Wishmaster (1997)

Director: Robert Kurtzman

Writer: Peter Atkins (Screenplay)

Starring: Tammy Lauren, Andrew Divoff, Robert Englund, Chris Lemmon, Wendy Benson-Landes

 

Plot: A demonic djinn attempts to grant its owner three wishes, which will allow him to summon his brethren to earth.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Horror Fantasy

 

Story: Wishmaster starts when artefact collector Raymond Beaumont’s (Englund) latest piece arrives but is damaged with a gem finding itself way into the trade markets. When expert Alexandra Amberson (Lauren) learns that something isn’t right about the gem, she finds herself receiving whisper like messages about releasing something from the stone.

When the Djinn (Divoff) starts lurking in the shadows waiting for people to give them his wishes so he can grant them, anything including murder, but Alex feels all of these deaths as the power the Djinn has grows. Alex must learn the power of the stone while Djinn powers himself up as he searches for the one who freedom Alex.

 

Thoughts on Wishmaster

 

Characters – Alexandra is an expert in the analysing of gems but when she releases the Djinn and must gain the knowledge to prevent him from gaining the power to take over the world, we don’t learn too much about what he job is but it does give her connection that can help her along the way. The Djinn is the Wishmaster that once released listens for people’s wishes or desires and makes them happen but not in the way the people would imagine. He does like to play on the words people say to have creative ways of getting rid of the people. Raymond Beaumont is a collector that has been building a collection of all the ancient Gods, he is the one that brings the statue that contains the gem to America.

PerformanceTammy Lauren is a good lead but you do see stronger performance in the similar created characters. Andrew Divoff makes for a menacing villain through the film controlling when needed too. Robert Englund is good in what is a different role for him where he isn’t a villainous character in a horror film.

StoryThe idea that an ancient God can come back granting wishes to release his own power of the Earth is a nice touch, on the three wishes idea how the Djinn can re-word what you say into the nightmare is very clever trying to teach people to be careful what they ask for. This does follow a formula but does disappoint as we only seem to meet a lot of characters just to be victims of the wishes showing the weakness the human spirit can have.

Fantasy/HorrorThe idea of a mystical figure that can create wishes that only turn into nightmares is a very good use of the horror fantasy genres.

SettingsThe settings are not the most important or noticeable part of this film, which disappoints in places.

Special EffectsThe effects do look good for a film that is 20 plus years old, the film did become creative with some of the kills too.

Scene of the Movie – You would have to go through me.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many disposable characters we don’t learn enough about.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good film that does seem to grow in quality as the film unfolds to being something you just want to watch until the end.

 

Overall: Good little horror fantasy

Rating

 

 

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The Darkest Dawn (2016)

Director: Drew Casson

Writer: Drew Casson, Jess Cleverly (Screenplay)

Starring: Bethan Mary Leadley, Cherry Wallis, Jess Cleverly, Sarah Perugia, Stuart Ashen, Drew Casson

 

Plot: The story of two sisters, as Britain descends into an alien apocalypse.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 16 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Invasion Movie

 

Story: The Darkest Dawn starts as 16-year-old Chloe (Leadley) gets a new camera for her birthday hoping one day that she could become a big director, she uses her camera like a reporter and when an alien outbreak happens in England Chloe and her older sister Sam (Wallis) must go into hiding.

The girls join forces with fellow survivors Cowen (Casson), Adam (Scareltt) and Kipper (Carter) in search for Adam’s sister, as they head to the surfaces in hopes of surviving, where the treats don’t just come from the aliens.

 

Thoughts on The Darkest Dawn

 

Characters – Chloe is the youngest of the two sisters, she dreams of being a director, which is why she is using the camera to document the events of the invasion hoping that her mother will see her story and follow them. Sam is the older sister and nurse, she keeps an eye out for Chloe while also seeing the change she is going through on the journey. Cowen is the leader of the people that is searching for his girlfriend to whom they thought they had lost in the first invasion.

PerformancesWhen we come to performances we must first look at the idea that this is found footage, so we know that we are not overly performance driven here. Bethan Mary Leadley is good in the leading role, we see enthusiasm in her performance through the horror. When it comes to the rest of the cast we do get good performances throughout where we understand the different decisions they are making.

StoryThe story is the end of normality when an alien invasion has take over England, maybe the world. we follow a group of survivors who see the different sides of humanity in the moments of panic and desperation to survive. The story is fresh for the Chloe and Sam characters, but the rest are part of a sequel, which from the title you would never know, this is disappointing to learn through the film because you would understand certain decisions at times. When follow the events of the story it is clear that we are going to be following the traditional trend when it comes to who are likely to meet along the way.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of the film brings us into the end of the world alien invasion, one we are losing and the weapons being used don’t give us a chance.

SettingsThe film uses the settings well to show how shelter is the only safety from the attacks, we see the big city destruction too.

Special EffectsThe effects are strange, I say this because they do seem good, but for a found footage film they seem too good. We believe the destructions we are witnessing.


Scene of the Movie –
The first attack and the panic.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not knowing this is a sequel till part way through the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good found footage film that can give us a real feel to an invasion which will leave you believing it was real.

 

Overall: Found Footage to be watched.

Rating

 

 

The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018)

Director: Johannes Roberts

Writer: Ben Ketai (Screenplay) Bryan Bertino (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson, Lewis Pullman, Emma Bellomy, Damian Maffei, Lea Enslin

 

Plot: A family of four staying at a secluded mobile home park for the night are stalked and then hunted by three masked psychopaths.


Tagline – Let us prey

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: What Not to Do in Horror Movies

 

Story: The Strangers: Prey at Night starts as a family mother Cindy (Hendricks), father Mike (Henderson) and teenage children Luke (Pullman) and Kinsey (Madison) are travelling across country because Kinsey is a trouble maker (we never learn what she does other than skipping a few classes) is being put in a boarding school, along the way they are stopping off at a secluded mobile home park with family.

Upon their arrival they notice the place is empty and it isn’t long before the iconic Strangers Dollface (Bellomy) Man in the Mask (Maffei) and Pin-Up Girl (Enslin) start stalking them around the park. Tonight, will be a battle to survive.

 

Thoughts on The Strangers: Prey at Night

 

Characters – Cindy is the disappointed mother and the end of her rope when it comes to dealing with Kinsey and she feels old, this is all we learn about her. Mike is the dad, that sums him up. Luke is the soon to be attending college baseball player, he does try to bridge the gap between himself and Kinsey, trying to be the big brother. Kinsey is the trouble maker apparently, she is being set to boarding school for something she did and is your typical rebellious teenage daughter character. The Strangers seem to have had a makeover too, they don’t seem as sadistic as I remember them, as usually they like to play with their victims more. When it comes to writing the characters, this film does a terrible job, as we see by ALL of the decisions they make in the film.

PerformancesThe bad characters does effect the acting because the four in the family have next to nothing to work with, other than run and scream, make as much noise as possible while trying to hide and having awful chemistry especially between the parent characters.

StoryThe story here follows a family which are going to be stalked by the returning Strangers, we have a bigger environment for them to play in, but this time it does seem harder to understand their plans because they seemed to like torture, but this time they are swinging for kills. This ends up turning the idea into a weak slasher film over any sort of psychological thriller, the decisions being made by the characters are hilarious and certain moments seem to have a character run 10 metres and forget where they just were. You will spend a lot of time rolling your eyes at the decisions being made in this film.

HorrorAs the original Strangers in one of the best home invasion style movies, making this horror expand didn’t seem to give the horror moments enough to go on, the trailer has also given away all of the best scares.

SettingsThe bigger setting does create an atmosphere at times, and the shots we are given do look great, which does get the best bit of the praise in the movie, the problem comes with this setting not suiting the Strangers MO.

Special EffectsThe effects are getting points because the attacks look brutal and this does have great camera work for creating the shots.


Scene of the Movie –
There are some brilliant looking shots around the park.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Decision making.

Final ThoughtsThis is a complete mixed bag of a horror, the visual creations are wonderful as are the music, but they just can’t save a film filled with the worst character decisions in most horror movies.

 

Overall: Well shot horror, terribly written characters.

Rating

 

 

All the Money in the World (2017)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: David Scarpa (Screenplay) John Pearson (Book)

Starring: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Romain Duris, Timothy Hutton, Charlie Plummer

 

Plot: The story of the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother to convince his billionaire grandfather Jean Paul Getty to pay the ransom.


Tagline – J. Paul Getty had a fortune. Everyone else paid the price.

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Crime Thriller

 

Story: All the Money in the World starts when John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) get kidnapped in Rome, the ransom is $17 Million, the only person that can help her mother Gail Harris (Williams) get the money is the estranged billionaire grandfather J Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer) who isn’t willing to pay a single dollar to get his favourite grandson back.

Fletcher Chase (Wahlberg) is recruited to negotiate a deal with the kidnappers, but Getty isn’t willing to spare a dollar to get him back as the situation starts to get out of hand as time starts to run out on getting John Paul Getty III back alive.

 

Thoughts on All the Money in the World

 

Characters – Gail Harris is the mother of John Paul Getty III, she has given up her fortune she could have had from her divorce to keep her son, she must go back to her old father in law to get the money, even after she doesn’t get the money she leads the campaign to save her son. J Paul Getty is the richest man in the world, he has made the money by taking whatever he wants and will never give up money for anything that doesn’t increase his value. Businessman at heart he will only do a deal for his own good. Fletcher Chase is the deal maker, he has been able to negotiate deals for Getty for years and now he is assigned to help retrieve the grandson.

PerformancesMichelle Williams is the true star of this movie, she shines in every scene she is in, showing the strength on front of the cameras and the weakness behind them. Christopher Plummer is great in his role which was one that we get to see him take very late in the process. Mark Wahlberg is surprisingly good in his role, taking a supporting position he handles everything without becoming over the top like you would imagine him doing.

StoryThe story here follows the kidnapping of the grandchild of the richest man in the world and follows whether he is willing to spend his fortune to get him back alive. We have the concerned mother that will do anything to get him back, even go against the father-in-law. While the story does come off slow at times as we do go through the same process too often, but it does show how greed can drive people to make terrible decisions.

Biopic/Crime/MysteryThis is meant to be about a real person, not sure how real the story is truly about, this could be considered one of the biggest kidnapping cases of all time if is real though.

SettingsThe film does use the backdrops wonderfully through the film to make us feel like we are part of the scenes we are watching through, the beauty stands out here.


Scene of the Movie –
Williams performance is something to sit and enjoy.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel long.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good crime thriller, it shows us just how far people will go for money and how far people will go to keep it.

 

Overall: Long strong movie.

Rating

 

 

James McAvoy Weekend – Filth (2013)

Director: Jon S Baird

Writer: Jon S Baird (Screenplay) Irvine Welsh (Novel)

Starring: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots, Brian McCardie, Emun Elliott, Gary Lewis, Jim Broadbent

 

Plot: A corrupt, junkie cop with bipolar disorder attempts to manipulate his way through a promotion in order to win back his wife and daughter while also fighting his own borderline-fueled inner demons.


Tagline – This Little Piggy went to town!

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Offensive Mess

 

Story: Filth starts as we follow foul-mouth sex crazed cop Bruce (McAvoy) as he gives us his thoughts on his department Lennox (Bell) and Drummond (Poots) to mention a few. He believes he is on the verge of the promotion he has been waiting for, for years, but after a trip to Dr Rossi (Broadbent) we learn there may well be a deeper problem is Bruce.

With this going on, we follow Bruce as he looks to solve the murder of a Japanese student by a local gang, his may rival is Drummond who he believes is offering sex for promotions.

 

Thoughts on Filth

 

Characters – Bruce is a junkie, sex addict cop who will use his position to get whatever he wants, abusing his power, while not being mentally stable in anyway. He is desperate to get his promotion while battling his own demons. The rest of the characters are just cops that are just as dirty of Bruce and the random wives we just see Bruce having sex with.

PerformancesWhile James McAvoy does full commit to this role and shows how he can go to the extremes in roles which is soon going to be his trademark. The performances from the rest of the cast are fine, but they don’t get enough time to shine.

StoryThe story just seems to be Bruce going around having sex, collecting drugs, taking drugs and being a general asshole. I think that is the story, there doesn’t seem to be anything constructive going on through the film in anyway, even though there is a clear alternative issue going on which doesn’t seem to get enough attention.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy level is poor with most of the jokes being misses and the crime tries to focus on how the police are just as bad as the criminals.

SettingsThe settings put us in Scotland which work for the accents, but never making anything iconic.


Scene of the Movie –
Dr Rossi Trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me No direction for the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a messy movie, the story doesn’t follow any direction, we follow a character with no redeemable qualities through troubles but overall this is just offensive with how it treats women and how men are meant to act towards them.

 

Overall: Awful watch for the whole audience.

Rating