Sunday, February 26, 2017

Jack Goes Home (2016)

As I progress through my writing and can finally see the end of the tunnel, it has been nice to kick back and relax for a few moments this weekend. The next movie that has helped me pass some of this time is the 2016 horror/thriller Jack Goes Home.

Plot/ After his father is killed in a car crash, Jack travels home to Colorado to help nurse his mother (who was injured in the crash) back to health. There, he uncovers long buried secrets and lies within his family history, his parents, his friends and his very identity.

While there was nothing really new in this one as it is an interesting take on the mental anguish one can go through during a traumatic event, it does have a dark atmosphere that makes it somewhat more enjoyable than the typical entries in this genre. The performances are solid, the cinematography works, and some of the moments are both creepy and surprising considering the time of the film. Unfortunately, there are also many disjointed moments within the spiral of madness that make the movie difficult to enjoy at times and also predictable. Yes, I like non-linear and surreal movies, but these issues led us on a journey through cliché instead of mystery. In the end, there is really nothing new in this one, and the movie suffers from that. However, it is an entertaining watch and a movie that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you are looking for something on a chilly night, this one could help you pass the time.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Possession Experiment (2016)

As I said in one of my last entries, I have been focused on finishing After the Static over the past few days and haven’t had the time to switch gears into review mode. While that has been the case most of this week, I did have a chance to watch a few different movies to help keep the motivation up. Next up for review is the 2016 entry The Possession Experiment.

Plot/ When a student takes on a theology project, he taps into another side that had been hidden away from him.

This was an extremely frustrating film to both watch and review because of the amount of unevenness that’s on hand. The opening sequence was amazing and really sucked me in. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there with uneven production values, flat and underdeveloped characters, too many clichés and flashbacks, and rough performances throughout the movie. The opening scene with the exorcism was amazing and had the film maintained that quality and depth it had the potential to be something much better than it is. Yes, I do understand that it had a lower budget, but even with that, the movie could have been much better. In the end, there are much better films out there for you to watch and I would recommend you finding one of those instead of venturing into this one.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Zombie Massacre 2: Reich of the Dead (2015)

I have taken a couple of days off to focus solely on my book project After the Static. Of course, as I am writing, I love to have some horror on in the background to help me stay focused. One of the movies that aided my cause is the 2015 entry Zombie Massacre 2: Reich of the Dead.

Plot/ Set in the WWII it tells the story of a bunch of American soldiers fighting against a horde of zombies created by the Nazis using the prisoners of the camps.

First off, I can’t say that I ever heard of Zombie Massacre and had no idea that there could be a sequel. After seeing this one at Family Video, I was interested in the story even though I figured that it would be littered with the same clichéd moments as most in the arena and I was right. While I did not find it the worst zombie flick I have watched, I really think that this one had a chance to be more than it was. Between the head scratching decisions, the flat characters, and the story that was rather incoherent, there was nothing really memorable. This one was really inconsistent in every aspect (even for a low budgeted film) including the effects and cinematography. In the end, while I was excited to venture back into the zombie genre as I am working on my first zombie-themed novel, this may not have been my best choice. Stay away, I am sure there are much better options out there.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Arrival (2016)

One of the best things about hanging out and relaxing over my birthday weekend is that I got full run of the television and was able to absorb a few different flicks in different genres. One of the first films I picked up at Family Video is the 2016 sci-fi entry Arrival.

Plot/ When twelve mysterious spacecraft appear around the world, linguistics professor Louise Banks is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors.

This movie will definitely be polarizing. More of a drama than sci-fi flick, this story dives into many elements that make it interesting and thought-provoking. While this one is not perfect, there are certain points that will stick with you long after watching it. The cinematography is amazing and captivating, the performances are believable and natural, the atmosphere is tense, but not overwhelming, and the storyline is an intriguing look at how a situation like this would likely occur with the differences between cultures and governments that exist in the world today. Yes, the pacing is a bit slow at times, some of the actions with the alien creatures are odd, and the scripting does have some uneven moments, but those do nothing to take away from the power of the story. In the end, if you are hoping for a flashy, action-packed invasion movie, this one is not for you. However, if you are looking for an alien film carrying a deeper non-linear meaning, you should definitely check this one out.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Abattoir (2016)

If you have read my blog, you would now that Darren Lynn Bousman is one of my favorite directors. Not only is an alumnus of Full Sail University like me, he has also created some of the most visually appealing movies of the past decade. Between his work on the Saw franchise, Repo: The Genetic Opera, and The Devil’s Carnival, there is an artistic flare that is not usually seen in horror. Next up for review is his next movie, 2016s Abattoir, a film that I honestly believe may be his best work.

Plot/ An investigative reporter teams up with a Police officer to solve the mystery of why a seemingly good man murdered her sister's family.

I had been waiting to see this since I first heard about it, and I was not disappointed by what I found. While I can see why this movie could be somewhat polarizing, it is an interesting take on the haunted house/curse genre and is both intelligent and visually appealing. More of a slow burn, as the tension building throughout, I found myself drawn to the main characters and the storyline. The cinematography and visuals are tremendous, the performances are solid, and the atmosphere inside the film is dark and heavy. Yes, I am sure that the scripting will cause some viewers some issue with the way it embraces an almost retro feel with a prose-like style that seems more suited for a vintage film than a modern thriller and the ending is definitely one that is both somewhat predictable and refreshing, but those issues should in no way impact the overall viewing experience of watching this film. In the end, this is one of the most memorable and entertaining films to hit the shelves in some time and left me wanting more. If you have not seen it, you are definitely missing out.