Tag Archives: 2011

Review of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)

14 Oct

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011) is an action/fantasy/thriller film, based on the Marvel Comics character Ghost Rider and is the sequel to Ghost Rider (2007).

Directed by the filmmaking duo of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Gamer (2009), Crank (2006)).

Written by David S. Goyer (Death Warrant (1990), The Unborn (2009)), Scott M. Gimple (The Walking Dead (2010 TV), Life (2007 TV)) and Seth Hoffman (House M.D. (2004 TV), Prison Break (2005 TV)).

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Violante Placido, Ciaran Hinds, Idris Elba, Johnny Whitworth, Fergus Riordan, Christopher Lambert and others.

Neveldine/Taylor is enough for me to sell a movie, ranging from their best (Crank 2: High Voltage) to their worst (Gamer) movies, one thing is clear, it’s going to be interesting to watch what crazy shit they’re going to pull this time. So here we have a sequel to what is generally considered one of the worst comic book movie adaptations. And then there’s Nicolas Cage.

We open to some black guy coming to a monastery led by Giles from Buffy. He rescues a woman and her son from some bad guys. And then the woman and kid run away from the black Frenchman, who decides to turn to our good old friend – burning skull guy.

Poor Johnny Blaze, his hairline has completely changed in just a couple of years and now is decidedly receding. So the black guy approaches him and basically says „Save this chick and you’ll get your soul back,” and Blaze is like „ok”. The deal is some bad guys have the woman’s son and he goes to get him back. He does get him and then there’s scenes where Blaze and the kid, who is pursued because of his destiny, start bonding and the boy starts admiring him, it reminded me a lot of Terminator 2.

This time the Ghost Rider effects look a lot better and he’s actually sort of terrifying. When you first see him as Ghost Rider you realise, that these guys were meant to make this movie. It’s as usual. visually very stylised, even dialogue is sometimes shot handheld with rapid zooms, there’s animated sequences, and great, memorable action set-pieces. Ghost Rider is actually bad-ass, he sort of now has a personality of his own. To be clear, I know almost nothing about the Ghost Rider mythos and so I didn’t care how faithful it was to it.

But the most important thing is that Nic Cage is used correctly, he’s a powerful tool in the right hands. I just love the guy. Here, they have him totally start freaking out as he’s about to turn into the Rider and Cage goes into his overacting mode, which is gloriously entertaining. The key aspect here is fun, when Cage seems to be having it, he’s awesome.

Maybe I’m not allowed to judge it, because I watched the movie on a 3D TV, but I really found the 3D barely noticeable. Speaking of 3D, Christopher Lambert appears as a monk with a tattooed face. Yeah, I know, maybe Christopher Lambert was worth a separate paragraph.

It’s not trying to be this over-the-top B-movie, but it is and that is what I like about Neveldine/Taylor, it’s that they do things that they think are cool and funny and those are the same things that I like. Seeing Ghost Rider pee fire? Count me in! Although, I would almost wish they would’ve gone even a bit crazier, but they did a lot within the constrains of the PG-13 rating. Yeah, I’m never satisfied.

Overall, it’s really not a „good” movie, don’t get me wrong, but it’s entertaining as shit. If that shit was on fire and hitting people with a chain while being on fire and hitting people with a chain. Recommended.

They’ve really outdone themselves in the special effects department this time. Those glowsticks look so bad-ass together with the halloween kids make-up.

 

Review of Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)

27 Aug

Hobo with a Shotgun is an action/comedy/exploitation film, based on one of the trailers appearing in the Grindhouse double feature.

Directed by Jason Eisener (Treevenge (2008 Short), The Pink Velvet Halloween Burlesque Show! (2006 Short)).

Written by John Davies (Hobo with a Shotgun (2007 Short)).

Starring: Rutger Hauer, Molly Dunsworth, Brian Downey, Nick Bateman, Gregory Smith, Robb Wells, Jeremy Akerman, Pasha Ebrahimi and others.

What? Rutger Hauer going around and blasting everyone away with a shotgun? Count me in!

Right from the first moments you know what kind of movie this is. The acting is over-the-top, the gore is gratuitous, the humor is blacker than tar and a lot of the things happening make little t0 no sense. I am not complaining.

It starts off with homeless Hauer wandering into the city and witnessing various acts of mindless violence. The streets are filled with hobo’s pushing shopping carts full of junk and standing around burning barrels. No stereotypes here. Hauer makes a sign that says “I am tired, need $ for lawn mower.”, here we learn that for some reason Hobo thinks if he can buy a lawn mower, he can open a mowing business. That’s the kind of logic that fuels the movie.

The bums are used by youth for having violent fun. One guy pays homeless people to do humiliating stuff and films it. A big part of youth life is hanging around at the arcades. So it’s 80’s? I guess it’s not, the movie goes more for the way how 80’s movies portrayed dystopian future. The movie is really heavy on trying to be this over-the-top cheesy 80’s B-movie, but I think it succeeds. I wouldn’t believe if someone told me this was from the 80’s, but it has the feel pretty damn close.

The movie is packed with entertaining shit. Starting from that not a minute goes by that there’s not something bad happening on the streets to the intentionally bad dialogue like “So, how many people have you killed?”, “What am I? A mathematician?”. Then there’s the B-movie cliche – the hooker with a heart of gold.

Then at one point, the Hobo gets enough money for the mower, but in a heart-breaking scene, gives up his dream and buys a shotgun and goes on a killing spree, clearing the streets of scum. He even makes newspaper headlines, which are all puns like “Hobo stops begging, demands change.” This upsets the local crime-lord.

I wish they made all the Grindhouse trailers into feature-length movies. Can’t wait for Werewolf Women of the SS, Don’t and Thanksgiving to become real movies. Though, admittedly the movie is in a way a one-note gimmick, a spoof of sorts, but it’s also a very energetic, fun and entertaining movie. Almost all of the dialogue is quotable and even more hilarious out of context. Rutger Hauer gives a legitimately good performance and plays it completely straight.

Also I wanted to note that I loved how they concealed the crystal clear quality of the Red cameras by using some heavy oversaturating and color correction, which made it look really interesting and cool.

Overall, I found it more entertaining than Macheteand if you like totally insane exploitation mixed with dark comedy, recommended.

“Order your shotgun today and receive this stylish sewer-lid neck-brace for free!”

Review of The Woman (2011)

13 Aug

The Woman (2011) is a horror/drama/comedy film, which is a sequel to the film Offspring.

Directed by Lucky McKee (The Woods (2006), Red (2008)).

Written by Jack Ketchum (The Girl Next Door (2007), Offspring (2009)) and Lucky McKee (Roman (2006), May (2002)).

Starring: Pollyanna McIntosh, Angela Bettis, Sean Bridgers, Lauren Ashley Carter, Shyla Molhusen, Zach Rand and others.

We open up to some kind of BBQ party and this family is set up and right from the start you get this feeling, that something isn’t right with them, I didn’t get it at first, but as the movie goes on, it turns out, that the family is a collection of very unusual people. Not much happens, but there’s this incredible tension between the family members and you realise that they’re the kind of family that is totally dysfunctional, everyone knows it, but they try to pretend everything is normal.

One day the father goes hunting and sees this wild chick having a “bath” in the river and then suddenly rock music starts blasting as she takes a bite off of a raw fish. This is the moment where the movie first shows that it is actually a dark comedy. Of course, the father clears out an outdoors bomb-shelter/basement, goes back to the woods, captures the wild woman and chains her up in there. This is the moment where it becomes clear that the father is insane.

The woman bites off his finger, only mildly in pain, he responds “That is not civilized behavior.” and leaves to use some painkillers, which he has lying around. After composing himself he goes to punish the woman by punching her a couple of times and then shooting a shotgun right next to her head. They throw in a high-pitched noise, so we can enjoy her pain as well. If you might think he’s just this disturbed person, who wants to rape this woman or something, that’s only half the story, because he introduces her to his whole family. And since this guy is a complete fucking lunatic, the rest of the family is too intimidated to contact authorities. They have a pet woods-woman. And things only get crazier from here.

The movie has a really dark sense of humor, starting from the creepy characters to the upbeat indie music accompanying all the dark shit that’s going on. It is also a reversal of “hillbilly horror” sub-genre, where the backwards person is so uncivilized, it becomes the innocent, abused by the “normal” people. It takes a stab at the patriarchal family archetype taken to its limit. I’m not surprised that this is written by Jack Ketchum, watching this I was even reminded of The Girl Next Door, though, not as shocking, this is still an equally sick movie.

I really liked Angela Bettis’ performance as the mother of the family and the way the tied-up woman could be seen as a metaphor for her abusive marriage to her sociopath of a husband. I got goosebumps, when she finally snaps. Pollyanna McIntosh is impressive as the woman, it’s quite a demanding role.

The last 20 minutes are total madness, it’s one of the horrifyingly most entertaining climaxes of a horror flick I’ve seen recently, it throws in some twists and turns that are so unpredictable and twisted and crazy that your jaw drops and you don’t know if it’s scary or straight out funny in how over-the-top it is.

If you watch this, keep watching after the credits, because there’s a bizarre short semi-animated clip with the youngest daughter.

Overall, this might be one of the better horrors of 2011, although it’s more fun entertainment than dead-serious chills, the sick nature of it really makes it a curiously unsettling experience. Recommended.

“Oh, yeah, I’m making this douchebag face to hide my ‘I might rape a dead pregnant woman if I encountered one’ face. I’m fun like that.”

 

Review of 2012: Ice Age (2011)

8 Aug

2012: Ice Age (2011) is a straight-to-video action/sci-fi/disaster film from The Asylum, the movie studio that brought us such great hits as Two-Headed Shark Attack.

Directed by Travis Fort.

Written by Paul Sinor (Dead Men Can’t Dance (1997), Testing the Limits (1998)) and Victoria Dadi (Airline Disaster (2010)).

Starring: Nick Afanasiev, Patrick Labyorteaux, Julie McCullough, Katie Wilson, Kyle Morris, Chacko Vadaketh, Ted Monte and others.

I swear, after this I’m going to take a break from Asylum movie reviews for a while, I just want to get this out of the way and then we’re on to shitty movies from other studios.

This is another one in The Asylum’s „2012 Trilogy” of unrelated movies. Well, no, they’re not completely unrelated, the common factor is ripping-off other disaster movies, this time we have mostly a Day After Tomorrow, minus the budget and everything else that made it goo-, I mean, watchable.

I actually had a chance to learn something from this movie, the CGI department specifically. Some of the effects look decent, like some snow clouds or whatever they were and then others, like the lava explosions, look like shit had a retarded shit-baby, which decided to work on the effects. At least they know it looks bad, since they sort of try to hide it using the advanced technique „shaky-cam”. But, you know, it’s kind of unfair, Asylum’s effects are special, just like some kids, you can’t evaluate them on the same scale.

We follow this family in a car. You know a geeky son, a bitchy daughter, a concerned mother and a busy father. The son is some kind of genius, who helps his geologist father with his work and when his mother sees some planes and asks „Are those military planes?”, the son replies „F-16s” (which they’re not), like it’s common knowledge.  But at other times he is a complete moron. The father talks on the phone to the daughter, who goes to another city at the start of the movie, the connection breaks and the brother says „I wanted to talk to her.”, yeah, well another time, you idiot savant.

The father, played by Patrick Labyorteaux at one point turns into MacGyver. He finds everything he needs in one car trunk, gets some gas and makes a fucking bomb, to blow up cars and clear the road. Woah, what do they teach at the geologist school? Also, while in Supernova Brian Krause had an expression of concern on his face throughout that movie, this time we get our chubby Labyorteaux looks constantly confused.

The problem in this movie is that it becomes very cold outside. People freeze in motion on the streets. Looks like you can expect that at any moment you’ll see Arnold Schwarzenegger painted blue, scream „Chill out!”. But it’s not that cold, since the main characters run around with no coats or gloves on and they don’t look like they’re cold, they look like they’re just caught in a light draft somewhere and think it’s getting chilly. The extras also panic by either just standing around or frolicking while holding suitcases over their heads.

At one point they arrive at someone’s home to find the owner stuck under a metal rack no heavier than a shopping cart. He thanks them by giving them a plane. A fucking plane. And the fat Macgyver knows how to fly a plane. Shit, I wanna be a geologist now. They’re flying on the plane and sum up Asylum’s special effects in two lines of dialogue – „These clouds don’t look normal” – „Nothing looks normal.”.

The dialogue serves this fireproof structure: Mother asks a stupid question, father unsurely answers and the son spits out some idiotic cliché young people thing like „This visibility sucks balls!” Every single line he said made me cringe and hate that little shit.

Overall, it’s not entertaining, but it works as a parody of disaster-flicks, that takes itself completely seriously. It was really bad, though. Not recommended.

“Oh, honey, don’t worry, I’m going to find you, I’ll hug you and I’ll kiss you and I’ll hold you.”
“Uh, dad? I think I got one of them… earections in my pants.”
“Ok, I’ll call you later, our son’s being a creep.”

Review of Battle of Los Angeles (2011)

5 Aug

Battle of Los Angeles (2011) is a sci-fi/action film from The Asylum, a film studio that specializes in mockbusters.

Directed by Mark Atkins (Alien Origin (2012), Halloween Night (2006)).

Written by Mark Atkins (Dragon Crusaders (2011), Princess of Mars (2009)).

Starring: Nia Peeples, Kel Mitchell, Robert Pike Daniel, Theresa June-Tao, Stephen Blackehart, Dylan Vox, Gerald Webb and others.

To be fair, while no one is stupid enough to pick up 200 M.P.H. instead of Fast Five, here they’re just shameless with the title. It starts with the traditional bad CGI expected from The Asylum, we get some explosions, an alien ship, some airplanes, you know, the stuff that makes a movie great.

Soon we are introduced with some military characters, one of them being Robert Pike Daniel, who just shouts the most cliché military dialogue you can possibly write and then backs it up by blowing up an alien ship by shooting it a few times from a revolver. Some time later, he does this again, but this time it doesn’t explode, letting him take a weapon from it and shoot another spaceship.

It isn’t strictly a Battle: Los Angeles rip-off, it’s mostly just various alien-related movies, for example the alien mothership looks a whole lot like the one in District 9. Of course then they have to push it even further and by adding this absurd subplot about this pilot from 1942, who is oddly unphased by all the weird shit around him.

This might be one of Asylum’s better made films, since the action sometimes makes sense, it looks decent, has some nice shots, before they’re ruined by bad CGI, the acting is also bearable. Actually with this one I got the feeling, they knew what they were making and totally embraced it.

There are a bunch of hilarious scenes, for instance, when the military guys encounter an alien, which looks like it’s made out of garbage bins, they throw a grenade at it, yet this being of extreme intelligence throws it back to one of the guys. What does he do? Run? Oh no, he has the great idea of falling to the ground and rolling 10 feet sideways. Then they decide to push a car as a cover, but fail to ignore the fact that the alien is shooting it from the side.

Nia Peeples has the most awesome entrance imaginable: she jumps off a building, free-falls like 15 stories, then lands on a spaceship stabs it with a katana and then just walks away, while it explodes in the background in slow motion. Obviously revolvers and katanas are extremely effective against those spaceships. Someone should try just punching them.

Then another big moment is when the characters reach some kind of shelter, where there’s a captive alien, so the 40’s pilot just walks up to it, let’s out a high-pitched screech, punches a guy in the throat/ear, glass brakes, he jumps in, pulls in two underground-base-military guys, throws out the alien, jumps out, kills two guys with stretchy Mr. Fantastic arms, spits green goo, is decapitated by Peeples’ katana, only to be revealed as a robot, with some orb robot thing in his head, which everyone starts chasing. Now who the fuck came up with this insanity?

The alien itself is some sort of ET-like gentle creature, who groans, which is understood only by Peeples, who now has an eye-patch. Looks cool with her katana. This is a very diverse movie, the 3 leads are an asian chick, a black guy, and the somewhat latino Nia Peeples.

Overall, I really did enjoy this, probably more than Battle: Los Angeles, which I didn’t think was bad either. As far as The Asylum films go, this is definitely the best you can wish for. Completely cheesy, nonsensical and over-the-top, if that’s your thing, recommended.

Pictured: The most awesome sight, you probably don’t care to see.

Review of 200 M.P.H. (2011)

21 Jul

200 M.P.H. (2011) is a straight-to-video action/sports/drama movie by The Asylum, a film company specializing primarily in mockbusters.

Directed by Cole S. McKay (Star Hunter (1996), 3 Musketeers (2011)).

Written by Thunder Levin (Mutant Vampire Zombies from the ‘Hood! (2008), American Warship (2012)).

Starring: Jaz Martin, Hennely Jimenez, Darren Anthony Thomas, Paul Logan, AnnaMaria Demara, Tommy Nash, Janet Tracy Keijser and others.

So here’s The Asylum trying their luck in recreating the magic of the Fast & Furious series. Great, a bad knock-off of movies that I really don’t like in the first place.

A guy parks in a driveway and his brother comes out and says „it’s like an 80,000 dollar car”, no, please be more specific and then he proceeds to list exact specifics of the car. This happens a lot, if a character knows shit about cars, he better list some specs from Wikipedia. This doesn’t make the guys look cool at all, they seem more like nerds. They are less the guy with a greasy engine in his hand and more the guy telling you Star Trek trivia.

I don’t know shit about cars, so I relied on this movie to educate me. Now I know that I would be considered a cool person if my car could do „0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds”. I am willing to bet half of the shit they’re saying is total rubbish.

Ok, so finally we get to some racing. What’s going on? Why is it on fast forward? Oh, god, no, they sped up the footage. They could’ve put it in at normal speed and put like a little note to pop up on screen, that says „now use fast forward x2, because we didn’t know we were supposed to shoot at lower framerate”.

The characters are something. Our main guy is… well… uh, if you found Paul Walker bland, you haven’t seen this guy. His mother is a stripper, but you know who else is a stripper? His girlfriend. Yeah, talk about Oedipal syndrome, huh? At one point he walks into a strip-club and his mother just greets him topless and he’s like „geez, mom”, like it’s some kind of twisted sitcom called „Mom’s a Stripper!” There’s also this corrupt cop, spouting macho lines like „Did I stutter?” and homoerotic poetry like „No, this is me, the man with your balls in my hand!”, which sort of left me feeling unsure if it was meant as a metaphor. Then there’s a chick who does her best Michelle Rodriguez, which made me cringe. I like my Michelle Rodriguez done by Michelle Rodriguez.

No Asylum movie is complete without bad CGI, so here we get a CG car crash. So the main guy’s brother dies during a race and you know what? Boo-fucking-hoo, should I really feel sorry for an illegal street-racer dying? You go out at night and drive like a madman with you’re douchy sports-car, you’re kind of asking for it. The only reason why I felt a bit sorry, was because he was the only character, that I didn’t hate,

At one point a chick crashes her motorbike off-screen, does a roll on the ground and just keeps running. That’s some Catwoman trick right there. The car chases are at times pretty decent, but then they’re destroyed by some sped-up shots and cut-aways to CG-cars.  I must also mention a scene, where the corrupt cop is chasing the main guy, suddenly there’s a CG helicopter after those two cars and it’s not even in the air, it’s like 10 meters of the ground and then it disappears and is never refered to.

This movie is shit, which I totally didn’t expect from a movie produced by The Asylum, directed by some stunt-man and written by a guy, who’s  name is Thunder. Sounded like this is going to be some quality material.

Overall, this is one of the worst The Asylum movies I’ve  seen, it has its over-the-top moments, that are unintentionally hilarious, but mostly it just drags. I hated it, not recommended.

Pictured: A review from Rotten Tomatoes, which is written by a guy, who sounds like every character from this movie. A dorky douchebag.

Review of Wake Wood (2011)

9 Jul

Wake Wood (2011) is an Irish horror/thriller/drama film, about a couple who recently have lost their daughter and move to a remote town.

Directed by David Keating (The Last of the High Kings (1996), KM64: Birth of a Skatepark (2007)).

Written by Brendan McCarthy (The Metal Man (1989 Short)) and David Keating (Into the West (1992)).

Starring: Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle, Timothy Spall, Brian Gleeson, Ella Connolly, Ruth McCabe and others.

There’s this little girl who is going to school and decides to visit a dog and give him a snack, only she turns out to be the snack herself. In reality you often hear about children getting injured or killed by animals. Yes, it’s pretty horrible when a dog kills a child and it’s a hard thing to get over, because putting down an animal isn’t very awarding and you never get any closure about why did the dog do it, it just did.

The father is a veterinarian and they move to a small town, where he gets a job. We get to see him perform a cowbirth by a cesarean section and I’m pretty sure it was real. Either that or those were some bad-ass special effects.

The movie has a really cool, dreary mood, it doesn’t feel like the modern Hammer films exactly, since it’s only distributed by it, however the subject matter itself is disturbing enough.

It’s not too much to say that the townsfolk turn out to be a paganistic group, which can resurrect people, what a coincidence, our heroes have someone to resurrect. There’s a scene, where the village leader explains all the rules of resurrecting someone, that is so serious and believable, yet also totally absurd and in a way pretty funny. And the movie sort of plays on this, it is creepy how nonchalantly the townsfolk and the parents proceed with this whole thing. There’s never an explanation about how all this resurrection business started and that’s a good choice.

I think it intentionally makes this opposition of us, the viewers, who see all this skeptically and then explores how much a person could suspend their disbelief and how far would they go, just to see their loved one again. One could criticise the parents’ unquestioning acceptance of all the absurdly specific rules they are meant to obey, but they’re desperate parents after all and when they finally feel a bit more at ease, with the resurrection already done, they start disregarding the rules as silly and nonsensical. However, they are not.

There’s an ending, which I would have never predicted and it’s a very interesting idea and I have no clue how that would play out. It’s sort of a cliffhanger, but it’s one so good, that I wouldn’t even want to see a sequel resolving it.

Overall, a really good little horror flick, some might write down the dark silliness of it as tonal inconsistency, but I’d say it only adds to the film. Recommended.

“You see, had you read the fine print, you’d know that the payment for our resurrectional services is a human testicle per person.”
“The joke’s on you, I don’t have any!”
“…No… No, I think the joke’s still on you.”

Review of Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)

6 Jul

Hellraiser: Revelations (2011) is a horror/mystery/thriller film and the ninth film in the Hellraiser film franchise.

Directed by Victor Garcia (Return to House on Haunted Hill (2007), Mirrors 2 (2010)).

Written by Gary J. Tunnicliffe (Megalodon (2002), Hansel & Gretel (2002)).

Starring: Tracey Fairaway, Jay Gillespie, Sebastien Roberts, Sanny Van Heteren, Steven Brand, Nick Eversman, Stephan Smith Collins and others.

This movie has received roaringly negative reviews, mostly due to Clive Barker bashing the movie on Twitter (for a good reason, but not having seen it), Doug Bradley not returning as Pinhead and the low production values. But beyond this, I personally didn’t find it that bad.

It opens with two guys filming themselves driving in a car. And I instantly thought “Oh, god, this is going to be a found footage movie”, but it isn’t. It shows that their car is stolen (which has no real effect on the plot) and then we see them opening the box and Pinhead appears. Then it turns out the mother of one of the guys is watching this on a video camera.

The parents of the other guy come over and it turns out they like to hang out together after their sons have been missing for a year and have a casual dinner. There’s also this chick that is the sister of one and girlfriend of the other guy and she goes to her brother’s room and watches some stuff on the camera. We then get to suffer through a jagged and pointless narrative when we constantly change back from standard to the handheld camera footage.

The boyfriend guy bangs another chick and then somehow kills her, while the other passes out. It’s very confusing, since we get a reaction shot from the sister after the killing part, which wasn’t filmed. Thank god, that’s the end of the videotaped shit, at least we don’t have to see it. The sister finds the puzzle box and starts playing around with it as her brother suddenly appears and everyone is mildly surprised by this. This is a running gag, as a character gets shotgunned in the stomach, but stays alive throughout the rest of the film, looking only mildly displeased with the turn of events.

We also get random flashes of Pinhead doing various hell-like things, like posing by some chains. He also is making another pinhead cenobite and stuff like that. The new Pinhead is kind of silly. I thought that after the first two movies, they were starting to light Pinhead too brightly and he lost his menace. Well this time we’re back with a Pinhead, who not only lacks the gravitas of Doug Bradley, but also looks sort of chubby for some reason. Is it really so hard to make a guy with pins in his head look scary?

The most pleasant surprise for me was the return of skinless make-up, it doesn’t look as good as in Hellraiser II, but still, it’s pretty bad-ass. And this actually signifies the return to the roots of Hellraiser, it has lack of skin, it has these darkly perverted hidden desire elements, it has some incestuous tones, all the good stuff. It feels a lot more like a Hellraiser film, than the previous, at least, four, probably mostly due to an original Hellraiser script and not a rewritten unrelated one.

So considering the film being rushed by the studio, because of copyright issues and having a very low-budget, I didn’t find it disappointing. The bad response to this film surprises me, since I would imagine fans recognizing it being closer to the original Hellraiser ideas, than those Rick Bota directed ones, which if they were children, wouldn’t be accepted in the orphanage for quadruple amputees.

Overall, a bad movie, but not one of the worst of the series. For a 300,000$ budget and three-week production, it has relatively impressive special effects and a decent twist. Not recommended, unless you’re a Hellraiser fan, who hated the previous three installments.

“Yeah, my parents don’t approve of my lifestyle. I guess they’re right. I won’t be a politician. I can take the pierceings out, but I will not drop the S&M!”

Review of Wrong Turn 4 (2011)

14 May

Wrong Turn 4 also known as Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (2011) is a direct-to-video horror/slasher/thriller film and the fourth film in the Wrong Turn film franchise.

Directed by Declan O’Brien (Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009), Sharktopus (2010)).

Written by Declan O’Brien (The Snake King (2005), Savage Planet (2007)).

Starring: Scott Johnson, Sean Skene, Tenika Davis, Victor Zinck Jr., Terra Vnesa, Jennifer Pudavick, Dean Armstrong, Dan Skene and others.

You know what I really wanted while watching the previous Wrong Turn movies? To know how the inbred freaks started out. I guess, that’s what the filmmakers thought, but who the fuck cares? They’re not interesting characters and you know what they did before they killed people? They killed other people. I didn’t need another movie to make it clear.

So the inbred kids are taken to some asylum, but, as we know, in movies every lock can be picked with a hair-pin. The inbreds break free and turn the place upside down.

You might think this is going to be some trashy horror flick after the previous movie being pretty shitty, but this one is way classier, since we get to see the gratuitous nudity only after 11 minutes. But the wait is rewarded by some interracial lesbian sex. Definitely worth it.

For some reason the budget looks bigger than in Wrong Turn 3, I guess, it’s just that the HD cameras have improved in the two years. It can’t be anyone put high hopes for this movie. I must give it credit, there’s some scenes in snowy landscapes, where the photography is beautiful, it’s sad that the movie keeps getting into the shot. Also the gore effects are much better.

By now I really care what happens to these important inbreds and I hope to god they won’t get hurt. Wait. It’s a prequel, so they’re going to survive. And to think I was getting worried.

So it’s like 30 years later and a bunch of college kids go skiing or something, but they take the „wrong turn” and have to stay at this asylum I mentioned earlier. Thankfully, it has been kept tidy for all this time and the kids get to have some fun. There is the one douchebag, who scares his friends, so we can get some false jump scares as well. I thought to myself „None of my friends is that guy. Oh dear god. I’m that guy.” You know what? I probably am, but since me and my friends don’t usually stay in some desolate, creepy places, I hopefully will never know.

I’m also a positive guy, when I’m watching a slasher movie, I always think „Maybe this group of young people doesn’t consist from total morons.” And then one of them says „Hey, guys, I think we should split up in this spooky abandoned hospital.” and everyone is like „Ok.” and then Shaggy is like „Zoinks, Scoobie!” as eventually the cannibalistic inbred freaks appear.

They continue to make the most idiotic decisions possible. They get the freaks locked up. But they decide they wouldn’t be able to live with themselves if they killed them. Sure I would definitely be rolling around during sleepless nights thinking „Oh, my conscience is eating me alive, I killed these human eating psycho mutants, that killed my friends.” They leave a guy to guard them, but apparently it is incredibly easy to fall asleep when you’re sitting right in front of a cell full of crazy, disfigured people full of your dead friend.

And the girl who delivered the speech about not becoming monsters like them and being humane needs just 5 minutes to completely change her mind and go stabbing one of them like he’s Janet Leigh.

What I did like about it, was that I didn’t know who the final survivor(s) will be right from the start.

Overall, it’s a bland and idiotic movie in an unconventional setting for a redneck killers flick. Definitely not recommended.

“Oh, what have you been up to, you rascals? Three Fingers? Did you rape your sister again? Who put you up to this? Saw Tooth, how could you?”

Review of The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

27 Apr

The Cabin in the Woods (2011) is a horror/comedy/mystery film, which adds a little more to the stock horror clichés.

Directed by Drew Goddard. This movie is his directorial debut.

Written by Joss Whedon (Alien: Resurrection (1997), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 TV)) and Drew Goddard (Cloverfield (2008), Lost (2004 TV)).

Starring: Fran Kranz, Anna Hutcherson, Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Jesse Williams and others.

Watching the trailer I was quite intrigued by this movie, a “cabin in the woods” movie, which turns out to be something more. Sounds good enough to me! However, the trailer also created this misconception, that it is totally a standard college kid horror flick until it turns out there’s more to it, which would mean the movie is already spoiled. And that’s what I’m going to be very careful about, because there’s a lot to spoil. However, the movie opens with a scene in some scientific facility, so they’re really not hiding this fact, but they do keep to themselves a lot about why all the stuff that is being done there is done.

It is best to avoid knowing anything about the movie, since there’s so many twists and turns, which combined with the mysterious organization that is behind it, makes the movie really unpredictable.

There is some genre-bending as it slides from the usual horror stuff to some comedic lines, to the very dark meta humor, that is going on in the control room, where Jenkins and Whitford …control stuff, which intentionally plays on their similarity to horror screenwriters picking out from various stock monsters, characters and settings.

The college kid characters are the basic jock/slut/smart guy/comic relief/virgin ensemble, but here there is a reason for it and they are actually likable and not one note, they all have at least a little bit more to their characters, but they are forced to show only these sides of them. And the comic relief stoner guy is very funny and seems to be the only one who actually is aware that their vacation is turning into a horror movie. At one point the jock (played by Thor) suggests they should split up and he’s the only one who goes like “Really?”. And this was one of the rare times in a horror movie, where I really didn’t want any of the kids to die.

It is a movie for both the horror savvy and the not so much. Because for the horror fans this can be like a game, where you laugh about the next cliché that is thrown at the characters and guess what is a reference to what. Like “Hey, is that guy with the buzzsaws in his head a reference to Pinhead from Hellraiser?” or “Hey, is that werewolf a reference to any werewolf movie in existence?”, so it’s really fun. The other group can give into the suspense, jump at the jumpscares and laugh about the comedy.

Also it has a great cameo at the very end. I think I’ll stop right here, because the less is said about the movie, the better it is to watch it. It is a beautiful mess, where not everything is explained and it only gains from it.

Overall, a very fun, entertaining and clever film. Definitely recommended for both horror fans and those who just like some thrills with their laughs.

"Wow, I'm not doing that with my arms! ...oh, and also I'm not a girl..."