The Final Word: Day 3 (Final Destination 3)

Day 3, the third film, you know the drill by now. This would have been posted yesterday but got delayed due to health reasons, by which I mean I’m sick of myself. Oh, and I’m aware of the DVD having an interactive “choose your own” fate thing on it, but lol I’m not adding that stuff in here because obviously I’m not. I might do it later as a bonus blog though.

  • The opening credits take place over a series of shots at a theme park.
  • Cool, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is in this, (as Wendy) I love her.
  • The credits are effective, but like most things in this franchise, incredibly unsubtle.
  • Wendy is standing by watching everybody else have fun (a bit like me at an orgy), just standing there taking pictures (again, like me) when she gets freaked out by something she see’s (again…well you get the joke).
  • Wendy is freaked out by her camera changing the words “high dive” to “high die”, which I think is the idiots way of describing an overdose, it’s certainly how I do it.
  • She’s joined by her boyfriend Jason, her friend Carrie, and Carrie’s boyfriend Kevin. They’re at the theme park as a graduation celebration for the local high school. “yay, we survived until May without being notable failures, let’s spend a lot of money to celebrate that fact”. There was no need for that to be the case here, they could have just been friends hanging out.
  • “it won’t kill us to get a deep fried snickers” are you sure? Because that sounds like it might kill you.
  • “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” or gives you PTSD.
  • Ewwww Kevin is creepy and takes a photo of a girl’s crotch so he can lust over the cameltoe. Bit weird. Jason too, very creepy, pointing out two girls bending over. Dude, your girlfriend is right there, and she’s Mary Elizabeth Fucking Winstead, you can’t do better, few people can.
  • Why does her camera make the flash-bulb noise when the flash is turned on? It’s a digital camera
  • A Tony Todd-voiced devil makes creepy comments that scares Wendy. Sadly that’s his only appearance in this films.
  • “when else are you going to see a dick that big?” Wait until my cloud gets hacked.
  • “odds of dying in a roller coaster are 250million to one, you’re more likely to die driving there”, I wrote a very similar line in a school shooting script, my character was less of a dick though. This guy is Ian and his girlfriend Erin. Erin does almost nothing in this film. Ian is a dick, who looks uncomfortably like a fat robot Dennis Reynolds from It’s Always Sunny.
  • There’s a dude called Frankie Cheeks showing of his necklace which is a naked woman posing. Why are so many of the male characters in this franchise creepy?
  • “We’ll settle this like real men!” Then proceeds to do a coin flip. Because that’s how MEN deal with problems! You looking at my girl? Coin flip! The original draft of John Wick was just Keanu Reeves flipping coins everywhere. Harder now as it’s all card.
  • “dare you to flash me those sweet titties when we go through the loop” ugh I hate Frankie, but the fact he’s getting this much attention means I know he’s not going to die in this accident. Shame.
  • We also have Lewis, a jock, and that’s all the characterisation he gets so far.
  • A ride attendant tells Wendy to put away her camera, didn’t say anything to Frankie though.
  • And we’re off! They cheer the start of the rollercoaster, they’re going to be so excited when they find out it does more than just drive very slowly out of a station.
  • Frankie has his camera out on the ride, because of course he does.
  • Everyone has their hands in the air like they just don’t care. And that’s the problem with society, nobody cares about anything. Except cheese. Everybody cares about cheese. And Betty White.
  • Things start to go wrong and the coaster breaks over the course of a few minutes. The people working there obviously think “this is fine” and never hit the brakes, even after a wheel falls off.
  • The front car comes off the track, killing everyone in that. Then some of the overhead seatbelt restraints come loose, which is surprising because I’ve usually found the opposite happening. When (I think it was) Alton Towers had a rollercoaster get stuck a the top of a loop whilst upside down a few years ago, nobody fell out because they work on their own system separate from the brakes etc.
  • Everybody dies in probably the least exciting accident of the series. It doesn’t have the same effect as the others have because of how restrained it feels, it doesn’t have the same slow-burn as most of the others. It’s the most similar to the first one, due to how almost everybody died of the same thing. But after the road accident in the second film being a combination of causes, to go back to the one feels a little bit like a step backwards. It’s weird as they obviously put a lot of effort into filming this, using a good mix of digital and practical
  • Again, this series doesn’t know how timing works. Making the accident happen 20 seconds after it starts instead of a few minutes like it played out in the dream. That’s a serious issue with this franchise and I hope the next to sort it out. Although from what I remember about the fourth film, it seems to make everything worse, in 3D.
  • We saw two things cause the accident: Lewis’s restraints being forced down (kinky) and Fuckhead Frankie dropping his camera and causing it to wrap around the track (somehow) then get run over. Both of them got off the coaster, so what caused the crash?
  • Kevin tries to cheer Wendy up by talking about the events of the first film and how someone had a vision that the plane was going to explode He then mentions how everybody died. Because that’s helpful.
  • Also, again, they’re ignoring the prequel. I know that film hasn’t happened yet, but knowing it exists REALLY fucks up moments like this.
  • Two blonde girls who’s names I can’t remember and entire personality boils down to “hot students” go to a tanning salon, armed with drinks which are lubriciously sized.
  • They strip off, because you need the audience to be sexually excited about these two girls you know are about to die. Okay when you phrase it like that it’s a bit weird.
  • The machines start breaking because they changed the temperature of the room. So at least they caused their own deaths so there’s a karmic nature to the deaths, my favourite deaths in horror movies are like that.
  • “it’s way too warm in here” might be because you turned the heating up in a room which had tanning beds in, and then got in the tanning beds.
  • A coat rack falls and ends up trapping the two girls inside. The tannings beds don’t have a switch inside to turn them off because that would be sensible.
  • The machines turn up the heat and burn them to death, shattering glass over them as they catch on fire. Probably the definitive kills of this film. Graphic, horrific, and completely changes how you see tanning beds. Although if they were in tanning beds that often anyway and regularly ignored safety instructions they could have ended up with skin cancer anyway, so at least this way is quick. But yeah a truly devastating and painful death, and you felt every moment of it. But at least you got to see boobs, right? That’s it, hide the fact you have an erection still when it gets to the deaths. Man horror movies are fucking weird.
  • Brilliant editing as it cuts from the two burning beds to their coffins. *applause*
  • Ian and are at the funeral. Where Ian heckles the guy doing the eulogy. Bit weird, and makes it harder to like them.
  • Frankie blames himself for their deaths, as do I. He blames himself because he thinks they pressured themselves to look good to impress him. I blame him because he’s the worst and I blame him for everything.
  • Lewis at the funeral too, couldn’t even be bothered to iron his shirt.
  • Wendy and Kevin are there too. Wendy has researched about death being foreshadowed. She does this by showing a photo Lincoln with a line through his head, foreshadowing his assassination (I still say he deserved that, he was wearing a hat in the theatre). Bit weird to pull real life deaths into this schlocky franchise, but it was long enough ago that it’s not really an issue. Then they do this:
  • Wtf movie? That’s a 9/11 reference FOR NO REASON in a film made less than 5 years after. They hadn’t even paid compensation to the workers who helped clear it by that point (oh, and fuck Droopy Dog Mitch for fighting against that).
  • “spongebob lives under the sea” “it’s so sad you know that”. Is it? Or is it common knowledge?
  • FINALLY Frankie dies when a car engine goes through his head. A convoluted death that wouldn’t have happened if multiple people weren’t dicks. The truck driver who blocked Wendy’s door so she couldn’t get out and warn people. The people in the car behind Wendy and Kevin who insisted they drive forward because they needed burgers immediately even though being closer together in the queue only makes it shorter in length, not in time, which is the more annoying thing about queues. Would you rather be in a 2 person queue that takes ages? Or a 20 person queue that’s over in a minute? Exactly. Also, Frankie is a dick for flipping them off when they tried to warn him, and for being a dick.
  • They work out Lewis is going to die through either something to do with swords, or a weight from a weight machine on his head. It feels like those are pretty simple deaths to avoid. I don’t want to jinx it but I know for a fact I’m not going to die through sword or a weight machine.
  • He dies through both, the swords cutting the machine thingys (I’m not an expert on weight machines) until the weights swing down and crush his head. Important point: the swords swung down and cut the things, he saw them, stopped, then continued. Didn’t think to stand up and check if they cut anything important. This is a weird death as they made a fake head that they crushed and it looked great, but then they covered it up with CGI. Such a waste
  • Back to Ian and Erin. Ian is shooting pigeons with a nail gun.
  • Lots of things got knocked from shelves due to lack of health and safety and nobody having peripheral vision. This causes even more things to fall down, and Erin being shot in the back of the head multiple times by a nail gun (which is definitely faulty). I don’t even know enough about her character to feel comfortable about making a joke about nailing her from behind.
  • Kevin and Wendy (and yes I do have to keep checking I got their names right because of how badly defined the characters are) go to a fair to safe her sister Julie. Julie nearly gets run over by a horse and somehow a rope attached to the horse goes around her neck and drags her around. Something which is only possible because not one person around them went “holy shit there’s a fucking horse running through a crowd of people, move”. It also only happens because Julie is unnecessarily rude to Kevin, not entirely sure why except for plot reasons. The horse stops and everyone is calm, Julie keeps the noose tied around her neck (sex reasons?) and of course the horse runs off again, nearly killing her for a second time in a minute. It does look good though, it really looks like Julie is being dragged whilst having a rope round her neck. They achieved this effect by tying something around his neck and dragging her. It had a harness so it was safe, but props to her for doing that.
  • The police try to calm the horse down but it gets spooked by fireworks, which is why you shouldn’t have horses at a mass effect where there is going to be a lot of fireworks, dumbass.
  • Julie’s friend isn’t so lucky, getting impaled by an airborne flagpole that flew through the air because the horse getting tied to it was spooked. Obviously. A really weak death.
  • Kevin gets burned to death nearly, but doesn’t, in a scene that lasts about 3 seconds and with zero tension.
  • Not-Dennis turns up and Wendy is scared that he’s the cause of her death. He’s not though, he dies after fireworks malfunction and shoot past him, causing a cherry picker to collapse on him. My pet goldfish died the same way.
  • Like a lot of deaths, this is a “nearly dies, then stands completely still and gloats, then dies”. Nobody in this film has a sense of “move away from the danger” once they survive it once.
  • Then everyone dies in a train crash. Yup, that’s how it ends. After another vision, this time one she can’t stop because trains don’t have emergency brakes on the inside or anything. It’s kind of a bummer ending and you get used to it with this franchise, but that doesn’t make it any better. For once can we have a win?

So yeah, that’s it. It’s not a bad movie, but it does have bad moments, it indicates the worst parts of the next one; bad CGI and unlikeable characters. It also adds nothing new. The second one had the “backwards to clean up loose ends” gimmick, this one didn’t do anything different to the first one, and it’s disappointing to see it, it’s not so much a sequel, and more like a remake. Shame. Worth watching if you’re a fan of the franchise though,

The Final Word: Day 2 (Final Destination 2)

Yup, after doing Final Destination, we’re now doing Final Destination 2. Because we’re crazy and weird like that. This sequel was released 3 years after the original, which looking back on it was probably one of the last horror films to have a plane explode which wasn’t deemed “ooo, too soon” for a long time. In that three years the original had gained quite a cult following so a sequel was not so much hoped for but expected at this point. The franchise is lucky to be honest, as it has no definable villain except the general concept of death, so really it can go on indefinitely. It’s not like Nightmare On Elm Street where they have to defeat Freddy, and then think of a way to bring him back the next film (with varying degrees of believability). This is the only film in the franchise with a returning main character, so the ties to the original are incredibly obvious. Speaking of things which are incredibly obvious, let’s start my jokes.

  • We start off with a recap of the events of the first film, done via news broadcast. I don’t mind that, it’s a clever way to do it, and it’s better than just playing flashbacks.
  • It’s talking about how everyone died soon after the events of the plane crash (well, it took over six months to get two of them, so stretching the definition of soon, also it wasn’t a crash, it was an explosion), speaking of the event as the starting incident in people realising “oh wait, death has a plan”. Now, spoilers, a future movie in the franchise (but I won’t tell you which one) is a prequel to the first one, and ends with the main characters on the plane from the first movie. A really good twist, but why is that situation never mentioned until that film? Nobody speaks about how “these people died in the plane crash also JUST avoided death in a tragic incident a few months before”. THAT should have been the main incident, not the plane crash. In a large event like that, newspapers would have picked up on that, surely?
  • “so I’m surrounded by death?” yeah I feel like that when I go outside at the moment too, you ain’t special.
  • “when Alex took the other survivors off that plane, it screwed up deaths plan”. But deaths plan was already screwed up by having two people on the plane who shouldn’t have been alive in the first place. So who would have died in their place? Damn, that future prequel opens up A LOT of questions.
  • “there were so many weird random things about the way they died, it just didn’t make sense”. Okay, WE know that as an audience, does the world know that? As far as they’re concerned all that happened was: a suicide, a bus accident, a house fire etc. Okay, some of them were creepy, but some were set up to look relatively mundane.
  • Oh, this is all taking place on a TV screen in a room of someone who is asleep and conveniently wakes up just at the correct moment to hear plot-relevant points.
  • “dad, it’s Daytona, not Somalia” Well done movie, you just lost the lucrative Somalia audience.
  • So what song starts off this horror movie? If you said “euro-pop dance” you were correct. Great song though
  • Main character in this is Kimberly, heading on a trip with her friends Shaina, Dano, and Frankie. Dano and Frankie are the kind of guys who call women “honey’s”, so you already hope they die.
  • The car radio plays news about a memorial to the plane crash, then Highway To Hell, the characters find this a bit of a creepy coincidence because they know they’re in a horror movie. Seriously, most of the “creepy” set ups in this franchise only work because the characters know they’re in a horror movie. If you turned on the radio and heard “Highway To Hell” on a road trip, would you find that creepy or symbolic? Nope, just strange.
  • Anyway, they change it, and get the exact same band as they listened to when they started the trip (another great song), I’d find that creepier than AC/DC to be honest.
  • A guy who looks like he’s called “Brad” or another similar dude-bro name drives past them and creepily stares at them, for no other reason than this film needs to make us aware of him for later.
  • She gets a phone call from her dad telling her the car is leaking transmission fluid. She has a car phone, and has driven to pick up two dick-havers, and only NOW is he phoning her? Damn that’s cold.
  • Biker boobs. This series gets much more tit-orientated as it goes on, so beware of that.
  • We’re introduced to the rest of the cast by watching them driving. We get nothing about their personalities or names, but we know they can drive.
  • Cop is driving with coffee near his lap, because the NY police budget doesn’t extend to cupholders. The obvious happens and he spills the coffee.
  • A logging truck chain breaks, forcing a big log (lol) to fall off and bounce through the cop guys window. Reports that Trump called the wood an “Antifa BLM agent” have been made up by me, but are still probably accurate. Great kill though, still lingers with me whenever I’m behind a logging truck.
  • He dead. Which causes a guy on a motorbike to fall off and smash into a piece of wood, before getting crushed by his own bike.
  • A car containing a stoner dick flips over and lands safely. Yay. Before getting hit by a truck. Boo.
  • Cars flip and go boom. I’m really underselling it, this is probably my favourite disaster in the franchise. It looks incredible and I think part of that is because of how much of it is practical. The logs were fake as they didn’t bounce properly, and they used it for things like removing wires and putting an actors face on a dummy. It looks so great, and compared to how fake they look in some (especially the fourth one, spoilers)
  • Someone gets stuck in a car and burns to death in a horrific death, he literally screams as he’s burned alive, its awful and great.
  • Everybody dies.
  • But they don’t. Because Kimberly pulls over. The log truck drives past and we get enough time for Kimberly to say “that’s the truck that’s going to kill everyone, why won’t you listen to me?” before the crash happens. Ignore the fact that the deaths actually took place about 5 minutes later, and much MUCH further down the road, because we can still see the crash from their viewpoint, the timing of these have always been wrong. But still, everyone survives, right? Wrong! Only Kimberly gets out the car, the rest stay in there until they get hit by a truck which didn’t stop for some reason. Also, she parked the car on an on-ramp and blocks it so nobody can gets past. Yet the car was hit by the truck in the middle of the freeway. How did it move there?
  • “I knew something bad was going to happen”, yeah I have that too. It’s called high level anxiety.
  • “it’s like that 180 flight that happened one year ago today”. I’m sorry, are we saying death observes anniversaries?
  • “you must have read about that kid who had a dream about the plane blowing up?” no, but I read about the kid before that who had a dream about another accident and saved people from that, who then died on that plane crash. Seriously, one of the films being a prequel REALLY fucks up this franchise.
  • “A month goes by, everything seems cool”, because nothing is cooler than dead people.
  • “death was stalking them”, well he got one of them in the shower, bit creepy.
  • “did mum ever have any weird feelings about anything?” Well she always had a funny turn when Joan Jett was on TV, but i think that was mainly the leather.
  • “Did she have any premonitions?” are you asking if she was a witch? Because you’re the one who died in a fire but not really.
  • We’re now at the house of blonde douche. A guy called Evan who won the lottery yet still lives in a shitty flat. He used his winnings to buy new computer etc. Which is stupid, if he spent it on house THEN got laptop he’d have less to carry. Also, him winning the lottery has NO effect on the plot except he has voice messages from people trying to hook up with him.
  • A fire starts as he’s got his hand stuck in garbage disposal. Something which wouldn’t have happened if HE MOVED OUT.
  • He tries to escape but all the windows slam shut and seem to lock because magic death powers. The magic death powers aren’t enough to stop him breaking the window and climbing out though.
  • His fire-escape ladder gets stuck and his flat explodes (something which seemingly affects nobody else in the block of flats somehow).
  • He hits the floor then slips on some spaghetti (not joking), the ladder THEN slides down nearly impaling him in the eye but stopping at the last moment. He then lies completely still until it does fall down and kill him. His death would have been stopped if he just rolled to the side like a regular person. It’s not a satisfying death because of how stupid it is. The make-up looks great though.
  • The cop is investigating the plane crashes and looks up reports of the deaths, where we get the worst picture/caption ever.
Tod in bathtub. Caption "a nice shot before the coroner
  • Seriously that is such a staged picture, he’s obviously posing. And who put that caption there? That’s not me, that’s in the film. What the hell?
  • We then find out how Alex died, he got hit by a falling brick. Obviously all the media attention never got him a helmet.
  • “a semi comes” I normally can’t do that until I get a full one.
  • Everyone is watching the news about the crash when a report comes up about the death of Evan. Now, none of the characters ever interacted with Evan, he was specifically shown as not being interviewed at the same time as everyone else, he was watching through a two way mirror. So why are they creeped out by this? They don’t know he nearly died. They would just see it as another death.
  • We see Tim, a 15 year old who survived the crash alongside his mum, and who is weirdly written. He’s 15, yet his mum comes into his room and kisses him goodnight like he’s 5.
  • Kimberly does more research into Flight 180, because what this film needed was more people sitting at computers.
  • I don’t know why she’s worried though, she’s got the Infinity Gems in her damn lamp.
  • See, she’s basically Thanos.
  • Kimberly then goes to the mental institution where Clear is, the next day. Not as though there’s an emergency or anything, take your time.
  • “at the request of the patient you will relinquish [stuff here], pocket knives, poisons”. What kind of place is this that they have to specifically request “no poison”?
  • Wooo Clear is back. In a room designed to keep her safe with lots of pictures on the wall and a TV. She’s risking a tv explosion or multiple paper cuts.
  • “all my friends are dead”, but you mentioned in the previous film that you didn’t know any of them that well, so not as though you were besties. At most it’s “my acquaintances are dead”
  • “don’t worry, once death gets the others it will come back for you” oh okay, that’s reassuring.
  • Kimberly see’s a reflection of pigeons flying and panics thinking they’re near her, despite not feeling them, not being able to see them outside of the reflection, or not hearing them (and it was a lot of pigeons) she still asks “did you see them?” to someone who had his back to the window.
  • Tim goes to the dentist, where pigeons (oh no!) fly into the window and nearly break it. Also a fish tank leaks into an electrical circuit, but we know that won’t do anything as we’ve already established pigeons will cause death.
  • Somehow nobody notices the electric sparks from the plug socket, or the water on the floor (despite a character nearly slipping on it).
  • A fish-mobile above the dentists chair (perfectly normal in a dentist that works on people over the age of 5) breaks and a fish falls into Tim’s mouth, he looks he will nearly die but the dental assistant comes and saves him. Not quite sure that room would be left unattended but movie gonna movie.
  • He survives and comes out the building, no complains about almost dying and runs into a flock of pigeons to scare them, again, he’s 15, not 5. This triggers a crane operator to drop a sheet of glass on him killing him.
  • A brutal death, but another one in which adequate health and safety regulations would have stopped. The crane shouldn’t have been holding a load like that in a public area in case it accidentally goes off. (and trust me, I know something about accidentally letting a large load go).
  • Wooo it’s Bludworth again being creepy and disturbing, seemingly walking out of fire. Clear argues with him saying “death’s design is flawed and can be beaten”, which begs the question if she thinks that then why was she hiding away? Nothing has changed on her end to change her mind.
  • Also, Bludworth uses pliers to pull out a nipple piercing from a body. Bit gross, but could be grosser.
  • Essentially new life can cause deaths plan to be cancelled. So basically if you nearly die, fuck everybody you can in the hope of starting new life. Of course this might mean you now die of an STD.
  • Kimberly gets another vision, this time of a van crashing into a lake. She says she can see it happening and could almost taste the water, but the vision wasn’t from her point of view. Which brings me up to another point: how does she know in which order the deaths were supposed to happen in the crash? We saw them all, but she would have a very limited POV, if she saw them from the same places we were that would have effected how realistic she thought they were, and at some point she would have noticed “oh wait, I seem to be watching things from the angle of someone floating 2 inches in front of a strangers car”. The death in the first film was in a confined space and had an ignition source so Alex could trace it like that. But in this? What would she have actually seen in the vision? She might not have even seen the log fall off.
  • Drug guy who’s name I can’t be bothered finding out goes into a lift with a dodgy door, putting his dog-shit shoe in someone’s face, because he’s a dick.
  • The group is all together, and one of them is nearly killed by a falling canoe indoors.
  • They find out Nora (Tim’s mum, who has had almost zero characterisation) is next to die, and will probably involve a hookhand. Sadly not Candyman, but a random old white guy with prosthetic limbs. Her hair gets caught in one of them which leads to her head being trapped in the lift doors (why she couldn’t stay in the lift and untangle them is a mystery to me). What follows is a brutal death where she’s begging not to die. Unsuccessfully as she gets decapitated, her head ending up in the lift, her body on the outside.
  • Now we get the weirdly brilliant part of this story; we find out how all these people nearly died earlier on, but were saved by incidents in the first film. Eugene was a teacher who had to replace Ms. Lewton after she died in the first film. His replacement was stabbed. I question that one because if she died in the plane explosion, wouldn’t she still need to have been replaced? And at pretty much the same time too. So either way she would have had a replacement. And there’s no reason to suspect it wouldn’t have been him, that’s on death, not him.
  • The cop nearly died from the train decapitation. He was supposed to go investigate it but someone else did instead, who then died in a shootout. A shootout, at a car crash site. Probably a train employee stopping the police asking questions about why the fuck didn’t the train stop after hitting a car.
  • A woman with lego hair avoided going to a hotel with a gas leak because the bus she was on was the one that ran someone over in first film. I mean, she could have just caught the next bus and still made it.
  • Druggy dickhead survived a theatre fire because he was busy staring at the sign falling down at the end of the first film. He was on LSD so he would have been too distracted by the bright lights anyway.
  • Kimberly survived death because she was busy watching a news report on Tod’s death so she didn’t go outside to meet her mum, who got shot outside waiting for her. “how can you strangle yourself in a bathtub?” Well I often choke a chicken in there.
  • Also, is this film saying that the car crash deaths were caused by people surviving deaths related to flight 180? Because that’s like 26 people who nearly died but didn’t because of the effects of the plane explosion. All of them. All of them were death tying up loose ends. Bullshit.
  • Another car crash. Injures almost everybody in the car. Eugene is severely injured and taken to hospital. Lego hair is stuck in the vehicle, pinned down by another log.
  • A small child (well, teen) is almost hit by a van and is saved by stoner dickhead. Now, he dies later in the film after a bbq explodes and it turns out he was supposed to die at this moment. But how? Like what was the original plan? The accident here wouldn’t have happened if the original car crash was survived, and that wouldn’t have happened if the plane explosion wasn’t survived. How many damn loose ends is there in this film?
  • Lego hair dies when her airbag deploys, forcing her head against a pipe which goes through her head. Great make-up effects here and a shocking death. This causes her to drop her cigarette, which ignites a trail of gas, causing an explosion which causes wire fencing to be shot over to stoner dick, trifurcating him in a great death, albeit one that is just a bit stupid if you think about it.
  • Kimberly has another vision about being choked by a nurse, I’ve often had dreams about that happening to me. *wistful sigh*
  • Kimberly, Cop, and Clear rush to the hospital. They are somehow very far behind Eugene who is not only there but has been checked in and hooked up to machines in the 4 minutes headstart he had.
  • Fire happens, and Kimberly realises that she needs to crash a van into a river, die, and come back to life. Oh yeah, Claire have died in an explosion. Very boring deaths, especially considering how important a character Clear was in these movies.
  • She dies, but comes back to life, this resets deaths plan. I think. See, the kid I mentioned earlier dies. So obviously not everybody is safe. So is it just Kimberly that is safe? Or is the cop safe too because it was the same accident? I don’t know! And neither does the film. Good death though.
  • I never do this but the ending credits to this are not great. I don’t know if it’s the transfer to DVD or not but they’re incredibly jerky, every few seconds they go weird. And they’re REALLY blurry. Weird.

So yeah, that’s day two over. Tomorrow is Final Destination 3, because of course it is.

The Final Word: Day 1 (Final Destination)

The day’s are shorter, the nights are long, that can only mean one thing: We could fuck in the sun and dance till dawn. Wait, that’s not it, that’s a song. It means the year is doing it’s best impression of a guy eyeing a drunk girl at a bar, creeping ever closer and hoping we won’t notice until it’s too late, but we notice, we see you Craig! So it’s time for our yearly (except the year we didn’t do it) tradition. After choking on Chucky, jacking off Jigsaw, fellating Freddy, and having a nice romantic evening with Ghostface hoping he feels the same way, it’s time for this year’s October obambulation through occult (except not the occult, I just needed another O word. Not that! Pervert). There is still a lot of franchises we have to go through, Halloween (once I find the Rob Zombie films on DVD), The Omen could be interesting, Friday The 13th etc. So what did I chose for this one? Final Destination, as you can obviously tell if you look at the title for this I’m starting with the first one, because I’m not a moron.

  • New Line Cinema film. Who brought us Nightmare On Elm Street, always a good start.
  • On the other hand they also gave us Wedding Crashers, and if I remember correctly that film had a woman raping a dude as a seduction technique. Oh the dark desolate days of *checks date* the mid 2000’s
  • The opening credits to this are worse than you remember. Basically shadows, rain, and lightning. It’s supposed to be foreboding and menacing, but really just comes off as a music video for a 90’s grunge band.
  • Dolls hanging from ceiling so their shadows look like they’re being lynched, “death of a salesman”, a history book opening on a page about guillotines, this film is not exactly subtle.
  • Also the character building in this sequence is kind of poor. We establish the main characters name, and that he’s going to France. All of which is established in the opening scene of the film anyway.
  • Oh, the final shot of the credits is blood red “this is the end”, again, very subtle.
  • And since this is the end I’ll just turn the film off there. A bit shit to be honest. Nothing happened, and I didn’t see any of the actors mentioned.
  • Still better than Wolf. That film made me want to cyber bully.
  • Know what I said earlier about how all of the character building from the credits is established in the opening scene? I’m not exaggerating. The opening line is “Alex, the bus leaves the high school for the airport around 5”.
  • He insist the luggage tag from the last flight needs to stay on the luggage to stop it crashing. Is that a thing? I have never heard of that.
  • Of course his mum rips it off. So you can say about freak weather conditions, or bad engineering. The real cause of the plane crash was Alex’s mum. Fuck you you bitch.
  • The wind blows model airplane propellers, foreshadowing the characters death, much like a lot of things. But here’s the issue, it’s only foreshadowing it for us, it does dick for the characters. That’s a weak part of these films, a lot of it seems like it’s done for the audience benefit rather than the characters. So you don’t empathise with the characters as much as you don’t feel their fear, you only feel yours.
  • Sean William Scott there wearing a baseball cap backwards, so you know he’s cool.
  • A religious guy hands out a pamphlet saying “death is not the end”. Immediately dating this film as taking place before 9/11.
  • The camera focuses on the airline departure board saying “terminal”. Oh no, spoopy! That means death! Again though, this means nothing to the characters. I would not be freaked out by seeing the word “terminal” at an airport. I’d be more freaked out if I didn’t, wondering if I accidentally wandered into something that wasn’t an airport, but was in fact a whorehouse (just getting my excuses in early).
  • Oooo now there’s a character wearing sunglasses indoors. The people in this film are just too cool.
  • “Hey Alex, come take a shit”. Dudes are weird.
  • The airport plays a John Denver song, a singer who died in a plane crash. This would be a neat little touch if the lead character didn’t say “That’s John Denver, he died in a plane crash”.
  • Alex again gets freaked out by the flight board saying “Terminal”. Again, that’s not spooky, that’s standard thing you will see at an airport, it’s useful information. It’s like being freaked out because you saw rapeseed oil.
  • The teacher isn’t paying much attention to the students going on the plane. Do you want a Home Alone 2: Lost In New York? Because that’s how you get Home Alone 2: Lost In New York? And you know what happened after that? Home Alone 3. And we DON’T TALK ABOUT HOME ALONE 3.
  • “that’s a good sign, younger the better”, Isn’t that the tagline on Giuliani’s tinder profile?
  • Why are they doing the safety announcements while people are still getting on the flight? You’d wait until everyone is seated, surely?
  • Everyone on the plane applauds the flight taking off. I’m no longer sad about any of them dying.
  • Shit starts going wrong and some of the people struggle to put their airbags on. Probably because of the shitty flight safety announcements.
  • The true tragedy is the chocolate rolling along the floor. *cries* such a waste.
  • A horrific plane crash in which everybody dies.
  • But not really. That was just a dream. I don’t think the series ever managed that rug-pull as expertly as it did here. Because, well, you can’t. That became the general concept of the films. It became expected. But can you imagine seeing this for the first time going in blind? Knowing nothing about the film except it’s a horror. You see the entire cast die horrifically in the opening sequence. I can’t begin to imagine how that must have caught the audience off-guard the first time.
  • He panics (as you would) and gets him (and some of his classmates) thrown off the flight, including people who didn’t actually do anything, which is a bit weird.
  • The plane, of course, blows up. Much sooner than it did in the dream. If I’ve got the timing right it would have blown up when everybody started clapping. Makes sense.
  • Have to question how that made the window at the airport shatter.
  • “are there any survivors?” Asks a teacher, about a plane exploding in mid-air. Is she an idiot?
  • “did you take any sedatives before boarding?” Do……..do sleeping pills cause planes to explode? Should I be worried that the doctors gave me pills for my first flight? I knew they were trying to kill me! I’m not paranoid, everyone really is out to get me.
  • “if you didn’t believe it would explode, why did you get off the plane?” Because security threw him off. You’re detectives, and you can’t figure that simple shit out?
  • We then get our main introduction to Clear Rivers, who is the only one of the main characters to appear in more than one film in the franchise. I love her so much in this. I would have so dated her. But sadly I couldn’t see the Clear/Lee romance in my head as I was dating someone called Lorraine. She dumped me though, you’d expect that to have made me sad but actually it made me delighted. I can still remember thinking “Yes! I can see Clear/Lee now Lorraine has gone”
  • “eyewitnesses report seeing the plane explode” Well, obviously. Was that not kind of already known?
  • “air traffic controllers are corroborating eye-witness accounts” I’ll hazard a guess you’ll get nothing useful from that as the explosion happened in the air, and the eyewitnesses were on the ground so didn’t see anything that could have caused it.
  • “don’t talk to me you scare the hell out of me” 1) brilliant thing for a teacher to say to a student going through grief. 2) That’s the usual reaction to my seduction techniques. That and laughter.
  • We’re coming up to the first non-plane death here. Tod (fun fact: that means “death” in German. I know that because I named a character that in a sitcom). You can tell death is coming for him because there’s wind. And everywhere there’s wind, there’s death, especially after I just had a curry.
  • This is a weird death, and is one of two I have a major issue with in this film. So, his toilet leaks, and water looks like it’s following him in the bathroom (seriously, it’s flowing in a really unnatural way, it flows towards one end of the room and once he moves it flows towards him again). There’s quite a few fake-outs which are fun (him having scissors up his nose as the water comes near him, dodgy electrics on the radio etc) but I don’t think they’re is as effective as they could be because this is the first death, so you’re not really looking out for those.
  • Back with Alex, who throws a newspaper at an owl which then then gets caught in a fan and chopped up (the newspaper, not the owl). One question; how useless was that fan cover if that many pages of paper can get through those slits just like that? I’m not saying it’s not possible, but it’s highly unlikely. It only happens because the shredded paper spells out the word “Tod”. Kind of lame logic.
  • And now Tod dies, he slips on the toilet water and the washing line wraps itself around his neck choking him. He can’t stand up because the bath is too slippery, and can’t just swing his leg onto the floor and stand up there because fuck you plot reasons. The bit where the white in his eyes suddenly go red is one of my favourite bits of the film, but it’s followed by one of my least favourite bits, the water going back into the toilet. Erm, how? Why? Is death worried he’s going to be arrested?
  • His death is ruled as suicide because the investigators in this town didn’t see the marks of him struggling to stand up somehow.
  • “Something from that day is still with you” probably trauma.
  • “I know because I can still feel you” Yes please.
  • Clear and Alex break into a morgue to see Tod’s body. I’m not entirely sure what they’re hoping to find, as they know nothing about medical science.
  • Luckily there’s someone who does, Tony mother-fucking Todd as William Bludworth, both the best, and most confusing character in the franchise. His role is to essentially turn up, creepily explain the plot, then leave. How does he know what he knows? Maybe he’s death? It’s never explained and it’s both fantastic and annoying (a bit like me, if you ignore the fantastic part).
  • He points out that Tod has lacerations on his hand from pulling at the wire, indicating it wasn’t a suicide. Somehow this information is not brought up again and his death is still ruled as suicide for the rest of the franchise.
  • Tony Todd is a creepy mother fucker. Being disturbing and (not sure if it’s just me) slightly seductive whilst talking about how you can’t escape death’s design. I mean, it happens in a future film, but that’s besides the point He doesn’t explain this until another film.
  • “what if we cheated the design by getting off the plan? What if it’s still our time. It’s our time. Up there, its our time”. I may have started misremembering the line halfway through.
  • “I do believe that Tod killed himself”. Bitch you were in the mortuary when it was explained how he didn’t.
  • Carter nearly runs Billy over, because he’s a dickhole. You can tell this because he’s playing loud rock music. Nobody comments on the vehicular manslaughter.
  • “you can just drop fucking dead” says, erm, I can’t remember her name, before getting hit by a bus in one of the funniest deaths of the series. I’m still unsure why nobody stopped her. It was obvious where she was going to walk, and nobody stopped her. Just because we didn’t see the bus, doesn’t mean others didn’t. Also, an earlier scene established there was a crane in the way.
  • That death did come out of nowhere and was brilliant. It caught test audiences so off guard that they needed to add a 5 second scene of nothing just to calm audiences down after.
  • Now with Valerie Lewton, the teacher. I get the name is a reference to a producer from the 40’s (well at least I think it is). But considering they’re best known for a technique called “Lewton Bus” why would you make another character be the one who gets hit by a bus?
  • Good as time to mention now how I love the names in this script, almost all the characters are named after famed horror creators:
    • Terry Cheney: Lon Cheney, known for playing multiple horror characters which employed use of his make-up skills
    • Tod Waggner: George Waggner, Director best known for The Wolf Man
    • Alex Browning: Tod Browning, director of Freaks and Dracula.
    • Agent Schreck: Max Schreck (not the green guy), played the lead in Nosferatu
    • Billy Hitchcock: Alfred Hitchcock, if you don’t know what he’s famous for, get out.
  • “looking at my own front yard causes nothing but fear”, same, because there’s people out there! Bastards.
  • The police to Alex: “we know you didn’t cause the explosion, and we were going to just move on from you, but then your friends started dying”. One which YOU ruled suicide, and one got hit by a fucking bus. How does that make him look suspicious? “nobody has control over live and death unless they’re taking lives”, he’d be a terrible doctor. Also, I repeat, she got hit by a bus. Unless he was driving it, or pushed her, it should not reflect badly on him at all and you’re terrible detectives for thinking so.
  • “that kid gives me the creeps” “sometimes you give me the creeps” Yeah? Well I’ve got one response to that:
  • We get Lewton’s death now, and it’s stupid. So stupid. She pours a drink in a mug and then throws the drink onto the floor for some reason when she gets scared of it. She pours cold vodka into the mug, which then causes it to crack. A large crack (hah!) which she doesn’t notice as she walks around the house. This causes the drink to go into her computer and fry the electronics. When the computer starts smoking (and it’s not even 18 so I don’t know how it got served) she moves towards it (because that’s a safe thing to do) and it explodes, shooting glass into her neck. The fire then starts igniting the alcohol, which considering it was both cold and diluted, is unlikely to happen. She falls over then pulls down a tea towel (which earlier she threw onto a set of knives), which then obviously causes the knives to fall on her, one impaling her.
  • Alex turns up, pulls the knife out of her, because reasons, then leaves the house as it explodes (again, that vodka must have been made of pure gasoline to do that shit).
  • The group all gather together to try and figure out a plan. Clear talks about her dead dad etc. I think in the original script she and Alex had sex at this moment. Because nothing gets a guy harder than talking about your dads death.
  • Carter has a moment where he freaks out and almost kills everybody with dangerous driving. It’s a moment which is better in theory than in reality. He seems to cocky to pull this off. It seems to come off as more defiant than nihilistic and freaking out. It’s a shame as it could have been a great scene if done correctly.
  • Carter parks his car on train tracks and everybody except him gets out the car. We have another weird death as when he tries to leave the car doors lock themselves. This could have been much smarter. If you had a character kick the door so it dents it, and that’s why it can’t open etc. Just set this shit up better and don’t just have it as “because Death wants it so”, it’s lazy writing.
  • He gets pulled out the car at the last second just before a train hits it. A train that only runs in Canada, what that’s doing in New York I’m not entirely sure. I’ve been to New York, it’s definitely not Canada, it’s aggressively American.
  • After the train hits the car it keeps going, because that’s what happens, the train wouldn’t stop and investigate the crash at all. There wouldn’t be no paperwork. It would just be “probably just killed someone, we’ll sort it out later”. People complain about “the nanny state” and “health and safety”, but this film needs more of it.
  • Quite a cool death here, Sean William Scott stands by the train tracks talking about how he’s not going to die, he then dies when the train hits a bit of flayed metal (which again, is why the train would have stopped) which then flies up and chops his head off at the mouth. It’s suitably gory and shocking, and one of my favourites from this film. It was set up well (albeit nonsensically) and looked great.
  • Alex shacks up in a death-proof cabin. And then eats food direct from a tin, risking cutting himself when opening it.
  • He then tries to take his mind off it by reading newspaper articles about the plane crash. Couldn’t have something a bit lighter, like 120 Days Of Sodom?
  • Lightning happens (seriously what is it with the weather in this town?) causing a washing line to fly out and nearly impale Clear. A death which would have been freaking awesome, and as such is never done in the franchise. In fact I didn’t even remember that moment until I watched it. She nearly dies from too much electric. So decides to get in her car. This is actually smart as it would effectively mean it creates a Faraday cage (not a sex thing) and the electric charges would go through the outside of the vehicle, keeping people inside safe. Science! So yeah she’s safe.
  • “The cars going to explode” unless that happens.
  • They both survive and the film meets up with them 6 months later. Somehow death killed almost everyone in a week, but then kept these guys alive for 6 months for, I dunno, dramatic effect?
  • Clear stops Alex being hit by the bus which she had a premonition of. Or Alex could have just paid attention to the fucking road and not stepped out in front of a bus. Does nobody in that school know the green cross code? Clear pushes him out of the way and this causes the bus to drive into a lamppost which rube goldbergs’ a sign into falling down, nearly smooshing Alex in the face. This is stopped by Carter pushing him out the way of that (so which one was supposed to kill him? Because it went for him twice). Carter, who was aware enough about the sign to push Alex out of the way, isn’t aware enough to not move out of the way before it hits him, presumably killing him. Credits.
  • We then have a terrible terrible song. Really generic 90’s US rock. Such a weak way to end it.

So that’s it for the first one. These will be continuing until the end of the month. So you’ve got 4 more days of this.

2010’s In Film Day 8 (2018)

January – Coco

A film that’s just as beautiful now as it was when it was released. This film is incredibly emotional, but it is also life-affirming. Yes, you’ll cry your eyes out, but you’ll also feel uplifted by the whole thing. Another great thing about it is that it used a mostly Latino cast, they didn’t just hire a lot of white people and get them to do a mildly racist accent. On the downside, apparently, when this was released it was pre-empted with a new short film based on Frozen, which is a somewhat misguided thing to do. This was one of the first films I saw that year, so it could really only go downhill from there.

February – Lady Bird

Or it could get better. This is a personal favourite of mine. I know quite a few people who hate this film, and I get it. It meanders a lot and doesn’t really have a plot. Considering how important story is to me, you’d think I would hate this. But something about this film makes me love it. I think it’s the general tone of it, it’s very warm. It’s basically an Instagram filter placed on polaroid pictures of treasured memories. It makes me nostalgic for a life I never even had, for a time which I didn’t really experience.

March – Blockers

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; it’s incredibly refreshing to see a teen sex comedy from a female perspective. Not many films admit that teenage girls enjoy sex. It’s mostly teenage boys “conquering” girls until they sleep with them. The idea that women can get pleasure from sex is weirdly missing from films (with the exception of two characters; the slut, and the cheating girlfriend/wife), so it is nice to see this film. Also, it’s hilarious, full of great performances all round.

April – A Quiet Place

In 1952 John Cage composed the piece 4’33”. It’s basically: everyone in the orchestra puts their instruments down and do nothing for four minutes, thirty-three seconds. The intention is that it makes people listen to the background noise, to make them aware of the atmospheric sounds around this. This film does that, Because the audience noise was so sporadic, when it did happen it wasn’t annoying, it was scary. That’s what makes this film unique, every time you see it will be different because you’ll have to listen to the background noises around you. They’ll be people uncomfortable who’ll be adjusting their position, which creates noise that scares you, that exact scare will never happen again for any other screening, it’s unique to that one experience. It’s a horror movie with audience participation. I tried watching it on a plane, though, and it didn’t really work.

May – Deadpool 2

This….this was not a good month for me. Most the films released this month that I’d want to see weren’t released at cinemas (How To Talk To Girls At Parties I can understand as was low budget etc, but the cinema showed trailers for Entebbe all the time so how can they not show that?). I prefer this film to the first one, the story is much better for one. I always felt that most of the first film felt like a set-up to the final scene, rather than one continuous story. This felt like a flowing story with a beginning, middle, and end. Plus it also genuinely surprised me, the marketing campaign hid what this film was actually about better than any film I’ve seen (including Endgame). Luckily it did it in a funny way so you didn’t feel annoyed and disappointed. The big downside is TJ Miller is still in it. I would have understood if they reshot his scenes with someone else.

June – Hereditary

The best way I can showcase my feelings about this film is to quote my original review:

It’s been a few days since I watched this. I needed the cool-down period so that I could approach this with the sophistication and slick analytical nature which we are known for. So here goes: WHAT THE COCKING SHIT-FUCK WAS THAT?

I still maintain it’s worthy of the cocking shit fuck. I may have been wrong a few minutes ago when I said Deadpool hid what the film was about the best. This completely misled the audience. Kudos to the film for having the sheer balls to kill what looked like the main character, and so brutally too, I like marketing that works like that, when it deliberately deceives you, but not in a way that you feel cheated, but in a way that it means the story beats come as a complete surprise. It’s the way of saying “okay, now all bets are off” and it throws you off. That’s what you want from this film, you want to be unsettled and to feel like you’re constantly on the backfoot. That sense of unease and uncertainty is essential to a film like this. I love it, but don’t want to watch it again.

July – The Incredibles 2

The first one was Incredible, and this one was Incredible two (I’m so sorry). Everything about this film just works beautifully, the voice-work, the way it looks, the story, it all interacts with each other in the most wonderful way. The story is serviceable, it doesn’t come anywhere near the depth of Toy Story 3, or the heart of Finding Dory, but that doesn’t actually matter. You’re not sitting there thinking “well this story is pedestrian” because the way the film is done you don’t really care, you’re just sitting there amazed at what you see unveiling in front of you. It does what it needs to do, and it does it well. That’s not to say it’s a simple movie, it’s probably the only mass-market animated movie this year that has dealt with the themes this does. Themes of masculinity and feeling worthless because you’re not the one the family depends on, the emasculation that can cause. Was it worth the wait? Kind of. I mean, I’d be annoyed if they said we had to wait 14 years until the next one, but I’d rather they get everything perfect than rush it out. Like A Quiet Place, I watched this on a plane too. Well, I attempted to, the guy sitting next to me was watching it too and he was about 2 minutes ahead of me. I had to stop the film as I knew I would never win that race.

August – Searching

It HAD to be this. It HAD to. This is one of my favourite films, not just of that year, but of all time. A true hidden gem. It’s so good I struggle to talk about it. It does SO much right, and I can’t wait to see it again. *spoilers* even the happy ending doesn’t feel forced or tacked on. Some films are so good they inspire you to make similar films, this film is so good it will kind of make you want to give up as you know you will never touch it. It’s apt that I reviewed this after finishing the Saw series blogs, because that series could learn a lot from this about how to craft a compelling mystery. The film is about a girl who goes missing, and her fathers attempts to find her, but the entire film takes place on computer screens.  This has been done before; with Unfriended, which considering I now call that “Unfriended. A.k.a, fuck that film” should show how highly I regarded that film, and my expectations for this. I have a love/hate relationship with “gimmick” films. You know what I mean, the kind where the biggest sell of it isn’t the plot or actors, but the way they made the film. When they’re done well, like Buried (one person in a casket for the entire film), they’re a great piece of film-making, but they have to be great, because if they’re only okay (Unsane), then the fact it’s a gimmick-heavy film works makes it seem worse. Every writer should watch this film, so should every editor. In fact, everyone who wants to get involved in film-making should watch this film, it’s just so damn good.

September – The House With A Clock In Its Walls

This film is the work of someone who knows what they’re doing, but is toning it down slightly for the younger audience. This is definitely a film for kids, it is a slight horror but it has that warm feeling that you associate with films from the ’80s like ET etc. There’s an air of warm nostalgia to the whole thing that will warm the hearts of fans of those films. It’s incredibly, I don’t know, cosy. Just because it’s a difficult film to dislike, does not mean it’s an easy film to love. It just doesn’t really do much to make you remember it for years to come. The final third almost manages it, with a chaotically fast-paced piece that is logical and weird. The whole film is weird, which makes sense as that’s the message of the film: weird is good, embrace the weirdness. Also; bullies are dickholes.

October – Halloween

I’ve never seen a Halloween film. Well that’s a lie, I might have seen the first one, but when I was like 10 so I wasn’t really paying attention to it. As such my knowledge of the film series is stuff I absorb through pop-culture osmosis. So I know a little bit (He’s called Michael Myers, the third one is unconnected to the rest of the series and was originally meant to be the second one, THAT music etc), but not enough that I feel emotionally connected to. Despite that; I still REALLY enjoyed this. It seems to ignore all but the first one, and is all the better for it. You don’t need to have watched a lot of films to get this, as long as you know the basics of the character you should be fine, actually considering how well scripted this is I don’t even think you’ll need that. It does a great job of bringing you up to speed, explaining what’s haunting certain characters. The downsides of this film; there’s one death which is kind of embarrassing to watch. It’s where Michael Myers stamps on someone’s head, it looks incredibly fake and is almost comical. It breaks the tension completely and takes you out of the moment. There are also issues with the characters. The ones who survive are fine, it’s the ones who die that you don’t really care for. There are some characters with promise who then die before they get to fulfil that promise. And there is a twist which is completely unnecessary and stops mattering after a few minutes, it seems like it is only there because it was the only way they could think of to move the plot from one moment to the next. Luckily the moment that builds up to is superb.

November – Ralph Breaks The Internet

I enjoyed the first movie, it was fun, heartwarming, smart, and funny. It was done by people who had an obvious love for video games, specifically arcade and retro ones. This one……doesn’t really work, for many reasons. Firstly, it kind of feels like a generic movie, not a Wreck It Ralph sequel. The first movie doesn’t seem to come into play much here, it’s not a natural progression and feels like it could have been written featuring any characters. Too many of the jokes veer into “this is a thing, we are referencing the thing, now laugh!” territory. There are some funny moments but they’re few and far between. This wouldn’t matter as much if the script was engaging, but it’s not. It’s incredibly bland, I was actually bored many times throughout this. When it approached what I thought could be an ending I was actually disappointed to be proven wrong. There’s an entire subplot about characters from the first movie starting a family which takes up a grand total of about 3 minutes of screentime. It’s kind of strange as you can tell the film was aiming to be emotionally heavy, and that would have been a good subplot to cut to to relieve tension and provide juxtaposition. It’s way too reminiscent of The Emoji movie for its own good.

December – Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

This film loves the character of Spider-man, you can tell this by the way it mocks him sometimes. It’s like the lego batman movie in that way, it does make fun of previous films, but it’s done with such knowledge and love. This is a different kind of comic book movie, for one thing, it’s REALLY weird. It’s a film for kids that deals with multiverse theory. It’s also incredibly meta, but not too much so. The voice work here is great too. The film-makers didn’t skimp when it came to casting, you’ve got real talent here: Hailee Steinfeld, Lily Tomlin, Nicholas Cage, Liev Schreiber, Kathryn Hahn etc. It also features what has to count as the best and most heartbreaking Stan Lee cameo ever. This is the first film released after his death (not counting the Deadpool 2 re-release), he appears on screen after Spider-man dies and says “I’m going to miss him”. F*cking heartbreaking. The most depressing part of the film, and there’s quite a lot of them, I mean, the original Spider-man gets killed early on, and all the alternate spider-men/pig/women are haunted by a death of someone, they’re defined by guilt about who they could not save. This is the best time to mention the characterisation of the different universe characters; they are all fully-fledged characters with motivations and backstories. This could be a film to launch a franchise.

The animation is some of the best you’ll see, with multiple styles displayed across the film, each incredibly distinct and gorgeous. The fight scenes are done brilliantly too, you never lose track of what’s happening, the final fight, in particular, is a masterpiece of surreal film-making that plays out like a AAA video game boss level. The soundtrack too, is amazing. It really suits the film, the songs are not only great but they go perfectly with the images. It does what a soundtrack should do, it complements the film perfectly. Yeah, I’ve said a lot of good things about this, with good reason, it’s BRILLIANT. The one downside is the flashing lights could cause a seizure, and that really should have been better publicised. Other than that? A great way for me to end the year, and this blog.

2018 In Film Part 5: The Amazing

Right, you can probably guess what I thought about these films. Enough faffing about, let’s do this!

A Quiet Place

This is a film that gives zero shits about you being comfortable. It kills a child in the opening scene. I genuinely loved this film, not just because of what it was, but what it represented; an innovative idea in cinema. I hope the sequel doesn’t destroy the legacy that this one built, fingers crossed. Everything about this is superb; the performances, the look, the originality. Well worth a watch.

Original review here

+It changes how you watch cinema, you end up being an active watcher, too scared to make any noise.

-This film doesn’t work in certain conditions (I tried watching it on a plane and it just did not work at all)

Blackkklansman

This admittedly plays fast and loose with the truth, and to be honest is all the better for it. It seems to acknowledge its own falsehoods which makes it okay. At first I thought the ending went on too long, but by the time it finished I felt inspired to go fuck shit up. This is a film that will inspire you, not to make films, but to make a difference.

Original review here

+The fact it’s true.

-Some of the characters seem a bit one-note.

Black Panther

This film so damn good. First off, the villain could easily be the hero of a different movie. I think its the first Marvel film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and it’s fully deserved. Not the Marvel film I’ve enjoyed the most, but certainly the most complete and cinematic they’ve got, and without a doubt the most culturally important.

Original review here

+The effort that went into the set and costume design.

-The CGI in the final fight scene is a bit off at times.

Blockers

I’d understand if people didn’t agree with this, if they thought it should have gone in the “good” section instead of this one. But I don’t hide that this is entirely subjective and based on personal opinion, and in my personal opinion this film was amazing. It was great to see a sex-based teen comedy from a perspective that wasn’t just teenage males. This had the teenage girl perspective, and the parent perspective. Incredibly funny and sweet, I just love it so much.

Original review here

+Geraldine Viswanathan is a star in the making (if there’s any justice)

-Some questionable music choices.

Coco

What can I say about this film that hasn’t been said already? I could say it’s bad, nobody has said that, because it would be bullshit. This film is amazing. It’s almost as emotional as Inside Out. Everything about it is just so perfectly done. It’s done with love, love for the story being told, love for the culture, and love for the medium of film.

Original review here

+It’s great at showing the love and passion people have for music.

-Might not resonate with kids due to the themes.

Deadpool 2

Is this film going to change your life? No. Does it have a great plot? No. Is the pacing great? No. Is it visually impressive? Not really. Is it INCREDIBLY fun? Yes. I actually preferred it the first one. It had a better plot, was funnier, more meta (What’s a meta? Nothing, what’s a meta with you?), and much better directed. I love the first one don’t get me wrong, but even when someone was beating the shit out of Deadpool you couldn’t really feel it. In this one, when he gets hurt, you really feel it, so even though the character is effectively unkillable, he doesn’t feel invulnerable.

Original review here

+The opening scene set to Dolly Parton’s 9-to-5 is perfection.

-Drags in some places.

Ghost Stories

Was a massive fan of this. Not really “Arghhhhhh” scary. But very “sitting behind the sofa in fear” scary. It was essentially the cinematic equivalent of reading a ghost story. Everything about it was just perfectly done. And you’ll find yourself annoyed that you didn’t guess the ending considering that really it’s the only logical way it could have ended.

Original review here

+The never-ending sense of dread.

-Some of the make-up and effects could be a bit better.

Halloween

Full disclosure. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Halloween movie. I’m aware of them, and the tropes they have, and the history of the franchise etc but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them (I’ve seen bits of the first one when I was younger) so I wasn’t exactly going into this with the weight of the franchise on me. I wasn’t going in thinking “this will be the comeback”. That being said, this is the comeback. It’s a back to basic horror, he doesn’t set elaborate traps or depend on luck. He moves slowly and he kills things, that’s it. That’s the character. And it works in this. He is utterly terrifying as a character in this movie. People talk about how they would beat certain movie characters, you would struggle to beat this one, he’s a real force to be reckoned with. And Laurie Strode gets just as much attention as he does, which is important for horror movies. The reason I don’t like a lot of horror films is I don’t care for the characters. There is usually so much focus on the killer that the victims aren’t fleshed out so you don’t really care what happens to them. This is the opposite, if some of the characters in this died, you would feel emotionally impacted.

Original review here

+Laurie Strode is bad-ass.

-There’s one death in particular which just looks a bit silly.

I, Tonya

I enjoyed this film, and will gladly watch it again. Despite knowing the basic story of what happened, I still wanted to see how it unfolded. It’s difficult to trust it as a historical source but you’re so entertained that it doesn’t really care. The soundtrack is also great, as are the performances. I don’t think it deserved academy award nominations, but it was incredibly good.

Original review here

+The attention they took on some of the interviews to make them look dated.

-The fact that the idiot character is the only one of the main characters who is dead right now. Felt a little uneasy

I Kill Giants

Knew barely anything about this film going in, and it was on netflix so I was uneasy. I loved it though. So much. The main character was engaging, the story was heartbreaking, and Madison Wolfe continues to be great. This was going to go in the “good” one, then I remembered this.

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I cannot put a film that has THAT line in it in just the good. This film was great and I loved it. Also the unwritten rule for this blog is “Do I really NEED it on DVD?”. I got the DVD for this the day after watching it, so I guess that answers that.

Original review here

+The main character is one of the best of the year.

-Slightly too reminiscent of A Monster Calls (this is a plus for me though as I loved that film)

The Incredibles 2

This film was incredible and I loved almost every moment of it. Yes the reveal of the villain was obvious, but I didn’t care because I was so into the story. The animation as well is as great as you expect, EVERYTHING looks crisp and loaded with detail to the point you forget it’s animated at times. Also need to show love for the action scenes, they’re stunningly thought out and inventive.

Original review here

+It’s a mainstream animated film that deals with masculinity and feelings of worthlessness.

-Fourteen years! Fourteen years we waited for this!

Lady Bird

I can get why somebody would not like this film. Actually screw that, I can get why people would HATE this film. It’s not for everybody, and that’s okay. The structure is all over the place and you probably will find the character annoying. I LOVED it though. I found it was like watching a series of polaroid pictures. This film felt incredibly personal, and it will forever hold a place in my heart, I’m just not sure why.

Original review here

+The general ambience. It FELT lovely.

-Be wary of showing this film to someone as they could easily hate it.

Searching

Where did this come from? Gimmick movies usually stop being great once you see past the gimmick. And the gimmick in this was also used in Unfriended, and I hated that film. So how did this end up being one of (if not THE) greatest film I’ve seen this year? The performances were good, yes, but it’s not that which elevates it. I think it all comes down to story. The script for this is GREAT. A mystery film which takes so many twists and turns you think it’s lost. Everytime you think the answer is obvious this film tells you why you’re wrong. The ending is the only logical way the story could go, and it’s genius. Everything about it is fantastic.

Original review here

+Original concept, brilliantly done.

-As a writer it will make you intensely jealous.

The Shape Of Water

Certainly an interesting film. There is a chance you might be too weirded out by it, I mean, it’s a woman fucking a fish-creature. But it’s so full of warmth and magic that if you like it you’ll adore it. All the pieces fit together like a beautiful puzzle piece; the music, the performances, the universe its set in, it all merges together to create something truly beautiful.

Original review here

+The music. So good,

-Might be bit too weird for some.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

An incredibly good movie. Easily matches up (and possibly surpasses) Homecoming. Emotional, funny, and written with a true love for the character and the genre. It also has one of the best soundtracks of the year. If you didn’t hear it you wouldn’t immediately think “Spider-Man”, but once you’ve seen the film you won’t be able to unmake the connection. Some films have great songs, but they don’t particularly match the film that much, and are more compilation albums than soundtracks. This is different, the songs really suit this, they seemingly transport you to a certain mood.

Original review here

+The love for the character is really obvious to see here. This was done with great affection.

-The flashing lights which happen without warning and could trigger migraines in people or cause issues for epilepsy sufferers.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

So good, so, so good, but brutal as fuck. Not in terms of violence, mainly in terms of tone. A film that makes you hate the world, but love film. Won a lot of awards and every single one of them was deserved. Featured some of the best performances of the year, and incredible dialogue which will make you laugh in spite of yourself. Well worth a watch, but prepare something nice for afterwards.

Original review here

+The natural flow of it feels incredibly realistic.

-The lack of a definitive ending may put people off.

 

So, that’s the films of 2018 ranked, the awards will be coming soon, and lets just say some will fare a lot better than others. Reviews of Stan And Ollie, and Glass will be up soon so enjoy them. Let’s hope 2019 is even better

Halloween (2018)

Before I start this review I should state: I’ve never seen a Halloween film. Well that’s a lie, I might have seen the first one, but when I was like 10 so I wasn’t really paying attention to it. As such my knowledge of the film series is stuff I absorb through pop-culture osmosis. So I know a little bit (He’s called Michael Myers, the third one is unconnected to the rest of the series and was originally meant to be the second one, THAT music etc), but not enough that I feel emotionally connected to. Despite that; I still REALLY enjoyed this. It seems to ignore all but the first one, and is all the better for it. You don’t need to have watched a lot of films to get this, as long as you know the basics of the character you should be fine, actually considering how well scripted this is I don’t even think you’ll need that. It does a great job of bringing you up to speed, explaining what’s haunting certain characters.

The script for this is actually really good, the kills are simple. He doesn’t go around doing elaborate traps, he just kills them the simplest possible way. There’s one scene in particular which is a masterclass of horror film-making, it’s just him walking through houses, massacring the inhabitants. There’s one moment during this where I knew the film had me; where he’s in the house with a baby still in its seat, and I panicked for it, I panicked for the fictional character. There’s usually child immunity in horror films, it’s like an unwritten rule; children in horror movies are safe. This is not the case in this; Michael Myers kills a child. Not the baby, but one of the first deaths in the movie is a child so he can take his dads car. If I remember correctly it’s the first death we actually see as well. It’s a great way of saying that all the usual horror tropes are off, so anything goes.

The downsides of this film; there’s one death which is kind of embarrassing to watch. It’s where Michael Myers stamps on someone’s head, it looks incredibly fake and is almost comical. It breaks the tension completely and takes you out of the moment. There are also issues with the characters. The ones who survive are fine, it’s the ones who die that you don’t really care for. There are some characters with promise who then die before they get to fulfil that promise. And there is a twist which is completely unnecessary and stops mattering after a few minutes, it seems like it is only there because it was the only way they could think of to move the plot from one moment to the next. Luckily the moment that builds up to is superb. The final setpiece of this film is amazing to see. Incredibly tense, great character work, and it subverts a lot of what you know from the original film, recreating scenes from it but with the roles reversed. This is all accompanied by a FANTASTIC soundtrack, with an obvious debt to the original music, but updated to a modern sensibility.

So yeah, I loved this movie. It was tense, gripping, superbly made, and just all-round fantastic. And Jamie Lee Curtis gives the performance of a lifetime, reclaiming her crown as the queen of horror.

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 On Chucky: Day 1 (Child’s Play)

So, halloween is just around the corner, knife in hand, ready to jump out and disembowel people when they approach it (or alternatively, hand out sweets, depends how you celebrate it), so what better time than now to waste time watching horror films start a new blog series? Similar to Musings On Marvel which I did earlier this year, and extremely similar (I.E: Pretty much the same as) last years Nightmare A Day, I’ll be watching a film every day and blogging my thoughts. This year I’m doing the Chucky series, and I thought I’d start with the first film, because I’m not a complete idiot.

Director: Tom Holland ((Psycho II (unpopular opinion, I prefer it to the first one) Fright Night (including the sequel and remake))

Budget: $9million

Box Office: $44.2million

  • The cop just threw his jacket away. Littering!
  • Pretty impressive shot there. Cop attempted to shoot someone but they move out of the way and it shoots a car window instead, camera was behind the car window so it looked beautiful.
  • How different would this film have been if he put his soul into a ninja turtle toy, or a transformer?
  • Oh man I’d hate to be the shop worker who has to tidy this up in the morning.
  • “Oh god I’m dying”, really needed a better delivery of that line there. Sounds way too “ah well, shit happens”
  • “You did this” Murderer is annoyed that somebody killed him. Really the hypocrisy is worse than the murder.
  • Shop exploded. Obviously. Yet no fire alarms went off. See, that’s why you have health and safety laws.
  • “I saw this one” yeah, children famously hate repetition.
  • This toy company has it’s own cereal that’s basically diabetes in a box.
  • That giant doll costume is really really creepy.
  • Even without the soul of a psychopathic killer I still get the feeling these dolls would kill you. You specifically.
  • “so remember to tell your mum and dad you want a Good Guy”. I have two jokes for this. Delete which ever one you found less funny. 1) When I told my parents I wanted a good guy they were less than pleased. 2) No, you go get a job and buy your own dolls.
  • “and remember, you can buy all these good guy accessories too” Holy pressurised selling, Batman!
  • This kid is called Andy, I’m now saying this is a Toy Story prequel.
  • “How long have you been up?” “since forever” You lying little shit.
  • “it looks delicious” Liar!
  • “I have to give you your super duper birthday tummy gummy” That sounds strange.
  • A news report on Charles Lee Ray, do they often put news reports about serial killers on just after children’s TV shows this early in the morning?
  • You did not need to have a box that big just to put children’s clothes in. It’s just a waste of wrapping paper.
  • “there’s a guy in the alley selling the toy you want”. That statement asks more questions than it answers. 1) Why were you in the alley behind the store? This was before shops could hire snipers to shoot smokers so you could have gone out the front. 2) How did Chucky climb back into the box and close it, and clean up the blood? 3) It’s been a while since I’ve brought toys, but “stranger in an alley”? I really doubt they have a decent returns policy. “if you’re not satisfied, fucking die”
  • “Are you happy with your job here?” No manager would ever ask that question.
  • “A Good Guy, I knew it” What gave it away? The fact it was in a Good Guy box, or the fact that the box has a see-through front so you can tell what it is before you opened it?
  • The toy company has it’s own cake mix. Evil!
  • “Hey Chucky, you’re not watching me”. It’s because you’re boring, kid.
  • “Chucky wants to watch the nine O clock news” She doesn’t find it weird that a child asks to watch the news.
  • So, inside the doll is the soul of an an adult male, and he just got kissed by a child. This must be hell for him.
  • “What is wrong with me?” Off the top of my head, I’d say low self-esteem, a lack of maternal affection and a genetic predisposition for anxiety and depression.
  • How did she get hit so hard (with a toy hammer no less) that she stumbled about 6 feet back with enough force to fall through a window? Were the windows made of sugar glass?
  • If a body lands on your car, is that covered by insurance?
  • “I live there”, thankfully the police don’t ask for proof or clarification.
  • So the detective investigating this is the same one who shot Charles Lee Ray? Wow, well coinci-mental
  • “Why? What’s happened to Maggie?” Well the detective is from homicide, try and put 2 and 2 together.
  • “You got any idea what these are?” What, the footprints, I’d say they’re footprints.
  • “what would Andy be doing on the counter anyway?” There speaks somebody who obviously has never had children, those fuckers climb everything.
  • PJ Sneakers? What the fuck? No! That’s just ugly capitalism.
  • “I don’t know who did that, and I don’t care”, wait, you don’t care who killed them?
  • “I want time alone with my son” “okay, we’ll clear out”, is that how police investigations work? They stay there until they solve the case, or until somebody politely asks them to leave.
  • The main kid in this called Andy, and there’s a character called Sid, this is basically Toy Story.
  • “his real name is Charles Lee Ray”, why did he tell you that?
  • “it’s because of Aunt Maggie you’re behaving like this”, no it’s because you’re a failure and I hate you.
  • “Why don’t you sleep with me tonight?” Wait, but at the moment you suspect your kid is dangerous, so why would you want that? Why not do the opposite and sleep far away, locking the door.
  • “you sure you’re alright about last night?” He goes to school the next day? I know it’s just a family friend but surely he’d get a day off for that?
  • How did he get on a train without either 1) paying (you really think a six year old kid has that much spare change?). 2) Someone phoning the police.
  • Pretty good use of music here, they’re seemingly incorporating the basic noise from a train running on the tracks into the music. Simplistic but rather brilliant.
  • What was Chucky’s plan if Andy didn’t need a piss at this precise moment?
  • Andy urinated for over a minute, how much does this kid drink?
  • “random noise, I’ll fire towards it” Good plan.
  • Andy runs towards gunshots.
  • How did Andy find Chucky in the burning wreckage?
  • Why has she not thrown that box out? Or at the very least compacted it down for recycling. Earth-killers are the true evil.
  • Good Guy even make their own god-damn batteries?
  • “Talk or I’ll throw you in the fire”. Look, this will go one of two ways, either 1) You’re threatening a serial killer. Or 2) You’re going to burn your childs favourite toy because it wouldn’t talk to you.
  • “I brought it from a peddler behind my work, I’ll try there” Stupid idea.
  • “he’s a cop” How do you know that? All he’s done is knee a homeless rapist in the groin, that’s the least that anybody would do.
  • “It was struck by lightning the night that Charles Lee Ray died? “How do you know that?” Well I imagine a serial killer dying, and a big toy store blowing up would make the local news. And he’s a member of the police so I imagine he’s up to date with current events, even ones as small as the police shooting someone.
  • “I was the man who killed him” “why didn’t you tell me?” Is it a policy to tell civilians every single person you’ve killed? If so that’s going to make meeting new people a lot more difficult for me.
  • Chucky attempts to strangle him, instead of, you know, using the knife.
  • Chucky finally decides to use the knife.
  • Obvious Green Screen is obvious.
  • “this is his accomplice” then why aren’t you there? Why did you insist on seeing a civilian first, and then take her to a possibly dangerous scene?
  • Why does he have a voodoo doll of himself? Does he put it near the heater so that even when he’s walking around in the snow he’s warm? That’s what I would do.
  • “I have a date with a six year old boy”, Phrasing!
  • Chucky stabs the voodoo doll, instead of, you know, just stabbing the guy laying in front of him. Lazy.
  • The actor playing Andy seems to genuinely be in fear. No child actor is that good (apart from Ruby Barnhill and Madison Wolfe of course) that I’m not suspicious that that child is actually in fear of his life. In which case, meh, you gotta do what you gotta do.
  • Chucky bites a lot. If that’s his natural instinct he probably did it a lot whilst human too, so why did it take so long for the police to catch him? Or has him becoming a doll given him really weird fetishes?
  • Random fact: Whilst doing the voice-over work for when Chucky is thrown in the fire, Brad Dourif’s (the voice of Chucky) daughter crawled into the recording room. Nobody noticed until she started crying as a reaction to her dad screaming. I don’t have a joke to end this on, just found that interesting.
  • This woman who works in a department store is a better shot than most movie cops.
  • I like how this ends with a “phew we’re safe, but oh shit, everyone thinks we’re crazy”. Kind of a happy ending, but also a downer. It’s a happy downer, like a post-orgasm penis

And that’s that. The first of many (well, about 5) in a new series.

 

The 5 Most Annoying Trends In Horror Movies

Last week I went to see the forgettable The Forest when it occurred to me, there’s been no genre with as high a disappointment ratio as horror. In the last two years (or since I started getting a cineworld card), I’ve only seen two very good horror films: The Babadook and It Follows. It’s probably the only genre with more films I’ve disliked (Annabelle, The Gallows, Unfriended) than liked. I’ve figured out that I dislike most of the films for the same reasons, so I looked at those reasons and list them here.

1. Native Americans/Japan

So what’s the cause for this demon that’s haunting everybody? Well, you just need to go for either Native-American or Japanese. The Japanese one is simply the fear of the unknown, but it’s not really unknown anymore. This isn’t the 70’s anymore, we’re aware of Japan etc and we’re no longer ignorant of their culture. So it’s weird that we do seem that a lot of modern horror films just go “because Japan has ghosts” as an acceptable answer. But that’s nowhere near as one that’s almost become cliche: Native Americans. This is a lot simpler, it’s to make do for the guilt of the genocide that took place hundreds of years ago, so we imply that they were a noble people with power beyond our grasp,bestowing upon them a knowledge and power that makes us feel okay with almost wiping them out. There’s not many modern American horror things in real life, there’s not many countrywide urban legends and rituals, so using Native Americans or the culture of the Japanese is just lazy shorthand.

2. Soundtracks.

Quick, what do the following have in common: The Exorcist, Halloween, Psycho? Well, they’re all horrors which have stood the test of time. But try to remember something about this films, odds are you just had the soundtrack to one of them in your head. Which makes me feel sad that this sort of thing doesn’t happen anymore, It Follows is the only horror with a really good original soundtrack I’ve seen in seemingly forever. Most films just go with filling their soundtrack with rock music so they can make more money from the soundtrack. The trouble with this is that familiarity makes you feel safe, so when you’re watching a film and you’re sitting there and you recognise the music then you automatically get taken out of the film, you’re no longer scared. It’s like my nan used to say: Its impossible to be scared whilst listening to Creed. The only exception is if the characters themselves are listening to music, then you’re allowed to have familiarity. But if you’re having a horror chase scene to a song by P.O.D, then I won’t be scared, I’ll be wondering why the hell you chose that song. Please note: I know that Tubular Bells is a Mike Oldfield song that does exist outside of The Exorcist, but there is a difference between the way that the film used that, and the way that modern films use music.

3. Lack Of Originality

Yes, I know there’s been a Point Break remake this year, and there will soon be a Ghostbusters one. But no film genre is as incestuous and mastubatory as horror. Look, I know why this happens. It can be hard to market horror, it can be difficult to make people feel scared in a 30 second advert. So it’s tempting to just do a familiar concept so that people think “oh, that’s another film about killer t-shirts strangling people, I love them!” and go to see it. Companies want to showcase the best moments in the trailers, this is why you get the best jokes from comedies in the trailer. But in horror that’s different, you can take the scariest scene from a film, but take it out of it’s context and it’s meaningless. The best adverts I’ve seen for horror over the last few years have been It Follows and The Gallows. Because they showed absolutely nothing. You left the trailer with more questions than when it started, you wanted to see it to find out what happened. In this sense, less is definitely more. Ok, The Gallows ended up being a dire pile of faecal matter, but the trailer was superb.

4. Final Jump Scare

I blame Paranormal Activity for this. That film (apparently) stayed relatively restrained throughout, but then ended with something jumping towards the camera, thereby making it a feature length version of one of those videos that asshole at work always shows you. The reasoning behind this was that it would mean the audience would leave the cinema still shaking, otherwise, you know, they might have forgotten it was a horror movie and think they just watched P.S I Love You (which is a film which inspires horror and despair, but for a different reason entirely). The trouble with these fourth wall breaking scares is they break the story. By this point the ghost or demon or cannibalistic giraffe has already been destroyed and everyone lives happily, but to then have the thing leap at the audience at the end just means the story isn’t over. And if there’s no sequel then the film is completely pointless as nothing changed, it’s just a story of a demon that kills then kills again. Now, this is different from a downer ending where you feel an unending sense of doom, as they’re usually set up well so you’re walking out scared of the world as opposed to just the tiny amount of fear that jump scares inspire.

Worst Offender: Unfriended

Not only was this pointless, but it ruined what would have been a fantastic ending that almost saved the film.

5. Jump Scares

If you’ve seen a horror film lately you know what this is, quiet quiet quiet, sudden loudness and something happens. This scares the audience. But it doesn’t, not really. It doesn’t fill you with terror and make you scared outside of the film. It won’t effect your life once you’ve left the cinema. Basically; they don’t last. You don’t walk around afterwards with that sense of genuine terror. Look, we get it, being genuinely scary is hard, but if you can’t do it, don’t bother attempting. I don’t want to be fine after your film, I want your film to fuck me up and leave me unable to sleep. And jump scares don’t do that. You can have a few of them, but they can’t be the entire modus operandi.

 

 

Guest Review by Conor Amos: Silent Hill 2

For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by horror and all its isolating and macabre brilliance. Slasher flicks and psychological thrillers from the `70s and `80s were the earliest iterations of horror that I was subjected to. From Stanley Kubrick’s disorientating and beautifully crafted The Shining to John Carpenter’s dark, suspenseful Halloween. 

Halloween

Along came the Playstation: a beast of a console that would quickly revolutionise 3D gaming as we knew it. My only gaming experiences up ‘till that point were playing Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Sega Mega Drive or Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System.

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Suffice to say, I was used to playing video games that were fairly innocuous collect-’em-ups with bright colours and somewhat childish imagery (I still love those games, so don’t misconstrue what I say) and so when my older brother eventually bought Resident Evil about three years after it was released, I was naturally as aroused as an eight year-old can possibly be at the prospect of playing a horror game.

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I don’t need to say much about Resident Evil, since you’ve doubtless played it already or at least caught glimpses of the clunky, polygonal exercise in macabre from behind a tightly gripped pillow. However, I will say that it opened up a whole new world of gaming for me. Its gritty visuals, haunting soundtrack and claustrophobic locales and camera angles shook me up something fierce; giving me nightmares for weeks afterwards, yet a thirst for more.

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Now that I’ve given you a somewhat verbose and unnecessarily lengthy introduction to my love for horror, I’ll get to the meat of this piece:Silent Hill.

Silent Hill was released in 1999 by Konami; the same year I had first ever played Resident Evil and this was what is considered by many a momentous occasion for survival horror gaming in general. Although Resident Evil and its sequels were chilling in their own way, they also became more Westernised and formulaic as far as horror and storytelling is concerned. Silent Hill was an entirely different game and Team Silent had the ball in their court (for want of a less flimsy sport analogy).

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At first glance, it’s ostensibly a story about a guy looking for his lost daughter in a town inhabited by supernatural ghoulies looking to nibble on his testicles, but it is so much more beneath the surface. The town of Silent Hill is essentially a playground for a cavalcade of intense psychological distress and torture for its unfortunate visitors. The idea that the town itself is the protagonist’s and indeed, player’s worst enemy, gripped me instantly.

silent hill town

Silent Hill’s story, upon further inspection seems to be more of a benchmark for Konami’s future investment in the series and is greatly dwarfed by its sequels. It features some interesting imagery, is absolutely terrifying and deals with some very adult themes, but falls flat in many areas – with the introduction of a Satanic cult and attempting to give some semblance of meaning to the town’s ambiguity. However, it did the job in suppressing my appetite for terror as a child and I hoped for more.

DahliaBalkanChurch
Apparently she’s only 45….Silent Hill cult, not once.

Of course, there were more games, but I didn’t play Silent Hill 2 for many years after it came out. Regrettably, I must say, as it was the one game that changed my entire perspective on video games as a creative medium and their artistic merit within our culture. As a phenomenon perpetuated by a society obsessed with stimulation and expressing ideas, video games are the perfect medium for such, since they are interactive and invest the player’s time and emotions into the story, subtext and characters presented to us.

ARTAlso, I wasn’t intellectually mature enough to understand what the whole thing was about. What the symbolism truly represented and how the choices made by the developers were unanimously integral to creating a world and a story so tragic, so frightening and so human that even the most jaded of pricks would be moved by it.
The enemies in Silent Hill 2 were created with a thematic purpose; an underlying motive behind their behaviours and superficial characteristics. As humans, we fear greatly what is alien to us. Inadvertently: what is considered alien to us, in fact reflects our subconscious in subtle ways. Disfigurements and warped, exaggerated human forms are what Silent Hill 2’s creatures essentially are. They encapsulate an intrinsically human blend of the tangible and intangible, with microscopic attention to detail in its cerebral imagery.

Silent-Hill-2-Monsters

The creatures are psychological representations of protagonist James’ subconscious. From the faceless nurses with their tumescent breasts and exaggerated curvy forms that represent James’ sexual repression and how he would have viewed the nurses during his wife’s hospitalisation, to the well-known Pyramid Head creature that slightly resembles an executioner and how he sexually tortures other monsters when he’s not toying with James.

Despite the horrific nature of the town’s ‘inhabitants’, it is ultimately the town itself that feels like the real enemy. There is an overwhelming sense of isolation throughout and each disorienting locale feels like a cleverly-designed maze built by Silent Hill to tap into James’ repressed, damning psyche.

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James encounters four equally important characters on his journey. There’s Angela: an ostensibly young, socially awkward girl who always looks uncomfortable around James; Eddie: an overweight twenty-something with a lazy eye and repugnant characteristics (the first time you see him, he is vomiting violently into a toilet and rambling about how he shot a dog); Laura: a temperamental, bratty child that has no qualms about vilifying James and his actions, and finally: Maria.

maria

Maria is quite possibly the most important character in the game and certainly the most ambiguous. She resembles James’ late wife Mary, who has been dead for three years. He received a letter from Mary claiming that she’s waiting for him in their ‘special place’ in Silent Hill. His grief is what brings him to Silent Hill, despite the idea of receiving a letter from a dead person being totally preposterous (it’s crazy what love can do). Maria is the exact polygonal structure of Mary and is played by the same voice and motion-capture actress. She’s more sexually alluring and is often quite condescending to James, but can sometimes be sweet and in those moments resembles Mary even more. Her presence is the driving force of the plot and she practically strips James down to his core; revealing his idiosyncrasies, his motivations and the conflicting emotions that plague his mind (so elegantly portrayed by the game’s horrific imagery and symbolism).

No game is without a polished sound design and Silent Hill 2 is an example of perfection (no hyperbole here). Akira Yamaoka (the series’ ex-composer) understood the importance of melody, nuance and indeed, silence when painting a picture of horror. His blend of industrial percussion and reverb-drenched blues guitar is ingenious and evocative. From nothing but the echoes of footfall down a dark, narrow corridor in the apartments, to the swing drums and twangy guitar melody in the bowling alley – it all creates a feeling of disconnection between the reality of the town and what James is actually going through.

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The environments and the music evoke a sense of time and place: namely nineteen fifties America soaked in horrific dissonance antithetical to that supposed utopia. It was presumably a tranquil and beautiful town decades earlier and we get to taste that in the soundtrack and the simplistic, modest architecture that the town is rife with.

DEAD

Unfortunately, the series’ popularity unceremoniously dissolved with the split of Team Silent and given Konami’s bullshit business practices of late, the future looks grim for Silent Hill. However, Silent Hill 2 will go down in history as one of the greatest examples of horror storytelling in video games and entertainment in general. It is and always will be my go-to game for intense psychological terror and an immensely tragic love story.

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This is only scratching the surface of what Silent Hill 2 really means to people: it has a huge cult following and the fans can talk about the game for hours on end; weaving a web of archives and discussion forums that keep this ship afloat.

It’s an obsession, and one I can definitely identify with.

Written by Conor Amos
Pictures by Mark Tonkin