Monday, August 11, 2014

(HORROR) The Bell Witch Haunting - 2013 *

Can you take a film seriously if it's got a poster that looks like this? Why would anything based on true events look like a cartoon doll from
Probably not, and even less so if the story is so bad. Which it is. Disregarding certain discrepancies (it being February and people wandering about in their bikinis) the film does one of those styles of starting at the end, then jumping backwards and forwards like a tiddlywink.
It seems that the Bell Witch, America's most famous entity, is back slaughtering young and stupid teenagers. And the whole thing is being filmed as though we are sitting on a boat that's about to capsize. It's very badly made and very badly acted.

(HORROR) Mr Jones - 2013 **

Mr Jones is one of those films you would probably have to watch a number of times for it to make sense. But most people wouldn't want to watch it more than once, because it's a bloody nightmare (literally!).
A couple go to a cabin in the woods to work on a documentary and become embroiled in a strange battle with an mysterious figure, known only as Mr Jones. It turns into a massive acid trip in a strange alternate universe and I became less and less enamoured with it as time went by. Just a mess, and the result of a director thinking too much and trying too hard to be 'different' and 'clever'.

Night School - 1981 ***

Rather cheesy eighties slasher about a maniac who targets girls at night school in a series of terrifying ways. The cop assigned to it isn't really too pleased to see heads of women in strange locations, and is even more disgusted when he finds a head in the basin in the local café.
Delving deeper he finds out that the professor at the College is a bit of a ladies man, with affairs and pregnancies abundant and begins to get a funny feeling about him.
Not to be taken too seriously, this is an 80s horror to watch.

(HORROR) Delivery: The Beast Within - 2013 ***

Firstly, the poster doesn't relate to the film at all. The film doesn't involve any sort of  'ghost girl' or a creepy old room with a baby cot. But apart from that, the film is pretty creepy. It revolves around a young couple who agree to document their first pregnancy for the purposes of a reality TV show.
It starts off well, and the baby appears healthy, but then things go wrong, the couple fight and things get very tense and heated. Things start going downhill, fast.
Not a bad effort, and I liked how it was all set up.

(HORROR) Road Train - 2010 *

A group of friends become involved in a car crash whilst camping in the outback. In going for help they are inadvertently put into more danger as they become overpowered by a strange force. There isn't much to say about this film. It's awful and whoever directed it should be shot.

(HORROR) Fear Lives Here - 2012 **

Fear Lives Here (2012) Poster

What more excitement could one viewer have that watching a whole film about a group of idiots who get stranded in a remote area whilst hiking and end up spending most of the evening in their car. Oh, and they do encounter a strange ghostly boy who appears and disappears every now and again. It's awfully predictable and turns into something even worse. The characters in these films are always so thick that it doesn't surprise me that they die in such stupid/hilarious ways. This is no exception.

(HORROR) Jug Face - 2013 ***

Obviously with a title like 'Jug Face' it's hard to take the film seriously, and actually it did make me snigger throughout for its ludicrously stupid storyline, but overall it's not too bad. The premise is bizarre - a young teenager Ada, is pregnant with her brother's baby and lives in a disturbing backwoods community, where the local celebrity is a man who carves faces out of jugs which symbolise the people who are to be routinely sacrificed into a large pit in exchange for the community's health and longevity. No one knows from day to day who will be the next to be sacrificed, and when Ada finds her face on the next jug, she becomes scared (understandably) and hides it. This leads to others being sacrificed in her place.
It's a novel idea for a horror film, and I don't think I've ever seen anything like it.
Strange overall.

The Mortal Storm - 1940 *****

'The Mortal Storm' is a powerful and utterly heart-breaking film about the destruction and pain people can cause others because of their small mindedness and routine precision with power and gain. James Stewart acts wonderfully as a German who refuses to go with the crowd and leave his small town where he has grown up and support the Nazis. He then falls in love with a beautiful Jew whose father, a professor at the local university does not agree with the current political situation and is eventually captured by the Germans. This leaves the couple in a horrendous situation - do they stay together and defy the odds or break apart to save themselves?
Beautifully shot and mesmerizingly painful to experience, Frank Borzage is a true master of his art and has painted a sumptuously powerful picture that needs to be seen.

Gone Missing - 2013 ****

Gone Missing is a good film. I do enjoy movies about missing people (how sadistic does that sound!) and this was a bit of a corker. Two girls go missing on their Spring Break, and their mothers both realise that their parenting skills are completely off the mark and that they don't know their daughters quite as well as they had hoped.
The acting from the girls is good, and although the mothers are both irritating they still don't come across too badly, expect being at separate ends of the spectrum - one is completely smothering and the other lets her daughter do whatever she wants.
Films like this need to be seen, because this sort of thing is happening still and girls are constantly going missing when they go on holiday together.

Dom Hemingway - 2013 *


'Raucously entertaining'?! Where are these reviewers from?! Dom Hemingway is appallingly bad. Jude Law's character is not the sort of person you want to see coming at you down the street. And the whole film consists of him either swearing, kicking, fighting, punching, killing or disrespecting anyone who gets in his way. Law's characterisation of an ex-convict sent down for something he didn't do and hell-bent on revenge probably suits him quite well, but he's still extremely unlikeable and makes everyone who is watching wince whenever he appears.
Shame that Richard E. Grant was in this too, because I admire him a lot as an actor, and feel that this was a big dip in his career.
When a film is this unpleasant and can only be told by swearing and violence you know it's not a good film.

Cuban Fury - 2014 **

I certainly didn't think this was 'infectiously feel-good'. In fact, I felt that the only good thing about it that really made me laugh was Chris O-Dowd in a role where he can properly swear and be a bit of a b******.
Nick Frost is a bit pathetic I think, and I haven't ever been in hysterics over anything he has done. He's a bit like an English Kevin James/Vince Vaughn who always plays a sad and lonely idiot who just wants to do good. Here he's (guess what) a sad and lonely idiot, who can only express himself through his love of Cuban dancing. He tries to win his new boss over by dancing like a lunatic.
That's pretty much the story. And it really doesn't have anything more going on for it than that.
(the dance scenes are pretty good though.)

(HORROR) 247f - 2011 ****

I was pleasantly surprised by this film. It was well done, atmospheric, and COULD happen (if you were extremely unlucky). The only thing I didn't like was how infuriating the lead female was (but then the leads always are). Four friends go to their mate's cabin for the weekend to relax in his new and snazzy sauna. Things seem to be going well, and both couples are pairing up. But when the guy gets stoned and shuts his friends into the sauna without a way out, they start to panic big time.
It's quite a simple concept, but has to be drawn out for a full feature length, and it is. Typical American teenager stupidity however at doing exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time.

(HORROR) The Mooring - 2012 *

Another pathetic excuse for genuine horror, this movie takes awful actors and clumps them into an even worse setting where they have to be weaned off their addiction to technology (surely there are worse addictions you could have?!) and in doing so, mean a scary girl with yellow teeth who's boyfriend is a total nut job. The acting is so bad it makes you want to throw yourself out of a window. It's definitely one of the weakest storylines in a horror as well.

Scalene - 2011 ***

I had really not been expecting much from this film, but was really amazed at how clever it was and how much I enjoyed it. The very first scene shows a woman appearing manically at a woman's door with a gun and trying to break in. This looks crazy and makes the whole movie seem like it's going to be very bad indeed. But it's not, so stick with it.
It's similar to 'Rashomon' in that it's one story told from 3 points of view, involving a brain damaged boy who is possibly being abused by his mother, a rape committed by the boy and murder.
I finished watching it and had to sit and take in what I had seen for a time afterwards. That doesn't always happen. Clever and twisted in equal amounts, although the acting is probably the weakest point.

(HORROR) Roadside Massacre - 2012 *

Ranking as one of the very worst horror movies I have seen. In the last week. (Because let's face it, I see dire horror movies every week) A group of five friends take a detour on the way to their spring break destination, and on the way get sucked into the cannibalistic goings on that occur at the local BBQ joint. Hilarious scenes of eating other people in BBQ form, hysterical sex scenes in barns and terrifying eyebrows are just some of the delights that you will encounter. It's a yawnfest, and the characters are so stupid that it beggars belief that they can function at all, let alone drive a car.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

(HORROR) Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones - 2014 **

The weakest of the Paranormal Activity franchise, this movie isn't good. It's disjointed and the story rolls backwards and forwards, all over the place. A young boy begins to experience strange things after the peculiar death of his neighbour, and after a while finds out that he has been 'marked' by demonic entities as the next to go. It sounds like a fascinating premise but actually it's deeply unscary, with out of proportion jumps and bad acting. Keep to the four main films and give this one a miss.

Life - 1999 **

For a film with such a well known and rich cast, it's a pity that this didn't do much for me. Lawrence is a hardworking man about to start the job of a lifetime, and Murphy is a fast-talking con man. Circumstances under their control lead them to being arrested for a murder they didn't commit, and sentenced to 60+ years in jail. This they serve together, becoming firm friends, as well as bonding closely with other members of the farm where they are working. So many good actors here, but I only found myself raising a smile here and there. It just wasn't for me.

House of Sand and Fog - 2003 ***

Sad and mournful tale of an evicted woman who begins a battle with the new owners of her house after she can no longer afford to keep up the payments and it is repossessed. Kingsley is riveting as Behrani, the stern and liberal Air Force Officer who believes that the new house will be the key to his family's happiness once and for all, and Connelly isn't bad either as Kathy, the recovering alcoholic who feels she has finally lost the fight with her various demons when she is kicked out of her family home, adding the last blow to her already tortured being. It's very sad and touching, as well as being quite gut-wrenching and upsetting.

A Guy Thing - 2003 ***

A moderately funny chick flick about a guy who wakes up after his bachelor party to find a strange woman in his bed. He automatically assumes they have slept together and therefore tries to come up with a plan to keep this a secret from his bride-to-be. It's definitely one of those 'old school' chick flicks, with actors who just aren't around anymore, but it's okay and relatively amusing.

Some Velvet Morning - 2013 ****

Wow, this is immensely clever. And what a bizarre twist which I NEVER saw coming. I love it when films do that. After an affair some time ago, Fred turns up on his former mistress's doorstep claiming out of the blue that he has left his wife to be with her. The only problem is, she hasn't seen him for a long time and has now moved on with her life and started to date other people.
She's also not particularly keen to see him again after all the agro she went through last time when they were seeing each other. Fred doesn't seem to understand or appreciate this and plonks himself down on the sofa poised to stay. He doesn't even take the hint to go when Velvet explains she really has to be somewhere. And then things take a strange and disturbing turn.
There are only two actors in this, and there is minimum movement except walking around two rooms of the house. And still, the two of them manage to keep you gripped for the entire movie. And it's passionate, haunting and utterly surreal, until the end, when it all becomes clear.
I really liked it, and for a film that I imagine to be quite low budget and independent I really think Neil Labute has done exceedingly well in creating this beautiful piece. Sometimes films are all the more creepy when they at first seem so utterly normal, and then descend into something else.

(HORROR) Mischief Night - 2014 **

What the actual hell did I just watch??! *spoilers* Expecting to see a run of the mill intruder movie that would give me a few jumps, I was surprised that I appeared to be watching a film about a sadomasochistic teenager who falls in love with the maniac that breaks into the house she is babysitting. I did for a short time thing it was a clever spoof of the 'typical masked intruder' set up and the teenager was going to be very clever and outsmart him as a sort of parody, but then I realised she was just bonkers. There was a ridiculously long, drawn out scene where the pair drone on and on about their 'feelings' after he's attempted to kill her, resulting in them rushing up to bed and the maniac stabbing the teenager as they have sex because 'she wants it to hurt.' That is the sort of strange, surreal head trip that you should expect.
I have really never understood people who enjoy pain, when it's our body's way of telling us that something isn't right. Why anyone would go looking for pain is beyond me.
It's not what you are expecting at all and I guess it's sort of original, but not enough to be good.

(HORROR) The Perfect House - 2013 *

Absolutely appalling movie that tries so hard to be exciting and new, but just ends up being as bad as all the other horrors out there.
A young couple (the woman is wearing white stilettos..) go to view what they think is going to be their dream house and are met by a disturbingly slutty looking estate agent with her cleavage out who rolls around on the bed and whips her hair back and forth. (Just a tad odd). This seems to convince the man however that he wants the house immediately, regardless of the fact he hasn't really seen any of the house itself. As she explains to them about the basement, we are shown a flashback of three horrendous stories, each involving crazy lunatics who massacred people down there. They really are very bad, and the first flashback is hilariously shown in black and white (because apparently the 1970s, 80s or 90s didn't have colour). The acting is beyond appalling, and my friend and I actually joked at the beginning that it was the sort of script you would get in a porn film, before realising that it was disturbingly similar to one.
This was just dire.

Body Language - 1992 ****

Obsessed woman becomes dangerous when she tries to take over her boss's life, as well as her boyfriend. It's been likened to 'Single White Female' although I would say that's at a push, because it's no way near as creepy as that.
Betsy is in a job she loves, but it's also a job that has a huge responsibility and takes up a lot of her spare time, much to the annoyance of her partner. Norma is her assistant, wide-eyed and eager to help her with anything she needs, which turns out to be spying on her boyfriend, cancelling Betsy's dates with him, and generally making life awkward so that he eventually leaves her. She then swoops in on him, masquerading as a stood up woman also named Betsy, and he falls for her, at first...
Not a bad movie. Worth a view.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

(HORROR) Reel Evil - 2012 *

It's a shame that so many found footage movies have to be so awful and so very tedious. This is no exception, and though it looks highly ridiculous from the poster I had decided to give it a chance anyway. But I shouldn't have bothered. It was the same awful rubbish as I have seen countless times.
People have to film a documentary in an old building and become terrified by unseen ghosts and ghouls etc. Except we do see the 'ghost' and she's enough to give me a tremendous fit of the giggles. I should try and stop watching these types of movies because I am always disappointed, but somehow I can't quite press the stop button.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

(HORROR) The Dyatlov Pass Incident - 2013 **

For anyone actually interested in finding out about the real Dyatlov incident it's pointless to bother with this film. It doesn't explain anything, except *spoiler* that people disappear into a disjointed wormhole where past and present are mixed up in the most ludicrous, deranged fashion (like an drug addled episode of Dr Who). Also, I noticed that one of the actresses from Hollyoaks graced the film with her presence, so obviously her career has gone down the toilet to say the least. She says many memorable things throughout the film, such as how cold it is and how she doesn't want to be there because it's cold, as well as it being hard to film because... it's cold. How she ever got a part in anything is beyond me.
The acting was horrendous and utterly weird. A no-no.

9 - 5 - 1980 ***

I've always got the impression that Dolly Parton was very annoying, and after seeing her in '9 to 5' I think my opinion is justified. Not as annoying however as Jane Fonda, whose whimpish, no backbone spouse portrayal had me fuming at the nostrils.
The three women meet at work, and become close, especially when they find out that they all despise their boss for different reasons, but mainly because he is an egotistical, chauvinistic pig who uses each woman to his advantage in his power game at 'the top'. When they decide to pay him back for his behaviour you can see all women watching the film jumping up in their chairs.
I started off not having much respect for any of these women who let themselves get trampled on by a man, but by midway I was warming up to them, and by the end I really liked them.
The theme tune is a belter, so you can't really stop yourself singing along. As one of the 'standout' comedies of the 80s, I think this film could be a lot worse.

Monday, August 04, 2014

The Other Guys - 2010 **

I am becoming more and more impressed with how much Will Ferrell is making me laugh in movies. Some films he has done are hilarious. Unfortunately this isn't a hilarious movie, but it's okay, and Wahlberg wasn't too bad either (you can sense he's a bit cocky though)
Both star as detectives who are stuck together after an accidental shooting sometime ago.
No one respects them or likes them, and even more so when they try and investigate a big case and everything goes wrong.
It was a film that I wasn't too upset about ending, and that usually means it's not high on my list.

(HORROR) The Quiet Ones - 2014 **

For a movie that appeared to have so much advertising and excitement about it on it's release, it's mind blowing to think how awful and badly acted this film actually is.
Set in 1970s Oxford (it couldn't look LESS like 1970s Oxford if it tried) the film follows a professor who tries to dispel a myth of possession on tape and invites a handful of people to help him prove that it's all in the mind. They use a woman named Jane as their 'subject' and the film consists of them all experimenting on her and running around screaming in a country house.
I really think that this was a poor film, and it had no redeeming qualities to it at all, and I think that if they were planning on setting it somewhere as obvious as Oxford, that they could've tried a bit harder to make it look realistic.

(HORROR) The Den - 2013 ****

A young woman studying social sciences tries to get a grant to study the habits of the people on an online chat room. At first she is disappointed because there doesn't seem to be anything worthwhile in her findings, that is until she uncovers what she believes to be a horrendous murder taking place before her very eyes that someone has posted. Desperate to find out more, she ends up putting herself and others in mortal danger.
I was surprised at this, and liked the way it built itself up to a horrific crescendo.
For a 'found footage' movie, it was pretty good, quite unique, and kept me interested the whole time.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

(HORROR) Among Friends - 2012 ***

Average, independent horror movie about a group of self obsessed friends who go to a lieder mystery evening held by the snobbiest friend of all. Things start getting a bit creepy when she goes loopy and starts cutting off her friend's scalps and decapitating their fingers after revealing home truths about each one of them. 
It's quite original and not badly acted although a bit silly.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

(HORROR) The Appearing - 2014 *

Oh dear. Not a good film. An abandoned building that a family decide is the perfect place to be (when will these people learn??), a scary Patrick Swayze clone who can't act, a load of 'scary' pop up moments that make you chuck water over yourself (by mistake, not because they are any good). It's a poor excuse for a film. It's really not worth watching. I saw this right after 'The Quiet Ones' thinking it couldn't be any worse, but actually...

Almost Married - 2014 *

I think maybe film directors are really scraping the barrel now. There doesn't appear to be ANYTHING left for them to make a film about. This is the all time low.
Emily Atack plays Lydia, the gobby, chavvy fiance of Kyle. 
Kyle has recently got back from his stag do where most of the events are a blur. He's brought Lydia a gift, in the form of an STI. Lydia has no idea, except that it burns when she wees. Kyle must now try to convince Lydia not to have sexual relations with him until after the wedding (being on a course of antibiotics until then).
Whoever was paid to come up with this stupid story needs a smack over the head. It's utterly ridiculous, especially the 'twist' and deeply unfunny. In fact, it makes you squirm to watch it.

Monday, July 07, 2014

The Libertine - 2004 *

Mournfully depressing movie about the notorious womaniser the 2nd Earl of Rochester. We know it's going to be depressing because one of the first things he says to the audience is how much we are going to dislike him. I suspect this is supposed to be 'quirky', but it's really not. Johnny Depp is a fantastic actor, but even he couldn't do much with this. Most of the movie consists of swearing, depressing conversations about how unpopular he is, screaming matches with various women he has been bedding, and a lot of emphasis on a huge plaster cast of a penis that keeps appearing in a play that has been put on for Rochester's pal Charles II. I must say that Malkovich does a pretty good English accent, well to be honest they both do, but why either of them chose to be in this film is a mystery to me. It wastes two talented actors and doesn't show their acting abilities in a good light at all. 

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

(HORROR) Oculus - 2013 ***

"Oculus' tries to be original, tries to be quirky and tries to be unique. On some levels its pretty good, and I haven't seen anything like it before. On the other hand its too much of an arty mishmash to be anything other than a mess of director s and writers trying to be too clever. The idea of a haunted/cursed mirror has been done before, but even so its never been done in this manner, and certain parts are genuinely frightening. Overall though, the two main characters are ridiculous. The girl comes across as though she's taken a hearty suck on a bong and hasn't quite come down, and the bloke doesn't fare much better. The film combines the past lives of the brother and sister with the present, as all the awful things that happened when they were younger centred around/next to the star of the show; the mirror. The mirror makes normal people do horrible things, and turn into vicious psychopaths, and will take said people 'into the parallel universe. It's all a bit complicated. Worth a watch I guess.

Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret - 2013 ***

Really creepy movie, about a woman named Jodi who becomes obsessed with a religious man she meets named Travis. Travis isn't after any sort of commitment unless it's with someone from his church (although he's happy to jump into bed with her as much as possible) and this leads to mixed messages, added to which his friends aren't all that keen on her either. Jodi obsessively believes they are meant to be together forever and hopes they will get married, and Travis already has his eye on a new woman he feels he is more suited too. It's just that by the time he gets round to telling Jodi about his true feelings, she is already in too deep and he has no escape. 
Disturbing and I'm not sure how realistic it is. 

(HORROR) Dark Feed - 2013 **

Oh what an ingenious idea to make a film about a group of film makers making a film, how utterly unique. Except no, it's not, and I'm amazed that the same people who wrote 'The Ward' actually had a hand in this. 
The group of 'filmmakers' are a bit of a motley crew, and decide to save a bit on their budget by filming in an abandoned hospital which gradually sends them all insane. For some reason there is also a vague attempt at humour, but it fails miserably, in fact making the whole thing a lot more disturbing and there are the typical close ups of large chests and dumb blonde bimbos for the gormless male audience.  

(HORROR) You Can't Kill Stephen King - 2012 *

VERY bad. Very, very bad. A group of friends go to a lake where Stephen King is said to have worked and stayed and are murdered in ridiculous ways one at a time. That's pretty much the gist of the film. It's totally silly and not scary in the slightest, not even in a 'so bad it's good way.' Avoid if you value your time. 

The Husband She Met Online - 2013 ***

What actually happened here? It was like the director suddenly decided he had to drop everything with only a day's notice. The story, having started out at a good pace about a successful businessman who meets and falls in love with a beautiful and attentive woman suddenly takes off at a roaring pace and within twenty minutes *spoiler* the woman is chained to the bed, the couple are married, the woman is kidnapped by the husband who has suddenly turned into a maniac of epic proportions, the couple are found and the husband is arrested. It's a bit of a shame, because it could've been a much better film if it had slowed itself down a bit. 

Compulsion - 2013 ***

I don't know what I was expecting with this film, but whatever it was, it didn't happen. In fact nothing happened. The most shocking thing according to film critics was how much padding Heather Graham was wearing to 'big herself up' into a typical 1950s housewife. Apparently the look made her 'a bit overweight' which scared the living daylights out of me, as there is nothing overweight about her and makes you worry about the American size system. 
A woman obsessed with food spends her days cooking amazing meals for her grumpy, parrot obsessed boyfriend who couldn't be less interested in her if he tried. An anorexic, former child star moves in across the hall and doesn't speak to anyone for love nor money. 
Gradually the pair open up to each other and form a bond that proves fatal.
A strange film, very weird and quite surreal, just appeared to move a bit slowly. 

(HORROR) Devoured - 2012 ***

Not a bad movie. A young mother is working in America to earn enough money to send back to her mother to pay for her son's operation. She works the night shift cleaning in a restaurant and finds the work boring and demeaning, as well as come across some unpleasant characters who try to take advantage of her. Before long she starts to see things that aren't there in the dead of night, alone in the restaurant, and is unsure whether she is going mad or not. Lead actress was a good choice. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

(HORROR) Antisocial - 2014 ***

This was a surprisingly original horror about what happens when people become too addicted to social networking sites. A recently single girl goes to her friend's house for New Year's Eve and one by one the other people in the house become fatally infected after visiting a chat site called 'The Red Room' (obviously a nod towards Facebook). Its up to the lead to save the day. I was quite impressed and liked the fact it tries to warn people off wasting their time on sites like that.

The Stranger Beside Me - 1995 ***

Unsettling drama about a newly married woman who begins to suspect her perfect husband is not only a peeping tom but a rapist as well. Once confronted, far from denying it, he flaunts it in her face, threatening her if she doesn't stand by him. Creepy film.

(HORROR) Children of Sorrow - 2014 ****

Despite saying 2013 on the poster it wasn't released until a year later. 'Children of Sorrow' is a nightmare of epic proportions. It's what happens when people believe in a person who convinces them that he can make their time on earth worthwhile. Inevitably that person is wrong, and usually very evil.
A woman tries to find out what happened to her sister who mysteriously died after joining a cult, but in doing so becomes obsessed with the place herself.
Scary, because this can and has happened.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Conte D'Ete - 1996 ****

A recent graduate takes a holiday before starting his first job and meets not one, but two women, both with different qualities. One is quiet and thoughtful and the other is loud and beautifully aware of her own allure. The only trouble is he also has a girlfriend who's a bit of a pain. Who should he choose?
Rohmer has a beautiful knack of showing off character studies to the maximum, each one is totally individual and captivating. He delivers this all in sumptuous surroundings that make you want to drop everything and leave for France immediately. 

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Straw Dogs - 2011 ***

I was in mixed minds about watching this, given how poor I found the original film. I was surprised actually how much more I enjoyed it and how much clearer the story seemed. Amy (Kate Bosworth) brings her new husband David (a geeky James Marsden) home to her old town to live on her deseased father's house, and before long Amy's ex-boyfriend Charlie is becoming overly protective of Amy being back, to the extent of getting his friends to taunt David and terrorise him on a regular basis whilst also being lewd and perverted to Amy. This escalates to a terrifying conclusion. There is an intense psychological build-up in this film which I don't recall happening in the original. I quite liked it. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gone Fishin' - 1997 *

'Gone Fishin' is not a good film. It's not funny, it's got Danny Glover in it (who cannot act for toffee) and it's just all round boring.
Two fishing enthusiasts go on a trip together to Florida and get caught up in a criminal ring when their car is stolen. I think putting these two actors together is a big mistake and I really didn't enjoy it.

The Haunted Mansion - 2003 ***

I've never watched a film based around a ride in a theme park before. Quite interesting idea I think.
Jim is brilliant at his job. So much so that it does tend to interfere with the other areas of his life like his marriage and his children.
After missing his wedding anniversary he promises to make it up to his wife by taking the family away for the weekend, which then goes off the rails when they are contacted by the occupants of a scary old mansion, and asked to go there and do business. Arriving in a torrential downpour, they are greeted by the butler and persuaded to stay the night in one of the beautiful rooms. That's when the fun starts...
For a children's movie, this creeped me out quite a bit, and I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I anticipated i would. Murphy is very funny, and his two children are adorable.

(HORROR) Scorned - 2013 ***

I must admit I do enjoy films about psychotic women paying back their cheating spouses in a variety of terrifying and horrendous ways. I think it makes an exciting film.
Here we have no exception. Except the cheating spouse is a very bald Billy Zane and his scorned lover is a totally unhinged maniac.
After finding out that her boyfriend of 6 months (it's hardly a long term thing!) has done the dirty on her with her best friend (strange how often that happens), Sadie lures her friend to the holiday house she and Zane are staying that, and proceeds to torture them both, in various ways that will make you wince.
The story isn't original in any way and doesn't really have much of a point to it, but the acting from McCord is superb (she was also excellent in the disturbing "Excision" which was equally disturbing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Moving - 1988 ****

I think Richard Pryor deserves more credit for being a comedian than he gets. He's extremely funny, and remarkably versatile when it comes to different characters.
The job of a lifetime comes up for Arlo Pear with a big pay rise, more responsibility, and generally everything he could wish for. The only problem with this is that it means moving his family from their comfy home in New Jersey, to the outskirts of Idaho. Not only does he have to deal with his stubborn teenage daughter, who would rather marry a pimp than up sticks with him,, but he also has to coordinate the psychotic neighbour next door who keeps setting his remote controlled plane on him, as well as a group of thuggish furniture movers who break all his possessions and then demand payment for doing so.
I found this a really funny film, and I hadn't heard of it before doing some research on Richard, so it's a bit of a lost gem as well.

Meatballs - 1979 *

Bill Murray (annoying as ever) ruins scene after scene in the worst 'summer camp' movie ever.
Along the way, he embarrasses children, shouts a lot, letches after a fellow worker, plays immature tricks on people, and generally is a giant nuisance to everyone involved. Murray is not a good choice for this role, but then again, who would be?!

(HORROR) Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things - 1972 *

'Children Shouldn't play with Dead Things' is too unfunny to be a comedy, and too unscary to be a horror. It doesn't really fit into one category. There is one thing it is however, and that is ridiculously bad. The quality, both of the acting and of the film itself is dire. The plot is ludicrous ( about zombies and criminals and digging up bodies, all in the worst possible lighting). The director went on to direct 'Black Christmas' which is actually quite a good horror, but also directed 'Porky's' which is a ridiculous 'coming of age' comedy that makes everyone cringe now. It is clear he didn't know which genre to stick with.