Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Julia (2014)

juliaDirector: Matthew A Brown

Writer: Matthew A Brown (Screenplay)

Starring: Ashely C Williams, Tahyna Valentina MacManus, Jack Noseworthy, Joel de la Funete, Cary Woodworth, Darren Lipari, Ryan Cooper

 

Plot: A neo-noir revenge thriller centering on Julia Shames, who after suffering a brutal trauma, falls prey to an unorthodox form of therapy to restore herself.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Stylish Thriller

 

Story: Julia starts as we meet quiet girl Julia (Williams) who goes for an interview only to find herself beaten, bloody and left for dead by the men responsible. Broken Julia turns to drink but soon learns about a doctor who has an unorthodox method of helping rape victims by giving them the power back.

Julia has to go through a training process under Sadie (Valentina MacManus) so Dr Sgundud (Noseworthy) can decide whether she can become one of the fighters against the men of the world. Once trained Julia becomes a seductive killer with the other victims who all take out their own form of vengeance of rapist.

Julia is a real slick stylish revenge thriller that plays into all the ideas of how rapist should be treated. There is a twist in the story which makes everything stand away from what could easily be just another knock of version of ‘I Spit on Your Grave’. The revenge scenes all come off very sexualised and like all revenge films we get to see the consequences of the idea. Ashley C Williams shines in this leading role with the rest of the cast almost stuck in her shadow throughout the film.

 

Overall: Sexy, stylish thriller that is all about the visual revenge kills.

Rating65

 

 

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Idle Hands (1999)

idleDirector: Rodman Flender

Writer: Terri Hughes, Ron Milbauer (Screenplay)

Starring: Devon Sawa, Seth Green, Elden Hensen, Jessica Alba, Vivica A Fox, Christopher Hart, Jack Noseworthy

 

Plot: A teenage slacker’s right hand becomes possessed with murderous intent.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull Lacklustre Comedy Horror

 

Story: Idle Hands starts as we meet three stoner teenagers Anton (Sawa), Mick (Green) and Pnub (Henson) who live in a small town that is in the middle of a serial killer rampage. With his parents gone missing Anton thinks nothing of this before coming to the shocking conclusion the killer is inside his house.

The killer is actually his own hand which he no longer has control over and goes on to kill his best friends. Anton must find a way to defeat his own evil possessed hand get the girl Molly (Alba) and stop demon hunter Debi (Fox) from killing him.

Idle Hands is a horror comedy that plays into the simplest levels of comedy that might have worked at the time but has dated now. The whole idea of having the evil hand can’t help but make us feel like we have seen it before at a higher level in the Evil Dead 2. Nothing about this film really does come of original or memorable which disappoints throughout.

The cast are all very much over the top with the three guys being the normal nonsense teenagers while Jessica Alba is left to be the overly sexualised female lead. As for the supporting cast, we barely get to meet most of them for long enough to make an impact.

 

Overall: Horror Comedy more like horror sleep fest

Ratingcard

 

 

Breakdown (1997)

breakdownDirector: Jonathan Mostow

Writer: Jonathan Mostow, Sam Montgomery (Screenplay) Jonathan Mostow (Story)

Starring: Kurt Russell, J.T. Walsh, Kathleen Quinlan, M.C Gainey, Jack Noseworthy, Rex Linn

 

Plot: A man searches for his missing wife after his car breaks down in the middle of the desert.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Action Thriller

 

Story: Breakdown starts as we watch couple Jeff (Russell) and Amy Taylor (Quinlan) when they encounter car trouble and locals Earl (Gainey). When the car breaks down Amy goes off with a trucker Red Barr (Walsh) for help when Jeff fixes the problem. When Jeff gets to the location suggested his wife isn’t their he starts to panic searching for her but when he finds the truck the driver has no idea who he is.

We follow Jeff as he finds himself going up against Red Barr and his men including Earl as they have kidnapped Amy in what is their plan to commit a robbery against this Jeff but Jeff isn’t willing to go along with the rules.

Breakdown is an action film that does everything it needs to without taking any risks, it is almost the 101 on how to make an action film. The robbery side of the story works without being shown how smoothly it seems to have worked before. The everyday one man trying to get his wife back also works on a cinematic point of view but that one man is Kurt Russell. This doesn’t have enough on the story but for what it is really all we need.

 

Actor Review

 

Kurt Russell: Jeff Taylor is the successful husband travelling cross country when his car breaks down, letting his wife go off with a trucker he finds himself having to locate her. Jeff finds himself in the middle of a battle with thieves who have his wife and want to exchange her for their money. Jeff doesn’t back down and goes on a one-man mission to find his wife. Kurt is a great in the leading action man role which is what we expect from him.jeff

J.T. Walsh: Red Barr is the trucker who helped take Amy to what Jeff thought would be safety. He comes off as the ring leader in the plan staying calm throughout the situation. J.T makes for a good villain without being to menacing.

Kathleen Quinlan: Amy Taylor is the wife of Jeff who goes off with the trucker looking for rescue from the broken down car, she is basically the damsel in distress that we don’t get to see for most of the film. Kathleen really isn’t involved in the story enough as she is just kidnapped off screen.

M.C. Gainey: Earl is one of the men involved in the kidnapping of Jeff’s wife, he is the first one they clash with in a driving incident and always having to chase Jeff down. Earl is your typical second in command for the leader. M.C is good in a role that we know he can play with ease.

Support Cast: Breakdown only has your typical supporting cast which includes fellow criminals and law officers.

Director Review: Jonathan MostowJonathan gives us a enjoyable action thriller.

 

Action: Breakdown as good action sequences that all play into the story well without being over the top.

Crime: Breakdown puts our hero Jeff in the middle of a crime where he is the only one that can stop it.

Mystery: Breakdown makes us wonder what is happening before we learn about the groups plan.

Thriller: Breakdown does keep us on edge from start to finish.

Settings: Breakdown uses the open roads of America for setting showing how easy it would to become caught in the middle of it all.
Special Effects
: Breakdown has good effects with the car chases but that is all it is used for.

Suggestion: Breakdown is one for the action fans to enjoy. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Final chase.

Worst Part: Over kill.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final chase

 

Believability: The idea is created to show it could happen but we know this is fictional.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $36 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: No-one is safe from chance

 

Overall: Thriller ride of an action film

Ratingcard

Event Horizon (1997)

logoDirector: Paul W.S. Anderson

Writer: Philip Eisner (Screenplay)

Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Richard T. Jones, Jack Noseworthy, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee

 

Plot: A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned…with someone or something new on-board.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Closest To A Sci-Fi Horror Equal to Alien

 

Story: Event Horizon starts by filling us in on the time and events of the film, we are in 2040 where a Deep space research vessel called The Event Horizon has disappeared after passing past Neptune becoming one of the biggest disasters on record. 7 years later we see a devoid of gravity space craft that haunts Dr Weir (Neill) as he still struggles with the loss of his wife. We are on the Lewis & Clark the rescue mission to find the Event Horizon. Our team includes Captain Miller (Fishburne), Med Tech Peters (Quinlan), Lt Starck (Richardson), Cooper (Jones), Justin (Noseworthy), DJ (Isaacs) and Smith (Pertwee) each has their own specialist use on the mission. We get the simple hyper sleep idea for the long distance travelling which continues to feed the nightmares Weir is having.

The mission involved learning what really happened to the Event Horizon because it was part of a secret experiment to create a faster travelling system through space. Investigating the ship the crew find nothing but a ghost ship, with signs of a previous struggle with blood and body parts floating around. When an unexplained event happens the crew have to all move onto the Event Horizon while they try and fix their own ship. It isn’t long before the crew start seeing things around the ship which simply can’t be explained with rational science. The crew has 20 hours of air before they will end up dying to fix their ship and make it home.

Event Horizon is a sci-fi film that is nearly 20 years old and still feels like it could be considered fresh compared too many films that attempted and failed to reach the same level of atmosphere and pure horror. We get the deep space which instantly creates the idea that the characters are going to be alone. I will look at few negatives that got me, the first would be that they don’t discuss the mission until they are about to get there meaning there isn’t a way to go back. The second would be even after seeing this film a couple of times now I still don’t fully know what to believe about the Dr Weir character whether he is good or always bad. Overall this is a very good story and the negatives are really just nit picking instead of just praising the film. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Laurence Fishburne: Captain Miller is the leader of the rescue mission, he will look out for every one of his crew and involve them all in the decision making process but will never leave one behind. Laurence does a good job in this leading role playing the strong but equal leader. (7/10)

 miller

Sam Neill: Dr William Weir is the creator of the Event Horizon who gets taken over by the life force inside the ship wanting to take advantage of the newly discovered machine. Sam ends up going through a brilliant and frightening transformation as this film rolls on and ends up being almost unrecognisable. (8/10)

weir

Kathleen Quinlan: Peters is the med tech who first starts getting vision showing her greatest fear. I do have issues with this character because she should be the most logical when it comes to seeing the vision because she off all the people should know it is only in their minds. Kathleen does a solid job with what she has to do, it’s not her fault her character makes bad decisions. (6/10)

 

Joely Richardson: Lt Starck is the member of the crew trying to uncover everything that happened to the original crew and along the way she learns the pure terror the crew will be in for. Joely does a solid job in this role but really doesn’t get as much screen time as the character should get. (7/10)

 

Richard T Jones: Cooper is one of the engineers who gets all the best lines while the mission is taking place, he also goes through the most including being blasted off the ship and having to find his own way back. Richard ends up playing the character you want to see on screen most because he is so funny. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Event Horizon does have a couple more members of the crew that all end up becoming disposable characters as they rest try to escape the terror on the ship.

 

Director Review: Paul W.S. Anderson – Paul does a great job here and shows he knows how to pace a film to have enough scares and tension to keep us fully behind the film from start to finish. (8/10)

 

Horror: Event Horizon has to go down as one of the best horror films of the 90s but will always end up getting eclipsed by Alien. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: Event Horizon takes place in space and challenges scientific theory to make the story’s events unfold. (9/10)

Settings: Event Horizon works perfectly for horror as it creates isolation instantly and the crew have to find their own way to safety because no one can rescue them. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Event Horizon does have a small weakness because a lot of the gravity based effects have dated but the rest all look great consider how many years have passed. (6/10)

Suggestion: Event Horizon is one for all the horror fans to watch, it is easily one of the most enjoyable of recent years. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Weir’s Transformation is scary and frightening all mixed up to make it horrific.

Worst Part: Certain effects have dated.

Oh My God Moment: The footage showing what happened to the original crew.

Scariest Scene: The reveal of what has happened to Dr Weir.

Favourite Quote: Dr Weir ‘Where we’re going, we won’t need eyes to see.’

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Sunshine and Pandorum

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $26.6 Million

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: Infinite Space – Infinite Terror

Trivia: Paul W.S. Anderson’s initial cut of the film ran to 130 minutes and was quite graphically violent, so much so that both test audiences and the studio baulked at the finished product. Paramount ordered him to cut the film by 30 minutes and tone down some of the violence, a decision he now regrets.

 

Overall: Event Horizon is one of the most shocking sci-fi horrors of all time and a must watch for all the horror fans out there.

Rating 89