It Follows – Review

It Follows movie poster

It Follows is a great idea in search of a better movie.”

Based on all the hype that accompanied It Follows theatrical release, you’d think that David Robert Mitchell was the heir apparent to John Carpenter.

And I’m here to tell you it’s just not the case because It Follows is an awesome idea surrounded by a decent movie.  It’s not terrible by any stretch, though its not “One of the most striking American horror films in years” either.

Though that concept…Wow.  The antagonist of the movie is essentially a curse, a sexually-transmitted demon.  Once contracted, the only way to hold off death is to pass it on to someone else, who will have a limited amount of time to do the same.

If you fail to pass it on, it kills you, and works its way down the list of people who have slept with you.

I told you it’s an awesome concept.  I also liked the idea that the movie wasn’t targeting anyone because of sexually promiscuity (in fact, it could be argued that the more people you sleep with, the better off you would be).

The movie takes place in the present day, though the effective soundtrack has a 70’s vibe to it that hightens suspense.

Though as I implied, the movie has problems, the biggest of which is that it too quickly abandons the mythology it’s built up whenever convenient (Quentin Tarantino was right).

For instance, the creature isn’t stupid, but it’s slow and has to walk to get around. This often serves to heighten suspense–like a zombie, there’s an inevitability to the creature that faster-moving terrors often lack–but there’s some oddness that accompanies the behavior that doesn’t serve the movie well.

For instance, the creature just appears in really odd places, and if it could just turn up anywhere it wanted to, it undermines the whole idea of it walking.  For instance, there’s a moment when it turns up on the roof of a house.  Did it climb the roof?  And if so, why?  And if it didn’t, that means it could pretty much appear wherever it wanted, which as I said, pretty much kills the suspense the movie spent valuable time building.

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The Perfect Guy – Trailer 2

I don’t tend to catch thrillers in theaters (if it isn’t horror, science fiction or Marvel Studios I don’t tend to be too interested, truth be told) though when I saw the trailer for The Perfect Guy I was surprised at how effective the first trailer was.  I appreciate a slow burn, and the portrayal of Carter (Michael Ealy) as kind and considerate for at least half the trailer before he went full on Fatal Attraction.

The second trailer plays the same, with the addition of Screaming Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell On You” (speaking of which, I don’t know who sings the song. but Nina Simone would have been awesome).

The Perfect Guy probably going to make a bundle, if only because it seems geared at the African-American audience and probably has a relatively small budget (though Ealy isn’t exactly hard on the eyes).

I Suspect I Know Who Mads Mikkelson Is Playing In Marvel Studios’ Upcoming Doctor Strange

According to Superherohype, Mads Mikkelson (Hannibal) will have a role in Scott Derrickson’s upcoming Marvel Studios feature, Doctor Strange.

Assuming that to be true, they also let slip a little more information than they may have intended, because they also mention that he’ll be playing a villain.

And since Baron Mordo is taken, there’s only one real option, in my humble opinion because, while Doctor Strange has a pretty deep Rogue’s Gallery, most of them are so esoteric that–like Marvel is doing in the case of Thanos–they’ll more than likely use Strange’s introduction to reveal a character who’s presence will reverberate throughout the entire MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).

And that character will more than likely be…wait for it…Dormanmu (Eternity or the Living Tribunal would also be kind of awesome, but I suspect that it’s too early for either of them)!

image courtesy of Marveldirectory.com

Think about it, and I think you’ll agree that there are few Doctor Strange villains that they could introduce that would not only drive comics fans apeshit, but would impress casual viewers as well.

And Dormammu, played by Mikkelson, would be beyond incredible.

And this is where Scott Derrickson being a horror director will come into play, namely he has to create the atmosphere were one of Marvel’s stranger villains will not only appear realistic, but demonic and terrifying as well.

Something he’s well-equipped to do if you’ve seen either Sinister, Deliver Us From Evil or The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

And he actually has an interesting mythology, which should buttress his credentials, and connection, with the audience.

And keep in mind that Marvel has done this type of casting in the past, using big-name actors in roles that obscure the actor themselves, such as Vin Diesel as Groot in Guardians Of The Galaxy or James Spader, in Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

And Dormammu has the potential–especially if they stick to Steve Ditko’s original designs, as opposed to more modern interpretations of the character–to be absolutely unbelievable.

The Visual Effects of Marvel’s Daredevil

Daredevil openingWatching Netflix’s Daredevil, you’d probably be surprised to learn that a lot of the scenes that you thought were practical were actually digital.  For instance, the scene where Daredevil jumps from a window into the Hudson River?  Digital.

The fight between the titular hero and the red ninja in episode 9 – “Speak of the Devil“?  A lot of that was CGI as well (particularly Daredevil’s wounds and blood spatter).

I tend to be on the lookout for such things, yet I didn’t notice any of it which is a good reminder that CGI can be unobtrusive as well as bombastic.

Click here for an interview with Bryan Godwin, CEO and Executive VFX Supervisor for Shade VFX, the company that provided all the visual effects for Netflix’s Daredevil.

Lego DC Comics Superheroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom – Trailer

I am not a big fan of DC superheroes, though I am a huge fan of Legos (though to be fair I was weaned on Batman; as I got older my comic preferences shifted).

That being said, I enjoyed the somewhat goofy adventures of the Justice League from the cartoon, though I had soft spot for the villains, particularly Black Manta.

Though the base apparently modeled on Darth Vader’s head?  Priceless.

And speaking of Black Manta, his name was always a bit odd for me in that Manta Rays are black (with a white underside), so calling him Black Manta is sort of like a superhero named Brown Cougar or Gray Shark) though that was before I learned that he’s an African-American under that odd mask, and his story is a lot more interesting than you’d think.

And Aqua-Baby? Seriously (on top of Aquaman being the lamest of superheroes)?  No wonder I moved on to Marvel Comics.

Sinister 2 – Review

Sinister 2 movie poster

“The ideas behind Sinister 2 are a lot scarier than the movie itself.”

What bothered me most about Ciarán Foy’s Sinister 2 is pretty much exactly what bothered me about Scott Derrickson’s original film, namely that it takes an interestingly horrific idea–children committing heinous crimes–and virtually undermines it by looking at it from the perspective of an adult.

There’s a scene (one of many), when Dylan Collins (Robert Daniel Sloan) is being coerced into watching homemade snuff films made by the children, now disembodied ghosts, that killed their families for the demon, Bughuul (he of the hideously silly name, played by Nicholas King).

There’s an interesting addition to the mythology that indicates that when Dylan finishes watching the ghosts’ home movies, he would be compelled to murder his family, before being taken by the demon.

One horrific murder happens during Christmas, when one of the children kills his family and put the bodies in four graves (which I assume weren’t pre-dug) and buries them up to their necks.

Visually, it was pretty effective, though logically made no sense at all.

They died in their home, yet a young boy supposedly not only dragged four people (one of them probably weighing somewhere in the ballpark of 180-200 pounds) out of their home one at a time (no other way he could do so), then dug graves deep enough that when they lied down horizontally they could be easily buried?

Remember that I mentioned earlier that this happened during Christmas?  The reason it’s worth bringing back up is because earth. like anything else, freezes when cold, which makes it really hard to break.

And a little kid not only dug one shallow grave, but four others?   Extremely unlikely.

These overly elaborate murder scenarios–there’s another aptly titled ‘Fishing Trip’–took me out of the movie virtually every time they turned up, because while they may look horrific, they didn’t make any practical sense.

The movie between the frankly ridiculous ritual murders was pretty effective as we witnessed the ghosts trying to sway Dylan to their will, though there are few things less scary than children trying to look scary, when happens a lot in this movie.

Quibbles aside, Sinister 2 is worth catching because it’s genuinely atmospheric and Foy’s direction is effective, though as a movie it’s merely interesting, when it could have been terrifying.

And I would advise that you leave the theater three or four minutes before the movie finishes because the ending is just too dumb for such a smart director like Ciarán Foy.

Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse – Red Band Trailer

Christopher Landon’s Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse on the face of it looks like fun, and while I was a boy scout when I was younger, there’s something that has always felt a bit off-putting to me about people who don’t outgrow it.

That being said, the movie looks like there’s some potential for hilarity among the viscera.

And this is the Red Band Trailer, so it goes without saying that there’s copious amounts of the red stuff because, wasn’t it Clive Barker who said something to the effect that people are just like books, in that when we’re opened, we’re red.