Re:Born

Re:Born (Directed by Yuji Shimomura. Starring: Tak Sakaguchi)

I was really hoping to go into an in-depth review of this movie, but the same thing just kept popping into my head: Do you want to see more kills than John Wick 2 in a shorter amount of time? If the answer is “Yes,” then you need to watch this. If the answer is “No,” then you might want to reflect on yourself a little bit.

This is much more action than horror, but it’s on Shudder so it should be readily available to anyone reading this review. It’s a good time. Check it.

4/5 pools of blood.

All The Creatures Were Stirring – 2018

Anthologies seem to be on the rage lately, but I am not complaining! Let’s have a look at 2018’s Christmas themed anthology, All The Creatures Were Stirring. As with any anthology there is a framing device in place here, and a rather clever one at that. Jenn and Max are two people alone on Christmas eve and decide to get together to go see a play. At this point you may be wondering if you accidentally selected a Hallmark Christmas movie, but hang in there. Once in the theatre, the play begins it’s first story.

The Stockings Were Hung

This story starts off with a rather mundane gift exchange at an office. However, things start to get effed real fast, and boy was it a treat! What we have here is a sadistic killer who has sabotaged the gift exchange. Some gifts will help, some will hurt; think saw-esque here. Once the fun begins it is quite fast paced, and ends quickly, which I liked. Although not super original, it was well executed and my favourite of the segments. 4 / 5 We then cut back to the actors in the play finishing the scene, as it will from here on out. This framing device is simple yet effective.

Dash Away All

This segment is certainly more original than the first, and gives off some Lovecraftian vibes. We got a man who has locked himself out of his car after some last minute Christmas shopping, and there is no one else around save for a creepy van in the parking lot with two women inside. I can’t say much else because the unraveling of the story is the key here, but it does get weird in an unexpected way. There’s even some good practical effects in this one! My only gripe was it took a little long to get there, but at under 20min, is that saying much?

3.5 / 5

All Through The House

I feel like this is where we start to fall off a bit. This segment is disjointed, and definitely maniacal. Jonathan Kite (2 Broke Girls) is great, and certain scenes are well shot with creepy lighting, and cinematography that is unsettling. Just straight up weird with not much of a resolution. On the bright side it does contain my favourite quote of the movie, “Take that you rosy-cheeked son of a bitch.” Worth it.

2.5 / 5

Arose Such a Clatter

I turned into a bitter old man on this one, and I had some petty complaints throughout. This time we get a discount Russell Crowe driving at night before smoking a huge deer wearing a collar. Yup, that big ‘ol boy was Blitzen, and he is pissed. The vengeful stalker ends up tracking down buddy at his home and well, you can imagine the rest. There was some cool stuff about this one such as the premise, and how they shot the POV scenes, but the pros wear out pretty quick. So off to the complaint department. We’re dealing with a huge reindeer here. The fact that the car had limited damage was bothersome enough, but the fact that HE HAS ANTLERS MOUNTED IN HIS HOUSE BUT DIDN’T TAKE OR CALL A BUDDY TO TAKE THE DEER HE JUST SMOKED was REDICULOUS. Ok, I’m fine. This one’s pretty boring overall, but fair waring. The cut back to the theater is hilarious.

2 / 5

In a Twinkling

Ending on a higher note, this segment has some serious Twilight Zone vibes. I felt like it was setting up for a werewolf story, but quickly turned around and we ended up getting probed. Nice. Some of the characters I wish I could have reached in and punched them in the face, but a minor gripe to a cool story. Throughout this segment we get twist after twist while getting weirder and weirder, yet somehow it works. Being so Twilight Zone-y I was expecting some sort of morbid or twist ending, but instead it’s quite wholesome..also nice.

3 / 5

After this we are brought back to the framing device for a little extra creep factor before sending us off to the credits. Overall I really enjoyed this anthology, it was fun without trying too hard. I really commend the production team for effectively using the tools they had at their disposal, and not reaching too hard beyond their budget. It’s Christmas, sit down with some popcorn, don’t set the bar too high, and you’ll have some fun.

Overall Score: 3 / 5 Broke Girls

Strangers: Prey at Night Review

(Caution: Minor spoilers ahead.)

 

I have not seen The Strangers. I went into this “sequel” with no prior knowledge of the first film and I think Strangers: Prey at Night stands well on its own. You don’t need to see the first one to follow it. From what I’ve read they aren’t really related. So, it’s not a sequel in the sense that it’s a continuation of a story, but it does share the same villains.

Those villains though… The actors were great at communicating without speaking, their characters came across very well but, they weren’t scary. They were actually pretty amusing, I laughed out loud a few times. (No one else did though, so…maybe it’s just me?) The tension building was good, and the music choices were interesting, but overall I just didn’t find it frightening.

Now we’re getting into the potential spoilers. This movie, while entertaining, was extremely predictable. They spend so much time trying (and failing) to make you sympathize with the daughter, that you know she’s going to survive. What happened with her brother was a little less predictable, but still predicable at about half way through.

The victims were so stupid. Just. So. Stupid. I don’t want to ruin the movie so I’ll just give a couple of examples. Firstly, do people really feel obligated to answer the door when someone knocks? Especially in the middle of the night? Hell, I don’t even answer my door in the middle of the day unless I’m expecting you. Next, you are in the middle of nowhere, alone, and you have just discovered a couple who have been brutally murdered. What do you do? Split up, of course. Okay, it worked for Scooby-Doo. Whatever. But the second thing you do? Go back to your trailer, which you left unlocked, and not search it. Yeah, that’s reasonable. Which leads us to the death of the third victim. Dollface, I think, has a knife. Just a regular kitchen knife, and is cornering two of the victims. They outnumber her, do they fight back? No, of course not. Um, do they grab something, anything, to use as a weapon? Hmm? Nope. Well, one does try to find a knife, but Dollface already has it. So, they just run into the bathroom and scream “Leave us alone!” Like that’s going to help. Okay, moving on, one more thing to point out. Even after all of this, they’re running around with no direction and screaming. I… Yeah. Okay. Maybe be stealthy? No?

Overall, this was fairly entertaining, totally worth the couple bucks I paid to see it. I would watch again on a streaming service but I probably wouldn’t fork out the money for a DVD. If you enjoy amusing villains who chase down hapless, stupid people then you’ll probably enjoy Strangers: Prey at Night. However, if you want more story in your horror… keep looking.

Dreams can come true….unfortunately!

Film Review

Before I wake (2016)

Kate Bosworth stars as grieving Mum Jessie, alongside husband Mark. Following the tragic and untimely death of their young son, the couple decide to foster a troubled, but cute little boy called Cody.

Enter Cody…possibly the cutest little thing since puss in boots made those eyes at Shrek!! Cody is sweet, polite and has…a gift! One that opens up experiences that the couple cannot quite believe, and emotions run high.

Codys dreams seemingly become real, the good ones…and the not so good ones. You may be thinking this sounds like the start of a Disney film, but there is an emphasis on the not so good dreams and we soon realise that Cody will do anything to prevent himself from falling asleep.

This film is genuinely chilling, I hadn’t heard of it before and gave it a go, and have to say I enjoyed every bit. It’s thought provoking, full of suspense and has a great twist to an emotional conclusion.

Paranormal suspense is the running theme, if you like a good ‘ghost’ film and are happy with watching a sugar sweet family going through supernatural torment, then this is a great pick for you.

Sarah

@Illberightbackk

Breakfast: Short Movie Review

You all remember Dinner, right? It’s a short film made by the talented Aleksandra Svetlichnaya. I wrote about it here. Breakfast is the follow-up. I wrote about the trailer here. And, while Breakfast is not yet available for public viewing, the Aleksandra gave me advanced access to see it. Can you believe it? Little ol’ me. She’s the best, you guys.

Dinner clocked in around 12 minutes. Breakfast decided that wasn’t long enough, so it clocks in at a shade over 26 minutes. Once again, we spend the bulk of our time with Dylan (Svetlichnaya), Oscar (Josh Kachnycz) and Hamilton (Ricardo Segarra). Dylan fills the role of Buffy, while Oscar and Hamilton are basically sub-replacement level Scoobies. I guess they’re Scrappies? I need to consult Joss Whedon on this important matter.

Oscar and Hamilton go to a comic shop and find an unfinished comic. Too dumb to heed the warnings of the shop owner – and apparently desperate to start the apocalypse – they steal the comic, run out of the shop and head into the woods.

Meanwhile, Dylan finds herself caught in a time loop. She wakes up, checks her phone, brushes her teeth, puts her hair in a ponytail and declares, “Okay. Breakfast time,” only to exit the bathroom and find a masked attacker. She defeats him, only to find herself waking up in her bed for the same routine over and over again.

What exactly is going on with the unfinished comic? Why is Dylan caught in a time loop? How will she escape? Will Oscar and Hamilton ever actually get a chance to eat breakfast?

These events set up the rest of the film, and it’s an absolute blast. Svetlichnaya’s love for Buffy is on full display here. It’s not totally in-your-face, but there are enough nods to get you thinking in that direction. And, of course, it’s impossible to see a blonde woman kicking faces and not think of Buffy, so my mind would have gone there even without the subtle nods.

Like Dinner, this is a really fun watch. Also like Dinner, this was made on next to no budget, so certain limitations come up. Still, it’s pretty easy to get past that. While I like how Oscar and Hamilton play off each other, I spend most of my time waiting for Dylan to come back and destroy people/monsters/demons.

Breakfast is a fun short with a tremendous ending. Make sure you stay for the scene in the credits. It had me rolling.

I’m a huge fan of what Svetlichnaya is doing. Can’t wait to see what she’s got in store next.


As it turns out, I’m not the only one excited about what Svetlichnaya is doing, as Breakfast is going to San Diego Comic Con 2017!