Quick Review: It displays some truly peculiar images that may give you a sense of dread, and there are moments where it really messes up with your head, but those are not very often, and oddly enough, the whole thing feels somewhat familiar, even if it's difficult to say that "The Canal" is unoriginal. The creepiness is there, the eerie music score is fairly effective, and it has a couple of solid scares, especially towards the end, but all in all this Irish horror film is far from terrifying.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Quick Review: It's nowhere nearly as good as director's iconic "The Blair Witch Project", nor it's the most realistic Bigfoot movie you will ever see, but it's surely one of the most daring ones, as it manages to boldly reveal its creature, without spoiling the suspense. There are frustrating moments in which the characters act illogically, but that is compensated with the constant tension Sánchez capably maintains, and more than a few effective scares, that will make your heart pound hard.
White Bird in a Blizzard (2014)
Quick Review: An odd hybrid of domestic drama, sex-driven coming-of-age story, and 'missing person' mystery, "White Bird in a Blizzard" works surprisingly well, despite the offbeat dream scenes, considering director Araki's peculiar choice of genre mixing. Woodley turns in yet another captivating performance in a seemingly unsuitable role for her, but it's Eva Green that steals the whole show as the lonely, neurotic, and often nutty mother.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)
Quick Review: A seamless blend of poignant medical mock-doc about a woman's struggle with Alzheimer's, twisted murder mystery, and creepy possession story, "The Taking" is as unpredictably shocking as it's utterly unsettling -- a rare hidden gem of a horror movie that defines 'cinematic scariness', delivering a jolt after jolt as the plot unfolds, and culminating in a final act that features on of the scariest movies scenes ever filmed. The acting is great, too.
Step Up: All In (2014)
Quick Review: Forget about the plot -- it's plain dumb and painfully formulaic, but that's not a surprise, since much like the previous entries, "Step Up 5: All In" is all about the dancing. The latter, however, is not so impressive this time around. The choreography is far from inspired, and more than a few of the routines feel forced. The glossy production design and some good moves here and there do not excuse the super- stiff acting, lame romance, and lack of any sort of originality.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Quick Review: Much like most Spanish horror films, "Asmodexia" is a tastefully-shot and well-produced exorcism flick with a great tone, but sadly, it only excels in a technical and visual way. It tells three parallel stories, none of which make sense until the very end, hence, the whole thing feels disconnected and badly-narrated. Scares-wise, it does not work much either, as it only has a few possession images to display. If it has to be described with one word that would be... 'bizarre'.
Friday, October 24, 2014
See No Evil 2 (2014)
Quick Review: A definite improve upon the dreadful original, yet still very generic, "See No Evil 2" is your typical slasher with zero brains, lots of blood, no actual plot, and stupid characters making stupid decisions. The Soska sisters certainly have a flair for style, and give the movie a 'slick coldness' feel, and the morgue it is set in will make you uneasy, but that's just half the job done. Kane is menacing and the death scenes are gory as hell, but the film could have been much more brutal.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Dracula Untold (2014)
Quick Review: You might learn a thing or two about Vlad, but overall "Dracula Untold" has very little to tell, or to show to its audience, apart from a couple of finely-crafted, CGI- laden action scenes and some well- chosen settings. Evans realizes he embodies one of the most popular horror icons in cinematic history and gives his all, but it's the derivative script, that doesn't allow him to fully dazzle. Charles Dance chills as the Master Vampire with both his wicked looks and dark charisma.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Quick Review: Make no mistake – Colin Minihan's "Extraterrestrial" is a technically well-made film, featuring sleek camera work, combined with moody lighting and some POV shots to shake things up a bit, but other than that, this alien invasion feature is neither original, nor has enough potential to fulfill its out-of-this-world ambitions. In fact, "Extraterrestrial" is so cliche-ridden, you will be able to foresee most of the events, plus, the aliens are shown way too early, and they fail to frighten.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Quick Review: Often cheesy, and a bit too lightweight to be a proper and memorable werewolf flick, and yet hardly ever tiresome, "Wolves" may not be one of the best movies of this sub-genre, nor it will make you shaking in your boots, but if you don't expect too much, you might have a bloody good time with it, as it doesn't take itself that seriously, it has an engaging protagonist, solid cast, decent practical effects if lame transformations and some truly gory werewolf fights to enjoy.
Monday, October 20, 2014
ABCs of Death 2 (2014)
Quick Review: An even further step down to its below par predecessor, "ABCs of Death 2" is, sadly, not even a mixed bag of a horror anthology, as there are very few shorts in it that are worth it, with the only highlight being C. Nash's "Zygote". "Badger", "Capital Punishment", and "Vacation" are also one of the better ones, and the stop-motion animation "Delouse", arguably the most imaginative. The rest are either uninspired, dull, too crazy, or relying too much on gore in a failed attempt to scare.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Quick Review: Being shot for over dozen years with the same cast is a truly unique technical achievement, indeed, but still "Boyhood" has a lot more to flaunt with, other than its never-attempted-before conception. It's one of the most visceral coming- of-age dramas you will ever see, with each shot, scene, performance, location, or plot detail being as real as it can get. It is like someone's life is being captured on film. And it is very compelling to watch, even if the editing is far from ideal.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort (2014)
Quick Review: A notch above the hideous fifth entry, yet still pathetic, "WT6" offers nothing than repulsive kills, in-your-face gore, crappy plot, and woodenly-portrayed characters that feel very disconnected, despite they're supposed to be very close. The three ruthless cannibals have zero personality, and behave like monkeys most of the time, and the make-up is cheap. The only decent thing about this sequel is the grand old mansion it is set in.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Where the Devil Hides (2014)
Quick Review: More of a murder mystery rather than a proper horror movie, "Where the Devil Hides" has little to do with the devil, despite its title and premise promise otherwise. It is technically well-executed, and surprisingly atmospheric in terms of visuals, but that neither makes it sinister enough, nor saves it from falling flat, as there is not a single decent scare in the movie, let alone something to make your skin crawl. The cast is fine, though.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Coming Home (2014)
Quick Review: Truly beautiful in its sophisticated simplicity, and deeply touching due to its sad, yet hopeful story set against the backdrop of late 70's communism and poverty in China, "Coming Home" may not be one of director Zhang Yimou's most impressive achievements technically or story-wise, but it's definitely one of his most personal films -- one that exudes gut-wrenching emotions, raw realism, and genuineness. Gong Li gives one of her very best and most difficult performances yet.
Monday, October 13, 2014
Dolphin Tale 2 (2014)
Quick Review: Even though it is slightly less endearing than the first movie, and also not as dramatic or uplifting, "Dolphin Tale 2" is a worthy successor filled with cute moments, sequences of 'aquatic' playfulness and fun, and of course some drama to balance it up. The dolphins are utterly delightful, and their human friends incredibly likable, especially the young ones, all of which deliver believable performances, portraying caringness and love for animals with an amazing enthusiasm.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
A Good Marriage (2014)
Quick Review: Probably if it was made in the 90s, "A Good Marriage" would have worked much better, but since it's 2014, the whole thing just feels a bit too dated. And it's not the otherwise excellent source material to blame, but Askin's underwhelming direction, and the not-well-adapted script. On the bright side, Joan Allen and Anthony LaPaglia do their best with what they have been given, and make the film watchable, if still light on jolts and thrills, low on suspense, kinda flat, and often dull.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Sex Tape (2014)
Quick Review: There is no doubt that Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel are fun to watch as a pair, and make a great on-screen couple, because of the hot chemistry they share, plus the film is not without its moments of laughter, but sadly, considering how hysterically funny directors' previous effort with the same two stars "Bad Teacher" was, "Sex Tape" comes across as too 'soft core' to be dirty and raunchy enough, not to say it's moralizing, which is so inappropriate given its title & premise.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
The Equalizer (2014)
Quick Review: Offering a thrilling story of revenge, full of high-voltage action and stylized violence, strong protagonist, and arguably the most intimidating villain since Hans Landa from "Inglourious Basterds", acted chillingly by Csokas, "The Equalizer" is a highly entertaining and well-shot thriller that starts off too quietly, but goes full on crazy towards the end. Denzel Washington plays his almost invincible character with conviction, and sheer passion and Chloe Grace Moretz shines bright too.
Quick Review: After a fairly strong start, that promises a lot of surprises along the way in a cat'n'mouse style, "Sabotage" quickly lets itself down, by throwing away the importance of its plot, and focusing more on the action and pure violence, both of which are unnecessarily over-the-top. The cast portray angriness and toughness with ease, but there's not a single likable character in the movie. Furthermore, the execution is a bit 'rough around the edges', and Ayer and Johnson's direction really off-putting.