Horror Franchise – Scream (1996) Revisited

 

 

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson (Screenplay)

Starring: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich, Drew Barrymore

 

Plot: A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.


Tagline – I’ll Be Right Back.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Perfect Modern Slasher

 

Story: Scream starts when Casey Becker (Barrymore) who is getting ready to settle down to watch a scary movie, when she gets a phone call which soon turns nasty when a psychopath starts trying to test her horror movie knowledge and we get the first look at the killer for the film, Ghostface who claims his first victims.

The next day the talk of the school is the murder, Sidney (Campbell) is still holding Billy (Ulrich) from sex, Tatum (McGowan), Stuart (Lillard) and Randy (Kennedy) go through the reactions of losing a classmate, which is the worst crime in the town since the murder of Sidney’s mother.

It isn’t long before Ghostface starts staking the friends targeting Sidney, Deputy Dewey (Arquette) tries to help stop the killer, while ambitious reporter Gail Weathers (Cox) is trying to put her name on the map by getting the big break reporting the story. the question is who is Ghostface and what are their motives?

 

Thoughts on Scream

 

Characters – Sidney Prescott is our strong teenage lead, she is still recovering emotionally from her mother’s rape and murder one year ago. She has close friends, a boyfriend in Billy and knows how to handle herself in a tight corner. Sidney does fill the final girl traits while being the main target for the killer. Tatum is the best friend, she is the one that is more sexually active of the two girls not being afraid to drink and show affection in public. Billy is the boyfriend of Sidney, he is becoming frustrated being with her and not getting sex, he soon becomes a suspect because of his strange behaviour around the group of friends. Stuart is the loose cannon practical joker of the group he always goes too far with his jokes and plays on that. Deputy Dewey is the rookie cop and brother of Tatum, he seems to be the only one keeping an eye of the girls during the time the killer is on the loose. Gail Weathers is the ambitious reporter looking for her next big story after reporting on the murder the year before, she doesn’t give us any reason to like her as the film unfolds and treats her cameraman even worse.

PerformancesNeve Campbell taking the lead role is great, she fits the final girl perfectly with her innocence while showing the strength required. David Arquette in the cop role works very well because he gets to play on the idea that he might not be ready to deal with a killer. Courteney Cox breaks her nice character in Friends to be one of the characters you simply don’t like through the film. with Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard working as the boyfriends on edge who shine in the important moments in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a group high school students who have become the target of a deranged killer in a Ghostface mask. The slasher genre has been reborn with this idea because we get to see the rules of horror explained and of course we get references from horror films left right and centre. The story manages to almost parody the horror genre while remaining serious with how everything is told, it gets to poke fun at genre as only the audience could. We are kept guessing to who the killer is which is everything we want in the film with the big plus coming from the fact we are not dealing with supernatural forces.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of the film focuses on the idea of the slasher genre with a killer picking people off when they break the horror rules. The mystery is the highlight of the film because we are left guessing to who the killer is going to be.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the small-town setting with most of the horror taking place in a home or around a school. It brings everything back home for the victims giving it a personal feeling.

Special EffectsThe effects are good showing real body injuries through film over going full CGI like most do.


Scene of the Movie –
Referencing the horror movies so smoothly.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact the school kids are celebrating after a death of a classmate.

Final ThoughtsThis is the stand out horror of the 90’s it brings the slasher into the modern world accepting the idea that horror films exist, one that must be watched.

 

Overall: Must Watch Horror.

Rating

 

 

Rose McGowan Weekend – Conan the Barbarian (2011)

logoDirector: Marcus Nispel

Writer: Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, Sean Hood(Screenplay) Robert E Howard (Characters)

Starring: Jason Momoa, Stephen Lang, Rachel Nichols, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan, Bob Sapp, Leo Howard, Steven O’Donnell, Nonso Anozie

Plot: A vengeful barbarian warrior sets off to get his revenge on the evil warlord who attacked his village and murdered his father when he was a boy.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Solid Darker Remake

Story: Conan the Barbarian starts by filling us in with all the information we need about what will drive this story as we know the necromancers would bee conquered by the Barbarian tribes who each go their separate ways with part of the skull that will help take over the world. Prophecy proclaims that one day one man will try to reunite the skull collect th true power and that one person will be born in battle. Conan still in his mother’s womb as she is stab gets freed by his father Corin (Perlman) before she dies. Time for a training session that gets real where Conan shows off his real power as just a boy. When Khalar Zym (Lang) and his men attack the village Corin is murdered for his tribes part of the skull mask.

Now fully grown Conan (Momoa) takes on slavers and pirates alike as he searches for the man who killed his father. Conan finally gets a chance to meet one of the soldiers who was involved in the attack where he learns of Zym and his plan. Zym is after a pure girl named Tamara (Nichols) to complete his transcendence to become a true God and along with his daughter Marique (McGowan) he knows where to look. Conan saves Tamara and uses her to get to Khalar Zym so he can finally get his chance and revenge fr his father’s murder.

Conan the Barbarian brings us the a remake to the cult classic and brings a much darker tone to the story. We have plenty of violence but a large amount seems to be on the horses (which I know is fake) but feels very unnecessary. The story has change slightly but the main idea of revenge for the death or family stands firm. I do feel the whole story is very dark and lets the violence happen making the barbarian look stronger throughout. I don’t think the villain comes off as bad as the original one because we don’t see enough evil from him before the final battle. This isn’t the most amazing film but in the end brings a new flavour to the classic. (6/10)

Actor Review

Jason Momoa: Conan is the fearless warrior, deadly as they come who is fuelled with vengeance after his father is killed by Khalar Zym. He can slay countless enemies to free the slaves. Jason comes into this role fresh off the back of the Game of Thrones Drago bring his strong screen presence to this role. (7/10)conan

Stephen Lang: Khalar Zym is the warlord who became a king but is planning to become a God once he gets his hands on Tamara. He is deadly in combat and along with his daughter Marique stays one step ahead of his enemies. Stephen brings us a good villain but I do feel we needed a lot more from his character. (6/10)

Rachel Nichols: Tamara is the pure blood who has become the problem of being wanted by Zym and Conan so the two can end their battle. Rachel brings us the basic damsel in distress role but not much else. (5/10)tamara

Ron Perlman: Corin is Conan’s father and might warrior leader of his tribe, he has taught Conan a lot but still believes there is more that he could learn. When his village gets over run and captured by the evil Khalar Zym he must make the sacrifice to save his son from death. This is a typical Ron Perlman performance where he is a strong in a supporting role. (7/10)corin

Rose McGowan: Marique is the mystical witch daughter of Zym who helps him discover everything he needs, she can sense pure bloods and uncover items but she also isn’t afraid to kill when she doesn’t get her way. Rose brings us an almost unrecognisable performance that shows she can play both sides of the coins. (7/10)martqe

Support Cast: Conan the Barbarian has a supporting cast that all become generic sidekick characters who always turn up when needed as well as the villainous foes that the Conan takes on to get to Zym.

Director Review: Marcus Nispel – Michael gives us a solid remake with plenty of action throughout the film. (6/10)

Action: Conan the Barbarian has action in nearly ever scene with Conan raking up a body count along the way. (8/10)

Settings: Conan the Barbarian uses the generic settings of a fantasy world of warriors fighting to stop demons. (6/10)
Special Effects: Conan the Barbarian has a real mixed bag of good and bad effects, you can see the CGI when it happens but certain scenes do look very good. (4/10)

Suggestion: Conan the Barbarian is one for the action stars to try because it will end up having good moments but in the end if you a fan of the original you might not enjoy this one. (Try It)

Best Part: Much Darker.

Worst Part: Horse violence

Action Scene Of The Film: Sand people attack.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It is being remade with Schwarzenegger.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $21 Million

Budget: $70 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

Tagline: Enter An Age Undreamed Of

Overall: Darker, slicker but not the classic you want to see remade

Rating55

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