Pet Sematary (2019)

Director: Kevin Kolsch, Dennis Widmyer

Writer: Matt Greenberg, Jeff Buhler (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, Amy Seimetz, Jete Laurence, Naomi Frenette, Alyssa Brooke Levine, Maria Herrera

 

Plot: Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home.


Tagline – They don’t come back the Same. 

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fog Machine Screen Test

 

Story: Pet Sematary starts as the Creed family, Louis (Clarke), Rachel (Seimetz), Ellie (Laurence) and toddler Gage, move from Boston to a rural Maine town, to start a quieter life style. The family just so happen to have bought a property with its own pet cemetery, spelt wrong with the S and all. The neighbour Jud (Lithgow) is welcoming and after the family cat Church dies, Jud tells Louis of the powers, which sees Church return, only he isn’t the same.

When tragedy strikes the Creed family, it leaves them divided and Louis is drawn back to the power which could solve the pain, but he only unleashes the secrets of the hidden grounds.

 

Thoughts on Pet Sematary

 

Characters – Louis is a former ER-Doctor, he needed to get out of that life with his new role being a college campus doctor, this gives him more time with his kids as they grow, making his life more relax. He is the one that never believed or talked about the afterlife which is why it seems strange that he is the one that follows Jud through the secret cemetery. Rachel is the wife, she spends most of her time checking her phone, being the typical housewife, she does have a haunted past which still scares her to this day. Jud is the nice welcoming neighbour, he has lived in this house for his whole life and now, he wants to show the wisdom he has learnt from the cemetery. He is the catalyst to everything that unfolds. Ellie is the oldest child of the family, she likes to adventure which can get her in trouble, but what 9-year-old isn’t like this?

PerformancesThis discussion on the performances is going down like most in horror, the child star Jete Laurence doesn’t do anything wrong and is the star of the show. Jason Clarke as often been the go to guy for a reliable lead, doesn’t get tested, while Amy Seimetz gets no true character development, giving her little to work with. John Lithgow get a scene where we learn the cats name being after Winston Churchill, and the wink wink idea that he won awards for playing the leader.

StoryThe story follows a family that relocate to start a quieter life, they seem to have everything down perfectly until death starts coming into their lives, which only sees them needing to face ultimate decisions and figure out the power of the pet sematary in their back garden. This is obviously a remake of the Stephen King classic, so if you have seen the original or read the book, you will know the basics of this story. The story however seems to go off on wild side stories which don’t seem to have any connection to the pet semetery element of the story, it just gets confusing, there is such a large focus on Rachel’s past, which shouldn’t make sense in this film in anyway. Everything that returns from the original film works, it gets the required scare, but as I said the side stories just fill the empty space to make the film longer and get a scare from the audience.

HorrorThe horror in this film can be broken down, we have the jump scares, though they can be seen coming a mile off, we have a thinking horror side to something that happens, which over plays on the mind for no reason too.

SettingsThe film puts the family in a remote house, well one without many neighbours and a tight road that lorries steam down, this is effective for the first proper jump scare, which you would see in the original, for the rest of the settings the fog machine covers up the flaws here.

Special EffectsThe effects when practical look creepy and effective, we don’t get many, but much like the settings, the fog machine makes a big impact here covering up any true weaknesses in the special effects.


Scene of the Movie –
The lorry.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fog machine.

Final ThoughtsThis is a poor remake of a classic Stephen King horror, we don’t seem to get anything scary like other remakes and end up relying on cheap jump scares to try and maximise the impact.

 

Overall: Simple lifeless remake.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – The Prophecy II (1998)

Director: Greg Spence

Writer: Matt Greenberg, Greg Spence (Screenplay) Gregory Widen (Characters)

Starring: Christopher Walken, Russell Wong, Jennifer Beals, Brittany Murphy, Eric Roberts, Glenn Danzig, Steve Hytner

 

Plot: Gabriel returns to try to destroy the human race he despises so much, with the help of a suicidal teen and the opposition of the angel Danyael.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Sequel

 

Story: The Prophecy II starts as the former angel Gabriel (Walken) returns from hell to once again give the angels the upper hand in the battle for heaven. Angel Danyael (Wong) also has plans for this battle which involves impregnating Valerie (Beals), Danyael continues to eliminate Gabriel’s army as the two battle for the upper hand in this battle. Valerie is carrying the child written in prophecy that could help one side win the war but who will walk out of this battle alive?

 

Thoughts on The Prophecy II

 

Characters/PerformanceGabriel is back and even deadlier than last time wanting to take his war back to heaven but he just isn’t as threatening as he was before because he doesn’t understand technology now. Danyael is a hugely forgettable character that is an angel on the good side of the battle. Valerie is a nurse that becomes the mother too be in the battle between good and evil.

Performance wise, Walken just isn’t as menacing as he once was, Wong is forgettable throughout and Beals is fine but not at the level of Madsen.

StoryThe story continues to build on the battle within heaven being played out on Earth, this tries to give us a bigger world battle but in the end it just feels like more of the same.

Fantasy/HorrorWe move into fantasy more here by learn of prophecies and different angels but this doesn’t reach the horror needed for the subject.

SettingsThe settings are once again forgettable and could be used for any film out there.

Special EffectsWe continue to have weak special effects that all come off dated.

Final ThoughtsWeak sequel that just doesn’t capture anything from the first film and you can see how it ended up on DVD.

 

Overall: Poor sequel.

Rating

 

 

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

Director: Steve Miner

Writer: Robert Zappia, Matt Greenberg (Screenplay) Debra Hill, John Carpenter (Characters)

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Adam Arkin, Michelle Williams, Josh Hartnett, LL Cool J, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Janet Leigh, Adam Hann-Bryd

 

Plot: Laurie Strode, now the dean of a Northern California private school with an assumed name, must battle the Shape one last time and now the life of her own son hangs in the balance.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Halloween Sequel

 

Story: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later starts with Michael Myers learns the location of Laurie (Curtis) by continuing his bloody rampage. Laurie now has a child who is 17 in John (Hartnett) who is preparing to look to go onto college but Laurie still haunted by her brother.

Laurie is the Dean of a private school her son attends with his girlfriend Molly (Williams) best friend Charlie (Hann-Byrd) and his girlfriend Sarah (O’Keefe) who find out they are alone in the school over Halloween leaving them to decide to throw themselves are party.

But this Halloween Michael finally returns to haunt Laurie and she must protect her son, his friends from the serial killer that took too many of her friends.

 

Thoughts on Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

 

Characters/PerformanceLaurie is returning to the franchise now as a mother of her child but she is still haunted by the idea of Michael returning kill her and her friends. Now she is the responsible adult with something to fight for. John is Laurie’s son who puts her through the same situation she did, wanting to achieve more and be free of her restrictions. Molly is his girlfriend that has been living off her parent’s money with Will being the love interest of Laurie.

Performance wise, this must be the best all-around cast in any Halloween film because we Jamie Lee Curtis returning, early roles from Michelle Williams, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Josh Hartnett alongside the heavyweight horror mother of Jamie Lee, Janet Leigh. The performances are all good without Curtis reaching the top level or the rest of the youngster proving just how big they would become.

StoryThe story brings back the favourite of the franchise in Laurie to have a new showdown with the icon Michael Myers, this does bring the story back in the direction it should have stayed before the other sequels that just felt messy at times, it would be fair to say this doesn’t reach the suspense levels the original did but it does the right thing by trying to adapt to be like the Scream films.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror is all slasher level which is fine because that is all you want from this franchise but otherwise you won’t be on edge like you once were.

SettingsNot having the film set in Haddonfield does leave you questioning parts of the idea of the original iconic setting but there is no reason why Laurie would be anywhere near that town anymore, so the change in setting does work for this film.

Special EffectsWe have solid kill effects but the reality is we don’t see too many through the film.

Final ThoughtsFor a pure slasher film with a cast we all know, this must be considered one of the more enjoyable and easy to watch.

 

Overall: This is one of the first Halloween films I saw and I still enjoy the easy to watch factor it has now.

Rating

 

 

Seventh Son (2014)

seventhDirector: Sergey Bodrov

Writer: Charles Leavitt, Steven Knight (Screenplay) Joseph Delaney (Novel) Matt Greenberg (Screen Story)

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Antje Traue, Olivia Williams, John DeSantis, Kit Harington, Djimon Hounou

 

Plot: When Mother Malkin, the queen of evil witches, escapes the pit she was imprisoned in by professional monster hunter Spook decades ago and kills his apprentice, he recruits young Tom, the seventh son of the seventh son, to help him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fantasy Film ABC

 

Story: Seventh Son starts when evil witch Mother Malkin (Moore) escapes her prison and only Master Gregory (Bridges) can stop her, but this time she is stronger than ever. We move to meet small town farm boy Tom (Barnes) who is struggling with visions and he just happens to be the seventh son of a seventh son which brings Master Gregory to take him on his adventure.

As Gregory trains Tom, Mother Malkin prepares her troops which include her niece Alice (Vikander). We watch as both sides are coming together for a final showdown but Tom and Alice feel almost lost in the middle of the battle not understand why they are both involved.

Seventh Son is a fantasy film that really follows the ABC of basic fantasy but doesn’t make us sit back and go wow like other films have. This is slow running and with the heavyweight cast I think it would be fair to say we would expect more from stars of this calibre. There are some good moments but like a lot of films at the moment this really is just a builder for a franchise and doesn’t hit the marks needed.

 

Actor Review

 

Jeff Bridges: Master Gregory is the warrior that has been battling witches for decades, he is the last remaining fighter against them and is training an apprentice. He selects Tom his next apprentice who is the seventh son of a seventh son making him the best choice. Gregory has a history with Mother Malkin which makes their battle even more personal. Jeff gives a good performance what was it with that accent.greg

Ben Barnes: Tom Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and selected by Master Gregory to be his latest apprentice in the fight against witches. He is the son of a witch trained to fight against them while also falling in love with a witch. Ben struggles to make as much impact as the rest of the bigger named stars.

Julianne Moore: Mother Malkin is the Queen of the evil witches who wants complete rule over the world, she has been locked away by Master Gregory but with the blood moon arising she is ready to claim her throne winning a life time battle against Master Gregory. Julianne is making a habit of this villainous roles give the performance you expect but you would have to say this could be one to help fund her braver performances else.mother

Alicia Vikander: Alice is the niece of Mother Malkin, a good witch trying to understand why there is a war between the two sides, she falls in love with Tom but will she turn to the dark side of make her own path. Alicia uses this performance to show what she is capable of with such a poorly written character.

Support Cast: Seventh Son has a very creditable supporting cast of well-respected stars that all play basic supporting character clearly wasting their talents.

Director Review: Sergey BodrovSergey doesn’t give us the most convincing fantasy adventure film, with basic easy to make action sequences.

 

Action: Seventh Son has the action you would expect to see and in the most part have seen before.

Adventure: Seventh Son tries to take us on this big adventure that we really just don’t get excited about.

Fantasy: Seventh Son has a world full of fantasy creatures throughout.

Settings: Seventh Son puts us into a fantasy world we have seen plenty of times before.
Special Effects
: Seventh Son has great effects with the shapeshifting creatures al coming off looking very realistic.

Suggestion: Seventh Son is one that only fantasy film fans might like, this isn’t one of the best but far from being the worst. (Fantasy Fans Try)

 

Best Part: The effects are good.

Worst Part: Wasting top talented stars.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Left open for one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $95 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: When darkness falls, the son will rise

 

Overall: Basic fantasy film offering nothing new to the genre

Ratingcard

Matthew McConaughey Weekend – Reign of Fire (2002)

reignDirector: Rob Bowman

Writer: Gregg Chabot, Kevin Peterka, Matt Greenberg (Screenplay) Gregg Chabot, Kevin Peterka (Story)

Starring: Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, Izabella Scorupco, Gerard Butler, Scott Moutter, David Kennedy, Alexander Siddig

 

Plot: A brood of fire-breathing dragons emerges from the earth and begins setting everything ablaze, establishing dominance over the planet.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fire Breathingly Good

 

Story: Reign of Fire starts when dragons come back from beyond the grave taking over the Earth once more and in the year 2020 Quinn (Bale) keeps a small group of survivor’s safe underground from the dragons with his trusted best friend Creedy (Butler).

When the times are getting tough a squad of American soldiers led by Denton Van Zan (McConaughey) who have been hunting dragons arrive on the scene and with the new information and weaponry we could see the end of the dragon problem the world is facing.

Reign of Fire takes us into a battle between humans and dragons and the dragons are winning this one at the moment. This is what the story is really about how the humans will need to fight back to win this one and continue in this world. We have seen this used in the alien genre and this one brings fresh breath to the idea that it is the dragons a creature of mystery that could be the threat. Everything is easy to watch without really challenging us.

 

Actor Review

 

Christian Bale: Quinn was the first person to see a dragon as a young boy and after luckily escaping he now leads a group of survivors who are just looking to survive the dragon controlled world. He thinks he always knows best and doesn’t want to risk anything in making the dragon numbers decrease. Christian is good in this role where he gets to see him as the hero of the piece.

Matthew McConaughey: Denton Van Zan is an American soldier who has been hunting dragons with his squad but knows the numbers are getting smaller on the human side, he wants to end the dragons once and for all and pushes Quinn into helping. Matthew plays a character fully out of character for himself where he does a good job in this role.

Izabella Scorupco: Alex is the pilot on Denton’s team she has learnt that there could only be one male dragon and killing this dragon could mean winning the war. Izabelle is solid in this role but doesn’t have that one scene for impact.

Gerard Butler: Creedy is the loyal friend to Quinn who has helped keep the community safe when Quinn let things get out of hand. He keeps the kids safe but isn’t the strongest in combat. Gerard is solid in this supporting role where he could easily be the lead if this was made now.

Support Cast: Reign of Fire has a supporting cast that doesn’t really offer too much to the main story with most just being introduced to die or give a few words of encouragement to Quinn.

Director Review: Rob BowmanRob gives us what I would like to consider a bit of a forgotten gem in the sci-fi fantasy genre.

 

Action: Reign of Fire has breath-taking action sequence when it comes to fighting the dragons.

Fantasy: Reign of Fire puts us square in the middle of a world where dragons are real and have taken over the world, bringing a fantasy character back from the land of myths.

Sci-Fi: Reign of Fire shows a world destroyed by an enemy the humans couldn’t fight without having to deal with destruction.

Settings: Reign of Fire has settings which looks like that have all be destroyed by fire during the war.
Special Effects
: Reign of Fire has great effects when it comes to the dragon attacks even if we do have a couple of moments that have dated the attacks look terrifying.

Suggestion: Reign of Fire is one for all the sci-fi fantasy fans to go back and visit. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Dragon attacks.

Worst Part: Denton’s actions are at times strange.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $60 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Tagline: They’re extremely intelligent. Highly evolved. And they don’t like sharing the planet.

 

Overall: Enjoyable dragon based ci-fi fantasy.

Ratingcard