Fantasy Island (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Fantasy Island (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Fantasy Island (or Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island to give it its full title) is a rare miss from the usually super reliable horror studio.  Okay so it’s FAR from terrible but it is a confused mess that never really finds the direction it wants to go in or the story it’s try to tell.  It also doesn’t hold up when all the pieces are put together, leaving you feeling a big bucket of so what after all is said and done. But it’s got a great cast, some nice set pieces (the revenge one especially) and Kim Coates  – which always means an extra star.

Best Bit: Party!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Get Out, Happy Death Day, Halloween (2018)

 


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Pontypool (2008) – A Quick Capsule Review

Pontypool (2008) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
A unique spin on the Zombie thriller, Pontypool ALMOST pulls it off. The problem here is neither budget (of which there was little of) or cast (who are great) it’s more the overall tone.  It doesn’t know whether it wants to be scary or funny, ultimately failing to be either to any great degree.  So what you are left with them is a highly competent, well imagined low budget film that was entertaining enough but promised os much more.

Best Bit: The cure

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Shaun of The Dead, 28 Days Later, Zombie Flesh Eaters

 


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Underwater (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Underwater (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Underwater isn’t terrible.  It just isn’t terribly great either.  This sub 90 minute horror sci-fi film is efficient in everything from it’s cast to it’s run time, thankfully meaning it’s not long enough to get boring.  But with such a simple story and scant plot you kinda get the feeling it could’ve done hell of a lot more with its setting and protagonists.  Like make it a bit scary once in a while.  It’s also oddly toned, not knowing if it wants to be a James Cameron epic, B movie horror or pretentious Heart of Darkness.  Okay so I’m probably being harsh because actually it’s probably good enough to pass a Sunday evening but with the cast involved you’d expect something better,

Best Bit: The reveal

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Abyss, Deep Blue Sea, The Mist 

 


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After Midnight (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

After Midnight (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
After Midnight came highly recommend.  Which makes it even more disappointing that it’s a crushing let down.  A 96% relationship drama, 4% horror After Midnight doesn’t really do much to hold your attention.  Yup it’s well acted and yup it uses its limited budget pretty well but it’s just a bit… dull.  Thing is with more ambiguity the payoff at the end would’ve been far better but sadly the film sits on the fence for too long and when the ‘Gotya’ moment happens it’s fully expected, if an hour too late.  Sadly not a film I can recommend.

Best Bit: The last five minutes

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: The Howling, American Werewolf On London, Wolfcop

 


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Bloodline (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Bloodline (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Bloodline feels so much like a movie version of TV show Dexter (well the good seasons at least) that it should throw the iconic TV show an ‘Inspired by’ credit. Look Bloodline isn’t bad.  It’s just totally forgettable other than one fact… it’s full on gory and nudity that reminds me of the video nasties back in the 80’s.   And in an age of 12 rated horror films it felt pretty fresh and unique.  Other than that not much to recommend here…

Best Bit: The film is 80’s level gory

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Dexter (TV), Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Seven 

 


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The Stand (1994) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Stand (1994) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Stephen King’s The Stand is a long book and the 90’s mini series is an equally long show, clocking in at over 6 hours.  And much like a lot of King’s work it’s not immune to filler, feeling at least an hour too long.  That said considering its age and budget, The Stand is still pretty effective even if it has dated poorly at times.  The first 2 parts are the strongest and the ending still feels out of place but overall I really enjoyed revisiting The Stand especially considering the world we are now in!

Best Bit: The initial plague

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Contagion, 28 Days later, The Walking Dead

 


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The Hunt (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Hunt (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Hunt is the most controversial film that nobody’s ever seen.  Harking back to the moral panics of the early 80’s, you’d think that latest Blumhouse production is a modern day Evil Dead/Cannonball Holocaust/I Spit On Your Over Reaction. It’s not.  In fact it’s actually a smart, funny, highly enjoyable and OTT ride of a film that’s much better than you’d actually expect and, rather than being made for shock factor, has something to say about class, politics and social media.  With a lot of exploding heads.  In short: a modern day feminist version of Hard To Kill… well maybe not… but it’s bloody good fun.

Best Bit: The final fight

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Hostel, Hard Target, Straw Dogs

 


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Eli (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Eli (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Eli is another Netflix Original horror in what ended up being a pretty busy year for the genre.  And, much like many Originals, it ended up being more than a little divisive. What starts as a haunted house movie, ends up being something quite different as the film massively jumps the shark in the final act.   Look I love bat shit mental films.  Color Our Of Space is the perfect example of that.  or Mandy.  But at least both of those made sense in their own construct.  Eli goes off at such a tangent that you kinda wonder if it was two films stitched together as one. Either way it’s a shame as the first hour or so it’s properly creepy and does a great job of make you feel super uncomfortable.  So again another mixed bag from Netflix that’s JUST worthy of a watch.

Best Bit: Slow Build…

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Perfection, In The Tall Grass, The Hole in the Ground

 


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The Invisible Man (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Invisible Man (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Invisible Man was original set to be part of the Dark Universe, starring Johnny Depp and was no doubt in-line for a similar critical battering to Tom Cruise’s The Mummy.    Thankfully the rights were instead picked up by horror maestro Jason Blum and what we get instead is a super tense, scary, atmospheric and very modern take on gaslighting & domestic abuse.  With a touch of old school horror thrown in for, er, fun.   The Invisible Man  is really good, probably better than it has any right to be, and this sits heavily on the shoulders of lead Elisabeth Moss who gives a spectacularly unglamorous portrayal of the put upon lead.  But it’s more than that.  The direction is on point, hinting at things that may or may not be there and leading you to be as paranoid as the film lead.  I’ve always had a soft spot of Blumhouse films and once again they deliver with the very original, very scary and very fun horror.

Best Bit: The first reveal 

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Hollow Man, The Invisible Man (1933), Memoirs of an Invisible Man

 


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Countdown (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Countdown (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Released in the UK in 2020, this 2019 American horror tries to aim for a Blumhouse feel but sadly lacks the wit, intelligence or scares of that studios superior work.  Instead Countdown plays like a film that didn’t realise Final Destination was a thing (and then stopped being a thing), once again going for the trying to cheat certain death tropes that we’ve seen before numerous times.  And often much, much better.  In short Countdown just does nothing new, nothing interesting and nothing that really makes it worth your time.

Best Bit: The final hospital scenes

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Final Destination, Happy Death Day, Unfriended 

 


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