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Secrets in the Hot Spring (2018)
This is not a film that is scary and there's not much of a plot going on. I would think that this would be a fun film for preteens or young teenagers. It's just goofy fun.
I just wasn't impressed. The story wasn't very interesting or believable. The best thing about it was we got to listen to "Ignition (Remix)" by R. Kelly. That's about it.
Wang xiang zheng (2016)
Little Confused Here
I came across this and thought I would take a chance on watching it. There was not a plot summary listed here on IMDb so I went into it blind. I'm not sure how to summarize it well enough to add a plot but maybe reading my review ay help someone decide whether they would like to watch it.
The best way for me to describe this is to say that it is an anthology film that sorta ends up being linked to each other. The first story is about a delusional woman who is set on finding a man who will not leave her. The second story is about a delusional woman who creates a relationship that is not real. The final story is about a delusional man who believes he has seen a woman begging for help while being held hostage in an apartment.
While the stories were creepy, I'm not really one for anthology films and I never really grasp the actual connection between the three stories. At one point I thought they may have been liked by the individuals involved in the stories but then I started to think maybe they were linked through the building complex. I never came to a conclusion though.
The acting wasn't awful but the stories were so vague that I was having a hard time staying interested. This is a Chinese film though and I should be fair by stating that I don't speak Chinese and that leaves me a bit disadvantaged due to not knowing whether the subtitles are relaying the story adequately.
Considering all things, I chose to give it 4 Stars.
What Would You Do?
This film is about a man who witnesses a murder from a window of his home.
While I'm not interested in giving a long drawn out review, I will say that this was worth the watch. The story is relatable. The film is well made and the actors did well with their roles. It isn't without a few flaws but nothing that couldn't be overlooked. If you like dramatic thrillers, you'll probably be please with this. It ended up being a great find for me and I really enjoyed it.
Behind the Curve (2018)
This is about the people who believe the earth is flat. It doesn't really lay out a lot of evidence to prove the theory. It is about the people not the theory.
I am not a flat earther. i believe the earth is round. I would never imply that these folks are nuts simply because their perspective differs from my own. I watched this because I wanted to hear them out. Looking at the lives of these people proved to be interesting. This is something that they really do believe and who am I to question that. No one wants their belief questioned and looked down on from someone who thinks differently than me. Everyone is entitled to have their own ideas.
If you are interested in this, check it out and come to your own conclusions.
5 Stars From Me
Despite having already married, a young bride is taken to the home of her husband for a ceremony with his family. A dark ceremony that may take her life.
I actually watched this a while back and really enjoyed it but the subtitles I had were choppy. I didn't want to review it until had watched it with better subtitles and having just finished it up for the 2nd time, I still like it.
I love bridal horror. Love can cause you to do crazy things and when you really consider it, there are a lot of ways it can be twisted into horror. The story is the best part of this film but it needs a little something. That something is detail. The underlying story is vague in my opinion. You can understand what is going on but there isn't much to help the viewer invest in the characters. It's creepy and there are moments that made me think of "The Woman In Black".
I liked the film but it really does need a bit of work. With a bit more attention this could be awesome.
Can You Find Light At The End Of A Tunnel That Collapses Around You??
A husband and father is heading home with his daughter's birthday cake when a tunnel collapses trapping him inside his car.
Disaster movies are meant to be filled with tension and drama. This film did not fail in giving its viewers a healthy dose of both. While it is a bit drawn out, it is a decent movie that I found to be enjoyable. It is hard for me to review disaster movies simply because to have the right amount of tension you need a curiosity as to what might happen next. Knowing too much takes away from the anticipation about what might happen next. So, I'm just gonna be short and sweet about it by saying that it is a good film that had me confidently saying that had I been this fella, I would never have to work again because I would have sued the socks off of everybody.
Pet Sematary (2019)
It's Not 1989 Folks
First we should start with the understanding that this film is not a direct remake of Pet Semetary (1989). While it is the same characters, the story has been tweaked. If you go into it thinking that it is going to be the same you are going to be disappointed. So, just toss that idea. This is different.
One of the things that I liked about this is how much darker it is compared to the original. In my opinion, I think the first film was best but this one has not failed to be a decent adaptation. There was a bit more tension and I really liked the trade out between Ellie and Gage. That gave it more dialogue and helped increase the horror taking place within the child.
What I didn't care for was how Louis was portrayed. He wasn't coming across right for me and it seemed that he was a bit of a jerk. It also didn't seem as emotional as the first film.
I thought this was a good adaptation. I'm sure that die hard Stephen King fans will take issue with some of it but it was worth the watch for me.
The Head Hunter (2018)
A Bit Underwhelming
A medieval father searches for the beast that killed his daughter.
Ok. So, this is a low budget film but it is filmed well. Some of the landscape scenes are very nice. This is supposed to be horror but I'm a bit of a horror buff and it wasn't horror for me. The biggest problem I have is that the story is so vague. You know what is going on and you sorta know why but it lacks detail. You have no backstory and for me, that is what draws me in and causes me to invest in the characters. The effects were passable but key moments were shot in low lighting and it couldn't be seen well.
It isn't awful but it is short, extremely about being "in the moment" and the scenic shots were good. If that sounds like something you are about, check it out.
Room for Rent (2019)
Upon the death of her husband, an older woman is put in the position of needing to find a way to take care of herself financially. She opens her home as a bed and breakfast and soon becomes attached to one of her guests.
So, this isn't a bad film but there's not much to be said about it. It is a psychological thriller but there isn't much thrill to it at all. The creepy factor is there and you wonder what is coming next but there is no real climax. You are just stuck watching a slow but steady deterioration of a woman's mental state but the bang isn't there and the viewer is left feeling unsatisfied.
If you are ok with the pace and the lack of a climax, check it out. If you can't stand those things, you probably should pass this one up.
I'll Take Your Dead (2018)
Some Of These Reviews Are A Bit Harsh
This film is pretty decent for a B-movie. The sets are simple, the actors are a bit unseasoned and the scripting could use some attention but the underlying story was pretty good. I like watching lower budgeted films because I really love finding those that end up being worth it. So, I guess I may be a bit desensitized but compared to some of the other stuff out there, this deserves a bit more credit than it is getting.
If you can't handle B-movies you may want to skip it. However, if you are like me and are looking for a gem, check it out. It really isn't that bad.
Maigret in Montmartre (2017)
Not Bad At All
I love Rowan Atkinson. I think he is an excellent yet underrated actor. He just gets it. He knows how to become his characters and it makes his believability so much better.
Drugs, slease, love and murder are her in this film. It's not overdone and I personally liked that. It is a simple case of murder being investigated by a shrewd detective. If you're looking for a lot of action you are not going to find it here. This is straight up mystery. I enjoyed it.
The Dirties (2013)
A Sad Reality In The Lives Of Our Children
The Dirties is a film about two high school boys. They are given an assignment to make a movie and choose a plot that deals with taking down a gang of people called "The Dirties" who are bullies, troublemakers and like the title suggests, they are generally dirty folks. When they finish their film and present it, the boys, who are already victims of bullying, see an escalation of abuse. This triggers one of the boys, who loved filming their movie, starts taking the plot of the film and planning an attack on his real life bullies.
This film is simplistic but I really liked that. It brought a realism and showed the progressive mental decline through how these boys were being treated. It was intereting to see the relationship between the friends begin to change and even though there was concern, there was still a naive position that everything was going to be okay.
Bullying is a terrible thing and it is never really about the person that is being picked on. There is something going on within the bully that makes that person believe that by the mistreatment of others his or her own status is elevated. It is even more sad that people stand by quietly allowing the mistreatment of others to take place. Children/teens have not yet reached a point in their mental development to understand why someone would do these things to them and most of it is internalized and will eventually show itself in other ways. In this situation it was shown through seeking revenge.
I thought that this was an excellent film. It was simple and direct. We have to do a better job in making sure that we aren't just saving kids from bullying but also saving the bullies from whatever is making them feel the need to tear someone else down.
The Music Box (2018)
3.5 From Me
This film tells the story of a woman who has been given guardianship over her niece after the death of her sister. They move into a house that has a strangeness to it and while trying to plant flowers and make it more like home, the little girl finds a possessed carillon or music box. The little girl quickly becomes very attached to the box and begins to behave in strange ways. Will they be able to figure out what is really going on with this box?
The story isn't awful and in a lot of ways it sorta reminded me of "The Possession" (2012). That film was about a young girl finding an antique dybbuk box, buys it, brings it home and a lot of not so good things start happening. Unfortunately, this film is not nearly as good.
I don't mind watching low budget films because there are those times that I come across some gems and finding those are something I enjoy doing. I still have standards though. It is obvious that this is a low budget film. Not a large cast, very few props, actors that are not so skilled and a script that needs work. This is low budget but low budget doesn't have to be bad.
The key things I look for when watching low budget are: 1. Is the story somewhat believable and does it avoid having a lot of holes? 2. Do I believe the actors have taken on the identity of their characters or is it clear to see that they are just playing the part? 3. Did the director use the settings and props to the fullest capability considering budget? and 4. Was it filmed well?
This film just didn't get there. I believe there was a good attempt but it just sorta flopped. The biggest problem for me was the acting. It felt awkward. I just have to ask, did anyone else think the Doctor's voice was weird? It almost seemed like his lines were recorded in a sound studio while everyone else was just filmed by on set boom operators. It was just weird.
Anyway, if you are looking for something impressive, you aren't going to find it here. If you aren't a fan of low budget, you should definitely avoid it. However, if you do like the low budget stuff and are kinda like me, looking for that gem, this isn't it but you may find it slightly okay. Don't go into it with high hopes.
The Russian Bride (2019)
6.5 Stars From Me
A woman along with her daughter, comes to the the US with the hopes of finding a better life by way of being a mail order bride. While the home is large and clearly indicates her intended is a man of means, there is a cold and ominous atmosphere to the place. Something just isn't right but can she find out what is going on before it is too late?
Just finished this up and in my opinion, this is a decent film. The story is a bit shaky but it wasn't so bad that it took away from the film. The actors are not folk I'm familiar with and maybe they were a bit lacking but it wasn't awful.
The film moves along at a slow but steady pace and the there is decent tension throughout the film. The camera, audio and wardrobe were all well suited and the home was great.
For a lower budget film, it worked for me. Don't go into it expecting all the questions will have an answer. Simply take it at face value and try not over analyze it.
Dragged Across Concrete (2018)
Two cops are suspended without pay when a video of an apprehension is made public. They turn to criminal means in an attempt to better their situation.
What just happened? I had hopes that this was gonna be a film worth watching. Instead it ended up being a slow ride through several weak storylines that are meant to cumulate into a dramatic end but just failed to satisfy. It isn't filmed bad but it is slow and the dialog is choppy, lacking in depth and fails to make the characters very interesting or worth the viewers investments. This was just a major disappointment.
A young girl escapes an unexplained bloodbath from an isolated facility in the middle of the night. After a older couple find her unconscious on their property the next morning, they take her in a raise her as their daughter. Ten years pass and her parents are dealing with health and financial issues when her best friend has her audition for a talent show. She does well but she begins getting unnerving attention from shady characters who claim to know her. Unable to recall these folks, she senses their encounters becoming more sinister and she will eventually have to face a secretive and extremely dark past.
WOW!! So, I really liked this. I've seen this advertised as a horror flick but to me it was more gory thriller than horror. It had a great storyline, the actors did a great job and it was choreographed well. There is only one complaint from me, where's the rest!! I'm not a patient person and waiting for the sequel is nothing less than pure torture! My understanding is that is just the beginning of a trilogy. I tried to look around to see if I could find a projected release date for the next installment but I couldn't find anything on it. I can't wait to see the next film! Loved it!!
Back Fork (2019)
Self Medicating Spirals Into Addiction.
A man finds himself falling into addiction after the death of his only child. His wife, family and work are all demanding and under all his pressures, he must learn to swim or risk drowning.
I thought this was a good representation of a functioning addict's life. I think it is only fair to say that people never start taking meds or using drugs because they wanted to become addicts. Life his hard. Demands are many. Tragedy can come unannounced and both mental and emotional health are looked down on. The cost of treatment is unattainable for many, leaving them to their own devices when trying to cope. It's sad. We need to start teaching the importance of mental, emotion and physical health as well as coping skills. At least that could be a key starting point for future generations. The teachings in home life are not always adequate and we owe our children the hope of a better future. They need these tools.
The film is a slow burner but it manages to pull the viewer into it. While I don't recall ever hearing why the daughter passed away, I realize that the film wasn't so much about her death. It is more about coping. The somber feel for the atmosphere was spot on. It wasn't over done. Some of the nature scenes were videoed beautifully. (I personally loved all the stream/creek scenes.)
This isn't a bad watch. Glad I came across it.
Johnny Gruesome (2018)
Seriously Lacking In Quality
Johnny is a teenage revenant back from the dead and seeking revenge on those who did him wrong and betrayed him.
Just finished this up. This film is based on a book of the same name written by Gregory Lamberson. I've never read it but after watching this film, I can say that the STORY isn't bad. However, that's the only thing going for this movie.
Let's start with the acting. Yeah. Um..it's pretty rough. I can't say that even one actor played their part with any skill. Every actor in this was off. You could really see that the acting was being forced and that takes away from the viewer's ability to invest into what is happening. Sorry but it really was rough.
Let's move on with the sound design and cinematography. Maybe the boom operators are new to the film industry but the audio seemed to sound hollow from time to time and the actors just didn't seem to be picked up with any consistency. The songs for the soundtrack seemed amateurish too. There were some ok moments with the cinematography but it had some weird moments too.
Makeup and special effects. I guess the makeup was passible. There was some CGI stuff and although you can clearly see that it is low budget, it may have been one of the better aspects of the film.
The good things about this are that I found out what a revenant is and Johnny was a character I could get into. I'm not too crazy about zombie flicks. I know that I'm in the minority here but they just seem so played out and they come in so many variations that I am just over them. Johnny is a bit different.
A revenant is a being that has reanimated their soul into their former body with the goal of revenge. A zombie is mindless. They do not remember their former lives. A ghost can remember their former lives. I'd never heard of a revenant but they are interesting.
Bottom line. This is a great story made with a low budget and unseasoned professionals. If you can get past the acting, watch it for the story alone. I'm really glad I made it to the end. Hopefully someone else will come along with a better budget and a bit more finesse and do right by the story.
Steel Country (2018)
A boy goes missing in a rural town and the case becomes an obsession for a man who believes there is more to the case than what it appears to be.
I'll give a few more details. Our main character comes off as a decent enough guy but he has some sort of mental disability. He lives with his mother but has a daughter that lives with her mother. While visiting his kid, he learns she is on social media and while scrolling through her news feed, he learns that the boy is missing. The man works in sanitation and knows the boy from his garbage pick-up route because the kid made it a point to always wave when he saw him. While it never really gave a good explanation as to why he was so interested in the case, he becomes obsessed and determined to figure out what happened to the kid.
The main character played his part well, easily drawing the viewer into his character's emotions. The majority of the movie is carried by this character so kudos to the actor for his performance. The atmosphere in this is gloomy and the settings felt appropriate.
While I felt it could've used some more detail here and there, I thought it was a "meh" flick. Not amazing and not awful. If you choose to sit down and watch it just be prepared for the slow burn.
The Happytime Murders (2018)
Not The Muppets!
A puppet who happens to be a disgraced cop turned private eye is approached with a case that turns into an investigation into multiple deaths. He and his former partner have to figure out how to work together to catch the culprit.
So this is not a Jim Henson sort of puppet film. This is full of sex, drugs, violence and crude humor. If you are not one who is comfortable with these topics I would suggest you pass on this one. I, on the other hand, found it to be funny.
I'm sure people will have a lot of reasons for why this could've been better but I think it is just as it should be. It is not a film in need of deep thought or reflection. It is simply meant to be fun. It made me laugh a couple of times so I'm glad I gave it a chance.
The Wind (2018)
This is a psychological horror film about a woman homesteading in the late 1800's. It's a lot of work, isolation and tragedies, with no one to turn to. The horror is found in the sanity one can sustain in these conditions.
This wasn't awful but it moves really slow. I think that it did a decent job building the suspense to match the pace. The main actress did a decent enough job in her roll but it isn't something that is going to blow you away.
One of the best things about this was the ominous atmosphere. In my opinion, it was a character all it's own. The story is kinda vague but it is meant to be taken at face value and really tries to pull you into what is going on in that moment. Don't get me wrong. The entire film is guided by flashbacks they just don't have a lot of depth.
There isn't a lot of blood, guts and gore. It is very much a movie filled with paranoia and the disconnecting of reality. I probably won't watch it again but It was an ok flick.
This film is about a cursed video.
Nothing really stands out in this. It's a pretty average film. The acting is okay but there isn't much depth to the characters. It's not a film that I consider to be scary. It wasn't a bad film but I'm pretty sure I won't remember it.
Not A Fan Of Manga Or Anime
So, as my title indicates, I am not a fan of manga or anime. I may get this wrong but I believe manga is the comic strip version and anime is the animated version of these stories. Either way, I just don't care for those formats. My son really enjoys them and I have an affinity for Asian horror and thrillers so when he comes to me and tells me there are live action films, I sit down and we watch them together.
I know, through my son, that there are a lot of live action adaptations that don't get a lot of love from manga and anime fans because it is hard to get the written and drawn aspects to cross over smoothly. The live action stuff just doesn't seem to have the same detail the other formats can offer and that leaves fans thinking they've been short changed. Since I don't follow those formats, I can base my opinions by what I've seen in the live action versions without bias.
I thought this was a good film but it has some flaws. My son stopped the film on more than one occasion to explain a few things because I didn't understand things seeing as how I am not familiar with the other formats. I didn't know what had taken place before what was shown in the film and he felt like some of it should have been explained better. I gotta take off a few points for that.
I loved the costuming and I thought the CGI stuff was done well. It seemed a bit lengthy during some of the last big scenes but I could excuse some of that because it was interesting to watch. We didn't realize that this was only Chapter 1 and my son was a bit frustrated by that. He, having experienced some of the other formats, knew what was coming next and wanted me to see what was supposed to happen next. We can always watch the sequel though!
My take away from this is that while it is a well made film and has a significant amount of detail, it is not easily watched as a stand alone film. You sorta need to know some of the stuff that has lead up to this moment in the series and the film just doesn't explain all of it. However, it was still an entertaining watch and I would presume that if you are a fan of the other formats you will enjoy it.
Durante la tormenta (2018)
Time After Time
25 years separate 2 electrical storms through which 2 people have an interaction and changes the future for one and the reality for the other. After the change, there are only 72 hours to find a way to reverse things.
This is a well thought out film. The story is written in a way that keeps you hungering for answers. The actors played their parts well and that pulls the viewer in as well.
My only complaint has to do with the ending. I wanted to see more of the consequences in the aftermath of all that happened. It was a good film regardless. Glad I checked it out.