REVIEW: ‘Chernobyl Diaries’

Following the uranium brick road in "Chernobyl Diaries.
Following the uranium brick road in "Chernobyl Diaries.
Following the uranium brick road in "Chernobyl Diaries.

Life is hard.
Math is easy.

Not including algebra, calculus or any other numeric discipline longer than four letters, I’m inclined to agree with that statement. Life can throw you all kinds of unexpected craziness – even under the most mundane and seemingly predictable circumstances. Math, on the other hand, is fairly consistent. Two and two will always equal four – no surprise there. However, there are occasions where life imitates math when all the pieces of an equation add up to the same thing every time.

A model of such consistency is “Chernobyl Diaries”.
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REVIEW: ‘Insidious’

Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) and creepy goings-on in "Insidious".
Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) and creepy goings-on in "Insidious".

The problem, I think, with most horror movies these days is that they’ve forgotten how to scare us. The relationship of today’s horror film to the audience is very much like that of an old married couple who’ve fallen into a rut. They both go through the motions of the relationship as they have over the course of the years on auto-pilot. Maybe they do things not really even knowing why but just because they’ve done them for so long that it’s become the only way they know. Similarly, horror fans go to horror movies hoping for something new, but nothing really ever changes. We hope for something better, but if we don’t get it – well, that’s just the way it is.

Horror movies startle us.
Sometimes, they shock or disgust us.
Scaring us, however, is a nigh forgotten art.

Thankfully, James Wan and Leigh Whannell haven’t forgotten. The duo that put the genre on its collective ear with the game-changing “Saw” have teamed up again to put their spin on the classic haunted house story in “Insidious”.

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That ‘Insidious’ Teaser

Much has been made of the competition between “Saw” and “Paranormal Activity”, but much of that has only been at the box office. Aside from that, the creators of “Saw” (James Wan and Leigh Whannell) and the producers of “Paranormal Activity” (Steven Schneider, Jason Blum along with director Oren Peli) have teamed up for what could be a nice bit of haunted house action called, “Insidious.” Yes, I’m a bit late jumping on the bandwagon but I’ve been waiting to get a look at some of it first. This teaser, courtesy of those fine people at Shock Til You Drop, has certainly piqued my curiosity. Check it out after the jump.

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REVIEW: ‘Paranormal Activity’ (2009)

Yes, I wanted to punch Micah in the face too in "Paranormal Activity".
Yes, I wanted to punch Micah in the face too in "Paranormal Activity".

Years ago, I remember going to my friend’s apartment. He’d just rented this really cool game and I just had to come over and play. It was the first Resident Evil game. We played for hours before the need for sleeps started to creep in around the edges of our eyes. I left his apartment and walked out onto the breezeway. It was eerily still. Occasionally, crisp autumn leaves would whisper across the ground and a chill would grip my shoulders. I looked around, halfway expecting to see something shambling out of the shadows or leaping through a window. So, like any strong, rational man in his twenty-somethings, I ran like a scared little girl to my car, locked the door and drove home. It seemed more like a reflexive reaction than anything thought out.

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