Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Necromentia (2009)

necDirector: Pearry Teo

Writer: Stephanie Joyce (Screenplay) Pearry Teo (Story)

Starring: Layton Matthews, Chad Grimes, Santiago Craig, Zelieann Rivera, Cole Braxton, Zach Cumer

 

Plot: Explores the use of a tattooed Ouija Board through the lives and perspectives of 4 people.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Messy Horror

 

Story: Necromentia starts as we meet Hagen (Craig) who enjoys his pleasure through the corpse of his dead wife. When Travis (Grimes) walks into Hagen’s life exposing his twisted fantasies he offers to bring back Elizabeth (Rivera) by carving the tattoo key onto Hagen’s back forcing him to go into hell.

With Hagen going through a hell he could never imagine we flashback to learn about Travis’ motivation for trying to get into hell to find his brother Thomas (Cumer). I lost what the hell was going on and I am also not sure I have the characters in the right places either.

 

Thoughts on Necromentia

 

StoryI wish I could explain how I felt about the story but in the end I really don’t know what happened because the story telling process is so poor throughout this one.

HorrorThis is very gore filled horror trying to push our sense as to what we could take, but otherwise nothing stands out.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters do all feel strange and out of place to what is going on with none of the characters standing out. The performances are also sub-par at best leaving us feeling very disappointed.

SettingsThe settings are mostly chambers for the torture scenes all feeling dark and dingy throughout.

Special EffectsThe special effects all work for the bloody and gore going on through the film but otherwise it is all good for this only.

Final ThoughtsMessy horror that just doesn’t hit the points it is trying to hit leaving us feeling left behind.

 

Overall: Poorly executed horror film.

Rating15

 

 

DJ Qualls Weekend – The New Guy (2002)

Director: Ed Decter

Writer: David Kendall (Screenplay)

Starring: DJ Qualls, Eliza Dushku, Zooey Deschanel, Jerod Mixon, Parry Shen, Lyle Lovett, Eddie Griffin, Sunny Mabrey

 

Plot: A high school senior branded uncool in the ninth grade gets himself expelled so he changes his image to cool kid at the town’s other high school.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Comedy

 

Story: The New Guy starts on the first day of senior for Dizzy (Qualls) and his band mates Nora (Deschanel), Kirk (Mixon) and Glen (Shen), they are blips in the social group but in the end he gets fully embarrassed in front of the whole school. Continuing his spiral out of control Dizzy ends up in prison where he meets Luther (Griffin) who teaches him how to be tough and al Dizzy needs to do is get expelled.

Starting his new school, with a new look, he makes an instant impact taking out the big dog of the school yard. Dizzy uses this new image to help change the school, grabbing the attention of head cheerleader Danielle (Dushku) along the way but how long can he keep this up.

 

Thoughts on The New Guy

 

Characters/PerformanceDizzy is the typical outsider in high school, he dreams of fitting in but the truth is he never will, he does all he can to make himself stand out and he does make an impact but he also faces the idea of leaving him friends behind to be popular. Danielle is your standard cheerleader dating the high school asshole but also designed not to have her own mind and just date the popular kid. Nora, Kirk and Glen are the old friends that are there to support Dizzy but also be part of the band. We have the full group of typical high school students which all make for the laugh for the story.

Performance wise, DJ Qualls followed up his scene stealing performance in Road Trip with this lead performance where he once again builds on the idea of an outsider changing a mentality. Dushku fits the role very well but isn’t the most developed character. We also get an early from Zooey Deschanel who brings her quirky style to this film and shows off her singing abilities.

StoryThe story follows the idea of one boy wanting to fit into high school, he changes to fit in only to turn on his friends. He learns from his mistake to make a difference at the high school showing everyone that they need to treat each other with respect to achieve everything you could in the early time of life. This is a good look at high school life but is one people could learn from.

ComedyWe have plenty of comedy in this film which is all enjoyable for the audience watching even if most of the humour is based on teen comedy.

SettingsThe high school settings are great because of the morale in the story as the characters learn their lessons about how to treat each other.

Final ThoughtsI grew up watching this film, I loved the story so much that I made the film my username on most things I used, it works on every level it aims for.

 

Overall: This is a worthy addition to the teen comedy genre.

Rating

 

 

Nerve (2016)

nerveDirector: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman

Writer: Jessica Sharzer (Screenplay) Jeanne Ryan (Novel)

Starring: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Emily Meade, Miles Heizer, Kimiko Glenn, Marc John Jeffries

 

Plot: A high school senior finds herself immersed in an online game of truth or dare, where her every move starts to become manipulated by an anonymous community of “watchers.”

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Glossy Thriller

 

Story: Nerve starts as we meet Vee (Roberts) a high school senior looking to go onto her dream college but for now she has to face staying at home with her mother after their own loss. When her risky friend Sydney (Meade) teaches about a new online game called Nerve which is Truth or Dare minus the Truth we get to see a new risk people are meant to take money.

When Vee gets her heartbroken by her crush she decides to be impulsive and become a player in Nerve. When Vee meets another player Ian (Franco) she finds herself getting caught up in a darker version of the game where she must battle life and death to make a little extra cash.

Nerve is a thriller that starts off simple and calm but soon becomes deadly, well this also ends up playing along the ideas of how far you will go to get extra money. This also plays on the idea that friendships at that age could only be thin and easily broken. When the film is all set and done this feels really long and over glossy to get to where the film wants to go and I would rather be watching the horror version of 13 Sins.

 

Overall: Over glossy thriller that just doesn’t suck you in like it should.

Rating

 55

 

The Neon Demon (2016)

neonDirector: Nicolas Winding Refn

Writer: Nicolas Winding Refn, Mary Laws, Poly Stenham (Screenplay)

Starring: Elle Fanning, Karl Glusman, Jena Malone, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee, Desmond Harrington, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves

 

Plot: When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: UMMMMM ZZZZZZ I Think

 

Story: The Neon Demon starts young naïve model Jesse (Fanning) who at the tender age of 16 moved the LA to make a name for herself, striking up a friendship with make-up artist Ruby (Malone) she finds her way to model agent Roberta Hoffman (Hendricks) who starts her on her trail to stardom.

As Jesse stars to rise up the ranks in the modelling world she meets all the other models that have all gone to their own lengths to get into the world, but will she let this new world consume her.

The Neon Demon is a film I can honestly say I really just didn’t understand or of the bits I did understand I feel it comes off like a poor version of Starry Eyes. The film is full blown artsy with lots of long shots of pretty much nothing happening other than music. In the end I found myself wanting this to be a lot shorter and have a more rounded story.

 

Overall: Artsy messy film really

Rating20

 

 

North by Northwest (1959)

northDirector: Alfred Hitchcock

Writer: Ernest Lehman (Screenplay)

Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis, Leo G Carroll, Josephine Hutchinson, Philip Ober

 

Plot: A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: North by Northwest starts as New York advertising executive Roger O Thornhill (Grant) is taken my Phillip Vandamm (Mason) and his man believing he is George Kaplan a spy. Setting up to kill Roger he is filled with booze but escapes by finding himself arrested.

Roger teams up with his mother Clara (Landis) to figure out who this Mr Kaplan with the people in the hotel believing him to be and no one believing the story of his events, searching for the truth takes him right across the country where he meets the beautiful Eve Kendall (Saint) who aids in his escape but not everything is what it seems for Roger.

 

Thoughts on North by Northwest

 

StoryThis is the classic Hitchcock thriller that tells us the simple story of being miss-identified by all the wrong people with nowhere to turn to. This is a thriller that shows us that the idea that could easily be what inspired many a movie in modern times. The story had plenty of twists and turns along the way which at the time would have kept you guessing what will happen next at the time.

Action/Mystery/ThrillerThis has action when the chase scenes with the mystery of what is going on happening very early on with the thrilling side of the story keeping you guessing from the start to the finish. All the genres mix together to give us one of the most ground breaking thrillers of all time.

Characters/PerformanceRobert is a great everyday man who ends up in the middle of the bigger conspiracy going on with each of the people he meets either offering something new or a threat for his life. Cary Grant is brilliant in this role showing he was the star of the era with the rest of the cast all shining close to his level throughout.

SettingsEach setting is used to show how Robert is looking to escape or answers to what is going on. We have the iconic scenes in the crop field, Mount Rushmore and the opening shot overlooking New York.

Final ThoughtsThis will always be looked at as one of the best thrillers of all time that did truly inspire so many of the films we get in modern cinema.

 

Overall: An absolutely classic that could never be beaten.

Ratingcard