Tag Archives: psychological

The Horror Movie Challenge: Day 2 – “Sinister” (2012)

Day 2 of my thirty-day challenge, and I am already a mess. Today, early in the morning, during broad daylight hours, with my dog wandering in and out of the room, I tackled the next movie on my challenge list, “Sinister” (2012), and let me tell you, it was TERRIFYING (and I do not use caps-lock lightly). I’ll try and give a brief summary without spoiling the excellent ending.

“Sinister” was, for me, as soon as I got into it, an edge-of-the-seat roller-coaster of horror. This was a movie that managed to build up unbearable tension, capture a real psychological-horror, pulse-quickening, goosebumps-raising ambiance, instead of relying on the cheap route of gallons of blood pulsing from an army of slit throats. “Sinister” was quite possibly one of the best horror movies that I have ever watched, or at least one of the scariest. 

The story follows the protagonist, Ellison Oswalt, a true crime writer, as well as his wife Tracy, and his two children, Ashley (who enjoys painting on her bedroom walls) and Trevor, who suffers from “night terrors.” They have just moved into a new house – a new house where four people were once killed, the murderer never caught, one of the children abducted and disappeared. This missing child is to be the subject of Ellison’s book, the book which he thinks will be his greatest success. 

Things begin to take on a dark edge when Ellison discovers a box of old film reels and a projector to play them on, possibly left by the deceased previous family inhabiting the house. These film reels, while labelled to seem like innocent home movies, depict gruesome killings. Things begin to go wrong, Trevor experiencing his night terrors, and soon Ashley is painting on the walls, a picture of the subject of her father’s book. 

I am not going to go into further detail of the plot, because I do not feel that I would do it justice. Even if you have to cover your eyes with your hands, or hide behind the couch for the thrilling tense moments or chilling scares that “Sinister” provides, watch it. There is no cheap over-abundance of blood and guts, or intestines splashed across the furniture, but it is terrifying, and I shall certainly be lying awake tonight (I plan to counter-act the effects of this choice of viewing by watching “Frozen” or “Despicable Me” later on tonight). So yes, I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a good, psychologically-scarring movie that will leave you severely disturbed, and humming quietly in the corner of your padded cell with your knees drawn up to your chest. 

Thanks for reading, and as always, share your opinions! 😀 Image

Silent Hill Homecoming – First Impressions

Today, as I walked into Gamestop to check out the summer sales, I was not expecting to see the game that I had wanted to purchase since I first got my PS3 and went shopping for games for the first time more than a year ago. But as I went through the plastic cases on the shelves, some blood-splattered and some dotted with brightly-colored heroes, something caught my eye. Behind a fantasy game displaying a sword-wielding, armor-clad medieval protagonist, was a copy of “Silent Hill: Homecoming.” There was no mistaking the rusty-colored blood smears and distorted monstrosities, it had to be Silent Hill. I was delighted to stumble upon this pre-owned copy, as ever since seeing one single, solitary copy on that first shopping trip (I left it behind in favor of the Silent Hill HD collection) I had been desperate to find it. 

As soon as I returned from this shopping trip, I ran up to my bedroom to start playing. I then played up as far as (*SPOILERS*) the first save point directly after retrieving Josh Shepherd’s Robbie the Rabbit toy from an ominous, blood-oozing gash in the glass. I managed to get my arm ripped off once,by whatever sinister force lurked behind the bloody glass, from not pressing the red circle quickly enough. That was my first death in the game. 

I must say, my first impressions of “Silent Hill: Homecoming” are very good. The opening cutscene, in which the protagonist, Alex Shepherd, is being wheeled through a dimly lit hospital corridor on a gurney, was considerably more gory than some of the more subtle, haunting openings of other games in the series, but it worked. I enjoyed the part of this scene where Alex glances up at the person wheeling the gurney, to see a surgeon clad in blue scrubs, with a bloodstained mask obscuring his mouth. 

I have not played very much so far, but I am definitely eager to play more. The combat controls are pretty good, though at first I kept forgetting to go into fighting stance before bashing “X” to knife some demon nurses lurking within the rooms of the hospital. You soon learn to get used to these controls, when faced with three demonic, deformed nurses, classic Silent-Hill style, all armed with knives and showing rather a lot of cleavage. The graphics are impressive, and tie in with the bloody, grimy, dark, decaying feel of the series. The save-points are placed very conveniently, and quite regularly so far. At the moment, there are enough health drinks lying around to keep Alex alive, without letting the player become too complacent or at-ease. If you move fast with your combat knife (and don’t get your arm bitten off trying to retrieve a blood-soaked Robbie), you should be okay. 

Whether or not I would recommend “Silent Hill: Homecoming” remains to be seen, but so far I have only positive things to say about this game. 

 

Silent Hill 3 – Beauty in the Dark

heather-morris

Silent Hill 3 was a fantastic addition to the series, which I played after purchasing the HD collection for PS3. The first thing I observed, after beginning the game and finding myself in the rotting, rusting depths of an empty fairground, was how it was instantly different from Silent Hill 2, which I found to be an extremely positive thing. Like Silent Hill 2, It possessed its share of haunting settings that have an almost scarring effect on the mind, but in a very different way. This was wonderful, as sometimes, videogames play it safe and stick to similar setting for many games. I immediately fell in love with the forsaken, dark, neglected fairground setting. I also enjoyed the thrill of only having a small knife as a weapon in the beginning. It made fights more challenging and infinitely more exciting, as I found the wooden plank at the start of Silent Hill 2 to be quite effective, as it has a nice, wide range if used correctly.

As soon as I, playing as a teenager named Heather Mason, reached the next setting of the game, after climbing along the rickety, decaying tracks of an old roller-coaster (and getting hit by the ride as it suddenly speeds towards me) I knew that this game was a work of genius, as its predecessor was. I found myself in an empty shopping mall, soon to face terrible monsters lurking in the clothing boutique. The perk of this none-too-pleasant run in, in which I witness two deformed creatures feasting on the corpse of some unfortunate woman, is that I acquire a more powerful weapon, a handgun and some ammo.

Soon, I face a terrifying encounter with a strange woman named Claudia Wolf, who talks to Heather Mason for a few seconds. She seems crazy, telling Heather that she will “Lead them to paradise with bloodstained hands.” I liked this scene, as it provided some clues as to who Heather really is. Players of the first Silent Hill game will have made some connections by now!

This game was as cleverly crafted as Silent Hill 2, while owning its own feel or ambiance. It was slightly more intense, with a faster pace (in my opinion.) But it really pulled these differences off in the best possible way, while staying true to the core of the series. It is full of the same delightfully demonic style of creature, and the characters truly do come to life. I would recommend this game to all fans of psychological, survival horror.