Truth or Dare (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Truth or Dare (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Truth or Dare is another fairly typical Blumhouse production.  It’s safe, it’s sold and it flies by.  And none of that is a criticism by the way… for the most part Blumhouse films are good time passers, with Truth or Dare being a prime example of a film that’s fun to watch but one that won’t stay with you for a second after you leave the cinema. The cast are good, the direction keep’s you guessing and the deaths inventive.  A great time passer!

Best Bit: Snap Chat Faces!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Happy Death Day, Unfriended Dark Web, Halloween 2018

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

Phil Hobden

Phil Hobden is the former Film Editor & Writer for renowned martial arts focused COMBAT MAGAZINE in the UK. He is also a filmmaker in his own right, having produced two cult Independent action films in LEFT FOR DEAD and TEN DEAD MEN. He was the host for the award nominated Filmsploitation podcast for 4 years, currently co-hosts Ross And Phil Talk Movies and is a writer/editor for his own blog Phil’s Quick Capsule Review…

The Predator (2018)- A Quick Capsule Review

The Predator (2018)- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Predator is rubbish.  But its Saturday afternoon sitting on the sofa not doing much rubbish that is actually quite good fun while it lasts.  Okay yes so there’s obvious studio interference and the film lacks a lot of Shane Black’s usual spark (it’s also not set at Christmas usually for Black).  There’s also some issues around the side that have contributed (at least in part) to the film flopping in the cinema but and, it’s a big but,  there’s enough here to enjoy that enables you to mostly forget this.  Black’s script is witty, the cast are good and the affects  more than passable.  Predator 2 still remains the best sequel in this franchise and there’s still a much better film to be made in this world but I enjoyed The Predator for what it’s worth.

Best Bit: Predator Dogs

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Predator, Predator 2, Predators 

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

Phil Hobden

Phil Hobden is the former Film Editor & Writer for renowned martial arts focused COMBAT MAGAZINE in the UK. He is also a filmmaker in his own right, having produced two cult Independent action films in LEFT FOR DEAD and TEN DEAD MEN. He was the host for the award nominated Filmsploitation podcast for 4 years, currently co-hosts Ross And Phil Talk Movies and is a writer/editor for his own blog Phil’s Quick Capsule Review…

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

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

 

Here Alone (2016) – A Quick Capsule Review

Here Alone (2016) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Here Alone is a tense post apocalyptic thriller with some seriously dark twists and turns that manages to side step its obvious budget limitations for some incurably tense and atmospheric moments.  Yes it’s a bit overlong and repetitive but it mostly manages to be predictable and that goes a long way to helping you overlook some of the weaker elements.  Well worth checking out.

Best Bit: Into the house

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: 28 Days Later, The Walking Dead, Maggie

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

 

Overlord (2018): Review by Motion Picture Manaic

Overlord (2018): Review by Motion Picture Manaic

A Blog

Sorry to say, I was disappointed with Overlord, the pulp tale of a small batch of US soldiers dropped into Nazi occupied France, mere hours before the landing in Normandy, only to discover a secret underground laboratory in which locals are transformed into zombie soldiers for the sole purpose of world domination for the Third Reich. That synopsis sounds more than a little cool does it not? Like it could be the more up-beat exploitation zombie mowing extravaganza version of the movie Downfall, which… damn, I think that’s ten years old now!

Unfortunately Overlord is not much fun, it’s R rating/18 certificate has not been taken advantage of as much as the material calls for, its story beats are generic and unoriginal, the characters are not particularly likeable and the Nazi zombie soldier stuff feels like a mere after thought for only act 3. Seriously, the mad science experiment stuff feels hardly even there, it was only the major selling point of the trailer – now you could say well, surely that’s just the trailer’s fault for giving off false impressions; true, but what else then is the movie offering up? A generic load of not very much to be honest.

When I say the characters are unlikeable – oh dear God, the characters make some well and truly stupid beyond belief decisions. After jumping out of an airplane the fact of reality is quickly established for our main heroes that there are Germans literally everywhere, they could be just off in the distance ready to shoot or around any corner turned; and I mean established very, very quickly. So what do the heroes do after grouping up and finding out only about 5 of them survived even getting on the ground? Walk and talk like they’re on a good old stroll, the Germans are forgotten about within seconds, don’t worry that their presence has been established as anywhere and everywhere, nice night for a walk isn’t it?

Not only that but the token no-nonsense grumpy guy gets saddled with the task of reminding these fools, our main characters, to stop talking so loudly, to turn their damn torches off, that maybe using a camera isn’t such a good idea; stuff a soldier really ought to know in enemy territory at night, or better yet, stuff anybody with a brain would work out through standard common sense. The real kicker for me though, was when they capture a Nazi officer just as he is about to start raping a village girl who is keeping the heroes hidden, they tie him up and the grumpy guy starts beating him up, demanding information about the underground zombie lab, and our number one hero, the absolute main character in all this, has a look on him like “this is wrong, we shouldn’t be doing this, we’re sinking down to his level”, and he even tries to stop the grumpy guy from continuing the beating, citing that “that’s enough”!

How are we supposed to feel about that? The guy wasn’t just a Nazi, he’s a rapist too and we’re supposed to feel bad when he gets beaten up; because the main character is just so good and moral and kind hearted underneath? Well screw that noise, I kept thinking of Inglourious Basterds, because, you know, the guy was a feckin’ NAZI!!! A RAPIST NAZI NO LESS, beat him with baseball bats, scalp his head, carve a swastika into his face, but no, Overlord wants to take moral high ground and suggest that violence against violence is not the way to go – WHAT???

This is supposed to be a film about zombie soldiers and you’re trying to teach lessons in humanity? Get outta here! Even though moments of gore are not shied away from, this is hardly the gore fest its rating suggests, it’s like the movie doesn’t want to allow itself to let loose and have fun with its premise, choosing instead to try and be serious, is it ashamed of its exploitation roots or something like that? The music was a mixed bag, I counted about two times it was actually really good and unique sounding, most other times it was just as generic as the rest of the film, dialogue didn’t impress, the story was told in a rather boring fashion, characters do things, not because of who they are, but because that’s just how people behave in the movies and don’t even get me started on small things like a character drying off after falling head to toe in water very quickly or a multitude of gun shots failing to alert the enemy who are literally just outside.

Overlord has no idea what it wants to be or why it should exist, it feels more like a tired obligation rather than something someone legitimately wanted to make and barely even offers what was first promised, let alone what one would expect from a halfway decent movie, you could say the acting isn’t too bad, a little unremarkable but far from terrible and on the technical front it’s ok I guess, but aside from that: no, not for me thank you.

 

Author: Motion Picture Maniac  

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

 

Scream (1996) – A Quick Capsule Review

Scream (1996) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Wes Craven’s Scream remains surprisingly effective 22 years on.  A post-modern slasher film that (much like Tarantino was doing in the gangster film) referenced the very films that predated it.  It’s a film that plays by and yet subverts the rules of its genre.  This may have led to horror eventually eating itself with Scream clones (including certain Scream sequels) but what Craven does here is first rate.  Okay so it could have had a bit more gore for my liking but still it’s an effective slasher film with an iconic villain and some real scares.

Best Bit: “Do you like Scary Movies? ”

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, Scream 2, From Dusk Till Dawn

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

 

The Descent (2005): Review by Motion Picture Maniac

The Descent (2005): Review by Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog

It’s actually kinda difficult, as of beginning to write this blatant gush, to put into words exactly why I love The Descent as much as I do, aside from it simply being a great film in its own right. As of writing this review, Halloween is imminent, tomorrow in fact, and what film would be better to review than one of my all time favourite horror movies, one that I’m yet to see someone review in honour of Halloween; despite being one of the most terrifying movies ever made in my opinion.

A group of women head out into the wilderness to go cave diving a year after one lost her entire family to a car accident. A rock slide occurs, trapping them underground, and as they try to feel and squint their way through the pitch black tunnels towards some kind of secondary exit, that may not even exist, it becomes very apparent that this cave system also functions as a home for a pack of deformed monstrosities hell bent on gobbling them up. Just when you think being stuck in a maze of caverns and underground tunnels is enough to send you around the twist Mother Nature also sees fit to send the ugliest motherf*ckers on earth to rip you limb from limb; just for good measure.

I first saw The Descent at a time when it just so happened to tick every box I had ready and waiting for a new horror film, as a teenager horror movies were my primary thing (in a feeble and incredibly stupid attempt to seem cool at school) but I didn’t just want any old straight to DVD or generic nonsense, no I wanted something good and for the horror film genre that’s a pretty rare happening. Oh but I was one fussy little sh*t, during childhood I developed an obsession with monster movies, one that carried over into later life, and being young I was frustrated with all the “unseen threats”, potentially cool looking monsters that were constantly kept in the shadows or behind whatever.

Being older now I know that is indeed the better way to go, as what’s scary is what we imagine, not what we can simply gawk at, but back then I wanted a monster I could look at, stare at, but I was setting an impossible task because I also wanted it to be scary; hard to achieve if you’re just going to show it like that. But then along came The Descent, the movie that cracked the code, achieved the impossible, that got away with showing the monster and managing to be utterly terrifying at the same time; it broke the rule and is much better for it. Even into adulthood I find it very scary, so it hasn’t lost its touch or proven it never had one since I was so naive back in the day, in fact, watching it with older and wiser eyes; I do not hesitate to call it one of the greatest horror films of all time.

Even without the monsters the film has a nerve shredding tone, the opening car crash blasts your system to pieces and never lets you piece it back together again – a film in which a child dies in a car accident? I hadn’t seen to much of that before this. Shauna Mcdonald plays her character as not having gotten over it, even as the film skips a year, which sounds realistic enough, who the hell would get over losing their entire family within a single year? But in movies people often get over traumatic experiences rather quickly, and with The Descent’s very cold and autumn-like colour scheme and contrast, one can’t help but feel very uneasy seeing the character Sarah continue to appear as though it only happened last week.

That’s something more than a little under appreciated about this movie, despite knowing full well what it wants to achieve and never straying away from the appropriate simplicity of its plot, Neil Marshall never once forgot that these need to be characters to like and root for. It’s an all female cast without a single stereotype or outdated but atypical trope in sight. We have our hero who starts off uneasy about the whole thing and a tad useless (but never unsympathetic) before literally being reborn in blood and becoming very capable, there’s the one we don’t quite trust, the hero’s one and only hope for sanity who watches out for her (and doesn’t last too long); I mean this so easily could’ve been your run of the mill monsters in a cave movie but we have actual characters running around I legitimately care about – that and… the crawlers.

The crawlers just might be my favourite movie monsters, looking like wax dummies of Gollum on a meth binge that came to life with a hunger for flesh, there’s an uncanny valley feel to what little human features they have left, making them very scary to look at indeed. Like I said before, this movie broke the rule and got away with it, in this instance it isn’t what we don’t see but what we are allowed to have a good close-up look at that makes us fear for our hearts bursting, Marshall handled these beasties like a chemist conducting something dangerous, he gave one million percent effort to every single scene in which even only their presence can be felt.

The sounds they make are what keep us awake in a cold sweat as we try to sleep at night, their faces are what we never hope to see waiting for us in the dark, they’re often shot with a sped up frame rate, a tool I always find effective in horror, that gives their movements a very spider-like feel and they sometimes even interact with the camera, looking right into or coming straight for it; making us feel they’re coming for us. That’s why they work so well and succeed in being truly scary, every shot showing them feels thought over and carefully crafted, like Marshall has horror down to a science, he never just throws them onscreen, every time the show up its like the first time we see them; even when they’re not there we know they’re not too far away.

It’s funny because you almost don’t need the crawlers at first for the film to be effective, it’s dark tunnels and caves give even someone like me, who must be as far away from claustrophobic as you can get, the chill that gives your spine a good… crawling. When they do make their grand appearance I was surprised they don’t actually show up to cause trouble until roughly the last half hour or so and it’s a bloodbath, quite literally a bloodbath; the kind of lair I would rather die than wake up trapped in. The set design and lighting complement each other very well, making you feel not just trapped but in somewhere you absolutely don’t want to be trapped in.

That’s something the sequel really failed to do, the lighting style consisted of little more than having everything be pitch black and having the characters hold a very minimal light source and I can’t recall many movies presenting darkness to quite that extent. One thing to note is how little time there was to make the damn thing, sets are reused a number of times for different locations but you can never tell, there’s a two on three fight scene at the end that could only be shot in one single day and it’s better than most films allowed to shoot theirs in a week; every time I see it I can never tell where there’s any kind of compromise.

Then there’s the fan theory about a particular hidden subtext, especially regarding the film’s uniquely bleak ending. What can I say except that I absolutely love this theory, it is said that, in actuality, there are no crawlers, that Sarah has lost her mind and murdered all of her friends, something else that makes this film that tiny bit more special – you can think about it too, more than you can say about most other creature features. I could go on folks, I really could, The Descent was my dream movie as a teenager and now, as an adult, it’s just one of the best horror films ever, for me it’s perfect, the outstanding lighting and cinematography that create genuine uneasiness, the characters you actually like and don’t want to see die, the fantastic handling and presentation of its monsters that succeed in being very scary, extreme gore, relentless violence and a very interesting subtext; this is a movie I cannot live without.

Author: Motion Picture Maniac 

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

 

Halloween (2018): Review by Will Strong

Halloween (2018): Review by Will Strong

A Blog

Plot in a nutshell: Forget all the previous Halloween sequels and the Rob Zombie remake, this new version is a total reboot and a direct sequel to John Carpenter’s 1978 classic that basically gave birth to the slasher film genre.

40 years after he killed five people on Halloween night, deranged nutcase Michael Myers (Nick Castle) once again does a runner from the loony bin and heads for Haddonfield to finish off Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) – however this time she’s prepared for him having spent the last four decades arming herself to the teeth and training up for the inevitable showdown with the masked maniac.

What worked: Its well made, very bloody, never less than entertaining, the ever reliable Jamie Lee Curtis is good plus director David Gordon Green and writer Danny Mcbride do seem to have tried very hard to homage John Carpenter’s unique film making style.

What could have been better: For a film that purported to be a proper sequel to the original it doesn’t exactly work very hard at bringing anything new to the party – it has exactly the same plot, the same scares, once again we learn absolutely nothing about Michael Myers, and the character of Laurie Strode is somewhat of a rip off of  T2’s Sarah Connor. Worst of all though is the criminal under use of Carpenters brilliant theme tune, yes its there in places  but certainly not near enough as it should have been.

Review Summary: Not a bad film by any means and certainly alot better than all of the previous sequels and the remake, however there’s nothing fresh or original here save some gory deaths and a pretty good last 15 minutes

See it at the cinema? Yes

Buy it on Blu Ray/DVD? Possibly but not at full price that’s for sure

 

Author: Grosse Point Geek 

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

 

Mandy (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Mandy (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
If you had to describe Mandy in one word it would be… mental.  Nic Cage going full Nic Cage.  Demented bikers,  Manson family nutters, Hand forging weapons, bundles of Gore. It’s an LSD trip of a movie. It’s also, quite possibly, one of the best film of 2018.  Okay so it makes little sense and at tow hours long is almost too much to watch in one go but films like this just don’t get made anymore… it’s a grindhouse horror that felt like it was made in the 70’s and would have been on the video nasty list.

Best Bit: Cage screaming on a toilet.  Insane.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Mother!, Hereditary, The Devils Rejects 

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

 

Halloween (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Halloween (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Halloween 2018 is a film of three halves.  The first part sets up the premise nicely – that Michael went to jail after the original and that the sequels (and the family link to Strode) didn’t exist.  Not a bad thing.  It’s a creepy and effective set up.  It’s the middle part where the film looses it’s way a bit, falling into the trappings of the film’s it’s trying to ignore.  Thankfully it pulls it back with an uber creepy last section which ties together the strings nicely and ends up leaving the film with a neat ending… should it wish to walk away.  Overall it’s well worth seeing and one of the better Halloween movies.

Best Bit: The house

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Halloween, Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

 


Follow us on Social Media: