Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – Grave Halloween (2013)

logoDirector: Steven R Monroe

Writer: Ryan W Smith, Sheldon Wilson (Screenplay)

Starring: Kaitlyn Leeb, Cassi Thomson, Graham Wardle, Dejan Loyola, Jeffrey Ballard, Hiro Kanagawa, Jesse Wheeler, Tom Stevens, Kevan Ohtsji

Plot: Suicide forest is just a name – isn’t it? Miko intends to find out, even if it means uncovering the sad truth about her mothers suicide.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: If you go down to the woods today you will die

Story: Grave Halloween starts with Maiko (Leeb) dreaming as she searches a forest looking for her mother who has mysteriously died in the forest. Maiko is at university and about to head of to film a documentary with Amber (Thomson), Kyle (Wardle) and Terry (Loyola) as they go in search of Maiko’s mother. The buddying young film crew are heading into suicide forest and world famous forest for the unusually high amounts of suicide taking place there.

Our group of friends arrive at the forest first seeing an abandoned car, followed by a body being carried out before getting shown the way by mysterious stranger Jin (Kanagawa). The deeper the friends get into the forest the increased number of strange events start happening as they find out they might not be alone in the forest and the suicides might have more to them.

Grave Halloween uses a concept that does actual interest me because I have heard about this forest before but this film almost exploits the idea. This also could have been an awful found footage luckily we are saved from that horror because the build up. Saying all this I did find it slightly disrespectful towards the victims of the real forest and also found it confusing how we only has American characters in Japan apart from the authorities. I feel this film really struggles to get started and flows at a very slow pace throughout. It does hold out on the kills for a long time but never really hints at what will happen which I guess would be a good thing but in the end it feels very forced and boring. (3/10)

Actor Review

Kaitlyn Leeb: Maiko has agreed to do a documentary about the search for the location where her mother committed suicide months before, she guides the team into the forest known for its high suicide rate. Kaitlyn does a ok job in the role but is never believable as a leading lady. (4/10)

Cassi Thomson: Amber is the ambitious producer using this film as her work at university. She has a team she trusts and even after ending up with a back up member she tries to make the best she can. Cassi does seem to have to do the extra amount of screaming in the film but that seems like her main point in the film. (3/10)

Graham Wardle: Kyle is the last minute replacement camera man who is much more experienced to there original member. Graham fills the reluctant hero role well but never does anything special. (4/10)

Dejan Loyola: Terry is the sound guy working in the crew that has to explain why the previous cameraman left the project. Terry gets trapped in the forest with Amber but let’s face it he is the supporting disposable character. Dejan makes for solid enough supporting disposable character but nothing too important. (4/10)

Support Cast: Grave Halloween has a supporting cast that includes the rest of the victims as well as the ghostly spirits.

Director Review: Steven R MonroeSteven doesn’t do the best job directing because he never makes you too interested in the characters r what is going on. (3/10)

Horror: Grave Halloween has very basic jump scares with a couple of good gore moments. (6/10)

Settings: Grave Halloween does put us in a good isolated location which does help increase the horror ideas. (8/10)
Special Effects: Grave Halloween uses good effects with the kills and gore filled moments. (7/10)

Suggestion: Grave Halloween is one to maybe try on a late night television but in the end it is easy enough to avoid. (Late Night TV)

Best Part: Amber’s leg scene.

Worst Part: Very slow.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline: No one survives in the suicide forest

Overall: Slow, scare-less horror film that never really gets interested.

Rating 25

Halloween Kingathon – Cat’s Eye (1985)

Banner-1logoDirector: Lewis Teague

Writer: Stephen King (Screenplay)

Starring: Drew Barrymore, James Woods, Alan King, Kenneth McMillan, Robert Hays, Candy Clark, James Naughton

Plot: A stray cat is the linking element of three tales of suspense and horror.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Suspenseful Trilogy of Terror

Story: Cat’s Eye starts with a cat running from a rabies infested dog Cujo going past a car called Christine before escaping and hearing a girl Amanda (Barrymore) crying for help, before getting caught and locked away.

Time to meet Dick Morrison (Woods) who is trying his hardest to quit smoking and he heads to the a clinic with different methods with Dr Vinny Donatti (King). The methods of quitting smoking involve Dick getting watched every minute of every day and if he should smoke one of his loved one will pay with ever increasing methods, he has four strikes or he is out.

With that story finished our cat ends up in Atlanta where it runs into gamblers Cressner (McMillan) who is dealing with his cheating wife’s new boyfriend Johnny Norris (Hays). Cressner gives Johnny a one time bet, walk around the ledge of his building and he can take his wife, money and freedom but otherwise he will end up dying trying or be framed for a crime.

The final tale of terror is about a family Sally Ann (Clark) husband Hugh (Naughton) and daughter Amanda (Barrymore) who the cat comes to but Amanda is being traumatised by a troll like creature while the cat just wants to protect her.

Cat’s Eye brings us three perfectly balanced tales of terror that keep you on edge from start to finish of all of them. Each chapter has a slight twist on what it used to focus on, with one being paranoia based, one all suspense and the final one almost a creature features. I like how each story takes advantage of its about 30 minute run time to get the most out of ideas and loved how the cat ends up walking into each story too. If you love a trilogy of horror films this will work for you. (7/10)

Actor Review

Drew Barrymore: Amanda is the young girl from the final chapter of the story who is having bad dreams but wants to adopt the cat after it comes to her family’s home. She is also the girl calling the cat on its adventures. Drew does a good job in this role even if the cat and troll seem to be the main characters. (7/10)

James Woods: Dick Morrison is a business man who has a smoking problem, he wants to give up and turns to Dr Donatti who promises he will quit smoking even if he has to go to extreme measures. When the paranoia of being watched takes over will he be able to quit, that is the question. James does a good job in this role showing he can play this style of role perfectly. (7/10)

Alan King: Dr Vinny Donatti is the doctor running the clinic whose extreme methods push Dick to the edge of paranoia but he knows he can get the results required. Alan does a good job in this role filling it with terror throughout. (7/10)

Kenneth McMillan: Cressner is the gambler who will gamble on absolutely anything, but this time he wants to teach his wife’s lover a lesson while he tortures him into going around his building. Kenneth makes for a good villainous character. (7/10)

Robert Hays: Johnny Norris is the victim of Cressner’s games who has to walk around the ledge of the building for his freedom. Robert has a good terror filled performance here. (7/10)

Support Cast: Cat’s Eye doesn’t really have too many supporting character but each one helps the main character in the story enough.

Director Review: Lewis Teague Lewis does a good job balancing the three stories and gives us different types of horror in each one. (7/10)

Horror: Cat’s Eye gives us three different styles of horror and each one ends up getting pulled to the limits. (8/10)

Thriller: Cat’s Eye will keep you on the edge of your seat through each different story. (8/10)

Settings: Cat’s Eye uses different settings for each story which works to help the horror happen. (8/10)
Special Effects: Cat’s Eye has good effects for the most part but has a couple that don’t always look as good now. (7/10)

Suggestion: Cat’s Eye is one for all the horror trilogy fans will enjoy because you can easily skip on if you don’t like to sound of it. (Horror Trilogy Fans Watch)

Best Part: Middle Story.

Worst Part: I would like to have seen more from the first story.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Creepshow

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $9 Million

Budget: $7 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

Tagline:  Through the eye of the cat, a twisted tail of macabre suspense from the author of CARRIE, The SHINING and THE DEAD ZONE.

Overall: Good series of horror films from a horror master.

Rating 70