‘Gerald’s Game’ review

If you thought IT was terrifying, and if it led to you feeling vulnerable and uneasy then the newest Stephen King inspiration will do much the same, if not more. There have been many debates over how scary IT was, and now with it growing into meme culture, it only signifies that maybe it wasn’t really scary at all. At least none of this can be said for this film, as Gerald’s Game stood up to it’s alignment with Stephen King as a disturbing and psychologically bruising horror film that didn’t let me catch my breath until the credits began to roll.

Some BDSM to help fix a broken relationship gone horribly wrong is how it begins, but behind the outset there are layers of creepiness dug in damaged childhoods and a ominous soul that continually haunts the protagonist all the way through. Carla Gugino does a great job as lead character and victim Jessie Burlingame, whilst the makeup done for character Raymond Andrew Joubert was phenomenal. The cinematography and directing with it’s changes from first person POV back to normal audience viewing employed a great sense of despair and attachment to Jessie.Throughout the film you grip tight as each quick change from flashback to real time and between hallucinations keeps you glued to the screen.

It wasn’t packed with jump scares, with it more so the being the actual plot that made this film terrifying, which was refreshing in the horror scene today with it’s ample of haunting scares. This psychological thriller will stand the test of time and has been a gem among the mammoth releases that we have seen this year. It’s better than IT and sliding in just behind Get Out, i’d have to say it’s one of my favourites of the year.

9/10

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The 5 films I’m looking forward too in 2018

I know the year is not done yet, despite the overall belligerence of local shopping malls that already have Christmas decorations on sale, but it’s never too early to get excited for the abundance of horror films coming to us in 2018. Much like this year, we know that some films that are scheduled may never reach the screen (Friday the 13th) and we know that there will also be some hidden gems (The Blackcoat’s Daughter). Yet so far there are only a few announcements that seem concrete, but despite this i am still going to acknowledge the 5 horror films, EXPECTED for 2018,  that i am most looking forward too.

5. The Nun

  • Needless to say i am a huge Conjuring fan. Annabelle and it’s spin-offs may not be as important to me but the original 2 both terrified me at the time and also as I’ve revisited them have kept me so entertained. The Nun hopefully centers around Vera Farmiga and the Warrens, and if so, I will be there on opening night.

 

4. Halloween Returns

  • If you’re a horror movie fan you can’t not get excited about the next reboot. Yes reboots are so predictable and with the abundance of them it’s nothing overly enticing, but with Rob Zombie doing such a splendid job, and it being over a decade since that version i am keen to see what the newest will look like.

 

3. The Strangers 2

  • One of the most underrated horror films of all time was The Strangers. It is also one of the scariest films of all time, if you don’t believe me, turn all the lights off, the volume up and sit and watch it by yourself. If the first is any true indication of what the second will be like, then sign me up!

 

2. The Blair Witch Project 3

  • What can I say, the outdated original hand-held film has a special place in my heart. Upon re watching it earlier this year, i didn’t realize how intense it really is and i guess it made me fall in love with it all over again. The second was not as groundbreaking, nor was it as pure and authentic. It did provide us with a heap of cheap scares though, so i’m hoping this one is bit more like the original.

 

1. Nightmare On Elm Street

  • Freddy Kreuger is my all time favorite killer. The original series is phenomenal and although many disagree, i generally liked the 2010 remake. But it did fall short to the original series in more ways then one, as they tried to incorporate the whole series into one film disastrously . Hopefully this new attempt that is in talks at the moment with New Line is something refreshing yet not over the top and full of CGI like we saw with IT.

 

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‘IT’ Review

Bill Skasgard take a bow. The inconceivable hype and magnitude surrounding the deliverance of this Stephen King inspired reboot was something that happens only a handful of times per year, if that. Muschietti you should also graciously join the youngest Skasgard in that regard because the way this movie played out was terrifying, foreboding, ominous, dark and far from predictable.

If you have seen the original yes, obviously due to its nature of being a remake there was plenty of similarities and the plot was much the same, yet the twenty-ten spin with added effects, increased acting, and greater cinematography meant that the fanatical character Pennywise could be delivered and revolutionised into a seemingly new entity. That’s what we got and oh was he terryfing. From the begging of the film, the music, the way the credits were delivered and overall acting from Bill (Jaeden Liebrher), Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) and Pennywise brought to us an opening few scenes that scared the shit out of us, captured us and threw us deep into the town of Derry. For fans of Stranger Things then you will be glad to know that Finn Wolfhard in his role as Loser Club jokester is phenomenal and authentic with the abundance of immature and unnecessary swearing that most children their age get up to despite it being censored from children in film. Not to mention all the boys and girl in the club putting on great performances, especially Bill as mentioned earlier.

The mixed reviews are warranted, because the horror community are a divided species, casual fans looking for a cheap scare, all time horror buffs dislike anything post the 90’s and then there are those who think they don’ get scared by any film unless it is hand-held. And yes, the film was ominously scary, but unfortunately for the most part, the fantastic and phenomenal jump scares, which were A grade if I might add, were typical in a sense. This is they only aspect of this film that lumps it in with many other scary films involving clowns, but if this is the only downfall throughout a film with so many gems then in modern horror it has done very well to avoid to many tropes and clichés.

 

All in all, the film that had such a precented build up didn’t surpass the hype but purely lived up to it and delivered a remake that is a dime a dozen. Rarely do remakes surpass the original, but I think this one did. Muschetti is signed up to recreate more Stephen King’s novels and from the taste we have known this is nothing short of enthralling. Pennywise continues to be scary all these years later, and I think he will into the unforeseeable future thanks to this 2017 addition.

 

8.5/10

‘Wish Upon’ review

For those who read my review of Death Note recently, then don’t be alarmed or deceive my ability of how to differentiate when reviewing films. Both films are extremely similar, and both reviews will consist of similar comments due to their consisting likeness.

Wish Upon is an american teen haunting/paranormal horror, where a mysterious ancient Chinese wish box finds a new home and owner,Clare Shannon. Clare is a misunderstood and loner teen who finds comfort in her two best friends and widowed dad. With a few mother issues and usual cruelties of being bullied and isolated, Clare has a infinity pile of wishes and without knowing she begins to use them, with the help of her knew finding. From here, her wishes are granted and a powerful price is paid in return, which begins to torrent and turn her life upside down.

With a big budget and a target audience in mind, this film carries out the teen movie perfectly, encompassing Instagram, gaming, skateboarding, bullying, out of school activities, and of course, a love interest. Setting the teen scene well and with a reasonably fresh scheme, this movie is and will be a hit for the casual horror fan searching for a scare. Pretty fun and quick, the movie escalates and with some very suspenseful death scenes, makes for great viewing with a party. Yet there are some intricate downfalls that upon reviewing, reflecting and watching more than once, not to mention the ending.

It was predictable, from the get go we knew what her last wish would be, and once understanding what happens with her final wish, we knew how the movie would end. Not to mention it was shockingly quick and abrupt, the ending left us wondering if their was a more deep and memorable  way to conclude the movie. It was contrastingly different too the long drawn out, anti-climactic deaths scenes, that did have some brutality, but really laced in comparison to the build up. Unlike Death Note or Final Destination, these designed death scenes lacked the brutality needed to deliver on one of the main premises on the movie.

Final takeaway is that although her character and scripted upsetting scenes should have had us bending over backwards for our protagonist, her acting and lac of real emotion did not drag me in or make me feel for her in any way. This killed the emotion and sensuality behind the characters development. Mix this in with anti-climatic kill scenes and what looked like an exciting movie from the trailers really didn’t live up to be anything special

All in all this movie was hit and miss in so many ways.

6.5/10

‘Death Note’ review

Netflix ‘original’ and latest August horror release, Death Note is surprising and frankly an enjoyable ride. Released on August 25, Death Note, the paranormal/supernatural horror remake of the Japense film of the same name so far has nothing but positive reviews.

In the eye of the storm, Light Turner (Nat Wolff) is delivered a book, a dusty old classic horror DO NOT TOUCH sort of book. Falling into his lap is more than stained pages, the book grants wishes courtesy of the demon who owns the book, Ryuk. From here, our young protagonist begins to dictate the future and his life by eradicating the world of those who are hurting/acting criminally. At first it seems his work is good, but with the world in his hands, a fresh love and a secret agent on his heels, this film makes for great viewing for many reasons. Almost a satire, with plenty of awesome 3D death scenes and a chilling dark creature whose design is cool, Death Note was notably good!

This movie has a great premise, yet the panning, almost mad hatter sort of design, and cool kill scenes make this movie stand out by itself. For those who cant follow, think Final Destination x Hellraiser x The Host. The only negative take away by all accounts is that it is a complete rip off from start to finish of the orginal. 

7.5/10

‘Annabelle: Creation’ review

A much anticipated and highly touted horror flick of the year 2017 has arrived in cinemas, and since opening day it has created a great revenue and generated a growing buzz around how scary it is. Well, last night I went to the cinemas and indulged in the newest addition in The Conjuring franchise.

The origin namesake film has some lofty standards due to it’s precursors, and from the minute it began, it lived up to the hype, to a certain degree. By this large and vexing statement i mean that the film was very adaptive to cinematic viewing, and the word scary that has been used so far to describe it if fair, but horrifying or creepy, no, just no.

The movie starts hard and heavy, and with some good panning, a great use of sound and a tense narrative, this movie was packed with James Wan-esque and typical David F. Sandberg jump scares and intense action packed technologically enhanced demonic scares. It was thrilling, and the movie didn’t let up with it seeming to be scare after scare after scare. What i didn’t like about this way the origins of the creepy doll we all have the imprint of, is how this directed the plot and was the main horror theme and trope used to induce fear into viewers. Due to this, the story line almost seemed nonsensical and actually weak, with a lack of dialogue, no character development and no depth, it seemed to be more about keeping the viewers gripped to their seats over creating more lore in the franchise.  This is not the worst outcome whatsoever, because it did tie in with the series due to it’s nature of being scary movies, but once the lights turned on and it was all said and done, a breath of disappointment and lack of fear entered the air.

What i wanted as a Conjuring fan shouldn’t be taken away from a good movie, but the overall journey wasn’t exactly what i expected. Although he one moment that the film did exceed my expectations was tying the ending to the original.

It was a great ride whilst it lasted, it didn’t stray from the franchise, and was an overall good movie. Yet, it’s own directing outdid itself, and as terrifying as it should’ve been, it really was more a scary movie, then a horror movie that will be remembered as years go by.

7.5/10

‘Open Water 3: Cage Dive’ review

Open water 3: Cage Dive, sounds as good as it is. It’s authenticity makes it special as it is quite unique in it’s narrative, yet there is nothing special about it once you turn it on.

Open Water 3 is a film about a man who finds a underwater video camera wedged into a reef, and on it is a completely sound SD card. Upon playing the card we see three ‘beachy’ Americans audition tape for an extreme reality show. Cage diving with sharks is what there audition involves but what comes next is everyone’s nightmare and worst possible outcome when cage diving. That’s right, they become isolated, cageless in the ocean, surrounded by the very sharks they tormented.

Now firstly i am going to stay neutral and take away my personal and ethical reactions to sharks being portrayed this way, but this ‘monster’ horror movie doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but none of them do. The animal/creature is vicious and unrelenting and whilst it makes for great cinematic viewing it is almost unrealistic or surreal. Unfortunately just like this film, rarely do these movies have great reception, and only Jaws, Rogue and maybe a handful of other animal horror films break the critical seal around them. Yet what this movie does do well is incorporate the hand held, found footage angle which will forever educe scares or at least ramp up dull moments through its awkward originality.

Open Water 3: Cage Dive due to it’s lower budget, mediocre plot and average acting will never really find itself a home on many shelves, but encompassing the found-footage approach is a tick that may keep itself relevant in between other animal horror movies, and potentially making it the better then the Open Water 2.

5/10