CAM (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

CAM (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
CAM is a really interesting technology based horror that marks yet another strong Blumhouse production to be released this year.  Lead by an excellent performance by Madeline Brewer  and some exceptionally well handled and sympathetic direction by Daniel Goldhaber CAM is measured, unexploitative and tightly directed.  In short: Netflix has delivered a well handled horror that is a must see for genre fans.

Best Bit: Madeline Brewer is excellant

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Searching, Unfriended, The Bay

 


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Redcon 1 – A Quick Capsule Review

Redcon 1 – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
A film can fail but still be worth watching.  For me that’s Redcon-1  – a film very much the less of the sum of its parts that ultimately is undone by its scope being far greater than its budget.  It has a few nice moments but all the way through you see quite quickly that whilst it wants to be 28 Weeks Later meets The Raid, it’s more like a Devil’s Playground meets The Silencer (Look ’em up folks).  There’s talent on display here – Strange is very good at the action scenes- but the film can’t pull off its set pieces and scares as, at every moment, it just feels like there wasn’t enough money to make the scenes big or spectacular enough.  So Redcon-1 is worth streaming for the effort and vision alone but sadly in truth little else works.

Best Bit: It’s scope

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (for effort)

If You Liked this Try: The Raid, 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later

 


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Gremlins (1984) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Gremlins (1984) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Gremlins is a stone cold classic for sure but unlike a lot of beloved 80’s films it truly holds up today.  Okay so the technology has moved on and its setting is about as 80’s as you can get BUT it’s themes, hi-jinx and boldness helps this film still feel pretty timeless.  The thing that makes gremlins really work is underneath its cute exterior hides a brilliantly dark mean street.  Fathers trapped down chimneys, deadly stair lifts and lethal snow plows… it’s everything a Christmas movie should be and more.  And your kids WILL like it.  Essential.

Best Bit: The Bar

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Small Soldiers, Critters 

 

Hall of Fame

 


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Krampus (2015) – A Quick Capsule Review

Krampus (2015) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Krampus is the dark horror comedy you need during the festive period.  Yup for every family that’s ever argued or had in-laws over that, to be honest you just can’t stand, Krampus will take those moments and add a bucket load of weirdness to it.  It’s hard to describe Krampus – it’s part Home Alone, part Gremlins. But whatever it is it’s a whole load of fun. OTT, crazy and pretty trippy – If you like your Christmas films with a dash of bite then this is for you.

Best Bit: The loft

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Better Watch Out, Gremlins, Rare Exports, Home Alone,

 


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Better Watch Out (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

Better Watch Out (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Better Watch Out is a real treat.  Released last year, it’s already hit many people’s best Christmas films list and I can see why – it’s clever, witty and OTT.  It also throws more than a few curve balls in along the way which really elevates it beyond the usual run of the mill Christmas horror films.  Levi Miller delivers a stunning central performance as the kid in lust with his babysitter and for a film tied very much to one location, it always manages to be inventive and surprising.  Better Watch Out is a must for horror fans (and fans of subversive Christmas films)

Best Bit: Oh so THAT’s the film

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Krampas, Jack Frost, The Babysitter, Home Alone

 


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The Thing (1982) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

The Thing (1982) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Thing is a nailed on sci-fi horror classic. Even some 36 years since the film was released (to a critically drubbing no less), the film holds up brilliantly.  In fact other than a few moments the film is almost timeless, feeling like it could’ve been made yesterday.  I guess the only thing that stops it feeling like a 2000’s movie is the restraint showed by Carpenter as a director and the cast.  It’s subtlety from start to end, with ambiguous moments leaving the audience to think about what they are seeing.  Carpenter saves his money shots for when they count and when they come man do they deliver.  The 2000’s reboot did everything wrong that this film did right.  In short The Thing is essential.

Best Bit: The blood test

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Escape From New York, Halloween, Big Trouble In Little China

Hall of Fame

 


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Phil’s Top 5… Horror Movies Franchises

Phil’s Top 5… Horror Movies Franchises

Other Cr*p Top 5

Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five.  This time out: Horror Franchises

 

Close but no cigar: The Purge, Final Destination , Scream,  Saw

 

5 – Childs Play
Childs Play started well, went pretty rotten in the middle but managed to stick the landing with Bride, Child and most recently Cult Of Chucky.  Still got legs.

 

4 – Halloween
One great film, a few weak sequels, an excellent reboot and now a new new reboot means that Halloween is far from finished.

 

3 – A Nightmare On Elm Street
Elm Street is a mix of the good (the original, a New Nightmare, Dream Warriors), the bad (part 5) and the ugly (the remake) but s a horror icon few beat Freddie.  

2 – Evil Dead
Four movies and an incredible TV show, The Evil Dead franchise continues to endure well past it’s original roots as a down and very dirty low budget calling card for Sam Rami.

 

1 – Friday The 13th
Yup they haven’t aged that well and the franchise has stalled of late but growing up few films or horror icons scared me as much as the Friday films.  From the iconic (Part 4) to the Crazy bad but fun (Jason takes Manhattan)  I still love everyone of them.  Including the rather good remake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review: The Purge (DVD/BR)

Review: The Purge (DVD/BR)

Other Cr*p Uncategorized

The Review: In the future, all crime is legal between the hours of 7pm and 7am on the night of March 21st. How did this come about? It seems the government, with a strong affiliation with the religious right, as redesigned the constitution to allow citizens of America to “purge” and cleanse themselves. What would you do in this situation? Probably nothing. Yeah, that’s reality the reality. You’d be on lock down, look after your family, and protect them if you absolutely had to.

The groundwork here is absolutely laughable. Of course there’d never be a real purge. For whatever money is saved for the remaining 364 days of the year with people not committing crimes, it is instead all handily consolidated to one evening. The pavements and parks would be littered with bodies. At the stroke of 7am, it all ceases to be legal. How good are people at meeting deadlines, these days, anyway?

I’d like, for a moment, to ruminate on some of the more interesting ideas that come from this concept. Can nurses and surgeons do a sloppy job that evening and just pull the plug on the no-hoper operations? Maybe they’re backlogged? They just throw all the terminally ill patients in the bin, and claim “we did everything we could” to their sobbing relatives. Maybe they could slash the throats of the sobbing relatives and personally invest stocks in funeral parlours.

How about the demonic, clandestine abusers of society? Especially those inside the family, behind closed doors? Could the father, hauled before the courts sometime in September, claim he waited to satisfy his perverted urges until March 21st? Or how about the warmongering criminals who sit in positions of power? “We invaded the country at 9pm on March 21st – they were fair game, we’re not war criminals!”.

Let’s consider for a moment all the Wall Street bankers exchanging contracts on multibillion dollar deals at 11pm on March 21st. The time difference meant that they’d have to deal with Japan. And speaking of Japan – couldn’t there be an international version/intrusion of the purge. What if you were on holiday in Japan during “purge night”, but wanted to kill your neighbour remotely? If you sent a letter bomb, can you rely on UPS to have delivered it in time to Jack-in-the-Box take the face off your neighbour? What if the neighbour opened the parcel at 8am the following morning; an hour after the purge concluded? Would Interpol be knocking down your hotel door?

The purge seems to have been designed, narratively speaking, with equality in mind. What about those who would dearly love to enact euthanasia; a pact made by the family to pull the plug on purge night. Now, does this constitute purging at all? Are there purge gangs? Could PUSSY (Purge Users’ Secret Society Yankees) form to do battle against anti purge protestors. And why are the politicians exempt from those process? Surely they had a hand in its implementation. Are they excluded from being killed, or can they kill? It’s a flawed, stupid idea – this purge night – but it’s ripe for exploitation and debate. These are all interesting questions that floated through my mind whilst watching writer/director James DeMonaco’s The Purge. None of them are answered.

It’s just another sub-par, badly lit home invasion thriller. For fuck’s sake.

 

Reviewed By: Andrew MacKay


THE PURGE is out at on DVD/BR now.  Join the debate on our Facebook group… http://www.facebook.com/groups/filmsploitationpodcast/

Review: Citadel (DVD/BR)

Review: Citadel (DVD/BR)

Uncategorized

The Review: One day, Tommy’s (Aneurin Barnard) pregnant girlfriend Joanne (Amy Shiels) is attacked by hoodied adolescent thugs outside their flat in the decrepit urban apartment building known as the Citadel. She’s left in a coma, but doctors are able to deliver the baby girl, whom Tommy raises alone for nine months. By that time, he’s moved out of the building but has become an agoraphobic shell, petrified to leave his home except to visit Joanne in the hospital and to attend therapy sessions.

However, Tommy’s safe haven is violated when the hooded figures track him down and break into his home. He’s able to ward them off, but thanks to a belligerent local priest (James Cosmo) who’s had dealings with the seemingly supernatural entities, he determines what they’re after: his baby daughter. Tommy must thus overcome his anxiety to protect his child and uncover the truth behind the dark and demented beings that are haunting his every moment.
Citadel is a film that shifts gears sharply but never clumsily, gingerly skipping from drama to horror to introspection. There’s a quiet sadness to the scenes that establish Tommy’s new way of life and his descent into madness is played subtly, patiently.
In trajectory and execution, Ciaran Foy’s relentlessly intense ode to urban paranoia, Citadel, is much like a nightmare in its refusal to ground itself in a relatable, or safe, framework for the duration of its runtime. Even the quieter moments away from the central chaos and threat are staged with unease and an unnerving unpredictability, adding visceral viability to a story that is as irreverent and socially conscious as it is psychological and character driven.
This impressively-rendered unease is apparently from the opening when soon-to-be parent Tommy (Aneurin Barnard) watches his pregnant wife get attacked by hooded youths from within a malfunctioning elevator. Pulling a needle from her stomach, his ensuing panic and disbelief ultimately defines him for months to come when he’s left alone with a baby after his wife succumbs to an “undetermined infection.”

Agoraphobic and riddled with self-doubt about parental abilities, Tommy starts seeing hooded youths outside of his window and eventually inside his home. And because Foy avoids establishing a separate style for reality and inner psychological environment, we’re never sure if the constant attacks are paranoid delusions or an external threat. While his nurse and potential love interest (Wunmi Mosaku) believes his fear is irrational, a foul-mouthed priest (James Cosmo) asserts that these slum-dwelling youths are actually infected with a virus and will stop at nothing to steal Tommy’s baby.

The film astutely captures the nature of victimhood as juxtaposed with nascent parental anxieties, Tommy’s character arc of controlling fear and escaping the cycle of passivity is in itself a driving force. But beyond this, there’s the added sociological element of generational class system repetition, noting that the infection these youths actually have is that of a morally abject upbringing sure to define them as lifelong predators, looking for weaker targets like Tommy.

In such, the parental subtext proves circular as our protagonist makes literal the metaphor of stealing back his child from the confines of a lower class fate. Here, needles and infections mirror the drug-addled and grim futures of erratic, dejected youths, just as Tommy’s eventual quest to rescue his son from their clutches—and their cyclic social deprivation—works as a satisfying and cathartic (but politically incorrect) bit of caustic honesty.

It’s rare for a film to capture visceral intensity, psychological complexity or cultural relevance with much lasting aplomb. But in the case of Citadel, Ciaran Foy has scored a hat trick by smartly interweaving all three elements into a riveting, low key work of greatness.

Reviewed By: Julian Connelly


CITADEL is out on Home Release now.  Join the debate on our Facebook group… http://www.facebook.com/groups/filmsploitationpodcast/