Franchise Weekend – The Exorcist (1973)

Director: William Friedkin

Writer: William Peter Blatty (Screenplay)

Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran, Jason Miller, William O’Malley

 

Plot: When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.


Tagline – Now… Open your eyes to..

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Truly a Horror Classic

 

Story: The Exorcist starts as we meet Father Merrin (von Sydow) working overseas on an arachnological dig, uncovering something evil, Father Karras (Miller) is facing a question of faith after seeing the different effects passed over by the church and single mother Chris MacNeil (Burstyn) caring for her daughter Regan (Blair).

When Regan starts acting strange the doctors aim to look for a solution with test and even a psychologist, with them failing Chris turns to the church where Father Merrin and Father Karras look to exorcise the demon that has taken over her body.

 

 

Thoughts on The Exorcist

 

Characters – Chris MacNeil is an actress and single mother working on her new project when her daughter becomes sick, she is a concerned mother that wants answers getting ever more frustrated with the lack of results being found. Regan is the daughter is Chris, she is like any other young teenager that becomes possessed by a demon, first however she goes for medical procedures to see if it is medical before the priest come to help with the problem. Father Karras is the local priest and psychologist within the church, he can study Regan’s case with a scientific and a religious side and has been having a crisis of faith after his mother’s death. Father Merrin is the experienced priest that has been through exorcisms before he is the one that gets bought in to try and cure Regan, teaching Karras along the way.

PerformancesThis is a performance heavy movie, Ellen Burstyn is excellent in her role as the concerned mother, Linda Blair (with help from another actress) gives us one of the creepiest scary performances in horror history and the two different stages of their careers in the film performances from Max von Sydow and Jason Miller are a delight to see.

StoryThe story here shows us what is happening to a teenage girl once she becomes possessed by a demon, where this story is intelligent, is by going through the medical and mental issue which are known for being used first. Away from this and the slow build as things become even more shocking and terrifying as the film unfolds shows how story telling in horror isn’t all about jump scares, it can focus on the idea of possession becoming more powerful. The film creates the right characters for the film by giving each of our main characters enough time to develop to feel like they are going to be playing a major part in the movie too. This will become the level all horror story tellers will be looking to get close to.

HorrorThis is a horror movie that uses the slow build and horrific moments to shock us to our core as we see the procedure behind an exorcism and just how the demon can take control.

SettingsThe film does use the settings well because they put us in a location where it could happen in the middle of a big city, which only adds to the horror we are seeing.

Special EffectsThe effects that we go through are some of the best effects we will ever see in cinema for the time, practical all the way through the use of make up shows us just what could be achieved to create the horror.


Scene of the Movie –
The exorcism scenes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me So many different edits of it.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the classic horror movies that can be enjoyed in terror by anyone in the audience, at 45 years old it still stands the test of time.

 

Overall: True classic.

Rating

 

 

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Bug (2006)

bugDirector: William Friedkin

Writer: Tracy Letts (Screenplay) Tracy Letts (Play)

Starring: Ashely Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick Jr, Lynn Collins, Brian F O’Byrne

 

Plot: An unhinged war veteran holes up with a lonely woman in a spooky Oklahoma motel room. The line between reality and delusion is blurred as they discover a bug infestation.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just What is This?

 

Story: Bug starts with Agnes White (Judd) in a motel room getting phones from what she thinks is her ex Jerry (Connick Jr) but no one talks on the other end. When her friend R.C. (Collins) introduces her to Peter (Shannon) to just have a party in the motel where to two become friends even with their differences.

When Jerry turns up he comes threatening Agnes before leaving which leads to Peter and Agnes spending more time together where the two start to find themselves hunting down bed bugs that Peter believes are taking over the motel, but the question remains are they real or in their heads?

Bug tries to build a conspiracy like horror film about believing in bugs within the bodies of the victims. We also deal with the idea of loneliness that meeting others could offer that something missing in life. The problem with this is that is never pulls you in, you never care about the characters or never get a real answer to what is actually going on.

 

Actor Review

 

Ashley Judd: Agnes White is a desperate lady living in a motel where she drinks and gets high as she tries to avoid her ex-husband. When he gets released from prison he comes after her while she starts a new relationship with the damaged Peter. Ashley really is wasted in this role that should be better from an actress of her level.aggy

Michael Shannon: Peter Evans is the ex-soldier who ends up shacking up with Agnes where the two start a relationship but also go in search for the bugs in the motel room. He comes off very shy but also accepting of where he is in his life. Michael brings his style to the role but is wasted in this wild role.pete

Harry Connick Jr: Jerry Goss is the aggressive ex-husband of Agnes who fresh out of prison comes back into her life to try and take her back. Harry is not used enough in this supporting role.

Lynn Collins: R.C. is the best friend of Agnes who introduce her to Peter and is there to try and make her feel good whenever she is feeling down. Lynn doesn’t get used enough in this role.

Support Cast: Bug doesn’t really have much of a supporting cast with anyone else appearing only have an odd scene.

Director Review: William FriedkinWilliam doesn’t seem to capture any of the horror he once did all those years ago.

 

Horror: Bug tries to give us horror but most is not scary but most uses is for shock body violence.

Thriller: Bug doesn’t keep us guessing much at all.

Settings: Bug does keep most of the setting within the motel room which helps keeping the film attempted isolation.
Special Effects
: Bug uses solid effects to show the body torture given to the characters.

Suggestion: Bug is one to avoid because it just doesn’t have enough about it. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: Nope

Worst Part: Most of it.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $7 Million

Budget: $4 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: Paranoia is contagious.

 

Overall: Terrible body torture film that really is painfully to watch

Ratingcard

 

Franchise Weekend – The French Connection (1971)

frenchDirector: William Friedkin

Writer: Ernest Tidyman (Screenplay) Robin Moore (Book)

Starring: Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi

 

Plot: A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: The French Connection starts by establishing Jimmy Doyle (Hackman) and Buddy Russo (Scheider) as rough and tough cops, we also get to see the criminal enterprise in France run by Alain Charnier (Rey) and just how they will never leave a loose end.

As Doyle and Russo enter into one of their games of following what seems like a nobody in Sal Boca (Lo Bianco) they discover he is too clean leading to them to investigate him uncovering themselves a criminal activity going on unlike anything they have come up against before.

The French Connection brings us into the original feel of what a cat and mouse type chase would be between cops and criminals. Yes that does make it very simple as we do get to learn the vices of all the characters while uncovering the truth about them. We also get to see how investigation were done before everything was computerised with real leg work which creates the multiple chases that bring you to the edge of your seat throughout.

 

Actor Review

 

Gene Hackman: Jimmy Doyle is the nonsense cop who will push all the boundaries while on the job to get answers. He stumbles upon an international drug deal going on and along with his partner has to watch over the potential suspects involved in the deal. Gene gives a great performance in this leading role showing pure determination throughout.doyle

Fernando Rey: Alain is the leader of the criminal syndicate from France who has come to America to complete on big deal, he enters into a cat and mouse game with Doyle which he seems to have the upper hand on. Fernando is good in this role thinking he always has the upper hand over Doyle.

Roy Scheider: Buddy Russo is the partner of Doyle, he comes off as the slightly more responsible one of the two and when it comes to good cop bad cop he will fill in as good cop. Roy does well in this supporting role letting Hackman take the centre stage without being just a standard backup character.

Tony Lo Bianco: Sal Boca is the man trying to get the deal done from the American side of things, it is him that grabs the attention of Doyle starting off the epic game of cat and mouse between the sides. Tony is good in this role with his extra swagger in his movements.

Support Cast: The French Connection has good supporting cast even if the characters are ones you would have come familiar with in the genre.

Director Review: William FriedkinWilliam gives us one of the film that has stood the test of time and will always be one of the benchmarks for great crime thrillers.

 

Action: The French Connection has great action scenes with the famous car chasing down the train being the highlight of the whole film.

Crime: The French Connection puts us into the middle of a crime world with one deal taking place but filled with secrets.

Thriller: The French Connection does keep us guessing to what will happen next throughout.

Settings: The French Connection uses the settings of New York to bring the action to closer rather than on the open roads.

Suggestion: The French Connection is one I think most people should have seen at least once through the life span. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Car, train chase.

Worst Part: Cliff-hanger ending is slightly frustrating now.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 5 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director

Budget: $1,8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

Tagline: Doyle is bad news – but a good cop.

Trivia: The car crash during the chase sequence, at the intersection of Stillwell Ave. and 86th St., was unplanned and was included because of its realism. The man whose car was hit had just left his house a few blocks from the intersection to go to work and was unaware that a car chase was being filmed. The producers later paid the bill for the repairs to his car.

 

Overall: Classic that will forever be one of the best

Ratingcard

Killer Joe (2011)

logoDirector: William Friedkin

Writer: Tracy Letts (Screenplay) Tracy Letts (Play)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Thomas Hayden Church, Gina Gershon, Marc Macaulay

 

Plot: When Chris (Hirsch) gets himself into trouble he comes up with a morally questionable decision to get himself out of his money troubles. He plans to hire a hit man Joe (McConaughey) to kill his mother and split the insurance money with his father Ansel (Church) and sister Dottie (Temple). After finding out Chris can’t pay upfront Joe offers to keep Dottie as a retainer until he can pay.

 

Verdict: A dark thriller

Story: When it comes to a thriller we usually get an easy to understand good and bad character with a few plot twists thrown in. This tests the moral boundaries for committing a crime for money. The story leaves each scene with you guessing what will happen next, what the character are capable of. Mixing everything together you get a group of very unlikeable characters committing a morally wrong crime to solve a problem that one person has. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Matthew McConaughey – Killer Joe, a police detective who also works as a hit man. He gets hired and takes a shine to Dottie to complete his job. This is the beginning of the change in direction for Matthew’s career and much darker role than previously seen and he does shine in it. Star Performance Award, Smooth Talker Award, Scariest Character Award (9/10)

 joe

Actor Review: Emile Hirsch – Chris a gambler who has come up with a twisted plan to get the money he needs to clear his debts. Emile creates a very unlikeable character that is something I was not aware he could do after a string a goodie, goodie characters. (7/10)

hirsch

Actor Review: Juno Temple – Dottie she offers a chance to see how blissfully innocent a younger family member can be in the scenario created. Does a great job and creates a performance shines through against all the dark characters. (9/10)

 juno

Actor Review: Thomas Hayden Church – Ansel, Chris father who has been remarried and reluctantly goes along with the plan to help Dottie. Good supporting role but doesn’t shine as well as fellow co-stars. (6/10)

 thomas

Actor Review: Gina Gershon – Sharla, Ansel’s new wife who doesn’t get on with Chris and hides a bigger secret. Good supporting role that creates an even more unlikable character than the rest. (7/10)

 gina

Director Review: William Friedkin – Good direction to create this very dark thriller. (8/10)

 

Crime: Good crime that tests morals. (8/10)

Thriller: The tension builds up throughout and the final twenty odd minutes were edge of the seat. (9/10)

Believability: There would be people this twisted in real life. (2/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: The settings are mixed throughout the only setting that stays the same is the caravan park which shows the type of characters you will be dealing with. (7/10)

 

Suggestion: I feel this is one that will only be for certain audience, it is very dark, bloody and has too much unnecessary nudity. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Most of the final scene.

Worst Part: One part of the final scene awkward and uncomfortable to watch.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Overall: Dark Twist Thriller

Rating 70