Editor’s Note: These reviews are part of a three-part series of horror film reviews by Rebecca Yearwood. Rebecca has watched a film and written a review for everyday in October.
“Forget Me Not” (Rated R; 103 minutes)
“Sandy, what happened?!”
“…I don’t remember.”
“Forget Me Not” is the first horror movie I watched at the start of my project to watch a horror/scary movie every day in October. Shown in theaters in 2009, this movie follows a group of high school friends the summer before they go off to college. They play a game in a graveyard and an unnamed girl, who plays with them, jumps off a cliff.
One by one, the friends are picked off and killed in various ways by this unnamed girl, who is a demonic-like incarnation; one of the girls, Sandy, remembers every friend but as they are killed off, the rest of her friends ask her who she’s talking about as if the person mentioned never existed. Though the movie has a creepy atmosphere throughout, the only real scares are jump scares whenever the demonic incarnation of each of Sandy’s friends jump out. There are no really good scares. So, scare-wise, I am giving it a level 2 scream out of 5. As for “Forget Me Not” as a whole, there is a good storyline so I will give it 3.5 stars out of 5.
“Haunted Forest” (Rated R; 91 minutes)
The movie starts off with a man running through a forest with weird things happening to him. Released in 2007, “Haunted Forest” is our second horror movie. The main characters (Sean, Josh and Flipp) are looking for a secret burial ground under a mysterious cursed tree as well as finding the man from the beginning who had disappeared. The group meets two girls and a madman hunter, who helps a demonic spirit take victims.
Aside from the sudden loud noises, the scream rating on this is just a level 1 and that is only if you cannot handle the loud noises and the occasional creepy face and blood. As for “Haunted Forest” as a whole, it keeps on track and the horror is not obsessive so I will also give this one 3.5 stars out of 5.
“The Shrine” (Rated NR; 84 minutes)
Released in 2010, “The Shrine” starts with someone being brutally murdered in some cult ritual. The main character, Carmen, is trying to find a missing person, the same person as seen in the beginning of the movie last seen in Poland. Carmen, a friend from work (Sara) and her boyfriend (Marcus) go to check out the scene and on their quest to find the missing person, they are pulled into their own rituals as well as terrors.
The sudden sounds and loud noises as well as demonic faces and creepy voices lead me to give this film a level 3 scream. As for “The Shrine” as a whole, it is confusing when you cannot really understand what half of the words are being said in the movie are but, the horror is well drafted so I will give it 4 stars: not exactly the best but it is pretty good.
“8213: Gacy House” (Rated NR; 85 minutes)
Another movie that was released in 2010, “8213: Gacy House” has a group of paranormal investigators who will be investigating the abandoned house of a serial killer named John Gacy, “known for killing over 30 boys and burying 26 of them in his basement,” as one of the crew so gently says near the beginning. Some action starts happening within the first 10 minutes of the movie and increases as the movie continues.
The only reason the movie is rated NR is because there are some sex scenes but otherwise, cursing is thrown around like crazy. The fact that the people in the movie are getting scared and all of the weird occurrences are happening would startle any viewer and this film deserves a level 4 scream. “8213: Gacy House” deserves 4 stars too, as an amazingly well done horror movie that is nearly great, but not perfect.
“Bane” (Rated NR; 108 minutes)
Released in 2009, “Bane” follows a group of four girls named Katherine, Jane, Natasha and Elaine who all have lost their memory for one reason or another and do not know where they are. Elaine is attacked in the beginning because she is seen as weak and she is eventually killed. Jane follows the day after and then the other two. More intense action occurs with the final two girls as they wait to see what happens.
This movie is not done as well as the others because the only horror type characteristic in this movie is just lots and lots of blood. There is nothing truly special about this movie, so this film gets only a level 1 scream. “Bane” deserves only a 2 star rating as a horror movie itself as it is not entirely well done.
“Fingerprints” (Rated R; 95 minutes)
“Fingerprints” was released in 2006 and follows a girl named Melanie who has just gotten released from rehab to live with her parents and sister in a town where a brutal accident occurred a few years before. Melanie is dragged into a mystery that involves the accident after some of her classmates start dying.
The movie is rated R because of minor nudity and profanities. There iare not really any bad screams in this movie either because it is more of a mystery than a horror movie so I am giving it a level 1 scream as well. The only problem I have with this movie was the mother was horrendous; the actress pulled it off well if the Melanie’s mother was supposed to hate her daughter. “Fingerprints” itself is a good mystery movie though, not a horror. As a horror, I would only give it 1 star but as a mystery movie, I would give it 3 stars.
“The Last Exorcism” (Rated PG-13; 97 minutes)
A minister by the name of Cotton Marcus has a documentary crew follow him when he goes off to do his last exorcism. Cotton talks about his past a bit beforehand and tells us what he thinks about exorcism. He says he believes that exorcism is just a scam but his belief quickly changes with the event of this exorcism.
This is not so much a horror movie as just a movie to get you to jump or cringe in fear, but, maybe that is what a horror movie is supposed to do. The ending is not what you may think it is and I did not exactly like it. I will give it a level 3 scream since it is a bit creepy and the movie itself will get 3 stars since it is well crafted but did not have the exact ending everyone would think.
“Session 9” (Rated R; 100 minutes)
Following an asbestos removal company, the owner named Gordon hopes to clean out an abandoned hospital for a few extra bucks. While Gordon and a couple employees work on cleaning the hospital out, they figure out more about the hospital and its patients. One in particular patient had recordings of sessions and is found by one of the employees. The last line of the movie, as well as the last scene, surrounds the entire movie as you find out what really happens.
This horror movie is not so much horror as just an intense movie. The only thing that would cause you to get scared is the creepy atmosphere and creepy music surrounding major events in the story. I would give this a level 1 scream since there is not a lot of horror except with the creepy sounds. “Session 9” itself would get 3 stars since the ending is surprisingly good.
“The Amityville Haunting” (Rated NR; 96 minutes)
“The family did not survive. But the recordings did.” The tagline of “The Amityville Haunting” is one not to forget. Although it could be set on some other movies, the beginning of this movie starts with a group of friends going into a house where a murder occurred with a man killing six members of his family. After the opening scene, we go to a young boy named Tyler who records everything going on and catches some strange phenomena with disembodied voices and movement of objects. As the movie goes on, the activity intensifies. These recordings start on June 11.
This movie is oddly similar to “Paranormal Activity” and this movie came out in December 2011 while “Paranormal Activity’s” first movie came out in 2007. Based on that, the only difference between the two is that someone is using an actual video camera instead of cameras that are set around the house. There is a point where they start to use set-up cameras just like in “Paranormal Activity.” I would give this a level 3 scream since it is very similar to “Paranormal Activity” but, I would give the movie itself 3 stars for the same reason.
“A Haunting in Salem” (Rated NR; 85 minutes)
The opening sequence of “A Haunting in Salem” is fast paced with the death of a few people. The main family comes in and it is known that the sheriff of the town will live in this specific house for free. Once the family settles in, some commotion and activity starts to happen. We also find out some things about the family that has moved in. More and more odd things happen as time goes on.
The only scary aspects in this movie are the scary faces that appear and the creepy music. With that said, I would give this movie a level 2 scream and “A Haunting in Salem” itself will get 3 stars.
“Nine Dead” (Rated R; 86 minutes)
“Nine Dead” opens with a suspicious man examining weapons like tasers. Later on, we find that nine completely random people have been kidnapped. They have to find out why they are all where they are now and every 10 minutes, one of the nine people is killed off. The victims try to figure out what’s going on as quickly as they can.
The movie is not exactly scary as much as a mystery like “Fingerprints.” I will give this movie a level 1 scream since there is just a lot of death in it but I will give it 3 stars for the movie itself.