Tobe Hooper Weekend – Poltergeist (1982) Movie Review

Director: Tobe Hooper

Writer: Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, Mark Victor (Screenplay)

Starring: Craig T Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, Heather O’Rourke, Michael McManus

Plot: A family’s home is haunted by a host of demonic ghosts.

Tagline – Some things have to be believed to be seen.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Classic Horror

Story: Poltergeist starts as the Freeling family Steve (Nelson), Diane (Williams), Dana (Dunne), Robbie (Robins) and Carol (O’Rourke) who have moved into a new build, that Steve’s company has built. Robbie is struggling to deal with the strange shapes around the house at night, and Carol has started her sleepwalking again, talking to the static on the television.

The family soon find out they have a poltergeist that Diane sees as something friendly only for the events to become must more sinister, targeting the youngest members of the house, the family must figure out how to save their family, where they only learn more troublesome truths about the house, turning to Dr Lesh (Straight) to study what is going on.

Thoughts on Poltergeist

Characters – Steve is the real estate agent that has been selling the house on the new land, he moved his own family into one to show just how confident he is in the neighbourhood and does what ever concerned father would do once the haunting start. Diane is the wife and mother, she plays with the ghosts first thinking it is a harmless haunting, but when things get serious, she won’t leave the house until she gets her daughter back. Dr Lesh is the one that is hired to study the hauntings, she sets up the tests to figure out what is happening and prepares the family for the test they will be facing. Dana is the oldest daughter in the family, she is dealing with being a teenager with ease and must look after Robbie while the rest of the family deal with the hauntings.

PerformancesCraig T Nelson and JoBeth Williams as the parents are both great through, they show the concern and worries they might not find their daughter. Beatrice Straight does bring the confident figure to life, while also showing the fear she sees in the house. The child stars are strong too through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a family that’s new dream home turns into a nightmare when it turns out it is haunted by vengeful spirits forcing them to confront the spirits before losing their family. This is the original haunted house to a new level story, it spins what was designed before with an old house with history being haunted, to a brand-new house being the events of the hauntings, one that wouldn’t be filled with murder or history. This does help the events of the story seem scarier and gives it an original side too because it shows that anybody could be the ones getting haunted.

HorrorThe horror in the film is hauntings, we start with friendly ones which seem harmless and soon become deadly as the children are being targeted, the final act will bring the most horror to the whole film.

SettingsThe film uses the brand-new house build for the main setting, this helps because it changes everything we should know about haunting houses.

Special EffectsThe effects are great considering this came out in 1982, they don’t look terribly like certain horror films since this.

Scene of the Movie – The last night in the house.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The builder’s mentality to a teenage schoolgirl.

Final Thoughts This is a horror film that has stood the test of time and will be remembered as one of the best of the 80’s.

Overall: Brilliant Horror

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – P – Parasite (2019) Movie Review

Director: Bong Joon Ho

Writer: Bong Joon Ho, Jin Won Han (Screenplay)

Starring: Song Kang Ho, Lee Sun Kyun, Cho Yeo Jeong, Choi Woo Shik, Park So Dam, Lee Jung Eun, Chang Hyae Jin

Plot: All unemployed, Ki-taek and his family take peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks, as they ingratiate themselves into their lives and get entangled in an unexpected incident.

Tagline – Act like you own the place

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Astonishing

Story: Parasite starts as we meet the Kim family, all unemployed, with father Ki-taek (Kang Ho), mother Chung-sook (Hye-jin) and adult children, former military service Ki-woo (Woo-sik) and genius computer wizard Ki-jung (So-dam), they take simple jobs like folding pizza boxes, until Ki-woo gets pushed into taking a tutoring job for the Park family, teaching Da-hye (Ji-so) English.

Soon after Ki-woo gets a job for the family, the Park family businessman Dong Ik (Sun-kyun) his wife Yeon-kyo (Yeo-Jeong) fill the roles of their trusted staff with Ki-woo’s family as they get themselves secure well paying jobs, but not everything is as it seems with the house.

Thoughts on Parasite

Characters – Ki-taek Kim is the father of the unemployed family, he has always looked out for his family, while they search for their next meal, once the job opens up for him, he becomes the driver, proving to be a model employee. Ki-woo gets the first job as a tutor for the daughter in the family, he sees this as a chance to get to university, where he makes the plan for the family to get the extra jobs. Ki-jung is the daughter of the family that will become an art therapist for the family, while Chung-sook takes over the house as the maid. This family shows the poverty a family can be experiencing and just how far they would go to try and get out of it. The Park family has businessman Dong-ik who has always been patient with people, letting his wife do the hardest decisions in life, while supporting her always. Yeon-kyo is the wife that deals with the everyday routines in the house, she will do everything she needs to with the people she trusts, even if this does mean she can be taken advantage of.

PerformancesWe have incredible performances from the whole cast here Song Kang-ho in the leading role shines beyond belief in one of the performances of the year. Lee Sun-kyun and Jo Yeo-jeong give us wonderful supporting roles, with Choi Woo-sik, Park So-dam and Jang Hye-jin shining like the rest of the cast which is flawless throughout the film.

StoryThe story here follows a poverty family that luck and con their way into secure jobs for one family, only to see everything spiral out of control in a story that highlights the lines between the rich and poor. This story is one of the most fascinating ones of the year, it does seem like it is going to be a simple enough story, but when everything goes out of control we get to see threads of the story unravel in every directions, see the highlights placed on the rich and poor divide, slowly chipping away at the poorer side of the family, as well as having the other incident going on (which does include too bigger spoilers). Much like ‘Shoplifters’ we see just how hopeless people can feel when they have no realistic future because money they can’t earn can’t give them an out. This is a perfect highlight of how to bring an original story to life, where the audience will be left to ponder what will happen next.

ComedyThe film is set up like a comedy which at times does work, with just how crazy certain moments are, though it doesn’t fall into a laugh out loud comedy.

SettingsThe film uses the settings excellently, with the poverty sized house the family can barely not have some drunk piss on the window, to the wealthy businessman who has earnt his way to the top, the difference in lifestyle is drastic with the locations almost being a character of their own.

Scene of the Movie – Party time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts This is one of the most amazing films you will see this year, it will shock you and give us an important message about the clash system in the world.

Overall: Essential Movie.

Franchise Weekend – Paddington 2 (2017) Movie Review

Director: Paul King

Writer: Paul King, Simon Farnaby (Screenplay) Michael Bond (Creator)

Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw

Plot: Paddington, now happily settled with the Brown family and a popular member of the local community, picks up a series of odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, only for the gift to be stolen.

Tagline – Free Paddington

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Charming and Entertaining

Story: Paddington 2 starts as Paddington is a welcome member of the Brown family, the neighbours are always willing to accept his help and now Paddington sees a gift for his Aunt Lucy in Mr Gruber (Broadbent) antique shop and decides to get a job to pay for it.

Just about to buy the present, Paddington catches a thief breaking into the store and goes in chase, only to find himself captured and thrown in prison. Paddington soon makes friends with the prisoners including the feared Knuckles (Gleeson), while the Brown family Henry (Bonneville) and Mary (Hawkins) try to free Paddington, learning that the once famous actor Phoenix Buchanan (Grant) is behind the crime.

Thoughts on Paddington 2

Characters – Paddington is the kind-hearted marmalade loving bear living in London, he has made countless friends both human and animal, he wants to get a present for his Aunt which sees him trying to get a job. He does try to do the right thing by helping with a robbery only to be found guilty. Paddington always the people bear makes friends, while believing that everybody has good about them. Henry, Mary Brown and Mrs Bird treat Paddington like their third child and will do everything to help get him out of prison. Phoenix Buchanan is the once famous actor that has moved in next door to the Browns, he is very eccentric and trying to rebuild his fortune which sees him stealing the book and learning about the clues in the book, always trying to stay ahead of the people trying to capture him, using his different costumes from his career. Knuckles McGinty is the prison chef, he is feared by the other inmates, but Paddington breaks down those barriers showing him to be a good man inside, one that could bring the prisoners together.

PerformancesWhen we go into the performances, the original cast are all wonderfully, but it is the addition members of the cast that truly shine, Hugh Grant practically steals every scene, while Brendan Gleeson proves that he can be the funniest man on camera, these two are outstanding in every single scene they are in.

StoryThe story here follows Paddington’s next adventure as he tries to give his Aunt a present of seeing London only for him to get framed and thrown in prison, while the Brown family try to figure out who really committed the crime. This is a coming together story, it shows how somebody’s good nature can change everything in life and without them around you will notice the change in life. The idea that Paddington is facing off against an evil washed up actor is entertaining too, though it would have been nice to see more of the treasure hunt side of the story. While most of the story is largely predictable it does have a huge heart behind it and shows that good people will rub off on others to show kindness can be a change to life for the better.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure side of the film seems to be focused more on the villains adventure, more than seeing what Paddington must get up to, the comedy comes from seeing just what Paddington gets himself into and the trouble he causes with his innocent nature.

SettingsWe keep London as the main backdrop for the film, while we do have Paddington in a prison and the major landmarks being used as clues to a treasure, most places are locations we are expecting to see in any London based movie.

Special EffectsThe effects are brilliant putting Paddington in every scene like he is really there, it never looks out of place which shows just how far this technology has come.

Scene of the Movie – Lets make marmalade.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Surely, Mr Gruber would be the one who decides whether to press charges against Paddington?

Final Thoughts This is a entertaining, big hearted movie that could be enjoyed by the whole family and would leave a smile on everybody’s face.

Overall: Big Heart Movie.

Franchise Weekend – Paddington (2014)

Director: Paul King

Writer: Paul King, Hamish McColl (Screenplay) Michael Bond (Creator)

Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Nicole Kidman, Ben Whishaw


Plot: A young Peruvian bear travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven.

Tagline – The adventure is about to begin.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Delightful


Story: Paddington starts when a young Peruvian bear travels to London after his aunt and uncle lose their home, London is different to what he was expecting with the Brown family taking him in, with father Henry (Bonneville) being against the idea, while mother Mary (Hawkins) isn’t taking no for an answer.

When the family decides to start looking for the explorer that connected with Paddington’s aunt and uncle, only to learn of a cover up, while museum curator Millicent (Kidman) is trying to locate the bear to complete her life’s work.


Thoughts on Paddington


Characters – Paddington is the Peruvian bear we have all gotten to know from our childhoods, he travels to London in search for an explorer that met his Uncle and Aunt, what he finds is a busy city that has no time for stranger until he meets the Brown family. Paddington is learning about a new world in London, which sees his curiosity getting him stuck in a pickle more often than not, with his love of marmalade being the cause of most of his troubles. Henry Brown is the father that has taken Paddington in reluctantly, he has been working in risk assessment which doesn’t make a bear in the house seem safe, Paddington will help unlock the wild side that Henry once had in his youth before becoming a father. Mary is the mother who wants to take Paddington in, her heart is what makes her the reason the family will let him in, always wanting to do the right thing. Millicent works at the natural history museum, she wants Paddington so she can stuff him and add him to the collection at the museum, always thinking about herself and her family’s legacy.

PerformancesHugh Bonneville as the strict father shown that he isn’t willing to take a change, he goes against everything going with Paddington, only to show just how different a man can be once hit with parenthood. Sally Hawkins brings the light to the film as the caring mother. Nicole Kidman looks like she is enjoying the villainous figure in the film, which does show terrifying moments for the family film. Ben Whishaw does make the voice of Paddington a pleasure to watch through the film, handling the comedy very well.

StoryThe story brings the character of Paddington bear to modern day London, where he must learn to fit in while alluding an evil taxidermist. We did need to keep the story simple for the first part of the chapter here, bringing Paddington to a modern London is a fresh spin because the original story was a different time, different minds and now everybody is so busy in their lives they barely notice a bear at a train station. We do get to see how Paddington must adjust to life in London, getting himself into trouble both in and out the house, but shows that his good-natured side will keep the family together, while the villain does have a good motivation which does play into the history of the natural history museum and just how twisted the reality behind it actually is. We do also have a strong theme that shows us just how difficult deforestation will be on animal families around the world, with Paddington being a victim of this.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure takes Paddington around the world to a new family, new country and new culture, seeing how he learns plays into the comedy of the film which will get laughs of the pickles he finds himself involved in.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in London, it shows just how big the city is for people who have never been there before, the Natural History museum is used well to show moments of fear in the film too.

Special EffectsPaddington being placed into the world looks fantastic, he never looks out of place which shows just how well the effects team worked to make this look seamless.

Scene of the Movie –
Using the facilities.

That Moment That Annoyed Me That jungle music line, seems completely out of place in this movie.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun family film that does bring to life one of the most famous childhood characters, it is filled with heart and brings the modernisation vision to the story with ease.


Overall: Family Fun Film.




Original v Remake – Pete’s Dragon (2016)

Director: David Lowery

Writer: David Lowery, Toby Halbrooks (Screenplay) Seton I Miller, SS. Field (Story)

Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Oakes Fegley, Oona Laurence, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Isiah Whitlock Jr


Plot: The adventures of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon.

Tagline – Some secrets are too big to keep.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Huge Improvement


Story: Pete’s Dragon starts when Pete (Fegley) loses his family in a car accident, he ends living the next six years in the woods with his pet dragon Elliot, this changes when he sees a local park ranger Grace (Howard) who is watching over a logging company chopping down the woods, when Grace’s daughter Natalie (Laurence) discovers him.

Grace takes Pete into her family to learn the truth about what happened to Pete’s family, all while Elliot watches over him, which grabs the attention of the local hunters that want to try and capture a dragon.


Thoughts on Pete’s Dragon


Characters – Pete is the young boy that loses his family in a car crash, he ends up hiding out in the woods for six years with Elliot the dragon, he isn’t interested in returning to the modern world, even after being offered a way back to live a normal. He wants to protect his dragon, which will see him going through a much darker story than the original film. Grace is the park ranger that discovers Pete, offers him a home with her family as they look to figure out who he is, she ha always listened to her father’s stories about the dragon in the woods and doesn’t know what to believe before she sees him. Meacham is the old member of the town, he has seen the dragon before, but unlike the original, he has been turned into a character that brings knowledge, rather than just a drunk. Natalie is the daughter of Grace, she brings Pete a friend that he hasn’t had in years, being somebody that wants to enjoy the legend too.

PerformancesOakes Fegley in the leading role is the highlight of the film, he shows how emotional trauma his character has been through. Bryce Dallas Howard and Robert Redford both give us the strong supporting performances with Wes Bentley and Karl Urban complete the main cast well too.

StoryThe story here follows an orphaned young boy that befriends a dragon in the woods before getting found and offered a chance of a normal life. This is a remake and it does take a much better direction for the story telling side of the film. we have darker moment with the ideas how Pete is dealing with his own trauma, the hunting for the dragon is different, while it might still be for money, it isn’t a scammer like the original film. each new theme does add a lot of realism to what Pete is going through, with the exception of the dragon of course. We do get moments that do feel slightly preachy though, with the villainous figures being lumberjacks taking too much of the local woods away. The grounded realism in this story is what does improve it.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure in this film shows how Pete has been living in own adventure to deal with his own trauma. The comedy does seem to have been taken out of this film for the most part.

SettingsThe film is set in a small town of hard working people, they have a legend of a dragon, this helps the settings show how together the people will be.

Special EffectsThe dragon is the effects in this film, which is always looking amazing for film.

Scene of the Movie –
Fly Elliot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It would have been nice to have more of Meacham

Final ThoughtsThis is a hugely improved remake that builds on the original concept which grounds the story in realism for young Pete.


Overall: Remake that works well.