Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Billy The Kid vs Dracula Review


It’s time to look at a really old crossover. It’s definitely not a pairing that you would expect. I’d say that it works pretty well, but as expected Dracula does drag Billy down quite a bit. It’s just hard to make a good film involving a vampire and this one really seals the deal there. The film was so close to at least avoiding the animal violence curse, but it couldn’t help itself. It’s not too surprising since Dracula always goes after the livestock, but it hurts the experience all the same. The character cast isn’t the strongest either.

The film starts off with Dracula showing up and murdering a lady who forgot to open her hand to show off the cross. He then catches a break when Betty’s uncle dies and assumes his identity. He has decided to make Betty his bride and starts preparing this devious plan. Fortunately for Betty she has a friend known as Billy The Kid. He used to be an infamous outlaw, but now he works for the common good. The mother of one of the victims is named Eva and she warns Billy that the uncle is actually Dracula. Billy tries to convince Betty of this, but she won’t hear it. How could her uncle…who she has never seen before, actually be a bad guy? She trusts him implicitly and even allows him to talk tough to her maid. (Eva quickly got a position as a maid) As Betty is a pushover Dracula only needs to worry about Billy now. What can a gun kid do against the king of vampires though?

This film definitely does has its share of fun moments so that does help it surpass the usual Dracula fare. For starters, Billy is a fun character even if he is a little too timid and tends to beat around the bush. Once he had a good feeling that the uncle was evil he should have done more about it. Why give Betty the dangerous mission of constantly antagonizing Dracula if Billy really thinks that he wants to do her harm. Wouldn’t it be safer to go after Dracula himself? Also, Billy’s real confident which is good, but he does not have the skills to back this up.

When he fights with the bully he actually gets completely defeated. I have to admit that I was actually pretty shocked by this. It’s just super rare for the lead to just get owned like that. Then even after the doctor was right about literally everything he decides not to believe her when she says that bullets won’t work on Dracula. This leads to another really embarassing moment for the lead as he goes into Dracula’s lair and gets owned. I like really confident leads of course, but you just can’t afford to be getting wrecked like that.

It does lead to a very interesting scene where we find out that Dracula may be immune to bullets but not to the actual gun. Yeah…this doesn’t make any sense but we can roll with it. Dracula gets completely laid out by the hit to the point where he can’t react when Billy puts a stake through him. Ah well, I’d hold it against Dracula more, but this version of him wasn’t all that imposing anyway. Lets put it this way, multiple characters actively work to sabotage him and he never even murders them. I’m glad for Eva and her husband of course, but why wouldn’t Dracula murder them? They kept laying traps (Okay..not “they” the guy did absolutely nothing in the whole film) for him and telling Betty that he was evil. Taking them out is basically villain 101.

Also, Dracula’s hypnosis is at least one power that he’s still got. You’d think that it would be super effective but Betty is actually able to counter it. At one point when they are in the carriage he makes the face and stares at Betty. It is working for a few seconds until she blinks (Finally, someone realized the trick to stopping him!) and suddenly is back to her senses. You’ll have a hard time finding a weaker Dracula than this one. He has teleportation, but never uses it well and even his super strength feels pretty meager compared to usual. When he gets Billy in the choke hold it takes a while to defeat him. I also wonder what the point of the bat outside was since when Dracula died he turned into a mummy anyway and then the bat died outside. Hmmm.

As I’ve hinted, I didn’t like Betty though. You’d think that she would trust her fiance…who she planned to marry in a few days more than a random uncle that she has never seen before right? The fact that Dracula has any say in her household is beyond crazy. Then he literally puts her under house arrest later on. Betty never actually looks out for herself and comes across as unreasonable. I don’t care how far fetched the story is, you’d think that she would believe Billy. Of course, maybe Billy has gotten beat so many times she doesn’t take him seriously anymore. You’d think hat this infamous outlaw would have looked better here.

It’s rare for both characters to look bad in a crossover but that’s where we’re at. The film’s fun, but it does still have the vampire elements looming over it which hurts. The animal violence scene with the lamb comes to mind as I mentioned earlier and blood sucking scenes also tend to hurt of course. Because of that, it’s unlikely that I’ll see another Dracula film that I actually like, but of course I’ll leave the possibility open. The writing in the film was pretty solid for the most part. The characters may make all of the wrong choices, but that just means they weren’t the smartest characters. Even the sheriff seems pretty iffy as he arrests Billy for self defense. You just know that he wouldn’t have messed with the bully if the roles were flipped.

Overall, This film may have not been a total success, but I really love the concept. This is the kind of film that you just don’t see much anymore which is a shame. Taking two popular icons like this and pushing them together is genius. It’s a fun way to get started with the Billy mythos and I’d be down with watching more of his films. The one gun scene that we did get was pretty fun and the wild west outlaw plot can always work pretty well despite the boring backdrops. If you really like both franchises then this is a film that you’ll want to check out. If you’re also not a big vampire fan then I guess you’ll just want to wait til Billy’s in a different kind of crossover film.

Overall 4/10

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Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

All Dogs Go to Heaven Review


I definitely know this film pretty well from the title, but certainly not the movie. Now I could finally really experience this classic. It’s definitely a pretty fun film although without the ability to come back from Heaven it would be a pretty grim tale for these dogs. Who knew that even dogs have to deal with gang violence and all of these villains trying to mess with the system. This is definitely a quality film that I’d recommend.

The movie starts with Charlie and Itchy escaping from the Pound. This place means business as there are armed guards and a bunch of sirens. The heroes manage to just barely evade this rain of bullets, but their survival is very short lived as Carface shows up and murders Charlie. Charlie never did trust this guy. Well, now that Charlie is in heaven it would seem like his dreams of money are over, but he’s actually got one more chance. See, you can sneak out of Heaven and that’s exactly what Charlie does. He’s now safe from dying as long as he holds onto his watch. He then meets a little girl named Anne-Marie who has the ability to speak to animals. Charlie senses that some money can be made this way so he tricks her into a team up. She’ll get him rich and in exchange Charlie vows to find her parents. The scheme is working well, but can he keep it up or will she eventually see through him?

From that plot you can basically imagine how the rest of the film will go down. Eventually Charlie’s conscience starts to catch up with him and he also realizes that he thinks of Anne as a friend. By then it’s a little hard for him to make a comeback but it’s never too late to help a friend right? The film definitely has its share of emotional moments contained within. It goes for a balance of humor and emotion which I think works out pretty well. This is due in no small part to the fact that the writing is on point here. The character cast is strong and the plot is pretty nice.

As I mentioned earlier, the movie can also get surprisingly intense which is also handled well. One such scene is when the villains do a drive by and start shooting Charlie. If not for his lucky watch that would have been game over. These villains are clearly not messing around and that is actually pretty rare in these films. Usually they are content to just make threats from the sidelines and hide a lot. That’s definitely not how Carface and his team operate. It’s definitely one of those cases where the minions really only serve him out of fear though. Carface makes it obvious that he’ll take them all down when the time is right. He comes very close to sacrificing his general after all.

Charlie’s a solid lead even if he is pretty antagonistic for a while. I also think that he didn’t plan things too well as it should be obvious that Carface would come after him again once Charlie had amassed a lot of money. Why wouldn’t he make a second attempt at the lead’s life? Meanwhile, Itchy is a good second in command. He’s a loyal partner to the end. You can understand his frustration near the climax as well since it looks like he was beaten up quite a lot while Charlie was having fun singing songs. I feel like Charlie may have even forgotten about him completely a some points.

Anne is a nice enough kid even if she is a little on the gullible side. I’m still not a big fan of kids taking center stage in these things, but she could have been a lot worse. I’d prefer it if she didn’t take the whole thing so personally, but again, that is asking an awful lot out of the kid. At least she is trying to make Charlie a better person so that’s always good. Then you’ve got King Gator who is definitely a powerful ally to have. He doesn’t get a lot of scenes, but the ones that he does get are pretty critical. He’s not really my kind of character either, but he gets the job done.

I enjoyed the animation here. It’s definitely pretty sharp and the character designs are on point. It works well for the action scenes and the quick speed of the animations helps it keep up with the pace of the film. We also get some songs here. They aren’t quite on the level of Disney, but they’re catchy. Charlie probably got one of the better songs when he was getting the kids to share their pizza. I don’t blame the pups for being skeptical though, how do you share a single slice of pizza? That’s not going to be enough to fill anyone up.

Overall, All Dogs Go To Heaven is a pretty fun film and I’d definitely recommend it. This feels like a complete movie as it really has everything you’d need in a feature like this. It’s got danger, comedy, and suspense. The writing is good and there are no sections of the film that really drag on. It can be annoying to see Anne falling for all the tricks since you know she’s going to take it hard later on, but even if you know the story beats that are coming up the film doesn’t overplay them. There’s just nothing to really dislike about this movie and the replay value is pretty good. It’s the kind of film you could see a second time and still have a similar experience. I wonder if the sequels will end up being as good.

Overall 7/10

Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

Yu Yu Hakusho Review


It’s time to look at an incredibly well known anime in the form of Yu Yu Hakusho. This anime is one of the all time greats and after watching it I can confirm that the dub is top 5. Purely in terms of script it may be the best one yet. The anime really nails Yusuke’s character and makes him even greater than he was in the manga. (Where he was already pretty great) The show is definitely a very complete one and certainly an anime that you should find the time to watch. It’s fairly long, but that’s a good thing.

The basic premise is that Yusuke is a delinquent. He doesn’t like going to school and the teachers don’t like him. One day, he dies when saving a kid from a passing car. Yusuke’s soul did not pass on though and he was chosen as a spirit detective. Eventually he gets his body back, but the detective gig is still going on. Yusuke must now live a dual life as he fights off demons and would be conquerors while still dealing with school. Although, the first half takes up most of the anime as he rarely ever seems to be in the human world during the show. From the Dark Tournament to the big Demon Tournament, there’s a lot of epic action in this show.

Right away you’ll notice how great the script is. There’s enough memorable quotes to make long video compilations of them. Yusuke has dozens of amazing burns and zingers throughout. You know he’s gonna say something cool whenever he talks. I think part of what makes him so great is how he really isn’t afraid of anything. Even when he’s tied up he’ll talk about how the villain’s boring him. His humor can range from defiant to even edgy, but he’s always got something to say about everything. I’ve never seen such an amazing script before. He can pull off pretty much every emotion as Yusuke goes through a lot of sad moments mixed in with the rage and defiant ones. He also gets a lot of great character development throughout the series. It’s hard to believe he’s the same kid who began the series as a normal boxer and eventually goes on to Goku levels of strength. It’s pretty uncanny. I think Yusuke seems a little more merciful in the anime version than in the manga as I seem to remember him being quicker to try and axe the doctor there, but it’s been a while since I read it.

The animation is definitely really sharp. It only gets better and better as the series goes on. It has that distinct 90’s-early 2000s look about it. The colors are sharp and you can feel the power behind the hits in the fight scenes. The series also has fun using some experimental animation from time to time like Yusuke’s fight against the doctor or some of Hiei’s shadow dragon techniques. It’s nice that the series is confident enough to try these things out. Nowadays you don’t really see that very much. I mean, the experimental stuff usually doesn’t quite hold its own to the normal animation so it’s not a bad thing if they skip that altogether, but I don’t mind the attempts especially if they’re infrequent.

We also have to mention the soundtrack as that one is an easy 5/5. There are a lot of incredibly tense themes throughout the series. Pretty much all the top ones are in the Dark Tournament arc. I don’t know the exact names, but the anticipation theme from when the battles are about to start is always good or the feeling of unease theme when the villain powers up. The Sensui arc also had some solid tunes like Sensui’s theme as well. The final arc wasn’t quite as solid with the new themes, but by that point the series already had a huge selection so it’s not like it needed more.

Naturally a show that is over 100 episodes will likely hit some pitfalls along the way. There is some animal violence in the show via flashbacks as we learn someone’s sob story. There are also bits of the story that are pretty dark with torture and stuff. Almost surprisingly the series manages to avoid fanservice although in trying to make Yusuke a big delinquent we do get some dicey moments with him and Keiko. Even though they’re friends it can be a bit iffy. Still, 90% of the time the show avoids these things and it’s long enough where the positives manage to overpower these negatives. That’s a luxury that a shorter show would not have had.

After all, the show is not lacking in positives. Top notch dialogue and fights for over 100 episodes will do that to you. The show also has an incredible main cast and a lot of solid supporting characters. I already talked about Yusuke, but now lets take a look at the rest of his crew. First you’ve got Yusuke’s best friend Kuwabara. He starts out as a fellow delinquent, but gradually begins to hit the books more. Throughout the series a running theme is that he is trying his best to put down the fists and pick up some knowledge. At the same time he’ll never back down from a fight though and has a strong honor code. It’s pretty rough for him since he’s still just a human though and can’t quite keep up once the enemies start getting really high tier. He even missed out on the entire final arc as a result. He’s a fun character although from the main 4 he is certainly the weakest one both in strength and character.

Next up is Kurama, the brains of the group. He’s always thinking up a plan of action for the others, but can also fight quite well when necessary. He’s quite possibly the best executed brainiac type character. He’s not one of those smart characters who lacks common sense or is terrible at fighting. Part of being a top strategist is knowing how to defeat an opponent. He’s also got human ties which end up giving him a ton of character development. An opponent may get the upper hand against him temporarily, but this never lasts. Kurama always wins the end game.

Then we have Hiei, the best character in the show aside from Yusuke. He starts out as a villain very briefly, but then plays more of a Vegeta type role for the rest of the series. He’s probably one of the only characters who got a power boost from being good rather than evil. As a villain he was very weak, partially because the author likely hadn’t thought of what to do with him at the end. By the end of the series he is able to trade blows with all of the big shots. Hiei’s confidence always makes him a winner and makes for a lot of hype scenes. As I said, the core characters are very solid here.

Moving on to other big characters, we have Yusuke’s mentor Genkai. She’s far better than the average Shonen mentors like Jiraiya and Roshi. She actually knows how to fight and teaches Yusuke a lot of important life lessons. While she is old, Genkai is still able to fight with the stronger characters in the series. Keiko is the main heroine. She’s pretty solid although it would have been cool if she could have learned how to fight by the end of the series. She always protects Yusuke’s spirit animal though and never lets the villains get her into a hostage situation. She can take care of herself pretty well.

Botan is the more charismatic heroine though. Her accent is handled well and she does like trolling Yusuke quite a bit. She’s mainly here to drop off information from Spirit World or give the heroes a push in the right direction when they need it. Koenma is her boss, but he spends a lot of time panicking. He doesn’t actually intervene in the action until near the end of the series. He’s not really much of a fighter but his pacifier makes for a very powerful tool. It’s actually a very satisfying reason as to why he still uses one even though he’s grown up. I was blown away at this revelation.

Yukina is an ice princess who appears early on in the series and sticks around as a supporting character. While most of the characters know that she is Hiei’s sister early on that plot runs all the way through to the end as they keep it a secret from her. She’s not quite as outgoing as the other characters, but always presents herself in a very dignified manner. Rinku’s a yoyo user who’s definitely very confident. He’s not one of the more powerful characters in the series, but I suppose just making it into the Dark Tournament is enough to say you’ve earned the right to be confident. He’s not my favorite villain, but he’s not bad I suppose.

Chu is one of Rinku’s teammates and he is certainly a lot tougher. He definitely makes for good fight scenes although his character starts to go down towards the end of the series. Toya is a fierce ice ninja who’s definitely cool. There isn’t a whole lot to say about him but when the chips are down he is ready to help Yusuke. Jin is another ninja and he just loves a good fight. His accent is so strong that you might have a difficult time understanding anything he is saying, but that’s part of the fun with the character. He’s definitely eager and one of the more memorable characters from the tournament.

Then we have Younger Toguro who is certainly one of the most important characters in the series. He’s extremely powerful and serves as an impressive roadblock for Yusuke. He has a pretty solid backstory and his motivations for fighting aren’t bad either. Toguro is the kind of villain who does have an honor system while battling. I definitely think he wouldn’t have lasted long in demon world, but I think a part of him knew that from the start. He got greedy for power and paid the price, but it’s easy to see why he is one of the most popular villains. He certainly is cool.

Elder Toguro isn’t quite as solid. He’s definitely more of a trickster and is willing to achieve victory at any price. Definitely not a villain you want to turn your back to. You can’t deny that the guy is persistent though. With his regeneration and quick attacks he is one of the most deadly villains in the entire series. Not my kind of villain but he makes for good fights. Then we have Karasu who is certainly quick and manages to stay competitive in his fight even when up against Yoko Kurama. He’s slightly less engaging than the other members of Team Toguro but another big hit overall. Then we have Bui who has a really cool design with the armor. His weapon is comically large to the point where it seems impractical but that speaks to how strong he is. His fight with Hiei is definitely a lot of fun and we get a lot of DBZ visuals as well as abstract moments. He doesn’t talk much until the very end. Then we have Sakyo, who is the guy who orchestrated the events of the tournament behind the scenes. His backstory is definitely iffy and so he would have been a dicey villain had he not changed. Fortunately in the present he’s much better. He’s a tactician and not a fighter, but has the courage to stand next to villains who could wipe him out in an instant. Sakyo is ambitious and makes for a very interesting antagonist. He does give up a bit easy in the end, but definitely adds to the atmosphere.

Then we get to Sensui who is definitely an iconic villain. He’s basically insane and has a lot of split personalities. Sensui simply couldn’t deal with the pressures of being a spirit detective and so he became a citizen of evil. Still, he didn’t lose his tactical mind and what makes him such a dangerous villain is that he has super strength as well as a sharp intellect. He continues to get stronger and stronger throughout the arc and is definitely a villain that you’ll miss once he’s gone. He’s definitely one of the greats. He has a band of minions who all get a bit of a role. The smallest role likely belongs to Gourmet though. That guy just got too overconfident for his own good. He’s not nearly as dangerous as the other members of the group since his “Territory” abilities just aren’t too potent.

Itsuki is probably the only member of Sensui’s team who isn’t an underling. Without him Sensui’s plan wouldn’t have a chance and the ex detective knows this. Itsuki does a good job of maintaining the portal as well as buying time for Sensui. He’s not the most interesting villain, but he’s good at what he does. Minoru is a crazed doctor who worked as part of Sensui’s group. He’s probably the most psychotic as he doesn’t even care about the plan so long as he gets to murder people. There was definitely no reasoning with him. His episodes were fun though with the hospital being a very unique locale. You rarely see it being used for fights.

Kaname is definitely good with a weapon and gave Yusuke a lot of trouble during their fight. His ability is probably the most deadly in a typical situation since he has a ton of range. It’s hard to get close to him and he can shoot you at any time. If he fought almost anyone but Yusuke he might have won since even here it ultimately took a third party to stop him. Mitarai gets the most development from the group, but he also whines a whole lot so it’s a mixed bag. The guy ultimately sees the light, but I never became a big fan of the guy. He doesn’t really add much to the table. Then we have Amanuma who is a lot younger than the other characters and as a result it’s easy for Sensui to manipulate him. His end is actually one of the most tragic in the series. The kid was messing with forces beyond his comprehension.

Yomi is one of the 3 Kings and probably the one who gets the most screen time of the 3. He’s another master strategist as this series kept on its path to Hunter X Hunter levels of conflict. Like Sensui he is also ultra powerful though so don’t think that relying on his intellect is his only option. The voice they chose for him in the dub is perfect and he certainly commands the room whenever he appears. He’s always a few steps ahead of the other characters and seems to be ready for any angle. He only loses his cool once or twice during the series. I liked him a lot more in the anime than in the manga, maybe it’s just how the directing was or how they took the arc’s direction. Either way he was quite solid and so the series continued the trend of having great main villains for each arc.

Mukuro is another one of the Kings, although she is a little less impressive than Yomi. I think her character arc feels like it never had much of a final destination at times. By the time we get her origin story it’s pretty late in the game. Still, she’s a solid villain as well and we do get to see her fight quite a bit by the end. Then we have Raizen who lived and died by his ethics. At least he stayed strong so I’ll give him some props there. Still, I feel like he didn’t really handle any of his situations too well and ultimately came close to dooming his people. I never really became a fan of his in the end. There are quite a few other characters who show up in the final arc like Raizen’s friends and the lieutenants of each faction. The only one to get a really big role was Shigure I’d say. He definitely had a big part in Hiei’s origin story and made for an interesting wild card. The monks on Yusuke’s team were also interesting even if they did keep subtly saying that they were weaker than the other factions by a lot even once the tournament had started.

Naturally there are a bunch of other characters but if you want to see them all then check out the show. There’s not a whole lot to say about the pre arc adventures, but pretty much every story part of Yu Yu Hakusho is interesting and a lot of fun. Again, it comes down to the fact that this show was firing on all cylinders in every area. Each arc is also pretty different. The Dark Tournament is awesome because of the constant fights. It embraces its shonen nature and adds in a lot of danger and suspense constantly. The way the rounds are handled is also a lot of fun as you never know exactly how the next fight is going to be structured. This also makes things difficult on the heroes since they don’t know what to expect either. There’s a lot of backstabbing going on here as well.

Then you have the Sensui arc which is a big tonal shift in the series. We get a lot of new themes that fit in with this. It started out on an awesome note as well with Yusuke being kidnapped. It’s handled in a way that really makes you anticipate the next episode. Whether you watch the show weekly or binge it, you’ll be at the edge of your seat. Yusuke’s first encounter with Sensui in the city is also epic. This arc had the highest stakes and the most tension in the series. You really never knew what to expect and while Dark Tournament is certainly still my favorite arc, this one’s also dynamite.

In comparison the final arc is a little weaker, but it’s still pretty excellent. I think I enjoyed the build up and first half more than the tournament ironically. There were just so many players and plot threads moving early on that it was a lot of fun. In a sense it all climaxed when Yusuke went to Yomi’s base to discuss things. There were a lot of ways that could have gone. The tournament was fun and all, but I did like the idea of a 3 way war for the demon world. I think that would have made for a more enjoyable arc, but it probably would have been super long as well so it makes sense that the show shifted gears. The tournament was still a lot of fun anyway even if for the first time there were no real stakes here.

Overall, Yu Yu Hakusho is definitely one of the best anime out there. I highly recommend checking it out ASAP. The show is pretty great from the start, but it enters elite status once the Dark Tournament begins. That’s when the series really hits its groove. From there on the rest of the series continues to operate on that high level and never looks back. Even the transitions from arc to arc are incredibly smooth with new villains showing up and a lot of great fights. As the series is ending there are fights right up until the end. Whether we ever get a sequel or not, the series is definitely very complete. There’s so much to talk about in this series but at the end of the day you’ve really got to experience it yourself to see what all the fuss is about.

Overall 9/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Mummy’s Shroud Review


The Mummy has returned to usher in a new era for horror films. At least, that’s likely the intent here, but the series has made some mistakes in the past so we’ll see if this film can really take home the gold. While it does ring more true to the classic Mummy mythos than the previous film, it does make its share of mistakes. I don’t think you’ll be bored though. We have a pretty colorful cast of characters here and at least one character does try to fight back against the Mummy.

The film starts off with a flashback about how an Egyptian king was overthrown and everyone got murdered. We fast forward to the modern day where Dr. Basil and the rich Stanley have broken into the tomb. They steal the coffin and head back home to show it off. Unfortunately it appears that the coffin had a curse within it that has begun to affect everyone who walked into the tomb. There is now a murderous Mummy on the loose and the bodies are starting to pile up. Stanley wants to leave, but the cops are keeping everyone in one place. Can he get out alive?

Stanley may be a predictable character, but he sure is an entertaining one. He’s the classic rich guy who doesn’t care about lives. He just wants to turn a profit and let everyone else take the fall. This is especially evident when he tries to discredit Basil and throw him away for life. Stanley ultimately only seems to care about his family, everyone else is considered expendable. He’s certainly an antagonist, but a fun one nonetheless. You’re still rooting for him against the Mummy. He did make a lot of big mistakes though. If you’re trying to flee the country you probably shouldn’t wait in a dark alley for someone to come and help. Especially when you’re rich and the locals know it. Ah well, Stanley tried.

Then you have Dr. Basil who is reasonable I guess. He was annoying in his final scenes, but I guess that makes sense since he was poisoned. Still, it makes for a scene that drags on quite a bit as an old lady makes fun of him and then he’s taken out of the picture. Speaking of which, the old lady was annoying as well. She’s basically just here to rub the deaths in the faces of the victims before they perish. She doesn’t have much point here except to egg everyone on and get them into trouble. I mean, she performs the role quite admirably of course, but cutting out the drool in her scenes would have helped me take her seriously.

I consider Stanley to basically be the main character here, but Paul and Maggie get big roles as well. Paul is the son of Stanley and unlike his father he wants to work his way to the top. He doesn’t want to be drunk on power and sets his sights on stopping the Mummy instead of fleeing. Meanwhile Maggie knows how to read Egyptian and was against going into the tomb in the first place. Still, now she may be the only one with the power to stop this situation. It puts her in a tricky spot. Both characters are pretty reasonable. I do think Maggie made a big mistake in going to some random fortune teller to try and dispel her fears though. Even if the fortune teller wasn’t evil, did she really think anything could be done at that stage in the game?

I also have to give the cops some credit here. They were on point for the most part even if they didn’t really uncover much in their investigations. At least they were trying to help out and they certainly managed to be a thorn in Stanley’s side. The chief finally even relented in the end so at least he could try and save some victims. He maybe should have done that a bit sooner, but I think he just wanted to axe Stanley. Not the most heroic move of course, but it is what it is. Stanley’s wife also looks pretty good here. She’s always being passive aggressive and really enjoys the fact that she never went into the tomb.

So, most of these are positives, but what are the negatives? Well, pretty much the usual Hammer stuff. The film can be a bit violent here with everyone getting bumped off. People are strangled, burned to death, crushed, etc. The Mummy makes sure to take everyone down at some point or another. The Mummy also doesn’t make for a particularly good antagonist. He’s slow and you can’t believe that he is beating everyone the whole time. Even if he is bullet proof you can at least out run the guy. The only one I can’t blame is Basil since he was sick. At least the photographer tried fighting back though. You’ll feel bad for Stanley’s right hand man though since the guy gets the short end of the stick throughout the film.

The movie’s humor and writing were on point though. This one actually was a step ahead of most of the other Mummy titles. It could have definitely been a lot worse. At least it’s entertaining throughout and has a quick pace. If you’re going to do a Mummy film then you can definitely take a lot of cues from this one. It knew how to properly develop the characters after all.

Overall, The Mummy’s Shroud is actually decent. The shroud itself is actually important by the end so it’s also a title that makes sense. That’s always a good idea as opposed to just having that in the title to sound cool. The slasher elements we could have done without, but it’s handled in a less graphic way than it likely would nowadays. I won’t give the film a positive score, but it’s not bad either so it lands smack in the middle. If this film sounds like your cup of tea then you should check it out. At the very least, this film will keep you guessing as to who will get bumped off first.

Overall 5/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost Review


It’s time to take a look at the movie sequel to the classic 13 ghosts show. This one finally shows us the 13th ghost and how he stacks up against the first 12. It’s a fun movie as they all tend to be although the writing was lacking somewhat here which does prevent it from being nearly as good as it could have been. It’s more or less what you’d expect but the lack of a supernatural twist does hurt it somewhat.

The film starts off with a flashback where Vincent and Mortifer are running away from some demons. Mortifer is unfortunately caught and destroyed (Someone dying in a Scooby Doo film? Immediate red flag) while Vincent escapes with the box. Together with the Mystery Inc he recaptured 12 ghosts. However, Scooby, Shaggy, and Daphne decided to pretend that they did not know who Vincent was and threw the magic ball in a closet somewhere. Well, in the present the gang are having a garage sale as they were forced to stop being detectives after messing up a case. They need some quick cash. Fortunately, that’s when the crystal ball pops up and Vincent begs their help in stopping the final ghost. Velma and Fred are confused so now Daphne will have to step up and lead the team. Is she ready for this?

Unfortunately this is where the film is at its weakest. Rather than make Daphne a good leader it chooses to make Fred a bad one. Suddenly he doesn’t know how to set up a trap and the film goes out of its way to make him look bad. Daphne has to set up the traps because he forgot how to do so. He also can’t drive stick for some reason so he has to let Daphne drive the whole time. She basically takes control of the team away from him and part of the moral is that she was always the better leader. Fred even admits in a rather heart warming scene that he was never a leader, that’s just what they had thought. He’s a Cheerleader and decides to start cheering for everyone. He just looks really bad the whole time and it must have been a rough time for his fans.

Meanwhile, Daphne looks hardcore of course. To make up for Fred she has to double down in how effective she is. Daphne does give up a bit easy, but for the most part I’d say that this is still one of her best appearances. At least she is ready for this fight. You can’t say the same for Velma. Naturally she is still sticking to her story that there are no such things as ghosts. The film does its best to make her fairly justified in this by the ending though. Who knows, maybe it was all mass hallucinations or something. It would have been better if she didn’t keep flipping back and forth though.

Shaggy and Scooby are the same as always. They constantly panic and eat so not much else to say there. The scene of them meditating with the villain goes on a little too long I’d say as well. No way he would actually buy into that I’d say. The rest of the humor is pretty good though. Vincent makes for a fun supporting character. He’s a bit more helpless than I had expected but I did like all of the puns he would make. If he actually can’t use magic either though, it does give Velma’s theory a little more weight. There’s also a local teenager around. I won’t say who he is, but I think you’ll know immediately who he is. This isn’t the kind of film that has a bunch of suspects so if a new character is introduced you can start narrowing down who he must be.

The animation looks pretty solid as always. The team has this franchise down to an art. It’s looked good all the way back from when it first started all the way through the current days. The animation could fool you into thinking this was a DC film at times. The animation styles always look really similar and I suppose that makes sense as well since Warner Bros is involved. There isn’t much of a soundtrack though, but the series isn’t exactly known for that. The movie’s fairly short, but the pacing is good so it never gets boring or anything like that.

Once the final twist occurs some things won’t seem particularly realistic though. Lets just say that one character has to be an absolutely fearless racer with superb driving skills. This villain shows up everywhere and has quite a few skills. I dunno, I’d like to have seen the heroes challenge the evil car a bit more rather than running away the whole time. I suppose that almost may have been out of character I guess, but the team’s been through a lot so they shouldn’t really fear anyone at this point.

Overall, Curse of the 13th Ghost is not a film that will leave a lasting impression on you. It’s just a lot weaker than some of the recent films like the Wrestling ones, Cooking challenge, the outer space one, blue falcon, etc. It’s not so much that this film is bad because it isn’t. It earns a pretty good score. It just feels more like an average adventure compared to the rest and part of the problem could be the fact that there is no actual mystery here. That’s sort of the main focus of the series. You can get around that at times with a compelling premise of course. This one had a good premise, but simply didn’t follow up on it. That’s what held the film back.

Overall 7/10

Manga

The Girl From The Other Side


This manga’s definitely got a unique premise. It starts you out in a world of mystery but things quickly begin to make sense. It’s an enjoyable read so far and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here. I’ll have a review for the series up when I’ve finished it.

Overall 7/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Sometimes They Come Back 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.

When you see a film from Stephen King you typically get the feeling that it’s not going to be good. The guy loves making his books as gritty and over the top as possible. Not saying that he can’t have a good book, but I get the feeling that the vast majority are pretty bad. This one definitely continues that streak and is just so dark and gruesome that you’ll want to take out a few hot pockets to make it through this film. Sometimes the Razzie nominations come back, but sometimes they don’t.

The film starts with Jim moving back to the town that almost ended his life many years ago when bullies destroyed his brother. He swore that he would never come back, but the cash lured him in. That’s how it always starts. You’ve got a nice life situation, decent pay and a good atmosphere. Then someone offers you extra money to do something dangerous and you take it…not knowing that it will be the end. Jim took this risk and as a result his family is now in danger. The teens who attacked those 20+ years ago and got hit by a train are now coming back to life. They are murdering kids in Jim’s class (Jim’s a teacher) and taking their place. Nobody can stop these guys since they have regeneration and super strength. Gradually they all come back and Jim is forced to have one last confrontation with them. Can he prove that he has grown stronger over the years or will he have to beg them for some help?

Well, where to start here? I guess lets talk about tired horror trope #78: Overpowered villains. As always the main characters can’t really do anything against these villains. They are stronger than humans and bullet proof. What can Jim reasonably do about all of this? He does try to defend himself at times but they just beat him with a single punch and call it a day. He’s just plain stumped at that point and it’s hard to even point the blame at him. Of course the moral is that he has to move on, but whether he does that or not students are going to keep on dying. It’s a lose-lose situation and the worst part is that the students had nothing to do with this, but are still defenseless. Jim is unable to prevent any of them from dying and even by the end of the film nobody will ever really know what went on there. Jim even drags one guy out of retirement only to let him be promptly murdered. None of these deaths are painless or peaceful at all either. The villains make sure that these guys really have it.

Then we also have the fact that Jim’s guilty conscience shouldn’t even be guilty. Basically, he stole the car keys from the bullies so after they murdered his brother he ensured that they would die as well. So..was he not supposed to have picked up the keys? The bullies made it clear that they were going to destroy Jim next. It’s also not as if it was pre-meditated, Jim just grabbed them in the heat of the moment. The whole thing makes you shake your head. Then, while the bullies got super powers and such the brother doesn’t get anything so when he comes back from the dead he promptly gets beat up again. Shouldn’t he have also been powered up to be able to match the others? Something just doesn’t seem right about all of this. The villains always get the props with this.

So, the film is super violent with literal dismemberments and overly dark/tragic. What else could go wrong? Well, that is about it. The rest of the movie just doesn’t help its case with its poor script and unlikable characters. The film can feel rather long at times and there isn’t much to like. That’s always the worst part for a film like this, there are no positives to be found. Without those then the film really has no hope of being good. No worries though, the film does squeeze in the annoying kid trope. So, the mother and the kid know that these teens are trying to destroy Jim. They naturally lock the doors. Then someone knocks on the front door so the kid runs up and opens the door. The Mom should have stopped him for starters and for seconds there should have been some common sense here. Why is this kid so terrible? It’s why I don’t like having kids in films. They make the worst possible mistakes constantly. The only consistent thing about them is that they will never make the right move. Leave fighting zombies to the professionals.

Overall, This is definitely not a film that I would recommend. It plays out like just about any other slasher with the zombie bullies just destroying everyone in their way. Jim can’t stop them and only a demonic train is able to help him out here. It ends up effectively being a time loop only in this version extra people die in order to power up the loop further. Definitely not something you want to see in such a loop. There’s nothing particularly charming or fun about this film to hold it together. We also get a ton of flashbacks so if you start to forget how the brother died, no worries you’ll see it a bunch. If you have to watch a horror/thriller about changing the past then watch Flashpoint instead. Still not a great movie, but it is an improvement.

Overall 0/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Ouija Review


It’s time to watch my first traditional horror film in a while. That’s probably not the most accurate phrasing to use so let me switch it up a bit. When you think of horror films there are many kinds. 1. Realistic horrors where the threat is something that could happen in real life. These are typically the worst ones. The bottom of the barrel for horror so to speak. Then you have 2. Supernatural slasher horrors: These are the films where the opponent is some kind of ghoul, spirit, or phantasm who wants to destroy the main cast. That’s the kind that Ouija is a part of. These films usually get around a 2/10 score and are always pretty bad, but I consider them to embody the spirit of a true horror film the most. They have a set of cliches that are always followed to the letter and since you know all of the friends will ultimately end up dying you have to decide who the 1 extra character to be spared will be. The main heroine always lives, but she usually gets one ally to stay with her. The rest are red shirts from Star Trek. A similar kind of horror film is with aliens but it follows a different set of tropes so I’d count it as a slight variation. Typically there are more survivors and the films aren’t quite as graphic. Lets ignore Alien and Predator There’s also Kaiju films but that’s a whole different debate as to if they even count as horror films so I’ll skip that for now. The next level of horror are the classic humanoid monster films like Dracula, The Mummy, etc. These can be fairly decent, but are a mixed bag. They have the potential to get a positive score, but are most likely 4-6/10 on average. Finally you have the horror/comedy hybrids which are the best kind of horror films. These have their share of jump scares but balance them out with witty one liners and the cast knows what’s up. These films include Abbott and Costello, Scooby Doo, House, etc. Those are the best ones, however you never feel like they are True Horror films which is why the supernatural ones still take that title. They may not be good but you’ll be entertained.

Time to talk about the actual film. Laine and Debbie used to play with the Ouija back when they were kids. They grew out of it though and went back to enjoying life. One day Debbie was super bored so she played an extra game and was quickly murdered by the monster inside of it. To the outside world it looked like she destroyed herself, but Laine wasn’t buying it. Debbie had been having a good time prior to that Ouija game so she decides to play the game with her friends to see if they can talk to Debbie and learn the truth. They learn it all right, but not from Debbie. The monster inside the board has decided to destroy everyone else who has played with the board game as well. As the bodies quickly begin piling up Laine has to figure out how to stop this ghoul once and for all. Her best bet is to ask the resident experts but is it already too late?

The film does a good job of avoiding the trope of the animal death in this film. That’s a good thing because no animals played on the board so that would have really just been for shock value. The film was pretty consistent here about the ghost only going after the players. This movie also isn’t quite as graphic as a lot of the other horror films so that’s a plus. It is still pretty intense though so keep that in mind but watch a trailer or something and you’ll probably be able to guess the rest. Most of the characters die in pretty brutal ways that may be fairly blood free but are still rather dark. Considering that most of them didn’t even want to play the game it’s quite tragic.

There’s always that one friend who is pulled into the game for a film like this one and in this case it’s Isabelle. She was probably the best of the main characters or at the very least she was a lot more upbeat. She was just looking forward to having a good time when Laine forced her to come with everyone to play the Ouija. She repeatedly expressed how she doesn’t want to do it, but since she is such a nice friend she goes along with it anyway. Ah well, that was game over. Then we have Trevor and Pete. Why would the film choose to have two actors who look so much alike? Considering that neither one of them is particularly likable it doesn’t help their case either. For instance, when Laine asks them to join her in a quest to stop the villains they both basically give her the same answer at different points. They may not be supposed to be similar in character, but I’d say that they are. They’re both very touchy and panic a lot. They never stood a chance here.

Then we’ve got Sarah who is probably the worst character of the bunch. She just likes to fool around a lot and doesn’t take anything seriously. Her way of coping with Debbie’s death is just to get even worse and is a thorn in Laine’s side for most of the movie. She doesn’t get to actually help until the very end of the film and it’s not enough to save her. I’m sure she would be a better character in a sequel thanks to developing from this so maybe she’ll be able to turn it around there. I’m pretty mixed about Laine. On one hand, she is pretty determined about finding out what happened to Debbie which is good. On the other hand her ideas are just pretty bad. Playing the Ouija board was really not a good idea and her family warned her about it. Getting everyone else in trouble the way she did was also a mistake. I suppose I don’t blame her too much for believing the words of the random stranger since the ghosts were acting misleading the whole time. It’s one of those annoying plot moments where you wonder why the bad spirits can do basically anything while the heroic ones are always sobbing and running around with no actual plan. They need to at least try thinking for themselves. On a side note, the old lady’s plan was actually quite sound though and did make for a pretty entertaining twist.

So, I won’t say that Laine was a bad character but she did make a lot of convenient decisions which certainly helped the villains. She’s still smarter than some of the other friends though. In one scene near the climax one of the guys gets a text from the main characters and runs to the back yard. Keep in mind that it’s the dead of night right now. He tells her to wait up, but she runs past a fence and slams the door. Not taking the hint, he opens the gate and chases after her. What happened to the guy’s intelligence? If that is really her wouldn’t she respond? Considering that he has already seen a lot of crazy stuff happen over the last 24 hours you would expect him to be a little more cautious here. I mean, it probably doesn’t matter since the ghosts are always super powerful so they would get their man anyway, but it still makes you shake your head.

Meanwhile Debbie’s a pretty great character. She makes all of the heroic choices when possible. Yeah, playing the game was a mistake, but at least she quickly realized it and distanced herself from everyone so they wouldn’t get hurt. It does bring up the tough questions of whether you should go to your friends in case they can help but if you “know” that it is all futile then keeping them out makes sense as well. She also has a lot more will power than the rest of the characters and is easily the highlight here.

As for the villain…well she’s fairly generic as can be. There are two main ghosts here. One of them is super weak and doesn’t know how to properly convey any kind of message and the other one does her best to finish everyone off. The villainous one naturally does a better job, but I wouldn’t call either one of the villains particularly memorable or cool. I’ll take the Grudge/Ring villains in a heartbeat. As for the rather dramatic ways they finish off their opponents, I suppose the villains like stretching things out. They could have easily ended the heroes in any number of ways based on those scenes. Also, shout out to the nanny for knowing everything that was happening and not lifting a finger to help. It’s pretty unexpected honestly. Not a good thing of course, but still a unique choice for a background character.

Overall, I definitely wouldn’t recommend this film. It’s a pretty dark adventure where the heroes never stand a chance which can be annoying. There is only so much you can do against a monster which can’t be touched and has super strength as well as tk abilities and basic reality warping. Still, it’s definitely a little classier than the average film in its genre so I’ll give it that. The imagery can be rather disturbing and gruesome, but not overly violent. A good example of this is the clouded over eyes. It’s not particularly pleasant, but I’ll take it over other eye tricks from horror titles. If horror films are your cup of tea then go for it. Otherwise I recommend paying a visit to the Scooby Doo collection.

Overall 3/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Swamp Thing Review


It’s time to look at an old school DC film. This movie doesn’t really feel like your average comic book film and could easily be mistaken for just being another horror film. That would probably be the best outcome for all parties involved since I doubt anyone wants to take credit for this movie. It just isn’t good and does so many things wrong that you’ll end up wondering what the film was thinking. The characters aren’t very smart and so it’s hard to root for anyone.

The film starts off with the main character, Alice heading over to the Swamp. She is here to fix some sensors, but the broken sensors were sabotaged by terrorists so she isn’t allowed to go near them. Since she has nothing else to do she hangs around the pair of scientists who are trying to make some breakthroughs and insults them the whole time. The main guy is married, but seems to forget this all the time so all scenes with him are cringe worthy. That’s when the villains come in and murder the two scientists in the hopes of getting their research. Alice managed to snatch one book though so their collection won’t be complete. The villains don’t like that and decide to give chase, but they have one more obstacle to try and get past, The Swamp Thing!

The film doesn’t exactly hide the Swamp Thing’s identity, but I won’t allude to it in case you need that reveal. Needless to say, The Swamp Thing is here to help. “This is My Swamp!” should have been his opening line but he’s a creature of action as opposed to words. As the film goes on he does start to get a little more chatty though so I guess that’s a good thing? Unfortunately, he isn’t quite as intimidating as the average creature. In most of these horror films you see the monsters just destroying everybody until they die in the end. Since the Swamp Thing is a heroic creature, he doesn’t get the same treatment. He gets captured and beaten by the crooks. He doesn’t do a good job of taking the villains out of the equation so they always pop right back up to give him some more grief. He isn’t opposed to murder as we see him do it several times, he is always in just too much of a hurry to get away. He’s just not a very likable character. His abilities also don’t seem all that impressive in this film. He was nerfed all the way into the ground.

Alice isn’t a bad main character although she can also be a little iffy at times. For the positives, she is a fighter. Alice does put up a struggle whenever she appears and even lands in some good hits. On the other hand, she is rather slow on the uptake. Even when seeing the Swamp Thing mowing down her opponents she keeps telling him to back off. She’s certainly safer with him than without. She also has an unfortunate tendency to trip over just about everything. She probably hit the ground at least ten times. Cmon Alice, you can do better than that!

Then I have to quickly rewind to the beginning of the film to explain why the normal joe characters always fall below expectations. So you have a guy running through the swamp when a few guys with guns walk up to him. He quickly lets them disarm him and then runs. What’s the point? They’ll just shoot him down. He’s dead either way so he may as well have held on to his gun and taken one of them down with him. This is preferable for many reasons. One of which is that by firing right away you at least have the slimmest of chances to survive. Second, at least they’ll be forced to gun you down right there which is a far less painful death than the alternative. Third, you get to die with some dignity. Trying to run away in a swamp when you’re outnumbered like that won’t work. Even if it was just one guy he could shoot you once your back was turned. These hostage situations always drive me batty.

This film is a little on the violent side with people getting snapped and crunched. The main villain’s transformation scene was also shown to be as grotesque and violent as possible which is a little on the rare side for transformations. Usually you expect those to at least be a little pleasant right? The violence isn’t extremely over the top but certainly is high enough that it’s noticeable. There isn’t really animal violence if you look at the film casually, but it’s there when you drill into the specifics. The unlikable main characters were running experiments on the animals which is a no go. These animals don’t care about the science so why should they have to be used like this? The animal certainly didn’t look like it was having fun being all wet like that.

Swamp Thing also goes out of its way to make the villains unlikable. A good villain should command respect but also be fun to root for/against. None of that is here with these villains. At the most the main villain isn’t bad. He’s one of those random rich guys who wants to see the world burn. The main villain is really one of his subordinates though who chases Alice around quite a lot. Naturally he is shown to be rather depraved and of course he couldn’t just be a professional trying to earn a paycheck. I get that guys like him will typically end up being the villains since it makes sense, but it doesn’t make any of his scenes work any better.

The best character in the film is definitely the kid who owned the gas station. He was on point and could sniff out danger a mile away. It’s a shame that his gun was defective but there’s no way he could have known that. Even though he was just a kid he did a lot of work and helped get Alice to a safe place. He brought the film a level of charm and wonder that it didn’t have previously. Not enough to save the film or anything like that, but it was still neat.

Overall, Swamp Thing is definitely not a film that I would recommend. The characters aren’t all that smart and Swamp Thing himself looks quite weak. I’m glad he kept in his healing powers, but being able to fight a little more would have been great too. The film drags on a bit and the only good character got a really small amount of screen time. This is definitely one of those movies that you should skip and I’d advise you to check out some of the classic Godzilla films instead if you want to see how a creature should be portrayed. I can guarantee you that at the very least he wouldn’t go down easy like the Swamp Thing.

Overall 3/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Two on a Guillotine Review


It’s time to look at another old film from back in the day. This one is probably one of the oldest haunted house type films that I’ve seen not counting some comedies like the Abbot and Costello films. (If those were older) It’s not a particularly good one though as the film makes a few mistakes and I can’t say that Val makes for a very good main hero. He trolls Cassie quite a lot to the point where you sympathize with her a whole lot more than you do him. Val may have turned out to be a good guy, but from her point of view there’s no reason to trust him. Anyway I’m getting ahead of myself a little so lets talk about the plot.

A magician known as John used to be quite popular until one of his tricks went wrong and his wife ended up dying. John went crazy with grief and died as well. After everyone attended his burial and saw his body close up, his will was read and Cassie got his riches. The only condition was she had to stay in his manor for 7 days in a row without leaving. In his will he promised that his ghost would show up to meet her. Reporter Val decides to get the inside scoop and pretends to be a random guy looking to be friendly so Cassie will let him in. The two hit it off and now Val just needs to figure out what John’s trick is. After all, he doesn’t believe in ghosts!

The house does have a lot of tricks and such that keep on scaring Cassie out of her mind. Honestly she is way too jumpy all things considered. If she was by herself then I could understand that, but with Val she shouldn’t be so exaggerated the whole time. When you’re with someone you’re never quite as scared as when you’re by yourself. Val isn’t the most understanding guy either so he keeps trying to scare her as well. You’d think that since he wants to stay as her guest he would be a bit more tactful but that isn’t the case at all. Honestly during the entire film he just doesn’t act the way you would expect him to. I guess that’s because in part during this experience he started to grow attached to her and stopped being a reporter which caused his brain to melt. Only possible explanation I guess.

In case you haven’t guessed this I was not a big fan of Val at all. He was just really annoying the whole time. As I mentioned he kept on trolling Cassie for no real reason. Even at the end once he comes in to try and help her fight off the magician he fails quite epicly. Not only should he absolutely be winning this fight, but he should be well aware of where the switch for triggering the axe is. He literally triggers it himself which by all accounts should have destroyed Cassie. Fortunately she lived, but he came too close to destroying her himself and as far as I’m concerned she should tell him to pack his bags at that point.

Cassie isn’t all that good either though. As I mentioned she gets scared way too easily. Furthermore, I think she is way too easy on Val. Even after she finds out he has been lying to her she quickly takes him back since Cassie gets scared again. I suppose using him for that purpose is fine, but afterwards she should quickly distance herself again. Val just doesn’t seem like a great guy. Cassie also doesn’t put up any kind of struggle at the end of the film and just faints again so that didn’t help her either. The house maid had more grit and she was only around for 2-3 minutes. Dolly is one of the red herrings in the film who Val is suspicious of, but ultimately doesn’t do much in the film. She does try to hold Val back when the villain shows up so at least she is good for aiding the villain. Of course the characters don’t acknowledge that since they aren’t brave enough and Val should have just shoved her aside if he was really trying to protect Cassie.

All right, it’s spoiler time folks. Skip this paragraph if you don’t want to know the ending. It involves the main villain. It’s a big plot hole that I can’t overlook since the film couldn’t be bothered to address it. As I mentioned earlier, the magician had a very public funeral where everyone saw the body. In that case, how can he have avoided his fate? At the end of the film we learn that he was alive the whole time and merely faked his death. He was living upstairs the whole time and must have brought a lot of snacks with him. I’m cool with him being able to hide for a few days because the mansion is big and he just locked the door he was in. The problem is that someone had to have noticed that the body was fake. This isn’t a CIA film where the villains have access to a bunch of duplicate bodies and this magician is hardly a criminal mastermind. I just don’t believe that he had another body at the ready to fool everyone. At best he murdered someone else, but then why didn’t the town know that someone was missing? The whole thing was just rather unbelievable and the writers clearly just wanted the twist without thinking about it too much.

Overall, I can’t say that this film was all that good. It’s not a terrible film or anything, but at the same time there isn’t much to keep you engaged either. As I mentioned it is very by the books without anything particularly strong to make it stand out. It’s just another film that will fade in your memory eventually. It probably would have gone a little better had the cast been better. At least I can say that the writing wasn’t bad. I mean, the twist was bad and that is a part of the writing, but the script was solid. I also liked the reporter’s friend who quickly showed up just to spoil his cover. The guy was so oblivious that he stole the movie in one scene.

Overall 4/10