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Stalled (I) (2013)
9/10
A fresh zombie film in a stale genre
25 November 2013
I heard about this film whilst preparing for my first FrightFest and the concept of a zombie apocalypse taking place in a toilet instantly excited me. Not only are zombie films my favourite type of films, I also love films set in a limited location. I desperately wanted to see it, but I figured it was either going to be awesome or terrible. Thankfully, it was the former.

Unlike many films that trick you with an interesting and original concept which is barely utilised, it fully explores the thing that draws you in. The majority of the film takes place in the stall, and the rest of it within the bathroom (mostly), so there are no unnecessary filler scenes.

It is more or less a one-man show, with Dan Palmer taking on the job of carrying the entire film on his shoulders. Playing to his strengths, he manages to create a likable and sympathetic hero in WC, as well as delivering his lines perfectly and just being damn hilarious. I knew I was going to love it as soon as soon as he uttered, "There's zombies in your toilet!".

A secondary character, who we never see, is introduced later on and she is one of the few faults I find with the film. She's an interesting character with some funny lines, but also feels a little distant and occasionally forced - which may be especially jarring as she's playing against Palmer, who is much more natural. That's not to say I didn't sympathize with her either; it's just she felt a little out of place.

It is very much a film that focuses on its characters and their situation, rather than being a slasher-zombie film. The zombies themselves look good and they, and the gory stuff, are used sparingly and to effect.

It is a near-perfect film with only a few weak spots; the 'Evie' character, a bit of the overly sentimental dialogue and a couple of too-silly jokes, but after having seen it three times, it's definitely solidified itself as an all-time favourite for me, and I'm sure it'll be held up as one of the best zombie films in recent years for others as well.
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The Machine (I) (2013)
1/10
First Film I've Ever Walked Out Of
25 November 2013
This is a serious contender for the worst film ever made, but unfortunately I had to walk out of it before it destroyed my soul and as a compromise have to settle for an overly generous 2/10. I have now watched the film in its entirety and it further confirmed its awfulness.

I don't even know where to begin with what was wrong with it. Aside from the entirely predictable and formulaic plot, it suffered from a terribly wooden and childish script along with containing some of the worst acting performances I've ever seen.

Caity Lotz' performance was particularly horrible to have to sit through. Granted, some of that blame would have to be put on the script and the fact that there is no character development whatsoever, but she neither convinces as a human nor a robot. Toby Stephens can't decide on an accent and has a range of 2 facial expressions.

Regardless of the those issues, the film doesn't effectively explore its themes, instead opting for a very shallow look at the lines between machine and man, and failing to arouse anything in me except anger at its existence.

Avoid.
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9/10
Amazing
31 March 2012
Raymond is a young pre-med student about to start a prestigious internship when he is forced to return home to look after his mother after she is immobilized with a broken leg. The physical contact required to care for his mother causes her and Raymond to become close to an uncomfortable degree and his relationship with the girl next door confuses him further.

This is the most awkward film I've ever watched and I mean that in the best way possible. I was so uncomfortable – it was fantastic! I don't even know what to say about this film. It struck the right chords everywhere. It dealt with such a taboo and sensitive subject and managed to make it emotionally involving and funny at the same time (a very dark comedy).

The performances were all great. Jeremy Davies in particular, he was instantly likable and sympathetic and expressed himself so well; subtly and loudly. Alberta Watson as the mother was great too. They had the strangest chemistry, there was never any sense of a typical mother/son relationship and that made it work extremely well.

There were a couple of weak scenes, namely the scenes with his friends and the doctor scene also seemed to drag a little bit. But overall, it worked amazingly well, especially considering the topic. I read afterwards that it was made only on an $80,000 budget. I was seriously shocked, and I also sit in astonishment that this seems to be hardly seen and has such a low IMDb rating.

This was an absolutely amazing film and the best film I've seen in a long time. Great performances, hilariously dark humour and yet very quietly emotional. Worth it just to be squirming in your chair whilst simultaneously having a fantastically good time.

I never give films 10 after one viewing (and even then I've only given out 40 out of almost 3000 films I've seen), but this stuck with me for days (and even still, a month later) that I couldn't give it any other rating. A must-see film for those with an open mind.
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Privacy (2006)
1/10
The worst film I've ever seen
9 February 2012
One of the most painful experiences of my life was watching this film. Don't let the 7 minute run-time fool you; its awfulness will haunt you forever. Its greatest quality is that it does eventually end.

Just dreadful. Every technical aspect of it was atrocious. The lighting was poor, the sound quality was awful and you could barely hear what anyone was saying at times.

The plot of the film consists of stories of different couples set in one room at a B&B. Each story is poorly acted, poorly written and uninteresting. The last story gets pointlessly drawn out, with an abrupt ending causing the audience to question why someone thought this was good enough to show to the world.

I wouldn't give the filmmakers a dime. I would give this a -14/10 if possible.
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