My Favorite Women in Horror Films

I thought it would be fun to showcase some of my favorite women in horror films. Whether they're final girls, scene stealers, scream queens, may queens, or even a prom queen, here's a quick list of some women I love. Let me know some recommendations you have as well. 

Justine - Raw
Oh Justine, I want you to figure it out too.

Dana - Cabin in the Woods
One of my favorite movies of all time.

Laurie Strode - Halloween
The ultimate final girl.

Maddie - Hush
The scariest home invasion movie I've seen.

Suzy - Suspira
I love this candy colored nightmare.

Ellen Ripley - Alien
This badass.

Lizzie - The Perfection
She was my favorite part of this. 

May - May
So creepy, and one I need to revist.

Amelia - The Babadook
One of the deepest horror films in recent memory.

Selena - 28 Days Later
For being so tough and protective of young Hannah.

Carrie - Carrie
The most memorable prom queen.

Sidney Prescott - Scream
My favorite scream queen.

Lorraine Warren - The Conjuring
Because she holds it together during all the uncomfortable creepiness.

Soo-an - Train To Busan
This little one was everything in this film.

Sarah - Starry Eyes
What a price for fame.

Dani - Midsommar
The May Queen.

Melanie - The Girl With All The Gifts
Because she's so sweet in a world that is so cruel.

Jesse - The Neon Demon
I'm actually just high key obsessed with the makeup and costumes in this film.

Review: Zombieland: Double Tap

The rules are still in place

It's been approximately seven years since we last checked in with our gang and now Tallahasse, (Woody Harrelson) Columbus, (Jesse Eisenberg) Wichita, (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigal Breslin) have crossed the country yet again and are now living at the White House. Little Rock however is getting stir crazy since she's never around people her own age. At first, Wichita understands, and they leave the boys in the middle of the night. But when they do pick up a hitcher Little Rock's age, she ditches her sister to be with him, and now she has to go back to ask for help.

One thing hasn't changed, and it's the wonderful chemistry between the leads. They play off each other wonderfully. Breslin doesn't spend a lot of time with the main group, but the other three bounce off one another like no time has passed. There's several laugh out loud moments and many call backs to the original. Some funny (like getting "Murray'd") some far too on the nose ("That's so 2009!") 

As for the new characters,they're mostly pretty awful. Rosario Dawson as the Elvis loving Nevada is the only good addition. Zoey Deutch's Madison is extremely annoying and serves no purpose but to add unneeded tension between Columbus and Wichita. Deutch is good, don't get me wrong, but that gag grows old almost immediately.

It's a bit strange that after all these years they're still calling each other by their fake names, but that's how we know them I suppose, and it's good to see them back. This film in no way captures the original magic, but it's still a decent watch that I would definitely recommend if you enjoyed the first one.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "Time to kick some dicks." - Tallahasse (Woody Harrelson)

Review: The Laundromat

The Small Short.

When Ellen Martin's (Meryl Streep) husband dies in a boating accident, she expects a big pay out from the boat company's insurance policy. Only she finds out it's fraudulent and linked to a law firm in Panama ran by our narrators -  Jürgen Mossack (Gary Oldman) and Ramón Fonseca. (Antonio Banderas) 

Stephen Soderbergh apparently really liked The Big Short, because that's exactly what he's attempting to do here structure wise. Instead of the housing crisis,we have an insurance scam. It is well directed but the characters are not nearly as compelling as The Big Short, or most recently Hustlers to pull this type of film off. 

Before I watched this I had read some negative reviews that all talked about Streep, but it was Oldman and Banderas who I thought were completely insufferable. Oldman's accent is atrocious, he sounds like he's just trying to mimic Banderas so I was quite confused when his character mentions being from Germany. So we're stuck with annoying narrator who stay with us throughout, while all the interesting characters show up for 10 minutes, than disappear. They show how far and wide this scam goes. Taking us to Nevis, Panama, China, Los Angeles and introduce us to other characters that they promptly leave. 

Jeffrey Wright shows up to dodge a phone call, dodge a question, then get arrested. The biggest waste involves Nonso Anozie, Jessica Allain, Miracle Washington and Nikki Amuka-Bird.  Anozie plays Charles, a man who cheats on his wife (Amuka-Bird) with his daughter Simone's (Allian) friend Astrid. (Washington) Simone threatens to tell her mom, so Charles tries to bribe her with shares. It's the most engaging part of the movie, they get about 15-20 minutes of time, then we never see them again.  Nearly all the side stories are more interesting than the man one with Ellen.

I had low expectations going in, and this film was better than I expected, but it's nowhere near good.

Recommended: No

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "How does he fucking do it?" - Simone (Jessica Allain)

2019 Blind Spot Series: Eraserhead

What I knew going in: That it was weird.

Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) is a factory worker in a world that apparently barely survived a nuclear holocaust. He is forced into marrying a girl he had sex with, Mary X (Charlotte Stewart) after she gives birth to a mutant baby out of wedlock. Parenthood is not for these two.

I knew this was going to be weird, but holy shit. I always assumed Rubber would continue to reign supreme as the strangest thing I've ever watched but I think this actually takes the cake. Eraserhead definitely wants you to decide what this film means to you. After I sat there incredulous for a while after the fact, I pulled up this films' IMDb page, read the synopsis and some of the reviews and there are people who put a lot more thought into this then I did. 

I'll be the first to admit, I'm not in the best place to watch this. A film like this is probably best seen at a midnight movie. Not when you're depressed and lonely, like I am at the moment. That's not the film's fault, but it requires a certain head space and I'm just not there at the moment. Which is a shame because this movie is truly director David Lynch's start. You get a glimpse of the interesting figure he was about to become.

I don't want to end this review on a bad note, so I want to point out the one thing this film does really well - it's creepy as fuck. The mutant baby, if you want to call it that is so unsettling to look at. Especially with the way the camera lingers. There's barely any dialogue in this movie and often you're just left with the score and this baby's cries, and boy is that effective.

Recommended: Today, no. Another day, probably yes.

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "Oh, you really are sick." - Henry Spencer (Jack Nance)

Indie Gems: The Wind

I think we're alone now. 

Lizzy (Caitlin Gerard) lives isolated on the plains with her husband, Isaac. (Ashley Zukerman) He's gone for many days at a time, leaving her isolated save for an occasional visit from neighbors Emma and Gideon. (Julia Goldani Telles and Dylan McTee) But Lizzy is plagued by evil spirits...or is she? Maybe it's just her mind playing tricks on her.

If you've been here for awhile you know I struggle with Westerns. It's a genre that never fails to bore me. Thankfully at a brisk 1 hour 26 minutes, The Wind never has time to be boring, even though it is what you could call a "slow burn" in a sense. Dread plagues Lizzy. You get an uneasy feeling watching this throughout. She's also somewhat of an unreliable narrator in a way. The film constantly asks you to question what's happening to her. Is the isolation affecting her head space? Is there really a demon out there? Both? 

I loved how Gerard plays this part. She doesn't always do sympathetic things but I never once stopped caring about her and you can tell director Emma Tammi cares about her deeply too. They could've gone a completely different route with this. Her husband and neighbors could've been antagonists, but they're not. They could've had her be over the top crazy, but she isn't. It reminded me a bit of The Babadok in a sense that this was a story about mental illness as well as a horror film.

There are a few cheap jump scares, and the film sometimes suffers from not being told in a linear fashion, but if you're looking for something quiet and creepy, this one is for you.

Grade: B

Watched on: Netflix DVD

Memorable Quote: "You have been such a strong person, I would not have survived without you." - Emma

Thursday Movie Picks: Jump Scares That Got You

This week's Halloween theme from Wandering Through The Shelves was one that I suggested. Jump Scares...that actually do their job. I think sometimes horror fans are immune to jump scares because we see so many. Or the film is predictable and you can see them coming a mile away. But sometimes..they're effective. Here are a few that had me flying out of my seat.

1) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Yes, I chose the remake. This is honestly probably the dumbest thing I've ever jumped at...the scene where Sheriff Hoyt comes up to the teenager's car window out of nowhere. It's such a cheap move but for some reason or another I did not see this coming at all.

2) It

This film was effectively creepy without relying on jump scares but when Giant Pennywise came out of the projector the Losers were watching, that had me out of my seat. 

3) The Descent

I'm sure you can guess what got me in this film before I even say it. Yes, that car crash/fake out ending. Honestly this is just a brilliantly done film all around, and there's nothing quite like thinking your final girl made it, only to get scared out of your seat, then slapped in the face with reality. 

Bonus: Gothika. Not because I flew out of my seat, but because a woman in another row did and dumped her entire popcorn bucket all over me. I actually love this movie, it's a weird guilty pleasure, but I always think of popcorn lady when I watch it. 

Review: El Camino

Yeah bitch, escape!

Following being set free from his captors, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) looks to leave Albuquerque and start a new life, but nearly every obstacle possible gets in his way. 

I've you've been reading here, you know how much I love Breaking Bad. I think it's one of the best - if not THE best show on television and the ending was perfect and fulfilling. But Vince Gilligan always has surprises for us. I didn't think I needed more backstop on Saul Goodman, but Better Call Saul has been a great show. Now he offers us a chance to see what happens to Jesse after he and Walt part ways. In my head, I gave Jesse a happy ending. Now we get to see if he actually gets one. 

I loved El Camino. It works perfectly as an extended epilogue to Breaking Bad. I had almost expected them not to revisit anyone else from the series, but they incorporate familiar faces seamlessly. Nothing about it is cringy or forced.

Aaron Paul is still fantastic as ever, and Jesse Plemmons wonderfully returns as Todd for flashbacks and a stark reminder of just how messed up his character was. The film doesn't sugarcoat Jesse's PTSD from being imprisoned. We see how every little thing weighs on him, and it makes us root for him more.

If I had to critique anything, my main gripe is Andrea. I've always felt like the show chose to focus more on Jane because a well known actress played her, but Andrea also made a huge impression on Jesse, and I would've liked a better flashback of the two of them together.

If you're a fan of Breaking Bad, you obviously need to see this. Hopefully you have already by the time I post this.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "You were standing on stage when they handed it to me, dick." - Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul)