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: Insidious (2011)

Hello there, guys, and welcome to the first post for the Month of Spooks! That’s right, for those of you who might’ve missed the announcement post (cave dwellers), for the third year in a row I am dedicating October to the spooks and the creeps! Exceptions to this include trailer talks and also “Thor: Ragnarok”… what can I say, Marvel is a must watch for me. Anyhow, it is time… for some spooky shit.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Insidious”.

After she moves into a new house with her family, Renai (Rose Byrne) starts experiencing weird, probably supernatural phenomena. And soon they find out that these scary occurrences might be happening because of their comatose son. So now we have our haunted house(ish) movie plot. And is it any good? Yeah, I’d say so. It puts some really interesting and surprisingly tense spins on the haunted house formula and makes it feel somewhat fresh in an ocean of movies featuring hauntings. My only problem with the plot is the final act. While entertaining, it is quite the tonal shift from the rest of the movie. For the longest time it is a somber, creepy, and eerie trip through this family’s horrible situation. But then in the final act it becomes a little more lighthearted (for lack of a better word), making for a weird shift in tone. Again, it’s not bad, but it does bring it down a bit since it’s such a weird shift from the haunting (HA!) two acts that came before. So overall the plot here is good.

The characters here are decently fleshed out, sympathetic, and interesting. Rose Byrne plays Renai (pronounced like Renée), the mother of the Lambert family, and the first person to start experiencing these scary things. She is determined to get to the bottom of this, trying to hold it together, but you can see that she might crack any minute, like any normal person would do in that situation. And Rose Byrne is great in the role. Patrick Wilson plays Josh, Renai’s husband. He’s a bit more of a skeptic to the supernatural stuff, but he is willing to do anything to help his wife and his family. And Patrick Wilson is great in the role. Ty Simpkins plays Dalton, Renai’s and Josh’s son. And while he doesn’t get to do/say too much in the movie, the little acting he gets to do is definitely really good. We also have Lin Shaye as a psychic who gets brought in to try to help the Lamberts out. And she’s really good in the role. And we have Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson Lin Shaye’s assistants, and they’re a fun presence in the movie, both giving good performances. Overall this movie is well acted.

The score for the movie was composed by Joseph Bishara and it was fine. In terms of style it doesn’t do anything very unique, you’ve heard a lot of the musical cues in most other horror scores. But it’s well composed and used well enough in the movie, so I don’t have any complaints about it. There’s also at least one licensed track in the movie. They use it, and while it’s distractingly out of place for an eerie horror flick, I can’t fault it because it never ruined the experience for me.

This movie was directed by James Wan and I think he did a really good job. Everything looks smooth and the shots do look quite nice. But what I appreciate most about his direction is how much suspense he manages to build throughout. He does a lot with very little, managing to create a constant feel of unease and tension throughout. And let’s talk about jumpscares. They’re a staple of horror, popping up in so many horror movies… and this one’s no exception. However, I think this movie does jumpscares well. Most movies use “fake scares”, trying to make people jump when there’s nothing scary in frame. But “Insidious” has no fake scares like that, instead having good jumpscares that actually work. So yeah, this movie scared me a bit.

This movie has been decently well received (I guess). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 66% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 52/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

“Insidious” is a good little horror movie. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, good music, great directing, and some good scares. My only problem with the movie comes from the final act not being as great as the the other two. Time for my final score. *BOO!*. My final score for “Insidious” is an 8,88/10. So while flawed, I’d say that it’s definitely worth buying.

My review of “Insidious” is now completed.

Month of Spooks has officially begun!

Movie Review: Furious 7 (2015)

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As some of you might remember, I reviewed every single “Fast & Furious” movie back in May of this year because of the at that point recent release of this damn movie. And from that it’s taken me more than 6 months to get around to it. But at long last, we are here. So let’s stop with this shit and get with it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Furious 7”.

Ready for some more stupidity? *Smack* Ouch, okay I’ll do it right! The story of this movie is that Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the brother of the the last movie’s villain, is coming after the gang to get revenge for his brother. So it’s up to Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker, R.I.P) and all the other guys we know and love to try and stop him. Now that is the main plot we are supposed to care about, but at the same time we get a secondary plot of the gang helping a governmental orgainzation led by Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) with finding a device that could locate any person on planet earth. And it is all very convoluted and guys, this is what the problem was with “Fast & Furious 6”. Don’t get me wrong, I think the plot of this movie is more well handled than in the last movie, but it’s still a bit convoluted and that takes away a bit from the enjoyment of the movie. I mean, it’s fine I guess.

The characters are just as enjoyable as last time and their performances have neither imporved nor gotten worse. So let’s discuss some of the newer ones… like Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw. I would say that putting Jason Statham as the main villain of your movie is a damn good idea, it is one I highly approve of. And while Statham’s performance was really good and menacing, I still felt like the character was underutilized and that he was only there to mess things up a little for our heroes. Then we have Kurt Russell as the mysterious Mr. Nobody and he was awesome. Come on, it’s Kurt fuckin’ Russell! Sure, he wasn’t in teh movie too much, but he was still great… He’s Kurt Russell! One thing I feel kind of split about is the character of Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). Don’t get me wrong, I think he might be the best thing that ever happened to this franchise, but he is used so little in this movie that it’s a bit disappointing. Sure, whenever he is on screen we get some of the best parts of the movie, but they are so few and far between that I almost feel betrayed.

The score for “Furious 7” was composed by Brian Tyler and as you may know, I’m a big fan of that guy. And as per usual, he delivered a great original score for the movie. It is big, bombastic, tense and surprisingly emotional. I would really dare say that this is one of the best scores I have ever heard from Tyler. With that said, does the rest of the soundtrack work for the movie? Yes… yes it does. They managed to fit songs perfectly into the scenes they were used in. And with that said, I feel like i should maybe touch on the song “See you Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth. The song was created as a tribute to the late Paul Walker and his character Brian who would most likely get retired after this movie. And I have to say that the song worked, it is a fitting send-off for Walker and his character. I can also say that I think it is a good song, maybe even worthy of an Oscar nomination…

This is the first “F&F” movie since “Tokyo Drift” that have had a new director take over. So now instead of Justin Lin directing it, we have James Wan who is more known for horror movies than for action. But I have to say that I think he did a good job directing this movie. Sure, the hand-to-hand combat sequences were not that great because of a higher framerate and for a little bit of shaky-cam in them, so they are not impressive at all. However, when there is over-the-top vehicular mayhem in the movie, Wan really did a fantastic job! It’s silly, stupid, ridiculous, absolutely bonkers and pretty fucking fun. Really, instead of Vengeance Hits Home, the tagline for the movie should’ve been Physics Be Damned. 

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 67/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

While bogged down a bit by a convoluted plot and underutilization of certain characters, “Furious 7” is still one of the best entries in the franchise. With fun characters, a really great soundtrack, really good directing and a fitting send-off for Paul Walker, it’s definitely still a fun movie. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Furious 7” is an 8,95/10. It’s definitely worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Furious 7” is finally completed.

*Looks out window*. Is that Jeff parachuting a car?