Happy Birthday To Me 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

This movie definitely has one of the more disturbing posters you’re likely to see around that’s for sure. Right away you can probably tell that this film is not going to end well and you’d be right. It’s your classic slasher title as the villain takes everyone out one by one. The main draw here is figuring out who the murderer is as there are plenty of suspects. All of these guys feel like people who may be guilty so no character is innocent here. We’ll see if you can figure out who did it.

So the movie starts by introducing us to a nice little town. In this town there’s a school with the Big 10, the students who are destined for greatness. Some of them got this status through money…well just about all of them to be honest and a few with good ole fashioned hard work. They like to mess with people as a clique by harassing people and showing a general disregard for public safety. Someone clearly doesn’t like this because members of the Big 10 keep getting murdered one after another. Some of them start suspecting foul play while others treat it all like an elaborate joke. There’s a whole lot of plot convenience here as well I should add.

The main character here is Ginny. She’s a member of the group but is fairly new to the town and is still getting used to being a rebellious person. She has just recovered from a traumatic event involving the death of her Mother but is finally ready for society again. Unfortunately these murders are having a pretty bad effect on her psyche. In fact, Ginny believes that she may be the one doing these murders but can’t find a way to prove it. The whole thing is driving her insane and her “friends” only seem to care about how they can use this momentary weakness to get together with her as a rebound. With nobody to turn to and her father away on another business trip Ginny is definitely in a pretty bad spot here.

One of the big problems with the film is just how unlikable everyone is. Part of this is the film going out of its way to make everyone suspicious but because of that there is nobody to root for. One of the big 10 for example has a creepy fascination with wax modes as he even creates some based on the girl who just went missing and did it in a violent fashion. Not exactly the kind of guy you want as a friend right? Another guy is a player who gets together with everyone all the time. Everyone is constantly trying to manipulate the others or just hooking up with everyone one after another. Ginny isn’t exactly removed from that either and doesn’t look much better. These are all deeply flawed characters to the point where none of them are even remotely likable. It’s just unfortunate.

Ginny also doesn’t put herself in a great position to try and keep some distance from the murders. She keeps on meeting up with different guys by herself. Not exactly the best plan. Of course it’s not hard since all the guys seem to like her but she should be the one avoiding these scenarios. It’s one of those films where you feel like it may not have made a difference to be honest but it still would have been nice to see her trying. Even the scene where she runs into the graveyard by herself is kind of suspect. Why distance yourself from the group like that when it’s so late at night? The fact that she lives in the middle of the forest is also pretty crazy. I suppose it’s one of those things where it probably looks better when you’re not watching a horror film but it doesn’t help here.

It goes without saying that the movie is definitely very violent. Each of the characters are murdered in very violent ways. Nobody gets what you’d call a simple death here, they all have to really go through the wringer so you can tell that the murderer really doesn’t like these guys either. They just can’t catch a break. It does raise some questions later on when you actually know what’s going on though. It also reminds you why you need to keep your guard up at times. In the very first murder, I don’t care who it is but you were just being choked by someone with black gloves and then someone with the same pair appears to help you…..suspicious right? This character didn’t think so until it was too late unfortunately. Not every murder was careless like that but another one involving weights was pretty suspect. This character is literally not saying a word the entire time you’re talking. Isn’t that kind of odd?

So of course the writing is going for the classic moments like this. I’d have to give it a thumbs down though in large part to how bad the cast was. I think you can definitely try to make this kind of film without making the characters that unlikable. It was a bit excessive at times. The only good characters were some of the supporting characters like the headmaster. At least she was trying to get a handle on things and keep people out of trouble. She may not have been very successful but at least she tried.

The movie’s big reveal at the end will either be a genius move for you or you’ll roll your eyes. As I said, there are a lot of plot conveniences for this to work that’s for sure. The actual reveal I’m cool with because it’s a lot more interesting than the other routes but you do feel like the writing doesn’t hold up. One character looks pretty terrible the whole time though as he just panics and doesn’t do anything the whole time until it’s too late. It’s too bad because in the present he seemed good even if the flashbacks got tricky. Ultimately at least you don’t get the feeling that he was a bad person, it’s just that things would come up suddenly. The villain just took things way too intensely and ultimately there’s no excuse there. Villains will be villains I suppose.

Overall, I definitely wouldn’t recommend this. Happy Birthday to Me is really just your classic teen slasher. If I had to compare it to a film it’s probably most like I Know What You Did Last Summer in terms of how bad the main cast is. Whenever you have a film with no likable characters you know that things are not going to end well. You need some good characters or your film’s going to fall through just like this one did. No amount of shock value is really going to help to cover that up. As soon as members of the Big 10 were all getting bumped off though I would have moved away if I were the rest of the kids. We’ve already established that they’re rich so that’s the best thing to do. Just jet out of there! I’d also ask for Police Protection, the last thing I’ll do is head to the graveyard by myself again in the dead of night…..

Overall 1/10

Cats Review


I remember this film getting a ton of buzz when it first came out but all in a negative way. The cat costume CGI looked really bad and the trailer did not look promising. The film does not disappoint in that it is pretty terrible. This movie just didn’t really have much of a chance from the beginning and it’s really not surprising. The whole concept of the film is about cats that look like people singing a lot of songs. It’s just not a very enticing storyline and the film doesn’t focus on story much at all anyway.

The movie starts off with someone throwing away their cat. Her name is Victoria and she doesn’t seem to know about much in life in general. She’s very confused and the neighborhood cats don’t seem to appreciate newcomers much. They start singing a lot of nonsense at her but eventually she’s able to glean a few things from their ramblings. Cats are supposed to all have 3 names yet all of these guys have only 1 name so Victoria safely disregards this useless information. Next up there is a competition where the Cats perform in the hopes of getting out of this place. The only way out is to be chosen as the winner so everyone does what they can to win. Victoria has been here 5 minutes and she’s ready to leave so she gets ready to enter. The only tricky part is that the rules are never really explained and there isn’t much of a bracket system either. Just run on stage and do what you can. It’s the only way to possibly win here.

Fortunately we do have a villain to give us some reasonable moments. His name is Macavity and he has the ability to turn people to dust and then transport them places. The teleportation seems to knock you out temporarily which is convenient for him. One by one he begins kidnapping all of the cats so it’ll be easier for him to win the tournament. He doesn’t have much of a point to his plan after this though. He was really hoping that they would suddenly make him the champion for doing this but unsurprisingly the cats aren’t sold. I would still have to put this guy as the best character though. He sings less than the others and makes the rest of the cats look like suckers a lot of the time which is always nice. They fall for every trap and the worst part is that Macavity can clearly just teleport you at any time. Yet he likes to troll the characters by pretending he needs an autograph and things like that.

The best part was when he is talking to Victoria and naturally she doesn’t know who he is. He drops some hints like talking about how scary he looks but she has that same puzzled expression on her face that is present for 85% of the movie. He has to literally point at the wall of wanted posters with his face on it. Keep in mind that this was present for the entirety of the scene. The gears finally click into motion for Victoria and she runs away while Macavity laughs. At least that part was funny although I’m not even sure how intentional that scene was.

When you boil it down to what’s wrong with the film, a lot of it comes back to the cat costumes. If you’re going to do a film about cats then use CGI ones or something but not people acting like cats. The whole thing is disturbing from the start and never gets any better. You’ll be wanting to roll your eyes throughout. There just doesn’t seem to be a point to most of the scenes beyond just being surreal. The designs are all rather unpleasant to look at and the backgrounds during the songs aren’t great either. So you’ve got some of the worst character designs I’ve ever seen and even the songs are weak? That’s a recipe for disaster.

The film goes for some crude scenes with the cats eating roaches and such during the early songs. Did the film really need to go there? All the scenes of them eating stuff can be pretty grotesque. For the songs the most tragic part of the whole thing may be that at times the background music isn’t all that bad. Sometimes the tunes can actually be fast and catchy. Usually it’s the lyrics that just don’t work. This musical is just a flop even as a musical because the songs won’t keep your interest. It’s all like a super long music video that isn’t interesting and the “story” of the music video doesn’t do it any favors either. That’s a really bad combination.

Cats is also just a very boring movie. With no characters to actually get invested in that already puts the movie at a huge disadvantage. Macavity doesn’t appear a whole lot compared to most so he can’t hold things up. Veronica has no real character to speak of and all the other cats seem rather shallow and mean spirited the whole time. They basically forced one cat to stay outside the whole time until Veronica saved her and helped her have a happy end to that subplot. The cats would probably be a lot happier in this place if they actually did something to improve the conditions. Instead they seem happy to mess everything up and there’s even a song about how they sabotage one family’s dinner every night. How heroic of them….

Overall, Cats is a terrible film. There’s really no question about that. The music is no good and the story is basically nonexistent. It’s a pretty basic plot. You have to win the competition and there’s a villain who wants to cheat his way to the top. There’s not much to it but the songs are the only thing keeping this from being a 20 minute film. It’s just hard to believe that this is actually a real movie, it’s no wonder that the movie lost so much money. I guess it just be like that sometimes. I would recommend watching just about any other musical over this one. Check out High School Musical instead and you’ll have a much better time.

Overall 1/10

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge 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

Well here’s the sequel to the first Elm Street. Naturally you can’t expect good things from this one. In fact, it’s even weaker than the first film. It makes pretty much all of the same mistakes only this time it also adds in some animal violence to keep things dicey. You’ll be shaking your head the whole time and once it’s over only then can you relax and hope that the next films will surpass this one. There’s only so far up you can go in this genre of course but the attempt is the important part right?

So the events of the first film are left rather ambiguously here but my headcanon is that the twist ending was real and then Freddy quickly managed to fudge the story a bit. Our new main character is a boy named Jesse who has been having nightmares of Freddy murdering him every night. That’s got to be pretty rough since it keeps happening. I do have some questions here though like why he isn’t actually dead yet. It’s not a plot hole though as you can easily explain it as Freddy choosing not to make the damage real since he wants Jesse as a host body. It’s definitely a different plan this time. Freddy wants access to the real world and this is the easiest way to do it. Can Jesse resist his influence or will be start going around murdering everyone in his path? Either way there is no easy way out for Jesse so he’s going to be in for a rough ride.

As always the film goes all in with the over the top violence. Freddy definitely isn’t playing around here as he murders a ton of people in the real world. More so than in the dreams this time. His powers have also improved now that he has a physical body to the point where he is able to manipulate reality such as when he created dogs with human faces or when he caused the birds to go crazy and attack the main characters. Of course this was just a cheap way to rope in some animal violence into the film. I knew the film was getting desperate to be edgier than the first film but I didn’t think it would go this far.

The idea of Jesse being possessed by Freddy here is also unfortunate since it means that his character goes down as well. At least he was able to stop himself from taking out the sister and the rest of his family though. That would have definitely been another step too far. As it is the film tries to give us the classic kiss of life near the end which is pretty gruesome to watch especially thanks to the design. It makes for a really painful climax on top of everything else going on. The film is certainly not opposed to having you cringe as things go on. You can probably guess that the characters weren’t very good here.

For starters, Jesse is not as good as Nancy from the first film. He panics and yells a whole lot but doesn’t actually do much of anything to try and stop Freddy. Panicking is really all that he does and he never accepts help from anybody. This leads to a cycle where he is just doomed from the jump. Then you have Lisa who likes Jesse but it’s all extremely sudden. Does she really know him enough to try and save him after watching the guy murder a bunch of people and lose control like this? She shows a whole lot of devotion at the end to the point where you’d figure that they had been together for many years. I dunno, I had a pretty hard time buying into any of this.

Then you’ve got Grady and I’m not 100% on what the film was going for with him. I suppose he’s just meant to be the more confident guy at school who loves teasing everyone but is actually a good guy deep down. He seems nicer than Jesse in some respects as the lead would usually be the one to panic. You also feel bad for him at the end because there really isn’t anything that he could have done to escape his fate. The whole Xenomorph type entrance for Freddy there was also pretty crazy. Of course in a film like this you’ll always be seeing a lot of tragic deaths. Then you’ve got the Coach who was almost cartoonishly mean to everyone. Especially the main two although he would always catch them slacking off.

The scene with him at the bar was so surreal I thought it was one of the dreams though. So, Jesse runs out of the house and goes a long distance til he suddenly finds himself at a shady bar in the middle of nowhere? From there he is forced to go to school where he runs a bunch of laps until Freddy shows up again. The whole ting was just really out there and the biggest twist was the fact that it was real. Well, I suppose that’s one advantage to being a film that goes into both worlds, after a while you can’t trust anything you see which is the big thing here.

Naturally there is a twist ending here as well. It’s not nearly as powerful as the first film’s ending though. I guess it’s still got the same kind of conclusion but the execution was off. Maybe it’s because the scene takes a while and since it’s obvious that something is going to happen it’s not as suspenseful as the film thinks it is. Still, it’s definitely a pretty crazy ending that’s for sure. I would make the case that the opening scene is a lot more powerful so instead of trying to use a similar type scene the movie should have gone in a different direction. That’s my take on it at the very least.

As for Freddy himself, he definitely talks a lot more here. It doesn’t do anything to make him a more likable character though. At the end of the day he’s still just a really twisted individual who only seems to care about dishing out a lot of pain to everyone. He’s widened the scope of opponents he wants to take out though so now he’s more of an indiscriminate murderer. I couldn’t believe that the heroes missed him at point blank range with the shotgun though. How do you miss at that range? To think that may have been it for Freddy’s host body. Realistically it wouldn’t even slow Freddy’s murders down as he would go back to dream land but still, it was a start at least. I don’t know what the one kid at the pool was thinking with slowly walking up to Freddy and pulling the whole “We don’t have to fight thing”. Was there any way that would end without him getting promptly murdered?

Overall, Freddy’s Revenge is pretty one note and basically the same as the first. Only with even weaker characters and some animal violence thrown in. The writing’s definitely no good and I wouldn’t say the pacing is solid either. The violence is so excessive that you’ll be taken out of the movie pretty quickly each time as well. There are just no real positives to say about the film. I don’t think there’s much you could do to save the franchise at this point so all I can say is better luck next time. If you want a spooky film with more of a memorable villain then I would recommend watching Mask of the Phantasm instead. Now that one will have all the thrills you are seeking!

Overall 1/10

A Nightmare on Elm Street 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.

This is definitely an iconic horror film. It’s quite possibly one of the 3 most well known slasher films of all time. It’s certainly had a wide amount of influence and people just don’t forget Freddy that’s for sure. Of course it’s pretty much doomed from the jump because slasher films like this make all of the big film mistakes. The violence is excessive and the characters range from annoying to terrible. Surprisingly this film doesn’t have any real animal violence although the sequel makes sure to fix that. Either way, this is definitely not a movie that I would recommend.

The movie starts with Tina on the run from Freddy and she manages to survive by waking up. She heads to school where her friends try their best to cheer her up. She then has a sleepover but unfortunately that is the last thing you want to try against Freddy so he destroys her and framed Rod. Nancy believes that he is now after her and the rest of her friends. The problem is that he is pretty much unstoppable in the world of dreams and getting him to the real world will be difficult. Nobody believes her so Nancy is effectively on her own. Can she outwit Freddy and put an end to his evil plans once and for all?

One thing that took some getting used to here was that everyone would just call him Fred. I’m always used to using the full name of Freddy Krueger but I suppose I’m just used to that from seeing it spelled out all the time. Beyond that the film really plays out exactly how you would expect. The characters even insult your intelligence the way you’d expect them to based on the stigma of horror characters not being very smart. I’ll definitely get into that in a second because they’re just really bad here. Lets get the obvious negatives of the film out of the way first though.

Naturally the film is incredibly violent. The characters die as violently as you would expect. Freddy takes them all out in different ways. Honestly Rod got off incredibly easy compared to the others. For the other characters Freddy likes to toy with them a lot before finishing the job as well. He even injures himself just to show the characters how insane he is. The self inflicted injuries definitely don’t help Freddy’s case as being an imposing villain either. Once he’s in the real world the characters land a lot of big shots on him. Parts of the climax I wasn’t sure were supposed to be serious or comedic. It’s a bit like Home Alone where Nancy had a bunch of traps laying around and would keep slamming Freddy with each one. It was pretty surreal to watch. The ending still gets tense once she runs out of traps though.

Then you’ve got a subpar character roster holding the film back as well. You’ve got Rod who really makes it easy for Freddy to frame him. He pulls a knife on his friends and even threatens to do things to them. It’s not exactly the best dynamic you could want. Of course you’re meant to know that he’s not a bad guy deep down…I guess. It doesn’t really work though. He and Tina are also pretty inconsiderate to Nancy and Glen who are just trying to have a good time downstairs. The nightly affairs are another slasher trope as it usually serves as a death flag to the characters. You have to stay strong and they did not. The characters are just really irresponsible. Only Nancy manages to hang in there.

Lets look at her parents for example. When the dreams get worse her mother takes her to a place to analyze them. We then see that the computer screens go haywire and she even manages to grab Freddy’s hat. So, in context Nancy just woke up from a dream with a bunch of cameras watching her as well as the main doctor and the Mom watching through the glass. They know that she didn’t get up or do anything beyond struggle there. When they see the new wounds appear out of nowhere and a hat generated from oblivion which belonged to someone the Mom personally murdered a while back…they don’t suspect anything? It’s got to be one of the craziest moments out there.

Usually you may be annoyed when the characters don’t believe the lead but at least they have decent reason to. Whenever there’s an alien invasion or a monster attack you may have someone not believe that it’s going on, but fine you have some excuses there. They didn’t see it, government conspiracy, etc. Here this is literally happening in front of their eyes and they aren’t doing anything. It’s hard to buy. Rod’s version of events was also pretty shifty as he saw Tina getting murdered in front of her by an invisible force but sticks with the “I didn’t get a good look at the guy” story.

Now my problems with Glen are different. His issue wasn’t that he didn’t believe Nancy. The problem is that he consistently lets her down every single time. He has one job, to stay up a few hours. That’s it. Nancy has had to stay up for several days in a row at this point and she’s still doing her best to get to the bottom of this. For her plan to work she needs Glen to wake her up at the right time. Instead he falls asleep on the job….2-3 times in a row. The worst time is the final moment because his Mom wakes him up and he sees that it’s only 10 minutes until he is supposed to go find Nancy. Instead…he goes back to sleep and is promptly murdered. He really didn’t do a single thing to help Nancy and you’d think that he really would if he cares about her as much as he said he would. Falling asleep that many times is inexcusable especially since her safety is a concern here. He fell asleep the first time she asked him to help, the second time, and then the third. If I were her that relationship would be over on the spot.

Nancy really has to do everything on her own but it’s just an issue that it got to that point. Freddy is a lot sloppier than most villains so he leave behind so many clues. It would have been nice if someone could have actually helped out. Nancy’s father also fails her at the end of the film when he gives her his assurance that he’ll be there and then promptly leaves because he didn’t mean it. It’s all pretty rough for her. It makes for a lot of tense moments since she’s really running for her life but it all just feels like a big betrayal.

Freddy Krueger gets a dark backstory as you would expect to cement the fact that he’s definitely a cheap villain. He only picks on the weak and that’s how he has built his whole empire. Think about this, the parents are the ones who murdered him and he’s still going after the kids. He’s definitely an awful villain no matter how you slice it. As always the film does have a twist ending so you’ll want to prepare yourself for that. It’s a staple of the horror genre and you really need one if you want to compete with the others. It was pretty fun I’d say. Definitely rather sudden so it comes out of nowhere and really leaves you hanging. The execution was absolutely on point.

Overall, Nightmare on Elm Street is exactly what you would expect. The plot plays out just like any slasher with the villain bumping everyone off until the lone heroine finally thinks up a plan to put an end to the madness. The violence is through the roof and you’ve got a very weak cast of characters. There aren’t any real positives to say about the film except that it does keep things pretty intense throughout so it fulfills its role as a thriller. Freddy’s design is certainly grotesque to make him scary but it’s not a design that I’m personally a fan of. Give me the Scream costume any day. If you want to watch a spooky film then I highly recommend checking out something like the House on Haunted Hill instead.

Overall 1/10

Night of the Lepus Review


The instant you know what the plot of this film is you know that you haven’t exactly picked out a winner. Evil rabbits? Yeah I don’t see any way that could work out well for any of the parties involved. It’s a quick recipe for massive animal violence on all sides and the film doesn’t disappoint there. It’s pretty unique so I’ll give the film that. You don’t see a whole lot of movies about evil rabbits, it just isn’t done and I guess now we’ll see why. The main thing to remember here is that if you’re being chased by evil rabbits just calmly stay in your car and drive forward. One character did try this but unfortunately a ditch got in the way. Nothing much you can do in that case I suppose.

The film opens with a farm being completely overrun by Rabbits. While this may not sound like a huge issue it does upset the balance. The rabbits are eating all of the crops and wildlife so nothing can grow. One farmer suggests using poison but the ranchers are against this. If they do that then nothing will grow here for a long time so they will have effectively doomed themselves. The other farmers are worried since the rabbits will keep on spreading. Well, Roy and Gerry are called in to put a stop to this. Roy thinks of a solution which is to stop the rabbits from breeding but it doesn’t work and then his daughter decides to mess with the experiment. She frees one of the contaminated Rabbits and it quickly runs over to meet up with the rest. Now the heroes are dealing with an army of angry Rabbits who are not only larger than the average animals but also more vicious. Now it’s the Rabbits ensnaring the humans all around them. Will there be any escape from this menace?

I do have to mention right away that I was surprised at how Amanda (the daughter) never owns up to the fact that she is directly responsible for so many deaths. Nobody ever finds out that she is the one who let the Rabbit out and she doesn’t feel guilty about it either. She never apologizes about it and you’d be forgiven for forgetting that it was even a plot point. If not for her meddling then this film wouldn’t have lasted so long presumably. Of course she didn’t know any better but it’s why the kid characters tend to hold everyone back. Without her the farmers may not have been in great shape but they would have lived to tell their tale.

As for the actual main characters, Roy and Gerry are okay. I wouldn’t call them particularly memorable but they do their jobs of researching this predicament and trying to come up with a solution. Ultimately they basically fail but I suppose it was a worthy attempt. There’s just not much to say about them. They’re just reasonable people but don’t have much character beyond that although you could say the same for most of the characters here. Take the Sheriff. He’s a good character, a solid leader who does his best to end the threat. You really can’t say much about him beyond that though and that’s the underlining issue with some of these characters. I did like the train conductor though. At least that guy had a presence with how he could barely even be bothered to get up and help with a Rabbit army on the way. He clearly couldn’t care less about most of this.

The film’s final plan of having a bunch of cars turn on the lights and get in a row was interesting but I wonder how effective that would really be. It’s good the people didn’t panic. I was shocked at just how eager they were to get in and help. You certainly wouldn’t expect to see that nowadays. There’d be panic and people running every which way instead of just following the orders. The Rabbits did their best to disperse but ultimately it’s not like they’re bullet proof so when up against the whole army they were doomed.

We don’t get to see the Rabbits during the day much at all but design wise they’re effectively just a lot bigger and have sharper claws. Beyond that they’re effectively normal Rabbits. I wouldn’t have minded adding on spikes or something to make them look extra dangerous. It’s not like it would save the film though. It almost goes without saying but I still need to say it. What holds this film back a whole lot is the fact that there is a lot of animal violence. The heroes shoot the rabbits, stab them, etc. Of course it’s every man for himself in this film but even so you never want to see the Rabbits get injured. It’s the reason why making a film with the Rabbits being super evil is basically impossible. Either you win without injuring any of them in which case the film would likely get a lot of shots for not having any tension or you do fight back against the Rabbits and get yourself in a whole mess. Either way it doesn’t exactly bode well for the movie.

You’ll also feel bad for some of the characters who get bumped off. For example there’s a nice old lady just minding her business at the store. The instant she is introduced you know that she is doomed and minutes later her fate is sealed. Her character only existed to get bumped off and everyone watching the film knows this. The sad part is she would have possibly lived if she had made the wrong choice and not pestered the Sheriff to go and see if anything was wrong. So effectively she got punished for doing the right thing. It’s a pretty sad moment for her character to be sure.

You’d expect a horror movie like this to have a big twist ending but it’s pretty low key. Basically it sort of hints at a sequel as you can assume that the one left has powers so it should start to spread them again. It may take a little while though and it’s just not as spooky as it could have been. How I would have ended the film would be to have the characters drive home only to have the trunk pop open and a giant Rabbit jumps out. It then slowly walks towards the leads as the music swells up and then lunges at them along with a gunshot sound and then fade to black. Now that’s how you get a suspenseful end scene. Perhaps a bit cliche, but effective nonetheless.

Overall, Night of the Lepus is a pretty bad film. It’s not very surprising though. That’s what you get when you have evil rabbits running around. None of the characters are particularly memorable. If anything they can be annoying. Amanda put everyone’s safety at risk and her friend was willing to keep the secret. He didn’t put the pieces together but forcing her to ditch her pet was a pretty bad first impression. The heroes are just lucky that the townsfolk were so cooperative this time. It’s rare that you see everyone band together to fight such a common foe without any real resistance. If you want to check out a horror film then I definitely advise skipping this one.

Overall 1/10

They Review


It’s time to look at a horror film from the early 2000s. This one is definitely a very by the books kind of horror film. It throws in all the usual elements like some quick jump scares and spooky visuals. Ultimately it doesn’t do much right though and between the poor characters, lackluster writing, and unimaginative villains; They is a film that you will quickly forget. Even the title doesn’t seem very inspired but it does very quickly give you that horror film kind of vibe so I’ll give the film some credit there.

The film starts with some monsters pulling a kid into there world like something out of Stranger Things. These monsters aren’t all that powerful though and the kid escapes back to the real world. Fast forward almost 20 years later and the monsters show up again. The guy decides to destroy himself to beat the monsters to the punch. He invited Julia over to see this though and now she is scarred for life. Two of the guy’s friends show up (Terry and Sam) and explain that these monsters are here to destroy everyone who has their mark one by one. See, these monsters claim their prey when they’re kids and show up to finish them off once they’re full grown. Julia thinks this is all messed up but eventually is unable to deny this possibility. Is she going to be the next to disappear?

So there are a lot of issues here. One of them is that the monsters don’t get to appear much. Maybe it’s because the director knew they wouldn’t be too fierce looking? They sort of look like Gollum from Lord of the Rings. They’re very frail and most only seem to be about the size of a kid. Sometimes they can be a bit larger though so it seems to vary quite rapidly. Without a monster to fight what about our fight scenes? Well, the issue is that there aren’t really any fights because the monsters are too powerful. I mean, they’re not strong enough to drag a grown person down until there’s a bunch of them but since they have unlimited numbers and cannot be defeated it’s ultimately pointless for the humans to fight back.

That’s why it’s always preferable if you have an opponent that you can really fight off. As powerful as Freddy and Jason are, at least you can theoretically get into a fist fight with them and hope for the best. With these guys they’ll overwhelm you with unlimited numbers. Their only weakness is the sun and since they can create large scale blackouts that won’t help much either. I feel like a sequel about them trying to take over the Earth would have had more potential. As it stands, it just seems like nobody has a shot here and that’s a shame.

Julia isn’t a great main character. She starts getting spooked by the monsters real quick but ultimately doesn’t do much about it. At most she plays along with the gang for a bit but still makes a lot of questionable decisions. At the very least I’d say that staying with Paul would have been better than running to an abandoned Subway station late at night. I’m wondering if the gates actually do shut off at that time. In the movie she gets locked in but if the trains are still running that would be odd. I’ll assume the gremlins were causing this as well. So Julia’s pretty standard for horror protagonists but if anything is a little slower on the ball than the others.

Then we have her boyfriend Paul. The guy seems reasonable for the most part but also way too soft. There’s no way he should be letting these two guys crash at his place without paying rent or anything for so long. Particularly since they break his one and only rule of barging into his room. Paul can definitely do a lot better than this. I’ll give him some points for standing by Julia in the end but that’s about all I can do for him. He’s still better than Terry and Sam though. Terry decides that even though she is going to be one of the next to go…she is going to head to a swimming pool where it gets fairly dark out. She should have made sure she was near the exit for when everyone else was leaving.

I just have a problem with her going at all. Now, it’s true that you can’t just live in fear and hide inside all day. I definitely agree with that logic for just about everything in the real world. That said, if a supernatural demon is after you and you know that it’s been bumping off people as soon as the lights go out, why would you head anywhere without a flashlight or something? Why put yourself in a position to be eaten so easily? It just wasn’t smart. Sam isn’t much better. I guess the guy was home but he’s drawing everything in black paint to make the room even darker. Why? It doesn’t make any sense and naturally the monsters close in on him as well. The guy was always pretty grim by nature so maybe he was taking it in stride. To an extent these aren’t massive details because the film assures us that they were doomed to die either way. Still, it would have been nice if they handled things a little better.

Beyond that the film forces in a lot of the typical romance scenes you would expect in a horror title. There’s quite a lot of fanservice here throughout that brings the film down and the scenes don’t actually add anything to the experience. It’s even used for humor once or twice. Once again I have to take a shot at Julia here. When she’s trying to figure out if she has the mark, it’s literally a life or death matter. Wouldn’t she be a bit more thorough? Later on she has a “whoops” kind of moment when she realizes where it is and you can’t tell me that you wouldn’t have noticed this earlier. When it comes to looking for a mark you had better be detailed. The scene where she tries to deactivate the beacon is pretty brutal but that would have been a little more helpful earlier. Either way I bet she was doomed though.

Overall, the whole movie is really just a lesson in futility for the characters. Nothing they do has any real effect and the monsters are just too strong. The film can be fairly violent and dark the whole time. It’s pretty much mandatory that the characters all have some kind of dark element in their background. The character shooting himself was certainly one way to start the film. There’s just not a whole lot of quality to be found here. It really underperforms in every area. At least it does throw in the token twist ending to the film so you should be ready for that. At the very least I feel like all the horror titles gotta end with that because at least it gives you something to remember the film by. Again, I think there could be potential for a sequel where the aliens wage war on Earth even if that might shift genres a bit. It’ll at least be a good way to shake things up. In the meantime I’d advise skipping this horror flick.

Overall 1/10

Children of the Damned Review


It’s time to look at a sequel to a film that you would have thought would just end. I suppose there’s always room for a sequel though and I’ll never fault the idea of it, but this movie clearly didn’t have much of a plan. The villains themselves don’t have much of a plan and since the alien angle has been removed the movie is lacking that big punch that it could have had. Throw in some animal violence and I’m afraid that you’re in for a bit of a bumpy ride.

The film starts by reintroducing us to the 6 miracle children. As in the last film they all share a brain and so they all know what each others learns. Then you’ve got the fact that they have advanced hypnosis where they can control a person to do whatever they want with ease. These abilities make them hard to control or defeat. Tom and David are two people who are interested in these children but the situation quickly goes above their paygrade. Members of each embassy have decided that the children are too dangerous and are led by a man named Colin in destroying them. Can Tom and David stop them or will they ultimately decide that perhaps Colin is right and these children are too dangerous to live?

Naturally this film confronts you with the question of if it’s right to destroy these kids. Whether they’re aliens or not, the kids still appear to be children so right off the bat destroying them does not seem to be just. It’s also true that they tend to not strike unless someone attacks first but due to the nature of their powers you can never know if that is correct. When you are mind controlled you have no memory of this happening and so they could have already been manipulating people. Their abilities are effectively impossible to stop so your only bet is to take them down from afar.

I don’t think we needed to be reintroduced to the gang though. Having Tom and David know about the kids beforehand would have been pretty good I’d say. They make for solid main characters though. At first they’re just interested in what’s going on. They have some fun debates with Colin, a man the government has sent to put a stop to this. There is a lot of theorizing going on until eventually everyone is forced to choose a side which even leads to some in-fighting. At the end of the day they don’t handle the situations very well though. From Colin’s side, since he wants to destroy the kids that should be very easy. If you blow up the buildings or snipe from afar then there’s nothing their mental abilities can do. Instead a lot of the time you see them send in guards at close range who are promptly defeated. The worst attempt was likely when they had 3 guys walk up to the main kid and try to attack him. As if that stood a chance of succeeding.

The film could have gone a long way if it actually made the kids likable. Then you’d be able to sympathize with them or something. The problem is that they act like emotionless robots. Additionally they all seem to be evil from the jump, forcing their parents to crash into cars and messing with the dog. Yes, the film had to force in a dog death which did not do it any favors. I don’t see what the point of having the dog in the film was either. It’s not like it changes anything so in the end all it does is give the film another chance to fail. Why were the kids acting like this anyway? I suppose it’s the ole power corrupts case where growing up with invincible telepathy made them turn to the dark side. I could see it I suppose but from the first film the kids seemed evil from the start as if they were being controlled.

It’s why the film should not have gone away from the alien angle. These kids just being ahead of their time makes a whole lot less sense. I suppose aliens could be trolling by evolving people at random but the idea that aliens sent in advance scouts makes a lot more sense. Of course that could still be the case since the humans are just guessing but usually when the guess is presented like this is means that we’re supposed to take it as correct. Too bad, the film could have had a lot more mileage out of the alien idea. Towards the end the characters even ask the kids if they have any kind of plan and they basically shrug and say no. So much for the villains being interesting.

All I can say for the film is that it had some decent characters at least. I enjoyed the banter with the main 3 guys as well as Paul’s guardian who did her best for most of the film. She was effectively held as a hostage for the second half of it though so there wasn’t a whole lot she can do. The scenes of the kids just staring into the screen can get old pretty quickly though. It’s just hard to make a kid look scary at that age so you’re more likely to chuckle than grimace.

Overall, This is definitely not a film that I would recommend. It feels rather aimless for most of its run to the point where you question why the film has come out. What is the message that the film is going for? I suspect you will still be puzzling through that notion at the film concludes. The ending is pretty bad even if it was all part of the kids’ plans. It still makes the characters not look so good and you feel like things never had to escalate to this point. Surely characters with genius level intellect could think of another path or something right? Almost any other plan would have been more effective.

Overall 1/10

The Book of Eli 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 pretty depressing kind of film from a while back. The Book of Eli is definitely not the kind of film where you can expect the characters to have a good time. The problem is that you won’t either. Between the level of grit and Mad Max vibes the movie gives off from the start this film ends up being pretty terrible very quickly. Literally the first scene of the film involves animal violence and from there you know that things are not going to get much better. Films have a way of tipping their hand early if you know what to look for like the recent Transformers film. As long as you pick up on the key points you won’t be surprised.

So once that scene is over and done with we see Eli get jumped by a bunch of bandits. He murders all of them except for the leader. He is carrying a package and heading somewhere but refuses to let anyone see what is in the package or for anyone to know where he is going. The whole thing has to be done in utmost secrecy after all. The problem is that the world is pretty much ruined and everyone out there is only looking out for himself. There’s one town in particular that has gone really over the edge and it’s ruled by a man named Carnegie. This guy aims to steal a certain book for himself so that he can really establish a chokehold over the world. The problem is that his men can’t read so they can only grab as many books as possible until they find the right one. When Eli shows up Carnegie figures he may have finally found his man. Eli will have to try and escape along with a girl named Solara whose life was going to be in danger in the city anyway so she figured she may as well tag along. Now the journey begins.

The Book of Eli is just a very gritty film all the way through. The animal violence is just the tip of the iceberg although on its own that would still be a very big problem. It’s not like you can just bypass that. You need to already have a lot of good will such as being a 9 star film so you can survive the drop or be a long running show where you build up your points again. For a film like this you need all the stars you can get so it really doesn’t help. Animals definitely don’t survive Eli’s expedition and it’s a true shame.

Eli is a good main character at the end of the film. He learned from his mistakes and how he lost sight of everything along the way. It’s reeeeeally tough to overlook his shaky beginning though. The scene where he lets a lady be dragged off for a fate worse than death and doesn’t life a finger to help is terrible. That’s the kind of action that you can barely even call a mistake because it’s so bad. At that point his safety was worth more than anyone else’s. The worst part is that it probably wouldn’t have even been all that dangerous for him. He is shown to be a very good fighter right off the bat so I’m sure he could have won.

Those are the kinds of dark themes this film thrives on though. Bad things are always happening to the characters and there just isn’t much that they can or want to even do about it. They’re doomed and they know it which just makes the trip worse for them. The town is completely corrupt either way so there is no more hope. Eli wants to bring hope back as his delivery is the only thing that can do it but he sure takes a while to get there. Then you got cannibals to worry about and things like that.

Solara is the main heroine here and she’s not bad I guess. She’s doing her best to survive at this point. You’d think she’d be a little more grateful for Eli telling her to stay back but allowing her to keep a cover story rather than trying to rummage through his things the whole time. She tries to look at the package more than once and you’d think she would have more restraint given the circumstances. I don’t blame her for falling for Eli’s trap at the water boulder though because who’d have thought that the main character would leave her for dead like that.

Make no mistake, if she didn’t escape she would have been dead. Once the villains made it to the cave to get their next batch of water she would not have had a chance. Finally we have the main villain Carnegie who is definitely not impressive. He spends the climax whining and groveling which is definitely not something you really want to see your main villain doing. I mean c’mon now, he has to hold himself with more dignity. He basically squanders his entire empire and there is no coming back from that. He definitely didn’t plan things out very well.

Okay time for the spoilers parts of the film so skip these next 3 paragraphs because they all involve the climax of the film. Technically the film reveals what the package is rather early on but it’s done with some subtlety at first until it becomes completely obvious. You should still pick up on it fairly early on when the main character is in town though. So Eli is traveling with a Bible. We find out that the world has gone to ruin and is basically a Hell on Earth now because the Bible’s have all been burned. Society changed massively after some kind of cataclysmic event and rulers were quick to assume power with bombs. I believe the cataclysmic event was that World War III occurred but I’m not exactly sure if they officially name it. Either way you do get the gist of it though. Everything is blown to smithereens and we don’t have technology anymore for the most part.

So Eli is delivering the Bible somewhere based on a vision God have him. He doesn’t know where the destination is so he just has to keep walking in that direction until he reaches the end. We also find out that Eli is blind so the fact that he is able to fight and maneuver so well is due to God aiding him on the journey the entire way. It was really good to see the Christian themes present themselves here and in such a positive light. I’ll at least give the film credit here because it’s such a rare sight. Especially nowadays you are unlikely to see films acknowledge God in a serious manner.

This does raise further questions on how Eli fell so far from the path but I already spoke on that quite a bit so there’s no need to keep on going there. The film acknowledges the power of the Bible as well as the fact that whenever you read it you will always find something new to learn. It’s why it is easy to see how Eli could keep reading it over and over again because it is the only book in existence that never really has to end. Memorizing it would certainly be quite the feat and impossible without God’s miracle here.

Overall, The Book of Eli is a terrible film that at least has a great twist at the end. It’s not enough where it can save the film because everything else is so poor but at least it looks like the movie was trying to go for a good message at the end. The execution wasn’t quite up to the level it needed to be but I appreciated the attempt. You can definitely make a good movie out of this story, but you just need to tone down how corrupt this world is or at least what we see on screen and get implied. There are many ways to get across that this is a terrible world with no more hope without being so direct. If you handle that well then the rest will follow. So instead of watching this film I’d recommend you check out Yugioh Bonds Beyond Time instead as a film that is also about bringing hope back to a world that is about to lose its future.

Overall 1/10

John Wick Review

This review is based off 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 pretty big film from back in the day. Pretty much any fan of the action genre knows about John Wick. Unfortunately you also know what comes with the territory as the plot itself is quite well known as well. The film is unable to get past the unfortunate decision to have the dog die in the beginning. It’s a cheap way to force in some tension and just doesn’t work. You absolutely can’t have the dog die like that. At least the sequels shouldn’t have the same problem unless they literally do this again.

The movie starts with John’s wife dying. She was sick for a long time and finally passed on. While dying she was able to send John a puppy so that he could have a reason to keep on going. Unfortunately a Russian mafia group shows up and murders John’s dog. He’s now decided to take revenge by murdering all of them. It’s been a while since he was in the mafia game but now he will have to return for one last ride. Fortunately for John you never really lose those skills. He’s got a lot of guns and at this point nothing else to do. He is 100% focused on his task and nothing is going to stop him.

It’s a pretty unique direction to have John Wick be so feared by the villains. They constantly refer to him as Baba Yaga which is effectively a Russian Witch. The definition they used here is a little different though and they’re just saying that he is extremely scary like a monster. The instant his name is mentioned the villains start cowering and wishing that they had messed with someone else. They were all gangster until Wick showed up. He lives up to the legend pretty well as he murders a ton of the agents after him. He definitely wasn’t playing around here and definitely did not take any prisoners. Whoever got in his way was doomed. The only time he didn’t end up finishing his opponent it came back to bite him.

I liked the hotel idea too where villains don’t go after each other. It’s a safe haven and it’s important that you obey the rules. It also shows that the owners of the hotel have a lot of power since everyone obeys this rule. The hotel itself has a great end scene and I liked the concierge the whole time. The guy was quick on his feet and just felt like a veteran. He knew what was going on and always had the answers. Part of what makes the film so different is how it relies on prior knowledge that you don’t know and doesn’t try to throw it at you via origin stories. We really don’t need John’s origin. You can piece everything together on your own without help and it’s just more fun that way.

The soundtrack is quite large for this film. There are quite a number of different themes that play during the film. Certainly a lot of battle themes to accompany the fights and rock themes to get you pumping. The themes all work and Wick himself has a theme that plays during some of his big moments. The film really knows how to score its scenes and when you mix that with the intense fight scenes there is not a dull moment in the film.

John makes for a great lead and it was good to see him go to any length to avenge his dog. It’s certainly a noble mission and the villains can’t really defend themselves for these actions. John did give the leader a chance to surrender his son for this blunder and the villain didn’t take it. John wasn’t crazy or anything, he spared those he could and just focused on taking out all of the characters who were threats. There are quite a few other supporting characters here who were fun but the best one was definitely Marcus. That guy came in clutch quite a bit. John wouldn’t have done nearly as well without him. It’s definitely a shame how he went out although that was inevitable by the end.

So there’s a lot to like here and it’s a very interesting thriller. The characters were carefully constructed and as far as revenge thrillers go this one can compete with all the rest. An indestructible main character like John is fun to follow and of course it’s always nice to see all of the villains getting taken down a few pegs. That being said, the negatives are even stronger than the positives which is why this film ultimately fell all the way down instead of managing to win out.

The obvious negative here is the dog death. It destroys the whole film particularly because of how it goes down. The film makes the scene rather brutal and what makes it even worse is that this is a puppy. The film gives us quite a few scenes with the puppy so we can grow to like him. Again, this is a very easy way to build tension and it’s a cheap shortcut. The three ways that films usually do this is by having an animal die, a person close to the lead get tortured to death, or have the wife/girlfriend get assaulted. All 3 of these ways are definitely not good ideas in the slightest and will usually doom a film’s score. The animal one in particular is hard to get around and with a dog of all choices. There’s just no way the film could recover from this. It’s a very direct negative so it may look like it’s outnumbered by the positives but the scene is not one that you will forget so easily.

John Wick is also a very violent film. It’s certainly about as violent as you’ll get with a shooter film. Characters are tortured and there are quite a few headshots that don’t shy away from showing them completely. Characters meet their end in very violent ways as well. This film is definitely trying to live out the revenge fantasy where you put yourself in the main character’s shoes and revel in what’s going on. The film definitely could stand to tone down the violence though. If you did that and change the part about the dog then this film would be in much better shape.

Overall, John Wick is a pretty engaging film. It may have lost its traction from the start with the Puppy’s death but even though the movie is misguided, a lot of effort was clearly put into it. The soundtrack alone is evidence of that and then you’ve got the strong character cast to back it up as well. It’ll be interesting to see what plot the sequels go with. Something has to get him back in on the action right? I assume the movies are going to bump more people off but just about everyone he knows is already dead. Either way I guess John won’t be getting his happy ending yet. I hope the hotel appears again though, that was a pretty interesting locale.

Overall 1/10

The Swimmer Review


It’s time to look at our next certified stinker. This film’s about a crazy lead who decides to go home by swimming across everyone’s pools. He knows almost everyone in the neighborhood so he figures they won’t mind if he does this. You also have to wonder how he got to the first home as it is. The guy’s got good stamina I’ll give him that. The problems with this film are pretty numerous but easy to describe so we’ll tackle that in a moment. First just take a second to think about how creative the plot is. At the very least I’ll give the film this, the plot is pretty unique.

So, the film starts off with Ned jumping in someone’s pool. It turns out to belong to a group of his friends so they don’t really mind. Despite being married Ned does a ton of flirting with two other wives but their husbands don’t seem to care. Ned then says that he is going to use everyone’s pools. The others think he is joking but Ned is deadly serious. He heads off to do so, but the problem is that he seems to have severe memory loss while also being completely oblivious to everything as well as being morally bankrupt. This seemingly quick journey across the pools is about to get a whole lot more difficult than he thought.

In a way this film feels like it was going to a live action harem feel. It’s almost like how Nisekoi could have been if it was a movie instead of a series and if the characters were adults. Part of the problem is that Ned is married as I mentioned. He shouldn’t be making plays on anyone. He just seems way too overly familiar with the rest of the characters though as he breaks boundaries all the time. The real question mark here is how everyone else just watches and grins. The characters make no sense here and the whole story just doesn’t really work. You can maybe buy into the fact that Ned was so charismatic that everyone liked him. It’s not completely beyond the pale I suppose, but I like to think that everyone would be strong enough to have gotten over him by now or to at least establish boundaries. Nobody does and it makes for a lot of iffy interactions.

Still, this may not have hurt the film so much except for one of the picks. The film opts to go with a pretty crazy romance with Ned and one of the daughters. The film establishes that she is 20 at least which is good, but the age gap is still massive and the fact that Ned is completely obsessed with her as soon as they meet is terrible. It’s equally terrible that her family was ready to let her run off with him for a while. It was a safer time back then but the whole plot is crazy and unnecessary. The film would have been so much better had it not gone down that avenue. There’s just no real way to recover from that and the film just didn’t stand a chance. From there Ned doesn’t lose any momentum and continues his old tricks. The final lady has to say no many times before he finally gives up.

The Swimmer just isn’t a fun film. It tips its hand almost immediately that Ned is crazy so the final bits won’t really be any kind of twist if you were paying attention. The film gives you a whole lot of foreshadowing for everything but that doesn’t suddenly mean the plot is good. If you give foreshadowing that your ending is going to basically be pointless that really has no effect in the end. The movie doesn’t totally answer all of the questions but you can put it all together pretty well. I think the movie could have succeeded if the lead was likable though. For a film like this you need the lead to be likable so you can sympathize with him. Unfortunately, there is just no way to sympathize with Ned. From what we learn of his past, the guy just wasn’t very good.

This film doesn’t have good writing due to how unrealistically all of thee characters act. The pacing’s not terrible or anything but with no good plots to work with it was doomed to fail from the start. It’s a shame because the very beginning of the film was pretty solid. I like how extreme they presented the main character’s obsession with the pool. It’s immediate and shows that he is definitely a little too interested in learning if his neighbors got pools of their own. It’s pretty much a parody. Usually you’d see characters get obsessed with robots, cars, science, or something like that. Pools? That’s awfully specific but interesting. The whole film should have played up the comedy angle a bit more in that respect. Now, I’m not sure if the beginning was supposed to be played for laughs but that’s how I interpreted it at least and it worked out well that way. Once the film tried getting more and more serious that’s when it all started to fall to pieces.

Overall, The Swimmer ultimately didn’t have a chance of being great. It just made way too many mistakes and you can only make so many before you are ultimately doomed to fail. It’d be nice if another film decided to do the premise justice but I wouldn’t put that high up on the list of potential remakes. The premise itself is interesting but I’ve seen way better ones. Throw in some kind of sci-fi adventure or time travel and then you’ll have me at the ready. Maybe jumping into pools takes him to different timelines or something. I dunno, but that’s the direction I would start to take all of this in if I was at the helm. In the meantime you should absolutely avoid this film at all costs.

Overall 1/10