Happy Halloween and welcome to the final installment of this year’s write-ups. So for Part 5 we’re leaving behind the 80s and 90s and jumping right into the early 2000s. Both of these movies I’m writing about today are from sub-genres that were popular at the time.
“Live Feed” is a sort of torture horror piece, coming two years after the first “Saw” and a year after “Hostel.” “Awakening,” meanwhile, released four years after “28 Days Later” and two years after the “Dawn of the Dead” remake.
Live Feed (2006)
Also known as “Vacation to Hell,” “Live Feed” features five characters who’re on holiday in an not well specified Asian city. Things seem to be going fine as they party and have a good time, but unfortunately they bump into and anger the wrong people.
The group soon finds themselves caught by a mob gang which operates a sort live snuff videos to high bidders. It becomes a battle of survival as they have to fight back against a maniacal butcher and the mafia.
Things take a while to actually get going here, but when the horror starts it actually gets pretty intense. The film is pretty loaded with sleaze along with quite a bit of gore and blood.
There are some gnarly deaths happening on screen here so for fans of horror that goes wild with special effects, this one is worth a watch. In all honesty it’s of course not perfect, as some of the filmmaking is a bit messy and the low budget is noticeable at times.
What makes the movie really entertaining, though, is the finale where a big action set piece breaks out. There’s kung fu and gun fire making for a really over-the-top and fun climax.
I’ll say 2 out of 3 movies inspired by “Hostel.”
Another movie from 2006, this one also has a bit of confusion with the title. Some sites label it as “Awakening” while others tack on the title of “Zombie Night 2.” Right from the start, though, one can tell this is more of a stand alone feature rather than a sequel continuing a story.
Of all the movies I’ve written about this month, “Awakening” is the worst, and unfortunately, it’s not even close. I get that this was a low budget, but as this series of articles has shown, movies can be made well enough to an extent.
This picture is lacking in nearly every area, but the technical aspects are extremely rough. The camera work is amateur and the lighting is atrocious making it difficult to see what’s happening. The sound work is also poor, ranging from diegetic sound coming through badly to non-diegetic sound with the music coming across dated.
The film doesn’t have much help in the character department either. Random characters appear out of nowhere with little narrative background and die moments later without any real impact. The characters also act in amazingly ridiculous and laughable ways. While one can easily point to the actors, though, the blame probably is more suited for the director.
Even the zombie sequences fail to inspire any thrills or entertainment value.
0.5 out of 3 Romero wannabes.
That wraps it up for HHF 2019. I hope you had fun going through these B-movies dear reader and have a Happy Halloween!
Halloween Horror Fest 2019