Movie Reviews: Horror/Suspense Jan-Apr 2016

Horror has become an interesting topic among moviegoers in the past few months. One discussion in particular is what elements make a horror movie. More specifically, a movie that doesn’t scare you isn’t a horror movie. Many people would say that a movie with jump scares is what a horror movie is supposed to be like.  Jump scares are those moments of surprise with loud music or sounds to give you that jolt of excitement when something pops on screen. That is the typical version of a horror movie that people have been accustomed to. These past couple of months I have seen a couple of horror and suspense thrillers that don’t necessarily follow under that category and some that do.


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The Boy

The Boy, starring Lauren Cohan, is one of those horror movies closer to the former. The jump scare horror movie.  I also enjoyed some of the other tactics used in the movie to raise the tension. First, you see the movie through the main character’s experiences. The only time you figured something out or discovered something was through her. Movies like Child’s play or the first Friday the 13th, you were watching scenes from the point of view of the villain. So in The Boy, you were right there with her seeing and feeling all the things she was experiencing making the movie more of a personal journey. Also, it was environmental. The movie played with the environment which is this huge mansion with dark corners and long hallways to create an isolated feel. I really like the fact that even though you might chuckle more than scream of fear, you don’t know what is going on. Is she crazy? Is the doll real? Is this a trick to make her go crazy? To some this movie is predictable but to others, you actually might get a chilling surprise once it all comes together towards the end.

+1 mysterious elements and likeable characters kept me interested
+1 acting was good. Lauren Cohan gave a great performance that she can carry her own movie.
+1/2 writing could have been stronger. It was a little predictable
+0 I liked the movie but it’s a movie that doesn’t impress for a recommendation
+1 I would watch this movie again. I enjoyed how it all played out and entertaining enough to watch again

Total points 3 out of 5



10 Cloverfield Lane

This was an interesting movie basically for its marketing strategy. The title hints at sci-fi genre because of the movie “Cloverfield”. Both titles written by Drew Goddard. So people may expect there to be some connection between both movies or have it be a direct sequel to the high-octane, found footage, monster movie. Instead what you get is a psychological thriller. Movies like these don’t have many jump scares. The goal is to mentally mess with your head and give you that fear and anxiety that you don’t normally deal with but that feeling of what would you do in that situation. The beauty of this movie is that this could really happen to someone and there are people who believe that if the world is going to end, it gets to their head so much there is a bit of obsession and paranoia that can turn deadly.

+1 Creepy, intense, edge of your seat, mysterious.
+1 Acting was great. Only 3 main characters and it made such an impact. John Goodman is amazing in this movie.
+1 Writing was excellent. No idea where this movie was going. A little bit of everything
+1 Highly recommend this movie. If you liked Cloverfield, you should watch this next
+0 It’s a great movie but it makes such a mark on you, you don’t really need to watch it again.

Total points 4 out of 5


The Witch

I love me a witch movie. I find them to be so interesting. Some of my favorite movie of all times are witch movies. The best villains in the movies are witches. Talk about the most misunderstood horror movie of 2016 so far. When you create a trailer that has more chills and horrifying moments than the actual movie, props to the editors. Most people would say that this movie was misrepresented than a M. Night Shyamalan movie. This movie went through a lot of scrutiny because of the lack of action or moments this horror movie actually had. I’ll be honest, its a quiet movie. Lots of talk and build up. Not much jumping at you at all. However, this movie is beautifully made. Great set pieces and psychological scenes that the horror comes from the environment, the idea that no matter what this family believes in, they are doomed. The thought of how much religion can impact someone’s life can be terrifying. Some people find this to be harsh truth that doesn’t leave a good feeling in your gut and can create a sense of fear that makes The Witch a success with moviegoers. If you are looking for that jump scare, in your face attack, this is not the movie for you. Others would say, this is how old school horror is and how it should be. If you are like that, then you will enjoy this movie.

+1/2 Didn’t scare me that much but there were moments of edge of your seat. It was a little slow
+1 Acting was great, given the characters they are supposed to play, Amazing job.
+0 I wasn’t a fan of the writing. Old English language and a lot of bible talk is not for me.
+1/2 I definitely believe there is a fan base for this movie. but not a movie I would recommend to everyone.
+0 No desire to see this movie again. Maybe in a couple of years I’ll give it another go and see if my opinion changes.

Total points 2 out of 5 Not my type of horror movie


The Other side of the Door

This is what I like to call the “educational” horror. The movie spends a lot of time giving us a history legend of a true folktale or urban legend that it loses focus on entertaining the audience who are watching. This is a typical jump scare movie but the scares were predictable and uneventful. I will say that the plot was interesting, raises a moral question, and talks about death. What it’s like to heal, mourn, gain closure can be difficult and different for a lot. Also, what would you do if you can see a loved one again even if it meant bringing an evil entity in the world. Is it worth it? This movie ran with it in a horror style way so props for that but just executed poorly. Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead) and Jeremy Sisto are the only big stars of the film. So you are going to see a lot of newcomers or rising stars in this one.

+1/2 Not that scary, a little slow but stayed awake the whole time.
+1/2 Characters were not that convincing or likable in my opinion. They worked with what they got.
+0 Besides the interesting plot. It had potential to be an underground hit, but it was executed poorly.
+0 Do not recommend this film unless you are doing a Netflix and Chill night.
+0 I don’t need to see this again.

Total points 1 out of 5

There are many horror movies coming up this year, both in the movies and on demand. I look forward to watching many more and will try to review as much as I can to make sure you are up to date. What did you think of the movies mentioned?

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