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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Horror Reviews: We Are The Flesh, The Autopsy of Jane Doe & The Alchemist Cookbook

We're starting the new year right with movies to scare you that you won't even fear what's coming this year. First up, a long time wait from FantasticFest has paid off for We Are The Flesh, a wholesome new family film...oh, no it's actually something quite horrible.

-We Are The Flesh

Horror starts off right in the new year with this surreal mistake of puberty.In what I though would be a film about a creepy family making a house out of human flesh in a dystopian wasteland, I got something very different. You are a major creep director Emiliano Rocha Minter. The new year has just started and your release is pure gross-out factor to the max, but I would still recommend this more than anything the big studios are releasing this January.

We Are The Flesh can be summed up as a story about a creepy hermit, Mariano played by Noé Hernández, whose exquisite at being creepy, more praise later.  Who "teaches" and "cares" for brother and sister Lucio played by Diego Gamaliel and Fauna played by María Evoli. They come together to build something sinister and what follows is there family trials together, which are, just not right.

Mariano, is just the new creep on the block. If there was a section in People magazine for creeps he's be this year's one to watch. As both a "teacher" and member of the family he sort of creates, he signifies a completely unwholesome nature that is terrifying to behold. He's so strange, perverted and has a mission/philosophy of his on dark thoughts's just amazing to watch him speak or just stare at someone. Every word out of his mouth seems like the devil wrote it.

The two kids aren't innocent in how they act and they seem to get taken in so fast to building and working on something. Something that doesn't look right, something you'll be wondering what there building and something you'll be questioning throughout the film.

With a location of an empty building of some sort and your only friends being a family of perverts of anything goes, I mean anything goes, you have the ongoing sense of dread. You have a sense of, "No, this isn't right at all,' and question where the hell are they.

There's psychedelic moments of shrieking and the bizarre that just make you wonder as to how anything could feel pleasurable. Ewww, is what said out loud to what to them is a good time.

Ending wise, it falls short in my book. Don't worry, it's short and doesn't last long. Emiliano Rocha Minter go have a cookie and milk with Rogue One Director Gareth Edwards over whatever political or sociological point you were trying to make.

For the rest of it the film is a surreal mess of a messed-up family. Would I have like a house made of human flesh, yes. Did it still creep me out? Oh, yeah.

 We Are The Flesh Premieres in Los Angeles at Ahrya Fine Arts January 13th
Reviewer was provided We Are The Flesh by publisher for review purposes. 

-The Autopsy of Jane Doe 

Continuing to creep me out into the new year is The Autopsy of Jane Doe an autopsy movie that celebrates horror while removing organs in a practical medical way. It's not your average horror film in the first part, yet slowly becomes its own urban legend in the middle. With a main character whose acting as a corpse was better than anyone in Rogue One.

Father and son team Tommy Tilden played by Brian Cox and Emile Hirsh playing Austin Tilden, the son, have to figure out what happened to a Jane Doe after what looks like a real massacre took place. What starts out as a real-as-can-be autopsy slowly starts begging questions of the morgue family father and son team until those questions start coming for the Tildens.

Dang, did this film look beautifully scary, a hundred-year-old morgue was simply a great location for the figuring out of what exactly happened to the Jane Doe in Tilden's possession. Every inch of the place took away the shine of sunlight, a place of little hope, a place of dark corners and history. A history of the dead. The lovely residence even comes with cat in tow, catching mice in the air vents.

The place is part of the mood and sets itself up for a great place to take a gander at a recently deceased women. As the father and son team, whose chemistry works well together, tries to piece together how their girl died, by taking her apart it all comes together as a bad place to be.

While their figuring what's gone wrong and a lot has, you'll feel like part of the team, figuring out alongside them. It's a real investigation into what went wrong, that means going through a checklist and skin and organs. Starting from the outside and getting in, with each moment of slicing up getting a bit more gross.

You'll also feel the fear when when answers lead to questions that come for the Tilden's and they aren't what you think. Someone is playing games and messing them up. They even have the common sense to want to leave, unlike so many idiots in horror movies, but something isn't going to let them.

The Jane Doe itself seems to mock and change shape, maybe only in my mind, even when they're taking hers apart. Its presence is always felt, it's always the focus and her face does haunts you.

I really loved this new horror film that sets a standard of what a real horror film fit for theaters should be.

A must watch for horror fans this year.

You can find it streaming online for rent or purchase.

-The Alchemist Cookbook

This had as much wasted potential as Rogue One, but a much smaller budget. Like the main character in the this film I built up my expectations too high. What could really be more seen as  a drama with some slight horror/fantasy nods comes a lackluster film with a title The Alchemist Cookbook.

The name alone drew me to this title starring Ty Hickinson playing lead Sean and Amari Cheatom playing Cortez. What I thought would break down Alchemy with a black person from the South trying to make gold was more a less seeing a loser delve more and more out of his mind in the middle of nowhere. The exactly what Sean does with his cat companion in the middle of the forest.

The director/writer does the ol' trick of leaving it to interpretation of what's real or not in the end it what seems like a lazy take on a film mostly about a sad little man living in the woods trying to make gold through alchemy.

With the possibilities for this film  being so much more, it hurts to see a final product so boring. I thought I would see Sean attempt different alchemy with special segments, maybe text flowing over the screen, maybe quick segments. No, we just got a sad man playing with batteries. I can't justify anyone watching it. It is too much a one man drama.

There's even a second man I loved and wished for more moments with his cousin Cortez, a man who just wants to watch some dumb movies and bro out with his cousin, but the film seemingly knows what you might enjoy and tries to kill it...does really happy literally?

It was sad to look through the trivia on IMDB to see this was an attempt by the director to make his version of the Evil Dead, because I get it, but it's not the genre he should have ever attempted.

Available for streaming and rental online.