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Nov 092016

When it comes to aliens and the horror genre, it’s not often that I would visualize them together but it does happen. One such example is the independent film Extraterrestrial.

This is about college teen April (Brittany Allen) spending a romantic weekend at her mother’s cabin with her boyfriend Kyle (Freddie Stroma). However, April is dismayed when Kyle brings his friends along. They include goofball Seth (Jesse Moss), his girlfriend Lex (Anja Savcic), and stoner Melanie (Melanie Papalia).

That’s right. It’s a movie about teens in the woods being terrorized by something frightening. This time, an alien spacecraft comes in search of victims to capture and experiment on. The way it was done is much more intense than the common cliché.

At first I thought the aliens were blowing up people after what became of their first victim Nancy McPherson (Emily Perkins) at the beginning of the movie.

Luckily the teens have an ally, Travis (Michael Ironside), who was friends with April’s father. He’s a weed farmer with a military background. It’s amazing what he knows about the aliens.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Murphy (Gil Bellows) investigates the disappearances. Of course he’s skeptical but all the clues he finds always lead to alien attacks.

The aliens only appear in short glimpses throughout the movie, but I can tell that they have a generic look with green skin and bald heads, wearing no clothes. The aliens never talk, so their reasons of invading remain a mystery.
This was a good movie. Sure it contained quite a few clichés of sci-fi horror films but that’s what made it easy to follow, just the way I like it.

Feb 182014

Based on the horror novel, Stephen King’s It is about an evil entity called Pennywise (Tim Curry) that terrorizes children in the town of Derry, Maine. Pennywise can take many forms, but the most common is a clown with scary demon fangs and claws. FYI, this is the first horror film I have ever seen where young kids get killed. Something about that just isn’t right when compared with other horror movies.

The protagonists are a group of friends, Bill (Jonathon Brandis), Ben (Brandon Crane), Beverly (Emily Perkins), Richie (Seth Green), Eddie (Adam Faraizl), Stan (Ben Heller), and Mike (Marlon Taylor). They’re all misfits at their school, which labels them as the Losers Club. Each one has a troubled background and have been acquainted with Pennywise. Surprisingly, no one else sees Pennywise or any of the obvious puddles of blood he leaves behind. I mean, it. Sorry, that gets confusing sometimes.

Pennywise isn’t the only enemy the Losers Club has to deal with. The school bully Henry Bowers (Jarred Blancard) and his gang have picked on each of them. These bullies are so brutal and murderous it’s actually a good thing that Pennywise attacked them.

I admit this movie is long. It was actually divided into two parts. Part one was mostly back-story when the Losers Club got together and defeated Pennywise for the first time. Thirty years later, Pennywise has returned and Mike (Tim Reid) calls all of his old friends to return. One by one, each of them thinks back to those frightening memories, hoping to have left their old lives behind. Yet they all knew that returning to Derry was the right thing to do, no matter what anyone else tells them. Seriously, why is everyone so verbally brutal?

Part two is when the Losers Club gets back together in Derry. Mike, Bill (Richard Thomas), Ben (John Ritter), Eddie (Dennis Christopher), Beverly (Annette O’Toole), Richie (Harry Anderson), and Stan (Richard Masur) are all adults now and Pennywise still appears every now and then to terrorize them. And of course, no one can see or hear him. I mean, it. Man, I keep doing that.

As it turns out, Henry Bowers (Michael Cole) did survive and Pennywise asks for his assistance to kill the Losers Club since they both have the same enemies. You’d think after 30 years, Henry would have left his bullying days behind him, but he didn’t. This time Henry and Pennywise work together, but is it really a partnership when teaming up with IT?

It’s nice to know that the Losers Club are such a tight knit group, but sometimes when they share their memories with one another it gets a little too personal and drags out into more flashback scenes. Is that really necessary?

Eventually, the Losers Club heads down in the sewer to face Pennywise again to make sure that he stays dead this time. Unfortunately, there’s another wrinkle. Bill’s wife Audra (Olivia Hussey, who I remember best as Juliet from Romeo & Juliet the 1968 version) has followed Bill to Derry and now Pennywise has her. Is this clown relentless or what.

This was an interesting and scary film. There was no mention of where Pennywise came from, only that IT has been around for a long time and knows how to leave a calling card. Somehow I can see a similarity between Pennywise and Freddy Kruger when it comes to their terrorizing methods. Who do you think is scarier?