Horror Franchise – Scream 4 (2011)

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson (Screenplay)

Starring: Neve Campbell, David Aqurette, Courteney Cox, Hayden Panettiere, Emma Roberts, Marley Shelton, Erik Knudsen, Rory Culkin


Plot: Ten years have passed, and Sidney Prescott, who has put herself back together thanks in part to her writing, is visited by the Ghostface Killer.

Tagline – New decade. New rules.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Simple but Unnecessary Sequel


Story: Scream 4 starts with the release of Stab 7 which gets to poke fun at the idea that franchises have gone on too long before with multiply false starts before the latest victims who believe they know how to survive a horror.

We get to see that Sidney (Campbell) return to Woodsbury to promote her book on the ten-year anniversary of the events of the last film. Gale (Cox) is now married to Dewey (Arquette) who is now the sheriff.

Sidney’s cousin Jill (Roberts) and friends Kirby (Panettiere), Olivia (Jaffe), Robbie (Knudsen), Trevor (Tortorella) and Charlie (Culkin) all believe they are living in the past events in the town. With the cast in place, the rules of the reboot are put in place as a new killer starts to stalk the neighbourhood once again.


Thoughts on Scream 4


Characters – Sidney has made a career in books after the events in the films, she is completing her latest book tour right where it all started. With her back in town the killings start up again, Sidney must be the role model for her cousin who is going through the same situation she once did. Gale is now married to Dewey, she has given up the spotlight, but craves getting back into the field with the new killings offering her the chance. Dewey is now the sheriff who must now control the situation before it gets out of hand. We get the new potential victims or suspects here with Jill being Sidney’s cousin always tired of being in the shadow of her more famous family member, Kirby the rebellious teenager, Robbie who is filming every moment of his life for a reality YouTube network and Charlie is the leader of the film club. These characters do fit around the moulds of the original teens too.

PerformancesNeve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette all return giving us good performances without needing to bring anything new to the performances. Of the new cast members nobody comes off in a shining performance which can disappoint in places as we have a wonderful set of talents in the film.

StoryThe story here brings back our original characters just as a new killing spree has started in the area where it all started, with a new generation of victims and horror fans. The idea for this story comes from the idea that we have too many sequels or reboots, which does help take away the serious nature from the film, the Ghostface does seem flat for the most part because they seem to get mixed into being too intense without a reason behind the killings. Of course this is more about poking fun with the meta of everything in the horror genre which is does achieve.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film comes from the slasher angle, only this time we get a bloodier version of the kills showing the change in the genre. The mystery in this film comes from just who the killer is going to be this time, though we don’t get enough signs this time.

SettingsThe film returns to the original town which does help with the idea of a reboot sequel piss take that we are dealing with.

Special EffectsThe effects are the most disappointing side of this film because we have moments of CGI that don’t look as true as the practical moments.

Scene of the Movie –
Deputy Judy being like Dewey is the funniest moments.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The kids are not really likeable.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid look at the horror genre with the countless sequels and remakes that we are seeing, it brings back enough relevant characters back but does fail to give us enough interest new ones.


Overall: Simple fun sequel.




Solace (2015)

solaceDirector: Afonso Poyart

Writer: Sean Bailey, Ted Griffin (Screenplay)

Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Colin Farrell, Abbie Cornish, Anthony Hopkins, Xander Berkeley, Marley Shelton, Janine Turner, Kenny Johnson


Plot: A psychic works with the FBI in order to hunt down a serial killer.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Too Many False Moments


Story: Solace starts with Agents Merriweather (Morgan) & Cowles (Cornish) dealing with a serial killer that has strike before, Joe wants to bring in a specialist against his partners wishes, a psychic John Clancy (Hopkins). John has been out of the game after the tragic death of his daughter but his friendship with Joe pushes him into looking into this latest case.

As the three investigate the serial killer they learn the shocking truth that he can see into the future and he has been selecting his victims from people that have terminal illnesses that he puts out of their misery.

Solace is a cat and mouse film that has psychic versus psychic but we spend large portions of this film flashing between what has happened and what could happen to the characters involved. It all becomes very messy to start with, the next problem is that we have to deal with the fact we only meet the killer very late on in the film. On the positives we get a very interesting moral question about whether we could deal with watching or going through the suffering terminal illness causes and if we would want it over quickly. This will end up disappointing in the mystery thriller side of the story but morally it is a good film.


Actor Review


Jeffrey Dean Morgan: Agent Joe Merriweather is the lead in the partnership that wants to bring in his psychic John Clancy, a man he has worked with before who help solve multiply cases in the past. He a family man that became close with John during their time working together and considered him a close friend, but he is hiding something from his friends, family but John can see it. Jeffrey is good in this role even though he really just looks like a standard FBI agent.

Colin Farrell: Charles Ambrose is the serial killer who believes he is putting people out of their own misery through quick painless death before they end up having to suffer from a terminal illness. He can see how anyone is going to die and uses this his psychic abilities to make his decisions. Colin is good as this character but we don’t meet him until too late in the film.

Abbie Cornish: Agent Katherine Cowles is the partner to Joe, she is a trained psychological doctor who doesn’t believe in psychics which creates a clash between her and John. She has to put her differences a side without putting John’s methods to shame to try and uncover the answers to who is the killer. Abbie is good but the reality is she is just a basic FBI agent.

Anthony Hopkins: John Clancy is a psychic who works with FBI before giving up everything when his daughter dies. When this newest case comes his way he finds himself tracking a new serial killer that offers him a question of whether he would have wanted his daughter to suffer from her terminal illness or not. Anthony feels kind of out of place in this one where he is good in certain scene but almost looks tired in other scenes.

Support Cast: Solace has a supporting cast that all works for where this film is going without being too involved with the final outcome of the story.

Director Review: Afonso PoyartAfonso gives us a film that is filled with flashbacks or flash-forwards which gets mixed up with the story which is also a run of the mill cat and mouse chase.


Mystery: Solace makes us wonder about the serial killer but never offers us enough to investigate as a viewer.

Thriller: Solace doesn’t even keep us guessing until the like a film like this is meant to be.

Settings: Solace doesn’t seem to create any special when it comes to locations being used.
Special Effects
: Solace has solid effects to show the flashbacks and flash-forwards in what could happen.

Suggestion: Solace is one to try but don’t expect to see too much special in this one. (Try It)


Best Part: Moral question being asked.

Worst Part: Not enough of the Killer.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Trivia: The script for this movie was originally picked up by New Line Cinema, with the intention to rewrite it as a sequel to Se7en (1995), tentatively titled Ei8ht. The main character was supposed to be Se7en’s Detective William Somerset who had acquired psychic powers. This idea was dropped after Se7en director David Fincher reacted negatively to the idea, after which it was produced as a stand-alone film.


Overall: Lacklustre mystery thriller that doesn’t get into the action quick enough.


Rose McGowan Weekend – Planet Terror (2007)

logoDirector: Robert Rodriquez

Writer: Robert Rodriquez (Screenplay)

Starring: Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez, Josh Brolin, Marley Shelton, Jeff Fahey, Michael Biehn, Rebel Rodriguez, Bruce Willis, Naveen Andrews, Julio Oscar Mechoso

Plot: After an experimental bio-weapon is released, turning thousands into zombie-like creatures, it’s up to a rag-tag group of survivors to stop the infected and those behind its release.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Guilt Pleasure Achieved

Story: Planet Terror starts in a strip club with Cherry Darling (McGowan) finally deciding to leave the busy for good. Leaving down an empty street Cherry coincidently gets passed by a military convoy on route to the military base. Abby (Andrews) is looking to collect his specimens which have escaped from the military base where he gets double crossed by Lt Muldoon (Willis) who has been infected by a virus that is slowly killing him unless it is under control. We go onto meet J.T (Fahey) who runs the local garage and diner with the best BBQ in Texas. The diner doesn’t get the most visitors but one just so happens to be Cherry and her old fling Wray (Rodriguez). We also meet Dr Dakota Block (Shelton) as she is planning on leaving her husband Dr William Block (Brolin) on this very night.

With the characters all nicely introduced we get to see the Dr Block’s deal with unknown wounds in the hospital. It isn’t long before our first victim is picked off by the undead and Wray & Cherry get attacked leading to Cherry having her leg ripped off and taken by the undead known as sickos. When the numbers of dead walking the streets continues to grow the unlikely group of survivors must band together to survive the night.

Planet Terror brings us a brand new spin on the zombie genre by mixing it with the Grindhouse style. Granted this is part of a double feature that didn’t really make it together in the cinema but as a stand alone film this gives you all you want in a story. You would only be watching this if you like zombie films and for the story this delivers. I really enjoyed the fact that this film manages to blend the stories without having to use cuts but well placed moments for example a car driving over a bridge which pans to the diner, we see plenty of these through the film which really makes us feel like we are part of a small community. I guess I should be picky and talk about a negative side to the story and that would be the whole story with the Block family as we know how it ends but what caused the relationship to really go sour. I personally enjoyed this story and I feel the zombie genre has been slightly over used but this is fresh. (8/10)

Actor Review

Rose McGowan: Cherry Darling is the gogo dancer who wants to go clean and get out of the town once and for all. Her night starts well but takes a turn when while receiving a lift from her old flame they are involved in an accident leading to the dead taking her leg. Down on her luck she gets saved by Wray who gives her a chance to fight back against the undead. Rose is convincing and the leading lady showing how much of an action star she could be. (8/10)cherry

Freddy Rodriguez: Wray is the mysterious bad boy of the town who always considered dangerous but is an old flame of Cherry’s. When the outbreak starts he gets to show us just how skilled he really is when it comes to combat. Freddy does a good job as the action lead but his excellent scene seems to get forgotten compared to McGowan’s. (8/10)wray

Josh Brolin: Dr William Block is the head doctor who knows his wife is planning something but isn’t sure what it is, he gets to deal with all the early diseased people who have been infected with the virus. Josh does a good job as what would come as the villainous role. (7/10)

Marley Shelton: Dr Dakota Block is planning to leave her husband but her plan takes a turn for the worse when her friend turns up dead pushing her husband to the limit leading to her having to perform the whole second half of the film partially paralysed. Marley does a good job and has to go through the scene that will make look every time. (8/10)dakota

Jeff Fahey: J.T. serves the best BBQ in Texas out of a diner, he is the location where all the survivors head to as they regroup where they plan the next move. Jeff gives us the much needed comic relief role in the film. (7/10)

Bruce Willis: Lt Muldoon is part of a military unit who has been infected but is controlling the infection, he wants to be able to control is and use it as a weapon but the deal goes bad leading to him to continue his search after the cure gets released in this small town. Bruce might only be in a supporting role but he does do a good job never looking like too much of a star compared to the rest of the cast. (7/10)murtdoon

Naveen Andrews: Abby is the man controlling the deal but after he gets turned on by Muldoon he ends up escaping after releasing the gas upon the small town. Naveen gives us the shady character that also offers up the information to fill in the technical side of the virus. (7/10)abby

Support Cast: Planet Terror has a large supporting cast that do add to the main story and the involvement of Rodriquez’s friends in certain roles that almost steal the scenes they are in.

Director Review: Robert RodriquezRobert brings his trademark flair to the film that puts his stamp on the zombie genre much like he did with the vampire genre in From Dusk Till Dawn. (8/10)

Action: Planet Terror is filled with action which includes plenty of zombie killing through shoot outs or just plan hand to hand combat. (9/10)

Horror: Planet Terror breathes fresh life into the zombie genre by making it all action. (8/10)

Settings: Planet Terror makes you believe that we are in a small community that everyone knows everyone and would be willing to help them. (9/10)
Special Effects: Planet Terror uses the effects that all look brilliant with the make up with the CGI coming off slightly iffy but that adds to what this film is going for.(8/10)

Suggestion: Planet Terror is one for all the horror fans to watch and you will end up adding this to your guilty pleasure selection. (Horror Fans Watch)

Best Part: Cherry Darling has an upgrade.

Worst Part: It won’t be for everyone.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final sequence.

Funniest Scene: The examination scene for the bite mark.

Kill Of The Film: Abby as you don’t see it coming.

Scariest Scene: I pick Dakota’s escape because it makes you look away.

Favourite Quote: Dr. Dakota Block: Hi, Joe. I’m going to give you a very strong anaesthetic, so you won’t feel anything during the procedure. These…

[pats the needles in her shirt pocket]

Dr. Dakota Block: …are my friends. My yellow friend is to take the sting off.

[injects Joe in the arm with the yellow needle]

Dr. Dakota Block: My blue friend you’ll barely feel.

[injects Joe in the arm with the blue needle]

Dr. Dakota Block: That means my yellow friend is already taking effect. See how fast my friends work?

[injects Joe in the arm with the red needle]

Dr. Dakota Block: And after my red-headed friend, you’ll never see me again.

[Joe slobbers over himself and passes out]

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It could have one but I doubt it very much.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Tagline: You might feel a little prick

Trivia: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen refused to give Josh Brolin an audition for the role of Llewelyn in their movie No Country for Old Men (2007), so he asked director Robert Rodriguez to help him shoot an audition tape while Brolin was filming his Grindhouse (2007) segment (Planet Terror (2007)) for Rodriguez. Rodriguez shot and Quentin Tarantino directed the tape, which was shot using a $950,000 digital camera. Marley Shelton, who was playing Brolin’s character’s wife in Grindhouse, agreed to read the lines for Llewelyn’s wife Carla Jean (eventually played by Kelly Macdonald).

Overall: Planet Terror gives us blood splattering gore fest that will keep you entertained throughout.

Rating 80


Pleasantville (1998)

logoDirector: Gary Ross

Writer: Gary Ross (Screenplay)

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, William H Macy, Joan Allen, Jeff Daniels, J.T. Walsh, Don Knotts, Marley Shelton, Jane Kaczmarek, Paul Walker, Maggie Lawson


Plot: Two 1990s teenagers find themselves in a 1950s sitcom where their influence begins to profoundly change that complacent world.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Good Story of Accepting Change

Story: Pleasantville starts showing us there will be a Pleasantville marathon showing on TV Time before introducing us to the main character David (Maguire) an awkward teenager. David’s favourite television show is Pleasantville which gives him a chance to watch over the weekend. We continue to learn that David knows everything to know about the show and plans to try and win a contest. David just so happens to have a sister Jennifer (Witherspoon) who see the chance of the house without parents as a chance to impress the cool guy from school leading to a fight between the two.

When the remote control gets damaged a mysterious repair man turns up at the house to fix the problem. As the siblings arguing they find themselves inside the show trapped by the repair man. The two have to learn to get on with life in this new reality where David with thieve but Jennifer has to learn to adapt. The two characters they have been forced to play are the children to George (Macy) and Betty (Allen). The two have to continue to learn to adapt and play along with the new world they are in until they can find a way to find a way home.

Jennifer decides to play by her own rules which starts to change the town bring colour into the black and white world. It isn’t long before the people in the town start being affect by the change before long the town ends up getting caught up in the middle of battle between the coloured and the black & white residents of the town.

Pleasantville is a beautiful story of two different generation clash with consequences that will change both the points of view. We do get the typical two teenagers one being good and one being difficult rather than bad who learn lesson that they haven’t in their normal life. we also get to see how being part of a routine can feel too comfortable and the moment you start breaking it anything becomes possible for you. This also teaches us to treat everyone the same with no expectation and to express yourself in whatever drives you forward. Looking back over the film it is a very good story that can be enjoyed by most people. (8/10)


Actor Review

Tobey Maguire: David is an awkward high school teenager who has an unhealthy obsession with Pleasantville television show, when his favourite show is going to be showing a marathon he is extra excited but ends up fighting with his sister and getting trapped inside Pleasantville. David knows how to get along with everything there but it isn’t long before the world starts changing and he must find a way to get home. Tobey gives a good leading performance showing that he was going to be a good actor to turn to for these types of roles. (7/10)


Reese Witherspoon: Jennifer is the popular girl at school and David’s sister who ends up getting trapped inside Pleasantville. Unlike David it isn’t normal to her and she ends up changing the ways of life in the town. Reese showed that she can have range with this role as we get to see the fully transformation of her character through the film. (8/10)


William H Macy: George Parker is the father of the household inside the Pleasantville life style who can’t cope with the changes going through the town. William gets to play a role we will become used to seeing him performance with this role. (7/10)


Joan Allen: Betty Parker is the mother of the house that the kids get trapped in who tries to keep her household together through the changes even when she wants to embrace those changes. Joan does a good job in the supporting role which will make you notice she can play plain supporting roles. (7/10)


Jeff Daniels: Bill Johnson is the malt shop owner who gets caught up trying to focus on changing because he is too scared to actually change. Jeff continued to show how he was capable to walk away from slapstick comedy and become a good serious actor here. (7/10)

Support Cast: Pleasantville has a supporting cast that includes a whole town and some good early supporting roles from stars who went onto bigger things including Paul Walker, Maggie Lawson and Marlon Shelton.

Director Review: Gary Ross – Gary does a good job directing manage to mix a visual story with a very good story about being different. (8/10)


Drama: Pleasantville shows the different between two different generations and just how when they clash both will realize they need change. (8/10)

Fantasy: Pleasantville takes our two lead characters and puts them into a world they have never seen before which works for the fantasy element of the story. (8/10)

Settings: Pleasantville has a brilliant setting showing how simple people once thought life was compared to the new fast forward life we are now in. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Pleasantville uses great effects to mix the black and white characters with the colour characters with only parts in colour throughout. (9/10)

Suggestion: Pleasantville is a must watch. (Must watch)


Best Part: The mix between colour and black and white.

Worst Part: You can work out what will happen by the end.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Nominated for 3 Oscars including Art Direction, Costume Design and Best Music Original Dramatic Score

Box Office: $50 Million

Budget: $40 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

Tagline: Nothing Is As Simple As Black And White.


Overall: Pleasantville is a beautifully shot film that is visual great and has a story to match it all.

Rating 80

Scream 4 (2011)

Director: Wes Craven
Starring: Lucy Hale, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, Brittany Robertson, Neve Campbell, Alison Brie, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Aimie Teegarden, Hayden Panettiere, Emma Roberts, Marielle Jaffe, Marley Shelton, Erik Knudsen, Rory Culkin, Nico Tortorella, Anthony Anderson, Adam Brody

Ten years has pasted since Sidney (Neve Campbell) survived the last murders. Sidney has since written a book about her experience. Sidney returns to Woodsboro for a book signing with her PR lady Rebecca (Alison Brie). Deputy Dewey is now Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette) he is also married to Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox).

Upon Sidney return two students are killed by Ghost Face. Sidney cousin Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts) with her two best friends Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) and Olivia (Marielle Jaffe) get the news along with Jill’s ex boyfriend Trevor (Nico Tororella). Video blogger Robbie (Erik Knudsen) and his partner Charlie (Rory Culkin) complete the school group line up.

With Sheriff Dewey in charge he has a new squad of deputies including his new partner Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton) an old school friend of Sidney. The other two we meet are Deputy Perkins (Anthony Anderson) and Deputy Hoss (Adam Brody).

Using the ‘Stab’ movies as their reference points to how to make it out the situation the Jill, Kirby, Sidney all stay at Kate Roberts Jill mother and Sidney Aunt. Having a squad car with Perkins and Hoss in are they going to be safe?

The list of suspects is good and will keep you guessing all the way.

  • Is it the reporter who can’t write anymore
  • The Deputy who was ignored at school
  • The mysterious boyfriend
  • The film geeks who film their lives
  • The one who wants to be center of attention

Anyone could be the villain and every corner pushes a different prime suspect before pulling that name straight back off the table.

This movie keeps in the same trend of the original trilogy never taking itself too serious and having little pops at all over remakes. Even giving us the updated rules of the ‘Remake’. Add in the clever opening sequences puts you on the edge of your seat from start to brilliant revelation on the Ghost Face is. If you like the original movies you will like this fourth as it is same sense of tension through out. Even if your new to the franchise this isn’t a bad place to start up from as the back story isn’t important and what is needed to be filled in gets done in the short filled conversations.

My Rating 82%