Tag Archives: Horror

Friday Film Club: Leviathan + Crawl

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Hi folks and welcome to the The Friday Film Club where both myself and Kim will be highlighting a film which we feel is worth checking out. At the same time we would love to hear your own selections whether your choosing to just name them in the comments section or join us in arguing the case for your film on your blog, let us know and we will share it below.

Kim’s Pick – Crawl (2019)

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While sharks are primarily the star of creature features, Crawl takes on a lesser used monster as it takes a disaster film and pairs it with a horror film where a father, daughter and their dog gets trapped in their basement crawl space and hunted down by alligators during a Category 5 hurricane. As in any of these films, it is about survival. Directed by Alexandre Aja who is no stranger to directing horror films, Crawl takes on a decent form from the atmosphere and how the whole story goes as it builds gripping tension with these characters and this quiet predator.

Starring Kaya Scodelario as a rising swimming athlete in university called Haley who goes to check on her father Dave played by Barry Pepper, she ends up finding him in a crawl space unconscious and their own salvation is behind these pipes that the alligators hunting them can’t get through. As the crawl space fills up with water, they need to find a way to escape without being noticed by these alligators. Just looking at the character designs, it definitely feels like a rather contrived way to put a swimmer as a central character in a flood and yet, if you can get past that (and you should), Crawl manages to create some gripping moments and build up a decent  bit of tension while also making the whole crawl space experience to play well in the claustrophobic and time-sensitive situation.

There’s a lot to love about Crawl. For one, it uses a lesser used “monster” which definitely needs to be used more as quiet predators create some good surprise attack moments. At the same time, the characters are pretty good. While there is still some family drama to sort out between the father and daughter, the focus on survival is the priority. At the same time, the script makes an effort to give reasoning for why these alligators have gathered in this crawl space and it all does come together in the end. Plus, the director manages to not only use the crawl space and the claustrophobia of that setting to its potential but when it migrates out of there, it still manages to use its environment and the hurricane to its advantage as well. Crawl definitely delivers a great creature feature film that’s well worth a watch.

Elwood’s Pick – Leviathan (1989)

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One of a slew of Underwater Sci-fi horror released in the wake of The Abyss alongside Deep Star Six a film which proved as tricky to get hold of. Unlike Deep Star Six this one actually proved to be worth the effort as it plays like a more horror focused version of The Abyss with a dash of John Carpenter’s The Thing thrown in for good measure.

Directed by George P. Cosmatos whoat this point was coming into the film hot after directing both Rambo: First Blood 2 and Cobra; here though he calms things back alittle as he introduces a crew of blue collar deep sea miners headed up by geologist Steve Beck (Weller) who like the rest of the crew is looking forward to the shift change in 4 days. However the chance discovery of the scuttled Soviet ship soon brings with it all kinds of problems when the experiment which was being tested on the unknowing crew is soon wreaking havoc on the mining team.

Despite the B-movie roots of the film each of the crew are given enough depth to help them standout more than disposable monster chow, though at the same time most of the crew for the first quarter are overshadowed by the pervert antics of Six Pack played here by Daniel Stern who spends most of his time in the film trying to hit on or just straight up sexually harass the two female crew members which is the kind of thing that you could never get away with now, especially with his boob mug and the centrefolds he plasters across his bunk. The crew in general though are a likeable bunch with Ernie Hudson getting a few great lines while Weller is enjoyable as the lead his performance remains as diversive as ever especially in the first quarter were he seems to actually be confused about what he’s supposed to be going while his payoff line of “Open wide Motherfucker!!” comes off a little more amusing than I think it was originally planned.

Shot on sound stages in Rome the layout of the Miner’s “Shack” is actually very similar to the Deep Core research station of The Abyss in that everything is raw steel and exposed pipes but at the same time we see throughout this station subtle details such as the screens playing footage of landscapes and sunlamps to strive away the effects of being underwater for long periods. Such a functional setup of course only works the better during the final were the high pressure of the surrounding ocean slowly crushes the station causing the internal structure to collapse and spectacularly implode. At the same time the lack of sterile work areas and clunky diving suits designed to deal with the high pressure really give the film a presence and memorable look which complements this crew of blue collar workers, striving off the boredom and cablin fever of their surroundings till the next shift change.

While the monster action is alittle slower than expected to start as what initially starts out seemingly as an infection after two of the miners consume vodka they fund amongst their salvage from the ship and because seemingly no one told this pair about why you don’t drink things you find on sunk ships the film soon mutates into body horror before the film just turns into a full blown monster on the loose movie. Much like as in Alien though the crew also have to deal with the shady plots of the company higher ups here represented by an almost otherworldly Meg Foster who communicates with Beck via the station video monitor, though it’s soon becomes clear that they might be working their own agenda as always seems to be the case in these movies.

With Stan Winston handling the creature effects they still look impressive if never going as crazy as Rob Bottin’s effects for The Thing. However watching the film now it doesn’t really matter as with these kind of movies now just being the preferred output of the Asylum and the SYFY channel to actually have a half decent film with practical effects leaves you feeling kind spoiled to not be subjected to subpar CGI. At the same time the monster does have a few unique quirks of it’s own as we see crew members absorbed into it’s skin adding a nice moral quandry for those attempting to fight it as they are faced with the prospect of having to kill their friends in order to kill the monster.

A fun throw back which serves as a reminder as to how far this sub-genre has fallen and while it might not reach the same heights as The Abyss it’s a notable step up from Deep Star Six and perhaps if the tension was built upon more it might be more fondly remembered. Regardless there is still plenty for genre fans to enjoy here.

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So you’ve seen our picks for this week’s double feature but what are your movie watching plans this weekend?

 

Let us know in the comments section below.

Top 10: Hidden Gems of the Decade (2010’s)

For one reason or another movies can often get missed or overlooked on the release schedule be it from terrible marketing or just not connecting with audiences upon their initial release. Whatever the reason here are 10 hidden gems from the last decade which are worth discovering.

Youth In Revolt

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Tapping into the awkward charms of Michael Cera this indie comedy unsurprisingly sees him playing the terminally awkward Nick who rather check out old movies and records while generally failing to connect with anyone around him until he meets the beautiful Sheeni who shares his love of records and French Culture leading him to create a rebellious and swave alter-ego François Dillinger (complete with pencil moustache) to win her over while wrecking havok on the lives of those around him.

Redline

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For those who felt that the Fast and Furious movies were still alittle grounded will find a lot to enjoy in this 2010 debut anime feature from Takeshi Koike whose work as a director is probebly best know for World Record his contribution to the fantastic Matrix animated anthology The Animatrix

Here he brings together a colourful cast of racers for a nitro fuelled take on Wacky Races as the intergalactic high speed race the Redline which this time will be taking place on the android planet Roboworld. This is a film packed with action and visual flair while still highly accessable to even the none anime fans amongst you.

The Devil’s Double

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This film actually made my top 10 list of the decade but seeing how it’s pretty much fallen under the radar it’s worth recommending again especially for the duel performances of Dominic Cooper who here plays Iraqi soldier Latif hired to become the double or bullet catcher for Saddam Hussein’s son Uday. Initially excited to share Uday’s life as he has acess to everything he owns from the massive palaces, fast cars and flashy wardrobe only for the dream to soon turn into a nightmare as tensions in the palace increase and Uday’s lifestyle starts spiralling out of control.

A gripping thriller based on a true story, it’s a film which hooks you from the start while peppered with it’s share of surreal moments such as watching Saddam play tennis with himself, while your never sure which of these two men is the real dictator.

50 / 50

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Based on screenwriter Will Rieser and his battle with spinal cancer, here Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays public radio journalist Adam as we follow his battle with cancer in a film which both funny as it is touching especially as Joseph undergoes treatment connecting with his fellow patients over Weed Cookies while his best friend Kyle (Seth Rogan) looks after him. A refreshing change of pace from the usual terminal illness dramas while both actors really tap into the material with great on screen chemistry as we chart the highs and rock bottom lows of Adam’s battle.

I Kill Giants

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Based on the indie graphic novel of the same name this was initially a film I was alittle disapointed in the first time I watched it having expected something like Troll Hunter instead finding something more akin to The Wasp Factory as reality clashes with small island magic and fantasy as the bunny ear wearing giant slayer Barbara secretly protects her small village from the giants secretly invading its shore or atleast that’s what your lead to believe as she draws the new girl at school Sophia into her world, but does it hide a darker reality?

Featuring energetic performances from both Madison Wolfe and Sydney Wade while Zoe Saldana keeps the adult connection to this world as the school psychologist this would make an interesting pairing with Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures

Pain and Gain

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Following on the mini-trend of adapting magazine feature stories for the screen which gave us Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring and was followed by this true crime drama from most shockingly of all Michael Bay!!

Featuring none of his explosions, battling robots or ridiculous action set pieces here he strips things down to basics to tell the story of three bodybuilders who hatch a plot to extort wealthy new client Victor Kershaw out of his assets only for their plans and attempts to get away with the crime spiralling rapidly out of control especially once Ed Helms private investigator starts looking into the case. An engrossing story combined with plenty of Bay’s visual flair even if nothing is blowing up.

My Entire High School Sinking Into The Sea

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Using a diversive doodle style of animation which if you can get past it will find a film which delivers a quirky take on a disaster movie when the cliff the school is located on breaks throwing the school and students into the ocean were they must now battle through the floors to escape.

Bringing together a diversive range of voice talents including Jason Schwartzman, Lena Dunham, Reggie Watts, Maya Rudolph and Susan Sarandon adding an almost Wes Anderson quirkiness to the film.

Blue Ruin

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Funded through Kickstarter the second film from Jermy Saulnier marked him out as a serious talent to watch which he only reinforced with it’s follow up Green Room. Here though he gives a slow burn meditation on revenge as vagrant Dwight (Macon Blair) discovers that the man who killed his parents twenty years ago has been released from prison early and sets out to get his revenge.

This really is a film best seen with as little expectation as possible and while it starts off perhaps alittle slow once it gets rolling it grabs hold of you and refuses to relinquish its grip till its played out its grim finale.

Big Bad Wolves

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Following a series of violent murders of young girls, three men soon find their lives on a collision course with each other. Gidi (Tzahi Grad) the father of the latest victim now fuelled with a lust for revenge, Miki (Lior Ashkenzai) a rouge police detective and Dror (Rotem Keinan) a school teacher and main suspect, who despite being arrested once already by Gidi only to be released due to Miki and his teams’ vigilante actions. Now Dror finds himself captured again by Gidi and the now suspended Miki who are determined to get him to confess to the murders they believe he is responsible for.

While Israeli cinema might not be over well renown outside of World Cinema fans, it certainly seems to be something which directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado are trying to change, as having launched their careers by making Israel’s first horror film with their debut Rabies they now follow it up by essentially giving the country its second with this film, which also came with a glowing recommendation from Quentin Tarantino who proclaimed it as being the “Best Film of The Year”. While the heavier torture scenes really took away from my enjoyment of the film and rating it higher, this is still unquestionably brave and exciting film making at its best.

So there’s our top hidden gems from the last decade, but did we miss one your favourites? Let us know in the comments your own hidden gems from the last decade

Friday Film Club – Klaus + Christmas Evil

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Hi folks and welcome to the The Friday Film Club where both myself and Kim will be highlighting a film which we feel is worth checking out. At the same time we would love to hear your own selections whether your choosing to just name them in the comments section or join us in arguing the case for your film on your blog, let us know and we will share it below.

Kim’s Pick – Klaus (2019)

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In an attempt to bring back the traditional animation if it hadn’t strayed into computer animation, Klaus is the result of the directorial debut of Sergio Pablos. Klaus is a film that has a limited theatrical run in November and then launched as a Netflix Original. It tells the story of an unambitious son of the Postmaster General, Jesper who after his many attempts to prove that he is not made for the postal service by sabotaging his chances, ends up being sent by  his father to the cold northern island city of Smeerensburg with the ultimate goal of being able to reignite the postal service there by mailing 6,000 letters in a year. However, the inhabitants of Smeerensburg quickly lets him know that this might be an impossible situation as the two clans, Ellingboe and Krum follows a tradition to be in constant war with each other. In an attempt to answer a request from a lonely child, Jesper goes to look for a secluded home of a woodsman called Klaus and together they deliver their first toy together and so starts the tale of how the traditions we know of Christmas starts about Santa Claus and the many rules.

Up until now, everyone has their own version of Santa Claus whether its the generational business in Arthur Christmas or the badass Santa in The Christmas Chronicles, no one has truly gone back and done an origin story of Santa Claus and how all these little rules starts like the naughty and nice list and the delivering of gifts to children  from letters. While this is an original story by Sergio Pablos, somehow it all fits together very well with the lore of the family rivals and the need to boost the postal service and while all of these little clever ideas are being put together, it shares a positive message about the society through this little fictional town. At the same time, it builds up a heartwarming story about Jesper finding his purpose in life and forming bonds with what could be said are the outsiders living in Smeerensburg who are not Ellingboe or Krum and successful bonds the two clans together by sharing through their actions that “a simple act of kindness sparks another”.

Of course, animated films can be complimented on their fantastic visual style and the drawings and design. All of this is outstanding in Klaus as well as the creative original story that I mentioned above. The best parts of this are the vocal performances that bring life to these charming characters from Jesper being voiced by Jason Schwartzmann to Klaus done by the brilliant J.K. Simmons down to Mrs. Krum by Joan Cusack who seems to have become a Netflix movie favorite, right down to a little Sami girl who is cute as a button called Margu who literally is speaking in her language and nothing is comprehensive or subtitled but adds to much to her bonding with Jesper. Klaus is truly a heartwarming and fun little Christmas movie that deserves a watch.

Elwood’s Pick – Christmas Evil (1980)

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So with the festive season fast approaching no doubt you’re already tired of every festive movie being about families coming together and wearing questionable sweaters while learning about the true meaning of the festive season from the friendly hobo or something. Of course with all this schmaltz being crammed down your throat it’s occasionally fun to look at something a little darker over the festive season, and no I’m not talking about Die Hard, but instead will attempt to sway you over to my yearly viewing essential and not to mention the movie named the greatest by bastion of good taste John Waters. I am of course talking about Christmas Evil.

A film also known by the colourful titles of You’d Better Watch Out and Terror in Toyland, which follows Harry who works at the local toy factory while harbouring a secret desire to be Santa. So obsessed is Harry with becoming the jolly fat man that he wakes up in his Santa pyjama’s before setting out to spy on the local boys and girls whose names he writes down in his naughty or nice book. However with the world around him trying to break his festive spirit, he finally break and sets out to spread some festive cheer by donning his Santa suit and hopping in his white van (complete with Santa mural) to teach the local community the joy of Christmas as he steals toys from the sleazy toy factory he works at to give to sick kids at the hospital, even at one point attempting to fit down a chimney only to get stuck.

Christmas Evil really stands out from the other festive slashers such as the bitter Silent Night, Deadly Night which Mickey Rooney waged a personal war against only to then turn up in Part 5, the bonkers Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 or the surprisingly sleazy British slasher Don’t Open Till Christmas by actually having a lot of heart underneath its less than traditionally festive surface, as while Harry is a self-imposed loner he’s still likeable even if his Santa delusion does lead to him murdering several people for not showing enough festive cheer. However, unlike its counterparts this isn’t the focus as instead the film is more interested in following this man trying to figure out how to be Santa especially before that angry mob catches up with him. This film is a wild ride from start to finish with an ending which has to be seen to be believed.

So you’ve seen our picks for this week’s double feature but what are your movie watching plans this weekend?

 

Let us know in the comments section below.

Friday Film Club: Little Monsters + The Suicide Shop

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Hi folks and welcome to the The Friday Film Club where both myself and Kim will be highlighting a film which we feel is worth checking out. At the same time we would love to hear your own selections whether your choosing to just name them in the comments section or join us in arguing the case for your film on your blog, let us know and we will share it below.

Elwood’s Pick – Little Monsters (2019)

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While there has certainly been no shortage of zombie properties in recent years as the sub-genre drifted from George Romero’s gut munchers to being like vampires and one of the most over worked and originally devoid sub-genres of horror. This is not say that we haven’t seen occasional bursts of originally with shock some life back into these movies such as 28 Days Later and more recently Train to Busan but those examples are far and few between.

Thankfully Little Monsters is another of those examples of someone trying to do something different with Zombies with director Abe Forsythe channelling the same comedic vein as Shawn of the Dead to craft a film which not only delivers on the gory shambling zombie fun but one which also a lot of charm.

Following failed musician Dave (Alexander England) who after finding out that his girlfriend has been cheating on him during a disastrous proposal attempt he now finds himself living on his sisters couch and looking after his nephew Felix (Diesel La Torraca). Accompanying Felix’s class on a trip to the farm under the geise of wanting to be a helpful chaperon when he real interest is in Felix’s teacher Miss Caroline (Lupita Nyong’o) who likes to wear colourful sundress and play the Ukulele. However when zombies escaped from the nearby military facility escape Dave and and Miss Caroline must work together to save the children before the military nuke the farm!

Fuelled by an upbeat energy that perhaps becomes alittle too sacturine in the final quarter this film finally feels like someone trying to do something new with the Zombie genre even if it’s not straying far from the traditional tropes, the Life is Beautiful style misdrection that Miss Caroline weaves to hide the horror which surrounds them from the kids certainly provides it’s fun moments such as her return from a bout of zombie slaying covered in gore which she dismisses as having been “Caught In A Jam Fight” which at the same time advising them not eat the bits dripping off her. At the same time Alexander England provides the more crude humour elements of the film alongside Josh Gad’s kids TV personality Teddy McGiggle who might not be as whole as his TV image would have you believe.

If your looking for wall to wall zombie slaying action you will be disappointed as while the zombie sequences certainly deliver with one zombie staggering around the farm in a kola costume the scenes of them being slayed are few and far between with Forsythe preferring to have the cast run away than confront the zombies building up to possibly the slowest escape from zombies ever committed to film.

Unquestionably the film features great performances throughout along with a high quota of fun, even if it feels like it runs out of gas during the final quarter. This is still a fun companion piece to the still superior Shawn of the Dead

Kim’s Pick – The Suicide Shop (2012)

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Based on the 2007 French novel by Jean Teule of the same name, The Suicide Shop or as it’s know in it’s native France Le Magasin des Suicides in French, is an animated film about the Tuvache family who runs a suicide shop with all the different ways to perfectly execute a suicide in a time where the suicide rate is high in the near future city. However, trouble strikes the family when the realize that their youngest son is not the depressed personality but is born with a smile and a happiness that infects their customers affecting their business, one that has thrived through generations. In a struggle of keeping their business alive and dealing with this out of the normal son in their family, the Tuvache family has to embrace which is more important to them.

French films in general have always had a flare for the dramatic. Perhaps its why the animations itself also grasp a less dramatic but more dark humor angle to their story which fits perfectly into The Suicide Shop’s storyline. The contrast of happiness and depression is done really well here which creates a lot of highly entertaining scenes that go down. At the same time, the concept of happiness being something that isn’t a given in everyone’s life also becomes a key theme that has some rather fun little moments. It embraces the family theme and also has its charm in its quirkiness and oddity, especially in its focus on the different ways of suicide and just how ridiculous some of it actually is and how this concept can be turned into a movie in general.

The Suicide Shop might suffer from some storyline issues, however where it excels is in its animation art style and the color palette. It’s the unique area that it explores that also adds a lot of intrigue as well as the well-executed dark humor. The characters are also done pretty well with each of the members of the Tuvache family. Its not perfect but The Suicide Shop has a lot of quirk, oddities and an immense of charm and visual appeal.

So you’ve seen our picks for this week’s double feature but what are your movie watching plans this weekend?

Let us know in the comments section below.

Friday Film Club: Big Game + Creepshow 2

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Hi folks and welcome to the The Friday Film Club where both myself and Kim will be highlighting a film which we feel is worth checking out. At the same time we would love to hear your own selections whether your choosing to just name them in the comments section or join us in arguing the case for your film on your blog, let us know and we will share it below.

Elwood’s Pick – Big Game (2014)

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Despite being the most expensive film to be produced in Finland with a budget of $10 million this also a film which for whatever reason seemed to disappear as quick as it appeared on the release radar leaving me entering into this film with a sense of trepidation, especially when compared to Rare Exports which it seemed the blogging community were keen to discuss unlike this film which no one seemed to be talking about. Thankfully I shouldn’t have worried as Helander once again has delivered a film which is similar to Rare Exports in so many ways as Helander gives us his take on the action genre with Air Force One shot down by terrorists and President Moore’s (Samuel L. Jackson) only hope of survival lies with the 13 year old Oskari (Tommila) who is on a hunting mission to prove his maturity to his kinsfolk, only not to find himself instead aiding the President to escape the terrorists now hunting them.

While the action might be kept to the most part to the mountain side we do get the obligatory cuts to the pentagon crisis room were an enjoyable Victor Garber does a lot of hand wringing as the vice president and Jim Broadbent basically steals every scene he’s in as the head of the Terrorist Intel Unit while somehow managing to make a sandwich last the whole film, let alone showing a rare darker side we haven’t seen since Art School Confidential and one I would love to see more of. Yes at time these scenes can feel like throw away exposition but thankfully they do lead up to something bigger by the finale in a rather shocking twist that comes seemingly out of nowhere.

As with Rare Exports its hard to say who exactly the audience is for this film and with such a strange family adventure vibe running throughout the film, combined with Helander’s general refusal to commit to any one tone I’ve found myself referring to this as a “Starter Action Movie”. The kind of movie you could show the kids as a gateway into the genre before you show them the Schwarzenegger / Stallone / Van Damme classics. More so when this film is free of the usual bad language and ultra-violence you might not want to expose the kids to, still if we can have starter horror movies why not the same for action movies?

Kim’s Pick – Creepshow 2 (1987)

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Based on stories by Stephen King, Creepshow 2 is a sequel of the 1982 horror anthology film, Creepshow. Originally scripted with 5 stories like its predecessor, the final film includes 3 stories: Old Chief Wood’nhead, The Raft and The Hitchhiker. From wooden Native American chief coming alive to a floating oil-like blob in a middle of nowhere lake to a hitchhiker’s haunting a woman who killed him in a hit and run incident, this anthology also inserts an animated story of a paperboy reading an issue of Creepshow and having an individual story that links and transitions each of these stories. There is a charming transition from real life to animation as well as the fun introduction and inserts of The Creep.

The first story to kick off the anthology is Old Chief Wood’nhead which tells the story of the Spruces couple who runs a store in the Native American territory and as they lend money to an elder from the tribe out of good deed, they are robbed by said elder’s nephew, Sam who ends up committing a bad deed that results in awakening the wooden Native American chief who goes to hunt him and his friends down. Sam is the first familiar face, played by Holt McCallany and probably best known nowadays for his role as Bill Tench in Netflix Series Mindhunters.

The second story, The Raft, is the best of the batch and follows a lot of the 80s horror style with four college students who go to a desolate lake for a swim when they reach a raft in the middle and realize they are being hunted by an oil-like blob floating on the surface which results in some gruesome endings. Satisfying and well-executed in both its style and storyline and especially its finale.

The last story, The Hitchhiker is a more psychological horror experience following an unfaithful wife rushing home before her husband to accidentally hit a hitchhiker and then escapes the scene to find that she is being haunted by him as he repeats “Thanks for the ride, lady” and she attacks him over and over to get rid of him. Bordering between psychological or paranormal, this one has some well-timed jumpscares and a lovely twist and also questions who you root for seeing as the main female character did kill the hitchhiker in the first place.

Creepshow 2 is a fun little 80s horror comedy romp. All three stories have very fantastic little twists to them and highlight a different horror subgenre. Under the co-screenplay efforts of George A. Romero and adapting the stories of Stephen King and directed by Michael Gornick, it all comes together in atmosphere and style really well.

So you’ve seen our picks for this week’s double feature but what are your movie watching plans this weekend?

Let us know in the comments section below.

Friday Film Club: Bleach + Death Note

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Hi folks and welcome to the The Friday Film Club where both myself and Kim will be highlighting a film which we feel is worth checking out. At the same time we would love to hear your own selections whether your choosing to just name them in the comments section or join us in arguing the case for your film on your blog, let us know and we will share it below.

Elwood’s Pick – Death Note (2017)

Lakeith Stanfield and Nat Wolff in the Netflix Original Film "Death Note"

It’s always going to be a risky proposition to attempt to adapt a popular eastern property for a western audience and certainly more so when the original already has a rapid fanbase as certainly can be said for Death Note which originally started life as a manga before being adapted into three live action films and an anime series so really it was only a matter of time before they remade it.

Despite moving the story from Japan to Seattle the rest of the story remains pretty much in tact with high school student Light (Nat Wolff) stumbling across the “Death Note” a notebook were by writing down a persons name and the cause of their death it will happen thanks to the apple chomping death god Ryuk (Willem Dafoe). After initially using the book to kill his mother’s killer who was never charged for her death Light sees the potential to rid the world of evil using the book attributing the deaths to Kira a vengeful spirit whose urban legend he slowly builds up with each name he writes in the book.

Things however get complicated when he attracts the attention of the internation detective L (Lakeith Stanfield) who is determined to find out who Kira actually is and with Light not knowing his real name a strange game of cat and mouse begins as both attempt to uncover the real identity of the other.

Directed by Adam Wingard here moving on from his mumblegore roots with films such as You’re Next and The Guest to here crafting a unique take on the Death Note material as he takes the basic framework of the original only to focus more on set pieces and Final Destination style splatter rather than the random aside the orignal featured such as the show giving details on making your love rivals fat.

An enjoyable ride throughout, especially if you have no strong connection to the original or atleast willing to view the film on it’s own merits which there are certainly plenty of, even if the final 30 minutes works in an unwanted twist which detracted from the film more than it added to it.

Kim’s Pick – Bleach (2018)

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Adapted from one of the bestselling manga series in Japan and the United States, Bleach has been adapted into TV series and various movies before Shinsuke Sato decided to take on this adaptation which starts everything back at the beginning. Bleach tells the story of Ichigo Kurosaki who can see ghosts and accidentally swaps powers with a Soul Reaper Rukia Kuchiki. He gains the ability to eliminate spiritual monsters, otherwise called Hollows, while she becomes a normal person. Because of this swap before they can change things back to normal, he is tasked with her obligations to purify Hollows.

With Shinsuke Sato in the director’s seat for this adaptation, especially with a lot of previous manga adaptation experience in his filmography, he brings a lot of style here. Probably a bit more than substance but as most manga adaptations fall apart is how it brings its complex material that takes multiple volumes to go through and share all the lore in (almost) 2 hours. Bleach has one of the more intriguing lores with its various characters and different types of people in this world. While Ichigo is also one that has some changes here from his family structure and adds in the Japanese dark and goofy humor all at the same time. The monster designs here are fantastic and some of the effects are downright creepy in its execution. However, Bleach is definitely more of an action-adventure with supernatural elements.

Its group of characters keeping the key ones like Ichigo and Rukia while also touching on Rukia’s captain, the leader of the Soul Society. At the same time, it touches slightly on a Quincy who happens to be Ichigo’s classmate who wants to have revenge on all the Soul Reapers. As mentioned before, Bleach has a lot of story and its hard to wrap it all up. However, the action stays consistent and the atmosphere works very well and there are of course some creepy moments since it deals with the supernatural. All this works well enough together. It lacks some of the desired depth and feels slightly disjointed but there are some elements well worth a watch probably all thanks to Shinsuke Sato at the helm of this film and the cast pulling off some fairly entertaining and comedic bits while balancing out the more intense action bits.

So you’ve seen our picks for this week’s double feature but what are your movie watching plans this weekend?

Let us know in the comments section below.

After Hours #9 – Tigers Are Not Afraid

On this episode we discuss the directorial debut of Issa López which not only has seen her draw comparisons to the Guillermo del Toro but also his admiration aswell.

With her debut film she blends fairy tale fantasy against the harsh reality of the Mexican drug wars as a young girl called Estrella returns home to find her mother missing and persumed to have been  kidnapped by the local drugs cartel currently terrorising the city. Now joining  a group of orphaned street kids and empowered  with the gift of three wishes she joins them on their quest for  revenge.

Further Viewing

Pan’s Labyrinth
Devil’s Backbone
Krampus
Coreline
Sicaro
City of God

Music on this episode

Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare

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