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Movie reviews (titles starting with W)
02-04-2017, 06:39 AM
Post: #1
Movie reviews (titles starting with W)
We Are the Night (2010)
3 dripping fangs

This is a German movie about a group of female vampires who decide to recruit a new member. The atmosphere of the movie is very cool and it has a few really good action scenes. The film is not very gory as horror movies go. One of the female vampires looks like an even hotter version of American race car driver Danica Patrick so that's a positive! The only big downside for me was that instead of English subtitles the movie was dubbed in English and I didn't really like the voice actors they used. Some of the voices were so bad that they were distracting. But if you are a vampire fan, I think it's a fun watch.

What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? (1969)
3 shallow graves

The cinematic style and score of this movie are a bit dated but it's fairly entertaining. As the movie opens we watch newly widowed Claire Marrable (played by Geraldine Page) find out that before his death her husband cashed out all of their assets without her knowledge. Before we have much time to feel sorry for the widow we find out that she has an evil streak in her. Mrs. Marrable doesn't mind using illegal tactics to make money so that she can live the comfortable life she desires. Page does a nice job in the lead role and Ruth Gordon (who won an Oscar for her supporting actress role in Rosemary's Baby) is terrific as Mrs. Marrable's new housekeeper, Mrs. Dimmock. The other actors are not great but they have limited roles as most of the tension and conflict happen between Mrs. Marrable and Mrs. Dimmock. The plot is not complex but it has a couple of unexpected twists toward the end to keep the viewer interested.

The Whisperer in Darkness (2011)
4 mysterious creatures

I think people's opinion of this film will vary widely depending on whether or not they enjoy Lovecraftian tales. Personally, I am a big H.P. Lovecraft fan and The Whisperer in Darkness does a great job bringing one of his classic stories to the screen. The decision to film in black and white and keep the special effects simple pays off as the feeling and atmosphere of the movie really fit the storyline. The protagonist is Professor Albert Wilmarth, who studies myths and legends at Miskatonic University. Prof. Wilmarth is very skeptical of reports of strange creatures sighted in the hills of Vermont. He develops a relationship via correspondence with a Vermont farmer, Henry Akeley, and eventually takes a trip to visit Akeley to investigate the rumors. The makers of the film added some content to Lovecraft's original story to flesh it out but the new material fits seamlessly and did not detract at all from my enjoyment.

White Zombie (1932)
3 vacant stares

Due to the sheer age of White Zombie, the film and sound quality are pretty spotty but the storyline is fun. A young couple travels to Haiti to be married. Unfortunately a man they meet on the trip decides he wants the bride-to-be for himself, even if means utilizing the services of the local zombiemaster (Bela Lugosi). This is the first pre-Night of the Living Dead zombie film I've seen and it was interesting to see the differences. The zombies in White Zombie are indeed animated corpses but they are not cannibalistic. Having no will of their own, they simply follow the orders of their master. As scary as the modern Romero zombies are, these silent, emotionless beings who switch from harvesting crops to killing an intruder with no change in their manner are pretty darn creepy themselves. It's impressive because there are no special effects to speak of but just simple makeup and dead, staring eyes to set the zombies apart.

The Wicker Man (1973)
3 naked hippies

The story line for this original is better than the 2006 remake. The acting is pretty good and the creepy atmosphere is very effective. I would have rated this movie higher except for two things - 1) The 60's-style flower child music throughout is distracting and annoying and 2) watching Christopher Lee, the great Dracula, prancing around in a dress and wig for a strange religious ritual was both disturbing and comical.

The Wicker Man (2006)
2 wicked women

The tale of a police officer going to a remote island to search for a missing child had some creepy moments but overall was very disappointing. The highlight of the movie was Nicholas Cage punching some women in the face. Seriously.

The Wicker Tree (2010)
1.5 pagan goddesses

My disappointment in this pseudo-sequel to the 1973 The Wicker Man was doubled when I learned afterward that it was written and directed by Robin Hardy, the same man who directed the original film. It took him 37 years to come up with this shallow imitation? The story in this one is that a young, popular Christian singer and her fiancé travel to a remote area in Scotland on a revival tour. The local residents are openly friendly to the visitors but secretly have evil plans for them. With few exceptions, the acting overall was poor. The background music seemed to be thrown on at the end, with no connecting theme throughout. The action scenes had no intensity and the movie in general lacked suspense. The only thing that kept me watching until the end was that I wondered exactly what cruel fate the two heroes were facing. Ultimately, it really wasn't worth the wait.

Wishmaster (1997)
3 tempting wishes

Wishmaster, produced by Wes Craven, is a dark tale about an ancient djinn (genie) who gets loose in modern times. The djinn has to grant people the things they wish for, but he is fiendishly clever and fulfills everybody's wishes in horrible ways. The story is hokey and most of the acting is not very good, but Andrew Divoff gives a great performance as the djinn. His voice alone is chilling. The movie is full of horror legends in minor roles, including Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Tony Todd (Candyman), and Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th). The special effects are plentiful, gory, and very good.

Wolf (1994)
3 full moons

I didn't know what to expect from Jack Nicholson in this role but I was pleasantly surprised at how well he did. This is a pretty enjoyable werewolf movie but there is not much action until the end. One negative is how obvious it was when Nicholson's stunt man stepped in for running and jumping scenes.

The Wolf Man (1941)
4.5 full moons

This has always been my favorite of the classic Universal horror films of the 30's and 40's. Lon Chaney Jr. is the tragic character Larry Talbot, who returns to his home town after 18 years only to become cursed after a bite from a wolf. Great story!

The Wolfman (2010)
3 full moons

There are a few nods to the 1941 Universal Pictures The Wolf Man including the similar appearance of the werewolf and the name of the protagonist, Lawrence Talbot. The overall plot, however, is very different and drags for the first part of the movie. The pace of the movie picks up (and the fun really starts) the first time that Lawrence transforms.
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