Everybody knows I love John Carpenter and Big Trouble in Little China is not Carpenters best film, but it is an action comedy jammed full of fun. Before watching Big Trouble in Little China the only Carpenter films I’d seen had been very much seated in the horror genre. BUT despite not being the type of horror film I know Carpenter for the whole thing is drenched in his style.
Trucker Jack Burton (Kurt Russell- who also starred in Tarantino’s Death Proof available on Netflix UK) agrees to pick up his friend Wang Chi’s (Dennis Dun) fiance at the airport with him. Of course things don’t go to plan and we delve into a fantasy adventure where good an evil collide. See, the evil sorcerer Lo Pan must marry a girl with emerald eyes to regain his physical form – and unfortunately for Wang Chi, his fiance, and Jack Burton, she is a beautiful women with emerald green eyes.
It’s great fun, with superb pacing, and some truly memorable costume design and characters. There’s even some weird supernatural monsters in the mix. You know, cause it’s awesome- and they look awesome, but what else would you expect from Carpenter? He’s know for his special- effects movies.
Ultimately Big Trouble in Little China is an easy going movie, the type of movie you can just get enjoyment out of without diving too deep into anything. It looks great, it feels great and it’s never boring- go watch it!!!!
Single mother, Amelia (Essie Davis), is struggling to look after her over- active son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), in the wake of her husbands death. When Samuel finds a rather disturbing book on the shelf in his bedroom the Babadook stops being a child’s nightmare and begins to become a terrifying reality for this small family.
The film is a chilling look at the tangibility of grief and addiction. Prescription drugs and the fathers death become central to the the film, but they only subtly let us know what The Babadook is really about. It’s sad, it’s disturbing, and it’s relentless. We’re treated to scene after scene of the difficulties in raising a child when both mother and son are struggling with their own terrors. Samuel with his childhood fear of monsters, and Amelia with visions of her dead husband- both protagonists of this film play their roles extremely well.
The film does not give us any relief as we soon dive into the unnerving world of the Babadook. As a horror film The Babadook fulfills what it’s supposed to do- the whole thing is absolutely terrifying. There’s a spine- chilling atmosphere to the whole movie as we’re often trapped in the blue/ grey house with Amelia and Samuel. Director Jennifer Kent plays on the films mood extremely well, it’s frightening at the best of times- and absolutely terrifying in others.
Undeniably gripping, emotionally painful, completely relentless- The Babadook is a must see horror.
Available from Thursday 15th October on Amazon Prime
Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows starts with a boat docked in a gloomy England and I’m getting mad Sweeney Todd flashbacks. These were a lie. Dark Shadows just feels tired and gimmicky, the film it’s self struggling to make its way to the next scene trying to find a decent plot line and dragging on for far too long.
However there were some appealing aspects to this film, a Gothic stylized 70’s family was fun to watch, at least visually and I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the soundtrack. Some of the humor comes across well also, Johnny Depp playing out- of- place (or should I say time haha.) vampire Barnabas Collins allows for some well placed jokes- which somewhat saved this film from total disaster. I just can’t help but think this movie had a lot more potential, and ended up delivering very little.
This movie felt like it was being directed by someone pretending to be Tim Burton, delivering exactly what you’d expect and not giving you any more.
Available from Saturday 10th October on Netflix UK
Directors Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi (who also star in the film) parody the vampire genre in this clever mockumentary piece, What we do in the Shadows. It’s not an easy thing to do, just take 2010 film Vampires Suck- it’s just the ticket to see an example of a failed vampire parody.
What we do in the Shadows runs with its rather simple premise to mock the over- popularised vampire film to the fullest extent, succeeding in every aspect to deliver a truly enjoyable film. As we meander through the lives of four vampire flat mates some could say that the films pace is, well, rather slow; however this perfectly fits with the humor as we watch the everyday antics that occur when living with other people- only vampire style. Even the poorly delivered accents only add to the charm of this film and ultimately I was laughing out loud more than once.