James Stewart Weekend – Rear Window (1954)

rearDirector: Alfred Hitchcock

Writer: John Michael Hayes (Screenplay) Cornell Wollrich (Short Story)

Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr, Judith Evelyn

 

Plot: A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Vintage Suspense Thriller

 

Story: Rear Window starts as L.B. Jeff Jefferies (Stewart) stuck in his apartment with a broken leg who has been spending his time watching his neighbours waiting to heel up. Jeff gets daily visits from his nurse Stella (Ritter) who offers him life advice when it comes to Jeff’s love life with the beautiful and in his words perfect Lisa (Kelly) who wants to settle down but Jeff just can’t see it happening.

When one of his neighbours goes missing and Jeff sees the husband leave 3 times during the night he becomes suspicious that something much more foul has come into play. Jeff brings in Lisa to help look for clues but what can they find out?

 

Thoughts on Rear Window

 

StoryWe have seen films that have overcomplicated stories and become a mess this film here keeps everything very simple as one man is trying to solve a potential murder from his apartment. The story follows how he must figure out what has happened without being able to go and see himself which is all good too keep us on edge.

Mystery/Thriller When you look for a good mystery film this one does keep you guessing throughout the film as you are kept on edge wondering how the truth can come out.

Characters/PerformanceJeff is an interesting character that finds himself having to play detective from his own room, he builds a new dimension for the hero character who is unable to go and solve the crime. Lisa does feel out of place in this film because she comes off way to high class for be involved in the story.

James Stewart does single handily carry this film with his performance while Grace Kelly adds the beauty to it all.

SettingsThe whole film is shot from the room that Jeff is stuck in as he is watching his neighbours but when he sees the murder we see how he can’t do anything because of his broken leg but still wants to play detective, this all adds another dimension to the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most influenced and important thrillers you will ever see.

 

Overall: A must watch for all the fans of Hitchcock, thriller or mystery fans.

Rating90

 

 

James Stewart Weekend – Vertigo (1958)

vertDirector: Alfred Hitchcock

Writer: Alec Coppel, Samuel A Taylor (Screenplay) Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac (Novel)

Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones, Raymond Bailey

 

Plot: A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend’s wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Classic They Say

 

Story: Vertigo starts as former police detective John ‘Scottie’ Ferguson (Stewart) has been forced into retirement after his acrophobia has caused him to lose his edge. When a former friend Gavin Elster (Helmore) contacts him, he asks for John to follow his wife Madeleine (Novak) who he suspects is up to something behind his back.

John takes the job and after spending time tracking Madeleine he finds himself looking into the history of San Francisco to uncover what she is up to. When John saves Madeleine he ends up joining her on her journey which delves into her past.

 

Thoughts on Vertigo

 

StoryWe get told of films that are classics, films that inspire other films and films you need to watch, well this is one of them, right? The story is an interesting one to follow as you are left to figure out what is going on through the film and we do get to see how facing a fear that freezes us can leave us unable to be as effective as possible. I do fee people will enjoy this one unfold because the characters are unlike most we have seen in film.

Mystery/RomanceThe film does give us a good mystery to figure out as well as keeping us guessing along the way, the romantic story is more about obsession rather than love but also works because it leaves us wondering just what John has become so infatuated with the girl.

Characters/PerformanceJohn makes for a great leading character because his character has a flaw which weakens his ability to do his job correctly, we don’t see this often in film. the character of Madeleine is troubled which is all good for the direction of the film goes.

The performances are all great too even if the age gap between Stewart and Novak is too big to full enjoy the film.

SettingsThe use of San Francisco is a great setting as it is visually fantastic and is filled with the buildings that play into the fear John deals with.

Final ThoughtsWe have all been told to see this if we want to be film critics well you can understand why.

 

Overall: Classical enjoyable thriller.

Ratingcard

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Haunter (2013)

haunterDirector: Vincenzo Natali

Writer: Brian King (Screenplay)

Starring: Abigail Breslin, Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Nolden, Stephen McHattie, Peter DaCunha, Samantha Weinstein, Eleanor Zichy

 

Plot: A teenager is stuck in a time loop that is not quite the same each time. She must uncover the truth but her actions have consequences for herself and others.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Twist

 

Story: Haunter starts as we meet Lisa (Breslin) a fifteen-year-old girl who has to live through the same day over and over even explaining to her family Bruce (Outerbridge), Carol (Nolden) and Robbie (DaChunha) what is happening.

Wanting to breakout of this cycle Lisa starts seeing strange events happening around the house even though she keeps restarting her day. When Lisa also sees the day running differently it is the arrival of the Pale Man (McHattie) giving her a warning that pushes Lisa to look into uncovering the truth. Lisa knows she is dead and wants to communicate with the new inhabitants of the home as Lisa is only one of the victims of this killer.

Haunter brings a fresh approach to the ghost investigation sub-genre of horror because we are only used to seeing it on the living characters side but this time everything gets turned on its head as we follow the ghost trying to communicate with the living to help them. While this does take away any of the peril involved in the film it does make for a very interesting to follow mystery. I do also feel this is slightly lightweight for a horror film but still on that can be enjoyed.

 

Actor Review

 

Abigail Breslin: Lisa is our teenage girl that we follow living the same day over and over, she knows something isn’t right and when she figures out she is in fact dead she has to wonder why the living are communicating with her. Abigail is good in this leading role and the clear star of the show.

Peter Outerbridge: Bruce is Lisa’s father who is stuck inside this world where he has to constantly fix the family car. Peter is solid but really doesn’t develop the character enough.

Michelle Nolden: Carol is the mother of the family who is always has chores for Lisa to do. Michelle struggles like Peter to really make an impact in this role.

Stephen McHattie: Pale Man seems to be the man holding Lisa in this world even being the man that murdered the family. He is always staying one step ahead of Lisa being able to communicate between both worlds. Stephen does make for a good villain shining through this role.

Support Cast: Haunter has a small supporting cast which are mostly just the other victims that Lisa has to communicate with.

Director Review: Vincenzo NataliVincenzo gives us a lightweight horror with a really clever story that could easily be a one off television episode.

 

Horror: Haunter has very simple scares which do work but having our leading character being dead you just never feel any peril in the haunting side of the story.

Mystery: Haunter does use the mystery side of the story to its advantage making us truly wonder just what is going on within the household.

Settings: Haunter keeps us within the house for the whole story even if we arrive there at different times of crimes being committed.
Special Effects
: Haunter has strong use of effects to blend the time periods using the times style of filming to its advantage.

Suggestion: Haunter is one I do think the horror fans out there will be enjoying but only if you like a good investigation style ghost film. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Old style filing for final showdown.

Worst Part: You never really feel the peril because she is dead.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

Overall: Nice twist on the ghost investigation film.

Ratingcard

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Below (2002)

belowDirector: David Twohy

Writer: Lucas Sussman, Darren Aronofsky, David Twohy (Screenplay)

Starring: Matt Davis, Bruce Greenwood, Holt McCallany, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Chinlund, Olivia Williams, Scott Foley, Andrew Howard, Christopher Fairbank

 

Plot: Strange happenings occur on a WW II submarine.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Horror Film

 

Story: Below starts in the year 1943 as the USS Tiger Shark submarine must respond to a stranded group of survivors where Captain Brice (Greenwood) and his crew must make the save of the British survivors including the only female now on the vessel Claire (Williams). Brice’s crew including Loomis (McCallany) and Odell (Davis) start to look at the attack on the British ship which doesn’t seem to make sense to Odell.

Discovering that one of the survivors is a Germany and that someone has put the crew at risk we see the tension rise on the ship which has just survived an attack from a Germany battleship. When strange things continue to happen on the ship we are left to wonder whether the submarine is cursed or not, but it could well be something outside this world causing the strange occasions on the ship.

Below is a horror mystery thriller that follows the crew during World War II, it starts with coincidence going on before it dives into the supernatural, while I liked the early side of the being superstition between the soldiers I found the dive into 100% supernatural really doesn’t help the second half of this film. The jump scares are easily to see coming and while it does end up in a cover up style film I appears to feel very forced.

The cast are solid without being truly stand-out with Matt Davis struggling in the leading man role because he comes off too young for the character in question, Greenwood is great as the captain with McCallany and Williams filling up the main stars with good performances. It is the supporting cast of actors you would know else like Fairbank, Flemyng and an early role from comedian Zach Galifianakis which surprised me the most in this film, not because he is the best or worst thing more that I wouldn’t have pictured him in this style of film.

 

Overall: Tension filled horror playing on wartime experiences.

Ratingcard

 

 

The Void (2017)

Director: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski

Writer: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski (Screenplay)

Starring: Aaron Poole, Kenneth Welsh, Daniel Fathers, Kathleen Munroe, Ellen Wong, Mik Byskov, Art Hindle

 

Plot: Shortly after delivering a patient to an understaffed hospital, a police officer experiences strange and violent occurrences seemingly linked to a group of mysterious hooded figures.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bloody Thinking Gorefest

 

Story: The Void starts as Sheriff Daniel Carter (Poole) finds the escaped young man James (Stern) taking him to the local understaffed hospital run by Dr Richard Powell (Welsh) with the nurses Allison Fraser (Munroe) and trainee Kim (Wong).

When a violent attack happens inside the hospital State Trooper Mitchell (Hindle) arrives on the scene but the remaining people inside the hospital find the hospital surrounded by hooded figures and joined the mysterious Father (Fathers) and Son (Byskov) who seem to have been planning for this event, but the question will remain, just what is going on? In what will be the longest night of these people’s lives as they battle to survive.

 

Thoughts on The Void

 

Characters/PerformanceSheriff Carter is a man that just wants to coast through his shifts but when duty calls he steps up to protect and serve, while he still battles with his own tragedy in life. Dr Powell has kept the hospital open for years after the staffing being cut who has also been suffering from his own tragic event. Allison Fraser is one of the nurses in the hospital who has been working to keep her mind of the loss of her unborn child. The Father has been working with the Son searching for everything behind the mysterious creatures within the town.

Performance wise, we have good performances from the whole cast with nobody looking out of place through the film but also nobody standing out as the most memorable member of it.

StoryThe story is a good horror one, you can see it borrowed from other films but let’s face it, what film doesn’t anymore? The idea of being trapped inside a building with an unknown threat works well for horror with the final act being massive but in places slightly complicated which is the biggest downer on this film’s story. there is plenty going on with you needing to think a lot about what has been happening.

Horror/Mystery/Sci-FiThe horror involved in the film is gore, hell and creatures something we love to see in a horror film that gives us a mystery and a sci-fi side of the story that keeps us guessing.

SettingsWith the whole film set inside the hospital we are left to see the horror becoming first hand for the characters involved as the deeper everything gets the bigger the horror elements involved are.

Special EffectsThe effects are all great with most being practical effects where we are left to see gore and blood fly off all the walls.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that will make you think with the final acts but if you just want to gore and blood flying you will go no wrong by watching this one.

 

Overall: This is a good horror that I think fans of the genre will enjoy.

Rating