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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

BLUMHOUSE'S TRUTH OR DARE REVIEW



A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends turns deadly when someone - - or something - - begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse the dare.

Starring: Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, and Violett Beane

Directed by: Jeff Wadlow

Written by: Jillian Jacobs, Michael Reisz, Jeff Wadlow, and Christopher Roach

  I can’t say I’ve ever played Truth or Dare so how about a little test run. Dare: To watch “Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare.” Done! Truth: Was the movie any good? The truth… well I’m going to have to dare you to read on for the truth!
  Olivia (Lucy Hale) and Markie (Violett Beane) are best friends, and that friendship gets tested after what is supposed to be a harmless game of Truth or Dare. However, this game comes with a curse, and they have now taken it home with them. Unknown to the two of them and their friends, they now have to answer truthfully, do the dare, or die. This tests the group because they know some damning secrets about each other. 
  When it’s someone’s turn, they will see the demon in the face of another person, or even their own face in the mirror. As you might have seen in the trailers, it kind of looks like something you would do on Snapchat. This is obviously one of the gimmicks the movie is built around, but there isn’t much scary about it. At best, it’s creepy, but it doesn't help create any big scares. 
  While short on scares, the most interesting thing becomes the secrets. There is a love triangle, and some secrets surrounding the death of Markie’s father. The demon continues to test the group by separating them with the hurtful secrets, but forcing them back together to try and save each other. In particular, Olivia knows too much about Markie, and has some really big secrets to reveal. The demon makes the most of pitting them against one another.
  The worse thing about the movie might be the ending. The final scene isn’t bad, and puts the survivors in a tough situation. However, how the game continues, or ends is just a cop out. Yes, it brings everything back to a question earlier in the movie, but please. With the creativity used with all the secrets, it would have been nice to find a better way to wrap things up.
  In the end, the truth hurts them emotionally, and the dares test them physically. The deaths are alright, but nothing new. The reveal of how the secrets play out really keeps the movie afloat, not the creepy faces. Actually the movie is more like “Final Destination” light. So the truth is “Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare” gets an average 2.5 pools of blood!


  HorrO

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT REVIEW



(Spoiler alert)

A family staying in a secluded mobile home park for the night are visited by three masked psychopaths, to test their every limit.

Starring: Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, and Martin Henderson

Directed by: Johannes Roberts

Written by: Bryan Bertino and Ben Ketai

  After watching “The Strangers,” I was inspired to write horror because I thought they did such an excellent job with a simple idea. Well that was many years ago, and I’m obviously not a horror writer just horror reviewer. Regardless, I’ve always held “The Strangers” in high regard because of how it inspired me, and couldn’t be happier to finally get a sequel. Unfortunately, I can’t say “The Strangers: Prey at Night” inspired me in the same way, and here’s why. 
  The sequel starts off much like the original did introducing the audience to characters who are having a conflict amongst themselves. This time around Cindy (Christina Hendricks) and her husband Mike (Martin Henderson) have made a decision to send their troubled daughter, Kinsey (Bailee Madison), to boarding school. Kinsey isn’t thrilled with this decision, and gives her parents and brother, Luke (Lewis Pullman), a hard time while on their road trip. While this isn’t bad drama to build on, it just doesn’t pull on the heart strings the way the couple did in the original.
  The home and how the strangers were able to keep the couple inside it was something important to keeping the tension in the original. When the family arrives at the trailer, it quickly becomes apparent that the strangers won’t be keeping them contained there long. This creates some problems for this sequel, the first being that it isn’t as intense as the original. With the characters spread out, the movie goes back and forth, and this kills any tension that is created. On top of that, it creates a lot of coincidences of how the strangers seem to always be at the right place at the right time. A great example of that is the jack in the box scene, as fun as that was.
  Enough with the bad, how about some good? Not as creepy as the when the Man in the Mask is watching Kristen in the living room in “The Strangers,” but it’s definitely messed up when the Man in the Mask sits down next to Mike in the car. It’s crazy how he just takes his time, plays with the radio, stabs him, and just stares at Mike as he bleeds out. Another scene that is getting a lot of attention is the pool scene. The lights, the music, and the struggle between Luke and the Man in the Mask is pretty cool.
  However, this just leads to another complaint. It was so nice to see a horror film like “The Strangers” break from having at least one survivor, and kill off the couple. This time around, the strangers aren’t so lucky, and we get a standard horror movie ending. It’s shocking when Luke slices up Pin-Up Girl, and even more disappointing when Dollface is blown away. Kinsey and the Man in the Mask put on a good ending fight, even reminding some of us of a classic horror movie, but ultimately having Kinsey freak out in a hospital room is too standard. An argument can be made that the Man in the Mask and/or Pin-Up Girl survived for a part three, but that seems like a stretch. They aren’t Jason or Michael. Does it open the door for new killers…maybe but then it won't be THE Strangers!
  Overall, as with many sequels, “The Strangers: Prey at Night” just doesn’t live up to the original. It starts off with a similar formula of drama within the family and the strangers appearing in time to take advantage of that, but then what made “The Strangers” so great evaporates. Instead of creating a movie that is intense throughout, they take the time to give it some style and dramatics with how it’s shot jumping from character to character. They not only kill the tension, but also kill the strangers creating an all too familiar horror movie ending. No, this isn’t a bad movie, it just really fails to do what the original did. With that, I really wish I could give this more than than 3 pools of blood, of which 1 pool of blood basically comes from it being the freaking strangers!


  HorrO

Monday, January 8, 2018

INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY REVIEW



Parapsychologist Dr. Elise Rainier faces her most fearsome and personal haunting yet - in her own family home.

Starring: Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, and Angus Sampson

Directed by: Adam Robitel

Written by: Leigh Whannell

  When “Insidious” premiered in 2010, it seemed like this was going to lead to big things, and it sort of did. Some arguably good movies followed like “The Conjuring,” “Annabelle,” and their sequels. It has also led to several of it’s own sequels, and now “Inisidious: The Last Key.” So lets begin the argument over the latest chapter in this franchise!
  For “Insidious: Chapter 3,” they decided to go the prequel route, and it turned out alright. It would make audiences think that this sequel would open a new chapter for this franchise. Unfortunately it doesn’t because The Last Key is yet another prequel. Seriously, how many prequels does a franchise need, especially one with only three movies under its belt? 
  This time the story begins and ends with Elise (Lin Shaye). The audience is introduced to events that haunted her as a child, and have returned for some unfinished business. Elise, along with Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson), return to her childhood home to find the demon behind it all. As always, Lin does a terrific job in her role, but having the movie focus mostly on her is too much. The pace seems too slow, and there isn’t enough action going on. Specs and Tucker add some humor, but that isn’t enough.
  Most importantly, the slow pace also kills most of the scares. There are a few scares that are way overdone because of the build up to it. The audience will know it’s coming, but they do the best to drag it out. If they are hoping to make it suspenseful, they are really just boring the true horror fan who sees it coming. On top of it, for a franchise born on some really good scares, The Last Key seems to be short on them.
  Yes, fans were probably alright with another Insidious movie, but probably not a second prequel. Everyone agrees that Lin is great in her role, but having the movie follow her is too much. The story isn’t bad, but just unfolds too slowly. A small twist here and there isn’t enough to make up for it. The Key Demon is the most interesting thing in the movie, especially in what it does to people, but there isn’t enough of it, or the scares Insidious movies are known for. With that, I give “Insidious: The Last Key” 2.5 pools of blood, and can only hope we see more of the Further in the next movie!

  HorrO

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