Friday, December 30, 2016

Film Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...one of the best horror movies of the year."

A father-son pair of coroners attempt to identify the cause of death for a Jane Doe, who was found half-buried at the scene of a violent crime...

The Autopsy of Jane Doe follows Tommy (Brian Cox) and Austin Tilden (Emile Hirsch), father and son respectively. Tommy and Austin work as coroners. One night, the pair receive the body of a Jane Doe, who was found at the scene of a violent and mysterious crime – everyone is dead inside a house without any signs of forced entry. Although he had a date, Austin is willing to help his dad with the job. The job starts off simple, a regular autopsy, but the evidence doesn't quite make sense to them. They eventually find themselves in a surreal state, struggling to find the balance between reality and fiction – and it all leads back to Jane Doe. I won't spoil anything else. I will say: it runs out of steam towards the end and the ending was a little underwhelming.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Film Review: The Good Neighbor (2016)

The Good Neighbor (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...the most surprising film of the year."

A pair of high school students create the illusion of a haunting in a neighbor's house while recording his reactions for a video...

The Good Neighbor is an interesting thriller. The film follows high school students Ethan (Logan Miller) and Sean (Keir Gilchrist). For a school project (I think?), the pair decide to plant hidden cameras in a neighbor's home to record his reactions to a fake poltergeist, which they have also created. The elderly neighbor, Grainey (James Caan), is targeted because he's supposedly rude and violent to everyone – he's toxic. So, they go on with their plan, remotely slamming doors and messing with the lights. All is according to plan until Grainey starts spending a suspicious amount of time in the basement... I won't spoilt anything else, but it is all very interesting. The ending was a little underwhelming, but I think it did try to deliver a message.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Film Review: The Revenant (2015)

The Revenant (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed For Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a cinematic achievement."

Frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) fights for survival and vengeance after being mauled by a bear and being left for dead by his own hunting team...

The Revenant is an epic Western film with a rich character-focused plot. I won't go deep into detail for this review, though. I want to avoid spoilers and I'm sure you don't want to read a +1,000-word review. (Or, do you?) Anyway, the plot follows Glass, an experienced frontiersman with a complex past. He lives for his son, Hawk, and for his work. After being attacked by an Arikara war party, Glass and his group are forced to take a detour. During said detour, Glass is mauled by a bear and left close to death. Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), a grizzled trapper who has become flustered by the attacks, decides to stay behind with Glass. However, Fitzgerald's intentions are not quite pure. What follows is an epic quest for survival, vengeance, and redemption. It all leads to a powerful ending.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Film Review - Kickboxer: Vengeance (2016)

Kickboxer: Vengeance (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"If you love the genre, this will quickly kill 90-minutes of your day."

A kickboxer travels to Thailand to avenge his slain brother, who was killed during an illegal fight.

Kickboxer: Vengeance is a reboot/remake of the classic Van Damme film. So, it's basically the same plot. Eric Sloane is lured to Thailand to fight Master Tong Po (Dave Batista) in hopes of winning a handsome prize. Unfortunately, Tong Po kills Eric in the ring as his brother, Kurt Sloane (Alain Moussi), watches from the audience. So, Kurt begins his path to vengeance, which eventually leads him to Master Durand (Jean-Claude Van Damme), who trained Eric and will train Kurt. Cue the mandatory training montage. It all leads to a exciting final fight and a predictable ending.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Film Review: One Eight Seven (1997)

One Eight Seven (Review)
United States/1997
Format Viewed For Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a very compelling and entertaining movie."

Fifteen months after surviving a brutal stabbing at school, teacher Trevor Garfield (Samuel L. Jackson) moves from New York to Los Angeles and finds himself facing the same problems...

One Eight Seven follows Trevor Garfield, a once-passionate teacher who finds himself working as an anxious substitute after he is stabbed by a vengeful student. At his new school, Trevor immediately runs into trouble with Benny and Cesar (Clifton Collins Jr.), gang members in his class. Particularly, after Benny goes missing, he finds himself bumping heads with Cesar. What starts as a 'friendly' rivalry quickly escalates as the pair one-up each other. For example, if Garfield humiliates Cesar, Cesar humiliates Garfield. The plot targets violence in schools, gang problems, and machoism. The plot is occasionally 'excessive,' but it gets the job done. It leads to a very strong ending.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Film Review: Siren (2016)

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

"...a pleasantly unique and entertaining creature feature."

A group of friends unwittingly unleash a vicious creature during a bachelor party...

Siren follows a group of groomsmen: Jonah (Chase Williamson), the groom, Mac, Jonah's brother, Rand, Jonah's best friend, and Elliot, a groomsman. The group plan a crazy bachelor party in Garden City, but they are disappointed. Fortunately, they meet a shady man in a strip club who offers to take them to an underground club. Of course, the group agrees to join him, but not before consuming shrooms – smart, right? They end up in this surreal club, which adds a lot of unexpected personality to this film. Anyway, Jonah meets Lily (Hannah Fierman). Thinking she's a sex slave, he unleashes her, which leads to plenty of blood and gore. It leads to a solid climax and ending.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Film Review: Don't Breathe (2016)

Don't Breathe (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: FandangoNow
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"Don't Breathe is a good movie – especially if you don't think about it much."

A group of thieves break into a blind man's house in hopes of stealing his fortune, but they quickly discover the man's sinister secrets...

Don't Breathe is a film with an interesting concept and flawed execution. The plot follows a group of thieves: Rocky (Jane Levy), a young woman who really wants to escape to California with her daughter, Alex (Dylan Minnette), a young man who is 'friendzoned' by Rocky, and Money, Rocky's boyfriend. The pair find out that a blind war veteran (Stephen Lang) who lives in the abandoned side of town has over $300,000 in his home – he's never heard of a bank – so they decide to burglarize him. Unfortunately, while doing so, they discover this man is very skilled and very violent. They soon find themselves trapped in the house and forced to fight for survival – all while discovering more of the blind man's secrets. Like I said, it's a very simple film. A lot of other 'critics' praised it for stuff like it's 'unbelievable' twists, but, if you've watched a lot of films, this is will come off as a by-the-books horror-thriller. The ending was underwhelming, too.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Film Review: Locke (2013)

Locke (Review)
United Kingdom/United States/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Instant Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"...you can probably get a similar experience to Locke by eavesdropping on phone calls at the airport or mall."

On the eve of his biggest project, Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy), a successful construction manager, receives a phone call that changes his life...

Locke is a very simple film about a very complex man. The film follows Ivan Locke, a practical family man with a very successful career. Locke receives a phone call from Bethan, a colleague who he had a one-night stand with several months prior. It turns out: she's having his baby. So, despite having a loving family at home and facing a challenging project the next morning, Locke leaves work in Birmingham and heads to London for the birth. Throughout the film, we get into Locke's head, discovering more and more about his complex character. We witness how he speaks to his family, how he handles his work, and how he intends on handling his mistake. It leads to an underwhelming ending – it doesn't resonate.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Film Review: House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

House of 1000 Corpses (Review)
United States/2003
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"It's an entertaining throwback to 70s exploitation films."

A group of friends in search of violent urban legends end up imprisoned by a family of serial killers...

House of 1000 Corpses follows a group of friends – two couples traveling cross-country in hopes of discovery grisly urban legends and bizarre roadside attractions for a book they're writing. While taking a stop for gas, the group meet Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), who tells them about the infamous Doctor Satan. While searching for the tree where Doctor Satan was hung, the couple pick-up a hitchhiker – Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie). And, of course, Baby leads them to her house, which is filled with psychopathic serial killers. The plot offers exactly what you expect. It doesn't go out of its way to deliver a unique experience, but it works as a throwback to classic slasher/exploitation films. I wasn't a big fan of the final act, but it wasn't bad. It's been growing on me.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Film Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

10 Cloverfield Land (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: FandangoNow
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...it was ultimately underwhelming and disappointing."

After a car accident, a woman awakens in a bunker with two men who claim the world has suffered from a unprecedented chemical attack...

10 Cloverfield Lane follows Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who is running away from her fiance. She is hit by another vehicle, then she awakens in the bunker. In the bunker, she meets Howard (John Goodman), the austere owner of the bunker, and Emmet, one of Howard's willfully ignorant employees. So, afraid she has been abducted by Howard, Michelle tries to find a way to escape – over and over again. There are some twists here and there, but it mostly plays by all of the rules. I must say, I was very surprised by the predictable ending because it was so damn predictable. Perhaps it was all the hype I remembered from the commercials when this first released, but the ending was painfully generic and lackluster.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Film Review: Intruder (1989)

Intruder (Review)
United States/1989
Format Viewed For Review: Hulu
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...one of the better slashers from the 80s."

The night crew of a local supermarket is stalked and slaughtered by a mysterious psychopath...

In terms of plot, Intruder is a very basic slasher. The film follows the employees of a local restaurant, including Jennifer (Elizabeth Cox), who has a fight with her violent ex-boyfriend before closing the store. Anyway, the employees are told that the store is being sold so they have to work throughout the night to update the prices. Unfortunately for them, they are targeted by a psychopath with very violent murder methods. That's basically the entire plot. In this case, the simplicity works in its favor. The ending was also good.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Film Review: The Hitcher (2007)

The Hitcher (Review)
United States/2007
Format Viewed For Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"The Hitcher is a solid time killer."

A serial killer terrorizes two college students who gave him a ride...

The Hitcher is a barebones slasher. The film follows Jim (Zachary Knighton) and Grace (Sophia Bush), a college couple traveling across New Mexico to meet their friends for Spring Break. On the way, they pick up 'John Ryder' (Sean Bean), which turns out to be a bad idea when Ryder tries to kill them. They successfully escape his clutches, but they find they can't permanently shake him off as Ryder vigorously pursues them – all while framing them for his crimes. That's about all you get from the plot. On one hand, it's very tight and fast-paced so its keep the filler at a minimum. On the other hand, it doesn't really shine due to its lack of character and atmosphere. It also leads to a painfully cheesy and generic ending.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Film Review: Ghosts of Mars (2001)

Ghosts of Mars (Review)
United States/2001
Format Viewed For Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"I applaud it for its originality."

On Mars, a police unit is sent to pick up and transfer a notorious criminal from an isolated mining post. Their plans are derailed when they discover the area has been abandoned and the buildings have been filled with the dead...

Ghosts of Mars is a very creative film. It's a science-fiction action-horror sort-of zombie movie that takes place on Mars. That's pretty creative, right? The plot primarily follows police officer Melanie Ballard (Natasha Henstridge) and the rest of her unit. The unit arrives at a mining post to pick up prisoner Desolation Williams (Ice Cube). The problem: nearly everyone is dead. The bigger problem: the survivors have been possessed. There's quite a bit that goes on in the plot, especially towards the beginning where it's trying to build its world, but it eventually irons out for a smooth ride during the latter half. As a whole, I'd say it gets progressively better until its very cheesy ending.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Film Review: Sicario (2015)

Sicario (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"It is a disturbingly real, powerful, and suspenseful thriller."

Kate Macer (Emily Blunt), an FBI agent, is enlisted by a government task force to aid in the war against cartels at the US-Mexico border.

Sicario follows Kate Macer, a starry-eyed FBI agent with a record of perfection – a by-the-books agent who must follow procedure. After discovering dozens of decaying corpses and setting off a booby trap in Arizona, Kate is enlisted by CIA officer Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) to find and capture the real people responsible for the crimes – not the legs, but the heads. The couple are joined by Alejandro Gillick (Benicio Del Toro), Matt's enigmatic and skilled partner. Together, the task force begins to track the man responsible for the crimes – Manuel Diaz, a lieutenant of the Sonora Cartel. On the way, Kate witnesses atrocity after atrocity and struggles with the ethics of their operation. It's a very well-balanced thriller that shines light on the drug war in Mexico. It leads to a very strong ending, too.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Film Review: The Nice Guys (2016)

The Nice Guys (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"Whether you like black comedy or some old fashioned slapstick, The Nice Guys has a little of everything for everyone."

Private eye Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and enforcer Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) join forces to find a missing girl...

The Nice Guys is a noir mystery-comedy set in 1977 Los Angeles. March, a clumsy private detective, is hired to find Amelia. Amelia, who does not want to be found, hires Healy to scare off March – and it works. However, when armed men show up at Healy's home and ask about Amelia, he is forced to join forces with March to solve a very important mystery: who is Amelia and why are so many people after her? This mystery leads them into a conspiracy involving the auto industry, the porn industry, and the U.S. government. The plot always stays on its toes, upping the ante with each twist and turn. There is plenty of mystery, action, and humor to fill up the near two-hour runtime. And, it leads to a satisfying ending.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Film Review: Poltergeist (2015)

Poltergeist (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed For Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"It's perfectly watchable, but it's not exactly effective."

After moving into a suburban home, a family finds themselves tormented by apparitions attached to the land...

Poltergeist is a remake of the classic 1982 film – obviously. The plot is very simple. In fact, I'd say it's too simple for its own good as it often feels compressed and ineffective. Eric (Sam Rockwell) and Amy, a married couple, move their family – which consists of Kendra, Griffin, and Madison – into a new house. Strange things happen in the home, but the parents scoff at it. It isn't until Madison is captured by the apparitions that they all take it very seriously. So, they get help and try to rescue Madison. That's it. I wish there was more to talk about, but it doesn't do much else. Is it horrible? No, but, like I said, it's not as effective as it could have been.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Film Review: Why Don't You Play in Hell? (2013)

Why Don't You Play in Hell? (Review)
Japan/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"If you're looking for a dark comedy with plenty of gore, laughs, and twists and turns, this is for you."

A Yakuza boss forces an amateur film crew to make a movie starring his runaway daughter...

Why Don't You Play in Hell? is a bizarre movie – a mixture of comedy, romance, drama, and horror. The film starts off a bit rough, simultaneously introducing us to several groups: the Muto crime family – which includes Mitsuko (Fumi Nikaido) – the Ikegami crime family, the Fuck Bombers, which is a crew of amateur filmmakers, and Koji, a young teen who falls for Mitsuko due to a simple commercial. Fast forward ten years, Mitsuko isn't a big star, Muto is trying to repair his family, the Fuck Bombers haven't made a successful film, and the Ikegami family is still active. So, without any options, Muto decides to make a film with his daughter as the lead actress, and he uses Koji and the Fuck Bombers to do so. It's much more complicated than that, but it eventually irons itself out. It all leads to a gory climax and a solid ending.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Film Review: Keanu (2016)

Keanu (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"If you're a fan of Key & Peele... then you'll likely enjoy the humor in this film."

Two friends attempt to rescue a kitten named Keanu from a street gang known as the "Blips."

Keanu follows Rell (Jordan Peele) and Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key). After a break-up, Rell is visited by an innocent kitten – who happens to belong to a gang leader, unbeknownst to him. He adopts the kitten and becomes happier. Unfortunately for him, the kitten is stolen by a gang known as the Blips. So, Rell and Clarence masquerade as stone cold killers known as "Tectonic" and "Shark Tank," respectively, in order to win the gang's trust. This, of course, leads to plenty of hijinks. It's a simple but effective plot that kept my interest from beginning to end. The ending was great, too.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Film Review: Martyrs (2015)

Martyrs (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed For Review: FandangoNOW
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"It's just not frightening, compelling, or even brutal..."

Lucie (Troian Bellisario) enlists her childhood friend, Anna (Bailey Noble), to help her find the people who abused her as a child...

Martyrs is a remake of the 2008 French film of the same title. The plot follows Lucie and Anna. At ten years old, Lucie escapes from an isolated torture chamber and ends up in an orphanage where she meets Anna. Ten years later, Lucie shows up at the door of the people she suspects are responsible for her childhood torture, then she kills them. And, she drags Anna into her mess, too. However, it turns out that this friendly family held some very dark secrets. There are a few changes in the plot compared to the original, but it really doesn't stray far. At times, it is nearly identical to the original. The ending attempts something different, but it just comes off as sloppy – like the rest of the film.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Film Review: Eye in the Sky (2015)

Eye in the Sky (Review)
United Kingdom/2015
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Instant: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"...it is gut-wrenchingly tense and unnerving."

Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren), who is in charge of capturing Al-Shabaab militants in Nairobi, Kenya, finds her mission escalating out of control when a child enters the kill zone...

Eye in the Sky is a compelling war drama. The film follows several parties involved in a single operation. Colonel Katherine Powell is overseeing an operation to capture two British terrorists and one U.S. terrorists, all who happen to be on the most wanted list – and in the same house in Nairobi. These terrorists are, of course, planning a suicide bombing. She wants to kill the terrorists with a drone strike, but the collateral damage may be too much for their rules of engagement. So, Powell seeks approval from her higher-ups, which causes a game of hot potato amongst politicians and lawyers – no one wants to take responsibility. Meanwhile, a USAF drone pilot, Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) and his partner find themselves with their own moral dilemma when they spot a child in the kill zone. It's engaging, suspenseful, and compelling up to its strong climax and ending.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Film Review: They Look Like People (2015)

They Look Like People (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"The plot is thin, though, and it often feels like there isn't much going on."

Wyatt (MacLeod Andrews), a troubled young man, suspects the people around him are turning into evil creatures...

They Look Like People feels like a short story that was unnecessarily stretched into a feature length film. In other words, the plot is simple and thin. Wyatt returns to New York City where he reunites with his close friend, Christian (Evan Dumouchel). Christian invites Wyatt to stay at his apartment, unaware of his psychotic tendencies. The first hour or so of the film follows these characters as they essentially bond. Occasionally, Wyatt experiences a peculiar hallucination – usually in the form of a phone call warning him of an invasion. It spends quite a bit of time developing its characters, but it never really feels like the plot is moving. It leads to a tense climax, but the ending doesn't leave an impression. It's like watching a fuse for one hour, watching it speed up, then leading to a popper explosion.

Monday, November 7, 2016

31 Days of Halloween 2016 Review Recap!

My 31 Days of Halloween 2016 celebration ended last week with a review of Stephen King's It. Now, if you followed my previous movie marathons, I usually post these updates the day after the celebration. Well, this recap was delayed due to my very busy schedule. Anyway, thank you for reading. Below, you'll find a list of the movies I watched, their respective scores, and the average for the year.

10/01: Baskin (2015) - 6/10
10/02: Cabin Fever (2002) - 6/10
10/03: The Conjuring 2 (2016) - 9/10
10/04: Dark Floors (2008) - 4/10
10/05: The Darkness (2016) - 4/10
10/06: The Devil Inside (2012) - 4/10
10/07: The Forest (2016) - 3/10
10/08: I Spit on Your Grave (2010) - 6/10
10/09: I Spit on Your Grave 2 (2013) - 4/10
10/10: I Spit on Your Grave 3: Vengeance is Mine (2015) - 3/10
10/11: The Midnight Meat Train (2008) - 7/10
10/12: The Other Side of the Door (2016) - 6/10
10/13: Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015) - 2/10
10/14: The Presence (2014) - 3/10
10/15: The Witch (2015) - 7/10
10/16: The Children (2008) - 7/10
10/17: Feast (2005) - 6/10
10/18: Goodnight Mommy (2015) - 7/10
10/19: Halloween (2007) - 7/10
10/20: Halloween 2 (2009) - 5/10
10/21: JeruZalem (2015) - 4/10
10/22: The Purge: Election Year (2016) - 5/10
10/23: Sweet Home (2015) - 4/10
10/24: Tremors (1990) - 7/10
10/25: Wrong Turn (2003) - 7/10
10/26: Zombie (1979) - 7/10
10/27: 31 (2016) - 6/10
10/28: Deep Rising (1998) - 8/10
10/29: Jaws (1975) - 8/10
10/30: Lights Out (2016) - 6/10
10/31: Stephen King's It (1990) - 8/10

Average Score 176/310: 5.7/10 (estimated)

With an average score of 5.7 for the month, this is the lowest scoring 31 Days of Halloween in the four years I have been doing this. Again, it's not a terrible score, but it's not great either. I still had a lot of fun, though, and I'm looking forward to next year's marathon. If you want to see last year's recap, click here. Otherwise, thanks for reading and happy holidays!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Film Review: It (1990)

It (Review)
United States/1990
Format Viewed For Review: Blu-ray
Netflix Instant: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review

"The story is fantastic, the focus on character is appreciated, and Tim Curry's performance as Pennywise the Dancing Clown is superb."

In Derry, Maine, a group of kids known as "The Loser Club" encounter an evil demon who murders children. Thirty years later, the group is forced to return home to fight the demon again...

It, based on Stephen King's novel, is a horror epic, coming in with a huge three hour runtime. The first half frequently jumps from 1960 to 1990, but it is clean and efficient – no confusion. The first half of the film – or perhaps I should say, the first episode of the miniseries – introduces us to the characters in the present (1990) while taking us back to 1960, where each individual character has a personal encounter with the demon. The second half also tends to jump from past to present, but the changes are less frequent. During the second half, The Loser Club reunites to fight the demon and end the nightmare – once and for all. I love the first half of this film, but it starts to lose steam during the second half. It's not bad, but it's not as good. The ending is okay. It doesn't quite leave an impression, but it's not bad either.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Film Review: Lights Out (2016)

Lights Out (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: FandangoNow
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"It felt like an early 2000s movie, following the same steps of its predecessors without even glancing at any other paths."

Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) must face a malevolent entity that lingers in the dark when said entity targets her younger brother, Martin (Gabriel Bateman)…

Lights Out is a basic horror film – as in, it covers most of the same bases of other horror movies. The film follows Rebecca, the generic character with commitment issues. She receives a call from school and finds that her brother, Martin, hasn't been sleeping. Why? Well, he's being disturbed by an entity named "Diana," who has been tormenting their mother. So, the siblings, along with Rebecca's boyfriend, work to stop the entity. There's a little more to the story, including a little background for Diana, but that's about it. The plot is thin. Fortunately, at approximately 75-minutes without credits, it doesn't over-stay its welcome by too much.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Film Review: Jaws (1975)

Jaws (Review)
United States/1975
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review

"It's a suspenseful and horrifying film."

When a great white shark terrorizes the island of Amity, the police chief, an oceanographer, and a shark hunter set out to stop it...

Jaws is a simple but effective film. The story follows Amity Island police chief, Martin Brody (Roy Scheider). After a dead body is discovered on shore, the apparent victim of a shark attack, Martin attempts to close the beach until further notice. However, the city officials are quick to cover it up – a boating accident, they say. You see, Amity relies on its beaches for summer profit, so they can't close due to a shark. Unfortunately, the shark attacks continue, which results in more fatalities. This eventually leads Martin to join oceanographer Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and grizzled shark hunter Quint (Robert Shaw) on a hunt. There are a few moments where the film has an inconsistent pace, but it never truly hurts the narrative. The climax is epic and the ending is moderately satisfying. I mean, it just sort of ends.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Film Review: Deep Rising (1998)

Deep Rising (Review)
United States/1998
Format Viewed For Review: VUDU
Netflix Instant: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review

"...an action-packed horror extravaganza."

A group of mercenaries board a cruise ship in the South China Sea, only to find themselves facing a group of powerful tentacled sea creatures...

Deep Rising is a fun movie. The film follows John Finnegan (Treat Williams) and his crew, who agree to escort Hanover and his mercenaries to a cruise ship in the middle of nowhere. The plan was simple: the mercenaries board the ship, rob the vault and passengers, then destroy the ship with torpedoes. However, the plan is derailed when the group board the ship – Finnegan included – and find that it has been ravaged by tentacled creatures. So, a simple robbery turns into a hectic evacuation as Finnegan and his crewmen, Hanover and his mercenaries, and the surviving passengers of the ship attempt to survive. It's simple but effective. The plot moves very quickly, leaving little room for filler. It leads to a strong climax and a cheesy ending.