Horror Express 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 you have a mummy running around you wanna be careful since the heroes are in for a tough fight. This movie adds some tension by trapping all of the heroes on a train. It’s a pretty nice idea and with the body count growing quite high there is a real sense of danger. Unfortunately the film wastes quite a lot of its potential on going for a very gritty approach. The atmosphere is just right and the villain has a pretty interesting design but these factors are not enough to save the movie.

The movie starts by introducing us to the characters. Saxton has uncovered a rather big discovery and something that he hopes will further his research. He wants to keep this a secret though so he keeps a huge box locked up tight and forbids anyone from looking at it. Then you have the Count and Countess who are aboard this train as well along with a monk named Pujardov who is convinced that there is something sinister in the box. Then you have Wells who is hoping to have a relaxing time here. There’s also a lady who has seemingly snuck aboard without a ticket who convinces Wells to look the other way. We’ve got a whole slew of characters here but then one guy decides to open the box and it turns out to be more than he bargained for. The creature inside it is now unleashed and hungers for brains!

I’d consider the monster to be a mummy for the most part just with how he acts/looks. The whole absorbing brains part is more like a zombie though and then he has the stare of death which is like something out of Dracula. So they’re going for quite a lot with this villain and then the kicker is later on we see he’s from another planet. So really he’s an alien, but you could say that he’s an Alien mummy zombie at this point. You could use all 3 terms and it would still be pretty accurate so that’s neat. The villain can assume many forms and manipulates the cast quite a bit. When you mix in his quick stare of death you can see how he is easily able to overwhelm most fighters.

This is a horror film that loves showing everyone get murdered for as long as possible though. Prepare to see all of the characters get choked for a long time with epic zoom ins as they try to fight back. Everyone dies rather bloodily and there is a big body count here. We also see the characters run autopsies on screen which can be pretty brutal. The effects are on point but if you’re not a fan of scenes like that then you definitely may want to take a step back here. The film doesn’t shy away from these scenes and can definitely get pretty graphic.

As for the characters, Saxton is definitely quite sure of himself and has no real sympathy for anyone. He’s no hero so it’s an interesting change from what you would expect. I found him to be pretty fun even if he was part of the problem for the heroes during most of the movie. If he was a little more reasonable then things wouldn’t have gone this far. Then you have Wells who is a lot more heroic and willing to help out. He’s not exactly thrilled about this going on while he’s trying to enjoy the ride but at least he actually wants to help. He comes up with some good plans as well and helps make most of the discoveries on what is going on here.

The Count doesn’t get much of a role except to wave his death flag quite high. The Countess’ role is significantly larger as she gets very close to the action. Near the end it feels like she’s just running from zombie to zombie but she never fainted or anything like that which is good. You’ve got the monk Pujardov who cracked almost instantly. He’s definitely not someone that you want to have your back because you just couldn’t trust him to protect you when it counted. That’s the kind of support that you just don’t need. Then there’s the inspector Mirov who meant well. It’s always good to have a cop on board to try and keep everyone calm. At least he got a shot off which was definitely appreciated. Likewise you had Kazan who was a lot more extreme but at least threw a knife at the villain and even got a few shots in so tht was pretty impressive. just a little more and he could have won.

Of course, you do have to question how likely it is that this villain would be down for long. He is effectively living energy or a kind of being that is not physical the way that most are. I even doubt that in the ending of the film he is truly gone. These kinds of villains always seem to regenerate and try again in the future. Still, the heroes did pretty good. At least the fact that he has to body hop when the vessel is injured enough is a decent weakness since it buys you a lot of time to escape. The second half of the movie switching to more of a thriller on wondering which body was currently housing the villain was a nice approach.

Overall, There was definitely a lot going on in this train. The Horror Express is an interesting movie and one that is pretty unique. It’s very rare that you have a horror/survival film that takes place on a train. I’ll give the film kudos for that but ultimately it will still be doomed to a low score in the end. The violence can be over the top quite often and the surgery scenes don’t help matters. At times the film is just more focused on the shock value then on actually moving things forward. You could have easily handled this film a lot differently and would have come away with a superior plot. If you’re a huge fan of survival stories and don’t mind the violence then I would recommend it but otherwise you should check out a different option like The Green Slime.

Overall 3/10

Night of the Living Dead Review


Night of the Living Dead is quite the title right? I imagine that just about everyone has to have heard of this film. The zombies owe a whole lot to this one. It’s a pretty interesting look at the classic horror feeling of knowing that you’re surrounded and there’s no way out. The film does start to go into edgy territory towards the end though trying to be more gritty than necessary. It definitely fumbles the landing and while it will keep your attention, I wouldn’t say this is a good movie. One character in particular also gets pretty annoying very quickly.

The movie starts with Barbra and her brother visiting a grave. He’s trolling her as usual when a guy starts walking towards them. He jokes that the guy is here to murder Barbra and unfortunately he’s right. The brother is able to distract the guy long enough for Barbra to get away but is murdered in the process. She escapes to a house but unfortunately there are a lot of these zombies running around. A man named Ben shows up and he’s also been on the run from these guys. He tells her that they have to make a stand in the house for as long as possible and boards things up. They’re not along though as it turns out that you’ve got Harry, his wife Helen, Tom, and his wife Judy along with an injured kid who got bit by one of the zombies. If you’re familiar with your films on contagions and stuff, being bit is never a good sign. Can the heroes really make a stand here or are there just too many zombies?

The toughest part about these kind of scenarios is that you don’t know how many zombies there are or how long you have to hold out. These questions nag in the back of your mind the whole time. It’s part of what makes titles like The Walking Dead or Resident Evil so popular. It’s easy to get behind a survival story as you try your best to stay alive as long as possible. I’d argue that it’s part of the appeal of Fortnite as well. It’s just fun to test your limits. Where the film goes wrong is in the more shock value type scenes. We actually see the zombies eating people which can be pretty graphic. There are quite a few scenes where you see them chomping on limbs and such. It definitely makes you shake your head because it really wasn’t needed. The atmosphere is enough to really make you feel the fear of the zombies and why they are so intense. You don’t need to throw the violence on top of that, it’s just not necessary.

As for the characters, well Barbra definitely stands out in a bad way. After the opening scene where she does a good job of running for safety and doing what needs to be done, she freezes. Now, the adrenaline has run out by now so I do expect a little crash. The worst part is that the crash lasts for pretty much the entirety of the movie though. She never gets to a point where she is a fighter after that and has no good ideas. It’s a shame but she definitely doesn’t help matters as the main heroine. Then you’ve got Harry who just likes to argue about everything. His idea to stay in the shelter is pretty terrible.

Here’s why it’s an awful decision. When you go down there you have absolutely no exits. It’s blocked by a locked door..and that’s about it. The zombies will eventually punch through and you don’t have a lot of options after that. Ultimately you would have to go back into the house anyway but this way you don’t have any protections and the zombies can be anywhere. It’s obviously a smarter idea to lock up the house and do what you gotta do. If you do have to escape it’s much easier to do when you’re already up and about as opposed to hiding in the basement. So it’s no secret that I was completely against Harry’s plan. It just makes no sense. Then you’ve got Tom who was at least willing to help. It takes Tom a little while to actually pick a side but he ultimately does which is the important thing. He never goes traitor the way that Harry does. Then you have Helen and Judy although their roles aren’t huge. Judy sort of cracks while Helen does well although it takes her a while to make a move.

That leaves us with Ben who’s certainly the most experienced member of the group. He’s been taking down zombies for a while not and knows how to fight them. He’s definitely fed up with everyone right now though and feels like they’re holding him back. They definitely do slow him down quite a bit between Barbra freezing and Harry actively trying to murder Ben. Ben handles the zombies pretty well for most of the film although at the end I’d say that he got a bit sloppy. I suppose there’s not a whole lot he could have known about the situation though so I’ll give him some slack there. It made for a pretty intense ending that’s for sure.

I was glad that we actually got to see the government get involved. It feels like a lot of the time you don’t get to see a whole lot from them here. It makes sense that they would be gearing up to stop the zombies though. The scenes of the professionals discussing things and making plans was nice. It’s always good to see everyone banding together to stop a threat like this and humanity is united rather well. I do feel like they would be able to defeat the zombies rather easily when you think about it. A head shot is all you need and the zombies are incredibly slow. As it stands I feel like the main characters should have been a little less nervous about things at times as you could pick them off pretty easily. Honestly if Ben had one more fighter with him then they probably could have just taken them all down. With two people it’s a lot safer to actually go in and start bashing the opponents. With 1 you gotta be careful since they do have a little super strength so any good hit could turn the tables.

Overall, This is probably still a better film than most zombie titles. It’s not exactly one of the better horror genres if you ask me so for the most part this one was rather decent. If they would just tone down the cannabalism and the violence then this could even be a winner. You even have the horror twist type ending which is always classic. Throw in the brief Sci-Fi angle and the government part and there is definitely a whole lot to enjoy here. I get the feeling that this will end up beating the sequels as well. If you want a suspenseful film about trying to survive in the middle of nowhere then this is probably an appropriate one to check out. Otherwise there’s always the original Home Alone about defending yourself against powerful forces while all on your own.

Overall 3/10

Plan 9 From Outer Space Review


If you ever thought that having a movie with aliens and zombies would be too overwhelming for a film then this is one you need to check out. Plan 9 From Outer Space reminds us that a film can be as ambitious as it wants to be and still succeed so long as the writing is on point. The movie is fairly short but really manages to deliver on a whole lot of content. It’s a fun ride from start to finish and Inspector Daniel really ends up showing everyone how to handle supernatural cases like this. It’s rare to see a detective with such poise under pressure.

The movie starts with some people seeing a UFO as it heads to Earth. It is somehow able to bring the dead back to life and the body count slowly begins to grow. The aliens are using Plan 9 to take over the Earth. Basically what this entails is bumping off the most competent humans and then turning them into Zombies. These zombies will then crush the rest of the humans. The process of turning people into zombies seems rather quick to be honest so you may question why they don’t just turn everyone into zombies and be done with it. With their advanced weapons maybe they could just blow the planet to kingdom come right? I assume they need the planet alive since they want to take it over of course but then at least using it to take out some of the key bases. Well, since they haven’t done that, Daniel has a chance to crack the case and foil this plot.

On the surface Daniel probably seems like he’s out of his league here. He’s a tough detective who has had a long history of finding any kind of clue, but what clues will help him stop Plan 9? At the very least he never really ponders this and just gets into the action which is admirable. Pretty much any scene he is in Daniel starts pointing out mistakes others have made. The others really aren’t of any use without him and it shows. Daniel’s got to be the best character here in part because of his overwhelming confidence the whole time. I always like when a lead is decisive like that.

Not all of the characters are quite as on the ball though and I should say that despite the long writeup…Daniel isn’t the main character. He doesn’t quite last as long as you would expect. No, our lead is Jeff and he’s a pretty earnest guy. He’s certainly seen more action in the field than Daniel as a pilot and quickly gets thrown into the thick of it. If you wanted to see a human actually fight with one of these aliens mano a mano then you’ll have your chance. There is one scene in particular that may stretch your imagination though as one of the zombies heads to Jeff’s house. Keep in mind that the zombies are rather obvious since they can’t move a whole lot and have a vacant expression on their face. At most you can maybe understand his kid not realizing that something was up but Jeff’s wife should have suspected something when the guy just kept grunting the whole time. Then Jeff himself didn’t notice until he went in the car and it was too late to get out. Not very observant eh?

There’s just so much going on with a bunch of characters at the ready. As a result one of the characters doesn’t even get to say anything and he just runs around with recycled footage the whole time. It’s definitely an interesting decision and shows that the cutting floor can really change the whole feel of a character arc. The movie is pretty short at only around an hour so it’s pretty impressive how many storylines and characters are juggled. What really sells this film is the solid writing. The characters talk like a really old movie with the witty banter and iconic one liners. They all seem like reasonable people who have to band together to stop a common enemy. You can’t really go wrong with that setup.

The aliens themselves are pretty fun as well even if they do get a bit nervous at times. It’s hard to forget the scene where they lose control of the zombie and it nearly chokes them all out. If you can’t beat your own creations that’s a bad sign. It did foreshadow that they would likely have trouble against ordinary humans though. After all, if you can’t beat a zombie then that means your strength is under theirs and probably fairly ordinary in nature. Their best bet was destroying us all with technology and as soon as they did not go with that plan I knew they were going to have a hard time of it.

One last strength that the film has is certainly all of the government scenes. We see them trying to shoot down the UFO with lasers and when that fails they fall back to pretending it never happened. I always like to see the government involved as it makes everything a little more tense and professional-like. They have a whole subplot here as they try to figure things out and it makes sense since Jeff is also intertwined in that. All we needed was a courtroom scene and this movie really would have had every strong scenario from these retro movies.

Overall, This is a really fun movie. You have a whole lot of themes and genres stuffed in here. You’ve got the mystery from the humans’ perspective of what’s going on, horror with the zombies running around, sci-fi thanks to the aliens, and maybe even some drama with people coping with the dead characters coming back although this isn’t really played up. We’ve also got a fantastic climax with quite a lot of action. On one hand you’ve got the 1 on 1 human vs alien battle and on the other you have a full army war scene of the heroes fighting off the zombies. I was definitely happy to see the army getting involved. Usually you don’t see that, but it makes sense with the invasion plans in motion.

Overall 7/10

Carriers Review


It’s time to look at another zombie film. This time it’s less of a sci-fi though as the zombies don’t run around destroying people. It’s definitely an interesting look at the end of the world, but the cast certainly aren’t likable and I dare say that it is intentional. Karma slowly starts to catch up to them as they go through their travels and by the end there really isn’t a happy end for all of them. In fact, depending on how you look at it it’s game over for everyone.

The film starts off by introducing us to the state of the world. A plague infected the planet and almost everyone is now dead. The main characters aren’t the chosen 4 who have survived as there are other survivors, but the human race has been whittled down tremendously. That’s why they came up with some rules. If they come across someone who is infected, then that person is already dead so the heroes won’t try to help. They can’t go near any infected people and they have to disinfect everything that may have been close to an infected. Their goal is to get to a beach since it’s an isolated place and hopefully nobody is there. I don’t know how likely it is that nobody would be there since even though this beach is no longer active…it’s a beach.

One of the problems here is the fact that none of the characters adhere to the rules. One of the big ones naturally is not to get anywhere close to the infected yet they do so all the time. As all of the characters begin to get infected you’ll see the others walk around without their masks. They jump into houses without masks and just run around constantly. They’ll make a big deal of putting on the masks later on, but by then they would already be infected. It’s part of why I believe they all would have ultimately died by the end even without making so many mistakes.

Brian is arguably the main character here. He’s a very rude guy who is always yelling and being aggressive in order to get people to see his way of thinking. Brian does care for his friends, but not for anyone else. He’s used to doing the dirty work to the point where it has become routine. Karma hits him pretty hard and fast though and you can sort of see how his character arc will play out. I do think he should have been a little more careful in the ending though. I suppose a part of him wanted to go out in that way since he wouldn’t have to endure the longer process. None of the characters like the idea of becoming an infected after all.

Then there is Danny who was probably the worst character of the bunch although Kate gives him a run for his money. Danny is the kind of guy who will pressure others to make the hard calls, but offers no help or will even try to make it sound like he would have made the nice move. Either he would end up making everyone infected or he would simply get sore later on since deep down he didn’t want it to go this way. He gets influences pretty easily by Kate and just doesn’t make any good decisions throughout the movie. He isn’t mean like Brian but in a way that may be why he comes across as a little fake at times.

Bobby is probably the most sincere of the 4 characters, but that comes back to bite her. She really did not handle the situation well at all. You can see why she may have acted the way she did with the kid, but she really should have tried to help through the plastic as opposed to taking it off. I don’t blame her for hiding it from the rest of the group after that though. If anything that just helped her prolong the inevitable and it would have been way worse for her if she had spoke up right away.

Finally we have Kate who probably makes the others regret that she was taken along for the ride. She has no real bond with the other characters so that makes it pretty easy for her to constantly tell Danny that they need to bump someone off. She’s that negative voice in his ear always trying to give dicey instructions. By the end of the film she seems pretty satisfied since it seems like things went well for her. While the film doesn’t even imply otherwise, I do think that the characters are already doomed. She was really close to an infected Bobby for quite a while, Danny made contact with Brian a few times post infection and he was also really close to the dead zombie. Then there’s all the times they were all walking around without masks.

I think that Carriers has a hard time deciding just how infectious the virus is. Part of it also depends on the individual’s resistance to being sick as well, but you would still think that the characters would keep the masks on more often. I don’t care if it’s a little uncomfortable, if it’s the only thing keeping me alive then I’ll be wearing it all the time. These characters don’t really tend to think things through though so maybe it’s not too surprising.

Then the film really jumped the shark by introducing a dog in towards the end. Keep in mind that there is seriously no reason to have a dog and the instant he appeared I knew that the film was in trouble. Sure enough that ends up being game over for him as the characters grab the gun and the film was completely destroyed in that moment. It was already not going to be that high, but this moment was a game changer. Then you’ve also got the fact that some random army characters show up later on for forced tension as they want to keep Bobby and Kate for sketchy reasons. This is another plot line that comes out of nowhere and does nothing except show that it’s a cruel world now. We already knew that so why bother? We already had the Dad and his dying kid for that plotline and that was already pretty tragic. That was the death flags moment for Brian by the way. Realistically they couldn’t have helped her but they just shouldn’t have pulled over from the start. Shooting the two old ladies was also crossing a big line since they were putting their lives above everyone else’s.

Overall, Carriers is definitely a miss. The idea of making a quality zombie film could be good, but this one just really missed the mark. It made all of the mistakes it possibly could and even with the classic “Everyone is doomed” ending it can’t really save itself. The writing is very weak and it’s a mean spirited film where everyone loses out. That’s why I do think a main theme here is about how the characters’ selfish choices ultimately doom them all but that could have just been coincidental. After all the ending does try to stay vague to an extent….I just don’t quite buy it. You’ll want to stay far away from this film and if anything you should watch the Vincent Price film about being the Last Man on Earth instead. That one handles all of the themes way better than this film ever could.

Overall 1/10

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

Maggie Review


It’s time for a zombie film that manages to make an already weak genre even weaker. This one takes everything you don’t like about zombie films and doesn’t even bring in any of the positives. At the very least, Resident Evil had some nice action scenes once in a while and a good soundtrack to boot. It was an interesting film even if it was a bad one and kept your attention from start to finish. Maggie never gets interesting and is so focused on being emotional that it forgets to actually do anything. There’s no subtlety to this film and while it’s hitting you over the head with how sad the film is, you’re waiting for the zombie apocalypse to start.

So the film is about a man named Wade and his daughter Maggie. She has been bitten by a zombie and is doomed to become one of them. The process is randomized so nobody knows when she will turn, but Wade is encouraged to destroy her or take her to a facility where she will be canabalized. See what I mean about the lack of subtlety? The film could at least give him a decent option as opposed to dark and gritty for everything. So what will Wade choose?

This film is just a cluster of nonsense from start to finish with forced drama at every turn. Let’s look at the obvious here. Once you are a zombie you are taken to a place to get eaten alive by zombies. Why? What purpose does such a place realistically serve? I get that this is a dystopia but why not just a quick death if they’re going to bump these guys anyway? Are there no more poison pills in the future? Why bother with a tonic that will torture you for hours before you finally die when you can swallow a little poison. If that doesn’t work then I’d like the film to address this.

The film also adds in animal violence for no real reason. It just comes out of nowhere and tries to be as violent as can be. The film was already garbage before this scene but it certainly didn’t help matters. I don’t use the term lightly but for a 0 Star film like this one it’s only fitting. It’s basically the tv version of The Walking Dead and the atmosphere and writing are like Attack on Titan, only worse somehow. While the movie is beating you over the head with a stick as it tells you to feel bad for the characters, it also keeps reminding you that they’re not even thinking about the consequences. For example, Wade doesn’t have any safe guards for when Maggie turns. He says he does, but he clearly doesn’t since he leaves her unsupervised for ages. I’m cool with him wanting to save Maggie because yes that is the right call. Still, you need to at least build some kind of large cage around the premise or something to make sure she can’t escape and destroy everyone. Instead he makes everyone feel uncomfortable about the situation. Although in a world where all of the kids hang out without suits and keep on infecting each other, it’s certainly a matter of time before humanity is wiped out.

Wade is a reasonable character since he at least didn’t destroy Maggie. That would have been another big facepalm moment had that happened. He stayed strong and confronted everyone who tried to put her down. You do question why he would still risk leaving home for hours at a time to work in the tractor since he could walk home to an empty house but I guess he figured Maggie could stay strong and fight the virus. He was wrong.

Maggie does last for a while, but from the start you know that she is doomed. This is just that kind of movie, one where there is no hope from the start and a sad ending is guaranteed. It could have been even more grim I admit so I’ll give the film some kudos there. Not much though since it’s not like the film could have gotten a worse score at this point right? She gets a really random subplot with some annoying teenagers which was fairly forced and didn’t add to anything. We learn more about how evil society is and how the kids have no options so I guess the film just wanted to remind us of how grim the world is. We are reminded so often that it makes you wonder what the purpose of the film is again. Is it an emotional story about letting go or a director’s true vision on how the world is?

Ultimately the teenagers are only introduced so we can see one of them dragged off in tears to the boot camp where he will suffer a lot before dying. The edge levels are still high so I’m sure the film makers were particularly pleased with this moment. I can imagine them singing the Infinite song from Sonic Forces while making this film as it would fit the tone pretty well. Although I’ll take the song over this movie any day.

Aside from all this negativity let’s look at the world in general. The cops and authorities certainly aren’t doing a very good job of preventing the outbreaks. They don’t know what’s causing them and can’t cure it. They don’t even have a way of knowing where these zombies are so now we live in a world where they can be around any corner. Based on how everyone acts in this film they should all be turned already since it is supposedly contagious. The world seems semi ruined already in some parts while quite civilized in others so maybe the virus is just spreading really slowly? At any rate my money’s on the zombies to win in the long run.

Overall, This is definitely a very dark and gritty film. It’s quite mean spirited and does all it can to show you there is no way out of the situation. There is no big climax or moment where the heroes think they have a chance. It’s a film that starts at the bottom and is content to stay there for the duration. The colors are very dreary and dark so there isn’t anything good to even look at. I like to think this film was simply made in a dare to see if anyone would actually watch this movie. The only thing it did right was to further convince me that zombie films are going to almost always simply be a waste of time.

Overall 0/10

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Review


It’s time for an interesting film that uses a the concept behind X-Men, but with its own spin. Considering how sad the last few X-Men films have been, it’s not hard to construct a universe that’s more interesting. (At least when it comes to films) Unfortunately, this film jumps off the cliff by the end as the logic just doesn’t make sense at times while also having some of the worst writing that I’ve seen in a film in a very long time. (“Some” being the key word here since Pixels exists) It takes you out of the experience, but at least it is interesting and never really drags on.

Jake was just an average boy who tries to live a normal life. His Grandfather would tell him stories of people with fantastic powers and other such tales, but Jake paid him no mind. One day, the grandfather is attacked and murdered by a large creature. Everyone tells Jake that he is crazy, but the kid discovers a recent letter from the head of the school for Peculiar Children. Jake convinces his Dad to tag along as they head to the island and Jake discovers that he is the chosen one. He must save the school from the giant monsters before it is too late, but will he gain some intelligence in the meantime or are all of his friends doomed?

It’s hard to know where to start here. I think I want to go with Jake since I have a lot to say about him although none of it is good. He is easily one of the most incompetent main characters that I have ever seen and also one of the most unintelligent and unlikable. Lets go chronologically here. I guess I can give him a slight pass for not believing the grand father since it would be a tough tale to buy, but after he sees the creature and how the grand father is murdered…he should accept it as true right? He believes it enough to go to the school, but then he is startled by the kids that the grand father has talked to him about for many years. Jake should not be startles, but he is and then he trips and knocks himself out.

Jake continues to embarrass himself further for the rest of the movie. One girl is embarrassed to eat in front of him because of her ability, but Jake says that its fine since he’s a tough kid and can handle it. Needless to say, he gives her a sad, scared, worried kind of look afterwards and shifts in his seat. Later on, everyone warns Jake that the school bully is going to try and scare him by showing Jake the kid who was murdered. Jake knows this, but wants to meet the kid anyway. I won’t say exactly how the interaction goes, but Jake runs out of the room screaming…which tells you enough.

Part of the plot revolves around how Miss Peregrine keeps the kids in a 24 hour time loop which saves them from the bombing in WW II, but also keeps them eternally young. As a result, they live the same day over and over again and have been doing well without Jake. Knowing this, the main heroine brings Jake out to the country side to see how Miss Peregrine destroys the monster every day. Jake suddenly forgets common sense when he sees the monsters and yells out a warning to Peregrine even though she clearly did not need one and Jake could have ruined everything there. Need I go on? Yes! I could write a whole essay on Jake and his unending fails.

Another sad moment is when Jake decides to take down the main villain. He has the element of surprise on his side and a point blank target. Jake misses anyway and then proceeds to miss the next half a dozen shots. Some of them were at very close range and the main villain doesn’t even try to dodge since he tends to forget that Jake exists. Jake messed up every single time. There’s another moment where one of the monsters is choking one of his classmates. Jake grabs the arrow launcher so he can take the monster out, but then he freezes. With his terrible aim, I suppose I can’t totally blame him, but aim at the monster’s legs at least. It was lifting the classmate very high off the ground so it was another clear shot. Jake was very slow on the uptake the whole time and you also have to love how he breaks his promises instantly. He told Peregrine that he would protect everyone, but once she is gone he decides to bolt. He has a completely safe and protected Grandpa to check on after all!

This was also one of the big plot holes in the novel if you ask me. The logic used here is that if you alter the past then you’ll change the future. It’s simple enough if you go with that theory, but it doesn’t work since time acts linearly in this film. When the main character spends a day in 1943, a day still passes in the present. As such, the grandfather shouldn’t come back to life if a certain past event never happened. If time did shift like that, then the Peculiar Kids should all be in very different situations as well since the loop would have never been necessary. The film just tripped itself up here.

Back to Jake, I also couldn’t back him up on the romance. I have to give half of the blame to Emma here as well. So, let’s put this into context. Emma is at least 80 years old, but her age is likely far greater than that since we don’t know how long the time loop had started in the first place. She fell in love with Jake’s grandfather, but he ditched them so he could murder villains and age like a normal person. So, she decided to go for the rebound guy, aka Jake. Jake looks completely identical to his grandfather so that works for her and Jake falls in love with her within seconds so he’s fine with this. I’m not even going to mention the fact that Emma should double think this since Jake was so easy to obtain, but it shows that this romance is pretty fake. Not to mention the fact that Jake barely even thought twice about ditching her in the end only to visit her again by the end to make everything seem okay.

Jake’s also anything but heroic. At one point, he says that the only way he will stay to help the kids is if Emma becomes his girlfriend. That isn’t the exact line, but it is essentially what he meant. He was talking about how people needed him back home and he won’t only stay as their guardian if Emma- but then she cut him off and told him to go away. Jake basically just came across as a poorly written jerk the whole time and the amount of times that he should have died in this film is quite high. He just had the writing to protect him. Lets also not forget that fact that Jake completely led the villains right to the Home’s doorstep. Just something to think about…

There’s one more big plot hole here. Emma’s whole gimmick is that she can manipulate the air which allows her to make all of the water exit a room and such. That’s great…but she still needs iron boots in order to stay on the planet. Are you really telling me that she can’t make a gust of wind to bring herself back down? That makes no sense and it’s such a core element to her powers that I can’t believe the film didn’t address this. Perhaps the book did, but such a thing needed to have been in the film as well. I feel like the writer was in over his/her head on this one and as such, all of these plot holes began to show up. Not to mention that most of the characters are unlikable, underused, or just don’t do much and you’re left wondering what just happened.

All right, lets talk about the positives real quick. For starters, there are more action and intensity than I was expecting so that’s definitely a good thing. It died down a little after the start, but a strong beginning is always important. The visuals were fairly good as well even if the film never let the kids use their powers all that much. The time loop was cool to watch and Peregrine’s outfit is certainly unique. It had a very regal esque look to it. The design for the monsters was also solid.

The best character in the film was definitely Jake’s Dad. He’ll certainly be a polarizing figure, but he worked quite well for me. He clearly doesn’t really know how to be a Dad and makes a lot of mistakes, but he does seem to care. Certainly more than the other supporting characters from Jake’s past. (Especially with a certain plot twist from his one of his advisers) He was just a lot of fun to watch even if he was portrayed rather extremely. Some characters just can’t resist Miller Time after all. You have to look at the Dad as a fun comedy character. Naturally, he isn’t meant to be taken seriously.

As for the rest of the cast, you already know my views on Jake. I can’t say that I liked Emma either as she was far too dramatic and all over the place with Jake. She should have just placed the friend zone card right from the get go. The little girl with super strength and the twins with their masks were all right, but they didn’t get much character here. Victor is another character who hasn’t gotten to do anything and I suppose that will be developed in a sequel. Enoch is the bully who is definitely not likable. He’s basically just around to make things tough for Jake and naturally this means that he has a very easy job. Olive is all right and her fire powers are some of the most useful in a fight, but she is completely invalidated when the ice villain is able to defeat her. The whole point of having fire powers it that you shouldn’t be frozen so easily. It was a rather embarrassing fight for her and the rushed romance between the two was rather forced. After 100 years of working together you finally develop your feelings after a quick fight? Hmmmmm.

Most of the other kids are just around to remind you that they have powers and aren’t afraid to use them. Miss Peregrine is the final big hero. (Unless you count the other Time Wizard, but she looks rather terrible the whole time. Getting kidnapped is one thing, but getting one shotted in the next scene? That’s even worse! She’s a character who just seemed rather odd. The film hypes her up as a very strong character who can put up a fight, but it turns out that she is rather powerless and can’t even beat a single opponent. Theoretically, the film acts as if one monster can take down the whole school and that’s…just embarrassing. I feel like all of Peregrine’s hype was destroyed when the main villain walked into the room and that hurt her character a lot. She’s charismatic, but it appears that she is all talk for the moment. Not to mention the fact that she seems a little corrupt as she will murder people quite easily and does keep the children confined in a time loop for eternity while treating them like kids. It doesn’t seem quite right, but that isn’t really delved into.

I have to quickly jump onto a few more plot holes while I’m at it. This one’s not really a plot hole so much as it is a power inconsistency. The headmistress of another time loop claimed that she couldn’t save any of her students because there were too many monsters. Later, it is shown that a single monster can destroy them all since the monsters are invisible. Maybe the Time Loop character was trying to sound impressive, but it seems like the writer didn’t really think it through. Furthermore, a moment in the climax is another plot hole. The whole climax doesn’t make sense since the villain could destroy all of the kids several times, but chooses not too. Based on how he was acting prior to those moments, it just makes no sense. He has waited for this moment for many years, he would definitely be taking it at least a little seriously. Still, a monster grabs him and the main villain forgets that he has powers. I seriously could not believe what I was watching. It made absolutely no sense and ranks up there along with the sad scene of watching skeletons take down the monsters. It makes absolutely no sense!! Speaking of not making any sense, I hope that a sequel deals with how bringing people back to life and forcing them to fight against their will is rather shady and morally suspect as well as how Peregrine left the rest of the schools to fight for themselves by not warning them that the villains were coming. She is directly responsible for the villain mass murdering a group of kids since she could have warned them, but chose not too. Again….everyone in this film is either shady, has no character, or is just weak.

You seriously just need to throw logic out the window when you watch this film. It’ll let you enjoy it a whole lot more since the writing is just disgraceful. Beyond the plot hax, the main villain isn’t bad I suppose. At least he has a personality and is fairly charismatic. I just can’t take him seriously and the whole eyeballs thing prevents him from being all that good. As you can tell, I mainly had a big problem with the characters in this film and the writing. Still, that isn’t quite enough to give the film a negative rating. It still could have probably gotten a 5 and maybe narrowly a 6. Unfortunately, the film hit two big snags.

One of these was animal violence. Yes, the film resorted to having a herd of cows die for no real reason. It had nothing to do with anything and the scene should have been cut out. The other part is the fact that the villains have to eat eyes to power up. That’s just super dark and the concept should not have existed. It’s just there to be gritty and dark and this does not mesh well with the rest of the film. Seeing the villains consume eyeballs for lengthy periods of time is just disturbing and disgusting. The scenes aren’t horribly graphic as they’re made to look gross, but fake. Still, it’s not something that should have been in the film either and these two negatives ensured a negative score for the film. There’s not much of a soundtrack to be noticed here so that couldn’t help to earn any points either. I’m sure that the tunes were decent, but as I don’t remember any of them, they couldn’t have been all that good.

Overall, This is one of those films that is easy to talk about. I probably didn’t even address everything here as there is just so much to say. On a conceptual level, this film is just very interesting as I like the premise and the world that was built up. Unfortunately, it was simply mishandled and that’s a shame. The Dad was a fun character and I definitely missed him once Jake jumped back into the fantasy world. Jake panicked once again and forgot that he was in a time loop, but I’d expect nothing less from him by that point. I would recommend you check this film out, but you should probably take a pass on it. Watch the film if you want a logic-less action film that must have taken writing cues from Now You See Me, but you should probably just watch Man of Steel again. Now that film was a deep action film with a lot of epic moments. If this film gets a sequel, I’m going to expect it to explain away some of these plot holes so it can try to save the franchise.

Overall 4/10

Maze Runner The Scorch Trials Review

MV5BMjE3MDU2NzQyMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzQxMDQ3NTE@._V1_SX640_SY720_
“You wouldn’t last a day in the scorch!” That line still cracks me up since it’s practically a parody of a line. Seriously, I can’t imagine anyone saying that without laughing immediately afterwards. It’s a very transparent way to build up hype for the scorch since it’s apparently so much tougher than the Maze. Is it tougher? Nah, I’ll take Zombies over super fast creatures of destruction any day. You would too I assume! Unfortunately, this film’s pretty bad honestly and reminds me why I was never afraid of lasting a day in the scorch!

Thomas is still the main character and he’s as unlikable as ever. If you remember, the kids survived the maze only to find out that it was a government installation of sorts so they have joined another government in hopes of defeating the original organization and now they can spread peace and harmony across the cosmos. There were a lot of other mazes apparently so these guys mean business. Every day about 10-20 kids are taken away to freedom….or are they!? Thomas finally realizes that this whole thing is very sketchy so he decides to escape with the others. Turns out that the outside world has been contaminated so everyone is a zombie now. The kids are the only ones who are immune to a slight extent, but not all of them are immune…just some. They must now find the resistance and try to stay alive since plot isn’t one of the film’s strong suits.

Then again, what is the film’s strong suit? I’ve never been a fan of zombies as the villains in a film so that didn’t do it any favors. They’re about as weak and slow as you would expect and aren’t really much of a threat. The resistance introduces us to quite a lot of new characters since there’s the fake resistance and the real one. The fake version brings us two new characters. A romance character and an old man who makes the tough calls. Unfortunately, they don’t end up being all that good. The old man gets one good moment where he rams a truck through the villains. The girl seemed to have just been included for the party scene towards the end where she gets drunk and we have a forced scene between her and Thomas. They both look terrible and the romance comes out of nowhere. They have the excuse of being drunk, but it’s not an excuse that holds any water with me. They were still in control of their actions.

I’d say that part of the problem with the film is that they’re all teens. This means that none of them are actually all that interesting and they’re all pretty whiny for the most part. The guys are pretty cheap and the female member of the group turns out to be a Mami (Madoka) in the end. She can’t take the pressure and always makes the wrong calls. Thomas has a good plan at the end of the film, but it’s effectively foiled when he freezes up in the clutch moments. The ending would be hype if the characters were more exciting since they’re planning to finally take on the offensive for the first time in the series. That will definitely be novel even if they seem to be pretty doomed the whole time. The organization is clearly a lot larger and more advanced than the resistance, but the heroes will try to pull something off I suppose.

The villains are all fairly uninspired. The best one would probably be the main guy I guess. He talked tough a lot and even got a good shot in on Thomas when the kid wasn’t expecting it. This guy plays for keeps and he’s certainly more original than the old lady who talks about how noble the mission is. Didn’t we just see that in the Hunger Games after all? Didn’t the Giver also involve an old lady? I’m seeing a trend here and you don’t want to see trends so easily. It’s not a great way to show off a writer’s originality.

Films like these also make you feel bad for the resistance. They’re always doing very well against the tyranny that they are resisting until the main characters show up. Thomas and friends basically lead the villains to the first base, which they promptly blow up and then lead the villains to the Resistance main headquarters which is also blown up. Seriously, nobody should want to hang out with the main characters since it means that they are basically doomed. They bring a trail of death and destruction in their wake. It helps that they’re not likable of course.

I’d still say that this film is better than the average Hunger Games Adventure though. At the very least, I’d say that this one beats the last two Hunger Game films even if this isn’t one of the more enjoyable adventures out there. At the very least it was a little more interesting although only marginally so. There’s not a whole lot left to fight for in this world and the villains are pretty overpowered. With the human race essentially extinct, you’re essentially just going to prolong your existence for a few decades before the zombies take everyone down. I don’t see any way that the people can rebuild based on how utterly destroyed everything is. At least they don’t seem to be stretching the series so the next film is supposed to be the final one to end the era.

Overall, The Scorch Trials weren’t all that bad. If not for the government looking for the main characters the entire time, it would actually be a breeze. Finding food and such wasn’t all that hard. Water’s more of an issue, but the Scorch Trials really did not live up to the hype of how tough they were supposed to be. It was still funny to see a character wish he was back in the maze. No sir, you don’t want to be back in the maze. If anything, the maze makes you a sitting duck since the main characters can get sniped at any moment. There’s going to be a lot of tension in the next film since one of the characters ended up cracking, but hopefully it’s pure tension and doesn’t delve into romantic tension. After what the character did, I hope they don’t even try for an emotional appeal. A lot of people died directly due to the decision that was made so there’s no way to spin that into a good thing, but let’s face it…the film’s going to try. I’ll have my popcorn ready for the attempt! Instead of watching this film, go watch the Super Smash Bros Brawl cutscenes…you’ll thank me later!

Overall 4/10