OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets


Severance (2006)

I decided to add a new tag for the movies I watch (and sometimes, force myself to watch): "Europe". It is interesting to see and/or read what American movie fans think of European horror flicks and how they talk about the landscape etc. in their reviews - seeing as I am from Europe, I can't find anything particularly enchanting about our landscapes, and the oh-so mysterious countries full of wild, untamed nature and foreign people are pretty much my neighbours or where I grew up... so, naturally, I have a bit of a different take on movies set in Europe.

Apparently, this opinion of Europe as some sort of mysterious continent filled with cruel wonders is not just limited to USAnians - also the British appear to suffer from it (just consider the fact that they call people like me "Europeans", disregarding the small fact that their island is actually part of this mysterious Europe). As I noticed it for the first time tonight whilst watching Severance, I decided to give this tag a try. Maybe it will catch on - and maybe we can infer some interesting statistical data about the amount of horror movies set in Europe vs. those set in the US of A. Or maybe not, who knows.

Anyways... Severance. If I had been the person to choose a tagline, it wouldn't have been "Another bloody office outing." Nah, I would have come up with something far wittier and more interesting: "Escorts - they save lives. YOUR lives." Because it's true. It's also infinitely more cool and awesome, but alas, I have to live with the fact that my brilliance sometimes goes unnoticed.

On a sidenote: I turn off my phone whilst watching a movie. FYI. In case any of you were wondering.

Severance is not too original when it comes to the story. Seriously, I like the movie, but I can't bring myself to call its plot "original". I mean, consider the following:

A group of people get stranded in the woods and land in a more or less abandoned, old house and soon start to get killed off by, well, someone.

Hardly sounds like something the writer would win a Pulitzer for, mh?

However... the cast, the dialogues and the whole setup just make this boring premise into a highly entertaining and amusing movie. And I'm not easily amused by so-called horror comedies. Unless I am totally drunk or otherwise under the influence, or if a movie just serves me horror-inside jokes. Considering that I was dreadfully sober whilst watching Severance and couldn't detect any in-jokes that only hardened horror fanatics would ever manage to understand, I dare say that the movie does a good job on the humour front. Maybe it's that dry, totally black British humour thing. I admit it, I have a certain fondness for British humour (hence my tendency to suddenly quote Monty Python's during conversations, often to the chagrin of my less movie-addicted discussion partners - try referencing Life of Brian in theology classes at the catholic institute...).

What makes this movie funny? First of all, the dialogues. They're really good. Situational comedy, delivered in that dry and utterly bleak way... gods, I had to laugh out loud on several occasions. Unlike Planet Terror, in which the comedy is conscious and witty as well but nonetheless is constructed to be funny, Severance manages to deliver the comedy in a natural, fluent way. I once again stand by my assessment that only the British can do that.

[after they heard a bear roar]
Richard: "There are no bears in Hungary. Unless we've crossed the border into Romania, in which case there ARE bears. If we're in Serbia, then... I don't know."
Harris: "That's really interesting, Richard. Tell me something: are bears required to stop at borders? Is there some sort of, I don't know, passport control for bears?"

...I absolutely broke down with laughter when I saw the bear crossing in the background one or two scenes later. Apparently, bears can sneak through international borders (I'm from Austria, after our latest disaster involving a bear, I should know... gods, the bear-problem... cunningly used by our idiotic government to distract my even more idiotic fellow Austrians from the huge economical problem... other countries at least instigate pointless wars to make their disastrous economy appear insignificant, we just hunt one single fucking random bear and order bear-killing specialists from Finland... *facepalm*).

So... dialogues. It's really hard to reproduce them for your enjoyment, because a) I didn't feel like stopping the movie every time something made me laugh, and b) you wouldn't really get it without the pictures anyways. As I mentioned above - situational comedy. So, those of you who have no problem with a little violence in your black comedies (and I assume you don't, seeing that you are reading this very blog of mine) - go and get this movie via your preferred means. I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

Besides being a deeply black comedy, Severance also has some very macabre moments. Our stoner-protagonist (played by Danny Dyer) has to relieve himself in the woods, and we get treated to a shot of him pissing into the open mouth of a female corpse buried under dried leaves etc. Call me sick if you want, but I found it amusing - until it sunk in how macabre this actually is. No offense to those of you who get their rocks off by giving female corpses golden showers, of course. I still respect you.

I didn't manage to grab the actual piss. Sorry, guys.

Another thing that makes the plot enjoyable is that, although the premise is the classical basis for any slasher movie or cheap gorefest of the past years, the elements differ in certain important aspects:

First of all, our protagonists aren't a bunch of lousy teenagers or young adults who want to get drunk, doped up and engage in a little decadence and debauchery (the evil Ds of horror movies), and neither are they a happy family or group of bestest friends ever. They are just people who happen to work for the same company - Palisade Defense, a company that manifactures and distributes weapons. Surprisingly enough, that's actually important to the plot of the second and third act.

Speaking of the plot and the second and third act... we get a rather unexpected twist - one that I for once didn't see coming at all. I approve of unexpected twists, as long as they aren't fucking with my actual enjoyment of the movie in question and are completely unnecessary and/or uncalled for. This twist was neither of those things - it made for a very good surprise and packed the film's last act with action that we wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

One other thing that impressed me was the soundtrack. It totally fits, I like it, and it actually enhances the movie. It's not one of those soundtracks that I desperately have to hunt down so that I can enjoy it whilst sitting in the tram on my way to university (like the Re-Animator soundtrack, with which I am desperately in love - which reminds me, I should do a review of the Re-Animator movies...), but it's solid, well done and sounds good. Just what I want a soundtrack to be. There's never any moment where you'd just wish that the damned music should just freaking stop (I'm sorry to say it, but John Carpenter's Halloween is one of those cases for me...).

Also, the pictures and the whole composition of the movie has a special flair to it. It enhances the humour already inherent in the dialogues by a mile. It's hard to explain without taking a multitude of screenshots, and I'm really not in the mood to do that right now... all I can say is that you should just see for yourself. It's never over the top, and always stays within the realm of the realistic... but those little things just make Severance much more satisfying on an optical level.

The acting is also solid through and through. Everyone involved in this flick does a great job. Granted, I seem to watch a bunch of actually good movies for once, so when I say that I thoroughly enjoyed the acting, it doesn't seem to mean a lot to you guys, because I have yet to put a review of a truly abysmal movie up (what can I say, I was lucky in the last months... but never fear, I am now in possession of 38 Godzilla movies, so I'll soon have something to complain about... although... does Narok count?), but considering the movies I have watched before having had the idea of putting this blog up, I am still surprised when I get to see good acting in a horror movie. Even if it is more of a black comedy than a real horror movie.

Speaking of horror... gore: Sparingly used, but beautiful. I know, I know, those of you who know me personally (I guess that most of my readers consist of people who only read this because they know me... go figure) are aware of the fact that a simple kitchen knife on display in a store can make me gleefully happy, and that shots of people holding a hunting knife in a threatening way make me even more happy... but seriously. There's only a little gore, only a little blood... but I liked what I saw. Well done. Also, it mixes bizarre, macabre humour with the gory goodness, and I like that. Yes, I know, I like everything that involves gore and blood. Still. I have seen terrible gore, and Severance, whilst not something that satisfies the gorehound in me, manages to deliver nice stuff. Could have been more, but that's just me. I guess that more of the sanguinary stuff could actually have been detrimental to the movie as a whole. There, that's probably the first time that I ever said those words (or rather, wrote them down).

Something that needs to be mentioned is the camerawork, especially the use of perspective. I wouldn't call it perfect, but it's close to perfect. Just like the soundtrack and the whole setup does, it truly enhances the movie.

Now, after rattling about how good Severance is... why don't I give it the full score? Simple... or rather, not really as simple as I'd like to. The body count, whilst nice and high enough to make me happy, just isn't graphic enough for me. If you burn someone alive in your movie, do it onscreen. Alex Aja has shown how to do it properly. The gore could have been more visceral - I want to be able to literally smell the blood emanating from my screen. Whilst more gore could have been detrimental to the movie, I would have liked to see the one that actually was depicted in a more detailed way.
Also, some of the scenes were just a tad too unrealistic for me. Don't get me wrong, unrealistic scenes don't bother me in the least - I watch horror movies religiously, I am the last person to complain about unrealistic scenes. However, if your whole movie is very realistic and apparently made to be like that, then you might want to consider using unrealistic setups.
Sometimes, I wasn't entirely clear about the motivation of the characters as well. I won't give any spoilers, but you'll know what I mean when you see it.

And then there's death by editing. I do not like death by editing.

My biggest problem with the movie is that I don't understand the motivation of the killer(s). I just can't understand it. I am quite aware of the stuff that went on in Eastern Europe (hell, I live right next to that particular area of the world), and I can understand a lot of things that make people kill. I couldn't wrap my head around the so-called motivation (which is poorly explained anyways) we are given in Severance.

However - we get treated to nearly naked escorts and nurses. NAUGHTY nurses. Who prove that TF is right when stating that black-and-white-contrasts look really good on women.

Can we please have more of that?

And the title of the movie only makes sense at the end of it. It was delightful.

8/10 accidentally destroyed airplanes in the fight against terror


Planet Terror (2007)

Wooooot! That's how I want my movies on days like this: Fast, furious, funny.

First of all, let me say that I want to see Machete actually being made. I'm a big fan of Danny Trejo anyways, and something as ridiculously over the top as Machete ("...brought to you by your friends at the Weinstein company!") would be exactly my kind of movie. But alas, I shall be content with the trailer... and Planet Terror.

Oh man... what a crazy, awesome movie. Let me see if I can sum up the plot for you: A biomechanical gas (DC2, also known as "Project Terror") has escaped from a military base and is turning the inhabitants of a Texan town into zombies. A go-go dancer, her gunslinger-y former lover, a BBQ chef ("Best in Texas!"), a female doctor who is wickedly cool with needles and a bunch of other survivors try to... well, survive and kill zombies. By shooting them, running them over, using a helicopter on them (I am particularly fond of any movie that features helicopters used as a weapon against the walking dead) etc. It's also sort-of post-apocalyptic (or at least it becomes like that through the course of the movie), and what we always knew to be the only possible solution to the Taliban problem is confirmed: The only man who can defeat Osama Bin Laden is Bruce Willis. Yes, you read that correctly. Bruce Willis. Admit it, you all knew it all along.

Which brings me to something I love very much: Cool actors starring in cool movies. We get Tom Savini (as the hilarious Deputy Tolo), Bruce Willis (the slightly villainous Muldoon, full of win and awesome as was to be expected), Michael Parks in his role as Texas Ranger Earl McGraw, Quentin Tarantino as a rapist with a melting zombified penis... gods, I admire this movie.

There's one word to describe this movie: Awesome. A wild and hilariously funny combination of From Dusk Till Dawn, Pulp Fiction and... well, Robert Rodriguez' other movies, just with wonderfully over-the-top gore. Which is top notch, by the way.

Did I mention that the dialogues are witty and at times absolutely brilliant? I had to chuckle throughout the whole movie, and sometimes I was howling with laughter.

Abby: "I also want your balls..."
Guy: "... but I really am quite attached to them..."

...followed by the most vicious looking pair of scissors which is intended to cut off the testicles of the intended victim.

Or when El Wray (Freddy Rodriguez) wants to save his girl, Cherry (aforementioned go-go dancer) during the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse, he is held at the police station.

Sheriff Hague: "Where the hell are you going?!"
El Wray: "I'm going to get Cherry!"
Sheriff Hague: "Fine, but we're taking my car - "
...at which point, his car explodes.
Sheriff Hague: [looking back at Wray] "...I'm riding with you."

Sheriff Hague: "Don't shoot yourselves. Don't shoot each other. And especially... don't shoot me."

Generally, Planet Terror delivers loads of disgusting gore. Take this lovely tongue for example:

Black abscess tongue. All abscesses should be drained, period. They also squirt around goo...

And I SO want that. Carrying around needles under your skirt... awesomeness. Which also reminds me of the fact that we get treated to a lot of good looking, pretty females running around in high heels and short skirts. I approve of that. Verily.

(I know that the "verily" above isn't exactly perfect style, but I just felt like typing something that expresses the feeling of joy that this movie brings me. I am positively rejoicing, and I don't know about you, but I feel that a heart-felt "verily" enhances the act of rejoicing significantly. Verily. *nods*)

Besides being the ultimate movie for my hobby of spotting Tom Savini (AND Bruce Willis AND Michael Parks AND Quentin Tarantino...), Planet Terror also references quite a bunch of other movies. From Dusk Till Dawn is quite obvious... Other than that, Pulp Fiction, Desperado, Kill Bill, Zombie Flesh Eaters (aka Zombi 2), From Beyond ("I am going to eat your brain and gain your knowledge!"... and man, just LOOK at Dr. Dakota Block (HAH!)...), Women in Cages, Terminator, Killdozer, The Thing, Escape From New York... it's fun to spot the references, trust me. Heck, if I am not mistaken, I even detect a Lord of the Rings reference.

The camerawork is outstanding, the pictures magnificent. Rodriguez obviously knows what he is doing (it would be a shame if he didn't), and he proves with this part of the Grindhouse feature that he is one of the best filmmakers out there.

Planet Terror is being made into a truly joyful movie through the small details that are present everywhere - from the actors, to the references of other movies, to the dialogues, to the camerawork, to the wit and conscious cleverness present in literally everything from the script to the way the script is executed on a purely technical level. The acting is brilliant (I can't detect one single instance of bad acting, or even just mediocre acting... then again, this IS a Robert Rodriguez movie we are talking about), the soundtrack is awesome (I need that on CD, seriously), the gore pretty and quite merciless at times... sheesh, is there anything bad in this movie? Not really, no.

Gritty, dark, sarcastically funny and one hell of a crazy ride. I fully approve.

9.5/10 attempts to find Deputy Tolo's severed finger again... followed by the quest for the ring.

Boogeyman (2005)

It seems that being in a not particularly good mood (I'm worried about TF*) is good for my reviewing habits. First Wrong Turn 2: Dead End, then some minor editing on older reviews (I still have to finish that, though), and now Boogeyman.

I was torn between The Mist and this one, but the fact that this flick has been sitting on my DVD shelf for about a year now made me watch it. Although, strictly speaking, I wanted to drown my worries in alcohol whilst listening to Calabrese.

I wish I had gone through with that plan.

First of all: My DVD drive is bothering me to no end. It skips whole frames, for fuck's sake. That does not a happy cyn make. Also, I apologise for the lack of screenshots (as this time, I'm actually writing this review in front of my own PC, not TF's apple, as was the case with August Underground), but seriously, my DVD drive is driving me crazy. The thing (the whole PC, actually) is less than 6 months old. Fuck the company that forced this crap onto me and only gave me a motherboard with SATA slots rather than IDE slots. Trust me, I am swearing in seven different languages now, and five of them have been dead for more than 2000 years. That should illustrate my level of annoyance.

Well, on to the movie. I wish I had watched The Mist instead...

Synopsis: A young man, Tim, has been plagued by the boogeyman in his childhood. When his father disappeared, he was convinced that the boogeyman had taken his dad. Now, 15 years later, he is spending Thanksgiving with his girlfriend, Jessica, when he receives a message that his mother has died. He visits the funeral, and gets creeped out by the old house he used to live in. His old therapist recommends that he should spend a night in said house, to deal with his fears (he's still afraid of closets, dark corners... anything the boogeyman might lurk in). He does so... and weird things start to happen.

Doesn't sound too bad, does it?

Well... it doesn't sound bad, true. However, this movie just ...fails.


The camerawork. Lighting, the use of colour (everything is in cold, dark colours - blue, grey, black, white...) - very pretty. I can't find any flaw with the visuals - they convey a dark, hopeless and despairing mood that I personally find very enticing. And seriously, the shots are beautiful. Great angles, great use of colour (or rather lack thereof), great pictures. Boogeyman qualifies as a pretty movie.

It also has a surreal quality at times. However, the fact that dark corners, wardrobes etc. don't scare me at all makes the movie's topic and main focus a bit... lost on me. Maybe I shouldn't have spent my childhood nights with reading horror stories in the darkest corner of our flat, with only a tiny flashlight. Or with imagining monsters that would be my bestest friends... and no, I'm not messed up just because I thought of cannibalistic, imaginary monsters as my friends and playmates.


I've never been big on "childhood fears". I guess that the fact that, besides spiders, the only thing I was afraid of as a child were humans shows in my horror movie preferences and the way I deal with horror literature... and flicks like this.

Then again... whilst Boogeyman is enticing on a visual level, it totally sucks when it comes to the story.

It's never a good thing when I check how much of my time a movie is going to take up, only to discover that I'm only 49 minutes into it.

To make a long story short:

Plot = BORING.

Maybe someone else can appreciate this movie, but I can't. Hauntings resp. ghost stories never did it for me (unless we count the 13 Ghosts remake, which was funny and cool). But this story, this plot... it's not just boring, it's tedious. With every minute that passes, the "story" becomes more convulsed, illogical and stupid - not to mention that there is no tension or suspense whatsoever. I spent the whole time watching this movie with being bored and wishing I hadn't spent 5 Euros on the DVD.

Also... this movie is called "Boogeyman", right? So... where the fuck IS the boogeyman? I refuse to accept a mess of badly done CGI as "The Boogeyman", especially if I don't actually notice anything creepy or scary besides "oh, there's a CGI mess on my screen...". And forget about the DVD cover. We NEVER get to see that hand. Disappointing. Hell, if you call a movie "Boogeyman", at least have the decency to give us horror fans what you are promising. And maybe add some scares to that, because this movie is suspiciously lacking in scares. Practically, this movie is suspiciously lacking in ANYTHING, besides pretty footage. And "pretty" isn't always a compliment, you know...


The essential review: The movie looks pretty, but it just ...fails. Sucks, even. Avoid this one.

3/10 really not scary wardrobes in which something utterly non-scary might or might not be lurking

*The Friend, remember?


Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007)

Aaaaaaaah... and tonight, ladies and gentlemen, ghosts and ghouls and assorted monstrosities, we are back in the beautiful, scenic West Virginia woods, home to the nice, god-fearing inbred mutant cannibals from Wrong Turn.

To quote my DVD for a synopsis: The ultimate reality show turns into the ultimate in horror for six contestants when they find themselves pitted against hideously deformed and insatiably hungry cannibals... AND it features Henry Rollins.

This is Kimberly Campbell, playing herself (an interesting way to break the fourth wall, if I might say so). You know what will happen to her, right? Right?


And so, the sequel to Wrong Turn starts. Promising and truly enjoyable. I love my unrated redux version. It is pretty.

To quote director Joe Lynch from the commentary track (I like the guy - anyone who says to himself "I want to start the movie with a chick being split in half with entrails coming out of her vagina!" is okay in my book): "This is their walking off into the sunset shot, the movie is practically over now." I could agree, but then again, I would miss out on 96 minutes of gore.

The characters are, for the most part, stereotypes - they seem shallow and over the top at first, but the fact that the movie revels in using these stereotypes and just runs with them makes it ...work. And it works surprisingly good. We get a few bits about the background of the characters spiced throughout the movie, and it doesn't deter from the pacing or violence. We get to know mainly the dynamics between the characters, which is interesting in itself.

Did I mention that this movie features Henry Rollins? Henry Rollins!

Also, I totally approve that, unlike in its predecessor, we have no idea about who will survive and who won't. Trust me, if you know how horror movies work, you will be in for at least... 8 surprises. Okay, at least one. But seriously, Wrong Turn 2: Dead End breaks with the killing conventions. But see for yourself - take a mental note of who you think who will die when and how, and compare with the actual movie. If you can foresee all of the deaths and the survivors and the timing, then I shall bow down to your superior knowledge of horror flicks.

Speaking of characters... Jonesy. Oh my gods, JONESY. Every time he appeared on screen, I had to cringe inside. I was most definitely annoyed by that character... really annoyed. I was praying for him to die as soon as possible.

It has been criticised that Wrong Turn 2: Dead End isn't as atmospheric as the prequel, which is true to some extent. However, Wrong Turn's suspense mainly happens at night. This sequel is mostly shot during the day, in natural, bright daylight. Whereas Wrong Turn doesn't show us the inbred cannibalistic mutants until the end, we get treated to full, clear shots of the family from early on. However, it works for me - what reason is there to hide the mutants? We know them already, to repeat the whole not showing them clearly gimmick from the first movie would have been annoying.

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End also delivers more guts, more blood, more violence... all in all, more of everything. Sure, this is a matter of personal taste, but I like it. Usually, I'm not a big fan of sequels, but this... this definitely tops Wrong Turn. Although I have to admit that I liked the mutants from the first movie better than the family here (with, of course, the big exception of Three Finger. He rules.)... however, I can live with it.

Henry Rollins can stare people into submission.

Because, you know, Wrong Turn 2: Dead End makes me happy.

Something I never thought of seeing, not even in my wildest, most twisted dreams: A young mutant jerking off to the sight of a non-mutant character (see below for a portrait of the inciting sight), creating a relationship drama between him and his sister, who also happens to be his lover. I approve of Sister.

Those boobs nearly destroyed a happy couple's love life.

This is what happens to the boob-equipped lady. Behold - the spine!

Mutant masturbation, relationship drama, brutal killing and incest all in one scene. This pleases me.

What does not please me is Henry Rollins beating up my favourite mutant, Three Fingers, He of the Howling, Ghoulish Laughter.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand the old timer from the first movie! I iz happy. By including him in this movie, we get so much... a delightful twist for once, that explains his presence and behaviour in the first movie, AND an actual origin story for our sweet mutant inbred family of cannibals.

Also, I just LOVE the bonding scene between Pa and Brother. Man, that young mutant is a perfect shot. His dad surely must be proud of him. I know I would be proud... in fact, I perversely feel a little bit of pride. A brave young man.

At which point I want to address the camerawork. It's truly outstanding - some of the shots are dangerously awesome, and all of them are beautiful. I really can't say anything more. Just good. Not just solid, but really good. Light, shadow... beautifully used, and just... I am truly impressed.

Also, we spend the last act of the movie in a veritable slaughterhouse (the family's house). I love slaughterhouses. Especially ones like that, complete with torture - physical AND psychological torture. I fully approve of that.

Preparing the food.

Another funny thing is that Henry Rollins pulls a Boromir* on us in this movie. Only infinitely cooler than Boromir did.

Everyone involved in that movie really did a great job. The acting is good throughout the whole movie, the script is cool, the violence and gore are awesome, the camerawork is at times brilliant...

AND we get a Happy End!

This movie earns the cynsanity stamp of approval. Now I just have to come up with a design for it, and I shall, but not now.

Thank you, Joe Lynch. Thank you for this movie.

9.75/10 incestuous inbred mutant cannibal hunters. I don't give the full 10/10 because I found the cannibals from the first one to look cooler. Oh, and... in case you want to have a character who attempted suicide at some point prior to the movie: Always remember Rippy the Razor!

*If you ever watched The Lord of the Rings, you will probably know what I mean. Remember that scene in which Boromir bravely takes about half a dozen arrows from the Uruk Hai, and still fights off hordes of orcs and tries to protect the annoying little hobbits? He is literally just like a sieve, and still he smashes his sword around. That's pulling a Boromir. And... Henry Rollins. Oh my. He does it so well.

Wrong Turn (2003)

First of all... I don't have the unrated version of Wrong Turn; hence, I can only comment on the normal version - the version that you could accidentally find in a store. Just like I did.

I usually don't check out the cheap DVD offers in my favourite shop for paper, writing materials, office materials etc. - because I know I won't just walk out with a bunch of writing pads and new pens and pencils. Whenever I check out the cheap DVD sale section, I leave with a bunch of writing pads, pens, pencils and at least three new DVDs. Which is a bad habit of mine - although I have to admit that I found a few jewels through that sort of obsessive shopping (aka "OH MY GOD! This movie description is awesome! I MUST HAVE IT! ...wait a second, I don't have enough money. Okay, it is cheap. I won't eat today, then...").

Wrong Turn is one of them. It even qualifies for "one of my favourite movies from the last 10 years".

As my "reviews" might have given away, I tend to over-analyse movies. One day, I will make my dream come true and write a review of 28 Days Later, focusing on its philosophical implications. Trust me when I say that I am able to make Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days Later and Shadows of the Dead into exercises of philosophy. My friends have already suffered from this tendency of mine.

However, I like to just lean back, enjoy the softness of my sofa, eat raw fish (tonight I had my special blend of sushi, but usually I dine on sashimi when enjoying myself with a horror flick... unless I have no money, then I just have toast) and close my mind. Simple, easy, straight forward flicks are what I want to watch in those instances.

That's why I watched Wrong Turn tonight.

To sum up the review which is to come: Unnerving, howling, haunting, GHOULISH laughter just makes my day. Or night, in this instance.

Wrong Turn is a movie that delivers its action right from the beginning - a deliciously fast pacing (although it somewhat loses on that account in the second act), the kills are straight forward and graphic enough (but not gory enough to make it one of my "I AM HUNGRY"-movies)...

The beauty of movies such as this is that you can automatically figure out who the survivor(s) is / are going to be. It sticks to the golden rules of horror resp. slasher flicks, and still manages to work as a movie that actually makes you watch the screen full of interest and suspense.

... can I say "really good movie"?

Yes. Yes, I can.

Also, the fact that it's set in West Virginia makes me deliriously happy. In my mind, West Virginia is associated with the following: Blitzkid, Mothman, Wrong Turn. And it's no secret that I'm an obsessed Blitzkid fan.

There is something weird that I noticed, though: The Hills Have Eyes by Alexandre Aja seems to have taken quite a lot of inspiration from Wrong Turn's introductory credits. Coincidence?

On to the movie.

West Virginia. *swoons*

I honestly, seriously love those woods. American woods (at least those in West Virginia) look a lot different than, well, Austrian woods. Not necessarily better, but better suited for this kind of movie (idea: Survival horror set in the Austrian mountains... it would be a blockbuster!).

By the way, I am not watching this movie alone. The kitteh just joined me in watching it.

So... Wrong Turn.

The protagonists are stupid.

Rule #1: NEVER take the shortcut.
Rule #2: NEVER trust obviously weird guys who run a practically abandoned gas station in the middle of nowhere. It NEVER works, guys.

I'd hit it.

The Redhead (Lindy Booth) is our first obvious victim - she shows far too much skin, she smokes weed, and engages in sexual acts. We all know that the sluts have to die a painful, terrible death (no, I am not condemning such behaviour, I just want to point out that she is the perfect victim for a horror flick).

Has anyone besides me ever pondered upon the fact that horror movie victims... errr, I mean, protagonists, should learn not to trust ANYONE and ANYTHING? Especially not when utterly alone and stranded in a remote place far away from civilisation, a place where no one can hear you scream. Or gurgle, depending on the type of death.

Then again, horror flicks would lose their entertainment value if the victims could actually think.

I wanted to give you a screenshot of the slightly slutty redhead (aforementioned and -shown Lindy Booth), but after trying to catch the screen I wanted to show you 9 (nine) times and failing to manage to do so for 9 (nine) times, I just gave up. But trust me on the fact that she gets what she deserves for wearing sexy clothes.

I also want to point out that deserted, decrepid shacks are never a good place to look for help. I watch horror flicks, I should know. So if you ever find yourself alone in a giant wood, without any possibility to contact the outside... don't visit the decrepid hut. Especially if there are broken cars with their keys still inside all over the yard. And I mean ALL OVER THE YARD.

Then again, it could be a coincidence and not some bloodthirsty killers. *nods*

This is The Archer. Say hello to him.

He kills people. With his archery.

The camerawork and shots in Wrong Turn are good. Nothing excitingly new or special or grande, but really good considering that this is a slasher/survival flick. Also, the lighting is used with a considerable extent after the first act of the movie, and it truly adds to the atmosphere of the movie. Good job there.

The suspense, with which the movie starts out promisingly, slackens a bit during the second act, but I can forgive that. The first act is a little bit hectic (not on the bad side, though), the second one lacks any sort of suspense or pacing, but the third one makes up for that. Still, the movie could have been better if the middle part had been paced and managed in a better way - faster, more frantic, better shots, violence. All that stuff.

Then again... what can I say about Wrong Turn? Howling ghoulish laughter makes me deliriously happy, and deformed mutant cannibals are something that always manages to cheer me up mightily. Wrong Turn has both.

Besides the howling ghoulish laughter, the sound effects and the soundtrack of this movie are quite good. I dare say that they are really good - not perfect, not brilliant, but actually good.

All in all, this is a movie worth seeing.

Heheheheheheeeeehehehe... *giggles*

9/10 deformed archers and ghoulish, deranged skinny cannibals.


August Underground (2001)

Okay, so this review doesn't have a nifty picture of the DVD cover at the beginning... because I can't find any. Blame it on the internet. 

Hm... August Underground. Tagline: "The sickest film ever made."

...can I agree? I don't know. Sort of. Sort of... no. I'm a bit ambivalent about this one. 

First of all, because I just got alerted to it: Fred Vogel, the guy who directed this flick and wrote the script (together with Allen Peters) taught at Tom Savini's special FX school - which probably explains why some of the gore and effects in this flick look quite realistic (I just say "sliced off nipple"). Note the wording "some of the gore", with an emphasis on SOME. 

For example, the blood doesn't really look realistic. It's... too pink. Far too pink. And even the blood that has been smeared all over the bodies of the hapless victims was... pink. Dried blood is not pink. Fresh blood is not pink. So, please, Mr. Vogel: Check out how blood actually looks like. It will help you with your other efforts at movie making. Trust me on that. Because, seriously, the pink shine really doesn't help with making a movie that's supposed to be gritty and realistic to the max. 

Other than that... August Underground starts out nicely - I dare say even promising. We get treated to a naked young woman, tied to a chair in a filthy basement, with aforementioned cut off nipple, apparently a wound under the right breast (Right? Me and The Friend* are both not sure whether it's the right or the left boob that is supposed to having been cut...), but there isn't any cut there. However, the blood still appears to come from a cut somewhere there, so merf. Not good. If you make a trail of blood running "out of" a wound, at least have the decency to actually show us the wound - especially if you're not trying to make a tame PG-13 movie. And I severely doubt that August Underground was supposed to get a PG-13 rating.

I really don't know what to actually say about this movie, though. It was, I admit it, a little bit disappointing. I had expected more from it - more gore, more violence. More blood and intestines, and all that wonderful stuff. 

Then again, this shouldn't be taken as me complaining. I liked some of the footage. Whilst I am not a big fan of... *trying to think about the Greek term, ANY Greek term for it*...  scatology (sorry, coprophilia doesn't really work in terms of this movie, I apologise for any inconvenience this has caused any coprophiliacs out there) in any way or form (and I mean NOT AT ALL), I have to admit that I liked the idea of torturing the tied-up young woman that way. Or should that be "humiliating"? I take it the latter would be more appropriate. Plus, it is... very non-humane.  I dare say it's inhumane. And I like stuff like that. However, I could have done with a little less intimate footage of shit. Literally shit. 

(However, I had to giggle when they threw the bucket full of urine at her...) 


The so-called "rape"-scene... well, suffice it to say that scenes like that will always get different sorts of reactions from viewers, let alone reviewers. I wasn't entirely convinced (granted, the shaky camera might have had something to do with that), but still. The movie made an effort. 

One thing that completely turned me off was the... the... FATNESS of everyone involved. No single aesthetically pleasing individual in the whole movie. Not a single one. Whilst I got used to seeing the flabby guy who we are told (by virtue of guessing for ourselves) is a "serial killer" (of course, I strongly disagree, but that's just me and my being picky for definitions) prance around (and I mean "prance around", it's ridiculous to watch him at several points throughout the movie), it's just disgusting when you're forced to watch ugly females dance around ...or, even worse, showing us what they have (far too much, sadly... mostly because one's eyes take irrevocable damage). Yes, I know, I am weird like that, but flabby people do not excite me. Not in the least. 

Also, the scenes that didn't deal with direct, honest violence (the guys visiting a miniature America, the gig they are visiting, the hooker scene...) were far too long as compared to those few scenes that gave us actual violence and brutality. Granted, I had to smile during the scene at the band's gig (I'm sorry, I forgot to write down the name of the band), because it reminded me of some of the gigs I've been to... and I appreciate that. However, it still wasn't ...satisfying. Okay, yes, Vogel wanted to make a movie that actually looked like some amateur video, and he succeeded in that. But it still left me and The Friend sitting in front of the screen with a little bit of annoyance on our faces, left enough time to make silly jokes and left us a tad disappointed. 

In short: August Underground could have been better. However, I liked the giggling from the apparently slightly psychotic guy "behind the camera". 

I am torn as to what rating I should give this flick... 

Ah, heck. 

6/10 wrecking pits that made me smile with fond memories

*The Friend (aka TF as of now) is the official code-name for the guy who made it possible for me to watch Narok by forcing it upon me and occasionally helps me with the reviews by discussing movies with me after we watched them. Hello TF. I know you won't read this (he never reads the reviews...).


Frontière(s) / Frontier(s) (2007)


Anyone who remembers my enthusiastic review of Inside will probably remember that I said I was now looking forward to French horror flicks. And so I did with Frontier(s). Before actually watching the movie, I read a review that promised me a brutal, merciless, sadistic, unforgettable movie that truly explores the boundaries of gore and violence.

Sounds promising. But, the problem with Frontier(s) is just that: It only sounds promising. What we actually get is a mediocre movie.

Let's do this the good old way, shall we?

The pros:

The camerawork is solid, and at times it even shines. The use of colour is also a big bonus - they make the movie appear much more gritty than it actually is. Also, the violence that happens stays within the realm of realism - I have to admit that I truly enjoy watching "simple" violence, such as someone kicking someone else in the face. There was no over-the-top gore or brutalism, but the little we got to see was... nice. Not good, not great, nothing to keep me interested or on the edge of my seat, but the director/writer Xavier Gens had a few good ideas there.

Also, one big plus is the location the latter part of the movie was set in: An old, dark and grisly looking sprawling farm (for lack of a better word, I think it was actually a Vierkanthof... but I'm happy to be corrected, as always) to which I took an instant liking. I would have welcomed to see more of the location, especially as it added a somewhat grim flair to the movie.

Uhm... oh, and the script had some good ideas.

On to the cons.

Granted, I was expecting a bit much from Frontier(s). I shouldn't have watched Inside before watching this one. I shouldn't have read the positive reviews that promised me unrelenting horror and insane, gritty violence that would make me cringe in my seat. I shouldn't have this, I shouldn't have that... but, the problem is: I have watched other movies with highest expectations, and they didn't fail to deliver. I have also watched other movies with no expectations at all, and they managed to be brilliant. So... I can't just blame it on my expectations that I find Frontier(s) to be mediocre at best.

First of all... is it really necessary to make the protagonists into petty criminals? I don't say that the protagonists we're supposed to sympathise with should always be good, law abiding, god fearing people, but portraying them as a bunch of a little retarded bastards isn't exactly going to make me root for them. Unless, of course, I am a bit of a retarded bastard, or at least I suppose so.
Another thing that bugged me is that there is absolutely nothing that ties the beginning of the movie together with what happens during the rest of it. I mean.... riots in the streets of Paris? Check. We know that it happened, so maybe the reference to them serves to anchor the movie a bit more in the consensus reality we share. Maybe it is just an accepted way to show people shooting, throwing molotow cocktails and stuff that burns, though. Young petty criminals on their way to Amsterdam (also known as The Holy Land)? Okay. After all, we need to get our protagonists to the place where the, uhm, terror, for lack of a better word, can unfold freely. I'll buy that. But... still. It feels as if we're jumping from a movie about the life and times of young criminals to ...well. Some sort of horror flick. There just isn't any reason for it.

Also... seriously. This movie is the first one I have watched that doesn't bother to give us any sort of background information about the motivation of the cannibal killer family because of reductio ad Hitlerum (my philologist's soul shivers with disgust at this mangled Latin, but alas, a term is a term).

I mean... "they are evil and kidnap women for breeding purposes and slaughter and eat lots of other people BECAUSE THEY ARE CANNIBAL NAZIS!!!" - I'm sorry, but it just doesn't work. It just doesn't.

Also, the whole semi-subplot about keeping the bloodline pure wasn't very believable either. Either Monsieur Gens wasn't entirely aware of the whole Nazi idea ("Aryan race" and all that crap), or he just didn't bother to think about the fact that a family of Nazis who want to keep their bloodline "pure" wouldn't exactly go for kidnapping women/girls with dark brown/black hair and dark brown eyes and a somewhat not exactly "Aryan" complexion. Or maybe I just have been damaged by 4 torturous years of learning every useless fact about the NS regime at school... yes, Austria has a guilt complex and takes it out on innocent school children.

However, that was one of my other major concerns. Obsessed and crazy Nazis wouldn't breed with people who don't hold up to Third Reich standards. ESPECIALLY obsessed and crazy Nazis. Couldn't he have casted someone blonde in the role of "breeding puppet"?

Another point of ...well, another con: The German. Maybe it's just because my native language happens to be German, but damn it, man, get someone who can actually speak the language if you want to portray a ruthless Nazi-leftover from WWII. Whilst it has been pointed out to me that it is more than likely than someone who spent more than 50 (60?) years in France in self-imposed exile after WWII will develop a French accent and might not pronounce his native language entirely correctly anymore, some blunders happen that just would not happen. You'll probably only get them if you're fluent in German, though.

As BC of Horror Movie A Day already pointed out, the subtitles also are an atrocity against mankind. I won't speak about them anymore. Besides mentioning that they truly hurt deep inside. As in... it's hard sometimes not to start laughing because the translations are so absurd.

Then there's the script. Some good ideas are in there, and those good ideas have been partially realised in the movie (I liked the scene where one of our protagonists is being butchered), but in my opinion, every scene that showed promise could have been realised in a better way. Uniformly, there was something lacking, and that just took away from the interesting parts.

However, besides for the few good ideas in the script, the rest of it is just all over the place. Frontier(s) doesn't know what kind of movie it wants to be, and it doesn't know what kind of script it has. There are blatant incongruencies (like when the two guys have the car accident and fall down a bridge... after they wake up, they suddenly feel compelled to climb up a disturbingly tight shaft. Why didn't they just climb back up to the fucking street where they came from? Did I miss something important there that made it utterly imperative that they climb up that shaft? I am still puzzled...), and most of the latter parts of the movie feel like they've been taken from Hostel or Texas Chainsaw Massacre and a host of other survival-/"evil house full of evil people who kill other, nice people"-movies. It's just not really... something new.

Don't get me wrong, it's not bad. It's a solid little flick that shows promise in some scenes and some parts of the script, and if you want to spend a night with friends, watching horror flicks, and like movies like Hostel, then by all means, watch it. Just don't expect anything you haven't seen yet.

Also, the amount of bodies hanging around in the cooling room was ridiculously high.

So... yeah. I'm not impressed. Seen it before, and better done, with more shock value.

5.5/10 Nazis who can't speak German and are EVIL!!!


À l'intérieur / Inside (2007)

Two visits to France taught me something essential: The French suck. Especially French waiters, who despise me because I don't speak French (it's not that I haven't tried, and I still know that 'piscine' means 'swimming pool', but I just don't like the language, and if I don't like a language, I don't want to learn it, and... well, I just refuse to learn French. This is the main reason why you will never see me write a paper about Mari - all the publications are in French, and so I cunningly avoid anything that has to do with Mari... Mari is an old city, for those of you who don't know me well enough to know that as soon as I mention weird names, I'm talking about dead things from Mesopotamia and its surroundings). In turn, I despise them back.

No offense to any French readers. You are awesome.

But my dislike of the French is one of those preconceived notions that you know are wrong, but you hold them anyways - precious little prejudices. Same with my opinion that the US suck. Well, the US do indeed suck (no offense to any patriotic USAnian readers I might have), and whilst the USAnian president is outwitted by a dumb goldfish and lots of the people from there are... well, not exactly the most educated lot, not everyone from the US is stupid. Still, I like to pretend. Same with the French. I know they're not all stupid and despicable villains, but... I like to pretend.

This includes knowing for sure that nothing good can come out of France. Heck, they eat frogs and slugs. What kind of cuisine is that?! What kind of foul creatures do that?! Plus, I am still traumatised when it comes to the issue of baguettes (no, you don't want to know).

However, I have to admit that the French make awesome movies. The Hills Have Eyes as directed by Alexandre Aja already taught me that. Before that, Trouble Every Day (I'll write a review, promised) forced me to acknowledge that the French might have a talent for making movies... and now, Inside finished the transformation: I am now actively looking forward to any horror movie coming out of France. Damn, I am actively SEARCHING THEM OUT! The world will never be the same...

Ever since Inside came out, I read the stunningly positive reviews about it, but never bothered to watch it. After all, it's a French movie, and it's going to be tame. Pretty but tame. I mean... take this premise: It's Christmas, and a pregnant woman who is suppposed to give birth the following day is alone in her house, when another woman (only called "The Woman", brilliant. And I say that without sarcasm) manages to get into her house and makes her life hell.

Sarah is VERY pregnant.

I was expecting something like a psychological thriller, maybe some emotional terror. I was NOT expecting a slaughterhouse full of gore, suspense and truly thrilling moments. Truth be told, I didn't even want to watch it, but the friend whom I mention regularly on this blog wanted to see it, and so I agreed, preparing myself for 82 minutes of boredom.

Let me put it this way: The man who, in a discussion about horror movies, said that the last time he had goosebumps and felt scared during a horror flick was in 1979 now cannot claim that anymore. What happened? Inside happened.

Seriously. Michael, Freddy, Jason - go and stand in the corner and hang your heads in shame. Yes, you too, Pinhead, as much as it pains me to say so.

Inside is easily one of the goriest movies I've ever seen. It is brutally honest with what it shows us (this seems to be a French thing - I already noticed it with Alexandre Aja). The camera voyeuristically sticks to what is happening, devours every single moment with greedy eyes - and makes us accomplices in this violent act of voyeurism. Nothing happens offscreen - we see with merciless clarity. Unlike Insanitarium, this isn't a gorefest, though. We get quality, not quantity. And when I say "quality", I mean "quality of the highest order". Honestly. Viciously good.

Something that automatically makes me happy was that the blood is absolutely realistic. Dreadfully realistic. Don't watch it if you can't stomach the sight of blood. Consider this an official warning. You might also want to reconsider watching this movie with your girlfriend (unless your girlfriend is like me), and I strongly recommend not to watch it with pregnant women.

Ugh. Pregnant. What is it about bloated bellies that makes me squirm uncomfortably? I think it's the whole breeding thing (no offense to people who like pregnant women, pregnancy or the concept of breeding more humans)... there are already enough of us running around, no need to create more of those critters. At this point, I officially want to send my best wishes to Chrisu, who will be sterilised after the next weekend.

Back to the review.

The camerawork is stunning, and so is the use of colour. I swear, the pictures are pure art. The soundtrack also is... words fail me. Classical music, piercing industrial noise that thunders through your mind...

I'll put it simple: This movie is beautiful. Absolutely, stunningly beautiful. And violent... very, very violent. And it remains believable the entire time, from the very second that the merciless brutality starts. Sometimes, you want to look away, but you just can't because you are compelled to watch what unfolds on the screen.

Also, I was very pleased to see Béatrice Dalle in this work of art (calling it a simple horror movie would be severely underrating it). I already liked her in Trouble Every Day, and she has been brilliantly casted for the role of "The Woman".

Speaking of the acting... A+++

A brilliant, stunning movie that will leave you sitting in the dark in silence for a while. Whether you like it or not, it will move you. Take my word for it.


10/10 creative uses of a pair of scissors


The Ruins (2008)

In order to understand why I feel about The Ruins the way I do, I should possibly explain something beforehand:

Plants are something I am not entirely comfortable with.

You'd think that someone who grew up in the rural countryside of Austria (the place in Europe, you morons, not the place with the kangaroos - that's Australia; and no, Austria is not equal to Germany either) would have no problems with greenery. Well, I have. I avoid green stuff. I don't trust it, for a variety of reasons I myself am not too sure about. For once, you never know what sort of critter is hiding in/on/under/whatever any given plant. You don't know what it has already touched, or has been touched with. You don't know if it could be potentially fatal. Or give you rashes and allergic reactions.

I personally only trust plants that I have a detailed knowledge about. And trees. Trees are somewhat okay as long as they are not too close to me.

But what really creeps me out about plants is... well, they're neither alive nor dead. Which, to my mind, translates to "it doesn't bleed when you cut it, it doesn't breathe, it doesn't make any sounds, and still it's not properly dead". And, frankly, I am confused by that. I can deal with dead things. I can deal with living things (well, not counting spiders and most gross insects - and no, the praying mantis is not gross, it is pretty and I like it). But anything in between that I can't consider to be an undead/semi-dead abomination out of the cold abyssal darkness from beyond is just.... unnatural. And plants are just like that.

I don't even like to eat them. I only eat them when my body plainly tells me that it's time for some of that green, creepy stuff, and then I exclusively eat it in a state in which I feel I can trust it - e.g. spinach on a pizza. The occasional salad already leaves a weird feeling in my mind when I look at it and start to speculate about ...it. So... plants are unnatural things which I don't understand, don't intend to understand, and they are creepy. There you go.

So... consider that whilst reading the following review.

The Ruins starts out with a promising beginning: A young woman cowering in a dark room, desperately screaming for help, all the while trying to reach the outside world with her mobile phone. It is a good scene, and it makes you wonder - what is going on there? Where is she?

....apparently, she's somewhere there:

Cut to our protagonists for the next 93 minutes: Young adults Amy, Stacy, Jeff and Eric. I liked it that the names were easy to remember, you don't mix them up but can actually tell them apart, and there is no overabundance of characterisation.
Our group of young adults is on holidays in Mexico. There, they meet Matthias (from Munich, played by Joe Anderson, who does the German/Bavarian accent of the character so well that I was fooled and took him for a native German in the beginning... before I looked him up on imdb.com, honestly. Congratulations, Joe, you did a great job there), who provides the hook for the whole adventure - namely, visiting an archaeological excavation of a Mayan temple.

Naturally, this turns into a disaster.

This once more brings me to my usual "All I learned, I learned from Lovecraft" - point: Randomly visiting excavations as some sort of adventure-seeking tourist or relative of someone who hasn't been heard of since he/she/it went to aforementioned excavation is a big no-no. Heck, excavations are dangerous to the uninformed laymen (aka, everyone not an archaeologist). They are also usually quite sunny, hot and lack decent air-conditioning (the main reasons why I will never become one of those field archaeologists - I prefer my working climate to be cool and dark, thank you, preferably with a bar and a good HiFi system as well as a high-speed PC with internet connection, thank you).

So remember: If someone invites you to an excavation of some random ancient temple... just decline and continue to enjoy your life.

One thing about the movie that impressed me was that the acting was solid (even good!) through and through. It's a rare horror movie - or any movie, really - in which you can fully appreciate every single actor involved. The Ruins falls under this category. The actors aren't forcing themselves into their roles, they are adding more life and realism to their respective characters. My favourite is still Joe Anderson as Matthias, though. It's not easy to deliver great acting whilst spending most of the movie lying motionless on the ground. However, the rest of the cast did a great job as well. Although I have to say that the character of Amy, played by Jena Malone (of Donnie Darko fame), is one of the most annoying whiny bitches I ever had to witness on screen. There were several instances when I wanted her to die a slow and painful death. VERY slow and VERY painful.

At the 23rd minute, we get our first death, as our tourists are discovered by a weird bunch of people who apparently don't speak Spanish and want the young adults to stay away from the step pyramid (no, it is NOT a pyramid, nor is it a ziqquratu). Of course, being stupid, they don't stay away, and so one of them gets an arrow into the chest, followed by a bullet to the head. Luckily, this was only a minor character, so we get to keep our full cast for some while.

The locals set up camp around the Mayan structure (calling something a "structure" is the safest way to go in archaeology, trust me) and are not willing to let any of our young people leave. We wonder why... but not for long. Rather, I personally wondered why the characters took so long to figure out that their decidedly deadly confinement on top of the structure (see? It works!) had to do with their contact to the icky plants all over it.

A propos icky plants: That whole ...vine-stuff... is absolutely sickening. I can't really explain why, but the leaves have a sort of structure that really makes me queasy by just looking at them. And unfortunately, there is no single freaking second in this movie in which you can't see them.Well, a few. But not a lot of them.

If that isn't an ominous sky, I don't know what constitutes as one.

Now, the premise of monstrous plants whose sole purpose is to kill you and/or infect you (possibly in order to eat you AFTER spreading?) is a little bit ridiculous, I will readily admit that. In fact, I thought so myself. But... ewwwwwwwwwww. Okay, I admit it, I might be more prone to be creeped out by this movie than someone else due to my admitted problem with green stuff, so plants that move and kill and make noises and...move... even more... and EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW... goosebumps. I know, I know, it is ridiculous, but I am really positively grossed out by the plants in this movie.

On the other hand, I hate the character of Amy with a passion in the first... 50-something minutes. She truly is the most dumb of the whole bunch. I mean... the idea that the people who shot one of your companions and then hunted you up the Mayan structure would help you just because one of you got hurt is a little bit ridiculous, isn't it? And especially after witnessing that they're willing to shoot one of their children after having come into contact with the vile vine-stuff, it seems a tad unlikely that they'll suddenly change their mind and let our protagonists go. But Amy insists on being a stupid cunt. Ah, well... probably part of the character development (clearly visible).

Back to the point: Our protagonists should have realised that their situation really has to do something with the plants when the locals shot one of their own children after it had been in contact with the plants... or after Jeff found the piles of corpses with moving plants on them. And not just "on" them...

The Ruins also plays on the "Americans are in a foreign country in which the locals try to kill them brutally"-theme that, as far as I am aware of, started with Hostel and then got elaborated upon by various other movies like Turistas, Life Feed and others of that ilk - in The Ruins, it's the local plant-life that has gone insane with... well, unnatural "life", and is intending to eat the good Americans. Then again, the plants are willing to kill and eat anyone (Matthias is supposed to be from Munich, and last time I checked, Munich was still located somewhat to the West of me, in Germany, Europe), but motivational speeches like "Four American tourists don't just DISAPPEAR!" strongly reek of that special vibe.

But enough of that.

The gore is not plentiful, and not particularly good either, besides for one scene that made me happy. It involves an impromptu amputation of legs. With a hunting knife and the help of one vicious looking stone (in order to break the bones) and a heated frying pan (to cauterise the wounds). This scene truly brought me joy.

However, in American med schools, you apparently learn that Septicemia is "an infection of the bones". I always thought it was an infection of the blood. And it appears that I'm right.

Another thing that creeped me out about The Ruins was the fact that those icky plants actually get INSIDE you and grow there. I am not particularly fond of ANYTHING that grows and lives under my skin, and plants are even more disgusting than, say, parasites. The thought does NOT bring me joy... or happyful, for that matter (I haven't used the term far too long).

In short: I don't like plants and vegetables anyways. They are ...weird. Creepy. Not alive, not dead. Plants that suddenly ARE alive and STILL are plants are... creepy. Unnatural. Yes, that's the word. Unnatural. It's... gross.

After careful reconsideration and a 3rd viewing...

7.5/10 vines that literally grow under people's skin and are a freakin' menace to the whole world.