Wednesday, July 28, 2010

DEADLY FRIEND

Deadly Friend Movie Review

Paul, (Matthew Laborteaux, Little House On The Prairie), a teenage genius with a robot for a best friend, meets Sam (Kristy Swanson, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Chase), a girl living with an abusive father, and they strike up a friendship. After his robot is destroyed and Sam is killed, Paul takes the computer mind of the robot and installs it in Sam’s brain to bring her back to life. Now Sam has her mind set on revenge. This 1986 horror film, from director Wes Craven, has “ bad 80’s horror” written all over it, from the bad humor to the robots and computers to the cheesy dialogue (think Maximum Overdrive). I generally happen to enjoy such movies, and I did enjoy this one as well. Swanson is really pretty good here, bringing the sweet wholesomeness of the girl next door in the first half of the movie before becoming pretty creepy in the second half.

Buffy?

There is even a fair bit of unexpected gruesomeness, particularly in one seen. The robot can get pretty annoying at times (but cute other times) and the end is pretty hokey, unfortunately taking from the film, but this is a harmless horror flick that I liked for what it was.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 6


Deadly Friend Movie Trailer

Monday, July 26, 2010

THE CHILDREN

The Children Movie Review

Couples take their children to a countryside resort for Christmas. Once there, the children start trying to kill off the parents. This English horror film starts off pretty slow and gradually builds along the way, leading to a pretty good ending. It has an 80’s horror feel, as a lot of what happens does so off screen, but it also does show enough graphic violence to keep fans of newer horror interested. The adults, with the exception of teenager Casey (Hannah Tointon), are pretty interchangeable, and the kids are all pretty bad at acting, even for children. This stuff really brings the film down quite a bit as it seems to focus a lot on the characters but does nothing to really build their character. The makers of this film do have to be given credit for casting creepy looking kids, particularly the two girls.

Casting kudos

This movie has enough flaws to prevent it from being a good film, but it has enough good stuff to make it watchable.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 6

The Children Movie Trailer

Sunday, July 25, 2010

PARANORMAL ENTITY

Paranormal Entity Movie Review

Thomas Finley (Shane Van Dyke, also the director and writer), his sister Samantha (Erin Marie Hogan) and his mother Ellen (Fia Perera) are haunted by ghosts in their house and decide to start recording it all on videotape. This very low budget, home video looking film never actually shows the ghosts but does show the results of their actions. If this sounds familiar you must have seen Paranormal Activity and yes, Paranormal Entity is a direct rip-off of it--at times it is almost scene-for-scene the same.

Look kind of familiar?

This movie was distributed by Asylum, a company known for making such movies. Since “PA” was such a low-budget film, this one doesn’t come off as some cheap imitation like most other such movies do; instead, it comes off as a sequel. That said, if this were a stand-alone movie and “PA” didn’t exist, this would be a decent low budget film. It has its frightening moments and is pretty well made, though the dialogue is awful at times and the acting leaves a bit to be desired. Hogan does a fairly good job as Samantha, the most tormented victim in the film. This movie falls well below Paranormal Activity, which was original and very well done, but I enjoyed Paranormal Entity a bit and can’t help but recommend it, assuming you understand what exactly it is going into it.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 6

Paranormal Entity Movie Trailer

THE BETRAYED

The Betrayed Movie Review

Jamie Taylor (Melissa George, 30 Days Of Night, Lie To Me) is captured by a mysterious group, headed by Alek (Oded Fehr, The Mummy, Resident Evil series), that is trying to track down her husband to get back money he owes them. Jamie is kept in a room in a warehouse, where she must go through tapes and figure out where her husband, who has been leading a double life she was not aware of, would keep the money, or the group will kill her and her son.

This is no time for a nap

This is a pretty typical crime-drama movie that sort of plods along, has a predictable storyline, and doesn’t execute in the end. George and Fehr both give pretty good performances, which you expect if you have seen these two before. However, those performances are almost offset by the irritating kid in the movie. It’s not really a bad movie at all and it will keep your attention for the most part. There is even a tense moment or two, but this is not a good movie either. It’s just sort of there and, unless you are a fan of George, I would recommend skipping it.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5

The Betrayed Movie Trailer

Thursday, July 22, 2010

EDEN LAKE

Eden Lake Movie Review

Jenny (Kelly Reilly, Sherlock Holmes) and Steve (Michael Fassbender, Inglorious Basterds, 300) go to a lake to spend a romantic weekend. There they run into a group of teenagers out to cause havoc. The teenagers’ fun soon turns very brutal, however, and Jenny and Steve must now try to survive. This movie starts out pretty slow and takes a bit of time to take off, but once it does it grabs you and draws you in. There are a couple things that make you roll your eyes throughout and you may find yourself yelling at Jenny and Steve for being so stupid as they, especially Steve, do things that make no sense at all. I thought this was going to be too much of a distraction, but ultimately it is not, as it all helps lead to the feeling of hopelessness throughout. This is a very intense, dark and disturbing sort of movie. Reilly and Fassbender do fine jobs with their characters, but a couple of the teenagers give the most memorable performances, namely Jack O’Connell as Brett, the gangs leader, and Finn Atkins as Paige, the cold, silent girl of the group.

Troublemakers

I wish they had developed the teenagers’ characters a bit more, as the couple they did give some character to were very good. I don’t know what it is about this movie, be it the hopelessness of it all or the realistic feel of it—something will make this movie stick with you after you have watched it. To me that is a sign of a good horror film. The ending is one that will definitely find a permanent place in your memory bank. This is one of the better British horror films I have seen. It is dark, depressing, unapologetically brutal and in your face. I recommend it with the warning that it may not be able to shake off the uneasy feeling of watching it. This is a movie that, though I liked it a lot, I may never watch again.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 8

Eden Lake Movie Trailer

Thursday, July 15, 2010

W DELTA Z (THE KILLING GENE)

The Killing Gene W Delta Z Movie Review

Detectives Eddie Argo (Stellan Skarsgard, Pirates Of The Caribbean series) and Helen Westcott (Melissa George, 30 Days Of Night, Triangle) attempt to track down a killer that is forcing people to kill the people they love in an attempt to prove that love does not actually exist. This psychological thriller out of Northern Ireland isn’t one that grabs you immediately and takes you away; rather, you have to be patient as it drags out at times as the story slowly builds. A lot of the dialogue is weak and the story seems to jump around a lot for no apparent reason. Still, this is a pretty good film overall. The acting is very solid, particularly from Skarsgard and George, who I believe to be one of the most underrated actresses alive. Selma Blair (The Fog) is a real scene-stealer here, playing Jean Lerner, to very creepy and effective results.

Don't mess with her

The story is really not THAT strong, but it does sort of make you think about things we take for granted, and the whole feel of the movie is a depressing one. The final 15 minutes are very intense and will have you glued to the set—in fact, I was going to settle on a 6 for the score but those final fifteen minutes bumped it up. Overall, I would recommend this one as long as you go into it with a degree of patience.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7


W Delta Z Movie Trailer

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

MIDNIGHT MOVIE

Midnight Movie Review

A cheap theatre is having a midnight showing of an obscure older movie that is filled with mystery. Once the movie begins, the killer from the film comes to life to kill the members of the audience.

That's just not nice

I really, really wanted to like this movie, as the premise seemed interesting, but it falls way short of what it should have been. The acting and dialogue are pretty bad, but that can, for the most part, be overlooked. What really sinks this movie are the numerous plot holes and absurd “realization” that comes late in the film--it all plays out really poorly in the end. The theatre the movie was filmed in looks really cool and the killer at least LOOKS interesting, making for some visually pleasing scenes. There is also a good bit of gore that keeps your interest somewhat. Still, this is not a movie worth watching. Skip it.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 4

Midnight Movie Trailer (Caution: This video contains very irritating sounds at the start)

Friday, July 2, 2010

THE CRAZIES (2010)

The Crazies Movie Review 2010

A plane carrying a biochemical weapon crashes near a small town in Iowa, filling the drinking water with a chemical that turns people into crazed killers. A small group, led by the town’s sheriff (Timothy Olyphant, Go, Scream 2), now must find a way to avoid the killers and the military that is taking over the town as they attempt to make their way to safety. This movie, a remake of a 1973 film, reminds me a bit of Dawn Of The Dead meets District 9 and it really works. The killers, or “crazies”, are not as traditionally scary as movie zombies typically are, but are very effective in that they loom somewhere between human and monster.

Like her

The characters are very well developed and, for the most part, the actors are very good in their roles. The story moves along nicely--it starts dark and seldom comes out of that feel. The film is also very effective in blurring the line between good and bad on every level, from the “heroes” to the crazies to the military involvement. There is a very “real” feel to a lot of the movie as well. There really is not a lot to complain about with this film, and I would say it is a favorite to be the best horror film of 2010.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 9

The Crazies Movie Trailer