Director: Johannes Roberts
Starring: Kaya Scodelario, Hannah John-Kamen, Robbie Amell, Tom Hopper, Avan Jogia, Neal McDonough
Content warnings: Gore, jump scares, zombies, children in peril, big monsters covered in eyeballs
“Your conspiracy theories weren’t true when we were kids. They’re not true now. Right? Why are you even here? Did you lose your job, do you need cash? You show up here, you break into my house, what… what kind of person can pick a lock like that? It’s kind of impressive but also, what the fuck?” – Chris Redfield, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
There have now been more Resident Evil films than I’ve had hot dinners (fun fact: I’ve only had six hot dinners in my life).
This one’s different, though. Rather than offering yet another Paul W.S. Anderson film with Milla Jovovich in the lead role again, Welcome to Raccoon City – the seventh live-action Resi film – is actually a complete reboot. Continue reading “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2022) review”
Director: Patrick McManus
Starring: Lauren Bronleewe, Stuart Rigby, Bailey Gaddis, Elizabeth Friedman, Jessie Paddock, Sarah Schreiber, Alena Savostikova
Also known as: The Mummy Resurrected (original title)
RONNIE: “I thought we need a permit.”
TRALANE: “Not if we’re only going to find the tomb. We’re fine as long as we don’t take anything out. Shall we?”
RONNIE: “I don’t know, that sounds like the archaeologist’s version of ‘just the tip’.”
It’s only fitting that the resurrection of That Was A Bit Mental begins with a review of a film in which something else comes back to life after a long period of death.
In this case, however, it should probably have been left in its coffin. The mummy, I mean, not this website. Continue reading “Resurrection Of The Mummy (2014) review”
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Eva Green, Ella Purnell, Samuel L Jackson, Terence Stamp, Chris O’Dowd
“Because our abilities don’t fit in the outside world, we live in places like this, where no-one can find us.” (Miss Peregrine, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children)
If you’ve read anything about Tim Burton’s latest film you’ll probably have seen countless comparisons to the X-Men movies, due to the fact it’s set in a school occupied with children with special powers.
But I’m not that lazy.
Instead, I hereby declare that Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is in fact Tim Burton’s version of The Raggy Dolls, the popular British ‘80s and ‘90s cartoon in which a group of wee dudes with abnormalities team up to fight crime or something.
(I don’t know if the Raggy Dolls actually fought crime, I didn’t really watch it. I just liked the theme tune.) Continue reading “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (2016) review”
Head chefs: Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan
Ingredients: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Edward Norton, Salma Hayek, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Paul Rudd, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Bill Hader
“We’re the non-perishables, motherfucker.” (Mr Grits, Sausage Party)
Take one hot dog sausage (Rogen) and one hot dog bun (Wiig), destined to be together but forced to sit separate from each other in their packaging prisons on a supermarket shelf.
Pre-heat a premise about a promised land said to lie outside the supermarket’s doors, one in which any foods chosen by ‘the gods’ (humans) will get everything they desire. Keep this premise simmering throughout, regularly adding religious nods to taste.
Add a sub-plot involving two more sausages (Cera and Hill) who find themselves chosen for the promised land but quickly discover that the food paradise they expected is actually a kitchen-based massacre of biblical proportions. Continue reading “Sausage Party (2016) review”
Director: John McPhail
Starring: Tyler Collins, Lucy-Jane Quinlan, Alison Peebles, Deirdre Murray, Richard Addison, Maryam Hamidi
“My granddad had to move in here. I couldn’t leave him here. He’s my granddad.” (James, Where Do We Go From Here?)
Here’s a disclaimer: I’m friends with writer/director John McPhail, the man behind such lovely short films as Just Say Hi and V For Visa.
Here’s another: I’m one of the 264 people who contributed to the crowdfunding project for Where Do We Go From Here?, his first feature-length film.
And here’s a final one: disclaimers are shite.
You see, I feel the need to tell you the above so that some clever dick doesn’t come across this review, get suspicious and realise I have a connection with the film.
But it’s shite because, friendship and funding aside, I adore this wee film with all my heart. Continue reading “Where Do We Go From Here? (2015) review”
Directors: David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, Adam Ingard, Radio Silence
Starring: Hannah Fierman, Mike Donlan, Drew Swayer, Joe Sykes, Joe Swanberg, Sophia Takal, Norma C Quinones, Drew Moerlein, Helen Rogers, Daniel Kaufman, Chad Willella, Nicole Erb
“You’re all gonna fucking die up here.” (Wendy, V/H/S)
I’ve spoken of the low-budget junkyard that is the found footage genre a number of times on TWABM in the past.
While early examples like Cannibal Holocaust and The Blair Witch Project felt fresh and genuinely terrifying, for the most part the genre has since become a cop-out, an easy way for talent-starved directors to make a cheap horror movie without much effort or skill.
For every umpteenth Banshee Chapter, The Tunnel and Frost out there though, there’s the occasional Paranormal Activity or The Taking Of Deborah Logan – films that actually use the limitations of the found footage style to their advantage.
V/H/S falls firmly in this latter category, offering a selection of creepy tales that are made better by their low-quality production values rather than forced to grudgingly accept them as a necessary evil. Continue reading “V/H/S (2012) review”
Directors: James & Jon Kondelik
Starring: Dean Cain, Robin Givens, Tamara Goodwin, Matt Mercer, Morgan West, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs
VAUGHN – “My name is Private Vaughn. Can you tell me what your situation status is?”
LANDON – “Uh, sure, situation status. Uh, we lost both our pilots, we nearly crashed, we nearly blew up and there’s this guy up here who’s super close to a psychotic meltdown. Oh, and we’re flying in the middle of a ring of volcanoes.”
VAUGHN – “Okay, Roger that.”
Usually B-movie studio The Asylum is best known for its mockbuster films, capitalising on the success of big movies by churning out similar sounding imitations.
Snakes On A Train, Android Cop, Atlantic Rim – these are the typical offerings you’d expect from The Asylum, conveniently released around the same time as their big-budget soundalikes (in this case Snakes On A Plane, Robocop and Pacific Rim).
Airplane vs Volcano attempts to cash in not on a big movie, but seemingly on a big news story – namely, the volcanic ash clouds that grounded flights back in 2010. Continue reading “Airplane vs Volcano (2014) review”
Starring: Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna, Carlson Young, Amadeus Serafini, Connor Weil, Tracy Middendorf
MR BRANSON: “The gothic genre is all over TV right now. American Horror Story, Hannibal, Bates Motel…”
JAKE: “What about Texas Chainsaw or Halloween?”
NOAH: “Those are slasher movies. You can’t do a slasher movie as a TV series.”
The recent tragic passing of the legendary Wes Craven led to an outpouring of support on social media as dedicated and lapsed fans alike took to Twitter to namecheck their favourite Craven movies.
The vast majority of them didn’t realise just how fitting their tributes were, as Craven died just before the airing of the final episode of Scream, a TV series based on his genre-redefining horror film and airing on MTV.
You see, whereas the original Scream, released in 1996, had the killer mostly contacting his victims via phone calls, this time the reimagined Ghostface uses all manner of techniques – yes, including social media – to stalk potential future corpses. Continue reading “Scream: The TV Series (2015) review”
Director: Jonathan Winfrey
Starring: Victor Webster, Jennifer Spence, Tiera Skovbye, Richard Harmon, Mike Dopud
COP – “We got a meteor strike: how cool is that?”
CHARLIE – “Well, people are dead, so not very.”
I’m a sucker for a cheesy pun-based title – Poltreygeist, The Gingerdead Man and the like – but Icetastrophe is a fairly rubbish one, let’s face it. That isn’t really a pun.
Regardless, what we have here is yet another low-budget made-for-Syfy film dealing with a natural disaster. And as if you can’t tell from its sloppy moniker, this time we’re dealing with ice.
Specifically, it’s ice that’s come from a meteor, which crash-lands in a small mountain town and creates a massive flash freeze for reasons which are never really explained. Continue reading “Icetastrophe (2014) review”
Director: 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”