Horror Movie Reviews by Horror Palace are insightful critiques providing condensed plot synopsis, background information, abbreviated opinions, evaluations of the quality and contributions as horror entertainment. List of All Horror Movie Reviews
Constantly haunted by recurring anxiety dreams about being followed, a young, terrified David Mitchell would later use this to write one of the most familiar yet unnerving horror films of all time. The now famous writer and film director initially struggled with the concept so much and would often blatantly refuse to discuss the plot quoting, “When you really say it out loud, it sounds like the worst thing ever.” Fortunately for him and horror fans worldwide, the film was an enormous hit, netting a cool $20.3 million in the Box Office as of January 2016.
It Follows: The Plot
Making its debut at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival in Detroit, Michigan, It Follows is a supernatural horror film written, directed and co-produced by David Robert Mitchell. The movie stars Maika Monroe as Jay, Daniel Zovato (Greg), Keir Gilchrist (Paul), Olivia Luccardi (Yara), Jake Weary (Hugh/Jeff), Lili Sepe (Kelly) and Bailey Spry as Annie. In addition, actors Mike Lanier, Ingrid Mortimer, Alexyss Spradlin, Erin Stone and Don Hails all play the various incarnations and manifestations of the entity.
The film begins with a young woman running for her life from something unseen. She stops at a beach and calls her father, sad and remorseful for being a bad daughter. The next morning, the damsel is found brutally murdered, limbs broken and bones sticking out.
Meanwhile, Jay (Monroe), an average Michigan college student is out on a date with her hunky dreamboat, Hugh (Weary). Hugh begins spewing off about how he envies the innocence of young children and soon starts seeing things. He spots a young woman at the entrance to the theater and points this out to Jay, but Jay can’t see a thing. Creeped out, they decide to leave the theater altogether. They meet up another day for a second date and this time, Hugh gets lucky in his car. After having sex, Hugh incapacitates Jay with chloroform and upon regaining her senses, wakes up tied to a wheelchair.
Hugh calms her down and explains that when they had sex back in his car, he passed on a curse to her. He further elaborates that from now on, Jay will be pursued by an entity that only the accursed can see, and that can take the appearance of any person, friend or stranger. Although this mysterious entity only moves at a slow, shuffling pace, it will kill her if it catches up and proceed to hunt the previous person who passed it on. In this case, that would be Hugh. Before freeing Jay and driving her home, Jay shows her a naked woman walking towards them then flees for his life.
It is here that viewers connect the death of the woman in the first scene since it is implied that Hugh had earlier slept with her, but the entity had unfortunately caught up with her. The next day, the police come knocking, looking for Jay in connection with the Girl’s murder. It turns out that not only has Hugh gone AWOL, but he has also been living under a false identity. Back in school, Jay is haunted by IT constantly following her in a hospital gown but unseen by others. Her sister Kelly (Sepe) and close friends Yara and Paul see her dismay and offer to spend the night with Jay. At night, things only get creepier with windows getting mysteriously smashed. The others can’t see the culprit, but Jay sees a blood-covered, half-naked woman eerily making her way towards them. Jay flees upstairs only to find a man with gouged eyes baying for her blood. Mortified, Jay can only make for the hills and gets out of the house to seek refuge in a nearby playground where her friends find her.
Their resourceful neighbor Greg (Zovato) offers to help and after some research discovers that Hugh’s real name is Redmond Jeff. They all track him to his address where he explains that the only way to temporarily belay death is to have sex with someone else and pass the curse on. Greg drives them to his lake house for safety where Jay gets attacked by the entity in a horrendous array of guises. Jay tries to escape in Greg’s car but crashes and wakes up in the hospital with a broken arm. Later on, Greg, who does not believe in anything supernatural, is more than willing to have sex with Jay. Worst decision ever. Days later, Jay sees the entity smashing Greg’s window. After countless attempts of trying to warn Greg over the phone, Jay is too late. IT transforms into Greg’s half-naked mother, knocks on his door and brutally murders Greg while Jay watches. Later on at the beach, Jay is apprehensive since IT is still after her. Paul offers to sleep with Jay and take the curse, but Jay refuses.
They draw up a plan to lure the entity into the university swimming pool and electrocute it to death. While Jay swims in the pool as bait, the entity has already manifested among them as Jay’s father and is now trying to electrocute her in return. Paul draws out a gun and fires blindly at an invisible target, wounding Yara in the process, but also shooting the entity right in the head. After IT falls in the pool, they edge closer to see if it’s dead, but it launches an arm and attempts to drown Jay. Paul pops off another round of bullets in the entity and frees Jay from death’s clutches. The pool steadily fills with blood. Afterwards, Paul and Jay have sex and later walk down the street holding hands in relief, grateful that the ordeal is over. However, a dark, mysterious figure looms behind them, following them steadily, inching closer with each stride.
Production and Reception
While horror films typically fester in overly tight and claustrophobic spaces, Director David Mitchell thrives in open space because he knows just how infectious the premise of It Follows could be. The filming of It Follows took place from 2013 in Detroit Michigan with Director Mitchell opting to go with wide-angle lenses for an expansive look.
The premier for the film was at the May 17, 2014, Cannes festival. The movie was later theatrically released on February 2015 in France and the United Kingdom. Following its release to limited theatres in the United States and Canada, the film earned over $160,000 in the first opening week. By April 5th, the film had grossed $8.9 domestically and a worldwide total of $10.3 million.
Due to the major success of the concept, co-president of Radius TWC Tom Quinn recently announced that the studio is interested in doing a sequel. Quinn has articulated the idea of flipping the concept a tad, with Maika or any other original character going back down through the chain to find out the exact origin of IT.
The film It Follows fancies the encroachment of mortality where the victims soon realize that they’re trapped by inevitable circumstances. There’s nothing more inherently frightening than the steady advancement of an evil entity that just keeps coming and will never, ever dissipate. Horror fans all around the globe can’t wait to catch a glimpse of what will be an exciting, unnerving and bone-chilling feature.
When Shinji Mikami and Tokuro Fujiwara collaborated with Capcom to create the first Resident Evil survival horror video game in 1996, they had no idea that they were on the brink of what was to become one of the leading multi-million dollar media franchises in the industry.
The Birth of All Things (Resident) Evil
Before the explosion of the atomic Resident Evil bomb that saw the company branch out to live-action films, more games, comics, novelizations, dramas, animated sequels and merchandising, it had surprisingly humble beginnings. The entire empire started with a simple survival horror video game that made its massive debut on the increasingly popular PlayStation Console in 1996.
The overarching plot of the game series takes fans through multiple characters and their roles towards the deadly consequences of the T-Virus; a virus that causes recurring zombie outbreaks and an array of powerful monsters. All these are the effect of biological weapons developed by the main antagonist known as the Umbrella Corporation.
Due to its immense commercial success, Resident Evil, the game was ported to other consoles such as the Sega Saturn. Horror genre gamers just couldn’t get enough and soon, there were two other sequels namely Resident Evil 2 released 1998 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis a year later. Since inception, the Resident Evil video game series has sold over 60 million units and stands tall as Capcom’s biggest franchise with regards to sales. However, the real gold was struck when Resident Evil branched into the film and movie industry.
Resident Evil Movies
When Sony Entertainment acquired the rights to distribute the Resident Evil films in 2001, they hired screenplay writer Paul W. S. Anderson to write and direct the first film. Anderson approached the script with an entirely new direction that did not involve any tie-ins with the video game series. Casting actress Milla Jovovich as the main protagonist in the films was perhaps the best thing that ever happened to Resident Evil. Anderson went on to write and produce the following sequels from 2004 all the way to 2012.
With a total of 5 films released up to date, the Resident Evil film series remains the highest grossing series of all time based on a video game. Here is an insightful overview of the 5 Resident Evil movies that grossed an astounding $915 million globally as well as their latest film in the works that is set to conclude the Resident Evil legacy on January 27, 2017.
Resident Evil (2002)
The first film in the series starred Milla Jovovich as Alice, the main protagonist. In this movie, the Umbrella Corporation conducts top-secret and very dangerous genetic research in a facility known as The Hive. This facility is hidden deep underground beneath Raccoon City and is tightly secured by an Artificial Intelligence computer program called The Red Queen. When an accident triggers the release of the T-virus in the facility, The Red Queen follows protocol and exterminates every living organism in The Hive to prevent contamination from reaching the surface. But in a gut-wrenching twist of science, the T-Virus reanimates every single deceased organism; instantly transforming animals into incredibly aggressive mutations of nature and humans into extremely voracious and ravenous zombies.
Alice (Milla) plays the role of a security operative in Umbrella whose memory gets wiped by the AIs nerve gas. While trying to escape from the underground facility, Alice and her team run into a test subject who has been transformed into a monster called the Licker. This beast leaves Alice in a coma and scratches one of the operatives called Matt who is taken by Umbrella Corporation upon surfacing and eventually becomes the Nemesis.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
After the colossal success of the first film, Anderson began working on a sequel in 2003. The Apocalypse was however directed by Alexander Witt since Anderson was also working on Alien vs. Predator. In this Resident Evil film, the T-virus outbreak has already reached the surface and authorities seal all entrances and exits to Raccoon City in an effort to contain it. Among the people trapped in the city are Jill Valentine and her friend who find themselves needing help from Alice who is fresh out of her coma. Next to surviving, their only objective becomes getting out of the city.
Luckily, a Dr. Charles Ashford claims that he knows a way out, but will only help them if they rescue his daughter Angela. Since Umbrella Corporation intends to incinerate the entire city with a nuclear bomb, Alice agrees and begins a long, treacherous journey to find Angela. After rescuing her, their exit is blocked by the ghastly freak of nature; The Nemesis. The fight leaves the Nemesis dead and Alice in the hands of the Corporation. Later, she is rescued by Jill and displays extraordinary powers. In the getaway vehicle, Alice’s eyes flash an Umbrella logo and Isaacs utters three unbelievable words, Project Alice Activated.
Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
Screen Gems acquired the rights for the third film in the Resident Evil series and again, Anderson provided a marvelous script. The movie was shot in Mexico and was directed by Russell Mulcahy. The extinction movie introduces us to a world that has been ravaged by the T-virus beyond recognition. In an effort to find a subject with similar abilities as Alice, Umbrella Corporation creates a throng of clones of Alice. Elsewhere, survivors of the T-virus cross the Nevada desert led by Claire Redfield. Alice roams all over the country looking for more survivors and soon meets up with Redfield’s convoy. The decide to head to Las Vegas and gather supplies and ready for a long trip to a supposed haven in Alaska.
In Vegas, most of the convoy gets killed off by Umbrella’s new super mutant zombies. Wayne gets bitten and hides it from the group only to later transform and bite others. Among them is Isaacs who gets bitten and tries to cure himself with absurd doses of the antivirus. However, this only sees him transform into a towering Tyrant who gets slain by Alice in a vicious battle. The movie ends with Alice in control of all her clones threatening to bring Umbrella Corp down to its knees.
Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
The fourth installment in the franchise was set in Japan and incorporated 3D filming with the Fusion Camera System. Paul W.S. Anderson started off from where the Extinction left off. Just like she had vowed, Alice attacks the Umbrella HQ over at Tokyo with her squad of clones. Here, they meet Wesker who escapes destroying the entire facility and killing all the clones in the process. While confronting him, Wesker injects Alice with a serum that cancels out her extraordinary abilities.
However, Alive survives and soon launches endless aerial searches for survivors. She decides to head for the Arcadia haven and lands on an airfield in Alaska only to find her friend Claire in a befuddled state, memory wiped and with an Umbrella device on her chest. They both fly to Los Angeles and meet Chris, Claire’s brother in a prison with survivors who explain that Arcadia is just a tanker that’s been broadcasting looped messages and picking up survivors. They make it there and find it abandoned; an undercover Umbrella research facility. Wesker finds them and attacks with deadly super-human abilities courtesy of the T-virus. After the battle, Alice transmits a new message with the hope of creating a true haven. The film ends with Umbrella’s massive fleet of gunships preparing to launch an attack led by Valentine.
Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
This recent segment was filmed in Toronto, Ontario, written and directed by Paul W. Anderson. In Retribution, Alice comes to in an Umbrella base where Valentine is interrogating her. Ada Wong orchestrates a power failure during which Alice escapes and allies with Wong and more unexpectedly, Wesker. Their objective is to destroy Umbrella’s super computer, The Red Queen so as to save the little that is left of humanity.
Along the way, the team encounters a myriad of clones; one of Becky, another of Carlos and even Rain Ocampo, all under the control of Valentine. In a fierce battle with Valentine and soldiers ordered to kill Alice by The Red Queen, Alice manages to take away the scarab device from Valentine, who returns to normal. After the victory, Wesker injects Alice with the T-virus and returns her powers back, blatantly telling her that she is now responsible for saving the remaining population from extinction.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Upcoming 2017)
Already being filmed as of September 2015, this will be the sixth and final piece in the Resident Evil film series. Anderson is all set to deliver his final masterpiece with his wife Milla Jovovich gracing the screens one more time. The movie was supposed to start shooting in August 2014 in South Africa but was delayed by Milla’s pregnancy.
Paul expressly stated that his direction with this film will be to bring things full circle and satisfy Resident Evil fans with the ending they so richly deserve. The plot picks up where the recent installment left off and fans can’t wait to catch up with Alice as she returns to Raccoon City where the Umbrella Corporation is waiting for her guns cocked. Make sure you catch the release on January 27, 2017.
Ouija begins with two childhood girl friends named Deb and Lane playing with a Ouija board. The girls talk about the rules to playing which are never to play alone and always say goodbye to the spirits when they are done.
The movie flashes forward to the present, and now both Deb and Lane are teenagers in high school. Lane goes over to Deb’s home to see if she can convince her to go out with her for the evening. She is concerned because lately Deb doesn’t seem like herself and seems almost reclusive. During their conversation, Deb admits that she had played the Ouija board alone and that things have been “rough” ever since. Deb then insists that she is just being silly and that her parents will be returning soon. She tells her friend not to worry about her and that she’ll be fine, she’s just not in the mood to go out. Lane is pacified for the time being and goes to the game without her.
As soon as Deb goes inside and shuts the door behind her, bad omens begin to set in. She throws the Ouija board into the fire before going into the kitchen. The door to the kitchen opens, and a burner on the stove turns on. Deb turns it off, calmly eats her dinner, and returns to her bedroom to find the Ouija board completely unharmed sitting neatly on her bed. It will be the last time her friends see her alive.
At Deb’s funeral the implication is that she committed suicide, though Lane finds it hard to believe. She speaks briefly with Deb’s boyfriend to see what he thought about the probability of it being foul play. Deb’s boyfriend tells her he saw a change in Deb’s personality over the last few weeks, and suicide didn’t seem too far-fetched. She didn’t want to see him, stayed in her home and didn’t want him coming inside.
With Lane and the rest of Deb’s friends feeling lost and confused as to what went wrong, Lane has an idea. She has been asked to watch over Deb’s old home while her parents are away. She tells the friends to come over, and they can play the Ouija board together in hopes to make contact with their deceased friend. Lane is hoping that by having a final talk with Deb will give them all the answers and closure they need.
As soon as the friends begin playing they get a reassuring message,”Hi Friend” the planchette spells out. Lane bursts into questions. Meanwhile, some of the group is starting to chicken out.
A loud thud is heard above them. “Who is this?” Lane asks. The planchette moves to the letter D. Lane explains that they want a chance to tell her goodbye, and all the lights go out in the house.
Lane’s sister insists its just a game and when Lane leaves the room, her sister, and Deb’s boyfriend have a chat. Lane’s sister believes that Lane needs to hear from Deb so badly that she is subconsciously moving the planchette herself trying to get the answers she desperately desires. The friends search the house for lighting and to see what could have caused the noise they heard. Almost instantly, a burner in the kitchen turns on. Deb’s boyfriend then gets close to a mirror when he sees a dark reflection in it, then crashes into the mirror. He then starts yelling that an unknown force pushed him into it. The friends hurriedly vacate the premises. Lane grabs the Ouija board before they go.
Lane’s boyfriend tells her bringing the Ouija board home is a bad idea, but Lane believes that what happened was a sign from Deb.
Soon the friends begin getting the same message, “Hi Friend” almost everywhere they go. Lane’s boyfriend happens upon a tunnel when a grocery cart comes flying at him out of nowhere. He dodges the cart in the nick of time only to look up and see the message in freakish graffiti letters.
Liz, a mutual friend of the group who was there at the time of Lane trying to contact Deb via the Ouija board, is the next to get the message. She is seen flossing her teeth in the mirror when all goes wrong. The floss turns to stitches, and her mouth is sewn up by an invisible force. Her bath water begins to overflow, and she is levitated in the air when her eyes go cloudy, and her head is slammed hard into the sink.
With her friends dying around her one by one, Lane knows she needs answers. She and Deb’s boyfriend attempt to explore Deb’s home in search of anything that could be a clue as to what is happening. Lane goes into the attic where she knows Deb had been the day she died. She sees a dark figure and chases it but instead of finding someone, she discovers a box full of old photographs. The pictures are all of a family that once owned the home.
Lane takes the pictures home but is obviously followed by a spirit. She and her sister hear it walking around as they hide inside the closet. The same message appears on Lane’s sister’s open laptop screen, “Hi Friend.”
The friends know there is something wrong, and they agree to play the game a final time. As soon as they start playing with the Ouija board, a door slams in the home. After doing some fishing, they understand that Deb did not kill herself, and they all seem to be relieved that they are at last having a meaningful conversation with their deceased friend. Deb’s boyfriend takes it upon himself to make sure the spirit is truly his lost love. He asks the spirit if she remembers where they really went on their first date and tells a made up a scenario. When the spirit agrees to remember the date, he cast outs the spirit as Deb’s impostor.
The spirit confesses to not being Deb. Instead, she is a spirit that goes by the name “DZ.” Lane lifts up the planchette and looks through the glass hole, hoping to catch a glimpse of DZ. Sure enough, she sees a blonde-headed girl with her mouth sewn shut. The planchette moves frantically spelling out “Run, she’s coming, mother!” The Ouija board flies up in the air ending their session.
Lane isn’t willing to let this be the end of it. She does some research to uncover the identities of the family from the photos she found in the attic. She determines that DZ is Dora Zander, a girl who went missing in the 1940’s. She lived with her mom and sister in the house that Deb’s parents still inhabit. The mother had passed away, but DZ’s sister is living in a nearby psychiatric ward. Lane plans to pay her a visit to see what she can find out.
DZ’s sister is now an old woman who appears to want to save the rest of the friends before it’s too late. She tells Lane that their mother was a gifted seance worker who used DZ as a vessel for communications. DZ’s body would be briefly inhabited by spirits to give them an audible voice. When the spirits discovered what a great mouthpiece she was, they would not stop talking through her. The spirits began to drive their mother insane, so she sewed DZ’s lips shut. She killed DZ and stuck her in a psych ward. She warns Lane that the negative energy is getting stronger by the minute and will be hard to stop. She tells Lane that her only hope is to go to the secret room of the house where DZ’s body is hidden and cut the stitches on her mouth. She will need to pray that DZ will be strong enough to face her mother’s wrath.
Lane, her boyfriend, and Deb’s boyfriend brave the task together. Lane’s boyfriend is slammed into a wall and left unconscious while Lane scrambles to cut the stitches. DZ and her mother’s ghost both appear scream, then disappear in an instant. Deb’s boyfriend thinks he sees Deb and hurries to her side, to the horrifying discovery that is DZ. She screams in the face, and his eyes go foggy, and his mouth is sewn shut. He falls to the ground and dies.
Lane returns to the insane asylum to confront DZ’s sister. DZ’s sister is overly pleased to hear of her sister’s freedom and breaks into maniacal laughter. She admits that DZ promised to be nice to her from now on if she helped her. Their mother had killed DZ and was trying to protect others from DZ’s wickedness.
Not knowing who else to turn to, Lane asks her housekeeper who she affectionately refers to as “Nana” for help. Nana tells Lane and her sister that they need to destroy both the Ouija board and DZ’s body to free themselves from additional harm.
Lane and her sister return to the home for a final show-down. Lane tricks DZ into playing the game with her while Sarah throws her body into the fire. DZ begins to overtake Lane but is struck down by Deb, who appears at the last minute to throw the Ouija board into the fireplace.
In the movie Witchboard, Linda is a woman who is overly curious about her friend Brandon’s Ouija board. He is frequently telling her about the friendship he has forged with a ten-year-old ghost boy named David that he contacts by using his Spirit board. Linda’s boyfriend Jim is not at all thrilled about Linda’s desire to contact unknown spirits, and while playing with the Ouija Board at Linda’s home, he and Brandon get into a fight. The Ouija Board is levitated off the table, and a loud noise is heard outside. Brandon goes outside to see that his tires have been slashed. They wonder if it was a human force or if it was an aggravated David that had flattened the tires. Brandon forgets to take his Ouija board with him when he leaves.
Linda cannot resist the temptation to try to contact David. She takes the Ouija board out and begins playing alone. It doesn’t take long before a spirit responds claiming to be 10 year old David. He says he wants her friendship and as a show of goodwill he wants to help her find her diamond ring that is missing. He instructs her to take apart the pipes under her bathroom sink, and there she’ll find her engagement ring. After her first one-on-one encounter with this spirit, people notice a change in Linda’s personality. She seems easily agitated, aggressive, and emotional. The friends soon begin to realize that she hasn’t made contact with David. Instead, she encountered a darker spirit. A series of events leads them to believe that Linda’s encounter was with the spirit of Carlos Malfeitor. Carlos was a serial killer in the 1930’s. He is not happy that his time on earth was cut short because of his undying love for murder. Malfeitor’s strongest desire is to inhabit Linda’s body so he can use her to do his killing. Together Jim and Brandon must face Malfeitor together to stop him from axing anyone else.
The plots of both movies together in a few ways. Both feature a female lead who is tricked by an evil spirit into thinking they are a benevolent friend. Both of the spirits from the two movies once lived in the home where the Ouija game is played and cause a change in behavior for the people they contact. The makers of Ouija simply managed to make this movie much scarier.
Witchboard was very low-budget and the acting is sub-par, to say the least. The special effects are almost laughable. Ouija had some truly great actresses like scream queens, Olivia Cooke and Lin Shaye. Obviously, special effects and picture quality have tremendously improved since 1986.
(See Review Below)
Anneliese: the Exorcist Tapes is a 2011 documentary based movie that melodramatically re-creates the events surrounding a 23 years old German girl by the name of Anneliese Michel. Towards her last years alive, her parents and the Catholic Church believed she was possessed by demons. There is still a great debate regarding this issue and the medical community squarely believes it was a medical condition that led to her painful life. The 2005 film “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” based some of its plot structure on Michel’s story, but not the demonic possession.
Anneliese The Exorcist Tapes – Movie Overview
Upon the start of the film viewers are told that the footage they are going to see is in fact real and that no editing has been done. People who know the story of Anneliese will probably be informed about the tapes that were used in her court case and these are the tapes director Jude Gerard Priest wants people to believe they are watching. This might not have been the best decision, because it undermines the intelligence of the audience. For starters, what are the chances of Jude Priest actually getting his hands on the original tapes? The second problem is that viewers will probably notice that the tapes are fake within 5 minutes of watching. It’s unclear whether any real footage from the actual exorcisms is shown during the movie.
Looking at the plot of the movie, the story tries to stay true to the real events. Anneliese had undergone numerous hours of exorcism sessions and her symptoms did puzzle doctors at the time. However, no deaths actually occurred. Throughout the movie Anneliese experiences fits of rage, convulsions and other strange scenarios that are typically associated with the paranormal.
Whether the movie is good depends on personal opinion. Not everyone likes the handheld camera effect and for the most part audiences were very disappointed. The acting, directing, editing and just about everything else lacks a great deal of depth and quality. Apart from promoting it as real, which can be considered a cheap stunt to get more attention, there are several irritating scenes. For example, there are sections where the scene is black and only the sound of what is happening can be heard. For horror movie fans this isn’t something that belongs in the collection.
Compared to the other film loosely based on Michel’s story entitled “Requiem”, this is the horror version. Where this film only focuses on the exorcisms “Requiem” took a more natural approach and looked at how Anneliese struggled to live a normal life. In fact, it provides a lot more medical evidence that would explain her condition, but it doesn’t draw any conclusions. The 2005 film “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” was only inspired by the court cases that followed the incident.
Anneliese Michel: The Real Story
Anneliese was born on September 21st 1952 in Bavaria, West Germany. She was considered a very a religious child and attended Mass at least twice a week. Unfortunately her problems started while she was still in the prime of her life, and from there it kept getting worse. At the age of 16 her first convulsion struck and according to medical records she was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy. From that point on she became more reserved and withdrawn. In 1970 she suffered her third epileptic episode and she was already under psychiatric supervision when this happened. By the time she graduated in 1973 and started attending University she was regarded by her class-mates as one-sided and still very religious.
The nature of her symptoms kept getting worse. She began to see the face of the devil in addition to fighting hallucinations. When she prayed she would hear voices of demons and she continually withdrew from coming in contact with religious symbols. Medication and treatment failed her completely as her condition spiraled out of control and her parents came to the conclusion that she had to be possessed. A priest by the name of Arnold Renz was given permission by Bishop Josef Strangl to perform a highly secretive exorcism on Anneliese after another priest by the name of Ernst Alt told the family she couldn’t possibly be suffering from medical problems.
Anneliese believed that she was suffering for other people’s sin, and during the course of 10 months (1975 – 1976) she received 67 exorcism sessions based on the 400 year old Rituale Romanum. Regardless of all the sessions she kept getting worse and she insisted on dying. She stopped eating completely and on July 1st 1976 she finally gave into malnutrition and dehydration. She weighed 68 pounds when she died.
Her parents and the two priests were convicted of manslaughter, given the cause of her death. However, the state prosecutor felt that the parents have suffered enough and that the 6 months jail sentence given by the court was too harsh. Their sentence was later reduced to 3 years’ probation while the priests only received a fine. During the court case the tapes that were made during the exorcisms were played as evidence of how badly Anneliese was suffering.
Complete Naration of The Anneliese Michel Story
A Good Time to Watch this Movie?
If you are hosting a Halloween party or something along this line then it will be a nice touch to play this movie for background effect. The somewhat cheesy acting, the repetitive scenes, the strange screams and the “old” cameras will definitely create ambience in the style of Rob Zombie. However, if you want a movie that is entertaining and worth watching then this is probably not the movie to choose. Chances are you will be mad that you wasted your time and energy (see review below).
Was Anneliese Michel Really Possessed?
According to medical research Anneliese wasn’t possessed by actual demons and the lack of knowledge and treatment was her ultimate downfall. From a religious point of view, especially the Catholic Church, there was no doubt that several demons had invaded her body. In terms of the movie, it only mocks the terrible ordeal Anneliese and her family endured. There was a spontaneous fire incident that occurred in the house where she lived during 2013 and the police report stated that arson was the cause. However, certain individuals believed that it was a result of the demonic possession and everything that happened there.
Anneliese The Exorcist Tapes – Movie Review
|Movie: Anneliese: The Exorcist Tapes
Studio: The Global Asylum
Director: Jude Gerard Prest
Language: English, German
Length: 91 Minutes
Plot: Purporting to be real footage of an exorcism that inspired the blockbuster 1970s horror film, this feature observes a young woman in the throes of demonic possession. German Anneliese, 23, appears to exhibit signs of epilepsy, but soon the medical professionals called to her bedside are stumped by her symptoms. As the woman’s house becomes plagued by paranormal phenomena, a priest is called upon to exorcise the evil spirit.
Review: Were starting off with a doozy here on Horror Palace. The opening goes through a montage claiming that the movie you are about to see is real footage, undoctored. I immediately was turned off with that, not because they started the movie that way, but for the reason, if you don’t know me yet, I loathe found footage style, handheld horror movies.
While the filmmakers were trying to pull off this “real factor” you have to deal with three types of cameras, effects and editing nightmare. You get B&W footage from corner cams, a VHS camcorder, and even an old-time tape recorder, with fake lines, snowy screens and jumping frames.
I guess I should talk about the movie some before I keep on ranting how bad it is. The story is one where a girl gets possessed while the clergy and doctors fight amongst themselves on the best treatment. While the arguing is happening, Anneliese (Nikki Muller), exudes strange behavior such as convulsions, anger, eating insects and other things really not worth mentioning.
People do end up dying, which is rare for possession films, but the acting is really poor and unbelievable. This story happens over weeks, where each day they cut away to filming the doctor’s notes which is horrible. If that isn’t enough, several times in the film they play only recorded audio with a blank, black screen, where you hear Anneliese talking in tongues with many different voices.
Suffice it to say that this is one terrible rip-off on a documentary that claims The Exorcism Of Emily Rose was based off of this. This girl Anneliese Michel was supposedly a real person with a bizarre tale. All I see is another knock-off of The Exorcist trying to gain viewership by going the route of “true events” bologna. While I always give horror movies credit they deserve no matter how small it may be, Anneliese: The Exorcist Tapes has nothing good about it.
| Reviewed by BillChete
Night Guards or Noćni Cuvari is the official title as it is a Croatian language film with subtitles.
The story line centers around two night guards, belonging to different generations and yet related events. The younger man has his own desires, yet ultimately understands the wisdom of the elder.
For a short film, characters and plot are sufficiently developed. The acting is very believable as well as the location. As a horror movie the story line has some nice elements and there are a couple of surprising shock moments with a little gore and supernatural events – just enough to keep from over doing it.
The major criticism of this short film would be that it appears too dark. Yes, it takes place in a dark environment, but there are ways to portray darkness without destroying the feeling of being in darkness.
Overall worth watching! So check out the trailer or jump right to the movie. Watch Movie Now
Directed and written by: Marko Marinkovic
Cast: Dragan Marinkovic, Stevan Matic, Viktorija Arsic, Marko Vuckovic
Camera/VFX: Andrija and Mladen Tomasevic
Music by: Midnight Beatz
In Fear is a very small budget film and is the first feature length film from directer Jeremy Lovering. After receiving praise at the Sundance Film Festival, In Fear has been getting approval from film critics for its success at creating a suspenseful thriller on such a small budget. This is a film that gets some things right, but lacks in other major areas.
The movie plot revolves around something we all manage to do, which is getting lost during a trip. The film tells the story of Tom (Iain De Caestecker) and Lucy (Alice Englert) who are heading toward a music festival to meet up with friends when Tom surprises Lucy by telling her that he has reserved a hotel room for the evening at a remote resort and invites her to join him. Lucy accepts the invitation and they go off the main road to get to the resort. What follows are horrific experiences with the unknown, as they eventually get caught up in a confusing maze of roads while potentially being stalked.
One area this movie excels at is its camera work. Most of the film is shot in a small car and the camera operators did a great job at filming from many different angels and succeed at creating tension and suspense. Director Jeremy Lovering also did a great job making this film with the limited resources he had. With only three main characters and few filming locations, he has achieved what many independent filmmakers strive for, which is to make a feature film on a small budget that isn’t completely uninteresting. The filming locations where it was shot actually have a mystic feeling to them, especially at night.
However there are big drawbacks to In Fear that really holds it back from being much better. The biggest problem with the film is its plot. Firstly, there is zero character development. We know nothing in regards of their interests, jobs or family. When there’s at least some character development, the audience gets more into the film because we feel more attached to a character we know something about. But that is not the case here.
The relationship between Tom and Lucy is often confusing, as we are left wondering just how acquainted they are. Sometimes they appear like they barely know each other while other times it seems they are nearly in a relationship. In one scene Tom says he barely knows Lucy, yet Lucy accepts an invitation to stay with him in a hotel.
The acting in this film is another aspect that drags the film down. The acting is not great with the three characters in the movie, and if there are only three people in the film it should be made sure they put on a good performance. And then there’s the ending of the film, which was a letdown in my opinion. We were never given a clear explanation as to why everything happened the way it did and if everyone made it out. However despite the downfalls in certain areas of the movie, admittingly I was still interested in the outcome of the film and had to watch it till the end. If you are a fan of suspenseful movies you might find a little bit of a kick from this, but don’t set your expectations too high. It’s a decent bargain bin movie.
Reviewed by Ivan Karhoff
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Cults are a problem that continue to plague society. We as outsiders particularly find them fascinating in regard to their practices and way of life. Films about cults typically do well, from The Village to Eyes Wide Shut to The Master.
Children of Sorrow tells the story of Ellen (Hannah Levien) who attempts to locate her missing sister by joining a religious cult in an isolated desert location, where her sister was last known to be. The cult, being lead by Simon Leach (Bill Oberst Jr.) consists of several members who all have different backstories and are looking for belonging, community and acceptance. However after a short period of time from arriving, Ellen discovers just how insane Simon and his followers eventually become and finds that much darker things are going on.
Perhaps the creepiest thing that can be said about this film is that it portrays cults realistically and that, in reality, these cults are not fictitious. For centuries cultic groups have risen up, lead by so-called prophets. From the deCloud and Manson families to Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple to Heavens Gate, these groups often end with tragic results with their members being brainwashed into committing drastic actions.
Most of the film is shot from a first person perspective. Ever since the hugely successful horror film The Blair Witch Project was released in 1999, the camcorder filming style has become a favored technique of filming with independent filmmakers for its simplicity and ability to work on a micro budget, which this film definitely falls under. If you are a fan of this particular genre, this film might be worth watching.
This film accomplishes what is set out to do, which is to shoot a realistic looking mockumentary. Hannah Levien and Bill Oberst Jr. give the best performances in this movie. Most of the other actors do a decent job in portraying everyday people who slowly become more and more brainwashed. The characters are given some backstory which leads to better character development than other horror films. But overall there isn’t anything special this film adds or contributes that hasn’t been done before.[amzn_product_inline asin=’B00GOYHSBU’]
One thing this film can be sometimes is slow. It takes awhile for things to really get interesting and might become boring for some viewers. Also, even though this is filmed with the camcorder technique, sometimes the camera shakes a lot. So much that it sometimes becomes irritating and can distract us from dramatic moments.
Watching the members of this cult being brainwashed into believing Simon Leach is an elevated human being is sometimes creepy. But I felt the transition from calm to extreme creepiness is a little too fast. A slower build up to insanity would have worked better for this film. This is director Jourdan McClure’s second film and his first time producing and also writing, and it’s certainly not too bad. If you’re a fan of the “found footage” genre, you might enjoy this movie. But if you’re not too cracked up about the genre, I’d suggest passing this one by.
Reviewed by Ivan Karhoff
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What movie is playing? Is it Paranormal Activity? Or maybe The Blair Witch Project? Actually, it’s a carbon copy of both films combined into one. The Bell Witch Haunting is one of the latest releases from The Asylum films, who constantly release awful horror flicks ranging from Abraham Lincoln fighting zombies to Nazi’s in the center of the Earth. Everything in this film seems copied from a lot of excellent horror movies. It’s another release in the found footage genre that’s nothing special and offers nothing new the the genre.
The film is supposed to be based off actual events that took place, but just how authentic the film is is suspect. The police release some video that was found recorded on the Sawyer families camcorders, laptops and cell phones. The video depicts the family being haunted in and around their home by a poltergeist in connection to an old folklore tale in Tennessee.
The Bell Witch Haunting uses different film techniques, like being filmed on camcorders, camera chest mounts, police dashcams among other techniques. Some of which is actually convincing at times. The opening scene, which takes place at a backyard party, was the best because it was the most convincing and entertaining. Oh, and some hot toppless women. But after that, everything starts to slow down and sometimes get boring. There are a lot of pointless scenes that have no business being in the film.
Character development isn’t the worst in the genre, but there’s still a lot to be desired. After some characters start to die, they begin to investigate a possible reason and discover that it might be a demon. Usually at least one person will play the skeptic, especially about two hundred year old folklore, but everyone pretty much agrees a demon is responsible except for the dad. He is perhaps the most optimistic man on the planet. Toward the end, after he’s hurt twice and several family friends mysteriously die, he doesn’t believe anything supernatural is happening.
There’s so much “found footage” yet a lot of it doesn’t add anything making it less realistic. Nobody films just for the heck of it. The acting isn’t awful but it’s not great. One scene was particularly ridiculous where two guys go into the woods to try and film the demon when one of them is attacked by a spear through the stomach and the other dude runs away. Literally the next day (every new day is documented) he goes back to the spot he died to pay his respect. No police investigation or anything. And the thing responsible for his death is still loose in the woods. Take a guess at what happens to him.
The ending is a mixture of The Exorcist and The Blair Witch Project and is unconvincing. The only scary scenes in the film are when the demon appears out of the darkness. But music starts playing two seconds before the action so we usually know somethings about to pop out. There’s nothing special about this film that makes it worth seeing. It’s not terrible, but it doesn’t scare or create anything new.
Reviewed by Ivan Karhoff
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The Exorcist, Halloween and Psycho are some of the best horror films ever created. One film that won’t be part of that list is The Zombinator directed by Sergio Myers. This micro-budget zombie film accomplishes something that very few films can, which is being totally unredeemable in anyway. In nearly every area of this film, from the script to the acting and the effects are a disaster. And what’s worse is it’s not even a horror film that’s so bad it’s funny, like Plan 9 From Outer Space.
The Zombinator revolves around a successful fashion designer who is the subject of a documentary being filmed in a small town in Ohio. All of a sudden a zombie apocalypse breaks out and a man called The Zombinator appears and tries to stop the breakout because he knows who’s responsible.
The film is shot in the exact style as Diary of the Dead and The Blair Witch Project. It’s the favored style with low-budget films because it’s inexpensive. Which is a completely acceptable thing, when it’s done right. The acting by the characters is awful, but because it’s in a documentary style, it’s supposed to be realistic. They could’ve casted any rookie actor to play the roles, which they did. There are way too many characters to follow, in the beginning there’s around eight or ten. And because we know nothing about them we don’t care when they die. In one scene a couple breaks up, but since we don’t know them and their acting is horrendous, we don’t care.
In the beginning there’s a scene where the characters are at a wake. It’s one of the most bizarre scenes ever. A young troop died overseas and yet it looks like a party. Everyone’s drinking alcohol, there’s a heavy metal band and it’s full of younger, college-aged kids. I have doubts as to wether or not the director even knew what a wake was. And probably one of the biggest flaws ever in a plot occurs near the beginning. A seemingly innocent man appears to some of the main characters to talk when all of a sudden creepy music starts to play. I don’t recall music playing at all up until that point, and the conversation was friendly, so obviously he must be a bad guy.
While watching I couldn’t help but notice some similarities to another bad horror movie, Birdemic: Shock and Terror. But with that film, it’s so bad it’s funny while The Zombinator isn’t funny for its level of awfulness. Both feature very successful women in fashion who become endangered after a breakout occurs of something wanting to kill them. If this film would’ve had a little worse acting and didn’t consist of scenes that were in small spaces, The Zombinator might of joined the club of films so awful their enjoyable like Troll 2 and The Room.
I could go on and on with what’s wrong with this film. Other problems include jump cuts during action scenes, not containing a single scary moment, horrible dialog including “I guess we’re alive until we die.” not to mention the terminator looking guy is hardly in the film despite being on the movie poster, he’s present probably twenty five percent of the time. Just avoid this film at all costs.
Reviewed by Ivan Karhoff
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Remakes of original films that are considered classics are often times not welcomed. Films based off Stephen King novels are also not often welcomed for their inability to display the true sense of horror his books created. But here we have Carrie, the latest film that’s a remake of a Stephen King based movie from 1976. While this film is certainly not bad and sometimes entertaining, it feels mostly unnecessary.
This remake of the original Carrie follows the same storyline. Seventeen year old Carrie White (Chloë Grace Moretz) is an isolated, shy loner in her school who discovers she has telekinetic powers after an unfortunate incident during gym class. After being harassed and bullied for the event, Carrie begins to research more information regarding her special abilities and overtime strengthens her powers. Carrie’s mother Margaret (Julianne Moore), whose a deeply religious individual, believes she’s possessed by Satan for having telekinetic abilities. It’s only a matter of time before Carrie is pushed to the limit and starts unleashing her telekinesis, causing havoc at her school and in her town.
Chloë Grace Moretz is a good actress, who has been in several other good works in cinema including Hugo and the Kick-Ass series. She puts on a good performance as a shy and awkward girl in this remake. But one important element that is missing from her performance is installing fear into us. Unlike the original, we don’t really fear what will eventually come from Carrie. Chloë Grace Moretz does not show us much of a reason to fear her, but instead makes us feel more sorry for her. Her mother played by Julianne Moore gave a more convincing performance as Carrie’s psychotic and hysterical mother. She is probably the creepiest part of the movie, especially since she frequently abuses Carrie.
However while watching I couldn’t help but wonder why Carrie needed to be remade. There are some instances where the story is brought into the twenty first century, such as when a classmate films Carrie being bullied on her mobile phone and uploads it to the internet. After all the new elements were added, which were not much, did not add anything to the original story. Remaking what was considered to be a very good horror film didn’t make sense to me, but since this film has performed very well in the box office, there’s obviously a lot of interest in it.[amzn_product_inline asin=’B00302QF72′]
The biggest contribution this film adds to the original are the special effects which are well done and convincing. The effects don’t showcase themselves much until during the end of the film, but what we are treated to are explosions, roads splitting apart, someone catching on fire among other things.
This remake of Carrie is not bad movie. But honestly it felt unnecessary and sometimes drawn-out. The only thing the remake adds are the computerized effects, which as previously stated are done well. A younger audience would find much more entertainment from this remake while older audiences will definitely find more enjoyment from the original 1976 film. It’s a movie worth checking out on Netflix or Amazon for an interesting Friday night horror flick.
Reviewed by Ivan Karhoff
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Several times a year the Syfy channel releases their own horror themed movies, with many of them following the same story. A group of survivors must escape a certain threat in a specific location. Scarecrow is no exception to that and is a very cliche film with a formula that has been repeated numerous times and doesn’t offer a single new element.
The story revolves around high school teacher Aaron Harris (Robin Dunne) who takes six students to an old cornfield to dismantle a scarecrow as part of after school detention. While on the bus there, the students begin to tell an urban legend of how long ago the scarecrow became alive and killed several people. However most write it off as fictitious. Shortly after arriving at the site, Aaron runs into former girlfriend Kristen Mills (Lacey Chabert) and former friend Eddie (Carlo Marks) which creates uncomfortable feelings among them. However, everything is quickly interrupted by strange occurrences and then, the scarecrow reveals himself, forcing everyone to take refuge in an abandoned house as they try to determine how to escape the secluded old farm alive.
This is a film that consists of many flaws. The major one being the story, which several times over the duration of the film doesn’t seem logical or consistent. The fact that a teacher would bus students a great distance to do labor as punishment is ludicrous. A sole teacher can’t contain several disobedient kids. When they actually arrive, Aaron quickly stops monitoring the students activities after he learns Kristen is there and begins to pursue personal interests. The story itself is similar to other Syfy original movies, like Sharknado and Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon. They just simply change the threat and location.
And then you have the monster itself, the scarecrow. Upon seeing it, you’ll discover it looks absolutely nothing like a scarecrow. It looks more like it’s made of vines, and moves the same way the vines did in the 1981 horror masterpiece The Evil Dead, only it doesn’t rape people. It’s 3D animated most of the time it’s on the screen, but I did like its appearance despite it being called a scarecrow seemed misleading.
It’s logic is highly flawed. It seems to have the power to kill everyone quickly, but for whatever reason, it doesn’t. In one scene, the remaining survivors gain access to a police cruiser and drive off when the scarecrow appears in front of the car, causing them to crash and be knocked unconscious. But the scarecrow doesn’t kill them, instead allowing them to sit in the vehicle for awhile before only killing one of them after leaving the vehicle.
To give this film some credit, there are a couple good scenes with gore. The scarecrow with its vine-like abilities will puncture it’s victims bodies and slash their legs, torsos and other parts. But the majority of the deaths in this film are off screen which is disappointing. The performance given by the actors is unimpressive and often pretty bad.
The concept of this film seemed good and certainly had potential, but a flawed story and bad acting resulted in the creation of a very poor film. Syfy channel movies are notoriously mediocre with this being no exception. If you’re looking for a good horror film, there are certainly much better films worth your time and money.
Reviewed by Ivan Karhoff
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I was trying to think of the type of person who would like this movie. My 17 year old daughter? No. My 10 year old son (not that I’d let him watch a rated R movie)? No. A total dip shit? Maybe. A Little Bit Zombie was a painful 87 minutes. I would ask for a refund but I watched it for free. It is truly baffling how a movie like this got the green light. Was it someone with deep pockets who wanted to waste 1.5 Mill? The fact that it cost that much has me even more surprised.
Steve is the world’s biggest push over and is about to marry a bridezilla named Tina. Together with Steve’s sister Sarah, and her husband, who just happens to be Steve’s best friend, Craig (A.K.A. The poor man’s Steve Stiffler) go on a cabin trip to plan and set up for the upcoming wedding. On the first night, Steve is attacked by a mosquito, that had previously bit a zombie. After that happens, Steve spends the next few days discovering that he is in fact a zombie. His first clue is a dream that he has about his craving of brains. Then whenever he or anyone else mentions the world he begins to profusely drool. This goes on for the duration for the movie and becomes very boring after the second time it happens. Along the way you get to meet Max (A.K.A the poor man’s Lance Henriksen) and Penny who are an awkward pair that appear to be hunting zombies by following a glowing sphere. Max and penny’s side plot is hard to explain for the simple fact that, well it’s never explained!
Have I lost your attention yet? Okay, then I’ll proceed.
This is a B-list cast with B-list acting. To expect more would be asking a little too much. I must admit that the three main women in this film are very nice to look at which made the 87 minutes a little less painful. There is not a whole lot of character development, which is a good thing because I don’t know if these actors could handle it. Each of the characters were very one dimensional. I feel like they were given very little background and were asked to bring them to life. But like I said, what do you expect from a movie called A Little Bit Zombie.
The soundtrack would have not been that bad…if it were 1980. You can probably attribute that to the low budget. Director Casey Walker did a good job picking the Canadian location. After that, I have nothing else positive to say. Ninety percent of the movie is filmed at night. So you’d think they’d find someone who was better with the lighting. As far as the costumes go…I’ve seen worse.
I think the film’s underlying message is, that there are worse things than becoming a zombie. You could be marrying a control freak bitch.
I have to say, I was not impressed with this film. There were no big surprises. No climatic final battle. No twist ending. It really just left me empty once the credits began to roll. I can think of 87 better ways to spend 87 minutes. One of which is pulling teeth.
Letter Grade – F
RT – 7%
Stars – ½ stars
Thumbs – Thumbs Down
Get The Point?
Reviewed by Damnetha Jules
Damnetha is a staff writer, movie and book critic.