Blood Money, Vol. 19
Byon May 15, 2012
Dripping with blood and carved from the best parts of the entertainment industry’s re-animated carcass, here’s another installment of Blood Money, our roundup of the newest horror and horror-adjacent releases Hollywood has to offer.
The week starts off promisingly with the release of Lovely Molly, a film directed by Eduardo Sanchez, one of the two men responsible for The Blair Witch Project, and therefore, the entirety of the found-footage horror subgenre. The story follows a young woman who moves back into the home of her late father only to start experiencing visions and unwanted memories of her traumatic childhood. Starring newcomer Gretchen Lodge, the film has elements both familiar and new, but it feels a little bit like audiences – at least horror fans, anyway – should give this film a shot just based on principle. Does Sanchez still have the gift of frightening his audience with as little as the image of a man standing in a corner? Check out the film and see.
On home video, there is an interesting variety of new releases available for fans, but perhaps not as broad or eclectic as in past weeks. The first big release is Chronicle, Josh Trank’s found-footage story of a group of high school kids who develop superpowers and then begin to bend the rest of the world around these newfound abilities. A surprise hit when it was released earlier this year, the film’s not necessarily horror, but its resemblance to material like Akira gives it a sinister edge that makes it thrilling, even without the more recognizable visual lexicon of a slasher movie or ghost story
Next up is The Devil Inside, which we reviewed right here on Chiller TV earlier this year, and were decidedly mixed about its blend of effective scares, utterly conventional mythology, and a story structure punctuated by a link to a website rather than a satisfying third act. Nevertheless, its success means one of two things – it was either brilliantly-timed and even more brilliantly marketed, or it arrived at a moment when everyone was bored and had no immediately preferable alternatives. Either way, it’s an interesting movie to check out on home video, if only because the Blu-ray will give you an opportunity to pause the film and look at some of the filmmakers’ inventive in-camera visual gags. Unfortunately, it still features that creepy-looking nun on the cover art, which has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the story, and is definitely not justified in the disc’s nonexistent special features.
Not to be confused with Alexander Payne’s Oscar-winning The Descendants, Descendents is a film about a nine year-old girl who wanders through a post-apocalyptic wasteland populated by zombies created from a deadly virus. Other than a synopsis that is the same on virtually every site where the film is available for viewing or download, there’s not much information about this film that we can share. But if you like zombie movies, especially ones where the only survivors of a zombie holocaust are little children, this just might be your favorite movie.
Then again, there’s also Fever Night aka Band of Satanic Outsiders. On sheer principle I don’t know what’s the most offensive part of this movie – its bizarre but no doubt brainless homage to Godard’s Band of Outsiders, or the consistently moronic dialogue and screenwriting evidenced in just a minute-plus trailer – but we can’t be sure this is so-bad-it’s-good material. Following three teenagers who go up into the woods for what they call “Satanic Christmas,” the trio evidently unleashes evil forces that it unsurprisingly cannot control. There are no more words for this film, so we recommend you take this one or leave it, but we’re leaving it.
Finally, there’s The Grey, Liam Neeson’s latest action thriller -- which is really a man-versus-nature story in which Neeson kicks nature’s ass. Pursued by wolves after living through a brutal plane crash, Neeson and a small group of survivors attempt to make their way to civilization, in the process learning life lessons and squaring off against gigantic, furry beasts that want nothing more than to serve a man’s jugular to their families. In addition to spectacular picture and sound, the Blu-ray features a commentary track with writer-director Joe Carnahan, and a collection of extra scenes and sequences; and if you haven’t seen the film, we won’t spoil it for you, but if there’s literally one second more of material in which Neeson straps airplane cocktail bottles to his knuckles and fights a wolf, this is a candidate for best release of the year. Seriously. (Not seriously, but it’s still awesome.)