Original v Remake Weekend – Let Me In (2010)

Director: Matt Reeves

Writer: Matt Reeves (Screenplay) John Ajvide Lindqvist (Novel)

Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Grace Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Cara Buono, Elias Koteas, Sasha Barrese

 

Plot: A bullied young boy befriends a young female vampire who lives in secrecy with her guardian.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Remake

 

Story: Let Me In Starts with a man being rushed to hospital with a police escort, before we learn that his daughter was asking about him, before he commits suicide. We move back two weeks to meet the lonely Owen (Smit-McPhee) who has become the latest victim of the school bully, but with no one to turn to he looks to find his own way to defend himself.

Moving in next door to Owen is the mysterious family with Abby (Moretz) being the same age as Owen, but it is her father (Jenkins) which comes off very strange. It isn’t long before Owen and Abby become friends being drawn to each other by their loneliness, but can this friendship last with the two from very different worlds.

After Abby’s father dies, she turns to the only friend she knows of, Owen to help her with her feeding, living situation while she helps Owen out with his own problems with the bullies at school.

 

Thoughts on Let Me In

 

Characters/PerformanceOwen is portrayed as the loner bully victim who doesn’t have any friends, no support from his mother or teachers. He is looking for a way to fight back, be it through his PE coach or with his own choice of weapon, his knife. Abby is the estranged neighbour that offers him friendship but also has her own dark secret which will make friendship all the more difficult. I do feel these characters don’t quite reach the levels that the original manages to achieve.

Performance wise I also think both Kodi and Chloe do a great job but I also feel the original has a more realistic feel to the performances. I don’t feel the rest of the cast get enough time to make the impact as this story is about the two children.

StoryThe story does follow the same path as the original only going for the impact moment to start the film, the story also pays a lot more references to Romeo and Juliet because you can see the same ideas for the story of two young lovers coming from different worlds.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of the story comes from the graphic attacks but they do feel at times forced for extra impact. The mystery side of the story comes in as we wonder just where things will go if you have never seen the original.

SettingsIn this version we are in small town America which again shows it being a good location for a vampire to hide out and for a young boy to feel lonely in.

Special EffectsWe have limited special effects with them being used well when needed.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good remake that does enough to keep the story similar but bringing enough of an America twist to the story.

 

Overall: This is a remake that works showing if it is done correctly.

Rating

 

 

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Original v Remake – Let the Right One In (2008)

Director: Tomas Alfredson

Writer: John Ajvide Lindqvist (Screenplay) John Ajvide Lindqvist (Novel)

Starring: Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl, Karin Bergquist

 

Plot: Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Modern Day Classic

 

Story: Let the Right One In starts as we meet bullied school boy Oskar (Hedebrant) who in secret is looking for a way to fight back against these bullies, he attention is caught when a new family with a young girl Eli (Leandersson) moves in to the same apartment building in the dead of night.

Around this same time Hakan (Ragnar) Eli’s father is seen performing a certain style of murder, draining the blood from his victim. This becomes clear when we see him interrupted leaving Eli having to show her own true colours as she hunts in the dark.

The two meet and become friends, but only at night, when it is safe for Eli to come out but Oskar doesn’t know the truth about Eli yet, so does he know what he is getting himself into with this young vampire? When Eli’s father is taken, she finds herself alone with the only friend in the world Oskar, this brings out the truth and a chance for Oskar to get revenge on all of his bullies.

 

Thoughts on Let the Right One In

 

Characters/PerformanceOskar is the typical lonely school boy who never fits in with the people around him finding himself being bullied by class mates looking for an escape from this world. Eli is also lonely because of the vampire side of her, she desires friendship but the vampire in her prevents that happening. We don’t get too much from the rest of the characters, we have the loyal guardian, the bullies and the neglectful parents.

Kare and Lina are both brilliant in the lead roles making you fully understand the motives they both face, the struggles they are going through and just carry this film effortlessly.

StoryThe story focuses on two different loners that are drawn together to help each other solve their own problems. While there is a deeper look at how a vampire could well struggle in the modern world alone which is a huge draw to this movie, we also get to see how one boy handles being bullied with the extreme measurements. This is a slow-moving story that packs a real punch in the second half and is a much watch for the fans of vampire movies and high school movies.

Horror/RomanceHorror side of this film is in the pure violence involved when it comes to the kills or attacks in the movie. The romance side comes from the two young children falling in love with each other.

SettingsWe are kept in this small Swedish town for this movie which shows it to be a perfect location for a vampire to hide out as well as being a place where someone could feel all alone.

Special EffectsWe only have a few special effects in this movie, which I do feel works to all the levels it needs to in this film to make the terror filled moments work to their full effects.

Final ThoughtsThis will go down as a modern classic in the vampire genre, with the final swimming pool scene easily the iconic scene of the movie.

 

Overall: This is a must watch film for the vampire fans.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)

Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly

Writer: Damien Chazelle, Ed Gass-Donnelly (Screenplay) Huck Botko, Andrew Gurland (Characters)

Starring: Ashley Bell, Julia Garner, Spencer Treat Clark, David Jensen, Tarra Riggs, Louis Herthum, Muse Watson

 

Plot: As Nell Sweetzer tries to build a new life after the events of the first movie, the evil force that once possessed her returns with an even more horrific plan.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Another Forgettable Exorcism Movie

 

Story: The Last Exorcism Part II starts by filling us in on the first Last Exorcism because most of us forgot or didn’t see it. Starting in the main film we learn what happened to Nell (Bell) as she is given a chance to recover at a young women’s halfway house as she learns to deal with her past.

Nell stats to make new friends with the other girls there with Gwen (Garner) taking in almost like a sister, but it isn’t long until Nell starts getting her horrifying visions return. Nell must battle the evil that has returned to her life that is also targeting her new friends.

 

Thoughts on The Last Exorcism Part II

 

Characters/PerformanceNell is an innocent young woman looking to understand the world once again after what happened to her, but she can’t escape what happened in her past as she must fight the evil within her. Gwen is the one girl at the home that offers friendship but this film sadly only surrounds Nell not the supporting characters.

Performance wise, Ashely Bell is fine in the leading role but you feel she doesn’t quite reach the levels needed for the horror involved. The rest of the performances are all fine without being anything special.

StoryYou know the story is confusing when it is called Part II and Last Exorcism, how can it be a second last one, shouldn’t the first have been called the second from last Exorcism? Anyway, this story isn’t the most appealing as we are left to go through the same old situation girl becomes victim needs curing, yawn.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror is all predictable as we know what we are going to get, noise, something moving in the background and well scary voices, nothing shocks in anyway here.

SettingsThe settings give us nothing to go on, we end up going through the same locations a drug addict would have gone through to recover.

Special EffectsThe effects are good at times but are also weak in other moments.

Final ThoughtsThis is just another exorcism movie that you will forget sooner rather than later.

 

Overall: Been here seen this.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Landlord (2015)

Director: Victor Zarcoff

Writer: Victor Zarcoff (Screenplay)

Starring: PJ McCabe, Brianne Moncrief, Sean Carrigan, Neville Archambault, Jim Cummings, Heidi Niedermeyer

 

Plot: Claire and Ryan, a newlywed couple, move into a new house across the country, only to find out that their marital issues are the least of their problems. Unbeknownst to them, Their grim and lascivious landlord has been spying on them from day one.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Horror

 

Story: The Landlord starts with newlywed couple Ryan (McCabe) and Claire (Moncrief) moving into their newly rented house from their landlord Gerald (Archambault). With Claire expecting their first child this new home feels like it is going to be perfect for them.

Gerald has other plans as he has set up spy cameras all over the house wanting to catch all their intimate moments and we learn early on that Ryan has been cheating on his wife with his assistant. When this affair blows up in Ryan’s face he battles to keep his marriage together while Gerald continues to make improvements to the house as we learn what he is all about.

 

Thoughts on The Landlord

 

Characters/PerformanceGerald is the creepy landlord lacking all the social skills to go through life. He installs spy cams in the house he is renting out to keep his twisted needs satisfied. Claire is the pregnant wife that moves into the house with her husband and takes an instant dislike to Gerald. Ryan is the husband that has been cheating on his wife and needs to find a way to save is marriage when it all gets exposed. It is hard to supporting Ryan because of the way he treats Claire.

Performance wise, Neville Archambault is creepy from start to finish in this film. PJ and Brianne do a fine job without over acting just looking like a normal dysfunctional couple.

StoryThe story does keep everything simple because it circles around the idea of a normal family life being watched by a psychopath pervert. It keeps us thinking it this could happen to anyone which does add to the horror but most of the outcome of the film is pretty routine to say the least.

HorrorThe horror in this film shows us just how we don’t know what our landlords could be up to, being watched is a general good element for horror and this does what it needs to through the film.

SettingsNearly the whole film is inside the house because it shows how the family is being watched.

Final ThoughtsThis does have good elements for horror but this sub-genre in horror has started to become very predictable and this one is no different.

 

Overall: Solid late night horror film.

Rating

 

 

Leatherface (2017)

Director: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury

Writer: Seth M Sherwood (Screenplay) Kim Henkel, Tobe Hooper (Characters)

Starring: Finn Jones, Stephen Dorff, Lili Taylor, Nicole Andrews, James Bloor, Sam Strike, Sam Coleman, Vanessa Grasse

 

Plot: A teenage Leatherface escapes from a mental hospital with three other inmates, kidnapping a young nurse and taking her on a road trip from hell while being pursued by an equally deranged lawman out for revenge.


Tagline – Witness the beginning of your end

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Another Forgettable Prequel

 

Story: Leatherface starts as the Sawyer family get their children taken from them by Texas Ranger Hal Hartman (Dorff) after they kill his daughter. Ten years later we meet Lizzy (Grasse) a nurse in a mental home where she meets the different patients Jackson (Strike) the talker, Bud (Coleman) the quiet one that doesn’t talk, Ike (Bloor) the short tempered one and Clarice (Madsen) the bully of the female ward.

When Verna (Taylor) the mother of the Sawyer family breaks into the home in search for her son, she creates a mass escape where Ike, Clarice lead an escape with hostages Jackson and Lizzy with Bud along the way, but this gives Hal a chance to go on his own revenge mission to kill Jed who just so happens to be one of the escapees, but which one as Deputy Sorrel (Jones) must do the right thing.

 

Thoughts on Leatherface

 

Characters – Texas Ranger Hal Hartman has his daughter killed by the Sawyer family, he wants blood but knows he can’t so he takes the children away, but with the escape of one of the children he knows it is his chance to get the Sawyer’s where it hurts. Verna Sawyer wants her kid back and will go to any lengths to free him from the mental home. Lizzy is the new nurse to the home that is basically us joining the home being forced to meet the characters in the home, which she does, she does become a hostage when the escape happens. Jackson is the nice patient that makes sure Lizzy is safe during the escape where as Bud is the silent gentle giant with a mean streak that will kill anyone who pisses him off. This gives us a nice selection of who Jed could be and while I suspect it will be one, it doesn’t point any clear fingers at any of the three male escapees.

PerformancesThe performances are fine from the whole cast, the big names get there moments but the performances as a whole are just average at best offering nothing to make this the most unique film of the franchise.

StoryThe story plays out to be an origin of Leatherface, who would have guessed that from the title? We get three main potential suspect to who could be the growing Jed which is about as much of the story we see, because we are trying to figure out which one is him. We do have a Texas Ranger out for blood but to make Leatherface the innocent victim sees strange for the most part. The big problem is the stakes are low and the focus on make the villainous family the characters we are meant to care about is poorly designed.

HorrorThe horror is all blood and gore, just for the sake of giving us blood and gore, there is little reasoning behind it other than to try and shock like the film does.

SettingsNone of the settings stand out to be original for the franchise which again leaves us wondering why this doesn’t feel like Texas anymore.

Special EffectsThe effects do all look practical and for the most part they are the highlight of the film, it gives the artists a chance to show us just what they can do.


Scene of the Movie –
Police car escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Making the villains the heroes confuses me.

Chances of Sequel: A sequel or a reboot or a remake, take your pick.

Final ThoughtsThis is another prequel or addition to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise we didn’t need, it offers little to the original and just falls into generic mistake after mistake.

 

Overall: Disappointing all around.

Rating