Friday, July 21, 2017

Film Review: Unthinkable (2010)

Unthinkable (Review)
United States/2010
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...one of the better time-killers I've recently watched."

A black-ops negotiator and an FBI agent attempt to interrogate a suspected terrorist who has threatened to detonate nuclear bombs in three cities...

Unthinkable follows an American Muslim man and former Delta Force operator named Yusuf (Michael Sheen), formerly known as Stephen Arthur Younger. Yusuf has made a tape announcing his plans to detonate nuclear bombs in three American cities if his demands, which he doesn't name, aren't met. Yusuf is captured at a mall and taken to a high school, which has been turned into a black site. At the school, starry-eyed FBI agent Helen Brody (Carrie Ann-Moss) is asked to find the bombs while "H" (Samuel L. Jackson) conducts his interrogation, which is really torture in its purest form. The main theme of the plot revolves around our morals—good and bad, black and white. It asks some interesting questions, too. Unfortunately, I felt like it led to an unfulfilling ending.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Film Review: The Bye Bye Man (2017)

The Bye Bye Man (Review)
United States/2017
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...not the worst film I've ever seen, but it wasn't great, either."

A group of friends move into a new house where they discover the origins of an evil entity...

The Bye Bye Man is an interesting film. The film begins in 1969 as a man with a shotgun walks around his neighborhood and murders anyone who said 'the name' that shan't be said. Fast forward to the present, college students Elliot (Douglas Smith), Sasha (Cressida Bonas), and John (Lucien Laviscount) move into an off-campus house. After they discover the name The Bye Bye Man, things start to go bump in the night and they feel a presence around them. The more they think about the name, the stronger the presence grows. So, they start hallucinating. Those hallucinations lead to distrust, misunderstandings, and irrational fear. It leads to an underwhelming final act and a predictable ending.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Film Review: Macabre (2009)

Macabre (Review)
Indonesia/2009
Format Viewed For Review: Shudder
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a simple, suspenseful, and bloody movie."

A group of friends are lured into an ominous villa owned by a woman named Dara and her peculiar family.

In terms of plot, Macabre is a very simple film. The story follows newlyweds Adjie and Astrid (Sigi Wimala), Adije's sister, Ladya (Julie Estelle), and their friends Alam, Eko, and Jimmy. On their way to the airport, they pick up a woman who asks for a lift to her home. They take her home and they're invited into her house for a special dinner of gratitude. At the house, they meet Dara, the owner. Before they know it, the group of friends are knocked out and, when they awaken, they are brutalized. The rest of the film essentially follows the characters as they try to escape the house. There are some interesting ideas surrounding Dara and her family, but it never truly develops them. So, what you see is what you get. It can be a bit disappointing, but it ultimately works. It leads to a bloody, albeit predictable, ending.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Film Review: Among the Living (2014)

Among the Living (Review)
France/2014
Format Viewed For Review: Shudder
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"If you're a fan of French horror films like High Tension or Frontier(s), I think you'll like the graphic style of this film."

Three kids ditch school to explore an abandoned movie studio where they find a captive woman being dragged by a masked man...

Among the Living follows a group of kids who ditch school in order to avoid detention. They smoke, they set a farm aflame, then they explore an abandoned film studio. At the lot, They find a tow truck hauling a red car. And, in the car's trunk, they discover a tied and gagged woman. Before they can help her, they hear someone approaching—a masked person. This masked person carries the woman into an underground-level of the set. Of course, these kids are curious and courageous—they want to help the woman and find out more. Unfortunately, they're not able to help her and they find themselves in the crosshairs of a brutal killer. The rest of the film follows the kids in their own homes where the killer attacks them. The change in setting was initially disappointing since I wanted to see more of the abandoned film studio, but it ends up working fine. The ending, however, felt rushed and underwhelming.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Film Review: The Church (1989)

The Church (Review)
Italy/1989
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"...by the second half, the film feels more like it's focused more on its visuals than its plot, and that's a little disappointing."

In medieval Germany, the Teutonic Knights slaughter a village of suspected witches and build a church over their grave. In the present, the church's librarian discovers and opens the grave, leading to deadly consequences...

The Church begins in medieval Germany. The Teutonic Knights are led to a group of suspected witches, which leads them to massacre an entire village. When they're done, they bury the dead and build a church over them, hoping to seal their evil for eternity. I loved this introduction, so I wish the plot spent more time on it. Anyway, fast forward to the present and the church is still standing. Evan, the new librarian, eventually discovers a crypt in the catacombs of the church. Of course, being curious, he breaks the seals and unleashes a horde of evil spirits. The film started to lose me during the second half, where the plot shifts focus to a group of generic characters who become trapped in the church. It starts explaining less, which is both good and bad. On one hand, I like the ominous and ambiguous atmosphere. On the other, it can feel like it's all over the place. The ending was okay, too.