Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Laid to Rest (2009)

logoDirector: Robert Hall

Writer: Robert Hall (Screenplay)

Starring: Bobbi Sue Luther, Kevin Gage, Lena Headey, Sean Whalen, Richard Lynch, Johnathon Schaech, Thomas Dekker, Nick Principe

 

Plot: A terrifying story of a young girl who wakes up in a casket with a traumatic head injury and no memory of her identity. She quickly realizes she was abducted by a Deranged Serial Murderer and in an isolated rural town she must survive the night and outsmart the technologically inclined killer who is hell-bent on finishing what he started.

 

Verdict: Modern Slasher

 

Story: Before we go anywhere I would like to say I will not comment on the acting until later this will be the story itself. Girl wakes up in coffin only to find out she is being stalked by a masked killer with a camera, she runs around helplessly until she meets a stranger who wants to help her. They spend the night on the run from the killer and doing almost everything wrong while doing so. Let’s not forget that this girl is struggling to remember anything about herself and the killer could have all the answers she needs. The slasher genre has struggled to really make an impact in the modern found footage world of horror, this story is easy to follow even if you will be screaming at the stupid decisions the characters make. We also get a good potential new franchise killer who takes no prisoners and is very resourceful. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Bobbi Sue Luther: The Girl after waking up in a coffin she can’t remember who she is or where she is, she escapes and finds some friendly folks who help her, but in the end she joins forces with them to try and stop the killer and figure out who she really is. The character seems to make all the wrong decisions and really comes off very annoying. Poor performance as she never really convinces in the lead attempted scream queen role. (2/10)

 girl

Nick Principe: Chromeskull masked killer with a camera and a very deadly knife. He is a serial killer who likes to film his victims and with the girl being his latest choice of victims he will not stop killing until he gets her back. Good performance which could make a new serial killer franchise. (7/10)

chromskull

Kevin Gage: Tucker friendly driver who helps the girl but ends up spending the night trying to keep her alive even after suffering a personal lose. Basic support performance who gets to say all the funny lines as well as the strong lines but really just ends up being a protector. (6/10)

 

Lena Headey: Cindy she seems to be the smart partner of Tucker who tries to help out the young girl, but she doesn’t last long. Has very limited screen time and is almost used as the bigger name cameo. (5/10)

 cindy

Sean Whalen: Steven second person who ends up spending the night trying to save the girl, he is different to Tucker as he is meant to be more intelligent but also is much more fearful. Good difference between the heroes but in the end they end up the same. (6/10)

 steven

Supporting Cast: Nearly all the supporting cast are included to be disposable and involved with gore deaths. (3/10)

 

Director Review: Robert Hall – Creates a potential new era slasher but with some poor casting choices we end up not getting dragged in as much as we should. (6/10)

 

Horror: Gore, Blood and a new killer all these come out from this film but in the end the poor acting takes away the real fear. (7/10)

Thriller: With the mystery surrounding the girl we do want to know more about her as well as who will end up making it through the night. (7/10)

Settings: None of the settings are really used to their full effect. (3/10)
Special Effects
: Great practical special effects used throughout all used for the kills though. (9/10)

Suggestion: This is one for the horror fans out there to enjoy it has plenty of gore for the fans too. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Some of the kills are very good.

Worst Part: The leads’ acting is terrible.

Kill Of The Film: Ear one, won’t say who as it would be a spoiler.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has a sequel

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

Overall: Solid horror with the typical wrong decisions made.

Rating 60

Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

logoDirector: Samuel Bayer

Writer: Wesley Strick, Eric Heisserer (Screenplay) Wesley Strick (Story) Wes Craven (Characters)

Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz, Clancy Brown, Connie Britton

 

Plot: The spectre of a dead child rapist haunts the children of the parents who murdered him, stalking and killing them in their dreams.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Remake Deserves Better Praise

 

Story: A Nightmare on Elm Street starts by taking us back to Springwood and puts us into a nightmare of Dean Russell (Lutz) where he meets Freddy Krueger (Haley) before waking up and introducing to all the characters, Nancy (Mara) working in the diner Kris (Cassidy), Quentin (Gallner) and Jesse (Dekker). Continuing the opening sequence we see Dean fall back asleep and it is here where Freddy takes his first victim.

We start to see the side effects of the death of Dean as Kris starts to try and learn about why she was in photos as a young girl with Dean and never remembers being friends with him at that age. The friends all start having the nightmares about Freddy and the friends have to try and find a way to stay alive. The truth about who Freddy is takes a different turn this time around which brings the connection to him a lot closer to home for our characters.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a re-imaging of what can only be put as a classic, people slammed this movie right left and centre. I have gone through all of the Elm Street films in a week and I can safely say this remake deserves higher praise that what it got. The film doesn’t waste too much time explaining about Freddy but instead looks into the idea that the children actually have a connection with Freddy before he is killed. I also liked the idea that the story teases the idea that Freddy could have been innocent. On the negative side of this we lose the serial killer side downgrading Freddy to child molester (which I know is still bad but he doesn’t have the same level of threat). We do end up having a couple of similar deaths which doesn’t seem to fit the idea of the re-creation, we also have re-hashed lines that don’t fit the situation. I also hated the final scene but both films use this to make us question everything we have seen. Overall the story does give us new ideas but it is the ideas of repeating older storylines ruining the idea of a re-imagination. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Jackie Earle Haley: Freddy Krueger is the serial killer from our teenager’s dreams he is darker than previous outing but still possess his sinister laugh. We learn what happened to Freddy but what is much more interesting in this outing is we get teased about his potential innocence. Jackie does a good job in the role bringing a new darker style to the icon. (7/10)

 freddy

Kyle Gallner: Quentin Smith is the fellow student who has a crush on Nancy and as Freddy starts taking his victims he ends up working with her to save themselves before it is too late. Kyle does a solid job in the role but doesn’t really shine to the level required. (5/10)

quentin

Rooney Mara: Nancy Holbrook is our leading lady who works with Quentin to try and save herself from Freddy, she digs into the past to learn the terrifying truth about who Freddy really is. Rooney has openly admitted she did this role for the money and you can see in her performance because we all know the potential she has. (5/10)

 nancy

Katie Cassidy: Kris Fowles is the false lead in the film much like the original had who starts getting visions of Freddy but most importantly starts putting together the connection between her and her friends at a younger age. Katie gives a solid performance continuing her horror trend as a victim. (6/10)

 kris

Thomas Dekker: Jesse Braun is the teenager who is left to be responsible for the killing of Kris even though we see he had nothing to do with it. Jesse helps pass on the message about what is happen to Nancy before being killed. Thomas does a solid job but never really gets enough time on screen to make an impact. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: A Nightmare on Elm Street has a supporting cast that includes the parents that are covering up the secret and for the most part that is all we have as extra cast members.

 

Director Review: Samuel Bayer – Samuel does a solid job directing bringing a new approach to a much loved film which works in places but not in others. (6/10)

 

Horror: A Nightmare on Elm Street brings a creepy darker side to the story but struggles to reach any real scare levels. (7/10)

Mystery: A Nightmare on Elm Street adds in a mystery angle about the connection between the children and Freddy. (9/10)

Thriller: A Nightmare on Elm Street keeps you guessing to what the connection is because it goes in a different direction that we have seen previously. (7/10)

Settings: A Nightmare on Elm Street keeps the settings similar to what we would expect to see and have seen before adding to the horror levels. (7/10)
Special Effects
: A Nightmare on Elm Street uses good effects to create the nightmare sequences and Freddy make up. (8/10)

Suggestion: A Nightmare on Elm Street is one to try, I know people love the original and will always compare it but as a stand-alone movie this is actually a solid horror film. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Teasing the idea of the innocent Freddy.

Worst Part: Showing us he wasn’t innocent.

Kill Of The Film: Dean because it is the only original one.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $115 Million

Budget: $27 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

Tagline: Never Sleep Again.

Trivia: Johnny Depp accompanied his friend Jackie Earle Haley to auditions for A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Instead of Haley being chosen for a role, it was Depp who was spotted by director Wes Craven, who asked him if he would like to read for a part. Depp got a part in that film, Haley didn’t, but Haley would go on to play Freddy in this remake 26 years later.

 

Overall: A brave re-imagination that brings new ideas to the franchise while still using the older ones, better than people give it credit for but no classic.

Rating 75

Fear Clinic (2014)

logoDirector: Robert Hall

Writer: Aaron Drane, Robert Hall (Screenplay)

Starring: Thomas Dekker, Robert Englund, Cleopatra Coleman, Kevin Gage, Felisha Terrell, Fiona Dourif, Brandon Beemer, Corey Taylor

 

Plot: A doctor works to cure patients suffering from crippling phobias by placing them inside his invention which induces and controls hallucinations.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: What’s Your Fear

 

Story: Fear Clinic starts by Dr Andover (Englund) talking about fears and how he has come up with a cure to people’s fears. We learn that after he got endless praise for his work we hear that something went wrong with his ideas. Move to a diner where a lone gun man bursts in on a killing spree which is just part of the experiment that the girl gets lost in.

Moving forward a whole year we meet Sara (Dourif) who is student that during a blackout has her own nightmare about the gun man. Sara goes to the fear clinic in search for answers or a treatment for her fears from Dr Andover. With Andover not the same man it appears certain patients are having relapses and one of the patients died. Andover is full of regret for what happened to Paige and is very reluctant to let anyone use the chamber again. This doesn’t stop Osborn (Terrell) going behind his back to set up the chamber to try and save another sick patient.

Andover learns that what he had been working on has bought something back and created a substance that pushes people to reach newer more intense levels of fear. The third patient Blake (Dekker) gets bought in we learn that his fear is to do a real incident. Andover finally gives the machine another chance and the first patient is Blake, while things don’t go bad they don’t get any real answers. Each member of the study was all part of a restaurant shooting and each member is trying to get over the fear that has been created from the situation. A force is trying to get through to the real world by using the fears created by these people and the chamber Andover created.

Fear Clinic takes us into a world where we see the characters already taken over by their fears but for now controlling them. We get to see how one event could change lives forever and how the affects will scar them for life. We also end up having to see how messing with science could lead people into trouble especially where no one thinks about side effects. The story follows the characters with all of these mixing together as they must learn to control the fear rather than run from it because we see fear take control and become real. The films uses psychological horror to get the most part over and though the jumps are easy you will be thinking about what happens for a while. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Thomas Dekker: Blake a gunshot victim who was part of the clinic but this time he has started to improve after going into the chamber. Thomas does a solid job but spends half his screen time not in a working state but his character does hold some secrets. (6/10)

 

Robert Englund: Dr Andover genius scientist who at one time was at once the leading name in scientific research but after his tests go wrong things take a turn for the worse, but this is his chance to redeem himself by saving these people. Robert does a solid job in a role that was going to gather the horror fans. (7/10)

 robert

Fiona Dourif: Sara our heroine who is trying to get answers and seems to be the connection between everyone while she is trying to cure her own fear. Fiona continues to look like she might be a star of bigger and better things with this performance. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Fear Clinic has a supporting cast that includes patients, doctors and nurses who all help the story continue as most of them are who get affects most by whatever it is that is after them.

 

Director Review: Robert Hall – Robert does a solid job creating a horror that makes you think. (7/10)

 

Horror: Fear Clinic uses psychological horror making you think about what is happening with a couple of attempted jump scares. (7/10)

Settings: Fear Clinic uses the setting of the clinic well putting our characters trapped and isolated. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Fear Clinic uses solid special effects especially with the twisted creature creation. (7/10)

Suggestion: Fear Clinic is one for the horror fans to give a go to I think they will enjoy the way this film unfolds. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The chamber secrets.

Worst Part: I think a few too many things to ask about.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $1 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

Trivia: Corey Taylor’s first film role

 

Overall: Fear Clinic isn’t the scariest of horror films out there but it will make you think so if you like that idea for horror you will like this.

Rating 65

Village Of The Damned (1995)

logoDirector: John Carpenter

Writer:  David Himmelstein (Screenplay) John Wyndham (Novel) Stirling Sillphant, Wolf Rilla, Ronald Kinnoch (1960s Screenplay)

Starring: Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, Michael Pare, Meredith Salenger, Mark Hamill, Peter Jason, Thomas Dekker,

 

Plot: A small town has a sudden blackout no one knows what has happened but when the town’s people awake it turns out that all the woman are pregnant. Nine months down the line Doctor Alan Chaffee (Reeve) the local Doctor of the town and Doctor Susan Verner (Alley) must try to figure out what happens after the children all start having powers and intelligence far beyond their capability.  

 

The Children

The Children

Verdict: Creepy kids taking over

Story: Being a remake you already know the story, but it doesn’t mean it is a bad story. With the children getting older they become more in control and over powering of the adults. I like how the element of cover-ups is used to say this isn’t the first time it has happened, but no one knew why it happened. Add in the old invasion idea we get a slow moving invasion of aliens rather than a complete wipe out. With everything mixed together we get a creepy story almost acceptance of the situation even though they know something is not right. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Christopher Reeve – Local doctor and father of the leader of the children. With his character becoming accepted more than any other he is key to the stories conclusion. Even though his character is important he doesn’t really shine in the way he should. (6/10)

 reeve

Actor Review: Kirstie Alley – Government scientist who has to try and stop what is happening, but keeps too much undercover. Really puts in a poor performance her doesn’t dominate the screen like her characters requires. (3/10)

alley

Director Review: John Carpenter – Creates a creepy atmosphere from start to finish but fails the get the best out of the actors. (8/10)

 

Horror: Only reaches creepy never gets to scary. (7/10)

Sci-Fi: The alien invasion is different to normal but never gives us the full motives. (7/10)

Thriller: Keeps you interested but never builds enough. (7/10)

Special Effects: Good effects but only few and far between. (7/10)

Believability: Only if you believe in alien invasions. (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Small town creates an element of hard to escape. (8/10)

Suggestion: I could see all alien fans enjoying this but don’t expect too much you haven’t already seen. It may appeal to the more casual film fan and it isn’t the most violent of horror and too challenging to watch. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Some of the take overs a good

Worst Part: Poor acting performances from the leads.

Kill Of The Film: head of the riot mob

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: It could have one

Similar Too: They Live, Invasion of the Body Snatchers

 

Overall: Creepy thriller

Rating 68