Movie Review: Krampus

On Friday night, I went to go see the new movie Krampus (pronounced Crum. Pus.) with some friends. I’d seen lots of commercials for it, and I wanted to hang out, so we just picked that, since it was out and horror movies around Christmas-time are either:

1. Very good or

2. Easy to make fun of.

krampus

This movie generally falls into the second category, and there were more parts of the movie were I laughed than jumped.

Was it because I was with friends? I mean, possibly, but the movie itself wasn’t scary in the least. But since this is a (hopefully) fair movie review, I won’t poke fun at it too much. Except for “Krampus.” I’ll be making fun of him. Enjoy.

WHAT I LIKED:

  • The Ending

One redemptive part of the movie was- like many other movies- the way the movie ended. I don’t mean the last half-hour or so. (Because I didn’t like that at all.) More like the final… five minutes or so. I won’t give the ending away, but I will tell you that it was something entirely unexpected, at least for me. The way they ended it was both clever and somewhat unique, until the last few seconds, when they tried one last, desperate jump scare.

I didn’t jump.

  • The Story Line (Kind of)

There were parts that were great, and parts that could be improved upon. (Not that I could improve the actual movie. I’m definitely not a director. Of anything.)

Some scenes would have been good, and could have been made into very scary moments. For instance: Krampus is chasing a girl as she runs down the deserted street. Instead of making it dark and playing scary music while she is being chased in the middle of a snow storm, they show him clearly jumping from roof to roof like some kind of demented frog. No music. No darkness. Just watching a goat-man jump while listening to a girl scream with a terribly-high pitch.

There were a few other instances, but that’s the one I clearly remember. The first 3/5 of the movie were great, funny enough to be humorous and creepy enough to be a horror movie. Then it all kind of fell apart.

  • Max

The other redeeming quality about the film was the little boy in the family on whom the story centers. Max was a character that, by himself, made the movie tons better. I saw growth and change in the well-rounded character. I saw wonderful performing by the young actor.

When all the characters at times seemed insane or selfish or unlikable, he was always someone you wanted to succeed and wanted to live, up until his last moment when he finally confronts both his fears and the literal monster in front of him.

WHAT I DISLIKED:

  • Krampus & Co.

I don’t even know where to begin. Krampus, as I said, is like a goat. A big, ugly goat with an enormously long tongue he likes to show off. When the old woman recounts her first experience with Krampus, how he is showed is indeed creepy and that wink (which seems to be a staple in Krampus stories) might haunt me for a little while. But overall, he was a disappointment.

Whew. Next on my scathing list is his “helpers.” Like, they’re straight out of a circus. The gingerbread man on Shrek was creepier than these (except for those laughs. *shudders*). The dolls and elves (they were not elves) all looked the same. Just clowns from jack-in-the-boxes that had gone mental. In one scene it looks like Krampus has mini-Krampuses following him and darting through a field of demon-looking snowmen. So why don’t we see them, the only helpers that look even a bit frightening?

Oh yeah. And three gingerbread men try to use a nail gun. (Yeah, I found a link. That’s called research, babyyyyy. And that’s called my Dick Vitale voice.) It works… not very well. They go a little crazy. Reminds me of my brothers and sisters with Nerf guns. Actually, the nail-gun scene was more weird and hilarious than scary or full of anxiety.

  • Final Confrontation

All those crazy buffoons I mentioned up there (^) get a bunch of caffeine or something because it seems to me that they’re on a sugar high. They just start bouncing off the walls and shooting fools with nail guns and eating people or something.

(Speaking of eating, a gingerbread man gets very angry that half of his head got eaten. That was probably my favorite part of the whole movie. No, definitely my favorite.)

Everything was really hectic and hard to follow. They had all the family members pinned down, ready to kill them, and yet they never do. They just stand there like awkward elves/monsters/gingerbread fools. So, yeah. That was a strange scene.

(I could make many more points but I’m constraining myself here. You can send me a Christmas card for thanks. Not with Krampus on it.)

MY RATING: 0/10

I really could have made this lower, but my expectations for the movie weren’t high as it was. There was just a lot more laughing than I expected for a horror movie. Maybe The Forest next month will make up for it, but the last two horror films I was in theaters (this one and The Visit) were major letdowns.

Until next time, Merry Christmas all you folks and Happy New Years!

(If there’s a blizzard on Christmas, like in the movie, just… don’t go anywhere. Just stay home. Celebrate the next day. Christmas-day blizzards are bad apparently.)

Watch out behind you. There may be a rabid goat-man chasing you on rooftops. If there is, please don’t scream. Just shout. I like my ears being able to hear.

Audios!!

*******

Turn the page. Trace the plot. Tempt the panic.

Movie Review: The Ring

 

girl not nice face girl nice face

So, I got bored on the night before Thanksgiving, and I watched The Ring. I was just looking for a scare, something to keep me up at night. The movie had generally good reviews, and I was torn between The Ring and The Grudge, which were made around the same time and are both remakes of Japanese movies. I chose The Ring, because it looked more unique and frightening. Like, I said, I wanted to be scared.

But what I found was completely terrifying, and one of the best horror movies I’ve ever seen.

Actually, I’m writing this review as I watch the movie to keep from being too scared. It’s how I deal with things, okay?

WHAT I LIKED:

  •  Opening Scene

It was great. The opening scene takes you on a roller coaster of emotions and fears, making you care for characters that you’ve barely met or seen and fear for their lives. A simple phone call brings so much anxiety and suspense, any doubts I had about the movie being bad were instantly gone. There were multiple scares, building up to moments where you thought something terrible was going to happen, and then nothing did.

I don’t know how long the opening scene was. But I loved every second of it.

It was utterly fantastic.

  •  The Stressed-Out/Relatable/Sympathetic Characters

Most of the characters in the movie are stressed out or going through some serious troubles in their life. The movie displays it in such a way that it’s very believable, and very lifelike, as they all face things that we do on a daily basis. Knowing that I have seen and faced similar things make them more sympathetic to me, and makes me feel for them more than in other horror movies I’ve seen.

  • The “Shock” Moments

There’s those moments in a movie when something completely normal turns and adds to the scariness of it. Lines like “Who told you that?” and “Hayden drew these last week” are thrown into perfectly random conversations and make them sinister and foreboding.

  • BONUS: The Video Tape

So there’s this tape in the movie and if you watch it you die within a week. But that’s not the point.

I literally could not look away! That tape was hypnotizing or something. Freaked. Me. Out.

And the lady! It’s like she is literally staring at you. Jimmity Crickets, that’s scary.

If you watch the movie, pay close attention during the tape part. And don’t try to look away. You might miss something important.

*I could probably think of three or four more areas that I liked to be honest*

WHAT I DISLIKED:

  •  The Main Character’s Two Sides

At times, it seems like she’s a very fragile, emotional person. Which is completely alright, and often makes for a great story. But then at other times, she is commanding and very determined. She seems to be a police officer or something like that, although it never says for certain. I’m too lazy to search it online right now. If you’re curious, be my guest. 

Anyways, this was just something small but it seemed to be a bigger deal to me than in most movies. That’s the problem with great movies: It’s hard to write anything bad about them in a review. But you got to have both good and bad, of course.

  •  It Was A Smidge Confusing

Sometimes in the movie, I don’t understand what’s going on. There are random people that are never given a name, and never really given a backstory. I don’t really get what all of the places are or where they are. In the end, nothing important is left out of confusing, but still at times I felt like there were things going on I didn’t fully grasp. Maybe watching it again would help.

Um, I can’t really think of anything else. Like I said, this was a great movie. Sometimes it’s so hard to find things wrong to write in reviews. Oh well.

MY RATING: 9.0/10

There was a lot to love about this movie, and almost nothing to dislike. The gore was kept to a minimum, the thrills and suspense were abounding, and I enjoyed the entire thing.

I would highly recommend this movie to anyone with two hours to spare. Although it’s not on Netflix, you can rent it for two or three dollars, or just buy the thing. You won’t regret it.

*******

Turn the page. Trace the plot. Tempt the panic.

She: A Horror Novel- #5 on Amazon.com

screenshot

(Not very good graphics on that, I know. Bear with me.)

So, over the past few days, I’ve had a free book giveaway on Amazon.com for She. (Print Version, which for some reason is not together with the Kindle version yet. Takes them a while, I suppose.) I apologize for not posting anything about it on here, but it happened really suddenly and I was busy working on my review of Insidious 3. 

Anyways, the first day started off very strong, selling 29 free units. (Is it still selling when there’s no profit? I don’t know.) The second was slightly less productive, but still amassed 26 units sold. At this point, I remembered one of my favorite parts about the giveaways: The Amazon Best Sellers Rank (circled in the picture.)

When a book is up for a free giveaway, the rank changes. Instead of showing a book’s place on the Paid in Kindle Store list, it shows up in the Free in Kindle Store list. This is always interesting. As Trees Turned Away,  for example, got into the teens on Short Stories in such and such category. I don’t remember exactly, but I was pretty thrilled. So you can imagine my shock when it was #11 yesterday.

Well, today we have sold another 22 units. It’s the final day, so I logged on to see what the rank was. And it was #5! I mean, sure, that’s like five categories down from the main Kindle Store list, but it’s still a category! So, yeah I’m excited.

Time for ice cream I’d say.

******

Turn the page. Trace the plot. Tempt the panic.

Movie Review: Insidious 3

 

creepy thing ahhhh (That gives me shivers.)

A while back, I went to the movies with some friends and saw the latest chapter of the Insidious saga. Chapter 3 was, in my opinion, the best of the three, serving as a prequel to the original two. I had seen only Insidious 2 at the time of my watching, as I went back and watched the first one later that week.

(That makes me shiver —>)

Insidious 3 had hints -some subtle and some explicit- to the first two, foreshadowing events. It tied in exceptionally well with the originals, keeping the suspense and horror alive. Although I know absolutely nothing about directing and producing, that doesn’t stop me from having opinions, which I gladly share.

Because of my unfamiliarity with movies, these posts could be anyway from 4 total points to 8 total long. My book reviews I will try to structure with 3 good and 3 bad points, but for these I’m kind of just winging it, so bear with me. Also, I will try my best not to give away any spoilers for those who haven’t seen the movie yet.

WHAT I LIKED:

  • The Jump Scares

One thing that separates the good horror movies from the bad is the quality and quantity of their “jump scares.” As the old saying goes, “Quality over quantity.” Insidious 3 certainly had the quality in theirs, as well as the quantity. There were slow, dramatic build ups before surprising appearances from all sorts of devilish creatures, monsters, or whatever you choose to call them.

The best, least expected scare was at the very end of the movie. Literally every person in the theater shot up out of their seats. A group of teenagers in front of me started screaming, and still looked shaken as we all made our way out of the theater. I won’t give anything away -you’ll have to see for yourself- but never let your guard down.

  • The Subtle References/Foreshadowing

Throughout the course of the movie, there were multiple references to the original two films. One was that the main villain, labeled “the man who can’t breathe” always wears a breathing mask (duh), and this mask is first seen in the basement of Lin Shaye (the woman who fights off the breathing mask man), during the second film. I didn’t realize this until I saw the second film again, and noticed an innocent-seeming breathing mask, sitting quietly in the corner.

There were many others instances like this, connecting all three films like a spider’s web. I enjoyed finding them as I watched and re-watched the movie, and hopefully you can find some for yourself, too.

Now, before I reveal too much, onto the dislike category. (Which was quite hard to make. I loved this movie.)

WHAT I DISLIKED:

  • Uncertainty About Future Sequels

This is one thing that probably means more to me than others. When there is a series I follow, whether by reading or watching, I like to know exactly when it will stop. I want to have some evidence and some clear plans, so I’ll either begin to find a new series or obsessively wait for the next installment.

Insidious 3, for all of the great things it did, left me in the dark on this particular area. I don’t know if there’s going to be another chapter, or if this “book” is finished. They certainly left ample room for sequels (or would they be prequels in this case?), but that doesn’t mean anything is certain.

Internet research hasn’t helped either, since there’s been no complete, undeniable word on the matter. Until then, this is going in my dislike category, partially because there wasn’t much to not love about the movie.

  • Dependence On Jump Scares

This might seem like I’m contradicting myself, but I’m not. I loved the jump scares, especially the one at the end, but it seemed like the entire movie -except for a few parts- depended on these cheap methods to scare the audience. Of course, we all jumped and screamed at the appropriate times, because it was terrifying, but it wasn’t a terror that lasted.

For instance, I watched Silence of the Lambs not long ago, and that movie was utterly, psychologically horrifying. Why? Not because of jump scares, not because of fantastic acting- thought it had some-, and not because everything took place at night- it didn’t-. That movie disturbed me because of the story line, and the plot. It messed with my brain and my dreams for the next few days. It didn’t have me shivering as I walked down dark hallways and went into a room with the lights off. Instead, it affected me when I was sleeping and at the most random times, because it was an effect that didn’t go away in a few seconds.

Insidious 3 depended on jump scares, and they were effective in their use of them, but at the end of the day I’d rather have a movie more like Silence of the Lambs. Maybe I’ll write a review on that one someday.

MY RATING: 8.3/10

Why the .3? Because it was better than just a eight, but not quite a nine. And it’s the third chapter, so it’s .3. Don’t ask questions.

Anyways, this was a movie I thoroughly enjoy watching every time I turn it on. I would highly recommend this. In fact, I’m going to cut this one a bit short and go watch it right now.

*Terminator voice*

“Hasta Lavista!”

******

Turn the page. Trace the plot. Tempt the panic.

 

 

Book Review: IT by Stephen King

*None of the books reviewed on this website are written by myself. Everything stated here is simply my opinion, and a fair assessment of what I thought about the book.

**If you have any suggestions for books to be reviewed, let me know in the comments section of this post.

it by stephen king

 

A while back, I read It by well-renowned author Stephen King. I’d heard many things about the book -some great reviews and some not so good- and decided that I should give it a read for myself. Over the summer, I read the extremely large novel, and these are my thoughts on it.

 

WHAT I LIKED:

  •  It Was Easy to Read.

All of Stephen King’s work that I’ve read has been easy to understand and clear. He gets his message across and has impressive descriptions that still allow me to view the scenery and area in a familiar way. The sentences weren’t confusing, and I didn’t have to labor to understand them.

  • Everything Felt Like Real-life.

The characters in this novel were what astounded me the most. Throughout the novel, a group of seven kids -and later adults- are known as “The Losers’ Club.” Their backstory is given at perfect intervals, and when you finish the book they are more like friends than characters. In some ways, you feel like the eighth member of their club, having gone through all the ups and downs of their lives in a single novel.

As well, the town of Derry, Maine seems like such a real place that I Googled it, making sure it was in fact fictional. The descriptions and layout seem as authentic as my own hometown, and familiarly comfortable. I saw many similarities in my own town and Derry, making a part of me doubt even now that Derry is a fictional town.

  • The Different Plot Threads.

There are two stories within this one, both of them centering on the Losers’ Club interaction with It -a.k.a. Pennywise the Clown. Both parts to the story and intertwined and the first majorly affects the second; as well, they take place in the same town.

In the first, all seven kids are about nine years old, and still in school. This was my favorite, personally, because of how effective King was in describing and explaining the inner emotions and dreams of the children. I felt emotional with them, ached with them, and cheered for them as they took on the monster I wanted to help defeat.

But the monster isn’t finished. In the second thread, they have returned to their hometown as adults, leaving behind lives of luxury for some, relationships, friendships, and familiar places. This section of the story was mysterious, intriguing, and kept me on the edge of my reading couch. King once again showed his expertise in understanding and showing not only emotions, but how those emotions affected the actions.

WHAT I DISLIKED:

  • The Length.

I’ve read long books. Seven-hundred, eight-hundred… They’ve been long. But never have I even seen or heard of a fiction book being over one-thousand pages long. And this book clocked in at one-thousand, one-hundred, and four pages. That’s 1104. More pages than I’ve even written as an author in my lifetime. Remember how I said there were two story lines? That’s about five-hundred pages per story line. I understand there was a lot of information and character depth to dive into, but I don’t see why it couldn’t have been shortened or split into two separate novels.

  • Certain Aspects of Pennywise.

Don’t get me wrong: Pennywise the Clown is a frightening adversary. I love the creepiness factor of him (I think it’s a him when he’s a clown?), but there is one thing that puts me off a bit. He can change shapes in the novel, taking many different form to better scare whichever child he is in contact with. There have been other shape-shifters in horror books and novels that I thought worked quite well, but this just seems off. Pennywise could have efficiently frightened and killed the children without needing to be a shape-shifter, at least it seems so to me. Then again, I am definitely not Stephen King and I trust his judgement in this matter.

***SPOILER ALERTS***

  • A few scenes

There are a few scenes in the book that paint a poor picture for Beverly, the only girl in the Losers’ Club. Besides being a victim of abuse from first her father and then her husband, there are two specific scenes in which she has sex with another member of the Losers’ Club. At the ending of the first, younger story line, after they have defeated Pennywise for the first time, they are stuck in the sewer and lost. In the midst of their struggles, they begin to divide and argue, and she “solves” this problem by having sex with each of the seven boys, one after another. Then, later as adults, she and one of her two romantic interests in the group have sex, only for her to walk off and leave with the other man. I don’t want this to influence your decision or feelings about the novel, but it is something to keep in mind.

***SPOILER ENDED***

MY RATING: 4/10

Overall, the book was entertaining at times, extraordinarily tiresome at others, and ultimately quite a challenge to finish. If it had been shorter and had the ending not left a bad memory in my mind, I would give it a much higher grade. The best part was the continued growth that you see in the children as you read. As it is, I give this book a 4 out of 10.

*******

Turn the page. Trace the plot. Tempt the panic.

“She” the horror novel now available

SHE - a horror novelMy latest publication is now available on Amazon.

I’m happy to announce the release of my latest project. It’s a full length novel titled “SHE” and will be popular with the fans of my previous collection of suspense short stories.

Here is a little of the book description, more teasers to come soon.

She Watches Always. Michael’s only a typical teenager in a small rivertown. Along with his three friends, he grows up and survives school; he laughs at jokes and gets to know the town around him. But everything changes one night when his sister is taken.

Everything is different for him and his friends, as their friendly town begins to feel and look more sinister. With the help of a detective, they uncover secrets and plots that point towards the only hope for saving his sister. Together, they will face the enemy that threatens their town, their lives, and the future of everyone they love. It is the adversary with many faces and none; the foe that cannot be killed and was never born. Suspenseful, mysterious, and full of twists, She will engage and astound you. Turn the page, change the plot.

*******

Turn the page. Trace the plot. Tempt the panic.

$50.44 for my a used copy of my short stories

Short Thriller Stories - Trees Turned Away

What can I say? People must really love my short story collection. Or want to make money awfully quick.

One fan of  “As Trees Turned Away” didn’t want to part with their copy for less than $50.40. I think putting .39 would have been better marketing, but oh well.

Good for you, the new copies are much cheaper and the Kindle edition free is you have Amazon Prime. You can buy it for the price of movie popcorn, instead of the price of these interesting gadgets (if you’re into that sort of stuff.)

Anyways, I’m flattered.

*******

Turn the page. Trace the plot. Tempt the panic.

“As Trees Turned Away” Available Now on Amazon

As Trees Turned Away - Short Stories by David KummerMy first collection of short stories is now available on Amazon.

The Kindle edition is almost free (or actually free if you’re a member of Amazon Prime).

From the peculiar writing mind of David Kummer comes 26 stories of horror and mystery. If you dare, take a walk with me through the dark recesses of an up-and-coming author’s creative soul as you discover secrets and travel through the mist of time to different places, where you meet different people in different circumstances.

This, the newest alphabet, is one of terror and utmost suspense. For the bravest of readers, dwelling too long in this world of shadows will bring only shock and scars. For those who are unwilling to enter, the horrors spoken of will be none the less existent. Somewhere, somehow, they will find you

Be watching for daily deals and free book promotions. I’ll keep you all updated on here as they happen.

*******

Turn the page. Trace the plot. Tempt the panic.