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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
A true horror classic.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a scary and disturbing film which helped popularize the slasher film. The film is filmed in this very eerie look which gives it this documentary feel. The film was marketed as a true story even though it was only partially based on crimes by murderer Ed Gein. One of the killers in this film, Leatherface has also been considered one of the greatest horror film villains in history along with: Pinhead, Freddy Krueger, Ghostface, Norman Bates, Michael Myers etc. The films is directed by Tobe Hooper (Salem's Lot, Poltergeist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) and stars Marilyn Burns (Helter Skelter, Eaten Alive, Texas Chainsaw 3D), Paul A. Partain (Race with the Devil, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, Texas Chainsaw 3D), Edwin Neal (Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, JFK, Power Rangers Turbo), Jim Siedow (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) and Gunnar Hansen (Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Mosquito, Texas Chainsaw 3D).
Ridiculous premise with hilarious build-up and predictable (yet fun) pay-off
The premise of this episode has Twilight Sparkle, having no luck finding information about the mysterious box from our last episode, goes to the old castle of the Princesses on Celestia's suggestion, finding its old library and a diary kept by the sisters that explains the workings of the castle. Meanwhile, Applejack and Rainbow Dash, trying to find who is the most daring, go to the castle which they believe is haunted by the Pony of Shadows to try to see who stays the longest, while Rarity takes Fluttershy along to the castle to look for old tapestry to repair. These four inadvertently get into several hijinks of traps and devices triggered by themselves, as well as an unknown pony playing on the castle's organ, get separated, and run scared through the castle. This episode starts off with jokes that are pretty weak and then halfway through the episode we get some great slapstick humor and some pretty funny gags. While anyone who watches this show religiously will find the ending predictable, it's still a pretty fun ending. Overall, it's a good, yet flawed episode.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
The best horror film released in years.
There's no doubt horror films have been turning to crap in the last couple of years, so I was not excited to see this film, but, when I did see it I loved it. The Cabin in the Woods is unlike any horror film I've seen in the last 15 years, here's some reasons why: 1. It has a very good story with sharp witty dialogue. 2. It has likable characters and you actually care about what happens to them. 3. All the actors do a pretty good job however the only performances that were great were our lead and the two technicians. 4. The majority of the scares work. 5. It tries to avoid using horror film clichés and succeeds (for the most part)
The film is directed by Drew Goddard (Alias, Lost, Cloverfield)and is written by Goddard and acclaimed screenwriter Joss Whedon (Toy Story, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity, The Avengers). The film stars Kristen Connolly (Mona Lisa Smile, The Happening, Revolutionary Road), Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers, Snow White and the Huntsman), Anna Hutchison (Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior, Go Girls, Power Rangers Jungle Fury), Fran Kranz (Donnie Darko, Training Day, The Village), Jesse Williams (Grey's Anatomy, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, Brooklyn's Finest), Richard Jenkins (The Visitor, Step Brothers, Burn After Reading) and Bradley Whitford (Scent of a Woman, Billy Madison, The West Wing).
Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)
Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)
Paranormal Activity-you either love or hate it, I fall under the latter. Paranormal Activity originally started out as a Blair Witch Project rip- off and for some reason it became incredibly popular and spawned a franchise which releases a sequel every year. Now, before this review starts I would like to point out there will be spoilers and if you are interested in seeing this, stop reading this review. The plot focuses on the exact same thing as the last 3 films did, a family moves into a house, a member of the family films every little thing that goes on in the house for some reason (Ricky Fits would even call them weird), They notice something creepy on the tape and some spooky things happen. Lets introduce our main characters shall we! We have: Alex: Our annoying teenage brat protagonist. She spends the whole film trying to look scared and swearing.
Ben: Alex's perverted, possibly pedophile boyfriend (There is no way this guy is 15.) He spends the film trying to get Alex nude, recording their video chats and breaking into her house. Charming.
Wyatt: Alex's adopted brother. He's almost a rip-off of Danny Torrance, there is even a scene where the have him ride a bike through the house. Every time he was on screen me and my friend would shout, "Redrum!"
Robbie: The son of Satan himself. He just spends the film walking around talking to himself and being creepy. I'd also like to add that this character kind of disappears from the film, they just put him on a bus and say, "SCREW THE PLOT, WE HAVE SOME SCARY CRAP TO SHOW YOU!"
Doug: Alex's father, played by the late Stephen Dunham. He really doesn't do much in this film, so there is no point in talking about him.
Holly: Alex's mother. This character is possibly one of the worst mothers ever put to screen, she leaves her 6 year old son in the bathtub with a laptop RIGHT BESIDE THE TUB (why the hell does a 6 year old have a laptop anyway!?) and knocks her daughter out with sleeping pills.
Now I'll cover the basics: Writing: The story is just a re-hash of the past 3 films which was a terrible story to begin with. All of the characters are flat and unlikeable and I just really didn't care what happened to them. The dialogue in this film is just atrocious, there are scenes which are simply here to explain words like "duckface" or explain what a "Kardashian" is. Oh, I forgot to mention there is a scene where Robbie draws a "triangle with a circle inside" on Wyatt's back, Alex and Ben are confused about this and decide to Google what it means and what do you know, it's some satanic crap, even stranger they find it AS THE FIRST RESULT. I have to bring up the ending as well, it ends with Alex running out of her house after discovering Wyatt is missing (while holding her laptop for some reason) and finds him in an old house (which for some reason have windows that are covered in Spanish newspaper.) creepily talking to himself, Alex then discovers this creature (Katie from the last 3 films) who then chases after her, she makes it outside where she discovers a large group of people with glowing eyes who then kill her (Village of the Damned, anyone?). This ending made no sense at all and had me thinking, "What the hell just happened?" I mentioned earlier that a new films is released every year, shows the thought process that goes into these films.
Directing: This whole film is filmed in that annoying shaky cam found footage style and some if it looks so bad, I'd swear it could have been scenes deleted from Julien Donkey-Boy because it looked too crappy.
Acting: Good god...the acting. This film has some of the worst acting I've seen in a horror film, our two protagonists (Alex and Ben)are the absolute worst. I have to admit the two kids (Wyatt and Robbie) gave decent performances, they not Marlon Brando or Spencer Tracy but they are good compared to everyone else.
Scares: Scares? What scares? This film relies on jump scares to "scare" you, the majority of these "scares" are false, there is a scene where Alex goes downstairs looking for Wyatt and then a chandelier falls from the ceiling, SCARY! The cat jumps in front of the screen several times, SCARY! The door slams, SCARY! The pedophile boyfriend is tackling Alex, SCARY! There is however, one that did work, there is a scene where the boyfriend is killed and the body is hid in the closet, Alex later comes home and tries to call him from her cellphone and hears his phone ring in her closet.
If you loved the last three Paranormal Activity films you would love this, if not you will hate it.
If you want a scary horror film watch Perfect Blue, Eraserhead, Psycho, Alien, The Shining, The Thing (1951 or 1982 remake), Les Diaboliques, The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby, Nosferatu (1922 or 1978 remake) or George A. Romero's Living Dead series.
If you want a good modern horror film watch The Cabin in The Woods or American Horror Story (season 2 is the best).
If you want a good found footage film watch Cloverfield.
Just stay away from this (unless you are a fan).
If you are a fan of the show, you will love it. If you aren't...you might?
I just got back from my local theaters showing of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls. Being a fan of the show I didn't really know what to expect, I wanted to see it so I can see some of my favorite characters on the big screen, but in the back of my mind I was afraid this one turn into a generic, clichéd high school film. What I got was something much much more, this film is constantly trying to throw jokes and 90% of them work perfectly. There are also little nods to the fandom here and there for example there is a scene where the Cutie Mark Crusaders are listening to the CMC theme song on YouTube and my favorite gag was having Granny Smith as the school's cafeteria woman which made the whole theater laugh. The film also has a surprisingly diabolical villain not to give away anything but the last time we see her is unforgettable. I believe that this film could possibly be nominated for the best animated feature at the Academy Awards (although it probably won't win as Monster's University will be released next week).
A wonderful twist on the Coming-of-age film.
if.... is the first film in the Mick Travis trilogy which tells the stories of Mick Travis who is not a single character with a Character arc, but an everyman whose role changes every film. In this film Travis is a rebellious student who leads a revolution against his private school. The film is directed by Lindsay Anderson (This Sporting Life, O Lucky Man!, The Whales of August) and stars Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Halloween, Bolt, The Artist), Richard Warwick (Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, White Hunter Black Heart), David Wood (Aces High, North Sea Hijack, Longitude) and Peter Jeffrey (The Abominable Dr. Phibes, The Return of the Pink Panther, Midnight Express, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen).
First of all Gummo is not a film for everybody, hell, it's barely a film for anyone. The film chronicles the lives of several residents of Xenia, Ohio a small town that was previously struck by a devastating tornado (Google Super Outbreak)who find strange ways to pass the time. The majority of people will find these scenes unwatchable as they as graphic and shocking. The characters in this film are sick and depraved (for the most part) we have: Solomon (Jacob Reynolds) and Tummler: two teenage boys who spend they're days riding around on their bikes killing cats with BB guns and sniffing glue. Dot (The fantastic, beautiful Chloë Sevigny), Darby and Helen: The only characters I found to be likable in this film. Dot and Helen are aged between 14-17 while Darby is aged between 7-10. Dot and Helen spend their times putting duct tape on their nipples to give the appearance that their breasts are bigger (the closest thing this movie has to a sweet scene.) while Darby plays with a picture of Burt Reynolds stating that she wishes she had a moustache. There is a particularly disturbing scene where a man claiming to be the brother of Freddie Prinze attempts to molest the three sisters. Bunny Boy: Bunny Boy only gets approximately 15 minutes of screen time and never says a word, but, is unforgettable. Bunny Boy is a young boy who wears only pink rabbit ears, shorts and athletic shoes. The first time we see Bunny Boy he is urinating and spitting onto a highway and smoking a cigarette. The next time we see him he is getting shot with cap guns by two kids playing Cowboy. In his most famous scene his is shown sitting in a bathroom stall playing an accordion. It all ends wonderfully (HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD!) with Solomon and Tummler killing the sisters cat while Bunny Boy has sex with Dot and Helen in their swimming pool all the while showing actual video clips from the Xenia tornado while Roy Orbison's "Crying" plays (similar to the use of Orbison's song "In Dreams" in David Lynch's "Blue Velvet".) The final shot of the film is Bunny Boy proudly displaying the dead cat. The ending implies that the tornado was the best thing to happen to Xenia and that their is no hope for it's residents. The film is directed by Harmony Korine (Kids, Mister Lonely, Spring Breakers) and stars Jacob Reynolds (The Road to Wellville) and Chloë Sevigny (Boys Don't Cry, American Psycho, Big Love, Zodiac).
Blue Velvet (1986)
David Lynch does not disappoint
David Lynch (The Elephant Man, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Mulholland Drive) is one of those love him or hate him directors. The majority of his films are confusing and disturbing, I can see why that would turn some people off, But, along with Eraserhead I think this film should be seen by everybody at least once. There really isn't much I can say about this film without saying too much. The film stars Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks, The Doors, Desperate Housewives), Isabella Rossellini (Death Becomes Her, Fearless, Roger Dodger), Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now, True Romance, Speed), Laura Dern (Wild at Heart, Jurassic Park, Inland Empire), Hope Lange (The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Death Wish), George Dickerson (Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, Death Warrant, Son of the Morning Star) and Dean Stockwell (Paris, Texas, Quantum Leap, Air Force One).
One of the greatest crime dramas ever made.
Fargo is one of those films I can just watch over and over again and not get tired of it. The films is about a used car salesman who hires two criminals to kidnap his wife so he can keep a ransom from her father while a pregnant police sheriff investigates. I really like the acting in this movie especially from the criminals, however, I think the film is sometimes shot to basic and looks boring at some points, however this is very rare. The film is directed by the Coen brothers (The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men, True Grit) and stars Frances McDormand (Almost Famous, The Man Who Wasn't There, Burn After Reading, Moonrise Kingdom), William H. Macy (Pleasantville, Magnolia, Jurassic Park III), Steve Buscemi (Reservoir Dogs, The Big Lebowski, Monster's, Inc.), Harve Presnell (Face/Off, Saving Private Ryan, Old School) and Peter Stormare (The Big Lebowski, Armageddon, Bad Boys II).
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
One of the greatest animated films I've ever seen.
In my opinion Pixar has never made a bad movie (I haven't seen Cars 2 yet), and Monsters, Inc. is up there with one of their best. I love how huge this movie is every time I watch it I notice something new. I also love how detailed the animation is, just look at the hairs on the main character, they had to animate every single one of those hairs and they managed to make every single one of them move realistically. The majority of the jokes were work but a few of them do miss. The film is directed by Pete Docter (Toy Story, WALL-E, Up), Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3) and David Silverman (The Simpsons, The Road to El Dorado, The Simpsons Movie) and stars John Goodman (Roseanne, The Big Lebowski, The Artist), Billy Crystal (When Harry Met Sally..., Analyze This, America's Sweethearts), Steve Buscemi (Reservoir Dogs, Fargo, The Big Lebowski), James Coburn (The Great Escape, The Nutty Professor, Eraser), Jennifer Tilly (Bound, Liar Liar, Bride of Chucky) and Frank Oz (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith).