onsdag 24 februari 2021

15 Years Anniversay Review Of The Hills Have Eyes ( 2006 )

As long as i can remember, Hollywood have had a lot of problems with doing remakes. There are a few good ones out there, no doubt about that. But there are remakes that should not have been made, considering that the original film was good enough, and did not need a remake. A perfect example of that is director John Carpenter´s 1980 classic horror film The Fog. This film tells the story of small coastal town of Antonio Bay, in Northern California, where the locals are attacked at night by ghostly figures, that comes out of a fog. This film is a true 80´s classic, and proved that director John Carpenter could take on a different kind of story, in a small society. In 2005, director Rupert Wainwright ( who actually have made a really good film from 1999 called Stigmata ) decided to release his remake of The Fog. And this was a big mistake, since this film is a perfect example of how a remake should not look. I get hit, he was trying to get a younger audience to discover The Fog, and that´s not a bad idea. The problem with this remake is that it does not work well as a horror film, or a remake. It does not even try and capture the same creepy feeling of the original film. Too bad, because considering the previous work from director Rupert Wainwright is not bad, especially Stigmata. Let´s go back in time to the year of 1977, the same year i was born actually. This was the year when Wes Craven´s cult classic The Hills Have Eyes was released in America. This film tells the story of the Carter family, who is travelling on vacation across the desert, heading towards Los Angeles. But out in the desert they encounter a cannibal family, with deformed faces. This is a really fun horror film with a lot of crazy things happening, and it is actually a really well made film, considering the budget. And if you love practical effects, this is also one of the reasons why you should see this film. So in 2006, director Alexandre Aja released his remake of The Hills Have Eyes, wich i did not have any high expectations of, at that time. 15 years have now gone, and i have not seen this film for a very long time, so i decided to check it out. Is this one of the better horror remakes out there, or have this remake aged with time and lost some of it´s charm? 

Retired detective Bob Carter ( Ted Levine ) and hiw wife Ethel ( Kathleen Quinlan ) are travelling from Cleveland, Ohio to San Diego, California through the desert for their 25th wedding anniversay. With them are their children Lynn ( Vinessa Shaw ), Brenda ( Emilie de Ravin ), Bobby ( Dan Byrd ), Lynn´s husband Doug ( Aaron Staford ) and their baby daughter Catherine. After a gas station owner suggest that they take a different road, this family have no idea what´s waiting for them out there, among the desert mountains.

I remember how susprised i was when this remake came out, it was much better than i expected. And seeing this film now 15 years later, i have to say this is still a damn good remake. It may not be as good as the original film, but for being a remake it is much better than most horror remakes out there. And this is because of director Alexandre Aja, since he is a really professional film maker. My first proof of that was when i saw his 2003 horror film High Tension, that was definetely a fun ride. A very brutal horror film, and you could tell that Alexandre prefer practical effects than CGI effects, and that was of course a very positive approach in this genre. The biggest reason why he have made the remake of The Hills Have Eyes so good, is that he does not hold back on brutality. You get so much violence in this film, that it is almost like having a wild butcher feast, that you simply can not miss. And when you make a remake of a classic film, you have to make sure to respect the original film, as well as bring something different to the table. This is something that this remake does, without copying everything in the original film, but add some other fun details that makes this film entertaining. One of the highlights for me personally is to see the desert people, who have been deformed by radiation. These cannibals are really crazy, and the amount of bodies they collect can be seen on different locations, especially in a freezer box scene. The acting in this film is also a surprise to me, since we have several great characters. A perfect example of that is actor Aaron Stanford as the character Doub Bukowski, who may seem like a soft gentle boy, who would never harm a fly, but turns into a butcher later on as he faces the desert cannibals. And i have to say, he did a really good job switching personalities, as he turns into Rambo for a moment. Actress Vinessa Shaw ( who some of you might remember from the Steven Soderbergh crime drama Side Effects ) gives a solid performance as the wonderful mother Lynn, as she is prepared to do anything to save her family. The Hills Have Eyes is one of the few remakes released from the 2000´s that actually proved that you can do a remake properly. Not only is this a perfect popcorn film, but this is also a horror film that still holds a great quality level of practical effects. There is no question about it, if you want to see a really good horror remake, this is the film to choose. A prefect gift to someone you love this Easter on DVD or Blu Ray.

Rating: DDDD

måndag 22 februari 2021

Jiu Jitsu

Martial art films have been a big part of my youth. I used to watch Bruce Lee VHS films back in the 80´s, and i especially watched Jean-Claude Van Damme films. Martial art action films may not have had a lot of plot, but it was the action and the fights that you wanted to see. It did no matter if the plot made no sense at all, as long as there was action, i was pleased. American Ninja with action star Michael Dudikoff was also one of the films i did pick up on VHS, because back in the 80´s you could trust that ninjas would kick some ass. There were 5 films made in this franchise, but i personally feel that they should have stopped after the 4th one. Speaking of American Ninja, let´s move on to the year of 1992 when Cannon Films released the film American Samurai from director Sam Firstenberg ( who directed American Ninja as well ). This is actually my favourite martial art film with action actor David Bradley, that have some impressive figthing scenes. The story basically takes place in Turkey, where a handful of fighters have been chosen to fight in a cage, where the only rule is to survive, no matter if you have to kill the opponent. One of the things i have to mention about American Samurai, is that they actually managed to make each fighter unique, with their own fighting technique. This is also the film where we get to see martial arts actor Mark Dacascos in his first big acting role as Kenjiro Sanga. If you love great fighting scenes, then American Samurai is in my opinion one of the best films from legendary film company Cannon Films. There are still martial art film made, even if the industry of these films have changed. As long as we can support the B movie industry, we can keep getting martial art films released. One of the films that i have been looking forwars to see, is a film called Jiu Jitsu, that combines martial art action and....even an alien. I have Heard about this film for quite some time, but it was not until now when i finally picked up the film on Blu Ray, to see if it is as fun as i was hoping for. Is this the masterpiece we have all been looking for, or is Jiu Jitsu even worse than i expected?

In a jungle of Burma, Jake ( Alain Moussi ) is running away from flying stars. At a cliff he is hit by the stars and flies down in the ocean, and hit his head on a rock, passing out. As he is floating on the ocean, Whylie ( Nicolas Cage ) sees Jake in the water, and he is left in the care of Burmese fishers. They stitch up the cuts Jake sustained, and bring him to a military outpost. No one there really knows who Jake is, as they try and get the truth behind his background. Not even Jake himself knows that he is the chosen one, who needs to fight against an alien, who is looking for the marked one, and will kill anyone who gets in his way.

Imagine if you combined the 1996 action film Solo with Mario Van Peebles, adding a Predator rip off, where martial arts influences do most of the work, and you have Jiu Jitsu served on a plate. This is like going straight back to the 90´s, like you were back inside the VHS store, just looking for a cheesy action film to enjoy. This is one of those films where you don´t have to think, or focus a lot. This is a film made for B movie action lovers, that does not care what´s trending right now, or follow any specific style. And i think this is one of the reasons why i can enjoy a film like this in 2021, because it feels like a throwback to my teenage years. I know that this film have had some really bad reviews, but i got to say that i appreciate the effort that they made with this film, to make it feel like nostalgic trip to my youth. Let´s start with the positive about this film. The cast in this film is actually fun to watch. You have great actors here such as Frank Grillo ( mostly known for his performance in The Purge: Anarchy and The Purge: Election Year ), Tony Ja ( a real martial arts legend, especially after his cult film Ong Bak: The Muay Thai Warrior ), Rick Yune ( who i remember mostly from the film American Ninja ), Nicolas Cage ( needs no introduction, you know you love all his films ), JuJu Chan ( that you probably recognize from the Netflix film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny ) and Alain Moussi ( who played Kurt Sloane in the latest Kickboxer sequels. I have to be honest and say, that this film manage to become more fun with a cast like this, when the film deals with certain problems. My biggest issues with the film is the alien´s CGI effects face, looks very strange. And i also feel that the plot is pretty weak, that you don´t really care about the background story. On the positive note we do get a lot of fighting, and this is also one of the reasons i had fun watching Jiu Jitsu, even Nicolas Cage fights for a short while ( not often you see him turn into Steven Seagal ). Is this a film for fans of martial arts action? If you can accept a weak plot, badly fun acting, and just focus on the fight scenes, then i think you would want to check this film out, just to get that 90´s nostalgia feeling. Director Dimitri Logothetis is clearly a fan of martial art films from the past, and he brings a certain charm with a film like this. Jiu Jitsu may not offer anything original, but it´s a fun throwback to video violence at the VHS stores, and that´s good enough for me.

Rating: DDD

lördag 20 februari 2021

The Ripper ( The Yorkshire Ripper )

I have always been fascinated about serial killers. I wish they did not exist, but from a psychological perspective, there are so many questions about their behavior. Why do the kill? Do they feel no remorse? Do they feel proud of what they have done? Do they see themselves as superior over other humans? Only experts could answer these questions, and know how to communicate with serial killers. I have digged myself into a lot of documentary films about serial killers over the years, and there is especially one personality i have always been interested knowing more about, and that is serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Convicted for 33 murders of young boys, between the years of 1972 - 1978. One of the reasons why John Wayne gacy became a well known serial killer, is because he used to dress up as a clown to perform at children´s hospital and charitable events. He was executed by a lethal injection on May 10, 1994. There was actually a really good TV movie made, in 2 parts, called To Catch A Killer with legendary actor Brian Dennehy in the lead role as John Wayne Gacy. This is a 90´s classic TV movie, where we get to see the investigation behind the serial killer, and how he managed to get so many young boys to his home. Well worth picking up on DVD, if you are interested in this case. There was also Another TV Movie made in 2010, simply called Dear Mr. Gacy. An interesting film, in the sense that it tells the story of the relationship John Wayne Gacy had with criminal student Jason Moss ( who wrote letters to serial killers, in an attempt to try and get more information from their crimes ). This film is based on the book by author Jason Moss, and the role of Joh Wayne Gacy was played by legendary actor William Forsythe. Well Worth checking out if you are interested in understanding Gacy´s personality. Since i have seen some mini series on Netflix about murderers, and criminals, i have been curious to see The Ripper ( known as The Yorkshire Ripper ) on Netflix. Especially since i am interested in cases about serial killers. Does this mini series give away a lot of interesting details about these horrible murders, or is there a lot more that should have been told?

In 1975, several women were attacked by an unknown man. On October 30th that year, the body of Wilma McCann was found stabbed. Police begin an investigation on who the killer might be. As the victim numbers begin to grow, and the killer seems to be finiding new victims in many different areas across West Yorkshire and Manchester, a lot of people begin to wonder, how the police will deal with this situation ?

I have heard about the case surrounding The Yorkshire Ripper, but it was not until the early 90´s, when i really started getting interested in books of serial killers. When you hear these stories, with actual facts from the case, you understand what a disturbed personality serial killer Peter Sutcliffe was ( he passed away in November last year, may he burn in hell ). How he managed to murder 13 women, and get away with it for so long is shocking. I understand that back in the 70´s, you only had limited ways to find evidence, since there was no way to find DNA during this time. This mini series manage to tell the stories from both family members of victims, but also from people who worked on these cases, during the investigation. There are especially some details about the pattern of these murders, where you realise what kind of serial killer Peter Sutcliffe was. The brutality and violence he used for each victim, makes you feel sick. One of the things i think that this mini series do well, is to give us a realistic story of how the police had to deal with these chaotic years, not knowing who is behind these horrible crimes. You can see the frustration that some of the people carried along with them, not knowing if they would catch the killer. And i think it is important to show this to the audience, that this was a case that no one really knew how to deal with, since they were not used to serial killers. Did the police do the right choices in their investigation, or could they have done more? I think the best thing to do is to see this mini series yourself, so you can get your own opinion on how you feel. The Ripper is a great choice if you are interested in classic crime stories, and want to dig deeper into what really happened during the investigations. There are a few details that i would have liked to hear more about, but other than that i feel that this mini series offer a very important part of history, that needs to be told. Directors Jesse Vile and Elena Wood know how to tell this story in a professional, and fascinating way. Would say that this is worth checking out on Netflix, if you don´t know what to watch.

Rating: DDD

The Dead Ones

High School, those were the best days of my school years for sure. We had a lot of crazy personalites in my class. We had Håkan, member of a death metal band who loved porn movies, and used to talk about porn scenes in the cafeteria ( i have never heard anyone more fascinated in seeing Italian porn star Rocco, Håkan was definetely his biggest fan ). Then we had Timo, originally from Finland. A really crazy guy, who threw out a TV from a balchony at a party, to see how long it would fly, he sold home made moonshine in his locker, and he offered his girlfriend to a virgin guy so he would experience sex, something she did not accept. There are many more stories and personalities i could mention, but those years were really good in my youth, and i am happy that high school turned out so well for me. Of course there were problems that we all had, but we managed to deal with it, because we had fun together. High school was the time when you tried to figure out what you wanted to do with your future. To be honest, i don´t think everyone knew honestly. When it comes to films that brings up high school, you have a lot of different titles and genres to choose between. There are some funny comedies out there, but there are also some great horror films that brings up high school. One of the films i am especially thinking about, is the 1998 horror film The Faculty, directed by Robert Rodriquez. A high school horror film that combines ideas from classics such as Invasion Of The Body Snatchers and combine this with a traditional high school environment. Great cast with actors such as Robert Patrick, Salma Hayek, Famke Janssen and many others. This film have descent special effects ( for being 1998 ), as this film is a fun sci fi horror film, especially for those who love high school horror films. I recently checked around on VOD releases and came across a horror film called The Dead Ones. Never heard of this film before, but im always curious to give unknown films a chance, because you never know if they might surprise you. Is this one of the better high school horror films in recent years, or is The Dead Ones just as forgettable as Victoria Beckham´s solo album?

4 students are serving detention, as they are supposed to clean up their high school as a punishment for what they did. But as they begin, they are about to meet a masked gang known as The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse, enter their school.

The Dead Ones is a strange high school film, because this is not the ordinary kind of horror film that takes place at high school. And that´s a positive thing, that they tried a different approach with this film. But there are three major problems with this film, that is actually annoying. Let us begin with the first detail, and that is the editing. This film is edited so much and so fast, that you eventually begin to wonder why they decided to edit this film as much as they did. Did they have problems making this film work, or did they just feel like this would be the best result? I feel that this does not help the story in any way, it just feels annoying. The second detail is some of the CGI effects, that is supposed to be scary. I can accept bad CGI, if the film feels entertaining or have something interesting to deliver to the audience. But the horror effects in this film is not good, and you begin to laugh instead at some of the horror scenes. The third and final detail is that this film jumps too much forward and backwards in time, that you try and keep up with the plot, as good as you can. I have no problem if you change the time period in a film, as long as you do it in a way that makes sense. But in The Dead Ones, they decide to mix it all up as if that would help the plot. The one thing that this film could have helped this film become more interesting, is to tell the story of character Emily Davis ( played by actress Katie Foster ), who cuts herself and clearly have mental problems. If the film would have focused more on her, instead of jumping so much around, this could have helped the plot. The Dead Ones is one big mess from start to finish, with too many ideas mixed together. Director Jeremy Kasten have directed several films in the past, and this is the first time i have seen one of his films. Jeremy could have made a descent horror film, if he only would have focused on telling the story of Emily instead. What we get is a film that does not really know what it wants to say ( that´s what happens when you jump around too much ), wich makes it very forgettable. If you want to see a good high school horror film, go for The Faculty, and i guarantee you won´t regret it.

Rating: D

fredag 12 februari 2021

Ghosts Of War

Wars have destroyed a lot of people. What they witness, and their experiences in war, is a nightmare that never ends. And this will never end, as long as wars continue to go on worldwide. I remember when i was in Berlin back in 2013, as i walked with my wife among the graves of Jewish people, who were killed during World War II. The graves were so many, you felt a horrible sadness seeing all of these people killed, because of dictator Hitler and his followers. I also remember a museum in Berlin, that especially focused on the horrible years of World War II. I think it is very important that we will never forget what happened, and younger generations should be educated in history.  They need to see the truth, so we can not let this happen again. You never know what could happen again, if we let dictators brain wash people to do what they say. I have seen a lot of really good war films, that focuses on different time periods in history. When some directors combined the war genre, with horror influences, that´s when i especially felt interested. One of the films i am especially thinking about the 2002 horror war film Deathwatch, from director M.J. Bassett ( who also directed Solomon Kane, a guilty pleasure of mine ). This film is set during World War I, and tells the story of a lost squad of British soldiers, who take over a German trench. But it turns out that in this trench, there is something evil hidden within the muddy walls. Deathwatch is a well made war horror film, that manage to capture the time period of World War I and the atmosphere of the war. The characters in this film is also good, since they manage to bring out a lot of different personalities. Actors such as Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Laurence Fox and Matthew Rhus Evans all give solid performances, through out the film. I have to mention that this film looks great, especially the cinematography from Hubert Taczanowski ( who also did the cinematography on the action sci fi film D-War ). If you buy the UK DVD, you get plenty of special featurs, and the cast actually tell you some really interesting details. Since last year i have been Reading about a war horror movie called Ghosts Of War, that the distrubution company Studio S Entertainment released on Blu Ray. Since i am a fan of this mix up of genres, is this one of the better releases that connects war and horror, or should you avoid Ghosts Of War at all cost?

During the dark days of World War II, 5 Soldiers have been ordered to guard a French castle in the countryside. This French castle used to be occupied by the high Nazi command. But as they stay there, strange things begin to happen, that no one can really explain. 

It is not often we see horror films that takes place in World War II, but i am happy to say that Ghosts Of War makes sure to deliver what i was hoping for. Considering the budget, this film looks better than i expected. This is a horror film that both tries to take the war issues seriously, while bringing in horror influences into the storyline. First of all this film looks great, thanks to cinematographer Lorenzo Senatore ( who have been involved in many films such as Messengers 2: The Scarecrow and The Fourth Kind ( a horror film i think deserves more respect ). Lorenzo clearly knew how to capture the right colors and emotions of a war, and he is definetely the right person to work on a film like this. Another detail that i think works with Ghosts Of War, is that the characters are actually good in this film. There is a chemistry between these soldiers that helps the film become more interesting. Let´s start of by mentioning actor Brenton Thwaites ( of course you all remember him from Gods Of Egypt, one of my guilty pleasure films ) as the character Chris. Now, i have to admit that this character is actually one of the stronger ones in this film. He comes off as confident, and is very focused on doing his part of this mission. Actor Kyle Gallner ( who some of you might recognize from the Clint Eastwood film American Sniper ) delivers one of my favourite performances in this film as sniper Tappert. There is something charming about Tappert, a guy who have no problem speaking out what´s on his mind. But the thing is, that you soon realise that this charming side of him, have a very disturbing personality. Kyle manage to deliver a performance that feels fascinating. Towards the end of the film, the film takes a complete unexpected turn, and go in a completely different direction than you would expect. I have no problem with that, since i like unexpected surprises. Director Eric Bress ( mostly known for being the director of the 2004 film The Butterfly Effect ) brings us a war horror that may look pretty ordinary at first, but manage to surprise us. I think he did a good job on this film, especially capturing the atmosphere of World War II. There are a few details that could have been improved, but i have to say, Ghosts Of War is worth checking out. A film that will be appreciated by fans of Deathwatch.

Rating: DDD

If you want to see where the Blu Ray release is from Studio S Entertainment, here is where you can pick up the film online:


söndag 7 februari 2021

Never Hike Alone: A Friday The 13th Fan Film

Slasher film was a big thing in the 80´s, and as a kid you would run around the VHS shelves looking at VHS covers. Unfortunately, here in Sweden, a lot of slasher film was censored so bad, that you did not really see a lot of kills. And even if i was too young to see some of these films, i knew where to go to watch horror films, The Robertson Family and to my Grandmother May. You could basically say that this is where i saw all the important films of the 80´s. But there was one franchise, that i actually did not see until pretty late in the 80´s, and that was Friday The 13th. My first film that i saw in this franchise was Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, and this was from a VHS copy that The Robertson Family have managed to get their hands on from the UK. To see killer Jason Voorhees slaughter young teenagers was fun, and i must have watched that film at least 15 times. I remember we got our hands on Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter ( 4th film in the franchise ) in a VHS store, that was released on a Swedish VHS cover. But of course the film was cut, and that made the film less fun to watch. As the years went by, i did manage to get a hold on some uncut VHS releases from the UK in this franchise, and i eventually saw every film. The first film released in 1980, is still one of the iconic slasher films of that generation. The character of Jason Voorhees will always be mysterious character, and the simple but effective look of Jason will continue to entertain audiences worldwide. Friday The 13th franchise have gone on for a long time, and i would not be surprised if we will see him return in the future. A lot of fan films have been made of Friday The 13th, and one of those that i have heard lot about over recent years is Never Hike Alone. With very positive Reviews, i have planned to watch this film for a while. And when a sequel called Never Hike In The Snow came out last year, i realised that i have to review both short films. Is it possible that Never Hike Alone is the best fan film made so far in the Friday The 13th universe, or is this even worse than i expected?

Adventure hiker Kyle McLeod ( Drew Leighty ) is on a journey to hike through a well known forest area, to a certain lake. But he have no idea, that this lake is actually known as Camp Crystal Lake, where legendary killer Jason Voorhees murdered so many victims. He begins to explore the area, hoping to find some answers.

I have seen fan films made from different classic horror franchises in the past, where some of them have turned out to be good, and some not so great. But i have to say, Never Hike Alone could be one of the better ones. Not only does this film take it´s source material seriously but this film also try and give a portrait of Jason Voorhees that we are all familiar with. I am actually impressed how they managed to make this film feel like a Friday The 13th film, considering the budget. But that really proves that you can make a professional film, if you have a passion for the project and clearly love the franchise. The biggest strength of this film, is in my opinion the portrait of Jason Voorhees. His body language, and when he stares at his victim, looks exactly like we used to see him in the 80´s. Actor Vincent DiSanti ( who is actually the director of this film as well ) does a really good job with his acting performance as Jason Voorhees. To be able to capture the personality of such an iconic slasher killer is not easy, but Vincent really went all in for this character. To make this film like a vlog adventure, is actually not a bad idea. It gives this film a modern touch, while keeping some of the ingredients from the old school films towards the end. You could probably say that this is film have a found footage vibe over the production, but in a positive way. This is the first time i have seen actor Drew Leighty, as the character Kyle McLeod. Since he is the lead character, i think he did a good job with his performance. Kyle is clearly the right character for a film like this, considering he loves hiking and exploring such a big forest area. Friday The 13th will always be one of the biggest slasher classics in the slasher genres, and Never Hike Alone deserves respect for trying to bring the classic concept back on track ( especially after the 2009 reboot failed to deliver ). If you are a fan of the franchise of Friday The 13th, you should see Never Hike Alone. As a fan film, this is better than i expected. Director Vincente DiSanti could be the right director to bring back Jason Voorhees into a real studio film, let´s just hope that this could become reality.

Rating: DDDD

If you want to see Never Hike Alone, check out the film for free on YouTube on the following link:


fredag 5 februari 2021

The New Mutants

I was recently thinking about when i last visited a cinema, and that was in January of 2020. A year ago? Yes, i know it is crazy. I watched Bad Boys For Life ( i have a review published of the film in this blog ) , and i actually enjoyed this sequel. I was supposed to see a film in february of 2020, known as Birds Of Prey ( the Harley Quinn film, the crazy girl from Suidice Squad ), since i planned to go with a friend of mine. But as we planned to go, the pandemic hit us worldwide. At the time, this film was still running in cinemas, but i decided not to take any chances. So here we are, a year after everything changed worldwide. I have no idea if i will go back to any cinema this year, or next year. I suppose it depends on what will happen with Covid 19, but i am ok seeing films on digital instead. Last year i was reminded that it is 20 years ago, since the first X-Men film came out, from director Bryan Singer. X-Men was one of the coolest action films at that time, because we have not really seen super hero movies on the same level as X-Men. I actually watched this film again last year, and i still enjoy this film for a number of reasons. First of all i think this film did a great introduction to the comic book character Wolverine ( played by actor Hugh Jackman ). I also enjoy the way that this film manage to show each character´s super powers, since they are extrodinary mutants. I have not listened to the commentary track of this film yet, but that´s something i am planning to do. A lot of sequels followed to the X-Men franchise, and most of them were actually pretty good. Even the prequel turned out to be surprisingly good, that started off with X-Men: First Class. Back in 2019 i was hearing a lot of rumours about a film called The New Mutants, a project that is supposed to be connected with the X-Men franchise. This film was supposed to have a premiere early in 2018, but ended up being delayed until August 2020 in cinemas worldwide. Since i had no plans going back to the cinema, i recently rented The New Mutants on VOD. A film i have been curious to see for quite some time, considering i enjoy the X-Men franhise. Is this film better than i expected, or is The New Mutants so bad that you will regret seeing it ?

Danielle "Dani" Moonstar ( Blu Hunt ), a young Cheyenne Native American, escapes the destruction of her reservation during a tornado. She is the only survivor, as she is knocked unconscious. Dani awakens in a hospital run by Dr. Cecilia Reyes ( Alice Braga ).  Cecilia inform Dani that she is a mutant and advises her to remain in the hospital until she learns what her abilities are and control them. Dani is introduced to four other teenagers, Samuel "Sam" Guthrie ( Charlie Heaton ), Illyana Rasputin ( Anya Taylor-Joy ), Roberto "Bobby" da Costa ( Henry Zaga ) and Rahne Sinclair ( Maisie Williams ). All of these teenagers have suffered tragedy in different ways, and they all have special powers. But will this treatment help, or is their past coming back to haunt them?

Let´s begin with saying the most positive thing about The New Mutants. I actually enjoy the idea of these young mutants being patients in a hospital, as if they are going through a treatment program. This reminded me of the teenagers in A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, where young people are being treated for their mental condition. It´s not quite the same in The New Mutants, but you can see some similarities in this film, as we see the young people struggle. both mentally and physically. This is actually a great idea for a film like this, since we know how it is to struggle in your youth, and these young people have to learn to deal with their special powers, while trying to live a normal life. If only this film could have focused more on the treatment of each patient, i think this film could have been interesting. Now to my problem with this film. As a super hero movie, i can´t really say that The New Mutants bring anything fresh or exciting to this genre. There are a few action scenes that are….ok. But not more than that, since it seems that they run out of ideas for a big epic final battle. The demonic looking bear is not as frightening as it should be, and when this is supposed to be the main bad character, you can´t really feel impressed. I have no problem with the idea of a demon bear, it could have been cool if they made it more effective. But i do want to say that the coolest character in this film, is without a doubt Illyana Rasputin, also known as Magik ( played by actress Anya Taylor-Joy ) A cool female character who have no problem being cocky, and say what´s on her mind. The other mutants have some cool Powers, but perhaps not strong personalities as Illyana have. The action scenes and the horror combination, only works in certain scenes. Director Josh Boone ( who directed the very emotional cancer drama film The Fault In Our Stars ) have some good ideas with The New Mutants, but fails to blend them all together in a very predictable super hero movie. Everything is not all bad about this film, but compared to the X-Men films, The New Mutants feels more like a simple rip off than an actual X-Men film. My suggestion, only see this film if you are a fan of this franchise, otherwise you might as well skip it.

Rating: DD

torsdag 4 februari 2021

Redwood Massacre: Annihilation

I have heard that some people say that Swedish people are stiff, or should i say boring at times. But i can guarantee that this is not true. How do i know that? First of all i am born here in Sweden, and trust me, i have seen plenty of nudist people walking around here downtown, does that sound boring? But the best evidence i have is of course if you visit the small community of Munkedal. So what makes this place special? There are several details i could tell you, but let´s start of that this is a classic location for moonshine, and have been since i was a teenager in the late 80´s. Everybody knew that if you want to get moonshine, you go to Munkedal. This was also the place where women were crazy, so if you wanted to see boobs, you went to Munkedal as well. But the most important detail about this location, is that if you insulted anyone from Munkedal, you would easily be chopped up into pieces or.....split in half with an axe. That´s just the way tradition is over there, so i always respected the local folks when i visted. I never really understood why some of the older men in Munkedal asked me to remove my pants, because they needed to see if i had thick legs. And it definetely did not make any sense, since they seemed to be checking my package instead. I suppose they just did a healthy inspection, that would make sense. So yes, if you want to see the wild side of Sweden, you just go to Munkedal. Slasher films in the forest can be found in a hell of a lot of titles in the B movie world. and we have so many titles to pick. But between. So i decided to pick out one film that i really appreciate, and that is the 2006 film known as Hatchet, from director Adam Green. A fun slasher horror comedy, where a group of people go on a ghost tour boat ride in Mardi Gras, where they encounter the brutal killer Victor Crawley. If you are a fan of slasher films, then Hatchet is definetely a film for you. It has brutal kills, and also include legendary horror icons such as Kane Hodder, Robert Englund and Tony Todd. Worth buying on DVD or Blu Ray, if you are planning for a horror night. Since i have seen a lot of slasher horror films over the years, i have enjoyed seeing films such as The Redwood Massacre from 2014. Now we have a sequel here, called Redwood Massacre: Annihilation. Is this sequel even better than the first film, or should this sequel should have been cancelled before production?

Max ( Damien Puckler ) is obsessed with the Redwood murders, that he even found the Redwood killer´s mask. He approach author Tom Dempsey ( Jon Campling ) who have just released his book, where he writes about the Redwood killings. Max show Tom that he have the mask, and he clearly wants to find out more about the Redwood killer. Since Tom is really interested in finding more clues of the killer, he gather a team, including his own daughter Laura Dempsey ( Danielle Harris ), to investigate a certain forest area

If you are fed up with all the TV showings that the Step Up films get on TV ( there are actually 5 films in this franchise, how is this possible? ) then i have some good news for you. Redwood Massacre: Annihilation is exactly what we needed to forget about all the Step Up sequels, and just get a classic slasher film instead. But the most positive thing about this sequel, is that this film is actually better than the first film. This is something we don´t see very often these days, since many sequels struggle to be a worthy sequel. But in the case of Redwood Massacre: Annihilation, there are several details that makes this film better. First of all this film have a better plot than the first film. The first film is a traditional slasher, enjoyable but does not bring any surprises to the genre. This film tries to actually tell a story, that´s connected to the first film, but still manage to continue the story of this killer, in a different way than the first film. Another detail that this film also does better, is give us more interesting characters than in the first film. The first film had more typical slasher film characters, while this sequel tries to go in a different direction, with a more serious tone. And i appreciate that, considering that this could have been just a sequel, easy to forget. There are especially two characters that i enjoy in this film, and let us begin with legendary actress Danielle Harris ( who i remember from a lot of films, especially from Halloween 4 and of course The Last Boy Scout ) as the character Laura Dempsey. She´s a woman who don´t take any shit from anyone, and this is exactly what i wanted to see, as she is fighting against the killer. The other character i enjoy is Gus, the gun crazy dude, played by actor Gary Kasper. He is the kind of guy you would want to invite to the party, to make sure you have a good time. There are some great kills in this film, and i appreciate the brutal practical effects, especially in the body chopping scenes. Director David Ryan Keith directed the first film, and he directs this sequel as well. The difference this time is that he actually deliver a horror film that works better, and feels more professional than the first film. A sequel you should see, if you are a fan of slasher films, Redwood Massacre: Annihilation hits the target, much better than you might expect.

Rating: DDD