Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Frontier(s) (2007)

RUN TIME- 108 Mins
WRITER(S)- Xavier Gens
STARRING- Karina Testa, Aurelien Wiik, and Patrick Ligardes
DIRECTOR- Xavier Gens

Synopsis taken from IMDb
A gang of young theives flee Paris during the violent aftermath of a political election, only to hole up at an Inn run by neo-Nazis.


So, I finally got off of my lazy ass and decided to watch "Frontiers", a French film that's went and gotten itself a reputation in the horror community. I've heard great things about this, so I was eager to view it for the first time. However, I was still iffy with it being an Afterdark Horrorfest film, seeing as I only really liked one  of them, "The Gravedancers".

It's funny to me how people say that Asian horror is where "real horror is at right now". Because from where I'm standing, it's clear to me that the French are the ones dominating. With such hits as "Inside" and "Martyrs", to add another heavy hitter to that group of films with "Frontiers" sends a huge message to all genre fans.

Now, going into the film, I only saw the trailer and knew the synopsis. The only spoiler I really knew was that the lead character, Yasmin (Karina Testa), in which I knew she eventually gets a shaved head somehow. So the experience was totally new to me, the way I prefer it. And I definitely didn't take that From The Director Of Hitman seriously. Because if that's supposed to sell this motion picture, that's a bad call. Did anyone like that movie?

The movie starts off with riots in the streets of Paris, France and pretty much runs with the ball. It slows down for a bit, but it builds an unsteady and nervous tension that kept me on edge, expecting anything to happen at anytime.

The story is something new and creative, and I haven't really seen anything like it, really. It's a very basic and grounded plot, which makes it believable and more intense. The realism keeps things gruesome, but dares you to watch.

The gore and effects are close to perfect, both believable and painful to view. I can't even imagine the amount of blood that was used during the filming of this movie, because it's a very bloody ride.

The climax is nailbiting, and packed with a grueling weight I felt while watching. Even though there's not much character development, I still felt scared for the characters because the situation was real. As the plot played out and this flick came to an end, I was satisfied. I definitely liked what I saw, and it's undoubtedly good. But, I wasn't overly impressed with it. And I feel that the previous films like "Inside" and "Martyrs" pushed the bounds a bit farther, so they're more memorable.

In the end, "Frontiers" is a landmark horror film, but there's bigger landmarks.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cravings (2006)

A.K.A "Daddy's Girl"

RUN TIME- 90 Mins
WRITER(S)- D.J. Evans
STARRING- Richard Harrington, Jaime Winstone, and Louise Delamere

Synopsis taken from IMDb
A psychiatrist is confronted by a troubled teen, who's out for blood.

First off, let me start this off by saying how good it feels to be back! I had to take a short break from writing due to personal issues. However, I'm back, and ready to do what I do best. I've missed this writing life, and it's a great feeling to be back at it. I've gotten so many messages asking me where I disappeared to. It's always good to know people look forward to my reviews that much! I appreciate everyone and their support.

Secondly, let me say that the title of this film I'm reviewing is ludicrous. And what's even worse, is the cover. For the sake of attracting a bigger audience and cashing in on the vampire craze, this flick was marketed in a way that doesn't do it justice, and is misleading. Not to mention unnecessary. However, a misleading title and cover art aren't enough to make me not fairly assess the movie.The lead character Nina (Jaime Winstone) is not a vampire in the traditional way, but more in the most basic of terms way. 

I was turned on to this by a few friends who were talking about it. Although it was hard to track down and get my hands on, I did it. Most people wouldn't expect this to be as psychological as it is. It's a deep, slowly drawn out plot that ultimately shows how someones obsession and urge to help someone can end up harming them, and that some things are better left alone. There's also a huge underlining of bad parenting, and enabling. It's a refection of our will to overlook our troubles and cover them up.  

This isn't a flick for people looking for action in every second. This is slow paced, and takes it's time sinking in. If your a fan of atmospheric films, then this is worth a watch. It definitely leaves an impression, for better or worse. 

If found the the characters a bit drawn out and dry, even typical. But, the film was set in reality so it actually kinda works. It's not a very eventful piece of cinema, in fact it's sorta anti-climatic. But, for some reason it sticks with you, and I believe it's because it's unlike other films you're likely to see from the vampire genre. It tackles the vampire myth by coming at it from a mental and psychological standpoint. Breaking down the fundamentals of what makes a vampire work in the real world. For the realism and grounded approach, I tip my hat.

As the story carries out, it becomes apparent that there isn't any help that can be done for Nina. And really getting involved with her is a bad idea, period. We witness the downfall of a psychiatrist named Stephen (Richard Harrington) who had his life together until he became obsessed with helping Nina. Temptation rules over the moral in this picture, and that's a deep and profound point of view. 

Overall, there's plenty of flaws with "Cravings", but it remains entertaining. And it has a tragic and sickening ending that left me in a depressed mood. So if it can invoke emotions out of me like that, then it did something right. However, it's not something that I'd praise, as much as appreciate for the things done in this film that should have been it's marketing center. Such as the original and dark story. In the end it gets my seal of approval, but it's not as good as it could be. The acting doesn't stand out, and if it had, it'd be a much better movie.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

WITHER is an explosive gorefest

RATED- Unrated
RUN TIME- 95 Mins
WRITER(S)- Sonny Laguna, David Liljeblad, and Tommy Wiklund
STARRING- Patrik Almkvist, Lisa Henni, and Patrick Saxe
DIRECTOR- Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund

Synopsis taken from IMDb
Ida and Albin are a happy couple. They set off to a cabin in the vast Swedish woodlands to have a fun holiday with their friends. But under the floorboards waits an evil from Sweden's dark past.

A friend of mine gave me the title of this film, and told me it's the Swedish version of "The Evil Dead" (1981). Upon hearing which, I quickly found this flick and had to give it a watch. Those of you who read my reviews from time to time know that I'm obsessed with "The Evil Dead" series. So, telling me this is similar to the films I love so much isn't going to get any sort of reaction out of me other than me rushing to watch it.

Reading up on it, I came to discover that a lot of miss information has been spread about this movie, mostly by Swedish newspapers which stated that it was the first Swedish zombie film. False. The first Swedish zombie film is 2005's "Die Zombiejager". However, while reading, I found a quote from a critic stating that this is "the film that 'Evil Dead' 2013 should have been." So of course, my interest was only piqued even more.

What is clearly a low-budget production, opens with a paranoid and gory beginning. Right from the go, you know what type of motion picture you're in for. It's got balls like the original "Evil Dead", and isn't afraid to go to new lengths of brutality. About a minute into it, I knew I was going to like it. It was a little eerie watching such a crazy flick late at night, by myself. But, it's not scary.

Although the plot is far from original or inventive, it managed to keep me enthralled. Though, there's a lot of predictability, it's still a very fun watch for those who love their violence with an abundance of gore. You can smell the influence that Sam Raimi's classic has had on this entire project, and some can even say that this is a foreign remake. The lead character even has a blue button-up shirt on, and other obvious nods to Bruce Campbell's portrayal of the hero, Ash Williams.

There are differences though, such as, what's in the basement isn't a creepy book and a shotgun with some ammo. Instead, it's a Vittra. A nature spirit that lives underground and one of the animistic elements of the Norse religion. Again, while not scary, there is a level of creepiness to this creature and the entire film.

The only problem is, if you've seen the "Evil Dead" series, then you know what to expect from this. It doesn't really offer anything new that's worth mentioning. It's just very graphic and bloody. It's definitely a gore flick, for sure. There's not much story or character development, much like the "Evil Dead" remake. There's just a ton of chaos and confusion spread amongst characters.

My criticism would be that while I appreciate a good homage to a classic movie, you also need to have something of your own to offer. And this is one of those films where you've seen what's in it before several times over. I'm sure for the Swedish population who haven't ever seen "The Evil Dead", that this is something mind blowing to them. However, to me and the rest of us, this is just a fun rehashing.

So, if you're in the mood to see a bunch of young adults turn on each other due to possession, and start hacking each other up with various weapons, you should probably check this out. For those of you who have the "been there, done that" attitude, you're probably better off sitting this one out. I don't think there are too many positive things someone with that mentality will have to say about it.

Not the best thing I've ever seen, but I am definitely a fan. To me, it's fun seeing other cultures take a stab at this type of thing. And it's a testament to how Sam Raimi's original film is still as influential as ever, and one of the greatest horror films ever made.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

BESTIES coming to VOD January 21st

At the start of next year, there's a  new Single White Female coming to town in the thriller, Besties from Phase 4 Films

"Besties tells the story of two high school girls-- Sandy, a high school freshman and self-described loser and Ashley, a sexy senior and Sandy's former babysitter. Sandy hoping to forge a friendship with the most popular girl in school, arranges to be left at home under Ashley's supervision while her father goes out of town. Little did Sandy know that an unexpected visitor from Ashley's past will leave the awkward freshman and her idol tangled up in a manipulative and deadly friendship."

Written/Directed by Rebecca Cutter, Besties features standout turns from Madison Riley (Grown Ups) and Olivia Crocicchia (Rescue Me), with 90's icon Corin Nemec (The Stand) co-starring.

This is one I'll be looking forward to. Nothing like a good psychotic thriller. So if you're the type who enjoys a nice thriller every now and again, this is one you won't want to miss! Below are some stills and the trailer. 

Don't miss out on this film when it lands in January. And bring in the new year properly!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Well, the year's almost at it's end. And we've had our hits and misses this year, like every year. But while some of the letdowns were severe, some films soared above and beyond expectations and gave us instant classics on the spot. All in all, 2013 was a good year for horror, and almost every other genre of film.

Below are the top five horror films to be released upon us this year. There's no question in my mind that these are the elite, and the ones people are still talking about in the horror community. For better or worse, they're here to stay.

And if you missed my review for any of the films listed, I've conveniently linked my reviews above the poster art of each movie!

April 5th, 2013
Rotten Tomatoes Score- 65%

October 8th, 2013
Rotten Tomatoes Score- 79%

August 23rd, 2013
Rotten Tomatoes Score- 75%

January 2nd, 2013
Rotten Tomatoes Score- 43%

July 19th, 2013
Rotten Tomatoes Score- 87%

Monday, November 11, 2013

CAESAR AND OTTO'S DEADLY XMAS spreads holiday fear

RATED- Unrated
RUN TIME- 90 Mins
WRITER(S)- Dave Campfield and Joe Randazzo
STARRING- Dave Campfield, Paul Chomicki, and Deron Miller
DIRECTOR- Dave Campfield

Synopsis taken from IMDb
Caesar and his half brother Otto take on duties as Santa and his elf. However, the bodies begin to pile up when a fellow store Santa (CKY's Deron Miller) develops a vendetta against them, he soon turns Caesar's list of dinner guests into a list of Xmas-inspired victims! Featuring cult movie icons, Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, Lloyd Kaufman, Joe Estevez, Felicia Rose, and Robert Z'Dar. 

Right when I thought I was going to have a weekend of nothing new to watch, my screener disc for "Caesar and Otto's Deadly Xmas" arrived. So, I was glad to have some new viewing material, and the fact that it's packed with cult stars I grew up watching only made me even more excited to give it a watch.

From the start, there's plenty of laughs to go around. This is the type of flick where you can tell if you're going to like it within just a few moments of watching. It's very low-budget, and those who aren't loyal horror fans may not like it's style. To put it simply, this movie is a B movie celebration, and a standing salute to the genre and all those who helped shaped horror into the powerhouse it's become. It doesn't take itself seriously, and because of that, doesn't lose focus of the motion picture that it is.

The dialogue between Caesar (Dave Campfield) and Otto (Paul Chomicki) is ridiculously funny and entertaining. They're two screw-ups who're constantly trying to out do one another. Even though they're close pals and half-brothers, they'll throw each other under the bus any chance they get to further their own lives. The entire concept is hilarious and entertaining. It never becomes really scary, it's more humorous than anything, and it's a hell of a lot of fun!

You just know things are going from bad to worse when Caesar's dinner list becomes a slay list by a store Santa who is previously insulted by Caesar. As the Santa played by Deron Miller starts scratching names off of the list one at a bloody time, it becomes apparent that Caesar and Otto better do something quick before they become the accused.

Seeing scream queen Linnea Quigley on screen never hurts, and it's always a pleasure to see her in new roles. As Donna Blackstone, she is an exaggerated version of herself. There's a really cool "Silent Night, Deadly Night" homage that any genre fan will get. My only complaint is that she isn't in the film enough! Robert Z'Dar (Maniac Cop) makes a cameo during the end credits that I thought was ingenious, and very humorous. I got a kick out of seeing him also play an over-the-top version of himself.

It seems everyone making this movie had a really good time and just got to be themselves. Of course, there's more cult actors and actresses than that included in the film, such as Felissa Rose who's known primarily for her role as Angela in the 80's slasher film, "Sleepaway Camp".

Starpower aside, this picture stands on its own as a new holiday classic full of blood and laughs that any genre fan should see this holiday season! Using limited resources, a B movie classic has just been birthed, and it's busted its way down my chimney and into my heart. As it will to most who see it.

So, if you like horror-comedies, slashers, and Christmas themed horror films, then you should give this a viewing. It's one I can see myself watching every year around the Christmas season while drinking some spiked eggnog and sharing some quality laughs with friends and family. I'll also be lifting my glass in a nod to all the actors and actresses involved in the film.

Though not a great film, this isn't  for those who are expecting the next epic horror flick. This is for those who can enjoy a throwback to the oldies and know when not to take a movie seriously, and just enjoy it.

"Caesar and Otto's Deadly Xmas" hits video next week. Don't miss out!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

DEAD IN TOMBSTONE is the western from hell


Synopsis taken from IMDb
A gang overruns a small mining town murdering their own leader Guerrero (Trejo) in a cold-blooded power grab. Sentenced to eternity in hell he finds himself confronted by Satan himself (Rourke), offering a daring proposition: deliver the six souls of his former gang and he will escape damnation. With time running out, he sets out on a brutal rampage to avenge his own death. 

Starting with high paced action and explosives, and the settings, it's easy to see that this low budget production was done right. Made on just over $5 million, it comes off more like a theatrical release, which impresses me. To me, this motion picture comes off like "The Crow" meets "Tombstone". 

It's a revenge story, but done in a very graphic western portrayal. I don't usually tend to like westerns, but there's good types of flicks from every genre. Those horror buffs who say they "only watch horror" are people I find to be both liars and boring. If you're a cinema buff, you watch it all.

The action is over-the-top, but fitting, and the experience of watching from beginning to end, is nothing short of thrilling. It held my attention and never got dry or disenchanting. I find the story to be somewhat generic, and nothing creative. But, those watching this should know exactly what they're getting in for: a lot of bloody violence, one-liner jokes, and a fun experience.

What's disappointing to me, is that Mickey Rourke seemed to have left his acting ability somewhere else, because it isn't visible on screen. He just walks about and talks trash, antagonizing Danny Trejo, who also wasn't up to par with his performance. There's several times where it seems Trejo was just reading lines off of paper, and it makes his acting suffer. 

However, most surprisingly, Anthony Michael Hall is great in this! I haven't seen something by him that I've liked since "The Dark Knight". So it was exciting to see him not only pull off being completely convincing as the lead villain, but also looking the part!

There's some inconsistencies that this film has, such as, when Guerrero (Trejo) kills off his former gang members one at a time, they never show where their souls go. This left me a bit confused. When Guerrero dies towards the beginning and makes a deal with the devil, he's in hell instantly. However, once several of the gang is murdered at his hands, it shows several shots of Lucifer (Rourke) in hell walking around, but he's not in the company of the villains Guerrero has killed, although he's supposed to be collecting their souls. Makes no sense to me. Perhaps they're in limbo until all 6 souls are collected at once? That could be logical, but is kind of a throwaway theory once you see the end.

It may seem that there's a lot of negative things I have to say, but I actually did enjoy viewing it. And I found it to truthfully be a fun time, and a film that you can whip out and watch with the guys with beers chilling in the fridge and pizza is on its way. But, I think the need to make this such a violent action film caused the filmmakers to overlook several things, including performances. This is definitely worth a watch, and even an own, if you buy movies frequently. It's just not perfect, so know what you're getting into before you make that purchase. This movies passes my grades, but it's not worth any over-praising.

Friday, November 1, 2013

THE EAST leaves its mark


Synopsis taken from IMDb
An operative for an elite private intelligence firm finds her priorities changing dramatically after she is tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations. 

I haven't seen a good thriller in a long time, so with The East I wasn't hoping for much. It was a shot in the dark, honestly. Starring Alexander Skarsgard who's most known for his work on HBO's True Blood as a seductive vampire. I like that he and co-worker on the show, Stephen Moyer are branching out and doing new things. But, I guess they have to find new work since the show's ending next season do to it being cancelled. Anyway, Skarsgard shares the screen with Ellen Page and Brit Marling. The three make to be a wise ensemble as the leading cast.

I think that this movie is actually very important right now, with the statement it makes. Really, the characters in this movie are doing what we all really want to do. So even though the act of terrorism is despicable, there's a part of us that agree with what goes on in this story. That is of course, unless you're someone who works in a corporation like depicted in this flick, in which case you probably hate it. 

With all that's going on in the world today, people aren't happy. There are those that are content, those that are angry, and those that gave up with the way things have been going in the world. And those who are tired of being repressed are lashing out and speaking up, letting their voices be heard. Everyone has a voice nowadays, and people are acting out towards everything and anything that they don't like. So, this film is a true statement of things that could happen. Only, it's done in a way that you can agree with and/or understand.

Huge corporations are always, consistently raping the wallets of everyone under the sun. And their mostly uppity snobs who are complete scum bags. So, to have a character-based motion picture about such matters is a good idea in my book. It helps to pull you in. The acting is well performed, and the writing is intelligent. But what really hurts this movie is the PG-13 rating. Due to such, the material is watered down and made to be generic. 

The infiltration scenes are interesting, but I'm not entirely sure they're believable. But in any case, it's not bad seeing how the characters interact and plan their missions. It's like a James Bond film, but not as smart or entertaining. 

Again, here's another film that had a metaphoric heart, but the beating fluttered out of it. The pace is consistent, but the payoff isn't the finale I wanted. Ending on a low note left me with disappointment that I expected, so I wasn't too aggravated. I consider this to be a one-time watch. I know that I have no plans of seeing it again. Not because it's a bad piece of cinema, but because seeing it once is enough for me. There's nothing about it that makes me want to see it again.

Overall, the story is good, the acting is good, the pace is good, but the pace and story come to a halt that left me underwhelmed and I found it completely expected and commercial. I like the message of this film, but not the execution.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


How do you rate movies and books?
I used to use a 1-5 star rating system. Now, I don't use any sort of rating or ranking system because I believe everyone should watch movies for themselves and form their own opinion. Using a rating system just deters readers from viewing movies on their own if they read negative reviews. I am an honest critic. Like all true horror fans, there's a lot of bad movies that I like. However, that won't stop me from weighing it out fairly and being critical on it. Just because I love it, doesn't mean I'll give it a four star rating. My biased opinion is always set aside when fairly evaluating a film or book.

Will you review my film or book?
Yes! Click the contact me tab on the top right corner of my blog.

How long is the turnaround on you reviewing my movie/book?
Usually there's a maximum of a two week turnaround, although I'm usually done quicker. I get a lot of emails full of books and screeners that I shovel through just about every day, so it's first come, first serve.

Will you post/promote my Indiegogo movie?
No, sorry. I work with and promote what's already there and existing. Usually the people who ask for promotions are extremely rude, and don't reply to emails unless they just send an update on their movie that they want me to post about. Not interested. 

How many horror films have you seen?
Asking me this is like asking me to recall how much money I've spent in my entire life up until now. It's near impossible to know this answer, but it's a lot. Too many to count. I've been watching horror films for over twenty years now. One day, I plan to make it a project and track down and list every horror movie I've ever seen. One day. 

Why should I take your word on whether or not a movie or book is good?
You shouldn't. See/read it for yourself. My fanbase comes from the fact that I am always honest, and don't sugar coat things for the sake of getting my name put in a trailer or on a poster. It's cool when that happens, but being and staying true to me and my opinion is number one in my book.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

THE COLONY won't save you


Synopsis taken from IMDb
Forced underground by the next ice age, a struggling outpost of survivors must fight to preserve humanity against a threat even more savage than nature.

This is another recent rental of mine. I've heard some pretty good things from friends, so I wasn't reluctant to give it a shot. However, there is a small part of me that was worried because Laurence Fishburne doesn't have a good track record with me. But, in all fairness, he has his share of good films. Also, the fact that it co-stars Bill Paxton helped to sell me on giving it a watch.

From the way this flick started, I instantly could see that it wasn't going to be that bad, and that it had promise. I definitely like the concept, and I actually was impressed with its delivery. There is a real sense of it being severe times for humanity, and I couldn't help but get pulled in, and sympathize with the characters. The year is 2045, and after we build climate controlling machines, they break down and ever since, it's never stopped snowing. So, all humanity is broken up into underground colonies, where they're quickly running out of resources. However, from what I understand, major critics accuse this movie of borrowing old ideas from sci-fi motion pictures, and I can't really disagree.

 Sam (Jeff Renfroe) is the main character and we follow him on the journey as he tries to accompany Briggs (Fishburne) to search out and save a fellow colony that isn't responding to radio contact. Upon the rescue mission, they come to realize that the death of the other colonists are by a group of cannibals, who ate them. Again, this is a great idea, and it kept me intrigued, even if it's originality is severely lacking. But, it's very entertaining.

The performances are pretty spot on, Fishburne and Paxton are at their best. The character development is dry and repetitive, but the acting is surprisingly convincing. I enjoyed the interactions between characters, and their dialogue isn't forced. Though, nothing remarkable stands out about the writing, it just works for what this film is. I would have liked to see more clever writing done, to really put it over-the-top and make it less predictable. 

There's things that this movie does fail at miserably, and the main thing, is the lead villain, the Feral Leader (Dru Viergever). I don't like or understand the need for him to be as menacing as he is. I understand he's the bad guy and main threat, but the acting and execution of his appearance looks like something out of a ridiculous sci-fi movie. I found this character to cheapen the overall effect this movie had before he became a player on screen. Had he been more fitting to the story, and not as cheesy, I think this film may have been really good. Not to mention the mediocre cgi, that reminds us all that this isn't a high-end motion picture, and also lessens the impact this film may have otherwise had.

In the end, The Colony is more of the same. But it's enjoyable and an easy watch. Can't say I hated it, but I can't praise it. Could have been better, but wasn't. I am expecting this one to become forgotten very quickly, and it sucks. There was a lot of potential behind this one, and it just didn't add up to what it should have.

Monday, October 28, 2013



Synopsis taken from IMDb
Two brothers team up to battle a creature under the bed, in what is being described as a "suburban nightmare" tale. 

This is one of those films that immediately appeals to the inner child in you. Seeing the cover instantly brings back times of when I was scared of what was under my bed. Of course at the time, I didn't have the sense to know it was only some board games and dust bunnies keeping me awake at night. But, I wanted to give this flick a chance, and see if something really scary can be made of this concept, or if it'll just be another flop. With a free rental from redbox, I had nothing to lose.

This comes off as a hybrid between "Feast" (2005) and the 1989 childhood classic, "Little Monsters". Weird combination, I know. But, it works for a brief period. Rather intentional or unintentional, the acting was pretty convincing, and I honestly didn't know if Neal (Jonny Weston) was telling the truth or completely insane with the stories he tells about the monster under the bed. I couldn't help but think that if he isn't crazy, what type of trouble he is going to cause his younger brother, Paulie (Gattlin Griffith)? I chose to believe the acting was intentionally supposed to make you guess as to what's the truth and what isn't, because even though the performances weren't great, they were fitting. And of course, there's stereotypical parents that don't believe them, and leave them to fend for themselves. 

Although the acting wasn't always convincing, the dialogue and the content were portrayed as very realistic and gave a good sense of how a normal family interacts. The interactions built a good foundation between characters and provided the story with a chance to develop.

There's moments that are downright funny (some intentional laughs and others not), and there's moments of genuine jumps. Best of all, there's some really well done gore, that isn't expected! Out of nowhere, we're hit with brutal scenes of devastating deaths.

Unfortunately, all that makes this movie memorable ends up getting forgotten due to so many obvious flaws. There's a few scenes that really puzzled me, because they were such obvious cop-outs that it ruined the overall effect. Something as simple as, if the little brother, Paulie, needs to stand on his older brothers shoulders to get out from under the bed, how the hell does Neal make it out with such ease when just a moment before he had no way out? Things that go unexplained like this ruin the realism and should have been given more thought and time.

In the end, "Under the Bed" is a fun monster flick worth a watch. Even though you won't be completely blown away, there's a couple good scares and some aforementioned gore. Nothing about this motion picture makes it memorable, but it's not the worst movie out right now. It had a lot of potential, and still manages to pull off a few good effects. I think had the story stayed more consistent and grounded, it would have pushed the pace a little better, and avoided some things that are downright ridiculous. 

I won't give away and spoilers, because this is a relatively new movie that most haven't heard of yet. But, it's available now, and Halloween is only a few days away. So, if you're in the mood for something a little strange and a little new, "Under the Bed" just may be for you.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

CARRIE is a bloody mess


Synopsis taken from IMDb
A re-imagining of the classic horror tale about Carrie White, a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother, who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom.

Almost everyone knows about "Carrie" and how the story plays out. If by chance you're not knowledgeable of the tale, I advise you to not read this review. I'm going to specifically mention things that may ruin it for anyone not familiar with the content.

For starters, Kimberly Peirce, the director of 1999's controversial film "Boys Don't Cry", and most recently, "Stop-Loss" (2008), took on the task of directing this re-imagining of the bloody tale. I find it only fitting that this movie is directed by a female, honestly. From where I'm coming from, I would think that logically, having a woman behind the camera could help put a new sense of realism and urgency to the situations at hand. That's what I thought, anyway...

The first thing that stood out to me was how everything is modernized. I expected it to be done, and I'm glad that it wasn't overdone. The girls locker room scene being uploaded on YouTube is a nice touch, and definitely sets the movie up right. However, aside from this flick being successfully placed in modern time, there's not much else it exceeds at. In fact, it comes up short in a lot of ways.

Such as, Carrie (Chloe Grace Moretz) and her relationship with her mother, Margaret White (Julianne Moore) is totally disappointing and flawed. I understand the need for a new take on the situation, but I'm not too happy with how this was done. From the go, Carrie is defiant and back talks her mom. The relationship between these two characters is the foundation of the entire story. So to have Carrie not be submissive and scared of Margaret doesn't work. I guess, to put it more simply, Carrie is too lively and not beaten down enough.

Not to mention, after Carrie realizes her abilities and overuses them to death, she uses them on her mom to basically throw her around and control her. Taking the control out of Margaret's hands and giving it to Carrie is a big mistake. The character of Carrie doesn't work as a strong and empowered person, it kind of takes away the point of the revenge at the end. And she uses her telekinetic abilities so much, that if you don't know what's coming at the end of the movie, you can tell it's going to involve her powers. The payoff is null and void because of how fabricated and fake everything is made to seem.

I dislike her semi-friendship with Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) as well. What should have been a key relationship in the story felt flat and hollow, with no heart and soul. Completely unconvincing acting.

 Also, I really didn't like how the prom scene was executed. The setting looked good, and looked like a genuine school prom. I also like Carrie's relationship with Tommy Ross (Ansel Elgort), and the differences there. But, the way Carrie's revenge is done is just downright watered down and lame. First of all, I hated the movements she made when she was using her abilities against her schoolmates. I also dislike how she saved certain people from her reign of terror, such as Ms. Desjardin (Judy Greer).

I didn't feel the rage and hatred, and hurt. It wasn't authentic. Add to that, the worst thing of all about this flick is the fact that Carrie flies. I literally face-palmed myself in the theater! I found it utterly stupid. Doing something that has such a high cheese factor has to be done elegantly, and in a way to make it seem even less ridiculous. 

Overall, I didn't like the cast. This motion picture has the cast of a PG-13 movie. Everyone is so Hollywood and fake, none seem like real characters that you can relate to. I like Chloe Grace Moretz as an actress, but I feel that her talents were wasted in a film that she wasn't suitable for. Even though she's made to look homely, it still doesn't work because she's too attractive. 

All I can really say is that I'm disappointed like hell with this one. I had people telling me that it was going to "suck", but that's what everyone says when a remake is coming out. So, I went in with an open mind, expecting it to be good, hoping it to be good. And I came out extremely let down. Maybe, if this film were on it's own, and had no predecessor, I could like it. But, when you have an existing film done by the great Brian De Palma, I can't help but compare. 

I understand why this movie went in the direction it did. It was the only logical step to take in putting a new take on the story. However, there's hardly any worthy advancements, and what is there is forged and expected.

I would say that this is a remake of the original film, not a re-imagining. The De Palma film is a re-imagining of the book by Stephen King.

In the end, this is just another remake that doesn't live up to it's name. 

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