Hide and Seek (2005)

Director: John Polson

Writer: Ari Schlossberg

Starring: Robert De Niro, Dakota Fanning, Famke Janssen, Elisabeth Shue, Amy Irving, Dylan Baker, Melissa Leo. Robert John Burke

Story David Callaway (De Niro) and his daughter Emily (Fanning) move to a quieter town after his wife’s (Irving) suicide. Emily witnesses the body being found and his in shock. Emily way to find an escape from what happened creates an imaginary friend Called Charlie.

David tries to move on with his life meeting all the different locals Elizabeth (Shue) Sheriff Hafferty (Baker), Laura (Leo) as well as keeping updates on Emily to Katherine (Janssen) back in the city.

Things take a turn for the worse when Charlie starts making things happen while David is sleeping. David thinks Emily is just reacting to her mother death but could there be a more surprising truth?

Verdict This horror thriller has a big name cast and it backs that up with some good jumps and a great tension story that will keep you guessing right up to the end. Even if you didn’t like the end the DVD offers a few alternative endings. The atmosphere created is very effective and De Niro as the concerned father comes of well after being used to his other roles through out the years.  As for horror thrillers this is a good addition to the recent collections and well worth a watch for all fans of the genre. 

Story Mark 8/10 Strong story with twists and surprise ending

Action Mark 7/10 nice fight and chase scenes

Horror Mark 8/10 good jump scenes and Charlie figure is effective

Star Performances Dakota Fanning as the traumatised daughter with a secret.

Best Part The surprise ending

Worst Part They should have picked one ending and stuck with it instead of so many different ones.

My Rating 76%

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The Woman (2011)

Director: Lucky McKee

Writer: Lucky McKee, Jack Ketchum

Starring: Carlee Baker, Angela Bettis, Sean Bridges, Lauren Ashley Carter, Pollyanna McIntosh, Zach Rand, Shyla Molhusen.

 

Story Lawyer Chris Cleek (Bridges) his wife Belle (Bettis) and three children Peggy (Carter), Brian (Rand) and Darlin (Molhusen) all live in the country house and seem like any normal family. After a hunting trip Chris finds a Woman (McIntosh) roaming around in the woods, he decides to bring her how and make her civil.

 

As the family is asked to work together we start to see the cracks in this normal looking family. Concerned teacher Genevieve Raton (Baker) notices changes in Peggy. With the cracks showing and woman locked in the basement what could happen and what secrets will be reviled?

Verdict: This horror thriller comes off to good effect where you want to work out what is going on only to guess one thing before another option opens up. Each character starts seemingly normal be it over worked father, housewife, away from the world daughter or rebellious son, only for each one to have much darker side or secret. The story comes of easy to follow only for a twist that you will not see coming. This is one for all the horror fans may not be that scary but still has a good thrilling side.

Story Mark 7/10 Simple story nicely put together.

Horror Mark 6/10 Not the scariest but good thriller.

Star Performances Lauren Ashley Carter as Peggy she hides the biggest secret even when it looks like she will crack she won’t and gives a good performance.

Favourite Character Peggy the only one that seems to show humanity through out the film.

Least Favourite Character Chris he just doesn’t seem to like his family or people but he is a bad guy, which means he did give a good performance in the role.

Best Part The end is good ending for the characters.

Worst Part The way the Chris captured a so-called wild woman so easily.

My Rating 72%

Episode 50 (2011)

Director: Joe Smalley, Tess Smalley

Writer: Joe Smalley, Tess Smalley, Ian Holt

Starring: Josh Folan, Chris Perry, Natalie Wetta, Keithen Hergott, Eleanor Wilson, Justin Brutico, Robert Maisonell, Kieron Elliot

Story A team of paranormal investigators lead by Jack (Folan) go out to solve what looks like paranormal when it actually is something much more simpler. After 49 episodes of their show they get give a chance for a huge season climax, they are asked to investigate a haunted institute with years of stories of unexplained deaths.

Upon arriving at the location Jack and his team find out that there is a religious investigating team lead by Dylan (Hergott). The teams have different methods, different equipment and a different reason to be involved with the paranormal. Can they make it through the weekend in this haunting hot spot or will they become the newest victims?

Verdict Starting off as a found footage it soon turns into a run of the mill horror but then becomes an almost documentary of what had happened with interviews with the investigators popping up after each scene. Being a low budget horror the effects achieved are equal to some of the big budget ones. The scares never really reach any highs, which could make this a proper scary film, I only really thought one bit even started to get the scare part going. If you like the remake of House on Haunted Hill and Paranormal Activity this is a mix that works to the level you want to see how this show will end, well worth a watch.

Story Mark 8/10 Nice idea not the most original but some parts add to a genre that is all the rage now.

Horror Mark 7/10 Could have had more scares but I guess by the idea of the movie it wasn’t about the scares it was about finding the existents of paranormal.

Star Performances The cast all did well all relative unknowns.

Favourite Character Andi (Wetta) she is involved in paranormal for the mystery and wants to solve as many as she can.

Least Favourite Character Dylan always seems to either get in the way or do something wrong.

Best Part Andi in the nurses room alone has a scare factor.

Worst Part Not enough jumps or scares

My Rating 74%

Dark Knight (2008)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writer: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Eric Roberts, Nestor Carbonell

 

Story A new villain is terrorising Gotham City, The Joker (Ledger) is stealing from mobsters. Batman (Bale) is dealing with vigilantes who are after Scarecrow (Murphy). A new district Attorney Harvey Dent (Eckhart) wants to take down all crime in Gotham. Bruce’s life long friend Rachel (Gyllenhaal) is dating Dent and Bruce must work out whether to trust Dent. Using his connections at the police department Jimmy Gordon (Oldman) he tries to stop being Batman leaving Dent to clean up the streets.

 

The Joker has other ideas he wants to play games to get Batman exposed. Bruce now faces a race against time to save the city. Bruce has help from his old friends Lucius Fox (Freeman) and butler Alfred (Caine). Having the introduction of Two face adds more to the mix too.

 

Verdict If you were to ask anyone for the best comic book movie this will be in everyone’s top three. Each person gives one of their best ever performances in a world that seems so real compared to other comic book created worlds. Every time there is a new technology leap give Batman more gadgets to use to his advantage while The Joker is very more old school with his weapons of choice. Pushing Batman to the limits he never thought he would have to go adds a level or darkness to the character that is meant to be the white knight of the city.

Story Mark 10/10 Great story with twists sub plots a plenty.

Action Mark 10/10 Some simple amazing chases, fight scenes and action sequences.

Star Performances Heath Ledger no one saw this coming from him and the Oscar is well deserved.

Aaron Eckhart his character goes through changes as the film unfolds his performance seemingly goes under the radar.

Favourite Character Harvey Dent he has great charisma and is determined to put a stop to crime.

Best Part The Joker’s magic trick

Worst Part NOTHING

Best Quote Harvey Dent ‘ You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain’

Similar Too – Batman Begins

My Rating 99%

 

The Experiment (2010)

Director: Paul Scheuring

Writer: Paul Scheuring

Starring: Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker, Cam Gigandet, Clifton Collins Jr, Ethan Cohn, Fisher Stevens, Travis Fimmel, Maggie Grace

 

Story 26 men are chosen to participate in the roles of guards and prisoners in a psychological study, they have fourteen days to play out the scenario.

 

Travis (Brody) recently released from his job is one of these candidates. Travis meets a new girl in Bay (Grace) before he starts and uses her memory to keep him sane as one of the prisoners. One man Travis befriends is Benjy (Cohn) a graphic novelist is one of his cellmates’ who struggles to make it without his insulin.

 

On the guards side we have Barris (Whitaker) who starts of on the nervous side but soon starts leading the guards. Chase (Gigandet) takes things to a new level but some of the other guards think things go to far. When violence is banned can the guys make it through the time following the rules.

 

There are five simple rules to follow:

1.      The prisoners must clean their plates.

2.      The prisoners will only speak when spoken too.

3.      The prisoners will have three meals a day

4.      The prisoners will have 30mintues rec time.

5.      Nothing from the outside world will be bought in

 

Verdict This psychological thriller is one that you will want to watch to see what will happen at the end and find out what the point in the experiment is. Based on a true story of an experiment previous conducted it shows the levels man can be pushed too. With two Oscar winners in Whitaker and Brody you would be expect a top movie unfortunately you don’t get one. Yes it is thrilling but what happens in the prison isn’t original. The ending has its nice touches seeing how full of regret for their action the men are.

Story Mark 7/10 Good idea but I think it would take a bit longer for the men to crack

Action Mark 7/10 Mostly of tension build to once last action chase and brawl nothing to special though.

Star Performances Forest Whitaker does well transforming his character as the movie unfolds

Favourite Character Benjy he makes it feel like an adventure but his innocence is soon destroyed

Best Part The idea of the movie is best part

Worst Part The outcome of the movie idea used badly  

My Rating 62%