Underwater Creature Features Part III: Alligators and Crocodiles

AlligatorThis 1980 film directed by Lewis Teague (Stephen King adaptations Cujo and Cat's Eye) is the fun, and often silly, story of a giant killer alligator roaming the sewers of Chicago (yes, it's based on that urban legend). Cop David (the recently departed Robert Forster) and herpetologist, Marisa (Robin Riker) attempt to hunt down the creature as it wreaks havoc across the city, from a kid's birthday party to a fancy wedding. The alligator is, for the most part, impressive, and the kills are even occasionally disturbing. Plus, our incredibly likable leads have good chemistry. However, a warning for dog lovers: there is some doggie death in the beginning, although thankfully this part of the subplot is mostly dropped after the first ten minutes.

Lake PlacidLake Placid serves up plenty of giant crocodile mayhem and gore, while also occasionally being possibly even sillier than Alligator two decades before. That being said, dismiss this as B-movie cheese at your own peril…

Underwater Creature Features Part II: Sharks

JawsDo I really need to tell you about this one? Jaws is the classic killer shark movie - the one that set the bar all other shark movies strive to reach. If you only ever watch one killer shark movie, watch this one.
BaitI feel like not a lot of people have seen this Australian feature, which is a shame because it's an awful lot of fun. During a hurricane, a group of people are trapped in a flooded supermarket along with a couple of ravenous great white sharks. This one features a strong cast including Julian McMahon (Charmed, Monster Party) and Sharni Vinson (You're Next, Patrick).
Shark NightOkay, I'll be the first to admit that this is one very silly movie. I was lucky enough to see it in cinemas, and the fun of seeing the sharks on the big screen made up for a lot of the movie's flaws. But if you're looking for some brainless fun, I still recommend giving this one ago. No, it's no Jaws, or Bait for that matter, but it's entertaining and has a good cast, …

Book Review: Dream Woods

Dream Woods by Patrick Lacey is an excellent horror novel. It starts with Vince seeing a sign for Dream Woods, an amusement park that he loved as a kid. The park closed down almost 30 years ago, amid rumors of murders and demonic activity, but it appears to have recently reopened. Vince decides that a trip to the park is exactly what his family needs, although his estranged wife, Audra, and their twin sons, Andrew and Tim, are not so sure. Upon arrival, everyone but Vince immediately senses something off about the park and its workers. Vince is too caught up in nostalgia to notice, at least until all hell breaks loose. Turns out the rumors about the park were true, except the reality is much worse. Lacey sucks you into the plot and the action quickly, making for a fairly unputdownable read. I finished the 300+ page book in one day. The gore is plentiful and wonderfully bloody and icky. The candy monster that attacks Tim was particularly gross, and I've definitely been put off sweet…

Underwater Creature Features Part I: Tentacled and Lovecraftian Monsters

One of my favorite things is a creature feature, and my favorite kind of creature feature is the underwater kind of creature feature, whether the creatures be sharks, crocs/gators, or Lovecraftian monstrosities. Below is a list of movies that scratch that my deep sea creature feature itch. This will be an ongoing series in several parts. In this first entry, I'll examine three more ambiguous monster movies; these feature creatures that seemingly take their inspiration from Lovecraft's tentacled gods of the deep. Parts II & III will cover sharks and reptiles, and Part IV will be about books.
Deep RisingDeep Rising is one of my all-time favorite movies; I could probably put on a one woman performance of the whole thing. The plot revolves around a stranded cruise ship - most of its guests are killed in the opening scenes as a giant, tentacle-y creature crashes a lavish party. (Luckily for us, survivors include Famke Janssen.) Soon the rest of our heroes (and villains) arrive i…


Hey all, I've got a couple of announcements.
One, I was featured in a guest post on the most awesome blog around, Kindertrauma. Read it here:
Also, I've got a new Horror themed Instagram Account. You can find me at @kathryngraceloveshorror. The Instagram account will be dedicated to horror books and movies, just like this blog. Check it out!