Leave it Wanderer @ Wandering Through the Shelves to get me in October mode a few days early. Like lots of other bloggers, I'll be starting my annual 31 Days of Horror in a couple days. As if to warm me up, she chose cults and secret societies as the topic for this week's Thursday Movie Picks. No problem, let's go there. Better yet, I already went there so you don't have to. By that, I mean these are some cults that should have stayed so secret that they never made it to the big screen. I would have been better off never seeing any of these. Heed my warning and avoid these duds.
The Wicker Man
(2006)This remake of 1973 British cult classic has become infamous and synonymous with bees. I'll just leave that right there and continue on with the synopsis. The plot follows a police officer played by Nicolas Cage. I would give you the cop's name, but let's face it, telling you it's Nic Cage is more than sufficient. He travels to a secluded island in search of a missing girl. The locals give him the runaround and he eventually figures out they're all part of a massive cult. The original is an odd, quirky cinematic experiment that somehow works despite being made up of seemingly incompatible parts. The remake? No...just no. I will give it credit for one thing. It pulls off the admirable trick of watering down its predecessor while still being even weirder. That makes no sense when it's written like that, but if you've seen it you might understand. Unfortunately, this is a Nic Cage flick, so you might already have. Sorry 'bout that. For those that haven't, don't. (Click here for my full review)
The House of the Devil
(2009)I'll go quickly through a basics because I have some ranting to do. Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) is a college student in desperate need of funds so she takes a baby-sitting job from a creepy older couple who turn out to be Satanists. Sounds like it could be interesting, right? It's anything but. It's boring as hell because nothing happens, Nothing. NOTHING. The truth is, I'm not even mad at the movie because it is what it is. I'm pissed at you. By you, I mean anyone who is reading this, has seen it, and thinks it's good. And there were a lot of you. There were so many of you, you made me anxious to get my hands on this movie. You told me this was a great throwback to 80s horror. You told me this was a fantastic slow burn building to a frightening climax. In the immortal words of I don't know how many Will Smith characters, "Oh, hell naw!" (Click here for my full review)
The Lords of Salem
(2013)The director is Rob Zombie. He's the rocker most known for remaking/re-booting/re-imagining Halloween and making sure his wife Sheri Moon Zombie has a prominent role in all of his movies. That might be enough for you to make a decision on this, one way or the other. If not, I'll press on a little bit. This one follows Heidi, played by Sheri Moon (duh), a late-night radio DJ who receives a mysterious record one night. Every time she plays it she starts having nightmarish visions. Eventually, a coven of the descendants of seventeenth century witches, or something like that, gets involved and we don't care one single, solitary bit. (Click here for my full review)