Category Archives: Thriller

Dark Skies (2013)

DARK SKIES
(Horror, Thriller, Supernatural, Sci Fi, 2013) (15) D/W:Scott Stewart  1h 37m. USA.

TAGLINE : Once you’ve been chosen, you belong to them.

As the Barret family peaceful suburban life is rocked by an escalating series of disturbing events, they come to learn that a terrifying and deadly force is after them.

dark skies poster

I did kinda go into this one utterly blind,  I should have guessed it was going to be about aliens but I had hoped with all the hype that it would have entertained me for a few minutes at least. Nothing new learnt no scares and little to be interested about. I spent most of the time yelling at the TV like an old person. Who didn’t see all the cliché’s coming!? Pan back to view a huge open window.. of course something is gonna fly into it.. make it dramatic though, think Hitchcock and the Birds (1968) add some real scares in there!! Go on.. PLEASE. I got a bigger thrill from Fire in the Sky (1993), The Fourth Kind (2009) or even Signs (2002) For F*ck Sake!!

I know a lot of people really enjoyed this and it scared them but I would wager this is a new subject to the little teen generation, I dunno… I really don’t. This whole new wave of horror has been so piss poor, Insidious (2010), Dead Silence (2007) etc. were all terrible, like a bunch of After Dark Movies.

I guess growing up with a mother who reads von Däniken and devotedly listening to UFO podcasts etc. I have been exposed to a lot of these tales and this is the lamest.

Truly disappointed…

The final emo scene with the kids going through a pseudo silent hill reality check thing was annoying more than scary.

I think the Alien segment in VHS or VHS2 was more thrilling and shorter and had more plot and scares.. I dunno I guess someone people got together and made a movie, well done but next time make sure your firing on all cylinders first.

3/10

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Travelers (2011)

TRAVELERS

(Thriller,Sport, 2011) (18) D/W: Kris McManus P: Alex Edwards, Brian A Levine – 1h 24m. UK

TAGLINE: It’s in the blood.

Four friends set out on a motorcycle adventure weekend, clocking up miles in an attempt to outrun their urban lifestyles…

travellers

Basics is that a  group of arrogant city boys go out camping in the wilderness on their pretty motorbikes, insult some locals about being inbred and attack a caravan which they discover a dead body is inside.. or what they presume is a dead body.. The owners of the caravan (obviously Irish Gypsies) come back and seek their revenge on their home being attacked.. the dead body gets up and it turns out it’s one of the Irish guys girlfriend/sister (probably both, we are talking about the rednecks of the British Isles here) who isn’t best pleased at her home being kicked in but takes mercy on the boys as her bothers/lovers deal out some punishment. The city boys find themselves on the run from the Irish and are being picked off one by one, and also manage to get themselves pulled into the Irish fighting scene as a redemption for their deeds! There is a lot going on in this film!

This movie for what it’s worth could have been an hour shorter. Yeah 24 minutes to tell the story then maybe an hour of real Irish Gypsy fighting! Saying that the fight scenes are pretty ruthless. Okay I’m being a bit harsh, it is a good story.. but I had problems with it..

It’s let down by the lack of acting and dialogue, but the depth of the plot keeps you interested enough to watch it through but afterwards I personally felt a bit cheated. Which is actually how I felt with another of McManus’s movies Dead in France (2012).

In a similar vein as Deliverance (1972) , Pig Hunt (2008) or more accurately Devils Bridge (2010), this movie tells the story of backwoods meets metroman with devastating consequences which in itself is nothing new but this has a slightly different twist on the subject which is inventive but could have been executed a bit better.

The only differences between this and Devils Bridge (2010) is a bit of a Shrooms (style twist to it. In addition to this one of the city boys is from a traveller background so kinda knows all about the life. So if he did know.. why the hell did he want to get back and why didn’t he protect his friends? Douchebag!

travellers-still

It’s just below average, I think with a bit of tweaking and more emphasis on the twist/fighting and maybe some better production this could be an amazing movie. I want to like it but… I do really appreciate lo-fi British movies, there is a lot of creativity going on in this scene, it just needs a gentle push and it could be great again.

R : Knuckle (2011) which is more of a documentary, highly entertaining. Deliverance (1972) , Pig Hunt (2008)

5/10

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Fortress (1992)

FORTRESS

(Thriller, Sci Fi, Action, 1992) (18) D: Stuart Gordon W :Troy Neighbors/Steven Feinberg S: Christopher Lambert, Kurtwood Smith and Jeffrey Combs. 1h 35m. Australia USA

A Futuristic prison movie, Protagonist and wife are nabbed at a future US emigration point with an illegal baby during population control.

Fortress (2)

This is probably one of best movies by Gordon, who has a Jeffrey Combs fetish, he’s directed him in Re-Animator (1985) and From Beyond (1986).

This film is based around a futuristic computer-automated underground American prison that uses robots and lasers to control the inmates, who also have “instestinators” installed that cause pain or death depending on the which line to cross..  A married couple Brennick and Mrs Brennick (Christopher Lambert and Loryn Locklin) are imprisoned because she became pregnant with a second child (a felony). The prison is run by Director Poe (Kutwood Smith) who is a genetic human who can’t handle his drink. Jeffrey Combs is a radical computer whiz and Maddox and Stiggs (Vernon Wells and Tom Towels) run around being general ass raping douchbags.

Fortress

It’s quite typical of the age but it’s that area of sci fi that I really love, I prefer the doomed mankind theme in my futuristic movies and even though the subject of human population control has been covered it never looked so good. You know a good 1980’s 1990’s sci fi movie when you hear the phrases Mainframe, Corporation and Fucking A, this movie overdoses in them!

Fortress (1)

There isn’t anything outstanding about the movie, it’s just cool!! REALLY COOL, I just get so psyched with dodgy retro sci fi..

BS :  The fight scene between Lambert and Wells is pretty cool. It starts out with a kick in the face and ends up a bloody mess!

T: The lead role was originally case for Arnie.

Q : “Rise and fucking shine sweetheart” This film also uses a lot of “fucking a”, “mainframe” and “corporation” phrases.

R: Fortress 2 (2000) The Handmaid’s Tale (1990) , Death Machine (1994)

8/10

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The Believers (1978)

THE BELIEVERS
(Supernatural, Horror, Thriller, Mystery, 1987) (18) D: John Schlesinger W: Nicholas Conde, S : Marting Sheen, Helen Shaver and Robert Loggia. 1h 54m. USA

TAGLINE: Nothing can stop them, No one can help you, They know who you are.

believers

A New York Psychiatrist finds that a voodoo cult which believes in child sacrifice, has a keen interest in his own son.

I’m not entirely sure how I ever missed this movie up until now! I adore everything about it. It goes from a shocking morning breakfast to Fulci style insect crawling out of the face gore! Obviously there is a little more going on..

Basically Cal (Martin Sheen)’s son is hot property to some voodoo cult, there are some mysterious child murders and apparent suicides of adults. After the shocking breakfast tragedy, Cal and his son move to New York where he then has to fight what he doesn’t know or understand to save his son from a “Brujeria” who needs his son to preform one of their rituals.

The film is exceptionally made and despite being long (not in my books) people have crucified it for being slow and padding things out, I suppose it’s just not for everyone but I felt that it kept to the story and kept that story flowing. A lot of Voodoo cinema deal with the history or the cult personalities etc, there is not deep history lesson or anything with leads the viewer though any lanes of belief, you really have to do all this hard work yourself.

The first passing of the wife is something that you could possibly see as happening but if the next scene went to spiders crawling gout of someone’s face then you would switch it off, but by the time your introduced to the workings of the cult, the mutilations the mental breaking down of a seasoned police officer, your taken in by the power of the magic.

the_believers_spiders

If you can appreciate an older horror that can scare without the use of CGI then you might find this interesting.

Q :  “Alright, I understand. You don’t have any reason to trust me yet. But you don’t have any reason to distrust me, do you?”

R: The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988), Angel Heart (1987), Borderland (2007), Marked for Death (1990)

7/10

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DREAMSCAPE

DREAMSCAPE

(Thriller, Horror, Adventure, Sci Fi 1984) (15) D : Joseph Ruben W : David Loughey S : Max Von Sydow, Denis Quaid, David Patrick Kelly. 1h 39m. USA.

A young psychic on the run from himself is recruited by the government to save the US President who’s mind is trapped inside the dream world.

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Denis Quaid is a psychic running from the mob into the open arms of a government dream project. After a chat in a bar with an author Charlie Prince (George Wendt) the dangers of the project and a plot to kill the president becomes more apparent. Finally shit kicks off!

I reallyh appreciate movies that use stop motion FC, and this one uses them quite well in the dream sequences, but the let down is that the dreams were mundane and not as oddball or off the scale as I would have liked, still that’s neither here nor there, you still have dragon men, zombie in the underground and nuclear war! BRING IT ON!

Big thumbs up to David Patrick Kelly who plays his typical dodgy little fuck’s part quite well and it’s always super cool to see him as a villain in any movie. Since the Warriors (1979) he’s never failed to antagonise.

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Q : “If your talking about our sex life then George has a little problem”

BS : After the death of Mrs Matuski the confrontation between Quaid and Kelly is great. And includes this… Q : You may not know it to look at me but I’m a pretty sensitive guy”

TIL : Never draw your bad dreams and leave them available for your enemies to find.

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R : Nightmare on elm street (1981), Inception (2010).

SHALLOW GROUND

SHALLOW GROUND

(Horror, Thriller 2004) (18) D/W : Sheldon Wilson S: Timothy Murphy 1h 37m. USA

TAGLINE : Fear your past… it will find you.

A naked teenage boy covered in blood appears at a remote sheriffs station one year after the brutal unsolved murder of a local girl.

Another low budget; or at least TV grade easy to guess the end flashing photography poor excuse for a horror movie. OK I’m being callous but as much as this movie tells an out of the ordinary supernatural story it also sucks. Maybe this could have made a better Tales of the Unexpected or Outer Limits episode rather than dragging out a pretty obvious story. I did like the first half of the movie a story starts to form and progress but then it hits a brick wall and a series of lame dream sequences take over and left me begging for the end despite the uber appealing Timothy Murphy.

3/10

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