Sunday, May 26, 2013

This House Possessed

"This House Possessed" (1981) is a TV horror movie starring Parker Stevenson, Lisa Eilbacher, Joan Bennett. A possessed (or should we say possessive) house lures an 80s pop singer and his nurse to it and tries to keep everyone else away!

Gary Straihorn (Stevenson) is a pop rock singer who collapses onstage of exhaustion.  At the hospital during his recuperation he meets nurse Sheila Moore (Eilbacher) who he takes a liking to.  He convinces his agent (Slim Pickens) that he needs more time to rest and write some new songs so he hires Sheila as his private nurse and off they go in no direction in particular (or so they think).  Little do they know that an isolated and empty house in Rancho Santa Fe, CA is watching them through its security system and using some unknown supernatural powers.  

The couple ends up in Rancho Santa Fe, of course, and take a liking to it.  The real estate agent shows them the house just outside of town and they both fall in love with the giant modern looking home that keeps itself clean and has unbreakable windows.  Sheila feels like she knows the place but can't explain why.

Shortly after moving in, things start to get weird.  There's a garden hose that seems to come alive and chase off some trespassers.  There's a voice calling "Margaret" in the night.  And there's always the house watching them through the internal security system.   Gary and Sheila are enjoying the house and the isolation and are even starting to get romantic feelings toward each other.  

While in town, Sheila runs into the disheveled Rag Lady (Bennett) who calls her Margaret and keeps asking her why she came back.  She then gathers up her rag tag shopping cart full of bags and returns to her hoarder cabin.  Sheila goes to the library and tries to find out more about the house and the librarian promises to look into the house's history and the deaths she knows occurred there long ago. 

Later, Gary's friend (and sometimes more) Tanya stops by to stay and help in Gary's recovery.  Sheila is a bit jealous with this turn of events.  The house is too.  Needless to say, Tanya doesn't stay long after an incident of being trapped in a blood spurting shower!  Then there's the other visitors that house doesn't want, including the librarian who has some info on the house she's uncovered and who comes to a crushing and fiery end at the house's gate!

We later discover that Sheila's lost first seven years of her life before being sent to an orphanage were spent in this house and the house has always wanted her back.  It will also do everything within its power to keep her there. Will Sheila be able to break free from this haunted and possessive house?  Will she and Gary be able to enjoy life together?  Will we ever find out who or what exactly is haunting this house?

"This House Possessed" is one of my favorite made for TV movies.  It's creepy, not too graphic and a bit cheesy (especially Parker Stevenson's singing)!  The house itself is an amazing site - not the classic old haunted house at all! It's an enjoyable movie that may just remind you of those lazy Saturday afternoons sitting at home and catching a good horror movie on TV.  

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Gate

"The Gate" (1987) starring . Suburban children accidentally release demons from a gate to hell they discover in their back yard.

When their tree house gets hit by lightning and the tree comes down, Glen (a very young Stephen Dorff) and his friend Terry discover a hole in the back yard.  Glen cuts himself and blood drops down into the bottomless hole starting a chain of events that could end the world.

The parents are out of town and teenage sister, Al, is babysitting.  Of course she throws a big party and lots of teens in 80s apparel have fun and end up telling ghost stories and doing some psychic tricks that get out of hand.  Meanwhile, the gate to hell opens more and more as it gets more sacrifices.  Eventually mini demons pour out of the hole and attack everyone in the house. 

"The Gate" is a pretty good story about kids fighting evil and trying to save the world.  But Glen and his sister will have a lot of explaining to do when the parents get home!

Friday, May 10, 2013


"Mama" (2013) starring:  is a great new horror film from producer Guillermo del Toro.

After shooting their mother, their father takes his two young daughters, Victoria & Lilly, and crashes the car in the mountains.  He finds a deserted house in the woods and takes them there.  In his distraught state he intends to shoot them and then himself but something in the house saves the girls.

Flash forward five years and the girls' uncle Lucas has been financing a search for them ever since their disappearance.  The girls are finally found in the house and they crawl around on all fours and look and act more like animals than children.

After months in a facility, the girls are somewhat ready to move out of the facility and into a house with their uncle and his girlfriend Annabel.  The elder Victoria has a better adjustment to living inside from the wild than her younger sister Lilly who still retains a lot of the characteristics she learned while in the house in the woods.  Both girls talk about a mysterious "Mama" who took care of them in the woods. Little do Lucas and Annabel know that Mama has followed them to their new home and she is a ghost with a tragic past and is rather protective of her new children.

"Mama" is a fantastic new horror movie filled with atmosphere, scares and suspense rather than gore.  Throughout the movie we catch glimpses of the ethereal black figure with floating hair as she awkwardly jerks / floats through the house.  When we finally get a good look at her, she is a scary looking creature that is sure to scare and to remain lodged in your memory.  Jessica Chastain does a wonderful job portraying Annabel who never wanted children and would rather be in her rock band.  After initially being creeped out by the little Lilly and the barely glimpsed Mama, Annabel eventually becomes the girls' greatest protector.

Watch this film for a scary and unique take on a ghost story that you won't soon forget!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cruise into Terror

"Cruise into Terror" (1978) is a made for TV horror / thriller starring: , , , , , , , , , , and

A cruise line is overbooked and dozen or so passengers are put on the Obeah, a small ship that doesn't usually take passengers, to make the three day voyage to Cozumel where they will meet up with the larger ship.  There's Sandra Barry who is trying to get her workaholic husband Barry to relax; Reverend Charles Mather & his wife Lil; Dr. Isiah Bakkun, an Egyptologist who believes the ancient Egyptians sailed to America and created the Mayan civilization; Marilyn Magnesun recently divorced looking for some fun; Judy Haines and Debbie Porter, two coeds on vacation; Frank Lazarus a brainy mathematician; and the crew: Captain Andy, first officer Simon and crewman Nathan.


The passengers learn from Dr. Bakkun that he's searching for an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus that will prove his theories.  He believes it is in Cozumel.  Frank looks at his figures and advises him he's 40 some miles off and it is really in the ocean and it just happens that the ship is going to pass right by it.  The passengers try to convince the captain that it would be an adventure to stop and search for the treasure.  He wants to get straight to Mexico so they can get parts to fix their second engine.  Coincidentally, the ship breaks down right above the treasure.  The reverend tries to convince everyone to leave the sarcophogas in place as he says there is a curse on it and it contains the devil's child which will be raised by one of the crew that doesn't have a soul.  Of course no one listens to him.

They do find the treasure and the terror continues as well as the death toll on the ship.  The passengers also start turning against each other.  Will there be any survivors of this cruise into terror?