Welcome to a new type of article I’m trying out: Horror Triple Feature. Where I wrap-up the three most recent horror flicks I’ve watched.
The Howling IV: The Original Nightmare. The Howling sequels are not known for being the most well-made things on the planet, but I’m surprised to say this wasn’t that bad. Especially for straight-to-video. Decent special effects considering the $2 million budget. The story was interesting if a bit convoluted. It felt like those games you play when you’re a kid. Someone is pretending to be a wizard, and when you think you’ve gotten a hit in on them, they shout something about having a forcefield. And you try to argue them down, but they keep changing the rules on you. This “mystery” was the same way, with so many changing elements and random “facts” that it felt bloated.
It also was a lot like the first film, and supposedly it was based more closely on the book than the first Howling was, which would explain it. It also begs the question if we needed this movie at all. When the first movie is superior and they tell very closely related stories, maybe the answer is no, we didn’t need this. I will say the inclusion of a badass (if shakily acted) nun makes me feel like maybe I can give it a pass.
Final Rating: 3/5
We Are Still Here. This is one of those gems you find scrolling through Netflix, looking for something spooky to watch. I’m not the type to go in for haunted house stories. They never strike me as particularly scary for some reason. Some people are thoroughly creeped out by that sort of thing, and I’m simply not. I’ll say this one surprised me. It’s very effective. There are layers of evil at play here. Ghosts, yes, but more than that. For what appears to be a simple production, it manages some great effects and a fantastic third act.
Minor complaints would be that it’s short, and they clearly pad it out to make it seem more feature length than it is. Some of this padding includes overly long shots of snow and trees. In a way, that sets a tone, but it also feels like I’m staring at trees for way too long. Despite that, the acting is very strong, the story has some minor twists that make it fun, so it’s great for an evening.
Final Rating: 4/5
Necronomicon: The Book of the Dead. Anthology movie! I love these. I also love, well, Lovecraft’s nasty world. Which makes this a mixed bag. It’s disappointing that while the framework the stories are wrapped in features Lovecraft himself (cult favorite Jeffrey Combs stars in makeup that looks okay until we’re treated to a close-up) and the stories are surely Lovecraftian in nature, they’re not actually based on any of his stories. Also, somehow we’re meant to believe that an ancient book holds accounts that take place in our own time, which for dear Howard would be the future. I don’t think they were thinking very deeply when they came up with that.
Which is a warning to sit back, relax, and have fun with it. It’s not worth thinking about on a profound level. It will let you down if you try. It’s schlock. It’s pulp. It has some good effects and some laughable failures. It has interesting story elements and brow-furrowing blunders. It has an actor who can say Cthulhu with grace and another, in the same segment, who calls to “Keth-loo.” And Cthulhu isn’t even the one who answers, so what was the point of invoking him at all? It’s a turn-off-your-brain movie, but still enjoyable for all that.
Final Rating: 2.5/5
If you enjoyed this new style of article, another will be coming up in the future. Also, if you wish to support my blog, check out my Redbubble Shop. As always, happy geeking!