Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – Crawl or Die (2014)

logoDirector: Oklahoma Ward

Writer: Oklahoma Ward (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicole Alonso, Torey Byrne, Tommy Ball, Wil Crown, David Paul Baker, Tom Chamberlain, Clayton Burgess

Plot: An elite security team assigned the task of protecting the last known woman who can become pregnant, find themselves caught in an endless claustrophobic underground tunnel system. The team soon learns – the real horror is not the unstoppable force chasing them, but the ever growing smaller tunnel itself.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Claustrophobic Terror

Story: Crawl or Die starts with a group of military soldiers receiving their orders on transporting a Package (Byrne) the last fertile woman on Earth, the mission is to transport her to Earth 2. Tank (Alonso) is leading the mission 7 months into the mission the unit finds themselves being stalked with claustrophobic underground by an unknown creature hungry for bloody.

Crawl or Die brings us the answer to the question, do you need a complicated story for horror? The answer is no, because this film brings us a very simple concept focusing on claustrophobic fear and uses to reach every single level of horror. I thought The Decent put me off tight spaces but this one just escalates that fear to the next level.

Actor Review

Nicole Alonso: Tank is the kick ass elite soldier who takes charge of the mission once things start taking a turn for the worse, she is very driven to complete her mission. She has to make the hard decisions when the rest of her team gets killed and is designed to be the next generations Ripley. Nicole gives a great performance that shows we can have kick ass actresses in horror after years of just damsels in distress.

Torey Byrne: Package is the last fertile female on Earth who is the most important part of the mission and her safety is the only chance for the human race, she has to put her life in the hands of Tank to survive. Torey does a solid job in this role but ends up falling into supporting character.

Support Cast: Crawl or Die has a very small supporting cast that we only really see in the opening act to show how terrifying the creature is.

Director Review: Oklahoma Ward – Oklahoma brings us a claustrophobic film that brings you to the end of your seat from start to finish.

Horror: Crawl or Die brings horror by using the fear of tight spaces mixed with being chased by a monster, this keeps going from start to finish.

Sci-Fi: Crawl or Die brings us to a new planet and a creature we haven’t seen before.

Thriller: Crawl or Die keeps you on the edge of the seat from start to finish.

Settings: Crawl or Die uses the settings to create the horror with each scene getting tighter and tighter.
Special Effects: Crawl or Die uses brilliant practical effects to create the monster being used chasing down Tank.

Suggestion: Crawl or Die is one for all the horror fans to watch especially if you have claustrophobia. (Horror Fans Watch)

Best Part: Tank is a great creation for the horror genre.

Worst Part: We don’t see enough from the supporting cast.

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes easily could have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Decent

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Overall: Brilliant Claustrophobic horror that will put ever claustrophobia filled person in pure terror.


Halloween Kingathon – Carrie (1976) From The Review Club

Banner-1Our first guest is Troy from The Review Club, let’s see what he thinks of Carrie.

A true horror staple and one with intense close ups and frightening sound effects to still provide that bone chilling atmosphere to this very day. The fact it was remade recently just shows it’s a story to stand the test of time. Brian De Palma directs the Stephen King source material with an eye for creating an enjoyable unbalance of high school comedy and unsettling revenge horror.

Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is an odd teenager, bullied by other girls and sheltered in her upbringing by her terrifically deranged and spooky mother (Piper Laurie). The premise sees Carrie being invited to the school prom and the hell that breaks loose following the iconic prank to surely be known for years to come. logo

The movie is a unnerving ride of jolts with amusing scenes such as the girls being forced to warm up on the field set to comedic music, then you get dark moments which happen more often than not at the White household. The mum is creepy and driven by her faith in God that she can’t see how fragile and unloved her daughter is. The relationship calls out for help and Carrie gets it in the form of telekinesis where we along with her discover her power through objects moving thanks to her mind. The sound effects alongside these times are jarring and punch to the core with their highly strung sharp kicks resembling that of the shower scene in ‘Psycho’; a nod to another all time horror classic and the high school name being a shout out to Hitchcock’s feature also.

The film is like a weird coming of age story with White beginning like a naive flower, her petals still curled up and unready to bloom. The opening camera track of the girls locker room is like a soft porn scene but it’s one that eases the viewer in with something gentle and pretty through the females on screen and the music playing over the action, so when we find Carrie in the shower and see what happens to her it suddenly becomes disturbing, even more so due to the way that the other girls treat her for something that happened to all of them. This just shows how awful her mother is in not giving her an education in growing up and through the film the only maternal display comes from the gym teacher – Ms. Collins. She wants the best for Carrie and takes the damaged girl under her wing to try and stop her being bullied.

The shots in the film are perfect and balanced with the lighting make for interesting ideas and unnerving feelings. When Carrie and her mother; Margaret are at home for dinner, there is just an oval of pale yellow light shining around them and the length of the table. The shot of a tapestry of The Last Supper behind them makes the White’s look like they are joining the table with Christ. The religious imagery is strong throughout, what with Margaret’s obsession with good over evil. The model of Jesus impaled by several nails becomes relevant to the ending with Mrs White. The final scene is like a twisted take on God battling Satan, with the mother taking it upon herself to play God and she looks like an angel of death when facing her child.margaret

The true evil comes from the mother and the teenage duo of Billy Nolan and Chris Hargensen who plot against Carrie and set up the bucket of blood. They are horrific characters and are played with annoying smugness and evil glee by John Travolta and Nancy Allen. Travolta can only be described as bringing out Danny Zuko’s evil twin using the swagger, charm and cool of Grease’s most popular T-Bird but with a nasty side to help his scheming girlfriend humiliate Carrie, for literally no big reason at all. Chris is a good looking girl who likes being queen bee and then suddenly her bullying is cut short and she’s punished by getting detention. That’s all it takes for her to plan against White, which makes her actions much more terrifying than the ones that Carrie’s then forced to make.

Carrie finally grows into a formidable flower for one of the most famous moments in film history which is set up beautifully with the devastating realisation that we know what is coming. The sweeping circling shot of her dancing, the designed set of the prom with the hanging stars and the glow of the romantic red light all add to the impending disaster, you feel so sorry for her as she’s having a magical time and feeling happy. When it finally does happen the sound goes to shut down and all you hear is the swinging metal of the bucket which adds greatly to the atmosphere. Then laughter begins to fill your ears and Carrie sees everyone through a kaleidoscopic vision. It makes it look like more people are laughing at her but it isn’t a greatly needed visual effect. This is where another little niggle came for me in the form of split screens which I didn’t like, I would have been happy seeing zooms into her deranged eyes and cuts to each person being offed by her power. I didn’t understand the random chipmunk like speeding up of the three guys talking when tuxedo shopping either, it came across too cartoony and added nothing. The film does use moments of effects, such as the interior of the rolling car that don’t exactly work and of course the movie is itself dated now but it’s by no means lost it’s glorious thrilling edge.carrie

A brilliant film with a true core of danger in seeing this sadistic joke unfold, characters that deserve their fates and characters that provide surprise for you; I’m speaking of Tommy and Sue who keep you guessing. It looks stylish with it’s camera shots and has a brilliant score, the sounds bursting through add to the goosebump factor.The tense drama of the White household and the freaky mother provides confirmation that this is a horror classic.


Top 5 Zach Galifianakis Roles

Zach Galifianakis is one of the break through comedic actors of the last ten years and he has proven he can pull off range of different comedy too. I will admit certain films I don’t like but here are my favourite five roles of his career t date.

5. Hobo Joe – The Muppets (2011) also Homeless Man – Gigantichmeless

Zach made a habit of making a homeless character and in Gigantic he has a habit to want to fight the leading character but in the Muppets he was the only one in the crowd before the tickets went on sale.

4. Ethan Tremblay – Due Date (2010)due date

Ethan is an aspiring actor who offers high-strung father-to-be a ride across America to make it for his child’s birth. This is a perfect odd couple comedy and Zach along side Robert Downey Jr add so much. This also ends up having a very serious side for his character.

3. Jake – Birdman (2014)birdman

Jake works with Riggan on his project from behind the scenes. Zach lost an incredible amount of weight for this role and is almost unrecognisable.

2. Alan – The Hangover Trilogyhangover

Alan is the outcast of the group who gets to go on holidays who ends up being the one who gets them into trouble the most. He is the most iconic of the three friends though.

1. Bobby – It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010)funny

Bobby is one of the patients in the psychiatric hospital where our clinically depressed teenager ends up. I personally think this is one of the most underrated movies of all time and Zach is brilliant in it.

Halloween Kingathon – Carrie (1976)

: Brian DePalma

Writer: Lawrence D Cohen (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Sissy Spacek, John Travolta, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, William Katt, Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley

Plot: A young, abused and timid 17-year-old girl discovers she has telekinesis, and gets pushed to the limit on the night of her school’s prom by a humiliating prank.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: The Beginning of the Masters Work

Story: Carrie starts with an all girls gym class and we meet our social outcast Carrie White (Spacek) who ends up not understanding about her first period, leading to all the other girls taking a chance to bully her, but in this scene we get a first glimpse of what Carrie is capable of as she blows out the lights in the locker room.

Carrie is controlled by her high religious mother Margaret (Laurie) who believes that Carrie is constantly sinning and when she does she punishes her. Carrie is learning about her telekinesis while the other girls including the old friend Sue (Irving) and Chris (Allen) suffer through detention for what they had done to Carrie.

When Sue tries to make up for the prank she gets her boyfriend Tommy (Katt) to ask Carrie to the prom, but Chris ends up seeing this as a chance to work with her boyfriend Billy (Travolta) that ends up causing Carrie to finally break.

Carrie will always go down as one of the most shocking horrors of the time of releases, it starts slowly with very little horror elements but ends with one of the most dramatic horror final acts in horror film history. It shows how high school students can be cruel but also shows how a religious mother can control life too often. This could be considered part revenge film with the final act and will always be a stand out horror film. (8/10)

Actor Review

Sissy Spacek: Carrie is the social outcast of the school suffers her own misfortune at school, but when she suffers this she starts to learn about the telekinetic powers that she possess. All this with her over baring religious mother punishing her for anything that she doesn’t see in the bible. Carrie ends up getting invited to the prom where her true power will get unleashed in an act of revenge. Sissy gives a brilliant performance that gave her an Oscar nomination. (10/10)carrie

Piper Laurie: Margaret White is Carrie’s religious mother that punishs her when she doesn’t follow the bible and wants to control her ever moment. Piper gives a great performance but then I did feel we needed too see more about religious story. (8/10)margaret

Amy Irving: Sue Snell is an old friend who decides to try and do the right thing and asks her boyfriend to take Carrie to the prom, he action are true even if the others are not. Amy does a good job in a supporting role. (7/10)

William Katt: Tommy Ross is Sue’s boyfriend who has to ask Carrie to the prom, he does it and acts like a perfect gentleman while at the prom. William does a good job in the supporting role. (7/10)

Support Cast: Carrie has a supporting cast that includes the bullies who plan the final prank but ultimately pay the price for their actions.

Director Review: Brian DePalmaBrian gives us one of best films of his career that manages to give us a true horror classic. (9/10)

Horror: Carrie shows that you don’t need to have constant jump scares and builds the horror until the final act. (9/10)

Settings: Carrie puts all of the horror inside of a small town where a lot takes place in the high school. (8/10)

Suggestion: Carrie is one that all the horror fans should have watched at least once. (Watch)

Best Part: Final act.

Worst Part: There really isn’t one.

Oh My God Moment: Prom scene.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Nominated for two Oscars for Best Actress in Leading and Supporting Roles.

Budget: $1.8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: If The Exorcist made you shudder, Carrie will make you scream.

Overall: Classic horror film that put Stephen King one the map.

Rating 90