“I’ll get you, and it’ll look like a bloody accident”
Review by Lewis Goodall
Anthropomorphic cats… now I have your attention. Humans and cats shouldn’t really mix, weve seen this with the new cats film, but they shouldve looked back in time to this film and realised that it is one of the single most terrifying creations that is shown in cinema. Please Hollywood, if you’re reading this, please dont give anymore cat/human hybrids, we dont want this, even if you do get Mike Myers to play then, just dont.
Cat in the Hat, gonna make this a short one because I dont really feel like living this nightmare twice over. It’s the story of a couple of brats who are asked by their mum to not mess up the house while she is at work because she has an important party in the evening which could define her career. The kids are fine to start but then satan himself arrives in the form of a cat with a hat. They start messing up the house and boy does it get messy. It’s a tale of having fun but not too much fun because then you’ll wreck the fucking sofa and mummy will be annoyed and get fired. Pretty much sums up the film.
I’ll give this film one thing. Its had some pretty good set design. Being based on a Dr.Suess story, it had to take some hard work to reimagine his twisted and colourful world from page to screen and I’ll give them that, they nailed it. The town of Anville, the houses, cars, shops, clothes were all perfect replicas of the Dr.Suess style, so kudos to them for caring about that.
Everything else in this film is a dead body away from a snuff film. I’m exaggerating, its wasnt as bad as I thought it would be but it was still pretty darn pap. It was stressful more than anything. If you havent seen it then you wont get the reference but this film is like Mother! But for children. Unwanted guests come into your house and trash the place, it was a nightmare.
The characters of the children, I can’t remember the girls name but she was played by Dakota Fanning which was cool, her brother, Comrade was just a cringey, annoying little brat who needed his pudgy little chin kicked into place. The whole film their mums boyfriend (played by Alec Baldwin) is trying to get him to go to a military school and I for one was on his side! Finally Mike Myers as the cat in the hat. For some reason he had a New Yorken accent and he looked horrendous. I tried to look past the makeup and see Mike Myers but it was far to distracting and terrifyingly unfunny apart from maybe once or twice.
Overall th film is a shambles, I watched it because I’ve heard it more of a horror film and I would agree. There were a few moments that actually made me laugh but that was twice out of many many many times this film tried. I know it’s for kids but I also have a heard time believing that considering g how much of a LSD trip it is.
Aaaaah Blumhouse productions, you’re certainly doing well for yourselves aren’t you. To think this empire started with paranormal activity and now you’re pumping out horror after ‘horror’. I’ve previously review ‘Fantasy Island’ which was Blumhouse and that film was a total bum house. Invisible man is on the other end of that spectrum. So it’s not a bum house but more a house bum, but that doesn’t sound good either, if anything bum house sounded better… ignore this, onto the review
The Invisible Man, directed by Lee Whannell is a horror/thriller based all on the lingering unknown. Cecilia (Elizabeth Moss), is victim to an abusive relationship which she manages to escape. When her ex, Adrian (Oliver Jackson Cohen) decides to become ex-living, she can’t help but feel that he faked it. With a sense of overhanging fear surrounding the fact that he could still be out there, she struggles to know what is real or not.
Blumhouse seriously need to focus more on films like this where everything is competent to make a film that is actually enjoyable to watch. If they can keep with this momentum then they’re good because The Invisible Man hit different to the other horror films that seem to be dribbling into cinemas.
So the story itself is pretty decent, its leads it up well to get the viewer invested in Cecillias ordeal. Shes a survivor of an abusive relationship but still thinks that shes being watched by him, I think we’ve all been there. Her ex boyfriend works with optical equipment and is very well off because of it. You should see his house, Christ it’s a beauty, no wonder she put up with a black eye every now and then. After his untimely suicide, he leaves a portion of his fortune to her, giving her $100,000 every month to total value of $5,000,000. Not too shabby. So with this money and the knowledge that he’s no longer around she begins to let her hair down a bit. After a series of suspicious events, she can’t help but think he is still around, watching her every move.
The horror and effects in this film are done pretty well. I feel I’d be spoiling it if I told you any of what happens in terms of the horror because it is worth experiencing for yourself. The reason I feel this horror stands above the rest is for the shock value because halfway though this film, its turns from a generic horror into something else. The tone of the film changes course so much that it’s a real slap to the face when it happens, and from that point on it just keeps hitting. The moment in question was just so unexpected and that’s what horror films need, not just gimmicky jump scares but something that serious hits and changes the course of the film in a moment.
Now this is still a horror so it of course has its downs as well. It has those moments where it’s better for the drama of the scene for everyone to just be a fucking idiot. This film is certainly guilty for that as well as cliche dialogue so it has been pulled back in turns of getting in my very good books but its certainly still better than the other naff horrors out there.
Overall this is actually a horror film I recommend. I said it was a thriller at the beginning as well because a lot of people might see it as much, on that case it is a good thriller as well. Blumhouse!!! Do more films like this, DO NOT MAKE ANYTHING LIKE FANTASY ISLAND EVER AGAIN!!!
“Unless your fantasy is to die, you better come with me”
Review by Lewis Goodall
This may be a quick review, not sure yet cause I haven’t written it but I’m very excited because once I’ve finished this review I’m gonna do a bit of spring cleaning. Spring cleaning of the mind, I’m gonna take a hammer and hit myself repeatedly over the head until I lose all memory of seeing this film. Oh the happy times awake.
Let’s get this over with, Blumhouses Fantasy Island, directed by Jeff Wadlow (don’t worry about remembering the name, you wont see it come up again in cinema), is a horror retelling out a show from the 70’s. Fantasy Island is a place where you can go and have a fantasy of yours come true. When 5 guests win tickets to go to this island, each of them can choose which fantasy it can be. As each of them live their fantasies, as each one starts to become twisted. One of the rules being that they need to play out their fantasy till the end, it soon stops being a fantasy and start becoming a nightmare mwhahahah.
Annoyingly, I like the premise, I say annoyingly because it is something that could’ve been incredibly well if you actually put a shred of heart into it. I’ll come back to this point at the end as a nice way to loop the review so let’s move onto what I didn’t like which is basically everything so I need to get this anger out.
My blood is boiling when thinking back to this maggot infested story line. It’s just complete gibberish, the whole story. Yeah the premise is there, people living out their fantasies but the fantasies that play out how you want and blah blah blah. There’s 5 guests and each of the fantasies are just as mind numbingly boring as the next. I’ll quickly say them, so you have Gwen (Maggie Q), who wishes she could go back and say yes when her boyfriend proposed. Melanie (Lucy Hale), who wishes she can get revenge on an old school bully. Patrick (Austin Stowell), wishes he could’ve enlisted in the military and lastly we have two brothers, Brax and J.D (Jimmy O. Yang and Ryan Hansen) who wish to live it large with a massive party with models and jet skis. All of them stories are so poorly written and boring that it felt like a chore to watch each of them. They’re all told bit by bit so you cut between stories and have you thinking “…. oh yeah, I forgot this story was happening”, I know it wasn’t just me that thought that because my friend i went with also turned to me part way through the film saying, “oh yeah…. they exist”. All the characters are unlikable, especially the two brothers who have the most obnoxious personalities that it made me groan every time there was an attempt at humour. They all sucked, all of them, I want to growl at the writers individually.
The writing was just downright lazy as well, just so predictable and literal with their speech it was just so lame. Some of the plot points also just did not make sense, to the point where I was getting angry with one story because I couldn’t get over what an idiot they were being. This film markets itself as a horror but the only thing that was horrifying was the 2 hour run time. I wish I had a watch on just so I could keep checking the time and judging how long I had left with this bin juice drink of a film. I was actually begging for it to end. I’m not one to walk out of the cinema but I felt tempted by this.
You may be thinking that this is a so bad it’s funny situation ha ha… no… it’s really not. This isn’t me getting playfully angry, I’m actually angry. Mainly because I just cant believe that so many people signed off for this film to be released. Films like this actually exist and it makes me furious. Blumhouse seemed to be a powerhouse for upcoming horrors but nooooope, its releasing pap like this. A horror that’s a 15, which is the biggest joke of it all. Why have a horror film where you cut out 97% of the violence. Whenever there was a moment when a person got cut or shot or anything, it would cut away so you would see as minimal blood as possible. It felt like a horror film for children.
I just realised I’ve written quite a lot and not said much about it so I’ll wrap it up. This film just had nothing, no substance at all. The horror aspects weren’t there and the writing made all the stories unbearable to watch because they felt just very cliche, at least if they were interesting stories then I wouldn’t mind that the horror was lost. Have one or the other, not neither. Finishing the loop from earlier, it’s an interesting premise and I feel If the stories were more hard hitting and played with moral dilemmas more then it would’ve been interesting. Leave with a message instead of cheap jump scares and humour that caters to 13 year olds. There was a lot of promise here and that’s what annoys me, if I was on that island, my fantasy would be to go back in time and go to the writing room for this film and burn it down with the writers in it so the world doesn’t have to suffer no more. 2020 has been a shit show so far, why add this film to the mix.
(P.S maybe check it out for yourself because I’ve just looked on IMDb and loads of people writing review about how it’s amazing so apparently I’m the wrong one here)
This film summed up in one sentence. The shining but on a rock. You can skip straight to the score now if you want.
The Lighthouse, Directed by Robert Eggers, tells ye the tall tale of two lighthouse keepers. Both work to maintain the island and keep the lighthouse running. Maintaining the lighthouse is no problem but the true challenge comes when they both start having to maintain their own sanity on this remote island.
I wouldn’t be opposed to watching this film with subtitles. It’s in English but i just can’t talk like the men of the sea. I did have moments throughout the film where I just had to go off what was happening visually because Neptune knows what they we’re saying. I had no problem going from what was happening visually because they film is gorgeous and what i’ll be bursting about most in this review so lets talk about he other aspects first.
The performances of both Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson hit like sledgehammers, and yes i’m stealing that from the trailer because it is just so accurate. They both offer absolute knockout acting in this film, just like i said, they were sometimes so convincing that I really didn’t know what they we’re saying (in a good way). Both of them on screen we’re incredible. Their characters clash throughout but over time bond with each other. Cabin fever starts to take over the longer they both stay on the island. That’s pretty much how the story goes, two men get lost in their own sanity and go bat shit crazy on each other.
Within the story there are loooooooooooooads of cryptic messages just waiting to be analysed by conspiracy theorists. It’s a thinker for sure, it leaves you with many questions but ones that you want to explore. I would love to know more about the lore of this island and it’s history. I want to hear more tales about the sea and old myths that people believed to be true. Like how it’s bad luck to kill a sea bird, didn’t know that. Wish i knew that before when i watch a seagull nearly choke on a full sized battered sausage, but to be fair it was a twat for stealing my sausage. I’m happy with all the questions this film left me with, I want to go back and watch it again to uncover all the tales it’s left behind.
Now allow me to unleash my love for the visuals of this film all over your eyes. THIS. FILM. IS. GORGEOUS. Maybe people wouldn’t agree but i love monochrome, adds a certain grittiness to any photo or film so the lack of colour in this tale really helped with its tone. As well as being black and white, the composition of every shot was crafted to look like a photo you would get on a postcard from Hastings. I understand why 1917 won the oscar for best cinematography but seeing this now makes me wish that this won because it was just so unique. I guess that’s what i loved about it was the fact that it was so different. Now onto my favourite aspect of the visuals ( Yep, haven’t even got to that yet) was the aspect ratio. The aspect ratio is 1.19:1 and it’s very confined. It’s a very squashed in aspect ratio which a lot of people would probably find distracting but I felt it offered to the experience perfectly. Being confined paralleled the idea of cabin fever so that the viewer also has that trapped feeling throughout and i just love that extra layer to film making that hits differently.
Overall I don’t want to speak about what happens in the film too much because I feel it’s best experienced but it’s seriously an experience I would recommend. Parts of the story get a bit stagnant but it’s not enough for a crab to inhabit so it’s fine ( writing that i think the cabin fever is starting to hit me). It’s a nightmare this film in the best possible way and it feels a lot like an old tale a scurvy ridden man would tell you, again, in the best possible way. Watch it.
“Why is everyone so ready to think the worst is over?”
Review by Lewis Goodall
Remakes of old films…. siiiiiigh. I don’t totally understand the need to make them when it already exists and people love it. The only reason I can think is its a money grab because people know the name and the original and want to see it for that reason alone. Usually my trouble with it is that they take the original and ruin it The director doesn’t give two sausages and just makes an easy film cause they know it’ll sell. So Hollywood, next time you want to make a remake of a well loved film, give it to a director that gives three sausages and wants to try and improve on the original, take inspiration from this remake of Suspiria. Did I fool you? Did I make you think I didn’t enjoy this film? Classic misdirection.
Suspiria 2018, directed by Luca Guadagnino, the same director as the incredible ‘Call Me By Your Name’, is a remake of the 1977 classic of the same name (Suspiria if you weren’t paying attention). Susie (Dakota Fanning), an American dancer joins a world famous dance company in the middle of Germany. Dark mysteries start to unravel within the dance company as secrets start to become uncovered.
I really enjoyed the original. I can understand why it’s a cult classic although I did have some problems with it. Probably the main reason I loved it and the only way i will compare the new one to it is in terms of the colour palette. I’m going to review the new one as a separate entity but the original had such an incredible colour palette, filled with really vivid and vibrant colours throughout. One scene in particular in which the main character, Victoria, is travelling in a taxi and the rainbow of colour in the car is stunning and I would say one of the most beautiful shots in cinema history. The colour palette for the new one went for a way way way waaaaaay more dull colour scheme, pretty much draining the scene of colour, apart from the colour red that seemed to be included In every scene. Interesting choice but I felt the colour made the original what it was so I was sceptical when I saw they decided against it. Not saying I didn’t like the emphasis on the red in every scene but a modern take on the vibrant colours would’ve been great. Enough of comparisons, onto the main cake.
Cake time and oh boy is it a mix. I’ll quickly get out the way what I didn’t like because I want to talk about what I like, positive vibes here. So what I didn’t like, I felt as though this film is slightly crowded. As I mentioned before, the main story focuses on Susie who is the new girl In this dance company which is managed by Madame Blanc (Tilda Swindon). It focuses on her engrossing herself within the new found family and displaying her moves. Meanwhile there are a couple of other stories that don’t really develop until the very end and a lot of the time I felt as though these sidebars weren’t really needed. There is one character in particular which I felt really didn’t need to be included at all because they didn’t say anything yet there was a fair amount of time dedicated to them. Unless there was something I was missing, I just felt it didn’t add anything, hence the feeling of the story being a bit overcrowded.
What I love about this film is the way it seriously modernised itself to add shock factor and it absolutely nails the shock factor. I know I said I was going to compare it to the original but I’ve changed my mind, I’m doing it. The original was great but it fell short on the horror factor. New Suspiria hit it up a bunch of notches. After seeing how gentle and soft ‘Call Me By Your Name’ was, I was not expecting this to be as gritty as it was so it made it that much more shocking. Gore galore, all whilst having a wonderful soundtrack made for some seriously cinema. I think the lack of adding a vibrant colour scheme and focusing on the red definitely made the red that bit more intense when it showed itself.
At the beginning I wasn’t too keen on the editing, I have to be honest. A lot of it seemed very jarring but as the film progressed, there were some amazing sequences that were super dark, sort of like a modern version of the video from ‘The Ring’. After Susie had a dream I expected the phone to ring and tell me I had 7 days to live.
Overall I felt like the remake improved upon a lot but also over complicated certain parts of the story which made some of it a bit hard to follow. Not hard to follow but some of it felt quite redundant. In terms of a modernising of a classic horror, this is certainly the way to go about it. Also a quick p.s and major shootout to Tilda Swindon in this because I didn’t realise until afterwards that she played 3 characters, including AN OLD MAN AND I DID NOT EVEN REALISE?!?!? HOW?!?!?
If you haven’t seen my top 5 films post, the original ‘The Thing’ film is in my number 3 spot. I’m talking the John Carpenter version, not the other one that just had a man wondering around scaring people. That film is just insanely good and I always seem to bring it up in other reviews but I refuse to review it, I don’t want to put an analytical eye to it because I just want to enjoy it for what it is… so the closest thing to getting to do that is to review the 2011 prequel which i have refused to watch and you know what.. I was not disappointed….. fully.
As mentioned, The Thing 2011 is a prequel to the original and starts with the discovery of a downed UFO that has been locked in the ice of the Antarctic for 100,000 years. Kate Llyod (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), is a science graduate who specialises in preserving corpses that have been frozen in ice. She has been scouted by Dr. Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen) to help uncover the new discover. When they unearth a terrible beast, the two and the rest of the crew must survive an alien that can assimilate any life form.
The reason I was put off from watching this is because of how much I love the original and I didn’t want to have this film taint with that but as they added it to Netflix I thought why the hell not. I’ll talk about what I loved about it first and then move onto the more rant filled area later cause I certainly have problems that I was expecting. Matthjis Van Heijningen jr is a directors name I would never attempt to pronounce in real life, but he’s obviously a director who was a fan of the original. I mention this because what this film does incredibly well is match the details to the original. In the original they discover a research facility that belong to Norwegians, which is where this 2011 takes place. In the original they look at the aftermath of what happened to the Norwegians. There’s a big ice container where the alien was, there’s dead people, there’s axes in the wall. Obviously something bad went down. The 2011 film matches this details perfectly and gives them all coherent context as to why things end up being where. The axe in particular, in the original it’s there but you don’t really take it on board but in this is shows why it’s there, its because they attack the alien with it, it leaves blood on the handle to they decide to leave it In the wall. It’s just all wonderfully set up for the first film which was something where weirdly its expected but also blows you away when you see it done right.
Its that sort of thing that I really appreciated and I’ll semi spoil something which isn’t really a spoiler but in the original, its starts off with a helicopter chasing a dog through the snow, shooting at it with a rifle. This film finishes with them getting into the helicopter and then starting to chase it, so it leaves directly as the original begins. I loved how they did that that I had to watch the original straight after as it transitioned perfectly. It was also great doing that because then I could look out for things that they did in the prequel to which there were some things done perfectly and I really appreciated that sort of effort.
Small decline on the acting aspect, I didn’t really have a problem with anyone’s acting, I felt that Kate acted well, but nothing blew me away, no one had the same immense and real panic that I felt during the original which made it so great. Bit of a bigger decline now before i get onto my biggest problem with the film, but the story itself, although lending very true to the original and giving everything a bit more meaning, it was great for the first part but the end of the film ended up being a generic horror film ending where the main character fights the big scary monster. Yes yes yes I know this is what happens in the original but this felt different, this felt very unrealistic to what would happen whereas the original felt real. I’ll explain this more in the next paragraph I’m going to title “Lewis’ big fat rant about how they fucked up the alien in the prequel”
What I love most about the original is the alien which I feel is probably a lot of peoples favourite aspect as well. In the original the alien only shows itself when it needs to, its blends in with its surroundings by assimilating a life form and staying hidden so that it can slowly take over the research station and then slowly, the world. Even better is that there is no CGI in the original and it’s all practical effects which makes the alien feel real and means that the film has aged incredibly well… the Alien in this film, I’ll start off and say that along with set design, they didn’t design parts of it well, the design did feel true to the original with some parts but what really grinds my teeth is the way it behaves and the fact that its mostly CGI. This may seem petty and looking to much into but when you’re as much as a fan as the original as me then things do need to be spot on, hence why I appreciate the set design. The alien in this film is way too aggressive, sure in the original it kills people but it does it in a fight or flight situation and it needs to to protect itself whereas in this film it seems like it just wants to kill everyone. It’s too quick as well, I know they were limited with the practical effects in the original but in this the alien just moves too erratically and makes itself known. There’s a scene… honestly skip to the end of this paragraph if you’re bored, I’m just going off on one so you can move on if you wish…. anyway there’s a scene where some guy gets hurt and they’re dragging him off to safety, they are still believing him to be human, so when they drag him into a room where everyone is, it just exposes itself and starts killing. The alien in the original would never do that, it wants to stay in the shadows and only exposes itself when people know that it’s an assimilation. It just felt cheap that they turned it into a typical horror monster because the original had that fear aspect of not being able to trust anyone, being killed when you least expect it, being killed by someone you least expected.
The CGI annoyed me a lot too, maybe not as much as that but the original still feels great because it’s all practical, and somehow this prequel felt older because the CGI has aged badly so it just goes to show that practical always wins.
Overall, although I just had a massive rant about it, I would still recommend this to any fans of the original, purely because, although the story does go cliche at the end, it does perfectly set up the original and it does it to the very last drop of blood, it is wonderful. Without the original though, this is a very cliche film and goes to show that changes small aspects like making the effects practical and changing the way the alien behaves, really can change it from generic film to a masterpiece. The original being the masterpiece that is, not this one, this one is good but nothing on the original is lacked the same suspense that made john carpenter’s so great…. that’s my final note, peace out I guess.
I find the horror genre is utter pap nowadays (and from that start I’m sure you can guess this is going to be a bad one). Aside from Ari Aster, just everything new is just utter garbage. It seems to be the genre that people go to to make the easiest films. Either horror or Christmas films, both of them seem to spout the worst films most of the time, I mean, there’s one called ‘a shoe addicts Christmas’?? I would must rather watch a naff Christmas film then have to suffer a film like this one again.
Supposedly based on true events which I severely doubt, The Haunting of Redding Hospital (even the name inspires fear) is the horror story of a psychiatric hospital that is haunted by 3 serial killers. When a group of college students break into the hospital, they knock over the cremated remains of the serial killers and get exposed to the serial killer dust. The dust is infused with their souls and possesses 3 of the 4 students. The last college student that doesn’t get tainted by the naughty souls has to try and escape her friends from trying to murder her. OoooOOoooOOOOO spooky right?…. WRONG.
I think any film concept can be executed well depending on pretty much anything. You can have the most ridiculous concept but if it’s done well then it doesn’t matter, but if you choose to do the opposite and do everything badly then you’re probably the director of this film. Just everything was poor, literally just about everything apart from 10 seconds which I’ll get to later but first I need to rip on this. So I always think about script first, I focus on the writing more than anything and how naturally they can make a story through dialogue. All of the dialogue throughout the film is just abysmal, it’s all just the most cliche, the easiest writing you could possibly have. I do not, I repeat, I do not understand how a writer can make people sound so unnatural. Even if the acting is good, which in this film it definitely isn’t, a script can sound so unnatural and unrealistic to how humans actually sound. None of the characters in this film felt original, if you were reading the script and the names were covered, I don’t think you would’ve been able to differentiate between them. It’s boring storytelling when the script is horrifically unrealistic which seems to be a theme with horror films.
Not only is the script painful, but watching the ‘actors’ perform it is even more painful. The main character is Emma, played by Inbar Lavi is probably the better out of the group but still is nothing great. The other members of the group that get possessed are Kolt, Dylan and Gabby (Steven Grayhm, Eddie Hassell and Holland Roden) and let me tell you something, watching them act being possessed is just some of the goofiest acting I think I have ever seen, specifically Kolt. So the story goes is that Emma is the new gal in the college and is roommates with Gabby. Gabby is getting jiggy with Dylan and Kolt is the love interest for Emma, all very original. They all head to this abandoned hospital where all of them, except Emma, gets possessed. Now the phantoms or ghosts or souls or whatever you want to call it, they seem to manifest themselves in the three students randomly so they’ll be normal at times and then other times they’re acting as the killers. It’s just fucking dreadful… all of it, I cant explain how bad the acting is but it’s not so bad that it’s funny, none of it is so bad its funny, its just so bad it’s bad but really BAD. One scene I have to mention as I singled out Kolt earlier. The scene involves him when he’s been possessed so he’s being evil. He walks into a random room where three girls are drinking on their own. He walks in and they say hello, he then crouches down and grabs their knickers from the washing up basket and sniffs them in plain sight of the girls. He makes a weird growly “AAAAH YESSS” and then the girls look at him confused and then ask if he wants to do shots. It just made no sense and was cringey as nuts.
Yep yep all bad, the film making wasn’t great either. Its obvious that this film was low budget, you can tell from the visual effects that were goofy and the general small mistakes throughout the editing. Two that stand out is one where Dylan looks directly at the camera on a close up. How does this get past the editor? It’s a close up and it’s very obvious that it’s not meant to happen. I get why this mistake would happen in the days of film but with digital, you can do a few shots to avoid this but also come on Dylan, really?! Why you looks at the camera?? The other mistake was a really random change in the aspect ratio during a scene, something like that I don’t understand how it happens and it was super jarring. Its just things like this that is really distracting and makes a film shite. Not just the mistakes, just the everything I’ve mentioned, its just all bad, all bad.
Overall this is honestly one of the worst horrors I’ve seen. I need to mention the one thing I liked. There was a moment near the end where Emma takes a photo of a jar and the flash reveals people standing behind her. Now that was creepy and done well, but that was 10 seconds out of the 75 minute run time. It’s not even slightly entertaining, atleast with other bad films you can laugh at it but this one you can’t, its just so bad and when there’s meant to be a serious scene with a couple of male nurses trying to restrain someone, maybe just check that one of the nurses isn’t smiling the whole time. I cant explain how poor this was but I would rather have 6 arses surrounding my head, farting, than watch that again.
2 Everlasting Rats out of 10
Kind of a strange one here. Normally we’d have the trailer here from youtube but there is not a single trailer for this film on there. There is on the IMDb website so if you want to check it out (Don’t know why), here it is.
“Why dont you go give yourself a prostate exam and leave me alone”
Review by Lewis Goodall
Sweden must be having a pretty rough time with tourists at the moment considering the horror films coming out about it. Weve had Midsommar which really didnt help and we also have this, The Ritual. Actually I suppose you’d probably be good if you just avoid the forests. Forests have bad juju behind them anyway so avoid them in any country to be honest. Forests are just boring and scary, no wonder people in Japan commit suicide inside them. 1 out of 10. Now that’s my reviews for forests, let’s move onto the real review.
The Ritual is a British film set in Sweden where four friends go on a hiking trip to commemorate the lose of their friend who wanted to do the trip. When one of the friends busts his ankle in a hole in the ground, the friends decide to take a shortcut through a forest in order to make it to a lodge they booked to stay at, quicker. The moment they enter the forest, they unknowingly enter a world beyond their control as distant noises and cult symbols start appearing the further they delve into the belly of the beast.
I feel like the British nail horror films. Theres just something about british films In general where they just naturally feel grittier and more realistic so having that recipe applied to horror then it adds waaaaaaaay more to the horror when it doesn’t seem as optimistic as American horror films. American horror just seems too bouncy if that makes sense? it doesn’t does it. Americans having an optimistic outlook on everything, they try and make the people in the films, heroes when in reality these people would make cacas in their pants. The non-heroes of The Ritual are Luke (Rafe Spall), Phil (Asher Ali), Hutch ( Robert James-Collier) and Dom (Sam Troughton). These four make an awful Duke of Edinburgh crew as they’re constantly lost.
We meet these four along with another friend, Robert (Paul Reid). When they’re all planning a lads lads lads holiday at the pub, they leave, Robert and Luke go into an off license to get a specific brand of alcohol. Whilst in the shop they realise that the place is being robbed by two nasty youths. Luke hides behind a cabinet whilst Robert is confronted by the two youths, stealing his wallet and pride. When Robert doesn’t give up his wedding ring, one youth knives the fool in the face whilst Luke just sits there and holds his bottle of vodka. We then fast forward 6 months to the remaining four friends as the embark on their journey to honour Robert. The memory of Robert getting his face sliced like a lump of ham at a butcher, plagues Luke thoughts throughout the journey and keeps reappearing as the four travel into the forest. The deeper the four guys travel the more this memory keeps coming back to haunt him.
So as the guys are travelling they stumble across a rundown shed like something out of a Grimm tale. While exploring the house they discover a life sized mannequin made of hay and antlers as an offering to some God out there. They camp the night considering this hell idol is lurking in the loft. During the night they all have nightmares that effect them in different ways but we get a look at Luke’s as he is the main character. His nightmare consists of a recreation of the knife incident involving Robert’s face. This happens alot and everytime this happens, the shop itself is recreated there in the forest and it’s very nicely placed within the trees. Its the shop but with dirt floor and it’s just really great set design with haunting transitions to accurately show how this memory is haunting Luke.
From this sleep in the 1 star air bnb cabin, the four are then pushed to the limits as they try to avoid an entity that seems to be following their every move and likes to growl to make their self known amongst our four friends. What this film does great for the first three quarters of the story is what I would like to call the ‘Blair witch’ effect. Blair witch is possibly my favourite horror film ever because it’s a film that plays with your mind. Nothing really happens but it’s that fear of the unknown that makes it so terrifying. The moment that the entity watching you or chasing you or sniffing you is known, then that element is lost. Fear derives from the unknown, hence why a fear of the dark is so common, cause you dont know what creeps are lurking within. My problem with horror films is that you see everything and everything is known so it’s not scary anymore. It’s like having a ‘fear of the dark’ simulator in a room but the lights on. The Ritual, has the unknown element done to a T for most of the film and it genuinely had me nervous, so nervous that a zipper made me jump. It was a great feeling having a twinge of actual fear when watching a horror film. My problem lies with the end as in the end the entity makes itself known and it just becomes an odd film at the end. The whole feeling of fear was lost when it hit the climax and it was a shame because the beginning was so promising. Less is more, blair witch effect, less is more. This film is like it took the blair witch project and extended it to show what was haunting them which ruins the unknown element. I could keep going I just hope I wasnt rambling. Eho am I kidding, I always ramble.
That’s the overall feeling I had for the while film in terms of the fear aspect. All other aspects were really clean and natural. Going back to the whole British thing, the script just felt very natural and they made realistic decisions which is for some reason rare in horror films, finally a horror film where they don’t follow the footsteps. Script good, acting is like a frayed knot, tight in some areas but also felt unravelled at points. The four of the each had their moments where I couldnt tell whether they were trying or not but it was something that dissolved as the film went on, it’s like they were learning how to act throughout the journey of the film so it was something that become unnoticeable at the end.
Overall, This film has a really intense start that seems to mellow out towards the end as the mystery aspect is lost. But with some really creative sequences and also music, I haven’t talked about the music yet, the music really did add a lot to the tension in a scene to make me scared of a zipper so kudos to the composer. Back to the point, finally a horror film that’s mostly amazing, shame about the anticlimactic ending so it did sour the aftertaste but it’s a fun watch if you’re needing a scare. It’s like a filet of chicken thats slightly raw, its mostly cooked, it’s slightly pink in the middle but you eat around it, it’s not bad enough to send back but you definitely wouldnt want to eat the whole thing.
The first scenes of this film are saturated with foreshadowing; it opens on a dark, decaying bedroom which lightens as it comes into focus, revealing a young woman (Jennifer Lawrence) waking up. Jen lives in a huge house in the countryside that she has been restoring with her husband (Javier Bardem) who supposedly makes a living writing poetry. Bardem’s character keeps a precious crystal on a stand in his office and is very particular about who he allows in there. Lawrence’s character is plagued by dizzy spells and when she touches the walls of the house seems to visualise a beating heart slowly dying. It’s pretty clear from the off that there’s something a little fishy going on with these two… ‘Mother!’ is written and directed by Daren Aronofsky who is pretty well known for his dark and disturbing movies and this one fits that theme perfectly.
Jen and The Poet seem to be living a peaceful and secluded life until the arrival of one Ed Harris who claims he believed their home to be a bed and breakfast. The Poet asks him to stay the night and the two seem to hit it off; before long the man’s wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) appears at the door to join him. The Poet reveals to his wife that the couple are in fact fans of his writing and the man’s dying wish was to meet him. Despite repeated admonishment from ‘Mother’ (J-Law, in case you hadn’t guessed), the couple go into The Poets study and shatter his precious glass crystal. Bardem reacts with fury and boards up the doors to his study while Mother tells the couple they must leave their home.
At this point the film is dripping with Old Testament vibes which are cemented by the arrive of the couples sons who represent Cane and Abel. You all know the story, one brother bashes the other’s skull in with a rock, cheers bro! The Poet allows the family into his home after the funeral but the crowd becomes disrespectful and inconsiderate and Mother is forced to expel them all from her home. Mother and The Poet sleep together following a heated argument about their house guests. She wakes up and instantly she knows she is pregnant, which inspires The Poet to begin writing again. Whilst Mother prepares for the baby’s arrival, hordes of fans start to arrive at the house to praise The Poets work. Needless to say, Jen is not impressed!
The film really ramps up a notch at this point and I think you need to see it to appreciate and understand the films culmination. Whilst it feels very abstract and quite horrific to watch the film is a powerful commentary on the state of our planet and the way in which we treat Mother Earth. Aronofsky presents a damning picture of religion, The Poet represents a God who is always present when there is praise to absorb but frequently absent when Mother Earth truly needs him, perhaps Aronofsky’s God is a narcissist? It’s clear that the film is an allegory for the story of The Bible, The Old Testament includes Adam and Eve, The Garden of Eden and Cane and Abel. The influence of the New Testament is slightly less literal, whilst it includes the birth of Christ and partaking of his flesh, there is also clear comments on modern day society. As the house descends into turmoil, we see the influence of the media embodied by Kristen Wigg, military interventions and mass executions, poverty and human trafficking.
I have to say, I did like this film but not straight away and I definitely didn’t love it. It all feels very abstract and strange whilst you’re watching it. Events only start to fall into place once it become apparent that the film is an allegory and even so it’s still a real thinker. The film is well directed and acted but there were a few niggling issues that continued to bother me after the credits had rolled. The main issue that I couldn’t figure out was a yellow tincture that Mother made from an unidentified yellow powder and seemed to drink in order to quiet the visions and headaches she suffers from. This medicine is never identified or commented on and, although most people could probably disregard it, I spent longer than I’d like to admit trying to work out its relevance to the film. During the post-funeral gathering a man also decides to cut a cake with a spoon and this left me and the general public morally outraged. Lawrence’s character is well played but I suspect approximately 85% of her lines were ‘screams hysterically’.
I would give ‘Mother!’ 7 bloody, flesh lumps blocking the toilet out of 10
Taking a trip down Derry lane was a trip I’ve been waiting for ever seen seeing the first IT film. The first film was one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had in cinema with it being a film I was dreading and getting read for it to suck but it was the opposite and is one of my favourite horrors films. So naturally I was super, mega excited when ‘chapter one’ came up at the end of the film to symbolise the hint of the second one. Ever since then I’ve been twiddling my thumbs waiting for Chapter 2. The moment finally arrived and I am not disappointed in the slightest.
Chapter 2 takes place 27 years after the events of the first film and I guess pretty much anything I say here is going to be spoilers for the first film so just have a look at the score at the end if you haven’t seen the first one. If you haven’t seen the first one then you really need to get on that, come on, you’ve had two years, what have you been doing?! Directed by Andy Muschetti once more, chapter 2 carries on from a pact that the main characters of the first film make to meet 27 years after the events of the first film if pennywise comes back (Spoilers, in the first film they attempt to kill pennywise and he disappears). we are greeted with a carnival, weaving in and out of the residents of Derry, we find ourselves with a happy gay couple enjoying shooting into a plastic clowns mouth. A few thugs don’t take kindly to having a couple of homosexuals in Derry to which they proceed to beat the gay out of them and tosses one over the side of a bridge into water. As his man friend comes to her him out the water, we find ourselves with everyone’s favourite clown, pennywise (Bill skarsgärd) dun dun duuuuuuuun, he’s back!! Mike (Isaiah Mustafa) is the only remaining member of the group of friends that still lives in Derry. He contacts the rest of the losers gang to come back to Derry to keep to the promise of ridding the world of Pennywise.
As its 27 years since the last time they were together, naturally all the characters are 27 years older then they were. They’ve all grown up and become thinner and very successful. We have Bill (James McAvoy), a semi successful writer. Ritchie (Bill Hader) and stand up comic. Eddie (James Ransone), a business man. Ben (Jay Ryan), a more successful business man. Stanely (Andy Bean), a weak pussy and Bev (Jessica Chastain), a ginger. The casting for their their young counterparts from the first film is spot on, I could not fault the casting for looking like perfect older doppelgangers. All of them perfectly mimic their younger selves, especially James McAvoy for getting the stutter spot on but honestly I didn’t expect anything less from someone who has 28 split personalities. We meet the team and their reunion as they all meet up at a restaurant inside Derry. Most of them have forgotten their past and why they were summoned back by Mike. As he spills the beans and remembers, we get our first glimpse into the horrors that are to come when the fortune cookies start to crack open to hatch a plethora of mutant insects with baby heads. In case you haven’t seen the first film, the concept of Pennywise is that he plays and prays on fear.
No more of the story as I do recommend you do see both films, preferably one after the other and with no lights on for the perfect experience. Obviously we watch these films to give us a good ole scare, make us shit out pants a bit, and does this film deliver with that….. mooost of the time, actually I’d say around 50/50, I say half because a lot of the moments that are meant to be scary came off as being rather goofy. A then that seems to of hit the horror scene in Hollywood, instead of making the creature/demon/old lady move creepily, they somehow manage to make the movement laughable. To get a perfect idea of what I mean, watch the trailer below and just watch how the old lady moves from one side of the doorway to the other, it’s become a go to dance move for me. There are plenty of laughs sprinkled within the film that I will get onto but a fair bit of the comedy comes from the ‘scary’ moments. At points the whole cinema was laughing when it was meant to be a serious moment of terror and it loses all effect. Now this is 50/50 as there are some genuinely terrific moments of horror thrown in to which Bill skarsgard deserves a round of applause of depicting a deranged clown so well. Although there was one moment right at the end which was insanely hilarious and unknowing if it was meant to be, I still cant get the image out of my head and having a giggle about it.
Taking all the horror aspects with all the other parts of the film that doesn’t Include scares, the film is shot incredibly well. Again one of the reasons I was so excited from the first film is because chapter 1 had some beautiful cinematography which was breathtaking at moments so I was expecting this to continue in chapter 2 and it certainly is consistent. From the filming to the music and perfectly timed sound effects. I cannot fault this film on a technical stand point (apart from one scene with horrifically bad CGI but we can ignore that). In terms of writing, there are some narrative choices that I would go as far as to say don’t make sense and don’t add anything to the story. There was just some branches that could’ve been cut off and it wouldst of changed the appearance of the tree. Knowing that this film is based off the Steven King novel, I’m assuming that these choices are from the book but at the same time it seems just so randomly thrown in that they don’t add anything to the experience and could’ve cut that run time down a bit. Not that I had a problem with the run time, I just desperately needed the toilet for the last hour of the film. In terms of writing from a screenplay point of view, the dialogue felt great and just as solid as the first film, sprinkling in the moments of comedy genius that the first one had was a great way to split the experience.
Overall I would say that the sequel doesn’t have as much character as the first film but that doesn’t distract from being one of the better sequels out there. Considering that sequels are notorious for being awful, especially horror sequels. This film stays true to the original film and punches the same amount of punch to the guts for any horror fan to appreciate. Aside from some goofy visuals, this is sure to satisfy the stomach of anything looking to fill their horror hole.
7.5 ‘The Thing’ References out of 10
Spoilers for the end of the film because I have to talk about it. So the gang come together in an underground nest where pennywise has been staying for the past 27 years. They all come together to defeat him and realise that because he can shape shift, they need to male him small in order to crush him like a moth. Where they cant lire him into a small cavity, they realise that they need to make him feel small and in turn he will turn small physically. The gang then begins to hurl very juvenile Insults at pennywise. “You’re a clown”, “you’re just a bully”. Having this be the way they kill him felt very underwhelming, its just a very childish way to kill this shape shifting creature that can RIP people in half, suddenly just because they hurt his feelings they were able to kill him. I get the overall message of standing up to your fears but it just wasn’t how I expected to kill him. There wasn’t enough rockets in my opinion.