Dead Snow (2009)

dead snow

Supernatural nazi zombies rise from the snow when awakened by a group of vacationers in a secluded cabin. Dead Snow‘s self-awareness is blatant, as it clearly references classic horror, presents obvious foreshadowing and finds new uses for intestines. The comedic foreign horror work is happily unrealistic, as it should be. The victims believe they’ll be safe in an area ripe with avalances, while an oldtimer warns them about the impending Nazi threat but then goes against his own advice by pitching a tent nearby. None of them are prepared for the army of zombies, the suspense and outrageous, wicked gore. [rating: $9] –Kenyon

Similar: Cabin in the Woods, Shaun of the Dead, Hatchet, Black Sheep

Hide and Go Shriek (1988)

Eight kids have graduated high school and now they are partying inside a furniture store (what?). While the employees are closing the store for the day, one of them mentions that the windows have shatterproof glass and there is an ex-convict living in the basement. Of course he has easily identifiable snake tattoos so to compare to the unseen assailant’s hands later chain-locking a door. Meanwhile, the group of geniuses–whose language is limited to phrases like “you’re stupid, jerk face”–agree to play hide and seek (duh). The couples pair off, find a hiding spot (bed) and dilly dally for 30 minutes or so. Finally they are terrorized by store mannequins while a weirdo frolics around wearing clothing of the people he offed. Unlike most every other “slasher,” half the kids in the extremely murky picture quality of Shriek survive. This includes a prankster wearing sunglasses in the dark for most of the movie. While attention is put towards the ex-con, it turns out someone else is in the multi-level building. The explanation as to why is nonsense to say the least. [rating: $1] –Kenyon

similar: Dorm that Dripped Blood, Intruder, Funhouse, Hell Night

Hard Candy (2005)

hard candy
No hard candy. No one said “hard candy” either. An extremely androgynous teenage girl overworks her introspective speeches and knows more than she should, including how to perform a castration. And a successful one at that. Okay, we can’t be sure exactly how well the job was completed because it’s never on screen. Her motivations are a little confusing, which painfully wrecks the film. Somehow Sandra Oh was thrown into the mix. [rating: $4] –Kenyon

 

Hatchet II (2010)

Hatchet II

A survivor of the first Hatchet has the urge to immediately return to the New Orleans swamp-forest–where maniac semi-spirit Victor Crowley dwells–to retrieve remains of her relatives that were slayed by Crowley. Meanwhile a shady business man (you know him as Candyman) and his crew join the search with ulterior motives in Hatchet II.

This is a rare time when the quotes on the cover are on point. Hatchet II takes gore to an outrageous level. The victims are decapitated, impaled or literally torn apart in all kinds of interesting ways. A sensitive backstory about Crowley connects to the first film, which was an overly aware horror-comedy. Amazingly, the follow-up liberates itself from the nonsense of Hatchet and establishes a meaningful presence within modern day slasher horror. [rating: $9] –Kenyon

Diary of the Dead (2007)

diary_of_the_dead

It’s sad that George Romero, responsible for some of the best zombie films in history, is behind the horrific failure that is Diary of the Dead.  This modern day garbage attempts to be a “food footage” zombie film for no reason other than to try and make a cliche point about documenting the apocalypse. The whole thing completely lacks the personality of any decent zombie film. By the way, this got 62% positive on rotten tomatoes. That’s 79 fresh and 49 rotten. Something is wrong here. This is total crap. Similar to the crap of Grave Encounters, V/H/S and V/H/S 2.[rating: $1] –Kenyon

Cube Zero (2009)

First cube is gold, second cube (a “hyper” cube) is garbage. Third cube falls in between. But more towards garbage. In the first Cube there was no outside view of the cube, we only knew the people stuck in the multiple chambers of the cube, half of which are set with deathtraps of all kinds. Cube Zero–which is loaded with new traps that cause side-splitting gore–adds the perspective of “employees” who are monitoring the victims, which means that more is learned about the purpose of the intriguing cube and who is responsible. And it all could have been profound if not for the miscast lead character, whose acting and dialogue undermines such a heavy topic. A unique idea for a film, sadly, isn’t given justice. [rating: $4] –Kenyon

Hostel III (2011)

There were some great ideas in Hostel III. If only they were executed more professionally. And if only this whole thing wasn’t so dopey. It was foretold on the dvd cover. People are going to be tortured by wannabe doctors in Las Vegas. Hey it’s not all bad. There are some twists and a few actually work. Perhaps the biggest twist is actually the most obvious, and its seed is planted the minute the main characters establish their relationships in the most boring way possible. Even though the victims are impossibly clueless and the artistic gore doesn’t match anywhere near its predecessors, Hostel III is still a fun time. [rating: $5] –Kenyon

sounds better dubbed in German

The Collector (2009)

The torture is grisly and the story provides reasonable suspense, but the Collector is so short on the motives of, well, the collector. A man who is desperate to save his wife and daughter burglarizes a secluded home, only to find a sadistic masked madman already there. This “collector” somehow in a matter of hours set up dozens of precise trip wires and traps. Meanwhile he is already in the process of multi-tasking the torture of his victims, one of which will be kept in a box because it’s for the “collection” or something. Slightly confusing and not very believable. [rating: $4] –Kenyon

similar: Saw, Hostel, the Strangers