Thursday, July 7, 2016

Quick Movie Reviews

Devour (2005, USA) | Rating: 2/5

This direct to video B-horror has a premise that could have been quite interesting. Jake Gray and his friends become involved in an online live action roleplay game called The Pathway which spirals out of control in a deadly way. However, the premise falls apart when the writer decided to add a Satanic cult into the mix. The only upside is that Jensen Ackles, known for his role as Dean Winchester in Supernatural, does a decent job as confused college student.  The overall product could have been much better if they'd streamlined the plot from the beginning and focused simply on the game's consequences.

Unfriended (2014, USA) | Rating: 3.5/5

This movie was previously reviewed by Miko here. I agree with her opinion on the movie. When I went into this movie, I was ready to hate it or be disappointed. It was surprising how decent it was. Generally, I multitask while watching things. It's simply the way my life works. There's rarely a moment to focus on simply one thing. With Unfriended, I found myself putting down the laptop in order to pay closer attention to what these kids were doing. Our society is so dependent on messengers, Skype, Facebook, etc, that it's easy to imagine this sort of thing happening to you. What would keep a former friend or enemy from popping up on your feed to torment you? The supernatural elements were surprisingly good. I won't go into detail, but this certainly wasn't a Paranormal Activity type of film. There was doubt about who billie227 was. Did Laura come back or is it a friend using her account?

Return to Sender (2015, USA) | Rating: 2/5

Miko has already reviewed this one too. Once again, I agree with her. Miranda, the character Rosamund Pike plays seems like the same person she played in Gone Girl. However, the downfall here comes with the characters not being fleshed out properly. Amy, Pike's character in Gone Girl, was a full person with thoughts and motivations. Miranda's only motivation is that she was raped before a blind date. This could easily be enough motivation to go after her attacker. However, the writers decided to throw in a twist about her late in the film that simply made no sense with what we'd already seen. There's no way to feel anything for Miranda with the way she was written even though Pike is a good actress.

Wind Chill (2007, USA/UK) | Rating: 2/5

The film starts with the girl, Emily Blunt's unnamed character, looking for a ride back to her hometown for the Christmas holiday. She's told by a friend to look on a ride share board. Sure enough, there's someone offering a ride to where she needs to go. The guy, also unnamed, has his car loaded with all his possessions. She's told he's been evicted from his apartment and is going home as well. However, as the ride progresses, it becomes clear that he knows far too much about her to be a complete stranger. The first hour of the film continues this way and would have been a fairly effective stranger danger/stalker flick. The filmmakers decide to give you supernatural elements for the last half of the film that are at odds with what they've previously set up. These last bits are simply too much at odds with everything else. It's not a bad B-horror overall. It would have been better served with sticking to the beginning premise.

The Girl in the Photographs (2015, USA) | Rating: 2.5/5

A bored young woman in a sleepy town begins to find gruesome photographs of murdered women placed where she can find them. Are they real or staged? Is there a serial killer or simply a creep lurking? The trailers for this one seemed interesting. I ended up having to rewatch this one because I fell asleep part of the way through. There's nothing wrong with the cinematography. The problem ends up being all in the plot. The overall idea is sound, but poorly executed. Some of the characters are interesting, but others are outright annoying or boring. Katherine Isabelle, a horror movie darling, has her talents wasted. If she'd played the main character, it might have been much more interesting.

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