Monday Movie Favorite Feature : Insidious

Sometimes, if you can believe it (sarcasm) we don’t get time on the weekends to watch a new movie. When that happens, I decided that on Mondays I would do a “favorite feature” meaning a movie I’ve seen once or twice (or, you know, nine times) to share with you all.

Today’s Favorite Feature is actually a relatively new film and another horror movie. Today I’ll be talking about Insidious.

Okay so for one, it’s got a creepy ass poster. I mentioned before that little kids + horror movies = trauma and terror and it’s true. Look at Children of the Corn. Poltergeist. Village of the Damned. The Omen. Hannah Montana. Terrifying. There’s something about putting children in sinister situations that chills us to our marrow and Insidious is no exception.

Insidious focuses on a family of five; a mom and dad, two sons and a baby daughter. They’ve just moved into a new house and are in the midst of the chaos of unpacking and settling in. Dad works as a teacher and mom stays at home with the children. She notices some books she’s unpacked and put away suddenly have fallen on the floor. As an audience member you’re all like OH SNAP, POLTERGEISTS. But mom blames one of the kids, who insists that he didn’t do it. One evening while most of the family is playing downstairs Dalton, one of the sons, goes exploring in the attic. He takes a fall from a ladder and sees something that causes him to start screaming. His parents rush to him and to their relief, he is fine. The next morning they try to wake Dalton but he is unresponsive. They take him to the hospital where a doctor tells them that he’s kind of in a coma, but kind of not because his body and brain responses aren’t consistent with a coma. Weeks pass with no change in Dalton and the family brings him home. Dad starts putting in long hours at work and mom begins seeing and hearing things in the house that terrify her. A voice on the baby monitor. Shadows and figures.  After one particular scare she insists that something’s wrong with the house and begs her husband to leave. To mom’s relief they do move, and put their ghostly problems behind them.. Or so she thinks. It turns out that the terrifying things haunting their family followed them to the new house. Something is drawn to Dalton, something horrifying and insidious and as it so happens, the scariest parts of the story are yet to come.

Insidious is by far one of my favorite horror films. It has a very old-school, classic horror story vibe. It is very nerve-wracking and scary without resorting to cheap scares and gore. The camera angles and soundtrack create endless tension, making you feel like at any moment something horrible is going to happen but sometimes, the scariest things are the things you only catch from the corner of your eye. The imagery in the film is so creepy and so unnerving, you are on edge the entire time you’re watching. The story seems like one you’ve heard a hundred times before; haunted house, haunted family, so on and so forth but just when you think you have Insidious figured out it grabs you and turns you around and you find yourself facing a whole new concept that hasn’t really been done before in a horror film. I’m not going to give it away because I hate spoilers but it’s a good twist without being outrageous or ridiculous.

From the moment the title of the film comes on the screen to the ending credits, Insidious creates tension and unease that grabs hold of you and is unrelentingly scary.

Rating (out of five *****):
I give Insidious all ***** stars. I am a sucker for a good scary film, particularly ones that give me the chills without having to get gory and bloody. Insidious gives you that cold feeling in the pit of your stomach and stays with you even after the movie has ended, and I love that in a horror film.

Suggestions for Related Viewing:
If you’ve seen Insidious already and are looking for a movie with a similar style and feel, try The Haunting. Not the 1999 version, because that was a piece of crap. Rent the 1963 version directed by Robert Wise. That is to date one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen.

If you’ve seen Insidious, what did you think? Love it? Hate it? Pee your pants? It’s okay if you did, most of the people reading this blog have bladder control issues anyway after being pregnant.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed this week’s Favorite Feature!

 

Monday Movie: Husk

Welcome to Monday Movie with Mommy Boots! The movie I’m reviewing this week I enjoyed a hell of a lot more than last week’s movie (Season of the Witch).

This week’s movie is horror flick Husk.

I wasn’t expecting much from this film, partially because I’d never heard of it before (not that I’ve heard of every movie ever, but my brother-in-law is a horror movie fanatic and I hear about many, many horror flicks) and partially because we’ve had a really bad Netflix track record the past few weeks. We’ve had some real doozies. I was really pleasantly surprised with this one, though. Now if you’re not a horror fan, you’re not going to like this movie. But if you like scary movies, this one is good!

Husk begins with five friends driving down a remote road surrounded by cornfields. Now, cornfields freak me the hell out. They always have. I think it’s because I watched Stephen King’s The Stand when I was about seven, and was traumatized by the cornfields. This is unfortunate, because I grew up in Illinois where there is corn EVERYWHERE. I digress. Five friends are driving down a road surrounded by evil cornfields when something happens and their car ends up running off the road and everyone loses consciousness for a while. I’m not going to tell you what happens because it scared the piss out of me and I don’t like spoiling scares.

Four of the friends wake up in the car to find that their fifth friend is nowhere to be found. They make it out of their wrecked car and look around, seeing nothing but road and rows of corn as far as they can see. They manage to spot the very top of the roof of a house in the midst of the fields, and deduce that their missing friend must have gone there to find help. Two of them go to find the missing person and two stay behind in case a car comes by.

The creepiness begins when the two that took off toward the house come across a scarecrow that is just really effing disturbing. The girl who remains by the car ends up seeing what looks like a little boy in the corn, which is freaky. Kids + horror movies = terror. She then stumbles across someone laying half in and half out of the corn. He’s dressed up like the scarecrow the other two guys just saw and when she pulls back the opening for the mouth, she sees that the “scarecrow” actually has teeth. She freaks out and the other guy tells her everything’s fine. She insists on going after their two friends, and they end up heading through the cornfield toward the house and that’s when things get really scary.

I really liked the storyline. It was pretty original and unique and the acting was tolerable. Many times horror movies with less than a Hollywood budget have awful acting and while this didn’t deserve an Oscar or anything, it’s not the worst I’ve seen. The feel of the house and the inside of it was very reminiscent to the remake of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I felt like the director drew a lot from TCM, but it wasn’t to the point of being a rip-off. There were very tense moments in the film, and several really good scares that actually made me shriek out loud. This film is part supernatural, part messed up hick family, and even part zombie. It doesn’t sound like those three elements would mesh well but they made it work in Husk. If you’re looking for something spooky and different, I would definitely recommend it.

Rating (out of 5 *****):
I’m giving Husk *** 1/2 stars. It’s not the greatest horror movie I’ve ever seen, but it was way better than I anticipated and I would actually buy it and watch it again. The storyline was cool, the imagery was very creepy and it had good scares.

I don’t have any suggestions for related viewing because I really liked this one and wouldn’t suggest watching something else in its place. If you like scary movies this one’s definitely worth a rent. Grab some popcorn, turn the lights off and enjoy!

Thanks for reading. Feel free to discuss the movie in the comments or make suggestions of your own!

Monday Movie with Mommy Boots

I’m not sure that I’ve stressed enough how much I enjoy movies. Josh and I are both big movie buffs, and back before we had a child we used to waste a lot of money go out to the theater to see movies about three times a month. Now? Not so much. We have seen a few since Nellie’s been born, but for the most part our movie-watching habits happen thanks to Netflix and Redbox.

I’ve decided to start a semi-regular (regular if I can remember/find the time to do it) feature called Monday Movie with Mommy Boots. I’ve found myself giving a lot of movie recommendations to friends in real life, on Twitter, etc. and I figured I’d share the love here on my blog.

A coworker recently asked me what my favorite type of movie was, which is an impossible question to answer. I love all sorts of movies. I love horror, drama, romantic comedies, comedies, cult classics, “guy” movies.. I will give anything a chance once. To get a taste of my favorite movies, I love the Princess Bride, American Beauty, Chicago, Crash, Billy Madison, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Usual Suspects, Mamma Mia!, Gone With the Wind, and a lot more.

At the end of each post, I will rate the movie being reviewed and give some suggestions for related watching. Get it? Got it? Good. Here we go. The first movie up is “Season of the Witch” starring Nicholas Cage and Ron Perlman A.K.A “one of the most unfortunate-looking men ever”. Sorry, Ron, you’re awesome in Sons of Anarchy but it’s true.

Anyway. Season of the Witch is a horror/adventure movie that takes place back when people liked to accuse other people of witchcraft if they possessed the ability to wiggle their ears, raise only one eyebrow, sneeze on cue or if their face was asymmetrical. It sucked to be a woman back then because we got the brunt of the witch accusations. Nick Cage and Ron Perlman play two knights of the Crusades who are all “gung-ho kill the infidel” until they start slaughtering women and children and then killing in the name of God isn’t so cool anymore. They run away and come across this village that’s got crows flying above it in a weird triangle pattern. Because THAT’S not weird.

The town is afflicted by a horrible, disgusting plague and one of the priests in the village recognizes their names because they’ve been Crusading for a long time and are really famous and stuff. He tells them that the plague is because of a witch (ooooof course it is) and would they please take this witch to this castle-place filled with monks that’s beyond a bunch of dangerous woods, through a treacherous mountain pass, through a pit of vipers, across a bridge under which sharks with lasers attached to their heads live, that no one knows the way to (kinda makes you wonder how the hell the monks get supplies there, eh? Daddy Green told me to ask that.) They have this super-old and special witch-killing book that they need in order to vanquish said witch. Oh by the way, if they don’t do this they’re going to be hanged for desertion. Nicholas Cage shows off his acting chops (*coughhackcough*) and tells the priest off and they get thrown in the dungeon. Then he has a change of heart when he sees the woman accused of witchcraft, who is kind of cute despite the fact that she’s dirty and probably smells like a sewer. He agrees to take her on one condition: that she gets a fair trial. D’awww.

That’s the basic plot of the movie, there is some cool stuff that happens and then the end sort of goes down the crapper. The girl stares creepily at them from her cage, they get attacked by wolves with scary death faces, and she tries to seduce Nicholas Cage which doesn’t work… Because she probably smells like a sewer.

There’s a lot of  creepy imagery and spooky moments but overall the movie was kind of lame. Nicholas Cage has very cheesy lines that rival “Put the Bunny back in the box” from Con Air.

 

How do I live without you?

 

It’s worth a rent at the Redbox if there’s nothing else interesting but I wouldn’t invest too much money in this movie.

Rating: Out of five *****
** 1/2 – because the imagery and creepy feel of the movie redeemed it somewhat.

Suggestions:
If you’re looking for a good witch movie, rent The Crucible. If you’re looking for a movie with a similar adventurous feel that takes place in the same time period, try Black Death.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the first Monday Movie! Feel free to ask any questions about the movie, give your own recommendations, or discuss the film if you have seen it for yourself.