666 Park Avenue

It’s the premiere episode of the new supernatural drama,666 Park Avenue and right from the start I think they have a lot of things clicking into place. We have the nice and innocent couple, Jane and Henry, coming to take over the maintenance for a large hotel (tribute to the Shining, no?). We have the aloof and powerful Captain of Industry, Gavin Doran who owns the Drake and makes the deals. His wife Olivia is a seductress in her own right. And there are the tenants, a quirky wanna-be writer looks out the window at his neighbor too much, the high strung photographer trying to pull it all together, the unknown girl who has a penchant for stealing trinkets and the snappy, yet mouthy desk manager. Considering the locale is a hotel, the cast of characters can be anything and everything.

Jane and Henry get their big break in New York to earn a decent living and work as mangers of the hotel. Things are going really well, but there is something more to this hotel. The owner, seems a bit too mysterious, and knows perhaps knows just a bit too much about everyone. There’s more to everyone than meets the eye and clearly when deals need to be made, Gavin Doran is the man to see. However, his asking price is a little unusual. He pulls the strings and everyone knows it. Is he the devil? Is he an agent of the devil? Is he some other powerful entity? Who knows, but don’t go into debt that’s for sure.

Like the Shining, which I can only assume had some influence on this story, the show has atmosphere. Terry O’Quinn is an excellent choice with his smooth voice, calm demeanor and strong presence. Let’s not forget, he was quite a mysterious and unusual character when he played "Peter Watts" from Millennium. And he was no stranger to the supernatural as the character Locke on Lost. He’s going to bring a lot to this series.

The show builds slowly, but surely. Lots of information is revealed and Jane uncovers the history of the building as she works to help renovate it. Like American Horror Story, we’re presented with a barrage of characters who will reveal their stories as the episodes go on. We’ve already learned Gavin is powerful enough to bring people back from the dead, as well as send them to the other side.He has a great deal of power, but what is he after? Who is the target, Jane or Henry? Within this first episodes several characters are defined and plenty of questions come up. There is plenty of reason to anticipate the next episode.

I’m definitely looking forward to the next episode, but unlike American Horror Story, this is your standard broadcast television, so it will be very interesting to see how ABC builds the suspense while staying the confines of the network rules. Anyone else check out the first episode? Where do you stand? It may be able to be as suspenseful as other shows, but I think there is a ton of potential.

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The Dead Matter

image Holy Mother of Crap that was awful!! The first five minutes should have been a clue, but I struggled to stay on until the end and look what it go me. Some times independent movies are a real gem. Some time not. Sadly, the only good thing about The Dead Matter is the soundtrack. Only “The Rage” tops Dead Matter as a craptacular movie.

This movie is plagued by the trifecta or horrific acting, completely limp plot and shockingly juvenile special effects. Some of the makeup effects weren’t too bad, if this were a remake of the Michael Jackson, Thriller video.

The plot is simple, there is an evil amulet in the form of a scarab that can control the dead. On a completely separate note there is a new synthetic form of blood for vampires. Or is it a diet drug? Or is it liquid crack rock? How the two go together is still a mystery to me. And I’m not watching it again to try and find out. But moving on. Somehow a woman who’s lost her brother will use it to try and raise his rotting corpse. But not until she’s done hanging out with the currently rotting corpse she managed to conjure during a seance out in the woods at the Cairn stones. They will go and see the sites, go to the bar for a beer and head out for ice cream. It’s such a tangled mess.

There really is no point to this movie. There story makes no sense. There is no reason to follow along with these people, and the voice of the female lead sounds like a 5 year old on helium. Was it dubbed in? Truly, there is nothing good about this movie except the soundtrack. Midnight Syndicate makes a beautiful soundtrack and they should stick with that. Produce some movies to go with the score, but for the love of god, hire some real actors. Where the hell did you find these people? This is proof that you shouldn’t have your friends and neighbors star in your movies. Seriously, what the hell is up with that blonde wig? That should have been the first clue something is wrong with this movie.

A movie this bad makes Grave Encounters 2 look like an Academy Award winner.

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Ghost Adventures – Palmer House Hotel – S07E04

The guys head out to Minnesota at the request of a hotel owner who wants to try and get some answers about the activity she keeps experiencing. This is a little different since Zak and the crew normally aren’t asked to come out to investigate. But after an explanation of the events it seems Kelly is somewhat desperate for some help.

Kelly explains there have been sightings of shadow figures, apparitions and feelings of a dark force in the place. Right as they begin the interview the experiences start with the Mel Meter going off and unsavory feelings such as tightness in the chest. Kelly explains that a woman said she got a vision of a man who said his story needed to be told. Kelly was then instructed to dig in the basement under the stairs to find the body. Low and behold she finds bones, what she thinks were rib bones. However, before they could be analyzed further, the disappeared. That’s right, they vanished.

Further evidence is shown as a woman named Chris seems to be possessed while down in the basement. She says she needs to take care of the dogs. She might be referring to the same red-eyed demonic sounding dog that Kelly was referring to earlier. When Zak interviews Chris, he notices that the Mel Meter goes off frantically when it’s brought near her. When she actually holds it, it like it’s about to explode. Is she a lightning rod of energy?

Before the lights go out things are getting odd. Zak comes back to reveal that he got some EVPs saying, "they’re going to get her" and "I’m following her". But there’s more. Dave Schrader shows up on the scene and he’s been to this place before. When in Lucy’s room asking if anyone is in danger in the house, a voice comes through saying, "Zak". Zak happens to be downstairs digging in the hole where the bones were found. Dave says he’s seen an apparition of a face down by that hole. Dave is firmly convinced there is something in this location.

To add to the mystery and sinister nature of the hotel, the original site burned down in the 1900’s. They weren’t able to determine the cause of the original fire. It’s believed several people died in what is now the basement. Not only that, there was supposedly a hanging in the 50’s which Mr. Palmer reported himself. Additionally, footsteps are said to be heard in room 13. In a statement he gave, Mr. Palmer wrote, I know there is something up there but I can’t explain it." It appears there are plenty of odd events surrounding this hotel.

As the investigation gets started, Zak starts to draw a lot of parallels to Bobby Mackey’s Music World. There is the activity in the basement, the hole or "portal" that was dug, the sinister nature, demonic spirits running around mimicking voices.

Unfortunately, neither Dave Schrader nor Chris stick around for the full on investigation. It seems Chris has had enough experiences down in the basement.

The investigation starts in Lucy’s room where very little happens until Zak starts trashing the place. Then they start to get the word, "Aaron", "spirit", a growl, and perhaps even the word, "Goodwin". Zak also feels something on the back of his neck. The Rem Pod is going crazy with activity when all of a sudden Aaron rushes out of the room thinking he hears footsteps. Right then, all the activity stops. Were those the footsteps from room 13?

When the head to the basement they feel lethargic and unable to focus. As Zak says, they act like they’re victims of a gas leak. He also states these are the same feelings he had when they were at Bobby Mackey’s. The press on and hear the sound of something scraping on the concrete, the sound of glasses clinking, a cord hanging from the ceiling begins to swing and the Rem Pod is acting up again. Zak gets pinched, they pick up an EVP of "make sure they go" and while Aaron is continuing the investigation on his own a broom falls right in his path. This is right in the same place where Kelly had her feelings earlier in the day.

Even Billy Tolley who we don’t normally see, has some things going on. He hears footsteps and movement right outside the door where he’s supervising the video footage. There are also a couple of video glitches where the camera flakes out right before something happens in the same spot.

Pretty much from start to finish there are some odd things going on in this place. The house doesn’t necessarily have a dark past, but there are some things that need to be answered. What were the source of the bones? Where they animal or human? Were they actually stolen or did someone just throw them away because they thought they were disgusting? What about Chris and her ability to make the Mel Meter go off? It was making a ton of noise, but it looked like it had a reading of 0.0 while it was around her. What information does that give us? I know there were several EVPs, but as usual, they sound more garbled and staticky than anything else. If they did indeed capture all of that, it does sound like something pretty ugly is there. So what do they plan to do? What does Kelly feel about all this? Is she going to come to terms with the strange events or pack her bags and head for the hills? Did Zak actually get touched two times? Was there a pinch from an unseen force? Was it done with malicious intent?

It looks like they have quite a place on their hands. Is this really indeed another place of dark energy like the suspect Bobby Mackey’s to be? Are there really sinister spirits roaming the halls? They weren’t attacked and I wouldn’t go so far as to say they were harmed by anything. Was something trying to get their attention? They did seem to capture some threatening words, but were they really directed at Kelly? Was the "warning" from Lucy’s room in regard to Zak and him getting pinched?

They have a real gem on their hands and hopefully they’ll be heading back to see what else they can find. I’m not sure how I feel about this place. It doesn’t really come across as demonic, but something is amiss…

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Grave Encounters 2

image In 2011 the "lost footage" of the promising new reality show, "Grave Encounters" was released. The cast and crew went on a journey to find the paranormal and got more than they bargained for. Each member of the crew comes to an untimely end and the host is the last man standing. But his time will come as the building and it’s medical staff look to "release the demons" from him.

As a low budget movie it was pretty good. It had twists and turns, scares and chills. The reactions were mixed with some people loving the amateur look and feel,while others mocked the cheesy special effects.

But what if it wasn’t a movie? What if it was real? What if the real deaths and the real events of the asylum had been bundled up, edited and sold off as a horror movie to cover the costs of the lawsuits and settlements?

That’s how we jump into Grave Encounters 2. Alex, a film students and his friends uncover there might be more to the original movie. The "actors" haven’t been in another movie since. "Sean" hasn’t been seen or heard from again. And then, out of the blue, Alex gets a tip that he might be on the right trail. After setting up interviews and digging deeper he discovers Sean might be in the hospital, according to his mother, who just happens to have dementia. But the clues keep coming and Alex ends up within the walls of the asylum trying to prove the original movie, was indeed real.

Taking it’s cue from the original, the sequel has plenty of jerky camera movements, night vision shots, hallways that lead nowhere and a building that can actually change it’s layout. There are lots of twists and turns and plenty of confusion. This sequel mimics the original in a lot of ways, which may be a good or a bad thing depending on who you are. I liked the atmosphere. It’s dark and creepy and you’re always expecting something to come around the corner. There’s a bit more gore this time around, and still more of those damn rats.

For the most part, the cast is pretty likeable. Alex is a little too Capt Kirk if you asked me, but Trevor as the dope fiend is quite amusing. Alex’s "girlfriend" Jennifer sticks by her man, but we all know in the end, no good will come from their relationship. Tessa is the badass chick you want along no matter what you’re doing. She’s good with the bolt cutters.

If you like the first movie, you will enjoy this one. While it’s not the same movie, so many of the original elements are there that it’s basically a continuation. It’s more comedic than the original, at least while Trevor is around. There story doesn’t become any clearer, in fact, things get a little muddied by the time we hit the end. I have no doubt there will be a 3rd movie in the series to tell us more about the "satanic doctor" and spirits of the ward.

It may not be the greatest of movies, but if you turn down the lights and let this one play, I’m sure it’ll get a jump out of you. It had some laughs, it had some scares, it had some tense moments, it had some cheesy effects. What can I say, I liked it. Let’s face it, it’s not a bad way to spend an hour and a half. A cheesy-ass horror film isn’t always a bad thing.

You can check it out on Amazon or iTunes.

Grave Encounters 2 on Amazon Instant Video

Grave Encounters 2 on iTunes

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