Category: Horror

“Let Me In” (2010) directed by Matt Reeves, starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloë Grace Moretz & Richard Jenkins / Z-View

Let Me In (2010)

Director: Matt Reeves

Screenplay: Matt Reeves based on Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloë Grace Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Cara Buono, Elias Koteas, Dylan Kenin, Chris Browning, Ritchie Coster and Dylan Minnette.

Tagline:  Innocence dies. Abby doesn’t.

The Plot…

Owen is having a bad year.  His recently divorced parents don’t have much time for him.  He has no friends and is being bullied at school.  Then one winter evening he meets Abby.  She’s twelve, too.  Abby is strange, but nice.  Abby lives with her dad in an apartment across the way. Abby doesn’t go to school.  Each evening Owen talks to Abby before he has to go in for the night.  Although the bullying at school is getting worse, Owen and Abby are starting to like each other more than friends.

What nobody knows is Abby is a vampire.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

Let Me In is a remake of Let the Right One In, a 2008 Swedish film directed by Tomas Alfredson with a screenplay by John Ajvide Lindqvist based on his novel LET THE RIGHT ONE IN.

Matt Reeves directed Cloverfield before taking the helm of Let Me In.  He would go on to direct Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; War for the Planet of the Apes; and The Batman.  I thought Cloverfield was good, Dawn and War for the Planet of the Apes, very good and The Batman, even better.  Let Me In may be my preference of all of his films.

Stephen King called Let Me In his favorite film of 2010 and named it “The best American horror film in the last twenty years.”

Matt Reeves deserves much of the credit for the success of Let Me In.  He creates moody scenes that he lets play out.  There are special effects but they are used sparingly and effectively.

Kodi Smit-McPhee was an excellent choice to play Owen.  Chloë Grace Moretz is perfect as Abby, the vampire who has been 12 for a very long time.  Richard Jenkins was a surprising choice to play “father”.  I loved the suspense of his scenes when he went out at night alone.  Dylan Minnette made a great bully.

I put off watching Let Me In for a long time because of the kid being bullied and girl who is a vampire story made me think it’d be more for teenagers.  I was wrong.  I look forward to repeated viewings of Let Me In (and I plan to seek out Let the Right One In).

Let Me In (2010) rates 5 of 5 stars.

“Blade Trinity” (2004) starring Wesley Snipes, Ryan Reynolds & Jessica Biel / Z-View

Blade Trinity (2004)

Director: David S. Goyer

Screenplay: David S. Goyer based on a character created by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan

Stars: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Parker Posey, Ryan Reynolds, Dominic Purcell, Jessica Biel, John Michael Higgins, Paul Levesque, Françoise Yip, Michael Anthony Rawlins, James Remar and Patton Oswalt.

Tagline:  He’s fought the forces of darkness alone…until now.

The Plot…

When Blade (Snipes) is captured by the police, Hannibal King (Reynolds) and Abigail Whistler (Biel) rescue him.  They then recruit Blade to join them in their efforts to wipe out all vampires. Blade learns that the Vampire Nation has reawakened Dracula (the original vampire) and they plan to use Dracula’s blood to increase the powers of all vampires, Blade joins Hannibal and Abagail in a fight to save the human race.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

After recently watching Blade II (which I love), I decided to give Blade Trinity another viewing.  It wasn’t as good as I remembered and then I had rated Blade Trinity 3 of 5 stars.  I think my lower rating is due to Ryan Reynold’s snarky comments.  They may have seemed fresh when I first saw Blade Trinity, but it seems that’s what Reynolds does in every role.  It’s grown stale for me.

From all reports the production of Blade Trinity didn’t go well.  Snipes was reportedly upset with choices Goyer was making.  Snipes also felt that too much time was given to Reynolds and Biel at the cost to Blade.  I agree.

Blade Trinity (2004) rates 2 of 5 stars.

“Blade II” (2002) directed by Guillermo del Toro, starring Wesley Snipes and Ron Perlman / Z-View

Blade II (2002)

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Screenplay: David S. Goyer based on a character created by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan

Stars: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman, Leonor Varela, Norman Reedus, Thomas Kretschmann, Luke Goss, Matt Schulze, Danny John-Jules, Donnie Yen, Karel Roden, Tony Curran, Daz Crawford, Samuel Le and Marek Vasut.

Tagline:  In A World Beyond The One We Know, The Forces Of Darkness Fear One Man…Blade!

The Plot…

A new breed of vampire, called “Reapers” have appeared.  The Reapers are primitive, mindless killers, with a need for blood. Their bite can mutate both humans and vampires into Reapers.  When it becomes clear that the Reapers are targeting vampires, Eli Damaskinos, the Vampire Overlord proposes a truce with Blade.  Damaskinos wants Blade to lead his vampire assassins in an effort to wipe out the Reapers.  Blade forms an uneasy alliance with the group of vampires originally assembled to kill him.

Of course not all is as it seems.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

I was not a fan of the original Blade.  I am a huge fan of Blade II.  I love everything about it.  It’s got a fun story.  The Reapers have a cool design.  The vampire team that joins Blade have unique looks and personalities.  Wesley Snipes was born to play Blade.  Guillermo del Toro understands what makes this type of film work.  I’ve watched Blade II multiple times and like a good vampire, it always sucks me in.

Blade II (2002) rates 5 of 5 stars.

“Psycho” (1960) directed by Alfred Hitchcock / Z-View

Psycho (1960)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Screenplay: Joseph Stefano based on Psycho by Robert Bloch

Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, Simon Oakland, Frank Albertson, Patricia Hitchcock, Vaughn Taylor and John Anderson.

Tagline:  The picture you MUST see from the beginning… Or not at all!… For no one will be seated after the start of… Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest shocker Psycho.

The Plot…

Marion Crane (Leigh) in a moment of weakness steals $40,000.00 from her boss.  She packs her bags and heads off to meet her lover (who has no idea of what she has done).  It’s a long drive so Marion decides to spend the night at the Bates’ Motel.  The motel is located off the main road in a remote location.  There’s no one else staying there.  The place is run by mild mannered Norman Bates who takes care of his invalid mother who lives in the house on the hill.

She should be safe for one night…

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

After reading the Robert Bloch novel, Hitchcock bought the rights to the book and lobbied Paramount Pictures to get the film made.  The studio didn’t have faith in the material.  They agreed to a small budget ($800,000) if Mr. Hitchcock would defer his salary ($250,000) and instead take 60% of the gross.  It worked out well since Hitchcock ended up making about $15 million!

I love that the movie starts out as a crime film and turns into a horror movie.  What other movie has the “lead” actress killed off about an hour in?  The top billed actor, Anthony Perkins, doesn’t even appear until about 30 minutes into the film.

Hitchock loved the score by Bernard Herrmann so much that he reportedly doubled Herrmann’s salary.  Hitchcock also planned to have the shower scene appear as a silent sequence.  After seeing it with the score Herrmann created, Hitch decided it worked better with music.

Anthony Perkins gives a master class in acting when questioned by Martin Balsam.

Simon Oakland shows up for one scene and it’s impact reminded me of Alec Baldwin’s in Glengary Glen Ross.

Psycho is another of Alfred Hitchcock’s classics.

Psycho (1960) rates 5 of 5 stars.

“The Last Voyage of the Demeter” Movie Clip – Clemens Confronts Dracula (2023)

Check out the new movie clip for The Last Voyage of the Demeter starring Corey Hawkins and Javier Botet!

US Release Date: August 11, 2023
Starring: Jon Jon Briones, Javier Botet, Corey Hawkins, Aisling Franciosi, Liam Cunningham
Director: André Øvredal
Synopsis: Dracula’s unholy presence dooms the crew of the merchant ship Demeter as it sails from Carpathia to London.

“Malicious” (2023) – The Trailer is Here!

The McCabe family’s weekend getaway was never meant to be a life-changing experience. Governor William McCabe, a respected politician, was looking forward to some rest and relaxation. His beautiful wife Lauren and distant stepdaughter Erin strain to enjoy their time together, as the façade of the trophy family has worn dangerously thin. Things take a severe turn for the worse when a charismatic stranger knocks on their door and triggers an unexpected chain of events.

“The Last Voyage of the Demeter” – Exclusive Clip (2023) Javier Botet, Stefan Kapičić

Based on a single chilling chapter from Bram Stoker’s classic novel DRACULA, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the terrifying story of the merchant ship Demeter, which was chartered to carry private cargo—fifty unmarked wooden crates—from Carpathia to London.

Strange events befall the doomed crew as they attempt to survive the ocean voyage, stalked each night by a merciless presence onboard the ship. When the Demeter finally arrives off the shores of England, it is a charred, derelict wreck. There is no trace of the crew.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter opens in theaters on August 11.

“The Haunted Strangler” (1958) starring Boris Karloff / Z-View

The Haunted Strangler (1958)

Director: Robert Day

Screenplay: John Croydon (as “John C. Cooper“), Jan Read based on an original story by Jan Read

Stars: Boris Karloff, Anthony Dawson

Tagline: Their wild beauty marked them for death by . . . The Haunted Strangler

The Plot…

James Rankin (Karloff) believes that when the serial killer known as The Haymarket Strangler was executed, they hung the wrong man. In his efforts to clear the man, Rankin comes into possession of the murder weapon.  As he holds the knife Rankin is compelled to kill…

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

To give you an idea of the quality of this one, in order to show Karloff’s transformation from kind old man to sadistic killer, he simply took out his lower dentures and sucked his bottom lip up to show his upper teeth.

For Karloff completists only.

The Haunted Strangler (1994) rates 2 of 5 stars.

“The Last Voyage of the Demeter” | A Look Inside Featurette

The Last Voyage of the Demeter 

Based on a single chilling chapter from Bram Stoker’s classic novel DRACULA, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the terrifying story of the merchant ship Demeter, which was chartered to carry private cargo—fifty unmarked wooden crates—from Carpathia to London.

Strange events befall the doomed crew as they attempt to survive the ocean voyage, stalked each night by a merciless presence onboard the ship. When the Demeter finally arrives off the shores of England, it is a charred, derelict wreck. There is no trace of the crew.

The film stars Corey Hawkins (In the Heights, Straight Outta Compton) as Clemens, a doctor who joins the Demeter crew, Aisling Franciosi (Game of Thrones, The Nightingale) as an unwitting stowaway, Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones, Clash of the Titans) as the ship’s captain and David Dastmalchian (Dune, the Ant-Man franchise) as the Demeter’s first mate.

The film also features Jon Jon Briones (Ratched, American Horror Story), Stefan Kapicic (Deadpool films, Better Call Saul), Nikolai Nikolaeff (Stranger Things, Bruised) and Javier Botet (It films, Mama).

From DreamWorks Pictures and the producers of Zodiac and Black Swan, The Last Voyage of the Demeter is directed by Norwegian horror virtuoso André Øvredal (Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark, Trollhunter), from a script by Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room), Stefan Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters) and Zak Olkewicz (the upcoming Bullet Train), based on the chapter “The Captain’s Log” of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA.

The film is produced by Brad Fischer and by Oscar®-nominated producer Mike Medavoy and Arnold Messer for Phoenix Pictures and is executive produced by Matthew Hirsch.

“The Passage” (2019) starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Saniyya Sidney & Jamie McShane / Z-View

The Passage (2019)

Written by: Liz Heldens (eps. 1 & 2); Peter Elkoff (ep. 3); Daniel Thomsen (ep. 4); Joy Blake (ep. 5); Mike Flanagan Dennis Saldua (ep. 6); Kate Erickson (ep. 7); Peter Elkoff & C.A. Johnson (ep. 8); Daniel Thomsen & Vanessa Gomez (ep. 9); Liz Heldens & Joy Blake (ep. 10)

Directed by: Jason Ensler & Marcos Siega (ep. 1); Jason Ensler (eps. 2, 3 & 9); Allison Liddi-Brown (ep. 4); Jeffrey Nachmanoff (ep. 5); Jessica Lowrey (ep. 6); Eduardo Sanchez (ep. 7); Ti West (ep. 8); Mark Tonderai (ep. 10)

Stars: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Saniyya Sidney, Jamie McShane, Caroline Chikezie, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Brianne Howey, McKinley Belcher III, Henry Ian Cusick, Vincent Piazza, Kecia Lewis, Jason Fuchs and James Le Gros.

Tagline:  Can one girl save humanity?

The Plot…

Tim Fanning (McShane), a scientist working on a cure for alzheimer’s disease, accidentally became infected with a virus that gave him strange powers and a thirst for human blood.  Now Fanning is held in a secret medical facility behind thick glass walls as the US government experiments on ways to create a race of super soldiers. Although progress has been made, each subject has gained the same powers as Fanning and a desire for human blood.

Now the scientists want to experiment using a younger subject.  Agent Brad Wolgast (Gosselaar) is sent to bring a young, newly orphaned girl named Amy Bellafonte (Sidney) to the facility.  When Wolgast learns what is planned for Amy, he decides to help her escape.

But it may be too late for everyone… Fanning and the other experiment subjects have a secret power that the scientists don’t know about.  Fanning can psychically communicate with each of them. They are planning an uprising!

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

The Passage is one of my all-time favorite series.   It is well written and well directed.  The production values are top notch.  It features one of the best casts possible.  Every role from the leads to the smallest parts are perfect.  I plan to revisit The Passage every few years just to relive the great viewing experience.

The Passage (2019) eearns 5 of 5 stars.

“The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1920) / Z-View

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Director: Robert Wiene

Screenplay:  Carl Mayer, Hans Janowitz

Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt and Lil Dagover.

Tagline: Dr. Caligari and his mysterious slave – the black and white phantom who lives in a cabinet and goes forth in his sleep to do his master’s bidding. the weirdest characters ever seen on the screen and the most daringly different picture ever seen.

The Plot…

Dr. Caligari has brought his strange sideshow to the town carnival.  Caligari places a coffin on stage which he then opens.  Inside is a sleeping man named Cesare.  Dr. Caligari speaks a command and Cesare awakens to take questions from the audience.  A man asks, “How long shall I live?”  To everyone’s surprise Cesare says the man will be dead before dawn.

The next morning the man is found murdered in his bed.  This is the second murder since Caligari came to the small town.  Is Cesare the murderer?  Caligari?  Or is something more sinister at play?

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is considered by many to be the first horror film.  

The sets and cinematography are amazing especially considering the film was made in 1920.  All of the sets are given odd angles and perspectives which contributes to a feeling of unease.  Buildings are interconnected with tilting walls, strange shadows and alleys that create odd intersections.  Plus The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari features a great twist ending.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) rates 5 of 5 stars.

The Twilight Zone’s Scariest Monsters!

The MeTV staff came up with their list of The 7 Scariest Monsters That Spooked Us On ‘The Twilight Zone”.  I decided to play along.  I’ve commented on each of their choices and provided my list of the seven best Twilight Zone monsters.



1. “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” (Excellent choice. Also made my list. – CZ)

2. “The Eye of the Beholder” (Great design, but were they really monsters? Misguided, yes. But monsters? – CZ)

3. “The Fear” (Scary at first, maybe. Then you find out what the “alien” really is. – CZ)

4. “The Invaders” (Almost made my list. – CZ)

5. “The Living Doll” (This episode didn’t resonate with me. The doll was just irritating. – CZ)

6. “Hocus-Pocus and Frisby” (Loved the alien design but the episode was a comedy so not scary. – CZ)

7. “The Masks” (The faces were well designed. The people getting the new faces weren’t nice, but were more victims than monsters. – CZ)

1. “The Howling Man” (Great design. What monster is scarier than the devil? – CZ)

2. “It’s a Good Life” (Little Billy Mumy is one of the scariest monsters ever in this episode. – CZ)

3. “To Serve Man” (Nine foot tall aliens that eat humans? Yeah, that’s scary. – CZ)

4. “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” (Features The Twilight Zone‘s best jump scare! – CZ)

5. “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” (One of the scariest Twilight Zone episodes because we are the monsters. – CZ)

6. “Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?” (Although this episode features humor, it’s scary to think that an invading alien force is already living among us. – CZ)

7. “Nick of Time” (A fortune telling maching that may provide you a glimpse of the future. Do you dare look? – CZ)

Midnight Mass (2021) directed by Mike Flanagan / Z-View

Midnight Mass (2021)

Written by: Mike Flanagan (eps. 1 & 7); Mike Flanagan and James Flanagan and Elan Gale (ep. 2); Mike Flanagan and James Flanagan (eps. 3 & 5); Mike Flanagan and Dani Parker (ep. 4); Mike Flanagan and James Flanagan and Jeff Howard (ep. 6)

Directed by: Mike Flanagan

Stars: Kate Siegel, Zach Gilford, Kristin Lehman, Samantha Sloyan, Annarah Cymone, Annabeth Gish, Alex Essoe, Michael Trucco, Henry Thomas and Hamish Linklater

Tagline: Be Not Afraid

The Plot…

Riley Flynn (Gilford) has returned to his hometown of Crockett Island after four years in prison for killing a woman in a drunk driving accident.  Flynn is at rock bottom.  Being home hasn’t helped much.  Father Paul Hill (Linklater) a charismatic new priest has also just arrived on the island.

When strange and miraculous things begin to happen on the island, the small town is divided.  Some see the miracles as messages from God, while others aren’t so sure…

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

I loved every episode of Midnight Mass.  Don’t sleep on this one!

Midnight Mass (2021) earns 5 of 5 stars.