Archive for the Sheri White Reviews Category

HORROR-MOM TAKES A SNOW DAY!

Posted in 1990s Horror, 2013, Ancient Civilizations, Family Secrets, Horror-Mom's Guide to Scary Movies, Sheri White Reviews, Stephen King Movies, TV-Movies with tags , , , , on January 20, 2013 by knifefighter

HORROR-MOM’S GUIDE TO SCARY MOVIES
Horror-Mom Takes a Snow Day!
By Sheri White

Another snowy day, another school day canceled. You’ve seen enough of Spongebob and iCarly, and you’re tired of the yelling and the cries of “I’m bored!” And that’s just you! Imagine how the kids feel by now. Christmas is over, the toys are broken and it’s too cold to go out.  YOU’RE ALL TRAPPED.

What do you do? Movie marathon, of course! And I have the perfect movie to watch together in a huddle under some blankets while the snow piles up outside – STEPHEN KING’S STORM OF THE CENTURY. This is an original TV mini-series penned by Stephen King, shown over several nights in 1999. It’s dark, claustrophobic, and very creepy.

StormofCentury_Cover

Little Tall Island, a little village off the coast of Maine, is getting ready for a blizzard to hit, the worst they’ve seen in decades. Most of the citizens have evacuated, with just a handful staying behind to ride it out. But when Mike Anderson, the town constable, is called to a brutal murder, the townspeople begin to realize they are threatened by more than a storm.

Mike takes the murderer, Andre Linoge, into custody; he doesn’t put up any resistance but lets Mike know that he’ll go away if he’s given what he wants. Dismissing this ominous intonation at first, the townspeople go about getting ready for the storm. As mysterious things begin happening around them, they finally realize that Linoge is more than just a murderer—he’s something dark and evil, and they are all in danger.

Terrified, they eventually agree to give Linoge what they want—but the price they have to pay will be immeasurable.

STORM OF THE CENTURY is not for young children. But if your kids are middle-school-aged and older, you will enjoy a cozy afternoon of terror while snow rages outside your own window.

© Copyright 2013 by Sheri White

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Horror-Mom’s Guide to Scary Movies Presents: THE GREEN MARKER SCARE (2012)

Posted in 2012, Animated Films, Horror, Horror-Mom's Guide to Scary Movies, Mystery, Sheri White Reviews, Teen Detectives, Twist Endings with tags , , , , , on December 5, 2012 by knifefighter

HORROR-MOM’S GUIDE TO SCARY MOVIES PRESENTS:
THE GREEN MARKER SCARE (2012)
Film Review by Sheri White

 

When Graham Jones asked me to review his new online movie, he told me it was animated by children. So I thought it would be perfect for this column. Graham did tell me that although it was animated by kids, it was definitely not a movie for kids.

I was skeptical, because when I hear that, and then watch the movie, it’s usually pretty tame. And I thought that about THE GREEN MARKER SCARE for the first 45 minutes or so. Sure, it was a little creepy here and there, but nothing most kids couldn’t handle.

Noreen is a young girl whose father is killed in a car accident. His last words inspire her to investigate the crash, since it doesn’t really seem accidental. Her findings lead her to realize there is something evil going on in her small town, and her father knew all about it.

The entire movie is drawn in green marker. There isn’t a lot of movement in the characters, which is a little creepy in itself—most of the time, only the eyes move.

There is no sex at all in the movie, and no overt violence. The only violence is off-camera, but it’s still shocking.

So is this movie appropriate for children? That’s actually a difficult question to answer in regards to this movie, unlike if I were reviewing (something obvious like) THE EXORCIST (1973). The subject matter in THE GREEN MARKER SCARE is definitely not for little kids, but then again, little kids won’t really get what’s going on. This is not in-your-face horror, and most young children will be bored since a lot of the movie is dialogue.

Older kids probably won’t be phased by the subject matter, unless they scare easily or are brought up in a very religious household.

I think this is more of a movie for adults, not just because of its subject matter, but because it is so quiet and dialogue-driven. Most kids who watch horror movies like the loudness, the gore and splatter. But adults, and especially parents, will appreciate how the movie comes together to horrify the watcher.

This is an Irish movie and the characters have Irish brogues—it was a little difficult to understand some of the dialogue at times, but the movie was so well put together, that I was still able to follow the story.

Variety magazine calls Graham Jones  “a very talented director,” and after watching THE GREEN MARKER SCARE, I would have to agree.

I give it four knives.

To view the movie for yourself, go HERE.

NOTE: Although children drew this movie, they were unaware of the subject matter.

© Copyright 2012 by Sheri White

Sheri White  gives THE GREEN MARKER SCARE ~four (out of five) knives!

FRANKENWEENIE (2012)

Posted in 2012, Animated Corpses, Animated Films, Frankenstein Movies, Scientific Experiments, Sheri White Reviews, Tim Burton Movies with tags , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2012 by knifefighter

FRANKENWEENIE (2012)
Movie Review by Sheri White

 

I had absolutely no desire to see Tim Burton’s new animated film, FRANKENWEENIE. The commercials did nothing for me, and the Renfield-like boy character got on my nerves. It was a pain getting there, because there weren’t many showings in regular format; it was mostly IMAX and 3-D. And to top it off, it was cold and rainy when I finally was able to go.  So I didn’t go in with a very open mind…

Victor Frankenstein is a weird kid who mostly keeps to himself. His best friend is his dog Sparky. But one day, Sparky is killed in an accident, and Victor is inconsolable. The next day in class, his science teacher demonstrates how electricity reanimates dead muscle and tissue.

You know where this is going.

Victor digs up his dog and brings the dog back to life. I swear, that accident must have dismembered the poor dog, because he is stitched up everywhere. Victor is overjoyed, but realizes he has to keep his reanimated dog a secret. Sparky gets out while Victor is in school, and his creepy classmate, Edgar, sees the dog. He blackmails Victor into helping him reanimate something so he’ll win the science fair. Then other creepy classmates find out, and they all decide to reanimate their dead pets for the science fair. Chaos ensues.

Like I said, I had low expectations for this movie. But when that dog got hit by the car in front of Victor—I almost cried. Victor’s grief was very well portrayed, because he broke my heart.

A boy and his dog – Victor and his beloved pooch, Sparky, in Tim Burton’s FRANKENWEENIE.

At the end, it looks like Sparky doesn’t get another chance. I found myself wishing and hoping that silly, stitched-up dead dog would be okay.

I didn’t take my girls, because I didn’t think they’d want to go. So I was there by myself, rooting for a zombie dog. I wish I had brought them along; I know they would’ve loved it. My youngest would’ve teared up, too.

I don’t think I’d recommend this for a child younger than seven or so. It’s very atmospheric, and there are some “jump” moments that would really scare a little kid. The characters are downright creepy; they are obviously drawn with old horror movie actors in mind.

And speaking of old movies, FRANKENWEENIE is chock-full of old horror movie references. Parents will get a kick out of the nods to such as movies as THE BIRDS (1963), THE MUMMY (1932), JURASSIC PARK (1993) and GREMLINS (1984), to name a few. The science teacher looks like Vincent Price.

When the science teacher is vilified by most of the parents for encouraging the science fair, he makes a great speech about ignorance, science and fear of questioning things. That was a great message.

In addition to being kind of creepy for little kids, it’s pretty traumatic when the dog dies. If you have a sensitive young child, you may want to wait for the DVD. And be prepared to answer questions about death, science, and bringing things back to life.

© Copyright 2012 by Sheri White

Sheri White gives FRANKENWEENIE ~ FOUR knives!

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (2012)

Posted in 2012, Adam Sandler Movies, Animated Films, Family Films, Fun Stuff!, Sheri White Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on October 2, 2012 by knifefighter

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (2012)
Movie Review by Sheri White

My kids are old and wizened now at the ripe ages of 23, 17, and 14, which means I haven’t seen a kids’ movie in the theater in a long time. So I was surprised when the two youngest wanted to go with me to see this movie after I told them I was reviewing it for CKF. I didn’t even have to entice them with promises of candy and popcorn.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons was THE GROOVIE GOOLIES (1970 – 1971) —the characters were cool, hip versions of the classic movie monsters, like Dracula and Frankenstein.  I loved that show so much. HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA reminded me a lot of that awesome show.

Dracula is now a single dad with a precious little girl. He promised his wife before she died that he would always take care of Mavis and protect her. He has a hotel built that is a sanctuary not only for Mavis, but for all monsters. No human can get in.

That all changes on Mavis’s 118th birthday. Her dad has promised her for years that she could leave the hotel and check out a human village on that birthday. And, true to his word, he lets her go. But she quickly realizes the outside world isn’t safe and returns home.

Happy once again, Dracula continues to plan her birthday party. It’s like Bobby Boris Pickett’s song “The Monster Mash” come to life. All the monsters are there to celebrate, and it’s a scream.  Until a young hiker accidentally crashes the good time.

Adults will see where this is headed once Mavis and Johnny run into each other and their eyes meet. What follows is a lot of slapstick comedy as Dracula frantically tries to keep them apart, as well as keeping Johnny’s human status a secret.

Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Johnny (Andy Samberg) meet cute in HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA.

In the end, the movie is about letting your kids go, no matter how much you want them to stay.

My jaded teenage girls loved the movie. I enjoyed it very much myself. There is nothing inappropriate for any age —well, there is a cold swimming pool joke that I know my kids got because they watch SEINFELD —and it shouldn’t be frightening to young children, I’d say five ages and up.  There are a few times when Dracula makes a scary red angry face, and that might freak out littler kids.

Aside from Dracula’s red “angry face,” there’s not much to scare kids in HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA.

Parents will relate to Dracula not wanting to let Mavis leave the hotel, especially since he’s afraid all humans are dangerous – they did kill his wife, after all. There are enough sight gags and sly humor to keep adults interested and amused. Lots of action and color will keep kids riveted.

I don’t say this often about kids’ movies, but I would see this again. There is a lot going on that you can miss the first time around. When my kids were little, they watched SHREK on DVD almost every day, and I didn’t mind. This is one that I wouldn’t mind as well.  I’d even watch it by myself, like I do SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS —what can I say, kids’ stuff can be cooler than adult programming sometimes.

The voice acting is wonderful —I’m not a huge fan of Adam Sandler, but his Dracula was great. You’ll recognize several other voices in the movie, such as Kevin James (as Frankenstein), Steve Buscemi (as the Werewolf) and Selena Gomez (as Mavis). There’s a fun jam session at the end.

Don’t worry about staying around for the credits – nothing happens once the movie is over.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA – fun for all ages, even know-it-all teenagers. I give it four knives.

© Copyright 2012 by Sheri White

Sheri White gives HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA ~FOUR knives (out of five).