Archive for the ‘Horror/Sci-Fi’ Category

Afterlife 2009, **1/2, R

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

 after-life-movie-still.jpg

Starring: Christina Ricci, Justin Long, Liam Neeson

 

By Meredith A. Iager

 

Christina Ricci and Justin Long star in this lifeless and frustrated, cold movie about unfinished business and turmoil that could happen to us when we pass on. 

 

School teacher, Anna Taylor (Cristina Ricci, “Pumpkin,” “Casper”) is caught between life and death, after fight with her boyfriend Paul Coleman (Justin Long, “Accepted,” “Jeepers Creepers”). 

 

She storms out of the restaurant and immediately gets into a fatal car accident, and ends up in the basement of a funeral parlor, here mortician, Eliot Deacon (Liam Neeson, “Taken,” “Batman Begins”) begins to explain to her she has died, and he is fixing her up to look beautiful for her funeral.  He tries to calm her of her worries, and explain that she is moving on to another life.

 

Distraught by the events, her boyfriend Paul is told by one of Anna’s students, a young boy named Jack (Chandler Canterbury, “Knowing,” “Repo Men”), that he saw Ms. Taylor walking around upstairs in the funeral parlor.  Paul soon believes that possibly Mr. Deacon (Liam Neeson) is really keeping her alive in the funeral home. 

 

This film is very emotional, and very uneasy.  It is horrifying to believe that once we pass on, we could be in severe distress, and not move toward what many believe is the “light.”

 

I think this film isn’t for everyone.  I think you have to have some what of a grip on life and death, and it would be very emotional for many people to view this.  The film does have a nice twist; however, it does have similarities to films like “Ghost,” and “White Noise.”

 

I liked this film because Christina Ricci is one of my favorite actresses and she really does an excellent job of getting into her roles.  Over the past 3 years, I have watched more Liam Neeson films, and really have noticed his wide range of roles.  This film portrays him as an actor of substance and you cant tell which way his character of Mr. Deacon is going in this film.  It’s a movie you have to watch with close intent on understanding what’s going to happen next.

 

Only watch this film if paranormal and after death experience, don’t upset you — because this film will leave you, uneasy.

 

The Haunting of Sorority Row, TV-14, 2007, **

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

000993.jpg

 

Starring: Leighton Meester, Kailin See and Lisa Marie Caruk

 

By: Meredith A. Iager

 

Being a part of a sorority is much more than meets the eye in this ridiculously cliché horror movie.  Sorority life is very sinister, and some people only wanted to “fit in.” 

 

New pledger Samantha Willows (Leighton Meester CW’s “Gossip Girl,” “Date Night”) wants to become apart of a new experience.  She’s a freshman, away from home, and at college for the first time.  Sam is also still with her geeky-cute-trustworthy, and (very much into the paranormal) high school boyfriend Oliver (Adrian Petriw), but feels as though she needs to experience sorority life. 

 

Soon enough random spooky events begin to occur in the house, (temperature drops every early AM, strange dreams about her new roommate, Jane (Kailin See) etc).  This still doesn’t frighten Sam, however, she consults her boyfriend who is a believer in ghosts and what-have-you.  She begins to suspect something terrible might have occurred in the house. 

 

Everything turns very south when previous years of sorority sisters have tragic deaths and all the new pledges in the house start to wonder, “What the hell is going on?” Apparently, a year before something happened while one of the new “sisters” was pledging, and the 4 main gatekeeper sisters of the house decide to keep everything sworn to secrecy.

 

This is of course a goofy horror movie for teens, but I had to watch it, Lifetime movies are always somehow enticing, and interesting.  The acting is crappy, more like a sit-com with some spooky effects.

 

Jennifer’s Body, 2009, ***, R

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

 jennifers_body_megan_fox_bloody.jpg

 

Starring: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Brody, J.K. Simmons

 

From the writer of Oscar winning “Juno” (Diablo Cody) compiles this horrific seduction of a monster movie, “Jennifer’s Body.”

 

Jennifer (Megan Fox, “Transformers”) is a sexy-slick operating cheerleader who becomes the victim turned villain in this gruesome horror film.  Jenn and her dorkier better half-best friend Needy(Amanda Seyfried, “Dear John,” “Letters to Juliet”) attend a rock concert in their small town, the local pub burns down, and Jenn goes off with the band and lead singer Nikolai (Adam Brody) leaving her friend behind. 

 

Hours later Jenn visits Needy at her home and all hell breaks loose, literally.  The next morning at school, Jenn acts as if nothing happened, and is completely insensitive to the mourning of students burned to death in the local pub fire. Needy is trying to figure out what has happened to her friend, meanwhile other students start getting murdered; ripped open and eaten to death.  She tries to uncover the truth, save the town, and keep her boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons, “Hotel For Dogs,” “Evan Almighty”) away from her “changed” friend.

 

Every year these horror movies get more intense, more violent and gorier than the last.  There is some dialog that screams Diablo Cody because it is so goofy, and doesn’t really sound like something a high-schooler would say, unless they all talk in a bizarre code.

 

 

Twilight, 2008, **, PG-13

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

 twilight-still-staring.jpg

This flick is based on the Stephenie Meyer series, “The Twilight Saga.”‘  It is a very mundane teen vampire romance-drama, that somehow despite it’s lack of true vampire-ism, it grows on you, and you learn to love it!   It might dissapoint if you are unfamiliar with the books, and you are a vampire movie connoisseur.

Bella, (Kristen Stewart, “The Messengers,” “Into the Wild”) who moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father, town Sheriff (Billy Burke). Her new high school classmates all have different agendas, especially one particular group of siblings, the Cullen’s. She takes a particular hot and heavy interest in the suave, yet awkward and perfect Edward Cullen (Pattinson, “Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire”).  He takes a deep interest in her as well, and she soon realizes the kid is a tad freaky, and definitely has a secret. Women—curiosity killed the cat.

“Twilight,” is essentially a teen flick that provides no depth to the subject of vampire-ism, but offers a new twist: vampires sparkle in sunlight. Also, Robert Pattinson looks too feminine.  Something a bit different–vamps playing baseball, awesome music by British band Muse.

This is one for teen flick and vamp lovers only.

Deep Impact, ***1/2, 1998

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

  deep_impact.jpg

 

 

 

 

Starring: Elijah Wood, Leelee Sobieski, Tea Leoni, Morgan Freemman

 

Many individuals believe this film is a better representation of how all life on earth could end, unless the terrorists get to us first.

 

A teen astronomer, Leo Beiderman (Elijah Wood) discovers an object in the sky during a class project and reports his sighting to a noted Astronomer, Marcus Wolf (Charles Martin Smith).  Upon receiving the teens information Wolf examines the sighting and sees the unimaginable—a larger comet headed toward earth—but is unable to report his findings due to an auto accident in which he is killed.

 

Fortunately, the information is discovered and the government realizes the seriousness of the Wolf/Beiderman discovery and it’s clear a disaster of global proportions is possible.  The government tries to keep the finding a secret until a plan can be developed to deal with the event, however a broadcast reporter (Tea Leoni) puts a few pieces of information together, which expedites the governments announcement of the impending disaster.

The President of the United States (Morgan Freeman) tells the American people of the news and that NASA has organized a space mission to destroy the comet before its arrival.

 

This film is exciting and terrifying at the same time.  It is a film that will give you a shred of hope, because some individuals do survive.  The concept of a comet plummeting toward earth might even be more science fact than fiction, and the hope is that our worlds astronomers will always be combing the stars looking for anything that might be coming our way.

 

“Deep Impact,” has an array of many great actors, and many of the performances are emotional, intense and unforgettable.  Robert Duvall plays the head as the head of the NASA mission; Morgan Freeman is the President of the United States, Elijah Wood as Leo and his girlfriend Sarah is Leelee Sobieski.  Among natural disaster films this is one of the good ones and definitely promotes the sale of telescopes for young astronomers and probably a few Chicken Little’s.

The Day After Tomorrow, PG-13, 2004, *** ½

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

 day_after_tomorrow.jpg

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal

This one makes you want to go buy winter duds, just in case.  Director Roland Emmerich who brought us “Independence Day” in 1996 has done another wowzer again with “The Day After Tomorrow.”

The film starts out with Jack Hall, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) climatologist, played by Dennis Quaid (“In Good Company,” “Cold Creek Manor”) is with his crew, including Jason Evans (Dash Mihok) somewhere in Antarctica collecting ice cores when the Glacier begins to split big time.  This opening scene is a breathtaking which that sets the stage for this film, which is filled with many scenes that are just incredible.  In my view, it contains some of the most incredible visuals I’ve seen in years.  You’re in for a journey that you’ll never forget.  This is one of the best weather related films in years.     

Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid, “Yours, Mine & Ours,” “The Alamo”) suspects and warns the government that global warming may be triggering a new Ice Age, but he didn’t expect it so soon.  Initial reactions to his theory are skepticism, until some horrific weather conditions start to occur.  But the speed at which things begin to occur force drastic action by the government just to save as many people as possible from the unbelievable climatic events hitting the northern hemisphere.  Meanwhile Jacks son, Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal, “Bubble Boy,” “Brokeback Mountain”) heads north to New York City for a Scholastic Competition, which lead to a rescue mission by Hall and his crew to the Big Frozen Apple.  From large chunks of hail in Japan, multiple tornados in L.A., to NYC underwater and frozen you’ll just want to run south as fast as you can. 

This is one fantastic film.  While this is more science fiction than fact it makes you think about the weather like you never thought before.  It is scary, yet intriguing and you may even want to get into climatology after viewing this one.  If you saw this in the theater, you know it’s worth another viewing, especially if you can view it on a big screen high-def TV.  I put “The Day After Tomorrow” as a definite multiple view film and a new classic in the natural disaster films grouping.

Let the Right One In 2009, R, ** (Swedish-Dubbed in English)

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

lettherightonein.jpg

This Swedish vampire flick was simply the weirdest Vampire movie I’ve ever seen.  I don’t know whether it was because the children creeped me out or what, but I continued to view it.

 

The plot is very straight forward, a young vampire girl Eli (Lina Leandersson) moves into the apartment next door to Oskar.  Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) is being bullied daily by 3 students at the elementary school.  Eli tries to keep her distance, yet decides to help Oskar with the bully problem and rid the bad kids.  Also-Eli is really creepy.

 

This movie was strange, and not what I would call a great vampire movie despite its many decent reviews.  I kind of reminded me of children of the corn meets lord of the flies.  Who knows, that might attract some people to watch.  Oh, and if you don’t mind watching dubbed movies, then maybe you can get through it.

 

Knowing 2009, **3/4, PG-13

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

knowing2.jpg

Starring: Nicholas Cage, Rose Byrne

 

“Knowing,” is like “The Day After Tomorrow,” meets the hit 90s series, “X-Files.”  Another version of the end of the world is the Sun approaching close enough to Earth that it is incinerated.  All life as we know it would burn up, and end.  This is quite frightening.

This film is very disturbing and unsettling.  It really makes you wonder if everything is pre-determined.  

 

In the 1950s in a small Massachusetts town, an Elementary school teacher (Danielle Carter) has her students draw a picture of what they think the future is like.  One particular student writes down an entire page of numbers.  The teacher put the pages in a tube and says they are creating a time capsule.

 

Cage (“Con Air,” “Adaptation,” “Vampire’s Kiss”) plays John Koestler a High School science teacher who is skeptical that everything is pre-determined for the future of the planet.  However, when John’s son Caleb (Chandler Canterbury, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Powder Blue”) son receives the page full of numbers at the unveiling of the 50s time capsule, he begins to think otherwise. As expected John attempts at solving this numeric mystery, which turns into much more than anyone could or would want to imagine.  

 

I think this is one of Cage’s better films, including my favorite, “Con Air.”  I also think this movie is more interesting than his National Treasure adventures.  If you love Sci-Fi you may want to check it out on DVD, at least once. 

Drag Me To Hell 2009, **1/2, Un-Rated Directors Cut

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

drag-me-to-hell-11111111.jpg

Starring: Justin Long, Alison Lohman, Lorna Raver

 

This is perfect for these economic times, however, I don’t think anyone will want to work as a loan officer after seeing this horror flick.

 

Most of us have seen the creepy trailer before.  Essentially, Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver, who has done many character actor parts in TV dramas and crime shows, “Bones,” “Boston Legal,” “CSI Las Vegas”) is in need of an extension on her payment, for the third time.  Christine Brown (Alison Lohman, “Matchstick Men,” “Flicka”) has to make the ultimate harsh decision of saying no, I’m Sorry, but we just can’t help you out this time. 

 

Brown is trying to becoming assistant manager at the bank, in competition with a new employee that just might get the spot.  Needless to say, sometimes doing the right thing can get you in a massive pickle you can’t get out of.  Mrs. Ganush tells her, “You shamed me” over and over again, and says some curse over Brown.

 

Over the next 3 days some of the most outlandish, bizarre events occur, and Brown and her boyfriend Clay (Justin Long, “Accepted,” “Jeepers Creepers,” “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”) to and get help from a fortune teller.

 

I liked this movie because of its original storyline.  However, there were some really grotesque parts that some people might not be able to handle.  Some of the special effects were pretty goofy, (but you have to remember, Sam Raimi is the guy that brought us the classic horror/spoof/comedies – The Evil Dead movies) so this was kinda expected.

 

If you want to be spooked or watch a decent horror flick, get this one on your list to rent for Halloween night.

 

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse 2010, *** 1/2, PG-13

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

eclipse1.jpg

 

 

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Dakota Fanning

 

 

The Saga continues.  More vampire sightings, more fighting scenes, and more protecting and fighting over, Bella (Kristen Stewart, “The Messengers,” “Panic Room,” “The Runaways”).   

 

I think this is the best screen version so far.  There is more action, more humor, and more back and forth between Jake (Lautner, “Valentines Day,” “The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl”) and Edward (Pattinson, “Remember Me,” “The Haunted Airman”), and my especially favorite scene is the “Tent” one; conversation between Edward and Jake.  Great stuff!   I also really like how some of the Cullen Clan share how they got to the Vamp stage in their life; trying to give Bella some insight on what she would be giving up, once she “changes.”

 

Check this one out in the theatres now, but I’m sure you don’t have to hurry, since it just came out on Wednesday, June 30th.   This is a for sure, must buy Christmas DVD.