Writer: Christopher A Micklos (Screenplay)
Starring: Emmanline Friederichs, Madeline Conway, Carly Rae James Sauer, Davie Sapiro, Claudio Parrone Jr
Plot: When Ranae agrees to babysit for a family with a tragic past, a run-of-the-mill Saturday night quickly turns into a confrontation with unspeakable horror.
Tagline – Death isn’t always final
Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Tense Horror
Story: The Nursery starts when Ranae (Conway) gets given a babysitting job with the first night being a Saturday night, it isn’t long before Ranae starts seeing things around the house, her friends Calista (Friederichs), Grace (Sauer) and Jeremy (Parrone Jr) join her. Only for them to see a ghostly figure too.
As the night unfolds they look to confront the spirit and learn why it is haunting the house, only to find themselves facing a violent spirit they can’t control.
Thoughts on The Nursery
Characters – Ranae is the babysitter who does have her own tragic past to deal with, even though she does seem to overcome them, this night will test her new life and force her to face her past to battle the spirit haunting the house. Calista or Callie as the friends call her is the best friend of Ranae, who visits her at the home to offer support through the nights events. Grace is another one of the friends that visits, she brings her boyfriend which easily makes her the ‘slutty’ friend.
Performances – The performances are good in the film, with Madeline Conway taking the leading role and having to go through the largest amount on her character. The supporting cast fill the friends role well for the support.
Story – The story follows the babysitter that must learn the truth about the house to protect the baby from a violent spirit, joined by her friends, how can she survive the night. That is the core to the story, we have a good and bad points in this film’s story, first the idea of discussion about what type of spirit is an interest spin and easily one of my favourite parts of the film because we don’t just have the same scares happening. The idea that Ranae has a haunted past does help question her character, but this works to start with before undoing the hard work too early. The story can easily be compared to a Grudge type of story with the haunted house with a spirit that’s motivations are not as clear as they could be to our victims. Overall the story works for horror, does the basics well and doesn’t get much wrong.
Horror – The horror does work for the film, we have well built up moments of horror that give pay offs well through the film.
Settings – The whole film takes place in the singular location of the house, this does keep the horror confined, but I did find it confusing to just how big this house was.
Special Effects – The effects which are practical for the most part work very well, they are some clever camera ideas to create extra moments of scares.
Final Thoughts – This is a good horror, it hits the scare marks well, follows the story and does keep us guessing to where everything will end up going.
Overall: Horror fans check it out.
Writer: Jonathan Hensleigh, Greg Taylor, Jim Strain (Screenplay) Chris Van Allsburg (Book)
Starring: Robin Williams, Jonathan Hyde, Kirsten Dunst, Bradley Pierce, Bonnie Hunt, Bebe Neuwirth
Plot: When two kids find and play a magical board game, they release a man trapped for decades in it and a host of dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game.
Tagline – Roll the dice and unleash the excitement!
Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Fun Family Adventure
Story: Jumanji starts when a bullied young Alan Parrish finds a mysterious game called Jumanji he joins Sarah to play the game, he gets sucked into the game where he must wait for someone to rolls a 5 or 8 to release him.
26 years later orphaned children Judy (Dunst) and Peter (Pierce) move into the same house with their Aunt Nora (Neuwirth), the two discover the game and start playing, releasing Alan (Williams) from the game. Realizing there is only one way to fix the problems they have created, they must finish the game and bring Sarah (Hunt) back from her once nightmare.
Thoughts on Jumanji
Characters – Alan Parrish was a bullied school boy, trapped in the jungle for 26 years, he returns to him home town to finish the game he started. He is the best line of defence against everything that comes out of the game. He does have daddy issues because of how his father felt distant to him, he will learn to be the father figure he wants as the film continues. Sarah was the friend that joined Alan in the game, she has spent years in therapy to learn that it wasn’t real, forced to face the truth and play the game. Judy and Peter are the orphans forced to move town that just so happen to move into the old Parrish house, they have different ways to deal with the grief of losing their parents.
Performances – Robin Williams was the star of this movie, he was at his peak of family films and gets to have plenty of fun in this role as a character that never grew up. Bonnie Hunt is good as the traumatised character facing her fears. Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce do a good job in the children roles
Story – The story follows one young man that gets sucked into a board game only to be released as an adult, which will see him need to guide the rest of the players to finish the game. The story plays out like you need an adventure movie, as each enemy becomes deadlier for players and has a large variety of different potential effects. It is easy to follow and does touch on personal problems the characters have, Alan with his father problems, Sarah dealing with what she saw and the children dealing with the grief of losing their own parents.
Action/Adventure/Family – The action we see fits in hand in hand with adventure side of the movie as we have chase sequences and battles against the enemies. This does play into the family themes well too which is to see an unlikely family dynamic working together after their own personal problems.
Settings – The film takes place in New England town, it works for the film because of how the random creatures coming out of the game would never be seen there.
Special Effects – The effects are the weakest part of the movie because most of them have dated in a bad way.
Final Thoughts – This is a great fun movie that will keep you entertained from start to finish, it is one that is a must for the fans of the genre and Robin Williams.
Overall: Watch and enjoy with the family.