Franchise Weekend – The Devil’s Rejects (2005) Movie Review

Director: Rob Zombie

Writer: Rob Zombie (Screenplay)

Starring: Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe, Ken Foree, Matthew McGrory, Leslie Easterbrook

Plot: The murderous, backwoods Firefly family take to the road to escape a vengeful police force which is not afraid of being as ruthless as their target.

Tagline – Hell doesn’t want them. Hell doesn’t need them. Hell doesn’t love them. This world rejects them.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Big Improvement

Story: The Devil’s Rejects starts as the Firefly family have been dubbed ‘The Devil’s Rejects’ by the media see their house surrounded by a vengeful police force led by Sheriff Wydell (Forsythe), with a massive shootout on the ranch. Mother Firely (Easterbrook) is captured, while Otis (Moseley) and Baby (Zombie) escape turning to Captain Spaulding (Haig) for shelter.

Otis and Baby find shelter in a motel, taking a family hostage, while they wait for the showdown with the Sheriff, giving them a chance to continue their murderous way.

Thoughts on The Devil’s Rejects

Characters – Captain Spaulding still runs his house of horrors away from the house, despite being part of the house, he must go on the run to meet the other members of the Fireflies, which sees him showing a much nastier side than we have seen before. Otis is the most twisted member of the family, he will punish anybody, he doesn’t care about anybody and will show his sadistic side too often. Baby is the youngest member of the family, she has grown up in this environment, acting like it is just second nature to her, she enjoys the punishment even turning it into a game at times. Sheriff Wydell is determined to capture and kill the whole Firefly family after they killed his brother, he will break a few rules along the way to make sure it gets done.

PerformancesSid Haig, Bill Moseley and Sheri Moon Zombie have helped develop their characters to have a much darker side to them, which shows us more about how sadistic they are meant to be through the film. William Forsythe brings us a strong police figure that clearly shows the vengeful side he is going through in the film.

StoryThe story here follows the events of the first film, the Firefly family have been discovered and are now on the run from a vengeful sheriff that wants the whole family dead for what they did to his family member. Where this story improves on the original comes from seeing just how the fireflies are able to react to a threat, we get a glimpse of their sadistic side, but instead of it just them being twisted, we get to see them dealing with a relentless cop that isn’t going to let them get away with their crimes. The story is constructed better too because we don’t just have random clips like we had in the first film, which shows how the film can be put together to give us a better story.

Action/HorrorThis is much more action back with shoot outs going on between the two sides, while the horror is still there when the fireflies get to step into their sadistic ways.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show how the Fireflies can go on the run from the law, we see the back country motels which they would hide out in and the connections of other shady business they would know.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film show the gore being done by the family, it shows the wounds looking brutal and real through the film.

Scene of the Movie – The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It still doesn’t give us any likeable figures in the fight.

Final Thoughts This is an improvement on the first film, it does give us a more rounded figures in the Firefly family and shows us just how capable they are when pushed against the wall.

Overall: Sick Improvement.

Franchise Weekend – House of 1000 Corpses (2003) Movie Review

Director: Rob Zombie

Writer: Rob Zombie (Screenplay)

Starring: Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon, Karen Black, Walton Goggins, Rainn Wilson, Chris Hardwick, Jennifer Jostyn, Erin Daniels

Plot: Two young couples traveling across the backwoods of Texas searching for urban legends of murder end up as prisoners of a bizarre and sadistic backwater family of serial killers.

Tagline – Dare You Enter…

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: This Really Is Messy

Story: House of 1000 Corpses starts when four friends Jerry (Hardwick), Mary (Jostyn), Bill (Wilson) and Denise (Daniels) go on tour of at Captain Spaulding (Haig) house of horrors and learning about mysterious tree, they go off in search in a storm, picking up a hitchhiker Baby Firefly (Moon), they find a place to stay, right around when the news is reporting about missing teenagers.

The four friends find themselves being the latest victims of the Firefly family with Otis (Moseley) willing to do anything to get his pleasure for pain, their only hope is that Denise’s father comes looking for them after they didn’t arrive at his house the night before.

Thoughts on House of 1000 Corpses

Characters – Captain Spaulding is the one that has his own house of horrors that he encourages tourists to look around, he knows the legends of the area, which is why he knows how to get the curiosity of the people to want to go in search for the legends about his house. Otis is the leader of the firefly house, he will talk the most, do the most torturous treatment of their victims. Baby Firefly is the one that brings people back to the house, the youngest member of the family that is just getting started in her ways compared to the rest. Mother Firefly is always looking for a younger man to play with before they murder.

PerformancesSid Haig does bring his character to life to be one of the very few highlights in this film, while Bill Moseley knows that he needed to make this character over the top, while the victims are generic performances, they are fine, but the rest of the cast struggles to work with the awful material.

StoryThe story here follows four friends that find themselves being the latest victims of the sadistic firefly family that like to torture, mutuality and kill their victims. The biggest problem with this story is that we cut away way too many times, it always looks like we are going into watch a torture filled horror story, which isn’t everyone cup of tea, but if we had stuck to this idea, we could have had a good story. The problems involve countless city away scenes of just random footage of violence happening to people, rather than having any context towards them. This story is mess and never makes you care about the victims, while not making the villains people you want to see either, making most shots of the film hard to care about.

HorrorThe horror in the film is meant to be focused on the different levels of violence that could be given to the victims, it is more for shock than making any sense.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in the one house/ranch like environment where the family can do what they want without anybody coming to disturb them.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show the violence, though most gets covered over with random slips of something else happening.

Scene of the Movie – Captain Spaulding’s tour.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The random cut clips that make no sense.

Final Thoughts This is a truly messy horror that misses on every mark, leaving it look and feeling like something you would forget within a hour of finishing it.

Overall: Poor and messy.

The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020) Netflix Movie Review

Director: McG

Writer: Dan Lagana, Brad Morris, Jimmy Warden, McG (Screenplay)

Starring: Judah Lewis, Samara Weaving, Jenny Ortega, Emily Alyn Ling, Andrew Bachelor, Robbie Amell

Plot: Two years after Cole survived a satanic blood cult, he’s living another nightmare: high school. And the demons from his past? Still making his life hell.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Babysitter: Killer Queen starts two years after the events of the first film, Cole (Lewis) seems to be the only person to remember what happened that night, still haunted by the events of that night, which see him needing therapy, while struggling through high school, becoming distant from his closest friend Melanie (Lind).

When Melanie encourages Cole to ditch school for a lake party, he sees everyone having fun, while he is still trying to understand how to find himself in the way others do. Until he learns that the cult behind the babysitter’s have been planning for him to finish him off for good.

Thoughts on The Babysitter: Killer Queen

Characters – Cole is still haunted by the events of that night with Bee, he doesn’t fit in school, always worrying, not being to just enjoy his youth like the rest of the students. He finds himself facing a special school or just going on a big night out with friends, which sees him needing to fight against the demons again. Phoebe is the new girl in school, she comes off in the way of not wanting to make friends, but on her big night out, she finds herself needing to work with Cole to survive. Melanie was Cole’s best friend, the one person who still talks to him and encourages him to come on the night out, only to show her true colours of wanting to become immortal. We do get the returning faces that have come to collect the soul they never captured last time out, we also see how they get recruited by Bee in the first place.

PerformancesJudah Lewis might not be as strong as he should be in the horror side of the leading role, but does handle the more serious side of awkwardness through the film. Jenna Ortega as the bad girl works well, with Emily Alyn Lind continuing her darker turn in horror well here. Most of the supporting cast get the laughs through the film, which will show them playing into the stereotypes.

StoryThe story here picks up two years after the first film, Cole is still traumatised by what happened, but not he is trying to get through the high school scene, only to find himself facing the same problems, from a new threat, one closer to home. This does build well in places, with the characters being full blown parodies of the stereotypes, while not holding back on the ritual talk, with a twist involved that does seem to bring a fresh light on the high school desire to be popular. Everything does play out in a similar tone, only with the demons wanting to prepare for what might come their way, along with the continuing one on one battles with them.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in the film is the strongest part of the film, it is very self-aware laughs through the film, with more of the horror coming from the blood splatter more than anything else.

SettingsThe film moves away from the home settings, moving into a desert lake area, which adds to the chase idea, as well as showing us a location, teenagers could hang around.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are what happens to the demons, most look great with the splatter looking part comical through the film.

Scene of the Movie – Reindeer games.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – One twist confuses another part of the film.

Final Thoughts This is a fun comedy horror sequel, it has the laughs, while being filled with plenty of splatter over anything else.

Attack of the Unknown (2020) Movie Review

Director: Brandon Slagle

Writer: Brandon Slagle (Screenplay) Michael Mahal, Sonny Mahal (Story)

Starring: Tara Reid, Robert LaSardo, Richard Grieco, Jolene Andersen, Tania Fox, Tasha Reign

Plot: A SWAT team transporting a vicious crime syndicate boss must fight their way out of a county detention center during a catastrophic alien invasion.

Tagline – They’re here for blood

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Attack of the Unknown starts when a SWAT team with Vernon (Grieco), Maddox (Tait) and Hannah (Andersen) in take down a notorious drug dealer Miguel ‘Hades’ Aguirre (LaSardo) but lose the case to the FBI who see it as a bigger problem.

When the FBI turn back to the SWAT team to transfer Hades, they finding themselves dealing with a form of alien invasion, trapped in county detention centre, looking to a battle to escape, needing to decide whether to trust the criminals or their own instinct to survive.

Thoughts on Attack of the Unknown

Characters – Vernon is a member of the SWAT team that has taken down a big drug dealer, he has seen his divorce go through, but bad news hits when he learns he has cancer, his team is tasked with transporting a criminal, the same one he was taking down, he must end up leading the defence of the people from an alien attack. Hannah is one of the team that goes against the stereotypes, willing to fight along with the troops, while celebrating in a world the men enjoy. Miguel Hades Aguirre is the drug lord the SWAT team took down, he is always looking for an escape, believing he will find a way out, while having more information about the legend of the aliens. We do have a lot of characters in the county lockup, which can become difficult to keep up with the pure number involved though.

PerformancesRichard Grieco takes the leading role and does give us a character with the most going on within his life, while Jolene Andersen brings us a strong action star figure in the war against the aliens. The rest of the cast do well, with one of the more random appearances from Tara Reid involved too.

StoryThe story here follows a SWAT team that must transfer a suspect they captured, only to find the city coming under attack from aliens. The story does have a lot of elements we have seen before, with the idea that both law enforcement and criminal will have to team up to defeat a new enemy, this time aliens, it shows how both sides would need to put their differences aside for the better. By diving into an origin story of the aliens, in what is mostly told in a folklore idea, does bring something fresh to the table and is the biggest aspect of the story we could see a lot more from going forward to. One of the weaker sides of the story will be the number of characters, which don’t get enough detail given to them, mostly here for disposable reasoning.

Action/Sci-Fi/HorrorThe action in the film comes from seeing how the two sides are having tactical shoot outs to stay ahead, while the aliens have technology which would make things more difficult.

SettingsThe film does spend more time inside the police lockup, which will show the tactical positions to take a stand, while the exterior shots are focused on the destruction or impending attacks.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to give the aliens look like they are part of the world, while their primary weapons rely more on the CGI side of things.

Scene of the Movie – Ready for the war.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many characters.

Final Thoughts This is a fun entry into the sci-fi alien invasion movie, it has strong characters and a fresh approach to the handling of the invasion happening.

#Alive (2020) Netflix Movie Review

Director: Il Cho

Writer: Il Cho, Matt Naylor (Screenplay)

Starring: Ah-In Yoo, Shin-Hye Park, Hyun-Wook Lee, Bae-soo Jeon, Hye-Won Oh

Plot: The rapid spread of an unknown infection has left an entire city in ungovernable chaos, but one survivor remains alive in isolation. It is his story.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: #Alive starts when a gamer Oh Joon-woo (Yoo) wakes up to learn that a new infection has spread across the city causing the residents to turn in ravenous creatures, trapped in his apartment, he only watches the world come crashing down around him, with the days flying by, until he learns that Kim Yoo-bin (Park) is across the street from him, giving him a new friend in the dangerous time.

Oh Joon-woo must figure out a way to survive in a world that continues to become dangerous, with the infected remembering things from their own life.

Thoughts on #Alive

Characters – Oh Joon-woo is a slacker gamer that spends most of his days with his followers playing games, he struggles with the basics on living, but in this new world he finds himself needing to learn to survive alone on this world filled with zombies. He does follow the traditional idea of the slacker who discovers themselves in the world of zombies, becoming stronger, smarter, and braver through the film. Kim Yoo-Bin is the mysterious woman across the street from Oh Joon-woo, she is more prepared for what is happening, trying to teach Oh Joon-woo how to survive in this situation.

PerformancesAh-In Yoo and Shin-Hye Park are both great to watch, they bring the serious nature of what is happening, along with moments of comedy, which lighten the mood through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a slacker gamer who wakes up to find a zombie outbreak happen, leaving him trapped in his apartment, finding a survivor across the street, as they look for their own way to survive this world. This story does seem to borrow a lot from ‘The Night Eats the World’ by putting us in an apartment while outside there is the zombie outbreak happening. We even get the standard character evolution as we see how Oh Joon-woo learns to adapt, while the threats becoming bigger as the time rolls on.

Action/HorrorThe action in the film sees the different zombie attacks, be it the early onslaught, or the different situations the survivors find themselves in, using what they can find to survive. The horror in the film comes from seeing what the zombies do to their victims.

SettingsMost of the film is set within the apartment of Oh Joon-woo or Kim Yoo-bin, which shows us just how trapped they are in a world that has fallen apart.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are strong, showing the position the actors playing the zombies can make themselves go, for added terror.

Scene of the Movie – The police office terror.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – While entertaining, it doesn’t create something new.

Final Thoughts This is an entertaining zombie movie that gets plenty from the action, while not breaking a tried and tested formula.