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

 

 

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Hacked (2013)

hackedDirector: Zachary Donohue

Writer: Zachary Donohue, Lauren Thompson (Screenplay)

Starring: Melanie Papalia, David Schlachtenhaufen, Adam Shaprio, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Matt Riedy

 

Plot: While studying the habits of web cam chat users from the apparent safety of her own home, a young woman’s life begins to spiral out of control after witnessing a grisly murder online.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Found Footage Done Right

 

Story: Hacked starts as Elizabeth Benton (Papalia) wants to get a student grant to spend her time experimenting on a social media site known as the Den. The idea is for Elizabeth to spend the time interacting with as many people from as any different places in the world.

When Elizabeth accepts the being able to chat to anybody in the world, she starts to experience the strange coming through as well as getting a repeat visit from the randomly generated chat selection with somebody hacking her computer to activate her account while she is sleeping. When Elizabeth witness what looks like a murder of one of the people she is chatting too, she finds herself freaked out and trying to solve the crime.

When Elizabeth’s boyfriend Damien (Schlachtenhaufen) goes missing he becomes the first of her friends and loved ones to be targeted by this serial killers.

 

Thoughts on Hacked

 

Characters/PerformanceElizabeth is the ambitious student attempting something different with her social studies course, she is committed to her idea but this does leave her outside her own social circle. She learns the dark side of the internet with her experiment. The rest of the characters are the generic boyfriend, bestie and or course family member. The next most interesting character is in fact the killers, as we want to learn about their motives.

Performance wise we have a great performance from Melanie Papalia who must be good or this film doesn’t work, she must carry everyone with her performance because she is in fact in nearly every scene, be it watching or taking part within. Saying this, I don’t feel anyone was bad they just don’t get the time.star

StoryThe story here shows how what can look like a harmless experiment is in fact the start of something much darker on the internet, we all know there is a dark corner to the internet and this shows how people can exploit it for their own sick fantasies.  This film also poses a warning for using random chatrooms because you could find yourself being a victim down the line.

Horror/MysteryThis film builds on the mystery as it just dives into the horror of what is really going on, slowly building the suspense until the final impact of this film.

SettingsThe settings are used very well because Elizabeth is only ever watching from her webcams which shows how helpless and almost clueless she is during the situation everything is unfolding in.

Special EffectsThe limited use of special effects are used when needed to make each attack or kill look just as shocking as it can be.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror film that is full of shock right until the final moments of the film.

 

Overall: Great horror that will give the found footage fans something to cheer for.

Ratingrating

 

 

Keanu Reeves Weekend – 47 Ronin (2013)

47Director: Carl Rinsch

Writer: Chris Morgan, Hossein Amini, Walter Hamada (Screenplay)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibaski, Tadanobu Asano, Min Tanaka, Jim Akanishi, Masayoshi Haneda

 

Plot: A band of samurai set out to avenge the death and dishonor of their master at the hands of a ruthless shogun.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Samurai

 

Story: 47 Ronin starts as we learn how Kai (Reeves) a half-breed is discovered in ancient Japan, he is bought into village by Lord Asano (Tanaka). Attracted to his daughter Mika (Shibasaki) and looked down on by her brother Oishi (Sanada) and the rest of the samurai Kai lives on the outskirts. Even after saving Oishi from a beast he is looked down by the samurai.

When Lord Kira (Asano) visits not everything is as it seems as Kai believes one of the members is in fact a witch. When Lord Asano becomes bewitched into harming Lord Kira he must accept the ancient act of Seppuku the rest of the samurais and Kai go out for revenge once they discover that Lore Kira has been planning this all along.

47 Ronin gives us a very simple samurai storyline that we can easily follow and offers us very little fresh. We get the revenge story that is driven by honour as is apparently based on real events I am guessing it doesn’t include the mental supernatural side to everything. I do feel we could have had more in this story because I found Kai was kind of a confusing character one minute he is the main character the next he is the support. I would have also liked to have seen more of the supernatural side to the story. This is an easy watch but never challenging.

 

Actor Review

 

Keanu Reeves: Kai is a half-breed in the middle of Japan, he is loyal to the man that saved him even if the rest of the men disapprove of him being part of their village. When he is the one to first notice the witchcraft he is questioned but after the master is killed he must work with the samurai that final see him as one of their own to get revenge. Keanu is solid but does sometimes look out of place at times.kai

Hiroyuki Sanada: Oishi is the son of the Lord Asano, he is in charge of the samurai and doesn’t like Kai around because of honour. When his father is framed he most turn to Kai and his men to lead a revenge mission against Kira. Hiroyuki does well in this role getting to show off his skills.oishi

Ko Shibasaki: Mika is the daughter of Lord Asano that is involved in a forbidden love is Kai, when her father is killed she is forced into marrying Lord Kira so he can take over the village. Ko is solid in this role where she does become the damsel in distress.

Tadanobu Asano: Lord Kira is the evil man using witchcraft to take over the ancient kingdoms, he takes Mika to be his wife while taking out anybody who gets in his way. Tadanobu is solid in this role but I feel we needed to see more from his character.

Support Cast: 47 Ronin has a supporting cast that are all involved in the fights without being overly memorable.

Director Review: Carl RinschCarl gives us an easy to watch film without really testing the audience.

 

Action: 47 Ronin has plenty of action when it comes to the fight scenes.

Adventure: 47 Ronin puts our characters on the adventure to get their revenge.

Fantasy: 47 Ronin shows us a world where witches and demons are in fact real.

Settings: 47 Ronin doesn’t create any truly memorable location which doesn’t help when it comes to the story.
Special Effects
: 47 Ronin has solid effects when entering the supernatural side of everything but if it is based on a real story where did they come from?

Suggestion: 47 Ronin is one to try, it isn’t the most memorable but could be enjoyed without having to think much. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Final fight.

Worst Part: Slightly too long.

 

Believability: It is based on a legend.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $175 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Tagline: This Christmas, seize eternity.

 

Overall: Samurai film done in very easy style.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Dark Circles (2013)

dark-circlesDirector: Paul Soter

Writer: Paul Soter (Screenplay)

Starring: Pell James, Johnathon Schaech, Andrea Frankle, Philippe Brenninkmeyer

 

Plot: Alex and Penny are sick of the hectic city life and decide a move out to the country to raise their newborn child. But they don’t expect the horrors threatening their relationship and family.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easily Forgettable

 

Story: Dark Circles starts as couple Penny (James) and Alex (Schaech) are deciding whether to leave the city to raise their new born child, both have doubts but go ahead with the move to the country.

Moving into their country home they discover the peace and quiet isn’t what is seems as both Penny and Alex start seeing a mysterious ghostly woman around the house attracted to their baby. The longer the two struggle to get sleep the more the visit appear leaving us to wonder if they are losing their minds or really under attack.

 

Thoughts on Dark Circles

 

Characters/PerformanceAlex and Penny are good if not basic look at the modern family struggling with a new born child, they lose sleep and question each other’s commitments to have the baby in the first place, it is all very basic stuff as you never learn anything more about Penny and the only thing we learn about Alex is that he is a musician.

Performance wise this is also solid from the two leads who must carry the whole film with only moments from the rest of the cast, neither gives a great performance but they do well enough for the film.stars

StoryThe story is easy to follow, couple move to quiet area to raise child and this new house has elements of supernatural, yeah, we have seen this a lot in the genre and this one doesn’t offer anything new however much it wants to try and shock you.

Horror/ThrillerWe do have a couple of good jump scares in this film but otherwise it is a lot of walking around in the background moments and creepy camera angles.

SettingsFor the most part this film is set in the he isolated house which does help our characters mindsets going crazy with what seems like cabin fever but also doesn’t give us the final impact of the bigger story.

Special EffectsWe do get basic effects when needed but at least the film doesn’t turn to it every time.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic horror that I feel loses a lot with the final outcome which the film never indicates before the reveal.

 

Overall: Simple and easy to follow horror that will break no boundaries.

Ratingrating

 

 

Believe (2013)

Director: David Scheinmann

Writer: Massimiliano Durante, Carmelo Pennisi, David Scheinmann (Screenplay)

Starring: Jack Smith, Brian Cox, Natascha McElhone, Anne Reid, Philip Jackson, Kate Ashfield, James Callis

 

Plot: A young, gifted football player who gets into trouble for a petty crime is brought to the attention of former Manchester United coach Matt Busby, who comes out of retirement to help the boy and his teammates.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Experience

 

Story: Believe starts in 1984 Manchester as football mad Georgie Gallagher (Smith) is being dragged to a potential grammar school by his widowed mother Erica (McElhone) to be offered a working-class scholarship. Learning of a football tournament Georgie gets his mates together but finds himself stealing Sir Matt Busby’s (Cox) wallet.

Once Matt tracks down Georgie he makes his deal to coach the team for the tournament but Erica wants to continue pushing Georgie into taking the grammar exam. Matt still haunted by the events of Munich where he has spent his life wondering why he survived over the talented younger men on the plan.

 

Thoughts on Believe

 

Characters/PerformanceGeorgie is what all young boys who love football wish they could have, the skills to play, the desire to become the next star of the sport. He is easily distracted at school because of his dreamer side but deep down he is broken because of the death of his father. Sir Matt is one of the most iconic football managers of all time, looking at an older version of the man shows how haunted he is by the tragedy he made it through. Erica is the protective single mother who does want the best for her son but is also struggling with her own past.

Performance wise Brian Cox is great throughout with Natascha McElhone gives us a great supporting performance. Jack Smith along with the other boys are all great here working to make us believe their own dreams.

StoryThis is a story about follow your dreams even if you are being haunted by tragedy in your own life, be it Georgie losing his father or Sir Matt after the plane crash. This is mostly family based film that shows how you can’t just give up on dreams as long as you give them everything you can.

Drama The drama in this film is about how grief can fuel dreams with each character dealing with their own problems to make it the story of never giving up.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in and around Manchester and is completely in the time the film is set in.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film you can easily enjoy from start to finish if you are a fan of football.

 

Overall: Football fans enjoy this one.

Rating