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Movie Reviews: Area 51; It Follows; The Jokesters; Mockingbird

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I feel like I’m forever taking a break from my site, then coming back, making my apologies and trying to stick around, then life gets in the way and before I know it 3 months have passed. I could make excuses, like this time we’ve moved house to the middle of nowhere, and even in this day and age there are places that still can’t get working internet. But aside from that, and the constant DIY whilst trying to work full-time at night and look after my little girl during the day, my wife and I decided that wasn’t enough to keep me busy. So I present to you baby #2, due with us early January 2016……… πŸ™‚

Baby Carter #2 - due January :)

Baby Carter #2 – due January πŸ™‚

Despite all this I have found time to watch some films, and here are my brief ramblings on a few I’ve seen. Hopefully I’ll be back with another installment a little quicker next time and maybe even slightly more in-depth. For now, here’s a little sample to whet your appetite.

It Follows (2014)

it follows movie poster

For nineteen-year-old Jay, Autumn should be about school, boys and week-ends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her friends must find a way to escape the horrors, that seem to be only a few steps behind.

Kicking off with a bang then I want to start with It Follows. As a horror fan, there are countless movies that get hyped as the next big thing, and 99% of the time I personally find myself disappointed. Most recently, The Babadook was getting praise from all angles, and I really didn’t take to it. The other movie people were raving about was It Follows, and I have to admit I’m now part of that group. It Follows was fantastic. A simple premise really, but so effective, and I found I was constantly watching the background of scenes just looking and waiting to see ‘IT‘. Then I finished the movie, go do something trivial like take a shower and think how shit scary that would be if something was constantly on the move towards me trying to kill me. Horror at its finest, playing on our most simple fears. I loved it, and you should go in knowing as little as possible and just enjoy something so unique. Not quiteΒ perfect (the end pool scene didn’t quite work for me) but a film I can’t wait to watch again and again.

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Mockingbird (2014)

mockingbird

A couple are given a camera and a set of instructions which they must follow or else someone will die.

The best thing (and what hooked me in) aboutΒ MockingbirdΒ was the dvd cover. I’m struggling to find anything else to say or recommend about this one I’m afraid. Directed by Bryan Bertino who gave usΒ The Strangers (another I wasn’t keen on), everything positive that could have paid off here was let down by one of the most ludicrous and unexplainable endings I’ve ever seen. If anyone has seen this, and feels like discussing how the hell someone approved this ending, please get in touch. Such a shame, the premise of this sounded intriguing, and whilst we have all seen plot holes in loads of movies, the ones on show here just ruined any creditability and ultimately the movie for me.

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The Jokesters (2015)

jokesters movie poster

The Internet sensation, “Master Pranksters” decide to take it to the extreme for their season finale. When the leader of the group, Ethan, announces that he is getting married and leaving the gang and the pranks behind, the rest of the founding members decide to pull off one final stunt; a “Cabin in the Woods” nightmare on their friend’s honeymoon. What follows is a spiral decent into terror when the prank goes too far and the members of the group actually start dying. The victims and eventually the perpetrator are revealed one by one in this tension filled “found footage” feature film.

The above synopsis was actually submitted to IMDB by one of the lead actors, so not only does it sum up the film perfectly, it’s all you need really as the less you know the better. I’ll give these guys some credit, they tried to give us something clever and for the most part I had a good time with The Jokesters. Sure, a couple of the lead friends were annoying as hell, but this was kind of like Jackass with a few deaths thrown in. Director AJ Wedding tried to pull the rug a few times with nifty twists and turns, some worked, some not so much, and overall the last few minutes pulled me in and I wanted to find out where the story goes from this end point. It appears as though a sequel is already on the cards (although IMDB isn’t always the best source) and if it does happen, I will definitely be watching to see what happens next.

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Area 51 (2015)

area 51 movie poster

Three young conspiracy theorists attempt to uncover the mysteries of Area 51, the government’s secret locationΒ rumouredΒ to have hosted encounters with alien beings. What they find at this hidden facilityΒ exposes unimaginable secrets.

The story goes that this was finished in 2009 and has just sat somewhere until earlier this year when it finally got a limited release. I always found it strange, since this is directed by the guy that gave the world Paranormal Activity. This was his follow-up directorial effort, and I can’t comprehend why they didn’t strike whilst the iron was hot so to speak, and get this out as soon after Paranormal Activity became a global smashΒ just to capitalise on his name and make money. Yes, the film supposedly tested poorly, but that wouldn’t have stopped it making money ‘from the guys that brought you Paranormal Activity‘. Fast forward 6 years or so, and not only is that franchise stale, so is the whole found-footage angle, and that’s why Area 51 came and went without any fanfare.

So is it a terrible film? Actually, for the most part I enjoyed it. It wasn’t scary, and it was hard to see what was going on for most scenes toward the end. Not much horror to be found anywhere really, and plenty of plot holes (doesn’t seem many guards at night…….) but overall this was a pretty tense little thriller. I’d love to see if Oren Peli could make something with a bigger budget and that wasn’t on handheld cameras. This was nowhere near as effective as his debut, but it still deserved better than being shelved for 6 years.

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63 Comments

  1. theipc

     /  August 14, 2015

    Well hello there you lazy bastard! It Follows rules!

    Oh – as to the baby you made – nice shot man!

    Liked by 2 people

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    • Hey buddy, why thank you!! πŸ™‚ ……..I’m only back as you said something about a present last time, $10000 or something. Since I’ve been away I’ve become obsessed with American Ninja Warrior. I need you to enter that next season and wear a special t-shirt saying hi to me and my kids πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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  2. Tyson! I was just wondering where you went the other day! πŸ™‚ Congrats on baby#2!
    I haven’t seen any of those movies but I’ve seen a good bit of horror of late because of the Film Festival in Montreal πŸ˜‰ I think you might like a few of them!!!

    Liked by 2 people

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    • Hey Kim, thank you πŸ™‚

      Very jealous of you seeing these festivals. I was hoping to go the frightfest here in the UK but finances couldn’t stretch. Maybe next year. What did you see that you can recommend then?

      Liked by 1 person

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      • A good bit of them were good but these ones were really awesome. Cooties, We Are Still Here, Tales of Halloween, Bite and Anguish. For Anguish, its definitely not as great as the first four but its a nice little indie horror, just don’t watch the trailer!

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        • Pretty sure Leigh Whannell wrote Cooties so I’ve been eagerly awaiting that one, and heard positive things on We Are Still here. Will definitely keep my eyes peeled for them all. Sounds like you saw some good stuff!

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        • We Are Still Here is awesome! And Cooties is very competent. The jokes are a better in say, Shaun of the Dead but Leigh Whannell steals the show in Cooties!

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        • Just watched Shaun of the Dead the other day, for about the 100th time but it’s still such a good movie. Pegg & Frost are a great combination.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice to see you back man and some nice thoughts. I really liked It Follows too, though slightly less than you. I absolutely loved the soundtrack though. Have been listening to it fairly regularly.

    Congrats on bub #2 my man. Our first is due in about 2 months, so lots of preparation going on.

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Thanks buddy, hope alls well down under. Congrats to you, thats great to hear! πŸ™‚ Nothing beats being a father, greatest gift ever.

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  4. Tyty! Ninja Warrior rules. It Follows, unfortunately, does not. Congrats on Baby #2!!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    • Wow, Misty Layne!! So pleased to hear from you, hope alls well with you πŸ™‚

      Not a fan of It Follows? Some horror fan you are…….. πŸ˜‰

      Im about to watch (illegally…….) last nights ANW. The UK version started this year but its less serious, commentators laugh etc, so im not as keen on our version.

      Liked by 1 person

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      • I was so happy to see you around! I sent you an email several months ago b/c people weren’t sure what happened to you, so I don’t know if you were in hiding or what?…But glad you’re back! πŸ™‚

        *I* am a good horror fan. One who likes HORROR and not ridiculous teenagers trying to ELECTROCUTE A GHOST (or whatever) b/c of course that makes sense. *eye roll* ;-p

        ANW is NOTHING compared to the actual Ninja Warrior though. They are so crazy hardcore, it’s amazeballs!

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        • Wow, I’m so sorry, I didn’t get any emails (as some one hacked me, bastards!!) but I appreciate your efforts.

          The electrocuting was a weird one, they took so long doing it too………

          Yeah, Sasuke is crazy. 5 people ever finished it in 37 shows I believe? Next year I’ll do it πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats on #2 TyDad πŸ™‚ I like the four reviews in one post deal. None of these films really gave me a charge (actually, I only saw 2) and I agree with you on Babadook, didn’t care for the film either.

    Liked by 2 people

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    • Thanks buddy πŸ™‚

      Yeah, I’m embarrassed to call them reviews but I will get better next time lol. Was just some ramblings, but as long as people go see It Follows its all good!

      Babadook was a weird one, not even horror really, I just didn’t enjoy it. Boring even,

      Liked by 1 person

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      • I just didn’t relate to the characters in Babadook or even like them- that was my main problem. And I would call these good reviews, hey we’re in a world of 140 characters…I tend to think people read my short reviews more than my long ones. I’ve been making an effort to shorten everything…

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  6. Hey Tyson! I can’t say I’ve seen any of those films you reviewed, but I do want to check out ‘It Follows’, and I will agree with your assessments of ‘The Babadook’ and ‘The Strangers’. I just watched ‘Babadook’ a few weeks ago, and for the life of me couldn’t figure out what the big deal was. Hell, I was more entertained by ‘Eden Lake’! πŸ˜‰

    Although, Babadook would be a cool name for your second child.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Wow, you’re still allowed on the internet? Colour me surprised πŸ˜‰

      Great to hear from you as always Todd. Hope all is well with you my friend.

      It Follows is a great throwback movie, unlike anything I’ve seen for a long time. Hope you enjoy it.

      Bababook (without trying to spoil it for others I guess) was not horror but more of a mental thing……..just didn’t do anything for me. Give me Eden Lake anytime, I actually watched that again a few days ago, now that Jack O Connell is a bit more big time. Superb actor.

      The wife has vetoed your suggestion for the name sadly. We’re all agreed on Todd anyway πŸ™‚

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  7. Congrats on baby number two! πŸ™‚ Nice to see some reviews from you again too. I agree with you on It Follows – I loved it. I probably won’t be checking the others out, though. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

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  8. Welcome back. Congrats on Baby Number 2. We are heading into that area in October. Fun times and busy times ahead. It Follows is one I have seen and found intriguing. Your review makes me want to go ahead and watch it. I haven’t seen the Babadook yet, but I have been meaning to. Heard a lot of great things about it. I hope it turns out half way decent.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thanks buddy, congrats to you guys too. Exciting indeed, but two might be my limit, never be outnumbered is my motto. πŸ™‚

      I heard so much good stuff about Babadook, and I seem to be in the minority in not loving it. Maybe you’ll dig it, I just couldn’t get into it.

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  9. GaryGreg828

     /  August 18, 2015

    Hey man, I agree w/ mostly everything you said on this one! “It Follows” was great, but that pool scene was kind of silly; i also wish there was a stronger conclusion. I was expecting more as the film had set us up the entire time for what I thought would be a concrete ending. But the atmosphere was strong throughout.

    Dude, I turned off that “Mockingbird” crap after about 30 minutes or so. I just didn’t see it getting better, and from the way you described the ending, I can see I made the right choice.

    I didn’t see Area 51, but I thought the trailer looked a bit dull. And I actually skipped the second portion of your Jokesters review b/c I think I want to check it out and I like to go in cold. I will let you know what I think if I watch it.

    I still need to see “Killers”. I have it on my to-see queue.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • The pool scene seems to be the one part most people agree on. I like an ambiguous ending though on occasions.

      Have you ever seen the film ills (aka Them – Ive reviewed it I think, maybe…..) but anyway the end of that is what Mockingbird tried to steal. But just WAAAAAY worse and it just made zero sense.

      You have to see Killers, Im gonna rewatch it soon, loved that shit πŸ™‚

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  10. GaryGreg828

     /  August 18, 2015

    I like American Ninja Warrior. I don’t watch TV that much, anymore so I haven’t seen it recently. I watched the first or second season. Did you see a black dude on there named Kamerion Wimbley? He used to go to my church. Very friendly guy. He used to play in the NFL. He advanced to the 2nd round of the competition, and I think just barely lost in the semis if I remember correctly.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Church you say? Glad he failed πŸ˜‰

      Hey, I didnt get your (or any for some reason) notification that you replied to my comment on your site, but Ive literally checked your site as I knew youd reply. Im gonna hit up wordpress after i sleep, but ill be back on there to reply and debate the merits of god and stuff with you πŸ™‚

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  11. Congrats on baby number two and so happy to see you back on here.

    Liked by 1 person

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  12. I agree with you on The Babadook. Unfortunately I didn’t like It Follows either, and my review really pissed off the two people that left comments. lol

    Liked by 1 person

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  13. You’re watching the same movie genre as me! I loved “Mockingbird”!

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  14. And in all honesty, AREA 51 s strongest detriments and compliments can both be traced to the film s found footage construct, which now appears somewhat outdated and familiar, especially when posited against the memories of Peli s other found footage productions which certainly share multiple aesthetics and moments. Of course, AREA 51 follows a group of people who are attempting to break into the infamous top-secret military base.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  15. My main man! Another baby on the way? Good for you sir.

    I hear you on the internet deal. I just moved further out into the sticks myself and my internet is shockingly bad.

    That’s me trying to test the water on the blog again. It’s surprising how quickly you get your groove back.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • I know I thanked you and replied via email, but thought I better reply to this after 2 months so I dont look like a completely rude asshole πŸ™‚

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  16. GaryGreg828

     /  April 16, 2016

    Tyson, what’s the latest? Everything go well w/ the second baby’s delivery? It’s been a few months since the due date, so time for you to post an update! What’d you name this one??

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    • Hey Gary. Nice to hear from you. Sorry I’m a little slow to this.

      I’ll be doing a post about this very soon, hoping to get writing again. My little man is named Riley Jared and hes nearly 4 months old and finally sleeping a little bit πŸ™‚ Thanks for checking in, hope all is well with you and catch you very soon (I hope!!)

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      • GaryGreg828

         /  May 3, 2016

        You need to check out this new horror film “Hush” that came out a few weeks ago; it’s on netflix (US). I think you’ll like it. You should do a review on it. I wanted to know what you think about it.

        But in the meantime, yeah, write about your son and let your closest subs know how things are; be sure to include a pic. And an updated pic of Ava would be good, too. πŸ™‚

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        • Ive seen it dude, I dont know, I appreciated the direction and what it wanted to do, but I was a little underwhelmed. Maybe because 70 out of 90 mins were silent, or my video was too dark I couldnt see what was going on, it just didn’t hold my attention. You like it I take it?
          I will be posted a photo for sure, not sure who else still checks out here but I’ll be doing an update this friday as I’m off and free.

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        • GaryGreg828

           /  May 11, 2016

          There are a slew of films titled “Hush”. Are you referring to the one where the masked-man invades the deaf girl’s home in the woods? If that’s the one, and you didn’t like it, I guess you just don’t like home invasion movies (which is fine) b/c I remember you despised “Home Sweet Home”. I liked it a lot. It reminded me of the horror script I wrote; the one I don’t think you ever finished – probably b/c it was home invasion and didn’t hold your attention. I’m seeing a trend here. πŸ™‚

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        • Yeah thats the film I saw, as i said, like watching a silent movie. πŸ™‚
          Inside is a proper home invasion movie. Intruders is another i saw recently, really cool twist in that, very different. πŸ™‚

          Like

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