Unique Horror Movies
James Wan, the director, had an interesting approach to the color in this movie. In the very beginning everything is very colorful and vivid as we're introduced to the main characters. As the movie goes on, the color seems to change and become mono-toned with a dark shadow being cast upon it. While Jamie is trying to uncover the mystery, the tones stay very grayscale like we're almost watching a vintage movie, it isn't until the ending the color is restored to the film as it back up the fact that something seems to have been accomplished.
Dead Silence (2007)
There are a lot of movies that have really gone to the dolls. There's Child's Play, Dolls, Puppetmaster, Dolly Dearest, and Trilogy of Terror, to name a few...but Dead Silence seems to take a darker view on the subject. Centered around the urban legend of Mary Shaw, we hear about an old woman who was used to scare children:
"Beware the stare of Mary Shaw
She had no children, only dolls,
and if you see her in your dreams
Make sure you never, ever, scream."
Mary Shaw was a truly unique character. As an elderly lady, she had never had children, and instead spent her life collecting ventriloquist dummies, which are creepy enough...but add an element of terror and suddenly you're checking the dark shadows in the corners of your room at night. Each dummy seems to have a life of its own, and seem to know things that a doll can't know, which makes you wonder about the power Mary Shaw seems to have over this little town. After she went mad in 1940s, she was accused of kidnapping a boy from the town, and as revenge the townspeople hunted her down, cut out her tongue, and killed her.
The main character, Jamie, returns to his hometown after he finds his wife murdered and deformed when he left her alone with a creepy package they had received. Determined to find out who would want to kill his wife, he must reunite with his ill father, and meet his new stepmother, the young Ella. While searching through his down he uncovers the truth of the small rhyme from his childhood and begins to notice that the people disappearing around him are losing their tongues, and hearing their own voices being spoken back to them. The town has a deep, dark, past that someone doesn't want uncovered.
Accused of the murder of his wife, Jamie is only determined to prove his innocence and find the person who truly killed her. On his mission he is encountered with his childhood troubles, and every reason he originally left his hometown. Going back to the theatre where Mary Shaw used to perform, he finds a secret room, and potential truth that Mary Shaw never truly disappeared from Ravens Fair. He finds a lot more than he's bargained for in a true ride of horror twists and turns. The ending always surprises me each and every time I watch it and it's a well written story that will keep you guessing.
Trivia from Dead Silence
- During the climax, in the storage area with all 101 dolls, you can see Jigsaw's doll from the "Saw" films sitting on the floor, and EdgarBergen's doll Charlie McCarthy on one of the shelves. The doll that Detective Lipton throws over his shoulder in this scene is a replica of ventriloquist JimmyNelson's doll, Danny O'Day.
- There are two different versions of the "Mary Shaw" poem. In the movie the poem goes, "Beware the stare of Mary Shaw. She had no children only dolls. And if you see her in your dreams, do not ever, ever scream." On the trailer it was, "Beware the stare of Mary Shaw. She had no children, only dolls. And if you see her do not scream, she'll rip your tongue out at the seam."
- The film was made into a haunted house at Universal's "Halloween Horror Nights" in 2007 in Florida.
- Shot in 25 days.
- In the final Scene, a blue and a green controller are show right after the game store employee puts the game into the system. These are off brand Sega Dreamcast controllers.
- The mansion that appears in the video-game at the beginning of the movie is a carbon copy of the one where the action of SEGA's 1998 light gun shooter 'The House of the Dead'.
- Although the term "Blood Countess" is used in the movie's synopsis, it is never said within the movie. When Hutch and Abigail are hearing the story of Elizabeth Bathory from the author of the book "The Lady of Blood", the author says, "Thus began her obsession" (speaking of using the blood of the girls as a "Fountain of Youth", as Abigail says), to which Hutch replies, "The Blood Countess" (not in the theatrical version, but at approximately 1 hour 1 minute and 44 seconds on the uncut-version DVD).
Stay Alive (2006)
There's plenty of movies that center around video games, two major ones being Resident Evil and Silent Hill, but Stay Alive is a movie that centers around a video game that doesn't exist. The beautiful thing about this movie is that it's a not the video game that's really scary but what happens when the video game becomes real life?
"If you die in the game, you die in real life..."
When a group of gamers discover the death of one of their closest friends, the only thing that is left is their possession is the video game 'Stay Alive'. Determined to find out what had held their friend so captive they hold a game night, in his horror, and plug into the underground video game. The video game is based on the true [and fascinating story] of Elizabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess. They believe they've found an amazing game until they begin to realize that what's happening in the game is coming after them in real life. The truth of the matter is that they begin to realize there isn't a way to win. The deaths of their characters in the game are mimicking real life, and you can't outrun it. The beauty is the originality of the premise.
It becomes a true life or death situation to not only beat the game, but to beat real life, as the video game begins playing itself when the players aren't around causing unfair deaths. It's a constant edge of your seat ride when you begin to root for their lives to keep being replenished as the game begins to get more and more unfair. The deaths are gruesome and unreal. The basis of the game is fantastic and interesting and the characters are someone you can connect with. The fear continually builds and builds and another surprise ending keeps on compelled. The suspense is worth the movie alone. The viewer begins to wonder what's coming around every corner and it's a movie where you want to scream at the TV with the slim hope that the characters will hear what you're saying.
True Life- Elizabeth Bathory
Elizabeth Bathory, or Báthory Erzsébet, was a 17th century countess of Hungary. Her family had control of Transylvania and her Uncle was King of Poland. She had married a man from another prominent family in Hungary and had four children with him.
It wasn't until the passing of her husband that the Countesses cruelty really started to surface. She had begin to loathe the young girls around her that seemed to have such timeless beauty [allegedly speaking]. She is rumored to have killed over 600 girls with the help of her servants. She had reasoned that if if she bathed in the blood of a young virgin, and drank the blood in the case of the especially pretty ones, she would maintain her glorious beauty and strength. When back in the castle, each batch of young girls would be hung, alive and naked, upside-down by chains wrapped around their ankles. Their throats would be slit and all of their blood drained for Elizabeth's bath, to be taken while the heat of their young bodies still remained in the thickening and sticky crimson pool. And every now and then, a really lovely young girl would be obtained. As a special treat, Elizabeth would drink the child's blood: at first from a golden flask, but later, as her taste for it increased, directly from the stream, as the writhing and whimpering body hung from the rafters, turning pale.
In 1609 Bathory and her servants were arrested. In 1611 her servants were put on trial and three of them were executed. Elizabeth admitted nothing. The Countess, by reason of her noble birth, could not be executed. So, Elizabeth was damned to a death while alive. Sealed into a tiny closet of her castle -- and never let out -- she died four years later.
Elizabeth did not ever utter even a single word of regret, or remorse.
- Fans of Stephen King books may notice numerous references to his first novel Carrie, which also deals with a telekinetic girl. The raining stones and telekinetic girl named Annie are both directly from the novel "Carrie".
- Rose Red has many qualities found in Stephen King's early story, The Shining. Both deal with a large, haunted building with a rich history that taps into the powers of those who enter it.
- When Stephen King was still considering making Rose Red as a feature film with Steven Spielberg, the two had many creative disagreements over the tone of the film. Spielberg demanded more in the way of thrills and action sequences, while King was dead set on cerebral horrors. Eventually they couldn't come to an understanding and the project was shelved with King buying back the rights to the script. You get an idea of the kind of horror film Spielberg wanted to make with the subsequent Monster House.
- The series is loosely based on Sarah Winchester and The Winchester "Mystery" House. The story has noticeably strong ties to Shirley Jackson's book which was made into the movie, The Haunting which Stephen King has mentioned was one of his favorite novels.
Rose Red (2002)
Despite the fact that this is a made-for-TV mini series, this movie is well worth the 254 minutes of your day it would take up to watch this. Stephen King had truly done it again. This psychological thriller centers around a group of psychics who are being lead into a decrepit old mansion with the hope that they will be able to 'wake the house up'.
If Some Houses Are Born Bad, This One Was Created In Hell.
As they move through the house their powers awaken the house with each and every step. Each character has a unique motive for bringing themselves to this hell house and allowing their lives to be placed in the hands of someone they don't even know. The beautifully created house grows and continues to build on its own after the commands of their owner, Ellen Rimbauer. Built around a tragic love story, and a rich history, this house is continually kept alive with changes around every corner. The group begins to notice that things are going horribly wrong while their ringleader, psychology professor Joyce Reardon, becomes more and more obsessed with the house.
The happenings become more and more dangerous as the psychics are being picked off one by one, to join the rest of the soul that have been trapped in the house by malicious intent. Each corner of the house has a different disturbing secret that is becoming more and more dangerous to the people in the house. Each character is unique in their own way and everything about this movie leaves you wanting more until the amazing ending. It is worth the half a day you'd need to watch it, because you'll never forget anything that happens in this movie, and you'll fear it forever.