Halloween Midnight Franchise – Saw II (2005)

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

Writer: Leigh Whannell, Darren Lynn Bousman (Screenplay)

Starring: Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Donnie Wahlberg, Erik Enudsen, Franky G, Glenn Plummer, Emmanuelle Vaugier

 

Plot: A detective and his team must rescue 8 people trapped in a factory by the twisted serial killer known as Jigsaw.


Tagline – We Dare You Again.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Sequel

 

Story: Saw II starts as we meet Detective Eric Matthews (Wahlberg), the lead investigator into Jigsaw now, he has been struggling with his parental duties with his son Daniel (Knudsen) but when he gets called out by Jigsaw, the team get their first lead. Closing in on Jigsaw or as we know now John Kramer (Bell) he finds himself watching over his son inside the latest game.

We follow Daniel with the other victims including drug dealer Xavier (G), returning victim Amanda (Smith) and Jonas (Plummer) as they must navigate their way through this game as Daniel watching on hopelessly learning the motivation behind all of John’s ideas.

 

Thoughts on Saw II

 

Characters – John Kramer is the man we know as Jigsaw now, he hosts the games and this time he brings the detective to him, knowing he hasn’t got long left to live, he mocks them as he explains his actions and choices. Detective Eric Matthews has been tracking Jigsaw for a while now taking over from the previous case, he finds his son in the latest game and must listen to the motives behind the games. Daniel is Eric’s son that is in the game, his true identity could be his undoing as he is put in the game with the criminals. The criminals in the game all have been involved in Eric’s cases and all have their own problems.

PerformancesTobin Bell fast became the face of this franchise and you can see why in his calm performance throughout. Donnie Wahlberg is good as the detective but you feel he doesn’t get to the same level as Glover did in the previous film. Erik Knudsen is good as is Shawnee Smith, we have good performance from the whole cast.

StoryThe story continues in the hunt for Jigsaw, we know who he is now but the police still don’t know his identity. We follow how one detective gets put to the test to learn who the selection of new victims are that are with his son while we also get the first steps into the backstory for Jigsaw and what his goals with the games are. This does build a bigger world picture by the time we are done and just leaves you wanting more.

Horror/MysteryThe horror once more from the games being played by our victims, we get more graphic games here but that is because of the style of battle to survive, the mystery isn’t on the same level but we do have one as we wonder why these people have been selected.

SettingsThe settings keep us in dark warehouse rooms which show how low the people need to go to make it out alive and how easy the traps could be to create.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well to create the kills and games which look practical for the most part too.


Scene of the Movie –
Final reveal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Some of the cut editing is too flashy.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good sequel to the original, it continues to build the world and most importantly brings us a twist that is even bigger than before.

 

Overall: Good sequel, keep watching.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – Z – Zombie Sharks (2015)

Director: Misty Talley

Writer: Greg Mitchell (Screenplay)

Starring: Cassie Steele, Roger j Timber, Ross Britz, Sloane Coe, Becky Andrews, Laura Cayouette

 

Plot: A perfect getaway for four friends turns into survival when they fight an experimental shark.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyably Cheesy

 

Story: Zombie Sharks starts as Jenner Branton (Britz) takes his bar maid girlfriend Amber (Steele), her sister Sophie (Coe) and other bar maid Bridgette (Andrews) away for a weekend away at Red Plum Island. The resort is run by Lester (Timber) who does all the work, reception, Bar tender and chef.

When a dead shark washes up on shore it brings the tourists to take selfies but this dead shark isn’t in fact dead and eats Jenner, this brings the sisters closer as they team up with the military led by Maxwell Cage (London) to defeat the undead sharks in the ocean.

 

Thoughts on Zombie Sharks

 

Characters – Amber is the sibling that has become distant from her family with her only communication being with her sister Sophie, she is overprotective which is starting to create the wedge between them, she stands up for the people willing to fight to save people. Maxwell Cage is the soldier sent to clean up the sharks and even though he is biting off more than he can chew he will continue to battle the sharks. Lester is the man who runs the resort looking to make it big and is good for moments of comic relief. Dr Palmer has been doing the research on the sharks in hope of finding a cure for a human disease, she doesn’t want to risk her work once things start going wrong.

PerformanceThe performances along the board are not the greatest, with some working into the cheesiness of the story while others look lost at times but can also add to the comedy.

StoryShark movies have become the craze over the past few years and this is no different we get zombie sharks, this gives us sharks that once bitten turn other sharks into zombies and even turn humans into zombies. This is all farfetched which works for the crazy story being told which is fun without being amazing.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror is surrounded by the idea of shark attacks but has little suspense happening through the film. the sci-fi side is how the sharks have been modified to become zombies. Sure this all works well for the nonsense of the film.

SettingsThe main group find themselves on the island which they can’t escape even with boats due to a storm and now the sharks and zombies are closing in. this keeps everything together for the film to show how they must solve their own problems.

Special EffectsThe effects are all low budget with most of the CGI looking cheap but what you have come to expect but there is one highlight here with the seemingly real small shark head that is still alive.

Scene of the Movie – Brigette’s believing she is the centre of attention on the beach.

That Moment That Annoyed Me When this film was shown on sci-fi in the UK it was edited horribly.

Final ThoughtsOf all the crazy shark idea movies, this one does seem like it is enjoyable, fun and on the right level of crazy to not get carried away with everything.

 

Overall: You like crazy shark movies, then you will enjoy this.

Rating

 

 

Welcome Home (2018)

Director: George Ratliff

Writer: David Levinson (Screenplay)

Starring: Aaron Paul, Emily Ratajkowski, Riccardo Scamarcio, Katy Louise Saunders, Alice Bellagamba

 

Plot: A couple spend a weekend at a vacation rental home in the Italian countryside in an attempt to repair their relationship, but soon become victims of the homeowner’s sinister plans.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacklustre Thriller

 

Story: Welcome Home starts with our couple Bryan (Paul) and Cassie (Ratajkowski) heading to their Italian countryside rental home for the weekend, as they two look to rebuild their relationship. With the relationship still strained you can see the troubles they are having and when neighbour Federico (Scamarcio) arrives in their lives it only shows how things might never be fixed.

The closer Federico gets to the couple the stranger the events, we learn that he has the house rigged with cameras and is happy to help continue adding strain on the relationship either by pushing Bryan to get even or trying his own hand at seducing Cassie.

 

Thoughts on Welcome Home

 

Characters – Bryan has been struggling to deal with the fact his girlfriend cheated on him, he is torn between making the big step or walking away and this holiday will give him that chance for an answer. Cassie is the girlfriend that has cheated on Bryan, she is trying to do anything to help him forgive her though we are never truly sure she wouldn’t do something like this again. The problem with both of these two comes with the fact we don’t get to learn anything about who they are other than each other’s partner, we spend more time either watching Cassie shower or just watch her getting dressed than to give us any redeeming characteristics. Federico is the neighbour that offers a friendly hand to Cassie, soon we learn his motives as he watches over the house with a series of cameras as he inserts himself into the lives of the couple.

PerformancesAaron Paul is the leading role does continue to struggle on the big screen after his wonderful performances in Breaking Bad, he never looks that interested in what his character is meant to be. Emily Ratajkowski is known more for her modelling and music videos, sure she looks beautiful but when it comes to acting, she doesn’t leave too much to the imagination. Riccardo Scamarcio is the villainous role is creepy and seductive just like he needs to be for his role.

StoryThe story follows a couple that are rebuilding their relationship on a vacation where things end up getting pushed to new limits by a mysterious stranger. This is something we have seen before, there is no simply way of putting it, the way these usually works better is following the mysterious stranger because we learn what they are doing and wait to see when the others will. This gives us the information about what he is doing and still makes us sit through most of the fight the couple are struggling through, which again could have been highlighted stronger as the point of trying to get over it, but they are reacting like it only just happened. This story is weak for the most part, the highlight comes from the final moments, which could make you rethink everything you did just watch.

ThrillerThe film does try to put us on edge from the start to the finish as we learn what is going on and wait to see just how far things will go, the problem is that this film doesn’t hit the markers to suck us into everything that is happening.

SettingsThe film is set in Italy which as we saw in ‘Call Me By Your Name’ can have beautiful backdrops, this film fails to capture this in anyway.


Scene of the Movie –
The final moments.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Seriously how many shower scenes do we need in 90-minute movie?

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie that follows a well known style of couple on vacation to fix problems only things go wrong, the acting is basic, the plot predictable and the settings are not used to their best capability.

 

Overall: Dull thriller.

Rating

 

 

Anchor and Hope (2018)

Anchor and Hope will be available on DVD & Digital Download from 5th November

Movie Reviews 101

Director: Carlos Marques-Marcet

Writer: Carlos Marques-Marcet, Jules Nurrish (Screenplay)

Starring: Geraldine Chaplin, Oona Chaplin, Natalia Tena, Charlotte Atkinson, Lara Rossi, Trevor White, David Verdaguer

 

Plot: Two women, Eva and Kat, and the best friend of one of them, Roger. A boat in the canals of London and a question: Is it possible to live love, family, and life in such different ways and yet remain united?

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Authentic Look at Love

 

Story: Anchor and Hope starts as we meet our couple Eva (Chaplin) and Kat (Tena) who live in a boat on the canals of London, they are at a crossroads in their lives and their relationship as they are figuring out the next steps, Kat’s friend Roger (Verdaguer) joins them as the…

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