The Grudge: Stop Remaking Foreign Language Horror Films, Learn To Read Subtitles

1/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

This film highlights why when you hear a Japanese horror film is getting an American remake you should be worried, especially when it is a remake of a foreign remake.

This is the truest January film that I have ever seen. By that I mean a bad film, most know that the big studios dump a lot of their let’s call them troubled productions out in January as a means of writing them off, this is a perfect example of that. It seems that everyone in this film knows it is bad, yet have turned up to be paid.

Talking about The Grudge series from the perspective of the American remakes I always thought it was lesser to the American remakes of The Ring and this film proves why. Not only does it seem afraid of its Japanese heritage, but it also seems content in doing nothing to push the needle forward or indeed even to produce a good film.

It does everything you would expect from a January horror film, it pumps out the jump scares none of which are as scary as the rising cost of cinema attendance, and includes Lin Shaye for the member berries of the Blumhouse Crowd. Honestly Shaye is perfectly fine here.

Overall, this film is not worth your time.

Pros.

It is short

Cons.

It isn’t remotely scary

It seems scared of the series heritage

It is generic

It is dull

If you enjoyed this review, then please head over to my Patreon to support me, I offer personalized shoutouts, the ability for you to pick what I review next and full access to my Patreon exclusive game reviews. Check it out!

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer

Silent Night: Perhaps The Worst Christmas Film Ever Made

1/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A group of people spend one final Christmas together before they are killed supposedly killed by a poisonous gas in the morning.

Where to start with why I didn’t like this film? I suppose the most glaring issue with it was the fact that it preaches absolute faith in what the Government preaches and punishes the characters that dare to think contrary to that. I have read some reviews of the film that say that the message is the exact opposite to how I have taken it and that the point is a critique on mass panics/ mass obedience but I think if that were the case the film needed to do more to show that people were silly to take the pills,

Another wide issue with this film is its preaching. In many ways this can be viewed as an eco-horror as the gas that is coming to kill everyone is of course a result of man’s treatment of the planet. Frankly this rather obvious explanation felt irritating from the beginning, as we get it the planet is hurting but that doesn’t mean it needs to be stuffed into every piece of media as an easy plot point. I would have preferred it if the gas had been sent by some other foreign power.

Moreover, there is an argument to be made that this film is in bad taste. It tries to be a dark comedy horror film, but abandons any semblance of comedy early on and instead tries to become a horror drama film. The bad taste elements come in with regard to the pandemic that we are all living through, there are a number of things here that parallel where we are right now and these elements come across in bad taste at least to me.

Finally, this might be one of the most depressing films you will ever see, there is nothing fun or even really watchable about it and it is so unpleasant that simply finishing it feels like a herculean effort.

Overall, the only reason this film didn’t get lower is because Keira Knightly, Sope Dirisu and Lily-Rose Depp are all trying enough to give the film a few redeemable moments.

Pros.

Knightly, Dirisu and Depp are all trying their best

Cons.

The rest of the cast are not very good, especially Roman Griffin Davis who embodies everything wrong with child actors

It is deeply depressing

It has troubled and flawed morals

The preaching   

If you enjoyed this review, then please head over to my Patreon to support me, I offer personalized shoutouts, the ability for you to pick what I review next and full access to my Patreon exclusive game reviews. Check it out!

Chucky: An Affair To Dismember

4.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The forces of good and evil do battle in a conflict to determine the fate of the Child’s Play universe.

For the most part this was the best episode of the series by far, only in one regard was I left wanting.

I enjoyed the stakes and thought the finale felt genuinely tense throughout, all of the characters on both sides of the fight had moments to shine, particularly Tiffany, played by Jennifer Tilly. It is an interesting direction for the series to go in having Tiffany break away from Chucky, played by Brad Dourif, and head out on her own to do evil. I hope season two continues to explore the fallout of this decision.

The series actually made me care about the teen characters despite moments in the early episodes were they seemed awful, which is no mean feat. By the end of the episode I was fully bought into their struggles and traumas and would like to see them recur within the wider Child’s Play universe.

Now to the negative.

The thing I didn’t like about the finale was how they handled Andy, played by Alex Vincent, and Kyle, played by Christine Elise. Basically, the last few episode went out of their way to build up both of these recurring characters however when it actually came to it in the finale they were given very little to do. Andy gets a few scenes and saves the day in the end but doesn’t have much of a meaningful showdown with Chucky and Kyle is apparently killed off screen…. Yes that’s right a fan favourite character is killed off screen. I hope, I really do, that the second season shows that she is still alive.

Overall, a mostly great finale with only the Andy Kyle stuff feeling underwhelming.

Pros.

Being invested in the teen characters

Chucky and Tiffany

Good stakes

The body count scene at the end

Cons.

Andy and Kyle deserved a bigger role in the finale

If you enjoyed this review, then please head over to my Patreon to support me, I offer personalized shoutouts, the ability for you to pick what I review next and full access to my Patreon exclusive game reviews. Check it out!

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer?fan_landing=true

Resident Evil Welcome To Raccoon City: Sony Isn’t Even Trying To Hide The Product Placement

4/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The first two games in the Resident Evil series are mashed together in what serves as another cinematic reboot of the franchise.

Oh boy this one is going to be divisive.

For the most part I really enjoyed this film, not as much as the earlier Resident Evil films with Milia Jovovich, but those hold a special place in my heart.

The biggest pro I can give this film is that I found it to be genuinely quite freighting, I don’t scare easily but this one did a number on me and stayed with me after I left the film. I thought the film did a lot of good atmosphere work as well as showing how much of a threat the mutants and Umbrella themselves are. I also thought the film was very tense throughout which only heightened this.

The casting… This is where things will get dicey for some. For the most part I thought the casting was good, many won’t like the portrayal of Leon S. Kennedy here, some for bigot reasons as Avan Jogia is playing a race swapped version of the character and others for the fact that he is constantly proven by the film to be inept and a bit of a loser. To those who Leon is there favourite character this will annoy them to no end, however, I was never that attached to Leon. Personally, despite him being a screw up character I actually thought Jogia did a lot with the role and I really liked him, he was probably my favourite character in the entire film.

Kaya Scodelario is great as Claire Redfield and Robbie Ammell is okay as her brother Chris, I think Scodelario is the start of the show throughout and would love to watch a Claire solo film with her in it. However, where the casting falls apart for me is with Tom Hopper as Albert Wesker. Firstly Hopper doesn’t look the part and looks distractingly miscast throughout, and moreover the characterisation of Wesker is all wrong with the film trying to portray him sympathetically despite him being one of the big bads of the Resident Evil universe. I didn’t like it.

The mashing together of the first two games stories worked for me and I felt like they gave both justice and didn’t rush through it. I would have liked Mr X to make an appearance but hey maybe in a sequel. I think there is enough there for both long time fans of the series, like myself, as well as for newcomers who might be unfamiliar.

Two other smaller issues I had with the film was the blatant product placement, it is everywhere, and the drawn out flash back opening, which I found to be quite slow. Personally I would have opened it with the police investigating Spencer’s mansion, but that’s just me.

Overall, I enjoyed myself I thought it did justice to the series and it scared me. Hopper was miscast badly and the product placement and opening put me off to a degree but the good vastly outweighs the bad.

Pros.

Jogia’s Leon

The scares

Scodelario’s Claire

The ending

Cons.

A slow opening

Hopper

The product placement

If you enjoyed this review, then please head over to my Patreon to support me, I offer personalized shoutouts, the ability for you to pick what I review next and full access to my Patreon exclusive game reviews. Check it out!

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer?fan_landing=true

Chucky: Twice The Grieving, Double The Loss

4/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The kids reel after a series of deaths, meanwhile Junior, played by Teo Briones, turns to the dark side.

In many ways this week feels like a build up to the finale, which isn’t necessarily a complaint as there are still a lot of fun moments here. This episode seems to be concerning itself with setting up all the pieces for the final showdown and what a show down it will be.

For the most part this episode is strong, a lot of good moments probably the best of these being Logan’s, played by Devon Sawa, death as it is brutal and memorable and will be one of the defining moments of the series for sure. Moreover, there is another excellent flashback wherein we get to see Fiona Dourif look eerily like her dad and nail the performance once again.

However, this episode is held back from a higher rating by two stupid narrative the decisions. The first being Andy, played by Alex Vincent, deciding to leave his adoptive sister, played by Christine Elise, behind and go on alone. It makes no sense why he would do this; the show wants us to believe he is doing this as a means to protect her yet he brought her back into this world in the previous films so he was fine with endangering her then. It just seems like you would want all hands on deck for the final showdown, no doubt she will conveniently show up. The other being Devon, played by Bjorgvin Arnarson claiming to be done and giving up, only to a few minutes later be back investigating again. This to me just felt pointless and like needless drama to pad out the runtime of the episode.

Overall, good but not great.

Pros.

Logan’s end

Another strong flashback scene

Fiona Dourif

The ending and what it sets up

Cons.

Dumb decisions.  

If you enjoyed this review, then please head over to my Patreon to support me, I offer personalized shoutouts, the ability for you to pick what I review next and full access to my Patreon exclusive game reviews. Check it out!

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer

The Feast: If You’re Bringing Up Long Strands Of Hair Seek Medical Attention

4/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The film follows a Welsh dinner party in which everyone in attendance dies by the end of the film at the hands of a mysterious being.

Though the premise is nothing new there is something so unsettling about this film that makes it good. There is an off-kilter uncanniness that accompanies this film wherein nothing is quite like it seems and everything is filled with clues and hidden meanings, in many ways to truly get everything out of this film you should watch it several times over.

I enjoyed the rural folk horror and thought it did interesting things with a message of environmentalism and not disturbing the natural world. I found the film more uneasy than scary however, there is nothing from this film that stayed with me after watching.

The acting is all quite good. I think Annes Elwy was strong as the lead and played both sweet and sinister well. Most of the characters in this film balance out fairly standard greed and lust issues with far darker under the surface evils to great effect.

Overall, a strong folk horror film that is well worth a watch even if you have to read subtitles.

Pros.

Elwy

The folk horror

The uncanniness to it all

The twist

Cons.

Not particularly scary

If you enjoyed this review, then please head over to my Patreon to support me, I offer personalized shoutouts, the ability for you to pick what I review next and full access to my Patreon exclusive game reviews. Check it out!

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer

Knocking: Noisy Neighbors Are The Worst

2.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A mysterious knocking is investigated.

I don’t think this film will win any award for originality, I feel the premise is done to death and has been for a long time, however, some what paradoxically this film does manage to take it in a surprising direction and do something interesting with it.

The horror I thought was used well for the most part, there were a few moments that I felt were a little tame and could have been better, but for the most part the film succeeded in creating a frightening atmosphere that resulted in some strong scares.

The performances were serviceable for the most part. No one really blew me away nor did they do anything to particularly take me out of it, it was incredibly paint by numbers on that front.

I thought the ending, which I won’t spoil, was by far the highlight of the film as it actually managed to do something unexpected and took me by surprise, which is a rarity at this point.

Overall, a generic premise is elevated by a strong ending.

Pros.

The ending

The atmosphere

It is short and uses its time well

Cons.

The acting is middling

A couple of tame moments that need spicing up and that felt out of place

If you enjoyed this review, then please head over to my Patreon to support me, I offer personalized shoutouts, the ability for you to pick what I review next and full access to my Patreon exclusive game reviews. Check it out!

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer

Black Friday: Working In Retail Is Hell

2.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Retail workers on Black Friday must do battle against alien creatures that possess people and turn them into zombie like creatures.

When I saw the trailer for this film I had such high hopes and I was disappointed when I actually saw it.

This film boasts horror icons Devon Sawa and Bruce Campbell but even their horror pedigree can’t help this film, sadly all icons make bad decisions from time to time and this is certainly one of them. Neither Campbell nor Sawa is given anything particularly interesting to do and as such there characters each feel very one note. This becomes even more of an issue as the group of characters that become more of a central focus by the end of the film are both boring and irritating.

In terms of horror this is incredibly by the numbers. You have seen this film before, the premise is nothing new. Some people are praising this film by saying that it is very reflective of the retail experience however, I feel other horror films have done even that better before. There is certainly nothing scary about this film, the only thing scary about it is how long it goes on for.

It has strong pacing issues.

Overall, simply disappointing a waste of good talent.

Pros

It is watchable

A few good moments

Campbell has natural charm that even this film can’t hide

Cons.

It is not scary

It is generic

It has pacing issues

If you enjoyed this review, then please head over to my Patreon to support me, I offer personalized shoutouts, the ability for you to pick what I review next and full access to my Patreon exclusive game reviews. Check it out!

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer

Ghostbusters Afterlife: The Freakiest Third Act Surprise You Will Ever See

3.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A family move into an old farm house left behind by their deceased grandfather, shown to be Harold Ramis’ character from the previous films, there they learn a little bit about themselves and their family history and of course save the world from a ghostly invasion.

This film did everything correctly that the previous film, the reboot, botched. It merges the older films and a soft reboot perfectly; it is a legacy sequel done right. There is enough call backs and involvement of surviving cast members to touch on the nostalgia factor of fans of the original whilst also giving us a new generation of Ghostbusters to care about.

In many ways this is Mckenna Grace’s film, she is the central character and carries the film for a lot of the run time. However, Carrie Coon and Paul Rudd are also scene stealers and make the most out of the scenes they are given, hopefully a sequel will do more with them and give them more on screen time together.

I found this film to be quite funny at times, again particularly Grace’s lead. The older Ghostbusters have some good lines but I would say on the whole they are used sparingly as to not upstage the new characters. I am split on the CGI Harold Ramis, I do like that they give him a proper emotional send off and have each of the characters have a moment with him, however I don’t like the use of CGI to bring back dead actors as a concept, it is troubling.

Overall, a strong revival for the franchise.

Pros.

Grace

Coon

Rudd

Giving the older characters one last hurrah

Cons.

Pacing issues

Finn Wolfhard’s role could be played by anyone

If you enjoyed this review, then please head over to my Patreon to support me, I offer personalized shoutouts, the ability for you to pick what I review next and full access to my Patreon exclusive game reviews. Check it out!

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer

Spencer: Abolish The Monarchy

4.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Recounting a Christmas that Princess Diana, played by Kristen Stewart, spent with the Royal Family one Christmas

This film is haunting. If going in expecting a standard Royale biopic, expect to be shocked at every turn. Indeed this film plays more like a horror film, with the social anxiety themed horror becoming unbearable at times. However, the real horror here is the cold and almost sadistic way Diana is treated at every turn by the hands of the Royals and their staff. Now this film is not based on actually events, as far as I am aware, it takes certain elements of Diana’s life and takes a bit of creative license with them, but if even one scene of this film is true it should be enough to make any decent Brit question their support of the Royal family.

Prior to the release of this film I made several comments saying how terribly miscast Kristen Stewart was in the role and how she would eventually doom the piece. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Stewart is chameleonic here and blends so seamlessly into this world that you will be hard-pressed to not see her as Diana. From her movements to her mannerism to even her accent Stewart nails the role perfectly.

Moreover, Stewart is supported by an incredible British cast with Sean Harris and Timothy Spall being equally as commendable.

Overall, this is a magnificent film and Stewart deserves to win awards for her performance here.

Pros.

The tension

It feels more like a horror film

The more out there elements

Stewart

The ending

Cons.

A few slight pacing issues resulting in a drag in the third act  

If you enjoyed this review, then please head over to my Patreon to support me, I offer personalized shoutouts, the ability for you to pick what I review next and full access to my Patreon exclusive game reviews. Check it out!

https://www.patreon.com/AnotherMillennialReviewer