Hallowed Be Thy Name (2020)

Shannywise strikes again.  I guess her days of inflicting fear have gone by the wayside because now she’s only suggesting movies to inflict pain.  In her defense, I think she’s just seen every good horror movie ever made so now she’s just watching all the rest.  Also in her defense, I do specifically request movies like this.  And she’s a clown that feasts on the fear and pain of others, and a girl’s gotta eat, right?  Anyway, this time she requested a movie called Hallowed be Thy Name, written and directed by Taylor Ri’chard (I don’t like typing the name like that either. And you can take my word for that, or my name’s not R’ob?ert B*!ck#et), and starring Collin Shephard, Alissa Shaye Hale, Bryen Lenis, Fiona McQuinn, Mamie Morgan, Zander Krenger, and Bill Barrett.

A kid (who is probably 30) named Devin (Shephard) moves with his mom (McQuinn) to live with his grandma.  He meets gay dude Mick (Lenis) and bitchy chick Skylar (Hale), who day one lies to the other two that she wants to go to this magic wishing cave because her mom has cancer.  Fooled you!  She wants her boyfriend to love her again after she got an abortion without telling him.  And then she says, “Also, nice to meet you, Devin.”  In the wishing cave, they make a wish and also decide to steal a sword and teddy bear because why not?  Well it gets them haunted by a demon named Koosh Ball and blah blah blah this is the movie I just sat through.

Shannywise, you’ve outdone yourself this time.  I was considering doing a video review of this, but there is no way I’d be able to find footage or pictures from this movie to use and also, I have just too many things to say about it.  Not terribly much to say about the story though.  We’ve all seen a movie like this before, I’m sure.  And most parts of it too.  Recently divorced parent takes their kid to be a fish out of water in a new school.  Messing around with magic stuff gets you haunted.  I think what sets this one apart is you’ve never seen it happen to people quite as dumb as this.  You’ll think you have because there’s a lot of dumb going on in horror movies, but these people lower the bar a bit.  You steal a sword and a teddy bear from this magic place and now the ghost is after you.  He even flat out tells you to give it back right before he kills your sister to show he means business.  Not once after this did any of these people attempt to return the stolen items to the magic cave!  Would it be enough to stop further killings?  Probably not.  But you could at least try to do what he says and see!  Koosh Ball (or whatever the demon’s name was) was a little unclear with his rules anyway, which you could tell because he started by killing the sister.  What’s that about?  She wasn’t in the cave, she didn’t take anything, she doesn’t even know her brother did.  The two kids killed in the beginning didn’t take anything.  One of them just read a note in the cave and put it back.  If you’re a demon and you can actually just kill willy-nilly, why haven’t you been?

So let’s talk about this as a horror movie.  Not scary at all, mostly laughable, and predictable.  They had some interesting camera work, for what that’s worth.  Which is not very much, but it was there.  Although I do assume this camera work was mostly just because someone bought a drone and thought that was excuse enough to make a movie.  The scares they attempted were mostly pretty standard things.  Lots of darkness and people being suddenly tugged into it.  They did the one where something is in the middle of the street when they’re driving causing them to suddenly swerve to avoid it, but that one was pretty poorly executed.  Like first, it was a dog.  Why after are they saying, “What WAS that?!”  …It was a dog.  You’ve seen a dog before, right?  If it suddenly disappeared, don’t be alarmed.  Dogs that almost get hit by cars do that a lot.  Also, when you show the car spin and stop perpendicular to the road, don’t have it be very obvious that the car is parallel to the road when we cut back to the inside.  You don’t see the road through either window, just the woods on the side.  That dog was also around a lot and we never really figured out why.  Was the dog evil?  A herald of Kooshball?  It was a very sweet, cute looking dog, but really didn’t seem to have much purpose in the movie.  Kooshball himself looked pretty decent…at first.  When he was just in the shadows and all you could see was the top of his head looking all sinister and stuff, he worked fairly well.  When you got up close and had him talk and showed that he was just wearing face paint that was black on his lower jaw?  Not so much.  That makes sense to do in a movie making sense that it looks more sinister in the hood when you can’t see his lower jaw, but why would the demon paint his face like that?  Or why would his skin just look like that?

The acting is what really brings this movie down.  There was one person that was mostly a passable actor in this movie and that was the gay best friend Bryen Lenis.  He was put in stupid situations and was given stupid things to say, but that wasn’t his fault.  He did the best he could with the situation.  The character was gay and seemed to live in a small, possibly Southern town, so I assume that’s a tough life.  He had apparently had a bad situation before when he crushed on a dude and it didn’t work out well.  I can only assume it’s because he has the very problematic understanding that if a guy isn’t on your team, “they just need a little coaching.”  That sounds an awful lot like reverse homophobia.  Isn’t the idea we want to get across about gay people is that they’re just born that way?  He’s essentially suggesting the reverse of “pray the gay away,” which I assume is to “gay the pray away.”  When he finds out Devin isn’t gay because he catches him and Skylar fresh after some sex, he spends an awful lot of time moping about that.  You came over to tell them that your sister was just killed by a ghost, man!  Maybe your crush goes on the backburner for a bit.  Especially since this guy is no great catch.  He was nice to you, sure, but you’ve known him for all of 2 days maybe and he’s kinda fuck ugly.  Skyler was probably my biggest issue with this movie.  There was just nothing redeeming about her at all.  We meet her immediately after she breaks up with her boyfriend which she reacts to in a way that makes her seem less distraught and more sleepy.  She then gets super bitchy because they don’t want to go to her magic wish cave.  She then convinces them by lying to them and saying it’s because her mom has cancer and she wants to try to wish it away when in fact she just wanted to wish to get her shitty boyfriend back.  And because you have to give something to the cave to get your wish, she brings her favorite necklace which looks exactly like shitty Mardi Gras beads, but those being valuable to a girl like this actually fits her character pretty well.  Just because they’re probably the most valuable jewelry she owns and not because she’s not used to showing her boobs for cheap plastic.  I mean, she’s known this Devin guy for all of 2 days, they just kiss for the first time, and she immediately starts taking his clothes off for one of the most icky and uncomfortable sex scenes I can remember.  There wasn’t nudity and I was actually completely fine with that, but that Devin dude really played it like a high school dude would.  Or maybe he just really wanted to honk her boobs and grab her butt and give her some light motorboating.  Generally, you just have to keep kissing and hugging with your clothes off and we’ll get the idea.  And I was okay with them cutting before the nudity would’ve happened ‘cause I just found the Skyler girl offputting.  Her character was annoying and her acting was bad.  Like pronounce every syllable bad acting.  You know the kind?  The kind that says, “Are you going to go to the cave or not?” instead of, “Are you gonna go to the cave or not?” but out loud it sounds really stilted.  Also, later in the movie this psychic lady calls her a “skinny heffer.”  First of all, those terms are contrary.  Second, she ain’t skinny.  She ain’t a heffer either, but that just makes it more of a confusing thing to say.

Here’s a couple other random things I couldn’t figure out how to fit in to the rest of it.  Devin and his mom are moving and assumedly packed all their belongings for the move, but all he unloads from the car are like two suitcases, and watching him remove them from the car they seemed like they were completely empty.  Why does it seem like the lunch these high school kids are eating is granola bars and Capris Sun?  Did they forget their Lunchables?  They have a big argument about how the guys are gonna leave Skyler if they don’t find the cave soon, then immediately one points at the cave that is huge and probably 20 feet away from where they were arguing.  Who brought xylophone to the wishing cave?  And what were they wishing for?  A better xylophone?  Why is Mick’s sister acting like she’s choking when Kooshball’s hand is on the back of her neck?  When Devin’s mom and grandma find out that Skyler was trying to convince him to go find this cave and he wasn’t interested, why do they go on and on about how he better stay uninterested?  I mean, I wouldn’t be interested in going to some stupid wishing cave either until the two of you made such a big deal about it.  Now I’m curious.

There is probably plenty more to say about Hallowed be Thy Name, but the only thing I can think left to say about it is there’s no reason for anyone to watch it.  The story is basic horror stuff, there’s no scares at all, and pretty much all of the acting is awful.  There are much better uses of your free time.

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Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

Today’s Horrorthon movie came as a request from Alex, who requested a movie from this series, but not a specific one.  I hadn’t yet gotten around to it until coworker Merg mentioned that she randomly decided to binge them all in the same day.  I decided to join her, but unfortunately for me, I only joined in when the movies in the series started getting bad.  But that also means that they get easier to make fun of, which is fortunate for me.  That series is Resident Evil, and the first one I watched in said series is the third one Resident Evil: Extinction, written by Paul W. S. Anderson, directed by Russell Mulcahy, and starring Milla Jovovich, Iain Glen, Ali Larter, Spencer Locke, Oded Fehr, Mike Epps, Ashanti, Jason O’Mara, and Madeline Carroll.

Alice (Jovovich) wakes up in a facility like the one from the first movie, and wanders the halls until she’s killed.  End of film.  Nah, just kidding, it’s a clone.  Get used to that in this series.  The real Alice is wandering the desert somewhere and Dr. Sam Isaacs (Glen) has been trying to perfect a clone of her, but needs the real deal to get it right.  Alice runs into a group of other survivors led by Claire Redfield (Larter) and Carlos Oliveira (Fehr) who are looking for a way up to Alaska to a place that is supposed to be safe.

One might be so inclined to call this movie garbage, but as I also rewatched the rest of the series, I feel like I need to hold on to that for later.  This is only the start of where they go downhill.  I feel like maybe they had gotten bored of making shitty zombie movies, so they decided to try to make shitty zombie Western with some Mad Max in there.  Because apparently zombies make the world a desert, I guess.  …Somehow…  At least for this movie.  I guess when zombies ate all the people, they started looking for vegetarian options and started eating the brains of trees.  But you really can’t go into even most zombie movies expecting them to make too much sense, and especially if they’re THESE zombie movies.

The look and visuals of these movies is pretty much what you expect.  Since they decided to go all desolate with it, it certainly doesn’t give you a terribly great landscape to look at.  Vegas might have been a good visual landscape, but they covered it in about 5% more dirt than the real Vegas and seemingly moved all the casinos of note into the same block.  The T-Virus is weird man.  It can do basically whatever it wants and ignore logic, just like writers on bad movies. 

Alice continues to get more and more overpowered in these movies.  I feel like in the first movie she was just a regular girl who was maybe really good at martial arts.  Like in this movie when she gets abducted by rednecks and one of them intends to flat out rape her in front of his family, she just kicks that dude in the face and kills him in one blow.  That would be much more impressive if she didn’t just decide to stop right there for some reason and relish in her sweet kick so that the other rednecks could knock her out.  At some point she also gained telekinesis.  I assume that happened in the previous movie because she didn’t seem terribly surprised that her motorcycle was hovering when she woke up, but I also wouldn’t put it past these movies to not sell that properly.  Mike Epps’ character annoyed me too because he was the classic zombie movie character that gets bit early on and just decides to keep it to himself.  To what end?!  You know damn well what’s going to happen and it’s not going away!  If you’re worried about them killing you, well that’s what’s going to happen when you turn anyway.  And you might kill some of your friends on your way out!  Just tell them and peace out or have someone kill you!  I also liked the character of Kmart – so named because she was found in a Staples – but I mostly only liked her because I enjoyed calling RC Willey by different retailer names.  Other than that, I had no thoughts about Pic ‘N Save.

So those are my thoughts on Resident Evil: Extinction.  It’s not a great movie, but the series has only yet begun to become terrible and this movie still manages to be fun enough that you can enjoy yourself while making fun of it.  It doesn’t make a lot of sense and the characters are mostly stupid, but things blow up and there are zombies.  It’s good enough.  Resident Evil: Extinction gets “Yeah, you’re the future alright” out of “It really is the end of the world.”

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

If This is to End in Fire, Then We Will All Burn Together!

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)Fans of my reviews may remember that last year I was extremely upset by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  I went into the movie unaware of the fact that Peter Jackson had split one book into three movies, leaving me angered over the fact that nothing had been resolved by the ending of the movie.  Going into today’s movie, I was aware but was perhaps still a bit sore about the perceived deception.  We’ll see how that worked out for this movie as I review The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, based on a novel by J. R. R. Tolkien, adapted for screen by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro, directed and co-written by Peter Jackson, and starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Stephen Fry, Graham McTavish, Ken Stott, Aiden Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Manu Bennett, Cate Blanchett, Mikael Persbrandt, and Sylvester McCoy.

We still Hobbitin’, y’all!  Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) accompanies a group of Dwarves lead by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) to try to recapture the Arkenstone from the Lonely Mountain where it’s kept by the dragon Smaug.  The Arkenstone will somehow help Thorin become a king again or some shit.  On the way, their time is wasted by a skin-changer named Beorn (Mikael Persbrandt), some elves named Tranduil (Lee Pace), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), and some Orcs.  Also, they meet Bard (Luke Evans) when they go to the cleverly named Lake-town, led by Stephen Fry.

If Thorin decided that he wanted to share his kingdom and he wanted to divide the Arkenstone amongst the other Dwarves, do you know how he would cut the Arkenstone?  With an Arken-saw!  I thought of that joke during the movie and, though I have told many of the people that I know read these reviews, I just want it to be available to cause pain throughout the entire internet.  As far as this movie goes, I again found myself angered by my expectations for it, but that anger was tempered with the experiences I gained from the first movie.  When I saw the first Hobbit, I didn’t realize that Jackson had split one book into three movies, leaving me angry.  I expected this movie to have me see Smaug desolated.  Turns out they mean the desolation CAUSED BY Smaug.  Youse is a tricky bitch, Jackson!  But going into the movie knowing the history of anger I had with the series allowed my expectations to compensate for it and I would say that I ultimately enjoyed the movie.  I still felt like there was a lot of wasted time with walking over mountains, stumbling through the woods, and conversations between Dwarves and Elves about the moon, and still don’t feel like there’s anything beyond a financial reason for this to be three movies, but it was still pretty entertaining.  Though he was a small part in the movie, I also appreciated the “skin-changer.”  Well, I guess it’s more accurate to say that I appreciated that they called him a skin-changer.  “Were-bear” would have sounded odd.

The look was good as you’d probably expect it to be, but there were some parts that didn’t feel like they held up as well.  Mainly parts of the white water rafting scene, and mainly just the parts of those scenes that appeared to have been filmed with a GoPro for some reason.  But I liked the scenes with Smaug.  Dragons are awesome.  And those scenes were visually spectacular.  Not just was the dragon awesome, but the constantly spilling gold coins added a level of difficulty to the rendering that I respect.  And Smaug looked scary as hell through most of his scenes, but I have to imagine that there was no way he looked anything but adorable when he was burrowing down into the gold where he was sleeping.  I imagine it looked like a little puppy burrowing into a pile of blankets with his nose.

The action was also pretty good in this movie.  I particularly liked the fat dwarf barrel fight because it was pretty funny and all of the fights involving Legolas and Tauriel because elven fighting is pretty awesome.  It’s like martial arts mixed with Hawkeye from Avengers bow and arrow action.

The cast also did find jobs in this movie.  I thought it was dangerous of this movie to add Luke Evans to the cast, though.  Not because I don’t expect him to be good, but because he is so easily confusable with Orlando Bloom, who was already in this movie.  Thankfully, Evans looks more like Will Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean and Bloom looks more like Legolas in this movie, so it was easy to keep them separated.  But his character didn’t give me any problems.  Other people in relation to his character did.  What the hell kind of logic is it to not pay attention to his ideas because his great great grandfather had a shitty aim?  Thank God no one that I know ever went to the gun range with my ancestors or I’d have even fewer people reading my reviews.

If the Necromancer in this movie had a puppy that needed to go to the bathroom, would it have to use the doggy door of Dol Guldur?  Sorry, that was another terrible joke I thought of that I wanted to punish you with.  The Desolation of Smaug was another good Hobbit movie whose greatest problem is the fact that I don’t feel that they need to be 3 (or possibly even 2) movies.  There is enough wasted time and side stuff that could’ve been cut out, but it still looks great, has some exciting action, and a great cast.  So I’m still going to recommend you watch this movie, but I personally won’t be purchasing a Hobbit movie until they come in one package.  I would’ve given this movie series enough money by then.  The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug gets “I merely wanted to gaze upon your magnificence, to see if you were as great as the old tales say” out of “I did not believe them.”

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!