Fantasia Festival 2018: Our House (World Premiere 2018)

Our House (2018)

Our House

Director: Anthony Scott Burns

Cast: Thomas Mann, Nicola Peltz, Percy Hynes White, Kate Moyer, Lucius Hoyos

A young genius accidentally invents a device that amplifies the paranormal activity within his family’s house, possibly bringing back the spirits of loved ones, and unleashing things far worse. – IMDB

Our House is based on the 2010 microbudget independent film Phasma Ex Machina directed by Matt Osterman. While I haven’t seen the film that this is based on, Our House is said to have changed its focus and reimagined differently by director Anthony Scott Burns, to focus on a young man dealing with trauma and tragedy. Looking at the description, Our House seems like it has quite the potential to be a lot of the same but still have room to have its own potential. Sometimes films can be surprising and no one really can know what they get into especially when going into a movie presented at Fantasia Film Festival. Disappointingly, Our House actually is just another cliche and predictable horror film that falls into a lot of trope-y territory that makes its audience spend a lot of time doing things that have already been done before, sometimes in a more effective way.

Our House

Perhaps, a correction here because the film spends at least half (if not more), on building the drama in the family and healing after the parents get into an accident and pass away, changing the course of the main character, a young man called Ethan (Thomas Mann) as he leaves his promising education at MIT, distance from his beautiful girlfriend Hannah (Nicola Peltz) and go back home to work as a cashier to take care of his younger brother Matt (Percy Hynes White) and little sister Becca (Kate Moyer). In these parts, the story takes time to build up the dynamic and status of the characters however, the horror bits here are the familiar trails of black smoke or children seeing spirits and having it mistaken for imaginary friends and such. There is no doubt that the final act is quite atmospheric and works in a jumpscare way but it still falls a lot into the generic horror with predictable scares around the corner. Smoky figures and predictable moments of when they do something malicious will always be timed exactly as you expected. If you want almost all the scary bits, the trailer pretty much highlights a lot of those moments, however if you do plan on catching this one, you will do well to avoid it at all costs.

Our House

The redeeming part of Our House goes to its young cast. A few of them are familiar faces like Thomas Mann who did Kong: Skull Island and Nicola Peltz from Transformers: Age of Extinction. For what this script does, everyone delivers some great acting. Thomas Mann has taken on some interesting projects. While he has done horror before, this one is one of the more engaging roles he has been in. Playing his younger siblings, Percy Hynes White and Kate Moyer also do quite a decent job as their characters are written to show a different connection that they have with their brother, creating the riff in their relationship. They have their unreasonable moments but these moments match their characters and reactions very well.

Our House

Our House has some nice ideas and maybe the source material that inspired it had great reviews but disappointingly, it just didn’t quite hit the horror elements here. It was generic and predictable with so many horror tropes in the small amount of horror scenes that were actually happening on screen. Even with an great cast, there was no saving this one from being somewhat of a lackluster horror movie experience. What made it even worse was the “twist” ending that everyone saw coming a mile away. Perhaps it might satisfy the entry-level horror viewers but for horror genre veterans, it is too much of the same.

If you do want to catch Our House in theatres, it will be shown in theatres starting next week in selected theatres and will be available on VOD.

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

I’m not one of those opening day movie goers.  Not because I don’t want to, I just don’t really like the crowds but a few of my friends have been wanting to see this as much as I’ve wanted to so one of them used his coupons and booked us some seats at the VIP cinema.  Its a pretty luxurious cinema experience limited to adults only and you can eat with a little table, more comfy seats for a more expensive price.  Either way, we all got some food, our drinks and sat back to what we shortly before the movie started learned an almost 3 hour movie.  All I hoped in my mind when it started was the the dinobots would kick some ass.

I don’t usually post revews on the weekend but I just wanted to enjoy being the first few to catch a movie on opening weekend. Lets check it out! 😉

Transformers Age of ExtinctionDirector: Michael Bay

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Nicola Peltz, Kelsey Grammar, Jack Reynor, Sophia Myles, Bingbing Li

Picking up after the last epic battle in Chicago, the world is stricken with fear with the robots in general and the government has decided to not be in line with any robots regardless of which side they stand.  As they pick up their pieces, in Texas, Cade Yaeger (Mark Wahlberg) and his teenage daughter, Tessa (Nicola Peltz) try to live their lives struggling to pay their bills and keep afloat financially. Thats when he finds a broken truck which turns out to be a damaged Optimus Prime.  He decides to try to fix him while the black ops (I think) tracks them and wants to neutralize Optimus.  With Tess’s secret boyfriend Shane (Jack Reynor), they struggle to escape while helping the Autobots reunite and find out who is trying to destroy them.

Transformers Age of Extinction

Referring back to my opening paragraph, it seems that I had very low expectations.  The fact is after the garbage presented in Transformers 2 & 3, I wasn’t too confident about how this one would turn out. However, I had hopes because one, Shia LaBeouf wasn’t part of this anymore and it was replaced with the much more competent Mark Wahlberg and there was dinobots.  Plus, with Michael Bay, there is a certain level of dumb, over the top, CGI-y, explosions and action going on.  Pretty much defines an action movie that is simply enjoyable without having to think much.

Transformers Age of Extinction

As I’m writing this out, I just got out of the movie less than 4 hours ago.  Transformers was everything that I expected it to be and maybe it even gave me hopes of it keeping that quality for following movies.  Sure, there was some cheesy and rather laughable moments that kind of gave me a few shake my head and face-palm moments, like for example, the slow motion low angle shooting the agents coming in with their jackets flapping in the wind or deliberately making Tessa and her short shorts walking slow pace.  Not to mention, the movie was ridiculously long and at about 90 minutes in, I almost felt like it was losing steam.  However, it did come back with some more action as usual.

Transformers Age of Extinction

Lets just say that Michael Bay keeps his signature Michael Bay stuff and this movie is more in line with the enjoyment level I had for the first one and might even have surpassed it.  One of those reasons goes to Mark Wahlberg.  I like Wahlberg a lot.  Seriously, the man is very many.  Like he has a very likable appearance and his acting is pretty good.  I’ve enjoyed a lot of the movies that he has been in and no, I haven’t seen The Happening so I can’t comment. I felt like he brought a lot more than anything that Shia Lebeouf could offer in the previous instalments.  Plus, Wahlberg is diversified as an actor.  He can bring a bit of humor and do good in action and that really is needed in this role.

Transformers Age of Extinction

I’m going to go straight out and say that the cast really impressed me.  I love Stanley Tucci and the man is kick ass funny and just great.  I haven’t dived much into his character but he does have a pretty key role as he ends up stuck with Cade and group as they escape from their many dangers.  Along with that, we have Kelsey Grammar as the second line bad guy.  I kind of found his character annoying but that makes sense seeing as that was the role he was given.  I spent the whole movie trying to figure out where I saw Nicola Peltz and realized as the IMDB page was loading that she was in Bates Motel.  I’m not exactly sure that I like her as an actress or I just didn’t really like it always giving the girls a stupid roles and lines, although I do like her more than Megan Fox. Plus, there’s a smaller role for Sophia Myles who is the main girl in the series Moonlight (that I love although it only had one season).

Transformers Age of Extinction

On the other side of things, in the trailers you see it anyways, which was also a highlight for me is bringing in the whole Hong Kong scene.  For one, there was a few cameos from known actors in the Hong Kong and China entertainment. Then, my friend and I had a bet before of who can identify which buildings were real and which were CGI. While we are talking about this, Bingbing Li has a little role in this one.  I had to add a picture of her just because I believe Mikey@Screenkicker told me he has a thing for Asian girls so here’s a picture for him. She is better than Ziyi Zhang 😉 Plus, she’s an actress that I’m slowly liking more and more.

transformers-age-of-extinction-li-bingbing

If you haven’t liked the previous Transformers, I’m going to say that you probably won’t like this one either and I’d say to just back away from it.  You get exactly what you’d expect from a Michael Bay movie and thats an over the top summer blockbuster which is a tad dumb, and over the top with action and explosion. The only difference that gives it a little edge is that it doesn’t take itself seriously and for that, I can sit down and watch this and have a great laugh.  Plus, I really dig this cast and the Chinese actor cameos. Mark Wahlberg brings something fresh to the whole equation and the dinobots kicked serious butt even if they weren’t there for too long.  The Transformers themselves made the movie great as well.

I had a lot of fun with this one.  Its not a masterpiece and I hope that you don’t walk in expecting it to be.  How I feel for this one pretty much measures up to why and how I love silly movies like Resident Evil Retribution and The Expendables.  There’s going to be lots of criticisms about this one.  I’m pretty sure about that but hey, what counts in the end to have fun and I definitely did 🙂

Have you seen Transformers 4? Do you intend to? What are your thoughts on Mark Wahlberg?