Mom and Dad Review

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Mom and Dad is a horror/comedy film from 2017 about an artificial mass psychosis that causes parents to murder their own children.  Carly and Josh Ryan spend the day trying to survive their parents murderous attempts, while society crumbles around them.

Spoiler Warning

Mom and Dad is all over the place with its narrative style.  There are several flashbacks thrown right in the middle of intense action scenes that sort of disrupt the flow of things.  There will be an abrupt cut from one scene to another just as the action was building up.  Initially its distracting but it does serve a purpose to help give context to the events that are currently going on.

I went into this thinking it was strictly a horror movie causing myself to be extremely confused by what was happening on the screen as a result.  Nicolas Cage plays Brent Ryan, the father of the two kids.  I thought Nics performance was initially over the top.  I found myself asking “what am I watching?” plenty of times as his character gave extremely exaggerated reactions to situations.  Knowing now that it was intentional, I can say that Cage stole the show.  His character was hilarious.  I broke out in laughter multiple times when he was on screen.  There was one scene where he was chasing his son Josh through the house while barking like a dog for some reason.  In another scene he has a meltdown over his wife asking him why he bought a pool table when he doesn’t even like pool, so he procees to destroy it with a sledgehammer while singing the hokey pokey while his wife doesn’t seem fazed by this behavior.  This movie is one of Cages best performances in recent memory.

All in all this movie is entertaining.  I liked the action, and Cages hilarious acting.  The plot really isn’t new, movies like The Signal, The Crazies, and Cell have all done the “something turns people into murderous psychos” thing before.  Mom and Dad is the first thats added comedy to the mix though, and it does it well.

6.5/10

-Andre

 

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Upcoming Horror Movies 2018

2017 bought some pretty good horror movies like Get Out, IT, Creep 2, and Alien Covenant.  2018 is shaping up to be a good year for horror as well.  We’ve had A Quiet Place, Veronica, and the Ritual that were pretty good, but there’s a lot more coming out to keep your horror hungers satiated!

The First Purge

Always been a fan of the Purge series, they’re fun and entertaining.  The latest entry looks to up the chaos in all the best ways.  We get to see how the country came to the point where the concept of an annual purge was a good idea to implement.

The Nun

A spin off of the popular Conjuring series.  This one follows the creepy character that had a minor part in Conjuring 2.

The Meg

Another shark attack movie, except this one features a giant shark!  This one looks to be a blockbuster.  Will it measure up to Jaws?  Probably not.  Will it be good?  I hope so.

Venom

Venom actually looks amazing in the trailer.  Follows Eddie Brock as he becomes one of the most iconic comic book villains ever.  Somehow there’s no Spider-Man in this and that worries me.  Might have to sit this one out till its on DVD.

Slender Man

Based on the popular creepypasta meme that’s been floating around for a bit.  This one looks like it’ll be genuinely creepy.

Predator

Another Predator movie!  As long as its better than Predator 2 it should be a hit.

Halloween(2018)

The original scream queen returns for the “final” (they said that last time) showdown with her deranged brother Michael.  This one takes place 40 years after the original film ignoring the previous sequels.

Overlord

World War II movie that takes place on D-day.  US troopers drop behind enemy lines to find a Nazi occupied village experimenting with supernatural forces.  J. J. Abrams is attached and there’s speculation that it could be related to the Cloverfield franchise.  Giant monsters maybe?

Suspiria

An american travels to Europe to join a prestigious dance academy.  She finds herself in the midst of brutal murders that may have a supernatural connection.  This ones a remake of the 1977 film.  Never saw it, but I plan to before this one comes out.

-Andre

Creep Review

creep posterCreep is a very simple movie driven by good acting from the only two characters in the film, Aaron and Josef.  Aaron answers an ad online to film a video message for Josef’s unborn son, as Josef has limited time left due to cancer.  Throughout their short time together Aaron starts to realize that Josef isn’t what he seems.

Spoiler Warning

Creep has a really slow burn to it.  The first half of the movie is slower character development with nothing important really happening until later in the day.  I loved the antagonist in this.  From the first time you see him Josef, is really unsettling and creepy.  He maintains intense eye contact whenever he speaks to Aaron, he breaks his personal barriers by embracing him immediately after meeting him, and he shares some of the most intimate moments of his life when they are essentially strangers.  All of these may seem a bit innocuous but as the film goes on you start to feel that there is more of a sinister undertone to Josefs actions.  Josef makes a great villain because of how he psychologically manipulates Aaron.  He toys with him throughout their interactions, pushing his boundaries to see how much he can creep him out before he pulls him back in with a sympathetic plea and it works because he can read Aarons character so well.

Aaron is generally a nice guy, even when Josef does the weirdest things like “tubby time,” he remains sympathetic and understanding.  As far as he knows, Josef is dying and won’t ever get to see his son, so he grants him extra leeway with regards to his weirdness.  Towards the end of their day together Aaron is noticeably upset by Josefs behavior at this point and wants to leave.   It gets to the point where Aaron is finally fed up, culminating in a scuffle where Aaron escapes and heads home.  The following days Josef continues to send Aaron DVDs attempting to explain his behavior, even breaking in to leave one inside Aarons house.  Through all of this, not once does Aaron go to the police.  Josef has managed to convince Aaron that even though he’s lied to him about everything thus far, it’s because he wants him to be his friend.  Aaron falls victim to his own empathy when he agrees to meet a seemingly repentant Josef at a park, setting his camera up to record the interaction for his safety.  Josef shows up and puts on a wolf mask and murders him with an ax.  We next see Josef recording a final farewell to Aaron, puzzling over his kindness and naivete before adding the video of Aarons murder to a collection of DVDs bearing first names of presumed past victims.

Creep is a character driven movie.  Josef is one of my favorite antagonists in horror movies because he’s such an intriguing character.  It’s a nice cut from the cliche slashers and generic horror psychos that just chase people down and kill them.  Although the first half of the movie draws things out, its worth it to stay to the end.

7/10

-Andre

Bedeviled Review

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Bedeviled is a supernatural horror film released in 2016.  Bedeviled follows a group of high school friends who all get a link from their friends phone after her mysterious death.  Naturally, they all click it and have an unknown app called “Mr. Bedevil” installed to their phones.  The app is essential Apples Siri, if she were Pennywise the Dancing Clown.  Mr. Bedevil is some kind of supernatural force that preys on the fears of those who install the app, eventually scaring them to death.

I found this film to be lackluster yet entertaining for all the wrong reasons.  For starters I find it hard to believe that six kids would click a random link sent from their dead friends phone.  Also from the beginning Mr. Bedevil lets on to the kids that he knows everything about them and is capable of controlling their environment.  I don’t think many people would be comfortable with an app that they known nothing about having the ability to control appliances in their home, but these kids initially love it until things get more malicious.  Mr. Bedevil never really goes after any of the teens unless they’re alone, which they happen to be for the majority of the film.  There are six teens in the film being stalked by the app and we only see one of the teens parents for a few minutes.  The rest of the kids are shown walking home on deserted streets, changing in empty locker rooms, sitting home alone, and running through empty parking structures alone.  I’m not sure why they felt the need to have the characters isolated so much as the movie shows at one point that Mr. Bedevil is capable of possessing other people around them in order to harass them.

The movie borrows heavily from other films in the horror genre, the grudge, the ring,  final destination, and IT.  There were actually two scenes that were exact copies from IT in this.  The characters were pretty bad and stupid and their solutions made no sense.  They realize that the Mr. Bedevil uses their fears to kill them, yet none of them make any attempt to overcome what they’re afraid of.  One of the characters had a fear of her grandmother when she was a child and Mr. Bedevil is still able to torment her with this fear years later.  Their solutions to get rid of the app make no sense from the information given in the movie.  They cant uninstall it by regular means.  One character literally breaks his phone and it’s magically repaired before him.  But somehow the solution to get rid of the app is to write a code that uninstalls it when Mr. Bedevil is in their world and it works for some reason.  How though?  The app installed itself to their phones in the first place once they clicked the link and can manipulate the world at will.  Even though they uninstall it whats stopping the spirit from just installing it on their phones again?  If it can magically repair a destroyed phone in a blink of an eye how does uninstalling the program do anything?

Overall this movie is riddled with cheap jump scares and a cliche plot that drags.   The acting was bland.  Characters seemed bored when they spoke to each other.  I liked Mr. Bedevil even though his “original form” is laughably bad the different forms he would take to torment his victims were pretty creepy.  There were some scenes that were funny on purpose, such as when one teen was talking to Mr. Bedevil on the bus and got insulted. As well as some that were unintentionally funny, same teen as before is being chased through the parking structure by Mr. Bedevil and runs past the exit to outside and gets cornered.  All in all its a pretty “meh” film.

4/10

-Andre

Killing Ground Review

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Killing Ground is an Australian horror/thriller movie from 2017.  It’s the story of a couple taking a camping trip for New Year’s Eve in the Australian outback.  The pair decide to camp on a remote beach next to an abandoned tent, believing the occupants would return later on.  Their trip takes a drastic turn for the worse when they find a baby wandering their campsite the next day.

Killing Ground is a slow movie.  It’s an hour and a half long, and it doesn’t get interesting until about the last thirty minutes.  The movie throws you off with its use of flashbacks between scenes, as you don’t initially know that they’re flashbacks.  It takes a minute to realize what’s happening with this and it kind of distracts from the movie until you figure it out.  The acting in this was decent, characters played their roles convincingly.  The couple played their roles really well, particularly the doctor.   The villains are your basic cookie cutter woods psychos in the spirit of Eden Lake, Wolf Creek, or Texas Chainsaw Massacre, except they’re dumber.  It works for them though because the protagonists aren’t the smartest as well.  The movie has some scenes in it that leave a bad taste in your mouth, but thankfully you never really see them happen in real time.  One thing that I really didn’t like about this movie was the ending.  It leaves loose ends that I feel should’ve been resolved.

SPOILERS

The couple kill their captor after crashing the car and wake up in the hospital and we don’t get to see them interact which I feel takes away from some character development possibilities.  When things really got intense, the doctor abandoned his fiance.  The viewer as well as the fiance are initially led to believe that he left her because he was saving the baby, but no, he left them both to save himself.  I think that it would’ve been interesting to see how this whole ordeal effected their relationship, or if they even still had one.

The movie never shows what happens with the baby.  The last you see of him he’s alive and unconscious in the grass being guarded by a dog.  This is before the couple even kills their captor and wakes up in the hospital the next day.  It’s reasonable to assume that the authorities found the couple as when the doctor left he came back with police who were promptly killed by the psycho.  Logically if two cops went to investigate a murder and were never heard from again would more cops not show up?  Did these additional cops search the area?  Did they find the dog guarding the baby?  We’ll never know and that sucks.

Altogether it’s a decent thriller with good acting but the pacing, the way they use flashbacks, and the ending hold it back from being good to me.

5/10

-Andre

 

Would You Rather Review

would-you-rather-2012-poster01Would You Rather is a horror movie about a young woman living with her sick brother struggling to make ends meet.  She accepts a dinner invitation from the wealthy Lambrick family under the pretense of having a chance to change her life by simply playing a game.  Unfortunately for her and the seven other guests, Mr. Lambricks game isn’t as harmless as advertised.  As can be gleaned from the title, the guests end up playing a harrowing game of Would You Rather, with rounds increasing in intensity as the night goes on and players drop out.

I thought Would You Rather was relatively entertaining.  The acting was OK, I can’t really point at anything and say it was specifically bad but you won’t be blown away by anyone’s acting chops on the other hand.  The characters aren’t too interesting, no one really has a standout personality or significant character development. I have a hard time remembering any of the other guests besides the main protagonist.  They’re given little to no backstory outside of an initial introduction when they all arrive.  Outside of maybe three characters you don’t find out what’s going on in their lives and why they’re in need of Lambricks charity.

The story was average as well, a bunch of guests get tricked and taken advantage of by a rich sociopath.  It’s a formula that’s been done before and Would You Rather brings nothing new to the field in that regard.  If you’ve any experience with horror movies this one’s fairly predictable at times.  There’s some scenes that make you cringe, such as when Lambrick has a guest slit their own eye open with a razor instead of attempting a two minute submerge in a water filled barrel.  Then there’s scenes that turn out to be unintentionally hilarious due to a dumb decision by the characters, such as when a guest takes down an armed guard, yet he decides to advance on Lambrick with a whip instead of taking the guards gun and is promptly shot dead.

Would You Rather provides a decent amount of entertainment for a night.  It brings nothing new to the genre, yet it doesn’t ruin anything as well.  It’s an alright movie that doesn’t leave an impression.

5/10

-Andre

Day of the Dead: Bloodline Review

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Day of the Dead: Bloodline is the second remake of Romero’s original 1985 zombie flick.  It’s been so long since I’ve seen the original that I can’t really compare the two, but I’d bet that Bloodline is worse.  This movie was awful.  I can’t go into detail about why I hated this movie without spoilers so here’s your spoiler warning.

I went into this movie with low expectations, it is a direct to DVD movie after all, yet I was STILL disappointed.  Every character aside from two, is really stupid, it’s a wonder that they survived as long as they did.  The main character is Zoe, she’s a med student which would lead you to believe that she’s got a functioning brain in her head, but you’d be wrong on that assumption.  Zoe has a creepy stalker named Max, a guy who carved Zoe’s name into his arm as a show of affection and doesn’t understand what no means.  Lt. Miguel, the leader in charge of the bunker and the second smartest person in the movie.  Despite being the smartest person in the bunker no one listens to him because he’s a jerk.  Baca is Zoe’s boyfriend and Miguel’s brother, he’s also pretty dumb.  The rest of the characters are just dumb and don’t really matter.

The movie takes place five years after Zoe survives an assault from Max and a bunch of zombies.
She’s now one of two doctors at a military bunker.  From what I can tell this happens to be a pretty safe setup.  They have armed military personnel patrolling the fences, food and water are readily available, and they have adequate medical supplies.  Zoe barges late into a meeting and gets into an argument with Lt Miguel about what to do about a girl sick with pneumonia.  Lt. Miguel says they should just isolate her to keep everyone else from getting sick, insinuating that its better to just let her die than risk lives to try and get medication for her.  Zoe tells him that she has her isolated but that everyone in the community would still be at risk to catch and die from this deadly strain of pneumonia the girl has.  We later see Zoe interacting with this girl with not so much as a face mask on despite her claims of how much of a hazard this sickness is to everyone.  There’s also a scene where Zoe goes to check on the girl and finds another kid in the room playing with her, the kid then leaves and joins the rest of the community to potentially spread this “deadly sickness.”   So Zoe argues and convinces eight of the soldiers to take her into the city to retrieve medicine from her med school for the sick girl.  They maneuver through the school and retrieve the items from the pharmacy and are preparing to leave.  The group walks past a room that used to be Zoe’s office.  Instead of doing the logical thing and asking the group to hang back for a second so that she could grab some things from her office, Zoe sneakily separates herself from the others and explores the office alone.  Surprise! Zombie Max has been hiding in here for five years!  Zoe manages to escape from him and runs into the rest of the group but the ensuing chaos has roused the attention of every nearby zombie and one of the soldiers dies in the attack.  That’s one death on you already Zoe.

Arriving back at camp Lt. Miguel is justifiably upset but again, comes off as a jerk so everyone sides with Zoe.  We see that zombie Max has infiltrated the camp by holding onto the underside of the Humvee as the group made their way back to the bunker, yes really.  Zombie Max then becomes even more of a ninja and stealthily maneuvers around the bunker killing at least three people as he stalks Zoe.  Max does his best Batman impersonation while crawling through the ventilation above Zoe, she turns as she hears commotion behind her, when she turns back around a second later Zombie Max is standing in front of her.  Max is apprehended by the soldiers after chasing Zoe to a corner and being creepy with her.  Lt. Miguel, again being the smartest person in the camp, wants to kill Max but Zoe wants to experiment on him because he’s different as he didn’t attempt to bite her.  Something to note is that NO ONE questions how zombie Max got into the bunker or whether they need to check for perimeter breaches.  In fact, the very next morning Zoe is seen doing her morning jog with no supervision as if nothing has happened.  There’s also no mention of any of the people Max killed as he snuck around.

So Zoe starts to experiment on Max finding out that he’s some kind of hybrid human zombie for some reason.  Zoe’s experiments require that she capture two “live” zombies in order to test their blood next to Maxs.  Zoe and some of the same dumb soldiers then head out to the perimeter gate where there are roughly thirty zombies.  They intend to open the gate and funnel in one at a time, obviously this goes wrong.  They get overrun and lose their perimeter and have to retreat back into the bunker, but not before losing another soldier and having the only other doctor on base get bitten on the arm.  Lt. Miguel is again, understandably upset, and has a standoff where he intends to shoot the bitten doctor.  Zoe protests saying that she can now make a vaccine so that “bites would no longer be a death sentence.”  The funny thing about zombie bites is that, thus far in the movie the only person that has been bitten non-fatally is the other doctor.  Everyone else that has been bitten by a zombie has been bitten in the throat, or mauled by multiple zombies.  Lt. Miguel asks her if she has this vaccine now, and when Zoe tells him she doesn’t Miguel shoots the doctor, again going about it like a jerk.  Everyone is upset and sides with Zoe, regarding Miguel as a monster.

Zoe heads back to her lab to run tests on the blood samples she retrieved.  This is where things get even dumber.  Two soldiers enter the lab, one decides to get nose to nose with Max to remark about how ugly he is.  Max, being the smartest person in the room grabs her and throws her around before the other soldier can pull her away.  In the commotion Max manages to slip the key to his chains from the second soldier and pocket them.  Max escapes and opens the doors to the bunkers allowing in dozens of zombies.  As the zombies stream in through the open doors, Zoe manages to run past the zombies entering the bunker as she chases the sick girl from earlier.  None of the zombies even glance at her as they run past and into the bunker for some reason.  Miguel and a majority of the survivors in the bunker are killed and Baca is bitten.  Zoe manages to kill Max once and for all and arrives back to the bunker to find Baca about to kill himself to prevent from turning.  Zoes miracle vaccine works and Baca survives, the movie rewarding all of the stupidity that transpired beforehand.  Weeks later we’re shown a happy community thriving in the bunker, Zoe and Baca are happy, there’s kids playing outside enjoying life despite their parents being dead.

This movie was awful and dumb.  Certain parts were so absurd that they were hilarious.  There were scenes where people were attacked and there would be explosions of blood for some reason.  People explode when bitten in this!  Max infiltrating the bunker and taking down soldiers like he’s a secret agent was hilarious.  The characters are unbelievably dumb.  The protagonist nearly gets everyone killed to make this vaccine that she can only use on her boyfriend, because he’s the only one still alive due to her actions.  The only person with a shred of common sense is vilified and ignored because he’s a jerk. The acting is bad, the plot is bad, and the characters are bad.  This movie is bad.  2/10

 

-Andre