Two urban couples head to the countryside for some downtime; however, they’re quickly introduced to the other side of ‘roughing it’ in the wilderness when the men’s ATV excursion makes a collision course straight for hell, where the locals aren’t keen to strangers. After a standoff with a couple of ill-tempered hillbillies, the residents of Resurrection County go from hostile to downright murderous, out to avenge the death of one of their own.
It’s your run-of-the-mill redneck torture flick – city folks wander off into no man’s land for some fresh air, only to end up being stalked (sometimes devoured, but not in this case) by a group of inbred loonies who possess the strength of Hercules and the Hulk combined. Lo and behold, the actors and actresses, a bunch of no-names, do a pretty damn decent job. The make-up department and special effects crew deserve a round of applause for creating very realistic blood and gore on a limited budget.
It falters midway through, courtesy of some slow-moving and unnecessary scenes that should have ended up on the cutting room floor, as well as succumbing to the stereo-typical errors that characters in horror movies make. There is a shotgun scene in the beginning that will satisfy sadists but, while gory throughout, there really isn’t much on-screen torture or anything that qualifies as extreme, not to veteran horror fans anyway.
Although predictable, it’s still intense with genuine performances, but lacks anything fresh or remarkable.
I didn’t have the opportunity to watch this in 3D or IMAX. Such a shame because I’ve heard that it was a visual treat, even from the harshest critics of the exhausted gimmick. Having been a long time follower of the series, I was pumped to finally see what was supposed to be the franchise’s revival, with an ending that had Final Destination fans abuzz. Although the conclusion’s twist (if it can accurately be called that) wasn’t entirely clever or unpredictable, it did satifsy.
The fifth installment doesn’t disappoint in the inventive kills department and I was especially appreciative of the build up leading up to each death. It takes a certain skill to evoke a sense of dread, stomach full of butterflies, without any blood or gore. I wasn’t as responsive to the comedy attempts but, folks, this is a Final Destination flick, what matters is the exit, not the wit.
*May contain SPOILERS ahead!*
I’m usually respectful about not including spoilers in my reviews but…
What in the hell is up with the ‘new’ rules of cheating death when this is supposed to be a prequel? This was completely unnecessary, particularly when those rules don’t have anything to do with any of its successors and the number one rule, you can’t cheat death, no matter how hard you try (just ask Clear – oh, wait, you can’t… she’s dead!).
A group of college students (hot, young babes with tightly fitting sweaters and studly men with Justin Bieber hairstyles) go for a snowmobile joyride but they end up making a ‘wrong turn’. Freezing and unable to survive the elements for much longer, they’re forced to seek shelter in an abandoned sanatorium, of all places, to wait out the blizzard. Oddly, no one seems to be all that creeped out about their surroundings; they’re too busy boozing, smoking pot, and fondling each other. Their bliss doesn’t last long though and, come morning, the group of pretties are stalked, tortured, and in the worst case scenario, eaten alive.
Did we really need a prequel for this franchise? Was it not plainly obvious about the origins of Saw Tooth, Three Finger, and One Eye? They’re seriously deformed, inbred hillbillies who delight in maiming, murdering, and munching on people. What difference does it make that they were locked up in an institution except to play on an overused horror flick location?
Sadly, the one guy who could act was unceremoniously fed to the wolves. (The cannibal fondue was a bit much.) I’ve heard more voice inflection and genuine emotion from someone reading the ingredients off a cereal box. When you’re getting paid to see just how many buckets of fake blood a person can handle getting dumped on him/her, I guess nothing else matters. Everything in Wrong Turn 4 went overboard and not in the exploitation-done-right way. Hopefully, this misrepresented prequel is the final insult in a series of increasingly hacked-up sequels.
Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns home to the midwest after a business trip to Hong Kong, only to die soon after from unknown causes. Immediately following her death, her young son dies. Several more people who had contact with Beth meet their untimely demise and thus spurs an investigation by the CDC. We peer into the lives of her husband, Mitch, who turns out to be immune, Leonora (Marion Cotillard) of the World Health Organization, Erin Mears (Kate Winslet), an EIS operative sent out into the field, and Dr. Ellis Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) of the CDC, among others.
The film moves fluidly, with brief shots of objects we touch every day to remind us how susceptible we are – a door handle, an elevator button, a pen at the office, a bowl of peanuts at the airport. While it’s captivating throughout, I couldn’t help but feel like I was stuck in biology class now and then, particularly scenes that delved extensively into the genetic analysis of the virus. But I am content to have learned a few things about r nought (the reproduction number of a virus/infection), fomites, and how crap-my-pants scary Gwyneth Paltrow’s hospital scene really is on a gigantic cinema screen.
This isn’t much of a thriller. It’s more of a slick, stylized, fictionalized docu-drama that is very bleak and pensive with a CSI element to it. It’s a sobering look into what could realistically happen during and after a pandemic outbreak. It’s pro-science/pro-medicine. Unlike many movies of today, the heroes don’t have bulging muscles, superpowers, or cool gadgets. In Contagion, the saviors wear lab coats and their weapon is a vaccine.
An insecure teen girl, Annie (Liana Liberato), starts a relationship with Charlie, a boy whom she’s never met but after a couple of months of online and phone correspondence, she agrees to see him in person. She’s been convinced by Charlie that he is a 20-something college student. When she finally sees him face-to-face, he is far from the young, twinkly-eyed boy in the photos Charlie has sent to her – he’s a 35 year old man. Still, she goes to a motel with him and ends up being sexually assaulted.
Directed by David Schwimmer and starring two brilliant actors as Annie’s parents (Clive Owen and Catherine Keener), Trust didn’t receive a nationwide release, probably due to its heavy subject matter and a very un-Hollywood like ending, one that doesn’t deliver that warm and fuzzy feeling. Most people have no idea the movie even exists. If you’re a parent of a teen/tween, do yourself a favor and watch it.
Although the performances were spot-on, it did creep into that weepy Lifetime/Hallmark Hall of Fame territory every so often. I admit, it worked like a charm. I cried like a baby. Sometimes, the film lost its focus, bouncing back and forth between the criminal investigation and the father’s increasingly neurotic behavior and lust for vigilante justice. There were some scenes that stood out, reminding me of the misconceptions so many people hold about rape.
Despite what the trailer at the official site may lead you to believe, the film’s message is not that the internet is evil. David Schwimmer is a long-time anti-violence advocate for women (he’s also on the board of the Rape Foundation) but he’s careful not to get too preachy or overbearing. Don’t view Trust as a lesson to be learned. In this technologically advanced age, we’re well aware of the dangers, of the predators, of the steps we have to take to protect ourselves and our children. Instead, consider it an opportunity to explore the reactions of the characters on screen and reflect on your own emotions, both positive and negative.
Sara (Sara Paxton) and her college friends travel to her lake house on the Louisiana Gulf for a wild weekend of beer pong, sunbathing, and death by shark. Be mindful of the PG-13 rating because, if you go into this expecting the finned version of Aja’s silicon laden Piranha 3D, you’ll be sorely disappointed. The most you’re going to get to feast your eyes on is a brief shot of Katharine McPhee’s and Alyssa Diaz’s side boobs.
It’s light on the carnage and heavy on the sentimental and often overdramatic monologues. The gore is pretty watered down for the teen/tween audience. This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing – it’s a boring thing. While there are quite a few deaths, the attacks are short cut scenes that end with the camera lingering over pools of red coloring dye to signify, yep, they’re dead.
What’s missing from this humdinger is good ol’ fashioned fun. Most of its ilk celebrate the B-movie campiness with richly funny dialog, revel in the opportunity to mock its genre, or totally go off the deep end with exaggerated kills and/or gratuitous nudity. I realize Shark Night 3D wasn’t made to be an in-your-face exploitation film but it’s not Open Water either. It falls to the wayside because it has no guts, literally and figuratively.
Kyle Miller (Nicolas Cage) is a diamond dealer who appears to have it all – a gorgeous wife (Nicole Kidman), a beautiful daughter, and insane wealth. He’s targeted by a ragtag group of thugs that hold him and his family hostage. They know what he has, where he stashes it, and they’re not leaving until he forks over the goods. Sound familiar? It should because Hollywood has done the hell out of the captive and captor scenario.
Cage is surprisingly subdued. Kidman is Kidman, a little melodramatic with everything, but that’s her style. (I like her as an actress. I don’t get all of the hate.) It’s not the acting. It’s the lack of any level of suspense, mystery, intrigue, or action. Trespass is basically 91 long minutes of people crying hysterically, screaming, cowering, and doing even dumber things than people in the worst B-movie horror movies out there.
The R rating is probably due to the smoking and drugs since there is no nudity or sex and the violence is tame. What a shame. If a movie is going to be as dull as this one is, at least give the audience some juicy material to lust after.
Mary (Rachelle Lefevre) moves in to an apartment complex in Puerto Rico to escape her abusive ex who is none too happy about the divorce or the restraining order placed against him. Soon after, she’s plagued by a barrage of phone calls from someone who identifies herself only as Rose. Slowly, their casual conversations veer toward an ominous direction, and one by one, people around her start dying or disappearing after she tries to cut off contact with the deranged caller.
If you have the patience to wait out the first 20 minutes, The Caller is a decent, straightforward mystery and suspense type thriller with reasonable acting and the welcomed absence of any CGI. Most of the scenes are shot at night or in Mary’s dimly lit apartment, adding to the overall gloomy and grim tone. The movie is meant to inject you with fear, not with a quick jab to the jugular but, via a slow and steady stream. The borrowed time alteration theme from Frequency has its pitfalls – don’t over-analyze and you won’t be bothered by the plot holes.
A refreshingly unpretentious flick that relies on old school horror techniques (no gore or guts, no obtrusive soundtrack, no deafening sound effects) but, sadly, easily forgettable.
Formulaic B-movie horror flick about a group of 20-somethings that venture into the Australian wilderness with their anthropologist friend, Dace (played the very buff and very sexy Wil Traval), to study an ancient cave painting. It’s paced well and it’s not too long into the movie that Chad’s free-spirited girlfriend, Mel, begins a horrific transformation into a frenzied predator that stalks them one by one.
For the gorehounds, there are rocks bashing heads in, teeth falling out, flesh ripping, cannibalism, and much more. Veteran horror fans, it’s nothing you haven’t witnessed before. The film borders on cheesy but, I have to be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie until the last 20 minutes or so, when the special effects department decided to throw in some hokey CGI and a bizarre attempted impregnation scene between Anja and a seven foot cave-dwelling slug.
Primal isn’t so much scary as it is intense. There are quite a few white knuckle moments, as well as a couple of holy shit, what the hell was that scenes that will stun and amuse you. It’s almost devoid of gratuitous nudity since Mel’s transformation from cute blond chick to ravenous killer with three inch fangs happens fairly quickly (sorry, men).
Definitely not recommended to the squeamish type or the casual viewer. If you liked movies like Cabin Fever and The Ruins, you may get a kick out of this return to Ozploitation from writer/director, Josh Reed.
Amusement is one that I’ve had on my list for quite some time, mostly because of the scary ass clown on the cover. Like 99.9% of the cover art done for modern day movies, it’s greatly misleading. There is one semi-intense scene that will provoke your coulrophobia and it was only included, I suspect, as an excuse to create an enticing DVD spread for horror fans.
Starting off with the plot, this movie doesn’t have one, at least not a coherent one or one that makes an iota of sense. The film is a mish mash of discombobulated scenarios consisting of a maniac stalking three young women because they they didn’t find his mutilated-rat-in-a-box particularly funny or entertaining a decade earlier. Talk about holding a grudge. A dumb one.
Visually, the movie works. I mean, really works. So does the acting, surprisingly. All of the violence is done off-camera. This isn’t a slasher, torture porn (although, with different direction, it could have easily ventured into that territory), or even a mystery/suspense. It was originally slated for theatrical release until the distributor sent it packing straight-to-video after viewing it and it’s no brainteaser why. Despite above-par acting and some pretty kick ass locations and sets, Amusement is dragged down by a muddled script, zero scares, and a cookie-cutter villain. It’s not even so bad, it’s funny.