Thursday, 14 June 2018

Review: It Follows (2014/2015)

Image result for it followsStars: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist

Budget: $2million


Directed By: David Robert Mitchell

It follows release dates are like this as the film was released in the Cannes film festival in 2014 then had a major full commercial release in 2015.

A play on sexual transmitted diseases which are still a big problem in our day and age, this film follows the dangers of unprotected sex by passing something deadly on. Instead of a harmless yeast infection or life threatening immunodeficiency disease though, this happens to be a supernatural entity that follows you to the ends of the earth through any obstacles just to kill you for knocking boots.

featuring some class acting and a very original story-line this movie certainly deserves most of the praise it received. I mean certain internet sites have explained how you could evade this entity. its still scary to think that this thing (whatever it is, it's never properly explained) can just keep coming for you despite how many shut doors and distance you put between yourself and it. It's also funny how many people have put up ways you could avoid this monster or even stop it, see it's not super fast or really really strong either it just keeps walking after you forever until it catches you.

So after a seemingly okay date with a boy called Hugh, Jaime is a bit surprised when he seems to get antsy in the cinema/theater over a girl she says she can't see. Despite that they go on a second date but Hugh ends up chloroforming her after they have sex in his car. He explains to her while she's tied to wheelchair that now they've had sex an entity only she can see will pursue her forever until it kills her, it was the only way to stop it killing him (though after it's killed her it'll then go back to being after him) Hugh drives Jay home after they see a weird naked woman and then rapidly leaves
.
When she goes to the police the next day she finds out Hugh wasn't really Hugh and was living under a false identity. With no leads on where he went or who the woman is Jay goes back to school distraught, she see's an old woman walking towards her that no one else can see. Despite it all sounding bonkers Jay's older sister and some friends agree to help her avoid this entity.
Despite this the thing nearly ends up killing her as she's the only one who can see it, it ends up following one the friends in. Jay flees and they all end up at a playground.

Trying to work out what to do they go to Gregg their neighbor who helps them find out where and who Hugh really is. His real name is Jeff and they trace him back to his real address. When they catch up with him he's surprised but explains that he was duped pretty much the same way after a one night stand, he explains that she can pass it on the same way. Either that or just keep trying to outrun it forever, Greg offers they go his nearby family lake house.
There Greg teaches Jay to shoot a gun, unfortunately the thing arrives again and starts attacking them all. Jay shoots it and then escapes in Greg's car only to crash it slightly down the road and pass out. Awaking in hospital with a broken arm.

Strangely Greg has sex with Jay at the hospital, being that he doesn't really believe in the entity still. Later it takes on Greg's form and enters his house Jay see's this and tries to ring him to warn him, unfortunately the entity attacks Greg in the guise of his own mother in a disturbingly sexy way. Jay flees to the beach and while there see's 3 men out on a boat, we see her undress and walk into the water. Implying that she's going to have sex with them. Paul one her friend also offers to have sex with her but she refuses him.
They do try to come up with a plan to kill the entity. Using herself as bait Jay intend to stand in a pool waiting for it to come after her then drop a load of electrical devices into the pool hopefully frying it. I'm not going to say how it goes as it's near the end of the movie, one thing i will say is that Jay does end sleeping with Paul too.

Overall this isn't a bad movie and there's been talks about a sequel for quite a while too, as a stand alone film it works and if done right i'd like to see more of this monster is and where it came from and why, although there's the old trope of knowing to much can spoil it. Lets just leave this at an interesting story on the dangers of STD's. THN awards IT Follows 3 stars out of 5


Monday, 4 June 2018

THN Top 5: Brains for Lunch

One of the things that seriously grosses me out in horror films, or pretty much any film that includes it is the eating of brains. Zombie chow, cannibal, alien food. If it involves your brain being main course it is certainly cringe worthy for me.
Why? Because it's the thought of you being alive while it happens that's icks me out so much. You can feel bits of you just vanishing as your precious grey organ of life is slowly, or rapidly munched away. So without further ado let's get on with my top 5 brain munched moments. Beware for spoilers for Bad Taste, Hannibal, RotLD 2 and starship troopers.

5. Bad Taste:
This is pretty much an honourable mention as its no longer a cringe for me but it was when I was younger. Having had half his head sliced off we see an alien has become a snack for one of his former comrades. Digging in a spoon like he's eating a tub of ice-cream.

4. Bad Taste Again:
Unlike the last one still makes me a little bit eew depending what mood I'm in. Having taken a dive off a cliff and presumed dead, Derrick miraculously survives but not without now having a skull flap in the back of his head that routinely opens to allow bits of his brain to fall out willy nilly. Permanently losing some later on he replaces bits with some of the aliens brains he butchers! Not really eating but he does a good sniff like his going to take a bite!

3. Return of the Living Dead pt2:
After she is saved (well until they're nuked) in the first film Thom Mathews girlfriend in the second film (in another comedic retelling of the duo) manages to escape his clutches a number of times. Only to eventually give up and let him chow down on her 'spicey' brains, complete with crunching apple like noises!

2. Hannibal:
This almost made number 1 spot when Clarisse catches up to cannibal Lecter he has trapped another agent in a chair. Having amazing knowledge of how to dissect a human from years of practice etc, he has removed the top of the guys head. He's still alive but a bit of a vegetable at this point. He then proceeds to remove parts of the guys brain cook them up while the guy says 'something smells nice' to top it all off later he's on a plane and some kid next to him asks what he's eating, he offers the kid some!

1. Starship Troopers:
You know it I mention it a lot, it's the brain bug, it's the guy having his brain sucked out through a proverbial straw, enough said I think. CRINGE!!!!!

Thursday, 24 May 2018

THN News: Everything we know so far about IT Chapter 2

Most of the cast has been finalised now, some of them not what i expected or what i would have preferred. but considering how good part 1 was I trust in them to make a good part 2. unlike most films the part 2 of this book even in the old Tim Curry version was just as if not stronger than the first part. First off then lets look at the cast.
So lets jump 27 years into the future and see who is cast as who!


                                                      Bill Skarsgard:
Returns as the evil clown Pennywise, did a great job in the first part, i believe in him to pull off a great second part and scare the adults just as well as he did in the original.

Image result for bill skarsgård





Jessica Chastain:
Wasn't my first choice as an adult Beverly, I think Amy Adams would have been better in this role but who am i to go against real casting people! I hope she can pull off the love triangle well, as well as the hate that still festers for her father. I'm not a fan of her acting but only time will tell
Image result for jessica chastain



James Ransone:
Not really sure who this guy is, opnly joking, he stars in sinister 1 and 2 though not a massive fan of his work either he plays an older Eddie Kaspbrack.
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James McAvoy:
This popular actor from everything from Xmen to wanted is playing an older Bill Denbrough, McAvoy has yet incredibly disappoint me in any role I've seen him in.

Image result for james mcavoy


Jay Ryan:
Is an australian actor who has mostly been in series things, a relatively unknown has been recently cast as Ben Hanscom

Image result for jay ryan




Bill Hader:
Stand up comedian, popular voice actor and seemingly good choice to play an aged Richie Tozier, who is a joker in his older life. Good casting here I think.
Image result for bill hader




Andy Bean:
The most tragic of the losers club Andy has been cast as Stanley Uris, Andy is another one that's a relatively unknown though we know its not a big part for the older Stanley we should see if he can the fear off well in the scenes he does have.
Image result for andy bean




Of course some if not all of the child actors will return for some flashbacks during the second chapter. Finn Wolfhard etc, with a slated release date of 2019 we wonder how old these kids would look by then, though i'm sure Finn will still be pumping out stranger things too!
All in all i'm looking forwards to this despite some of my casting woes if the first chapter managed to draw me in that well i trust the second will do just as good what are your thoughts?

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Short Film Review: Family Game Night (2018)

Director: Nicholas Ferwerda

Budget: $4000

Stars: Meredith Heinrich, Brad Linton

I was contacted like I usually am through twitter if I would like to watch a short film, Nicholas intends for this to show case his comedy horror skills for a feature they are working on this summer. Nick was a very agreeable person who has made this amusing and satirical short with a little twist.
It's very rare these days that families spend any time together what with social media, phones, Ipads and many other reasons to not spend time around the dinner table.

This short manages to bring together a family for a very specific reason, family game night, what this entails is slowly and amusingly revealed once the families daughter brings home a homeless man. Also despite this being family game night the son is still trying to sneak in the use of his phone, amusing berated by his father every time.

it quickly takes a turn for the odd when us as the viewers realise FGN is something a little more sinister than we first realised. I mean when do families these days look forwards to doing something together as much as these are?
The trick is realised when the homeless guy sinks his kindly offered glass of 86 red wine. Game night is apparently family sacrificial night, aaw how nice is it that satanic worship can bring a family so close together!!

It is going to be played in the Toronto Indie Horror Festival in late August. This had some fantastic scripting and genuinely funny moments that brought a smirk to my face many times in this 11 minute short. The acting was fantastic and the fathers creepy facial expressions should have warned anyone else other than an oblivious homeless guy that something wasn't quite right!!
Remember let your family come together for at least one night a year and enjoy your Family Game Night!!!

THN gives this a strong 4/5, can't wait to see more work by this talented Director.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Review: The Asphyx (1973)

Image result for the asphyx full movieStars: Robert Stephens, Robert Powell

Budget: Unknown

Directed by: Peter Newbrook

You ever watch a film that shits you up so much you stop watching it?
The Asphyx is one of those films, well one of only 2 movies that I've had to do that with in my entire life.
I was young though again to young to properly understand the film and just got terrified of the screaming ghost stuff that was going on, lol.

Made in 1973 it has great effects for its time but there's a problem with modern day releases. The american version is an inferior 35mm copy but longer. The UK version is shorter but a much better quality print. I've seen the most recent version that splices some of the inferior scenes back into the UK version.
It is a noticeable jump between the scenes when this happens.

The time is Victorian England Sir Hugo is part of a duo with Giles who are interested in death, ghosts and the afterlife. They come across a discovery that a photo taken at the right time of death will reveal a strange blurry shadow escaping from the body.
They believe it's the soul leaving the body, though Hugo is a tad skeptical over all of this. Later while he using a very early form of a camera to record family movies his wife and son unfortunately meet their demise to drowning in a boating accident.
Re-watching the film over he realizes that the dark blur is actually moving towards the target at the moment of death rather than leaving away. This is apparently from old Greek mythology a creature named the 'Asphyx' further research into this leads them to using a machine they built with phosphor stones and filming a man being hung for crimes and witnessing the same phenomena.

Later watching the film back they realize the beam caught the asphyx in it before it shorted out the men come to the conclusion that a persons asphyx my well indeed be caught or trapped possibly preventing their death.
they use newer equipment to successfully capture a guinea pigs asphyx, Hugo asks Giles to perform the experiment on him. He gets a great vault built so once he has trapped his asphyx he can seal it away so no one can ever free it once it's caught.
He uses an electric chair to kill himself, except slowly so Giles has sufficient time to capture his asphyx. Giles however needs help as it's a two man job and he gets his fiance to help out with capturing Hugo's. He offers them his blessing to get married if she does help out with the experiment, she agrees despite being horrified by the whole ensemble.

Christina ends up getting killed through a very bad sequence of events that lead up to them attempting to capture her asphyx. Hugo blames himself and insists on freeing his asphyx so he can actually die, Giles agrees so long as Hugo makes him immortal first.
Hugo doesn't know that Giles is tricking him and has removed the phosphor stones from the lamp so he can die when Hugo tries the experiment. Hugo realizes and tries to reverse the gasing of Giles but Giles manages to light a match and kills himself also destroying the equipment.

I'll leave it there as this is a decent enough film to warrant at least one watching especially if you are fan of old hammer horror stuff THN awards The Asphyx 3 out of 5 stars.


Friday, 4 May 2018

The Rain (2018 Netflix series)

Stars: Iben Hjejle, Alba August

Image result for netflix series the rain

This Danish made Scandinavian show is set to break records for non English speaking series even more than other recent programs from Japan or other areas that are breaking out with amazing must watch programming.

It's started on Netflix today and is around 35-45 minutes per episode. It is Scandinavian spoken so will unfortunately require you to read English subtitles.
If your anything like me though if a program or film that is subtitled is good enough your often find yourself watching and understanding what's going on despite the language barriers (often forgetting to read the subs anyway).
Image result for netflix series the rain
It's set in a dystopian future where the rain carried a deadly virus that wiped out most of humanity six years previously.
Simone and Rasmus a brother and sister leave their underground bunker in search of remnants of humanity.
I have only watched on episode myself so far but I'm hooked. It is apparently going to deal with everything from coming of age to love and other emotions, mixed with how a world with no moral or social barriers will effect how we go about those feelings.
I strongly erge anyone who doesn't mind subtitles to give this a go!

Review : Hungerford (2014)

Image result for hungerford movieStars: Drew Casson, Georgia Bradley

Budget: £20,000

Directed By: Drew Casson

Well well I like to be good to low budget b-moviesb but this movie has some flaws I absolutely hated i'm sorry to others it might seem petty but these heavily detracted from my viewing pleasure.
Right first off I've NEVER been a big fan of 'found footage' films. The janky way of filming just grinds on me but if the film is good enough to make me forget or see past that it's always a bonus.
This film tries out things filming wise to cheaply achieve some of their effects and I appreciate that, they're trying something new but when it detracts not only from the viewing pleasure but also understanding of whats going on in film that's never a good thing.

The fuzzing and distortion whenever one of these creatures is near is very annoying, (also is never really explained why it does this either) with the already (to me) shitty nature of found footage filming makes this film at times a little hard to follow.
Which is annoying because I like to think of myself as at least moderately intelligent. So when a film loses ME on the plot midway through I think it's damn near going to confuse the hell or lose the interest of a lot of people.

So that's the filming gripes out of the way, now onto the acting, it was very by the numbers and very over acted like the actor being overly enthusiastic over a crumb (not literally a crumb just an over exaggeration of a point) though as the film goes on this does dumb down slightly.
Now for the plus points, made for an amazingly small budget in British pounds, this £20k would not have gone far trust me. On that budget this film does have some mighty impressive effects for it's buck. Good blood and shooting effects as well as the anomalies in the sky.

So lets get on with the film. Cowen a film student of sorts decides to film his life for a week or so after waking up from a night on booze. we are later shown some kind of rocking explosion from the inside of their flat. When they go out and see whats going on they see some kind of weird storm going on throwing out random guff. An out of breath cop shows up, who they all happen to know explaining radios, phones etc are all knocked out of action.
A council man of some kind also stops the officer to see whats going on and exclaims that a nearby empty factory has been hit by lightning. Slowly but surely people start acting weird and getting violent all over town, after a botched party where one of the friends gets accused of drugging someone who has a fit they all leave for home.
When they get back they are attacked unable to stop the attacker until they spray him with deodorant (a plot that is quickly lost as well as inconsistent throughout the film) this kills the guy.

Now here's a another niggle I have with this plot, as explained in the brackets above. The deodorant thing seems to kill some people, or make the bug spring from their neck, though neither really matter all that much because by the end of the film they are just shooting people dead anyway.
So yes the cause the attacks and people getting angry are some kind of burrowing alien bug that controls you by going into your neck.
They seem far to big for this but meh film logic. Soon loads of people are infected and they try to escape multiple times only to have something go wrong. Car crashes, finding other people, getting caught the think it, it happens to this group.

Like i said i kind of lost the plot when the cop shows up and they try to escape, i picked it up quite quickly but its a bit of a cluster fuck of an ending especially when sometimes you don't know whose left alive at certain points too. They all get captured near the end but are saved by some military types, after seeing some kind of humanoid kind of alien in the dark.

I haven't totally spoiled the ending as it seems pointless and just sets up a sequel, which yes they have indeed made and yes I will endure to see if it's any improvement on this mess. THN awards Hungerford a paltry 1 out of 5 stars.