Christopher Lee Weekend – The Wicker Man (1973)

wickerDirector: Robin Hardy

Writer: Anthony Shaffer (Screenplay)

Starring: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland, Ingrid Pitt, Lindsay Kemp, Rseell Waters

 

Plot: A police sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed. Stranger still are the rites that take place there.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: The Wicker Man starts as Sergeant Howie (Woodward) flies to Summerisle a remote island of the coast of Scotland to investigate the case of a missing child Rowan Morrison. Howie finds the island to be very strange and not the most welcoming to strangers but they understand he is the law. While Howie continues to see the strange events on the island Lord Summerisle comes to the inn to see Willow (Eklund) the Goddess of love.

Howie meeting the Lord discovers that the island has created its own beliefs against any Christian ones he has with the belief that the Pagan way of life is no longer respected the way the island follows it.

Finding himself stranded on the island Howie gets to experience the May Day festival which would give him all the answers to what happened to the missing girl.

The Wicker Man is considered one of the greatest horror movies of all time and watching it you can see why. The horror comes from how a cult can have such a belief in something that they could become the most dangerous group imaginable. The story does a very good balance between religion beliefs and how they can cause the difference between people which we see in the shocking finale which will forever go down as one of the most shocking in horror.

Woodward is great as the detective with the Christian belief that is trying his hardest to do everything by the book. Christopher Lee gives one of his most terrifying performances as the lord of this cult staying calm and fully believing everything his character is doing is correct. The rest of the cast are all great without being anything truly stand out apart from Eklund who plays the very seductive character with the famous dancing scene.

 

Overall: One of the boldest and bravest horrors ever made.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Raw (2017)

Director: Julia Ducournau

Writer: Julia Ducournau (Screenplay)

Starring: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella, Laurence Lucas, Joana Preiss, Bouli Lanners

 

Plot: When a young vegetarian undergoes a carnivorous hazing ritual at vet school, an unbidden taste for meat begins to grow in her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fails the Shock Treatment

 

Story: Raw starts as we follow Justine (Marillier) a young woman who heads off to university to study to become a vet where her sister Alexia (Rumpf) studies too. Justine befriends her roommate Adrien (Oufella) and now the hazing ritual starts for the ‘Rookies’ but Justine a vegetarian must go against hers and her family’s belief and eat meat or be forced to be disgraced by the ‘Elders’ students.

After eating a rabbit kidney Justine starts to be ill and she isn’t designed to be able to cope with hazing situations of a dress code, room getting raided but most worrying for her, is that she starts to gain a blood lust.

 

Thoughts on Raw

 

Characters/PerformanceJustine is a quiet young woman, she keeps to herself and finds herself in a world where she has been raised a vegetarian but to fit in she must go against everything she has known to become blood thirsty monster around compass. Alexia is elder sister of Justine, she understands the transformation she is going through but is distant in her guiding her through it. Adrien is the roommate that works with Justine in class too, he comes off as the complete opposite, open, friendly and not afraid of the world.

Performance wise, Garanace Marillier is good through this film as she goes through the transformation. I do feel the rest are good performance but as the film focuses more on Justine we don’t see too much away from her character.

StoryThe first thing I want to bring up when looking at the story is wondering just how messed up this school really is, these forced rituals on everyone shouldn’t happen, it should only be optional. As for the core of the story which is Justine slowly transforms from quiet vegetarian into a blood thirsty meat eater, hunting the pray, becoming something she never imagined. This is interesting to watch but does take a while to get to the shock parts that have created the reputation around this film.

HorrorThis is a horror film that relies on Shock Value, it goes to push even the strongest of fans of horror to the limits and will have anybody who is turned away by gore needing to look away.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around the school which does work for the hazing rituals going on through the film.

Special EffectsThe effects used are all great making you understand just how twisted the imagination of the creators are.

Final ThoughtsThis does feel like a film designed solely for shock value, it lives of the reputation is has had created and just doesn’t live up to the pure disturbing nature you would be made to believe it has.

 

Overall: Designed for Shocks, doesn’t deliver on all those promises.

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The Boss Baby (2017)

Director: Tom McGrath

Writer: Michael McCullers (Screenplay) Marla Frazee (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire, Mike Bakshi

 

Plot: A suit-wearing briefcase-carrying baby pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Family Film

 

Story: The Boss Baby starts as we meet seven-year old Tim, he has an overactive imagination living the perfect world growing up with his successful parents who work for Puppy Co. When they have another baby, The Boss Baby, Tim finds himself incredible jealous and questions everything about him.

After the two find themselves against each other, the two put their differences aside to go on the Boss’s mission to expose they puppies are stealing all love babies should be getting.

 

Thoughts on The Boss Baby

 

Characters Tim is the typical kid before technology era took over, he makes his own stories using his imagination. He becomes jealous of his little brother but overcomes that to become best friends. The Boss Baby is set to uncover the truth about a puppy company where puppies are become more popular than babies. He is super smart and has never had a normal childhood. Francis Francis owns Puppy Co and has an evil plan to get rid of all the babies in the world. Looking at the character’s you can see some greatly created truths that have been pushed to the next level when it comes to the brother’s bonding.

StoryThe story does play out like how a solo child must deal with a new baby, sure there is a farfetched idea that babies can work in undercover to solve issues. The difference between the two are clear and you can see how siblings can be effected by changes like this happening.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy works very well with Alec Baldwin seemingly having the best voice possible for this role which helps add to the comedy. The whole family could enjoy this film with jokes hitting for all to enjoy.

SettingsThe settings we find the characters in are all enjoyable and add to the comedy the characters find themselves in.

AnimationThe animation all looks fantastic like you would expect from a big budget animated movie.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that does impress more than I was thinking and I feel the comedy does hit on the levels required.

 

Overall: One of the highlights of the animated films this year.

Rating

 

 

American Mummy (2014)

Director: Charles Pinion

Writer: Charles Pinion, Greg Salman (Screenplay)

Starring: Suziey Block, Aidan Bristow, Aaron Burt, Esther Canata, Erin Condry, Jack Grimmett

 

Plot: A group of university students in the New Mexico desert unearth an ancient mummy, on which one of the students performs a secret, primeval blood ritual. This awakens the death-hungry spirit of the Aztec Lord Tezcalipoca, intent on finishing his centuries-old reign of terror. Soon, the mummy’s curse possesses the students’ souls, turning them against each other in a bid to spread his evil to the entire world.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Not Good Enough

 

Story: American Mummy starts as a couple of student discover an Aztec mummy in the New Mexico desert, Professor Jenson (Block) leads her team of students, Max (Bristow), Derek (Burt), Carmen (Canata), Conniee (Condry), Albert (Marr) and Becca (Ross) are all working on the discovery, but it is clear one of the students has alternative means for being there.

Once the ritual has been performed the mummy of the Aztec lord Tezcalipoca rises in search for blood, the surviving members of dig are forced to use their intelligence to stop the mummy from taking back over the whole world.

 

Thoughts on American Mummy

 

Characters/PerformanceThis is the part if hate, saying all the bad things about the poorly written characters, the Professor Jenson character doesn’t seem to have any idea, control or plan for the dig with the students falling into the generic we have all seen before.

Performance wise, we don’t get much improvement here, nobody does themselves any credit here and you are left wondering just what happened.

StoryI want to start this with saying I am a HUGE fan of the Mummy concept in films, I will watch any and give small idea a chance. going into this story I couldn’t help but think it missed on every level, it seems to mix Cabin Fever with a Mummy movie and doesn’t quite click.

HorrorWe have gore, sure but too me this is never scary which is what I want in a horror film.

SettingsWe are left in the desert for the most part of the movie which is fine but it could be any desert you would have expected someone would have found by now.

Special EffectsThe effects are all used for the gore and are fine without being anything special.

Final ThoughtsThis was a poor attempt to bring another Mummy film to life, it lacks characters we care about and a Mummy figure or disease that feels like a real threat.

 

Overall: Poor Mummy film.

Rating

 

 

Single White Female (1992)

posterDirector: Barbet Schreoder

Writer: Don Roos (Screenplay) John Lutz (Novel)

Starring: Bridget Fonda, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Steven Weber, Peter Friedman, Stephen Tobolowsky, Frances Bay

 

Plot: A woman advertising for a new roommate finds that something very strange is going on with the tenant who decides to move in.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Stalker Roommate Film

 

Story: Single White Female starts when advertising computer tech Allison Jones (Fonda) has a big break up with her current partner Sam (Weber) leading to her reaching desperate times with her career, trying to find the income she looks for a new roommate to help with the rent.

The ideal roommate comes into Allison’s life, Hedra (Leigh) a young lady that has great chemistry with Allison. When Sam comes back into Allison’s life Hedra starts getting jealous leading to a string of unusual events affecting Allison’s life, Allison soon learns the truth about Hedra needing to find a way to move her out before her own life becomes in danger.

 

Thoughts on Single White Female

 

StoryThe old psycho roommate story, well this does give us a female driven version of the story with most of the men being made out to be horrible throughout, we have plenty of by the books material but if it isn’t broken why fix it right? This is an easy watch and you can believe how everything unfolds without it being anything that stands out from the rest in the genre.

ThrillerThis is a film that does keep us on edge through the film wondering just how the clogs will be ticking inside the head of Hedra.

Characters/PerformanceAllison comes off a strong career driven woman but slightly naïve when it comes to other things in her life, she is happy to have a lying cheating boyfriend but struggles to make friends in the big city. Hedra is an interesting character who is happy to get obsessed with what she thinks is her perfect friend if not sister, calm calculated through each and every decision she makes.

The performance from both Fonda and Leigh are great with Leigh stealing the show as the psycho roommate. We do have a few other characters but they don’t get enough time to shine with their limited screen time.stars

SettingsThe settings for this film keep us within the apartment for the most part with only glimpse outside in the city. Keeping everything inside the apartment helps with the suspense of not knowing someone before letting the live with you.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that builds on the psycho roommate idea with a very strong female leading performance between the two actresses.

 genre

Overall: Well-made psycho roommate film

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