Predator 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 a lot more negative.

It’s time to look at the 80s movie that started it all. I’m not the biggest fan of the Alien series but I always thought the Xenomorphs were cooler than the Predators. Their design just can’t be beat. Still, I hadn’t seen their solo movies before so it was time to change that. It basically plays out like you would expect. It’s a lot classier than Alien 3 but at the end of the day there are unavoidable errors that the film will bump into due to its nature.

The film starts off with Dutch and his group getting called back to base. The commander quickly explains that they have to go into enemy territory and free the hostages that were captured after they wandered past the border. Also, the group has to take local pencil pusher Dillon with them. Dutch isn’t happy about this but orders are orders. Unfortunately as the group gets deeper into the jungle they start to realize that this mission wasn’t what they were expecting and the real enemy may not even be human.

It takes them a long while to actually realize that there is a Predator around and even longer to realize that he is wearing a cloaking suit. While this is annoying it isn’t unreasonable considering how far fetched the whole thing would seem at face value. As a result the heroes don’t really stand a chance for a while there.

The Predator is fast and has a cool cannon, but he isn’t bullet proof so if you can get the shots off quick enough then you’ve still got a chance. Problem is that his cannon is basically automatic so it is hard to fire before he gets his shot. Also at night he absolutely has the advantage since he can see while the others have to fumble around.

The Predator definitely does have more character than I expected. Again, I saw him in the crossover but I don’t remember the Predators laughing there or copying voices. In this one they can do all of that which is pretty neat. In particular the laugh is definitely pretty fun. On the whole I definitely like the Predator more than I did from the crossover. I still prefer the Xenomorphs but these guys are worthy rivals.

Unfortunately the film does step into the unfortunate error of adding in a bit of animal violence. As always it is a very forced scene that should never have made the cut in the first place. The boar didn’t ask for this! It’s not a terribly long scene but it definitely doesn’t help matters. Also holding the film back is naturally how violent it is. With characters getting skinned and being mangled throughout you can expect a whole lot of violence. It’s fairly tame before the Predator shows up but then he starts it all with a bang.

The character cast isn’t too bad though. I definitely did like the main character Dutch. I never knew that the meme of the handshake was from this movie so that was pretty cool. Dutch was a good leader who could think on the fly and kept coming up with new plans over and over. He’s definitely the kind of guy you want to have around as he won’t desert you no matter the situation. It’s easy to see why he is known as one of the in the field. It’s clear that he and the group weren’t gonna lose to the other humans. He doesn’t get to let loose with too many puns and one liners this time around, but the ones that we do get are pretty good.

One of the more annoying characters is definitely the friend from the old days. Dillon definitely become just another government drone you can’t trust by this point. He also isn’t used to recon missions like this one so he is pretty sloppy at times. Even once Dillon finally decides to go for his hero move by the end it is simply too late for him to be likable. Better than nothing I suppose.

Predator definitely gets some respect for developing so many of Dutch’s squad here. Usually in these films you get the main character but then the rest are basically expendables. While Dillon wasn’t very likable he certainly did get his character arc. Likewise, Mac got a lot of screen time as he tries to avenge one of the other members of the group. He definitely did get a little overconfident in the end which cost him big time though. Never underestimate the Predators! Then there’s Billy who knows something isn’t right from the start but doesn’t do enough about it. In his defense, there is only so much you can really do. I do think he handled the ending pretty badly though. I’m thinking his rationale was to fight the Predator one on one without a gun so in close quarters he would have a chance, but that was never going to happen. It’s off screen so we don’t know if the Predator went the honorable route or not, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he just shot the guy.

Also the premise is just a lot of fun. It’s basically like the Hunger Games except it’s one guy against everyone else. You’ve got the numbers advantage but the person doing the chasing always has some advantages of their own. It’s easier to pick people off when they’re in a group. The whole survival aspect will keep you at the edge of your seat. It’s why it is a shame that the film is so violent since you could just keep all the murders off screen and that would help a lot. This could easily be the kind of horror film that actually ends up being really good. Even the writing isn’t as terrible as you’d expect although the TV version does make it look a lot better than it actually is since they block most of the iffy parts.

Overall, Predator makes for a fairly enjoyable watch at times but definitely is still not a film I would recommend. Even edited down for TV the violence is pretty over the top. It’s definitely a very brutal survival film and as long as you can get behind that then you’ll like it. I’m thinking that the next Predators film will probably have a tough time matching up to this one though since this one probably took the franchise as far as it could go. Still, it’s never over til it’s over!

Overall 2/10


Pet Sematary 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.

There are some films where you can reasonably tell if you’re going to like them just by the name. This is definitely one of those. You probably already know that animal violence is the quickest way to doom your film and this one has a whole plot built around it. Throw in your usual amount of horror violence and visuals to get a film that was never going to break even. I will admit that the ending is pretty hilarious in a grim way, but that’s not enough to actually make me recommend this title.

The film starts off with Louis and his family moving into a new town since he has been hired as a doctor. Unfortunately someone dies almost immediately and warns Louis that things aren’t right around here. Louis then has a lot to drink and sees the dead guy named Pascow show up. Pascow lets him know that he shouldn’t bring people back to life. Louis also meets up with his neighbor Jud who introduces him and the rest of the family to the Pet Sematary where many animals have been buried. If you go a little farther into the spooky part of the forest you can bury them and even bring these beings back to life. After the family cat is hit by a truck Louis brings him back. When his son is hit by another truck Louis decides to do this as well, but what if what comes back isn’t really the kid?

I’ll give the film credit for building a pretty good atmosphere at least. The scenery in the film all looks pretty good and likewise with the area beyond the graveyard. The lighting effects age pretty good as well. Pascow also makes for an entertaining ghost because he still keeps his sense of humor. Ultimately he only helps to an extent as I suppose he doesn’t want to get mixed up in all of this. Without him Louis probably would have been even more doomed, but granted, Louis isn’t the type of guy to listen to others. He goes with his gut for better or worse.

Louis isn’t the smartest character even if he does mean well. Messing with the regeneration thing right after being warned in a dream wasn’t particularly smart. Then the ending is the real kicker. I think it’s because the film handles the whole ending seriously and unironically but you can’t help but think of it as a parody. I suppose I won’t say anything about the ending specifically, but it’s almost hard to believe the character doing this. Even if just doing the act is fine, at least you’d expect this character to be prepared or ready for action. What Louis chooses to do is basically the worst option that he could have picked. Now, you could try making the case that he was prepared and just wanted to end like this, but then the yell at the end makes me doubt that.

Jud is definitely an odd character. I think he would have worked better as a villain. He seemed like he just wanted to sabotage everything for the group at times. Other times he appeared to be genuine I guess and that’s how the film played his role, but then why even tell Louis about the pit of regeneration? He must have known that things would ultimately escalate from there. He knew how his pet went crazy so once theirs did there was a good chance that someone would die and then they’d use the pit again. He also handled the climax pretty horribly.

Rachel is a nice enough character, but she also doesn’t do well in the climax. I’ll give her credit for figuring out something was wrong and heading back to the house, but she probably should have found some excuse to bring along some backup. As it stands she didn’t have much of a chance. Her parents weren’t much help of course, but they were pretty emotional the whole time and it’s hard to expect them to know anything about the supernatural. The thing is, you shouldn’t need any backup here. The villains are extremely weak.

You can probably put two and two together with the kid involving the climax. All I’ll say is that you better get ready to suspend a whole lot of disbelief. The climax would be funny if it wasn’t so violent. This is definitely a pretty intense horror film so get ready for a whole lot of over the top violence. The animal violence is surprisingly tame in comparison as the cat dies without too many visuals, but it still doesn’t really help matters. Then Rachel gets an origin story out of the blue where we find out that she had a dying relative and decided not to help her. We’ve just added some shade to her character for no reason. Now, the film introduced this so she could show up in the climax, but it definitely feels awfully convenient that this person’s spirit traveled all this way. I always wonder why the evil spirits are so strong and the happy ones always fade away so quickly. This subplot was completely unnecessary and was just here to make the film more gritty.

We get a pretty long speech by Jud with a ton of extra details that nobody wanted nor cared to hear. It’s just a bunch of tragic stories to explain the misspelled cemetery and to make the film extra dark. Louis probably should have noped out of there at that point instead of joining Jud for drinks. Of course, Louis was pretty arrogant for a good chunk of the film so he probably didn’t really care anyway. He never figured any of it would be enough to harm him.

Overall, Pet Sematary plays out exactly as you would expect it to. It’s certainly not my kind of movie and I’d advise steering clear of it. If you want a good horror film then check out Zombie Island instead. Any film built off of animals dying would never really have a future. This movie checks off all the typical horror cliches and never really tries to do anything more than that. You won’t be able to take the climax seriously and the only hype scene in the film is the ending. Ironically if the sequel were to take place right after this one then that would probably give it a chance at doing good since this could become more of a zombie invasion kind of film. Alas, it doesn’t look like it decided to go that way.

Overall 1/10

Alien 3 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 far more negative.

It’s time to look at the next installment in the Alien franchise. I must admit that I’ve never been a big fan of the series. While it did spawn a lot of super memorable alien designs like the Xenomorph, it just can’t hold up under pressure. This film didn’t do any better I’m afraid since right away a dog appears. That’s the ultimate red flag for any film, especially one with aliens/monsters. The films just can’t seem to resist and neither could this one. The film was dead before it ever began and that doesn’t change as the film goes on.

The film starts off with everyone from the second film dying since one of the Xenomorphs managed to make it aboard the ship. Fortunately, Ripley survived as she is the main character. The ship crashed in a giant space planet, which is used as a place for convicted criminals who would get the death penalty otherwise. I admit that for a while I forgot that this was on another planet because it may as well be Earth to be honest. It’s not like it really makes much of a difference. Now Ripley needs to just wait until a ship arrives that will take her back to Earth, but the problem is that the Xenomorph is somewhere on the planet. She wants to destroy it before leaving or it’ll keep on spreading. Meanwhile the rest of the prisoners want to murder her because they’re still evil. Can she unite the team in time to stop the alien or are they all doomed?

It really doesn’t help that this film has terrible supporting characters. From the start we’re introduced to the fact that a lot of the prisoners are still evil and certainly aren’t ashamed of the fact. They’re just here to mess up the heroes and cause trouble. They even attack Ripley at one point until another guy comes in to corral them. When there aren’t any characters to like then that’s a problem. There are only two of these prisoners who are given any real development.

First off is Jonathan. He isn’t violent like the others, but he was drunk while operating a while back and caused a lot of people to die. As a result he was charged with being the doctor in this place. While he is more perceptive than most of the other characters I definitely wouldn’t call him a good one either. One big problem here is the fact that he was told not to get too close to Ripley and immediately goes past the friend zone. This is a good chance to point out that the romance definitely wasn’t particularly good here. It’s extremely rushed and doesn’t actually serve any kind of purpose in the story. It’s just here for shock value to be honest and if you take it away then everything would still play out the same. Jonathan ultimately doesn’t add much either as Ripley never gives him the courtesy of knowing how he’s gonna die.

Since there is a hostile alien on board that’s going to murder everyone shouldn’t Ripley have just told him to watch out? At least maybe he would have lived that way. By the end it seemed reasonable that she should have told him. The other main character is Leonard. He may be a big prisoner but he has bought into the religion preached there and is trying to turn over a new leaf. That being said, he’s still okay with murdering people. He definitely has a pretty grisly end, but at least he was helpful I suppose. The actual leader of the crew was certainly not interested in making this easy on the characters.

As expected the actual script is pretty terrible as well. There’s a lot of language throughout and the sad part is that it’s pretty much expected at this point. It goes back to the unlikable cast part. Then the film’s also super violent as expected. Everyone goes down as violently as possible and they’re all picked off one by one. None of them have any chance against the aliens. If that wasn’t bad enough, then you’ve got the animal violence as the dog goes down. The film was already pretty hard to get through and when you add all of these elements up you’ve got a stinker on your side.

Meanwhile you’d expect Ripley to at least be decent right? Unfortunately she certainly isn’t. Again, I think letting Jonathan know would have been fair since she forced him to spill the rest of the details. Then she also goes outside by herself in a hostile environment when everyone warned her that the prisoners would try attacking her. She just doesn’t actually listen to anyone and keeps getting herself in trouble.

It goes without saying that this is the weakest Alien film I’ve seen. Hopefully the next ones are stronger, but I can’t say that I have particularly high hopes of that. The series died a long time ago and you could argue that Aliens was its last chance to really make a difference. How do you top the “This time it’s War!” tagline for future titles? As it is we’re basically just retreading old ground at this point. There’s not much point to the films and without a new dynamic it’ll be stuck in place. If the films want to be good they need to at least cut out the animals, give us a better locale, and absolutely the film needs to have better writing. That’ll at least give the film a fighting chance even if I still don’t like its odds.

Overall, This is a pretty dreary film and there’s nothing around to spice things up. The actual locale isn’t as interesting as the first two films. There’s also a lot less alien action for the most part. Aliens had a bunch of them running around at least which was fun. I also prefer the dynamic of soldiers fighting off aliens as opposed to people just trying to run away from them. The former leads to good action scenes while the latter is just needlessly dark. I feel the same way for all genres. There’s no enjoyment to be had in a fierce villain murdering a bunch of non combatants. I want to at least pit him against people who can try to fight back even if they have no chance.

Overall 1/10

Down A Dark Hall Review

It’s time to look at a very recent horror film that I hadn’t heard of before watching it. This film really flew under the radar. Granted, I’m not the biggest expert on films coming out and all that, but I like to think that I still know most of them right away. This one is actually not bad for a horror title. The genre in general has a hard time succeeding with me, but this one avoided most of the pitfalls.

The film starts with our lead Kit getting into trouble yet again. After her father died she has turned into a bit of a juvenile delinquent and the schools can’t handle her. Fortunately, the head mistress of a school for the troubled shows up and offers to take Kit in. Since at this point it’s between the school and prison, the parents take Kit there. One big red flag is that the entire school is made up of only a handful of other kids who arrive the day after Kit. All of them have one specific talent which appears to be growing fast under this school’s tutelage. Maybe this place isn’t so bad after all!

Of course in a film like this it is never so easy for the heroes. It turns out that the villains have a convoluted plan involving possession and body transfers using the souls of the dead. As the main characters are fairly young it isn’t as if they have a whole lot of willpower. Also, while they have gotten mixed up in their fair share of crimes, they haven’t become total villains yet. It seems like the spiritual villains here are bad to the core and so they have more willpower. It shouldn’t work like that of course but the only heroic spirit here isn’t able to d a single thing. I’m talking about Kit’s father. He shows up once in a while but ultimately doesn’t really contribute. It’s hard to say if he could even see Kit half the time. I want to say that he couldn’t because the alternative is that he was turning a blind eye to the situation.

The film has some intense visuals like the best friend being chained up and turned into a demon and the house being on fire made for a solid climax. However, the jump scares are pretty forced and do not work so well. It’s not really an intense horror title in that sense as the atmosphere may be pretty tense but the film can’t capitalize on it. The good side of this is that the film dodged the animal violence angle and isn’t too violent. It’s more of a slow burner and then in the climax everything starts happening at once. I do think the villains wanted too long to make their move though.

The way their possession works seems highly inefficient. It’s like they have to nurture the kid’s talent which then turns them into a better vessel. Then they just play some more and run around until they have enough power to do something else. Problem is that it is still easy to kick them out when you have a third party helping and then their plan is down the drain. I guess it’s nice for the heroes to actually have a supernatural opponent they can take on for a change though.

Most of the girls don’t really get much in the way of character but the ones who do get a personality are reasonable. Kit is a solid lead, she never backed down when the bully (Veronica) would make threats. She would probably lose the fight but at least Kit won’t run away. Veronica gets a lot of character development as well and is decent by the end but from the initial threats I feel like she is pretty far gone at this point. The others are all red shirts (If you saw the original Star Trek show then you’ll know what I mean) so it gets pretty dicey for them. That’s why you should always try to stick by the main character so her plot armor can protect you. Otherwise it’s basically over.

Kit’s parents are actually pretty reasonable here as well. Sending her to the school makes sense in the context that they tried every other option and they kept not working. Plus, they at least did tell her to stay in contact and rebound guy #1 told her that they’d come get her if she didn’t like the experience. Anything shady happens and they’ll be right over. Instead of actually doing this when given the opportunity Kit just pretends that it’s all okay. She should have spoken up though as there’s not much that the head mistress could do by this point. Even if she slammed the phone or tried to tell the parents not to come that wouldn’t fly. Then they could have done an investigation or something. If Kit was staying to help the other kids and felt that this would put them at risk then I suppose it’s a fine call. Still, I thought it was good that the parents gave her a choice like that and clearly still cared a lot for her safety.

Then you have the teachers who all have their own motivations for being here. The music teacher is the only one who is really out of his depth here and naturally that leads him into the romance plot which fortunately doesn’t get much screen time. It’s all way too sudden to be believable. Naturally the head mistress gets the biggest role out of these characters and she certainly makes sure the characters know that she is the leader. She mostly acts the part of the polite but stern mistress at the school and never really breaks the act to be real crazy. She’s a fun villain and you definitely want to have a composed mastermind character like her at the ready.

Overall, This definitely isn’t a horror movie that you’ll still be talking about in a few days. It definitely could have been a lot worse though as at least it is still pretty entertaining and doesn’t go too far into trying for shock value. At the same time there isn’t really much of a reason to check this movie out in particular. There are better horror titles to watch so only see this if you’re a big horror buff.

Overall 5/10

Attack of the Mushroom People Review

It’s time to take a look at a really old school Japanese horror film. I didn’t really know what to expect with this one, but it’s definitely a little different from what I could have ever guessed. It’s definitely a slow burner so fans of the atmosphere approach could enjoy it, but unfortunately a very weak cast filled with terrible characters holds this one all the way back. It ends up being a bad film instead of a decent one. There are some good ideas here, but ultimately they cannot capitalize on them.

The film starts off with a group of sailors trying to sail away from the rest of the world. Each one has a different reason for being on the ship, but ultimately they will be heading to another part of the world where they can really live out their lives. Unfortunately the ship crashes and they all land on a foreign island. They quickly learn that there is more to this island than simple wildlife as the mushrooms are deadly. Left with dwindling resources the characters begin to turn on each other and allow their primal instincts to take over. Can any of the crew survive or at this point have they already lost enough of their humanity for it to not matter anymore?

As I mentioned above, the main problem with the film is the fact that the characters are so bad. I understand that the point of the film is about how all of the characters slowly succumb to the situation, but it’s a very negative outlook. The view that all humans will eventually turn evil is a common one, but certainly not an accurate view nor is it a very entertaining one. The characters start to become corrupt almost immediately and the ones who haven’t turned yet aren’t strong enough to defy them. It makes for a pretty mean spirited film where you know everyone is doomed from the start.

That’s not a bad thing per say as it can be fun to have everyone bumped off. There are quite a few good retro films with a plot like that which works out pretty well. The reason why this one doesn’t work well is because we don’t have the mystery angle to work with and the characters aren’t written nearly well enough to pull this off. The writing isn’t terrible, but I wouldn’t call it good either. The film ends up dragging on quite a bit despite not being very long which is always a very troubling sign.

Then we have the fact that the mushroom people don’t appear much at all. When they finally do show up it’s not as if they are all that impressive in a fight. They aren’t bulletproof or anything like that and are quite slow. The only reason they are even able to put up a basic fight is because the main character, Kenji, isn’t very smart and likes to waste bullets. By the time he is surrounded it is naturally too late as well….or it would be if they weren’t so weak. Kenji manages to overcome 20-1 odds which tells you all you need to know about the mushroom people.

From the rest of the crew we have 3 flat out antagonists. One is a girl named Mami who likes having everyone fight over her so she manipulates the men on the crew. That shows how weak willed they are. Ultimately her plan is mainly to call on everyone’s bluff and she still manages to get the last laugh in the end. Then the other two villains like making threats about how they’ll assault the other crew mates. This is the kind of drama that the film goes for and it’s the low hanging fruit on any situation like this. It doesn’t help the film’s writing at all. If anything it just diminishes the experience greatly like here. When nobody challenges the villains initially after the first threat there is no way to regain respect for the characters either.

Then you’ve also got the villain with a gun who manages to get the heroes at gunpoint 2-3 times. Did they really think they could be safe after locking him inside when everyone else is crazy? Their food supply is stolen several times as everyone else gets really greedy while on the ship. The only one who stays strong is Kenji and even then he seems rather naïve the whole time. Some of the characters get brief backstories but there isn’t much time to explore them.

Aside from the villains who are just plain unlikable, the main heroine may be the worst character here. Akiko is extremely timid and lets everyone walk all over her. She does her best to bring down the mood and atmosphere aboard the ship. Getting seasick is no fun so I won’t blame her for all of that but if she doesn’t get along with everyone then getting on this boat was probably a mistake. Even by the end she ultimately ends up cracking with everyone else. It’s possible that she was forced to eat a mushroom so I won’t be too hard on her, but it doesn’t help her case either. Naturally the heroine who was actually outspoken and ready for action turned out to be evil.

Most of the film is a flashback so you already know that at least one guy will get out safely. That does hurt the tension in the scene where villains surround him since you know that he can’t die there or even be transformed. It’s always an odd tactic to have a flashback be most of the film because you already know the ending. It’s just a huge spoiler. Kenji tries to sound deep and moving by the end, but since he’s already mostly crazy you can’t blame the doctors for keeping a safe distance. They are just looking out for themselves after all.

Overall, I guess I have to say that the film was a little disappointing. The film’s set up just isn’t all that great. I don’t mind the idea of a group of characters being stuck on an island and trying to survive, but then you’ve at least got to have a great group of characters who have solid banter with each other. It should be the group surviving against monsters or dangerous elements. If most of the group is either evil or unlikable then that’s going to take everything away from its potential. You don’t want to watch a civil war between the islanders, especially not with the stakes this high. If you want to watch a classic Toho film then I highly suggest sticking to Dragon Ball Z or Godzilla. This one’s just too much of a slow burner and ultimately doesn’t manage to keep its quality levels up.

Overall 4/10

10 Cloverfield Lane Review

The original Cloverfield was an intense monster film. The hand held camera filming technique was a bit jarring and the party scene ultimately crippled the film, but at the very least you couldn’t say that the film didn’t try hard. This sequel completely throws all of that out the window though. The monster barely appears and for the most part this film has nothing to do with anything. Definitely not a title I would recommend.

The film starts off with Michelle driving away from home. She has decided to leave her family for good after having a disagreement with her boyfriend. Unfortunately, she takes her eyes off the road and someone slams her off the track. When she wakes, Michelle finds herself the captive of a crazy man who believes in a bunch of conspiracy theories. This villain is very possessive so she is going to need to find a way out and fast. The problem is that the only other inmate here broke his arm and also believes that Howard is just here to help them. Becca will need to convince him otherwise.

The film breaks quite a few cinematic rules right from the start. First off, the film opens with the lead crying and we get a lot of dramatic scenes where her sadness goes on. This isn’t good because the film has only just started so we haven’t been given a reason to care about her yet. Moreover, Becca’s family plot never becomes relevant so this makes the scene even more out of place. She could have just been driving out to the market or something and it wouldn’t have changed the plot. Giving her some drama like this without any kind of purpose in the story doesn’t really help it. Naturally, it’s hard to be too harsh on how she takes the whole situation at first since being a captive is pretty scary, but it’s also more crying and such. I think the film tried too hard to make her just an “ordinary” person to the point where she is too passive.

That’s hardly what really holds the film back though. The whole plot is about Becca being kidnapped by Howard and the whole film is them being stuck in this house. It drags on considerably and of course she has to defer to the villain for the majority of it in the interest of self preservation. A good and realistic move on her part but still one that isn’t any fun to watch. Howard just keeps getting the last laugh for most of the film. Then the movie doubles down by making the film way darker for no reason as we learn about another victim from the past. There’s enough implications here where it destroys whatever was left of the film. If you’ve got an iffy plot and decide to go for being dark, there’s not much else the film can do to save it.

Once we finally leave the house we do get an alien monster fight scene. It’s definitely an “about time” kind of moment for sure. That being said, the monster has been considerably weakened. The film is operating on a tiny budget so they try not to show the monster much but from what I can see it didn’t look like Clover. I’m thinking it’s a different monster or maybe these aliens arrived to try and fight Clover while destroying the humans. I’m sure there’s some mind of reason but it’s not like the film would explain that. It makes for an exciting climax but even this part gets fumbled as Becca is able to take down a huge Kaiju with a single bottle of wine. Are you kidding me? If the monster is this weak then we’ve got problems. She hit it through the weak point but monsters can’t resist the urge to roar so it would be easy for others to replicate the feat.

The character roster is pretty small so it’s easy to talk about the main three characters. First off we have Becca of course. She’s not a terrible character, but I admit that she is one of the weaker leads that I have seen as of yet. Again, I’ll refer back to where I wrote about her earlier. The film makes her too nervous and just not pro-active enough. She makes too many “General Audience” type decisions which come back to bite her. She had a few opportunities to really take Howard down for the count but always opted to flee. Granted, Howard had quite a bit of plot armor to help him.

There’s one scene that involves a pot of acid and somehow he manages to tank it. I didn’t believe that for a second, it’s a bit much considering that guy is just human. It’s not like he’s a super bodybuilder or anything like that either. Naturally there is nothing to like about Howard. He’s just another crazy villain out to destroy the world. Then you have the other guy named Emmett who is extremely naive and just plain annoying the whole time. He’s slow to believe anything and conveniently he had his arm broken so he can’t help Becca fight back. When you factor all of that in he just isn’t all that helpful and half of the time is just annoying. It’s that gray area where some of this isn’t the character’s fault but it’s hard not to blame him at the same time.

Overall, 10 Cloverfield Lane is definitely not a film that I would recommend. It really does its best to completely ignore the original Cloverfield movie and that’s not a good thing. The film could and should have just called this movie something else and it would have been a lot better. You just can’t make a sequel and not have the monster be one of the main characters. It’s just not going to work. The scenes at the end don’t save it, especially given that the monster looks so bad the whole time. If the monster had won or something then it would have been fine, but since it ended up losing it defeats the whole purpose. The film seemed to hint that the radiation is turning people into zombies or something so having a zombies and aliens vs humans plot would have been infinitely more interesting. We don’t even get to see how the army reacts. Avoid this film at all costs and you’ll be fine. It’ll ruin your memories of the first film…even if I wasn’t a big fan of that one either.

Overall 2/10

The Visit Review

It’s time to look at a film where the villains are senior citizens. That’s always gonna be tricky to pull off because these guys don’t exactly push fear into the hearts of many. There was a recent film about a lady and her basement that I remember getting mocked for similar reasons. Either way this film’s definitely getting a thumbs down but at least the found footage aspect wasn’t as obnoxious as it could have been. Likely because the main characters were kids.

The film starts off with their Mom explaining that she ran away from home a long time ago. She then had kids before the guy ran off and now she’s with the rebound. Well, the grand parents have decided that they want to see the kids at long last and the Mom lets the kids know they can go if they want too. The kids do want to go so they can ship the Mom and the rebound character together. However, they quickly notice that the grandparents are rather off, once night falls the Grandma acts like a monster and the Grandpa is always vanishing into a suspicious shed. Maybe they should have stayed home after all.

Right away the film reminds you that this is a horror film through the bad writing. Tyler is incredibly annoying even compared to most kid characters. He’s only 13 but already sings rather edgy songs and has quite the potty mouth. His character was doomed from the start to be honest. Tyler gets a football related sob story which ties in at the end but by and large the character just doesn’t do much more than be around just to fill out the cast. I can’t stress enough how annoying and bad he is. Almost every line Tyler has is guaranteed to make you cringe.

Becca is certainly a lot better. Her origin story involves not looking at mirrors and that part was done pretty well as you may even notice this early on. Of course even if you do you most likely won’t attach any real significance to this until the twist occurs. Becca can be a bit too trusting and probably should have helped Tyler alert the mother sooner but for the most part Becca is pretty solid. I do think she definitely should not have tried pressuring the grandma into answering a question about her mother a second time after being completely rejected the first time. The grandma had such a violent reaction that risking such a response again is asking for trouble.

Naturally the main characters are kids so they have a bit of a better excuse as to why they make so many mistakes compared to the average main character. For example I definitely would not go into the oven since that’s basically signing my death warrant. There is a lot of tension there beneath the surface as the character may have been pushed in had she refused, but at least you could try to make a break for it. Once you’re in the oven then it’s all over. Also, opening the door after dark when they know the Grandma is dangerous was incredibly risky. She came super close to making it to their room in time and that would have been an unfortunate way to die.

Naturally there is a twist about the grandparents. It’s a good twist as there are cinematic clues you could fall back on from earlier in the film. Noticing them at first may be difficult, but after the twist they become obvious. It does remind me why I immediately thought the plan wasn’t a good idea on the Mom’s part. I don’t care if the grandparents want to see her or not, they’re her kids so she gets the final say. She absolutely should have gone with them to make sure that the grandparents were legit.

The film does get onto the violent/dark aspect towards the end. Most of the film is fairly tame by horror standards as all the bodies and slashes don’t start factoring in until the end. Unfortunately it also adds in a gross aspect which was wildly out of place. That part alone is enough to destroy the film’s score had it been high by this point anyway. It just goes to show that a horror film can rarely resist the urge to add something like this as opposed to staying classy.

Overall, The Visit is definitely not a quality film. It mixes the classic horror tropes with kid protagonists. I can tell you right now that this is not a winning combo. Tyler is annoying with his constant rapping and the villains aren’t scary. They’re only powerful because the main leads are kids which is more annoying than anything. The only other character who appears, a neighbor, acts incredibly naive and not very smart with how she handled the situation. It does continue the trope of horror supporting characters not being much smarter than a sandbag though. There was also the teenager who got beat up by an old man….but that’s just so crazy that I don’t even need to go into that. I also think the rebound subplot wasn’t great either since it seems like the Mom moved on awfully quick. The kids still remember the old father so it can’t have been too many years ago. That plot barely appears but is still something worth noting. If you want to watch a film with a bit more tension, go watch the original Pokémon film.

Overall 1/10

The Other Review

Most films have something to bring to the table even if they aren’t particularly good. Resident Evil had good fights and a tight soundtrack, Pixels had a lot of humor and good graphics, and even Transformers had nostalgia on its side. The Other is a film that has none of that. There is a saying that goes “Smash? More like Trash am I right?” in the world of twitch. That one wasn’t accurate but if you throw in the Other instead of Smash then you’re actually on to something.

The Other starts off by showing two kids playing at the lake. They aren’t very nice kids so they quickly take the time to intrude on a neighbor’s property. From there things only escalate as one kid begins to murder everyone in the family. Can Niles stop helping him long enough to stop this guy or is he as evil as he appears? Just calling them kids is gonna get confusing the whole time so the important thing to remember is that the evil one is called Holland while the less evil one is Niles.

“Strangely” nobody ever sees Holland or even comments about him. Then there is the fact that the two brothers look identical. The twist is pretty obvious especially with a theme being that the main character can talk to the dead. As a result any scene with him in it is pretty bad. None of his “nice” scenes will work for you since you won’t fall for his tricks and either way it’s annoying how he always tries to change the subject. He just can’t face reality.

This film is just super mean spirited. Bad things just keep on happening to everyone in the family and none of them get a happy ending. You can also blame this on the writing and a poor script. There is nothing to grab your attention here and you’ll have a hard time paying attention since there is no one to root for. The film drags on and on for the whole duration. None of the characters are particularly smart either.

Even after one of them ones what is going on she decides to keep leaving the lead alone in the same room as other characters. Surely she should know how things would play out from there right? If not, then that definitely makes her look bad. We also can’t forget how she is able to play the control a dead person game and yet she doesn’t use it to try and find the missing person at the end. The whole film is leading up to her using that ability for this sole purpose and it doesn’t happen. When you’ve got supernatural powers that can save lives you really need to use them. Far as I’m concerned she’s an accessory to all of the murders that take place in this movie…and there are quite a lot of those.

Overall, The Other is definitely a film that you’ll want to avoid. None of it is any good from the characters to the plot. It’s ultimately just a big waste of space and you’ll be glad that you skipped this one. It’s a shame that such a good title had to be wasted on this movie but that’s how it goes I suppose. Not all of the films can be winners and some are destined to fall all the way down to stinker territory. There’s not a whole lot more to say about the film as it isn’t terrible in an entertaining way. It just falls down the stairs from the start and never climbs back up. It fails at being a movie.

Overall 0/10

The Meg Review

It’s time to look at a pretty recent shark film known as The Meg. This one definitely had an interesting trailer for the most part although it definitely seemed to shift in tone quite a bit. For the most part this film takes itself seriously but always keeps a light tone throughout. It makes enough mistakes to keep it from being a good film, but does avoid the critical error involving a dog that could have been tricky.

The film starts off with a group of divers heading lower than they’ve ever gone before. They’re in a submarine so at least they feel pretty safe against the elements. They are a part of a group that is being funded by a billionaire known as Jack. Unfortunately they are attacked by a giant shark known as Meg. There is now no way to bring them back up so the team is forced to call in former expert Jonas. Jonas quit because of an incident where he was attacked by a giant shark and was only able to save most of his team. Well, they want him to go back in the ocean again, but can Jonas really face the same beast twice?

Meg is one of those movies where the plot gradually changes as the film goes on. If you watch the trailer before seeing the movie you can guess what the final act will be as you are waiting for the scene to happen for a very long time. The movie is pretty fun. There’s good pacing and the plot is certainly engaging. While the cast isn’t amazing, they’re better than what I’d consider to be the average for this kind of film. I may as well say up front that the film did a great job in saving the dog. There’s a scene where you think it may be all over for the little guy and it was going to be over for the film’s score as well. Fortunately that didn’t end up happening which saved the film 2 stars I’d say. Now that could work as a jump scare, but I still think films should mainly avoid the animal angle.

Of course, it does put the film in a dicey predicament as the main villain is an animal. How do you stop Meg without injuring her? Well, the quick answer is that you can’t and that limits the film’s potential from the start. Naturally I’m rooting for Meg the whole time because she is just trying to live in a tough world. It’s the pesky humans who keep getting in her way all the time. Meg makes for a good antagonist. She’s pretty huge and certainly vicious. Meg puts up a great fight throughout the film.

While the film’s theme is nowhere near as hype as the classic Jaws tune, the movie does its best to give Meg a theme as well. It works reasonably well in setting up the tone for her scenes. The effects are solid as well. Now lets talk about the human characters. I thought Jack was a pretty solid character. The billionaires in these films are always a lot of fun. Of course, you get the feeling they’re gonna die as soon as they appear since that’s pretty much a staple for this character type. Well, at least his scenes are very memorable throughout. He’s constantly talking tough and for the most part thought things through well. He just got a little sloppy by the end. I also don’t see how you can trip in such a situation, but it felt like all the characters in this film were constantly tripping. I guess the boats can be slippery.

Jonas makes for a good lead. Contrary to Dr. Heller’s assessment, he made the right call when leaving the ship in the intro. I thought that should have been obvious when the whole thing exploded seconds later. They all would have died. Jonas still goes back to help everyone out even though he isn’t particularly thrilled at the prospect. He tackles all of the tough jobs including using himself as live bait. I do think the heroes started stretching their luck with some of the plans though like having him swim towards the shark and launching a tracker. From that close distance in all likelihood Jonas would have been doomed. It’s basically a suicide mission but the characters don’t act like it’s that dangerous.

So, the writing can be a bit dicey at times, but it isn’t terrible or anything. Another instance of bad writing it one of the side characters. He’s basically only around to crack dicey jokes and is one of the first guys to go. He’s another guy where you know he is doomed from the start. He doesn’t add anything to the film and that’s certainly worth noting. The main heroine is good though. Suyin is always ready to jump into danger and is the first one on the rescue mission to help the stranded divers. Her daughter also gets quite a bit of screen time. She can be a bit iffy when trying to play matchmaker but definitely knows a lot about the sub. It’s always good to start learning about tech and such at a young age.

Overall, The Meg is an action film that delivers on everything it promises. There are some films where you basically know exactly what you are getting into from the start. This is one of those movies and that’s not a bad thing. The film’s consistent. It still lost a lot of points for animal violence and a dicey script, but if you’re not someone who minds the animal violence part then you’ll probably enjoy the film. The action scenes are on point and Meg definitely lives up to her hype of being a huge shark.

Overall 3/10

See No Evil Review

It’s time to look at one of those terrible shock value films. The very premise of the film tells you all that you need to know about it’s quality and potential. There was never really a chance that this could be a good film and so you’ll have to be ready to endure this experience if it happens to be on.

The plot involves a girl named Sarah who used to be an expert horse rider but then she had an accident and lost her sight. She is trying to get used to this situation and finds herself back in the home that she once grew up in. Just as life is getting back to normal, her family is murdered by someone and Sarah must now try to figure out how to stop him while blind. Get ready for a lot of scenes where nothing happens.

Right away you can see why this plot is no good. There is no realistic way that someone who recently became blind, the lead is still getting used to this new way of life after all, is going to do much against such an accomplished murderer. She needs a lot of plot convenience and the villain making all of the wrong moves to survive. The villain had numerous chances to destroy her but failed to do so. Due to who the culprit ultimately was perhaps he decided only she would be spared but it’s a huge stretch since that doesn’t seem to bother him much at all later on. I also don’t see how the villain left anything at the house considering that it was in an obvious spot and really couldn’t be missed if you can see. All in all, I wasn’t buying it.

Then it seems like the movie was filmed while everyone was finishing up a sprint because the characters are constantly out of breath for no real reason. Scenes like this feel like filler for sure. Then you’ve got numerous scenes which are basically just the heroine crying or panicking. Scenes like that don’t advance the plot and get real repetitive real fast. At most a scene like that should happen once but after that it’s time to take charge and get out of this situation. There’s nothing particularly fun about the film. We do get scenes with happy music to try and show how oblivious the lead is but those scenes are just being intentionally morbid.

Then to keep you guessing on who the villain is, most of the characters are just mean or unlikable. Some are downright criminal. You’ve got the groundskeeper who seems to be a threatening guy who doesn’t like other people and resents that a horse died because of the main characters. Then you’ve got the right hand man of the main guy who keeps taking dirty looks at the main characters and in general has a bad attitude. There’s also the two people from this little pop up trailer who don’t mind kidnapping and possibly murdering people to get themselves out of a situation. Although, despite the many red herrings I do think the film tipped its hand on who the villain would be. In these kind of edgy films it’s not enough for the villain to be a mass murderer, he has to be depraved as well. As a result, you will be able to deduce who it is from that fact. There’s only one character who appears early on that has this trait.

Back to the premise, Sarah is way too adept at moving with high speeds. She’s practically skipping through the house and of course we can’t forget how she is still able to ride a horse while blind. You’re going pretty far on a horse so bumping into something is basically inevitable. These things were done to give her a fighting chance but even then she realistically doesn’t stand a chance.

Naturally this film is on the violent side so watch out for that. It’s nothing too crazy but everyone basically bleeds out and there are quite a few dead bodies on the scene. It’s mostly for shock value again as I can’t stress enough how the villain’s plan doesn’t make a lot of sense. I’m still having a hard time figuring out why he didn’t finish the main character along with the others. Or at least finishing off Barker so he couldn’t warn the lead. I understand the motive but the guy seems like he really didn’t think things through.

Then we’ve got the romance plot thrown into the mix. The main guy does nothing wrong, in fact you could make the case that he’s one of the best characters in the film. He seems nice enough and he looks out for Sarah. He even does try walking her home a few times only to be stopped by her. The film just makes sure that he isn’t around to help until the end so he doesn’t play a big part for a while. I don’t think we really needed to add so many plots to this film especially since the happy contrast doesn’t work since you already know what has happened at the house.

Overall, See No Evil is definitely a film that you will want to stay away from. It’s as overly dramatic as you can get and never does anything to make itself stand out in a good way. The film is rather dark and violent the whole time so when the film finally ends there isn’t much of a triumph. Most of the characters are already gone so they can’t take part in the ending. I definitely recommend avoiding this film and watching something else for thrills, like Mission Impossible.

Overall 1/10