Only a couple of weeks left until Halloween, so it only seems appropriate that we start the week off with the new film by Rob Zombie, 3 From Hell. After miraculously surviving a hail of bullets and being captured and imprisoned for 10 years, Otis (Bill Moseley) escapes prison and meets a fellow outlaw, Winslow (Richard Brake) and devises a plan to get his sister Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie) out as well. As they make their way to Mexico, leaving a trail of bodies behind them, the Devil’s Rejects find a large group of killers are out to get them and it becomes an all out war to see who survives and becomes the baddest of the bad.
The Devil’s Rejects is arguably one of the most stylish horror thrillers of the new century and has definitely become a cult classic. This long awaited follow up doesn’t quite hit the highs of the original, but is still a super fun, super violent reunion with a few of horror’s most beloved bad guys. Veteran actor Sid Haig was not in good health during the filming and is not in much of the film, but it feels right that he was at least well enough to be there at all. The addition of Richard Brake is a nice change of pace but it really is the combination of Bill Moseley and Sheri Moon Zombie that brings the nostalgic feels back. Zombie keeps things fast and loose and maintains the gritty, nasty feel of the original with 3 From Hell. And that is really what us hardcore fans really wanted and it is great to have the Rejects back.
Next up is another great horror flick to queue up for movie fright night, Alexandre Aja’s Crawl. Competitive swimmer Haley (Kaya Scodelario) has decided to brave a Category 5 hurricane to return to her hometown and check on her estranged father Dave (Barry Pepper). When she finds him injured underneath the house, her efforts to get him to safety are blocked when they become trapped in the basement by a pair of six-metre long alligators. As the basement fills with water Haley and Dave must use their wits to survive and find a way out without getting eaten alive.
Crawl is a perfect example of a tense, fast paced one location thriller that will literally leave you gasping. Aja has become a modern master of suspense with other films like his brilliant The Hills Have Eyes remake, High Tension, Mirrors and the Daniel Radcliffe film Horns. Crawl starts fast and never lets up. The alligator effects are perfectly done and terrifying and the performances by Scodelario and Pepper are thoroughly convincing. The majority of the film takes place in the claustrophobic basement and the combination of setting, weather, alligators and flooding make for one of the best thrillers in recent memory.
One more bit of horror this week as the absolutely incredible The Haunting of Hill House: Season One - Extended Director's Cut hits shelves. In the summer of 1992, Hugh and Olivia Crain (Henry Thomas and Carla Gugino) move into the huge Hill House mansion with their 5 children to renovate and resell it. But the longer they stay in the house the more unexplained phenomena occurs leading to a tragic family loss and the family fleeing from the house for their lives. Twenty-Six years later the Crain siblings are forced to confront their childhood in Hill House and how each of them were changed by it. But revisiting the old house may bring back more than memories as they each deal with their own ghosts.
The Haunting of Hill House Season One - Extended Director's Cut is simply one of the best horror television shows ever created. Everything from the cast to the set design to the story, adapted from the classic novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, all make this a unique, layered and often terrifying series. Creator Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Ouija: Origin of Evil, Doctor Sleep) creates a story so in depth and layered, it actually demands repeat viewings. The stories of this family all feel intimate and authentic and play on much more than just a haunted house, but themes of personal demons and struggles and family dynamics. For fans of classic haunted house horror, The Haunting of Hill House Season One - Extended Director's Cut is absolutely essential viewing.
Lastly this week we stray from horror for a bit with the hilarious Stuber. Kumail Nanjiani plays Stu, a mild mannered Uber driver trying to make ends meet and constantly in search of a perfect 5 star rating. When a grizzled detective named Vic (Dave Bautista) who is half blind from an eye test recruits Stu to stay hot on the trail of a sadistic terrorist, Stu finds himself thrust into a life threatening ordeal. Now Stu must keep his wits about him and work with Vic to survive the night but he may also find a new zest for life as well.
Stuber is a typical buddy action/comedy story but making it happen with a duo like Nanjiani and Bautista is pure genius. Nanjiani has proven himself as a relatable and likable comic actor with a dry wit and great one liners and Bautista seems to be following the path taken before him by fellow wrestler Dwayne Johnson but doing a wide variety of genres and doing them all very well. Bautista is a capable actor and has great on screen presence. So this situational comedy works like a charm with equal parts comedy and action and doing them both well. Stuber is a treat and a ride worth taking.
Also of note this week is The Art of Self-Defense with Jesse Eisenberg, a new 4K anniversary edition of Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy, and a new Omen Collection from Shout Factory.
Until next week movie lovers!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday October 15, 2019
3 From Hell
A Christmas Carol: Ultimate Collector's Edition
A Simple Twist of Fate*
Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story Of The VHS Collector
American Gangster (2007) 4K
And Soon the Darkness (1970)*
Bob the Builder: Bob's White Christmas
Children of the Night*
Clown of the Dead
Devil's Revenge: Special Edition
Fury of the Demon
Gebo and the Shadow (2012)*
Genius Party/Genius Party Beyond (2007-2008)*
GG Allin: All in the Family
Häxan (1922)* - Criterion Collection
Hellboy 15th Anniversary 4K
How We Met
Madagascar: The Ultimate Collection
Malevolence 2: Bereavement – Director’s Cut
Malevolence 3: Killer
Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love
My Samurai: Collector's Edition
One Night in October
Our Hospitality (1923)*
Queen of Spades (1949)*
Scarface: Gold Edition 4K
Scary Movie (1991)*
Shrek: The Ultimate Collection
Spongebob Squarepants: The Complete Tenth Season
Star Trek: Jean-Luc Picard TV + Movie Collection
Sudden Terror (Eyewitness) (1970)*
Teen Titans Go! Vs. Teen Titans
The Art of Self-Defense
The Bloody Brood (1959)*
The Haunting of Hill House: Season One - Extended Director's Cut
The Hours and Times*
The Mind Benders (1963)*
The Noonday Witch (2016)*
The Omen Collection: Deluxe Edition
The Street Fighter’s Last Revenge
Ultra Q The Complete Series (1966-1967)*
Ultraman: The Complete Series (1966-1967)*
*Catalog Blu-ray debut