07 February 2018

Happy Death Day 2017 - REVIEW

Groundhog Day (1993) is quite the masterpiece for it's time and continues to hold up well today. It's such a fun movie that countless other films have tried to mimic it's greatness but none have ever come close to measuring up, in my opinion anyway. TV shows like Charmed, Supernatural and even The X-Files have had episodes that involved some sort of time loop. So why not a horror movie?

After a night of partying, self centered college student, Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) wakes up in the dorm room of Carter Davis (Israel Broussard). Confused and embarrassed, she quickly dresses and goes about her day as usual. Later that night, as she's headed to a party, she's murdered by an unknown assailant. Next thing she knows, she's waking up in Carter's room again and the day starts over again. She, of course, writes off all the familiar happenings as deja vu, at least until she's headed back to the party. Creeped out, she decides to go a different way and ends up being killed again. When she finally figures out what's going on, she realizes in order to stop the cycle, she has to find out who wants her dead and why.

Honestly, I didn't have high hopes for this movie. Admittedly, I haven't been watching a ton of movies lately but main stream horror hasn't been really given me the urge to do so either. However, Happy Death Day was refreshingly clever. It gets moving pretty quickly and doesn't let up much at all. It's like a riding a roller coater for the first time. Given the amount of times Tree is killed, the death scenes were quite creative. It's like director Christopher Landon and writer Scott Lobdell sat down in a room together and asked, "Ok, how many different ways can we kill someone?", then just went for it and nailed it. I appreciate that they didn't go over board with elaborate kills and shove blood and gore down the audience's throat. Sometimes simple is better and it's nice to see a movie that doesn't take itself too seriously. They knew going in what they were going for and made it look easy.

Speaking of making things look easy, Rothe definitely steals the show with her performance. She brings a lot of life to an otherwise unlikable character and does an incredible job conveying growth over the course of the movie. It takes a special writer and actor to make an audience root for such an obnoxious character. In fact, I found that every actor involved did a pretty outstanding job. Rothe and Broussard mesh well together and I can see each of them doing more great things in the future.

While the film is far from perfect, it is tremendously fun. It has a great mix of horror, comedy and, dare I say, even a little romance. It's a rare thing to see a slasher movie take all those elements and successfully bring them together. If you're a fan of the slasher genre, do yourself a favor and watch it. And, I hear they're working on a second part as well so here's to hoping it's as good as this one.

13 January 2018

Amityville: The Awakening 2017 - REVIEW

For a long time I didn't think this movie was ever going to be released.  Countless times it was pushed back from the theatrical release till they finally pulled it for good and just released it straight to dvd.  Nevertheless I still was pretty enthused to see a new entry to an Amityville franchise that isn't that all impressive.  I actually enjoy the first 4 but then they get a little too cheesy and just bad after that.

I have to say I really liked Awakening.  I know that is not a popular opinion but I thought the cast was great and really just not a bad movie.  I am not giving this a raving review but if you are familiar with the franchise it certainly is better than most of them. 

Joan (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is a desperate Mother that will try anything to cure her  son (Cameron Monaghan) who has been in a coma for a couple years.  She believes the Amityville house's powers will bring him out of his condition and all will be good again.  Joan fails to tell the rest of her family about the house's history and the real reason they moved there.  This is something that her teenage daughter Belle (Bella Thorne) has to find out for herself. 

I was a little hesitant to watch this after all the delays and people saying how bad it was but i already loved who was in it.  The acting to me did not disappoint.  Jennifer Jason Leigh may not be as young as she once was but she still has a presence about her and young stars Cameron Monaghan  from Shameless and Bella Thorne are excellent as well.  I would give this film 6 out of 10 stars.  Definately recommend giving this one a chance.  There are a few scenes that were so creepy they made me uncomfortable.  Stay twisted everyone