauline, on an angry tirade at school, pushes Adam to the ground and slams his ex-girlfriend’s face into her locker, resulting in her being expelled from school.
 
While in her room she overhears her parents saying Grace’s doctor wants her on the lung transplant list. During dinner that night her sister has a severe coughing fit, which concerns her parents. In the morning their mother leaves and the father stays home. Pauline drugs her father with tea and when he falls asleep, ties him up and gags him. Pauline then lures the jump roping girl to the backyard under the false premise that there are several jump ropes she can have that Grace can no longer use because of her lungs. She places a cloth over her mouth and after a brief struggle the girl loses consciousness. Pauline talks to Grace and lovingly strokes her hair, stating that Grace may be confused by what is going to happen but she has only her best interest in mind. She drugs Grace with the same cloth, then cuts and shaves her own hair. Excision-2012-Movie-Scene-1024x576In the garage, Pauline has cut open both girls and continues with her surgery, moving the healthy girl’s lungs into her sister and placing the other lungs on ice, then sewing them both up. Pauline’s mother arrives home and sees her husband tied up. She panics and runs through the house frantically screaming for Grace. She opens the garage door and finds Pauline with the bodies. Pauline explains that it is her first surgery, and although it is messy, it is wonderful, and that she was unsure what to do with the jump roping girl’s body so she used her to practice her incisions. She then urges her mother to take a closer look, who runs towards her and grabs her, holding her and screaming hysterically. Pauline at first seems proud, but then begins to sob.
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If you’re in the mood for something which is a very grisly affair, mixed with pretty much every other genre, give this a go. It’s an indie film and it always will be, but everyone gives a good enough performance to elevate it to a cult film.

REVIEW: KILLERS

CAST
Katherine Heigl (27 Dresses)
Ashton Kutcher (The Butterfly Effect)
Tom Selleck (Ted)
Catherine O’Hara (Beetlejuice)
Katherine Winnick (Hellraiser 8)
Kevin Sussman (Ugly Betty)
Martin Mull (Jingle All The Way)
Alex Borstein (Family Guy)
Usher Raymond (Texas Rangers)
Ariel Winter (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Winston Story (Masked Rider)
Larry Joe Campbell (The Orville)
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After a break-up with a boyfriend, an overly cautious Jen (Katherine Heigl) travels to Nice, France with her parents (Tom Selleck and Catherine O’Hara). After getting into an elevator to go to her hotel room, she meets Spencer Aimes (Ashton Kutcher). Spencer asks her out for drinks and she accepts. The scene then changes to Spencer sneaking onto a boat, putting a remote controlled bomb on the bottom of a helicopter, then taking out a guard. He then swims back and goes on the date with Jen. After the helicopter takes off, Spencer triggers the bomb using his phone.
After a night of drinking, Jen reveals that she’s not the spontaneous person she’s been pretending to be and in return Spencer bluntly tells her that he’s an assassin, albeit unhappy about being one. Unfortunately she’s already passed out and hasn’t heard. In spite of this, Spencer decides that Jen’s the woman he’s been looking for and decides to marry her. When Spencer tells his boss, Holbrook (Martin Mull), his plan, the response is that quitting is not an option. Spencer is defiant and goes ahead with his plan.Three years later, they are settled into their new normal life. After Spencer surprises Jen with a remodeled office, she gives him a birthday surprise: tickets to Nice to celebrate his birthday and their three years. Because of his dubious connections to Nice, Spencer is less than enthusiastic. When Jen’s friends ask about his reaction, they take it as a sign that he might be getting bored and fill her head with doubts. 
Meanwhile, Spencer gets a postcard from his old boss and the ultimatum to take another assignment. While trying to refuse him long distance, Jen’s father shows up to take Spencer to dinner, so Spencer hangs up the phone, prompting suspicion in Mr. Kornfeldt. This is fueled further when Jen’s dad sees the postcard and quizzes him about the XOXX (hugs and kisses), being odd coming from a former boss. Stopping home to change, Spencer finds that the dinner invitation is just a detour to bring him to a surprise party. While Spencer navigates drunken friends, Jen’s friends continue to fill her head with doubts over Spencer’s lack of enthusiasm for the Nice trip. This is further irritated, when the following morning, despite her attempts to be physical with him, Spencer rushes Jen off on her business trip.
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A little while later, Jen comes back (without having gone on her trip) to find Spencer being tossed around their house by Henry (Rob Riggle), Spencer’s best friend and co-worker. Spencer screams for her to get his gun (of which she was unaware) and she shoots Henry in the arm. While interrogating him, Henry reveals that there is a $20 million bounty on Spencer’s head. An unidentified sniper takes shots at them, and Spencer and Jen flee. Henry goes after them, and after a car chase through the neighborhood, they end up in a construction zone, where Henry crashes his car. Spencer rams him into a trench, impaling his car on rebar and killing him. They then go to the hotel room where Spencer’s old boss is staying, but find that someone has already killed him. Jen demands that they go to her dad for help, but Spencer disagrees. In the middle of their argument Jen vomits, and declares that she might be pregnant.
Heading back to his office for Jen to take a pregnancy test, Spencer is attacked by his secretary (Katheryn Winnick) and realizes that there are others who know about the contract. Jen then reveals that she is pregnant and is leaving Spencer. Left alone, Spencer is attacked by a delivery driver, who is then run over and killed by Olivia (Lisa Ann Walter), Henry’s wife, another killer vying for the contract. She then tries to run over Spencer, but Jen returns and smashes Olivia’s car into a fuel tank, which Spencer then shoots at and explodes, killing Olivia. The two discuss their possible future and return to their neighborhood, which is holding its annual block party. When they first arrive, they are attacked by two more assailants who, in a chase through backyards, crash their car, giving Jen and Spencer a chance to flee into the block party. As they walk through it, they receive many suspicious looks from neighbors. They enter their house to retrieve guns and their passports. Spencer is grabbing the guns when he is attacked by the two assailants again, whom he eventually kills.
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Meanwhile, one assassin, Kristen (Casey Wilson), one of Jen’s best friends, holds Jen’s mother as a hostage in a Mexican standoff with Jen. Jen’s father arrives and kills Kristen. He then explains that he was the one who put out the bounty on Spencer. He knew of Spencer’s previous work all along, and hired the neighbors and co-workers three years before, in case Spencer started working for his old boss again, who Jen’s father says had “gone dirty.” After seeing the postcard from Holbrook in Spencer’s office, he came to the conclusion that Spencer had re-accepted his old job and activated the assassins. He reveals that he had been an operative as well, and that he was actually the target Spencer was supposed to kill in Nice three years earlier.
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In a standoff between Spencer and Jen’s father, he does not trust that Spencer is really out of the game. Wanting to prove that he really did get out, Spencer drops his gun, and tells Jen’s father he has no intention of killing him. Jen, now convinced, reveals her pregnancy to her parents. Jen’s father, after killing one last wounded assassin, drops his gun as well. The family makes peace by building a trust circle, in which Spencer reveals that English is not his first language, and that he wanted to be the first one to say “I love you” to Jen. The movie ends showing Spencer and Jen’s father working on some wires near Spencer and Jen’s baby’s crib. Spencer has grown a moustache just like Jen’s father. Spencer and Jen then leave to let Jen’s mom and dad babysit. They all leave the room, but Spencer comes back in to activate the lasers protecting the baby.
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Killers is definitely not the best movie and won’t win awards. But it’s a fun movie. The story is fairly predictable, but it has some good action and is generally pretty entertaining