2019 Film Awards (lost blog)

So I’ve now run out of films to review and might not be able to review any for quite a while. So to make up for it I’m going to be doing other blogs to fill in the time. This is a blog that was half-written but never posted as I realised it would be a bit weird to post a blog about the best films of 2019 in March of 2020, it felt a bit late. It felt like a shame as some of the films deserved me gushing over how brilliant they are, so now’s the time. Simple enough, I just needed to complete the half-written blog and post, easy. Well, it would have been if I didn’t delete the original like a fucking dumbass. So keep in mind a lot of this is based on films I haven’t seen for over half a year.

Most Disappointing

Killer Kate

I thought this would be fun. It looked fun, and it had a short run time, which for a film like this is usually an indicator that it will move at breakneck pace. The opening scene is a discussion between the killers, and it’s dull. The actual plot doesn’t kick off until way too far into it. Nowhere near as fun as it should be.

It Chapter Two

Far far too long, not enough Pennywise, and it had too many flashbacks of characters we knew were going to survive. It’s a shame as I genuinely love the first one, and I thought I enjoyed this. But the more distance I have from this film, the more the flaws are apparent.

Brightburn

I sent the trailer for this to someone I used to work with, that’s how much faith I had in this film. That faith was totally misguided. This film just did not work. The story was boring, it was too in debt to the Superman mythos to stand out on its own, and it wasted a brilliant premise. On the plus side I’m interested to see what happens next.

Ma

The trailer made it look better than it was. The issue is that it was building towards something we knew was happening. We were waiting for something to happen and to see how it would develop, instead what we were waiting for turned out to be the end. It would be like if Halloween only featured Michael Myers in the last 20 minutes.

Winner

Wolf

“It’s a werewolf movie set during ancient Roman times, this is going to be great”. Spoilers; it was not great. Yeah, you’re going to be seeing this film getting mentioned a lot in this blog, and there’s a reason for it.

Best Music

Wild Rose

I don’t really like country music, but I loved it in this. “Three chords and the truth” is how the character describes it, and when she sings, you believe it. I’ve watched the film once, about a year ago, and I still find myself occasionally singing the main song from it.

Childs Play

For two reasons: 1) the new version of the classic theme. 2) The Mark Hamil song that manages to be both kind of creepy, and like it comes from a kids TV show.

Us

Almost entirely because of the really good remix of I Got 5 On It. Although the use of Les Fleurs was damn near perfect.

Winner

Rocketman

It’s a shit load of Elton John songs, so of course it’s going be good. Taron Egerton is REALLY good at capturing his voice.

Best Looking

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu

This film should have more uncanny valley moments than it does. Plus the visual world-building is a sight to behold.

Rocketman

It’s not easy to do a film about Elton John. You need to make it look flamboyant without being distracting. This film manages it. It turns out Dexter Fletcher is really good at this, genuinely wouldn’t have guessed.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Yes, I didn’t like the film, but the look was perfect. It genuinely felt like it was from a different time. The atmosphere it created was near perfect.

Joker

The world design for this was picture perfect. This is a gotham that NEEDS Batman. This isn’t a neon-dreamspace you can sell with McDonalds toys. This isn’t “avoid the bad areas”, EVERYWHERE is a bad area with a few exceptions of where the rich live.

Knives Out

Purely for the number of times I watched this film and thought “that would make a cool poster”, it also has one of my favourite closing shots of all time.

Toy Story 4

There were a few moments here where I thought “hmm, they look slightly plastic” and then realised that the characters are plastic, they’re toys. I was so taken in by the animation that I occasionally forgot that. Plus they made rain look real, which is REALLY hard to pull off in this kind of animation.

John Wick 3

The action scenes in these are usually the highlight of the year in terms of how well designed they are, this was no exception. The choreography is again great, and the world they take place in really suits it. The colours, the set design, the cinematography, all of it adds up to some superb visuals.

Us

The colour schemes, the visual foreshadowing, all of it was just so damn magnificent.

Winner

Ad Astra

Normally “a good looking film” means it’s visually busy and crammed with intricate details, this is the opposite. The use of space (lol, pun) in this film is masterful. It genuinely confused me how this film didn’t do better. You watch this and you really feel his isolation. Everything seems so empty and hopeless. I love it.

Worst Looking

Hellboy

Almost entirely for the woeful CGI in one of the final scenes. I’ve genuinely seen better in PS2 games.

Wolf

The make up in one moment of this was AMAZING. They genuinely made it look like the actress had been savaged by a werewolf, the scars looked real and they looked aged. If this was just a “worst make-up” award this film wouldn’t be listed at all. But this is “worst looking” in general, so that’s make-up, visual effects, directorial choices, and editing. It’s that last one where this REALLY fails. There are scenes where it cuts to a character every time they speak, no matter how short what they say is. That line about the bad editing for Bohemian Rhapsody? It could easily be used here, except I don’t want to find an example of it, lest I accidentally watch a single second of this turgid piece of crap ever again.

Winner

Captain Marvel

No, this did not look worse than the others in this list. But I believe it’s a worthy winner because a film with a budget this big should not have CGI as ropey as this. It’s shameful how bad it was at times. It sucks but expectations to have to be taken into account for things like this. If you went to an open mic comedy night and one of the comedians there stumbled over their words and had to rely on notes, you’d still find them funny. If, however, you paid through the nose for a gig at Wembley Stadium and the comedian did that, you’d consider it money wasted. That’s why even though it’s not the worst, it “wins” the worst.

Best Performance

Rocketman: Taron Egerton

He didn’t really look like him, but his performance completely encapsulated the character.

Wild Rose: Jessie Buckley

The whole film is anchored on her performance, and she carries it expertly. It helps that she has a good singing voice, but her non-singing vocal performance is also to be commended. Her emotions and worries are there for us all to see, as is the characters attempts to hide them.

Joker: Joaquin Phoenix

What can I say about this performance that hasn’t been said already? Absolutely nothing considering how much the awards wanked over it. There’s a reason for it though; his performance is utterly compelling.

IT Chapter Two: Bill Hader

I was genuinely surprised by how great his performance is in this. He’s sharing the screen with Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Skarsgard. His performance outshines all of them. It is mostly comedic but the emotion he gives it really elevates it.

Winner

Us: Lupita Nyong’o

Everyone in this plays their dual roles perfectly, but Lupita carries it off best (with Winston Duke as a very close second). It’s not just her movements and vocals that show the difference between the two, the way she holds herself is different too. You can have pictures of the two of them sitting in a chair and figure out which one is which.

Worst Performance

Wolf: Everyone

It’s hard to narrow it down to a single performance in this, they were all so bad. Such a talented cast too, starring the writer/director, the editor…..okay I see what they did. Even as a film student I wouldn’t have pulled that shit, I got actual actors (and paid them in cake), so there’s no excuse for a feature film aiming at cinema release to pull this shi.

Hellboy: Sasha Lane

A bad accent can make you forget everything else about a performance. Does anybody remember Dick Van Dyke’s mannerisms from Mary Poppins? Or how he carried himself? No, because they were too distracted by the terrible accent. It’s similar here, it’s distractingly bad. At times it wanders into slightly Australian via New York. It was directed by someone who’s directed a few episodes of Game Of Thrones, so he MUST have been able to recommend an actual English actor. It was being filmed in the UK, so it’s not as though “oh, well it will be easier to get an American performer”. I’m not saying you have to be English to play an English character, but if you’re not then you have to put at least some effort into convincing us you are, and she doesn’t.

Winner

Killer Kate: Alexandra Feld

No matter how good she was, it would not have saved this movie; but it might have made it slightly watchable if her performance was tolerable. The trouble is that it is so wooden I don’t even have the energy to make an immature erection joke at the word “wood”. It reminds me of me when I try to act, not believable and with zero emotion. It’s so bad I’m convinced it’s a parody. I felt kind of nervous about writing this in case it seemed like bullying. But it is SO bad. I have no idea how she passed the audition, but the fact she was married to the writer/director must have had a hand in it (but for his sake I hope he got more than a hand out of it).

Best Character

Ben Is Back: Holly Burns-Beeby (played by Julia Roberts)

Over the last few years I’ve really started to GET Julia Roberts. I think it’s because of how great she was in the supremely underrated Secret In Their Eyes and Money Monster. She’s picking really interesting characters lately, and this one is no exception. A mother who has to stand by her drug-addicted son. Her character is one borne of frustration, anger, and love. The moment where she yells at the Alzheimer-riddled doctor who was responsible for her sons’ addiction is brilliant to see and really highlights the role of prescription drugs in drug addiction.

Happy Death Day 2 U: Tree Gelbman (played by Jessica Roth)

She is a big part of why this film works. She is so…human. Even her stupid decisions are ones which you understand her reasons for making. Her growth over the two films are a sight to behold. This is the best example of that character though. Underneath all the bluster and confidence is someone who is still haunted by her mothers death. When she has to make the decision about going back to her own reality and abandoning her mum in the present multiverse, you truly feel her pain.

The Day Shall Come: Moses Al Shabaz (played by Marchant Davis)

This is heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking. You are rooting for this character throughout the film, so when the inevitable happens it just breaks you. His motivations are clear, his relationships with the other characters make sense, and his actions always make sense. Every single decision he makes is based on a weird kind of logic. This is one of the few films where I wanted a happy ending, yes it would have felt unnatural, but damn this guy deserved a break.

Good Boys: All of them

I’ve said it before and I will say it again; these characters were so smartly written. They’re in that awkward age where you start making sex jokes, but you have no idea what sex is. It’s a tricky line to walk, if you write them as too young they seem like idiots, but if you write them as too old it seems unrealistic. This strikes the perfect balance between the two and is all the better for it.

Winner

Knives Out: Marta Cabrera (Played by Ana De Armas)

Her character would be quite easy to dislike if she was badly written. Thankfully the script injects her with just enough warmth that you are rooting for her throughout the film. Her character, more than any other in this list, is helped by the other characters reactions to her. Every time one of the family members talks to her they say “I wanted you at the funeral, but other people objected”, every single one. Plus, every time they mention where she’s from they say a different country, indicating that they don’t actually pay much attention to her. It’s almost as though they don’t see her as a nurse (and certainly not as a close family friend, no matter what they say), and instead see her as “the help” for the family. This is best showcased in a scene where a character is mid-conversation with her and hands her his empty plate, as if to say “go take that out for me”. The best part about these moments? They’re easily missed. They don’t have attention drawn to them, not explicitly mentioned, no reaction shots, nothing.

I Don’t Get It

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile

I just didn’t vibe with this. Part of it may have been because I was watching it on a laptop, which is never a good way to watch a movie and always requires a film to work hard to overcome it (so far the best example of a film doing it is The Last Word). I get some people would like this, but for me it was just a bit dull. I was never invested in the story or the characters. It spent a lot of time treating the audience like they didn’t know that Ted Bundy was a serial killer, and I don’t really get why.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

It seemed like almost everybody loved this film, except for me and about 2 people I know. I just found it lacking any form of coherent structure or purpose. So much of it felt like it was just padding, like it didn’t justify it’s own existence.

Crawl

I saw quite a few good reviews for this, oddly enough praising the things I didn’t like about it; how the characters were dumb and some bits didn’t make sense. Why are these seen as good things?

Joker

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy this movie. But for it to get THAT many Academy Award nominations? No, just no.

Winner

If Beale Street Could Talk

I wanted to like this film, it seems very important and with a story that needs to be told. I just felt it wasn’t told in an effective way. For two reasons: the narration and the length. Some scenes had a natural ending point, and then decided to continue on for a few minutes long. The narration didn’t really add anything a lot of the time and it felt like it assumed the audience were dumb.

Best Scene

Alita: Rollerball

The rest of the film was nice, but the way these scenes were set up…I loved it. Was so well done, and you could easily follow the action because of how well directed it was.

Avengers: On Your Left

Yes this film was all over the place, yes it closed off many other potential films which would have been interesting. But that moment, where everyone we love from the franchise starts making their return? Very satisfying.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Leonardo DiCaprio Acting

Okay that’s not exactly what happens. But there’s a moment in this film where DiCaprio’s character forgets his lines. But then gives a superb performance motivated by his own fear. It’s an incredibly powerful moment full of nuance and unsaid character motivations.

Spiderman Far From Home: Post-Credits

The scene which changed the arc going forward, and is without a doubt one of the most important post-credits scenes in the MCU. Not only is JK Simmons in this franchise, but Peter Parker’s identity has been revealed. A great double whammy and a genuine shock.

Us: reveal

When you realise what’s actually happening, and how widespread it is. I distinctly remember thinking “you magnificent bastard”. It was set up SO well and was an incredibly satisfying reveal.

Winner

Knives Out: Ending

Truth is, there are so many perfect moments in this that it’s hard to pick just one. If I had to narrow it down to one then it would be this bit. The first reveal is incredibly satisfying and goes against all your expectations, but the ending for this is sooo well done. The genuine reveal leading up to it is superbly written, and the closing shot might just be one of the most simplistically brilliant that I’ve ever seen.

Worst Scene

Childs Play: the ending

Okay, not the very end. But once everyone was locked in the toy store the carnage felt incredibly subdued, it should have been bigger. It felt like the whole film was building to this scene and it felt really neutered.

Stuber/Good Boys: fight scenes

I’m counting these as one because they do the same thing, and it has the same effect on both films. They’re fight scenes which just break up the momentum of the film, not only that but there are things done in the film which would kill someone if they actually happened. So when they’re just shaken off in this it reminds you that you’re watching a film.

I Love My Mum – Fake Cancer

Right near the end the mother character admits that she faked having cancer because she didn’t want her son to leave. Now already she was unlikeable, but that pushed her into being hateable and ruined any dynamic the two of them had.

Escape Room – The Opening

There were a lot of options from this film. I was tempted to go with the cliche “rich people are placing bets” ending. Instead, I went with this because it showed a character alive, then spent 80% of the film catching up to that moment, so any scenes where that character nearly died were devoid of any tension.

Winner

The Wolf – The Opening

5 seconds. That’s all it took for me to go from “this film is going to be amazing” to “this will be a steaming pile of shit won’t it?”. That’s a record (Hellboy came close with the narration though). Too much happened offscreen, the acting was bad, and the editing was woeful. Kind of like the film itself tbh.

Most Awwww-ful

Fishermans Friends

This is your typical British film, which means it’s incredibly heartwarming. Yes, you’ve seen it before, but it knows the best way to engage emotionally with you, and you’ll have to have a heart of stone to not feel affected by it.

Ben Is Back

This has a different kind of beauty, the beauty of love that a family has for each other. A love that involves you hating each other occasionally when they deserve it. But this means that when the sweet moments do hit, they hit a lot harder than they would otherwise.

Good Boys

This film is incredibly sweet in a way I didn’t expect. It really showcases that awkward age where you’re not mature enough to be a teen, but you’re not a kid. It’s a weird time in life and it’s refreshing to see a film approach it so honestly whilst talking about male friendships during that stage in life.

Stan And Ollie

A tale of friendship, of loss, and of age. It’s helped by the performances, but the film, in general, is just so touching that you’d have to have a heart of stone not to be affected. This was one of the first films I saw in 2019, so it set a kind of high bar for the rest of the year.

Winner

Wild Rose

This film shows the power of music, how it can change peoples lives and how much of themselves people put into their art. incredibly powerful and a real surprise highlight of the year.

Most Disgusting

Childs Play

Yes it could have gone further, but there were quite a lot of moments in this which did make me wince. Plus the scene where the guy in the costume sprayed blood all over a group of kids was disgustingly brilliant

Greta

For one moment and one moment only; someone’s finger being chopped off with a cookie cutter. Came out of nowhere and you REALLY felt it.

IT: Chapter 2

This film had many flaws. But it was visually well done, and some of the gore was incredible. This is mainly here for one other moment: the homophobic beating at the start. It’s…..it’s ugly.

If Beale Street Could Talk

The racism inherent in the American law system is disgusting, and this film highlights it incredibly well. To the point where you yourself feel beaten and trapped by the end of the film.

Winner

The Day Shall Come

The film alone is depressing, but when you read up on it and read the cases it’s based on, it becomes even more so. This is a film which should light a revolutionary fire underneath you, but because everything is so bleak and depressing at the end it just makes you wonder what’s the point; the system will win and will rig the game to keep certain people down, and it’s all legal. We’re fucked as a species.

Worst Film

Hellboy

This film lost me in the opening scene. It was trying so damn hard to be mature that it came off as childish. I’d have loved this if I was a 14-year-old boy, but when I was 14 I also thought that one day I’d be happy, so I was fucking idiot back then. It also features some of the most embarrassing CGI I’ve ever seen.

Dark Phoenix

“surely this can’t be as bad as everybody says?” It can, and don’t call me Shirley (I make the most original jokes). A film so bad it taints the X-Men franchise (and this was a franchise that survived Last Stand and Origins). I think that’s the worst thing about it, it takes all the goodwill built up by Logan and flushes it down the toilet, and then blocks the toilet and makes you unblock it by hand, leaving you holding shit and shit-water and wondering what the point is.

Songbird

I can’t remember the plot of this film, and I don’t think the people who made it can either. It was apparently mostly improvised, and it shows. The scenes don’t move forward, don’t serve the overarching narrative, it was like watching someone’s holiday videos.

Killer Kate

I’ve said a lot of bad things about this movie, and will continue to say more, and for a good reason; it’s awful. It starts off with a way-too-long scene of the killers just sitting around talking in a manner which isn’t consistent with their later characterisation (and we don’t see them again until the 40 minute mark. We then cut to boring family drama for about 30 minutes before the horror starts. It’s not even good family drama which lets us enjoy the characters, so many of the scenes are not needed; I would love the makers of this film to explain the purpose of a 2-minute scene where characters flip through television channels. The entire film is full of moments like that, scenes which don’t advance the plot, aren’t scary, aren’t funny, and don’t tell us anything about the characters. Essentially, they’re worthless

Winner

Wolf

Obviously, this was going to win. I maintain this will remain the worst film I ever see at the cinema in my entire life. This wouldn’t even get a passing grade at a film school. I saw it for free and still want my money back. The acting, the script, the fact that they couldn’t afford tracks so every time that characters spoke they had to stand completely still even when they were supposed to be moving quickly to escape something. I forgive every bad word I’ve said about any film, because this film is the one that truly deserves my vitriol.

Best Film

Rocketman

Academy Award nominations for Bohemian Rhapsody: 5. Academy Award nominations for this: 1. That should not be the case. Everything Bohemian Rhapsody did well, this did better. It suited the artist better, it had a more unique visual look, it was more honest about the subject etc. Whilst we’re on the subject, how in the blue holy hell fuck did Bohemian Rhapsody win “best editing”. Look at it! That scene’s got so many cuts it’s being used to execute people in China. The Bohemian Rhapsody finale was about the performance, the finale of this was more focused on the personal. You learn a lot more about Elton John through this than you ever did about Mercury in the Bo-Ho. Also, it reminded me of how many great songs Elton John has done.

Toy Story 4

I can’t think of another franchise which has maintained this high level of quality four movies in. By this point of a franchise, the quality has got so bad that the next movie is a soft reboot. This continues the high benchmark that the first three have set. I’ve been nervous about the quality of these films every single time I’ve been to watch one, and every time I’ve been shown to be a fool (I’m used to that though). Normally Toy Story films wait until near the end to hit you with emotions, this goes the Up method of teabagging you with its emotional balls right off the bat.

Us

Films like this just highlight how stupid the Academy are for ignoring horror films so much. This film is a visual and thematic masterpiece. Is it as good as Get Out? It’s hard to tell, this had higher expectations thrust upon it because of Get Out, and the fact that it managed to not be hated despite that points to how strong a film this is.

Winner

Knives Out

I think this was the last film I saw of the year, and it seemed like 2019 saved the best for last. Warning, you will see a lot of mentions for this film in this blog. So if you didn’t like it, prepare for a lecture on why whilst opinions are subjective and as such can’t be right or wrong, yours is still wrong. A near perfect film that I REALLY struggled to find negatives with. Every so often I remember a moment from this film and think ‘damn that was impressive”

2019 In Film Day 6: The Amazeballs

Avengers: Endgame

I wasn’t going to put this in this one originally. It’s so deeply flawed, not within the film itself, but in terms of what it closes off. It basically means so many things I was excited for will now never happen; Civil War meaning anything, a villain taking advantage of the chaos of half the universe disappearing to motivate himself, or even one that’s motivated by his family disappearing, blaming the Avengers for not doing enough to stop him. None of that will happen now. I decided to put it here because it’s a three-hour film that I watched on a flight and didn’t feel the urge to skip any of it.

Original review here

+The sheer sense of scale.

-What it closes off. Also the “big emotional moment” was incredibly obvious.

Childs Play

Damn this was entertaining. This had a lot working against it, not only was it a remake (I say “was”, still is, not as though it’s status as a remake has changed), it’s a remake of a film franchise which I’m very familiar with and kind of love. It was made without the consent of the original creators, whilst the franchise is still going strong (unlike Nightmare On Elm Street etc, where it’s pretty safe to say the original franchise is dead). If this had major flaws, trust me I would have picked up on them and used them as a stick to beat the bloated corpse of a terrible movie with. But it was hard to think of any major flaws with this movie. The biggest one isn’t even a dealbreaker for me; it’s just that it feels a little restrained, like it could go further. I’ve read some reviews which talk about the teenage characters being annoying; personally, I found them funny. They weren’t fully realised people, but then again teenagers aren’t. Their decisions made sense considering their age and personalities. So yeah I enjoyed this film. I found it a worthy addition to the name and a good way to kick-off a new franchise (which this is so obviously trying to do)

Original review here

+Mark Hamill’s performance.

-The scene in the toy store near the end REALLY needs to be more brutal and more chaotic. Some scenes feel slightly neutered, and none more so than this.

Fighting With My Family

Personal bias; I loved this movie. I found it heartwarming with great performances and engaging characters. Yes it takes A LOT of, shall we say, “creative liberties” with the truth but I feel it has to. Professional Wrestling is a really weird industry at the best of times, once you get into “yeah she was in the developmental company which gets higher review ratings than the main show, but MUCH lower ratings, so whilst she was never likely to lose her job, her promotion to the main roster was still a bit of a surprise”. This film would not work if it wasn’t for Florence Pugh. She doesn’t do a great impression of who she plays, but she embodies the character so perfectly that it’s hard to unsee her as who she’s supposed to be. Essentially she’s not doing a good impression of her, she’s doing an impression of what your memory thinks of her. Subtle difference but very important.

Original review here

+So darn lovely at times.

-The woman it’s based on was forced to retire before this movie came out and the movie never mentions it, just bad timing.

Happy Death Day 2 U

This is not as tight as the first one, not by a long shot. It’s still a great movie though. Yes the sci-fi based plot isn’t as good as the more straight-up horror of the first one, but there’s just something so endearing about this film. A lot of if is down to the performances of the two leads; Jessica Roth and Israel Broussard. Not only do they have great chemistry but they are great individually too. There’s a scene where Jessica Roths character is in an alternate universe and realises her mother is alive in this one, I defy anybody to watch it and not feel for her. Similarly when she’s trying to decide whether to go back to a universe without her parent in it, or to stay in one with a parent who has memories of things she doesn’t. It’s a compelling character piece and would be ideal for a really depressing short film.

Original review here

+The montage editing is superb. Plus it feels like a second part of the first movie, rather than a sequel. It doesn’t feel tacked on, it slots in perfectly.

-Not quite as good as the first one, and the ending feels a bit cruel

John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum

This film features Keanu Reeves riding a horse in a city and killing people. Of course, I’m going to love this. I will admit this is not as good as the first two; it goes on a little bit too long and the sequel-hook is a little bit too obvious. Quite a few scenes really drag to the point where if the cinematography wasn’t as impressive as it is you’d be bored. This rating all depends on the next move though. If the next film is poor then this will be known as the film where the cracks started showing. I have faith that the next film will still be good though, so it stays here, for now.

Original review here

+The world building is immense.

-A bit too long at times.

Knives Out

Was genuinely surprised by this, which is a bit weird as it had really good reviews and people seemed to love it. I guess I just thought that it would be one of those films that I would just not “get”. But yeah I loved this. I have a soft spot for ensemble cast films, mainly because they’re really hard to do without having some characters seeming underwritten. Now that I think of it though, that’s usually a bigger issue with multi-story films (such as Men, Women And Children) than ensemble films. I’m also a sucker for mystery films, I like it when they’re so well written that when the reveal happens you feel like an idiot for not getting it earlier because in retrospect it was obvious but you didn’t realise at the time. This gets it out of the way by revealing the “killer” very early on, but then giving you another mystery to solve, albeit one which isn’t as unobvious as it thinks it is.

Original review here

+The script, it’s that damn good

-Not quite as slick as it could be.

Late Night

I have a lot of personal love for this film. I loved the story being told, the characters, and how funny it was. It had a real warmth to it, but not a nice warmth that you feel envelop you like a hug, this was a warmth that stings. The satire is razor-sharp and accurate, to the point where it’s kind of depressing as the points they’re making are ones we should be past as a society by now. The main draw is the chemistry the two leads have; the role was allegedly written specifically for Emma Thompson by the other lead (Mindy Kaling) and you can tell this is kind of a dream project for Kaling. When I criticise films I often say “I can’t imagine someone fighting and dreaming to write this script”. With this I can. It feels like a script that Kaling NEEDED to get out of her.

Original review here

+So damn relevant

-Doesn’t seem to make the most of opportunities to make it seem like it exists in this world. There are a lot of chances to have cameos but it doesn’t take them.

Rocketman

Why was this not a bigger film? The fact that this film got less Oscar nominations than Bohemian Rhapsody is a travesty. Everything Bohemian Rhapsody did well, this did a lot better. The performances, the directing, the story, all of it was better; plus it didn’t tell lies about a real persons death to sell the narrative. Some people didn’t like that the film occasionally resembled a musical, I thought that was a perfect way to do it though. This is Elton John, you can’t do a standard film for someone like him, it has to be something extravagant and extra. Let’s be honest, does Bohemian Rhapsody really tell us ANYTHING about who Queen were as a band? This film tells you who Elton John is through the style, and that’s brilliant. It also shows you how many brilliant songs he’s done in his life.

Original review here

+Incredibly honest about his flaws.

-Some of the supporting characters seem a little underwritten.

Shazzam

So damn warm. The second best DCU film (Wonder Woman is top in case you were wondering) I’ve seen. I realise this film is heavily flawed; the pace is slow at the start, there are sections where the villain is missing, and it doesn’t have a unique visual style. It didn’t matter to me though. It was so enjoyable it allowed me to ignore the multiple flaws. I realise now that feeling matters a lot to me in films. If it gives my cynical self that feeling of magic it increases the chance of me loving it. If when I watch it I’m genuinely transported outside of myself. This does that perfectly.

Original review here

+Zachary Levi NAILS the performance perfectly.

-Needs a distinct visual style to truely be great.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

OMG, Mysterio turned out to be the bad guy? Who would have guessed? Well, everybody, let’s face it. It still worked though. We knew he’d be bad, but the way they did it was brilliant (albeit the worry that both of the Spider-Man villains seem to hate Iron Man more than they hate Peter Parker won’t go away). Watched this again recently and it still holds up. It’s probably one of the most visually interesting earth-based MCU films, some of the hallucination sequences are stunning to watch, incredibly inventive. You do have to question the logic of having such an obvious sequel hook when you’re not 100% certain you’re going to retain the rights to the character though.

Original review here

+So funny.

-Can we please have a Spider-man villain who’s motivation isn’t Tony Stark?

Toy Story 4

I had doubts about this, how can you make this film work after the almost perfect ending of the third one? Well, you do it like this. The Toy Story franchise has a great approach to sequels. You never think they’re essential until you watch them and then you wonder how the franchise coped without them. The new characters work well too, Tony Hale, in particular, gives a wonderful performance full of just enough depth and comedic background to make a suicidal spork seem like it fits into the universe.

Original review here

+It looks GLORIOUS

-Wait, so sporks are sentient now? Great, I now have to feel guilty about how I treat cutlery. Thanks.

Us

Expectations were high for this after the success of Get Out. Personally, I think this met them. The story is great, with smart social commentary and absolute genius use of foreshadowing meaning you don’t fully get it until the second viewing, when you can watch it and appreciate all the genius moments in it. The performances are great two, almost everyone plays two distinct characters in it, yet I think even without the costumes you’d be able to understand who is who due to how the actors distinguish each character through facial expressions and how they carry themselves. Best horror I saw all year, by a long shot.

Original review here

+The sense of unease over the entire thing so that even something as simple as a family walking on a beach is somehow unsettling.

-Not quite as well written as Get Out.

Wild Rose

Another film that I feel was robbed from an Oscar nomination it deserved; specifically, best original song. Bear in mind that’s coming from somebody who doesn’t like country music. But the music in this is so well done, so full of emotion that it doesn’t matter to me. It’s helped by the central performance. Jesse Buckley plays the role with such iron vulnerability that it’s hard to feel anything but joy for her when things start to go well for her.

Original review here

+The heart to it.

-Occasionally it seems like things only happen because the story needs it to.

IT: Chapter 2 (2019)

Is this the best horror movie of the year? Well it’s definitely better than Ma and Escape Room, and scarier than Happy Death Day 2 U and Child’s Play. The only one that can really match it is Us, which I loved. I think this Us is better, but only marginally. It’s not so much what this film is lacking which brings it down, it’s what it contains; far too much. This film is far, far too long. It’s almost 3 hours long and doesn’t need to be. There’s a lot of padding, a lot of repeating what we already know, and a lot of things that don’t go anywhere. Not just scenes, there are entire sub-plots which aren’t really necessary. Yes, it was good to see Henry Bowers as a psychopathic adult, but it barely adds anything to the plot and if you cut it out it wouldn’t really affect the plot. He may have been important in the book, but they’ve changed over things, and he was so ineffectual that I don’t think anybody would have really missed him. The opening is also a waste of time, if I’m being honest. It’s about two gay characters being attacked by a homophobic gang, ending in one of the two being thrown off a bridge where his partner witnessed him being attacked by Pennywise. It looks like the gang of homophobic assholes are going to be a big fixture in this film, like Bowers was in the first film, but they never appear again. Also not appearing again; the surviving character. He witnesses his partner being eaten by Pennywise, and is never seen again in the film. He could have been an important part, an outsider in the Losers club.

Despite the excessive runtime, there are a lot of things that are underutilised, one of which is Pennywise himself. There is also a problem with consistency, you’re not quite sure whether things are real or illusions, so you don’t know whether things have consequences, and it’s arguable about whether the film itself even knows. It also features possibly one of the most embarassing scenes in 2019 horror when a really tense moment suddenly has a really out-of-place use of the song “Angel Of The Morning” in a way that I think was supposed to be comedic, but it didn’t really work at all as it was the coda of a really intense section.

Arguably, I think this film would have been better as a trilogy. The first one as the younger characters, the second one as the older, and the third switching between the two (or switch the third and second one). There’s too much story to tell so you can’t do it all in this period of time. For this to have worked they would have needed to make all 3 at the same time, which would be fine. It also would have cut down on the flashbacks in this movie, which threaten to overrule the story. It’s hard for a lot of the flashback scenes to work that effectively because they lack tension. The reason for this is because we know the characters survive as we’ve seen the older versions of them, so we know that no matter what, nothing too bad will happen.

Despite that, despite ALL that, I did really enjoy this film. When it was creepy it was incredibly unsettling, and when it was funny it was very funny (with two notable exceptions). The performances are also great, McAvoy continues to be one of the best performers in every movie he’s in, all the cast from the first movie continue to be great too. The real MVP though; Bill Hader. I didn’t know he had this performance in him, he nails every aspect of the character. His jokes, his guilt, and his insecurity are played perfectly by him.

It does also feature a semi-distracting Stephen King cameo though. Although that cameo does consist of him telling a character who is clearly based on him “I like your books but your endings suck”, which made me laugh. So yeah, definitely go see this, preferably at the cinema for the best experience.

Child’s Play (2019)

This is the first one of the series I’ve seen in the cinema (The first one I ever saw, incidentally, was the fourth one). So this was quite a big moment for me. Remakes/reboots can be terrible though, particularly when it comes to horror movies. Was curious about this because the trailers didn’t really do a good job of selling it, to be perfectly honest I was disappointed by the trailers, the way it was edited made me worried that the actual film wouldn’t have the right tone.

Thankfully this film works. I’m not sure if it’s better than the first one, it’s an entirely different film. I think this film does more though. It has a lot more satire to it. More interesting human characters (even if they aren’t as adorable as the original Andy), and more interesting kills. I think the issue is people are comparing it to the original series as a whole, and not just the first movie, or even as just a piece of work on it’s own.

The big difference between this and the original? No voodoo. This isn’t a film about a serial killer getting his soul transferred into a doll, it’s about an A.I system. A disgruntled worker removes the safety protocols from a self-teaching robot. This fundamentally changes a lot of things, for one it makes the link between Chucky and Andy a lot stronger. Chucky genuinely cares for Andy (as much as a robot can) so his kills are made not from malice but to protect Andy from those who cause him harm (like when he strangles a cat that scratches him). This creates a much more interesting dynamic between the two, and is a lot creepier. I think it improves it as quite a few of the kills in the original didn’t really make strategic sense. In this the kills are done for a reason, that alone makes it a lot more interesting.

Another worry was that Chucky was no longer voiced by Brad Dourif. His voice was a huge part of that character, and you had to wonder how they were going to cope with replacing such an integral part of the franchise. Which unlucky bastard would they get to attempt to fill the void of one of the greatest vocal performances of horror? Oh, they got MARK FUCKING HAMILL? Yeah, I’m all for that. He NAILS the performance here. Coming off not as a manipulative killer like Dourif’s Chucky was, but like a broken angel. He sounds genuinely hurt and confused when Andy doesn’t respond to him like he wants him to. His voice performance is surrounded by other great performances too. The main 3 kid characters are great, the dynamic between them reminiscent of the Losers Club from IT.

And now onto the bad. It feels a little restrained, especially in the final section. The closing stretch takes place in a toy store, where Chucky takes control over all the wi-fi enabled toys (which is a lot). I expected this to be a true highlight, pure chaos and thrills which will build on the earlier kills to be all-out mayhem and one of the highlights of the year. As it is, it’s just another scene. With the exception of the BRILLIANT opening kill (well, the kill itself is kind of meh, but the way he kind of stumbles about whilst in costume and sprays a random kid with blood is brilliantly brutal), it feels lacking. It’s missing that sense of chaos and brutality that I felt the scene needed. It’s got multiple characters locked in a room full of things that can kill them, yet not enough happened for me to remember it (I can remember about 3 things that happened, and that’s it). Maybe if I didn’t have such high expectations I wouldn’t be so disappointed but as it I can’t help but feel a little bit let down.

So in summary; if you enjoyed the original series, I think you’ll enjoy this. It’s an entirely different animal altogether, but one you’ll still enjoy. It also has a piece of music that is both cute yet kind of creepy (sung by Mark Hamill).

See-Saw: Day One (Saw)

It’s that time of year again. The time of year where I actually get compliments on my face, mainly because people think it’s a Halloween mask. Like a creepy art student when they see a woman in a coffee shop, the day draws ever closer, creeping slowly until we’re glad it’s over. So we’re going to live-blog another horror series. Was considering doing The Omen, or maybe Halloween, but I came to a decision. After chuckling at Chucky, guffawing at Ghostface, and flipping off Freddy, it’s time to jerk off Jigsaw. It’s the Saw series. We start with the first one, because…..because it’s the first one. This really shouldn’t be this complicated.

Director: James Wan (Insidious, The Conjuring, Furious 7, Aquaman)

Budget: $1.2million

Box Office: $103million

  • I actually like the credits to this. The font etc they use brings to mind a dodgy 80’s VHS video nasty.
  • Very blue tint over everything. Hah! It’s a blue movie.
  • A guy (Adam) wakes up in a bathtub chained to a pipe and accidentally pulls the plug out, sending a key down the drain. This is actually VERY IMPORTANT, so the film decides to show how important it is by barely focusing on it at all so if you sneeze you miss it. You can’t even tell what it is until much later on.
  • Wait, how long was he underwater for? How did he not drown or something? He must have been in there a while otherwise the other guy would have been more aware of him. And why was he in the water anyway? He could have got hypothermia and died, which would ruin Jigsaws plan.
  • I like that Cary Elwes is in this (as Doctor Gordon). He really doesn’t get as much work as he should. He’s also chained to a tub in this. This entire plan rests on the two of them not being able to pick locks.
  • “what’s your name?” “My name is very fucking confused”. Look, I do love the script to this, but the dialogue is sometimes awful. Yet it thinks it’s very funny, weirdly enough most of the supposedly funny lines go to the actor who also wrote the script.
  • “that’s what they do, they take out your kidney and sell it on eBay”. You can’t sell kidneys on eBay. You have to use Amazon or craigslist.
  • “are you a surgeon or what?” It later turns out that Adam has been following Dr Gordon, so he knows he is a surgeon.
  • There’s a lot of luck in this plan. Mainly, luck that the tape in Adam’s pocket wouldn’t break when he fell onto the floor earlier. How long has Dr Gordon been awake to not notice the tape in his pocket, but also know that screaming has no purpose (and yet also somehow didn’t wake Adam up)?
  • So Jigsaw punishes people for their sins. Adams sin is that he takes photos. Bit weird.
  • The doctors’ tape says that he can only escape if he kills Adam. This would have been a lot easier if, you know, he wasn’t chained to the wall.
  • Tape players in movies are fantastic, always being rewound to the right moment.
  • Adam sticks his hand down a dirty, shitty toilet so he can help…..the person who has just been told to kill him.
  • Considering how much shit is in that toilet, the smell must be overpowering.
  • How has he never heard of the Jigsaw killer? If there was a serial killer operating near me, I would know (and be really annoyed at the competition).
  • Hey, it’s Danny Glover!
  • “he’s not really a murderer”, Nah, he is. Just because he’s leaving them to die but not actually striking the final blow himself doesn’t make it not murder. Otherwise burying someone alive wouldn’t count as murder.
  • So they think the doctor is a killer because they found his pen nearby. How did they recognise it as his? Does a doctor with no criminal record have his prints on file?
  • They’ve established it’s not him, his alibi is someone he nearly fucked. They still make him sit in on a survivor interview, because…..erm, so he can tell the story at this point in the film?
  • Flashback within a flashback. That’s too many flashbacks. This is the first really iconic one, the reverse bear trap. It’s put on someone’s face and when the time runs out it opens, ripping their jaw open. Sexy. To unlock it he has to get the key out of someone’s stomach who is supposedly dead. He’s not, however, he just can’t move. Not sure why the detail about him supposedly being dead is in it. He’s her former drug dealer so it would have made more sense if she had to do it whilst knowing he was alive. Would have been more thematically pleasing and a harder choice for her. She’s actually pleased this happened as it helped her get off drugs. Not entirely sure how, as surely trauma would make someone MORE likely to do drugs. And now we’re back in the bathroom.
  • “you have something I don’t, information” That’s not exactly his fault. If you’re not aware of a serial killer in your own town, that’s on you.
  • “this is the most fun I’ve had without lubricant”. Okay then.
  • Dr Gordon continues work instead of checking his daughter’s room to let her know there are no monsters there. This is supposed to show him as a work-obsessed monster. But he just finishes the paragraph and then goes to check the room. And stays with her, singing songs to her until she’s okay. He did exactly what he should do. He’s doing a job which he can’t really abandon, it’s an important job which he needs.
  • This film is essentially a live-action version of Condemned. That game was freaky. And had more pigeon-collecting than most games.
  • About 50% of Danny Glover’s dialogue is the word “asshole”
  • Actually, love the way detective Sing dies in this. Tripwire setting of shotguns. It’s simple but effective, is the mark of someone who is just starting to set up traps. Although this kind of goes against Jigsaw’s modus operandi to kill people who deserve it, he’s killing a lot of cops.
  • They’ve found a box containing a phone and cigarettes. The phone isn’t useful though as it was only meant to receive calls, not make them. Which is kind of bullshit tbh, because all phones can dial the emergency services in case of….you know…emergency.
  • And now another flashback. This film deserves credit for the main action taking place in one room, but it doesn’t half take liberties with flashbacks.
  • It turns out the doctor was kidnapped by a person wearing a pig mask who sneaked up on him. Why did they wear the pig mask if they were sneaking up on him? All it would have taken is someone seeing them and shouting out “oi, piggy”.
  • “my last girlfriend, a feminist vegan punk broke up with me because she thought I was too angry”. Love that line.
  • The make-up on this is on point. Doctor Gordon looks emotionally distraught and near death.
  • The lights go off so the camera can’t see them, and they start to whisper to discuss their plan. Why did they turn off the lights when it was them speaking that would have given the game away? He could have just sneakily written something on the back of one of the many pictures and threw it over.
  • I can’t tell whether Adams “death” is bad acting or great bad acting. I’m leaning towards the latter.
  • “this thing electrocuted me” how? It doesn’t seem to be part of a circuit.
  • “The guy who paid me to stalk you, he’s a tall black guy with a scar around his neck”. And you didn’t connect this to the story the guy told earlier about the black guy who got his throat cut who was following him earlier?
  • “I don’t care if you covered yourself in peanut butter and had a 15 hooker gang-bang”. Are we sure I didn’t write this?
  • The way they set up Zepp as a red herring villain is kind of genius, to be honest.
  • Adam is just around the corner taking pictures, like a few feet away. How did Dr Gordon not notice him from that distance? He would have seen him, at the very least heard him.
  • All this computer and equipment is set up in the home of the kidnapping victim. That’s not normally how it’s done, is it?
  • And now we have the scene; the one that defines this film; Doctor Gordon sawing his leg off. I do like how brutal this bit is, but after seeing it done differently in another film, it could be done a lot better.
  • This is where it goes from being good to great; the ending. It turns out Zepp was just another player in the game, the actual Jigsaw rises up, turns out he was the body in the middle of the room. A great twist, like, nobody saw it coming. Mainly because it’s a bit strange. I mean, nobody noticed him breathing for about 6 hours? He didn’t move, defecate, or even cough in that entire time? An ageing cancer patient managed to stay perfectly still on a cold floor for that length of time? But forgetting that this is a magnificent piece of storytelling.
  • “The key is in the bathtub”. Two points: 1) the film gave no indication that was important. 2) Let’s say it didn’t go down the plughole when he emptied it. That means he’d be able to unlock his chain and escape almost instantly.
  • I do like this film more than the others, mainly because it forgoes the torture-porn the series became known for tight plotting and character work. It’s not perfect, there are a few moments which are inconsistent with character motivations etc. And the timing is a bit off at times with nothing happening for hours in-universe.

So, day one down. And that’s the best one out of the way. I can’t remember exactly when they started going downhill, but I know it happened and I’ve got that to look forward to.

I Scream Some Day: Day 1, Scream

So it’s slowly approaching that time of year. The awful horrible time full of fear and decadence; Christmas. But before that, we have to get Halloween out the way. Continuing our tradition that started two years ago with A Nightmare On Elm Street, then repeated last year with Child’s Play, I’ll be watching a horror movie series every day until Halloween and live-blogging my thoughts, some nonsensical, some serious, but mostly kinda weird. I struggled with what to pick at first, I was going to do Saw but then realised since there’s a new one out at the cinema now the blogs will immediately become outdated unless I live blog at the cinema, like an asshole. So, which HALLOWEEN film will I be blogging about in the lead up to HALLOWEEN? Yes, that’s right, Scream! Yup, we’re craving Craven. I kind of dig this film, was originally going to be called Scary Movie, hence the phrase “Scary movie” being used a lot.

Budget: $14million

Box Office: $173million.

  • A guy phones someone and is annoyed she wants to not talk to a stranger, he ends up brutally killing her, somewhere on the internet there are people defending him and blaming feminism.
  • “Halloween, you know the one where the guy wears a white mask and stalks babysitters?” Spoilers!
  • What would have happened if she never answered the phone? That’s why I think I’d survive in this universe, I let unknown numbers go to voicemail or just reject them. “Hi, is this Lee? Yeah, I planned to torment you over the phone and then kill you brutally, let me know when you get this. It’s Pete, my address is….”
  • Drew Barrymore runs around locking all the doors. Which means they were all unlocked, she deserves what happens.
  • “I’m going to phone the police” “they’d never get there in time”, so she just doesn’t try. Lazy! Although they actually forgot to unplug the phone for this scene, so she actually did phone the police and cry down the line to them.
  • “I want to see what your insides look like”, there are magazines for that kind of thing, and videos online.
  • “his name wouldn’t be Steve would it? “how do you know his name”, he’s a white American football player at high school, odds are he was going to be called either Steve or Chad, so he had a 50% chance of being right.
  • “I want to play a game”, and thus Ghostface invents Saw about 10 years before Saw was ever Saw.
  • “Mrs Vorhees was the killer in the first one, Jason didn’t appear until the sequel” And I don’t think he got his mask until the third one, it’s weird how long that series took to set up its iconography, people love Jason and the mask, yet the best-regarded film in the series is the one which has none of those things.
  • “There are two doors to this house”, really? She locked like 5 of them earlier.
  • She stops running when she sees a car in the distance, as opposed to running towards it, all so the killer can jump her.
  • The scene where she is first stabbed was going to be cut by MPAA for being too graphic, it was allowed to stay because the director told them that was the only cut they had of that. They lied.
  • Drew Barrymore sees her parents yet is too feeble to properly scream for them so they walk straight past her. That’s one hell of a good scene.
  • Her mum seems traumatised by the possibility of something happening to her daughter, I want a horror movie to focus more on that. How does a community react to a large group of teenagers die? Do they get resentful to the ones left behind? Do they even stay there or do they all move?
  • She got hung from tree really quickly. Killers may be sociopaths, but they’re efficient.
  • If this film was made today, this is where the opening credits would be, as it is the opening credits are at the opening for some reason.
  • “kids are doing drugs here, and some are involved in the occult”, I thought that was supposed to be good for you? Aid digestion etc.
  • Oh wait, that’s Yakult. Never mind.
  • There’s a lot of people wearing really ugly jumpers in this film. Is that what the kids are wearing these days? Ugly sweaters? If that’s the case then hey, I’m fashionable.
  • Why exactly are they interviewing everybody at the school? Just because they went to school doesn’t mean everyone at school is a suspect, by that logic you might as well ask everybody on the street, or if they worked everybody there. It’s just because the other main characters are at school, isn’t it?
  • “officers are baffled by the lack of clues”, really? Did they not think to check phone records?
  • Students sit around making jokes about the murdered students, I like to think I wouldn’t be that awful, then I remembered who I am.
  • “the question isn’t Who Am I, it’s Where Am I?”, no, that’s a completely different question.
  • “I’m at your front porch” so she walks towards the porch and opens the door just to prove he’s lying, as opposed to, you know, just calling him a prick and hanging up the phone.
  • Sidney tries to prove she can’t be seen by picking her nose, ewwwww.
  • Ghostface tries to kill her but gets defeated and is unable to. Let’s talk about this for a moment, it turns out the killers are going to cover up their murders by saying Sidney’s dad was driven insane and killed Sidney and himself to cover it up. Then why did they kill everybody else? Surely Sidney’s dad would have had an alibi for the first murder?
  • Killer left costume behind, the police don’t use this to check anything like hair etc to try and establish identity. Although the police can’t anyway because they handle it without gloves because they’re idiots.
  • The character of Dewey was originally supposed to be the classic good looking and athletic cop. Once they cast David Arquette they rewrote him as more of a bumbling idiot, that’s gotta be disheartening for him to hear. It’s like how Jack Davenport was told he was too good looking to play the lead in Hitchhikers Guide, I wonder how Martin Freeman felt about that.
  • “looks like you fingered the wrong guy, again” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve also done that.
  • It’s at least four.
  • “don’t worry, it’s school you’ll be safe here”. He has no idea school is like does he?
  • “what was it like to almost be killed?” Considering that interviewer is Linda Blair from The Exorcist, you think she’d know.
  • “Cotton’s in jail, they’re going to gas him”, ah, the old “dutch oven” method of execution.
  • Newsreader has an “OMG this person on death row might be innocent, I could save him” epiphany. Surely she already thought that considering she wrote a book saying he was innocent and shouldn’t be on death row?
  • “understand what? That I have a girlfriend who would rather think I’m a psychopathic killer than touch me?” Most people I’ve dated have been the same, although to be fair, I am a psychopathic killer, but they didn’t know that.
  • “I was attacked and nearly filleted last night”, but you don’t have a penis.
  • oh, filleted, not fellated, my bad. Easy mistake.
  • Fun fact, the cloak the killer wears was going to be white but was changed because it looked too much like KKK robes. I suppose even killers don’t want to be associated with those racist dickbags.
  • Fuck nazi’s. I can’t believe we’re at a point in history where that’s a somewhat controversial opinion yet it seems like it is. People got annoyed at the new Wolfenstein game because you could kill nazi’s in it as if that wasn’t the entire point of the games to begin with.
  • On that note, students get caught running through the halls whilst dressed a serial killer that’s on the lose, they object to being in trouble saying it was just a joke. At the time this made them seem like heartless assholes, now they just seem like ordinary twitter people, albeit ones who Donald Trump and Daily Heil will insult for being SJW’s.
  • Sidney walks into a toilet stall then 5 seconds later a conversation continues that was obviously happening before she was there, that delay is weird.
  • “homicide is a much healthier, therapeutic expression”, that’s what I’ve been telling people.
  • Why was the killer in the toilets? What was his plan? How did he know she’d need toilets, more specifically, those toilets? How did he even know it was her?
  • “you can literally feel the fear on this campus”, that would only be LITERALLY true if you were walking around wading through people’s fear-piss.
  • “now that her boyfriend tried to mutilate her, think she’ll go out with me?”. Oh he’s one of “those” guys isn’t he?
  • “It’s the Millenium, motives are incidental”, no it’s not, it’s 1996. I don’t say that 2017 is the same as the year in three years time, that’s why I have no idea what’s going to happen in three years time, I don’t have 2020 vision.
  • Nick Cave Red Right Hand. Nothing interesting to say here, just really love this song.
  • “If they make a movie about you who’d play you?” Is that a normal question to ask someone during a killing spree?
  • Joseph Whipp as the sheriff there, he obviously did such a great job as a police officer on Elm Street he got promoted.
  • Ben Affleck and Jason Lee were both considered for this film, all that’s needed is Jason Mewes and it would be a Kevin Smith movie.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis described as “The Scream Queen” there. About 20 years before she’d play a lead character in Scream Queens (which you should all watch, by the way, is superb)
  • “is that you Randy?” She then proceeds to have a slightly flirtatious dialogue with who she thinks is Randy after he’s been creepy. This is the second time in the film that’s happened, weird thing for him to be known for.
  • Shouldn’t the garage door have a safety feature to stop shit like this happening? Side note, how did nobody find her body throughout the rest of the party if that’s the only place there was beer? Was everybody tee-total for the rest of the night? Or did they see her body and think “oh, classic forgettable blonde character, she does this every time she gets drunk”. All jokes aside….then I’d have nothing to say, this death is fucking stupid.
  • Randy watches Sidney and Billy go up to a bedroom then says “I’m going to go check on him” like that’s not a creepy thing to do.
  • “this isn’t a movie”, wooo, if an actual screenwriter can use that line, then it’s perfectly okay that I did.
  • “why can’t I live in a Meg Ryan movie, or a really good porno” If I did this last year I’d have said it’s terrible that those two thoughts follow each other, since then I’ve had someone say “we’re releasing doves to commemorate my fiance’s death, me and you should have sex in those bushes”, so instead I’m going to hate the fact that this film reminded me of that. Also, don’t a lot of people still die in Meg Ryan movies? Just of slow depressing diseases? How is that better?
  • “I want to see Jamie Lee’s breasts, when do we get to see them?”, so this is what people did before the internet.
  • Watching Halloween and someone criticises it by saying “The blood is all wrong”, in a scene which contains no blood.
  • “what do I have to do to prove to you I’m not a killer?” Is that a normal question to ask in a relationship?
  • “oh my god”, a simple “look out” or “killer behind you” would have been more useful. But no, stay quiet whilst a knife-wielding maniac approaches your boyfriend from behind (not like that)
  • We later find out this death was faked and that’s fake blood on Billy’s chest. One question; how? Like how did they get him covered in fake blood that quickly? It wasn’t a blood pack taped to his shirt/skin as he’d just had sex so Sidney would have noticed (trust me, girls notice if you have fake blood duct-taped to your chest, and it really kills the mood during sexytimes, almost as much as referring to it as sexytimes)
  • Those bedroom doors lock from the outside, is that normal? Or is that something which hostage-takers have to pay extra for?
  • “watch out Jamie, behind you,” says Jamie Kennedy as the killer is behind him. Lol.
  • Kenny the cameraman checks outside when he suspects the killers aren’t in the house. Kenny is an idiot.
  • Oh my god, they killed Kenny! You bastard.
  • Sidney gets attacked whilst sitting in the front seat of a police car, don’t they normally have mesh wire up to stop this exact thing from happening?
  • Stu and Randy both claim each other are the killer and Sidney shuts the door on both of them. That’s kind of dickish, as she basically condemned the other one to death.
  • Hang on, wait a minute, didn’t Sidney already see film footage of the killer standing behind Randy earlier? So she should know he’s not a killer.
  • What a surprise, the two creepy characters turn out to be the killers. Actually, that is quite a good twist, as one of them was so obviously evil that it seemed like misdirection, and the idea of having two killers was revolutionary at the time. Although how did Stu get in if the doors were locked?
  • Killers decide to monologue instead of killing the main character. Have they never seen a Bond movie?
  • Killers discuss a motive, saying Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates never had motives and we knew nothing about their past, ironically both have had prequels made about them, which renders that scene redundant.
  • They plan to frame Sidney’s dad and make it look like he killed everyone then shot himself, won’t the police be able to tell he didn’t shoot himself by the angle of the shot, fingerprints, and the fact his hands and legs are duct-taped together? And where did they pull him from? Has he been tied together in a cupboard all night? Whilst there was a party going on? So where he was somewhere no drunken teenagers would go during a house party to fuck, does such a room exist?
  • Billy and Stu stab themselves to make themselves look more like victims. 1) Actually a terrific scene, full of tension and drama. 2) Why didn’t they wait until everyone was dead before doing that?
  • Wild Gail Weathers appears, does nobody lock a door in this damn house? Do you want burglars? Because that’s how you get burglars.
  • Wild Gail Weathers used gun. But it’s not very effective.
  • Billy throws the phone and hits Stu in the head causing the response “you hit me with the phone you dick!”. Both of which were improvised, well one was, the “hitting another person with a phone” bit was just a fuck up.
  • Why did Sidney put on the Ghostface costume? A sense of drama? Odd fact, Skeet Ulrich had heart surgery when he was younger, so he now has metal wiring there which causes INTENSE pain when it’s touched. Another odd fact; when his character was stabbed with an umbrella the actor who did it couldn’t see properly, so hit him in the worst place possible, as such that scream you hear from him is genuine.
  • It’s now morning, and the ambulance is finally taking the stabbed people away. What took them so long? “there was a massive killing spree at a house last night, and we’ve got the guys who have been terrorising this town all week, should we go?” “I don’t know, I literally just sat down, I’ll just make a cup of tea, watch my shows, then we can go”
  • “like the plot of some scary movie. it all began with a scream”, hey that’s the title(s) of the movie!

So that’s that done. Pretty good film but not a good series starter, mainly because it doesn’t really set up the sequels that much so it seems like it was written as a standalone. On the plus side this means it doesn’t do any obvious sequel hooks which are annoying as fuck. It’s weird how much this changed horror movies. It was supposed to be the film that killed slashers as it made them look too silly, it just made them evolve, this was followed by lots of poor imitators and horror stayed self-aware and teenage until torture porn and found footage became popular. It’s odd as both of those seem to have died a few years ago with the decline in popularity of the Saw and Paranormal Activity franchises, yet they haven’t really been replaced yet by anything. There’s been a lot of attempts to kick-start a horror trend but none have really stuck, personally I think over the next few years horror is going to get a lot more political and heavy-handed in delivering messages. I don’t really care, as long as they make good films.

Contemplations Of Chucky: Day Six (Curse Of Chucky)

Director: Don Mancini

  • Okay let’s hope this goes better than Seed. It really can’t get worse. Unless it’s just ninety minutes of a doll masturbating into the gaping anus of a clown. Even then that would still be better than f*cking Annabelle.
  • Okay now is impressive opening. Looks superb, really cinematic. The director of this, Don Mancini, is doing a much better job than the director of the last movie, Don Mancini.
  • Even the colour scheme is better. Gone are the overly bright colours, to be replaced by muted greys. I know that makes it sound boring but in actuality it just makes it look like everything has been put slightly through a nostalgia filter.
  • Fiona Dourif there, playing paraplegic Nica. It’s great they have a character like that (actually, thinking about it, horror has always been fantastic for inclusion, it’s often had strong female characters, black characters, and disabled characters. Okay, usually they’re the first to die but but it’s progress, very very small progress). It’s admittedly it would have been better if they actually cast a paraplegic actor, but she does a very good job here. She’s actually Brad Dourif (the voice of Chucky)’s daughter. But it doesn’t really smack of nepotism here, you don’t watch it thinking “why on earth did they cast here? Fiona Dourif, oh okay”, you think “she’s amazing, what else has she been in?”
  • A great erection joke there, really stands up well.
  • The downside of the colour scheme: it means white light is REALLY white, to the point of almost being washed out.
  • Nica flirts with a delivery guy, but her mother shuts the door so she can’t follow him to continue to talk, booo, hiss. She’s definitely the villain of the piece (or maybe the murdering doll is, who knows?)
  • “Oh honey I don’t want to see you hurt”, then you’re in the wrong genre of movie.
  • Hey it’s Chucky. But a very very new looking one. He hasn’t looked this new since the third one. I know the last two weren’t looked upon favourably but can’t just ignore them.
  • “I DVR’d Real Housewifes” and that is why you’re going to die.
  • See, told you, you watch reality TV, you end up on the floor in the middle of the night bleeding profusely.
  • Good reveal of half of the title, poor for the other. Okay I’ll try to explain why; the camera moves back to reveal Chucky sitting there and the word “Curse” kind of hanging next to him, then the “of Chucky” comes straight in. Yet the music seemed like it was building up to a fade in of that so it was just weird.
  • “Your sister thought it might be a good idea for me to come”, I thought priests weren’t allowed to do that?
  • “The church’s official response to suicide is not to judge, but to pity”, that’s everybody’s first reaction to most things I do.
  • “She was supposed to be taking care of you”, eh, no. She’s in a wheelchair, mentally she’s in a better place to deal with this situation than someone with a chemical imbalance. I’m not sure who this is more offensive to; people with mental health issues as it pretty downplays their effects, or people with physical health issues as it says you need looking after and lack any sort of independence.
  • “He scared me half to death”, people in horror constantly make references to death, more than I do.
  • “It’s a doll, what’s the worse that could happen?” It could come to life and murder everybody in the house. But what are the odds of that happening 6 times in the same movie series? Ridiculously low, I think this will end up being a romantic comedy, they can’t keep relying on horror.
  • “You’re going to make dinner, fox six?” She’s in a wheelchair, not simple. I know they’re family but I don’t get why she doesn’t detest them on sight.
  • Chucky pours rat poison (well, his arm does, we don’t see the rest of him move). Actually pretty clever, it’s more methodical and less bloody than in the last few films. This is a new Chucky, he’s almost methodical and slow, he’s taking his time with doing everything He’s waiting for opportunities instead of hunting them out, it makes it more tense and is incredibly offensive.
  • Oh, we don’t know which one the poison got put in. This scene alone could be a short film. There’s enough there to stretch out to an entire 15 minute short.
  • Lots of good fake outs, people here going “Oh my god” *silence* “this is amazing”. Then lots of close ups of people eating. I know this blog is supposed to have jokes but this scene is just really amazing. Sadly it’s not available on youtube so I can’t include it here.
  • “This is just like my mother used to make it” your mother put rat poison in your dinner? Did she also teach you to swim by putting you in a sack and throwing you in water? I don’t think she liked you very much.
  • Oh so that’s why that couple hired a nanny, for lesbian sex.
  • “The 80’s were amazing” well now you’re just lying. The 80’s had Thatcher, Chernobyl, and Madonna
  • “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the lord my soul to keep” why would you make a child say that before going to sleep? That’s terrifying. That’s like having them say “Today could be my last day on earth, if I die, delete my browser history”
  • “Chucky says there is no God. Life’s a bitch and then you die bleeding like a stuck pig” True, I’ve died at least four times like that today.
  • “Mommy, am I going to die” “of course not. Who told you that?” bitch, you did. You make her recite a pre-death ritual every night.
  • “Chucky I’m scared” “you fucking should be” That’s Chucky’s first line: at 44 minutes. Almost half the movie’s runtime. That’s remarkable patience. It’s weird that despite this being the best one, it’s the only one that was released straight to DVD, but it might have been the straight-to-DVD nature of it that led to it being so good as it allowed them freedom to do things like wait 44 minutes to show off the main character. I think this film is the first one since the original to realise that this might be someone’s first introduction to the character, so building up tension for the reveal is fine. And people who already know the character would be eagerly awaiting the appearance of him.
  • The woman continues to flirt with the Nanny. Just realised, she’s paying her $400 and sleeping with her. Is that basically prostitution?
  • Nica discovers about Charles Lee Ray and works out he was in a family film she was watching earlier, very good callback and reminds you that Chucky was once human.
  • Chucky kills the nanny via electrocution, he seems to do that a lot with people.
  • “Ian, I am not sleeping with the nanny”, well not anymore, she’s dead. You’re a terrible person but even you have your limits.
  • She notices Chucky has weird loose skin and slowly peels it off, revealing the scarred face we’ve got used to from the last few films. Up until now you could have assumed this was a reboot, starting time depending on your personal preference. I know some thought originally this film was just a straight reboot, ignoring all the previous ones, whereas I know some who said this happens after the third one. But this attic scene sets up the placement perfectly. It doesn’t explain how, but it sets up the “when” very well.
  • You’re scared by this doll, so you decide to put your finger in its mouth. What did you think would happen?
  • “you have your mothers eyes, and they were always too fucking close together” rude! Okay the “stabbing her and gouging out her eye and throwing it down the stairs” may also be considered rude, I don’t know the etiquette on eye gouging. I think it’s customary to use a dessert spoon, not a knife though.
  • Chucky attacks someone with an axe. But this isn’t a clean decapitation, he just kind of chops his jaw off, very Mortal Kombat.
  • Chucky hits a paraplegic in the leg with an axe and is surprised when it doesn’t hurt them.
  • Flashback to his motivation. when he was alive Charles Lee Ray was in love with someone, she rejected him, so he did the obvious thing and stabbed her in the stomach whilst she was pregnant, resulting in the child being confined to a wheelchair. Most people just do heroin and alcohol. We all have different methods.
  • Oh good this is wonderfully coloured. He’s kidnapped the woman (the mother who died early on in the film) in a room surrounded by sunflowers, lots and lots of sunflowers. Everything is in black and white apart from the flowers, visually striking.
  • “a lot of families have gone, the Barclays, the Kincaids” yeah but you didn’t kill any of them. Andy and his mum are alive, as are both of the Kincaids (from Bride Of Chucky), you’re a terrible serial killer.
  • “so you never actually killed Andy Barclay did you? It’s called completion anxiety, it’s very common in males” I like her.
  • “Twenty five years, must be the slowest murder in history, what are you waiting for a sign from God?” That is basically me in a horror movie, only I’m not female, or in a wheelchair.
  • Wait, so the hero has been institutionalised and the villain wins, Was this ending scripted by me? I love it. It’s still closure but opens it for a sequel. A beautiful ending that rings true. It’s like the ending to this is the aftermath of the other films. Only with Jennifer Tilly slitting another cops throat and showing us how Chucky has been getting around. She’s been posting him around so he can get his revenge.
  • Wait, so Chucky wants to put his soul in a child’s body? Why? He’ll never be able to get as much done, or get access to someone’s house again.
  • Plan foiled by someone waking up in the best use of “final jump scare” I’ve seen in horror films in a while. It makes you jump, but it also doesn’t render the rest of the film moot, if anything it makes you more hopeful. His plan to transfer himself into a child is now likely to be foiled.
  • Ooooo post credits scene.
  • Holy crap it’s Andy again. Played by the original actor too. Chucky has posted himself to him, and he comes out of the mail to Andy pointing a gun directly at his face. After six movies Andy finally gets his happy ending. Nobody can say he hasn’t earned it. And he has a picture of Kyle in his house. That’s actually kind of sweet.

Contemplations On Chucky: Day 5 (Seed Of Chucky)

Director: Don Mancini

Budget: $12million

Box Office: $24.8million

  • The credit sequence is sperm travelling to an egg and then a foetus developing into a baby which then comes screaming out of a vagina into bright light. This is not going to be an intelligent movie.
  • “That’s the ugliest thing I’ve seen in my whole life” I get told that on a daily basis.
  • We start with a POV shot from (presumably) a doll as it comes out of a box on a child’s birthday. The child hates it because she’s a spoiled brat (honestly, after this scene we see the house at night, there’s a massive pink birthday cake with only a small slice taken from it. Lazy!) and throws it in a box. As is custom for this movie it creeps out around the house, grabbing a knife on the way before being spotted by the dad which leads to the doll looking down and our first indication that this isn’t actually Chucky as the clothes are different, and horror movie law dictates characters don’t change clothes.
  • “You are hideous aren’t you?” Is this film just following me around and writing down what people say to me?
  • “In a civilised society our word is bond”, no wonder that child is so pretentious when you use sentences like that.
  • Cool POV death, the doll stabs the dad causing him to crash through a balcony and onto the floor below, the doll (and the camera) following him the entire way.
  • We have a naked woman, because horror movies always have superfluous boobs.
  • Our first glimpse of this doll as it see’s itself in the mirror. This is perfect character setting up, allowing us not to see him full on.
  • “You killed my mummy and daddy, and now you’re pissing your pants” *sings* one of those things is not like the other.
  • It turns out to be a dream, apart from the pissing his pants bit. The doll wakes up and we it’s being used as a ventriloquist dummy as it’s alive. Smart move by the guy who found him.
  • “I found him in a cemetery in the States six years ago. Little fucker tried to rip my throat out” “I was trying to give you a hug”, wait is that NOT how you hug? That explains so much.
  • Actually that “I found him in a cemetery” bit is weird as it seems to only be there to tell us, the audience that this doll is definitely the child of Chucky that appeared at the end of Bride, yet why would he tell the truth about that? Why not make up a lie that is better? Like say it was left to you by a witch or something. Don’t tell the truth about that if the rest of your act is based on deceit.
  • “I know I’m a freak”, me too little doll.
  • “you’re breaking up with me?” Wait, why didn’t she say all this before he made lots of santa based sex puns (I’m not even going to give you the context for that)
  • Chucky and Tiffany kill Santa, but not really as it turns out to be a film called “Chucky Goes Psycho” which is basically a film within the film about Bride Of Chucky. Which is weird for two reasons: 1) that only happened about 5 years before this film is set, is that not too soon? 2) Why didn’t they do one about original Chucky before Tiffany was involved? 3) For the “it’s a movie after all” fake out to work they needed Chucky and Tiffany to be voiced by their normal actors. Now what are the odds that Jennifer Tilly AND Brad Dourif would both be cast in this film? Jennifer Tilly kind of makes sense as she looks a lot like Tiffany, but wouldn’t they get someone else to voice Chucky? Either a younger or better known actor? This film breaks immersion already.
  • Jennifer Tilly plays herself, and very well, you really believe that she’s her.
  • Hey it’s blonde S Club person. Weird.
  • For younger readers: an S Club was a club which had parties, and there ain’t no party like an S Club party.
  • S Club basically calls Jennifer Tilly a slut.
  • The ventriloquist threatens his doll with a lighter whilst telling him to be more violent and”Give into your natural impulses or I might have to fire ya” Why do you need him to be scary? The humour is working fine. Plus, wouldn’t a doll’s natural instinct to be to make people happy? Which is almost the opposite of killing.
  • Jennifer Tilly auditions as the Virgin Mary alongside Redman (of Wu Tang Clan fame). I can’t tell whether they’re bad actors or great bad actors.
  • No way would Julia Roberts work with Redman. Not saying she’s racist or anything, but he’d be a first time director and she’s Julia F’ing Roberts. The role was originally supposed to be Quentin Tarantino, which makes a lot more sense.
  • The doll revives Tiffany and Chucky just by reading the necklace. That was way too easy. That only works if the film used the actual dolls involved in the murders, which is stupid to do. It would be like filming Poltergeist on an ancient Indian burial ground.
  • A CGI guy comes in and unscrews Tiffany’s batter back revealing internal organs. Good scene, but makes no sense as the first film Chucky had his battery compartment uncovered and it was normal.
  • Chucky and Tiffany respond to this in a normal way, by decapitating him.
  • Doll genitals! Well, lack of doll genitals as Chucky and Tiffany try to decide what gender the doll is.
  • They agree to disagree and call the child Glen/Glenda. Subtle.
  • Jennifer Tilly comes in to get chocolate, and kisses the decapitated head before realising it’s not a prop.
  • John Waters is in this. This film has just gained about 10% more credibility.
  • “my mother always told me, once is a blessing, twice is a curse”, then what is three times? Is it a massive disappointment? Because I’m the third.
  • “Oh my god she’s a complete slut” you kill people, don’t judge.
  • “Why do you kill people?” “It’s a hobby” have you tried knitting?
  • “I thought violence was bad” “no, you’re thinking of violins”. It’s a good thing he said that otherwise I was going to.
  • “we have a problem with killing” “I don’t have a problem, I like a little killing now and then” This scene is pretty funny but kind of feels too soon. This is only the second movie with Tiffany in it and she spent a lot of the last one not killing, they really only teamed up on a select few successful deaths. He’s iconic, she’s not but this film is assuming we think she is. That’s a massive problem as it makes it feel like there’s a film missing between this and Bride. Like a chapter which focuses more on the two of them interacting.
  • “let’s quit killing now, cold turkey” That’s dangerous, you can’t quit like that. You need to replace it with something else, like killing animals instead of people for a while.
  • “hell would be ending up on fear factor in a worm eating contest with Anna Nicole-Smith” “which you’d win”, not know Anna’s dead, I imagine she’s had lots of worms eating her.
  • Puppet boobs. This film has puppet boobs followed by puppet masturbation. It all feels so undignified.
  • John Waters character photographs Jennifer Tilly prostituting herself to the fourth best rapper from the Wu to play the virgin Mary, he then photographs a masturbating doll. Still more normal than his real life day to day life.
  • “Mel Gibson ain’t the only one God speaks to” That’s not God Mel Gibson speaks to.
  • Tiffany uses a turkey baster to put puppet semen into Jennifer Tilly. I wonder why people can’t take this film seriously.
  • Chucky drives Britney Spears off the road before going to kill John Waters.
  • Glen/Glenda accidentally scares John Waters, causing him to back into a shelf and knock acid onto his own face, killing him. See, this is why you don’t keep your acid in breakable bottles on shelves, you keep them in plastic lemonade bottles in fridges instead. Much safer.
  • “I remember you screaming a lot, I tend to have that effect on women” that’s probably because you have a gun.
  • “I don’t know what’s got into me” Redman’s penis?
  • “I ain’t no idiot” your sentence structure says differently.
  • Redman fires Jennifer Tilly for being pregnant as “I have a very specific image for the Virgin Mary, she’s got to be hot”. At first, second, and third glance this is stupid. But on fourth glance it’s still stupid, but not as bad as it seems, how many pictures of Jesus show him as out of shape? None, he’s always toned, with washboard abs and a sexy face.
  • Tiffany disembowels Redman, for some reason his intestines are smoking like they just come out of the oven.
  • S Club gets set on fire and falls down the stairs.
  • Okay it turns out Glen is normal, but the Glenda side of his personality is a psychopath, and was the one that killed S Club. It also turns out Chucky has 4 dead bodies in the cupboard, but no idea where or how they got there. This film has more onscreen than offscreen murders.
  • That baby is remarkably clean for a newborn that hasn’t been cleaned yet.
  • Chucky has a really really great scene here, superbly written and a real hint into the character and is brilliant, sadly the rest of the film is nowhere near this level. “If this is what it takes to be human, I’d rather take my chances as a supernaturally possessed doll; it’s less complicated. Think about it, what’s so great about being human anyway? You get sick, you get old, you can’t get it up anymore. I’m not looking forward to that! As a doll, I’m fucking infamous! I’m one of the most notorious slashers in history! And I don’t wanna give that up. I am Chucky, the killer doll!” Tiffany disagrees so Chucky throws a knife at her, because that’s how all arguments are dealt with.
  • Police walk in and find BBQ’d S Club, they check for a pulse.
  • Glen kills Chucky in revenge for him killing Tiffany. A slow one too, he dismembers him with an axe, piece by piece. One thing notable during this scene, Billy Boyd is not a fantastic voice actor, or he’s just not good at this part, but it just seems silly.
  • Five years later and Jennifer Tilly’s two children are called Glen and Glenda, the maid complains about Glenda, saying she called the cat a “c word”, but what else are you supposed to call one?
  • Jennifer Tilly beats the maid to death with Tiffany doll, then her eyes go weird and we realise she is actually Tiffany in her body.  Weird and really stupid. Especially since it (spoilers) isn’t referenced too much in the sequel. Well, Tilly is, but the kids aren’t. Which is a shame, missed opportunity for something, I just have no idea what.
  • The actor playing human Glen is called “Beans”. Beans is not a name, it’s a food. I’m not going to call my child “Chicken Legend With Mayonnaise Sauce”, because that would be silly. Yes, i’m mocking a child, I’m a terrible terrible person.

Contemplations On Chucky: Day 4 (Bride Of Chucky)

Director: Ronny Yu (The Bride With White Hair, Chasing Dragon)

Budget: $25million

Box Office: $50.7million

  • Yay, actually looking forward to this. This was the first Chucky film I ever saw, the second one I saw was the third one, the third one I saw was the first one, then the fourth one I saw was the second one. It makes complete sense if you just pretend “this is the prequel to the one I saw earlier”. Hoping it still holds up.
  • Very cinematic opening. This is no longer a horror movie, this is a horror MOVIE. Always good, plus you have to remember this was a lot of people’s first introduction to the character, their hadn’t been a film made for almost a decade
  • Jason and Michael Myers masks (as well as Leatherface’s Chainsaw) in the police lock up. I like that as it means they share a universe, which means this film series also shares a universe with Freddy Krueger, the Evil Dead, and Hellraiser. Also in this locker room, references to Creepshow, and there’s a reference to Pinhead later on in the film. Why is that horror is really the only genre that can get away with referencing other films so openly? You don’t have characters from Goodfellas suddenly turn up in Scarface etc. I think it’s because of the way we view horror now, as I’ve said multiple times before horror is best as communal viewing, you watch it with others and you feel part of a community. As such you need things there that kind of exclude people who aren’t a part of that community, and these little in-jokes are great for that. They feel like little rewards for knowing the genre. It would be like if in the middle of Avatar they referenced the Titanic movie and if you understood the reference you got a lollypop.
  • So far both scares have been Lewton Buses. If they do it a third time that’s a bad sign.
  • Nope, someone appeared behind the cop and slit his throat. Nicely done. The two previous Lewton Buses meant you expected another one so you were surprised when it played it straight.
  • John Wayne entrance (start at the feet and move up the body) of Jennifer Tilly’s character of Tiffany. I love how the first kill in this movie isn’t done by Chucky, it sets the tone well of “anything can happen”
  • Our first sighting of Chucky, well, parts of him anyway, his face is still chopped up as a result of the last film. I like that, continuity which adds to the character and changes them. It also gives the character a new defining look which is pretty good from a marketing perspective too as more merchandise and cosplay opportunities.
  • Instead of using an original score for this they use a Rob Zombie track, works perfectly for this montage of rebuilding Chucky.
  • Oh my God I forgot John Ritter was in this.
  • Oooo so’s Katherine Heigl.
  • Gordon Michael Woolvett playing David, the sterotypically gay character here. He does it well enough to suggest he could have had a future as the sidekick in a romantic comedy.
  • Tiffany attempts to bring Chucky back to life from a book called “Voodoo for Dummies”. That’s pretty funny.
  • A random goth (played by the recently deceased Alexis Arquette) turns up and pretends to have killed someone to get into Tiffany’s good books. If a friend needs you to kill someone then they’re not really you’re friend at all.
  • “you know what the French call an orgasm? The little death” Basic rule for seduction: don’t mention the French. Oh, or death I suppose.
  • Wait, that character is called Damian Baylock? Fantastic subtle reference to The Omen there.
  • Tiffany performs a striptease, (well, takes off a glove) whilst Damian is handcuffed to a bed, whilst talking about Chucky. Very weird that she’s basically talking about an ex during foreplay, I can’t imagine that’s an effective technique.
  • Finally Chucky lives, kills Damian by ripping out his lip piercing and smothering him with a pillow, that’s the third most common cause of death in Shoreditch.
  • “You know me, I’ll kill anybody but I’ll only sleep with someone I love”, see I’m the complete opposite.
  • “you fuck” “but you won’t, not Jade anyway” damn I miss John Ritter.
  • “You keep your orchid dry now”, is that some kind of homosexual slang for something? Like a weird way of reminding you to wear a condom?
  • Tiffany decides to tickle Chucky then throw him in a playpen. She’s forgetting the basic rule of life; don’t tickle a serial killer. I got tickled last week by someone and I elbowed them in the chest, and I’m barely a killer.
  • Kidneythieves cover of Crazy, so THAT’S how I first heard this song.
  • Tiffany shoves Damien’s body in a box and gets Nick to move it. He mentions it’s heavy but doesn’t do the obvious “what you got in here, a body?” joke.
  • “a woman spends all day slaving over a hot stove for a man, the least he can do is do the dishes”, or buy her one of Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meal cookbooks. That way she still has time to wash, clean, and do all the other stuff women do; knitting, giving birth, putting cats in blenders.
  • Why do people in horror movies watch so many horror films? Horror is as self referential as I am.
  • “I promise to love, honour and cherish till death do us part”. Why would someone manufacture a doll that says that? That’s hugely sexist and a terrible example to set to women; “be a bride and your main duty is looking after your husband”.
  • Chucky kills Tiffany by pushing a TV in the bath, this death was supposed to be in the first movie but got changed to a hammer to the head. Probably for the best as advances in CGI mean it’s easier to do it now and it looks brilliant.
  • Chucky puts Tiffany’s soul into the other doll, because, reasons.
  • “I wouldn’t marry you if you had the body of GI Joe”, but then he wouldn’t have a penis.
  • “turn to Chapter 6, page 217”, so she turns to chapter 11. I’m starting to see why he killed her.
  • So now he needs an amulet to transfer his soul into a human body, why didn’t he need it in the previous three films?
  • Oh, this character is openly gay. That’s actually pretty progressive.
  • Where did Chucky get that knife from?
  • Funny that Tiffany idolises Martha Stewart, who later on went to jail.
  • Definitely the most imaginative death in this series so far, Tiffany and Chucky load up a bunch of nails into the car airbag and launch them into John Ritter’s face, making him resemble Pinhead. “fun” fact: Chucky’s line of “why does that look so familiar?” was ad-libbed by Brad Dourif.
  • “Rude fucking doll”, i think of all the ways to describe Chucky, “Rude” isn’t the word I’d use.
  • “at least you haven’t forgotten how to show a girl a good time”, I tried that on my last date, blew up a cop car. I’m single now so that tells you successful that tactic was.
  • Interesting duel narrative here. Not just are Chucky and Tiffany making their way across the country and killing people, but the two human characters are beginning to suspect each other of being murderers. More films should do that, place doubt in the characters heads, paranoia that eats away at the relationship.
  • “Multiple murderers, mass murders happen all at once, multiple murders are serial killings” useful information to know.
  • Okay so the lighter that Chucky used to blow up a cop car came from the guy that got his throat cut in the opening scene, nice bit of continuity there.
  • Discount Matthew Lilliard playing a swinger here, who steals the main characters wallets.
  • “Chucky, he’s a Good Guy doll, they were programmed to say all kinds of shit”, no, they only had three sentences.
  • “That thieving slut” dude, you kill people.
  • Okay I love this kill, Tiffany kills the swingers by throwing a champagne bottle at the mirrored ceiling above them. The look on her face was just terrifying, and it’s a really inventive way to do it. Visually it’s brilliant too as the characters were on a water bed so the glass shattered into the bed, causing a mix of blood and water to gush into the air.
  • Chucky spots a wedding ring on the guys disembodied finger and tries to take it off but can’t, so he turns his back to Tiffany and tries to bite it off. Weird display of manners there.
  • Maid walks into the swingers bedroom, see’s broken glass and blood on the floor and says “lol, newlyweds”. Is there something about weddings I don’t know about? Is it traditional for newlyweds to break glass and bleed? If so I don’t think I want to get married.
  • A superb jump scare there where David knocks on the van window in the middle of a heated discussion. Probably the best jump scare in the film, incredibly effective.
  • “something really stinks in here”, how is he the only person to notice that?
  • David finds John Ritter’s body and predictably freaks. He then points a gun at the main characters, confusion abounds, before Chucky and Tiffany reveal themselves, guns in hand. A truck then runs over David, most literal gay bashing i’ve ever seen.
  • Actually just realised it’s a bit weird that David called the police over, all they would have seen is him pointing a gun at two people, would have been hard to explain.
  • Wait, why are the police chasing them? They don’t know the dead body’s in the van, all they saw was a guy pointing a gun at them, then that guy got hit by a truck. Yet the police don’t seem to be interested in the truck that hit someone.
  •  “How did you end up like this?” “it’s complicated. If it was a movie it would take 3 or 4 sequels just to do it justice”. God damn that’s self-referential. I love it.
  • Why is Tiffany doing Katherine Heigl’s make up before transforming her soul into her? Surely it would be easier afterwards?
  • So the two characters are tied up, completely helpless. They get out of it by depending on Chucky’s misogyny, which leads to an argument where Tiffany says “plastic is no substitute for a good chunk of wood”, then Chucky getting kicked out of a window, and Tiffany being kicked into an oven. If Chucky was a feminist serial killer he’d have gotten away with it.
  • Chucky and Tiffany basically kill each other. Nice poetic way to end it, they’re in an obviously toxic relationship that is responsible for their own deaths. Nicely done.
  • So that’s it, it’s over. You’d never guess that Katherine Heigl would become such a massive star, or that Nick Stabile wouldn’t.

Contemplations On Chucky: Day 3 (Child’s Play 3)

Director: Jack Bender (Game Of Thrones, The Sopranos, Lost)

Budget: $13million

Box Office: $20million

  • This film is weird, was definitely seen as the weakest at the time. It was released only nine months after the second one yet the in-universe time difference between the two is about 9 years. It’s actually lucky this film was badly received as it meant that there wouldn’t be a sequel to this for almost a decade, by which time real time had caught up with the movie’s timeline. Stupid of Universal to demand a sequel that quickly really. They asked the writer to start it before the second film was even released. As such the writer (Don Mancini) was out of ideas as he used a lot of them in the second one, and because it wasn’t released yet he had no idea about what people thought worked in it and what didn’t, so he was basically going into the third one without knowing how the second one was going to be received.
  • Okay that is one hell of an opening credits sequence. It shows the Chucky doll being remade, there’s something about melted plastic forming into shapes that is quite unsettling and it’s used wonderfully here, especially when combined with the music.
  • Oooooo a presentation, I hope it ends with a duck on a boat.
  • “the notorious lakeshore strangler” not so notorious of course that when people say his name people don’t go “who?”
  • “Why put the Good Guy doll back on the market?” Guy there asking a very sensible question.
  • “Before this it was our biggest seller”, well, yeah but that was eight years ago, eight years ago from today Alexandra Burke had a UK number one, doesn’t mean she’s due for a comeback any day now.
  • “I really don’t think this is a good idea” I like this guy, he’s really sympathetic, shame he never appears after this and is probably going to be fired.
  • “Doesn’t matter what we’re selling whether it’s cars, nuclear weapons, or toys” As a toy manufacturer I’d suggest you stick to toys. There’s not much room on the Fisher Price “My First Nuclear Bomb” playset.
  • “The Good Guy of the 90’s” Looks exactly the same as the 80’s one. And why do they keep insisting on using the model that was accused of murder and has been burnt and chopped up? Try fixing one that hasn’t been almost completely destroyed.
  • I always felt these films have missed out on a really creepy shot of a line of Good Guy dolls in a toy store, all perfectly still except for the eyes are all moving at the same time, seemingly following someone walking through the aisle, then the eyes on one of them dart quickly the other way.
  • Businessman doing business things, like playing golf and watching  business news, good work Vincent Adultman.
  • Random fact: Peter Jackson was asked to direct this. First there was Nightmare On Elm Street, now this. Can Peter Jackson just make a god-damn horror movie now so we can stop wondering?
  • Chucky uses a bunch of toys to create horror movie scares. See, this annoys me as if they had more time in the scripting process this would have been a highlight of the series. As it is it’s good, but not quite great. Although the scene at the end with the two dolls “conversing” whilst sitting in chairs is unsettling enough to justify it.
  • Actually where did those two dolls come from? They said this was the first one in eight years, did he keep two dolls around in his office for almost a decade? Weird guy.
  • “Nothing like a strangulation to get the circulation going” obvious sex joke is obvious.
  • Psychological profile of Andy describes him as a “juvinile” The real crime is illiteracy. And murder. And making tea by putting in the milk first.
  • “these fantasies of killer dolls” weirdest fetish ever.
  • “Who are you?” “I’m a Good Guy”. This advert reminds me of the biggest problem I have with this re-release of the toys, the children who brought them eight years ago will all be grown up now. Children now won’t have any idea who they are, so why on earth would they want a toy they don’t know when there’s so many better ones available?
  • Guy is found tied up in the cupboard, yup, definitely nothing homoerotic about that.
  • “Do you know who I am?” Has a character, actually no, scratch that, a person, ever said that who hasn’t been a complete arsehole?
  • “You are without a doubt the most pathetic thing I have ever seen”, I take it he hasn’t seen his own penis then.
  • “asshole” “what did you say” “I said you asshole” “you think you’re pretty funny don’t you?” “yes”. That woman is basically me if I was older, and a woman, and in the military, and looked better, and was in shape.
  • Person knocks the toy out of a child’s hand, and then immediately disappears. The person who knocked it out of his hands was walking down the stairs, and the toy got knocked down them too. So in the next shot they should have been there, but nope, just disappeared yet.
  • “who the fuck are you?” “I thought you guys only said three sentences”, yeah the other two are “Go fuck yourself” and “I’m your friend to the end”
  • “What am I doing wrong?” Well when you’re shooting you miss the target, that’s your biggest problem.
  • It’s weird that they didn’t actually teach him proper gun use and instead are depending on one of the other cadets to do it.
  • “It’s not a baton Barclay”, well to be fair how would you know as you’ve never fucking taught him how to shoot.
  • “This is my rifle, this is my gun, this is for fighting, this is for fun”. To clarify the gun is his penis. And there’s a shot of him grabbing his own dick, a close up.
  • “A soldier’s rifle is his best friend”, well that’s just sad.
  • Chucky crushes the garbage collector because….reasons. That’s the trouble with constant sequelization of horror films, the characters lose their motivations. In the first film Chucky didn’t kill many people, and only really did it for personal vengeance from when he was alive, or when people discovered him. Was similar in the second one, only he seemed to have a connection with Andy so he also moved onto those who were mistreating Andy, so he was almost going against those who wrong his potential vessel. In this one he’s so far killed two people, none of which were necessary, and the second one actively helped blow his cover. If he didn’t kill the garbageman after escaping the truck then Andy wouldn’t have suspected he was there so it would have been easier for him to go about his nefarious ways.
  • Chucky slices the back of Andy’s foot. I very rarely say this but I definitely wrote a better version of that. If he got the achilles tendon that would have severely disabled Andy for the rest of the film. The actual slicing should have been a lot more visceral too, it should have made people wince, as it is it just looks like nothing.
  • “Chucky’s gonna be a bro” that’s racist. And stupid, why on earth did he reveal himself to Andy then? He’s just making things difficult for himself.
  • “I got myself another slave” I’ll take “lines that would have sounded a lot worse if the main character was black” for $1,000 please.
  • “I’m trying to weed out a thief”, but you stole it first.
  • Chucky kills someone via heart attack, even he seems disappointed by that. Funny thought, about time that happened.
  • “Do yourself a favour and get the hell out of Kent”, people have been saying the same thing to me for nigh on 30 years.
  • You may remember this character said earlier that the reason soldiers need short hair is so that someone can’t grab it and slit your throat. Predictably he dies by someone slitting his throat.
  • The idea of switching out paintball bullets for normal bullets is a good idea on paper (I actually used it in a short story for GCSE English) but it’s stupid and ridiculous in execution for two reasons: 1) Guns which fire paint rounds are usually specially modified to allow it and can’t fire normal rounds. 2) It’s standard military practice to check your ammunition before firing. So a nice idea but one that defies logic.
  • “Now we can play hide the soul” is that similar to hide the sausage? If so I don’t want to play it.
  • Surely they’d notice they’re not firing paint rounds when they change the ammunition or when their shots hit a tree or something and there’s no paint.
  • Obvious fake snow is obvious.
  • So out of all these trained cadets, not one of them noticed a live grenade being thrown towards them.
  • We now go to a nearby fairground, which to me is way too close to the military exercises to be considered safe.
  • So now we’ve moved away from the army base, which is a shame as there were a lot of opportunities for interesting set pieces that weren’t really used. Okay the fairground also has a lot of interesting things that could be used but they only have like 12 minutes left in this film in which to do so, and that’s including credits.
  • Wait, the fairground ride has paper masquerading as fire, yet has a real f*cking scythe?  More to the point, nothing of interest happened in the ghost house, massive disappointment.
  • See, now there it makes sense to have blades, in a fan, but they should still be covered by something.
  • Andy ducks to avoid being hit by a rollercoaster train. Wait, the train is still going? And nobody can see or hear the attempted murder that’s going on?
  • Chucky gets his hand cut off, again, I think that’s happened in ever film so far. You’d think he’d be used to it.
  • Chucky falls into the fan and gets cut, and seems to explode. Quick question; how on earth is this going to be covered up? How are they going to explain the gun?
  • Wait, I know that cop. That’s the manager from Chuck. Cool.
  • So now the end credits. Overall somewhat enjoyable, definitely the weakest so far though and way too many missed opportunities.