Oct 17, 2012

Quick Flick Reviews - Vol I

This is probably what I'm going to be about for the rest of the month. It's October and that means horror flicks for me. I've been trying and I will be attempting to watch at least one horror flick each night for the rest of the month. So you don't have to. Or something like that. And every few days, I'll entertain you with the results in the form of a quick, one-paragraph review. That should be fun, right? Anyway...

Insidious (2010) - I've had this bad boy on my Netflix Instant queue for a long while now. A bunch of people had recommended it to me as well, but I just hadn't had the urge to sit down and watch it for a long time. I'm glad I finally did. This was a taut, well-made and unique thriller that was a bit different than your run-of-the-mill demonic possession story. In fact, it wasn't a demonic possession story at all. Er, not really. Had more to do with a child who has the ability to astral project and what happens when he gets "lost" in that astral world. Some neat references to Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman" in there, for us comic-book geeks. I'd love to see a sequel or companion film that shows the events of the film from the boy's perspective in the astral world.  
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Grey (2011) - Only by the broadest of definitions can this one be called a horror flick. It's really more of an action film with some horror elements. Survivors of a plane crash in the Arctic are pursued by a pack of hungry and cunning wolves. Yeah...that would be pretty horrible. To be honest, I only watched this because the trailer was hilarious. Liam Neeson seemingly fighting off a pack of wolves with his hands. How could I pass up that kind of fun? But it was actually a much more interesting film than I thought it was gonna be. And while it wasn't a classic horror film, it had enough horrifying and gory moments to keep my attention. Not really great, but not nearly as awful as it could have been.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The Innkeepers (2011) - Writer/director Ti West's follow-up to 2009's very interesting The House of the Devil. West seems to be a fan of the slow-burn, low-action horror films of the 1970's. Because that's exactly what these two films reminded me of. This one has two hotel clerks working the last weekend of business of a historic and haunted inn in Connecticut trying to capture evidence of paranormal activity for a website that one of them has started. Trying to cash in on the fad, so to speak. One of them gets a bit more than they bargained for as shit starts to get real. Or does it? I'm a big fan of movies like this that end up on an ambiguous note. Like I said, not a lot happens (although there are probably too many silly jump scares) but it's a fun ride nonetheless.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Apollo 18 (2011) - Everyone knows that there were only 17 Apollo missions. What this film pre-supposes is, maybe there wasn't. As in there was an 18th. And, using the found-footage gimmick, this film shows why that 18th mission was initially kept a secret and why we haven't been back to the moon ever since. It should have been a fun little horror flick that preyed up all kinds of lunar conspiracy theories, but it really just fell flat on it's man-in-the-moon face. I think it was the found-footage gimmick that really bothered me. I'm getting kinda tired of it, to be honest. This one might have worked better straight-up. We'll never know.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Update: Two quick pumpkin ale reviews for you as well. On Monday night, I tried two more pumpkin ales at a beer joint in Smithtown called The Tap and Barrel. Excellent craft beer bar with 52 awesome beers on tap. The first was New Holland's Ichabod Ale. Coming in at 5.5% ABV, it didn't have too much of a kick. Not nearly as much as some imperials out there, but enough that you could taste the alcohol. Lots of pumpkin pie spice nose and flavor, but not so much that it didn't taste like an actual beer, ya know? Definitely one that I would want to drink again. The other was Heavy Seas' The Great Pumpkin. I dug this one too, but it was very different from the Ichabod. Sweeter and much more carbonated, it was a great one and done brew. A little higher in alcohol content at 8.0% ABV as well. Not my favorite pumpkin ale, but not a bad entry into the fray either.


Heff said...

Not pumpkin related, but have you tried Shock Top's End Of The World Ale yet ?

Unknown said...

Any hearty ale with a volume of 8% is well worth a taster or two. I'm currently enjoying a locally brewed real ale by the name of 'Pig Snout'. It has a bacon base, a full body, yet a chocolate follow through which kicks in on the way down. The chocoloate works very well, but the effects doesn't always work out well for the grundy stains in yer pants after the gas has worked its way southward.

Look out for a lager by the name of 'Frog Island', a crisp taste, good to the bottom of the pint glass, and with a volume of 11%. Warning, after 13 pints your head will bang!

Verdant Earl said...

Heff - I've only tried Shock Top's wheat beer, and frankly it wouldn't lead me to try anything else from that brand. I'm generally not a beer snob. I dig PBR or Bud just about as much as anyone. But I really don't like the faux craft stuff that comes from the big breweries. Like Shock Tip from Anheuser-Busch or Blue Moon from Coors. Just not my boat and float, if you know what I mean.

Chef - Besides the side effect, that Pig Snout sounds right up my alley. Bacon, chocolate, real ale...these are a few of my favorite things. There is a small brewery in Michigan called Frog Island, but they don't make an imperial lager like you described. So it's probably something not available over here right now. But I'll look out for it if it ever surfaces. Cheers!

Slyde said...

i agree. i was quite please with Insidious. And i've had The Grey in my queue for 2 months now. Just going thru too much tv for the fall season to get to it.

marty mankins said...

I've not seen any of those movies, even if I've heard of half of them,