Some of you may realise I haven’t posted anything here in a while. To cut a long story short, I’m hoping to revive this site and keep it ticking over with new reviews. I say reviews, they’re more like brief thoughts on movies you may or may not have heard about, or at the very least they might offer you a little something different to the usual Hollywood blockbusters. They won’t always be good films that I showcase here, but hopefully there’ll be something to tempt you. I’d love to chat about any of these movies if you’ve seen them, or if I’ve at all piqued your interest, or even if you just want to know where the hell I’ve been for six months, please just sound off in the comments section below.
Two best friends see their trip of a lifetime take a dark turn when one of them is struck by a mysterious affliction. Now, in a foreign land, they race to uncover the source before it consumes him completely.
Written/Directed by & starring Derek Lee and Clif Prowse who play themselves, Afflicted is easily one of the best horror movies I’ve seen. It’s supposed to be low-budget, using hand-held cameras as the actors film themselves throughout, and this would normally equal a terrible end product. But wow, not only does the shaky-cam technique not irritate at all, it actually makes sense for a change why they would be filming. The fact that it looks so good helps too. I can’t go into the story too much as it would spoil the surprise, but I can say that we see these guys go on one hell of a messed up journey, and I just wish I could see this film for the first time again. It’s dark, bloody, scary, full of tension and shines a whole new light of a certain type of genre. If this is just their debut piece, I can’t wait to see what they cook up next. Honestly folks, I simply cannot recommend Afflicted highly enough.
An urban couple go camping in the woods and find themselves lost in the territory of a predatory black bear.
The first of todays bear-themed movie reviews focuses on a young couple Alex (Jeff Roop) & Jenn (Missy Peregrym) who go camping in the Canadian wilderness. Aside from a brief encounter with Brad (Eric Balfour), this film mainly follows the couple as they end up fighting for their lives against a relentless black bear.
Director Adam MacDonald shares that his inspiration for the film came from some of the bear attacks he had read about, and that inspired him to make a kind of ‘Open Water in the woods’ movie. I’d say he has accomplished this. Backcountry is great, I really bought the relationship between our two leads, and I’ve been a big fan of Missy Peregrym since watching her in Reaper a few years ago. It all looked so beautiful and well shot, and of course the most important part of a movie like this is what the bears and bear attacks look like. Backcountry nails that, it all blends together so well. It’s not gory as such, although it has a couple of brutal moments. The effects team did fantastic work here. If you like your movies tense and thrilling you have to give this a shot. Certainly a better bear movie than the one below…….
Grizzly aka Red Machine (2014)
Two estranged brothers reunite at their childhood home in the Alaskan wild. They set out on a two-day hike and are stalked by an unrelenting grizzly bear.
I’ve been excitedly checking the progress and looking forward to seeing Grizzly for a long time. Directed by David Hackl who worked on the SAW movies, and with an impressive cast list; James Marsden, Thomas Jane, Piper Perabo, Billy Bob Thornton…… it seemed like this was going to be great fun. Sadly all the delays and lack of proper release normally mean bad things, and I have to admit this film is overshadowed in every department by Backcountry. I was really disappointed, there were a few good parts but little things kept bugging me with this. Why did Piper Perabo’s character need to be deaf? Not that it’s a problem of course, except she was a nature lover so would go out into the woods on her own….. which obviously sets up the danger element. Just felt out of place, the threat would of been relevant whether she was deaf or not. Its a massive bear. Why not cast a deaf actor? I’m rambling. Then we had characters who would turn up then never be seen again when they seemed quite important to the progression of the story. Why was everyone such a poor shot? And the end just seemed like they’d run out of ideas. Sorry to say that this didn’t do a lot for me.
A psychopathic Japanese executive accidentally triggers a journalist’s ‘dark side’. They begin to connect over the Internet and make a complicated bond.
Directed by Timo Tjahjanto & Kimo Stamboel (or The Mo Brothers – whose work you may have seen in The ABCs of Death or V/H/S 2) and starring Kazuki Kitamura (Kill Bill, The Raid 2) & Oka Antara (The Raid 2), Killers is right up my street. I’ve been dying to see this, and as soon as the blu ray arrived I told my little girl to just leave me alone and go watch Frozen again for 2 and a bit hours so I could get this watched. Let’s just say I was very happy as it turned out even better than I’d hoped.
Here we have a serial killer who loves what he does and then films it to share with the world, and we have another guy who is very much an accidental killer who finds he enjoys it more than he should. Naturally their worlds collide and we wait for their inevitable meeting.
If you love movies like I Saw The Devil, Oldboy, The Raid (which to be honest everyone should, they are incredible movies!) then you’ll have no complaints with Killers. If I was to be critical it’s not quite as good as those films I mention, but it’s so close. A definite 8/10 easy, pushing a 9. Needless to say it’s bloody and not for the squeamish, but what else would you expect with a name like Killers? Something starring Katherine Heigl & Ashton Kutcher? Come on now, that’ll never happen…….right?
Gareth Evans, who found fame with his Raid films produces this, and maybe it’s thanks to him (his name is all over the posters & artwork) this is even out in the UK. I hope they all continue to work together and I look forward to what they all concoct next.
Time Lapse (2014)
Three friends discover a mysterious machine that takes pictures 24hrs into the future and conspire to use it for personal gain, until disturbing and dangerous images begin to develop.
Sci-Fi, time travel, whatever this movie would be classed as normally isn’t my kind of watch. There’s no horror as such, no real nudity or gore, but there was enough tension just about to keep me entertained until the end. Which, credit where its due, was a clever ending. Any one watching this will probably try to think what they would do with this device, and I’m sure we would all recognise the traits that the characters on show here do. Greed, love, lust, hope……..if you found a device that predicted the future how would you react? I think the three leads here were believable and at least two of them were likeable, although I didn’t really buy the threat that entered their lives a little later on. The most unconvincing gangster I’ve seen would be putting it mildly.
Apparently this comes out in the US next month, but I saw this on UK TV last year and I look forward to seeing what people think of it now more will actually see it. Personally I thought it was a decent film, nothing spectacular but some clever touches in there. I wasn’t aware of any of the cast beforehand, but at least Danielle Panabaker was good to look at so that’s always a plus.
Under The Skin (2013)
A mysterious woman seduces lonely men in the evening hours in Scotland. Events lead her to begin a process of self-discovery.
All I’d ever really heard about this was that it was fantastic, Scarlett Johansson gets naked and skins humans. I figured it sounded like it was worth a watch, but I have to be honest it didn’t quite resonate with me like it seems to have with others. I’ve never really seen Johansson in anything that I came away thinking how amazing she was, plus I don’t really find her attractive to look at (sorry Scarlett if you’re reading this) and again here I just felt nothing towards her. I wasn’t engrossed in her journey, and it just felt so repetitive and ultimately un-rewarding. Plus it’s all filmed in Scotland so it was tricky to know what the hell people were saying, since a lot of it was supposedly filmed with hidden cameras in order to get real reactions. I’d rather just watch Impractical Jokers.
Director Jonathan Glazer likes to take his time choosing his projects it seems, but back in 2000 he gave the world one of my all time favourites Sexy Beast. Sadly for me Under The Skin doesn’t even come close to being as good. It’s slow, nothing really seems to happen, and nothing is explained or fleshed out. To some people that’s probably my fault for not reading enough into it. I would say its a little shallow and pretentious. I’ve had more fun reading other people’s reviews and theories than I did watching the film. Maybe a little above my head this one. The scene on the beach was heartbreaking though I have to admit.
Hottest girls from this months movies: