Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

Director: Christopher Landon

Writer: Christopher Landon (Screenplay) Scott Lobdell (Characters)

Starring: Jessica Rothe, Ruby Modine, Israel Broussard, Suraj Sharma, Rachel Matthews, Steve Zissis

 

Plot: Tree Gelbman discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead.


Tagline – Death makes a killer comeback.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smartly Written

 

Story: Happy Death Day 2U starts when Ryan (Vu) starts going through the same experience that Tree (Rothe) did one year ago, Tree knows how to break the cycle which only brings us to his lab work, which brings us a couple of new characters in Samar (Sharma) and Andrea (Yarkin) that help solve the case only for the outcome to take Tree right back to September 18th waking up in the dorm room of Carter (Broussard).

Tree sets out to end the cycle quickly only to learn she is in a very different version and she must figure out who the killer is all over again, while helping Ryan figure out how to put time back together again.

 

Thoughts on Happy Death Day 2U

 

Characters – Tree is back first off helping Ryan handle the repeat day, before being forced back through the day she got stuck in, this time not everything is as it seems and she is faced if difficult decisions ones, people might never get to decide over. Carter is Tree’s boyfriend and the student’s room she keeps waking up in, he has a different life this time around though. Ryan is the slacker roommate of Carter’s who has been working on an experiment which has put him into the loop, he seems to have two sides, one is the stoner slacker roommate, the other is a genius scientific mind, it is hard to believe the two are the same. Lori returns to, as we learn how different the realities have become. We do have all the characters returning here which does give them a different spin and a different suspect list.

PerformancesJessica Rothe steals the show once again with her performance, with her character going through different emotional decisions than the first film which saw her go from bitchy to understanding, this time she has harder decisions to make. When we get into the supporting cast, sadly, nobody gets as much time as they should do, Phi Vu seems like he is going to get a lot of time from the opening sequence, only to spend most of the film at a computer screen.

StoryThe story here is one that does feel like one of the most interest written ones I have seen in a long time, first we know how the first film unfolded, so, how do we handle a sequel? We change the genre, that is what we did, because the first film used more fantasy elements to create the loop only for this one to put us into a sci-fi factor. Now, this story does focus a lot more on choices, most importantly ones that Tree can make, with a brand-new look at life and chances she didn’t know she could have being bought back for her, this is the highlight of everything we see. The weakness of this comes from the fact we do have a new killer and we don’t really spend anytime figuring out who they are. The best way to describe this would be imagine Sidney could relive the events of Scream and the killers were different and her life changed from the one she was living, only she knew about it. This sounds complicated though, it doesn’t feel like that.

Horror/Mystery/Sci-FiThe horror and mystery factors do take a backburner this time, we do have a killer, we don’t seem to truly investigate this enough for the film to get the time to shine.

SettingsThe film is set in and around the university, we return to certain locations, but strangely this doesn’t offer anything new to the genre.


Scene of the Movie –
The blind student.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The overuse of suicide in a comic way.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sequel that does continue to build on the original, it will give you laughs, but will take the mystery away from everything, Jessica Rothe does steal the show again.

 

Overall: Fun, improved sequel.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – V – Viral (2016)

Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman

Writer: Barbara Marshall, Christopher Landon (Screenplay)

Starring: Sofia Black-D’Elia, Analigh Tipton, Travis Tope, Michael Kelly, Machine Gun Kelly, John Cothran

 

Plot: Following the outbreak of a virus that wipes out the majority of the human population, a young woman documents her family’s new life in quarantine and tries to protect her infected sister.


Tagline – Fear what’s inside

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Story Telling, Bland Characters

 

Story: Viral starts as we meet the teenage sisters Emma (Black-D’Elia) the good one, Stacey (Tipton) the rebellious one, have moved to a new town, new home with their father Michael (Keely) taking a biology teacher role. There reports that a disease is spreading through the human population and when one of Emma’s friends gets infected, it seems like it has come home.

When Michael heading off to collect his wife, he leaves the girls to look after themselves, shouldn’t be a problem, until the military arrive with rations to keel them inside during the outbreak. The girls join the rest of the teenagers at a party against the curfew rules which leads to the virus spreading and the two needing to learn to survive and keep each other alive.

 

Thoughts on Viral

 

Characters – Emma is the good, well-behaved of the two girls, she is pure innocence compared to her sister, she is like every other teenager in this mould, she fancies a guy and has been getting on with her best friend. Stacey is the older sister, rebellious by skipping classes and dating generic metal head, she always pushes Emma into things she doesn’t want to do. Evan is the crush across the road, he is used as the love interest nothing more.

PerformancesThe lead girls of Sofia Black-D’Elia and Analeigh Tipton are good through they film, they hit their marks feeling like the both have good chemistry for sisters. The rest of the cast doesn’t get too much time to do anything if we are being honest, so it would be unfair to slam them.

StoryWe know I like a good zombie story, we also know many have been done too often the same. This story brings us an original spin on the idea, well mostly original. This time we look at the early break out of a virus which is turning people into infected people, like zombies, we see the quarantine, how the military will enforce it and follow sisters trying to survive this. This is the positive side of things, which I did like, the problems in this story come from the idea, things only go bad when they break basic curfew rules which would have kept them safe for the most part, we do also have a giant failing to explain how the virus spreads, we do touch on ideas, but soon nothing seems to make sense.

Horror-Sci-FiThis is a horror movie that uses zombie like infection to create the scares, while not scary it is on the levels you would be expecting to see things. The sci-fi side of things shows us just what will be happening to the victims as they slowly start to turn.

SettingsThe film is set in a new suburban area which shows us the groups of people that would be living there, and how they would need to come off.

Special EffectsThe effects are strong through the film which are great when we see the infection spreading.


Scene of the Movie –
Removing the infection.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The characters are frustrating with their mistakes.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid entry to the zombie like sub-genre of horror, this is one to look past the weakness to enjoy the strengths.

 

Overall: The world of zombies has a new enjoyable experience.

Rating

 

 

Happy Death Day (2017)

Director: Christopher Landon

Writer: Scott Lobdell (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken, Laura Clifton, Jason Bayle, Rob Mello

 

Plot: A college student relives the day of her murder with both its unexceptional details and terrifying end until she discovers her killer’s identity.


Tagline – Get Up. Live Your Day. Get Killed. Again.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Watchable Slasher Repeat

 

Story: Happy Death Day starts as Tree (Rothe) wakes in Carter’s (Broussard) dorm room after a heavy night of drinking, completing the walk of shame she goes about her college day, turn up for a moment in class and getting ready to party, only she ends up getting murdered by a masked man.

This should be over right, no, Tree reawakens in Carter’s room being forced to repeat the day, including her death. After being killed a couple of times she gets the idea of trying to solve her murder which brings a series of different murders where she starts to learn what she must do to make it out of the loop.

 

Thoughts on Happy Death Day

 

Characters – Tree is the stuck up college student that believes she is above everyone, she treats people badly while having an affair with her professor. When she gets murdered she must re-live the day over and over, where she must learn to be a better person. This character is designed well because you are meant to hate her at the start because she needs to learn the lessons in life to make it out of her loop. Carter is the one guy that Tree turns to for help, he gives the help needed to make it through the day. The rest of the cast seem to be potential suspects who Tree has rubbed the wrong way.

PerformancesJessica Rothe is solid in the leading role, she is in every scene because it her character’s story is learning as we do too. Israel Broussard is solid in the supporting role as are the rest of the cast, no one really shines through.

StoryThe story follows one person who must repeat the murder day until they learn who is the one murdering them. The idea is basically Groundhog Day with a slasher twist which is fine to watch, but this is the beginning of the problems in the film, as the murder takes place in different locations which is a problem as it makes the film feel like the killer hadn’t been playing as well as first time, which once it is all set and done, the idea was that the killer had planned this day for a reason not making it random.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film is very tame slasher material without any blood or gore. The mystery is about trying to solve who is the one murdering them which is fun to watch unfold.

SettingsThe film is set in and around college campus which shows how Tree must use her location to solve who killed her believing the suspect is on campus.

Special EffectsThe effects are soft when it comes to the kills which disappoints.


Scene of the Movie –
The good day.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The killer seems to be designed as planned but acts spontaneous.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple fun horror slasher, it is easy to watch but when you start thinking about everything more is becomes somewhat of a confusing story that doesn’t connect correctly.

 

Overall: Soft horror that missed a trick.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015)

Scouts Guide to the Zombie ApocalypseDirector: Christopher Landon

Writer: Christopher Landon, Emi Mochizuki, Carrie Lee Wilson (Screenplay) Lona Williams (Story)

Starring: Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont, David Koechner, Halston Sage, Cloris Leachman, Niki Koss, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Blake Anderson

 

Plot: Three scouts, on the eve of their last camp-out, discover the true meaning of friendship when they attempt to save their town from a zombie outbreak.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Superbad With Zombies

 

Story: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse follows high school students Ben (Sheridan) and Carter (Miller) who have stayed in scouts to support their friend Augie (Morgan) who is about to achieve the highest honour in the scouts. Agreeing to go on one last camp before telling Augie the truth, the three friends find themselves teaming up with sexy cocktail waitress Denise (Dumont) to survive a zombie apocalypse.

The three scouts use all the knowledge of scouts to escape the zombies as the friendship gets pushed to the limits, as they look to save the remaining survivors and their school mates from a party.

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse does everything you need in a horror comedy, it has laughs and gore without getting carried away with just one side of the story. We do get the three lead male character feeling very much like the three from Superbad hence why I think this is Superbad with zombies. They each like near identical with one being a loud mouth asshole, one being strange and the leading one being the shy good guy. The story happens all over one night which helps so the risk they are under while the dealing with the changing friendships also reflexes real life too.

 

Actor Review

 

Tye Sheridan: Ben is the normal one of the three as he wants to look to the future but hasn’t got to the stage of being able to Augie he wants out the scouts. He deals with Carter’s over the top reaction and loudness to make sure he stays calm through all the situations. Tye does a good job in this leading role working well with the rest of the cast.ben

Logan Miller: Carter is the loudest of the three, he wants out the scouts the most he wants to be the guy that is considered popular at school and especially when it comes to college. He thinks more with his dick and just really wants to get laid and it what you would consider a bad friend on the surface. Logan is good as the ass you really don’t want to like through the film even though you know it is mostly an act.carter

Joey Morgan: Augie is the die-hard scout who is about to earn the highest honours in the scouts, he has lost his father a few years early and that is the reason why the friends have stayed with him. He is the most resourceful of the three even if he learns that his friends are not everything they see to be. Joey is good in this role where he has to be different to the rest of the cast.augie

Sarah Dumont: Denise is the former student who works in the strip club as a waitress, she joins the boys in their escape from the town and proves to be an asset in combat as well as giving them life lessons. Sarah is great in this role as the strongest character when it comes to life.denise

Support Cast: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse has a good supporting cast that does include Patrick Schwarzenegger.

Director Review: Christopher LandonChristopher gives us a horror comedy that comes off original with its concept throughout.

 

Comedy: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse has good laughs throughout mostly with the zombie kills.

Horror: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse puts us into a zombie outbreak which always works for the horror genre.

Settings: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse keeps all the action inside one small town showing how easily it could get taken over.
Special Effects
: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse has great effects for the kills even if some are for added laughs.

Suggestion: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is one that I think all horror comedy fans will enjoy (Horror Comedy Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Final battle.

Worst Part: Carter can get annoying at times.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final rescue.

Funniest Scene: Trampoline time.

Kill Of The Film: Britney Baby.

Favourite Quote: Denise (While crushing a zombie head) ‘I’m so fucking sick of zombies’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: Yes

Similar Too: Dance of the Dead

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: Always Bring Protection

 

Overall: As funny as Superbad, add the horror of Dance of the Dead for this delight

Ratingcard

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)

logoDirector: Christopher Landon

Writer: Christopher Landon (Screenplay) Oren Peli (Based On Original Film)

Starring: Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz, Gabrielle Walsh, Renee Victor, Noemi Gonzalez, David Saucedo

 

Plot: Jesse begins experiencing a number of disturbing and unexplainable things after the death of his neighbour. As he investigates, it isn’t long before Jessie finds he’s been marked for possession by a malevolent demonic entity, and it’s only a matter of time before he is completely under its control.

 

Verdict: Been There Seen This

 

Story: Paranormal Activity The Marked Ones starts by following two high school graduates and best friends who get their first camera and start filming different events around their living block. They hear noises from their downstairs neighbour where they try to film what is going on only to find out she is doing some kind symbols on a naked woman. After the woman is killed the two friends investigate what she was up to and end up getting involved in the dark arts along with a another friend. After performing some kind of ritual they start experiences some creepy goings on.

Paranormal Activity The Marked Ones uses painfully awful stereotypical Latin Americans where they are all worried about gangs and end up using guns to try and answer the problems. The building upon the idea behind the original films almost comes off offering up a much bigger picture to what is meant to be happening. The found footage side of the story is almost unneeded now with the characters actually having to stop running to turn around and grab the damn thing. In the end this is what you would call ‘franchise building filler’. (4/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Andrew Jacobs: Jesse graduating high school leads him to start the search for a job while he enjoys his summer filming with his best friend Hector. He starts to getting possessed by an unknown force where he has more power and acts strange around his friends. Andrew gives a ok performance but never really gets going. (4/10)jesse

 

Jorge Diaz: Hector best friend of Jesse who also happens to play the dumb one of the friends who gets talking into things. The harmless friend who just wants to have fun but ends up having to try and save him. Jorge gives an ok performance but is too generic for my liking. (4/10)

 

Support Cast: Friends, family and other victims all make up the support cast that all offer information to what is going on but do we even care anymore?

 

Director Review: Christopher Landon – Copies the basic scares we have seen before, offering only a slight twist ending. (3/10)

 

Horror: Paranormal Activity The Marked Ones has a couple of attempted jump scares but nothing really good for the horror genre. (4/10)

Settings: The settings in Paranormal Activity The Mark Ones fail to show what the film is meant to be about, being haunted inside your own home. (3/10)

Suggestion: If you are watching all the Paranormal Activity films you should enjoy this but as a one off horror this won’t fulfil your needs. (Franchise Follows Watch)

 

Best Part: Attempted Twist.

Worst Part: Same jumps scares.

What Could Have Been Better? – Scare us maybe.

Lessons Learned: Don’t mess with the creepy neighbour.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: The Paranormal Activity franchise is set to continue with ‘The Ghost Dimension’ coming out next year.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $32 Million

Budget: $5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

Trivia: The Marked Ones has the lowest box office opening weekend of the franchise.

 

Overall: Basic Franchise Film

Rating 40