Its that time of year again! Take a break from carving your jack-o-lanterns, pop some popcorn and check out a creepy flick. Nowadays it can be pretty difficult to find a movie that really puts a fright into you. Maybe we have become too desensitized to the blood and gore of modern theatre, or maybe its just to hard to come up with new ways to scare people.
Either way us fearless folks here at the Insomniac decided that since there was no way we would begin to be frightened by a horror movie we would instead review a few movies that were a bit stranger than most horror flicks. I’m sure they were meant to induce terror but in the end they mainly just left us scratching our heads, wondering what we had just seen. First up in our grim trio, The Babadook.
This film centers around the life of a single mother, Amelia, struggling to make ends meet while dealing with the loss of her husband and her son, Samuel, whom everyone believes to be suffering from some sort of mental impairment. Life is difficult. Samuel seems to have paranoid delusions about a monster that lives in his closet called, the Babadook. So aptly named from the sound it makes as it approaches it’s victims. His fear stems from a eerily bound children’s book that tells the tale of Mister Babadook. Even as Amelia read the book to Sam something about it seemed off. She was shaken to the point of refusing to continuing to read the book. Coincidentally, upon closer examination, Amelia finds that the book has several blank pages remaining in the back, almost as if the story had yet to be written.
As the movie progresses we see Sam and Amelia both suffer from the effects of the Babadook’s infestation. Somehow Amelia slowly becomes more distraught by the evil of the Babadook and is drawn back to the book. Disgusted she destroys the book and throws it away. Unfortunately for her the Babadook will not be undone so easily and the book reappears on her doorstep. Previously unfinished the book now details a story of her become possessed by the Babadook, falling into insanity, and murdering Sam before killing herself. This leads to her burning the book.
The more she denies its existence, the more powerful the creature becomes. Unable to resist, Amelia falls completely under the control of the ghastly entity. Sam becomes an unlikely hero as he captures his bedeviled matriarch and helps her find the strength to force the being from her body. This is where things get weird.
After being cast out the defeated Babadook is reduced to being nothing more than a demented pet that feeds on worms and insects that Amelia and Sam gather as a part of their daily routine! I can get over them not showing us once what the Babadook actually looked like, I can even get by the awkwardly contrived exorcism performed by her strange and somewhat plucky son, but turning the beast that brought us to the heights of suspense throughout this film into domesticated demon? The makers of this movie couldn’t try harder than that? Seriously this is probably the one of the most anticlimactic works I have ever seen. I give this move 1-1/2 fist. Watch it if you like but be prepared to be more dissatisfied than the girl you lost your virginity to.
Number 2 on our list is Housebound, a foreign horror flick with a plot line too original to resist. Kiley Bucknell is a drug addicted criminal that, after her most recent brush with the law, is forced to return to her childhood home to serve an 8 month house arrest sentence. A little light if you ask me. After all the movie opens with her blowing up an atm for cash. Unfortunately for her, and perhaps deservedly so, the house seems to be haunted. Or so she believes.
Kiley does not have her shit together in any way at all. I mean seriously, fuck up might as well be her middle name. Her mother Miriam seems to be a bit spacey but means well overall. Her and kiley’s relationship is a bit rocky which adds to a bit of the tension in the household. So tell me, what could be worse than being on house arrest in a haunted house? Finding out that this vengeful spirit might actually be trying to contact you for some unseen purpose of course!
This is movie is very well done. The story subtly draws you in and it takes some pretty strange twist and turns as it endears you to Kiley’s plight. It’s an enjoyable rollercoaster ride that keeps you guessing at what pitfalls remain along the way. A must watch in my book. So go watch it. I give this one 4 ½ fist.
Now for the final installment of our horror movie review. As the last, and truly the least scary of all these flicks, Cooties is your normal run of the mill zombie dog and pony show. Elijah Wood stars as Clint Hadson, a substitute teacher at an elementary school in his hometown of Ft. Chicken, Illinois.
An unlucky kid eats a tainted chicken nugget an yada yada yada. Look it’s a cheesy zombie flick. Obviously meant to be over the top, funny, and outright horrible it delivers in all three categories. The other teachers are a strange lot. There was no real character development outside of Clint. Truth be told this film didn’t need it. This is not a real world movie that makes you wonder, what if? No, this is more like the Talladega Nights of zombie movies. If you want character development and all that artsy shit you are barking up the wrong tree on this one.
The plot is contrived and weak. Little kids turned walking dead from bad cafeteria food? This movie seems like it was done by shitty absentee parents that have dreams of smacking around their own little brats when they’re acting like pint sized jerks. I laughed throughout this whole suckfest. What can I say? This movie was funny. Crappy and wonderful at the same time. Toke up a bit and have a good laugh. I give this 3 of 5 fist.