Watchin’ Stuff

Another excellent crime drama by the writer of Sicario and Wind River. Kinda funny, because I was just in the same area of Texas on holiday break and we drove by a lot of places that looked like the ones seen here. Anyway, once again, great story and dialogue. Top notch drama that, much like Wind River, doesn’t rely entirely on violence, but does have a few very intense firefight moments. Thanks to Red Metal for the recommendation.

Oh, the tricky nature of early IMDB reviews. This had a much higher score at the time I grabbed it (a 6 something, which is relatively high for a horror movie), but is now down to a 3.8 already. It actually started off decently, with some semi-amusing dialogue and acting from the family before they start being menaced. It all falls apart once the menacing starts though, as it quickly turns into a bad knockoff of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Terrible acting from the villains, weak effects, and some bafflingly bad representations of real world physics with things like a guys hands exploding when he touches an electrified fence or when one of the bad guys snipes someone across a field with a shotgun. Another DNF!

I remember watching this as a kid and finding it pretty disappointing, so I’m not sure why I thought it would be worth watching again now. I guess I thought it would be good for a few laughs, but it’s just too terrible to enjoy. The story has a lot of potential, with a young outcast stumbling onto an alien weapon that ends up slowly taking over his mind and turning him into a murderous mutated killer, but the execution is just awful and the characters are all so miserably unlikable. Waste of time.

This one was directed by the writer of Sicario and Wind River, but not written by him. It’s a bit of a Saw knockoff and it’s not exactly terrible, but the plot doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you stop to think about it. A bunch of strangers are drugged, kidnapped, and locked in a building where they’re told that they have to torture each other enough to fill the vials attached to their necks with valuable “brain fluids” within 24 hours if they want to be released. If the bad guys are just after the brain fluids in order to make money off them, this doesn’t really seem like the most effective method to get it. I guess the idea is to save money on labor, but all the effort it would take to set up and maintain this prison doesn’t seem like it would be much cheaper. At one point a lady brings up the point that these same chemicals are released in the brain during sex, but they all instantly reject the idea, even though there are a few couples there already, and jump right into torturing each other instead. Kinda silly.

This is a 90’s “classic”. Rutger Hauer has to catch a mysterious occult serial killer in the distant dystopian future of London, circa 2008. Ooh the far off future of 2008, where everything looks basically the same as the 90’s, just darker and dirtier and all the cars have cage windows! Anyway, the killer appears to be something more than human, and so gives Rutger and friends quite some trouble. He gets a comedic British sidekick and has Kim Catrall as his girlfriend, who has about the most pathetic British accent I’ve ever heard. It’s all very 90’s over the top and is more than a little ridiculous, but it’s an enjoyable enough movie for being basically a cheaper version of I Come In Peace. They never really bother to explain exactly what the creature is either. They hint that it was probably some kind of demon, but never actually confirm anything. Oh well.

I don’t know what it is about these Saw movies, but I could watch these things forever. Yeah they’re silly and it’s essentially just the same movie over and over again, but I just like all the inventive traps and plot twists. This one’s no different, despite the new name. It’s really just Saw 8, and feels just like the last 6 movies, but like I said, that’s fine by me. This one seems to pave the way for another pile of future sequels and I’m all for it. The creators of this series have this down to science by now, with great effects, great trap design, and a well written plot that keeps you guessing and feels fresh despite it following basically the same core formula as all the others. Good times.

This was…unusual. It’s not a particularly strange movie, it’s just strange in the sense that it’s such a non-traditional horror. In fact, it’s kind of misleading to call it a horror movie. It’s like a mainstream horror comedy chick flick. Really it’s just Groundhog Day with a light horror theme and a bunch of horribly unpleasant college girl film stereotypes. The horror aspect quickly takes a backseat to the main characters realization that she’s a horrible bitch and that she should probably try to use this opportunity to grow up and be a better person, which of course is going to be the ultimate solution to her predicament.

This all plays out exactly as predictably as you’d expect. Before she even gets killed and experiences the day resetting for the first time, all the stupid little things she’s going to end up fixing or using as proof of her situation or using to her advantage later are telegraphed so very hard and sloppily. You can see every little plot point coming 5 miles away, including the identity of the killer, but LOLZ THEY MADE A JOKEY REFERENCE TO GROUNDHOG DAY IN THE LAST MINUTE OF THE MOVIE SO IT’S NOT A RIPOFF, IT’S AN HOMAGE! Get the fuck outta here. Who wrote this thing? Scott Lobdell? Well, that makes a lot of sense.

Oh, and there’s also a scene where the killer comes after the girl at a frat party and finds her with a guy in a bedroom, kills the guy and jumps on her and they fall on the bed, and then some frat bro comes to the door and pokes his head in for some reason and the girl is screaming directly at him for help for a long, drawn out several seconds, and he sees this and he says “alright, bro!” or something and then leaves, with the implication being that he thinks “oh, it’s just a frat rape. Cool!”. FUCK YEAH! COOL FRAT RAPE JOKE, BRAH!

This didn’t look particularly interesting to me when it came out, but I figured I’d give it a chance since I’ve been watching all these other Blumhouse horror movies lately. It has an interesting premise, with the main character taking on demonic entities with the power of science instead of with religiously-backed exorcisms. He uses a strange method that allows him to enter the minds of the possessed to forcibly evict the malevolent presence from them, so it’s kind of The Exorcist meets Inception, at least in theory.

Unfortunately they show no imagination whatsoever when it comes to these mental realms. You’d think this would be an opportunity to show off some crazy mental landscapes and extravagant looking demons, but instead the mental realms just look exactly the same as real life. The only thing that’s different is the appearance of the main character. You’d think that these mental exorcisms would be more complicated too, and involve some big escape sequences or at least some kind of clever outwitting of the demons, but no, all the guy does is punch people out and run away. They’re in a mental realm where anything should be possible, and he wins by punching the mental representations of demons in the face. And you know what the demons look like when revealed? They look just like normal people, except their eyes turn black. It’s all just so lazy and generic. What a waste of potential.

A crime drama series by David Fincher and friends. Mindhunter takes place in the 70’s and deals with a pair of FBI agents’ research into the relatively new concept of serial killers. It’s not very visually graphic, but it does deal with some pretty dark subject matter. It’s extremely well written and acted though. Don’t expect this to be like Seven or anything, it’s more slow and methodical, and doesn’t play out in a flashy cinematic way. It’s more like if you took a procedural crime drama and made it much more realistic and R rated. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone interested in crime and/or psychology.

Don’t tell me how it ends though, we haven’t quite finished it yet!

3 comments on “Watchin’ Stuff

  1. raistlin0903 says:

    I really liked Jigsaw. Sure, of course it is Saw part 8, but it was definitely a lot more fun to watch than the abysmal part 7. The twist was cool, and so was the plot. I hope those sequels will keep coming as well 😀

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