Baskin (2015)

baskinDirector: Can Evrenol

Writer: Can Evrenol, Ogulcan Eren Akay, Cem Ozuduru, Ercin Sadikoglu (Screenplay)

Starring: Mehmet Cerrahoglu, Gorkem Kasal, Ergun Kuyucu, Muharrem Bayrak, Faith Dokgoz, Sabahatin Yakut

 

Plot: A squad of unsuspecting cops goes through a trapdoor to Hell when they stumble upon a Black Mass in an abandoned building.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not for the Light Hearted

 

Story: Baskin starts as we see a close group of cops Boss (Kuyucu), Yavuz (Bayrak), Arda (Kasal), Apo (Dokgoz) and Seyfi (Yakut) who show their characters in a diner exchange with the hot head Yavuz talking the most but reacting to everything in aggressive manor, Apo being the calm between them all, Arda being the new member of the squad and Seyfi being the driver.

When Seyfi has an odd moment in the diner the squad regroup as they get called for an assignment in a part of town feared by many. When the squad are involved in an accident they find themselves with no communicate in the middle of nowhere but right on the doorstep of where their investigation was intended to start.

What follows is the men going into what can only be described as a hell like dimension where they all experience horrific scenes of violence and question their own sanity while Arda exorcises his own demons of his childhood.

 

Thoughts on Baskin

 

StoryThe story here is very clever when you look past all the gore effects being used even if it does end up being a true tried and tested formula. I don’t feel I can go too into details without giving away too much but we know the basics of a group of people enter house finding themselves trapped by the evil inside.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy world of hell comes through here with the horrific imaginary we go through will make the light stomached people feel very uneasy.

Characters/PerformanceIt is fair to say all of the police officer characters are all generic in the way you would expect but the Father figure is one hell of a creepy gate master for hell.

The performances are all good giving us all the fear these characters are going through with the calm persona of Cerrahoglu makes us fully scared of the character he is portraying.

SettingsMost of the settings are within the abandoned warehouse which is used brilliantly because of all of the dark corners and none existent lighting the characters find themselves searching through.

Special EffectsThis film uses the effects perfectly to create the shocking imaginary we go through with the police officers in hell that pushes the limits and will not be for the weak stomached people.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most visually disturbing movies you will ever see with plenty of imaginary that could put a lot of people off.

 

Overall: This is a brave bold and blood soaked horror that can be enjoyed by the fans of the genre.

Rating89

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Candyman: Day of the Dead (1999)

Director: Turi Meyer

Writer: Al Septien, Turi Meyer (Screenplay) Clive Barker (Characters)

Starring: Tony Todd, Donna D’Errico, Jsu Garcia, Wade Williams, Alexia Robinson, Lupe Ontiveros, Mark Adair-Rios

 

Plot: The Candyman is back, trying to convince his descendent, an artist, to join him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: What Happened?

 

Story: Candyman: Day of the Dead starts with a random bathroom scene, a big ass bathroom a normal person would never have when a random girl gets a visit from the Candyman without saying his name, I feel like I am not going to like this film.

Ok turns out the random girl is our leading character Caroline (D’Errico) the great, great granddaughter of Daniel Robitaille (Todd) who is all grown up now and is honouring his art in a gallery back in LA. This time we get the backstory once again changing the time of the death of Daniel and the rise of the Candyman.

After Caroline gets pushed into calling the Candyman five times she starts finding herself haunted by him as he has returned to continue his bloody trail of horror. Caroline must work with David (Garcia) to stop the Candyman after the first murders happen, can she put her descendant to rest once and for all?

 

Thoughts on Candyman: Day of the Dead

 

Characters/PerformanceCandyman is back, don’t ask me how he is back but he is, he still continues to be creepy throughout the film which is what we want and willing to kill anyone in the most brutal way. Caroline is the daughter of last leading lady Annie that works to help remember her great great grandfather. David is also involved but turns into bait.

Performance wise, Tony Todd does the best he can with this awful script but the person that stands out as awful all around is Donna D’Errico, a former playboy girl taking over the leading role from much better actress, in this performance here you could easily see in porn. The acting all around is pretty bad to be honest.

StoryThe story here continues to confuse because it was made clear the curse was over but No, it is still happening and the time jump to the adult version of the child in the end scene doesn’t help either. We do have mostly more of the same Candyman wants to swap souls with his selected woman killing anyone else. The story is filled with painful stereotypes and instead of growing the story we just get boobs this time around.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy side of this story is nearly all but gone now with the only horror in this film being the acting.

SettingsWe are back in LA now, because what the hell and the Candyman legend is even celebrated in this town now, sure why not it doesn’t help the film in anyway though.

Special EffectsI don’t think there was much of a budget for special effect because they all come off badly in this film.

Final ThoughtsThis was a dreadful third instalment of the franchise which I did enjoy until now, the acting is so bad, the director just gave up on storytelling and went with boobs as we end up with nearly every female cast member topless at some point.

 

Overall: Terrible ending to this franchise.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995)

Director: Bill Condon

Writer: Rand Ravich, Mark Kruger (Screenplay) Clive Barker (Story)

Starring: Tony Todd, Kelly Rowan, William O’Leary, Bill Nunn, Matt Clark, David Gianopoulos

 

Plot: The Candyman arrives in New Orleans and sets his sights on a young woman whose family was ruined by the immortal killer years before.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good World Building Sequel

 

Story: Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh starts with the backstory of Daniel Robitaille (Todd), you know everything we learnt from the last film and how he will come around to haunt you from his myth. This time we are in New Orleans as Ethan Tarrant (O’Leary) wants Philip Purcell an author who has made a profit in books from the Candyman story to pay for failing to help his father.

When Ethan gets arrested for murder, his school teacher sister Annie (Rowan) comes to learn the truth about what happened with tough as nails Detective Ray Levesque (Gianoploulos) wanting to take Ethan down. This time New Orleans are looking to celebrate the Candyman jumping straight into what he wants, people to believe in him once again.

When Annie calls the Candyman she finds herself being the latest victim and must delve deeper into the back story to learn about the legend of the Candyman hoping to stop him once and for all.

 

Thoughts on Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh

 

Characters/PerformanceThe Candyman now striking fear into his audience is back but this time everyone knows about him almost worshiping in New Orleans. He is still a brilliant screen presence killing anyone he feels like killing. Annie is a teacher who is having to investigate the Candyman story to help free her brother from jail and understand her own father’s mysterious death. she is smart when investigating and loyal to her students too. Ethan is the suspect spending most of the film claiming he didn’t do anything.

Performance wise, Tony Todd is still the star of the show still as scary as ever. Kelly Rowan does a good job taking over the leading role but past these two nobody does that well in the performance levels.

StoryThe story can be looked at two ways, the first one is this is a good franchise building story because we get to see the deeper backstory of the Candyman, the second way could be considered the bad way, this is because the Candyman is now a household name that gets celebrated which doesn’t make sense after the first film. it also has a lot of filling to reminding us what we learn in the first film. the story is easy to follow and as a franchise I do think this is a good addition to what we have come to know of the Candyman.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy elements of the Candyman story are the same as last time with a human backstory now but the horror doesn’t reach the levels of before because the Candyman isn’t as secretive as before.

SettingsMoving the settings to New Orleans is a mixed bag as well for me, the spiritual beliefs around the city do add to the mythology behind the Candyman but it also works the other way because they are celebrating him here, which goes against what we learn in the first film.

Special EffectsMost of the practical effects all come off well here but the couple of uses of the CGI do leave us questioning moments in the film.

Final ThoughtsAs a horror fan I liked the deeper backstory because if offers plenty of sequel potential but I also think this film doesn’t offer enough on the true scare factor the first one did, in fact this film goes out of its way to do the mirror scene while the first I believe only did it once.

 

Overall: I have rated this high because I think the Candyman can strike terror into nearly anybody.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Candyman (1992)

Director: Bernard Rose

Writer: Bernard Rose (Screenplay) Clive Barker (Story)

Starring: Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Xander Berkeley, Kasi Lemmons, Vanessa Williams, DeJuan Guy, Ted Raimi

 

Plot: The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster’s myth.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fantastically Scary Horror

 

Story: Candyman starts as we learn the legend of the Candyman as researcher Helen Lyle (Madsen) and her partner Bernadette (Lemmons) are collecting accounts of what happens if you say the name ‘Candyman’ in the mirror five times he will appear to you and gut you with his hook.

Helen is married to college professor Trevor Lyle (Berkeley) who teaches urban legends that sweep through word of mouth, sounds like the Candyman story. Helen and Bernie continue their investigation which takes them to a rough neighbourhood where one of the most famous cases of the Candyman took place.

Learning more about the Candyman legend and the horrifying truth about the man Daniel Robitaille (Todd) who was butchered and stung to death. When Helen finds, herself getting a visit from the real Candyman (Todd) who places her in the middle of a crime where she is accused of murder, but this is just a game for the Candyman trying to make his legend continue or will she break the curse.

 

Thoughts on Candyman

 

Characters/PerformanceHelen fills the journalistic leading lady, yes, I know she is a grad student researcher but this offers her a chance to look into the truth of urban legends. This is a standard leading character but at least one that is designed correctly for this style of film. the Candyman is the character we all came to see, he is a striking presence on screen that strikes fear into anybody who sees him, the hooked hand and bees offer genuine fear from this character. Trevor is the husband but is distant through the film that Helen believes is having an affair.

Performances, Tony Todd is fantastic in this role, he created a brand-new icon in horror that is scary in every single scene he is in. Virginia Madsen also shines in this role giving us a strong female lead which always works in horror. Xander Berkeley does ok but doesn’t feel like part of the main story in places.

StoryBringing us a story that focuses on the idea of an urban legend being true but only if you believe in it does work for horror. Having a revengeful spirit killing from beyond the grave will always add to any tension in horror and having a full investigation that fills in the backstory is all we need from this film’s story to add scares and motivation behind it all.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy of what the Candyman stands for is great and built up wonderfully with the horror coming from nearly any scene the Candyman is in because he will kill in the most brutal way with his hook and haunt the dreams of Helen.

SettingsThe film uses to main settings, the ones that are for Helen’s normal life and the bad side of the tracks if you like which shows the dark world the legend has been built up from.

Special EffectsThe special effects used here brilliant, mostly practical ones as we see the final image of what the real Candyman looks like with bees and all will add even more fear to the performance.

Final ThoughtsEasily one of the most iconic horror movies ever made that shows us all horror from one small legend.

 

Overall: Stunning horror a must watch for any horror fan out there.

Rating

 

 

The Golden Compass (2007)

Director: Chris Weitz

Writer: Chris Weitz (Screenplay) Philip Pullman (Novel)

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards, Ben Walker, Freddie Highmore, Ian McKellen, Eva Green, Sam Elliott

 

Plot: In a parallel universe, young Lyra Belacqua journeys to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a mysterious organization.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Been Here Seen This

 

Story: The Golden Compass starts in a world with parallel universes where the human spirits can walk next to humans in animal form known as daemons, with a Golden Compass being the only way to find the different universes. We meet young Lyra (Richards) who lives with her Uncle Lord Asriel (Craig) who is an adventurer that is seeking the Dust which can travel between universes.

With the children getting taken by Goblers Lyra in her high life promises to search for poor boy Roger’s (Walker). Lyra is chosen by Mrs Coulter (Kidman) to help with her research in the North which just so happens to be where Lord Asriel is heading, in what looks like a battle for the dust.

Learning that Mrs Coulter is behind the missing children Lyra teams up with a host of other characters in the Gyptians as they search for the children and her Uncle before Coulter’s research is complete.

 

Thoughts on The Golden Compass

 

Characters/PerformanceLyra is the type of leading child you will need for this type of film, she comes from a rich background, she is curious and brave. Mrs Coulter comes along as the villainous character that believes in the cause she is fighting for with Lord Asriel is the explorer looking to change the future. The rest of the characters do their part well as Lyra goes on her adventure.

Performance wise, Kidman and Craig both do a good job in their roles, but it is Richards that really struggles in the lead role, she is meant to come off posh but too often comes off a common which takes away from the character.

StoryThe story is one I have come to believe was butchered from the book, which when you watch you can see, it gets the basics correct but anything which involved developing a character sadly gets forgotten as the film unfolds. The story ends up becoming slightly messy and focuses on just doing action to cover the lack of story.

Adventure/Family/FantasyThe adventure side of this film should be clear, but it just shows one person’s adventure, I don’t feel the family could enjoy this movie but the fantasy world we find ourselves in does work well.

SettingsThe settings all look good with their own fancy way of saying countries we all know in the world just having slight twists on them.

Special EffectsMost of the special effects all work well, but there are moments which look pretty bad for the CGI.

Final ThoughtsIf you want a cliff hanger that never gets complete, well here is the film for you.

 

Overall: This seems like a solid start to the franchise but we will never see the end.

Rating