Tag Archives: usa

The Elf (2017)

Director: Justin Price
Starring: Natassia Halabi, Gabriel Miller, Lassiter Holmes. USA. 1h 30m

I’m sure this film was intended to scare but it’s a new form of mental torture that I wasn’t quite prepared for when I sat down to watch this.

The not so credible story is centred on Nick (Miller) and his bodacious botoxed girlfriend Victoria (Halabi), opening in an old antique/toyshop that Nick has inherited the couple take stock of the contents while out shopping for Christmas gifts. Nick breaks away while Victoria take a pointless and long winded phone call, meanwhile he discovered a chest with handmade toys, the room begins to fill up with fresh snow as he discovers a creepy Elf toy holding a knife, attached to it is a curse/spell after reading this out he noticed that there’s a list of name at the bottom and they correspond to his family, meh nothing strange about this. Continue reading The Elf (2017)

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WΔZ  / Double u delta zee / The Killing Game (2007)

Director: Tom Shankland
Starring: Stellan Skarsgard, Melissa George, Selma Blair, Tom Hardy. USA. 1h

With the rise in popularity of the Saw Franchise, there were bound to be some copy cats, but this one stood out from the rest, not only did it have an impossible name but it’s based on a real equation, one that is found carved into the bodies of the victims. The serial killer at work here is obsessed with mathematical equations and revenge.

The two cops on the killers tail are the craggy Eddie Argo (Skarsgard) and his new rookie partner Helen Westcott (George) who’s quite fragile and not really up to the job but is determined to make it work.

The two are pretty clueless as to what they are up against at first but they soon start to unravel the equation (wΔz = Cov (w,z) = βwzVz)  with some help from a drug addicted Denis Penis, who helps explain that it translates to “kill your loved one or be killed”, and ever so slowly they also piece together the dark secret that sparked the killings via confident of Eddie, a young informer that he pays special attention to. Continue reading WΔZ  / Double u delta zee / The Killing Game (2007)

They Remain (2017)

Director: Philip Gelatt.
Starring. William Jackson Harper, Rebecca Henderson USA. 1h 42m.

Based on: They Remain by Laird Barron.

Exploration is the focus of this psychological sci fi thriller, but the execution is as conflicting as the main characters grasp on reality and eventually the slow burning just fizzles out after several meandering mistakes which were supposed to build tension. They Remain explores a relationship of two scientists , Keith (Harper) and Jessica (Henderson) who are employed to investigate  an area which was once a camp for a mysterious cult. It’s not very clear what they are doing for a long stretch of the movie, the two seem to have bizarre conversations while looking at camera feeds and “researching”, apparently sent by a mysterious corporation identifies by it’s geometric corporate logo and no more.

Continue reading They Remain (2017)

Satan’s Little Helper (2004)

Director: Jeff Lieberman
Starring: Alexander Brickel, Kateryn Winnick, Stephen Graham, Amanda Plummer, Wass Stevens, Joshua Annex. USA. 1h 40m.

I found this lesser known gem in the bargain bucket, it came as one of those double sided discs with an equally bizarre b movie, Killer X (1999), it stayed on my shelf for years until I had a particularly shitty break up and I decided to settle down with a tub of ice cream and sob into it with a terrible movie to remind myself just how shit my life was at the time but this stunning movie really uplifted my evening.

Directed by Jeff Lieberman, a meistro who lives to live life on the edge with psychedelic and wayward classics such as Blue Sunshine (1977), Just Before Dawn (1981) and Squirm (1976) under his belt, but with this modern approach to horror, he seemed to not take any aspect of this movie all that serious but it still manages to be a creepy comedy horror with some very dark undertones, totally different from this retro classics but so brilliant in it’s own quirky rights. Continue reading Satan’s Little Helper (2004)

Triangle (2009)

Director: Christopher Smith
Starring: Melissa George, Michael Dorman, Rachael Carpani, Henry Nixon, Emma Lung,Liam Hemsworth.  UK. 1h 39m

At first glance it would seem that the title seems to refer to the Bermuda Triangle, where puzzling things seem to happen at sea, but really if this film deserved an apt title it would be Loop but that would sound stupid.. so triangle it is.

The film is quite smart and even with rounds of repetition it’s still interestingly constructed, sly and a fairly deep piece from British Director Christopher Smith who gave us deeply disturbing projects such as Creep (2004).

Set in the US, with a totally Aussie/New Zealand crew, there are a few accent faux pas but they are totally acceptable in the time loop chiller, that seems to be a cross between Ghost Ship (2002) and Donnie Darko (2001), that sees a group of youngsters take a jaunt on a fancy yacht and run into curious difficulties. Continue reading Triangle (2009)

Robocop (2014)

Director: José Padilha
Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Samuel L Jackson, Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Michael Kenneth Williams, Abbie Cornish . USA. 1h 57m

It’s taken me a long time to watch this as I have such a deep connection with the original film, for me Robocop is a saint and I was almost insulted that anyone would dare to remake the movie, but this is a very loose remake that pretty much relies on you having seen the original too get make sense of some of the benial content. But don’t take my low rating as a sign that I am a total fangirl of the Verhoeven classic, I have taken a lot of energy to think outside of my little box.

In this rendition of the tragic life of Alex Murphy (Kinnaman), he’s a brilliant righteous cop who is on a questionable case that keeps giving him and his partner Lewis (Williams) the slip. Continue reading Robocop (2014)

Kill Your Darlings (2013)

Director: john Krokidas
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, Elizabeth Olsen,  Ben Foster, Jennifer Jason Leigh . USA . 1h 35m

A sort of coming of age  of the Beat Poets, Kill Your Darlings presents a “as they were” to the major literary movement. Krokidas uses a small time 1940’s murder as a feature to lead into how these soon to be famous writers first met. He romanticize everything, including all the negative aspects of the characters, their argumentative  nature and self destructive tendencies are all keys of inspiration but the film wallows in a faux nostalgia and sensationalism rather than digging deeper to provide a better insight. Continue reading Kill Your Darlings (2013)

Waxworks II – Lost in Time (1992)

 

Director: Anthoy Hickox
Starring: Zach Galligan, Alexander Godnov, Monkia Schnarre, Martin Kemp, Bruce Campbell . USA . 1h 44m

After the impressive Waxworks(1988) Anthony Hickox spoilt his loyal fans with a sequel only 4 years after the original, possible in an era when fans were honoured with such things rather than waiting a lifetime for nothing. It’s very typical for Hickox’s trademark horror lightly dusted with black comedy, evil henchmen drenched in black with lots of hints of magic and a bizarre array of special effects and fantasy.

The final scene of Waxworks has been re-enacted and the film flows on seamlessly from here. Although it’s a little scattered and less formed than the original where we saw a group of wayward teens visit an enchanted waxworks exhibition and its freakish staff. They one by one get seduced into a display and find themselves thrust into the fantasy world that it depicted. While this is rife in this comedic sequel, it has a very different atmosphere to it, nothing is really taken seriously here, and after all we’ve seen it all before with the original and it seems that Hickox was just out for a lark with this one. He does make the most of the original set up, so the film is presented in different segments each with a very unique feel and theme. Continue reading Waxworks II – Lost in Time (1992)

Warlock III : End of Innocence (1999)

Director: Eric Freiser

Starring: Bruce Payne, Ashley Laurence, Boti Bliss, Angel Boris, Paul Francis, Rick Hearst, Jan Schweiterman . USA . 1h 34m

I only discovered there was a third installment of Warlock about 10 years after it had been released, maybe because it was a direct to DVD release or possibly because no one was talking about it, cos it just wasn’t up to par with the first two films.

You can tell when a film has no budget as the sets and locations shrink down to a minimum, and this one house film is incredibly dull and quite boring.

Seemingly inspired by the now cult classic Warlock theme, an enchanted and highly determined Warlock who travels through time to be reborn and usher in the new beginning by raising Satan, originally the films see the Warlock travelling the world getting into all kinds of hijinx, tricking and slaughtering as he goes, but it’s down theatrics now… Continue reading Warlock III : End of Innocence (1999)

A Quiet Place (2018)

Director: John Krasinski
Starring: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Javier Botet. USA. 1h 30m

John Krasinski’s pensive thriller is designed to make you feel like an active participant of a family who is faced with unreal fears. The camera often swings around the characters making you feel that that your part of the conservation, tagging along as a silent witness.

Much is already been given away in the numerous trailers and it’s very clear to see that this family a living on the edge of a post apocalyptic future where deadly creatures are attracted to the noises we make every day.  The origin of these deadly critters isn’t a factor in the movie, it doesn’t matter why they are here or what happened, the families journey now is all that the film concentrates on and for plot reasons only, but if you read clippings that are saved in the families basement you can work out that in 2020 within only 3 months most of the world’s population have been destroyed by large creatures that are attracted to sound and protected by armored skin. Continue reading A Quiet Place (2018)