Thursday, October 04, 2012

Book Review: Niceville by Carsten Stroud

Niceville by Carsten Stroud is an odd little book. Part crime story and part supernatural mystery, Niceville is not your average friendly read - and like Martha Stewart says, that's a good thing.

Continue reading my review of Niceville over at my book blog, Words From the Vein, by clicking HERE.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

DVD Review: Barricade

Barricade is a supernatural horror story from WWE Studios, the movie-making portion of World Wrestling Entertainment, but unlike previous films from the studio, this one does not star one of the company's wrestling superstars. Instead of Hornswaggle, Barricade stars Eric McCormack, Jody Thompson, Conner Dwelly, and Ryan Grantham.

Not too shabby of a cabin.
The story focuses on McCormack as the father of two children, who a year after the unexpected death of his wife, decides to take the children to their mother's family's cabin in the woods for a Christmas vacation. On their way there, they stop at the town's gas station where they are supposed to pick up the keys to the cabin from Battlestar Galactica alum, Donnelly Rhodes. Poor old Donnelly Rhodes also happens to be the town's sheriff and as usual, he has a heck of a cough. Through his hackings, he warns McCormack that they are expecting a bitch of a snow storm.

When the family finally gets to the old cabin, it's not too long before they start coughing too. But, they take it in stride; they take a quick look around the house, fire up the Christmas tree, and settle in for a restless night of sleep (in which McCormack thinks he sees his wife's ghost staring through the windows at him). As the movie progresses, everybody starts getting sicker and sicker while becoming more and more afraid of the house. They keep hearing strange noises inside the house and they keep seeing weird shapes outside of it. At one point McCormack has enough and he decides it's time to leave. Sadly, when he ventures outside, he finds his SUV is completely covered with snow and once he gets the driver's door open, he finds it won't start either.

It's cold as a ma-fa out there!
Finally, to protect his children from who-knows-what, McCormack barricades his family inside the home. Strange happenings continue to occur, the children continue getting sicker, and McCormack continues his spiral as he relives his wife's passing through a series of flashbacks.

Old Donnelly Rhodes comes up to the cabin to check on the family and after McCormack opens the door, Old Donnelly Rhodes suffers an accident that is revealed later on. Meanwhile, Rhodes' dependable Chevy is still running outside, but instead of taking his sick children out of the house, McCormack closes the door and proceeds to have more hallucinations. After a time spent running around from room to room, McCormack finds the old man's car keys (even though the car was RUNNING when the old man came to the door) and decides that now he can save his children! Unfortunately, McCormack's character is a moron and as he's driving 65 mph on a snow and ice covered road, he looses control and lands in a snow bank. So, it's back to the house they go.

After this happens, all is revealed and we discover what's been going on and what happened to old man cough-a-lot Donnelly Rhodes. As the credits roll, I give a "meh," and suddenly find myself wanting to clear my throat. Barricade has its moments but they are way too few and far in between. It was well-shot, from a cinematic stance, but the characters were what really brought the movie down. Not the actors, mind you, but the characters. Ultimately, Barricade wasn't that scary and it felt like I was already down this snowy road before. I give it ** out of *****.

Check out the trailer for Barricade below: