Thaw (2009) directed by Mark A. Lewis
Predictable infection horror. This time, it's a plague of bugs thawed out of a mammoth carcass in northern Canada. You know the routine: amputating infected limbs, locking suspected infected people away, realizing how serious it is and killing infected people, one survivor escapes, and the infection spreads to the rest of the world despite the hero's best efforts.
The angle here is that global warming was responsible for thawing these critters out and an ecologist tries to intentionally infect the world as a wake-up call. Of course, he does it in the stupidest way imaginable. Though the disease caused by the bug seemingly kills its host rapidly -- after hours of debilitating sickness -- he decides to infect himself out in the middle of nowhere with the idea of catching a helicopter ride into town at a later time. Even if his daughter hadn't shot his helicopter out of the sky, I'm guessing the pilot and copilot might've noticed him bursting with bugs before they landed. Here's an idea: throw a bunch of bugs in a plastic bag and carry them that way.
Why make the bugs vertebrates? It seems to not affect anything, and just makes me wonder how there's a vertebrate species with 6-8 limbs, segmented bodies and little feelers on their heads. And why cast an actress who refuses to do nudity if there's a good "strip and check for bugs" scene in the middle? And why make a guy have a bug phobia if all of his actions are better explained by plain old fear of infection? A frustrating movie. (5/10)
Saw VI (2009) directed by Kevin Greutert
Maybe the second-best one after Saw II, but that's not saying too much in this series. As I imagined, it's getting a little bit ridiculous that Jigsaw is still planning these traps three movies after he died. If they don't magically bring him back to life for VII, it's going to be completely silly. And his expectations for his wife and Hoffman are pretty high: "Hoffman, you will need to acquire 100 gallons of hydrofluoric acid." Dude... where's a police detective supposed to get that much acid? And, when does Hoffman sleep with a full-time job, zillions of people to kidnap, traps to build, and shopping trips that include merry-go-rounds and gallons of acid? Busy guy. And the flashbacks are also getting a little ridiculous. Now we're inserting Jill and Amanda into more places in previous movies. I think it's safe to assume that every character in all six movies was in all locations at all times, somehow.
It's kind of preachy, but I liked that the victims in this movie were predatory lenders and health insurance company employees. I don't mind horror movies getting a bit political or timely, even if it's in a shallow manner like here. I think the next, logical step is for Jigsaw to start working on politicians. In fact, if he only ever trapped people from those three groups, I'm guessing the public would be holding annual Jigsaw parades.
I have no idea what the point of the post-credits tag was. Amanda tells the little girl kidnapped in III not to trust the man who rescues her. Yeah, we already know that and so does almost everyone else... Another question for VII to answer, I guess.
Not having read anything about Saw 3D (except for watching the trailer), here are my predictions for the final movie: Hoffman will die (not a tough call there), though I'd rather see the guy thrown in prison for a change. Ol' one-foot Dr. Gordon will finally show up (I'm confident we see Jill putting a VHS tape into the mail slot of his office in this movie). Jill will end up set up for life on a tropical island or something (Jigsaw said he'd give her a way out and I don't think he'd do anything bad to her). And, let's see, the twist ending is that Dr. Gordon will start playing games with his patients to teach them how important their life is. Post-credit tag scene: Billy the Puppet actually contains the corpse of Gideon, the miscarried fetus. We'll see how close I am this weekend... (6/10)
Nightmare House shorts from Fewdio:
Door 17 (2009)
The Tale of Haunted Mike! (2009)
The Collector (2009)
The Feed (2009)
The Easter Bunny Is Eating My Candy (2009)
The Tap (2009)