Reviews written by registered user
|56 reviews in total|
It's hard to overstate how gut-wrenchingly incompetent this film is. It
looks like the final project of a student at an unaccredited film
school. Specifically, a student who sat dozing in the back of the
classroom while zonked out on cough syrup.
The film is about a demon haunted storage facility. The story lines of three groups of characters exploring the place are not so much intertwined as put in a bucket and mashed together with a toilet plunger, creating a confusing mess whose only positive outcome is to obscure the film's insipid plot. As the victims are picked off by the POV monster (fortunately never seen) we're treated to endless repeats of the last scene of "Rec", which might make for an interesting drinking game, but only if Thorazine were used instead of alcohol.
The main group of characters appear to be three hapless college age kids (Stringy Hair, Mr. Eyebrows and The Girl) who go on a treasure hunt in the aforementioned storage building. Their story is inter-cut with the two other groups, a widower and his dude-bro friend and a pair of women who (bewilderingly) resemble a young Melissa Etheridge and Cher. All three groups wander through poorly titled scenes edited by an old copy of Windows Movie Maker until the POV monster shows up to end their misery.
All-in-all, this is the kind of movie I would have made if I'd been a 16 year old death-metal fan with a serious head wound. Maybe the guys at Rifftrax could do something with it, but I doubt that even they could make this train wreck entertaining.
Since they advertised this film as a "horror comedy" it might have been
nice if the film makers had indeed included some horror and some
comedy. Unfortunately all we get here is a few half-drawn characters
and a sparse handful of horror movie clichés.
Long story short - an annoying New York couple stay at a B&B run by an annoying old woman and her dull son. There they play with their cell phones and tablets, meet a boring Swedish butterfly collector and then play with their electronic toys some more.
Once the "horror" starts, it's really hard to care about the fate of these dullards. But don't worry, they don't seem to care much either. And by the time this excursion into ennui sputters to a halt with all the impact of a wet firecracker, neither do we.
Not a found footage movie, but rather a movie based upon what's become
one of the more standard found footage movie plots. What am I talking
about? Only this...
Pennhurst is about a group of obnoxious teens who go to an abandoned mental hospital to screw around. While there, the most obnoxious of the bunch tells the story of a TV "ghost hunting" crew who visited that selfsame hospital and were brutally murdered. Pretty standard, yes? No! This film doesn't even try to maintain the found footage conceit. Badly chosen music, meant to be scary I suppose, crops up on the soundtrack throughout. And speaking of scary, there ain't none. Maybe two or three scenes, all of them staring the film's director/star Michael Rooker, could be considered at all scary and then only if they were taken out of context with rest of the film.
If Pennhurst has a saving grace, it's that at least the cast looked like they were having fun shooting it. Which is good, because I doubt anyone else will enjoy it as much.
And scraping the bottom of the Blair Witch / Paranormal Activity barrel
I find this film, grinning idiotically up at me, just waiting to
consume 90 minutes of my life.
You know, I admit it, I'm a sucker for these kind of horror films. So I probably deserve it when some celluloid creature like this shambles out of the dark and takes a bite out of me. But, seriously, when someone has an idea for a movie - shouldn't they, you know, kind of flesh it out? Think it through a few times? Am I being too demanding here? "Episode 50" follows two teams of "psychic investigators", one secular and one religious, into one of those "most haunted place on Earth" places (of which there are several hundred or so if you watch these kind of TV shows), in this case an old mental hospital. There's lots of back story concerning the team members, which is constantly being introduced until practically the very last frame of the film. There's lots happening, with each team presenting conflicting reasons for the ghostly goings on.
And there's practically no coherent overall idea of the film.
The flimmakers here want to use the "found footage" format AND have their scary background music too. They want to scare us WITHOUT building up tension. They want to slip in a cute little religious message AND have it taken seriously. Heck, the probably want to lose weight by eating ice cream and get rich buying real estate with no money down.
Mix the half-baked, nearly incoherent film style with some egregiously bad acting and out pops a film that makes "Return to Pontianak" look like "Silence of the Lambs." Seriously, the most horrible thing about this film is that I spent time watching it. Don't make that mistake. Save yourselves!
Look, I really don't have anything against comic book movies. But,
WTF??? Even as a cheap copyrights-holder, this film makes no gawddam
sense what-so-ever. There is simply no good excuse for this film
existing. Watching it is like being lightly slapped in the face for 80
minutes with a pair of Invisible Girl's gloves - it stops being funny
after a couple of minutes.
Things happen for abso-tootly-ootly no reason in this film. Scenes change with no regard for coherency or continuity. Hardly any characters are introduced, they slink in and out of scenes as if they don't really want to be caught on film, then half of them disappear without the slightest explanation.
Yes, I know it's Roger Corman. Yes, I know they spent $18.50 on the entire film. Yes, I know they shot it in 10 days. But there's another thing I know. I also know that only mentally impaired basement-dwelling comic book fanboys would find this cinematic abortion even marginally entertaining. You would be better off watching mold grow on a grapefruit than watching this pathetic excuse for a movie.
Yes, the script is kinda cheesy. Yes, the actors are blandly pretty.
Yes, the characters do annoyingly dumb things in the woods. But there
are some pretty decent aspects to "The Shrine" that make it worth the
90-odd minutes out of your life time to watch it.
First of all, it's not as entirely stupid as 99.9999% of horror movies currently in release. Early on there are some sequences which are, though derivative of J-horror, at least nicely scary. There's a very well done mid-movie change up and an ending that actually doesn't make you want to throw up your hands in disgust.
Faint praise, I know. But compared to the brain dead gore porn masquerading as horror films these days, this film's attempt to generate some real scares seems almost revolutionary by comparison. "The Shrine" is, at the very least, a pretty fair port in a storm of Hollywood crap.
This "film" was made for people who were severely, nay - obsessively,
disappointed that there wasn't more lesbianism on "Buffy the Vampire
Slayer." I mean, why else would anyone make this half-hearted attempt
at a movie? The plot, as divined from the back of the Burger King bag
upon which it was scrawled, involves God (!) coming down to earth to
select an earthly avenger. (Seems people didn't learn from that whole
40 day flood thing and she's cheesed off again.) God's plan for the
chastisement of humanity? Simple - make a randomly selected lesbian
into an unstoppable vampire killing machine and send her out to smite
Yes, that's the best plan an omniscient, omnipresent and omni-benevolent Deity could come up with - a plot that would have been rejected by the pea-brained corporate cretins who run cable TV. And SHE created US? And the world and everything in it? AND She screws even *that* up, if you can believe it. When her chosen earthly avatar pleads for the life of her lover, who also happens to be a psychopathic killer, God takes pity and turns her, too, into an unstoppable vampire.
Did I say 'omniscient?' Sorry. I meant 'dumb as a bag of hammers.' All that is just the set up for the ultimate battle between the scantily clad lesbians of good and evil. That makes it sound a lot more interesting than it is, since there wasn't nearly enough budget for an apocalyptic showdown. In fact, there was barely enough for a minor skirmish between the forces of nice and mean. The only upside to this apocalyptic train wreck is that the evil vampire lesbian gets to kill as annoying a bunch of bit players, extras and has-beens as has ever been assembled.
Certainly not enough to build a movie around, nu? But that's the real secret of "Murder World." It isn't really a movie. "Murder World" is poorly made masturbation material for lonely vampire-obsessed comic book collecting fan-boys. Everyone else - feel free to avoid this sticky mess like you would one of the Ten Plagues of Egypt.
You know what's more annoying than sparkly vampires? Mopey killers, as
this film so amply proves.
Undiscernably set in the near future, the film follows a pair of disaffected, twentyish emo contract killers who work for a cop that hangs out in a food court. In between unbearably long periods of staring off into space, our apathetic assassins kill people using their lethal powers of ennui. Well, that and a number of ridiculously staged coincidences.
But even after the miserable murderers find girlfriends (as improbably as that sounds) the film still can't find a pulse and we're treated to another eternity of anguished aimlessness before the final non-conclusion puts us out of *our* misery. Stay away from this one unless your an emo teen. Or comatose. Or both.
Filmed with all the charm and grace of a 70's vintage Sun International
"documentary" on bigfoot, "The Fourth Kind" does for UFO abduction what
Judith Miller's WMD reporting did for the journalistic credibility of
The New York Times. And yet, despite a desperate effort to hide their
utter lack of cinematic skills with verite riffs, the makers of "The
Fourth Kind" fail even to manage that. Quite a trick - if you think
At it's best the movie is a confused muddle of film school editing tricks and cheap scares. At it's worst, the film's amateur nite cinematography and cheeseball writing combine to actively offend the viewer. Yes, this is a film that boldly says to it's audience - "We already got your eight bucks, so eff-you, suckers!"
Fanboys hate it. Auteurists love it. So what to make of this film? It's
an independent production, which means fanboys won't forgive it's
minimal f/x and amateur fight choreography while auteurists will love
it's raw indy look. However, despite some awkwardness on both fronts,
the f/x and choreography are better than one might expect.
It's under written, sure. Under written to the point where it can't be explained away by it's indy production origins. On the other side, it's chock-a-block full of ideas - some interesting and some just plain silly. Truthfully, imagination makes up for a lot.
It's plot is complex and doesn't go to much trouble explaining itself. Auteursts love that kind of self absorption while fanboys hate anything that isn't spelled out for them in big block letter. Ink may tilt a little to the auteurist side, but not egregiously so.
Sum up. In an environment where 99.9% of all films are boring studio product, Ink gets props for even trying to do something different. Even where it fails, and it does in several places, it fails from a point of strength. 7/10
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