Horror review: Skyline

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 15, 2010 Two alien-invasion flicks were released in Metro Vancouver last Friday, but Monsters only opened at one theatre while Skyline made it into at least a dozen. Judging by how much the latter film sucks, it should have been the other way around. As Skyline begins, good guy Jarrod (Joe Perry look-alike Eric Balfour) and … Continue reading Horror review: Skyline

Horror review: Cold Creek Manor

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 25, 2003 I had high hopes for Cold Creek Manor being a decent suspense thriller. First off, the cast looked impressive. Sharon Stone, Dennis Quaid, Stephen Dorff, and Juliette Lewis have all done memorable work in the past. And Mike Figgis is no hack, having directed the Oscar-nominated … Continue reading Horror review: Cold Creek Manor

Horror review: Ghost Ship

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 31, 2002 The folks at Hollywood’s Dark Castle Entertainment just don’t know when to give up. After nauseating viewers big time with their lamebrained haunted-house remakes, Thir13en Ghosts and House on Haunted Hill, they’re now polluting the high seas with this dead-in-the-water combo of The Shining and Titanic. … Continue reading Horror review: Ghost Ship

Horror review: feardotcom

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 5, 2002 I figured feardotcom was gonna be bad news when I saw the TV trailer and noticed it was promoted with the line “From the director of House on Haunted Hill”, as if that was anything to be proud of. William Malone’s special-effects–heavy 1999 remake of William … Continue reading Horror review: feardotcom

Horror review: The Mothman Prophecies

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 31, 2002 The Mothman Prophecies is supposedly based on a series of mysterious events that occurred in the mid-’60s in the small town of Point Pleasant, Virginia. Reports of unexplained lights in the sky, strange telephone noises, and sightings of a man-sized, mothlike entity culminated in a bridge … Continue reading Horror review: The Mothman Prophecies

Horror review: Thir13en Ghosts

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 1, 2001 Several times while viewing the Vancouver-shot Thir13en Ghosts, I thought to myself: “This is a complete and utter piece of crap.” But after the movie was over, I decided that glib assessment wasn’t totally called for. The film’s set piece—a sprawling haunted house built mostly of … Continue reading Horror review: Thir13en Ghosts

Horror review: The Forsaken

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 3, 2001 A couple of months back, dedicated horror fans were slapped in the face with a mindless made-in-Vancouver slasher flick called Valentine. After suffering through that inept exercise in blood and boobs, I figured it would be a while before a fright flick so painful to sit … Continue reading Horror review: The Forsaken

Horror review: The Watcher

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 14, 2000 Poor Keanu Reeves. Even though he’s starred in such blockbuster action flicks as Speed and The Matrix, he’s never been able to live down the role he was born to play: that of empty-headed California dude Bill in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Dogstar, the rock … Continue reading Horror review: The Watcher

Horror review: Bless the Child

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 17, 2000 As soon as I got home after seeing Bless the Child, I happened to check my mail and found a schedule for the Vancouver Film School’s part-time fall classes. The cover of the glossy pamphlet caught my eye because it read, in big green letters, If … Continue reading Horror review: Bless the Child

Horror review: Pitch Black

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 4, 2000 At one point in writer-director David Twohy’s gory sci-fi/horror flick Pitch Black, futuristic lawman Johns (Cole Hauser) states: “My life is a steaming, meaningless pile of shit.” Now, I probably wouldn’t even have remembered that prime example of Twohy’s screenwriting prowess if it hadn’t been so … Continue reading Horror review: Pitch Black

Horror review: House on Haunted Hill

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 4, 1999 As if this year’s bogus remake of The Haunting wasn’t discouraging enough for horror fans, now Hollywood has unleashed another sorry remake of a haunted-house flick, this time seeking inspiration from the silly but fun Vincent Price vehicle House on Haunted Hill. The new version has … Continue reading Horror review: House on Haunted Hill

Horror review: Lake Placid

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 22, 1999 As the Vancouver correspondent for Fangoria, the world’s best-known horror magazine, I usually have access to the sets of whatever scary flicks are being filmed around town. Most horror filmmakers jump at the chance to have their work previewed in the blood-red pages of that esteemed … Continue reading Horror review: Lake Placid

Horror review: Virus

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 21, 1999 By Steve Newton There’s a scene near the beginning of Virus in which oceangoing-tug engineer Steve Baker (William Baldwin) and his supposedly hip Cuban sidekick, Squeaky (Julio Oscar Mechoso), have just boarded an evidently abandoned Russian research ship. The salvage tug they’ve transferred from has just … Continue reading Horror review: Virus

Horror review: Halloween H20

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 6, 1998 By Steve Newton Hollywood surely is the land of make-believe—especially for people like the producers of Halloween: H20. Why, they only had to close their eyes and click their heels three times and all those pesky Halloween sequels—including 1995’s nonsensical Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers—vanished … Continue reading Horror review: Halloween H20

Horror review: Species II

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 16, 1998 By Steve Newton Last week, David Letterman had as one of his guests Natasha Henstridge, the lovely young actor best-known for parading around in her birthday suit throughout the 1995 horror flick Species. At one point, Dave said something along the lines of, “So, are ya … Continue reading Horror review: Species II

Horror review: Deep Rising

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 12, 1998 By Steve Newton What’s up with Vancouver and the scary movies that are made here? This town may be tops in TV terror (Millennium, The X-Files, The Outer Limits), but it sure has trouble producing decent horror flicks for the big screen, as anyone who’s suffered … Continue reading Horror review: Deep Rising

Horror review: Halloween–The Curse of Michael Myers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 5, 1995 By Steve Newton I’m sorry to say that Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is most definitely not a seasonal TV variety show starring that boyish redheaded comic from Saturday Night Live and Wayne’s World. The bad news is that it’s the sixth in the series … Continue reading Horror review: Halloween–The Curse of Michael Myers

Horror review: The Prophecy

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 7, 1995 By Steve Newton Highlander and Backdraft screenwriter Gregory Widen forgot one very important thing when he set about making his directorial debut with the supernatural horror flick The Prophecy. He forgot that when people are watching movies depicting the supreme struggle between good and evil—heaven and … Continue reading Horror review: The Prophecy

Horror review: Lord of Illusions

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 31, 1995 By Steve Newton Clive Barker is the ultimate lord of self-delusion if he believes that Lord of Illusions—which he wrote, directed, and coproduced—is going to help the film career that took a nosedive five years ago with the nonsensical and inept Nightbreed. That flick, like Barker’s … Continue reading Horror review: Lord of Illusions

Horror review: Species

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 13, 1995 By Steve Newton Somebody should have told the makers of Species that if they’re gonna blatantly rip off other movies, they should at least do it right. It’s obvious—from the H.R. Giger–designed creature right on down to the glowing, thin-lettered logo—that the folks behind Species took … Continue reading Horror review: Species

Horror review: The Mangler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 6, 1995 By Steve Newton The fear of being mangled by machinery is a powerful one, indeed. Of course, not everyone suffers the daily risk of being sucked into a threshing machine, but the potential for physical harm is always there. Say the electric lawn mower gets clogged … Continue reading Horror review: The Mangler