Sunday, October 15, 2017

Film Review: The Crucifixion (2017)

The Crucifixion (Review)
United Kingdom/Romania/2017
Format Viewed for Review: Vudu
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"If you like your horror movies with slick visuals, ominous atmosphere, and some suspense... then this is for you."

After the death of a nun leads to the arrest of a priest, Nicole Rawlins (Sophie Cookson), a reporter, heads out to find the truth...

The Crucifixion is a familiar possession film. The plot follows Nicole Rawlins, a reporter who seeks every opportunity to criticize religion due to her past troubles. After hearing news about the death of a nun and the subsequent arrest of a priest, Nicole convinces her editor to allow her to visit Romania to investigate the crime. She discovers that the nun was possibly possessed and, during an exorcism, she was crucified. (Not the bloody kind.) The deeper she digs, the more grisly details she discovers. She pieces together the victim's life before the exorcism and she soon finds herself questioning herself. The plot reminded me of The Exorcism of Emily Rose, but with fewer details regarding the legality of the situation. It leads to a predictable but decent ending.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Film Review—Amityville: The Awakening (2017)

Amityville: The Awakening (Review)
United States/2017
Format Viewed for Review: Google Movies
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"The skeleton of a good movie is here, but most of the great parts appear to have been removed to create a dumbed-down, PG-13 jump-scare extravaganza."

A single mother moves her three children, including her bedridden son, to the infamous Amityville house.

Amityville: The Awakening is not really a sequel to any of the films in the series. In fact, the previous movies are mentioned in this one. So, you don't have to worry about watching those to watch The Awakening. The plot follows a small family: mother Joan Walker (Jennifer Jason Leigh), daughters Belle (Bella Thorne) and Juliet, and Belle's bedridden, brain-dead twin James (Cameron Monaghan). Forty years after the infamous Amityville murders, this family moves into the Amityville house—and only Joan knows its history. Belle eventually finds out and things start going bump in the night. Then, James begins responding. His brain activity returns and he miraculously makes progress. At the same time, the supernatural occurrences at the house begin to increase in frequency and severity. So, Belle races to save her family and tries to stop history from repeating itself. There really isn't much to say about the plot. It has some interesting ideas, but it doesn't really build on any of them. It led to a predictable ending that felt rushed and lazy, too.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Film Review: The Piper (2015)

The Piper (Review)
South Korea/2015
Format Viewed for Review: DramaFever
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"Although the first hour might have some filler and pacing issues, the film ultimately leaves a strong impression."

After the Korean war, a father and his son travel through the country in hopes of reaching Seoul, but they stumble upon an isolated village where everything is not what it seems...

The Piper isn't a traditional horror/mystery film. It's definitely not the type of film that tries to keep you at the edge of your seat from beginning to end. No, the plot takes its (sweet) time to develop the characters and the situation. The story follows Woo-ryong (Ryu Seung-ryong), a musician, and his son, Young-nam. While traveling to Seoul to meet a doctor to cure Young-nam's tuberculosis, the father-son pair stumbles upon an isolated village—a village that doesn't seem to realize the Korean war has ended. The village chief (Lee Sung-min) especially doesn't want Woo-ryong telling his people that it's safe outside. Woo-ryong agrees to keep his secret and solve a rat infestation problem in exchange for their hospitality and a large sum of cash. However, the villagers are not exactly who they pretend to be... It all leads to a strong climax and a good ending.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Film Review: Cult of Chucky (2017)

Cult of Chucky (Review)
United States/2017
Format Viewed for Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Review Special!

"It unfortunately does not build on the good aspects of the previous film and instead goes in a different direction. I still liked it..."

Four years after the events of the previous film, Nica (Fiona Dourif) finds herself in a mental institution after being framed by Chucky (Brad Dourif). She starts to believe she's healing until a Good Guy doll shows up at the facility...

Cult of Chucky is a sequel to Curse of Chucky, which was a welcome return to the franchise's roots. The film begins with Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) returning home after a bad date. He proceeds to torture the original head of Chucky, which is still conscious. Meanwhile, after successful treatment, Nica is transferred to a medium-security mental institution. All is well until her doctor brings a Good Guy doll to therapy. Things get worse when more dolls show up and people start dying. There are some new, interesting ideas in here, but they're not really fleshed out. The big idea, which I won't spoil, feels lazy and tacked on, explained through a weak joke. The ending was interesting but disappointing. It doesn't leave a strong impression.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Film Review: The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)

The Stendhal Syndrome (Review)
Italy/1996
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Instant: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"It's not Argento's best work, but it certainly does not taint his filmography."

A young policewoman begins questioning her sanity while tracking an elusive serial rapist-killer through Italy...

The Stendhal Syndrome is an interesting film. The plot follows detective Anna Manni (Asia Argento), who travels to Florence in search of an elusive serial rapist-killer. She picks up his trail at a museum. However, while viewing the art, she begins to hallucinate, then she faints. She briefly loses her memory and returns to her hotel, disoriented. Then, she's raped by the man she was sent to track. Unlike some of his other victims, she's spared, which leads her to believe her nightmare is not over. Slowly but surely, Anna begins to lose her mind and she becomes obsessed with her attacker. The plot shifts during the second half, where it becomes a bit slower, but it's otherwise an interesting story. It leads to a good ending, too.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Film Review: Opera (1987)

Opera (Review)
Italy/1987
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"It's suspenseful, violent, and stylish."

A young and rising opera singer is targeted by a maniac who aims to kill anyone who gets close to her...

Opera follows Betty (Cristina Marsillach), a young opera singer. When the lead for Macbeth is injured in a car accident, Betty, the understudy, is given the role of Lady Macbeth. Although initially nervous, her stellar performance launches her career. However, soon after her debut, she's attacked by a masked maniac. Said maniac forces her to watch as he attacks her boyfriend. As a matter of fact, he forces her to watch all of his attacks. Fearing for her life, Betty, her director, and the police race to find the identity of the killer. It leads to an interesting revelation—nothing jaw-dropping, but more than effective—and a great ending. The last ten minutes or so of the film are very effective.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Film Review: Inferno (1980)

Inferno (Review)
Italy/1980
Format Viewed For Review: Shudder
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"...one of those rare horror films with immersive atmosphere, an attractive style, genuine horror, and an engaging story."

An American college student in Rome returns to New York after receiving an ominous letter from his sister...

Inferno is a sequel to Suspiria—but you actually don't have to watch Suspiria to understand this film. The plot follows siblings Mark Elliot (Leigh McCloskey), who is studying Musicology in Rome, and Rose Elliot (Irene Miracle), a poet living in New York. Rose discovers a book about the Three Mothers—three evil sisters who live in different buildings around the world, controlling everything through sorrow, tears, and darkness. Rose is convinced she lives in one of those buildings. Terrified, she asks her brother to visit her home. So, Mark drops everything and goes to New York. But, now his sister is missing. So, he decides to continue Rose's investigation. It leads to an interesting ending. It worked, but the costume design kind of throws it off.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Film Review: Suspiria (1977)

Suspiria (Review)
Italy/1977
Format Viewed for Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Review Special

"...a twisted horror-mystery film with spectacular visuals."

An American ballet student arrives at a prestigious academy in Germany only to be haunted by mysterious occurrences in the building...

Suspiria follows American ballet student Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper). On a stormy night, Suzy arrives in Germany and travels to the Tanz Dance Academy. However, as she arrives, she witnesses a distraught student, Pat, running out of the building and Suzy is not allowed to enter. By the next morning, Suzy discovers that Pat was brutally murdered during the night prior. She tries to fit in at the academy, but she quickly realizes something is afoot. So, she starts delving deeper into the mystery. What's happening at the Tanz Dance Academy? Who is the mysterious directress? You'll find out most of the answers during its great conclusion. (For better or worse, it does leave some unanswered questions.)

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Film Review: The Cat O' Nine Tails (1971)

The Cat O' Nine Tails (Review)
Italy/1971
Format Viewed for Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"If you like your mystery films with a pinch of horror, you'll enjoy this one."

A newspaper reporter and a retired, blind journalist team up to track a violent killer who appears to be linked to a pharmaceutical company...

The Cat O' Nine Tails is a blend of horror, mystery, and thriller. The plot follows retired, blind journalist Franco Arnò (Karl Malden) and newspaper reporter Carlo Giordani (James Franciscus), who meet by luck after a robbery at a pharmaceutical company. The robbery is considered 'industry espionage,' but it is quickly swept under the rug for the sake of the company. However, after people linked to the company start dying mysterious deaths, Arnò and Giordani begin investigating the crimes, which leaves them with nine suspects. It can often be a little too much to follow, there are a lot of characters/suspects who appear to be unnecessary, but it ultimately works. I liked the ending, but it felt unnecessarily abrupt and a bit underwhelming.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Film Review: See No Evil (2006)

See No Evil (Review)
United States/2006
Format Viewed for Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"See No Evil isn't a great film, but it's a decent time killer, especially if you're a fan of slashers."

A group of prisoners are taken to clean the abandoned Blackwell Hotel in exchange for time off their sentences, unaware of the killer lurking in the building.

See No Evil is a simple film. The plot begins with Officer Frank Williams (Steven Vilder) and his partner investigating a call at an abandoned house. They find a woman without eyes and they're attacked by a hulking man. Williams survives the attack, but he's left without an arm. Fast forward four years and Williams, now working as a correctional officer, takes a group of prisoners to the abandoned Blackwell Hotel for some volunteer work. All is well until a killer (Kane) starts picking them off one-by-one. So, the survivors race to save their friends and escape from the building. The plot isn't very original or engaging, but the flashbacks to the killer's past are interesting. It leads to a decent ending, too.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Film Review: My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)

My Bloody Valentine 3D (Review)
United States/2009
Format Viewed for Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"It's a fun slasher movie. That's pretty much it."

Ten years after a massacre at an abandoned mine shaft, a small town is rattled by a new string of familiar murders...

My Bloody Valentine 3D is a remake of the classic slasher of the same name—sans the 3D. The concepts are the same, but the stories are actually a bit different. The film begins by explaining the collapse of a mining shaft that leaves several dead. Harry Warden is the only survivor, but he's left in a coma. One year later, Harry Warden awakens and goes on a rampage where he murders several people at a hospital and at an abandoned mining shaft. Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles) and his friends survive the attack. Ten years later, Tom returns to the town after vanishing only to find the murders have started again. The rest of the film is a fairly standard whodunit/slasher plot. It is predictable, though.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Film Review: Happy Birthday to Me (1981)

Happy Birthday to Me (Review)
Canada/1981
Format Viewed for Review: Shudder
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"If you're a fan of the genre, this is one slasher you shouldn't miss."

At the Crawford Academy, a group of students are stalked and killed by a mysterious person...

Happy Birthday to Me follow Virginia, a senior at the prestigious Crawford Academy. She is a part of the "Top Ten" clique, which is filled with the most popular and richest students at the school. As her eighteenth birthday nears, Virginia's friends start vanishing one-by-one—killed by a person they all recognize. Virginia, who suffered from a traumatic experience during her childhood, believes the murders are linked to her. The plot leads to a great climax and a solid ending. Parts of it are predictable while other parts are unique and interesting.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Film Review: Flowers in the Attic (1987)

Flowers in the Attic (Review)
United States/1987
Format Viewed for Review: Shudder
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"...a well-made blend of horror and drama."

After the sudden death of their father, a group of children are forced to travel with their mother to live with her wealthy parents...

Flowers in the Attic follows a group of four children: teenagers Chris (Jeb Stuart Adams) and Cathy (Kristy Swanson) and five-year-old twins Cory and Carrie. After the death of their father, their family falls into financial hardships. So, the kids travel with their mother, Corrine, to the home of her wealthy parents. On their way there, Corrine explains that she was essentially disowned by her father, but she plans on reconciling in order to make it into his will. At the palatial house, the children are confined to a single room and the attic, forced to live under their grandmother's (Louise Fletcher) strict rules while Corrine attempts to fix everything. However, they soon realize everything is not what it seems. The plot leads to an abrupt and unsatisfying ending. It doesn't leave an impression.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Film Review: Cannibal Ferox (1981)

Cannibal Ferox (Review)
Italy/1981
Format Viewed For Review: Shudder
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"It's not suspenseful, it's not tense, but it is graphic."

Three friends enter the Amazonian jungles hoping to disprove cannibalism, but they soon find themselves targeted by a vengeful tribe of cannibals...

Cannibal Ferox follows three Americans: siblings Rudy and Gloria, and Pat. This group heads into the Amazonian jungles in order to prove Gloria's theory that cannibalism does not exist. While searching for their location, they bump into pair of Americans: Mike and Joe. Mike claims to have been attacked by a group of cannibals, but that's not completely true. When the truth does eventually come out, it's too late. The group is captured and tortured by a vengeful tribe. There's a little more to the plot, including a subplot following an investigation in the United States, but it's not really significant. It leads to an interesting but underwhelming ending.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Film Review—Alien Covenant (2017)

Alien: Covenant (Review)
United States/United Kingdom/2017
Format Viewed for Review: Vudu
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Review Special!

"It's a worthy addition to the Alien series, although it's not nearly as horrifying or tense as the original."

A colony ship lands on an uncharted but inhabitable planet and discovers a terrifying threat.

Alien: Covenant is a sequel to Prometheus. The plot follows the colony ship Covenant as it travels to a remote planet called Origae-6. During their trip, however, the ship is damaged by a stellar neutrino. The crew awakens to tragedy, but they quickly get back on their feet. And, as they get back on their feet, they discover a rogue transmission coming from a nearby planet that resembles Earth in terms of habitat. So, the crew heads down to find the source of the transmission and to examine the planet to see if it's a suitable place for their colony. Of course, everything goes wrong. I won't spoil anything else, although the trailers probably spoiled more than I did so far. It leads to a strong climax and a painfully predictable ending.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

CinematicAddiction's 31 Days of Halloween 2017 begins tomorrow!

So, it's finally that time of the year... the Halloween season! As per tradition, it's time for another 31 Days of Halloween horror movie marathon. As usual, I plan on posting 31 horror movie reviews throughout October. I emphasis 'plan' because things have been busy this year and I might fail, but I really hope to deliver all 31 reviews. It's a busy time of the year, but I love it.

I already have a few movies planned. The month will begin with Alien: Covenant and it will end with a classic. I'll try to cover as many sub-genres as possible, too: slashers, supernatural, found-footage, creature features, splatterpunk, and so on. I want to watch some classics, some new releases, and I hope to find some hidden gems. Have recommendations? Leave it in the comments and I'll try to check it out.

As usual, thanks for reading over the past few years. I hope you have a great Halloween season and a great year overall. Oh, and if you're doing something similar—a movie marathon—let me know in the comments, too. I'd love to check it out.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Film Review: Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Straight Outta Compton (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed for Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a relevant, interesting, compelling, and, most importantly, entertaining biopic."

 The story of gangsta rap group N.W.A.

Straight Outta Compton is a biopic about N.W.A. Specifically, the plot focuses on members Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), and Ice Cube (O'Shea Jackson Jr.), with some very minor details on DJ Yella and MC Ren. The plot begins with their separate situations: Dr. Dre is a DJ trying to leave his mom's house and chase his dream, Ice Cube is the poet, Eazy-E is the drug dealer with the cash, MC Ren is Eazy-E's rapping friend, and DJ Yella is Dr. Dre's co-worker. Together, they eventually form the supergroup N.W.A. and, with the assistance of Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti), they reach stardom. Of course, what goes up must come down, which means the group eventually splinters, rivalries are formed, and friendships are tested. It leads to an ending that leaves an impression, too.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Film Review: Hell or High Water (2016)

Hell or High Water (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed for Review: Showtime
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"It can make you laugh one moment, push you to the edge of your seat during another, then shatter your heart during the next."

A divorced father and his ex-con brother rob banks in a desperate attempt to save their family's ranch...

Hell or High Water is a neo-Western. I'm not a big fan of the classic Western formula, but I have loved some of the newer additions/remixes to the genre, such as Bone Tomahawk and Unforgiven. This film is one of the few that I actually loved. The plot follows a divorced father, Toby Howard (Chris Pine), and his ex-con older brother, Tanner (Ben Foster). Their family ranch is at risk of being foreclosed due to debt caused by a reversed mortgage. So, Toby and Tanner start robbing a specific set of banks. The robberies are well planned by Toby, but Tanner's wild attitude often derails them. Meanwhile, two Texas rangers, Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and Alberto Parker, follow their trail. There is a lot more to the plot, obviously, but there's no point in spoiling it. It leads to a great, satisfying ending.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Film Review: Unnatural (2015)

Unnatural (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed for Review: Showtime
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"It is a horror movie without even a semblance of horror."

A group at a remote cabin in Alaska are targeted by a genetically-modified polar bear...

Unnatural is a simple film—simple to a fault. The plot follows a corporation that is experimenting on animals in order to help them adapt to climate change. They experiment on a polar bear, then, as expected, the polar bear escapes. Meanwhile, a photographer and his models land in Alaska where they stay at Martin Nakos' (James Remar) remote cabin for a photo shoot. They are eventually attacked by the polar bear. This starts a fight for survival, which is actually just them sitting around and waiting to be picked off while Martin tracks the bear. That's the entire plot. There really isn't anything 'deep' or even interesting about the story. It leads to an underwhelming ending, too. It's not horrible, but it doesn't leave an impression.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Film Review: Hard Target (1993)

Hard Target (Review)
United States/1993
Format Viewed for Review: Showtime
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"It's cheesy, it's fun, and it has Van Damme in it. What more could you ask for?"

A woman hires a drifter to help her find her missing father, but the pair discovers a dangerous game during their investigation...

Hard Target follows Natasha Binder (Yancy Butler), a young woman who's searching for her estranged father. She discovers that her father has been homeless for some time and she hires Chance Boudreaux (Jean-Claude Van Damme), another homeless man, to help her find him. To their dismay, they discover that Natasha's father was murdered. On top of that, they discover he was killed for a game—a game where wealthy men pay to hunt homeless people through the streets of New Orleans. The story is fairly simple, but it works. It leads to an action-packed third act and a great but abrupt ending.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Film Review: The Devil's Candy (2015)

The Devil's Candy (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed for Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...one of the best horror films I've seen this year."

After moving into a new house in rural Texas with his family, a struggling painter begins to experience bizarre visions of death and flames...

The Devil's Candy is a simple but effective film. The plot follows a small family—Jesse (Ethan Embry), a struggling painter, his wife Astrid, and their daughter Zooey—who decide to move into their dream house in rural Texas. However, their dream house at their dream price has a catch: a couple died there. They still move in and start settling in. Almost immediately, Jesse begins hearing eerie whispers. He suddenly feels inspired to paint a morbid image of children burning—and he can't stop painting it. Meanwhile, his family is tormented by a man, Ray (Pruitt Taylor Vince), who claims to have lived in their house. He becomes drawn to Zooey as he also fights the whispering voices in his head. It leads to a strong climax and ending, although certain scenes may be contrived.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Film Review: Hardcore Henry (2015)

Hardcore Henry (Review)
United States/Russia/2015
Format Viewed for Review: Showtime
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"Despite its plentiful action, the film eventually becomes boring and repetitive."

Henry, resurrected with hi-tech cybernetics and no collection of the past, fights to save his wife from a psychokinetic man who plans on building an army of cyborg soldiers.

Hardcore Henry initially caught my interest. The plot follows the titular character, Henry, after he's resurrected by his scientist wife, Estelle. While working on returning Henry's voice, Akan, the psychokinetic antagonist, shows up and interrupts the procedure—leaving Henry mute but capable. Henry escapes with Estelle from the laboratory, which was located in an airship. Wild, right? It gave off Wolfenstein vibes. Anyway, Estelle is eventually captured and Henry has to fight his way to save her while finding his memories. That's it. That's the entire plot. Sure, there is a little more to it, but the plot never really builds on any of its ideas. It leads to a solid ending, though. By that, I mean: the last action sequence is great, but the story is still mediocre.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Film Review: House on Willow Street (2016)

House on Willow Street (Review)
South Africa/2016
Format Viewed for Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"I loved some parts of the film, I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the movie, but it just runs out of steam and never finds its footing as a horror movie."

A group of criminals kidnap the daughter of a wealthy business owner, but their plan backfires when they realize the young woman may be hiding a sinister secret...

House on Willow Street is a film with a familiar plot. I think most of us have seen a concept like this in one film or another. The plot follows a group of criminals: Hazel (Sharni Vinson), her boyfriend Ade, Ade's cousin James, and their partner Mark. The group invade a house on Willow Street but find little to no resistance—the security system has already been turned off, too. This, of course, barely bothers them. They kidnap Katherine, the daughter of the owner of diamond chain, then they take her to their hideout. However, upon arriving at their hideout, they realize Katherine is not what she seems. They begin experiencing surreal hallucinations that reveal their inner-demons. I won't spoil anything else, but I bet you'd be able to predict most of the plot. It leads to a silly/cheesy third act and underwhelming ending.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Film Review: Lake Bodom (2016)

Lake Bodom (Review)
Finland/2016
Format Viewed for Review: Shudder
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"It's like the writers just wanted to add twists into the film for the sake of doing it."

A group of friends go camping at Lake Bodom in order to reconstruct the 1960 murders that occurred there.

Lake Bodom is a film with many faces. The plot follows four friends: Atte, Elias, Ida, and Nora. Atte and Elias want to reconstruct the 1960 murders that occurred at Lake Bodom, but no one seems interested. So, they trick Ida and Nora into joining them by claiming there's a party in a cabin in the area. Of course, when they find out about Atte and Elias' plan, Ida and Nora are furious, but they end up staying with them and camping outdoors. All is well until murders start occurring. I can't really say much more about the plot or else I'd end up spoiling some big scenes. Although the story was interesting, it never really felt all that effective. In fact, I found my mind wandering away during the second act. It leads to a decent ending, but, again, it doesn't actually pack a punch.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Film Review: Laid to Rest (2009)

Laid to Rest (Review)
United States/2009
Format Viewed For Review: Screambox
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"The film excels as a slasher..."

A woman awakens in a coffin at a funeral house without any recollection of the past. Worst of all, she finds herself targeted by a violent serial killer with a chrome mask...

Laid to Rest is a barebones slasher. The plot takes place over the course of one night. It begins with a woman (Bobbi Sue Luther) with amnesia waking up in a coffin at a funeral house. She dials 911, but she loses contact. Eventually, the mortician shows up. Before he can free the woman, he's impaled and we're introduced to our killer—Chromeskull, a man with a chrome mask and a camera mounted on his shoulder. The rest of the plot follows the woman, who is later known as 'Princess,' as she runs from place to place with a group of good Samaritans. She makes a lot of stupid decisions to move the plot along, too. It all leads to a decent climax and a bloody finale.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Film Review: Demonic (2015)

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

"It's difficult to even call it a horror movie due to its lack of horror."

A police officer and a psychologist investigate the death of several ghost hunters at a supposedly haunted house...

Demonic is a generic horror film. The plot follows a cliché group of douchebags characters: John (Dustin Milligan), a young man who believes his mother is calling him to a haunted house; Michelle, John's girlfriend; Brian, Michelle's ex-boyfriend and fellow ghost hunter; Sam, a ghost hunter; Jules, the cult specialist; and Donnie, the tech guy. From the beginning, we know most of this group dies at the house after performing a séance because Detective Mark Lewis (Frank Grillo) discovers their bodies. The only survivor is John, so Lewis calls the department's psychologist, Elizabeth Klein (Maria Bello), to question him. So, the film frequently jumps between these interlaced stories: the séance and the police investigation. It's not confusing, and it's not interesting, either. It leads to an interesting ending, though, but it just doesn't resonate.