Friday, May 11, 2007

DVD Review: The Hamiltons

Hopefully, the Hamiltons don't live next door to you. In this crafty little film from the Butcher Brothers, we have a family unit that's a little different from the Cleavers. After the death of their parents, the family is held together by the oldest sibling, David, or at least he trys to keep everything together. You see, the Hamiltons have a family secret and it happens to involve kidnapping, murder and other nasty habits. When the youngest son, Francis, starts doubting the family unit, life gets a little tough for the lad. As part of the After Dark Horrorfest, The Hamiltons is an intriguing tale of family loyalty and depravity. It is very well acted and directed, however, I can't say that it lived up to the Horrorfest hype as a terrifying movie. It was good, but not really that scary.This is the third Horrorfest film I've seen and so far that seems to be a trend - good, but not real scary. I have the remainder of the Horrorfest films to check out, so I can only hope one of them turns out to be a little scary. As for The Hamiltons, I give it ***1/2 out of *****.

Book Review: Ghoul by Brian Keene

Brian Keene's latest book is a coming of age tale with a ghoulish edge...and I liked it! But, let me tell you something. I have to admit, I would have loved this book even if the titluar Ghoul wasn't a part of it. The story of the three best friends, Timmy, Barry and Doug was so enthralling, I actually found myself wanting to rush past the Ghoul parts just to see what would happen to the boys next, and that's saying something! This is a story that hit home for me. It takes place in 1984, and I wasn't much older than the kids in the story at that time. It was like taking a trip back in time. Oddly enough, I found minor and major similarities between Timmy's life and my own and that's what drew me in to this story. The plotline is about the three boys, their somewhat dysfunctional families and a supernatural creature that eats the dead. It's the summer of '84 and the lives of the three boys will be forever changed. The social commentary Mr. Keene makes is both relevant and sobering and something you wouldn't expect from a quick read such as this, but it totally hits the mark - most times, adults are the real monsters. Just as he did with The Conqueror Worms, Brian Keene spins an entertaining and utterly enjoyable tale that leaves you in anticipation for his next novel. Ghoul digs up ****1/2 out of *****.