5. Shut In
Shut In, if anything, is proof that even with a reputable cast, you cannot resurrect a dead script with mediocre ideas. Mary, played by Naomi Watts, believes that she and her disabled son, Stephen (Charlie Heaton) are being haunted by the ghost of a local missing boy, (Jacob Tremblay, also in Before I Wake). Despite even the director being Farren Blackburn (Doctor Who, Daredevil), the film is lifeless.
Shut In tries to fit in between a home invasion film and a paranormal thriller, leaving the audience unsatisfied with half attempts at both. The plot twist was the most disappointing part, making the short running time of 90 minutes feel like a complete waste of time.
4. The Forest
When Sara, played by Natalie Dormer, finds out that her twin sister has gone missing, and was last seen entering Japan’s Aokigahara forest, where people commonly go to commit suicide, she sets off to Japan to save her sister who she feels is still alive.
The film is built on the cheap suspense of being in lost in a forest, let alone a haunted forest. The lack of ability for Sara to listen to any of the warnings provided to her by the people who are trying to help her make her unlikeable as a character and make the viewer more unsympathetic when bad things happen to her. This combined with cheap jump scare after cheap jump scare provide a genuinely boring horror film.
The film just felt like 94 minutes of a girl running through a forest with things jumping out at her every once in a while. Simply learning about the Aokigahara forest would provide more scares than The Forest.
Reminiscent of The Exorcist and Insidious both concept wise and visually, Incarnate feels like an unnecessary addition to the horror genre. After a very cloudy exposition of the plot, the viewer learns that the unreligious Dr. Seth Ember, played by Aaron Eckhart, decides to perform an exorcism on an eleven-year-old boy (David Mazouz) only because he believes that the boy is possessed by the same demon that caused a car accident that killed his wife and son and left him in a wheel chair.
Once the exorcism finally starts the film becomes limited to a dingy one room set that brings nothing but boredom to the audience, providing only cheap jump scares and unmotivated and pointless plot twist to provide the illusion that the film has a coherent plot. Incarnate is from the Blumhouse production company, adding to their list of undistinguishable horror movies made for providing teenagers with jump scares.
2. Blair Witch
Acting as an addition of sorts to its predecessor the cult classic, The Blair Witch Project, Blair Witch is about James, the brother of the main character of the original, going and looking for her in the woods where she disappeared so many years before.
The cast is only comprised of six people, James Allen McCune, Valorie Curry, Callie Hernandez, Corbin Reid, Brandon Scott, and Wes Robinson. James sets out with his best friends to enter the woods, while Lisa films it for a class. No explanation is given about the thousands of dollars of video equipment that Lisa has for a school project.
Blair Witch turns out to be an unimaginative retelling of the first film, but just shot on better equipment taking away from the original charm of the first film. Even though the film has an R rating, the deaths were boring, predictable, and not shot well. It is obvious that the film nods to the original, but in a way that feels like the action from the first film reproduced to get a younger generation to buy movie tickets.
1. The Darkness
After the Taylor family starts to experience weird paranormal phenomenon around their home after a family vacation to the Grand Canyon their already disheveled lives take a turn for the worst. Featuring Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, David Mazouz (also in Incarnate) and Lucy Fry.
The film starts with the family’s vacation at the Grand Canyon where Michael, the young autistic son gets separated from the group and falls in a hole where he collects five black stones with markings on them and takes them. It takes a shockingly long time for the family to figure that there is something going on in their household, and that only really happens because Michael starts acting out and gets caught trying to kill a cat.
Overall this film is extremely boring, at 100 minutes it is onerous to set through the full length. It drags on only using sudden and loud clips of music to incite that something is happening, when really the plot is going nowhere. “The darkness” itself is black handprints that appear where the spirit goes, which make the spirit less intimidating than if it was nothing at all. The Darkness will disappoint even novice horror fans.
Author Bio: Erin Kubat is a Theatre manager in a small mountain town in Arizona by night, but by day is a writer, photographer and lover of film.