Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: Cold Creepy Feeling

This review courtesy of filmarcade.net

I’ve said many times that while, like everyone else, I like good movies, I like bad movies too. I find a lot of bad movies just as much fun as the good ones. I can forgive a lot in a bad movie as long as it’s entertaining in some way. There is one unforgivable sin however, and one thing that I will never EVER forgive a movie for being, and that is boring. I hate to say it, but that’s exactly what Cold, Creepy Feeling is; boring.

The synopsis: A young couple, Chloe (Lisa Younger) and Jason (Jared Vandenberg), escape the Los Angeles rat race for the quiet life in Joshua Tree, California but paranormal visions and voices quickly turn the house of their dreams into a house of nightmares. They enlist the help of a spiritualist, Alex Damiano, to help exorcise the premises but this only awakens and angers the demonic presence that lurks within. When the town Sheriff (Dennis Woodruff) becomes involved, he discovers that another family mysteriously disappeared 10 years earlier without a trace and he also becomes entangled in the web of evil horror.

The problem with this movie is that nothing really ever happens. So much time is wasted on things that have nothing to do with what very little plot there is. It takes them about 20 minutes to get to the damn house in the first place. This includes the couple in the car talking, a pointless stopover in a ghost town where they just play around, and a lot of shots out the window. It’s like watching a stranger’s vacation tapes. It’s freaking tedious. Then, when they get there, they explore the grounds for 10 minutes. Then the happy couple settles in, has a couple of drinks, and starts getting it on in the new house. At this point, the scary stuff should finally kick in, right? Wrong. There’s a false scare here involving a spider, which was the best scene in the film by far as it’s the only one with any originality, humor of the intentional variety, or drama. Then they go out to a bar. THEY GO OUT TO A BAR! In a horror movie, if someone is having sex in a haunted house, that should be the start of something oh, I dunno, creepy maybe? You know, creepy? Like we were promised in the freakin’ title? Anyway, when they eventually get home and go to bed, they hear a weird noise and Lisa has a weird dream. Finally something is happening! Did I mention that the movie is literally halfway over at this point? It’s got to pick up now, right? Well, they spend the next 8 minutes taking turns reading posts on a message board about ghosts. I’m not kidding. We are now 55 minutes into this film’s 86 minute running time. Are you starting to get the picture of how this flick is going?

We have about 15 minutes of shots of stuff, meaning nothing is happening, it’s just filler footage of plants, buildings, the sky, traffic, or whatever they could pad this flick with. We get a performance from Dennis Woodruff as the town sheriff that is so bad that it does have humor value, but it’s not worth sitting through the flick to get to. The final reveal is supremely inadequate considering what we sat through to get there.

Cold Creepy Feeling is sort of a combination of regular narrative film and found footage film. The problem is that when they’re not boring us to death with the “vacation footage” I mentioned earlier, they try to use the first person camera as a special effect. They employ the night vision thing to deliver the only two scares in the movie, and they fail badly. The whole night vision first person thing is so cliché by this point that if you’re going to use it, you’d better show something innovative or it’s going to fall flat on its face. Here, it’s like they think the technique is still unique enough to enhance the weak…I was about to call them jump scares but they’re so unfrightening that I’m honestly not 100% sure they were meant to be scares. While we’re on the subject of not using clichés, if you’re going to have someone perform an exorcism, which literally lasts less than a minute, DO NOT say the words “the power of Christ compels you” unless you’re going for laughs. That line is too much of a punch line to ever be used in a serious context again, especially twice. The song that’s playing when they are dancing in the bar deserves a special mention too. Holy crap it’s terrible. The rest of the music is decent if a bit generic but that song is just terrible.

I can’t wrap the review up without saying something good, so I’ll say that I did enjoy the tarantula scene. As I said earlier it was the only really good moment of the film. Lisa Younger and Dennis Woodruff as the young couple are at least somewhat likable. Given better material, they might have been effective. Well, that and Miss Younger has a fantastic ass. Just saying.

I believe this was writer/director/editor/effects (what effects?)/ sound/cinematographer Keith Kurlander’s first attempt at a feature, and unfortunately it wasn’t a successful one. The directing wasn’t necessarily bad, the problems primarily came from the story, so maybe if he stuck to directing someone else’s script and got some other artists to collaborate with, he could turn out a winner. Honestly folks, I hate writing reviews like this. Every time I get a screener of an indie flick I’m rooting for it, because I know that people put their hearts and souls into these things. Unfortunately, Cold Creepy Feeling failed to deliver even a moment of the titular sensation. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a historic moment, because I am about to type these words for the first time in my year and a half of reviewing horror flicks…two severed thumbs down. Nathan says do not check it out.


James Bickert said...

Ghosts are lame. They are turning them into twink vampires.

SonOfCelluloid said...

Agreed, there hasn't been a good ghost flick in a while. I think the House on Haunted Hill remake was probably the last one I really dug. Someone needs to come back with a really good ghost movie, like Candyman or The Shining or the Haunting or The Fog.

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