Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – Sorority Row (2009)

logoDirector: Stewart Hendler

Writer: Josh Stolberg, Peter Goldfinger (Screenplay) Mark Rosman (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Briana Evigan, Margo Harshman, Rumer Willis, Jamie Chung, Leah Pipes, Audrina Patridge, Matt O’Leary, Julian Morris, Debra Gordon, Caroline D’Amore

 

Plot: A group of sorority sisters try to cover up the death of their house-sister after a prank gone wrong, only to be stalked by a serial killer.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: I Know What You Did Last Party

 

Story: Sorority Row starts with a wild college party where all the party goes are involved in a pyjama party while hazing the newest members of the sorority.  At the party we meet the friends Cassidy (Evigan), Chugs (Harshman), Ellie (Willis), Claire (Chung), Jessica (Pipes) and Megan (Patridge) who are all playing a revenge prank on Garrett (O’Leary) for cheating on Megan. When the prank gets out of hand Garrett ends up stabbing Megan believe her to be dead and actually killing her. This leads to the remaining sisters to have to decide what to do with the body and after voting together they dispose of the body to protect themselves and sticking to the story that Cassidy killed her because she didn’t want to go along with the plan.

The girl are finish their school year and Cassidy has moved away from the sorority but they all get together for the final goodbyes but somebody sends the girls a photo of the murder weapon and the appearance of Maggie (D’Amore) Megan’s sister pushes the secret to the limits. When a mystery killer turns up and starts killing of the sisters the sisterhood pact gets pushed to the limits as the friends have to figure out who could be the killer.

Sorority Row is one of these very generic slasher horror films, it has very little suspense and just goes for a body count. While watching through the film I couldn’t help but wonder why certain people were getting picked off because certain characters had absolutely nothing to do with the murder and cover up. granted this does get explained at the end but it will leave you confused through the film. I will say this does have a couple of good kills and does try to bring in the idea of a new iconic murder weapon used in nearly all of the kills. This will fall flat because it doesn’t know how to build up the suspense and does end up resorting to cheap false jump scares. (5/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Briana Evigan: Cassidy is the only one who wants to take responsibility for the murder even if it means they all have to pay, she leaves the sorority after what happens but gets drawn back into the place for graduation. Briana does a good job and shows why she could become the leading lady in the world of horror heroine. (6/10)

 cassidy

Margo Harshman: Chugs is the slutty member of the sorority who helps set up her own brother with the prank and ends up becoming the first victim with a very unique kill. Margo does a simple job but never really gets enough time to make much out of her character. (4/10)

chugs

Rumer Willis: Ellie is the nerdy member of the sorority who is used by the rest of them to help with their work, she reacts the worst through the situation. Rumer easily becomes the most annoying character in the film and her performance really doesn’t come off well at all. (2/10)

 ellie

Jamie Chung: Claire is another member of the sorority who reluctantly agrees to go along with covering up the murder and ends up being involved in finding out who is after them. Jamie does a solid job but never really gets the chance to show her best talent. (6/10)

 

Leah Pipes: Jessica is the leader of the sorority who puts herself before everyone else to make sure she gets everything she wants. Leah plays the total bitch perfectly here as you will grow to hate her character. (7/10)

jessica

Support Cast: Sorority Row has a large supporting cast that include potential suspects, other victims and large amounts of party goers.

 

Director Review: Stewart Hendler –Stewart struggles to give us original scares but does pull off a couple of good kills. (6/10)

 

Horror: Sorority Row fits into the standard slasher category with ease but offers nothing new inside it. (7/10)

Mystery: Sorority Row tries to build a mystery about who is killing the friends but never seems to hint at anyone. (5/10)

Settings: Sorority Row uses the sorority house and the mine as the main settings making everything either a party, party preparation or investigation scene, seriously do these kids not study? (5/10)
Special Effects
: Sorority Row uses good effects for the kills. (7/10)

Suggestion: Sorority Row is one for the slasher fans to try, it won’t go down as a classic but you should enjoy what you see. (Slasher Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Good Kills.

Worst Part: Lack of suspect hinting.

Kill Of The Film: Chugs

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It is left open to one but I doubt we will get one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: I Know What You Did Last Summer

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $27 Million

Budget: $16 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Tagline: The Sisters of Theta Pi Are Dying To Keep a Secret.

 

Overall: Sorority Row is a forgettable slasher that is actually watchable.

Rating 50

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Clive Owen Weekend – Inside Man (2006)

logoDirector: Spike Lee

Writer: Russell Gewirtz (Screenplay)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Plot: A police detective, a bank robber, and a high-power broker enter high-stakes negotiations after the criminal’s brilliant heist spirals into a hostage situation.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: The Best Modern Heist Film

Story: Inside Man starts with Dalton Russell (Owen) who explains the perfect bank robbery from inside a cell. We see how Dalton and his team start their robbery before meeting Detective Frazier (Washington) who has personal and profession problems and his partner Detective Mitchell (Ejiofor). The pair end up getting the call on the hostage situation.

The bank just so happens to be owned by Arthur Case (Plummer) who is worried when he hears about which bank it is. Cue the flash forwards to all the hostages getting interviewed by the police. Arthur calls Madeleine White (Foster) and lady who has the ability to deal with delicate situations and retrieve a certain item.

What follows is the plan unfolding but just who is behind it all is up to the police to discover as each hostage is a suspect. The other question remains what were they after?

Inside Man is a heist film that doesn’t end up making either the robbers or the cops the villains and both do come off as heroes, out villain is a banker showing the feelings we have about them in real life. The film has one of the best twists on the bank robbery genre and you literally don’t know what will happen. I personally didn’t like the flash forward but I did understand that it was needed. I think this could easily be up there with the best heist movies ever but seems to have got forgotten at that level. (8/10)

Actor Review

Denzel Washington: Detective Keith Frazier is the lead on the hostage situation, he has been getting framed in the work and this case is a chance to redeem himself. He tries to let the robbers make the first move but only finds himself being played. He ends up stepping in to make things happen but he just can’t work out who was involved in the robbery. Denzel does a good job in this role without really excelling. (7/10)frazier

Clive Owen: Dalton Russell is the mastermind behind the robbery, he seems to keep calm through every situation, he enjoys playing his cat and mouse battle where he ends up gloating about the outcome from the opening scene. Clive does a good job showing he can go against the biggest names in Hollywood. (8/10)dalton

Jodie Foster: Madeleine White is the professional problem solver who gets called into retrieve an item from inside the bank for the owner, she uses all her skills to get close to the case showing she always thinks she is ready to out smart whoever he meets. Jodie does a good job in a role you wouldn’t expect from her. (7/10)maddy

Christopher Plummer: Arthur Case is the owner of the bank who has a secret locked up in the bank, one he doesn’t want coming out leaving him to called Madeleine to solve his problem. Christopher gives us the standard performance in a villainous role. (6/10)arthur

Support Cast: Inside Man has a large supporting cast that includes many hostages along with small supporting roles from bigger name stars.

Director Review: Spike Lee Spike does give us a good heist film that still ends up putting his own messages in the film. (7/10)

Crime: Inside Man brings us an all new look at the heist genre which should be one of the most popular of recent times. (8/10)

Mystery: Inside Man does keep you guessing to what will happen by the end of the film. (8/10)

Thriller: Inside Man brings you to the edge of your seat from the moment the robbery starts. (8/10)

Settings: Inside Man keeps the setting easy to keep on top of because it stays mostly inside the bank and just outside. (9/10)

Suggestion: Inside Man is a film I think everyone should see at least one time in their life. (Watch)

Best Part: Dalton giving away his exit and following it up.

Worst Part: Goes on a bit after the robbery is complete.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $88 Million

Budget: $45 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 9 Minutes

Tagline: It looked like the perfect bank robbery. But you can’t judge a crime by its cover.

Overall: The best modern heist movie

Rating 80

Halloween Kingathon – The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer (2003)

Banner-3logoDirector: Craig R Baxley

Writer: Ridley Pearson (Screenplay) Stephen King (Characters)

Starring: Lisa Brenner, Steven Brand, Kate Burton, Tsidii Leloka, Brad Greenquist, Deirdre Quinn, Tsai Chin, Hans Altwies

Plot: Set at the turn of the century, this is the tale of Ellen Rimbauer who just received this mysterious mansion as a wedding gift from her new husband. Her husband is a Seattle oil tycoon who has a dark past which Ellen eventually finds out about. She becomes fearful of her husband when she learns of some disappearances of people that were close to him. Also there are some unexplained happenings at the Rose Red Mansion that might have a connection to these people who have disappeared. Now Ellen is worried she might be next.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow Horror Drama

Story: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer starts with the diary of Ellen (Brenner) who talks about the house being a spirit house, before flashing back to 1910 where Ellen is just waiting for John Rimbauer (Brand) to propose. John proposes with the Rose Red Mansion as his gift for her.

While on their honeymoon Ellen became sick but thanks to Sukeena (Leloka) her life is saved and a new loyal friend comes home with her. Once the house is opened to live in strange things start occurring in the home with the idea that the house is built upon an ancient Indian Burial Ground.

With the marriage continuing the love starts to dwindle but the house isn’t happy as it starts to make people disappear leading to Ellen having to consult a spiritualist Madame Lu (Chin) for answers. When the second disappearance happens Ellen and Sukeena start to investigate the house themselves looking for answers to the unexplained.

The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer tries to bring us a prequel story to the scare filled Rose Red, but in the end the film ends up becoming very flat just showing the relationship between the Rimbauer’s without offering a single scare. The story tells us just extended scenes of the back story we learn in Rose Red and really just leaves us flat and disappointed that this is in fact just a drama. (3/10)

Actor Review

Lisa Brenner: Ellen Gilcrest Rimbauer is the young lady who marries power oil tycoon John, the wedding present is the Rose Red Mansion but the mansion has a mind of its own as it tries to protect Ellen from all the wrong doings in the house, but when she tries to escape the house comes after he nearest and dearest as she descends into madness. Lisa does a solid job in the role. (6/10)

Steven Brand: John Rimbauer is the oil tycoon that marries Ellen but always wants to be in control but when he tries to control Ellen the house decides to help her fight back. Steven gives a solid performance but never really shines. (5/10)

Tsidii Leloka: Sukeena is the helper Ellen meets in Africa that helps her through a sickness before becoming her most trusted friend, she helps Ellen learn about the house through the film. Tsidii does a solid job throughout. (6/10)

Support Cast: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer has a supporting cast that mostly includes the people that go missing or seem to be against one member of the Rimbauer’s causing the friction.

Director Review: Craig R BaxleyCraig brings us a horror film with no scares and a drama with nothing interesting happening. (3/10)

Drama: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer ends up bring the family drama from the high society world in rather boring style. (4/10)

Horror: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer offers nearly no scares. (1/10)

Mystery: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer tries to offer a mystery but it really doesn’t because we know what happens. (3/10)

Settings: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer keeps most of the film inside the mansion but it just doesn’t have the same haunting feeling as the first outing. (5/10)

Suggestion: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer is one you could easily miss because it gives us nothing in a world created from the first Rose Red. (Avoid It)

Best Part: Nothing.

Worst Part: Ruins what was created.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

Tagline: Last year Stephen King and Craig Baxley dared you to stay at Rose Red. Now see how the terror began.

Overall: Disappointingly dull horror drama

Rating 15

2015 Watched List Part 13

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 131 – 140:

1. Laputa Castle in the Sky logoA young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle. A great animation that is filled with action and adventure.

2. Comedown logo Six friends who turn the deserted the tower block they lived in as kids into a pirate radio station soon learn they are not alone, as a resident psychopath begins hunting them down. Boring horror that is very slow.

3. An American Haunting logo Based on the true events of the only case in US History where a spirit caused the death of a man. Solid horror but nothing special.

4. Furious 7 logo Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for his comatose brother. Great action film with touching tribute.

5. Outlander logo During the reign of the Vikings, Kainan, a man from a far-off world, crash lands on Earth, bringing with him an alien predator known as the Moorwen. Though both man and monster are seeking revenge for violence committed against them, Kainan leads the alliance to kill the Moorwen by fusing his advanced technology with the Viking’s Iron Age weaponry. Not to be mixed up with the television show.

6. My Man is a Loserlogo Two married friends employ a single playboy to help them get their mojo back to save their marriages. A rom com I actually enjoyed.

7. Deadline logo A screenwriter who travels to an abandoned house to finish a script on time, but a series of strange events lead her to a psychological breakdown. Standard horror film.

8. Pleasantville logo Two 1990s teenagers find themselves in a 1950s sitcom where their influence begins to profoundly change that complacent world. Cleaver film that shows the cultural changes.

9. Terror Experiment logo A terrorist sets off an explosion that rocks the Federal Building and unleashes a toxic gas throughout the ventilation system. His purpose: to expose the Government’s secret biological warfare weapon, a deadly virus that instantly attacks a person’s adrenal system, causing them to become inhumanly aggressive, with an uncontrollable urge to kill each other. Oh god no.

10. Sunshine sunshine A team of international astronauts is sent on a dangerous mission to reignite the dying Sun with a nuclear fission bomb in 2057. one of the best sci-fi films of recent years.

The Best – Sunshinesunshine

The Worst – Terror Experimentlogo