THE THING (1982)

The Thing

ALRIGHT TIME TO TALK ABOUT MY FAVORITE HORROR FILM. The only other two that come close to this are Alien and The Evil Dead. With that said you can assume I’m going to give this a awesome rating. But if you want to hear more of my opinion feel free to read on!

So The Thing is about a research team in Antarctica that find a life-form that can intimate other life forms perfectly. Sounds like a good time right?

Wrong. This thing will eat you in the most disgusting way possible.

The reason this movie is such a cult hit isn’t for jump scares, or crazy cgi scares, like even the practical effects have seen better days(although in all honesty, I still love them), but this film succeeds because of it’s atmosphere and the paranoia that ensues.

No one has any idea who or what this thing is and you’re constantly wondering who is the thing. The whole movie you’re just trying to figure it out.

The acting in this movie is great as well, Kurt Russel does the performance of his career here. John Carpenter’s direction really is what knocked this home though. Some of the shots he has here build up the perfect amount of tension before something happens.

I really love the soundtrack to this film too. It’s got these subtle little sounds that just add to the whole creepy factor.

Bottom Line

A+

A must own.

I could keep talking about this film. And I want to but it’s just better if you see it yourself.

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NIGHTCRAWLER

night crawlerPreface: This movie blew me away. Go watch it right now. Go buy it right now. It’s on sale at best buy for 9 dollars on bluray. I’m not joking. Support films like these. There is a lot of trash in theater’s now (cough fantastic four cough) and we could use more original films with memorable characters like these. With that said lets begin.

Nightcrawler tells the story of Louis, a anti social man who seems down on his luck trying to find a job. He seems very ritualistic with his routine and watering his plants. So much so that I have to compare Nightcrawler to American Psycho (which is another film you need to see if you haven’t).He almost is a poor man’s Patrick Bateman. He’s struggling to survive  yet he has a professionalism about him. Through his struggle he finds opportunity in a fad going around town that helps local news channel’s get high viewership. On paper this sounds kind of deterring for a movie but I promise you it gets much more interesting.

Jake Gyllenhal destroyed every single movie he’s performed in lately, ( in a good way), and this is no exception. Quite frankly I didn’t see this as Jake. I saw Louis the character the whole time. This is the bar that should be set for any actor or actress anywhere when they perform a role. As an actor he is just so versatile. I truly hope we see more performances HALF as good as this from him in the future.

The score in the movie really added to the experience for me as well. It had these great build ups and this sense of irony to it. Dark things in the movie were occurring, as Louis isn’t exactly a role model, but you hear these uplifting tones and melody’s. Like this movie wants you to root for the bad guy.

It’s a really interesting take on the media, showing how far people will go to get a story and more importantly what draws us as people into watching the news. Viewership goes up when more violence is present. It’s like a car crash. We want to look away but we never do. This fascination with violence is explored deeply in the film and manipulation is showcased here as well. I think a lot of people will miss the bigger commentary from this film which is sad because it deserves thought.

Bottom line: A+

A must own.

buy this. I cant really say anymore. Its a great story, has great acting and leaves a lasting impact. I’ll be thinking about this film for days.

I will be picking up my copy on friday. I had to rent this the first time around but I should of just bought the thing. Absolutely stunning film.

AS ABOVE SO BELOW

as above

So this film is another found footage flick. *groans* I will say though out of the found footage movies I have seen this one has impressed me the most. Well since the Blair witch project anyway.

The cast isn’t really too noteworthy. I mean they all do a fine job but none of them impressed me. All the characters were generic and followed you’re typical horror cliche’s. The movie had it’s jump scares and explanation of why it’s found footage. Which some of these types of films don’t even establish anymore, so it was nice to see that.

The majority of this film takes place in the catacombs underneath paris. To be honest that is the only reason I gave this film a chance. That sounds like such a cool premise to me. Something about stockpiling remains like that just seems… wrong to me. So it seemed like it would be a good time for that reason alone.

Things go as you would expect, protagonist on a quest to achieve something and won’t let anything, no matter how high the mortality rate, stop them from achieving it.

Eventually we get to the end of the film, and I won’t spoil it for the few of you who probably haven’t seen this (This was a huge film at the box office and I’m super late on this one, but I kind of just review what I want when I want anyway. I’m not specifically trying to keep up with theater’s.) But the end actually isn’t the standard cliche we see in horror flicks now. In fact it was kind of clever. Where As Above so Below just kept me entertained enough to not make me shut the movie off during my viewing, the ending actually physically impressed me. More found footage movies, I wont say all horror movies, but found footage at least, need to take a note of how As above so below gave a conclusion to their film.

Bottom line

C-

good for a found footage film. Although that’s not saying much. Decent cheap rental. I feel like this had so much more potential though. Like if there would have been deeper characters and narrative I would have enjoyed this SOOOOOO much more. I wish Hollywood would of ditched found footage years ago. This film could have been like a horror movie mixed with Indiana Jones. But instead of reaching out and trying to be a treasure like it wants to be it falls in the category of “I’ll buy it if I see it for five dollars somewhere.”

MAGGIE

maggie

So Maggie. This movie came as kind of a surprise to me.  I heard about it from a movie critic name Chris Stuckman. He doesn’t have a review of this and a lot of respected critics have totally ignored this film. I kind of think that is a mistake. Maggie is not a perfect film by any means, but it has a take on the whole zombie apocalypse that is SO refreshing.

The two performances here that are worth note are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigal Bresun. Both actors do a phenomenal job. Surprisingly Arnold pulls of this serious role very well. Talking or not. There are particular scenes where my heart just dropped for the guy. Honestly he was so good in this film I think if anyone else would have done his role I don’t think it would of been so melancholic. The choice his character is faced with here is really shown from the subtle tears that show while he’s gripping his gun like he’s the terminator again.

His daughter played by Abigail Breslin is of note too. I could feel the dread from her as well as her fear and sadness. Think they struck gold with that cast too.

However. The rest of this cast in my opinion was ok at best. Joely Richardson, while doing a fine job didn’t nearly impress me as much as Arny and Abigal. She was just kind of there.

Also the Narrative feels… jumbled? at times. It’s hard to explain. The direction could use some work.  Like its trying to do too much at once. It could learn from the babadook instead of trying to have a romance subplot, by having more focus on Maggie. If you watch it, I wont spoil it here, the little romance sequence felt unnecessary to me. Like it showed how big this problem is but the scenes that really gripped me were with Wade (Arny) and Maggie (Abigail). The Babadook was so good because it had focus on what mattered. The mother and the son. Here Maggie falls short because of it lacking that focus.

SCORE: C+

Overall though this is a decent flick. Its a story worth watching, By the end of it you’re going to feel sad, lets be clear here, this is a modern day tragedy. The story is a very interesting concept and draws some moral questions like, what would you do in Wades position? I highly recommend giving it a rent or buying it on bluray on sale. Arnold can pull off a serious role. And I hope I see one more film with him trying the serious role out.

THE IMITATION GAME

imitationSynopsis: A period drama set during world war 2 and about the mathematician Alan Turing. While it may not sound like a triple A hit with a lot of action this movie left me speechless after.

First off, Benedict Cumberbatch does an incredible performance here. The rest of the cast is fantastic as well. But there is one particular scene near the end that will make your jaw drop. It’s just heart-wrenching.

The Score is pretty good as well. Really added to the scenes where action was taking place. Didn’t blow me away but was very well done.

Some people are debating about the historical accuracy but through my research i think the movie lines up its central conflict with mostly fact. There are some made up things to make it more “entertaining” but I think they just help make the end more impactful.

Highly recommend this movie. I don’t really want to talk about it too much because it should be experienced. I don’t really have any complaints either about the film either. Maybe sometimes the pacing seems off. But other than that it truly is a masterpiece.

Bottom Line: A

A must own

IT FOLLOWS

itfollows

It Follows is not your typical horror film for your typical horror audience. It Follows does not rely on jump scares or false scares to get a cheap adrenaline rush out of you. It’s not a perfect film by any means but it is such a refreshing take on horror, from the constant jump scare filled movies that litter the theaters today and make way more money than they should. This film builds suspense. This is what horror is about. Dread. Much like the babadook– which I will cover at a later date– this film makes you dread every single scene with the creature and with each gallon of suspense they figuratively throw at your face at the end of every scene.

It’s kind of funny in some ways since It Follows, follows standard horror cliches in some ways, yet it doesn’t feel cliche that it follows them. Shots of the movie and how scenes are filmed are familiar and different at the same time.There is a particular scene with Jay in her pool in the backyard that shows her staring at the sky, then cutting to the sky that was very well done.It set almost a calm before the storm feel to it.  With how the movie ends in typical horror fashion, it left me thinking, which now a day is a rarity from the horror genre. I saw this movie at release and recently re-watched and both times, I found myself thinking about the film as a statement rather than just some monster killing some youth who have no idea what they are doing with their lives.

Speaking of kids not knowing what to do with their lives and a murderous monster! This movie seems to reflect a generation. The children of the 90′s are almost grown up now. The first generation to grow up with the internet. The entire movie this group of friends seem lost, wandering, going to school because they are told and with not much thought. It sort of resonates that we see a lot of that in modern youth, drinking, partying, and just wandering until they find some answer for what they are looking for as if magically. There is an inept sexual tension in the film as well. Reflecting how a lot of youth are today. A lot of people compare the monster to AIDS or an STD with how it is transferred and some other aspects about it. I can see the connection but still I see this movie more as a coming of age film in the face of an inevitable tragedy or something on the line.

The acting in this movie was nothing to cry home about but it gave enough believability to suck you in and with the fear of the monster; constantly trying to spot it and wondering when it will show up again and as who, it had me fully entranced both times.

Finally the last note I really want to talk about in this film is the soundtrack. The soundtrack is phenomenal. The sound design is beautiful. The soundtrack compliments every scene and is arguably the best part about the film. I’m not going to go too much more into detail because I don’t want to ruin it, but the soundtrack will get your heart pumping.

BOTTOM LINE:

B+

Great film, A must watch for any fan of classic horror and a different take on being scared. Original concept despite its cliches. Decent Acting, Suberb Score, and Fantastic suspense building.