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The Children’s Hour Review


It’s time to look at a pretty old film about how a single deception can cause a lot of damage. Lies definitely do have far reaching consequences and particularly here as the film is quite old and takes place in an era where this kind of lie can end lives. It’s a pretty mean spirited film though and one that ultimately falls into the pile of films that you’re better off not checking out. The town really believed a kid?

The film starts off by introducing us to a local school. Karen and Martha have been running this school all on their own for quite a while. The school is finally going to be profitable for the first time, but then Martha learns that Karen and Joe are finally going to be married. While Karen says she will stick around to the end of the school year Martha has her doubts. She is also saddened by the fact that without a second teacher the school is basically doomed. This becomes the least of her problems though as one disgruntled kid spreads a rumor that Martha and Karen are together. Immediately the town pulls out their kids from the school and now the whole town is against them. Can these two teachers reclaim their lives or is everything all over now?

It’s definitely annoying to see the whole town get thrown into chaos by the words of one little girl. Her grandmother appears to be influential so tricking her first was crucial to the plan. That being said, the teachers should have been more upfront about how this story wasn’t real. Look, the kid’s got a history of lying to everyone about everything. Why didn’t Martha and Karen mention this to the grandmother? For some reason none of the adults were mentioning the fact that this kid had a habit of lying and that was fairly critical info to know.

Now, the film does skip the entire trial so it is reasonable to say that they probably mentioned this in the courtroom. It would have been nice to see it though. Also the court case would have been awesome so it’s really unfortunate that it was skipped. That was going to be one of the more powerful parts of the film because to actually lose that case with nothing more than gossip as evidence is definitely crazy. Given how unreasonable most of the characters in the film are it’s probably not too much of a stretch. Most of them refuse to even acknowledge Martha and Karen.

There aren’t a lot of characters here, but the supporting characters definitely fail the two as well. Lily was part of the problem here by supporting the claims against her niece Martha and then quickly ran off before the trial. Even by the end of the film she hints that she believed it to be true anyway so I think the main characters really didn’t need to be so civil to her. She is putting their lives at jeopardy so I wouldn’t have let her stay in the house with a free dinner. It’s great to be nice, but there’s got to be a limit somewhere.

Then you’ve got Joe. To his credit, the guy stuck by Karen for quite a while. He did his best to always stick up for her and was even willing to leave his house, job, and everything to be with her. It’s why their ending isn’t satisfying in the slightest as he ultimately falls for Karen’s trap. Why is Karen setting traps for her future husband? I suppose she wanted him to 100% have no doubts and I don’t think he really did. He did fail the test so I suppose that shows there was some doubt there, but he was pressured into saying it. He shouldn’t have failed the test, but Karen didn’t need to do that. Just the fact that he was willing to leave with them and destroy his reputation should have been good enough.

As for the main two characters, Karen is definitely my favorite. She’s very considerate and did what she could to stand by Martha when she could have been married a long time ago. She knew that the school was really important to Martha and tried to stick around, but it’s not like she could put her life on hold forever right? Karen did everything she could and as the situation was far worse for Martha since Karen at least had a fiance, Karen was also there for emotional support. Aside from the trap that I’ve already talked about at length, I don’t think Karen made any wrong moves here. She was just a solid character.

Then you’ve got Martha whose argument with Lily is partially what got the ball rolling here. The kid would have still made up the story, but there would have been less ammo to use. Martha was a bit unreasonable with how she wanted Karen to stay forever but I do think she would have ultimately come to terms with Karen’s departure though and would have given her a genuine congratulations. Then you’ve got Martha’s ending which is certainly tragic. It’s the easy way out for a person but never the right call. Ignoring the holes it leaves for everyone else affected it also eliminates your own future path.

The film’s definitely pretty somber with nothing good really happening to the characters for almost the whole film. It starts off happy for a few scenes, but quickly gets dark and never quite goes back up. Even the subplot with the kid gets pretty intense as she starts blackmailing another one of the kids for stealing. Too bad none of the adults noticed the obvious witness intimidation while they were asking questions. They could have spared themselves a whole lot of grief at that point. The what if game ultimately goes on forever, but it’s yet another plot that’s pretty mean. It also did make the school look bad when one kid is literally getting painfully grasped by the other in a police hold. With only two teachers it makes sense that they can’t be everywhere of course, but it does show that they were understaffed.

Overall, The Children’s Hour isn’t my kind of film. It’s pretty dark and dreary with no good characters to help the leads out. The town people are all just looking out for themselves and there isn’t a single reasonable person around. You have threatening individuals circling the school on their pickup truck and even someone who breaks in from time to time to threaten the teachers. There’s no safety and the cops never show up. Joe leaving didn’t help matters even if he was pushed away. The two heroines probably should have just left the town even sooner but leaving everything you’ve ever known isn’t easy. I’d recommend watching something like Christmas With The Kranks instead for a more enjoyable film.

Overall 1/10

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Ski Party Review


I’ve seen most of the old beach party films from this crew so I may as well see their skiing version as well right? It’s certainly not much better than the rest and makes all of the same mistakes. The characters may not be at the beach but they certainly dress as if they are. I would make the case that there is a little less fanservice here than in the beach versions, but I’m not invested enough into the series to do so. You certainly wouldn’t catch me defending this film. Well, let’s take a look at what we got.

The film starts off with Todd and Craig being down in the dumps because they are still single. They joined a bunch of sport programs but it was no use. Then they notice that Freddie is the star of the party and everyone is only interested in him. Perhaps the trick is that he is always skiing. The two leads quickly decide to go to the next big skiing event and are determined that this will put them on the radar. Will such a shallow plan really work or will the film test our intelligence by continuing to make the plans crazier and crazier?

There are a lot of issues here so it’s always hard to know where to start. I guess we should tackle the romance first. Romance was always a hard genre for films to really pin down and that can be especially true for this one. Part of the reason why the film kicks off is because both of the girls don’t seem to love the two guys straight away. They did go with them on two dates though so this is more about the main characters not being very patient. They want to immediately go further in the relationship while the girls are waiting. The guys are Freddie all the time and that really warps their expectations. You also can’t feel any sympathy for them because they would cheat on the two girls in a heartbeat. We have many scenes where they try to go after other girls so there is absolutely no loyalty here. They’ll simply go after the first one who accepts them.

They also use rather underhanded methods in order to complete their mission. One such tactic is to dress up as a girl and sneak into the dorms. This is a pretty bad move for many reasons. It’s also one of the largest gags in the film and it gets old very quickly. Naturally Freddie falls for one of them in this form and nobody can put the pieces together. I think if you cut away this whole sub plot the film will still be pretty terrible but it would certainly have improve. This plot line just didn’t do anything to really help the film rise up. It drags on and on.

It goes without saying that there is a lot of fanservice here even though they are in the snow. Characters just don’t care about the storm at all. They’re dressed for the beach and they aim to keep it that way for most of the film. We get a lot of zoom ins and crazy dances reminding yo that the plot was not the movie’s first priority. At least the singing isn’t too bad, the series has certainly had worse songs at any rate. Then you’ve got the beach scene at the end just to mess with the audience even further.

There are moments in the film that can be reasonably funny. It’s not like the whole duration is one failed joke after the other. While a good chunk of the jokes don’t work, the surreal nature of the movie helps at times. The scene of the main character floating like a balloon was fun. Additionally I liked the Polar Bear scenes. It’s a pretty nice gag to have that guy running around. The problem is that the movie beats this joke into the ground by having the same joke show up around 5-6 times. You never want to spam a joke that often because it will inevitably get quite old. It’s going for the running gag approach but that works better in a series. If you cram it into a single movie then you are bound to have some issues.

There aren’t any characters to root for here either so you won’t be as invested in the film as you could be. The two main guys are chronic cheaters. The two heroines are too passive and ultimately try to say that the guys were right even though that is definitely not the case. Freddie starts out as a pretty intense guy but by the end he is total comic relief to make the other characters look better. The movie definitely could and should have had more restraint. Maybe make it so the heroes get a win but Freddie still keeps his dignity. The parental figure here literally goes insane by the end of the film and I couldn’t give him any consolation points either. It was rather mean of the main guys to mess with him the whole time, but it’s also partially his fault for falling for their gags. They absolutely should not have worked on him. I prefer the guardians who at least talk tough the whole time. This guy was a punching bag so you’ll sooner feel bad for him than find the scene overly funny.

Overall, Ski Party is definitely everything you expect it to be. The film is pretty straight forward on delivering everything it is advertised to be. If this is your kind of film then you’ll enjoy it. However if you want a film with good writing and an actual plot then I’d recommend staying far away from this movie. It will have nothing to offer you. At least the gang sub plot isn’t around to get dragged out forever. The car chase at the end is actually a little better without those guys around to slow the pacing.

Overall 1/10

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Scream 2 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 Scream 2 which brings back pretty much everyone for another round with the murderer. Last time a few of the heroes got away so we’ll see if they are so lucky this time. This sequel is a little better than the first one but of course a slasher film can only get so good.

The film starts with a scene where the characters are watching a screening of Stab, which is a film adaption of the first movie. This theater decided to try something a little extreme as everyone brought in a fake knife and a mask. This results in the villain sneaking in and claiming his first 2 villains. Then we cut to the main part of town where Sidney is still dealing with the aftermath of what happened last time. People prank call her all the time and with the movie out it’s gotten worse. Still, she has managed to mostly be at peace. This all changes when news of the murders gets out and it seems like the new one wants to repeat everything from the first film. Can Sidney manage to survive this encounter?

Let’s go through the basics real quick. The film is extremely violent as you would expect from this series.  Everyone dies pretty brutally and the body count is fairly high so you can expect a lot of scenes like this consistently during the movie. There’s not really much the movie can do to rise up with this level so with the score doomed pretty early on the question becomes whether or not the movie can at least be entertaining in the meantime. After all, you can have a 1-2 star film that will at least give you some fun scenes like the Resident Evil series or you’ll get some that are just a slog to get through from start to finish like the Exorcist. This one is closer to Resident Evil.

One thing that does help the series is the fact that the cast returns from the original film. Establishing some kind of continuity like this is pretty rare for any horror series so it’s impressive that Scream pulled this off. It may ultimately not feel like much of a silver lining but at the end of the day I’ll take what I can get with these. It at least helps to balance all of the tragic elements like the opening scene where everything that can go wrong for the victim does. Everyone was super oblivious there. It’s probably the saddest scene in the film especially because these characters really had no heads up and almost nothing to do with anything. Their names simply were on the list.

The script naturally still has a lot of characters talking like sailors, but at least we still do get some fun lines here and there. The characters all talk really tough at times and they’re pretty aware of what’s going on which is good. The back-up camera man for example correctly realizes that he’s probably in a lot of danger since Gale has decided to get mixed in with this dangerous plot once again. The movie loving character also talks really tough to the villain although he probably shouldn’t have gotten so close to the abandoned van in the middle of the road. That’s definitely a rookie mistake.

Sidney is back as the lead and she is definitely a solid character. She has gotten better as the films progress. At the time of writing this review I have also seen Scream 3 and that is her best portrayal but lets not get ahead of ourselves. After the events of the first film she is naturally pretty wary of being around people. When the murders start escalating again she wants to do something about it, but everyone else just tells her to calm down. It’s hard to say what the best course of action is for her since either way there’s no guarantee she will be safe. How I see it the murderer is after her either way so it makes sense for her to get involved in the case. At least she’ll be around the cops which should help in theory at least.

Meanwhile Dewey and Gale are back to bickering as usual. There banter with each other can always be fun, but then it’s cheesy how quickly they get back together again. The music is perfect for their first meeting in each of the installments though. I dare say that Dewey gets weaker with each film, but at least I do like the fact that he is always trying to help out. Surprisingly he never gets scared off and considering what he’s been through that is impressive.

Likewise Gale doesn’t let anything get in the way of her story. She does get a little sloppy in the climax here, but the fact that she always seems to make it to the climax is a sign of her persistence as well. Gale is basically the Lois Lane of the series and does whatever she has to in order to get the scoop. She’s one of the best characters in these films. Meanwhile the guy she saved from execution shows up as well. Cotton is pretty upset as Sidney due to being framed and seems rather unbalanced throughout the film to the point where he even threatens her. He just seems really shady and I wouldn’t trust him if I were the other characters. He seems to be reasonably tough though and that’s always handy. As long as he is not the murderer then he can possibly be helpful.

There are some minor characters like Sidney’s roommate and her new boyfriend, but neither one of them are terribly important unless of course one of them is the culprit. For now I’m going to count Ghostface as his own character so I don’t blow the mystery. I will say that this Ghostface is a huge improvement over the one in the first film. For starters he isn’t getting kicked around the curb by every person he tries to attack. This one actually wins most of his fights. While his goals are just as delusional as the first guy, at least they aren’t as deplorable. This is definitely relatively speaking though since murder is murder. He gives a crazy speech about how the court case would go down and that could be an interesting movie in itself. There are other important characters in the climax, but there’s not much more I can say on that here without major spoilers.

While the soundtrack doesn’t quite match up to the first film’s dynamite tunes, this one still sounds pretty good. They just don’t seem to have some of the really solid rock themes from the first film and that’s too bad since it would have been cool to grab those. It’s still got more music than most films have by default though which is always good. The effects are also pretty solid. Ghostface’s simple design actually works well and makes him appear more menacing than most other horror icons.

One area where the film doesn’t standout as much as the first film is in the victims fighting back. As I mentioned in the original film they all landed a lot of hits while this time it’s more like a classic horror villain. It does make Ghostface more of a serious villain but it also becomes slightly less realistic as just about anyone would at least try to put up a fight. The film actually captures a lot of elements better than most like with how it takes multiple stabs to take anyone down in these films while in others people magically die after a single hit. You expect people to put up a fight between hits but that doesn’t really happen this time.

While a horror trope is that the villain is around every corner, the films have been pretty good with keeping it mostly realistic here. There is one scene you will question though as the guy somehow escapes a car and runs all the way around the street to get within stabbing range of the characters and doesn’t make a sound. Keep in mind that this is a deserted block in the middle of the night so there are no sounds that could drown out his. I dunno about you guys but when I leave a car it’s pretty noisy just due to how cars are. The guy was also just in a car crash so he’s pretty wounded. Honestly the characters should have quickly finished him off while he was knocked out, but I suppose it’s hard to just straight up murder someone like that if you’ve never done it before. The best friend was right (as always) in saying that they should have just gotten out of there. Anything is better than heading back into stab range.

Overall, Scream 2 is an improvement over the first film. I’d say that the villain is an improvement and the writing is better as well. The characters aren’t quite as crude and that’s probably because only the good characters survived the first film. At the same time the film couldn’t really improve on the score. The violence is still way over the top with Ghostface messing with most of the villains from the get go and as the viewer you know that they have no chance. I don’t think there’s really much of a way around that with these slasher films. At least realistically since they could just have the characters die off screen but then it would basically switch genres. If you liked the first Scream then I’d recommend checking this one out. It feels like a direct continuation and it does improve upon the first film in almost every way.

Overall 1/10

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Scream 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 one of the most iconic horror franchises of all time. I’m talking about Scream with good ole Ghostface. I think it’s fair to say that you expect a certain kind of film when you watch Scream and it delivers. This is exactly what you would expect in pretty much all aspects. It isn’t my kind of film and the crazy excessive violence dooms it from the start, but at least the film tries to differentiate itself a bit during the journey like with the great soundtrack. It’s not a film I could ever recommend but if you like slashers then this isn’t a bad one to check out.

The movie starts off with Ghostface showing up to someone’s house and murdering her. We then cut to the next day as the whole town is on red alert. School is still on for now, but security has been ramped up. Nobody knows who the killer is, but there’s a good chance he is somewhere in the town. Sidney is particularly distressed because almost a year ago her mother was also murdered in a grisly way. Sidney quickly finds out that she is the next target as Ghostface calls her and makes his intent known. She will need to find some way to stop him before she becomes the star of her own horror movie.

So lets talk about what makes Scream a little different from the average horror movie. For starters we have a great soundtrack here. I dare say that it’s probably the best horror soundtrack I’ve ever heard. It’s certainly the best slasher one I’ve experienced. We get constant rock music and the music doesn’t bother being subtle as it really intensifies during all of the big scenes. I dare say that this was poking fun at the usual horror films as well which is always a good idea if you ask me. The music really takes you to the next level.

Then there is the fact that the film wastes absolutely no time. Ghostface appears almost immediately in the film instead of showing up way later. Horror films are no stranger to having a quick beginning, but it is really rare that the guy shows up in costume so early on. It’s like having a mini movie at the beginning of the actual movie which was clever. Then even when he confronts Sidney that happens a lot sooner than I had thought. The guy shows up quite a lot and takes many attempts at the heroes but it works really well. Even as he loses the guy still makes his presence known.

It’s also nice to see the characters actually putting up a good fight against this guy. They really give him a beating and knock him down several times as the adventure goes on. It’s not something you would typically see in a movie like this one and while they are ultimately doomed it still works out very well. It delays the inevitable but that’s fine. Having a quality fight scene is always a good idea. If anything you will just wonder why the heroes never try finishing this guy off and turn their backs to him. Some of these characters seem like they would win in a fist fight so they just should have pressed the advantage.

Then the film goes into the usual slasher tropes which takes us back to square 1. For starters the film is incredibly violent. Everyone dies as painfully as possible and in particular there is a lot of blood in how they die. I dare say that the film is poking a little fun here too as everyone takes multiple stabs to go down instead of the usual just 1 hit like in most other films. It’s not like they ever really manage to do much between stabs though but with that and the face of the mask I dunno. It feels like a bit of a parody here too even if these are serious scenes.

We also can’t forget the script which isn’t very good as the teenagers all like to yell and panic as much as possible. Most of them seem to love the violence and are borderline rooting for the murderer as they have a lot of fun with the concept. The fact that they wear the costume later on is quite telling as well. Everyone in this town is intense though like the principal as well as he really threatens the students with death for this. You can tell how his character arc is going to end right from the start. The characters are portrayed to be as unlikable as possible which is always unfortunate.

Finally Ghostface himself has motives that are pretty sad all around. The film goes out of its way to make Sidney’s mother’s death as tragic as possible. Why can’t the villain just be a mass murderer and not a super sketchy individual on top of that? Such a character is already completely unlikable, it’s not necessary to go any further than that. Between that and him getting beaten up by just about every character in the book, things don’t look very good for Ghostface.

As for the main character, I can’t say that I’m a big fan of Sidney. Sidney is trying to come to terms with all of these dark events and does a reasonable job of this. Unfortunately the only supportive person in this is Tatum. Everyone else are really just here to make the situation tougher. Unfortunately she caves in to peer pressure with Billy at the end and loses sight of her priorities. It’s really not the best time to completely be messing around…especially when it’s not even her house. She has good confidence even when fighting Ghostface so that’s good. She’s generally very determined and knows how to throw a punch. Sidney may not be amazing, but she gets the job done.

Meanwhile we have Billy who is the super shady, suspect boyfriend. The film makes him look as creepy as possible even to the point where he appears out of nowhere right after Ghostface leaves. You have to decide if this makes him an actual suspect or if this is another trope that the film is mocking. Either way there is no reason to like him as the guy has no respect for anyone else and keeps pressuring Sidney into going further despite her reservations.

The friends are just as bad if not worse aside from Tatum. Tatum is Sidney’s only real friend and is at least a nice person who will stand by her. Tatum really gets the short end of the stick in this film as things never go well for the best friend. You have to give her a lot of credit for really trying to help Sidney and she was always quick on the defense. Tatum also puts up a good fight in her scene.

Then we’ve got Dewey who is a young cop that is trying to be taken seriously in the town. Unfortunately this is not going over very well as everyone keeps on thinking on him as the little kid they once knew. In their defense, Dewey doesn’t do a lot to garner respect as he still enjoys ice cream and gets bossed around by Tatum. When it’s crunch time he ultimately folds and that’s really all you need to know about the character. He also puts romance before the job and that’s never a good thing for a cop or any other position.

Finally there is Gale. She’s a bold reporter who gets on everyone’s bad side, but always manages to get a scoop. She doesn’t get along with Sidney because she believes that the lead tagged the wrong person for the gas chamber. She intends to blast this case wide open and will do whatever it takes towards this goal. It makes for a good subplot but I don’t think the execution was completely on point. Honestly she should have been the one to shoot Ghostface at the end. I’d say that she earned it considering how much work she put in and the fact that she was tracking this case for over 10 years. It just felt like she got the shaft here. Still a fun character though even if she is using her wiles to manipulate Dewey. It’s more his fault for falling for her tactics. She’s just winning.

Overall, Scream will grab your attention and it really does end up being a smarter slasher film than most. It’s not going to win an Oscar or anything like that, but it feels more realistic than some others. There aren’t a lot of moments where you think “The character should have done this instead of that” They actually make logical choices for the most part (Crawling into the garage door was a bad move) but it’s just too late for them anyway. The main takeaway here is that you’ve gotta try and fight off the villain when you have the edge instead of running. This film’s way too violent until you’re of age so be warned. If you do want to see a slasher though, you can’t do much better than this one.

Overall 1/10

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Carriers Review


It’s time to look at another zombie film. This time it’s less of a sci-fi though as the zombies don’t run around destroying people. It’s definitely an interesting look at the end of the world, but the cast certainly aren’t likable and I dare say that it is intentional. Karma slowly starts to catch up to them as they go through their travels and by the end there really isn’t a happy end for all of them. In fact, depending on how you look at it it’s game over for everyone.

The film starts off by introducing us to the state of the world. A plague infected the planet and almost everyone is now dead. The main characters aren’t the chosen 4 who have survived as there are other survivors, but the human race has been whittled down tremendously. That’s why they came up with some rules. If they come across someone who is infected, then that person is already dead so the heroes won’t try to help. They can’t go near any infected people and they have to disinfect everything that may have been close to an infected. Their goal is to get to a beach since it’s an isolated place and hopefully nobody is there. I don’t know how likely it is that nobody would be there since even though this beach is no longer active…it’s a beach.

One of the problems here is the fact that none of the characters adhere to the rules. One of the big ones naturally is not to get anywhere close to the infected yet they do so all the time. As all of the characters begin to get infected you’ll see the others walk around without their masks. They jump into houses without masks and just run around constantly. They’ll make a big deal of putting on the masks later on, but by then they would already be infected. It’s part of why I believe they all would have ultimately died by the end even without making so many mistakes.

Brian is arguably the main character here. He’s a very rude guy who is always yelling and being aggressive in order to get people to see his way of thinking. Brian does care for his friends, but not for anyone else. He’s used to doing the dirty work to the point where it has become routine. Karma hits him pretty hard and fast though and you can sort of see how his character arc will play out. I do think he should have been a little more careful in the ending though. I suppose a part of him wanted to go out in that way since he wouldn’t have to endure the longer process. None of the characters like the idea of becoming an infected after all.

Then there is Danny who was probably the worst character of the bunch although Kate gives him a run for his money. Danny is the kind of guy who will pressure others to make the hard calls, but offers no help or will even try to make it sound like he would have made the nice move. Either he would end up making everyone infected or he would simply get sore later on since deep down he didn’t want it to go this way. He gets influences pretty easily by Kate and just doesn’t make any good decisions throughout the movie. He isn’t mean like Brian but in a way that may be why he comes across as a little fake at times.

Bobby is probably the most sincere of the 4 characters, but that comes back to bite her. She really did not handle the situation well at all. You can see why she may have acted the way she did with the kid, but she really should have tried to help through the plastic as opposed to taking it off. I don’t blame her for hiding it from the rest of the group after that though. If anything that just helped her prolong the inevitable and it would have been way worse for her if she had spoke up right away.

Finally we have Kate who probably makes the others regret that she was taken along for the ride. She has no real bond with the other characters so that makes it pretty easy for her to constantly tell Danny that they need to bump someone off. She’s that negative voice in his ear always trying to give dicey instructions. By the end of the film she seems pretty satisfied since it seems like things went well for her. While the film doesn’t even imply otherwise, I do think that the characters are already doomed. She was really close to an infected Bobby for quite a while, Danny made contact with Brian a few times post infection and he was also really close to the dead zombie. Then there’s all the times they were all walking around without masks.

I think that Carriers has a hard time deciding just how infectious the virus is. Part of it also depends on the individual’s resistance to being sick as well, but you would still think that the characters would keep the masks on more often. I don’t care if it’s a little uncomfortable, if it’s the only thing keeping me alive then I’ll be wearing it all the time. These characters don’t really tend to think things through though so maybe it’s not too surprising.

Then the film really jumped the shark by introducing a dog in towards the end. Keep in mind that there is seriously no reason to have a dog and the instant he appeared I knew that the film was in trouble. Sure enough that ends up being game over for him as the characters grab the gun and the film was completely destroyed in that moment. It was already not going to be that high, but this moment was a game changer. Then you’ve also got the fact that some random army characters show up later on for forced tension as they want to keep Bobby and Kate for sketchy reasons. This is another plot line that comes out of nowhere and does nothing except show that it’s a cruel world now. We already knew that so why bother? We already had the Dad and his dying kid for that plotline and that was already pretty tragic. That was the death flags moment for Brian by the way. Realistically they couldn’t have helped her but they just shouldn’t have pulled over from the start. Shooting the two old ladies was also crossing a big line since they were putting their lives above everyone else’s.

Overall, Carriers is definitely a miss. The idea of making a quality zombie film could be good, but this one just really missed the mark. It made all of the mistakes it possibly could and even with the classic “Everyone is doomed” ending it can’t really save itself. The writing is very weak and it’s a mean spirited film where everyone loses out. That’s why I do think a main theme here is about how the characters’ selfish choices ultimately doom them all but that could have just been coincidental. After all the ending does try to stay vague to an extent….I just don’t quite buy it. You’ll want to stay far away from this film and if anything you should watch the Vincent Price film about being the Last Man on Earth instead. That one handles all of the themes way better than this film ever could.

Overall 1/10

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Joyride 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 been a while since I saw a classic slasher. This one plays it pretty straight with the villain being everywhere and knowing all the answers as he makes things miserable for the leads. The film also goes out of its way to make the leads as unlikable as possible so in the end everyone loses. It’s a pretty bad film for sure and one of those titles where you feel like the heroes had a lot of chances to get out until they didn’t.

Joyride starts off with Lewis getting a call from his old friend Venna. She doesn’t have a ride anymore after going through a breakup so Lewis quickly buys a car and offers to drive her. Along the way he finds out that his brother has been arrested yet again so he makes a stop to pick the guy up. Fuller figures that he’ll be a third wheel on the drive and since Lewis isn’t direct enough to say otherwise they head out. Fuller quickly gets bored though and wants to live on the edge so he installs a radio in the car and convinces Lewis to play a prank on a driver. The prank is to convince the driver that he is a girl and trick him into going to a hotel room. The prank works a little too well as the driver murders the guy and then decides to get payback on the brothers. He now intends to murder them and Venna but first he wants to humiliate them for a while.

That’s the main plot and there isn’t much to it beyond that. Rusty (The driver) continues to force them to do whatever he says as he terrorizes them with his truck. He also takes Venna’s best friend hostage so the heroes can’t go to the police. The guy has a lot of spare time on his hands as he puts graffiti on a bunch of signs and then finds a way to put a radio in the main character’s car without leaving any evidence of it being tampered with. He had time to track down Venna’s friend and also manages to spy on them the whole time. Don’t think about any of this too much because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

The guy is just everywhere and he’s powerful enough to murder everyone who gets in his way. Even in the dark through a big field he is able to go in and swipe one of the characters without the other 2 being able to do much of anything. Even though he uses the prank as the excuse for going on this murder spree it’s obvious that the guy was crazy from the start. He just wanted an excuse and the main characters gave him a pretty easy one. Rusty’s a fairly shallow villain and not a likable one, but at least the truck is decent.

Lewis is unfortunately a terrible lead and a film always tends to suffer a bit when the main characters are really bad. Bailing Fuller from jail is a good thing to do, but he definitely should have told the guy to find his own way out of town. Driving with him all the way was a bad idea especially since Fuller immediately started breaking the law. While Lewis isn’t nearly as bad as Fuller you can’t give him much of a pass simply because he allows everything to go on. You can’t be wishy washy about this kind of thing. Lewis never makes a stand and that goes to the prank as well. Lewis is the one actually pranking Rusty and if he were a better person he never would have even entertained the idea of doing such a thing. He’s just got a ways to go.

Meanwhile Fuller is terrible. Pretty much all of his lines are antagonistic and he gets a kick out of picking fights and generally being a nuisance to everyone. He objectifies Venna almost immediately and then actually tries to have a serious romance later. No matter how much the film tries to make him seem useful or nice towards the end there’s just no way you can buy it. Also, in a life or death situation anyone can try to help someone else, it doesn’t mean that they’ve suddenly changed. This guy was just terrible.

Venna is okay, but also not that good. For starters, the fact that she subtly asked Lewis for such a long inconvenient ride makes it seem like she is manipulating him a bit. She probably knows that he has a crush on her and is cashing in on this. The scene where she hangs out with Fuller later on is also suspect and while no romance goes anywhere in this film, I’m just not sure about her end game here. Without a doubt she is way better than the other two characters though and probably regretted going on the drive with them by the end. It really did not pay off well at all. That’s also why the best friend gets the worst luck here as she had absolutely nothing to do with anything and got roped in anyway.

It almost goes without saying that this film is incredibly violent. Rusty makes sure that each death is as painful as possible and he racks up quite the rap sheet here. By the end of the film everyone is pretty banged up. Then you’ve got the writing which is pretty terrible. The TV version had to air out quite a lot since the characters had quite the potty mouth. The script definitely could have written them out to be jerks while showing a little more restraint here.

Overall, Joyride is one of those films where you have nobody to root for. In general slasher films will never rank all that highly for me because of the inevitable bad script and the over the top violence. The main characters not being even remotely good also isn’t surprising but I dare say that this was the worst main cast in a very long while. The fact of the matter is their prank wasn’t funny in any sense and was also quite dangerous. The driver could have easily walked into a home with a Rusty type character and been in major trouble. Pranks like that shouldn’t even qualify as a joke because they are so mean spirited. I’d advise you to stick away from Joyride. It’s not like it does anything to differentiate itself from the other slasher films anyway and you won’t be missing much of anything by skipping out on it. I have a feeling that the sequels are more of the same. The twist at the end you’ll definitely see coming a mile away, hopefully the characters are smart enough to tell the cops since at least two of them saw Rusty directly and should quickly be able to see through the ruse. Proving it is another matter entirely but the ice truck halves should still be around somewhere.

Overall 1/10

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The Night Visitor Review


It’s time to look at an old school horror that takes place back in the olden days. There’s a lot of snow everywhere and you’d possibly think that the film takes place in Russia. That at least would have been my guess as the characters also look Russian although the film was made in Sweden so that’s probably where it takes place. It’s not one of my favorite horror films and if anything I would have to give it a thumbs down here. Right away the film starts digging some holes and by the end of the film it is 6 feet under.

The movie starts off by showing Salem travelling through the snow until he ultimately reaches his destination which is the family’s house. He was sent to an asylum a long time ago for insanity, but has escaped to gather his revenge. We learn during the film that his stay there was orchestrated by the family. Was it Emma, Esther, Anton, or all 3 of them? Each character has some justifications for their actions which amount to nothing more than their greed for money and power. Salem intends to finish them all off and the only defense against him is a young police officer who isn’t the smartest chip around and the old boss who isn’t what he used to be.

You can see why the family is doomed. No worries, the film makes sure to show you repeatedly why none of them are characters you should be rooting for. Alton is guilty of this whole mess and even worse, he tries to murder the parrot merely for speaking the truth. It doesn’t help that the bird looked a lot like my Green Cheeked Conure from back in the day so that definitely meant that Anton had no chance for mounting a comeback at this point. The character was just absolutely terrible and also not that realistic. I know it’s a common theme for the villains to actually be cowards. The irony and all that. It’s just too extreme when the guy literally faints just from seeing Salem. He can’t do anything right and the guy isn’t even remotely clever when dealing with the cops. How he managed to survive this long without dying of stress is beyond me.

Then you have Esther who is also fairly manipulative. For a good chunk of the film she tries to act fairly innocent, but by the end that guise starts to fall apart. She’s probably the boldest of the villains as she actually faces off with Salem and even tries to murder him. That plan was ultimately a little too bold though. She’s fairly strong considering her build, but in a fist fight with someone who is crazed with revenge that just isn’t going to cut it. She didn’t have a whole lot of options at this point, but antagonizing him did not help. Emma’s role is a lot smaller than the other two so you can probably guess what that means. She’s just another villain trying to get away with wrecking lives.

2 wrongs don’t make a right though and none of this makes Salem any more likable. His very first scene where he murders someone completely destroys his character because he goes down the skeevy route of possibly using the victim a bit before finishing her off. That also wrecked the movie right from the start as well. A slasher film is already dark enough, you really don’t need to introduce any more themes at that point. Likewise for the repeated attempts at animal violence. The bird managed to dodge all of Anton’s attempts fortunately but it was still no fun seeing the guy throw things at him and such. I’m sure the bird was pretty scared during all of that.

What did this film even do right? Not really much of anything to be honest. The Night Visitor doesn’t even succeed on a technical level as the snow backdrops don’t work for me. There just isn’t much to look at. The film isn’t very long, but since it’s pretty predictable that doesn’t work in its favor either. Throw in the completely unlikable cast and you’ve got yourself a problem. The best character by default is probably the police chief’s sidekick. The guy falls for every trick in the book and definitely isn’t ready to be the main police officer, but at least he tries. That’s more than you can say for a bunch of these characters in most horror films. I didn’t mind the main police officer too much, but he had less personality and took forever to really do anything.

I’m afraid that the film also fumbles with the premise as well since it all boils down to whether or not you believe that Salem can escape a jail, murder some people, and then run back in before nobody notices. I don’t buy this premise. It’s not like this is a silent endeavor and there would be so many tracks. He has to throw his rope just to make it around and as we saw in the opening scenes of the movie, it’s a very long route to the house. There’s no way you’re going to make the rounds and be back in your cell before time is up. We can assume that the guards are slacking and don’t check, but it’s all incredibly convenient for Salem. He’s also crossing this snowy wasteland in shorts and still has enough strength left to take everyone down. Adrenaline is a powerful thing, but he should have died of pneumonia by the end.

Overall, The Night Visitor is really a cautionary tale about how your past crimes will catch up to you at some point. Perhaps not as dramatically as in this film but it is true that you will always answer for your crimes in the end. These kind of revenge stories don’t really work though as the character might win out in the end but by then everyone is so steeped in darkness that it’s a case of winning the battle but losing the war. In general I rarely care for slasher films as it is, but this one really didn’t do anything to try and change that. It just went with the waves and sputtered out. If you want to watch a good horror title, check out something like Zombie Island instead.

Overall 1/10

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Pretty Poison Review


It’s time to look at the film known as Pretty Poison. I actually did review this film once, but my whole review got deleted so this is version 2. I’m not sure exactly why it didn’t save, I’m thinking somehow I lost signal so the transfer didn’t go through or it got archived somehow. It’s happened to me in the past, but it’s been a while. Usually I also keep a copy offline just in case until I see it go through, but I had seen it in my gmail so I thought it went through. I dunno, tech can be a little weird sometimes. Regardless, reviewing the same thing twice was an interesting exercise.

The film starts off with Dennis meeting with his probation officer Morton. Morton lets him know that Dennis now has a job at a chemical company and so he should be good to go. Just keep in touch for a while. Dennis already seems a little crazy but agrees and then quickly stops making contact. Once in the area he meets up with a girl named Sue Ann and decides to recruit her to his cause.

Dennis is convinced that he is a foreign agent meant to shut down various companies in the US. He tells Sue Ann that he is from the CIA though and his first act of terrorism will be to sabotage the chemical plant where he works. Yes…the main character is literally a terrorist and targeting the place where he works at almost right after joining makes it all so obvious that you have to wonder what his plan is. Most likely he doesn’t have a plan, but things take a turn for the worse when it turns out that Sue Ann is even worse than he is. She just wants to watch the world burn and is ready to murder as many as it takes.

This movie has a lot wrong with it. One of the primary factors here is the weak main cast. First you’ve got Dennis who is just a terrible lead. The guy’s not heroic in the slightest and his delusional fantasies turn him into a complete villain. There’s nobody to root for here and his final decisions in the movie make no sense. The final scenes have him refusing to state his side of the story and he doesn’t co-operate with the cops at all. It’s some misguided passion to let others die as he says that the poison was pretty. It’s a metaphor for how nobody will understand how evil this person is until they’re stung, but then he is simply accepting the fact that there will be more victims. He’s not helping anyone so that just makes him part of the problem. After all if you aren’t stopping evil then you are aiding it. You’re never given the impression that he was ever trying to help the heroes either which just makes things even worse.

Then you have the main villain Sue Ann who definitely isn’t a likable character either. The whole point of her character is that she is even worse than Dennis after all so this likely won’t come as any kind of real surprise. It’s just how it is and the romance plot between her and Dennis was also doomed from the start. It’s not a well developed romance with both of them using each other the whole time. Dennis is really slow on the uptake here.

Then you’ve got Morton who was the parole officer, but never really did a good job of reigning in Dennis. From the start Dennis breaks the laws and his probation so I would have liked for Morton to have gone after him a little more. You gotta do something when the rebellion is so open the way that it was here. If Dennis had at least made the effort to look like he was going to change then that’s different. Instead he basically just threatens Morton and somehow the guy decides to look the other way. I dare say that this makes him at least indirectly responsible for some of the damage that happens later on.

There’s really nothing good about this film and it’s a crawl from start to finish. A good chunk of this film is really just about showing how delusional Dennis is and how out of his depth he is as well. It’s all played seriously so it’s not even a comedic plot where you can mock Dennis for not being able to keep up the act once Sue Ann really starts testing him. She really figures him out pretty early on if you ask me. The ending of the film can be interpreted a few different ways. Sue Ann definitely isn’t going to stop taking people down, but the latest guy seems obviously shady as well. I can see them both bumping each other off so it’ll probably all depend on who goes out first.

Ideally the cops will have figured all of this out by then though. While Sue Ann got rid of a lot of the evidence there should still be some things that pop up eventually. Her finger prints would be all over the bodies, even the guard who was drowned unless the water gets rid of it. I don’t know exactly how all that works, but I feel like some evidence should still remain. If not….well I guess the town is basically doomed.

Overall, Pretty Poison is definitely one of those films that you will want to completely sidestep. It’s a pretty dark film that doesn’t have good pacing and gives you nobody to root for. The romance is one of the worst that I’ve seen in quite a while. You’ll be checked out early on and the title will become pretty obvious near the start so you don’t even have that to keep you engaged. I think what could have helped the film would have been if Dennis actually wasn’t insane and aliens ended up arriving near the middle of the film, but I suppose this would be a very different kind of movie at that point.

Overall 1/10

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West Side Story Review


It’s time to look at another popular musical from back in the day. This one has not aged nearly as well as Footloose and ends up being a pretty bad film. It has some interesting storylines and characters, but ultimately the movie falls apart because it is lacking in true heroes. There really isn’t anyone to root for by the end and while the film left the door open to a team up in the second half, it ultimately never happened. The ending isn’t really satisfying for any of the characters.

The movie starts by introducing us to two gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. These two do not get along and have been fighting over turf for a very long time. Both groups are roughly equal in power so nothing ever changes. One day the leaders of both gangs decide to end things once and for all with a big fight. Bernardo and Riff shake on it and prepare for battle. A wrinkle to this is that Tony has fallen in love with Maria and they are both in different gangs. Maria pleads with Tony to put an end to this fight and he decides to do so, but it won’t be so easy. In trying to stop this confrontation he may just end up making it worse.

I mentioned that there aren’t any characters to really root for. This is because they tend to be corrupt or make terrible decisions, but one solid character was Riff. He’s the leader of the Jets and seemed to be a lot more capable than the others. He was ready to fight at any time and always kept his cool. If not for Tony’s meddling he definitely had the win pretty decisively. He actually looked a lot like a younger captain Kirk and fought like him as well. His long skit which poked fun at the justice system was also solid and one of the best songs in the movie. It’s a shame that he didn’t get to appear more since I also think he would have kept his gang from crossing the line with Anita later on.

There’s little reason to root for the Jets because of that scene. There’s a moment later on in the film when Anita is sent by Maria to deliver a message to Tony. She is stopped by the gang though and while it is reasonable for them to stop her from meeting with him, they also decide to attack her. It’s basically 10 vs 1 and very quickly gets into downright villain territory with how they try to degrade her. There’s just no coming back from that especially since everyone was in on it. So, that means that not a single one of the remaining Jets was a decent human being.

The film also gives you reason to root for the Sharks if anything as the dialogue implies that the Jets started the fight with them just because the Sharks are outsiders. The cops are also more on the Jets side even if they just don’t like teens in general. The deck is stacked against the Sharks. Bernardo also seemed reasonable at times even if he definitely was not when Tony showed up. At that point he wasn’t helping matters and that’s why Riff had to step in. The rest of the gang doesn’t get a whole lot of screen time.

We’ve got Tony who is the pacifist, but he comes across as more annoying than anything else. I never liked the trope of the character holding back his ally from fighting while allowing the villain to get a cheap shot in. If you’re going to try and stop a fight then you’ve also got to make sure you stop the other side from attacking as well. Tony’s final move to try and get himself destroyed is also not a good one. You’d expect him to at least try and avenge Maria instead.

As for Maria, she was giving Tony a lot of pretty unreasonable demands the whole time. Ultimately she is the one who is getting him into all of this trouble. Why should it be his responsibility to stop two gangs single handily? That’s just very hard to do and so she definitely takes some of the blame for the ending as well. Anita was a more selfless character if anything as she put aside her feelings to help Maria time and time again despite knowing that this was a bad idea. Her character arc is definitely one of the most tragic ones as she ends up losing almost everything with nothing to gain.

There are quite a few songs here, but they aren’t very catchy in comparison to other musicals. The “Keep it cool” song was very surreal though and was fun in an ironic way. It was cool to see the characters dancing around silently in the garage. The dancing was handled pretty well in general. The opening scene might have been a little slow with all of the clicking and silent moving, but it did ultimately lead to a fun little confrontation. The film is at its best when it tries to throw a little humor around like with the skit that I mentioned earlier.

The serious moments don’t work nearly as well. This includes the romance which ends up being more annoying than anything. One such scene is when the characters are meeting by the balcony. Both of them make a lot of noise considering that they are supposed to be doing this in total secrecy. Then you have the ending which definitely doesn’t work for me either. At the very least you would expect Maria to take a shot. Knocking out both gangs would have been very interesting.

Really, this film wasn’t very good from start to finish, but what really made it cross the line into distasteful territory was the scene of the gang attacking Anita. It’s the straw that broke the film’s back so to speak. This is just a very mean spirited film which is almost surprising after you’ve seen the first few scenes since you would expect it to be fairly happy. The tone just shifts throughout which is impressive, but ultimately it did not work in the movie’s favor this time.

Overall, I would recommend staying away from West Side Story. Not only is it a fairly bad film, but it really drags on. The run time is incredibly long and that’s mainly because the pacing is so slow. You can go through long periods of the film with absolutely nothing happening and that’s never a good sign. If you want to go watch a good musical then I recommend watching Footloose. At least that one has the iconic hero song which works well to this day.

Overall 1/10

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Our Mother’s House Review


It’s time to look at a relatively old film that you probably haven’t heard of. Be warned though, the main characters are a group of kids so…..that already puts the film in a bit of a sticky situation. I don’t want to say that kids can’t hold their own films…but they can’t hold their own films. It’s definitely a movie that I recommend staying far away from unless you love having a ton of drama thrown at you.

The film starts off with a lot of kids running around a house. The 3 oldest ones are the only ones who seem to be fairly calm, but this changes once the mother finally dies from her illness. Now they have to decide what to do. The main character Elsa decides that they won’t tell anyone and the kids can survive on their own. It’s probably not her best idea, but the kids decide to roll with it. At first things are going well enough, but then some of the kids start letting the power get to their heads and become cruel. Will Elsa simply watch as this all happens?

Part of why this is a really bad film is because there are no likable characters. All of the kids are pretty shady and even the ones who are supposed to be heroic just don’t have the courage to stand up and fight for what’s right. A good example of this is Hubert. He’s one of the oldest kids and usually comes up with the more reasonable ideas, but backs down when it counts. One example of this is when Gerty talks to a stranger and the kids decide to punish her. He just watches as they force her down and cut her hair. Gerty probably could have tried defending herself more, but at that point it becomes more victim blaming then anything else. Keep in mind that she’s one of the younger kids so there really isn’t much she could do. It was up to Hubert or Elsa to protect her and since nobody did anything, they’re all guilty.

You won’t be able to take any of the characters seriously as protagonists by this point, although for most the time had already come and gone anyway. One of the kids is always yelling about how everyone’s going straight to hell and another one hears voices in her head. Elsa is determined to be the best kid out there so she doesn’t have time for the others and Hubert gets pushed around by everyone. Gerty is nice enough, but she should have ditched the other kids and gone straight to the police. It’s at the point where you’re just waiting for the cops to run in and stop them.

Then of course we have the Dad who comes in later on. Naturally he’s not a nice fellow either so don’t expect him to come riding in on a white horse to save the day. He’s just here to add in more drama and the characters are pretty gullible so this works out well for him. The plot twist about the mother also adds in the extra drama. At the end of the day the main problem with the film is that it’s just very mean spirited. There are no real winners here. Everyone is basically corrupt and of course you’ll have a hard time buying the ending where a kid takes on a grown up. Sure, it’s not a full fight as that would be crazy, but even as far as sneak attacks go it just makes the grownup look pretty bad.

There may have been some decent ideas in here, but they were all buried by the film. At the end of the day, you can’t really do a long drama film about a pack of kids. There is only so much that they can do and they’re also just too young. Most of their big appearances are just the kids trying to shout over each other so there isn’t much actual dialogue. It’s really just a contest of who can be the loudest with the most dominating personality. Then you’v also got the really random plot where a kid decides to join the main cast as he ran away from home. I don’t see the point of this plot and it ultimately didn’t add anything to the film. What that tells me is by this point the writers had basically finished the script for the whole movie, but needed something to extend the run time. That works about as well as you would expect.

Overall, Even though this is a pretty old film I can’t say that the writing was all that good. The film never gets particularly engaging and the drama is pretty forced. The characters definitely cry a lot and get pretty emotional, but the dynamic doesn’t work nearly as well as it would if they were full fledged adults. To do a proper remake of this you would need the kids to be around 16-17. That way they’re still minors so the overall plot makes sense (If they’re of legal age then they could just take custody of the house) but this way they’re old enough to actually reason and make some plans. There’s a lot you could do with this plot if you actually try. This one did not though so I recommend changing gears and watching the 90’s Sonic The Hedgehog movie instead.

Overall 1/10