Don’t Listen

Vampire Owl: We, vampires don’t really need to listen because we know.

Vampire Bat: Still, we don’t know everything.

Vampire Owl: I know almost everything, and I am sure about that.

Vampire Bat: Your certainty of knowledge only creates doubts.

Vampire Owl: My doubts are the results of me knowing, and nothing more.

Vampire Bat: You should at least listen to Uncle Dracula.

Vampire Owl: Uncle Dracula is no longer a proper source of knowledge.

Vampire Bat: I feel that you are thinking about starting a revolution.

Vampire Owl: Nonsense. I am not a revolutionary. I am beyond that.

Vampire Bat: Okay, let us see how far you can take that.

[Gets a vanilla chake and three glasses of blackcurrant shake].

What is the movie about? :: Daniel (Rodolfo Sancho) and Sara (Belen Fabra) moves into a new house with their son Eric (Lucas Blas), and hopes that they would have a happy time there, as it is a big house in the beautiful countryside. But things don’t turn out to be that good as they had expected. In this old house in a rural setting, they are not longer happy. Daniel and Sara still plans to restore and sell the house, and they don’t care much about the voices which Erice talks about, and the fact that he cannot sleep much either. Soon, a psychiatrist who comes to help Eric dies, seemingly in the same way as Eric was drawing. Eric also had the feeling that the voices were making him draw things. The boy continues to make problems at the school too, and keeps waking up at night, screaming aloud. The problems continue in the house with further weird occurrences, and soon Eric is found dead in a swimming pool just outside the house on a strange night. This separates the two who can no longer handle the pain of losing the child.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Sara is not able to handle it anymore and moves to her parents’ place, but Daniel decides to stay in the house and renovate it to sell it some day. Sara hopes that he will leave the house with terrible memories and follow her back to the city soon enough. That night, when he records a voice message and sends it to Sara, there are many voices in it. Right in there, he hears the voice of Eric, asking for his help. The same frightens him and he meets a supernatural investigator specialized in electronic voice with a paranormal touch. He is the one who is supposed to have gone through so many of similar paranormal events and have written books related to the same. Even though he is reluctant to believe the depressed father in the beginning, he finally decides to have a look, and travels to the place with his daughter, hoping to find something. Everything seems normal from a distance, but as they go inside, there are a few things that need to be taken care of.

The defence of Don’t Listen :: The atmosphere is well created for the movie, with everything happening in a house in the middle of nowhere. This is a house with a past, and it is located perfectly away from civilization for the people other world to make an appearance. Visually, it has a fine score, and it also scores well with the sound effects that asserts the supernatural presence strongly. The movie had also got into action quite early. It does have its scares, and there are some effective ones around here that does have the repetitive elements, but do work as we would have wanted it to. There are some interesting moments in the end, and there is a twist to go with it too. The haunting of this particular house and the people associated with it does have a different touch at times, along with the added history. It is to be noted that the movie has managed to achieve most of its positive things without using much of the gory elements, and with a simple tale. You have watched Hollywood do this before, and now we have the same in Spanish.

The claws of flaw :: This is another movie which reminds us of the usual horror films of Hollywood, even though not exactly the same as The Conjuring, The Nun, Annabelle, Sinister or Insidious – the common ones of our times which people try to watch all the time. It doesn’t move that much away from the usual path here too. The ideas of witchcraft and possession could have been much stronger here. The tale could have been twisted at many points, but they go for the safe background story yet again. The film is also slow in parts, and when there were so many opportunities to minimize such problems, it doesn’t make the best use of them. There were moments of horror which could have been better used, and the atmosphere could have been heavily worked on. After all, we have gone through so much of horror already, and there are enough resources to elevate the level of horror. Without thinking enough about the same, a horror film is more of a work of mystery, and that is the pothole where the movie almost fell during an earlier point.

Performers of the soul :: Rodolfo Sancho plays the father figure, and the one who is looking to get his son back in whatever way possible – the good father is played well, and he goes through the horror elements well too. The final moments have him at his best too. Belen Fabra plays the mother with less to do, but the two make the family well enough. Ana Fernandez is the one who catches our attention the most though, and she also plays the smarter character around there. She takes on the supernatural rather sensibly, and there is the bond with the father that runs through. She should give a try with Hollywood horror too. Ramon Barea is more or less the usual paranormal activist that we see around, and he suits the role very well – very much with experience. The kid has very less to do in comparison, as death comes rather too fast for him. As it is in most of the horror films, it is the demonic presence that maintains the scary work.

How it finishes :: Don’t Listen makes an attempt at the usual horror, with some differences which comes with the “voice” idea. One would have wished for it to bring more horror, but it does have some fine points. We do need our horror movies at regular intervals. It is good enough to watch one more horror film, while waiting for Ezra to be remade for Bollywood. We cannot be sure about that remake’s quality, but from the trailer, it is certain that it is done well enough. Corona virus pandemic has unleashed a different kind of horror into our world, and the usual horror is currently of lesser significance, but we await the return of the monsters of the night, as well as the demons which are part of our life. As we are certain that they will slowly and steadily return to haunt us, Don’t Listen is a pretty good reminder that we can go back to that at some point. Until we get to that particular horror, let us be safe from the present terror, the COVID-19 pandemic. We do have too many horror movies to watch in our short life time.

Release date: 24th July 2020
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Angel Gomez Hernandez
Starring: Rodolfo Sancho, Ana Fernandez, Ramon Barea, Bethlehem Fabra, Lucas de Blas, Nerea Barros, Javier Botet , Viti Suarez, Ruben Corvo, Jorge Oubel, Peter van randen

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

In the Tall Grass

Vampire Owl: How tall can the grass around the castle get?

Vampire Bat: They surely can’t be taller than us, because we have to use those fields for daily exercise, sports and other activities.

Vampire Owl: The grass in this movie surely looks scary even for vampires.

Vampire Bat: It is based on Stephen King and his son Joe Hill’s 2012 novella with the same name, and so it had to be scary.

Vampire Owl: I didn’t know that Stephen King’s son was also writing horror stories.

Vampire Bat: Yes, and there are film adaptations based on his works, like The Horns which had Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple in the lead.

Vampire Owl: That is something not well known, I am sure.

Vampire Bat: The television series NOS4A2 is also based on his novel of the same name, and is pronounced Nosferatu.

Vampire Owl: So, he is also a master of horror, only of a later and new generation.

Vampire Bat: Yes, his original name is Joseph Hillstrom King, and his brother Owen Philip King and mother Tabitha King are also authors.

[Gets a ghee roast and three glasses of grape juice].

What is the movie about? :: Becky DeMuth (Laysla De Oliveira) is a young lady, six months pregnant, who seemed to be becoming a mother before he was prepared for it, and due to the same reason, the child’s father Travis McKean (Harrison Gilbertson) is no longer with her, leading her to think about not having this baby or leaving the baby behind after giving birth. Her brother Cal DeMuth (Avery Whitted) is in charge of driving the car all the way to San Diego so that she can live with her aunt there, and with Travis gone, he considers himself to be the protector of his sister and her child. Traveling through an empty road, they stop at an empty space near what seemed to be an abandoned old church. Some other vehicles were also parked nearby, but there was nobody around. It is then that they hear the voice of a child from the field nearby, which has very tall grass, and they also hear the child’s mother calling.

So, what happens with the events here? :: The two gets concerned, and enters the grass field, and begins searching for the mother and child. The sound seems to close, but they are not able to get to the father and child, despite moving quickly towards them. In the process, Becky and Cal are also separated from each other. There is no network connection in the mobile phone, and they are not able to find each other despite being able to hear the voices. In the process, they meet the members of a family who are all trapped in here. The boy whose voice they had heard is Tobin Humboldt (Will Buie Jr) who had entered the grass field chasing his dog, and his father Ross Humboldt (Patrick Wilson) and mother Natalie Humboldt (Rachel Wilson) had also entered the space following him. Now, the family is separated just like the brother and sister. It seems that there is no way out, or is there at least a slight chance?

The defence of In the Tall Grass :: The movie scores the best with its visuals. With the tall grass, and a mysterious rock in the open area which seems to be the middle of the grass field. This open space with the rock is as grand a visual as the tall grass which seems to have no end. There are separate feelings provided during the day and night, and we look back to a past which modernity cannot understand – something which goes to time before American colonization and the earlier tribes settling down, as the modern world looks at its people in confusion. There are those minutes in the beginning which serves the best to bring the terror, as the two siblings jump once to see each other close, and then with the next jump, they are nowhere to be found. The movie is also of a short length, and with only tall grass all around, it is a good thing, bringing no elongation.

The claws of flaw :: The humanization of the grass is rather underused, and the movie doesn’t have even a monster to use when caught in such a strange, supernatural world with creepy grass, a strange rock and darkness – it has a loop, and so much of mystery, but never chooses to reveal them. The background of the characters are not explored much either, and we don’t know why one character is acting different from another. The characters go out of control, as we don’t know who is dead, and who will end up killing someone, and also about who all are real, and belonging to what kind of loop. It is the kind of confusion that comes in the middle, but thankfully, things get solved in the end. But the movie could have used a post-credits scene, because this is the kind of horror film that will make people ask the questions, and they need to answer them.

Performers of the soul :: The movie has a collection of unknown actors and actresses trying to escape the tall grass field. Patrick Wilson of The Conjuring, Annabelle and Insidious fame is the only person whom most of us know. The actor who was also there in A-Team, Aquaman and Watchmen continues to be the one who makes the most impact, even though his character is so less developed, even though it was the one which needed the most of such development. Laysla De Oliveira is another actress among all others whom we are seeing for the first time, and she comes with a good performance as the pregnant lady caught in between some tall grass with no hope for escape. Will Buie Jr, the kid shows the hopeless and creepiness of those caught in such a situation very well. Harrison Gilbertson was there in Need for Speed, but we would be noticing here for the first time, and he is fine, and so is Avery Whitted. Rachel Wilson’s role is too small.

How it finishes :: The movie has you in a situation from where there can be no escape. The rules of the world, its physics won’t matter inside this strange field of tall grass, and it is a scary place to explore, and the movie has used this setting well enough to create the needed horror impact. But it has to be noted that there is not much of work done beyond that, and there is also a certain amount of confusion here, as everything is not that clear as far as In the Tall Grass is concerned. There are many things which this premise could have had, but as it is now, the whole thing looks good, and catches your attention – there are some nice visual moments of glory too. In the Tall Grass is surely not the movie which would make horror feel great, but is enough to keep it going, staying strongly within the genre, and using the tall grass to its advantage.

Release date: 4th October 2019
Running time: 101 minutes
Directed by: Vincenzo Natali
Starring: Laysla De Oliveira, Harrison Gilbertson, Avery Whitted, Will Buie Jr, Rachel Wilson, Patrick Wilson, Tiffany Helm, William Frater

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

In Fear

infear (2)

Vampire Owl :: But I do not know the meaning of Fear.

Vampire Bat :: Then what do you call that expression when you were chased by a dog last month?

Vampire Owl :: I was simply giving the dog a lesson in running.

Vampire Bat :: Then when you jumped over the wall, it was a lesson in high jump?

Vampire Owl :: Yes, but it was a poor little creature with such a small brain. It couldn’t jump over the wall.

Vampire Bat :: You didn’t take the flying classes when all the other owls were doing that, and now you want to pretend to teach others running.

Vampire Owl :: It is actually okay because you can’t fly either. You should attend my classes too. It will help you to run away from a bad movie.

Vampire Bat :: But this is still a good movie. This is simple, raw horror.

Vampire Owl :: I have watched this and won’t approve. I am bigger horror than this little movie.

Vampire Bat :: I would have made a bet for three hundred zombies that you can only say that about this movie.

[Goes to watch ISL].

What is it about? :: Tom (Iain De Caestecker) and Lucy (Alice Englert) are on their first trip after falling for each other, and even as they are planning to go to a music festival with friends, Tom suggests that they rest in a hotel on the way, to which Lucy agrees, despite having promised her friends that she would be there early. They follow a vehicle to the hotel where they were planning to stay, and after showing them the directions, that person drives off. They move on and looks for directions, but following them doesn’t lead them anywhere and it seems that they have seen the same place again and again – it is as if they are trapped in a maze. The rain starts pouring and Lucy keeps seeing a masked figure while going through the path and they are attacked once. They end up giving lift to another person called Max (Allen Leech) who claims to have been attacked too, but the tension only gets higher as there seems to be no way out of there.

The defence of In Fear :: Most of the movie is in the middle of nowhere and we have so much action inside the car which turns into a claustrophobic world, especially with the third person around. There is already a spooky atmosphere created as the darkness falls and the rain pouring, with nowhere to go. It is smart in its anxiety and tension, and the feeling of being nowhere in hopelessness is disturbing. Being in small pocket road with no lights and no signs of civilization around, having no idea how to get anywhere? Everyone needs to be scared about this, especially as some masked villain is ready to pounce if you stop the car – he might even find a way to stop the vehicle. You have the right to be scared here. The stuff is believable too, as this goes on without anything out of the world added to it. There is less stupidity from the characters as they seem to act more as anyone would have, if caught in such a situation. It is good to see something different being tried in the horror genre.

Claws of flaw :: The movie is not for everyone, especially as there is almost no jump scare at all. There is no big scary killer who keeps coming at you and creating all those gory scenes out of nowhere. The locations are limited, and there is darkness around. There is not much of a backstory, and things happen straight. There are minimum resources used here, and there is no murder shown happening on the screen – there is not even a cut on the screen even as there is blood after the cut. There are just three people in this movie and for most of the time, we see only two of them. Some horror fans can find this method uninteresting, and a few others might be more disappointed about the same. The power of the villain is not much, and the ending is actually a little too uninteresting, even as it has the mind not to bring something up in hope for a sequel. The inside the car setting might also disturb a few. There are still a few things unanswered, and the moments of stupidity does come into play when the protagonists are out of the car. There is nothing big in the plot either.

Performers of the soul :: There are just three people acting in this movie, even as there are others who we do from a distance; nothing much here is about another person other than what we hear our leading actors talk about them or contact them through the mobile phone – yes there is a scarecrow if you want to add him to the actors. Among the three, Alice Englert is the pick. The last time I had seen her was in Beautiful Creatures, and even as I did think that she was good, I doubted about her being in a horror movie – but then, I was wrong, and this young lady who was just nineteen when this movie premiered, has just nailed the role of the young damsel in distress in a believable manner. I couldn’t feel anything else but be surprised about the fact that she had made her character so much believable rather than becoming another lady in a horror movie. Iain De Caestecker comes only second, and becomes the weaker character leaving him with less scope. Allen Leech is good, but still not up-to the movie’s power.

Soul exploration :: The soul of the movie is in its atmosphere, and the success of the same is in creating that situation which can haunt any other person. It is a case of genuine fear, as it makes way into our known world. Ever got your car’s tyres punctured in the middle of nowhere at night, or have you ever got lost your way somewhere while taking a shortcut and there are no lights anywhere? There is no range in your phone with GPS already stopped working and rain also stops pouring down. So where do you go from there? In Fear has that situation and successfully drops us into the world of fear and nothing else. Fear might want many things, but this movie proves that what it actually needs is a realistic situation and happenings that can be connected by the audience. A better working of the plot and a better development of the situation could have done a even more for this movie, but for now, there is some realistic horror in its core.

How it finishes :: In Fear is a movie so much less known, and its existence might be something that so many people are unaware of, unless Alice Englert’s filmography keeps catching too much attention. It is a movie which has pretty much low rating at IMDb, but is something which has good ratings from critics. That should explain a few things. No, this doesn’t have the entertainment side working much, and its horror is something of the mind. It has less for the majority of the viewers who would hope for something that thrills outside the borders of realism. But this movie doesn’t have that, as the choice to go with realistic things can gain more critics and lose more viewers. But In Fear still maintains enough to gather the usual fans, at least in my opinion. For the same, one has to think more than what is seen on the screen.

Release date: 20th January 2013
Running time: 85 minutes
Directed by: Jeremy Lovering
Starring: Iain De Caestecker, Alice Englert, Allen Leech

infear

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.