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The Neighbors (2012)
Where this show is so new I'm inclined to keep this short and sweet: I'm unsure why some are rating this show so low, as it seems to have been quite clearly written and designed for fun. I'd like to suggest more cynical viewers lower their proverbial gun barrels and take pleasure in a show that simply wants to be silly, creative and a little bit cheesy...as opposed to the barrage of deep message-laden pseudo-preachy programs that we're currently bombarded with.
I found the pilot a bit shaky in spots, but I can't recall a pilot of any program where this wasn't the case. The characters were well-portrayed; I found the acting particularly strong given the subject matter. It also had a decent spectrum in relation to how it will relate to adults and younger viewers; hence the steady-fire logic of visual and vocal quips that kept things rolling along nicely.
I'm trying to be as vague as possible as I'd rather entice people to check it out, instead of spoil it by trying to summarize or describe it adequately in text. It's a situational-style sitcom with Sci-Fi overtones. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and clearly has a lot of fun in the production. I found the writing particularly clever in many spots, and laughed out loud on many occasions. I can only hope the humour and writing stays strong throughout the season, because if that starts to weaken, it may deflate the whole concept altogether. Nonetheless, I've found it to be a decent breath of fresh air so far.
Haunted Echoes (2008)
The trailer looked interesting. The premise seemed enticing. The first 15 minutes of the film confirmed my previous assumptions...and then the plot unfolded, fumbled, and ultimately performed a well- executed face-plant.
The basic premise is a family who have recently suffered the tragic loss of their daughter, whom had been kidnapped and murdered 10 days later. Fast-forward to the healing stages of grief; the husband and wife begin to heal and move to a beautiful new house. Well..a beautiful old house, rather. As the rules of spirit/ghost horror dictate; people who have recently suffered a tragic loss sometimes attract unseen forces..and so the movie actually begins. Cue spooky haunted house schtick.
I should have seen it as an omen to find Sean Young (aka. Einhorn/Ray Finkle in Ace Ventura) as Laura, the main character. It's difficult to take her seriously after having seen her slap comedic swords with Jim Carrey, and true to form, she made me laugh more than scream in terror. Any nail-biting that was done on my part was due to the unbelievably predictable plot lines, unconvincing dialogue delivery and an apparent switch in film-grade quality half-way through the movie.
There were too many gaping holes in this film to fully enjoy it. The ending provided no resolve, but did suggest that the entire premise for the film was all for nothing. Don't understand what I mean? If you can get as far as the end, it will all be clear. Otherwise, don't waste your time on this piece of garbage.