Podcast: The House That Jack Built 7/10

Podcast: The House That Jack Built – Note: This is my full walk-through & film summary of this graphic horror movie. Not for everyone. (Originally appeared at: The DRP – The House That Jack Built.)

My very rough notes: The director and buildup 2 levels: the incidents of a serial killer / the walk to hell, escorted by the verge It’s weird because we are in jack’s head but not supposed to relate with him, and yet we may. Ocd etc are relatable things Mr. Verge (Demon) and Jack 1st incident – Uma Thurman’s character is a bit demanding/annoying. She insults him by saying he looks like a serial killer. She gives him tips in jest on how to transport and bury bodies. She’s demanding about having him drive her back. She pushes and pushes, apparently as a joke, about how he is a serial killer. He is being very cruel with her, sarcastic. She STILL gets in a car with him. Then she says she takes it all back, saying he’s way too much of a wimp to be a serial killer. He kills her. As an engineer, Jack sees the act of killing as an engineered art. We see the pencils straight as a sign of his OCD. The walk-in freezer. He bought a retired restaurant freezer. Pizzas included. Put her body in there with the others. 2nd Incident – Door to door killing. Trying to get in. The wolf. The Kirby salesman. She agrees to let him in after much consternation. Once in, he says ridiculous things, almost playing with the situation, proving his ability to kill. Gets her to put a pillow under her head. Pretends to cry apologizing, gives her tea w poison. She still doesn’t die. Gets knife out, counts up the ribs, pierces her heart. Takes a photo of her with a little antique camera. Drags the body out – so much work to this art. Cleans up with bleach it looks like. He is haunted by the idea he left blood at the scene so he goes back to clean again. The OCD coming out. Even with an alarm on full blast, he recalls one place there might be blood and goes back yet again! Sees a police car, pulls the dead body out of the van. Cops come up to his van. Gives the cop another smooth story. This guy is good. Starts demanding the room be inspected. He is so sure of himself. Ties the body to the van. The drive causes her face to be ground down. Grisly sight. “I went to great lengths to fake normal empathy in order to confound the masses. The scythes are beautiful, peaceful. Cutting off the duckling’s foot is grisly, sad, repulsive. The strangling scenes are awful but in truth, probably as bad as this film gets for gore. This film raises the question: what is hell to jack? Preferred the dark negative light “demonic.” Jack had no family. 3rd incident The family shooting. 4th incident “I had a romance” He says he had stronger feelings for Riley Keough’s character than a psychopath is supposed to have. Jack meets Jacqueline (Riley Keough), a woman that he calls “Simple,” as he believes her to be stupid. Jack confesses he has killed sixty people at this point and is the serial killer “Mr. Sophistication,” but Jacqueline does not believe him and thinks he’s lying. She tries to get away and tell a cop, but he dismisses her as a drunk. Eventually, Jacqueline fails to escape and Jack cuts off her breasts with a knife and murders her. He pins one of the breasts to the Cop’s car and fashions the other one into a wallet. 5th Incident[edit] Jack has detained six people and tied them to a makeshift post, lining their heads up in a row with the intention of killing them all with one bullet, but he realizes that the bullet he bought from Al (Jeremy Davies) is not a full metal jacket bullet. Al refuses to sell the bullets and instead Jack has to go to the trailer of a man known as S.P. (David Bailie). Knowing that the cops are looking for Jack, S.P. points a gun at Jack and thinks that he has caught him. Jack convinces him to drop his gun and kills him with a knife through his throat and then grabs the one bullet he needs. He then puts on S.P.’s red bathrobe and waits for the police to arrive as his van is now stuck in a ditch and he requires transportation. He kills the cop and steals his car, which he leaves outside his freezer space with the siren blazing. He tries to line up the shot but realizes it’s too blurry. He finally succeeds in prying open a door at the back of the freezer that’s always been stuck shut. He continues to try to line up the shot and sees Verge for the first time. Verge suggests that Jack has unfinished business and has never really built the house that he was intending to build. Using the bodies as material, Jack constructs a house out of them and when he enters the make-shift house, he sees a hole that leads down. At this point, the cops successfully torch through the door, and Jack decides to go through the hole, following Verge. Epilogue: Katabasis[edit] In a clear allusion to Dante’s Inferno, Verge is actually the poet Virgil and is guiding Jack through Hell. At the very bottom of Hell there is a bridge and a vast dark space below. The door on the other side of the bridge leads out of Hell and presumably to Heaven as Verge tells Jack. The bridge is completely broken, but Jack notices that one could climb around the cliff and over to the other side, although Verge tells him that he recommends against it and that this is not where he is to deliver him. Jack ignores him and decides to try to climb over anyway. Jack fails and falls off the cliff down into the abyss with the flowing fire below.

High Tension 7/10

Everything goes just perfectly in this film until the end portion. I would like to ask the director why he made the choices he did. But, then again, he is a director and they get to make those decisions. I’ve added this film to my excellent slashers list, it truly kicks as despite the ending.

High Tension (2003) Haute tension (original title) R | 1h 31min | Horror | 10 June 2005 (USA) High Tension Poster Trailer 1:45 | Trailer3 VIDEOS | 62 IMAGES Watch Now From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video ON DISC Best friends Marie and Alexia decide to spend a quiet weekend at Alexia’s parents’ secluded farmhouse. But on the night of their arrival, the girls’ idyllic getaway turns into an endless night of horror. Director: Alexandre Aja Writers: Alexandre Aja, Grégory Levasseur Stars: Cécile de France, Maïwenn, Philippe Nahon

Home invasions are torture. That’s why I love them. We have this here alongside a sweet little story of two girlfriends. Rather, it’s about two GIRLS who are friends right? The killings are among the most brutal I’ve seen. The film builds suspense well, introduces the killer, and goes berserk up to about halfway through. When the girls are ushered to a gas station, the film becomes something else, and I mean that literally! I had fun watching the film despite the twist ending that probably wasn’t even needed. In fact it doesn’t even have anything to do with the title. If you don’t know the film and you like slashers, see it!

CAM 6/10

This is an odd choice for a promo poster since the film is highly sexual and visual of “girls who wanna f***” Yep, that’s what cams are for didn’t you know? The majority of the film is looking at how that industry works in all it’s naked uglies, but these girls of course aren’t ugly at all they’re beautiful.

Cam (2018) TV-MA | 1h 34min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller | 16 November 2018 (USA) Cam Poster Alice, an ambitious camgirl, wakes up one day to discover she’s been replaced on her show with an exact replica of herself. Director: Daniel Goldhaber Writers: Isa Mazzei, Daniel Goldhaber (story by) | 2 more credits » Stars: Madeline Brewer, Patch Darragh, Melora Walters

What saves this film is the end portion. I was about to turn it off after an hour but decided to see what all the good ratings were about. It is after all classified as horror. The acting efforts are rather good despite the skin-flick content. It’s entertaining but really be careful with your kids, especially your young teenage boys, it could be overwhelming and I am not saying that being over cautious. There are full on breasts and compromising positions by sexy young women throughout. It turns into a stalker sort of horror with a twist. I put it at a 6/10 for horror peeps. Not quite sure if I was too kind. It isn’t horrible. I kind of liked it, kind of.

The Intouchables 9/10

This French film spawned the current Hollywood film “The Upside.” They’re a lot alike but I’m glad I saw the original first, it is probably much better, based on the trailer of the new one.

In this one, a street savvy ex-con is hired to take care of a highly wealthy quadriplegic. There is a lot of humor that comes from the contrasting cultures and responses to various situations. I like the way the humor is downplayed though, it’s not constant and not in your face. Both men learn from each other and gain strength from their friendship.

It will be interesting to see how “The Upside” interprets this true story. My guess is that Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston will overact this story and ruin it. There is a lot of serious material in this film and I just can’t see it coming across effectively based on the new trailer.

As for this original film, it is delightful and highly enjoyable. There are a few times the image of the lower class gets a little campy but other than those few times it’s a nearly perfect film. 9/10

Podcast: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

I podcasted on this, my favorite Christmas film this year, in my recent podcast episode. I’ve re-posted it here for you to check out. Listen if you get a chance and have a few laughs with me.

This is the Christmas movie that always makes me laugh. Get some hot chocolate and reminisce with me about this strictly hilarious film. Ready? Merry Christmas, I hear Santa’s sleigh! Let’s go.

The House That Jack Built 6/10

This mercurial film has received so much press it made my head spin. I just finished watching it and I have to say it isn’t as good as they say and not as bad either. It is a movie, that’s the only safe thing to say for sure.

The kills are heartless. Jack has no empathy. This is part and parcel for every serial killer we know. To be honest, it’s kind of a tired premise if you asked me. Yes the kills are gruesome though most the reactions are just that and not shown onscreen. It’s what we imagine is happening that repulses us the most. Jack’s “playroom” is an acquired pizza place walk-in cooler. That’s where he keeps the bodies.

Jack is killing a new person or set in each “incident.” They watch like chapters in a book. He’s OCD and that’s supposed to be funny but it’s not. Irony like this is old and worn out. I was surprised Lars reduced his writing to use it.

There has been hue and cry about disfiguring children. While a hunting based scene is horrible, the fashioning of the victims afterwards is not that bad. People wigged out too much. It is entertaining but tries to be Dante’s Inferno too much toward the end. It feels like Lars got tired and just went a whole different direction for the end. I did enjoy it but it’s not great or shitty, just meh. 6/10

Psycho 2 5/10

I will respect any movie with the Psycho name attached … up to a point. The movie should be connected to the original in cohesive ways and this one is not.

Psycho II (1983)

For starters, Norman Bates is released from the insane asylum after demonstrating his sanity. That wouldn’t just happen. Second he is released back to all the old triggers including the hotel. No psychiatrist on the case would allow that.

At his job (he looks and acts very wooden in the film) he meets Meg Tilly’s character and they hit it off. This also feels forced and unrealistic. This film could have been so great! I haven’t yet seen III so perhaps they got closer to Hitchcock in their conventions. II looks like a cheap TV movie or lampoon on the original. When someone is murdered it’s serious but not so in this film universe. The sheriff gives a knowing laugh when recalling Norman’s story. There was no verisimilitude, it was not entertaining in the least. Worst of all, none of it was logical. 5/10

Riley’s Top Ten Movies of 2018

I did a good job keeping track of my movie ratings this year. I used IMDB. Of all movies released 01-01-2018 to present 12-12-2018 I have watched and rated 117 of those 2018 titles. What follows are my top 10 favorite films of 2018 in descending order. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did. Leave me your top ten list in the comments or a link to where you’ve made yours.

Searching

1. Searching (III) (2018)

PG-13 | 102 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller 7.8  10 71 Metascore

After his 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a desperate father breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her.

Director: Aneesh Chaganty | Stars: John ChoDebra MessingJoseph Lee,Michelle La

Votes: 51,847 | Gross: $26.02MWatch Now 
From $4.99 (SD) on Prime Video

Beautiful Boy

2. Beautiful Boy (2018)

R | 120 min | Biography, Drama 7.3  10 63 Metascore

Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.

Director: Felix van Groeningen | Stars: Steve CarellTimothée Chalamet,Maura TierneyChristian Convery

Votes: 5,469 | Gross: $7.42M

Christopher Robin

3. Christopher Robin (2018)

PG | 104 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy 7.5  10 60 Metascore

A working-class family man, Christopher Robin, encounters his childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh, who helps him to rediscover the joys of life.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Ewan McGregorHayley AtwellBronte CarmichaelMark Gatiss

Votes: 32,517 | Gross: $99.22MWatch Now 
From $4.99 (SD) on Prime Video

Overlord

4. Overlord (2018)

R | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Horror 7.1  9 60 Metascore

A small group of American soldiers find horror behind enemy lines on the eve of D-Day.

Director: Julius Avery | Stars: Jovan AdepoWyatt RussellMathilde Ollivier,Pilou Asbæk

Votes: 17,116 | Gross: $21.51MGet Showtimes & Tickets 
In 1 theater near Victorville CA US [change]

A Quiet Place

5. A Quiet Place (2018)

PG-13 | 90 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery 7.6  10 82 Metascore

In a post-apocalyptic world, a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing.

Director: John Krasinski | Stars: Emily BluntJohn KrasinskiMillicent SimmondsNoah Jupe

Votes: 237,223 | Gross: $188.02MWatch Now 
From $2.99 (HD) on Prime Video

Calibre

6. Calibre (2018)

TV-MA | 101 min | Thriller 6.7  9 76 Metascore

A shocking deed turned their weekend trip into a nightmare. Now their only hope is to swallow their paranoia and act normal.

Director: Matt Palmer | Stars: Jack LowdenMartin McCannTony Curran,Ian Pirie

Votes: 12,023

Sorry to Bother You

7. Sorry to Bother You (2018)

R | 111 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Sci-Fi 7  9 80 Metascore

In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a universe of greed.

Director: Boots Riley | Stars: Lakeith StanfieldTessa ThompsonJermaine FowlerOmari Hardwick

Votes: 23,836 | Gross: $17.49MWatch Now 
From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

Isle of Dogs

8. Isle of Dogs (2018)

PG-13 | 101 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy 7.9  9 82 Metascore

Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his lost dog.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Bryan CranstonKoyu RankinEdward NortonBob Balaban

Votes: 82,247 | Gross: $32.02MWatch Now or On TV 
From $14.99 (SD) on Prime Video

Hearts Beat Loud

9. Hearts Beat Loud (2018)

PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Music 6.9  10 65 Metascore

A father and daughter form an unlikely songwriting duo in the summer before she leaves for college.

Director: Brett Haley | Stars: Nick OffermanKiersey ClemonsBlythe DannerToni Collette

Votes: 3,947 | Gross: $2.39MWatch Now 
From $0.99 (HD) on Prime Video

Eighth Grade

10. Eighth Grade (2018)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Drama 7.6  10 89 Metascore

An introverted teenage girl tries to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth grade year before leaving to start high school.

Director: Bo Burnham | Stars: Elsie FisherJosh HamiltonEmily Robinson,Jake Ryan

Votes: 22,156 | Gross: $13.54MWatch Now 
From $4.99 (SD) on Prime Video

Podcast: A Christmas Story Muse on my Favorite Scenes

I had so much fun with this movie on my podcast. I hope you have a chance to listen and laugh with me at this classic Christmas memoir of Jean Shepard. This podcast was published first at https://thedrpodcast.com You can listen there or at the player here.

Sleep Tight

This film plays on the note of us all trusting the places we fall asleep. What if you weren’t safe? How would you know it. The brand of psycho in this film knows all your comings and goings and he is a bit like Santa in that he knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. Of course, this IS a horror film so there won’t be any presents brought by this guy. It’s a stalker film tried and true and quite scary at times when it’s not being creepy building suspense.

Sleep Tight (2011)
Mientras duermes (original title)
Not Rated | 1h 42min | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 14 October 2011 (Spain)

You wake day after day to the comfort and security of your home. But how safe is it really?
Director: Jaume Balagueró
Writer: Alberto Marini (screenplay)
Stars: Luis Tosar, Marta Etura, Alberto San Juan

I recall a sick twist like this in “The Gift” 2015. Since “Sleep Tight” is from 2011, I have to wonder somewhat if Edgerton did some borrowing there. “Mientras Duermes” is the original title and Spain style Spanish is spoken.

The deaths in this film are heinous. Especially the boyfriend of the main actress. As she suffers from the villain putting poison in her toothbrush and other toiletries, her boyfriend gets it worse … well until the final scene. 

This is a solid horror film from the “psychotic individual stalker” type. It’s creepy and scary but also fun and exciting if you like this genre. Remember, you need to be subtitles enabled to watch in English. If you speak Spanish, you’re good to go. 8/10

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