Posts Tagged ‘ Horror ’

The Goggle Box – Saul Slows Down As The Walking Dead Goes Gruesome

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Dual blogged on I’m Talkin’ Here

Full spoilers below for Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead

Better Call Saul S01E07 – “Bingo”

It can’t be said that BCS has stuttered with this week’s seventh episode but it is more than accurate to say that this was the quiet beginnings of the path to Saul. Jimmy was so close, ready to move out of the salon and into a swanky office of his own, which he was hoping wouldn’t hurt his chances with Kim too of course. This is likely the last time we will see Jimmy get this close to real, legit success and it was handled in a surprisingly tragic manner. With Jimmy’s quiet moment in the final scene of the episode we saw a similar “lowest ebb” from him as we did from Mike last week. With both characters reaching their lowest, may we get nothing but climbs from now on? Climbs that find them both settle comfortably in the middle tier of course.

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The Goggle Box – Better Call Saul Continues Strong

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Full spoilers for Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead below.

Better Call Saul S01E03 – “Nacho”

In only 3 episodes Better Call Saul has completely set itself out on its own while simultaneously containing the same highly intelligent writing and humour that made Breaking Bad such a great show. It is telling that after this week I may even be ready to stop referencing BB within the first paragraph of these reviews, such is the strength of BCS on its own.

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The Goggle Box – Did Better Call Saul Deliver?

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Full spoilers for Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead below

Some said it was a bad move, I could never decide fully which side of the fence I sat on to be honest, but Vince Gilligan and AMC decided they would press ahead with a Breaking Bad spin off featuring the superb series’ loveable(?) sleazeball Saul Goodman as the lead. Better Call Saul takes place 6 years before the events of Breaking Bad and chronicles Saul’s rise from back when he was just lowly public defence attorney Jimmy McGill to the – ahem – lofty heights of law when he becomes Saul Goodman. Oh, and it’s really really good.

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Film Review – Under the Skin

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Under the Skin begins with total blackness and ends with a pure white sky. In between there is much greyness: the visual greys of its wintry Glasgow setting, the grey fog of confusion as the film withholds anything resembling plot exposition, and of course that most persistent of grey areas – the good old human condition.

Yes, on its surface this is a film about an alien who takes the form of Scarlett Johansson, trundles around in a white van searching for lonely men before luring them back to a house where they suffer a disturbing end in a black void of nothingness. But beneath its skin this is a film about us – our strangeness, our confusions, our potential for kindness. Continue reading

Top 10: Movie Psychopaths

Off the heels of my review of Psycho  where I went in depth about my love of movie psychopaths I thought it could be interesting to do my top 10 movie psychopaths list. The criteria are they have to have appeared in a movie but can have appeared in other media and must conform to this definition of a psychopath “a person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behaviour without empathy or remorse”. With all those formalities out of the way lats kick it off! (Warning spoilers) Continue reading

Film Review: Evil Dead

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©Films Inbound

In 1981 The Evil Dead hit theatres under the endorsement of Stephen King who called it “the most ferociously original horror film of the year”. It was a phenomenon, terrifying audiences and becoming one of the biggest “video nasties” of the time. Sam Raimi, director of the original, saw fit a few years back to authorise a remake of his classic much to the disdain of fans and there has been a nervous wait amongst devotees to see how this remake would turn out. Well, allow me to paraphrase King and say that what has been produced is the most ferociously original horror remake of the year.
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Mama

mama_001Guillermo del Toro’s latest offering Mama is a supernatural horror movie about a mother’s love. When businessman Jeffrey (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) kills his wife he flees with his two small daughters Victoria (Megan Charpentier) and Lilly (Isabelle Nelisse). When their father disappears the two little girls are left alone in a run down cabin deep in the woods, well nearly alone. Continue reading

Friday the 13th – A Blatant Rip-off Of A Far More Superior Work?

Hailed as one of the most iconic horror films ever made, and being the zygote that spawned the iconic hockey mask wearing Jason Voorhees, “Friday the 13th” (1980) is possibly one of the worst horror films that I’ve seen. Not only is it a blatant rip-off of John Carpenter’s “Halloween” (I think the script writer himself admitted that he wrote this to cash in on the Michael Myer’s craze) it also has aged very badly and is extremely dull and unbelievably boring. It doesn’t come anywhere near to matching the knuckle-biting, chair-gripping suspense of “Halloween”, and nor does it have anything on the crazy, nihilistic atmosphere as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. And also, it lacks the style and horror of the later film from Wes Craven, “A Nightmare on Elm Street”. I could go on, but I won’t. The films I just mentioned there are other considered classics; “Friday the 13th” is not of their calibre. It has as much the right as being ranked up there with them horror greats as “Gremlins” does. Directed by Sean Cunningham who had before this helped produce Wes Craven’s controversial debut “The Last House on the Left”; I thought that after having experience working on such a nasty and violent film like that, that Cunningham would have done the same with his own slasher. But instead what he did was kept the violence at a minimum and just spent the whole film watching the teenagers from the killers perspective as it roams around the forest stalking them. Nice idea Sean, but it had been done already in “Halloween” no more than three years before you! There are some nice gory and violent killings at the beginning, thanks to some smart editing, but as the film progresses, it rapidly runs out of steam because the murders get less and less violent.

I think everyone knows the plot at this stage. Camp Crystal Lake has been closed for years, but it’s having a re-opening during the summer and the camps counsellors are working hard to have the place in good condition for the summer months. They’ve been warned by the town looney from down the road that they are all going to die because the place is cursed. But as usual, the guy is crazy, so why heed his warning? What these teenagers weren’t told is that back in the late 50’s, a young boy named Jason drowned in the lake because the counsellors were too busy having sex to notice and help him. The events in the film take place over one night, as an unknown assailant stalks and murders each one of the counsellors…

Well, I don’t want to spoil this movie so I’ll refrain from saying what it is I want to say, the thing that disappointed me the most – and I think anyone who has the seen the film will know what I’m talking about as it has something to do with the killer… or for lack of a better phrase, who ‘isn’t’ doing the killings. I’ve probably said too much there, but ah well. When poor little Victor Miller wrote the script for this film, he had no idea that Cunningham would get carried away and turn the film into the mad franchise that it is today – it’s even bigger than the Freddy Krueger and the “Halloween” franchises with a grand total of nine sequels (For a while there I thought that “Saw” was gunning to either match or over-jump this record). Add that with a cross-over with Freddy in 2003, and of course, an inevitable remake. A very young Kevin Bacon from “Footloose” stars in one of his very first roles. The acting is atrocious, but I don’t blame the actors for their lousy dialogue and whatever, because the script was just horrendous from Miller. It shows no merit, no innovation, and most of all, it shows no ‘talent’ whatsoever and this could have easily just passed off as some amateur’s low-grade feature. Had it not spawned such a huge franchise, I may have looked upon this film differently but you can’t help going into it with high expectations when it has generated the reputation that it has had over the years. The ending, I have to say, is very frightening, but apart from that, I hated everything about the film; from its ridiculous opening credits with the logo crashing through class, right down to the twists and turns and the despicable characters. To say that the only interesting parts in the film are when someone gets brained with an axe or their throat cut makes me sound psychotic, but also just goes to show how dull the film really is.

Joe Callan

Paranormal Activity 4

How is there a fourth one I hear you ask? Well as any horror series will tell you (Saw, Hostel, Halloween) as long as there is no definite ending then there’s no way the production company, Room 101 in this case, is going to turn down the possibility to steal more money from naive theatre goers (i.e. me). Whether it’s the right thing to do is another question. Yes there is jumpy moments and the usual suspenseful undertone we’ve come to expect from the Paranormal Activity franchise but there is nothing different here than any of the others. In fact, the scariest part of the movie was the reflection of modern-day capitalisation and the negative effects it is having on our culture. I mean a six-year-old kid watching cartoons on his laptop while having a bath! Society is doomed.

The plot picks up at the culminating events of Paranormal Activity 3 where demon-possessed Katie killed her siblings family, apart from her sister’s son, Hunter, who she can be seen leaving with at the end. A new family have just moved in to the house but we soon find out Katie lives just across the road with her own son Robbie. Hunter is nowhere to be seen until we realise  that he is here all along as he is the adopted son of the new family, renamed Wyatt. The “stars’ of this film are the teenage daughter Alex and her snoopy boyfriend Ben. Alex is the protagonist we follow hoping, or not, that her journey doesn’t come to a bitter end like every character previously in that role. The goal of these spirits is still confusing after four attempts at it. Katie needs to turn human vessels into dark spirits for Robbie to become one himself and needs Wyatt’s (Hunter’s) help to do so, or something along those lines,. The ending does give some hope in that it appeared to close the revolving door that is Paranormal Acterrible (see what I did there). Although having said that, if anyone could keep a series going it would be these writers. A court ordered cease and desist is the only way to be safe from this build up of waste encroaching further into our lives.

The special effects appeared worse than the previous ones as well and the film was generally just tedious and mundane. The novelty of an entire movie being made on hand-held and surveillance cameras  has definitely worn off and with the added spice of webcams for this one it merely appeared like an advert for Apple with the amount of laptops being brandished about. Maybe there WAS subtext and the film IS a cultural criticism of our reliance on technology…..or maybe it just is what it is, a cheap seasonal thrill with little creative effort put in. The fact that this falls into the horror genre and that it is coming up to Halloween is possibly the only reason I could safely give for going to see this film without feeling as morally bankrupt as the producers themselves.

My Rating: 1/10

(@rorytoal)