Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? Review


It’s time to look at an old film that tries to be a thriller/horror title. It’s pretty low key in part due to how old it is, but also because it’s not a jump scare kind of film. It has a very British air about it as the villains are polite and there are always veiled threats. It’s not a particularly good film though and this is probably because the main characters are kids. Kids can’t hold their own movies, they’ve never been able to in the past and they certainly don’t seem to be starting now.

The film starts off with Roo introducing herself as a nice old lady who allows a group of orphans to stay with her every Christmas. The orphanage even makes it into a bit of a competition as only the 10 best kids every year are allowed to go. Two extra kids manage to sneak in this year though and they are Christopher and Katy. Roo decides that this time she’s going to keep a kid and so she tricks Katy into staying behind. Christopher finds out about this, but then he is also trapped. Can Christopher and Katy get away from this crazy old lady or is their time up?

Of course this film only works if all of the characters look the other way. From the start why would the orphanage people leave one of the kids behind? That goes past just being irresponsible, they don’t even know Roo all that well. It’s a pretty iffy moment for all of them. Even after they go home though, it should be obvious that the kids are still in the house. Why didn’t the police come with a warrant right away and tear the place apart? Naturally the orphanage people do seem a bit rude so perhaps they didn’t want to have these kids back, but it’s definitely a bad look for them.

The only characters who do realize what is happening turn out to be crooked as well and get some money out of Roo. This also hurts Roo as an antagonist though as she is tricked and suckered for a good part of the film. She’s pretty crazy to be sure, but you at least want her to be in the captain’s seat. Instead she takes quite a lot of Ls throughout the whole film. You definitely don’t expect to see two little kids outsmarting and outrunning the main villain right?

Still, that doesn’t mean that the kids are great characters though. Katy is a little too young so she doesn’t get what is happening the whole time. She mainly slows them down and Christopher means well, but he’s also too young to be of much help. He has a smart play with the fire, but ultimately the only way they are able to succeed is because Roo makes a ton of mistakes the whole time. If she was more on the ball then they would have absolutely been doomed. She has home field advantage and a big edge in speed and power. There’s no real way to get around that.

It doesn’t make for a very pleasant plot though. Even though the film isn’t played quite as seriously as a modern version would be, it’s basically a villain kidnapping two kids. There’s no time for snappy dialogue or good interactions as a result. The character cast is very limited and most of the scenes are just about Christopher being forced to help Roo out with errands around the house. That’s not very thrilling at all and certainly can’t hold a film for very long. There’s no real fun factor in the film so it just drags on and on.

The ending does its best to not make the kids particularly sympathetic either. I don’t think anyone would blame them for taking down Roo, but by the end they seem to have actually convinced themselves that she was a witch from a fairy tail. Christopher is fairly young, but at the same time he’s old enough where you wouldn’t expect him to still believe in fairy tails. While Roo likely wasn’t going to cook them, she was still clearly evil from all the threats she made and she did tend to wave her weapon around quite a lot. I suppose the cops will never find out how the fire really started.

We also can’t forget that the film had to squeeze in a dead chicken for no reason. It’s one of those sudden scene cuts that I suppose is meant to remind you that the villain means business. Roo isn’t the one doing the chopping, but the same chopping knife is used later on so it’s like foreshadowing. The scene also throws in the unnecessary fact that the guy selling the chickens is getting pretty fresh very quickly. It’s a detail that never gets brought up again and ultimately has no point in the film. You can tell that the writing in a film is suspect when there are pointless filler scenes like this one.

Overall, Whoever Slew Auntie Roo is not a film I’d recommend. It’s not horrible for content or anything, but it’s just very dull and lifeless. There isn’t a whole lot happening in this film. It’s like all of the scenes are just filling out the air time, but there isn’t any personality thrown into the mix. The movie is going through the motions but only because it has to and not because it wants to. There’s no real reason to watch such a film as you can find way better thrillers and horror titles elsewhere. This one is like a slice of horror film since nothing much happens beyond the premise. Check out something with a little more character instead like Jingle All The Way.

Overall 3/10

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Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Split Review


It’s time to finally take a look at the next film in the trilogy involving Unbreakable. This film always looked terrible from the first trailer though and as I didn’t even like the first film I knew this was gonna get dicey. Unfortunately the film is even worse than I had imagined and is ultimately a complete waste of your time. If you want to watch a super edgy/gritty story where the villains manage to keep on racking up wins then this is the one to check out. Otherwise you’re better off heading to your local Duane Reade to buy some cookies.

The film definitely doesn’t waste time as it starts with Kevin showing up and kidnapping 3 teenagers who had just finished having a party. He takes them to his lair where he preps them for being eaten by the beast. See, Kevin’s a psychotic who believes he contains 23 different souls inside of him and 3 of them are evil. Naturally the 3 evil ones are stronger than the 20 good ones put together so he’s gone back to his murdering ways. The 3 girls have to find a way to escape. Claire believes they should try to overpower him, Casey thinks they should just wait and see, while Marcia will follow whatever tactic they decide on. Can they escape?

So the film is distastefully bad almost from the start. Naturally Kevin isn’t a classy villain who just wants to destroy the world or anything like that. No, he is only interested in attacking girls and his mind shatters so often that even he doesn’t know who is in control at times. He has a history of such incidents, but isn’t in prison because he keeps pleading insanity. The whole thing is pretty warped and you don’t really buy into his split personalities gimmick. He’s just a guy with an enhancement ability that gives him super strength but at the end of the day that’s it. It’s all too convenient otherwise how all of his souls tend to lose to the evil ones. There’s nothing interesting about his character.

Then you’ve got Casey’s gritty backstory which is also pretty awful and shouldn’t have been included in the film. Not only does it just serve to give her extra trauma, but then in the end we find out that the uncle is still around. So, he murdered (implied) her father and has been taking advantage of her for over 10 years? This is the amount of grit that you only see in terrible films. If you really stretch it then maybe she will tell the cops at the end, but the silence was deafening. Hopefully that plot isn’t brought back for the third film.

Casey’s a good character overall though as she tries to make the best of a tough situation. She hasn’t let her circumstances break her which is good. The other teens were good as well. Claire definitely showed the most spirit out of the 3, but was definitely doomed from the start. Still, without her actually attempting to escape the others would probably have just sat around and waited til the end. Marcia also had a rough time from the start so her confidence was shaken almost right away. While Casey was quick to play along with Kevin’s insanity it’s understandable that the other two weren’t able to adapt so quickly. Casey was used to dealing with crazies.

Karen is Kevin’s psychiatrist, but ultimately she doesn’t serve much of a purpose in the film. She’s slow as molasses in understanding what is happening. Her plot doesn’t make much sense because the whole time she is the only one who actually believed Kevin from the start. Since she actually thought that his personalities were real you’d think that she would have taken the emails a little more seriously. She knew that he was in danger or different versions of him were in trouble so why did she wait so long to act? She also knew that the evil personality was in control so why did she make so many mistakes over and over again? What was the point of going to his lair?

Maybe she was going to call the cops or something, but surely she knew that she wasn’t going to make it out of there. Also, she wasn’t particularly subtle when going into the closet. She should have at least used the secret word to stun Kevin at that point since there shouldn’t be any hesitation. Instead she panicked and then forgot how to say the word by the end. She’s definitely a waste of a character and her plot line ultimately didn’t contribute to the story.

No worries, Split also managed to squeeze in some animal violence to complete the film’s descent into madness. It’s really got every undesirable trait you could ask for in a film. It’s super edgy, it’s got animal violence, it’s got child violence, and a whole lot of things that happen off screen. There’s also quite a bit of fanservice since the villain uses every excuse possible to put the heroines in worse and worse spots. There’s nothing redeemable about the film and allowing the teenagers to be decent characters is just to make the film even darker. You know from the start that this is the kind of film that won’t really have a happy ending. It’s even worse when you consider that all of the villains get away with no ramifications to continue their chaos.
The film drags on and on as the 2 hours go by. There’s no solid writing to back it up either so hopefully you have a lot of snacks.

Overall, Split is definitely a horrible film that I’d recommend staying far away from. It’s the kind that you should just toss aside and never watch. It’s a poor thriller with sub-par writing and plots that are no fun. The film never even tries to be engaging and it’s far too dark to make for an enjoyable watch. Even the final scene has a defeated sense to it as the guest star just takes another drink because he doesn’t want to get back into this mess. Of course, he’ll end up stepping in for the third film which should still be better than this one at least. Split simply couldn’t stitch the scenes together into a complete feature.

Overall 0/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Our Mother’s House Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 1/10

8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Bendy and The Ink Machine Review


It’s time to take a look at my first ever horror game. I may have played some other games that could be considered to be part horror like Scooby Doo, but none that go all the way like this one. Bendy is definitely an impressive game. It throws in a lot of intense visuals and a dark story without having to resort to over the top levels of violence. It really is quite impressive and this is definitely a game that I would recommend checking out. It has certainly done a good job of really making a name for itself and now I’m ready for the next game. (Even if it isn’t a direct sequel)

The plot of the game follows a guy named Henry as he heads back to his old workplace after having left a long time ago. The whole place seems pretty far gone but he wants to figure out what his old pal Joey wanted to show him. Unfortunately he is then knocked out and may not be able to get out as easily as he thought. The workplace is now filled with beings of darkness and they all want to destroy him. If he gets out of this alive he’ll definitely have some words for Joey, but in the meantime he’s going to make sure to clock in and keep a calm head at all times.

Henry is definitely one of the bravest characters you’ll ever see. It’s almost to the point where it’ll actually take you out of the experience for a few seconds because this guy just isn’t afraid of anything. He keeps a monotone voice throughout the game even when he is being directly threatened. The guy just doesn’t get phased. While it is just gameplay mechanics for him to talk about getting paid for this and clocking in, it does make the save feature pretty memorable and certainly a lot of fun. Henry is the kind of character that you want to lead the team because he is charismatic.

The gameplay is that of a 1st person shooter without the shooting. Effectively most of the game is about investigating various rooms and areas to meet objectives. These objectives range from pulling levers to beating enemies. When you are holding a weapon you can swing away at the villains which is always pretty fun. The gameplay isn’t focused on the combat mechanics though so there aren’t many of them. It’s really just one swing so make sure you get used to it. There are also puzzles here, but none of them are all that annoying. Once you’ve played some of the puzzles you’ll start knowing what to expect as the game goes on.

It took me around 4 and a half hours to beat the game. Online I see that the average was 3 so this is actually one time where it took me a lot longer to beat it than the average player. That’s fine, it’s definitely not a game that you want to be rushing through anyway. There are a lot of little easter eggs all around the place and collectibles to nab. Listening to the audio recordings will help you get a better picture of the plot and story inside of the game as well. The Platinum trophy for this game doesn’t seem all that hard but you will need to play the game at least twice. I feel like the toughest trophy is definitely going to be trying to get all of the bacon soup cans though. There are just so many of them throughout the game and there is no way to see how many there are. Be prepared to play for quite a bit if you want to truly 100% the game.

As mentioned, this is a horror game so the atmosphere is clear. Fortunately this is an area that the game has on point right from the start. The factory that the lead is in is very dark and mysterious. You’re going to see a whole lot of creepy visuals throughout as Bendy and the other villains utterly wreck anyone who comes inside. It’s the kind of game where the Youtube theory videos will definitely have a field day. There’s a whole lot to unpack here and you could write essays on almost any part of the plot. I definitely enjoyed the story a lot and I’m sure you will as well. The ending of the game is perfect and there are definitely a lot of ways you can follow up on this title.

As for the characters, we’ve got a few of them running around. Naturally one of the big ones is Bendy and he is definitely a highlight. Due to the nature of the game he doesn’t appear a lot until near the end, but his scenes are definitely memorable. He’s got a great character design and makes for a solid antagonist. Then you’ve got Boris who is pretty much a Goofy homage. That guy’s probably the worst of the ink supporting characters because he’s always acting nervous and ultimately gets wrecked. He never really put up a good fight. Then you’ve got the Angel(s) who are definitely very solid. Don’t want to spoil anything with these characters, but the duality of the Angel definitely makes for a powerful role. Then you’ve got Tom who definitely doesn’t like Henry at all. The guy’s got a real axe to grind in more ways than one. Ultimately you’ll have to wonder if this guy is really trust worthy anyway.

Sammy is another big villain and he’s intense because the guy is the first big villain to show up. He commands respect and makes for a good boss fight. I like his design and the guy’s just an interesting villain. There’s also a camera enemy how is pretty tough although not Bendy level. I was actually able to defeat him the first time I ran into the guy which was pretty cool. I exploited an area that was too small for him and just kept whacking away at the guy until he went down. Trust me, that felt pretty satisfying since for the most part these guys are always kicking you around. The boss fights were definitely handled very well.

Then you’ve got the soundtrack which is very impressive. There are a lot of really solid tunes here. They definitely help to amplify the setting through and through. You need good music to really complete the world and Bendy had that on point. The graphics are also important and definitely work very well. I played about half of the game during the daytime and half at night. It’s definitely best to play at night, but works either way. This game really knows how to properly handle the jump scares and it left big shoes for the follow-up entry. We’ll see if it can match up to this one.

Overall, Bendy and the Ink Machine is one of those games that you might not have heard of before, but it’s worth taking the plunge. It’s an excellent game that is also quite original. You won’t think even for a second that this one is trying to copy another title. It’s going for a fresh take and that’s always what you want to see. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for the sequel even if i do wish it would come out as a full game right away and not using the chapter system that everyone seems to love nowadays. Be prepared for the array of jump scares!

Overall 8/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

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

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

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

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

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

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

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

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

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