1922 (2017)

Director: Zak Hilditch

Writer: Zak Hilditch (Screenplay) Stephen King (Short Story)

Starring: Thomas Jane, Molly Parker, Dylan Schmid, Kaitlyn Bernard, Brian D’Arcy James, Neal McDonough

 

Plot: A simple yet proud rancher in the year 1922 conspires to murder his wife for financial gain, convincing his teenage son to participate.


Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Plain & Boring

 

Story: 1922 starts as Wilfred James (Jane) is about to lose part of his property to his wife Arlette (Parker), Wilfred doesn’t want to lose the farmland he has raised his son Henry (Schmid) on and wants to come up with a way to keep all the land.

Wilfred’s plan is to get his son to help him murder Arlette, to get the financial gain of taking ownership of the property. The guilt of what he did only ends up driving Wilfred crazy here as the mental state start to unfold.

 

Thoughts on 1922

 

Characters – Wilfred is a farmer and father that doesn’t want to leave his farm, he designs a plan to get that as he looks to stay but soon his mind starts slipping into insanity. Arlette is the wife that wants to move away but has to overcome the husband’s decision not to, only to find herself murdered and visiting him in ghost form. Henry is the son that helps with the cover up, but soon goes out on his own to learn the harsh reality of the world.

PerformancesThomas Jane does give us a good performance in this film, but the rest of the cast are just ok, none of the performances drag us into the film in any way to see where it will end up going.

StoryThe story was hard to follow, I think the idea is that one man loses everything because of killing his wife, the problem is that this is an incredibly slow-moving film that doesn’t seem to go very far or have any redeemable qualities. Is gets caught in the middle of a breakdown and a supernatural movie without being set on one that could make either feel stronger.

Crime/Horror/MysteryThere was a crime as it leads to a cover up of a murder which leads to the horror involved in the story as the past comes to haunt Wilfred.

SettingsThe settings do fit the time in question which is fine but nothing stands out as the best of the best.

Special EffectsThe effects are good when used but the film doesn’t just turn to effects to make things happen.


Scene of the Movie –
Final Scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It was so so so so slow.

Final ThoughtsWell this is one of the dullest movies of the year, it has nothing happening for the most part and for a Stephen King spin it only disappoints.

 

Overall: Boring is being polite.

Rating

 

 

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Gerald’s Game (2017)

Director: Mike Flanagan

Writer: Jeff Howard, Mike Flanagan (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, Bruce Greenwood, Carel Struycken, Kate Siegel

 

Plot: While trying to spice up their marriage in their remote lake house, Jessie must fight to survive when her husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her handcuffed to their bed frame.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Solo Thriller

 

Story: Gerald’s Game starts as married couple Jessie (Gugino) and Gerald (Greenwood) head off to a remote cabin for a weekend away from the world to rekindle their marriage, but when Gerald’s fantasy involves a sex game he handcuffs Jessie to the bed but suffers a heart attack, leaving Jessie handcuffed and alone.

What follows is Jessie needing to find a way out of the situation where she starts seeing her husband and other creations from her mind and even looking into her past with her relationship with Tom (Thomas) as she looks to survive until there is rescue for her.

 

Thoughts on Gerald’s Game

 

Characters – Jessie is the wife that gets handcuffed to the bed to try and spice her marriage up but when her husband dies she must figure out a way to escape before she dies, be it from natural causes, dog or unknown presence. She must deal with her past, present and future to escape alive. Gerald is the husband that wants to kink things up in the bedroom but he dies but stays around in the imagination of Jessie. Tom is her father that has a relationship with the younger Jessie that leads to the back story of what causes her life decisions.

PerformancesCarla Gugino does a great job carry the movie throughout the film and at times playing a double role at times. Bruce Greenwood and Henry Thomas are good through the film too but never taken the shine of Carla’s performance.

StoryThe story follows how a sex game marriage goes wrong leaving one woman handcuffed to the bed needing to survive, having her face her demons while trying to look for an escape which makes sense in what is a Stephen King story. we do get the plenty of false ideas of what is going on but by the end it makes sense, you just need to focus on every detail.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror elements of this film are from what Jessie is experiencing while tied up while the thriller side of the film keeps us guess to just where it will go.

SettingsNearly the whole fil is set within the bedroom as, well Jessie can’t go anywhere and it is here she must face her problem head on using life experiences to help her and these do take us away from this solo setting.

Special EffectsThe practical effects in this fil are amazing there is one scene that you will need to turn away just because of how real it looks.


Scene of the Movie –
Handcuff escaping.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I feel she would be in a lot more pain than we see near the end.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great solo thriller that is a must watch for the Stephen King fans out there, great leading performance and one scene that will stay in your memory for years.

 

Overall: Must watch for Thriller fans

Rating

 

 

IT (2017)

Director: Andy Muschietti

Writer: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, Gary Dauberman (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Jaeden Leiberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Bill Skarsgard

 

Plot: A group of bullied kids band together when a monster, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Non-Stop Scares

 

Story: It starts in the small town of Derry where children go missing on a frightening high amount of times, with Georgie being the latest victim in the town. When the next summer comes around Georgie’s brother Bill (Lieberher) is still hoping to find answer to what happened to his brother. With the summer vacation starting Bill is joined by the rest of the Loser’s Club Richie (Wolfhard), Eddie (Grazer) and Stanley (Oleff) to investigate.

As the investigate deepens the friends all start getting haunted by Pennywise (Skarsgard) and are joined by the new kid Ben (Taylor), the home schooled Mike (Jacobs) and outsider Beverly (Lillis) as the battle against Pennywise last the summer and the friends learn the value of friendship when trying to overcome their fears.

 

Thoughts on IT

 

Characters – Bill is the leader of the Loser’s Club who has lost his brother to the strange occurrences in the town. He has been trying to figure out the what happened to Georgie for a year and has the support from his friends. Ben is the new kid in town who has been left on the outside with no friends going into the summer but is welcomed into the Loser’s club with their mutual hatred to the school bully. Beverly has been branded a slut at school as rumours spiralled out of control, she has a terrifying home life when the Loser’s club offer her friendship she needed. Mike is home school living on a slaughter needing to learn the trade. I will say Mike is the character we learn the least about of the 7. Richie is the fast talking of the group who can’t help but spit the first words that come to mind out, often used for the comedy in the film. Eddie is member of the group who is paranoid about becoming ill and getting dirty, he is also used a lot for the comedy side of the film. Stanley is the Jewish member of the club that is preparing for his Bar Mitzvah which is going to be the most important part of his summer.

Pennywise is the clown haunting the children of Derry searching for fear in the children so he can feed on it, he knows the children’s biggest fears and becomes them in the most frightening way possible.

PerformanceAll seven of the children give us great performances and you fully believe the chemistry created between them as it could easily be on a par with the Goonies or Stand by Me. Bill Skarsgard has one of the hardest jobs in Hollywood this year and he does deliver as Pennywise bring fear from his character while not destroying the legacy of what Tim Curry brought to this role.

StoryThe story of a small town that seems to have a large number of children going missing and nobody is doing anything about it does seem strange. The kids joining together to solve this mystery is the core of the story though, this brings back the idea of the children needing to entertain themselves during the summer but this time it is a deadly adventure against an enemy that is waiting to kill them. The story bottles down to friendship being the answer to overcoming fears, learning to grow up and understanding the history of their town.

HorrorThis is easily one of the best horror movies of the year, it does feel like we have a scare nearly every 5 minutes and each one plays into a different fear for our characters. If you don’t enjoy a certain moment of fear the next will get you.

SettingsThe small town is a fantastic setting as it helps play into a legend of what happened in the town before to make the strange moments happen now.

Special EffectsThe effects add to the horror immensely here, each horrifying creation comes off legit because of the effects used.

Scene of the Movie – Slide show viewing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just why are the cops not doing more to investigate the missing children?

Tagline – You’ll Float Too.

Final ThoughtsWhen we look at horror remakes this could easily be up there as one of the best of all time, it brings new life to an already excellent horror that isn’t afraid to scare as often as possible.

 

Overall: Massively enjoyable horror that is a must watch.

Rating

 

 

The Dark Tower (2017)

Director: Nikolaj Arcel

Writer: Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, Anders Thomas Jensen, Nikolaj Arcel (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Idris Elba, Tom Taylor, Dennis Haysbert, Claudia Kim, Jackie Earle Haley

Plot: The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Easy to Watch but Forgettable

Story: The Dark Tower starts with Jake (Taylor) a troubled young New York kid who has been suffering from nightmares of a mysterious Man in Black trying to destroy a tower by torturing children. We follow how Jake has suffered his personal loss which most people just see as an excuse for beliefs on the Man in Black and when his mother and step-father try to send him to a hospital for a weekend he escapes after learning about a house that could hold some answers for him.

Entering a forbidden portal Jake finds himself in a new world in search for the last Gunslinger Roland (Elba) who has been hunting the Man in Black Walter (McConaughey) a sorcerer that has been trying to bring down the Dark Tower that holds the universes together. As the adventure unfolds Jake will learn his place in the bigger picture in the universe.

Thoughts on The Dark Tower

Characters – Jake is your normal trouble boy that we need in a style of film like this, he has lost a parent, doesn’t like his step-father, has troubles at school and has been having dreams of a world far away from his reality, as his therapist says his dreams are just a reflection of his reality. He gets to go on the adventure to solve his nightmares but only ends up growing up along the way. Roland is the last Gunslinger that roams the desert in search for Walter who has killed the rest of the Gunslingers. He reluctantly takes Jake on his quest showing his gun skills to hopeful kill his oldest enemy. Walter is the sorcerer that has collecting children from different worlds that can destroy the Dark Tower bring pure evil across all the worlds. He his ruthless side where he kills anyone who gets in his way but for unknown reasons he likes to keep the Gunslinger around to torture him. The rest of the characters only seem to be nameless henchman or villagers that help along the quest.

PerformanceAs for the performances I did want to just watch McConaughey throughout the movie as he is the highlight of the film showing menace even though he is only saying all the cool villainous quotes. Idris Elba does seem to struggle in the leading role but the character of the Gunslinger isn’t developed like he would be able to from the books. Tom Taylor is fine but isn’t taking any awards for best child performance this year.

StoryThe story is an easy to follow as we get the trademark stereotype characters placed into the world, the trouble boy, the evil man in black, the lost hero that all come together for a showdown to save the universe, I feel there is a lot more to be told in this universe which is the biggest disappoint because you can’t get this much information into a 90-minute movie. This is a by the books action fantasy that will be forgotten within a couple of weeks.

Action/Fantasy/Sci-Fi/WesternThe action is all entertaining but now the most original by any means, the fantasy shows the different worlds but I feel we would have like more from this, the sci-fi sides the different worlds that could be out there but again doesn’t get enough time to come through, while the western just feels like the Gunslinger comes from that genre nothing else.

SettingsNew York and a desert are not normal two settings you would put side by side and in a film that could go anywhere this doesn’t offer enough on the visual settings being used.

Special EffectsCertain moments of the special effects do look very rushed and cheap rather than the high quality you would expect from a movie on Stephen King’s work.

Scene of the Movie – The farm invasion slow motion kill.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – There is too much untold.

Final Thoughts This film doesn’t give the books enough time to tell the epic story, many scenes feel like the best quotes are taking from the books to make the scenes sound cool.

Overall: Disappointing but not awful.

Rating

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Mercy (2014)

casting card

 

Plot: A single mom and her two boys help take care of their grandmother with mystical powers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacklustre Horror

 

Story: Mercy starts as we follow George (Riggs) who is close to his Grandma Mercy (Knight) who teaches him things about life. When she has a stroke he loses his best friend before a year later along with his mother Rebecca (O’Connor) and sister Buddy (Courtney) have to move into her house to care for her.

When George starts finds out more about the strange history within the house he learns secrets that Mercy made as he must find off the forces of evil and stop the curse controlling the family.

Mercy is a horror film that just doesn’t get the elements of horror involved until way to late in the movie and then suddenly it is all over. I feel this is way too short to get us involved with what the complete story is involved. We try to enter into plenty of different rituals but most of it just becomes a blur by the end.

 

Actor Review

 

Frances O’Connor: Rebecca is the mother of George and Buddy as well as being the daughter of Mercy, she has to move her family to care for Mercy but what she learns will leave her family in danger. Frances is ok in this role but doesn’t make enough of an impact.

Shirley Knight: Mercy is the Grandmother of George that has always been trying to teach him about life but when the past comes back to haunt her she becomes possessed by the very thing she thought would protect her. Shirley does have elements of creepiness about her throughout.

Chandler Riggs: George is the youngest member of the family who has been close to his grandmother his whole life, when she suffers a stroke he must step up to fight her demons to uncover a family secret. Chandler is solid in this role without being given enough time in the final act which is really needed.

Joel Courtney: Buddy is the brother of George who wishes to become a chef one day, he doesn’t believe anything he has to say and is almost forgotten during the film. Joel does the best he can with a poorly written supporting character.

Support Cast: Mercy has a supporting cast that all seem to know something about what is happening but only given little parts of the story away. They just seem to become almost disposable and not giving the story enough of what it needs.

Director Review: Peter CornwellPeter gives us a short horror that just doesn’t give us enough build up.

 

Horror: Mercy doesn’t have enough when it comes to creating any horror.

Thriller: Mercy tries to suck us in which doesn’t happen leaving us not worried about the characters.

Settings: Mercy keeps most of the story inside the house but just doesn’t seem to get enough about it.
Special Effects
: Mercy has basic effects when needed without being too much.

Suggestion: Mercy is one to avoid because it is just too short. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: It is short so you won’t waste too much time.

Worst Part: Not enough is happening.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 19 Minutes

 

Overall: Slow, disappointing horror that has nothing about it.

Ratingcard