October has been a busy month for The Quick and Dirties. Here is yet another installment. The first two horror-themed entries featured films that were seven or eight years old. This time, we hit up some much more recent fare.
(2014)We open on two little girls playing with a ouija board. They may or may not be contacting the dead. Bad idea. Fast forward seven to ten years when one of the girls, Debbie (Shelley Hennig), finds said ouija board in her attic and begins using it by herself. Worse idea. Next thing you know, Debbie hangs herself from a chandelier she couldn't possibly have reached by herself, but whatever. The other girl, Laine (Olivia Cooke), is understandably upset. When she gets a chance to hang out in her dead BFF's room, she finds the ouija board, naturally. Since suicide doesn't seem like Debbie's style, and Laine desperately wants to find out what really happened, she convinces the rest of her friends to get together and use the board to contact. Debbie. Best. Idea. Ever. They contact something that could be Debbie, could be not. They find out some stuff about the people that lived in the same house where Debbie lived, way back in the day. They also go on a search which leads them to that one lady who is in every horror flick. As always, she's played by Lin Shaye. Oh yeah, some of these people die. It's not completely terrible for a PG-13 horror flick. Early on, it drags a bit, picks up later, and becomes somewhat watchable. Worth a look, but don't expect much.
All Cheerleaders Die!
(2013)After her friend Alexis (Felisha Cooper) dies in a cheerleading accident, Maddy (Caitlin Stasey) decides to become a cheerleader herself. At the same time, she's smarting from her break-up with Leena (Sinoa Smit-McPhee), who desperately wants her back, and is very upset that one of the other cheerleaders immediately started dating Alexis's boyfriend Terry (Tom Williamson), star of the football team. Arguments ensue after a rather wild night and suddenly, Maddy and three other cheerleaders. Since Leena happens to be a witch with some magic stones, really, she manages to resurrect all of them. Yay! Zombie cheerleaders. Since all of this started with Terry and his crew of knucklehead jocks, guess who the girls start going after. It gets off to promising start, but eventually becomes too goofy for it's own good. It's not terrible, just falls apart late. You get the idea, it is aware of what it's doing, going for a dark comedy vibe, it's just not all that good at it.
(2014)Kelly (Kristina Klebe) and Lucy (Natalie Burn) go on a vacation in the Mediterranean where they meet up with Lucy's ex-boyfriend Niko (Franco Nero) and his fiancee Yasmin (Sofija Rajovic). They drink, dance, and sight-see. There's also two creepy old dudes hanging around, one of whom occasionally hacks up random people. Yeah, I know what the title is...or, at least the American title. The whole movie runs barely an hour and a half. Unfortunately, it's an hour and change before we see this creature. And there's lots of shoddy cgi going on with that. The disappointment of that aside, this is just a bad movie that includes all the elements of a horror movie, but utilizes them in the inept way possible. As evidenced by how long it takes us to get to our titular monster, it just meanders along while occasionally throwing gore at the screen to distract us from a story that's in complete shambles. Much of what's happening on-screen involves a love triangle between Lucy, Niko, and Yasmin. Due to lackluster writing and terrible acting, this is less than compelling theater. You'd be better off skipping this one.
(2013)Abby Russell (Paz de la Huerta) is our narrator and the nurse of the title. She tells us right away what she's all about. She hunts down and murders married men who are cheating on their wives. That's at night, she's not only a nurse, but she's been assigned to mentor Danni Rodgers (Katrina Bowden), one of the newest nurses on the hospital staff. Pretty soon, Abby becomes obsessed with Danni in a very single white female sort of way. That's when all hell breaks loose. To be fair, hell starts breaking loose as soon as the movie starts. Abby is the most delightfully unreliable narrator I've come across in quite a while. Her film noir by way of Sin City tinged diatribes are slyly funny, filled with both double entendre and flat out profanity. Combined with the copious amounts of gore and nudity, Nurse takes the shape of a campy schlock-fest and is quite comfortable in this guise. In the lead de la Huerta delivers a fun performance, fully embracing her characters nuttiness. Katrina Bowden is solid as her opposite, but weirdly takes showers with her underwear on (at least in the version I saw on Netflix). She's a good looking woman, but this little trait causes two unintentionally hilarious moments. The rest of the cast is surprisingly familiar and capable, though wasted a bit by how little they actually have to do. This includes Judd Nelson, Niecy Nash, and a surprisingly grown up Corbin Bleu last seen, at least by me, belting out cheesy tunes in a Disney Channel production. There's also a cameo for Kathleen Turner. Somehow her voice has gotten even deeper. It's a bit scary, all on its own. Back to the rest of the movie. It's just bonkers from jump. Some of you will love it. Some of you will hate it. I say it's so bad, it's awesome!
Click below for more Quick and Dirties