I was pretty jazzed a few years ago when I got my hands on all eight Ghost House Underground flicks, but I ran out of steam after really hating Trackman and Brotherhood of Blood even after kind of liking Dark Floors, finding something weirdly intriguing about Last House In The Woods and loving Dance Of The Dead and The Substitute. Anyway, I just now watched the last two movies Room 205 and (deep breath) No Man’s Land: The Rise Of Reeker and luckily I didn’t hate them too much.
Room 205 is a Danish supernatural thriller that’s not really all that thrilling. In fact, it’s the slowest 90 minute movie I’ve ever sat through (usually I turn something this boring off). See, the idea here is that a girl moves into a dorm that is haunted by the ghost of another girl who was knocked around and raped in a bathroom before dying thanks to electric shock which somehow didn’t hurt her attackers. The ghost starts killing all the assholes who also live in the dorm. There’s something about ghosts living in mirrors or something and a lot of glass-breaking, but damn, this thing CRAWLS and there isn’t much originality in it.
The main girl has a dead mother who had mental problems (which of course means people doubt her when she tries to tell them what’s happening). The people in the dorm we meet aren’t just assholes, but MEAN assholes who fake deaths and have sex with you before running off. There’s an asshole pretty boy and a complete witch of a girl. So, the main girl’s boring and too familiar and all the other characters except the guy who moved out so the main girl could move in. He’s milquetoast for sure, but he’s a little more interesting and is the info dump guy who knows about the mirror thing. There’s very little of interest in the movie, especially if you’ve ever seen say ANY Japanese horror flick (at least there’s not little long haired kids and water threatening grown adults), but there are some fun kills with a guy’s head getting stuck in a moving elevator and a pretty great eye-stabbing. There’s even a cool tag ending that I thought was fun and made me wish a more exciting sequel was being made and I had seen that movie instead of this one. So, yeah, I’m waiting for Room 206, but not with baited breath.
Thankfully, NML: TROR wasn’t so bad, which was interesting because, at some point, I watched 20 or 30 minutes of it and turned the movie off. SPOILERS AHEAD. The story’s really complicated. We start off in the late 70s with a businessman stopping to talk to a drifter on a desert road. You’re supposed to think the drifter is dangerous, especially because he’s talking about a local killer, but it turns out the businessman is actually the killer! There’s a great scene where the man drives his car and stops right on top of the drifter’s chest, which soon caves in. The killer goes back to his murder shack, a cop follows him back and–after talking to some spirit no one else can hear–the killer surrenders only to be killed in the electric chair. But he appears all bloody and jump-cutty again back at his murder shack out of nowhere. Then we get to the present where some criminals with dumb luck bring their shot friend to the exact diner that both local cops (father and estranged son, a theme!) and a doctor who rides a motorcycle are hanging out. From there it gets weird as invisible walls seems to be keeping everyone in a designated area and the Reeker (the killer from before, I guess) shows up with a a black cloak, crazy face and a flamethrower! Oh, also, dead people are getting up and walking around with all their crazy injuries (the half-head guy is my favorite).
There was enough weirdness to keep me interested and I liked that the movie doesn’t get too much into the tropes of breakdown movies (a genre I dislike because nothing can top Texas Chainsaw Massacre or seems to be trying to). But (SPOILER WARNING AGAIN) I have no idea what the hell the end of the movie means. Was it all in their heads or did their actions against the Reeker somehow undo everything we had just seen. It was good enough to maybe possibly give another look at some point, but we’ll see, I’ve got a lot of horror movies to either watch or review for the first time this month.