Mayhem and Shut In and Better Watch Out
It was a short week for us here and I spent the long weekend reading four books and while I had plans to watch a lot of horror movies, I only watched one. BUT this week I watched a few more and pretty much loved all of them. So I've gone with three recommendations instead of two! Here's what I watched this week:
- Sinister 2
- Shut In
- Hell House LLC
- Digging up the Marrow
- Better Watch Out
Special mention this week goes to Digging up the Marrow, a 2014 horror film written and directed by Adam Green. This was my second time watching it and I loved it even more than the first time. Adam Green is a favorite of mine and I love the bizarre setup of this movie with its' mockumentary found footage monster hunt style. But what I love most about this movie are the monsters themselves and the special effects that went into creating them. The whole movie you're teased with what could be coming and then at the end they just explode across your screen and it's incredible. I know this isn't necessarily a fan favorite but boy do I love this movie! I highly recommend watching or re-watching with a less critical eye and just enjoy the zaniness of it.
Here are my three favorites of the week:
Shut In, released in 2016, was directed by Farren Blackburn, and stars Naomi Watts, Oliver Platt, Charlie Heaton, and Jacob Tremblay. Mary loses her husband in a horrific car crash and finds herself living with her son, Steven, who survived the accident but appears to be brain dead. She spends all day and night taking care of him while also working as a child psychologist. Mary meets a young deaf boy, Tom, in her therapy sessions and takes a liking to him. One night the little boy breaks into her home and she plans on adopting him and taking care of him but that same night he vanishes into the winter storm. As the whole town searches for Tom, Mary feels like he never left and something is going on in her house. As a massive winter storm settles in, Mary must come to terms with the truth and fight for her life.
Shut In sets the scene perfectly for a spooky thriller. As the movie progresses you feel the claustrophobia of the house and fear for Mary as she thinks she's losing her mind. All the acting is spot on and I fell in love with Naomi Watt's character, rooting for her the entire way.
There is two big twists in the film, one which I figured out pretty quick, and one which caught me completely off guard. The reveal of the second twist involving Steven was so well done with a jump scare and it was incredibly well played out. While Charlie Heaton spends most of the film as a brain dead body, when he gets the chance to perform he's amazing!
While most of the jump scares are predictable and I'm sure most of ya'll smarter than me can figure out the story, I still thoroughly enjoyed each and every character and the mood of paranoid that seeps through the film. My only confusion came from this winter storm that sort of plays out throughout the whole film getting worse and worse. Near the climax as the snow storm is at its' worst, a thunderstorm starts. Is that a thing? Is there thunderstorms in snow storms? I lived in Newfoundland for a long ass time and not once did I experience that.
EDIT: I googled it and it's a thing! It's called "thundersnow". That's fucking dope. The more you know ~~
Mayhem....is....AMAZING. I've always heard good things about it but watching it was a whole different experience. Going in I was slightly worried because it has sort of a zombie virus feel to it and I can't watch another zombie flick or I will die. BUT....it's not like that at all. Released in 2017, directed by Joe Lynch, Mayhem stars Steven Yeun and Samara Weaving. Derek, played by Yeun, is our lead who works for a consulting firm has been fired and had a fuck up at the company pinned on him. In this world, the "red eye virus" exists which is not lethal, but when infected, causes people to act out their darkest impulses. After Derek is fired, the whole building goes into lock down as the virus spreads its way through the employees. He teams up with his slightly neurotic client, Melanie, who is also infected, and the two of them make their way through the rampage to get to his old boss and seek revenge.
This movie is bloooooooody. It's gory as hell. And so satisfying! Melanie is easily one of my favorite characters ever - a metal music loving, hidden sociopath who comes completely alive when infected with the virus. She spends the movie wandering around the offices with all sorts of weapons, just demolishing anyone in her path. Derek comes to terms with how awful this company is and how much it changed him. And between him and Melanie, they completely flip the office on its' head.
It's such a great commentary on the corporate world, and the imagery is incredible as blood thirsty CEO's get infected and yet barely change their personality. It also speaks to the pressure you feel in an office environment to do everything you possibly can to reach the top, including dropping your own moral values and throwing others under the bus.
I loved this film and would highly recommend it.
Lastly, I watched Better Watch Out, which I always knew I'd love, but never got around to watching. Until now. AND HOLY CRAP I LOVED IT! New favorite Christmas movie. Released in 2016 and directed and written by Chris Peckover, it stars the kids from The Visit, Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould, and also stars Levi Miller.
Ashley is babysitting Luke who has a massive crush on her despite their 5 year age difference. He concocts a plan to convince Ashley the house is under attack in which he saves her and she falls in love with him. But Luke's plan isn't that simple, and Ashley won't go down without a fight.
And that's all you need to know. I've avoided spoilers for this film so going in virtually blind really helped my enjoyment of it. There's lots of twists and turns with the three main characters and some crazy Home Alone type stunts going on.
All the performances are spot on and there's one incredibly epic kill where you don't actually see the moment of impact but are given enough evidence to sicken you anyway. The ending is great too, had me cheering out loud. It's just easy to get quickly invested in all these characters and watch as everything completely falls apart.
I don't want to say too much about this movie SO JUST GO WATCH IT!