State of Emergency is a movie that I had very little expectations of going in. This isn’t out in North America yet and after seeing a few trailers and reading some reviews I thought I’d check it out once it was released here, then I found out it was already released in the UK. I’m lucky enough to have a region free blu-ray player and a neighbor who in addition to being a big horror fan also makes frequent trips to London.
Most of the reviews I read were really bad so I initially thought this was going to be just another low budget zombie b-movie. So, with expectations incredibly low, I popped the disc into my machine and hit play. What followed was the best hour and a half of movie watching I’ve experienced in a long time.
The movie starts with main character Jim moving slowly through a hallway, taking his place at the top of a stairwell and signalling another man (who we later find out is the character Scott) to stand back. We then get the “4 days earlier” caption and we go back to the beginning of the story.
The movie takes place in the small town of Montgomery County after an explosion at a chemical plant. This releases a virus/bacteria that starts turning some of the residents into zombies.
At just under an hour and a half, the movie is slightly short but in that time it has a good balance of suspense, character development and drama. For the most part the characters evolve and break down as the time passes by and the group dynamic grows awkward. The only real complaint I had character wise was Julie, played by Kathryn Todd Norman. Her character seemed almost an afterthought once she was introduced and had the smallest amount of screen time and fewest lines of the survivors. Initially I didn’t care for the character of Ix very much either, but her development goes down a path I wasn’t really expecting it to and by the end of the film she was one of my favorite characters.
This movie isn’t fast paced by any means, and relies more on developing the characters and using the tense group dynamic than gore or violence. If you’re expecting to see a movie like the Dawn of the Dead remake or even 28 Days Later then you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re expecting to see a very well thought out movie with an excellent soundtrack and very likeable characters, then this is the movie for you.
I want everybody to think back to a time in their lives when they had a dying relative. I’m sure you made a promise to this relative at some point during a hospital visit. Did you break that promise? Because if you did, then this movie exists almost entirely as a way to punish you for that.
I don’t really even know where to begin with this review, this movie is just God-awful. It’s similar in premise to Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, in that the fictional characters become real and end up causing havoc and chaos in our world. That is where the similarities end, because where New Nightmare was slightly entertaining and a step up from the few previous Freddy films, Hellworld is a pure abomination and waste of precious molecules.
Normally, I will describe the opening scene of a movie and then give a few plot points but I really, really don’t feel like doing that here. This movie opens up as a trainwreck and only gets worse from there. Every second you spend watching this movie is a form of self harm. You will start wondering what you’ve done wrong in your life to deserve this, you will think back to hearts and promises broken. Maybe you will question your diet and wonder if you’re doing enough for the planet?
There is absolutely nothing good about this film…at all. I love terrible horror movies as much as the next person because there’s usually something that you can enjoy about them, Hellworld just makes you hate yourself for watching it. Terrible, avoid at all costs.
The movie Dark Skies is best described as a roller coaster ride that you have been on ten times already, but the entire track is only ten feet long. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? I’ll start off with the positives…. Some of the effects were interesting, at times very similar to Paranormal Activity but with Aliens. The acting wasn’t terrible and at times you could actually feel emotionally attached to some of the characters. At this point, I will mention SPOILER ALERT! You have been warned. J.K. Simmons plays a character who is introduced later on in the movie. He seems to be the man with all the answers when it comes to little gray men.
Before I get to the negative parts, for the record I wanted to enjoy this movie 100%. The actual story was just your generic:
1) Crazy/weird things begin to a normal family.
2) One of the two adults living in said house begins to witness weird things first hand.
3) Adult “A” confronts adult “B” about what they believe is happening. Adult “B” tells adult “A” “you’re crazy” and denial, denial, denial….. Let me touch on this a little bit before I continue. Again, SPOILER. They both come downstairs in the middle of the night and see most of their kitchen piled to the ceilling. There are also weird markings on the ceilling. If my wife came to me and said “I think its aliens” you know what? She could have said it was a nine foot rabbit and I still would have AGREED and got the hell out of there. My point being is why are the couples always arguing over the fact that one can’t believe the other?
4) After a helping of not so normal signs, Adult “B” is finally a believer in E.T.
5) Everything goes to hell in a hand bag with an obvious plot twist
6) Roll credits…..
I would also like to point out the only real creepy part in the movie, which is the scene in the commercial where you can make out the shadow of an alien. Thank you commercials *clap clap* I’m sure tons of people would like to see his movie and they will, but take my advice. Just wait for it to come out on DVD. Sadly I believe this movie could have been great if it just had a better story rather than using the generic alien movie formula. Half way through watching this movie you will be begging for a face hugger or two. Review submitted by Roger Trottier
Rec 3 is a 2012 Spanish Horror film directed by Paco Plaza. If you’re like me and growing incredibly tired of the found footage concept then you’ll be happy to hear that the film starts off that way, but switches to a more conventional narrative about 10 minutes in. This is obviously the third in the REC saga and is going to be followed by Rec4-Apocalypsis.
The film starts out at the wedding of our two main characters, Koldo and Clara. It is being filmed by a character named Adrian. Everything is going smoothly untli Adrian finds his uncle who claims that he was bitten by a dog, but it’s nothing to worry about and it’ll be alright. Some time goes by and the condition of his uncle steadily deteriorates until he falls in full view of the guests. His aunt goes over to tend to her husband when he suddenly wakes up, bites her neck and vomits blood on another guest. Panic ensues and the bride and groom are split up. From around this pointonward, the film completely abandons the found footage aspect which I was incredibly thankful for.
Although the first two Rec films both handled the found-footage concept incredibly well, I am personally suffering from an overload of other movies trying and failing at it. There’s only so many times a person can wonder why they don’t just drop the damned camera and run the other way, or do anything other than walk into death-traps and steadfastly refuse to put the camera down.
Rec 3 is also the first in the series to inject a steady dose of humor throughout the film. It doesn’t seem to take itself seriously, and amps up the fun as the movie progresses. There’s one scene in particular involving a chainsaw later on in the movie that makes you laugh for all the right reasons. As I’ve stated before, I don’t really believe in numbered scores, so this film is also highly recommended.
John Dies At The End is a movie that has cult hit written all over it. Directed by Don Coscarelli
(of Phantasm and Bubba-Ho-Tep;fame), this movie is based on the book of the same name by David Wong
(Senior Editor at Cracked.com).
The film stars Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes as Dave and John, two best friends who are almost responsible for ending the world. If you’ve read the book then you’ll be happy to know that Coscarelli stays as close to the source material as budget constraints would allow.They dropped a few characters and took out the Las Vegas section altogether, but the finished product does a very good job of conveying the insane world created by David Wong.
The film opens up with a riddle, knowing the answer to said riddle is believed to unlock the awful secrets of the universe. We then cut to our hero David sitting at a table in a restaurant called “They China Food” waiting for a reporter named Arnie Blondstone (played by the always awesome Paul Giamatti). Once Arnie arrives David starts his tale of insanity featuring a giant monster made of meat, a drug called soy sauce and the best dog in the history of film named Bark-Lee.
The overall pacing can be a bit slow at times and some of the humor comes off as really dry, but it is well acted by the cast and minus a few cosmetic changes, if you’re a fan of the book these are the same characters you originally fell in love with. I don’t believe in a number score, so we’ll say that this film is highly recommended.