Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

Director: Christopher Landon

Writer: Christopher Landon (Screenplay) Scott Lobdell (Characters)

Starring: Jessica Rothe, Ruby Modine, Israel Broussard, Suraj Sharma, Rachel Matthews, Steve Zissis

 

Plot: Tree Gelbman discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead.


Tagline – Death makes a killer comeback.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smartly Written

 

Story: Happy Death Day 2U starts when Ryan (Vu) starts going through the same experience that Tree (Rothe) did one year ago, Tree knows how to break the cycle which only brings us to his lab work, which brings us a couple of new characters in Samar (Sharma) and Andrea (Yarkin) that help solve the case only for the outcome to take Tree right back to September 18th waking up in the dorm room of Carter (Broussard).

Tree sets out to end the cycle quickly only to learn she is in a very different version and she must figure out who the killer is all over again, while helping Ryan figure out how to put time back together again.

 

Thoughts on Happy Death Day 2U

 

Characters – Tree is back first off helping Ryan handle the repeat day, before being forced back through the day she got stuck in, this time not everything is as it seems and she is faced if difficult decisions ones, people might never get to decide over. Carter is Tree’s boyfriend and the student’s room she keeps waking up in, he has a different life this time around though. Ryan is the slacker roommate of Carter’s who has been working on an experiment which has put him into the loop, he seems to have two sides, one is the stoner slacker roommate, the other is a genius scientific mind, it is hard to believe the two are the same. Lori returns to, as we learn how different the realities have become. We do have all the characters returning here which does give them a different spin and a different suspect list.

PerformancesJessica Rothe steals the show once again with her performance, with her character going through different emotional decisions than the first film which saw her go from bitchy to understanding, this time she has harder decisions to make. When we get into the supporting cast, sadly, nobody gets as much time as they should do, Phi Vu seems like he is going to get a lot of time from the opening sequence, only to spend most of the film at a computer screen.

StoryThe story here is one that does feel like one of the most interest written ones I have seen in a long time, first we know how the first film unfolded, so, how do we handle a sequel? We change the genre, that is what we did, because the first film used more fantasy elements to create the loop only for this one to put us into a sci-fi factor. Now, this story does focus a lot more on choices, most importantly ones that Tree can make, with a brand-new look at life and chances she didn’t know she could have being bought back for her, this is the highlight of everything we see. The weakness of this comes from the fact we do have a new killer and we don’t really spend anytime figuring out who they are. The best way to describe this would be imagine Sidney could relive the events of Scream and the killers were different and her life changed from the one she was living, only she knew about it. This sounds complicated though, it doesn’t feel like that.

Horror/Mystery/Sci-FiThe horror and mystery factors do take a backburner this time, we do have a killer, we don’t seem to truly investigate this enough for the film to get the time to shine.

SettingsThe film is set in and around the university, we return to certain locations, but strangely this doesn’t offer anything new to the genre.


Scene of the Movie –
The blind student.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The overuse of suicide in a comic way.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sequel that does continue to build on the original, it will give you laughs, but will take the mystery away from everything, Jessica Rothe does steal the show again.

 

Overall: Fun, improved sequel.

Rating

 

 

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Suspiria (2018)

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Writer: David Kajganich (Screenplay) Dario Argento, Daria Nicolodi (Characters)

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Sylvie Testud, Jessica Harper, Chloe Grace Moretz, Lutz Ebersdorf

 

Plot: A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.


Tagline – Pain cleanses all.

Runtime: 2 Hours 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disturbing & Chilling

 

Story: Suspiria starts with Patricia (Moretz) going into hiding from her dancing company, turning to Dr Josef Klemperer (Swinton), this leaves a space in the program which American Susie Bannion (Johnson) gets given the chance to take in Berlin. Susie impresses the artistic director Madame Blanc (Swinton) and it isn’t long before she gets to learn about the most popular dance.

Susie soon gets given the lead in the dance, the one Madame Blanc has spent years perfecting, only she gets to see the darker side of the company which has the ability to consumer the dancers.

 

Thoughts on Suspiria

 

Characters – Susie is the American given the chance to perform in the biggest dance company in Berlin, one with a huge reputation for being one of the best and strongest in the business, it doesn’t take her long to impress as she becomes the lead in the performance, she is left to wonder at what cost though. Madame Blanc is the director of the show, she knows talent and knows how to get the bet out of the talent, while disposing of the unwanted talent. She is a strict perfectionist, that will get the moment she needs for the show. Sara is the member of the dance academy that is friends with the one that vanishes, while being the friend that guides Susie through the welcoming, she learns more about the truth behind the plans. Dr Josef Klemperer is one Patricia turns to for help, he stats to learn more about the dance company while dealing with her own loss from the world. Patricia is the one that goes missing and opens up the space for Susie to take, she has become paranoid about what is going on, which will force Sara into investigating in more detail.

PerformancesDakota Johnson steps away from the ‘Fifty Shades’ franchise with ease here, bringing new life to her career, which is much needed, she shows us here that she is going to be one of the top stars for years to come. Mia Goth continues to show us why she is picked for the roles that never seem normal, while Chloe Grace Moretz steps away from her younger roles with a much more mature role. It is Tilda Swinton that shows her true talent with her roles in the film, the dance director is an easy one for her, while the male doctor shows us just how talented she truly is.

StoryThe story follows a young American that joins a famous dance company only for the company to have a much darker side which the dancers are becoming consumed by. This is a remake and as I have never seen the original, I don’t know how similar the story is, which is fine, because it may have a couple of nods to the original and casting choice including original cast members, the story focuses on just what could be going on within the dance company and how it operates. We learn early on what they are up to and just how shocking it is and for the most part we are left wondering just what is going on with the main performer.

Fantasy/Horror/MysteryThe fantasy side of the film goes hand in hand with the horror of just what is going on, it is a very dark world and the mystery of just how we get there is what will drive the audience to enjoy.

SettingsThe film is set in Berlin, this shows us that the world is still affecting the people around the city and how strong this dance company had become.

Special EffectsThe effects in this movie are shocking in their realism which will disturb and shock through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel like a long film for no reason.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the craziest horror films from a year which was filled with the horrors that fit that quota. It does feel very long which will turn away audiences, but the committed horrors fans will enjoy what they see.

 

Overall: Crazy, disturbing and one you won’t forget.

Rating

 

 

Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

Director: Dan Gilroy

Writer: Dan Gilroy (Screenplay)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Billy Magnussen, Toni Collette, John Malkovich, Natalia Dyer, Rene Russo, Daveed Diggs, Zawa Ashton

 

Plot: After a series of paintings by an unknown artist are discovered, a supernatural force enacts revenge on those who have allowed their greed to get in the way of art.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: First Great Horror of 2019

 

Story: Velvet Buzzsaw starts by taking us into the art world with critic Morf Vandewalt (Gyllenhaal) being the man that can make or break an artist career, Rhodora Haze (Russo) runs the gallery with aspiring artists Josephina (Ashton), Coco (Dyer) and Bryson (Magnussen) working for her.

When one of Josephina’s neighbours dies suddenly, she learns of the number of breath-taking pieces of art, that soon gets the art world going into a frenzy, with Gretchen (Collette) the newly appointed consulate for the rich wanting to get the some of the work. This is only the beginning as the art work seems to have a supernatural force behind it that wants to consume the greed in the art world.

 

Thoughts on Velvet Buzzsaw

 

Characters – Morf Vandewalt is the biggest and most well-respect art critic in the business, he can make or break a career, which has given him enemies along the way. His friendship with Rhodora helps her collect and profit from the most amounts of work, he sees the brilliance in the new artwork, though he questions certain background towards them. Rhodora is the one of the most popular art curators, her gallery gives young artists a chance, while she knows which clients to accept or not, she wants this new work and makes a deal to make sure she makes the most money she can out of them. Josephina is the aspiring curator, she is learning of Rhodora and she is the one that finds the artwork, this gives her all the leverage required to finally make her name in the industry. Gretchen works in a gallery until she gets a job acquiring work for her clients, this shows us just how one person can go from small time to big time, while changing along the way. Jon Dondon is another curator, one that has become a rival to Rhodora, he clearly doesn’t understand the art world on the same level as her though, only requiring money to keep him happy. Piers is the famous artist that has been struggling with his latest work after giving up his addiction, he sees the brilliance, but is also scared of the work of the new artist.

PerformancesJake Gyllenhaal is just as fantastic as we would expect, he plays the over the top figure that strangely feels grounded too. Rene Russo shines as the cut throat art curator that will put anybody who crosses her in their place. Toni Collette turns out an almost opposite performance to Hereditary, which see her become an ambitious lady that knows how to deal. It is Zawa Ashton that becomes a more influential performer in this film than you would expect, which surprises with the cast we have, she is equally as strong as the rest of the cast too.

StoryThe story takes us into the art world, we have the pivotal characters to make us complete accept being part of this world, as a new unknown artist gets discovered, only his work has a much more sinister side to it. The scale of the world created here is wonderful because within five minutes of the film, we are completely embraced into this world. The darker side of the film shows us just how easily people can become consumed by greed. This will leave you shocked with the events of the film and will leave you never wanting to be part of the art world.

HorrorThe horror comes from the sinister nature behind the art work, going hand in hand with just how Morf is slowly starting to lose his mind as the work is become bigger.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the art world for the settings, this shows us how the members of the art world will do whatever they want to become the biggest name in the industry.

Special EffectsThe effects used in the film are wonderful they play in with artistic world when it comes to the body count, we get to see.


Scene of the Movie –
The sinister side of the artwork.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The trailer gives too much away.

Final ThoughtsThis is a beautiful horror film that will fully engross us into the artworld with the characters and gives us the twisted look at just what could happen when a spirit can spread so easily.

 

Overall: Visually beautiful horror film.

Rating

 

 

The Harvesting (2018)

Director: Ivan Kraljevic

Writer: Ben Everhart (Screenplay)

Starring: Elena Caruso, Chris Conner, Jennifer Gareis, Greg Wood, Noah Headley, Accalia Quintana

 

Plot: To escape their marital problems, a young family travels from the city to spend the summer in Amish Country where a malevolent presence grips them. They soon discover that they were brought there for a reason and they must break free before the demonic hold consumes them.


Tagline – The solstice is coming.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Borrows from Too Many Other Horrors

 

Story: The Harvesting starts when a family in need of a break from the city life, Dinah (Caruso), Jake (Conner) children, Steven (Headley) and Michaela (Quintana) move to a farmhouse in an Amish community for the summer. The community is haunted by previous events there which saw one of the Amish community Amos (Buckley) went on a killing rampage.

As the Solstice approaches the Amish community starts to warn the family to avoid the woods, as they know a evil presence can be found in them, which becomes strongest over the Solstice and when the children start seeing ghostly children around the farm, the ghost of Amos is waiting to return once again.

 

Thoughts on The Harvesting

 

Characters – Dinah is thee wife and mother of the family, she agrees to go to the country to start fresh, reconnect with her husband after her own mistake, she is the first to notice the changes her family is going through and knows she is the one that will need to protect them. Jake is a tonally confusing character, he has wanted to move away to the country for a break from the city, he wants his family to be together, but for some scenes he is growing isolated like George Lutz in Amityville Horror, the next he is the normal father figure, we just jump too often between these swings with no motivate for the swap. Steven and Michaela are the children that soon notice the problems in the farm with one capture footage, the other making friends with ghost children. Sarah is the member of the community that is willing to warn the family of the danger in the woods, after seeing its evil first hand. Amos is the Amish man that went on the killing spree, his ghost still haunts the woods searching for the next family to consume.

PerformancesWhen it comes to the performances with have Elena Caruso in the leading role, she fills the role well without making the impact other leading ladies have made in horror, Chris Conner struggles to balance his badly written character which most actors wouldn’t be able to pull off. It would be fair to say most of the cast do struggle to make the impact required for horror.

StoryThe story here follows a family in need of fixing heading off for a peaceful summer break, only to find themselves in the middle of an Amish Solstice which is known to bring out the evil in the weak. The story does borrow heavily from other films with the themes of ‘The Amityville Horror’ being the strongest to follow when it comes to the family problems and the evil trying to consume one. Mix that with the idea of a returning evil every solstice which is often used in horror for the idea of evil coming into the world. the fact this ends up with an anti-climax doesn’t help either because we did want a proper ending.

HorrorThe horror in this film comes from just how the woods can bring out the evil in the people around the area, we try to have a few shock scenes which don’t pay off well enough.

SettingsThe film is set in the woods around an Amish community that gets haunted by the events of the solstice, it does have an eerie feeling about it too.

Special EffectsThe effects are simple enough, they aren’t needed too often without them looking out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
Playing in the woods.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too anti-climactic.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the book horror that just never reaches any high intensity levels which is required in horror and will let you down with a weak ending.

 

Overall: By the book horror.

Rating

 

 

Revenge (2017)

Director: Coralie Fargeat

Writer: Coralie Fargeat (Screenplay)

Starring: Matilda Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe, Guillaume Bouchede, Jean-Louis Tribes

 

Plot: Never take your mistress on an annual guys’ getaway, especially one devoted to hunting – a violent lesson for three wealthy married men.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Viscerally Disturbing

 

Story: Revenge starts when Jen (Lutz) is taking on a getaway by Richard (Janssens), she knows he is married with children and he uses her for what he can’t get at home anymore, when his two friends Stan (Colombe) and Dimitri (Bouchede) arrive the getaway seems like a drug and drink fuelled party, until things get out of control. The men leave Jen for dead, a mistake they want to clean up on.

The problem the men will face is the fact that Jen knows how to survive and she wants to get revenge for everything she ha been through, while trying to make sure she survives her terrifying injuries.

 

Thoughts on Revenge

 

Characters – Jen is the mistress of Richard, she dreams of heading off the LA in the future, but for now she is enjoying the life she can, by letting the rich businessman treat her to things. This latest trip doesn’t go as planned and she is left to fight for her life after being left for dead, she must heal her wounds, as she proves to be much harder to kill than the men could ever imagine. Richard is the host for the getaway, using Jen for sex, while his wife and kids are at home, it is planned and a hunting trip, when his friends mess this getaway up, he tries to kill Jen to clean up the loose ends, this only becomes harder for him after his friends start getting killed and he is left trying to escape before he becomes the next victim even though he remains calm through the situation. Stan and Dimitri are the hunter friends of Richard, whom have come on this getaway believing they will be going hunting only to take things too far with Jen, meaning their prey is going to be her, until she turns the tables on them.

PerformancesMatilda Lutz gives a breakthrough performance, where she makes her character sexy when needed and deadly too, she makes the wounds her character goes through just as devastating as they should be, making you want to look away at times. Kevin Janssens as the lead villain keeps his performance calm through everything, making us hate his character as all his actions in the film. Vincent Colombe becomes the most hateable of the villains as he causes most of the problems, he comes off disturbing at times too.

StoryThe story here is very simple which isn’t a bad thing, we have one woman left for dead by three men that have seen their getaway go wrong. This does follow the formula you would expect because it is the party, the event, left for dead and picking off one at the time until she faces off against the leader of the group. The story does take a back burner at times when we focus on the effects being used as wounds are here to shock over anything in the story. there isn’t too much more to say on the story other than simple and effective abilities.

Action/HorrorThe action is in the film shows us just how the wounds are received, they are full of blood and will shock you, the horror shows how the one woman is left for dead in the middle of nowhere which would mean she needs to fight back or die.

SettingsThe film is set on the edge of a desert, a location that is a helicopter ride away, showing that getting hurt isn’t going to be easy to escape from.

Special EffectsThe effects could be the true star of the show because you will wince through certain moments of the wounds when Jen needs to remove something from her body.


Scene of the Movie –
The cave sequence, will be shocking to watch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not sure where it is meant to be set, even which country.

Final ThoughtsThis is a shocking revenge movie that is full of blood and will make you need to look away at times because of what will be going through.

 

Overall: Shocking Must Watch.

Rating