Halloween Midnight Franchise – Saw 3D The Final Chapter (2010)

Director: Kevin Greutert

Writer: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan (Screenplay)

Starring: Tobin Bell, Costass Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Cary Elwes, Sean Patrick Flanery, Chad Donella, Gina Holden

 

Plot: As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw’s brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen, a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror.


Tagline – The Traps Come Alive

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The End That Works

 

Story: Saw VII opens as we learn how Doctor Gordon (Elwes) survived, we see how Hoffman (Mandylor) fixes himself after the betrayal he faced in the last film from Jill (Russell), we also see how Jill spills the beans to the cops about who was John’s (Bell) apprentice.

Meanwhile Bobby Dagen (Flanery) is touring a book about how he survived one of Jigsaw’s game, but this has made him a new target for the games. With Bobby needing to complete his tests with rest of his team that made up his story, while we also see Hoffman trying to get his hands on Jill to end it all but there might be more people at play here.

 

Thoughts on Saw VII

 

Characters – John is still dead, but we learn how he wasn’t impressed with one of the so-called survivors gaining his fame from the story of being involved in the game, he does have a much smaller role though. Hoffman is known fully as the man working with John, scared after escaping the bear trap, he is playing the last gang now while keeping one step ahead of the law. Jill is in hiding with the police after Hoffman escaped the trap she placed him in, worried for her life she is willing to spill on everyone involved. Dr Gordon is back and part of a survivors support group, the fans of the series have been waiting for years to see him return. Bobby is a man that has been making money off claiming to have survived one of the jigsaw games but not he is being forced into going through one with his team.

PerformancesTobin Bell does have a much smaller part but is the drawn in the film. Costas Mandylor for me is now the star of these franchise as he is the most interesting character now. Betsy Russell is good without being as believable this time around. Cary Elwes brings the class back as we had been waiting for years for his return. Sean Patrick Flanery is also good in his role as the latest man being tested.

StoryThe Hoffman versus Jill storyline is the highlight of the film as now Hoffman is known by the police to be the bad guy he can do anything to anyone who gets in his way. The game does have a man that needs to be tested but the main victim he needs to save shouldn’t be in the game at all. This has been my problem for a while, the wrong people are being left in a place of choice. I will however praise how the film tied up at the end finishing the saga in a full circle.

Horror/Mystery The gore is at the highest level in this film, the 3D effects even add more to the gore being used, but some of it is just pointless. The mystery once again is the highlight of the film as we are kept guessing to where the characters will go next and why Dr Gordon has returned.

SettingsThe settings are a strange one here, the big game is normal location but the opening sequence is in broad daylight with the crowd running to see, not sure if this is designed to mock the fans that enjoy the torture porn general or not.

Special EffectsCan’t fault certain effects here but some are made just for the point of having 3D, when we didn’t need it.


Scene of the Movie –
Game Over.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The game is gore for the sake of gore.

Final ThoughtsWhile the game is poor, the conclusion of the story of who works for Jigsaw does work for this franchise that needed to end here.

 

Overall: Nice finish to the franchise.

Rating

 

 

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Exorcism of Molly Hartley (2015)

Director: Steven R Monroe

Writer: Matt Venne (Screenplay)

Starring: Sarah Lind, Devon Sawa, Gina Holden, Peter MacNeill, Daina Leitold

 

Plot: Taking place years after The Haunting of Molly Hartley, who now, as an adult, has fallen under the possession of an evil spirit and must be exorcised by a fallen priest before the devil completely takes her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Extreme Exorcism

 

Story: The Exorcism of Molly Hartley starts as we see how young priest Father John Barrow (Sawa) gets led astray during an exorcism, disgraced and banned from the practise. Moving onto meeting Molly Hartley (Lind) celebrating her 24th birthday with a promotion to partner with friends.

When the partying gets out of hand Molly wakes up to two dead bodies with the police ready to arrest her and Molly becoming possessed. Moly finds herself in a religious mental home, the same one where Father Barrow is trying to redeem himself.

Dr Laurie Hawthorne (Holden) tries to treat Molly which includes looking into her past and a previous possession, the only option Laurie can find is to turn to Father Barrow to perform an exorcism inside the mental asylum.

 

Thoughts on The Exorcism of Molly Hartley

 

Characters/PerformanceMolly is the over successful woman in business who finds herself possessed thanks to her past, that seems like all we learn about her. Father Barrow is a priest who wants to make up for his error in a previous exorcism.  Dr Hawthorne is just the doctor trying to get to the bottom of what could be wrong with Molly.

Performance wise, well this is going to be fun, first Sarah Lind just seems to follow every textbook on what an exorcism could look like and nothing more, Devon Sawa at least puts some effort in but doesn’t reach his Final Destination level. Gina Holden also seems to disappear part the way through this film.

StoryExorcism stories are always going to be hard because let’s face it The Exorcist is the granddaddy of them all, so everything just feels like it is trying to keep things up to that level without ever being able too. This story does keep the traditional exorcism routine while trying to balance the idea that she could just be an unstable woman, but sadly this does just fall into the mix of been here seen this, the main reason why I am not the biggest fan of the exorcism sub-genre.

HorrorDo you find exorcism scary, well if the answer is yes then you should get the horror elements out of this, if no you won’t get anything from the horror side of the film.

SettingsThe film is set mostly in a mental asylum which does give us a fresh idea of how to treat an exorcism but it doesn’t look into the doctor treatment with this location.

Special EffectsWe have basic special effects for horror but not much is needed for the film.

Final ThoughtsI personally don’t find many exorcism films scary so for me this just didn’t hit the horror marks for me

 

Overall: Simple exorcism film that isn’t memorable enough.

Rating

 

 

Sharknado Week Shark Movies – Sand Sharks (2011)

ogoDirector: Mark Atkins

Writer: Cameron Larson (Screenplay) Cameron Larson, Joe Benkis (Story)

Starring: Corin Nemec, Brooke Hogan, Vanessa Evigan, Eric Scott Woods, Gina Holden, Robert Pike Daniel, Hilary Cruz

Plot: A shark who swims in sand terrorizes a tropical paradise.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: You Only Get What You Expect

Story: Sand Sharks starts with motor cross bikes performing stunts on their own over sand dunes, in the world’s largest beach I think because the ocean is so far away, but sand sharks eat them. Time to introduce out main characters the cocky wheeler and dealer Jimmy Green (Nemec) who clashes with Sheriff Stone (Woods). The head of one of the bikers is found on the beach but how did it end up there because it looks like a shark attack but is too far away from the water but the Stone family have to work it out.

Dr Sandy Powers (Hogan) is called in to investigate by the Sheriff’s sister and deputy Brenda (Evigan). Jimmy is planning to throw a mega event in the location but the sharks have put a spanner in the works. Jimmy puts a bounty on the sharks head encouraging the town’s people to hunt for it.

Jimmy, John, Brenda and Sandy have to work together to stop the sand sharks before the casualty level gets too high.

Sand Sharks was a film designed to be bad, but it was also designed to be one that is so bad you enjoy it and somehow I did end up enjoying this one. It fills the classic creature feature ideas which I do enjoy watching filled with terrible character decisions, terrible effects and laughable dialogue. This is also a great film to watch as part of a drinking game. I will say don’t go in expecting too much and just enjoy this one. (4/10)

Actor Review

Corin Nemec: Jimmy Green is local who has returned to the small community to try and make money with a one of massive festival, he puts people’s lives in danger when he puts a bounty on the sharks head showing he has only one interest money. Corin does a solid job giving us what the role needed. (6/10)jimmy green

Brooke Hogan: Sandy Powers is the doctor who has studied sharks, she gets bought into try and solve the problem, she is following in her father’s foot steps. I started think how is she in this role but by the end her role work for what it needed to be. (6/10)sandy powers

Vanessa Evigan: Brenda Stone is the sheriff’s sister who calls in Sandy to solve the shark problem while clashing with her ex Jimmy. Vanessa does a standard job as the back up cop. (5/10)

Eric Scott Woods: Sheriff John Stone has to make the decisions in the town and wants to make sure the people are safe first. He clashes with Jimmy over the safety because he won’t open the beaches. Eric plays the sheriff to the level you need for the role. (5/10)

Support Cast: Sand Sharks has a supporting cast that includes all of the victims of the shark attacks.

Director Review: Mark Atkins – Mark doesn’t hold back here, he knows he doesn’t have the money for great effects so lets the poor ones work to its advantage. (6/10)

Comedy: Sand Sharks actually made me laugh more than a lot of comedy films. (6/10)

Horror: Sand Sharks is filled with horror comedy that works for the film. (6/10

Settings: Sand Sharks uses the beach setting to its advantage giving the film a chance to show off beach bodies. (8/10)
Special Effects: Sand Sharks has the terrible effects that actually end up adding to the comedy. (3/10)

Suggestion: Sand Sharks is one to try if you like to watch a film that is ‘so bad it is good’. (Try It)

Best Part: The comedy.

Worst Part: The Effects.

Funniest Scene: Party on the beach.

Kill Of The Film: Mayor

Believability: No (/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

Tagline: Just When You Thought You Were Safe Out of the Water

Overall: This does what you expect nothing more nothing less

Rating50

Messages Deleted (2010)

logoDirector: Rob Cowan

Writer: Larry Cohen (Screenplay)

Starring: Matthew Lillard, Deborah Kara Unger, Gina Holden, Serge Houde, Chiara Zanni, Michael Eklund

 

Plot: A screenwriting teacher is forced to live out the plot of a screenplay idea he stole from a student, who now seeks revenge.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One Too Many Twists

 

Story: Messages Deleted starts by showing a daring escape only for it to turn into the story one student has for a screenplay in Joel’s (Lillard) class. Joel is a loved teacher who the class all respond to. When he gets home he has a strange message on his phone, but shrugs it off. He is a trying to come up with his own screenplay but is struggling to find inspiration. After an incident happens he starts to find himself being targeted by a killer who keeps phoning him with the latest victim leaving a message. Joel finds himself falling deeper into trouble with the law as he tries to uncover who the killer is and why he is targeting Joel.

Messages Deleted plays out almost like a satire of itself telling us what we should be expecting from the first moment right up to the final outcome. It repeatedly tells us it’s not a movie its real life. Saying this, the thriller side of the story works really well it keeps you guessing about what happens next. It does end up trying to throw a few twists in and granted some work well but it does uses too many by the end of the film. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Matthew Lillard: Joel Brandt a screenplay writer and teacher that is trying to find his inspiration while struggling with everything in his life. When a killer targets him putting him through a game he was not ready for. Matthew gives a good lead performance putting the panic in everything he does. (7/10)

 matt

Deborah Kara Unger: Det. Lavery the lead detective trying to solve the murders that keep happening around Joel, she is very cold and keeps her job her main focus. Deborah gives an average performance mainly because her character doesn’t seem to have much of a clue. (5/10)

detective

Gina Holden: Millie a student in the class who has a lot to live up too while Joel tries to push her to her full potential. She does become the friend Joel turns to for help. Gina gives a solid performance but never convinces. (5/10)

 gina

Support Cast: Messages Deleted only has a small supporting cast with the dialogue seemingly only coming from a few that don’t help the story too much.

 

Director Review: Rob Cowan – Rob does a solid job directing keeping the thrill level up but tries too hard to be different. (6/10)

 

Mystery: Messages Deleted creates a good mystery to what is going on to the protagonist. (8/10)

Thriller: Messages Deleted is keeps us guessing to what is going on keeping the thrill levels up. (8/10)

Settings: Messages Deleted uses certain settings that all create a real locations for the protagonist to be in but all of them come off very clichéd. (5/10)

Suggestion: Messages Deleted is one to try for all the mystery fans out there. (Try It)

 

Best Part of Messages Deleted: Lillard’s performance comes off well.

Worst Part of Messages Deleted: Too many twists.

What Could Have Been Better? – Not having the extra twist because it kind of ruins the whole film.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

Overall: Clichéd thriller

Rating 59