Sometimes I get on Netflix kicks where I watch a ton of movies until my attention span just can’t take anymore. This recent round has been particularly ambivalent with regards to quality/entertainment, so I thought I’d write this to let you know which movies could be worth it, which movies are hilariously bad, and which ones I feel wasted part of my life. (FYI, reviews are in order of most recently watched by me to least recent.)
These movies are pretty much all violent, torture-filled, and scary, so if that’s not your thing, stay away (though I certainly invite you to read on if mere descriptions are okay!). The exceptions, which I would not call “horror” movies (although they have disturbing moments, but only because human trafficking and home invasion is obviously disturbing), would be Cargo, Eden, and Secuestrados/Kidnapped.
Rotten Tomatoes 0% (haha), IMDb 4.1
My Rating: 0.5 funeral homes out of 7
This movie is reminiscent of Prom Night (2008), in that a serial killer returns from previously being “defeated” and hunts a group of insufferably stereotypical teens. However, this one has a bit of a different gimmick, in that the serial killer originally attacked the aunt of the main teen girl when she was a teen, and the aunt thinks it’s him again. This was a very stupid movie because a) it has unrealistic dialogue/sequence of events (which reminds you you’re watching a movie, and no one wants that), b) I hate watching teenagers, and c) honestly, the serial killer flashbacks didn’t get enough screen time for my liking. 😉 I pretty much spent the time in-between each flashback waiting for the next one because they were the most interesting parts of the movie by far. I did gag once while watching this movie, so sensitive stomachs beware.
Rotten Tomatoes 67%, IMDb 5.2
My Rating: 3 prayer rugs out of 5
About human trafficking. About a young model who tries to enter the United States from Russia illegally through the Mexican border, and is instead taken by human traffickers. The movie follows her in her journey to her destination, and the interaction between her and the driver of the van she is being held in. Never too disturbing, not much violence (though there is some). In fact, there are a few sweet moments. I would definitely call this a thriller and not a horror flick. [Mild spoiler about the ending, for those on the fence about watching this: I don’t know if I would call the ending “happy”, but its definitely not “bad” either.] All in all, a pretty decent movie and great for those of you who hate horror but like thrillers.
Eden (aka Abduction of Eden) (2011)
Rotten Tomatoes 82%, IMDb 6.7
My Rating: 9 crack pipes out of 10
Another human trafficking movie. This one is good. I really liked it. The beginning is mild but it turns into a serious and disturbing story about the reality of being an unwilling prostitute. This movie has drugs, gross old sex perverts, violence, kittens, and some pretty disturbing ideas. This isn’t really a horror movie but there are a lot of ideologically scary moments, and some gross violence (but nothing too explicit). This is good for people who don’t like jump scares, supernatural things, serial killers, or explicit torture, but do like psychologically dark and disturbing movies.
Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence (2011)
Rotten Tomatoes 30%, IMDb 3.9
My Rating: 8 asthma inhalers out of 11
This movie was surprisingly fun. Yeah, I know. I actually liked the Human Centipede (2009), because I thought it was as realistic as a movie about attaching people together could be, and pretty creepy, and generally entertaining. Basic pure body horror. I knew I had to watch the sequel, only knowing that it was about a guy who saw the first movie and made a 12-person centipede instead of 3-person. Well, there were a few surprises. It’s in black and white, which makes it super terrifying in my opinion. You pay less attention to the red of the blood and other distracting details, and it just feels creepy for whatever reason. The centipede guy is a parking attendant who captures random people who use the parking garage and takes them all to a random warehouse room. He also manages to trick one of the actresses from the first movie into coming too. This movie is super disturbing, mostly because it feels pretty serious for the first 75%. However, at a very specific point, it turns into ridiculousness, and honestly it’s just funny/gross after that. Here’s a list of potentially super-disturbing things (significant spoilers): [sandpaper masturbation, auditory flashbacks to paternal rape, lots of bloody violence (including an awful, disgusting hammer-tooth scene – I definitely gagged and had to fast-forwarded this scene), poop, poop going into people’s mouths (gagging again), a woman gives birth and then accidentally steps on her newborn, and big spoiler: a centipede eats a man from inside his rectum.] I recommend this movie for people who liked the first movie, and feel like they can handle something much more disgusting and disturbing. In case you didn’t read the spoilers, I gagged two different times and had to skip one scene. Also, here’s a spoiler about the most hilarious/disgusting part of the movie: [the entire movie is black and white, except for the poop, which is colored brown. Also it splatters on the camera. Yeah.] Overall, I thought it was fun, in retrospect sometimes hilarious, and also quite horrifying. A great combination and I’m glad I watched it.
The Collection (2012)
Rotten Tomatoes 37%, IMDb 6.1
My Rating: 1 bear trap out of 9
This was not a good movie in my opinion. The beginning was kind of fun, because they went to a club that happened to be a giant death trap and everyone got slaughtered by spinning blades and giant smashy cages and stuff. After that it got stupid. There was a scene where the main girl was hiding and tarantulas were crawling all over her, and I thought that was delightfully creepy. It also reminded me of this. Then after that, the special snowflake protagonist makes it through the entire building full of tortured/dead/zombie people, and meets up with the people trying to rescue her (which includes a guy who previously escaped the killer). There is some explicit torture, body horror, and stuff like that. Basically, it’s a very unrefined cousin of Saw, without any of the awesome mind games. Disclaimer: I haven’t seen The Collector (2009), so maybe that one is better (but it’s not on Netflix so I’m not going to bother finding it).
Rotten Tomatoes 9%, IMDb 4.6
My Rating: 0.1 parkas out of 4
This movie has Josh from Drake and Josh in it, so that was weird. Basically, a dude, his best friend (Josh), and his love interest go to an ATM, and when they start to leave, there’s a guy in a parka standing outside, and their little minds implode. Seriously, I was actually yelling at my TV. After a few minutes of debating whether to go outside, Parka randomly beats a dude to death, so then their fear is justified, but seriously. This movie is written like the screenwriters think real people have telepathy, but absolutely no problem solving skills. The characters are so annoying, you end up wanting them to get hurt, and you won’t be disappointed. This movie also has a terminal case of “serial killer who has absolutely no motivation but to cause pain or whatever” trope. Basically, unrealistic dialogue/actions, idiocy, and an awful lack of focus on the intriguing random-parka-murders the crap out of people-dude. It could have been so cool but it just wasn’t.
Rotten Tomatoes 75% (audience only), IMDb 6.7
My Rating: 6.5 shaved legs out of 10
Honestly, there’s no way to judge this movie unless you watch the entire thing, so it may be worth it to stick it through even if you think it’s going to be bad. Here’s the general idea: a dude gets captured by a creepy doctor and his muscular assistant, is beat up to break his spirit, and gets obsessed with an abused little girl’s diary. He manages to escape momentarily and calls 911 long enough to make them suspicious. Surgeries happen, an unrealistically-determined lady detective won’t give up on finding out if the doctor is up to something bad, an extremely poorly-executed emotional climax happens, more surgeries, some creepiness, and then a super awesome plot twist. Basically this movie is good for people who appreciate entertainingly-bad movies, body horror, etc. Also, if you won’t be disturbed by this somewhat-minor grotesque plot spoiler: [a man gets turned into a woman surgically/hormonally against his will.] It was fun, kind of stupid, and a little annoying, but entertaining anyway.
Sil Jong (aka Missing) (2009)
Rotten Tomatoes N/A, IMDb 6.7
My Rating: 4 chickens out of 5
This is a Korean horror movie, so subtitle-haters beware. A girl gets kidnapped by an old dude and kept in his basement. Her sister starts searching for her, with the help of some locals and later the police. It gets pretty disturbing at times, including: [a disgusting cake-as-lube rape scene, a few bloody murders, and the kidnapper/rapist/murderer singing a song from when he wanted to be a pop star.] I thought this was a good movie, I liked pretty much all of it, and it had a few pretty cool plot points. Pretty scary and suspenseful, and there were definitely a few times I was yelling at the TV, either to warn the characters about their impending death, or rooting for them to escape.
American Mary (2012)
Rotten Tomatoes 56%, IMDb 6.3
My Rating: 7 left arms out of 8
This is a pretty fun body horror movie. A girl is in med school, but can’t pay her bills and wants to try stripping to earn more money. She gets sucked into an underground/illegal situation and has to save a man’s life for some cash. She is soon approached by a woman who knows that she does “under the table” surgery and Mary performs a very unusual surgery for her. She goes to a party with her professors and one of her mentors turns out to be [a rapist who attacks and films his students]. It’s a pretty disturbing scene, as far as [rape] scenes go. She kidnaps and tortures him, and then becomes a full-time body-modification surgeon. Then some other intense suspenseful things happen. If you aren’t into body horror, you should avoid this movie. If body modification intrigues you, this is a great movie. It’s full of medical stuff, revenge, and suspense. Also, Mary is intriguing, beautiful, and definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Rotten Tomatoes 32% (audience only), IMDb 5.0
My Rating 2 neurotransmitters out of 5
When a movie’s plot is based on a false fact, you know you’re going to have a hard time watching it. A group of people wake up in a random old house, with vials (haha pun get it the title… cause the movie is “vile” but they have “vials”… ok) attached to their necks. They have to fill the vials with adrenaline, dopamine, and oxytocin, which are, according to the movie, produced when the body is in pain. One of the characters suggests they could have sex instead because it produces the chemicals (there’s even a few couples in the house!), but everyone gets mad at him. Well guess what, he was right. So already I hate everyone in this movie, including the screenwriters. They draw to find out what order they will torture themselves in, and it gets pretty graphic. One girl is a huge bitch the whole time, so when its her turn [mild spoiler: they smash her jaw], and that is the single most disturbing movie scene I have EVER seen. It was traumatizing to watch. So kudos to the filmmakers for that particular scene, because it was seriously like real torture. Absolutely disturbing. Anyway, there’s kind of a twist ending (not really a twist but just not what you’re “hoping” for) and it leaves you feeling annoyed. I would only recommend this movie for people who just love violence, because the plot is bad and the torture is the only realistic part. I mean, this movie is pretty much an hour and 30 minutes of straight up torture, including (along with the above mention): [pulling out a bunch of fingernails, hot iron to the stomach, burning arms in hot water, pouring bleach on said burns, and other things I don’t remember]. I can say that I will never watch this movie again and I don’t really recommend it, but it was good at making me feel terrified, disgusted, and disturbed. It’s popular on Netflix right now, which is kind of disturbing in and of itself.
I hope these reviews help you decide which movies to watch and which ones to avoid! 😉