Writer: Shin’ichiro Ueda (Screenplay) Ryoichi Wada (Play)
Starring: Takayuki Hamatsu, Yuzuki Akiyama, Harumi Shuhama, Kazuaki Nagaya, Hiroshi Ichihara, Mao
Plot: Things go badly for a hack director and film crew shooting a low budget zombie movie in an abandoned WWII Japanese facility, when they are attacked by real zombies.
Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Truly Unique Zombie Movie
Story: One Cut of the Dead starts on the set of a low budget zombie movie where Higurashi (Hamatsu) is seeking perfection from his stars Chinatsu (Akiyama) and Ko (Nagaya), which is seeing him push them to the limits. Calling for a break we see the actors bond with Nao (Shuhama), only to find themselves coming under attack by real zombies.
Higurashi has been using this location because of the rumours, which he now wants to help him get a more authentic horror movie, which turns into a real battle to survive the making of a horror movie.
Thoughts on One Cut of the Dead
Characters – Director Higurashi is the man trying to make this movie work, he is getting tired of his performers not showing enough fear, he pushes them to the limits with real zombies, which soon give him his perfect picture. Chinatsu is the star of the movie being made, she struggles to show the fear to start with, until she finds herself in a real zombie film. Nao is the production assistant that teaches the actors about the rumours about the area and joins in the fight against the real zombies. Ko is the lead actor in the film being made, he is meant to be the reluctant hero when the zombie attack.
Performances – This is a movie that has performances that do give the actors a lot to do, with a lot of different angles to be seen, everything is wonderful from the cast, that truly makes sense by the end of the film.
Story – The story here follows the production of the low budget zombie movie until things take a turn, from fiction to reality. This is a story that is a breath of fresh air, because it goes in a direction you won’t see coming and does seem like something we needed for the zombie genre of film. The story does however start by feeling like something we have seen before, until we go in the different direction. We do get some wall breaking moments which adds everything to this story, which will make it one of the most original and smart ideas you will ever see.
Comedy/Horror – The comedy in the film comes from most of the second half of the film, which will be constant laughs, the horror in the film does seem like a routine zombie movie, until things change, it doesn’t get as scary as it could, but then it doesn’t need to be.
Settings – The film uses the settings perfectly to add to the film, we get to see so much from the abandoned warehouse setting, which only grows in the later parts of the film.
Special Effects – The effects in the film are everything you need for a low budget production, it is used to create and add extra comedy to the film too.
Final Thoughts – This is one of the most original and ingenious by turning everything you think you know, leaving you laughing with pure enjoyment of the events of the film.
Overall: Ingenious Zombie Movie.
One Cut for the Dead will get a one-night event in the US on the 17th September.
Writer: Shaun Grant (Screenplay) Craig Silvey (Story)
Starring: Levi Miller, Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving, Angourie Rice, Dan Wyllie, Matt Nable, Myles Pollard, Aaron L McGrath
Plot: JASPER JONES is a coming of age story about Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 14. On the night that Jasper Jones, the town’s mixed race outcast shows him the dead body of young Laura Wishart, Charlie’s life is changed forever. Entrusted with this secret and believing Jasper to be innocent, Charlie embarks on a dangerous journey to find the true killer. Set over the scorching summer holidays of 1969, Charlie defeats the local racists, faces the breakup of his parents and falls head over heels in love as he discovers what it means to be truly courageous.
Tagline – The iconic Australian best seller now a major most picture
Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Powerful Mystery
Story: Jasper Jones starts when Charlie Bucktin (Miller) gets awoken by the town outcast Jasper Jones (McGrath) after he discovers a dead body of a local girl on his property. Asking Charlie to help him learn who was behind the crime, Charlie must keep his mouth shut when he knows the girl is the sister of his friend Eliza (Rice).
Setting out to solve the mystery Jasper must evade the curfew put on the kids of the town as he believes the town stranger Mad Jack Lionel (Weaving) is the man behind it all, but the mystery is harder to solve than this.
Thoughts on Jasper Jones
Characters – Charlie Bucktin is the teenager that is in the middle of the mystery about the death of the girl in the town. He befriends the one person everyone thinks it is as he must see the prejudice that the non-locals deal with being in the town. Ruth is Charlie’s mother that is always worrying about Charlie when he keeps breaking the curfew. Eliza is the sister of the dead girl, she becomes friends with Charlie as she needs someone to keep her feeling the right mind set during the wait. Jasper Jones is the outcast of the town who is easily the suspect the town will blame for the murder.
Performances – Levi Miller is good in the leading role, we have seen him in other movies and he has been making a reputation with this type of role. Toni Collette shines as we know she always will, she is such an incredible actress. Angourie Rice after The Nice Guys is an actress we want to see where she went next, here she is good and shows her potential. The rest of the stars are good for what they need to do.
Story – The story follows the mystery surrounding the death of a young woman and the mystery about who was the one responsible. We get secrets which help with the mystery as well as dealing with racial behaviour of the town’s people towards the ones that aren’t Australian. We do touch on other important subjects which come from the ending of the film, so won’t be spoiling them. This feels like a story that should have such a big impact though we don’t get enough time to process each moment to its full effect, this only disappoints because you do need to process large parts of this film.
Mystery – The mystery in this film comes from just wondering who was behind the death of the girl, even though this isn’t the only major talking point in the film as we end up seeing other subjects getting dealt with.
Settings – The small town setting in one that works for the film, it shows you could never know everything about your neighbours and you will need to be friends when things go wrong.
Final Thoughts – This does feel like a massively powerful movie that just doesn’t give us the time to process all the major talking points within the movie, this needed to be longer or a television show.
Overall: Too much to process at times.
Writer: Rolando Vinas, Krisstian de Lara (Screenplay) Clay Smith (Story)
Starring: Meg Foster, Stephanie Hernandez, Patrick Flanagan, Robert Paget, Giordan Diaz, David Hernandez
Plot: A group of science students have discovered how to scientifically explain the paranormal. Their goal is to present their findings to their school board and petition to launch the very first parapsychology credited course at their university. Their thirteenth and final investigation lands them at Black Grove Psychiatric Asylum where they look into the urban legend of ,The Mole Man, an ex-patient of the asylum who is thought to live within its walls.
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Just Another Paranormal Investigation Movie
Story: Investigation 13 starts when a group of students Melanie (Hernandez), Jerod (Flanagan), Nate (Diaz), Ernie (Ramos) and Terry (Alexander) get permission to investigate an abandoned psychiatric asylum for one night, one that saw another team simply vanish.
Arriving at the asylum the group are given the tour by Layla Parrish (Foster) with much of the focus on the infamous serial killer known as The Mole Man that escaped the asylum and with his escape saw a big change in everybody else in the asylum which led to the closure, can the students uncover the truth.
Thoughts on Investigation 13
Characters – Layla Parrish is the owner of the asylum, she will welcome the guests in to investigate, give the warnings and the history to the building. Melanie is the leader of the team, she has put in the requests for the investigation, brings the team together and is the one trying to prove the most for her class. Jerod is the other lead on front of the cameras in the investigation and like the rest of the team, we are getting Ernie and Nate who are the generic cameraman, while Terry is the one operating the remote cameras.
Performances – Stephanie Hernandez in the leading role of the investigation team is fine, which is going to be said for the whole cast, nobody does anything standout and most just struggle to make the true impact needed to make us understand the fear they are going through. Meg Foster does give us the creepy landlady performance, which is mostly explaining what has happened before in the asylum.
Story – The story here follows a group of paranormal investigators that are looking into an abandon asylum in an attempt to redeem their own reputation after the last investigation went wrong. Well, where do we start with this one, for the most part this is everything we have seen in any and all paranormal investigation in an asylum movie, we get next to nothing original in this story, mainly because it is a location and story that has been done way too much before. We get the routine, set up the cameras, walk around a lot, watch the cameras, hear noises, before something big happens after one of the team goes missing. While this story does have an element which does come off original, it is the fact we have to get through the usual material to get here. We do get animation used to fill the back story, which is strange to watch at times, though it does give us the unsettling feeling the live action side lacks.
Horror – The horror side of this film does rely on how you react to people trying to investigate an abandon asylum, it isn’t something we haven’t seen before when it comes to the horror though.
Settings – The film is set in the asylum which is filled with the rooms we would expect to see, it does only have one way in and out, which does leave us wondering why they would agree to investigate a place without knowing the escape.
Special Effects – The effects are limited, we don’t need to many, with a lot of the scene that do involve the animation, which covers up any effects needed.
Scene of the Movie – The animation spices up the generic story.
That Moment That Annoyed Me – We don’t get much new for the paranormal investigation side of the film.
Final Thoughts – This is a by the book paranormal investigation in an asylum movie, with the exception of the animation filling in the history of the asylum, we are given nothing new to type of movie.
Overall: By the book paranormal investigation movie.