Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Colossus of New York Review


It’s time for another retro film that tried to be like Frankenstein. This version is a lot more powerful though and the film is also quite a bit better. That being said, the film sabotages itself when it was so close to grabbing an easy 7. It’s a reasonably fun film though and you’ll definitely want to stick around for the ending as it suddenly feels like a comic book title. Beware the lasers, for they hunger!

Jeremy was a very promising young genius who was going to help end world hunger. Unfortunately, he saw a ball roll in the middle of an airport and decided to run after it. A truck ran over him instead and he died instantly. His father, William didn’t like this though as he always felt that Jeremy was destined to save the world. As such, he grabbed the brain and built a robot body so that Jeremy could live again. Jeremy’s brother Henry wasn’t thrilled about this since he had been hoping to take Jeremy’s wife Mala for himself while Jeremy was dead. Henry decides to pursue this plan anyway so now Jeremy has to take things into his own hands. He doesn’t want his family to know that he is alive because he feels like his robot body doesn’t look good, but that won’t stop him from doing what needs to be done.

In case you couldn’t guess, the plot that I’m referring to which hurt the film quite a bit was the Henry trying to rebound with Mala part. It had no real place in the film. While we can guess that Henry is a bad character from the onset, it also makes Mala look really bad that she was going along with it. She didn’t have a lot of objections to this by the end as Henry won her over quite easily. She sure got over Jeremy right away and that’s kind of sad. He had seemed like a very nice and earnest guy. Sure he’s dead, but getting together with his brother seems kind of mean spirited don’t you think? Henry was rather petty and jealous the whole time. I can’t say I expected much from him, but I expected more from Mala.

At least Charles was a good character though. He’s Jeremy’s son and still very young so he doesn’t fully get what’s happening. This works well for Jeremy since he is able to play with Charles when nobody is watching. He also lets Charles know about the kill switch on his chest in case Jeremy ever loses his mind. This leads Charles to make the tough call at the end of the film. It was clearly not the right one, but as he is a kid, it’s not quite as terrible as when a grown person does it. Charles didn’t fully understand what he was doing after all.

Discussing Jeremy is a little complicated since it’s hard to say when exactly he lost control of himself. Having a robot body certainly came with side effects and one was that he would lose his mind. It’s easy to see why as well since connecting the brain came with a lot of trial and error and he was treated like a machine for a while. Still, he seemed like a nice guy pre transformation and probably would have been a good lead. As the main villain he also does a good job. The robot design is pretty good and he even comes equipped with death lasers that can disintegrate a target on contact. Now that is efficient!

William may have meant well initially, but he certainly didn’t think much about Jeremy’s point of view when bringing him back to life. He was confident that Jeremy wouldn’t care about missing out on the human angle since he could now work in peace, but evidently he wasn’t as work focused as Will thought. William also didn’t really respect Jeremy’s wish to rest in piece and ultimately his selfishness was enough for me to consider him as the villain. He really only thought of himself and that’s never a good track to take. Once Jeremy learned how to mind control people, it was all over. William only has himself to blame though as he could have stopped Jeremy, but his reactions were very slow and he couldn’t hit the off switch in time. Letting Jeremy break the switch was a fatal move.

The writing’s pretty good for this film. It’s always interesting to hear the characters subtly mock each other and use guilt trip tactics. They were very effective in this film. The debate about the soul was also interesting enough. My stance is that the soul leaves the body immediately and then the body/mind are useless while William tries to claim that it can still act without a soul. The film portrays him as being correct to an extent as Jeremy still exists, he just loses his emotions eventually.

I have to give the film a good amount of credit for actually having a climax. Not just a climax either, but a pretty satisfying one as there is a lot of action. It is a little grim though as Jeremy breaks into the United Nations building and destroys a ton of people with his death ray. Many international leaders and police officers lose their lives before Charles finally takes him down for the count. Jeremy may have been stopped, but the damage is most certainly already done. His plan was pretty good as well since it’s not as if he can be stopped very easily. A few missiles would have put him in his place eventually though.

Overall, The Colossus of New York was a pretty interesting film. Obviously, the movie taking place in New York was a pretty nice way to start things off. The robot design was cool and the climax was exciting. As I mentioned, the part that crippled the film was Henry’s plot, which was just pretty sad. The scenes where the characters are building Jeremy back together can drag on a bit as well. Jeremy also takes a little too long to realize that Henry may not be the nice guy that he had always assumed him to be. The film takes off a little smoother once Jeremy breaks free of the controls and totally turns evil. The first half is still enjoyable enough though. This film will just end up being forgotten in the long sea of other monster films and I can’t say that I mind this occurrence all that much.

Overall 5/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Sleepy Hollow Review

This review is of the edited TV 14 version of the film. All thoughts below pertain to such as a review of the unedited version would likely be even more negative.
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Finally, a film that lives up to its name! Heh, that’s not a compliment for this film, but still rather humorous to point out. I do appreciate the classic “Heads will roll” tagline since it makes sense for the film and makes for a nice pun. The problem is that the rest of the film falls apart rather quickly, preventing this film from ever getting any energy.

Ichabod is a detective and he doesn’t like how his country still likes to torture criminals because they can. (Grrrrreat start for this film right?……..) The court laughs it off and punishes him by sending Ichabod to Sleepy Hollow, where people have been beheaded left and right. The townsfolk tell Ichabod that it’s a supernatural being doing this, but Ichabod (Between yells and gasps) laughs them off. He starts to become a believer as the threat gets more and more real. The Masbeth family in particular seems to have been targeted a lot so Ichabod allows a kid from that family to work under him. This turns out to be a good move since Ichabod is scared of just about everything when he’s by himself.

Where to start right? Let’s go with the animal violence. It’s very excessive and I barely even need to get into it all. Horses, Bats, Dogs(I forgot, but I thought so…I may be mixing them up, still it was egregious!) That was already enough to cripple the film into nothingness, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg for this film. It continued to go from bad to worse as the movie went on.

Another terrible angle for the film is the fact that all of the townspeople seem to be fine with cheating on others. Several characters are exposed and blackmailed through this as the main villain gathers the dirt on everyone. Can’t we have a town full of law abiding citizens? Nah, that wouldn’t sell. The scenes were all rather terrible and even the ending has to force in a moment between the main villain and the headless horseman. It wasn’t exactly a two way street there though and then adding insult to injury was the fact that the villain was blown up by getting rammed into a tree. The scenes are just so terrible and completely unnecessary.

It goes without saying that the film is quite violent as well. The beheadings happen one after another with the heroes being unable to put a stop to them. The main heroine was no good either as she was quick to betray the main character and burn his things just because Ichabod suspected her father. (Who looked terrible the entire time) They all make up at the end rather quickly, but it’s a forced romance and doesn’t add anything to the film.

Sleepy Hollow’s also a little too long as it clocks in at nearly 2 hours. For this kind of film, 75-90 minutes would have done quite well. The film takes a long time to get to the point of why we should care about this adventure. The “good guys” don’t seem to be so good as long as the torture programs are still in effect and Ichabod is a pretty bad character. He’s constantly getting scared and grossed out. Instead of looking like a professional, he comes across as someone who’s simply in over his head. He even gets suckered by the locals as they throw a pumpkin in his face.

Even the Headless Horseman, who should have been cool ended up being a little underwhelming. His origin story was given, which was a mistake as per usual. His true form was that of a random barbarian who just liked to behead people while fighting. That sounds pretty impractical and I can see why he didn’t quite make it. Eventually, someone would just take him out while he was going for the perfect strike. Considering that he was a supernatural monster, he wasn’t very impressive either. A stronger main character could have probably taken him down for the count. The immortal horse would be the tougher opponent there.

Before the film went down the gutter, I must say that I did have my suspicions that it wouldn’t be so good. Leaving the city to go into a small village to fight the villain? As you may be aware, that’s not my kind of setting. I like seeing busy cities with large skyscrapers. Watching the heroes dashing around in the forest just isn’t as appealing to me. Not to mention that the characters needed to be more likable. I won’t blame Depp’s acting here though as he is much better when he’s not pretending to be a pirate. That being said, no amount of acting could save any of the characters when they’re written so poorly.

There’s not much more to say about this film considering how iffy it was. It was interesting that a magic angle was added here aside from the main villain and her spells. The main heroine had some powers as well, but they were much weaker and this angle wasn’t explored as much as it could have been. That’s definitely a bit of a missed opportunity for the film as well. Can any film adapt the Headless Horseman as well as in the classic Scooby Doo cartoon? We’re still waiting to find out!

Overall, This is another film that was just very bad. It’s boring and that’s a crime for any film. It’s fairly violent with no point behind some of the scenes. An example of this is when Ichabod opened someone up to prove some kind of point so we saw him come out all bloodied. That’s not an example of a really violent scene as it’s just his clothes (Still a little violent though) but just an unnecessary moment. Getting blown up by hitting a tree was definitely intense and all of the animal violence was not good either. Add in the main villain seducing people to further her plan, as well as another guy having an iffy affair and you get a film that is riddled with problems from start to finish. I highly recommend avoiding this film and you’d be better off watching reruns of Blues Clues for a few hours. At the very least, Blue is a very relatable character in that show.

Overall 1/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Fog (2005) Review

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Our trip through horror land continues with The Fog! As you recall, I saw the original The Fog quite a while ago. I can’t say that it was a very pleasant experience and this one isn’t either. I dare say that it’s worse than the original and suffers from some problems that the first did not. That’s never a good thing, but it is to be expected. While it’s not the biggest trainwreck out there, The Fog doesn’t do modern horror films any favors.

An island is about to celebrate the anniversary of when it was founded by their heroes. The thing is, their “heroes” are actually traitors who backstabbed the poor people who used to be on the island and then threw them all overboard while also burning them alive. These ghosts didn’t like that….they didn’t like that at all! To have their vengeance, they’re going to destroy every last person on the island. It’s going to be a busy weekend for them…so time to get started!

Unlike the original film, the radiohost isn’t really the main character. She’s around, but instead the main guy is a man from the village. He’s driving around when a girl shows up in the forest and they decide to become more than friends on the spot. Once they’re done, she tries to head home, but isn’t welcome there so she goes home with the main character. We’re attacked with more fanservice scenes and forced romances that are as shallow as you can get in a film before the ghosts start to attack with more force. The body count begins to rise and we learn that the drunk pastor actually knew about the whole situation from the start. He just doesn’t care enough to actually try and save everybody.

As you might expect, there are no likable characters here. The ghosts have a few decent points and while it doesn’t excuse murder, the heroes aren’t making a very good case for themselves. They’re just standing around and allowing themselves to get wrecked. Spooner, a random guy who gets into the this situation, is framed for destroying two girls and his friend so he quickly escapes the hospital to find the main character. How he got past the guards we’ll never know.

All of the main characters meet up inside of the burning house like in the first film, but then they realize that it wasn’t their best move. The climax takes a strange turn that’s pretty terrible though as we learn that Elizabeth, the main female lead, was actually the wife of one of the pirates. So, we get another forced romance with the ghost and as they vanish, we try to recall what the point of the film was. I would have preferred a classic stinger like in the original film. That was surprisingly absent in this version.

It almost goes without saying that the film can be pretty violent. It’s not quite as excessive as other horror films, but when you just look at it in a vaccum, it’s still up there in terms of violence levels. The gimmick of the pirates is that they always aim for the eyes, which can be pretty gruesome. Meanwhile, I also didn’t care for the fact that the old aunt had to bite the big one again. I feel like old people should be considered out of bounds for the villains in these slasher/horror films. It’s not nearly as bad as getting a dog, but still pretty bad.

Nick is also a very underwhelming main character. Forced romances and desperation aside, he’s not very smart. He had actual evidence that Spooner did not commit the murders, but decided to hide it instead of giving it to the cops. Naturally, the ghosts used this chance to track Elizabeth down and take it from her. Nick basically cost Spooner his freedom at the time and he never looked back.

I wouldn’t even say that the ghosts look all that menacing. Old pirates with fishhooks? We can do better than that. At least they are pretty fast thanks to their mist and they did succeed in taking out the weather man. Even the kid barely managed to escape from the power of these ghosts. The fog is just too thick and too intense.

Keep in mind that as a remake, this “The Fog” also feels like an abridged version of the original. Many plot lines were basically cut out to make way for some more action scenes or just generic tension moments. The ghosts have the same motive as in the original, but instead of a life for a life, they just want to murder everyone. Having a reincarnated ghost living a fake life before realizing her true purpose also came at the expense of the majority of the story. I’m also not sure why the film felt the need to wreck the Pastor. He was a great character in the original and one of the only sensible ones around, but in this film he’s just a drunk who couldn’t care less if they all went and died against these pirates. Talk about dramatic right? The heroes can never get a straight answer out of him.

Almost forgot one last thing, the old man by the beach! He found some artifacts and warned Elizabeth that if she touched it…things would change. She ignored him and snatched it, rather quickly, from his hands. After laughing it off with Nick, she went home, but things started to change. It’s fun to think about whether the old man was off his rocker or if touching the object started a chain reaction. You know…when I actually think about this film. I’m inclined to say that the old guy was just crazy and another red herring for the fans, but adding a little misdirection is always a good thing I’d say.

Overall, The Fog isn’t a very good film and is in fact..a bad film. It’s not as good as the original and suffers from the main issues that you tend to expect from a remake. There’s more fanservice and the characters are less developed. The film moves at a very high speed, but this isn’t a totally good thing when you think about it and speed can’t save the rest of the film. There’s no real reason to watch The Fog, but if you want a generic horror film where everyone is bumped off one at a time. Maybe this will be up your alley, just remember that it’s not exactly a scripting masterpiece so prepare to wince. If Aunt Connie had lived and taken out her shotgun, things could have been a little different….I doubt it would have helped all that much though. If the film really wanted to be good, then taking away the fanservice scenes and forced romance plots would have done it wonders and maybe bumped it up a full 2 stars.

Overall 1/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer Review

Disclaimer: This review is of the edited TV-14 version. All thoughts pertain to such and an uncut review would likely be harsher
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Do any of you guys remember what you did 2 summers ago? I was relaxing at Florida enjoying a nice breakfast before having pizza for dinner. Well, the main character of this film had a more distressing experience as she tried to cover up a murder, but it didn’t go over so well. All of her friends were destroyed except for one so she has tried to forget this experience. That takes us to the sequel. How is she alive? After all, Julie was murdered in the first film. Well…turns out that was a dream. She effectively gets a second chance to try and win.

Julie has settled in nicely away from her old home. She is now going out with the friend from the first film (Who is nothing like his old personality, but a slight character reboot is nothing out of the ordinary for this film) and has a new best friend as well. One day, her friend suddenly wins a contest to go to the Caribbean and decides to take Julie, her boyfriend, and a guy who wants to be Julie’s friend. The four of them head out to this isolated island even though Julie knows that Ben Willis has returned. Surely he can’t follow them across the ocean right? She was wrong!

This film plays out like your average slasher. Every character starts to get picked off one by one. The main villain may essentially just be your average guy with a fishhook, but he’s fast and isn’t afraid of picking fights. He takes out one guy who was in a car and nearly takes out good ole Ray. (The friend from the older film) Every night he takes someone else out and the body count is quite high here. It’s to be expected as this film is an actual slasher. I use the term loosely so it’s nice to see a film where I can actually call it that without stretching the term. Naturally, this also means that the film is quite terrible.

It’s not quite as bad as the Shining…or even the Conjuring. This is the kind of film that can still be a little funny, but mainly because you will be chuckling at what a trainwreck it is. Seriously, nothing goes right for this film. Are you familiar with the term, “an accident waiting to happen”? Let’s just say that you could sum up the movie quickly with that line. It’s the definition of unlikable characters throughout the film. Let’s take a look at the negatives.

First, we’ll look at the filler ones. The guy in charge of the hotel is racist. This is relevant to the film because….? It adds that racial tension angle to the film I suppose, but it’s just there for extra edge. One of the few guys left in the hotel is a drug dealer who’s always talking about his drugs and trying to sell them. Naturally, everyone ignores him, but he’s another character who has no point in being here. As you may expect, both of these characters are quickly destroyed.

Next up, we’ve got the “hardcore” bartender. She murdered her husband so we naturally have to label her as a suspect…except for the fact that we already know the villain is Ben Willis. She talks a good game and helps out ever so slightly I suppose….but she’s just not a good character. She does whack one of the main characters on the head with a baseball bat, but then forgets how to fight when the villain comes after her. If a dead, overweight guy falls on you in a life or death situation, do you think you could roll him off of you? You have about 30 seconds to do this, which may not sound like a lot, but count to 30 and come back to me. It’s plenty of time to do this, but she is unable to…..okay then.

There’s a deck hand who quickly starts flirting (Or at least it came off that way to me) to show that he is expendable and a rope ties around his leg. It’s one of those nifty supernatural elements that the film loves before the fishhook guy appears to finish him off. Karla is Julie’s best friend and the only one who actually gets character development. She doesn’t seem as expendable, but just remember that this is a slasher film. Karla would be a good character if she didn’t have a habit of moving around in the dead of night to scare her friend. She tries to be a nice person though so she’s better than 99% of the cast.

Tyrell is her boyfriend and he brings us back to facepalm territory. He basically just thinks about making out for the entire film and it represents 90% of his lines. He even jokes about how nobody could hear Karla in this isolated island so he can do what he wants. It’s certainly in bad taste and shows what a terrible character he is. He talks very tough of course, but goes down incredibly fast. We’ve also got Ray, the old guy from the first film. His idea of a nice trick is to tell his girlfriend that he probably can’t go on the big trip with her. Gee, it’s not like she needs prior notice so that the ticket isn’t wasted right? He comes up big to help in the end, but still manages to underestimate his opponents and he froze up when he grabbed the gun. This is the time for action, not inaction!

There’s also Will, who’s another terrible character. He pretends to just want to be friends with Julie, but it’s obvious that this isn’t the case right from the start so he comes across as a big phony. He starts to crack by the end and it’s safe to say that he’s one of the worst characters in the film. There’s also Estes, who’s another red herring to keep everyone busy. He seems to believe in some very satanic stuff and steals possessions from the main characters. Turns out he was trying to fight fire with fire, but fails epicly and doesn’t really stand a chance. He did try to take a win via a cheap shot and I don’t know how he could have possibly lost at that point. He must have choked under pressure.

Finally, we can’t forget about Julie and Ben. Julie is super saddened by the experiences of the first film, but this doesn’t stop her from trying to get a tan in an enclosed device where she will be vulnerable. She makes terrible decisions throughout the film just like you would expect from a horror film. Julie constantly yells about how she will destroy Ben, but typically just runs away when he actually shows up. I do like how the villains tell the heroes “You wouldn’t have the nerve to destroy us!” Do they realize that they are talking to the edgy teenagers who would shoot them without a second thought? I somehow don’t think so.

There’s a twist near the end, which helps out the film’s credibility quite a bit in terms of realism. It’s still a film riddles with plot hax and nobody would ever buy this happening in real life, but as far as slasher films go, the twist did help things. This film also has a twist ending as the end. Given what happened last time, you can call this a dream, but I like to think that this really happened. If so, I’m afraid that the main characters could be doomed once again.

I personally found the film’s pacing to be quite quick here, more so than in the first film. The film goes by quickly, which is more than I can say for the average horror film. It wasn’t really a chore to watch even if it is not a good film by any stretch of the imagination. It’s actually a terrible film, it’s just funny because it’s so bad. Aside from all of the terrible characters, the film also suffers from other issues like excessive violence and fanservice. We have the unnecessary shower scenes which are just not cool and everyone gets stabbed in various ways to remind us of why this film is edgy. The characters are making out a lot and there are many suggestive comments woven throughout the script. Language is another issue.

If you can think of a negative for a film, this one’s likely got it. It fits the Slasher formula to a T. It has every stereotype that you could possibly want to avoid and then some. The villain is just a supernatural human, but the characters are always so afraid that they run away. Ben walks up slowly each time and still manages to take them out. Even 6 bullets aren’t enough to stop this guy. It definitely makes you wonder. I’d say that the first film was probably better than this one, but this film may have felt like more of a parody. I’d also say that this film may have been less violent, but mileage will vary on that as they are pretty similar.

Overall, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer is another slasher film that doesn’t know when it’s time to call it a day. The soundtrack also isn’t very good to put it mildly. This is the kind of film that you can watch as a group and find many things to make fun of. You could certainly think of some (soda) drinking games on the spot to make the experience better. The whole film’s plot falls apart when you realize that a hotel with 5 employees during their “off season” likely wouldn’t allow any guests to stay on the premise. That being said, while it can be a little funny to watch a film because it’s a trainwreck, why do that when you can watch a film that’s actually good? Think on that and then remember that Ben Willis isn’t so tough….

Overall 1/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Village Review

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Time to take a look at The Village! This is the kind of film that you know will be bad before you actually watch it, but finding out just how bad it is ends up being your main goal. Needless to say, the film met my expectations and maybe even exceeded them in that regard. You certainly won’t be missing much if you skip this title and The Village is certainly no NYC!

The main characters all live in a small village where they are scared of the color red and dare not go near it. They bury anything of that color so that the demons won’t attack them. Unfortunately, one of their members is gravely injured towards the end of the film, but that’s actually when the main plot begins. The main character must now venture outside of the village to get some medicine from the outside world, but since she is blind…can she really defend herself against the demons? Only time will tell!

Well…there’s not a whole lot of good things to say about it. The only good thing that I can say is that the design for the villains was decently good. They certainly seemed like a bit of a threat even if they were extremely slow. So, that’s a plus. Beyond that, the film really just makes mistakes at every corner and even the plot twists are fairly predictable even if they should be. Of course, they do help to create a lot of plot holes and face palm moments.

None of the characters are likable so I should get that out of the way first. The main villain is a psycho who wants to hurt people. We’ve seen this kind of villain many times before and it’s never been enjoyable. He just brings the film down more and more. The main character is blind as I mentioned, which makes for a climax that is hard to believe. Are we really supposed to believe that she can traverse through a forest that she’s never been in before and make a multi hour journey over to the nearest town, get some supplies and find her way back home again? There’s just no way and her fight against the “demons” was also rather unbelievable.

The other villagers are all fairly slow on the uptake as they fall for multiple tricks their whole lives. Have none of them considered fighting the demons who are extremely slow and look rather old? Instead, they all hide in the basement and in the attic as if they were children. A whole village should consider defending themselves a little more than that. That being said, this is the same village whose men didn’t mind leaving a blind girl to fend for herself in a harsh environment so we shouldn’t be too surprised.

One of the main reasons why this film was so terrible was that there was also a lot of animal violence. Several animals are skinned and destroyed in very cruel ways. It’s pretty violent and just one of the many reasons why you should skip this film. It’s just distasteful and adds nothing to the film except to remind us that the villagers are all rather insane. The writing is unbelievably bad as well and none of the characters seems to have an original thought. There are so many red herrings that you begin to wonder if there is even a plot anymore.

An example of this is a security guard who throws a lot of veiled threats at one of the workers and the guard never actually appears on screen. He’s just around to intimidate the audience and try to make the film scary. The director/writers probably wanted this film to be really scary, but it ended up just being rather boring instead. At one point, the heroes all discuss their sob stories in an attempt to justify what they have been doing the whole time, but it’s just an excuse to discuss some dark happenings in the film to make the whole thing tougher to watch.

The main guy also deserves to be singled out as to how bad he was. His big scene is basically him yelling at the main girl as he tells her that he can be quiet if he wants too. It’s a terrible speech and he’s basically just being mean to her because he can. I’m glad that the romance never went anywhere as the guy was a terrible role model and makes the kids from Jurassic World look good. I miss the days when the kids were all like Arthur from the famous animated series. That guy knew what to do. The Chief of The Village condones just about anything and his final speech can’t save him. He goes for the Oscar Bait as he gives what he thinks is a heart warming speech, but it is incredibly generic and just not interesting.

The Village is the kind of film that you wouldn’t expect to get a theater release. It feels like an indie film that simply wasn’t good and is relying on the creepy factor to keep itself going. None of the characters are realistic and there’s no good scenery to look at. Forget about having a soundtrack either and I could go on and on about how bad the film was. It’s the kind of film that could almost make Sucker Punch look good. This film wasn’t even exciting or had any good action scenes and it just felt like a waste of time. Luckily, I had extremely low hopes going into the film and had a feeling that it would be something like 1 star, but it’s not always fun to be right.

Overall, Don’t watch this film. It’s time to stop mentioning all of the negatives and just wrap this up as you get the point. This review was definitely a negative one and I can’t begin to describe just how bad it was. It felt like the film dragged on forever and it continues to remind me why I’m not a fan of horror films. You could argue that this isn’t a complete horror film, but no matter what genre it was, it wouldn’t have been good. When the writing is terrible and all of the characters are unlikable, there’s really nothing that can save such a title. Go check out Terminator 2 if you want to see an epic film instead as this Village is just depressingly bad.

Overall 1/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Woman in Black 2 Angel of Death Review

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All right, it is time to see the sequel to the Woman in Black. While I do like the saying about not judging a book by its cover…you often can. There are some movies where you know that they will not be good and vice versa. It would take something rather dramatic for me to dislike Age of Ultron and the trailer for something like Mad Max would have to be extremely misleading for me to believe that it is good. These things aren’t set in stone, but I have a fairly good idea of what to expect before I head in. This film essentially met my expectations so my gut instinct was right on this one.

Well, this may be the second film, but it is actually a prequel. That’s fairly disappointing I suppose since it is always preferable to look to the future as the plot can advance. After all, we basically know the ending thanks to the plot twist about the swamp in the first film right? Well, the backstory was only lightly touched upon so you still may not guess the ending although you will certainly predict the twist. Now, let’s really talk about the plot.

Eve is the main character and she heads to a mysterious house along with a group of orphans/kids who need protecting. World War II is raging on after all so the heroes have to get to safety. Eve is not the headmistress, but she helps out along with the leader. The house seems to be evil and strange occurrences like moving doors and sounds start to happen, but the main characters try to tune this out. The area is strategically sound as the rising tide makes it impossible to approach the house during most parts of the day unless you have a boat. That being said, someone appears to have infiltrated the island and wanders from tree to tree! Uh oh…can Eve defeat The Woman in Black?

When was the last time that you sneezed when watching a film. Was it when Lex Luthor kicked Superman down a flight of stairs or when Godzilla was crushed by Mothra many years ago? You may get in a few sneezes here as The Woman In Black tries to make her presence known while also being vague. The film is short as it is nowhere near 2 hours so there isn’t a lot of time for the villains to do anything. A surprisingly large amount of time is just given for the heroes to wander about and wonder what they are going to do. Still, when the Woman in Black does arrive…she is not very impressive. Evidently, she can roar and scream, but she can’t do anything else. She doesn’t display any level of super strength and the heroes could likely beat her in a fight if they actually tried. The problem is that the characters always run away from her instead of trying to do anything. The main guy actually backs away when he sees one of the possessed kids. Dude…it…he..is still a kid!

Harry is the main guy and he doesn’t look very good. He’s a decent character and he means well, but the sob story just came out of the blue. He needed one though to fit the film. In this kind of film, everyone has something that they wish to hide or a dark past that has yet to be explored. It happens almost every time. At least he went out like a man and had a decent ending even though he should have been able to put up a better fight. At least he made the right call,

Eve is fairly generic for a lead, but she does try her best to do the right thing. There’s certainly no real negative things to say about her. The romance is rather rushed, unnecessary, and also generic, but she can only claim half of the blame for that. She locked the door and warned everyone about the supernatural so Eve was a lot more helpful than the rest of the cast. Naturally, this did make her a bit of a target. The villains can’t have any of that!

As per usual, the horror films love to give demons a whole lot of props. They can possess you and totally override your free will. It is a little sad as hollywood is brainwashing us into looking at only half of the equation. Demons are real, but their power is greatly exaggerated. Don’t underestimate how lethal they can be, but they are certainly not all powerful. In this film, the humans have no chance against them. The demons are basically just toying with the heroes for as long as they can and the twist ending basically solidifies this.

As per usual, we have a twist ending. I have grown to expect them in horror films and they are needed since every film should have a twist ending. That being said, it is handled in a very generic way as everyone knew what to expect. Seriously….there was no other way that the ending was going to be handled at that point. A more subtle twist like the Woman in Black growing wings and shooting energy blasts would have been nice, but this is better than nothing I suppose.

Some films like to start off with an epic intro while others prefer to start off on a low note. Unfortunately, this film had some brief animal violence to start things off. A lamb/sheep got caught on the fence, which injured it. This wasn’t a terrible moment of animal violence, but it was completely unnecessary and did nothing to help the film. I don’t know whose idea it was to add this animal, but it was certainly a terrible one.

It is also unfortunate that there are kids in this film. Seeing the demons basically force them to destroy themselves was very bad. It is one of the things that will always hurt a film. Keep the children out of it and just give us unlikable characters to defeat instead. This just makes the film not enjoyable to watch and one of the reasons that it wouldn’t be able to succeed. There’s also a crazy, blind guy who is really only here to give us some more jump scenes. I don’t think there was a point to adding him and there aren’t supposed to be other people in the area. This guy is definitely a security risk if I ever saw one.

So, the film played out as it would be expected to. There is a monster/demon who is running around trying to wreck lives and turn the heroes against each other. We have animal violence and the humans are helpless against these forces . It doesn’t make for a very engaging film and nothing ends up happening. The heroes basically just stayed at the house for a while and eventually left. If nothing else, prequels are supposed to serve a purpose and I didn’t see one here. We could have not made the prequel and literally nothing would change. If you’re looking for development for the Woman in Black, you’re not going to find anything new here. It is basically just the same rambling from the 1st film.

Overall, The Woman In Black 2 is a film that I wouldn’t recommend. It suffers from the typical problems of the horror genre and there’s ultimately no point to it. We don’t learn any new data so the prequel may have not even come out. Actually, a mild correction there. This is actually still a sequel and takes place 40 years after the 1st one. Wow…you would never guess that and this is actually the biggest twist that the film series could have given me. In a way..the writers deserve some praise for this. The film isn’t fun and the only kudos that I could give it is the fact that the film’s ending is slightly happier than you may have expected. I thought that the whole cast would just drown or something, but the actual ending is much better. We also get the twist ending, which hints that everyone is doomed, but maybe they’ll be okay. If you want a scary film, check out Justice League Starcrossed as the Earth gets invaded. Can the heroes win!?

Overall 2/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Poltergeist Review

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It’s time for what many believe to be the ultimate horror film. Ultimate and Horror are two words that typically don’t belong next to each other and I definitely did not become one of the film’s many fans. I’m guessing that it probably did start a lot of the horror tropes, but it shows that the 80’s feel can’t work for everything. It certainly is better than A Haunting in Connecticut, but I can’t say much else for it.

A family moves into a new house and things start to get supernatural. Their chairs seem to move by themselves in the kitchen and they can even defy gravity as something seems to push them. Unfortunately, the disturbances begin to grow more and more violent as the days go by and the family begins to fear for their lives. They are still holding out of course, but then their daughter is kidnapped by these ghosts. The heroes reluctantly call in “The Experts” and now it’s all a matter of finding their daughter before they are destroyed.

Well, the plot certainly didn’t help this film’s case. In superhero flicks, I never like when innocent bystanders are dragged into the mess and it’s naturally worse when they are actually hurt. Even worse than that is when a kid is thrown into the mix and that’s what happens here. Like Insidious, the film decides to up the stakes by putting the children in peril and that’s just not a good idea. The little girl is stranded in the demon world for quite a long time and the situation is just way too grim. She doesn’t remember what happened in the demon world so that should keep her psyche from collapsing, but it’s still a fate that should not have happened.

A simple way to fix this problem would be to have the main hero be kidnapped. It would be a sad plight for him, but one that isn’t quite as bad since we know that he can fight. That being said, kidnappings are simply not the best plot device to use, but they can work if used effectively. The film just didn’t do this and they were trying a little too hard for an emotional feeling. Because of that, the main characters are feeling pretty gloomy for most of the film. There are no big speeches or heroic comments to be found for quite a while.

The experts who come in to help are naturally not that good. Then they call in the ultimate expert and she rubbed me the wrong way from the start. Her first big statement to the heroes is basically “You have to promise to do whatever I say even if it goes against your beliefs as a Christian!” “Lol no” is what I would have responded and they should have told her to skip the intro. Instead, they instantly agree and of course they do want her on their side, but she definitely seemed like a pretty terrible character right then and there. She never went back up for me from there and some of her actions just didn’t make sense. “Go to the light…go away from the light…back to the light” insert and repeat many times. She was better than the former leader of the experts though.

That lady decided to talk with the main heroes for way too long. It was the one part of the film that definitely dragged on a lot as you would wait for her to finish. Her two underlings weren’t great even if one of them was pretty confident. They let their mind wander far too often and they act like this is some kind of hobby for them instead of something that they take seriously. I don’t blame one of the underlings for running out of the house though since things were definitely getting pretty dangerous.

Naturally, I’m sure that we all remember the rating controversy from back in the day. After seeing the film, I can definitely say that the MPAA was correct in their initial response of an R rating. Since there was no PG 13 at the time, it was definitely the right move since this is much closer to R than PG. Spielberg and the others got them to bring it down to a PG later, but it’s one of those changes that I definitely don’t disagree with. The film is surprisingly intense for an 80’s film and it can feel like Alien at times.

I definitely wouldn’t say that the film is scary, but it compensates with violence and the gross factor. One guy’s face literally starts to peel away and it’s easily one of the worst scenes in the film. Another scene shows a piece of meat getting torn apart, but with extra effects to make it seem more like human meat if it was being ripped apart. Those two scenes alone make it unsuitable for PG. We also get to see how the humans look once they are spit out of the demon world and while it looks like jelly you can also easily mistake it for more violence. The ambiguous work makes you wonder if the effects just didn’t age well or if you’re misinterpreting it. Either way, it was definitely pretty gross.

The film also brings back the horror trope that I had actually manages to avoid for a while. The main heroine bath scene. You’ll feel like sighing when you see her turn on the faucet because you know that this scene was clearly not needed. There is literally no point as no ghost appears to attack her at all. It’s simply a very long, boring scene of her taking a bath. That’s another big shot against the film and we definitely did not need any more at this point!

Let’s quickly look at some of the positives. The ghosts are actually pretty tough and they do get designs. There’s a 4 legged creature that looks like Clover and he seems to be the main villain. His physical strength is underwhelming, but the design is what counts and he may have some kind of electrical ability at his disposal. The enemies can possess objects so they turn one of the clowns into a weapon of mass destruction. It still only has the strength of a toy though so it’s easy to overpower, but it’s great as a distraction. The tree scene was definitely one of the more intense ones since it really comes out of nowhere. At that point, you weren’t really expecting anything quite like that so it definitely popped out. The various monsters definitely added some action to the title.

The bystanders who are around can definitely raise a few questions though since nobody seems to really do anything. The neighbors notice that the spirits are messing with the heroes and they decide not to help. The house starts to explode along with the neighborhood and the onlookers only appear to be shocked. Some of them have enough energy to start running, but they all felt pretty hollow. This was more of a personal problem for the family though so I guess it’s all right. It’s not a huge idea.

All right, let’s quickly go back to the negatives. The film performs quite poorly when it comes to the animal life. A bird dies in one of the opening scenes and that should have been cut out. The main girl then buys two gold fish even though we know that they probably won’t survive the house exploding. The dog lives and I’m glad about that, but the film shouldn’t have introduced the other animals. It doesn’t serve a purpose and it feels like the film is just trying to get under your skin with how gritty it is instead of trying to be a quality film.

The main characters aren’t bad, but they’re not very m memorable either. The main guy seems to overreact with the boss considering that the guy seems to have been amiable to him in the past. Their teenage daughter isn’t that good though as she really overreacts with the neighborhood is hit and she almost jeapordizes their chances of escape. The other two kids are all right and don’t get a lot of character either way since they’re too young. One scene that will probably make you wince is when the main characters decide to go talk to their neighbor. They can barely talk because they’re laughing so much and it’s sad for them. I just figured that the ghosts were keeping them from talking, but their dialogue afterwards confirms that this simply isn’t the case. That just makes you wonder and while they were naturally embarassed, it was just too much of an overreaction on their part.

The best part of the film is easily at the beginning when the heroes are trying to watch a football game. The only problem is that they get the same feed as their next door neighbor so they quickly fight with the remote. A whole film could easily be made out of that concept and I have a feeling that it would be more fun. If the whole film was like that, I definitely would have had a blast with it.

There isn’t a twist ending this time, but we still do get one last climax after the film seems to have ended. I suppose that will have to do and we deserve a happy ending for the protagonists once in a while right? It works as a change of pace and we see that the ghosts definitely don’t go down without a fight. They tricked one of the “experts” so I give them kudos for that.

Overall, Poltergeist is not the ultimate horror film and I’d say that it’s not even a good one. Relatively speaking, it probably holds its own to most of the other horror films, but I didn’t dig it. The main reason is that everything’s happening to a little kid and the film just has too many gross scenes. The fanservice doesn’t help either and the film will definitely need to rethink a lot of its areas before trying to give us another big film. The scenery is good and you’ll like the son’s room, but the film tends to fall apart after that. If you want to see a film that’s nice and scary while still keeping it real, check out Scooby Doo Zombie Island!

Overall 2/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Insidious Review

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Time for another horror review. It’s been a while since I saw a film like this one, but you’ll definitely still be ready for what’s about to come. It was about as good as I expected, maybe a little better. That being said, there’s only so much that you can do with this kind of plot. It’s not my style, but if you’re looking for a nice horror film, this one beats the average flick in that genre.

A family moves into a house where their son falls off a ladder and enters a coma. A few months later, they start to see demons and they fear that the house is haunted. The main couple actually decides to move to another house, which is pretty impressive since that choice is rarely made. Unfortunately, it appears that the demons have followed them. Will they be able to fend them off and save their son? The poster gives us a not very subtle hint about what’s really going on.

Well, we get tons of jump scenes and a lot of fake outs as well to try and get that perfect balance that we’ve always wanted. The atmosphere is definitely creepy and the film does a good job of setting the tone early. It probably tried a little too hard to be scary at the beginning, but the director/writers know that you have to scare the audience early on or they’ll move on to the next film. The first half is pretty average and the main characters are powerless to stop these creatures, but that’s when a few new characters show up to help.

Bring in the Ghost Busters and an old lady who happens to be their leader. They deal with supernatural forces all the time and they know how to not only detect these guys, but they can see them as well. As you can expect, they aren’t actually good at fighting these guys. They merely detect them and try to reason with the demons. You may be underwhelmed during the mask scene as the old lady tries to convince the kid to come home, but then the demons take him away again. All she can do is watch so that’s not a great help to him.

That’s when the film’s biggest twist occurs, we’ve actually got enough budget in the film to visit the astral plane. It’s safe to say that this places the film on a higher level than most horror films. Many films would have been satisfied to have just let the kid make it back and we never actually see the astral plane. Not here! The main character wanders into the astral plane to find his son and he actually gets to duel with one of the demons. He does pretty well once he realizes that he’s stronger than the demon, but he doesn’t look too good against the main villain. The main villain isn’t strong enough to drag the kid away once he is running, but he’s still tough enough to throw around an adult for a while. It’s just how these things roll. In the astral world, will power is really what counts.

Josh is the main lead and he’s not a great main character. He stays at school pretty late to grade tests a lot of times when he should be home to help against the demons. Give all of the students As and Bs if you have too, but fighting demons is a lot more important. It’s good that he does ultimately journey to the Astral World to save Dalton, but then he decides to stay back so he could have a few words with one of the ghosts who’s been following him since he was a kid. Bad move Josh…bad move.

Renai is the other main character and she’s a decent heroine. She tries to get through this dangerous situation, but the demons are just too powerful so it is a losing battle. She tries to get help from many sources and she manages to last at the house while the demons are basically keeping her up all night with their random sounds. She definitely gives it her all, but knowing that it is all futile can be pretty sad.

The supporting characters are typically here to either look bad or add to the plot. We naturally have the pastor who comes to help, but is pretty ineffective and he leaves right away. Then we have the Ghost Busters who are treated as a joke until their leader appears. I really liked the Ghost Busters and a whole film about them fighting the demons would have been pretty good. Their leader is pretty knowledgable, but not quite as likable. She’s a little too old to be fighting demons and it seems like she hasn’t trained a successor. Once she is gone, humanity will be gone.

Again, I definitely give the film props for its special effects on the Astral Plane. It was pretty fun seeing Josh go in there and it’s a very trippy world. Things change in the blink of an eye and it would make for a pretty fun virtual ride in some amusement parks. I imagine that it would give many people heart attacks though so they would probably need to make the jump scenes a little less scary. There is a passing moment where we learn that one of the previous families was murdered by one of their own during this trippy moment and I wasn’t too surprised. Horror films love this twist so I guess they wanted to include it somehow.

So, where did the film go wrong? Well, one passing moment that was pretty wince worthy was when the demon decided to act demonic and stuck out his tongue. We know that the demons are evil, but let’s see that in a classy way and not in a cheap way. I’d rather that they just took out guns or something classic like that. The main reason why the film definitely gets a low score (Barring the fact that it is a horror film and watching the main characters get toyed around with for an hour and 40+ minutes is just not my cup of tea) is that the kid is basically defenseless against these guys, but he’s forced to stay in the astral world for months. They do mention that time flows differently over there, but that’s still a pretty sad fate for him. The demons seem to have attacked him off screen and we know what happens in the ending.

To an extent, I could extend that complaint to all of the main characters. I never like to see non combatants get injured by the villains because they didn’t sign up for this. It’s like watching a cop go up against an immensely powerful super villain. He’s a brave cop, but we don’t need to see him get beaten up for a while. That’s what it feels like when you see the humans trying to stand up to the demons. It’s more fun if one of the heroes can actually fight with supernatural powers or something like that. Then we’ve got a film. As it stands, this still takes down other films like Amityville and Haunted in Connecticut. Those make this one look like a masterpiece!

On the bright side, the villains actually have real designs and we get to see them pretty clearly on more than one occasion. No cop outs where they are just spirit forms or something like that. Now those are the kinds of plot twists that can be pretty annoying to see. They actually went to the trouble of getting some pretty scary costumes so the film went all out there. It makes up for the lack of a soundtrack I suppose since I wasn’t expecting any real music here anyway.

Now, this wouldn’t be a horror film without a twist ending right? There were really only two scenarios that I could think of as the ending drew near and let’s just say that the film probably made the right choice if we want the heroes to be doomed. It’s safe to say that these guys shouldn’t be in the sequel since there wouldn’t be a good reason for their survival. If you were expecting a happy ending then I will have to recommend taking another look at the genre for this film or maybe even the title. I appreciate the fact that the film keeps up with the horror standard of having a twist ending even if it does make the characters look bad and increases the body count. It’s expected, although I can’t say that it really helps the film. Who wants to see an old lady get attacked by one of the villains? Definitely not a fun scene.

Overall, Insidious is a horror film that tries to really scare the viewers. That is the job of such a film after all and it tries pretty hard. It probably has more jump scenes than almost any other horror film that I’ve seen. There’s probably almost one a minute during some parts of the film. There isn’t any animal violence and it’s classier than a lot of its counterparts, but it’s still not my kind of film. There’s no hope for the heroes and idea of the kid being stuck in the astral world for over 3 months is pretty terrible. If you are ready for your next horror film then this is probably the way to go, but if you really want a film that gets your heart racing, check out Yugioh 3D Bonds Beyond Time and get ready to duel!

Overall 3/10

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The Amityville Horror Review

Disclaimer: This review is of the edited TV 14 version of the film. All thoughts written below should be addressed accordingly as a review of the unedited version would likely be even more negative.
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The Amityville Horror is a film that you could probably judge from the title and know what to expect. I came into the film with reasonably low expectations and it still managed to crash way below them. This title is filled with red herrings and uninteresting characters to distract you from the fact that not much really happens in this film. If you haven’t seen it, now’s your chance to quickly back away to spare yourself some time.

The plot involves George and Kathy as they decide to move to a new house. They are pretty strapped for cash, but they really want a new house. Unfortunately, that’s just how it is in the modern world. The house is really beat up and the previous occupants were participants in a gruesome act, but the new owners don’t mind. They quickly pay up and the real estate agent was probably thrilled that someone finally fell for her tricks. The heroes settle in with their 3 kids and things seem to be going smoothly. Then, mysterious things start to happen and the heroes realize that the house may be tougher than it looks.

Well, there are many placed to start with this film. Let’s talk about the characters first. George is a pretty terrible lead and his “strength of character” is nonexistent. All it takes is an artificial chill that the spirit produces to start corrupting him. He loses his temper constantly and yells at the dog just to provide him with some amount of “toughness” for his character. It really just makes him look petty and even worse. I wasn’t rooting for him almost from the second that he appeared. He is distracted by romance, but not enough so that he can resist the influence of the dark spirits. Feeling cold isn’t fun, but his mind deteriorates way too quickly through this feeling. He continues to crack as the film goes on. He gets a heroic scene towards the end to try and redeem his character, but that was basically impossible by that point. It helps his character to be sure, but it’s simply too late for him.

Kathy is the main heroine and she doesn’t really look much better. SHe keeps on telling George that they shouldn’t get the house, but then she relents and they move in. From then on, she basically just has to watch as George goes crazy and she can’t really do anything about it. In the climax, she decides to fight, but it’s one of the worst attempts of all time. She gives up after a few seconds and she really showed no combat experience. That’s all right, but anyone can throw a punch and I would expect a much better fight out of someone who’s fighting for several lives. That was pretty poor form and she never became likable as the film went on.

The film plays out as a reverse slasher in the sense that the spirit picks off everyone one by one, but it doesn’t typically finish them off. It just gives them a scare so they will leave the house. Failure to comply with it will result in a car crash or permanent paralysis. Sometimes both. It’s a unique approach I suppose, but you do have to wonder what the point of it all is. The spirit gets some character development towards the end, but it’s very slight.

The film also really wanted to push the “Even God can’t save you now” angle. I suppose that it can be seen as the ultimate scare since you would really be doomed. Ignoring that this scenario would never even be possible, it just goes very far to show this. The heroes put up a mini statue of the cross and the spirit makes sure to burn it. Later on, the Father at one of the churches comes over to bless the house and the spirit overwhelms him with a powerful curse. We see him try to leave a Bible, but the spirit forces him to pick it back up and run away. Later on, he tries to go back, but the spirit just takes out his car and essentially ends his life since he’s almost brain dead at this point. Most Hollywood/mainstream films like to point out that demons and spirits can be alive while the same isn’t true for Angels and God. It’s a film so they can always mess with the rules that way, but it makes the whole thing pretty lopsided. The film is also trying to claim that it’s from a true story although I suppose that we all knew better about 15 minutes into the film. Demons are real so some horror stories are probably real, but this is one of the tales that was probably just made up for a quick buck and their 5 minutes of fame.

Another negative would be the George getting corrupted part. It’s so overdone and it’s one of the worst horror plots. Give us a supernatural enemy who can’t be stopped (Which is bad enough) but let’s at least give the main characters some determination and a will to fight back. Seeing him turn on everyone is just not enjoyable and it’s an easy way out of using special effects or good writing. The hit towards the end was basically the cliff that the film went over since he was no longer redeemable although he may have already passed that part earlier.

The film is not the most violent horror film that you’ll encounter. There are only a handful of scenes, but one of them is particularly brutal as one of the main characters has a dream. It’s enough that you could instantly guess that this film was a little stronger than your average summer blockbuster and it didn’t do any wonders for the film. Violence against noncombatants always ends up appearing as a negative compared to fighting violence. See, a fighter getting injured is way different than a pedestrian getting hit since they are prepared for two vastly different roles.

The kids are also pretty bad characters. The girl has an imaginary friend once again who turns out to be the spirit of the house. It explains that it wants them to stay in the house forever so that’s basically why it wants George to destroy them all. Or, so it would seem. The spirit is evidently strong enough to destroy them all on his own, but I guess it wants things to end up just like how they did last time. It mostly seems to have power over the mind, but its abilities have a real impact on the human world so it’s not just simple telepathy. Most likely it has advanced reality warping abilities since that’s a favorite for most horror writers. You don’t have to do any work, just make it able to do literally anything and you can call it a day.

I’d say that the film is actually more grotesque than scary. The film came out decades ago so you can mostly anticipate everything that it’s going to do, which is why it can be tough to be scared. The grotesque part goes back to the flies, which were some of the worst scenes in the film. One thing that I’ve never liked are insect scares since it’s just about insects crawling all over somebody so you can imagine the worst. It was a painfully bad scene as they attack the Father and force him out of the house. The guy takes his time leaving even though an ordinary person would have dashed out. The spirit continues to torment the guy with boils and such since the guy keeps trying to warn the heroes of the imminent danger.

The other scary scene would likely be when the babysitter is trapped in the closet. You’re supposed to be extra worried for her since she already has braces so everything is a little tougher for her. It’s really more unpleasant and sad to watch than it is scary and the lights turn off, but we already know that the spirit refuses to destroy anyone. It just wants to scare them over and over again until George cracks and does the work for him. The Babysitter literally had no point in the story. She was just there to get taken down.

The heroes have a dog and he’s probably the only positive thing that I can say about the whole experience. There is a little dog violence unfortunately as he scratches at a wall so hard that his paws bleed. Luckily, the film redeemed itself by saving the dog at the end so he wouldn’t have to bring the film down even more. It’s a shame that the other characters wanted to leave him (Kathy did anyway) but I would expect no less from her. George went back, which was good since it shows that he could have been a good character if not for the mind control.

The soundtrack was better than your average horror film so I guess that’s another positive. Considering when it came out, it’s surprisingly fast paced at times and it’s decently memorable. A horror film having a soundtrack in the first place is pretty surprising and it being a good one even more so. If only we had some good scenes to go along with it.

The spirit’s true form is only shown twice, but he seems like a decently tough demon. He’s pretty large, but he can probably shape shift at will so he will likely look different each time. He would have been a little cooler if he had fought some more, but the budget probably wasn’t there yet unless they used a suit like in the old Godzilla films. That would have been pretty interesting.

Some plot lines never really get time to develop either since the film didn’t know where it was going. We have the Detective who tries to act tough and sneaks around for clues, but he never ends up doing anything. He just abruptly disappears and ends up playing no role in the story. He was just there for filler, nothing more. Another woman is possessed by the spirits and tells them that the well is a gateway to Hell. Okay…I think we could have guessed that when we saw the endless tar coming out of it. What does that have to do with anything? The heroes never decide to close the well and the info didn’t help anyone out. I’m guessing that the original climax would have had the heroes plug it up, but maybe it was written out due to time constraints and a rapidly falling budget.

Overall, The Amityville Horror is not a film that you’ll want to check out anytime soon. The monster design is pretty good and the soundtrack is good as well, but everything else about the film really hit rock bottom. There was only 1 or 2 jump scenes and neither of them worked since we weren’t watching the film in super 3D in the dead of night with speakers that make you shiver with loud noises. The gross scenes will just make you back up a little and George’s plot is extremely wince worthy. The film also gives the Father way too cruel of a fate just so it could make a point that wouldn’t help the film anyway. Burning the cross and effectively destroying the Father…we get the point. (We also can’t forget making the Nun so sick that she has to end up leaving the house almost immediately) It’s hard to tell which negatives pushed my buttons the most to deserve a 1 since there were so many of them and they just kept adding up and up and up. Ah well, at least it was a pretty easy decision. I had the rating set before the film had even ended. While you’re steering clear of this film, just play a scary game like Dirge of Cerberus or take the opposite effect and take this time to rent Megaman Battle Network 5. Either way, you’ll be better off as this film goes into Sucker Punch levels of terrible. If you do watch the film, you should try to make a list of plots and characters that ended up not adding anything to the film.

Overall 1/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Mummy Review

The_Mummy_1932_film_poster
Looks like it’s time to check out the original Mummy film! This one came out almost a century ago so you shouldn’t expect the effects to look quite as good as Tron’s. That being said, a film can still manage to be pretty good without effects as long as the writing is strong. That’s what helped a lot of the previous retro installments. Alas, it could not last. This film is nowhere near as good as the remake although I applaud the supernatural elements that made things pretty intriguing at points. Let’s see where the film messed up.

The plot involves an Archeologist and his partner as they are pretty sad. Their expedition into the desert turned out to be a waste of time and they are getting ready to rejoin civilization so that they can be mocked for their efforts. At that moment, a suspicious character tells them of a hidden tomb that is nearby and his minions uncover it for the heroes. The courageous fellows quickly inform the press and send their findings to the museum. This has all been too easy…why would this person help them? It makes more sense when you watch the flashback before this scene as the Mummy is uncovered because a man opened the legendary chest that had a curse inside of it. (Don’t worry, the curse isn’t random, we find out who placed it there towards the end of the film) The Mummy awakens and one of the guys goes insane with laughter as his mind breaks at the mere sight of the Mummy. In the present, The Mummy needs the ancient manuscript for his devious plans and he also wants to revive his partner. Time for the heroes to do something about it!

The plot sounds rather deep and convoluted thanks to how I wrote it, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. You are aware of the Mummy and the sinister developments for a good portion of the film. The heroes are just unsure of what they can really do about it, which results in a lot of tense scenes. None of the characters are really likable though, but more on that later. The film was doing all right in these moments, but let’s look at one of the big pitfalls that the film threw itself into.

First up…Animal Violence! I expect animal violence when I watch something like Sucker Punch or Toriko, but I don’t expect it from one of the most famous horror films of last generation. The scene comes out of nowhere, which is pretty sad. The main heroine randomly admits that she has a dog and takes him to the villain’s base. Seeking to impress her with his hypnosis, the Mummy tells his slave to take the dog away…then the slave murders the dog. Why would he do such a thing and why would the Mummy allow it? The whole point is that he is tricking the heroine and that shouldn’t help matters. Unfortunately, she is rather weak willed and her strength of character is not enough to even remember how her dog died. It was a rather depressing moment in an uninteresting film and I quickly slashed a few points off the score. (Although, even without the animal violence this film was destined to fall within this range. Animal Violence or not…this was not going to crack a 5)

I don’t really comment on the acting so I won’t get into how terribly awkward it was for the film. I’ll just point to how they wrecked the characters through the drama scenes. A lot of scenes just have the characters staring at each other or making terrible decisions that lead to their untimely demise. With that set up…it’s time to look at the characters!

The main character is Frank. He’s better than his predecessor in the opening who goes insane just by looking at the Mummy, but he’s not much better. (I still can’t get over that though. Do people honestly think that someone would go crazy just by sneaking a glance at a dead guy? That was one of the biggest moments of plot hax that I’ve seen since Colonel actually held his own against Forte in the Program of Light and Dark) Frank is the kind of guy who believes in (fake) love at first sight and he really pushes the point when he meets Helen. She keeps on telling him that she is not interested (For about 5 minutes anyway) but he won’t take no for an answer and she quickly relents. After that, he doesn’t really care about anything except helping her and he can’t do a good job of that either. He knows that the Mummy is playing her like a fiddle, but he still decides to just go to sleep on the couch. It should be noted that his partner tried to help by giving Frank an amulet that stops the Pharaoh’s abilities from working, but Frank decides to hang it on the doorknob as a little keychain. You may admire his courageousness, but you’ll probably just face palm as the Mummy quickly uses the Force Choke to take Frank down for the count. A rather embarrassing end and no amount of main character hax that occurs in the film can take that moment away from us. It was pretty inexcusable.

I can’t say that Helen is much better. Again, she tried to say no to Frank, but then she just agreed that the feelings were mutual. They evidently were not at first so she changed her mind way too quickly. Her mind is also very frail since the Mummy is able to quickly convince her that she must go with him. She always enters a trance and he has complete control over her. She tries to fight it once in a while, but with terrible results. Forgetting about her dog was also pretty inexcusable and she should have been able to fight the mind control. This is definitely a strong example for how you do not write a main heroine. It was a rather poor showing.

There were two old men who tried to help out as well, but they couldn’t get the job done. One of them had the simple task of burning a few papers in the fireplace, but the Force Choke surprises him so much that he drops the papers and starts to backpedal until he bites the big one. (Which is when the slave breaks in through the unlocked door and steals the papers) The other guy just gives advice like “Let Helen go to Imhotep so we can find out where his hideout is” before taping an untimely nap. These guys loves to beat around the bush as seen with their interrogation of the Mummy, but they know that they are outmatched. They actually admit it in front of the Mummy, which is pretty sad.

The actual Mummy isn’t great either. We get a sob story for him about how he did all of this for romance and stuff. Unfortunately, deciding to reincarnate yourself is against the law so he’s quickly destroyed….thereby speeding up the reincarnation. I guess they didn’t have any mages back then to counter the Mummy’s spell. After that, he evidently decided to wait years and years for some archaeologists to come and discover the tomb instead of just going inside of it himself. He would have been able to have gotten the scroll without any objections that way and then he could have searched for his reincarnated partner. Alas, he decided to do things the hard way. He has a strong amount of telepathy and possibly some superhuman strength so I guess it’s okay for him to be confident. Unfortunately, he underestimated the humans or overestimated his Force Choke when push came to shove.

The flashbacks and the ending were intriguing, but they just threw in supernatural elements without any true meaning. I applaud the effort as we actually get a “god” at the end who decides to help out, but just barely. The Mummy still would have gotten away for it if not for a few missteps. I mean, the Mummy Did basically laugh at Isis’ rules by coming back to life so you would expect a little more urgency.

Overall, This was definitely not one of the better retro films. I definitely preferred the newer Mummy film. It was more action packed and while it wasn’t downright amazing, it was a lot more fun. The Mummy just isn’t a fun or engaging villain and his telepathy is the only thing that actually made him a threat. A lot of scenes didn’t seem to have really been thought through either. (The heroes going after the Mummy after the villain had a super long head start and still making it in time.) Strictly speaking from Frank’s perspective, the ending felt like a parody. He’s the big hero, but he never got to be useful from start to finish. I would sooner recommend watching the remake or checking out Speed Racer than this film. This film was lacking in positives while still containing a lot of negatives.

Overall 3/10