Happy Death Day 2U (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Happy Death Day 2U (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I was a massive fan of the original Happy Death Day – a smart idea, well executed that played it as much fore fun as it did for fears.  A quickly turned around sequel doesn’t always guarantee it will be able to replicate the success but, er, happily, I can report that Happy Death Day 2U is great fun.  A bit more sci-fi than horror focused, this Blumhouse produced sequel turns the crazy up to eleven and, through a very clever introduction, sets up its pace and tone which takes it closer to Primer levels than Friday 13th.  The cast are fun (again) , the direction solid and the film doesn’t hang around.  Well recommended.

Best Bit: The opening

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Happy Death Day, Primer, Get Out

 


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The Strangers: Prey At Night (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Strangers: Prey At Night (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Strangers: Prey At Night is a super efficient, super effective home invasion film that doesn’t waste any second of its super lean sub 90 minute run time and throws in plenty of surprises along the way.  It’s bloody, tense and overall a memorable sequel to a not that memorable original.  Available on Netflix UK.

Best Bit: Escape the trailer

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: The Strangers, Panic Room, You’re Next

 


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Bird Box (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Bird Box (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Bird Box is for sure one of the better Netflix Sci-Fi ‘originals’, benefiting from an A-list cast and some super tense direction. It’s not A Quiet Place but its tense for sure, even if it could have spent more time on the river than in the house.  Bullock is a strong, cold lead and the unseen monster is a powerful presence throughout. If they had stuck with the original book ending the film could have pushed a higher rating for sure.

Best Bit: The rapids

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: A Quiet Place, 28 Days Later, 10 Cloverfield Lane 

 


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World War Z: Unrated (2013) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

World War Z: Unrated (2013) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Sitting down to watch World War Z again after a few years what strikes me is just how intense the unrated cut of the film is.  The opening salvos of the film – from the traffic jam to the apartment block escape and even through to Jerusalem – are edge of seat.  And in fact those moments (and the several other extended and alternate takes) help the film work much better than it’s PG13 release which always felt less than the sum of its parts (I mean a bloodless Zombie film is pretty pointless).  It’s still flawed, with the heavily reshot last act still falling short of the far more dour and downbeat ending that was planned, but for sure World War Z works far better than I originally gave it credit for.

Best Bit: Apartment block escape

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: 28 Days Later, Dawn Of The Dead (2004), Train To Busan 

 


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Killer Klowns From Outta Space (1988) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Killer Klowns From Outta Space (1988) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Killer Klowns may sound like a cheap 80’s low budget horror film (which to be fair it is) BUT it offers far more invention and creativity than you would expect from a film made for peanuts and directed by a trio of brothers who have done little of note since.   The basic premise of Alien clowns killing people in a small town is silly enough but the charm in which is does it and the creative use of clown tropes makes this far more enable that it has any right to have and oddly stands up well over 30 years later.  One to stream for sure (now on Netflix UK).

Best Bit: Shadow Puppets

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Ticks, The Blob, Critters

 


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Zombeavers (2014) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Zombeavers (2014) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Look let’s be honest Zombeavers is a terrible film.  Badly acted, average direction, few fresh ideas.  It’s very much a one joke film.  But hell what a joke.  I haven’t had this much fun watching a film in a long time.  You have to check your brain at the door for sure, but come on it’s ZOMBIE BEAVERS!!! What’s not to like?  Nudity, blood, outlandish bad guys… it’s like the 2014 travel back to the 90’s to get it’s groove back.  This isn’t for everyone but I enjoyed the hell out of it!

Best Bit: Zombeaver Humans.  or Humbeavers.

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Rent

If You Liked this Try: Ticks, Big Ass Spiders, Sharknado

 


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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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