The Hypnotic Eye Review


Well, it’s time for a film about hypnosis and as I always chuckle at the concept it means that I have a hard time taking the villain here seriously. Every hypnosis I’ve ever seen in real life has been woefully underwhelming and ineffective. So in a film I’m just trying to tell the characters to stand their ground but in the end they just end up getting wrecked all the same. Throw in the fact that all of the characters make a lot of iffy decisions here and things don’t end well for them.

The film starts with a lady effectively committing suicide by burning her head and we find out that she is just the latest in a string of victims like this. The only common element is that they were all women. All of them seemed to not know what they were doing until it was too late. Dave’s been on the case for a while but he just can’t figure out what is going on here. On a completely unrelated note, there is a new hypnotist in town who has been really impressing the masses with his skills.

He only performs tricks on women and can use hypnosis to have them perform fantastic feats. Dave doesn’t believe in this nonsense though so when his girlfriend Marcia has him take her to a show he is bored beyond belief. After Marcia’s friend Dodie is used for one of the tests and commits an act of terror against herself, Marcia is convinced that the hypnotist Desmond is to blame. The trick is that she will need to prove it and of course Dave isn’t buying into it. Will she be able to stop him?

There are a lot of things to be annoyed about in this film. One of those things is certainly that Dave isn’t piecing the puzzle together or even trying to. Now I get why he is skeptical of the hypnotism itself since I don’t buy into it but when the bodies start piling up then you have to make a move. Maybe he’s using some kind of trick or blackmail but it does seem obvious that Desmond is at the center of this. Instead Dave prefers to be rather passive about the whole thing.

He also doesn’t trust Marcia much at all. Her plan is to allow herself to get hypnotized (Or at least appear to be) while Dave and Philip watch over her from afar. The problem is that since Dave believes there is no chance she could be mind controlled, he just thinks she is cheating on him and quickly jumps to conclusions. He even wanted to abandon her in Desmond’s house because of this apparent betrayal and his friend Philip has to talk him out of this.

Later on Philip heads home to play the piano though and Dave leaves anyway. These two are absolutely the last people you would want to have your back because they really didn’t. Marcia easily could have died in the time it took to actually get serious about this and came very close to that point. It was more luck than anything that saved her in this film so Dave loses a tremendous amount of points. When your skepticism interferes with your job then you know it’s gone too far.

I also have to take points away from Philip. At least he believed Marcia a lot sooner but he wasn’t really doing anything about it. Again, the guy went home to play the piano so that tells you the level of determination that he had. Meanwhile Marcia’s friend Dodie gets the short end of the stick. It’s always rough being the friend to the main characters because your odds aren’t great of making it to the end. In this case she has to go through quite a lot. Dodie was a nice character so it’s a shame that things didn’t go better for her.

Then we have Marcia who is a decent heroine. I do like that she was proactive about trying to stop Desmond but her plan was extremely risky. Much like how I don’t like the ole plan of “Lets get captured on purpose” putting herself in a position to be mind controlled does not seem worth it. This guy has seemingly mind controlled a ton of people over the years so what would make her so special? I just don’t think she thought this one through quite as much as she should have and ultimately it came back to bite her. She very nearly didn’t make it this time.

As for the villains, well Desmond is not impressive at all. There are some twists for his character and they just make him look worse and worse. The guy just could not keep up with the other characters and he’s not much of a mastermind. At least he does get a quick action scene where he tries to use the eye on Dave and Philip but they’re able to power through. That was the closest the film got to actually having a Shonen moment of breaking through with pure willpower.

As for Justine she’s another one of the villains and her motivations are rather petty the whole time. I won’t say why she wants to get rid of all the ladies but lets just say that it’s not a whole get rich quick scheme or trying to rule the world. It’s a much more personal angle and one where you realize that her goal will never be complete because there are too many targets.

The Hypnotic Eye really just ends up failing because the heroes take way too long to confront Desmond and the characters are annoying. Dave really shouldn’t be getting so jealous when Marcia keeps trying to say that there is mind control at play. Any and all affairs with Desmond are rather cringeworthy due to the hypnosis in effect. The heroes should have broken that up a lot sooner if you ask me.

It’s hard to even say this film is in any genre. Thriller and horror don’t quite work for me because the film is more on the low key side. The only intense moments are when we see the victims and realize that once again there has been a whole lot of damage already. Suspense might be the best genre to pick here I suppose. The writing’s not bad but I think the story needed some more elements here to keep the film interesting as well as to give a plausible reason for why Desmond could keep practicing in the state. Not believing in hypnosis just isn’t enough of a reason if you ask me considering how many people were dying mysteriously. That alone should have cancelled the shows for a while.

Overall, The Hypnotic Eye is a film you can safely skip. It doesn’t really bring anything to the table so by sidestepping it you will actually be doing yourself a favor. Hypnosis just doesn’t tend to make for a great plot device and the whole time you’ll be shaking your head at how slowly the characters make any progress here. The scene of the heroes heading home to play the piano and sulk is probably one of the most surreal moments in a while.

Overall 3/10

The Dead Zone 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 likely be more negative.

With a title like Dead Zone you are probably thinking of another world or a haunted area kind of movie. Well this one’s more about the block of time that the lead has to change the future. Of course this is difficult when you have no other superpowers since you have to really hope that your persuasion skill is on point. Otherwise nobody will believe you and bad things may ensue.

The movie starts with introducing us to Johnny who is a teacher that enjoys his job. He has a good position and a nice girlfriend in Sarah so everything is going well. One day he walks her home in a downpour and she reminds him to drive safely. With all of these red flags at the ready, Johnny embarks on this car ride and sure enough it ends up being a rather dangerous one. He crashes and falls into a coma for 5 years. When he wakes, Johnny is under the care of Dr. Sam and the guy explains that Johnny should be able to walk again soon.

Unfortunately this won’t be such a simple adventure for him as we find out that Sarah ended up marrying somebody else in the meantime. Additionally, Johnny now has super powers which allow him to see into the memories of anyone he touches. So if he grabs someone’s hand he can see a part of their past or future. It’s an incredibly useful ability in the right hands and a dangerous one in others. Can Johnny manage to utilize this well?

In a way the film serves as an anthology as he tries to help different people out whether by seeing the future or seeing the past. It’s a very versatile skill of his but you have to hope that he knows whether he is watching the future or the past as otherwise that could get a little tricky for him. Fortunately in the film all of the visions are obvious in that they are the past or future based on what is seen in the vision so that part isn’t really an issue.

Unfortunately Johnny is the wrong person to get these abilities. He was already a little unstable after waking up and this just made the issues even more pronounced. For starters, he cracks very quickly so when one reporter starts asking the hard questions Johnny goes straight into threatening mode. Then you have the mass murderer on the loose and Johnny decides not to help for a while.

Now granted, this is more understandable than the earlier panic attack because as part of how the powers work, he effectively relives the memory as a third party which can be pretty traumatic since he knows how the victims died. At least he does make the right call in the end even if he probably did get too aggressive in following the police officer. If he had stayed at his post and kept the mom under control then he would have been in the clear as far as injuries go.

Johnny also has a hard time letting go of his old flame Sarah to the point where she pretty much has a one night pity stand with him. Both of them are massively to blame on this because she’s married and both of them know it. Johnny really needed to find someone else because the 5 years may have felt like a day to him but it really wasn’t. Sarah is no longer on the market and so he shouldn’t even be trying for her.

Of course for Sarah this is inexcusable as well. There’s no way she should have even gone to his house if she had these intentions and bringing the kid along makes it even worse. It’s fully acknowledging that she is in a family and she is still doing this. As a result I would definitely say that the romance in this film is quite lacking. That aspect definitely could and should have been cut out since it doesn’t serve any purpose in the film other than to make the characters more unlivable.

So Sarah was no good and as you’ve probably guessed I didn’t like Johnny either. He doesn’t handle any of the situations very well at all. The security officer was good though, he was willing to try anything to put the mass murderer to justice. I’m sure he got a lot of heat for trying to use a psychic but that’s just how much he wanted to put this guy behind bars. He gets a lot of credit here.

Dead Zone holds itself back with how it has to add unnecessarily dark details though. The perfect example of this is how the victims die. Just have them be murdered in a normal way. That would be standard and would still capture all of the themes that the movie was trying to convey. Instead we are told they died in an incredibly gruesome way and it’s just details that we didn’t need to know and that should not have been included. It’s the extra details that tend to trip up films like this so sometimes just keep your plots general and it’s for the best.

In general Dead Zone isn’t even a super dark film. The case with Johnny trying to help the piano kid has a dark end but there is a silver lining in that he was able to help the main kid. So I wouldn’t consider it to be a very dark plot but has more of an ominous feeling since Johnny now knows exactly what his powers can do. This leads up to the final arc where he really begins to use his powers more actively. He comes up with a whole plan and everything. The fact that he is completely untrained and nearly comes out on top shows how different security was back then. You’re not getting anywhere close to the area with a big shotgun nowadays.

As for Stillson he’s a decent final boss to the movie. He certainly has a lot of ambition and keeps the characters in check. The scenes with him suddenly switch the whole movie to more of a gangster/mob type film which is interesting. Stillson has a lot of presence and makes for a good villain. I wouldn’t have minded seeing some more of him because he was just that interesting. The vision of the future also shows just how far he would have ultimately gone for his ambitions.

Dead Zone isn’t very violent for the most part. The early case with the mass murderer is really the only one with violence like when they catch the villain and of course the victims. The rest of the film is rather mild in that respect. The soundtrack isn’t all that memorable but I did like the camera effects for when Johnny was in a vision. It was a good way to quickly tell if you were in the present or somewhere else.

Overall, Dead Zone has an interesting premise since who wouldn’t like to have telepathic abilities right? Pure future sight isn’t super handy in this case though since you can’t use it on yourself and the film makes a decent case for why you would really not want to have this ability. If you just cut out the first case then I would say this was actually a decent film. Throw that in as well as Johnny’s relationship with Sarah and the cracks not only show themselves within the film but they burst it wide open. As a result I wouldn’t recommend checking this film out. Go watch something else instead.

Overall 3/10

Blood of Dracula Review


Time for a very obscure vampire film. Part of why I chose this poster in particular is to show you how the vampire actually looks in the film. The effects aren’t great here but the film seemed to be proud of it since we get a recycled transformation sequence a few times. Now I doubt there are very many who have heard of the Blood of Dracula, I certainly hadn’t before now. With a title like that you may be expecting Dracula so I may as well let you down easy now and tell you that this isn’t the case. Dracula is going to be missing this adventure. There really isn’t any connection to him so that was just to sell tickets. This one’s more of a personal story as we find out the dangers of messing around with science.

Nancy is being taken to a private boarding school since her father just remarried and the step mom isn’t a big fan of Nancy. It’s one of those annoying elements where you realize the dad is just as guilty for not noticing this and remarrying so quickly. Apparently it hasn’t even been 2 months since Nancy’s mother died so this feels really quick. It’s all just to get the parents out of the way. The school seems normal at first even if all of the other girls are bullies but the real issue here is that Miss Branding, one of the teachers here is running some dangerous experiments to turn people into vampires. She has always wanted someone tough to experiment on and Nancy is that person. Can she get out of this school safely?

The plot may work well with a thriller context as the vampire starts bumping everyone off but the film’s actually a lot more low key than that. In a way it even makes for several climaxes as I thought the film was gearing up for the end a few times and then suddenly it would go back to some slice of life times until the next event. It’s an interesting attempt but in the end the film just ends up being a little more on the dull side. It doesn’t help that the case is rather weak.

Every girl in the school is against Nancy for basically no reason. It seems like they formed a clique right away and the newest member has to go through initiation. If she doesn’t submit then they will do their best to break her. Nancy is trying to act like the tough girl in some respects but then in other ways she isn’t so it makes her a frustrating lead and doesn’t do anything to make the other girls better characters. They all even take turns dating Eddie since he’s the only guy on campus which makes them look really desperate. I’m sure he loves the arrangement but they are cool with this?

None of them get a whole lot of development except to raise a death flag before they die. Myra is really the only one that really gets a decent sized role here as she knows about Branding’s experiments but looks the other way. As a student it makes sense she wouldn’t want to get in the teacher’s way but she really does nothing to help or alert Nancy. Ah that’s right, it’s because she is one of the bullies as well. So the school really had no likable characters to protect themselves.
As the “tough” character in the film, what Nancy could have done to have been more of a solid character is to have actually fought back. Where she effectively failed the test is when the girls jump her and rob her of all her belongings. That was absolutely the time to fight back and just show them what was up. By not doing that she set the stage for the bullying to proceed more and more. You have to take at least one of them down from the start to lay down the groundwork for their leaving you alone. Perhaps you can’t beat all of them but throw a few punches during the attack and the outcome’s a lot different.

Additionally Nancy just takes the blame for the noise and everything which didn’t make sense. Her worst scene is in the climax though. So presumably as a vampire you have a level of super strength and speed or durability right? During the various action scenes this seems to be the case although with how everyone falls down and looks shocked, this isn’t a guarantee. It was hard to believe when Branding is actually able to overpower Nancy’s vampire form though. That just shouldn’t happen in any context.

The ending is really a letdown on the film’s part. It really didn’t live up to the potential that the movie had although I wouldn’t say it was a ton of potential either way. This was never going to be a great title because vampire films just aren’t built that way but it could have been better is what I’m getting at. The climax is trying to be intense and give the final fight that we’ve been waiting for but it just doesn’t work.

By the end you’re also wondering on the point of these experiments. We may have needed some villain exposition for a change so we can understand the purpose. She says repeatedly that these experiments will help humanity but in what way? It’s very unclear as to how turning into a vampire will help humanity in any way. Is it only some chosen people whose dna is able to activate with her talisman or can anyone be picked? There are a lot of unknowns and at the end of the day we don’t even know if she has more talismans to hypnotize people with.

Also, as in all hypnotism films you just wish Nancy would look the other way or fight back against the control a bit. In all of these films the character is mind controlled so very easily. It’s like they have no self control or will power to defend themselves with. It also doesn’t make for the most riveting scenes as the characters just stare absentmindedly into the abyss. That said, mind control isn’t an excuse on why Nancy was so cold with her boyfriend though. She couldn’t give him a single straight answer and it just made their relationship strained for no real reason. Just tell him you need some space but will rejoin after the school term has ended if you want him away from the danger or ask to drive off with him if you want to get away from the evil school. Either option would have worked better than just being completely vague the whole time.

That guy gets credit for driving so far to check on her and make sure she was okay since he hadn’t received any word from her. He’s braver than Eddie who was scared to even be in the graveyard with one of the girls when everyone is used to hanging out there. That guy was doomed the instant we found out there was a vampire on campus. As a vampire film you have the usual amount of victims as their blood gets sucked away and you even have the police step in at one point but it isn’t as exciting as you might expect. The one police officer who believes in vampires is quickly laughed off in their first scene. You would think that after the first murder or two they would just shut the school down but that takes a while to even be considered. Even then it’s mostly in the background as the principal discusses the possibility of the parents making a move. (I like the level of dread that is felt whenever the “parents” are mentioned. The best conversation is between him and the lead teacher as they talk about the school’s reputation.

The film is a lot more tame than most vampire films so there isn’t a lot of blood sucking or anything like that. That’s a good thing at least but ultimately it can only help out a bit since the rest of the film is more on the mediocre side. It just doesn’t hit with the kind of power you need in any aspect. Throw in a likable character or give the police investigation more screen time and you could have something interesting here. As it is, there’s really no hook to the film.

Overall, Blood of Dracula is a film that really goes through all of the motions without a whole lot of emotion or feeling. There is no mystery here as you know Nancy is the vampire right away and the main drama is trying to figure out how she can break the hypnosis. The issue is that she just isn’t really able to even try since she doesn’t remember. Each time she has a feeling that something’s off but just goes back into the teacher’s office like nothing is wrong until the very end of the film. It felt like this movie wasn’t sure if it was a slice of life or a thriller at times and as a result just meekly walks through the adventure. The worst thing you can say about this one is that it would have been better off just being a normal slice of life flick. You’ll want to give this one a skip.

Overall 4/10

Predators 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

Next up in the Predator series is more of a classic survival film. The main characters are in unfamiliar territory fighting a powerful foe and so they just have to survive. In a lot of ways this film is like the original one and does a good job of hitting the same beats. It’s a considerable improvement from the second film, that’s for sure.

The movie starts with Royce awakening in free fall and he just barely manages to use his parachute to get down safely. Fortunately he has his gun at the ready and comes across a few more humans. The only common element is that they are all trained killers in different fields. Soldiers, Hunters, Hitmen, Yakuza, etc. The forest does not appear to be familiar to any of the people here and worse yet, they are being hunted by strange creatures. Can Royce and the team manage to fend these guys off or are they doomed?

This is the kind of intro that throws in a little mystery and suspense along with the thriller elements. It almost feels like a video game premise and it’s always a good one. It’s one of the reasons why Lost was so popular. When you’re in a strange environment with a lot of potential obstacles then it really raises the fear factor. The fact that everyone here is a trained fighter helps since they can defend themselves but on the other hand it also means they can’t trust each other either.

As the main character Royce is quite solid. I like how much of a loner the guy is. He doesn’t really fall in for the whole team spirit thing. He just does whatever he wants and the rest of the gang are welcome to follow him if they want or just hang back. Either way he isn’t going to switch his plans on account of them. As the film goes on he has a good character arc and even by the end of it his guard is as sharp as ever. He has a good speed moment at the end of the film and really stands out as the best character by far.

Then you have Isabelle who is quite skilled as well but a lot more merciful than Royce is. She is a soldier but doesn’t take as much joy in taking her opponents down as Royce does. She will stop to help someone who has fallen down while Royce would probably just steal any valuables. So Isabelle’s a nice character but in an environment like this that can also be a really risky thing. It gets her into trouble a few times.

Nikolai’s role isn’t as big as the others but he’s another solid character. He has a strong sense of honor and will go back to rescue someone if they have a bond. Then you have Hanzo who has sword skills as a Yakuza member. His showdown with the Predator will definitely remind you of the one on one sword fight from the first film. Definitely a lot of homages here and this was another one that was well executed.

Stans is more of a normal murderer so you definitely don’t want to loosen your guard around him. He’s one of the least likable members of the group. He’s just not a good guy at all and his dialogue is pretty cringe worthy. The less screen time he gets the better and you know that his tough talk will evaporate as soon as the Predators show up.

Mombasa had a bit of a rivalry with Stans and while he ultimately takes the high road each time, you feel like Stans gets off a bit easy at some points. Mombasa deserves credit for keeping his priorities straight though. Finally you have Edwin who is the worst character in the film. He’s the kind of guy who will beg for his life and ask someone to save him only to dash out afterwards when the situation is reversed.

Danger shows a person’s true colors and that is certainly true of Edwin. He just gets worse and worse throughout the film to the point where there is really no return for him. He’s more of a distraction from the Predators throughout the film and certainly doesn’t contribute in fighting them.

Aside from the main humans there is also another one on the island who has long since gone crazy while being in this forest. It’s impressive that the guy has survived for so long though even if he is absolutely batty. His plan was a bad one also because even if the rest of the characters were bumped off, creating a fire seems like a way to attract unwanted attention. Even without Royce and the gang making it more obvious, I feel like the Predators would have found out something was up.

Surprisingly the film doesn’t really have a twist like you would expect from most horror titles. It just ends after the big climax but the action scenes were solid so it works out well enough. As it is, the twist in itself happens early on as we meet the original Predator and see that he was defeated. Now this was the best moment of the film. I can only imagine the impact if you assumed this film would be all about the Predators only to see that it was taken down. I think the twist would have been even more effective if the replacements didn’t look so similar though. Imagine if the creatures hunting the humans looked nothing like Predators? It would be a bit of a bait and switch on the audience but one that would have been effective.

The scenes of the Predators hunting the humans are done well here. Now you do have to turn your mind off a bit though in the sense that the Predators could and should have won numerous times throughout the film. They have camouflage, the element of surprise, and homefield advantage. Now if they want this to be a fair hunt so they let the humans go a lot of the time that’s fine but then losing in the end still doesn’t make a lot of sense. It felt like the Predators just wouldn’t adapt no matter what.

From the 3 Predator films this one felt like the humans had the most plot armor. Even accounting for the fact that these humans know how to fight I just wasn’t really buying it. It’s not the kind of thing that hurts the score but it’s just hard to ignore. Score-wise, well the film has the usual amounts of extreme violence you would expect. The Predators make sure that the humans really feel it when they’re taken out.

With their super strength and bladed weapons, the Predators easily make short work out of the main characters or at least the ones that don’t survive. This time we even have little alien creatures that are getting blown up as well. It’s a jungle horror film after all so creatures are to be expected. Parts of the script can be a bit weak as well but nothing too crazy. Ultimately it’s just one of those films where if you scale back the violence a ton then this could jump way up since the premise is still intriguing enough on its own. I’m always up for a good survival title after all.

Overall, Predators brought the series back to where you would expect to see it. We got some super Predators which is a cool concept but I just wish they didn’t look so similar to the normal Predators. Take away the armor and they basically are the same since it’s such a slight evolution. It really would have been cool to have seen a whole new type of creature suddenly show up out of nowhere. If you’re a horror fan or like the Predators then this is a good film to check out. It’s like the Hunger Games except it’s humans vs aliens.

Overall 3/10

Predator 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

All right, it’s time to re-enter the world of the Predator. Much like Halloween III, this one feels a lot different from the other Predator films. Well, as the second one there hadn’t been more than one at the time but knowing about the newer films, this one just doesn’t have that survival vibe that the others had. If anything the gangs take up a decent chunk of this film’s run time.

So there have been a lot of gang fights lately which isn’t really abnormal for the neighborhood. Harrigan is trying to keep the peace as always and breaks up fights when need be. Lately the murders have been a lot more violent though and Harrigan suspects that a new player is in town. The murder methods are very creative though so whoever is doing this should be feared. The problem is that a high ranking government official known as Peter shows up and seems to be trying to make sure that Harrigan doesn’t get any more info on the case. What is he hiding?

Whenever the government is hiding something in these films you can bet that it’s important. The most annoying thing for Harrigan is likely the knowledge that if his team had known about the true threat from the start then things could have gone differently. I’m sure the Predator would have still murdered a bunch of people but it’d be nice to know that you are fighting an alien right away than going after street thugs right?

I also feel like Peter just didn’t handle the situation well. He becomes useful by the end of the film but keeping secrets just really didn’t benefit the heroes in the long run. His squad was woefully unprepared for the Predator as it is. At least Harrigan knows how to fight and chase the villains down. Now granted, when we get the inevitable fight between the Predator and Harrigan it is a little hard to see how the human was doing so well. Granted, the Predator got injured and they aren’t as strong as Xenomorphs but I felt like Harrigan should have lost the fight.

As it is, in the first film the main character was mostly losing in the physical confrontations and that guy seemed way more powerful physically than this lead. Predators should be stronger than humans anyway, they have super armor and are just built different. They have camouflaged tech and can plan things out as well. In theory there is no way the Predator should lose even when vastly outnumbered.

This does give us an exciting climax though so that part’s good. It’s nice to see the Predator ship and we even a foreboding ending with Harrigan setting us up for film 3. Of course, with a planet as big as Earth, the Predators will probably pick a new location to hit up next time since they never seem to go to the same place twice.

The humans aren’t super memorable. Peter and Harrigan are really the main guys here. I still say Peter’s secrets weren’t very helpful in keeping people alive but Harrigan did well in staying on the case until he got his answers. Jerry was a solid newcomer to the group. He’s a hot shot and initially you figure the guy is all talk but he actually proves himself in every instance of the film. He tails the villain without their realizing it, he is quick on his feet and the scene where he takes on the reporter was really solid. I like how smoothly he took that guy down.

Where the film falters is really with the gang elements. Nobody really cares about all this in fighting with the gangs just murdering each other. We want to see the Predator and of course he does murder all of those guys with ease but you could really take out the whole gang plot and that would be even better. Have Predator be the only villain and his mere presence is scaring everyone. That level of terror would really establish the Predator as one of the big bads to watch out for. instead he’s sharing time and while the gangs are no threat to him, why even have them around?

The film is naturally rather violent as the characters tend to get ripped apart by the Predator. It’s not quite at the level of Halloween or something like that but it doesn’t make for a pretty sight. The only death that was more stylistic than violent was when the Predator takes out King Willy. Now that scene was effective because it showed that even the city’s greatest swordsman couldn’t take him down. I’m not sure exactly how skilled the guy was but he knew about the supernatural elements and at least faced off against the Predator. Even if he didn’t end up putting any kind of fight, at least he was ready for action which is more than you can say for a lot of the characters.

The idea of having the Predator attack a city isn’t a bad one but this movie just didn’t utilize the idea very well. This should be exciting and nerve wrecking as the cops have to step in and fight the Predator. Instead you can easily forget that this is a big down at times. It’s all quite dusty and you can almost feel the heat wave that is taking place in the film. Everything feels dusty and isolated. The town is also so far gone with all of the crime everywhere that it isn’t really the big city experience you would hope for. The writing isn’t impressive nor is the cast. A film can’t really win under those circumstances.

Overall, Predator 2 is definitely a step down from the first film. I also don’t really get the point of the Predator here. It makes sense that one would test his limits in the forest, but a random city? I suppose the idea is that by beating all of the mobsters the Predator will prove that he is the strongest in the land but the actions almost feel aimless at times. He’s also moving rather slowly with the kills so you wonder what he is doing to kill time every day. If the cast was more likable and the violence was toned down then maybe you would have something here. Instead this ends up being more of a forgettable horror title. We don’t even get a true twist ending here. It ends on a note where you know sequels are on the way but nothing that really pops out at you. If you want to check out a Predator adventure, just watch the first one instead.

Overall 2/10

The Client Review


The Client is one of those films where you have different factions who are both technically good guys but they’re at odds with each other so you have to choose who to root for. Meanwhile the real villains are still on the loose so you have to hope that the heroes can take them down in time. The Client is definitely a solid film, one that would have been even better if the main character was older but still good all the same.

The movie starts with Mark and his brother Rick out in the woods when they see a guy trying to destroy himself using fumes from his car. Mark decides to prevent this from happening but ends up being caught. Fortunately he is able to escape right as the guy is blown up but this traumatizes Rick so that he can no longer talk. This ends up being a big deal because the guy who destroyed himself had the big testimony that was going to seal the case for Reverend Roy. Roy figures that he may have told the kid the location of the missing body that would be the ultimate proof to convict one of the gang heads known as Muldano.

Mark is approached by the mob and told not to say anything though or they will destroy him and his family. As evidence of their sincerity they burn down his home but of course nobody can prove it. Mark figures that he will need an attorney and hires a lady named Reggie. She is nice enough to be doing this case for free but how much can she help Mark when the guy is keeping so many secrets from her? The trial is in a few days so everyone is on the clock.

The Mob and Roy both want to be the first ones to the body to destroy or salvage it and they each have a hurdle here. The Mob knows where the body is but have a hard time getting past security to find it. Roy wouldn’t have that trouble since he is security but doesn’t know where the body is. That’s why the whole situation with Mark keeping the secrets tends to be annoying. I’m often not a fan of kids being the main character in a film like this and this movie really reinforces why that is the case.

There are a lot of scenes here where if Mark was a grown up then the film would have ended early. Strike a deal with Roy to enter the witness protection program or something and then tell him about the body. That would have been the best way to do things and would have ended the film in minutes. The problem is that he won’t tell anyone including his own attorney. I thought Mark was very ungrateful to her considering that she doesn’t even need to be helping him. Reggie does everything that she can but Mark tends to storm off every other scene instead of actually helping.

Suffice to say, he was one of the worst characters in the film. Any scene with him was one where he was impeding the legal process and just putting everyone into more danger than they needed to be. Reggie would have wrapped this whole thing up a lot sooner otherwise. Maybe tell her that a member of the mob broke into the hospital so they could get some more security around the place? That would have been productive at least. His mother’s also rather mean to Reggie for no real reason either.

Reggie is really given a tough task here but she still does her best to get to the bottom of this in every scenario. She talks tough to Roy during each of their confrontations and usually comes out on top. Only time she is left on the defensive is when Mark withheld more crucial info from her that Roy was able to find. It’s tough to defend someone when they give you fake stories all the time. Ultimately she did go with him to the dangerous spot to find the body and really came in clutch each time.

As for Roy, he was a fun character. I like the levels of confidence he brought with him to each of the hearings. It’s easy to see why he is known as one of the best in the business. When he has an opening he takes it and just rides this all the way to the end. He does want to get more political power but it’s clear that he has earned the position that he has currently. He studied a lot to get to this point and it’s all paid off quite nicely. Even in his first questioning with Mark he was able to defeat the kid quite handily. A few more minutes and he would have won if not for Reggie showing up.

The villain Muldano is more on the forgettable side though. There’s not really a whole lot to him. He flies off the handle too much which is what gets him into these jams in the first place. When the alarm went off in the climax his only hope was to quickly charge the heroes since fleeing would confirm that they got the bodies. Ultimately he wasn’t quite brave enough for this and that’s why he’s not the top boss of the mob.

The Client is really solid because the writing is strong. Put the kids to the side and you can really focus on the solid banter between Reggie and Roy. They’re both professionals on opposite sides of the fence here so they really have to go at it. The court scenes with the judge were a lot of fun as well. These bits don’t take up most of the movie but the scenes that we do get are really presented well.

We also get a good amount of thriller elements and a reasonably tense atmosphere that works well here. I don’t really have any big negatives here aside from the main character who was just really grating the whole time. I would have written him out after the intro scene so most of the big scenes were with Reggie instead as the mob goes after her. It would switch the movie up a bit but also ensure that all of the characters are solid.

Overall, The Client is a good film and I’d recommend checking it out. You really get to see the dangers of being a witness and ensuring that you have a good deal set up before telling all that you know. If Reggie wasn’t there to make sure of that, it seems like Roy’s team would have left the witness off to dry. In a dangerous business like this you have to keep your guard up and wits about you at all time. I’m always up for a film that deals with the court room so this worked out nicely.

Overall 6/10

Tall Story Review


All right, it’s time for a Basketball movie of sorts. It’s not the main focus per say but it does play a part in what’s going on. This is a movie where I would say the first half beats the second as the comedic parts are good but once the film gets serious it starts to trip up a bit. Ultimately the moral here is that you need to stick to your studies!

The movie starts with Professor Leo getting ready for his first day of school. He’s going to be an ethics professor and he’s looking forward to getting these kids academically prepared for success. He’s given the school tour by Professor Charles who lets Leo know that this school is very dedicated to its Basketball program. This is to such a point that there is a huge statute in honor of the sport and it is the only thing that the papers care to publish.

Well, Leo can make ethics work into that. Then the professors are knocked over by the new student June. She lets them know that she is only attending this college to secure Ray’s hand in marriage. To do this she will have to get him to stop focusing all of his time on school and so she asks for their help in arranging this. She is steadfast in this goal but will Ray ultimately choose to go with her or will she end up being disappointed?

It’s also worth noting that a big part of the film’s drama is also about the Russian team coming over to do battle with the school. This team has defeated every school in their tracks under mysterious circumstances at times but the principal and teachers are confident that they can win as long as they have Ray. Ray’s never lost a battle and doesn’t intend to start now. Hopefully the romance doesn’t get in the way of this eh?

Most of the humor here is in how up front June is about all of this. She doesn’t mind anyone knowing about her plans aside from Ray. She isn’t beating around the bush either and systematically starts tearing down all of Ray’s barriers. You feel like the guy is doomed from the start with how he can barely resist her. By the time they’re babysitting together it’s all over. I will have more to say about that when I talk about him.

But for June, she gets a positive score here. She saw an opportunity and she seized it. You have to appreciate the hustle and June was also able to support Ray as best she could during the climax. There was a lot of planning from her end so she also gets top marks in strategy. As a main character she does her part in making sure that the movie is entertaining from start to finish.

Now for Ray, I was not a fan of his. First off, he lets the romance impact his play on the field. Whenever someone is playing a sport or doing any activity you don’t want to see any excuses. Ray starts stinking it up on the field and doesn’t seem to care because he is having such fun. The tournament is coming up so he needs his head in the game. Then when he gets his groove back, he gets a package of money from the Russians telling him to throw the game.

There’s a lot of ways to handle this like immediately giving it to the police, the Basketball coach, the teachers, etc. Instead he just holds onto it initially which is not a good idea since it’ll make him more suspicious down the road. Additionally he decides to flunk a test so he will miss the game but that will just ensure that the college loses. He kept on making the wrong choices over and over again when this really wasn’t that hard. Hand the money over to the cops and it all would have been squared away rather easily.

So while June had a strong will, I thought Ray’s was rather weak. The main antagonist Leo can also be dicey at times. I enjoyed most of his earlier scenes as Leo tries to make sense of this crazy situation but towards the end he seemed a bit exaggerated. Once he learned the truth about the whole thing he should have just let Ray go back on the team. If he wanted to do a make up exam then that’s fine as well but just give it instead of intentionally dragging out each question.

After a while it just seemed like he was being stubborn just to be stubborn. There was also no reason for him to out June near the end as it served no purpose other than to put her in trouble. So Leo really used up any good fortune he had earned up by then. I appreciate him sticking to his guns before learning the truth and keeping Ray in a failed state. That’s fine and as an Ethics professor it makes sense. After that though? There’s no real excuse there. Additionally giving a makeup exam doesn’t seem too far fetched.

Everyone was putting pressure on Leo including the principal. If the team had lost the game I have a feeling that Leo would have been fired on the spot. The principal doesn’t get a huge role here but whenever he appears the guy takes over the stage. You can tell that he is serious about the team winning this one. Charles is a solid professor as well and a lot more reasonable than Leo. He has a very laidback attitude and is just able to roll with all of the punches rather than making a big deal about everything. That’s the kind of guy you want to have on your side.

As the Basketball coach you can probably guess whose side Sandy was on. This is a game that especially means a lot to him and he made good on his word to put in as much pressure as possible. I definitely liked that guy. Finally there’s Myra who is June’s mother and she is also more reasonable than Leo. She even has a bit of a competitive side to her as she jumps in on the sport betting behind Leo’s back. You can see where June gets her personality from. Myra usually won’t go into the spotlight to throw in her support but she is always on the right side.

The film’s fairly quick and really breezes by. The only weak point I would say tends to come from the romance side of things. I won’t say that the romance between June and Ray is bad, it’s actually fairly decent for this kind of school story. No, it’s the inclusion of another couple who own a trailer that can be a bit much. They’re the kind of fake friends who won’t actually help you at all despite talking a great deal. I didn’t like that Ray and June actually bought the trailer because it feels like they were fleeced. The whole sequence of scenes were also the only parts that really felt like they dragged out.

This other couple wasn’t funny and the idea of moving in there and wasting so much money rather than getting a proper place just doesn’t make any sense. Ultimately it was Ray’s money so I’m going to have to give him another big L for even thinking about this. June also takes part of the blame for being excited about it so they’ll both take a hit there.

Overall, I would have liked to have seen more of the actual Basketball game but in the end this was a decently solid title. It’s a pleasant enough romantic comedy which hits the right notes on both angles. Hopefully Leo learned his lesson and will be a more reasonable person going forward. At the very least that’s what you would hope. If you’re looking for an old school title to watch then I’d recommend checking this one out.

Overall 6/10

Halloween III: Season of the Witch 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
Halloween certainly took a different approach with this installment. No Myers this time and well it’s just nothing like the rest. It does manage to capture a tense atmosphere and you almost have a bit of a Twilight Zone kind of feel here but the film is very quickly not content for the slow burner approach and keeps on going back to being a normal slasher and wasting this tense feeling.

The movie starts with a guy getting attacked and barely managing to make it to the hospital. He tries to warn the staff that everybody is going to die but they quickly subdue him and get the guy into emergency care. Unfortunately the hospital was not quite protected well enough and he is murdered by one of the assailants. Doctor Daniel is disturbed by this so he heads out to get drunk out of his mind. That’s when the victim’s daughter Ellie shows up and declares that she is going to find out what happened. Her father shouldn’t have had any enemies so why would he be taken out like this? Daniel decides to help her out so the two travel to a nearly abandoned town with a mask making company that is their only lead. Have they just stumbled onto something bigger than themselves?

Okay so right off the bat the first scenes have one of the most vicious deaths in the movie as the guy’s head gets completely crushed. This movie really didn’t hold back on just how brutal the deaths were. It’s quite creative in a way as these may be even more devastating than the average slasher film murders. Each and every death here is like that as one person even takes an energy beam to the face and this isn’t Dragon Ball Z so lets just say that it leaves a lot of damage.

The film’s already dooming itself quite a bit with all the violence but even beyond that none of the characters are likable. Lets take Buddy first. He’s already having a lot of family issues because he is not reliable and always missing important days. Well, he’s about to miss a lot of others because he doesn’t even tell them that he’s trying to solve the murder of this latest victim.

Now, this is a pretty serious moment for Ellie and Buddy since murder is no joke. Yet 5 minutes after they get to the hotel they decide to mess around with each other. Okay….it’s probably not the best time to start an affair particularly as they are in enemy territory and believe there was some foul play. All they’re doing is making sure they are extra defenseless now.

Bobby also splits up with Ellie quite a bit considering how dangerous the situation is. Shouldn’t they at least stay together when walking around the town? Buddy just ends up being annoying the whole time and keep in mind that he is also flirting with a coworker the entire time even while he’s having an affair with Ellie. Just keep that in mind. This guy cannot keep his mind on the task at hand.

Then Ellie is just really not smart and handles everything in the worst way possible. She makes it obvious that the heroes suspect the villains like when she runs towards her father’s car or when she nearly bursts into tears after that. She’s super willing to go on the tour and everything to find the evidence but doesn’t really take any precautions. Now there’s probably not a whole lot they could do against the androids but I’d like to at least have seen her head be in the game.

The only person you’ll probably feel bad for here s Marge who just showed up to get some more masks. It’s tough having to go all the way to the factory direct but she did it because she needs those masks in time for Halloween and won’t miss out on the sales. It’s really a case of her being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong product.

Same with Buddy who really did a great job in selling as many masks as possible. Apparently there was nobody better at this which just makes the whole thing even more tragic. He seemed like a good guy too so you just feel bad for him. He probably should have taken down the snakes as they appeared so they didn’t build up but it was a high pressure situation and unfortunately he just wasn’t ready for it. Then you have Cochran who is the main villain here.

The guy is one of those team corporate members who just enjoys a good joke and reliving the old traditions. He has an origin story that explains the supernatural part of the story but it seems like his motivation was really just to play a joke on the whole world by selling these masks that melt into you and summon a bunch of insects. The fact that it only works when watching a commercial is fairly meta.

You won’t be remembering this villain very well after the movie but the one thing you can say for him is that he does have a lot of patience. He had to really build up the company to get it to this point and couldn’t make any slip ups in the meantime. Additionally the Halloween jingle for the commercials is rather catchy. I can definitely picture the characters getting tired of it when it plays numerously every day leading up to Halloween though.

The film ends in a way where you can decide how it plays out. Personally I think there’s no way the company is able to help Daniel out a third time. As it is, I was surprised they even listened on the first two attempts because with the commercials selling so well on the other days they probably wouldn’t dare shut it down. They don’t want to say goodbye to those $$$ after all. It works as a solid ending though and again goes for that Twilight Zone feeling where nothing is at it seems. A sequel would have been interesting assuming that the snakes keep spawning as we see what the government would want to do here.

The climax gives us some action but it was really convenient that throwing the emblems was able to perfectly link the TVs in a circle to burn everyone away and turn someone into a ghost. That was very convenient to be sure. The villain has a bunch of androids with him which explains how they were able to literally rip people apart. I don’t see how Daniel was able to defeat one of them though. It shouldn’t have broken down that quickly or been slow enough to be tagged like that. I had a hard time believing those bits because they just didn’t seem very likely. Low key it was kind of funny to see Daniel take out a napkin to clean his hand while Cochran was monologuing only for him to realize that the substance was too thick to actually be removed that way and he just tossed the napkin.

So I don’t have many good things to say about the film but the one thing I will give it is that the atmosphere was handled well. The scenes where they first drive into the village and we see how oddly everyone was acting is quite solid. You know that something isn’t right and the people here just don’t seem normal. It’s that 80s vibe that is really hard to recreate nowadays. So at least that’s something. Also, having the original Halloween exist in this continuity as a fictional movie is rather meta.

The climax was also decent in some respects. I like that we got several fake outs with the final robot that kept choking Daniel. It made for a decent back and forth fight even if once again I feel like Daniel should have been taken down. If a robot is strong enough to utterly crush someone’s skull with ease then it’s definitely strong enough to choke someone out way before they have time to push you off or grab some loose object on the ground.

Overall, Halloween took some risks but ultimately they did not pay off. It keeps all of the usual slasher elements like particularly gruesome deaths and then doubled down by making the main characters not be all that likable. The spooky atmosphere would have been more effective in a subtle movie where the violence isn’t so high and the tension slowly builds up. I dare say that this film would have been better off falling back on its usual formula if anything because this one just didn’t work. Definitely skip on checking this one out.

Overall 1/10

Candyman 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

Candyman plays out exactly like the kind of slasher horror you would expect. I’m still not entirely sure why he is called Candyman but there’s got to be some slang or history in the term that would explain it. Now in the recent remake they make it quite clear by changing up his origin but in this film…yeah it’s a bit of a mystery. Not enough of one to save the movie though.

The movie starts with some guy getting ready to have a cheating affair with a girl. She randomly brings up the legend of Candyman, basically a guy who fell in love with a girl back in the day but this was back in the days of segregation and the town wasn’t going to abide by a mixed relationship. Candyman was tortured and murdered and now haunts people from beyond the grave. If you say his name 5 times into a mirror then he will appear and murder you. So at this point the guy should ask “Who starts a conversation like this?” Seriously they’re about to start the affair and she suddenly brings this up as a complete mood killer.

The guy says the name 4 times and then runs off but the girl says it a 5th time and gets murdered. We cut to the present where Helen is writing a paper on Candyman and needs to do a lot of research. Her friend Bernadette is helping with this but starts to think Helen is going too far. Helen wants to go to the seediest neighborhood in town for extra research and even wants to say Candyman’s name 5 times in the mirror to make sure the legend is false. Candyman doesn’t appreciate her trying to discredit his legacy so he makes his move.

Candyman is one of those spirits who is only powerful while people believe in him which should be a rather big weakness in the modern day. How many people actually believe in this guy right? His abilities are rather unique for one of these slasher villains. For starters, he has the powers of epilepsy which is not something to be taken lightly. He can flash crazy lights into your mind which prevents you from running away. This is something he used on Helen when she tries to escape in the parking lot at one point.

Among other abilities he seems to have illusions, super strength, regeneration, and a bunch of other powers. It does feel like defeating him might actually be possible compared to some opponents like the Grudge but it’s still super unlikely. There isn’t much to the Candyman in terms of motive and everything though as he only starts to deal damage when someone says his name 5 times. So if he really wanted to get revenge on everyone or restore his legacy you’d think that he would be more proactive about it.

Helen has a strong case of plot armor in this film though as he doesn’t murder her instantly the way that he does to everyone else. Now, he wants to use her to further his own legacy but in a way won’t this make it weaker? Everyone just thinks she is insane the whole time, not that Candyman is possessing her so it doesn’t do a lot to strengthen belief in him. The fact that he also goes to sleep and lowers his guard is something else too. Helen came quite close to taking him down at one point.

As with any slasher movie though, the film likes going overboard on the violence. Get ready for characters to be brutally murdered. The film also goes for a rather disturbing angle with the whole Bees thing though like Candyman forcing a marriage with Helen. That whole scene was really disturbing and quite gross with the bees coming out of him. I definitely could have done without that.

As for the characters there weren’t a lot of good ones here either way. For Helen, she really wasn’t smart with how she would do her investigating. You absolutely need to have a cop with you or a lot of friends if you’re going to go into some dangerous areas by yourself. She was lucky that she only got beaten up and wasn’t murdered on a few of her escapades. Even when Candyman first shows up with his incredibly loud voice and mysterious get up she is super slow to act. She just talks as if it’s a normal conversation instead of getting into the car and speeding away. This allows him to get close enough to use his seizure abilities on her.

Bernadette is the only reasonable character here as she tries to hold Helen back and stays in her corner. This does get more difficult for her when Helen is framed by the Candyman and it would be hard to blame her for walking away at that point since every bit of evidence was against the lead. The old “Candyman possessed me” argument wouldn’t really work in court.

Then you have Trevor for some relationship drama. He’s cheating on Helen with one of his students and it’s one of those plots that may not add anything to the film but I suspect it’s there for more motive on why she may have cracked. To the outside world is gives them more reason to suspect that Candyman isn’t real at the very least. Then you have Anne who is doing her best to raise her newborn kid but unfortunately gets roped into the whole candyman business thanks to Helen.

One thing about Candyman is that he really doesn’t mind collateral damage so her kid is put in danger just for being around. There’s one guy who is murdered without ever even uttering the name Candyman. In a way this is even more tragic for them because they aren’t even able to see him since they weren’t the summoner and as such have no real way of defending themselves.

As a horror film we do get a twist ending of course which is pretty solid. Lets just say that one character definitely didn’t make the smartest move. I don’t even know how you say someone’s name 5 times in a row without meaning to. How? Either way this character doesn’t last too long and we see the birth of a new legend. In theory this could be a good villain for the sequel or if Candyman is still around then it could be a vs movie. Of course that won’t happen but I think that would have been the best decision for a second film.

The only good thing I would say about the movie is that the soundtrack is rather intense. It goes for a very opera type feel at all times. Candyman likes his regal music and as the guy seems to think of his followers as being in a religion of sorts then it makes a lot of sense. The soundtrack was memorable which is always important for these kinds of things. It at least puts Candyman ahead of the curve in that respect.

Overall, There just doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of point to Candyman. He’s one of those delusional killers who doesn’t just want to leave a trail of bodies but also wants to make sure to break Helen first. He’s completely obsessed with her but it’s such a one way battle because he can knock her out or possess her at any point with no effort. So really the film is just about him toying with her and that kind of cat and mouse game certainly won’t end up being entertaining. Throw in all the extra violence, unlikable characters, and Candyman wanting to marry/merge with her and you’ve definitely got yourself a big miss here. Maybe the sequels can change things up but in the meantime you will want to skip this one.

Overall 1/10

Happy Death Day 2U Review


The sequel is now upon us. The first film had a cool concept but I didn’t think it lived up to the potential it had. This one does a much better job of handling the adventure. It may have mostly thrown away the horror elements from the first film but you’ve still got the various murders, there’s just much more things happening in this film. Maybe too many since one plot just vanishes.

The movie picks up right where the first film left off. Tree has escaped the loop and is finally together with Carter. Ryan isn’t thrilled about this since that means his room is still off limits but he heads to his lab to finish working on the time travel machine. Unfortunately the teacher doesn’t like this and shuts the project down. Ryan is promptly murdered by a guy in a baby mask and ends up going back to the start of the day. Looks like he is trapped in a time loop now and the only one who can possible help him here would be Tree since she has a lot of experience with this.

I would say that the decision to make Ryan the main character is an awful one since he was such a terrible character in the first movie but this title actually has a good fake out about this. So don’t worry Tree is still the main character here. Plus she still keeps the character development from the first film so she’s a much better character through and through. This time around she actually acts like a lead and does a good job of taking down the enemies.

The story goes in a few different directions from the plot I outlined above so get ready for some twists. In a way the movie has to try and make the scenario a bit harder on Tree because otherwise she would solo this experience on her second playthrough. She takes down one of the villains within minutes and with her gun she takes another one down rather quickly. It’s nice to see her just jumping into action here.

At the same time, I also feel like the movie doesn’t take that far enough. At one point the characters need to use a bunch of time loops to try different theories and suggest that Tree just destroys herself a bunch of times at the end of the day since it’ll be less painful than getting murdered. I was against this plan from the start. It’s used as a comedic montage where she keeps dying over and over again but half of those deaths seem just as painful if not more so than actually getting murdered. (Jumping into a tree shredder is such a gruesome way to die)

Jumping out of a plane is probably the easiest death but why do that when you can still just take down the murderer? So we need the machine to work in order to stop the time loop but at the same time, why not take the chance to try and take the murderer down a few more times? Alternately, shoot yourself with the gun since it would be instant but I think just using each attempt to take the murderer down would be more satisfying. Presumably Tree still has to die to reset the loop but if she’s wrong then this will help the timeline more.

Now there is a bit of a subplot where there’s a doppelganger of another character from a different dimension who is trying to murder Ryan. It feels the most random because nothing comes of it and that whole plot just vanishes early on in the movie. I think the movie probably should have just skipped this plot entirely and it would have not changed anything. The idea of multiple universes is explored in detail later on anyway and there are a lot of ways you could set up the machine being broken like the principal throwing something at it.

There is a scene after the credits though which sets up things for the next film. If the 3rd film actually follows this plot then things are about to go in a really different direction. I got some Dreamscape vibes from it with how large scale this may end up being. It’ll be interesting to see how that goes. in that case this would probably be a complete sci-fi thriller as opposed to any remnants of horror sticking around but we’ll see how that goes.

This time I thought the writing was greatly improved from the first film. Maybe it’s because the film is leaning more into being a full comedy this time but I’d also say that it’s really because the characters are more likable. I already spoke about Tree but it’s true for the rest as well. This time Ryan isn’t completely one note the way that he was in the first film. He actually gets some development this time around which is good. I’m still not a big fan but this is a world of difference.

His two assistants are okay, there’s not much to them but they have some okay banter. Carter still seems way too easy with how he has a girlfriend but is ready to have affairs with other people. So while Tree has gone away from her cheating habits, they seem to still be strong with Carter. Even Danielle ends up appearing as a much more reasonable character this time around. She ends up helping the team when it counts and is also more understanding of Tree with regards to missing meetings and such. She’s nice enough where you will feel bad for her by the end.

Lori also gets a brief appearance which may not make her look all that great morally but it’s still some extra development. The heroes and villains all get more to do this time around and that’s one of the benefits of being a sequel since you can go over events quicker with no intro to slow things down. Someone like Tombs is still just a crazy killer with no character but he’s more of a plot device than a character anyway. Even Gregory’s wife gets to do some things this time around, her character certainly went in a different direction than I had expected that’s for sure.

So with the writing being my main issue from the first film, this was an immediate jump. I also just like Tree taking a more active approach here and really taking it to the villains. Speed running through the loop scene from the first film was also nice. It’s almost nostalgic seeing some scenes from the old film before everything appears distorted. There aren’t really any memorable tracks here but you can’t win them all.

Overall, Happy Death Day 2U is a very different film from the first film and in all of the best ways. If you came for the horror then you’re out of luck because that is really gone. You only get horror vibes for maybe the first 15 minutes of the film when it’s giving you the fake plot. This is done really well though with the proper amount of scares and tension. I haven’t seen the trailers, but I think it would be a missed opportunity if they showed much footage beyond that. The idea of having Ryan as the main character is a scary one but it would make the whole story changing that much more effective. I feel confident in saying that the real movie here beats the fake out version from the intro. As more of a sci-fi fan I was cool with the changes here. We even have a lot of big emotional moments as well which can always be a bit hard to take seriously when you’re already filled to the brim with comedic, thriller, and sci-fi moments but the movie has a little of everything and makes for a good watch.

Overall 6/10