Double Feature: Monster Hunter (2020) & The Witches (2020)

Welcome to the next double feature! Its been a while since we’ve done one of these! This time, I’m going to talk about two movie rentals that I’ve watch lately of 2020 movies. The first is Monster Hunter, a 2020’s video game adaptation directed by Paul W. S. Anderson and the second is The Witches a 2020’s Roald Dahl adaptation of a novel of the same name. Thinking about these two movies, I feel like they do pair up well as its two directors with films that really fall in line with the style of films that they are known for. Let’s check it out!

Monster Hunter (2020)

Director (and writer): Paul W.S. Anderson

Cast: Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa, Ron Perlman, T.I., Diego Boneta, Meagan Good, Josh Helman, Jin Au-Yeung, Hirona Yamazaki

When Lt. Artemis and her loyal soldiers are transported to a new world, they engage in a desperate battle for survival against enormous enemies with incredible powers. Feature film based on the video game by Capcom. – IMDB

At this point, whether for better or worse, Paul W.S. Anderson is known for his video game adaptations. Of course, mostly everyone remembers Resident Evil series in particular. He has however done a few other ones and never shies away from adapting video games that he loves but Anderson is much more than Resident Evil and has shown that he has his own directorial style and trademarks. How do I know? Well..an entire season of Movies and Tea Podcast as a retrospective on his work would do it. How about that, eh? A shameless plug for another project where you can check out HERE. With that said, being relatively supportive of Anderson’s work despite his shortcomings and being absolutely unfamiliar with Monster Hunter games in general, I decided to give Monster Hunter a shot and if you are familiar with Anderson’s work, it pretty much will be fairly enjoyable.

Starting with some positives as a complete newbie to this world. Monster Hunter does create a wonderful visual element for this dangerous world that the soldiers end up where every surface has its own monsters hidden from plain sight. Being a creature feature fan, monsters are pretty much a fun element of any movie when well-designed. That makes this world building and creature design all the more engaging to be watching especially with the bird’s eye view shots that Anderson is especially known for and being able to showcase architecture really well which definitely comes into play here with the surroundings. Being fans of Milla Jovovich and Ron Perlman, this was also quite the treat. Plus, a few other supporting characters which were fairly smaller characters. However, the character developed on all fronts were pretty thin overall.

With that said, the shortcomings of the film are fairly more apparent. From the action standpoint, a lot of the fighting choreography cuts away quite a lot so its not too engaging to watch. As mentioned before, the main plot is pretty thin. That does have to do maybe with the whole open world game that it adapts itself from so the story is straightforward but feels somewhat bland, which leads to my previous point about the characters also being poorly written as well.

With that said, the film is pretty below average. As a one time watch and turn off your brain sort of video game adaptation, its still fairly enjoyable since I do enjoy the world building in movies and visually, the world is shown so very nice. However, in substance, its rather lacking overall. The one takeaway I did have from this is that I’d really like to try out a Monster Hunter game soon.

The Witches (2020)

Director (and screenplay co-writer): Robert Zemeckis

Cast: Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Chris Rock, Jahzir Bruno, Brian Bovell, Josette Simon

A young boy and his grandmother have a run-in with a coven of witches and their leader. – IMDB

I’ve read some Roald Dahl when I was younger and while I feel like I’ve read The Witches, I can’t exactly be sure so we’re going into this pretty much saying that I haven’t read the novel or have seen the first adaptation back in the 90s. Robert Zemeckis is a great director to be adapting a film like The Witches. The story itself and the fantasy elements all make some wonderful fun but with a little darker twist. Plus, the CGI work here is on point which of course can all be expected with past directorial works by Robert Zemeckis.

The Witches is a really cool story about witches versus humans to a certain extent. Well, its more about the witches despise towards children and wanting to execute a huge plot to change them all into rodents. Why rodents? Because they are hated by humans as well and probably will be killed anyways. At least that’s my interpretation from the whole thing. When a grandmother and his grandson tries to run away to a hotel to get away from the witch they believe are bothering them, they end up realizing they are staying in the exact location of a disguised witch coven meeting. When the grandson gets caught, he gets turned into a mouse along with another English kid and then realizes his pet mouse is also one of the witches’ victims. All three of them with the help of their grandma try to stop this plot. The story is so fun to play out especially as every element is done so well especially with the design of the witch as their masked human appearances get reveal to their true form and that’s where the CGI comes into play to make the appearance a tad creepy but still having some silly moments to keep it in line as a family film (or at least I think its a family film. Correct me if I’m wrong in the comments, okay?)

A lot of what makes this movie is fun is the cast. The Witch Leader is played by Anne Hathaway which is pretty fun overall as she captures the character in an entertaining way. It does feel like she loses the accent in some parts of the dialogue but overall, she carries it well enough. The grandmother is played by Octavia Spencer who is one of my favorite actresses ever since seeing her in The Help and then every role she does is just so amazing, no matter what it is. The film overall is narrated by Chris Rock as the older version of the grandson as he recounts the story of his encounter with the witches. Stanley Tucci appears also in supporting role but personally, I love seeing him appear in random roles in so many movies. He is such an underrated actor especially with the diversity of roles he has portrayed over the years. The kids are pretty good as well but the core of their role is in voice acting when they get turned into mice and the whole thing is pretty exciting with a little bit of tension.

The Witches is a fun little family children romp. Its not for very young children, I’d think as the witches are pretty creepy in appearance even if some of it for adults might come off as being silly. The film is done pretty well and has its exciting bits and the CGI is done so well that its pretty cool overall.

Movies and Tea #9 – Pompeii

And we’re here at the final episode of Season 1 of Movies and Tea Podcast as we take a look at the final movie in the selection from Paul W. S. Anderson’s filmography, Pompeii. Head over to Movies and Tea Podcast to check it out for our thoughts and how it is as a Paul W. S. Anderson directorial effort and give us your thoughts on this movie that blends a Gladiator-esque story with a disaster film.

Movies and Tea

Our season one re-evaulation of the Paul W.S. Anderson filmography comes to a close with a film that sees him taking a note from James Cameron, Anderson’s “Pompeii” sees him deliving a sword and sandel / disaster flick the end result being a film which disappeared off the radar of most movie goers as quickly as it appeared.

We also reveal our favourite, worst and hidden gems of his filmography.

Come join us in the booth!!

Further Viewing

Gladiator
Kingdom of Heaven
Conan The Barbarian
Volcano
Dante’s Peak
San Andreas
Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Music on this episode

Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare
Clinton Shorter – The Mountain

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Movies and Tea #3 – Event Horizon

Elwood and I head in to the 3rd movie of Paul W.S. Anderson’s career, Event Horizon.

Event Horizon might not have grabbed its audiences when it was first released but it sure has gathered quite a cult following since then. Probably the movie that inspired us to dive into this director’s career as we look at how Event Horizon stands for ourselves and so much more.

Head over to Movies and Tea Podcast to check it out!

Movies and Tea

Having finally achived commercial sucess with the release of Mortal Kombat Paul W.S. Anderson turned down the chance of directing the ill-advised sequel Mortal Kombat: Annihilation along with offers to direct the first X-Men movie. Instead Anderson choose the option to make an R-rated horror instead.

Unquestionably a risky move on Anderson’s part and ultimatly a vision which would feel the wrath of the censors sheers when his initial cut recived the kiss of death NC-17 Rating from the MPAA.

The film itself equal parts blue collar sci-fi and homage to his favourite horror films as a rescue crew uncover the secrets of this intersteller marie celeste of the title. The film intitally bombed at the box office only to find a significant cult following since its release especially as critics and audience have returned to re-evaluate Anderson’s filmography.

Continuing our own season long re-evaluation of Anderson’s filmography on this…

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Movies and Tea #2 – Mortal Kombat (1995)

Movies and Tea Podcast’s second episode is here!
Elwood and I continue with Paul W. S. Anderson’s directorial efforts with 1995’s video game adaptation film, Mortal Kombat.

Head over to give it a listen and share your thoughts!

Movies and Tea

On this episode Elwood and Kim’s season long re-evaluation of Paul W.S. Anderson’s filmography moves onto his Hollywood debut with the videogame adaptation of “Mortal Kombat” which not only was the sleep over movie of choice in the 90’s but has since gone on like the games its adapted from to gain an impressive cult following.

Here we look back at the film aswell as questioning why this was the breakout movie we expected for Robin Shou plus much more!!

Further Viewing

  • Arena (1989)
  • Bloodsport
  • Enter The Dragon
  • Undisputed 2: Last Man Standing
  • Future Cops

Music on this episode

Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare
The Immortals – Techno Syndrome (Mortal Kombat)
BrySi – Scorpion Rap

Copyrights are owned by the artists and their labels. No money is made from this podcast.

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Movies and Tea #1 – Shopping

Welcome to the Booth! Elwood and I just released the first episode of Movies and Tea, our new movie podcast. The structure of the show is divided into seasons where each season we take a look at different directors and their works. The first to kick off this debut season is Paul W.S. Anderson and his directorial full feature debut, Shopping.

Head over to our blog to check out the podcast!
Give us a follow is you like it so you don’t miss out on the upcoming episodes!

Movies and Tea

Kicking off our first season looking at the films of director Paul W.S. Anderson starting with his debut film Shopping

Released in 1994 to a mixed critical response and much distain from the BBFC Paul W.S Anderson’s Shopping gave a pre-apocalypic vision of an unanmed British city in which the recently released joyrider Billy (played by an impossibly young jude law) and his best friend Jo (played by Law’s future ex-wife Sadie Frost).

Here they set out to leave thier mark on the city along the way clashing with Jonathan Pryce’s authoritarian chief of police and Sean Pertwee’s rival gang leader Tommy in what could have been seen as sparking the revial of the british independent scene had it not been eclipsed by the release of Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave the following year.

Join us in the booth as we discuss this debut aswell as looking at the rebel girls…

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Sunday Lists: Resident Evil Franchise, Best to Worst

Video game adaptations is pretty huge. There aren’t a whole lot of successes but Resident Evil has been the franchise with quite the longevity. Whether you like Paul W.S. Anderson, are a gamer or a big fan of Mila Jovovich, Resident Evil has its appeal for some mindless entertainment especially in all its sequels. Being a fan of the franchise, I have my reasons to love everything that people may hate about it. While they have its flaws, the entertainment level is still there depending on the film. I’ll have a video game adaptations ranked or faves coming out soon as I build up on what I’ve seen.

Resident Evil (2002)

Resident Evil

The original Resident Evil is absolutely the best one out of these Resident Evil. Its a bit more slow burn and focuses more on horror than action while still having that balance and relates the most to the video game franchise that it is basing itself on. The sequence of events and the zombies and the transformation is the origin story of where it all began and how Mila Jovovich’s Alice starts. Of course, the starting point of Alice is really where the heart of this franchise lies and because of that, this takes top spot for creating this iconic female character with her one liners and her straight face. For some, it just seems like bad acting but over the franchise, its grown on me and I think it works so well with the character of Alice.

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) Review

resident evil retribution

It took a few movies to get back the  fun of Resident Evil franchise back in order. Something always felt a little off but the movie to pump me back up was Resident Evil: Retribution. At this point, it was pretty much an action film. Alice is a bad-ass female character with all the weaponry she has. In this one, she wakes up in a facility that she learns is a replica of a beautiful life and soon meets up with some characters from the video game which has taken too long to show up in the movie. Its fun little action romp with over the top action and one liners. Perfection it is not but entertaining as heck.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017) Review

Resident Evil the final chapter

The Final Chapter makes it here because of its wonderful coming together of important cast members but also because it wraps up all the loose ends from the entire franchise to end the story for Alice. There’s still a lot of action and some suspense and pays homage to some scenes from the first film. Alice is great to watch and the cast works really well. With that said, going back to where it all started makes a great deal of sense for film and its always been the strongest location for the setting and the Red Queen has always been the strongest villain even more than any massive size and oddly morphed zombies would ever be.

Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

Resident Evil: Extinction

To be honest, I’ve always ranked this third installment and the fourth on something of the same spectrum. They both have obvious flaws but fill a different purpose to the story with some iconic characters from the video game franchise coming in play. However, Extinction benefits from a change in setting to the desert where it shows how the world has suffered from the outbreak at Raccoon City.  It sets up the devastation that has swept across the world and how the Umbrella Corporation under the wings of Chairman Wesker and the science mission they have to try to fix the world lead by Dr. Isaacs comes into play and forms their roles. There is a look at all sides of the situation. Alice is incredibly cool here with her motorcycle and meets up with some fun characters. Action and something of a feel-good zombie film for the most. There are some dialogue issues but its starting to shape to what the next few movies embody.

Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

Resident Evil Afterlife

For almost the same reasons as Resident Evil: Extinction, I like this one. At this movie, I made a revelation that Alice’s outfits are almost as iconic as the entertainment value of the movie. Plus, its always impressive to see how extensive these mutated zombies can go. However, this movie doesn’t go so much into the zombies. This one is a fun one just because its the first movie after the first movie where Paul W.S. Anderson takes back the reins and we can really feel the tone that makes it very fun. At the same time, he seems to understand this gaming franchise so we see a lot more of the video game characters is. The story fits in with the direction the third set.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

Resident Evil: Apocalypse

The most forgettable of the live action franchise has to be the direct sequel of Resident Evil called Resident Evil Apocalypse. Alice is fantastic as always but the story itself felt forced and it lacked the entertainment value that the later movies that followed had. It seemed like they weren’t quite sure what direction to it.

Other Resident Evil films (not seen yet):

  • Resident Evil: Degeneration (animated 2008)
  • Resident Evil: Damnation (animated 2012)
  • Biohazard 4D-Executer (short film 2000)
  • Resident Evil: Vendetta (animated 2017)

Are you a fan of the Resident Evil franchise?
How would you rank this franchise from best to worst?

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017)

Whether you are new here or not, I guess I’d like to make sure that before you start this review, you should know that the Resident Evil franchise (as low rated as it is) is one that holds a pretty special place in my heart. While I’m not a huge fan of the second movie in particular, I still think there’s a lot to like in all its cheesy dialogue and over the top action. Plus, Mila Jovovich has made an iconic badass lady with Alice.

Lets check it out!

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017)

resident evil: the final chapter

Director (and writer): Paul W.S. Anderson

Cast: Mila Jovovich, Iain Glen, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Eoin Macken, Fraser James, Ruby Rose, Ever Anderson

Alice returns to where the nightmare began: The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse. – IMDB

The Resident Evil franchise has gone a long way and has really shed its skin from the survival horror genre that the first movie was about when it was based on the video game with the same name. In many ways, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter being released almost at the same time as the Resident Evil 7: Biohazard game being released seems like a really good movie. Although drastically different in story, both of them somehow turn back a little as they head back into their roots. We’re not here to talk about video games so I’ll put Resident Evil 7: biohazard aside and talk about Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, the sixth movie in the franchise and also the wrap-up. If you’ve been following these movies like I have, Resident Evil was a survival horror. It introduced the AI at The Hive and Raccoon City, showed us Alice and her super soldier ways and a bit of her back story, it showed the effects of the airborne virus that attacked The Hive and turned everyone and the immediate aftermath. The wasteland that we see is fantastic. That was the events of ten years ago, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter makes the effort to cover whats happened over the years as it starts. One of the good moves to not only remind the audience of whats happened for those who have visited this franchise before but also help generally understand the situation they are all in and where this story is going in this final instalment.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter doesn’t only go back to its roots as a survival horror. In fact, maybe some might argue that it still is very much about action. I do agree with that but the balance of building the atmosphere of the movie itself and pulling it back towards the story it started in the first movie gives it a good wrap-up. We end things where we begin and in memory of many things. Whether you will find the finale surprising (in some ways, like I did) or predictable, the trip there is a good one. Going back through the familiar tunnels (for old viewers) or the dark tunnels (for the new) create a feeling of dread and danger. The cast emits that feeling and we know that the control isn’t really in their field because we get both sides of the story as Alice and the team she meets who Claire (Ali Larter) is with. Her team is a strong one fortified mostly by their reinforced tower from the undead especially as the main villain of the story approaches, a somehow alive Dr. Isaacs who is the partial owner of Umbrella Corporation who is the person responsible for the world apocalypse, comes with hordes of undead and big guns and giant tanks to put an end to Alice’s rebellion.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Before we talk about our villain, lets get back to our group here that assists Alice. Claire is a familiar face and she stays equally as competent. Her group that she’s with is made up of a few key characters that make it out to infiltrate The Hive. Their actual leader, Doc (Eoin Macken), Razor (Fraser James), Christian (William Levy), and Abigail (Ruby Rose). Ruby Rose seems to be hitting a ton of films in the beginning wave of movies and I’m pretty happy to see that. I’ve expressed how much I like her in both TV Binge of Orange is the New Black and the more recent xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. She is very unique, appearance-wise and gives off a really cool vibe. I liked her character quite a bit. In fact this team altogether is very competent in combat and coordination. One of the best scenes have to go to their tower defense moment against Dr. Isaacs.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

 The villain in The Final Chapter is no doubt Dr. Isaacs. Overcome with greed and whatever big ideas we have as we learn more about what happened, he is a villain that we thought had died but has come back to haunt us. However, nothing surprises us anymore in Resident Evil, especially when we’ve gone through stories of clones before. Faced with a restraint on the actual end of the world to wipe out even if the remaining few survivors, Alice fights to stop Dr. Isaacs. He is a strong villain who has actual fight in him and also a very deadly goal. Aside from him, there is another familiar face in Wesker, his minion in some ways who we face only behind his commands to the Red Queen in defense of The Hive. Then of course, we have the Red Queen, who was a huge part to what made the first Resident Evil rather eerie. What makes The Hive dangerous is not only the return of Red Queen but also the memories of the dangers lurking as protective measures. The Hive is a villain by itself. Of course, those familiar with the franchise also know to expect outrageous monster and creatures formed from the undead and the heavy results of the transformed T-Virus, making them huge and strong.

Overall, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter delivers a decent movie. After so many parts before it, Resident Evil has dropped to something of a guilty pleasure. This final instalment aims to wrap it up. In many ways, it does a good job by giving it a little more plot, balancing it with a good amount of action and adrenaline rush and keeping Alice as bad-ass as she always is. The villains, whether The Hive, Red Queen or Dr. Isaacs is always a threat. And they even try to add in a little something more. For that, I think its a great effort that works. I expected a guilty pleasure fun time with lots of action and bad-ass Alice and I came out getting more than that, plus a sense of the franchise finally having some answers. For me, this worked and probably for those still into the Resident Evil franchise, it’ll work. Whether it’ll end here, who knows, maybe if this does well, we’ll get more. For now, I’m happy with where this one went and the whole journey of it. And if it is the last one, I’ll miss watching Mila Jovovich’s Alice.

Are you fan of the Resident Evil franchise? Have you seen Resident Evil: The Final Chapter?

Part 3: INTENSE Horror Movies

First of all, let me apologize for this list being late.  I wanted it to be posted up by the end of the weekend but I hadn’t finished watching it.  Its completely my fault though.  I needed a day off halfway through to clear my mind a bit and catch back a lot of lost sleep.

As I promised, here is the list for intense horror movies.  Its definitely built up to this point.  For these ones, my boyfriend helped me as mentioned last time.  The reason is that I haven’t seen ANY new horror movies after The Haunting in Connecticut in 2009.  Some of you may think I’m crazy and even my boyfriend doesn’t understand why it just made me scared to that point that I wouldn’t watch another one.  Honestly, I don’t know either but, for you, this week I’m exploring horror movies.  Some I’ve seen, some I haven’t but my boyfriend,Eric and I will do this movie marathon together (for the most part).  He was the one that chose 80% of the movies.  I only contributed the other 20% because I wanted him to see those.

I’m picking up all my courage to do this and jumping back into the horror world.

So no more babble, lets get down to business! INTENSE horror movie marathon begins NOW!!

1) Candyman (1992)

Director: Bernard Rose

Cast: Virgina Madsen (The Haunting of Connecticut, Number 23), Xander Berkeley (Kick-Ass, Taken), Tony Todd (Final Destination 1,2,3,5)

Plot: A university student Helen (Virginia Madsen) is doing a paper on urban legends.  She has heard about the Candyman legend in Cambrini Green and she goes off with her friend (and classmate) to seek out the truth behind it.  Candyman is a man who was tortured to death because of his love for a woman he was not supposed to be with.  She tries to summon him and things go really bad.

This is a slow-paced horror movie which packs in some startling moments.  It can be gory and bloody at times.  It is quite suspenseful at other times as we don’t know if Candyman actually exists.  Its about beliefs and doubts in the entities around us which is exactly what the Candyman thrives and lives on.  To me, its the perfect way to start off this marathon.  It wasn’t exactly intense horror but it did have its scary factors.  On top of that it was written by Clive Barker and well, thats my boyfriend’s favorite horror author.

2) Three Extremes (2004)

Director: Fruit Chan, Chan-Wook Park, Takashi Miike

Cast:

Dumplings: Miriam Yeung, Bai Ling, Tony Ka-Fai Leung

Cut: Byung-Hun Lee (Hero, The Good, The Bad and The Weird, G.I. Joe Retaliation), Won-Hie Lim, Hye-Jeong Kang

Box: Kyoko Hasegawa, Atsuro Watabe (The Flowers of War), Mai Suzuki, Yuu Suzuki

Plot: A compilation of 3 shorts starting with “Dumplings”, the Hong Kong horror short (which also has a full-length feature) about a fallen actress and wife of a rich man(Miriam Yeung) who goes to find a woman (Bai Ling) who is renowned for her dumplings that help rejuvenate.  The second short is from Korea-“Cut”.  A reknowned director (Byung-Hun Lee) comes home and gets knocked out.  When he wakes up he is tied up and there is a stranger (Won-hie Lim), who was an extra, in his movies at his house.  The third short is of Japan’s feature-“Box”.  This is about Kyoko, a girl who wakes up from the same dream of two young sisters who are contortionist and their relationship with their ringmaster.

This selection is pretty much three shorts and I couldn’t really give a big description because if you haven’t seen it, then it would be just spoiling the fun.  Part of the horror is in not completely knowing whats going on and just watching disturbing and twisted mentalities weave us these three different stories.  I can understand and be a bit more scared of the Hong Kong one as there is a belief in Hong Kong that makes that concept just a bit more disgusting and even more twisted than the plot itself shows.  Its as the title calls it. Its extremities in the psychologically disturbed and the mentally unstable and the twisted ideas magnified.

3) 28 Days Later (2002)

Director: Danny Boyle

Cast: Cilian Murphy (Batman Begins, Dark Knight Rises), Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston (The Others)

Plot: An infection has spread and the main symptom is rage.  28 days after it was spread, England has been evacuated but it was too late.  Jim (Cilian Murphy) wakes up to find that he is in an empty hospital and goes out in search for someone who can help him figure out what is going on.  As he walks around the city, he encounters the infected and are saved by two survivors, Selena and Mark.  The only way for them now is to stay alive.

This one could have possibly been the first horror movie I saw in theatres.  Watching it again now, I realized that I’m not as scared as I used to be, but I still think its a really good horror movie.  The story itself is pretty solid and well-shot.  Its all really well put together for a horror movie.  It packed in some eerie scenes and some crazy scenes.  It had some blood and death and zombies (aka the infected, in this case).  It had parts which made me feel endangered for the characters and parts where it was startling and I held my breath. I think it qualifies as a pretty good zombie movie.  Plus, in any horror list, you have to add at least one, right? I have another one lined up as you’ll see further in the marathon.

4) Event Horizon (1997)

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Cast: Laurence Fishburne (Matrix), Sam Neill (Jurassic Park 1 &3), Kathleen Quinlan (The Hills Have Eyes, Apollo 13)

Plot: In 2040, Event Horizon was launched to explore the boundaries of the solar system and then disappeared without a trace.  The movie starts in 2047, where a team is sent out to around Neptune because there was a transmission from Event Horizon, to investigate what has happened.  Dr. Weir (Sam Neill) is the consultant who built the “faster than light” travel that Event Horizon had done before it had vanished and is sent along with this team led by Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne).  When they reach the ship, they detect life form but unable to pinpoint the location from bio scan and are forced to search the ship manually.  Suddenly, strange things start happening.

I think I’m starting to feel that I like Paul W.S. Anderson’s style.  His movies never seem to be very popular to the general public but for us, we love it.  It was gripping and mysterious.  The tone that it set was dark and creepy.  This is the second time I watched this one and I have to say, I had a few moments that really startled me.  I wonder if its because I started analyzing movies more that I am more aware of the bad dialogue or stupid decisions the plot has set the characters to do.  Still, I stay true that it had its horror moments and some disgusting parts to creep the audience out.  I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

5) Pulse (2006)

Director: Jim Sonzero

Cast: Kristen Bell, Ian Somerhalder

Plot: Two students hack into an unknown frequency and unleash something darkness into the world.  A group of college students attempt to know figure out what it is and how to stop it before it gets worse.  More and more deaths happen unexpectedly and suicide is increased in the city. Mattie (Kristen Bell), whose boyfriend was one of the hackers and had died, tries to move on but gets dragged into whatever has crossed over into the world.  She meets Dexter (Ian Somerhalder) who has coincidentally bought Mattie’s boyfriend’s computer system and he gets involved as well.  They try to stop whatever is wrong before it gets out of hand.

This is my first time watching this movie and I think its about one of the top 10 horrors that I’ve seen.  I know its not saying too much, but this whole marathon thing was a good idea, as it opened my eyes to even more horror genre. I had foreseen a pretty sleepless night already and we’re only halfway there.  So this one was a American remake of a Japanese movie.  It probably was a bad remake, and it was packed with obvious dialogue and retarded acting for the main girl at least, but it did creep me out.  It also the 2nd movie so far that I have seen for the first time.  It definitely makes a good impression.  Plus, Pulse has a 2nd and 3rd part so maybe I’ll give those a whirl when I finally move on from this one.

7) The Eye (2002)

Director: Oxide Pang Chun, Danny Pang

Cast: Angelica Lee (Re-cycle), Chutcha Rujinanon, Lawrence Chou

Plot: A blind girl (Angelica Lee) has the opportunity of undergoing a cornea transplant to regain her vision.  After she gets her transplant, she starts seeing a bit more than the normal.  She starts seeing ghosts.  She starts trying to find out who the cornea belonged to and why she has been seeing all these things that she shouldn’t be.

My boyfriend watched this one by himself.  It is the only one where he did because after pulse I needed a bit of time off from crazy ghost and spirit type of movies.  I still remember this one like yesterday.  It was really really spooky.  The images she had, the story behind it, was all very very good.  I was pleased by how they had made it.  Maybe its because of my Asian roots, I get easily creeped out by more spirits and ghost stories because its part of our beliefs.  This one really is the best horror I have seen.  One that I truly appreciate, so I was disappointed at the American remake which pretty much took the whole story then set it in the States and Mexico instead but didn’t really do as great of a job.

6) Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Director: Zack Snyder

Cast: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Mekhi Phifer

Plot: Someone infected has spread it to everyone in the city.  There are a few survivors who take refuge in a big shopping mall.  They are desperately making sure that they are not going to have anyone penetrate the building and need to make sure that whoever that wants to come in are not also infected as to not put themselves in danger.  At the same time, they need to find a solution of how to escape the city and hope to find somewhere that are free from the infected and live in peace.

As much as I really like 28 Days Later, I always seem to enjoy this one just a bit more.  Maybe its the factor that we never really know how it all started and its just action and suspense.  It startles us and at the same time brings us to wonder if there is salvation somewhere else.  The characters themselves are convincing as they all have their own stories and their emotional ties that help move the plot forward a bit more to make you feel a bit more connected with the characters.  I’ve never seen the original Dawn of the Dead but my boyfriend says that this one is better in his opinion because it was higher budget or whatnot.  I just have to say, this was a must in our selections and will probably remain that way.

8) Friday the 13th Part II (1981)

Director: Stever Miner

Cast: Betsy Palmer, Amy Steel, John Furey

Plot: Jason’s mom, Mrs. Voorhees has died and Camp Crystal Lake is closed. A counsellor training camp close by is hosting a group of teenagers there.  They are slowly hunted one by one by an unknown killer.  The sheriff has told them to be careful and to not wander into the Camp Crystal Lake area. Unfortunately, they didn’t listen and triggered the man into a killing frenzy.

Please note that I only had my boyfriend’s recap of the first one and he explained a bit of the events that happened and general plot so I had a better understanding, not that I really needed it. This was a fun slasher flick.  I’m usually not a big fan of these but I really enjoyed this one.  My boyfriend said this was his favorite.  We might probably (eventually) sit down and do the marathon of the complete collection(next Halloween?).  It had a few surprising moments that even though sometimes I guessed what would happen next, it still kept me on edge for most of the movie.  I was really involved in it and thats a really good sign when you see me yelling at the TV.  Definitely very entertaining and if you are into slash flicks, I’m sure its a good pick.

9) Halloween (2007)

Director: Rob Zombie

Cast: Scout Taylor-Compton, Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane

Plot: Michael Myers (Adult as Tyler Mane) kills his dad and sister at the age of 10 and gets admitted to a mental institution deemed as a psychopath. There he meets Dr. Samuel Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) who tries to get him to open up and confess.  He ends up staying there for 17 years, 15 of those he doesn’t ever speak.  One night he breaks loose in search of his younger sister, Laurie(Scout Taylor-Compton) who is in Haddonfield.  Anyone in his way has to be careful.

Back to back nights of slasher flicks was alright.  Originally, this was supposed to be the original but my boyfriend couldn’t find the DVD so we replaced it with the remake.  He did enjoy it and I did as well. I had different feelings from watching this than Friday the 13th.  It felt just a bit messy because they emphasized so much on his upbringing and how he was made into a psychopath due to the perfect balance of exterior and interior factors in his childhood.  I really liked that aspect and I did get very involved with the progress of the movie.  Same thing as Friday the 13th, I was worried about the turnouts and when he will just pop out and do more slashing.  First time watching this one also and I’m impressed.  When my boyfriend does find the original, I’ll probably give that one a shot.
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10) Hellraiser (1987)

Director: Clive Barker

Cast: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence

Plot: Frank is on a search for the extremes and finds the cube which is actually a relic that when solved, opens up the realm between pleasure and pain. It summons the souls of the evil who takes his life. Flash forward, Frank’s brother Larry(Andrew Robinson) decides to move in with his wife, Julia(Clare Higgins), into his family house. What he doesn’t know is that Julia had an affair with Frank and when there was bloodshed, Frank has risen from the dead and needs more blood to become whole again.

We started and concluded with a Clive Barker movie/story. This movie wasn’t actually scary but more disgusting. Even though I was lost throughout most of it, and kept asking my boyfriend what was going on. I would say the ending was probably the best part because it was compelling and had some intense moments. I wouldn’t say that it was my favorite in the marathon but it was original.

 

There you have it: The INTENSE HORROR MARATHON! All of you have to be proud of me. I really doubted being able to get myself through this list and I did watch them all, except for The Eye.  That doesn’t really count though.  I had already seen this two times before and I have vivid memories of it already.  Getting through this list means a lot (and I mean A LOT) of sleepless nights.  I’m living on about 3-4 hours of sleep on average per night.  As much as it seems hopeful that I’ll get back into horror, I’m pretty sure its going to now officially be an annual deal.  I’ve learned that even if I don’t get scared initially, as I walk into dark rooms and that sort of thing, my imagination just goes flying.  Now its like a 10 movies mashup reel, so it will take some time (and many comedies) to move on.

 We’ll jump to the list. A big thank you goes to my boyfriend because he helped me edit and actually sat through all those movies.  Looking at the entire list, we were both pleased with the choices.  We did learn that we don’t technically have the same taste as the general public according IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, but its alright.  I’m still quite proud of myself, what more can I say?

Now that you finally get the whole list.  What do you think? What type of horror movies are you into? We tried to cover a few genres with possession, zombies, slasher, disgust and absurd original concepts.  Which ones are you normally into? What gets you startled or intrigued the most? Do you have any favorites that you’d like to share?

**Just a side note, it’s the first time I’m posting with a tablet. If there are any problems, they will be fixed shortly. I’m trying to learn how to do this reasonably well in the next week before I head off to vacation.**

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

Last night my boyfriend and I made it over to the theatres before it got pulled off on Friday to see Resident Evil: Retribution.  This is what happens when you are in a suburban area and the theatres focus on French version of Hollywood movies, but its alright as it meant that we pushed ourselves to see it faster.  Just a quick recap for you, I’m a newbie at Resident Evil.  I watched all the Resident Evils this summer.

Just to give you an idea of my thoughts on the first few:  The first one, Resident Evil, was the only one that should be categorized as a horror movie as it was the closest to it.  The tone was slightly eerie and the storyline was decent.  The second and third called Resident Evil: Apocalypse and Resident Evil: Extinction was really borderline.  I’m not really sure I’d call it “so bad its good”, at times I found myself rolling my eyes but it had its moments that I just laughed at the movie, but I mean it wasn’t really laughable and wasn’t very scary in general.  The fourth one, Resident Evil: Afterlife was a different story.  That was brainless entertainment 101 and it was so fun to watch.  I mean it was crappy acting, horrible (if any) storyline but altogether I had a fun time laughing and just enjoying the action.  It was a nice flick to just give your brain a little break.

Okay, so  now lets get down to business.  We get Resident Evil: Retribution which is the fifth one in this series.  When I saw the preview for this, I was seriously wanting to see it because it just looked so awesomely fun and c’mon, why pass up the chance for 3D fun when its made exactly for it? This movie was made for 3D, for all who didn’t know.  There is just that one choice: 3D.  Its all to say, I expected some great fun times at the theatres.

The question now is: Did I actually get what I wanted? Hell yes! Let me tell you why.  For starters, this movie you probably don’t really need to see the first few and thats usually the case for Resident Evil.  They always give you a recap of the stories beforehand and sometimes its the part relevant for this movie or linked in some way or another. This helps give the new audience a way to slightly understand what lead to the situation now. I had seen these during the summer so it was alright, I didn’t really need the recap but it helped me build the intensity the other movies had before, relive some of the action from before.

In a movie like this, you are talking about action matched a bunch of horrible acting and a very lengthened storyline that expands further (if you’ve followed the last few, it just builds from the first one sometimes if not mostly into very crazy ideas).  As much as these features usually would make a movie very unenjoyable, I would say that it has been a charm for Resident Evil series.  In this one, its the essence of the horrible acting and how they pull out those bad looks that made me laugh so much.

What I did thoroughly liked was the fact that they brought back a lot of the characters from previous movies.  I think to be able to bring back the same cast helps the audience that has followed these series feel more attached to the characters (no matter the acting skills).  So just a recap, Milla Jovovich stays as the main female role by the name of Alice who is the one who has been able to bond with the T-Virus that has been whats infected the world.   Her “enemy” from Umbrella Corporation, Albert Wesker (played by  Shawn Roberts) is back, bringing with him the video game characters of Ada Wong (played by Bingbing Li) and Leon (Johann Urb) also Barry (Kevin Durand).  I may not know all the actors very well but Bingbing Li is one I’ve seen her grow as an actress in Chinese movies and she’s alright.  Its nice to see her in a Hollywood flick. Aside from that, we get pulled into how come all the previous ones are back with Rain (Michelle Rodriguez) and Luther West (Boris Kodjoe).  Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) comes back as an enemy who is used by the Umbrella Corporation.  You know who they brought back to control Umbrella Corporation, The Red Queen.  I always thought that part was the essence of the horror in the first one.  So lots of action going on just from all that.   You bring in more people, more weapons, more fighting and more action.

As mentioned before, 3D was the main feature of this movie.  In the beginning and various parts, it was the 3D that really brought me back to jump a bit (but thats because I’m just easily startled) because when these zombies are coming at you suddenly or bursting through doors in the beginning, it can do that.  Other times, it just magnified all the action going on.  The computer graphics is bad though. Let me say, it brings out all the cheesiness and matches up when that pure entertainment, action and cheesy one-liners and glares between the characters.  Man, thinking about it just makes me laugh.

Before I end this and continue rambling on about how its “so bad its good”, which it is.  As someone who has seen all the previous ones, I can’t stop but think that Paul W.S. Anderson definitely has this down real good. The Resident Evils he did (1, 4 and now 5) was awesome in that way and same goes for Death Race and I just saw that he even did Event Horizon. All movies that I liked so I guess I’m into his kind of entertainment.  I’m already saying that if they pulled out a Resident Evil 6, I’ll be there also (which I think there will be) and you bet that Paul W.S. Anderson will be involved one way or another.  Especially if we get that “this is humanities last stand. The beginning of the end.”

So all in all, PLEASE and I’m begging you, an advisory to those that hated the first few or you just don’t like this brainless entertainment, blood splattering action, just stay far away.  If you do love that or simply, “so bad its good” movie, this one I would recommend.  I’m still debating whether the one before was better but for now, I’m happy with this one.  I’m fairly confident we’ll have a 6th one especially since they just brought out the video game characters.  I’d like to end this off with Alice’s favorite line  to start off the movie(she says this in variation for all the movies in this series), “Once again we find ourselves fighting for our lives”.