Archive for the ‘Psychological’ Category

Session 9 (2001)

Posted: February 3, 2011 in *NEW!!*, Psychological, Supernatural

Gordon is the owner of a small asbestos removal company, and is in desperate need of cash. He places a bid on a job for a huge abandoned mental institution, telling the client that he can have the job done in one week. After winning the job, Gordon and his crew get to work, but start to show strange effects from being inside the institution.

(This is not a still from the movie, but an actual photo of the state hospital.)

This film has a very calculated feeling to it. It builds tension slowly, to the point where you are completely on edge. I found it to be suspenseful from beginning to end, and for the first time in month if not YEARS, I was frightened during a movie. Yes, frightened. Nervous. I wanted my Mommy. The only thing I found issue with was the ending, I feel like it was drawn out a bit much but overall I was satisfied and I got my taste of gore.

If you are looking for cheap scares or heavy violence you won’t find it in Session 9, but you will find a damn creepy movie with some really great cinematography, since it was set in the real Danvers State Mental Hospital, in Danvers Massachusetts. I have seen it in person and it’s huge and such an amazing place to film a movie like this.

This movie is for fans of hazardous materials, David Caruso smoking weed, and multiple personalities.


Black Swan (2010)

Posted: December 19, 2010 in *NEW!!*, Psychological

I loved this fucking movie! The director Darren Aronofsky also directed other such great films like Pi, Requiem For A Dream and one of my favorites of the past 10 years, The Wrestler.  I was at first hesitant to review this because I thought going into it that it would be more in the psychological thriller category…Which is is, but it most certainly is still a horror film. It may be one of the most unsettling and unique ones I’ve seen in a very long time.

Nina Sayers played by Natalie Portman, is a ballet dancer at a New York company, trying to make her way to center stage. When the company’s prima ballerina suddenly retires, Nina tries for the now open part of queen swan in the production of “Swan Lake”. The story of Swan Lake is very tragic one. There once was a princess who was turned into a white swan. The only way she could break free from her swan form was from the magic of true love. The swan finally met her prince and was going to be free, but the prince was tricked by the good swan’s evil twin, the black swan. Knowing that she would never become a princess again and would be trapped forever, the white swan killed herself.

(Winona Ryder as Beth, the ex-prima ballerina)

The manager of the company, Thomas, casts Nina because of her wonderful dancing and portrayal of the white swan. She is fragile and timid, innocent and pure.  But Thomas cannot see the role in her of the black swan, whom she must also play. The black swan is sensual and commanding, charismatic and dances with reckless abandon. Nina’s life of pressures; her eating disorder, constant training and overbearing mother have turned her into a living doll. To try to control the chaos in her life, Nina has made her dancing mechanical and perfect, never a step out of place. Then a new girl joins the company named Lily, played by Mila Kunis. Lily is everything Nina isn’t; dark, dangerous, carefree—perfect for the role of the black swan. Lily pulls Nina into her world, and from there things start to get freaky.

I was so drawn in by this movie. I’m trying to figure out how to even convey how I felt about it because a.) I have limited writing ability and b.) I can’t really think of the words to describe it. Included in those words would be frantic, claustrophobic, paranoid, and confused. These were all things I felt in Nina’s character, a girl who was so dedicated and determined literally be perfect that her real life became the dream and Swan Lake became her reality. Her descent into complete delusion was moving and the ending sequence was beautiful and heart-breaking. I want to say more but I just can’t spoil it. All I can say is that I was invested in Nina so much and was so sucked in and her descent into darkness was perfection. I found Natalie P’s performance to be tremendous in this film.

The subtleties of this movie were wonderful. I especially liked the use of bird-like sounds while Nina was dancing, the tap tap tap of feet on the floor or a whoosh of wind caused by the flapping of wings. These became more and more apparent as Nina became more and more delusional toward the end of the film. More obvious was the use of mirrors throughout the film, which gain more symbolism as Nina’s self-identity comes more into question. I was impressed with the authentic portrayal of the ballet industry. I’m not a ballet dancer obviously, but had several dedicated dancer friends growing up. It was not always a pretty picture. This film showed those parts….Broken toenails and blisters, blood, nasty feet…I was very squeamish during many scenes, including any and ALL of the ones involving fingernails or tiny cuts, etc. Honestly that is more disturbing to me that seeing a guy get hacked to death with a chainsaw. In addition, even if you don’t like this movie, it just LOOKS great. The photography is gorgeous.

I could really go on about this but you just have to go out and see the film. I’d have to say that this is the second ballet-oriented horror film I’ve ever seen, second to the fabulous Suspiria! Black Swan is for fans of girl on girl action, feathers and gross skin problems.

Triangle (2009)

Posted: June 7, 2010 in Blood & Guts, Psychological

In this psychological horror, a young mother finds herself caught in a twisted deja vu when a day of sailing goes awry, and she is forced along with some friends to take refuge on an old ocean liner that seems to be deserted. So if it is deserted, then who is driving it? Why does everything look so old? And more importantly…why is everyone dying?

Triangle is a very original movie. It’s non-linear approach has been done, but this film manages to create a complex storyline that you really won’t be able to guess. Things just get more and more bizarre.

My few annoyances include the main character and her seemingly one-sided acting. Though the film is set upon some dire circumstances, you really don’t see much range in her. She is bewildered and dazed through the entire film. I would have liked to see some more depth out of her. For someone in her unique and terrifying position, you’d think she would seem more desperate? Unhinged? Completely fucking wrecked? I’d be tearing my hair out.

My second critique is that though the film is nicely paced through the first hour or so, the remainder drags ON and ON and ON. I found myself wanting to turn it off until I had the strength to continue. I think they could have shaved off 20 minutes at least. We get the picture, people!

Overall a very interesting and unique film. Incorporates a nice villain and some icky shootings.

Cube (1997)

Posted: June 4, 2010 in Psychological

This is a good mind-fuck movie that I quite enjoy.

Imagine, waking up with 6 other strangers in an enclosed cube with no way out. The only place to go is to move through small hatches from one cube to another that looks exactly the same as the one before it. Well that’s what happened to 7 people in this film…they are stuck in a giant maze with thousands of rooms, some of which are booby-trapped with deadly devices. Each person in the room comes from a different walk of life, and each possesses some sort of talent; whether it be mathematics, architecture, or medics. Together they must find a way to get out of the endless maze before each and every one ends up dead.

What I find to be most terrifying and captivatin about this film is that it is set within such a confined space. This provides a feeling of claustrophobia for the audience, and a sence of urgency. You get the sense that each of the 7 lucky contestants are well-to do types, a bit self-involved. It reminds me of the film Saw, the killer targets people who don’t appreciate life. I find this to be really similar to Cube in a way. The characters are taken from their swank and self-important lifestyles and put in a situation where survival is the only matter at hand.

Cube keeps you on the edge of your seat as the characters argue and debate, trying to make sense of everything. They eventually put their heads together and form some sort of plan. One thing is clear, they have to get out. They discover that each cubed room has a square-shaped hatched on each side (including the floor and ceiling) that serves as a door to the next cube. However I as I mentioned previous some of these rooms are booby-trapped with for example, poisoned gas or razors.

Cube has a sequel or two that I like as much as the original. This brand of film is right up my alley, a psychological horror if you will. As much as I love a mindless slasher, I equally appreciate a horror film with a brain.

Hush (2009)

Posted: February 8, 2010 in Psychological, Slasher

Zakes and Beth are on their way home on the freeway. It’s dark and it’s raining, and Zakes nearly misses colliding with a large white truck when it pulls abruptly in front of him. As the truck moves in front, the back door comes up a bit, and to Zakes’ surprise, he thinks he sees a battered woman caged inside, screaming for help. Beth urges him to call the police. Awhile later, Zakes pulls off at a gas station to fill up. He and Beth fight and she decides to make her own way home. Zakes goes after her to find that she has vanished, and he has a feeling he knows where she went.

Hush is full of familiar qualities, and I don’t always find that to be a bad thing. In an industry where directors are piling on top of each other to try to penetrate the shells of the most hardened horror buffs, little films like Hush lay back. Sure, there are plenty of things in this film that are expected but there are still a few thrills in it that I believe are redeeming qualities.

We begin with the car ride. Zakes and Beth are bickering, and she is trying to think of the best way to tell him that she cheated on him with some punk named Leo. She never breaks it to him but at the gas station she feeds him some line like, “You aren’t good enough for me”. She takes off and is abducted by, guess who? The guy in the white truck.

Zakes follows him but his plan was thwarted several times, by things like cops, security guards, and being nailed to a floor (I hate when that happens). However, he makes it through to find Beth.

Though predictable, this was still a solid little film. Compelling and suspenseful, and then end scene is deliciously satisfying (I said “OUCH!” when I saw it).

William Ash play Zakes and is sexy as hell. I would hunt him down in a truck any day.

May (2002)

Posted: July 24, 2009 in Psychological

Quickie review!!

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Not your conventional horror flick. This is a movie I had seen on shelves for years at the store and never picked up. Watched online last night and was pleased. It was funny, disturbing, gorey, and sad. May is the story of a girl who is very socially awkward and has been since childhood. Her only friend is a creepy ass doll whom she talks to and keeps in a weird little box. May meets a boy and starts to get close, but is rejected. Then she flips out and starts doing bad things, like stabbing a punker to death with scissors.

I also watched Vacancy last night out of boredom, but I will not dignify that movie with a synopsis.