James Stewart Weekend – Vertigo (1958)

vertDirector: Alfred Hitchcock

Writer: Alec Coppel, Samuel A Taylor (Screenplay) Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac (Novel)

Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones, Raymond Bailey

 

Plot: A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend’s wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Classic They Say

 

Story: Vertigo starts as former police detective John ‘Scottie’ Ferguson (Stewart) has been forced into retirement after his acrophobia has caused him to lose his edge. When a former friend Gavin Elster (Helmore) contacts him, he asks for John to follow his wife Madeleine (Novak) who he suspects is up to something behind his back.

John takes the job and after spending time tracking Madeleine he finds himself looking into the history of San Francisco to uncover what she is up to. When John saves Madeleine he ends up joining her on her journey which delves into her past.

 

Thoughts on Vertigo

 

StoryWe get told of films that are classics, films that inspire other films and films you need to watch, well this is one of them, right? The story is an interesting one to follow as you are left to figure out what is going on through the film and we do get to see how facing a fear that freezes us can leave us unable to be as effective as possible. I do fee people will enjoy this one unfold because the characters are unlike most we have seen in film.

Mystery/RomanceThe film does give us a good mystery to figure out as well as keeping us guessing along the way, the romantic story is more about obsession rather than love but also works because it leaves us wondering just what John has become so infatuated with the girl.

Characters/PerformanceJohn makes for a great leading character because his character has a flaw which weakens his ability to do his job correctly, we don’t see this often in film. the character of Madeleine is troubled which is all good for the direction of the film goes.

The performances are all great too even if the age gap between Stewart and Novak is too big to full enjoy the film.

SettingsThe use of San Francisco is a great setting as it is visually fantastic and is filled with the buildings that play into the fear John deals with.

Final ThoughtsWe have all been told to see this if we want to be film critics well you can understand why.

 

Overall: Classical enjoyable thriller.

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The Void (2017)

Director: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski

Writer: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski (Screenplay)

Starring: Aaron Poole, Kenneth Welsh, Daniel Fathers, Kathleen Munroe, Ellen Wong, Mik Byskov, Art Hindle

 

Plot: Shortly after delivering a patient to an understaffed hospital, a police officer experiences strange and violent occurrences seemingly linked to a group of mysterious hooded figures.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bloody Thinking Gorefest

 

Story: The Void starts as Sheriff Daniel Carter (Poole) finds the escaped young man James (Stern) taking him to the local understaffed hospital run by Dr Richard Powell (Welsh) with the nurses Allison Fraser (Munroe) and trainee Kim (Wong).

When a violent attack happens inside the hospital State Trooper Mitchell (Hindle) arrives on the scene but the remaining people inside the hospital find the hospital surrounded by hooded figures and joined the mysterious Father (Fathers) and Son (Byskov) who seem to have been planning for this event, but the question will remain, just what is going on? In what will be the longest night of these people’s lives as they battle to survive.

 

Thoughts on The Void

 

Characters/PerformanceSheriff Carter is a man that just wants to coast through his shifts but when duty calls he steps up to protect and serve, while he still battles with his own tragedy in life. Dr Powell has kept the hospital open for years after the staffing being cut who has also been suffering from his own tragic event. Allison Fraser is one of the nurses in the hospital who has been working to keep her mind of the loss of her unborn child. The Father has been working with the Son searching for everything behind the mysterious creatures within the town.

Performance wise, we have good performances from the whole cast with nobody looking out of place through the film but also nobody standing out as the most memorable member of it.

StoryThe story is a good horror one, you can see it borrowed from other films but let’s face it, what film doesn’t anymore? The idea of being trapped inside a building with an unknown threat works well for horror with the final act being massive but in places slightly complicated which is the biggest downer on this film’s story. there is plenty going on with you needing to think a lot about what has been happening.

Horror/Mystery/Sci-FiThe horror involved in the film is gore, hell and creatures something we love to see in a horror film that gives us a mystery and a sci-fi side of the story that keeps us guessing.

SettingsWith the whole film set inside the hospital we are left to see the horror becoming first hand for the characters involved as the deeper everything gets the bigger the horror elements involved are.

Special EffectsThe effects are all great with most being practical effects where we are left to see gore and blood fly off all the walls.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that will make you think with the final acts but if you just want to gore and blood flying you will go no wrong by watching this one.

 

Overall: This is a good horror that I think fans of the genre will enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – VooDoo (2017)

voodooDirector: Tom Costabile

Writer: Tom Costabile (Screenplay)

Starring: Samantha Stewart, Ruth Reynolds, Dominic Matteucci, Daniel Kozul, Ron Jeremy

 

Plot: When Dani, an innocent southern girl, vacations to Los Angeles to evade her increasingly complicated life, she learns that escaping her past isn’t as easy as she hoped.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Poor Man’s Baskin

 

Story: VooDoo starts when Dani (Stewart) arrives in LA to stay with her cousin Stacy (Reynolds) for a month to see what the Hollywood lifestyle is like, Dani is portrayed to be an innocent girl but that is wrong she is just like her cousin. Dani has escaped her home town to recover from a bad break up where she has been cursed by the wife of her ex-boyfriend who happens to be a Voodoo Priest.

Dani’s trip takes a turn for the worse when she discovers the wife of her former lover in also in LA and she can’t escape the past that has been cursed upon her with a demon following her every move, waiting to take her to hell.

 

Thoughts on VooDoo

 

Characters/PerformanceDani is portrayed to be from New Orleans, an innocent young woman who is happy to act like a party animal freshly out of a relationship with a married man, this character is very, very annoying because she is way too tourist to put up with. Stacy the cousin is the rocker who we never seen play any music so I guess she is just the tour guide for the first part of the movie.

Performance wise well, I hate saying bad things about actress just making their way in the business because they are only just starting their path, but I really can’t see Stewart or Reynolds getting many roles in mainstream films because Stewart just crying and screaming for the last half of this film just isn’t scary.stars

StoryThe story is based on watching a revenge of a woman whose husband cheated on her with our main character using all her voodoo gifts. The first half is all meeting Dani while the second half is all her time in hell paying for what happened. This is a very visual horror so the story doesn’t need to be too deep.

HorrorI can see a market in the horror world for this film, I really can this has a lot of visually hard to watch horror moments that some people will turn away from but for me this was just a horror that wanted to shock as much as possible but didn’t always get it correct, for a similar story I would say Baskin is far superior when looking at entering into hell.

SettingsThe LA setting is fine, we gets a tourist experience but the more interesting setting is the design of the hell Dani finds herself going through which is dark, disturbing and most of all shocking.

Special EffectsCertain moments of this film are CGI effects that you can see come through badly, while when the film turns to practical effects we are filled with shocks in what we see.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that is hard to watch movie, this is because the first half is all talking with the second all hell based, the director new what he wanted and will satisfy the horror corner that will like this style of horror.

 

Overall: This wasn’t for me but it does have shocking moments in the final half of the film.

Ratingrating

 

 

Short Film Review – VR

Short Film Review

VRvr

Directed byRob Ulitski

StarringBetty Waterhouse, Connor Knight, Matt Beaumont, Kyle Major, Mario Mortez, Emy Lee

Plot SynopsisThe latest virtual reality device is released Tom (Knight) purchases it giving him the chance to experience endless possibilities from the comfort of his home. Tom starts simple with trip to the arcade, a party with a love interest and exercise routine but when a virus comes over his unit, he finds himself haunted by a mysterious woman. We are left to wonder if his reality has become fragmented or is that just part of the system?

Thoughts on VR

There may be more spoilers in this part of the discussion

 

StoryWhen it comes to story telling you only need to able to get the clear points over in a short amount of time, this story accomplishes this by playing into the social or anti-social creation of virtual reality simulators. People can argue the good from virtual reality simulators but we need to go into the negative side of them with this film tackling the idea people could become confused between the two worlds and giving us a fresh look at one of the legends I have recently found and love the concept behind. The creep side of the story goes very well but if you don’t know about the urban legend you might not understand the reasoning behind the haunting figure.

Horror/Sci-Fi/ThrillerLegend of Kuchisake-Onna is a character in horror that is begging for their own film after hearing about it all earlier this year I do feel it will make people run and hide in pure terror, the horror story gives us the first glimpse at the character, while I do think everything works for the film, this is a character I want to see in a full feature on which can tackle the backstory of the character. We enter sci-fi when we deal idea of virtual reality simulator which is very real to the world we are entering now.

Characters/PerformanceWhen it comes to the characters we only get glimpses into their lives which is all we need it is the inclusion of the urban legend character Kuchisake-Onna that surprises and gets the horror needed for the film.

SettingsThe settings are all from inside the apartment with each other settings being inside the virtual reality world.

Final Thoughts This is a great short film that tackles the issue with virtual reality with a horror twist that all come together as a warning about how virtual reality can be to our own lives.

 

OverallThis is a horror thriller that not only introduces us to what could be a horror icon but warns us from virtual reality worlds.

 80

The Vatican Tapes (2015)

vaticanDirector: Mark Neveldine

Writer: Christopher Borrelli, Michael C Martin (Screenplay) Chris Morgan, Christopher Borrelli (Story)

Starring: Michael Pena, Olivia Dudley, Djimon Hounsou, Dougray Scott, Alison Lohman, Kathleen Robertson, John Patrick Amedori, Michael Pare

 

Plot: A priest and two Vatican exorcists must do battle with an ancient satanic force to save the soul of a young woman.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Different Twist to the Possession Film

 

Story: The Vatican Tapes starts as we learn Vicar Imani (Hounsou) is being assigned the latest case of a potential anti-Christ coming through Angela (Dudley), and we have to rewind 2 months to meet Angela a happy young lady from America. While celebrating her 25th birthday Angela suffers a cut to her hand and over the next few days he starts to act very different to how her boyfriend Pete (Amedori) and father Roger (Scott) are used to.

When Angela is involved in an accident she ends up in a coma and Father Lozano (Pena) is bought in to look for answers that could explain the non-medical problems she is suffering from. Angela finds herself in a mental home where the demon inside of her starts to take over bringing in the Vatican to solve the situation.

The Vatican Tapes comes off like a standard exorcism possession case as we follow from early stages to medical investigation, mental home before entering into the exorcism side which I will say is good. The final twist is excellent but for the negatives I have found this sub-genre something that is difficult to find a fresh approach and this ends up down the same road. Well about my favourite part I do think you get a reward with the final outcome though.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Pena: Father Lozano is the local Priest that is looking over Angela, a former soldier turned Priest start suspecting something unusual but nothing prepared him for his first possession case. Michael is good and well restricted from his normal comic tone we get through his performances.

Olivia Dudley: Angela is the young lady that finds herself being possessed by a demon, it all starts with a small cut before she starts having powers unlike any human acting out of character but can she fight the demon inside her? Olivia is good as the victim in this film.

Djimon Hounsou: Vicar Imani is the man that learns about the Anti-Christ coming to the Earth and must find a way to stop him taking over. Djimon is barely in this film which is a huge disappointment really.

Dougray Scott: Roger Holmes is the father of Angela who has raised her himself and is still very protective of her even after she has started to live her own life. Dougray is very much a supporting character that I don’t understand why we have such a known actor in.

Support Cast: The Vatican Tapes has a supporting cast which are all about wondering what is happening and are trying to solve the problem.

Director Review: Mark NeveldineMark gives us a good couple of twists to the story we are used to seeing.

 

Horror: The Vatican Tapes has all the horror elements need for a possession based movie.

Thriller: The Vatican Tapes does try to keep us guessing throughout which works throughout.

Settings: The Vatican Tapes tries to keep the settings looking like an everyday location to try and show how easily it can happen.
Special Effects
: The Vatican Tapes has good effects to show what is happening with the possession side of the events.

Suggestion: The Vatican Tapes is one for the horror fans to try if you are a possession based fan this is good choice for you. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Final twist.

Worst Part: We have seen most of this before.

 

Believability: It’s you want you want to believe

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $8,405,000

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

Tagline:  For 2,000 years the Vatican has recorded evidence of evil. May God have mercy on their souls.

Trivia: The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2009 Blacklist, a list of the “most liked” unmade scripts of the year.

 

Overall: One of the stronger possession based films.

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