Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

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So I saw the book when browsing in a local book shop and thought, ‘what a strange idea…‘. This film has an interesting concept but I’m not sure that it worked…

It’s based on the book Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen but with an added twist of zombies. So we have Elizabeth Bennet, played by Lily James who lives with her parents and (many) sisters, all trained to defend themselves against the undead. Their mother is obsessed with marrying her daughters off to literally anybody including the girls cousin (yes, I know) Parson Collins played by Matt Smith.

Even though they’re in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, one must of course attend social gatherings to improve ones social status (I’ll stop now…). When at the party Elizabeth’s younger sister Jane falls for the host, Mr Bingley, played by Douglas Booth and (of course) the pair get engaged.  Elizabeth does capture the attention of a guest at the party, who could this mysterious gentleman be? (How did you guess that!?) Mr Darcy played by Sam Reily (sorry Colin Firth) is very arrogant and rude to Elizabeth at first so when he does eventually ask for her hand in marriage she refuses (you go girl!).

There’s a couple of twists in the film but if you don’t see them coming you must be very tired or this have it on in the background and not be paying attention… It’s basically a mockery of the original and all it’s characters so please do not take this film seriously because if you do, you’ll miss the point and it will be terrible to watch.

The cast are average, Lily James seems to be the new Keira Knightley as she’s being cast in a lot of period drama roles lately. I do have to mention that Matt Smith is hilarious in this film and he’s my favorite character because of this. There’s also some seriously badass zombie slaying from the queen herself, Lena Headey.

The effects are actually alright and the zombies themselves are quite creepy. The costume designs for all the characters are great and it’s a very well done film in that respect.

Overall it’s not the worst zombie film I’ve seen and there’s been a fair few. There was a fairly decent plot and although it got far to dramatic in parts and you couldn’t tell if it was still taking the mic or genuine it was still quite fun to watch.

Perfect Popcorn Score –I’m giving this a seven, it’s an interesting take on the classic tale and there’s some good laughs and gore.. – 7/10.

Crimson Peak (2015)

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When I saw the trailer for this film I was really excited to see it, I’m a big fan of Guillermo del Toro’s work as his standards for special effects in film are so high. I mean look at the above poster, even the promotional work is beautifully designed.

Mia Wasikowska plays Edith Cushing, a young aspiring author that is drawn to a mysterious stranger.  This stranger is Thomas Sharpe a English inventor played by Tom Hiddleston.  There’s an instant attraction between the pair and when I say instant I mean it doesn’t take long for them to become engaged and married in the film, I know it was different back in the day but come on! She then moves into his family home, Crimson Peak.  Thomas lives with his sister Lucille, played by Jessica Chastain.  Their family home is a large mansion but it’s in need of a lot of restoration, we’re talking holes in the roof here so the family are clearly not the wealthiest.

The house is very eerie and there’s clearly more to this family than meets the eye.  Edith is a very curious character, probably because she’s a writer  with imagination and looking for inspiration.  This film was sadly very predictable and not as creepy as it could have been. I feel that del Toro should have an 18 age rating in his films because this allows him more freedom to be scarier and darker with both his stories and visuals.  

The casting was OK, Mia Wasikowska has innocent yet feisty down in most of her films.  Hiddleston is always going to be able to play a English Gentleman well with that voice… The rest of the cast work well, I just feel that the script didn’t do them justice. 

It’s a bit long winded really, you’re just waiting for something to happen and when it does it’s like I mentioned earlier, predictable. There were no surprises for me in this film and it did disappoint me as I was looking forward to it so much. 

The effects are beautiful, probably the best thing about this film is the style of it.  The costumes, sets and character designs are amazingly detailed but I expect nothing less when watching a del Toro film, just look at Hellboy.

Overall it’s not the worst film del Toro has done (I’m looking at you Pacific Rim) but it’s certainly not his best either.  If you want something just simple to watch but with nice visuals then sure, give this a go but don’t expect the story to blow you away.

Perfect Popcorn Score –I’m giving this a six, like I said not his best work but worth a watch for the visuals…the story not so much.. – 6/10.

 

30 Days Of Night (2007)

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So I wasn’t actually old enough, at the time to watch this movie at the cinema but that didn’t stop me watching it as soon as it came out (I’m a rebel, what can I say).

This movie is based on the graphic novels of the same name, they’re worth checking out as well by the way, there’s some amazing artwork.  Anyway, back to the film… So it’s a simple story and a pretty clever idea actually.  There’s a small town in Alaska that has a month with zero sunshine which is, 30 Days of Night.  Enter the vampires, obviously wanting a nice holiday destination with as little sunshine as possible and plenty of snacks…

The acting is pretty decent, you’ve got Josh Hartnett as Eben, the town sheriff and Melissa George as his estranged wife Stella. You’ve also got Danny Huston as the leader of the vampires Marlow, who’s quite menacing actually.

Decent effects, nothing big enough to mention really it’s more about gore than CGI but it all works very well.  For all of you Twilight fans, there’s nothing romantic about these vamps at all and they certainly don’t sparkle.

There’s a lot I like about this film, it’s become a bit of a classic to me actually. It’s such a straight-forward idea like I said and it’s not exactly scary but it’s very gory and there’s a few jump scares for you.  I like how as I’ve mentioned, there’s nothing romantic about these vampires, they’re here to kill everyone.  None of them have any feelings towards these towns people other than hunger, I mean they purposely remove the heads so that none of them turn.  They have their own language so there’s no communicating with them or trying to reason or bargain so when encountering one, you wouldn’t try to talk you’d run.

There’s a twist at the end and room for a sequel actually, I’m sure there was one but it went straight to DVD and I still haven’t seen it… One day maybe..

Overall this is still worth a watch even with all those other vampire films out there, the story is just a good idea and there’s a reason that the vampires target this town other than random misfortune.  It’s a pretty fast paced film, no nonsense and all action so you won’t get bored watching this.

Perfect Popcorn Score – 30 Days of Night gets a nine from me, good action, gore and story.  A good film to just switch off and watch the mindless violence as my dad would say…   – 9/10.

What We Do In The Shadows (2014)

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So as you can probably tell with me having this blog, I’m a movie nerd.  I like to see what movies are coming out soon and watch various trailers etc.  That’s how I came across this film…Sadly it never came to a cinema near me so I didn’t catch it until it came out on DVD (yes, I still buy those sometimes).

It’s an interesting film, something that I’ve not seen before.  It’s basically a ‘mockumentary’ about the life of modern day vampires and the society of ‘supernatural’ beings. It’s from the creators of Flight of the Conchords, so that gives you a sense of the style of humor in this film, these guys know exactly how to do misfit humor well. 

We have a camera crew that have been granted access into the lives of four vampires that all share a house together in the 21st Century.  The four vampires are all unique characters, firstly you have Viago played by Taika Waititi who is very chatty and happy to tell you everything about himself and the others, he’s the main narrator really. Then we have Vladislav played by Jemaine Clement and Deacon played by Jonny Brugh who are both brooding, grumpy and think they’re cooler than they are.. Finally we have Petyr played by Ben Fransham who is clearly the oldest of the bunch as he can’t even take a more human form and just lives in the basement minding his own business.  As you can imagine these guys don’t always get along and it’s their situation of being vampires in the modern age that’s brought them together, clearly just not wanting to be alone.

Things take an interesting turn when one of the group accidentally turns a guy called Nick into a vampire.  Nick is pretty annoying but his best friend Stu is very popular with the group even though he’s human and teaches them how to use modern technology which results in some very funny scenes in the film. The vampires are able to control peoples minds, a useful trick when they make mistakes and need to resolve things. Nick doesn’t really take to being a vampire and the others take it upon themselves to try and help him even though they don’t really like the guy.

There’s no major use of digital effects as such in this film, it relies mainly on makeup and just good humor.

The casting is great, no one really well known as such but the cast work well with one another, clearly most of them have done projects together before.

Overall this film is an interesting watch, if you aren’t much for the Flight of the Conchords’ humor then don’t bother with this but if you’re a fan of that you’ll love this film.  I personally enjoyed it, parts are really funny but I can understand it wouldn’t be for everyone.

Perfect Popcorn Score – What We Do In The Shadows get’s a seven from me, some really funny scenes and a good idea for a film but it’s one you have to be in the mood to watch  – 7/10.

 

The Cabin In The Woods (2012)

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The problem we have with horror movies these days is that we’ve seen everything, I mean I really do feel for the horror writers of today because it must be so difficult to come up with something remotely originally, story wise.  This film is something we’ve not seen before though, it’s a great horror/comedy mix but, I’d expect nothing less from the legend that is Joss Whedon.

So we have five twenty-somethings in a cabin in the woods. Oh, I’m sorry… Have you seen this before? Yes, OK but did I also mention that they’re being watched by an organisation that’s led them to this cabin and to complete a ritual?  You first see the characters and think, ah alright you’ve got your jock, blonde ‘bimbo’, stoner, nerdy girl, jocks ‘normal’ best friend. However, throughout this film you learn that the characters are being manipulated to appear this way, they’re all (well apart from MartyMarty is as he seems, a stoner) actually intelligent students.

This film is just great, there’s some dark humor and I love it, the guys behind the scenes understand their role and just want to ‘get the job done’ and you can’t help but like them even if they are trying to kill the students in the cabin. There’s a few twists in this film and they just add to the enjoyment.  I really liked the basement scene because you have a character, Marty saying exactly what you’re saying when you’re at home watching, ‘don’t read the latin!’  Of course no one listens to the stoner (or the audience) and unleashes the family of redneck zombies.

The effects are great, both digitally and FX Makeup wise for all the various creatures that appear. It’s nice to see a film that doesn’t rely on just CGI alone.

The cast in this film is decent, my one issue is with Kristen Connolly who plays Dana she just wasn’t likable as a lead role which is a shame, I mean she wasn’t terrible but I could think of better actresses for this part.  I don’t have any problems with the rest of the cast though, Fran Kranz is perfect as Marty the stoner and one of my favorite characters is this movie. Personal shout outs to Amy Acker and Tom Lenk, yes I’m a Buffy/Angel fan and was so happy to see these two in this film!

Overall this film is just fun to watch, like I said there’s a few twists and it’s an interesting story plot which is hard to find these days.  If you’re not into gore with clever humor this film isn’t for you, it’s not creepy scary but it’s a good film to see.

Perfect Popcorn Score – The Cabin in the Woods gets an eight from me, great story, great gore and laughs but the cast could have been better  – 8/10.

 

 

 

 

Get Out (2017)

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I hadn’t really heard much about this film, I saw the trailer at the cinema when watching another movie and decided to give it a go when it came out in March this year.

Whenever I see a horror movie at the cinema I go in with an open mind because it’s very difficult to do good horror these days (it seems).  ‘Get Out’, was actually a decent film, mainly because it never went off on a tangent and kept to it’s one story-line, a story-line that made sense.  The film does highlight that stereotypical ‘black boyfriend meets white girlfriends parents for first time‘, but it does this in a dark humor kind of sense which is refreshing.  The film isn’t taking it so seriously and I liked that but I’d say it’s more of a thriller/slasher than a creepy horror movie.

So couple, Chris and Rose live in the city and are visiting Rose’s parents this weekend for the first time. Chris is clearly nervous about this but Rose reassures him that her parents aren’t racist at all and will welcome him into their home.  Chris’ friend Rod tries to convince Chris that it’s a bad idea but Chris still decides to go anyway.  So the couple set off but on their way hit a deer, I thought this was a clever scene as you’re not sure if it relates to what’s going on or not…

The couple reach Rose’s parents house and it’s your usual ‘house on the lake’, although they do have two black people as ‘servants’.  There’s a slightly awkward atmosphere as everyone is trying a little too hard to make Chris feel a home and this ends up having the opposite effect. Georgina and Walter are both acting very strange and more like white middle class, Chris (and let’s face it, everyone watching this film) finds this very strange.  Rose’s mother, Missy is a therapist and uses her skills to stop people smoking, she offers to help Chris but he refuses, so she does it anyway.  It’s an interesting scene and it does give you a slightly better idea of what’s actually going on and things start to slowly add up when the party starts.

The acting in this film is spot on really, Daniel Kaluuya is especially good as Chris, his facial expressions are perfect in every scene.  LilRel Howery as Chris’ best friend Rod adds some great humor to this film, in fact this guy is probably my favorite character.  

The effects in this film are very good, the music is also used too add to the mood and make you aware of things you should take notice of.

Overall this is a pretty good watch, it keeps you guessing which is hard to do these days as we have seen almost everything from haunting’s, viruses, curses etc done to death so this is something slightly different.

Perfect Popcorn Score – Get Out gets a seven from me, it’s got a good story, decent acting but I don’t think it could make up it’s mind on what kind of film it was, for me it was just missing something that The Cabin in the Woods wasn’t.   – 7/10.