Underwater (2020)

The opening for this had me very excited. Mainly because they set up the story through the opening credits. They told you there’s a deep drilling operation going on, and that there are rumours of strange sightings nearby. It also points out the normal hazards so that you know that even without the “strange sighting” they are still in danger. It’s a fantastic use of the opening credits and is a great example of effectively maximising time to tell a story.

The music is good too, it’s like a synth Jaws. Creepy and claustrophobic, it will haunt your mind while you listen to it. It gets better once the film starts because you have this intense creepy music, and then….silence, nothing, playing over a shot of empty rooms. It’s really creepy and meant I was fully on board for this film and ready for greatness.

Then it started, and I was disappointed. For a film that did so much in the opening credits, the film itself took forever to do nothing. It’s trying to be a mix of a disaster movie and Alien, and it fails to do either. They’re two genres which are really hard to pull off, because Alien is a very specific subgenre of sci-fi/horror. It’s one which is dependent on the use of silence and tension to effectively affect you. Whereas a disaster movie is built on noise and spectacle. So for this film to work it would need to be a loud impressive spectacle movie with great use of silence. You can see why that be difficult to do properly, and this doesn’t. Also, just a personal choice, I didn’t like the amount of shakey-cam in it. I found it nauseating. I was watching it on a small screen so I imagine it would have been even worse in cinema. It wasn’t during intense action scenes, just standard walking scenes would have it, and it just put me off.

I mean, the performances are good, Kristen Stewart is shaking off her cinematic demons with aplomb, Vincent Cassel is also good in it, it’s a shame that TJ Miller just seems to play himself though, especially considering that who he is is someone who would phone in a fake bomb threat.

Oh, also this is a Cthulhu film, this is discovered near the end and doesn’t effect the film at all. It could just be a random beast and it would have made no difference. Having it be tied to that mythology is a waste and makes it look like they were trying too hard. Also, they kill it with an explosion, Cthulhu don’t go down like that.

So yeah, stay for the opening credits, then leave.

Spree (2020)

This was potentially a dangerous watch for me. It’s about a guy who livestreams a killing spree for attention because he livestreams and has zero followers and wants attention. A guy putting his heart out there for the world to see and yet still struggling to get enough views on his content is something I personally relate to, to the point where I did wonder if I was mentally strong enough to watch this film. Luckily for me this film doesn’t have the emotional core to really effect you, and this is obvious from the opening.

The opening doesn’t really grab you. There are moments where the situations were funny but for whatever reason I didn’t laugh, they just weren’t directed well. I think it’s because they were shot like a youtube video, and were edited as such too. That “youtube jump-cut” style of editing doesn’t sit well with the style of humour they were attempting, the jokes need to percolate and have time to hit, but the rapid-style editing means they’re unable to do that. Also, he’s talking to himself/an audience which isn’t there for a lot of the film, so he has nobody to bounce off. Comedy is hard to do when you can’t show reactions, and this just shows it. It gets funnier when he picks up his first passenger who immediately questions all the cameras. But after stating “but what if I’m not okay with it?” he then just accepts “they’re for protection” without argument. I feel this is a waste of a potentially very awkward and funny scene of him arguing about not wanting to be on camera during a livestream. It could lead to the first murder too, have it mid argument or something. Although this does lead to something great where the guy he’s picking up is so mildly racist. Talking about IQ studies on different races. “you’re okay for a libtard”. I’m so glad that shit is hopefully dying soon. Much like the racist, who drinks poisoned water. Kind of annoying writing, he’s racist so it’s okay he died. But the water was poisoned and offered to him before we found that out, so it’s not really a good death in terms of intention. He didn’t intend to kill a racist, he killed someone who turned out to be racist. So it doesn’t really work for me in terms of making him a sympathetic character. Also, the main character wasn’t broken down enough to the point where it seemed like a logical step. There’s no inciting incident which you feel drives him to that point. You don’t really feel his desperation that much, I think part of that is because we only see him as a livestreamer, we don’t know what he’s like when he’s not “on” so we are always aware that the personality we see will be an exaggerated version of what he’s like, and we never see the real him.

The film also has difficulty showing us funny. Like there’s a part where he’s scrolling through an instagram of a comedian and watching some of her stuff, it’s just a mash of punchlines without setups and setups without punchlines. So we don’t really get her character, it would have helped if they showed her doing some one-liners or a whole joke. It’s like the writers couldn’t think of any full jokes so just did those and hoped we’d fill in the gaps. The film also doesn’t lean fully into the gimmick. It’s mostly done via livestream so we can see comments and reactions, but then there’s a lot of moments when it’s not, and they’re some of the most interesting moments where you want to see peoples reactions. I think with a film like this you either need to go super dark and disturbing, or just embrace the insanity and be as off the wall as possible, this doesn’t feel like it wants to fully go either way and feels less because of it.

Overall, what does it have to say? “the internet is numbing us to real tragedy”, well, obviously. You need to go deeper, and this just doesn’t have the intelligence. Also it provides no alternative viewpoint, at no point does anyone point out that this is fucking insane. The film shows us how the internet is a cold unfeeling place, but then also seems to say that it’s the most important thing in the world. This won’t change how you view the world, and it’s just not entertaining enough to make up for it.

On the plus side the central performance is great. Joe Keery is not given a good a character to do, but he plays him very well. Also the general concept is brilliant, it just doesn’t make the most of it.

The Final Word: Day 5 (Final Destination 5)

This is the most expensive blog I have ever done. Time to delve into my personal life for a second here, I’m currently getting kitchen refitted, and during the course of doing this my electrics got shorted, this ended up frying my Xbox, which I use as dvd player. Now I had actually prepared for this blog by putting the dvd in there ready. So I had to buy a new xbox (well, second hand), and then get a paper clip to get the old dvd out. But then the new old Xbox didn’t work, so I had to get another one delivered. Hence, this being later than usual. Also, I know I’ve made some typos in some of the previous posts, and no, I don’t spell-check these. The point of these are that the comments and opinions are off-the-cuff. I watch the film with the IMDB trivia page open, and make comments as I go along, referencing the trivia page if I find something interesting. If I started going over what I’d done I’d start deleting EVERYTHING for not being perfect. Anyway, with that over, let’s do this.

  • I love these opening credits. The music is suitably creepy, it’s the first time it’s seemed like the music has been made for a horror movie rather than just generic rock music. The visuals show things smashing through windows and exploding, so gives you an idea of what to expect, without spoiling everything.
  • It’s a sales retreat for a company named Presage. I don’t need to tell you why that’s significant as I’m sure you’re already aware what that means. But in case you need help explaining it to your stupider relatives, it means “A sign or warning that something, typically something bad, will happen, an omen or portent.”.
  • We meet who I assume are the core group of the film. Peter, the manager of Presage, played by not-Dave Franco actor Miles Fisher. Seriously, google Miles Fisher and then Dave Franco.
  • Sam, played by Nicholas D’Agosto, Peter’s friend/employee.
  • Molly, Sam’s ex, very recent ex, she dumped him like 5 seconds ago. A note about that scene, the backgrounds seem weirdly disconnected, like they used a green screen for some reason.
  • Peters girlfriend Candice, who works as an intern for Peter’s company. Bit weird.
  • Olivia, who wears glasses and is introduced having slept with someone in a band, she then strips to her underwear because this franchise cannot write female characters.
  • Isaac, who creepily hits on Molly in a way that he can conceivably deny when HR pulls him up on it.
  • Dennis, played by David Koechner, who is introduced bitching at Sam for correcting him when he got Sams name wrong.
  • Nathan, who gets pulled away from his job for this retreat, which annoys people he works with for some reason.
  • Sam has been offered a job in Paris. Trips to Paris ALWAYS work out great in this franchise.
  • He’s creeped out by a sign on the bus saying “Watch your step”. Why? Why is that creepy? That’s standard.
  • On that note, anybody else remember when bus’s made you climb like a foot of stairs before getting on the bus? They just really hated disabled people didn’t they?
  • They get on the bus, in a scene which really should have been the opening. Having them waiting for the bus gave nothing. Could have had it start here and talk there, have them drive past more foreboding stuff.
  • Hey, a log truck. Those things are super scary now.
  • Now we’re shown the only thing scarier in this franchise than log trucks: wind!
  • The wind causes the bridge to collapse, somehow. Once it starts collapsing, everybody stands there watching it, instead of, you know, running away.
  • Candice falls off the bridge and lands on the mast of a boat sailing underneath. I don’t think it was safe for that boat to be sailing in that weather, but what do I know?
  • Isaac dies next, he stayed in the bus as he was in the bathroom phoning a “lady friend”.
  • Olivia loses her glasses, didn’t see that coming.
  • She dies, in a way that her losing her glasses didn’t effect at all, a car fell on her.
  • Nathan gets whacked off, and not in a sexy way.
  • The support bars start coming off the bridge, snapping off elastically.
  • Dennis dies next, being covered in hot oil. Again, not in a sexy way. It’s actually pretty horrific to see.
  • Peter dies next, a pole impaling his face in a really bad special effect.
  • And then Sam dies, obviously. Handy thing about this film is that he was in a position to actually see all the deaths so know which order they took place in.
  • But not really as that was a vision, shocking!
  • He immediately gets everybody off the bus, well, all the named characters anyway. What a crazy coincidence.
  • “How did you know? You said you saw it happen, that sounds premeditated to me”. You think he controls the wind? How does he look guilty at all considering it was clearly wind?
  • “Tell me about the break-up, was he upset?” He got dumped that morning, a few minutes before getting on the bus. You think he was able to somehow organise a bridge collapse in four minutes and without actually going to the bridge?
  • 86 people died in the bridge, the news calling it an accident caused by high winds exacerbated by construction work weakening the structure. If that’s the case, then the construction company and whoever approved the construction are at fault, surely? They should have closed the bridge whilst construction was going on.
  • Weird how this is a prequel (oh, this is a prequel btw, but you never find out until the end), and yet this disaster was never mentioned again in the series. Almost like they were making it up as they went along.
  • A mass funeral for the employees, oh that’s grim.
  • Hey, it’s Tony Todd again, being creepy and foreboding. That dude gets everywhere.
  • We now find out why Molly dumped Sam. He got offered a job placement in Paris and didn’t take it as it would mean leaving Molly, she thinks he should have taken the job as it would be better for him. So yeah, we have actual character motivations in this film.
  • Oh damn this death is early. It’s the death of Candice, and is probably the best known death from this film. She’s doing flippy-shit style gymnastic stuff, but it’s not in the Tokyo Dome so won’t earn 5 stars.
  • Lots of fake-outs, and they’re actually well done as we’re not certain about how she’s going to die so you don’t already know to ignore everything irrelevant. There’s a loose nail on a balance beam which is anxiety inducing to see someone work on it. An electric cable laying water looking dodgy.
  • She gets off the balance beam, without stepping on the nail. Is just about to get electrocuted but she stops that by putting a towel on the water running towards her. She didn’t think to notify anybody about the water-logged electrics causing sparks.
  • But nope she dies on the bars when someone else steps on the nail (why she didn’t check and clear the beam off before is lost on me), falls off and knocks that weird white chalk that gymnasts use into Candice’s face, causing her to fly off the bars and land on her neck, her body almost bent over itself. It’s gross, it’s impactful, and I love it (title of my sex tape).
  • Sam comforts Peter about the death of his girlfriend. “I came as soon as I heard”, you have gross fetishes, dude.
  • Olivia’s response to Candice’s death “We should have seen it coming. You’ve seen the crazy shit they do, I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.” So kind and thoughtful.
  • Isaac is going through a woman’s desk at work and stealing her shit, and being creepy. He goes through someone elses desk and steals a gift certificate for a spa.
  • Peter brings alcohol to work “if I drink it alone, that would just be sad”. Wait, you guys don’t do that?
  • Isaac tries to use his gift certificate at a massage parlour. Asking for a happy ending and refusing to back down when he’s told that’s not happening.
  • His response to an Asian masseuse walking past him? “Yum yum dim sum”. Well that’s racist.
  • He makes comments about the staff at the building, I know this film is set in the early 2000’s but even then that shit wasn’t okay was it?
  • Who am I kidding, if businesses refused a customer just because they were sexually harassing staff members then bars would have no male customers.
  • “I’m sorry, do you come with subtitles?” Super fucking racist.
  • “What happened to the younger version of you?” Only semi racist, an improvement.
  • He essentially gets beaten up by an elderly chinese lady, in possibly the only thing he doesn’t find erotic.
  • Back with the main group still at the office, Peter is moping, as is his right. “Peter, there wasn’t anything you could have done”, I dunno, he could have cleared the nail off the beam.
  • Dennis calls the cop from earlier, explaining that he just saw Peter throw a glass at a wall. I’m fairly certain this scene only exists so we can show the cop at the site of Candice’s death. After hanging up, the cop is somehow freaked out by dripping water and a fan, I don’t know why.
  • And back with the sex pest, boooooo. Getting elbowed in the crotch, yaaaay. He’s about to get acupuncture needles jabbed in him, refuses, and then changes his mind, saying “two billion people can’t be Wong”. He then explains the joke. I highly recommend annoying someone who is about to stick needles inside you. Always works well.
  • Smash cut to him with more needles in, looking like a low-budget pinhead.
  • “now go to sleep for 30 minutes and you’ll feel fine”. It takes me longer than that just to fall asleep.
  • He falls off the table, then has a statue lands on his head. Killing him, ah well. I feel we should have had a shot of the staff there reacting to his death, would have made it feel more real. At the moment we only focus on the main characters so it never really feels real.
  • The group finds out about his death. “who dies during a massage?” Well I experienced le petite mort after one once.
  • That’s a very good joke by the way, you may not get it, but rest assured it’s fucking brilliant.
  • Tony Todd shows up, explaining that this has happened before, people survive a disaster then slowly die one by one. We assume he’s talking about the previous films, because we don’t know this is a prequel yet. But he’s not, so that’s ANOTHER disaster that is never referenced in this series. Damnit, are we going to have to have a prequel of the very first time this happened and find out it took place in Ancient Rome or some shit?
  • He explains you can cheat death by murdering someone, then their life gets added to yours. Wouldn’t that make you a shingami?
  • Interesting plot point though,
  • Olivia goes to get laser eye surgery, throwing her glasses away before the procedure. A little presumptuous don’t you think?
  • They show her being prepped for the procedure, her eyes being forced open, and they do not spare the details, it’s super intense and disturbing.
  • The eye-surgeon person (would it be doctor or optician?) leaves the room, because that’s professional. Whilst he’s out, the machine overheats, and she accidentally turns it on (I’ve had that happen to me before too), the superpowered laser starts burning her eye, and causees severe burns on her hand when she tries to protect it. Why does that laser go that powerful? Do eye-surgeons regularly need lasers they can use as weapons?
  • She struggles off the chair and slips on a teddy bear eye that she tore off earlier, then falls through the window and lands on a car (as opposed to her original death, where a car landed on her). In a nice touch, a car runs over he detached eye. Well, I say “nice”.
  • Nathan accidentally kills someone he works with in an argument, pushing him into the way of a hook that falls through the floor and through his neck. So he should be safe for a while, Nathan, not the dead guy.
  • Peter goes to see Dennis, Peter is going crazy talking about “kill or be killed”. Personally I don’t think this works for his character, it would have made more sense for Dennis to be the character that does that.
  • Dennis turns up in the warehouse, and asks “who wants to be the first to tell me what happened?” to the group of people that don’t work in the warehouse and where most of them weren’t there. Would have made more sense for him to go up to the people that worked in the warehouse, but what do I know?
  • He dies, gets hit in the face by a wrench, killing him, and showing why he will never be a champion dodgeball player.
  • Sam goes back to work, seeing potential death everywhere. I know someone who works in McDonalds and she sees the same things.
  • Seriously though, this kitchen lacks basic health and safety protocols. People walk around with sharp objects facing out.
  • Peter arrives and tells a story about how he almost killed a stranger to get their life, but then realised he couldn’t. So instead he is going to kill Molly.
  • He says he’s not going to kill Sam as he’s about to die soon anyway so he wouldn’t gain anything. Typical selfish person, only killing for his own benefit, what happened to killing for the art?
  • He shoots the cop who has been chasing them throughout, and has added nothing. But then gets stabbed by Sam, giving a nice happy ending to this film.
  • We then get the twist, and it’s a fucking good one. It’s the characters from the first film being dragged off the flight. Yup, we’re on the plane crash. We’ve already seen this but it’s worse now we know more about these characters. It’s fucking heartbreaking to see them get thrown off, and knowing what will happen to these characters, it just fucking breaks you man. It also breaks the franchise as nobody ever mentions “these characters cheated death, and then died in mysterious ways” from this film.
  • Back with Nathan in a bar, where he finds out the guy he accidentally killed was due to die soon anyway, at which point the plane engine crashes through the roof and kills him. I get why they did this, but I feel the deaths of Sam and Molly were so heartbreaking that adding a death after that kind of cheapens it.
  • We then get a montage of deaths from the franchise, set to AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood”. Look, I love that song, but that’s not how you end this film. That’s a “fuck yeah!” song, and everybody in this film is dead, that’s not a fuck yeah moment. It should have ended with Sam and Molly dying, then a slow fade to black and credits over near silence. It would have allowed actual emotion into this franchise.

So yeah, that’s it. This was a lot better than than the previous one, the tone was perfect for it and it was much more of a horror movie than the last few. I’m kind of sad this franchise is over, I think a new one was in development before the plague hit, so I’m hoping they continue it. It’s a unique franchise that feels unfinished, we still have questions we need answers to that aren’t just theories and guesswork. But until that happens, we’ll have to end it with this one.

The Final Word: Day 4 (The Final Destination)

  • Oh boy, this one is in 3D, which is always a good sign for a horror franchise. Really? “The Final Destination?” Not Final Destination 4? I guess we’re just blowing off conventional naming mechanisms? Fine, why don’t I just blow off speaking English too if that’s how we’re going?
  • Blom gu garh kan sha yuv bew lok
  • “also known as” oh thank God a normal title “Final Destination 3D” no! That’s not helpful.
  • Fine, I’ll stop talking about the title and start focusing on the actual film.
  • Still a stupid title though.
  • So after covering the horror-inducing situations of a plane explosion, a traffic crash, and a roller coaster breaking, this film starts somewhere even scarier: NASCAR.
  • For those who don’t know what NASCAR is: I envy you, you sweet summer child. It’s essentially driving in a circle, for 200 laps. We actually have them in England too, they’re near supermarkets and called roundabouts. At least with ours after you complete it you can pick up a Cornish pasty.
  • Straight in, no opening credits to speak of yet. I like when horror films do that sometimes, because it annoys people who don’t turn up on time as “I don’t want to watch the trailers”. Watch the trailers! It’s how you find new movies.
  • “tell me why we chose this instead of seeing a movie?” Weird choice for an opening line in a movie.
  • “if they lose focus for even a millisecond they will have to be scraped off the fence with a shovel, a shovel!” A lot of the fences here are chain-link so I don’t think that will help. Best to maybe pressure-wash them.
  • “No I came to see them compete, of course I want them to crash”.
  • “you’re sick hunt” I agree he is a disgusting, oh, you said “Hunt”
  • “Time to lay off the funyuns” nooooo, those funyuns have a family they’re supporting, they need the work.
  • The characters (Nick, Lori, Hunt, and Janet) are at the roundabout driving event, having snuck alcohol in in fake binoculars, because they like the local events, but they hate making sure that the people who put on these events make any money. And if they go out of business thats their own fault.
  • People move and get in the way, stopping characters from being able to see the vroom vroom go fast.
  • A woman puts tampons in her kids ears, unused. I hope. Because that’s something people do.
  • The most unrealistic part of this movie is this is a NASCAR event and there’s only one obvious racist (Carter).
  • One of the characters (the forgettable-looking white male, oh wait, that doesn’t narrow it down) points out they’re safe as there’s a fence between them and the track. At this point the fence starts coming loose when the wind starts unscrewing things. Because wind does that. It’s why I don’t actually have a screwdriver in my house, I just blow everything and my problems are solved.
  • A piece of paper memorialising drivers who have died blows onto the floor near Nick. If you have enough recent deaths that it fills a sheet of A4, maybe stop doing that event.
  • A guy sitting in front of him has “life’s a bitch, and then you die. Any questions?” oh his shirt. I have two actually: 1) slogans should go on the front of a t-shirt, not the back, why would you do that? 2) Who told you you could pull off that colour?
  • A mechanic leaves a metal thingymajig (teechnical term) in the back of a vehicle, not the back seat, wedged into the actual back of the car. The car drives off, and the crew for some reason don’t radio him to tell him to pull the fuck over. Maybe they don’t have radios in the car, because that’s not a thing drivers ever have is it? What kind of amateur bullshit is this?
  • Oh it’s fine, it’s fallen off now and is laying in the middle of the track. Panic over, it’s all good.
  • Oh no! A car hit it, what a surprise!
  • The car flips, and the audio is…..strange. It sounds like cheers are happening, but canned cheers. There’s no crescendo it just starts and ends at the same level.
  • A tire decapitates someone, which is the first death of the movie by the way, and it’s thoroughly underwhelming. It happens so fast you don’t get a proper look at it, the audio feels muted so it doesn’t feel painful, and it just doesn’t feel real.
  • A car flies over the fence and lands on someone, I think, it happened quickly so it might have just landed on an empty seat. The driver’s dead though. Previous films would have shown him burning in agony, not this one though, in this one you never get a look at any of the drivers, it’s almost like they don’t exist or matter. It’s weird as it’s such a simple thing but it would have improved it so much if we got a look inside the cars at any point.
  • Two racists (well, one racist and his wife, but if she’s with him and doesn’t call him out on his shit, she’s racist by proxy) get split in half like a divorced couples belongings by a flying piece of metal. Again, it happens so quickly and is so CGI that it seems fake and has no impact.
  • A woman (Samantha) is trampled by people running away. Sadly she doesn’t die then, but is too injured to move when an engine flies out and strikes her in the stomach. I really wish she died earlier. The engine scene isn’t good enough to justify it, and her dying not from the accident but at the direct hand of the audience is a much more chilling death. Okay this is just a premonition so it doesn’t actually happen but still. It would have been much better.
  • Andy (the boyfriend of Nadia, the woman decapitated by the tire) runs away, slipping and landing on a piece of wood that’s sticking up in one of the worst effects so far in this franchise. It’s basically a cartoon.
  • The building starts collapsing, killing lots more people as the exits are blocked. Why does this look so bad? Actually it’s for the same reason as the third one, they used similar techniques to the second one (using practical effects then tidying it up with CGI) but waaaaay overdid it so it all looks fake, essentially a video game.
  • An explosion knocks Nick into a piece of metal that kills him. Everybody is dead.
  • But not really we’re back in reality. Nick, showing actual brains, describes things that will happen before they do. Making it much easier to get everybody on his side.
  • “we gotta go, there’s gonna be a crash” a guy in front turns around and bitches at him “hey! that ain’t funny”. This would be about 40 seconds after someone else said “Of course I hope they crash”, which the guy was fine for some reason.
  • He, and a group of other people run outside the stadium, and keeping in tradition for this franchise, the crash happens WAY too fucking early, with chaos happening about 10 seconds after they leave instead of 5 minutes.
  • Carter (the racist dickbag) is stopped from going back into the stadium by security guard. I’d have let him, he’s a racist so…..
  • Nadia, who got decapitated by a tire in the original crash, is outside the arena now, where she still gets decapitated by a tire. She must have really pissed off a sentient tire.
  • Opening credits! These are probably my favourite opening credits so far, x-ray style retellings of previous deaths in the franchise. Really cool, VERY unique, and a great way of rewarding fans of the franchise.
  • The original four friends are sat in a coffee shop emotionally recovering. I think this is the first time in the franchise that none of the original friend group die in the mass death scene. Very cool, and allows us to get a better look at how their group dynamic works.
  • “But why are we still alive?” Because you weren’t in the place where the crash happened, it’s not complicated.
  • “we’re alive because we deserve it” and the people who died died because they deserved? Bit cruel, you dick.
  • “A memorial will be held tomorrow at McKinley Speedway” aren’t they still cleaning it up? Fuck man, you’re contaminating a crime scene.
  • Andy is devastated at the loss of his wife. Carter has also lost his wife, and decides to resort to using the n-word to fix things. Because he’s a racist, and racists don’t have feelings except hate.
  • Nick wakes up after having CGI visions of another death, this time involving a hook-crane (Yes I know there’s probably a technical word, I do not know the technical word).
  • “I just had a really bad nightmare, it seemed real” lol, it didn’t though. It seemed super fake and made by computer, and not even a modern one, but a mid 90s adventure game.
  • Carter somehow found out where the black security guard who stopped him going back into the arena lives. He parks his tow truck (with company name, smart) outside the guys house, and sets up a cross to burn to burn on his lawn. The film shows a part of cross burning that’s never shown on film usually; him digging a hole to put the cross in. They always mention the hate, never the landscaping.
  • A 4 pack of beer (with only 2 drunk, pussy) falls down, causing the truck to go forward. For some reason the door locks as it drives off. Carter gets hoist by his own petard, well, tow truck chain and gets dragged down the street. The metal chain dragging on the floor starts a fire and he slowly burns to death in a manner sort of like a lynching, He dies, finally something good happens in this film. And it happens while the song “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” plays. Funny. I mean, it would be horrible if it happened to a human but it didn’t.
  • The characters find out what happened, one of them finds out while she’s just sitting around in a cute t-shirt and green underwear. Eugh, really movie? You couldn’t not be creepy for one minute?
  • Samantha (the mother who put tampons in her kids ears) turns up at a salon for her 5 o clock appointment. At 5:50, they close at six. “Sorry i’m late”, that’s not really acceptable for being 50 minutes late. She complains about their being nobody who can help her, on account of, you know, her being 50 minutes late, and the place closing in 10 minutes. “I understand, but it’s a girls night out” Doesn’t matter, are you paying the overtime? No? Then fuck off.
  • The company acquiesces, because fuck the staff, right? They don’t have lives or need to do anything.
  • Lots of death fake-outs occur showing a fan nearly falling, water dripping on a radio, body butter on the floor etc. But we already know what her deaths involve due to the vision So…..what’s the point of those?
  • A can of hairspray slowly slides along until it’s near a hair straightener, igniting the can and causing the fan to fall down, hitting nothing.
  • After all those fake-outs we get her actual death; a stone run over by a lawnmower flies through her head. I would love to see mythbusters deal with that. It’s a weirdly low-key death for the second human death in the movie (racists aren’t people, guys, how many times do I have to tell you?).
  • Her death is met with “we lost a really hot MILF”. Wow, do you do eulogies or hallmark cards?
  • They were googling premonitions, and obviously come up with the disasters from the previous movies (again, not from the next one, despite it happening before the others. That will never not annoy me), and none from anything outside of these movies. It’s weird the only allusions to real-life deaths in this franchise were to fucking 9/11. They couldn’t even come up with a fake disaster that we didn’t see? Because at the moment it feels like these films only take place in their own reality, they’re very insular and don’t seem to exist in reality.
  • “would it kill you to be sensitive?” Dunno dude, you’re the one who can see deaths, you tell him.
  • Nick and Lori head to the racetrack, which for some reason doesn’t have anybody there doing forensics and cleaning it up still. Shit, there are still clothes there.
  • Nick flashbacks to the premonition, and again I have to say while we saw the whole thing play out, how did he see it all? He would have been panicking surely? He wouldn’t have been like “okay I’ll just stare at this couple until they die”. So how does he know which order?
  • Wooo a security guard. George, who just happened to be in the vicinity the day of the accident, and only just avoided death. What a crazy random happenstance that he’s the one who catches them.
  • “Three of the people who survived the accident are now dead”. I can’t believe they didn’t fix that mistake in the script. It wasn’t three people, it was two people and Carter.
  • We find out why George is in Alcoholics Anonymous; he killed his wife and kids in a car accident while drunk. Wow, actual character. I’m not used to that in these films.
  • Andy dies when a gas tank pushes him against a chain link fence, killing him in, again, a very cartoon-looking death. After seeing parts of his stomach be pushes through the fence. One of his workmates comes out, looks at him and says “hey, are you okay?” obviously fucking not.
  • Hunt is a cunt. He’s in a very gratuitous sex scene which is just there for boobs. He also looks really fucking dumb.
  • Nick has a premonition that Hunt will die when he drives past a sign saying “Clear Rivers Water”. An obvious reference to Clear from the first two films. This film has not been good but it’s had moments like that which are superb.
  • A kid shoots Hunt with a water pistol. Hunt gets annoyed about getting wet near a swimming pool so swears at the kid, pops his inflatable, pushes him in the pool, then steals the water pistol and throws it behind a fence near a piece of equipment. Nobody who watches this happens stops him or punches him in the dick. Also, he does know that even without the pistol, there are still ways people can get wet when they’re near a swimming pool, right? It turns out he has broken the pool drainage system, which isn’t protected or monitored.
  • Janet could also die in water, her car getting stuck in a car wash and her sunroof magically opening. At least it was set up that the sunroof was dodgy in an earlier scene. Water pours into the car in a moment which would be much better in a better film.
  • Hunt gets hit a golf ball, causing his lucky coin to fall out of his pocket and roll into the pool. They could have just had him flip the coin and drop it. Or had the little kid (who hasn’t been seen again by the way) steal it. Or even have him swim and it fall out of his pocket. If a golf ball hits him like that then the course is way too close to the pool. All those unprotected heads and flying golf balls is a lawsuit waiting to happen.
  • He of course, jumps into the pool, but the increased suction on the broken drainage system causes him to be forced to the bottom of the pool by his anus.
  • While he’s being given a wet sucking in the pool, Janet gets her head stuck in her sunroof and is nearly pummelled to death by car wash tentacles. And not in a sexy way. She gets saved though. Having both characters separated and being unsure which one will die is a great way to get tension, and as such is never done again.
  • Meanwhile back with the worlds most dangerous rimjob, Hunt is clearly near death. The films cuts to above the pool for a few chilling moments where everything is fine and normal, nobody noticing him dying. It’s a haunting moment knowing that he’s dying and can see everybody not noticed. I’d say it’s only ruined by the tense music that plays over the pool shots. I feel if they played relaxed happy music it would be more disturbing as it would almost normalise the ignorance.
  • He dies, bloodily and painfully. So if Janet wasn’t due to die, why did all that weird shit happen at the car wash? Was it just to distract them from Hunt? It’s weird how death fucked with them like that and never does it again in the franchise.
  • George and Andy meet near a hospital where another survivor is. He was unknown to the group (and as such, to us) and is next on deaths list. So this will be satisfying, a death of a character we know nothing about. It’s quite a drawn out death too. Involving an overflowing bathtub, another racist, and him being injured enough that he can’t move.
  • Meanwhile Janet is at the mall, with a heavy object ominously looming overhead because, again, this is America, and health and safety laws are communism.
  • Before any of this can come to fruition, George gets hit by an ambulance. Is that their way of getting more business? Oh wait, he’s dead, they went too far.
  • Janet and Lori (I think, I can’t remember who anybody is in this movie) are at the cinema when it blows up and everybody dies. But they don’t because it’s another vision, all of that was a vision. So it doesn’t matter. We could have guessed that since EVERYBODY died after only an hour of film. If they limited it and left a few survivors then it would have been more believable. I’m not going to spend too long on this, as it was a complete waste of time. I will say it’s weird how the fire started with barrels labeled “spontaneously combustable”, how does that work? That would just be combustable, sure? Spontaneously combustable implies it will just randomly set itself on fire.
  • Nick stops the cinema deaths despite being shot with a nail gun (this franchise loves those nail guns) and saves the day. Yay. So does this mean everybody else from that cinema is now on deaths list? We don’t know, we will never know. What a totally satisfying thing to happen in a movie.
  • Later on he and the girls are sitting in a coffee shop. He starts getting worried when he see’s ominous signs, like an advert for a swimming pool, or NASCAR on TV. I agree that showing NASCAR on television is in bad taste. Not because of the accident, but because it’s shit.
  • They die after the end of the film, being hit by a truck and their deaths being in same manner as the opening credits, being shown in x-ray. That’s pretty cool, much better than the rest of the film.

So that’s that over. Probably the worst film so far, and a lot of that is down the visuals. It’s weird as it’s directed by same guy as the second one, and that really, well, I wouldn’t say “improved” on the first one, but it did continue it in a logical and respectable manner. This one? Just no. As I mentioned, the characters range from awful to forgettable to George (who is actually well written). Also, it doesn’t make me scared of anything. The first one makes you scared of planes, the second makes you scared you logs on trucks, the third one makes you scared of tanning beds. They’re all things that have slightly seeped into pop culture and you see references to them on the internet. Nothing from this makes you feel the same way. It leaves no imprint on you and the only thing it makes you scared off is shitty CGI.

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 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.

Brahms: The Boy II (2020)

I’ll freely admit I did not see the first film, but I don’t think that matters as I’m not entirely sure the people who made this one did either considering how it seems to completely retcon the ending. Which raises the question: who is this film for? People who enjoyed the first one won’t like the change, and people who didn’t like it aren’t going to see this film as they would have been put off by the first one.

I suppose it would have been okay if the film was a remarkable improvement, but I doubt that’s the case. Like I said, I haven’t seen the first one, but there is no way it can be worse than this. It’s strange for a toy doll to not be the most wooden thing in a film. Nobody gives a good performance in this, and it’s not due to a lack of talent, it’s lack of effort. It’s nobody giving a single shit about this film. It’s directed without flair, how can someone who has directed 5 or 6 feature films before this seem so inexperienced? They’ve all been horror films too so it’s not as though he’s trying a new genre, he should be great at this by now. He should know how to subtly scare the audience and not be dependent on jump scares and babys-first-scares style of horror. This does not seem like it was directed with passion, by somebody who wants to make it the best he can. This seems like it was directed by computer, no emotion, no idea of why certain horror techniques are used, it just uses them because it feels it should.

The script……I watched this film four days ago and I still couldn’t tell you much of the plot. It left nothing on me. Nothing stood out in a positive way, and trust me, considering I’m writing a horror film, I pay attention to horror film scripts, even if only so I can get inspired. For a film to give me NOTHING I can use is almost admirable. Not a single shot, not a single moment, nothing, it gave me zero to work with. That’s incredible for a film that is nearly three hours long.

Wait, what’s that? It’s only 86 minutes long? Then why did it seem like it was taking ages to watch it?

Oh, okay.

Vivarium (2019)

I remember when I watched The VVitch years ago and was amazed at how it made somewhat standard scenes seem creepy and scary. A shot of a tree would somehow be one of the scariest moments in film and you have no idea why, it’s just great film-making. This is similar. It has a moment where they drive up a street to a house, that’s it. Nothing happens to them, nothing jumps out at them, it’s just them driving up a street. It’s also the creepiest scene I’ve seen in a LONG time. The houses are identical, like they’ve all been copied and pasted in an unnatural manner. The whole film is like that, the mundane made incredibly creepy through FANTASTIC film-making. Normally in horror it’s darkness that makes things creepy. This is the opposite, everything is so well-light and normal and bright that it’s that that makes it creepy.

The story is good, but ultimately frustrating sometimes as there are multiple questions which don’t get answered. Normally I’d call that annoying and lazy, but with this it works. The tone is perfect for that kind of narrative. It’s supposed to be a confusing mess as that’s what the characters are feeling. It makes you feel as helpless and trapped as the characters. There’s not enough focus on how character empathy can be tied into the narrative structure. I’ve made a conscious decision to do this when I made Poppy Blooms. I intentionally kept everything in that building so that the audience would feel as limited as the character was. The best case I can think of where the opposite has been the case and the narrative structure has been hurt by it will be The Mercy, aka, the film where Colin Firth is stuck on a boat. As I said here the film was supposed to be about how isolated he felt, but it kept cutting back to other characters, and had a lot of flashbacks of him interacting with people, as such you never felt as isolated as he did.

This is the opposite, it’s a confusing mess, because the characters are confused. I refuse to believe the confusing nature isn’t intentional, the film-maker is just too talented for that to be the case. I’m basing that off one film, yes, but it is a very good film. Plus, anybody who made this scene is certainly one of the most talented film-makers the world has.

I highly recommend this film, I’m not going to want to watch it again but I’m very glad I watched it. Well, maybe “glad” isn’t the correct word but you know what I mean, if you have shudder (and if you don’t, you should), it’s available on there.

Let’s See You Do Better: Update 2

Note: if you’re unsure what this is about, visit here

So it’s been a while since I’ve updated this, been busy on other projects. I thought I’d offer a quick update as to how the story is going. I have an idea of where it’s going and should probably do an outline to establish it. I’ve been reading some of the Nightmare On Elm Street comics too, they’re mostly terrible but there are a few really disturbing parts in them. The trouble with doing a script like this is that theoretically anything is possible, and when you’ve got no limits then it can be boring to do standard things. Like I was going to have a scene where someone dies by having their face held against a hotplate until the skin melts. Very gruesome and could be horrific if done right, but it’s also possible, so would be best used for another film (could work in a Halloween film I think). I’m posting my progress now because after this is when the actual horror starts. I’ve put some creepy moments in there but all of it is setting up the rest of the film. So, here’s the opening:

nightmare

I’m quite proud of what I’ve got here, but I know some of it will HAVE to change. I have to set up his PTSD nightmares more (I’ve got a great idea but at the moment it’s a bit too similar to a scene from Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark), so I’m going to need to think of a better way of doing it before putting it on paper. I need to set up the background characters more, specifically the ones in his class. This should be easily done, it’s a classroom so lots of chance for debate which I could use to showcase character traits. Overall I think I’ll have a better idea of how I want the beginning to go when I get to the end as I know what I’ll have to set up. I’m very wary of timing, I’ve seen A LOT of horror films which seem to take two-thirds of the script before the actual story starts. I hate when it happens and I don’t want to do it. At the moment it’s about 20 minutes, which I think gives me a good basis to start, especially since it is still relatively scare-heavy. I think if I keep that level of intensity up I could extend the beginning by about another ten minutes and keep the momentum going.

The Isolation Scripts: Script Two

For more details on this read this.

So here’s the second one. I hesitate to call this “enjoyable” but hope you appreciate it

The Night

I had multiple issues with tone on this, going from too comedic to gross with no filter between them. Yeah, I had no idea what I was doing with this, I was mostly freestyling it to get to the moment of the neighbour not letting her in due to social distancing rules. But looking back at it that’s the section I’d cut. That entire section at that house doesn’t really add much, not once I got to the end. Now the end of this completely changed my enthusiasm for this. Before that, I thought “okay I’m not dealing with this script, but some of the deaths I could use in a slasher”, but as soon as I hit upon that final few pages (after she leaves the second house) I got excited. The idea of a film where a group of people (lets face it, it would be a group of guys) dress up as their favourite horror movie characters and go around killing people. There’s the traditional aspect could be fun, but crucially I could add in A LOT of detail about how we consume horror movies, about how horror focuses more on the killers than the victims, so it’s natural that people will end up idolizing them. Not only that but a lot of horror movie villains are shot like heroes, the angles are the same that were given to heroes in old Westerns. Suddenly I got very excited about this as an idea, and importantly; an idea I think I could write. In that context the tonal changes might not be as jarring as the villains will be movie-obsessed people, so will give me a lot of chances for comedic moments. Plus, just think of the number of references I could put in. The “Freddy” could mix and match costume aspects from the different iterations of the character.

In summary; I’m not that proud of this script as it is, it’s just a collection of scenes and spots more than a coherent narrative, but I can definitely change it into something very exciting if I put the effort in.