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Friday, September 22, 2017

MOTHER! REVIEW



A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, and Ed Harris

Directed and written by: Darren Aronofsky

  Oh “Mother!” this has to be one of the strangest movies I’ve seen. You might be wondering why I even bothered seeing it. Besides the need to see another horror movie (shocking), I was just curious about story, and how it would end. Sometimes it’s fun to see a movie, and guess where it’s going. 
  So where did this movie ultimately end? Well if you want to play the guessing game like me I suggest you stop reading here. For those who are ready for tons of spoilers, here we go! This is one of those movies that shows you a scene at the beginning that the ending comes back to. Why movies keep doing this I don’t know. This one presents a slight and almost unnoticeable change to it at the end. I’ll just say notice her face.
  But there’s a lot to discuss before we even get to the ending. Most of the movie is centered around Mother (Jennifer Lawrence). So much so, the camera is focused right on her face for a majority of the time. That must have been crazy for her to be in the focus so much. Mother is kind of reserved to start, just wanting to fix her house, and take care of her husband. All that changes when the first of many visitors comes to the house. Her husband, as referred to in the credits as Him (Javier Bardem), yes Him, makes Man (Ed Harris), yes referred to as Man in the credits, stay the night. (Just go through the credits and amuse yourself with the character names!)
  This is where the weirdness begins. After being sick at night, Man wakes up fine, and his wife even shows up. Soon enough his two sons follow, and beginning fighting. One of them eventually kills the other, all while Mother is just trying to please everyone, and quietly suggests they leave. However, Him seems to love having guests over, especially those who know he’s a poet, and admire his work. All this eventually leads to their family inviting people over to the house to hold a wake for their deceased son. The wake soon turns into an odd party, in which Mother has no choice but to put an end to.
  Alright, it might not sound that strange to you yet, but it only gets stranger. As these kind of moments unfold, Mother sometimes pauses and touches the house. They kind of zoom into the walls where we see what appears to be a heart beat. She has some connection to it, is obsessed with her work on it, and preserving it. At this point, you’re just wondering what’s her story, and when the true horror in this movie is going to come out. 
  Well the shit really hits the fan in the last act of the movie. If you thought the wake scene earlier on was crazy, you haven’t seen anything yet. She’s now pregnant and life is good again with Him. However, Him just wrote his latest masterpiece, and this soon drives an army of people to the house. It starts off like the usually paparazzi mess, and then escalates to madness. People upon people come to the house. They start tearing it apart because they want a piece of the poet. Mother is just bouncing around from room to room trying to get people to stop, but they won’t. Every time she runs into Him she begs him to get them to leave, but he just can’t enough of the people’s love. 
  She starts to get labor pains as this madness breaks out to a literal war between police and party goers. People are getting shot, and executed left and right. A cult quickly forms and Him uses their help to finally get Mother in a room to give birth. After she gives birth, she refuses to let him hold the baby knowing he would show it to the lunatics outside. Well, she’s correct cause he does that, and as crazy as it has been to this point, the movie goes extreme with the baby. Seriously, as this unfolds you’re just thinking what the hell am I watching? How did this movie just flip to utter madness that still isn’t making complete sense?
  So at a certain point in the movie I just had a random thought…is she mother nature? I didn’t take it seriously especially after that wild ending. However, after doing some reading about the movie it seems I was correct. It looks like I guessed correctly at least for some aspect of the movie. It turns out there is a whole theme of mother nature and religion going on. Seeing it from that stand point gives me a little more appreciation for what they created here. If you just watch this movie, and don’t know that, then you are really going to be like “that is the worst movie I’ve ever seen.” I mean, when the movie ended, I couldn’t get over how strange it was. Even knowing the meaning behind it, I still think it’s strange, but it’s comforting to know at least there is a method to the madness. 
  Speaking of strange, this isn’t the way I typical write my reviews. You might not even call it a review and more of my experience with “Mother!.” Well a strange movie calls for a strange write up about it. It’s funny to see some people call it amazing, and others saying it’s the worst movie they’ve ever seen. Regardless of what you think about it, I think getting people to both extremes of the spectrum might be a sign of success from the filmmaker’s point of view. With all that said, it’s hard for me to even rate this movie. 5 pools of blood for the meaning behind the madness, or 0 pools of blood for it being extremely odd. I guess I’ll wimp out and give it 2.5 pools of blood.


  HorrO

Thursday, September 14, 2017

TERRIFIER REVIEW



A maniacal clown named Art, terrorizes three young women on Halloween night and everyone else who stands in his way.

Starring: Jenna Kanell, Catherine Corcoran, Samantha Scaffidi, and David Howard Thornton

Directed and written by: Damien Leone

  So why not follow up one review featuring a clown (IT) with another. While Pennywise is out for fear, Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton) is out to terrify! This story takes place on Halloween so for Tara (Jenna Knell) and Dawn (Catherine Corcoran) to see a clown out in the streets isn’t that unusual. Unfortunately for them, there’s something seriously wrong with Art.
  After running into Art in the streets, the two drunk girls make their way into a small pizza shop. Not long after that, Art comes in, and sits across from them. He sits silently while making faces, and changing poses. While this creeps out Tara, Dawn decides to take a selfie with him. Knowing that Art wants to eventually kill them makes this such a crazy scene. As he does all movie long, he’s just mentally torturing his soon to be victims, which is something he apparently excels at.
  When it comes time to kill, Art isn’t clowning around anymore. There’s several nice and bloody kills, but there’s one in particular that stands out. Without giving it away, lets just say it includes a tied up girl, a saw, and lots of blood. Yes, what takes place is clearly fake, but the fact that they go ahead and try to pull it off anyways is awesome!
  Besides the blood, guts, and terrifying moments, the characters and performance of the cast make the movie easy to watch. Tara and Dawn are entertaining in the brief time Art isn’t around. Tara has an issue with Art from the beginning, and does her best to fight back. Jenna does a great job with both being afraid and then taking it to the clown. Catherine also does well being funny in the face of Jenna's fear.
  Without a doubt, Art the Clown is the star in this circus of a tale. David does a terrific job playing him, especially considering Art never says a word. Not talking and mentally messing with his victims before finishing them off really works for him. The story is easy to follow, including the connection between an odd beginning and the end of the movie. It also takes some risks, which can be appreciated. If you’re looking for blood, guts, and a silent creepy clown terrifying his victims, then “Terrifier” is for you! With that, I give it 3.5 pools of blood.

  HorrO

*Shown at the Popcorn Frights Film Festival*

Thursday, September 7, 2017

IT REVIEW



A group of bullied kids band together when a monster, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.

Starring: Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Wyatt Oleff

Directed by: Andy Muschietti

Written by: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman

  It has become common to hear a lot of complaints about remakes especially horror remakes. It’s rare for one to actually receive some positive hype like the way “IT” has. Social media has been buzzing a long time for this movie, and it’s finally here. So you know the question…does “IT” live up to the hype?
  Right off the bat it’s great to see that this movie is rated R. For those familiar with the original, Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) chases his toy boat down the street, into the sewer, and runs into Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard). That scene ends not showing much, but this remake shows the bloody tragedy that takes place. It sets the tone for many more bloody scenes, and proves that just because they’re kids that doesn’t mean they can’t get hurt.
  Speaking of the kids, this so called ‘Losers Club’ is anything but that. They’re a great mix of characters, and the acting by each kid is spot on. The kids have many of the characteristics found in the original like Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) stuttering, and Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) being a mamma’s boy. Richie (Finn Wolfhard) is particularly great, as he’s mocked for not shutting up, and really lets loose with his fowl mouth. They’ll definitely have the audience routing for them individually, and as the ‘Losers Club.’
  Now to Pennywise! This is where some will have mixed feelings. Yes, Tim Curry did an excellent job in the original, and many are right by saying his performance can’t be topped. However, don’t let that stop you from seeing and enjoying this movie. This Pennywise is dressed a little darker, and certainly acts that way. When they talk about Pennywise eating the children, he really brings new meaning to that. However, be prepared for some questionable CGI.
  Pennywise tries really hard to bring out the fear in the kids, and scare the audience. While he might not scare horror fans, he might just do a number on non-horror fans and those afraid of clowns. One of the craziest scenes is when the kids are watching a film in the garage. It starts off slow, but soon enough becomes a big problem for them. The scenes when the kids are in Pennywise’s house, and later in the well are pretty intense. Pennywise definitely wasn’t lying when he said “we all float down here!”
  So yes, for the most part “IT” lives up to the hype. The R rating alone gives this version a major upgrade. Some will like this Pennywise, while others will still prefer the original. Either way, he’ll produce scares that the seasoned horror fan should appreciate while they enjoy watching others jump out of their seats. Most of all, the kids will have the audience eating out of their hands. The acting by the entire Losers Club should be applauded. With that, I give “IT” 4 pools of blood and a red balloon!


  HorrO
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