Sunday, April 28, 2019

Ad.her.ent. (2019)

Ad.Her.Ent. (2019)

PLOT - A television actress gets recognized in her building by a neighbor one day and a very unhealthy obsession begins resulting in tragedy. 

LOWDOWN - Several years ago I was completely blown away when I watched a short film called "Don't Fall Asleep." made by several hardcore Elm Street fans. There are honestly no fanbase that is more passionate than horror fans, and to get even more specific, no fans are more passionate than the Nightmare On Elm Street fanbase. I think it's because 30+ years later Wes Craven's classic film that stretched the limits of reality, along with its iconic sequels, television show, merchandise, artwork, comics, novels, and remake are still as beloved as they have ever been. Freddy Krueger is recognized all over the world, and it warms my heart whenever I see fans who grew up with these films make artwork, or movies that display how much they love this universe and want to expand on it. Don't Fall Asleep was a short film that answered a question many of us Elm Street fans wanted to know.

"What was Nancy up to between part 1 and 3?"

Paige Troxell, along with her crew of friends, and fellow Elm Street fans poured their hearts and souls into this project, and it truly showed. You know a fan film has made an impact on you, when you can't watch part 3 the same way anymore since the ending of Don't Fall Asleep is so heartbreaking, yet hopeful. I feel this was due to strong performances, a well written script, and wonderful directing by Ms. Troxell. It's always refreshing to see more female writers and directors in the horror community, not holding back on what they are fans of, and the messages they are trying to send through their work. Paige recently sent me her latest project, and it's been a very long time since a film left me feeling this unsettled.

This film is called Ad.Her.Ent.

This short story tells the tale of a young attractive television actress who get's recognized in her building by a neighbor, who instantly becomes obsessed with her, becoming more and more unstable as he's unable to get the hint that she's just trying to be friendly, and nothing more. The film itself opens with brief clips of fans, losing it over whatever celebrity they look-up to, or love. Here they cry, yell with excitement, or stare deadpan at the camera stating that they are that certain celebrity's biggest fan, and nobody else will love them as much as them. We watch cringeworthy statements being spoken out on social media as these fans rave that they feel that these people are their "friends" since they liked a tweet they were mentioned on, or a photo on Instagram. Paige does a wonderful job capturing the excitement of fans. We have all seen it, or have been there ourselves. There are artist, actors, singers, etc that we all follow, and support, and fan girl over. We have collections of their work, tattoos, artwork, pay money to meet them at shows, and will always remember if we are lucky enough to meet them at shows, the two or so minutes with them, and will forever look back on that moment as a good or bad experience. The scary thing is, there are fans out there that don't have boundaries. I'm sure we've all witnessed it before, and it's like watching a slow motion train wreck. Some fans feel entitled, and don't understand boundaries, almost as if they are owed something by claiming the title of "Biggest fan." It's scary to think, but stalking is a true reality for everyone, mostly celebrities. To think that movies like "Misery" and "Play Misty For Me" can actually happen, really makes you think. Sadly these lonely unstable people view these celebrities as almost as a figure to worship, and cling onto as a source of light through the darkness their mind has created. In Ad. her.ent we see a bird's eye view of a mentally disturbed man, who begins a downward spiral, and does unnoticed with his unhealthy behavior before it's too late.

There are two scenes of this man alone, crying, and masturbating, and it honestly seems to go on forever. Paige did a brilliant job with both moments, making the camera linger, and making you feel uncomfortable, as if you shouldn't be watching this, feeling uneasy, and the emotional collapse this man is suffering from.

Here the actress tries to ignore the inappropriate behavior, at first figuring he's this harmless guy, before getting annoyed as he continues showing up at her front door, asking personal questions, bringing gifts, and waiting in the lobby for her, Without giving anything away, this is a great example of celebrity stalking 101, and the last shot of the movie gave me chills. Let's just doesn't have a happy ending, which in most cases, these things rarely do.

This is yet another wonderful project by Paige, and a filmmaker I'll be keeping an eye out for. She's a brilliant storyteller, and movies like this make me look forward to whatever she has planned next further down the road!

5 stars!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Candyman themed cocktails!

 Candyman themed cocktails!

Whenever somebody tries to tell me that horror was at it's absloutley worst in the 1990's, I'm quick to list off several titles that makes them go "Oh yeah..."

Popcorn, The People Underneath The Stairs, The Village Of The Damned remake, Waxwork II, Warlock II, Arachnophobia, Basket Case II, and III, Children Of The Corn II, New Nightmare, Skinner, Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Nightbreed, Lord Of Illusions, Child's Play 2, Wishmaster, The Blair Witch Project, Sleepwalkers, Jason Goops To Hell, Slumber Party Massacre III, Hauntedween, Amityville 1992 It's About Time, and last but not least...


The first two Candyman films were great examples of 90's horror. Yes, there were TONS of awful 90's horror movies, but there were also a ton from the 80's as well. I feel The Candyman was one of the most underrated and most underused horror villains ever. Here we got a powerful African American male (played wonderfully by Mr. Tony Todd) who has one of the most rich, heartbreaking, and tragic backstories ever told. He's a blend of several urban legends, and his terrifying story of haunting Helen is hands down one of the best stories I've seen of the supernatural. This movie had depth, a beautiful score, a stunning score, and an ending for the history books. I honestly can't praise this movie enough. I can only hope that if Jordan Peele is in fact green lighting a remake of the original film from 1992, he knows what he's doing (I'm a little concerned after seeing US, but that's a completely different story.) So to celebrate the original, or as I like to call it...the classic film that features a cameo by a very handsome and young looking Ted Raimi, here's several cocktails based off the 1992 film!

The Candyman
2 oz of tequila 
1 oz of honey syrup
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
2 dashes of angostura bitters
1 lemon peel for garnish 

The Helen 
2 oz of gin
3/4 oz of honey-clove syrup
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1 lemon peel for garnish
1 dash of honey

The bottoms up for Billy
6 oz of pale ale beer
6 oz of Guinness Stout Beer 

Swallow your drinks and let it nourish you!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Top 10 movies to watch in the spring!!!

Top 10 movies to watch in the spring!!!

It's that wonderful time of the year again. Yep! Spring Break! The days are getting longer, warmer, and over here at Staystillreviews we're partying like it's 1986! Here are ten top choices of movies to watch in honor of spring!!!

Spring Break 
- Four young guys travel to Fort Lauderdale for Spring Break, where the beaches are packed full of beautiful women, and teenagers ready to party. Here the group get into a series of zany adventures, all the while entering belly flop, and wet T-shirt contests, drinking gallons of beer, getting laid, dancing, dodging one of their crazy stepfathers, and saving the hotel they are staying at! This film not only is fun, it has a killer soundtrack, likable characters, AND is directed by the same guy who made the first Friday the 13th!

Critters 2
- Whenever you think of a horror movie that takes place during Easter time, Critters 2 is usually one of the first titles that come to mind. I'm a MASSIVE fan of the Critter series (I even liked the new Shudder series. I know! I know!) Still, this is a fun sequel to the original. The critters are truly the stars of this movie, as Bradley Brown travels back to his old hometown to visit his grandmother for the Easter holiday. We get Critter eggs accidentally used as eggs for the church Easter hunt, a new sheriff eaten alive while dressed up as the Easter bunny, the Bounty hunters along with Charlie destroying everything, and morphing into anything they see (including a Playboy centerfold!), and a giant ball of Critters. That's just to name a few! This film didn't take itself too seriously, and thanks to my buddy Tanner I'm a proud owner of an original one-sheet from this signed by directed Mick Garris! I think the only flaw of this film is that Ug (Terrence Mann) doesn't have the same feathered rock-star hair he did in the original. "Sigh" Can't win them all!

Steel Magnolias
- I'm usually not a sucker for chick flicks (despite the fact that I am a girl) but Steel Magnolias has always been a favorite of mine, which I can constantly quote. With an all star cast, this film opens up down South during a wedding that takes place on Easter Sunday. Here we follow the lives of five women from a small town, who are all close friends and all go to the same hair dresser. Here we watch major life changing events take place, always during a holiday. The film opens on Easter, and ends on Easter. I'm certain if you don't tear up at least once during this film you have ice water flowing through you instead of blood. 

April Fool's Day
- This is a MUST to watch every April 1st. Now I know there's Slaughter High (I think I'm one of the few people that actually don't like that slasher.) as well as Killer Party (Even though it takes place on April 1st, I always see this film as a film set during the fall.) So April Fool's Day is always my number one choice! I know some people see the twist to this film as a total cop out, but I on the other hand think it's extremely clever, and during the slasher boom of the 1980's this was a film that actually tried to do something different, as well as being packed with likable characters, and an awesome setting. April Fool's Day is a fun slasher with a twist if you don't all ready know is beyond clever, and extremely fun to watch. Think a murder mystery for the 1980's. I've all ready watched this film this month several times and it won't ever get old. Plus that iconic VHS cover that I'm sure if you're my age, you still remember spotting at the video store and being instantly drawn to!

Amityville 4 The Evil Escapes
- For some strange unknown reason every Good Friday my friend Mike and I watch the forth film in the Amityville series and order crab cakes. (Hey, some tridations are odd, but nevertheless fun.) I mean really, nothing says a holy holiday more than a possessed lamp! In fact, this past October thanks to Bloody Disgusting, Mike and I were able to watch both The Evil Escapes, and our favorite 1992 It's About Time on the big screen. I still think it's awesome the two sequels we've watched the most were both screened, and we were able to watch in the theaters! Part 4 was originally a made for TV movie. It's campy, fun, and tells the story of a young widow with three children who has recently moved in with her elderly mother to try and start over. Well, everything goes to complete hell after the mother receives an antique lamp from the original Amityville house. Out of all the sequels about cursed items, this is my second favorite (the first being the clock from 1992) This is a fun sequel that I will forever watch every Good Friday...why? Because over here at Staystillreviews we're weird and we love it!

Psycho II
- Yet another off unexplained tradition of mine is to watch Psycho II right around Easter. (I think it's because as a kid I received the VHS to this roughly around this time of year.) Any-who, this is seriously one of the best follow-ups to one of the most classic and iconic horror movies of all time. Psycho II is a highly underrated sequel, and one of my all time favorite sequels ever. It's beautifully filmed, capturing the spirit of the original, while also staying true to the 1980's slashers. The score is beautiful, as is the complicated relationship between Norman and Mary. You can't help but feel bad for Norman, all the while trying to figure out the mystery of who's harassing Norman? Is it him going insane again? Is it people trying to drive him crazy and frame him? Or is somebody Hell bent for revenge? The opening to this film is everything, showing the classic shower kill, before panning up the hill as you hear Norman's horrified voice yelling "Mother! Blood! Blood!" Before the beautiful score starts to play over the credits. Utter perfection. 

Prom Night 1,2,3,4, and the remake.
- I usually have a Prom Night marathon in late May to celebrate prom season. I LOVE the first two Prom Night movies. The original was one of the first slashers I remember my mother renting for me as a child, and how much fun I had watching it with her, and my sister. This was another classic Jamie Lee Curtis early 80's slasher, and this actually has a really great storyline. The opening will forever give me chills "Killers are coming!" Some say this film drags, and is a bit boring, but I think the opposite. The story shows a young girl accidentally dying while playing a game with a small group of children. Vowing never to talk about the accident, they leave the scene, not knowing somebody witnessed what happened. Now years later, these kids are teenagers, all on the verge of attending their senior prom. Here somebody is making harassing calls, wearing a ski mask, and murdering them one by one on the night of the disco themed dance. The ending to this is heartbreaking! Plus that soundtrack is everything (which is heard just recently got released on vinyl!) The sequel, Hello Mary Lou Prom Night II does something I really have to respect. They decided to ditch the entire original slasher story, and make it into a supernatural horror fest about a prom queen who accidentally burns to death in 1957, only to return 30 years later possessing a young girl and killing anyone who gets in her way. I really loved the new direction they went with this, along with the killer special effects! Part 3 continues with the Mary Lou storyline, but this time hamming it up as a straight up black comedy (it's a guilty pleasure of mine), then part 4 going back to a whole new storyline, returning to a much darker route. The remake, which I saw in theaters doesn't compare to the original at all, but it's actually not a terrible PG13 horror movie, with a pretty cool stalker storyline, with some cool songs. The prom night movies are always fun to watch around this time of year, and always reminds me of my senior prom. I wore a green dress, and went with a guy who looked like Jerry Seinfeld. Ah life was so simple back then...

Slumber Party Massacre 2
- It's funny, part 1 I always think about watching in the summer, part 3 I always think about watching in the winter, and part 2 I always think about watching in the spring. I adore the Slumber Party Massacre series. Part 2 took awhile for me to warm up to, but once I stumbled upon it on VHS at a flea market, I gave it another watch, and instantly fell in love with it. I somehow love whenever movies go in a new direction. Continuing with the storyline of the surviving sisters who were neighbors from the original film, we see little sister Courtney all grown up, now a teenager while her sister never quite got over the shock from that night and is currently in a mental hospital. Courtney is now part of an all girl band (the cover songs were amazing in this film, as well as the soundtrack) Here Courtney begins to have strange dreams and visions of her sister warning her not to go all the way, images of a 1950' rocker who has a guitar drill. The film is like this strange musical black comedy, with over the top moments such as a frozen chicken attacking a girl, a giant zit exploding on somebody's face, and the killer signing as he dances about before murdering his next victim. It's a strange fun little movie, but always a must to watch this time of year!

House 1-4
- Another series that is a must to watch during the spring. Again, can't really explain it, but I always try to make to a tradition to watch House 1,2,3, and 4 durning the months of April or May. All four movies are extremely different, with great writers, directors, and actors behind them. The first is legendary! Director Steve Miner (Friday the 13th part 2,3, Warlock, and H20) directs this installment. Sean Cunningham produces, as we follow a writer who inherits his aunt's mansion after her mysterious death. The man is looking for some time alone to write his latest book, reflecting on his time fighting in the war, and how badly it affected in by what he saw. As of lately this man has had a tough year. His son mysteriously disappeared at the same house with no clues of where he went, or what happened to him. This trauma caused him and his beautiful actress wife to separate, resulting in him finally deciding to move into this mansion where strange events begin to occur. This film is packed full of fun creatures and monsters, and is a zany film that takes the whole "haunted house" direction in a fun black comedy route. Part II cranks things up even more. It yet again takes a whole new direction, following a young man who inherits a brand new house, where his great, great, great, great grandfather returns from the grave to help him and his buddy as new worlds are opened up throughout the house. This installment gets a lot of hate, but I see it as a fun adventure film with a great ending. Part III is basically "Shocker" We have a whole new storyline where a crazed killer is caught and put to death, only for his spirit to return and haunt the officer who caught him. This film actually is super dark and gory, and one of the better sequels. Part 4 features the same main character from part 1, only this time he has a wife and daughter. With a brand new house, we follow the aftermath of a tragic car accident, in which yet again unexplained events plague the family. I mean who can forget the frighting "pizza man"? All four films are a riot. They are all different, but tons of fun. I'm still waiting to get the blu-ray box set, but these films always gear me up for warmer weather every spring!

Rose Red
- Every Memorial Day Weekend I always watch Stephen King's Rose Red. I still remember watching this film when it first aired in 2002 and what a big deal ABC made of it. Some of King's best work has been made into mini series (The Stand, Storm Of The Century, etc) I feel that's because his books are so detailed and long, the only way to properly capture the spirit of them is to extend it for television. Rose Red has a book written by the professor character based off the life of the owner of Rose Red, and it's a decent read, but I will forever wish they had written something off this film instead since the story and characters were just so interesting. Loosely based off The Winchester Mystery House, King puts his own spin on a house...actually a massive mansion that was built at the turn of the century. Mysterious accidents and deaths plagued the construction of the house, which was built by a wealthy oil tycoon as a wedding gift to his young bride. Over the years, the owner learned that if she continued building the house she would never die. Over the decades people either land up dead or missing at the house as supernatural forces take over. The house after yet another missing person case occurred in the 1970's resulted in the house being shut down from all tours, and becoming a "dead cell". On the verge of it being torn down in present day, a college professor has Memorial Day Weekend to prove that the house (which nobody can say for sure how many rooms it actually has since the makeup of the house tends the constantly change) is actually haunted. Bringing in a team of psychics to try and "wake" the house up, the professor believes a young gifted 12 year old girl is the key to truly proving that the house is in fact alive. With an all star cast, beautiful score, and the house itself being the true front and center star, this is one of the best haunted house stories out there. I wouldn't call it a scary story by any chance, but it's still a fascinating film, with awesome sets, and a pretty cool twist on the whole haunted house storyline. My favorite part of the mini series will forever be the first half when the group is being led around on tour. I wish this house was actually real! Every Memorial Day I watch this, and I'm all ready looking forward to doing so that weekend! 

So there you have it! My top watches for the spring time. Which are yours?

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Most powerful moments featured in a Stephen King film part 1

Most powerful moments featured in a Stephen King film part 1


With the Pet Sematary remake hitting theaters, I decided to list off some of the most powerful moments featured in a Stephen King film today to celebrate its release. Like it, or hate it, remakes are going to happen re-telling King's classic novels. Here I'm setting aside my thoughts on the actual books, but how they translated onto the silver screen. Here are my personal choices of some f the most powerful moments featured in films based on Stephen King's books. 

The ending - The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
"I hope to see my friend, and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope..."
Fun fact, The Shawshank Redemption is one of my all time favorite movies. I feel this is truly because the last thirty minutes of the movie. Here we witness the impossible actually become possible as Andy escapes Shawshank, a plan that's been in the works for over twenty years. The film's villains all get what's coming to them, and Andy escapes a free man with plenty of money to start a new life. Perfect huh? Only problem is, Red...his best friend is still serving his sentence. Here we watch Red continue onward at the prison, speaking about how Andy was a symbol of hope, and how some birds just aren't meant to be caged, their feathers are just too bright. The line that always gets me is when Red simply states that he guesses he just misses his best friend. Anyone who has experienced any form of loss can relate to this moment and Morgan Freeman's incredible acting/voiceover really makes it for the audience. When it finally gets down to his parole hearing after years upon years of being rejected, he finally gives up and tells them board actually what they want to hear and much to his surprise, he's a free man. Now thrown into a society that's frighting, and awfully lonely, he decides to take Andy's advice "Get busy living, or get busy dying." He decides to break the cycle that sadly befell on his other friend Red and remembers a very settle clue that Andy gave to him years ago the day before his famous escape. Traveling to that location, he finds a hidden letter from Andy with some money, urging him if he ever reads this to cross the border, and come see him. Freeman's voiceover forever gives me chills during this scene as Red travels, and in the last moments of the film greets his long lost friend on the beach as promised. 

Bill remembers - IT (1990)
"Promise me...if it isn't dead...promise me...we'll all come back."
The original mini-series if IT will always be near and dear to my heart. I have nothing against the 2017 film version, and I'm actually excited for chapter 2. Still, the 1990 version despite its flaws will always be the film that absolutely terrified me as a child. I still swear that King's novel is one of the scariest I've ever read. This mini-series is packed full of iconic moments, but the one that really packs a punch for me has to be the first call Mike needs to make to The Losers Club when he knows for sure that Pennywise has returned. Here he phones the unspoken leader Bill, who's now a world famous author, and is currently living in England with his actress wife working on a movie together. The second he hears Mike's voice, you see for a flickering moment he doesn't recognize the voice, nor the name before suddenly the camera zooms in and you see twenty-seven years of past memories come flooding back. Here for just a few brief seconds we see our first glimpse of The Losers Club back when they were children. We see Bill, and the other exhausted children standing by the banks of a pond, where Bill speaks the iconic words "Promise me...if it isn't dead...promise me...we'll all come back." This moment always sends shivers down my spine. I can only hope IT chapter 2 has moments like the mini-series had. 

Coming face to face with the Moonlight Man - Gerald's Game (2017)
"You're so much smaller than I remember." 
For years everyone believed there was no way Gerald's Game could ever be made into an actual film due to the novel's subject matter. In 2017 Netflix and director Mike Flanagan proved them wrong. It was this film that made me know for certain that the upcoming Doctor Sleep (sequel to The Shinning) would be in the right hands since Flanagan was hired on as director. This film is truly beautiful and haunting in so many ways, but the moment that really did it for me was the end. Some people (who aren't familiar with the book) found the last twenty or so minutes confusing. To me, this was truly the perfect way to wrap things up. Almost a year following what happened in the cabin, Jessie has somewhat recovered physically, but not completely mentally. Here she learns from reading the newspapers that "The moonlight" man that she believed she saw several times while chained in the cabin was actually real. The first clue was that despite how hard the police searched, they never found her wedding ring (which while in shock, and suffering massive blood loss after escaping, finds the man in the shadows and drops her wedding ring in his bag of bones and jewelry almost as if paying a toll to pass and be able to leave.) A voiceover of Jessie explains that some news stories caught her attention resulting in her following a horribly disfigured man who was mentally ill who used to rob graves, before graduating into breaking into homes. Graphic details are spoken (let's just say the dog wasn't the only one feeding on her husband!) and on the day this man is set to appear in court, Jessie storms in and gets the man's attention. Here he grins, breaking his handcuffs, causing the courthouse's security to grab him. He towers over Jessie and smiles like a child filled with glee and says "You're not real! You're made of moonlight!" The same exact words spoken by Jessie when she left the cabin the year before. As she approaches him, guards struggling to hold him back, she sees images of her father, and husband. Both men that had shackled Jessie mentally long before her near death experience in the cabin. Instead she holds her ground, looks him straight in the eye and smiles saying "You're so much smaller than I remembered." Here she confronts her past, knowing it can no longer hurt her. She turns, and walks out into the sunlight, a new woman. Seriously, one of the best moments ever. 

The sacrifice - The Dead Zone (1983)
"It reminds me of a line from 'The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow' the last story I read to my class before...the accident. Ichabod Crane disappears...the line goes 'As he was a bachelor, and in nobody's debt, nobody troubled their head about him anymore."
If anyone asks me what's the most tragic novel/film by Stephen King, the answer is always easy. 
The Dead Zone (1983)
King and David Cronenberg teamed up for this film during a year where Stephen King's works were being pumped out one after another due to the author's popularity. In my eyes Christopher Walken was the perfect John Smith, and watching this poor man go through Hell and back after an accident leaves him in a coma for several years. When he wakes, his family is in debt due to his medical bills, he's weak, unemployed, and his fiancĂ©' is now married with a child. To top things really off, he also learns he has the gift of second sight. Anytime he touches someone he can see past, present, or future. Deemed as a freak, John tries his best to live a quiet life, and also attempts to use his gift (which he sees more as a curse) to help people. In the end, he sees what's going to happen in a very popular man in politics continues on the campaign trail. WWIII will happen. So the question remains? If somebody from the past knew what Hitler was going to do, and knew if they attempted to kill them, they wouldn't get out alive...would they do it? John decides with nothing to lose, he's going to assassinate this man before it goes any further. Lucky for him, when his attempt fails, the man who he's targeting holds an innocent baby up to shield himself from the gunfire. After being fatally shot, he lays bleeding to death when the angered man grabs him asking who he is? Here he sees the future where images of the man holding the screaming baby as a human shield completely ruining his political career. Smiling, John knows he's succeed, and tells him he's finished. In the last moments of this heartbreaking film, John's ex fiancĂ©  who was at the event runs over weeping. She leans over holding onto him saying she loves him. Johnny smiles weakly, before whispering in her ear goodbye before dying in her arms.

"Show me." - Christine (1983)
"How can you kill something that can't possibility be alive?"
If anyone asks me what's one of my all time favorite movies, I always tell them Stephen King's Christine is in my top 3. In 1983 when King was at his most popular, books, and films were being cranked out one after another. This lucky had two horror titans ganging up together to make in my eyes one of the best adaptions of King's work. We got John Carpenter, who not only directed and help write the movie, he also provided the iconic soundtrack. The film is insanely good, but the moment that always sticks out to me is when Arnie, all ready too far gone with his obsession with Christine, visits her at the garage alone one night. The local bullies who have harassed him decided to break in a few days before and completely trash and total the car. Feeling completely helpless, Arnie stands back looking at the damage before muttering that "They can't hurt us anymore...we'll show them," Here Arnie stands back and the secret of how Arnie has been able to repair the car so quickly is revealed. Carpenter's score starts up, and Arnie looks on smiling, like a man watching a woman give a striptease. Slowly the car magically begins to repair itself. The broken glass, and metal all fills in and repairs itself in just a matter of moments, headlights shinning bright. It's here we know the revenge on who's harmed Christine is just starting. 

Stay tuned for part 2 soon!