Horrorfest 2016 Presents: The Traveler (2010, Michael Oblowitz)

Despite being a fan of one Val Kilmer, this is clearly one of his worst films and probably the first movie I’ve seen from him where I actually wanted him to be silent. This movie is the type that the MSTK crew would mock if it had been made years ago, and I realize that serial killer movies don’t work if they fail to meet two important criteria. One is that they be entertaining if they fall into a more campy style, and the other is that if they are meant to be scary, well they need to be terrifying or creepy. The Travler has some initial promise and throws all that away midway through the film. The hardest movies to get through are not the truly awful ones or even the mediocre films, but rather a movie like this, where any good elements are buried. Even the flashback scenes manage to be shot in a manner that wouldn’t even pass muster for a cheesy monster film or a low budget slasher. Whatever this film cost, it was too high and the money was squandered.

Skip this movie and watch Twixt instead, which is also on Netflix. Oh by the way there is a twist, and its stupid and I hated it. Even the kills are blah, half measure efforts that fail to be really shocking or interesting. The last act takes the movie into even sillier territory, and I can’t believe I finished the movie without the aid of beer. I don’t even recall any of the other actors because they failed to make an impression upon me, and I don’t really care to look them up, either. I can abide bad comedies since some of them still make me laugh, yet a bad horror film is the equivalent of a poor meal. Throw this movie in the trash.

Horrorfest 2016: A New Beginning

Hey buddy

Okay so at this point I’m just ripping off titles from the Friday the 13th series. Besides any good horror fan knows never to trust a franchise that promises the next installment is the “Last one, the final chapter, the main bad guy is finally dead!, etc.” I also am using this title because this year I’ve decided not to make any pre-viewing list this time. Instead I am just listing all of the movies I actually bother to watch from August to October, plus the few movies I usually grab to kick things off with. Reviews will still be posted, although they may be even more half-assed than normal. To the few readers of this blog I have a 40 hour a week job and thus don’t have the time I used to have to watch a million things. Plus I blame peak TV widely available online for a decrease in movie viewing. Enjoy regardless, and I hope to try and see more horror that I haven’t yet fully explored.

Alright so this concludes Horrorfest 2016. I have finally six months later reviewed every movie I viewed during a three month period. Here is my Top 10 List just because I only saw 40 movies:

  1. We Are Still Here (2015, Geoghegan)-95
  2. Spoorloos (1988, Sluizer)-95
  3. Session 9 (2001, Anderson)-95
  4. Dale & Tucker Vs Evil (2010, Craig)-95
  5. The Fury (1978, De Palma)-94
  6. Insidious (2010, Wan)-93, Family Video
  7. Jacob’s Ladder (1990, Lyne)-93
  8. Hush (2016, Flanagan)-92
  9. The Others (2001, Amenábar)-91
  10. They Look Like People (2015, Blackshear)-90

1. Splatter (2009, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/horrorfest-2016-presents-splatter-2009-joe-dante/
2. Crimson Peak (2015, Ghosts)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/horrorfest-2016-presents-crimson-peak-2015-guillermo-del-toro/
3. Coma (1978, Medical)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/horrorfest-2016-presents-coma-1978-michael-crichton/
4. The Old Dark House (1932, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-old-dark-house-1932-james-whale/
5. Murder Party (2007, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/horrorfest-2016-presents-murder-party-2007-jeremy-saulnier/
6. Jacob’s Ladder (1990, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/horrorfest-presents-jacobs-ladder-1990-adrian-lyne/
7. Hostel (2005, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/horrorfest-2016-presents-hostel-2005-eli-roth/
8. Insidious (2010, Ghosts)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/horrorfest-2016-presents-insidious-2010-james-wan/
9. Session 9 (2001, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/horrorfest-2016-presents-session-9-2001-brad-anderson/
10. The Cars That Ate Paris (1974, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-cars-that-ate-paris-1974-peter-weir/

He just wants to be your friend…

11. Byzantium (2013, Vampires)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/02/horrorfest-2016-presents-byzantium-2013-neil-jordan/
12. Castle Freak (1995, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/05/horrorfest-2016-presents-castle-freak-1995-stuart-gordon/
13. Darling (2015, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/darling-2015-mickey-keating/
14. The Others (2001, Ghosts)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/09/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-others-2001-alejandro-amenabar/
15. Goosebumps (2015, Monsters)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/horrorfest-2016-presents-goosebumps-2015-rob-letterman/
16. Curse of Chucky (2013. Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/18/horrorfest-2016-presents-curse-of-chucky-2013-don-mancini/
17. Holidays (2016, Anthology)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/19/horrorfest-2016-presents-holidays-2016-kevin-smith-gary-shore-matt-johnson-scott-stewart-nicholas-mccarthy-dennis-widmyer-kevin-kolsch-sarah-adina-smith-anthony-scott-burns/
18. The Hole (2009, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-hole-2009-joe-dante/
19. Demons (1985, Demons)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/horrorfest-2016-presents-demons-1985-lamberto-bava
20. Hush (2016, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/24/horrorfest-2016-presents-hush-2016-mike-flanagan/

It’s a rock band yeah!

21. They Look Like People (2015, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/horrorfest-2016-presents-they-look-like-people-2015-perry-blackshear/
22. The Sacrament (2015, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/27/7750/
23. We Are Still Here (2015, Ghosts)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/horrorfest-2016-presents-we-are-still-here-2015-ted-geoghegan/
24. The Hallow (2015, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-hallow-2015-corin-hardy/
25. Road Games (2015, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/horrorfest-2016-presents-road-games-2015-abner-pastoll/
26. The Invitation (2015, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/the-invitation-2015-karyn-kusama/
27. They’re Watching (2016, Witches)-https://wordpress.com/posts/drafts/madman731.wordpress.com
28. The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962, Mad Scientist)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-brain-that-wouldnt-die-1962-joseph-green/
29. Tucker & Dale Vs Evil (2010, Slasher)-http://wp.me/pRBID-22W
30. Puppet Master (1989, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/2016-horrorfest-presents-puppet-master-1989-david-schmoeller/

Image result for tucker and dale vs evil gif
Yeah? Who you calling psycho?

31. Genocide (1967, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/horrorfest-2016-presents-genocide-1967-kazui-nihonmats/
32. The Fury (1978, Psychic People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-fury-1978-brian-de-palma/
33. The Traveler (2010, Slasher)- https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-traveler-2010-michael-oblowitz/
34. The House On Sorority Row (1983, Slasher)- https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/horrorfest-2016-presents-the-house-on-sorority-row-1983-mark-rosman/
35. Bad Milo (2015, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/horrorfest-2016-presents-bad-milo-2015-jacob-vaughan/
36. Stung (2015, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/?p=8218
37. Wyrmwood (2014, Zombies)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/06/05/horrorfest-2016-presents-wyrmwood-2014-kiah-roache-turner/
38. Grizzly (1976, Creature Feature)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/06/05/horrorfest-2016-presents-grizzly-1976-william-girdler/?preview_id=8270&preview_nonce=6713d40f1d
39. Spoorloos (1988, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/horrorfest-2016-presents-spoorloos-1988-george-sluizer/
40. Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015, Zombies)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/horrorfest-2016-presents-scouts-guide-to-the-zombie-apocalypse-2015-christopher-b-landon/?preview_id=8331&preview_nonce=5cfb8ce467

Top 20 Horror Films of the 2000s Presents: Monsters (2010)

5.    Monsters (2010, Gareth Edward)

As much a love story as it is a monster movie, Monsters is a tender and moving film, one that is a classic journey story with a twist: a photojournalist and the woman he has been hired to bring back to the states are forced to trek through a Mexican wilderness populated by aliens. Creatures that descended from the sky a couple years prior, taking over the country and forcing the government to enact quarantine areas in an attempt to contain a menace they do not understand.

Andrew and Samantha are two different people, and and such do not get along. She doesn’t understand his job, he likes her but cannot seem to connect with her on any level. The fact that this film was made on a low budget is rather impressive, and that rests not only on the freaky looking aliens but also the two leads, who help carry the movie and give you enough reason to care about them. All great or good monster films rest on that concept, the idea that people are experiencing an unreal nightmare and are forced to deal with that nightmare: that a beast from who knows where has invaded their lives, impacting their ability to survive.

Plus I loved the shots of the Mexican countryside: the beauty of nature juxtaposed with the often constant danger of the aliens, the slowly growing connection between Sam and Andrew, the realization from both that maybe their lives could have greater meaning. Monsters is actually frightening at times, particularly during a night scene with a creature attack straight out of Jurassic Park, and that underlying thought of danger potentially happening is a running theme of the film. I’m glad that the young budding filmmaker Gareth Edwards is directing the new Godzilla film, because he has a clear eye for visuals and has already displayed that he can create a wonderful and yet sad experience in Monsters that left me wanting more.

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