Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Pseudo Giallo at its finest.....
A young woman called Jordyn learns that she may be the spawn of Satan soon after she celebrates her eighteenth birthday.
Soon she starts to have strange visions and encounters and becomes embroiled in a world filled with possession and desire as she learns her role in ensuring her family's curse continues........
Anybody who is a fan of Argento's work will know all about the wonderful genre that is Giallo horror. Try explaining what it is to someone without coming across as a total snobbish film lover is a whole different kettle of Inferno.
Giallo makes the insane sublime, the horrible ever so sexually charged, and after seeing movies such as the aforementioned Inferno, you wonder what on earth you watched, and what kind of mind it sprung from.
Mark Of The Witch is a film much like that, beginning in the most uncomfortable way, and not letting up for the proceeding eighty minutes. And then it finishes, without so much as a warning.
A mix of The Omen, and the work of Noé and Argento, the film doesn't conform to normality by having your atypical three acts, we follow Jordyn from each bizarre scenario, to the next, and all the while, not any character appears to be what they are.
It looks beautiful, to give the film it's biggest compliment and it's Giallo's biggest cliché, it's like looking at a work of art. The camera work is beautiful, adding a depth of mystery and subliminal eroticism to the movie.
My only gripe is the scenes between the aunt and the mother are something right from a really bad episode of Buffy. But it only adds to the charm.
But it's not for everyone, and I fear that many people will be mislead by the cookie cutter DVD cover for the film that is obviously aimed at the masses rather than the eclectic market it should be aimed at.
But who knows, some will find a gem of a movie hidden in there, but I fear that many casual horror fans will dismiss it for being action and scare lite.
But it's not always about that. This is about a girl coming of age, and the split personality side of the story is about choosing which path to follow for he rest of your life, the light path, or the dark.
After all, there is something pretty life affirming and mystical about your eighteenth birthday, a lot believe that when you turn that age, your life is set,and what you do in the next few weeks will beset in stone for your eternity.
It's an amazing achievement of a film, one that will get under your skin for days.
Ride Along 2 (2016)
From the director of the good Fantastic Four film....
Friction continues between rookie cop Ben Barber and his seasoned peer and future brother-in-law James Payton in this almost carbon copy sequel.
After discovering a mysterious flash drive during an arrest, the pair travel to Miami to hunt down a local drug lord with the help of a savvy detective.........
Like Sister Act and Wayne's World, Ride Along was a surprise hit when first released, so obviously the studio wanted to reap the benefits of the first films success, and get a sequel out as soon as possible.
Now, unlike the the other aforementioned movies, Ride Along 2 plays it safe, and does exactly the same as Ride Along, but set it in Miami, and up the budget a little.
So if you liked the first one, the chances are that you are going to find this funny, because the film still has a choc full of its 'winning' formula.
Ice Cube spending the entire movie being annoyed by Kevin Hart and his antics.
Kevin Hart mugging throughout the films entirety, and generally being annoying, in that laughable schoolboy kind of way.
It's not terrible, Ice Cube gets a plethora of action sequences and a really attractive love interest because he's executive produced this, and if you like Kevin Hart, he's pretty harmless in this, in fact, he's pretty good, and keeps his atypical annoying schtick to a minimum.
Throw in some sub plot involving Benjamin Bratt and a wonderful accent, and a reason for Ken Jeong to appear in a movie and do nothing of any amusement, and you have this predictable, yet harmless cash generator.
Just don't expect a third one.......
.........no in fact do, and I guarantee Hart is a dad to be in this one, and Cube has to go that extra mile to protect his Brother-In-Law.
That idea is mine mr film studio.....
Not the vehicle type........
Haunted by horrific visions of the men he has killed, Alfie edges toward madness as his past catches up with him.
Alfie's panic attacks now compromise this once elite soldier and contract killer, and after having a panic attack during a torture in front of his employers and client, bringing Alfie's sanity and professionalism into question, this forces the head of Homefront, to threaten Alfie and his family.........
If you were to pass this in a supermarket/store, you'd be forgiven that this would involve big explosions, helicopters, SWAT type commandos, and Tammer Hassan, in the heart of London.
Now the film does feature Tammer Hassan, and he's really good in this, but the fact that he's in it for about five minutes and sits down the whole time doesn't really say much about him being really good. I'm sitting down right now, and this review will take me around ten minutes. Does that mean I'm really good?
So we have Fairbrass having these visions every now and again, and he starts to go blank, then shake, and then act a little strange for about two minutes, and this causes the leader of his outfit to threaten the lives of him, his wife, and daughter............has he never heard of worked base counselling.
So Alfie wants out, gets sent out on almost impossible contracts, and in the most predictable trope these movies have to offer, it's a case of, once your in, you can never get out, and that includes your family.
It's not a bad film, he has to contend with his daughter coming of age, and his best mate trying it on with his wife, which would only exacerbate his symptoms, but it's just that the antagonists in this, just feel more like end of level bad guys, rather than fleshed out characters.
The third act goes all bizarre though for some reason. Bruce Payne (the bad guy from Passenger 57) pops up for about ten minutes, giving Alfie an epiphany (and a nice cup of tea with two sugars), and then his wife and child reveal themselves to be cold blooded killers, which just shows that the writers had run out of ideas before the deadline.
But it's good fun, like a hybrid of last years Spandau double whammy Age Of Kill, and the poor excuse of a film Assassin.
If you like your meat and potatoes straight to DVD action movies, this isn't a bad choice.
Not to be confused with a Kurt Russell film though.....
L.A. Slasher (2015)
To live and die in L.A.........
When Hollywood's most abhorrent and talentless reality TV stars begin disappearing only to resurface tortured and bloodied, a white-suited maniac, looking like Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky, is hailed as a celebrity himself.
While socialites and narcotics taking producers raise eyebrows wondering if they might be next, a home audience, raised on a diet of pop culture, reality TV, and the dream that anyone can be famous, await the latest viral video of the killers masterpiece.......
L.A Slasher, or Abducted, depending on where you are on this planet, tries to be a damning essay on pop culture, social networking, and the fame monster, because everyone at some point wanted to be famous.
And although the film works to an extent, there is really nothing new offered here, as we've already seen the media and public celebrating and exploiting killing twenty years earlier with Natural Born Killers, and the film has an overall Bret Easton Ellis feel to it.
Take away the pivotal element to the narrative, the internet, and this is a film straight from the eighties, from the video games, to the television sets, to what could already be the soundtrack of the year, the film feels a little out of time to have a such a critique in its message, making it ten years prior, the film would have had more of an impact, and a bigger realise.
Like the narrative depicts, the characters are wholly unlikable, so when they get their just desserts, you couldn't really care less. And when we have the public talking heads celebrating the fact that so one is killing these talentless wannabes, you can't help but reference Micky and Mallory Knox.
So all in all, it's not a terrible film, just a little late coming.
Great soundtrack though.....
The Veil (2016)
So the story goes.
The girl from American Horror Story who looks a bit like Benedict Cumberbatch is the only survivor of a cult mass suicide which happened in the eighties.
So what's the best thing to do to get over watching so many people die under the influence of a mad man? Why, you take a documentary team to the actual place that hasn't been touched by hand in a long time, film all the events there, and not just that, stay there as well. Because that's good counselling........
Another Blumhouse release, another damp squib for the horror genre, and to be brutally honest, if it wasn't for the fact that Jessica Alba is one of the main stars, I wouldn't have given this a second look (I'm an Alba fan, and not for her acting skills), as it just looks like a sort of sequel to the found footage film Th Sacrament, which was released a couple of years ago, and miles better.
So it ticks every single box in the 'something bad happened here a while ago, let's go and film there' sub genre.
People walk off to get something from somewhere along way away.
There are ghostly images when camera footage is being played back.
People see things, that no one else can.
Certain people start to act weird.
And there's always that strange old man who is standing at the gate for reasons unknown.
And the film is as boring as it sounds, which is a shame. Because Joanou has made some wonderful movies (State Of Grace is a classic), and the flashback sequences are pretty effective.
And then there is Thomas Jane. For some reason, Jane has been channeling Michael Hutchence in his last few films, and as his parts are all set in the eighties, he performs in excess to his requirements, and the white suit just adds to his pantomime take on the cult leader.
And this is the fundamental problem with the film, if you can't take the antagonist of the narrative seriously, then the rest of the film is pointless.
Yes, there are the jump scares, and the weird people standing in corridors who weren't there before, but we've seen this a thousand times before, and it doesn't get effective with each film, and the jump scares are more annoying than thrilling.
We have the obligatory twist come the end, but you'll be as bored as Alba, I'm sure she was yearning for Sue Storm, so she could disappear........
Shut In (2015)
Homely girl........you used to be so lonely........
Anna suffers from agoraphobia, and has been living in her house without leaving for the last 10 years.
She's had her brother for company, but as his health deteriorates, it is clear she will need to start thinking about her future.
Such a courtesy isn't granted though, as she soon finds her home invaded by a group of thieves looking to steal her family's fortune.
But it's soon revealed to the trio that Being agoraphobic isn't the only disorder Anna is suffering with.....
Just of late, it's been a bit of a trend to have 'from the producers of Paranormal Activity, The Purge, Sinister' on the one sheet of the advertised film. Now this usually has alarm bells ringing, as sometimes it can mean that the studio doesn't really have that much faith in their product,so they hope they can reap reward by subliminally indicating that this will be as 'scary' as the others.
Thankfully though, this isn't really the case with this. Rather than the film being an all out horror, Shut In tries to turn the age old tropes on their head by using them to the protagonists benefit.
So where you'd usually be shouting at the screen 'get out of the house' or 'don't run up the stairs', here, Anna has no choice because of her phobia.
But that's where the originality ends with the film, and it's back to basics with your predictable house of traps and a trio of bad guys who all have the atypical personalities you'd find in any old horror film gathering dust on a bargain shelf.
Which is a real shame, because they have a wonderful character in Anna, never becoming the true psychotic that the film threatens her to be, she remains to have the aura of an innocent little girl throughout the film, and although the film connotates to some sort of childhood abuse in the first act, it's never really explained enough to be an integral part of her psyche.
Some of the camera work is clever, especially using CCTV and shadows, and there is a slight twist I the third act, as to why the house is almost 'Home Alone-esque'.
My advice is, try to see this movie without knowing to much about it, you'll probably get more out of it, and forgive it for backing away from such a wonderful premise.
Worth watching, but it will leave you a little disappointed.
Hercules returns once again after Golan Globus had a few extra quid knocking about and were still convinced that Ferrigno would soon rival Stallone and Schwarzenegger as the greatest eighties action hero.
So this time Hercules has to find the seven bolts of Lightning that belong to Zeus, before something a little untoward happens to the gods and save the world from a plethora of really bad special effects.
So the film begins as a bit of a catch up from the last movie, presumably serving purpose for those who couldn't be bothered to finish the first film.
And then after about ten minutes if this, it's back to Ferrigno and his dubbed voice, fighting with men dressed as carpets, and the bloke from the first one coming back from the dead to wreak more bad acting among the Greek gods.
It's rubbish for sure, an absolute stinker of a film, but Cannon have some guts to make a sequel to an absolute cesspit of a film, and not just that, to include half of the first films 'highlights' in the opening credits.
The writing is awful, with lines like 'get rid of yourself' inducing laughter rather than shock.
But when you see the Cannon name when a film begins, you should know what to expect.
A Shlockfest of the highest order.
Worth seeing, so you know that people were paid to get this to the public.
Originally commissioned as a sequel to the fantastic Se7en, this would have found detective Somerset somehow gain psychic abilities between the time that lapsed during the release of the two films.
It sounds absolutely like one of the worse ideas ever imagined by a screenwriter, and would possibly tarnish one of the greatest thrillers ever made, so they rang Sir Anthony to see if he had a couple of weeks free to play the psychic, who in one scene, literally plays a human Sat Nav.
So the plot goes as so, someone is murdering people seemingly at random, no explanation given, no prior threats. The only connection is that the autopsies find that they have, or will have a terminal illness........
So Hopkins, Dean Morgan, and Cornish spend the film being one step behind the killer, with Hopkins paying particular attention to looking out of a window at the murder scene, and explaining every single intricate detail of the victim to the family once they have been irked by the other two.
This film is your atypical late nineties thriller that were released in quick succession because of, ironically, the success of se7en.
And they were all trying to follow the same dark/goth like path that Fincher's movie followed. We had 8mm, Kiss The Girls, The Glimmer Man, and The Fan, to name but a few.
If this was released with Hopkins back then, there is no doubt that it would have been a major release, and in no way would we see a certain actor on the one sheet poster, that would have been the major selling point of the film, and one feels that almost twenty years ago, someone like Cage, Clooney, or Travolta would have been major contenders for a role.
It's perfunctory stuff, the idea is a good one, but it just doesn't offer anything new, and when we have the 'big meet' between protagonist and antagonist, it's not so much as 'wow', it's more like 'oh I forget he's even in it'.
It has a few good scenes, Hopkins can do this stuff all day long, but still puts in a good performance, but this could have been so much more, and they missed a major trick by not keeping a character secret.
Not bad, but a missed opportunity....
Rock the Kasbah (2015)
The Shareef don't like it.......
A has-been rock manager from California stumbles upon a once-in-a-lifetime voice in a remote Afghan cave.
Richie Lanz, dumped and stranded in war-torn Kabul by his last remaining client discovers Salima, a teenager with a beautiful voice and the dream of becoming the first woman to compete in Afghanistan's version of "American Idol."
Richie partners with a savvy lady of the night, a pair of hard-partying war profiteers, and a hair-trigger mercenary.
Braving dangerous cultural prejudices, Richie manages his new finding into becoming the Afghan star she has always wanted to be...........
Apparently based loosely on fact, 'Rock The Kasbah' has all the makings of a classic movie. The cast is amazing on paper, the concept is amazing on paper, the situations the characters get themselves into seem hilarious on paper, but this is a film, and it just falls apart around another fantastic performance from Murray.
The problem is the humour is all over the shop. One moment it's almost spoof like, then it's the darkest humour ever imaginable, and the final act, the writers forget to inject any humour at all.
There is no moral to the story, the film consists of Murray going from one difficult situation to the next, and using his charm to get out of this situation. Along the way he finds this voice, and with this, the film is supposed to show the struggles with religion, apartheid, culture, and what is acceptable within people's beliefs.
It's a dangerous subject to have as a comedy-drama, and here it just doesn't work, despite the best efforts from the cast, and having such a prolific director at the helm, it should have been a safe bet.
On the plus side, despite having no reason to be in the film, Willis ain't been this good in sometime. His screen time is very little, but he has a wonderful presence, and his character is intimidating.
For Murray fans though, he is wonderful, if you could see the film as a succession of sketches, rather than a story, he is hilarious and sympathetic in equal measure. It's a shame that at times he appears to be in a different film to everyone else.
It's no surprise that the filmed bombed so hard when released, it's not aimed at a specific demographic, has a strange Three Kings feel to it, and the final scene of the film is more of a whimper than anything else, because the subject matter is nothing new, we see these people's struggles everyday on the news and in the media, we don't need a comedy about it.
There is one scene where Murray sings 'Smoke On The Water' to a very bewildered looking audience.
I know how they felt.....
Can a Footsoldier rise twice?....
In the vault of unnecessary sequels, this has to be up there with The Last Exorcism 2, Single White Female 2, and 8mm 2. The film serves nothing more than to be a vanity project for Writer, Director, Caterer, and Star, Harnett.
The first Rising of the Footsoldier was pretty solid stuff to be fair, it was the umpteenth telling of those shootings, and why and how they took place. They featured all your favourite bad boys from cockney based soaps, and had more C words in it than the song 'My Coo Coo Ca Choo'.
But it was purely filler, and was milking the dregs of a strange phenomena that Ritchie started in late nineties, and Nick Love continued to semi revive in the mid- nineties.........that of the British crime movie, and then merging your cockney wide boy story with added on true events for good measure.
And in the last few years, they have been coming out on DVD almost every other week, and almost every one features the word Essex in the title.
So this is basically 'what Carlton did next' and if this film is anything to go by, it's that he goes totally paranoid, almost loses everything because although he's getting on in his years, he still wants to be the hardest man on the street.
Now, with any other film, you would conclude that the writer is stretching the truth just a little bit, but when you have the real Leach appear in the film for nothing more than to hug his fictional counterpart, you wonder if it's all above board, or whether some people have huge egos.
And it's just another atypical, by the numbers gangster movie that has absolutely nothing new to offer. So the film consists of Harnett having a fight, getting paranoid, having a fight, getting paranoid, getting his family paranoid, and so on and so on.
None of the characters are likable, the film glamorises idiotic, beer swilling louts who like nothing more than to smash stuff up, treat women like animals, but are the salt of the earth, because they are loyal.
You've seen it all before, better and worse, and there now must be at least fifteen to twenty films in this sub genre released every year.
And the worse thing is, is that the film feels like the middle of a blooming trilogy.
A worthless inclusion to a worthless genre, feeding the wannabe criminals pipe dreams of destruction.