Amityville: The Awakening (2017) Directed by Franck Khalfoun

Just what the world needed. Another movie based on the 'Amityville' events, said no one ever.

Putting the name 'Amityville' on your movie nowadays feels like never more but a cheap trick to grab a few extra bucks. Everybody knows the name Amityville and what it stands for. It has horror written all over it, even for those who have no idea what happened in Amityville, in 1974. It doesn't matter too much, since in all truth most of those movies have very little to do with the 1974 events and the stories simply feature an average haunted house concept, or something along those lines. This movie is no exception. It is just as average and standard as any other haunted house flick story-wise, with as a big difference though that it is actually worse to watch than the average attempt.

Horror basically is all about its build up. It first needs to create a certain mood and atmosphere for the movie and build up its tension and mystery. While this movie build up plenty of mystery, it yet fails to build up any tension as well. It is mostly because its mystery fails to ever become anything truly interesting. It is not necessarily a bore to watch, but the movie is needlessly slow and it too often gives its viewers far too little. There are never any decent scares, never really any excitement and the characters fail to make this movie anymore interesting either.

The movie features all of the predictable and basic characters in it. I also don't really know who was supposed to carry this movie. I guess it was supposed to be the Bella Thorne character, but for most part of the movie she is just an annoyed and also annoying teen. It is hard to ever feel anything for her character. It is weird in general how this movie handles its characters. Characters go through some too sudden and weird transitions, which I guess was supposed to add to the mystery and suspense of the movie, but it makes things rather confusing and even somewhat annoying to watch instead.

It also feels that the movie is constantly building up toward something that just never comes. There is never a decent enough payoff or any other developments that work out as either surprising or solid enough. It is a rather unlikely movie with all of its developments, even by normal horror standards. The fact that this movie was first supposed to be released in 2015 should already tell you enough about its 'quality'. It is a mess, filled with plenty of decent ideas, but it just never seems to be able to focus on- or develop one thing properly enough.

Although it still is far from the worst thing you will ever see and the movie remains a rather short one, it just really isn't worth your time.


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6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain (2017) Directed by Scott Waugh

Ever wondered what would if "The Grey" got directed by a less talented director, with even a lesser budget? Well, "6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain" is your answer.

This movie apparently got based on a true story, but it unfortunately really doesn't do much justice to it. It is an extremely shallow and overall poorly done film, that is devoid of any good emotions, tension, or anything else to make this a compelling and effective enough genre movie.

It is a very typical man versus nature flick, in which the main character gets stuck on a snowy and cold mountain. How can you possibly mess such a simple premise up? Well, very easily, as this movie clearly demonstrates. It is hard to blame it on one thing, since the movie is doing an awful lot wrong. As a matter of fact, it is doing very little right, which sounds harsh, but it just is so extremely hard to name one thing about this movie that is good or remotely memorable.

As I said, one of the things with this movie is that it feels extremely shallow. There are actually multiple reasons as to why. One of them is that the movie is far too 'filmic'. What I mean by this is that it is a far too slick and planned out looking one for a movie with such a realistic and raw concept and main story. There is absolutely no realism to anything. Whenever the Hartnett character is cold, it never feels like he is cold. Whenever the Hartnett character is in pain, it never feels like he is in pain. And whenever the Hartnett character feels lost and sad, it absolutely never feels like anything realistic neither. It is a poorly done film, both visually as well as emotionally.

The many flashbacks in the movie are there to make the character a more sympathetic and 'human' one, but it just feels like a cheap trick to do just that. We don't get to know anything about the character by simply following him around and watching him dealing with the circumstances he is suffering- and struggling against. I also really don't get how the whole message behind the movie is 'getting a second chance', as if the main character was supposed to be all messed up and lost before he went up the mountain. It makes the story and message behind the movie a pretty odd and weak one. It definitely made some wrong choices with its character and story all throughout. The character also remains a far too shallow and uninteresting one and it is therefore hard to care about anything that is happening in this movie and to its main character. Not even really Josh Hartnett's fault, but I blame it on the writing and directing instead.

It is also true that none of the emotions really work out because the movie is mostly focusing on its one main character. It lets all of the other characters and their story-arcs come across as redundant ones, that don't share a solid enough connection with its main character. Even the mother character feels totally out of place, as if she has never even met the main character and shares no connection with him.

The movie also feels pretty lackluster, which seems like an odd thing to say about a movie based on a true event, but since the movie isn't really going for any good realism and emotions, you should at least be able to still expect a few good and spectacular moments from it. None of that is present in this movie really. It very obviously is a low-budget production, that even couldn't afford some decent enough looking makeup effects. The lack of anything good and spectacular also ensures that the movie is a pretty predictable one to watch, from start to finish. Nothing comes as a surprise and all of the developments besides feel forced and unconvincing. (And by naming your movie 'Miracle on the Mountain' you also are already giving away how the movie is going to end)

Not the worst movie you will see this year, but it is one that is hard to be very positive about. A far too shallow and lackluster man versus nature movie, that luckily isn't too long to watch. There, I still said something positive about this movie...Well, sort of, I guess.


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Batman vs. Two-Face (2017) Directed by Rick Morales

Is Adam West's final outing as Batman a worthy one? It definitely is. It is typical for his character, that he first portrayed over 50 years ago. It is fun, perfectly goofy, but without turning into a total nonsensical mess. There still is a story, there still are real characters, but it never forgets that it is mostly here to entertain you and give you a simple- but good time.

I definitely prefer the more entertaining Batman over any of the moody and more serious shots at the character, especially when it comes down to the animated movies. This movie definitely is in the vein of the '60's "Batman" series, starring Adam West and Burt Ward, among others, who reprise their roles of the dynamic duo once again for this animated movie, alongside series regular Julie Newmar as Catwoman.

The story is perfectly random, featuring all sort of Batman regulars and classic characters, while still following a clear main plot line as well. Sure, because it is all so random and often goofy it doesn't work out as the most convincing or effective movie, but it is one of the things that helps to make this movie such a perfectly 'light' and fun one to watch.

I still have to say that it is true though that I wish that the movie would be a bit more focused at times. It for instance is pretty crazy how this movie features all sorts of Batman villains in it, without any of them making much of an impact or serving much of a purpose at all.

Thing that I definitely like better about the movie is how perfectly old fashioned it feels. The story, the look, the pacing, it is all very reminiscent of an '60's production, though at the same time it lets the movie feel like basically nothing more but an extended '60's series episode (though it is only barely 72 minutes short).

There isn't quite enough 'boom' and 'punch' to this movie to elevate it. Story-wise, action-wise and animation-wise it is all pretty average. Good, but nevertheless average. No spectacular set pieces, no real memorable action. I just don't think that I am going to remember much about this movie in two weeks from now, despite really enjoying it.

It also seems that the actors had some real fun with this movie and there characters. Besides Adam West and Burt Ward, William Shatner also plays a pretty big part in the movie as Harvey Dent/Two-Face. It works. There are some good dynamics between all of the different characters, which is also really due to the voice acting. Also really one of the reasons why I consider this animated movie to be a worthy last one for Adam West, who died in June of 2017.

The movie is also good and pretty to look at, with its exaggerated comic book style, without taking things too far. Like I said before, I definitely like this more 'cheerful', colorful and entertaining Batman movies better than the more dark in tone and serious ones. The animation's are all good and the characters definitely look like the actors portraying them as well, which is fun to see.


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Fun Mom Dinner (2017) Directed by Alethea Jones

Female comedies are hot, and more so than ever before. In a way it is still something that the large portion of the (male) crowd has to grow accustomed to, since it definitely changes things around, by showing things from a totally different perspective from the more familiar and 'old fashioned' comedies, starring a mostly male cast.

Different story lines, different characters, different humor. But it still all comes down to this; is the movie good and funny enough? If yes, than it is a successful one and it truly doesn't matter if its main characters are male, female, or volleyballs. If no, than its an unsuccessful one and it truly doesn't matter neither if its main characters are male, female, or volleyballs.

This movie definitely tries to ride the train- and cash in on the success of movies such as "Bridesmaids" and "Bad Moms". I mean, it even isn't very subtle about it. Sure, the story is different but the style and characters really are all the same. It is 'funny' how these type of movies often feature the same sort of the characters in them; a wild one, a naive one, a more normal/grounded one and than there still is the obligatory more chubby female friend as well. This in other words really isn't being a very original movie within its story, but I wish I could say that that is being the only problem with this movie.

Its main concept appears very flawed to begin with. It basically is just about a bunch of mothers (and the emphasis gets constantly put on this) acting incredibly immature and irresponsible. Really, I know that it is all supposed to be part of the fun of the movie, but it is truly hard to ever care for any of the characters because of their actions and personalities. There hardly are any good redeeming qualities about any of them. The characters only become more annoying as the movie- and they progress, instead of becoming more likable and interesting.

But part of this really is due to its story. And wow, does this movie feature a messy story in it. It is almost as if it got shot without a script and the 4 main actresses had to improvise their way through this movie. It often feels far to random, which should have added to the fun and whole 'adverterous' feeling and aspects of the movie, but it really just merely makes it messy and confusing. Scenes seem out of place, moments too random and insignificant to the story as a whole and the characters keep making the dumbest and most unlikely decisions, all throughout. And again, instead of this adding to the fun of the movie, it only makes it an annoying and at times even quite dreadful one to watch.

The movie truly lacks some focus. There isn't really a main plot line, which obviously is part of the reason why it often feels all over the place with its story. Most of the time I am also really not able to tell what this movie is trying to do or say with some of its sequences. It is quite pointless all and too often doesn't add up to anything. As a whole, it makes the movie messy and an even quite unpleasant one.

Big problem with its comedy also really is that it just isn't ever anything all that funny. It mostly relies on the dialog and the delivery by its four main leads. The dialog however too often is far too weak to work out as either fun or convincing and it again seems that its four leading ladies are ad-libbing their way through this movie, in an effort to spice things up and make things more fun. It however feels too forced and the main actresses are never capable of making any of the scenes work out as anything hilarious, or even remotely funny enough. Still not sure if this was the actors their fault as well though. They simply had no good script or direction to work with.

Weak and incredibly messy. Not just as a comedy, but as a movie in general.


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Armstrong (2016) Directed by Kerry Carlock & Nicholas Lund-Ulrich

This movie should have never been made, which seems like a harsh statement, but what I mean by that is that its story is way bigger and more spectacular than its budget ever allows it to be, making this movie a bit of a failed attempt, with plenty of wasted potential in it.

Thing I can't deny is that this movie is pretty original one with its concept and story. It is also the main thing that still keeps this movie still pleasant and decent enough to watch, but unfortunately it still isn't quite enough to make the movie a truly fully effective and great one.

One of the problems with the movie is that it appears to feature a totally wrong tone and style for its story. Tonally the movie appears as a very realistic and serious one, while its story is, well, extremely far fetched. It is not just a silly action flick, but most definitely a silly science-fiction movie as well with its story. Despite having a silly story the movie itself never manages to work out as anything fun to watch as well. It takes itself far too seriously, which to me was the biggest flaw of the movie.

But it is not the only thing that makes this movie a quite flawed one. A thing about its story is that it features a bigger than life type of plot, about the end of the world. Yet we never get to see the gravity of things, since most of the story takes place in or around an ambulance. It is not necessarily a bad approach, but it is for this movie. It shows barely any destruction, no real danger or despair and the movie also basically is devoid of any sort of tension because of that. This is the type of movie that really could have some big action set pieces and other exaggerated moments and characters. The movie however remains quite tame, simplistic and 'small', despite the fact that the characters try to prevent an apocalypse.

Which brings me to the characters; that are a bit of a problem for this movie as well. It does a fairly good job handling its main character, played by Vicky Jeudy, but it totally forgot about all of the other ones, or it at least seemed that way. This movie basically only has three characters in it to begin with, which also definitely seems a few too little for a movie like this. Where is the villain, for instance? It only features some nameless and faceless villains in it, which also doesn't add anything to the movie its suspense in this case. There never is any sense of real danger or urgency throughout this movie.

It also really doesn't help that the actor portraying Armstrong is real weak in his role. He is supposed to be a hero, I guess, but his character really is hard to like, which is mostly due to the uncharismatic and poor acting by Shawn Parsons. His character is also key to the concept of the movie working out. Needless to say it doesn't and unfortunately the movie is just mostly silly and far fetched than exciting or very convincing, when it comes down to its story.

Certainly original and with plenty of good ideas in it, but the movie as a whole just doesn't quite work out as either a good action- or science-fiction flick. Still somewhat decent, but certainly nothing too memorable, exciting or fun to watch.


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Don't Sleep (2017) Directed by Rick Bieber

Meh, I am not hating on this movie, but calling it a good one would also be a stretch.

It is easy to hate on any modern, low-budget, horror flick, but it often is with reason. By far, the majority of them are absolutely terrible and formulaic ones. I can't really call this movie a formulaic one as well though. This is both a good and bad thing about it. Good, because it means that this movie is more original and less predictable than the average genre attempt and bad because, well, its originality just doesn't also work out too well for the movie.

The entire movie feels a bit messy and lacks some good focus at parts. It also is hard to categorize this movie, since it is attempting to do an awful lot of things. It most definitely also isn't very effective as a horror movie, which probably is going to be the foremost reason why most people are going to hate on it.

This is not quite a haunted house flick. Not quite a monster flick and not quite a possession flick either. It in a lot of ways is more a thriller than a horror movie really, while still featuring plenty of horror aspects in it. It however handles most of its horror aspects poorly, in the sense that it fails to ever create any good suspense or successful scares with it. It also isn't a particularly gory or otherwise shocking horror movie. So yes really, as a horror movie it falls quite short. It also takes a few too many twists and turns with this movie, which makes it far from the most convincing movie. It is part of the reason why the movie also feels quite messy at parts.

The movie more than once takes a sudden leap and expects the viewers to simply go along with things. Well, not this viewer. The movie often felt far too nonsensical and random with some of its developments. It makes the movie somewhat original and unexpected, but unfortunately not always in a very good and effective way as well.

It still remains a pretty decent movie to look at. The directing, cinematography and all really isn't anything too bad. It most certainly is better and more professional looking than just the average low-budget genre attempt, but that unfortunately at the same time remains the only thing that makes this movie stick out above the average genre attempt.

Truly, I never hated watching this movie, but it obviously isn't much of a good one neither.


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Infinity Chamber (2016) Directed by Travis Milloy

Is being different and original enough to be good as well? Not always. You often still need to be engaging and interesting as well as a movie in order for things to fully work out. Different and original is something that this movie got right, but engaging and interesting is something that it only sporadically succeeds at.

And well, I say that this movie is original, but at the same time it is also very obvious that it 'borrows' heavily from other, better known, science-fiction movies. It however still manages to bring things in a fresh and original enough way for me to call this movie an original one. It is certainly different from the average low-budget genre attempt, which in this case works out positively.

Story-wise this isn't necessarily a complex movie to follow, but it still decides to tell things in a needlessly convoluted way, no doubt in an attempt to appear more smart and deep than it in fact truly is. It is somewhat annoying to see this movie repeat itself at times with some of its themes and story elements. It doesn't always feel like the movie is going froward, which at times causes you to lose interest.

On the other hand the story luckily still manages to provide plenty of original and interesting aspects as well. It in way is the most predictable movie around, mostly because it really seems to be doing its own thing. Not all of the twists work out as well as the other, but it gives you enough to consider this movie to be an effective and original enough one.

It does a pretty decent job building its mystery and tension, though it mostly does this by simply being as vague and slowly paced as possible. A bit of cheap and simple trick, but it is something that nevertheless works out well, for most part. It always gives you just enough to remain interest in the movie, though it at the same time definitely feels like the movie isn't always giving you enough and deliberately holding back to stall for time. It does feel a bit like a stretched out movie at parts, but I am not complaining too much about it.

It also definitely is a good and professional looking movie, despite its low-budget. It of course really helps that the movie is mostly set at just one location, but the camera-work, editing and set design remain well done, nevertheless. The thing that is still bringing the movie a down a bit is the acting. It actually is quite weak at times, especially during the more important and emotional parts of the movie. It doesn't make this the best or most convincing movie to watch, but luckily there still remains enough there to consider this movie to be a decent and watchable enough one.

Not the best science-fiction you will ever see, but it definitely is a good and watchable one, especially when you are in the mood for something different.


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Killing Gunther (2017) Directed by Taran Killam

Thing with comedies is that they need to be funny in order to work out as good and effective. That unfortunately, for most part, really isn't the case with this movie though.

I can understand and see how making a comedy is much harder than, for instance, making a cheap horror or action flick. I am therefore also not trying to be demeaning toward the genre, but its a simple and absolute fact that there actually are very little genuinely good and funny, low-budget, comedies out there. And really, don't let the presence of Schwarzenegger fool you, this is nothing but a simplistic and low-budget comedy attempt.

Is this the worst comedy attempt Arnold Schwarzenegger has ever appeared in? I would probably have to say yes, unless you count "Terminator Genisys" as a comedy as well. Good news for him though is that it really isn't his fault that the movie doesn't work out. As a matter of fact, he still remains the one and only highlight of the movie and every scene he appears in actually remains a pretty decent and fun one to watch. Bad news though is that Schwarzenegger is hardly in this movie. He only appears at the end of it and his role probably took him only a week, at most, to film.

There really are more than a few problems with this movie. One of them being its directing. It is probably due to Taran Killam his "Saturday Night Live" background that doesn't translate to well to film-making. Literally every characters tries to either do or say something funny, every scene they appear in. There is nothing natural about it and feels terribly forced. Besides, most of the time none of the characters do or say anything that is actually funny. It most of the time is something silly, that really doesn't make much sense within the context of the movie.

The movie features a whole bunch of goofy characters in, while its still set in the real world, with real life consequences. Reasons why other goofy movies such as "Airplane!" work out is that it aren't just the characters who are over-the-top and goofy, but everything about them as well. They are almost more like a cartoon, with silly and exaggerated situations, that often are without any consequences. Someone could fall down a set of chairs or get hit in the head with a hammer, but seem perfectly fine and healthy in the next scene. It doesn't matter, since it obviously isn't set in the real world and the movie is able to get away with just about anything. Not this movie though. By setting it in the 'real world' and take a realistic approach with its look and situations, the movie its characters and dialog feel totally out of place. It makes them and the movie in general more annoying and far fetched than anything funny really.

The whole concept of the movie and idea behind feels flawed to begin with. I mean, why would a group of professional hit-man ever even allow a filming crew to follow them around, while working on their next hit. The entire mockumentary is a pretty tiresome one anyway. Pretending to be a real documentary, while all of the characters say and do the stupidest things. Why even pretend to be real? Just have fun. Go silly. I am actually convinced of it that this movie would have worked out better with a 'normal' film-making approach to it.

Instead of focusing on two or three good characters, the movie features a whole bunch of them. Even after 20 minutes the movie is still only busy introducing new characters, without moving forward with anything else. And since there are so many characters in it, the remain nothing more but stereotypes, that you hardly get to know anything about or ever remotely start to care for. I can't even begin to count how many different characters are in this movie. Most of them are also in it for a couple of minutes, which makes it hard to say what they were doing in this movie in the first place. It is as if writer and director Taran Killam wanted to give all of his friends a small part in the movie, without making their parts very relevant to the movie.

It is weird and surprising to see how much better the movie becomes to watch once Arnold Schwarzenegger makes his first appearance (after 67 minutes). It becomes more focused and silly, in a good way. Schwarzenegger also probably is the best actor in this movie, which is saying a lot about everybody else in it. I wish there was more of Schwarzenegger in this movie, but putting his name on all of the posters and cover of the movie really isn't anything more than a marketing ploy. He is barely in the movie and I also most definitely wouldn't call this a Schwarzenegger movie to begin with. In a way it is nothing more but an extended cameo, while all of the other actors have to carry the rest of the movie, which neither of them was capable of, unfortunately.

A not so very funny comedy, with weak characters and an even worse approach to its comedy and story.


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Sniper: Ultimate Kill (2017) Directed by Claudio Fäh

This actually is part 7(!) out of the long running series of 'Sniper' movies. How many of them have you seen? Probably not a lot, since these type of movies tend to go under the radar relatively fast and easily once they get released. They are low-budget, simplistic and never anything too spectacular, though having said that, this movie most definitely isn't as awful as the average B-action movie.

To be honest, I don't even believe that I have seen any of the other 'Sniper' movies. Does it matter? It luckily really doesn't. Tom Berenger and Billy Zane, who still played a large part in most of the earlier movies, have taken a backseat in this, and it doesn't seem to follow- or refer to any of the previous movies out of the series. It truly is a movie that you can enjoy as s standalone entry, featuring a batch of fresh characters and story-lines.

It actually is a surprising stylish and well made movie. Despite its lack of large action set pieces, it never feels like a slow or boring film. There is always something happening in it, always moving forward and still plenty of small scale action to enjoy. Perfect for the lovers of cheap and simplistic (modern) action flicks and certainly better than just the average genre attempt. It trust me, I have seen plenty of modern 'average genre attempts', often also starring better/bigger name actors in it.

There is only so much that the style of the movie is able to conceal and compensate for. Its lack of a truly good and engaging does become obvious and quite troublesome after a while. It never is the most interesting or tense movie to watch, due to a lack of good and likable enough characters, as well as the absence of a decent enough main story. It is just far too uninteresting to watch all. The movie really lacks a likable enough main hero and a fun and despicable enough main villain. Basic stuff needed to make any action movie great. There also isn't a big enough conflict in the movie, or a interesting 'McGuffin'. Just a basic 'man on a mission' story, with all of the usual clichés. It isn't just not the most interesting or engaging movie around, but also definitely never the most surprising one, which only adds to the movie its simplicity.

But oh well, at least I never felt bored while watching this movie. It definitely helps that the movie is a good- and professional looking one, which even makes you forget that you are watching nothing but a cheap and formulaic sequel, staring second rate actors.

Watchable enough for those who enjoy cheap and simplistic modern action flicks. Everybody else is better off skipping this one.


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An Ordinary Man (2017) Directed by Brad Silberling

Nothing too impressive, nothing too original, but it does its job. That basically is the best way to describe this movie, that is a watchable- but certainly not a truly recommendable one as well.

Thing with this movie is that it is obviously trying to be as simplistic as possible, but it is this very same simplicity that works against the movie- and is the thing that is keeping it down at times. Its simplicity, among other things, ensures that the movie remains a rather predictable one and it does very little to try and surprise. But what is worse is that its simplicity prevents the movie from ever truly working out as an effective and very memorable movie.

The movie is mostly talk, without showing you too much of anything. This would have been fine, as long as the characters would have worked out as solid and interesting enough ones. This however really isn't the case. The characters (of which there are only two really) remain a bit too shallow all throughout, despite the movie its hard efforts. They never go through any interesting enough transitions and we basically know far too little about their background, history and personalities to truly genuinely care. It makes the movie fairly shallow and devoid of any good drama, without ever turning into a truly terrible drama as well though.

And yes, this movie really is a drama. Wasn't too sure what to expect of this movie beforehand, but its cover and story-line made it seem like an action flick as well, which it however clearly isn't though. There is no action in this movie, no real thriller aspects but instead a simple and humble story of two people open up to each other and starting an unusual and unlikely friendship. Probably still sounds pretty appealing and interesting to some and indeed, it is a pretty decent little movie to watch, but just don't expect anything too exceptional or surprising.

It is weird to see Ben Kingsley's career slowly developing into one that consists out of small, low-budget movies, that often go straight to DVD as well. He is never terrible and his newer movies certainly also aren't the worst to watch, but it is just that he is an actor who I always have had a high regard of. Seeing him in these small and 'insignificant' movies just seems like a giant waste to me. I mean, this is the guy who played Ghandi and was in "Schindler's List" at one point in his career.

It is a movie I don't regret watching, but I also most certainly can't wholeheartedly recommend it. A tad bit too simplistic and shallow for it to ever work out as anything truly effective and memorable, though all of the right intentions and ingredients were obviously there.


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Leatherface (2017) Directed by Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury

This movie is a bit of a weird one. It is not terrible as a movie, but as a sequel and origin movie, which it of course is, it is a quite bad and disappointing one.

It never seems like a good idea to put a human face on a 'monster' and try to make him a more sympathetic one, by showing his backstory and early days. That of course is exactly what this movie does, but in the case of Leatherface this still feels sort of OK. After all, his character always obviously seemed to be a victim of his family. Someone who wasn't necessarily born evil, but turned that way by growing up in a rural area, with his deranged family. Not that the character ever was much of a sympathetic, but you could always sort of get and feel where he was coming from. Does this movie add anything to that? Not really. It makes this a pretty unnecessary prequel, but what is worse is that it isn't done very well as a prequel.

Thing about the movie is that it attempts to set up a background story for its main character, without actually providing much background information. I mean, it just shows things happening, without really explaining all that much. Biggest problem is that the characters are all quite terrible ones. Not because of their actions, but because of how they are written. None of the characters are well developed, though they obviously are important to the forming of 'Leatherface'. In a way this movie really needs another prequel to show how the family got formed, in order to understand them. Seriously, where is the grandpa Sawyer prequel? I just don't know what makes them tick and why it is so important to them to turn 'sweet' innocent little Bubba into such a cold blooded and maniacal killer. This movie provides more questions than answers really. As a matter of fact, it provides very little answers at all.

The movie gives you far too little to root- and care for. This goes for the story as well as all of its characters. The movie lacks a decent 'hero', main characters as well as a solid enough main villain in it. I honestly don't know who was supposed to be the hero, main character and villain of the movie. You would say that Leatherface should be all of them, but he at times really seems nothing more but a secondary character, who isn't even all that important to the story.

It also definitely is nothing more than just another average, modern slasher flick, with its approach and story. It does everything you could expect from a movie of this sort, without doing anything that new or surprising. But even as a simple slasher it does remain a lacking one. It has a terrible build up to things, which means that the entire movie is basically devoid of any good suspense and it most definitely never becomes a very scary one neither. It is mostly just a gory one, but it seems to be gory just for the sake of being gory at parts. Certainly nothing too realistic or memorable. It is also weird how it is hiding some of its gore at times, by letting things take place off the screen. This just doesn't suit the character and story approach, that is all about flying limbs and intestines.

The movie is saved by the fact that it is a pretty good looking- and otherwise still well made movie. Certainly nothing cheap or clumsy about it, even though the movie at the same time never really impresses. It makes this a watchable enough genre attempt, though as a part of- and especially as a prequel to the 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' series, the movie falls incredibly flat and is nothing more but a ratter pointless and weak one, that adds absolutely nothing to the series and does very little new or original in general.


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Cult of Chucky (2017) Directed by Don Mancini

Not that I remember much about it, but the previous 'Chucky' movie, "Curse of Chucky", was a surprisingly good and creative one, so I definitely wasn't opposed yet another sequel. This movie however, as it turned out, is nothing more but a very standard horror flick, that isn't really doing anything new, but definitely also never anything too great neither.

It is not a terrible movie, but it most certainly is a disappointing one. Both as a comedy and horror movie it falls short and the movie seems to have no idea how to spice things up and make it all both interesting and original enough to watch.

First of all, a problem with this movie are its settings. It limits itself too much by letting most of the movie take place inside of an insane asylum, which besides is one of the biggest horror clichés in the book. Well, at least it isn't an 'In space' sequel, but I don't want to give Don Mancini any ideas...By letting the movie take place in an asylum the movie feels too enclosed. It only has an handful of different characters in it and there is only so much you can do with them and your horror between four walls. It is part of the reason why the movie fails to surprise and the horror falls flat.

The 'Chucky' series is known for both its classic horror character as well as its very distinctive humor. The movie also tries hard to combine its horror and comedy in an effective way, but it mostly really doesn't work out too well. It never knows how to set up a good an atmosphere and build up any good suspense and mystery with its story. It never scares, which also is partly due to the fact the movie fails to surprise with anything. Its comedy doesn't work out much better though, which is mostly due to the writing but also because of the lack of any good characters. Even Chucky comes across as a disappointing character.

It is crazy. This movie stars series regulars Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly and Alex Vincent, among others in it, yet the movie fails to live up to the charm and fun of any of the other previous movies. This mostly is due to the fact that all of them actually play small parts in it and none of them seem at place, as weird as that may sound. The fact that their roles are far too small is only part of the problem, but what is worse and even more weird is that all of them seem to act in totally separate and different movies. It is as if all of the Tilly scenes got done in January, while of the Vincent scenes were done in December, without even a finished script ready at the time. It is a bit of a messy movie, that does seem to have some good ideas in it, but none of it really ever comes together.

But again, it is not like this is a totally terrible movie to watch. It obviously doesn't take itself too serious, which also means that the movie is more fun and entertaining to watch than just the average genre attempt. Some of the killings and gore is pretty decent as well, though it is nothing that is going to excite the lovers of it too much. Just as the rest of the movie; it is all a bit too standard and far from anything new or surprising, despite its obviously still original main concept of having a killer doll.

The pace of the movie also remains a bit too slow, all throughout. The movie just never seems to be able to get into a decent and pleasant flow with its story. It doesn't make the movie too annoying to watch, but it at times still remains pretty troublesome how it takes the longest time for anything good or fun to happen in it.

Meh, nothing too terrible, but it remains a pretty weak and disappointing entry into the long running 'Chucky' or 'Child's Play' series.


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The Detained (2017) Directed by Blair Hayes

The horror version of "The Breakfast Club"? Sure sounds like it and it also seems like this movie was really trying hard to be just that. Trying, since its not like this movie is very successful at anything.

This movie definitely is too silly for its own good. It is an incredibly unsuccessful combination of comedy and slasher aspects. It first and foremost remains a comedy, which humor constantly gets in the way of its horror. Its horror is never given any room to ever develop into anything remotely effective. Needless to say that the movie is never scary, tense or somewhat mysterious to watch. All of its horror elements truly fall flat, which wouldn't have been such a big problem if the movie itself wasn't putting so much emphasis on the movie its horror, during its second half.

The movie actually starts off as a very typical teen comedy, that is never great or very funny to watch, but at least it had a clear style to it. This all changes once its horror kicks in, or rather said tries to kick in. It is as if the movie never knows when to make the switch between comedy and horror and allow its horror elements to truly kick in. The movie constantly keeps you waiting for things to develop. Waiting, for something that never comes. It is all very weird, since the movie clearly wants to be a slasher. It never drops its comedy, but story-wise it has all the markings of a typical slasher movie.

Really, if only the movie would have held back just a little with its comedy...It now instead feels as if the movie is afraid to become a too serious movie with anything, but this really prevents the movie from ever turning into anything good and engaging to watch. It is not like the characters are very likable as well. The movie focuses on a whole bunch of different characters, rather than having a solid- and clear main lead in it. No real 'hero' so to speak. Just a bunch of individuals we know nothing- and get to know nothing about.

Despite the fact that the movie is never a too successful one as a slasher, it still remains something that gets in the way of its comedy as well. Its violence and horror aspects never go along with its comedic aspects. While the humor of the movie often is too goofy, the horror is too often far too serious and straightforward. Again, it really doesn't go together very well. It really as if two totally unrelated movies got slapped together. The comedy never enhances the horror and the horror never enhances the movie its comedy. But what obviously is far worse is the lack of consistency and the fact that things never blend in well with each other.

It is not like it is the worst made movie, but the story and especially the lack of successful horror aspects and a terrible blend with its comedy, still make this an absolutely terrible movie to watch.


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