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The Hunger Games (2012)
Lawrence and crew hit the bullseye (no pun intended)
Oh my goodness. I just got home from the midnight premiere of this wonderful, magnificent film. To say that I had a good time would be an understatement. As a die hard fan of the books, seeing everything that I read being translated onto the big screen. Every actor portrayed their character as though they were their character, and you could tell that they really knew their roles. The futuristic world of Panem felt very realistic and I couldn't help but feel as though I were living in the harsh country. The Capitol scenes were very well done, and each scene showed how much better they got it than the Districts. The added interviews explaining the games were very helpful to newcomers of this epic trilogy. May the odds be ever in your favor that you will enjoy this movie, which I guarantee will not be a difficult task.
Silent House (2011)
Well done thriller; An even more well done performance by Elizabeth Olsen
Wow. I saw this movie twice, once last Friday (opening day) and another time last night. I must say, the first half of this film is brilliantly crafted into a realistic thriller about a girl who is trapped in her family's summer cottage and is being tormented by a psychotic stranger. It was not too dissimilar to movies such as 2008's The Strangers or Funny Games (both versions). When we get to part two of the film, that's where the realism begins to fade, and this movie becomes sort of an experiment in the art house genre. The second half isn't bad at all, but I preferred the first half, just because I am a fan of the home invasion genre. Well done! Finally, a good independent movie put out into theaters across the country!
TRESPASS will convince you to lock your doors.
Imagine if you lived in a secluded house, with no one close by, and vicious criminals break into your house. What would you do? TRESPASS confines us to the Miller house, where Kyle (Cage) and Sarah (Kidman) live with their daring teenage daughter, Avery (Liberato). They seemingly have it all, until one night. On this certain night, their home is invaded by masked thugs who send chills right up our spine on the camera.
These criminals only want one thing: Money. Money that is stowed away in a secret safe in Kyle's spacious office. Kyle refuses to open the safe, threatening his own life, along with the lives of his wife and daughter.
This family is tormented to such a degree that one of the characters openly expresses that she doesn't care if she lives or not. They are kicked, slapped around, and chased around on their own property. What was at first a beautiful home now becomes a torturous prison that we hope the characters escape. The family's desperate pleas for help made me truly scared for them.
TRESPASS follows closely in the footsteps of this year's Spanish film Kidnapped (Secuestraods). Both are very brutal messages of awareness that you better lock your doors...
Straw Dogs (2011)
STRAW DOGS is a gripping thriller, in the same vein as THE STRANGERS or LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (Remake)
Every year, a home invasion/rape thriller comes out into the theaters. STRAW DOGS felt a lot like the 2011 version of I Spit On Your Grave. A young couple (Kate Bosworth and James Marsden) move to Amy's (Kate Bosworth) hometown to stay at her family's old house, while screenplay writer, David (James Marsden) finishes writing his newest project.
As soon as they arrive, Amy discovers that her old town wasn't exactly how she left it. While at a restaurant, they meet up with Amy's old friends from high school. David hires them to take on a household project.
Soon, tensions rise and that's where all the horror starts. Many events happen, leading up to a brutal home invasion. When I say brutal, I mean this is a BRUTAL home invasion. It borrows from FUNNY GAMES, in which the young couple is terrorized by strange assailants, seemingly for no reason. Also, the record player idea was something we saw in 2008's THE STRANGERS.
Overall, this was a good movie for fans of the sub-genre of home invasion. WARNING: THERE IS A RAPE!!!! It's not for everyone, but it kept me entertained on a Friday night.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)
Guillermo Del Toro's DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK is a atmospheric gem
First off, I have been waiting to see DON'T BE AFRAID for about a year now. The preview left me creeped out. That bed sheet scene at the end of the trailer will never be forgotten by me.
Well, I went to see this Troy Nixey/Guillermo Del Toro produced film and I must say, good job. This is a dark fairytale wrapped in a horror movie's shadow. The opening scene is very well done. It is a very creepy scene that I'm not going to explain, because you must see for yourself.
Not long after the opening credits, which were an artistic genius, the movie somewhat switches from a horror movie to somewhat of a Pan's Labyrinth fairytale, then back again to a horror movie. The house becomes a character itself, with the designs reminiscent of other Del Toro film houses. Inside the house, young Sally (portrayed by the very talented Bailee Madison) discovers a basement, where something mysterious lurks...
The performances in this movie are strong. Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes play the worried parents, and Bailee Madison plays the "child-in-peril" very well.
Overall, I think this movie is an atmospheric gem that is great fun. Recommended.
Mother's Day (2010)
Very Gripping Installment in the Home Invasion Category
Darren Lynn Bousman's movie Mother's Day has to be the BEST horror/thriller home invasion chiller I have ever seen, and that's saying A LOT, seeing as I've seen just about every home invasion horror.
A few couples get together to welcome the Sohapis' to their new house. Unfortunately, three criminals on the run decide to crash their party, which happens to be the boys' old house. They call their mother and from then on, the suspense begins.
This movie's plot is a bit like Funny Games and the suspense models after The Strangers, but it does its thing originally. If you go in expecting a lot, that's what you will come out with. If you go in expecting nothing, you will also get a lot.
Watch this movie!
Case 39 (2009)
Old Story, New Approach
Well, Hollywood has already taught us the lesson to not adopt until you know who you're dealing with in the Dark Castle's Orphan, but now Paramount wants to preach the same message.
Lily is an adorable 10 year old girl, whose grades in school are drastically dropping. Social worker Emily Jenkins is called to check out her parents, who prove to be mysterious and downright creepy. Soon, Emily is forced to rescue Lily from them. Lily begs to stay with Emily, so Emily works to gain custody of Lily. When she soon receives her wish, she realizes that Lily's halo is nowhere to be found.
Overall, Paramount did a good job of portraying the evil child message in this film. Jodelle Ferland acts wonderfully as Lily, while Renee Zellweger leads the screen in a perfect portrayal of mom in peril.
8/10 for good work!
Funny Games (2007)
Gripping Home Invasion Terror... Not For The Faint of Heart!
Think of your worst nightmares all stepping into the realm of one psychological thriller and you've got Funny Games. Constant chills on screen and off screen promote this film to a level of terror I don't believe we've seen in a while.
The wealthy Farber family is looking forward to a weekend at their summer getaway in a gated community of Long Island. Two young men knock on their door, and that's when the trouble starts. Soon, these men take the helpless family hostage, forcing them to play sadistic games in order to survive the night.
I think this deserves an 8, because of the plot structure and acting. Although the story is a good one, it is somewhat clichéd. The 'why are you doing this?' phrase is overused, but leans towards a chilling lack of any motive for the terror the two men cause. The thrills come back to back, and they are not very tame. The ending was decent, yet left a lot of questions unanswered.
Not for children or the faint of heart.