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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars house of the drivel, 28 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Sick Boy [DVD] (DVD)
A young women is being paid a fortune to babysit the ill child of a mysterious doctor.

Starts as a sort of knock off of House of The Devil and ends in very predictable territory indeed. If you can't guess where this film is going before you watch it then it's time to hand in your deerstalker and pipe. The illness is exactly what you think it is and there are about a billion films featuring this illness released every couple of weeks.

Nothing special. I did like the theme tune.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Oct 2013, 17:10:49 GMT
Sounds pretty poor. I think I'll pass on this one!

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Oct 2013, 18:16:12 GMT
Nelson Viper says:
two stars is charitable really. Another beeping zombie film, but a friend lent it to me and said it was great!

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Feb 2015, 17:25:23 GMT
Yes, but then these mythologically incorrect "zombie" films are great according to almost everybody. It's really too much. Feature a movie about the last great human taboo-cannibalism-(apart from incest I suppose), and there's nothing more all-round brilliant to horror fans and even those that aren't! Worst of all, cos they're all utterly entirely alike, if you dig one, you'll dig them all. They should be dug-real dug and buried and cremated. You're not wrong about billion of these being released every week, though to be honest they seem to be growth industry of bile that have just sprouted several offshoots-the yobbo brat film, the fake exorcism/possession one/'I've forgotten I'm dead till film's end' and found footage trash which does the same thing. Generally all serial killer stuff at the end of the day. I thought never ending slashers were bad enough, but these more "adult" orientated ones are even more offensive, as they NEVER get criticism.

I admit I've never been a slasher fan, though I enjoy some (and your defensive review of one of the rather more unfairly bashed ones-'I Know What You Did Last Summer' was very creditable) and they will never EVER be as woeful as this never ending cannibal goop pretending of all things to be about the undead. Undead, human cannibals or flesh eating disease-make your mind up people! And might I just add how convenient that it's only in films where a flesh-eating disease makes you jump around like a pole vaulter and run like Usaine Bolt. In life, this kind of thing just eats into your flesh and kills you. But then when people want to make the easiest kind of low denominator 'horror' in the world, they will, and damn any sort of creativity or enjoyment. Oh well.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Feb 2015, 03:06:02 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Feb 2015, 10:19:08 GMT
Nelson Viper says:
Hi.
To me a lot of the problems with recent zombie films are caused by over saturation and a surfeit of style. There's too many of um' and they all look the same. Classically Zombie stories were about voodoo and resurrecting the dead. I walked with a Zombie, White Zombie etc. Romero reinvented this with socio-political commentary and canabilism. He gave zombies a point and rules. The recent zombie films all follow the rules., but sort of miss the point. So they end up samey.
I think a classic example of what your saying cannibalism applies even more to the Texas Chainsaw remakes. TCM is about meat (Tobe Hooper is a vegetarian hippie) and the horrific nature of killing things to consume them. The remakes keep the chainsaws and the death toll but avoid all the stuff about sausages, head cheese and such as like. I think modern zombie films are avoiding how scary death is and how it reduces everything to the level of a carcass. So they end up being about diseases and horror tropes.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Feb 2015, 21:46:44 GMT
You are scarily spot on in your assumption about why "zombie" films are the way they are today. Best of all you sound really knowledgeable on it-almost everyone thinks zombies equal cannibalism and that's dead and undeath! Those early zombie films where it is about voodoo-and they are what they should be. I'd like to see some-'Shock Waves' is one I know of and like the look and sound of, but scoping them out, and being able to tell the post-cannibal ones from the disappointing Romero creations and onwards is the difficult thing. I they call Romero "king of the dead" or so. Still, they call Madonna the awful the "queen of pop", so I always think these things with a huge vat of salt when there's plenty of other things around to prove them wrong, even if society, fashion and shifting views and bad memories seem to support it.

Seeing an actual zombie BE a zombie on screen WOULD be something fresh (so to speak). I admit I grew up on fighting fantasy gamebooks (remember those?) and there were any amounts of differing undead, but very few ate flesh-for God's sake they had no biological functions-they only existed for the reason their creator raised them in the first place-mainly to kill certain people, or guard him. And a normal vampire film (if it was a book) would have zombies among others nasty beings to guard them while they slept. It certainly wouldn't be other vampires, but film-makers are just so basic, and so is the audience it seems. Ghouls were one of the few undead beings that ate flesh, but then they may never have been strictly human once, but all these "dead" words that get thrown about now and again-Phantom, Ghoul, Spectre, Banshee, Wraith, Wight-in those books, they all meant a different undead with specialisations. It was exciting-and a Demon was a gigantic generally horned humanoid monstrosity with huge wings-many different types-and not a bleeding 'actor' shot with infra-red to give the impression he's "possessed" by one!

I never knew Tobe Hooper was a veggie-thanks for that! There's nothing like chatting to the right people on here, you find out all kinds of unique horror related stuff you can easily miss. It's nice to hear a different meaning to the film-'TCMassacre' was always likened to a "family dinner from hell" and not getting on with your social circle (?!) according to critic Mark Kermode and many others who do those same Top 50/30 best horror films or moments. If the REAL point of 'TCM' is about the horror of meat and killing animals for it, then that's amazing, but why the hell doesn't anyone else know this? The amount of time this films gets discussed and you're the first to ever say it, Nelson!

Boy do we need fresh blood in horror. And a resurrected corpse looking like one, slashing at you with a weapon and/or it's fingertips like razors (what's supposed to be a zombie's main weapon, not teeth which are rotting out of their head-and human teeth aren't made to slash, grip, tear and rip anyway!) would be brilliant. And another thing all will forget-zombies can only usually operate near their creator-and never out in the daylight or sun, and will fall apart instantly should they die. All this is exciting, proper rules and folklore that I should have seen a hundred times or more on horror films by now, and not just in books or my head!

I'm really glad someone's said there's too many of this cannibal 'z' stuff. No one will, or the few times they criticise them, it's for completely the wrong thing-things that don't matter in such copiously unwanted guff like "no characters to warm to, gore not nasty enough"-never mind it's yet another horror without merit or need to exist. But apparently such sensible criticism isn't called for, so I don't suffer stupidly, I choose not to watch them, thank God, after all I get caught out with enough of the other fakes to make being a horror fan quite a depressing experience in film today.

Posted on 6 Feb 2015, 13:33:55 GMT
Nelson Viper says:
I like Romero's Dead films and Some of the older Italian Stuff. I think the thing is that film makers think they are tapping into "zombie" mythology when they are just copying the work of one person who's work was so effective people think he was using existing mythology. It's a similar thing with werewolf's, virtually the entire mythology as we think we know it comes from the Lon Chaney film. Before that shape shifting was more of a general idea attributed to witchcraft. Silver bullets, wolfsbane, being bitten by a werewolf? All down to The Wolf Man. Universal needed a new monster to go with Dracula and Frankenstein so they invented one.
Wes Craven's The Serpent and The Rainbow goes back to voodoo, but it's less a horror film than an attempt to rationalise voodoo through the powers of suggestion and drugs.
There's a lot more horror now, a lot more films generally, simply because the technology makes it easier to do without a lot of financial backing. Film required money and a certain amount of expertise. You had to know what you were doing because reshooting added greatly to the cost and editing involved physically splicing celluloid. Digital means you can make something that looks surprisingly professional giving film makers the chance of multiple retakes that can be edited on a lab top. The problem with is that a lot of these low budget filmmakers ignore lighting and framing so they film stuff really flat. Then put the same off the peg soundtracks on everything. Quiet. quiet. quiet, boom bang thud. Whilst on the other hand films with bigger budgets tend to digitally correct everything in post production, so you end up with these things that have either been so drained of colour they might as well be in Black and White or have this over all greenish blue tinge for horror and exactly the same generic musical score as there low budget counterparts. In action films you get a lot of ' orange and teal for action.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2015, 16:15:31 GMT
You've said it brilliantly there-namely and briskly in the foolish way most film makers saw Romero's stuff as hallmark, instead of being a ridiculous melding of two different things-the undead and cannibalism, and then the cannibalism taking over completely, mainly because one of the few things audiences will be excited fr, get shocked at. I admit the cannibalism thing does bore me, it's way too popular, while never making any sense in the context. In something like 'Wrong Turn' I'm completely fine with it, but it's nothing to do with apparently being dead, the casting was right for once and the film almost plays fair, and doesn't decry everyone needs to die at the end, and that there IS an end. But one of those so-called classics-'Dawn Of The Dead' was on again three nights ago, I couldn't watch more than 30 mins, just found it too maddening, stilted, repetitious and rather moronic. It's one of those films ridiculously bandied about that "shall not be insulted", like people truly believe that only real citizens of this world could like it and anyone else is clearly mad and needs help, which is fair enough, maybe, cos I often think people need help at banging drums of doom for dissenters to overrated things when all these infinitely better smaller ones are hated, ignored or just laughed at for even being compared. It's that sort of adage-you can have your own taste, but make sure it's mine! Much preferred Ken Foree in 'From Beyond'-more my thing. But I hate, more than anything, not specific movies, but the movement itself. Because of Romero-and a lot of easily suggestible supporters, the actual point of the zombie and cannibalism will forever be lost in each other. When '28 Days Later' came out (and I like it enough) that was hailed as wow! Yet while offering the people as more psychotic because of a disease is slightly more believable, the makers still fall back on the old cannibalism motif, and the sequel was wretched, yet typically adored. These films weren't so much original, or twisting anything-just re-representing Romero's sloppy idea of combining zombie mythology and people eating each other, and letting the latter win out.

Love what you say about the werewolf, you know a lot. Those rules that came from the 'The Wolf Man', I like them a lot, though the 1981 horror 'Wolfen' does attest to shape shifting being something more along the lines of Native American culture, whose tribal leaders can turn it into any animal they most respected. But I guess, as witchcraft was seen as too female orientated, film makers didn't want to make any horror based on them being the villain, thinking something more male and "monstery" would make for bigger box office, and just stayed with that for ages. In fantasy gamebook mythology, werewolves can be killed with a sword, axe, spear, hammer and suchlike, they don't need to be silver specifically, but it probably helps, and you can cure yourself of the disease within the first hour if you're bitten if you locate and swallow a sprig of belladonna from the deadly nightshade plant, which I think is another name for the wolfsbane you mention, and if so, then they got that from 'The Wolf Man' like you say. There's also a few other interesting things-like wearing something like a magical gemstone to ward of snaity attacks means a bite won't affect you in the werewolf way, or you could have a certain item they fear, like a yeti tooth or know a spell to turn their attack away, which at least hints at a little variety, and not curtains for the bitten one to become a raging beast. Werewolf films seem to be more like action films these days-indeed a great many horror films do, apart from when they're being appalling fakes and wastes of paper thin drama. At least in 'The Howling', the setting and the appearance of the werewolf leading lady did seem more like a witchcraftian approach, but I think we've lost if for good now.

I was so pleased when 'The Serpent And The Rainbow' seemed to be getting it right-with a perfect cadaver (as zombies SHOULD appear) in that coffin, then the film refused to do anything with it. An early 'Sixth Sense' you could call it, where you feel utterly let down, and would have had to create the horror in your head. As you say, now we have a lot more horror, but I think it's really mostly playing a horror. I've never known a bigger decade of fakes than the last one and this now, but I do heft enough of that blame to the audience. They may want subtle, or gory, or scares, but whatever they want, most of these once necessary ingredients, even if present, add up to nothing near horror at the end of the day when it all results in a quarter 'The Sixth Sense', a quarter a fake "possession haunting" to mask a killer wanting their partner dead and 70% 'Eden Lake'. And I haven't even mentioned the cannibals yet. Z for zombie my butt, Z for zzzz more like.

So much for wanting something fresh, I don't reckon we'll ever get proper undead horror representations of the dead, this cannibal stuff has being going too long and it's too ingrained. Best place for it is something fantastical like 'Jason And The Argonauts' for skeletons, or celestial ghosts of long dead knights in 'Lord Of The Rings'. But older films like the Italian 'Tombs Of The Blind Dead'-the acting and editing may have been out-of-sorts, but those creatures were great. One of the best showings of zombies I've ever seen, almost wraith-like. Of course, in fantasy, Ghouls are one of the few undead to eat the flesh of the living, other types just seek to take life and the soul. But a ghoul is just another word for a freak or a ghost to cinema minds-those who make it and watch it. While there are fantastic images of ghouls in pages and online, they, while humanoid, don't look in the least like a human, so no person is going to be able to portray one anyway, even would anyone think of it, cos no one would consider the look. Same with demons, which are NOT actors shot in infra-red to make their eyes glow while they're excusing themselves via he technology for killing their mates as in any old slasher.

Sorry this is so long, but I realised I hadn't replied to your post. I love your knowledge on this zombie vs. cannibal stuff, you know what so many don't. That's one virus that should really be spread everywhere.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2015, 02:13:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 17 Feb 2015, 02:17:21 GMT
Nelson Viper says:
Scottpaul,
Dawn of the Dead is one of my all time favourite films. I think Romero hit on zombies because he just wanted to make films and horror was a way for filmmakers to do it without the resources of a studio when they were stuck in unfashionable areas like Pittsburgh. What I like about his film is that they tended to have a social context and his zombies were simply dead versions of ordinary people in ordinary settings. So in Dawn of the Dead the zombies are still going to the shops and performing a sort of residual act of shopping out of habit in a reduced version of their previous humanity. There's a sense of who they were before they died. To me Romero treats his zombies as people, only really dangerous because there's a lot of them and they are in an altered state of being. Where as most Zombie films since remove the humanity and treat them as a horde whose only purpose is to be dangerous to backwoods survivalists. Actually modern zombie films tend to resemble old adventure stories where white settlers are attacked by savage tribes.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Feb 2015, 23:01:46 GMT
Yes they certainly do, but I wish they wouldn't, they should just carry on with the cannibal part and leave the so-called dead out. I'm happy I can live without these films, they just mean nothing to me, but it's depressing how prolific they are-they're just everywhere, they never stopped being made and no one ever has a bad word to say about them. But imagine the difference if they would actually tackle the undead in a way I recognise from fantasy books or from mythology. So many reasons to make them, not least cos it's barely ever been done, but it's clearly beyond everyone who makes films. Besides you'd also require a fair amount of nominally used CGI, latex and animatronic work, plus excellent artwork to start with first, and none can be bthered with these things. They deserve what they do bother with to be utterly shunned, but sadly the audience is as bad as they are!
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