Monday, April 30, 2012

Chronicle Movie Review 239

Chronicle is a 2012 Sci-Fi movie which is directed by Josh Trank who hasn't done a lot of movies. The main  stars are Dane DeHaan who you might have seen in True Blood or In Treatment.Michael B Jordan appears in this too and he has been in The Wire and Friday Night Lights. Aussie Alex Russell is also in this and he hasn't been in much.

The story is pretty simple. Andrew has a camera and he is filming everything that happens to him. Him and his friends go down into a hole and there is some alien thing down there which gives them superpowers. The three guys are Andrew(DeHaan) who is having a hard time at home with his sick mother and drunk dad, Matt(Alex Russell) who is his cousin and popular guy Steve(Michael B. Jordan). They discover their new powers and at first, it is fun and games but they don't realise that they need to control it. The three of them are having a ball flying and making things move with their minds but Andrew is getting more serious. The guys agree to fly around the world together when they graduate. Andrew wants to go to Tibet. Steve hangs out with Matt and Andrew and he tries to make Andrew more popular.

The rest of the movie is about the guys having fun until Andrew gets annoyed with his dad etc and he goes berserk. He kills Steve and then he loses all control. This movie is a fun way to pass an hour and a half, but I did find it a bit dull in parts. If you like the premise then you will probably enjoy this kind of film. The lead characters are okay in it and it isn't bad for a PG-13 film.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Blood Beach Movie Review 238

Blood Beach is a 1980 horror movie directed by Jeffrey Bloom who also directed Flowers in the Attic. It stars David Huffman, John Saxon, Burt Young and Marianna Hill.

The movie begins with a woman called Ruth walking on the beach with her dog. She talks to the local coastguard, Harry(Huffman) and then all of a sudden she disappears into the sand. Her dog is left barking at a spot on the beach. Harry calls in the cops. Ruth's daughter, Kath(Hill) arrives to find her mother. She and Harry used to date so things are weird between them. Ruths dog is found dead on the beach and they think that someone did it on purpose. A young woman is bitten by something on a crowded beach and she has to be pulled from the sand. Her legs are chewed up. Captain Pearson(Saxon) is in charge and he wants action. He is being annoyed by Sergeant Royko(Young) who doesn't know what to make of it.

The cops decide to dig up the beach, but they find nothing. The press arrive at the beach and question people about it. The local kids are calling it Blood Beach. More people are attacked on the beach and the cops keep coming and going. Harry's girlfriend gets killed and he is very upset. Kath is still looking for her mother and they begin to think that it is a killer stalking the beach. Harry investigates an old ruin by the beach and he discovers a secret lair. The cops stake it out and they see a monster in the lair. It is some sort of subterranean creature and they decide to destroy it. They blow it up and everything goes back to normal. Or has it????There is movement in the sand and it seems as if the creature is back!!!

This is an okay movie. Nothing special. It was watchable, but I wouldn't be rushing to see it again. Catch it if you can. It gets a 4/10.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dark Places Movie Review 237

Dark Places is a 1973 British horror/thriller directed by Don Sharp who made lots of Hammer movies such as The Kiss of the Vampire and  he also made Psychomania which is a little known horror movie that you should get your hands on if you can! Dark Places stars Joan Collins, Christopher Lee and Robert Hardy.

Edward Foster(Hardy) is talking to a patient called Marr and he leaves his house to Edward. He tells him that there is money buried inside the walls of the house. He dies soon after. Edward goes to Marrs Grove to find the house and when he does, he is going to live there and find the money. A local warns him about the house being evil which he dismisses. Outside, he falls through a wooden bridge and hurts his leg. A neighbour who is a doctor helps him. The doctor is called Ian Mandeville(Lee). He befriends Edward and tells him that the house is supposed to be haunted. Until the house is ready to live in, Edward is staying with Marrs solicitor, Mr. Prescott(Herbert Lom). That night, Edward is looking out at the large house when he sees a light come on. He tells Prescott but he thinks that is just his imagination.

The next day, Edward goes to the house to try and sort things out.He meets a woman called Sarah Mandeville(Collins) who just happens to be the sister of Ian. She offers her help to clean the house. We discover that Ian and Sarah know about the money in the house and they want to scare Edward out of there so they can find the cash. Prescott tells Edward that the previous owner of the house was called Andrew Marr and that he was having an affair with his nanny and he murdered his wife and children. Edward looks for the money. He can't find it yet. He begins a sexual relationship with Sarah. Edward has flashbacks where he sees Andrew Marr and he sees what happened in the house. He comes upon a key and it leads to the money at last.

Edward knows where the money is and he doesn't want anyone to know about it. He has a pick axe and he is preparing to break through the wall when Sarah comes upon him. He kills her. Ian comes looking for her and he gets killed too. Prescott comes to the house and sees the carnage and calls the police. It turns out that Edward was an inmate of the mental asylum and that he was mad.Has the house made him go insane again? He is carted out by the police and the money is found along with the bodies of Marrs wife and children. This was an entertaining movie. There is a lot to like about this and I would recommend it. It was a surprise as I had never heard of it and when I came upon it, I didn't have much hope for it, but it is actually a good tale with some very good actors. Watch it if you can. It is worth seeing. It gets a 6/10.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dark Night of the Scarecrow Movie Review 236

Dark Night of the Scarecrow is a 1981 horror movie directed by Frank De Felitta who was the writer of movies such as Audrey Rose and The Entity. It stars Charles Durning, Tonya Crowe and Larry Drake.

Bubba(Drake) is a mentally slow man who is kind and gentle. He befriends a young girl called Marylee(Crowe) and the locals disapprove of it even though Bubba is not capable of hurting anyone. The leader of the locals is a man called Otis(Durning) who has a posse composed of Skeeter(Robert F.Lyons),Philby(Claude Earl Jones) and Harliss(Lane Smith). When Marylee wanders into someones back yard and gets attacked by a dog, Bubba carries her home to her mother who thinks that Bubba is responsible. Otis starts getting his posse together and they hunt Bubba down . Bubba runs to his  mother and she hides him by dressing him as a scarecrow and putting him in the field. Otis and co go to his mother and demand her to give them Bubba. She won't. They discover him eventually and shoot him dead. Afterwards, they discover that he was innocent after all. They are taken to court but they escape prosecution. Bubba's mother tells them that justice will be done one way or another.

Everything goes back to normal but Marylee looks for Bubba. Nobody tells her what has happened. She starts talking to Bubba as if he was still alive. She visits his mother and she tells her the truth about Bubba's death. One by one the guilty men are killed. They think that it might be Bubba's mother doing it and Otis has a confrontation with her but he kills her. He burns down her house. Then he figures that it might be Marylee as she tells him that she knows he killed Bubba. He thinks that he is safe but Marylee draws him into a field where the spirit of Bubba is waiting for him. He gets his comeuppance and Bubba and Marylee talk, best friends once again....

This was a good horror movie and one of the first, if not the first in the killer scarecrow genre. It was interesting and I really enjoyed it. It is a cut above a lot of the other scarecrow movies I've seen. I would recommend it. It gets a 7/10.

Monday, April 16, 2012

April Fool's Day Movie Review 235

April Fools Day is a 1986 horror movie directed by Fred Walton who also did When A Stranger Calls which is a great movie. It stars Deborah Foreman, Ken Olandt,Griffin O' Neal, Thomas F. Wilson(Biff from the Back to the Future movies!) and Tom  Heaton.

A group of college friends are going to the house of Muffy St.John(Foreman) for Spring Break. They are going to party and have a great time. They all know Muffy in some way. Muffy is getting the house ready and we wonder if she has some tricks in mind for them. She pulls out an old jack in the box and it brings back childhood memories for her. The friends go on a ferry over to the island where Muffy lives. They have a guy called Skip (O 'Neal)with them too. They are messing around on the ferry when one of the crew members gets really hurt. They all feel terrible as the guy has to go to hospital. A cop,Constable Potter(Heaton) arrives and tells them not to leave the island while he investigates. They arrive at Muffy's and she is ready for them. They have dinner etc and have a good time.

Strange things begin to happen to each of the group and one by one they disappear. Muffy changes too. She seems to be disturbed. Someone seems to be killing them. Who is it? They contact the Constable and he tells them that he will come and see what is happening. They are all worried about Muffy too. She seems to have lost the plot. It comes down to a confrontation with Muffy for the survivors and she has a knife. They are scared of her now as it seems that she planned for all of them to be there so she could murder them. It looks bleak for them when they realise that it has all been a prank. All of the 'dead' people emerge and it turns out that everyone they met was in on it . There was no constable, he was Muffy's uncle. The crew member was never hurt. It was just a trick. Nobody is dead. The movie ends with a little scare for Muffy when she opens her jack in the box. Someone tries to kill her but it is just another prank.

This was an entertaining movie. I could see the twist coming a mile away because of the title, I guess. You would expect the prank at the end. I still liked it and it was worth a watch. It gets a 5/10.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Columbus Circle Movie Review 234


Columbus Circle is a 2012 thriller starring Selma Blair, Amy Smart, Jason Lee, Kevin Pollack and Beau Bridges.It is directed by George Gallo.

An old woman is attacked and killed in her apartment in Columbus Circle. The cops come to investigate. Frank(Giovanni Ribisi) and his partner Jerry(Jason Antoon) are the detectives on the case. They talk to the reclusive woman across the hall whose name is Abigail(Blair) and she knows nothing about the old lady. We find out that Abigail has shut herself off from the world for some reason and she doesn't leave her apartment . The concierge(Kevin Pollack) gets her everything she needs. She is the daughter of a millionaire and she disappeared years ago and has been living under the name Abigail. Her real name is Justine Waters. The old lady's apartment is up for rent and Charlie and his wife Lillian move in. Charlie(Lee) and Lillian(Smart) argue and Charlie hits her. Lilian is helped by Abigail who had been through abuse as a child.

The two become friends and Abigail tries to help her. Abigail speaks to her doctor Ray Fontaine(Bridges) about everything that is happening. He was a family friend and he helped her to get her life together after she left home. It turns out that Charlie and Lillian are con artists and they are trying to hack into Abigails bank and get her password etc so that they can take all of her money. Charlie downloads the information from her computer. The concierge remembers Charlie from prison and he threatens to expose him. Charlie tries to kill him, but the concierge runs into the road and gets killed by a bus. Lillian and Charlie stage an argument and when Abigail tries to help, Lillian pulls a gun on Charlie. The thing is the gun is full of blanks and Lillian pretends to shoot Charlie. Abigail doesn't realise this and she stabs Charlie to death. The two women hide the body and try to decide what to do.

Abigail finds out that Lillian is trying to take her  money and she calls the press to tell them that Justine Waters will be at the bank. Lillian is there dressed and wearing a wig pretending that she is Justine. When Abigail shows up, Lillian realises that she has been had. The cops take her away and Abigail sets off on holiday assuming Lillian's identity. Somehow, Abigail has gotten over her fear of going outside and now, she is free.
This film was bad. The characters were silly and the story dragged along. I didn't think that there were any scares in it and the suspense was non existent. This isn't good, in fact, it is very very bad! Avoid.It gets a 2/10 and that was just for the good cast!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

ATM Movie Review 233

ATM is a 2012 horror movie directed by David Brooks and starring Josh Peck, Alice Eve and Brian Geraghty.

David (Geraghty) works at Starkweather Financial and his best friend is Corey(Peck). They are at their Christmas party one night and David talks to Emily(Eve) who he has liked for ages. He offers her a lift home and she accepts, but his friend Corey wants David to take him home too. On the way, Corey wants to stop for pizza but none of them have any cash so they stop at an ATM booth in the middle of nowhere(as you do). Bear in mind that this is at around one o'clock in the morning. David parks a long distance from the booth and Corey walks into the booth. After a few minutes, David has to go into him and help him out. Corey is pretty drunk and he can't get his money out for some reason. David gives him his cash and Emily gets out of the car and walks into the booth too.

After a few minutes, they notice a guy standing outside with his face covered and wearing a large coat with a hood. They wonder if he wants to use the ATM but David is suspicious. A guy with a dog is walking through the parking lot and the weirdo kills him. The three are horrified and now they know that this person is crazy. 
They try to come up with some reason why he is just standing outside. They look around for something to help them to make contact with the police, but no  matter what they try to do, there is no way to alert them.
The guy is at the back of the booth and  he is obviously trying to get in from the rear. They are terrified and they realise that when he reaches them, he will kill them all. David tries to give him money, but the guy doesn't want it. David runs for his car, but it is parked so far away that the guy is on his tail. Why the hell did he park so far away from the booth? Even if he was trying to make Corey walk the distance in the cold, he should have never parked so far away. It is a silly plot hole.

The rest of the movie is taken up with the mad guy trying to get at them and they trying to sound an alarm or something. The killer murders a security guard and he just walks around and waits for something to happen.
I won't give away the ending, but there are some serious plot flaws here. I was irritated by them. Other than these flaws, I actually enjoyed this film. I liked it because the plot was very simple, but it was interesting because the characters are caught by some killer and there seems to be no reason or cause for him to want to kill them. His lack of motive makes him more dangerous. There were some bits that annoyed me, but I have to say this was a decent movie and I would recommend it. It gets a 6/10.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Innkeepers Movie Review 232

The Inkeepers is a 2011 horror movie written and directed by Ti West who also did The House of the Devil. It stars Sara Paxton, Pat Healy and Kelly McGillis.

The Yankee Pedlar Inn is an old hotel with a long history. It is finally closing its doors after the weekend.
Luke(Pat Healy) and Claire(Paxton) are staying there for the final weekend. They are investigating a supposed haunting in the hotel.Years ago, a woman called Madeline O' Malley hung herself in the hotel after being jilted by her fiancee  and the owners hid her body in the cellar because they didn't want bad publicity for their hotel but they had to close it after the locals found out. Luke has set up a website with videos of strange things happening in the hotel and he has a recorder set up to catch some paranormal activities happening. A woman called Lee(McGillis) comes to stay in the hotel and she is an actress who is now a healer. Claire is a big fan of hers and she tells Lee that she loved her work.

Luke and Claire search for some evidence of Madeline but they don't find much. Lee seems to be psychic and she can tell that there are spirits in the hotel. Claire hears music playing, but there is nobody playing the piano. She gets freaked out and tells Luke about it. She tells him about Lee being psychic and he thinks that it is a load of nonsense. An elderly man comes to stay at the hotel and he wants a specific room because it was his honeymoon suite. Claire shows him to his room and then she and Luke get drunk. They go down to the basement and Claire calls Madeline. She sees the dead woman and Luke freaks and runs out of the cellar.
Claire follows him and he tells her that he lied about seeing anything ghostly in the place. He wants nothing to do with it anymore. He leaves the hotel.

Claire goes to get Lee and they head to the basement where Lee gets very upset. She tells Claire they have  to get out of the hotel and when Claire gets her things, she remembers the old man. She goes up to his room but he has killed himself. She is shocked and she tries to find Lee. She hears someone calling her from the cellar so she goes to the top of the steps and calls Lee. She tumbles down the stairs when the old man appears behind her, dead and bloody. She hits her head and she wanders around the basement. She thinks that the old man is after her and she locks herself into the cellar. Out comes Madeline and the movie ends with Claire dead. How she died isn't explained but Luke tells the cops that he banged on the cellar door to get her out but she wouldn't let him in. The cops tell him that they need him at the station and Lee too. He goes back into the hotel to get Lee and they go off with the cops. The movie ends with a door slamming by itself in the hotel. Has Claire become one of the dead who roam the halls???

This was an interesting film. I liked what the director was trying to do, but it was a little slow and disappointing in the end. The ending of the movie was shabby and it was all just thrown together, I think. There were some good scary scenes with the ghosts  but there was too much talking in this film. If you are looking for a fast paced movie, this isn't it. I found it a little slow and that was its downfall. I didn't like the Kelly McGillis character much either. If you have seen the movie, let me know your thoughts on it. It was a good effort but ultimately, it was just not a great story. There was so much potential wasted here..It gets a 6/10.
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