Freaky – Movie Review

TL;DR –  A film that finds that balance between horror and comedy, till maybe the last 10 minutes.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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

Freaky. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Freaky Review

You have probably watched more than a few films where two people running into each other, or a wish, or just the universe deciding to be a dick, cause the people to swap bodies. It is usually a parent and a child, and by the end of the film, they have both learnt the lesson that both of them have complicated lives and everyone should cut everyone else a lot of slack. I have seen a number of these films, and variations upon, however, I have never seen a horror/comedy version of this … well that is until now.

So to set the scene, Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton) is your usual high school student that is not one of the popular kids, so thus is fodder for the popular kids that make her life hell. Adding to that, the Blissfield Butcher (Vince Vaughn) a notorious serial killer is still at large with no one being able to catch him. Well, one night as Millie is trying to walk home after her mother forgot her, the Butcher attacks. But instead of killing her, the knife he used swaps their bodies. So now Millie has a day to fix this before it becomes permanent and she takes the fall for all those murders … which are still going on but in a different body. 

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The New Mutants – Movie Review

TL;DR – A perfectly okay film but a bit of a missed opportunity.     

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

The New Mutants. Image Credit: 20th Century Studios.

Review

After thirteen films, and running for twenty years, the current X-Men franchise has drawn to a close. Today we review the last movie in the series The New Mutants, though it was never planned or designed to be a swan song it is what it has become. Well, let’s dive into a film that swerves into the horror of what it would be like to wake up one day with powers.

So to set the scene, we open in on a reservation in America when Danielle “Dani” Moonstar (Blu Hunt) is woken up by her father William (Adam Beach) and told to run. All around them, some outside force is destroying the reservation with snow and flames everywhere. William asks Dani to hide in a tree and goes back to help only to be killed, Dani runs form the oncoming storm and crashes down the side of the hill, hitting her head. When she wakes up, she is handcuffed to a medical gurney in what looks like an old hospital. Over the speaker Dr Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga) askes her to calm down and lets her know she is safe, but that she was the only survivor of her reservation, everyone she knows is dead.  

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Movie Review – Follow Me (No Escape)

TL;DR – Out of all the things I expected to fell when I sat down to watch this movie, dull was not one of them, but here we are.     

Score – 1.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is are some mid-credit scenes

Follow Me. Image Credit: Studio Canal.

Follow Me (No Escape) Review

I have to be upfront before we get started. Today was a bit of a milestone because it was the first time since March (when we looked at The Legend of Baron To’a) that I have been able to go to a regular showing of a film in a cinema. So I may have gone into this film with some unconscious higher expectations than I probably should have. However, all that said and done did I pick a good choice from my first film in a long time? Unfortunately, the answer to that would be a hard no.

So to set the scene, Cole (Keegan Allen) is a stream/influencer/online personality/ etc. who can get tens of thousands of people tuning in when he goes live. He is always about finding extreme situations to film for that #Content. Well, when his friend and fellow streamer Dash (George Janko) lets him know of this super exclusive escape room set up by this cashed-up Russian Alexei (Ronen Rubinstein) he jumps at the opportunity. Well, a couple of months later and Cole, Dash, Cole’s girlfriend Erin (Holland Roden), and their friends Thomas (Denzel Whitaker) & Maya (Tia Valentine) find themselves on a first-class flight to Russia. With no idea what will be waiting for them when they arrive.

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Movie Review – The Invisible Man (2020 film)

TL;DR – A film filled with amazing acting, and technical brilliance, however it was one of the most difficult films I have reviewed due to the issues of abuse that it explores.

Score – I am honestly not sure what to score to give this film

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene that I saw

Warning – Depicts scenes of abuse

The Invisible Man (2020 film). Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review

A couple of years ago I stumbled upon Upgrade and thus discovered the wonderful work of Leigh Whannell. Since then, I have been waiting to catch his next film, so I was really excited to get the invite to see The Invisible Man. This was also a film that was going to reframe an old classic monster film and bring it into the modern age, which also intrigued me because that is my jam. However, while watching the film, I found myself feeling very conflicted with the subject material. All of this left me very unsettled in a way that I have spent the past two weeks wondering if the film approached it in an appropriate way or not.  

So to set the scene, we open in on a mansion on the top of a cliff, waves crash against the rocks on a cold winters night as we zoom in on the isolated house. In the house, there is a couple asleep in a bed, Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss) and Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), but only one of them is actually asleep. We watch as Cecilia slowly slips out of the bed, at first you think it is just that she does not want to disturb Adrian, but soon you discover there is something more to it than that. In fact, she is leaving him in the middle of the night, the only time she could, which means that when every sound could be her undoing. The moment she grabs her hidden go bag you immediately understand why she is leaving. As she escapes over the high walls of the house everything starts to get better, that is until things start moving in rooms that should be empty.

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Movie Review – The 9th Precinct (局分九第)

TL;DR – An interesting look at the barrier between life and death but takes some short cuts to get there    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

The 9th Precinct (局分九第). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Generally, the time we get films about what goes bump in the night it is around Halloween and not Christmas. So, it was a nice change of pace to get a film that explores the darker side of the world and what happens after death. With this in mind, today we explore a film that looks at that bridge between the living and the dead and what happens when you start playing with that fixed barrier.

So to set the scene, Chen Chia-Hao (Roy Chiu) works as a police officer for the Houli Police Agency. However, he has always led a special life because he can see the undead. This has led to him only rising to the rank of traffic cop even though he shows exemplary skill. One day while on patrol he finds a killer but during the arrest, his partner is shot and killed. He would have been killed too but a ghost stepped in and saved him. He refuses to change his report about a ghost and is fired but on his way out he is grabbed by the mysterious Mr Chang (Chia-Chia Peng) and given an offer to continue working for the police as a member of the secretive 9th Precinct, the ghost crimes bureau.

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Movie Review – La Influencia (The Influence)

TL;DR – A visually compelling horror film that does not quite have the story depth to back it up    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

La Influencia (The Influence). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

If you could bottle creepy? In what form would it take. There would be the bumps in the night, the flickering lights, the things of the past that you had thought forgotten, occult rituals in the night, little girls with more knowledge than they should have, creepy crawlies the sound of a ventilator and heart monitor beeping in the distance. Well if that is what it takes then La Influencia is that and more.   

So to set the scene, Sara (Maggie Civantos), her husband Mikel (Alain Hernández), and daughter Nora (Claudia Placer) are on their way back to Sara’s family home. Sara has not been back in years after a falling out with the mother Victoria (Emma Suárez). After the death of her husband, Victoria delved into the world of the occult and brought her family with her. Now she is just an old lady strapped to a ventilator after having a stroke. But as Nora becomes closer and closer to her comatose grandmother, things start to go wrong around town.

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Movie Review – In the Tall Grass

TL;DR – An interesting idea, and full-on creepy, but it did leave me feeling a bit hollow at the end.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

In the Tall Grass. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Well it is October and that means it is Halloween month, so it is time for the many, many new horror films to make their way into the world. It is the perfect time for horror and what goes bump in the night but it can be hard to get your head above the crowd. However, if there is any way to do that basing your work on something written by Stephen King is sure one way to do it.

So to set the scene, we open in on a brother Cal (Avery Whitted) and sister Becky (Laysla De Oliveira) as they make their way across the country to San Diego. They are moving to a new life, getting ready because Becky is quite pregnant. They stop on the side of the road because Becky gets morning sickness and needs to let heave. As they wait they hear a voice call out from the long grass on the side of the road. A young boy called Tobin (Will Buie Jr.). They run into grass to try and help the boy but get separated, but that’s okay because they are really close. But soon voices get warped, people get moved around, and there is more than whispers out there in the long grass.

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Movie Review – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

TL;DR – A solid horror film, with a good premise that meanders a bit in the middle before coming back strong in the end.   

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Image Credit: Universal.

Review

I have to admit that I am not as big of a horror aficionado as a lot of the critics out there. I prefer the tension and suspense of a film like Get Out over a horror gorefest. However, I have made it a plan to try and broaden the films I see and also if you ever want me to see a film having the story by Guillermo del Toro is a great way to do it. With that in mind let’s have a look at a film that champions what goes bump in the night.

In 1968 a lot of things are happening, the Vietnam War is in full swing, Richard Nixon is up for re-election, and in a small town called Mill Valley in Pennsylvania, the local residents are getting ready for Halloween. Stella (Zoe Colletti) does not want to go out but is coaxed out by her friends Auggie (Gabriel Rush) and Chuck (Austin Zajur) because this might be their last Halloween together. After running into local bully Tommy (Austin Abrams) who is on a date with Chuck’s sister Ruthie (Natalie Ganzhorn) they hide in Ramón’s (Michael Garza) car. Ramón is from out of town, so Stella suggests they take him to the Bellows’ House, the town’s local haunted house. Legend says that the family that founded the town locked their daughter Sarah (Kathleen Pollard) in the basement but she would tell stories through the wall to local children and then the kids would die. Everything is going fine until Stella finds a book, a book of Sarah’s stories, a book that is still writing more stories one by one.

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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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