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I generally love any movie, but in particular horror movies! My favourites are Ginger Snaps and Ringu.
I'm Still Here (2013)
Raw, heart-aching debut from promising director Kris Smith
I'm Still Here, the feature film debut from director Kris Smith that draws on his experiences with terminal illness, is as poignant and punchy as they come. Matthew (portrayed by Dan Burman), a young man with his whole life ahead of him suddenly discovers that he has terminal cancer - thus begins a roller-coaster ride of pain and heartache, from reconciling with family to falling in love at the wrong time.
Burman's sterling no holds barred performance married with Smith's raw, almost documentary- like filmmaking (thanks also to the excellent cinematography by DOP Joshua Carver) give I'm Still Here its emotional core since the film seems so natural it makes it all the more relatable, and that it makes the drama all the more heartbreaking (oh yes, you certainly will need tissues). In all the right places, Burman channels melancholy, wit and pure agony on his journey through all the stages of grief portrayed in the film that will certainly pull at your heartstrings.
His co-stars are equally as empathic, particularly Lucy Russell as Rebecca and Chris Szuca as Ben who deliver fresh, engaging performances. Whilst the focus of Matthew's attention is on his love interest Olivia (Rebecca Bailey), the more meaningful relationships are the ones he forms in his community; particularly in the case of fellow cancer sufferer Rebecca and the estranged married couple Ben and Sophie. Matthew's realization of his larger role in the world around him will certainly have audiences feeling warm, even if his kindness is shrouded in tragedy.
The film's somber score by Asche & Spencer, whose credits include Machine Gun Preacher and Monster's Ball, reinforces the moody tone well as Matthew struggles with day-to-day life, knowing his time is growing shorter by the minute.
I'm Still Here is a dose of fresh, no-holds-barred filmmaking that will break your heart in two with its powerful drama. Smith has made his cinematic mark, as his beautiful debut shows strong signs of great promise in his future he's most certainly a director to watch.
Imagine 'Saw' fused with 'Fear Dot Com'.
***SPOILERS ABOUT THE ENDING*** This wasn't the best movie I've ever seen, nor is it the worst.
I saw this at a multiplex in Times Square on a college trip to New York, and having never attended a multiplex screening before I was shocked by the experience. The film was a lot worse with the sound and enlarged visuals - it made me cry. However, if I was watching this on DVD it wouldn't have made me cry but I would have still found it nasty, and I am an avid horror movie fan.
The film follows a woman from the FBI who deals in catching online criminals. She comes across a website, 'Kill With Me?' which shows a small kitten being trapped in front of a saucer of cream that it can't quite reach. Soon the kitten dies, yet the rest of the FBI aren't that bothered. But when human beings start being killed in sickening ways (being sat in a vat of sulfuric acid, being burned to death in front of heat lamps, being injected with a substance that makes you bleed to death and at the end the woman herself is captured and lowered into a set of lawn mower blades) the FBI try their best to save them - yet any visitors to the site only make the deaths faster (e.g. the more people visiting the site, the more heat lamps turned on).
The movie was fairly predictable - it was very obvious that the woman would get captured herself and then escape and kill the murderer.
It was alright, and see it if you're into stuff like 'Fear Dot Com' or 'Saw'. Just don't expect anything clever. It was about as rubbish as 'Fear Dot Com' and doesn't even meet the once-clever 'Saw', even though it's trying to follow it in terms of torture.
The Wicker Man (1973)
The Hunted Turn on the Hunter
CONTAINS SPOILERS: 'The Wicker Man' is a wonderful film. In some ways subtle and in some ways in-your-face with strangeness, this film is a surprising tale of good vs. evil - with evil winning in the end.
A devout Christian police officer, Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) arrives in the island of Summerisle, searching for a missing girl. The locals deny knowing her, but as his stay on the island progresses he sees many strange things happening as time moves on to May Day. He follows many scattered breadcrumbs throughout the film and eventually realizes that he was trapped all along with no one to comfort or save him.
This film was enjoyable because we, as an audience, were with the police sergeant throughout the entire feature. We knew only what he knew and were as baffled as he was with the strange ways of the village; such as the exceedingly inappropriate discussion at the local school, the animal masks that are worn frequently and the naked girls dancing and singing over a bonfire.
With the horror occurring in the daytime, in front of an entire community and in a nice village (that you may even go to for your holidays), this film throws you off the scent with its many anti-conventions. The stereotypes of the genre are almost completely overthrown to create this twisted, terrifying piece of cinema.
The final scene was particularly horrific; ending with the Sergeant Howie burning to death as a sacrifice in the Wicker Man. Reminiscent of the death of Jesus Christ, Howie sings praises to God and prays to be saved as he is burned to death - one man against many. This is a sad, yet powerful ending - again using the anti-conventions in the sense that the villains won this time.
I strongly recommend seeing this film. Christopher Lee himself said that his role as Lord Summerisle was one of the best roles he had ever had.
Blood and Chocolate (2007)
A load of werewolf warble - every time I see it I hate it more.
I think the best way for me to review this title is to split it into its pros and cons.
PROS: ~ they turn into wolves rather than plastic/cartoony monsters. ~ the chase of the wolves through the forest ~ "Cash Machine" by Hard-Fi being played
CONS: ~ some parts of the script makes you cringe (for example the terrible part where the woman escapes the 'games' of the "Fortunate Five" boys, and there's about half an hour of "Dear cousin" and a round robin of "Yes, see, we know Gabriel's law") ~ the diving transformation is ridiculous ~ the obvious and ridiculous ending ~ Aiden being told thousands of times to leave, and then goes "if you cared about me you would have left me" ~ the obvious characters ~ the unnecessary parcour ~ the completely unnecessary slashing of the arm by Aiden ~ cringey speeches by Gabriel
You see what I mean.
I adore werewolf films, and I tried watching this a few times to see if I'd like it better but it just made it worse. I think I'll just read the book and see how I get on.
Don't bother with this unless you have a 12 year old brother or sister into spooky things. Anyone over that age may suffer and want their hour and a half back.
Stay Alive (2006)
What a load of pants.
This could have been a GREAT movie, but it was so lazy and badly done that it turned out to be a tweeny load of rubbish in my opinion.
It was such a good idea - kids play a video game, you die in the game you die in real life. It could have been fantastic.
Yet the deaths were corny and the ultimate villain (a REAL Hungarian countess, Elizabeth Bathory, who was said to be "vampiric" as she bathed in virgin's blood - you can also find her on the Atmosfear/Nightmare board game series) was a load of twoddle. She was pathetic.
The "anti"-climax ruined the whole film.
Don't bother. You'll want your time back.
I stopped playing: the gameplay and controls get on your nerves. A LOT.
I really want to love this game. I do.
Amazing graphics, enemies and plot lines, and a distinct reference to Silent Hill.
But that annoying Triangle button that you have to press every time you want to do something is just plain stupid! It's a waste of time.
Sight Jacking is equally frustrating, as it takes you forever to understand why you're doing it in the first places (something that nun failed to tell me).
I'd watch it being played, but I don't think I could handle playing it myself. It's too annoying.
Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
This should have been rated "18".
This movie was a lot better than I expected. Claire Redfield joining the crew, another stunning performance from Jovovich and the strangest twists and biggest explosions the series has seen yet.
However - this should have been rated an "18" rather than a "15" in the UK.
It was very gory and very disturbing - the undead so far were not too scary for me but this was more gory and disturbing than the Dawn of the Dead remake and it frightened the hell out of me.
A good movie - but be warned.
Shrek the Third (2007)
Shrek has been "milked".
- A repeat of the first film (Shrek goes to pick up someone who doesn't want to go with him, and delivers that person to someone else) - Gag after gag with no real storyline.
- The gags aren't that funny.
- Any good jokes were put on the trailers, which were shown to you about fifty times on TV and such, making them unfunny when you see the whole film.
- Pointless use of characters (some characters did not need to be involved, such as the princesses).
- You are waiting for the good bits to come on, but they never come.
Why has all this happened? Because Shrek has been "milked" (and will continue to be "milked" as Shrek 4 and a Puss in Boots spin off are currently in production). Hollywood loves sequels, but this has pushed it too far.
Worth seeing if you are a fan of the Shrek series, but you will be disappointed.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
A historical landmark of low-budget film making and horror cinema.
A lot of people have criticized this for not being scary, but on the contrary I think it was very scary and I admire this film for creating an entire new meaning of 'scary' and for being so successful on such a low budget. Universal's coffee bill must be higher than what the budget was for this film. I feel that this was the birth of the psychological horror film.
What also helped this was the fact that the actors used their real names in the film, and the website that accompanied it helped to create the illusion that this incident portrayed in the film was a true event.
Fabulous acting (and REAL snot coming out of Heather Donahue's nose in that heartbreaking famous scene), great shots and eerie locations also help to boost the scariness of TBWP.
Definitely a film you must see before you die.
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
I think only sailors would be able to withstand the camera usage.
Having not seen the films before (and not being able to stand Matt Damon), I was reluctant to go see The Bourne Ultimatum when we were asked to see it for AS Film Studies.
However, I was pleasantly surprised that even a film with Damon in it could be enjoyable.
Fast fight scenes, crazy motorbike chases and BIG explosions were what threw you out of your seat in TBU. The near-misses between the CIA and Bourne kept you on your toes and throughly entertained.
Nevertheless, several things really grated my cheese.
Firstly, the fact that the film was just a series of Bourne, CIA, Bourne, CIA, Bourne, CIA. This sequence got repetitive and ultimately dull. Although Damon did keep us entertained and seemed always one step ahead of the CIA, I was getting a bit annoyed with the constant survival of Bourne. He crashed a car and got out as if he had tapped it or something! Very unrealistic.
And secondly (inevitably) - the SHAKY CAMERA. It was so shaky it was completely noticeable and made me and everyone who went to see it in my class (even the tutors) seasick. We were told by the tutors that if we ever used that in a film we made in class, it would automatically be wrong and we would be told to use a tripod. Fair enough if Greengrass wanted it to look like we were there watching Damon and Stiles holding a conversation, but surely we wouldn't be shaking our heads that violently!
But all in all TBU is an enjoyable film and worth a watch. But I didn't think it was the best film of the year, despite being an entertaining piece of cinema.