thriller

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!

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

New Release Review- Ex Machina, 2015

Available from the 6th of November on NOW TV

Alex Garland’s sci- fi thriller looks amazing. Seriously, I could not take my eyes off this film. The design is wonderful but the film is never hiding behind it’s visual elements. Ex Machina is exploring ideas of intelligence, of the self aware- for both robot and man. Of course the idea of advanced AI isn’t anything new, but this film still feels fresh. At times Ex Machina even has the atmosphere of a horror film, Alex Garland building tension so expertly you just know something’s going to happen and it’s going to be amazing when it does.

When Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) wins a competition to meet the head of the company he works for (Oscar Isaac) things take a strange turn when he is invited to test a piece of AI. As the tension builds towards the final act we’re not quite sure what, or who to believe. You’ll find your self sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next- helped along by Oscar Isaac, whose performance plays up Ex Machina’s sinister mood- there’s something about this film that will give you the creeps. Even Ava (Alicia Vikander), the advanced AI with a pretty face, seems a little too bizarre. Is it just because she’s a robot or is there something more going on? It really is a great film.

Ex Machina pays off in the final act, it has plenty of gruesome twists and disturbing imagery that takes this film to the next level. It is both an awesome science fiction movie and an ‘edge- of- your- seat’ thriller.

4/5

New Release: Cop Car, 2015

Avaliable from 19th October on Virgin Movies / EE / TalkTalk / Eircom / Amazon Instant Video / Google Play / blinkbox

Two boys (James Freedson- Jackson/ Hays Wellford) find a cop car in the middle of nowhere and take it for a joy ride. Of course things don’t go as planned when renegade cop (Kevin Bacon) finds out. Does he just want his car back or is there something more sinister going on?

I absolutely loved this movie. I am usually skeptical about child actors but James Freedson- Jackson and Hays Wellford play their roles perfectly. Cop Car had me on edge for the entire second half of the movie but I was hooked from the first scene- in fact the first fifteen minutes or so could be argued as the best bit of this movie. Two runaway boys finding a cop car, what could possibly happen? It’s simple, it’s dark and it’s great. Cop Car is the perfect combination of surprisingly dark moments fitted around some genuinely funny scenes with some real intense moments to top it off.

There’s no need to over complicate things with Jon Watts’ Cop Car, it is what it is and it does what it does- and it does it well. If you like thriller movies it’s a must watch, and it only stands at 86 minutes- which is a running time I like.

4/5

New Release: Knock Knock, 2015

Available from 19th October on Virgin Movies / EE / TalkTalk / Eircom / Amazon Instant Video / Google Play

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Eli Roth did a wonderful job on this movie. It’s trash, but it’s good trash.

I don’t know if this movie was supposed to be so funny, but I was laughing through a good portion of it. That may be why my review is pretty high for what it is- I just had fun watching it. There’s something about Keanu Reeves in this movie that is just hilarious, every reaction shot I was audibly laughing through the cinema like an idiot. I’ve seen comparisons to Nick Cage so that might be it.

Knock Knock is also pretty messed up. When Evan Webber (Keanu Reeves) is left alone things go terribly wrong when a good deed turns into a disastrous mistake. I mean, we all knew what was going to happen when two attractive women show up at the door looking for a party, and, lo and behold, slowly and surely Evan’s life is ruined. I don’t know if this movie deserves the rating I’m going to give it but, hey, I liked it.

Disclaimer: this movie may not be for everyone as when I watched it in the cinema I heard someone say, “Well, that was absolute shit!” when leaving.

3.5/5

Best Horror Films 2014/15

So I thought I’d start this new blog off with my favorite horror films of 2014/ 2015 (so far!). Feel free to disagree/agree in the comments.

5. What we do in the Shadows (2015)
So this is more of a comedy… But it never stops being funny and it’s still technically a horror so here it is at the bottom of the list!

4. Unfriended (2015)

3. Creep (2015)

2. The Visit (2015)

1. It Follows (2015)