Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – The Visit (2015)

logoDirector: M. Night Shyamalan

Writer: M. Night Shyamalan (Screenplay)

Starring: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie, Kathryn Hahn, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Samuel Stricklen

Plot: A single mother finds that things in her family’s life go very wrong after her two young children visit their grandparents.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow Paced Horror

Story: The Visit starts with Mom (Hahn) giving an interview to where she is now in her life where she got married, divorced and has two kids Becca (DeJonge) and Tyler (Oxenbould) who get a chance to make up with her parents who have never met their grand kids. The two kids are are filming the events of their journey and week with grandparents Nana (Dunagan) & Pop Pop (McRobbie).grandparnts

We follow as Becca & Tyler continue to go through the generic found footage annoying behaviour before the first night in the house when Becca discovers something about Nana. As the visit continues strange things start happening and Becca & Tyler get worried about Nana and Pop Pop’s behaviour.

The Visit comes off as a simple found footage idea which leaves you wondering what is going on throughout, it takes it times to give us the final reveal and equally leaves us with plenty of options out there. I would like to ask the one big plot hole issue for me and that would be not showing the kids a photo of the grandparents first. Over looking that issue the final act really ends up great because it would keeps you guessing from start to finish without giving too much away.

Actor Review

Olivia DeJonge: Becca is the eldest of the children who wants to document the visit giving us the found footage excuse as she films every moment of the trip, she also has to look after her little brother. Olivia comes from nowhere to give a great performance in this role.

Ed Oxenbould: Tyler is the younger of the sibling who is acting way older than his age but he also believes that he could be responsible for his parents divorce. Ed gives us a great performance for the young actor.

Deanna Dunagan: Nana during the day comes off like a normal elderly woman but by night she ends up having a secret where she comes off very strange with the way she acts. Deanna gives us a good performance in this role where she changes mind set in almost every scene.

Peter McRobbie: Pop Pop is the grandfather who has issues during the day but protects his wife during the day from her nightly activities. Peter does a good supporting role that doesn’t do much extra even though he has something uneasy about him throughout.

Kathryn Hahn: Mom is their parent to the kids who sends them to have a weekend away with her parents that she hasn’t seen in since she ran away from home when she was 19. Kathryn is mostly on web cam just checking in on the kids.

Support Cast: The Visit really doesn’t have any supporting characters with anyone else just appearing in one scene.

Director Review: M. Night ShyamalanHe is back on top of the genre here with a good horror that shows he is getting back to what he does best.

Horror: The Visit has an overall feel of creepiness from start to finish.

Thriller: The Visit keeps us wondering about what is happening without hinting too far before finally giving us the reveal.

Settings: The Visit is set mostly in the remote house giving the whole film giving it an isolated location feeling.
Special Effects: The Visit doesn’t end up using special effects which shows you don’t need them for horror.

Suggestion: The Visit is one to watch for all the horror fans out there because they will enjoy it all. (Horror Fans Watch)

Best Part: The reveal.

Worst Part: It does come off slow to start.

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $60 Million (US)

Budget: $5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

Tagline: No one loves you like your grandparents

Trivia: M. Night Shyamalan used his fee from the Will Smith produced science-fiction adventure story After Earth (2013) to self-produce the film in question. In his own words, this was “an attempt to regain artistic control” after his recent movies had been denied final cut, and were even taken away from him in post-production.

Overall: Slow burning horror thriller that really does have a disturbing final twist


Guillermo Del Toro Weekend – Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

logoDirector: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Mike Mignola (Screenplay) Mike Mignola (Comic Book)

Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, John Alexander, Luke Goss, Anna Walton

Plot: The mythical world starts a rebellion against humanity in order to rule the Earth, so Hellboy and his team must save the world from the rebellious creatures.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Fair Tale Comic Book

Story: Hellboy II: The Golden Army starts with a quick recap on how Hellboy came about, before entering into a time period between the two events 1955. we see Professor Bloom (Hurt) (Returning after dying in the first film) telling a young Hellboy a fairy tale about the elves in their battles and the birth of The Golden Army. The story follows that a crown that can control the Golden Army is separated into three, one for the humans and the other two spilt between the Prince and Princess.

Back to present day we meet Prince Nuada (Goss) who comes to Earth to reclaim part of the crown given to the humans. Hellboy (Perlman) is still getting himself in trouble by being witnessed again, but he is struggling to cope with his new relationship with Liz (Blair).

When Prince Nuada decides to declare war on the humans he must first kill his father before leading his people into battle, he must find his sister Princess Nuala (Walton) who has the final part the crown. Hellboy and his team with their new leader Johann Krauss must learn to work together to stop the elf war.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army is by far the most unique comic book films I have seen, I loved the full blown fairy tale side to the story that made the villain almost the most important because he is actually fighting for what he believes to be right. Unlike most films were there is evil is all about destruction this one wanted power. I do think this is the most underrated comic book of recent years. The only negative side to this film would be that the character bought into make a future character no longer exists in the film. (8/10)

Actor Review

Ron Perlman: Hellboy is still struggling with the loss of his father as well a struggling with his relationship with Liz. He must work with a new leader who he doesn’t get along with as thy enter the elf under world to save the world again. Hellboy also tries his hardest to be accepted by the world who starts to question his motives. Ron continues to shine in this role using his flair throughout the film. (8/10)hllboy

Selma Blair: Liz Sherman is the love interest of Hellboy who ha the ability to turn into fire, she makes for great partner in combat as Hellboy can’t gt hurt by fire but she wants to live a normal life too. Selma does a good job building upon her character from the first outing. (7/10)liz

Luke Goss: Prince Nuada is the elf prince who wants to go back to war with the humans from the elf underworld. He wants to take his place back believing the humans are no longer worthy of walking the Earth. Luke does a good job in this role making for a good villain. (7/10)prince

Anna Walton: Princess Nuala is the twin sister of Prince Nuada who still wants to respect the ways of her father and must team up with Hellboy to prevent her brother from committing his war. Anna does a god job making for a god supporting character addition. (7/10)princess

Support Cast: Hellboy II: The Golden Army builds on the supporting characters added with brilliant fantasy characters bought into the elf world as well as the returning characters working with Hellboy.

Director Review: Guillermo del ToroGuillermo brings us his fantasy element to a comic book making him the absolute perfect choice to direct. (10/10)

Action: Hellboy II: The Golden Army is filled with action pack battles against different fantasy figures. (8/10)

Fantasy: Hellboy II: The Golden Army puts us in the middle of a battle between elves and human giving this a real fantasy feel throughout. (9/10)

Settings: Hellboy II: The Golden Army creates a mix of real settings and fantasy underworld settings that make this a much more beautiful film. (9/10)
Special Effects: Hellboy II: The Golden Army brings us stunning effects to create the alternative world for the action to take place. (9/10)

Suggestion: Hellboy II: The Golden Army is one all comic book fans just have to watch. (Watch)

Best Part: Getting drunk.

Worst Part: Though John is written out easily enough I feel his character still had something to add to the story.

Action Scene Of The Film: Planet creature in Brooklyn.

Funniest Scene: Locker room fight.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: There is constant talk of a sequel.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Nominated for one Oscar

Box Office: $75 Million

Budget: $85 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours

Tagline: From the visionary director of Pan’s Labyrinth

Trivia: David Hyde Pierce did the voice of Abe Sapien in Hellboy (2004), while Doug Jonesplayed the physical part. For Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), Jones also does the voice. The reason is because the producers hoped Pierce’s name would make the first film a box-office smash. But he refused to be credited because he felt Abe Sapien was Jones’ work, and as such did no promotions or interviews, or even attended the premiere.

Overall: The most unique and brilliant comic book film.

Rating 85

Halloween Kingathon – The Dead Zone (1983)

Banner-1logoDirector: David Cronenberg

Writer: Jeffrey Boam (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Chritopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt Herbert Lom, Anthony Zerbe, Colleen Dewhurst, Martin Sheen

Plot: A man awakens from a coma to discover he has a psychic detective ability.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: He Sees Your Future

Story: The Dead Zone starts with teacher Johnny Smith (Walken) quoting The Raven by Poe before suggesting Sleepy Hollow (yeah remember he was the headless horse man years later). While travelling in the rain he has an accident ending up in hospital, but once he awakes he learns he has been in a coma for five years, but he also discovers he has the ability to read the future by touching someone.

The powers John has gained start to make him have a celebrity feel around town with some people seeing it as a gift others a curse and John he doesn’t know what to think at first, until more people start coming to him for help including Sheriff Bannerman (Skerritt) who needs his help to solve a killer on the lose.

As his power grow, so does his reputation to be able to help people with their problems but soon he starts to struggle with all this consequences of what is happening in the world around him and cocky presidential candidate Greg Stillson (Sheen) starts using questionable methods.

The Dead Zone ends up following two stories with one character, we learn how he struggles with powers no one person has ever had before trying to escape the situation. Everything plays out very nicely and we truly do believe what is happening to the man, but if you could use the powers what would you do to change people’s fate? That is the question this film really leaves you to wonder about. This is a dark story without being truly scary and is well worth a watch. (8/10)

Actor Review

Christopher Walken: Johnny Smith is the school teacher who ends up in a coma for five years, he ends up gaining the gift of foresight which he uses to prevent death being it against criminals or accidents. Christopher does a great job in the leading role of this film. (8/10)john

Brooke Adams: Sarah Bracknell is the former fiancé of John who moved on with her life after his accident, she comes back into his life but due to her being married it can never be the same as before. Brooke does a good job in this role. (7/10)

Tom Skerritt: Sheriff Bannerman is the man who turns to John to help solve a case with a maniac going around killing young women. Tom does a good job with the little time he has on camera. (7/10)

Martin Sheen: Greg Stillson is running for office but he does things his own way, the dirty way at that, trying his hardest to anything t make sure he gets there. I think it would be fair to say that Martin steals the film with his glorious display as the presidential candidate. (9/10)

Support Cast: The Dead Zone has a supporting cast that doesn’t really know what to expect from the powers that our leading character has gained.

Director Review: David Cronenberg Cronenberg does what you expect from one of the best directors of the films that really tested you during the 80′. (8/10)

Horror: The Dead Zone has certain horror moment with that scissor scene being the most talked about. (8/10)

Sci-Fi: The Dead Zone enters into this world by taking our character into looking into the future and trying to prevent it. (9/10)

Thriller: The Dead Zone keeps you guessing to what the John will find out next and how he will stop it from happening. (8/10)

Settings: The Dead Zone doesn’t rely on the settings being a major part of this film but uses them for the special shots. (8/10)
Special Effects: The Dead Zone uses great special effects with that scissor scene being the true highlight. (9/10)

Suggestion: The Dead Zone is one for all the horror fans to watch before seeing the television show spin on the story. (Horror Fans Watch)

Best Part: The vision of Greg’s future.

Worst Part: Would have been nice to have more to the first story investigation.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has a TV spin off.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 hour 43 Minutes

Tagline: In his mind, he has the power to see the future. In his hands, he has the power to change it.

Overall: Great horror brilliantly film one to remember.