Tag Archives: 2013

3 horror Shorts, The Whisperer, Attic Panic and Blink

 

3 more short horror films including a return from Danny Donahue who gives us something more frightening than his last installment… Vermin. Continue reading 3 horror Shorts, The Whisperer, Attic Panic and Blink

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Welcome to the Punch (2013)

Welcome to the Punch

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This stylised British crime flick is reminiscent of a typical slick South Korean gangster film. Mostly filmed at night and with a tight as fuck intro the film introduces Jacob Sternwood (Mark Strong) as a super villain with a heart being chased after the fumbling but determined Max Lewinsky (James McAvoy) after an altercation he gets shot in the knee and is left writhing in pain by Strong. Many years later McAvoy is struggling with his hate for Strong and dealing with being an inadequate officer.  Teaming up with a young colleague Sarah Hawks (Andrea Riseborough from  Byzantium) he starts chasing after Jacob who has been driven out of hiding after his son is injured.

Max catches up to Jacob and his gang who includes the enigmatic Roy (Peter Mullan) and the antics commence. It’s filled with British dark humor and some intense action scenes. The play off between Strong and McAvoy is very brave, starting out as enemies and eventually breaking down boundaries and having to work together showing a lot of character and versatile acting from both. Continue reading Welcome to the Punch (2013)

Borgman (2013)

borgman

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Stunning, imaginative, steeped in folklore with dark sadistic tendencies. This film blew me away and back again.It’s a little hard to explain the story but the film kicks off with the Borgman being evicted by some locals headed by a priest, he’s living in an underground house, along with some buddies he flees and strangely attaches himself to a family and instantly starts to prey upon the woman of the household slowly manipulating her to bend to his will, he sits on her chest at night giving her nightmares that influences her daily activities.

Soon after he arrives a few of his accomplices start their own terror spree and eventually ties up with his actions at the home, and after killing and sinking some people with concrete hats they soon join him to put on a show and finalise their operations on the children at the household.

Darkly surreal and sinister, it will creep you out and puzzle you for days.

So while all of this is going on the film itself is is littered with surreal clips, very gritty drama and close ties in European folklore and struggles with linking all of this in with modern social issues. There is nothing solid about how the character, the Borgman was developed, to me he seemed to be similar to a German entity called an Alp, but not in the way that I know.

It’s curious and attentive to details, with the surreal additions it makes it even more curious, it’s lavish with details and stunning scenery and drama, It’s just plain bizarre but it really draws you in with a slight slip of the story like a magician revealing and hiding the trick, once you think you know  what’s going on it changes but keeps you fully involved along the way.

I instantly fell in love with film, in the same way as Dogtooth (2014), it has a similar quality to it in both atmosphere and style. a real but unreal movie, that’s totally bizarre but masqueraded as a “normal” film.

10/10

Full review and Post discussion coming soon.. because there is so many questions to address.

Thanatomorphose (2012)

Thanatomorphose

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After seeing a lot of posters and a chilling YouTube preview video this heavily anticipated film took forever to be fully released and then immediately disappeared, but I eventually found a copy and for me this is a masterpiece of dark sexual gore horror.

Initially it starts out as a muted drama, a few friends are over for a few drinks the couple kick them out, get it on and go to sleep, the next day  Laura (Kayden Rose) wakes up with a few bruises but just assumes it’s from the love making the night before but things get worse, much worse, she starts to get more bruising and then her body gives up and she starts rotting. Things don’t end there as she also gets horny as hell during her descent into hell.

Everything about this film is skin crawlingly dark, it doesn’t make any attempt to cushion the blow and explores every detail of the human body and enters into the psyche of someone who is experiencing something new and disturbing about their body.

Despite it not taking off or picking up a lot of fans it has influences a host of movies that have copied many aspects of it but without really travelling as deep into the darkness and  Thanatomorphose has done, which makes the copies a little more “approachable”.

Instead of being approachable this film is stark and brutal, for a debut director it’s astounding that he, Eric Falardeau, has managed to create something so en point.

If you’re into films that really go that extra mile and refuse to pay any attention to the safe word and will carry on to the bitter end then this might be the film for you. It’s also worth checking out Halley (2012), A Spanish film that take a similar stance on this morbid and creepy subject.

10/10

Full film review to come…

Badges of Fury (2013)

badges of fury

Badges of Fury (Martial Arts, Comedy, Action 2013) (PG) D:Wong Tsz-Ming C:Jet Li, Wen Zhang, Michelle Chen, Liu Shishi, Ada Liu 1h 38m. China/Hong Kong

Right I won’t be writing a full review for this because it was awful and I can’t even go there to even detail all of the faults. I don’t really want to talk about it at all because it just makes me angry.

Two troublemaking cops, one a young buck Wang (Zhang Wen) and the other a moody veteran (yeah like always) Huang (Li) are sent to investigate  a string of “mysterious” murders that all lead back to the same ex girlfriend, an aspiring starlet, in order to draw out the killer, one of the cops has to pose as her lover and then movie, crazy antics the end. Continue reading Badges of Fury (2013)

Lights out

lights out

https://youtu.be/kNbJE0y29_c
Duration 2.42
Dir: David Sandberg/??/2013

Its taken me some time to write about this, mostly due to the deep psychological effect that this horror short has had on me. I wouldn’t say that I scare easily and it’s not that I’m afraid but the entity that you encounter in this film certainly does leave a lasting impression.

When you’re young and getting used to the dark nights, thinking that night lights are for babes, you probably spent as least one sleepless night huddling under the covers with your imagination running wild about malevolent creatures out there to get you!! This film took me right back there.. It’s a very simple story and one that has been doing the rounds on sleepovers, creepypastas and all sorts.

Utilising in just a few minutes, two rooms and minimal equipment and one actress, and using no dialogue, David F Sandberg has managed to create one of the scariest films ever. Why do you think it’s so scary?? Maybe I’m just a wimp?!

AOFA10

Rating 10/10

Banshee Chapter (2013)

31dayshalloweenhorror2015

Day 19 of 31

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Banshee Chapter  (Horror, Thriller,  2013) (15) D: Blair Erickson W: Blaie Erikson and Daniel J Healy P: Zachary Quinto C: Katia Winter, Ted Levine, Michael McMillian,. 1h 27m. USA.

Synopsis : Journalist Anna roland explores the disturbing links behind her friend’s sudden disappearance, an ominious government research chemical, and a disturbing radio broadcast of unknown origin.

Darkly atmospheric and creepy as fuck, this insane nightmare of a movie really taps into your modern day life and shows you how to open the door into darkness! Yeah okay I killed the intro there, but this film is inspired by the legendary HP Lovecraft story From Beyond that was earlier made into a 80’s psychotropic film of the same name. Banshee Chapter does take things step or two forwards and really roots itself into real events, thus bringing the events of Lovecraft old monsters and madmen literally right to your doorstep.

wpid-wp-1445900825431.pngThe film kicks off in style, a couple of guys are filming themselves trying DMT for the first time. After showing footage of President Clinton; and other people announcing the existence of a government experiment Project MKUltra. The brand of DMT-19 is the same drug used in the testing. Then something goes terribly wrong, a weird sound is heard over the radio akin to Silent Hill (20??) and James becomes extremely anxious saying that something is coming towards the house and it wants to “wear them”, a large shadowy figure rushes past the window and the scene ends with a shot of James with all black eyes and a disfigured face standing in a pool of blood. A young journalist picks up the story with the help of Thomas Blackburn (Ted Levine) and she bravely searches for the bizarre drug and radio station, what she uncovers is truly terrifying and relentless. Continue reading Banshee Chapter (2013)

POST DISCUSSION – Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Please note this post discussion is a post discussion, therefore it’s full of spoilers it discloses information about the ENTIRE film (yes including the ending) and these following movies,Groundhog day (1993), Devil (2010).

So if you’ve not seen them it’s probably better not to read on..

The Coen’s deliver another poetic surreal drama in the guise of the melancholy comedy musical drama that is the life of Llewyn Davis, or at least a pivotal few days…

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WHAT IS INSIDE LLEWYN?

It’s the obvious question right? No it isn’t but it makes for good movie chitchat. It’s just a title right, but any title about the forlorn Llewyn could have been chosen. So what does this film reveal about what is really inside Llewyn davis?!  To be honest I don’t think that i have ever worked it out. Personally I see the film as a justification of the magic of the entire Greenwich Village folk seen as being “born” out of Llewyn. Bare with me,  this is a far out idea. I mentioned it slightly in my review,  but it seems like the pathetic llewyn is suffering as a mother would in childbirth a recurring theme in the movie, and fun as lot at the end Bob Dylan appears then he gets his final beatdown in the alleyway by the faceless hulk. Boom!! Folk Scene is here! So the birth of the folk scene was a baby inside Llewyn..  Yeah I told you the idea was far out.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CAT /CATS

Personally I can’t stand cats and they contributed to the only cringe worthy scenes in the film. But was the presence of the cat all that significant or just a Coen red herring?

The cat escapes at the beginning, Llewyn’s luck starts to change and go downhill not that he was flying high to start with. He ends up leaving the apartment and starts his journey chasing the cat. It’s alike the chasing of the white rabbit,  down the hole Llewyn goes..

While having a caustic discussion with his ex he spots a cat, runs out and chases it, again getting out of his rut and back to his destiny.

Later on, it’s discovered that the cat is not the cat! How can the cat not be the cat!? Holy shit. Llewyn had gone down the wrong path, picked up the wrong cat,  where is the real cat?!  Whose cat had he stolen?? This scene was particularly funny and bizarre as Llewyn decides to kick off against an overly nice couple who ‘s couch he started out on, and in the melodramatics and whaling that concur it’s discovered that the kitty has the wrong tackle, oh shit not again dude.

Later on Llewyn is travelling with another cat? This one mimics his every move and is one of the best scenes in the film. I doubt it was planned but it’s simply magic, he ends up leaving the cat in the car, hitching a ride. While driving his ride, he almost hits another cat or the same cat?  What’s going on?! This film has way too much pussy.

Llewyn assumes it’s the list cat and carries on. When he returns to his friends apartment their cat has returned and all is well. Them the movie starts to repeat itself….  But in this time around Llewyn stops the cat from escaping. And despite everything cycling around again… There is no destiny run from Llewyn.He doesn’t have a great adventure he just gets his ass slapped down.

It’s probably a red herring but… It’s an interesting one.

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CURSED BY THE DEVIL?

Is Llewyn cursed?! It’s a little something that crops up in the movie that’s simply too hard to ignore.

Let’s play out this scenario, LLewyn is going through a rough time, more so than any mortal man. Now it’s not a black cat that has crossed his path but at first I thought the cat had carried away his luck when it darts out the door. Then John Goodman turns up in the guise of a eccentric jazz musician called Ronald Turner! He’s so very unusual and does threaten the young folk singer with a curse of bad luck. From that point on you can’t help wondering if the curse worked or if Goodman is actually the Devil! It’s a long shot but I’m just chucking it out there, he’s the most useless devil if he is one as he’s a fucking junkie who nearly OD’s..  But we can’t forget that the devil got caught stealing in Devil (2010). I quite like that Llewyn leaves him and the cat in the car when he legs it for his freedom.

REPEATED HISTORY

But why does history start repeating!? Or does it??

The first time around we see the beating in the alleyway, cut scene llewyn wakes up and his life is a mystery then when we see the beatdown the second time around there are differences, the music being the significant one. But the scene continues. The first time i saw it I thought the beatdown guy was John Goodman at first. The cut scene is the most important part. it’s not a continuation. The coens don’t do anything by mistake and are very clever into grabbing your attention and hurling it around. Here’s what I think!

Ignoring the beginning.. Llewyn wakes up and then everything else runs up to that point where he gets the beatdown in the alley way, the beginning is merely a  transition but not in a coherent theme, it’s a taste of whats to come, a very dramatic one, showing you to look out for this point. It’s an interesting way to introduce a character, check out this guy getting his ass whopped. then look at him being a  loser and feel sorry for him, so why was he getting beat up he’s not that bad, he doesn’t deserve that.. then wham he’s a total tosser to the folk singer doing exactly the same thing as him, okay he’s had a bad week and was drunk but no call for that behavior man. and boom! payback and the end to a beautiful week.  One other clue is the conversation about when llewyn is told he has a space at Papi’s to play a gig, he says he was there less than a month ago, if it is a loop then he would have been there less than a week ago.

I don’t think it’s a case of Groundhog day (1993) just some interesting cut work, for what reason I can’t work out.

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DEATH

Is Llewyn dead? I love dead characters so i try and play it all in, but I don’t think Llewyn died in the alleyway after his injuries although it could play into the the whole theme of redemption, after all he does seem to be living through, uncovering and facing all of his mistakes both past and present. I don’t think he passed away and this is some sort of redemption, I can see why some people have jumped to that conclusion, as there is a chance of him learning from mistakes and getting things right. You could also class it all as a vivid dream.

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SEQUEL

I dont see the film as carrying on in anyway, the luckless Llewyn has run his course and done his duty, I suppose future stories could illustrate him finding out more about being a father and take that route of him trying to do the right thing, although if his luck holds out then it might be just a tragic as this. the alternative is that he just bums around doing what he did in this movie and that doesn’t need to be repeated.

inside llewyn davis goodman

PREQUEL

The Coen’s always find really strange pivotal points to write their movies around. Let’s face it stories only really work when something bad happens,  but for llewyn… Everything bad happens!!  While this is still very interesting it’s strange that so much has gone on that we discover by the way of off the cuff remarks, like Llewyn’s ex, the pregnancy of yet another ex and other fuck ups along the way. Maybe he was a different person then, or even further back when he was a sailor and decided to give it all up for the folk scene. There is so much backstory and character to this that it captures the imagination.

WHAT I LIKE

I’m slightly biased when it comes to the Coens as I adore a lot of their work, there are no prizes for working out that I’m not a fan of a lot of their comical work..  Still they have a lot of Je ne sai quoi and constantly astound me with movies that I adore without really understanding why. The appeal to my senses.  Llewyn Davis, has this odd dreamlike state to it, often enough you’re brought back to reality with a slap of venom from the moody bitch of an ex girlfriend Jean (Carey Mulligan) or a quip from the know it all oversized John Goodman.

I love the trip up of the repeating history and potential I also devil character or curse involved. It’s just so detailed and well acted. The scenarios are surreal and just remarkably recognisable.

WHY IS LLEWYN A JERK

From the onset of the film Llewyn is subject to a run of bad luck, he gets his ass whooped at the beginning (end) and you start to feel sorry for him, until his past catches up and then you realise what a jerk he is. Half of me does wonder if it’s a continuation of his terrible mojo but  there are certain things he could have handled better.

Get gets a chick pregnant and pays for the abortion then has nothing to do with her afterwards

He gets another chick pregnant and offers to pay for “another” abortion (he needs another form of family planning). He signs away the rights to a song that’s about to hit it big, and constantly insults innocent people around him.

At some points it’s really hard to watch Llewyn struggle against all odds, but as the obstacles start to mount against him he’s inner rage begins to grow slowly turning him into a jerk which in turn causes more stumbling blocks.

Overall I adore the film throughout, it’s a thrilling and beautiful drama with a hint of black comedy enough for a stickler like me to enjoy without any struggle.

 

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THE HERO

Llewyn is kinda my hero, yes he’s flawed but he’s got a lot of heart. He did use the very last of his money to pay for an abortion to appease a girl who obviously hated him, he went to the ends of the earth to be recognised as a folk icon. He gets drunk and insults people, I don’t have to be drunk to insult people but I’d like to have a drink with Llewyn.

VERDICT

Overall the movie is golden from beginning to end, I honestly couldn’t stop watching and adore it as much as I adore a lot of the other Coen movies, (I’m feeling a list coming on here.. ). The film submerges you into a piece of history in a strange and surreal way. It’s filled with beautiful moments, and black comedy, just enough music to capture the folk scene but not enough to make it into a musical or a “show”.

LINK – Original review

R’ha

Link :https://youtu.be/muYFZVj-kDY – via CGBros YT channel.
Duration: 6:30
Dir : Kaleb Lechowski/Germany/2013

Written and directed by Kaleb Lechowski, produced by Rick McCallum and starring David Masterson’s docile Irish tones, this short CGI centres around the paranoid ideas of mechanical dominance, only in this instance it’s over an alien civilization but could so easily be ours. Its dark and plays out like am horrific chess game, questioning who could be more devious, man or machine . A red LED eyed tentacle machine holds a four armed alien captive in an isolated cell and describes the systematic annihilation of “his” race to allow the machines to be “free” from oppression, ignorance and emotions. The creature eventually breaks free to save his race but who’s demise he is bringing?

rha

 

It’s hard not to make comparisons to the Matrix  (1999) and this could have easily have made it into one of the Animatrix (2003). While the story also mimics themes in an episode of Outer Limits entitled “Quality of Mercy (1995). R’ha plays on our primal fears of building machines who can one day overthrow us. While the imagery is perfect and motion has been captured well, there isn’t a lot to this devastating story. It’s till harrowing and helps enforce our doubts about building anything with Artificial Intelligence, and is a pleasure to watch.

6/10

AOFA06

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

inside llewyn davis

Inside Llewyn Davis (Drama, Music 2013) (15) D: Ehan and Joel Coen: P: W: Joel and Ethan Coen: C: Oscar Isaac, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Garret Hedlund, F Murray Abrahm 1h 44m. USA. 

Synopsis: A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961.

A traumatic and emotional week in the life of a folk singer called Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) in this melancholic twilight hazed film.  Its simplistic, thought provoking and heavily sprinkled with the Coen Brothers special blend of unusual characters and situations. The pathetic Llewyn is subjected to a run of shitty luck. Starting out crashed on a friends sofa his luck continually finds new lows past rock bottom, he loses his friends cat, has a foul run in with his ex, pisses off a ton of people and makes a ton of bad decisions while dragging his sorry ass from sofa to sofa via the freezing back streets all in the pursuit of becoming a world famous folk singer superstar, there are several injections of authentic live performances throughout..
The Coens have given some hints that the film is loosely based on a concept of something that could have happened to Dave Van Ronk, a similar Greenwich Village folk singer/songwriter from the 6-s

Hiding between all the rejection and tense situations there is a suggestion that Llewyn might actually have some talent, this is summed up in one quiet but magnificent scene, when he meets a goatee faced F. Murray Abraham’s in a small cameo who after hearing Llewyn play, candidly sums up the matter as “I don’t see any money in it..” this is just another knock down of many for Lleywn who by this time is taking it all in his stride. Along the way he meets an aggressive jazz player Ronald Turner (John Goodman), who gives his much useless rambling advice and mocks the suicide of a former partner of Llewlyn and everything to do with folk music, there is a pivotal names hulk who supplies an alleyway beat down, a righteous do good singer/soldier and a hairy aloof Johnny Five (Garrett Hedlund) who just doesn’t give a shit.

inside llewyn davis goodman

With many intertwined themes running throughout, the most obvious the cat or cats who are lost and found that seems to spark subtle changes in luck but for every step forwards there are two steps back.

It brings together significant elements from the early ‘60s scene through the missed opportunities and run of bad luck of one mild mannered and beaten down folk singer, it seems that his downfall is merely a catalyst for the Greenwich scene. The un-named sacrifice.

Skilfully filmed with a grand cast and exceptional script, even if your not into folk music, there isn’t enough singing to turn this into a musical. It’s bleak yet funny having a complex back story smartly embroidered all over. It’s charming as well as being dark, another triumph for the Coens.

You are certain to miss much during the first viewing and it’s a charm the second time around.

AOFA10

Rating : 10/10

R: A Serious Man (2009) O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000) Nebraska (2013) This must be the place (2011)

Q: “Folk singer with a cat, you queer?”
“Your like king Midas’s idiot brother”
“This will interest you”

BS: I really adore a simple scene where Llewyn is in the car with the cat on his lap, and him and cat move together throughout the scene..
OST: Live singing by Oscar Isaac throughout!
L: Musicians in film, Musicians on film, Road Trips, Cats on Film,
5B: John Goodman, Coen Movies
DGI: Knock a shot for all of Llewyn’s bad luck.. I’m sure he could do with one too.