Reviews written by registered user
sunniva_reilly

9 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

132 out of 155 people found the following review useful:
Not bad, but not really about the Dyatlov Pass Incident, 5 March 2013

The Dyatlov Pass Incident itself is a super intriguing incident and it is weird that no one else has made a fiction film about it before. I highly recommend reading up on it, if you haven't already.

This film on the hand is not... super intriguing, or indeed even recommended if you're looking for a theory about what happened on the Mountain of Death. It's not a terrible film, but it's not about the Dyatlov Pass Incident. Halfway through the film I decided to put what I know about what really happened aside and just watch the film.

It is a found footage film. Sort of. The camera stays steady mostly and it's easy to forget that it's supposed to be found footage, which, honestly, I find to be a good thing. No need for sea sickness medication.

The good: The middle part of the film is visually stunning, the views are just breathtaking and I found myself at one point craning my neck to see more. It's definitely the best part of the film.

The bad: The story wobbles all over the place and leaves loose ends. Touch of Russophobia, but no more than the average Hollywood film.

Overall: Fun little flick if you don't take it too seriously. Take it about half as seriously as it takes itself and discard anything it tries to tell you about the 1959 incident, and you'll enjoy it.

Dark Tide (2012)
4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
The Good, The Bad, The House Blend, 21 July 2012
3/10

Ever since I first saw Jaws, I've been searching for more good films about sharks, but there is something about the subject matter that tends to turn the film tacky. This film isn't tacky. Sadly it isn't any good either.

Halle Berry plays Kate Mathieson, a marine biologist of the Erich Ritter school of thinking (Sharks aren't dangerous unless you're scared of them - there's a video of him getting mauled by a bull shark on youtube). During a dive she gets someone killed and refuses to have anything to do with sharks thereafter. Until she needs money and a rich guy offers her 100 000 Euro to take him out and let him swim with great whites.

The Good: The sharks, they are so beautiful. And the filming is just exquisite.

The Bad: Someone seems to have filmed the first draft of a so-so script. The dialogue is cringeworthy. The characters are woefully underdeveloped. The background conflicts are tired and predicable. There are logic fallacies at every turn. This is where a set of good actors could make all the difference. But they don't. With the exception of Luke, the characters were was so thoroughly unpleasant I honestly didn't care if they got eaten.

The House Blend: Sharks are not portrayed just as mindless eating machines. But what are they portrayed as? Inanimate objects really. They swim around in circles, not even acknowledging Kate who is touching them, tugging their tail fins, grabbing hold of their dorsal fins and going for a ride etc.

All in all I was disappointed. I wish someone had taken the time to finish the script before turning into a film. A little better dialogue, a little tightening up of the plot, make the characters a little more believable (and sympathetic). It could have made a world of difference.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Quirky and creepy, but not in a good way, 6 January 2011
2/10

I'm not a fan of torture porn, I'll say that straight up. I have largely avoided the whole phenomenon, as I am a bit of a wimp. With this one I slipped up, mostly because it comes disguised as a dark romantic comedy. It is funny and quirky, disgusting and disturbing in equal measure.

Mixing genres is both fun and innovative, as long as one simply rule is followed: it must be cohesive. The viewer can go from laughing one minute to crying the next (see Futurama episode "Jurassic Bark"), but not if the change comes out of nowhere. In Must Love Death the change from comedy to horror is incredibly jarring and it took me, for one, out of the moment.

Comedy and horror usually go together like peanut and chocolate, but in this film it just left a sloppy mess. I adore dark comedy, but the element of torture porn just made the laughter stop. I can imagine torture porn fans would be equally disappointed, because half the film really is devoted to a dark romantic comedy. This film could have worked. At first I wanted it to work, but beyond the halfway point I just started wanting it to end instead.

8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Good concept, bad execution, 5 November 2010
4/10

I decided to review this film as if it was not a knock off of Paranormal Activity. The title and the execution invites comparison, but what are the film's own merits?

The set up in Paranormal Entity is quite interesting: Having lost her husband, a woman seeks contact with him through automatic writing. Something from the beyond reaches out to her, but it becomes increasingly clear that is it not her dead husband. And soon the entity starts showing an unhealthy interest in her nubile, young daughter. What is it and how can they stop it?

In the hands of a skilled film-maker, this plot could have had the makings of a blockbuster. Instead the device used is "found footage", which is very much hit or miss. If it's done well and is believable there is very little chance of screwing it up. If it's done badly, it is vaguely embarrassing to watch, like failed attempts at viral videos. Paranormal Entity is not too bad, although, occasionally over-acted.

The pacing is more of a problem. It starts out fairly decently, with the creepiness being turned up slowly. But about halfway through, the creepiness is dialled up to 10 and left there for the remainder of the film, completely desensitising the viewer. By the end of the film, I found that I just didn't care any more.

Another problem is the inactivity of the family. Beyond calling and calling a parapsychologist that inconveniently has gone on holiday, they don't actually do anything to solve the problem, which means that it's difficult to root for them.

This film should have been thrilling, but it isn't. The concept is good, but the execution just doesn't live up to it.

The Telling (2009) (V)
33 out of 42 people found the following review useful:
Retelling a cliché, 19 April 2009
3/10

I did not have very high hopes for this film. A horror movie from the Playboy mansion? I think most people probably suspect that Playboy bunnies do not make great actresses, and indeed they do not. They are great at posing and pouting, but pretending to laugh, is sadly beyond their reach (though this might be due to having been pawed at by a 127 year old Hugh Hefner, as that would stop most people from even cracking a smile).

So if you disregard the acting, which ranges from poor to abysmal, you will have heard the stories again and again since childhood. In fact, most Halloween specials have told these stories, and often told them better. So here goes: To gain membership in a Sorority populated by plastic women in their late 20ies and early (?) 30ies (who, at least at one point, are amusingly Borg-like), three pledges must tell a scary story each. Seem familiar yet?

The first story involves an evil doll, the second a creepy castle in Transsylvania and in the third, three babysitters (ok, they're not actually babysitters, but they might as well be to make the cliché complete) get creepy phone calls.

This is far from the worst film I've seen (that honour still belongs to Unearthed), and sadly, it is not so-bad-it's-good either. Overall, I think it deserves a 3/10, because it did manage to hold my attention till the end and because it did give me a chuckle or two. However, it must be said, it is not even remotely scary. Nor is it sexy. Apparently, there is 1 blink-and-you'll-miss-it topless scene, but I blinked, so I missed it.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A sad end to a great TV show, 30 November 2008
5/10

Back in the day, I was a die hard X-Files fan. I saw every episode (of season 1-7, I wasn't too keen on the last 2 seasons, for obvious reasons) at least 3-4 times. I used to say that even a bad X-Files episode was better than most things on telly, and was therefore quite intrigued when I heard that they were making a new film, and thrilled when it was said that it as like an episode from the earlier seasons.

The actually film, however, made me feel a bit sad. It was like meeting your favourite sports star/ actor, 10 years after their heyday and realising that age had caught up with them too... The X-Files had their heyday about a decade ago and should have been left alone. Going back for one more payout, just isn't pretty.

About the film itself: it has been said that all X-Files episodes can be divided into one of three categories. 1. Something in the house (ghosts, ESP, etc. Paranormal stuff) 2. Something in the woods (Warewolves, moth-men, the Jersey Devil etc. Natural science, but not as we know it) 3. Something in the government (UFOs, conspiracies, weird science. Enough said). The film is most like category 3, and that disappointed me, as it was never my favourite category.

There is enough in this film to keep most people interested, I suppose. But, the X-Files was about the supernatural, and here, the only supernatural element seemed to be added in as an afterthought. All that was left was... a rather mediocre X-Files episode.

I'm sorry, I REALLY wanted to like it, but when all was said and done, it just left me feeling sad for what was and what might have been. I hope there won't be any further films to sully the memory of a great television show. X-Files, RIP. Please.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Craptacular!, 30 September 2008
1/10

I don't usually comment on films that have more than 100 reviews I agree with, but I can not help but comment on this one. Not that there is much to add, mind you. This film is craptacular! On one hand it may just be the worst movie ever, and I mean ever, made. One the other, I have never laughed that much at a film before.

The shark that changes from a Great White to a Tiger shark, back to a Great White in one attack. Ben's fabulous digital camera, which magically knows what he's taking a picture of and removes everything else from the photo. The lead actress (and I use the term actress loosely) who never stops smiling, even when she's crying. The mini sub that's bigger inside than outside. The Bulgarian actors trying to sound like Mexicans. The totally redundant sex scenes. The LINE (you probably know what it is, but on the off chance you don't - you'll know it when you hear it). All this adds up to hilarity. Too bad they were aiming for horror.

Some people will say that it's a bad film, and advise against it. If I had expected a good megalodon (megalo-who? lol) film and been shown this instead, I would have been disappointed. But people, lets face it, it's called Shark Attack 3! How serious can such a film be? Instead, read the reviews (and in this case even spoilers don't actually spoil anything), grab your friends and prepare to laugh like a loon!

In short, I'll give this film 1 star, but it deserves 10 for pure comic value.

Unearthed (2007)
2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
I want an hour and a half of my life back!, 2 June 2008
1/10

Picture the scene: it's do or die for the main protagonists, and of the four people watching in my living room, one is filing her nails; one is writing a text message; one is reading the label on a beer bottle and one (me) is really embarrassed about choosing this film.And I chose because the trailer looked really good. Oh, how wrong I was. What the trailer doesn't show is that the characters are stereotypes, the special effects are sub-par and the whole film is just so damn boring it is unbelievable.

Now, I watch a lot of horror films, and a lot of them are bad, but I can usually see something good about them. Not this one. Boring, boring, boring. Don't waste your time or your money.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Nothing special but watchable., 2 June 2008
5/10

I saw an interview with the director before I watched the film and I expected something... more. I was hoping for some exposition, maybe a little analysis about the Etruscan culture and mythology. There's nothing like that in this film, which was a disappointment to me. It is just a run-of-the-mill horror with teenage protagonists. Which means that they make stupid choices, are annoying and that you don't really care what happens to them. This is one of the greatest failings in any horror film as it robs the film of suspense.

Truthfully though, this is far from the worst film I've seen, it's just not one that I will remember for very long. There are far better films in this genre, but as long as you're not the one paying to watch this, I don't think you'll feel too robbed.