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Just a guy raping severed heads. Horror has been done much better than this.
So sometimes you watch a movie and you wonder what might have possibly been involved in the creative process leading up to the development of a motion picture and this one certainly seems to be simple to me. I'd imagine it was a group of guys sitting around a table and the conversation went a little something like this:
"So... how do we make a slasher movie stand out of the crowd?" "I know! We make it really EXTREME! The media always talks about extreme movies!" "So how do we do that? It sounds like a lot of effort." "Nah, we'll just put a bunch of stuff in that everybody hates." "So what does everybody hate?" "Oooh, everybody hates cannibals!" "And rapists! Even more if they're necrophiliacs!" "And torturers!" "Great! Make our bad guy all of those things and make it as gross as possible! We're done!" "Better throw in some incestuous undertones, too, that'll make it seem deeper and more complex." "Great idea! Now let's draw straws and see who has to go home and write the script tonight."
That's pretty much the vibe I got from this movie. I forced myself to sit through it to the end because I can't take a review seriously when somebody says "I turned it off half way" and that's that, but I really would have loved to.
I adore horror movies, but when the writers and directors just play the "gross" card it is the least creative, insulting, lazy, slipshod cash grab that a horror movie can be. It's also essentially a middle finger in the face of the genre's audience, and it's one we've come to expect more than any other genre audience out there, unfortunate as that is.
If you're going to watch this, I genuinely can say watch the first ten minutes and you've essentially seen the whole movie. It is entirely just a serial killer, cannibal, necrophiliac psychopath torturing women, decapitating them, eating their eyeballs and having sex with the severed heads and that is the entire movie. If that sounds like something you'd enjoy, have fun. I'd suggest not watching it around family or friends, though. It won't leave them with a healthy impression of you as a stable human being.
Road Games (2015)
Can you speak French? If not, consider yourself forewarned.
What to say about this movie? Hmmm... I want to review it, but I can't even do that properly. It had an air of intrigue about it to begin with and I found myself enjoying it for about the first third, however, I unfortunately don't speak French. German? Yes. Italian and Indonesian? Just the basics, but no French. When a large portion of the dialogue began to occur in a language that I don't speak, I found myself flicking through the options of my player trying to discern whether I'd accidentally turned off the subtitles or had myself a defective copy. Only now and after watching the movie in full, I find that there were deliberately no subtitles and that this was somehow supposed to increase the tension and atmosphere. In my case, that did not work. Not at all. In fact, I spent most of the rest of the movie wondering if I was missing much of the plot and should turn it off or continue to the end and hope that the dialogue returns to mostly English at some point. Either way, I was completely disengaged from the film and that is a very bad thing. Normally I'd not give it a second thought, as I have seen many movies with dialogue in foreign languages that do not contain subtitles, but the difference here is the SHEER AMOUNT of movie that is spoken in French that made me zone out and spend more time focused on trying to fix my subtitles than actually watching the film because I thought that surely something was wrong. In retrospect, I would have done well to have researched it first, so perhaps the onus is on myself. Sad face.
I'm giving it a 4 out of 10 because I enjoyed it for what I was able to comprehend. I liked the story, I loved the scenery and the acting... er... well, I can't even accurately comment on that because I don't even know how to rate the acting and dialogue of somebody I can't understand. The English-speaking parts seemed above par for a horror/thriller, I guess.
So I'm warning you in advance, either learn how to speak French or have a friend there to translate the dialogue for you, otherwise, you'll simply drift off wondering what in heck is going on.
EDIT - Another user has since contacted me to say that there were, in fact, subtitles. I'm leaving this review up, however, as that does not appear to be the case with all copies. The DVD I watched had only French subtitles, not English, and said user did not specify either way which language subtitles he was referring to. I suppose checking in advance would be the prudent thing to do.
The Hospital 2 (2015)
Don't do it. Just don't.
Every now and then I really feel like kicking myself for some of the awful crap I will sit through from beginning to end and this is certainly one of those times. I never watched the first movie, as I'd been warned away from it vehemently by another movie buff. I thought, however, as a second film had been made, perhaps the budget would be larger and the cast and crew may have learned a few things further down the line production-wise. Boy, was I wrong. At least, I can't think the first one could be any worse than this film. I literally paused it firstly to take out the bins and then to wash the dishes to break up the monotony of it all.
What a wreck. There is nothing redeemable about this movie and I watched this one right after Sharkansas Women's Prison Massacre. That was also terrible, but a masterpiece by comparison. After fifteen minutes of The Hospital 2, I thought maybe a beer would make it better. Then it was a couple of gin and tonics. Surely that would help, right? Nope. No amount of self-medication could put a band-aid on this injury. There is no cure for this ailment, only a vaccine. The vaccine is avoiding this movie at all costs and to pray to any merciful deity that will listen to strike down anybody, anywhere, who so much as mentions making The Hospital 3.
Loved it. Puts the other boring Marvel movies to shame.
I've only ever cared for Blade and the X-Men films as a movie buff. The other rubbish like Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, Superman, Guardians of the Galaxy and the myriad of Avenger heroes and their own crap films that they keep rehashing every few years are the most boring, generic, "epic" cinema experiences I've ever put up with that weren't aimed entirely at little children such as Ice Age 4 and whatnot.
Deadpool was a breath of fresh air. It couldn't have been better. They finally made a superhero movie for people who were kids when these superheroes were big commercial comic book successes. I bought Deadpool comics all throughout the '90s as a teenager and knew exactly what to expect. Ryan Reynolds couldn't be more perfect for the role and Deadpool couldn't be a more perfect character for an adult-oriented hero movie.
What bothers me is the amount of 1 out 10 ratings I'm seeing here. Some calling it too foul-mouthed, others calling it too violent, others again, whining about the sex scenes and then others who took their children to see all of this! What, I have to wonder, were you thinking? This movie is rated R and months and months before it was released this was made very, abundantly clear through advertising and Reynolds' own interviews. This movie is rated the same as Reservoir Dogs! The same as Saving Private Ryan, Django Unchained, The Green Mile, Traffic, The Wolf of Wall Street, Seven and Schindler's List! You came into this movie not expecting violence or swearing or sex? You brought your children to watch this movie?!? Why is this getting 1 out of 10, I wonder? The onus, then, is on yourselves. Obviously the fault here is with the common sense of the people buying the tickets and expecting some sort of PG-13 fare. Because as somebody who pays attention to a movie's classification rating I knew exactly what to expect. The movie did not swindle us as movie goers into thinking this was a family film.
Once again, I loved this movie, I got all of the references and all of the fourth wall breaks which, no doubt, would have flown over the heads of those who haven't had a keen investment in Deadpool for a long time and would probably take away from a lot of the laughs, so that's to be expected, but I'll just say to anybody reading this review that if a person complains about the violence or the sex or the swearing just disregard their rating of this film just as they disregarded the actual rating of this film. Movies rated R are rated R for a reason.
Cabin by the Lake (2000)
Possibly the most incompetent police force in the history of cinematic law enforcement.
Go ahead and assume that any review above a 3 out of 10 for this movie will either be from cast and crew or from those horror types who enjoy it when it's so bad it's funny. Why, you ask? Here's a direct quote from one of those reviewers: "It's Like Silence of The Lambs...but Even More Creepy" Yeah, that's what that reviewer wrote, and in all seriousness as far as I can tell, so you've been warned.
This movie is terrible. Not just your standard TV movie terrible, but full blown utter rubbish terrible. As I mentioned in the summary, the police force on display here would be lined up against a wall and shot for stupidity. I don't think I've ever seen as little effort put into catching a serial killer as appears in Cabin by the Lake. For instance, the police set up a perfectly viable sting operation to catch creepy guy Stanley at his "garden" and yet they wait for Stanley to realise he's in the middle of their trap before springing it. Stanley then proceeds to simply swim away whilst the police divers go to the location where he was, see he's gone, look at each other and shrug before surfacing and saying something like "Nope, I guess he's not there. Better luck next time." to which the sheriff instantly calls the entire operation off as Stanley ever-so-slowly makes the least ingenious escape in criminal history from the clutches of justice by basically swimming off to shore a few hundred feet away! SERIOUSLY??? Then of course, the one surviving victim/witness is pretty much treated like she saw a kid steal a t-shirt off a rack at Target rather than the only person who can identify by appearance and voice the guy that's kidnapped and murdered half-a-dozen teenage girls already. She's left entirely without protection or supervision at probably the only motel in town where, of course, creepy Stanley meanders on in and nabs her AGAIN! Michael Weatherly's "hero cop" character is just as useless as the others, as in the near final scene, he swims down to rescue two hapless, drowning females. He stops at the first one, with whom he shares his oxygen, but rather than send her on her way to the surface, he sits there with victim one, sharing oxygen with her, as they both casually watch Stanley slowly succumb to death and become a gnome in his own creepy, little garden. Justice is served, but wait, fearless hero, THERE'S STILL VICTIM TWO DROWNING AS WELL!!! MAYBE SHARE A LITTLE OXYGEN WITH HER, PERHAPS, BEFORE SHE DIES??? But no, of course he doesn't and she dies. Job well done there, Serpico.
I won't even go into the rest, but I warn you there's some hint of a Stockholm Syndrome romance effect in there, some blissfully simple horror buff types who can't seem to grasp the gravity of having come across the decomposing remains of teen aged girls and even some sort of Twilight Zone-ish paradox wherein Judd Nelson is apparently the sexiest man in California who turns the heads of sultry vixens with "do me" face and is flirted with by young bimbos as though he were Zac Efron in a Bugatti. Strange, indeed.
It's all quite terrible, and only now writing this, can I slightly chuckle under my breath because of the one final, stupid scene in which creepy Stanley is shown to have indeed SOMEHOW survived the vice-like grip and fox-like cunning of his implacable, dauntless police pursuers and now appears to be living it up as per usual in what appears to be the exact same city in which he did all of his hunting and kidnapping to begin with. A truly wily criminal, indeed! He turns directly to the camera, with his mustard-coloured suit, his awful wig and stupid, little soul patch and smirks as if to say just to me "I bet you can't wait to see the next one, can you?" And that, my friends, is the one and only reason this piece of crap movie is getting a 2 out of 10 on this rating.
It was entertaining enough. There are much worse out there.
I'd read that Jamie Lee Curtis considered this the worst movie of her career. I suppose I then went into it expecting something quite awful, but was surprised to find it wasn't nearly as bad as so many horror/sci-fi films out there.
The acting, whilst not the best I've seen from the likes of Donald Sutherland, William Baldwin or Jamie Lee Curtis, is hardly the worst acting you could unfortunately expect from movies of this genre. It was also good to see supporting actors in there such as Cliff Curtis, whom I'm immensely enjoying watching right now in Fear the Walking Dead, putting in solid efforts. The production values are quite competent. Camera work, lighting and sound editing are all a pass.
The plot was nothing new but is always a favourite of mine. It seems that whenever a movie comes out about a person or crew investigating a derelict/abandoned ship, space station, military base or some such other thing, I'm all over it. I suppose this hearkens back to my favourite movie of all time being The Thing and always hoping for something just as good.
A very pleasant surprise was the lack of CGI use. If looking back on the late 90s and early 00s has proved to me anything in retrospect, it's that CGI-laden movies made then by today's standards look utterly terrible. Some did okay, like Event Horizon and Twister, but others are just awful to look at, such as The Scorpion King and The Phantom Menace. Virus, to me, was comparable in special effects to the movie Screamers in that it has its CGI moments when it calls for them and ONLY when it calls for them.
Overall, I'd give this one about a 6.8 out of 10 if I could rate a little more accurately. It won't set your world on fire, but it's hardly the worst way you could spend an evening on the sofa with a beer and a movie.
Penny Dreadful (2006)
Just so we're clear right from the start, if your idea of a good chiller is to watch a whimpering dimwit huddled in the fetal position in the back seat of a BMW for pretty much the entire film's running time, you'll be over the moon with this awful mess. Not me.
So where do I even start? Ah yes, the protagonist, of course. Weak female leads have always frustrated and annoyed me, double that for horror movies and then quadruple that for that weak female lead also being a certifiable imbecile. Penny is the absolute last person you would ever want to cross in a real-world survival scenario. She blubbers, she cries, she screams, she moans, she hurts herself and all while conveniently doing absolutely nothing any rational person would do in a life-or-death situation. Example? Homicidal lunatic following you with your car tire quickly losing pressure? Curl up in a ball and cry. Stuck in a car with a corpse? Make a half dozen mediocre efforts to break the windshield before giving up, curl up in a ball and cry. Helpful stranger runs down homicidal lunatic, you notice lunatic is still alive? Alert helpful stranger? Nope. Curl up in a ball and cry. I was grinding my teeth so hard I may have to go to the dentist and make sure my fillings are still intact.
To make matters even more ridiculous (yes, really), Penny decides she's going to continue downing sedatives that leave her virtually catatonic for hours, allowing the lunatic to mess with her each time she wakes from her medically induced comas, somehow surprised that it has happened again each time. I finally really just wanted to see the useless twit die and I was deprived of that joyous moment. If it had been in there, this may have received a "3 out of 10". Alas, it was not to be.
The movie itself is fairly standard slasher fare. You've got all the horror-isms like the creepy woods, the dark and stormy night, kids who think they may have heard a noise but then didn't, the obligatory useless flashlight, the creepy voice that is impossibly evil (was that seriously the Predator laughing?) and obviously the sprained ankle because obviously Penny isn't already as useless as an ashtray on a motorbike without being physically impaired on top of things.
This mess gets a "2 out of 10" only because Mimi Rogers pulled off her character quite well. Too bad she wasn't around long enough to finally snap and put idiot Penny out of everybody's misery.
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
Yeesh, that was a whole lot of nothing.
The only reason this movie gets two stars out of me is that, thanks to this mediocre effort, I'll be able to remind my girlfriend of what I put up with for her the next time I get to choose on movie night and I suggest a cheesy 80s comedy like "Weird Science" or "The Naked Gun". I don't really need to go into all of the details here because there are more than enough detailed descriptions of this thing to spare me the effort of doing so and to spare you reading the same thing over more times than necessary. Instead, I'll just go ahead and throw my lot in with the "haters", as the fans seem to be labelling us here.
What I will add because I haven't read it yet so far, and what I think should be an important point for perspective, is that every last "10 out of 10" reviewer I clicked on was a newly created account with only this film having been reviewed. I've been around here long enough to know that's always suspicious. I won't blatantly accuse them of being involved in the film's production or of being friends of those who were, but these new members sure are mighty keen on this rather sub-par film. You've been warned.
The Babadook (2014)
A solid watch.
I argued with my friend recently about the quality of this film the other day. We both agreed that it was marketed poorly as a horror film and we both disagreed on the "creep factor". He told me he couldn't get into it, that it was drawn out and boring. I asked him to go back and watch it again in the middle of the night, alone and with no distractions. He came back and told me it was intense.
Turns out the problem for him was the yammering groups of teenagers chuckling and being general annoyances, sitting on their smartphones and asking their friends every three minutes "what happened?" when he watched it at the cinemas. I'm gonna go ahead and assume many of these one-star reviews are from "torture porn" aficionados hoping for lots of blood, gore and awful death scenes, or from kids who were on their Facebook pages for much of the film, because if you involve yourself in the movie, it's actually really damned good. If you catch the allegory, which I doubt the slasher/TP viewers could even fathom, then you would see the ending is quite well constructed.
All in all, for a modestly budgeted film, the presentation is great. It's bleak and depressing and cruel and not particularly enjoyable in any sense of the word, but then that's what it sets out to be; A true "horror movie" in every sense of the term. It's hard-hitting and close to home, the acting is fantastic, the production values are great, the sound editing is skin-crawling in a good way. I've got nothing but praise for this effort. Ignore the one-stars. Just watch it and judge for yourself, but make sure you watch it alone in an empty house in the middle of the night and not surrounded by teenagers on smartphones that are just going to ruin the atmosphere.
The Den (2013)
Not too bad if you're expecting bad.
I suppose I went into this expecting something pretty terrible. I've not been too impressed with "found footage" films as of late, with "Afflicted" probably being the most enjoyable one in years, so it was a surprise when this one turned out to be a decent flick. It's certainly not perfect, as you'll see, there is a certain suspension of disbelief required to enjoy it, otherwise you'll be frustrated at some of the things that occur during the movie. Ghosts and aliens work better for me at this, as I can assume they both have some sort of upper edge going for them that the average person does not, so it's when the bad guy is the average person that I find their almost psychic ability to predict the most random of actions by their unwitting victims to be rather implausible.
For example, it's a little difficult to miss a full grown man sitting in the back of your car, particularly when approaching the car from the rear. One wrong glance and the predator would have become the prey. His hapless victim now being in a wide open space and standing over him where he is in a confined space sitting down. Seems like a pretty big risk to take on the gamble that the guy's gonna be looking in another direction the entire time it takes for him to walk to his car. Another example being a police officer entering a house that has been described to him as likely being a target of a vicious killer. As soon as he reaches the door, the lights are dead and the house has been ransacked, two immediate red flags that would make any actual police officer immediately request back up first and then search and secure the premises top to bottom before stopping to inspect any distractions, including a screaming laptop. Of course, it doesn't happen, and of course, the killer has somehow predicted this through some absurd logic or roll of the dice that simply doesn't work with my humble thought process.
Like I said, it's enjoyable enough, particularly the more realistic first half of the film which some more gratuitous horror fans will probably be bored by. It tends to head into slasher/torture porn territory in the second half and becomes even less believable with a lot of things that simply wouldn't happen in such circumstances taking place and making you facepalm in frustration. The acting was decent enough, the camera work was actually pretty solid, the music I won't comment on. Either I had the volume down too low or I didn't really pay attention to it during the film. All in all, don't expect anything fantastic and you'll probably find it's a decent horror/thriller to watch in a pinch. 6.5/10
Terrible reviews... not so terrible film.
Not entirely sure why people are reviewing this film so very poorly. If you've ever seen an Eli Roth movie, you know what to expect, which essentially is that it's kind of cheap, lots of blood, lots of gore and a few awkward laughs thrown in here and there on a modest film budget. I found this to be no different. I loved Cabin Fever and I knew what to expect after Hostel so should others not know this, too? Should they even be reviewing this film if they had no idea what they were going to be watching? I don't think so. I don't go into Resident Evil expecting it to be Hotel Rwanda and, if I did, I wouldn't then review Resident Evil on IMDb because it wasn't the Hotel Rwanda I was expecting. Just a thing to think about when you read these reviews, folks.
In any case, the film was pretty much what I expected. It's a little cheesy, a little quirky, ample blood and gore (although maybe not enough for the torture porn crowd), some uncomfortable rape scenes and plenty of Eli Roth atmosphere. Generally, I found it was a decent flick. It's a little dark but has moments that will make you laugh, too. It's not going to set the world on fire or win any grand awards, but if you know what to expect from Roth and/or are a fan of this type of film, you'll find it enjoyable enough, as I did.
Laid to Rest (2009)
Kill the girl, please!
I just hate it when the girls in these flicks haven't got enough brains or common sense to fit inside a thimble. This girl, however, takes the prize for most frustratingly useless victim in the history of my horror movie-watching existence of thirty years. I literally wanted her to die about two minutes in when she commits her first of many atrociously stupid acts (you'll know it when it happens). From there, she seems to get progressively more idiotic by the scene. From cowering in the corner while watching another screaming girl have her head sawed off to cowering in a corner after her guardian sacrifices himself so that she can escape to crying and whining the entire length of the movie, you just WANT HER DEAD.
On the upside, plenty of gore and death for you torture porn types, zero plot, zero back story, zero intelligent ideas coming from the hapless victims-to-be. This movie was just frustrating to watch. so, so frustrating to watch. Unless you're a gore freak, give it a miss, because there's nothing else here to redeem it and a new low in utterly moronic main character.
Have you heard the patriot speech before? Or told it yourself?
I did not enjoy this movie. I don't think this is a movie made to be enjoyed. What did make me happy was knowing just how uncomfortable a "patriotic" American would be to hear the same garbage he or she states come from the mouth of an all-too possible xenophobic lunatic spouting the same rhetoric and self-interest as any average American might do. It's a likely premise that makes you quite uncomfortable. I would really love to watch an anti-immigration supporter watch this film and not stir in their seat. This is because this is quite simply a brutal scenario that could (or maybe already has) occurred. The movie tries to put into perspective the plight of illegal immigrants.
It's a difficult thing to do, I guess, but when you're subjected to a Mexican farmer's wife being torn apart and his little girl shredded on barbed wire for nothing more than the fact that they are "illegal parasites" who are poor and desperate, it makes you wonder how you can think such terrible things about people. What would I do to save my family if I lived in a country overrun by cartels and warlords? A country where I couldn't make enough money to feed my family no matter how hard or long I worked? What would you do? I think we all already know the answer. The answer is you'd run to the first place you could find that would be safer for you and your family. You'd work any miserable, rubbish job just to never return to that place and to watch your child grow up safe and happy. As much as it may be a "torture porn" movie (which I dislike above all other types of horror film as my other reviews will show) it still made me think in the end. I think that's what this movie is trying to do. I commend it for that.
What is with this score?
This is only the second film I've reviewed on IMDb. The first I wrote about because the show was borderline criminal, this review I'm writing because this movie's score is borderline criminal. The seriously undeserved low score is what stopped me from watching this sooner. I figured it'd be just one of those cheap, unremarkable shows for me to watch with a beer when my girl's at work. This movie was fantastic. Whoever reviewed this film so poorly needs a good whack across the head. Great characters, great acting, good production values, solid story. I'm just not seeing why this movie has such a mediocre review. What an unsung little gem. Don't make my mistake and go by the rating, just watch it for yourself.
Eden Lake (2008)
Cruel. Malicious. Sadistic.
When my brother recommended this movie to me, telling me it was "kinda depressing", I knew I was in for a flick I would probably hate. My brother happens to be the biggest fan of the "torture porn" genre in existence. As a lifelong horror fan, I agreed to watch it, and now I've just registered an account on IMDb to warn others how utterly cynical and cruel this movie is.
I can't fault the acting or the production values, as these are all perfectly fine (and the only reason this film is getting three stars out of me), but the premise and message this movie portrays are borderline criminal. I'm not sure what type of jaded sociopath came up with the idea that an audience would want to watch a sweet and innocent preschool teacher and her boyfriend, who intends to propose to her on their trip to Eden Lake, be tortured and murdered violently by a group of "troubled" youths, but then I probably don't want to know.
The moral of this movie is essentially this: You are good and kind, you're a lamb to the slaughter, you are sadistic and cruel, you'll get away with anything. So much so is this moral, in fact, that the only antagonists who receive any form of retaliatory justice are the ones who are uncomfortable with the events that occur. Essentially the "good bad guys". I needed to write this because this movie has physically just left me ill in that there are people out there who enjoy this rubbish. "The Thing" is a horror movie. Atmosphere, substance and depth make a horror movie. This move towards violent and sadistic torture and utterly depressing and bitter finales is disturbing. Don't make these movies a success. I don't want to see an Eden Lake 2.