Fright Night (1985) 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

Time for a classic film about a vampire and they even throw in a werewolf and a zombie creature for good measure. As you may or may not know, I’m not typically fond of vampire films. The whole drinking blood aspect is always really iffy at best and they just aren’t my kind of villains. I wouldn’t say this film is really able to escape that. It has its moments to be sure but on the whole it really just devolves into a standard title in the genre. The main characters could have definitely handled some things a bit better as well.

The movie starts with Charley getting some next door neighbors. He’s initially excited about this but this turns into terror as he realizes that his next door neighbor is a vampire. See, people have been dying recently with their blood drained and as Jerry (the vampire) isn’t very subtle, he tends to take down his victims by the window. Additionally, Charley sees him store a body in the basement. He tries to tell the cops but this doesn’t work out and now Jerry is planning his revenge. Charley will need the help of his two school friends Amy and Ed as well as the TV vampire expert known as Peter to stop this guy. Will they be enough to stop Jerry or is it already too late for them?

I do have to say that while Charley started out decently with his explanation to the cop, he really fumbled towards the end. See, when you’re accusing someone of murder, it’s best not to start talking about vampires and such. Charley seemed to know that initially but Billy (Jerry’s right hand man) goads him into talking about the vampires. This makes Charley look crazy of course and so now all he has done is let the villains know that he is on to them. It’s not a great moment for Charley in the slightest.

In general the only thing I will give Charley credit for is believing his own lies and not being fooled into thinking that Jerry is normal. He knows Jerry is a vampire after all so it would have been crazy if someone had convinced him otherwise. There are limits to what he can do as a kid but he definitely should have warned his mother Judy ahead of time more about the neighbor. By the time he does, it’s far too late and the guy has broken in the house.

Charley’s romance with Amy is also rather sub par. I don’t think that element really needed to be in the film. Amy tends to get upset at the drop of a hat and Charley is way more interested in what’s going on outside than hanging out so it’s just not the right time for either of them. Amy’s loyal as she helps Charley out even when she doesn’t actually believe him. So at least she has that going for her there, but otherwise she’s a bit forgettable and she makes it too easy for Jerry to catch her at the party. Splitting up is never a good idea even if it wasn’t intentional there.

As for Jerry, well he talks tough but his abilities aren’t quite as tough as you would expect. Charley was able to wound him with ease and the guy has so many weaknesses that he would be doomed if not for Billy. Jerry’s motivations are also the kind that I don’t like for a villain in that he wants Amy as a bride. It’s not one of the more ambitious villain plots out there, that’s for sure.

He really gets outshined by Billy who ends up being the best character in the film. I like how completely sarcastic he is to Charley right from the first scene. He openly threatens the lead and always has a big grin on his face. Considering that Jerry has to hide throughout the night, Billy is really the one doing all the work. At one point the heroes get the upper hand on Jerry only for Billy to show up and toss them to the side. After all, he isn’t a vampire so the crosses and holy water don’t work on him. It was an intense moment to be sure and he even gets a plot twist by the end.

Then there’s Charley’s friend Ed but I use the term loosely. It doesn’t actually seem like they get along very well at all. Ed also seems really unhinged from the beginning. Finally, the guy makes one of the classic horror movie blunders when he decides to go into a dark alley by himself. Keep in mind that this is a bad idea under any circumstances. Even if Ed doesn’t believe in vampires, why go through this alley? It’s an incredibly long one due to how long he was walking so this was just a bad idea all around.

As for Peter, it takes longer for this guy to show up than I would have guessed. Initially he goes through the motions of not wanting to help the characters and being scared all of the time. Finally he steps up and does well once he gets into the swing of things. The guy is an adult so it makes sense that he could actually fight a bit. Peter was definitely a fun character and the best of the heroes but you do wish that he would have acted a bit sooner. The guy just hides in his house a lot until we get near the climax.

Finally you have Charley’s mother Judy who seemed like she would be a big character initially and then sort of vanished for the whole second half of the film. The reason was she had a late shift but because of that she misses out on the movie. Too bad since now she really won’t believe anything that went on. The film has a twist ending though so make sure you stick around. It ends things off on an epic note.

Fright Night isn’t really a film that you’ll find very memorable by the time you finish it. Billy was the most iconic part with how he changed up the usual vampire storyline. It’s rare to see a main villain that actually needs a bodyguard after all. The actual vampire scenes are still net negatives with the classic blood draining. Never was a fan of that. The final Werewolf transformation back into the human form was also way too drawn out pretty much as an excuse to make the whole thing even grittier. I’d prefer a streamlined transformation myself.

The characters also just aren’t that good which hurts. Even ignoring that the romance wasn’t handled well, Charley is easily distracted by a lady he sees through the window and it’s clear that he doesn’t think about Amy at all. This isn’t exactly the reliable guy you want to have by your side and that hurts him even more as the main character.

Overall, Fright Night is a title you’ll want to skip. I’ll give the film credit for snagging this title though, it’s catchy and memorable. The kind of title you figure must have a film at this point and so a lot of people will probably end up checking this out at some point or another. That being said, it just never grows out of the shadow of being a vampire flick.

Overall 3/10

The Prodigy 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

Whenever a film has a kid as the main villain it doesn’t tend to end well. I’ve seen quite a few horror films in my time and all of the ones in this particularly sub genre just tend to be awful. Well, this one is no exception and the main character makes a really awful choice at the end of the film. It all adds up to the point where you’re just waiting for the film to breeze by.

The movie starts with a serial killer finally being caught and destroyed by the police. Before dying he is able to quickly throw his soul into the unborn baby known as Miles. Sarah gives birth to him that day and at first Miles appears to be normal. Very quickly this shell begins to fade though as he shows a lot of violent tendencies. He talks in different languages and even eavesdrops on his parents using some equipment. John thinks they should send Miles away but he can’t have that. Can the two main characters figure out what is up with Miles before he tears their marriage apart? Also, does he have any big plans aside from general violence and mayhem?

For the plans bit, in the opening scene we find out that the cops stopped the killer right before he could get the final victim. So naturally he wants to even out the score. Fortunately as a kid it should be difficult to get close enough stop her. It goes without saying that he makes for an awfully petty main villain though. The guy doesn’t have much in the way of motive either, he just wants to destroy a bunch of women. This makes him a lousy villain by all accounts.

As for the kid himself, well it’s hard to tell when Miles is even around. Based on how the killer was there since the beginning, I’d make the case that Miles was probably taken out a long time ago. You just don’t know how long this guy may have been faking it or what lies he could have told. As a result you would have to assume Miles has been a plant for a very long time.

Meanwhile, I definitely did not like Sarah as the main character. Yeah it’s a tough spot having a kid who is being mind controlled by a serial killer but she goes way too far with her big plan. See, she is told that often times the spirit will move on if his goal is accomplished. This guy’s plan is to murder the final survivor so Sarah figures if she murders this victim, then the spirit will leave. This is messed up on a lot of levels.

For one, Sarah is helping out a serial killer and 2, she’s actually targeting a victim who is completely innocent in all of this? That’s just awful, one of the worst protagonist decisions I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s just disgraceful and there’s now way to like her after that. She reacts very slowly in the climax and there’s a lot of damage that is done because of her. That’s why in the end I just have to give her a thumbs down. There are some mistakes and decisions you just can’t make.

Meanwhile John handles the situation better. While he doesn’t believe in the supernatural elements of this, his decision to get Miles out of there at least made more sense. At this point Miles was even lying about the parents and trying to frame John. Depending on how far Miles would go (I’m using the name Miles in place of the killer. I forgot that guy’s name) John would even end up in prison at some point. We see from how Miles blackmails the psychologist that he is willing to go to any lengths so I’m sure it would have happened at some point.

The Prodigy also ends on a really sour note. It has the usual horror twist to an extent as things happen quickly in the last segments, but it’s certainly not in a cool way. You don’t really expect a horror film to end on a happy note but this just felt mean spirited in a lot of ways. It really should not have gone down like this and so you’ll walk away from the movie just feeling disappointed.

There aren’t a lot of things that the characters could have done differently to stop Miles. Part of the tricky thing about having a kid as the main villain is you can’t exactly beat him up or anything like that. I would have liked them to have at least tied him up though and call in some psychics. Usually I’d disregard most of them as quacks but in a world where spirit possession is possible then that should cause you to reconsider all of the magic practitioners in the area.

Unfortunately in these things there are never any heroic ghosts out there so the main characters can expect no backup. I’ve always said that this kind of film doesn’t work and this film just furthers the notions. None of the characters are likable and it’s hard to take Miles seriously as a villain. The “suspense” in the film is really just about seeing how he’ll mess everyone over next but as they can’t do much about this, it all just feels futile.

Overall, I’d give this one a hard thumbs down. There really just isn’t anything engaging about The Prodigy. I’ll give the film props for the stylistic cover but that’s about all I can say for it. Miles gives himself away quite early on as he yells obscenities in a foreign language but even that wasn’t enough for Sarah to do anything until it was too late. Then she made the wrong call in the climax so ultimately I guess there was never any hope. The best way for the franchise to recover is a sequel where Miles is now an adult and is being hunted by some kind of spirit detectives. Now there you would have an interesting premise to get behind.

Overall 1/10

Jacob’s Ladder Review

This review’s of the 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

Jacob’s Ladder is one of those films where you know something is off with the main character from the start and you have to decide exactly what is going on before the film starts to connect the dots. It’s a pretty interesting film with some fun ideas but one that is ultimately held back by the main character who is…sub par to say the least. Get ready for a lot of panicking!

The movie starts with Jacob and his team in Vietnam getting ready for their next mission when some kind of invisible weapon appears to hit them. His allies start having seizures and are seemingly destroyed by sound vibrations. The ones who escape are taken out by bombs and gunfire. Jacob is injured but seemingly lives as we cut to the present where he’s on a train. He must have fallen asleep and missed his stop but he’s seeing some rather odd things and when he leaves the train there is no exit. He’ll have to cross to get to the other side. Everything appears to be rather dim and the colors aren’t of this world. Fortunately he does make it home to his girlfriend Jezebel.

He works a normal job at the post office but his troubles aren’t over just yet. He begins to see more and more odd things like horns growing out of people, strange visions, dreams that keep on going, people that he thought he knew the other day are dead, etc. Jacob will need to get to the bottom of this quickly because there are also people trying to murder him in hit and run attempts but nobody will believe him. Something’s fishy about all of this.

I actually thought the opening scene where Jacob wakes up in the train was the most powerful moment in the entire film. Mainly because it does feel like a dystopian moment from a video game. Everything just feels off from how the train itself looked to the old lady that wouldn’t say anything, to even the color that the camera was using for the shot. It had an elseworlds feel to it and that worked really well. With the movie being called Jacob’s ladder and all, it also made sense that he likely died at Vietnam and was now in some kind of purgatory realm.

Depending on the rules of purgatory that the film would be following, this meant that it would be almost a complete replica of Earth, but with a few added twists to make Jacob’s life a real struggle by the end. The film slowly starts to show what is actually happening by the end of the film and it’s not exactly what I thought based on the opening scene but it was a great way to open things up. Unfortunately the film just couldn’t maintain that level of success.

It slows down a whole lot once Jacob gets back home. I wasn’t nearly as interested in the whole government conspiracy angle for once. I love that stuff ordinarily but I don’t see why Jacob assumes this is from the government. I mean, as the film plays out this does start to get more and more likely but it doesn’t really connect with what he’s seeing. Jacob literally sees people with no face, people growing tails, demonic imagery, horns on people’s heads, etc. How could the government be pulling all of that off?

I think his first guess should have been that something is wrong and he should also be connecting why he can’t remember how the Vietnam mission ended. Shouldn’t that start giving him some different conclusions? Well, no matter how he got to the result, he does make some headway but of course if the government is on this then you can bet that he won’t be able to get far.

My issue with Jacobs is that he’s really not a likable main character. You feel bad for him with all of the nightmares that he constantly has, but he doesn’t help his case either. For one thing, he has dreams where his first wife is alive and of course he starts bashing his new girlfriend and being happy it was all a dream. So does he really like her or is she truly a rebound only because his wife is dead? Seems to me like the film is heavily implying that this is the latter.

My issue with Jacobs here is that he’s perfectly content in either life, whether it be the “real world” or the dream world so no matter who he is married to, he’s cool with it. Seems to me like he’s a very indecisive main character in that respect and on the whole the romance here is extremely weak. Then he just doesn’t seem very grateful to Jezebel considering how much she is helping him out. When he’s sick she quickly runs to the neighbors and gets everyone ready to help him. She puts in a ton of work and never gets any real gratitude from Jacobs.

He’s just too busy sulking or being fixated on the whole conspiracy angle and he should really be including her in all of this instead of pushing her away. If he thinks she may have been replaced with one of the demons then just get out of the area entirely but you can’t be half on the fence and half out of it on something like this. Even by the end I would make the case that Jacobs makes the wrong call in the very final scene.

As mentioned, Jezebel is a solid heroine. She has to put up with a lot from Jacobs but always seems to make the best of it. She is at least trying her best through these tough circumstances and just seems like a likable person. Then you have Louis who is a good chiropractor whose techniques seem extremely painful. He seems to be one of the only guys that Jacob really trusts. Louis seems like a good man though and does help Jacob whenever he is in a pinch.

The final main character here is Michael who shows up out of nowhere to an extent to give all of the revelations on the conspiracy plot. Honestly Jacob got really lucky with this because when he got that random phone call to go meet with him one on one that seemed like a trap under any circumstance. I would even say Jacob wasn’t smart in going there since there’s no way that should have ended well. Jacob doesn’t tend to think ahead like that though.

The film is mainly a psychological thriller as opposed to a physical one but it does tend to get a little violent when we get the Vietnam flashbacks or Jacob’s tough venture in the hospital room. Lets just say that you don’t want to find yourself being operated on my some monsters. I could do without the romance scenes as well and really the film’s biggest drawback is that it didn’t live up to the full potential. Now while the film’s end result is different from what I imagined, it still could have used a little more activity. Cut some of the scenes where Jacob is convinced that he is still in a normal world and keep up the suspenseful atmosphere of the opening scene.

Okay spoilers time. I’m going to discuss what my theory was and then what I think the film went with. It’s a little subjective and open to interpretation but this is what I got out of it. Skip the next three paragraphs if you have not watched the film yet.

So after the opening scene my theory was that Jacob died in Vietnam. His soul was sent to purgatory and he has to hopefully find his way out instead of being dragged to hell. Louis was his guardian angel who went to Purgatory to save him. An unspoken agreement in most purgatory settings is that neither the angels nor demons can tell you that you’re in purgatory and the lead must ultimately come to that revelation by himself. It would explain why the world was so weird and of course Jezebel was one of the demons with the whole party scene. It would have been interesting if the film kept this up as opposed to a more grounded explanation and all of the set up was there.

Now as to what the film actually did. So at the end of the film we learn that Jacob hadn’t actually been dead yet and was just gravely injured. So instead of purgatory it seems like the whole film was just in his mind. It wasn’t so much a battle of angels and demons as it was a battle of Jacob’s will to live and will to die. Presumably the whole government conspiracy about the team getting injected and turning on each other may have been true although I don’t think we can say that for certain. It would explain his flashbacks though and honestly its a better explanation than not having it so I would include that. As to the demon heads and flashbacks, well that could just be the drugs invading his dreams or his soul was sent to purgatory prior to death. The first explanation still works but it’s just a lot messier. Honestly I would just cut out the scene of him dying to show that he was dead the whole time. It’s like the film missed an easy layup there. The plot works perfectly if he was already dead. Him dying at the end…I mean it’s not like it can’t work but it overcomplicates the example more than necessary.

Both sides fighting over a soul when he’s near death is an established concept so it’s not bad per say I just find it far less interesting. Of course by following the kid up the stairs that meant Jacob chose death over life. If he was already dead, it would be him choosing heaven over hell. A much more powerful choice and in that case going up the stairs would be the right choice. In this case, I think life is the right choice so he should have picked that. You could make the case that the choice wouldn’t have been life, but staying in purgatory but my pushback would be that the film showing he had been alive up to that point hints that he would have stayed alive. It’s an interesting scenario to ponder and maybe it doesn’t make a lot of difference in the end. The film just could and should have been a lot more exciting than how it turned out.

End spoilers

Overall, Jacob’s Ladder is a unique film. While the first half destroys the second, I wouldn’t say it completely falls down the stairs. It has to be the first time where a government conspiracy plot wasn’t one of the best parts of the film though. It just feels like filler here and almost unnecessary. I suppose Jacob would have had less to do otherwise but I would have just thrown in some more demons and chase scenes to keep things interesting. If you want to watch effectively a darker version of Inception then this would be the one to pick but I would just say to watch Inception again instead.

Overall 3/10

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween Review


It’s been quite a while since I saw the first Goosebumps film, but now it was time to see how the sequel turned out. Slappy returns here with his biggest adventure yet. The kids will have to work hard in order to stop him and may even need Stine’s help for this round. It’s a fun Halloween title to check out and balances the action and comedy well.

The movie picks up with Sarah having trouble with her essay. She is usually good at writing but for some reason she just can’t seem to get into this assignment. Meanwhile her brother Sonny is working on a school project to demonstrate electricity but is having no luck with that either. His friend Sam suggests he takes a break on that to work on his new side job. Sam started a garbage picking up business in their name to earn some cash on the side although he has to work on his negotiating skills since he accepts the first job for free. They find a book and accidentally awaken the dummy known as Slappy. Slappy wants to just be a part of the family but does he have a hidden agenda her?

With a character like Slappy you’re always wondering if perhaps he could be on the side of the heroes if they let him into the family. Of course they have to be careful with this. The first red flag is that he wants the boys to keep him a secret from the others but also makes a lot of noises so people will notice Slappy. It’s a bit of an odd mismatch there and the main characters should have called him out on this.

Slappy quickly takes things to the extreme though as he humiliates some bullies and also beats up Sarah’s ex. The characters realize that Slappy is too dangerous for his own good and that’s really where the conflict starts. I will say Slappy definitely works as a solid villain. He really keeps the kids at bay and has a memorable laugh. It’s a catchy chuckle that you won’t forget by the time the movie is done. He may not have the same level of durability as someone like Chucky but this guy’s telepathic abilities are not to be underestimated.

Slappy summons up some minions to help him out as well but there’s never any doubt as to who is in charge. Most of the other villains don’t have much of a character. You have the store clerk who turns into a Hyde kind of monster. He’s the only other one with a role but I wasn’t a big fan of that guy. His romance with Kathy didn’t really work and felt a bit out of place in the film. As a monster he also didn’t seem quite as smart as he once was.

Stine’s role here is very small but it’s an effective one. I think the movie was having a bit of fun trolling the audience with how he is used. At the very least you won’t be forgetting his role by the time that it’s done which does show how memorable it was. The supporting character who really stole the show here was Mr. Chu. Chu takes all of the holidays extremely serious including Halloween. The guy has a whole army’s worth of costumes in his house and you feel a bit bad in how nobody really gives him any attention.

It’s clear that he would like someone to check out what he’s done with the place but the characters don’t give him the time of day until their lives are literally at stake. I thought they were a bit rude to be honest but Chu doesn’t take it personally and still helps them out the whole time. Definitely the kind of neighbor that you would want to have around when the city is in crisis mode.

As for the main characters, it’s a reasonable cast although I wouldn’t say I was a big fan of any of them. You have Sarah with her writing block issues and she isn’t the most responsible babysitter until she is betrayed by someone at school and then learns to put family above the others. She lands a good hit on Slappy and is more ready for physical confrontations than the other characters so she gets some points there.

Kathy is a bit oblivious to what is going on the whole time but granted, it is hard to jump to the conclusion that there are a bunch of monsters out there trying to take over the town. It is more sensible to think that they are all just wearing costumes as normal. After she is captured though I would have liked to have seen a little more urgency from her. Ultimately Kathy really goes down without a fight.

Then you have Sonny who is completely scared of Slappy right off the bat. I know a talking dummy is rather spooky but your best bet is absolutely rushing him and landing some quick combos before he can activate his tk abilities. Whether this is DBZ, One Punch Man, or Mob Psycho, overwhelming a mental specialist with physical blows is always the best way to stop this kind of fighter. Sonny just stays on the defensive the whole time which costs him. He also isn’t as pro active as Sam is in regard to earning money or even doing anything really.

When the bullies show up, Sonny is quick to surrender immediately while at least Sam is ready to fight back. So Sam gets a higher score here without a doubt. Sure he may not win the fight with the bullies but standing up to them is a very important first step. Now with the character critiques you do have to factor in that the movie is part comedy so of course the characters don’t tend to make the right moves a lot. Whether it’s a comedy or a thriller though, I’m still taking these decisions into account.

Slappy has the absolute edge in terms of ability an character over all of the heroes combined. They are really lucky that he didn’t pull out the win here because that very easily could and dare I say should have happened. There just isn’t any counter to him so as long as he keeps his guard up there isn’t anything they can do.

The film flies by very quickly and the pacing is on point. I was cool with the writing and while it isn’t earth shattering or anything, it was solid. I liked the various monster designs we got. The standout there had to be the gummy bear creatures. I liked the teamwork they used and their abilities are also versatile enough where you can see how they would be one of the more terrifying enemies to go up against. The first film has the edge in how sinister the designs were (The Werewolf was played more seriously in that film than any monster in this one) but this one went a little more all out with how crazy these creatures could be. It isn’t taken as seriously but there’s a lot of variety over here.

Overall, Goosebumps 2 is a pretty solid film. It makes for a pleasant watch and there are really no negatives here. The main cast may not be great but this is the kind of film where you are here for the villains anyway to see how they can scare the heroes at any point. The movie also has a true twist ending like a horror film and it sets up the third movie nicely. It’s really the perfect way to end the film and even if we don’t get a third film you can certainly imagine how things will go from here. I think it’s clear that it will be difficult or almost impossible to stop this threat.

Overall 7/10

Scream 4 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

Scream 4 brings the gang back for another survival adventure. Usually I’d wonder why the main character hasn’t moved out of town already but she actually did so I have to give her credit there. It’s just bad luck that she has to go back to the town once more and of course things don’t go very well. It’s nostalgic seeing the characters return once more and the series is definitely as meta as ever.

The movie starts with two different fakeouts as characters get bumped off left and right only for us to find out that they were movies within movies. It’s pretty interesting how this plays out and one reason I’m glad the first one was a movie is because otherwise opening the door made no sense. You’ve got a crazy guy calling you on the phone and then there’s a knock on the door. The girl asks who it is and there’s no response. Why would you possibly open the door at that point? It just doesn’t seem like a good idea in the slightest and I think that’s the point of the scene. If that was real then you’d be shaking your head the whole time.

Back to the real plot, it’s the 15th anniversary of all the deaths from the original Scream. A bunch of students decide to celebrate this for some reason and it’s basically become an entire holiday over there. Unfortunately a new Ghostface has appeared and has slowly started to bump everyone off. Unfortunately for Sidney this is happening right after she has returned for a minute. Now that she is here there is no way to leave since she is also a suspect in these killings.

Dewey is now the sheriff so at least she has a familiar face here. He orders Sidney to stay in the same house as Jill and a few of the other teens who could be the next victim. Some are happy to have Sidney on board while others are not since death tends to follow her around. Meanwhile Gale is being blocked out of the police investigation so she decides to try and find some clue on her own. Will she be able to solve this case in time?

One of Scream’s strongest elements has always been the character cast. The fact that the characters keep on returning is impressive because they keep their character development and as a result you have some characters that are actually likable which is extremely rare in the slasher genre. It might take out a bit of the tension since at this point you don’t see any of the big 3 dying, but it’s nice to have some core characters that you can follow around.

Sidney was at her best in the third film with how tired of this she was. It was nice seeing her be on the offensive with the Ghostface the whole time and this one picks up where she left off. She’s older but still ready to throw down with the villain and actually has a good win in their first confrontation. A bit of super speed is all that saved Ghostface from being taken down early on. Sidney isn’t telepathic and can’t be around constantly to save everyone, but she does really well and appears as the bravest character in the film.

Gale also looked really good as she quickly tried to wrap this case up. She goes undercover, finds the clues, and generally does a good job. She may not have Sidney’s fighting experience but she’s still always ready to help. Really the only member of the original 3 who doesn’t look very good here is Dewey. It’s hard to cut him as much slack this time. Being overpowered and outsmarted the whole time?

That’s fine, the issue is with Dewey suddenly trying to box Gale out of the case. Keep in mind that they’re married. Sure, she isn’t a police officer but there’s a mass murderer on the loose so you could really use everyone that you can get right? Not to mention that Gale isn’t some random expendable, she’s been through this before and would be really helpful.

Then you’ve got that new officer Judy who is flirting with him the whole time and he’s pretty much oblivious to the whole thing. Without being rude I think he could have taken a much tougher stance with her particularly when she’s trying to mess with Gale. Dewey shouldn’t be letting that slide. He looks awful in the climax but that’s more the Dewey you’ve come to expect so that part’s fine. He always was the weakest out of the 3 even if he means well.

For the new characters, well there’s Judy as I mentioned. She gives a few good jump scares and has a previous history with Sidney so that throws her onto the suspect list. As always with the Scream films you’ve got quite a few suspects to get through which is part of the fun. Can you guess who the killer is among these members? Judy certainly has the motive and resources to pull this off.

Jill gets a big role as the main teenager from the new generation. The whole Ghostface craze annoys her to the extreme and that makes this town a rather tough place to be. Her ex Trevor is also hounding her around but Jill is on bad terms with him since he cheated her. Don’t blame her for keeping him out since cheating destroys any trust in the relationship for good. Fortunately her friends are supportive. Of course, what better way to end the craze then to start it up again so the modern gen takes it seriously?

Then there’s Olivia who seems nice enough. While her role isn’t quite as large as the others, she lives right next door which is convenient and seems to be one of the most popular girls at school so she has a lot of contact. This location would allow her to get past the cops (Which don’t look very impressive to say the least) so it’s a good staging ground for Ghostface.

Kirby is the tough member of the crew who doesn’t let herself get intimidated by the murders. She still goes to murders as normal and basically does things at her own pace. On one hand that bravery is impressive even if it might be reckless but maybe she has good reason to be brave right? She seems to have the most fun out of all the characters, that’s for sure.

Trevor is the guy who is shown to be so ultra suspicious in every scene that it makes you wonder if the film is trying to be extra slick by actually having him be Ghostface. He jumps through the window of Jill’s house even when the place is supposed to be totally secured by the police and he is always finding the front doors “unlocked” so he just walks in whenever he wants. Not a likable guy to be sure and this makes him rather intimidating.

Finally you have Charlie and Robbie. They head up the school’s film club and are naturally very into the current situation. They watch the Stab series quite a lot and are the ones hosting the party so naturally it seems like they are blowing off the current situation. They’re both quite unlikable though with Charlie always hoping that Kirby will like him but in a really desperate way while Robbie is just focused on getting his life on film. They both seem a bit unhinged in different ways.

I would actually say this film felt a little less violent than the prior installments. It’s a bit relative as this is a slasher of course but most of the deaths are relatively straight forward. You don’t have people painlessly dying slowly or being ripped to shreds. Virtually every death here is just from being stabbed. I dunno, it felt more tame than usual as the focus was more on the investigation which is a nice change of pace. It might not change much in the long run but it continues to give Scream points for being a more thoughtful slasher series than the rest.

Scream 4’s writing is also unique. The characters are constantly discussing what it is like to be in a horror film and as a result they won’t fall for the usual tricks that get a lot of people. I like this part because if you are in the middle of a mass murder scenario in the real world you’ll be giving this a lot of thought. Even if you don’t watch films, you’ll know enough about them to avoid doing obvious things like entering the park late at night or keeping the front door unlocked. Parts of the meta vibe from the film may feel over the top but I do feel like a lot of the dialogue here really could work which is good. In the end the strongest part of the film is just that the characters are rather decent. They still have their iffy moments like when a character gets drunk and starts off a random affair but for the most part they keep their cool. As much as the characters talk about being horror pros though, they still end up being caught rather easily at times though.

Overall, Scream 4 works well as a sequel. Try to see if you can guess the correct murderer in time before the film ends. This movie certainly holds up with the original trilogy, even surpassing the original if you ask me. The original characters really got their respect here and the meta aspect of the series was handled well. Having two fake outs to start the movie is a really bold choice that I can respect. It’s hard to picture very many films pulling that off. The actual villain is also a step up from some of the other Ghostfaces that we’ve seen in the past. Not a great villain but the motivation was a lot more interesting than previous ones.

Overall 4/10

The Fly (1986) 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

The Fly is one of those films that starts out reasonably well but once the whole fly aspect enters the film then it starts to stumble quite a bit. The fly angle takes a while to show up but you wish it didn’t and instead just kept going as an interesting sci-fi drama. I suppose you couldn’t call the film “The Fly” at that point though so you’d need a new name.

The movie starts off with Ronnie at a party where she is trying to get a scoop on the latest inventions. Unfortunately there is nothing here that’s very interesting. A mysterious guy named Seth shows up and informs her that he has one of the greatest inventions of all time. She has to come to his place to see it though since he wants to keep this a secret. Ronnie agrees and it turns out that he has created a teleportation device. This is revolutionary but the issue is he can’t teleport people yet, only objects. Ronnie figures this is good enough to report on so she ignores Seth’s wishes and quickly tells her boss Stathis. Stathis doesn’t believe her though. Seth asks her to hold off this time until he perfects it and she agrees, but will this invention actually end up changing the world?

Seth’s certainly a genius to come up with this invention, that’s for sure. He is quite greedy in wanting to wait until it has been perfected though as just teleporting objects would already be huge. Think of how you could move food around, supplies, etc. You would really change the world in no small way. It goes without saying that any kind of teleportation device in the real world would be absolutely massive.

Unfortunately the dark history of this invention quickly starts to become apparent. For one thing, Seth was running experiments on animals which is as unethical as it gets. You should never experiment on animals or any sentient life. Stick to plants and then if you have to go further, voluntary humans who know the risks, but not innocent animals. At that point Seth was already too far gone to be saved.

We then see that he is quite petty and head strong as he goes through the invention just because he was upset at Ronnie potentially being with someone else. I mean, she made it clear that she was ending an old affair so if he just doesn’t believe her then their relationship was never going to work anyway. Seth’s just not a great guy and this ends up being his undoing. Everything that happens to him in the film is a direct result of actions he took.

Naturally that takes us to the Fly aspect of the film. It seems to affect his emotions almost immediately as he won’t listen to reason and starts rambling a lot. It’s unfortunate because this prevents him from actually realizing the issue here and how to correct it. His computer seems exceptionally advanced so I like to think there would have been an easy way to reverse the process otherwise. Just retool the settings to remove the fly dna or something like that. If it can be merged so quickly it could probably be separated as well. One idea I had was to merge with a fly repellant which could do the trick here. A side effect is maybe you could shoot out bursts of raid.

In the end though, I just didn’t like Seth. Whether it was the Fly dna or not, he was just completely unreasonable. Once he became the Fly he becomes your classic horror villain who just wants to cause carnage and destruction. He’s quite selfish in his motivations at the end and his final plan just doesn’t make sense. He was simply too far gone at that point to really go back.

Then you have Ronnie who is an okay heroine but not as good as she could be. For starters it was iffy that she was going to run to the paper and exploit Seth’s research when he asked her not to. Sure she was expecting a story but maybe she could negotiate something instead of just burning that bridge right away. If he did end up changing history so drastically, wouldn’t you want to be on his side for that? It doesn’t seem like a smart move to make him your enemy.

Finally you have Stathis who is an annoying character the whole time. He used to have an affair with Ronnie and never got over her after they broke up. He follows and pesters her the entire movie and even resorts to blackmail. The film tries to show him as more of a hero by the end but it’s just way too late for that. I’m glad he stepped up and tried to help but in no way does that make him a good character.

The film certainly had an issue with the romance throughout though. It just wasn’t very good. It was all rushed and not all that realistic. The whole time you know it’s just moving way too fast and again, Seth was way too quick to get jealous. He just didn’t trust her which is a huge red flag. That’s not really what destroys the movie though. It’s just how gross the film is and it also manages to throw in some animal violence.

We see what goes wrong when an animal is put in the machine and you have to remember that Seth knew exactly what would happen since he had done this before and only did it again to show Ronnie the effects. That means he destroyed another animal for no reason. It’s certainly a rough way to go out too as the whole procedure looks really painful. Then you have his transformation into the Fly and how he has to vomit on everything. It’s a form of acid that also works as an attack but it’s certainly not a fun one to look at. The film really prioritizes being as gross as possible over the actual story.

Overall, The Fly is a film that you should definitely skip. It can’t quite match up to the original version which is what you should watch instead. This one just goes too far with all of the imagery and throwing in the animal was completely unnecessary. The concept is interesting and you can make a good film out of that but you would definitely need a full redesign of the Fly itself which would be a good starting point.

Overall 2/10

The Blair Witch Project 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

The Blair Witch Project is definitely a very well known movie. Just about anyone who is familiar with the horror genre will likely have heard of this film at some point or another. It really got the whole found footage genre on the map in the first place. That said, it also plays out how you would expect with every single character being super unlikable and obnoxious the whole time. They crack under pressure almost instantly here.

There are only 3 important characters in the entire film so that makes them all the more crucial to the film being good. Basically Heather wants to investigate this mysterious Blair Witch and so her two friends Mike and Josh agree to go with her into the woods. It’s supposed to be a relatively small area so at least they won’t get lost right? Well, after a day of hiking they try to make their way back but can’t seem to leave the forest. They keep finding themselves back at the start only there is some scary imagery awaiting them each time. At night they hear sounds as if there are people running around. Have they already entered the Witch’s labyrinth?

From the start I don’t think it was a great plan to look into the whole Blair Witch angle. I mean, put it this way, what can they possibly learn about the witch? There’s the old crime that some townspeople mentioned where a guy kidnapped a bunch of kids and murdered them all. It seems like that may have somehow turned into the witch legend but even then, what are you going to find in the forest? Realistically you’re either going to find nothing or you’re going to find a supernatural entity and will be destroyed. In no scenario will this go favorably for you.

Back to the journey though, this reminds you why you have to be very careful when choosing your travelling companions. It’s one thing to have friends that you’re cool with during the day but how will they handle high pressure situations? Not very well in this case although all 3 characters are really at fault here.

First up you have Heather who insists on holding her camera at all times no matter how much the others beg her not too. It’s clear that this is just distressing them more and more but she will not put it down. Mike at least even asks not to be filmed on many occasions but she flat out ignores him and continues to do it anyway. That’s not good for keeping everyone agreeable with each other. Throw in the constant panicking and I definitely didn’t like her as the main character.

Not to say that the others were much better at all though. You have Mike who starts to crack before Josh. He is really stressed out about going home and is determined for Heather to admit that they’re completely lost. He’s really obsessed about this point which isn’t going to help their cause. Yeah Heather should have admitted that she was winging it the whole time but forcing her to admit that shouldn’t be at the top of their priorities. Then at the end you have Mike running off on his own a lot which puts them in a bad spot. You have to stick together at that point.

Then you have Josh who really can’t help but panic at all times. He starts singing nonsense, running out of the tent, etc. He puts them in a lot of the danger here. While I said that Heather should put the camera down, it’s still no excuse for Josh to be completely cracking the way that he is. He really needed to keep his head. This trio was really just bad at survival and I wouldn’t be surprised if they really were just running in circles the whole time.

If anything it would have been better if we stuck to the townsfolk interviews as the main plot. Those guys all seemed a bit crazy but at least they were more sensible than these three teenagers. Now I know you got to have a lot of panicking and such for drama but imagine three adults thrown into this situation instead. No panicking, none of that. Just a few rational people trying to figure out what needs to happen next. I think the “Blair Witch” would have a much more difficult time in this case.

I’ve never been a fan of the shaky camera direction in a film and this is no exception. Traditional camerawork will just always be superior to me. I want to see what is happening at all times and be able to see what’s going on. With this setup you have to hope that the characters can aim straight and with how they’re being terrorized by the witch the whole time and their own fears…well that’s a tall order. That means you miss out on a whole lot of the action which is no good.

Overall, The Blair Witch Project ends about how you would expect it too. It’s a very by the books kind of movie and I suppose at the time it was original but it feels like every found footage movie goes in the same way. What’s my interpretation of the ending? Josh took them down real quick. I’m less inclined to believe the supernatural elements this time just because there’s too much room for doubt. Usually in these things it’s clear that the witch is real but each of the supernatural elements is something that one of the gang could have done. My primary suspect is Josh and the rest was just paranoia on the part of the heroes. It’s fairly tame for a horror and so it’s not a tough watch but the characters are just soooooooooo annoying. That’s what is really going to hold this movie back for me. I just can’t picture watching the movie again.

Overall 4/10

Eyes Without a Face Review


When you’ve got a title like this you know that something’s going to be happening to someone’s face. It certainly builds up the sense of dread as you wonder what’s going to happen next. The film is definitely going for an ominous feel as there are long stretches of silence but ultimately the film just doesn’t land and I would give this one a thumbs down.

The movie starts with Louise tossing a body into the river on behalf of Genessier so nobody will suspect a thing. See, Genessier’s daughter was in a bad accident a while back and so her face is quite disfigured. He has decided to try getting someone else’s face to use in her place but no luck yet. Each face just hasn’t worked and he aims to continue performing these experiments. The cops notice that girls are going missing but they have no leads at present. Can they figure out what is going on before more bodies continue to pile up?

It’s your classic evil scientist scenario here with Genessier trying to justify what he is doing in the name of science and helping his daughter but the guy’s just crazy. He doesn’t feel anything with murdering all of these innocent bystanders and was also running experiments on his dogs. Definitely checks off all the boxes for this kind of insane villain. You’re just hoping the heroes can put an end to him before too much goes on.

While this isn’t the kind of film that has a lot of deaths or anything like that, we do get a rather brutal surgical scene where someone’s face is removed. That almost seems out of place in what is otherwise a very tame film. It certainly sets the stage for how this guy is insane though. You’ll want to tune out for this moment but otherwise there aren’t many other intense moments like that. Someone does jump off of a building (Well more like pushed) at one point though and we see the aftermath.

It goes without saying that Genessier just doesn’t make for a great villain because we’ve seen a million evil scientists before and most of them were more interesting. The goal of wanting to help his daughter could have made him more interesting but that plot point isn’t played up as much as it could have been. If anything this seems more like an excuse and Genessier was going to do whatever he wanted anyway. This just gave him his justification for going the extra mile.

Christiane is the daughter in question and she’s had a rough time of it because her face was severely injured after the car crash. She seems to have lost a lot of her empathy over time though as she just watches Genessier murder these innocent women. She finally steps up near the end of the flick which was good but it was just so late into the game.

Meanwhile you have Jacques who was engaged to Christiane but believes her to be dead after Genessier framed that situation. He comes in handy since he is the one who starts to tip off the police but unfortunately he doesn’t have a lot of evidence and doesn’t investigate the situation as much as he should have. If not for Christiane taking the situation into her own hands then he ultimately wouldn’t have ended up helping out all that much.

Louise is Genessier’s right hand woman and she is certainly devoted to the cause of helping him out. No matter how corrupt he gets, she is willing to do the dirty work. We learn that he helped heal her face in the past but you’d like to think that she would have still stopped him once he became a mass murderer. Devotion being placed into the wrong person is always quite tragic. No excuses for her, she’s just as guilty as he is.

Finally you have Paulette who is used as bait by the police to try and see what’s going on here. Unfortunately they don’t do a very good job of this. It’s always a bit irritating when you use someone as bait but don’t actually have someone around to help if things go sideways. They didn’t think to have at least one officer outside to make sure that she got home all right? That seems like a really big oversight into the entire plan. By all accounts Paulette would have been dead if there wasn’t some outside help.

The Inspector loses some points there but otherwise he was a fun character. In a way he reminded me of Poirot, not just because their names were similar but he had those kinds of mannerisms too. The guy seemed to know what he was doing so the plan being so bad was an outlier I suppose. Ideally this would have made the doctor even more of a suspect later on but by then it would just be too late.

This film goes through the motions of being an evil scientist film and the pacing is decent, but ultimately I would not say that it was a good movie. The surgery scene is iffy and seeing the before and after pictures of the face can also be a bit disturbing. The Doctor gets away with a whole lot here and while it was nice to see him taken down by the dogs at the end, you feel like he got away with way too much before the film was over.

I will give the film credit in one area though which is that the soundtrack was actually rather decent. There’s a circus theme that plays several times during the film and it’s actually the villain theme. You wouldn’t really guess that at first since it seems so upbeat but maybe that’s to show just how shady these villains really are. That to them, murder and kidnapping is as normal a thing as going to a circus. Perhaps that is reading too much into it though.

Overall, Eyes Without a Face is one of those films that reiterates why you must not lower your guard too much around strangers. If someone asks to show you a possible place to live and then tells you to get into the car…it’s not a good idea. Going anywhere at the drop of a hat when nobody knows where you are going is not a good idea. It was a safer time in this era but at the same time it’s why so many crimes would happen. Based on how easily the characters would follow total strangers, it seems like people were too relaxed. Give this film a pass and check something else out instead.

Overall 3/10

Alien: Covenant 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

It’s time to take a look at the final Alien film on the block. It’s the film to end the franchise so this should be pretty intense right? Well, it definitely brings back the Xenomorphs which is cool and it continues on with a lot of the story elements from Prometheus. That said, some questionable decisions near the end shoot the momentum that the film had going for it.

The movie starts with a quick flashback scene where David effectively threatens his creator by talking about his eternal life and all that. The creator looks shook but still manages to keep his cool. In the present, the android Walter is overseeing a new ship known as the Covenant which is on a mission to land on a planet where humans can colonize again. Unfortunately a solar flare knocks the ship for a loop so Walter is forces to wake up members of the crew.

Naturally they aren’t too happy about this and take shots at Walter…of course. The captain burned up in his pod so now we have to have a replacement leader known as Christopher who is determined to get off on the wrong foot with everyone. Not only does he forbid a funeral for the very well liked captain but he is on a major power trip right off the bat. Yeah this is definitely not the kind of guy that you want in your corner. A human signal is received from a nearby planet that hints there may be life there. Christopher decides to land here instead of the safe planet that was previously scouted out and while there is some opposition, he makes a command decision.

A scouting party lands on this planet but shortly afterwards their craft is destroyed so they’re stranded here. The main ship won’t be able to dock for a few days due to the storm so now the heroes have to try and survive on this planet for a while. It’s filled with alien creatures though and the mysterious David has returned from the first film. Is he friend or foe? Can they really trust him? The heroes will have to think about this carefully because otherwise they’re going to be in a tough spot if they guess wrong.

This is definitely one sequel that’s doing its best to be bigger than the last one. Sequels have a rep of trying to outdo the last ones after all and this lives up to it. That does mean that the violence is at an all time high though. I would consider this to be the most violent Alien film although it’s probably close. As always the characters are completely slaughtered here once the aliens show up. They just don’t stand a chance and the thing is, you know this. There’s no way out for the humans to fight back especially without proper gear.

The chestbursters are back of course, definitely still the most vicious of the creatures. One character in particular acts like a bit of a sucker with how he approaches one though. Why put your face so close? I don’t care what the other characters say I wouldn’t be going near that thing. So if you want to avoid the ultra violence you’d want to skip this one right off the bar.

Then there is also David who was my favorite character in Prometheus but my least favorite one here. The film’s going for a very philosophical angle with his character but one that doesn’t work. He was a crafty villain in the first film to be sure but in this one he discusses the difference between androids and humans and tries to be all high concept. What it boils down to though is him trying to be as immoral as possible as that’s what it takes to be one of the creators. The scene with him and Walter, then him and Katherine are both pretty awful. This guy suddenly turns into a Sword Art Online villain and while the guy may lack emotions on the surface, I would say he’s developed them by this point with how he gets upset.

They just changed him from being a cool villain who enacts his plans in secret to one that is a lot bolder but more in a demented way. I wasn’t a fan of how that played out. He still is in the best scene of the film though when Walter shows up for round 2 and they have a fight. I didn’t expect there would be a fight between androids in an Alien film but that worked out quite nicely. It was a good battle that really went back and forth.

David does also add a lot of suspense into the film. As the only survivor on the planet you’ll be wondering what happened to Elizabeth and also how he has survived for so long. You’ll likely start figuring out the answers to that pretty quickly. There is an interesting flashback with the Engineers as well which was intense. In a way the humans from Prometheus may have been right about them creating humanity although to this day I still find their assumptions to have been rather large ones. They could have just been a random species that visited Earth a bunch of times right? Either way their planetary defenses need a lot of work.

The humans aren’t always great at being prepared for things either though. In Prometheus at least they waited to take off their suits and masks until they did a readout of the air. In this film they take off the suits almost immediately and surprise…one of them gets contaminated by a nearby plant that gets into his system. I mean that should be basic protocol for visiting a new planet right? Who knows what kinds of flus, bugs, and such this place would have. It felt a little lazy on their part. You’d expect better from the last hope of humanity.

As mentioned earlier, Walter makes for a fun character. This time we have an android who doesn’t have as much emotions and such so he is a bit more trustworthy. Like in the first film I feel like the characters are a bit antagonistic to him for no reason but it’s not quite as drastic. Walter shrugs off the blows and keeps going though. He does well against the alien in one skirmish although I feel like he should have taken more of an active role in the battles and that would have helped the team out a lot.

Meanwhile you have the new lead Katherine who is a solid character. She thinks this is a bad idea from the start and it’s hard to blame her since this planet has a huge storm going on and seems ultra suspicious. Once they’re on the island it’s not like there is a whole lot that she can do so she gets credit for doing her best.

Then you have Christopher who is just impossible to like here. He does a really poor job of giving out orders as the captain. He puts people in unnecessary danger and splitting up the crew so soon wasn’t a good idea. I was a much bigger fan of Tennessee who always put doing the right thing ahead of the rules. He would have made for a much better captain. Even once he loses his primary reason for dashing to the planet, he doesn’t hesitate to hurry as much as he can. This was a guy who was in control of his emotions.

A lot of the other characters were really below average though. First you have the two characters who figure it’s the best time to quickly have a shower affair even though they’re on an alien planet. Seems like just a really quick way to throw in some fanservice and both characters had huge red flags the whole time. Then you have the member of staff who locks in one of the girls with the creature. By the time she opens the door it’s naturally too late. Not only did this character choke under pressure but she made sure that someone else died as well which makes this mistake even worse.

I was just not a big fan of the characters here. That may be intentional to a point so you don’t feel bad when the aliens wreck them all but even in a horror film I think you should try to have a good main cast. The main positive here would be that it’s nostalgic to see the Xenomorphs. They look as fierce as ever and maybe even a bit stronger than they used to be. The sheer strength one of them had even as a baby was really impressive.

Then the film does have a really effective ending. You feel bad for any survivors because things are probably not going to go very well for them. In these films it’s often best to die quickly and painlessly early on because the more you survive the worse things get. Horror films should always have some kind of twist and this one was handled really well.

Overall, Alien: Covenant is probably the most intense installment in the series which is really saying something at this point. It makes for an interesting survival mission at times but the first half really destroys the second. Initially landing on the planet and trying to survive is always compelling. The second half devolves more into everyone just getting ripped apart or being played for fools. If you can get past the violence and are a big Alien fan then you’ll enjoy this one but otherwise it’s time to abandon ship!

Overall 1/10

Prometheus 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

Prometheus is a film that I saw the trailer for more times than I can count. It just kept playing for every film in theaters and it always had a very ominous vibe. Creating a prequel to the alien franchise in general is a very move since the series is so well known for how cryptic and mysterious it is. This was definitely a very bold move and while it is interesting to see how the aliens were first developed, I don’t think the attempt was ultimately successful as you need Aliens in an alien film.

The movie starts off with a crew aboard the Prometheus getting ready to land on a planet to ideally meet their creators. They have a theory that the creators are here using some symbols from cave paintings. The evidence may seem flimsy but it’s the future so why not right? Meredith is the daughter of the guy who funded this expedition and she reminds them not to engage with any aliens they might meet and this is just a mission about exploring. She doesn’t think they will find anything though. Little does she realize that the team is about to run into something extremely dangerous.

Watching films like this where the heroes are stuck in space reminds me why I would never want to go on such an expedition. I’m quite fine on Earth and you have to be able to trust everyone 100% while in space. That seems like a difficult task for me because everyone always seems this close to cracking in these things. It doesn’t take long for the pressure to get to the characters after all.

In this movie the standout character is an android named David. Almost everyone on the crew seems to despise him because he isn’t human which I have to say does make them seem like jerks. David shrugs off the insults though and usually has a counter blow of his own. He makes for a very interesting character as it is hard to get a read on him. It’s also this trait that makes the humans distrust him as well. As the film goes on he continues to get more and more sinister.

The guy’s very interesting though and helps bring that horror element into the equation. At the same time, his super strength would be a good asset for fighting off these creatures. The only character who is actually kind to him is Elizabeth. She treats him like a real person and he saves her life at one point so she is grateful for that. Elizabeth is the real main character of the film. She’s definitely no Ripley but does well enough. She wants to get off of the island early on which was the right move but unfortunately the group doesn’t have such plans.

A strong positive for the film is also the impressive soundtrack. Not only is it the best soundtrack in the alien franchise but it’s one of the most impressive horror soundtracks I’ve heard. Aside from Resident Evil I’m not sure if any would beat it. The music is really grand and hammers home the surreal feeling of being on an alien planet. At all times you have some great tracks going so at least you will be having fun on the journey.

The movie does make the usual mistakes when it comes to alien films like this though. The violence is quite over the top with everyone getting destroyed once the aliens come out. The deaths tend to be quite painful as well as you have the chest bursters showing up as always and the aliens like to destroy the humans from the inside out. Much like the Carnage scene in the recent Venom movie, they tend to go in through the mouth at times with their attacks. I’d definitely rather they go for more conventional kills like with a bite or something instead.

Aside from Elizabeth and David, the cast isn’t all that good either. Meredith is basically just on the mission to prove herself as a high ranking officer but she doesn’t do a whole lot. Ironically I would say she had one of the most painless deaths in the film though. Surely getting squashed by thousands of tons of steel in an instant is better than living with an alien incubation or being torn to shreds right?

There’s Peter who is the old man in charge of the mission but the guy really should have known better than to come to this planet. There was a flaw in the plan all along. So the characters believe that humanity was created by a race of aliens and then abandoned to fend for themselves. Given this…why would the aliens be happy to see us? It should come as no surprise to see that they would be quite aggressive and that didn’t go over very well.

These guys are called the Engineers and it’s an interesting concept. So they are basically like androids that are more powerful than humans and have a good amount of geniuses on their team. That said, I think the film is trying to point out that creatures will always surpass electronics and so these guys don’t last too long against a creature. It opens the door for interesting side stories and maybe some Engineers vs Predator battles. I would assume the Predators would win that but it would be a fun fight.

The Engineer doesn’t do a lot and basically refuses to talk but this does make them an interesting enemy. There are a few more members of the crew but you already know that most of them aren’t going to survive. You’ve got the gung ho guy who is all set to learn about humanity but he’s quite mean to David which doesn’t bode well for him. You have the loud complainer who doesn’t even want to be here and the timid guy who is in over his head. Naturally things don’t go well for them.

There is one more likable character in Janek though. He’s the captain of the ship and knows when not to take orders from corporate. He’s willing to take big risks to help the characters and readily puts himself into harm’s way. I liked his determination and without him the Earth would have been in a lot of trouble. He gets some good credit for that and additionally even when he gets a lot of bad news, he never breaks down or cracks. He just keeps on going.

Overall, I’d say that the idea behind the prequel wasn’t bad. Seeing the start of how the aliens form is interesting but it also means that we don’t get to see any real aliens until the very end of the film which is really a shame. Classic Xenomorphs easily have some of the best designs in all of sci-fi. It’s really hard to top them and these little amoeba creatures don’t have the same impact. If you throw away a lot of the usual violence and everything then this could have been better but as it stands, it just isn’t able to break out into its own.

Overall 2/10