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Friday, March 21, 2014

Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)



It been another crazy week. Between working late, more show, and softball practice, I have just felt run down. Now with the weekend upon us, it was time to get back at it, especially as I sit here watching the best show on television Hannibal. Next flick up for review, Hellraiser: Hellseeker from 2002. 


Plot/ A shady businessman attempts to piece together the details of the car crash that killed his wife and rendered him an amnesiac. Not to mention, leaving him in possession of a sinister puzzle box that summons more than anyone could imagine.


I will have to admit, while I not have any real expectations going into this movie, I must admit that I found it more interesting than I ever could have imagined. As a fan of this franchise, it is all over with intriguing storylines and uneven films, by there is always an originality factor that should be seen. This one boasts a darker atmosphere, decent acting, an interesting premise, and some solid connection points with the original classics. Yes, there are some flaws with the cinematography and some of the general filmmaking, but those are somewhat expected in direct to video entries. In the end, this one was much better than I expected and was rather entertaining. Give it a shot, you could do much worse. 


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Toad Road (2012)



Drug use is one of those subjects that will definitely play a role in the elections in the near future. For many, it is a way of life, for others a strange taboo. I bring it up as this next click could be a docudrama for what could go wrong, or right; depending on your perspective. Next up, the 2012 thriller Toad Road. 


Plot/ A portrait of contemporary youth culture, where the lines between reality and fiction are blurred with often frightening results. 


This was an interesting movie. Not a horror movie, this one almost is more an urban legend meets hallucination thriller. There are some moments with solid cinematography and decent acting, but those are almost lost within the uneven marketing and categorization. Unfortunately, the overall storyline never seems to capitalize on what could have been. The horror elements are non-existent, the pacing off, and the atmosphere is a bit disjointed, facets that are a bit disappointing. In the end, I did enjoy this one and found it entertaining, even though I was looking for something darker and more horror related. In the end, more of a portrait of a strange stoner trip than thriller, it does have some interesting moments.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Crowsnest (2012)



Cannibalism has been all over television and the news. Maybe it is the awesome adaptation of Hannibal on television, or maybe something else, but people across the country are eating fingers and biting off noses. With that in mind, my next selection was chosen, 2012s Crowsnest. 


Plot/ In late summer of 2011, five young friends on a road trip went missing after being attacked by nomadic cannibals in a huge RV. Video was recorded by the victims & recovered by police as evidence in their still-unsolved murders. 


Found footage movies are often hit our miss. In this case, while there were some fun moments, it was definitely a miss. There were a few bright spots, as the acting was decent and the p there was more action and horror moments than usual in this type of flick. Unfortunately, the uninspired storyline, the straightforward nature and the overall dialog similarities to the Blair Witch Project took away from some psychological moments. In the end, while not a terrible movie, there was nothing to truly make it memorable. Yes, it could have been worse, but that still does not make it worth searching for.

Friday, March 14, 2014

House of Bodies (2013)



This has been a long week. After breaking a tire-rid on my car Monday, everything seemed to just back up and build into frustration. While I did watch a few movies, I just did not feel motivated to get into the computer. To start catching up, the next movie on my list is House of Bodies from 2013.


Plot/  A detective works to solve a case involving a young deaf boy and a web site that's run out of a home that once belonged to a serial killer.


There are always done movies that seem like they have some small glimmer of hope and fall flat. That was the case with this one. The car was decent, and the acting so-so, but other than that, there was not a lot to like. The storyline was predictable, the pacing slow, and the scripting feely a bit disconnected. In the end, there was not much here and it definitely was not memorable. Do not waste your time, there are much better options available.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Torture Chamber (2013)



This has been a great movie weekend, and it continues to get better as I catch up on the DVR. Did anyone see Hannibal? That was awesome! To continue my work here, I have an interesting selection up next; the often overlooked Torture Chamber from 2013. 


Plot/ 13-year-old Jimmy Morgan is possessed by an evil too powerful to be exorcised by any religion. After escaping from a mental institution, Jimmy is back with a vengeance – and an army of children who follow his every murderous desire. 


This was an interesting movie from the start and a film that pulled me in and kept me engaged throughout. This low budget entry is full of dark atmosphere, sound imagery, and enough surreal moments that should make any horror fan excited. Yes, the acting is uneven and some of the texture of the cinematography may not be for everyone, but that is to be expected in a low budget entry. In the end, this is one of the more visually captivating and surreal trips in to darkness I have seen in some time. Not for everyone, as this one can definitely strike a cord some do not want struck, it is an outstanding example of what original horror can be. Most horror fans should definitely check this one out, and embrace the darkness created inside this low budget gem. 


Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Last Days on Mars (2013)




What a few days. After working late, softball practice and an open house, it was nice to sit back and enjoy some relaxing movie time. Of course, it was finding the right film that makes it a more interesting evening. What did I decide if on? After some thought, it was the Sci-Fi / horror flick, The Last Days on Mars. 


Plot/ group of astronaut explorers succumb one by one to a mysterious and terrifying force while collecting specimens on Mars. 


When one connected horror and Sci-Fi the is always the potential for things to become unhinged. While this one never became unhinged, it definitely felt forced, something that led to some pacing issues. Somewhat a throwback to the beginning of the genre, the storyline is interesting. On top of that, the acting was solid and the imagery worked well, but that did not push this into a memorable category. The paving was a bit slow, the plot holes large and there was really no foreboding atmosphere like one would expect. It honestly felt like the horror elements were forced onto this picture and it drug it down. In the end, this eone was nothing special. Sure, it had a few moments and a couple of surprises, but it is nothing we have not all seen before. Be warned!
  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Chariot (2013)



After a long weekend, it was nice to get back to work. Unfortunately, my knee started to hurt some before the end of the day. Hopefully, it lasts a little longer tomorrow as I have to pull the late night. Next up on the review docket is the 2013 thriller Chariot. 


Plot/ Seven strangers find themselves unwitting participants in a U.S. government evacuation program gone horribly wrong. 


This was a movie that really surprised me, especially considering the low budget used. While not perfect, the majority of the acting, the claustrophobic atmosphere and an interesting storyline kept me entertained throughout. I love the conspiracy theories being thrown about, it was definitely a high point. Sure, there are some pacing issues and some uneven moments, but those were expected with the low budget. In the end, this was an entertaining thriller that was a lot better than I expected going into it. Revolution is coming and it is not out of the realm of possibilities that a program like this could exist. Give it a shot, it was an interesting 90 minutes.


Monday, March 3, 2014

War of the Worlds (2005)



What a day. While we did not get the crazy snow they were calling for, the road crews did very little in the early hours and I took the day off. Unfortunately, the daughters had a snow day as well; not fun. Next up on the review list, the 2005 blockbuster War of the Worlds. 


Plot/ As Earth is invaded by alien tripod fighting machines, one family fights for survival. 


Honestly, I had forgot this movie was done by Steven Spielberg. This H.G. Wells classic is definitely one of the most well known Sci-Fi stories of all time. Yet, this adaptation, while good, did not live up to everything it could have been. The acting is solid, there was some great effects and there is a solid atmosphere for most of the movie. Unfortunately, there was some disconnect between parts of the movie, almost feeling like there were two distinct parts or ideas going on throughout. In the end, this was an interesting watch, and much better the second time I have watched it. If you love Sci-Fi give this alien invasion flick av shot, especially if you are like me and did not truly enjoy it back in 2005.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Ender's Game (2013)



What a week. The weather continued its roller coaster ride and more importantly, I got to enjoy some amazing music. On Thursday, we went to see Old Crow Medicine Show and the Avett Brothers, and last night Flogging Molly. Yes, they are all different genres, but they were all amazing. Tonight, I am getting caught up on some of the movies I watched starting with Ender's Game. 


Plot/ Young Ender Wiggin is recruited by the International Military to lead the fight against the Formics, a genocidal alien race which nearly annihilated the human race in a previous invasion. 


Since I have never read the book this was based on, I had no idea what to expect. What I found when I finally watched it was better than I expected from the previews. That is not to say it is a perfect movie, but it was entertaining. The acting is solid, the visuals are amazing and the ending is all one could ask for. Yes, it does have some pacing issues, as it moves too fast and it has an overall lack of characterization, but it is still an interesting and thought provoking Sci-Fi flick. In the end, this was a movie with a message and one that should be seen, especially if you watch it with an open mind.