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……… 🙂
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)
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 quite perfect (the end pool scene didn’t quite work for me) but a film I can’t wait to watch again and again.
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) about Mockingbird 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 us 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.
The Jokesters (2015)
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.
Area 51 (2015)
Three young conspiracy theorists attempt to uncover the mysteries of Area 51, the government’s secret location rumoured to have hosted encounters with alien beings. What they find at this hidden facility 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 smash 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.