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The Retreat (2005)
VERY Fast Paced Thriller
This movie, i ordered from Amazon. I received it a few days ago and watched it. It was really good, and really fast paced. I counted and 4 characters die in about 45 seconds. So there is not really that much character development, except for Chole, Nicole, and Mark. Other than that, it was a really great thriller. Love how the killer from Urban Legends was in this!! Chloe was my favorite in this! She was so tough and funny. When she was trying to beat up the killer - i was laughing so hard! Also when they turn on the 80's electro music, was pretty funny! One thing that really made me mad, is the ending, i knew who the killer was, as soon as the movie started, it's really obvious. There are 2 twists, 1 is VERY predictable and number 2 might just confuse you. Anyways great movie, lot of gore, fast paced....definitely worth a look.
One Of The Better Movies Of 2007!
I knew i was going to like this the moment i read the plot in 2005, then i had even higher hopes when i saw the trailer. Then comes opening day and i read the reviews....only 1 positive, i was like uh oh, i just wasted about 2 years waiting for this 'crappy' movie. Thank god, i didn't listen to the critics, this movie was honestly AMAZING! Not ONE single boring part, a few funny parts, that actually made me laugh. A lot of blood, that actually made me turn away. A few twists, that actually shocked me. And an ending, that was actually good. Bottom Line, a movie that was actually AMAZING!!! This movie BETTER make money, i just wish everyone would give it a chance, it was actually really good, and i know a lot of other people loved it too, as much as me!!! Jessica, Hayden, Terrance and Lena were UNBELIAVABLY AMAZING! Great acting, great story, great suspense = AMWESOME MOVIE! I recommend this to everyone!! Go see this with a crowd, my audience was so funny, especially when the twists were revealed, everyone's jaw dropped, and to my surprise, there were over 220 people in the theater, very unusual, but thats a good thing. Everyone really liked it!! They were talking about it after the movie ended, saying how it was really good and stuff, there was also a small and quick standing ovation...which was really cool, never saw that before.
Just really go see the movie, and make up your mind if YOU like if or not. Just because i loved it, dosen't mean YOU will. Just because the critics hated it, dosen't mean YOU will either.
So just go see it for yourself.
The New Guy (2002)
Extremely Funny, An Awesome Movie!
Skinny geek Dizzy, gets deliberately expelled so that he can reinvent himself at a new school as the coolest kid on the block In their attempts to plumb 'grosser-than-thou' depths, too many American teen comedies forget there's more to movie life than a succession of sick routines. The New Guy gets it partly right, slipping the gags into a proper, if clichéd, story and ensuring that the main characters are sweet, silly and - in that American Pie way - likable. Qualls is skinny geek Dizzy, who gets deliberately expelled so that he can reinvent himself at a new school as the coolest kid on the block. It works because he knows we know he knows it's a scam that's bound to come undone any moment. Throw in some love interest with Eliza Dushku, an eclectic mix of cameos (Vanilla Ice, Lyle Lovett, skateboarder Tony Hawk) and a 'you've just got to be yourself' message, and The New Guy scrapes a passing grade.
Overall, Likable characters and a clichéd but meatier-than-usual story for a teen comedy. Definitely Worth A Rent!
Material Girls (2006)
A Good Movie, But Not Much Of A Comedy At All
Material Girls begins ghastly enough. After an opening title sequence that introduces cosmetic heiresses Ava (Haylie Duff) and Tanzie Marchetta (Hilary Duff) while Hilary Duff adds an updated spin on Madonna's pop classic "Material Girl," the action quickly opens on the type of Hollywood party familiar to anyone who keeps up with the comings and goings of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. In other words, it's a soiree for the young, rich, celebrated, and spoiled. Cut to the next day, where the girls are revealed as basically good-hearted but shallow, condescending, and if not outright stupid, at least completely ignorant when it comes to the real world. In these first minutes, The Simpleton Life seems like a more apt title for this movie. Luckily, it gets better. Not that the Duff sisters or director Martha Coolidge should be expecting any nominations come awards time, but as a piece of fluffy entertainment, it goes down painlessly enough. Mothers of the tween target audience will recognize the outlines of the story, which is a non-supernatural variation of 1987's Maid to Order (itself a teen comedy variation on It's a Wonderful Life). That movie starred Ally Sheedy as a spoiled rich kid whose fairy godmother transforms her into a servant to teach her a lesson. Material Girls is more mundane, as a scandal involving Ava and Tanzie's late father's cosmetics company renders them penniless and miserabletheir assets are frozen, and overnight they're turned into social pariahs. This is one of those movies where the trappings of wealth are simultaneously held up as objects to covet and ridicule, a Cinderella fantasy where Cinderella has to pay dearly for that ride in the pumpkin coach. As their friends desert them and Ava's TV star fiancé dumps her, the sisters get a painful lesson on just how superficial their lives have been. Circling around them like a shark is Fabiella (Anjelica Huston), their dad's rival, who is hoping to pick up the Marchetta company on the cheap. Only their Colombian housekeeper, Inez (Maria Conchita Alonso), stands by them, but even she has to roll her eyes at Ava and Tanzie's self-absorption and naiveté. Without status or money, these young things could easily become life's roadkill. The clash between the fantasy world that has been their birthright and the reality that's crashing down on their heads is, of course, what generates the laughs. Riding the bus, washing dishes, ironingall become mysteries to solve while they work surreptitiously to clear their father's name and save the company. Not that the movie is all life lessons and Scooby Doo moments. One thing that surprises the siblings as they move down market is the quality of the men they meet, as pro bono lawyer Henry (Lukas Haas) and lab technician Rick (Marcus Colonna) prove to be not only hot, but actually helpful. Hilary Duff was TV's sweet Lizzie McGuire, while Haylie recently has had a recurring role as a single mom on the family drama 7th Heaven, so it is not surprising that what Material Girls offers is pretty wholesome entertainment. Ava and Tanzie are ultimately charming once they have gotten their comeuppance. And while it just seems wrong that actors of the pedigree of Huston, Alonso, and Haas should find themselves reduced to playing second banana to the Duff sisters, their presence and their excellent performances add a layer of quality that the movie would otherwise lack. There is no edge to the movie at all, and that blandness will render it forgettable to anyone over the age of 12 or so, but for all that, it is pleasant enough, and occasionally even fun.
Well, It's Worth A Rent, If you want a family film.
Seed of Chucky (2004)
Funny, Scary, The Best Of The Series!
In the style of "Wes Craven's New Nightmare" and "Scream 3," the fifth film about killer doll Chucky involves a movie within the movie about the exploits of the famous maniac. Naturally, it isn't long before the prop versions of Chucky (voice of Brad Dourif) and Tiffany (voice of Jennifer Tilly, who also costars as herself) become possessed by the spirits of the originals, for reasons that no-one bothers to explain in detail because they really don't matter. Meanwhile, Chucky and Tiffany's gender-ambiguous child from "Bride of Chucky" (now voiced by ex-Hobbit Billy Boyd) has grown up in England, and become part of a heavy-metal ventriloquist act known as "Psych and Shitface." Escaping to Los Angeles to meet his parents, the former dummy, in a tribute to Ed Wood, has trouble deciding whether he wants to be named Glen or Glenda. But what he does know is that he doesn't want to be a killer, a fact that disgusts his father and induces his mother to try and quit killing using a 12-step program. All the while, the real Jennifer Tilly is auditioning to play the part of the virgin Mary in a film to be directed by rapper Redman (himself). Plans for that are stymied when Chucky decides that he needs to artificially inseminate her and transfer Glen/Glenda's spirit into a real baby. Oh, and a stalkerazzo played by John Waters is hot on everyone's trail. Needless to say, none of this is intended to be taken seriously. One or two kills are pretty cool, but overall the low budget hurts the film -- most of it is set in Jennifer Tilly's house. The epilogue features the only decent scare, which is a shame; Chucky is inherently funny, but we like him to occasionally be frightening too.
Overall, Definitely Worth The Rent, Espiecally If Your A Fan Of The Previous Sequels!
A Great Slasher Flick!
Five years ago, Molly's friends were brutally murdered on an island. Now, she has started a new life and is studying to become a profiler. Soon, the nightmare begins again for poor Molly as it seems as if the killer who's basing his murders on Jack the Rippers murders (a so called copycat killer) is back. Will anyone survive this time or is Jack The Ripper's clone back for good?
Ripper was one of the slashers that came out a bit too late to benefit from Scream's success. Even so, the movie actually did pretty good money on DVD and in theaters in Europe. This however is not one of my favorite 2000s slashers. The movie tries to be a serial killer thriller even though it's obviously just another teen slasher flick. None of the characters are very likable. The killer doesn't wear a mask (well except for in the first murder) and we only get to see a hand killing people (like the Italian giallo flick which we have come to love so much). And even though the murders are supposedly brutal, all we get is some pathetic blood splatter and no real gore (Jack the Ripper? Come on, we should be able to crave more gore than this). A.J. Cook is without a doubt the best thing about this movie. She's a very talented actress and even though she got a terrible character in this flick, she still tries to do the best of the situation. Derek Hamilton is also a pretty good actor, unfortunately he doesn't seem too comfortable playing the snobby rich boy in the movie. The movie is quite nicely directed and photographed and it definitely doesn't look like a DTV flick. Some angles are very original and some of the camera-work is also very slick and eye-catching. Some people love this movie, some people hate it, I'm stuck somewhere in between. It starts out as a pretty good teen slasher flick but it feels a bit too ambitious and the ending is a complete mess. I've seen this movie three times now and I still have a problem figuring out what's going on in the big climax (well, maybe I'm just stupid). Either way, Ripper is an all right movie over-all but it tries too hard to be something more than it really is; a shameless Scream rip-off which was released a bit too late to become really famous.
Overambitious slasher flick which tries too hard to be more clever than it really is. The story is pretty weak and even though it's a cool concept, it doesn't really work. It's an awesome and extremely entertaining slasher flick.
A Cool Horror Flick!
The final exams are over and this night, Sarah has been invited to a special private party by her boyfriend. The party takes place in a big pool house and it really seems as if this is going to be one party they're never going to forget... but it soon turns out that it's for all the wrong reasons as a masked killer shows up and starts to slaughter the friends one by one in the most gruesome ways.
The Pool was originally titled Swimming Pool - Der Tod feiert mit, which roughly translates into Swimming Pool - Death also parties (yeah, stupid title) and came out just after the slasher hysteria had ended and therefore flopped disastrously in the German box-office chart. The story really didn't bring anything new to the genre and there are many things going against this movie but The Pool still managed to entertain me on many levels as the slasher fan that I am. The movie is very fast-paced with a high body count and a very entertaining slasher story, and for all it matters, the concept of having a slasher in a pool house has never been used before. Boris von Sychowski makes a terrific debut with this slasher flick and it's really a shame that it never got the credit that it deserved as this could easily have been just as successful as the other slasher flicks of this time if it had only been made a couple of years earlier. However, the movie does sometimes struggle and there are many things that I'm sure that the mainstream audience wouldn't like too much like the unnecessary subplot with the cop who doesn't seem to serve any purpose at all in the movie. Either way, this was luckily pretty successful when it headed for DVD and video since a sequel just finished production, which is the main reason to why I decided to check this one out again even though I've all ready seen it like 6 times. I consider The Pool to be a very good slasher flick, even though some of the actors sound like they're part of the Schwarzeneger family (many of the actors in this are German and have a very strong accent). But as you all probably know by now, I'm a big Kristen Miller "fan" and since she's starring in this slasher flick, it was obvious that I was going to love it in the first place. If you're a fan of modern teen slasher flicks, this is definitely not one that you will want to miss.
A German slasher flick shot in English which has a lot of issues but ends up being a very entertaining slasher flick if you don't mind some obvious plot holes every here and there. I'm sure many people hate this and it doesn't really work on the mainstream level, but if you're a slasher fan, you can't afford to miss this one. Oh and there is one reason that will make you watch this movie, the most classic horror scene ever - The Slide, after you see this, you will think twice about going dow a slide.
A Pretty Cool Slasher Flick!
Twelve years ago, production stopped on the slasher flick "Hot Blooded" since almost everyone on the set started dying. Now, a couple of film students have decided to finish the film, despite the fact that there's a rumor that the film is cursed. Well, they're about to find out that some curses are real.
When Scream was released, every country seemed to want to cash in on its success, even Australia. The concept, which today has been done to death (a slasher film within a slasher film) was at the time relatively cool and original. This movie was released right before Urban Legends: Final Cut and Scream 3 (well not in the US but in Australia) so it felt like the first movie with this concept. When Urban Legends 2 was released, most of us had all ready grown sick of the concept and since the movie wasn't even good, the movie flopped disastrously. Now, Cut is not the best slasher flick ever, and nor does it try to be. It knows that it's a rip-off, and they even cast a girl who looks like a blonde version of Neve Campbell in the starring role. But instead of trying to add some new and original twists to the story, they've decided to rip-off some 80s slasher flicks like "Nightmare on Elm Street" as well and surprisingly enough, this actually works. The killer is very creepy and that mask is just killer! And instead of trying to scare the audience to death, they've created a very good and creepy atmosphere which keeps us in suspense through most of the movie. There are a couple of plot holes in the movie though that I wasn't able to fully ignore, the ending being the biggest plot hole in the movie. Spoiler ahead; I mean, they burnt the only copy of the movie so where the hell did they find the print that they show in the final scene? It makes no sense I tell you. End of spoilers. All in all, Cut is a pretty creepy slasher flick with a silly story but I consider this to be one of the better Scream rip-offs that never made it big. I'm surprised that this one never got a sequel, but I guess it simply came out too late.
Suspenseful Australian slasher flick with very few scares. Cut is still a pretty neat slasher movie and I will have to recommend this one even though I consider the story to be quite silly since it's completely ludicrous.
Snakes on a Plane (2006)
One Hell Of A Thriller!
This movie was one hell of a thriller, it's awesome! If you haven't seen it yet, watch it! it's so good! i love it! It has it's funny parts and it has it's thrilling and entertaining parts! IT'S a fun movie, to watch with a big group of people and all of your friends! This is a huge amount of fun thanks to inventive, fast-paced direction by David R. Ellis (who made last year's equally trashy-but-enjoyable Cellular) and a terrific performance by Jackson. It's fair to say that no film has ever delivered so completely on its premise as Snakes On A Plane and for once the pre-film hype turns out to have been justified. You could make a list of things you wanted to see in Snakes On A Plane and the film would almost certainly deliver on all counts. Snakes attacking a couple during the application process for the Mile High Club? Check. Snakes attacking from the toilet? Check. Samuel L Jackson attacking the snakes with a tazer? Well, now you're just spoiling us. The supporting cast (including Rachel Blanchard as a thinly-veiled Paris Hilton clone and Julianne Margulies as a resourceful flight attendant) are excellent and there's a lot of fun to be had in guessing which of them will end up as snake fodder. The script is packed full of quotable lines - Oh great. Snakes on crack! but Ellis gets the tone exactly right, never descending into farce, despite the clearly ridiculous premise. Hugely enjoyable, unashamedly trashy thriller that works perfectly, delivering shocks, scares, laughs and cheers in equal measure. Oh and snakes. Lots of snakes. On a plane. Put simply, this is quite possibly the most fun you'll have in the cinema all year. If you like the title, you'll love the film. Highly recommended. so go to the video store and rent/buy snakes on a plane because - SNAKES ON A PLANE ROCKS! highly recommended p.s - while your there why don't you rent it's little rip off movie called snakes on a train!
A GREAT Horror Flick!!!
Man, if this had a better director like for example, Eli Roth, this could be such an awesome movie, not that it sucked though, because it didn't. I actually really enjoyed this low budget, direct to video, horror flick. I was really expecting it to suck, but i was wrong! it was great, definitely worth a watch! I loved the hospital setting, very creepy! The title should not be 'Boo' though because i don't know about you, but thank god someone recommended it to me, because I'm telling you right now, i would never go to a video store and rent a movie called 'Boo' and expect it to be good. Thats why everyone just says it sucks and don't even give it a chance, i don't blame you, i mean it's called BOO! who the hell names a movie BOO!? but now you are hearing it from me, go to the video store and rent it, it's very scary and gory! i loved it, and so will you!
The Descent (2005)
The Descent pulls you down into a dark nightmare and doesn't let you come up for air until the end-credits roll.
Once the six women rappel down into a completely isolated, totally unexplored network of dark caves deep the in the Appalachian mountains, their fates are sealed. I was not a huge fan of Neil Marshall's first film, Dog Soldiers (then again, I saw it on the Sci-Fi Channel, very cut down), so when I heard so many good things about The Descent, I was leery. I was afraid it was another Blair Witch Project. Or 28 Days Later. (Both over-hyped disappointments, in my opinion.) Having seen The Descent (and having to take two ibuprofens afterward to soothe my tensed muscles), I tremblingly tip my miner's hat to Marshall. Not much affects this lifelong horror fan, but The Descent is by far the most frightening film I have seen in years. (Note to other chiller fans: You'll get some extra tidbity treats in the form of homages to scary movies of yore, such as Carrie and Aliens.) It's deep in more ways than one; The Descent is very smartly written flick. Ever since The Descent was released in England last year, the buzz has been deafening and the bootleg DVDs have been burning - But do see it on the big screen; it's more effective in a large setting as the screams, snapping bones, and freely flowing blood come fast and furious. For once, the movie is worthy of the hype: The Descent pulls you down into a dark nightmare and doesn't let you come up for air until the end-credits roll.
The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
A Great Horror Film.....Truly Horrifying!
A family is driving across the desert wastes of New Mexico on their way to San Diego. It's the last trip for the whole family as one daughter has married and has a child, and the other two kids are reaching an age where family trips aren't quite as fun anymore. But dad has just retired from the police force and it he and his wife's wedding anniversary so it's a special occasion. None of the kids wanted to take the cross-country trip in the Suburban with an old Airstream trailer in tow but it was for the parents so you suck it up and do it. On their way through the desert an old man who owns a fill-up station tells them of a short cut that will save them a couple of hours drive time. Wonderful. When they take this shortcut though the family quickly finds out that it's no short cut at all, but a trap set by a family living in the hills that cover this desert. A family with a taste for human flesh. And now this suburban family will have to fight for their lives against another family that is barely human, a family that has made its livelihoods on preying on travelers coming through their hills, and a family with some monstrous secrets that won't be secret much longer. So if the movie is damned close to the original in its story identical in fact save for some important fleshing out why the hell do I like it more than the original? The aforementioned fleshing out is why. In this version the hill family, and there are a lot more of them this time around, come straight out of a nightmare. Deformed and deranged, this family doesn't just seem like hill people who have lived out in the wilds too long but like true mutants that are no longer human at all. These are truly monsters, and they act monstrously. And director Aja allows the family to act their fury and their horror out instead of giving them dialogue. These are monsters and monsters rarely need to say a damned thing to be monstrous. I also love that the story of where these people come from and what made them is expanded. Sure, we hear about the fact that nuclear testing made this freakish family but it's far more powerful when we see it and see where they live. And I liked that the husband to the family's daughter is such a weasel because it makes his story arc so much more interesting when you see it come to fruition. All is not perfect however. There are some very odd musical cues here that all but work to take the air out of scenes. I can't really remember us finding out solidly that the gas station owner is the father, to a degree, of this family of mutants. Unless they decided to change that fact altogether, they make it pretty vague. A strength in the original was the back-story on Papa Jupiter and poor old Jupe is kinda relegated to a bit part in the film, which is a shame. There is also one edit that drove me nuts, where the camera pushes in on something but there are jump cuts added in as well. Ack! So there are some bumps on this road but not so many that it derails a pretty good movie. And a pretty nasty movie. I know there were a lot of young people in our showing and at least two young women walked out. Why? 'Cause this isn't a fun horror film, something we have gotten a lot of in the past few years. There are no real laughs, there are no ghost kids, and this is not PG-13. This is a hard 'R' rated horror film that will upset a lot of people. As well it should. It wasn't made to give a few light scares but to freak you the hell out. Whether it goes too far is up to each individual to decide but for me, it nailed the feel it should have. This is an unsettling story and feels that way. I like the original Hills but I really like this remake. The direction is great, the camera-work is superb, the scares are solid, and the makeup fx is amazing. Myself, I have problems with a few things in it but it wasn't enough to ruin the movie for me and it was actually better than I expected it to be, and that's always nice to find. I recommend this for horror fans looking for another hardcore movie to remind them why they love the genre but casual fans might sit this one out.
Definitely Worth A Rent!
Saw III (2006)
Definitely The Worst In The Series
Part 1 was excellent, Part 2 was great, and from the trailers it felt like this one would be the best in the series, but to my surprise, it was the worst! I hated it, i guess showing jigsaw a lot was pissing me off, like part 1 how they kept him a secret and no one knew anything, now he's like, i don't know i guess i just didn't like it at all. It was bad. It's not even worth a rent, it was that bad. And i was actually surprised that i hated it this much, as much as i wanted to write a great review, i cant, like I'm not gonna lie. And NO i am NOT looking forward to saw 4! Anyways if you wanna rent this, good luck, but if you are let down, like me, don't say i didn't warn you!
When a Stranger Calls (2006)
A Great Thriller, The Best Recent One!
High schooler Jill Johnson (Camilla Belle), recovering from a rough breakup with her boyfriend and starting a one-month grounding, sits for a wealthy couple. She's irritated that she has to miss the big school bonfire party, but at least is content that the job seems easy. The setting is a lake house, and so what if it looks like the creepiest place ever? Its dark hallways and off-putting human-size sculptures are only there for decoration. The place is laden with high-tech amenities, and the kids are sick and already have gone to bed. There's even an alarm system, all the better to protect young ladies from psycho killer stalkers. All Jill has to do is wait out the night. And all we have to do is wait with her, our hearts jumping along with hers at every potential sign that she's being watched and marked for murder. Every creak of the house, every muffled disturbance from outside and, yes, every ring of the telephone brings its own series of chills. Is it Rosa the housekeeper? Or maybe the couple's college kid who might have dropped in for the weekend? Jill scours her mind for the possibilities as she fingers the fireplace poker, hoping she'll have no reason to use it. All Jill can do is wait. And wait. And wait. Director Simon West's calling cards are the explosion-a-minute "Con Air" and "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," which means he's not exactly known as a paragon of restraint. This film is such the opposite of his usual work, he should have been credited as "West Simon." In turning the screw, West dispenses with the mega powered cordless drill in favor of the rusty flathead from the bottom of the toolbox. Belle, a scream queen in training for excellence, is easy to get behind, because her character is so wise and resourceful. When she sees a dark, scary closet, she doesn't go in there. Jill is every bit as freaked out as she should be, and her adrenaline is racing so fluidly it flows off the screen and seeps into your own veins. When a stranger calls, you should definitely answer to experience one of the premier horror films of recent years.
A Great Thriller, Worth A Watch!
Haute tension (2003)
You Will Be Either Terrified Or Disgusted, Most Likely, Both
High Tension follows two young college friends, Marie (Cecile De France, from the Around the World in 80 Days remake) and Alexia (Maiwenn, the alien opera singer from The Fifth Element) on their weekend of unexpected horror out in the country. Hoping to prepare for their college exams in peace and quiet, they decide to spend some time at Alexia's parents' secluded very secluded farmhouse where there isn't even a cell phone within 20 miles. In the dead of night, a stranger knocks on the front door and with the first swing of his knife, the girls' idyllic time away turns an exercise in running away. Reverentially borrowing elements from Maniac, Intensity, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Jeepers Creepers to name just a few, Aja weaves together a pretty convincing tale of terror (until it falls apart at the end, but I won't reveal anything more than that). The boogeyman, played by Philippe Nahon, is truly disgusting and horrifying, and the death scenes are all that any gore-hound could hope for. In gory grand gugnal style, with a grind house vibe, High Tension definitely lives up to its name. Steeped in a genuinely jittery mood tinged with a tone of dread, High Tension is aided by beautiful cinematography (thank you for not shaking the camera, Maxime Alexandre) and excellent sets and locations, the movie goes by quickly and may not be the most memorable in time, but hang on because it's a wild ride while it lasts.
Overall, A Great Horror Flick, Worth A Rent!
The Covenant (2006)
This movie was one of the better thriller movies of the year, it's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be, it's actually very entertaining! It keeps you at the edge of your seats with a few twists and turns and a few jolts! It's not a horror movie, but it's definitely worth a watch if your into suspenseful or thriller or magic powers movies. I don't want there to be a sequel though, because this one was good, so just leave it alone, and don't get mixed up with the Edward furlong one, they are not the same movie! Don't listen to the reviews because they are all negative, but trust me, it's a very good movie i loved it. I hope when or if you rent it that you like it to! good luck!
The Most Brutal 'Massacre' Since The Original!
Bay is back as producer for "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning," and so are creators Hooper and Kim Henkel. At the helm is Jonathan Liebesman, best (?) known for the crapfest "Darkness Falls," working on a screenplay by Sheldon Turner, who made such a great impression with his previous coat tailing effort, scripting last year's remake of "The Longest Yard." Gotten your hopes up yet? This time around, there are four doomed young people instead of five. Dean (Taylor Handley) and his brother Eric (Matthew Bomer) are out for one last hurrah before going to Vietnam, and what better way to do so than by taking their girlfriends on a road trip through rural Texas? Granted, Dean has no intention of actually joining his bro "in country," but this bit of personality conflict is largely abbreviated, as the four (including eventual heroine Jordana Brewster) are soon set upon by the Hewitt clan, led by Ermey's patriarchal "Sheriff Hoyt." Ermey is a bit of a mixed blessing, for while his performance anchors the film - being at turns darkly hilarious and Gunnery Sgt. Hartmann-style disturbing - it also tends to take us out of the picture. Luckily, Liebesman maintains a decent balance between comedy and horror. Then again, there isn't a lot of mystery here. It's "The Beginning" after all, so you're pretty sure the newly misunderstood Leatherface and his family are going to survive to terrorize Marilyn Burns and her friends. We're treated to a mercifully short recap of young Tommy Hewitt's (Leatherface's apparent real name) sad background, from chronic skin disease to penchant for self-mutilation and cattle butchery. The closing of the local slaughterhouse offers Tommy the perfect opportunity to use his unique skills to provide meals for the family, and our four young protagonists figure neatly into this plan. "The Beginning" is a better movie than the 2003 remake, even if the plot is understandably similar. There are only so many ways hapless teens can get brutally slaughtered, after all, but Liebesman and company keep things appropriately creepy, right down to aping the look of the 1974 original. Ermey is always watchable, and Brewster makes the most of a thankless role. Then again, one really has to ask: what's the point? The original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" can never be replicated, and while there's some genuinely gory moments here, the blood is spilling on some well-worn ground. As with the original '74 film, most of what's shown -- as far as blood and guts -- is off screen, but there is still quite a bit of stuff left for the viewer to cringe over. The movie is painful to watch at times and the sadism makes up for any gore that may be considered missing.
Overall, definitely worth a rent!
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
If You Love Gory, Scary Slasher Flicks...Then This Is For You!
This Is One Hell Of A Horror Film!!! I have to say too that the acting was very good, though I wonder how hard it is to fake fear when you see some of the scenarios the actors were in, but even the background actors (especially the actor portraying Leatherface and the wonderful R. Lee Ermey as the sheriff) are very good and add an element of paranoid fear to the film. The thing that shocked me most was how brutal and graphic the film was, the gore being very realistic, and used very well. Instead of buckets of blood, we get moments of horror that end in a very bright splash of red. And like the first, the most brutal killings are shot in a way so that you see what is happening to the victim but yet DON'T see it at the same time. This is not a perfect film. It is too decadently dark and a lot of people will hate the film for that reason, and it will be hard to see this as being a movie you will want to watch over and over and over again. But in saying that, I admit that that is why the film succeeds so well they nailed the mood perfectly. They didn't grave-rob it from the original but created their own. As a horror fan I cannot recommend this film enough. It stands just behind 28 Days Later as the second best horror film in a year that has turned out pretty darned well for the genre. Yes, it is a remake, and yes, the original is better, but having said that, I also must tell you that this is a very well crafted horror film and a wonderful spook show ride. I dunno if I am happy that it is going to do well at the box office or not (it won the box office battle its opening weekend) because I don't know what that means for all the other propose remakes. But if nothing else, at least they didn't screw this one up.
The Grudge 2 (2006)
An Alright Film, But The First Is Way Better!
Including two shorts, the Japanese original Ju-on, its sequel, the American remake and now its follow-up, Takashi Shimizu has directed six films about the grudge curse. Shimizu has grown fond of his ghosts and in The Grudge 2, this fondness is apparent. He puts them everywhere - in cupboards, under covers, behind mirrors, under desks and rather inexplicably, lurking within the hoods of sweaters. It was a good, pretty scary movie, but the first like i said was way scarier and better! I would watch the first one five times then watch this again, like it was OK, but i wouldn't buy it, maybe give it a chance and rent it!
Cry Wolf (2005)
A Clever Teen Slasher!
This edgy, fast-moving film is incredibly awesome! "Cry Wolf" is a clever teen thriller with intricate plotting, deft characterizations, sharp ensemble performances and a darkly ironic twist at the end. Owen (Julian Morris), a new student from England, arrives at posh Westlake Prep and is immediately ensnared in a group of bored, often nasty and reckless rich kids who have formed a "liar's club." Its manipulative leader, the aptly nicknamed Dodger (Lindy Booth), is secretly a poor townie with a sleek veneer. A local girl has just been found murdered in the woods near the school. Owen foolishly proposes that the group spread online a rumor that a serial killer dubbed "The Wolf" is the girl's murderer and that he plans to strike again never mind that this might stir up the real culprit. Booth handles Dodger's complexities and contradictions with cool aplomb while Morris' initially foolhardy but likable Owen increasingly suspects that nothing may be as it seems. Jon Bon Jovi is smooth as a journalism professor with an eye for younger women, and actress-playwright Anna Deavere Smith is the school's no-nonsense headmaster. Various Richmond, Va., schools stand in handsomely for the period red brick Westlake Prep campus.
Definitely worth a rent, if you want a good scare!
An Intense, Awesome Horror Flick!
As remakes of Japanese horror movies go, Pulse is actually pretty good. It's directed by commercials whiz Jim Sonzero, who combines low lighting and impressive effects work to create a genuinely creepy atmosphere. Despite the high-tech nature of the premise, Sonzero is careful to have the creepiest scenes occur in all-too-familiar places such as the bath, the toilet and, in the film's most terrifying scene, the laundry room. Kristen Bell makes an excellent lead and even survives a not-at-all-gratuitous T-shirt change scene with her integrity intact. Somerhalder is good too and there's strong support from Milian and from Ron Rifkin as Mattie's skeptical shrink. There's also a superb crowd-pleasing cameo, which it would be churlish to reveal here. The only problem with the film (providing you buy into the premise in the first place) is that Kel O'Neill (as the mysterious Zieglar) really overacts his crucial explanation scene and comes close to derailing the movie altogether. Fortunately, however, he's only in the one scene.
In short, Pulse can comfortably join the ranks of Japanese horror remakes that are actually quite good, alongside The Ring and Dark Water. Worth seeing.
Urban Legend (1998)
Urban Legend Offers Decent Suspense And A Few Terrifying Jolts!
You know you're in trouble when you get to college to find that your folklore professor is Freddy Krueger, the dean is the Well-Manicured Man from "The X-Files,"and it's the 25th anniversary of a dormitory massacre. "Urban Legend" is a teen-age moviegoer's dream. It has familiar young television stars, familiar older stars with cult followings (Robert Englund as the aforementioned professor, John Neville as the dean), an edgy sense of humor, a tricky plot and characters too genre-savvy for their own good. Maybe there will be an over saturation of "Scream"-inspired horror films someday soon, but this one feels fresh. Someone at Pendleton University, the fictional safest college in the United States, is committing murders in the style of contemporary urban folk tales. There's an ax murderer lurking in the back seat of a car, a boy hanged in the secluded spot where he and a girl were parked, a killer on the telephone calling from within the victim's house, even a pet in a microwave. Alicia Witt (Zoey, the smart-mouthed daughter on CBS's "Cybill") is Natalie, whose biggest problem at the beginning of the film is her creepy Goth roommate's active sex life. Rebecca Gayheart, of "Scream 2," is Natalie's best friend, Brenda. Jared Leto (Claire Danes' dream guy on ABC's "My So-Called Life") is Paul, the blue-eyed student reporter whom both girls are attracted to. Joshua Jackson (Pacey of the WB's "Dawson's Creek") is everybody's pal Damon. Loretta Devine, from "Waiting to Exhale," plays the only admirable adult, a campus security officer who likes to practice her pistol-firing stance while watching Pam Grier movies. Audiences may guess the identity of the killer, although clues point in several different directions toward the end of the film, but the original motive is skillfully hidden until the last minute. Appropriately, the final encounters take place on a dark and stormy night (although the rain stops mysteriously just long enough for Natalie and Brenda to run, terrified, through the woods for a few minutes). One clue to keep in mind: in the chilly Northeast, lots of people own parkas with fur-lined hoods.
House of Wax (2005)
'Has Some Decent Scares And Thoroughly Gory Death Scenes.'
"House of Wax" has some decent scares and thoroughly gory death scenes. The wax people gimmick is used pretty resourcefully in a couple of scenes. And Cuthbert is good at screaming and looking vulnerable. The fact that "House of Wax" is comes off as decent doesn't say as much for the movie as it does for the sorry state of the overpopulated teen slasher flick genre.However, despite a slow and occasionally annoying first half, House of Wax suddenly explodes with gore and violence at around about the time that the first teen disappears. Sure enough, it isn't long before fingers are being cut off with bolt-cutters, mouths are being super glued together and Achilles tendons are being severed. There's also a terrific scene involving a cinema full of wax dummies watching Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? The film is so gory and violent that it's actually hard to understand how this escaped an 18 certificate. At any rate, House of Wax delivers nicely on the required level of shocks and screams and is definitely worth seeing for its stunning finale. Recommended.
Employee of the Month (2006)
Employee Of The Month Is Very Funny And Amusing!
As it turns out, though, the film is a surprisingly amusing albeit formulaic piece of fluff. The Greg Coolidge-directed movie is set at a New Mexico store in the fictitious Super Club chain, a sprawling, Costco-like high-volume, bulk-discount retailer. The highest honor that its workers can attain is the "Employee of the Month" award, where one's photo is immortalized on the staff lounge's wall of fame. Employee follows the war of wits between two co-workers, Zack Bradley (Dane Cook) and Vince Downey (Dax Shepard), to win the "E of M" award. Zack is an amiable slacker who is too old to still be working as a lowly box boy. Vince who is to scanning shopping items what Tom Cruise was to bartending in Cocktail is the super-competitive head cashier who has won 17 consecutive Employee of the Month awards. One more and he'll win a "classic" Chevy Malibu. What more could a man want? Well, Jessica Simpson would be nice. She plays Amy, a hot new cashier who has transferred in from a sister store. Her human resources file claims that she sleeps with "E of M" recipients so both Zack and Vince put the moves on her. The games don't truly begin until Zack and Vince compete to win the "E of M" award. If Vince wins, he'll get the car and maybe the girl; if Zack wins, he'll boost his self-esteem and maybe get the girl. Zack and Vince each receive assistance in their bitter feud from their respective pals. Zack's buddies played by Harland Williams, Andy Dick and Brian George aid him in gathering intelligence and tripping up the competition, while Vince's bag boy Jorge (Efren Ramirez) serves as his rather fey henchman. Zack simply isn't as flashy or as competent at work as Vince, who is also getting further with Amy than he is. With only a few weeks left to win the award, Zack will have to think outside of the box (almost literally in his case) if he is to get his act together and prove himself. There is more of a plot (as formulaic as it is) than one might expect from such a seemingly mindless comedy. Sure, it slavishly adheres to the underdog formula but it's also a send-up of those films as well. After all, the reward that Vince and Zack pursue is so meager being the "Employee of the Month" at a Super Club, winning a Chevy Malibu or iffy (what if Amy's file is wrong about her?) that Zack and Vince's rivalry is much ado about nothing. The film's humor obviously derives from the absurdity of this premise. The real standout in the cast is comedian-actor Dane Cook, who seems sure to become a bigger name in comedic features whether this film is his breakthrough or not. Dax Shepard steals his scenes as the raging egomaniac Vince, while Tim Bagley shines as Glen Gary, the slightly unhinged but well-meaning Super Club boss. (And Glen Gary's brother's name? Glen Ross.) Jessica Simpson neither embarrasses herself nor does anything truly remarkable to justify why she has a screen career. It's all about her looks and that's all that's required of her here anyway, although the filmmakers do throw in a Dumbo gag that was quite funny.
Overall, Employee of the Month is very funny, and definitely worth a watch!
Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005)
A Good Sequel, But Hopefully The Last
My expectations concerning Urban Legends: Bloody Mary were mostly met. Considering how deceiving sequels usually are, I must say that director Mary Lambert, who's also responsible for the excellent Pet Sematary and Pet Sematary 2, did a great job again. This second addition to the franchise is quite refreshing since it introduces a supernatural threat. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II did pretty much the same thing with the slasher Prom Night. This kind of twist may discourage some but I think innovation is better than stagnation. Once dared by friends at a younger age, I myself have tested the Bloody Mary myth. Therefore, when came the time for the movie to build tension as "Bloody Mary" gets pronounced for the third time in a row, I felt nothing. There wasn't even a mirror involved, even though every version of the story I've heard does. xecution-wise, I guess you cannot beat Candyman. Indeed, the flick focuses more on its loyalty towards the first two movies. As it was the case with Urban Legend and Urban Legends, this movie is about kids becoming urban legends themselves through death. This time around though, it seems Mary's ghost is after them. Therefore, most of the murders are being committed by an invisible entity, Final Destination style. All of them must have looked really good on paper. Unfortunately, the execution lacks subtlety. Budget restraints are this movie's biggest issue and it shows through most visual effects. The "no name" actors featured here give the movie an authentic feel. Kate Mara and Robert Vito play two teen aged heroes and they are actually not two times older than their respective characters, a rarity in horror movies. Rebecca Gayheart doesn't make an appearance this time and the same applies to Loretta Devine. Somehow, the need was felt to replace her with a similar character. Tina Lifford plays a purposely stereotyped and omniscient "pothead". She's handled her scenes nicely and made me laugh.
Urban Legends: Bloody Mary might just be the best outcome possible in a franchise that got repetitive right at part two. It combines two sub genres, slasher and ghost story, while holding strong links with the original.