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No One Will Save You, Beneath Us All, Subspecies V: Bloodrise, Soul Mates, Jason Goes to Hell, and Darker Than Night
Horror Bulletin Weekly Newsletter #250
250 Episodes— Wow! We’re approaching the end of our fifth year (ep 260?), and there are still sooooo many horror films to watch!
Just a reminder that “The Horror Guys Guide to the Films of Amicus Productions” came out this week. You like anthologies? We like anthologies, and they made some of the best. Check out the details here: https://brianschell.com/b/amicus
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This week, We’ll look at four more movies and a short film. This time, everything is a new-ish release. “No One Will Save You” starts us off, then we’ll watch “Beneath Us All.” After the short film, we’ll finish off the Subspecies series with part 5, “Bloodrise” and the fun “Soul Mates,” all from 2023.
In addition, exclusive to our weekly email newsletter, we also reviewed:
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Darker Than Night (1975)
Check out all our books with one easy link: https://brianschell.com/collection/horrorguys
Here. We. Go!
No One Will Save You (2023)
Directed by Brian Duffield
Written by Brian Duffield
Stars Kaitlyn Dever, Elizabeth Kaluev, Zack Duhame, Lauren L. Murray
Run Time: 1 Hour, 33 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
This was some very impressive acting from Kaitlyn Dever, who basically has no dialogue at all in the movie. In fact, the movie barely has any spoken words. The action and effects are all good, and it moves well. It’s one that leaves you thinking about it after it’s done.
Brynn is obviously very nervous and seems anxious. She goes downstairs and sews something, which she puts into a package to mail. On the way out, she finds a circle of dead grass in the yard, so she turns on the sprinkler. She waves at a neighbor, who ignores her entirely. She then drives to town and puts her packages in the mailbox. On the way back, she stops at her mother’s grave. Walking to her car, she hides from the police chief, who is kissing his wife. She gets a new dollhouse in the mail, which brightens her day. She next writes a letter to Maude, the police chief’s daughter. Eventually, she goes to bed.
Late that night, the lights come on by themselves. Bryann wakes up and hears something growling and moving around downstairs. It laughs and comes up the stairs toward her room. It opens the door and comes in, and we get to see it. It’s a tall, thin alien. Brynn hides under the bed as it explores her room. It eventually climbs out the window.
Things in the house start moving all by themselves, which freaks out Brynn. She runs into an alien in the kitchen, and it sees her as well. She defends herself, and she stabs the thing in the head, apparently killing it.
In the morning, Brynn wakes up, and the alien is still there on the floor. She reluctantly dials 911, but the phone doesn’t work. Not only that, but all the power is off. She limps out to the car, but that’s dead as well. She rides her bicycle to town, and finds the mail truck turned over. She goes to the neighbor’s house, and she sees one of those “crop circles” in their lawn too, and no neighbors at home.
She walks to town, where there are lots of people, and everything seems normal. She finds Chief Collins at the police station, and his wife spits on her. The chief ignores her. She’s clearly not going to get any help from the police. She gets on the bus, and we see many of those circles on her ride home. She doesn’t get far. The mailman is on the bus, and it appears that he’s possessed or something. The bus ride ends in chaos, and she bails out on foot.
She takes the shortcut through the cemetery and stops at Maude Collins’s grave. She died eleven years ago, at age 12. Suddenly, very strange storm clouds appear over the whole town as Brynn runs home. She watches several of her neighbors behaving strangely as the storm approaches; they all seem to have creatures in their throats.
Brynn finally makes it back home, on foot, and the dead alien is still there… but there’s now a blood trail leading from the body outside. She gathers up all the knives she can find and starts barricading her house. There’s a bright light outside, and the dead alien floats out the door.
Another alien comes inside, and they soon end up face to face. She runs upstairs, where a shorter version of the alien attacks her, but this one, she’s able to fight off. This little one is really persistent, and she eventually manages to kill it as well.
She goes outside and sees one of the creatures with big spider-like legs, but before she can get away, she’s grabbed by the mailman. He drags her to a spaceship, but things go wrong for the mailman. She traps the big spider alien in her exploding car, killing it too.
The aliens outside finally catch Brynn in their tractor beam and bang her around a bit. While she’s immobilized, one of them closes in and examines her. It coughs up a hairball– no it’s a little parasitic thing with tentacles, like an anemone. She opens her mouth, and it goes inside…
Brynn wakes up in the morning, screaming. Was any of that real? Her room is neat and undamaged, so probably not. All her stuff downstairs is fine as well. Someone comes inside the house, and it’s– Maude, who’s been dead a long time. Brynn apologizes to Maude for her part in Maude’s death, whatever that was. Brynn reaches down her own throat and rips out the parasite, which was causing her to hallucinate. Another spaceship appears to send the parasite a new body. We cut away to see a bunch of flying saucers up there…
Possessed-Maude-reproduction appears again, and Brynn stabs her knowing she’s not real. The ship reappears and beams Brynn up, where the aliens surround her in curiosity. One reaches over and touches her forehead, and then Brynn is back at home, with her own mother and a younger version of herself. She gets a re-enactment of what happened when Maude died. Brynn did, in fact, basically murder Maude in a rash moment of a child losing her temper. The aliens, of course, are watching the whole thing play out.
The aliens argue about what to do next, and something big in the ship lights up that they seem to defer to, and she is back down on Earth.
She wakes up, laughs, and goes back to her house. She cleans herself up and goes for a bike ride. She hangs up more decorations and everything goes back to normal for her. Now, when she waves at the alien-possessed neighbors, they wave back. She has won the aliens’ respect. Then she goes to a big, elaborate dance with the man who ignored her earlier and joyfully dances along with everyone else there. In the background, we see a full scale invasion outside of her perfect diorama.
I went into this one completely blind. In the first scene, she sees the little, tiny circle in the grass, and I laughed, “It’s a little crop circle.” I thought I was joking, but no, that was exactly it.
Stephen King wrote in a tweet that he compared this to the old Twilight Zone episode, “The Invaders.” He hit it dead on with that comparison. A lone woman who can’t communicate does battle with aliens on her own. The twist from the TV episode isn’t here, but the basic plot is the same.
I have questions. Were the bony, long-limbed aliens the baddies, or were they just pawns/victims of the anemone mind-control bugs? Were the “bugs” the minds behind the invasion, or were they a reproductive thing like the chest-burster in “Alien”? The ending: was that all in her mind, or did the aliens change everything on Earth to please her?
The creature design is really good here, and we get to see a lot of them. Some of the individuals vary in height and the length of their limbs. They’re heavily CGI, but they’re very well done. There’s almost no dialogue, and the bulk of the acting is from Kaitlyn Dever, as Brynn, and she does really well with it.
Beneath Us All (2023)
Directed by Harley Wallen
Written by Bret Miller
Stars Sean Whalen, Maria Olsen, Kaiti Wallen, Yan Birch, Harley Wallen
Run Time: 1 Hour, 31 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
This one was all-around entertaining. There’s a real monster and human monsters, and the focus is how an orphan girl coming of age deals with them both. We get some dimension to all the main characters; no one is just flat. It’s well-written, well-acted, and the tech aspects were all very good.
In Scandinavia, 912 AD, two kids go into a field, but one soon goes missing and is found murdered. The local men track down the killer and put him in a coffin. They take the coffin to Vinland, “The Americas” and bury him alive there. Credits roll.
In the present day, Julie finds a wounded bird and takes it home in a box.
Elsewhere, Rebecca gets bad news about a child she was overseeing. She’s a social worker facing burnout, so her boss wants to transfer her to a new position.
We cut to Janelle Gibs making breakfast (Kevin points out that she’s using a metal spatula in non-stick pans, which he says is a real moment of horror.). Julie, with the bird, is her foster daughter, and her foster father, Todd, is trouble.
Todd wakes up with a hangover when he hears Julie’s bird singing. He is not happy. “You bring this germ-infested animal into my house?” He then smashes the bird with a hammer, “You are making me do this,” he says.
Outside, Julie finds an old-looking pendant and then immediately hears a high-pitched noise that hurts her head. Rebecca, who has moved to the country, has been assigned to watch over the Gibbs family, who fosters four children. They explain how Julie was upset about the bird, but then she left and didn’t come home for a long time.
Rebecca asks Julie why she was found in the middle of the road. The meeting goes well, and Rebecca tells the Gibbs everything is fine. That night, Julie hears voices, and we see that she still has the ancient pendant.
That night, Todd goes to “work,” playing at the local illegal gambling place; he owes them quite a bit. Meanwhile, Julie is out roaming the forest at night, and the pendant leads her to an old box half-buried in the dirt. She opens the box, which turns out to be the coffin we saw in the pre-credit scene. The man inside sits up; he’s clearly some kind of undead creature. He’s very weak, so she helps him, just like she did with the bird. She hides him in the family barn.
Detective Donovan Booker comes to see Rebecca. He’s moving to a new job and will be relocating, and he wants her to go with him.
Julie’s little foster brother, Stephen, says he’s afraid of something out in the woods. She shows him her man in the barn. She feeds the creature potato chips, and he says his name is Frey.
Rebecca goes to see Julie again. Julie’s 18th birthday is approaching, and she’ll soon be aging out of the system. Rebecca brings up college and what comes up after.
That night, we watch as Frey attacks Bud, a man outside working on his truck. Yes, Frey is a vampire. It looks like he gets his wife too. In the morning, Julie finds that Frey is looking much healthier. She also finds big gobs of meaty bits laying all over the barn.
Detective Donovan gets assigned to the murder of Bud and his wife. It’s going to be his last case, and we see that the bodies have been torn to pieces. Julie notices that the family cat has gone missing.
Stephen warns Julie that Frey makes him uncomfortable, but she insists on helping her new “project.” Frey gets really excited when he notices a cut on Julie’s hand, and they drink each other’s blood.
Rebecca and Donovan talk about the “bear attack” case, and she mentions that it happened awfully close to the Gibbs house. She goes to see Julie about college applications, but Julie’s pretty spaced out and not really paying attention. Stephen tells Rebecca about Julie meeting a strange man in the woods, but Janelle says that’s just not possible. Rebecca argues with Janelle and leaves, telling Donovan the whole story.
Things go badly for Todd as the gambling place. Back at the house, the two little foster girls go missing. The girls are soon found, half-eaten. Julie is there too, but she doesn’t look as upset as she should. Stephen tells Rebecca that he doesn’t want to stay there anymore. She can’t do anything tonight, so he goes back inside, where Julie waits with big fangs…
Julie goes to see Frey, who says he’s stronger than ever before. He looks more like a demon now than a human, and he says one more night should do it.
Julie calls Rebecca and tells her that something is wrong. She needs help. Rebecca and Donovan rush over. Stephen tells Todd that the thing that hurt the girls is outside, so Todd grabs his shotgun and goes out. Julie and Frey are out there, and she sucks Todd dry. She looks down at his corpse, “Look what you made me do.”
Stephen and Janelle hide in a bedroom as Rebecca and Donovan arrive. Donovan shoots Frey a few times, but there’s no blood; Frey gets up and kills him. Julie bites Janelle in front of Rebecca. When Frey goes to kill Stephen, Julie protects her little brother and kills the master vampire.
In the morning, Rebecca and Stephen wait for the police to pick them up.
This was really good. The music, sound design, and lighting are much better than we usually see with indie films, as are the acting and the pacing. Yes, there’s a vampire, but the dramatic side of the story with the abused kids is handled really well. Julie is clearly terrified of Todd and not as scared of the “real monster,” Frey.
Angelina Danielle Cama stands out as Julie. Yan Birch as Frey is also good, although he’s a little hard to understand when he speaks in his modulated monster voice. Sean Whalen and Maria Olsen are suitably scummy as the Gibbs.
We were pleasantly surprised with this one!
Short Film: Overtime (2023)
Directed by Craig D. Foster
Written by Craig D. Foster, Emma McKenna
Stars Aaron Glenane, Adam Dunn, Ainslie Clouston, Arka Das
Run Time: 8:24
Ralph works at the office, but his boss, Simon, brings him a big box of stuff to do right before quitting time. He works way into the night and finally finishes. On the way out, Simon is waiting for him. “I know your big secret, Ralph,” he warns. Ralph gives him a severe look, but it seems Simon is only messing with him.
Ralph’s phone warns him that tonight is a full moon, but he is very aware. Megan gets into the elevator with Ralph on the way down, and he sniffs her.
We know where it’s going, right?
After a day like that, why not just… go for it?
It’s really well done. The office scenes look real, the gore bits are nicely done, and it’s actually really funny how one thing after another keeps coming up. There’s a tiny bit after the credits as well, so don’t miss that.
Subspecies V: Bloodrise (2023)
Directed by Ted Nicolaou
Written by Ted Nicolaou
Stars Anders Hove, Denice Duff, Kevin Spirtas, Stasa Nikolic
Run Time: 1 Hour, 20 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
It’s a prequel and origin story. We can ignore that Anders Hove looks older now instead of younger like he should, because it’s so well made and does make sense. If you liked the first four in the series, you’ll probably like this too. We did.
We open in a dark cave as a really ugly woman gives birth. He was the offspring of the vampire Vladislas and the sorceress Circe. She’s about to kill the baby, since the prophecy says he will one day kill his father. Suddenly, Crusaders break in and stab the witch, who laughs. The Crusaders steal the cursed child and drop him off at church where they make it look more human. He eventually grows up, is trained in the arts of war, and becomes a hero of the Crusades.
Eventually, he made his way to the castle of his father. He and the other Crusaders walk through the tunnels before they come to Price Vladislas, who’s a Nosferatu-style vampire. The Crusader says his name is Radu the Fearless. Vladislas vanishes, but leaves Circe there, who tells Radu about the prophecy. She also admits that she’s his mother. Then she vanishes as well.
Radu and Marius continue to explore the castle and find a woman and her child. Marius wants to kill Helena and Stefan right there. She says that Vladislas raped her, and Stefan is the child, but that she’s never tasted anyone’s blood.
Morning comes, and Stefan screams about his eyes; he’s never seen the light of day before. Marius doesn’t approve of letting them go, so he leaves Radu’s service. Helena, however, is obviously a vampire, afraid of the daylight. That night, Helena “rewards” Radu with sex– almost. She’s only been lightly bitten. Radu has the Bloodstone, which he was given by the Crusaders. She drinks from it.
Helena tempts Radu to try the Bloodstone, which he does. Then she bites him and feeds him some of her blood. Just then Vladislas shows up, wanting his Bloodstone back. He takes Helena and Stefan, leaving Radu to die without any vampire training.
Radu, alone, tracks down Marius in the wilderness. “I’m defiled,” he laments. “Stake me to the ground; let the sun destroy me.” Marius stakes Radu with his big cross, but then he’s stabbed in the back by Circe. She rescues Radu, teaching him the black arts for the next hundred years. He learns to summon demons, move with the shadows, and to hunt. Eventually, he leaves Circe to find Helena and the Bloodstone.
He eventually met Ash and Ariel, two musicians who played music that Radu liked. He bites them both that night and turns them. The next night, they both wake up as vampires and feed.
Years pass. He still never got over Helena, and he still wants to find her. Ariel has gone mad with bloodlust, and Ash is only an empty shell of himself. Radu wants them to play more music, but they can’t. “With no soul, there is no music.”
One night, the vampire’s lair was defiled. Diana says she has been appointed to slay Radu; she’s a monster hunter. All three vampires drain her dry, but then Radu turns her as well. Ash and Ariel decide this is a good time to abandon Radu, who spends the next 300 years searching for them. By this time, Radu is looking more like the vampire we know from the other films.
He finds them, wanting his vampire–slayer dagger back, but they say their queen has it. They take him to see their queen, who turns out to be Helena. She doesn’t remember Radu, who looks so much different now, but she looks the same. Helena fills Radu in on what’s been going on with Vladislas and Stephan. She still has the bloodstone, which she shares with him.
Helena offers him everything she has if she can have Ash. There’s a political argument as everyone bickers about who owns who and who the masters are. Helena dismisses Radu and Ariel, who decide to go deeper into the catacombs, looking for something. They find Prince Vladislas down there with a sword through his heart. Radu pulls the sword out, resurrecting him. He then stabs the old vampire repeatedly, fulfilling his destiny.
Helena says Radu is revolting and repulsive, and he doesn’t take it well. He rips her head off. She says she’ll be reborn and haunt Radu until the end of time. She stabs Radu with her vampire-killer blade, which he pulls right out again. Meanwhile, Ash steals the Bloodstone and runs off.
Diana chooses that point to resurface and kills Ariel. Radu tells us that in time, the shadow of Helena would come back to haunt him into madness…
Anders Hove has aged significantly since the previous film; he now looks a lot like Angus Scrimm in the first film of the series. He spends most of the film without his iconic “Radu” makeup, but he’s still plenty creepy.
It’s the origin story we didn’t know we needed, but it’s as good as any other film in the series. If you like the previous four films, this is still good.
Soul Mates (2023)
Directed by Mark Gantt
Written by Chris LaMont, Joe Russo
Stars Neal McDonough, Charlie Weber, Annie Ilonzeh, Starletta DuPois
Run Time: 1 Hour, 28 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
This kept feeling like it should have been more gripping than it was, like the stakes weren’t high enough for the two main characters directly. But the cast was good, the sets were effective, and the script was clever enough to keep us guessing until the end what was really happening and who was behind it.
We get shots of someone running through an elaborate maze as credits roll.
A woman wakes up in bed, and she soon notices that she’s handcuffed to a sleeping man. He wakes up and insists that two guys jumped him; he is not behind all this. They soon learn that the door and window are sealed. He’s Jason, and she’s Allison.
They find a business card “Soul Mates.” They get the door open, and there’s a very industrial-looking corridor outside.
They find a monitor that plays an ad for Soul Mates, a dating service. “The Matchmaker” comes on the screen and introduces a video of Allison doing a profile video for the service. Allison says she recorded it four years ago, but she’s never heard of Soul Mates. Another video comes on, and this time it’s Jason, also from years ago.
The screen shows a “terms of service” agreement, and then the walls start closing in on them. They scroll through the long terms and then they both accept them, and the walls stop moving.
They enter another room, this time it’s one full of monitors showing scenes that make it clear that they’ve both been the victims of a stalker for a while now; lots and lots of private videos. “I think they’ve been following us for years.”
Suddenly, a curtain opens, and there’s a man hanging above a giant meat grinder. Questions come up on screen, and if they get them right, the man is raised; if they get the answer wrong, he lowers. They miss a question, and the machine grinds up the man.
They see another video, this time of Allison’s grandmother and Jason’s brother. The Matchmaker comes back onscreen and demands that they sing karaoke to save their loved ones. Allison sings, and it’s good enough to save Grandma. Jason, however, gets a song he doesn’t know. He’s so awful that his brother dies.
Next, they both end up in a shower room, and they’re told to clean themselves up for their “first date.” They shower awkwardly and then put on some fancy outfits. There’s a gift box, and inside is another chain cuff to link them.
They sit down at a dinner table, and their server is wearing an electroshock collar. First course is a big appetizer. The problem is, they have to eat them all in 60 seconds or the server pays. They succeed!
Then it’s time for the second course, where they get 120 seconds. It’s a big plate of mashed potatoes and meat. They chow down, and it’s really a lot, but they can’t do it. The server fries and dies.
Next they go into a little movie theater and watch The Matchmaker again. This time, he shows them Jason’s fiance, Liana , who admits to having an affair with some other guy. “I never loved you,” she admits. Then someone cuts her throat right there on camera. The man on camera then cuts off a piece of her and cooks it. That was the meal they just ate.
In the next room, they find Mike, Allison’s ex, chained to a chair. When they release him, he’s poisoned and quickly dies. They find a freshly-dug grave with Liana in it. “We both have to bury the past,” Jason says. They drag Mike into the grave and fill it in.
Next is the bedroom, where they’re told to have sex. They’re both reluctant, but what choice do they have? Suddenly, the room fills with gas…
They wake up in Jason’s bedroom, in his house. The Matchmaker comes on the television, and he congratulates them on finding their perfect match. “Be grateful for the gift we’ve given you.”
They joke about that being the worst date they’ve ever been on…
Eight months later, they’re still together– and soon to be married. Allison has a nightmare, which is not a new thing for either of them. Packing for their honeymoon, Allison finds the box of handcuffs from before. Why is that here, in his house? There’s also a card, “Jason– thank you for trusting me to help find your soulmate– The Matchmaker.”
He knows that she knows, so he tries to explain. He admits he signed up for the service, and he chose her profile from hundreds. All of that was designed to get the two of them to fall in love. “They killed your brother.” “That wasn’t my brother, it was an actor.” He’s surprisingly OK with all that happened. “No one died, it was all fake. All of it.” He explains, and we see, how everything was fake, an act. Even her ex who was paid three hundred grand.
He admits it was all a little unorthodox, but it did work, right? Not so much, she is not okay with it. The two fight, and they both beat each other up pretty badly. He chains her to the table and monologues in the other room about how he can kill her if he needs to and Matchmakers will clean it all up. It’s long enough for her to get loose. She jumps him from behind and strangles him with the chain. Then she calls the Matchmaker number on the card, apparently to order a clean up of her own.
The acting is fine. This is a relatively low-budget film, but it all looks pretty good, although a bit underlit in most scenes inside the “maze.”
We both expected that at the end one or the other of the pair would turn out to be behind everything. Both of them “lost” people they didn’t really care about, so that wasn’t much of a clue. Still, it was all a lot more elaborate than we expected.
It’s a good concept, but it’s really just one tormented scenario after the other, and since there were only two characters, we knew they weren’t going to kill either of them right away. The ending wasn’t completely a surprise, but it was well executed.
We liked it.
Darker Than Night (1975)
AKA "Más Negro Que La Noche", "Blacker than Night"
Directed by Carlos Enrique Taboada
Written by Carlos Enrique Taboada
Stars Claudia Islas, Suane Dosamantes, Lucia Mendez, Helena Rojo
Run Time: 1 Hour, 42 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgement Zone
This was a bit of a whodunit of a ghost story that makes you wonder what is happening. It starts out a bit slow but picks up after a while and moves to a satisfying ending. It's very European and very 1970s, which was fun. We thought it was quite good.
A woman talks about her hat to the cat. The cat changes color as the credits roll. The woman talks to Becker, the cat, about how they can't end the plague. The cat plays with yarn until the old woman suddenly dies.
We cut to Ofelia Escuderi, arriving by taxi. She says hello to Pilar in the shower and wonders who's sleeping in her bed. It turns out she's Aurora's cousin, Marta, a model. The four women will be staying together for a while. They go see a lawyer, and Ofelia has inherited a large estate in the country from Aunt Susana, who recently died. The only condition is that they take care of Becker, the cat. Ofelia barely remembers Susana.
The four women go to the old house to move in. There's a creepy housekeeper there, Sofia, who shows them around. Sofia says Becker the cat has been hiding since the old lady died. That night, Pilar finds Becker the cat in her room, and she's terrified of cats. "Chasing him out is inadvisable," warns Sofia. Ofelia agrees to switch rooms with her tomorrow night.
The girls find a room full of Susanna's old clothes, including a wedding dress that should fit Ofelia. She plans to modernize it for her upcoming wedding to Pedro. Sofia finds Becker eyeing Aurora's pet bird in its cage.
That night, Aurora comes home and hears someone outside calling for Becker. She comes in, and tells the others about it. Marta thinks she's playing a prank, but Ofelia and Pedro go outside to look. They hear it, too. They think it was Sofia, but the older woman denies it.
Later that night, someone in a dark dress comes into Ofelia's room and steals the wedding dress. Could it be Susana's ghost? She finds the dress in the fireplace downstairs, burning. Marta and Pilar blame Sofia, and Sofia takes the blame and apologizes. Later in the day, Aurora finds her bird out of the cage, dead on the ground. She blames the cat. That night, Aurora hears a woman moaning downstairs and tells Marta, who hears nothing.
Ofelia and Pedro come home, and the others say they found Becker dead in the basement; he must have gotten trapped. Ofelia wants to bury him in the garden. "I'm thinking about if she found out," Marta tells Pilar. Did they kill the cat?
That night, Marta sees a shadow in the next room that resembles an old woman with a cane. She finds the dead cat and blames Sofia for bringing it upstairs, and Sofia reluctantly admits she did it. We see that Sophia's as surprised as anyone, but she takes the blame anyway. They bury Becker the next morning, and Aurora throws a temper tantrum.
Aurora gets a vision of the old woman's ghost at work the next day; it's carrying a cane. She looks just like the old woman in the portrait and tells all her friends about it that night; Sofia says the old woman's cane was buried with her.
Pilar and her ex-husband Roberto talk; he begs her to take him back. At the library, the power goes out, and Aurora gets a scare. Ofelia and Pedro come to pick her up, and the security guard can't find her. They do find her when the lights go back on-- dead.
Sofia gives a week's notice; She thinks there's a connection between Becker's death and Aurora's. "Your aunt is here! I've heard her moaning at night and wandering the halls."
Sofia goes home for the night, leaving Pilar there alone. Pilar soon starts hearing a cat meowing and goes outside to investigate. She sees light in one of the barns and goes inside. We see an old woman with a cane wandering around in there with her. Then she runs into Sofia, who takes her home.
Pilar and Roberto go to a dance party that evening, but she's too shaken up to have any fun. He says it's a simple problem: just don't go back there again. He eventually cheers her up, and she goes home happy. She sees the old woman and falls over the stairway railing to her death below.
It's Sofia's last day, and Ofelia begs her to stay, and she declines. Marta says the house feels lonely now. Marta thinks both girls died from fright and that she's next. The electricity goes out, so Ofelia goes outside to the fuse box in the rain. When she comes back, Marta has seen the old woman. There's nothing there now but the old woman's knitting. Marta admits that the three girls killed Becker on purpose. After they found the bird dead, Aurora hit him with a chimney shovel. When he fought back, the other girls finished him off. Marta believes the old woman is getting her revenge on them for it.
Pedro shows up outside, and Ofelia goes out to meet him. While alone, Marta hears the old woman moaning. She sees Becker and then old Aunt Susana. When Ofelia and Pedro come inside, they find her body stabbed with knitting needles.
The cat howls in victory...
It's really slow getting started, but once things start happening, it moves pretty quickly. We wondered all along whether it was going to turn out to be crazy Sofia all along, but that didn't happen. We also thought for a while it was Ofelia being possessed, but no, not that either. It really was the old woman's ghost, with maybe the dead cat assisting.
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Directed by Adam Marcus
Written by Jay Huguely, Adam Marcus, Dean Lorey
Stars John D. LeMay, Kari Keegan, Kane Hodder, Steven Williams
Run Time: 1 Hour, 27 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
Jason suddenly has supernatural origins that are revealed in this, the tenth movie in the series. It's not Friday the 13th part ten, though, because New Line didn't have the rights to the name Friday the 13th, just Jason and his story. It departs from his usual slasher formula and gets downright magical. It's different but still pretty good.
A woman arrives at the dark cabin and gets a scare. She changes a lightbulb and then undresses to take a shower as the lights go out again. Jason pops out of nowhere and chases her through the dark, foggy woods. He catches up to her and-- wait! It's a trap! She jumps out of the way as a dozen men unload their guns into Jason, along with other heavy weapons. He's literally blown into little pieces, his head rolling across the field. A man watches from the woods. "I don't think so," he growls. Credits roll, "Jason Goes to Hell."
They send the bits to the federal morgue in Youngstown. His heart is in a little bowl. The autopsy is basically top secret. The coroner digs through all the parts and describes what he sees. There are over a hundred bullets in the various pieces of the corpse. He notices the heart starts beating, even sitting there on his work table. The coroner looks at it funny and then eats it. Magic sparks shoot out of Jason and go into the coroner, who roars.
The coroner's assistant returns, and the coroner kills him. As the coroner walks out, we see Jason's reflection in the mirror. The news report explains everything that's happened, including the full legend of Jason, now suspected of at least 83 murders.
Bounty Hunter Creighton Duke is the man we saw hiding in the bushes earlier. They interview him for the news report. He tells us that Jason isn't really Jason, he wears a convenient meat suit. Only he knows the true way to kill Jason, and he wants $500,000 to do the job. Since the interview, there have been five more murders, all in a direct line towards Crystal Lake. The news show offers to cover Creighton's fee.
Meanwhile, at the town of Crystal Lake, they're having a 2-for-1 "Jason is Dead'' hamburger special at the diner. Waitress Diana takes Creighton's order. He wants a Jason burger and some Voorhees fingers, right off the menu. Creighton says that Jason will be coming for her and her daughter next. "I know who you really are."
Diana talks to Steven about her daughter Jessica. That night, Steven picks up a bunch of hitchhikers on their way to Camp Crystal Lake. They've since torn down the camp, but he takes them to where it was. They set up camp and get to sleep. We see someone watching from the bushes. We see that it's the coroner/Jason. All three soon succumb to the deadly coroner.
At the diner, the coroner stalks Diana, but runs into Josh, one of the deputies. The coroner grabs Josh, ties him to a table naked, and... shaves him. The coroner then transfers the Jason-essence into Josh.
Jessica calls her mother, and we see that the newsman from earlier is dating her now. Josh comes in and attacks Diana, who shoots him. Josh pulls her down anyway, and we see a snakelike thing try to go from Josh into Diana. Steven arrives just in time to see Diana die, but Steven kills Josh.
The sheriff arrives, and Josh is gone. Steven is taken into custody. Jessica arrives the next day with her baby, Stephanie. Vicki is there cleaning up all the blood from last night's attack. Vicki tells her about Steven being arrested. Steven is put into a cell right next to Creighton, who knows he's innocent too. Creighton explains that the only way to kill Jason is to destroy the heart, and only Jessica can do it. Creighton breaks Steven's fingers in return for answers. Jason had a sister, Diana. There are only two blood relatives left: Jessica and her baby. Only they can kill Jason-- or make him reborn.
Steven tricks deputy Randy into letting him escape. The word soon gets around town that Steven has escaped and is armed. Steven goes to the old Voorhees house and finds a creepy book (is that the Necronomicon prop from Army of the Dead?).
Newsman Robert comes in talking about his big story. He tells the guy on the phone that he took Diana's body from the morgue and hid it in the closet to make better ratings. Just then, Josh breaks through the door and spits his worm into Robert. Then Josh melts into a pile of goo.
Steven barely saves Jessica from the crazed-looking Robert. They run over Robert several times, but that's not going to stop him. Jessica steals the car, leaving Steven to fight with Deputy Randy. Since everyone is going to the police station, Steven turns himself in.
Robert arrives at the police station, and he's not happy. He immediately kills a few deputies and then grabs Jessica. Steven steals Randy's other gun and shoots Robert repeatedly. Creighton takes advantage of the confusion to get out of his cell.
Everyone runs to the diner. There's an altercation at the diner, and it gets messy fast. They go into the back room for the baby, but the baby's gone. Creighton has the baby at the Voorhees house.
Creighton explains things to Jessica. "Tonight, we can get that bastard and send Jason Voorhees to hell. Only a Voorhees can kill him." She really has no choice but to agree with the bounty hunter. Back at the diner, we see Robert send Jason into someone else's body.
Sheriff Ed comes in and attacks Jessica, but Steven pulls a gun on him. She stabs the sheriff, but she does not stab the deputy, who contains Jason. She grabs the knife and beheads the deputy, who releases a bloody little parasite that crawls around and tries to attack them.
In the basement, the parasite finds Diana's body and possesses it. She's Jason's sister, and he can use that body to become his old self again. The real Jason jumps up through the floor, hockey mask and all. Jason tears Creighton in half, and there's a mad dash for the magic dagger. As Jason and Steven fight, Jessica searches for the dagger.
Jessica runs outside and stabs Jason with the dagger, letting out all his magic sparks. Many dead hands reach up out of the earth and pull him down to Hell. Jessica and Steven, the only people left alive in town, kiss and make up.
The next day, we see Jason's mask lying on the ground. Suddenly, Freddy Krueger's arm reaches up and pulls it down.
It's a weird film, going completely off the rails from all the entries prior. It adds a whole new supernatural element to the Jason story. If the "prophecy" existed before this, then why had Jason made no attempt to find Diana in any of the eight previous films-- especially since Diana and Jessica lived right there in Crystal Lake? Also, there's a "Voorhees House" in town, and no one thought to demolish it decades ago?
Kane Hodder took it easy this time around, as Jason was mostly played by other people under possession.
It's a little too different from the previous films, but I didn't hate it. It goes to new places, and Jason could never be the same after this
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