Extremities Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts should be addressed as such as this review would be even more negative otherwise.

There are some films were you know they will be trash almost immediately and this is one of those. With nothing redeeming to be found in this film you know that you’re in for a rough time right from the jump. That said, the film is pretty straight forward about this so if you’ve even seen the plot summary then you know that this should be an instant skip. Extremities does its best to be as extreme as possible and succeeds, much to the detriment of the film as a whole.

The main character here is a lady named Marjorie who is assaulted one night by a mysterious figure. She tries to ask the cops for help but unfortunately there isn’t anything they can do to assist and the villain has her address. She heads home when the guy strikes again. Ultimately she is able to subdue him but her two roommates think he should be given leniency while she just wants to murder the guy or at least get a confession out of him. Will she be able to destroy him or will the roommates get in the way?

The movie certainly makes the roommates annoying as they try to fall into every horror trope imaginable. Believing the main villain, letting their guard down, etc. For a while there you think things are really going to backfire on them but fortunately the film at least doesn’t go with the whole he escapes into a whole new climax filled with lots of fighting. That would have been rather pointless and would have only served to drag the whole film out even more.

The movie moves at an incredibly slow pace. The first 30 minutes feels like it’s 3 hours. The scenes just never end and I can’t imagine seeing this kind of movie in theaters. Then the whole second half doesn’t need to exist as Marjorie should have finished the guy off already. Just end him immediately and you don’t have to worry about the debates and aftermath that follows. Because that didn’t happen you have to go through scene after scene of the characters debating.

Everything is really detailed in this film including the actual assault and rape which puts this film at a 0 right out of the jump. This is never a plot device that should exist in a film, much less be the main plot point. Just including that doomed the movie and there was no way the film could salvage itself after that. It just makes for a painful watch. The home invader plot is already a tough storyline to tackle because it will almost always devolve into a long hostage situation and this just takes the whole thing one step further.

With this kind of plot there is no way to make a movie good. It’s absolutely impossible and thus shouldn’t even be tried. The villain’s awful and as far as I’m concerned the roommates are awful for taking this guy at face value at all. C’mon now, this guy’s rather obvious the whole time. This is one of those films that is transparently putting the main heroine in as bad a position as possible so that when she starts getting her revenge and torturing the villain you can cheer along.

The issue is that this cycle of violence will always make for a poor viewing experience. For starters, it means that the villain is going to do something truly awful at the start to make the revenge feel that much better. This is a really bad decision. Then you will have the hero doing something really awful like full on torture as well to even the scales. So in effect it’s an excuse by the film to have two super violent moments and to just keep going in circles like that. It goes without saying that this film is very violent and dark as well so keep that in mind if you actually end up wanting to check it out. Trust me, you don’t want to watch this one though, you could do better with numerous other films. It’s no exaggeration to say that 90 minutes of watching paint dry with some fireplace sound effects in the background would be better as it would at least put you to sleep.

Overall, Extremities is an absolutely awful film that is horrible from start to finish. It’s the kind of film that’s so bad that you just want to forget about it rather than even discussing the film for very long. If you ever see this on TV or in a store you’ll want to keep on walking right past it. If you hear about a remake being in production and a trailer pops up on Youtube feel free to leave a dislike if the feature has been brought back onto Youtube. You’ll have a better time buying a bag of potato chips and mixing it into your mac n cheese or dusting off the old Sega Genesis and playing some old games there. Either way that would be a more ideal way to spend your evening.

Overall 0/10

Joker Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film below. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version may be more negative

Making a movie with the villain as the main character is always a rather tricky thing to try and accomplish. You either go the route of trying to make the villain sympathetic so you can root for him or you go all in on just making him evil. It’s such a tough balance that it’s usually not even worth making the attempt. With the Joker of all characters you already know him as one of the most evil villains in the Batman series so this is certainly a very different portrayal. Ultimately it doesn’t work as the film just seems to be a never ending story of bad things happening to everyone.

The movie starts by introducing us to the Joker who is an aspiring comedian. Currently he works as a clowns but it’s a rough city and things don’t work out from the start. His sign is stolen and then he’s beaten up in an alley. The job threatens to fire him for losing the sign and then Joker makes the big mistake of taking a gun to a children’s hospital by mistake. It does come in handy when he is attacked on the subway as he murders the three attackers but now his life is in a tailspin. He begins to learn things about his origin that he never knew and funding is cut off for social services so he no longer has pills to keep his laughing condition in check. Now it’s time for him to become a full villain and take down the city.

Right away I can tell you the film’s biggest weakness is how hopeless it all is. The movie is really just about how bad a place Gotham is. Bad things happen to Joker and everyone else at pretty much all moments in the film. Joker, Thomas Wayne, Murray, Randall, Penny, two random detectives, everyone gets a bad hand in the film. There’s no one who walks away from this with a really happy ending except for Sophie and even then I wouldn’t say it’s super happy either since she’s probably going to have to move or may just feel terrified for a while assuming she made it out of the film.

Joker starts off as a sympathetic character since he is trying hard to be a comedian but it never works out for him. People mock him and his laughing condition makes it hard to hold a conversation at times since it can get triggered at any time. The first two people he murdered were certainly in self defense so I wouldn’t hold those against him at all. You definitely need to fight back in such a scenario and if anything it would have been nice if he had gotten up to defend the lady rather than the situation ultimately happening because he stayed back. The third guy who ran away is definitely more on the iffy side since he was no longer a threat and was running away. It makes sense to bump him off in case he could ID Joker later on but at that point it’s more to protect his own skin.

The rest of the murders in this film are completely on Joker and show how deranged he is. Joker definitely had a complete decent into being a psychotic villain by the end. You know it’s coming the whole time since this is a film about the Joker but the issue with having a villain who is so unrelentingly evil as the lead is that there is nobody to root for. If you look at some of the best villains out there like Eren Yeager, Light Yagami, Venom, or Thanos, they worked well as leads or co-leads because their goals at least made a lot of sense. In a way Light and Thanos even had good goals of saving people in a broad sense but went the wrong way about trying to improve the world and as such became complete villains.

You’re rooting for them to be stopped but at least you understand why they are doing all of this. With Joker he pretty much admits that he is just seeking out revenge against everyone who has wronged him and is just enjoys the insanity of it all. You’re not rooting for him to win at all here and his scenes can just be painful to watch. Ultimately while he blames all of the other characters for everything, some moments are his fault as well like bringing the gun to the hospital and letting Murray rile him up. The guy was clearly mocking him so Joker could have either decided not to go or to use that opportunity to prove himself anyway rather than trying to become a symbol and start a movement even if he claimed that is not what he wanted to do.

Joker was just an awful lead here and I don’t see this Joker being one of the better versions even down the road. I much prefer the classic Joker origin where he was a random bank robber who fell into the acid and became Joker. He just went from villain to super villain rather than it being Gotham which broke him down and sped up his descent into madness. As for the other characters, well Randall is a mean colleague who makes fun of his co-workers height and is generally a rather toxic person. He is quick to lie and manipulate others. You know he’s not going to make it out of this the instant that he appears.

Then you have Murray who loves making jokes at other people’s expense. He has created a whole career out of it. Joker was even a big fan of his until the jokes began to be about him. Again this is where Joker loses more sympathy points because of course he doesn’t mind others getting mocked but when it’s about him then it’s a whole lot different. Next on the list of characters is Thomas Wayne who wants to be mayor but has a complete disconnect with the people of Gotham.

I have to assume that he is planning to buy the election because otherwise he is doing absolutely nothing to win new votes. He makes fun of these guys and calls them clowns as well as goes out of his way to antagonize them at every corner. The movie presents him as a rather arrogant man who is so full of himself that he doesn’t see what’s right in front of him. I forgot we were going to squeeze in the origin here so that was unexpected. This version of Thomas appears quite unsympathetic compared to most but of course as we’re only seeing some instances from Joker’s perspective here, it’s likely not the full story.

Joker’s mother Penny also gets a decent sized role. Like Joker she has her own issues which seem to due with memory loss at first but later on we see that she is also quite crazy. Joker doesn’t see the complete irony of trying to get revenge on her later on since she likely doesn’t even remember the past and seems to believe her own delusions here. Also, she is completely powerless when they have their final confrontation and it’s got to be the worst scene in the movie. Her backstory is really gritty of course as the film continues to pile on.

The only decent character in the whole movie outside of quick cameos is Sophie. She’s Joker’s neighbor and they have a brief meeting in the elevator where she tries to be friendly but Joker doesn’t talk back at all. I guess he was worried about the laughing starting up so he kept his distance but she gave him the benefit of the doubt on a second occasion when she noticed him following her. Considering we’re in Gotham that’s a scary feeling but she didn’t immediately call the cops or get people to beat him up. She really did her best and so I’m glad she at least made it out of this. I would have interpreted her as losing her life to be honest but I remember it was a huge deal when the film came out and the director or writer had to come out and confirm she was okay. I don’t see the point of having the ambulance whizz by after the scene though. It’s only purpose is to hint at that but I’m guessing they may want her around for the sequel if we get one.

Either way it’s a good decision because the film is mainly about Joker getting revenge on everyone and she would not be deserving of that considering that she was in his corner. Not as often as he thought given how his delusions work but in her real scenes she was on point. There’s not much to say about effects as this is a more down to Earth film but I did enjoy the jingle from the game show that Murray’s on. It had a catchy beat and the happy tone really made for a great contrast to the rest of the depressing scenes.

Otherwise, prepare for the film to really drag on. There’s no real happy scenes here as the film sets the tone early. From the kids beating Joker up in the intro to the asylum in the end, there is never a scene for you to smile. There’s always something bad happening or about to happen. It’s almost impressive how unrelenting the film is with this approach as you would expect things to start working out even for a little while before the next fall but that’s really never the case. The closest is when Joker’s act starts to succeed and then this is taken away in the next scene.

The film keeps trying to balance whether it’s Gotham that turned an innocent person into the world’s greatest criminal or if he was just unstable and psychotic from the start. It’s hard to say since we’ve just got a small picture into his life but by the end it seems to be leaning towards the latter. His excessive punishment towards everyone who wronged him backs that up at least even if the crime was a long time ago. The city didn’t help of course as Gotham will be Gotham and keeps on sinking. I don’t even see how the custody angle would have worked out after everything in the file to be honest. If there is a Metropolis in this continuity then you should definitely try to get out. Being homeless in Metropolis is likely better than trying to survive in Gotham.

Overall, Joker is really an awful movie that’s extremely mean spirited. This is exactly the kind of scenario you try to avoid when doing a film based on a villain. In fact, this can be the poster film for what I’m talking about when I say how risky it is. You end up having a main character you can’t root for and so you’re rooting for him to be taken down already but since the film is about this villain, you know that’s not happening until the very end if you’re lucky. We see that the Joker is evil throughout but with no real goals or big ideas. He has an awful speech at the end where he blames society and this and that, but at the end of the day it’s all excuses on his part. This was just the origin for Batman’s villain but unfortunately in a world where they are unlikely to do battle. There were no silver linings I could find in this film so I’d definitely say to skip this one.

Overall 0/10

Lassie Come Home Review


A lot of films have a “What is that??” kind of moment where you wonder what it was thinking. Unfortunately, Lassie ups the stakes by having you ask this question many times as the film goes on. Seriously, you’ll keep on wondering why this film was as bad as it was. It just never made it over the hill and ultimately slid downhill at such terrific speeds that it never stood a chance.

The movie starts with introducing us to Lassie and her owner Joe. Joe’s a fairly young kid who does his best at school because he always knows that Lassie will be there to say hi. Well, the parents have decided to send Lassie away and didn’t have the courage to tell Joe so they do it in secret. Lassie keeps on returning so they keep on sending her back. The new owner takes Lassie all the way across the ocean but Lassie is determined to return. So begins the journey of this determined dog.

Lassie’s probably the only decent thing about the movie and even then she is also the cause of many of the movie’s problems. For starters there are no likable characters here in the slightest. Take Joe’s parents for example, they handled the situation horribly. At least give Joe a chance to properly say good bye to Lassie right? By getting rid of Lassie in secret they didn’t even give Joe a chance. Clearly that will make parting a lot more difficult than it would be otherwise. The worst part is that they have the gall to blame the kid for crying about this.

What else was he going to do? The film does a poor job of getting you to sympathize with the parents. Time may be tough but they effectively just sold off a member of the family. It was the wrong call no matter how you slice it. Especially when you consider that Lassie returned twice and they were still making sure she left. Definitely a bunch of ungrateful customers here.

Where the film really goes wrong though is that it’s trying to be overly sad. Things just keep on getting worse and worse. Effectively it’s like one character gets beaten up, shot, bit, brought near to death, gets a leg broken, and continues to endure the worst of the environment right through to the end of the film. Even at the end nobody is helping Lassie because they think the whole thing’s heart warming when they should be getting their eyes checked.

A film always needs a good balance of emotions. If you want to make a sad movie there needs to be a lot of happy scenes to counter it or else you end up going too far. This movie was doomed from the start though because that applies to humans. For animals you can’t put them in any of those scenarios because it just makes the film suck.

When you take this film down to its core parts, part of the issue is that there are no strengths to the film. Most of the characters are rubbish and the story is utter nonsense. Why do we need to have some random thugs who show up just to murder another dog? It’s all just for shock value and to make an already grim film even more grim. By this point in the film you’re likely already checked out so this is the film’s way of waking you up.

If you were in the theater you’d probably have seen a lot of people jump up in their seats at that point since they would have totally been in La La land by then. The film is unable to draw your attention because it hasn’t done anything to earn your interest. Put it this way, if the film wanted to actually tell a good story then it needed to develop the characters and make them likable. The mother can’t be talking about how she’s glad Lassie is gone while crying. That’s just a ludicrous scene.

The father can’t be storming off in a huff when Joe starts crying because he is the one who sold the dog. Can’t be flipping blame like that. Joe should have chosen a better spot to hide Lassie than the rocks that apparently the characters go to a lot during the years. The old couple was good and at least offered a few moments where characters weren’t getting beaten up but they weren’t main characters. If they stuck around then they probably would have been wrecked.

We can’t forget about Lassie’s official new owner either. Keep in mind that he wants to have some good race dogs but he doesn’t even realize that his underling is being mean to the dogs there. If not for his daughter speaking up it would have kept on going. Even after that he leaves the guy alone unsupervised with Lassie. Not a very intelligent way to handle business right? The film goes out of its way to discredit almost literally every character in the film.

The ending rings hollow because you can’t have a happy ending after going through so much sorrow. It’s like if you go outside and decide to run a lap around the block but along the way you witness 3 car crashes and get stabbed twice. Sure, you made it to your destination but the fun stroll doesn’t feel very enjoyable anymore because of the huge price that you had to pay. Ideally the other Lassie films are able to balance things out better so things go well for the dog. Improve the writing dramatically as well and then we may have a shot here. Nothing ever felt fair for Lassie and that’s an issue.

Overall, Lassie Come Home is barely even a movie so much as it’s a cinematic experiment to see how much they could get away with. The fact that the film is rated G on TV is insulting to everyone watching since this would easily be PG-13 material if you flipped the characters around a bit. Some G films certainly seem to stretch things a bit. If you want to watch a movie about a dog that is good then I would suggest checking out Under Dog or Air Bud instead. Both of those films are massive improvements over this one to the point where they aren’t in the same league. This movie focuses too much on being traumatic and ultimately that comes at the expense of plot.

Overall 0/10

Communion Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative.

Whenever you have a film with aliens in it you are hoping that a lot of fun things are in store for you. Aliens should be fun and make for imposing villains. Unfortunately that was not the case here. The film is based on a book of pure fanfiction from an author who was delusional but you hope that the film can surpass this. That’s not the case though and the film is very weird from the start. This weirdness ultimately starts to crossover into just being an awful film and by the end you’ll be cringing so hard that this will hit rock bottom. The film was just reeeeally bad.

The movie starts with a guy named Whitley who is an aspiring author. The issue is that he can’t focus on anything for more than 5 minutes so instead of working on the book he’ll play pranks on his wife and kid. Whitley is always rambling on about random stuff but one night when a few friends are over there is a bright light that shines across the world. An alien shows up as well. Whitley doesn’t want to tell anyone about this though so he keeps quiet and continues to go more and more insane. Eventually the aliens come back to kidnap him and things get dicey for the guy. Can he cope with the experiences that he went through?

Part of the problem here is even before the abduction, Whitley already seems certifiably insane. He just never makes any possible sense. He’s always wearing a different costume while working on his book and never ends up making any progress on it either since he ends up throwing out what he had started on each time. Then once the aliens do appear he starts to grow worse as he sees them everywhere. Hypnosis only makes the visions grow even more and he can’t trust anyone even at the end so he fights on his own. One of the annoying things about Whitley is that he’s also really bad at explaining things. Often times he may make an attempt to talk about the aliens but he does it in such a round about way that it doesn’t get through.

Additionally, the aliens seem to have told him not to tell anyone. Throughout the film we eventually learn more about what happened. See, initially we only get the quick jump scare before going to the present but a lot more happened that night. By the end of the film we learn that they definitely did a number on him. So, you would expect that after this he would probably want revenge or something right? Well, this leads to the most insane part of the film where he tracks the aliens down and ends up dancing with them for kicks.

Never mind the fact that the aliens also attacked his wife and used psychic powers to murder his son once already (and vowed to return) but he still wants to dance with them. He takes the old approach of forgive and forget. His wife doesn’t seem to mind either when he tells the story to her. The whole thing is just off the walls. It’s clear that after a point Communion is intentionally trying to be as weird as possible. The characters just don’t make a whole lot of sense with their actions. If they should do something then they will do the other. I dare say the dancing scene had to be part comedy or something. How do you seriously do a scene like that? The music was also as happy as possible for ultimate contrast.

A better film could have handled this well as perhaps a parody of some sort but not this one. This film seems to actually be trying to have a horror vibe at times but I can tell you now that it doesn’t succeed in the slightest. The characters are all too ludicrous for that to work. They never act scared in a natural way so why should we be scared? Whitley has a panic attack at one point when a kid scares him using a costume and it’s so over the top that you’ll just be shaking your head. The writing isn’t any good either. You’ll lose count of how many times the wind has to silence Whitley as he goes off on a tangent. The actual story makes no sense either.

The film doesn’t exactly have any subtlety either. For example a big thing here is that Whitley is traumatized because the aliens physically ran experiments on him including some rather invasive maneuvers. Anyone can put the pieces together particularly because there are tons of memes about this and it’s the first question someone asks whenever anyone mentions being abducted by aliens. Communion doesn’t realize that though so we get a long flashback detailing this just for extra grit and edge. The movie tries to make this as tragic as possible with Whitley attempting to fight them off at first, then trying to joke around so they’d let him go but none of this works.

It makes the rest of the scenes with him and the aliens even worse. It seems like the film was trying to say Whitley had stockholm’s syndrome with the aliens to an extent and that’s why he likes them now but that’s a very disturbed way to end the title. You just know that by the end he has completely lost and that’s the real shame here. There isn’t a happy ending to be found as the aliens have won and you know that more and more humans will keep on being attacked. Since nobody believes that the aliens exist it’s not like anyone has begun to fight back against them either. That just means that the aliens have completely won.

The premise has some potential of course because alien invasions are fun. Maybe have the government find out about this and have them send over some heavy artillery. I think that would go a very long way to making this interesting. At the end of the day one of the big things holding this film back aside from all the other negatives like the endless flashbacks, slow pacing, extra grit, and characters making nonsensical choices the entire time is that the character cast is just really bad. They all come off as insane and it’s really hard to follow a group of characters like that.

Overall, Communion is definitely a disgrace. There aren’t any core positives to be found here. The movie wastes a whole lot of time in each plot so the story developments that are in the film could have easily been handled in half the time. I like to think a sequel could start to fix this film a bit by making it a total action thriller but the first step is to completely shift the focus from this film. Maybe even ignore this film entirely so in a way the sequel of this film would be starting from scratch. Kind of like a reboot. Regardless, I would highly recommend staying far away from this one.

Overall 0/10

Marnie Review


Marnie is the kind of film that sneaks up on you. By all accounts it should be a pretty decent film as it was made a long time ago and has the classic writing/witty dialogue that you would expect to see here. Unfortunately it makes a number of key mistakes which ultimately doom it to not just being a bad film, but a horrible one all around. There’s certainly no reason to check this out so I would recommend giving it a hard skip.

The movie starts with Marnie swindling another business out of a lot of money. She enjoys going around and stealing money whenever she can which she then gives to her mother Bernice who suffered a major accident a while back and needs the support. Marnie’s next target is another big company led by Mark. What she doesn’t know is that he is one of the people who saw her at the last job so it isn’t hard for him to catch her. His terms are that he won’t report her to the police if she marries him so they get married but she is determined to make this difficult on him.

Everything goes straight down from there quite drastically. For starters we get a pretty random plot with her horse where it shows up but missed the jump and gets injured. Marnie has to put him down which shot a hole through the film’s chances of survival. The horse seems like he was added in just to be blown up which was a bad move. There was just no reason to do this. The film already had enough issues but at the end of the day this does tie into the film’s core problem which is trying to add too much information and backstory. We really don’t need to know any of this stuff for a solid mystery but the film insists on giving everyone an origin story or an extra detail.

Take Lil who is the main villain here. She’s trying to win Mark away from Marnie and it would be the usual love triangle except for one fact which changes everything. She’s Mark’s sister in law. So that basically throws the whole plot out because it’s just an awful storyline to even include in the film. Why did we need to add this extra information to her character? If she was the childhood friend or something it’s be cliché but at least would work a lot better than this variation. It’s too bad because she is easily the most entertaining character of the bunch and I dare say the smartest as well.

Then you have Beatrice and her whole backstory. Naturally it’s tragic to fit in with the rest of the film as she was in a dicey business and getting out took a lot of effort and turned into a whole conspiracy. Where the whole thing ends poorly is that suddenly she is unable to love her daughter anymore and I have a hard time buying into that. Does she sub consciously blame her for what happened or she’s just been completely traumatized from physical touch after the incident? Either way I don’t see how this would totally be blocking her from at least showing some more kindness towards Marnie.

Of course we can’t end there. Then you’ve got Marnie’s phobia of the color red as well as physical contact. This also transfers over to storms as well so she has a phobia of quite a lot of things by the time the film is through with her. We have a rather painful scene where she absolutely refuses to be touched but Mark had enough of this subplot by then and forced the issue. I don’t see why this part of the phobia had to be added and it couldn’t just stick to the color red. Having the phobia evolve with the film’s loose explanation of she was faking it all during the first act was definitely very weak.

Marnie gives Mark a tough time throughout the movie though as she struggles at every turn and never makes any effort to change. While the scenes can have good banter at times, the film never changes things up so a lot of the dialogue remains the same with slight variations. Then you have Mark who isn’t exactly a hero either as his main goal was to marry Marnie from the start so he effectively allowed her plans to progress until he could make use of them. He does what he can to rehabilitate her for most of the film but ultimately wasn’t able to stick the landing such as the boat scene.

This film does have some of the typical thriller aspects like having one person from Marnie’s past show up to start stirring up some trouble. I was glad for at least some quick stakes here because the film needed something. It’s just a shame that it couldn’t focus on this plot a little more and just throw the other ones out. That would have gone a long way towards improving the movie without a doubt. The main issue is really just the writing as it relies on a whole lot of shock value to keep the film going. That’s always a sign of poor writing because it means they were not confident enough in the script to get people watching towards the end without such big scenes.

Overall, Marnie is a film I would highly recommend staying away from. All of the plots are pretty bad here so the film never really gives you a chance to just sit down and enjoy the scenes at hand. It’s always throwing more shock value at you which definitely destroys any chance of the movie actually turning into a quality experience. It’s a shame because at the very least the premise of a thief going around robbing a bunch of people with the boss knowing about it could be fun. This just won’t be the title that actually puts that kind of storyline on the map.

Overall 0/10

Black Christmas Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

It’s time to look at a true stinker. This film’s always had that reputation of being a pretty terrible film that has only shined a little more with the recent reboot coming out with the review I’ve seen. It definitely ends up even underperforming despite that. There’s really nothing positive to say about this film. The writing is terrible, the cast is awful, and the ending is sour. The whole thing just seals the deal as a film best left forgotten to history so I don’t see why it’s already been remade more than once. I can’t say I have high hopes for those films either.

The movie starts by introducing us to Jess and her friends. They are having a solid Christmas party and are just having a good end to the year in general. Or at least…that’s how it appears at first. Each of the characters are having their own share of issues. One of them is a chronic drunk, you’ve got Jess who ended up getting pregnant prematurely, and the main policeman who fields the calls doesn’t take them seriously if anything were to start happening. Well, one by one the girls are being bumped off and the murderer keeps calling in to gloat about this as he plays the deaths live. Will Jess be able to escape or is everyone in the house doomed?

When you’re making a bad film you’ve got to start with constructing a poor cast and this film accomplishes that with ease. The main villain never actually appears but he always calls himself Billy so we’ll go with that. He’s about as poor a villain as you can develop. The guy has no real motivation for destroying everyone beyond just causing chaos. He really relies on a lot of luck and all the characters handling things terribly in order to succeed. With a better cast he wouldn’t have lasted as long as he did. The ending is just insulting if anything because everyone was acting to half heartedly about checking the house.

Think about it, you know that there’s a murderer who was in the house and a bunch of fatalities resulted from this. There are still other people unaccounted for as well. Wouldn’t you actually check the attic or the other rooms in the house before leaving? Leaving the room unguarded is also very sloppy and I don’t know how the cop in the car at the front yard was taken down so easily. I’d also argue that staying in the car doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s good for making a quick communication but you’re barricading yourself inside a vehicle which limits your field of view.

The writing here is just terrible throughout. You’ll be rolling your eyes the whole time as you wait for the film to get interesting but it never happens. The TV broadcast had a field day having to censor everything because all of the characters are also obscene most of the time. Why would this house have paintings with people flashing the birdie? The characters look at dicey magazines and one of them coaxes a kid into drinking while he is under age. That scene is just painful because it goes on and on while someone else is on the phone. The movie goes out of its way to paint these characters as terrible role models and really as terrible people as they’re ruining Christmas for everyone else too.

Then the film also makes sure to be as gritty as possible as we learn that someone met with a cruel fate before being murdered in this town. Was that all really necessary? I suppose the idea is that if a Christmas movie is usually happy and well written then if you’re going to do the reverse it has to be very somber with poor writing throughout. The movie does succeed at this to be sure. It goes without saying that the rest of the film is also fairly violent anyway as each character is bumped off. All of the phone calls are pretty ugly as well and Jess is basically forced to listen to all of them so the cops can try to tap the phone. Even Jess who at least tries to be more responsible than some of the others does not seem to be since her affair with Peter went a little too far which leads to the drama of her wanting to abort the baby.

Peter looks terrible here as well as he quickly jumps into threatening her and really putting himself in a bad light. There’s no way to really get around the fact that he was seriously threatening her. Then at the police headquarters even after a kid is murdered and several girls vanish, the guy at the desk doesn’t take it seriously when Jess calls to report that they are being harassed by someone on the phone. After a while it just gets way too out of this world and not in a good sci-fi way. There’s just a whole lot of plot conveniences here in order to give the murderer a clean way to take everyone down.

Overall, Black Christmas is a movie that really drags on and on for the entirety of its run. Just when you think it’s going to end the film keeps on going. Horror films are basically required to have a twist ending but this one was pretty terrible. Aside from just being so obvious that it barely counts as a twist, it happens at the expense of every character’s ability to think rationally. There’s no replay value in this film and I would definitely recommend staying as far away from it as possible. I certainly wouldn’t consider it to be a true Christmas film and you’re better off checking out something like a Charlie Brown Christmas or the classic Jingle All The Way title.

Overall 0/10

Sinister Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

It’s time to look at a horror film that actually isn’t too old. I suppose the time is relative though, at this point maybe someone would consider 2012 to be forever ago. Sinister is definitely a pretty terrible horror film that plays out like you would expect. It’s certainly pretty grim and gets pretty dark right from the jump. It never really gets better from there but no worries, you do have your classic horror type ending here. That’s definitely a staple and Sinister made sure to abide by it so even if I wouldn’t give the movie a thumbs up, it does respect the traditions.

The movie starts with Edison and his family moving over to a new house. Edison writes books about grisly murders which were never solved. He figures that this will help bring justice to the victims who need it. After all, they died before they could do everything they wanted to do so at least now he could help put the villain away for good. This case looks like it’ll be a lot more difficult to crack than his last few though. The murders have some very occult elements to them and there really might be something supernatural in the works here. One thing’s for sure, Edison can’t lower his guard here if he wants to leave the place alive.

Well, Edison does everything he can to make sure you can’t root for him all that much. He literally takes out the beer bottles and starts drinking as soon as the first tape is in. He makes sure to mention quite a lot that he isn’t an alchoholic or anything like that but his actions don’t always match up. Edison also never seems to really follow what he is saying. For example, he says that writing books isn’t about the money or the fame and that he wants justice. Yet, all he can think of are the possible TV deals and such when discussing the book. He is actually quite obsessed with being famous to the point where it seems to matter more to him than the justice part.

He also lies to his wife right away when saying that their house isn’t related to the murderer’s one. Now, he words his response in a way where he later tries to say that it wasn’t a lie, but that’s a technicality at best. He knew exactly what she was asking and said the opposite anyway. Edison’s made life rather difficult for the rest of his family. His son suffers from night terrors which have gotten worse ever since they moved, his daughter had to part with all of her friends, and his wife is certainly not well liked by the neighbors thanks to all of the murders going around. It’s just not a pleasant environment. It’s one that Edison is certainly okay with but now that he has a family he has to include them in his considerations as well.

Edison also makes a lot of typical horror protagonist mistakes. For starters, while he doesn’t believe in the supernatural, he’s given a lot of opportunities to figure things out and escape. The kids start learning things they couldn’t possibly know, names they shouldn’t recognize, and his projector keeps turning on by itself at night. Shouldn’t this be enough for him to let the family know that something is up? “Best” case scenario is that someone just keeps breaking into the house and worst case is that the demons are around. Either way this is something that he needs to explain at least to his wife so that they will be ready. By not telling them anything then they’re just going to go down like all the rest.

The villain himself doesn’t really appear much. Based on what we learn from the lore and what not it’s basically a demon with quite a lot of power. While it isn’t able to possess adults very easily it can do so with a little practice. Beyond that it has the usual reality warping skills and slight of hand. Not the most imaginative villain out there but I will give him props for the costume. At the very least that one looks pretty decent whenever we actually get to see it appear which isn’t very often.

The Deputy was pretty neat though. He kept it 100 with Edison and was always trying his best to help. Edison might have actually had a shot to last longer if he had just listened to the guy instead of hitting ignore on his phone the whole time. Again, Edison really helped to wrap himself in all the trouble he caused. If he had listened to his wife earlier then nothing would have happened. Additionally once the supernatural stuff started to happen he should have clued everyone in. This is really just a case of Edison ignoring all of the signs until it was too late.

The whole gimmick of having to watch the tapes each time doesn’t do the film any favors either. Each tape is about a family getting bumped off in pretty violent ways. Whether it is by drowning or burning, they never quite survive. There’s no way they could have since the whole point is that the villain has been bumping everyone off for a long while now. In a way that makes the tapes worse since you know that they’re all doomed from the start so it’s not like watching them will change anything. Additionally, expect to see each tape several times as they cut to flashbacks quite often. You’ll know each of the tapes quite well by the climax because of that. With the kids dying in those tapes as well they’re definitely no good. There are a bunch of different jump scares in the film though so we’ll see if any of them land for you. I’ll say this at least, I was expecting the dog to die so when he didn’t I was happy about that. It sort of cancelled out though as a dog died in one of the videos…so there goes that. For every step the film took forward it took about 5 back.

Overall, Sinister is one of those films that’s pretty mean spirited and doesn’t really add anything to the cinematic world. Edison does the genre leads proud with how he misses every clue though. He is determined to crack this case and seems to think that he is tough enough to survive all of the scares. That is clearly not the case but I guess I’ll give him some points for bravery…or I would if he didn’t lose them all by running to the beer bottle and lying about it. This is the kind of movie where he probably would have been doomed either way but at least Edison could have given the others a chance. I also think it’s worth pointing out that the Deputy was able to notice things that the lead did not despite working on this case for a much shorter period of time. The Sheriff claimed that Edison was washed up and maybe he was right.

Overall 0/10

The Boy with the Striped Pajamas Review


It’s time to look at an old tragedy film and unfortunately this one did not manage to really get anything right. You get the feeling that it’s not going to be a very good movie early on when you learn that the main characters are Nazi’s. Two of the main characters are kids so the adults are trying to indoctrinate them into this. As you can probably guess the film tends to be quite mean spirited throughout and ultimately by the end of it you’ll feel like the experience was a waste of time. Any message the film was trying to get at was quickly washed away.

So the film starts with Ralf getting a promotion. He is to move closer to one of the concentration camps to oversee the atrocities being committed over there. Ralf is eager to get started and so the whole group moves in where they will now be accompanied by soldiers at all times. His wife Elsa didn’t realize just how close they would be to the farms but that seems to be more of a concern than what is actually taking place. Their children Bruno and Gretel aren’t quite old enough to understand this either although they have begone to be molded into future Nazi’s by their tutor. One day Bruno meets a kid in the camp named Shmuel and decides to be friends. Bruno is convinced that Shmuel is just enjoying a game on the other side even though Shmuel tries to explain what is happening. Can there possibly be a happy ending here?

So there are a ton of issues. One of the more basic ones is that it’s always been very hard for children to hold their own films. They just aren’t interesting enough to work as the lead and that ends up holding them back quite a bit. Bruno is portrayed as being so slow to understand the situation that it gets old pretty quick. At the very least seeing that Shmuel is behind a cage should make things pretty obvious. It’s not like he appeared to be in good condition either so the whole “game” idea didn’t make sense from the jump. Bruno also has enough knowledge of the situation to sell Shmuel out later on in the film.

The betrayal scene was definitely pretty bad as Bruno allowed Shmuel to be beaten for a lie that was entirely Bruno’s fault. Definitely not a good scene. Bruno also watches Ralf stand by as their house attendant was beaten to death for pretty much no reason. It’s a pretty toxic environment he was in and Bruno never put the pieces together. Gretel gets less of a role but she is very easily thrown into full mania over the cause so I wouldn’t say that she looked very good either. It was very easy to convert her.

Naturally when it comes to the adults they are even worse. The kids at least have the excuse of being children so not only is there not much that they could do, but they don’t have all of the information at hand. Ralf and Elsa certainly do. Elsa is portrayed as being a little more sympathetic than Ralf as she is not completely on board with the cause but she does go along with it enough to have gotten to this point. Ralf on the other hand is definitely one of the main villains here as he fully supports everything that’s being done. Part of the problem with having the Nazi’s as the main characters is that there is no way to sympathize with them so no matter what happens you’re left feeling that it is all due to what they have done. They’ve murdered numerous people already and likely even after this event there will be more to come.

Pretty much every other scene is something bad happening to someone. Someone’s being beaten or intimidated at all times. The ending keeps that mean spirited approach as well and you’ll probably understand what is about to happen as soon as the final scene starts to develop. I suppose it at least doesn’t leave much room for a sequel. The plot just never stood a chance from the start. It’s conceivable that you could try to have some kind of a decent film with a Nazi main character who learns the error of his ways and truly converts out of that. It would still have to be handled with the utmost care though and more times than not I would expect the attempt to fail. This film didn’t even try to go for that. The main characters are still Nazi’s by the end even if they are not pleased with what went on. I don’t really expect that to change in the end either. Maybe Elsa will put some distance but I’m not really sure about that.

In general if you’re going to have the main characters be on the villain’s side then there’s one of two ways to handle that. One is to make the villain fairly likable. The way to do that is by having a motive that you can understand and root for the villain to an extent or by having the villain be super charismatic so even while things are going on it’s not a tough watch. The other is to have the main character grow up on the villain’s side but realize it isn’t the right way and revolt. To do that the main character has to be old enough to make a difference though. So having a kid as a main character wasn’t going to work either way.

Overall, Even the name of the film will remind you of Bruno’s odd attempts to escape reality. It’s always tough when a film has no real redeemable qualities but I would have to say that this film fits the bill. There’s never a moment in the film where you will actually be enjoying it and that’s the problem. It tends to drag on for quite a long while and I would highly recommend skipping this film and going for something else instead. You’ve definitely got many better options for titles to check out.

Overall 0/10

Dune Review


It’s time to look at a very ambitious film with a huge character roster. This was clearly trying to be a big Star Wars/Lord of the Rings kind of experience. You could also make some similarities to Game of Thrones purely from a plot perspective where you have 3 kingdoms fighting for control. In the midst of this you also have the rebels making noise. Unfortunately while the film starts out with some promise and will grab your interest, it loses this shortly afterwards. The film then continues its spiral of descent until you walk away thinking that this was a terrible movie.

The movie starts with showing us the Emperor as he is greeted by his boss. The monster lets him know that the son of the Duke has to be murdered right away. It would seem that he has some ties to the spice and the holy water so they need to remove the threats right away. The Emperor is fine with this as he likes murdering people off anyway. His plan is to have World A take down World B and then he’ll get World C to beat A. With all of the forces sufficiently weakened then he’ll be able to finish off the Duke. Additionally he has a man on the inside so he figures this will be pretty easy. Then he can go back to manufacturing the spice.

In this world, the Spice is the greatest resource of all. It allows you to gain cosmic consciousness and it can extent your life to a great degree. Here’s the problem, only the chosen few can actually use it. According to the main character, everyone else has died who tried to use it. It makes you question a bit why the spice is such a hot commodity but I suppose just the possibility that you can use it for eternal life is a promising prospect. I still feel like it’s not huge though. I also have to question how the Duke’s planet didn’t do better in the war. Their abilities seem to far outstrip the other planets when you think about it. They can use their words to force opponents to listen to them (Only top nobles have this power) and they can also turn their words into energy blasts. The latter seems like a common skill as they taught it to the rebels quite fast. I’ll chalk this up to their never teaching anyone because it wasn’t necessary at the time.

Where the film really goes wrong is that it goes from Zany to just grotesque and mean spirited very quickly. Mainly this is due to the inclusion of the villainous Baron. The Baron is made to be a very grotesque creature who goes around blowing people up and we get a pointless scene where he eats an animal. Any scene with him is bound to be quite violent or gross, sometimes a mix of both. The film definitely pushes the boundaries quite hard for a PG-13 film as I’d say you could make a solid case for this going to the next level. This is really where the film trips up. The Baron has numerous scenes and they are all completely terrible. The film goes for max grit the whole time and it takes away from all the other plots. It gets to the point where you want to automatically skip any scene with the Baron to get back to the other plots.

Paul’s plot is the most interesting by far. His planet made for a good background and the hero was introduced as a good fighter from the start so it’s easy to see why he was so resourceful later on. I would have liked to have seen him use the crystal barrier technique a little more but to be fair, that move doesn’t seem all that useful in this world since “slow” objects can pierce it. Naturally the villains know this so they put it to good use. It did make for a fun fight scene near the beginning but in a way it was also pointless. If you cut the crystal shield out of the film then absolutely nothing changes which is pretty much the definition of filler.

The movie is rather long but I’d say the pacing is solid. There are a lot of characters and factions running around as I said so you need that time to develop them. Then every faction has some key players and traitors running around so that has to be accounted for as well. An interesting thing the film did here is letting us hear the character’s thoughts the whole time. In books there tends to be a lot of inner monologue that is left out of movie/TV adaptions. I think this is a pretty natural way to show those thoughts and it would work well in many other films as well. Of course here it was to remind us that the characters have telepathy so there are no real secrets to be had, but that doesn’t change the base concept which is pretty solid either way.

The effects for the fight scenes are okay, but maybe a little sub-par. I liked the backgrounds and scenery, those were handled well. It feels like the film copped out of using real effects a lot of the time though like with the heroes having guns that shoot invisible bullets made out of their words. It’s not like you could grab any kind of effects from that. So from a visual standpoint it could have been a little better but I suppose the fight scenes weren’t the main thing to focus on here. The writing was okay I guess, but the movie did little to show me how Paul and his forces were able to defeat the Emperor’s. The Emperor had legions of ships and yet they all flew low in orbit so they could be crushed by Worms and blasted by the ground forces. Why not just blow up the planet at that point or target Paul from long distance? The only real answer is that they didn’t have the technical ability to target Paul from afar in which case their tech isn’t all that great.

While there are a lot of characters I wouldn’t say most of them are particularly likable. The film goes out of its way to make quite a few of them grotesque as well. The best character would be Duncan though. While he may not have lasted a super long time or anything, he did come through when it counted to aid Paul. Then you have Paul’s sister who appeared suddenly near the end of the film and did a good job. Her powers definitely seem like they will have a lot of potential. The rest of the characters are mainly here to get wrecked or get in the way. They talk a good game but never realize that they are going to be the next ones to be bumped off until it’s too late.

Overall, Dune is a film that started out with some promise but it all quickly fell out the window and this became one of the worst films I’ve seen. It does succeed in getting the feel of a grand epic but it just couldn’t tell a good story and I feel like that happens with quite a few of these kind of films. I certainly was not a fan of the Lord of the Rings or Hobbit series either. Same with Pirates of the Caribbean and what those all have in common is that they are very long films with lots of plots and characters running around. You definitely have to handle these kinds of films carefully or you end up biting more than you can chew. Additionally, all it takes is one bad plot to spoil the rest. In this case that was the Baron’s plot. Really a waste of time and just a horrible excuse for grit. If they had cut this out and every scene related to the Baron then the film would have been so much better. If you want a solid Sci-Fi film I’d recommend checking out something like Men in Black instead. Now that one is a film that is solid in all aspects.

Overall 0/10

Scary Movie (1991) Review


It’s time to look at a horror film from a while back. This one isn’t very well known and for good reason. It’s pretty terrible from the jump and never gets any better. There are more fake outs than jump scares in this film and the setting is just an excuse to be as violent as possible. There’s barely even a plot for most of the film as it’s just the main character wandering into every possible exhibit as he scares himself more and more with each passing exhibit.

Warren is the main character here and he’s the only one who really matters. So it’s Halloween and everyone in town is getting excited to enter the haunted house. It’s apparently a big attraction every year that is really popular with just about everyone. Effectively you have to go to this place if you think of yourself as a cool guy. Nobody wants to miss out and with peer pressure that means Warren has to go as well. His “friends” are quick to mess with him constantly. He is pretty susceptible to peer pressure in all its forms and the characters have no trouble getting him to do stuff like smoking. Well, he is now in the haunted house but worries that the escaped criminal is in the house with them. (We learn earlier in the film that he has escaped custody. Warren must now find a way out of the house before he is taken out of the picture permanently.

One of the main points of the plot is deciding if Warren is right or if he is blowing things completely out of proportion. In defense of the film, it does a reasonable job of letting you come to your own conclusions. That’s about the only positive I can think of here. As I mentioned, the film has a ton of fake jump scares. They’re all pretty graphic due to the nature of the film though. This is a pretty older aiming haunted house so there’s blood gushing everywhere and a ton of crazy visuals. It’s one of those things were if all of this was real this would be an easy R. It gets a pass I suppose in part because it’s so old and all but also because of it’s all fake.

There are actually haunted houses like this though. I remember one that was on the outskirts of the city or NJ if I remember correctly that was supposed to be incredibly intense. You have to be over 21 and sign some kind of waiver before you go in. Then you get to see a lot of terrible imagery that’s basically satanic and even get in on the action. It’s effectively a way to legally act like a criminal and those kinds of haunted houses have never piqued my interest. Even the tamer ones I take a pass on. I’ve never been to a haunted house and will probably never go to one. It’s not really my thing, nor is Halloween for the dressing up part but I do buy myself a nice chocolate that day.

Back to the film though, it’s just way too gritty and grim the whole time. The imagery throughout the film is pretty terrible. Warren also makes for a terrible main character as he’s too over the top with how nervous he was. He should have just had the courage to say he wouldn’t go into the house. I would have gained a ton of respect if he had done that because then he was at least standing up for himself. You gotta be able to do that and not just let people walk all over you. That’s an easy way to get yourself mixed up in all kinds of trouble. All the characters here were just annoying. The only one who was at least trying to help was a kid and even then Warren would not follow him.

After a while you have to take this out on the film’s writing as well. There’s no way that Warren reasonably couldn’t exit the haunted house. We see at one point that dozens of people were in the house so they all leave except for Warren who trips numerous times and then keeps getting stuck in a trance. The characters did what they could to save him and it just didn’t work out. Warren was really not being helpful at all. There was also one character who was randomly laughing the whole time. I think the director was trying to go for a very surrealistic kind of vibe where you can’t trust anything you’re seeing but I wouldn’t say it did wonders for the film either.

The camera work is pretty terrible as with the rest of the film. It can get pretty violent at times when we do get to the real action as well. The atmosphere is thrown in your face the whole time so it’s not like the film gets tense either. This one just really fails at everything it tries to achieve and ultimately that is part of why it was completely doomed. Some films start off on the wrong foot but get better. This was not one of them as the ending was also pretty terrible.

Overall, I highly recommend avoiding this film. It was just lousy and I didn’t even talk about the fact that it forced in some animal violence near the beginning of the film. It made pretty much every attempt it could to continue sinking to the next level and succeeded in that respect. It’s unfortunate but that’s why it makes sense that nobody’s heard of this film. If you want to see a Scary film that handles things better then check out something like Insidious. As far as this film is concerned, just try to pretend that it doesn’t exist and you’ll be just fine.

Overall 0/10