Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Zero Theorem (2014)


You know what before I go anywhere I want to try to explain the plot of this movie. And you know what I am going to do something I have never done before... Borrow the explanation from good old IMDB: A computer hacker whose goal is to discover the reason for human existence continually finds his work interrupted thanks to the Management; namely, they send a teenager and lusty love interest to distract him.

Yup that's the explanation. But you know what I'm going to sum it up a little better... A guy, Qohen, does nothing for a whole movie while occasionally cool scenes and graphics happen around him. Oh and Matt Damon channels his inner Philipp Seymour Hoffman.

Listen, this is a Terry Gilliam film. The man behind the lens for Time Bandits, 12 Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and his oft regarded masterpiece - Brazil. He is a legend. When you go into a Gilliam film you understand that you will be witnessing film, as seen through the mind of an artist that though perhaps not always on point... never short of imagination and originality.

I hate to be a bother, but Nurse? I'll need to see some ID. 

So was this film good? Yes. Was it great? No. Hell I'm not even sure it was good. But it wasn't bad... see the thing is the idea is sound. The future as seen through the imagination of the screen writer, Pat Rushin, and the eye of Gilliam, is a sea of ads and non purpose. One scene in particular with people carrying around their tablets at a party struck a particular sort of mock genius. Another has a laundry list of "don'ts" by way of signs posted to the side of a park. These ideas, and the as expected, amazing visuals, help to create a very interesting world. The trouble is... they really do nothing with it.

I mean Christopher Waltz is brilliant, the supporting cast is brilliant, but other than a few scenes, they really have  nothing to do. As this film is about proving that there is nothing to existence, is that in fact the message within the nothingness of the film? Oooooo I'm over thinking. Really though why is it just when we begin to unravel the possibilities of the Zero Theorem and the supposed connection between body and soul... and love as a possible counter to the zero theorem? Maybe? The film ends and really you are left with 100 minutes of a 107 minute movie that was Mr. Waltz in a broke down building looking awkward.

Still enticing but hardly a masterpiece. Yes. I get it. There is a large group of people that will pull a ton of messages out of this film. They will call them "Deeper Truths" and tell you that you just didn't get it, and this is thinking man's scifi. You know what, F em. 12 Monkeys was thinking man's scifi and it had a coherent plot. Brazil was a twisted mind wrap, and yet it was enjoyable and coherent. Hell, even The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus still came together for a pay off in the end. This film carries a heavy message and even manages to involve you a little more than it has any right to thanks to the wonderful acting... but at the end of the day, no real payoff, and nothing really.

Just a naked guy standing in water.


It is a visual wonder. The moments that really move you, are so beautiful you wait for them to involve... become something more... but then often end almost as soon as they begin. Terry Gilliam is a director who I will always follow. And Christopher Waltz is an actor that demands to be witnessed.... but here, the story was big, and bold, and could have been the kind of story to stay with the word decades from now... as it is. I imagine it as simply Kinda kool, and really weird. Just feels they know the answer... they being the filmmakers... and really forgot to let you in on it.

movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Scifi Scale 3 out of 5 stars.

ONE LINE REVIEW - Artsy. Confusing. Confusion. 

As I am with any Terry G flick my hopes are set perhaps too high. A last thought the female lead Melanie Thierry was great. I dare say she held her own more than easily alongside Mr. Waltz. No small task. Well done!

- Charles B. Boonsweet

Divergent (2014)


So, for good, and mostly bad, we are in the era of teen books to big screen sensations. The good, Harry Potter, to the bad, Twilight, and the worse... that I really do not need to name here. SO am I the only one that groaned a little out loud when I heard yet another series was getting the Trilogy treatment... wait I mean - Quadrilogy (as all the new series now turn the last book into two films  - Hello $$$$). And then groaned again, slightly louder, and with a lean back... when you found out that it was about a future with social problems, and a young woman that rises up to challenge the future douche bags that wish to control everyone... like oh I don't know Hunger Games. 

Can anyone freakin' blame me with that damn poster? I mean, it's just pure cheese... 

Well Katniss, meet Tris. Yes, dammit I know even the freaking names are similar.... But! BUT! I was wrong. Maybe there is hope for a few of these series yet, because this here franchise starter was a blast.

You story goes... In the future society is broken up into well, pretty damn wonderful factions. The problem is one faction has decided they should rule instead of the super kind people. Uh-Oh. They plan on using the faction system to allow for a takeover, and well, these folks called divergents that have no set class, and can think freely (always dangerous for future Dystopian society rulers) must be destroyed first. Guess what our lead lady is? Yup. Luckily she'll make friends and together they might just have a chance to save the world.

In the future all doors are Jump Doors. Knock. Leap.
Ok. There's a lot there, or well, maybe not that much depending on how you look at it. Can I just pause for a moment and ask why no future ever seems to have over weight people? Seriously can we ponder this? Do they cure fat? Did Macdonalds close... So many questions that I must have ANSWERED!

Sigh. Another time I guess.

Man this world is full of pretty people. Moving past that, and a few of surface issues with the simplicity of the class structure... Kind people, people that can't lie, etc... this film is a hoot from open to close.

1) they rely on a sharp and fast moving script 2) the acting is great. I mean no one dials it in here. Even the bit actors seem determined to earn every dollar.

That makes all the difference. Unlike some of these Based on the International Bestseller movies there is no dragging part in the middle. You might put a few things together well in advance if you are a genre buff like well... your friendly neighbourhood blogger here. But the fun, and speed of the story make sure you enjoy the heck out of it anyway. Shailene Woodley. Well, all signs point to her being the next Jennifer Lawrence... wait is that too soon? Is Jennifer Lawrence still Jennifer Lawrence? Wasn't she the next Julia Roberts?

Screw it. Point is the girl has some serious acting chops. Now with this film raking in the dough and The Fault in our stars taking tonnes of cash from crying teenagers everywhere... well, we do have ourselves a genuine superstar.

The art of Mime, is now a matter of life and death.
I heard some complaining about the fights, and some of the hand to hand, given that Tris is a rather small frail creature, but I didn't really mind it. They are well filmed and for the most part she is just hitting someone with an elbow or a boot. I don't care if you weigh 110. That will still damage someone.

The direction is top notch. Neil Burger who I have enjoyed since The Illusionist. One of those sadly under seen films (You can grab it for 5$ in the blu-ray bin - DO IT!). I'm saying the man has skills and they show up here. He pushes the budget as much as he can and when it fails him, he trusts his eye to capture the tale, and his actors, in some truly beautiful shots. And who knew the man could do action...

Keep in mind they made this film with 85 million. Compared to some of the money being thrown down on these films (130 million for the second Hunger Games for example) they got a nice return on there buck.

This rates as another great surprise from an unexpected source. I really had fun with this film. Listen if you are going to complain about the story being done before, well, you should probably just ignore all film then. And sic-fi, well I've said this before. There really is only two (arguably 3) story structures from which all Sci-Fi is born.

Great pace. Great cast. Great fun. And yes, a message for the younger folks.

Movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
Sci-fi Scale 3.5 out of 5 stars

ONE LINE REVIEW - The best of the YA adaptations so far. 

I can't believe I am saying this... but actually really looking forward to the next film. Hopefully they keep the fun, and fast moving nature of this film intact.

-Chuck B.

Monday, July 28, 2014

All Cheerleaders Die (2013)


A horror movie involving a bunch of wicked sexy cheerleaders? Yup. I'm in.
Give me an "R" - R!
Give me an "E" - E!
Alright... screw it. I was gunna spell REVIEW but I'm not fit, and well, my pom poms... are here for different purposes (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Let's get up in this yo. Your story goes - A girl joins the cheerleading squad to tear them apart (revenge of the outcast type stuff, of course she is wicked cute). This leads to lesbian sessions, violence, undead cheerleaders, a witch bitch with some magic rocks, and a jock with a hard on for killing cheerleaders.

Yup. There you go. Tell me that plot line don't get you excited. It should. Ok, before the good... a quick note.

I want to take a moment and share with you a small, very small, problem. This is a B Horror film the likes of which we haven't seen in a while. Yet, at their core, these are films that despite the female fans out there... are made for a demographic that consists of 90% young men... and men who used to be young men, and boys that will be young men... sooooo....

THE ISSUE is, you have a movie crammed with super sexy cheerleaders, an R rated one no less... blood flying around, and sadly the naughty, is pretty dang limited (frowny face)...

Thumbs... are... *nom nom... so delicious... mmmm
I know, I know, I'm petty. I can't help it, I lived through the glory days of the slasher. 1. Violence 2. Sex. 3. cool, ... thems the rules. The blueprint. Maybe, in with these politically corrected rules, rampant sex, drugs, and the consequences that come with are no longer cool... Wait, what about that Friday the 13th remake...

Back to the film. Other than that one admittedly insignificant issue... this is hands down one of the best indie horror films I have seen in a long time. Blueprint point 1 + 3 - in spades. Perhaps almost as important the "Kids" in the film look like kids. Well, at least they look no more than early 20s ... as opposed to a film where the highschoolers look like they're 35 and left their kids in the trailer at the back of the set. My Billy Joe, what a sweet 5 O'clock shadow you have. 

Next up, not only is the main cast, sexy, and age appropriate... they can act. Mostly smaller names, to complete no names... but this is a cast that came to throw down. Caitlin Stasey as the lead, more than she appears type lady is great, and Brooke Butler is rather wonderfully crazy - and all kinds of a sexy good time. And you know how they can throw down? THE SCRIPT rocks. Finally... FI-NAl-LEE, a horror film that doesn't have to try so hard to be cool it simply is.

How many times have you watched a film labelling itself - A throw back to the glory days of horror. 80s horror at its core. A love letter to the golden era of the slasher... blah blah blah. Those films try so painfully bad to be cool, and just can't be... because you have to be your own film... and stake your awesomeness on that without trying to be something! You can't just follow the rules you have to make your own cool within em folks, take notes Booniacs.  The lines come quick, smart, and I had more than a few giggle and high five moments with my boys.

She's... right behind me isn't she... 
Wait, do men giggle? Right, um we laughed with a manly tone and then chest bumped.

The story takes a ton of crazy twists but the writing un like sooooooo many of the films I have be disappointed by (most listed on this here very blog)... keeps up. The cast relishes and sells every bit of crazy and it is a BLAST! Blood, zombies, stoners, and one poor nice guy... this film never stops to catch it's breath once it gets going.

Yes. You can find a few flaws if you really dig into it. You have to except a certain level of lunacy... and I say this all the time... You have to acknowledge the Lightening theorem. That is what I bring up any time someone says they love the 80s/90s horror but hate the new stuff. Listen they resurrected JASON with a lightening bolt. That was it. Jason was dead, and then lightening hit him and he was up and ready to kill. FREDDY killed you in your dreams! In your freaking dreams.

I think it's only fair I accept lesbians with magic floating rocks. Right? Enough with this horror hypocrisy. And... Body double boobs.

Bottomline this film is pure fun, energy, and cool. All three show up occasionally in the indie horror genre. But together? That is a rarity. The writers and directors, really knew what they had here.

A great gory treat. Right along the lines of DETENTION (review HERE ) as just a balls out crazy fun bit of genre film making. I hope this one finds the audience it deserves.

I will say the boys vs Girls thing got a little out of hand, but I didn't hate it. Woulda liked nice boy to get a little more for his efforts. Maybe a Goth chick vs Jock superpower showdown, but hey, sequel to follow I'm sure.

Movie scale 3 out of 5 stars
Horror scale 4 out of 5 stars

Ya, this is a film for a specific crowd, and to that crowd I will say - enjoy! To the rest, if it ain't your thing, don't be hatin'

- Charles B Boonsweet is off to work on my tumbling... And by work on my tumbling I mean lie on my floor and stare at my TV.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Chiller Classics present: Night Warning (1982)

Welcome my friends to Chiller Classics, where I Charles Bartholomew Boonsweet take you on a trip to the olden, sometimes golden, days of horror.  Hopefully I will introduce you to some fine genre flicks you may not have heard of, either because of how old they are or how obscure, and break down some gory, chill filled, education in Horror History 101. And for those of you who are already well versed in the "good ol' days" of horror, hopefully this will help bring back some nostalgic memories and maybe entice you to see some of these classics again.

I just have to start by saying, that is one of the sweetest posters of the 80s slasher boom. I mean drink in that 80s charm. No teen floating heads here, nope, just creepy, with a solid tag line - "Butcher, Baker, nightmare maker" True the film is generally known by it's alternate title... But then again this film has yet to make it past the VHS era... so really, "Known" is a strong word.

Your Plot: Psycho Aunt raises nephew, with a very hands on, you're the centre of my world approach. Everything is going just fine until the nephew, Jimmy, turns 17 and his hormones, and basketball skill hit the scene. Yup. Girls want him, and it looks like the university of Denver might just hook Jimmy up with a scholarship. Aka a one way ticket outta town. And Aunt Cheryl can't have that. She'll have to murder and scheme to keep Jimmy home. Bring on the blood.

This movie may well have been called Mrs. Voorhees unleashed. There is no denying the inspiration for the film. Susan Tyrell as the lead is amazing. Channels every bit of maternal crazy she can muster and then some. Absolutely made the movie. And she is not alone the acting all around is more than a few body parts above the usual 80s indie lineup.

Oh when you have that back itch you just can't reach...
But that takes us to the heart of the horror, if you will, the brains of the piece, the severed spine... okay you get it... you get it... THE SCRIPT is actually a lot of fun here. I should mention this is either the most anti Gay film I have ever seen, or the most supportive. I'm really not sure. It has been so long since I have seen the subject handled in this here "Gloves off kiddies" approach I will probably need some time to process. I do think it accurately shows some of the feelings during that time period, while providing strong characters against such thoughts.

But that curiosity in itself is not the only gem in this here script. No, Bo Svenson as the would be smart Detective, is a blast in every seen. He is so crass and determined he is right, that right up until the end he's in the dark, and so gleefully unaware that it makes for some great back and forths with the other characters.

Ok let's touch base on some need to knows.

GORE: More than a little but not a lot. Most of the violence is by knife so not a whole lot of meaty bits, but a Ton of blood, and well... more blood. I have no complaints.

So you're saying, sex is good, homeschooling is bad...
SCARES: You know what I am gunna say it, and I am as surprised as you, there was some genuine creepy moments in here. I don't know if I was scared, but there was some real suspense. The entire last 15 minutes is great. I mean showdowns (and you Booniacs knows how I love my showdown), twists, and at the end of all of it....

THE ENDING: Satisfaction... oh sweet sweet satisfaction. They even hit you with a "This is where these characters are" as if it was a real life story. GOLD.

I honestly have no major complaints other than poor picture quality, and lack of a budget. This is a film that needs BLURAY. #ScreamFactory #BlueUnderground #SynapseFilms ... #Arrow ... where is this movie? Why is it not in a slick new case, with tonnes of extras, looking sexy on my shelf?

Movie Scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
Horror Scale 3.5 out of 5 stars

If you get the chance, get your bloody hands on this! A lot of fun.

- Chuck B.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Snowpiercer (2013)

I think I can, I think I can... I think... (little engine joke)

First, this movie did drop in 2013. I get that. But with all the back and forth with the studio and the director's determination (with I much respect) to present finished project, well, it took a while to get here. And now here it is, and boy howdy do we seem to have a divide in opinion. One side of the critical universe is praising this as a modern Science Fiction master piece, and the other half, is more or less calling bullshit, and saying it's slightly at par at best... Hmmmm... primetime for Ol' Boonsweet to slide in with his seven cents.

Your plot: The world froze, everyone died. Except for those that made it aboard the train. This train now circles the globe endlessly, to avoid freezing. At the rear of the train, the poor, and starving, live in cramped space and eat protein jellies. At the front of the train, the mysterious Willfort. Who designed the train, and has maintained it for 17 years. Well the folks at the back of the train are done watching people kill them, abuse them, and they are ready to put a crazy plan in motion to reach the front of the train and change shit up.

DO you get the little engine that could title now? No, well, screw it I'm leaving it as is!

Man there are some cool visuals here. As the rebels proceed forward from the back of the train each car is as much a wonder to them as it is to us - the viewers. Joon-ho Bong, the director, has created a film that lives and breaths with this universe. From the little moments to the crazy action scenes, this is an example of a director at the height of his talents. Let me tell you some of the action is top notch, vicious, and violent. You will cringe at least once.

I know what you're thinking. That is not Flava Flav. 
Now before I go any further I need to explain one thing. And man it bothered me. At the beginning of the film when the Rebels (led by the very talented Chris Evans) are planning their escape to the next car, they clearly explain there is a 4 second window to get through three doors. Then when it happens it is definitely... absolutely... for sure... longer than 4 seconds. Ok. I get it. Things like this fall through the cracks. But if you are setting out to create this would be genius of a film, DON"T DO SOMETHING SO BLATANTLY STUPID!

(deep breath)

Ok. So right away I realized there would be some holes in our story here. And there were. Little things, but with how great the performances are, and for the most part the writing... they can be forgiven, mostly... Ah come on I'm a blogger. There has to be ranting of some kind right? Right?

Performances. Top notch. Chris Evans, if you haven't jumped on board his talents, now is the time. The man has been criminally underrated for years... nice to see him get credit as Captain America these days. Sunshine... if you want to see how good Evans has been and for how long, there you go. How about the supporting team Tilda Swinton (as a flamboyant member of the controlling elite), Jaime Bell (as Chris Evans second), Ed Harris... I mean the cast is stacked. There are a few conversations that without the effort of the cast the tone may have been lost. Especially towards the end... Seriously intense stuff.

Um, hey, Bob, did you forget to cut eyeholes in yours too? 
However, there aforementioned issues that really hold this film back from being great, like super duper great. 1. The little silly things I mentioned before... like when it seems they were just Um we are already an hour and a half into this film, damn, let's just jog to the end of the train. Or 2. More or less changing the game in the final act. I get twists. I get the message. The difficulty of difficult choices... Needs of the many out weighing the sacrificing of the many... Blah, blah, but it really does slow the whole thing to a freaking crawl for about 20 minutes.

I mean from full car brawls, and mind bending revelations... to lets sit and talk about our feelings... and then let's talk some more.

But I do think there is enough here, actually more than enough, for me to really say - SEE IT. It's definitely one of the better genre flicks to hit recently, and with the talent in front and behind the camera... worth it. Plus, I couple those twists, caught me... I mean I saw the bigs ones coming, but the little twists... the children for example... (thats all I'm saying)

Is it the masterpiece some would have you believe? Honestly... the grounds are just too trampled. These is grade A standard Scifi plot. Rich society holding down the poor and unfortunate society. In a future post apocalypse. But perhaps that is the reason it is so easy to slide into the narrative without asking too many questions... Hmmmm? Kinda like when James Cameron dressed up the oldest idea in science fiction in real pretty effects and made 2 billion worldwide... :) (zing!)

Easily in the top 5 scifi flicks of the last few years, and heads and shoulders above Elysium (another film that dropped recently with a similar plot, and lets rebel and reach the command centre).

Movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
Scifi Scale 3.5 out of 5 stars

Choo Choo. My energy train is off the rails... bed time... probably. Maybe...

-Chuck B.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Artsy Scarly Jo


Hmmm. How to start this here review. I guess, really for a film like this I need a brief intro to the review and exactly how I look at film. Listen. Folks. Boonicas. Buckleheads. All you loveable fans of things moving pictures. There are great films. There are films simply to entertain. Then, then there are films made for the simply purpose of exploring the art that is film (I will also allow for the 4th category - CRAP! Which may be argued is, in fact, the aforementioned 'Art' category). I have an appreciation for film that goes down to gushy parts of my core. And, on occasion I do fine love for those projects that explore the art form.

Mostly because it is so very hard to do properly. Often while exploring the boundaries of art director's, writers, hell even actors lose themselves too completely in the idea and forget the fact that no matter the purpose... it is a film.

Am I going blogs Deep here? Probably. I get caught up, after a film like this film I gotta step up my game .... Screw dat.

I promise you. There will be no CPR. 

This is what I'm saying. Art has always been a part of film. Those film that come out and meet mixed reviews and get lost in the annals of history, only to be found decades later and hailed as influential and representative of what is the freedom of film.

Ok. Point is sometimes it works (Beyond the Black Rainbow) and sometimes it goes horribly horribly wrong (My legendary bashing of Only God forgives ). This folks in my mind is a grand success in the art of film.

Your plot is as such... I have no freaking idea. Ha! Didn't expect that did cha! No. Well kind of. Scarlett Johansson is some creature (Alien, thing, robot?) and she travels seducing men and well, apparently sucking their juices. Listen. I can't really get into too much here because there were a few genuine take my breath away moments... i would hate to remove from the experience in the slightest. I will say this... she eventually decides to maybe check the world out around her, and weird dudes on motorbikes hunt for her...

Scarlett gets naked. Yes. If you heard of this movie. That is probably how. But the point is, hell, if that brings a few more million curious parties to watch this... who cares, and I challenge anyone to simply "Mr. Skin" this flick. There is simply too much here. The nudity when it does come is twisted up in the strange goings on that I couldn't even appreciate it... ok... I marginally appreciate it... Ok I still appreciated it... but really the film and the character study is so damn involving that it barely registered as the momentous event my younger self would demand it be.

Ya. Honestly. I wouldn't put up a fight either. 

And that is one damn fine testament to this film. Much like another twisted piece of Indie cinema - Beyond the Black Rainbow - This film is a complete assault on the senses. Rather than weighing down the story with script this is really about experiencing the world through the 5 senses. What you see. What you Taste. What you hear. What you touch. What you smell... ok that last one does really come into play. Ok not so much taste either... dammit... I'm saying it will melt your brain.

THIS FILM IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. I mean that. This is next level art, and all honesty I could watch this with 5 of my boys and have 3 of them turn to me and say "Serious Bro, what the sweet hell are you putting me through here?" But then again those other two would be the guys chatting this movie up with me for hours after over a few fine glasses of wine... hahaha... no. I mean beer. Sweet sweet beer.

Two scenes absolutely rocked me in this film. Do you love film. New ideas. Visually having your brain punched. This is it. Under the black pool. And the face to face. Those 2 scenes, just wowed me. The director - Johnathan Glazer, came as no surprise when I looked him up that he has worked with Massive Attack and Radiohead. The visuals have a similar twisted feel to some of the videos from their catalogue.

This is right up there so far... my second biggest surprise of 2014. Had no idea what to expect here what I got was a quiet, strange, piece of Indie Sci-fi, that might just find an audience... And to those out there that will criticize Scarlett's cold acting in this film (she is defs channelling her character from The Island )... I thought it worked brilliantly, especially when contradicted by the insanity and jarring nature of a few of the scenes.

All around amazing piece of filmmaking. Not a film for entertainment (unless you are a Videot like myself lol) but to simply experience how film can affect you... Do IT... and I hope to here some of your thoughts on this here piece... I imagine there will be quite the debate amongst peeps.

Movie scale 3.5 out 5 stars
WTF scale 4 out of 5 stars

Chuck B. Boonsweet saying... No I will not get in your van Scarlett. No. Not even if you have candy. And Corona? You have candy and corona... Dammit... No. No I am not... Candy, Corona... and the latest issue of #Horrorhound magazine? Ok. Fine. Take me.



Monday, July 14, 2014

Cause I'm hungry like... the... wolf-ape-man thing

ANIMAL (2014)

I'm on a horror kick. Because well, halloween is only 4 months away don't-cha-know. Ok. I jumped the gun a little. Just been on a horror kick lately. These things happen. And well, I don't get on a horror kick as often as I used to... and you know why? Of course you do, because as a horror fan I know I have to wade through so much crap to find me a nugget of horror gold... that... well... it just hurts to much...


Ah who am I kidding. I'm a horror film. AKA a sucker for punishment. So Animal a flick about a monster terrorizing campers... show me what you got.

PLOT: Friends go to woods. Monster attacks and eats people.

Do you need more? Not really. I mean there's a few tidbits... holding up in a cabin with other survivors. Your usual pretty kids, distrustful survivor that has given up hope in the wake of watching his woman get eaten. Ya. You don't need anymore, so let's just jump right in it.

Sometimes. You just need to be held. 
Hey, well, I wasn't bored! What do you know. I can not fault this flick for going full tilt boogie right off the hop. Bloody chunks are flying, bodies are hitting the foliage... all around great start. Now sadly we do run into script issues for instance this conversation takes place. After the girl makes a rather intelligent point as to the motivations of the creature... her man/boy responds with... and this is word for word...

"You can't keep doing this. You're overthinking. It's just an animal. That's it. And what's happening in here - to us. Is happening because it just is. To figure out why that it's happening, it doesn't help us"

Take a moment. Really drink those lines up. So the creature you just got a clear look at. That clearly is unlike any other animal you, dear boyfriend character, could have ever seen in real life or select HD TV programming. I mean. Who cares. It's just an animal. No point in thinking about it.

hahahahaha. Oh geez. Did I mention that same character asks "What's it doing?" in reference to the Animal about ten seconds later.

One quick note before I move on from the writing. Okay. Two. First the scene with the cell phone working (albeit briefly) was a nice touch. And the fact that they supposedly get a message out. Kind of cool really. Seriously whens the last time a cell worked in the woods in a horror flick? Now another negative... this "Animal" is quite a bitch. I mean. it seems all super powerful and fast and oh but whats that thing... it's one weakness that it can't defeat... a broke down thin walled cabin. I mean it could just come through and eat them whenever... but then I guess we wouldn't have a movie. Let's move on, ok. I just had to say it. But there is a lotta good here.

The monster looks very cool. All practical. The script when it's on is fast moving and fun. The actors are all very invested in it, and a way above most indie flicks. Elizabeth Gillies of well, probs 90% of the shows your under 13 demographic watches... Jeremy Sumpter of Friday Night Lights and Peter freaking Pan... Paul Ianco the infamous Mr. RJ Berger himself... a few other faces in the mix too with some cred. They all give their A game here, but sometimes the lines are so cheesy... and crossed with how straight its played I almost felt like I was watching a comedy... then 30 seconds later... no Pretty sure it's a straight horror... then 30 secs... ah whatever I just rolled with it.

And once you just roll... its a pretty fun time. Some good suspense. Even got a jump outta ol' Chuck Boonsweet here... one, and it was legit... so.. I'm man enough to admit it.

Man, really gotta say, the performances really stand out here. How often can you say the acting holds an B-horror film together. The creature sound effects, and the sound in general are very well handled. The directing too... Brett Simmons isn't new to the genre and he knows how to film carnage let me tell ya. This film had a few interesting backers... like Drew Barrymore for example (whaaaaaaat) but the direction still gave the film a polished look well beyond the still small budget...

I think really the only thing missing was a solid party in the woods scene to start. Bring a little sexy to the proceedings... but hey. Fun fun flick. Gore galore. Some decent scares. I can't really bring down too much thunder especially in the wake of the horrid horror descending on us fine blood loving folk as of late.

If you are looking for a modern, full practical, creature feature. That moves among fast, and drops more than a few bodies... this is for you.

Movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Horror movie scale 3 out of 5 stars

Well alright. Here's hoping this starts a solid trend with the upcoming horror season...

Boonsweet is out this forest yo. Reminding you all, messing with nature creates murdering creatures... #GreenPeace. :)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Widows are angry...


The opening of this film is so pointless I almost chuckled. Now, before I get into that, I wanna say I know this is an indie production (with ShockTillYouDrop.com involved no less). So there are allowances I will make for independent productions. Effects. Acting. But writing don't cost a thing. So there ain't no excuse for bad writing.

So this opening. A guy with a camera wanders onto an abandoned property. Only it's not abandoned, it is home to the BLOOD WIDOW (insert scary music here). Really, there is no reason for this scene to exist. I get putting it into the film if you killed the photo guy in a horrible and awesome way and then cut to a guitar rift for the title drop... But no. The death is in the dark, and without awesomeness.

The story a young couple are buying a house... and you know what I'm gunna stop this right there and say What the hell is this couple doing buying a house? I mean it's like they met at a party on friday and bought the house on sat. They have no real chemistry, in fact, it seems they really don't know each other that well... ah whatever. Sigh. Writing. So anyway, this new house is beside evil Blood Widow house, and when the friends wander over to explore... Blood Widow is unleashed.

OMG. There's 37 minutes of this movie left. Run. Runnnnnnnn.

The editing and the sound are well, not good at some parts. But again, I can allow for this, independent horror - WHOOP! What's that? You brought a crossbow to your new house... Ya. Why not - Might have to shoot a moose or something (actual line from the film).

Ok. Look. Horror doesn't need much... but there is so little here you will actually want to tap out like ten minutes in. And you can, unless you run a blog, where you try to inform the world about just such things... in that case you have to man up... sit there and take it. Because you are a critic... a hero to the masses... trying to save them from the horrors of the film world...

I should probably get a cape. After this. A cape.

There is no redeeming quality to anyone in this film. The boyfriend is a Jerk. The girlfriend is well, backboneless. The friends... I mean really who does this... in this order. 1)Break into an abandoned house. 2) Start breaking things 3)piss on the floor. Ya. In that order. Hahaha I mean what the hell? ShockTillYouDrop... You rely entirely on the horror genre. How could this get by? It's really not that hard to make a decent slasher.

The directing is really bad here. One scene in particular stands out when a guy is suppose to surprise his girl. You know, for a jump scare, only the camera is positioned so you can actually catch a glimpse of him behind her before he grabs her. Coooooooome on people.

Me and my corner store crossbow got this. 

Gore. Cool. Boobs. Funny. Scary. Gore. That's it.

Listen I know there are those out there that are like - Hey Boony, don't be so mean. I mean these crazy kids are just living their dream, making a movie. Yes. I get that. And bravo. But there are just too many good, or slightly more than bad, indie horror films out there with micro budgets to excuse this film. Empty Rooms comes to mind as a film with a similar budget that still managed to be a)a little creepy and 2) kinda cool... why? and how? Writing, and some inventive camera work...

There is nothing, and I mean nothing to make this film stand out. Every part of it is trying to be something that has already been done and done better 1.82 million times.

Oh, and in case violence might be enough... and hey, I would understand that my dear GoreHounds... There is some violence. Yes you've seen it a the aforementioned amount of times (Knife in stomach intestines fall out) but hey, if you like practical, maybe you might get a smile at a couple of the endings. You know what hell I'll say this... the gore and the killer were probably cool enough that of every other aspect of the film didn't suck they might of had something here... not a lot but, something.

Doesn't everyone know about the double tap now? If you just watched the last ten minutes... and skipped the first whatever... Ok Damn it I'm just trying to find something positive here. A WIDOW IS A WOMAN THAT HAS LOST HER HUSBAND, NOT A GIRL THAT LOST HER FAMILY... (cough, deep breath) sorry just had to say that.

Movie scale 0.5 out of 5 stars
Horror scale 1.5 out of 5 stars (just for the blood)

Gotta say I am looking forward to Gathering with my boys this week for a good ol' fashioned horrorathon. Some HD classics... oh yes. Yet part of me is sad I keep finding myself returning to the classics for my fix... dammit!

-Charles B. Boonsweet.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Deliver us from the mediocre


I almost feel I should legit stop any and all bitching... I mean I'm not going to, but almost :)

The reason being, this here is a bonafied, budgeted flick, with a A list star (Eric Bana), some amazing sound and lighting... I mean this is it. A good old fashioned horror flick that would be right at home in the 90s revival when studios were dumping cash on any horror script that came their way. I mean, I love it... First the conjuring last year... then this this year. I mean maybe... maybe it means we'll get more than one mainstream well produced non shaky hand held horror film a year... well a horror fan can hope... and hope... and hope...


Your story goes... An ancient evil is prowling the streets of new york. Causing normal citizens to do things like beat their wives and throw their children into lion's dens. OH-NO. Luckily on the side of the new yorkers... A street Wise cop with a strange "radar" for the paranormally stuff (Bana) and his Fred Durst looking partner (ya some of you don't know who that is, fine, those that do, watch this flick and try to tell me he don't look like Mr. Limp Bizkit) also a priest that drinks a bit but knows his demon procedures.

This is what happens when you run out of posits. 

Let's start with the good. And really, there's a surprisingly decent amount of good. The direction is pretty dang good... yes Jump scares galore. Cats. Closets. Beds. Every single jumps scare you can imagine... but remember I said this was a big studio horror flick. That should not imply originality or lack of jump scare tactics. However, they were very well executed. Even playing on the fact that you (meaning the seasoned horror fan) would be expecting the jump scare so they make you wait... and trick you and then BAM! They actually got me a couple times.

Next up, and perhaps the most important, lighting. Bow freaking howdy is this some lighting. What's that? All you punks dialling up shots while you bask in my Movie breakdowns just leaned back from your mobile device and said "Shhhhhhhhhhite is Ol' Boony talking bout that there lighting?" Yes. Yes I am because I appreciate the little things. Like socks fresh out the dryer... and suicide sauce with my pizza... and some quality freaking lighting in my horror flicks.

You know how many times I have palm slapped my forehead going why do you have flashlights there is clearly another light source in this house that is suppose to have no power... well not year. Dark is dark, and there were some very cool just flashlight beam shots. Really ads to the suspense, and serious, all you indie filmmakers... pay attention to your lighting!

No seriously, you have lovely locks. 

Acting is top notch. Eric Bana holds down his New Yorker accent with authority... and lastly. There is some pretty solid gore, and action here. Even a stair way showdown. But I'll get to that in my wrap up... Now... the bad.

The freaking script is at times so bad I actually laughed. Bana's character does this thing throughout the film where he repeats things. Clearly because the scripture thought the audience wouldn't catch on. Listen, unless you are presenting this film to single celled enema WE GOT IT. There was actually a part where three times he repeats basically the last word of a suspects sentence. But the one that got me was when the possessed girl clearly says "Message" several times and he bends down to her and says - "Message. You got a message" I that point I thought New York was doomed.

The wrap is also pretty strange, since I'm pretty sure the possessed don't have recollections of possession... sooooo how exactly did they know where to look for the people? Hey, I'm not gunna get too into it, but the bottom line is... THIS IS A BIG BUDGET HORROR FLICK. And despite the horrid lapses in logic and jumpscares, I had fun. The one thing I was not expecting was the action aspect.

Much like another bog budget horror (and oft hated on) flick END OF DAYS there is actually a fair bit of action, and face paced nature. I appreciated that. The knife fight came out of nowhere and was pretty cool. The film goes by at a good clip, I was surprised to find out it was almost 2 hours long, felt more like 90 minutes.

SO take it as you will. I think any mainstream horror is a good thing lately... I mean it has all but vanished. What are we getting 3-4 a year? Ridiculous. It is silly at times, and the cats... oh the cats... but in the end, I had fun, and a couple scares... so really, I tried to keep my complaining to a minimum... mostly lol

movie scale 3 out 5 stars
horror scale 3 out of 5 stars

Oh and the "based on a true story" shite. Hahaha come on hollywood. Stop that.

Man I need me a new slasher. Please. A mask. So crazy back story lets doooo  this...

-Boonsweet out kiddies.