Your One Place For Movie Reviews

Posts tagged ‘evil’

REVIEW – THE PURGE

The Purge

3.75 out of 5.0

Unemployment is at a 1% low, crime is non-existent.  Life is good, well at least that is what we think.  The United States of America has given the people the right to commit crimes no matter how heinous for 12 hours one day a year.  This is known as The Purge.

This is allowed so people who have hatred, or anger towards people can lash out  and take out their frustrations any way they see fit.  Though weapons above a Class 4 ratings are not allowed and high ranking officials have immunity and can not be touched.  Everyone else is fair game.

This story is about one family’s ordeal through this torrid 12 hours and pushes them to their limits of morality and puts them in the situation we have seen before, the situation of how far would one go for their family.

Director James DeMonaco puts us into a night filled will extreme tension and brutal violence.  This is an idea that may seem good to some but definitely shouldn’t see the light of day.  His movie is lean, clocking in under an hour and 30 minutes and James DeMonaco uses every minute of it to weave a tale of brutality and makes you question yourself, ‘what would I do in this type of situation’.

The situation the family gets in starts when the son lets in a man searching for help during The Purge.  No one knows who he is or what he is doing in their neighborhood.  This brings on the group that are out to purge this man and go about their lives and pits the family in the struggle of do they keep the guy safe or let him loose to the purgers.  DeMonaco takes time getting here and really slowly lets the tension build.  This works very nicely because throughout the movie you can feel it building, like a pop that is slowly coming to boil.  When it hits it’s breaking point bad things happen.

DeMonaco doesn’t shy away from the violence either, especially in the opening title sequence that is littered with security cam footage from the years before purging.  The opening is brutal and very unsettling which sets the tone for the movie quickly.

The only really light hearted feel you get is after the credit sequence as the day is getting setup.  When it’s time for The Purge to start, the tone shifts into darkness.  The movie has many dark points and for the most part DeMonaco does a great job with pulling no punches, until the very end.

This is where the movie fell flat for me.  Everything was hitting the right notes and the viciousness of the evening is felt throughout the film until the ending scene.  I felt that DeMonaco pushed you to the mouth of madness and right at the last minute before falling in he pulls you back.  It wouldn’t have been the ending I would have chosen, though getting there, there were a few twists that I didn’t see coming.  I was pleasantly surprised when those twists came and thought the ending was going to go full tilt.

The acting throughout the movie was great.  Ethan Hawke as the father James Sandin, plays the part well and you feel that what he is doing is the right thing for his family.  Hawke usually always does a good job and this movie is no exception.

The mother Mary Sandin, played by the wonderful Lena Headey, is portrayed nicely on screen and Headey gives a good performance as mother who is conflicted about the whole purge night, and this comes across wonderfully in later scenes.  A very strong performance from a strong actress.

Max Burkholder and Adelaide Kane play the children Charlie and Zoey.  Beautiful performances from both, especially from Adelaide who has the most emotional part between them.  The director did a good job getting strong performances from  the younger performers.

Rhys Wakefield takes on the role of the Polite Stranger who comes knocking on the door to claim the injured man the family has hiding in their home.  He is down right creepy in this role and really rises to the occasion as the main villain in the movie.  Though at moments he felt a little over the top, overall he played the part well.  The rest of the crew that made up his gang were equally as scary and creepy and added to the overall rising tension as the movie went on.

Edwin Hodge who has a wonderful TV career was cast in the role of the strange, the man who was injured and looking for a place to hide out the night.  He’s not in a lot of the scenes but the ones he was in were well done.

Is this a movie for you to see?  If you like dark, heavy, brutally violent movies then you should enjoy this movie.  If you are very squeamish then it might not be your cup of tea.  Overall it is a good movie and I can recommend it, with the caveat being the ending though you may even end up liking the ending.

Overall I give this movie 3.75 out of 5.  It would have scored higher from me but the ending kind of ruined it a little for me.  It is a good movie and gives good scares and it is a pretty intense night out to the movies.  ‘Till next time my friends.

REVIEW — EVIL DEAD

Evil Dead Poster

4.5 Out of 5

This is perhaps one of the most talked about horror movies to come along in sometime.  Even if you are not a fan of the original Evil Dead series chances are you definitely heard about this one.  Me being a huge fan was very nervous when they announced that a re-visioning of the original was in the works was it given to a first time director and film maker.

Now I know we all must start somewhere but I can’t imagine being given something that has this much of a following and are told to run with it.  If it fails it can sink your career, but if it rises, expect more work quickly.

Most of all know the story of Evil Dead by now.  Group of adults go to a cabin in the woods and there they find a strange book.  The book is opened and passages are read and thus releasing evil upon the group.  This time around we are actually given a reason as to why these said adults are arriving at the cabin.  They are there for an Mia’s(Jane Levy) intervention.  The cabin belonged to Mia and her brother David(Shiloh Fernandez) parents and it was a place they always used to come to up until their mother’ death.

Once there they find the cabin needs some cleaning up and it looks like someone broke into the place.  While searching they find dead cats hanging in the basement and that’s where the book is found.

Their friend Eric(Lou Taylor Pucci), who is a teacher, takes it upon himself to study the book which ultimately leads to the releasing of evil.

The first that is noticeable about the film is the tone.  The original series always had a campy, comedic fill to it but this re-visioning is pretty serious.  It takes itself seriously and definitely no punches are pulled.  That’s thanks to the wonderful direction of Fede Alvarez.

He is a first time film maker that had the daunting task of bringing this film to life and he pulls out all the stops.  He takes his time with scenes and lets things play out building the tension surrounding the group, which is rounded out by David’s girlfriend Natalie(Elizabeth Blackmore) and their doctor friend Olivia(Jessica Lucas).  The movie picks up the pace once the terror arrives and the blood starts to flow.

Alvarez also tips his hat to the original Evil Dead in how a couple of the scenes are shot and edited.  It was a real homage to the series and the audience clapped when these scenes arrived.  The only small place where Alvarez falters is with the pacing.  It gets a little uneven at times, most of which I think is because of the tight running time the movie has being just above 1 hour and 30 minutes.  If the movie was a bit longer Alvarez would have had a bit more time scenes to play out better.  Does this make this movie a bad movie?  Not in the least.

One thing that you have to give Alvarez props for is the use of practical gore effects.  Buckets of prop blood, prosthetic limbs, old school make up effects. The director did not want to use CG for these effects if it could be helped and that really pays off.

This film has a lot of very extreme, brutally gory scenes and is definitely not for the squeamish.  If you hate the site of blood and severed limbs you may want to bring a pillow or bury yourself if your partners shoulder.

Is the movie scary?  It had a very jump scares in it but it feels more terrifying that scary.  It’s not stuff that will haunt your dreams but there are scenes that will stay with you long after the curtains fall.

The acting in the movie passes the grade with all the actors hitting their marks, giving honest performances.  The character David could have used a bit more life, he seemed a little bored through out the movie, other than that they were fine.   Fans of Suburgatory will notice Jane Levy(Mia) as the daughter from the hit show.  She becomes a total freak show later in the movie.

Fans of the original and newcomers to the show should enjoy it thoroughly.  It definitely was one hell of a ride and I’m hoping Alvarez comes back to do a second one.  This version is a gore lover’s dream and makes for some pretty unsettling scenes.  It was originally given the NC-17 rating and was cut to get the hard R.  You will probably find once it gets out on Bluray/DVD that there will be the Uncut version along with the theatrical version.  We shall see.

Overall I give this movie 4.5 stars out of 5.  It’s definitely worth full price to see in the movie house and then to buy to add to ones movie collection.  If you are a fan of the original or just a fan of horror in general, go, run, rush to see this movie.  It’s American horror done right.  Till next time my friends.

REVIEW – RESIDENT EVIL RETRIBUTION

Resident Evil Retribution Poster

1.5 Out of 5

Another year another “Resident Evil” movie.  Not just another RE movie but another RE 3D movie.  I’m a huge fan of the game series, even though the series has been declining over the years, I always found the movies to be at the least a little fun and something that one can watch and escape while seeing the world get devoured by virus infected people.  The latest incarnation should have at least done that and not put me to sleep.

If you haven’t seen any of the previous films there is a nice little opening where the main character Alice tells you step by step what has been happening and how we ended up where we are now.  I thought that was a nice touch, and is good for the people that didn’t waste there time sitting through the last 4 movies.  Then I started to wonder, if you haven’t seen any of these movies before why start with number 5.  My wife has seen 1 of them and it was good for a laugh.

This time Alice is still trying to bring down Umbrella corporation as well as trying to find out why all the people she knew before that have died are coming back.  She soon learns what is going on and needs to enlist their help in stopping Umbrella before the world is totally dominated.  That is pretty much the short and the long of it because story wise it’s pretty much just running and shooting, and running and shooting.  Oh did I mention about the running and shooting.  The movie had a running time of 1 hour and 35 minutes and it seemed to go on forever.  It got to the point where I just didn’t care anymore and wanted to get out and get something to eat.  Story aside for a moment let’s jump to the acting.

I can usually forgive the acting a little in movies like this because it’s not supposed to be Shakespeare, but come on, at least give it some effort.  The acting in Retribution is horrendous and very laughable at best.  I do have to say though, it’s not all the actors and actresses fault, a lot of the fault lies in the script…or lack thereof.  The dialogue feels like it was written but an elementary school’s English class.  I’m sure an infinite number of monkies with a typewriter could have turned out a better screenplay than Paul W.S. Anderson did.  The whole thing was just atrocious, and this is coming from someone who at one time found the series fun and went into this one with such low expectation that I thought I was going to walk away thinking that was at least better than I was expecting.  No, definitely not this time.

This brings me to Paul W.S. Anderson.  How does this guy still work in Hollywood.  I understand that the series is a bad film series but somehow the cash cow keeps mooing and the money keeps coming in.  Seriously enough is enough.  At least my wife and I used movie passes and didn’t have to pay to see it.  Take that Mr. Anderson you didn’t get our money this time.  On a serious note, this guy tries to be all style and no substance.  He does seem to have some good ideas but just can’t properly execute them.  One word of advice Mr. Anderson, now I’m starting to sound like the Matrix, work on your story, flesh it out better.  I think that is one of the BIG problems is that the story is not fleshed out at all and everyone just runs around willy nilly and shoots at anything that moves.  Stylized violence in this movie is so over the top it becomes very boring.  Something that should have been a fun scary action movie did nothing more but bore me into an early sleep.

His wife Mila Jovovich is back as Alice.  She is great in action scenes in this and makes the fights frantic and believable but the dialogue she has to say, as sparse as it is has to be some of the worst I have heard in a long while.  I really like Mila and I thought one of her best roles was as Joan of Arc and I wish she would go back to doing movies like those that show off her acting talents.  I was hoping that this would have been the last one for her but the way it ends I’m pretty sure it’s not.

All of the other actors and actresses did either mediocre to lousy jobs as their respected characters.  I won’t bother going into detail, they were just that bad.

The effects were decent and fit well into the movie.  Nothing seemed too green screened or digital until the very end of the picture.  I do have to say the final shot in the movie is epic and if the last movie is made properly could become epic in content.  Though if Paul W.S.Anderson has his way it probably won’t.

The music is another thing that bothered me about the movie.  I felt it was always in your ear, booming through the speakers.  Come on guys, know how to level a soundtrack.  Seriously it was always there and became very distracting in scenes.

Overall I give this movie a 1.5 out of 5 because one early action sequence really caught my eye and the effects weren’t half bad in this.  Other than that stay away from this one until it comes to one of the streaming services out there or Redbox.  This won’t be worth the price of admission.  If you have free movie passes like we did, I urge you to save them….seriously.  Till next time my friends.