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await further instructionsDark Sky Films

It’s Christmas Day and the Milgram family wake to find a mysterious black substance surrounding their house. Something monumental is clearly happening right outside their door, but what exactly – an industrial accident, a terrorist attack, nuclear war? Descending into terrified arguments, they turn on the television, desperate for any information. On screen a message glows ominously: ‘Stay Indoors and Await Further Instructions’. As the television exerts an ever more sinister grip, their paranoia escalates into bloody carnage.

I know what you’re thinking. Maybe. You’re probably thinking, “Hey, according to that description blurb that Uncle NecRo stuck up there, this sounds something like that “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street” episode of The Twilight Zone.” And I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that. After having watched Await Further Instructions, though, I would liken the movie to more of an extended, feature-length episode of The Outer Limits. The 1990s revival version, not the 1960s classic, mind you.

So what we have with Await Further Instructions is a very tense science fiction psychological thriller that may be as subtle with the social commentary as a cinder block with the word SUBTLETY written on it being heaved through a window and hitting you square on the forehead, but it’s a well-made and well-paced bit of British science fiction that manages to wiggle and burrow its way underneath the skin and embed itself there long after the end credits roll. The movie deftly leaves you with more questions, but in a way that adds to the tense atmosphere and paranoia that ensues. That ending show itself still chills me when I think about it.

In the end, Await Further Instructions is a small sci-fi flick that deserves to be sought after and checked out.

Movie Review: GLASS

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glass movie posterUniversal Pictures

“What do we call you, sir?”
“First name, Mister. Last name, Glass.”

M. Night Shyamalan brings together the narratives of two of his standout originals—2000’s Unbreakable, from Touchstone, and 2016’s Split, from Universal—in one explosive, all-new comic-book thriller: Glass. From Unbreakable, Bruce Willis returns as David Dunn as does Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, known also by his pseudonym Mr. Glass. Joining from Split are James McAvoy, reprising his role as Kevin Wendell Crumb and the multiple identities who reside within, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke, the only captive to survive an encounter with The Beast. Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.

After being surprised by how good the movie Split was, I found myself actually looking forward to the green-lit final chapter in M. Night Shayamalan’s superhero trilogy, which started with Unbreakable back in 2000. The trailers that finally were released did a great job in showing just enough to keep me intrigued about what the movie was going to be, while not really spoiling anything in the process. I even managed to get Brian+Andrea to come along and watch, and then we recorded a podcast about it:


For the most part, i found myself rather satisfied with this final entry in the trilogy. I had some theories that cropped up from watching the trailer, mainly wondering if this was all going to be like that episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where she wakes up in a psychiatric ward and we’re left wondering what was the real world and which was the fantasy. Well…kind of yes, kind of no. Not to get into spoilery details (you’ve been warned), but the movie did a pretty good job story-wise throwing doubt as to whether these so-called super-powers were real or imaginary. Until the end, mind you, when the big twist happens and I was left wondering if I liked the way it ended or not. I’m still rather up in the air about that, and I probably won’t really come to a firm conclusion. I am, however, leaning a bit towards Didn’t Like Entirely, But It Doesn’t Ruin The Movie as far as the ending goes.

The movie itself is a nicely shot slow-burn, building up to a rather explosive showdown between Bruce Willis’s protagonist, and James McAvoy’s Beast personality. Everyone is great in their respective roles; however, it’s once again James McAvoy that steals the show with how deftly he’s able to switch different personality traits convincingly like that. Bruce Willis does a pretty good Bruce Willis, as always, and Samuel L. Jackson…well, what can I say? He’s the man. He plays the titular character pretty much catatonic for the first half of this movie, and still maintains a strong presence in the scenes he’s in. And when he actually does begin to put things into play, it’s just awesome to watch him work. There’s a scene where he is just watching The Beast take out a couple of guards, and he manages to act more with his face than many other actors can manage in entire movies.

Overall, though the movie did unravel a bit with the last 20 minutes or so, and I’m still not entirely satisfied with how things ended, Glass is still far better than it should be with a movie of this kind of scope. Glass could have been just another haphazardly slapped together sequel to capitalize on the popularity of the last movie; instead, there was attention paled to details that pretty much begs for more than just one viewing. However, I would probably recommend a matinee viewing, if you’re going to catch this in the theater. Recommended.

Uncle NecRo Watches: HEREDITARY

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Recorded June 9, 2018

Uncle NecRo is joined by Work Friend Sarah in watching the new psychological horror thriller Hereditary. This is being touted as this generation’s The Exorcist. Is it really? Come join Uncle NecRo and Sarah in talking about the movie at Sean O’Casey’s in Omaha…SPOILERS ABOUT, my wonderful freaks…


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carnival of soulsHerts-Lion International Corp.

“It’s funny, the world is so different in the daylight. In the dark, your fantasies get so out of hand. But in the daylight, everything falls back into place again.”


Carnival Of Souls was one of those movies that was included in the 50 Horror Movie Classics pack I got for a mere $20 back in 2005, I believe it was. You know the ones, that have 20 DVDs in those cheap paper sleeves inside, each with a bunch of Public Domain movies that, for the most part, do fall under the “horror” category, but also include some that very losely qualify as such. There are some interesting gems in there, including this rather cheaper cut of this particular movie in question.

We meet one Mary Henry, a young lady who is riding around in a car with her two other friends, when they’re challenged to a drag race by some guys in another car. Because this was the early 60s and this was apparently a thing that happened every day (according to movies and television shows from the era), they do so, resulting in the car the ladies were riding in to plummet over a bridge into the river. Mary manages to survive, but she doesn’t remember how. So, she then moves to Utah (as you do after cheating death like that), where she finds work as a church organist. Along the way, she experiences some odd things, like only picking up organ music on the car radio, having a pasty guy’s face replace her reflection, and being drawn to an abandoned pavilion on the shores of the Great Salt Lake. She then rents a room, gets hit on by one of the tenants, and continues to hallucinate that pasty face guy, while suffering from nightmares where she’s invisible to the world around her. Oh, and the pasty face guy keeps haunting her. She then loses her church organist job by practicing some very eerie jams the pastor deems profane, goes on a date with the creeper housemate, continues to see a bunch of ghouls now wandering about, and then she finds herself at the pavilion surrounded by dancing ghouls, and she runs off into a twist ending. The end.

Carnival Of Souls is a rather slow-burning psychological thriller that, upon the initial first viewing, can come off as dull at best. This is, I believe, mainly due to the high expectations that can be built up before going into the movie. Since it’s release, Carnival Of Souls has attained the kind of cult status hype that can do exactly that: called this an “accidental masterpiece”, a New York Times piece in 1989 gave it a favorable write-up for the Fantasy Festival it was being screened at, not to mention seeing Carnival Of Souls pop up on many a Top 10 List of classic movies online.

Unfortunately, I was aware of the hype by the time I got around to watching this, and because of that — and also having a poor cut of the movie — I ended up wondering what all the accolades were about. I found it boring and hard to pay attention to. Over time, though, I began to appreciate the style and atmosphere utilized, going more for a isual encapsulation of the lead lady’s decent into madness, leading up to an admittedly effective twist at the end.

Do yourself a favor, and watch Carnival Of Souls if you haven’t but don’t go into it for the story. That’s only secondary to what it is. Is Carnival Of Souls a classic? I’m still chewing on that one. I’ll get back to you, when I decide.

Movie Review: DARK IMAGE

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dark imageMidnight Releasing

“Look, no one thinks clearly when they’re sober.”

Ever since caving in and signing up for the Amazon Prime account over a year ago, I’ve used it primarily to watch the oodles and oodles of horror movies they include in the free streaming movie sections. And just like with Netflix and those multi-movie DVD packs from WalMart, more often than not, I find myself wading through what initially appears to be at least a decent movie gauging by the cover art, is actually a rather bad movie, and not one of those so-bad-it’s-good type, either. Dark Image is one of those movies.

Originally made in 2012, and going by the title Mirror Image, Dark Image tells the tale of a young lady who, after being found tied up in a basement with her twin sister dead, is released from a psychiatric hospital and put in the charge of her psychiatrist uncle. The girl decides to go back to her childhood home to work out some of her demons from the traumatic experience, and maybe find out who the murderer is. Always a good idea, there. There’s this cop that is hired on to follow her around in accordance with trying to solve the cold case of her family’s death. Soon after showing up with her cousin to keep her company, the young lady begins hearing voices, receiving flashbacks to her growing up, and seeing things…and then goes out to a club with her cousin. Continuing to get flashbacks and warnings from what seems to be an otherworldly entity, so she goes back home, with her cousin following suit some time later. Meanwhile, flashbacks keep driving the lady over the edge, and finally we get some answers as to who killed her sister…HERSELF! Dun dun duuuuuuuun. So then she goes back to her stabby-stabby ways, everyone dies offscreen, and we end with her back in the psychiatric hospital and stuff. Gads.

Watching Dark Image was very much an exercise in mind-numbing endurance. As it turns out, this movie was one of those magical ones that bends time and space, making its paltry 1 hour and 15 minute run time seem like forever. It’s like when whatever is getting sucked into a black hole, the closer it gets to the event horizon, time slows down to a near stand-still. The same theory holds here: This movie sucks so hard, the further you get into watching it, time slows down to a crawl.

Everything is just bad here: The daytime soap opera level quality of both the acting and the filming, the bargain bin effects, the horrible script…if I wasn’t feeling insulted with the quality, I was constantly checking the time lapse to see how long it was before this thing was over. Pass this one up entirely, if you come upon this in your search for horror watchin’.

Movie Review: A QUIET PLACE

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a quiet placePlatinum Dunes

Hey, remember Jim from the American version of The Office? You know, the character who kept pursuing a relationship with the secretary, and instead of being slapped with a sexual harassment lawsuit, ended up marrying and having a family with? He was played by John Krasinski, who, as it turns out, also writes, produces and directs other movies and television.

You’re probably rolling your eyes and groaning, “I know, idiot.” Fair enough. I just needed a way to start off this review, and I went with the Pointless Trivia Everyone Already Knew route. You probably also already knew that Krasinski doesn’t like the horror genre. Which I find fascinating, because his recent movie, A Quiet Place, is an amazing horror movie.

So, we’re dropped right into Day 86, and the majority of the Earth’s population has been hunted almost to extinction by extra-terrestrial apex preditors that hunt primarily by their ultra-hightened sense of hearing. If you make the teeniest of sounds, they can zero in on you and take you out in the blink of an eye. We follow a family of five scavenging for supplies in a deserted town, making no sounds, as at this point they’ve figured out some tricks to keep under the sound radar, if you will. That is, until, due to an unfortunate act of affection by the older sister, their youngest son is taken out by one of the creatures on their way back to the farm they live at. Jump forward about a year, and the family is not only surviving, but thriving, as the mother is pregnant and is a short way off from the due date. Pretty ballsy choice, given how infants are not exactly paragons of complete silence. But, they prove themselves to be up for the challenge, devising a sound proof box that the baby can sleep in, to keep from attracting the creatures to their already heavily modified homestead. The daughter is deaf, and is more than a bit on the angsty side, as she’s on the cusp of puberty, and she also blames herself for her brother’s death, as well as believing her father doesn’t love her because of that, only caring for her out of obligation. Nothing could be further from the truth, but because of all the silence needed, it’s hard for the father to really express his love for his daughter, outside of trying to build better hearing aid devices to try to help her hear. Everything comes to a head one afternoon when the father takes their middle oldest son out to teach how to fish, the daughter goes off to the spot where the youngest son died to do some brooding, and the mother goes into labor a couple of weeks early, which is bad enough…but then she steps on a nail getting to the safety of the basement, which is when everything really hits the fan.

And, I’m going to just stop there, and let you go ahead and find out what happens.

It took me a week from the release date to finally catch A Quiet Place, but I’m glad I did so. John Krasinski seems to know what he’s doing, as he’s crafted a tense, taunt and utterly genuine horror movie that’s incredibly effective. The entire cast carried the script wonderfully, having to act without words, building up and fleshing out their characters with hardly any dialogue, and it works. You get drawn into the family, tangibly feel the love and affection they have for each other, especially with the tension between the father and the daughter. The use of the sound — and sometimes the utter lack of it — is incredibly effective with building the tension.

The monsters themselves were wisely kept in the shadows, out of sight, until the very end, letting us piece things together through the movie. When they show up, though…yeah, pants-wetting nightmare fuel.

Overall, A Quiet Place is a very effective, well-made horror movie that will draw you in, and won’t let go until the very final scene, which will leave you wanting to know what happens next. Highly recommended.

Movie Review: HANNA

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hannaFocus Pictures

“Kissing requires a total of thirty-four facial muscles, and one hundred twelves postural muscles. The most important muscle involved is the orbicularis oris muscle, because it is used to pucker the lips.”

Raised by her father, an ex-CIA agent, in the wilds of Finland, Hanna’s upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one. Sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe, eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own. As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces starting revelations about her existence…

It was movie night with my circle of friends, and I chose Hanna to be the one we watched. This was back when the movie was first released on DVD, and while looking into the movie, the premise intrigued me. It seemed to be a bit more than your standard Bourne Identity-style psychological thriller. For one, it involves a young girl as a trained-since-birth deadly assassin, who was raised by the CIA agent that was part of the project to develop these super soldier kids. Not exactly a unique premise, admittedly; but what interested me was that it was said that Hanna wasn’t shot like the other action thrillers that were being churned out.

There’s a lot of European folktale influence on the visuals and ambiance of the movie. I don’t know what other way to explain it, other than this is definitely a different beast. There’s more of a subdued, sombre quality to the execution, almost a Kubrick-esque style. Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett are great in their roles, and the cinematography is breathtaking. The story itself moves along at a decent clip, with several locations utilized.

Overall, Hanna was a good change of pace from the bunch of action flicks that normally clog the theaters. It’s a good psychological thriller that will stay with you a bit longer than usual. Recommended.

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