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Monday, December 28, 2020

Four Netflix Horrors: Which Of Them Is Worth Your Time?

Zombie Tidal Wave, His House, Cadaver, Mark Of The Devil: These are four movie picks for the night of December 25th. We didn't check rotten tomatoes, IMDB, or other review sites. Little did we know that we are in for a surprise!

While we don't regret the decision of not checking their ratings, we can't fully say that we did not waste our time. Some reviews were too unforgiving that we could have missed some good gems if we listened to their rants. Moreover, we don't always agree with both "seasoned" and "amateur" online reviewers. As such, we go on and do our own thing.

NOTE: While this article does not contain direct spoilers, some views listed here may give you a picture of what you are about to watch. It sucks because I want to be 100% clueless about the plot when watching a movie.

Let's start with the first film, which is a complete letdown. But before we continue, pardon the lack of jargon. We're not regular film reviewers. :)

Zombie Tidal Wave

I didn't get the chance to see its title. The movie played without anyone telling me. Since this is a Netflix movie, I had my hopes up as I always had felt that they ignore most trash-tier films. It turns out that I'm entirely wrong, and it's a shame that I had faith in their selection for a long time. Perhaps, I was just lucky all along until now.

The first minutes of the film left a bad impression. It lacks the element of darkness, and hearing the cheesy dialog mixed awkwardly with inferior acting is like years of torture. Even the main actor just spewed his lines monotonously like he only cared about memorizing them.

Delving deeper into the shallow-themed film, we convinced ourselves that it's just another low-budget zombie scrap with a poorly written script. While it reminds me of the successful Sharknado franchise, we didn't just have the patience to see what's coming for us. After the first phony tidal wave where the main character and his buddy survived without getting wet (not sure if there's another one), we found ourselves switching to the next film. If you watched it and didn't roll your eye, every movie would suit your taste, that it won't make sense to spend time reading reviews like this.


Do we recommend it? 

Recommendation: Good for someone who's about to watch his first zombie film. Even if you can tolerate bad CGIs and have time for such fluff, watch something else. It's merely unworthy of everyone's attention.

Rating: 0.01 out of 5

His House

This time, I chose the movie, and I'm proud of it. His House made me think of the film Get Out, but I was happy that it offered something different. My other assumption was that it's a movie about racism, where the main characters would experience something so evil from people of other cultures.

A refugee couple who fled war-torn Sudan considered themselves lucky to be given a chance to live a new life in an English town. Under probational asylum by the British government, Bol and Rial must follow a set of rules and behave as good citizens to avoid deportation. 

Spoiler alert

While the immigration officers assigned them to a seemingly depressed town, they don't have problems with their neighbors. Apart from the racial offenses by some black kids and the girl who peed on their yard (unaware that someone already lives there), the townspeople are generally acceptable. They met some friendly people who tried getting along with them even if Rial acted hostile.

It all comes down to the creepy house, which appears to be haunted by the ghosts of those who died while fleeing the gunfires. Soon, Rial's encounter revealed that what ensued on their way to survival is far from what we anticipated.

The film gave us the right kind of jump scare we're looking for. We almost fell out of our seats upon witnessing the grudge of the spirits who aimed for Bol's life. After years of watching heaps of movies with overused fright execution, His House is a Christmas gift we gave to ourselves that night. 

Recommendation: For everyone who can handle extreme scares. A bit bloody but the right amount of gore.

Rating: 4 out of 5


This debut film of a Norwegian writer-director may not be the best film of the night, but it's not that bad either. It's entirely pleasing to look at, despite its predictability and the missed opportunity to create a spectacle that could have catapulted him to the spotlight. 

Actress Leonor and her husband Jacob shared days and nights of uncertainties after a nuclear event cursed the city with great despair. Having to navigate through the chaos, corpses, and whatever doom has to offer with their 10-year old daughter, Alice, they must at least figure out how to escape death from starvation. 

But before they got to the height of hunger, the married couple had to decide whether they should accept a shady offer or not: a night of entertainment with lavish complimentary dinner in a luxury hotel. Their ultimate decision led to a short-lived amusement as the wonderful evening quickly unfolded into a more sinister nightmare they have to face.

Although Leonora had these moments where a character manifests a pathetic response amid a life-and-death conflict, she redeemed herself with a plan we never thought she could make. You may grow to hate this persona as the storyline progresses, but the way she picked everything up and opposed the master showman in the final moments has its charm.

Jarand Herdal's creation looks gorgeous, but there are many things he could have done to entice international producers and the rest of the movie world. If he took it up another notch, Leonora's character might have been more developed, and she could have charmed her way as another icon in the world of post-apocalyptic films.

Recommendation: This is a movie that may correct lousy parenting. Overall, Cadaver is a charming disappointment as it possesses the foundation that leads the way to brilliance.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Mark Of The Devil

Zombies, Tidal Waves, Vengeful Ghosts, Sophisticated Cannibals... What else is missing?

That's right! Demons and stoned exorcists.

Completing our fright night on Christmas is a Mexican supernatural film that has been on Netflix since March 2020. Mark Of The Devil began the scare with a freak exorcism gone wrong. After an unsuccessful attempt to banish a powerful evil that supposedly "done in" a possessed child, the horrified priest dumped the body in the hopes that it will rot.

Unfortunately, the child came back to life and disemboweled the priest in his own sanctuary. Later on, he was found by a young practitioner and took him under his wing. The events soon revealed that the child grew up to be an unusual exorcist — a demon siphoning out the black ooze from unfortunate victims. To show gratitude to the priest who adopted him, he regularly brings meth to calm the troubled servant of God.

The hunter, who is also a demon, appeared to be the son of Cthulhu, Ythogtha. His destiny is to save the beautiful daughters from the possession of his cruel, ne'er-do-good sister, Cthylla. When the battle took place, we started to clean up, as it was plain unattractive and boring.

I tried my best not to miss the horrible scenes. Cthylla seemed to be the smarter sibling as she divided her existence inside two vessels (the family daughters) and managed to kill almost everyone. Ultimately, Mark Of The Devil is a show for drunk people like us at that time, who won't bother checking another title as we're about to sleep anyway. 

Recommendation: Not as bad as Zombie Tidal Wave, but probably regretful for sober watchers. Grab a beer and watch with friends who will entertain you with ridiculous rants about the film when things become funny ugly.

Rating: 1 out of 5

What's next?

We're open to suggestions, but I prefer not to endure the presence of hideous pictures moving forward. Netflix is home to brilliant horror films, so why are we losing our subscription and the remainder of our lifespan on terrible flicks?

And speaking of Netflix, their list of upcoming films gives us another reason to live. However, we will be talking about them in another publication!

Until then, fellow Otakus.

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