One For the Show, Two For the Money

This will be a review of the CinemaSlice Short Film Double Feature, covering two short film releases by Michael Welborn: Sleep / Humans

The first entry is “SLEEP

A horror film with a mix of humor and sadism. I feel this film is a lot longer than it needs to be. The opening itself running a slightly-past-tolerable 2 minutes, plus. I’m not sure if the background images really do much for setting up the story itself (rather, justifying the amount of time spent on them). It’s possible there’s some key element among them, but after a couple of viewings it still eludes me – other than establishing a medical-theme. The one nice thing though is the opening soundtrack (by AVZTN), which has a special creepiness to it – the classic haunting sounds do produce a chilling effect, causing uneasiness in the viewer (or at least to me).

The first shot is a close-up of an anesthesiologist (played by Michael Welborn), explaining to a patient who he is and what his duties are suppose to be. We then see the patient (Mr. Covington, played by Brandon Guiles). We quickly learn this is suppose to be an appendectomy. However the bedside manner of the physician is disturbing Covington a bit.

Continue reading “One For the Show, Two For the Money”

Top 5 Torture films

In honor of Halloween, I’ve decided to write a list of my top 5 torture films!

As I researched my memory for ‘torture porn’ films I’ve enjoyed, I began to think of some of the more extreme examples– ABC’s of Death, Cannibal Holocaust, A Saberian Film, etc. — And frankly, I’ve realized I have limits! (Woah!) I prefer my torture films to be gorey, but fun!– both disturbing and surreal.

I decided not to include hyper bloody horror films such as Dead Alive, House of 1000 Corpses, Return of the Living Dead, etc– but rather those films that make you[me] uncomfortable, and at the same time, begging for more.

5. Hostel (2005)

Eli Roth broke into the genre with Hostel.
Three backpackers head to a Slovak city that promises to meet their hedonistic expectations, with no idea of the hell that awaits them.
Various rich sadists are involved in a sinister secret society called, Elite Hunting. Here they are free to select from a room of torture tools, and get their jollies torturing blind-sdied tourists!

4. Saw (2004)

The original Saw film was a huge inspiration for me as a filmmaker. The majority of the film took place in 1 room! With only 2 actors!  Continue reading “Top 5 Torture films”

5. The Devil’s Candy (Movie Review)

The Devil’s Candy (86%Netflix Match)

Netflix Description: A struggling painter moves his family into a house with a horrific past and soon finds himself being artistically inspired by demonic forces.

Review:

As soon as I saw IFC Midnight scroll across the screen I immediately knew I was in for a ride. IFC either has really bad movies, really good hidden gems or movies that make you question your moral standings just for watching them lol. Thankfully The Devil’s Candy is one of those gems you never thought you would uncover, but you do. This film shows us the reality of true evil which is man.

Lets start off with the acting on this one. Not a single poor performance across the board. I love it when I can watch a movie and feel like i’m getting to peer into this other dimension into peoples lives. That is exactly what a film should be. When you can tell someone is acting it ruins the whole thing, it breaks your concentration. This movie pulled me in from start to finish and left me on the edge of my seat.

Pruitt Taylor Vince plays such a damn good killer/mental patient that it makes you fear you never see his character in real life. I assumed this movie was going to be some typical black contact wearing, people flying across the room jump fest and it wasn’t. He can get that look in his eyes where he looks like he his off in his own world and it sells his character even more. That disconnect he can do is amazing.

I didn’t realize it at first but at the end I saw Ethan Embry as almost like this Christ like figure. Not sure if they meant him to seem that way or not but it came off to me like he was. He was rocking that medium long hair with the short beard defeating the evil that was Vince. I would really love to talk the writers on this one and pick their brain. The same look goes for most metal dudes though so maybe it’s just me reaching for more than it’s worth. Continue reading “5. The Devil’s Candy (Movie Review)”

4. XX (Movie Review)

XX (90% Netflix Match)

Netflix Description: This four-part anthology of short horror films features stories that include some traditional themes but all are shown from a female point of view.

Review: Right away we see that this movie has broken off from our Netflix suggested trend of ghost/demon movies. Why doesn’t this one fit with the Netflix algorithm we have been seeing (refer back to first article of this series to get filled in)? Well good reader I can tell you exactly why.

This is a Magnet Releasing movie. No matter how many bad movies I dive into, no matter how many times I share my account password and friends ruin my suggested list, Magnet will always be there. That is because not a single Magnet movie I have watched on Netflix has received anything less than a 4 star rating from me or a thumbs down if we are talking the new rating system. They will always be the highest rated suggestion on Netflix for me. Simply put without going total fan boy right now, THEY ONLY RELEASE GOOD MOVIES! Oh yes there will be a whole article series just for their films coming up, don’t you worry. Until then lets start breaking this movie down.

This movie is split up into 4 short films which are all shown from a female point of view and are all directed by women. I would say there is actually 5 films in this because of the intro and its continuation as a transition piece between films. Not sure if that is actual considered “XX” or if it had a name at all, but it was one of the coolest stop motion animations I have seen in a long time. As far as the short films go they span the full spectrum of horror, Lets look at the first!

Continue reading “4. XX (Movie Review)”

3. Demonic (Movie Review)

Demonic (96% Netflix Match)

Netflix Description: When amateur ghost hunters visit an abandoned house, their investigation turns into a massacre, leaving questions for a detective and a psychologist.

Review: I hate to keep rating these movies so low but I mean come on. Snooze fest after snooze fest. No literally, I fell asleep during this movie and had to start over where I left off at a later time. When you watch a movie it shouldn’t feel like work and that’s exactly what it felt like to watch this.

Lets start with the characters. Not a single one stood out to me. I usually like fresh actors in movies instead of stars we’ve seen time and again. With the exception to movies like this. You could have went to any college campus anywhere and picked random, generic people to be in this and that’s exactly what this cast felt like. “Hey kid, do you want to be in a movie, cuz now you’re in a movie!” The only character I felt anything for, and don’t ask me why was Jenkins played by Terence Rosemore. He just seemed like one of those guys you really hoped nothing would happened to in the movie because he looked like a genuine guy. That’s just me though, I like interesting characters. As my mom always says, “If everyone in the world was the same, it would be a really boring place” and that is what most of this cast makes… a very boring movie. Continue reading “3. Demonic (Movie Review)”

2. House on Willow Street (Movie Review)

House on Willow Street (98% Netflix Match)

 

Netflix Description: A group of desperate kidnappers learn the hard way that their captive isn’t just another damsel in distress… She’s a demon.

Review

Have to be honest with this, I don’t recognize a single actor in this one. I see that a few have played in some bigger movies recently like Robocop and Step Up 3D but I haven’t seen either to be able to fully judge on these actors skills. The actor that stood out the most to me didn’t even get the spotlight and that was Gustav Gerdener who played James. Gustav seemed like a natural and did a hell of a job at acting possessed. Hopefully he will get picked up for some bigger roles in the future!

Now on to the camera work which is something I usually do not touch on. For not being a blockbuster hit, the camera work was on par and looked very fluid. I especially liked the scenes that required the camera to follow the actors. There was just enough stability to make it not “shaky cam” but still give it enough bounce to make the camera seem natural. To which I give the team props. Continue reading “2. House on Willow Street (Movie Review)”

Hello, This is QuEsT

Hello people of the Slice,

People of the sun,

People of the arts.

My name is Michael Gonzalez, owner operator of Crowded Couch, which is an art music and networking platform. Our motto is art, comfort, community.I am from bay city, Michigan, where I still reside, but my heart is with all causes that relate to my own dream for MORE ART, MORE EVENTS, MORE PARTICIPATION, MORE LOVE and APPRECIATION FOR ARTS.

I consider myself a jack of all arts, with the intent to incubate, network, and accent art comfort and community. I use art to shock the beauty out of people. Poetry. Photography, music, sculpture, mixed media painting and collage, etc.

Cinema slice is naturally an extension of all if this by virtue of it’s existence, and so being invited to contribute to the Creative Soup is a true blessing.

  • Why do we art?
  • And what is the purpose of a collective?

Continue reading “Hello, This is QuEsT”

It Begins… 1. The Black Room (Movie Review)

Two years ago I found myself steering towards horror movies with spirits or demons in them. It all started with me forcing myself to watch all of the Paranormal Activity movies in order. Paranormal Activity is one of those series you absolutely love, or you hate every last second of. The only middle ground being the first movie maybe the first time we all watched it. It was a challenge for me to say the least as i’m not a big fan of P.O.V./Found Footage movies. Anyways after finishing them I found myself wanting more movies with the same theme so I steered towards Netflix and burned through every ghost/spirit/demon movie I could find. This left my account thinking that these types of movies were literally the only type of horror movie I wanted to watch. It still affects my account suggestions to this day.

This brings us back to the Netflix algorithm and the reviews I’m about to give of my most suggested movies by them. You will start to see a trend in how all of the movies have the same theme. Well, that’s because of two years ago. When I do my reviews I make it a goal to do absolutely no research on what I’m about to watch. It gives a more honest review and I take notes of exactly what goes through my head when it happens. I thought it would be fun to show you exactly what I was thinking by taking notes of it and writing it down for you in a section I will title, “play by play”. This is the beginning. My top 5 suggested horror movies by Netflix.

1. The Black Room (75% Netflix Match)

Netflix description: A couples new dream home morphs into a nightmare after they learn that an evil and lustful spirit resides in thier basement.

Review: Continue reading “It Begins… 1. The Black Room (Movie Review)”

I Know What You Did Last Quick Search

 

No, this isn’t news on the newest installment that you don’t want of a old film favorite. You know, the ones that have six sequals, two presequals and the revamp we never wanted. In this day and age it would be easy to think otherwise with a title like that though ^. It seems every time we log in there is another cult classic being sent to reboot slaughter that should have went out on a high note. Maybe you keep getting the same style of movie over and over again when you search the horror genre in your favorite streaming service. Which leaves us with this question, why?  The answer is simple. WE are the reason this keeps happening.

Ever wonder why it seems like Facebook ads always seem to know exactly what you want? I hear at least once a month a friend say, “man, were we not just talking about this?” or “I swear my phone is listening to me!”. Well, that’s because it is in a way and that my readers is the power of data science. Every time you make a search in that little browser bar up there, it is logged. Every time you say, “hey Cortana, show me the latest horror movie trailers” she takes a note. It might not be “Big Brother” watching you, but there are a bunch of data scientists out there using your data to sway the market and to keep you buying. We keep getting the same thing because we constantly make it a trending question until its a reality. With a market like ours that is so unpredictable they had to nail down a way to hold your interest and make money. All of our searches are put in to graph format and used for marketing. Netflix for example uses all of your search results and watches to curate a list just for you. They have this amazing algorithm that your data is put in to that calculates out other shows like the ones you already watched. This either keeps us hooked on Netflix and we become one with the couch, or we start getting frustrated that we are not seeing anything we want. One little slip up can set your curated list off in the wrong direction though.

My Netflix account is 7 years old now, has been with me through a lot and is practically like my kid now. It has been learning and growing for some time and that is kind of creepy to think about, so don’t. The one thing you want to make sure to do is to keep your account yours. If you have multiple people using your subscription make sure to make them their own accounts as well. We all have that one friend that’s like, “bro, let me get your account login so me and my girl can chill later”. You give him the password and BoOm! His girl picks the worst rom coms known to man, they are forever checked as viewed in your system and now your most suggested movie at 95% is 13 Going on 30. Your years of finding the coolest most obscure horror movies and having new ones suggested to you is now gone. Yes this is from experience and no you don’t want it to happen to you. Luckily around year four I took a small break in subscribing to Netflix and most suggestions were set back to basic when I came back.

How can you change anything you ask? Well it is very simple and requires little effort. It’s called free thought. Give that new director or actor or anything for that matter a chance! You might just find something you like. We keep getting the same big budget garbage movies because we show the industry that it is still in demand. I make it a goal to watch movies that no one is talking about. It’s how I end up finding some of my favorite flicks! Which is why I thought it would be fun for one of my first horror movie review articles to be about horror movies suggested to me by Netflix with the highest percentages. So stick around for my next article and find out if the Netflix algorithm has me figured out by key words and tags alone.

 

-Nate

Voidwalker Entertainment