So… we’re almost at the end of the road (I actually am IRL, but I’ve been super lazy with posting my reviews). Enjoy the penultimate review round-up! (You can also follow me on Letterboxd to keep up with my movie-watching.)
DAY 344 – SAW: THE FINAL CHAPTER (2010)
This is definitely one of the weakest entries in the franchise. The kills are fun, but the acting is mediocre, and the story feels stretched out. The cameos from some of the stars of the previous films are a fun addition, but they don’t stick around long enough to really warrant their appearances. This is only essential viewing if you are invested in the Saw lore.
DAY 345 – EVIL DEAD (2013)
So after avoiding watching this film for the longest time (I’m a massive fan of the original trilogy and a HUGE scaredy-cat when it comes to possession films), I finally caved and saw this remake. It’s definitely scary, with many moments making me curl up in my seat. It’s also EXTREMELY gory, which I loved, but will definitely turn some viewers off. The story is really thin, though, and some of the acting isn’t up to par. Evil Dead is a fun watch, and genuinely scary if possession movies give you nightmares. It’s just not as good as the original.
DAY 346 – INFERNO (1980)
Dario Argento hasn’t failed me yet with his oeuvre. Inferno is an intriguing, beautiful horror film that slowly unravels its story, while also making the macabre look stunning. Argento’s utilization of reds,purples, pinks, and blues add a soft, yet at the same time unnerving, energy to the movie, and the visual effects are good for the time period.
DAY 347 – HOSTEL (2006)
I went into this movie expecting to be grossed out (especially because Greg Nicotero was in charge of the effects), but by the time the credits rolled, I had rolled my eyes so hard during the movie I had a headache and was actually happy to see that I no longer had to suffer through this movie. Everyone talks about how gory this movie is, but it’s really not that bad. Sure, there are a couple of instances that made me wince, but for the most part, the gore wasn’t as bad as even The Walking Dead is. I HATED the characters, and the story took way too long to get going. I wish I could get back the 94 minutes I wasted on this movie.
DAY 348 – PUMPKINHEAD (1989)
An unexpectedly fun (and emotional) treat of a film, Pumpkinhead is the story of a father (Lance Henriksen) who summons the titular creature after a tragedy ruins his life. The effects are excellent (which they should be, considering Stan Winston directed this film), and Henriksen turns in a good performance. The acting of the teenagers is iffy at times, but the plot makes up for this small misstep.
DAY 349 – DEATH SENTENCE (2007)
Based on Brian Garfield’s book of the same name, Death Sentence stars Kevin Bacon as Nick Hume, a father and husband who’s world is shaken after a tragedy befalls his family. He becomes a vigilante, but this starts to bite him in the ass… James Wan’s direction is fantastic, as usual, and Bacon and John Goodman are excellent. The action sequences are awesome, as are the effects. The only thing that holds this film back is the predictable progression of the plot.
DAY 350 – WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (2017)
The final film in the new Apes trilogy, WFTPOTA (that’s a long-ass acronym) is the best entry, in my opinion. Andy Serkis is again fantastic as Caesar, and Woody Harrelson is on top form as the Colonel. The effects are stunning, and the story contains themes of family, forgiveness, and love trumping hate. A powerful film that perfectly caps off this excellent run of films.
DAY 351 – THOR: RAGNAROK (2017)
Check out my video review for my full thoughts on the third Thor film!
DAY 352 – OCULUS (2014)
As with possession movies, stories that involve creep-ass mirrors scare the shit out of me, so watching Oculus tested my nerves. The acting isn’t the greatest, but there are some genuinely terrifying (and awesome) scenes, and the twisty history of the mirror is fascinating. The ending of the film disappointed me, though. It was incredibly predictable, and just fizzled out. Otherwise, this is an original horror film from the great mind of Mike Flanagan.
DAY 353 – THE BAD BATCH (2017)
After hearing the myriad of negative reviews for this film, but having loved Ana Lily Amirpour’s previous film, I went into The Bad Batch with middling expectations. I ended up thoroughly enjoying my time with the movie. Is it perfect? Hell no, but it’s definitely not as terrible as a lot of people have made it out to be. I actually prefer this film to Raw (the other cannibal film from a female director that premiered this year). Suki Waterhouse gives a career-best performance as Arlen, and Jason Momoa and Keanu Reeves grace the movie with head-turning roles. Even Jim Carrey is good in this film.
The Bad Batch isn’t as gory as a lot of people have made it out to be, and the action and set-pieces are fun and memorable. This film has flaws, but it embraces them and flips a middle finger at the viewer, not caring if they fucking like it or not. I’ll definitely be watching TBB again.