Thursday, January 8, 2009

Capsule Reviews For The Week!

The People Under The Stairs (1991)

This early-90's Wes Craven film tells the story of a botched robbery, and a 12-year old boy who discovers the terrible secrets contained behind the walls of the house. The parents are guilty of child abuse--the most crazy, outrageous forms of child abuse known to man. They keep cannibals in the basement, for cryin' out loud! While the movie is a decent time-killer loaded with plenty of weirdness, I didn't think the attempts to blend it with comedy worked very well. I can partly see why the "comedic" side was thrown in, as the movie was pretty campy and over-the-top, but...I don't know. The humor also seemed to wreck the movie a little bit.

Cube 2: Hypercube

This movie has a bunch of panicky people are stuck in a giant white cube, with no idea what's going on. I haven't seen the first Cube (yet), but got enough of a cheesy kick out of its sequel to recommend it to sci-fi fans who don't have through-the-roof expectations. There were some pretty effective, creepy scenes (including the alternate universes, the Cube sex, etc) in this bugger. Just ignore the lousy ending.

Cube Zero

Despite being more gruesome than Cube 2, Cube Zero lacks its level of atmosphere and creepiness. I did like the new angle put on the whole thing, where we get to actually see what's going on "behind the scenes" of the monstrous Cube horror show. Watchable, but not as engaging as Hypercube.


When a dad's only son is accidentally killed by a bunch of careless morons on dirt bikes, he goes to some creepy old lady (in a scene that reminded me of Sleepy Hollow) and has her conjure up some pissed-off demon thing to waste the pricks. This movie has great build-up, but very little pay-off. The killings are average, and the special effects not especially breath taking. Still, I can see how it's "camp value" might appeal to some viewers.


A pregnant woman is terrorized by a deranged lunatic in her house on Christmas eve. Consider yourself warned: the killings in this movie are extremely vicious and nasty, and it's one of the most violent and gruesome horror movies to come out in years (the Saw and Hostel movies are kid's stuff compared to this thing). I don't think I've seen a movie this intense since Irreversible. On the other hand, this is undoubtedly the best horror movie to be released since 2003's High Tension, which just goes to show that foreign countries are way better at making horror movies than the US. Inside scared the living hell out of me, and gave me a feeling of dread I haven't felt in a very long time. The ending and final image are as haunting as it gets. This is horror at its very best.

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