REVIEW: SIREN

CAST

Chase Williamson (The Guest)
Hannah Fierman (V/H/S)
Justin Welborn (The Final Destination)
Hayes Mercure (The Red Road)
Michael Aaron Milligan (24: Legacy)
Brittany S. Hall (Cat Run 2)
Randy McDowell (Paranormal Activity)
Lindsey Garrett (The Signal)

One week before his wedding day, Jonah and his groomsmen hit the town for a wild night of club hopping and debauchery. But the party becomes a savage fight for survival when they unwittingly unleash a fabled predator upon the festivities.Jonah tries to figure out a way to save his friend Rand, who was kidnapped and tortured by the sadistic Mr. Nyx, a former carnival owner turned necromancer. The girl, Lily, is actually a demon from hell (a succubus to be exact) that was summoned years ago, taken by Nyx, and forced to become a sex slave. Jonah tries to tell Lily he made a mistake not knowing what she was. Lily becomes infatuated with him and wants him to stay with her, killing anyone who gets in her way.1kqKJBfw73I9q2caApghcLRUZoiJonah makes a deal with Nyx that Lily will follow him to a church where she was summoned years earlier. Jonah is happy to see Rand alive and well, while Nyx plans to send Lily back to hell, deeming her too dangerous to anyone around her.Lady_KongHowever, Lily gets the upper hand and kills Nyx and his henchman, saving Jonah and Rand. She kisses Jonah goodbye, and decides to stay in the church for the rest of her life. A month later, Jonah and his wife Eva get married. They both make love on their honeymoon. Jonah decides to get himself a glass of wine, until he realized that he had made love to Lily and not Eva, who is asleep on the couch. Eva notices Lily and starts to scream, where Lily starts to attack her. Jonah begs her to stop and decides to go with her, while Eva starts to scream for Jonah, who disappears into the night.Pranksta_Rap_27Siren is a feature-length adaptation of Amateur Night a horror segment from V/H/S back in 2012 directed by Gregg Bishop.First i say this movie is very different from the source material so if you already watch the original you will still find this movie fresh and new. A decent spin-off.

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REVIEW: V/H/S 3: VIRAL

CAST

Emilia Ares Zoryan (Bosch)
Steve Berens (Killer Pad)
Garrett Bales (Disaster L.A.)
Ryan Staats (From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series)
Angela Garcia (Snowfall)

Vicious Circles

Directed by Marcel Sarmiento
Written by T.J. Cimfel, David White, and Marcel Sarmiento

In the wrap-around, Kevin, an amateur videographer constantly shoots footage of his girlfriend Iris, which she claims to enjoy. As we watch these initial images it becomes apparent that Kevin’s mother is abusive, at one point bloodying his nose off-screen. Later in the evening a high speed pursuit near his neighborhood is broadcast on television, he sees the opportunity to create a viral video. But, he is too late to shoot footage as the truck speeds past his house, though he sees Iris wander outside in a daze, after receiving a mysterious video call, and get abducted. Kevin chases after the truck, egged on by images of Iris broadcast to his cell phone. The truck circles the neighborhood repeatedly, and people receive strange images on their cell phones that cause them to become violently insane. When Kevin finally catches up to the truck he sees body parts strewn on the ground around it. He examines the drivers seat only to find it empty but with a pair of disembodied hands duct taped to the wheel. Upon examining the back of the truck he finds a number of televisions stacked atop each other as in the first two movies. Iris appears on one of the tv screens and demands that Kevin upload the footage to broadcasters and presumably the internet as well. At first he refuses but does as she says when Iris begins to brutally mutilate herself. The deed done, he exits the truck as the image of Iris on the screen continues to taunt him. Outside he discovers Iris’ dead body slumped against the truck with her cellphone stuck in her mouth. Kevin realizes that he has been manipulated into uploading the videos and that Iris had been dead for some time. He pulls the phone out of her mouth and sees that it’s in selfie-mode. He stares in shock at himself on the screen. The closing shot shows a view of the city, smoke billowing up, lights flickering on and off and a helicopter circling overhead, implying the uploaded videos have gone viral and have begun to affect thousands, thus fulfilling the grander threat introduced in the first two films.

Dante the Great

Directed and written by Gregg Bishop


Dante the Great, an untalented illusionist, discovers a cloak that grants him the power to perform real magic. He quickly becomes famous, though he learns that the cloak requires regular sacrifices to work. Dante hires a series of female assistants and videotapes their violent deaths at the hands of the cloak. When Scarlet, his latest assistant, discovers Dante’s stash of tapes, she alerts the police. Dante uses his magic powers to escape captivity and kill an entire SWAT team. Scarlet then confronts him, and the two duel over the magic cloak. Though Scarlet is briefly able to take it from him, he overpowers her and recovers it. Before Dante can kill her, Scarlet uses a trick he taught her to immobilize him, and the cloak feeds on him instead. Scarlet burns the cloak, only to find it in her house; the segment ends as arms reach from inside the cloak and grab her.

Parallel Monsters

Directed and written by Nacho Vigalondo

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On each side of an interdimensional portal, parallel versions of inventor Alfonso cautiously greet each other. Overcome by curiosity, the two explore each other’s worlds. At first the worlds seem exact duplicates, but they are revealed to hold divergent dominant religions. As a pornographic snuff film plays in the background, his wife Marta prompts him to perform a ceremony with two men. Disturbed, Alfonso leaves the house and sees a large blimp with an inverted cross. When he attempts to record it, he angers the two men. Their appearance turns demonic, and he attacks them. He flees back to his house, where Marta, now naked, reveals demonic genitalia. Alfonso strikes her and flees back to his world, where the demonic Alfonso has attacked the normal version of Marta as she slept. The two versions of Marta each kill their husbands, blaming them for the actions of their double.

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Bonestorm

Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead
Written by Justin Benson

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A trio of skateboarders perform various stunts as the videographer they hired pushes them into increasingly dangerous circumstances in the hopes of filming a snuff film. After they become bored, the videographer suggests they continue the film shoot in Tijuana, where they subsequently become lost after buying fireworks. Once they find a suitable place, the videographer encourages them to again perform more stunts. When one of the skateboarders injures himself and bleeds on a pentagram, a group of cloaked cultists attack them. Using improvised weapons, including their skateboards, the skateboarders kill the cultists, though all but two of the skateboarders die in the ensuing fight. The dead cultists then rise as skeletons. Using the fireworks, the skateboarders destroy several of the skeletons. The surviving skateboarders then flee back toward the border as a monstrous creature appears and presumably eats the videographer along with his camera as we’re treated to a first-person view of being swallowed into the creatures gullet.

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I really like horror anthologies to be fair but I thought this was decent. Pretty weird / original stories, some solid jumps and twists and it’s funny too. If you like the previous two or similar horror compilations it’s a worthy addition to the collection. Some of the scares are repetitive.

REVIEW: V/H/S/ 2

CAST

Lawrence Michael Levine (Wild Canaries)
Mindy Robinson (The Bet)
Adam Wingard (The Guest)
Oka Antara  (The Raid 2)

The film is presented as an anthology of short horror films, built into a frame narrative which acts as its own short horror film. Each short film is linked together with the concept of found footage (each segment is from the VHS tapes found in the first film).

Tape 49/frame narrative

Directed by Simon Barrett

After Larry botches an investigation, a college student’s mother requests that Larry and his girlfriend Ayesha, also a private investigator, look into the disappearance of her son Kyle. After breaking into Kyle’s dorm, they discover a large stack of VHS tapes and a laptop that is still recording a video. On the laptop, Kyle discusses the VHS tapes, saying where he got one of the most recent ones, and Larry tells Ayesha to watch the tapes while he inspects the house. As Ayesha watches the first tape, a figure peers out and watches her.Ayesha calls Larry into the room, and they discuss the tapes’ legitimacy. Larry tells Ayesha to continue viewing the tapes, which Kyle’s video explains they must be watched in the proper order “to affect you”. Larry re-enters the room and finds Ayesha in a hypnotized state with her nose bleeding. After being woken, she says she has a migraine. Larry leaves to find medicine, and a seemingly entranced Ayesha watches another tape. From the shadows, the figure crawls out and watches her. Upon Larry’s return, he discovers Ayesha lying on the floor with her gun in hand and a bullet wound in her head, implying she has killed herself. A VHS tape with the word “WATCH” written on it in lipstick, lies beside her. Larry picks up the tape and anxiously watches it.Confused, Larry watches the webcam footage and sees Kyle explain that he and his mother want to make their own tape; Kyle then attempts suicide on-camera by shooting himself through his jaw, but seemingly survives, even though his jaw is completely ripped off, and runs off moments before Larry and Ayesha enter the dorm. An undead Ayesha suddenly attacks Larry. When he breaks her neck, she chases after him on all fours. Larry hides in a closet and shoots Ayesha in the face when she finds him. Larry hears a gurgling sound and explores the closet only to find Kyle hiding in the back. Kyle strangles Larry and afterwards gives the camera a “thumbs up”, his plan being a success, and the recording ends.

Phase I Clinical Trials

Directed by Adam Wingard

After a car accident, Herman receives an ocular implant with a camera to replace his damaged right eye. The doctor warns that he may experience “glitches” because the implant is still in an experimental stage, and Herman notices a young red-haired woman staring at him on the way out of the hospital. That night at his home, he is haunted by a man and young girl, both of whom appear dead. Herman calls the doctor to demand that he remove the implant, and spends the night locked in his bathroom.

The next day, the red-haired woman, Clarissa, appears at his door, asking him if he is starting to see dead people. She reveals that she was born deaf and had an implant installed in her ear, which allowed her to hear but also gave her the ability to hear dead people. Herman suggests that if he has the implant removed the ghosts will go away but Clarissa explains that removing the implant will just keep Herman from seeing the ghosts, not send them away. She then asks if Herman has ever hurt anyone but he doesn’t answer. Suddenly the ghost of Clarissa’s “creepy” uncle appears behind her. She seems unaffected by this saying that he wasn’t a very nice guy. She then explains that the ghosts become stronger when one pays attention to them, so they have sex in an effort to ignore them. Later that night, the ghosts of the dead man and young girl appear and an unseen force drowns Clarissa in the outdoor pool. Running back through the house in an effort to escape the ghosts, Herman again locks himself in the bathroom and uses a straight razor to cut out his eye. Herman then opens the door to escape but unwittingly runs directly into the ghosts who throttle him and stuff the eye, still attached to the razor, down his throat, presumably killing him.

A Ride in the Park

Directed by Eduardo Sánchez

and Gregg Hale

A cyclist, Mike, with a camera affixed on his helmet, is riding through a state park, when he runs into a hysterical and bloody woman, asking for help with her boyfriend. Mike then sees several zombies approaching them, before he is suddenly attacked and bitten on the throat by the woman, whom he kills. Mike staggers through the park, heavily bleeding, before finally collapsing and apparently dying. A pair of bikers come across him and attempt to help, but he reanimates, attacks, and partially devours them. Hearing noise in the distance, the three zombies head off towards it. The trio invades a young girl’s birthday party, killing several people, some of whom reanimate to attack others. While trying to attack a man in his car, he notices his bloodied reflection, which seems to subdue his aggressive behavior. When he accidentally pocket dials his girlfriend, he is shocked back to a semi-conscious state upon hearing her voice and kills himself with a discarded shotgun.

Safe Haven  

Directed by Timo Tjahjanto

and Gareth Huw Evans

A news crew composed of 4 members (Malik the interviewer, his girlfriend Lena, and Adam and Joni the cameramen) infiltrate an Indonesian cult in the hope of shooting a documentary about their mysterious activities. Inside the building, they find the walls adorned in bizarre symbols, schoolchildren in classrooms, and women dressed in white garments. Malik overhears that his fiancée, Lena, is pregnant with Adam’s child.Image result for v/h/s 2 safe havenIn the basement, Adam finds a bloody woman strapped to a chair who begins convulsing, causing him to run away. While the cult leader is being interviewed, a bell chimes, and he suddenly announces the “time of reckoning” over the intercom. The cultists begin a mass suicide via poison and gunshots, while Joni has his throat cut by the cult leader after interrupting the announcement. Lena is abducted by several women in surgical apparel, and Malik is shot dead by one of the cult members. As Adam attempts to rescue Lena, an explosion knocks him down, and the cult leader then proceeds to explode in front of him. Adam finds Lena placed on an altar but is unable to save her as a horned demon tears its way out of her body. As Adam attempts to flee, he is attacked by the previously deceased cultists and schoolchildren, including Joni and Malik who have all turned into zombie-like ghouls. He eventually makes it to his car and attempts to drive away, but the demon chases him down and overturns the vehicle. As he attempts to crawl out, the demon calls him “papa”, causing him to begin laughing hysterically, realizing that the demon is actually his child. Shortly thereafter, the camera malfunctions.

Slumber Party Alien Abduction

Directed by Jason Eisener

Image result for v/h/s 2 Slumber Party Alien AbductionYoung brothers Gary and Randy attach a camera to their Yorkshire Terrier dog, Tank, to create videos at their lake-side house. After their parents leave, Gary and Randy invite over their friends, Shawn and Danny, and the group harass the older sister, Jen, and her boyfriend, Zack. While the group is swimming at a nearby lake, they fail to notice a grey alien hiding beneath the water.Image result for v/h/s 2 Slumber Party Alien AbductionLater that night, the aliens begin frightening the kids with bright lights and deafening noises. Realizing the aliens are in the house and have cut the power, Zack attempts to scare off the intruders with a shotgun, only to be quickly grabbed by one of the aliens. The aliens attack the rest of the teenagers in the house, dragging them in their sleeping bags, and attempting to drown them in the lake. Only Gary, Randy, Jen and Tank escape, running into the woods to hide. After Tank inadvertently alerts the aliens to their location by barking, the group run toward what they believe to be police lights and sirens, but it turns out to be a trap set by the aliens who abduct Randy. Jen and Gary flee to a nearby barn, where the aliens drag Jen away as Gary and Tank escape up a ladder. As the aliens close in on Gary, he is suddenly pulled into the air by the alien ship’s tractor beam, dropping the dog in the process. Tank is fatally injured by the fall and lies whimpering on the ground as both he and the camera slowly die.Image result for v/h/s 2 Slumber Party Alien Abduction If you are not a fan of V/H/S 1 then you’d do well to leave this one alone, even though the camera work and production values are a lot better in this one, it is still a found footage anthology. However, if you found any entertainment in the first one whatsoever, then give this one a try, it’s well worth it

REVIEW: V/H/S

CAST

Calvin Reader (You’re Next)
Lane Hughes (Halloween II)
Kentucker Audley (The Sacrement)
Adam Wingard (The Guest)
Kentucker Audley (Silver Bullets)

The film is presented as an anthology of short horror films, built into a frame narrative which acts as its own short horror film. Each short film is linked together with the concept of found footage (each segment is from the VHS tapes found in the room).

Tape 56/frame narrative 

Directed by Adam Wingard

The frame narrative focuses on a criminal gang who film their exploits, which include smashing the walls and windows of an abandoned house and sexually assaulting a woman in a parking lot. An anonymous source offers them a large sum of money to break into a house and steal a single VHS videotape. The gang is eager to expand their criminal enterprises, and accept the task.Entering the house, the criminals find an old man sitting dead in front of several television sets playing white noise. Feeling free to roam the house, they discover hundreds of unmarked VHS tapes, and set about collecting them all to ensure that they retrieve the right one. One of the criminals stays behind in the TV room with the dead body to watch the “Amateur Night” tape left in the VCR. The contents of this tape and the four subsequent ones comprise the bulk of the film, with the action cutting back to the criminals’ efforts between each short. As the frame narrative progresses, the gang encounters a strange figure moving around the basement, which appears to be the old man. Glimpses of the TV room demonstrate that, unknown to the criminals, the man’s body disappears at one point only to reappear in the exact position. Similarly, the criminals return to the TV room to find that the first viewer has disappeared, prompting another of the criminals to continue watching the tapes himself. After the “The Sick Thing that happened to Emily when she was Younger” segment ends, the gang’s leader returns to the TV room to discover that he is the only person left, and that the old man’s body is gone.Searching the rooms upstairs, he finds the decapitated remains of one of the criminals, and is subsequently attacked by the old man, who is now a zombie. The leader flees downstairs, where he falls and is killed by the other figure seen walking around the basement, which seems to be a monster. The frame narrative ends with the camera left in the TV room picking up the sound of the VCR starting the “10/31/98” tape by itself.        Amateur Night             

Directed by David Bruckner

Shane, Patrick, and Clint are three friends who have rented a motel room to fulfill Shane’s intent of bringing women back for sex; Clint’s glasses have been outfitted with a hidden camera that will allow them to turn their planned encounter into an amateur porn video. While the three men are bar-hopping, Clint encounters a mysterious young woman, Lily, who acts aloof and says little other than “I like you.”In addition to picking up Lily, the men also succeed in convincing another young woman, Lisa, to return to their motel with them. Lisa passes out as Shane attempts to initiate sex and Patrick, laughing, discourages him from continuing. Lily continues awkwardly coming on to Clint, but a dejected Shane comes on to Lily instead, oblivious to the scales visible on her feet as he undresses her. Lily appears responsive, pushing Shane onto his back and then beginning to undress Clint, seemingly beginning a threesome. Overwhelmed, Clint goes to the bathroom; Patrick disrobes and attempts to take Clint’s place, but Lily has made it clear that she dislikes Patrick.Moments later, Patrick bursts into the bathroom claiming Lily bit him. When they approach Shane, Lily sprouts fangs, attacks and kills him. Clint and Patrick hide in the bathroom until Patrick, still nude, arms himself with a shower curtain rod and returns to the room. Clint tries to wake Lisa and Patrick attempts to fight Lily but she subdues him, drinks his blood and rips off his genitals. Clint escapes, but ends up falling down a stairwell and breaks his wrist in the process. Lily catches up to Clint, but instead of attacking, she attempts fellatio. Finding Clint unaroused, she crawls over to a corner and cries softly, which gets louder, then turns into a horrific growl. Clint flees, begging bystanders for help, but he is suddenly lifted into the sky by Lily, who has transformed into a winged creature. The glasses fall off Clint’s face and hit the ground before the video cuts out.Image result for v/h/s second honeymoonSecond Honeymoon

Directed by Ti West

A married couple, Sam and Stephanie, travel to Arizona for their second honeymoon. They visit a Wild West-themed attraction where Stephanie receives a prediction from a mechanical fortune teller, which claims that she will soon be reunited with a loved one. That evening (off camera), a woman comes to Sam and Stephanie’s motel room and awkwardly tries to convince Sam to give her a ride the next day. In the middle of the night, while the couple are asleep, someone breaks into the room, turns on the camcorder and films touching Stephanie’s buttocks with a switchblade. The intruder then steals $100 from Sam’s wallet and dips his toothbrush in the toilet. The next day, on their way to visit the Grand Canyon, Sam notices the missing money and accuses Stephanie of taking it, but she assumes he is joking. That night, someone enters the room again and stabs Sam in the neck with their switchblade, filming him as he chokes on his own blood before decapitating him. The camera then shows the killer, the woman from earlier, cleaning the blade while she and Stephanie kiss passionately. The recording cuts to Stephanie asking her lover if she has erased the footage.Image result for v/h/s tuesday the 17thTuesday the 17th   

Directed by Glenn McQuaid

Three friends—Joey, Spider, and Samantha—accompany their new friend, Wendy, on a camping trip. Joey films the group as Wendy leads them through the woods, occasionally mentioning ‘accidents’ that took the lives of her friends. When scanning certain areas, images of mutilated bodies appear in the film. Wendy then tells them that a murderer killed her friends during a camping trip here the previous year, but the group laughs it off as a joke. Spider and Samantha leave the group and are killed by a human-like figure with a red head obscured in tracking errors (identified in the credits as “The Glitch”).Image result for v/h/s tuesday the 17thAt the lake, Wendy tells Joey she lured all three of them to the grounds to use as bait so she can find and kill the mysterious force. Wendy reveals that she had been to this lake before where a killer had slaughtered all her friends and she was the only survivor. She notes that the police did not believe her when she said the killer could be in two places at once. The entity walks up behind Joey and slits his throat.Image result for v/h/s tuesday the 17thWendy runs away, luring the figure into two easily escaped booby traps and is cut by it in the second one. She films the entity close up, but it continues to be obscured by the tracking error. Wendy continues to run through the woods, she finds Joey in his death throes. After he dies, the figure approaches Wendy and a final trap impales it. Wendy gloats at it and walks away but when she turns around, it is gone; it reappears in a tree and jumps down, beats her with the camera, then kills her, subsequently eviscerating her, then inhabiting her body.

 The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger

Directed by Joe Swanberg

Image result for v/h/s The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was YoungerThis segment is shown through computer video chats. Emily talks to her boyfriend James, a trainee doctor, about a strange bump on her arm and how it reminds her of an accident she had when she was younger. After witnessing a small, childlike entity rush into her room and slam the door shut, Emily believes her apartment is haunted. Her landlord claims that no children have ever lived in the apartment, but Emily is unconvinced. During her next video chat with James, an increasingly frantic Emily digs into her arm with a scalpel to find out what the bump is, but James urges her to stop before the wound becomes infected.

Emily attempts to contact the being, but it knocks her out. James quickly appears in her apartment and surgically removes an alien fetus from Emily’s torso. Aliens are using Emily as an incubator for alien/human hybrids, and James has been working for them and removing the fetuses for some time. The aliens erase Emily’s memory, and James mentions that the arm bump is a tracking device. In their next chat, a badly injured Emily believes she sustained her injuries after wandering into traffic in a fugue state. She reveals that the doctor James recommended has diagnosed her as schizoaffective, and tearfully says that James deserves a better, more normal girlfriend. He assures Emily that she is the only person he wants to be with, but once their chat ends he begins a new chat with a different woman who has the same bump on her arm and also believes James is her boyfriend, showing that the aliens are using more than one person as an incubator.Image result for v/h/s The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger        10/31/98                 

Written & Directed by Radio Silence 

Image result for v/h/s 10/31/98It’s Halloween 1998. Chad, Matt, Tyler, and Paul (dressed in Halloween costumes as the Unabomber, a pirate, a teddy bear implanted with a nanny cam, and a Marine, respectively) head out to a Halloween party at a friend’s house, only to end up at the wrong place. Sneaking inside, they begin to experience paranormal phenomena and decide they are at a haunted house and have fun with it. In the attic they find several men gathered around a young woman whom they’ve suspended from the rafters, apparently performing an exorcism. The men are chanting “cast you down”, and the boys exuberantly join in, “cast him down”. One of the men reacts angrily to their presence and physically assaults the young woman. More violent, overtly threatening paranormal phenomena then begin to occur and the boys initially flee before realizing they should try to rescue the girl. Returning to the attic, the boys work to untie her and get her to safety, as the house itself comes to life with poltergeist phenomena and ghostly hands coming out of the walls and floors to claim the lives of the woman’s captors.Image result for v/h/s 10/31/98Exiting through the basement, the boys pile into their car with the girl and drive away. The car abruptly stops and the girl disappears, reappearing in the street before them and walking away amid a flock of birds before they realize that they’ve stopped on train tracks. The boys attempt to get out of the car as a train approaches, but the doors are locked. The screen starts to flicker with static and the train smashes into the car off-camera, presumably killing all inside. During the end credits, clips from Tape 56 are shown.Image result for v/h/s 10/31/98V/H/S really offers a great new spin on the found footage genre. The middle stories aren’t as strong as the first and last ones, but there are some really good special effects throughout. Everything is filmed on VHS tape, of course, some of them copied on top of other recordings, so we aren’t talking about digital special effects here. That being said, some of the effects are really just superb given the VHS format. Blood, gore, and ghostly manifestations all look cheaply real rather than really cheap. You’re a little hard pressed to find any characters you like in any of these stories, but that doesn’t really matter in this particular context. The first and last videos are particularly spellbinding, while all of them have their creepy moments. I think most horror fans, even those who dislike found footage films, will get a real kick out of V/H/S.