It Follows (2014) review

It Follows posterDirector: David Robert Mitchell

Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Lili Sepe, Olivia Luccardi, Jake Weary, Daniel Zovatto

“She can do the same thing I did. It should be easier for her, she’s a girl. Any guy would be with you. Just sleep with someone else and tell him to do the same thing. Maybe it’ll never come back.” (Hugh, It Follows)

Slasher film convention dictates that the killer will often walk slowly towards their victim, who in turn will happily provide suspense by falling over any number of times and making themselves easier to catch.

It Follows takes this often mocked trope and makes it scary again by adding a couple of clever twists. Continue reading It Follows (2014) review

Alien Abduction (2014) review

Alien Abduction posterDirector: Matty Beckerman

Starring: Corey Eid, Jillian Clare, Katherine Sigismund, Jeff Bowser, Riley Polanski, Peter Holden

JILLIAN – “Are those stars?”

RILEY – “Stars don’t move like that.”

By this point in my life I must have seen more ‘found footage’ movies than I’ve had lamb vindaloos, and let’s just say Indian Express in Wandsworth greatly appreciates my custom.

After all, a quick gander at the ‘handheld footage’ tag on this site will reveal that I’ve reviewed no fewer than 15 of the bastards  on this site already.

Alien Abduction at least tries something slightly different by going with a subject matter you don’t often get in these first-person frightfests. See if you can guess what it is by the title. Continue reading Alien Abduction (2014) review

Poltergeist (2015) review

Poltergeist 2015 posterDirector: Gil Kenan

Starring: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kennedi Clements, Kyle Catlett, Jared Harris, Saxon Sharbino, Jane Adams

“They’re here.” (Madison, Poltergeist)

As you’ll know if you already read my review, the original 1982 Poltergeist is one of my favourite films of all time.

I should also point out that I’m not the sort of person who instantly hates remakes because they’re remakes. I got all that out of my system during my film buff university days and these days I’ll happily judge remakes – such as the brilliant 2004 Dawn Of The Dead and 2005 King Kong (hey, I liked it) – on their own merits.

That said, this new Poltergeist is shite. Continue reading Poltergeist (2015) review

Jurassic World (2015) review

Jurassic World posterDirector: Colin Trevorrow

Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan

CLAIRE – “Think it’ll scare the kids?”

MASRANI – “The kids? This’ll give the parents nightmares.”

CLAIRE – “Is that… good?”

MASRANI – “It’s fantastic.”

“I can’t wait any more!”

This is what young Gray (Ty Simpkins, the young lad from Insidious) says near the start of Jurassic World as he whips open the curtains of his hotel room window and gets a glorious view of the park.

In a way, he’s speaking for every Jurassic Park fan crossing their fingers for 14 years for a new movie (and, some would argue, 22 years for a truly brilliant one). We couldn’t wait any more either. And now the wait is over. Continue reading Jurassic World (2015) review

Series Overview – Jurassic Park (1993-2015)

Jurassic Park was one of the biggest films of the nineties. Based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name, it brought to life a thought every one of us has had as a child: “What would it be like to see a real life dinosaur?”

With the novelty gone, Jurassic Park’s sequels lacked the first film’s initial impact but there was still a giddy pleasure in seeing more dino hijinks. A fourth film, Jurassic World, is planned for summer 2015.

Click each poster for the full review.

Jurassic Park poster

Jurassic Park (1993)
“Eccentric Scottish billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) has opened up a theme park in a remote tropical island, a theme park that features real life dinosaurs he’s managed to clone using the DNA extracted from blood found in fossilised mosquitoes. Excited about his park, he invites some guests to see the park before it opens and get their expert opinions. Oh, and he’s invited his two grandchildren too, because things definitely won’t go tits-up.” Continue reading Series Overview – Jurassic Park (1993-2015)

Unfriended (2014) review

unfriended_posterDirector: Levan Gabriadze

Starring: Shelly Hennig, Matthew Bohrer, Courtney Halverson, Heather Sossaman, Moses Storm, Will Peltz, Renee Olstead

KEN: “It’s probably just a glitch.”

VAL: “Well the glitch just typed.”

Here’s a tip about being in horror films that Scream forgot to address. If you were either directly or indirectly involved in someone’s death, it’s probably a good idea to lie low on every major anniversary of said offing.

For some reason, those affected usually decide to take revenge one, five or ten years to the day after the incident. Personally, I’d go for the element of surprise: “It’s been seven and a half months since you killed me, so time for you to get all dead and that.”

Unfriended takes place exactly a year after high school student Laura Barns committed suicide. Guess what happens next. Continue reading Unfriended (2014) review

Poltergeist (1982) review

poltergeist_posterDirector: Tobe Hooper

Starring: Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O’Rourke, Oliver Robins, Beatrice Straight, Zelda Rubenstein

“This house has many hearts.” (Tangina, Poltergeist)

What do you get when you combine Steven Spielberg at the height of his power – right after directing E.T. – and Tobe Hooper, director of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

The answer is simple: you get one of my favourite films ever.

First though, some housekeeping. It has long been debated whether Hooper had much influence during the making of the film, with many reports and actor testimonies claiming that Spielberg had most of the creative control.

You see, Spielberg had a clause in his contract that stated that while he was working on E.T. he wasn’t allowed to direct another movie. It’s claimed, then, that Hooper was brought in to take on the role of director while Spielberg pulled the strings behind the scenes. Continue reading Poltergeist (1982) review

Chernobyl Diaries (2012) review

Chernobyl Diaries posterDirector: Bradley Parker

Starring: Ingrid Berdal, Dimitri Diatchenko, Olivia Dudley, Devin Kelley, Jesse McCartney, Nathan Phillips, Jonathan Sadowski

“So, there’s this place called Pripyat. It’s the town right next to Chernobyl. Uri, who is really excited to take us there, is an extreme tour guide. He’s going to show us this city that was abandoned overnight. Literally. They had no time to take anything. Factories, schools, stores, homes apartments, everything’s still there. Imagine the photo shoot you could have there, Amanda.” (Paul, Chernobyl Diaries)

I’ve got a fascination with abandoned towns. I love the idea of exploring a location trapped in time: a once thriving place that, for whatever reason, was suddenly abandoned and left to nature to take over.

The premise of Chernobyl Diaries speaks directly to that part of me. And then ruins it all by throwing in baldy zombie mutant things. Continue reading Chernobyl Diaries (2012) review

Cube (1997) review

Cube posterDirector: Vincenzo Natali

Starring: Maurice Dean Wint, David Hewlett, Nicole De Boer, Nicky Guadagni, Andrew Miller, Julian Richings, Wayne Robson

“It’s all the same machine, right? The Pentagon, multinational corporations, the police. If you do one little job, you build a widget in Saskatoon, and the next thing you know, it’s two miles under the desert, the essential component of a death machine. I was right! All along, my whole life, I knew it! I told you, Quentin. Nobody’s ever going to call me paranoid again! We’ve gotta get out of here and blow the lid off this thing!” (Holloway, Cube)

I’m a sucker for low-budget mystery films that put extra focus on their script to make up for their lack of grandeur elsewhere. Sometimes you get the most out of a storyline when you’ve got the least to work with.

Recent examples include Exam – in which eight candidates are sat in front of desks, given a blank sheet of piece of paper and told to answer ‘the question’ – and Devil, in which five strangers are trapped in an elevator also occupied by a nasty presence. Guess what it is.

Cube is similar to these in that the majority of the film was shot in a single room, although here it acts as a number of similar rooms. Look, it’ll make sense in a minute. Continue reading Cube (1997) review

Reviews of films that are slightly less than sane


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