8.01.2015

Ant-Man (2015)

DIRECTED BY
Peyton Reed

STARRING
Paul Rudd - Scott Lang/ Ant-Man
Evangeline Lilly - Hope Van Dyne
Corey Stoll - Darren Cross
Bobby Cannavale - Paxton
Michael Pena - Luis
Tip "T.I." Harris - Dave
Anthony Mackie - Sam Wilson/ Falcon
Judy Greer - Maggie
Michael Douglas - Hank Pym
Abby Ryder Fortson - Cassie Lang


Genre - Action/Adventure/Science Fiction/Fantasy/Comic Books

Running Time - 117 Minutes


PLOT
White collar burglar Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has been released from prison, finding it difficult to settle back into a normal life. He gets fired from his Baskin-Robbins job. His ex-wife (Judy Greer) and her cop fiancee (Bobby Cannavale) criticize his choices, wanting Scott not to be a bad influence to their daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). When he realizes the only way he can be with his daughter is by finding a job and having enough money to pay child support, Scott falls back into a life of crime.

With a tip from his former cellmate Luis (
Michael Pena), Scott steals a weird suit from Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), a scientist who once worked for Howard Stark and Peggy Carter. When Scott puts on the suit, he shrinks to the size of an ant, soon realizing that Pym wanted Scott to steal the suit so he can become the new Ant-Man. Pym and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) begin training Scott, teaming him how to control the ant population and the ways of the suit in order for him to steal a suit from Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) - Pym's former protege and current boss of Pym Industries. Cross has created his own shrinking suit, deemed the Yellowjacket, which he plans on selling to HYDRA. Scott must stop Cross from making this deal to save the world and be a hero to his daughter.



REVIEW


HITS

- The acting. Hands down, the best part of ANT-MAN was the film's cast. I've always been a fan of Paul Rudd, so it's great to see him in a Marvel Comics movie. And I think he was the perfect choice for Scott Lang, a burglar with a heart of gold. Rudd has an immense amount of charisma and humor that makes his character shine, making him an easy person to root for. I thought he had great chemistry with anyone he was on screen with, and I'm looking forward to where he takes the characters within the MCU. Michael Douglas was also great as an older Hank Pym, making a great mentor to Rudd and giving his character some gravitas where it concerned the tragic situation with his family. Evangeline Lilly, despite the bad haircut, is pretty great as Hope Van Dyne. She could have been a damsel-in-distress and her role does put her in the background a bit at times, but Lilly brings a toughness and intelligence to the role that I really liked. In some ways, she reminded me of Pepper Potts, but with more kick-ass ability to handle situations on her own without a man's help. Her transformation to the Wasp should be interesting. Corey Stoll could have played Darren Cross as a typical villain, as his character seems to be a carbon copy of IRON MAN's Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger. But Stoll gives the character some humanity, wanting to impress Pym but realizing the only way he can do that is by doing bad things to get his attention. Stoll plays the character as a neglected son who wants to unseat his father. And I liked that a lot. I wish there was more Yellowjacket in the film, but Stoll is pretty great here regardless. Bobby Cannavale grounds the film a bit as Paxton, doing a good job. Michael Pena is a comic highlight as Luis, making me wish there were more of him in the film. He's awesome. And Anthony Mackie's appearance as Falcon was very cool. Not a bad apple in this bunch.

- The direction. While I do wish Edgar Wright had remained on board to direct ANT-MAN [even his script got changed, which makes me wonder what his original vision was like], Peyton Reed still does a pretty nice job visualizing this origin story. All the comic book beats are there, with great framing, pacing, and editing. The film is very colorful, which I enjoyed. And the use of CGI is done extremely well, as one would expect from these Marvel movies. The use of Ant-Man's shrinking powers is pretty awesome, with moments that seem to be influenced by HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS. And Yellowjacket looks pretty awesome, although I wish there was more of him.

The action sequences are great. Ant-Man's fight with Falcon is done really well, with Reed showcasing Ant-Man's powers to counterattack Falcon's. And the last sequence with Ant-Man and Yellowjacket is clever and wonderful to watch. The toy train scene is pretty hilarious and inventive all at once. I thought ANT-MAN was more than a visually pleasing film.

- The film's tone. ANT-MAN is a more comedic slant on the MCU. It's a lighthearted film that's more focused towards family entertainment than previous films in this universe. Lang and his daughter, Cassie, have some cute moments together. Lang's struggle with his new powers brings some funny moments that seem to make fun of the film's premise and the other films in the universe. ANT-MAN is a pretty silly film on the surface, even when serious things are happening. And I didn't mind that. As a matter of fact, I appreciated it. So many comic book movies tend to take themselves too seriously at times. ANT-MAN is having fun with itself, and you tend to have fun with it. It's not surprising since Edgar Wright brings humor to his scripts, but Paul Rudd also had input, which makes you know what type of tone this film will have. It's pretty consistent throughout and I thought it helped make ANT-MAN stand out from the rest of the pack at times.


MISSES

- The cliche "origin" screenplay. I shouldn't take points off for this, since this is the introduction of the character. But I'm getting pretty tired of these origin films, especially when it feels like I already seen this film before more than once. ANT-MAN felt like IRON MAN at times, mixed with the humor of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. The unfortunate thing is that those two films are superior in terms of storytelling and comedy. ANT-MAN feels cookie cutter in its storytelling, featuring a main character whose struggles - while realistic as they are [wanting to be a real father to his daughter by becoming a responsible heroic adult] - tend to feel lackluster and bland compared to the other heroes within the universe. It's a story that's meant to entertain while you watch it, but it won't make you think about things afterwards. There's also nothing really memorable about it either, as with the other films. The origin storytelling still works, but ANT-MAN doesn't really offer anything new that would truly make it standout.

- Another wasted villain. Oh Yellowjacket - what a true waste you are in this movie. Stoll is great as Darren Cross, but he feels like Obadiah Stane from IRON MAN. It was almost as if the screenwriters copied and pasted some aspects of that film to create this film's villain. Cross brings nothing new to the villain table, simply being there because the film needs an antagonist for our hero. Yellowjacket looks awesome, but I wish he did more in the film. I was pretty disappointed here, as I wanted more from this character. But he's just generic, plain and simple. I wonder if Edgar Wright had more things for him to do. Oh well.

THE FINAL HOWL

ANT-MAN is a good, but not great, comic book film. Even though it's haunted by the ghost of former creative director Edgar Wright, the film ends up being better than it probably has any right to. The cast, in particular Paul Rudd and Michael Pena, is great. Peyton Reed's direction steers the film along quite well. I thought the action sequences and CGI were great. But ANT-MAN feels cookie cutter, as if we've seen this all before but done better in other films. And Yellowjacket was totally wasted in this, much to my disappointment. It's a decent set-up for a character not many people outside of comic books may know, but it could have been better. But at least it's a fun watch and succeeds on what it mostly needs to do, making it a recommendation for anyone who enjoys these type of films.



SCORE
3 Howls Outta 4



7.31.2015

Midnight Confessions Ep. 69: "The Passion of the Voorhees"






Summer Slashfest continues as does our look at the FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise. This week we look at FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER (1984), FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING (1985) and JASON LIVES: FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI (1986).









 


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7.26.2015

The Midnight Confessions Movie Show #7: Escape From Galaxy 3 (1981)


Welcome to episode No. 7 of Midnight Confessions Movie Show. Join Rev. Phantom, Moronic Mark and I as we talk over the sci-fi abortion known as, ESCAPE FROM GALAXY 3 (aka STARCRASH 2).

This movie has it all: stupid costumes, christmas lights, things that go pe-too pe-too, things that go wheeeeerrrrr, things that explode, things that fly by the screen really fast so you can’t see how much of a cheap effect it is, awkward sex, a race war apparently, people that really need to wear pants, a song where a woman that bellows “I love yooooooooooo” and much much more.

IMDb says this film is about:
The crew of a space ship confronts an evil (and fabulous) galactic ruler out to rule the universe.




Hey, did you know we have a podcast? Because of course we do. Be sure to check out the Midnight Confessions Podcast...

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7.25.2015

The B-Movie Bungalow Presents - Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015)

DIRECTED BY
Anthony C. Ferrante

STARRING
Ian Ziering - Finley Allen "Fin" Shepard
Tara Reid - April Dawn Wexler Shepard
Cassie Scerbo - Nova Clarke
David Hasselhoff - Gilbert Grayson "Gil" Shepard
Bo Derek - May Wexler
Frankie Muniz - Lucas Stevens
Ryan Newman - Claudia Shepard
Jack Griffo - Billy


Genre
- Science Fiction/B-Movie/Bad Animals/Sharks

Running Time - 95 Minutes


PLOT
After the events of SHARKNADO 2 in New York City, Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) is considered a national hero in the eyes of the public. He travels to Washington D.C. to receive an honor called the "Order of the Golden Chainsaw" from the President of the United States (Mark Cuban). During the celebration, another shark storm arrives, almost taking out the entire government before stopping itself within the clouds. Reuniting with his ex-girlfriend Nova (Cassie Scerbo) - who is still traumatized by the events of being swallowed by a shark in the first SHARKNADO - they realize that the sharks adapted to living in the sky by eating birds, creating storms to feed their hunger. They soon learn that the sharks are attacking the entire East Coast, especially Florida where his pregnant wife April (Tara Reid), her mom (Bo Derek) and his daughter (Ryan Newman) are vacationing. With the help of his estranged dad (David Hasselhoff), Fin must go beyond the skies to stop this Sharknado from turning into a Sharkacane that will wipe out most of the population.


REVIEW



Another year, another SHARKNADO film. While SHARKNADO 3: OH HELL NO! didn't beat the ratings set by SHARKNADO 2 last year [it still beat the ratings of the first film however], it's always nice to see this stupid franchise give us a new adventure even if the premise is wearing itself thin at this point. But luckily, I still felt SHARKNADO 3 worked better than it should have, even though the idea of a SHARKNADO 4 makes you wonder what else they can do in this franchise.

STORY
Screenplay - To get into detail about the story would be repeating myself for the third time in three years. If you've seen both SHARKNADO films, you know what to expect when it comes to the story, the dialogue, and the three-act structure. It's still stupid. It still doesn't make sense besides the idea of "Because Science". And the dialogue still winks at the audience and lets you know that the franchise understands what it is, and has no shame in living in its own truth. While many are negative on these films, I do respect SHARKNADO for embracing what it is, even if the attempt to become a cult franchise is highly intentional.

Unlike the last film, however, I thought the screenplay did drag in parts - especially during the middle portion of the film. There's a lot of exposition here, with characters talking about the situation in a pretty bland manner. There's a lot of new characters that aren't all that interesting really who end up kind of important by the film's end. The only time the middle act works is when the shark start attacking celebrity cameos. And the Frankie Muniz death scene was probably the best part of this portion, only because the Malcolm in the Middle actor ended up just a middle without limbs. The second act needed more clever moments like that to maintain the flow.

At least the opening and closing acts are well written and memorable. The first act involves Fin at the White House, saving the government from a Sharknado hitting Washington D.C. Giving him a Golden Chainsaw was cute, as well as having Ann Coulter be the Madame Vice President [too bad she didn't bite it] and Mark Cuban as the President. And Lou Ferringno, playing a bodyguard who tells people that they wouldn't like him when he's angry is some funny stuff. There's a lot of Americana in the first act, but it doesn't really take it all that seriously, which I liked. Some films hit you over the head with patriotism, but SHARKNADO 3 is being silly with it - as if the filmmakers are saying Americans are stupid enough to enjoy B-movie schlock like this with a wink and smile.

The last act is even more crazy, with the gang going into space to fight off these sharks. I don't know where you can go after that, but it was a ton of fun to watch. And seeing a just-born baby rip himself out of a shark that has crashed on Earth is just amusing. And why was Anthony Weiner running NASA? I guess a space shuttle is a metaphor for his penis. Who said sexting could ruin your career?

I also loved the return of Nova to the franchise. We hadn't seen her since the first film, and I thought her traumatic behavior towards the storms was believable and a good character arc. She had some nice tension with Fin and April, considering she has feelings for Fin. Plus she's totally hot and bad ass, so I have no qualms with her return. And I did enjoy Frankie Muniz's character, especially when he says, "Could be worse. Could be zombies." - almost making fun of SyFy's Z-Nation show and the fact SyFy makes a bunch of crappy zombie films as well. So I appreciated the network making fun of itself as well.

Plus the Today Show segments return in all their seriousness, which adds the surrealistic tone. I'll never forget the term "The Feast Coast." And the structure that the first SHARKNADO started still manages to work in the third one, even though you can see how tired and uninspired it's starting to become. It's not a great script, but it manages to build on the story and continue to show how illogical this whole premise is. If you're expecting intelligence in SHARKNADO 3, you're watching the wrong film.

Direction - Anthony C. Ferrante returns for the third time behind the lens. I thought his direction was on par with the first film, but not really with the second. I felt the second film had more energy and momentum, with things constantly happening to create a more fun atmosphere. I felt Ferrante attempted to have moments that were trying to build character development or relationships between characters more often than not, which ruined the flow for me. Yes, we should care about characters. But these quieter moments should be more interesting and not feel pointless by film's end. The film worked a lot better when the sharks were creating chaos.


I also felt that Ferrante had too many locations to focus on at once. We have characters in D.C. We have characters in Florida. We have the Today Show. We have NASA. We have the space stuff. SHARKNADO 2's strength was keeping the story in New York City, allowing the city to be its own character to enhance the situations the story provided. SHARKNADO 3 felt too scatterbrain for me. Besides the water park stuff, the Florida scenes were just "meh". I felt the space stuff could have been its own film, even though Ferrante shoots it well. I just thought there was a lot going on, which made the film feel a bit disjointed.

Other than that, the editing was good. The CGI remained consistent with the last film. The picture quality was probably an improvement. And the little touches, like the James Bond opening and the animated opening credits, really showed some inspiration in terms of visual presentation. And when the action is on-screen, the film really works and puts a smile on your face. So for the most part, Ferrante does a decent job. I think the script let him down a bit because they crammed a ton of stuff within 90 minutes that could have been saved for a later sequel.

Acting - Again, not the greatest acting in the world. Ian Ziering is still playing it as straight as ever, and it works. Tara Reid is still terrible in these films. I hope the viewers chose the right hashtag when it comes to the April character [#AprilDies]. Cassie Scerbo returns, and she has her moments. She did have a moment where she was acting upset after someone's death that ended up being unintentionally hysterical, so there's that. Frankie Muniz had a great death scene and nice to see him still working. Bo Derek looks great, but doesn't add much. David Hasselhoff is fun to watch as Fin's dad. Plus all the cameos, including Mark Cuban, Chris Jericho, the Today Show hosts, and Lou Ferringno were a lot of fun. It's a good cast as usual for this type of movie.

 

VIOLENCE
SHARKNADO 3 is a bit less violent than the other two films, but it still has some good stuff. Sharks still squash people. People get bit in the ass. Sharks bite heads off. Frankie Muniz gets his limbs chomped off, before blowing himself up. Gun play, chainsaw play, and sword play is at hand. We get a shark on a rollercoaster track killing folks. It's nothing you haven't seen in this franchise, but it's probably still the best part of this sequel.


SEX
Unlike SHARKNADO 2, which took place during a cooler climate, SHARKNADO 3 does show some flesh for both men and women. You get Cassie Scerbo is a hot bikini that leaves little to the imagination. And Ian Ziering defies his 50-years of age by wearing just boxer briefs, showing off his worked out bod. It's a pretty tame film other than that, but it's something.


CHEESE FACTOR
SHARKNADO 3 goes into space by the film's end. And Ann Coulter with any sort of political power? It doesn't get cheesier than that.


THE FINAL HOWL

SHARKNADO 3: OH HELL NO! continues the fun that the franchise provides, although it's wearing pretty thin by this installment. I felt the film started off strong, sort of meandered in the middle unfortunately, but came back strong and bonkers by the film's end. The acting is what it is. The direction, for the most part, maintains the feel of the other two films. And the cameos are still the highlights of these movies. SHARKNADO 3 won't change anyone's mind about this franchise, whether you enjoy these movies or not, still maintaining a high level of stupidity that will make you smile and chuckle for 90 minutes. I still feel SHARKNADO 2 was the "best" film of the three, but SHARKNADO 3 still has enough bite to work.

Sharks...in space. SHARKS IN SPACE. Where do they go from here?




SCORE
3 Howls Outta 4



Midnight Confessions Ep. 68: "The Friday the 13th Franchise Part 1"





Our Summer Slashfest continues as the MC Crew dive into Crystal Lake head first. Yes, we are reviewing the whole F13 franchise (in 4 part series) starting with FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980), FRIDAY THE 13TH PART II (1981) and FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3{D} (1982).








 


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7.22.2015

Grave Encounters (2011)

DIRECTED BY
The Vicious Brothers (Collin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz)

STARRING
Sean Rogerson - Lance Preston
Ashleigh Gryzko - Sasha Parker
Merwin Mondesir - T.C. Gibson
Mackenzie Gray - Houston Grey
Juan Riedinger - Matt White
Arthur Corber - Dr. Arthur Friedkin


Genre - Horror/Supernatural/Ghosts/Found Footage

Running Time - 95 Minutes


PLOT
A very popular ghost hunting show [called "Grave Encounters"] has had something terrible happen during its production, with the crew never being heard from again. Luckily, there's video footage of the final night the crew was known to exist - shown to audiences b the show's producer who claims the footage is unedited and uncensored. We're shown Lance Preston (Sean Rogerson), the host of "Grave Encounters", and the rest of his crew filming inside a Maryland asylum with a creepy history of doctors being murdered by their patients when they learned of the lobotomies the doctors had performed frequently. While Lance and his crew plan on falsifying certain aspects of the story for ratings, they soon learn that the asylum is indeed haunted - locking them overnight and proving to them that ghosts are very real.

REVIEW

As many of you know, I'm not a big fan of found footage films. Some of them have their place and use the concept well. Others are made just because they don't cost much to make and it's used as a business strategy to make an easy profit. Usually, I tend to avoid found footage films because they all feel the same and kind of insult me as a viewer. But surprise surprise - 2011's GRAVE ENCOUNTERS [which I watched since it was expiring on Netflix Instant at the time] kept my interest as a pretty decent found footage movie that, while derivative, used the medium to its advantage.

I think it's clever to use the whole 'paranormal hunting show' as the background to a found footage film. I've never really been interested in any of these kind of shows, pretty much feeling that most of them are fabricated to create tension and drama for ratings. I do believe ghosts exist, but not on any of these paranormal shows. GRAVE ENCOUNTERS isn't the first to use this concept, but it's one of the few that does it right for the most part. The script never tries to fool us in believing that the crew of Grave Encounters are legit. The host pretty much confirms that most of the stuff shown are things the crew has planted to create interest. Hell, the psychic in their group is proven to be an actor. When things go awry, host Lance Preston thinks the cast and crew are trying to scare him for the viewer's sake, not realizing that they really did stumble into a haunted asylum that doesn't play games with trespassers.

The only real issue I have with the script is that the characters aren't exactly fleshed out all that much. Lance gets development since we're following him through this ordeal for most of the running time, but the others just feel like token archetypes that every horror film must fill to exist. While better characterization would have created more sympathy, drama, or tension, GRAVE ENCOUNTERS isn't really about the characters. It's about the situation they're in and how their "fooling the audience" tactics have turned on them when they're dealing with some angry spirits. The story is really about the loss of skepticism and believing in things once it's too late. The ride is seeing these characters pay for their ignorance one by one until the end, which honestly isn't all that great and feels ripped off by other found footage films. It just doesn't really add anything new to the sub-genre, with the last half hitting every single beat you'd expect from a film like this. But you're still curious as to how all will pan out, which is more than I can say for other found footage movies.

GRAVE ENCOUNTERS greatest strength is the direction by the Vicious Brothers. Any sort of insane asylum gives me the chills, and the idea to have to stay overnight in one isn't a pleasant thought. But for the most part, the Vicious Brothers use the setting to their advantage, creating a psuedo HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL vibe where evil spirits make skeptics into believers. The last half of the film, in particular, uses some neat camera tricks and visual ideas that play with your head to create some great tension and suspense. The presentation of having hallways change on the characters, open exits that turn into dead ends, and other rooms that don't seem as they appear is really well done. The pacing is pretty solid for the most part, and the use of the cameras to create a found footage effect works greatly for this type of premise. I did have issues with the CGI ghost effects, that look like J-horror rejects at times, but what can you do? And the film really isn't all that memorable really, unlike other found footage films [THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY] that have created moments that have stuck with audiences for better or for worse. A lot of the things that have been done in GRAVE ENCOUNTERS seem a bit old hat by this point, and get somewhat old as they're presented throughout the film.

My issue with found footage flicks is that the concept is usually unwarranted - only being done in order to make a low budget film for a higher profit. There's no heart and soul with these kind of films. But GRAVE ENCOUNTERS has that because Minihan and Ortiz have style, a sense of location and presentation, and a desire to create a genuinely creepy movie through cheap camera work. And for the most part, it works.

The acting is pretty solid for the most part. I thought Sean Rogerson as Lance Preston was the glue that held the film together. He does a great job playing a paranormal host who is immediately presented as a fake from the start, turning into a terrified believer by the end of the film. Honestly, he's the only actor in the film that really has a fleshed out character to play around with. The other actors play certain archetypes - the silly camera guys, the fake psychic who plays a real one on television, some cute girls - but none of them really stand out as much as Rogerson. But they all play their parts well enough. Nothing in this department will wow anyone, but it's competent considering the material.

THE FINAL HOWL
GRAVE ENCOUNTERS is one of the better found-footage horror films I've seen. While it's pretty unoriginal and the CGI ghosts are kind of distracting and lame at times, the premise of a ghost hunting show turned on its head is very interesting and worthy of the sub-genre it's a part of. The acting, especially by lead actor Sean Rogerson, is pretty solid. The direction by the Vicious Brothers have dynamic style and some great moments of visual presentation, especially in the last half of the film. And while the characters could have been better and certain plot elements could have been more interesting, the premise creates an interesting arc that makes you invested in how it'll end up by the film's conclusion. While nothing in GRAVE ENCOUNTERS is as memorable as anything in THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT or PARANORMAL ACTIVITY [for better or for worse], the film is still a worthy watch if you have 90 minutes to spare.



SCORE
3 Howls Outta 4



7.18.2015

Midnight Confessions Ep. 67: "Deep in the Woods, No One Can Hear You Complain"





This week the MC Crew go deep...in the woods for some backwoods slashers; JUST BEFORE DAWN (1981) and THE FINAL TERROR (1983).















 


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7.15.2015

Shelter [a.k.a. 6 Souls] (2010/2013)

DIRECTED BY
Måns Mårlind & Björn Stein

STARRING
Julianne Moore - Cara Harding-Jessup
Jonathan Rhys Meyers - David/ Adam/ Wesley
Jeffrey DeMunn - Dr. Harding
Frances Conroy - Mrs. Bernburg
Nathan Corddry - Stephen Harding
Brooklynn Prouix - Sammy Jessup


Genre: Horror/Thriller/Supernatural

Running Time: 112 Minutes


PLOT
Dr. Cara Harding (Julianne Moore) is a respected psychologist who is dealing with the devastating loss of her husband, which has caused her to lose faith in many things. One of these things is the belief in the idea of a "multiple personality disorder" - something Cara believes is a fabrication of a guilty party who needs to justify his or her actions. Her father (Jeffrey DeMunn), also a psychologist, wants to prove Cara wrong by presenting the case of David Bernburg (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). David is a paralyzed young Southern man who seems quiet and shy, due to being raised in a God-fearing household. However when David receives a random phone call for Adam, he changes personalities quickly, becoming a more confident and confrontational character - who also happens can rise from a wheelchair and walk.

After a while, Cara starts to slowly believe that Adam is the body's "host" to create other personalities to protect itself from trauma. As she investigates the case further, however, Cara realizes that Adam's mental illness may be more supernatural than anyone could have possibly imagined.


REVIEW

6 SOULS, also known as SHELTER, is a weird film that does as much right as it does wrong. While the film contains some interesting and oddly memorable ideas, Michael Cooney [who wrote the two JACK FROST films - yes, the one with the rapey snowman - and 2003's underrated IDENTITY] has no idea how to keep them cohesive for a full length feature. Honestly, I was never sure what 6 SOULS wanted to be as a film. It starts out as a psychological thriller - and a good one at that - gripping you right from the start when it comes to the idea of whether multiple personality disorders truly exist or not from Cara's perspective. The first act works because you can tell Cooney did his homework, giving tension to the story as characters truly see random triggers transform a quiet young man into a dangerous, cocky bastard in a flick of a switch. Not only does it captivate you, but 6 SOULS [at this point] puts you in the eyes of a skeptic who slowly believes in this mental disorder, even if modern psychology sometimes tries to discredit it as "acting". You're invested in the mystery and what to know whether this David character is legit or not.

As the mystery unravels, however, 6 SOULS becomes a drag and feels derivative of other thrillers/horror films that came before it. Learning that David Bernburg is a real person that looks nothing like David is an interesting twist. But then we start to learn what's really going on, destroying this interest when we find out that 6 SOULS is really a film about body possession that becomes massively convoluted without much explanation as to why people are being possessed by certain souls to begin with. This just left me confused as to what I was watching - and why a perfectly fine thriller about a serial killer with a multiple-personality disorder turns into a formulaic supernatural film that leaves you with more questions than answers. 6 SOULS feels like two different films that don't work together, rather than complimenting each other. And don't even get me started on the dumb conclusion. Ugh.

Luckily, the technical stuff is pretty darn good. Mårlind and Stein, who would later direct UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING, do well in terms of visuals and pacing, even if the script is disjointed. They have a great sense of sound design to create a couple of jump scares that don't feel all that cheap. It's nothing spectacular or anything, but the direction keeps the film afloat when the story goes to sink it.

The acting is above average. Julianne Moore is decent as the skeptical Cara, although she can pretty much sleepwalk through this kind of role. Jeffrey DeMunn gets less to do, but is dependable as Cara's father. But Jonathan Rhys Meyers gets a ton of material to chew on as David and his other personalities. I thought he was very convincing as a man who suffered from multiple personalities, shifting mannerisms and accents with each one. Honestly, Meyers is the best part of 6 SOULS, making me sit through the entire thing.

THE FINAL HOWL

6 SOULS is a mixed bag. It starts off strong, but limps towards the finish line with an unnecessarily convoluted storyline about soul possession, rather than sticking with a more interesting multiple personality disorder theme. But the visuals are quite good and the cast makes most of the material work well enough to keep you watching. 6 SOULS should have been worth the full monty, but it's only worth 3 souls at most.



SCORE
2 Howls Outta 4




7.12.2015

The Midnight Confessions Movie Show #6: Night Fright (1967)





Welcome to episode No. 6 of Midnight Confessions Movie Show. Join Rev. Phantom, Moronic Mark and myself as we talk over one of the worst movies of all time, NIGHT FRIGHT. [Not to be confused with FRIGHT NIGHT, that really good vampire flick from the 80's]. This movie has it all: hair helmets, parking, driving, middle-aged teenagers, a framed cock, three-point turns, waiting, more driving, more parking, a bald-headed gorilla doing the Humpty Hump, people with orange skin, people with red skin, white people trying to dance, French Stewart, more driving, more waiting, even more waiting and well...that’s about it.


IMDb says this film is about:
A government space experiment into the effects of cosmic rays on animal life goes horribly wrong, creating a mutant monster that terrorizes a rural community [...by doing the Humpty Dance].




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7.10.2015

Midnight Confessions Episode 66: "Summer Slashfest '15 Part II"





The MC Crew, along with special guest Amanda, take a look at two slasher classics: PIECES (1982) and THE DORM THAT DRIPPED BLOOD (1982). Plus the Top 5 'American-Made 80's Slashers'.














 


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