Mary Elizabeth Winstead Weekend – Black Christmas (2006)

logoDirector: Glen Morgan

Writer: Glen Morgan (Screenplay)

Starring: Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lacey Chabert, Kristen Cloke, Andrea Martin, Crystal Lowe, Oliver Hudson, Karin Konoval

Plot: An escaped maniac returns to his childhood home on Christmas Eve, which is now a sorority house, and begins to murder the sorority sisters one by one.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: What the Hell is This

Story: Black Xmas starts right on Christmas time where alone in her Sorority a girl is in investigation of any noise mood before thinking everything is ok, well she is dead now. Next we go to the mental institute where killer Billy Lenz is kept. We finish off the introduction Kelli (Cassidy), Melissa (Trachtenberg), Heather (Winstead), Leigh (Cloke), Lauren (Lowe), Megan (Harmon) and Dana (Chabert) along with the house mother Barbara (Martin) all celebrating Christmas together.

When Billy escapes from the mental home it just so happens to go hand in hand with the disappearance and murders of the girls in the home. We do learn about Billy’s past and how he was sexual abused by his mother while being locked away in the attic but the question remains which one of the girls will make it out of the night alive.girls

Black Xmas is a horror remake that some how tries to do everything wrong when it comes to film, it has zero character development leaving all the supporting characters literally doing nothing but getting killed. The flashing back and forward between time doesn’t help and the idea that Billy is in a home when the film starts makes things even more confusing. The time line is so out of sync nothing makes sense and you are left just think thank god it is over. I really hate slamming films with young stars in because they deserve a chance but I can’t even give them proper reviews.

Actor Review

Katie Cassidy: Kelli Presley is our leading lady and member of the Sorority who thinks she has the dreamy boyfriend only to learn the truth about him on the very night the murders start happening. Katie does a solid job but doesn’t get any chance to do anything.

Michelle Trachtenberg: Melissa is a member of the Sorority that comes off like the responsible one and that is about all she does. Michelle ends up doing nothing, due to something you are going to see a lot here terrible character development.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Heather is the religious member of the Sorority who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty looking for answers about who is behind the mystery goings on in the house. Mary is hardly even involved even though she is in over half the film.

Lacey Chabert: Dana is a member of the Sorority that also does very little to the story. Lacey suffers from terrible character development.

Kristen Cloke: Leigh is the step sister of one of the girls in the Sorority who has gone missing, she was a member of the Sorority before and isn’t afraid of anything. Kristen gives a bsic supporting performance but like the rest noting to work with.

Support Cast: Black Xmas has a supporting cast that includes the disposable girls that seem to have one seen before being killed off.

Director Review: Glen MorganGlen gives us one of the worst remakes in film history.

Horror: Black Xmas works on the slasher level but has no suspense to talk about.

Thriller: Black Xmas has zero suspense created in a film that needed it all.

Settings: Black Xmas has most of the action happening in and around one house in the middle of a street but no one bothers to leave to look for help.
Special Effects: Black Xmas does create the kills well but they do feel very forced for the violent side.

Suggestion: Black Xmas just RUN AWAY FROM THIS AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. (Avoid)

Best Part: It is short.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $16 Million

Budget: $9 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

Tagline: Silent Night Evil Night



New Release – Pawn Sacrifice



UK Release Date: 4th December 2015


Stars: Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard

Genres: Biography/Drama


Plot: Set during the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer finds himself caught between two superpowers and his own struggles as he challenges the Soviet Empire.

Anticipation Rating 9/10


Guess Rating 9/10

Opinion Battles Round 14 Results

Opinion Battles has called who they want to be the next James Bond and the results are as followed.

In third place we had a tie between Tom Hardy and Damian Lewis selected by Kim and Khalid getting both of them 1 point eachhardylewis

In second place we had our new comer Summer with the choice of Benedict Cumberbatch getting 5 points.cumberbatch

The clear winner with nearly half the votes is Idris Elba selected by Movie Rob, Emma and SG Liput getting 10 points each.elba 2

This leaves the table looking like this where you can see Rob has won this year congratulations Movie Rob for winning the first year.

There is still plenty to play for in the remaining places. (Rob, Drew, Khalid, Emma, S.G. Liput, Flicks Chicks, That Other Critic, James, Kim, Filmfunkel and Summer)tabel

If you would like to join year two of opinion battles more information is Here or you can email

Mary Elizabeth Winstead Weekend – The Thing (2011)

logoDirector: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

Writer: Eric Heissrer (Screenplay) John W Campbell Jr. (Short Story)

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Eric Christian Olsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Paul Braunstein, Trond Espen Seim, Kim Bubbs

Plot: At an Antarctica research site, the discovery of an alien craft leads to a confrontation between graduate student Kate Lloyd and scientist Dr. Sander Halvorson.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Good Prequel to Classic

Story: The Thing starts back in 1982 Antarctica as we follow a group of Norwegian scientist where they end up finding something quite remarkable. Kate (Winstead) gets bought in by Dr Halvorson (Thomsen) along with Adam Finch (Olsen) to investigate what the scientist discovered. Helicopter pilots Sam (Edgerton) & Derek (Akinnuoye-Agbaje) warm of an incoming storm and we have met nearly all the characters with the remaining being scientists we will not get to know long enough.

What the scientist discover is a spacecraft estimated to have been under the icecaps for 100,000 years. They also find an unidentified life form which they get to be the first to study. When creature escapes it’s ice prison the scientists are left to fight for their lives against a creature that could be far deadly than they could ever imagine as now they don’t know who they can trust.

The Thing is the prequel to the legendary The Thing where we follow the events in the Norwegian research facility which gets visited during the 1980’s version. We enter the idea of an origin story for the creature and how it could do what it does, and we with plenty of cast members to get through we do go through the same scenes as we are used to seeing. On a big positive we do get to have a scene where the scientist just burn the creature, no silly we should catch it, it is all get rid of it as fast as possible. I do think this works well but sadly the thing from stopping this from standing out is that each scene feels very similar to the ideas of the 80’s version.

Actor Review

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Kate is the American scientist who specializes in working in frozen specimens and uncovering their age and biology. She comes on this expedition because of these skills and ends up having to use all her knowledge to survive against the creature. Mary does a good job with the idea of creating a new tough fighting sci-fi woman that does a great job on paper but we never return to see where her character goes next.kate

Joel Edgerton: Sam is the helicopter pilot that isn’t going to hang around with an incoming storm, when the first signs on danger comes along he is the first to help save the people before it would become too late. Joel does a solid job and gets to show his tough side without being the leading role.sam

Ulrich Thomsen: Dr Sander Halvorson is the scientist who sees this discovery as his chance to go down in history but just how many lives will he put in danger to be remembered in history. Ulrich makes for a good scientist in this role as he ends up having to questions morales.

Eric Christian Olsen: Adam Finch is the research assistant for Dr Sander who has the connection to Kate, he suggested Kate when this chance came up but how much will he risk to survive or become famous. Eric give us a solid supporting performance that is filled with the correct emotion for each occasion.

Support Cast: The Thing has a supporting cast that is filled with scientist who are all there to offer a disposable character for the main story.

Director Review: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.Martin brings us a solid prequel to the classic telling the story we only have to guess about.

Horror: The Thing that all comes off with great horror with the ideas being used.

Mystery: The Thing does give us a mystery about what is happening in the Antarctic.

Sci-Fi: The Thing brings us into a sci-fi world of a spaceship and an alien from space which all works to help work on the horror.

Thriller: The Thing does a good job making us wonder who will be infected by the creature in nearly every scene.

Settings: The Thing brings us to Antarctic for the setting which creates real isolation for the whole story.
Special Effects: The Thing has a mix of good and bad effects, certain effects make us genuinely frightened but you can see how some are CGI.creature

Suggestion: The Thing is one to try because it will let you know how the original started. (Try It)

Best Part: Merging Creature.

Worst Part: You can see the CGI at times.

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Technically this is a prequel to the classic.

Post Credits Scene: It fills in the space between the two films.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $17 Million

Budget: $38 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

Tagline: It’s not human. Yet

Overall: A prequel that does deserve credit even if it is slightly CGI heavy


New Release – The Night Before

night before


UK Release Date: 4th December 2015


Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie

Genres: Comedy


Plot: On Christmas eve, three lifelong friends, two of whom are Jewish, spend the night in New York City looking for the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.

Anticipation Rating 7/10


Guess Rating 7/10

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Dracula Untold (2014)

logoDirector: Gary Shore

Writer: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless (Screenplay) Bram Stoker (Characters)

Starring: Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, Art Parkinson, Charles Dance, Diarmaid Murtagh, Paul Kaye, William Houston

Plot: As his kingdom is being threatened by the Turks, young prince Vlad Tepes must become a monster feared by his own people in order to obtain the power needed to protect his own family, and the families of his kingdom.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Different Take on an Iconic Character

Story: Dracula Untold starts with a history lesson about child slaves in a Turkish army in the 14th century where one child would be come the deadliest warrior Vlad (Evans) that armies would run from. Vlad brings his warriors into a cave in search for the Turks as he and his men search for vengeance leading them to come across an unknown creature. Second history lesson being told to Vlad about a vampire in Transylvania.

When the Turks bring there deal they demand 1000 children from Transylvania leaving Vlad to oppose this decision. Vlad confronts Mehmed (Cooper) about his deal to try and find a peaceful outcome even offering his own service but Mehmed won’t accept any deal demanding Vlad’s son Ingeras (Parkinson).

When Vlad starts his own war her returns to the cave to meet the creature the Master Vampire (Dance) where Vlad makes a deal to gain the power of the vampire but if he feeds in the first three days he will be cursed with immortality.

We have the gained new powers montage as Vlad learns to control these gifts in his new state as he prepares for his battle against the Turks.

Dracula Untold is a film that I kind of split on what I think about it, on one side I did like the origin story using the stories known through historical time, but on the other side I didn’t like how the battles played out because they were almost pointless because Vlad was too powerful. I will say I liked how the story escaped from the horror side even though I do feel Dracula should always be on the horror side of the story. I think this was a solid story but seems to get concepts incorrect and tries to do the Disney thing by make the villainous monster a hero. (6/10)

Actor Review

Luke Evans: Vlad is one of the most fearsome warriors the world ever saw and this time he has to lead his people to safety after angering a neighbouring army. He has to make a deal with a vampire to become one with its powers but if he drinks he will be cursed forever. I can’t really fault Luke he does well in the role. (7/10)vlsad

Sarah Gadon: Mirena is Vlad’s wife who he will protect until the very ends and will stand by his side even if it means death. Sarah fills the role nicely but doesn’t really add to much to this film. (5/10)mirena

Dominic Cooper: Mehmed is the rival army leader who is also like a brother to Vlad. He demands children for his army but once the offer is rejected he wages war against his Vlad. I don’t feel Dominic get enough screen time for a major villain in a story. (6/10)memed

Charles Dance: Master Vampire is the one who curses Vlad with his additional power but he is really using this as a chance to lift his own curse. Charles brings his class to the film with his small supporting role. (7/10)

Support Cast: Dracula Untold has generic warriors in supporting roles who will die for the side they fight for.

Director Review: Gary ShoreGary does a good job changing how we see a Dracula film for the better because what more can be done on the pure horror side? (7/10)

Action: Dracula Untold has massive battles scenes which all works well and having the different powers in Vlad makes them entertaining. (7/10)

Horror: Dracula Untold doesn’t use too many horror elements only the horror icon. (3/10)

War: Dracula Untold brings the story into the middle of a historical battle between the nations. (7/10)

Settings: Dracula Untold uses easy to understand settings which don’t seem to end up making too much of an impact on the story. (5/10)
Special Effects: Dracula Untold does deserve the praise for the special effects because the transformation between man bats man looks effortless, while the melting part of the vampires also looks very good. (9/10)

Suggestion: Dracula Untold is one to try, I did find certain parts feeling repetitive but certain parts were good and original for the character Dracula. (Try It)

Best Part: Vlad to bat to Vlad.

Worst Part: The battles seem slightly unfair.

Action Scene Of The Film: First Vlad versus army battle.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: I, Frankenstein

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $55 Million

Budget: $70 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Every Bloodline Has a Beginning 

Overall: Dracula Untold brings us into the action world of the horror icon.

Rating 55

Lucy (2014)

logoDirector: Luc Besson

Writer: Luc Besson (Screenplay)

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi, Amr Waked, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Pilou Asbaek


Plot: A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Starts Too Dumb Finishes Too Smart


Story: Lucy starts by with the line ‘life was given to us over a billion years ago, what have we done with it?’ We meet Lucy (Johansson) who has to make a delivery for Richard (Asbaek) to Mr Jang (Choi). Lucy ends up getting double crossed by Mr Jang who arranges her kidnap and offered a job she has no choice but to take as she learns how ruthless Mr Jang is. Time to meet Professor Norman (Freeman) who studies the amount of brain power animals and humans have used through the years.

Lucy awakes in a hotel room with surgery having been performed on her, she learns that she has become a mule for a new drug that has been put inside of her body where she has no option but to deliver it to the location required. When the package gets burst inside of Lucy she starts to go through a transformation just as Professor Norman explains the next level brain power. This is going to be one of those movies isn’t it where one character tales us what is happening while another character goes through it all?

Lucy seeks out revenge against the people who put the drugs inside her but once she has finished with that she starts to use the rest of her mind to a level not a single person has ever managed to achieve even reaching out to Professor Norman as Lucy tries to save herself in the last day of her life.

Lucy is a film that relies on a lot of flashing images to show certain parts of history that just so happen to go with certain dialog in the film. We get a large amount of generic supporting characters that really offer nothing original and then to make Morgan Freeman just narrate the story to us doesn’t really leave much for us the audience to do. Lucy is too powerful for any enemies, which takes away any suspense in the film but enough with the negatives. The whole concept is a very interesting one because we do see this being theory of what would happen but as we have never seen it we can’t realistically know what could happen which leaves us asking the much needed question. This will work for action fans because the early story is easy to follow but by the end everything has gone slightly mad. (6/10)


Actor Review


Scarlett Johansson: Lucy is party girl who gets pushed into a simple delivery job, but when she gets kidnapped she ends up becoming a drug mule for Mr Jang. When the drugs leak inside her body Lucy start to get a high level of being one which the world has never seen before. Scarlett continues to give good performance and once she becomes the powerful Lucy we see a robotic needed performance. (7/10)


Morgan Freeman: Professor Norman is the foremost specialist in brain power who has spent his lifetime working on the theory of increasing the power brain capacity within the human body. He gets reached out to by Lucy so he can answer the questions he never got to see in practise. Morgan does a solid job but really doesn’t have much to work with. (6/10)


Min-Sik Choi: Mr Jang is the drug lord who has created a new drug that he puts inside mules including Lucy that ends up having it released in her body where he will pay for what he has created. Min does make a good villain but this isn’t the film to crack the US market after his stunning performance in Old Boy. (6/10)


Support Cast: Lucy has a supporting cast that is mostly the gangsters or the police both want to stop Lucy and both have different methods to actually stop her.


Director Review: Luc Besson – Luc doesn’t bring us what we would expect from him as he usually gives us something brilliant, See Leon. (6/10)


Action: Lucy has plenty of action and does try to mix it up but in the end is unsuccessful. (5/10)

Sci-Fi: Lucy offers us up a question to make us think which does help but never really gives us an acceptable answer. (7/10)

Thriller: Lucy tries to keep us guessing but I feel Lucy’s power makes it hard to take serious. (7/10)

Settings: Lucy uses generic settings from all over the world with the final being in Paris. (7/10)
Special Effects
: Lucy uses a mix of good and bad CGI, the problem is the bad look like a video game. (3/10)

Suggestion: Lucy is a film to try, it could be the first film that tries to act dumb but tries to make you use your brains. (Try It)


Best Part: Concept.

Worst Part: Handling the Concept.

Action Scene Of The Film: Collecting the Drugs.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $459 Million

Budget: $40 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline: The average person uses 10% of their brain capacity. Imagine what she could do with 100%.


Overall: Sci-Fi Too Serious with dumb effects.

Rating 55

New Release – Krampus



UK Release Date: 4th December 2015


Stars: Allison Tolman, Toni Collette, Adam Scott

Genres: Comedy/Fantasy/Horror


Plot: A boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a Christmas demon to his family home.

Anticipation Rating 8/10


Guess Rating 7/10

2015 Watched List Part 33

Over the past year I have seen an incredible amount of films and I have decided to share with you all which ones I have seen in what order. I am going to be doing these in groups of ten, where I will pick my favourite of the bunch and the worst of the bunch.

So without further ramblings here we go with 331 – 340:

  1. Fantastic Four 2015 four Yet another Marvel film that tries to do something different while it does work well for the first couple of acts it all falls apart in the final few.
  2. Cat’s Eye logo Three short horror stories connected by the adventure of a cat, they all give us a different type of horror which all work really well.
  3. The Believer logo A Jewish Neo Nazi decides to start believing his own religion going against what his beliefs are, great performance, confusing story.
  4. The Gallows log A found footage horror that once you see past the obvious issue with filming criminal activity works well as a horror film.
  5. Maximum Overdrive ogo The dreadful Stephen King directed film that really is just a let down from start to finish.
  6. Bag of Bones logo This mini series follows yet another writer who gets haunted by a ghost that is looking for someone to uncover what happened to her and ending the curse forever.
  7. Riding the Bullet logo This questionable story follows a young man hitch-hiking back home across America where he meets a string of characters including the ghostly character haunting the highway.
  8. Shopping Channels logo This romantic comedy follows a by the book guy who meets a free spirit as they spend time together on a road trip. This no budget film really is a must watch.
  9. The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer logo This is a prequel to Rose Red and just looks deeper into the ideas talked about through Rose Red.
  10. Creepshow logo Five shot horror stories that all work really well without being too scary.

The Best – Shopping Channelslogo

The Worst – Maximum Overdriveogo

Crimson Peak (2015)

peakDirector: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro (Screenplay)

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Jim Beaver, Burn Gorman, Leslie Hope, Doug Jones, Jonathan Hyde


Plot: In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds – and remembers.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Gothic Romantic Horror


Story: Crimson Peak starts with Edith Cushing (Wasikowska) looking back on here young life when she first saw death, when her mother died at the age of ten. Edith gets haunted by her own mother who warns her about Crimson Peak. Edith now a young woman has her life turned upside when mysterious strange Sir Thomas Sharpe (Hiddleston) and his sister Lady Lucille Sharpe (Chastain) arrive in America. Thomas wins her heart but only after her father Carter (Beavers) dies and Edith returns to England with the Sharpe’s.

It becomes clear that the Sharpe siblings are up to something but the ghosts of the house seem to have ideas of their own in the form of warnings for Edith, but we are remained to wonder what are the secrets of Crimson Peak? Edith old friend Dr Alan McMichael (Hunnam) is investigating just what happened to Carter and once he uncovers the truth we will too.

Crimson Peak brings us a complete mix of genre unlike anything we have seen before, this could actually be the downfall of this film though. We do get good elements in this film with the horror having the ghosts warning haunt, a mystery about what the Sharpe’s are really up to and the romantic angle between Edith and Thomas. I do feel they are sometimes overcrowding the angles but I do like the idea the horror doesn’t end being over the top. I do think this is a different style of film to the standard horror we are used to seeing which is a big plus really for the genre.


Actor Review


Mia Wasikowska: Edith Cushing is the young aspiring author who gets seduced by the charming Mr Sharpe. When her father dies she returns to England where she gets haunted by the ghosts of the mansion as she learns the secrets of the Sharpe’s. Mia gives a good performance but never really reaches the level we know she is capable off.edith

Jessica Chastain: Lucille Sharpe is the sister of Thomas, she keeps herself to herself but is always calculating her next move, and having a control over Thomas. Jessica does a good job in the final act but really doesn’t have much to do in the opening half of the film.lucile

Tom Hiddleston: Thomas Sharpe is the charming English man who comes to America, charms Edith and brings her back to his home in England to make her his wife. He does have a secret behind his motives but will he let love takeover. Tom does well in a role you could see him playing all day long.thmas

Charlie Hunnam: Dr Alan McMichael is the family friend of Edith who clearly has eyes for her and even after she leaves he decides to figure out what the secret about the Sharpe’s really is. Charlie gives a god performance but sadly doesn’t get enough screen time.


Support Cast: Crimson Peak doesn’t have the biggest supporting cast and the ones we see do a good job when needed.

Director Review: Guillermo del ToroGuillermo brings his own style to this film that we all know is what makes his so popular and you can see it all in every scene.


Horror: Crimson Peak only really uses the horror for the warnings for Edith.

Mystery: Crimson Peak gives us plenty to think about as we have to work out what the Sharpe’s motives really are.

Romance: Crimson Peak brings in a romantic story line where an older man wins over the heart of the young woman.

Settings: Crimson Peak keeps most of the setting in the isolated mansion in the middle of the English countryside which adds to the horror elements.
Special Effects
: Crimson Peak creates very good effects for the ghosts that feel unique for the film.

Suggestion: Crimson Peak is one to try, I can see people not liking this but I think it is rewarding in the long run. (Try It)


Best Part: Ghosts look great.

Worst Part: Not enough time on each genre.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Maybe on effects, make up and costume categories.

Budget: $55 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Tagline: Beware


Overall: A style of film we don’t see any more that will be remember for years to come.