Archive for Halloween

ALL ABOARD!

Posted in Zombie with tags , , , , , on October 23, 2017 by dtrain1008

busan_poster

Train to Busan

You guys… it’s EIGHT DAYS until the witching hour. That means it’s time to carve those pumpkins, get your candy situation together, and finish up those costume ideas. Oh, and of course, watch those scary movies. Welcome once again to the Unholy Cathedral, your source for scares. I recently went on a trip to Vegas with some friends, and I figured a 4-hour flight was a perfect opportunity to check out a scary movie. I’d heard a lot of positive things about Train to Busan, a Korean zombie movie (that’s currently streaming on Netflix). Admittedly, I’m not normally into foreign flicks. I think a lot of that is just because they don’t really hit my radar. But this one kept popping up, so I figured I’d give it a shot. And I’ll concede this.. after this one, I might have to broaden my scope for horror flicks. Anyway, let’s get down to business, and check out this Korean import.

Train to Busan is the story of a separated father, Yoo Gong, and his young daughter. He’s consumed by work and wealth. She’s just looking for a loving parent. So he agrees to take her on a train to see her mother. They board the train with a solemn air between them. However, as the train doors close, another girl boards the train, unbeknownst to the conductor. A very sick girl. And as the train departs, there is a scene of chaos at the train station… This is going to be a wild, wild ride.

All Aboard! We’re going in for A Closer Look.

Villain: ZOMBIES. ZOMBIES EVERYWHERE.

How Do I Stop Them?: These are some baaad zombies. In the sense that you’re in real trouble, should this outbreak happen. These things are really fast, and really bitey. But you know what to do. Destroy the brain.

Lessons Learned: Well… the big lesson here is, don’t be a dick. Especially when you’re facing hordes of zombs. You need all the help you can get. But I’d say these Koreans really do a pretty good job fighting for their lives, given the circumstances.

Who Do I Watch With?: This movie is intense. So grab a good friend and a pizza, and enjoy this one. Make sure they’re okay with subtitles though.

Movie Trivia: Sohee, who plays the character Jin-hee, is an ex member of the famous K-POP group Wonder Girls. And if you’re not down with Wonder Girls, you’re clearly not up to speed with Korean Pop, loser. Seriously though, this movie is the 6th-highest grossing domestic film of all time in South Korea. Certainly better than their northern counterparts can produce!

Rating the Flick

Villain: 10/10. These might be the most intense zombies I’ve seen. Really really cool stuff. They’re simple in that they’re not the mostly-decayed farce that Walking Dead and others give us. Rather than trying to scare us with makeup, the director here instead scares us with really fast, aggressive zombies. It’s refreshing to see a well-done zomb.

Scare Factor: 6/10. The director here seems to make a deliberate choice not to go after the cheap jump scares, which I can appreciate. It’s always an in-your-face, heart-pounding scene. And I dig it.

Gore Rating: Moderately Bloody Machete (3/5)

3_5_machete

For being an intense zombie movie, I actually thought the gore was a little lacking here. We don’t really get the gut-ripping, flesh-eating goodness that one expects in a movie like this.  A little unfortunate, but it’s not enough to bring this movie down.

Overall Rating: 4/5 Ozzys

ozzy

This really is the Crazy Train. A really strong movie. I’d say this is definitely in my top 3 zombie movies (28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead). If you don’t mind subtitles, and you’re into zombie movies, this is a great one. I also read that this is the director’s first live-action movie, having done some animated films prior to this. And it’s a pretty strong debut, for sure. So there you have it. If you’re looking for something different, maybe give Train to Busan a spin. You likely won’t regret it.

Okay! I’m catching up on movies, and I still have one banked, so be on the lookout for that sometime this week. What’s everyone doing for Halloween? Is there anything extra spooky that I should know about? Any clever costume ideas that you’ve seen this year? Feel free to post in the comments, or tweet at me @UnholyCathedral! Happy haunting!

Until next time, brush your teeth.

-Dvo

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Night Terrors, or Lack Thereof

Posted in Other with tags , , , on September 30, 2017 by dtrain1008

it_comes_at_night_poster It Comes At Night

Alert! Alert! Two blog posts in as many weeks, and it’s not even October yet. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come. Welcome back, friends, followers, newcomers, and Deadites, to the Unholy Cathedral. Your source for not-often, mediocre horror reviews. So here’s my story from earlier this week. It was Tuesday evening, and I had a decision to make. Do I… a) Go see It again, because it’s so good, or b) see Mother!, which was getting some mixed reviews, to say the least? After debating for about a half hour, I realized I was running late, so rather than going out, I opted for choice c) rent a movie. I know.. my indecisiveness knows no bounds. But the good news for you is, you’re still getting an Unholy Review.

It Comes At Night was a movie that was pretty strong on my radar when it was in theaters, but I just never got around to seeing it. The trailer was cryptic enough, so as not to really give away much of anything. There’s a family in a rustic house, presumably isolated, and it seemed like something was trying to get in. And, for some reason they’re wearing gas masks. But it looked like a movie with potential to be really creepy, so it’s been on the “to do” list for a while. So I gave it a spin, and, well… …. …. it was weird. Let’s get into this thing.

It Comes At Night is the story of a family just trying to survive. In a post-apocalyptic world, this family is basically sent back to frontier times, living in a house deep in the woods. The grandfather of the family recently succumbed to a highly-contagious disease that presumably was the cause of humanity’s end, so the rest of the family is just trying to live out their days without getting sick. But one day, they’re faced with a new threat.. an outsider who stumbles upon their home. He seems honest enough, but trust is not something given lightly in this world. Only one thing to do… panic.

Put on your gas masks, we’re going to get down with the sickness and take A Closer Look

Villain: Hmm… this is a tough one. I think you could go a lot of ways here, so let’s just completely make 100% baseless assumptions about the disease that’s wiping out humanity. The villain is the evil corporations who couldn’t spare their beloved profit margins, thereby proliferating fossil fuel usage and poisoning our natural resources, resulting in a cataclysmic plague that killed most of the world’s population. Going with it. Disclaimer: This blog has no political affiliations, and this is a joke. Don’t get butthurt, kids.

How Do I Stop It?: Well, since I couldn’t decide on a villain, I definitely can’t decide on how to stop it. Just hope that we don’t see a cataclysmic plague any time soon.

Lessons Learned: I think this movie is a case of bad things happening to good people. Kudos to everyone for trying to make the most of their situation, and overall I think they handle it pretty well for the most part. Biggest lesson is probably this: once the apocalypse happens, there are no new friends. You’re on your own out there folks.

Who Do I Watch With?: If I’m being completely honest, if you’re thinking about watching this movie, I’d consider looking for a different one. Haha. But if you do, I’d watch with someone who won’t be mad at you for making them watch a weird (and not in a good way) movie.

Movie Trivia: I’ll say it this way… the quality of the movie trivia this time matches the quality of the movie. That should be a spoiler for you. But here’s the best I found: The painting shown at the beginning of the movie is entitled “The Triumph of Death.”

Rating the Flick

Villain: 0/10. So here’s the thing. I’ll compare this to The Walking Dead, since there’s some similarities there. It’s the apocalypse, everyone is kind of fending for themselves, and it’s tough to say who is “good” and who is “bad.” Let the record state, I think that show has become a horror dumpster fire. But that’s beside the point. In any case, there wasn’t a stand-out villain, and the conflict in this movie was lacking at best, so this is a well-deserved goose egg.

Scare Factor: 4/10. There’s a few parts that are suspenseful, and a little uneasy. Also, there are some strange dream sequences in this movie. Honestly, if it were not for those dream sequences, I don’t think this movie would even come close to being considered for this blog. Regardless, it’s not that scary, other than a few select scenes.

Gore Rating: Slightly Bloody Machete (2/5)

2_5_machete

Again, if not for the dream sequences, this probably wouldn’t deserve any rating whatsoever, but there are a few moments of blood throughout, so it’s not a clean blade.

Overall Rating: 1/5 Riddler Question Marks

question_marks

Because, seriously… what the hell is this movie? Throughout the movie I was trying to figure out the meaning of the dream sequences. There’s also a few very mysterious parts of the movie that seem like they’re going to become major parts of the plot… only to go nowhere at all. And then there’s that ending. What… why… UGH. This movie was frustrating. I very nearly gave it a zero, but I’m giving it a VERY slight benefit of a doubt. I think the idea was there, and I think the director wanted us to make our own interpretations. But this feels like more of a stinker than a thinker. And as I told a friend at work the next day… For a movie that’s titled It Comes At Night, there really aren’t many things that come at night. Or in the daytime, for that matter. Here’s to hoping that some of the movies this season live up to expectations better than this one.

That’ll wrap up this review of It Comes At Night. So today is the last day of September, which means that tomorrow a lot of tv channels are starting their Halloween programming. Keep your eyes peeled for plenty of spooky shows and movies on the air waves. I have to admit, a guilty pleasure of mine is Halloween Wars on Food network, where they have teams of confectioners & pumpking carvers making insanely-detailed scenes out of cake & candy. But if there’s anything you want to recommend, leave it in the comments!

Until next time, go see It

-Dvo

Let’s Go Floating

Posted in Clown, Strange Creature with tags , , , , , , on September 11, 2017 by dtrain1008

It_Poster

It

Kill! Me? Oh you are priceless, brat! I am eternal, child. I am the eater of worlds, and of children. And you are next!” Ah yes, the soothing words of our most feared clown foe still drive terror into today’s generation, and the Unholy Cathedral is opening its doors for the modern take on Stephen King’s classic. To those of you new to the blog, welcome. And to my Deadites, welcome back! Fall is creeeeeping up on us, and that means the scares and frights are abound. I’m declaring it. It’s officially Halloween season! And what better way to kick it off with the movie that just had the most successful opening weekend for a horror movie in history!

When I think back, it’s probably been 15 years since I’ve seen the original It, and honestly I only remembered the key points. And that’s a bit of a travesty, given Stephen King’s propensity toward details and character development. Pennywise is one of those characters that’s recognized far and wide, but at the same time might still be underappreciated. And I admit, when I first saw the reveal of what the “new gen” of Pennywise would look like, I was a bit skeptical. But that was quickly thrown out the window when I saw trailers, and for the first time in a while, I was genuinely excited for a new horror movie. Then the strong reviews came, and I knew I had to see this over the weekend. So grab some popcorn, and a nice b-b-b-balloon, and let’s float right in.

In the small town of Derry, a group of outcast children are preparing for the summer. It’s been months since Bill’s younger brother Georgie disappeared, but he’s refusing to give up searching, despite the suffering it’s bringing to his parents. Beverly has troubles of her own, both at school and at home, and is in need of a safe place. But she inadvertently becomes a beacon of hope to Ben, the new kid in school. As it happens, summer brings these kids and others together, where they soon realize that the school bully isn’t the biggest of their problems… It seems like there’s something more sinister in this small town, and more and more children are disappearing…

Let’s descend into the sewers, and take A Closer Look.

Villain: Pennywise, a sewer-dwelling clown-monster-thing that’s just up to no damn good. The sewer clowns are the ones you really gotta look out for, guys. Tell your friends.

How Do I Stop It?: Weellllll here’s the thing. The good news is, this guy isn’t around too often. The bad news is, he’s a pretty tough cookie. I recommend just getting the hell out of Derry, if you do encounter this guy. At a bare minimum, keep some sharp weapons on hand. In fact, just do that anyway. All the time. Well, maybe not. You get it.

Lessons Learned: It’s hard to knock these kids for being dumb. After all, they’re kids. But holy crap, there’s a time and a place to be tough. There’s ALSO a time and place where maaaaybe you should tell your parents that there’s a kid using knives on kids at school. But overall, I’m gonna throw some props to these kids, and also give them some balls. Because they’ve got gusto. Here are the props, and the balls. Also, I really played with fire there, when I image searched “balls.” I’m calling this a win.

props             balls

Who Do I Watch With?: I’m the first to admit, normally this part of the blog is completely pointless. But this time I think I actually learned something. You see, last night I was in a PACKED theater. Normally less than ideal, but everyone was well-behaved, so it was fine. But, on the way out, I had a group of high-schoolers behind me, who I’m sure were thinking this was their chance to see the movie that their parents have said was super scary when they were younger. And I overheard them talking about it, and the general vibe was along the lines of “Ehh, it was really slow, and I was just laughing all the time.” There’s one of two lessons here.. either this movie isn’t for everyone, or teenagers just don’t appreciate good films. Or they just don’t want to admit they got scared. I guess that’s 3. Either way, leave the high schoolers at home.

Movie Trivia: Wow… normally the Trivia section on IMDB only has one or two interesting things, but there’s a LOT of cool stuff on there for this movie. I recommend checking out the full list, but only after you’ve seen it. But I think one of the first entries is my favorite:

There are some scenes where Pennywise’s eyes divert in different directions. Originally the director had intended to accomplish this with CGI, but Bill Skarsgård (the actor portraying Pennywise) demonstrated he could do it on his own. And when I read this, I couldn’t believe it. That’s messed up/really impressive.

Okay. Time to get into the deepest part of this well. Rating the Flick

Villain: 10/10. Soooo good. So good. You guys. Skarsgård freaking nails it. Every part of this character was great. From the various facades of Pennywise, to his comical, yet terrifying rendition, this is really great stuff.

Scare Factor: 5/10*** I’ll throw a disclaimer out there here. Clowns don’t really scare me too much. But even with that said, I don’t think this movie is trying to scare the life out of you. It’s just a good, creepy movie, with some decent scares along the way.

Gore Rating: Moderately Bloody Machete (3/5)

3_5_machete

When I first thought about this, I was going to go lower, but there are a few pretty graphic scenes in this flick, so consider yourself warned, if you’re squeamish.

Overall Rating: 5/5 Red Balloons

balloons

A rare perfect score, but I think this film deserves it. I’m seriously considering paying to see it again in theaters. It’s silly. It’s fun. It’s CREEPY. There’s some really dark themes explored throughout this movie, and we quickly realize that there’s more than one bad guy in Derry. With all that conflict, and a creep-ass clown on the loose, it makes for quite the tale, and I’d say this one was executed masterfully. Really strong flick, in my opinion. This might not be the reaction for everyone, but for this blogger, it hits a really high note. I strongly urge you, if you’re even considering seeing It, to see it before it leaves theaters. It’s worth the admission ticket. No pun intended.

So that’ll wrap up this review of It. I want to throw a shout-out to one of my fellow bloggers, the Lippkromancer, and his wife (the Jamekromancer? Jamityville Horror? Let’s work on this), on their new arrival! And hello to my new youngest Deadite! Years from now, he can look back at this review, and say, “Man that guy is full of beans.” But at least he’ll have it. Also, keep your eyes peeled, because this looks like it could be a strong season for horror movies. Anybody looking forward to any movies in particular? Leave a note in the comments! Also, now is the PERFECT time to recommend this blog to a friend, because you have my word… I’m going to be very active this season. And if you’re new, be sure to “Unleash Hell” on the top left, so my updates go straight to your e-mail! Let’s get some new Deadites! And go check out It, in theaters now.

Until next time, my children…

Float.

-Dvo

Does this thing still work?

Posted in Other with tags , , , , , , on October 20, 2016 by dtrain1008

horror-nights2016 Horror Nights 2016

For those keeping score at home, this IS in fact my first post of the horror season. With only 11 days to spare… Many apologies from within these torrid walls. I assume you’ve all survived without me. Let’s see if we can fix that.

The last few months have been one of the most chaotic times of my life. I went to Europe for the first time ever, spent a few unplanned days back at home, and then went to Florida to experience this year’s rendition of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios.

For my loyal followers (mad props if you’re still with me after all this time!), you know the drill. Horror Nights is the premiere Halloween event, with several haunted houses– some based on movies and/or tv shows, and others based on original content. If you recall, last year’s event was the 25th anniversary, and featured our sinister clown friend Jack. This year, Universal did a spin-off with his creepy sidekick, Chance. Here’s this year’s preview:

As you can see, we’ve got some exciting mazes. There’s mazes based on Halloween 2, The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, American Horror Story, Krampus, and The Walking Dead. In addition to those are three original content houses– Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch, Tomb of the Ancients, and Lunatics Playground 3D. My co-contributor Adam and I tackled this event for two consecutive nights, and it was a grueling marathon to say the least. But we got our share of scares… so let’s take a journey through the mazes together.

I think I’ll go through these in order of my rankings, starting with my least favorite and building up. So let’s begin with (sadly) the Icon maze this year: Lunatics Playground 3D.

Lunatics Playground is a journey into Chance’s mind. In the queue for this maze, we’re presented a video with a backstory as to what’s happening. After last year’s Carnival of Carnage, Chance was arrested and taken to an asylum. We’re forced to enter her mind in a 3D horror maze. As for the maze itself… this was easily my least favorite of the event. The whole thing didn’t really make sense. It was more silly than scary, and if you ask me, the 3D mazes need to stop.

Up next, let’s talk about The Walking Dead. It’s baaaaack. AGAIN. At this point, I’m sure I sound like a broken record, but this maze is a broken record in itself. They’ve overplayed this franchise, and this year’s maze takes highlighted scenes from all seasons of TWD. There were some kind of cool throwbacks to the early seasons, but as was the case in previous years, TWD just doesn’t deliver the scares. Here’s to hoping this is the last time we see one of these mazes.

My 7th-ranked haunt at HHN2016 is The Exorcist. I was really excited about this house going in. When we think of horror movies, The Exorcist is one of the first ones that comes to mind on many people’s lists. And this is the first time the movie has made an appearance at Horror Nights, so I expected a great maze here. The entranced was good… you walk up the cobblestone path to the house, just like the priest in the film. But as much as I built this up, the maze was only okay. There are some very cool effects used, from see-through walls, good sound effects, and a few strong scares. But the Reagan animatronics were a little too cheesy, and there were a few hallways at the beginning that were pretty uneventful. As much as I wanted to like this maze, it just didn’t live up to expectations.

Onto the #6 maze: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Another movie based on a classic horror film, and I must say, I really liked the sets in this maze. They’ve constructed the actual house in Texas where Leatherface and his demented family shred up our protagonists. And as for the scares, it’s a lot of what you’d expect. Chainsaws-a-plenty. A good haunt, but far from the top.

That brings us to my Top 5 mazes of Horror Nights 2016. Coming in at #5 is Krampus, the Christmastime scarefest. I actually haven’t seen this movie yet, but I think I’ll need to after going through this haunt. This was a lot of fun. There were a lot of silly characters (elves, teddy bears, etc) that when simply observed, look almost comedic. But combined with some intense sound effects, the smells of gingerbread, a very fun outdoor section, and some solid indoor sets, they’ve turned Krampus into a frightening attraction.

In 4th place, we arrive at Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch. This is a classic Wild West maze in a ghost town, where the residents are… well, you know. But this was a really well-themed maze. As you enter the town, a light rain falls from above. And from then on, you’re encountered by all of the former townsfolk, each of them as restless as the next. Some are screaming about the gold they’d left behind. Others are just vengeful. But all of them are creepy in their own right, and this was a solid haunt.

My #3 maze this year is American Horror Story. This is the only maze we were only able to do once, due to the INSANE lines for this thing. In any case, I’m again not really up to speed on AHS, so a lot of the references were lost on me. But even with that, this was a pretty cool maze. It was probably the longest maze of the event, with scenes from 3 different seasons of the show. The clown from the Freakshow season (or so I’m told) made a bunch of appearances throughout, and there were plenty of other creepy characters along the way. Even as someone who hasn’t watched the show, I enjoyed this maze a lot.

And now for the final 2. My runner up this year is Tomb of the Ancients.  Themed to an ancient crypt of sorts, Tomb is all about exploring a lost temple that houses creatures lost for many centuries. It’s full of hidden crypts, undead half-breeds, and wonderful sets throughout. There’s some really clever scares in here, from drop floors to really cool animatronics. There are plenty of jump scares throughout the whole trek, landing Tomb near the top of the list… which brings us to our final maze.

Halloween 2 tops off this year’s Horror Nights event for me. It’s everything you’d expect in a rather unpleasant tour through Haddonfield. A terrifying jaunt through some back yards, where Michael Myers is behind who knows which sheet. Then you head into town and into some buildings, avoiding knife attacks behind every corner. The whole maze is beautifully laid out, and it’s simply packed with Michael Myers actors. On top of that, they do a fantastic job integrating the sounds of Halloween into the maze… the shrieking strings, the subtle note sequences of suspense.. the entire maze is simply terrifying. This was the first maze we went through at the event, and it stuck with me as being my favorite the entire time. Very, very well done.

With all of that said, I’d say this year’s event as a whole was a little “down” when compared to previous years. Last year’s 25th anniversary was truly something special, and really set the bar for what Horror Nights can be. I think there were 3 mazes last year that were better than any of the mazes this year. But even in a down year such as this, HHN still reigns supreme as the best overall Halloween event, and it’s worth the trip every time.

That’ll wrap up this review of Horror Nights. I’m hoping to get back into the normal swing of things, but this is a weird year for Halloween… Where are the scary movies?! It’s been a pretty disappointing year at the Box Office. Hopefully that resolves itself soon. I am hoping to post more haunt reviews, because not including Horror Nights, I’ve been to SEVEN other haunted houses this year. So stay tuned, because hopefully there’ll be more updates coming soon.

Until then, bring out your dark side.

-Dvo

 

Maroon Peek?

Posted in Demented Human, Ghost/Demon, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 26, 2015 by dtrain1008

crimson_peak_poster

Crimson Peak

Greetings again, kiddos.  We’re LESS THAN A WEEK from the witching hour! And I’m slacking harder than ever!  Many apologies for the lack of updates this month. Let’s see if we can do better this week.  Last week, I saw the new flick currently in theaters, Crimson Peak, directed by Guillermo Del Toro.  I’m a fan of his.  Pan’s Labyrinth is very cool, and if you haven’t seen The Orphanage, I strongly recommend checking that one out this Halloween season.   But this time we’re talking about his most recent film, so let’s dive right in.

Crimson Peak is the story of a young aspiring author, Edith, who lives in New York with her father.  But when a charming aristocrat from Europe shows up in town looking for investors, she becomes smitten with him. He’s very mysterious, but has a charm to him. Nonetheless, Edith’s father clearly does not approve.  But when his sudden death leaves Edith all alone, she finds comfort in her new love, and goes back to Europe with him… only to find dark secrets in her new home.  We’re not in… New York any more.

Wipe of the blood, and let’s go in for A Closer Look.

Villain: **SPOILER ALERT** Devious siblings looking to bring a lovely lady back to their home…

How Do I Stop Them?: Well, for one don’t be completely naive. It’s very rare that two life-changing things happen at the same time, so maybe stop to consider that maybe those two things are related… Maybe this should be a lesson learned. But if you do fall victim to this, find a way to either get some help, or just get the hell out of there.

Lessons Learned: See above. This chick is dumb. Fo real.

Who Do I Watch With?: This one’s pretty tame overall A little bit of blood, but overall not too intense.  It’s got a creepy feel, and Del Toro makes a decent film, so bring a date and enjoy this one.

Movie Trivia: The house in this film was built in its entirety, and all of the parts used to make it were obtained specifically for the house.. nothing was re-used or salvaged. Also, Neither of the two leading actors were the first selections for their respective roles. The first choices were Benedict Cumberbatch and Emma Stone.

Rating the Flick

Villain: 6/10. Del Toro does a good job of keeping the sinister side of the siblings subtle.  Ultra alliteration combo achieved!  But the characters have a very good mystique about them, and Jessica Chastain delivers a very strong performance as Lucille.

Scare Factor: 5/10. It’s not a walk in the park, as there are certainly some really cool, creepy visuals throughout.  And a few “gotchas” along the way.  But in terms of truly scary, Crimson Peak doesn’t hit the mark.

Gore Rating: Slightly Bloody Machete (2/5)

2_5_machete

Like I said earlier, there’s not a ton of blood and guts here. But there is some very good use of color throughout the movie, as I’m sure you can guess, based on the film’s title.  Not much that should make you nauseous though.

Overall Rating: 3/5 Bloody Womenwomen

Because British puns! I dare say that’s one of the creepier ratings scales I’ve used, and just in time for Halloween.  Anyway, overall I enjoyed the movie.  It’s got a pretty interesting story, some very beautiful sets and costume work, a lot of really cool color schemes, and pretty strong acting all around.  Oh and did I mention the creepy spirits? Del Toro is a pretty imaginative guy, and it shows once again in Crimson Peak.  I do think it could be a little scarier, and the latest trailers made it seem like we were in for a pretty scary time.  Also, I was a tad disappointed at the ending, but it wasn’t a bad one by any stretch.  The long story short is, this is a pretty cool movie if you’re looking for a dark flick.  But if you’re looking for the scare-a-thon for Halloween week, this might not be what you’re looking for.

So that’ll wrap up this review.  I hope you’re all getting your fill of horror this season, but if not, there may still be more to come here… and there’s an #Unholy party taking place in Aurora this weekend!  The house is looking scary, and maybe I’ll put some pictures on here when it’s all said and done.

Until next time, keep the scares strong.

-Dvo

Take a Look into the Mirror…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 13, 2015 by dtrain1008

The_Broken_poster

The Broken

Well well… here we are in mid-October, and things are getting busy!  I have a lot that I should blog about, including the rest of the Florida trip, a trip to a local haunt here in Chicago, and a visit to Six Flags’ Fright Fest!  But this one is back to our roots… a nice scary movie to celebrate the Halloween season.  I kind of took a chance on this one.  I’d never heard of it before stumbling across a trailer for it a while back, and I saw Lena Headey (of Game of Thrones and The Purge fame) as the lead actress.  Throw in what looked like potential for a pretty scary flick, and I was down to party on this one.  So let’s get under the covers and take a look at this surprising film.

The Broken is the story of a young woman named Gina, who’s in a pretty good place in life. She has a new boyfriend, a loving father and brother, and works as a radiologist in London.  But one night at a dinner with her family, something strange happens.  A mirror seemingly breaks from the inside, all on its own.  Thinking nothing about it, Gina and her family move on.  But as the days pass, more mirrors are breaking, and that’s not all… her family is beginning to act strange; she’s seeing a woman who looks identical to her on the streets.  And after a terrible car accident, Gina’s life is thrown into a deep spiral where nothing seems as it is, and her closest friends don’t seem very close any more…

Not scared yet? Let’s go in for A Closer Look

Villain: Sinister reflections that escape mirrors and assume the identity of their human counterparts

How Do I Stop Them?: Very tricky one here.. these things are tricky, and are certainly up to no good. Best bet is to keep an eye out for another “you” walking the streets, and if you do see him or her, KILL THEM.

Lessons Learned: Normally this is where I rag on the protagonist for being an idiot.  And there’s certainly a joke about women drivers in this movie.  But overall, Gina gets caught up very quickly in a bad situation, and understandably panics. So I guess the lesson is just this: if shit starts going haywire, seek help fast, rather than waiting for it to go further south.

Who Do I Watch With?: Well this is certainly an R-rated movie for some sexuality.  But beyond that, this is a REALLY cool, pretty creepy movie.  Grab an adult friend who’s down for a scary movie and enjoy the ride.

Movie Trivia: IMDB is slacking on this one! The movie’s actual title is spelled The Brøken, using a broken letter from the Norwegian and Danish languages.  Also, the phones in the movie all have American rings, despite being set in London.

Rating the Flick

Villain: 10/10. I think what I like a lot about this movie is that the scariest part about the villains is that they’re just people.  But not just normal people… they’re “us.” Somehow Sean Ellis is able to take what we originally see as friendly faces, and turn those same faces into pure terror.  It’s very well done.

Scare Factor: 8/10. I definitely got creeped out a few times during this movie. There’s some really great suspense throughout, and some very creative camera shots make this a pretty disturbing film.

Gore Rating: Mildly Bloody Machete (2/5)

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It’s really not too bad in terms of gore.  There’s a moderately violent scene, but it’s not a head-turner.  If violence makes you squeamish, you should be okay to see this one.  But understand it’s not the gore that’ll get you…

Overall Rating: 4/5Creepy Mirrors

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Yep, really really liked this one. The Broken premiered at Sundance Film Festival, and also won first choice at Horrorfest 2009, and I can understand why.  This movie had just about everything you want in a good horror movie.  It’s got really creepy bad guys, great suspense, and a pretty crazy plot twist at the end.  The acting was pretty good for the most part, and as I said, some of the camera shots are just downright scary. This is an indie flick that didn’t get a lot of attention, but it’s making me want to try more of these underground movies.  Very cool stuff.  So if you’re looking for a scary movie this season and you’re able to get your hands on this one, it’s worth a spin.

That’ll wrap up this review, but again, there’s probably a bunch more to come, assuming I can get to work on decorating my house at some point! I’m playing catch-up at this point, but don’t worry… the Cathedral’s doors will be opening again soon. So stay tuned.

Until next time, take a look in the mirror.

-Dvo

HORROR NIGHTS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 30, 2015 by dtrain1008

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Florida Trip 2015: Halloween Horror Nights @ Universal Studios

Greetings one and all, and welcome back to The Unholy Cathedral.  If you’ve been keeping up, or following on Twitter, you’ve seen that we’ve been very busy lately.  The Unholy duo (and our friend Jeff) all took a trip to the deep south, to the HOTTER part of the world, for some scary happenings. Buckle in, kids, because this is going to be a big update. ***I recommend viewing this one on the actual site, since there’s some media content involved!*** Let’s get it going… This. Is. Horror Nights.

If you’re new to the blog, or if you just don’t remember, Halloween Horror Nights is the Creme de la Creme in terms of halloween events.  It’s pure adulterated terror, and it takes place at both Universal Studios parks (Orlando and Hollywood).  This year, the Orlando event is celebrating their 25th anniversary of terror, and they’re doing so in big form.  For many of the years, Halloween Horror Nights has introduced “Icons,” basically main characters around which the event for that year is centralized.  And while there have been many fan favorites, none draw the following like Jack, the demented clown.  So he’s back, as the key character for Horror Nights 25.  And I can certainly understand the appeal.  It’s a really cool character. Let’s take a look at some media, starting with a fun ad for the event.

And here’s a short vine I took at the beginning of his show at Horror Nights.

The show itself was very well put together.  Lots of pyro effects, plenty of killings (including a dude being blended to death in a human-sized blender), and some hot clown women, if there was such a thing. But enough with the introductions… let’s get into the haunts! This year featured NINE mazes… I still struggle to wrap my head around that.  Nine complete mazes in one park, and not a single one of them was bad.  So I’ll go through them in the order we hit them on the first night.

Maze 1: The Walking Dead: The Living and the Dead

We started with The Walking Dead, as that’s generally a house that draws long lines at Horror Nights.  We were able to get into the house in just a few minutes to start off the night, and it quickly brought back the realization of where we’re at. This isn’t your “mom & pop” kind of place. When you go through the mazes at Universal, you’re going through essentially a movie set.  The detail is incredible, and in terms of Walking Dead haunts, this is probably my favorite to date.  There are a lot of cool scenes from the show, including the “trough” scene at Terminus, the water-filled food run room, and even the revolving door with zombies in it.  Admittedly not the scariest haunt at HHN, but it definitely set the tone for the night.

We planned our route well, and the exit of Walking Dead emptied us out right at the exit of our next Maze…

Maze 2: The Purge

As most of you know, I’m a fan of The Purge series. But this is the first actual maze they’ve done based on the movies.  So I was intrigued to see how it would lay out.  Essentially you’re traveling through the urban setting of The Purge, with all of the bad guys from the two movies out to get you.  Where the Walking Dead was more based on the perfect sets, The Purge really dropped the hammer in terms of intensity.  There’s non-stop noise blaring in your ears, from the hard rock music, to the sounds of chainsaws, guns, and crashing objects. The maze really puts you on edge as you walk through, and really delivers in terms of pure chaos. This was a slight step up from Walking Dead I think, but the night was still young…

Maze 3: Insidious

Are you starting to see why I love this place? As a pre-cursor, we went to HHN in Hollywood 2 years ago, where the Insidious maze was one of the most terrifying mazes I’ve ever been through.  So if we weren’t kicked into high gear yet, I was thinking this might just be the one to do it. After all, they literally built the house from the movie!  By this point, the lines were starting to develop, so after about a 30-minute wait, we were in.  And this was really frustrating, the first time.  The group ahead of us kept stopping in the house, so there was really no chance for us to get scared, as we kept seeing the actors going back to their hiding places.  It’s never fun to go through a bad haunted house. But it’s even worse when the patrons ruin a good one.  Fortunately we went through again on our second night, but the Hollywood house this is not.  This version of Insidious was decent, but nowhere near the terror we experienced in California.

Maze 4: Run: Blood, Sweat, and Fears

This was our first “Non-IP (Intellectual Property)” House, essentially saying it’s not tied to any movies or shows.  Run has some parallels to the 80’s movie Running Man, in that you’re put into a game show set in a prison, where skilled assassins are trying to kill you.  And to keep the 80’s theme, they had some 80’s hard rock playing in the queue line. I liked that all of the assassins had “countries” from which they were supposed to hail, and there were some really cool characters in here.  Some really big guys dressed similar to Legion of Doom, for instance.  And also a smoking hot chick with a chainsaw.  But other than the cool characters, this one didn’t scare me too much.  Great idea on paper, but in terms of scares, this was a little lower on my list.

By this point, it was starting to get dark, and the scare zones started to get more exciting.  Here’s another vine I took while walking through one of the zones.

After getting some food, we saw the Jack show, and afterward we attempted to get a picture taken with the man himself.  As it turns out, Adam KNOWS the guy behind the mask, and got to meet him for a few brief seconds. Here’s a picture of Adam with the clown himself.

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After the show, it was back to the haunts. We headed to our next destination, and along the way we got to see one of the other Icons (The Storyteller) disposing of another poor soul…

Maze 5: Asylum in Wonderland 3D

I think my stance on 3D mazes is pretty well known, but if not, I’ll say it again. Enough.  They’re never scary.  They’re just silly.  This one is probably one of the best ones I’ve been through, as it’s themed to a demented Alice in Wonderland setting. There are some very cool costume designs in here, with some messed up fairies, a creepy mad hatter, and of course the Cheshire cat.  There are also some wildly-lit rooms that are kind of disorienting with the 3D glasses, but beyond that, the scares are just not there.  Not a terrible maze, but definitely the weakest one at Horror Nights.  After this, we needed something to bring us back down to the true fears of Horror Nights, and boy did we get it…

Maze 6: Body Collectors-Recollections

Okay.  This is another Non-IP House, which is themed to a wintery asylum, where the inhabitants aren’t exactly friendly. They’re harvesting body parts.  And they’re also ULTRA creepy looking.  I must say, in terms of entrances to the mazes, this one takes the cake.  It looks like the front of a large stone building, covered in snow from the wintery landscape.  And once we got in, Body Collectors just takes over.  This maze is just incredible.  The Collectors’ masks alone are enough to drive nightmares into you, and once you throw in the amazing execution of this maze, it’s nothing short of terrifying. Room after horrifying room of these guys jumping out of what seems like nowhere.  There’s also probably the goriest room of all of the mazes, where a girl has her spine ripped out of her back for an audience of Collectors, and you, to see.  All things said, this is one of my favorites at the event this year.  Really, really, scary stuff.  And I was able to find a decent picture of some Collectors in front of the facade of this maze, so enjoy!

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Maze 7: An American Werewolf in London

This is another one I was looking forward to.  Orlando had this maze two years ago, and it was the highest-rated maze they’d ever had, so they brought it back for the 25th Anniversary.  And American Werewolf was just plain fun.  You start in The Slaughtered Lamb pub, and slowly work your way through London where werewolves are abundantly terrorizing you, both in mid- and full transformation.  The wolves themselves are gigantic, and are really well-used to deliver the scares.  A very solid haunt, but it falls just outside my top 3.  Yes that’s a hint… these last two were something else.

Maze 8: Jack Presents 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem

Wow. Talk about a maze that only Horror Nights can pull off. This is by far the longest HHN maze I’ve ever seen.  The premise is pretty simple… Jack is back, and he’s bringing back highlights of all of the previous years’ mazes to haunt you once again.  As we were walking through this maze, Adam and I were reveling in all of the rooms that we recognized from our previous trip(s), and in one of the rooms it resulted in Adam getting the living hell scared out of him.  That was entertaining.  But it’s so well done. Obviously the rooms didn’t “transition” to a theme, as they’re all different themes.  So how did they bridge the gap? By having tons of “Jacks” jumping out at you in each of the transition areas, of course.  It’s just one terrifying homage after another, with tons of horrifying clowns flying at you in between.  For those keeping track at home, I remember seeing rooms from The Forsaken, H.R. BloodenGutz, Winter’s Night, and Nightingales: Blood Prey. If you’re interested in reading up on those, check out my last report in October 2011.  But to sum it up, this maze is by far the longest, and one of the most intense haunts I’ve been through at HHN.  They really nailed their headliner.

After that, we figured nothing could top that.  But we still had ONE MORE haunt to go…

Maze 9: Freddy vs. Jason

Is the movie a pile of crap? Perhaps. But this isn’t a direct tie-in to the movie.  This is just the scariest parts of Friday the 13th combined with the scariest parts of Nightmare on Elm Street, and then a combination of the two into the final fight. The result? This maze… blew me away.  We entered the maze into a cabin at Camp Crystal Lake. As in, a legitimate cabin that was built for the event. And as we went through the camp, the MASSIVE “Jasons” were popping out of (once again) seemingly nowhere, and delivering really well-timed scares.  But soon we found ourself on Elm Street, where we encountered the little girls with no eyes, playing jump rope and singing the Freddy song.  If ever there was a creepier thing in a haunt, I can’t think of it. From there, we went into the house from Nightmare, and it was Freddy’s turn to terrorize us.  Again, strong scares. As we continued through the end, the two films came together into the Freddy vs. Jason fight scenes, but they were still continuing to scare us the whole time.  I think the size of the Jason characters really made them that much scarier, but the effect was certain. It scared the crap out of me.  We also got a chance to encounter Jason on the streets, and I got an Unholy Selfie with the guy himself.

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I know, it’s a marathon.  And let me just say, walking around Universal for 2 days, as well as Busch Gardens for another day, was quite the marathon in itself.  By Saturday night, we were all dead tired.  Apologies for the pun.  So with that said, there’s still a LOT of stuff I haven’t covered, including our ridiculous day at some small carnie-ish parks, as well as our trip to Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens.  That’ll come at a later date.  But I’m going to cap this off with my personal ranking of the HHN haunts, from worst to first.  Keep in mind that basically all of these haunts were a blast, but a few stand-outs really stole the show.  So here we go.

9: Asylum in Wonderland 3D

8: Run: Blood, Sweat, and Fears

7: The Walking Dead: The Living and the Dead

6: The Purge

5: Insidious

4: An American Werewolf in London

3: Body Collectors – Recollection

2: Jack Presents: 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem

1: Freddy vs. Jason

The top 3 could honestly go any way for me, but that’s what I was thinking at the event, so I’m sticking with it.  I think Monsters and Mayhem is probably the most detailed maze there, and it was most of my friends’ favorite haunt.  But for me, Freddy vs. Jason had incredible sets, and really just scared the crap out of me both times I went through, so I gave it the edge.  But you can’t go wrong in either of those mazes, nor in Body Collectors. Truly fantastic mazes all around.

So that’s going to end this update… as I said, more to come from this trip! But Halloween Horror Nights proved to me once again that it’s the premier Halloween party. There’s really nothing like it in terms of quality haunts and just a complete Halloween Park.  Stay tuned for the update on Busch Gardens, as well as some horror movies. October starts tomorrow, kids! Let the haunting season begin… >:)

One final shout-out to my friends who joined on this journey to hell and back.. Thanks for the good times Jeff and Adam!

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Until next time, rest those legs.

-Dvo