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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

PIERCING by Nicolas Pesce

The Plot: Reed, a married man with a baby, checks in a hotel with the plan of murdering a prostitute. When Jackie arrives, he got more than he bargains for and a cat and mouse game begins.

The Movie: Nicolas Pesce’s previous movie was the disturbing THE EYES OF MY MOTHER, a serious movie with a very slow pace. Now he gives us another psychological horror thriller, but this time with a dark sense of humor and a faster pace.
Pratically with just with two actors, the excellent Mia Wasikowska and Christopher Abbott, this is an obsessive portrait of two psychotic characters to whom there’s no boundaries. They dangerous game and the imagination of Reed gives us an immersive experience, that may be too strong for some people.
This isn’t a great movie, but an interesting little movie that manages to tell its story in less than 90 minutes (a rarity nowadays) and kept me glued to my chair. Give it a chance! 

My Rate: 6 (from 1 to 10)

PET SEMATARY by Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer

The Plot: Dr. Louis, his wife Rachel and their two kids go to live to Maine, in a house near a pet cemetery. When the family cat dies, an old neighbor takes Louis behind the cemetery, to a strange land where everything that is buried returns to life, with terrible consequences for everyone involved.

The Movie: To tell you the truth I don’t remember much of the 1989 movie adaptation of the Stephen King novel, but at the time I wasn’t complete convinced by it. 30 years later arrives this new version and, although I think is darker than the original, it still didn’t conquer me.
I like the story and the movie has an eerie quality on the cemetery scenes that I really enjoyed, but there’s little suspense and it’s emotionally cold. I believe that the cast is the main cause it doesn’t work. Jason Clarke never convinces as a devoting father and John Lithgow has seen better days; the kids are irritating and Amy Seimetz, as Rachel, isn’t very good. 
Although I think the story of Rachel’s sister wasn’t necessary, it gives the movies some of his best creepy moments. It’s a pity that the spooky mask used by the children are never explored, but I did love something: the dark finale. 

My Rate: 5 (from 1 to 10)




Saturday, March 23, 2019

US by Jordan Peele

The Plot: When she was a child, Adelaide got lost on a beach fair and, in a mirror maze, she met a girl that look exactly like her and that encounter forever traumatised her. Now, a married woman with two kids of her own, she returns to that beach fair and soon they all have to fight for their lives as a family of doppelgängers try to kill them.

The Movie: I was one of those horror fans who wasn’t very impressed with Jordan Peele’s previous movie, GET OUT. But this time he gets my applause. US is a dark horror family movie, intense and creepy, with suspense and credible characters. I really enjoyed the ride, but I think that the humor could have been toned down, making this is stronger. I just wish Peele had gone further with the horror, but he does a fine job directing this nightmare.

I loved the sounds the doppelgängers make and the way they move, in particular the kid Pluto. Without revealing too much, the strange scenes of the past that take place under the mirror maze, are the ones they gave me a strong sense of unease. 

While I was seeing it, I recalled an old episode of HAMMER’S HOUSE OF HORROR, the scary “The Two Faces of Evil”, where a family is terrorized by their doppelgängers. Have you seen that? I’m sure Peele must have.

The cast is very good, specially the ladies. Lupita Nyong’ couldn’t be better on the double role of Adelaide and her double; she has our empathy and we really root for her. As her friend Kitty, Elisabeth Moss is also great. As the little Adelaide, Madison Curry is very convincing and so is Shahadi Wright Joseph as Adelaide’s daughter.
Horror fans, like me, are in for a treat, with good scares and lots of creepiness.

My Rate: 8 (from 1 to 10)








Monday, March 4, 2019

THE PRODIGY by Nicholas McCarthy

The Plot: When Miles was born his parents couldn’t be happier, but soon they realize there’s something wrong with their child. What they don’t know, but we do, is that at exactly the same time Miles was born, a terrible psychopath was killed by the police.

The Movie: As horror movies go, this one isn’t bad, but it isn’t exactly good. The story of a diabolical or possessed child is a common place in the genre, with THE EXORCIST and THE OMEN being, probably, the best examples.
It’s no difficult to guess where the story is going, but there are a few good scares along the way and the pace keep us entertained. Director Nicholas McCarthy doesn’t take any kind of chances and follows the genre rules, with a little bit of suspense here and there.
As for the cast, they could be better. As Miles, Jackson Robert Scott failed to convince me and, as his mother, Taylor Schilling isn’t much different from her performance in the television series ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. Colm Feore, as the guy who knows what’s going on, doesn’t have much to do and that’s sad. Anyway, if you like the genre you’ll find this one interesting. 

My Rate: 4 (from 1 to 10)

THE POSSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE by Diererij Van Rooijen

The Plot: Megan, an ex-cop and ex-drug addicted, accepts to work graveyard shift at a hospital morgue. Unfortunately for her, the disfigured body of a young girl arrives, and soon strange things start to happen.

The Movie: This one reminded me of two better movies, EL CADÁVER DE ANNA FRTIZ and THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE. The plot is simple, but director Diererij Van Rooijen manages to give us a few chills, but the setting needed a more tense atmosphere and the characters could have been more interesting. A few surprises could have made it more stimulating, but, unfortunately, it’s predictable. As for the exorcism, is kind of ridiculous.
As Megan, Shay Mitchell is okay but failed to get my empathy and so did the rest of the cast. The best of them all is Kirby Johnson as the creepy Hannah Grace and her cadaver is really spooky. 
At least this on isn’t boring and, if you like this kind of stuff, you’ll be entertained.

My Rate: 4 (from 1 to 10)


Saturday, February 16, 2019

THE HOLE IN THE GROUND by Lee Cronin

The Plot: Sarah, who left her husband, and her little son are trying to build a new life in a rural town. In the woods near their house, they find a strange big hole in the ground that kind of scares her. Days later, her son disappears for a few hours and when he returns, she feels that Chris isn’t really her son, that something happened to him.

The Movie: In the line of THE BABADOOK and UNDER THE SHADOW, here is another story about a relationship between a mother and her child who are confronted with strange forces and creatures.
From the first images, we can feel that the relationship between Sarah and her son Chris is kind of strange. It seems that she’s a little bit afraid of him or that she is with a depression. That feeling grows as the movie goes on and director Lee Cronin manages to give a movie an atmosphere of dread and claustrophobia. The slow pace may put some horror fans in the defensive, but the suspense grows until the scary climax, where Cronin is smart enough to keep the creatures in the shadows and let our imagination feel in the blanks.
As Sarah, Seána Kerslake is a frightened strong woman, but she failed to get my empathy. James Quinn Markey is the sweet and scary Chris. Together they share the spotlight with the strange living hole and the haunting woods. I recommend it for fans of the genre.

My Rate: 6 (from 1 to 10)


Sunday, February 10, 2019

VELVET BUZZSAW by Dan Gilroy

The Plot: A large number of paintings by an unknown artist, who last wishes were for all his work to be burnt, are discovered by accident and soon art dealers are trying to get them. But supernatural forces are at work and soon mysterious deadly accidents start to happen to everyone who wants to make money with the paintings. 

The Movie: Director Dan Gilroy has previous directed Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo in the dark and terrific NIGHTCRAWLER, so I had high expectations for this new movie. The trailer left me intrigued and I could hardly wait to see it. Well, this wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.
The movie has a dark and cold heart, and a disturbing sense of humor. It’s visually interesting and there’s no doubt this isn’t to take seriously and that the idea is to give a satiric look at the art world. But it should have a little suspense.
The talented cast, that also includes Zawe Ashton, Toni Collette, Tom Sturridge, John Malkovich, Billy Magnussen, Daveed Diggs and Natalia Dyer, gives life to the most irritating and pretentious group of characters I have ever seen and, even with all their efforts, there’s no way for us to feel any kind of empathy with any of the characters.
Like Stephen Sondheim wrote in one of his songs, “art isn’t easy” and here art is deadly, but creative. The creepiest moment happens with a painting with monkeys and the scene between Gretchen (Toni Collette) and the sphere is very artistic. Strange is the best adjective to give to this movie.

My Rate: 5 (from 1 to 10)


GLASS by M. Night Shyamalan

The Plot: David Dunn, a security guard, tracks down Kevin Crumb, a dangerous guy with 24 personalities who has kidnapped a group of teenager girls. But both are caught by the police and taken to a psychiatric hospital, where Elijah Price is also incarcerated. The three of them believe they have supernatural powers and Dr. Ellie Staple will try to change their minds.

The Movie: For his next supernatural opus, director and writer M. Night Shyamalan mixes the characters of his UNBREAKABLE and SPLIT. The result is a dramatic super-hero movie with elements of thriller and horror. It’s a good and interesting, but the two previous movies were better and more intense. Anyway, it has an original approach to the world of super-heroes and it’s very entertaining.
More than special effects and action scenes, the focus is on the characters and the cast is perfect. Repeating their previous characters, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Spencer Treat Clark and, specially, James McAvoy give their best and it’s a true show of their talent abilities. McAvoy, with his multiple personalities, is even better here than he was in SPLIT; he is simply brilliant! New to the story is Dr. Ellis Staple, to whom Sarah Paulson gives an intense and kind of mysterious life.
If you enjoy great performances and a little bit of fantasy, this one is up your alley.

My Rate: 6 (from 1 to 10)











Saturday, January 19, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM by Adam Robitel

The Plot: Six strangers are invited to participate on a “escape room” game, but soon they discovered that the game is for real and they must fight for their survival.

The Movie: I didn’t expect much from this movie; I thought it was a new CUBE or SAW, but, fortunately, it’s better than those movies. 
If, like me, you have been in an escape room you know you’re at a mercy of the people who’ll open the door when the game ends, and, for me, it was claustrophobic. Now imagine that, suddenly, you realize you’re at the mercy of people with bad intentions who don’t have any intention of letting you escape. That’s the premise of this horror thriller and, thanks to a group of interesting characters and a logic approach, director Adam Robitel manages to build some suspense and get our attention.
The cast lead by Taylor Russell and Logan Miller gives believable performances, making us care for what might happen to their characters. It’s not a new classic, but I enjoyed the ride.

My Rate: 6 (from 1 to 10)