Friday 24 February 2012

The Sleeper (2012)

The Cast -
Brittany Belland as Amy
Tiffany Arnold as Rebecca
Riana Ballo as Stacey
Jessica Cameron as Cindy
Paul Moon as Bobby
E. Ray Goodwin as Detective Drake
Jason Jay Crabtree as The Sleeper

Director & Writer - Justin Russell

The Plot -
It's 1981 and the girls of Alpha Gamma Theta sorority are having a party. As the new pledges arrive, so does an uninvited guest. Little do the sisters know someone is watching them in the shadows. As the girls shower, study, eat and sleep the stalker studies the girls. One by one he finds the girls at their most vulnerable and murders them. The police hunt for the missing girls and their killer, but will they find them in time or will the girls be forced to fight for their lives?

The Review -
With a very simple story, told in a simple way, we follow each girl of the sorority while they get followed, phone called, then murdered. There really isn't any more to it than that.
Although there is a scene straight out of Saturday Night Fever. I really don't have anything good to say about this movie.
It barely kept my attention.
The movie starts out looking like it was going to pay homage to the early Slashers of the 80's, well, it does, but not in a good way. The simple fact is that pretty much everything that come out of the 80's was better than this movie!
Sometimes directors can over try but in this case it was the reverse.

It was an all round poor effort. The special effects are cheap and looked awful. There was no tension or scares as it was predictable, in a massive way, from start to finish. The killer looked like a blind man that had lost his guide dog. The voice on the other end of the phone calls sounded like a child and it was beyond unoriginal. The best thing about this movie was the acting, and even though I just have, it's nothing worth mentioning. To round it off, final thoughts, what I got out of the film? NOTHING! It's not even "watchable shite." Plain and simple, it should have never been made! Really, don't waste your time! Please, I beg you! The photo below, which is actually from the film, is how it made me feel just reviewing this!

Ok, enough is enough, The Sleeper will put you to sleep with a 2/10

Check out the trailer, it was the shortest one I could find, it's all you need to see..

Tuesday 21 February 2012

The Woman in Black (2012)

The Cast -
Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps
Misha Handley as Joseph Kipps
Sophie Stuckey as Stella Kipps
Ciarán Hinds as Sam Daily
Janet McTeer as Elizabeth Daily
Tim McMullan as Mr. Jerome
Cathy Sara as Mrs. Jerome
Aoife Doherty as Lucy Jerome
Daniel Cerqueira as Keckwick
Liz White as Jennet Humfrye/The Woman in Black

Director - James Watkins

Writers - Susan Hill (novel) & Jane Goldman (screenplay)

The Plot -
The Woman in Black follows a young lawyer, Arthur Kipps, who is ordered to travel to a remote corner of the UK and sort out a recently deceased client’s papers. As he works alone in an old and isolated house, Kipps begins to uncover its tragic secrets, and his unease grows when he discovers that the local village is held hostage by the ghost of a scorned woman set on vengeance. 

The Review -
The movie opens with three, slightly creepy, little girls playing in a room. All I'll say about this is that it doesn't end well!

The scene is then set in gloomy old London around the late 1800's. Young lawyer and father,  Arthur Kipps, is preparing to leave for an even more gloomy remote part of England. After arranging to meet his son and son's nanny later in the week he jumps on a train. Waking up near his stop he meets local landowner Sam Daily, who later helps him out around the village he is soon to arrive in.
As soon as Arthur arrives he gets the instant feeling of not being welcomed!
Shorty after local man Keckwick drops Arthur off at the old Humfrye mansion, where he has to sort through paper work, he starts to have a look around the place and things start to get spooky and the flash backs of his dead wife become more frequent.

Later back in the village a small child takes ill and the Jerome's daughter, Lucy, also ends up dying in tragic circumstances, all while everyone is displeased with Arthur's presence. In an attempt to find the truth behind the strange goings-on and what really happened to Jennet Humfrye, even more supernatural events happen and Arthur literally digs deeper with Daily's help to find out why the children of the village are dying. This all leads him back to the mansion for a face off with the ghost everyone is afraid of.

"I will never forgive"

The first thing I'll say is that, even for the 12A/PG13 rating, this is pretty strong stuff. Dark rooms, candle light, ghostly shadows and creepy old toys set the tone, but not one of eeriness, one fraught with tension of making you think "what's the hell's coming next?"

I watched this with my wife (who by the way wasn't phased by Paranormal Activity, unlike me) and she was literally sat behind a pillow, jumping and screaming at least 10 times throughout the movie, which in turn made me jump! At one point near the end of the movie, the hair on both our arms were stood up.

I got more than I was expecting from this film, which is always good. The only bad points I would pick out is that Daniel Radcliffe looks too young to play a father and looks weird without glasses (obviously a curse from Harry Potter) and it is predictable in places. However, the script and direction make up for that. Radcliffe gave a solid performance as did the rest of the cast. The ending has a good little twist, but beware that this a morbid tale of death heavily revolving around children, so it could leave you feeling down and depressed! Oh, and a heads up, don't take your eyes off the screen until the credits role.

The Woman in Black gets a chilling 8/10

Check out the trailer below...

Monday 20 February 2012

Rosewood Lane (2011)

The Cast -
Rose McGowan as Sonny Blake
Daniel Ross Owens as Derek Barber/Paperboy
Lauren Vélez as Paula Crenshaw
Sonny Marinelli as Barrett Tanner
Lesley-Anne Down as Dr. Cloey Talbot
Ray Wise as Det. Briggs
Tom Tarantini as Det. Sabatino
Steve Tom as Glenn Forrester
Lin Shaye as Mrs. Hawthorne
Rance Howard as Fred Crumb
Judson Mills as Darren Summers

Director & Writer - Victor Salva

The Plot -
Dr. Sonny Blake, a radio talk show psychiatrist, moves back to her childhood home after her alcoholic father dies. Once back in her old neighborhood she discovers the local paperboy is a frightening and cunning young sociopath that targeted her father and now targets her. When the boy starts calling her show and recites eerie nursery rhymes, an unnerving game of cat-and-mouse begins. When the game escalates, she suddenly finds herself in a terrifying all out war, one that forces her to redefine her ideas of good and evil, and has her fighting to stay alive.

The Review -
This was another movie making it's way straight to DVD. With the man behind Jeepers Creepers at the helm I thought this was going to be atleast half decent.

We're first introduced to Dr. Sonny Blake as she arrives home, with the police in tow, to find her father has died, under what seems suspicious circumstances as he lays face down at the bottom of the basement stairs.
She settles in and all is well till the local paperboy, Derek, turns up to give her a fright. Shortly after the experience, Sonny starts to notice that things in the house have been moved around from the original place she put them. It doesn't take her long, with the help of her neighbour's stories, to work out that Derek has more to him then meets the eye which then leads to confrontation between the two in the house. The police are involved, but to no avail.

This eventually leads to Sonny's "friend" Barrett staying over to protect her which ends in disaster.
Mean while the police are still useless so she goes it alone to work out who Derek really is even though Derek is stalking her more than ever. It ends up being a battle of wills out of who will go that one step further to discover or hide the truth. However the speedy paperboy, on his bike, is mysteriously always that one step ahead.

So was I right to expect this movie to be half decent? Yes and no! There is plot holes, we never really find out why Derek is doing what he's doing. Daniel Ross Owens does play the part well. Even though I've never rated Rose McGowan's acting, it actually wasn't that bad. The weak links, acting and story wise were the two police officers, Sabatino and Briggs, they were just annoying and bought nothing to the table. The ending, well, it's not hard to see what's coming as most of the movie is predictable. Did I enjoy it? I'll be honest and say yes, it's worth giving a go on a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon with nothing else to watch. Don't over expect from it from you shouldn't be disappointed.

Rosewood Lane gets a 6/10

Check out the trailer below...

Sunday 19 February 2012

Grave Encounters (2011)

The Cast -
Sean Rogerson as Lance Preston
Juan Riedinger as Matt White
Ashleigh Gryzko as Sasha Parker
Mackenzie Gray as Houston Gray
Merwin Mondesir as T.C Gibson
Bob Rathie as Kenny Sandivol
Ben Wilkinson as Jerry Hartfield

Directors & Writers - The Vicious Brothers

The Plot -
Lance Preston and the crew of "Grave Encounters", a ghost-hunting reality television show, are shooting an episode inside the abandoned Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital, where unexplained phenomena has been reported for years. All in the name of good television, they voluntarily lock themselves inside the building for the night and begin a paranormal investigation, capturing everything on camera. They quickly realise that the building is more than just haunted - it is alive - and it has no intention of ever letting them leave. They find themselves lost in a labyrinth maze of endless hallways and corridors, terrorised by the ghosts of the former patients. They soon begin to question their own sanity, slipping deeper and deeper into the depths of madness, ultimately discovering the truth behind the hospital's dark past...and taping what turns out to be their final episode.

The Review -
The film is introduced as a "found footage" piece by Executive Producer, Jerry Hartfield, of the reality TV show. He gives a brief introduction to the show and crew. The tape begins and the show starts. It all looks very cheesy then you realise that these guys aren't really the ghost hunters they say they are as they seem to fake their way around. You get the feeling they're into it for the money and fame!

As they set up the cameras in the old building, they're locked in for the night and that's where the fun begins...

They spilt up into two teams and head down various corridors and in rooms in the pitch black armed only with torches and cameras.

They soon realise they are not alone and that the proof of the after life they're searching for does exist, as one by one they all experience some very strange things.

From objects being moved to scratches on Sasha's body to full scale apparitions, they see and feel it all!

When it all gets too much for them they decide to leave but find it's too late after one of the team is missing and they seem to be trapped in the building.

Sure enough as they search for their fellow team member all hell breaks loose and one by one they get picked off by the spirits eventually leaving Lance on his own and finding himself going insane.

I really don't have anything bad to say about this movie. It's not an original story but it's delivered well. I could pick on the acting, but then the cheesy act is all part of the show and when it does get serious so do the actors. The special effects, simple and very effective. It had some bloody scenes, scenes that make you jump, scenes that will probably scare you and freak you out. It does it's job and it's one of the best "found footage" films of the sub-genre there is to date. I'm doing this review after watching it for the second time and I'll say this, it was just as good if not better the second time round!

I highly recommend this movie for all horror fans. Grave Encounters gets an 8/10

Check out the trailer below...

Thursday 16 February 2012

Underworld: Awakening (2012)

The Cast -
Kate Beckinsale as Selene
India Eisley as Subject 2 / Eve
Theo James as David
Michael Ealy as Detective Sebastian
Stephen Rea as Dr. Jacob Lane
Kris Holden-Ried as Quint Lane
Charles Dance as Thomas
Sandrine Holt as Lida

Directors - Måns Mårlind & Björn Stein

Writers - Len Wiseman, John Hlavin, Allison Burnett &
J. Michael Straczynski

The Plot -
Humans have discovered vampires and werewolves living amongst them. A "purge" was ordered, and both species were driven to the brink of extinction. During the genocide Selene is captured by Antigen and held in a cryogenic tank for 12 years while the company experimented on the unsuspecting vampire warrior. Selene, dubbed "Subject 1", is freed from cryogenic suspension by "Subject 2" and escapes the medical corporation. Selene starts to have strange visions after her escape, which she follows, believing them to be linked to her lover, the Vampire-Lycan hybrid Michael Corvin. With more visions, she discovers not Michael, but a young girl called only as "Subject 2," also known as Eve, later revealed to be a hybrid and the daughter of Selene and Michael.

The Review -
Let's get one thing straight from the start, I'm a massive fan of the Underworld franchise and couldn't wait to see this! And to make things worse my local cinema, which shall remain nameless so as not to encourage burning down of said cinema, wasn't even showing it! WTF? I was furious and swearing a lot to say the least. Anyway, I digress.
Back to the movie...
Two important questions - What was I expecting and What did I get?
Answer - Gun blazing action and GUN BLAZING ACTION. I was not disappointed!
The story was simple, frozen for twelve years, wake up, find bad guys, kick ass, find Subject Two, find more bad guys, kick ass. The delivery was perfect. The fighting, the shooting, the action, is literally from start to finish, constantly keeping you entertained. Kate Beckinsale slipped back into the role so easily and looked more comfortable than ever during the brilliantly choreographed fight scenes.

The Lycans are back in full force and give a hidden vampire coven a good beating, even Selene gets thrown around a hell of a lot more in this one.

Also prepare yourself for the biggest werewolf you've ever seen, it makes the Twilight werewolves look like friendly rabbits!

Kris Holden-Ried plays a good role, even though his character isn't far from being similar to the one he's got in Lost Girl. You'll know what I mean if you watch that TV show and watch this movie.

"Your kind will never be as powerful as us. No matter how hard you fight, you won't win"
The up and coming actor Theo James was a good edition to the cast. India Eisley who played the young daughter of Selene can be described as a rising star and after her transformation to hybrid she would certainly give Regan ( The Exorcist ) a run for her money on the evil looks!

The question of "Where's Michael" runs through the entirety of this film, but all I'll say is this - It's left wide open for the 5th instalment!

The special effects throughout are solid. The only thing I can fault it on was the time. It was too short at an hour and 15 minutes, I could have easily sat watching for another twenty minutes or so.

If you're a fan of the franchise then you should love it.  Underworld: Awakening gets a 9/10

Check out the trailer below...

Sunday 12 February 2012

Playback (2012)

The Cast -
Johnny Pacar as Julian
Ambyr Childers as Riley
Christian Slater as Frank Lyons
Jonathan Keltz as Nate
Alessandra Torresani as Brianna
Toby Hemingway as Quinn
Jennifer Missoni as Dee Dee
Dorien Davies as Ms. Milton
Luke Bonczyk as Harlan Diehl

Director & Writer - Michael A. Nickles

The Plot -
When a group of high school students dig into their town's infamous past they unwittingly unlock an Evil that corrupts and destroys them. Possessing its victims through video playback and using them for malevolent purposes, it closes in on one specific soul, threatening to expose the town's deepest, darkest secret.

The Review -
This movie dives right in at the deep with the character Harlan Diehl, covered in blood and dirt, moving through a house with a video camera. While cutting between the normal lens of the filming camera and the hand held device, you hear screams of anguish in the background.
It was a very promising and brutal start.
It shortly drifts into mediocrity, except for the role of Quinn, who soon becomes effected by the video footage he watches while doing some research for Julian. In mean time, Julian and Riley run around, like teenagers do, trying to find more information on the killer Harlan Diehl, much to the disapproval of Julian's mother.

Enter officer Frank Lyons, an average cop with some questionable extra curricular activities.
Christian Slater actually plays a very small role in the movie. There's an old saying - "there are no small parts only small actors." Unfortunately, the later applies to Slater's part in the whole proceedings, which is a real shame as Slater has been great in certain roles over the years.

On the plus side, the movie has some decent eerie moments and actually made me jump at one point. The visual effects are good and there's a bit of blood along the way too. The bad points, although they don't spoil the movie, the acting isn't great, but the story keeps you interested, and it does get a little predictable towards the end.

With a storyline based on the notion of the ability of photography to capture souls, it goes one step further with the use of video and as it turned out, this movie was better than average, but only just.

Playback gets a 5(1/2)/10

Check out the trailer below...

Friday 3 February 2012

Episode 50 (2011)

The cast -
Josh Folan as Jack
Chris Perry as Damon
Natalie Wetta as Andi
Keithen Hergott as Dylan
Eleanor Wilson as Lysette
Justin Brutico as Richie
Kieron Elliott as Himself

Directors - Joe Smalley & Tess Smalley

Writers - Tess Smalley, Joe Smalley & Ian Holt

The plot -
Two television crews of paranormal experts: one team of sceptics, with all the latest equipment, looking to de-bunk myths about ghosts and another consisting of religious believers looking to prove their existence, are hired to investigate an abandoned hospital. Teaming up for the first time for a special episode, the crews get more then they bargained for when they actually make contact with a spirit of tremendous power and must band together to stop it before it destroys them all.

The review - 
Filmed in the style of a mockumentary / found footage, we meet childhood friends Jack and Damon ( pictured right ), who have their own TV show ( in the same vain as CBS' Ghost Hunters ), which they started together due to sharing a paranormal experience as kids, in order to not prove, but de-bunk anything they come across.
A millionaire hires Jack and Damon to investigate a building he owns, that's just happens to be an old abandoned hospital with a record of people going missing or dying.
Joining the investigation is "good Christian" Dylan ( pictured right ) and his team, who have had their fair share of spiritual experiences.
After all the equipment is set up and the sun goes down, it's time for the two teams to do their rounds through the creepy building.
If you've ever watched Ghost Hunters ) on CBS Reality ( ) then you'll notice a lot of inspiration was taken from the reality TV show, from the way the in-film show is shot to how it's edited.

There is a slight air of creepiness throughout the movie but it often over shadowed by unnecessary overtones of different noises which detracts from what's really going on. Some of the acting is poor too which doesn't help.
The movie flows pretty well, keeping you interested. But that interest never seems to be satisfied as towards the end of the movie it all gets a little silly!

I felt it tried to be too clever for it's own good and rather then pulling it off it just got over complicated.

The end verdict? I'm not a fan, especially since there's a much more better movie out there called Grave Encounters which I am a fan!

( Grave Encounters review - )

I wouldn't recommend this movie, but if you've got nothing better to do, nothing better to watch, give this a go after a few beers and on a late night.

Episode 50 gets a below average 4/10

Check out the trailer below, at least that looks good...