Category Archives: Serial Killers

Cabin in the Woods (R: 2012)

Cabin in the Woods (R: 2012)

Cabin in the Woods ~ (Rated R: 2012) * Director: Drew Goddard. * Written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard. * Starring: Kristen Connolly as Dana; Chris Hemsworth as Curt; Anna Hutchison as Jules; Fran Kranz as Marty; Jesse Williams as Holden; Richard Jenkins as Sitterson; Bradley Whitford as Hadley; Brian White as Truman and many others.

Within the last several years Hollywood and the film industry has been evolving and expanding the classical monster tale, as we watched through the ages meandering from Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Werewolf, and Count Dracula towards a whole different species of Werewolves, vampires, and zombies. Then came the serial killers obsessed with pain, torture, maiming, and realistic grotesque murder sprees self styled after Ted Bundy, Fred West, or Jeffrey Dalmer only to exaggerate to supernatural tales of Halloween, Friday the 13th, and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Now a new sense of horror, going back to supernatural beliefs on Witches, Druids, Spirits, and creatures from the races of Darker Faeries come crawling out from their sidhe with vicious mermaids and mer-men, leprechauns, gremlins, goblins, orcs, giants, and titans. The Old God/desses are being brought back to life. What one would imagine would be a typical hack n’ slash film by the title of “Cabin in the Woods” turned to a conspiracy theorie, Dark ancient Deities tale of human sacrifice at a high corporate level ploy to satiate the “ancient ones”. None other than a tale weaved by Buffy’s Joss Whedon to give that twisted plot some fantastical depth. These five friends go on vacation to a remote cabin in the woods, only to find them trapped and manipulated in a pseudo-realm where they are lined up to voluntarily sacrifice themselves to the dark spirits.

The five college-aged kids head off to a friend’s cabin in the woods and lose all communication with the outside world. During “party time” and unwinding, the cellar door mysteriously flips open, only to involved a truth or “dare” to investigate the darkness. Within is a treasure trove of artifacts, each with a secret and a beast to unleash. Meanwhile they are monitored by a high tech secret lab where the white coats bet on which creature they will face – Pinhead, the Mer-man, flesh eating zombies, a ghoul, or a prehistoric monster of dinosaur proportions. Dana reads from the diary of an imbred hillybilly family thereby awakening the now family of deadly murderous zombies. But this is not the only laboratory experiment of what supernatural creatures will be unleashed, as the lab coats are monitoring similar setups from around the world, hopeful of a successful stint with the cabin. As each of the college kids get knocked off, the ploy backfires as the “virgin” saved for the last, teamed up with the brainy pot-head discover the conspiracy and find their way down into depths uncovering an ancient temple lair holding back the ancient Titans from destroying the Earth – satiated by an annual sacrifice that was planned. None of the scenarios work out for the guardians and literally “all hell breaks loose” as magical and supernatural beings, creatures, and monsters look at the lab coats and armed forces as a smorgasboard brunch. The Director of the agency, played by Sigourney Weaver, tells them the truth that the ritual involving sacrifice of the Whore (Jules), the Athlete (Curt), the Scholar (Holden), the Fool (Marty), and the Virgin (Dana) was to appease the “Ancient Ones” who lived beneath the facility. They had to die in archetypical order until the virgin remained. Werewolves, mer-creatures, unicorns, ghouls, zombies, and a giant serpent take their wraith. The Ancient ones rise to destroy the facility and the cabin. While an element of “kitch” and whacky elements loomed over the film, the special effects and deep mythical supernatural plot humored and entertained me. [Rating:4] Rating of four stars out of five. ~ Reviewed by Leaf McGowan.

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The Hitcher (R: 2007)

The Hitcher
(2007 – R)

  Directed by Dave Meyers; Starring: Sean Bean …. John Ryder; Sophia Bush …. Grace Andrews; Zachary Knighton …. Jim Halsey; Neal McDonough …. Lieutenant Esteridge; Kyle Davis …. Buford’s Store Clerk; Skip O’Brien …. Harlan Bremmer, Sr.; Travis Schuldt …. Harlan Bremmer, Jr., and many more.

The remake of the 1986 cult thriller – but the tables have turned, instead of the boy being the target, this time it’s the girl. Many of the same re-made terrifying scenes that made the first film such an impact was brought to life with the newest cinematography. This time, a young couple heads cross-country for Spring Break only to somehow get coerced in giving a stranger a lift to the next town. What appears to be a good samaritan move, turns to bloody hell as the hitcher is a military ranger-like serial killer who is out to frame them for the mass deaths and to terrorize them in as many ways he could count possible. It doesn’t compare to the first movie in my opinion, but definitely a good see. Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5.

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (R:2007)

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (R: 2007)
Johnny Depp .. Sweeney Todd, Helena Bonham Carter … Mrs. Lovett, Alan Rickman … Judge Turpin, Timothy Spall … Beadle Bamford, Sacha Baron Cohen … Signor Adolfo Pirelli, Jamie Campbell Bower … Anthony Hope, Laura Michelle Kelly … Lucy / Beggar Woman, Jayne Wisener … Johanna, Ed Sanders … Toby, and many more.

Set in London, in dark Victorian England, the story of Sweeney Todd is brought to the screen by noneother, but the fabulous artist Tim Burton. With his favorite actor of choice, Johnny Depp, plays the wrongly imprisoned barber who sets out for revenge on the judge who imprisoned him. A tragic love story where lovers are separated, by greed and lust, and unspeakable evil. Returning he teams up with a cannibal, and off they are set to give mankind what they feel they deserve. A clean shave and a meat pie. Based on the story and the Broadway musical, this film is stunning with panoramic talent, excellent cinematography, and stunning visuals. Acting was excellent as well. I’m not the largest fan of musicals, but this one was enchanting. Rated 5 stars out of 5.


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The Hills Run Red (R: 2009)

The Hills Run Red (R: 2009)
Director: Dave Parker. Starring: Sophie Monk, William Sadler, Tad Hilgenbrink, and many more. A most disturbing horror film was made ages ago and a few horror fans stumble upon its trailer and are dying to see it. However, its rumored that the film has been destroyed. They track down the director’s only living daughter, a stripper who has lost herself in a world of drug addiction. The horror fans take her on an adventure back to her childhood grounds to find the film – but little do they know that its still being filmed and they have now become the most recent stars. They find dementia, incest, and the disturbing macabre. Definitely typical hack-n-slash flick. Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.

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Trick r’ Treat (R: 2008)

Trick r Treat (R: 2008)
Director:Michael Dougherty. Starring: Dylan Baker … Steven; Rochelle Aytes … Maria; Quinn Lord … Sam / Peeping Tommy; Lauren Lee Smith … Danielle; Moneca Delain … Janet; Tahmoh Penikett … Henry; and many more. The movie is a single story of 4 interwoven tales … sorority-like girls from the big city on prey in the small town for cute boys they just want to gobble up during a bonfire party where things are not what they appear and transformations take place as well as ghastly flesh tearing horror; a couple returns from the city halloween fest to bicker about how the woman doesn’t like Halloween and flicks out a jack-o-lantern, cursing her existence into a ghastly death by some hidden creature of the night; a kid who kicks over jack-o-lanterns doesn’t check his candy and is poisoned and gets turned into a jack-o-lantern by the town’s school principal; pranking kids try to scare a local ‘special’ girl with tales about the Halloween bus massacre and meet an untimely death; A bitter old man meets revenge from spirits of the past to get his; and all along a pumpkin headed midget is somehow behind it all. Classic. Great plot and funny film. Definitely abide by the rules of Halloween or you’ll get yours. Rated 4.5 stars out of 5.

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Dexter: Seasons 1-3 (NR: Showtime, 2006-2010)

Dexter: Seasons 1-3

* NR/Showtime: 2006-2010 * * Starring/Cast/Staff: Michael C. Hall … Dexter Morgan (48 episodes, 2006-2009); Julie Benz … Rita Bennett / … (48 episodes, 2006-2009); Jennifer Carpenter … Debra Morgan (48 episodes, 2006-2009); Lauren Vélez … Lt. Maria Laguerta (48 episodes, 2006-2009); David Zayas … Angel Batista / … (48 episodes, 2006-2009); James Remar … Harry Morgan / … (48 episodes, 2006-2009); C.S. Lee … Vince Masuka (47 episodes, 2006-2009); Christina Robinson … Astor Bennett / … (43 episodes, 2006-2009); Preston Bailey … Cody Bennett / … (32 episodes, 2007-2009); Erik King … Sergeant James Doakes (24 episodes, 2006-2007); Desmond Harrington … Joey Quinn / … (24 episodes, 2008-2009); Geoff Pierson … Captain Tom Matthews (20 episodes, 2006-2009); and many more.

A great series on Showtime about a serial killer named “Dexter Morgan” played by Michael C. hall who works for the Miami Metro Police Department as a blood splatter analyst, utilizing his job to hid his uncontrollable addiction to gruesomely kill his victims he believes need to die. The series is based on Jeff Lindsay’s novel series “Darkly Dreaming Dexter”. The Fourth and Fifth season are in the works. The show follows the life of Dexter, day to day, as he goes from work, struggles with his internal demons, carries on relationships, and seeks to lash out his addiction to find the heartbeat of life in killing his victims. Dexter was a young boy who was adopted by a Miami cop named Harry Morgan from a blood bath murder scene of his mom. Harry, knowing Dexter would be changed from the incident for life, nurtured the murderous thirst in his son harnessing it to kill only those who deserve it – other killers who have escaped the legal system or were never suspects in the first place. He was taught by his father how to hide the evidence and to get away with the crimes while holding up a facade of normalcy. Slowly Dexter unravels the mystery of his family, his mother’s murder, and his psychotic father. Dexter learns to fake normal emotions which leads him into a torrid love affair with Rita. Fine to Dexter, his relationship with Rita goes slow, as she is slowly healing from past rape and abuse damages from her former husband, who is later released, and becomes ravelled up in Dexter’s madness. Through Dexter’s crazy life, working as a police scientist, he helps unravel the case of notorious murderers, the first of which is the “Ice Truck Killer” who turns out to be of his blood relations that his adoptive sister Debra gets involved with. Dexter continues to play normal, but police Sargeant James Doakes suspects something is wrong with Dexter which spirals him down to become a victim of Dexter’s insanity. As Dexter unravels his past he has to come to terms with his future. He kills his brother and pursues a deeper relationship with Rita. The Madness continues in Season 2 when Rita gives Dexter the ultimatum of joining Narcotics Anomynous thinking Dexter’s addictions is drugs rather than killing. Through the sessions, Dexter finds confidence in another addict, a con artist named Lila who becomes Dexter’s sponsor and mistress. Dexter’s murderous remains become found and he strives to frame someone else for his murders as Dexter becomes known as the “Bay Harbour Butcher” a name Dexter abhorrs. Now that Dexter has Rita’s ex-husband permanently out of his way, his love affair with Lila is discovered, and Rita dumps Dexter. As Dexter and Rita patch things up, Lila is outcasted, which drives her madly insane – out to get Rita and her children until she starts to discover Dexter’s real addiction is not recovery from drugs. Lila saves the day from getting Dexter discovered as the murderer, and joins Dexter’s list of people to “off”. In Season 3, Rita discovers she is pregnant with Dexter’s child. They decide to get married and have the baby. Dexter becomes allied with a district attorney who also has a thirst for blood, murder, and vengeance. Teaching Miguel Prado how to kill, Dexter quickly resents having told his darkly secret and struggles to erase his mistake. While struggling to hide his urges from Rita, trying desperately to be normal, Dexter is whirlwinded into a world a cloak and dagger as him and Miguel go on a killing spree until Miguel doesn’t listen to Dexter and runs astray risking everything. Dexter cleans up his “mistake”. This leads Dexter to become a victim of the infamous “Skinner” killer who he barely escapes from before walking down the aisle with Rita. Interesting enough, this series has become quite controversial through the conservative world because it has become blamed for making murder attractive, killing people o.k. and for influencing the youth. There has been a few missing person cases that have been linked to the series as having influenced murders in real life. In December of 2008, filmmaker Mark Twitchell in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada was charged with murder of 38 year old John Altinger whose body is still missing. He filmed footage of the “House of Cards” a horror-romance that is similar to Dexter’s clandestine murders, where he allegedly snuffed Altinger. The Detective on the case was quoted to have said “We have alot of information to suggest he definitely idolizes Dexter”. Twitchell also had apparently created a series of facebook statuses where he suggest that he had alot in common with Dexter Morgan. He has been released even though still suspect for the murder. In November of 2009, Seventeen year old Andrew Conley was arrested in Rising Sun, Indiana after killing his 10 year old brother Conner. Andrew told investigators that he identified with the character “Dexter”. The series is addicting and compelling, hard to walk away from, and quite captivating. Very enjoyable and thought provoking. Rating : 4.5 stars out of 5.

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