(2014) Backcountry

A sense of unease is almost immediately felt in Backcountry as you can gather that Jeff Roop’s character is indeed, a fucking loser. The first thing I said to my girlfriend 20 minutes in was “If they recut this movie to have this guy dying right now, I’d give it a 10/10”.

His character constantly overextends himself to try and hide his piece-of-shit-ness. You see, guys just don’t know how to live and let be. You can’t hide a pice of shit in your back pocket and expect girls not to notice eventually. All the soap, deodorant and cologne won’t mask that smell of shit in your back pocket. One day, your girlfriend is going to find that piece of shit in your back pocket and be like “were you hiding this piece of shit from me the whole time?!”

See, I don’t hide that piece of shit, I embrace the piece of shit, even become the piece of shit. I’m the piece of shit smack dab in the middle of the dairy isle in the grocery store. 99/100 girls will walk past holding their nose but like clockwork, one will be just too intrigued as to why this piece of shit is just hanging out in the middle of the grocery store. She’ll spend months, even surprisingly, years finding out where that piece of shit came from, what it likes to do for fun; his goals, dreams, fears and needs. Soon, she’ll grow to love that piece of shit. She’ll even disgust herself sometimes, looking over in bed, wondering what the fuck she’s doing next to a piece of shit. But, like every great relationship, most of what you love about another person will be almost beyond reason.

The movie is great by the way, definitely scared of bears now.

7.5/10

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(2017) It Comes at Night

I encourage everyone not to read this review before seeing the film. I’ll obviously do my best not reveal any spoilers but to me, everything is a spoiler when it comes to this one.

I’m almost finished with my year of horror movies, 4 more to go I believe but this one may have surprised me the most. First off, the marketing for it was excellent and frankly, everywhere. All of the sudden I HAD to see this film despite knowing nothing about the plot. Take fucking notes people, this is exactly what the film community wants. It revealed just enough to get our interest and the rest left as mystery.

The acting is superb, all of it. It’s so immersive that I didn’t even consider the acting once while I was watching it. They made the scenario they conjured up, about as realistic as possible.

This just wasn’t what I was expecting and this entire project has almost come full circle to mock me. The film took everything I’ve come to know about horror movies in general and tossed them out of the window. All my preconceived notions, real time predictions and plot pattern awareness were voided.

I’m psyched to see this getting the recognition it deserves but I’m also somewhat surprised that most people are finding any value in it. It’s a great film though and one that everyone should see in its entirety.

9.5/10

 

(2017) Alien: Covenant

The Alien series is near and dear to me. I’m not sure if that’s going to make me more critical or less critical but this is my take on this film. Alien: Covenant is for all extensive purposes, a perfectly enjoyable letdown.

The predictability of the film is its most apparent weakness but also the most explainable one. This notion of predictability is delicate ground that often falls into a fallacy of prequels in general. Ridley Scott isn’t ignorant of the series fanbase, or our collective knowledge of the films universe. If I see a character clearly walking towards their impending doom, it can seem momentarily frustrating until I realize Ripley is toying with his audience purposely.

As far as how intelligent those creative decisions are is debatable. Prometheus opened up bold and broad questions about the origins of the Xenomorphs as well as humans themselves. Given the films varied critical reception, I’d understand if the next film wanted to take it in a completely different direction. However, it felt inevitable from the first moments of this film that heĀ intended to expand or wrap up these ideas. I can say almost concretely that none of our big questions were answered. Plot points were covered but the bold mystery of Prometheus was quietly snuffed out for a more conventionally enjoyable narrative. I’m disappointed in that immensely but hey, the man doesn’t get a 100 millions production budget to please the minority.

While I think this film was a win in general for the series, seeing as it will inevitably jump start another sequel, I can’t help but feel as if Ripley just ran out the clock with this one. Listen, I love the original Alien and the climax of this film embodies that films horror element immensely but it doesn’t fucking match up to the rest of the films tone nor is it something original. This is a very safe sequel.

The note I want to end on is a positive one though, because I didn’t walk out of the theater pissed, I’m still thankful for this movie. Katherine Waterston is wonderful and her original pained acting becomes something enigmatic. I didn’t even realize her Ripley-like capabilities until she’d fully embodied them in a really impressive finale.

Second positive note and this man deserves his own paragraph, Michael Fassbender is a fucking god. Whether I’m laughing at him or hissing at him, he commands my full attention.

Imagine if I just left that hissing line without saying anything? Did anyone just picture me hissing in the theater at Michael Fassbender?

5.5/10

(2002) Dog Soldiers

Well fuccin eh ya cunt, we got a bloody great werewolf movie right here. But seriously, this is an awesome movie and one that I’d toss in there with any of the top werewolf movies.

It just really defies expectations one minute at a time. I spent the entire portion of the finale just smiling, wondering how they made such a great movie out of a seemingly stupid premise.

The performances are very early 2000’s to begin with and then the script suddenly starts tossing in these really insightful moments. It just makes for a special experience and the kind of film you can see tossing in your regular Halloween rotation.

In conclusion, tons of awesome practical effects. Oh right, I never talked about that but yeah, zero CGI in this bad boy. It’s a ton of fun, it’s action packed, it has dogs, it has dog soldiers, it has- well, you get it.

7.5/10

(2012) Resident Evil: Retribution

I personally think this movie is really bad but I don’t necessarily condemn it like everyone else does. I mean, what the fuck was Paul Anderson supposed to do with the 5th Resident Evil film? Actually, it fucking sucks, I do condemn it.

The film has no plot. It’s just a situation that Alice find herself in and has to fight her way out of. It’s absolutely boring. Sure, there are cool moments here and there but somehow in the back of my mind they just felt meaningless.

There’s no motivation for what goes on and the films ending suggests the series is just going to move on from here without any of our questions answered.

3/10

(1985) Come and See

Thanks to whoever recommended this to me. I had my doubts that I could make a war drama relevant to my blog but this film was more horrific than 90% of what I review on here.

Come and See is a raw and sobering look at WW2 from the Soviet perspective. It’s one of the least “Hollywood” war movies I’ve ever seen. Some of the scenes towards the end were truly gut wrenching and will most likely stick with me for quite some time.

On a technical aspect, I can’t think of two many action based films from the 80’s that have effects that hold up as well as these do. The movie’s plot is aided by a particularly jaded, depressive looking landscape but the practical effects are what really sell the realism.

This was definitely one of the best war films I’ve seen period and has some genuinely disturbing content that I think most Holocaust films tend to stray from.

9/10

(2009) The Descent: Part 2

I’m a fairly big fan of The DescentĀ and I had no idea there was a second movie made until right now, which usually isn’t a good sign. I can say upfront that I do think this is worth a watch.

I don’t know where to start so I guess I’ll just start with the first thing I noticed. Before the movie got a chance to impress me it really turned me off with bad acting. Specifically by Gavan O’Herlihy. I can’t say I’ve seen him in any other roles but he was just wrong for this. His speech pattern and overall demeanor was awkward and overdramatic. I don’t think he necessarily ruins the film but he’s probably my biggest complaint.

My other complaint would be the plot in general. It’s a weird complaint to make because it’s a movie that ultimately didn’t need to be made. I get it though, fans dug the first one, let’s get back in that cave. For the most part my expectations on the overall structure of the film were met but nevertheless, if I’m reviewing it I do have to mention that the circumstances surrounding getting our protagonist back in the cave. I get that realism is thrown out of the window when we’re dealing with subterranean humanoid creatures but I still expect more, if that makes any sense.

On to the good things, the movie looked great. I can’t imagine it had a huge budget but I was definitely a fan of the set pieces and special effects. The CGI use isn’t fantastic but it seemed really limited and I respect that. Our original film’s “Sarah” was impressive as well. Her performance is frenetic and anxiety ridden but also conveys confidence in certain moments, showing her character’s growth from the original.

Whether you love or hate the ending, I feel that it did wrap up some of my smaller complaints. After it ended I did have to come clean to myself that my favorite moments in this were merely rehashed scenes from the first one. Despite the fact that I still enjoyed those tense, claustrophobic moments all the same; it’s tough to give them a ton of praise.

What did you guys think of this one? Did it capture the spirit of the first film or was it a cheap knock-off?

6/10