MONSTERZERO NJ’S 15 NATURE RUN AMOK FLICKS TO WATCH!
Crawl, finds a young woman (Kaya Scodelario battling alligators loose in a house during a hurricane!
Cocaine Bear has brought the nature run amok flick back into the limelight, so, while everyone is in the mood for critters and carnage, here are fifteen fun nature run amok flicks, old and new, to satisfy your creature cravings! You’re going to need a bigger couch!
Cutie Missy Peregrym has a problem with the local wildlife in Backcountry!
Comic horror takes place in 1985 and is based on a real-life incident where a bear did ingest an awful amount of cocaine. Here a drug smuggler drops his load over a national park where it is found and eaten by a large black bear. Driven deliriously crazy, now addicted and on the hunt for more, the creature kills anyone that crosses its path. A group of characters are put in harm’s way including kids playing hooky Dee Dee (Brooklynn Prince) and Henry (Christian Convery), Dee Dee’s worried mom (Keri Russell), drug lord Syd (Ray Liotta) and his two lackeys (O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Alden Ehrenreich), and a cop on Syd’s trail (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) to name a few.
Fact based comedy/horror is directed by Elizabeth Banks from a script by Jimmy Warden and is a bit disappointing considering the great premise it has to work with. There are a couple of bloody fun sequences, especially a hilarious and over-the-top scene involving an ambulance and it’s unsuspecting EMTs. Most anything with the bear is gory and amusing, but it’s the stuff in-between with the human characters that is directed very by the numbers and lacks the same wit or manic energy. The dialog sequences drag. Banks had a great idea in producing this absurd but partially true story but maybe should have handed directing and scripting reins over to someone who had a better sense of how to handle this type of flick. It needed someone who could take the ball and run with it whereas Banks really only cuts completely loose in the ambulance scene which is the best part of the movie. It needed filmmakers with a more bonkers sense of humor and more comfortable ‘going there’ with the ludicrous plot. It felt like Warden just didn’t have the devious wit to really do the material justice and Banks was holding back when she should have taken this to the absurd levels the story demands. It’s still a worth a look. There is fun to be had. But considering what other filmmakers could have done with it, like Deadstream‘s Vanessa and Joseph Winter for example, it’s a bit of a disappointment instead of the real blast of blood-soaked fun it should have been. Still cool that in this day and age a movie like this got made by a major studio and got a major theater release.
MONSTERZERO NJ’S HORROR FLICKS FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH!
February is the month where we mark the achievements of the black community and there have been some wonderful contributions to the world of horror films by some amazing talents. Whether it be black filmmakers like William Crain and Jordan Peele, or actors such as William Marshall, Pam Grier, Lupita Nyong’o, Kiana Madeira and Duane Jones, there is much to celebrate! Here are fifteen films that illustrate the sometimes groundbreaking and always entertaining achievements in the horror genre that this month so proudly commemorates!
To all these talented men and women in front of and behind the camera…CHEERS!
Valeria (Natalia Solián) and Raul (Alfonso Dosal) are a married couple expecting their first child. Soon after finding she’s pregnant, the nervous expectant mother starts seeing things and strange and disturbing events start to happen. Is Valeria simply suffering from extreme anxiety over her pregnancy or is there something supernatural and sinister stalking her and her unborn child?
Mexican horror is effectively directed by Michelle Garza Cervera from her script with Abia Castillo. Despite a common storyline with an expectant mother being stalked by a malevolent entity, the film overcomes this familiar premise with some very effective direction and a heartbreaking and disturbing performance by Natalia Solián, as the terrified mother to be. As in similar tales no one believes her, including husband Raul, and they all think she’s losing her mind and unfit to be a new mother. What sets this apart is that it’s just as much about the fear, confusion and anxiety of becoming a mother as it is about a haunting. It portrays the negative emotions associated with new motherhood, as well as the judgement of family and friends about such anxieties. As a horror movie it can be very subtle at times simply using a strong mood of dread and Solián’s wonderfully emotional performance to convey things that it’s Hollywood brethren would try to do with CGI. There are some spooky visuals too, some interesting Mexican folklore and a few gory moments, but mostly it uses atmosphere and acting to get the job done. If it has any flaws, it’s that it doesn’t delve a little deeper into the folklore and causes behind Valeria being targeted. Otherwise, this is a chilling, effective and emotional debut horror from Michelle Garza Cervera.
“An official selection for numerous prestige film festivals around the globe, including Weekend of Fear and The Festival De Cannes Blood Windoal Selection, director ‘s THE LONG DARK TRAIL premieres on Digital, DVD, and Blu-ray February 21 from Cleopatra Entertainment.
STAND BY ME meets MIDSOMMAR in an unnerving new folk horror tale from writer-directors Kevin Ignatius and Nick Psinakis. After two impoverished teenage brothers manage to escape their abusive father, they embark on a treacherous and haunted journey in the hope of finding their estranged mother who has joined a sadistic cult, deep in the woods of Northwestern Pennsylvania.
Starring Trina Campbell and Brady O’Donnell, THE LONG DARK TRAIL releases February 21 in the UK, US, and Canada.”
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Scott Lang aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) is enjoying his post Thanos life, having written a bestselling book and being recognized as a world saving Avenger. He is dismayed to find his activist daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) not only now has a superhero suit too but is working on sending signals into the quantum realm. An attempt to shut it all down gets Scott, Cassie, Hope (Evangeline Lily), Hank (Michael Douglas) and Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) sucked into the realm where Janet is forced to tell them the truth about why she fears it so much. A powerful, timeline destroying being knows as Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) has been imprisoned there and Pym technology is the key to his escape.
Peyton Reed returns again to direct and seems to be in over his head with Jeff Loveness’ messy and fantasy heavy script. It’s a visual and design heavy installment that plods along for the first two-thirds before finally picking up steam for an action/battle heavy last act. Reed seems out of his element with all the fantasy worlds and bizarre characters which are constantly thrown at the audience, till Kang is introduced and the film settles down somewhat. Kang is a strong villain, and the film only starts to gain some intensity when he arrives onscreen. The movie and director seem a bit lost till then and a lot of it doesn’t seem to serve a purpose. Even an extended cameo by Bill Murray seems like a waste of the actor’s presence, talent and time. Anyone could have played the part, which also seemed to accomplish little, as does the inclusion of Kang’s “hunter” M.O.D.O.K. who turns into a bit of a joke. In fact, it is a very character heavy flick and at barely over two hours, not many characters get enough time to be fully developed, like woman warrior Jentorra (Katy O’Brian), unless established in a previous film. The FX and quantum world design is spectacular, but lack a sense of wonder, while the story is week, and it takes a while till we feel like the film is actually accomplishing something. It also lacks the feel of the previous two Ant-Man flicks and barely feels like part of the MCU, for that matter.
The cast is good. Rudd is still charming and fun as Lang/Ant-Man, but one gets a hint he is tiring of the role. His enthusiasm is not quite the same in his fifth appearance. Evangeline Lilly isn’t given all that much to do as Hope/Wasp despite sharing title billing. She and Rudd still have nice chemistry but aren’t together all that much. Douglas is still charming as the grumpy Hank Pym with Pfeiffer having a lot more to do here than in the last flick as Janet. She makes a good action heroine. Jonathan Majors steals the film as Kang, a very good villain and one wonders if an Ant-Man film was really the proper way to introduce the multiverse destroying bad guy. Newton is fine as superhero in the making Cassie and Bill Murray makes the best of his weakly written and brief role. Katy O’Brian is also solid as freedom fighter Jentorra while the actor portraying Kang henchman M.O.D.O.K. will stay a surprise here.
In conclusion, there was a lot of potential here with a good cast and very strong villain, but once again a weak Ant-Man series screenplay keeps this more in the realm of mediocre than Quantum. Reed seems a bit lost with such a sci-fi/fantasy heavy script and the film seems to meander about till Kang shows up around halfway through—at least it felt that long—and the story started to take shape. The climax is spectacular, but it never really feels like part of the Ant-Man series nor the MCU we know. Stay through the credits for two additional sequences.
“A new horror western in the tradition of FROM DUSK TILL DAWN and THE DARK TOWER, directed by and starring Owen Conway, releasing this March from Uncork’d Entertainment.
On Digital, DVD & On Demand on March 7, 2023
Directed by: Owen Conway
Starring: Owen Conway, Eva Hamilton, Becky Jo Harris, Robert Sprayberry
Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment
GHOST TOWN, written, directed by, and starring Owen Conway (Eminence Hill), Eva Hamilton (Death Kiss), Becky Jo Harris (Spiked) and Amelia Haberman (The Covenant), releases on DVD and Digital March 7 from Uncork’d Entertainment. Story is set in 1877 Arizona, where a drifter takes a job as a barman. After a series of bizarre and horrifying deaths, he finds himself the target of suspicion. Desperate to escape the noose, he is soon at the center of a supernatural mystery that plagues this town.”