Tag-Archive for » horror «

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

Casey and Colleen are back after a week off! This week, they venture back to 1987 to take in “The Lamp” a.k.a. “The Outing”! Is it good? Does it have some major sociological issues? Does Casey talk Colleen into rubbing the lamp? (No, but he just got smacked.)

Tune in to find out!

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Saturday, July 25th, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

It’s a new week, time for a new show! This week, Casey and Colleen take on their first anthology flick with 2013′s “The Penny Dreadful Picture Show”!

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Wednesday, July 01st, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

Colleen and Casey take a trip to the middle of nowhere to take in the sites and abandoned cemeteries! Unbeknownst to them, there’s a old evil sorcerer in residence and voices his displeasure as they take in 1986′s Spookies!

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Tuesday, June 30th, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

While I can’t say there’s necessarily been a ‘buzz’ brewing over “We Are Still Here”, it’s safe to say that the name has been popping up here and there in various circles. My friend CC over at Bloody Good Horror gave it a 10 out of 10, which is a big deal. CC’s a strong critic, she doesn’t through 10′s out lightly. Needless to say, I was intrigued.

As I began to dig around for more info on the flick, I stumbled across the IMDb Listing. I quickly became more curious. This movie promised a stellar cast! Barbara Crampton is a genre veteran all the way back to “Re-Animator”. She’s a damn fine actress! You’ve probably seen Larry Fessenden in more horror flicks than you realize. He’s a pretty hardworking genre actor. Even Andrew Sensening and Lisa Marie are familiar faces throughout film in general. The listing really leads us to think that “We Are Still Here” might have some potential with a main cast so packed with experience. In fact, the only relatively unknown factor, at least to me, was writer/director Ted Geohegan. While the man has a number of producing credits and writing credits, I myself had never really seen his work, so I wasn’t sure what I was in store for.

What I found was a throw back horror film that packs a tightly woven slow burn that evolves into all out chaos that left me on the edge of my seat and dare I say…scared!

Pacing in movies of this type is often crucial and for “We Are Still Here”, the pacing was nailed. Throughout the movie we move slowly, but always feeling like something is lurking just behind us. Mixed with fleeting glimpses of something actually lurking in the shadows, without showing us a grand payoff of what we’re seeing until much later, we get a stifling atmosphere filled with tension and mystery. Just what has happened to this sad and lonely couple living out here in the middle of nowhere? What is it that that lurks in the basement, fleeting just off screen into the shadows? The film moves just slow enough and entices you with things off to the side so that your imagination runs wild on what could be over there in the dark.

As I mentioned earlier, the cast in “We are Still Here” is fantastic. The standouts being Barbara Crampton and Larry Fessenden. Barbara comes across as frail and disturbed, with a tragic happening in her past that has altered her state of being. We learn more of these happenings over the course of the movie, but she does a wonderful job of conveying just how broken up she is. You can’t help but feel sad for her and empathize from the very beginning, which leads to a heavy duty emotional punch by the end of the film. Larry Fessenden on the other hand, comes across as Larry Fessenden often does; disheveled, quirky and a bit hammy. His character takes a specific turn late in the film though that shows us just what this character actor is capable of, and when he’s running full bore, it’s hard to look away. The other actors in the film do well mind you. All of them have some twists and turns, though some have less of an impact than others. They simply don’t have as big a part of the story.

There are so many aspects to this movie, that lead to making it one of the more enjoyable horror films as of late. It drips atmosphere that will leave you unsettled and has a story that is plausible and makes sense, all while delivering some chills of its own. There aren’t too many twists and turns in the story, it’s fairly straight forward. For this type of film though, they deliver all of the needed back story for everything, doled out over time to keep the hook baited and keep you watching. It’s really well put together.

Then, comes the fun part of “We Are Still Here”. As I said at the top, this film is a slow burner. It takes a lot of time for things to unfold and play out, leading a meandering path to a final climax. When that climax finally comes, “We Are Still Here” erupts into chaos that manages to entertain, frighten and even surprise, all at the same time! There are great makeup effects at work as we are finally treated to full on imagery of what’s been lurking in the shadows. There are blood and guts galore. There’s violence, both surprising and gratuitous! There are many times that slow burner films tend to disappoint with too small of a payoff. Not with “We Are Still Here”. You’ll find yourself both a little giddy, maybe a little grimy by the end of it. You’ll definitely leave feeling fulfilled.

For a true sign of quality horror? I see myself as a bit of a hardened horror fan these days. Perhaps, a bit jaded. I’ve seen a ton of horror movies over the years and not much surprises me. While watching “We Are Still Here”, I had all the lights off in the living room for full effect. When Colleen walked into the living room, I didn’t see her having been too drawn into the movie. When suddenly she snapped on the kitchen light? I jumped about a foot off the couch while screaming, “Oh Shit!” That’s the sure sign of some quality scares!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

It’s Wednesday, that means it’s time for an all new Cinema Fromage! This week, Colleen and I sit down with the 2012 Ghostly Cemetary…er…epic? “Hold Your Breath”! It stars a whole bunch of people you don’t know, and that blonde chick from “30 Rock”!

It’s….exciting! Yeah, we’ll go with that!

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Thursday, June 18th, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell


It’s time for a new episode of Cinema Fromage, in which we travel back in time to 1974 to take in Pete Walker’s Cannibal Grandma opus, “Frightmare”! Come join us, won’t you?

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Wednesday, June 10th, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

Vacation’s over, but we’re still there in spirit as we dive into the new tourist trap themed horror com, “Love in the Time of Monsters”! We laugh, we cry, we share some stories of our own vacation adventures!

Kick back, tell your friends, and grab your favorite wine paring for Cinema Fromage!

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Sunday, May 24th, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

This week Casey and Colleen lower the budget a bit to take on 2005′s “The Wickeds”! It stars Ron Jeremy, so how bad can it be?

You’ll have to listen to find out!

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Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

Now, I know I ran my mouth a lot on last week’s episode about Colleen’s choice of “House of Last Things” so…I guess I have to man up and admit that this week? All my fault. We’re discussing the 2015 release of “Muck” written and directed by Steve Wolsh and it’s something else.

So sit back, grab your earbuds and tune in for a brand new episode!

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Wednesday, May 06th, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

I know, I know, we’ve always been told to never judge a book by its cover. But, I can’t help myself. Sometimes, I make judgments based solely on a cover. This is a holdover of my youth, the heyday of the VHS rental store where I’d stand and study box art by the hour, if my parents would let me.

In the modern age, Netflix Instant Watch has come pretty close to replacing that nostalgic tradition of when I stood in the shadows of the horror section trying to make up my mind what I was going to watch next. The service is packed with titles. It’s filled with colorful cover art and broken into handy categories, sub categories and more. Let’s face it; we’ve all had those evenings where we planned to sit and watch something and spent the next forty five minutes just scrolling through the service to see what’s out there. The only thing missing is bad lighting and the smell of musty cardboard and stale popcorn.

That’s all a long winded way to say, sometimes when I sit down and start flipping through Netflix, I feel like a kid again. Eager to watch something new, something I may not have considered watching before. This typically leads to being mesmerized by all the pretty cover art. Which sometimes leads me to making the decision on what I’m going to watch, based solely on the cover art. Which is how I found myself sitting down and watching Preservation.

Released in early 2015, Preservation is a try to be smart thriller mixed with a healthy dose of revenge flick. Written and directed by Christopher Denham, the film has great aspirations in its story telling, but sadly feels a bit like two distinct stories mixed together. The challenging part is that both of these halves feel distinctly different in quality and storytelling. With the fact that the solid and more engaging part of the story fills the second half of the film, we are left with a bit of a chore in the first half of the film.

Sean, recently ousted from the military, is heading off for a hunting trip with his brother Mike and his new wife Wit. The setup is easy enough; the boys used to come to these woods as kids. Mike had originally planned on making the trip with Wit, but soon Sean shows up out of the blue and essentially invites himself along.

The first half of our film focuses on these three characters and their forced awkwardness, which leads to our first hurdle to get past. While none of the performances are particularly bad, neither are they overly convincing in their plight. There’s a secret Wit is keeping from Mike. There is Sean’s mysterious exit from the military. There is the forced awkwardness between these three as Sean meets his new sister in law for the first time and more. None of these traits come across in a fashion that leads the viewer to becoming emotionally invested in their tension. Instead, we’re left on the side lines waiting for these to finish having these uncomfortable little moments.

Thankfully, this problematic pace only lasts for the first thirty minutes or so of the show as soon, the trio wakes up and finds out somebody has been in their camp and stolen their gear. This is when we are introduced to the faceless antagonist trio that simultaneously ups the tempo of the film, but also brings the strong female character of Wit to the surface. People are hunted, revenge is sought and ultimately, the rest of the film plays out like your standard Strangers clone, in the woods.

The movie packs a surprising amount of violence for the initial setup. While it isn’t overly graphic, there will be scenes that leave you cringing from time to time. The biggest surprise though, is that after being forced to try and connect emotionally with these characters, we have a hard time continuing to be invested as the carnage starts. It’s Wit’s turn from a character you’re mostly overlooking, to one filled with conviction and one you can begin to empathize with that makes the second half of the film such a treat.

In the end, Preservation isn’t going to win any awards for originality. It’s not going to win any awards for mind blowing story telling. It will treat you to a fairly entertaining way to blow an hour and a half on a slow night though, which makes it a worthy add to your Netflix queue.

Plus, that cover is pretty great.

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