Wednesday, May 25, 2016

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr. and John Goodman

Homicidal Maniac: Aliens and John Goodman as Howard

Run time: 1:43:00

Quick Synopsis: After a car accident, a woman finds herself locked in a bomb shelter as the world goes to shit or so she has been told by the two men in the shelter with her.

I haven't seen Cloverfield since its release in 2008 and I remember my feelings at the time being that I enjoyed the ride throughout, but was not a huge fan of the reveal of the monster.  This time around I had similar feelings (for mostly different reasons) watching 10 Cloverfield Lane, which J.J. Abrams has described as a relative to the original film.  The first hour plus of the film is extremely well done and entertaining.  John Goodman is brilliant as a creepy and multifaceted antagonist for the the other two characters, who also give solid performance.  The three have great chemistry throughout that helps the audience feel the same terror as the protagonists every time Goodman's character explodes.  Add in the mystery of what exactly is going on outside, though some of that is spoiled by the film's title, and you have a near perfect movie.  

This whole review probably feels like a set-up to a complete bashing of the films ending, but that is not really what I want to do honestly.  There is just something that so silly about it.  The transfer in tone was so massive it takes you out of the film a little bit.  Still its hard for me to say the ending was horrendous.  It did, however, bring down an otherwise amazing awful horror movie.

Fun Fact: The original script for the film was titled "The Cellar" and was in no way connected to Cloverfield (2008).  Bad Robot acquired the rights to the script and made changes to create the connection.

Hidden Gem: The voice of Michelle's boyfriend is played by Bradley Cooper.

Total Kill Count: 2
Emmett- John Gallagher Jr. (1:14:00) Shot in Head Gore Rating: 3
Howard- John Goodman (1:27:00) Falls in Acid/Blown Up Gore Rating: 7

             Horror Film: 8
             Entertainment: 9
             Suspense: 8
             Overall: 8.25

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Gallows (2015)

Starring: Reese Mishler, Pfeifer Brown and Ryan Shoos

Homicidal Maniac: Charlie

Run time: 1:21:00

Quick Synopsis:  Twenty years after a fatal accident during a high school play, the ghost of the victim is back for revenge.

There really aren't too many positives to take away from The Gallows.  I guess you could argue that the opening sequence was done well.  After that, everything goes to shit.  At first I was going to complain how found footage has run its course (which it probably has), but that is not why this movie is awful.  The unnecessary and agitating giggling behind the camera and similarly annoying screaming and shakiness do not help.  However, this movie is no good because the acting is shit and the plot is worse.  There are so many cringe-worthy scenes that don't even have the charm that could lead to some joy due to the awfulness.  You just have to sit there depressed knowing that there is still another 45 minutes left.  Ryan Shoos' character is so aggravating that you will feel obligated to change the channel if you have any form of self respect or dignity. Its pretty ironic how the film about a high school drama class feels like it was performed by one.  The multiple "twists" are confusing.  Not confusing in the frame of the movie, just confusing to think someone thought they were a good idea.  Fortunately for any aspiring filmmaker, the standard for having a movie worthy of being distributed by a major production company has been lowered.  This was a truly demoralizing awful horror movie.  

Fun Fact: The character Cassidy is played by the daughter of Kathy Lee and Frank Gifford.

Hidden Gem: The opening sequence of the film was kept a secret from the people working on the film so they could capture true reactions for the scene, supposedly.

Total Kill Count:
Charlie (02:00) Accidental Hanging Gore Rating: ---
Ryan Shoos- Ryan Shoos (54:00) Hanged Gore Rating: ---
Cassidy- Cassidy Gifford (01:00:00) Hanged Gore Rating: 4
Reese- Reese Mishler (01:12:00) Hanged Gore Rating: ---
Officer Lang- Paris Cluff (01:15:00) Hanged Gore Rating: ---

             Horror Film: 4
             Entertainment: 3
             Gore: 2
             Overall: 3.5