Saturday, 31 January 2015

Tusk (2014)


IMDB rate: 5,6
Genre: Comedic, Monster, Mad Scientist
Starring: Justin Long, Michael Parks, Johnny Depp, Haley Joel Smith
My rate: 3,5/10

Kevin Smith, also known as Silent Bob, just made a step further into the horror genre. I am a huge fan of his movies Clerks and Dogma. I even thought Red State was a fairly good movie, although it's not comedic in any way, which isn't much like Kevin Smith's usual work. With the Tusk trailer being released I must say that I was somewhat excited to see it, mainly because it seemed pretty ridiculous and kinda fun as well, plus it was made by Kevin Smith. I must say that it was a pretty ridiculous movie indeed, but unfortunately it was not funny at any point. There are movies that are 'so bad, it's good', I expected Tusk to be one of them but unfortunately this wasn't the case at all. I don't necessarily think every Kevin Smith movie is good, some I didn't enjoy very much such as as Chasing Amy. But with Tusk I must say that it definitely Kevin Smith's worst movie. The worst part? It's being made into a trilogy. 

Unfortunately the movie is not funny at any point. Okay, maybe once or twice I had a little chuckle, but really that's about it. It's filled with Canadian jokes, which weren't very original or funny at any moment. The big attraction to this movie is of course big star Johnny Depp who plays a weird Canadian detective, his character is pretty much constructed from every Canadian-stereotype you can think of, which is pretty tiresome after awhile. I must admit that in the first few minutes of Guy Lapointe's appearance I didn't recognize Johnny Depp, but after awhile his usual acting habits appeared and it became pretty obvious that the guy was Johnny Depp. 

I must say that for a long while I claimed that my favorite actor of all time was Johnny Depp, but the last few years his movies have been rubbish. The last fun movie I've seen of him are the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' ones and that's already quite some time ago (I don't count the fourth one, didn't like that one very much). I do like his older work a lot though, movies as Edward Scissorhands, Chocolat, Finding Neverland and Sleepy Hollow. The reason why I think I don't like him a whole lot anymore is because of the characters he plays. He always plays the weird ones, which was fun for awhile but now it's just becoming normal. Johnny Depp in another weird character, whoop'difuckingdoo.

The Tusk cast is pretty nice, the crazy Walrus man is being played by Michael Parks (Kill Bill, Red State, Django Unchained), not a bad actor at all and he has a magnificent voice. The problem with his voice however is that Kevin Smith seems to enjoy it as well, meaning that the dialogues spoken by Michael Parks are pretty much never-ending, which was also the case with Red State. Other roles are played by Justin Long (Accepted, Jeepers Creepers) who plays the ultimate douchebag, I don't hate him as an actor though. A surprising face to see was Haley Joel Osment, the cute little kid from Sixth Sense. However, he's not very cute anymore, still a good actor though.

Kevin Smith was always a writer that added a lot of dialogue into his movies, but the last few movies have contained more of a background story as well. I think he's trying to reach Quentin Tarantino's level with this kind of movie-making. The problem is that Kevin Smith just does not seem to be very good in creating the background story. Tusk almost seems like a parody to the Human Centipede, which isn't necessarily a bad concept, but it just didn't work out at all. When the transformation is complete is looks somewhat unsettling, but is in no way as disturbing as the Human Centipede.

I already mentioned this but Tusk will be followed by two sequels, which will be part of the 'True North' collection. The next installment is 'Yoga Hosers' with the main characters being played by Depp's and Smith's daughters. These two were also briefly in Tusk, and as far I could tell they weren't good actresses at all. They seemed very awkward and I just can't imagine the two being main characters. The third installment is 'Moose Jaws', which doesn't sound very promising either.

I heard rumors that this trilogy is only being made because Kevin Smith needed some money to be able to make Clerks 3, and I truly hope that this is the case. I am a big fan of Clerks and a third movie would be awesome. Even though I'm looking forward to Clerks 3, Tusk was definitely not a success for Kevin Smith and I doubt the next two part will be better. The movie has a good cast which solid acting skills, the dialogue is perhaps a bit long but not bad or anything. Unfortunately the whole concept of Tusk is horrible, the walrus is weird looking, the movie isn't funny and the characters are highly irritating. 

Monday, 26 January 2015

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (2014)

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead

IMDB rate: 7,1
Genre: Zombie, Comedic
Starring: Martin Starr, Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Hendriksen
My rate: 8/10

You wouldn't know how much I'm bummed out that I only watched this movie in 2015, because otherwise this movie would've been on number 1 for my top 5 horror movies of 2014 for sure. What an absolutely brilliant movie. I already was a big fan of the first Dead Snow, but this one is even more awesome compared to that. The nazi zombies were already a brutal way to approach the zombie genre, but in Red vs. Dead this approach is going a few steps further by brutally murdering children, elders and the disabled. I can already tell you that if you're easily offended this movie is absolutely not right for you.

Here is what Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead about:
If the worst day of your life consisted of accidentally killing your girlfriend with an axe, chain-sawing your own arm off, and watching in horror as your closest friends were devoured by a zombified Nazi battalion, you'd have to assume that things couldn't get much worse. In Martin's case, that was only the beginning.

Dead Snow was already an amazing movie, funny, brutal and a true gore-fest. Surprisingly enough the sequel happens to be even better compared to Dead Snow. It's very different compared to the previous movie, not only in setting but it's also funnier, even more brutal and it's filled with even better gore. Right after Martin's arm is being reattached (Idle Hands meets Dead Snow) you'll laugh your socks off with a certain reanimating scene. At that moment I knew how awesome this movie was going to be.

I thought it was pretty cool that they did some sort of America-European crossover, mainly because I think it might prevent Hollywood from remaking Dead Snow. I like Martin Starr, he is in some of my favorite comedies and not to forget the great show Freaks and Geeks. I thought the Star Wars fan was a bit lame, but well, it fits the movie I suppose. Vegar Hoel returns as Martin and while he was a bit of a pansy in Dead Snow, he became pretty badass in Red vs. Dead. Definitely a great performance by Vegar Hoel. Another familiar face is Stig Frode Hendriksen (who also happens to be one of the writers, besides Vegar Hoel), who returns in a different role since his previous character was pretty much... well, butchered off.

I must admit that the entire movie I felt incredibly sorry for the zombie-sidekick. Even though he had some pretty nasty moments, he was pretty much fucked the entire movie. It was a nice touch to the movie though. Not so nice-looking was the zombie sex - gross!

As with Dead Snow, the make-up was great looking in this part. Perhaps even better looking too, it was quite noticeable that the budget was a bit higher compared to Dead Snow. Nazi-zombies were never better looking than this. Some great camera-work and nice special effects as well.

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead is not only an excellent sequel, it's just an amazingly brilliant movie overall. It contains great acting, some good jokes and some great gore. Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead is even more over-the-top than the first one, and I LOVED it. Definitely not a movie everyone will enjoy, but for those who love movies such as Shaun of the Dead, Cockneys vs. Zombies and Evil Dead will most definitely like this one.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

[REC] 4: Apocalypse (2014)

[REC] 4: Apocalypse

IMDB rate: 5,4
Genre: Zombie
Starring: Manuela Velasco, Paco Manzanedo, Héctor Colomé
My rate: 4/10

Ever since watching the first [REC] movie I became a pretty big fan of the series, loved the sequel and was even more amazed by the third part. I know, I know, everyone hates the third part, but I really liked it a lot. I have been looking out to the final part of the series ever since hearing there would be a third and fourth part, so I guess you can say I was so excited when it was finally being released. Unfortunately, Apocalypse ended up being the most disappointing movie in the [REC] series. I must add though that the subtitles were a bit messed up, so I might have missed some important stuff, but I honestly doubt that :).

The first [REC] movie was one of the movies (along with Paranormal Activity) to bring life to the found-footage/mockumentary genre again, ever since of course the magnificent Blair Witch Project. The first [REC] movie was simply brilliant, frightening and awesome. The sequel continued [REC] and brought a whole other meaning to it by adding other dimensions, possessions and other religious explanations. The third part was not in that same apartment building anymore, it plays on a wedding and this is also where they dropped the mockumentary effect (in a brilliant way I can say). They continued even more on the religious part of the movie. The fourth part... was simply boring. The religious part is entirely dropped for some reason and now they're claiming this all happens because of a parasite.

Sure, a parasite, not a bad idea at all, but it is when building up on possessions and religious stuff for three parts were apparently for nothing. The [REC] movies were always interesting and fairly original, but when watching the fourth part it is as watching any other B-Horror movie. It was filled with stupid plots like we see in every other movie, there was just nothing special about this movie anymore. Honestly, it felt like [REC] took their inspiration from Quarantine 2: Terminal this time.

The way I hoped [REC] 4 to be was that it literally led to an apocalypse, like the name suggests. The first outbreak is in an apartment building, so still on a very small scale. The third movie is already a bit bigger, this being in a park, so already in the outside world. With Apocalypse I just hoped that it would be on an immense scale, where many people were getting infected. Instead it plays on a boat. Yes, a goddamn boat. What's the scary thing about that? When it outbreaks there's only a fairly small amount of people that will die, not exciting at all. The only tensive thing about the boat is that the rooms are very small, so it's a bit claustrophobic.

While the make-up was again amazing looking, the special effects were very disappointing. The bunch of monkeys made me laugh rather than scared. They were incredibly fake looking. The acting was a bit disappointing as well in this part, it seemed forced and it was as if I was watching one of those soap-dramas on television rather than a good movie. It's crazy because in the first and second part of [REC] Manuela Velasco didn't too bad, while in the fourth part she was just disappointing. 

[REC] 4 was an absolute disappointment as a conclusion for these series. It made the third part seem like a spin-off because Angela's character wasn't in it, or it made it seem like the fourth part was just some dumb sequel without any purpose. The scale of this outbreak was way too small, the building towards religious purposes seemed to be for nothing and the movie was just simply boring. Too bad that this brilliant series must end with a disappointment like this. 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

My top 5 horror movies of 2014!

Every year I make a summarization of the movies I've seen that were being released that year, but considering I've seen many 2014 movies for a change I thought I should keep it short and just name my favorite movies. Perhaps it wasn't the best year for horror movies, but a few nice pieces definitely were made in 2014, read further to get to know my favorites of last year :).

5. The Den
 A bit of a surprising movie really, it has a nice twist on the found-footage genre because it's filmed with Macbooks and stuff, so it's not the shaky kind. Perhaps it's a bit of a slow movie, but it's also somewhat interesting because there's some pretty cool hacking going on and the end conclusion was pretty awesome. A cool movie to watch if you like the torture genre, or found-footage genre.
Click here for my full review of The Den!

4. The Purge: Anarchy
I know that many people disliked the first Purge, but I liked it quite a bit to be honest. But, to be fair this was a pretty awesome sequel, perhaps it was even better than the first movie. It part one we got to know what The Purge was exactly and how it affected some people, the interesting part of the sequel was of course how is The Purge affecting the rest of the world? In this part we didn't follow some rich family that knows how to protect themselves, we follow the people on the street, the ones who can't defend themselves because they have shitloads of money. It was interesting to see the purging going on in the middle of the city instead of the rich parts of town. Great movie, amazing concept and a very solid sequel.
Click here for my full review of The Purge: Anarchy!

3. Housebound
Again, a very surprising movie. I was attracted by it because of the funny looking poster, and of course, I stayed because it's simply an awesome movie. Housebound isn't the usual ghost story and it's definitely the best comedic horror made in 2014. Very recommendable! Perfect mix between comedy and horror, great acting and quite a nice story.
Click here for my full review of Housebound!

2. The Babadook

I must admit that I did not like the movie a whole lot at first, mostly my fault though because I simply didn't got what was going on. After some research though I found out that movie had a whole other meaning and wasn't just another horror movie without any logical interesting story. It's strange but because I watched it with the wrong 'attitude' I just didn't get the bigger meaning behind the Babadook, which is actually pretty awesome after all.
1. The Returned 

 One of the most surprising movies I've seen in 2014. It's a zombie movie, but not like any other zombie movie. You see, the zombie amount in The Returned is very minimal, and yet it's a very interesting and good movie. Even though it's not the typical zombie or horror movie, I had great fun watching this one, very surprising. If you've not seen The Returned yet, go watch it!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Annabelle (2014)


IMDB rate: 5,5
Genre: Dolls, Ghost
Starring: Annabelle Willis, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola

Annabelle is the prequel for highly anticipated The Conjuring. To be honest, I wasn't a big fan of The Conjuring. I thought it was a reasonable movie, but nothing special although everybody seems to love it. I did look forward to Annabelle though, because the doll from The Conjuring was pretty scary looking and a movie about it would be amazing. I am a big fan of Dead Silence, which also happens to be made by the same director as The Conjuring, the amazing James Wan. Even though Annabelle is a prequel of The Conjuring, it's unfortunately not made by James Wan, and I think that's the biggest reason this movie isn't very good.
John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia - a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia's delight with Annabelle doesn't last long. On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now... Annabelle..

I was very excited for Annabelle, the doll is scary looking and I honestly think the horror world lacks good scary doll movies. The Conjuring was a reasonable movie, so I had high hopes for Annabelle as well. But like I already mentioned, it was not directed by James Wan who definitely is the master of puppets in my opinion.

Annabelle was in my opinion a pretty weird movie, the movie had some troubles finding a direction and so it seemed like it just went all kinds of directions. There are scary dolls, ghosts, some sort of solid ghost, demons and weird children, it's a bit too much, and it seems like it all leads to nothing. I admit that it does have some nice scares, but for some reason they were not fitting scares for this movie. The dolls in this movie were pretty scary, but unfortunately they were hardly used. In a movie like this, when the camera focuses very long on a lifeless object you just expect that something will happen, the head will move or the doll will blink or something like that. And nothing similar to that every happens, biggest disappointment ever. Sure, it's not the most original stuff that could happen in a doll movie, but it's almost necessary to make the doll really seem scary. The doll floats once, absolutely not scary at all.

The acting was decent I think, Annabelle Willis (hah!) plays new mother Mia and she does a decent job playing the scared housewife. I had more respect though for Eddie Redmayne look-a-like Ward Horton who plays her husband John Gordon, he was pretty awesome I think. The one I appreciated the most in this movie was the baby though, not for her acting skills, but for her incredible adorableness :).

Annabelle is not a very original movie and not the fun prequel of The Conjuring that I was expecting. It's lacking an interesting story and the doll is just not made scary unfortunately. I think it could've been more interesting if made by James Wan which would've been the more logical director compared to John R. Leonetti. It's a very predictable movie, nothing special ever happens. Sure, it's made nice and there are some cool jumpscares but overall it's a very unimaginative movie which resembles Insidious a bit too much unfortunately.

My rate: 5/10

Thursday, 8 January 2015

As Above, So Below (2014)

As Above, So Below

IMDB rate: 6,1
Genre: Found-Footage, Supernatural, Survival
Starring: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge

I came across this movie and when I read the back of the DVD-cover it seemed like a very interesting movie. Playing in the Catacombs of Paris, and made by the same director as the not uninteresting movie Devil, I thought this might be an awesome movie. I was a bit bummed out to see that it was a found-footage movie, not because I hate found footage movies, but because the last couple ones I've seen were terrible. But I must admit that it was a reasonable movie.

Here's what As Above, So Below is about:
Miles of twisting catacombs lie beneath the streets of Paris, the eternal home to countless souls. When a team of explorers ventures into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead. A journey into madness and terror, As Above, So Below reaches deep into the human psyche to reveal the personal demons that come back to haunt us all.

I thought it was an amazingly interesting setting, the Catacombs of Paris are very spooky and it's a great scenery for a horror movie. It's also very cool that this was the first movie that was actually allowed to film in a small part of the Catacombs. I must admit that the story of the movie wasn't always too original and at times it was just plain weird but the atmosphere was just amazing which is of course very important as well. It was very claustrophobic.

As Above, So Below is in my opinion a mix between Grave Encounters and The Descent, perhaps even a touch of Indiana Jones. Many people didn't like Grave Encounters but I must admit that I thought it was a reasonable movie, although it was weird sometimes. This was even more so the case with Grave Encounters 2, it was weird and just too weird at moments. These weird elements were also in As Above, So Below and sometimes it was a bit too much, going into a room and ending up in the same room you just came from is not logical, I don't like stuff like that. I find demons, hell and stuff like that more logical than ending up in the same room again. On the other hand, it was also a bit like The Descent which is a very good movie in my opinion. The claustrophobic feeling was captured just right, just like they did in The Descent.

The movie is somewhat predictable, the roof collapsing when the last person is going through is of course not very special. The acting was pretty good but I would've liked to see a bit more character development. The characters weren't written very good I think, at some moments the French people spoke English to each other, which is of course a bit unlikely. I thought that the character La Toupe was pretty awesome, he was very creepy and great for the movie. He reminded me of that YouTube video 'Salad Fingers' :D.

I think As Above, So Below is a reasonable movie. It's very weird at moments and sometimes a bit too much Grave Encounters-like but it also has a great and interesting story, the entire trip itself is for a fascinating reason already, but the characters needing to overcome their past was a great addition as well. Great location and good acting. Unfortunately a bit too many plotholes, there were just too many unanswered questions. Overall, a decent movie.

My rate: 6/10

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