Starting off the movie watching for tonight, I went to see Catfish with J. It turns out, this is not a movie for the season. This is in no way a "thriller" as the IMDb entry states. And, the "scariest" part of the movie is already in the trailer, nearly complete. Plus, this "don't let anyone ruin the surprise ending" business, like there's some big twist... anyone who's been on the Internet for more than a day will see it coming a mile away.
Rough Magik (2000) directed by Jamie Payne
Kind of a mess of a Lovecraft-inspired tale. It begins promisingly enough with a mother videotaping herself sacrificing her kids to a statue to Cthulhu. It then changes direction to a police detective investigating a series of these murders. He visits an artist to ask about the Cthulhu statues they keep finding. Inexplicably, he pumps the guy full of truth serum. The artist then relates a tale from when he was fighting in the Falklands and first encountered this cult, which occupies the bulk of the rest of the movie.
Apparently, this was a pilot for a TV series in the UK. It's not hard to see why it wasn't picked up. It seems to expect some prior knowledge of Lovecraft, or at least a willingness to be OK not knowing what the hell anyone is talking about. That's not something that would've flown with the general viewing public, I'd imagine. I've no idea where they would've gone with this storyline, anyway. Does the detective continue to investigate the cult? Would that be exciting to watch week after week? You couldn't actually wake Cthulhu up unless it was the last episode. Strange series idea.
From Beyond (1999) directed by Bob Fugger
Just about an exact adaption of the short story, which is more-or-less just the prelude to the Gordon movie. I liked it quite a bit, though this has always been a favorite Lovecraft tale of mine. Particularly, I thought switching from black and white to blacklight-tinted color when the machine gets switched on was a clever way of visualizing what is described in the story. My one complaint is that the actors move around too much while talking. Moving is supposed to be what attracts the creatures to you, but they don't seem to be too concerned about this.
The Reeds (2009) directed by Nick Cohen
Another mess of a movie. Interesting setting, though. It takes place in a series of inlets somewhere in the UK that look like Florida's Everglades. Rather than taking a wrong turn on a country road, six people take a wrong turn down an inlet and get stuck in the titular reeds. There are some ghosts running around, and skeletons in cages underwater, and the six people make some bad horror movie choices before the shotgun-toting psycho kills them. There's also an unnecessary twist ending that barely makes any sense. I could barely keep myself awake for this one. (5/10)