A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

Director: Ana Lily Amirpour

Writer: Ana Lily Amirpour (Screenplay)

Starring: Sheila Vand, Arash Maranadi, Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marno, Dominic Rains, Rome Shadanloo

 

Plot: In the Iranian ghost-town Bad City, a place that reeks of death and loneliness, the townspeople are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautifully Shot Modern Day Vampire Classic

 

Story: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night starts in a small Iranian town as we follow the drug culture sweeping through the city with Saeed (Rains) supplying all the drugs as Arash (Marandi) does all he can to help his junkie father Hossein (Manesh).

When a mysterious girl (Vand) arrives in the town she appears only at night searching for her victims as her addiction isn’t a drug but the blood of humans, she is a vampire that hunts on the bad people sparing the innocent ones, but she must work out just who are the innocent.

 

Thoughts on A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

 

Characters/PerformanceThe Girl is a very mysterious character, she stalks the people of the town at night as she witnesses the good and bad people do, but when she starts to see the grey in people’ actions she aims to learn more about who they really are before selecting her victims. Arash is a young man who works for a drug dealer to support his father’s addiction, he finds himself deep in the world once the Pimp of the town is killed but also having a connection to the mysterious girl. Hossein is the junkie hooked on the drug going around the town pushing his son away as his addiction is taking control of his life pushing him towards the bad ways.

Sheila is brilliant as the vampire girl that hunts for her victims, she is filled it the beauty of the innocence needed for the role and the fear needed for the feeding scenes. Arash Marandi is also great in this role showing how he could be going down the wrong path as well as seeing the light of a new future at the end of the tunnel.

StoryThe story is easy to follow, we have a small town drowning in sin, be it drugs, prostitution of just general depression. We also have a girl, well a vampire who comes into town to search for victims that have been sinning as she spares the innocent. This is a fresh approach to the vampire genre one that keeps us curious as to her actions throughout the film.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy side of this film comes from a vampire cleaning up a town, yes this isn’t overly great but it works. The horror side comes from the overall creepiness created by the mysterious girl’s appearance as we know just how deadlier she can be and watching her stalk the victims in just as frightening.

SettingsThe settings used are all within one small town that is one you can see people in their weakest states in, there is nothing pretty about this town it is down, dirty and full of people ready to give up on life.

Special EffectsThe special effects are not used that often but when they are we are left to see how the vampire attacks come off.

Final ThoughtsThis film has an excellent us of music to describe the tone of each scene, the black and white shooting is also a brilliant touch for the film, the fresh spin on vampires is another plus and I can safely say you should believe the hype on this film.

 

Overall: Easily one of the best modern day vampire films.

Rating

 

 

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Alien: Resurrection (1997)

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Writer: Joss Whedon (Screenplay) Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett (Characters)

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Dominique Pinon, Ron Perlman, Gary Dourdan, Michael Wincott, Kim Flowers, Dan Hedaya

 

Plot: Two centuries after her death, Ellen Ripley is revived as a powerful human/alien hybrid clone who must continue her war against the aliens.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mindless Action Aliens

 

Story: Alien: Resurrection starts as we arrive on a US space research facility where General Perez (Hedaya) is working on bringing back the aliens with clones of Ripley (Weaver), the latest number 8 shows incredible strength and development. Waiting for a delivery from Captain Elgyn (Wincott) and his crew Call (Ryder), Vriess (Pinon), Johner (Perlman) Hillard (Flowers) and Christie (Dourdan) a deal is agreed they can spend a couple of days’ rest on the research ship.

After Elgyn’s crew get involved in an altercation with the scientists they must escape but the xenomorphs have escaped onto the ship, joining up with Ripley the crew look for a way off the ship while staying alive.

 

Thoughts on Alien: Resurrection

 

Characters/PerformanceRipley is now a clone and the mother of the xenomorphs being created on the ship, she is stronger than before but becomes the best weapon against the xenomorphs. Call is the newest crew member of the pirates but she is harbouring a secret from the rest of the crew. The rest of the characters are your generic group of fighters, the tough one, the gunslinger, the smart one and the captain nothing original comes from these characters.

Performance wise, this isn’t the best Weaver alien performance but she is also brave enough to take it on with a different approach. Ryder is solid enough through the film. the rest of the cast are also solid with Ron Perlman giving his aggressive dick like performance on the good guys team.

StoryThe story might not be the greatest, but it does capture what is needed for an alien movie, we have the military wanting to study the aliens for their own good, this happens every single film, we also have the group of soldiers needing to fight them off, but this film does offer a chance to build the relationship between the xenomorphs and Ripley. The problem for a lot of this story telling it that it isn’t original and isn’t on the same levels as the earlier films.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is all mindless like you would expect from big budget style sequel too far down the line, the horror is now nearly all gone from the franchise but the sci-fi angle continues on strongly as we see how the aliens are now finding new ways to breed.

SettingsThe whole film is set upon the space facility craft which is good because it keeps everything within the one location which is all we want in these films.

Special EffectsThe special effects are good in this film and are one of the extra highlights within the film.

Final ThoughtsThe weakest part of the Weaver alien films but still a good enjoyable enough watch.

 

Overall: Enjoyable enough.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Anaconda: The Trail of Blood (2009)

Director: Don E FauntLeRoy

Writer: David C Olson (Screenplay)

Starring: Crystal Allen, Linden Ashby, Danny Midwinter, Calin Stanciu, Ana Ularu, Claudiu Bleont

 

Plot: A genetically created Anaconda, cut in half, regenerates itself into two aggressive giant snakes, due to the Blood Orchid.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Well At Least They Are Over

 

Story: Anacondas: Trail of Blood starts as Murdoch (Rhys-Davies) has continued his research but when his doctor vanishes so might the cure, he hires a mercenary to kill the scientist and bring back all the research. Meanwhile Amanda (Allen) is searching the forest in search of any remaining snakes, whiles another research team led by Jackson (Ashby) is looking to collect the data.

While all chasing the same research they all find themselves at the mercy of two deadlier anacondas that are very hungry and takes no prisoners.

 

Thoughts on Anacondas: Trail of Blood

 

Characters/PerformanceAmanda is back and now she is basically Lara Croft hunting for the snakes, Jackson is part of a team searching for a missing friend and we have military guys, by reading this you will learn how none of the characters are memorable.

Performance wise is a similar situation as it is filled with average to bad performances across the board and I feel sorry for John Rhys-Davies for having to appear in two of these films now.

StoryThe story does try to continue on the idea of blood orchids create extended life but in the end is just lots gun shooting, running around the forest and snake eating, it is this bad that the military team don’t even have names.

Action/HorrorAction is people running around and shooting with toy guns, the horror is the acting.

SettingsRandom woods which are meant to be in Romania because that’s where you do research now.

Special EffectsNope.

Final ThoughtsThis is yet another bad addition to this franchise which gives us no hope on it ever continuing.

 

Overall: Please Give Up

Rating

 

 

A Ghost Story (2017)

Director: David Lowery

Writer: David Lowery (Screenplay)

Starring: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, McColm Cephas Jr, Kenneista Thompson, Grover Coulson, Liz Franke

 

Plot: In this singular exploration of legacy, love, loss, and the enormity of existence, a recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost returns to his suburban home to try to reconnect with his bereft wife.


Tagline – It’s all about time.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Film

 

Story: A Ghost Story starts as we follow couple C (Affleck) and M (Mara), they live a happy life in their home even though they are planning to move, but when C dies the perfect world becomes shattered. M dealing with the loss of her husband but C not going into the light and returning home to watch over his wife with a bed sheet covering him.

When M leaves the home, C is seemingly stuck bound to the house for all time as he goes through different households and his only communication comes from a fellow ghost trapped in the neighbouring house, but C is determined to stay for the one he loves even through all the changes the environment around him goes through.

 

Thoughts on A Ghost Story

 

Characters – C is the husband of M that dies, he finds himself coming back as a ghost to watch over his wife but soon finds himself alone once she leaves their home, he sees different lives enter his as he waits for her to return. M is the wife that can’t cope with her husband’s death, she tries to move on but without any hope, so to get away completely she leaves the home. The two do make for a good screen couple.

PerformancesRooney Mara is good in her role even if she is only in part of the film, it is Casey Affleck who must wear a sheet for the most part of this movie that doesn’t say anything but lives a lonely life watching other lives.

StoryThe story here is difficult to describe as for the most part we just follow C the ghost with the bed sheet over his head watching every moment of this one location, wait for a chance to be with his love again. This isn’t a horror though it plays into deeper meanings that when you watch the full film you will get rewarded by, but it can be slow getting there. This is a story that will make you think about life and death which is one you need to watch to enjoy.

Fantasy/RomanceThe fantasy elements of this film come on strong for the second half as we see the journey the sheeted C goes on, the romance side of the film looks at the idea of eternal love that people could have.

SettingsThe whole film is set in once location, the background may well change but our character can’t leave the area he finds himself bound too.

Special EffectsNot many effects are used but the ones that are do help the films journey.


Scene of the Movie –
The Beginning?

That Moment That Annoyed Me There is a really long scene of Rooney Mara eating, I think it could have been near 10 minutes long.

Budget: $100,000

Final ThoughtsThis is a very different movie, it shows the idea of eternal love from the side of a deceased character. It will make you think and by the end you will feel like you experienced something different.

 

Overall: Interesting movie that makes you think.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Appearing (2014)

Director: Daric Gates

Writer: Daric Gates, Matthew J Ryan (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Wallace, Dean Cain, Don Swayze, Quinton Aaron, Emily Brooks, Wolfgang Bodison

 

Plot: A woman once possessed by a mysterious entity uncovers a shocking secret about her past and must face the demon that dwells inside of her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Terrible ‘Horror’

 

Story: The Appearing starts with the school kids giving us the information about the haunted house and the truth about what happened there, because back story. we move onto meeting our main characters, Michael (Wallace) who is the new deputy escaping the big city with his wife Rachel (Brooks) to work under Sheriff Hendricks (Swayze).

The first day on the job Michael finds himself working a missing persons case when one of the high school girls has gone missing, while his wife is dealing with her own grief from their tragic loss back in the big city.

When the mystery seems to be connected, the answers might well be found in the mental home where Dr Shaw (Cain) or Father Callahan (Bodison) both know about the history of the town.

 

Thoughts on The Appearing

 

Characters/PerformanceMichael is the deputy that is trying to start a new life with his wife after the tragedy. He snaps easily when questioning subjects and not as friendly when it comes to dealing with the town’s people. Dr Shaw is the good doctor caring about his patients but otherwise plays the science side of the supernatural idea. Sheriff Hendricks has a good relationship with the town’s people but also has a dark past. Rachel is the wife of Michael who is suffering through the paranormal side of the story while dealing with the loss of their child.

Performance wise, well here is the questions because none of the cast are very convincing in the film, which full takes us out of the story involved.

StoryThe story here is also a problem, we spend way too much time with the missing persons case that when we finally get to see the bigger picture of the previous incident within the story. if we had started with this story I feel we would understand the connection earlier and be waiting for the twists in the past story too.

Horror/MysteryThere isn’t much horror going on here and the mystery angle is very misleading taking us in a direction we don’t need to go before the final outcome.

SettingsThe small-town setting is fine but not used to the full effect other than some beautiful shots early on.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all mostly flashing lights and never become believable as the story is unfolding.

Final ThoughtsThis was just bad, bad storytelling, bad acting and bad idea.

 

Overall: Appearing, I wish it was Disappearing.

Rating