Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Pernicious (2015)

logoDirector:  James Cullen Bressack

Writer: James Cullen Bressack, Taryn Hillin (Screenplay) James Cullen Bressack (Story)

Starring: Ciara Hanna, Emily O’Brien, Jackie Moore, Russell Geoffrey, Byron Gibson, Jack Prinya, Sohanne Bengana, Jared Cohn, Sara Malakul Lana

 

Plot: It was supposed to be an adventure of a lifetime as three young girls spend the summer in Thailand. But their adventure quickly becomes a nightmare when the trio unleashes the spirit of a murdered child with only one thing on her mind – revenge.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Ritually Scary

 

Story: Pernicious starts with a blood ritual being performed on a terrified family, but not giving us the whole ritual. We meet our three heroines Alex (Hanna), Julia (O’Brien) and Rachel (Moore) as they arrive in Thailand where they are taken to their beautiful picturesque property where they will be staying while they teach the local children English. The whole house looks great but one creepy gold like statue hidden away in the top floor of the house.

The girls have one week before their work starts meaning they can go out, have fun and make bad decisions as the girls say. When the party starts to get out of control the girls bring three British guys back to the home, where the three girls all have a very disturbing nightmare. What follows is the girls learning of an ancient ritual that was performed to create the golden statue, which they have unleashed where the golden girl starts haunting them and she is angry about how she died leaving girls having to find a way to stop her before it is too late.

Pernicious takes the horror genre into the honour another countries beliefs territory, we usually see how films from the countries that have beliefs we don’t educate ourselves about handle them but with this one we get to see how the naïve visitor fails to follow them. I will have to say the certain scares all feel very much like the Japanese horror ‘The Grudge’ but most importantly we get a few moments you really don’t see coming. It wouldn’t be fair to only sit here and praise this film because I do find it questionable how these three girls got an educational job when they talk down to the locals in English and I didn’t get the feeling these girls were really that close. Overall the story goes into a world that I haven’t seen tackled before where the results of a ritual lead to what happens, everything about the horror side of this story I did enjoy. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Ciara Hanna: Alex is the one member of the group of friends who likes to push all the problems aside until they have done the simple things like eating. She comes off as the slacker of the group but goes along with any journey. Ciara dos a solid job but it might have been part character or part her but sometimes it felt like she wasn’t too involved in the scenes and reacting later than her character needed to. (5/10)

 

Emily O’Brien: Julia comes off as the responsible member of the group who is resistant to getting drunk with her boyfriend back home in America. She does have one very condescending moment when trying to buy a handbag but otherwise is meant to be the good member of the group. Emily does a solid job in the role playing the role of the one who is thinking the right ideas but never following through. (6/10)

 

Jackie Moore: Rachel is the flirt of the group who thinks she knows it all but it definitely the one who gets the girls into the predicaments they find themselves on their trips. Jackie does a solid job but I did find her character hard to work out. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: Pernicious has a supporting cast that all try to help by filling in little blanks about what the statue is about but they all just become information filled characters.

 

Director Review: James Cullen Bressack – James does a good job directing making the overall feel of this film feel like an Asian horror but keeping the sprinkling of naïve American attitude towards their beliefs with the girls. (8/10)

 

Horror: Pernicious has well created scares and most importantly doesn’t do the false jump scares. (8/10)

Thriller: Pernicious does keep you guessing as to what will happen next to the girls without making any of them lead characters where each one is an individual making working out which might go first difficult. (8/10)

Settings: Pernicious takes the action to a small Thai village with very little landmarks with most of the action taking place in a isolated house. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Pernicious has good practical effects for the dream sequences and most of the death scenes. (9/10)

Suggestion: Pernicious is one for the horror fans to try, I can’t see any non-horror fans enjoying but this will go down as one to give a good go to. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Gold girl scare scenes.

Worst Part: The girls going to teach really?

Oh My God Moment: Dream sequence.

Scariest Scene: Gold girl haunting.

Favourite Quote: Rachel ‘They’re not creepy, they’re British’.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Grudge

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline:  Evil Never Dies, It Waits

 

Overall: This is a horror that will surprise but not shock.

Rating 70

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

logoDirector: Mike Newell

Writer: Steve Kloves (Screenplay) J.K. Rowling (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, David Tennant, Timothy Spall, Robert Pattinson, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes, Brendan Gleeson

 

Plot: Harry finds himself mysteriously selected as an under-aged competitor in a dangerous tournament between three schools of magic.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: It Just Got Real

 

Story: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire starts by showing Peter Pettigrew (Spall) and Bartemius jr (Tennant) conspiring with Lord Voldemort. We then flash to the Harry (Radcliffe), Ron (Grint) and Hermione (Watson) as they go on an journey with the Weasley family along with the Diggory’s who include Cedric (Pattinson) they go to the Quidditch world cup before things get out of hand and chaos happens when Lord Voldemort’s creatures attack. Hogwarts are hosting the tri-wizard tournament bring three different schools together for one of the most deadly tournament known to wizards.

While returning to Hogwarts we have yet more teacher changes with Professor Alastor ‘Madeye’ Moody (Gleeson) taking over the dark magic role making it fourth teacher in four years. When the names of the students get announced the over 17s rule seems to have be changed by someone to allow Harry to enter. Harry and Ron’s friendship is tested when Harry gets selected as no one seems to believe him when he says he didn’t put his name forward. Harry must compete in the tournament which will put him to the test against creatures he has never met before.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire finally puts the first punch in giving us a genuine shock reveal of the infamous Voldemort. We have been waiting for this for three previous films and now we know what Harry will be up against. The rest of the story is good because it shows the difficulties that this aged teenagers start to struggle with. The tournament adds some much needed excitement which pulls us in the want to watch everything unfold. This is the best so far of all the stories I have seen in the series. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter our lead wizard who has entered the fourth year at Hogwarts, he is haunted by a dream while competing in the Tri-Wizard tournament. Daniel gives a good performance and perhaps his best so far in the series. (9/10)

 harry

Emma Watson: Hermione the young witch who along with her friends tries to help Harry through the tournament along with the growing up process a young lady goes through with boys. Emma gives a good performance showing she has been improve her skills but also takes a backburner to the main story. (7/10)

watson

Rupert Grint: Ron questions his friend Harry entering the tournament but soon comes to his sense and along with Harry struggles to get to grips with girls. Rupert gives a good performance but much like Emma is only supporting. (7/10)

 grint

Robert Pattinson: Cedric Diggory is Hogwarts choice to enter the Tri-Wizard games and along the way he works with Harry giving each other advice, but his final moments we re-define the series. Robert gives a good performance with an interesting character that I think many would have like to see more from later in the series. (8/10)

 pattinson

Support Cast: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire uses its ever increasing supporting cast well to introduce even more interesting characters as well as filling supporting roles for a bigger story that we will see in films to come.

 

Director Review: Mike Newell – Mike does a good job directing which is most interesting of the series to date. (9/10)

 

Adventure: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire creates an interesting sense of adventure with the tournament throwing up surprises around every corner. (9/10)

Family: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is starting to get more adult but on paper the audience would have grown up so should be enjoyed by a growing up family. (9/10)

Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire uses its fantasy elements brilliantly to create the new creatures, locations and characters. (10/10)

Mystery: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire offers a mystery about the dream Harry has but it sometimes gets pushed behind the story of the tournament. (8/10)

Settings: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire creates beautiful settings for every scene. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has the best effects of the series so far with everything have a very real feel about it. (10/10)

Suggestion: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the best of the series to date and must be watch by all the fans of the series and you could easily start here. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Graveyard showdown.

Worst Part: When will they learn that the dark arts professor is always up to something?

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: 4 – 8 of the series

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 1 Oscars

Box Office: $897 Million

Budget: $150 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 33 Minutes

Tagline: Dark And Difficult Times Lie Ahead.

Trivia: Robert Pattinson has stated that he would much rather play Cedric Diggory again than play Edward Cullen in the Twilight Saga, the role he is perhaps best known for.

 

Overall: Business Has Picked Up, It Must Be Show Time

Rating 91

New Releases – 22nd May 2015

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond tomorrowland Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.

My Guess for Rating – 85%
My Anticipation Rating – 90%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – Yes

Poltergeist poltgeist A family’s suburban home is invaded by evil forces.

My Guess for Rating – 50%
My Anticipation Rating – 20%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

The Cobbler cobbler Max Simkin repairs shoes in the same New York shop that has been in his family for generations. Disenchanted with the grind of daily life, Max stumbles upon a magical heirloom that allows him to step into the lives of his customers and see the world in a new way. Sometimes walking in another man’s shoes is the only way one can discover who they really are.

My Guess for Rating – 55%
My Anticipation Rating – 40%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night walk home In the Iranian ghost-town Bad City, a place that reeks of death and loneliness, the townspeople are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire.

My Guess for Rating – 85%
My Anticipation Rating – 95%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Movie Reviews 101 Pick of the Week – A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

logoDirector: Alfonso Cuaron

Writer: Steve Kloves (Screenplay) J.K. Rowling (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Richard Griffiths, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Michael Gambon, Tom Felton, Emma Thompson

 

Plot: It’s Harry’s third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new “Defense Against the Dark Arts” teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards’ Prison and is coming after Harry.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Getting Darker

 

Story: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban starts by showing Harry (Radcliffe) back at his neglectful Uncle and Aunt’s house where Harry finally snaps and walks out. Getting on the night bus Harry looks for help from some friends. Along his way he learns about Sirius Black (Oldman) having escaped from Azkaban prison. Before returning to Hogwarts Harry gets warned about the danger looking for Sirius could put him in. Harry, Ron (Grint) and Hermione (Watson) journey get interrupted by a mysterious visitor searching for Sirius. With the third year changing for the student as it does for staffing with the third teacher in the defence of the dark arts. We have the same issues between the students with Draco (Felton) not liking Harry.

While Harry tries to put together the mystery of what happened on the train, he continues to learn more about his parents. Sirius continues to elude his captures and makes his way into Hogwarts leaving everyone on high alert. Harry learns more about Sirius Black and how he was connected with his parent’s murder. As always in the series not everything is as it seems but one thing remains clear that Harry Potter will learn more about the person who killed his parents.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban continues to fill in the blanks about Harry Potter’s parents without completely giving away everything. As a person who has never shown much interest in the Harry Potter films this one was always the one that tempted me in the past. I liked the look of the darker side to the story and I really wasn’t let-down. I feel that by taking the story to a darker level helps show where the story will be going. On the negative side I found this one kind of just ended like a large chunk went missing. This does take the series in a different direction and continues to leave things open for next time. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter our young wizard in his third year at Hogwarts now where he learns more about his parent’s death when Sirius Black breaks out of prison. Daniel gives a good performance as the growing up wizard showing more emotion than previously. (8/10)

 harry

Emma Watson: Hermione our heroine of the three friends who has become much more involved this time around. Emma gives a good performance and with a larger involvement we see more of her in the main story. (8/10)

emma

Rupert Grint: Ron the clumsy friend who keeps finding himself caught out in the wrong place. Rupert gives a good performance but his clumsy antics are starting to get repetitive. (7/10)

 ron

Gary Oldman: Sirius Black the prisoner of Azkaban himself trying to find out who framed him all while hiding from the creatures searching for him. Gary gives the film its first real villain even though he turns out to be good, it is the first time we actually know who is being targeted. (9/10)

 oldman

Support Cast: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban has the large supporting cast as we have come to expect but sadly this time we don’t seem to get as much as we did before from many of them.

 

Director Review: Alfonso Cuaron – Alfonso does a good job directing taking the story into a new direction which will be the tone for the rest of the series. (8/10)

 

Family: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is again one for the family to enjoy even if this is slightly darker than previous outings. (8/10)

Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban continues to keep us in the fantasy world showing us more magical creatures. (10/10)

Mystery: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban offers up more mystery about the Potter family and the battle they had with Voldermort. (9/10)

Settings: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban continues to use the brilliant settings that make every scene look real for the audience. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban has been improving its effects but that is because the Quidditch is cut right down this time. (9/10)

Suggestion: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a much darker film but if you have started watching them you should watch this one as it is the beginning of the change in tone. (Harry Potter Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Overall tone of the film look darker.

Worst Part: It seems to end suddenly.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: 3 – 8 of series

Post Credits Scene: Yes

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for two Oscars

Box Office: $797 Million

Budget: $130 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

Tagline: Have you seen this wizard? Approach with extreme caution! Do not attempt to use magic against this man!

Trivia: A clause in Alfonso Cuarón’s contract forbade the director from cursing in front of the kids on set.

 

Overall: Change in Direction, But Lower Standard

Rating 80