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HORROR

The Curse of La Llorona: An Interesting Film For Newbies To Start With The Horror Genre

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LooYou used him as bait?
No. I used you all as bait.

 

When I visited Eurodisney near Paris for the first time years ago (it seems like centuries ago), I was so overwhelmed and enchanted by the atmosphere and everything there was to admire. I literally hovered through this park for three days and had the time of my life. At the beginning of this year, I visited the park again (this time with my two young kids) and it was 3 days of fun again. However, it was far from the same as that first time. If you have been somewhere six times you know what to expect and you are no longer so impressed by it. The same applies to this film “The curse of La Llorona“. A horror movie that is part of the “The Conjuring” universe.

 

The Curse of La Llorona

 

You should be scared.

The entity La Llorona in itself is fairly well developed. But you could also say that about the evil nun that scared you in “The Nun“. I saw the latter at the beginning of this year and to be honest I found it rather disappointing. After two “The Conjuring” films, a number of “Annabelle” films and “The Nun” it starts to look like mass production. Now, it’s a golden rule that globally well-known brands always do the same thing. And that’s not to deviate from its formula for success. It ensures that people aren’t disappointed because they know the product very well. But with a product such as horror films, this can also lead to a worn-out formula. A worn off formula in such a way that it becomes boring and far from scary. And that’s exactly what you need in a horror. Creepy moments so that fear grabs you by the throat.

 

The Curse of La Llorona

 

Behave or La Llorona comes to get you.

Not that I’ve ever experienced a feeling of fear while watching a horror. But this looked weak. I was looking at it as if I was watching the umpteenth repeat of “America got Talent”. Uninterested and numb. The La Llorona phenomenon isn’t really remarkable. After a while, you come to know that it’s about a woman who drowned her children in a moment of madness and afterward killed herself. The legend grew into a sort of parenting trick that was used to teach children some discipline. I can already imagine how old grandmothers admonish their grandchildren with a standard sentence such as “If you don’t behave, La Llorona comes to get you.” Terrifying for the children. Not so impressive for an adult.

 

The Curse of La Llorona

 

Lots of jumpscares.

The Curse of La Llorona” is full of jumpscares. That in itself isn’t a problem. At least when they are presented decently and preferably also in an original way. The jumpscares here, however, are so clichéd that you already know in advance where they will be used. The most intense and successful scene is the bathtub scene. Claustrophobic and effectively put together. It reminded me of “The Drownsman” (even though you can’t call that movie excellent). And maybe the involvement of Rafael Olvera (Raymond Cruz) can be called original. He’s not an average exorcist like the Warren couple in “The Conjuring“. I tend to think of him as more of a medicine man who performs voodoo-like rituals and lavishly sprinkles tree seeds and puts down a whole bunch of candles, just to stop La Llorona. To be honest I thought it was pretty funny. The moment when Olvera picks up his samba balls. And certainly his bone-dry reply in the end.

 

The Curse of La Llorona

 

Not a successful horror.

No, you can’t call this film successful. “The Nun” wasn’t that great, but I still place it above this film if I had to arrange them in a list. Perhaps it’s an interesting film for newbies to start with the horror genre. As a warm-up to discover the better stuff, as it were. For the seasoned horror film fan, it’s more likely to be a disappointment. So, I kinda have my doubts about the upcoming episodes from the “The Conjuring” Universum.

 

My rating 4/10
Links: IMDB

HORROR

Sweetheart: The Panic And Subsequent Calmness Seem Realistic Enough

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Sweetheart(thunder rumbling)
(wind whooshing)
(hammock creaking)
(thunder cracks)
(creature huffing)
(creature snorting)
(creature chittering)
(cries out)
(creature growls)
(screaming)
(creature growling)
(thunder cracks)
(panting)
(roars)
(screams)
(grunts)
(creature hissing)
(growls)
(thunder cracks)
(creature roars)
(thunder rumbling)

 

Let me first make a comment before I start spitting my opinion about “Sweetheart“. How the hell did this kid succeed in reaching the beach of this exotic island? I’m sure that after a few minutes of floating around in the ocean, she’d go down like a stone. That’s not entirely true, of course. Because, when I remember correctly, she was wearing a life jacket (with a backpack over it). I just wanted to point out that she had the most disastrous-looking swimming technique I’ve ever seen in my life. And the fact that not all tropical islands were used in commercials about “Bounty”, but are also the territory of evil, dark creatures from the ocean. And since shipwrecks don’t wash up on this island regularly, the creature was presumably on a fish diet before it could drag some human meat to his hole in the ocean once again. But this aside. “Sweetheart” is a fairly simple story about surviving.

 

Sweetheart

 

Not an amorous fish friend.

Take the well-known story of “Robinson Crusoe” and mix it with the story from “Cold Skin” and you’ll get “Sweetheart” as a result. The difference with the Crusoe story is the key player. Here it’s someone of the female gender who’s being washed ashore on a beach. And also, she isn’t joined by a friendly native (such as Friday) but a scaly and life-threatening sea monster. And no, this ocean dweller doesn’t have the same amorous intentions as our gilled friend from “The shape of water“. In that case, the film would have gotten a more frivolous character and our survivor’s stay would have been much more enjoyable.

 

Sweetheart

 

What to do when you arrive on an island.

Unfortunately, this film doesn’t have much to offer. Actually, as much as Jenn (Kiersey Clemons) was wearing when she woke up there in the saltwater, feeling beach sand scraping between her toes. Nothing much. Only short jeans and a t-shirt. Fortunately, her knowledge of survival techniques was abundantly present. Without hesitation, this young lady runs through the checklist of the “Tasks to be performed when you wash up on an uninhabited island” list and starts installing herself on the island as well and as badly as possible. The first part is, therefore, a concatenation of moments where you can see Jenn handling these tasks. Estimating the perimeter of the island, developing hunting techniques, ensure a decent place to spend the night and thoroughly explore the island itself. Only the nocturnal threat was not on the list. Something for which she has to use her own personal inventiveness.

 

Sweetheart

 

There’s not much talking here.

Most of the film consists of Clemons doing a solo performance. The success or failure of such kinds of films (as in “Mine” for example) is therefore entirely in the hands of that specific person. Should her acting be bad or unbelievable, the film will suffer a figurative shipwreck (how appropriate). Fortunately, that’s not the case here. She acts solidly and is convincing enough. The panic and subsequent calmness seem realistic enough. Eloquence isn’t necessary here either. Most of the time the film is dialogue-free. Well, it’s hard to have in-depth conversations when you’re on an island on your own. And when an inflatable rescue boat appears on the horizon, with Jenn’s friends on board, it briefly creates some tension. Not for you as a viewer but for the participating actors themselves.

 

Sweetheart

 

Not an exciting movie for me.

What remains is the aquatic creature. Yes, could this monster ensure some tense moments? Unfortunately, the creature is allergic to sunlight. In short, it’s only in pitch darkness (and an uninhabited island without artificial lighting is simply pitch dark) that you can see this rogue (partially). There are nevertheless some successful scenes in the film in which it shows how supreme it is in water. But except for a little growling and hissing, the monster is a bit disappointing. All in all, I didn’t think it was an exciting movie. Since it’s an exotic island, the film is peppered with breathtaking images of beaches and azure blue water. And isn’t that something an average earner can only dream of?

 

My rating 5/10
Links: IMDB

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HORROR

The Invisible Man – 2020 | Full Trailer – HD

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Genre:

Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Release Date:

February 28, 2020

Director:

Leigh Whannell

Cast:

Elizabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, Benedict Harde, Storm Reid

Plot Summary:

A woman receives the news of her abusive ex-boyfriend’s suicide. She begins to rebuild her life for the better. However, her sense of reality is put into question when she begins to suspect her deceased lover is not actually dead.

 

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HORROR

Netflix | Eli – A Classic Horror With A Mystery Ending

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Do you know what happened to the boy who asked too many questions?
He got answers?

 

Eli” is a horror you can watch on Netflix and it’s not bad at all. But it takes a long time before the conclusion in the story surprises you completely. The introductory part reminded me a bit of “Midnight Special“. A very young boy whose daily life is limited to a plastic-insulated room and who can’t leave the house without wearing a weird looking sort of spacesuit. Apparently Eli (Charlie Shotwell) developed an autoimmune disease at a later age and exposure to outside air and sunlight is life-threatening to him. Together with his parents, Rose (Kelly10X10Reilly) and Paul (MaxSpectralMartini), he’s on his way to the only rescue that remains for him. A completely sterilized old mansion (a house that looks like a typical haunted house) where Dr. Horn (Lili Taylor) applies a specific gene therapy to treat medical cases such as Eli.

 

Eli

 

I keep repeating it: “Wait for the end”.

After this medically oriented introduction, the focus shifts to the paranormal. Before you realize it, clichéd ghost phenomena are brought out. So the whole shebang you encounter in standard ghost stories, also appear here. From seeing ghosts in a mirror. To writings appearing in Eli’s breath on a window. Although these are standard horror-film tricks, they are effectively used to startle you. But despite that, it’s a long wait for the most important turn in the story at the end of the film. And this story-turn makes it a completely different story. At that moment you realize that all your guessing was completely wrong. So it’s recommended to watch the film as a whole, so you get an answer to all the questions you asked yourself.

 

Eli

 

It’s a mystery.

Perhaps the strongest aspect of “Eli“, is its mysterious character. What kind of treatment is it that Dr. Horn is practicing? Because you’ll see that it’s not such a conventional treatment. It’s a rather painful procedure whereby a virus is injected into the spinal cord to repair the failing genes. And who are the ghosts tormenting him? Are they good-natured? Or malicious? That’s something Eli is trying to discover for himself while locked up in this sterile cage. His parents and the medical staff blame the medication for these sightings and dismiss it as hallucinations. The only one who believes Eli is Haley (Sadie Sink), a local girl with whom Eli sometimes talks through a huge window. Where Haley comes from and what she does there is again a mystery. As time passes, the whole thing sounds a bit fishy to Eli.

 

Eli

 

Kudos for Charlie Shotwell.

As I said before: “Wait for the ultimate revelation“. Until then you have to endure a typical ghost story without too many highlights. Some praiseworthy words about Charlie Shotwell’s acting. For such a young guy it’s not so obvious to use a whole range of emotions. But to be honest, he convincingly did it. The other characters’ contribution is fairly limited. Max Martini plays the determined father. Lili Taylor the mysterious doctor. And Kelly Reilly is no more than the worried mother who wants to hug her son again. It’s not Reilly’s most breathtaking acting performance. That’s reserved for her role in “Eden Lake“. All in all, “Eli” is not immediately an exciting film. But it’s not extremely bad either. The only thing is, that it requires some patience. So waiting for the end is the message. And that’s the last time I’m going to say that!

 

Eli

 

This quote I found grossly exaggerated:New Netflix horror movie Eli is terrifying viewers to such an extent that some have claimed to be “seeing demons” after watching.

You can watch “Eli” on Netflix now!

 

My rating 5/10
Links: IMDB

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