Friday, October 14, 2016

Curse of Chucky (2013)

Directed by: Don Mancini
Starring: Chantal Quesnelle, Fiona Dourif, Jordan Gavaris

The Movie:
Twenty-five years later, the infamous killer doll returns to seek revenge as well as to terrorize new victims. This story begins when the wheelchair-bound Nica (Fiona Dourif) accepts a package in the mail. Inside the package is a friend 'til the end.

This straight-to-DVD sequel is unlike the former two, it's actually pretty decent. The producers decide to bring back Chucky, and even release a little sinister history to keep the franchise fresh.

It all began twenty-five years ago, leading to the death of the "Lakeshore Strangler" and the reborn of Chucky. The "lakeshore strangler" falls in love with the then pregnant Sarah (Chantal Quesnelle). After the sudden death of her husband, Sarah goes into a depressed state, and insists on not seeing Chucky anymore. Now Sarah is still depressed and living with her wheelchair bound daughter Nica (Fiona Dourif) in a large, isolated house, when a package addressed to Sarah gets delivered. Inside the package, a Good Guys doll introduces himself as "Chucky". The event that night concluded in Sarah's untimely death. Nica's sister Barbara (Danielle Bisutti), her husband Ian ( Brennan Elliott ), their daughter Alice ( Summer H. Howell ), and their live-in nanny Jill (Maitland McConnell) all come to the house for their mother's funeral. When more people start showing up dead, Nica begins to realize the Good Guys doll isn't so good.

When I first went into this movie, I had the thought that it was going to be a total reboot of Child's Play which would've been disappointing. I'm glad to discover it was a sequel, and after all these years I think it was a job well done. Many scenes are effective with inbuilt tension and jump scares, notably the shower encounter and dinner gathering. With lingering camera movements and interesting angles, Mancini also leaves plenty to the imagination as some of the set ups take place off screen, that said there are lots of effects, blood and gore on display - decapitation, an electrocution, an empty eyeball socket and an axe attack to name a few.

I noticed they made the voice of Chucky more sparse this time around, I was expecting the foul mouthed one liners he was given in the Child's Play trilogy. That doesn't neglect my current feelings for this movie though, it was still superb acting and under great direction. The story leaves plenty of holes to be filled in with yet another sequel, which I will anxiously await. I definitely recommend this movie. And when you watch it, don't stop it as soon as the credits start rolling - stick around for the additional scene afterward.

Speaking of the after credits scene, my confusion was with the footage of Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly). She was killed, in the Bride of Chucky if I'm not mistaken, in the bathtub, shortly after transferring her soul into the Tiffany doll. So how could she still be alive at the end of this one? If anyone could clarify this bit for me, I'd appreciate it, drop a line in the comments.

RATING: 6/10

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Child's Play (1988)

Directed by: Tom Holland
Starring: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, Brad Dourif

The Movie: 
For Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) the only thing he wanted for his 8th birthday is a Good Guys doll. To much of everyone's surprise, the doll is possessed with the soul of a serial killer. One of the doll's many phrases is "we're be friends until the end" which for most, is only a matter of words but for Chucky it's a promise.

My Review:
There's nothing better than some good 80s horror this time of the year.  Popularity of this movie has been shown throughout the years with the many sequels that spawned from it, but nothing will ever be as good as this one.

When the the "Lakeshore Strangler" gets shot by police detective Mike Norris, Charles Lee Ray aka "Chucky" hides out in a toy store after his accomplice escapes without him, he vows to get revenge against his said accomplice and the police detective in his afterlife. Believing in voodoo, he transfers his soul to a Good Guys doll before burning down the store. A couple weeks later, little boy Andy (Alex Vincent) is turning eight years old and has his hopes up for a Good Guys doll. Unfortunately, his mother (Catherine Hicks) can't afford to pay the retail price for the doll but thanks to a friend and co-worker, she manages to get one from a street peddler in a back alley. Come to find out, this doll was found at a old burned out toy store... That's where the story begins, and we see Andy and "Chucky" start an adventure together - friends to the end. Andy is quickly manipulated into skipping school and going downtown to hunt down Eddie Caputo (Neil Giuntoli), Chucky's former accomplice and visiting the voodoo "Dr Death" (Raymond Oliver) to find out exactly how to get out of the doll's body before he's trapped forever.

It's a movie that's not made to act serious, just a voodoo story to entertain and terrorize it's audience. A job it's done very well for decades. It's scary, but the gore factor is slim to none and does not include any cheap scares that you can find in more recent horror franchises.

Favorite quote: "Hi, I'm Chucky and I'll be your friend 'til the end!"

RATING: 8/10

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Tie That Binds (1995)

Directed by: Wesley Strick
Starring: Daryl Hannah, Keith Carradine, Moira Kelly

The Movie:
John (Keith Carradine) and Leann (Daryl Hannah) Netherwood are fugitives who break into homes, steal whatever they need, take pictures of the tortured owners and flee. Their daughter, Janie (Julia Devin) usually stays in the car when her parents are robbing a home. One job goes horribly wrong when the police show up, placing young Janie into an orphanage while her parents get away. Janie is soon adopted by southern California carpenter Russell Clifton (Vincent Spano) and his wife Dana (Moira Kelly). What they don't know is that they're in for the fight of their lives as John and Leann will do whatever it takes to get their daughter back.

Not the greatest thriller out there, but the direction and performances by the characters showed some potential. The beginning lagged quite a bit, but it seemed to get better as it went along. The story of a young girl adapting to her new parents all while her natural parents were on a deadly pursuit to find their child. .As John and Leann were tracking down their leads to the unsuspecting adopted parents, the suspense in the story started getting more tense. You see a bit of irony in Leann's eyes, as she constantly pulls out a picture of a mother and daughter, like she's out to just protect her offspring. From John's viewpoint, it appears he is looking for a piece of property (slavery?) he once lost.

Ending this review a bit short, like the movie, I feel I don't know what else to say about it  It's a familiar story with a very predictable ending, a bit overexerted but I feel it's worth the dollar I paid for it.

RATING: 5/10

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Red Riding Hood (2011)

Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Lukas Haas, Gary Oldman

The Movie:
 Set in a medieval village, the young beautiful Valarie (Amanda Seyfried) falls in love with a woodcutter, Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) all while her parents have already arranged for her to marry the wealthy Henry (Max Irons). Not wanting to be apart any longer, Valerie and Peter decide to run away until her sister ended up killed by a werewolf that haunts the town. For years prior, the town has sacrificed a animal whenever the wolf comes around. Until one red moon night, when the werewolf decides to take a human life. The town is now frantic and decides to call upon a famous werewolf hunter, Father Solomon (Gary Oldman), to help them kill the wolf. Soloman brings some bad news that warns the people that the wolf takes the form of a human by day, and can be any one of them. Valarie quickly suspects the werewolf to be someone she loves, but has she starts to panic the townspeople turn on her declaring she is a witch because she did something none of them have ever done: speaks to the wolf.

Twilight director, Catherine Hartwicke brings us a folk tale adaptation. The idea was good, but the way it was portrayed was horrible. There's something about movies like this that make me cringe for thinking there's no value in film anymore, a story that's supposed to be about a little girl walking through the forest to grandma's house only to find a big bad wolf has taken her place has been transformed into another love triangle. I couldn't help but think to my self whether I have  already seen this movie, even though I know it was the first viewing. It became obvious to me that this movie was put out to attract Twilight fans with this plot.

Casting Amanda Seyfried as "Red" (err, Valerie?) was an interesting choice, considering the last movie I remember seeing her in was Jennifer's Body where fortunately her good looks distracted us from her bad acting ability. And why Valerie? What was so wrong with keeping the original fairy tale alive and naming her Red?  Overall, Seyfried was the right choice. To be fair, given the cheesy dialogue and Hardwicke's uninspired direction you couldn't expect anyone else to do a better job.

This movie had it's fair share of bad CGI, especially the werewolf scenes. For a PG-13 rated film, you can't expect any hardcore action or gore and Red Riding Hood was no exception.

Bottom line, Red Riding Hood is a campy popcorn flick and is worth a dollar rental if you are hard pressed for something to watch.

RATING: 6/10

Monday, October 10, 2016

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009)

Directed by: Peter Hyams
Starring: Jesse Metcalfe, Amber Tamblyn, and Michael Douglas

The Movie:
A District Attorney, Mark Hunter (Michael Douglas), who tampers with evidence to secure his convictions, decides to run for governor. But when an ambitious journalist, C.J. Nicholas (Jesse Metcalfe) begins to investigate him. Commencing a risky game of cat and mouse with Hunter, C.J. frames himself as a murder suspect to catch the corrupt D.A. in the act.

This movie has many problems, starting with the idea of someone practically murdering someone, turning himself in, and getting acquitted of all charges. A big blooper would have to be at the beginning when the police report showed the murderer was bitten by a small dog and yet C.J. didn't have any bites except the one from the small dog he adopted to bite him, to reenact the crime. Did he get bit when he first killed the woman, or was that just a rumor? 

The most bizarre scene was when C.J's  reporter friend Finley (Joel David Moore) was running around for the DVD that had the proof that C.J. was innocent. First, there was no need for all the running around. C.J. could have just handed his attorney an envelope that says not to open it until the trial. Second, what would that DVD prove anyways? Hunter already pointed out he could've bought a second pair of pants and shoes after the crime was committed. It was obvious at this point, C.J. wasn't going to be charged with the murder due to improper evidence to hold him, as long as Hunter was finally caught for tampering with evidence. 

As for Finley's death, it should never have happened... If he didn't panic at the intersection, he would've had time to pull out before that bus passed. Also you can't say no one on that bus (driver, passengers) or anyone between the bank and the scene of the accident saw anything -- that would've been enough to lock up that detective for manslaughter.

Also, the detective trying to kill Ella (a district attorney who works with Hunter and is in a relationship with C.J.) with his car, when she was snooping around to prove his 'innoncence'. I realize he wanted to scare her before killing her but all he had to do was pull out his gun, shoot her and drive off, I'm sure one gun shot would be quieter than the tires squealing. 

So, the end of the movie... Ella managed to prove C.J's innocence but realized she made a mistake when taking another look at the coverage of the young, pregnant prostitute from Buffalo NY that C.J. used and claimed was deceased was the woman killed. Putting two and two together, she did what she had to do...

Bottom line, the movie was had more than it's share of flaws and confusing moments, but in the end you have to realize it's just a movie! For a mystery to make one think and debate, it was definitely successful but as a movie it still needs some work. 

RATING: 6/10 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Zombieland (2009)

Directed by: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson

The Movie:
During a zombie apocalypse, there are only four survivors, all nicknamed of the city they are from. There's Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a shy college student in Texas who's obsessed with his 30 rules such as: "look in the back seat," "double-tap," "avoid public restrooms." There's the good-old boy from Florida, on the road to kill some zombies and hunt down a Twinkie, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson). The two soon approach a girl, Wichita (Emma Stone), and her sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) who are both on their way to a Los Angeles amusement park that they've heard is zombie-free.

Having disliked most of what comprises of Jesse Eisenberg's filmography, I was a little hesitant to watch Zombieland. However, reading that it also stars Woody Harrelson who is well-known from the TV-series "Cheers" and the gorgeous Emma Stone I decided to give it a shot anyway. I'm so glad I did, this movie has opened my interest for other zombie-related films like Night of the Living Dead for instance.

This movie starts out in a town in Texas, where Eisenberg can be found in his college dorm room playing World of Warcraft (did people really still play this game in 2009?) when his neighbor, 406 (Amber Heard) frantically knocks on his door. He has had a crush on her since he first saw her, but due to his anti-social behavior and special rules he never made a move and now he finds out it's too late. 406 was his first encounter with zombies. The rules he has include common sense things like "Always wear your seat belt" down to ridiculous statements like "Never use a public bathroom"  After his encounter with 406, he packs up and decides to head home, to Columbus Ohio to see if his family is still alive, when he comes across a zombie hunter and Twinkie fan from Tallahassee Florida (Woody Harrelson). Along the way, at a grocery store stop in search of Twinkies they come across two con-artist sisters out to survive on their own with trust issues, there's Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), both on their way to Pacific Playland in Los Angeles, CA, where they suspect is zombie-free.  Against all odds, they form a group and head to California together. Once they arrive in LA, the first stop they decide to make is the legendary Bill Murray's estate. While the rest of the town was turned undead, Bill (played by himself) dressed and acted as a zombie to fit in. His acting may be too good, since he tried spooking Columbus and ended up being shot and killed with a double barrel shotgun. The next day, the group splits up again, as the girls head to the amusement park only to find it's not as zombie-free as they had hoped for. Getting trapped on a ride, they must now do what they've never done before, and rely on the guys to help them.

This movie had it's flaws and wasn't by far a serious movie to watch, but it'll make for an enjoyable Friday night with a bowl of popcorn. My opinion for Jesse Eisenberg didn't change after viewing this, I still don't like his 'type' of acting but I will probably give a couple of other movies he starred in a chance.

Favorite quote: "Believe it or not, Twinkies do have an expiration date." - Tallahassee, Woody Harrelson

RATING: 8/10

Saturday, October 8, 2016

1408 (2007)

Directed by: Mikael Håfström
Starring: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson

The Movie:
A paranormal investigator and author, Mike Enslin (John Cusack) decides to add one last chapter to his latest book by checking into the evil room 1408, at the Dolphin Hotel in New York, against the warning by hotel manager Gerald Olin (Samuel L. Jackson). Soon after arriving, he finds out first hand that the evil happenings in that room isn't as fabled as he imagined. He checked into the room, but he now won't be able to check out.

This one may take a couple viewings to understand it, but as you understand it fully you should come to realize how much of a gem it is for it's time. The story doesn't waste any time to jump right into things. Mike Enslin writes a suspenseful series on haunted hotels, usually uncovering the mystery. Until this one evil room at the Dolphin Hotel that has taken over fifty lives prior to his stay. The first thing that comes to mind is how can a room be evil? My take on this would be the room forces the guests to dig up unfortunate events from their past, as such that happened to Mike Enslin. Mike lost his young daughter to a incurable disease, which forced him to give up hope for the future. He buried himself in his work for years following her death, separated from his wife, and pretty much gave up living. The room reminded him of the good times he had with her, as well as the last few moments they had together. All this stress piled on all at once caused him to go into a mental breakdown, resulting in thinking he was trapped. He had to clear his mind and kill hte evil spirits around to get out.

Favorite Quote: "It's an evil. f**king. room!"

RATING: 8/10

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Shining (1980)

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd

The Movie:
When school teacher Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) decides he wants to write a novel and quit teaching, he takes a job as a live-in winter caretaker of a isolated hotel in the Rocky Mountains. Soon upon arrival his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd) starts seeing disturbing visions of the hotel's past. While burying himself in his writing, Jack also falls into a deep form of insanity caused by cabin fever and sightings of the hotel's ghosts. After being convinced by the waiter's ghost that he needs to "fix" his family, the only thing that can save Danny and his mother, is "the shining."

This film adaptation of Stephen King's novel has seriously scared the crap out of me since the first time I watched it. The story was written well and the movie is not a disappointment. Stanley Kubrick is a recognizable name in film history for a few gems such as "Full Metal Jacket," "A Clockwork Orange," and "2001: A Space Odyssey". The Shining isn't any different, his work has always had a sense of seriousness with the long lengths.

"What Is The Shining?" It's a telepathic sixth sense that Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd) in the movie had, which allowed him to see and hear from ghosts from the hotel's past. It's this gift that perhaps saved him and his mother when his father Jack is convinced he must fix his wife and child from taking over, during his mental breakdown resulting from cabin fever. Being stuck indoors all winter will do this to someone, it's not too surprising in life. It's been proven that many people in the world experience similar symptoms, wanting to bring harm to themselves or someone else.

RATING: 8/10

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Christine (1983)

Directed by: John Carpenter
Starring: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul

We all remember our firsts in life; first bike ride, first love, first child, first car, the list goes on. In retrospect, I remember my first car very much with air conditioning in the winter, a non-working stereo, half the interior gauges didn't work, four bald tires, and a bad idling issue which caused it to stall at every stop. But, the frame was solid and it was all mine for a whopping $100 (hey for a 15 year old with a paper route that was a lot of money). Needless to say, despite all it's faults, I never suspected that '89 Ford to be possessed, much like Arnie's (Keith Gordon) cherry red 1958 Plymouth Fury, in Christine (1983). Maybe that's because it never tried to actually kill me.

This classic 80s possession horror movie, based on a novel by Stephen King, is one of a kind. There has been many like it but this one will always remain a unique story about a lone teenager taking his first independent venture to buy his first automobile, which so happens to have a mind of it's own. The idea that whenever there's about to be trouble, the lights turn on and the stereo blasts rock 'n roll music is enough to send chills down your spine.

Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) is a nerdy high school senior with only one friend. Arnie's life begins to change when he discovers Christine, a red 1958 Plymouth Fury in serious need of repair. As Arnie spends the time restoring Christine, his family and friend comes to realize that he's changing as well. The one thing Arnie doesn't know is the former owner of Christine spent just as much time with the car, that when his family life started to suffer, he paid the price with his life.

Well unlike that '89 Ford I had, which has likely since been crushed, this movie will always be a classic. The performances of the cast and the story line is more than enough to recommend this to anyone.

RATING: 9/10

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Arachnophobia (1990)

Directed by: Frank Marshall
Starring: Jeff Daniels, John Goodman

The Movie:
Everyone is afraid of something...for Dr. Ross Jennings (Jeff Daniels), his phobia is downright embarrassing. But when he moves his family to a small town, the one thing that bugs him most is now harming the townspeople at an alarming rate. For this unlikely hero, overcoming a childhood fear of spiders might just save the community, but it may already be too late!

I'm not scared of spiders, but I watched this with someone who is. Needless to say, she spent a good share of this film with her eyes closed.

When the Jennings family move out of the city to plant new roots in a small town, where Ross is sure to fill a void as the town doctor, little do they realize it's not going to be an easy transition. For starters, the current town doctor decides not to retire as expected (a dick move if I ever saw one), he finds his place in said town won't be an easy grasp as he thought-after all, a small town only needs one doctor?

Things start to unravel when a deadly spider from South America stows away in the coffin of a dead photographer and winds up in the U.S. Ironically, each victim of the spider just happened to visit the new doctor recently, so the old doctor uses that to start a vendetta against Jennings; until Dr Jennings' uncovers the eight-legged beast with assistance from the town exterminator, played by John Goodman.

 For so long I have somehow overlooked this Spielberg production. I always considered it to be some kind of spin off of Hitchcock's "The Birds." Spielberg took a well known phobia, combined it with some clean humor and a family-esque adventure and created a well made film.

RATING: 9/10

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Descent (2005)

Directed by: Neil Marshall
Starring: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid

The Movie:
Soon after an accident that takes the life of her husband and daughter, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) starts visualizing things that aren't really there and her friends suggest going on a spelunking trip. After sudden change in plans, to discover a new cave, they wind up being trapped under ground. They have an limited amount of supplies, and they meet strange, blood thirsty cannibals as they try to find the way out.

This movie is highly rated on popular movie websites, but I didn't feel the love for this movie like a lot of the other reviewers. Regardless it was very well done. Many dark scenes to show they were below ground while in other movies that take place in a cave can be too brightly lit showing obvious nonfiction. This one also had the claustrophobic feel to it as the girls were crawling through the tight tunnels, which brought the viewer into the film so-to-speak.

Beyond the positive side, this movie had a handful of flaws to it. For one, it was very predictable, even for someone who didn't bother to read the synopsis or know anything about this film. This movie had plenty of jump scenes but having things jump out at you isn't scary. A plus I found in this movie was the heroine fight scenes particularly between Juno (Natalie Mendoza) and the creatures, although they were generally more gore than scary which isn't the point of a horror movie. Speaking of the creatures, those are some of the awful costume designs I've seen come out of Hollywood in years, as a casual movie watcher it almost leaves me unsettled on the future of cinema, as if they weren't even trying.

Overall, it's safe for a simple popcorn flick or if you plan to watch it with someone who's easily scared but if you're looking for anything serious, look elsewhere.

RATING: 7/10

Monday, October 3, 2016

Beetle Juice (1988)

Directed by: Tim Burton
Starring: Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder

The Movie:
After a deadly accident, the Maitlands (Alec Baldwin & Geena Davis) find themselves stuck inside their house. Confused on what happened, they now face a bigger problem...The strange, new family that's moving in! After many failed attempts to convince them to leave, they find themselves hiring the services of a bio-exorcist.

Only Burton can pull off probably the best horror comedy classic in the last 25 years! And of course he couldn't have done it without the infamous Michael Keaton  playing the lead role. Choosing an additional strong cast to pull off the recently deceased was no easy task I'm sure, but I feel Baldwin and Davis did a fantastic job with their roles.

Beetle Juice is a classic horror movie that explores life after death. The Maitlands (Baldwin & Davis) decide to spend their two-week vacation in their New England home. Upon returning from a trip to town, Barbara (Geena Davis) swerves to avoid hitting a dog in the road and crashes through the side of a covered bridge and plunges into the river beneath it. As they return home in spirit form, and quickly come to the conclusion that they are dead. They are in peace until a family from New York City buys their home and moves in, the father Charles Deetz and the dark daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder) are also looking for peace and tranquility but unfortunately his wife is indifferent on the current decor and insists on changing it, with help from family friend Otho (Glenn Shadix). The Maitlands are invisible to the the entire Deetz family except Lydia, who later befriends them. Against the advice of their caseworker Juno (Sylvia Sidney), they hire the free lance bio-exorcist, Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton) who was formerly a trouble maker in his life.

I can't stress it enough, Beetle Juice is near perfect movie and a classic to watch this time of the year. It may take a couple viewings but you will love it.

RATING: 10/10

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Orphan (2009)

Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman

The Movie:
The last year has been troubling for Kate (Vera Farmiga) and John (Peter Sarsgaard) after the loss of their baby. Kate quickly turned to alcohol shortly thereafter. Since her daughter Max (Aryana Engineer) nearly died after falling through thin ice, while Kate was inside drinking instead of watching her, Kate decided to seek out therapy and is now doing better. The couple decide to adopt a child to fill the void in their lives. While at the orphanage, they meet and fall in love with the secluded, nine-year old Russian girl, Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman). Eventually, Kate quickly realizes her family has been a mess since Esther came into their lives, feels like Esther is manipulative, and starts seeking out her past history to the surprise of John who refuses to believe anything is wrong.

Interesting, dark, disturbing, twisted, and intense - just a few words to sum up my thoughts on "Orphan". This thriller is definitely the most interesting I've seen in a couple years, its' not like other thrillers involving a family. The twist in the plot, being when we find out Esther is really a near-40 year old woman with growth hormone disorder making it possible to look like a nine year old girl.

Usually child actors are painful to watch, but 12- year-old Isabelle Fuhrman gives a terrifying, chilling performance that is worthy of praise. Aryana Engineer debuts as the deaf little sister, Max is adorable and steals the life of the movie in almost every scene she's found in. Jimmy Bennett, who plays Daniel, the brother, portrays a middle child who's jealous of not being the center of attention and torments his siblings. The intensity of Esther getting the little sister involved in her murders, and threatening Daniel in the middle of the night will send shivers down your spine, a perfect combination to a great thriller.

Although this may be the greatest thriller of the decade, it's psychological terror is not recommended for children or the weak at heart. The basic idea is nothing new, but if you're looking for a horror movie without any cheap scares this one will keep you on the edge of your seat. The extremely well done performances by the child actors is enough of a reason to at least give this one a rent.

RATING: 7/10

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Mist (2007)

Directed by: Frank Darabont
Starring: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, William Sadler

The Movie:
After a severe thunder storm, David Brayton (Thomas Jane), his son Billy (Nathan Gamble) and neighbor Brent Norman (Andre Braugher) drive into the supermarket in the small town of Maine. Along the way, they notice a strange mist covering most of the lake, and military vehicles going towards it, but not thinking much of it, they continue onto the store. While shopping, the inevitable happens, an older gentleman comes running into the store with a bloody nose, declaring "there's something in the mist!" This creates a panic among the eighty-some shoppers in the store, one specifically being a woman known for spreading her crazy religious beliefs across the town.

This has to be the first true horror movie I've seen in decades. This one doesn't need cheap frights to be scary, it's a down to earth scary movie. It was shown that the storm must have unleashed something evil that would get you if you went into the fog. A mixture of some horror and science fiction, as the secret "arrowhead project" created at a nearby military installation that they thought would open a proverbial door to the outside world.

The one peeve I had was the religious nut job that thought sacrificing non-believers would save the lives of all the believers. Don't get me wrong, I understand why she was included in the script and find it gave the film more meaning but I was ready to jump through the screen and beat the crap out of her by the midpoint. The audience at my recent movie night showing of this, all applauded when former schoolteacher (Frances Sternhagen) threw the can of peas at her during one of her speeches.

The ending showed the small group of people who just wanted to escape the mist, finally make it out of the supermarket and into David's truck. Taking a quick detour past his house, and seeing his wife not able to escape the group of five proceeded out of the town to however far a tank of gas took them. Unfortunately they hadn't made it far before running out of gas, but at least they tried. This is where the shock comes into play, they were minutes away from being rescued by the military when David decided to pull out the 6-round, although only four bullets remained, revolver and kill all five passengers including his young son. Being out of bullets he was frustrated on what to do, and vouched to get out of the truck and call for the "things" in the mist to take him. The credits start rolling as David is down on his knees crying, begging to be taken while trucks loaded with victims were being driven out of the contaminated area. It's surely the most shocking ending I've ever seen.

RATING: 9.5/10