This is John Carpenter 's comeback, eight years after Ghosts of Mars - but it is boring and predictable. The cast of B-List starlets (up-and-comers, like the sidekick from the 2010 Nikita TV show) are nice to look at ... But the Killer is just bland. Carpenter is the king of the slasher film, he gave us Halloween , arguably the first and best example of the genre. Then he moved away from the teenagers in danger trope and gave us grown men in danger in The Thing . He seems to have forgotten everything he taught us. This just adds to the disappointment.
There are lots of twists - perhaps too many. It tries too hard - but without a big budget (no stars = no publicity) it only had a very complex script to reel in the viewers.
The film starts with a series of reversals, playing on the concept of Stab, the movie within a movie. We get some great cameos from Kirsten Bell, Anna Paquin, Heather Graham .
The story takes place ten years after the last series of killings. Sidney ( Neve Campbell ) is back in her home town, the last stop in a tour promoting her new book. There is now a NEW copycat killer - the THIRD copycat so far.
Sheriff Dewey and his Deputies (Anthony Anderson and Marley Shelton ) try to solve the murders, with a predictable lack of success. Gail ( Courtney Cox ) has retired from news reporting, and wants to reinvent herself as a novelist. Naturally, she sees the new killer as a chance to get back in the game.
This film is very nice work! It really revitalises the Franchise by using New Media, satirises the celebrity culture that Sidney has found herself in (and that Gail misses).
This is certainly not the most original story, since it was made twice by Hollywood about twenty years ago ( Jennifer 8). The film is let down by an over-long climax - The third act seems to go on forever!
This is a Spanish film, produced by Guillermo Del Torro . But despite this eminent horror movie credential, there is no supernatural element. Thus, it can technically be categorised as a crime thriller, not a horror one.
This was directed by Wes Craven , and needed lots of re-shoots. Unfortunately the result of the re-editing is a disjointed effort.
Despite its cliched nature, it actually gets better in the third act. This is because Carrie Fisher has some great scenes in it - perhaps she rewrote her own dialogue (as she did in Time Guardian
The trailers give away the fact that this is not as straightforward as it seems. From the get-go, the film lets us know things are being manipulated by an office full of workers. Bradley Whitman (The West Wing) is there, backed up by Joss Whedon's familiar faces like Amy Acker and Tom Lenk ( Buffy: Season 6 ).
The climax, however, includes a final twist that shows this to be more than just a standard meta-thriller. Even knowing there are two stories that eventually overlap, there are still surprises to be had. All in all, an amazing piece of work. Knowing that the creators are responsible for Cloverfield and Buffy: Season 4 may allow you to see additional references ...
This was based on a Stephen King short story. It is a suspenseful effort, despite being a made-for-TV movie.
This was filmed in the Republic of Ireland.
Katniss also befriends the boy next door - sole survivor of the murdered family. Of course, in this kind of film there is a nasty secret. It is all a bit predictable, but no worse than similar shockers Silent House or The Pact . In fact, this is more mainstream version - for some reason it was given a 15 certificate in the UK, but it is a pretty tame, PG-13 film.
Stitches is a second-rate clown played by English stand-up comedian Ross Noble. He performs at an 8-year-old's birthday party, but the group of kids play cruel tricks on him and he dies in a horrific accident as a result.
The film jumps forward six years, until the characters are all supposedly 14 years old. The fact that they are played by unknowns helps it work, but the actors are all bound to be ten years older than their characters.
The birthday boy, now a Harry Potter lookalike, is terrified of clowns and birthdays. But eventually his friends talk him into holding a party so he can invite the girl of his dreams. Naturally, the party grows, and then gets gate-crashed by a killer clown back from the dead!
This film follows some of the rules of the traditional horror movie. For example, the protagonist is a Final Girl ( Amanda Seyfried ) and the antagonist is a demonic monster that kills teenagers. However, the monster does not chase gorgeous cheerleaders like Megan Fox - she IS the monster!
This was directed by the same man who directed the shocking Korean film, Oldboy . He has added some incredible visual touches. It is basically a vampire film without the trappings of vampirism. The blood-lust is human, not supernatural, and the result is a stylish display of psychopathic violence.
Someone with a crossbow and pack of hunting dogs starts to bump them off. There is no chainsaw or hockey mask - this killer wears a ghillie suit, which makes him the most convincing threat in the genre!
What separates this from a revenge thriller is the apparent lack of justice. The victim's pain is inversely proportional to the amount they deserve it.
A few days later, her sister ( Caity Lotz ) arrives to look for her. Nobody bothers reporting her missing, because of her drug habit. This is perhaps the first major break in suspension of disbelief, but when things get worse she has to get help from Police detective Casper Van Dien ( Starship Troopers ). Of course, nobody believes her ...
This is a small independent film, written and directed by a relative unknown. The direction is decent and quite suspenseful, although the incidental music is a bit overwhelming. However, the story itself is cobbled together from lots of scenes in other films. The cop starts doing spirit photography, and the Last Girl happens to know a genuine psychic medium in town. The biggest debt this shows to anything is What Lies Beneath , because the film takes a complete change of direction in the final act.
A couple of years later, a copy of the VHS tape falls into the hands of Johnny Galecki ( I Know What You Did Last Summer ). Much like his character in Big Bang Theory he is a lecturer at a university. He sets up a team of college students to investigate the tape. His reasoning seems solid, but he makes classic mistakes like converting it from analogue to a digital format. Of course, it all goes wrong.
The Final Girl finds herself chosen to follow clues that Samarra set for her. Vince D'onofrio ( Men In Black ) pops up to help the investigation. They discover Samarra's origin story - apparently she was adopted. In the original story, Ringu , the video girl was Sadako who inherited her powers from her father - a sea-goblin. Remember, play with brine, goblins be thine. This film has a different, nonsensical origin.
There are no real surprises in this film. Despite the film-makers' best efforts there are no good shocks, scares or suspense. Some scenes are reminiscent of a far better film, Don't Breathe , which has no place in the same universe as Sadako, spawn of a sea-goblin.
This was adapted from a novel, but the screenplay was written by Kevin Williamson , known (among other things) for the Scream series. It includes a number of recognisable tropes. The cliched make-up of the group of teenage protagonists, to start with. The large, fast-walking killer keeps pace with smaller damsels in distress as they run away as fast as they can. Thus, chase scenes are dragged out for greater suspense.
This is a standard stalk-and-slash, a cheap straight-to-DVD cash-in on the franchise, but it is not a bad effort. The cast of unknowns acquit themselves well, despite working with a script which has none of their characters linked to the original. The amazing Colorado scenery gets squeezed into as many camera-shots as possible. And while the Rocky Mountains location is over a thousand miles from the sea, it certainly makes this fisherman tale worth watching.
A privileged middle-class woman goes to an isolated cabin in the woods, just like in all the best slasher films. She is menaced by some working-class men, who subject her to an attack not entirely un-reminiscent of Deliverance.
Does she do what Jodie Foster did in The Accused, or what victims do every week in Law & Order: SVU? No, she goes on a rampage that owes as much to torture-porn like the Saw Series as it does to the original film this is based on. Think Turistas AKA Paradise Lost - but the bikini babe is the murderer while the yokels (white, not Brazilian, so it is not racist) are the victims.
The violent aspects of the film are exaggerated beyond all realism. One victim is cornered in the most filthy bathroom ever - seriously, this place has never been flushed never mind cleaned! And the girl somehow overpowers a man twice her weight and carries him around.
Evoking the Magic Negro cliché, the token Native American character is a medicine man. He tries to keep the girl’s soul in her body. Unfortunately she ends up soul-possessed by a vengeance spirit - like in The Crow , but with the spirit of Apache chieftain Mangas Coloradas instead of a demon.
Given the played-out nature of the genre and the low budget of the film, this is actually quite a watchable film.
Our heroine gets stood up, but luckily she meets another girl who offers to cheer her up. The girl takes her to a bar, and they end up hanging out with some very rapey dudes. One thing leads to another, and we end up in a rape-and-revenge thriller.
The storyline is predictable, but the high point is actually some Tarantino-esque dialogue between the girls.
Psychologist Wes Bentley ( Hunger Games ) takes an orphaned young girl under his wing. He trains her like Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass , and she grows up to be Abigail Breslin . Then he sets her loose as live bait to entrap a gang of Frat-boy types who play The Most Dangerous Game with young blonde women in the woods.
Breslin has been menaced by serial killers before, in Scream Queens . And in all fairness, even though that show was played entirely for laughs it is a lot more realistic than this effort. The lead actress is petite, slender and entirely unconvincing in her fight scenes.
Years later, the survivor is still suffering from PTSD. She works in a drycleaners, and befriends a male cow-orker. Unfortunately someone starts to stalk her, dressed as the original killer.
Has the original killer come back for revenge? Is she being gaslighted by a copycat? Or is this a case of the untruthful narrator, when it turns out that the protagonist and antagonist are the same person?
Things hot up in the final act, when we find out who the killer is. The climax is a kill-crazy massacre, which makes up for the lacklustre suspense of the previous hour.
The film's dramatic storyline has a rape-and-revenge subplot. Mary is sexually assaulted, and takes a horrific revenge on her attacker. While the distributors focus on this subplot so they can safely categorise the film as horror, it is a character drama rather than a slasher film or a torture porn flick.
This was written and directed by the Soska Sisters , and is a prime example of their reinvention of the horror genre.
The man repeatedly suggests that she take him to a hospital. After her own ordeal, a trip to a doctor would probably be a good idea. Also, the police would be far better suited to getting the truth out of him and rescuing the other girls than she would. However, we must suspend our disbelief and embrace the unlikely premise of this story.
The story is intercut with flashbacks, found footage of the girl on a day out at the beach with her boyfriend and sister. This adds a sense of unreality to the movie, because it leaves us unsure of how much the Untruthful Narrator trope will be invoked.
Angela is kept in the militia's sex dungeon. She befriends one of the sex slaves, Vanya ( Dominique Provost ). Unfortunately this is not a happy-happy movie.
A young Tom Hardy ( The Dark Knight Rises ) and his mixed-race gang of street thugs once terrorised Selma Blair . Now it seems that she has come back for revenge, in a sadistic manner reminiscent of Saw .
This is set in New York City - perhaps the seediest and most unpleasant version of the city presented since Lucio Fulci's 1970s gore-fest The New York Ripper . One should note, then, that it was in actual fact mostly shot in Belfast.
Contrary to tabloid backlash, this is not the most horrific film ever made. The DVD-nasty crowd have given this an undeserved notoriety. It is just yet another crappy example of the crappy torture porn genre.
The real problem with this film is that its high production values show that a lot of money and talent was wasted on something utterly pointless. If only the US SyFy channel's own-brand crap ( Hydra, AI Assault, etc) could have a writer-director as ambitious as the guy wasting his time on this crap.
The original was made in glorious technicolour, while this is black and white - presumably to make it seem artistic. The British Board of Film Censorship - oops, Classification - wanted to ban this effort. They considered it worse than the original because it is about a copycat. Perhaps they believed that it might encourage someone in real life to copycat it!
The survivors are stalked by a trio of inbred hillbilly cannibals. Dushku insisted that the monsters be of a non-magical origin, because she did not want to get typecast after her role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer . This is a good thing, it meant the film retained a sense of authenticity that helps suspension of disbelief.
Scream Queen Erica Leersen is one of the contestants. She faced off against the Blair Witch and Leatherface, but now she has got main billing in a straight-to-DVD sequel.
Later, a prison van full of dangerous convicts drives on the killers’ stretch of road. This would have been a good idea for Jeepers Creepers 2 , with the inmates of Oz instead of tweenager cheerleaders and football jocks. However, this is a low-budget straight-to-DVD sequel, so the execution is badly botched.
After the torture porn of the prologue, we get softcore porn to start the main story. Some college students hang out and have sex a lot. Then they go on a skidoo vacation in a remote mountain area. An unexpected storm comes it, and they seek shelter in a conveniently located old abandoned insane asylum. Even Daphne in Scooby Doo (The Movie) Would not make such a basic mistake!
This is the worst of the series so far. The first one was watchable, and even the third one had some good ideas. This is just ideas taken from better B-movies, then executed so poorly that the original efforts seem like masterpieces in comparison. The characters are unlikable, the killings predictable, it is all a waste of time and effort.
Worse than that, it undermines the backstory of the earlier films. The main story is set in 2003, when the first film came out (and was presumably set). So why did the killers spend thirty years in the asylum (which the owners never realised was scene to a mass escape) instead of just lurking in the woods? And where did the teenagers from the second film come from?
Roxanne Mckee and her tweenager friends hang out at the Mountain Man Festival, the (West) Virginia equivalent of Burning Man. They get some exposition by way of a campfire story, although it would have been a lot more atmospheric if it was shot at an actual campfire instead of in broad daylight.
The hillbillies' father (Doug Bradley - Hellraiser ) is caught attempting to murder someone. The sheriff locks him in the drunk cage, and when she checks her files she discovers he has been on the run for murder for thirty years. The Federal Marshals will pick him up in the morning. But just like in the Westerns, the hillbillies will try to bust him out.
As slasher films go, this is typically Australian. It lacks the Hollywood trappings (hockey mask, chainsaw) and instead is more like an amped-up crime thriller.
For the sake of moral ambiguity, in the third act of the film he runs into some real bad guys. Yes, it was not porn or sex that killed her, it was the drugs. So the real villain is a drug-dealer, with a gang of thugs and a penchant for making snuff movies.
Six months later, the witnesses who testified against him are abducted and forced to live out office-themed Torture porn. The man wants them to prove his innocence. For every minor indiscretion, he cuts a scar into their forehead with his hook-hand. On the fifth strike, he cuts it across their throat!
The plot seems identical to a George Kennedy film set aboard a mysterious ship. The only updates are that it is set on dry land (for a much lower budget) and the cast are all Tweenagers (to make it a cliched mainstream horror flick). Also, like most Australian efforts the supernatural aspect is played down. Their home market prefers crime stories, and thus their horror efforts like the supernatural underpinning.
The crippled cop ends up as a prison warder in a teenage detention centre. He is put in charge of a work detail consisting of a photogenic group of teenage delinquents who appear to have been selected to be equally representative of race and gender.
The work detail are sent to clean up an old hotel. Unfortunately, and predictably, the monsterous killer starts to bump them off one at a time.
The most interesting thing about this film is that it was filmed in Queensland, Australia. This is apparently so successful that there is a sequel, directed by up-and-comers the Soska Sisters .
After the events of the first film, the body of the serial killer is taken to the morgue. The place is meant to be closed down for the night, but Final Girl Danielle Harris and her BFF Katharine Isabelle hold a party there with all their tweenage friends.