Month: December 2015

Now On Netflix Review- The Ninth Gate, 1999

Available Now on Netflix UK

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The Ninth Gate features Johnny Depp playing our protagonist, Dean Corso, the book dealer with a reputation. Dean sets out to verify and research a book called ‘The Nine Gates’ for a client who believes that out of the three copies that exists only one is real.

Roman Polanski’s film is drenched in mystery, and although it is a little bit goofy, it’s the kind of film that’s going to glue you to the screen. We’re just as confused as Dean Corso is through- out the whole film, who is this mysterious blonde (Emmanuelle Seigner) who keeps showing up? And why is there so much mystery, defensiveness and murder that follows these books around? The answer? Satan, of course.

This film is following in the footsteps of all satanic cult movies, when we meet the group responsible they’re dressed in long black robes and reading from this mysterious book in front of a  dramatically set- up bed where orgies take place, allegedly. Polanski ticks every box in the book to make sure we know this is a cult, and the most evil and corrupt one at that. It would be goofy, and it kind of is, but some how it still hits the mark.

This film seems to get crazier and crazier, but I kind of loved it. The Ninth Gate will drag you in with it’s mysteriousness and keep you watching because it’s kind of great.

4/5

Now On Netflix Review- Invaders From Mars, 1986

Available Now on Netflix UK

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Invaders from Mars is the kind of horror that’s fine for pretty much the whole family. It’s not overly terrifying or overly gruesome and if you take out the small amount of horror that is present you are left with a children’s film. Not that I’m slating Invaders from Mars for being that, it was one hell of a fun movie and I would probably watch it again.

I don’t know what’s wrong with this town but for some reason the only person who can tell that something’s wrong is a child, David (Hunter Carson), even though everyone is acting super weird and suspicious. Luckily the school nurse (Linda Magnuson) believes him and the two set out to save the day.

The plot is as simple as it could get, but since it worked for me I’m not going to say anything bad about that. Visually it’s a super fun film, there’s a lot going on but it’s never distracting- from cute/ terrifying aliens to the spaceship channeling disco ball landing there’s certainly a lot to look at in this film. It’s everything you would expect from an 80’s sci-fi horror flick.

3/5 – Pretty sure I almost took half a star away for the ending because it disappointed me greatly, but it’s an amusing sci-fi flick so what the hell- three stars!

New Release Review- The Gift, 2015

Avaliable from 7th December on iTunes, blinkbox, Amazon Instant Video, Virgin Movies, TalkTalk Box Office, eir Vision Movies, Google Play, Curzon Home Cinema

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Sorry I’m a little behind on reviews because of university work! BUT The Gift is one of my favorite thrillers/ movies in general of 2015. SO HERE WE GO:

You know those movies that seem to get crazier and creepier as they go? Yeah, The Gift is one of those.

I don’t know why I expected a horror when I sat down to watch this, but it really wasn’t anything of the sort. Sure, it builds the kind of atmosphere you’d usually find in a horror film but The Gift is an all out psychological thriller.

Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut (you can also find him starring in this film, and on the producers list, and his name on the screen play), The Gift is undeniably creepy.

Husband and wife (Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall) move to a wonderful new house with high hopes for the future. Unfortunately Gordo (Edgerton) turns up. Although seeming innocent enough- perhaps a little unnerving- Gordo slowly starts to tear their lives apart. I know I’ve written the word Gordo one to many times, but Edgertons performance really carries the life of this film, however all three protagonists are great in their own right.

The ending is a punch in the face, the final blow that seals this movie in ‘totally disturbing but, ah! What a clever twist’ territory. The Gift is a must watch in my opinion.

4.5 /5 – Yeah I liked it a lot!

Now On Netflix Review- Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, 1971,

Available Now on Netflix UK

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John D. Hancock’s low budget horror is a journey into paranoia and atmosphere of the creepiest kind. Okay, so it takes a while for this movie to really kick in but we’re treated to some wonderful psychological scares and spine- tingling visuals from the very beginning as we’re not sure if what we’re seeing is a result of Jessica’s recent stay in a mental ward or something far more terrifying.

The film will drip feed you daringly obvious signs as to where this movie is going but don’t be put off by that because as this film comes to an end there is some truly terrifying scenes. Jessica, played by Zohra Lampert is doing her best to over act everything but it kind of works with the knowledge of her characters unstable backstory.

You’ll be drowning in the mood of this film and absolutely suffocating on the ambiance, in the best possible way. In fact it’s probably Hancock’s brilliant building of these elements that makes this low- budget film so successful.

If you’re a fan of horror be sure to catch this!
4/5

New Release Review- Mistress America, 2015

Available from the 7th December on ITunes, blinkbox, Amazon Instant Video, Virgin Movies, TalkTalk Box Office, eir Vision Movies, Google Play

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If I’m not in my body then where am I?

Five feet to the left and unhappy.

Mistress America is strangely accomplished and cheesy at the same time. Noah Baumbach presents us with something so punchy and relentless and fast paced that it becomes just so enjoyable to watch.

Tracy (Lola Kirke) has just started college in New York, she is lonely and nervous and struggles to make new friends. That is until she calls her soon to be step sister Brooke (Greta Gerwig) and a strange relationship ensues. I can only describe it as Nick/ Gatsby- esque with the fast talker Brooke naturally taking on the Gatsby role.

With well written characters (screenplay from Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach) and well presented characters it’s impossible not to get drawn in. Brooke, played by Gerwig, is a central piece to this film. The acting performance from both Gerwig and Kirke is to be commended as is the writing provided by Gerwig and Baumbach. Add that to the feel good sound track with music that feels as if it has been taken right from a Joy Division album and I’m sold on this film.

Mistress America is an exploration of family, of marriage, generations and, of course, the struggle we all face in finding out who we are and what we want- and it does it well. There are moments, moments that most films like this will face, where the whole thing is veering towards an ending so cheesy and fake it could have ruined the whole thing. Mistress America avoids this and takes us to a place of harsh reality and comforting conclusion in knowing our characters will be okay.

4/5

New Release Review- The Curse of Downers Grove, 2015

Avaliable from 11th December on Netflix UK

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The Curse of Downers Grove begins with the vaguely interesting premise about a curse that kills one student a year before graduation day. We then quickly descend into a completely different film that has nothing to do with the curse until- I don’t know- the last minute maybe?

With the tag line; ‘HIGH SCHOOL CAN BE MURDER.’ you have to start wondering why add the curse in the movie at all. The Curse of Downers Grove is really about horrible jocks, who take drugs, vandalize and sexually assault women every chance they get. One in particular decides to take revenge on Chrissie Swanson (Bella Heathcote) who ripped his eye out in an act of self defense. The movie will use every trick it can think of to let you know just how terrible these boys are and it gets boring. We get it. They’re bad. Anything else going on?

Two of our protagonists Chrissie and her brother (Martin Spanjers) are fairly well rounded, unfortunately everyone else falls under a ‘we’re bad’/ ‘we’re good’ stereotype/ that one guy, who looks so much like young Heath Ledger that it was mildly distracting, who played ‘generic rom-com love interest’. That’s about it for this film. None of the acting was particularly great and neither was the story.

The Curse of Downers Grove is not one to watch. You’ll only end up sitting there wondering why everyone in this film is making unrealistic or stupid decisions.

1/5

Now On Netflix Review- Creep, 2014

Available now on Netflix UK

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Mark Duplass delivers an absolutely terrifying performance in Patrick Brice’s Creep.

Aaron (Patrick Brice) is a videographer looking for work and the answer immediately appears, because that’s how it works in horror films. Josef (Mark Duplass) is offering $1,000 for one day of filming. Aaron takes the job, but admits that the situation seems too good to be true. It is. Obviously.

The film, a found footage piece, lives up to it’s name with a ruthless atmosphere of unquestionable creepiness. Mark Duplass delivers the kind of performance you just can’t turn away from and his character, Josef, quickly becomes the star. While some parts are laugh- out- loud funny there’s always that creepy undertone that won’t go away, and that’s why this film succeeds in the way it does. It’s awkward and terrifying and sets itself apart from the sea of awful found footage films out there.

Creep shifts so seamlessly and quickly from funny to scary that it’s hard to know how to react, except for a deep disturbance you’re bound to feel. If you’re looking for a good found footage with lots of atmosphere then Creep is the one for you.

Extremely watchable, definitely one to catch.

4/5

Recommended Blogs- Films, books and reviews

Just a quick post on blogs I love to read- be sure to take a look as you might find some of these interesting yourself.

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Film

http://paragraphfilmreviews.com/ – Exactly what it says on the tin. Short and sweet, straight to the point movie news, this blog is always worth a read!

https://jordanandeddie.wordpress.com/ –  First of all this blog looks awesome, secondly I love the content here- lots of great film reviews and lists- check them out!

http://thefilmratings.com/ – Reviews, news, reports, a little bit of everything here. Definitely worth a follow if you’re looking to keep up to date with the latest stuff.

Books

https://byfordsbooks.wordpress.com/ – Looking for books to read? You’ll find lots of things to read on this blog with occasional suggestions on what edition to get so you get the best illustrations  or what ever it is you’re looking for.

Blogs

https://intrigueandadventure.wordpress.com/ – A personal blog with a wonderful emphasis on film, some nice reading here if you’re looking for something a bit more casual.


I’m thinking about doing these monthly or bi- monthly so like this if you would be interested in that/ comment or like if you think your blog might be something I’d enjoy and I’ll be sure to check you out and maybe give you a shout-out next time I do one of these!