Possum (2018)

Director: Matthew Holness

Writer: Matthew Holness (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Harris, Alun Armstrong, Simon Bubb, Andy Blithe, Pamela Cook, Charlie Eales

Plot: After returning to his childhood home, a disgraced children’s puppeteer is forced to confront his wicked stepfather and the secrets that have tortured his entire life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Unsettling Throughout

Story: Possum starts when a puppeteer Philip (Harris) returns home after his latest performance has left him disgraced, his step-father Maurice (Armstrong) had been waiting for him to fail and now Philip wants to figure out of to destroy his puppet which does seem to have a mind of its own.

As Philip continues to look to get rid of his terrifying puppet it just keeps return and add in a new missing schoolboy report, Philip is let wondering if the puppet had something to do with this evil or not.

Thoughts on Possum

Characters – Philip is a puppeteer with one of the creepiest puppets you have ever seen, he is returning home to escape after his latest show went terribly wrong and it isn’t long before the strange events continue to plague him. He becomes a suspect in a missing persons case and the puppet he is trying to get rid of, keeps returning for him. Maurice is his stepfather that always pushes him too far, he always seems to be judging Philip. We only truly get to meet two characters with the puppet having a life of its own.

PerformancesSean Harris is genuinely creepy through this film giving a performance that is bound to get him placed in any horror film he wants for years to come. Alun Armstrong does well in the supporting role which does work very well in the film.

StoryThe story follows the puppeteer that is haunted by his own puppet while is clearly a metaphor for something else going on in his life. This is a strange film to say the least, it does deal with real issues that can be disguised and will keep you feeling uneasy throughout. We could spend time studying certain issues in this film, but that goes into full spoilers.

HorrorThe horror comes from the uneasy feeling we are getting through the film, with just what could be going on, the appearances of the puppet itself, which does look genuinely creepy.

SettingsThe settings for this feel only add to the atmosphere involved in the film, each place feels like something terrible could happen.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film come from the puppet creation and slow movements that it gives us through the film.


Scene of the Movie – Puppet first appearance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is slow in places.

Final Thoughts This is a movie that does leave you feeling unsettled by what we see with a puppet that just feels difficult to look at.

Overall: Creepy horror.

Rating

Advertisements

Horror Franchise – Scream 4 (2011)

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson (Screenplay)

Starring: Neve Campbell, David Aqurette, Courteney Cox, Hayden Panettiere, Emma Roberts, Marley Shelton, Erik Knudsen, Rory Culkin

 

Plot: Ten years have passed, and Sidney Prescott, who has put herself back together thanks in part to her writing, is visited by the Ghostface Killer.


Tagline – New decade. New rules.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple but Unnecessary Sequel

 

Story: Scream 4 starts with the release of Stab 7 which gets to poke fun at the idea that franchises have gone on too long before with multiply false starts before the latest victims who believe they know how to survive a horror.

We get to see that Sidney (Campbell) return to Woodsbury to promote her book on the ten-year anniversary of the events of the last film. Gale (Cox) is now married to Dewey (Arquette) who is now the sheriff.

Sidney’s cousin Jill (Roberts) and friends Kirby (Panettiere), Olivia (Jaffe), Robbie (Knudsen), Trevor (Tortorella) and Charlie (Culkin) all believe they are living in the past events in the town. With the cast in place, the rules of the reboot are put in place as a new killer starts to stalk the neighbourhood once again.

 

Thoughts on Scream 4

 

Characters – Sidney has made a career in books after the events in the films, she is completing her latest book tour right where it all started. With her back in town the killings start up again, Sidney must be the role model for her cousin who is going through the same situation she once did. Gale is now married to Dewey, she has given up the spotlight, but craves getting back into the field with the new killings offering her the chance. Dewey is now the sheriff who must now control the situation before it gets out of hand. We get the new potential victims or suspects here with Jill being Sidney’s cousin always tired of being in the shadow of her more famous family member, Kirby the rebellious teenager, Robbie who is filming every moment of his life for a reality YouTube network and Charlie is the leader of the film club. These characters do fit around the moulds of the original teens too.

PerformancesNeve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette all return giving us good performances without needing to bring anything new to the performances. Of the new cast members nobody comes off in a shining performance which can disappoint in places as we have a wonderful set of talents in the film.

StoryThe story here brings back our original characters just as a new killing spree has started in the area where it all started, with a new generation of victims and horror fans. The idea for this story comes from the idea that we have too many sequels or reboots, which does help take away the serious nature from the film, the Ghostface does seem flat for the most part because they seem to get mixed into being too intense without a reason behind the killings. Of course this is more about poking fun with the meta of everything in the horror genre which is does achieve.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film comes from the slasher angle, only this time we get a bloodier version of the kills showing the change in the genre. The mystery in this film comes from just who the killer is going to be this time, though we don’t get enough signs this time.

SettingsThe film returns to the original town which does help with the idea of a reboot sequel piss take that we are dealing with.

Special EffectsThe effects are the most disappointing side of this film because we have moments of CGI that don’t look as true as the practical moments.


Scene of the Movie –
Deputy Judy being like Dewey is the funniest moments.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The kids are not really likeable.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid look at the horror genre with the countless sequels and remakes that we are seeing, it brings back enough relevant characters back but does fail to give us enough interest new ones.

 

Overall: Simple fun sequel.

Rating

 

 

Dracula (1958)

Director: Terence Fisher

Writer: Jimmy Sangster (Screenplay) Bram Stoker (Novel)

Starring: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling, Carol Marsh, Olga Dickie, John Van Eyssen

 

Plot: Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire’s castle under false pretenses, forcing his colleague Dr. Van Helsing to destroy the predatory villain when he targets Harker’s loved ones.


Tagline – Sensational SHOCK and THRILL SHOW!

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Another Dracula Story

 

Story: Dracula starts when Jonathan (Van Eyssen) heads to meet Count Dracula (Lee) in an attempt to have learn the truth about the mysterious Dracula, when Doctor Van Helsing (Cushing) doesn’t hear back from Jonathan, he heads to the castle only to learn the tragic truth.

Returning to London, Van Helsing soon discovers Dracula has followed him, searching for his latest victim, which will see him haunt the family of the fiancée of Jonathan, trying to make his new latest bride, Van Helsing sets out to end the reign of terror Dracula has been having for years, can he stop him?

 

Thoughts on Dracula

 

Characters – Doctor Van Helsing has been trying to hunt down Dracula for years now, his latest attempt sees him anger the vampire, forcing him to defend his loved ones before he starts his own attack on the vampire. Count Dracula has lived a life where his presence has struck fear in the locals, he is a vampire with his age seemingly unknown, after his bride is taken from him, he goes after the people that took her, in search of finding his new bride. Arthur is one of the people working with Van Helsing, it is his family that has becomes the target of Dracula, with Mina being the wife of Arthur that is one of the women Dracula wants to make his brides.

PerformancesPeter Cushing and Christopher Lee are the icons on the 50’s horrors, this film shows they are just wonderful in the horror performances both sides of the good and evil scale. When it comes to the supporting roles, it appears that the rest of the cast are meant to just let the lead two stars take the spotlight.

StoryThe story here is the basic Dracula story, where after one of his brides is killed, Dracula targets the family that took his bride to get his own new bride and revenge. The Dracula story has been told so many times, it does become slightly boring to watch a story that doesn’t offer anything new to the tried and tested formula. If you do know the basic story, you will know everything that happens in this film which just ends up being nothing refreshing.

HorrorThe horror comes the ideas of vampires with Dracula lurking in the darkness, most doesn’t come off scary though which is disappointing.

SettingsThe film uses the couple of main locations, we have the castle of course which we don’t spend enough time around, the English house that shows how the family will try to hide from Dracula.

Special EffectsThe effects are practical which do bring one of the most memorable scenes in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It isn’t anything new.

Final ThoughtsThis is a hammer horror version of Dracula, it works well enough for the basic idea, only it doesn’t reach too much new to the story idea.

 

Overall: Hammer Horror Dracula.

Rating

 

 

Horror Franchise – Scream 3 (2000)

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson, Ehren Kruger (Screenplay)

Starring: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Patrick Dempsey, Jenny McCarthy, Parker Posey, Dean Richmond

 

Plot: While Sidney and her friends visit the Hollywood set of Stab 3, the third film based on the Woodsboro murders, a new Ghostface begins to terrorize them once again.


Tagline – The best Scream is always the last one. Just hope the last one isn’t your own.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Best Horror Trilogy

 

Story: Scream 3 starts as we see just how successful Cotton Weary (Schreiber) has become, only now he has become the target of Ghostface who wants Sidney. Sidney now living off the radar helping abuse victims over the phone, with Gale Weathers (Cox) still making money off the murders.

Stab 3 is now being made with a string actors Tyson (Richmond), Tom (Keeslar), Sarah (McCarthy), Angelina (Mortimer) and Jennifer (Posey) playing the loved characters from the first film. Dewey (Arquette) is working on set and with Detective Kincaid (Dempsey) trying to get to the bottom of the murders.

With Sidney forced out of hiding, she must go face to face with Ghostface once again and learn just why the killer has returned in search of her.

 

Thoughts on Scream 3

 

Characters – Sidney is now living off the map, helping women in need of a helping hand, when the killer tracks her down, she comes to help from her hiding where she will come face to face with the true killer. Dewey is now working on the set of the Stab films, he is helping one of the stars of the film understand her character and gets stuck into the investigation this time. Gale isn’t as cut throat as she once was, her career didn’t go as well as it could have, she must put up with the needy actress who is playing her in the film. Detective Mark Kincaid is the cop assigned to try and track down the killer willing to push boundaries to uncover the truth. We get a string of actors that will be playing to the roles of the characters in the franchise, with Jennifer Jolie preparing to be Gale being the highlight of these and if not the whole movie. Our suspect list is long which only adds to the mystery we might be seeing through the film.

PerformancesNeve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette all return and give good performances through the film, they don’t build on what we know from them, Parker Posey however steals the whole movie, every scene she is in we want to see more from her. This film does suffer from having too many actors which does stop giving the stars the time required to truly shine.

StoryThe story follows the production of the third ‘Stab’ movie which is from the series of films that are based on the events of the Scream films, that starts getting its own body count from a new killer with connections to Sidney’s mother. This could easily be considered the weakest story of the three so far in the franchise, this is mostly because of the idea of being on the film set with the actors and real people gets overly complicated and takes away from the suspense we previously experience. As for the twists we learn the rules that make things feel like a larger scale operation which even after seeing the previous film do fit together much like what many of the 80s slashers did.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film comes from the slasher side of things which are all routine enough and work for the film, with the mystery coming from just who is truly behind the murders.

SettingsSetting the film in Hollywood, mostly in and around a film set makes us relive the moments we have gotten to know through the years and most importantly show us how a film could be getting made.

Special EffectsThe effects in the movie continue the style we have seen before, it gives us the blood we need to make look real without being over the top.


Scene of the Movie –
The continuing reference to how difficult Scream 2 was to make.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Some of the supporting characters, mostly the actors don’t get much screen time.

Final ThoughtsThis is the third part of one of the greatest horror trilogies, it continues to show us behind the curtain of horror movies with a twist we didn’t know about to keep the story feeling fresh throughout the film.

 

Overall: This is how to make a trilogy.

Rating