Blindspot 2017: Seven (1995)

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Plot: Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi.

Rating: 8.5/10

Set in a dark and dreary city, homicide detectives Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt must investigate what is turning into a serial killer’s mad spree through town, emulating the 7 deadly sins in the most horrific of ways. Detective Freeman is retiring and after years of witnessing the horrors a decaying city can provide, he’s not too keen about taking up another job. But he somehow can’t pull away – he’s forced to worked with the new young detective and solve this last crime.

I enjoyed how dark and dreary the city was. The constant torrential downpour makes England look like a sunny palace. It’s so heavy, and combined with the decay of the city a sense of hopelessness lies in the air.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s character is a sharp contrast to the city. She’s everything the city isn’t – fresh and sweet and kind. I really liked her, how she balanced her husband out and wasn’t everywhere in the story and somehow remained so important in it.

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A thing that stands out sharply is the difference between the two detectives. Both are good men but so much difference in character. The younger detective is impulsive, perhaps because of his age. He’s by no means unintelligent but is far less cerebral than his older counterpart, who is often reflective and studies the crime and reasoning behind it well. The dynamic between the detectives shift – initially Freeman is cold shouldering his colleague (I think mostly due to impending retirement) but he begins to warm to Pitt with the case developing.

What is it about Kevin Spacey that he is so well capable to play such derange characters? It is creepy. He is creepy. So calm with an underlying menace. Madness coated in quiet demeanor. That flat of his. His belief in his work. A subtle creep. Sheesh.

How intense was the ending?! Edge of your seat business. John Doe concocted everything to make his plan infallible. I was horrified and entertained, because sheesh, what a nail biter.

Serial killers always have this dark glamour about them. It is wrong, but I have been interested in their mind games for years now – how they justify, what motivates them and how carefully they pick their victims. Seven is a film that follows one such killer in his demented ways in the best method I’ve ever seen. The film is backed by solid performances, directing, score and story to bring a thriller that will remain with you well after the end.

If you are looking for a film that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy, Seven is definitely NOT for you. It is scary and gross and relentless and keeps you nailed to your seat, but come prepared because scary man. Scary.

 

Blindspot 2017: Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

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Plot: Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won’t lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.

Rating: 7.5/10

My venture into the horror / thriller continues, this time with The Nightmare on Elm Street. It is yet another film that I was sure would be so icky and scary that I would just puke and / or cry throughout. And guess who didn’t?! ME!

I quite liked it, but for the horror movies I watched I certainly liked Scream the most. However, this was still quite good, in a perfectly 1984 fashion – the acting, outfits, hair and makeup are so bad. That pink knitted pullover? WHY? The mother had some really interesting makeup as well. I loved seeing Johnny Depp so extremely young. Back then he was quite good looking (he has now progressed to creepy and a bad looking wife beater). I thought Freddy was quite dramatic with his crazy claws and how he put them on. I wanted to yell at them just to go Sam and Dean Winchester on his ass and burn the claw, because we all know that he would immediately perish. Pfft. I thought the movie was cleverly laid out and designed, and even sleep specialists bought in to address what Nancy Thompson went through. Heather Langenkamp was a great heroine – no crazy antics and she decided to fight back pretty quickly.

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I don’t have too much else to say this – I really watched quite a lot of movies in a short time and had no brain cells that instructed me to quite write down an opinion on it at the time. I can tell you that as for the horror genre I am really enjoying Wes Craven’s work – it is witty and well thought out and creative. The Nightmare on Elm Street is definitely worth the time to watch, and rather short too, which is always a great thing in my book!

Movie Review: The Final Girls (2015)

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Plot: A young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, finds herself pulled into the world of her mom’s most famous movie. Reunited, the women must fight off the film’s maniacal killer.

Rating: 7/10

What I liked about this movie:

The fun they had – it is pretty obvious these kids were having a blast.

The mocking undertones.

Malin Ackerman – I really do enjoy her and it was good seeing her. She’s not the sturdiest actress, but she’s able to handle these light roles with aplomb.

Nina Dobrev is in fine form as the perky bitch. She is also one of the most beautiful young women in Hollywood, and even if she wasn’t, she definitely has a level of talent worth taking notice of. It is good to see that she’s not just dropping off the grid after her risky departure from Vampire Diaries.

I’ve never really seen Taissa Farmiga outside the one time I watched an American Horror Story episode, but she was great and took to the lead with gusto.

That young blonde eye candy guy was also pretty cute,  but I did feel like a pedo bear thinking he’s cute.The Hilarity

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I wish the guy who was so enthusiastic about Horror films did not die as quickly (or whatever). Had a lot of fun with him on screen.

I realize how uninspired this review sounds, but please know that I did enjoy it!

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Movie Review: Jennifer’s Body (2009)

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Plot: A newly possessed high school cheerleader turns into a succubus who specializes in killing her male classmates. Can her best friend put an end to the horror?

Rating: 5/10

What is this movie supposed to be? A thriller? A PG porno? A Horror? I have NO idea but it didn’t work. I am such a scaredy cat and I wasn’t even a bit afraid of this. The only semi interesting moment was when they showed Megan Fox’s fangs. That is all. Amanda Seyfried is deliberately uglied up and that’s a shame because she is gorgeous. Her boyfriend in the movie seems way too young for her and his Justin Bieber hair irritated the shit out of me. Adam Brody plays the evil Satanist and while he did that decently well it wasn’t really explained either. The movie is mostly about how hot Megan Fox is, and while I definitely agree that she is quite hot, I generally need more to a movie to keep me entertained!

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Movie Review: The Shining (1980)

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Plot:  A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future. (via IMDb)

We chose to watch it as our Halloween night event and I wanted to leave as soon as I saw it was a Stephen King adaption, because let’s face it no one makes you shit in your pants better than the King. I was told to stay put, and being the obliging person that I am I sat down to watch not so quietly. The movie was damn terrifying because it was so well directed. So little happens in the beginning and the slowly building tension works really well. Jack Nicholson is everything in here. This expression of him still freaks me out:

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A good horror movie should have (just some ideas I have about it)

A good villain: CHECK. Nicholson was everything in here, and he made the movie so thrilling by his madness. He went from a vaguely selfish and irresponsible father to a maniac in a heartbeat.

Freaky as fuck kids: TRIPLE check. Those girls, the young boy and his “imaginary friend” were all just too creepy.

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A story that makes little sense: Yes again. I thought the plot had a few holes in that could have been filled with necessary explanations. The whole room 237 story wasn’t really made clear why little satan boy (we named him this) got strangled and why Nicholson ended up kissing a mouldy, it just happened. Was this where the original murder took place?

Things I didn’t like

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The lead female actress! She was so useless. WHO swings a baseball bat like that when confronted with a psychopathic killer? The running around with the knife irritated me endlessly and reminded me of this one girl I know that would do the exact same thing in that situation.

Those freaky girls could have been much freakier. I mean, I wanted to jump when I saw them and yet they were underused.

The term “Shining”wasn’t really explained. Are they all people with imaginary friends or are they people who can read minds or are they all people who can see into the future? #makesnosense

Things I did like:

It wasn’t gory and it was terrifying. They didn’t have to use guts to get your attention; the story was interesting enough to keep you watching.

The setting: It is beautiful and remote and you can see why people would get Cabin Fever and start slashing at each other.

Jack Nicholson, as previously mentioned. He was SUPERB. He has always had this mobile face but I’ve really only seen him in later roles where he is older, but he was great as a young man too.

How polite they all are. People were just so polite back then. Now people confuse being polite with being a flirt, but it is nice to know that only 20 years back people were allowed to be nice and complimentary all the time (maybe the other people weren’t so stupid then)

You jump even when you know they are deliberately trying to make you jump. My one friend jumped out of his skin when this happened:

Recommendation: If you like being scared, go for it!!

 PS: If you want to read the deranged theory that The Shining and Frozen are the same movie, go look here

Halloween Week: Woman In Black

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Plot: A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals (via IMDb)

Scare O’Meter: 3 scares out of 5

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Oh em ghee! Look, I am a scaredy cat. I won’t even deny it. Give me violence, I can deal with that shizz, give me terrorism, I will be endlessly fascinated. Give me a serial killer, I will be hooked. Give me a nice little psychological horror? I will hide under my blankets yelling for my mama.

I was impressed with the directing. The movie was shot in such clear, contrasting lines, it reminded me somewhat of a Hitchcock film (I am sorry if I do offend by that statement, but the dramatic contrasts and sharp lines reminded me terribly of Suspicion). The way this movie was directed made it more eery at the end of the day.

Daniel Radcliff never really impressed me with his portrayal of his iconic Potter roles, but I really enjoyed him in here. He manages to be distressed and determined at the same time, and shows with a film like this he can carve a name out for himself in the current entertainment industry.

The scariest of the film all came from obvious tricks that managed to make you jump even when you knew what was going down. I had some seriously Dafuq moments with those creepy as fuck dolls, and then Arthur goes and willingly winds them up on his own at one stage?!?!

I thought Ciaran Hinds was Stephen Fry who had  losta LOT of weight. My bad. I always enjoy both actors and thought he was handling his grief in this movie way better than his loony wife, who also freaked me out at one stage quite spectacularly.

Tips to surviving when visiting a freaky English town:

Don’t go to Freaky English Town (FET).

If you are at a FET, don’t go into spooky old mansions. Ain’tnobody got time for that.

If the villagers tell you to LEAVE, you LEAVE.

Don’t invite your son on a working trip, basic knowledge.

Don’t wind up freaky old school dolls that look like it had a demonic encounter sometime in the last five hundred years.

Don’t try and fix things, just leave.

Here are some (patented) clips of me and Zoë discussing this movie while I was watching. Enjoy!

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(notice how my typos increase as the movie continues… I promise that is not how I usually spell!)

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PS:  I am referring to Ciarian Hinds, mistakenly seen as Stephen Fry (anyone could have done that!)4

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Okay, there you have it! A look into the (slightly hysterical) conversations Zoë and I had about this. Hope you enjoyed and happiest of Halloweens!

Movie Review: Carrie (2013)

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Based on the Stephen King novel, Carrie tells the story about a seventeen year old girl, Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) who lives with her very scary religious fantasist of a mother (played excellently by Julianne Moore).

Carrie is removed from society, shunned on the basis of the rules her mother enforces on her. She has no friends, wears clothes that don’t fit into modern society, and has no clue to what it even feels like to be normal. She doesn’t want this, but it is hard to rebel against a mother who locks you in a small closet for hours if you disobey her.

Carrie’s miserable life becomes worse when she gets her first period after gym class in the showers. The teenage girls lose their heads and follow the orders of Chris (Portia Doubleday), the school bully, and starts throwing Carrie with tampons. The coach (Judy Greer) shows up and help Carrie recover some dignity and modesty, and no one notices the one light explode in the showers, or no one thinks much of it.

Carrie is punished by her mother for having her first period and spends some time in the closet, and when the door gets a crack in Carrie seems to become aware that she has some form of magic ability, and the following day she starts researching what it might be, trying to ignore the ridiculing she is subjected to.

Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde), one of the tampon throwers is feeling horrible about herself. She doesn’t know what came over her, because she really isn’t such a bad girl. Coach punishes the girls by giving them rigorous training as punishment, and everyone but Chris does it, and when she yells at the girls to side with her, not even Sue does it because they know how wrong they were. Chris is expelled from school and banned from Prom, and vows revenge on everyone, including Carrie.

Sue is still feeling horrible about what she did and decides that Carrie deserves one normal, happy night, to go to prom with a handsome guy. Sue convinces her boyfriend Tommy (Anse lElgort) to take Carrie, and he is reluctant, but agrees to do so because Sue is beating herself up horribly about it. Tommy asks and Carrie naturally thinks it is a trap, but she is convinced eventually by Tommy that his offer is sincere.

Back at home, Carrie’s mom freaks out, sure that Tommy wants to defile her daughter. Carrie’s powers has now progressed immensely, and through her telekinesis she starts controlling her mother, and says that she will go to prom.

Prom night arrives, with Chris planning revenge, and Carrie unaware of it. Will Carrie be able to survive yet another embarrassment at school? What will she do to Chris when she is thrown with pig’s blood? Is Carrie, already unstable, capable of controlling her powers under such strain?

Rating: 7/10

I watched this movie to see how the adaption went since I read the iconic King novel sometime last year. I thought that it was rather decently done, and although there were some minor details that were changed, it didn’t deduct from the whole story.

I really pitied Carrie. This girl had so much against her, and that particular horror in the shower would have cracked any girl. She had no support at home and her mother was a lunatic, and she had no friends to even help her. Her eventual revenge on the school felt like justice and especially on Chris – who might just make it into the famed hall of asses of all time. Moretz did well as Carrie and I think it might be the first time where she didn’t irritate me senseless. I didn’t catch anything of her characteristic snottiness in this movie and she seemed genuinely unstable as Carrie is supposed to be.

I do think that Chris could have been better developed. The movie didn’t really show how awful, cruel and spoiled she is. Also, I thought the movie Sue Snell was better than the book version – she is somewhat condescendingly written I’ve perceived.

Ansel Elgort is really a very cute guy deservedly on the rise. He was perfect as Tommy – capturing the high school popular jock who isn’t a bad kid (a bit of a moron, but not bad) and on the way to becoming a good man.

Recommendation: not too much guts and gore to put you off bacon for weeks, so you can watch it for some horror street cred.