Black Christmas (1974)

blackDirector: Bob Clark

Writer: Roy Moore (Screenplay)

Starring: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon, Maria Waldman, Andrea Martin, James Edmund

 

Plot: A sorority house is terrorized by a stranger who makes frightening phone calls and then murders the sorority sisters during Christmas break.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nicely Built Horror

 

Story: Black Christmas starts as we meet our sorority girls Jess (Hussey), Barb (Kidder) Phyl (Martin) and Clare (Griffin) along with their house mother Mrs Mac (Walden). They are preparing for Christmas as well as dealing with creepy phone calls but not making too much from it. When Clare’s father Mr Harrison (Edmond) turns up to meet her she is nowhere to be found leading to her boyfriend Chris (Hindle) and LT Ken Fuller (Saxon) starting a man hunt for her.

We as the audience know where the killer who goes by the name Billy is and that is in the attic of the house along with the body of Clare, but the killer isn’t happy with just one body as we watch him pick off the sorority girls while begging for help with each phone call to the house.

Black Christmas is a film that got horrendously remade but here is the original that still holds up today. We have a slow building horror slasher that uses the creepy tones of a stalker inside the house as the best thing, we know this early on but our victims have no idea. The kills are not silly or over the top they are carefully planned by the killer to make sure he never gets caught. The police actually make sense in a horror film because they look at all options being available for the time. Some of the character do come off predictable but in the end this is a horror film that stands the test of time.

 

Actor Review

 

Olivia Hussey: Jess is your everyday ‘good’ girl in the sorority, but she does have a secret that she is pregnant with her boyfriend’s Peter baby that she wants to get rid of. She does get concerned by the phone calls coming in and always makes sure she is alert for anything happening around her. Olivia gives us a good performance in this role that comes off very believable with her innocence in the character.

Keir Dullea: Peter is Jess’ boyfriend who wants her to keep the baby and leave the career to get married, he sneaks around to make sure they can have time together. Keir does a good job in this role that has a lot more work than first imagined.

Margot Kidder: Barb is the drunk of the sorority who has many issues that won’t get dealt with in this time period, she speaks her mind as she continues to drink through everything going on. Margot is good in this role where she gets a few extra laughs.

John Saxon: LT Ken Fuller is leading the investigation into the missing girls which includes solving another case of a younger missing girl. He listens to all the options and pulls the town together to look for any information. John is great as this cop that actually does the right thing in the film.

 

Support Cast: Black Christmas has the disposable character you would expect to see in a horror film, they are all unique in their own way which works.

Director Review: Bob ClarkBob gives us a good horror that builds up nicely throughout.

 

Horror: Black Christmas lets the film slow burn the suspense instead of going for gore.

Settings: Black Christmas keeps a lot of the action inside the house because that is where the killer is hiding.
Special Effects
: Black Christmas doesn’t need too many effects with the kills because most is off camera.

Suggestion: Black Christmas is one the horror fans should have seen at least once. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Suspense

Worst Part: The ending might not please everyone

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: CAD $686,000

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: Black Christmas will ROCK you too!

Trivia: The film had only moderate box office success and negative critical reception when originally released, however the film went on to have a large cult following. It has since received a critical re-evaluation and is now considered a classic.

 

Overall: Horror gem that is way before it’s time

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The Hateful Eight (2015)

hatefulDirector: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino (Screenplay)

Starring: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kurt Russell, Channing Tatum, Samuel L Jackson, Walton Goggins, Zoe Bell, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Demian Bichir, Dana Gourrier

 

Plot: In post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunters try to find shelter during a blizzard but get involved in a plot of betrayal and deception. Will they survive?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Western Thriller

 

Story: The Hateful Eight starts as bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren (Jackson) signals down a stage coach with fellow bounty hunter John ‘The Hangman’ Ruth (Russell) and his latest bounty Daisy (Leigh). The three continue the journey before meeting the new Sheriff Mannix (Goggins) of Red Rock where they are heading.

A blizzard is chasing them before they decide to stop for the night letting the storm blow over where they meet Oswaldo Mobray (Roth), General Sandy Smithers (Dern), Joe Gage (Madsen) and Bob (Bichir). When John suspects somebody in the room not being who they say they are we are left to watch as tensions rise and true colours coming out once and for all.

The Hateful Eight brings us back into the world of the mastermind director Quentin Tarantino who can make such a simple idea an absolute must watch. The story is pretty much just figuring out who is who along with his dialogue which just seems to keep everything running smoothly from start to finish. The story is filled with twists and turns that all work to keep us guessing. While this is a brilliant film it does actually not capture the same level of intensity the last two outings from him have.

 

Actor Review

 

Jennifer Jason Leigh: Daisy is the lady who is wanted dead or alive and John Ruth is taking her to pay for her crimes, she talks to much and gets beaten. All she wants it to escape but her value is too high for Ruth to let go. Jennifer is great in this role opposite standing toe to toe with some of the best in the business.daisy

Kurt Russell: John Ruth has the nickname The Hangman as he always delivers his bounties alive so they can be hung. He is the first to suspect something going on in the cabin and tries to get to the bottom of it. He doesn’t care what people think of him as he is one of the best bounty hunters around. Kurt does a great job in this role continuing to show he is getting back to his brilliant levels.john

Samuel L Jackson: Major Marquis Warren is a civil war hero that has turned bounty hunter, he teams up with John to complete both their latest bounties, along with John they try to figure out what is going on in the cabin. Samuel gives us a performance you would expect to see in any Tarantino film.marquis

Bruce Dern: General Sandy Smithers is a well respect general who lead men in the civil war, he is in the cabin when John and co arrive but in a twist of events he was opposite Marquis in the civil war as the tension between the two has been risen from that moment onwards. Bruce gives us a great supporting performance throughout his time in this film.

Support Cast: The Hateful Eight has Walton Goggins, Zoe Bell, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Demian Bichir and Channing Tatum who all give brilliant performances with Tatum continuing to show he has to be taken seriously as a new serious actor.

Director Review: Quentin TarantinoQuentin gives us a brilliant film but it doesn’t quite reach the levels of the last two outings from the man.

 

Thriller: The Hateful Eight keeps you guessing to what will happen next from start to finish.

Western: The Hateful Eight brings us a true western for the characters to be involved in.

Music: The Hateful Eight uses brilliant music throughout which you would expect from Tarantino films.

Settings: The Hateful Eight uses the cabin for nearly the whole film where tension rise throughout.
Special Effects
: The Hateful Eight uses the good special effects with the kills which you are used to in a Tarantino film.

Suggestion: The Hateful Eight is one to watch for all especially for all the Tarantino fans. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The whole first cabin scene.

Worst Part: The final act feels slightly rushed and certain things disappoint.

Action Scene Of The Film: Who poisoned who.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for 3 Golden Globes including Best Actress in Supporting Role, Best Screenplay and Original Score.

Oscar Chances: Could easily be nominated for a couple.

Budget: $60 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 48 Minutes

Tagline: No one to trust. Everyone to hate.

 

Overall: Trademark Tarantino film that ticks all the boxes

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2015 Watched List Part 43

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 431 – 440:

 

1.      Paranormal Activity Ghost Dimensions ghost The ‘LAST’ in the series of film which is in 3D, yay, still isn’t very good and is the same as all the rest.

2.      Lone Survivor lone This real life story of four soldiers who get trapped behind enemy lines where they must fight to survive, spoiler in title.

3.      Honeymoon honemoon The horror film following a newlywed couple who have their Honeymoon when something strange happens one night that will change their lives forever.

4.      The Sting sting Multi Oscar winning film selected by Rob for the challenge but really does feel dated up against modern day heist films.

5.      400 Days days This Sci-fi film that follows four astronauts who become part of a social experiment where they spend 400 days in isolation only for strange things to happen near the end of the mission.

6.      Employee of the Month month Comedy follow to opposite employees as they battle out for the Employee of the Month title.

7.      Idiocracy idiocracy What if stupid people out live the smart people? Well this film answers that question.

8.      Under Siege 2 Dark Territory under Steven Seagal doing Die Hard on a train, that is it.

9.      Point Break point Surfers, FBI, Bank Robbers and Ex-Presidents all come together for this action thriller.

10.  Days of Thunder days Nascar the movie which Pixar remade as Cars.

 

The Best – Days of Thunderdays

 

The Worst – Paranormal Activity Ghost Dimensionsghost