BEWARE THE MOON REVIEWS
On to the final horror film of the night while I was watching them with my friend, (but please, do not worry, I have been on my own all evening and I have just finished my second horror film, so do not fret, more reviews are on their way shortly.), the final film and my favourite one out of the bunch. A Christmas Horror Story, what more would you want around this merry season?! "Interwoven stories that take place on Christmas Eve, as told by one festive radio host: A family brings home more than a Christmas tree, a student documentary becomes a living nightmare, a Christmas spirit terrorizes, Santa slays evil." This movie could not go wrong, Christmas and horror!
I had my normal hopes on this film; that I would enjoy it but it would not be award worthy and would be pretty damn tongue n' cheek. And I was correct! This film is tongue and cheek, and it is not going to win any awards but damn, I loved it. I really did enjoy it and it was actually the best film, in my eyes, that we watched that evening.
I was excited to watch this film the start, mainly because it is an anthology and I am such a fan of them, I hadn't really heard of it before finding it on Netflix though, so I pretty much went into it with an open mind, still expecting that I would love it though...
A Christmas Horror Story mixes in four different stories, while William Shatner, yes, theeeeeee William Shatner, plays narrative as a radio DJ who is getting drunker by each section by who is also staying calm as what he is saying starts getting scarier and more intense by the second.
The first story is about a group of teenagers who break into their school due to there being murders before - yup, that old chestnut... But actually, it's not terrible at all, it might not be the strongest section out of the whole film, or the most original, but it's fun. It keeps you watching, makes you jump a few times, and actually has a little twist about the school that you really wouldn't see coming.
The story that follows that one is about a family who go and chop down a Christmas tree, illegally may I add, never good, and go home only to find out their son is not the same as when they went. This really kind of reminded me of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, not the whole film, just the scene out of the film where The Griswolds make their way out into the woods and cut down their perfect tree, "She'll see it later, her eyes have frozen".
Only that part though, in no part of National Lampoons does Rusty try to kill Clark...
Anyhoo, back to the actual horror film, I liked this section of the film, but I did think that the parents weren't the best, well, maybe that wasn't the best way to say it... They weren't the most observant, lets say that, they missed things about their own child that I even picked up on, and I do not have any sort of maternal part of me at all. (I have no kids and am not planning on any anytime soon, and have never ever been broody.) But their child changed, like he went as any average child and came back as some mute child who just gives these bugger off looks and everyone... Any neither parent really reacted to this massive change! And they really didn't seem to care that their son was of all a sudden really weird and pretty damn rude. If he was my child, I think he would be off to bed without any food and I would be getting a priest in...
This section wasn't awful, wasn't my favourite one out of them all, and took some thought to realise how it was connected to the rest, but I actually quite liked that it wasn't really really obvious... It kept you interested and had some tense moments while being fairly original, bravo.
The third section is pretty clear with how it is linked to at least one other, and you realise it from the start really. I actually liked this section quite a lot as it is about a family traveling across some woods and such in the middle of nowhere and at the dead of night, only to crash and have to do it all by foot. Damn it, that's all you need at night, having to walk through a very scary wood with noises all over the place... And it's Christmas too! I also love cat and mouse films and slasher films, and this was pretty much a mixture of both of those, with the family slowly being picked off one by one.
It's great, I just like this kind of storyline and this one ends with a sort of twist too, a twist that takes some thinking but one that came out of nowhere.
It also ends in the same location it starts, and I like that, it does a full scary circle and ends with some sort of weird twist that took some thinking and Googling but one that I did not see coming. I liked this one better than the changling one, the same as the first section but less than the last one - if you're still with me by this point.
Now, onto the last section and my favourite of them all. I can't say too much about this one as it has such a good twist, and one that cannot be seen coming, but is hinted at a lot through the whole film - mainly with the help of good old William Shatner... The last section basically shows Santa, but a Santa in an actual workshop so the place is a bit grey and a bit run down and it's nothing like the Santa's grotto in elf. It's nothing like Elf or any other classic Christmas stuff, not only because of the run down grotto, but because the lovely little elves turn into blood thirty zombies - yes, you heard that correctly. ZOMBIE ELVES.
It's great and it really ends the film off well, tying up the ever drunk William Shatner's radio show into it too, insanely well may I add. The radio show starts off as a normal show, but kind of with highly strung colleagues, who are all just doing their jobs, only to get more and more strung throughout it and soon one storms out.
Then, you start hearing about some breaking news just coming in - harrowing, breaking news that I sharn't talk about as it will give the twist away...
I DON'T WANT TO RUIN ANYTHING, GUYS. So I shall just say, these two little sections were my favourites, just so so good and clever and so smart how they tie into each other - this makes me just want to watch them all over again, that is just how good they are.
Overall A Christmas Horror Story is pretty good, some sections are better than others but there is not one section that I didn't enjoy and it was all tied together differently, some in big ways and some in little ways. This film made me very happy.
And it made me very happy as I was actually allowed to watch this at Christmas, most of the time I have to watch them secretly on my own, as horrors tend to not be Christmassy enough for my parents.
YOU SAVED ME, A Christmas Horror Story!
So, this was the seocond of the night, and thankfully, it was better than the first! The second one was the second Netflix original of the night too, and actually the better one of the two. This film was Before I Wake, "A young couple adopt an orphaned child whose dreams - and nightmares - manifest physically as he sleeps.".
Like the last one, (it has such a long name, I am from now on going to type it as Pretty Thing), the last one being Pretty Thing, it was a Netflix original, but unlike the last one, it wasn't that bad... I wouldn't say this one was a typical horror, maybe more a thriller, but it definitely still tried its damdest to make you jump. Just don't watch it if you are really in the mood for gore and a massive killer or anything like that. I would say this has aspects of horror but is probably more of a thriller - the dreams are very well done, and look similar to how Avatar when you first saw it, it's all very pleasing to the eye.
The dreams also start out as nice and warm, but it seems to be when they are pushed or taken advantage of, that's when it all goes wrong - kind of like life really I guess, if you wanna get deep... Jessie starts trying to use the dreams to see her dead son again and get closure, and, I am not trying to blame her for anything, but just saying, after she started doing it and making Cody sleep for longer, it all went a bit Pete Tong... Not blaming her though...
Before I wake is not gory, or that scary but it is tense and it is creepy in places, it is also pretty thought provoking, in the way that once you realise what, or even who the monster is, you realise there was no way you would have worked it out. Well, I for one would never have guessed, and I really don't think it was obvious or easy to come to.
The monster is obviously the scariest thing in this film, as it should be, and I found it very clever, I won't mention what it is, but it does look very different and acts in a way that what it is wouldn't normally. Everything about the monster was thought through, down to the look and the look of it going back to flashbacks from Cody, to the noises and sounds it makes, actually meaning something. For a monster out of a thriller with aspects of horror, I very much approve.
I thought Before I wake was a good film, I can't say I was blown away by it, but it wasn't dreadful. I don't know whether part of it was because I was in the mood for horrors, (which is most of the time, FYI...), and this isn't fully one, but that's my fault really, getting hopes up and all.
If someone wanted to watch a movie and asked for a recommendation, and I thought this one might be up their street, for sure I would say they should watch it. It wasn't a bad movie, just not one I would watch in a while, not all my taste, that's all.
Now the last film we watched that evening, the review coming next, literally I would buy a house on that street, it was that much up my street...
Damn. I had such high hopes for this film. I had heard of it for ages and always wanted to see it, but for some reason, I just never had. One of my best mates then tagged me in a post about it and we decided to get together and watch it, along with more horrors, but they will be coming later...
First, this one, "Hired to care for a reclusive elderly author (Paula Prentiss), a live-in nurse (Ruth Wilson) comes to believe her house is haunted."
I was very very sad when I watched this, it really was not that good. I had heard mixed things about it, I had read how some people loved it and then the next page, people would say it almost bored them to tears. The video my friend sent me also made a point of saying how creepy this film is and how it really gets under your skin.
I personally found this film kind of boring and very slow, and up until the end, I really thought it wasn't going anywhere. Like I just felt the story was on one level, and that was it, nothing about it was changing, it was as if it was just repeating the same day, over and over again. The only thing that seemed to change was the part of the story that Lily was reading, and even those were not that great...
It did have a few creepy moments though, the whole ghostly figures and noises, always go down well with me, those.
The best part of this whole film was the ending. Up until that point me and my friend had both said how we had no idea what was going on, and how we were literally so so bored out of our brains. These comments only got the reply "Well, change it then", from my parents - we said we couldn't, we were already half way through, and I feel we were both hoping it would get better...
Right at the end it did get a little better, I did like the end. The whole twist with the book and who Polly really was out of the book, I thought was good. Just right at the end was good. But the rest, nahhhhh.
I didn't like this film overall, I like the idea of it, and the concept, and the ending, but I really could have done with out the rest of the film, and that's saying something. Luckily, both films we watched after this were both a lot better than this one... Thank god!
Watching horror films since like 2003, when I could stand dead bodies..