The Wailing

00ba897d-bbf6-4493-be80-b0b3a78f181cThis week something terribly unfortunate happened. I was in the middle of creating some digital art for this post, when suddenly the app crashed and stopped working. After a few panic-stricken minutes, I finally got the app to open again to be met by the horror that the app had wiped itself clean and deleted everything, including the piece I was working on (literally could have cried). Over 200 digital drawings gone and all the brush settings reset. The only thing to remember them by is thumbnails saved on my computer and the saddest thing is there where pieces I hadn’t completed yet. They’re just thumbnails now that can never be finished or opened on the app as a digital drawing again. They will forever be incomplete. So, what has this got to do with this review? Well, it mostly affects the art work for the review, because now all the brushes have reset back to their default settings, which makes them kind of awkward to use. I will eventually get the brush settings back to the way I like them, but that’s going to involve a lot of trial and error. In the meantime, I hope you still enjoy my more resourceful approach to digital art.

Getting back to the film, The Wailing is a South Korean horror movie about a police officer (Jong-goo) who is investigating a series of strange violent attacks and murders, that all involve the offender falling ill with a mysterious sickness before committing the crime. Soon into the investigation Jong-goo hears rumours of witchcraft and a terrifying naked man attacking people in the woods and eating raw flesh. Things rapidly go downhill for Jong-goo when his young daughter contracts the mysterious illness and doctors tell him they can do nothing. This leads to Jong-goo enlisting the help of a shaman and things take a bit of a demonic turn. Will the shaman be able to cure Jong-goo’s daughter or will it all end in tragedy?

The Wailing completely took me by surprise, I really wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was. I went into this movie expecting it to be just another demon horror movie. The sort of film where a demon shows up and torments a family then possesses someone. Everyone freaks out and they call for the Padre or a paranormal fighting duo to come exercise the demon. You know, the type that are filled with jump scares and clichés and sends your heart racing. Luckily, The Wailing has a little more to it than that and is not your run of the mill demon themed horror movie.

You may be thinking now, what does this film have that all other demon movies don’t have? The answer to that question is suspense, breath-taking scenery and a rather unique storyline with one hell of a plot twist. The Wailing is a bit of a slow starter, but when it gets going glob does it suck you in. Between wanting to see if Jong-goo solves the mystery and finds the true cause of the sickness and sitting in suspense, waiting to find out if the daughter survives, this film gets you totally invested in the plot. The amazing scenes of greenery and countryside on top of that, just really holds your attention, keeping you glued to the screen.

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 My face after losing all those drawings. It also aged about 20 years in that moment.  

The brilliant twist and mind screw at the end, truly puts the cherry on the cake. I for one certainly didn’t see it coming and while viewing the last part of the film, I was in a state of confusion, wonder and awe watching the tale spin and mystery unravel. At one point, I was completely baffled over who was actually the evil one and really couldn’t tell. Both possibilities seemed equally as untrustworthy and both were creepy as fudge, with a presence that screamed evil.

Which takes me to my next point, like all good horror films The Wailing was incredibly creepy and really leaves a lasting impression on you. Meaning it could quite possibly keep you up at night, checking and rechecking that all the windows and doors of locked and secured. There’s just something about a naked demonic feral person, running around, eating raw deer and attacking people, that’s pretty terrifying. Not to mention, the horror of being attacked by a possessed extremely violent 9-year-old (you can’t punch a child, so not sure how you’d defend yourself against that one). Making this film pretty scary to watch at times.

The Wailing isn’t without its flaws, the biggest flaw being the excessive use of foul language (in the subbed version at least). This may seem like an overreaction to a bit of swearing, but it really isn’t the case. Truth be told I usually wouldn’t care about swearing or even notice there was swearing. However, this film goes a little too far with the strong language, like even the kid was swearing obscenely. It seemed as if they couldn’t even make it through a sentence without swearing, which really killed the atmosphere of certain scenes. Maybe in the subbed version someone got a little carried away when creating the subtitles and the actual version it isn’t as bad. But glob that amount of swearing really wasn’t necessary.

There are also a few strange bible references throughout this film, which may put off some viewers. But considering the ending of this film, those references are more like well hidden clues to how the film was going to end and who was actually the evil one. So, you can’t really cringe too hard at them. However, you could probably cringe rather hard at the acting from some of the minor characters. Their overacting is quite comical at times, but mostly it’ll have you holding your head in your hand and shaking your head in distaste. In saying that, the acting of those in the main roles more than makes up for this.

Overall, The Wailing is quite a good horror movie. It does have its shortcomings, but in whole it’s an interesting and very exciting watch. With its plot twists and interesting concept of how demonic possession works, The Wailing will really grab your attention. If you fancy a change from your typical demon horror movie like The Conjuring or The Exorcist and don’t mind reading subtitles, I would recommend giving this film a try. It quite the creepy watch and will please the lovers of horror.

Rating: 3.5/5

Crimson Peak

thumbnail_65dfb950-d461-40fd-bde1-449ac3960c70The last review of this little Halloween horror adventure. A horror film about creepy ghosts, a lunatic with a knife and a helpless idiot, that breaks all the rules of surviving a horror movie, seems the perfect way to end this series. Crimson Peak had all this creepiness and alike bit more.

Crimson Peak is about a young woman Edith, who is hunted by the ghost of her dead mother. Her mother returns from the grave to bring her a warning of Crimson Peak. Although terrified by these ghostly visits, Edith decides to ignore the warnings and give it no more thought.

An English baronet named, Sir Thomas Sharpe appears out of the blue one day, at Edith’s father’s business. After only a few day Edith falls deeply in love with Thomas and after the mysterious dead of her father, she agrees to marry Thomas and move to his stately home in England, in a place known as Crimson Peak. Shortly after moving to Crimson Peak, Edith realises things are not as they seem and quickly discovers a horrifying secret about Thomas and the place called Crimson Peak.

With badly decomposed ghost skeletons jumping out from every corner, this movie should by terrifying. Unfortunately, Crimson Peak falls short of this and is more, creepy than scary. This film starts of good and set a scary tone, but sadly this doesn’t last long and is lost, when the film tries to become a psychological thriller. But before I end up ripping completely into this film, I think I should start with, what was good about this film.

The best thing about this film is the ghosts and the stately house. They’re both creepy as fudge and set a really nice tone for a horror film. The ghosts are these horribly mangled figures, that look more skeleton or zombie like then human. The house, you could not pay me to stay overnight in. It just looks like a place you’d meet a horrible bloody end in and screams haunted house. Perfect for a horror film and setting an eerie tone.

thumbnail_8992c439-92a4-4c04-96a3-7911508f1428When the film finally gets going, the storyline is pretty interesting. Before, Edith goes to Crimson Peak the movies a bit boring and not that interesting. However, when she finally arrives at Crimson Peak, things get very interesting and a very nice mystery is unravelled. Along the way, terrifying ghosts appear everywhere. Seemingly with the intent to hurt Edith. But things are not as they seem and the presence of these ghosts deepen the mystery even more.

Although, Crimson Peak has its good points, it unfortunately also has a lot of bad. I could go on and on about what’s wrong with this film, but that would get boring really fast. So, I’ll just touch on the two biggest problems with this movie. Crimson Peak didn’t seem to know what it wanted to be. It jumps between horror, murder mystery and twisted romance constantly. If this was meant to be a blend of genres, then they blended the genres very badly. At times it seemed like two different movies. One about a murder mystery with creepy ghosts and the other about jealous twisted love triangle. Making the movies direction seem confused and lost at times.

Also, the main character, Edith was incredibly annoying and a complete idiot. Edith receives numerous warnings from a ghost, but pays no attention. A strange guy and his creepy sister show up from nowhere, looking money. Then Edith’s father dies mysteriously after an argument with this guy. But for some crazy reason, Edith still agrees to marry this guy, despite only knowing him for a few days and the fact her father just died. That whole scenario stinks of black widow. More annoying, Edith even comments on the fact that this guy wants to appear to have money, but clearly doesn’t and you would also think she’d be wary of strangers, after being warned about an unfamiliar place. So, what the fudge was this lady at. She clearly has no sense.

When Edith finally gets to Crimson Peak, she just takes the complete biscuit. From doing ridiculously stupid things that always leads to injury or death in horror movies, to letting herself be treated and talked to, worse than a dog. She was clearly missing a back bone and possibly a brain as well. She had so many warnings and opportunities to escape. It was like was she wanted to be killed.

Overall, Crimson Peak was just Okay. It had an interesting mystery and terrifying ghosts, but seemed to missing that one thing that makes for good horror. It was also very confused about its direction and genre and at times was boring and predictable. However, in saying that, it did have some good going for it.

As a film for a Halloween horror binge watch, I would not recommend this movie. There is just so many other better horror films you could watch, that would more suitable and a lot scarier.

Rating: 2/5

Don’t Knock Twice

thumbnail_68373002-a7bf-43ac-9889-3eb624f4b931I really don’t know what I was thinking, when I decided to watch Don’t Knock Twice. There are so many other horrors, I could have watched instead. But I suppose, by watching extremely bad horror, you learn to appreciate good horror. So, I’ll try to refrain from ripping into “Don’t Knock Twice” too much, in this review.

Don’t knock twice, is about a woman trying to regain custody of her daughter. However, before this can happen, her daughter knocks on a dead witch’s door twice. This somehow summons a demon, that’s hell-bent (King of Cheese strikes again) on capturing her daughter and devouring her completely. The mother must now do everything she can to save her daughter from the demon’s grasp.

The storyline of this film is incredibly messy, making the whole movie one big confusing jumble of nowhere sub-plots, that make no sense and have nothing to do with the outcome of the film. This film literally has no direction. It’s just all over the place. It drifts from one nowhere sub-plot to another and in the end, returns to its first one. All while making a poor attempt at a twist in the main plot, which was so obvious a one-eyed mole wearing a blindfold, could have seen it coming.

To add to this messy storyline, there was extreme badly Frankensteined scenes (a big pet peeve of mine). With the amount of teleporting the 2 main characters did, in the biggest scene of the film. I was starting to think, they themselves were witches and not just Ginger. It was just awful. The 2 characters actually swapped places, at one point. Leaving me to wonder, how on earth no one noticed that, before the film was released.

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 A flaming flower. Some of my abstract art, to brighten up this review.

I think the most annoying thing about this film, was its psychic impulsive characters. Characters just magically knew things, without any sort of research or logical thought. At one point, the mother randomly decided to burn all the doors in the house, without having any sort of reason for doing so. Like nowhere in this movie did it say or suggest, that the demon needed a door to manifest. It had literally just appeared behind people numerous times, by this point. So, what on earth was this woman at. The demon clearly didn’t need a door. There was a lot of this sort of thing in Don’t knock twice, which was very annoying.

As I can’t let myself be completely negative, I had to find something good about this film (which was extremely hard). I suppose the witch aspect was interesting, even though it didn’t make for good horror. I only wish, they had gone into a bit more detail on witches and gave Ginger (the witch) a stronger backstory. They essentially just said she was a witch, even though she never really done anything witchy and was pretty much, just a demon’s slave.

I’ve watched a lot of bad horror films and have always been able to enjoy them, on some level. Whether that be, finding humour in its cheesiness or the irony of how not scary and fake/forced everything is. But with Don’t knock twice, I found it hard to enjoy anything about it. The whole witch thing, just didn’t work well and them trying to throw a demon into mix, just reflects this. They should have really stuck with one and maybe this film would have had some sense of direction. For this reason, I would suggest not wasting your time with this film. I personally wish, I had watched something better instead.
Rating: 1/5 (and I’m being incredibly generous)

Surviving a Horror Movie (Demon/Evil Spirits)

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Why not to trust your demon butler. He’ll creep on you, while you sleep. 

It’s rather obvious, that horror is my favourite genre. If it’s spooky and dark, I’m all over it. Since I had so much fun creating the zombie 101 post, for surviving a zombie apocalypse. I thought it be fun to create something similar, for surviving a demon/evil spirit horror movie.

I have a bit of a fascination with demons and evil spirit films. I’ve watched more than I care to admit. It’s one of the very few types of horror, that actually scares me. Which has led to me, doing some demon research (I know more on the subject of demons, then I ought too). But don’t worry, I’m not one of those chicken bones and drawing on the ground with chalk people (That stuff is too scary for me). I just like having a plan of action, in case I’m ever locked in a haunted house, filled with blood lusting ghost or demons.

Since I can’t use my demon knowledge, to tell you guys how to obtain a demon butler, I’ll share a few tips for surviving a demon horror movie. But first I’ll set the scene.

How to survive the demon house:

You’ve just been kicked out of your home, by the homeowner association, for not having green enough grass. You’re desperately searching for another place to live, when you come across an old suspiciously cheap mansion. Having no real choice (because you’ve been black listed by every homeowner community for miles, for abusing your grass), you jump on the opportunity without asking questions or doing any research.

Feeling chuffed for, getting a just a great deal, you move in. But on your first night in the house, things start happening. Scary unexplainable things, like the walls start bleeding, a creep doll keeps leaving you notes, wrote in red crayon and there’s a strange creature in your basement. At this point, you realise you’ve been taken for a fool and are in extreme danger. You’re now in dire need of some tips, for surviving your time in the demon house.

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The creepiest building, I could find. An abandoned women’s prison. I would not like to spend a night in there. Unfortunately, it’s in the middle of a city and on the junction of death. So, the only safe way of getting photos, is while driving past at quiet hours. Otherwise, I would have been ran over a few dozen times.  

1. Leave house and never look back- Seems like a no brainer, but no one in a horror movie ever comes up with this idea. They always have some ridiculous excuse, for why they can’t leave the house. I would highly recommend, this be your first call of action and second to be, destroy the house. But to keep this list going let’s just say, you also have a ridiculous excuse, like it’s raining and cold outside.

2. Don’t go crazy and throw holy water around the place or start to burning sage- This never ends well. It just makes the demon madder and hell-bent on destroying you. If you think about it logically, you can see why. In the demon’s mind, the house is their space. If someone comes into your space, throwing water and stinking the place out. You’re going to get mad and do everything you can, to make that person leave. The same goes with religious items. These are probably offensive to the demon and will make it furious. Essentially, don’t do anything to annoy the demon. It won’t end well.

3. Trap it in a coconut- This one sounds a bit weird, but in some cultures, it’s believed that you can trap spirits and demons inside coconuts. All you have to do is trick the demon and get it to go inside the coconut. Once in there, it can’t get out again, so problem solved. There’s a lot of variations in, what to do with the coconut afterwards. But you can worry about that, after the demon is in the coconut.

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This is why I very rarely use colour. I tend to go a bit mad and create something like this.  

4. If you hear a loud bang, definitely do not go check it out. Just run in the opposite direction- The curious person always goes first in horror movies. Curiosity really does kill the cat, when it comes to horror movies. If you’re in a possessed house and hear a bang, its most likely a demon having, one hell of a hissy fit. Best just to tuck your tail between your legs and run in the other direction. You don’t want to get caught up in a demonic tantrum.

5. Ring of salt- You’ve survived this long, but sadly you ignored tip 2 and did something to angry the demon. The demon manifests and charges straight for you. You look for a way to escape, but the demon has you cornered. Suddenly you remember, you have a large shaker of salt in your pocket (You were cruelly melting slug earlier and forgot to return the shaker to the kitchen). You quickly grab the shaker and form a circle of salt around you. The salt stops the demon in its tracks. It furiously waves its claws at you, but is unable to reach you. Laughing, you use the shaker again and form a ring around the demon. As long as the ring of salt isn’t broken, the demon is trapped inside. Just keep the ring of salt topped up and your safe from the demon’s grasp.

6. Do not talk to the demon- The quickest way to get possessed in a horror movie, is to talk to the demon. So, don’t get angry and start shouting stuff at the demon. Definitely don’t try bargaining with it either. For some reason, communication makes demons stronger and enables their possession abilities.

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Close up of the prison. I wasn’t driving, that would be dangerous. Cars are right-hand drive here, so this probably looks really bizarre to some people.   

 7. Find some demon fighting weapons- If you’ve studied your myths and legends hard enough, you’ll know that there’s a couple of weapons, you can use to defeat a demon. These include a sword, a spears and shields. However, being of myths and legends these items will be near impossible to find. But don’t worry, there is something else you can use from Irish mythology. According to Irish mythology, iron burns fairies, evil spirits and demons. So, all you need to do is hit that demon, with an iron bar or pot, until it runs in terror or no longer exist.

8. Scary the kittens out of that demon, with a warrior mask- I’m not 100% sure, what these masks are called, but they’re found all over the world (like in China, Africa and among Pagan and Celtic artefacts). However, the idea of these masks is always the same. You wear the mask or leave it, somewhere for the demon to find. The demon sees the mask and is so horrified, it goes back to, wherever the hell it came from.

9. Find Professor Snape – You’ve tried everything and there’s still a demon in your life, hell-bent on destroying everything that is you. To be honest it doesn’t get much worse, than having a demon after your soul. So, you might as well start looking into the dark arts or more specifically defence against the dark arts. You might as well, find yourself a magic man or a witch and see if they can destroy the demon. At worse, you get to see a really cool magical demonic fight, before your completely consumed by a demon.

10. Call ghostbusters- If all else fails, you’re in the world of film. Call ghostbusters, they’ll sort that demon out. See if they’re true to their word. See if they really are afraid of no ghost, even the murderous demonic ones.