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9/10
last of the great western heroes
17 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Ex Marshall Steve Judd is hired by a bank to deliver a consignment of gold across dangerous western territory.He takes with him his ex partner Gil Bellows and his young sidekick Heck Roundtree who are actually planning to steal the gold.Along the way they pick up young runaway Elsa Knudson who goes along for the ride. Alfred Hitchcock was definitely the master of suspense but Sam Peckinpah was certainly one of the masters of the western genre and in this his second film he showed signs of what was to come later on in his western classic,The Wild Bunch. For the modern generation of film viewers this might seem a tad slow but it does trot along at a steady pace.It is shot in vibrant colour and portrays a long lost world where men were men and the only real law was the law of the gun. This was the last film performance of Randolph Scott one of the last of the great western heroes.The film ends with him walking into the distance and fittingly walking into cinema history. They don't make films of this class anymore and like the old west they have vanished forever. 9/10
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8/10
one,two Leatherface is coming for you...........
16 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A group of teenage friends pick up a hitchhiker and she commits suicide in the back of their van.They stop in a small out of the way town to report the death and meet Leatherface and his weird family. I have seen the original movie and to be honest I didn't think it was that good.The remake however has got to be one of the scariest and most disturbing horror films that i have seen in the last ten years and believe me I have seen some pretty disturbing films. From the moment they meet the strange necrophiliac sheriff who likes to grope dead female corpses you realise that you are about to enter a horror film like no other. The film has too many great moments for me to name them all but my favourite bit was when Erin saw Leatherface wearing her boyfriends face as a mask. This movie is very gruesome and from the first time we saw Leatherface putting Kemper on the meat hook I found i could not stop shaking. Some of the scenes were so disturbing that I took off my glasses to watch so i couldn't really see what was going on. I don't think i will watch this movie again in a hurry but it is the sort of film that will stay with you long after you have seen it.8/10
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The Faculty (1998)
10/10
trust none
16 January 2006
How many of us when at school have wished our teachers would change. This film takes this idea and goes one better,what if our teachers were possessed by aliens? In an average mid-American town and in an average middle-American school a group of nerds and jocks realise that their teachers and half of the pupils have changed and not for the better. School nerd Elijah Woood and lonely sci-fi obsessed Clea Duvall,join up with the captain of the football team,Shawn Hatosy,the school bad boy Josh Hartnett,the snooty Jordana Brewster and the new girl played brilliantly by Laura Harris and try to find the queen of the aliens.If they kill her then every one will return to normal as the alien drones possessing them will die with their queen. This may be a teen movie at heart but with two of the masters of today,Kevin Williamson and Robert Rodriguez joining forces to write the screenplay and direct,respectively, then you are going to get a film most certainly not just for teens. This film has it all.Violence ,suspicion, alien invasion and very brief nudity.I personally think this is one of the best alien invasion films ever. Elijah Wood,in his pre_hobbit days,shows signs of future greatness but he is well supported by a good young supporting cast. If you have never seen this film then you should. Just keep in mind what one of the characters said at the end,"how can you be sure what you saw" and remember,TRUST No one .10/10
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The Omen (1976)
10/10
And he shall come as a little child
15 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Let him who is wise discern the number of the beast it is a mans number The number is 666

In case you have never seen the movie here is a brief summary. An American politician,Gregory Peck,adopts a child Damien, but as he grows up it becomes apparent that he is not all that he seems to be. in my opinion this movie ,even though 30 years old,is still one of the creepiest films i have ever seen. To begin with the eerie religious music gives the film a starting block as it helps to build the tension and strangely enough gives the viewer a sense of evil. Second of all you watch this film with the sense that the good guys just cannot win and that ultimately evil will triumph. The little boy is certainly very creepy but is supported by an outstanding cast.Gregory Peck and Lee Remick are excellent as Damiens foster parents who are drawn into something they cannot understand,David Warner is also good as a photographer who senses ,thru his photos,that evil is in the air, but the most chilling supporting character is the creepy nanny who has sworn to protect the child . She is played superbly by Billie Whitelaw and i think that she is probably the most chilling and disturbing character in the film. I cant see much wrong with this film.The direction is fast and basically non-stop,you really don't get a chance to breathe and the deaths are not overly graphic but just graphic enough to hold your interest. What makes this film verge on the border of sheer brilliance is during the funeral at the end when the final shot pans to the back of Damien's face and he turns and smiles.Even though i have seen this film many times i still get goose bumps at the end and i personally think it is the creepiest smile in the history of the cinema. My score for this horror masterpiece can only be 10/10
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Spellbinder (1988)
8/10
spellbinding
12 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
It's often the little obscure films that are good and so it is with this little unknown gem. Timthy Bottoms plays a young lawyer who stops a young woman,Kelly Preston,from being beaten up by her creepy boyfriend.It turns out the girl is a witch who has escaped from a coven of witches who now want her back. This film starts off slowly but builds up the surprises and the shocks.Keep an eye open for the young man who gets a very nasty haircut from the head witch. This movie has plenty of scares but the two really scary scenes involve the girls crazy mother,who alone is worth the entrance fee and when the witches surround the house and make the windows buckle inwards. This film has shades of the Wicker Man due to the ending and the feeling that none can be trusted and that resistance is futile. Any experienced watcher of horror movies should see the ending coming a mile off but that doesn't stop it being very very creepy. In conclusion this film is a masterpiece in psychological and supernatural terror. My mark 8/10
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House of Wax (2005)
7/10
gruesome
4 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A group of friends are going to a college football game and they break down in the middle of nowhere.Two of them Carly and Wade go to a nearby town to get help but find that first looks can be deceiving and everything is not quite what it seems. A few IMDb reviewers say that this film is a load of rubbish and that may be true but in my opinion this is a superior piece of rubbish. I don't know when i last had real scares in a movie but this one seemed to push all the right panic buttons. The scenes of gore actually did make me cringe and they included tops of fingers being chopped off and pointed stakes through peoples heads. I thought Elisha Cuthbert was extremely good and Paris Hilton,"for someone who cant act",which i disagree with,did a very good job. All in all this film deserves 7/10.I would have given it a higher except that the twist in the tail could be seen a mile off. This is still a very enjoyable film and worth giving 90 minutes of your time too
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Will & Grace (1998– )
truly odd couple
4 January 2006
Once a perfect couple,will and grace, shared a flat and they had two best friends,neurotic Jack and filthy rich Karen,but this perfect couple have one problem,Grace is straight and will is gay. This is the premise for what i think is the funniest US to Uk sitcom import on our TV screens at the moment. This is basically a comedy about a search for love and the complications involved. Personally i think the main laughs come from my two favourite character,jack,Sean Hayes,and Karen,Megan Mullally.The two characters have perfect chemistry.Sean Hayes may play his gay character stereotypically but that makes him very funny and Megan mull ally has her rich character down to a tee. The series has a lot of big guest stars including Matt Damon who plays a straight man pretending to be gay so he can join jacks gay choir. The only slight problem is that some of the jokes are about American themes and may not be understood by a British audience but apart from that this is a cracker of a comedy. for this reason,American themes, i give this sitcom 9/10
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Two and a Half Men (2003–2015)
perfect filler
1 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
After the dearth of poor comedies that i watched to fill the huge hole left by Friends and Frasier this was the one that finally filled my laughter quotation. Batchelor Charlie,Charlie Sheen,finds his happy life of wine,women and fun interrupted by the arrival of his brother Alan,Jon Cryer,who has been kicked out of his home by his wife who has discovered that she prefers women.Add to this concoction Alans son Jake,Angus T Jones, who comes at weekends and you have the recipe for a very funny if slightly risqué sitcom. The humour mostly comes from how playboy Charlie gets along with his strait laced brother Alan and his nephew Jake who isn't as innocent as he should be. One of the major pulls of this program is the string of attractive women that Charlie sleeps with but for me the biggest reason for watching this is Melanie Lynsky who plays Rose,a woman that Jake slept with once and has now become his harmless ,slightly obsessive stalker. The humour when Jake is around can be a bit too adult but any program with Melanie Lynsky in it can be forgiven for such a slight foible. Not in the Friends and Frazier league but still funny enough to get 8/10
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Hide and Seek (2005)
8/10
Charley is no angel
1 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Little girl Emily loses her mother and so she and her father move to a new house to start again. Things are fine till little Emily finds an imaginary friend called Charley and then all hell breaks loose. This is the scariest psychological/horror film since Psycho and at times i was shaking all over. Little Dakota Fanning ,who plays Emily,is absolutely awesome in this film and i will be watching her career closely in the future and though this is the sort of role Robert DE Niro,the dad,could play in his sleep,he still puts in a great though slightly muted performance. This film has everything,imaginary friends,murdered pets ,suspicious deaths and enough nail biting horror to keep you awake for a fortnight. Next time your child tells you of imaginary friend then you might want to think twice because you never know...........8/10
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Orlando (1992)
8/10
visually stunning
27 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I got this film in a free offer from a Sunday paper and I was glad that i did. I hadn't come across this film before , i watched it without any preconceived ideas so I had no bias to it one way or another. This film takes us on a whirlwind tour of history seen through the eyes of young nobleman Orlando who is told never to grow old by Queen Elizabeth 1 and who proceeds to do just that.His journey through immortality even includes a change of sex. Visually this film is breathtaking and though you don't stay in one time period very long you certainly get a decent historical view of each one. Some of the humour is spot on and the best scene is where Orlando sleeps for a week and about twelve people stand around his bed trying to wake him up. This is the first time i have seen Tilda Swinton in a movie but she was excellent and I am definitely a fan. The final scene with Orlando sitting under a tree where the camera lingers on her face for a couple of minutes before panning across to Jimmy Somerville in the sky,as an angel,singing the closing song really packs a punch.It also uplifts the viewer, gives you the feeling that Orlando has finally found herself and enables you to leave the film with a feeling of closure. Modern British film classic 8/10
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9/10
different but very enjoyable
21 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this on TV as the first major Christmas offering of the year and i liked it. It was slightly jazzed up you could say and at first I thought,Donny Osmond as Joseph,slightly modernised ,oh dear this is going to be just awful. However the more it went on the more into it I got and by the end I was singing along to the tunes and throughly enjoying it. The setting was in a school with the children as the background singers and when Joseph came in he sang to and with the children which I thought was a very nice touch. The cast was unknown but had Richard Attenbourgh as Jacob and Joan Collins as Photiphers wife which bought a bit of extra class to an excellent production. My favourite bit was the Pharoh doing an impression of Elvis.Pure class. If you ever see this on video/DVD or on the TV then take a look.You might be surprised. Purists may look down their noses at this but for a fan of musicals it barely puts a foot wrong. Definitely worthy of a 9/10
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8/10
beware of children with strange staring eyes
19 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
One day in the small village of Midwich everyone falls into a deep sleep and when they awake all the woman of child bearing age are discovered to be pregnant Nine months later they give birth to a group of blond haired children with strange eyes who are connected mentally and can make people do things. Forget modern Hollywood so called spine chillers full of sex and gore.This is spine chilling at its best. This little British sci-fi/horror was obviously shot on a minimum budget but that doesn't matter.The children were incredible and when their eyes turned the black and white filming actually added to the spookiness and I felt the hairs standing up on the back of my neck.This film was remade by John Carpenter and starred Christopher Reeve and i quite liked the remake but this film wins hands down.The children are more creepy,the lack of special effects made it scarier and George Sanders does a better job in the final scene than Christopher Reeve did in the remake as fine an actor as he was. I give this gem of a movie 8/10
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The L Word (2004–2009)
addictive
17 December 2005
.I don't normally do reviews for a TV show but sometimes you find a show that grabs you by the throat and just has to be written about. I saw my first episode early one morning on Living TV and i was completely hooked from the first This is a show about the lives and loves of a group of lesbians living in Los Angeles. If you are the sad type of person who reads the word lesbian and watches this show for one reason then you will probably be disappointed.Sure there are certain intimate scenes that are pretty intense but this show is more than that. Unlike a lot of dramas nowadays you actually care about the characters. The program has it all.Affairs,break-ups,weddings,lodgers who put secret cameras in rooms to spy on his landladies and film the characters in their most intimate moments and all the problems that heterosexuals have. The only problem i find is with the theme tune that annoys the life of me and the role of Pam Grier that to me seems to only have been added to have the token heterosexual character.She just doesn't seem to fit. However all being said I love this show and even though it is on very early in the morning i always try to be up to watch it. Thumbs up to a very absorbing sometimes very moving drama. 9/10
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Ticks (1993)
8/10
vile,disgusting and stomach churning.I loved it
14 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is usually the sort of film i steer clear of as I don't like films about mutated creatures but even though I watched this film through my fingers I loved it. A group of city kids go camping and come face to face with ticks mutated by chemicals and have to escape as anyone would. It wasn't so much the ticks that scared me ,as they basically looked like crabs painted red, but what really freaked me out was the clicking noise as they moved. This was an early Seth Green movie but he was definitely the star of this movie. Clint Howard has only a very small part but he is very good. I don't understand why people think this movie stinks.The special effects were cheap and the ending was weak but it is better than certain big budget features that i have seen.8 legged freaks being the one that readily springs to mind. If you are hung up on poor special effects then steer clear of films like this but if like me you don't care then feel free to give this film a go and you might be pleasantly surprised. In conclusion,even though i found this film vile,disgusting and stomach churning I absolutely loved it 8/10
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Serial Mom (1994)
10/10
like this movie or serial mom might kill ya
12 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not a John Waters fan by any means but i thought this movie was a masterpiece in every sense of the word. Kathleen Turner plays serial murderess Beverly Sutphin who on the outside is a loving mother but upset her family in any way and she will kill you. Kathleen Turner was great in war of the roses but in this movie she was simply majestic.The way she combined her light side with her dark side was inspired. Some parts of the movie might make you turn your away in disgust and after the dentist scene I will see to it that I never have to go to the dentists again However some parts of the film are absolutely hysterical and during the masturbation scene I had to stop myself having a serious accident i was laughing so hard. Sam Waterston was superb as Beverlys husband and Matthew Lillard and Rikki Lake did a fine job as her children but this was Kathleen Turner's film from start to finish and i cant remember any film in which she has been better The way she manipulates the judge and jury at the end of the film is clever and really ,really funny.By the end you are actually hoping she will get away with it, This film is a masterpiece and deserves only the perfect score 10/10
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Deathwatch (2002)
8/10
futility of it all
11 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I'd heard good things about this film but watched it expecting to be disappointed.However what i got was a nasty little horror film that didn't disappoint me at all. A platoon of British soldiers capture a German trench,kill all but one of the German soldiers and hole up and wait for help.It soon becomes apparent that they share the trench with something very nasty indeed.We never actually know what this evil is but maybe that was the idea. A good cast which includes Jamie Bell,Billy Elliot,and Kris Marshall,My Family,does well enough but the star of the film was the unseen evil. This film did have long periods of inactivity but this gave me the chance to take in the attention to detail of life in the trenches.This included the rats,the mud and the pouring rain. This is not a film for the squeamish.I am not easily shocked by gore in a movie but some of the things in this film did make me put my hand over my mouth and shut my eyes.Keep an eye out for a nasty barb wire moment and the injured soldier and the rats. The end of the film was a bit open ended but it gives you the chance to come to your own conclusion. I give this film 8/10
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Mother's Day (1980)
9/10
you thought Norma bates was scary
9 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Wow. This is some movie.I saw it late one night on the Horror Channel and to be honest it scared the hell out of me. Three friends go camping in the woods and are captured by a sadistic woman who lives in the woods with her 2 psychotic children.They like to kidnap people and torture them like in the movies. there is a quite graphic torture/rape scene but the movie gets really gruesome when one of the friends dies and the two that are left exact their terrify revenge. I wont give the plot away but any men watching might want to cross their legs in one of the scenes.I will just say it involves a hammer but be warned it is the most gruesome part of the movie. There is also an unintentionally hilarious scene when one of the brothers falls down a slope.however it did give relief before the gore and bloodletting that was to follow. This is a nifty low budget horror film that keeps the shocks going throughout the whole movie. The twist in the tale right at the end is expected but still made me jump about 3 foot off my chair. If you ever get a chance then watch this movie but be ready to never want to camp in the woods again.
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The Paper Boy (1994)
9/10
beware the paperboy bearing gifts
4 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This little known film is one of the best studies in psychological terror that i have seen. An innocent looking paperboy kills an old lady to lure her daughter back from the city because he wants to be a member of her family. It is clear from the beginning that the boy only meant to kill the old lady but the more he tries to ingratiate himself into the family the more deranged he becomes and the more people he has to kill. I had never come across the young actor who played the paperboy before but he gave a performance worthy of an experienced pro and his portrayal of a child descending into madness was inspired. Alexandra Paul ,playing the harassed mother, has never been better and I rate this as her best performance to date. The only really gruesome part of this movie is when a dog gets beaten to death but that was the only real bit of gore in the whole movie.This film proves that you don't have to have sex,bad language and buckets of blood and gore to have a good movie. Even my wife who is not a great horror fan was enthralled by this movie. I give this excellent feature 9/10
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Matilda (1996)
8/10
Scary
3 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Another excellent adaptation of a Roald Dahl novel starring one time prolific child actor Mara Wilson. The story is about a little girl called Matilda, who after years of being ignored by her parents and bullied by her evil headmistress Miss Trunchbull,discovers that she has magical powers.This film is basically about how she uses these powers to sort her life out. Danny Devito,who directed and narrated the film,does well as Matilda's crooked father and his real off screen wife,Rhea Perlman is also good as her air headed mother.However i think the real stars of the film are Mara Wilson,Matilda, and Pam Ferris who plays the evil head Miss Trunchbull. This is a pretty wholesome family movie but Miss Trunchbull is so evil that she even gives me the creeps.She throws children out of windows,spins them around by their hair and in one pretty disturbing scene she makes a child eat an enormous chocolate cake which he does with a little help from Matilda. Of course being a family film Miss Trunchbull does get her comeuppance. As i said this is a family movie bur some parents might be a bit wary of showing the film to very young children as bits of it are quite frightening. In the end Matilda discovers that her magic comes from within and that everyone has a little of that magic in them. I give this film 8/10..
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Madeline (1998)
8/10
magic and charming
3 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Normally I steer well clear of films that are made for young children and for little girls as this one obviously was but once in a while you can be pleasantly surprised and this was one of those occasions. This film is magic and unlike a lot of children's films made nowadays it was not covered in so much sweetness that it was overpowering. Madeline,played superbly by Hatty Jones in her only film to date,is a little girl, who lives in a school run by a nun, along with a lot of other little girls. When the owner of the school threatens to shut down the school and sell it Madeline and her friends come up with daring schemes to repel future owners of the establishment. The movie has plenty of humorous moments including an hysterical meal scene involving a dead chicken called Fred. Children don't need films filled with innuendo or heavily coated with saccharin they need films that remind them what it is like to be a child and the wondrous magic that that involves.This is such a movie.It is a film that any parent would feel is perfectly safe for a child to watch without supervision. The only minor problem,as my wife pointed out,is the occasional switch from English to french which younger children might find confusing. That aside this a delicious children's movie that can be enjoyed by the whole family time and time again
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8/10
early craven
1 December 2005
A family driving to a new life in California find themselves stranded in the desert when their vehicle breaks down.However their troubles are just beginning when they find themselves being stalked by a family of cannibalistic outcasts. Without going into major details the father gets crucified and blown up,two of the women get shot,one gets raped,one of the dogs gets gutted and the baby gets taken for a cannibalistic feast.It is when the baby gets taken the remaining family members fight back. This is an early Wes Craven film that lacks the brutality of "The last house on the left" but still has its disturbing moments;when the father gets tortured and the dismemberment of the dog which isn't seen happening but leaves a lasting feeling of revulsion. This is what i call a cat and mouse movie where the tables are turned and the hunted become the hunters and get their revenge on their oppressors The only problem with the film was the abrupt ending which left the audience with a lot of unanswered questions.However this is still a class craven movie.
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8/10
stepford children on acid
28 November 2005
This is basically a modern take on the Sepford children but with added sexual content and more graphic detail. The premise is this.After the death of his brother ,young teen Steven Clark, played by James Marsden, X Men,moves to the seemingly innocent town of Cradle Bay with his family.At first everything seems normal.The children are typical teens but when they get a red light in their eyes they become totally different. Steven makes friends with a weird group of outsiders including Katie Holmes who warn him that something is going on.He remains sceptical till he gets beaten up by a group of the teens and realises that something is terribly wrong. In this film you are never quite sure who is what and look out for the seemingly retarded janitor whose role is pivotal in the outcome of the movie. This film reminded me of the film The Faculty in many respects but wasn't as good. I saw this at 9.00 on channel 5 so it was probably cut but it still an enjoyable romp into the world of mind control and the scene in the hospital sticks in the memory. The cast did well but William sadler, as the janitor, did especially well and James Marsden and Katie Holmes show good chemistry. This film is not in my top ten fave movies but good for an hour and a half of escapism. Good film but the twist can be seen a mile away. My score 8/10
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4/10
in the desert no one can hear you yawn
6 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is another Alien imitation and not a very good one at that.Replace outer space with the South African desert,throw in the same ingredients,a group of people stranded in an inhospitable landscape, have them hunted down by an alien creature and you have the same old story of a very ordinary film trying to ape a classic film. A group of miners and scientists go on a hunt for some missing colleagues and find their bones in the desert stripped clean of flesh.Their vehicle breaks down and they head for civilisation while being stalked by the monster. The African location is pretty enough but that is basically all this film has going for it. There is a vain attempt to build up the tension but I found this didn't really work and made the film rather boring.The creature didn't appear much and when it did it didn't really install a feeling of horror.There is one scene where someone gets the flesh ripped from his arm but that was basically it on the gore front. In conclusion i found this film about as exciting as watching paint dry.I give this film 4/10 and that is only because of the interesting location which alone isn't enough to save this movie from being a total snooze-fest
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8/10
intelligent horror
2 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
After the shambles that was the Exorcist 2 ,this film recaptured the form of the first Exorcist movie.While this may not be the best horror film ever it is certainly one of the most intelligent. Detective Kinderman,George C Scott,is on the trail of a killer who is using the MO of another killer called the Gemini killer.The problem facing detective Kinderman,and the audience,is that the original killer had been caught and executed 15 years earlier.

While being a detective film this is also a movie about Kindermans attempt to regain his faith in the face of the horrors he encounters in his job. This isn't your typical horror film as all the murders are done off screen and you never see the victims.The closest you get to the brutality of the murders is a message written in blood on the wall above the bed of one the victims. Nicol Williamsons role is the only thing that seems out of place in this movie as it does appear to have been added as an afterthought but hey I digress. The ending of this film hits you like a sledgehammer and will have you on the edge of your seat.Avoid the second Exorcist movie but watch this one as I personally think it is even better than the original.8/10
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Chillers (1987)
5/10
Now that was scary
28 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Found this film one night on the horror channel and for a cheap by the numbers horror film it wasn't half bad. Basically the plot goes something like this.A group of strangers are stuck at a bus depot and they while away the time by telling each other nightmares that they have had and decide which one is scariest.The second nightmare,the little boy's,is by far the best of the best of the bunch and was basically the only one that slightly creeped me out.The other nightmares were just re-tellings of stories that we have seen in better movies than this.The one involving the woman and the newsreader was the weakest of all and you could see the outcome a mile off. This was an amuteur production and it showed.Apart from the little boy,the acting was very poor and i personally wondered how they had managed to find such poor actors. In conclusion this was reminiscent of a cheap 50's horror movie but if you like that sort of film,as I do,then this film is worth watching and I can think of worse ways to spend an hour and a half of my time.
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