Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Wraith (1986)

I've been on an '80s movie kick lately. I could blame my recent, first time introduction to Die Heard last month but that wouldn't be entirely true.

Now, although I've just seen Die Hard and Lethal Weapon (with RoboCop coming up on the viewing schedule), I've considered myself pretty familiar with 1980's horror films at least...

So you can imagine I looked like I had just seen a ghost (aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh, so BAD) when I stumbled across the *unknown* classic: 1986's The Wraith.

Soak this bad ass poster image in for a minute. Slather your eyes with it. And now, gather around fans of the High Plains Drifter because do I have a story for you! Tell me if you've heard this one before:

A stranger drifts into a small town and challenges the local bullies - To The Death!

Keep your High Plains Drifter wild west stories at home for The Wraith, however (although it does take place in the rural, dusty west). Never mind that pack of bad boys in Drifter who steal and torment the locals (okay, well, that's exactly what happens here too...). Leave the ghost stories to the campfire - wait, forget it. This story IS the High Plains Drifter but now in the 1980's instead of the 1880's and super decked out cars are involved.

In all, this is a fun, fun film. Fun in the only way 1980's action/adventure/horror can be: with crazy explosions, car chases, absurd realities, quirky character's, and gut-chuckling groan-worthy dialog. This little interaction being one of my favorites:

  • Gutterboy: Skank! 
  • Skank: Yeah? 
  • Gutterboy: Who is that guy? 
  • Skank: I don't know, but whoever he was, he's weird and pissed off!

And oh yes, who can forget:

  • Murphy: [Looking down at an intensely flaming car wreck] You think he made it? 
  • Stokes: You gotta be kiddin' me. Local kid? 
  • Murphy: Used to be.

Staring Charlie Sheen, Sherilyn Fenn, Randy Quaid, and Nick Cassavetes, this is movie night gold. Get that popcorn ready (piping hot and covered in butter), greasy burgers will do too. Grab a six pack, some friends (or watch alone - it's fun ride alone too), and prepare for a film to satisfy that question: "I'm in the mood for an '80s horror film but I don't know what...".

I watched this one on Shudder, but if you don't have a subscription, it looks like it's currently available on Tubi TV for free. Or, use the Find It! Watch It! links on Horror Habit's side back to locate where else you can find this pre-tiger blood gem.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

This film came highly recommended from multiple friends, and that's rather rare for me - to have the same praised independent film come up in conversation from my different social avenues. The only other film that comes to mind in a similar scenario is The Audition, to give you an idea of how cool my friends are.


The Autopsy of Jane Doe wastes no time with tossing you into a bloody cringe binge festival. Chances are pretty good that things are going to get pretty bad when the film opens with a slow pan through a murder house...

It should come as no surprise that a majority of the film takes place in a morgue, and it also shouldn't come as a great surprise that the autopsy is done late at night during a storm. 

What may initially come off as a typical spooky story (dark, stormy night, dead bodies, etc.) - a nice tactic to get into the classic spooky mood - quickly spins you on your heels as the autopsy progresses and you learn about this woman.

We know the dead physically speak, but this film takes it to a whole new level and I, for one, was completely blown away by the final reveal. Incredibly gross, jarring, uncomfortable on so many levels, and surprisingly original in its sinister twists, this is a great film for a dark, stormy night. 

In fact, check out the trailer. It will provide you with a good idea about the film's atmosphere and a tip of the gigantic creeptastic iceberg that is just lying in wait for you.

A great film that although appears currently underrated, I suspect will build momentum and appreciation in the coming years.

Pairs with a cold brew (or honey mead....), sad looking snacks that somehow still bring comfort or possibly just a cold bologna sandwich. Watch alone or with one other person, again, on a dark stormy night.

I rented this film from my local library, or use the Find It. Watch It. links on Horror Habit's sidebar to see where else you can find this stone cold and unappologetic horror thriller.

PS: I'd like to add that the director of this film, André Øvredal, also directed Trollhunter. I like this film even more than Trollhunter.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

mother! (2017)

Saw this film for the first time a week ago, alone, late at night, on a Sunday.

I need to talk to people about this film. This isn't so much of a review as it is a desperate cry for conversation.

Out of all the Darren Aronofsky films I've seen, I've never had a need to converse afterwards. They all made sense to me. They all scared the crap out of me. I felt I understood them fully. In fact, I didn't even want to talk after seeing these films, I just wanted to sit still and absorb the horror by myself.

I was expecting the same with mother! but to my utter astonishment, I grappled for other people to be near and to hear.

What in the holy hell did I just see!?!

First, I would like to point out that one of the first things I noticed in this film is that it's obvious there is no stairwell, sidewalk, or path, leading up to this home's front door. Folks, I can not describe the absolute terror this struck in me.

And this is why I need to talk about this film. I was terrified by a lack of a sidewalk. A Sidewalk!

As someone who relies getting around town almost entirely by walking, this really disturbed me. So here is where I'd like to start the conversation. What did this film mean to you and why did you find it frightening?

This film is beautiful, *poetic* (using that word on purpose...), haunting, and jarring. With distinct visuals meant to stick with you for life. But what did they mean to you and why?

Alternatively, as I'm aware this film has a love/hate relationship with audiences, what about this film angered or frustrated you. I'm not looking for generic answers on either side. I'm looking for specific scenes or parts of the plot that resonated.

So please, world, share your thoughts with me and others. A week later I'm still finding myself staring into the distance, remembering certain scenes and wondering (while shivering) what they really meant.

I watched this film on Amazon Prime. Use the Find It! Watch It! links on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can see this jaw-dropping film.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Haunted Saginaw, Michigan (2010 - 2017)

Happy New Year, everyone!

If you're like me and love binge watching paranormal TV shows and documentaries (and by love I mean I might have a problem), then I highly recommend spending the new year chilling on the couch with these beauties:

A Haunting on Hamilton Street2010
A Haunting on Hamilton Street 2: The Stable2011
A Haunting on Potter Street: The Potter Street Station 2012
A Haunting in Saginaw, Michigan 2013
A Haunting on Washington Avenue: The Temple Theatre2014
A Haunting at the Hoyt Library2015
A Haunting on Dice Road: The Hell House2016
A Haunting on Dice Road 2: Town of the Dead2017

All directed and produced by DJ Prozak (Steven Shippy), these bone-chilling documentaries into the paranormal world in - of all places - Sagniaw, Michigan, will surprise you.

I could see the evolution of the filming style and quality as the documentaries progressed over the years, with the last two actually scaring me, and that is a feat.

Heartfelt, original, intense, and frightening, these films are clearly made out of the love the for the area, people and their stories. 

All available on Amazon Prime, so get your popcorn ready, turn off all the lights, and get ready for a thrill ride!

Strikingly entertaining, surprising.
Strikingly entertaining, surprising.

Truly terrifying. Love. Love. Love.
Truly terrifying. Love. Love. Love.
Strikingly entertaining, surprising.
Strikingly entertaining, surprising.
(Both) Truly terrifying. Love. Love. Love.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

October Challenge 2017: Recap

Well, that's a wrap folks!

Happy November 1st! It was a pretty exciting October challenge, this year. With record breaking views on both the blog and the Roku channel, I'd like to think that everyone enjoyed the entertainment this month :)

It was a little strange simply streaming all the movie picks this year instead of popping into my local video store, I have to admit. RIP Rain City Video. But overall, it was a fun experience, as always.

Thanks again to those who reached out to Horror Habit for the Celebrating Independent Artists day. Until next year, if you would like me to help spread the word on your work, simply send me a message through the contact tool on the website and I'll share it on my Shout-Outs and Film Press Releases page.

To my utmost surprise, my Husband joined me in watching several of the films this year. I might be turning him into a horror movie fan after all...

I started October attending a memorial service for a good friend of mine who passed suddenly. It was heartbreaking. And yet, I had a little experience right before Halloween that might just suggest he's sticking around to keep an eye on all of us from time time time. Mad love, man. [mad crossed out and written backwards in crayon]. Peace.

Overall, it was a very good October challenge. I love them, and I am officially looking forward to not watching a horror movie everyday for a while. On to Documentary November! (coined by my Husband), where we'll just watch real life horror stories.

Thanks again for joining me on my adventure, everyone! As per usual, I'm going to take a little break from posting for a while and will see you in December!

Love love.