Halloween Midnight Franchise – Saw (2004)

Director: James Wan

Writer: Leigh Whannell (Screenplay) Leigh Whannell, James Wan (Story)

Starring: Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Ken Leung, Michael Emerson, Monica Potter

 

Plot: Two strangers awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there or why, and soon discover they are pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.


Tagline – How do you solve a puzzle with pieces missing?

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Horror

 

Story: Saw starts as Adam (Whannell) and Dr Lawrence Gordon (Elwes) awaken in a bathroom, with their ankles chained and a dead body between them. They both have a tape from notorious murderer Jigsaw that wants to play a game with them.

Dr Gordon fills in who Jigsaw is to Adam and us, as we learn the Detectives David Tapp (Glover) and Steven Sing (Leung) who have been hunting Jigsaw and even suspect Dr Gordon at one stage. It becomes an obsession for Tapp who believe Dr Gordon is Jigsaw leaving him to watch his home, but as Adam and Lawrence get to know each other the twists on the true identity of Jigsaw come to light.

 

Thoughts on Saw

 

Characters – Dr Gordon is one of the latest victims of Jigsaw, a respected doctor why would he be selected is a mystery but his personal life isn’t as clean as his medical career. Dr Gordon plays the vital role of filling in the blanks to who Jigsaw could be as he has been considered a suspect. Adam is the other victim in the room, he seems clueless to everything going on but we learn his reason for being selected and his connection to Dr Gordon. Detective David Tapp has been hunting Jigsaw, it nearly cost him his life and has now become an obsession for him. Detective Sing is the partner of Tapp that has been working on the case with him.

PerformancesCary Elwes and Leigh Whannell are both great in the leading roles of the film both show the desperate position they find themselves one being calm the other panicked with their responses. Danny Glover wasn’t too old for this shit, in fact he is good throughout in the supporting role of the film.

StoryThe story is a mystery of why the two are being locked in bathroom, the film opens the door to the bigger picture to who and why Jigsaw does what he does, the selecting the victim process and the concept of keeping us guessing to just who Jigsaw is. We have a nice number of twists that keep us guessing from early on in the film which only gives us more when we look back on second viewing. This is a brilliant start to what became a Halloween tradition in cinema.

Horror/Mystery The horror is what has happened to previous victims of the Jigsaw murders, we also have the idea of what could happen to our leads in the bathroom. The mystery comes from the idea of just who is behind the crimes as we watch the investigation unfold before us.

SettingsThe settings for the film are used perfectly, we have the games which are mine fields for the victims with the bathroom being the biggest of all of them, which is what makes this the icon film we know.

Special EffectsThe effects are practical which is good to see, we are left in shock with moments even if some of the film is based more of what has happened over forcing us to watch.


Scene of the Movie –
The final act

That Moment That Annoyed Me Part of Tapp’s storyline seems tagged on.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most iconic horrors of modern time, it has everything and most importantly took the horror genre to a much needed new direction.

 

Overall: Must watch horror film.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – Y – You’re Next (2011) (Revisited Spoiler Talk)

This is a Re-visited review, it will contain more spoilers that the normal review, to read the non-spoiler review click here

Director
: Adam Wingard

Writer: Simon Barrett (Screenplay)

Starring: Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Margaret Laney, Amy Seimetz, Ti West

 

Plot: When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of the victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.


Tagline – Don’t bother locking the doors. Animals don’t use doors.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There will be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Best Modern Slasher

 

Story: You’re Next starts as we follow a couple that get butchered in their remote woodland house, with the window painted with the words ‘You’re Next’ in blood.

We then get to meet our main family, the Davison’s who are celebrating the parents Paul (Moran) and Aubrey (Crampton) 35th wedding anniversary, bring their kids and partners together, Erin (Vinson), Felix (Tucci), Zee (Glenn), Crispian (Bowen), Drake (Swanberg), Kelly (Laney), Aimee (Seimetz) and Tariq (West).

What starts as a family dinner filled with conversations which soon turn into an argument, the family comes under attack, we see how the family comes together to think of a solution to escape, which only leads to the first deaths. Erin shows a different side to her, unlike anything her partner Crispian has seen before, prepared for an attack or at least to defend herself from attackers.

The family is now facing enemies, the number is unknown to them and we need to whittle the cast down a little bit more too, so bring us in the bad decision character, Kelly who runs out into the dark woods surrounding the house screaming for help, this moment feels designed to show us what the killers are capable off, not picking between the men or the women, just looking for the kills.

Continuing to show a darker side Erin sets up the remaining family members to defend themselves, while showing she can put up a fight by being the first to kill one of the killers after he breaks into the home.

We now know just what the killers and Erin are capable off, but a twist changes everything as one of the family members is behind the attack, the only one that is capable of fighting back is Erin and our new hero icon is born.

 

Thoughts on You’re Next

 

Characters – Erin comes off as the girl next door time, former TA to her boyfriend in her final year of her master’s degree, being an Australian actress, we keep this trait for her character too which brings in to the conversation at the dinner part of the film. when the attack starts, her training comes first nature as she looks to defend the family from the attacks, her skills for surviving were not known by anyone in the family before tonight.

Felix is one of the brother’s in the family he isn’t the best at combat and like all siblings argues with the others, he is the one that is behind the attack wanting the inheritance money from his family, Zee is the girlfriend of Felix, in on the plan, waiting for her time to get involved, we have her around a lot, but we don’t see her do much. Crispian is the boyfriend of Erin, the one that bought her to the party, seemingly the eldest brother and the one that disappears through the film, always feeling shady. The rest of the siblings and partners are used for the basic kills to show us just how the killers operate, as are the parents. The killers themselves in a Lamb, Tiger and Fox mask fill the menace required showing zero moments of hesitation when it comes to aiming for the kill.

PerformancesSharni Vinson is fantastic in this leading role, she takes over the mantel of the lone survivor in a horror film, kicks ass throughout the film, she is the true star of this film. when we start looking at the rest of the cast they all know exactly how to play their roles without taking away from the leading lady.

StoryThe story follows a family coming together for a wedding anniversary party only to come under attack from an unknown group of attacks them, it follows the panic and takes a twist which turns the tables on the attackers, with the deadliest threat being one of the members of the house. We do get the bad decisions which comes from the disposable characters which does give us the chance to see the kills impact and we do get a twist along the way about who the attackers are. For the slasher genre this breathed new life into the sub-genre and makes us want to see where the director/writer will go next.

HorrorThe horror elements of the film show us the killers getting the kills which are filled with blood and certain ones are original and will make you remember them, let talk the blender.

SettingsThe film is set in the simple location of one house in the middle of the woods, there is a walkable neighbour, though it does dispose of the people in that house in the opening sequence, which gives us the isolation needed for the attack to take place in.

Special EffectsThe effects used for the film are great, we have unique looking kills which will be ones that you do remember once the film has finished, see the blender again.


Scene of the Movie –
The blender, you will understand why.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The disposable characters while used to show the killers make the annoying mistakes.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best modern slasher movies out there, it can be enjoyed by horror fans, it has blood, gore and twist galore.

 

Overall: Must watch horror movie.

Rating

 

 

I Think We’re Alone Now (2018)

Director: Reed Morano

Writer: Mike Makowsky (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Paul Giamatti

 

Plot: The apocalypse proves a blessing in disguise for one lucky recluse — until a second survivor arrives with the threat of companionship.


Tagline – In the End…Chaos Will Find You

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bleak & Beautiful

 

Story: I Think We’re Alone Now starts as we meet Del (Dinklage) who after a sudden apocalypse which has left everybody in his town dead, is in the middle of cleaning up the neighbourhood, burying the dead, cleaning up their homes, this has been the best thing to happen to him.

Del’s perfect life gets an unlikely visitor in Grace (Fanning) a young woman who is also looking for her own place in the abandoned world, the two reluctantly decide to help each other, which only forces Del to change his ways, can he cope with having someone else around.

 

Thoughts on I Think We’re Alone Now

 

Characters – Del is a recluse that never got on with people and with the apocalypse giving him the chance to be alone, he spends his days cleaning up his home town, moving the dead bodies, cleaning the homes and trying to make the town livable again. His quiet life is turned upside down, when a stranger arrives, he is left with the question of deciding whether he can live with someone else or just keep his lonely life. Grace is the young woman that turns up in Del’s town, she is just looking for more people in the world which brings her to try and help bring Del out of his lonely way.

PerformancesPeter Dinklage is fantastic in this leading role showing us just how content his character is because life hasn’t changed too much in his characters life. The idea where he can make us care about this lonely character going through the motions shows his talent. Elle Fanning is great too, she brings life to the film because of her energy to this bleak world.

StoryThe story here follows one man that has been given the perfect life in his eyes after the world goes through an apocalypse, he is cleaning up his town making it how he believes it should look even with all the people dead. This side of the story is portrayed perfectly because never have you seen someone so content in this world, even Wall-E was depressed in this type of world. his life changes when a stranger arrives and he is torn between wanting to be left alone and having somebody else around who might not follow his method of living. This story doesn’t give us the full explanation to what killed everybody and strangely enough we don’t need it, just be thankful it isn’t a zombie one. The idea that the world hasn’t always been as accepting as Del would have liked is clear too, which makes us understand why he likes being alone, while having that craving of human interaction once Grace turns up in his life. We tackle ideas of isolation through the apocalypse and address how people can be affected by this in normal life, almost becoming accepting of it. The story does go down a road we have seen before which never reaches the full levels of similar films, which is nice because it keeps everything grounded from the views of Del and the world he is happy in.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery side of the film comes from seeing and wondering just what caused the apocalypse, why Del survived it and whether he is the only one left, this only gets more questions for the audience to ask when Grace arrives in his life. The sci-fi element of the film comes from seeing just what the world would look like with a sudden death apocalypse.

SettingsThe film creates one of the most haunting towns possible for being empty, Del marking up houses, to his visits to the library show us just how empty the world is, though full for Del.


Scene of the Movie –
Watching Del go about his day.

That Moment That Annoyed Me People could be annoyed by not knowing the true reason why the people got died.

Final ThoughtsThis is a beautiful and bleak apocalypse movie that keeps the story simple, the performances fantastic and you just wanting to see more of the world created.

 

Overall: Dinklage shines bright here.

Rating