Category Archives: True Life

Bundy: An American Icon (2008)

Director:Michael Feifer .
Starring.Corin Nemec, Kane Hodder, Jen Nikolaisen. USA. 1h 27m.

There will never be a serial killer movie which really gets at all the nitty gritty, ugly details of a serial killer and/or their killings. I’m pretty certain of that, but now and again something will try and trip that line and at least give us a decent movie. While I really enjoy this film and watch it regularly; i have to admit that it’s not actually a brilliant film. At times it’s a bit bland. It certainly doesn’t give me the insight I crave for but I’m in a minority here, not everyone is interested in serial killers and most people just want to know enough to say they are aware of but they don’t want to see the real face of a killer looking back at them from a TV movie. Continue reading Bundy: An American Icon (2008)

Citadel (2012)

citadel03

Director: Ciaran Foy .

Starring: Aneurin Barnard, James Cosmo, Jake Wilson, Wunmi Mosaku. Ireland/Scotland/UK. 1h 24m.

A deeply moving and scary psychological horror, written and directed by Ciaran Foy,who later went on to direct Sinister 2 (2015). In this dark Gaelic horror drama we’re introduced to a young couple expecting, Tommy (Barnard) and Joanne (Shiels) live in a decomposing apartment block, while returning home, the couple get separated, while Tommy is in the lift, a group of hooded teens start attacking his heavily pregnant girlfriend as he desperately tries to escape the confines of the lift, he finds her unconscious, with a syringe in her stomach, during flashbacks we see that Joanne survives and gives birth to a baby girl, but remains in a coma and eventually is taken off life support. The distraught Tommy attempts to care for his daughter while dealing with acute agoraphobia as a result of the ordeal, his only support is Marie (Mosaku). Continue reading Citadel (2012)

Crumb (1994)

 

crumb

Director Terry Zwigoff
Starring Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Charles Crumb, Maxon Crumb. USA. 2h

Crumb is a tragically funny and deeply insightful documentary about one man’s ability to turn his innermost feelings into art which spoke for an entire generation.

This incredibly personal glimpse into the life of a genius accompanied by a very fitting ragtime soundtrack as this documentary aims to dig deep under the skin of the illustrator to the point of him actually being psychologically affected by the filming. Continue reading Crumb (1994)

Regression (2015)

regression hawke watson

quickflick-1.jpg

A dark and dramatic build up to a not so impressive ending for this sprightly occult laced mystery. I could see a lot of outstanding horror connections and there is even a (slight) cameo from satanic black metal band Behemoth but ultimately in the end I just didn’t see the point but in it’s defense the film did give me ultimate motherfucker of all jump scares that I will never forget.

The movie starts with an energetic and passionate cop Bruce Kenner (Ethan Hawke) on the hunt for justice after a young girl, Angela Gray (Emma Watson) has been sexually abused and is hiding from her family at a local church. After failing at all paths of investigation he attempts a new form of questioning involving Professor Kenneth Raines’s ( David Thewlis) regression method and through a form of hypnosis a satanic cult that has engulfed the town is slowly revealed. Based on real events this film does offer a lot of thrilling suspense and intrigue a few jumps and some psychological terror but wains when it comes to gore and horror.

The dark Se7en-esque atmosphere is enhanced by multiple rainy Minnesota night scenes and darkened barns (that happen to harbour a fucking hell beast), and a well crafted sinister soundtrack.

Everything about Alejandro Amenábar’s film casts doubt, it cultivates a culture of looking at small details and taking a side. What starts out as a run of the mill child abuse story suddenly becomes a dark bloody story about sacrificing babies and cult persecution. Kenner’s mental stability comes into question as he encounters many late night terrors as the satanic group single him out. He’s plagued by silent phone calls, intruders, strange dreams and becomes hyper paranoid as strangers stare at him everywhere he goes, is this an invitation or is he on a occult hit list?

Fast paced thrilling mystery film that uncovers a potential child killing satanic cult acting in a small Minnesota town..

The film is very much in two halves, the first is a gritty detective mystery, one lose cop is out to get his man, Kenner is determined, quick witted and in control, but nothing is adding up, eventually after some more interactions with Angela (Watson) and after the regression sessions with the sound minded Professor things start to skew and the lines get incredibly blurry, the occult gets heavily involved and Kenner is a fish out of water.

regressionHawke had to carry this movie, there are a few good actors backing him up like Dale Dickey who plays a strong religious grandmother Rose, and her son (father to Angela and first accused of her abuse) is played by the multi skilled Swedish/Danish actor Karl David Sebastian Dencik. There is a particularly dramatic scene where Rose is being accused of cult punishments and she starts protesting her innocence “I know who i am.. I know who I am” which was equal to the ending scenes of Angel Heart (1987) other similarities are various scenes from the Omen Series where creepy people are starring characters down in the street and weird red eyed animals turn up as in The Rite (2011) but this one feline in the barn scene scared the literal piss out of me.. so watch out for that.

regression catOverall I would have preferred a movie that had a lot more blood and guts, but that’s just how I roll. Yes there is a strong argument that it’s based on real events and doesn’t need the gore to make the film more horrific, and I appreciate what it is, I just found it more of a mystery than a horror. I found there were two main scares and one of them really was enough for an ailurophobe like myself.. thanks guys, but it doesn’t have the power it needed to really drive the “twist” at the end. Sadly it was let down by Emma Watson I found her character as as useful as zhizhi zhang in Horseman (2009) but she has no excuse because she can speak the language. It was great seeing Behemoth on a poster starring down Hawke in one of the later scenes, but I dunno if they were on tour in that area in the 90’s or not.. still it’s a nice touch.

Rating 6/10

R – The Omen, Angel Heart, The Rite, The Devils, Devil Rides Out
L – Satanic films, Real Murder Mysteries
A – Why do satanist always wear robes in films AKA how satanism portrayed on film.
5B – Ethan Hawke, David Thewlis, Karl Dencik

Into the Wild (2007)

Into the Wild (5)

Into the Wild (2007) (Biography, Adventure, Drama,  2007) (15) D: Sean Penn W: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer P: Sean Penn C: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Vince Vaughn, Kristen Stewart, Hal Holbrook. 2h 28m. USA.

Synopsis : After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.

TAGLINE : Into the heart Into the soul

Sean Penns 6th film comes in the form of a nonlinear biographical road trip detailing the inspirational and curious life of Christopher McCandless played by the young multitalented Emile Hirsch. Boasting a bittersweet and soulful and soundtrack from Eddie Vedder and detailing the literary works of Jon Krakauer. Penn manages to draw together the details from the book to form an almost romantic optimistic view on this quite scary mystery filtered through an ever changing landscape.

Starting off near the end and skipping forwards and backwards throughout the timeline is always a little confusing but for this story where no one fully really knows what happened or why, it doesn’t hinder how the storytelling at all, it does mimic the way that the story was revealed in real time. Christopher (Emile Hirsch) is shown through various stages of this life, but is constant in his need to live his life on the hippy trail, without money or fancy cars, his strong sense of life and living outside of what we accept as the norm.

Abandoning his (oppressive) parents, keeping in touch with his sister through letters and hitting the road Christopher spends the film living off the land and picking up jobs and survival information for his Alaskan dream. Constantly avoiding convention he works in burger places, learns how to crop and enriches the lives of everyone he meets while keeping his distance from personal relationships he learns how to work leather while reminding the aged Hal (Ron Franz) that there is life is outside the workshop and shouldn’t be put off doing something new until another day,  instantly recognising problems between Rainy (Brian Dierker) and Jan (Catherine Keener) his love and understanding bonds him with the couple throughout the film and they almost adopt him. Vince Vaughn manages to inspire him and teaches him how to work the fields before his arrest.

He questions everything, in one great scene he just wants to canoe along a river, but there is way too much red tape, waiting lists, instructions and laws which to Christopher and anyone who thinks about it, it’s just pointless, so he goes alone, lawless and courageous.

Switching between the stark contrasts of hot happy scenes in the desert with friends and laughter and the sorrows of the snowy lonesome Alaskan wilderness the film is almost split between the two parallels all surrounding the man and his environment.

into-the-wild-9

The beautiful road trip turns into an isolated nightmare. As Christopher collects his worldly possessions, some money and a few books, he heads into the frosty wild. The movie starts to change pace and mood as it details a desperate challenge of survival. Even though scenes of this have been seen throughout the movie in the latter half it really focuses in on his desperate plight. The connection he had with nature soon unravels and everything changes, depression, starvation and his grasp on his personal ideology start to fall away.

The film comes across as being honest, in relation to it offering no answers just a recount of known facts. It does romanticise along the way, capturing little golden moments. There is some interesting effects using two different scenes cut on the screen which give an impression of what’s going on around Chris and what he’s concentrating on. Ultimately everything rotates near the end and as Christopher loses his grip with the natural world he does make a very poignant realisation about love and a very detailed case study of a very distinctive individual.

AOFA07

7/10

V : I tracked this movie down after seeing a photo of Christopher McCandless in one of those “haunting last photos” videos on YouTube,  when I found out a tiny bit of information about Chris’s journey into the wild and tracked down the movie and book. No one knows the full story and I like that this movie doesn’t try to give any answers why any of this happened and just documents the life of a very unusual character, it doesn’t try to sensationalise anything. It is a slightly frustrating movie in that it really focuses in on him getting to Alaska more than him being there, with me being a morbid girl, I must say that I am more interested in the Alaska chapter more. On the whole it’s still a cinematic dream and gorgeous movie filled with great characters and an unforgettable story. Hopefully it will open a few eyes to the fact that life can exist outside the norm and it’s free to be a good human being, hopefully it won’t put anyone off going it alone. It’s a great homage to Christopher.

Into the Wild (2)

R: Hunger (2009), This must be the place (2011), Nebraska (2013)

T : Based on a True Story. Father details on the demise of Christopher here from the new yorker http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/how-chris-mccandless-died

Q : “When you want something in life, you just gotta reach out and grab it.”

OST: Unique Eddie Vedder OST throughout.

TIL : I must admit that i learnt a lot from the movie but there is a lot more in the book (as always).

BS : I really enjoyed the scene when Chris returned to Rainy and Jan, it gave off some really good vibes of friendship. Chris has only known the couple for a short while but they had bonded together in such a solid way it was like meeting up with your oldest bestest friend and was utterly charming.

DGI : NONE

5B : William Hurt, Sean Penn,

L: Based on a real story (and kept it real).

PD : Coming Soon