Archives for posts with tag: horror movies

When “Scanners” debuted in 1981, it was quite the talk of the schoolyard. “My big brother’s girlfriend’s cousin went to a midnight showing! A guy’s head really blows up! This girl at the theater ran out screaming!” Lord knows my mom would never let me see a weirdo Canadian horror film like that. When I finally viewed it decades later, I wish I’d seen it when I was 15. Corporate-weaponized mind readers (who somehow never know when someone’s sneaking up on them) trying to blow each other’s brains out (so to speak) required a little too much suspension of disbelief.

It might be the most exploitative public service announcement in Hollywood history. “Girl in the Basement” (2021) features a rebellious daughter who is locked in the basement bomb shelter of the family abode, where her crazy dad (Judd Nelson) visits to rape her repeatedly over two decades, creating a second family. There’s a helpful phone number to call at the end if you suspect someone you know is hiding people in their basement. Lifetime says it’s “inspired” by actual events, like that’s some sort of excuse for its existence. A documentary or news story about “actual events” would have sufficed.

I didn’t know anything about “Willy’s Wonderland” (2021). I only saw a promotional photo of Nicolas Cage and some puppet-looking things. My jaw tensed. I stretched my index finger onto the mouse and clicked “rent.” I just didn’t know what I’d be getting myself into. As it turned out, I witnessed the kind of excellence in grindhouse cinema I hadn’t seen since “Machete.” Cage is the Man With No Name (and no voice – it entertains me to think his lack of dialogue was related to some kind of lawsuit or IRS thing) tasked with ridding a town of mechanical menace.