söndag 30 september 2018


Action films mixed with science fiction elements have been done a really long time in Hollywood. And there are plenty of titles you should see, if you like this combination. There are especially 2 films that comes to my mind for now. Let us start with the 2010 film known as Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan. A very well made sci fi action film, that is also designed in a very unique way. The story is very effective, about a thief named Cobb ( played brilliant by Leonardo Di Caprio ) who is given one last chance of redemption, if he and his team manage to finish a complicated mission to plant information into a mind of a CEO. Not only does this film look fantastic, this film have also really strong characters and CGI effects that looks incredible. Christopher Nolan is of course one of the few directors who could have made a film like this, he knows how to make science fiction combined with action, in a very intelligent combination. I suggest that you pick up the Blu Ray release and see some interesting special features included. The second film that comes to my mind, is a film i have mentioned before in the past, but is still really good today. I am of course thinking about Minority Report, directed by legend Steven Spielberg. Considering the film was released in 2002, this film looks really good still today, 16 years later. Minority Report is in my opinion one of Tom Cruise best movies, and a really well made science fiction action story that takes a completely different turn on solving crimes within a special police force. The technology looks fantastic, and the future design is really impressive. Director Steven Spielberg proved once again why he knows how to make films that will affect you, emotionally and physically. Minority Report is one of those films you need to buy on Blu Ray, because this is the kind of film you want to experience with great picture and great sound. There is also some nice special features included as well, if you are curious about the making of this film. There are science fiction films released every year, with action included. Some of them are ok, while there are some releases that you simply forget because they have nothing to offer. When i check new titles out, i usually try and look for something different, since i prefer films that look outside of the safety zone. And this is where i discovered a film called Upgrade, thanks to a review from YouTube movie reviewer Chris Stuckmann. While listening to the review of the film, i could tell that Upgrade did seem different from most films this year. So i finally got a chance to check it out on VOD. Do we finally have a sci fi action film that is surprisingly good, or is Upgrade in need of a better script and a better story than what we got here ?

Grey Trace ( Logan Marshall-Green ) is a stay-at-home mechanic, lives with his wife Asha Trace ( Melanie Vallejo ) who works for the company known as Cobolt. This company is trying to increase human-computer augmentations in a near-future world. Asha asks Grey to go with her to return a refurbished car to his client Eron Keen ( Harrison Gilbertson ) who works for the rival company Vessel. Grey decides to go with her, but on their way home, the self driving car they are going in is not working correctly, so they crash at a homeless camp. A group of unknown men execute Asha in front of Grey, and seriously injure him as well. Grey survives, but is now paralyzed, and is forever stuck in a drive motors wheel chair. Grey´s life is now lost, and he have nothing to be happy about. But Eron Keen approach Grey, about helping him. He knows that they could do an operation, that would help Grey get his life back. The surgery is to implant STEM into Grey´s spine, that will help his body to function again. But Grey notice something, that STEM talks to Grey in his mind, and can help him revenge the death of his wife Asha. Grey wants to find the men who did this, but could this cause even more problems, when Grey have no idea what STEM could cause to his body ?

I have been waiting for an odd science fiction film, that combines hard hitting action scenes in a very effective way. And i am so happy to say, Upgrade is exactly what we needed this year. This is the kind of film you don´t see very often, because it is different and have much more to say than ordinary action films on the market. Instead of using the same typical cliches as many action films does, Upgrade combine the action with a different human perspective, how a paralyzed man can suddenly become a lethal weapon. This film also take on the subject on medical procedures, and how far you would be willing to go to fix your damaged body. I would say that the most effective parts of this film is without a doubt the action scenes. Hard hitting, and you can almost feel every punch thanks to great sound effects. The colors of this film looks really good as well, that makes this film very stylish and well designed. The acting in this film is something we have to talk about. Lead actor Logan Marshall-Green ( known from a number of different films such as Prometheus and Spider-Man: Homecoming ) does his best acting in his career so far in Upgrade. He plays his character Grey Trace so effective, you can´t deny he is the perfect choice for this role. Another great performance is from actor Benedict Hardie ( known for such films as The Water Diviner and Hacksaw Ridge ) as the cold hearted character Fisk, who does not appreciate the revenge hunt from Grey. As an evil character, he works really well with the story. It is so nice to see actor Betty Gabriel ( known from 2 of The Purge movies ) as Detective Cortez. Her tough personality is exactly what this film needs, a strong female character. And i really hope to see Betty Gabriel in a lead role in the future, especially in an action film. I have to mention Harrison Gilbertson as Eron Keen, also a character that makes Upgrade interesting from a medical perspective. Let´s talk about this film from an action perspective. I mentioned earlier on some of the positive things, how you can feel the fighting. But that´s not all, the violence in general is very effective, including the shooting scenes ( where some of the evil men have bullets in their arms, as a shotgun arm ) works really well. Considering the budget of Upgrade is around 5 million dollar, i have to say that they have done a really good job with the production value. Director Leigh Whannell, who directed Insidious Chapter 3, have made his best film so far with Upgrade. This could be the best action film of the year, so i strongly suggest you watch this film if you love action combined with science fiction. I am getting Upgrade on Blu Ray when it comes out, i hope you do the same and experience high cinema quality.

Rating: DDDD

lördag 29 september 2018


There are just a couple of comedy TV shows i can truly say i enjoy. Married With Children is of course a classic, with Ed O´Neil as the legendary shoe salesman Al Bundy. The other characters of this TV comedy show, also made this a really funny comedy gold moment in TV history. One of the reasons why this show is still funny today, is that the comedy material hit the right spots, about being married and having children. So many adults will recognize themselves in Al Bundy, a man who dreams about who he used to be, a football legend and now sell shoes. There are of course other great comedy TV shows to choose between. But in my opinion, the best comedy TV series ever made, is of course HBO classic TV series Eastbound & Down. This is the funniest TV series without a doubt, that tells the story of former baseball pro Kenny Powers ( played brilliant by actor Danny McBride ). Kenny Powers is the kind of character you love, because he does not take shit from anyone, because he is Kenny Powers, the greatest Baseball player in all history. That is of course not true, but this is the way he portrait himself. Danny McBride managed to do this character so powerful, that i can´t think of any comedy character that made me so happy as he did. Eastbound & Down really shows you how life changes, as you become an adult. You can tell that Kenny Powers wish he lived the lifestyle of a sports star, with nice cars and young girls, and he is forced to work as a school teacher in sports. DannyMcBride continued working on several different movies, and one of my personal favourite films with him in the cast, has to be the 2013 comedy This Is The End. An incredible funny comedy with very vulgar language. I would have to say that This Is The End was the best comedy of 2013, because no other film made me laugh as much as that film did. I also enjoyed Danny McBride in the film Don Verdean, directed by Jared Hess ( legendary director of Napoleon Dynamite ). He played a wacky character in this film by the name of Tony Lazarus. Of course this is nowhere as good Napoleon Dynamite is, but Don Verdean is still worth a watch for being an odd comedy, and director Jared Hess knows how to make these kinds of films. Let´s not forget that Danny McBride turned up in Ridley Scott´s film Alien Covenant last year, a nice surprise. When i saw a trailer of new films on VOD, i noticed that Danny McBride is in a new film called Arizona. I film i have never heard of before, so of course i became curious. A comedy set out in sunny Arizona, is this a surprisingly funny movie, or is this a film that no one will remember at all ?

Cassie ( Rosemarie Dewitt ) is a house broker in Arizona, trying to sell houses for an estate company. After the big economy crash in 2008, the situation is really bad in Arizona and not many houses can be sold. Cassie´s boss ( Seth Rogen ) is disappointed with the bad sales, and suggest that Cassie needs to dress sexier to get customers. One day a man named Sonny ( Danny McBride ) storm into the office, very disappointed with his house, that he bought from this estate company. Cassie´s boss end up arguing with Sonny, and as the argument becomes more violent, Sonny accidentally kill Cassie´s boss. Since Cassie is a witness, Sonny kidnap Cassie and bring her to his home. With the bad economy still going on, Sonny have no idea how to deal with this situation, with a dead body on his hands. He decide to keep Cassie, not knowing she have a teenage daughter Morgan ( Lolli Sorenson ). Sonny realize that he can´t take any chances, and must kidnap her also. Sonny´s plans to get his life together is suddenly fading away.

I did not know what to expect from Arizona honestly, since i only watched a trailer that did not leave out that much. But i have to say, this is a dark comedy thriller that made me think of another movie back in the 90´s called Very Bad Things. Of course these 2 movies are very different from each other, but they are both dark comedies with murder included, something you don´t really see very often these days. Arizona does have a nicer tone than Very Bad Things, but the black comedy ingredients actually becomes entertaining. I would not say that this is an original film in any way, but i like the way that the film portrait ordinary Americans, stuck with their houses thanks to the 2008 economical crash. That gives you a much more clear view on how desperate people can become, if they are stuck in an impossible situation, unless a change is coming. Danny McBride as the desperate family father Sonny, is the best highlight of this film. He is loud, and just want to fix everything right, but nothing works out the way he have planned everything. Actor Rosemarie DeWitt as the teenage mother, and hard working broker Cassie, is also a character you will enjoy, since you feel sorry for her and all she tries to do to make it work for her daughter and their future. It is also nice to see comedian and actor Seth Rogen as Cassie´s boss in this film. His character is a pain in the ass, but Seth manage to deliver in the short while he is in this film. Actor Luke Wilson can also be found here as Cassie´s ex husband Scott. The dark comedy scenes works best when we get to see Danny McBride´s character go bananas, and nothing he plans is working. And the murder scenes adds some satire to the story, of how this perfect family area becomes a victim of crime. I would have liked even more dark comedy satire, then what we get in this film. I think that could have helped Arizona become even more entertaining. Director Jonathan Watson was actually an first assistant director on TV series Eastbound & Down. Arizona is his directorial debut full feature film, and i think he have managed to make a film that stands out from the ordinary comedy releases. And this is a good idea, since we want a comedy to feel different, and this is something Arizona manage to do. I will admit i was hoping this film would have been even more fun, but i still see entertainment value in here. If you love Danny McBride and his acting style, then i guarantee you want to check out Arizona on VOD. A good choice if you enjoy dark comedies.

Rating: DDD

måndag 24 september 2018

The First Purge

In a world where politicians do what they feel like, we know that ordinary hard workers are not really respected. I know a lot of families who struggle to survive, to make sure their children have everything they need, and the families have to survive on the economy they have. Of course there are families that are happy with what they have, but you can´t help to feel sorry for parents who have to work more than 2 jobs to survive, while politicians use our taxes money to party, pay hotel rooms and fancy dinners. In an honest world, this would not be allowed. But reality is of course different, and the middle class people will always have to struggle. That is why i love people, who want to do right for themselves and not use the system, as many politicians do. A lot of films have taken on subjects of behavior by politicians, such as former French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn. A man who is known for his scandal. Allegations to have sexually assaulted and attempted to rape hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo in New York, on 14th May 2011. The charges were later dropped, and Dominique was not found guilty, but he did not deny that he did have an encounter with Diallo, but had no intentions to do anything criminal towards her. A film based on this case was released in 2014, known as Welcome To  New York. A very interesting story, where lead actor Gerard Depardieu plays the politician character Deveraux ( loosely based on the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn ). A very powerful film, and one of the best performances i have seen actor Gerard Depardieu do in his career. A must see if you ask me. Speaking of politicians, how many of you have seen the 2012 film known as The Purge. A film that tried to give us a different perspective, of what happens when you can kill anyone you want, on one specific day that the government have allowed. This film had a different approach than the ordinary home invasion concept, and this is one of the things that i enjoyed about The Purge. Of course, we also had legendary actor Ethan Hawk. But then something happened, when the sequel The Purge: Anarchy came out in 2014. This film was even better than the first film, and was one of the better action films released in 2014. The main actor Frank Grillo as the bad ass charactor Leo, was the biggest reason why i enjoyed this film. The next film simply called The Purge: Election Year, released in 2016, was not as good as the second film, but Frank Grillo still made this film enjoyable. After the third film was released, it was clear that the successful Purge franchise would continue, and they decided to make a film that tells a story, of how it all started. So here we are with the latest film called The First Purge, a prequel to the previous film. Since the other films have been good so far, is this latest one the best so far, or is the Purge franchise doomed to fail thanks to this prequel ?

The New Founding Fathers Of America ( NFFA ) are about to start an experiment in society, where they pay people to be a part of the first annual Purge. The idea is that everyone who agree tó be a part of this experiment, is that you can kill as many people as you want on the streets, within the hours you have to kill as many victims as possible. Protester Nya ( Lex Scott Davis ) don´t want people to be killed on the streets for money, so she go against the NFFA with other protesters. The NFFA will still go on with the Purge, and Chief of Staff - Arlo Sabian ( Patch Darragh, assisted by The Architect - Dr. Updale ( Marisa Tomei ) both begin to follow the first day of the Purge on surveillance cameras, and through a special developed contact lenses, designed to follow every murder. As the first night of the Purge starts, Nya protect herself and others at the local church, while gangsta leader Dimitri ( Y´lan Noel ) refuse to let any Purge contester take over their neighborhood. The Purge is on, and everyone has to be prepared that anyone is a possible victim. 

Since i have enjoyed all films so far of The Purge franchise, i can tell you that this film does have a different approach on the previous films. This is where we are supposed to find out how it all started. And i have to say, i do understand the political approach that this film is trying to give us, on why we need a Purge night, one day every year, where you are allowed to do what you want. Do i agree with the concept ? No, because this would be an disaster for society, there are enough killing on the streets. Another difference with this film, compared to the previous ones, is that this film focus more on how the black society reacts on the idea of a Purge night. This is also something positive, because we know that there are many poor areas in America, where drugs is a very big problem. This is something that this film also bring up, how it affect families, including young people with no future plans. So of course when poor people are offered a lot of money, to participate in doing the first annual Purge night, they accept the money. Some of the characters of this film is something we have to talk about. Dimitri, a rough gangsta ( played by actor Y´lan Noel ) who won´t let anyone mess with him or his business. And in the final scenes of the film, he becomes the new version of the 80´s classic Commando film with Arnold Schwarzenegger. If they ever do a remake, they should have Y´lan Noel play John Matrix. The strong female character Nya, played by actor Lex Scott Davis is exactly what this film needed. A woman who don´t take shit from anyone, but still try and help people. The brutal and evil character known as Skeletor ( played by actor Rotimi Paul ) is one of the most effective characters of the Purge people. He is completely insane, shows no mercy, and fits right in with the Purge theme. The political sides of the Purge loose some power in the middle of the film ( too bad ), so we rely on the action scenes instead. And they actually work pretty good. It takes some time before something starts to happen, but when the film finally pick up the speed, we get what we wanted. Director Gerard McMurray have directed one full feature film before this one called Burning Sands. I have not seen that film, but i think he have made a Purge film that works, especially for the strong characters. I would have liked to see him become even more political with this film, but he does know how to make action scenes look good. The First Purge is not one of the better films in this franchise, but deliver enough action to please the viewer. If you like the previous films, i think you might enjoy this one as well. Actor Y´lan Noel, think about my idea of you as John Matrix in a Commando remake, i know you would do this film justice.

Rating: DDD

Dead Night

They say that men and women are from 2 different planets. This is probably true, because after being in a relationship with my wife for almost 15 years, i can tell that i still don´t pick up all the signals that my wife give me. Why ? I guess men in general will never really understand women. But i can tell you this, if you ask any man, who would you want to marry if you are single, every single one would answer Barbara Crampton. You might think that most men would say Rihanna or Beyonce would be our first choice. Not at all, the only woman that men dream about everyday, is without a doubt Barbara Crampton. And i think i know why, because she really look fantastic, and she seems to be a wonderful person. I have seen a lot of films in her long career, and one of my absolute favourite films is of course Re-Animator. A film that may be 33 years old, but is a cult classic for horror fans worldwide. Re-Animator had a very different look than most horror releases back in the 80´s, and maybe that is one of the reasons why the film still works today. Barbara Crampton is one of those actors who have continued working in the horror movie genre, and delivered many lovely performances. In recent years there are especially two films that comes to my mind. First up is the horror film We A Still Here, directed by Ted Geoghegan. A great looking B horror movie, where a house in the countryside have a evil entity within the rooms. We Are Still Here brought back some classic elements from the horror movies of the 70´s, and also managed to deliver very creepy looking demonic figures. The second film that comes to my mind, is a film i really feel worked so well especially thanks to Barbara, a film known as Beyond The Gates. Directed by Jackson Stewart, this is a well made horror film, based on a board game, that actually becomes real if you play the game. The design of the game is also well made, and includes a VHS tape, a classic combination. I suggest you watch both films on VOD, or DVD, they are both worth checking out. Recently i was reading about horror films online, and noticed that a film have been released with Barbara Crampton, that i have not seen. A film simply called Dead Night ( sounds like the perfect Sunday dinner at the Bingo Hall ) I thought to myself, i have to see it. Being an old school horror fan, it seemed like Dead Night could be something in my taste. Is this film a good throwback to the old school horror genre, or is Dead Night a failure on every possible level ?

James Pollack ( AJ Bowen ) and his wife Casey Pollack ( Brea Grant ) head out to remoted cabin in Oregon for a weekend with their teenage kids Jessica Pollack ( Sophie Dalah ) and Jason Pollack ( Joshua Hoffman ). Outside in the snow, they find a woman lying. They use CPR to bring her back to life, and she wakes up. Her name is Leslie Bison ( Barbara Crampton ) and she does not seem to know what happened. But as the night goes on, something strange is about to be revealed about Leslie, and the real reason why she is close to this cabin.

The first thing that strikes me about Dead Night, is how this film is constructed. The story is divided into 2 sections, where you get to see a female society who look for new victims, and you also get to see the murders through a crime TV show, is a clever idea. Instead of just doing the same kind of slasher theme, why not mix it up a bit ? The cabin story is nothing special, so the film do get better along the way, when we find out what is going on. When the cabin visitors turn into some kind of possessed killers, this is where the film becomes more fun. We get flesh wounds, even a decapitated arm, just the way we like it. The characters are not all bad either, but let me tall you straight up, Barbara Crampton as the evil Leslie is the strongest character of this film. Every scene she is in, give this film a quality level that i appreciate. But that´s not all, actor Brea Grant as the strong female character Casey Pollack is also a good reason why this film becomes more interesting. Legendary actor Gwen Van Dam ( known for her performances in films like True Confessions and Star Trek Generations ) is wonderful to see as one of the evil  Crone´s. I wish she could have had more screen time, since she is a perfect choice for her character. The practical effects looks ok for the most part, especially a transformation scene in the end of the film, this is really where we get to see a golden moment of tasteful horror. So is there anything negative ? A few scenes did not feel necessary, especially a scene where an older couple is supposed to look shocked, after Casey hit a head off with an axe, and the old couple play so bad it is embarrassing. The face make up is not as good looking as i would hope for, especially on the character James Pollack as possessed, played by actor AJ Bowen. His performance is alright, but the face make up could have been improved. Apart from this, Dead Night is a nice throwback to the happy 80´s with dead bodies, flesh wounds, and different ways to kill possessed people. I also love the movie poster, also feels like a throwback to VHS covers of the glorious days of rental stores as a teenager. Director Brad Baruh ( who produced the great film John Dies At The End ) have made a directorial debut film that may not give anything new, but gives you a good B movie moment. If you just want to see a horror film that reminds you of the good old days of B horror movies, give Dead Night a chance. You might actually find yourself having a good time.

Rating: DDD

onsdag 12 september 2018

The Meg

Can you belive that it was 43 years ago since the best shark movie ever made was released ? I am of course talking about the cult classic Jaws from 1975, directed by the legend Steven Spielberg. It seems that no matter how many years go by, this film is still as good today, as it was when i first saw it in my early youth. What made Jaws such a special film, was not only how well made the film was, but especially all the great characters. Of course you have to admit, Roy Scheider as Chief Martin Brody is one of the Iconic cinema characters you will always remember. Jaws was one of the few shark movies, that actually had a good story and great acting included. And the shark looks really good, even today on DVD or Blu Ray. The special effects are really well made, and this was made 43 years ago. The sequels are not really anything special, i will say though that Jaws 2 is not terrible. And Roy Schieder returned as Martin Brody, and that did help the sequel to become watchable at least. Shark movies can be found in many different shapes, where some film makers combine different ideas to make shark movies look cool. Unfortunately, not all of these ideas are good. And there are films released that no one will remember. SyFy movies are at least good at doing fun B movies, and they have done some cheesy highlights like Empire Of The Sharks. The Sharknado franchise is of course the best work that we have seen from SyFy, and every film is a pure delight to watch. But there is one shark film i still feel is one of the better releases in this genre, known as Deep Blue Sea. Released in 1999 by director Renny Harlin, this is a film that managed to work as an action film. The cast is also great with Stellan Skargsård, Samuel L. Jackson, LL Cool J, Thomas Jane and many more. If you love shark movies, you have to see Deep Blue Sea. It is one of the last fun 90´s action films, with a passion for B movies ( with a higher budget of course than most movies in this genre ). Actor Jason Statham is someone you probably know from action movies such as The Expendables, The Transporter and The Mechanic. He have done a lot of good action films, and is becoming an action Icon for many reasons. When i read that he was going to be in a shark film called The Meg, i was surprised. This seemed to be a different genre than what we have seen Jason Statham do before, and i liked the idea of him doing a complete different genre. When the trailer was released, i felt that this could be fun, if the film manage to deliver entertainment. I had to experience The Meg in cinema of course, so i finally got a chance to see it. Do we have a future shark cult classic in our hands with The Meg, or is this more terrible than what we could have expected ?

Jonas Taylor ( Jason Statham ), a rescue diver, attempts to save a group of scientists from a nuclear submarine. Just as he is trying to save the last two scientists, they are attacked by an unknown creature. Jonas can´t take any chances, if they are going to survive he have to leave the last two scientists, or they may not make it to the surface. Jonas is questioned about his decision, but he have no doubts that this was the only right thing to do. 5 years later, billionaire Jack Morris ( Rainn Wilson ) meets Dr. Minway Zhang ( Winston Chao ) at the underwater research facility " Mana One "which is financed by Morris. Dr. Minway and his daughter Suyin ( Bingbing Li ) are supervising a mission to explore, what species can be found very deep on the section of the Marianas trench. The mission is being conducted by Lori ( Jessica McNamee ) as they head down to look for new species. But as they explore the area, a large creature attack them, as they are stuck underneath the sea. Their best chances to get them up to the surface, is to contact Jonas Taylor, according to James " Mac " Mackreides ( Cliff Curtis ). Jonas is now living in Thailand, and have left his diving career, just to enjoy life. A team travel to Thailand to get Jonas approve a rescue mission. At first he is not interested, until he hears that his ex-wife Lori is trapped underneath the sea with her crew. As they find out a Megalodon ( biggest shark ever known ) is behind the attack, Jonas realize this will be a much more complicated mission, and a lot more of strategy is needed.

My expectations for The Meg was not very high, because i knew that this could be another shark movie release that reminds me of so many straight to DVD releases. The good news is, The Meg is better than most shark movies that i have seen for quite some time now. This is no classic, or a cult film in any way. This is just a fun Science Fiction action film, especially if you love to see a big shark attack humans. And this is where The Meg works best, being an action movie underneath the sea. The film looks good, and to put actor Jason Statham in a shark action film actually works better than i expected. So let´s talk about some positive details. The research facility known as Mana One looks cool, especially the walkways underneath the sea, where people can see different species swim in the ocean. The shark known as Megalodon looks massive, and also looks cool as this massive shark attacks. And the attack scenes in this film is not that bad actually, compared to many other shark movies. Jason Statham as the character Jonas Taylor is without a doubt the best character in this film. I have seen Jason in many films, and he clearly can take on a different kind of film and still deliver a performance that fits him. Since he knows how to deliver in action scenes, he does here as well, but in a different way from his usual action films. There are a few other characters i enjoy as well. Actor Ruby Rose as Jaxx Herd is a cool female character that a film like this need, since there is basically almost only men on the facility Mana One. Child actor Shuya Sophia Cai as the adorable character Meiying gives this film a different perspective, since she does a good job with her character. Let´s get to some negative parts. The story is nothing you care about, since there is a very simple story here. I also feel that there are no surprising twists here, something i would have liked to see. You will basically figure out what will happen in the end. Other than this, i still feel that this is a film for shark movie lovers. Legendary director Jon Turtletaub ( who have directed a number of good films such as Cool Runnings, While You Were Sleeping and National Treasure ), have found a way to bring back the shark genre back into the big screen and makes it look good. He knows that people wants action, and a big shark, and he combines this well with The Meg. If you don´t like these types of films, then i guarantee that The Meg won´t change your mind, However, if you do enjoy shark movies, i think The Meg will give you a good time. I suggest you go see this film in cinema before the film stops showing, it is not often you see a good shark action film showing in cinemas these days.

Rating: DDD

lördag 8 september 2018

Trench 11

Horror movies that takes place in war can be found in several film titles. It can be a tricky combination, not to make it into a completely ordinary war movie, but there are some titles that have proved that this could work. Let´s talk about 2 good examples that deserves to be mentioned in this category. I think we will start with a British horror film The Bunker released in 2001. This is a film that probably a lot of people have forgotten about, but this is actually a great film. The story takes place during 1944, when soldiers find their way to a bunker where they protect themselves against enemies. The positive thing about The Bunker, is that you don´t really get to see who the enemies are, so you ask yourself if the soldiers are delusional or is there something evil out there ? Director Rob Green clearly had a passion of telling a solid story about soldiers, trapped underground. The film is mos likely found on DVD online, if you are curious to check it out. The second film i would like to mention is actually also a British horror film known as Deathwatch, released in 2002. A very well made horror film, one of the best films i have seen actor Jamie Bell do in his career. The story takes place during World War I, where soldiers are attacked by something evil in German trenches, that is no ordinary soldier. I remember that back in 2002, this was one of my favourite horror films of that year. Since then, i have seen a lot of similar films, but Deathwatch is still a really solid horror film that managed to capture the right balance between a war movie and a horror movie combined. Director M.J. Bassett ( who directed Solomon Kane and Ash VS Evil Dead ) made a directorial debut film that was better than expected. I strongly suggest you pick up Deathwatch on DVD, this is a must see. As i was going through upcoming releases on VOD this autumn, i came across a couple of titles, including a film called Trench 11. Since i never have heard anything about this film, i started reading about it. A horror film that takes place during World War I, this does sound interesting. It almost felt like this was a different version of The Bunker, with a complete different story though. I finally got a chance to watch Trench 11 on VOD, is this one of the better horror releases this autumn, or is Trench 11 doomed to be forgotten, just as Stephen Baldwins Christian films are for each release ?

A group of soldiers led by Major Jennings ( Ted Atherton ) and Dr. Priest ( Charlie Carrick ), are set out to enter a secret  underground German facility. They find dead bodies, and they seem to be infected with something unknown. But what they don´t know, is what is causing this infection, and what happened down here ? They are about to find out, the real truth, but can they handle it ?

I was hoping that Trench 11 would deliver, since the trailer looked interesting. I am happy to say, this is a horror film that is worth your time. There are several details i enjoy about the film. First of all, i enjoy the setting of the film, taking place during World War I. The locations is correctly chosen, and the underground scenes makes the film more interesting. The soldier costumes feels nicely designed for the story. The characters of this film is one of the things that also makes this film work well. Knowing that this is supposed to be during World War I, i feel that the characters are portrayed in a way that fits with the time period. The acting is actually not bad either, so let´s talk about the actors, starting off with Charlie Carrick as Dr. Priest. His character gives the impression that he is willing to do what it takes, to complete the mission. Actor Ted Atherton ( remember him as Clifford Holland in TV series The Border ? ) plays Major Jennings, a character that makes a strong impact. Actor Rossif Sutherland ( son of Donald Sutherland ) plays alcoholic Lt. Berton, who clearly wants another drink, than being in war. There are other great characters here as well, but one of the things we have to mention is the infected soldiers. These creepy worm like things, crawl inside the bodies of infected soldiers, and this is one of those details that makes Trench 11 interesting, The design of the infected also works well, as the infected begin to attack. Is there anything bad to say about Trench 11 ? Not much, since i feel that this film manage to deliver a horror film that is well made for this genre. Director Leo Scherman have made a full feature directorial debut film that makes an impact. I know he have directed a lot of TV episodes for different TV shows, but Trench 11 is his first full feature film as a movie director. He have done a good job with the material, and he clearly have a passion for telling a horror story in an old school way. I wonder if he was inspired by the 2001 movie The Bunker ? Would be interesting to know. If you enjoyed movies like The Bunker or Deathwatch, i guarantee you will enjoy Trench 11. This is a throwback to classic horror ingredients, that still manage to tell a different story than previous war horror movies. If you have no idea what to watch today, i suggest you turn into Trench 11 on VOD and let these soldiers guide you into a horror treat. 

Rating: DDD


Summer is over here in Sweden, and we are going into autumn. If there is one thing i can find positive about autumn, it is that i can cozy watching new films, while the rain floods outside. Usually i do this every year, when it gets colder. Since during summer time i am usually very busy, autumn becomes a bit more calmer. This means i have more time to check out films i have not seen yet. And of course it goes pretty fast, until we are getting closer to Halloween. A wonderful weekend for horror fans, and i always check out horror films during Halloween weekend. Since it is September at this moment, we have some goodies on our way, for example the new horror film The Nun ? I will see the film in the cinema guaranteed. There are some other horror films i am planning to check out, such as the British Sci Fi horror film Await Further Instructions, a film that looks really interesting. I will be writing a review on this film as well, probably sometime in late October if possible. Now, let´s talk about the occult. There are a lot of horror films from the past that have brought up the occult in many different ways. One good example is the Mexican horror film Alucarda, released in 1977 by director Juan López Moctezuma. The story takes place at an orphanage where nuns teach religion. Alcucarda, a 15 year old girl, have lived all her life at this orphanage. She makes a new friend in the new arrival Justine. They for a sexual relationship, and after opening a casket at a nearby burial site, they release a Demonic force that make them possessed by a Satanic entity. I would not say this is one of my personal favourite films in the occult horror genre, but the film have a different look than similar films made during this era.I suggest you pick up the DVD from America and watch the film, because this is a cult classic  And i have to mention, this film is also appreciated by legendary director Guillermo del Toro. Occult horror films have been a very popular theme in many horror films, including in recent years. The difference between the old films, and the new ones are usually that the new movies don´t usually turn out as brutal as the old classics. But that´s ok, as long as a film is good. I would like to recommend one film, that you can find on Netflix known as Veronica. A Spanish horror film that is effective, using the classic concept of a Ouija board. The film Veronica is also directed by Paco Plaza, who directed the very good Spanish horror film Rec, so you know he knows the horror genre well. During spring time, i have heard a lot of great rumors about a horror film called Hereditary. The critics were really positive and the audiences seemed to be positive as well. I did see the trailer in cinemas, and it seemed to be very different from most horror releases. I finally got a chance to see Hereditary to see if i would agree with all the positive feedback i have heard about this film. Is this a new horror masterpiece, or is Hereditary a film that is a big disappointment for us horror fans ?

Annie ( Toni Collette ) is grieving the loss of her matriarch, who she loved very much. She and her husband Steve ( Gabriel Byrne ) have two children Peter ( Alex Wolff ) and Charlie ( Milly Shapiro ). While Peter is celebrating at a party, his sister Charlie have an allergic reaction and can´t breath. Peter tries to drive her to the hospital. Since Charlie cat breathe, she sticks her head out of the window to get air, but is accidentally killed by road pole. Knowing that Charlie accidentally killed his own sister, he is forced to inform his parents. They are completely devastated and especially Annie. She does not know how to go on with her life. Joan ( Ann Dowd ) offer Annie to try and contact Charlie on the other side. At first Annie don´t feel comfortable to do something like this, but she wants to hear and feel Charlie´s presence. But the process may not be as simple as Annie hopes, when she finds out some dark secrets from the past.

Since i have not seen a lot of horror films this summer, it is refreshing to see a horror film that manage to make something different from a traditional horror story. Hereditary reminds me of old school occult films, at the same time this films also is more focused on family tragedies. And in this case, this is one of those stories that is so tragic. Imagine being a brother who accidently kill your little sister, and living with this for the rest of your life ? Imagine the hate you will feel from family members. You have both a story of family members trying to handle this, and you have a desperate mother who believe she can contact her dead daughter. The biggest strength of this film for me personally is the acting. The three main characters are really well crafted, and i have to say main character Annie ( played brilliant by actor Toni Collette ) is a character that really makes a strong impact. Toni Collette have made a lot of really good performances for many years, and this time she have really tried to dig deep into her character. This could be one of the best performances i have seen in a horror film for a long time. The other characters who also manage to really good performances are actor Alex Wolff, playing the young man Peter. After the accident where his sister dies, he gives us a really strong performance of a man who is torn apart of sadness and feeling a deep guilty conscience. Legendary actor Gabriel Byrne manage to do another amazing performance as the father Steve, who tries to handle the sadness over his dead daughter, and how to be there for his wife. The young girl Charlie, played by actor Milly Shapiro, is absolutely splendid. For such a young age, she is clearly an actor we will hopefully see more of soon. I have to mention the actor Ann Dowd for her performance as Joan, also a very strong character in this film. Another reason why this is such a great horror film, is that the film does a really good job portraying a family that is completely torn apart. And especially when you see the mother desperate, who is willing to do anything to talk to her daughter again through occult ways. But when the film take a different turn towards the end, things become even more interesting. You see, Hereditary does something most horror films don´t do, have a surprise twist that you don´t expect. And this is exactly what i love, when a horror film dare to move into another direction. Director Ari Aster ( who have directed a number of short films ) have made a very strong directorial debut film, where he manage to tell a story that works very effective. Hereditary is one of the best horror films of this year, and i doubt we will see any horror film this autumn that is as well made as this film is. Make sure you take your time to see Hereditary.

Rating: DDDD


If there is one thing people of Sweden love to do is go camping in the forest. Why ? It is pretty simple. Swedish people love to run around naked in the forest, and make love to trees. This is why the political party Miljöpartiet De Gröna is so popular here, they want more people to follow this path. Of course there are Swedish people who go to the forest just to pick berries, mushrooms, or climb trees. No matter what reason you have to visit the forest, always make sure you have the right equipment to survive. And warm clothes of course, unless you prefer to run around naked there as members of Miljöpartiet De Gröna. Speaking of spending time on a forest, i think most of us have learned that this could be a bad idea after seeing the 1981 classic movie Evil Dead by legendary director Sam Raimi. If you young horror fans never heard of this film, you need to see what a culture classic really looks like. Evil Dead may have been made from a very small amount of money, but made a very crazy mix of classic horror and almost a satire of gory films. My absolute favourite is of course Evil Dead 2, released in 1987. Almost the same film as the first one, but with more crazy brutality, and even more insane satire that made this film a masterpiece. Army Of Darkness is of course a classic, also known as Evil Dead 3, and also directed by Sam Raimi. The classic concept of Evil Dead, being attacked in a house out in a forest have been used in many films. One horror film actually managed to do something different with this concept, known as The Cabin In The Woods, released in 2012. The film may have looked like a Evil Dead rip off in the beginning, but managed to turn things around very effective when you find out what is really going on. I suggest you see that film if you enjoy intelligent horror movies. Another horror film that had similar ideas from Evil Dead, but threw in a different concept is the 2003 movie Wrong Turn. I would not say Wrong Turn is a must see in any way, but the film actually was entertaining for using cannibal hillbillies, who looks deformed. The sequels are not all good, except for Wrong Turn 2, with a crazy Henry Rollins playing a wild character. Since summer is over and i love to see horror films that takes place in the forest, i stumbled upon a B movie called Feral. The trailer looked ok, so i decided to give this film a chance. Is the film Feral a fun ride for the audience of old school horror, or is this a ride that never should have been made at all ?

A group of friends including Alice ( Scout Taylor-Compton ), Jules ( Olivia Luccardi ), Matt ( George Finn ) including many others, all go out to a forest area to go camping together. But the vacation is soon to be changed, when Matt is attacked in the forest by a demonic creature. Soon another victim is attacked, and the remaining survivors find a man in the forest, who happens to live in a cabin. His name is Talbot ( Lew Temple ) and he agree to help the campers. But what they don´t know, is that Talbot is aware of these demonic creature. Is he involved in their existence or does he carry any other secrets ?

Feral is a mixture of a traditional horror film, and includes another version of the Blade 2 vampires. Remember the vampires that were a different species than the ordinary vampires ? These creatures attacking the campers look something like them. They are not vampires though, they are infected with a virus that make them into some kind of demonic creature. The creatures are actually the best part of this film. They look creepy, and the sound they make is also very effective. When you hear these creatures around, i guarantee you will enjoy yourself. Feral is in no way an original horror film, we have seen this concept before. However, what makes this film fun, is the story becomes more clear later in the film. We find out why people who are being bitten turn into these monsters. And this is the part that makes this film interesting, that a virus is the cause of the transformation. I also like the fact that this film does not try and make the story complicated, and go for an old school concept. So how does the characters work ? I personally feel that the strongest characters in this film is the women, who clearly makes an impact. Actor Olivia Luccardi ( who you may remember from the really good horror film It Follows ) makes her character Jules effective in this story. I also enjoy actor Scout Taylor-Compton ( remember her performance in Rob Zombie´s remake of Halloween ? ) as Alice, including the actors Renee Olstead, Brock Kelly and Laundry Allbright. I also enjoy the performance of actor Lew Talbot as the forest loner Talbot. We don´t get to find out much about him, but he have an interesting story behind him. The negative about Feral has to be that the film does not deliver as much as i would have liked to, on a horror quality level. While some scenes works good with the attacking of the demonic creatures, some scenes feel a bit too easily constructed. And this is such a shame, because if they could have figured out some more ideas to use these creatures more effective, we could have had an ever more fun film. With that said, i can´t say i am disappointed with the film in general. Director Mark Young ( who directed a number a films, including the Michael Madsen film Tooth & Nail ), have made an attempt to bring back old school horror, using practical effects. And i appreciate his effort, because we need to keep these films being made, to make sure B movies continue being made. Feral will not please all horror fans, but if you go into this film with an open mind, i think you might have a good time. One thing is for sure, if i hear any creepy sounds in the forest again, i will be ready with a flame thrower.

Rating: DDD

måndag 3 september 2018

Keep Your Eyes Open For Await Further Instructions

Cheers everyone!

September is here, and this means i have new fresh movie reviews on the way. I would like to take a moment to talk about a new British sci fi horror film called Await Further Instructions. Since i watched the trailer i found myself curious to see this film. Why ? Well for different reasons, but most of all this seems to be that kind of Christmas movie, that makes you love the holidays even more. 

When i see a Christmas movie that stands out of the crowd, and don't follow the traditional pattern, i am of course interested. I am hoping to post a review of this film in October, if everything goes as planned. And right now i am writing my latest upcoming reviews, in different genres. I suggest you go in on Await Further Instruction Facebook page, and find out more about the film. 

Thank you everyone for reading my reviews, and get ready for new movie reviews coming this week. 

Cheers from Daniel