Ghostland movie review

For those of us who are into the horror movie genre, Pascal Laugier is a familiar name. He earlier brought us “Martyrs” , a movie that even to this day keeps shocking its audience (and french horror is known for not being shy about breaking a few boundaries here and there). He’s also behind two lesser known horror movies: “House of Voices” aka “Saint Ange”, and “The Tall Man” , the latter being more of a mystery thriller. In other words: I couldn’t help but being at least a little curious about Mr. Laugier’s new addition to horror, “Ghostland” .

The story follows a mother and her two daughters as they are on their way to their new home: an old country house they’ve inherited from her aunt. Early on, we learn that one of the girls (Beth) loves writing horror stories, which causes a bit of jealousy in her sister (Vera) as their mother keeps encouraging Beth’s talents. We also learn that Beth is quite a fanciful personality – an important hint which will make sense later on.

On their first night in the new home, they’re attacked by intruders who’s intent is murder – two characters that are so over-the-top that they’re almost a little unbelieveable: a skinny goth-looking transvestite and a huge ogre-looking freak who is (of course) retarded. And they’re driving a candy truck. Oh yes. However, even though the villains are a bit too much, they actually fit well inside the already weird country house filled with creepy dolls and strange knick-knacks.

While “Ghostland” does not shock or repulse in the same way as “Martyrs” did, it’s still an intense and suspenseful movie, and shows that Laugier’s still got what it takes.

We went to see this little horror movie gem, after wanting to find out what all the fuss was about. I’m actually going to be honest – when I saw the first trailer for the movie, I was put off by the thought of a completely silent movie with (I presumed) a ton of jump scares. I’m glad I still went to see it on the big screen, though!

First of all, the movie is not completely silent, so yes, you can eat your popcorn without everyone hearing it. There’s background music and sound effects, and while there are a few moments where everything is so silent you’d be able to hear someone at the first row lit a fart, the movie does contain enough music and ambient noises to feel like…a normal movie, actually.

Now, over to the premise of the movie: set in an apocalyptic world, we meet a family on a scavenging hunt. We learn early on that there are monsters out there that can’t see, but have an incredible hearing, which explains why they don’t speak and don’t make any noise. It doesn’t take long for one of the monsters to show us viewers how devastating and quick the effect can be if you make them hear you, which makes us understand exactly why the family is so paranoid about making the slightest sound.We follow the family over time (a timespan over multiple years) and how they try to survive in a world where every little noise can be deadly…

A very exciting movie with a fresh take on apocalyptic horror.

Fun fact: the father in the movie is played by the director himself (who was also a co-writer of the manuscript), and the mother is played by his real wife.

I remember you horror movie review

Ég man þig” aka “I Remember You” is a horror-thriller from Iceland, directed by Óskar Thór Axelsson and based on a book by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir.

The movie is told with two perspectives: one is the story of Freyr, a psychiatrist who is tormented by the disappearance of his 8-year old son, and the other is the story about three people that are going to renovate an old house in a small abandoned village. The troubled psychiatrist becomes the “detective” of the story, trying to solve the mystery of his son’s disappearance. In both stories the characters starts to reveal certain dark secrets from the past, and each story has one character that’s mainly experiencing these situations. At first these two stories seem to happen without any connection to each other, but how it’s all tied together will be revealed towards the end.

The Icelandic landscape sets a great atmosphere in this film, and the abandoned village and the house they’re going to renovate literally gave me the creeps just by looking at it. While the movie plays out more as a slow-burn crime/mystery movie, the horror elements fits in nicely where they are placed and helps building up the tension.

Stephen King's 1922

Based on a novel from 2010 by famous horror-writer Stephen King, comes this Netflix original that was released on October 20th. It’s a story about Wilfred James, a proud farmer who conspires to murder his own wife when she wants them to move away from the farm and sell the land, which she owns because it was willed to her by her own father. Neither the father nor the son wants to move away from the quiet farmlife they’ve grown so attached to, and Wilfred convinces his son to participiate in the murder of his wife. After comitting the horrible act and dump the body of her into the well outside, Wilfred soon starts to experience that things do not go as smoothly from there on, even with his wife out of the way…

«1922» is for the most part a dark thriller, with some horror elements mixed it. There are no over-the-top weird stuff that some might be used to from certain popular works by the famous author (like «It», for example), it’s a down-to-earth thriller with some supernatural elements mixed in. Unexpectedly, when a desperate man like Wilfred decides to murder his wife due to his own desires, we all know that he won’t escape such an act unscathed…and neither will his son. “In the end, we all get caught”.

Jeffrey Franken (James Lorinz) is a young medical student whose fiancee, Elizabeth Shelley, gets overrun by a lawnmower at a backyard party and gets shredded to pieces. The only thing left of her is her head, which he puts in the freezer. He’s determined to get her back in some way, and arranges his garage into a typical “mad scientist” lab. Then he drives around New York’s dark streets to pick up the finest hookers to assemble body parts for his new girlfriend.

Obviously,  troubles start right from when she wakes up, with a mentality of a whore and all the body parts stitched on her. She escapes the garage and gets loose on New York city and all she can say is: Need some company? Looking for some action? Got any money? And then she enters a bar where she meets the pimp of the missing hookers who notice a certain tattoo on her new arm..

With a title like «Frankenhooker» you may expect the worst, but if you’re familiar to Frank Henenlotter’s movies you know what you’re getting yourself into. With the limited amount of resources and small budget, he really knows how to use it and combine horror with comedy. Frankenhooker is probably his best one and the most lightened, entertaining and overall the craziest. And like Henenlotter’s previous films, the darker and sleazy streets of New York are portrayed in a authentic way. Shot without permission during the night with real hookers in the background gives his films a more realistic look.

James Lorinz is great in his role as Jeffrey. He reminds me of a milder version of Herbert West. He’s sympatethic and really feels bad for killing streetwalkers to collect the body parts, but he really wants his loved one back. The more he slips into desperation and obsession to fix his fiancee back to life, you just feel sorry for him. Patty Mullen as the Frankenhoooker isn’t bad either. She’s not as serious as Lorinz, but her facial ticks and overacting fits the tone and her scenes are entertaining  as hell.

And of course, how can you not love a movie with exploding hookers?

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