Tag Archives: 2009

Review of Splice (2009)

5 Nov

Splice (2009) is a horror/sci-fi/thriller film about gene splicing experiment not going as expected.

Directed by Vincenzo Natali (Cube (1997), Cypher (2002)).

Written by Vincenzo Natali (Nothing (2003), Elevated (1997 Short)), Doug Taylor (The Carpenter (1988), They Wait (2007)) and Antoinette Terry Bryant.

Starring: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chaneac, Brandon McGibbon, Simona Maicanescu, David Hewlet, Abigail Chu and others.

We see two scientists, who seem to have created these two CG creatures, which are revealed to be the combination of multiple species into one being. So yes, that’s what you get, you mix various species and get this blob of flesh that doesn’t seem to be very useful other than a scientific curiosity.

But of course it is. The scientists want to apply this gene splicing technology to humans, because it would provide incredible medical breakthroughs, but the corporate heads don’t approve this. It is reverse case of what we usually see in movies that try to push the idea of corporate greed, making the businessmen become reckless with the slightest possibility of profit. Here we have the scientists who are obsessed with their project. Similar to the mad scientist movies we don’t get so often anymore, like Frankenstein or The Fly.

The movie has a very slick visual style, some shots done with the use of such a wide-angle lens that it is almost fish-eye.

Our main characters are a scientist couple, played by Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody. From the first few minutes they have a great dynamic, are likable and believable. The chemistry is there, both literally and figuratively.  Nowadays there’s an odd lack of scientists in science fiction, which this movie provides in spades.

The couple decide to fuck their sponsors and go ahead with the creation of a humanoid creature. From it’s „birth”, it becomes clear, that things have gone at least slightly wrong. The creature goes through various stages switching from practical effects to CGI, the practical effects are done great, it’s Greg Nicotero after all. Then we settle on a combination of the two, which looks pretty decent.

What is the most interesting part about it, is that as the experiment progresses and the creature evolves and grows, it starts getting kind of disturbing and you can’t help, but question the ethics of things like this. Maybe this message is a bit on the nose, but it doesn’t hammer it all that much, except you start feeling uneasy watching the relationships that are forming between the characters.

And it does get really creepy, the horror element works so well, because by the time a real threat starts forming, you care a lot about the characters and it terrifies you psychologically. It’s not a slasher flick so there’s not a body count running through the movie, it’s more about the build-up, because you just know that something horrible is going to happen eventually. The suspense keeps you interested, while all the exposition and character development is happening.

Both Polley and Brody do really great jobs, but special nod should go to Delphine Chaneac, who portrays the creature in its full-grown form, it’s a very physically demanding role and she delivers. Selling the horrors of parenting, growing up and changing and science gone wrong.

It has been somewhat poorly received by general audience, some people complaining that it was disturbing and offensive. For me it’s one of the better horror films of the recent years, mostly due to it being delightfully disturbing without trying to shock people. Those were shocked? Well, in my opinion they’re pansies, who should do some research on what they’re watching.

Overall, I enjoyed it a lot, I thought it was gripping, thrilling and twisted. Vincenzo Natali is a sci-fi filmmaker worth looking out for. Recommended.

Starring: Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody as young Professor Snape.

Review of Harry Brown (2009)

30 Aug

Harry Brown (2009) is a thriller/drama/crime film, following a Royal Marines veteran,  living on a housing estate that is rapidly descending into youth crime.

Directed by Daniel Barber (The Tonto Woman (2008 Short)).

Written by Gary Young (The Tournament (2009), The Last Drop (2006)).

Starring: Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, David Bradley, Iain Glen, Ben Drew, Jack O’Connell, Sean Harris, Charlie Creed-Miles and others.

The first three minutes of the film are probably the most shocking part of the movie. I’m not saying it as a compliment or a put-down to the rest of the movie, it’s just that a few teenagers on motorbikes and drugs shoot at a woman with a baby, while filming it on a cellphone is a disturbingly realistic portrayal of modern senseless violence.

Then we see Michael Caine, whose life doesn’t get better from the point we are introduced to him. His wife is in a catatonic state in the hospital and soon passes away, from his window he can see young people dealing drugs and beating people up. His friend is pretty sick of the scum and tries to stand up to them and gets killed. Caine gets pretty pissed off about all this shit.

I liked that while the justice system is depicted as totally broken and retarded, the police isn’t portrayed as a bunch of incompetent donut eating morons.

Of course, there’s a breaking point, when Caine’s character Harry Brown decides to be a vigilante. He goes to a creepy drug dealer/junkie guy, who has a whole plantation of marijuana in his apartment. The junkies and violent kids are portrayed very realistically, so it’s kind of disgusting to watch and not only on a moral level.

It’s a lot like Death Wish, if the Charles Bronson’s Paul Kersey character was older, only Harry exhibits more emotions, while doing these acts of vigilantism. It’s about an hour into the movie, when Harry actually starts being bad-ass. Yeah, you can say that this is a more thoughtful movie than Death Wish, but I don’t think there is that much of a difference. There’s even a scene where Harry is going after a guy and some shots on him chasing him on some stairs by a bridge, that are very similar to a scene in Death Wish. The elderly ex-soldier, who is sick of young violent kids is a theme that showed up in Gran Torino as well.

It’s interesting to put this movie in opposition to Attack the Block, which had a very similar setting, yet the juvenile delinquents were shown in a much more positive light. I’m not from UK, but the lower class occupied living apartment blocks are quite common where I live and the way the aggressive youth is portrayed in this movie, from my experience, seems a lot more accurate.

It is fitting that my last review was of Hobo With a Shotgun, a very different kind of movie, yet having the very same theme. It’s an interesting contrast, Harry Brown is less violent, while more disturbing, which is good, that this movie makes someone think, while Hobo is just dumb entertainment. On the other hand, Harry Brown never seemed to find the right balance of being an examination of youth violence and a bad-ass vigilante-thriller.  It might not be important to most people, but Harry Brown used CG blood effects, which always sort of detract from a movie for me personally.

Overall, nothing groundbreaking, a solid revenge/vigilante crime drama/thriller threading very familiar territory, but rests firmly on the always reliable Michael Caine. Recommended.

“You know I’m buying this gun to shoot scum like you?”
“All I know is that you look like Michael Caine. Where I’m from, you don’t argue with someone who looks like Michael Caine.”

Review of 2012: Supernova (2009)

31 Jul

2012: Supernova (2009) is a straight-to-video sci-fi/action/disaster film from The Asylum, a film company specializing primarily in mockbusters.

Directed by Anthony Fankhauser (Gacy House (2010), Shadow People (2011)).

Written by Jon Macy (Merlin and the War of the Dragons (2008), In the Blink of an Eye (2009)), Anthony Fankhauser (Tsunami Beach Club (2008)) and Jon Willis III.

Starring: Brian Krause, Heather McComb, Najarra Townsend, Allura Lee, Alan Poe, Londale Theus, Stephen Schneider and others.

We open to a view of CG outer space, which doesn’t instantly strike your eye as something horrible, since there’s nothing real it interacts with, so it looks like a pretty decent video game cutscene.

The movie stars Brian Krause, who most people, including me know from the TV series Charmed and if you’ve watched it, you can notice he doesn’t have much of a range or screen presence, but still, he’s a pretty big name and a good actor. By The Asylum standards. He is sort of ok, the problem is that he has only one mode – concerned.

I was almost excited that this thing won’t waste any time on exposition, the main characters – Krause, his wife and daughter  just appear and a minute later they’re on the run from someone. Then it slows down for some exposition, but as luck would have it, it’s some nonsensical bullshit. In Asylum movies the plot itself is a MacGuffin.

Somewhere along the way Krause is split up from his wife and daughter. He goes on to do… something in a… „space” facility place. I don’t know.  Krause is multiple times attacked by someone in space facility and I figured it out who it was and even forgot about it and then they brought it back at the end as this major „twist”.

The wife and daughter go home, but are forced to leave on their own separate journey to… somewhere. Yeah, I didn’t pay much attention. And, by the way, the wife and daughter look like they have a very small age difference. She must have been 12 at most when she had her. Krause, you dirty man! This plotline is far more interesting than the boring scenes with Krause’s concerned face and his oddball fellow scientists. Interesting stuff actually happens, they encounter a pervert farmer guy and run from the catastrophe destroying everything, you know, the sort of thing that made 2012 entertaining… and the pervert farmer.

The title suggests it being a rip-off of 2012, but they made 3 different movies under the „2012” title and though they do bear resemblance to various specific movies, the „2012” is just their way of saying „generic  disaster movie”.

Honestly some of the action could be considered half-decent for their budget, but it’s not like it is an „action-packed” movie, we have to sit through painful scenes where they try to pretend it’s not a some low-budget crap sci-fi disaster flick with cliché characters, plot you don’t even want to understand and cringeworthy emotional moments. It follows a strict structure of „action scene – bogus science talk – action – short dramatic scene (probably involving bogus science) – action – bogus science”,  at the end of the day it’s a „nonsensical science-packed” movie.

Overall, it’s a shitty Asylum movie, which is the reason why I watched it, but what I hoped for was some B-grade entertainment value, but what I got was boring bullshit, with some decent action spliced in, that still didn’t make it worth it. Not recommended.

Review of Paranormal Entity (2009)

3 Jul

Paranormal Entity (2009) is a straight-to-video horror/mystery/thriller film from The Asylum, a film studio focusing on making “mockbusters”, lower budget versions of mainstream movies.

Directed by Shane Van Dyke (6 Guns (2010), Titanic II (2010)).

Written by Shane Van Dyke (Street Racer (2008), The Day the Earth Stopped (2008)).

Starring: Shane Van Dyke, Erin Marie Hogan, Fia Perera and Norman Saleet.

Although I can’t imagine in this situation, I can see someone looking at a bunch of DVDs at a supermarket and being like “Hey, I want to see some horror, I heard about that ghost movie… um, Paranormal something. Activity? What’s this? Paranormal Entity? That’s it!”, honestly, I think these people deserve their fate.

However, this is one case, where even after watching it, a lot of people might not realize it wasn’t the real thing. Although, Paranormal Activity is a far superior film, the budget of Entity might have been about the same.

Outright the movie starts by saying what happens to the characters in the end. Not a great idea, unless the way we get there is more important and interesting. But they could’ve just added another sentence saying what happens before that. Or they could have condensed it to a single sentence “A family lives in a haunted house until some of them die and shit.” That could even be the tagline.

So we have a mother who doesn’t like what is going on, a son who films the stuff that is going on and a daughter, that has a big rack, which is probably why she was cast in the Katie Fetherstone part. At least the son isn’t a douchebag like Mica.

The acting is ok, not Oscar stuff, but not Troll 2 either. And for some reason there’s a lot of emotional stuff and not enough cheap thrills. I think the movie at times forges it’s an Asylum production. That is not to say there’s not some cool moments, there’s a decent scene involving footprints, this ghost is like Paranormal Activity 3 ghost, not very subtle. At one point the guy goes looking for his sister in the night, after some crazy shit has happened, he sees the ladder to the attic is down and is like “Hey, sister, you there? Oh, you’re not answering? That’s fine I’ll come up anyway, it’s not like the ghost could be fucking with me in the middle of the night.” But his sister is up there. In her underwear. Then in another scene something happens to her in the shower and they rush in, the brother has the camera and all. And just for the sake of it, he lingers a bit on her naked breasts. Way to make me feel weird about looking at boobs.

Then there’s a doctor they’re waiting for and I wonder how is a doctor going to help them. There’s something written by the ghost on their coffee table. Dr. Lauren finally arrives and he turns out to be an exorcist or something. I don’t question he’s a PhD though, because when he sees the word “maron” on the table, he instantly knows it’s meaning and that it is a germanic word.

After the doctor’s arrival it all goes to hell and we see some more nakedness from the sister and all, and it is pretty cool, the ending I mean, not the nakedness. Well, that’s cool too, but… I’ll stop now.

Overall, it’s a decent watch, it’s not great, it’s not awful, it just is. I really hoped for a shitload of jumpscares or something, but was disappointed. It was just mediocre. I don’t know what to do with this. Not recommended, because it lacks what The Asylum’s movies are worth watching for and it lacks the real suspense and scares Paranormal Activityoffers.

Forget about the ghost, creepy exorcist in a turtleneck is more of a problem now.

Review of Orphan (2009)

28 Jun

Orphan (2009) is a thriller/mystery/horror film about a couple adopting a child who turns out to be not what they expected.

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown (2011), House of Wax (2005)).

Written by David Johnson (Red Riding Hood (2011), Wrath of the Titans (2012)) and Alex Mace.

Starring: Peter Sarsgaard, Vera Farmiga, Isabelle Fuhrman, CCH Pounder, Aryana Engineer, Margo Martindale and others.

I put off watching this for a long time, because I’ve already heard the twist and felt no interest in seeing another generic evil children movie.

But from the first moments I was pleasantly surprised by some interesting shots and a clear tone. The movie looks great, it has this modern horror movie color corrected desaturized look, while not looking washed out and bland.

So there’s this couple, they’re all like “Boo-hoo, our baby died, let’s get a new one from the baby-pound… uh, I mean, orphanage.” and the orphanage-lady is like “Here’s our selection, take your pick. But choose wisely, you can take only one.” Yes, she is Prof. Oak from the Pokemon games. The husband decides to wander around the orphanage, because… who wouldn’t? He stumbles upon a girl all by herself painting in one classroom. She is good at it and speaks eloquently for her age. So they decide to take her home. It’s as easy as that.

I’d take that girl as well. Wait, that didn’t sound right. I mean, how often do you have the chance of getting a guaranteed intelligent child? Judging by the other kids these parents have, their genes produce a lot less brain than being annoying and deafness. Esther, the orphan girl, is pretty likable, so she’s an interesting villain. I would be ecstatic to have her as a child, sure, she’s a bit weird and acts like an asshole to most people, but she’s a fucking prodigy.

Soon it turns out, they’ve gotten a bad girl at the orphanage. Isabelle Fuhrman is brilliant in the role, I’d say she’s one of the most promising child actresses I’ve ever seen. She and Chloe Grace Moretz are currently my two favourites, they both have in common a screen presence way beyond their years. Also the little deaf girl does a good job. Jimmy Bennett is awful, I hated him.

Vera Farmiga is definitely very good here, she sells the most important part, Esther’s impact on the family, by portraying this complete psychological breakdown. Peter Sarsgaard kind of does ok in the role, it’s believable, but at the same time he doesn’t do very much. There is one scene where he is drugged and he looks kind of sleepy, but it seems like he’s been that way the whole movie.

The movie is like a mix of Good Son (which I liked, unlike most critics) and The Omen or Child’s Play. It’s a pretty sick and twisted movie if you think about a lot of the implications, I wish, I didn’t know the plot twist before seeing it, but I still enjoyed it. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, so it’s a fun watch. I could illustrate by saying that the best quote of the movie is “I’m not your fucking mommy!”

Overall, it’s very entertaining, I enjoyed it a lot and if you don’t stupidly take it as some commentary on adoptions, you’re going to have fun. Recommended.

“Daddy, I can’t sleep, I have daddy issues!”
“That’s alright, Princess, I’ll just get undressed and I’ll come sleep next to you.”
“Yay, I’ll need therapy!”

Review of Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009)

10 May

Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009) is a direct-to-DVD horror/thriller/slasher film and the third film in the Wrong Turn film franchise.

Directed by Declan O’Brien (Rock Monster (2008), Wrong Turn 4 (2011)).

Written by Connor James Delaney, who hasn’t done anything before or after.

Starring: Tom Frederic, Tamer Hassan, Gil Kolirin, Borislav Iliev, Jake Curran,  Janet Montgomery and others.

Let’s jump ahead 3 minutes into the movie. We get naked boobs. Already a mark of a quality film. There’s other marks as well. For example, it was released straight to DVD, which means you shouldn’t be fooled by the shitty “shot on digital video” look into believing that it is going to be the worst part of the movie. Because once you get used to it, there’s a whole lot of crap in the movie itself.

The effects are sometimes practical, but don’t worry,  because you still get to see a guy getting CG sliced in 3 pieces and another guy getting his face sliced off in effects shots, that even The Asylum would work harder on. But don’t get me wrong, the practical effects suck as well, one guy cuts another one’s leg off, because the inmates are chained together and he just goes through it like he was slicing a big cucumber. The inbred make-up also doesn’t look very good.

Of course, there’s the typical slasher movie set-up, where a group of characterless teenagers appear for a few minutes, just to be killed. Then we switch to our actual characters. In prison. I’ll give the movie that, it is an interesting concept than just some young people, I didn’t expect it. In this prison the inmates seem to be allowed to wear whatever they want, yet they all dress in the same prisony way. Then a group of them is transported in a bus by three prison guards, one of them being our bland protagonist. And we can enjoy some awful green-screen bus driving.

We get to see Three Fingers again, although he got shotgun-blasted in the chest in the last movie, shit, those inbreds sure know how to heal fast, due to the shitty make-up he looks like some kind of goblin. They are actually some amazing creatures. They’re all like idiot savants. They can’t really talk (or choose not to?), but they can master archery, trap-making, knife-throwing and be inhumanly strong and not feel pain. Three Fingers is an amazing archer, he shoots people in eyes all the time, he even shot a chick in the nipple, so when they decide he should miss someone completely, it instantly feel very unconvincing.

However, the interesting thing is that Three Fingers and the gang aren’t the villains of the movie, they’re like zombies, a big threat, but the real villain is one of the prisoners, who at one point is unconscious and everyone hates him, but do they kill him? Of course, not, because otherwise he couldn’t be back a few minutes later and keep being evil.

The bus falls of a cliff, the prisoners gain control and so they all just walk through the woods in search of a truck containing bags of money (no, they didn’t have huge dollar signs on them). Oh, no, that isn’t true, they just walk through the woods and stumble upon the truck. I think I’ll have to go exploring the woods.

They throw in a final little twist, which had me fooled for one second and I thought “Oh, ok, that happened.”, but then I realized how incredibly idiotic it was and got pretty pissed off..

Overall, a stupid and badly made movie, but it isn’t totally awful, if you for some reason like the Wrong Turn franchise (although, I did like Wrong Turn 2), then you might find it almost competent entry in the series. Still, not recommended.

Hey, turn a bit, at least then I’d feel like I’m watching Friday the 13th Part III !

Review of Julie & Julia (2009)

31 Mar

Julie & Julia (2009) is a biography/romance/dramedy film about the real-life chef Julia Child and a blogger Julie Powell.

Directed by Nora Ephron (This Is My Life (1992), Bewitched (2005)).

Written by Nora Ephron (Silkwood (1983), Hanging Up (2000)).

Starring: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, Jane Lynch and others.

You might ask why I’m reviewing this movie? Well, because in a way it is a horror movie. It’s about a huge and demented Meryl Streep destroying lives… sort of.

Right at the start I have to say that I totally understand that I am not the target demographic for this movie, but then again, I think a good movie can be enjoyed by anyone. However, I definitely did not.

The movie is split into two storylines. One is about Julia Child becoming a cook and writing a cook-book in the 50’s. And the other one is about Julie some-last-name, who is writing a blog about cooking everything in Child’s cook-book. Isn’t that an exciting premise? No, it is not. Due to having these two storylines it is way too long for a romantic comedy. And too short for a biographical drama.

Main problem of this movie is that neither Julia or Julie are likable. Julia is just loud, obsessive, insensitive, self-centered and overall obnoxious, although Meryl Streep does make her at times charming and the tallness is definitely done very convincingly. And Julie is a whiny, obsessive, self-centered and hysterical bitch. No wonder Julie idolizes Julia that much.

When Julie starts her blog she writes that she doesn’t know if anyone reads her posts. What kind of blog site is she using? Wewonttellyouifyougetanyviewsorcomments.com? And you’d think that her being a blogger would have helped me identify with her, but I really don’t care about a relatively wealthy 30-year-old woman, who is obsessed with Julia Child and moaning all the time with tears in her eyes. She is a person I would hate in real life. To give her credit she does admit she is a bitch.

So I was left to identify with the husbands, who are in both cases very supportive, normal and nice and have egocentric wives.

Closest I got to an emotional response was when I started feeling hungry or that one scene when the characters are watching a funny SNL sketch on TV.

It is in a way a success story, but it lacks any impact. Oh, you live in a cool apartment in New York and have enough money to keep making these exquisite foods every day? That’s so awful, I hope you’ll get a publishing deal, so you can start living a normal life.

Overall, this movie is shit. Not entertaining, not moving, not funny, not worth seeing.

"Yeah, that's right, what's for dinner, you self-absorbed bitch?"


Review of Cold Storage (2009)

27 Jan

Cold Storage (2009) is a low-budget thriller/horror film.

Directed by Tony Elwood (Road-Kill U.S.A. (1993), Killer! (1989)).

Written by Mark Kimray (Killer! (1989), Road-Kill U.S.A. (1993)) and Tony Elwood.

Starring: Nick Searcy, Matt Keeslar, Joelle Carter, Casey Leet, Brett Gentile and others.

The movie starts out with some nice gore, so you know you’re in for a treat in this department.

At first you think it’s going to be some Texas Chainsaw Massacre backwoods inbred psycho horror, but it turns out to be a bit more original and inventive.

We have what we might suppose is our lead, Casey Leet plays an actress who is driving to some kind of theatrical production. So you’d think well she’s going to meet the hillbillies, but no, she dies in a car accident and then meets a hillbilly, who is quite fond of her and takes the dead actress to play the role of his girlfriend. That’s right, meet our protagonist Clive.

Nick Searcy really does a good job of playing this uncivilized and probably retarded middle-aged outsider, who is sort of childishly innocent in a way. And it takes some acting skills to make that disgusting and despicable character in any way appealing. But he definitely succeeds. Which both explains his quite impressive career and makes me wonder what’s he doing in this kind of movie.

So the sister of Clive’s new girlfriend goes on a quest to find her and her sister’s boyfriend tags along. Again you’d think the focus would completely shift to these two twats, one of them being the soap opera type good-looking guy that is Matt Keeslar.

But no, we get to see Clive being awkward and taking care of his little bride, as she’s developing a slightly bluer skin tone.

And his courtship of her is the highlight of the movie, because we get to see him take a bath and then have a look at the water, which looks, like if I took a big handful of mud and threw it in the vegetable soup I had a couple of days back. After we see it going down the drain we are given a chance to see one of the most painful scenes to watch I’ve ever seen in a movie. It’s not  a spoiler, because it has nothing to do with the plot. So I’ll describe it to you.

And here’s the thing. I heard about the scene before seeing the film and it made me almost feel real pain. So hear this. Clive looks in a mirror, has a glance at his brown and infected teeth and isn’t really satisfied. Then he opens the “medicine cabinet” and takes out… a fucking barber’s straight razor! Of course, he proceeds to scratch his teeth with it, cutting out some blackened pieces of gums and shit, bleeding in the sink. If this doesn’t make you cringe, clench your mouth shut and run your tongue across your teeth, you’re lucky, because I told this to a couple of my friends and they hated me. So watch the movie, maybe that will leave bit bigger impact than my description.

So yeah, Clive does some disturbing shit, but you can’t really blame him much for it, because he’s grown up alone in the middle of the woods and doesn’t know any better. He’s a relatively nice guy and if you don’t identify with him, you still kind of feel sorry for him.

The third act went a bit down hill, because the film seemed to become unsure of what it wants to be a standard horror or something more than that. And also it started losing the sense of the pitch-black humor it had before.

Overall, an interesting small movie with an original idea, it has its shortcomings, of course, but I’d recommend it, even for non-horror fans, because it barely qualifies as a horror film.

"Want a shave?"

Review of Halloween II (2009)

11 Jan

Halloween II (2009) is a horror/slasher/thriller film and is a sequel to Halloween (2007), which is a remake of Halloween (1978).

Directed by Rob Zombie (House of 1000 Corpses (2003), The Devil’s Rejects (2005)), who was also the director of the previous film.

Written by Rob Zombie (Halloween (2007), The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009)).

Starring: Scout Taylor-Compton, Sheri Moon Zombie, Tyler Mane, Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif, Danielle Harris and others.

Firstly, I must say that Halloween (2007) is one of my favourite horror remakes. And I don’t understand why a lot of people dislike it so much. If I have a classic slasher film remade, I’d rather Rob Zombie does it, he might not be the best director in the world, but at least you can see he really loves what he’s doing. And with Halloween he made the right choice by not just doing a shot-for-shot remake, but he actually did something new and untraditional. Yeah, it’s not as good as the original, but what remake is?

The answer is Halloween II. Sort of. Before you say I’m an idiot, take a while and remember Halloween II (1980). It sucked. So if we say this is a remake of that one, I’d say I enjoyed this more, although it might not be technically a better movie.

Is this really a remake of Halloween II (1980)? Well, the first 30 minutes of it is. Just like with the previous one they took the original story, shortened it and inserted other stuff.

So this film does some new stuff as well, but some of it is so weird it doesn’t work all that well. As always with Rob Zombie, there’s some nice music touches used, like „Love Hurts” by Nazareth at the end.

So here we see Laurie Strode living with her friend (the sheriff’s daughter) a year after Michael Myers attacked them. And she as every other young person with some psychological problems in movies has gotten into heavy metal.

Tyler Mane is back as Michael Myers, but most of the movie he just walks around with no mask, except his beard and for some reason wherever he goes, no one is scared of a fucking 7 foot giant who looks pissed. Everyone thinks they can just take this guy who looks like he could break you in half. Also he somehow manages to move incredibly silently, but then again most serial killers in movies have perfected this skill.

Scout Taylor-Compton plays Laurie Strode and I was pleasantly surprised that her acting seemed improved, but then suddenly she just blasts into the over-the-top territory rapid-firing through the most extreme emotions. So the rest of the movie she spends in crying/yelling/sobbing/being a bitch/insanity mode and never comes back.

The movie needed more Brad Douriff, he was great. Margot Kidder (Lois Lane from Superman movies) is a psychiatrist. Malcolm McDowell is fucking awesome in this as a totally sleazy asshole. And there’s a cameo by Weird Al Yankovic, which really felt out of place.

And they got a kid to play young Michael, who sucks so bad. In the previous one Daeg Faerch was so perfect, he was really kind of menacing. With this one, I think even a cardboard cut-out of Daeg Faerch would have provided a better acting.

So this film does some new stuff as well, but some of it is so weird it doesn’t work all that well. As always with Rob Zombie, there’s some nice music touches used, like „Love Hurts” by Nazareth at the end.

Overall, an interesting, but not very good entry in the Halloween franchise, as I said, I liked it more than Halloween II (1980), but probably won’t recommend seeing if you’re not particularly interested.

"So there I was, getting attacked by Myers, when suddenly I realised what Alice Cooper was singing about. Now I'm like really dark and depressed and... and... rock on!"

Review of Friday The 13th (2009)

9 Jan

Friday the 13th (2009) is a horror/slasher/thriller film, which is a reboot of the franchise and basically a remake of the first four movies of the series.

Directed by German-American director Marcus Nispel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Pathfinder (2007)), who is best known for a huge amount of commercial work and directing music videos for various hit singles.

Written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, who both wrote the Friday the 13th – A Nightmare On Elm Street crossover Freddy vs. Jason (2003).

Starring: Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Derek Mears, Ryan Hansen and others.

So this is the eleventh movie in the Friday the 13th franchise (not counting Freddy vs. Jason). And I can’t help, but wish that they wouldn’t have rebooted it, just so in a couple of years I could see a movie called Friday the 13th 13.

And it also is a movie of another series. The series of horror remakes of 2000’s, most of them (including this one) produced by the studio I’ve already expressed my opinion on – Platinum Dunes. However, I wasn’t all that skeptical because I recently had seen the A Nightmare On Elm Street remake, which I enjoyed. But once again Platinum Dunes proved to be able of churning out another mediocre, uninspired and unnecessary remake and walking away with a shitload of money and Michael Bay jerking off to the box office statistics.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate remakes by default just because they are remakes, they just generally seem to suck.

This had the biggest problem a remake in my opinion can have. It did nothing new. Ok, you could argue that this time Jason has some underground tunnels and is more like fast hunter, but really it’s just the same shit as we’ve seen before.

Well it is more of a remake of the second movie since it starts off just like it, with a recap of Pamela Voorhees being decapitated, so they can have Jason already as the killer. And then it has a group of teenagers, who get killed and then there’s this other group of teenagers… that get killed.

I did like a couple of death scenes, but since there was a shitload of teenagers, there were a lot, that I didn’t care about. One that I liked, despite its stupidity is when Jason takes a girl who is in a sleeping bag and holds her over a fire until she dies, still in the sleeping bag. Ridiculous, I know, but that has never been a problem with me.

In the original I might not have cared much about the characters, but this one goes out of its way to make me hate them. Am I supposed to care that Jason is killing a bunch of douchebags and idiots? Ryan Hansen’s character would’ve been unbearable, but him being great in Party Down sort of helped it. Overall the acting was bad. One thing I must admit is that I like Jared Padalecki here a lot more than in Supernatural and I don’t know why, maybe because all the other characters provide a miserable background on which he stands out as a likable character.

It doesn’t change the time the original took place, so in this one Jason is… 51? If there ever is a final Friday the 13th movie, it should end by him saying “I’m too old for this shit”.

It would be hard to make an even more clichéd movie. Modern audiences see through this shit, come up with something interesting.

To its credit it doesn’t have like any slow parts, overall I was kind of entertained, but that’s just because people got killed, not because there was something good.

Overall, a rehashed piece of shit that deserves to be destroyed. Not recommended for anyone, sucked Michael Bay’s penis and even he didn’t enjoy it.

Pictured: At least a couple of reasons why the movie sucked.