Monday, July 25, 2016

Observance Movie Review 401

Observance is a 2015 thriller/horror from Artsploitation Films and is directed by Joseph Sims-Dennet and starring Lindsay Farris(Home and Away).

Parker(Farris) is a private investigator who is working on a case. His client is not seen in the movie, only heard over the phone. Parker's son is dead and his marriage is very shaky. He is not in a good place. He moves into an old apartment across the street from the woman that he is watching for his client. The place is weird and really crappy. He is alone and isolated. He sets up his equipment and watched the woman who is called Tenneal(Stephanie King). He sees her life and watches everything that happens to her. He starts to see things in the apartment. He thinks that someone might be in the apartment with him.

He starts to feel ill in the apartment. He calls his employer and tells him that the case is not going well as he is feeling bad. His client convinces him to stay there. He gets caught looking at Tenneal when she sees him. He turns out the lights and hides. He feels sicker and spits up black liquid. He knows that there is something weird in the apartment. He sees a vision of his dead son which scares him. He is going to kill himself but it stopped by hearing something in the place. He sees some weird woman coming after him and he decides to leave. He tells his employer that he is going. The movie ends with Tenneal calling to the apartment and finding Parker scribbling on the wall. He kills her and leaves the apartment which is such a strange ending. I didn't like it at all. The movie was pretty okay but there were some dull parts. The ending let it down, I feel. There were many scenes where nothing happened and it could be tedious, but there are some decent scares so if you enjoy psychological thrillers, then this might be for you. I will give it a 5/10. Available on DVD/ Blu Ray in August.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Body Bags Movie Review 400

Body Bags is a 1993 horror anthology film directed by John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper. There are three different stories in this movie.

A creepy coroner(played by Carpenter introduces the stories. The first story is called 'The Gas Station' and it is directed by John Carpenter. A young woman called Anne (Alex Datcher) is starting work at a gas station at night. She is dropped off by her pal and she meets the guy working there called Bill(Robert Carradine). He seems nice and he explains everything to her about the job and heads off. He tells her to call him if there is any problem. The gas station in near Haddonfield(a nod to the Halloween movies) and a killer is on the loose. Anne is jumpy as her first customer approaches the window. He just happens to be played by Wes Craven! The second guy is called Pete and he is played by David Naughton who was the lead character in An American Werewolf in London. He is cute and Anne likes him. He fills his car up with gas, but forgets his credit card. A homeless guy turns up and scared Anne. He wants the key to the bathroom. He is played by George 'Buck' Flower who is a Carpenter regular. She gets nervous and thinks that the killer is around. She tries to call the police, but the phone line has been cut. She runs over to the garage to a car but finds the dead body of the homeless guy in it. She is horrified and realises that Bill is the name of the guy who had the job before her. The Bill that she met was the killer! She finds the dead body of the real Bill who is played by Sam Raimi. She runs into the killer and they fight.He is going to kill her, but is stopped by Pete who came back for his credit card. She crushes the killer by lowering a car onto him.

The next segment is called 'Hair' and is directed by Tobe Hooper. A guy called Richard(played by Stacy Keach) is obsessed with his thinning hair. He tries everything to make it look better but nothing works. He is annoying his girlfriend, Megan(Sheena Easton). He sees an advertisement for a special clinic which helps people with thinning hair . It is headed by Dr.Lock(David Warner) and his nurse played by Debbie Harry. He goes there and undergoes a procedure. The next morning when he wakes up, he has long flowing hair. His girlfriend loves it and he feels like a man. Unfortunately, the hair is growing everywhere and it seems to be alive. He looks at the hairs that he cut and they look like little snakes. Horrified, he goes back to the clinic where he is told that he has been a guinea pig in an alien experiment. Lock and his nurse are aliens and they are taking over by planting their little snakes in people who want new hair. Richard is taken away and Dr. Lock waits for his next victim.

The last segment is called 'Eye' and it is also directed by Carpenter. It begins with a baseball player called Brent Matthews played by Mark Hamill. He is doing really well and his life is going great when he is involved in a car crash. He loses his eye. He doesn't want his career to end so he undergoes a surgical procedure to replace his eye. His wife Cathy is played by Twiggy and she is pregnant. His surgery goes well and he seems to be okay, but then he starts to have horrible visions of a murder. He finds out that his eye came from a serial killer who is dead but Brent thinks that he is possessing him to kill. He tells his wife, but she thinks that he is going mad. When he tries to kill his wife, he realises that he can't go on like this so he stabs himself in the eye and dies.

The movie ends with the coroner getting back into his body bag, revealing that he is dead already. Two mortuary attendants come to have a look at his body. They are Tom Arnold and Tobe Hooper! This was a very entertaining movie. I like horror anthologies and this was great fun. There were lots of cool cameos and the stories were interesting. I would recommend this and I will give it a 7/10.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Surrogate Movie Review 399

The Surrogate is a 2013 TV thriller directed by Doug Campbell and starring Cameron Mathison,Annie Wersching and Amy Scott.

Famous author Jacob Kelly(Mathison) and his wife Allison(Wersching) are a married couple who desperately want a child. Allison can't have a child after having ovarian cancer so they are thinking of getting a surrogate to help them. Jacob works at a college and there is a young woman there called Kate(Scott) who has a huge crush on him and has fantasies about him. He is totally oblivious to her.
When she happens to overhear that he and his wife are looking for a surrogate and have found someone who is suitable, she finds the woman and kills her.She doesn't realise that the woman has a boyfriend who wants to find out what happened to his girlfriend.

Kate wants to be the surrogate for the Kellys and that way she can weasel her way into their lives. She has her eye on Jacob and she pretends to them that she just wants to help them be happy. They are delighted that she is going to help them and the process starts. When Kate gets pregnant, they are ecstatic. Kate and Allison become good friends. But Kate takes a photo of Jacob's credit card details and she orders roses and lingerie from him to her. She also gets his password for his work email and sends romantic emails from Jacob to her. She makes herself out to be innocent of any wrongdoing.
Everything seems to be going well when Kate shows up at the Kelly's house and pretends to be upset. She knows that Jacob is alone and that Allison is on the way home. She suddenly begins to get upset and act as if Jacob has done something to her as Allison arrives back.

Allison asks him what is going on and he doesn't know. She talks to Kate who is happy to tell her and show her the emails and the presents that he sent her. She thinks that he has been trying to come on to Kate and, as he had cheated before, she thinks that he wanted to have an affair. This causes a rift between the couple. Kate is confronted by the boyfriend of the woman that she killed. He is going to call the cops but she stabs him and kills him. She ruins Jacob's life which really makes me wonder how she expects him to fall in love with her. He is fired from his job after Kate says that he hit her.
Allison wants a divorce. He is at his wits end when he goes to visit Kate to confront her. Allison follows him and overhears that Kate is in love with him and obsessed with him. She realises that
Kate has framed her husband. She confronts Kate but Kate tells them that she will kill the baby if they call the police.

The movie takes a ridiculous turn when Allison and Jacob come up with a plan. Jacob tells Kate that he will move in with her as Allison has left him. She tells him that they can go to a mansion that she has in the middle on nowhere and she takes his phone. She has a shrine to him in the house and she tells him that he can write his new novel and she will proof read it for him. He passes notes to his wife through a wall and we find out that Allison has taken a house beside them and it is all a plan to get the baby. Kate finds out and she chains Jacob up even though she has gone into labour!!Figure that one out!!!!The movie ends with Kate trying to run away just after she has the baby. The Kellys call the Sheriff and take the baby and Kate is taken into custody. This movie was a bit silly but entertaining all the same. It is a TV movie so you can't expect too much but it kept me watching and it wasn't too bad. The hilarious ending where a woman in labour manages to shackle a big guy to a post while getting a rifle and shooting at the wife is priceless! I will give it a 4/10.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bates Motel Movie Review 398

Bates Motel is a 1987 horror/thriller directed by Richard Rothstein and starring Bud Cort and Lori Petty.It was intended to be a pilot for a Psycho themed TV show, but it was never picked up.

The movie begins with Norman Bates being taken away to an institution. There is a young boy there who has some problems and the doctor thinks that Norman might be able to connect with him. The young boy is called Alex(Cort) and he and Norman hit it off and become best friends. Norman dies and Alex is very sad about it as Norman was his best pal. He makes a moving speech at his funeral. His doctor thinks that he can be released from the institution. Alex is reluctant as he doesn't fit in there anymore. Alex is surprised when Norman leaves his motel to him. He decides that he will go and make the motel into a success again as a tribute to Norman. He goes to Fairville to find the motel.
He meets a guy called Henry(Moses Gunn) who used to work at the Bates Motel. He drives Alex there. The motel is in ruins. He looks around. The place is spooky.

Alex decides to apply for a loan to redo the place. He meets with Tom Fuller(Gregg Henry) at the back and talks to him about it. Tom tells him that the land he has is worth a lot of money and he thinks that Alex should sell it. Alex tells him that he wants to reopen Bates Motel and Tom thinks that he is crazy to do it, but they work out something. Alex goes back to the motel and runs into a woman called Willy(Petty) who was been living in the place for three months. She doesn't want to leave it.
She tells him that she will stay on at the motel to help him out. Alex wants to do it on his own. Alex gets an architect and they discuss the plans for the motel. The architect wants to modernise the place, but Alex is happy enough with it as it is. Willy turns up and helps Alex to get things done. Alex talks to Henry and offers him a job as the foreman at the motel.

Bad things happen on the job and they uncover a body at the motel. It is Mrs Bates. Alex sees someone in black at the funeral of Mrs Bates. No one else has seen her. Willy wants to be a chef in the new cafe at the motel. She falls out with Alex and leaves the motel again. Alex meets Tom who tells him that weird things happened at the motel. The workers find another body and they think that it is Norman's father, Jake who disappeared years ago. Alex sees the neon sign come on at the motel by itself and he sees a figure in black at the window. He runs up to the house but there is nobody there. He sees a dead body and thinks that he is crazy. Willy shows up and he tells her what happened. Willy thinks that someone might be trying to scare him away from the motel. He calls the cops but they find nothing suspicious. Willy decides to stay and the motel gets done.

Finally,everything is ready. Alex is nervous about opening night as he has to pay the bank by the next day. They get one customer and things start looking up. Cars full of kids show up and the place is buzzing. One of the guests is called Barbara Peters(Kerrie Keane) and she is going to kill herself in one of the rooms. She is depressed as she is no longer as young as she was and she feels old. She is just about to do it when she is stopped by a young girl Sally(Khrystyne Haje) who talks her into dressing up and going to a party. She meets a young man called Tony(Jason Bateman) and they have a connection immediately. They dance and he goes back to her room. She tells him that he is too young for her. She goes back to her room and she is visited by Sally once more. She discovers that Sally and her friends are all ghosts who killed themselves when they were alive. Barbara is horrified but it makes her see sense.

Alex sees the figure in the window and he runs into the house to see who it is. The figure comes down the stairs with a knife telling him to get out. Henry tackles the ghost and they discover that it is Tom who was trying to scare Alex out of the place so he would sell it to developers. Willy is dressed as Mrs Bates and she scared a confession out of Tom which she tapes. They blackmail him into coming to a more reasonable settlement with Alex about the motel. Sally leaves the motel the next day and she is very happy and full of life again. The movie ends with Alex saying goodbye. It was meant to be the start of a TV series so that makes sense. I enjoyed this movie even if it was a bit
simple plot wise. I think that it would have made a good TV show and I would have watched it. Some of the acting is a little ropey in parts, but all in all, this is an enjoyable TV movie. I will give it a 5/10.

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