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Invaders from Mars (1953)

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I know, I know, I haven’t done one of these in what seems like forever (which is true). But, now, after having my batteries recharged, it is time to get back into the swing of things and start coming back into the blogosphere. Fortunately, I haven’t totally ignored my love of horror and Sci-Fi cinema over this absence, and now I have an extremely wide variety of films to choose from as I bring The Ringmaster’s Realm back to life. First up is a classic Sci-Fi tale, the 1953 entry Invaders from Mars.

Plot/ A young boy learns that space aliens are taking over the minds of earthlings.

Being one that had never experienced the original Invaders from Mars, I somewhat expected something close to the horrendous remake from my teens. Fortunately, what I found was something much better and entertaining. The atmosphere is perfect, the storytelling does a great job at capturing your attention form a child’s perspective, and the overarching theme of anti-Communism rings throughout in a way that pl…

A Blade in the Dark (1983)

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After spending a lot of time binging on a few different television series, I decided that it was time to take a look at something a touch older and in ways darker. That is when I stumbled on the 1983 giallo A Blade in the Dark in Shudder.

Plot/ A killer stalks a composer staying at a posh Tuscany villa while writing the score to a horror film which has an incriminating clue to the killer's identity.

To me, there is nothing more fun in cinema than sitting back and taking in a classic Italian giallo flick and that is what this Lamberto Bava entry is. This one has enough mystery and suspects to offer many different avenues for Bava to orchestrate the formula perfectly. While there are some flaws (which we will get to), it is the positives that make this one an entertaining watch.  The pacing is solid, the atmosphere dark, and heavy, the performances are decent, and the storyline is detailed and layered (plus, there is a decent amount of blood and gore). Sure, there are some head scr…

Mindhunter - Season One (2017)

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After finishing my binge of Salem, I was drawn in by the idea of creating a true crime series off a nonfiction best seller. What I found was amazing, as the Netflix Original series Mindhunter is truly captivating.

Plot/ In the late 1970s, two FBI agents expand criminal science by delving into the psychology of murder and getting uneasily close to all-too-real monsters.

Having read Mindhunter when it came out, I was fascinated by the subject matter. When I found the show on Netflix, I had no idea what to expect, but what I found was better than I would have imagined. With a heavy atmosphere and dark storyline, the show comes across in much the same manner as the true crime serial killer entry Zodiac (a must see by the way). While the series does differ from many crime dramas, with little to no actual crime scene visits, the information and power of the dialog truly bring this true crime series to life. The series features solid characters that are perfectly captured by the outstanding …

Salem - Season Three (2016)

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With this being eight days into NaNoWriMo, I am spending time breaking down my own characters in my book. While my project is supernatural in nature, it is not a straight supernatural entry. With that in mind, I decided to binge watch the final season of Salem over the past couple days.

Plot/ The witches’ plan to remake the New World by bringing the Devil to earth and making Salem his capital, but the Devil is a liar, and instead of a New World free from murderous Puritan hypocrisy, his own plan will bring nothing but death and slavery with the ultimate aim of leading humanity to destroy itself. And there’s only one person on earth who can beat the devil — the very witch that birthed him, his mother, Mary Sibley — the only problem is she’s dead. Or is she?

In some ways, I am upset that I finished watching Salem and really think that I may have to break down and purchase it. In many ways, Season Three takes the series to an entirely different arena featuring an insane storyline the del…

Saw VI (2009)

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After being disappointed by both Annabelle and Clowntergeist, I decided that it was time to finish what I started last week and write my last review from the Saw franchise. With that plan in place, here is the review of Saw VI from 2009.

Plot/ Agent Strahm is dead, and FBI agent Erickson draws nearer to Hoffman. Meanwhile, a pair of insurance executives finds themselves in another game set by Jigsaw.

I remember originally watching and now after watching it again, how much better this installment was than Saw V. This movie definitely channeled some of the power of the initial installments and created a movie that brought everything back to where it should have been. This one did make some needed changes to the formula and those were for the better. The performances were solid, the pacing felt perfect, the storyline featured a nice mixture of flashbacks and modern musings, and as usual, the traps were awesome. Yes, there were some uneven moments and the ending did not have quite the ef…

Clowntergeist (2017)

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Last night when I picked up Annabelle, I also wanted some type of low budget horror. After walking through Family Video with Jo, she picked out the 2017 entry Clowntergeist.

Plot/ Emma, a college student with a crippling fear of clowns, must come face to face with her worst fear when an evil spirit in the body of a clown is summoned terrorizing the town she calls home.

As I have said on here many times, I am all for low-budget to no-budget horror and can usually look past the inherent flaws and find the potential that will exist inside a film. That was not quite the case with this one, as the production values and sound are actually the primary positives in this one. Unfortunately, the storyline is riddled with predictable and clichéd moments, the performances were beyond uneven, the clown was laughable at best, and nothing within the film makes works. In fact, it felt as if the writer used a cookie cutter to cut out and splice together parts from popular movies to make this one. Hel…

Annabelle: Creation (2017)

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With the weekend winding down and the days of NaNoWriMo piling up, it is hard to find time to watch and review movies that will not in any way influence my Man of the Cloth project. After some searching earlier at Family Video, I decided on the 2017 entry Annabelle: Creation.

Plot/ 12 years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, where they soon become the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

This is one movie where I am so happy to have waited until it came to DVD to watch and luckily, for me, we have a Family Video so I didn’t have to even pay full price. This one was a tough watch, as the amount of jump scares and clichéd moments worked to fracture what came across as something extremely disjointed, to begin with. The doll was creepy, and that may be the only real positive that came across from this movie. The storyline was uneven, the actions in the perfor…