Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Nin9s Review (2007)

As much as it pains me to say this...I really like a movie with Ryan Reynolds. And this is the movie. Now, usually I don't really like Reynolds (damn you X-Men Origins, you fucked up Deadpool so bad!) But The Nin9s was simply fantastic. It was created by then first time writer and director John August. I hope to see a lot more of this guy in years to come. Now, before this thing gets going, I'm gonna warn you. The Nin9s does have some creepy elements to it, but it is defiantly no a full fleged horror film. So if you're expecting to be scared out of your mind...sorry.

While the film has a lot of big names attachted to it, including Reynolds, Mellisa McCarthy, and Hope Davis, the film mostly traveled festivals before dissapearing. Once these starts reached critical level, the film was realesed to DVD in hopes of cashing in on their success. And it probably did. I hate it when studios realese old films based on an actors recent success, much like what they are doing with Robert Patteson, and Ellen Page, it just seems cheap, and makes you feel that the actors aren't that good. I happen to come across this film through my brother.

The Nin9s story is very confusing. Coveluted? No. But radically different, yet dramatically gifted. The film itself is basically three short storys, all featuring the same actors, playing differnt roles. All of these storys interconnect as the film moves down its path, and ultimatly form an unsettling, and somewhat dissapointing conclusion. The ending is unexpected and shocking, but a little anti-climactic.

When I said this film had its creepy moments, I definatly meant it. One scene inparticular made me have goosebumps. For reasons to long to explain here, a main charecter ends up having a baby moniter in his house, used to hear a baby while its sleeping. Through the moniter comes the following phrases.

The Duck Says: Quack Quack Quack
The Pig Says: Oink Oink Oink

The Rooster Says: Gobble, Gobble Gobble
The Cow Says: [insert creepy voice of choice]: Nines Nines Nines Nines Nines Nines Nines Nines Nines Nines
I really liked this scene, and many other similair to it. John August had talent both as a writer and a director, being able to pull of horror drama and comedy all within this tight laced film.

The acting was excellent by all. I really enjoyed the performances by Melissa McCarthy and Ryan Reyonlds. I felt they both did an excellent job with and excellent script, all while having to perform for many characters. I didn't really like Hope Davis, but that is probably because I didn't like her characters, which was most likely intentional.

I won't spend to much time on this review since it really isn't horror film, but I thought I should inform those of you who read, about an excellent, under-hyped film that no one really talks about. Overall, The Nin9s is fun, thought-provoking, well written, performed excellently, and created with the utmost perfection. The Nin9s recives...


P.S. when I was googling pics for this, this is what happened in my search results.
of about 97,600 for the nin9s. (0.09 seconds)

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Descent Review (2006)

Coming in straight from 2006 is director Neil Marshall's horrific tale of The Descent. Neil Marshall, the previous writer and director of Dog Soldiers, made his return to film in a cave. Being one of the most positivly reviewed horror films of the past decade, by both fans and critcs alike, the real question was, does The Descent live up to the hype. While the film is now known all around the world, everyone should know that it is a majorly British film. With a mostly British cast, a British script, and was filmed in England and Scotland. All that for a movie set in America.

Now, before I officially begin this review you need to know a few things about this movie. Firstly it has two shockingly different endings. The European ending, and the American ending. The film was realesed nearly a year later in America than it was in European countrys. And upon test audience results, filmakers learned that most audiences on the western hemisphere found the original ending to dark. A small bit of editing fixed all that. I am here to tell you that I know both versions of the film, like the original ending more, and will be reviewing THAT film here today.

The story of The Descent is actually quite simple. It's about six women who go on an annual vaction in which they perform some sort of extreme sport, whether it be white water rafting, rock climbing, sky diving, it is always sure to be dangerously fun. So when the new year comes into effect they begin to plan their latest trip. They decide to hike up the Appalachin Mountains to go cave spelunking. Now for those of you who don't know, cave spelunking is when you repel down into the open mouth of an underground cave, and explore its trenches. So, once these women descend into the cave, they get trapped. And upon futher inspection, they realize that they are not alone in the frigid caverns.

I feel that the story for the film is great. I mean, though old, and pretty predictable, the setting of a cave is one that you hardly see anymore. Other than this film, it's hard for me to think of really other big ones that have come out in the past ten years. Anywho, a cave is the perfect place for a film to be set, it is a naturally creepy place because of all the cartoons we see as a kid, its cold, dark, wet, and the cave that was in this film (even though it was a set) was really good, because it had tight corners, and barely breathable air. And no matter how old you are, you're biggest fear, your worst nightmare, virtually everyone has some kind of fear of being stuck, not being able to move. The Descent takes your natural claustrophobia and exploits it, which is acutally more frightening than the beasts.

The acting in this film was decent. It wasn't spectacular, but I don't think that it really needed to be. Most scenes deal with six women in a cave. But, this is also where the acting hits its fault. Neil Marshall wanted to make the film with an only female cast because women talk about their feelings more than men do. So when it comes time to make these scenes become a reality, I lose faith in the film because I don't believe these women are fearing for their life. They are simply speaking lines, that you could tell someone had already written for them.

As for effects, the sets that were used for the caves were spectacular. I thought that they were real until I read that they were in fact sets on a studio. The blood in this film was extreme. I thank God, for, once again, for NEIL MARSHALL! He only used practical effects for the blood and gore in this film. Which is amazing because there is so much of it. And with the way most horror films are using are using blood and gore withe CGI, I just loved watching it. The only thing that I didn't like about the practical production was the actual monsters themselves. I wish that they would've stuck with darkness and claustrophobia for natural scares and tension, and left the monster to be implied. Since everyone has a natural fear of being stuck, the monsters kind of took away from natural scares, and a fear that the audience could relate to.

I appreciated the ending of this film and felt that it was an amazing addition to the film itself. It also, almost, made up for the lack of emotionality the charecters had. The ending was deep, heartfelt, and utterly disturbing. And I felt that it was the true ending, over the American version.

Overall, The Descent is one of the most intense, crazy, scary, frightening, well done, excellent, horror films of the last decade. The sequel is set to come out soon, and I am only somewhat excited to see, but I am for sure going to see whatever Neil Marshall does next.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Santa's Slay Review (2005)

Back in 2005, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, was fresh out of the gates of his transition from wrestler to film star. This was also the year that he decided to leave long time producer and friend Vince McMan in favor of Disney. Before finding now second-rate movie star John Cena, McMan and Co. were cycling through some wrestlers they thought had some form of potential. Thus, Santa's Slay was born, one of the few roles designed to break Bill Goldberg into the bussiness of film.

Firstly, I would like to point out the sad irony that the film already bestows upon itself before it gets started. Now, I'm not racisit at all, but I thought it was genuinly hilarious that Bill Goldberg, a Jewish ex-wrestler was playing and evil Santa Clause. I just thought that I should point that out.

The story of Santa's Slay, though not wholly original, is still better than expected, just wasn't pulled off very nicely. 1000 years ago (from 2005) the devil had his first and only son. Santa. (Get it Santa, Satan.) One day, while Santa is on one of the few frozen over areas of hell, and Angel descends from the skies and is willing to make a bet. If the Angel wins, than Santa must be nice to all the children for 1000, making a holiday of his mortal enemy's birthday. And if Santa wins, the Angel must give up his wings and serve in Hell for all of eternity. And sure enough exactly 1000 years later Santa is back, and ready for some mayhem. Three people set out to stop this killer clown, A crazy old inventor, the only person who truly knows of this secret, the inventors son Nicholas, and Nicholas' girlfriend.

Now its obvious that this movie isn't really made for story. Not many movies, horror or non-horror are these days, but horror is one of the cheapest genre of films to make, and usually make a ton of cash. This pile of doke went straight to DVD, realizing that its pointless story wasn't worth the $7.50. The story was fun, and fit the film well enough, I mean its a slasher about Santa, you should know what you are getting into. This is one a few films that tried to mimic the success of the Silent Night, Deadly Night films series after their 80's time frame. And it honestly shouldn't even be held in the same category as that film.

The acting in this film was terrible by all, not one single saving grace hit the screen at any moment. Santa was over-acted (possibly intentionally so) by Bill Goldberg, and the rest of the cast is made up of unknowns, and never-should-be knowns. Robert Culson does an alright job as the crazy old inventor, and it sadened me to see Emilie de Ravin of Lost doing a movie such as this. Also, the film has some great cameos (Roll over to see) Including but not limited to...James Cann and Fran Drescher

The film does have a decent amount of kills, violence and gore. I enjoyed the use of common household holiday items to enforce a small bit of fear. Some of the kills were very grusome, creative, and looked good. Bill Goldberg is simply big, strong, and powerful enough to play such a violent and vile charecter, but just because he can doesn't mean he should.

Santa's Slay was written and directed by David Steiman, he hasn't done much since this tragedy. I honestly thought, with it's decent story, that Santa's Slay might live up to the films that inspired it from the 80's but it simply did not, and I should have known that. Bill Goldberg was not meant to be an actor, and thats why he no longer does, the cast was terrible, as was the dialouge and script. The direction had a little bit of a head on its shoulders, but showed little potential. Creative holiday kills and thrills is all that saves this falling into one star sorrows.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Scream 3 Review (2000)

In the year 2000, nearly four years since Scream 2, and five since the original, Scream 3, the conclusion to the trilogy was finally realesed into theatres. It once again brought back the hip ensemble cast fans had begun to know and love. At its time, Scream 3 had the largest number of opening theatres in history, only to be beaten a few years later by Harry Potter. While most critcs praised the film as being the best of the bunch, many fans were dissapointed, as was I. But now that fans are dissapointed, we have to put the blame somewhere, I happen to put it on the writer.

If you've read my pervious Scream reviews you would know that I absoloutly love Kevin Williamson as a screenwriter, he was the genius father of the first two films, and frankly, they were the shit, and now for Scream 3, (for reasons I don't know) a new writer was brought onto the board. Her name, was Ehren Kruger. I did not like the writing in this Scream as much as I did in the previous two. The first two Screams were witty, and clever, knowing of the source material, and the charecters were intruging and fun to listen to. In the last installment, the writing fails us, and we are no longer a clever satire, but that which we were making fun of. Thanks Scream 3, now we are all hypocrites.

The story of Scream 3, is set a few years after the events of Scream 2, the production of the movie Stab 3 -which is based on Scream 2- has begun, and mysteriously the cast and crew begin to get killed. Of course, to give the actors and actresses of Stab 3 inspiration, the real life Dewey and Gail are there. And soon enough, Sidney, who is now living in the middle of nowhere, gets pulled into the nightmare.

The acting in Scream 3 was good for the most part. Just like in the previous two films, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, and Neve Campbell all do a really good job playing their respective rolls. The only problem is, with so many characters having died in Scream and Scream 2, we are left with our three main charecters, and a whole bunch of new ones we don't get to know well enough to care about. Where as I was impressed with the two original films for being able to keep the plot running smoothly with so many rememberable characters, Scream 3 just fails, and makes the story even more confusing than it is.

This film falls victim to one of the complaints that I had about the previous films, which is the lack of originality in the killings, and the lack of blood in those said killings. We are once again left with stab wounds with little trickles of blood pouring out of them.

As much as I am shitting on the film, i must admit that I did have a fair time watching it, and enjoyed it while it lasted. Where as I've watched the first Scream three times, the second Scream two times, I feel absoloutly no desire to watch the third one again. Plans have been made by Dimension for a Scream 4, starring the surviving cast, directed by Craven, and written by the original writer Kevin Williamson, and i am very excited to see it happen, and definatly will see it, if these plans come to fruition. Overall
, Scream 3 is worth seeing if you liked the first two films, but definatly not as good as the greats that came before it. Scream 3 gets just that. A Three.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Return Of The Living Dead Review (1985)

They're back from the grave, and ready to party! Back in 1985, nearly twenty years after George A. Romero's zombie classic, Night Of The Living Dead, a long time partner and friend of Romero's, John Russo, set out to right a sequel to Night Of The Living Dead, though Romero had already put out his own swuquel, Dawn Of The Dead. The script was sent to Dan O'Bannon, the writer of Alien, asking if he wanted to direct. He did, but he did not like the script, so with a little bit of re-working, we've come up with the 80's Grindhouse classic, The Return Of The Living Dead.

At the beggining of the film, we have one main charecter, and young teenager who is trying his hardest to get a new job at a second-hand military and medical supply store. As he is being shown the ropes, a group of his local gang friends come looking for him, but upon finding out that he has a job, they decide to hang around in a graveyard next to Uneeda Medical Supply. As the young kid is signing his paperwork, his supperior begins to tell him about the film Night Of The Living Dead, claiming that it was based on a true story, but the government threatened the director, saying if he told auidences his story was true, they would kill him. The man then proceeds to tell the kid, that some of the remaining bodies were acutally shipped to Uneeda Medical on accident "a typical army fuck-up." As they go down to the basement to see the creatures, one of the containers holding them breaks loose, and realeses a deadly gas that threatens to bring every dead human being, back to life. And lucky for them, their is a group of teenagers in the graveyard just waiting to be eaten.

No matter how hard you try, The Return Of The Living Dead has a story that you have to respect. You don't have to really respect it, but you do because this is the film that started to have the zombies yell "brains!" And I actually thought that the story was very cool, being that it is implied that Night Of The Living Dead was real. Also, its sterotypical 80's camp horror. Its what so many other TV shows and movies make fun of, but you never really see it. If you've ever wanted to, Return Of The Living Dead is defiantly for you. May I also say that this film is not for those with a weak stomach or have something agaisnt nudity in films, as this film shows it all, and holds nothing back.

The acting in this film, is what has come to be expected of it. And that is nothing much. Come on people! Its a zombie film from '85 for Christ sakes, just give it a rest. Most of the cast is made up of relitive unknowns, or those who are mostly famous for their horror and b-movie roles. The acting isn't good, and it shouldn't be expected to, I enjoyed those who put their efforts forward.

The gore in this film is outstanding to look at. In some scenes its minimalistic, and in others, they just have blood gush for every orifice of the actors body! It was simply incredible and I loved every single second of it. The now famous tar-man looked as excellent as ever, and is probably one of the most noatble zombies in horror movie history. While the main, and close-up zombies looked very nice, the background zombies were just kinda so-so. Not good, but not bad because we don't have to see them all of the time. Another thing I would like to point out is the nudity in this movie. Its almost as bad as the violence. A main female chareter strips about twenty minutes into the film, and is full-frontal from then on, as well as another zombie whose butt is on screen for about five minutes.

The last thing I would like to touch on with this film is the music. Oh. My. God. It was incredible!!! I absoloutly loved it. Every time the rock ballads came in, they were perfectly placed, and added a great deal of excitment to the film. You justed wanted to et up and move! Lastly i would like to say that this film is not only a zombie movie, but its a funny one. This was Shaun Of The Dead and Zombieland of the 80's. And whether the filmakers intened it to be funny or not it still had some really good moments.

Overall The Return Of The Living Dead is a film that is one of the best. Not only for zombies. Not only for horror. But one of the best films ever made. Period. I truly hope that this film has a theatrical re-realese, so that I can experiences it as it was meant to be. If you're a horror fan, defiantly give this a look. I promise that you will not be dissapointed. And if you were a child of the 80's this is the one for you. The Return Of The Living Dead gets Five zombies out of Five.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Scream 2 Review (1997)

After the major success of the first Scream movie, the studio obviously wanted to cash in on that. What kinda movie studio are you if you don't cash in on your horror film franchises? So, in 1997, a year after the first, Scream 2 was realesed into cinemas. It kept the same surviving cast of the first, and added mo re, young, hot TV stars to be filler. These include Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jada Pinkett, Jerry O'Conell, and Omar Epps. While the film wasn't as financially successful as the first, (only by like 2 million dollars) they decided to continue the franchise and make it into a trilogy. Wes Craven returned to direct once again, and the script was written by the undeniable genious Kevin Williamson.

The story of Scream 2 is essentially the story of the first film. This time, Sidney Presscot, fresh off her recent brush with mass-destruction, is away to college. Here she has new friends, new habits, and hopefully a new life. But, a new movie titled "Stab" has just been realesed about the original Woodsboro killings. And someone has taking a liking to this film. Too big of a liking, and members of her campus start dying off one by one. And even worse, Gale Weathers comes to investigate the latest deaths, that seem to be following Sidney, however, Deputy Dewey comes, and along with Jamie Kennedy, provides the bulk of the comic relifef

Now, the plot is essentially the same. And that is defiantly not a bad thing, because I really enjoyed the first
Scream movie, and it was fun to poke at the self-refrencial style that it had. Scream 2 continues that with a passion and does not dissapoint. With the realese of "Stab" the film even makes refrences to its predesscor, which is great. Kevin William and Wes Craven turn out to be a force that shouldn't be reckoned with. I hope them both the best, and am excited to see Scream 4, which will bring all the actors, and essential crew back together for another round of scares. The first film was, like a lot of 90's horror flicks, less about the murders, and more about who was commiting them. Scream 2 doesn't change that formula, and makes an interesting twist ending, that connects morbidly back to the first.

Once again, the acting was top-notch by everyone involved. I really enjoyed how the writing did in fact make the college students, made the charecters grow, rather than have the exact same views and personality they did when they were in highschool. Neve Campbell does another excellent job as Sidney, Courtney Cox is always a treat to watch, and David Arquette and Jamie Kennedy do right by their charecters

There are two things that I enjoyed more in Scream 2 than in the original film. One being that there is a lot less jibber-jabber. The first film was excellent because it had an interesting story, portrayed by interesting charecters, and the second does the same, but with a lot more action, and thrills, and not so much talk over and about everything that is happeneing around these people. The second is that the blood-letting is a bit higher in this one. If you read my review of the first one, you'll know that I was somewhat dissapoionted by the lack of kill originality and bloodflow. This one increases the bloodflow, while it didn't quite fix the problem of the kills. They are still just stabs.

Overall, Scream 2 plays out a lot like Scream 1. But because of the things that I mentioned in the above paragraph, I belive that Scream 2 is the superior film. I really like the new blood, the interesting story, and good characecter development. So mark down Scream 2 as one of the few sequels that is better than the origial. And though Scream 2 is better than Scream 1, it still doesn't quite make it into the five star category. Scream 2 gets 4 zombi heads, out of 5.

Friday, October 2, 2009

November Review (2005)

For those of you who don't know (which is probably most of you) November is a little unknown film from 2005 that made its mark in the film festival circuit and left the eye of the rest of the population for good. But, now that Halloween time has come again, every store in the country is putting up their cheap horror film DVD stands, and for $5.99 why not? While November really isn't a horror film, its a semi-phosiophychological thiller that stars Courtney Cox. So what do you get? A very mixed bag.

November is about a woman struggling of the grief of her boyfriends death. He was murdered in a convience store during an armed robbery. As she goes through the processes of death, she begins to find clues, photos, papers, and videos that may help her find the killer. Her first clue comes up in a photography class she's taking, when a student has a picture of her car outside the store where he was killed. We get nearly ninety differents versions of the same story, and it will definatly leave you confused, and out of focus. You have to look hard to understand this film, and once you get it, it is still kind of a weak ending.

The story of this film is good enough, even though it is confusing as all hell. You'll be fine for the first twenty minutes but after tat, you'll have absouloutly no clue what is going on. It's not as to say that this film doesn't have a story, or a resoloution, it does, and though it is hard to find, you can find it. I think that part of the problem may come from the films length. Or lack of length, as it is only an hour and seventeen minutes long. This is also a semi-art-house film, with length shots of what appears to be nothing. And to the average viewer this may be, but I've seen enough films that do it, to actually find it somewhat normal.

For those of you expecting a horror movie because you found it on the cheap horror movie rack for $5.99, please don't expect it to be scary. It isn't and it doesn't try to be. It's a smart thiller that knows what it's doing, and pulls it off rather nicely. The acting in this film was also very good. Courtney Cox did a wonderful job, as always, and the supporting cast was great as well, Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation fans in da house) has a small roll in this, and does a good, kinda funny, kinda monotone detective part that he was written to play. I enjoy most of his work, and this definatly proves that fact. I also enjoyed the films meaning. The ending is a tride and true "I love you" but with some gore and violence thrown in for good measure.

Overall, November isn't what you'll expect it to be, will leave you confused and wondering, even though there is definatly a conclusion and a story, it may be a little hard to find. This does not delude from the fact that enjoyed this film for what it was, and I think that you should do the same. I give November Three zombi heads our of Five.