Movie Review: 30 Days of Night (2007)

And here it is, the final review for the Month of Spooks. I’ve had a lot of fun talking about horror stuff this month, and I hope you guys have enjoyed it as well. Now, let’s get into this thing… which is another vampire movie.

Ladies and gentlemen… “30 Days of Night”.

Barrow, Alaska. Once every year it gets covered in complete darkness for 30 days. Only this year it will be a bit more problematic than usual since a group of vampires enter the town to kill every last person in Barrow. And we follow Sheriff Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett) as he tries to keep a small group of people alive. So now we have our survival horror movie. And I say survival horror because it’s not so much about Eben and the other trying to find a way to kill all the vampires, but it’s rather about them just trying to survive until the sun rises once again. And it’s actually quite enthralling, based solely on the never-ending tension. Good plot.

The characters here are all flawed and all get some kind of good development throughout the movie. Josh Hartnett plays Eben Oleson, Barrow’s Sheriff and our main character for this story. He’s a recently divorced man trying to just live an okay life… which of course gets interrupted because motherfucking vampires decide to come to town. And I have to say, this is the best I’ve ever seen Josh Hartnett, he’s actually kind of great in this movie. Melissa George plays Stella, Eben’s ex-wife. She is a fire marshall who wants to get out of Barrow during this dark time, but that gets interrupted by a couple of things. And Melissa George is great in the role. Tough, but not a brash idiot. Danny Huston plays Marlow, the leader of the vampires. He doesn’t say a lot, at least not in a language any of us mere humans understands. But he gives a terrifying performance, and he has a very intimidating presence. So yeah, Huston is great. Mark Rendall plays Jake, Eben’s younger brother. He’s not as brave as his brother, but he is willing to help out when shit gets tough. And Rendall is really good in the role. Then we have Ben Foster as a strange man… I’m not trying to be funny, he is credited as “The Stranger”. But he is a crazy weirdo, which is probably the type of character that Ben Foster does best. And as you could expect, he’s really entertaining in the role. This movie knew how to use it’s Ben Foster. And in further supporting roles we have people like Mark Boone Junior, Manu Bennett, Amber Sainsbury, and more… all doing well in the movie.

The score was composed by Brian Reitzell and it was pretty damn good. It’s eerie, droning, intense, exciting, emotional, and just overall fit the movie very well, often elevating certain moments throughout. ’tis a good one.

This movie was directed by David Slade and is based on a comic book series written by Steve Niles. And while I haven’t read Niles’ comics, I think Slade did a mostly great job with his direction here. It is intense and never really gives you a moment to feel relaxed or safe. His direction makes you feel like there could be a vampire or ten around the corner, which I really appreciated. The only thing I don’t like about the directing is that during the action scenes the camera movement/editing goes from steady and smooth to really shaky. Sure, I had a good idea of what the hell was going on during the action scenes, but there were moments where the shakiness got quite distracting and a little bit disorienting. For the most part it wasn’t too bad, but in some parts it was shakier than a chihuahua trying not to shit itself in a blizzard. Again, doesn’t take away too much for me, but it is worth noting. I do have to mention that there’s plenty of blood and gore here, so if you like that stuff in your movies, then you are in for a treat. But if you’re squeamish, there is your warning. Anyway, the visual effects/makeup look awesome. As for scares, it has a handful, but I feel like the tension and feel of unease is this movie’s strong suit rather than any straight-up scares.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 51% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 53/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

“30 Days of Night” is flawed, but it is an overall good vampire movie. It has a really good plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and mostly good directing. My only flaw(s) with the movie come in the form of those really shaky action bits. Time for my final score. *RAWR!*. My final score for “30 Days of Night” is an 8,99/10. While flawed, I’d say that it is definitely worth buying.

My review of “30 Days of Night” is now completed.

There is apparently a comic that crosses this over with “The X-Files”, and I kind of want to read that. Also, wouldn’t the basic idea of this movie make for an awesome video game?

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Movie Review: Get Out (2017)

The Month of Spooks continues. And on our plate today we have a newer movie… so let’s just get into it.

Ladies and gents… “Get Out”.

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is a young man who is about to meet his girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) parents for the first time. He is a bit worried though since he’s black, and she’s white. And when they arrive at the parents’ house, everything seems fine. However, Chris soon gets the feeling that something is off about this whole thing and experiences one of the strangest weekends of his life. So now we have our horror plot. What I liked about it is that it doesn’t necessarily feel like your typical horror movie plot, it takes some really interesting twists and turns and it handles everything in a pretty unique way. It is also a commentary on liberal racism, weaving that into the narrative very well. Overall it is an incredibly fascinating plot. It has a decent amount of threads going through it, but they never feel messy. Great plot.

The characters here are all quite interesting in some way. Daniel Kaluuya plays Chris, the young man having to go through all of this. He’s a likable guy with a pretty good life, however he is nervous about meeting his girlfriend’s parents. And seeing him go through all this shit, experiencing all kinds of emotions is interesting, and I found myself really caring about him. And Kaluuya is fantastic in the role. Allison Williams plays Rose, Chris’ girlfriend. When we meet her she is simply a reassuring and supportive girlfriend that I found very likable. And I won’t say more other than it’s interesting to see some of her development here. Anyway, Williams is really good in the role. Bradley Whitford (whom I barely recognized here) plays Dean, Rose’s father. He seems like a good guy at first, downright charming. And through the movie we get some interesting developments from his side. And Whitford is great in the role. Catherine Keener plays Missy, Rose’s mom. She’s a psychiatrist and she has some interesting things going on about her throughout the movie. And Keener is great in the role. We have Betty Gabriel as Georgina, one of the servants at the parents’ house. She’s kind of weird and I thought she was a pretty fascinating character. And Gabriel is great in the role. Then we have LilRel Howry in a smaller role as Chris’ best friend, Rod. He’s more of a comic relief type of character, and he’s just great, he made me laugh without feeling out of place. Then we have Marcus Henderson as Walter, the groundskeeper at the parents’ house. He, like Georgina, is quite weird. And Henderson is great in the role. Really, this is a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Abels (with some help from Timothy Williams) and it was pretty great. It’s eerie, dramatic, tense, and just overall pretty unique. It all helped set a unique mood/atmosphere for the movie, and I appreciate it quite a bit for that. There were also a couple of licensed tracks used throughout that I thought worked pretty well in their scenes.

This movie was written and directed by comedian Jordan Peele, once again proving that comedians are a bunch of fucked people… also, he did an excellent job with both those things. His directing is tight and tense, keeping me on edge for most of it. It also has a very weird and uneasy atmosphere, giving it a fairly unique vibe. It is quite tense, and it is pretty scary. There’s also some comedy in this, but it never really feels out of place, as it blends fairly well with the tone. And I have to mention Toby Oliver’s cinematography which is… fantastic. So many cool shots, such a great looking movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 99% positive rating (100% if you go by “top critics” only) and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 84/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10.

“Get Out” is a fantastic directorial debut from Jordan Peele. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Boo!*. My final score for “Get Out” is a 9,88/10. So of course it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Get Out” is now completed.

I don’t know what to put here.

Series Review: Stranger Things – Season 2 (2017)

The Month of Spooks, still going strong! And on the plate today we have the second season of last year’s smash hit Netflix series. So let’s get into it.

Ladies and gents… “Stranger Things” season 2.

It’s 1984, one year has passed since the horrifying events that transpired in Hawkins, Indiana. And ever since he’d been rescued from the Upside Down, Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) ihas been experiencing a series of terrifying visions. And we soon find out that a new threat in looming over the sleepy little town, ready to take over. And that’s just the main plot here, we do get several sub-plots as well. This is an ambitious narrative, both in making the monstrous threat feel bigger, and in just expanding this world that we’ve gotten to know. And while that is a risky move for any show, since the multiple sub-plots aspect can tangle itself up and become convoluted, I feel like “Stranger Things” pulls it off nicely. You have the tension of the monster plot, you have the drama of finding out more about Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), you have the kids meeting this new girl (Sadie Sink) that comes to town, you have the struggles of Nancy, Jonathan, and Steve (Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery)… what I’m trying to say is that there’s a metric buttload of threads here, and they never feel like they tangle into a mess. It’s a solid plot filled with good drama, mystery, and charm.

The characters in “Stranger Things” are likable, layered, and endlessly interesting. Let’s start with Will Byers, played by Noah Schnapp, because he is more or less the focus of this season. Sure, he’s safe(ish) from the Upside Down, but he’s experiencing these horrifying/traumatic visions, putting him in a more vulnerable position. And Schnapp is great in the role. Then we have Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, the pseudo-leader of this group of friends. Seeing him trying to cope after his friend/love Eleven has been out of his life is actually a bit heartbreaking, but he’s not some mopey idiot about it, keeping him interesting. And Wolfhard is great in the role. Then let’s go with David Harbour who once again plays police chief Jim Hopper. He’s still a stern man with his heart in the right place. Hopper was my fave last season and he still might be. So yeah, Harbour is great in the role. Gaten Matarazzo returns as Dustin, the funny and slightly naive little man with the colorful hat. Like I said, he’s a bit naive, but he’s not stupid. He’s also the funniest of the four main kids. And Matarazzo is great in the role. Caleb McLaughlin returns as Lucas, the slightly more serious one in the group. And McLaughlin is great in the role. Then we have Winona Ryder once again as Joyce, mother of Will, and slightly neurotic person. However, her being a bit nervous like that is understandable after everything that happened last season. But she seems to have found a decent system for her life… until shit starts getting real again, that is. And Ryder is great in the role. Natalia Dyer returns as Nancy and she’s really good. Charlie Heaton returns as Jonathan, and he’s great in the role. Joe Keery is back as Steve, and he’s great in the role. Millie Bobby Brown returns as Eleven, and she’s great in the role. Right, returning faces done, now for some newbies. We get Sean Astin as Bob, Joyce’s new boyfriend. He’s a bit of a dork, but he’s a good person and he does everything to try to be a good pseudo-father for the Byers boys. And Astin is really good in the role. Sadie Sink plays Max, the new girl in town with a seemingly troubled home life. She meets the boys and more or less starts befriending them. And Sink is great in the role. Then we have Dacre Montgomery as Billy, a new guy in town who is a big asshole bully. And while he doesn’t have much of an arc, Montgomery is really in the role. And finally, we have Paul Reiser as a doctor who is likable and kind, but seems to have some shady shit going on. And Reiser is great in the role. Overall, this has great characters and the performances are great.

Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein returned to do the score for this season, and once again they killed it. The synth-heavy sounds perfectly capture the era and tone, and does even manage to create some decent tension at times. Really, it’s more of the good synth-y stuff, not much else I can say. And since this is set in the 80s, we of course get some really awesome licensed songs throughout from not only the 80s, but also 60s and 70s… it’s really just an awesome soundtrack that made me very happy. Overall, great music.

The show was created by the Duffer brothers, and written/directed by a whole bunch of people. And it’s just overall very well handled. The directing is tense, fun, and filled with energy. And Tod Campbell’s cinematography is of course absolutely stunning. And the visual effects in the show look great too. There’s also plenty of comedy in this show, and I thought it was all really funny. I also enjoy that it never overshadows the drama/Lovecraftian sci-fi, but just is another part of the world that comes into play every now and then.

This show/season just came out but has already been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 78/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,9/10 and is ranked #37 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

“Stranger Things” season 2 is pretty awesome. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, fantastic music, and great directing/cinematography/writing. Time for my final score. *Rawr*. My review of “Stranger Things” season 2 is a 9,86/10. So it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Stranger Things” season 2 is now completed.

Awesome.

Movie Review: What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

The Month of Spooks continues! So what is the theme today? Vampires again… cool.

Ladies and gentlemen… “What We Do in the Shadows”!

Wellington, New Zealand. We follow a documentary team as they document the lives of three vampires (Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonny Brugh) who share an apartment. And really, it’s just a look into what these guys do in their everyday lives. From cleaning the apartment to going out on the town… it’s just the mundane lives of some vampires. And I thought it was a good plot. It’s a fairly simple mockumentary that just has a fun sequence of events that we get to follow. Seeing what supernatural creatures are up to in modern day society is a fascinating idea, and it was really fun and interesting to follow here.

The characters in this are all unique, quirky, slightly incompetent, and just incredibly fun. And I’m gonna keep all of this fairly vague because the characters and their “arcs” are best experienced rather than being told to you. Jemaine Clement plays Vladislav, a ladies man and the oldest of the main trio. And I’m not gonna say more other than that Clement is great in the role. Taika Waititi plays Viago, a somewhat naive and good-hearted vampire. And Waititi is great in the role. Then we have Jonny Brugh as Deacon, the youngest of the three, and the bad boy of the group. And Brugh is great in the role. And then we get a whole bunch of solid supporting performances from people like Cori Gonzales-Macuer, Ben Fransham, Jackie ven Beek, Rhys Darby, and more.

This movie doesn’t exactly have a typical score, but instead has various songs done by a group called Plan 9. I’m not exactly sure how their contributions work, but I can say that the music in this movie works very well, helping to elevate the silly and off-kilter mood that they clearly want to convey in this movie. And it’s all quite a bit of fun.

This movie was written and directed by both Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi. And they did a really good job. I think the mockumentary approach was the perfect one for this movie, especially since they were working on a fairly small budget (as far as I know). But sometimes you got to work with your limitations, and they did a great job with that. And since this is a comedy, let’s talk about the humor. It is absolutely hilarious, I laughed throughout it all. Some chuckles, but mainly loud laughs like an idiot. They manage to blend dark humor with an overall silly style to make some of the funniest humor this decade.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“What We Do in the Shadows” is one of the funniest comedies I’ve seen in recent years. It has a good plot, great characters, good music, really good directing, and great comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “What We Do in the Shadows” is a 9,89/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “What We Do in the Shadows” is now completed.

I don’t have anything clever to put here…

Movie Review: The Conjuring (2013)

And the Month of Spooks marches on! So what type of horrible horror is on the table tonight? Another haunting? Cool.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Conjuring”.

Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) are a couple who happen to be paranormal investigators. And one day they get called in to try to help a family who claim to be haunted by some dark/evil presence. So now we have our haunted family/house/person/thing story. And I use that quick description of it because there’s a lot of familiar elements to it. A good amount of the beats throughout we know from various other movies, so it doesn’t bring a lot new to the table. That said, it does these things quite well. The plot here is creepy and tense, and I was invested in it from start to finish. Not saying that it’s perfect, but it’s definitely good.

For the most part I found myself invested in the characters here. They were interesting and decently likable. Patrick Wilson plays Ed Warren, one of the two who go to investigate this creepy situation. He’s a bit reluctant to do it based on something that happened in the past, and he’s given a good amount of development in this movie. And Wilson is great in the movie. Vera Farmiga plays Lorraine Warren, wife of Ed, and fellow investigator. She’s a fairly well developed character as well, which includes the same past situation as her husband. I also like her because she’s determined and decently tough without coming off like a thundering dumbass. They make her strong but vulnerable. And Farmiga is great in the role. Lili Taylor plays Carolyn, the mother of the family that is having haunting problems. She goes through some interesting stuff in this movie that makes her a pretty interesting character. And Taylor is great in the role. Then we have Ron Livingston as Roger, the father of the family. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with Livingston’s performance (it’s actually quite good), I found his character kind of lackluster. He’s supposed to be an important part of this, but his character feels underdeveloped compared to everyone else. And to not drag out this bit too much: All the kids in this movie do a good job. There, this is a well acted movie. Moving on!

The score for the movie was composed by Joseph Bishara and it was great. It was droning, creepy, eerie, chilling, and just overall worked quite well for the movie, often elevating the suspense of various scenes. There were also a couple of licensed tracks used in the movie that worked pretty well in their respective scenes.

This movie was directed by James Wan (making his second appearance this Month of Spooks) and I thought he did a great job. He does a lot with very little, building a lot of suspense with very few things. Really, the suspense/tension really builds throughout the movie, and any scares that pop up feel earned. I also want to mention that this movie is rated R. “How is that interesting?” I hear you ask. Let me explain. Cursing? Almost none. Sex/Nudity? Mildly implied, but never shown. Blood/gore? Minimal. This is rated R based purely on how scary it is… not gonna lie, that is pretty fucking cool.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“The Conjuring” is a pretty damn good horror movie. It has a really good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and great direction. My only flaws with it (which are fairly minor) are that the beats of the movie feel very familiar, and Ron Livingston’s character feeling underdeveloped. Time for my final score. *BOO!*. My final score for “The Conjuring” is a 9,01/10. So while flawed, I’d say that it is definitely worth buying.

My review of “The Conjuring” is now completed.

There were several occurrences of 70s lingo in this and it makes me so happy.

Movie Review: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)

The Month of Spooks continues! So what’s on the menu this time? An adaptation of a classic novel? This’ll be interesting.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein”.

Late 18th century. We follow Victor Frankenstein (Kenneth Branagh), a brilliant if somewhat unorthodox scientist. One night he manages to create life in the form of a creature (Robert De Niro) made up of many human parts. However the creature soon escapes and swears revenge on his creator. Basically it’s the classic “Frankenstein” story, but with a few smaller twists throughout. And while I love the ideas in “Frankenstein”, and even find some of the newer ideas intriguing, I thought the plot here was kind of bad. It manages to be slow and have some scenes feel slightly rushed at the same time. The tone is also a bit much, taking itself so fucking seriously that it almost becomes silly. I get it, “Frankenstein” is a serious story, but this is almost too serious for it’s own good. The plot here is just… not good.

The characters here are a bit bland. They try to have them be compelling and interesting, but that attempt kind of fails. Kenneth Branagh plays the titular scientist, and I am a little split on his performance. Because at times I think it’s pretty good, and at other times he is very theatrical and comes off as a bit hammy at times. Then we have Robert De Niro as the creature, a character that I actually found myself caring about a bit. A creation, abandoned by his creator, feared by society… that shit is compelling. And aside from like two moments, De Niro plays this very subtly and gives a really good performance. Then we have Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth, adopted sister and love interest of Victor Frankenstein. And while she isn’t the most interesting of characters, I thought Bonham Carter gave a good performance. Then we have Tom Hulce as Henry, friend and pseudo-assistant to Frankenstein. And he’s fine in the role. We also get Ian Holm as Frankenstein’s dad, and he doesn’t do much… but Holm is fine in the role. The performances here are fine.

The score for the movie was composed by Patrick Doyle and it’s actually pretty damn good. It’s big, loud, and kind of epic. My problem with it is that it doesn’t exactly fit with the movie. To have a score this great in combination with a movie so sloppy just feels off. Despite the overall quality of the score, it didn’t really help elevate any of the scenes.

This movie was directed by Kenneth Branagh and he did an okay job. His direction has a lot of flair to it, but feels a bit too big for the story it tries to tell. I have a quote from Frank Darabont (who wrote the script for the movie) that basically encapsulates what I mean, but I’m gonna put that at the end of the post so it doesn’t interfere with the semi-flow of it. Anyhow, can I give any praise here? Well, not gonna lie… this movie is visually arresting. The sets, the cinematography, the clothing… it all looks great. And the creature makeup on De Niro? It looks absolutely amazing! As for scares… none. I think I recognized a couple moments that were supposed to be scares, but didn’t come off as scary or creepy or even slightly eerie.

This movie hasn’t been the most well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 39% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. Roger Ebert  gave it 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,4/10. The movie was nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Makeup. 

“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” is not very good. It has a bad plot, meh characters, okay performances, great (if out of place) music, and meh directing. Time for my final score. *IT’S ALIVE!*. My final score for “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” is a 5,54/10. While not the worst, I’d recommend skipping this one.

My review of “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” is now completed.

As promised, the quote from Frank Darabont:

I’ve described Frankenstein as the best script I ever wrote and the worst movie I’ve ever seen. That’s how it’s different.

There’s a weird doppleganger effect when I watch the movie. It’s kind of like the movie I wrote, but not at all like the movie I wrote. It has no patience for subtlety. It has no patience for the quiet moments. It has no patience period. It’s big and loud and blunt and rephrased by the director at every possible turn.

Movie Review: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)

And the Month of Spooks continues. So what’s on the menu this time? Hillbillies and blood? Cool.

Ladies and gents… “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil”.

A group of god damn stupid college kids decide to go on a trip to the middle of nowhere. When they arrive they run into a pair of hillbillies named Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine), whom the college kids mistake for psycho killers. And of course chaos ensues and escalates. And I’m just gonna say it, this is a great plot. It’s basically a lampooning of backwoods horror movies, where instead of the hillbillies being villains, they’re the good guys. But the plot does have a surprising amount of tension, and even a surprising amount of heart. All of it is actually quite fascinating to witness, to see what twists and turns it’ll take. It’s just a solid blend of tense horror-stuff and fun spoofing. Great plot.

The characters in this boil down to two separate things: Well developed and interesting ones, and undeveloped idiots… and they both have a place in this movie. Alan Tudyk plays Tucker, one of the titular hillbillies. He’s a fairly nice guy who just wants to have a relaxing vacation with his best buddy up at a cabin, but the plot said no. And Tudyk is great in the role. Tyler Labine plays Dale, the second eponymous character. He’s not the brightest bulb of the bunch, but he’s such a warm-hearted guy who just wants everyone to be nice. And Labine is great in the role. Katrina Bowden plays Allison, a young woman that Tucker and Dale befriends. She even forms a bit of a bond with Dale and it’s kind of sweet and cute. And Bowden is really good in the role. Then we have Jesse Moss as Chad (of course the crazy frat douche is named fucking Chad!), the crazy frat douche leading the college group’s efforts to take down Tucker and Dale. He’s a despicable douchebag and credit to Jesse Moss, because that is a great performance… I haven’t seen a character that worthy of hate in quite a while. Great job, sir. The rest of the college kid cast isn’t worth going over, but they all do a good job. It’s a solid cast.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Shields & Andrew Kaiser and they did a good job. It’s for the most part your typical intense horror movie score. But there’s also a bit of a twist in it where they add some typical hillbilly instruments like harmonica and banjo, making for a very fun sound that worked incredibly well for the movie.

The movie was directed by Eli Craig who I think did a great job with it. His directing manages to come off as both intense and somewhat wacky, which is clearly the intention with the entire movie. It really helps the movie feel fun and fast-paced. And since it’s a comedy we should talk about the humor. So is the humor here funny? Nope… it’s fucking hilarious. A lot of the humor is fairly dark which might put some people off, but I just laughed at it. Both simple chuckles and laugh out loud moments. But the humor doesn’t make it feel less like a horror movie, as it still gives off the vibe of old school slasher/backwoods movies, and I like that. It’s a a great blend of horror and comedy. And there’s a lot of blood and gore here for those who enjoy such things in movies. Just thought I’d mention that… could be a good warning for squeamish people.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“Tucker and Dale vs. Evil” is absolutely awesome. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, great directing, and great humor. Time for my final score. *Y’all*. My final score for “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil” is a 9,87/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil” is now completed.

Yippee yee-haw, y’all.

Movie Review: Daybreakers (2010)

The Month of Spooks continues! And what’s this, more vampires? Greeeeaaaaat.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Daybreakers”.

The world has gone to shit. An outbreak has caused most of humanity to turn into vampires. We follow Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke), a vampire/hematologist who joins a group of humans to try to find a cure for vampirism. So now we have our dystopian vampire plot. And it is actually pretty good. It sets up quite an interesting and fairly unique world that felt a bit more realized compared to other dystopias, a lot thanks to the attention to detail. It also has some interesting spins on vampire mythology. However, despite some of the cool ideas that the plot has, it is far from flawless. While the world and it’s mythology is interesting, the overall plot is kind of weak. I understood what was going on, it was pretty straight-forward. However, despite the world and mythos feeling developed, the rest of the plot is just there. It never fully engaged me, I just kind of followed along, never really feeling invested. And the ending teases a sequel. It doesn’t bother me that much, I just thought it would be worth mentioning. But overall the plot here is fine.

I’m a bit split on the characters here. Some of them I find quite interesting, even caring quite a bit about them. And some I find kind of bland. Ethan Hawke plays Edward Dalton, the conflicted vampire/hematologist. He does his job, but he also feels sorry for the humans. This personal conflict is pretty interesting and makes him a bit more of an interesting character. And Hawke is great in the role. Claudia Karvan plays Audrey, one of the people from the resistance that Edward decides to help. She’s decently tough, smart, and determined. And Karvan is good in the role. Willem Dafoe plays “Elvis”, another member of the resistance. He’s likable, interesting, and just cool. And Dafoe is of course great in the role. Sam Neill plays Charles Bromley, the head of a huge corporation, and the boss of Dalton. And he’s one of the more bland individuals in the movie. The characters is just your typical bland corporate asshole character with the only twist being that he’s a vampire. And Sam Neill is pretty good in the role. And then we have Michael Dorman as Dalton younger brother, Frankie. He’s a bit of a dick, but you can tell that there’s a heart there somewhere. And Dorman is good in the role. Again, some characters are great, some not so much. But it’s at least well acted.

The score was composed by Christopher Gordon and it was good. While it’s not something I’d find myself listening to a lazy Sunday afternoon, it works very well for the movie. It’s loud, exciting, and just overall works well for this type of science fiction-thriller movie. It never felt out of place and worked fine for the movie.

This movie was directed by Michael & Peter Spierig (who later went on to make the excellent “Predestination”) and I think they did a really good job here. Their directing is tight, tense, and pretty eerie, often making me feel slightly on edge. And the action scenes in this movie are fun. Not among the best I’ve ever seen, but they’re fun and have a good amount of impact to them. And let’s talk about the visual effects. Because some of them look fucking fantastic, and some of them look… meh. That said, for such a small budget it is quite impressive what they managed to create here. There’s also plenty of blood & gore here and it is glorious, especially when most vampire movies around that time were dull, sparkly, PG-13 shitstains that wouldn’t dare go this far. But “Daybreakers” did it, and it’s glorious.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 67% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 57/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,5/10.

Will “Daybreakers” be remembered in the future as a classic? No. But for what it’s worth, this is quite an entertaining sci-fi-thriller. It has an okay plot, good characters, really good performances, good music, and great directing. My only flaws with it come from the plot feeling somewhat thin, and some characters being a bit bland. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Daybreakers” is an 8,53/10. So while flawed it is still worth buying.

My review of “Daybreakers” is now completed.

Two Ethan Hawke movies in the span of one week… hell yeah.

Series Review: Mindhunter – Season 1 (2017)

I know what you’re thinking. “Markus, you said that October was about spooky shit, and maybe some trailers and Thor!”, and that is true. However, sometimes an idiot like me has to make exceptions. Plus, this could technically count as Month of Spooks stuff… ’cause serial killers are scary.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mindhunter” season 1.

Set in 1979, “Mindhunter” follows FBI agent Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) as he investigates various murder cases while also developing a system for psychologically analyzing criminals. So now we have our drama plot. And is it any good? Yeah. Seeing the early stages of criminal psychology and how it develops is fascinating, and the way they use it to investigate these horrible crimes is quite riveting. The pace here is deliberately slow as a tortoise, which will turn some people off, but I thought it worked quite well for the show. But the plot isn’t just the development of the criminal profiling system, it is also an engaging character-drama. Seeing how these characters react to all the shit going on and how it affects their lives is quite riveting. So yeah, it’s a solid plot.

As you probably could understand from the end of the previous paragraph, the characters here are all quite interesting and engaging. It’s also pretty refreshing to have a cast where I didn’t know any of the main players. I recognized a couple of the supporting people, but for the most part I knew no one. Jonathan Groff plays Holden Ford, the young man who we follow for the majority of the show. He’s slightly naive, but means well and shows great intelligence. And Groff is really good in the role. Holt McCallany plays Bill Tench, Ford’s colleague/partner. A slightly stern family man, Tench often get slightly annoyed at Ford’s plans and action, but understands that they can be important. And McCallany is great in the role. Anna Torv plays Wendy Carr, a consultant who gets brought in to help Ford and Tench in their work. She’s determined to get shit done, and she’s an interesting part of the team. And Torv is great in the role. Hannah Gross plays Debbie, a woman that Ford meets and starts a relationship with. She’s sassy, she’s smart, and she’s a nice foil for Ford. And Gross is really good in the role. The entire cast does a solid job here.

The score for the show was composed by Jason Hill and it was great. It was dark and quite chilling, reminiscent of the movie scores by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross. It often helped elevate certain scenes, making them feel a little eerie and slightly uncomfortable. There were also licensed tracks used throughout the show and they were used pretty well.

This show was created by Joe Penhall, and directed by three people. The directors are Asif Kapadia, Tobias Lindholm, Andrew Douglas, and David fucking Fincher. And yes, the only reason why I listed all of them was for that dramatic effect on Fincher. And even though he only helmed four of the ten episodes, all of them feel very Fincher-esque. Cinematic, cold, steady, confident, it just oozes of David Fincher. So yeah, it is incredibly well directed. This show is also R-rated. Cursing, nudity, sex, some violence. Sure, it’s not “Game of Thrones” levels of R-rated, but it still has some stuff that makes it inappropriate for younger audiences. Also, this show was produced by Charlize Theron… not trying to make a point, just think that’s pretty cool.

This show just came out but has already been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,2/10 (but will most likely drop in the near future).

“Mindhunter” is great… don’t know what else I can say. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great direction. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mindhunter” season 1 is a 9,65/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Mindhunter” season 1 is now completed.

Month of Spooks, not Month of Spooks… Killers are scary, Month of Spooks.

Movie Review: Van Helsing (2004)

The Month of Spooks continues. And what’s this? An adventure movie featuring classic monsters? That’s cool. I mean, how could it possibly go wrong?

Ladies and gentlemen… “Van Helsing”.

The story follows legendary monster hunter Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) as he travels to Transylvania with a friar named Carl (David Wenham). Why are they traveling to Transylvania? Obviously they’re traveling there to kill Dracula (Richard Roxburgh). So now we have our adventure plot featuring classic monsters. And is it any good? No… it’s bad. There’s no point in the plot where I’m even remotely interested in what is happening. They have a fun idea that could make for a fun little easy-breezy adventure plot. But it somehow manages to be both paper-thin and convoluted at the same time. It’s also duller than dishwater, fucking boring. And the tone is inconsistent, at best. The plot here is bad. I’m not gonna try to put it in a more elaborate way… it’s bad.

The characters have motivations (sort of)… but I never found myself giving a single shit about any of them. Hugh Jackman plays the titular Van Helsing, monster hunter extraordinaire. He has an okay motivation for what he does (sort of), but it never plays into the plot in any significant way, so I could never care about it. And Hugh Jackman… I love Hugh Jackman, but he’s not very good in this. Kate Beckinsale plays a woman that Van Helsing runs into pretty early on, and she’s somehow important to it all because she’s related to some big shot person. It was mentioned like twice and it was so poorly delivered that it never stuck to my mind. She’s supposed to be a badass lady, which is something I like seeing in a movie… but here she comes off as more of a lucky idiot, an idiot savant as it’s usually called. And her attempt at an accent here? Nope, no good. Beckinsale is bad in this. David Wenham plays Carl, the friar that is joining Van Helsing on this journey. He’s meant as a comic relief, but he never really says anything funny. Wenham is… okay in the role. Richard Roxburgh plays Dracula in this and his performance is awful… but in the right way. The performance has more ham than a Christmas buffet, and it made me laugh. It doesn’t really give the movie any points, but it at least made some scenes easier to get through than others. There are talented actors in this, but none of them are particularly good in it.

The score for the movie was composed by Alan Silvestri and it is pretty good. Here’s why it doesn’t work though… the overall quality of everything else is so low that this epic and booming score doesn’t quite match up with what’s happening on screen. It just feels off.

This movie was directed by Stephen Sommers and he did a meh job. It feels so bland and uninteresting that nothing about what I was seeing interested me. The action too has a sever lack of tension… and impact… and fun… it’s fucking boring. There’s also an overload of shitty CG. And to those giving the “Well, it was the early 2000s” argument”: The final “Lord of the Rings” movie came out the year before and the CG in that looks amazing. There was also an overload of it. Sure, there were a few props, costumes, and sets that looked pretty good, but they rarely got as much focus as the terrible computer effects.

This movie hasn’t been particularly well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 23% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 35/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars (Wut?). And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,0/10.

“Van Helsing” is bad… just bad. It has a bad plot, bad characters, bad performances, okay music, and bad directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Van Helsing” is a 4,32/10. I didn’t like it and I would recommend skipping it.

My review of “Van Helsing” is now completed.

*Annoyed groan*