Movie Review – The Faceless Man

TL;DR – A film with some good ideas that is unfortunately bogged down some truly frustrating elements    

Score – 2 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene

The Faceless Man. Image Credit: Chapter 5 Studios.

Review

This is one of those films that is really difficult to review for a number of reasons. First I feel that I am far from the target audience also I am not an expert in Ozploitation sub-genre of horror films. However, while I might not be able to be as sophisticated in my critiques as usually, I’ll give it my best.

So to set the scene, we open in on Sophie (Sophie Thurling) as she sits in a hospital waiting for treatment for cancer. While she waits a man comes up to her, her father Harrison (Brendan Bacon) and it is clear from the first moment that their relationship is very estranged. Three-years-later and Sophie have beaten cancer enjoying a life of alcohol and drugs and living every moment. She, Kyle (Lucas Pittaway), Dave Eddison (Martin Astifo), Chad Blavinski (Sunny S. Walia), Brad Barns (Daniel Facciolo), and Nina Hancock (Lorin Kauffeld) head off into the countryside to Orange Lodge to have a quiet weekend only to find themselves in the crossroads of different warring parties.

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Movie Review – Kidnapping Stella

TL;DR – It starts really strong with moments of real tension, but it is let down by a muddled ending.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Kidnapping Stella. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Today we get to look at a film that is almost the reverse of the norm. It is not at all uncommon for there to be English adaptions of foreign language films as there is a long history of people assuming that subtitles are a real barrier for commercial success. Well, today we get to see a film that has made the reverse trip with Kidnapping Stella being the German adaptation of the English film The Disappearance of Alice Creed. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how well a film does going the other way across the channel. Though I must say that at times this is a deeply confronting film, and you should probably know that before jumping in.

So to set the scene, we open in on two gentlemen Tom (Max von der Groeben) and Vic (Clemens Schick) as they go about their day running errands and picking up supplies. They renovate a room, get a van ready, and put in a new bed. All really normal, but for the fact that they block out all of the windows, and that they have masks. Because what they are doing is not renovating, they are prepping the room for something, and that something is Stella (Jella Haase) who they kidnap off the street to ransom back to her parents.    

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Movie Review – Zilla and Zoe

TL;DR – While there are some good ideas here, what we have is a film of two halves that don’t quite work well with each other.    

 Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Zilla and Zoe. Image Credit: Indican Pictures.

Review

Today I have an interesting task in reviewing someone’s first ever feature film which actually puts me in an odd position. That is because while there are some really good ideas here in places and the core concepts are sound, a lot of this film does not quite come together. We need more creatives taking those first new steps because that is where all of our greatest filmmakers started. With that in mind explore the world of a horror aficionado and the chaos they leave in their wake.

So to set the scene, we open in on Zoe (Aida Valentine) as she is preparing for her last day at school for the term and by preparing I mean setting up a horror scene of a wedding, including an exploding bride. This is a frustration to her father Sal (Greg James) who is trying to raise her and run a business as a single dad. All of this comes to a head when Zoe’s older sister Zilla (Sam Kamerman) returns home to announce that she is getting married, oh married to a women Lu (Mia Allen), oh and all of Lu’s family have made the trip from New York to Portland to come over for dinner, oh they are all super conservative, and oh the wedding is in a couple of weeks.

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Movie Review – The Silence

TL;DR – This is a film that has unfortunately come out after several other films have done the same premise but better in every respect and because of that this can’t help but feel lacklustre in comparison     

Score – 2 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

The Silence. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Sometimes the film business can be tough, where forces outside of your control can completely derail your project through no fault of your own. Today we look at just such a film that in many ways just had the back luck of not being the first one out of the gate. However, more than just that we look at a film that suffers from inconsistencies throughout which really shows when you compare it to those that have come before.

So to set the scene, we open in an uncharted cave system under the Appalachian Mountains where a group of explorers are trying to chart it. When suddenly after breaking through as a rock formation they disturb what was lurking underneath and they are instantly killed by a swarm of creatures that fly out into the night sky. Meanwhile, Ally (Kiernan Shipka) is on her way home after she was mocked because she is deaf and is also frustrated because her parents Hugh (Stanley Tucci) and Kelly (Miranda Otto) are coddling her in response the accident that took her hearing. During the night she is woken up by her parents as something is happening, a terrorist attack, chemical weapons, no it is the Veps and they are killing everything and everyone in their paths.

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Movie Review – Bird Box

TL;DR – There are moments of real suspense, and Sandra Bullock is amazing, but the structure of the story holds it back by revealing its hand too soon.      

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Bird Box. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

2018 has been a good year for the suspense thriller/ horror films, we have built on the strengths of 2017, a produced such amazing films as A Quiet Place (see review) and Cargo (see review). I bring A Quiet Place up because after the first few minutes you can tell that this is the film Bird Box is going to be compared to the most, and that is not entirely unfair. As they are both suspense post-apocalyptic films where you have to cover one of your senses to survive i.e. sound, or in this case sight. However, this was less the case of copying a more the case of producers seeing that suspense films are back (also they never left but that is an issue for another day) and optioning different books at around the same time. However, while it is a bit unfair to compare the two while watching you can’t help but do so, especially when the differences between the two are probably the reasons why I liked one more than the other.

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TV Review – Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale

TL;DR – It emphasises the ‘things that go bump in the night’ theme of the show, but also some of its get out of jail free cards, for a mixed result.

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale. Image Credit: Netflix

A Christmas special is a time honoured tradition of many shows, indeed when I was growing up we would always get this great Christmas in July moment because TV took about 6 months to get down under back then. With that in mind, and with the more schlocky nature of the TV show so far, it felt like this would be the perfect fit for Sabrina. With a Christmas but not themed show. But while it hits all those notes, I was left feeling all a bit meh at the end of the day.

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Movie Review – Mandy

TL;DR – This is a film that is all about the style, and if you dig it you find it to be one of the best movies ever, or like me you if you don’t, well then it turns out to be a dull frustrating mess

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit thing, but you don’t need to stay for it

Warning – There are several scenes that have extensive strobe effects

Mandy. Image Credit: RLJE Films

Review

Style is something that can make or break a film for people, it is one of the reasons that you tend to see a lot of dull monotonous films pumped out, desperately trying to be something for everyone. So in this regards, I deeply respect Mandy, for in no way playing it safe, and committing to its style like there is no tomorrow with a full line-up of sex, violence, and nudity. Unfortunately, the style did not gel with me at all, so while I appreciate what the film was trying to do, I cannot say I found it to be a particularly good film at all.

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