Reviews written by registered user

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36 reviews in total 
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Lights Out (2016/II)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Excellent horror debut from a new director, 25 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I do like the horror genre and whilst plenty of horror films are made it is slim pickings when it comes to ones that are good. There's only a handful (if that) each year that stand out. 'Lights Out' thankfully is one of these.

The film is as generic as a horror movie can be - Family in peril, check. Ghost/Monster/Creature terrorising, check. Jump scares/Death. Obligatory backstory reveal to said Ghost/Monster/Creature, check. End fight/battle, check - which is not a bad thing at all because most horrors work from this formula. It is how this formula is presented and what new ideas are brought which makes or breaks whether a film is good or bad and new to feature film director David F. Sandberg shows that not only has he a couple of new ideas to bring to the table but he knows how to work the formula to keep things tense and scary.

Running at a short length of 81 minutes the film throws you straight in for a scare ride, introducing Diana straight away as the malevolent character which can only be seen when the lights are out. The use of this idea is simple but very effective especially in scenes where characters are turning the lights on and off. There were people sat in the cinema who were genuinely hiding away from the screen because they knew something was going to happen when the lights went out.

The acting was believable and the kid who played Martin did really well at actually looking scared and run down. The story went by at just the right pace and some of the transition shots between scenes by the director were really refreshing to see as it stood out (well at least to me) rather than a traditional editing between scenes.

Overall this was good film, well scripted and shot and fun for a few scares. I'll be keeping an eye out for anything else by David F. Sandberg

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Neat Spanish thriller that could be mistaken for a Hollywood film, 24 August 2016

A banker goes to work one day and takes the kids to be dropped off at school but before that can happen, he receives a phone call from someone who tells him he has placed a bomb under the seats of the car and tells him he must arrange a transfer of money to him.

It's the kind of idea that has been seen before whereby someone on the end of a phone is controlling someone else for their gain but from the offset we are sent on a thrilling journey making you wonder why this is happening and making you wonder what you would do in such a situation. The director manages to keep things fairly grounded and so the realism assists in building up the tension. There are a couple of twists thrown in which keeps the pace going.

Good acting from everyone involved in a cast that I am unfamiliar with due to the Spanish production. In the decade of remakes and reboots, this is certainly a film I can see being remade at some point. Provided you do not mind reading subtitles this is certainly worth the viewing time.

10 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Not a return to form for Sandler, 28 May 2016

The quality of Adam Sandler films has steadily declined since his early days where his comedic style was a box office draw and his name was associated to a good film (Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer). I've always liked his films, as silly as some can be and so when a new Adam Sandler film is released I will watch it - knowing that it may not be good.

Whilst The Ridiculous 6 was nowhere near classic Sandler, it was entertaining enough to watch whilst being borderline silly. Going into the 2nd film of his Netflix deal I had high hopes after reading the reviews here saying that Adam Sandler was back to form. Whilst I agree this performance was a little more restrained/serious the film was let down by poor direction and shoddy production values.

I know Netflix aren't a major studio but you really get the sense of watching something limited. The line delivery of the comedy didn't quite hit home with most gags falling flat. Lack of cohesion to setting up scenes and characters by the director did not help and after 30 minutes I had decided that watching the remainder of the film would be a waste of time.

I suppose Adam Sandler made the right move because I really can't see this or his previous film doing well theatrically. Netflix made a bad investment.

41 out of 47 people found the following review useful:
Even funnier than the film, 7 August 2012

It's a crime that no-one has written a review for the animated series!

Keeping it simple - if you enjoyed the live action film of Black Dynamite and found it amusing then you'll love the animated series. A lot of the cast return to give their voices to the characters that were created in the film.

With animation you have the freedom to do anything and the creators use this freedom so well! I'm only 4 episodes in but so far the takes on real life celebrities of the 70's (Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor, O J Simpson) is absolutely hilarious. Incorporating such icons into a manic mickey taking episode is fantastic. The writers are on fire for the gags and stories so far.

If you enjoyed and laughed your ass off at Black Dynamite the movie, you'll do exactly the same with the animated series. It's adult humour all the way.

Wild Bill (2011)
21 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
Brit film making at its best, 25 July 2012

Oh Dexter Fletcher! How I have your name engraved in my mind for all eternity from when I was a little boy watching 'Press Gang'. An iconic name for those of my generation and British acting. He managed to appear in many a film but never a leading man but now tries his hand at directing.

I think Mr Fletcher may have found his way of breaking out by stepping behind the camera. What we have here is a very well written and directed film debut about a man who is released from prison and finds himself looking after his 2 sons whose mother has abandoned them.

It isn't an exciting film as this is a drama with some light humour thrown in. It's quality British film making where we go and take a peak at something which is more than likely true to real life.

Many familiar fine British actors are recognisable in this film and Mr Fletcher no doubt had no trouble in bringing out their finest performances as I'm sure he's probably friends or familiar with them. This makes viewing the film as if watching real life.

So, if you want to take break and watch something engaging then do so by watching Wild Bill. The performances are great (Will Poulter will be a star one day), the story is realistic and gritty and the direction for a first timer is spot on. This isn't the type of film you'll watch repeatedly but the type you'll be glad that you've seen the once.

Cassadaga (2011)
3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Good supernatural/mystery/horror film, 3 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Long time since I've reviewed a film as I tend to use Facebook for that nowadays but this is a little gem that is well worth typing a few paragraphs about.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this film and so with expectations low I came away from viewing feeling very satisfied at having watched a bloody good film.

I've not heard of the director before and I've not seen the lead actress before now but have done a wonderful job. Basic premise is that a girl moves away after the loss of her sister and ends up at a séance trying to contact her sister. This leads to the vengeful spirit of a murdered girl choosing the lead to try and solve what happened to her.

Whilst there are horror aspects, this movie is more a supernatural murder mystery thriller. The direction is excellent and the cinematography mixed with good believable acting make for a highly polished film probably far out reaching its budget. It's not perfect - some of the stronger horror parts concerning the murderer do not sit comfy with the atmosphere given from the rest of the film and sometimes some of the actions/discoveries are all too quick. None of this takes away though from what is a very good story from start to finish. This film could have easily fallen flat by giving in to the slasher/gore elements of the film and could have easily become run of the mill fodder. Thankfully though it does not and for the running time you are pulled into the film and captivated.

This is one of those films that will not get a wide audience but deserves one. I'll be recommending to people I know.

Eaters (2011)
6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A little taste of Italian, 21 September 2011

Not reviewed for a while but a zombie film is relatively easy to do and always worth it.

So, we have here a nice little Italian entry into the over populated zombie movie genre. It seems there's a zombie film popping up every other week since 2005 and before that they were 'dead' hard to come by.

So, I've stated before in reviews it is hard to breath new life into this genre (uninteded joke there) so if you can't do anything original, make sure that what you do ticks the required boxes for a good zombie flick.....and most of the boxes are ticked.

The film isn't of the highest budget but with some good make-up, nice locations and good use of the visual effects they have - it's not noticeable. A strong part to this film is the 2 male leads. They work perfectly with each other and the bad ass bald guy just has a totally likable character about him.

The story takes elements from Dawn/Day of the dead and mixes a little bit of Resident Evil in. The zombie make-up and good is of a good standard and the running time passes nicely by......except for the last 15 mins which feels rushed against the pace of the rest of film.

Negatives - some characters are silly and the acting is not always the best. The story can be slightly confusing with unanswered plot points.

If you're a zombie fan then this entry is worth checking out. As a casual viewer then this may not do. I enjoyed it for what it was.

Orcs! (2011)
35 out of 37 people found the following review useful:
Not better than LOTR, 16 June 2011

Tut tut to the person who wrote the glowing review.

This is an oddball film. It's low budget with first time actors....I'd even go as far as to say this is some sort of strange LOTR fan-boy homage. That's the feel that I had at the end of the film.

So - 2 dorky park rangers, whilst out doing their jobs, encounter Orcs which have been living in the mountains for a long long time. It's up to them to stop them. That's it! As simple as that, you have the story.

I can't say that the film was an engrossing entertaining watch but for a low budget 'I have a film idea and I'm gonnna make it' labour of love for those involved in making the film, it's not too bad.

The acting could use some work but otherwise the locations, costumes and effects are admirable considering. If you want to waste some time watching something mildly entertaining then give this a try.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
NOt a bad horror, could have been more...., 25 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Vincent Winterbourne's review seems to think that fans of horror, 80's and 90's will lap this up. I'm one of those fans....but this film doesn't deserve that much praise.

Chain Letter is certainly a watchable film. It is clichéd, not hugely original and nothing none of us haven't seen before. This is another of those films that will go floating by and leave you slightly frustrated because, placed in the hands of someone else, it could have been a terrific new horror franchise. There's a good core idea - you receive a chain email/text which you must forward on or die if you don't or delete it. What do you choose to do? Ignore it and you'll meet your end via a nasty gory death by chains (and the use of chains is actually quite good). You can almost imagine, whilst watching, the film this could have been had the script been slightly more polished, a bit more time taken with character development and more confident direction.

I do applaud the filmmakers though as this isn't a big budget horror and for the most part it is an entertaining film. It has some nice ideas. Unfortunately, everything seems to be hurried. I hardly grasped who was who out of the school buddies and it seemed like the director just wanted to get on to the next murder scene or shock revelation. The writers couldn't settle on exactly what was happening. We're given details that it's a cult doing the murders yet only one guy does the killing. The cult hate technology yet that is what they use to track and kill?

It's a shame. This isn't a bad film and I would say give it a try. Could have been so much more though, especially after such a good opening.

Nice to see Keith David with a chunky(ish) role and also Brad Dourif in there too.

7 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Revenge done right, 21 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you're going to take on a remake of a notorious film you have to do it right. If said remake is notorious due to it being one of the 'video-nasties' of the 80's, maintain the core element of the film that put it on the list! If you do this then you end up with a good (and sometimes better) remake. The Hills Have Eyes and Last House on the Left remakes worked by doing this and not trying to water down shock content. For a remake of 'I Spit on Your Grave' the same had to be applied otherwise it would have been pointless.

The original 1978 movie was a brutal and shocking film for its time. Still today you can not get an uncut version of the film in the UK. It's not an amazing film and will only have been watched by fans of the genre. So, how do the filmmakers approach this remake?.....

...with a brutal vengeance! Like the LHOTL remake did, the filmmakers have kept the raw, brutal violence of the original whilst polishing the story and injected some new life in to it.

Sarah Butler does a great job as the woman who is raped and brutalised who sets out for revenge. I thought the acting from all the cast was spot on. It must be really hard to 'act' in such a horrendous way for this type of film.

What elevates this film above the original is that they decided to reduce the rape scene in its intensity and go full hog on the revenge part of the film. Whilst still quite brutal and disturbing, when we get to the part of Jennifer being raped, it's not as drawn out or horrific as it could have been if they wanted to piggy off the original.

In this take of the film the main portion/concentration of the film is given to Jennifer getting her revenge....and boy does she do this in some really nasty ways....and when we get to those parts of the film, thanks to the scripting and direction, we're 100% behind Jennifers character in the justification of her actions. It may be gory and some may call it torture porn but when she exacts her revenge you'll be cheering on. I actually think this film should be shown to rapists as a deterrent (unfortunately you'd need a woman like Jennifer to back it up in real life).

So, this isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea due to its content but if you've seen the original, or you're a fan of the video nasties era, definitely check this out.

Very good remake.

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