Enough Review

Enough is a film where we finally have a heroine trying to frame the main villain as opposed to the other way around. Typically you always see the villains going for this trick so it’s a nice reversal of sorts. At the same time, the film’s tagline and whole promotional campaigns feel like they spoil the ending right off the bar. There isn’t any actual fighting until the very end of the film. If anything it would have been more interesting if we could have had more of a setup to the fight from the start like the lead saying to give her 2 years and she’ll come back with masterful skills. The villain would accept the deal since he’s overconfident and then you’ve got like a Rocky climax. It didn’t quite happen though but that would have been neat.

The movie starts off with Slim working the usual shift at a restaurant when some guy starts flirting with her. This guy’s clearly been desperate for a while as he keeps trying to talk to her and unfortunately Slim humors the guy. That’s when a guy called Mitch shows up and explains that the other guy made a bet that he could get with Slim. Slim’s shocked and the guy runs off. Slim then decides that Mitch must be a good guy so they quickly get married but unfortunately that isn’t the case. Mitch is an abusive cheater who just wants to do whatever he wants while keeping Slim and their daughter as a hostage. Slim manages to escape one day with some help from her friends but Mitch is in pursuit. Can Slim stay one step ahead of him or should she change course and bring the fight to him?

Right away though yo can see how the romance was a bit rushed. Slim knew nothing about Mitch except that he was someone who helped prevent her from getting into another relationship that could have been tricky. It seems like the old hero error. I forget the name of the complex but it’s where someone saves your life so you mistake your feelings of gratitude for love. This seems like that kind of scenario because Slim was ready to date this random guy but then quickly moves on to Mitch and they get married after a montage so presumably a decent amount of time has passed. The issue here is that you can’t be falling for more than one person this easily. Still, clearly it worked out for a while until Slim found out the truth.

She’s a pretty solid main character. Slim tries a whole lot of options before escaping such as visiting the cops and doing research. The tricky thing is that they aren’t really able to do much of anything for her until something actually happens. It’s a pretty big issue in general which is why these kinds of situations aren’t easy even in real life. Particularly in this case since Mitch is rich and has contacts inside of the police so there isn’t a lot that can be done. Pretty much everyone ultimately forces her into becoming a vigilante but Slim deserves credit for trying other options first.

As for her plan, it’s a pretty solid one. Slim figures she’ll break into his house without his knowing about it, and then destroy him. As the poster says, this will be in “Self-Defense.” Naturally if the jury knew about her breaking in and starting the fight then this wouldn’t hold up in court but she makes sure there is no evidence. Stacked in her favor is the fact that she planted a note saying she had accepted his invitation to come in and have a talk. To the jury this will make it look like this was a trap set up by Mitch. Additionally she’ll have testimony from quite a few people that Mitch was a little crazy and she also has the name and identity of at least one person he was fooling around with which will help establish motive.

It’s why framing in general always seems to dangerous because unless you have a Sherlock Holmes or such to crack the case then it’s hard to beat. For example, in this situation the cops have no reason to believe that self defense isn’t the case here because for one, they have no reason to suspect Slim would actually attack this guy and the fall makes the whole thing even more believable. Slim better make sure she actually removes all of the tech and such from the house though. That was the only area where I think she may have made a mistake. The film ends rather suddenly of course but she presumably still left everything inside like the phone jammer, her suitcase, lockpicking tech, etc. If the cops see this it may raise some eyebrows.

I guess we can assume she maybe moved it later or pinned it on Mitch. Either way I would say that the deck is stacked in her favor in this respect. Slim may have had some hesitation at the end and I didn’t like the fact that she pulled movie trope 101 of turning her back to Mitch mid fight to take a phone call which was almost fatal but otherwise she was a quality character. She did her best to protect her daughter and constantly keep on moving. Things were rather grim for Slim but she never gave up and now she can finally have some peace.

One of the side characters here is a guy named Joe. He’s a good friend who steps in to help Slim. I was glad that he didn’t bend to the pressure of Mitch’s hired help. I definitely recommend not opening the door when people come in claiming they have a warrant though. I mean it’s a tough decision because either way you’ll probably get beat up but you can’t trust anyone nowadays. Police uniforms can be forged and warrants can be faked so there’s no true way to know that someone’s on the level. You just have to hope that you aren’t in that situation I guess. Only thing I’d say against Joe is I think his trying to start up a romance with Slim is a little too quick. She’s in an emotionally tricky spot right now and is literally dealing with an evil husband so maybe waiting til after that is settled right?

At least he served as a good ally for her to have around. In general it was nice that Slim actually had some good friends for once. Usually in these films the heroine is all alone but this time you had the buddies from work. In particular they came in clutch early on when Mitch nearly foiled Slim’s escape attempt. Since he knows where they all live they were all taking pretty big risks of their own so now Slim can know that they’re all true friends.

One of the standout characters near the end was Slim’s father. At first he’s your average gangster father who doesn’t want anything to do with Slim but once Mitch threatens him then the guy jumps into action. I like the idea that he only helped just to stick it to the other villains. It’s one of those chaotic kind of moments that just so happens to help the heroine in this case. He may not be a hero but he definitely came in handy when it counted.

Meanwhile Mitch is definitely a bad character as you’d expect. He’s one of those villains who just operates completely on desire and doing what he wants. He is tough when he has a gun and such but otherwise that’s about it. I will say at times he looked a bit like Tom Cruise so it was a bit odd to see him as a crazy villain like this. Cruise has been a villain before but not really a crazy one. Naturally it makes the final fight pretty solid where Slim is taking him down. The film resists the urge to make this a big martial arts battle with a ton of high speed choreography out of a Mission Impossible film but I admit that would have been fun to see. Instead it’s more of a desperate fight with Slim getting to use her training. Her coach deserves a shoutout real quick because he prepared her really well for this moment.

Enough has a solid climax to be sure as things end off on a good note. The journey is also solid as Slim keeps on going from place to place and establishing new identities. Even her daughter was pretty reasonable the whole time as she tried to take things in stride. It’s definitely not easy on a kid to be running around like this. She may have gotten a bit careless with the basketball but you can blame Joe and Slim a bit on that one for letting her out of their sight even for a minute. One other character in the movie is Mitch’s ally who happens to be a cop but there’s not a whole lot to say about him. He lets Mitch threaten and push him around a lot so this isn’t exactly the toughest villain out there.

There’s one character in the film that’s a bit annoying though and that’s the attorney Slim visits. He basically blames her for not going to the cops earlier even though the film already established why that wouldn’t work and you’d think this guy would have known it. At least he let her know that the court date was a trap but she knew that as well. I thought he was going to be more helpful. I guess it was good as a twist of sorts that he wouldn’t help her out at all but you’d think he could have offered up some advice. At the end of the day Slim basically had to do everything herself including thinking up the plan to get a coach and learn how to fight. Definitely the best possible investment she could have made though.

As with some thrillers like this you may have to suspend a little disbelief with how much pull Mitch has. The guy has friends with the cops, mafia, personal security force, he can trick phone operators, etc. Slim literally travels to many different cities and he catches up to her almost immediately. The guy is clearly obsessed and insane so while I don’t think anything he does is completely impossible, at times it feels a little too fast. Right now you can use the internet to find just about anybody but if they move away it’ll still take some time to track their next position, especially with a new identity. That’s just the way it goes though.

Overall, Enough is actually a decent film. This genre can usually get a little dicey like Sleeping with the Enemy which didn’t get the highest of scores. This film allowed Slim to get out a little earlier this time though which was helpful. She didn’t have to put up with quite as much so by the same token Mitch didn’t get away with the same amount of things before her escape. Additionally Slim actually getting to physically beat him up was a nice way to close things out. It’s definitely a vigilante move but the film did show that she tried to use the official channels first so it’s hard to fault or blame her in any way for these steps. Realistically if she didn’t choose to take the attack to Mitch and finish him off then she would likely be dead. I can safely recommend this if you want to check out a pretty intense thriller. Although if I were the film creators I would have marketed this as a normal slice of life romance film because then the twists would be that much more effective. I still don’t understand why the film’s premise spoils almost the entire first 70% of the film but at least it makes it easy to review the film since I can talk about more than usual.

Overall 6/10

Music and Lyrics Review

Music and Lyrics is a title that’s very to the point. Right away you know that this is a drama/romance film involving music. This way you know exactly what you are getting into from the start. It’s a reasonable film although there’s a moment near the end where one of the characters goes a little too far with the insults and the dances here can get pretty sketchy. So the film isn’t able to quite achieve the heights it was gunning for but it’s not bad or anything.

The movie starts by introducing us to Alex who used to be a famous star and now he is known as a has been. A lot of people don’t even know who he is anymore. Fortunately Alex takes this in stride. As long as he makes some money he doesn’t really care that he is not popular. It’s just the way that it goes for him. He finally has a chance at a big break though when he meets Cora who is the #1 star right now. She wants Alex to create a new song for her in 3 days. He’s not very good at writing but as luck would have it, his substitute gardener is a talented song writer named Sophie. Alex must now convince her to help him write this song so he will be set up for the rest of his life…or at least for a while.

Sophie isn’t very receptive to the idea initially though. See, she has a traumatic affair with a teacher a while back where it turns out that he was already in a relationship and just used her as a way to get new material for his book. The book was a best seller with the main character being a not very subtle version of Sophie. Now Sophie is afraid to do anything that will make her stand out. That of course does include writing a song. Alex will have to try and get persuasive fast since the deadline is fast approaching.

Music and Lyrics has a lot of good banter with the main characters. The movie is able to transmit humor effectively in these moments and the pacing is solid. I’d say the writing is on point as well so you’ve already got all the hallmarks of a good film. Sophie has certainly had a rough time of things but ultimately she steps in to help when needed. She can be a bit over dramatic like with the band aid scene which was a little odd but beyond that she’s usually not too crazy. Sophie makes for a good heroine.

Then you have Alex. For the most part he is a good character but towards the end he has a scene that will make you shake your head. Effectively he brings up her past trauma again and says that the guy was right with his insults about her. No matter how you slice it Alex went way too far there. It’s the kind of scene that is hard to overlook since no matter how much he apologizes the guy knew exactly what he did. There’s no coming back from that and I think a part of him knew it. So by the end I couldn’t really root for him again after that.

There are a few side character here and there like Sophie’s sister and Alex’s agent but for the most part the cast is fairly small. I did like the agent a lot though. He seems like a nice guy and someone who does think about his client a lot in trying to make sure he gets a good deal. He’s the kind of guy you absolutely want as your agent because nobody else would quite be able to match that kind of energy. So whenever he would appear you would get a good scene.

Finally you have Cora who is certainly very eccentric. She did rise to be the number 1 star so clearly her skills are the real deal. She may like to dance even if it disrupts the tone of the song but apparently it has worked out for her thus far. Cora’s a nice character who balances out business and pleasure well. She’s friendly with her teammates but she also makes it clear that she won’t support failure and has backup plans at the ready. She always ends up being reasonable in the end.

That said, her dances are part of what holds the film back at times. It can be a bit much when she’s dancing on stage as the whole thing is intentionally meant to be suggestive which is what her fanbase in the movie is looking for. The film uses it for humor at times but also just starts to be a little cheeky with this particularly in the climax. The dances definitely don’t have anything to do with the film so you could easily cut these things out and the film would be just fine.

Additionally, the romance in the film is pretty weak. Alex and Sophie barely know each other when you think about it. A large chunk of the film takes place over 3 days and even after that you can tell that they are rushing things far too quickly. It’s not surprising but it still doesn’t end up turning this into a good romance. The film probably should have just left them as close friends or even just allies and that would have flowed a lot better.

Overall, Music and Lyrics is a good film. It may not be a great one but it’s entertaining which is the important part. It’ll keep your attention and the writing is solid. I still say Alex went way too far with using the book to insult Sophie though. It also would have been more satisfying if Sophie could have had her closure with that guy instead of falling to pieces. Of course it can be tough to go through with something like that even after you have rehearsed but with Alex and the gang right there as support it would have been nice if she could have drummed up some more courage. If you’re up for a solid rom-com then this is a good pick.

Overall 6/10

Evil Under The Sun Review

Murder mysteries tend to make for pretty exciting films. There’s a whole lot of suspects and you have to try and decide how to play things out. If you want to really make things exciting then you should try to pick out the suspect once they have all said their alibis and established motive. The film’s pretty fair with letting you make that choice. In fact I’m happy to say I was right on the money with this one. There’s just so many reasons why it made sense even if I wasn’t able to guess the full explanation. I was actually a little off on the motive as well.

The movie starts with Poirot not being able to solve a case. Or rather, he determines that no foul play was afoot aside from a normal murder. He then heads off to go on a quick vacation for some R&R. He meets up with a guy who lets Poirot know that he got swindled and he intends to destroy the lady who did this to him. Her name is Arlena. Poirot decides to go to this exclusive hotel as well because it’s supposed to be relaxing. Unfortunately it is anything but. Every family there has a lot of baggage and are not having any fun. Poirot does his best to ignore them all but then Arlena ends up getting murdered while she was on the beach. Who could have done it??

One thing that I always appreciate as that these films have a ton of details. So what happens is the film will throw you a lot of genuine clues and such to keep your eye on as well as a ton of red herrings. The film’s approach is to completely overload you with information. I appreciate this tactic because it’s counting on you overlooking something as opposed to straight up hiding it. It’s like that psych experiment they try where they show you a video filled with nonsense except for one little detail that’s legit. So it’s a really good structure.

As always the writing is pretty sound here as well. The characters all have distinct personalities as well as solid motives for wanting to bump Arlena off. At the same time you have to assume that it’s not a case of everyone destroying her this time because that kind of twist you should only end up doing once. Arlena is also shown to be as unlikable as possible. She’s incredibly mean to everyone and doesn’t even hide the fact that she is unfaithful to her husband. You certainly don’t miss her from the dynamic. So lets talk about all of the suspects.

First we have Arlena’s daughter Linda. Her alibi is that she was at the beach on the other side of the island around the time of the murder and this is corroborated by two other characters. Her motive would be that Arlena is cheating on Linda’s father and Arlena also tends to bullet Linda a lot. Having her out of the way would be pretty convenient for her. I wouldn’t say Linda is a particularly good character though. She lies about her story a few times which could get the wrong person hanged and I think she could have managed to have more fun on the trip even if she can’t quite stay at the grown up table.

Next is Kenneth. He’s Arlena’s husband so his motive is obvious. She’s been cheating on him for a while now. His alibi is that he was typing at the time and this story is corroborated by his letter which had to be a response to another one that was sent the same day. Unfortunately Kenneth isn’t a likable character either way. The fact that he just overlooks how mean Arlena is to Linda is pretty nasty. You wish the guy would just have more backbone about this. Instead he just keeps on going with the flow.

After Kenneth is Rex. His alibi is that he was on a boat during that time and his actions are corroborated by one person. His motive is that he wants to write a book about Arlena but keeps getting shut down at every turn since she doesn’t want people knowing about her book. So of course if she wasn’t around then this wouldn’t be a problem. He’s not a particularly likable guy either. He tends to be a little too informal with everyone which is why nobody seems to like the guy. As a result he has to hang out by himself a lot of the time.

Next is Patrick who is the guy Arlena is cheating with. He has no qualms about people seeing him either including his wife. His motive here would be to take her down so that he can finally get over her or at least so people wouldn’t be able to keep accusing him of this. His alibi here is that he’s the one who found the body which was corroborated by one character. It goes without saying that he’s not likable here. Cheating behavior like that will always make you shake your head at a character. He certainly gets real defensive about this as well considering that he makes no effort to hide what he’s doing.

Christine is Patrick’s wife so her motive is clear as well. If she bumps Arlena off then she won’t have to worry about any kind of affair going on. Her alibi is that she was sketching at the time. This was corroborated by one person. I’m not a fan of Christine…so you can kind of see that I don’t like any of these guys. That’s part of the point though as everyone is meant to look rather bad so they all appear more suspicious as well. Christine’s problem is she spends a lot of time feeling sorry for herself. She gets dizzy from vertigo, can’t go outside, cries a lot, etc. She tends to blow all of her problems up which makes them a lot bigger than they otherwise would be.

Then we have Myra. Her motive would be that Arlena is suddenly backing out of a play which is going to cost her a lot of money. If Arlena is bumped off then Myra would have a decent excuse to cancel the show. Myra’s alibi is that she was with Patrick when he found the body and her story was corroborated by one person. Myra’s at least more fun than a bunch of the other characters. She’s got a lot of pep in her step as she walks around and criticizes everyone. She can be very two faced at times but in this movie that’s fairly par for the course with most of these characters. Especially the murderer of course.

Then you have Odell. His motive would be the same as Myra’s since they have the same play. His alibi is that he was outside in the garden reading a book. He has a great deal of fun pointing out to Poirot that he doesn’t have an alibi but that this is normal. His speech was actually the best part of the entire movie because of how awesome it was. The guy was absolutely not holding back in the slightest with his intense comments towards Poirot. You’d think someone who’s at risk of being hanged would act a bit differently. For this reason I would say he was definitely the best member of the suspects. His performance there was just brilliant.

Finally we have Daphne. She’s the owner of the hotel. Her motive would be that she doesn’t like the way Arlena treats her family and they have been rivals for a long time. Her alibi is that she was in a meeting with all of her staff which is corroborated by no one except presumably the staff if they were asked some questions. Daphne can be pretty fun. She’s a solid rival and does her best to undermine Arlena with witty comments and last second zingers.

Naturally Poirot is a fun lead as well. He is always having a lot of fun when the missions pop up so you feel bad for the guy. He does make sure to still enjoy himself while solving this though. He has a lot of fun dialogue and does piece together the puzzles rather well. Nothing is ever able to shake his absolute confidence. Poirot has a smug air to him but it’s well deserved given his track record. At this point his name is known far and wide to everyone so even in the movies people recognize him immediately.

Really the only thing holding this film from getting a high score is there’s a very random moment of animal violence in the film. We see a dead rabbit or some kind of animal like that out of nowhere. It serves no purpose in the film whatsoever. Why was this added? Perhaps the film wanted to have some kind of illustration of death or the time passing but there are far, far better ways of doing it. All you get from this scene was that the film was clearly losing its marbles. It’s too bad because the rest of the film was rather solid but this certainly had to shave a star off. The film is fortunate we don’t see how the animal got destroyed or it would have been far worse.

Overall, Evil Under The Sun is a pretty solid mystery. It gives us a good amount of suspects and then the case to solve. The film is fairly long which gives each character a solid amount of detail. Additionally I like how the culprit acts towards the end of the film. The culprit continues to laugh off the theory and accusations the whole time yelling for proof and such. I always like when the victim is adamant about being in the clear the whole time. You don’t want to see anyone throw in the towel before then because it would be too easy. I’d recommend checking this film out if you’re looking for a good murder mystery.

Overall 6/10

The Young Savages Review

The Young Savages is a film involving gang violence and ultimately trying to decide how this should be handled. When the culprits are minors it can muddy the waters. Do they know what they were doing and should be given the full punishment or should they be let off easy? It’s always a big debate even in modern settings as these kinds of things tend to keep on going. The film certainly doesn’t cop out as it has Hank pick a side, but did he pick the right one?

The movie starts with 3 gang members walking up to a blind kid who was playing his harmonica and stabbing him to death. They run out of there but the cops quickly pick them up. Hank is put in charge as the main prosecutor and aims to go for the death penalty on these guys. He has to make sure he has an airtight case though because two of them are minors and they allege that the blind kid had a knife so they were acting in defense. He’ll have to get to the bottom of this but there are parties on both sides putting pressure on him.

Hank’s boss wants a conviction here to help him when running for mayor. He feels that it will look really good. You have gangs from Irish and Puerto Rican groups who of course both want him to one way or the other. They even send people to his home to intimidate his wife as well as to beat him up. Both sides continue to grow more and more aggressive with their tactics and at the end of the day Hank has to decide what to do.

There are a number of twists here both involving the victim as well as the 3 murderers. This all leads up to the big court case that the film ends off with. I suppose I won’t say which side Hank ultimately helps out but here are the crucial facts. The victim was actually a high ranking member of the opposing gang. He hadn’t tried attacking or anything at this point but this was more about revenge than anything else. For the 3 murderers, one of them was pretty much evil from the jump. Another one isn’t all that intelligent and is easily manipulated by the other one. Then the third is someone who doesn’t like being in a gang and abusing people like this but does it to stay cool with the group. In the end he didn’t actually stab the kid but he didn’t try to stop it either so he was an accessory at bare minimum.

All 3 of these kids are old enough where they are completely responsible for what they are doing. You can give a pass to the third kid for not being mentally sane enough to be responsible. Sending him for treatment and rehabilitation is fine. The other two are certainly guilty though. One of them wanting to fit in with the crowd to this extent but not wanting to do it is immaterial. If you are going along with a gang and doing all of this then you absolutely have to be held accountable for that.

There should be major jail time for that. It also doesn’t matter that the victim was a gang member because then you’re just being a complete vigilante at that point. You can’t allow people to just go around murdering others like that whether the revenge is believed to be justified or not. I don’t believe there should be a true defense for either of those two.

The court scene to close things off is naturally pretty fun. The characters may not be going all out in this case so it turns into a pretty unique proceeding but I always like courtroom environments. They just make for very engaging scenes and set things off for a solid climax. In general the writing here was pretty solid. There are a whole lot of characters and motivations to go through but the movie never drags on with this. At most the ending may just be annoying depending on whose side you’re on. A big takeaway here is definitely that the area was super dangerous at this point in time. The police basically have to look the other way with the gangs because they are so extensive and have a lot of power.

Hank is a solid main character. You have to give him a lot of credit for always trying his best to find out the answers. Both sides accuse him a lot of just being someone who wants to see his version of the story but you don’t get that impression. Hank is doing his best to check every avenue out but it doesn’t help that the whole town is playing hardball. Nobody ever gives him a straight answer and then you have both gangs trying intimidation tactics on him. If anything it’s impressive that Hank made it so far particularly since he had 0 support. He did well in the Subway fight as well.

Meanwhile his wife Karin was doing her best to ridicule him and embarrass them at public parties. It was definitely not a great look. It took a while for her to start acting reasonably. For most of the film she’s just a little too exaggerated. It’s reasonable to take the other position that no matter what since the kids are minor they shouldn’t be seriously punished for murdering people or doing any kind of crime but you need to be prepared to have some real conversations about it rather than just making fun the whole time.

Overall, The Young Savages is a solid film. I’d say whether or not you agree with Hank’s decision and actions at the end of the film, he did do a good job of gathering a lot of intel. He also took a lot of serious risks such as visiting the turf of both gangs without any true backup. He came close to dying a few times as well. He says he grew up in the neighborhood and you believe it since the guy is plenty tough. In the background of the film you also get the impression that none of the characters here have had an easy time of things. They’ve been through a lot and will continue to do so while the gangs control the area instead of the police.

Overall 6/10

Searching (2018) Review

This is a film where the title is a very fair way to know the premise immediately. The whole film is a pretty big search after all and it uses some pretty interesting tactics such as how all of the scenes are filmed. It’s the kind of thriller that won’t offer as much replay value since it’s a movie where you are most engaged the first time around since you have no clue what is about to happen. If you’re up for a tense flick then this should be up your ally.

The movie starts by introducing us to David and his daughter Margot. David’s wife died early on in the film so it’s just been these two. They’ve got a pretty good bond going although Margot has started to drift apart a bit more and keep some secrets. One day she calls him three times but he ended up being asleep at the time. After repeated attempts to contact her he realizes that this is actually pretty serious and gets the police involved. They call in a detective. Now the two of them must try to track Margot down fast before it’s too late.

Searching uses more of an experimental style here as the characters never actually appear through normal camera view. Every scene is from an electronic view such as a web cam, TV, or something like that. Definitely a unique look and I will say right now I already prefer it to a traditional found footage/hand cam kind of approach. There’s no shaking or anything here which is good. I’d never want this to be the new norm but it does work rather well I would say.

As the movie is a mystery part of the fun will be in trying to connect the dots on your own. See if you can figure out exactly what happened or who the culprit is. For the latter the film gives you a fair chance of finding this out. At the very least I imagine you’ll be able to pull out the smoking gun a while before even the main character gets a chance to think about it. That being said, figuring out the rest would be very difficult and the film executes the plot rather well. A film like this always has to be careful because it has to keep the thriller elements ramped up but a poor ending would destroy everything. If the film were to get too gritty then the whole movie would be a waste of space but of course it needs to keep in some danger. It’s all balanced in rather well.

David’s a solid main character. He’s portrayed as a very reasonable guy and does a great job of narrowing down the mystery and finding as many clues as possible. He’s certainly a man on a mission and you would expect absolutely nothing less from him. He tries every available resource. It was fun to see Youtube, Twitter, and Reddit making an appearance. I would say that Reddit is typically the number 1 resource for virtually anything. I would consider it to be even more useful than Google if you want to find information. No matter what kind of content you’re looking for, whether it be real life history/science, video game information, or even food recipes, Reddit has you covered.

Naturally he also has to see a lot of pretty startling information as everyone is eager to chime in on the situation with their own information. It’s not the kind of stuff he would want to see but he can’t let any lead go cold. He goes as far as contacting many people in person to get to the end of this. He had one pretty intense moment in the theater as a result and you definitely see why he attacked the guy. Things had been going too far in that guy’s social media postings.

Along the way one of the big themes of course is learning about Margot. She kept quite a few secrets the whole time, some of which were pretty massive. She clearly didn’t have the happiest time and isolated herself quite a lot. Then there’s the fact that there are a lot of bad influences at school or even at the home which got to her. As a character she certainly isn’t as strong willed as David. I expect this experience will bring the two of them closer though and she’ll certainly be on the right track.

The cast is pretty small but the other two main characters are Rosemary and Peter. Peter looks pretty awful the whole time I have to say. His first scene shows that he’s on Weed and from there things just keep getting worse and worse. Even by the end you can’t like the guy. Then you have Rosemary who has a lot of accolades for being a pretty great officer. She has a lot of contacts and is supposed to be the best the force has got. The city has a ton of unresolved cases but no matter how good you are that’s to be expected. I can’t say I was a fan of hers ether though.

Overall, Searching is a well made thriller where things add up pretty well. Even once you’ve gone through all of the twists I would say that most of it all adds up. I would make the case that when searching through the zones that’s the one area where I can’t really buy into nobody double checking them. Seems like a really bold move not too. If you really dig deep maybe you’d expect people to know more things by the end but with a case like this where the answers seem apparent, I can see how there may not be a lot of extra digging. Searching is a movie built inherently to draw you in on the first viewing but there wouldn’t be much replay value in watching it again. That would be the film’s only main drawback here as is the case for most slow burners. The movie takes a long time to develop what happens next and showing off the characters so the pacing doesn’t speed up much. It hits you with quick bursts and then goes back to staying at an icy pace. I’d still recommend checking out the movie on your initial watch. It’s a plot that can be a little more down to Earth than a lot of thrillers though so if the concept of a kid going missing suddenly in a town like this is a little too much then you may want to check something else out.

Overall 6/10

Ocean’s 8 Review

It’s been a while since I saw the original Ocean films so it was time to check out the spinoff. I do enjoy a good heist film like this where it’s not about breaking in with guns and taking everyone out but using a lot of trickery and deception to get to the bottom of things. It’s certainly weaker than the main installments but makes for a good film overall. You shouldn’t have too many issues with the execution.

The movie introduces us to Debbie who has finally gotten out of jail after 10 years. She has promised not to commit any more crimes but can’t help herself. She wants revenge on the guy who got her into jail and wants to make some money on the side. Her objective is to steal a super fancy necklace. To do this she’s going to need to form a whole team. Her main partner Lou is ready for this but they still need 6 more people. It’s time to go recruiting and then the game is on. Can they really outwit the insurance team as well as the people who are in charge of keeping the necklace safe? It’ll take all they got.

As with most ensemble films like this the movie’s first act is mainly about getting the team together. Each character is good at a different task so once they have the team assembled then they’re ready to move out. It’s a tried and true formula which works out pretty well. The characters are decent although there are few standout characters. Then we move to the actual heist which is always a lot of fun because of how much planning goes into that. The real question is always, do you buy into it?

Well, I think most of it works out rather well. Mainly due to the twist of the heroes covering their bases by the end of the film. Without that final twist the whole thing would have blown up and been completely unbelievable. With it, there’s only a few parts that break the case I would say. One is that the necklace was secured so that it could not be removed so easily. Because of this, I don’t see how anyone would believe for a second that it just fell to the floor during the party. It actually would have been easier to just slip the replacement necklace on at that point. Initially I thought the plan was going in a different direction but the whole “I found it in the water” excuse didn’t really fly. I also doubt it would have had the same kind of lock installed so the company would have realized something was wrong from the start.

The other issue here is when the heroes get greedy at the end and start stealing everything. Really guys? That last move would sabotage everything. Put it this way, they now all had to drive off in a big getaway vehicle that was caught on camera. What if the detectives decided to search the vehicle? When you add that onto the fact that Debbie is already a wanted criminal then you’ve definitely got a big issue here. Fortunately they got a certain inspector on the case but things could have easily gotten dicey there.

Those are the two reasons why I don’t think the whole heist would have gone over very smoothly but otherwise I thought the adventure worked out well enough. The film’s pacing is pretty decent. The writing is okay but it does have a tough balance to fill with the humor and heist aspects at times. For example, some of the characters here really aren’t very well prepared to handle a heist so what happens is there will be a lot of gags for the audience like the characters being obvious about what they’re doing but then in universe is raises quite a lot of questions. Again, the film’s final twist does help with this a bit though. The dialogue itself is also decent for the most part but you feel like it could have been a lot better. One thing I would have liked to see was more discussion on planning the heist rather than Debbie setting everything up off screen. The heist itself is a lot of fun though which is always the main goal here.

Debbie is the leader of the crew and the main character so she is the one coming up with all of the plans. She does pretty well at making sure everything is thought through and you do understand why she wants to squeeze the revenge in there as well even if it does ultimately put the whole thing into jeopardy. She could have easily destroyed all of their hopes and dreams with this. After all, the guy could have turned the tables had he not fallen for every trap so obviously. There’s no real excusing the second scene where he receives a call at a very convenient time and still goes to her house to have an affair even though he should know that he’s being framed. He was literally given all kinds of information and Debbie even revealed herself just to rub his nose in the situation. Any halfway decent intelligent character would have figured something was out so Debbie’s risk was pretty huge here. She’s a solid character but not a good leader.

Lou was Debbie’s main ally and certainly the one who got the biggest role here. She was solid and helped to keep the lead grounded most of the time. She’s also got a lot of talents which helps her blend into the role really well. Amita came in handy for the jewel cutting which was one of the most crucial parts. Tammy was fun as one of the more down to earth characters who had a pretty content life before getting mixed up in all of this. If anything she should have said no since the risks heavily outweighed the rewards here.

Constance was one of the standout characters here since her sleight of hand is quite impressive. Without those abilities the plan would have to be dramatically altered. Nine Ball gives the team the tech advantage they would need for this case. She’s not as solid as the other characters but does well when needed. The weakest link is definitely Rose though. She’s the old art dealer who helps out with getting the necklace but she is not good at the criminal game and really puts everyone at risk. Then you have Daphne who is a main focus here since the heroines are trying to manipulate her into being in the right place at the right time. She’s much more self absorbed than most of the other characters but does come off as one of the more likable ones. I was also glad she was shown to be a little more intelligent than she would let on.

Overall, Ocean’s 8 is a good movie. It has more positives than negatives. It may ultimately feel a lot weaker than the main one so if you compare them directly then this will lose out but on its own I would still say it’s worth a watch. I’d certainly be down with a sequel as well. That said, the movie should be a little more careful with its title. If you’re paying attention to that then you’ll know more about the film than you’re supposed to. All while it’s playing you’ll be counting to 8 and so if the numbers don’t match up….well it’s something to think about. I was surprised the ending didn’t have some kind of big reveal or plot twist for the climax but I suppose they didn’t want to tip their hand in case we don’t get another film. Perhaps that is for the best but I have to say it would have been a hype way to end things off and an improvement on the ending. The ending was satisfactory though.

Overall 6/10

Gilda Review

Gilda is a Noir film from a while back. It’s definitely got every noir element you can ask for and makes for a pretty interesting film although the main character is definitely pretty bad. Definitely not someone you can trust in the slightest and there’s a lot of twists and turns here as the characters mess with each other. The main takeaway is that you shouldn’t get involved with gambling as things tend to get dicey.

The movie starts with a confident guy named Johnny cheating a bunch of sailors at cards and running off with all of their money. He doesn’t get far though as someone holds him at gunpoint and Johnny realizes that it may be curtains for him. That’s when a guy named Ballin shows up and rescues Johnny. Ballin is the owner of a local casino and so naturally Johnny repays this kindness by going to that guy’s casino and stealing a bunch of money. He’s caught again but Ballin decides to make him a partner. Johnny is surprisingly loyal and so the two get along really well. This all changes when Ballin goes on vacation and returns with a new wife named Gilda. Johnny and Gilda have quite the history between them which leads to a lot of friction. Gilda is a free spirit who flirts with everyone so Johnny tries to keep Ballin from finding this out. Will Johnny and Gilda’s feud end up destroying the casino?

At first things are going almost too well so you know something’s got to give. Johnny and Ballin have perfect teamwork with each other and the casino is doing better than never. They’re really on cloud 9 and Johnny’s enjoying his new lease on life. As someone who used to cheat a whole lot it makes sense that he would be good at noticing if others were using the same tricks. That said, things all fall to pieces when Gilda shows up. She is intentionally difficult a lot of the time as well as she puts him into tough situations that are hard to explain.

I would make the case that if he was straight with Ballin from the start instead of making up stories then it would have been easier. By the midway point that isn’t an option anymore though as Ballin starts to act rather dangerously. Perhaps Johnny knew that would be his reaction all the while. Johnny was really solid in the first half of the film but then he looked really bad later on. His punishment scheme involving marriage started off as incredibly petty and by the end just turned flat-out villainous. There isn’t any real way to root for him as he went completely off the deep end.

Then you have Gilda who isn’t a very good heroine. She admits to being someone who goes on the rebound all the time. While the characters do ultimately say she never actually cheated on the leads, it’s hard to really believe that given her actions. She actually did cheat on Ballin while they were still married with Johnny and she was already getting into a serious affair with someone overseas until it turned out that he was actually an inside agent. The common theme in both of these instances is that she was really quick to move on so it’s hard to imagine any real romance sticking around for the long-haul by the end. Without trust you can’t possibly have a healthy relationship after all.

The romance in the film in general is just really weak and takes away from the more interesting thriller aspects of the story. You’re interested in the conspiracies and the truth behind the casino. Not in what’s going on between Johnny and Gilda. That’s the kind of stuff you can just leave for a side story or just to the imagination but it ends up playing quite the central focus by the end.

There are two main supporting characters in Pio and Obregon. Pio is a nice janitor type character who completes all of the odd jobs around the Casino. He’s been around for a long time and is always completely confident in himself. Nobody can scare this guy and that’s because he knows just about everything. You can always count on him in crunch time and he was just fun. Then you’ve got Obregon who appears for a lot of the movie. He’s a mysterious character who is always hanging around the scene of the crime just doing his own thing. There are naturally twists around his character and they are handled quite well. He may even be the best character in the film when you think about it.

Finally you’ve got the main villain Ballin and he definitely messes up what was a pretty good system for him. He really had everything he could have wanted and then ended up messing it all up by going after Gilda when he shouldn’t have. If he had just stayed strong or not gotten married so impulsively then he would have been okay. While the guy went crazy by the end, he may have been distracted by success long enough for that not to take effect. It’s quite the coincidence that he ended up meeting up with Gilda of all people.

As with any classic Noir film the writing is important and I would say it is pretty solid here. The banter with Johnny and Ballin is always solid with a lot of subtle jabs thrown in. Johnny has a quick word for anyone who gets in his way. The only time the interactions aren’t as solid is with him and Gilda as you can see the romance coming a mile away so their tough talk just doesn’t work as well. Beyond that the whole film is definitely interesting from start to finish and the pacing means that it all goes through pretty smoothly. There’s never a point in the film where you feel like it’s dragging on.

Overall, Gilda is a solid Noir film. I wouldn’t put it as one of my all time high picks in the genre but it holds up well enough. Gilda is the weakest element of the film to be sure along with the rather weak romance here but the plots about the casino and such are solid. There’s always something going on here and definitely a lot to unpack. All of the characters could have handled the situation differently and would have been in a better spot for it except for Obregon who handled everything well from start to finish. That guy was always a step ahead of the rest. With a solid ending to close things out, I’d definitely recommend Gilda if you want to check out a classic film with a little mystery and intrigue.

Overall 6/10

Enter Laughing Review

It’s always tough to predict how a film will turn out when the main character isn’t any good but the rest of the film’s elements like plot and writing are solid. Can the film pull through or will it ultimately be doomed? In this one’s case I would say that the overall movie is still solid but that main character is definitely hard to watch. He really takes the lies and deception to a new level. This guy’s got no shame about messing with everyone.

The film starts off by introducing us to David who leads a rather stable but uneventful life. He’s got a good job as assistant working with tools and deliveries but he wants the kind of job that’ll make him famous and this isn’t exactly doing this for him. On a whim David decides he wants to be an actor so he heads to a nearby audition. The show isn’t doing this well and is quite desperate so they invite him to join. Now David is determined to be a great actor but his chronic lying and poor time management creates friction with his boss, parents, and his girlfriend. David’s troubles are only just getting started.

Here’s the issue with David though, all of the problems are of his own creation. He keeps a ton of secrets from everyone and at times this is for no reason. Then you’ve got the fact that he is desperately obsessed with every girl in the movie. Keep in mind that the guy has a girlfriend and yet he constantly flirts with the receptionist as well as his co-star. He was even trying to initiate an affair with the latter after getting drunk but fortunately she threw him out. If anything this was pretty out of character since she was after him in every other scene but perhaps the film makers decided this would have made David too far gone to be redeemed. I’d argue he was already past this point here though.

Part of the problem here is that David never really changes. Look at the end of the film, things are going well for him now but did he actually renounce his ways in the slightest? He still intends to have affairs with everyone possible even if it was a joke, he basically said he’s with Wanda because the other girls don’t show any interest in him. Yeah this is not a lead that you can really get behind in the slightest.

As for the other characters, they tend to be very nice and tolerant the whole time but maybe too much so. For example, Wanda puts up with all of David’s antics and only breaks up with him once in the movie and they have disagreements a lot. Thing is, once she learns that he is basically just cheating on her whenever possible, that’s a good point to break things off. Yes, the instant he kissed Angela I would say he cheated. So that should have been game over for sure.

Next up is Mr. Foreman and that guy’s a very nice boss. Really you couldn’t ask for a nicer guy as he constantly lets David leave early, come in late, and even pretends to buy his convoluted stories. I should mention that David isn’t even good at lying and tends to trip himself up quite a lot. He forgets about what his story was as soon as he leaves the room which is not a good look. You suspect that the Foreman knows about all of this but decides to roll with it anyway. He doesn’t even get on David for allowing his best friend to hang around all the time.

Then you’ve got David’s parents. His father’s a very hands off kind of guy so he doesn’t really mind what David is doing but his mother worries a lot about show biz and wants him to quit. Here’s the thing, you have to agree with her in this instance. David is literally getting scammed into paying the business 3 dollars instead of them paying him 3 bucks. The lead naturally didn’t realize this but it shows how he’s not very smart in these things. The guilt trip may have been a bit much with some heavy handed tactics there but at the end of the day she was doing her best to ensure that things worked out for David in the end.

Following them is Mr. Marlowe who is the owner of the show. He has rather high standards for his play and is continually disappointed that nobody is able to reach these standards. David is the latest in a string of disappointments for him and is so bad at acting that you do wonder how the lead ever thought he would be good. David’s a source of never ending stress for Marlowe. Marlowe’s not exactly the nicest guy to be sure and yet at the same time he has 0 to work with so it’s rough. Mix in the fact that they don’t know how to earn money and in a way David found the perfect place. Then you have Angela who always acts drunk and is an intentionally odd character. She’s one of the weaker characters in the film to be sure and most of her scenes are pretty bad from the start.

There are other supporting characters here like David’s friend and the receptionist who have their own times to shine. The receptionist definitely had a good time trolling David the whole time but was always on his side and helped him out quite a bit at the end of the film. The friend ultimately failed at the end but he had a difficult task so at least he tried. At the end of the day the main reason the film succeeds is that it does have quality writing and a lot of the jokes do land. Particularly the one’s at David’s expense as you already know he’s definitely not a quality character. My main issue here would be that he gets off incredibly easy by the end.

Overall, Enter Laughing is a good film about showing why you can’t just make a career out of anything on a whim. If David really wanted to be an actor he would have put in the time and dedication into doing so without just forgetting about all of his current responsibilities on the job. He seems like a character who wants everything to fall neatly into his lap without effort and that’s just not how these things work. As a result you just can’t root for this guy but if you enjoy a solid comedy film then this is a good one to check out.

Overall 6/10

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause Review

While the first two Santa Clause films were ranging from very good to great, the third installment ends things off on a whimper. It just isn’t able to compete at all. The reason for this is that the human areas have effectively stopped appearing. Almost the whole film takes place in the North Pole this time and let me tell you, that’s not a good idea. That’s where the weakest characters are after all so it’s just not going to work. The best part of the film is sadly a very short set of scenes.

The movie starts with Santa doing his best at Christmas as usual but this year things are extra hectic. There are delays in the present supplies which means that Santa has to inspect these things a lot closer than he usually would. Then his wife Carol is starting to miss being at home. Scott figures if she can’t go home then he’ll just bring her parents to the North Pole. They’ve never liked Scott though so the whole thing is a little tricky. With Christmas getting more and more stressful Scott is reminded that he can use the Escape Clause to make it so that his adventures as Santa never actually happened. Should he really undo everything that has already occurred?

I should mention, this is already part of the plot that seems forced. Why can’t Carol just go and spend some time at home? I feel like that should be an option as a little vacation of sorts. At the very least it’s an alternative to consider as opposed to going through an elaborate set up to bring her folks and then pretend that this is Canada. It’s never even considered though and based on what the parents say, Carol hasn’t been home in years. That’s pretty crazy when you think about it.

There’s also another plot in the air. So, I didn’t mention them in the previous review but there is a council of Supernatural creatures such as the Toothfairy, Mother Nature, Easter Bunny, and more. They were fairly pointless in the second movie just as in this one so there’s not a lot to say about them. It’s a fun concept but the film doesn’t actually do anything interesting with them so you can definitely be forgiven for forgetting them entirely.

That being said, this time they play a bigger role because of one member known as Jack Frost. He’s upset because he’s the only member not to have his own holiday so he keeps trying to steal Christmas. Scott is ready to expel Jack but then decides to give him a second chance. He’ll let Jack Frost observe Santa’s workshop during the busiest time of the year with no real supervision. Jack accepts since this is the perfect time for him to sabotage Christmas. Throughout the movie we see him breaking equipment and messing with everyone the whole time. Unfortunately nobody is able to stop him.

It leads to a pretty rough scene where Lucy figures out the gameplan but isn’t able to tell anyone before being defeated along with Neil and Laura. You’d think they would have put up a better fight but they end up getting frozen without even landing a hit. It was definitely a pretty shameful appearance for them. Jack’s an interesting villain but one who gets away with far too much. Pretty much any scene with the guy is one where he is just messing up another piece of equipment with no actual punishment for his actions. You’d think that someone would catch him but that’s not the case. Even by the end he’s barely punished for everything he did.

That’s definitely one of the more annoying parts. That said, it does lead to the best part of the film which is the part where he and Scott have to time travel back to the past where the first film took place. Scott’s definitely been slacking off on his fighting ability though given how he was easily defeated by Jack. From there we get to see an alternate past where he never became Santa and how badly it turned out for everyone. At least this now gives Scott closure that he made the right move all along. My only problem with this is that the plot doesn’t appear until near the very end of the movie so there is almost no time to actually explore this. It’s an incredible premise and not one that could be explored in a few moments like that. I dare say that most of this film should have involved this premise.

After all, Jack learns about this trick from Curtis near the beginning of the film so we know it’s going to happen at some point or another. Instead of buying time with Jack breaking everything just cut to the chase. That way we’d have more time in the human world and that would have been a blast. The movie absolutely would have benefited from going down this route. Of that I definitely have no doubts. Ah well, I guess it wasn’t to be. It’s not that this film did a whole lot wrong but one of its main weaknesses is that it’s not all that funny anymore. I can’t think of any really humorous moments in this film and for a comedy that’s pretty bad. It’s definitely going more for crude humor this time around which doesn’t work well.

Most of the characters aren’t quite as reasonable either. If you thought Curtis was bad in the last film then he’s way worse here. Scott and Carol’s disagreements felt contrived as Scott was completely out of character with how much he was ignoring Carol and Christmas. Meanwhile Carol was fairly quick to escalate things as well especially with her parents antagonizing Scott the whole time. Then you have Neil and Laura who really don’t get to do much of anything here. You could say they are just along for the ride but that’s about it. Lucy gets a bigger role at least as she gets to have a blast at the North Pole. She didn’t do too well in the fight against Jack though.

Bud and Silvia are decent characters but definitely some of the meanest ones here. They’re always taking a lot of shots at Scott. I suppose they should be upset though. I’ll give Bud some props for being quick to help fix things though. He was definitely a solid handyman while Jack was busy messing the place up. I still can’t get over how Scott just let the guy run wild without a care in the world. He wouldn’t have made this mistake back when he was a business exec. Scott would have been on that guy right away and ready for a win.

Overall, Santa Clause 3’s mistake is very simple. It decided to focus on the North Pole which is consistently the weakest part of each film. Now, you can certainly have a good film at the North Pole I’m sure but then the writing has to be quite good and I can’t say that it was here. The writing is decent at best but most of the jokes don’t land and the character cast isn’t great. The difference between this film and the first one is pretty massive. It’s a decent end to the trilogy I guess but there’s very little replay value and you’ll likely be disappointed if you expect it to be on the same level as the first two.

Overall 6/10

Krampus Review

A Christmas film that’s actually a horror title is pretty interesting. It’s certainly not a blend you see very often. I can understand that though as ideally when you think of Christmas movies you’ll think of items like Jingle All The Way or Christmas With The Kranks. After that then you gear up for Halloween in October with the big spooky titles. Well, Krampus is a pretty interesting idea and the film executes it fairly well. The human characters tend to mostly be unlikable though so it’s easy to see why Krampus arrived.

The movie starts with Max getting ready for Christmas. He’s determined for it to be a good year but unfortunately it does not start out well. He gets into a fight at the school play and then when he gets home his parents start bickering a bit. Nothing serious but then his cousins arrive and they’re a bunch of the meanest characters you’ll see around. They torment him for a while until Max throws his letter to Santa out the window. This ends up summoning the demon known as Krampus. He is accompanied by the Elves, Gingerbread Man, A bear who is basically Freddy from Five Knights at Freddy’s, A Jack in the Box, and more. Can the family unite to take these guys down or are they ultimately all about to meet their end on Christmas?

The family is incredibly split apart right at the start so you can probably guess that they aren’t good at the whole teamwork thing. As mentioned, most of them are just pretty awful. Even by the end you aren’t going to like many of the characters. The kids from the cousin’s side are all pretty painful of course so I don’t even need to talk about them. Their entire purpose in the film is to just be annoying and get in the way the whole time. You know that they don’t truly stand a chance at any point in the game. It’s just the way that it goes.

For the real main characters, Max gets one of the biggest roles for sure. He at least believes in Santa a lot more than the others. Of course for Krampus it’s more about personal sacrifices and all with his understanding of what Christmas is. Regardless, he was not pleased with Max by the end and made sure this was known the whole time. The others were really on his hit list from the start but it’s interesting because in a way you’d be safe if you never believed in Santa from the start. He only shows up once you turn away. Then if you’re just an innocent bystander outside you’re really doomed. Those guys were just minding their own business and still got mixed up in all of this.

Tom and Sarah do a decent job trying to get things back on track the whole time. I wouldn’t say they do a superb job but at least they talk back to the cousins at times. Tom half heartedly defends himself a bit like with the whole scouts thing and at least he said Sarah’s cooking was done. He doesn’t really get to shine further until the villains arrive and he fights with his gun. He does last for a bit which is good although ultimately he is heavily outnumbered. The villains not being bullet proof at least gives the heroes some hope. Meanwhile Sarah also steps up when needed. She doesn’t fight with the axe as long as her sister Linda but everyone does get to contribute in the end.

I do think Max brings up a good point of why they had to invite the rest of the family if they don’t get along at all. It sounds like that’s just asking for trouble. Maybe have more of a quiet internal Christmas celebration especially if they’ll be inviting other members who were not invited. Tom didn’t really have a good counter to that question and I think it was worth bringing up. Inviting everyone simply out of tradition is a bit iffy.

Howard and Linda are definitely not meant to be all that likable either. Howard’s whole obsession about being a tough guy and having a lot of guns does come in handy though. At least it meant that the heroes would be properly armed for this scenario. Tom was surprised that Howard brought guns on Christmas but I wouldn’t blame him there. If you’re equipped with guns then the whole point is so you can have them if you really need them. Of course that should include road trips. Both of these characters have some really solid moments during the action segments but it isn’t enough to make you forget what went on earlier. That’ll still be fresh in your memory.

Dorothy is the crude aunt of the family who is always ready with a dicey line. She says what’s on her mind at all times no matter what kind of damage it could do to everyone. I definitely can’t say that there’s anything admirable about that though. Being honest is great but it’s no excuse to be rude either. Then you have Beth who is low key the most reasonable member of the family. At least she tries to stick up for Max at times although she should have just let him snatch the paper back and run interference. At least she was doing something though. Going out in a huge snowstorm is also pretty intense especially by herself.

Then we have Omi but she did not do very good here. She withholds the truth from the rest of the family for way too long until it’s basically too late. Then at the end she didn’t have much of a plan and didn’t look so good. She definitely could and should have played that situation a lot differently. That about wraps up the human cast. So it’s a pretty weak cast to be honest. That’s intentional of course because they try to not let you sympathize with the characters too much in horror titles like this where the villain is going to bump them all off anyway. At least this way it’s a little less emotional right?

One thing the film does really well is with how the snowy backdrop is handled. It’s definitely very eery to see everything covered in snow and so desolate. The place is a true ghost town. The most effective scenes are definitely when the heroes are outside in the cold. Beth’s first adventure out there was certainly intense that’s for sure. Throughout the whole movie there are a ton of solid effects and visuals though. The movie does a good job of that. Even all of the villain designs are on point. Krampus looks intense and his best minion has to be the Gingerbread Man. All of the minions show up from time to time to contribute though. One of the more intense moments was when the whole group attacked at once. I didn’t think I’d see a group vs group fight in a horror title like this so that was a pleasant surprise.

There are some pretty solid action scenes here. It’s a full horror movie from start to finish for sure but the movie has a lot of good atmosphere and isn’t relying on shock value and over the top violence. Most of the violence here is implied rather than shown. So all in all this would be one of the best modern horror films that I’ve seen. The execution was definitely on point. The only aspect of the film holding it back would be the writing. I can’t say that it was all that great or even very good. The characters are mostly all pretty bad of course so that also means a lot of terrible dialogue gets through as well. The characters are always hurling around insults and getting in the way. This is really all from the cousin’s side of the family but it makes for a very drawn out beginning.

Naturally the film does have a twist ending so make sure you watch all the way through. It’s a pretty hype one for sure. I do think there are a few ways you can interpret this one but I certainly know the one I’m going for. Lets just say it involves a loop and I think it’s a nice way to end things off. I could certainly see more Kampus titles just with different characters. It would make for a pretty hype film either way as long as it doesn’t jump the shark. With one like this you always imagine it going off the deep end since the film makers always have to be careful to get a solid thriller atmosphere without things going too crazy.

Overall, Krampus is certainly a different take on the classic Santa Claus kind of films that’s for sure. The idea of a Krampus who shows up to take everyone down is definitely something. If you’re looking for some good thrills and action scenes then this is a decent one to check out. The first act is a little on the painful side though with the characters being as awful as possible. So long as you can get past that then the rest is on point. There’s even a dog who helps out and the film avoids any animal violence so consider me impressed there. If you want to check out a horror Christmas movie then this is definitely the best one to start with.

Overall 6/10