Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Film Review: The Killer Inside Me (2010)

The Killer Inside Me (Review)
United States/2010
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a dark, brutal, and disturbing film..."

In 1950s West Texas, Sheriff Deputy Lou Ford (Casey Affleck) falls to his inner-demons, leaving a trail of death and violence in his wake...

The Killer Inside Me follows Lou Ford, a soft-spoken sheriff with some well-kept secrets. Lou is asked to help get rid of Joyce Lakeland (Jessica Alba), a prostitute who is having an affair with the son of a wealthy construction developer, Chester Conway. Instead, Lou finds himself having an affair of his own with Joyce. With Joyce, he devises a plan to scam the Conways and run off with a hefty payment. Yet again, Lou deviates from the plan. He attacks Joyce and Chester's son, hoping to make it look like they killed each other, but his plan is derailed. So, Lou finds himself at the center of a criminal investigation. There is so much more to the story, including some disturbing background for Lou, but I'll leave it at that to avoid any spoilers. It leads to a great ending, too.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Film Review: Perkins' 14 (2009)

Perkins' 14 (Review)
United States/2009
Format Viewed For Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a roller coaster of quality, featuring a few ups and many downs."

During the night shift, Sheriff Dwayne Hopper discovers one of the prisoners at the station may be the serial killer who kidnapped his son 10 years prior...

Perkins' 14 follows Sheriff Hopper and the residents of Stone Cove, Maine. Off the bat, you're introduced to Hopper and his broken family. His relationships with his wife and teenage daughter are strained because of an incident ten years ago where his son was abducted. Anyway, Hopper eventually ends up at the police station to cover the night shift. At the station, he meets Ronald Perkins (Richard Brake). After speaking to Perkins, Hopper investigates his background and his car which leads him to believe that Perkins is the serial killer who abducted his son and 13 other children over the past 10 years. As he pursues his leads, he unwittingly unleashes something from Perkins' basement. The rest of the plot reverts to your basic faux-zombie flick. It leads to an unfulfilling ending.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Film Review: Headshot (2016)

Headshot (Review)
Indonesia/2016
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...packed with exciting martial arts and bloody gun battles."

After he washes ashore, an amnesiac is nursed back to health by a young doctor, but his past ferociously comes back to haunt him...

Headshot shares a few similarities to the great Thailand action film Headshot (2011), but it's not a remake. This plot follows a young man (Iko Uwais) who washes ashore with a gunshot wound on his head. He awakens months later unable to remember his past. Ailin (Chelsea Islan), his doctor, gives him the name Ishmael and begins to nurse him back to health, and so the pair develop a friendly relationship. All is well until a group of highly-trained assassins set their sights on Ishmael and Ishmael's past begins to unravel. Ailin is kidnapped and Ishmael sets out to rescue her. The second half of the film is action-packed, adding only tidbits of details to the plot. It leads to a thrilling climax and a good ending.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Film Review: I Am Not A Serial Killer (2016)

I Am Not A Serial Killer (Review)
Ireland/United Kingdom/2016
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"It's a dark, disturbing, and creative horror-thriller."

A troubled teenager with homicidal tendencies hunts a serial killer who may have supernatural abilities.

I Am Not A Serial Killer follows John Wayne Cleaver (Max Records), a teenager in a small Midwestern town. John is not a normal teenager, though. He is attracted to the macabre and he has homicidal thoughts. He uses a set of rules to stop himself from killing, though. However, when extremely violent murders start occurring in his town, John's inner demons begin to surface. In order to stop himself, he attempts to stop the serial killer, who may be a menacing creature. I don't want to spoil anything. This is one of those films that really catches you off guard if you go in blind. The plot works on multiple levels. However, I didn't feel like the ending resonated. It's original, it's outlandish, but it's just not very effective.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Film Review: Split (2016)

Split (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: VUDU
Netflix Instant: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...Split, despite its flaws, shows he's [Shyamalan] a master storyteller and a visionary filmmaker."

Three girls are kidnapped by a man with 23 distinct personalities—a man who plans on using the girls to unleash a fearsome 24th personality known as 'The Beast.'

Off the bat, Split forces you to suspense disbelief. The film starts off with a kidnapping sequence which is both chilling and silly. That ridiculous line has been in my head since I first watched the trailer: "Pardon me, sir, I think you have the wrong car." Still, thanks to Shyamalan's direction, it's an effective scene in which our victims are introduced: Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Claire, and Marcia—high school girls. This group is easily kidnapped by Dennis (James McAvoy), who is really Kevin—and Kevin happens to have 23 personalities. Casey and her friends wake up in a dungeon built by Dennis. In simple terms, just to avoid spoilers, the rest of the film follows Kevin and the captives as he plans the arrival of his 24th personality known as 'The Beast,' which happens to have superhuman abilities. It does lose a little bit of steam towards the middle, but the pacing is mostly good. It leads to a surprising third act and a great ending.