Category Archives: Demonic Possession Films
Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman
Story by Chad Feehan
Screenplay by Christopher Landon
Let me clear one thing up for everyone from the start; I did not hate Paranormal Activity 3 nor did I think it sucked in any way. But, I know that I am in the minority when it comes to the film so let’s move on. Apparently the filmmakers thought differently than I because they have set the 4th film in the series 5 years after the events of Paranormal Activity 2. The setting is now a house in Nevada in 2011 and strange things begin to occur after the family takes in a strange little boy from across the street after his mother is taken to the hospital via ambulance. When I say strange I mean this is the kind of kid who appears out of nowhere to scare the living shit out of you and who talks to unseen beings named Toby. I’m sure you remember Toby from the 3rd film so I don’t have to tell you what he is.
The film centers around the family’s teenage daughter Alex (Kathryn Newton, Bad Teacher) and her sort of somewhat boyfriend, Ben (Matt Shively, Barrio Tales) as Alex experiences strange phenomenon throughout the house and Ben helps her set up laptops that double as webcams to record the activity. Another neat trick involves night vision and the X-Box Kinect system. It made me wonder what the hell I was doing with a PlayStation 3.
But I digress. Paranormal Activity 4 is one of those movies that I don’t like to say a whole lot about because I don’t want to give too much away. I will say three main things about the film. One, the film does have some genuinely scary moments. Two, the film answers certain questions, but of course it sets up even more. Finally, the film marks the significant return of Katie Featherston to the series. That may not seem all that relevant to anyone else, but I’ve had the hots for her since the first Paranormal Activity. If that’s too much information then sue me.
So, is Paranormal Activity 4 good? I think so. Is it scary? For the most part, yes it is. Is it going to make a shitload of money? Seriously, what the hell do you think? Oh, and for those of you keeping tabs I rate the series in order of quality 1. Paranormal Activity 2; 2. Paranormal Activity; 3. Paranormal Activity 4 and 4. Paranormal Activity 3. Now shoo, go buy Halloween candy or sacrifice a virgin* or something.
NO TRIVIA AT THIS TIME
*Written in Blood does not in any way, shape or form condone the sacrificing of virgins or even non-virgins for that matter. Do not attempt this. If you do I do not know you.
- ‘Paranormal Activity 4′ Review: The Horror Franchise Finally Loses Its Way (slashfilm.com)
- ‘Paranormal Activity 4′ is eerie setup for another sequel (sacbee.com)
- ‘Paranormal Activity 4′ review: More of same (newsday.com)
- The paranormal bus stops here (sfluxe.com)
- A youthful energy creeps into ‘Paranormal Activity 4′ (seattletimes.com)
- Is ‘Paranormal Activity 4′ The Best Yet? Frightened Fans Weigh In (mtv.com)
- Friday Flicks: Does the World Really Need a Paranormal Activity 4? (newsfeed.time.com)
- ‘Paranormal Activity 4′: The Reviews Are In! (mtv.com)
- The Triumph Of ‘Paranormal Activity’ (forbes.com)
- ‘Paranormal Activity 4′ Star Katie Featherston Says She Filmed ‘Enough for Two or Three Movies’ (hollywood.com)
Directed by Karyn Kusama
Written by Diablo Cody
I’m not one of those people that seek out the hidden messages in movies. I usually just watch the movie; think about what I liked and what I didn’t like and then write about it. This system has worked okay for me so far. “Jennifer’s Body” is no exception. But I guess if I had to find some kind of hidden message in the movie it would be that average looking girls should never have good looking girls for BFF’s (Best Friends Forever) or else they will steal all the boys away from them. The second message is that if the hot chick is possessed by a demon and becomes a hideous succubus she will not only steal the boy, she will eat him as well.
Needy (Amanda Seyfried, “Gone”, “Red Riding Hood”) and Jennifer (Megan Fox “Transformers”, “Jonah Hex”) have been friends since the days when they played in the sandbox together. Needy is your Plain Jane mousy type and Jennifer is her vivacious and beautiful friend through which she vicariously lives her life. But after Jennifer is sacrificed by an eyeliner wearing faux Fall Out Boy band and comes back as the town succubus, it’s up to Needy to figure out why her friend is spewing black goo and why all the boys in the town are turning up partially eaten. It’s what she’s always wanted; something to do on a Saturday night.
There’s not much I can really say about the movie. I will say that I was pleasantly surprised at Megan Fox and her portrayal of Jennifer. I have often gone on record as saying that I think she’s a horrible actress who gets by on her looks; but even horrible actresses have a good day every now and then. Amanda Seyfried was good as Needy and I felt that the movie moved along at a steady pace. All told, I liked the movie, but I find myself feeling guilty for liking it. It’s like I spent nearly two hours looking through a peep hole in the girl’s locker room. It was a fun thing to do at the time, but now I feel all dirty.
The title is from the song “Jennifer’s Body” by Courtney Love’s band Hole.
To prepare for her role as a possessed living-dead teenager, Megan Fox lost around 15 lbs, bringing her weight down to a near-frail 97 lbs, and stayed out of the sun.
The demon who possesses Jennifer Check (Megan Fox’s character) closely resembles a succubus (plural succubi), from Jewish, Christian, and Sumerian mythology/theology. It is said that succubi seduce men, and fornicate with them until they are “drained” (in the movie, getting “drained” could mean getting drained of blood instead of semen). Some possible examples of succubi are Lilitu (from Sumerian mythology), Lilin, and Lilith (both from Jewish theology).
Jennifer’s surname ‘Check’ was initially intended only to be a place holder name. It comes from writer Diablo Cody using the phrase ‘check’ to express the filling of the various required roles, e.g “Jennifer – check, Needy – check” and so on. The name was never changed and features in the final film.
- Top 9 Back to School Horror Films (dreadcentral.com)
- Jennifer’s Body by Diablo Cody (caughtbetweenthepages.wordpress.com)
- Potentially NSFW: See Jennifer Lawrence’s Labor-Intensive X-Men Transformation (bellasugar.com)
- Jennifer Aniston has “Most-Desired” body (mya.co.uk)
- Which Toronto Film Festival Attendee Is Most Fab? (fabsugar.com)
- Our Favorite Movie Theatre Experiences (mrmovietimes.com)
- Celebrity Style: Jennifer Lopez (fabsugar.com)
- Jennifer Nicole Lee Body Paint Calendar Voted One of the Best Gifts to Give This Holiday Season for Fitness Enthusiasts & Passionate Artists Alike (prweb.com)
- LPG Welcomes Jennifer Nicole Lee as the New Spokesperson of the US (prweb.com)
- Jennifer’s Body // A Quote-A-Long (junkpumpkin.wordpress.com)
Written and Directed by Oren Peli
So, here’s the thing; I could swear that I’ve reviewed this movie before for this blog. I can remember finding the poster, the photos and the trailer. I remember posting it. So why is it that when I do a search for the post the only films that show up are “Paranormal Activity 2″ and “Paranormal 3 Activity”? I don’t delete my posts after I put them out there for all the world to see; so what the hell?
Anyway, I guess that’s not important. What’s important is this review. This marks the fifth time that I have watched “Paranormal Activity” and each time I’ve noticed something different. The first time I noticed the vocal just underneath Katie (Featherston’s) voice when she tells Micah (Sloat) that she thinks they’ll be okay. I noticed the chandelier moving the second or third time I watched and this time I noticed Katie’s hair move when she tells Micah that she can feel the entity breathing on her. It’s the small things that make this film as creepy as it is.
But allow me to expand on that a bit. It’s not the small things that you notice or expect to see that make “Paranormal Activity” creepy. It’s the things you expect to see that don’t happen. Every time I watch the movie I expect that when Micah and Katie first go downstairs to investigate the noise that the light from the camera will shine down on some perverse, terrible thing lurking in the darkness. When Micah opens the curtain to peer outside I expect to see a hideous visage staring into his eyes. I see neither; and that makes it even worse. I originally thought that Micah was a bit of a dick in the way he handled the entire situation; but I can also understand his reasoning. We fear what we can’t see and what we can’t understand. We are terrified when we want to protect our loved ones and don’t have the slightest idea as to what to do. “Paranormal Activity” is frightening because it makes us stare into the face of helplessness. Micah wants to protect Katie and in the end there’s not a damn thing he can do.
“Paranormal Activity” is similar to “The Blair Witch Project” in that it puts its characters in situations beyond their control. It’s no surprise that both films feature characters, Heather in “Blair Witch” and Micah in “Paranormal”, who are complete control freaks. It’s also no secret that it turns out bad for them. The thing is, sometimes you go up against something that’s in way more control than you are. The difference in the two films is that while “Blair Witch” stops at showing us that what we can’t see is more frightening than what we can see; “Paranormal” shows us that what’s even more frightening is what we expect to see and then don’t.
I still think I reviewed this movie already. I blame gremlins.
The original ending was changed at the suggestion of Steven Spielberg.
Oren Peli got the idea for the movie from a personal experience. Late at night he was sleeping and a box of detergent fell off the shelf. The box was pushed too far back for it to just tilt and fall.
The actors weren’t given scripts but were given guidelines on how to behave or what to discuss in their scenes.
- WATCH: Paranormal Activity 4 Trailer (gossipcop.com)
- Katies Back And She’s Not Alone, Trailer For Paranormal Activity 4 (thepeoplesmovies.com)
- ‘Paranormal Activity 4′ Trailer: There Goes the Neighborhood (screenrant.com)
- Paranormal Activity 4 – 666 Teaser Trilogy Examined; Big Surprise on Dread Central Tonight at Midnight (PT)! (dreadcentral.com)
- ‘Amityville Horror’ Sequel To Rip Off ‘Paranormal Activity,’ Will Probably Still Be Terrible (screencrave.com)
- ‘Paranormal Activity 4′ Trailer Preview: Demonic Rewind (screenrant.com)
- ‘Paranormal Activity 4′ Spreads Terror Through First Teaser Trailer (aceshowbiz.com)
- Paranormal Activity 4 Official Trailer and New Teaser That Asks What Really Happened? (dreadcentral.com)
- Official Paranormal Activity 4 Title Treatment (dreadcentral.com)
- Paranormal Activity 4 Trailer Review (uloop.com)
Written and Directed by Rolfe Kanefsky
“Nightmare Man” is:
A. An effective albeit cliché-laden horror film about a woman (Blythe Metz-”Jacqueline Hyde”) who may or may not be terrorized or possessed by a demon from a fertility mask known to her as the nightmare man. The film leads you to believe that she’s crazy and her husband Bill (Luciano Szafir) is on his way to having her committed. But when she takes refuge in a house in the woods with Tiffany Shepis (“Abominable”, “Bonnie & Clyde vs. Dracula”), Hanna Putnam (“Feast II: Sloppy Seconds“, “Feast III: The Happy Finish”) and their boyfriends the body count begins to rise and now we’re not so sure about how crazy she really is.
B. One of the better reasons to have a little faith in the After Dark Horrorfest series of films. Sure there have been clunkers (“Crazy Eights”, Lake Dead“); but its films like “Nightmare Man”, “Borderland” and Xavier Gans “Frontier(s) that keeps hardcore horror fans coming back for more.
C. A thinly veiled reason for Tiffany Shepis to take all or most of her clothes off. She’s got a great body, but it’s a shame, really. She has more acting talent than the films she stars in give her credit for and I can’t wait to see her sink her teeth into something juicier. She may not ever be Meryl Streep, but if every actress were her the world would be a boring place.
D. All of the above.
Now, if your answer was D then give yourself a pat on the back. Seriously, pat yourself on the back. I can’t afford to give out prizes. Besides, if I did you’d just play with them for an hour, break them and then you’d have nothing to do for the rest of the day. Except read my blog, of course. It’s a vicious circle, isn’t it?
Hanna Putnam had to perform the fake orgasm scene for her audition.
Writer/director Rolfe Kanefsky wrote the script in seven days.
Richard Moll only worked one day on the film.
Tiffany Shepis and Hanna Putnam doubled each other for their running scenes.
- Crazy Eights (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Every man’s nightmare: Castrati fish (oyiabrown.com)
- Wife of man convicted of killing neighbor over loud music says he cries, has nightmares (khou.com)
- One Man’s Dream Is Another Woman’s Nightmare (theredneckmommy.com)
- Every man’s nightmare: Castrati fish (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)
- Craigslist Ad Seeking Shelter Leads to Kidnap, Rape (blogs.lawyers.com)
- Nightmare Defense? Connecticut Man Claims To Have Sleepwalked Through Attempted Robbery (jonathanturley.org)
- Healthcare Nightmare: Uninsured Texas Man Claims Doctor Botched Hernia Surgery (huffingtonpost.com)
- Praying For Sleep (unduecreativity.wordpress.com)
- Sri Lanka: Gotabhaya’s Larger Than Life Role – OpEd (eurasiareview.com)
- One woman’s nightmare is another man’s dinner. (heifer12x12.com)
- HMAD Screening: There’s Nothing Out There! (horror-movie-a-day.blogspot.com)
- Op-Ed Contributor: Vulnerable to ‘Reform’ (nytimes.com)
- Just Thinking Number 23 (righttruth.typepad.com)
THE DEVIL INSIDE-United States-2012
Directed by William Brent Bell
Written by William Brent Bell and Matthew Peterman
When The Exorcist was released in 1973 it completely changed the way we look at horror. Gone were the days of the lumbering Frankenstein monster and the howling at the moon Wolfman. In its place was a frightened 12 year old girl, her mother, two priests and a nasty demon with a fixation for vaginas and crucifixes. Ever since the day that this film was released I can assure you that every film made since then about demonic possession has secretly (or not) wanted to be The Exorcist. The latest pretender to the throne is the execrable The Devil Inside. Here we have a film that wants so badly to be a horror film, and yet nearly everything about it screams out “LAUGH AT ME!!” at the top of its lungs. The scenes where we meet the possessed woman are filled with what they want us to think are scary faces and sounds, but they reminded me more of someone mugging for the camera and making fart noises with their armpits. The scene in which they take the daughter of the possessed woman to witness an actual exorcism is so much a blatant rip off of scenes from the Exorcist that I kept expecting to hear a demonic voice go “THAT’S HOW WE DID IT IN MY MOVIE! YA’LL AIN’T NOTHIN’ BUT A BUNCH OF COPYCATS AND COPYCATS BURN IN HELL!!” Don’t even get me started on the two priests. They’re acting outside the laws of the Vatican and performing exorcisms on their own, sort of like Dirty Harry‘s with holy water and crosses. Father Damien and Father Karras would have kicked their asses and sent the demons back to hell without batting an eye. Then there is the biggest faux pas of them all; they made the entire thing in the form of a pseudo-documentary ‘found footage’ style film. Ho fucking hum. If you want to be scared, watch the Exorcist. You’re just going to laugh at The Devil Inside.
NO TRIVIA AVAILABLE FOR THIS FILM
0 out of 4 BLOOD DROPS
- New in Theatres – January 06, 2012 (surlygurls.net)
- The Devil Inside: The Devil didn’t do it – Toronto Star (thestar.com)
- Review: ‘The Devil Inside’ just possesses your money (abclocal.go.com)
- Friday Flicks: Is This the Worst Week of Movie Releases of the Year? (newsfeed.time.com)
ROSEMARY’S BABY-United States-1968
Directed by Roman Polanski
Screenplay by Roman Polanski
Based on the novel by Ira Levin
I think I’ve watched Rosemary’s Baby maybe three times since its release in 1968. I was six years old back then, and my parents still had a grip on the things that would shape my impressionable mind. They weren’t about to let me watch a wholly adult (in the non-pornographic sense of the word) film about a young woman who gives birth to the devil’s child. I believe I was maybe 15 when I saw the film for the first time. To be honest, I wasn’t impressed. That can be easily explained, though. At fifteen I had not yet learned that the unseen is scarier than what can be seen. I was hoping for blood, gore and scary monsters and Rosemary’s Baby gives us none of that. Watching it later on life I realize that it is a brilliantly written, directed and acted film that deserves the classic status that has been bestowed upon it in the years since its release. Despite his notoriety outside the cinema, one cannot deny that Roman Polanski has crafted a motion picture that works not only as a horror film, but as an engaging and wholly thrilling drama also. Mia Farrow is perfectly cast as Rosemary Woodhouse, the young woman for who the devil comes a-courting. The rest of the cast, led by a brilliant Ruth Gordon in her Oscar-winning role as Minnie Castavet, give performances befitting of their immense talents. Watching Rosemary’s Baby once again, I realize after all these years that subtlety can be a very scary thing. I made my way through Paranormal Activity 1, 2 and 3, The Blair Witch Project and The Last Exorcism and came back full circle to this film that wrote the book on subtle horror.
- The 5 Most Stylish Scenes In Horror Movies (thegloss.com)
EVIL DEAD II: DEAD BY DAWN-United States-1987
For all intents and purposes Evil Dead II is a direct remake of the original The Evil Dead. The story is the same, the setting is the same and it even features Bruce Campbell as Ash in a repeat performance. In fact, I even considered posting the same review from the first film. So what’s the big idea about this film? Why does it stand out against the original which is a great film in the first place? Well, that is what I am here to tell you.
Do you remember I said that the first Evil Dead was like a forest fire and that if you get in its way you’ll be left trampled underfoot and burned to a crisp? Well, it’s not like that at all with Evil Dead II. It’s more like there are two forest fires, one on your left and one on your right and they are coming at you with all the speed and flame that they can muster. You run straight ahead but there’s a train coming. You turn around to run the other way and BEEP! HONK! you get SPLATTERED by a semi! Yeah, that’s why Evil Dead II is even better than the first.
Oh, yeah, one more thing. It’s got Bruce Campbell in it and he’s got a chainsaw for a hand. Groovy, hail to the king, baby. Hail to the King.
- Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell gear up for ‘Evil Dead’ remake (insidemovies.ew.com)
- Drag Me to Hell (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- The Evil Dead (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Sam Raimi to remake The Evil Dead (independent.co.uk)
- Bruce Campbell Joins Twitter and Confirms the ‘Evil Dead’ Remake (moviefone.com)
THE EVIL DEAD-United States-1981
Written and Directed by Sam Raimi
The very first word that comes to my mind regarding Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead is masterpiece. Stephen King described it as ‘the most ferociously original horror film of the year’ at the time of its release and nothing could be closer to the truth about this movie. There is ferocity to this film that a hundred other horror films could only have wet dreams about. It starts off slow and picks up speed like a forest fire. Get in its way and you will be burned to a crisp and trampled underfoot and left in a pool of your own boiling blood and gore.
The Evil Dead possesses one of the most threadbare plots that I have ever seen in a film. Five friends venture to a remote cabin where they find The Book of the Dead and a tape recording of demonic incantations. They read the book and play the tapes and all hell breaks loose. One by one they are all taken over by flesh possessing demons. All but Ash, that is; he’s the final girl of the film. He’s the one who has all the fun chopping off limbs, decapitating, poking his thumbs into eyeballs and listening as his now demonic girlfriend chants ‘We’re gonna get you’ over and over and over again. It seems the only way you can beat these evil dead baddies is through total bodily dismemberment. Oh, what a joy!
I watch The Evil Dead at least twice a year. It helps to remind me just what a horror film should be made up. Three parts fun, three parts fear and three parts blood and gore with a simple uncluttered plot. If you haven’t seen it, what the hell are you waiting for, a written invitation? Geez!
- 25 Things You May Not Know About ‘The Evil Dead’ (moviefone.com)
- Bruce Campbell Talks Evil Dead Remake (dreadcentral.com)
- Bruce Campbell Says That Ash is NOT in ‘The Evil Dead’ Remake (moviefone.com)
- Drag Me to Hell (jmountswritteninblood.com)
If you watch a horror film it means one thing; that deep down you want to be scared. You want that fear to creep into your body, those cold chills running down your spine. But the more and more you watch the more jaded you become and the more you take that fear for granted. That’s the way I’d become. Every horror film I watched drew me farther away from the very reason I love them so much to begin with. I want to be scared. I want to feel like I’m being watched in an empty room. I want to tuck the covers tight and keep my feet under them at all times. I want to check under the bed for monsters and pray that I find none. That kind of horror film hasn’t happened for me in so long that I was afraid it would never happen again. But tonight I saw a horror film that made me feel that old familiar feeling of fear. The film is Insidious and it’s directed by James Wan and written by Leigh Whannell, the creators of the original Saw.
Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne star as the parents of a young boy who suffers a fall and slips into a coma. There’s no medical explanation and pretty soon we learn there is no need for one. Something malevolent wants this child and will stop at nothing to have him. His mother and father enlist the help of a woman and her crew who specialize in unexplained phenomena and the paranormal. She tells them that their son is a traveler in the astral world. Because he thinks he is merely asleep he is unafraid and becomes trapped there. This leaves his body open for possession by the dead and by demons, especially a hideous red faced being hell bent on taking the child’s body for his own. Can the parents save their child, or is he lost to them forever?
There were a few times in the film that I thought they went to the well too many times. I began to feel that they used the red faced demon as shock value way too often. But then I realized that Wan and Whannell are playing on our oldest fears. When you were a child, how was the devil depicted to you? He was red faced with horns, a pointy tail and a pitchfork. Wan’s demon brings back those old memories in a flood of fear and reminiscence. Insidious never relies on gore as a scare tactic and nor does it have to. While it does borrow from films such as The Exorcist, Poltergeist and of course the more recent Paranormal Activity it never feels like a copycat.
It may be too soon to call Insidious a masterpiece; so I’ll pay tribute to it in a more traditional way. I’m going to check under the bed and keep my feet tucked in.
THE GRAVES-United States-2009
Written and Directed by Brian Pulido
I realized something a while back while I was writing a review for the film BTK for Arcanum Axiom magazine.What I realized is that it’s easier to write a scathing review than it is to write a glowing review. Case in point, The Graves. The film is written and directed by Brian Pulido. If the name doesn’t sound familiar to you think Evil Ernie and Lady Death. Both are comic book characters and Pulido is their creator. So, now he has turned his attention to directing and the kindest thing I can say is that for a director he makes a good comic book creator. Don’t give up your day job, Brian.
The Graves are Megan and Abby, two sisters on their last hurrah before Megan goes to New York City to work in marketing. The two are traveling through Arizona and decide to stop at a tourist attraction called the Skull City Mine. A tourist trap is more like it. The town just outside the mine worships this demon that haunts the mine shaft and have been killing travelers for years in order to feed the thing. Will Megan and Abby survive? Or will the demon get their souls for all eternity?
This movie has every stupid cliche’ ever found within the confines of a horror film. If you’ve ever watched a horror movie and yelled at the screen over some stupid thing some dumbass has done or is going to do then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Oh, and let’s talk about the acting of the two female leads, Clare Grant and Jillian Murray. Toward the end of the film the two show a small bit of talent. However, for the most part I found my self thinking “It sure is a good thing those two have pretty faces and nice bodies. At least they have something to fall back on.” Tony Todd and Bill Moseley are both good, but neither one looks like they’re enjoying themselves. The bottom line is that this film sucks worse than a Tommy Tammisimo commercial in The Sixth Sense.
Yeah, you know, it is so much easier to trash a bad film.