The Horror Honeys: Monster Honey's Fright Fest Diary ~ Day 2!

Monster Honey's Fright Fest Diary ~ Day 2!

A Horror Honeys WEB EXCLUSIVE with Sarah

Check out my recap of Day 1 HERE!


Friday

It's my first full day and I am definitely hoping for something spectacular after the letdown of Cell last night (See Zombie Honey Bella's review HERE and BE WARNED).


Thug life.
From a House on Willow Street
Gore and fun aplenty in this one. A group of criminals decide to kidnap a rich man’s daughter and hold her for ransom. Unfortunately, she is possessed by a demon intent on harvesting their souls. Said demon happens to be hungry for tortured souls who are feeling grief, so of course, all of the criminals happen to be mourning someone at that time. Unlucky. However obvious it sounds, I liked the set up here; it’s a nice flip on the predator/prey dynamic. It’s also pretty over the top at times and features plenty of stupid character decisions, but in a way that just adds to the charm. Although it does have what is easily the stupidest reason for a demonic possession I’ve ever heard. So, From a House on Willow Street is not scary, but pretty fun all the same.

From a House on Willow Street gets 3 flickering lights out of 5

Historic bitch face never changes.
Through the Shadow
I am shameless in my love for classic ghost stories, and even more shameless for twists on said classic ghost stories. What we have with Through the Shadow is a Brazilian adaptation of Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, which was previously adapted in the 1961 classic The Innocents. Here we are trading the cold and mist of an English country manor for the heat and smoke of a coffee plantation in the middle of a dense forest. It’s a very straightforward adaptation, nicely shot and well acted with plenty of quietly creepy moments. However, the end result is something that feels quite safe and simple. We do get moments of ambiguity in the children's' behavior and a real upping of the sexual repression themes that have always been prevalent in the source material, but not much else. So, this adaptation is nicely done and worth watching to see an alternate setting for a familiar story, however if you want something really new, you will have to look elsewhere.

Through the Shadow gets 3 lacy nightgowns out of 5

The fine art of film festival scheduling.
Hostage to the Devil
One of the documentaries at this year’s festival is an account of the career of priest Malachi Martin, one of the top and most outspoken exorcists in the world. He is a figure of some controversy; where there are those who hold him up as a front-line soldier in a great spiritual war, others see him as little more than a fraud. Director Marty Stalker presents both opinions in the film, allowing the audience to make up their own mind. To me, it seems like Malachi Martin was a bit of a jerk and had some ideas that were a little too out there, but there is no denying that he helped the people who reached out to him, whether they were truly possessed or not. In a Q&A afterwards, the director also said that he could have easily made multiple documentaries about Father Martin’s life because it was so strange and interesting, but instead he had chosen to focus on the man’s exorcism career. Some of the people interviewed are almost as interesting as the subject, including former CIA operative turned demonologist Ralph Sarchie, who you may know as the basis for Deliver Us from Evil, directed by Horror Honey favorite, Scott Derrickson (check out Head Honey Kat's review HERE) Worth looking into if you’re curious about the topic.

Hostage to the Devil: Insert healthy skepticism here... or... something else?

Hostage to the Devil gets 3 rosaries out of 5

White Coffin
I decided to cut today short so that I could be in full force for Saturday, and decided to end with something short and sweet. Well it was short, so it had that going for it if nothing else. This Argentinean supernatural story is about a woman whose daughter is kidnapped, and after a fatal car crash, she is given the chance to save her little girl from a brutal and sinister ritual. This is a case of a seed of a good story idea being very poorly executed. Despite what I’m sure was very dedicated work from everyone involved, decent performances and a few good shots do not make up for the fact that this film is just a mess. It’s overdone, confusing (not helped by what were terrible subtitles), and a weak ending. 

White Coffin gets 2 mysterious phone calls out of 5




Tomorrow is the big day with five films, including two of my most anticipated films of the festival.

I’m definitely gonna need a training montage.

And by "montage," I mean nap.


Check back for Day 3!