Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Cell (2016)

cellDirector: Tod Williams

Writer: Adam Alleca, Stephen King (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Owen Teague, Samuel L Jackson, John Cusack, Isabelle Fuhrman, Stacy Keach, Joshua Mikel, Lloyd Kaufman

 

Plot: When a mysterious cell phone signal causes apocalyptic chaos, an artist is determined to reunite with his young son in New England.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable but Far From Perfect

 

Story: Cell starts as Clay Riddell (Cusack) is arrange his own flight home to see his son, surrounding in airport by people on the cell phones well suddenly everybody on a cell starts going crazy trying to kill each other. Clay finding safety in the basement teams up with Tom McCourt (Jackson) searching for safety.

Planning their next move Clay wants to head to New England to find his son and the two are joined by Alice (Fuhrman) as they see the streets fill with zombies infected by this virus.

Cell is the one of the best zombie style films I have seen in a long time, that is until 1 hour 10 minutes when we fall into stupid decision zone. This really annoys me in horror films but luckily we only really have one moment. For the rest of the film we get a nice fresh spin on the genre think mixing Invasion of the Body Snatchers with Pulse and 28 Days Later you will understand the style of zombies involved. The tension building is all very good but I can see people being disappointed with the final outcome of the film. If you do like a good zombie film this will work as a story though.

 

Actor Review

 

John Cusack: Clay is a graphic novelist travelling home to see his son in New England, he finds himself in the middle of a virus spreading through cell phones where he must survive as he continues to search for a way to get to his son. John is good in this role even if the character is your typical generic reluctant hero.

Samuel L Jackson: Tom McCourt is one of the men that joins Clay, he seems to be a man that has struggled in recent years but is good with a firearm. Samuel is solid but his character doesn’t get enough development for my liking.

Isabelle Fuhrman: Alice lives in the same building as Clay and after having killed her own mother she joins Clay and Tom in the quest for survival, proving to be a usefully source of information. Isabelle is good in this role see an older character from a former child horror star.

Owen Teague: Jordan is a student at a private school that the three meet, he is a genius understanding the nature of the zombie like humans which help as he joins the rest on the road to New England. Owen is solid in this role but doesn’t get enough development either.

Support Cast: Cell has a supporting cast that is basically people you meet and then they get killed offering very little to the full outcome of the story.

Director Review: Tod WilliamsTod does really well to create the world and handle the zombie like creatures but I do feel he struggles to develop these characters enough to make you care about them.

 

Horror: Cell does have good horror moments with the opening reaction and the dream sequence going on throughout.

Sci-Fi: Cell puts us into the middle of a post-apocalyptic world where cell phones have turned people into a zombie like state.

Settings: Cell creates each setting to feel like we have just entered an apocalypse.
Special Effects
: Cell uses the effects very well throughout mixing practical with CGI nicely.

Suggestion: Cell is one for all the Stephen King fans to enjoy. (King Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Opening sequence.

Worst Part: No real character development.

Action Scene Of The Film: Opening Sequence.

Kill Of The Film: Field of Screams.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Pulse

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: When everyone is connected no one is safe

 

Overall: One that I enjoyed but certainly not up there with the best.

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Franchise Weekend – 8MM (1999)

8mmDirector: Joel Schumacher

Writer: Andrew Kevin Walker (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini, Peter Stormare, Anthony Heald, Chris Bauer, Catherine Keener, Myra Carter, Amy Morton

 

Plot: A private investigator is hired to discover if a “snuff film” is authentic or not.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gripping Mystery Thriller

 

Story: 8MM starts as we meet private investigator Tom Welles (Cage) who is one of the most respected in the business. His latest job finds him working got Daniel Longdale (Heald) attorney to Mrs Christian (Carter) who finds an unusual film in her late husband safe, one that seems like a snuff film. Tom is hired to investigate whether it is a real tape or just clever piece of art.

Tom’s investigation which he disguises as a missing persons case leads him to Mary Ann Mathews (Powell) who has been missing for years. Learning about her disappearance Tom finds himself delving into the pornographic underworld of Hollywood. Tom recruits Max California (Phoenix) an employee from an adult store to take him into the underworld.

The deeper Tom gets into the world the more leads that get opened for him to investigate as he starts with producer Eddie Poole (Gandolfini) before finding himself in deeper than he could ever have imagined.

8MM takes us into a world we haven’t entered before as we watch how the underworld of porn has turned into the world of snuff. While the investigation is twisted filled and very much what you would expect it to be, it is the idea of the sexual drive from the villains that adds a disturbing factor to it all. We see this with how Tom reacts to everything in the film. I will say this contains a lot of disturbing material that can’t be easily watched but this does help show how far the world can go into darkness.

 

Actor Review

 

Nicolas Cage: Tom Welles is a well-respected private investigator, his latest job brings him into the seedy underworld of the pornographic as he looks for a missing person that could have been a victim of a snuff film. He must use all his skills to get into the world where he learns the shocking truth. Nicolas is good in this role where we get to see him in a dark situation compared to action star he has become.tom

Joaquin Phoenix: Max California works in an adult story, he has connections to the pornographic underworld as he teams up with Tom to uncover the truth about the snuff world. Joaquin is good in this role showing he is willing to take on the stranger roles.mike

James Gandolfini: Eddie Poole is an adult film producer that Tom starts investigating, he is as seedy as them come but does know something about the missing girl. James is good in the supporting role but we just don’t see enough of his character.

Peter Stormare: Dino Velvet is the pornographic producer that deals with all over the extreme porn, he is above Eddie in the chain that could well be the man behind the film Tom is investigating. Peter is solid in this role you could easily see him in but we don’t see enough of him.

Support Cast: 8MM has a supporting cast that all help the final outcome of the film, we have people who have been effected in their own way.

Director Review: Joel SchumacherJoel gives us an intense mystery thriller that pushes the boundaries of right and wrong.

 

Crime: 8MM takes us into the underworld of the porn industry where the snuff movies do get made by the people involved.

Mystery: 8MM does keep us wondering what is happening and who will be involved.

Thriller: 8MM manages to keep us on the edge throughout the film.

Settings: 8MM takes us to all the underworld areas to show how the perverts of the world can find what they want.
Special Effects
: 8MM has good effects to show the kills being involved.

Suggestion: 8MM is one to try, I do think it will be difficult to watch for certain people. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Eddie has to pay.

Worst Part: Hard to watch.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Sadly, Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $40 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Tagline: You are never prepared for the truth

Trivia: The enema porno film seen at the porn swap meet is a genuine S&M film that was heavily edited for inclusion in the main movie.

 

Overall: Difficult to watch but good watch throughout.

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