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Will's horror movie reviews...

  • 29-08-2014 11:57pm
    Closed Accounts Posts: 2,432 ✭✭✭ willmunny1990

    Got the idea to do this from others in this forum and since I watch a lot of horrors, psychological thrillers and the like I said Id start reviewing the movies Ive watched.

    It might also give other horror movie fans in here ideas on what to watch next if they have not seen them already.

    Feel free to chime in with opinions:)

    I'll start off with a film Ive watched recently, The Innkeepers

    Basically its a film about two young hotel workers with an amateur interest in the paranormal. The hotel they were work in is said to be haunted by the ghost of a jilted bride, they also happen to be staying at the hotel while the owner is on holidays which gives the two would be ghost hunters a chance to delve into their ghost hunting hobby. Anyway without giving too much more away plot wise as they delve into the tale of the jilted bride further they end up experiencing a variety of spooky experiences.

    As for the review, I found this film to be quiet slow and boring, Rotten Tomatoes gave this 79% which I find to overly generous. Its the stereotypical jump scene horror that doesn't do it too well imo, or even enough. It can build suspense at times but in the end nothing ever really happens. I also found at times there was almost a comedic sense to this film which I didn't like, it just downgraded what was supposed to be a serious film to a comedy/horror that didn't work imo. The film is nothing new and It covers old ground that's been covered many times before, with better results.

    There are one or two creepy moments,
    like when the girl sees the ghost beside her in the bed
    and to a lesser extent
    when the old guy is behind her on top of the staircase.
    other than that nothing stands out to me, they can build suspense well occasionally, for example when they are going around the hotel ghost hunting and doing EVP sessions.

    Id give this about a 5/10, at best. Its an average film. Its not terrible or great and its not so bad id recommend people not to watch it. I personally wouldn't watch it again but give it a go and see what you think.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,013 Mod ✭✭✭✭ jaykhunter

    Good stuff mate! RT gave this 79%? GET THE BOAT! It's definitely average at best. Looking forward to reading more :)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,432 ✭✭✭ willmunny1990

    The Pact (2012)

    So basically this film is about two sisters, Annie and Nicole, who are trying to make final arrangements regarding their mothers funeral, its made obvious from the start that the relationship between the mother and her children wasn't good and one of the sisters (Annie) is hesitant about returning to town to attend the funeral, however, Annie does decide to come home but on her arrival she finds her sister missing. Annie puts this down to her sister being a former addict but later on Annie's cousin also goes missing under suspicious circumstances leaving her alone with her sisters child.

    Anyway, with the help of a reluctant and skeptical police officer plus a clairvoyant Annie delves deeper into the mystery of her missing relatives and finds a secret about her mother/family that is truly horrifying.

    I thought this was a better than average horror film, its well written and well executed, its nothing spectacular or new but nevertheless better than a lot of stuff out there.

    It builds tension very well and there are some genuine scares in this film, it does rely on your typical jump scare tactics but I found them to be quite effective here. Also, some of the ghostly images Annie sees are very well done and scary,
    I really jumped at the part where Liz wakes up and you see the shadow of a man in the corner

    Big Spoiler:
    I also liked the shift from the supernatural to the natural, we're led to believe there is a supernatural demonic threat but in reality the threat is a real life serial killer called Judas.

    At times it is guilty of using some haunted house/demonic cliches, the stand out ones being the Ouija board and the blind psychic but that's to be expected really and doesn't take much away from the film IMO, I was a bit confused as to why the house seemed to be against Nicole and Annie at times, it seemed to lead Nicole towards
    at the start. It then sought to aid Annie and even directly intervened
    in pulling her to the gun to kill Judas

    Anyway, the positives outweigh the negatives in this film and it definitely deserved a watch. Id give it around a 6/10.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,432 ✭✭✭ willmunny1990

    The Possession of Michael King

    A found footage horror. A recently widowed atheist goes out of his way to disprove the existence of God, The Devil and basically anything supernatural. He subjects himself to various different black art spells and rituals, he goes in search of demonologists, necromancers and psychics and allows them to perform their spells and rituals on him.

    After each ritual events quickly start to spiral out of control and Michael begins to question his own sanity, he also has to question his beliefs as the very things he didn't believe in may be true and closer to him than he thinks.

    This is your basic cheap found footage horror, man sets up cameras and has a friend with a camera follow him around documenting all the crazy **** he subjects himself to in order to disprove the supernatural.

    As far as found footage horrors go, I found this to be cheap and poorly acted.

    This film is one cliche after another, it takes an approach like
    the last exorcism
    as in its a documentary/found footage, a guy goes around filming the lead character as he tries to disprove the supernatural while slowly but surely things spiral out of control. The lead character also does video journals in private as he slips into madness while the evil begins to take over.

    I did think lead character Micheal was a believable lead in the film at times, you really got a sense that he was a disbeliever with a real point to prove and I thought he really pulled you into his journey with some good dialogue and acting but unfortunately this was probably the only positive to take from the film. I suppose it wasn't hard for him to stand out either as the other actors didn't play huge roles and the roles they did play weren't great, the other actors were just your standard cliche cooky weirdos into various different forms of the occult that were funny instead of being believably sinister or scary.

    The film builds no suspense, you can see all the scares coming a mile off and they are poorly executed IMO. It relies on sudden loud jump scares that aren't clever and are easily done by anyone really. I think when you're doing a movie that involves the occult/demons and horror in general really you have to create a sense of dread rather than just standard jump scares, when it comes to demons/the devil and the like the fear for me comes from the unknown, I think people rely on jump scares so much because they are easy to do and take no real effort. Its just very lazy IMO.

    So that's basically how I would sum up this film, a lazy found footage that is heavy on the jump scares and cliches with little or no substance to it.

  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,013 Mod ✭✭✭✭ jaykhunter

    Damn. Disappointed to hear how crappy the film is, I'm all over that premise! A very successful trailer that hoodwinks you into thinking it's decent. Cheers!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,432 ✭✭✭ willmunny1990

    jaykhunter wrote: »
    Damn. Disappointed to hear how crappy the film is, I'm all over that premise! A very successful trailer that hoodwinks you into thinking it's decent. Cheers!

    Give it a watch anyway, its only about 1hr 20 minutes long so its probably worth a go.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,432 ✭✭✭ willmunny1990


    A blast from the past and one of my first memorable horror movie experiences.

    Based on the successful novel by Stephen King, IT follows a group of misfit children who call themselves the losers club as they take on a shape shifting being that goes by the name of Pennywise the dancing clown, or simply IT. It preys on children and uses their worst fears and nightmares against them.

    Set over two time frames, part one follows the group as kids as they strive to destroy IT and part two sees them take on IT as adults after it resurfaces.

    Part 1: Part one is okay and has some creepy moments. The premise of a killer entity that preys on children is in itself scary. Tim Curry's performance makes this movie, the interaction and dialogue with the children is great and really eerie and menacing and his killer clown is the poster boy for people with clown phobias and its all done with nothing more than acting talent and cheap make up. A few memorable moments are,
    the shower scene
    IT's dialogue in the sewer with Georgie
    and the
    two photo album scenes.

    You also have to give a nod to the child actors, they put in solid believable performances most of the time.

    Its painfully obvious that the special effects have dated. I wont name the scenes but they are pretty obvious and do stand out.

    Part 2: So After an okay start part 2 lets the film down IMO. A lot of horror films have a problem with consistency, things start off fine but towards the middle/end it just goes south and IT goes badly south IMO. I found some of the adult actors quite grating to watch, most of all
    Richie Tozier
    , it was so cringey and corny at times during part two it was almost hard to watch, so much so you nearly find yourself looking away at times. Its rife with over the top melodramatic acting.

    Part two has one or two moments but not much else.

    The ending and final outcome was pretty naff too, the reveal of IT as
    a giant spider creature
    was pretty ludicrous IMO along with Eddie and his inhaler and how they kill IT by chopping it to bits.

    I suppose nostalgia is what makes me think this movie is good, after re watching it its not particularly scary and it really shows its age. I think you have to be an 80's or 90's kid to like IT, as I said it was one of my first memorable horrors as a kid and I can see how its memorable, especially for a child as there are moments in there that would be pretty scary to someone young.

    Part one is passable, largely due to Curry, the child actors and some of the scenes but part 2 is a forgettable experience that is riddled with cheesy over the top melodramatic performances from its actors along with a bizarre and laughable ending, all that being said I think I personally will always have a soft spot for Stephen Kings IT.

    I also just want to note that this is being remade with Cary Fukunaga as director, very little information on anything else.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,432 ✭✭✭ willmunny1990

    The Conjuring

    With the spin off Annabelle coming out on the 3rd October I thought Id re watch and review this film.

    A haunted house movie. It follows famous paranormal experts Ed and Lorraine Warren as they try and help the Perron family, a family under attack by a malevolent supernatural force.

    I think this is definitely one of the best horror movies of recent times, It covers no new ground and it follows a premise that has been covered many times before but I don't think many have done it as good as this.

    First off it creates tension and dread extremely well and doesn't rely on the loud in your face jump scares that riddle nearly every horror film these days, don't get me wrong though, they do use jump scares in this film but they are done well and executed smartly. I don't think there is anything wrong with using jump scares so long as they're not over used and relied on too much.

    A few spoiler moments,
    the music box, the clapping game, and the moment when the girl wakes up and sees something in the dark corner
    are a few moments that build up great tension and suspense.

    Its beautifully shot inside and outside,lovely imagery and real haunting feel to it that makes the atmosphere, nice long shots of the house, hallways make it feel really haunted and menacing.

    The early parts of the film are great, real heavy on the suspense and tension. I think what you don't see in horror films is far better than what you do see, which leads me to some criticisms I have.

    I didn't really like some of the ghost reveals, for me its almost impossible to get right.

    Spoilers,The reveal of
    the maid and the boy ghost weren't great for me, I don't believe we need to see these ghosts, for me knowing their stories, background and circumstances when they were alive are far more interesting

    I have the same issue with the main antagonist,
    the witch
    . Far better done than other similar horrors but again fall short of expectations, which I find inevitable when you go outright to reveal these entities.

    What also makes this horror good is the acting, Wilson and Farmiga are solid as the warrens and the family are great too, they really drag you into the dread and fear they are experiencing, very believable IMO. The idea that the entity was stuck to the family was great too, feeding off them. I liked when Ed explained that being haunted is like stepping in gum, it follows you around. This was great as it puts an end to the whole "lets just move away" line people always come out with. It also instills more fear as you can't get away no matter what.

    I thought the ending made the film suffer slightly, when the mother was being dragged around during the possession/exorcism I thought it was kinda funny in places, which shouldn't happen. The exorcism itself wasn't great, a bit corny and melodramatic and it lost some of the great atmosphere/dread that it had earlier on.

    The very end set up the sequel nicely though mentioning long island which I assume means the sequel will follow the Amytiville story.

    Anyway, over all it was a really good film, best horror of I've seen in recent times and a must watch for horror fans or anyone who hasn't seen it.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,432 ✭✭✭ willmunny1990

    Lake Mungo

    Been a while since I posted here but I have to give a mention to this film.

    Where to start, its not your typical horror, with a slow and deliberate pace its masterful in the way it generates a sense of dread, it has an overwhelmingly eerie tone throughout with a lot of genuinely creepy imagery. A tale of death and grief.

    It takes various twists and turns and you really don't have a clue where its about to end up, really feels like you've been punched in the gut after watching it, it has a way of getting into your head and under your skin, not like any of the other main stream horrors you see.

    If anyone is into there horror this is a must watch. I wont get into any spoilers and I suggest looking up nothing about this before watching, its best to go in completely blind.