Searching (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Searching (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Searching is a damn clever film. Taking the format set out in Unfriended (everything being done in-screen) it delivers a missing child thriller which cleverly flips and turns along its  narrative.  Okay so to be honest I pretty much guessed the outcome from the moment certain characters appear but the format and use of media, computers and technology to tell its story make the film pretty captivating (dubbed Screenlife).  This evolution of the found footage movie feels right

Best Bit:  The Screenlife format works really well

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Unfriended, The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity 

 


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Phil’s Top 5… Low Budget Films

Phil’s Top 5… Low Budget Films

Other Cr*p Top 5

In a new semi-regular feature each week Phil takes a lookout a different movie related Top Five… this time out: Low Budget Films.

Yup sub $300k movie making at it’s finest.  And bloodiest. It’s no surprise that it’s horror that tends to shine in this budget level, with scares and blood taking the place of cast and effects.  Here are my top 5 low budget films.

Close but no cigar: El Mariachi, Cube, Brick, Bad Taste, Paranormal Activity, Halloween

 

5 – The Evil Dead
Sam Rami followed in The Texas Chainsaw’s shoes , delivering one of the most famous ‘video nasties’ on the 80’s with The Evil Dead, a movie whose characters and legacy still carries on today.  See the original uncut version for the full on Evil Dead experience.

 

4 – Night of The Living Dead
Romero launched a genre with Night of The Living Dead, tacked race politics and scared the bejesus out of people. Night was years ahead of its time and spawned two equally impressive sequels. Today it stands as a key influencer on modern TV and movies.

 

3 – Clerks
Love him or hate him (and mostly hate with his latest few films), Kevin Smith pulled a blinder with Clerks – a mostly one location comedy with memorable dialogue and even more memorable characters.  Made with credit cards, luck and a degree of bullshit Clerks still stands up today as a damn funny, raw movie.

 

2 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Whilst it has dated badly, the original TCM was and still is somewhat of a phenomenon.  Banned in the UK for over twenty years, Chainsaw broke new ground in horror filmmaking with it’s raw handheld style, a style that would influence films like Evil Dead and Blair Witch years later. 

 

1 – Blair Witch Project
Like TCM before it, the directors of Blair Witch would never top their debut film, a film which for a long time was the most profitable movie ever made (overtaken latterly by Paranormal Activity). It launched a sub genre (the found footage film) and showed what you could do with no money but a great idea, presented alongside a one of cinemas best marketing campaigns. Like it or hate it, it changed filmmaking.

 

 

 

 

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The Bay – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

The Bay – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Bay is a real surprise.  Firstly it’s a big name director (Oscar winner Barry Levinson) doing something VERY different and secondly, probably even more relevant, it’s an original and engrossing found footage movie.  Shocks, scares and thrills aplenty here but also a good story that replies on more than jump shocks (that said it ha s a few classics) and cheap tricks.  Highly recommended.

Best Bit: The direction and concept

Rent, Borrow, Buy, Stream: Buy

If you liked this try: The Blair Witch Project (8/10); REC (8/10); Paranormal Activity (8/10)

 

Rating:

 

 

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Phil’s Top 5… Sleeper Hits

Phil’s Top 5… Sleeper Hits

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: My Top 5 Sleeper Hits

 

Close but no cigar: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Jackass: The Movie, Easy Rider, Clerks

 

5 – District 9
US Box office: $210 million/ Budget: $30 million
Sadly teh director has never topped his early work.

 

4 – Saw
US Box office: $55.2 million Budget: $1.2 million
Clever, franchise spawning hit

 

3 – Paranormal Activity
US Box office: $107.6 million Budget: $15,000k
Not everyone’s bag but was a massive hit

 

2 – Slumdog Millionaire
US Box office: $141.3 million/ Budget: $15 million
A charming, heart warming film by one of teh UK’s best directors.

 

1 –  The Blair Witch Project
US Box office: $248.6 million Budget: $60,000k
I loved Blair Witch and still even now it unsettles me.  Avoid the sequels.

 

 

Phil’s Top 5… Blumhouse Productions Films

Phil’s Top 5… Blumhouse Productions Films

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: Blumhouse Movies

For more on Blumhouse check out: http://www.blumhouse.com

 

Close but no cigar: Paranormal Activity 2, The Purge Anarchy, Insidious, The Town That Dreaded Sundown

 

5 – Hush
A house.  A deaf writer and a killer on the loose.  Yup Hush is a house invasion story with a twist. It’s also tense, brutal and great fun.

4 – The Bay
A found footage film with a difference, The Bay is clever, razor sharp and brilliantly directed by it’s former near award winning A-list director.  One to look up if you missed it.

3 – Paranormal Activity
Takes The Blair Witch Project’s found footage concept and, with a little help from Spielberg, launches a whole sub-genre of films.

2 – The Purge: Election Year
The third and best of The Purge films, Election Year is a visually stunning, well paced action horror that benefits from a starring role for Frank Grillo.

1 – Whiplash
Not a tradition Blumhouse Production but regardless Whiplash sits under the same studio and follows a similar budget and high concept.  Whiplash is a great film, smart, memorable and quotable.  The best film of 2015.

 

 

Blair Witch – A Quick Capsule Review

Blair Witch – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Blair Witch does a very good job of re-treading the far superior original for the bulk of it’s run time until, finally, in the last twenty minutes it tries to do something a little different.  By then however it’s too late and sadly whilst it has a few scary moments (and far too many cheap jump scare ones) the film never really pays of it’s central idea.  What you are left with is the feeling that found footage style films are officially done, with Blair Witch bookending the genre at either end.

Best Bit: The house

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, Troll hunter

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Phil’s Top 5… Low Budget Films

Phil’s Top 5… Low Budget Films

Other Cr*p Top 5

In a new semi-regular feature each week Phil takes a lookout a different movie related Top Five… this time out: Low Budget Films.

Yup sub $300k movie making at it’s finest.  And bloodiest. It’s no surprise that it’s horror that tends to shine in this budget level, with scares and blood taking the place of cast and effects.  Here are my top 5 low budget films.

Close but no cigar: El Mariachi, Cube, Brick, Bad Taste, Paranormal Activity, Halloween

5 – The Evil Dead
Sam Rami followed in The Texas Chainsaw’s shoes , delivering one of the most famous ‘video nasties’ on the 80’s with The Evil Dead, a movie whose characters and legacy still carries on today.  See the original uncut version for the full on Evil Dead experience.

4 – Night of The Living Dead
Romero launched a genre with Night of The Living Dead, tacked race politics and scared the bejesus out of people. Night was years ahead of its time and spawned two equally impressive sequels. Today it stands as a key influencer on modern TV and movies.

3 – Clerks
Love him or hate him (and mostly hate with his latest few films), Kevin Smith pulled a blinder with Clerks – a mostly one location comedy with memorable dialogue and even more memorable characters.  Made with credit cards, luck and a degree of bullshit Clerks still stands up today as a damn funny, raw movie.

2 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Whilst it has dated badly, the original TCM was and still is somewhat of a phenomenon.  Banned in the UK for over twenty years, Chainsaw broke new ground in horror filmmaking with it’s raw handheld style, a style that would influence films like Evil Dead and Blair Witch years later. 

1 – Blair Witch Project
Like TCM before it, the directors of Blair Witch would never top their debut film, a film which for a long time was the most profitable movie ever made (overtaken latterly by Paranormal Activity). It launched a sub genre (the found footage film) and showed what you could do with no money but a great idea, presented alongside a one of cinemas best marketing campaigns. Like it or hate it, it changed filmmaking.

 

Blog: Poltergeist (2015) – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: Poltergeist (2015) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Yup here we go again… another day, another utterly pointless remake.  The new version of Poltergeist does nothing new, better or interesting than the original film that also bears the same name.  So fancy shrugging you shoulders for 100 minutes?  This film is for you then.  Everyone else… go rematch the original.

Best Bit: It’s short.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Poltergeist, Paranormal Activity, Insidious

IMDB Rating: 

 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: Willow Creek – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: Willow Creek – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Damn. This one hurts.  I’m been a massive fan of Blair Witch and the genre it inspired.  Yes okay so not every film was great but it has become an interesting genre.  When I heard Bobcat Goldthwait, director of the excellent God Bless America, was making a found footage BigFoot movie it had all the hallmarks of something special. I was wrong.  What I got was a carbon copy of Blair Witch, same structure, same ideas (even a “We’re lost” section) and almost the same ending. The film just offers nothing new.  Yes a few bits are effective but like most Blair Witch copies there’s a lot of nothing before the payoff.  Massiev let down

Best Bit: In The Tent

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Blair Witch, The Bay, Paranormal Activity

 

Author: Phil Hobden