Movie Review: Doctor Sleep (2019)

I just love that header image. My amazing buddy The Craggus took the first poster that was released for this movie and added a little of my shenanigans to it. Anyhow, let’s talk about a belated sequel.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Doctor Sleep”. The director’s cut.

A little over 30 years after the horrifying events at the Overlook hotel, a now grown up Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) tries to get his life back together. While doing this he befriends a young girl (Kyliegh Curran) who also can Shine. But these powers also makes her the target of a dangerous cult that tracks down kids who can Shine, and then kills them and steals their power. So yeah, it’s a little bit of a departure from the claustrophobic thrills of “The Shining”. But that’s okay, because I found the story on display utterly enthralling. It’s a slow, contemplative burn of a narrative. Going in-depth with the effects that the Overlook incident’s had on Dan’s life, the story really gets to the heart of a lot of stuff, and it’s wonderful to follow… even made me cry at a point. But it’s not just heartfelt drama here, as this is also a horror movie. It’s not the scariest one I’ve seen, probably wouldn’t even crack the top five in terms of pure scariness. That’s not to say that there isn’t any creepy shit here. There is some good, subtle creepiness and suspense going on throughout, occasionally punctuated by some decently grim shit. And I think it works quite well here. Again, not the scariest, but I still enjoyed the horror elements of the narrative.

The characters in this are quite nuanced, flawed, and highly interesting. Ewan McGregor plays Dan Torrance, former tricycle enthusiast and currently broken man. Seeing the low point his life has come to after you-know-what is fascinating in itself, but it’s what comes from that that makes it even more interesting, as he has a really great arc in this movie. And McGregor does a great job with his performance. Kyliegh Curran plays Abra, the young girl that Dan befriends. She’s a smart, funny, and charming little kid who I think made for a good foil for Dan. And Curran is fantastic in the role. Next we have Rebecca Ferguson as Rose, a hat wearing lady who loves meeting new people… oh, and she’s also an immortal who kills people who can Shine, just so she can keep being immortal. Yeah, she’s our main villain, and she’s so mesmerizing and intense, with a lot of that coming from Rebecca Ferguson’s spectacular performance. We also get supporting work from people like Zahn McClarnon, Emily Alyn Lind, Carl Lumbly, Cliff Curtis, Bruce Greenwood, Jacob Tremblay, Carel Struycken, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by The Newton Brothers, and I thought it was great. It’s an emotionally charged and eerie score that, while taking a lot of familiar horror cues into certain tracks, manages to feel somewhat unique to this movie. They also utilize some familiar notes from the original “Shining” film on occasion, and it never feels overly intrusive, but rather works as a nice tie-in to that. So yeah, there’s some good music here.

Based on the “Shining” sequel of the name name written by Stephen King, “Doctor Sleep” was written and directed by Mike Flanagan, and I think he did a fantastic job with it. His direction is bold, confident, and manages to create a good amount of suspense throughout. There’s something otherworldly about it, which helps add a good amount of eeriness to proceedings. And Michael Fimognari’s cinematography certainly helps add a lot to that, giving us a lot of gorgeous, dynamic shots that add to the atmosphere of the movie. It’s just really well crafted.

This movie has been decently well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 77% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 59/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7.3/10.

“Doctor Sleep” (director’s cut at least) is a fantastic horror-drama that manages to both entertain and deeply engage. It has a great story, really good characters, fantastic performances, great music, and fantastic directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Doctor Sleep” is a 9.90/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Doctor Sleep” is now completed.

Three hours seldom fly by so fast for me.

Series Review: The Outsider (2020)

Alright, first review of an actual 2020 release. We’re finally getting into the new year properly.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Outsider”.

When a young boy is found having been raped and murdered, the evidence points to local baseball coach Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman) having done it. But as Detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn) looks further into it, there seems to be more to the case than meets the eye, leading Ralph down a dark and complicated path. So now we have our dark mystery series. And I would say the story here is a really intriguing one. The way this case evolves the further we get into the show is fascinating, making for some really interesting and often suspenseful television. It’s often also quite disturbing, but in a way that serves the story and doesn’t feel like cheap exploitative crap. Now, there are parts of the show where not much happens, and that drags it down ever so slightly. I don’t mind a slow burn (hell, most of this show is a slow burn), but there’s a difference between slowly burning drama and no real development. That said, it doesn’t full on ruin the show for me… it’s still a great and chilling story.

The characters in this are flawed, layered, and overall quite interesting. First up we have Ben Mendelsohn as Ralph Anderson, an aging police Detective who’s the lead on this case. He’s a determined man, ready for action at any point, while also dealing with some personal demons. And Mendelsohn is great in the role. Next we have Cynthia Erivo as Holly Gibney, a private investigator who gets brought in to help out with the case at a point in the story. She’s a bit eccentric, but also absolutely brilliant at what she does, making her a very valuable part of the cast. And Erivo is great in the role. Jason Bateman is good as disgraced baseball coach Terry Maitland. Bill Camp is great as defense attorney Howard Salomon. Yul Vazquez is great as fellow detective Yunis Sablo. Julianna Nicholson is good as Terry’s wife Glory. We also get supporting work from people like Paddy Considine, Jeremy Bobb, Mare Winningham, Derek Cecil, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the show was composed by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans (two names we haven’t seen on this blog in quite a while). And I think they did a great job in creating an eerie and chilling score that perfectly encapsulates the dark and creepy vibe that the rest of the creative team were going for. There’s also a few licensed songs used throughout the show, and they work well enough in their respective scenes.

Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, “The Outsider” was developed for HBO by Richard Price, with writing by him and a bunch of other cool people (including my favorite author, Dennis Lehane), and directing by a few other cool people (including Jason Bateman and Karyn Kusama). And this is where the show is at its best. The craft is fucking immaculate. The slow burn of the story is very much part of the directing too, and I like that, as it gives the show this cold and almost otherworldly vibe that constantly kept me on my edge to some degree. And the cinematography, split over the ten episodes between Kevin McKnight, Zak Mulligan, Rasmus Heise, and Igor Martinovic… it’s stunning. Each shot is meticulously planned, making for quite an engaging visual experience.

This show has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 69/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8.6/10 and is ranked #192 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

While it does drag a little in parts, “The Outsider” is still a damn good show that I highly recommend. It has a great plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Outsider ” is a 9/10. So it’s definitely worth watching.

My review of “The Outsider” is now completed.

I need to read more Stephen King.

Movie Review: It (2017)

And the Month of Spooks continues! And today we’ll be talking about a Stephen King adaptation. How fun.

Ladies and gentlemen… “It”.

Maine, 1989. A group of outcast kids have to come together during their summer holiday when an evil clown (Bill Skarsgård) starts haunting them and wreaking havoc. So I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, when this story focuses on the drama of the Losers Club (the kids we follow) and their personal issues, that shit is compelling, it is insanely well written and it had me engaged. There’s a lot of nuance to that stuff, and it really adds to it all. But when it focuses on the horror shit… meh. I’ll get into that in more detail later, but for now… this plot is a mostly positive mixed bag.

The characters in this are flawed, layered, colorful, and overall really interesting. The kids feel real, I love their camaraderie, and they have great chemistry. Jaeden Martell, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Chosen Jacobs, and Wyatt Oleff, they play the Losers Club, and they were all fantastic. And then we have Bill Skasgård as Pennywise. I really liked his performance, but I’m not sure if that’s for the reason the filmmakers wanted. They wanted him to be terrifying, and at times he does have a creepy gaze. But for the most part he’s just an absolute fucking ham, and I loved watching it, because I live for hammy shit. But seriously, that was a great, if a bit goofy, performance.

The score for the movie was composed by Benjamin Wallfisch, and god damn, it was great. It has many layers to it, and it helps build a strong emotional core that really manipulated me at points. Usually with horror movies, my expectations for the music are often kinda low, so I’m glad the Wallfisch proved my ass wrong by giving us some really stunning tunes. And some decently creepy ones. Good job.

Based on the beloved novel of the same name by Stephen King, “It” was directed by Andy Muschietti, and I think he did a great job. His control of the camera and flow a scene can’t be understated, it was truly some damn good stuff. Even built some decent creepiness to it at times. And the various effects in the movie, both practical and digital, were damn good. Buuuut then we get to the “scary shit”. Yeah, I wasn’t scared by it. And that’s not me being a douche about it, I would’ve loved (for lack of a better word) to have been scared by that stuff. But it never got to me. Like I said, there’s some decently creepy moments throughout, but when it tried to full on scare me, it never really worked. Partly due to the hamtastic Bill Skarsgård, and partly due to some of the audio cues added to certain scares. So the craft here is great… I just wasn’t scared.

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 69/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

While it fails at spooking me, I still think “It” is a damn good movie. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and really good directing/cinematography/effects. Time for my final score. *Boo*. My final score for “It” is an 8,78/10. So while flawed, I’d say it’s still worth buying.

My review of “It” is now completed.

I am so mixed on this movie.

Movie Review: The Dark Tower (2017)

Right up front, I adore Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” books. They’re epic, unique, engaging, and just awesome. So I was worried about the series being adapted to film. Then the trailer came out and it looked like shit. But now we’re here, reviewing it. Comparisons to the novels are inevitable, but I will do my best to not rely on that stuff. Try to judge this on it’s own. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Dark Tower”.

Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) has been having dreams/visions of a strange land filled with strange stuff. And one day he finds an actual portal to that world. There he meets Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), AKA the gunslinger. And they meet up to try to find and stop the evil wizard known as the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) from destroying the one thing holding all the universes together… The Dark Tower. So now we have our adaptation. And it’s not a direct adaptation of any of the books, but rather mixes the stories of all of them into one thing. And it feels quite messy. Cramming a ton of stuff into a 90-minute runtime. So you get a rushed mess that has stuff from all the books, but only feels very surface-level. And even if you take the books aside for a second, it still feels rushed and messy. And not very interesting. At best the plot is meh. But for the most part it is not good.

The characters here show potential to be interesting, but never reach that full potential for me (at least I didn’t dislike them, I guess). Idris Elba plays Roland, a gunslinger. Quick lesson: A gunslinger is a sort of guardian who has sworn to protect Mid-World and the Dark Tower. And Roland is the last of the gunslingers because someone (the Man in Black) was a dick. But you can see some history with him and that there’s some pain behind those eyes. But they never go and fully develop him. But Elba is really good in the role. Tom Taylor play Jake Chambers, the young man who gets visions of Mid-World and Roland and all the shit going on with the Dark Tower. He gets some backstory, and you get a decently clear idea of who he is as a character. And I didn’t hate him, he was probably the most well developed character here (even if it’s not full-on development). And Taylor was really good in the role. Matthew McConaughey (alright, alright, alright) plays the Man in Black, the big threat to Mid-World, our world, and all worlds that are connected by the Dark Tower. He’s a wizard of sorts who can tell you something and you do it. He’s like a less interesting version of Kilgrave from “Jessica Jones”. And while McConaughey is clearly having a lot of fun in the role, his performance isn’t great. It’s average-ish. The rest of the actors in this movie range from fine to good. Serious waste of Jackie Earle Haley in this.

The score was composed by Tom Holkenborg (AKA Junkie XL) and it was okay. Bit generic, often reminded me of “The Da Vinci Code”. It’s not bad, but nothing stuck out to me as great or memorable. Most of it is just fairly typical stuff. Takes cues from action, horror, emotional drama, and more in the various tracks. It’s overall… fine.

This movie was directed by Nikolaj Arcel, and I think he did an average job. It’s clear that this movie was rushed into production, so a lot of the less than stellar stuff in direction and such might not be his fault. There is almost no tension here, and the movie looks really generic. For one of the most unique and interesting fantasy franchises, the adaptation sure looks bland. Admittedly there are moments in this movie where I had fun with some of the action. Mainly in parts where action gunslinging was happening, I kind of enjoyed those bits. But there’s also some action here that leaves no impact and just comes off as… meh. Let’s also talk about the visual effects. Some of them look good, and some were kind of bad… distractingly so. It’s kind of like what I said about the plot… messy.

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 16% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 34/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,7/10.

As an adaptation of Stephen King’s books, “The Dark Tower” isn’t good. As a movie on it’s own, it’s slightly better but still not that good. Good things include a couple of performances, the character of Jake Chambers, and a couple of action moments. But the plot, most other characters, the music, and directing/cinematography/action range from meh to bad. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Dark Tower” is a 4,65/10. I didn’t want to dislike it… but I kind of did. I’d recommend skipping it.

My review of “The Dark Tower” is now completed.

I didn’t wanna dislike it. I wanted it to be good. *sigh*. At least I can still read the books.

Movie Review: Gerald’s Game (2017)

Netflix. The streaming service quickly taking over the entertainment industry thanks to their original shows and movies. And today we are taking a look at one of their original movies.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Gerald’s Game”.

A married couple (Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood) feel like their love life has gotten a bit stale. So to spice things up they travel to a lake house to have some fun. However, their kinky games soon lead to Jessie (Gugino) having to survive, cuffed to the bed, after Gerald (Greenwood) dies of a heart attack. So now we have our dark character study. And you might think “Dude, don’t spoil it! Can’t talk about who dies!”. But Gerald’s death is what basically kicks the plot into gear. And I think this a damn good plot. As I not so subtly eluded to, this is a dark character study that delves deep into Jessie’s psyche and her troubled past, as this horrifying situation she’s found herself in forces her to confront her demons. And it’s a truly tense and engaging plot that I was invested in throughout. My only flaw with it is the ending. Had they cut the last ten-ish minutes out I would’ve thought that this movie was close to damn near perfect. And while it doesn’t ruin the overall experience, it did annoy me a bit. So yeah, ending aside, this is a great plot.

The characters here (the few worth talking about) are deep, damaged, flawed, and quite interesting. Carla Gugino plays Jessie, the main character who we see cuffed to the bed throughout the movie. As we learn throughout the movie, she has some dark secrets that she has hidden away for most of her life. And seeing her having to tackle these demons while also trying to find a way out of the bedroom is quite interesting, as I found myself really caring about her. And Gugino is fantastic in the role, best performance I’ve seen from her. Bruce Greenwood (AKA Batman) play Gerald, the eponymous game-starter. He just wanted a nice, kinky weekend with his wife, but he instead gets a heart attack and some stuff dug up about him. We learn some stuff about him that makes him a bit more interesting. And Greenwood is damn great in the role. The last one I want to talk about is Henry Thomas (that’s right, Elliott from “E.T.”) who plays Jessie’s dad in some flashbacks we see. And he’s a bit creepy here, and I’ll leave it at that. And Thomas is great in the role. Really, every actor here does a great job.

The score for the movie was composed by the Newton brothers and it’s pretty damn good. It’s emotional, tense, eerie, and often helped elevate a lot of scenes that they were used in. It really helped make things tense and even kind of scary at times. And I thought it worked beautifully within the movie. And on a quick sidenote: You can get a free download of the album from their website, and I think that’s really cool.

Based on a Stephen King novel, “Gerald’s Game” was directed by Mike Flanagan and I think he did a fantastic job with it. This is a contained thriller, based mostly in the bedroom of this lake house, and Flanagan takes advantage of this isolated setting. His directing is tight and incredibly tense, making me feel constantly on edge throughout the movie. I will also warn you: There is some disturbing as hell imagery in this movie (including gore). So if you’re in the least bit squeamish, then this might not be for you. But some of the imagery in this isn’t just disturbing for the sake of being disturbing, because I feel like it all has some sort of purpose to it.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

While having a less than great ending, “Gerald’s Game” is still a great fucking movie. It has a great plot, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, and fantastic directing. As previously stated, the ending isn’t the greatest, but I won’t punish the movie that much over it. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Gerald’s Game ” is a 9,57/10. So while slightly flawed, it still gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Gerald’s Game” is now completed.

Batman & Silk Spectre’s Sexy Vacation.

We finally have a trailer for “The Dark Tower”

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed. 

So we finally have a trailer for “The Dark Tower”, the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s epic series of novels. So what’s it all about then? Well, it’s about Roland (Idris Elba), the last gunslinger, who has to find the titular tower and also stop the man in black (Matthew McConaughey). And Roland has to do this with the help of a boy named Jake (Tom Taylor). That’s the basic plot of the first novel titled “The Gunsliner”, which seems to be the book they’re using as main inspiration for this movie. So what do I think of this trailer? Yeah, I’m not a big fan. I fucking love the books and would love to see a great adaptation of them… but this doesn’t look like it would be it. I know that certain liberties have to be taken when adapting a book to a screen… but this doesn’t look right. This looks like typical Hollywood stuff. I know that the weirdness of the novels would be hard to market to the general public that hasn’t read them, but this just looks stereotypically Hollywood and I’m not okay with that… at least not for “The Dark Tower”. I was already skeptical of the movie, and this trailer doesn’t help it in the slightest. “The Dark Tower” is set to be released in August of this year.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you excited about “The Dark Tower”? And if you’ve read the books, what do you think about them? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer.

The Dark Tower trailer was released on the internet, and Markus complained about it.

“The Dark Tower” has found it’s stars

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It seems like movie castings has become a thing on my blog considering I talked about some recent Marvel castings this weekend and now I am talking about this. But you see, I talk about things that interest me in some way… and this is a major one.

“The Dark Tower”, Stephen King’s magnum opus has been rumored to be getting a movie adaptation for some time now and for a few months it has been confirmed with Danish director Nikolaj Arcel helming it. Hell, at one point it was even in the hands of Ron Howard, but he obviously dropped out as director. But now it seems we are one step closer to seeing this grand adventure show itself on the screen because we now know who will play the hero and the villain of the movie. It looks like British actor Idris Elba, known for roles like DCI John Luther in “Luther” and Heimdall in the MCU, has bee ncast as Roland Deschain, the main character of the series. And for the villain, known as the man in black, they got Matthew “Alright, alright, alright” McConaughey. Now this casting is kind of interesting since the character of Roland has always been shown as a white guy in most pieces of art related to the franchise, so you’d almost assume that role would go to McConaughspace. But nope, it went to Heimdall and I am actually okay with that because he’s a great fucking actor. Now I have read all seven of the books in the series (not counting the spin-off set between books 4 and 5) and there are some parts that comes to mind when thinking about how they are gonna handle it. I will not spoil anything because I highly recommend that you go and read the books, but I will say that there are pieces of recurring dialogue that relate sort of to race, so I am curious how they will handle that. I am also curious who they will cast in the other important roles. I am honestly really hoping that they cast Aaron Paul as Eddie Dean because that would just be perfect.

So what are your thoughts on this matter? Are you looking forward to the “Dark Tower” movie? Leave your answers in the comments below.
Have a good one.

 

Movie Review: The Mist (2007)

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What’s up, people? Time to continue “The Month of Spooks” with another frightening movie review. And it is the second time we are taking a look at a movie based on a story by author Stephen King. Now let’s not stand around and make fools of ourselves, let us move on to the review!

Ladies and gentlemen, do not enter… “The Mist”.

This movie follows artist David Drayton (Thomas Jane) as he and a bunch of other people get stuck in a supermarket because of a mysterious mist that brings out a lot of blood-thirsty creatures. So now they have to try to defend themselves inside of the supermarket. They have no idea what’s causing the mist and they have no idea where the creatures come from, all they know is that they have to survive. And was this survival story well executed? Yeah, I’d say so. Once again it is one of those situations of the idea not being original, but maybe the execution is done well enough. And I thought it was good. Not great, but good. I don’t know what to say really. I guess I can say that I thought it was pretty tense and suspenseful at times and I have to say that the ending is pretty tragic and maybe the best aspect of the plot. So yeah, good plot.

The characters in the movie are pretty much cookie cutter Stephen King characters. You have the main character dad who does art of some kind, you have the child, you have the elderly black guy, the religious nut and feel free to check off this list on your own. But how is the acting? It’s… good, I guess. Thomas Jane plays the main character of the movie and he does a fine job as the guy… except when he has to do somethign emeotional, then he kind of sucks. But I didn’t expect too much from him since I’ve never considered him that great of an actor. Andre Braugher plays the elderly black guy in the movie and he does a good job. The child actor who plays Jane’s son does a fine job, I have seen both worse and better child performances before, so I don’t feel that this kid adds or detracts anything from the movie. What was kind of fun though with the actors in this movie was how I saw a good amount of people who would later be in “The Walking Dead” which director Frank Darabont had a hand in. Jeffrey DeMunn, Laurie Holden, Melissa McBride and Sam Witwer all appear in this movie at some point and that was fun seeing since i like “The Walking Dead”. Anyway, that derailed a little bit. Uhm… acting was fine and the characters were meh.

The score for the movie was provided by Mark Isham and I have to say that so far it is the best part of the movie. It isn’t something I can see myself listening to again, but it’s definitely a good score that really fit the movie. And to be honest, there wasn’t really anything sticking out except for one track called “The Host of Seraphim” which appeared near the end of the movie. Every other tracks in the score was fine, but that track is, no joke, fucking amazing. Held up by an eerie & slowly building backing note and the gorgeous vocals of Lisa Gerrard, it is one of the reasons why the score for the movie holds the movie up so well. That track is just amazing and the score overall is pretty good.

Okay, so far the plot has been fine, the acting fine and the score good, but is there something great about the movie? Yes there is… the camerawork is pretty damn great. It perfectly fits the eerie and a little creepy mood this movie conveys and actually manages to capture some pretty great shots. And I have to say that some of the writing in the movie was pretty great, and I am mainly talking about certain pieces of dialogue. And something I noticed early on in the movie which is kind of cool is that we see Thomas Jane working on a painting/poster which appears to be Roland from Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” books. As a fan of those books I just kind of thought that was a cool little easter egg.

This movie has gotten pretty good reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 73% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 58/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“The Mist” is a real mixed bag of a movie. It has a decent story, decent acting, good music and fantastic camera work/directing. Time for my final score. Woaw, look at all that mist. What’s that in the mist? Wait, is that… Jeff? Oh my god, Jeff. Where have you been, asshole? Screw it! Do you have something for me? *Jeff gives envelope and disappears into the mist*. My final score for “The Mist” is a 7,99/10. I think it’s worth a rental.
Rent it

My review of “The Mist” is now completed.

Hearing Toby Jones tell someone to shut the fuck up is just magical.

Movie Review: Carrie (1976)

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Hello guys, welcome to “The Month of Spooks”! The time here in October where I review some horror movies. I know that it might be a little bit late to start with that shit in the late half of October, but I am an idiot so that is why we get it now. But hey, better late than ever. Anyway, the movie of today was suggested by Peggy over at the blog peggyatthemovies.com which I highly recommend if you want high quality movie (and TV) stuff. Now that we have gotten that little plug out of the way, let’s move on to the review.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would really like you to meet… “Carrie”.

Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is a very shy and quiet girl who does not have the best of lives. First off, her mom (Piper Laurie) is a real fire & brimstone type of religious nut who really tries to dominate and have full control over Carrie’s life. Second, the other girls at her school bully her to no end and they are some of the worst people I have ever seen on screen. Seriously, those girls and Tommy from “The Butterfly Effect” are my picks for the biggest pieces of shit in cinematic history. Anyway, when Carrie has all of these problems she discovers that she has telekinesis. And from that we get a very interesting and pretty well presented, if a little sloppy plot. I’m not gonna say that it’s terrifying, but it’s definitely creepy and has an uneasy atmosphere. However there are moments of the story that I would call sloppy and it takes away a little from it. So I would say the plot is pretty good if a bit sloppy.

The characters like I said are some of the biggest pieces of shit ever. Except for Carrie, she is a very sweet girl who I just wanna hug and then tell her “It’s gonna be okay”. And Sissy Spacek gives a great performance as this shy, scared and damaged girl. I would say that everybody gave great performances, even young John Travolta (Yep, he’s in this movie).

The score for the movie was composed by Pino Donaggio and I think it was pretty freaking great. It is beautiful, creepy and is very well-composed. It is heavily based in stringed instruments and piano which is really fun to hear, especially since it turned out to be as great as it is.

This movie was directed by Brian De Palma and he did a pretty fantastic job with the directing. The shots look great and there are a lot of gorgeous long takes and tracking shots that were just pure eye candy. I do think that no one could have done it better than De Palma, this is really his movie. And without any major spoilers for the people who might not have seen this, I have to say that the finale is one of the most bittersweet but still relieving finales ever. Is there some kind of comeuppance given to the assholes? Yeah and it is both amazing and kind of “Well that’s kind of terrible”. But it was still glorious and the very ending actually scared me in a way. You who have seen it know what the hell I am talking about.

This is a very well-received movie. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it got a score of 7,4/10. “Carrie” was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best Actress (Spacek) and Best Supporting Actress (Piper Laurie). 

“Carrie” is a very creepy horror movie with a very uneasy atmosphere with a good but still a little sloppy plot, great acting, great music, fantastic directing and an awesome final act. Time for my final score. BOO! My final score for “Carrie” is an 8,74/10. I do think it’s still worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Carrie” is now completed.

“The Month of Spooks” is on.

Movie Review: The Shining (1980)

shining

Stephen King is an interesting author. His bibliography is such a mixed bag of genres and stories that it’s incredible. Now to be honest, the only books by King I have read are his “Dark Tower” books, so I don’t know much about his writing (Sidenote: The “Dark Tower” books are fucking amazing, go read them). I am however interested in what he has to offer. So let’s review a movie that is based on one of his books, but apparently deviates a lot from it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Shining”.

In “The Shining” we follow writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) who moves into a hotel with his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and his son Danny (Danny Lloyd) over the winter to get some quiet solitude/inspiration for his writing. But things aren’t as normal as they may seem. Something is strange about this hotel, something that makes Jack lose his mind and begin both verbally and physically attack his family. And I will not say more about the plot because of how excellent it is and it is rather easy to get into spoilers. But what I can say is that the plot of the movie is very well-written, incredibly suspenseful and it messes with your mind at any point it can. The amount of twists and mind-bending plot-points really work for the movie and they all make you doubt your own sanity.

The characters in this movie are pretty interesting. Sure, they are all messed up in some way, but they are at least interesting. Let me also explain why they are all messed up. Jack lost his mind and became violent (he has also hurt his son once), Danny seems to have some strange ability and/or psychological issue. And Wendy is messed up because she is played by Shelley Duvall who looks like she was left in the washing machine for too long. I know, that was mean, but you know it’s true!

This movie uses an interesting mix of songs for it’s soundtrack. It uses both a few original tracks by Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind. Then we have a lot of “classic” tracks by a few composers whose names I will not write out here, go search for them. Anyway, all of the tracks used in the movie are great and really help set the creepy and often disturbing mood that the movie has.

This movie was directed by Stanley Kubrick (R.I.P) and it is gorgeous to look at. The shots are some of the best I have ever seen. Sure, “A Clockwork Orange” looked great too, but this movie is just pure eye-candy. I especially love the scenes where the camera continuously follows Danny on his little Tricycle, those scenes are just amazing to look at. They are also pretty impressive considering this movie came out in 1980. But I guess Kubrick was just ahead of his time. This is also one of the few movies that has legitimately scared me… yeah. You see, I don’t easily get scared. Mostly because I don’t consider jumpscares actual scares. I have also not really found any movie that scares me. The only really scary movie I had seen before this was “Requiem For A Dream” and that isn’t even a horror movie.

This movie has been very well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 61/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars and added it to his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,5/10 and is ranked #58 on the “Top 250” list.

“The Shining” is one of the few horror movies I actually have enjoyed (and gotten scared by). It has an excellent story, great performances, tense and atmospheric music and some of the most fantastic direction I have ever seen. Time for my final score.  JEFF! WHERE ARE YOU!? *Breaks door*. HEEEERE’S JOHNNY! But seriously, give me the fucking envelope so we can be done with this. Thank you. My final score for “The Shining” is a 9,88/10. IT definitely deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Seal of Approval

“The Shining” is now reviewed.

I’m not gonna hurt you, I’m just gonna bash your brains in!