Halloween (2018) Movie Review

4.5/10

Entertaining one minute, then mediocre for the next fifteen. Halloween succeeds in making its villain feel menacing and even throws in clever callbacks for fans of the original. It’s everything between the moments of good that bring it down.

Set 40 years after the events of the first film, Halloween once again reunites Jamie Lee Curtis with her favourite babysitter Michael Myers. During that time Myers has been in prison, with Curtis praying every night that he will escape so she can kill him once and for all. Looks like she’s been reading the book “The Secret”.

Let’s start with the positives.

Halloween (for the most part) does a good job of making Michael Myers a menacing villain. The film sets him up a villain that just kills and moves on to the next victim. There’s no emotion or motive and that matches what the film wants him to be: the epitome of evil.

There are also clever callbacks for fans of the original to enjoy. It was fun to watch the theatre notice the lines of dialogue and role reversals that referred to the first film. They were subtle and still effective for those who haven’t seen the original.

And finally, there’s one African-American child actor that in my eyes stole the show. Most of his scenes were improvised and were genuinely hilarious. I don’t want to spoil his lines of dialogue or the circumstances of those scenes. Suffice to say these were the most entertaining out of the whole movie for me.

Everything else is a inconsistent and confusing shit show.

Halloween sets the tone with Michael Myers’ first kill but then later contradicts itself by not following through with a certain encounter (you’ll know what I mean if you see the movie). There was a chance to truly live up to this epitome of evil image, but Halloween chooses to back down because its afraid to take the risk. In my opinion the producers should either remove that scene or make good on their promise.

The film also has a lot of awkward and unfunny character interactions. The film tries to give quirky comedic moments between minor characters but fails more often than it succeeds. A scene with two cops talking about what they packed for dinner is the pinnacle of this. Throughout their entire conversation I was thinking “why the hell is this in the movie? It’s not funny”.

Even more confusing is how Myers’s age in the film fits with his killing spree. I don’t know how a 70-year man can get shot, hit by a car, beaten by a crowbar, punched, survive a bus crash, and still manage to kill ten plus people during that time. It was hilarious.

Maybe Halloween would be more entertaining if only I threw out any logic and didn’t take it so seriously. But that’s the problem; I don’t know what it wants to be.

On one hand it tries to feel serious by making Michael Myers a menacing and ruthless killing machine. On the other hand, it throws in awkward moments of comedy and confusing plot ideas. The result of which makes me feel less impressed and wanting.

But hey, what else was I expecting from a movie that’s the eleventh instalment and second reboot sequel to a cash cow series that’s all over the place with sequels and reboots.

Halloween Movie Recommendations: Part 1 (2018 Edition)

Here’s a quick overview of horror films we recommend for this Halloween (more films in upcoming parts).

Martyrs (2008)

7.5/10

martyrs halloween image.jpg

Gruesome and truly horrifying.

Martyrs is a French psychological horror film that tells the revenge story of Lucie and Anna, two victims of brutal child abuse. Fifteen years after Lucie escaped from an icy torture chamber, she and Anna track down their former captors to exact their revenge. Their search uncovers a secret organization but Lucie and Anna quickly realise that they’re yet to experience the true face of evil.

This is the most brutal horror film I’ve seen and that’s also the main aspect that makes it so engrossing. It’s meant to be dark, bleak and horrifying, and that’s why I love it. For fans looking to expand their horror film library and for those seeking out sheer dread and scare, then this is the film for you.

Audition (1999)

8/10

audition 2018 halloween recommendation.jpg

A slow burn horror with one of the best payoffs.

Audition is a disturbing Japanese thriller that follows Aoyama, a recent widower who decides to pickup dating again. With the help of his film producer, Aoyama holds auditions for a fake dating production that secretly introduces him to attractive and single women. From these mock castings Aoyama meets the gorgeous but reserved Asami and their relationship begins to develop. However, Asami isn’t what she appears to be, and Aoyama eventually finds himself faced with a horror that he’s never known before.

While Audition is a film that gradually increases the tension ever so slowly, ultimately it leads to a harrowing climax that makes the whole wait worth it. This is a film that purposefully takes it’s time because it knows how great the payoff at the end will be. If you’re after something with more pace than Audition won’t be the film for you. But if you’re looking for a masterpiece in horror suspense, you’ve come to the right place.

Pandorum (2009)

6.5/10

pandorum 2018 halloween recommendation.jpg

Dead Space meets Resident Evil meets The Descent.

Pandorum is a sci-fi horror that plays out like a lucid dream reminiscent of films like Memento and The Matrix. Astronauts Payton and Bower awake from hypersleep with no memory of who they are or what their mission was. Payton stays behind to monitor the radio while Bower explores the seemingly abandoned spaceship. The astronauts quickly realise that they are not alone, and the fate of mankind will hinge on what they do next.

While it’s nowhere near being a horror classic, Pandorum is very much so underrated and often overlooked. The story is fast-paced with several action scenes that make it an exciting to watch. The film does borrow elements from other films, but I feel like it combines the best from those classics into something that still makes Pandorum feel original. If you loved any of those previously mentioned film influences and are into sci-fi gore horror, then give this one a watch.

Slice Movie Review

4.5/10

All style but no substance. Slice is a comedy that parodies common tropes from the horror film genre. Unfortunately, the story isn’t very interesting and it doesn’t have any real humour to match. Ironically these issues make Slice feel more like a B-grade horror film, instead of an original modern classic.

The story is set in the town of Kingfisher where ghosts, werewolves, and witches live among humans in Middle America. When pizza delivery boys are being mysteriously murdered off, a small group of individuals must work together to find out who’s responsible. Featuring a charismatic cast of Chance the Rapper, Zazie Beets (“Domino” from Deadpool 2), Joe Keery (“Steve Harrington” from Stranger Things), Hannibal Buress (The Eric Andre Show) and Chris Parnell (“Jerry” from Rick and Morty), it’s a shame their talents are much higher than what the script is trying to be.

My main gripe with Slice is the lack of humour for what’s meant to be a comedy. There are not that many jokes and when they do come, they’re nothing laugh out loud worthy. Some gags work by being meta, given the film parodies common tropes from the horror film genre and subtly points this out throughout. But most jokes were simply on the level of being mildly amusing.

The majority of the story seems to just pass along and I found myself quickly being bored. Events do happen but I didn’t really care how they mattered for the story. If I was to grade the conflicts in the film, I’d give them a pass for moving the plot along but a fail from an engagement standpoint.

This also wasn’t helped by the fact I held little interest for any of the characters in the film. Which is surprising because I like Chris Parnell and Chance the Rapper, but not even my inclined bias of seeing them together in a film could lift my interest factor. Every character lacks any real punch in personality. The story writes them as pawns to move the story from point A to B but doesn’t give much charm to make them interesting. It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. And the journey these characters take is nothing special to watch.

The aspect I enjoyed most about Slice was the aesthetics visuals. The film works to parody the style of the horror films it parodies and in my opinion, the artistic team managed to do a great job in this regard. You can even gather this from the marketing poster, which uses a yellow bolded calligraphy style for its title that makes it look like an 80’s horror film. Part of this is also supported by the story which has elements reminiscent of horror films like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Slice takes ideas from horror films and tries making something original from them. Unfortunately, for me, it falls flat as a classic horror film in its own right. There are nice homages to films that horror fans might love and which could make Slice worthwhile.

In my opinion, The Cabin in the Woods has already done this with a far more intelligent and engrossing script. If you haven’t seen our review for that film, I’d recommend giving it a read if you’re interested in a horror film that works by parodying other films like it. I could make the same argument for Tucker and Dale vs Evil but The Cabin in the Woods is a personal favorite I always recommend to those that enjoy horror.

But if Slice looks interesting enough to you, I’d suggest lowering your hopes for a modern classic and enjoy it as a film that at least has good intentions. Expect the style to be the best aspect and the story, well, not so much.

The House with a Clock in its Walls Movie Review

See it. 5.5/10

The House with a Clock in Its Walls (HCW) is the latest offering from horror director Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever), and weirdly, it’s meant a film for kids.

Based on the children’s book by John Bellairs, HCW follows a young orphan Lewis who is sent to live with his eccentric uncle whom he’s never met before. Upon arriving at his uncle’s house, strange things begin to happen in the house and Lewis soon discovers that his uncle is a warlock on a desperate search for a clock hidden somewhere in the walls of the house. Once the clock stops ticking, it will signal the end of the world.

The film’s concept is an unusual one, as is the casting. This isn’t to say that the film’s cast doesn’t work (because they do), it’s just one I wasn’t expecting it to.

Owen Vaccaro plays weird, sullen Lewis and does a good job for the most part. His character does have tendencies to be a little bit annoying at times, but Owen Vaccaro tackles the film’s content head on and overall his reactions are believable despite the magical chaos around him. While Lewis has many flaws in his character, the film doesn’t shy from showing these moments which was refreshing to see. Truthfully this is also probably one of the most believable children I’ve seen for a long time in a film.

Jack Black plays Lewis’ eccentric uncle Jonathan and as usual, plays essentially himself with his typical Jack Black persona. It works in this film purely because Jack Black brings the comic relief and in a fun obvious way that allows kids to react to him immediately. I felt that this was almost necessary for this film that gives a creepy vibe, which might be something kids aren’t prepared for, but Jack Black helps create regular relief and openly acknowledges that these things are meant to be creepy.

The weirdest casting of all was Cate Blanchett as Jonathan’s best friend and neighbour, Florence Zimmerman. She, of course, steals the show, playing the character with the most depth, and reaching a sensitivity in her characterization that at times is quite mature for a children’s film. But it is Cate Blanchett after all, so I was almost always going to be completely spellbound by her every step of the way.

Director Eli Roth adds his familiar touch of horror to the film, making for another somewhat creepy offering. The creepiness has been toned down because the film is targeted towards families with children, so it’s never going to be a movie with an MA rating. Having said that, I can see a few scenes being too scary for young children and potentially will be become what I call nightmare fuel for those too little to realise it’s all special effects. From cheap scare jumps, through to the pre-empting of death and destruction of the world and ending on a room full of creepy dolls that, you guessed it, come to life. The thrills are many and come quickly before coming to a haltering stop and starting up again.

The film as a whole has the kind of feel to it that you would find in Tim Burton’s children films like Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice, or other recent additions like A Series of Unfortunate Events. Those films are all a bit wacky but have an air of somberness to them as well which is also what comes across in HCW. Ultimately it is a children’s film that is secretly for adults and targets the kids who feel like misfits.

HCW is a fun but creepy children’s film that’s worth a watch. It probably would have done better with a Halloween release, placing it in the right timing for what it is, but Eli Roth has attempted something different and for the most part has been successful in the telling of this wild and unique tale. See it.

Slender Man Movie Review

slender man.PNGSkip it. 2/10

One of the most poorly constructed films that I have ever seen. Slender Man is easily a front-runner to take out 2018’s Worst Movie prize because to put it quite simply, it’s not even a movie. There is no real story nor any logical train of thoughts on how to present it. It’s completely empty.

The premise follows the urban legend of “Slender Man”, a faceless demonic spirit who haunts children and teenagers unfortunate enough to summon him. Funnily enough, his origins started as a meme created on an online forum which blew up as a worldwide phenomenon back in 2009, even spawning a popular video game of the same name.

Flashforward to the present, Slender Man’s studio creator Sony Pictures have decided to capitalize on this internet icon in an obvious effort to try and rekindle that same popularity for ticket sales. Unfortunately, not only are they nine years too late, they’ve also forgotten how to make an actual movie with interesting characters and an engaging story. Just like the children Slender Man haunts, those two aspects have seemed to vanish altogether.

The film’s characters, who in the story are meant to be high school teenagers, come off sounding anything but high school teenagers. This is because not only is the acting so poor, but the lines of dialogue they’re given is completely detached from what real teenagers, in reality, would be saying. When it gets to a point where one character says, “He’s like a virus, but he doesn’t get into your hardware, he gets into your brain”, I’m bewildered how any of that passes the final edit.

Which goes the same for the rest of the script because there was no real narrative structure. After ten minutes of introducing who Slender Man is, the story is scene by scene of characters coming into strange and weird interactions with the spirit. There’s no overarching theme or adventure; no trials and tribulations; and no real character arcs or even logical planning. Things just happen with such repetitiveness that I don’t understand why anyone could think this would be an entertaining horror film.

What’s more bizarre is that almost half of what was showed in the trailer doesn’t even make it to the actual film. This suggests to me that the gaps and plot holes that I saw in the film, more than likely came from Sony’s executives toying with the final product. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if there were a number of quickly made reshoots that don’t work with the story because this film is screaming that it’s been poorly made.

Scenes that were meant to be scary followed the typical trend of slowly building tension and then hitting with a disturbing payoff that completely fell flat Some of these moments came off as unintentionally hilarious and the whole theatre was laughing at the stupidity of the characters. It was so bad that it almost became good.

The only positive aspect that I can stand to mention are the few montages of disturbing imagery which were very well edited. Quick cuts and the setup to intercut these scenes together indicated that there was at least some level of effort put into this film but those were the only times this film did something right. Everything else had a complete lack of thought put into it.

I don’t think I can remember a time where I’ve watched a film and when the credits roll, felt completely empty to what just occurred. I wasn’t frustrated like I was with Truth or Dare, nor was I eye rolling like with Happy Death Day, which were two other uninspiring horror films to come out in the past year. I was just confused and in disbelief that something like this was ever made in the first place. Hopefully, Sony Pictures can learn a lesson from this failure, because at the very least, if fewer people go to watch stupid films like this, the less of a chance they’ll be made in the future. Which is why I’m saying skip this because Slender Man is an obvious marketing cash chow that deserves to be forgotten.

Hereditary Movie Review

hereditarySee it. 6/10.

Hereditary is the first feature film from director Ari Aster and follows a grieving family after their grandmother passes away. Strange events begin to occur shortly after, bringing more grief and paranoia to the family, and leading the mother, Annie, to believe that the grandmother may have been dabbling in devil worship prior to her death.

The film has been touted as the scariest film of the year so far, and while there were some shocking twists (admittedly there was a huge twist that took me completely by surprise), overall it didn’t have a lasting effect on me. This isn’t to say there weren’t some uncomfortable moments. Annie’s career as a miniaturist sculpture definitely brought some creepiness as she recounted some of the more disturbing moments of her life, capturing them like a photograph in her sculpture creations. Plus there are some great moments played out without the reliance of the cheap jump scares but still took me by surprise.

What was interesting, however, was that as the story slowly revealed itself, different foreshadowing elements were presented in a seemingly scattered pattern but worked well to set up scenes later on. By the end, I found myself thinking “oh yeah, remember that person and what she said before?” and “now that makes sense”, which was an aspect I definitely enjoyed realizing on my way out of the cinemas. It was a sign that although the film was predominantly a slow burn type and took its time, at least it did so with some purpose and intelligent thought behind what was being shown so that it wasn’t just frivolously all put together.

And whilst this film is classified as a horror, it feels more like a character drama and a breakdown of the family. As Annie starts to lose her grip on reality, the hallucinations she projects onto her son also grow more and more disturbing. By doing so it takes the focus away from the horror elements and places it in more of a dramatic position that you soon find yourself sympathizing with his growing paranoia that she’s trying to kill him. Depending on what you’re expecting this might not be what you want but for me, I didn’t mind this change because at least the film tried to put a lot more character into a horror film. Which is usually neglected in such a genre, as the focus often turns to the horrific spectacle of events and characters become expandable figures on the chopping line.

There are also moments of technical brilliance, especially through audio, where the noise of a particular action is heightened to such an extent, often as foreshadowing, that you hold your breath waiting for the action to take a grisly turn. The use of tilts and pans to move to the different scenes was also a unique technique, especially compared to the use of fade to blacks that are often utilized. And there are also some very nice scene transitions that showed a lot of effort was put into making them seamlessly progress through. Clearly, those behind the camera worked hard to help achieve Ari Aster’s vision and it’s great to see horror filmmaking like this being technically and smartly well-made.

Toni Collette plays the role of Annie to perfection, capturing the desperation of a woman who hasn’t had an easy life, and is very aware of her mounting insanity but also convinced that there is something more going on. Toni Collette’s ability to portray wide-eyed fear and then in a heartbeat become angry and hate-filled makes her the standout of the film. Comparably Alex Wolff, who plays her cowardly son Peter, is slightly over the top in some scenes, especially when he’s crying. In saying that, his portrayal of a person in shock in the big twist scene was very well done, capturing not only the terror of the moment but the confusion that takes place following the event.

The downfall of the film, for me, lies in the source of the horror. Admittedly, horror films tend to be divisive as it very much depends on the individual and what gets under their skin. For me, demon worship and occult just doesn’t do it for me and felt a bit of a cheap and lazy way to bring this film together. A lot of the horror moments throughout the film mostly occurred in Annie and her son, Peter’s, mind. To then put this all down to demon worship didn’t seem true to the story being told and was kind of a letdown. The last 15 minutes of the film also completely killed it for me, as it took a turn from being on the edge of insanity straight into being utterly ridiculous and laughable.

I’m recommending that you see it, but hesitantly. There are some uniquely interesting technical aspects as mentioned above that are worth watching it for but overall, the story still feels weak and the ending destroyed any good components that came before it. Hereditary had the opportunity to make an intelligent horror film that had a lasting effect, but instead was let down by the narrative in the last act.

The Purge: Election Year Movie Review

the purge election year

Skip it. 4/10

Somehow my favorite of the series but that still isn’t saying much.

The Purge: Election Year once again manages to just edge its predecessor and slowly rise to the top of the mountain in the Purge series. Except, it’s actually not really a mountain and more so a really small hill that lies in a predominantly flat landscape and is barely visible to the naked eye. But hey, at least it’s noticeable and it’s still better than the other films in the series, even if I still wouldn’t recommend you go see it.

What works better in this film is mainly the likeability factor of the story’s leads. I mean yes, the protagonist is a senator played by the creepy doctor from Lost (Elizabeth Mitchell) but she was thankfully much more enjoyable than what I usually know of her from that short-lived and yet somehow fantastic show (even if it did go quickly downhill). This is also thanks to having her play a senator who is running to oppose the whole inception of the Purge night. I’m immediately inclined to feel a bias towards her side because hey, I’m not a fan of people dying needlessly based on the apparently “scientific fact”, that we harbour inherent aggressive desires and need to release this so-called “beast”. Especially since I’ve mentioned how I don’t understand why the whole Purge night reduces so much level of crime, poverty and also boosts employment. It’s never really explained and the holes in that concept are issues that I haven’t seen resolved. Until now.

And I do want to also quickly bring up the supporting cast choice of Frank Grillo, who returns from the second film. Yes, he once again plays this Liam Neeson type character by going all security guard Taken mode on people but he was the best thing about the second film and I’m glad they gave him another shot. He’s no Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone, but he’s still a cool enough character compared to Ethan Hawke’s in the original.

But what mainly drags this film down again, is the general predictability and the huge runtime once again. By this I mean it’s taking the same formats from before, where characters try to hide from the bad guys chasing them, get into trouble, fight it off and then repeat it all over. Thankfully the action scenes looked much better from a technical standpoint but it’s nothing amazing. Especially since the whole film is somehow the longest in the series coming in at a staggering hour and forty-nine minutes. What the hell is going on and why does each film in the series progressively seem to get longer? It’s completely unnecessary and adds nothing to the plot because, in fact, it detracts from the whole experience since it’s just the same shit every 15 minutes. Please let the fourth Purge film not be this long when it comes out later this year.

I’ll cut this review shorter compared to the others (in a seemingly reverse fashion compared to the increasing runtimes) and say that this is right now the best in the series. Having said that, I’m not recommending you expel your time watching it, I’d only suggest seeing it if you’ve committed to the series or enjoyed watching the second film. Other than that, this is basically just a rehash of any old action film. It’s like Taken mixed with a somewhat more original concept, but it’s nowhere near as smart as it should be, even if it’s trying to appear like that. Watch something else from our best of categories, because this series ultimately isn’t worth your time. Skip it.

The Purge: Anarchy Movie Review

the purge anarchy

Skip it. 3.5/10

Better but still not that great.

After my disappointment with the first in the series, I was not looking forward to the sequel The Purge: Anarchy, but surprisingly I had a much better time watching it because the story opened up a lot more different scenarios. But just to be clear, it’s still a bad film overall as it’s not flawless in the slightest. However, compared to the original, it was a much-needed burst of resurgence given I was predicting the series should go through a purge of its own and be killed off entirely.

The biggest aspect that worked for The Purge: Anarchy was the expansion of the storyline to follow three sets of people. It was a good decision to split up the plot into these groups of characters because not only did it allow for a different range of characters to enjoy but it also opened up the landscape for where the story could be headed. Especially since this time we were taken to the streets of where the “Purge” chaos was happening, instead of being confined to some house like a creepy spinoff of Home Alone. That step towards the outside in the narrative was another good choice by the writers. I enjoyed the fact that I could explore the outside with these characters and get an insight of how it all looks on that fateful night.

Having said that, I was still hoping for a lot more out of this film. I wished that the three groups of characters didn’t meet up so quickly and become essentially stuck together. It would have been better to see three parallel storylines occurring and then, later, they all meet up, say towards the final act or the very end. Some of the characters weren’t really that interesting to me and could be annoying at times (yet again). It wasn’t the same level as my hatred for the children (especially the daughter) in the first film, but it was still noticeable, and I definitely had a few favorites which goes back to how they were written.   Though I will say that I did care more about any of their lives and was more sympathetic to them being in danger overall than the characters in the first film.

My other biggest complaint was with the runtime that was way too long and tried to fit in too many scenarios that were basically all the same. At an hour and forty-seven minutes long, this is just way too much time for an action horror set piece. I noticed by the time the third act kicked in, which came far too late and was completely unnecessary to throw in or should have come much earlier in the film. The situations basically followed the same idea of making their way through the city at night, coming into trouble, fighting off and surviving that encounter, then repeating it again. When that happens over and over again for such a long time, you can’t help but zone out.

The film also doesn’t really squash the same complaints that I have with the first Purge film, with how the whole concept works. I guess they just decided to leave it as it is, given it worked so well in the first place so why bother changing it. But aside from taking the story to explore the outside world a lot more, it also really didn’t add to the mythology of this dystopian universe. Sure, I can see a couple of interesting aspects were thrown in, which I won’t devolve into to keep this spoiler free, but for the most part, the concept of the film is just an excuse or reasoning to see action sequence after action sequence. It seems like no one really wanted to add anything else remotely intelligent or thought-provoking about the film’s premise.

So, having said what worked better compared to the first, there is still a lot that drags this film down overall and as such, I don’t recommend you waste your time watching it. Yes, this film could in all honesty be (or should have been) the first in the series, because it does a lot more with the script compared to the original. If you’re still interested in seeing how an interesting concept like the Purge night would work in a film, I’d suggest starting from The Purge: Anarchy and moving onwards. But other than, I wouldn’t really be jumping out of my seat to see it. And with that I say. Skip it.

The Purge Movie Review

the purge.jpg

Skip it. 3/10

You’ve got to purge Morty *burps excessively*.

The way I see it, The Purge is the precursor for the shitty horror films Blumhouse Productions went on to make, such as the horrendous Happy Death Day, Unfriended, Ouija and their latest release Truth or DareThese movies gathered much interest because of their somewhat original concept fused with a horror-like twist and were all made on a low budget, typically costing only a few million dollars. And at the heart of all this, lies the movie The Purge. It was one of the first films (along with Paranormal Activity) to begin using such a format, milking audiences for their hard-earned cash as they went and saw dumb horror films with just enough originality to make them curious enough to see. And it worked.

But when I heard of the idea for The Purge, I couldn’t help but fall into the curiosity trap, interested to see what it would be about and how it could all work. This was my fatal mistake. Aside from how great the premise appears to be on the surface, the depth of its ideas is as thin as the paper, which this shitty screenplay was printed on. It was less the social allegory that I was hoping for and more the dumb horror film I didn’t want it to succumb to. How I wish things could have been different.

As a brief synopsis for those that are unaware of what it’s about and will essentially capture the only original concept from this film; imagine a society that has reduced both crime and poverty levels, as well as even boosting employment results, by creating a 12 hour window where all crime is legal for one day of the year. A time referred to as “The Purge” and murder is willfully allowed and promoted to help those “cleanse their souls” and remove any of the built-up aggression that we as humans apparently can’t help but harbor inside. Sounds somewhat interesting no? Well, unfortunately, that’s as good as it gets.

My main issue is with how ludicrously stupid all of the characters in this story are, which are really a reflection of the plot holes that get raised from the whole movie’s concept. I’ll get into specifics at the end of this review with spoiler talk but suffice to say, almost anything that happened with a person of interest was incredibly annoying. I don’t know why the characters were being as ignorant and as naive as they were shown to be. I don’t know why this film became less of a social commentary and more a dumb home invasion style film. And I don’t know why it was all shot and framed horrendously in ways that reminded me of the shaky camera footage in Cloverfield.

But it also took such a fast downfall that it really did surprise me. After the 10 minute mark, I couldn’t believe the nonsense that was being neglected and the typical tropes that were about to follow. Nothing about this film seemed to be executed with intelligent intent and the choices made by the characters in the story seem to reflect those also working behind the camera. Shots would either be standard and overused close up reverse shots of when people were talking. At times even having the back of a person’s head taking up most of the frame for some reason, almost like it was by accident and they couldn’t bother to fix it. Or there would be shots filmed to include obvious jump scares which weren’t very scary, as well as the action styled fight scenes that looked more like they were filmed by a seven-year-old with shaky hands, instead of a professional camera operator. This film was all over the place both from a technical standpoint and a narrative view.

So, if you couldn’t guess from my scathing review, I do not recommend seeing The Purge. It definitely didn’t make me hate watching it like Truth or Dare made me feel, but I’m more critical towards it because The Purge had a better chance of being original and thought-provoking. Instead, the numerous flaws that I see really do bring it down and make it yet another dumb horror flick. I’m not looking forward to finishing the trilogy if this is how it’s going to continue and I’m doubtful the fourth film being released this year will manage to redeem my low opinions for this series so far. Skip it.

Spoiler Talk

1. One of my biggest issues with the whole premise is the fact that they specifically mention that all crime is legal. Not the murder part, because I don’t really care about that but more so with the entirety of the message and rules it allows. Because how does making all crime legal, fix a lot of society’s problems with poverty, unemployment and general crime that would have occurred other times outside the 12-hour window?

I’m assuming people could do a lot of other normally illegal activities aside from murder, even though that’s what the films entirely focused on. Does having such freedom mean that a person could cripple the economy in those 12 hours if they so wanted to, say, by waiting all year round to falsify their stock numbers, partake in insider trading or illegally complete their dirty money laundering in the Cayman Islands? 12 hours is a long fucking time to do a lot of terrible things that could cripple the economy and hence increase the status of all those aspects “The Purge” night is trying to prevent from rising (crime, poverty, and unemployment).

What if people started to kill owners of stores/houses/gigantic businesses in a semi-military coup situation, to overthrow and completely change the structure of a corporation? Does that mean the person who kills a CEO gets to become the new CEO or install new board members at that company? I see that government officials have been protected but what about everyone else in almost, if not equally, higher positions that can dictate the effects of the economy?

There just seems to be a lot of oversight on stating this one line of “all crime is legal including murder” and choosing to focus on the last half of it. If the premise was just “only murder is legal”, I’d be fine with it and everything else would make sense. But no, because this is meant to be scary and a sort of horror film, let’s just focus on the murder part and not worry about exploring the possibilities of these 12 hours of freedom, even though we could fix any glaringly obvious plot holes by choosing our words more carefully.

2. Throughout the film, it seems like the family lives in this seemingly enormous mansion that’s big enough to the point that when someone yells out, the other person in the house can’t hear them. There were many situations where Ethan Hawke’s character or his wife would be trying to find his daughter or son by calling out their name and for some reason, they wouldn’t respond back. It genuinely started to annoy me because all of those situations were caused by the children just running off randomly and disappearing on their own accord without any concern for the gravity of the situation. Yes, I get that you’re trying to be quiet because there’s another stranger in the house who might try to use you as a hostage, but why did you run off in the first place?

I’m going to highlight the daughter because, after the death of her boyfriend, she freaks out and just bolts off without any signal to her parents. Yes, what happened to your boyfriend was traumatizing, but why are you running off so fast and how the hell do the parents lose sight of her that quickly? This was made worse when we see her first reunite with her mum but then she runs away again after talking with her for less than a minute! What the fuck?!

I know you realize that there are people outside, who are trying to break through the security systems in place, so why are you still deciding to run away like a headless chicken instead of staying together as a family?? They all just play hide and seek from each other for some fucking reason and no one seems to be able to hear a goddamn thing.

Which is an aspect that continues to puzzle because by the third act of the movie, when Ethan Hawke informs his wife that he has decided to stand up and fight the attackers, his son who has been “lost” all this time comes out of nowhere and says “what’s the plan Dad?” What the fuck?! Like right now you just decide to come out of hiding even if your parents were searching for you this whole fucking time and you somehow know where they were exactly, though I don’t know how you could have since they weren’t calling out to you anymore..? Oh, my God. Fuck off. This is just stupid.

3. After the “climactic” ending that sees the neighbour’s of the family fail in their attempts to kill Ethan Hawke’s wife and children (which by the way, has really dumb and stupid motives for why they wanted to do this), the wife makes the decision to wait out the night with those that literally just tried to kill her. Um, what?

The next scene is a cut to all of them sitting around the dinner table and waiting for the clock to strike 7 am to signal the end of “The Purge”, whilst the stranger who helped Ethan Hawke’s family watches over the murdering neighbors as they are kept in a hostage-like situation. But all of it was just so fucking awkward haha.

Did you literally spend the next 6 hours until the break of dawn, watching over your so-called friends and neighbors who attempted to kill you during “The Purge”, incomplete and absolute silence? Could you not maybe just tie them up and lock them in the basement? Could you not kick them out and then re-establish the security system? I mean if the system was broken, surely you’d be able to go somewhere else instead? Maybe to your neighbors’ security systems? If it’s broken, what’s stopping more people who want to purge entering your broken fortress of a house and walking into the dinner table to see all of you just sitting around awkwardly? None of it makes any fucking sense.

4. A couple last points will be fairly brief: I thought the actual security system that Ethan Hawke’s character installed and supposedly somehow profited largely off, was just straight up terrible and so easy to be broken into. If all it took was to cut the power and bring in a truck to remove the front door (which somehow deactivated all the shields placed around the windows as well), what the fuck kind of high budgeted security system is this? Whatever.

5. The main antagonist from the group of purgers had some of the most awkward delivery in lines and unnecessary pauses that were trying to be creepy or scary but were just so laughable and dumb. One of the most annoying characters, second to Ethan Hawke’s daughter.

A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010) Movie Review

a nightmare on elm street 2010

Skip it. 3.5/10

The end has come. Thank God.

Arriving at the final chapter of the A Nightmare On Elm Street franchise, I can’t help but reflect on the bumper journey that it has taken me on. And with the last film in the series, a reboot of the original, I can safely say that this rollercoaster has finally come to a very slow halt. It’s been fun Freddy, but your send-off doesn’t produce any new impressions on a mind that’s seen about everything that there is to you.

Just like any film reboot, I was quite wary going into this 2010 “reimagining” of the classic that started it all. Reboots are essentially made, not to stir up any new notions in the mythology of a successful franchise nor to create a wonderful continuation of the series, but to make as much money as possible. With this reboot, in particular, I am quite sure they intended to do just that. In fact, a quick Wikipedia search shows $115 million was made at the Box Office against a $35 million dollar budget, which confirms my suspicions that they’ve done so stupendously. Oh, how things never change.

A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010) is less of a film as it is more of an updated re-hash of the original. For new audiences who have never been exposed to the series, this no doubt would have been a far better experience. But for fans who have seen the rest of the films like I have, it was far from great. The story is the same. The characters are virtually identical. The only difference here is that everything just looks nicer.

Which is an aspect that I’ll give this film credit for because it’s definitely one of the strongest features it has going for it. The same goes for the change to the character design for Freddy Krueger. I appreciated the adjustment made to make it reflect more what a real-life burns victim would look like. I didn’t really think it was as scary as the original, plus I thought it looked more like a ghoul at times rather than an actual person but hey, the effort was still there and I don’t mind it. Other than that, everything else they did wasn’t really that new. Especially the scares.

I enjoyed some of the more gorier updates but for the most part, everything was just so terribly unimaginative. None of the dream scenarios showed any creativity whatsoever, which is surprising given they had more than enough of a budget to do so. It seems like they stopped short of funding interesting nightmarish aspects and instead stuck to putting out simple alternative versions of what could be seen in reality. What the fuck New Line Cinema? Who the hell dropped the ball on this?

Do the nightmares really have to take place in the same setting that the person dreaming it up fell asleep in? And when we do see something different, can’t we go somewhere else more original instead of the same old fucking boiler room? Even every other sequel managed to do at least that and they weren’t that great either.

The only other positive I want to bring up is the casting choice of Rooney Mara as the lead Nancy. I love her as an actress and I’m glad they found her to play that role, even if most of her dialogue was still horrendous and just plain old garbage. She managed to add another element to Nancy as the “loneliest girl in the world” persona and at least it was actually something different to see, which I wasn’t sure this film could even do on a character level.

This film pretty much fits the role of being a shitty reboot created to generate cash, and which it did. It was a let down to how the journey concluded for me but from the last few films, I felt like I knew what was coming so I don’t feel too underwhelmed or disappointed. I’ve already forgotten most of this film, so it’s safe to say that I’ll never be watching this one again. Which means I’m going to be recommending you give this film the flick unless you really feel compelled to complete the series just like I’ve been doing. But other than that, skip it.