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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.

Jun 112012

We all know the classic fairytale of Snow White, but Snow White: A Tale of Terror shows it in a whole new way.

First of all, it’s revealed that Snow White’s real name is Lilli Hoffman (Monica Keena), daughter of King Frederick Hoffman (Sam Neill). As the story goes, Lilli’s mother dies from childbirth. So Frederick raised Lilli by himself, until he decides to remarry with Lady Claudia (Sigourney Weaver). For some reason, Lilli does not approve of the marriage, even though Claudia had always been very kind to her. Of course that didn’t stop Frederick from marrying Claudia.

I met Monica Keena at Spooky Empire’s MAY-HEM 2012.

Nine years later, Claudia’s attempt to conceive had failed and she was driven to the breaking point of seeking help from her mother’s magic mirror. As it turns out, Lady Claudia isn’t the real villianess. The magic mirror manipulated her into thinking that Lilli is the problem and must be killed. Now that’s quite a twist.

Claudia sends her mute brother Gustav (Miroslav Taborsky) to do the deed. Instead he chases Lilli into the forest and cuts up a pig to show Claudia, but the magic mirror knew better. Now Claudia officially becomes the wicked queen.

Soon Lilli finds a cottage and meets the seven dwarves. Now these dwarves are not like the cute and cuddly ones from the Disney version. They’re more like savages. They also don’t have adjectives for names and don’t treat Lilli with any respect, except for Will (Gil Bellows, who I remember best as Billy from Ally McBeal). In fact, Will even falls for Lilli, but he’s nothing like Dopey. I think he’s more like Doc, the noble leadership figure of the group.

Meanwhile, Claudia uses dark magic to try and kill Lilli. At this point, you would expect the poison apple bit. It is featured in this movie, but not until later. First Claudia uses a bird and an hourglass to magically bury Lilli alive in a cave that she and the dwarves happen to be in. Then Claudia uses the hallway and statues to magically crush them with falling trees. The escapes were intense, but at least the dwarves finally warm up to Lilli.

Now comes the poison apple bit after all of those failed attempts. We all know how that goes, but there’s a cool twist to this. All I can say is that it wasn’t really a kiss that brought her back to life again.

Usually that’s where the story ends, but it’s not over yet. Lilli makes it back home and confronts Claudia after finding out that she was the one behind all of that black magic. It becomes exciting as Claudia shows her true colors, starting with those witch teeth. Then more eerie surprises follow.

This was an interesting adaptation of the classic fairytale. Creepier, but interesting.