As a Christian who is involved in reviewing movies and interviewing actors and filmmakers, I’m always excited to hear about actors who share my faith. Although most critics pan any sort of Bible-based movie, I give them a chance if they fall within certain genres. I’m always on the search for a good faith-oriented horror or sci-fi film that will break down the barrier between “secular” and Christian cinema.
Everyone’s favorite canine mystery solver returns for his 22nd direct-to-video adventure with “Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy.” You’d think he and the Mystery Incorporated Gang would be ready to retire after such a long and satisfying career. However, they continue to make their way around the world in their trusty Mystery Machine seeking out one crime caper after the next.
“Oculus” is one of those rare supernatural horror films that take a little time to set in. If you don’t give it some reflection (believe it or not, pun unintentional) after your initial viewing, you might walk away disappointed or shrugging it off. It’s the type of film that demands you watch it multiple times to take it all in and fully enjoy all its chills and excitements.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment has been dropping catalog titles on Blu-ray for a while now. Once every few months we’ll get a higher end title like “The Little Mermaid” or the upcoming “Sleeping Beauty” that gets their own time in the limelight. In between those, they’ve been delivering smaller films and collections in groups of four or five at a time. This time around they’ve mixed it up a little by giving us two newer top-shelf releases with three timeless tales.
It’s amazing how what appears on the surface to be another creature feature dressed up as a teen slasher film can have so much to say and deliver a morality fable for a modern age. Much like the fairy tales of centuries past, 1988’s “Pumpkinhead” not only aimed to please horror junkies but teach them something along the way. At the heart of all the gore and scares are a few different messages like, “Be careful what you ask for,” “Be sure your sins will find you out,” and “The price of revenge is your soul.” Scream Factory gives a new generation the opportunity to learn these lessons while being frightened out of their minds with their Blu-ray release of “Pumpkinhead” Collector’s Edition.
If there’s one thing that can be said about “The Quiet Ones,” it’s that the movie is definitely an extension of Hammer’s classic films of the 1960s. Not content to just throw out some monster scares, they delve into the Satanic cult themes of classics like “The Devil Rides Out,” “To the Devil a Daughter,” and “The Satanic Rites of Dracula.” Although not perfect by any means and a bit confusing in plot if you’re not paying close enough attention, the famous production company delivers a creepy new entry to add to their rich cinematic history.
When people think of alien movies from the 1980s, a few come to mind right away. I can only imagine one of those is “Predator.” Tons of sequels and Arnold Schwarzenegger forever cemented the hunting space creatures in the brains of sci-fi fans worldwide. Unfortunately, “Without Warning” is probably not found on many of those lists. The movie featured a traveler from another world bent on collecting human trophies and preceded John McTiernan’s blockbuster by seven years.
Once again stumbling through the archives of undiscovered horror gems courtesy of Scream Factory, I’ve come across 1980’s “Motel Hell” Collector’s Edition. It’s quite obvious from the film’s tagline what inspired this darkly humorous tale of one man’s quest to serve up the best meat he can to his customers. Tobe Hooper decided to collect some indirect royalties in 1986 by taking the idea of a chainsaw duel for “Texas Chainsaw Massacre II.”
If the success of “Guardians of the Galaxy” has taught us anything, it’s that the world is ready for heroes as bizarre as a raccoon handling a large laser rifle and piloting a starship. Who would have thought even six months ago that audiences would be so open to such a seemingly ridiculous sight? That being said, I think it’s time for another Disney-owned property to pull a literal rabbit out of their hat. The world is obviously ready for Lucasfilm’s own version of a gun-wielding four-legged furry creature. Jaxxon, the green-haired hare should get his own “Star Wars” spin-off!
If I had to pick one movie that I believe jettisoned the current craze for schlocky creature features to where it’s at now, it would be 1999’s “Lake Placid.” Full of ridiculous characters, gory killings, and a cameo from Betty White in which she swears not like one but several sailors, it paved the way for today’s fun B-movies in the vein of “Sharknado” and pretty much any film in the Asylum catalog. Scream Factory once again reminds horror fans of another forgotten classic with its release of the “Lake Placid” Collector’s Edition.