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HORROR

Trench 11 (2017)

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The air is moving.
Fritz left a door open somewhere.

Did the creators of “Trench 11” know that the film “Overlord” is going to be released this autumn? Or did they want to beat film studio “The Asylum” and be the first one to deliver a low-budget horror in which American and English soldiers face German zombies? The biggest difference with “Overlord” is the world war they’ve chosen. “Overlord” is about American marines after D-day in the 2nd World War, while “Trench 11” is situated during the 1st World War. So no Nazi Germany.

No magic tricks from the CGI department.

And another difference is the footage. Just look at the trailer of “Overlord” and you’ll easily notice that there’s a difference in the budget for the department “Special Effects” and “Computer Graphics”. Film producer “Carousel Pictures” doesn’t seem to have a CGI department. And in terms of special effects, it’s not all high-tech what you’ll see. It’s limited to practical effects (though excellent ones) and stop-motion techniques.

Fancy a spaghetti Bolognaise? Watch this movie.

In a strict sense, this isn’t really about zombies. You can call it chemical experiments that went out of hand. Somewhat like what happened in “Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies” where a chemical product for artificial snow was the cause of all the misery. What Lt. Berton (Rossifson of DonaldSutherland) and the group of American soldiers and English officers encounter in the underground tunnels of a giant German bunker in the forests of Argonne, are infected guinea pigs. Test subjects who underwent some kind of medical experiments, after which they changed into ruthless savages whose bodies are stuffed with wriggling spaghetti. A type of parasite that infects the frontal lobe of the human brain, causing the victim to lose his personality and no longer knowing the difference between right and wrong. The result is a few bloody confrontations with somewhat deliciously gross images.

Exciting and funny at the same time.

Maybe the bloody scenes look a bit cheap and old-fashioned (even though I like to see a bursting skull from time to time), yet they managed to create a threatening atmosphere. Of course, the location is something that’ll take care of that. Underground tunnels are suitable to provide dark, claustrophobic images. A creepy labyrinth full of corridors where you can encounter an insane mutation at every corner. So the tension is certainly present. And humor is also present at certain times. Even though I think this was not done on purpose. Like this conversation, for example:

How do I know I’m not infected?
What are the symptoms?
Begins with fever. You become increasingly violent.
How do you feel?
I feel like blowing up something.
That is a symptom

Who’s more nuts? Reiner or Pronger?

Unfortunately, the characters are a bit clichéd. You have another know-it-all, authoritarian superior (Ted Atherton) who doesn’t tolerate contradiction and keeps coming up with excuses or pronounces threatening language when exercising his authority. They are accompanied by a trio of seasoned American soldiers goosed up on adrenalin. While the English officers bring out an authentic English teapot, these gentlemen sniff a line of coke (or something similar) to enter the battlefield fearlessly and more alertly. The most colorful and atypical figure here is Sgt. Pronger (Jeff Strome). That facial expression shows how insane this war has made him. And then you have the German sadistic officer Reiner (Robert Stadlober) who is a fervent supporter of chemical warfare. A bit similar to Dr. Maru from “Wonder woman” or Red Skull against who Captain America fought. But Reiner is less machiavellistic.

It’s not an extraordinary horror. But it’s not bad either.

Trench 11” won’t become an instant classic in Horror Land. But you can say a lot of positive things about it. Admittedly, some of the actors aren’t particularly overwhelming. And at times there’s silliness and there are some improbabilities (but most horror movies have that). I found the statement of Capt. Cooper (Luke Humprey) about the entire US Army (“Whatever Jennings is doing down here is important enough to secure the full cooperation of the American army. How else could he get a whole division down her?”) a bit strange. I suppose that a division from the American army consists of more than three soldiers. But despite these hiccups, I thought this war/horror film quite successful.

My rating 6/10
Links: IMDB

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Action

Crawl: A Nerve-Racking Horror In Which The Perfectly Computer-Generated Alligators Scare You

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You’re not my coach anymore, dad.
That top predator crap doesn’t help.

Did you think the last “Lake Placid” episode from the eponymous franchise was downright worthless, stupid and nonsensical (like I did)? Well, let me put your mind at ease. Despite some laughable facts, this reptile-horror “Crawl” isn’t bad at all. You can even call it exciting at times. And compared to “Lake Placide“, the bite-sized animals are frequently in the picture and the CGI ensures that they look frighteningly realistic. You just have to use the same ritual as with “Hobbs & Shaw“. Namely, give your brain for safekeeping when entering the movie theater. It’s not of the same absurd level as “Sharknado“, but if you don’t do that, you will be annoyed about multiple idiocies.

 

Crawl

 

How stupid can you be?

There are of course many “How stupid can you be?“-moments. For example. You can’t blame the day-trippers in “Jaws“. They were just enjoying the summer sun on the beach and the refreshing water. Did they know that this giant white shark was planning to consume a few splashing bathers? It’s a pity they ended up as lunch. But, you can’t say the same about Haley (Kaya Scodelario), who, after a disappointing swimming performance, comes up with the grandiose idea to see if everything is okay with her father Dave (Barry Pepper). Nothing earth-shattering, were it not for her to enter a restricted area controlled by the authorities because of a destructive hurricane of category 5. Even a roadblock by the local police didn’t stop her.

 

Crawl

 

It doesn’t take long before the suspense begins.

The advantage of “Crawl” is the short playing time (87 minutes). Nowadays it’s perfectly normal for decent films to exceed the 2-hour limit. It seems that quality nowadays depends on the total duration of a film. Fortunately, there are exceptions to that rule. Not that “Crawl” is of high quality, but an advantage is they don’t spend too much time to bring the necessary suspense. After around 20 minutes, Haley and her father are already in a difficult situation in the basement of the parental home. Dave is badly injured. And three giant alligators are impatiently waiting for their feeding-time. Time for the second “How stupid can you be?” moment. What would you do if you had to leave your safe hiding place to recover a lost item? In any case, after getting hold of the trinket, I would return to that safe place again. Logical reasoning is certainly not Haley’s strongest characteristic. She does the opposite, with all its consequences.

 

Crawl

 

Not a complicated film.

Let’s not make it too complicated!“. That’s what the creators of “Crawl” thought apparently. Everything takes place at one claustrophobic location. And the entire film is carried by just two main characters. Occasionally, a few additional characters appear. But their function is limited to playing live fish food. In other words, they usually do not remain intact for long. And for the lessons “Logical reasoning”, these good-for-nothings didn’t get high grades either. And the way in which they involved the alligators in the story is also simple. A hurricane that causes rising water and you are stuck with a whole swarm of those bloodthirsty monsters in your backyard. Only the discovery that Haley made in the basement wasn’t 100% correct in my opinion. Coincidentally there was a pregnant alligator who used the flood to shamelessly dump her eggs in Dave’s basement at lightning speed. Well, in this way there was also an explanation for the aggressive attitude of the nest of primitive reptiles.

 

Crawl

 

A nerve-racking horror.

There were a few things in the movie that really annoyed me. First, there was the contrived and corny father-daughter relationship. They are both sitting there with torn limbs and shattered bones, and still, they need to philosophize about what went wrong in the past. I also thought it was a bit unbelievable how they endured the brutal attacks (with the necessary injuries) and apparently afterward had absolutely no problems with this. Even after a heart massage and mouth-to-mouth breathing, one jumps back into action in a short time. And I will never bet my money on a swimming competition between an alligator and a trained swimmer. I’m sure that the streamlined body of the reptile will ensure that it wins effortlessly. Even without a swim cap and aerodynamic Speedo swimming trunks. But still, “Crawl” is a nerve-racking horror in which the perfectly computer-generated alligators scare you. Most original in the film I found the bathroom scene. Believe me, after this film, hearing the song “See you later Alligator” by Bill Haley will scare the hell out of you.

 

My rating 6/10
Links: IMDB

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Drama

Netflix: Rattlesnake | Official Trailer -HD

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Genre:

Drama, Horror, Mystery

Release Date:

October 25, 2019

Director: 

Zak Hilditch

Cast:

Carmen Ejogo, Theo Rossi, Emma Greenwell, Richard Lippert, Arianna Ortiz, Joy Jacobson, David Yow

Plot Summary:

When a single mother accepts the help of a mysterious woman after her daughter is bitten by a rattlesnake, she finds herself making an unthinkable deal with the devil to repay the stranger.

 

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HORROR

Aterrados: A Spooky Story Full Of Terrifying Images And A Creepy Atmosphere

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AterradosThey were human voices.
What did they tell you?
That they were going to kill me.

In Argentinian, they say “Aterrados“. It’s “Terrified” in English. And yes, some will be terrified while watching this masterful horror. I can’t really describe why it is such an excellent horror. However, there are no earth-shattering new ideas being introduced. If you look at it as a whole, it seems like a fusion of different topics from other horror films. Take specific scenes from “[Rec]“, “The Conjuring” and “Paranormal Activity“. Shake these all up a bit. Dip it all in an Argentinian sounding sauce. And you get the end product “Aterrados“. The biggest difference with the random list of horror films (with possessed houses as the central subject) is that “Aterrados” isn’t about an isolated case. No, it isn’t. The terrifying phenomena occur in several houses at the same time.

 

Aterrados

 

Not an ordinary horror.

I had never heard of this movie. It’s a coincidence that I came across it while searching through the offer of horror-movies on my Netflix account. I wasn’t really expecting much of it. And when one of the women in the film started to complain about voices she heard in the sink, I was already afraid that it would be such an absurd film as “Deep Dark“. Well, I was really wrong about that. Before I knew it, I was watching such a shocking scene, that I couldn’t help using the rewind function. Magnificently portrayed and provided with sound effects that appeal to the imagination. You hear, as it were, the smashing of limp, dead flesh including accompanying sounds of shattering bones. At that moment I realized that “Aterrados” wouldn’t be just an ordinary horror. And believe me, from that moment on it’s a rollercoaster of shock moments and paranormal events.

 

Aterrados

 

Once again no explanation.

However, don’t expect an explanation about the events. Or an explanation of the creatures that make life hard for both Clara (Natalia Señorales), her husband Juan (Agustin Rittano), and neighbor Walter (Demián Salomón). When the three scientists start investigating the houses to find evidence of paranormal phenomena, they come up with a not too meaningful explanation. Something with dimensional surfaces, slices of orange, and water. It won’t really make you any wiser. The fact that the events take place at different locations was an asset. You can see it as the three “The Conjuring” films, each with their own haunted house, compressed into one film. This provides the necessary variety in terms of shock moments and creepy entities popping up.

 

Aterrados

 

It’ll scare you to death.

Anyone who has already seen a huge amount of horrors about paranormal activities and haunted houses (“Poltergeist“, “Paranormal Activity“, “The Amityville Horror“, “The Entity” … Too many to mention) won’t be blown away by this film. And this because the movie resides in familiar territory. But the way in which it’s portrayed and the subtle build-up of tension can certainly be called commendable. The pace is generally very high (except it slows down a bit halfway) and the jump scares follow each other at rapid speed. And it’s especially the timing that is just perfect at moments (the subtle little movement of the boy at the dinner table, for example). “Aterrados” is a spooky story, full of terrifying images and a creepy atmosphere. Perhaps it is narratively difficult to follow and you’ll probably Won’t really know what’s going on (Is it about paranormal events or simply things that everyone experienced because of a certain fear?). And perhaps you might not really like the open end. But in the end, “Aterrados” only tries to accomplish one thing. And the film certainly succeeds in that task. And that is, making sure that you are sitting in front of your screen scared to death. I bet you won’t dare to look under your bed that same evening!

You can watch Aterrados on Netflix now!

 

 

My rating 8/10
Links: IMDB

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