It (1990) – Review

It_1990_Promotional_PosterI think most people are probably familiar with the basic idea of It, in the same way that everyone understands generally how Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees operates. Essentially, the town of Derry is home to a fear-eating monster that often disguises itself as a clown.

The story is split over two time periods – one in which a group of outcast children are hunted by the monster, and one years later in which the outcast children, now adults, return to Derry to deal with the monster again. As you might imagine, it’s quite a long book.

The 1990 miniseries was an attempt to take the massive and complex story of It and distill it down to a three-hour running time. It was reasonably successful.

Continue reading “It (1990) – Review”

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Prom Night (2008) – Review

eRPTpsgnCG4o9ByRVrv7bL5gzHrThree years ago, Donna watched from hiding as an obsessed stalker murdered her family. But that’s all in the past now – the killer is safely locked in an asylum, and Donna has started to move on with her life. She has a new home, a new boyfriend, and the nightmares have mostly stopped.

Now it’s  her senior prom, and Donna isn’t going to let any thoughts of the past ruin what should be a wonderful night. But, as you might have already guessed, something terrible has happened; her stalker has escaped from the asylum and is on his way to finally claim her. Also, he’s going to kill a bunch of people. Continue reading “Prom Night (2008) – Review”

Unfriended (2014) – Review

hfEBlhvVWFt61EWjNbjlKdDilBI-0-230-0-345-cropUnfriended is about a group of teenagers with a dark secret who are being hunted by a mysterious killer. Slowly, the truth about what really happened all those years ago is revealed,  and at the same time characters are murdered one by one. It’s the standard slasher plotline, the same one that appears in Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and countless other films of variable quality.

To be fair though, Unfriended does attempt to break the mould and do something new(ish). This is not a normal slasher film; this is a modern, high-tech slasher for the digital age, for people with four different web-capable devices and a Google+ account. Continue reading “Unfriended (2014) – Review”

Mindhunters (2004) – Review

mindhuntersMindhunters has a stupid title. It would be a weak title for a film about predatory psychics, and that’s not even what this film is about. The two words in the portmanteau do have relevance to the plot, but you could make an equally strong argument for almost any pair – Clockwatchers, Stringpullers and Dummystreet are all just as valid. They may actually have picked the title from a hat filled with relevant words.

It’s called Mindhunters because it’s about FBI profilers who try and track serial killers by understanding their minds. The basic idea should be familiar to anyone who has watched television in the last twenty years. Unlike every other show or film based around these profilers, Mindhunters takes an indirect approach to the whole idea of profiling. Continue reading “Mindhunters (2004) – Review”

Zootropolis (2016) – Review

ZOOTROPOLIS_TEASER_UKHundreds of years ago, mammals overcame their instincts. Predators and prey stopped feeding on and fleeing from each other (respectively), and started working together. Now, Zootropolis is the centre of a new world, in which mammals of all dietary preferences live and work together in harmony.

Judy Hopps is a rabbit with a dream. In a civilisation founded on (in theory) the principle that no one is limited by their biology, she wants to be a cop. The police of Zootropolis tend to be predators, or very large – bison, rhinos, elephants. A bunny doesn’t really fit in.

She has to deal with prejudice, gruelling physical trials, and disillusionment as she works to track down a missing otter. Her only (reluctant) ally is a small-time fox criminal who would much rather be anywhere else. It’s the perfect set-up for a buddy cop film. Just with animals. Continue reading “Zootropolis (2016) – Review”

Captain America: Civil War (2016) – Review

Civil_War_Final_PosterSet after the events of Avengers: Age of UltronCaptain America: Civil War shows a world in which the civilian population has suffered catastrophe after catastrophe. Alien invasions, plummeting cities, general super-powered destruction and death.

In order to deal with growing public outrage at collateral damage, the UN takes control of the Avengers. Those who sign up can only intervene in situations when instructed. Those who refuse to sign are arrested, or forced to retire.

Captain America (and friends) end up on the other side from Iron Man (and different friends). While they fight over philosophical differences, future Nazis search for cryogenically-frozen super-soldiers.

Continue reading “Captain America: Civil War (2016) – Review”

Daybreakers (2010) – Review

daybreakers_posterI didn’t intend to watch Daybreakers. I was looking for a slasher film I hadn’t seen before, and found this film instead. It looked like a schlocky vampire film, and I thought that would scratch the same itch.

That’s not what Daybreakers is. Rather than being a fun, campy b-movie in the vein of Van Helsing or UnderworldDaybreakers is a surprisingly complex and polished film.

The film takes place in a world run by and for vampires. All houses and cars are fitted with shutters against the sunlight; walkways and tunnels connect all the buildings. Unturned humans are an increasingly small, hunted minority. When they are caught, they are farmed for their blood. Continue reading “Daybreakers (2010) – Review”