Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

logoDirector: Tommy Wirkola

Writer: Tommy Wirkola (Screenplay)

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Pihla Viitala, Derek Mears, Robin Atkin Downes, Ingrid Bolos Berdal, Joanna Kulid, Thomas Mann, Peter Stormare


Plot: Hansel & Gretel are bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world. As the fabled Blood Moon approaches, the siblings encounter a new form of evil that might hold a secret to their past.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Action Heavy Story Short


Story: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters starts with a twist on the known Hansel & Gretel story where as children they were left in the forest by their parents. Hansel & Gretel come upon a candy covered home in search for help but what they find inside is witch but the two handle themselves, deal with the problem and never go back to their parents.

Grown up Hansel (Renner) & Gretel (Arterton) are known as the witch hunters going from town to town to defeat whatever witch is haunting the villagers. Sheriff Berringer (Stormare) is hunting a witch in his town and Hansel & Gretel are bought in by the Mayor to find the witch leading to the instant tension between the two parties. The Sheriff decides to hire his own team to find the witch but she does one better, Muriel (Janssen) finds them and makes quick work of them.

Hansel& Gretel capture one of the witches and discover the plan where Muriel leader of the witches is planning to take 12 children and after they take the 12th Hansel & Gretel become separated. Hansel gets help from a local girl Mina (Viitala) while Gretel receives help from an unlikely source a troll. Hansel & Gretel must face their deadliest enemy to date.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters takes an old story we all have heard before and makes it a all grown up version. I like the idea of see what happened when the pair grew up but sadly that is the only real positive I could find in this film. The fact that the action scenes are nearly all identical with running through the woods or the town followed by Hansel or Gretel getting pretty much battered before pulling of something as a pair to defeat the enemy makes me wonder how they have lasted this long. The witch’s motives seem like a very similar take on what ‘The Brothers Grimm’ film had going on and the attempted twists are easier to read that a Dr Seuss book. I felt very disappointed with the lack of originality in this story because I feel the idea has a lot of potential. (4/10)


Actor Review


Jeremy Renner: Hansel the brother of the pair who is very much the jump in head first kind of guy, he does spend a lot of time running through the woods but is loyal to Gretel until the end. Jeremy does a solid job and takes his beatings well, but never gets to show any of his acting abilities through this film. (5/10)


Gemma Arterton: Gretel the brains of the act who uncovers what is really going on, she is much more patient than Hansel but can handle herself in a fight. Gemma has the look of a sexy witch hunter but really that is all. (4/10)


Famke Janssen: Muriel the evil witch who is out to become the most powerful indestructible witch of all time. She is already more powerful than anything the two have faced before. Famke does a solid job in the villainous role but really doesn’t get a chance to be as evil as her character requires. (5/10)


Support Cast: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters has a supporting cast that includes the fellow witches out to complete the ritual, it also has the towns people who are scared of what is happening.


Director Review: Tommy Wirkola – I have to say I like Tommy’s work on the Dead Snow films but this seems like it tries too hard to make something extra happen and forgets to make the simple happen. (4/10)


Action: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters has plenty of running, getting beaten up, shooting and missing that it takes over the whole story with all easy action. (6/10)

Fantasy: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters takes us into a fantasy world of witches but tries to keep things real, which doesn’t always work. (6/10)

Horror: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters doesn’t really end up being that much of a horror we have some very good effect used on the kills but nothing truly horror. (4/10)

Settings: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters uses the settings well to put us in the time period the film is set in. (7/10)
Special Effects
: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters uses some good special effects but you did know when it is CGI. (6/10)

Suggestion: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is one to watch late night television when nothing is on and you feel like trying it. (Late Night TV)


Best Part: Certain kills are good.

Worst Part: Lack of story.

Action Scene Of The Film: Attacking the witches.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Open for one.

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $226 Million

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

Tagline: Classic Tale New Twist


Overall: This is a lacklustre addition to the action horror genre that really doesn’t know which genre it wants to be and falls flat on its face.

Rating 45

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Lost Time (2014)

logoDirector: Christian Sesma

Writer: Christian Sesma, Kenneth Owens, Rochelle Vallese (Screenplay)

Starring: Rochelle Vallese, Luke Goss, Robert Davi, Derek Mears, Lin Shaye, Jenni Blong, Vyto Ruginis

Plot: After leaving a doctor visit with the worst news, Valerie Dreyfuss and her sister Melissa come to a stop on a lonely stretch of road. Their car is engulfed by a blinding light….12 hours later Valerie wakes to the horror that her sister is gone, nowhere to be found.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Seriously Bad Sci-fi

Story: Lost Time starts with a sick Valerie (Vallese) who is being cared for by her sister Melissa (Blong) but the latest visit to the doctors bring the agonising news that there is nothing more that can be done for Valerie. While returning the car gets visited by something from the skies which takes Melissa. 4 months later we see Valerie start to make an amazing recovery from her cancer.

Valerie is desperate to find out what happened to her sister even if it is putting her new found life in danger, Carter (Goss) her lover tries to help her as he was one of the officers looking into the case. Valerie decides to try and find answers herself as she starts having these visions and she starts looking into the alien abduction along with lost time leading her to author Dr Xavier Reed (Davi). Reed hosts a program for people who have been losing time but the truth is it out there.

Lost Time is an alien body invasion film that really doesn’t decide where it is going, nothing really makes sense until the final reveal which tries to end up making you wonder what could have happened. For the most part this is just confusing and even if it had been average it could have been saved by the final act. (3/10)

Actor Review

Rochelle Vallese: Valerie Dreyfuss is our leading lady, she has been suffering from cancer before getting visited by aliens who take her sister and cure her cancer. She now wants answers to what is going on and she turns to Dr Reed who claims to be an expert on the experience. The truth will be the thing that shocks her to her knees. Rochelle does a solid job with what she has to work with. (6/10)

Luke Goss: Carter is the officer trying to help find Melissa and is also the lover of Valerie, he spends the film trying to help uncover the truth without knowing about Dr Reed and his plans. Luke give his pay check performance here. (3/10)

Robert Davi: Dr Xavier Reed is the mysterious doctor who claims to know what is going on with people who lose time, but is he telling the truth or up to something else. Robert does a solid job in this role. (6/10)

Support Cast: Lost Time has a supporting cast that doesn’t really do too much to the story, mostly just disposable characters.

Director Review: Christian Sesma Christian struggles to capture the ideas of the story that ends up not working. (3/10)

Horror: Lost Time a horror, no (2/10)

Sci-Fi: Lost Time tries to end up giving us a sci-fi side with alien body invasion that doesn’t really work. (5/10)

Thriller: Lost Time doesn’t keep you guessing that much in the film. (2/10)

Settings: Lost Time has the standard locations that really add very little to the film. (4/10)
Special Effects: Lost Time doesn’t have too good effects but also doesn’t turn to them often. (3/10)

Suggestion: Lost Time is one to avoid really, this sci-fi film doesn’t really work. (Avoid)

Best Part: Final moments makes you think.

Worst Part: The shaky cam.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Overall: Disappointing Sci-fi film.

Rating 25

Hatchet 3 (2013)

logoDirector: BJ McDonnell

Writer: Adam Green (Screenplay) Adam Green (Characters)

Starring: Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, Zach Galligan, Caroline Williams, Parry Shen, Robert Diago DoQui, Derek Mears, Cody Blue Snider, Rileah Vanderbilt


Plot: Picking up right where Hatchet 2 finishes Marybeth (Harris) thinks she has finally got rid of Victor Crowley (Hodder). She heads back to town with proof he is finally dead. She turns up in the police station with a gun and a scalp, being arrested by Sheriff Fowler (Galligan, Yes the kid from Gremlins) she has to convince him that what happened was real.


With a Police team, paramedics and a SWAT team lead by Hawes (Mears) looking for dead bodies, but Victor Crowley is back and this time he wants his biggest body count yet. An ambitious but disgraced reporter Amanda (Williams) is trying to uncover the truth. Marybeth, Amanda and Deputy Winslow (Diago DoQui) head back out to the swamp to end it all forever.


Verdict: Special Effects Bloodbath


Story: The first one told us the legend, the second one told the history, and this one comes full circle and offers the solution. We do follow two stories one offers a more serious story element telling how they can stop Crowley for good, while the other is just used to create a body count. While it is more of the same from the first two, it is simple enough to follow and for gore fans it is just plan enjoyable. (7/10)


Actor Reviews


Danielle Harris: Marybeth the blood soaked heroine who has to take down Victor Crowley once and for all. Good performance that really shows that she is a modern day scream queen. (8/10)


Kane Hodder: Victor Crowley the disfigured monster who just can’t be stopped. Kane is made to play the monster on the screen. (7/10)


Zach Galligan: Sheriff Fowler who doesn’t believe in the Victor Crowley legend and goes to find out what is happening with his team. Good from Zach showing he makes a good addition to any horror film. (7/10)


Caroline Williams: Amanda a Victor Crowley believer who wants to find out the truth to bring credit back to her work. Good performance in a character that takes over the story telling part of the film. (7/10)


Parry Shen:Andrew a paramedic who gets scared easily. Parry has been in all three films now and if you watched the first two you know what happens to him, the wait is on. (7/10)


Director Review: BJ McDonnell – Good direction to create a blood soaked horror film. (8/10)


Action: The action comes fast and in your face. (8/10)

Horror: Blood, gore, body count what more could you ask for in a horror? (9/10)


Settings: The swamp again but this time it doesn’t use it as well as previous films. (7/10)
Special Effects
: No CGI effects make the special effects for the death brilliant. (10/10)

Suggestion: You have seen the first two, you have to watch the third one. You like gore watch. If you don’t like horror or gore don’t go near it. (Horror Fans Only)


Best Part: The special effects.

Worst Part: Short film again.

Action Scene Of The Film: SWAT, Police versus Victor Crowley.

Funniest Scene: A surprise cameo.

Kill Of The Film: Schneiderman

Believability: No way over the top. (0/10)

Chances of Tears: (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Always

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: None

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 81Minutes

Trivia:Two former Jason Voorhees actors Kane Hodder and Derek Mears.


Overall: Blood Bath Gore Modern Horror Fun

Rating 75

Friday The 13th (2009)

logoDirector: Marcus Nispel

Writer: Damian Shannon, Mark Swift (Screenplay) Damian Shannon, Mark Swift, Mark Wheaton (Story) Victor Miller (Characters)

Starring: Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Derek Mears


Plot: Jason is reborn, wait Jason wasn’t the killer in the original Friday The 13th. After a thirty second telling of how Jason’s mum went on a rampage before being murdered on front of him we meet a group of hikers looking for a bounty of cannabis. Whitney (Righetti) and her friend end up in Camp Crystal Lake and fall victim to Jason Voorhees (Mears). Clay Miller (Padalecki) Whitney’s brother goes in search of the truth about what happened to his missing sister; along his way he meets a group of rich college kids who are staying in ones parent’s vacation home for a weekend of drinks, drugs and sex. Before long Jason appears and causes problems for all of them.


Verdict: Remake, reboot whatever you want to call it that just is not the same.

Story: Reboots are always way over the top and lose the old school atmospheric build ups and this is no different go for gore and blood over a good scare. The story is clichéd and offers nothing new to the franchise. The only positive I can take from this film is that they try to humanize Jason showing how never recovers from his mother’s death. (5/10)


Actor Review: Jared Padalecki – Desperate brother who goes all out to find his sister and meets finds an unstoppable force. Jared much like Jensen Ackles tries to get away from TV’s supernatural and even though Jensen’s My Bloody Valentine wasn’t that bad they both fail to make an impact in cinema. He doesn’t give a dominating enough performance required to become a cult hero of the Friday the 13th fans love. Failed Breakout Performance Award (6/10)


Actor Review: Danielle Panabaker – Jenna the nice girl from the group of friends who hangs around with the wrong crowd. This opened the door in horror for the actress who does a good job in this role but also doesn’t show the true panic a leading lady character would normally make. Unluckiest Character Award (7/10)


Actor Review: Amanda Righetti – Whitney the missing sister and object of Jason affections. Amanda has the screaming down to a tee after spending most of the film screaming and in constant terror. Does a good job in the situation she is in and becomes the only character with real emotions shown. (8/10)


Actor Review: Derek Mears – Jason ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to defend his territory. Dominating figure on screen creates a brutal killer. Iconic Performance Award, Scariest Character Award (9/10)


Director Review: Marcus Nispel – Working on remakes and reboots clearly is this guy’s thing but he clearly doesn’t know how to truly honour the classics. (4/10)

Horror: Way over the top kills, plenty of blood and gore, but against everything this franchise was about. (7/10)

Special Effects: Some great effects in the kills. (9/10)

Music: Doesn’t use the music as well as the original. (6/10)

Believability: The serial killer side yes but he supernatural side no. (2/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Set around Crystal Lake rather than just the Camp show Jason to be a territorial killer but it doesn’t create the atmosphere there originals did. (6/10)


Suggestion: Friday the 13th is one of my favourite film franchises and I would suggest this even though I don’t think it is by any means one of the better ones. The new era slasher fans that have never seen the original one will more than likely enjoy this as it caters to the more hack em’ slash em’ audience. Horror fans in general will enjoy the basic side of the film but non horror fans avoid. (Horror Fans Watch)


Best Part: Trent getting what he deserves.

Worst Part: Ruins a classic.

Kill Of The Film:  Chewie as it offers a more solid use of new horror kills.

Trivia: Producer Michael Bay walked out saying there was too much sex.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: Reboot that failed is getting rebooted in the future again.

Similar Too: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2003, Halloween remake.


Overall: Reboot that made money but fails a classic


Rating 58%