Valley of White Birds

44e9925a-3968-44d2-8400-8afa01465f0cTime to get back to my roots and get stuck into a review. Truth be told, I haven’t done a review in quite a while (well, other than Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, but it’s awesome and incredibly easy to talk about). Like what happens to many bloggers from time to time, I kind of burnt out review wise and started focusing more on my art work. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, I feel like I’ve made some progress in bettering my art skills. Anyway, back to the task at hand, I thought I’d ease myself back into the swing of things, by reviewing a very beautiful short film called Valley of White Birds, from Wolf Smoke Studio.

Being just over 15mins long, Valley of White Birds begins with a young man walking through a forest alongside a stream. He is then joint by an old man and they both walk together along the forest path, as white paper-like birds fly around them. They soon reach a village, where suddenly the young man takes an awful disliking to the white paper birds and goes on a mad paper bird killing spree, turning a large number of the birds into Autumn coloured leaves. These actions must displease the forest spirits, because soon after the boss white bird shows up and appears to taunt the young man. The young man attempts to stealthily attack the boss bird but is distracted, by what was most likely a vision of his younger self. The vision quickly vanishes and the young man chases after the boss bird, whilst using his magic bean-shaped pebbles to tries to kill it. The boss bird leads the young man to a shrine, where the young man engages in a boss battle.

As you may have guessed from that description, this short film has no dialogue. In my opinion this doesn’t take away from the film and to be honest, the young man was fighting with a bird. Having him scream things at the bird, would have just been weird and destroyed the peaceful and intriguing feel the film creates. Story wise this film is pretty easy to follow and the creators have done an excellent job of leading you through the tale, with visuals alone.

125fe3f1-8ce1-4182-80cd-518c6f024bb5In saying that however, trying to understand this film on a deeper level (what it means and is about) is another story. I can only guess that it might be based on an old folk tale or book or that the whole thing reflects the young man’s fear of getting old (based on black birds covering the boy, turning him into the old man, then turning him back to a boy when the shrine was destroyed) or his loss of innocence (base on the boy innocently following the boss bird and seemly worshiping it. Then things turning sour, when the boy gets to the shrine. Also, the young man seems more angered and untrusting of the boss bird, than the boy. As if he’s more aware of the boss bird’s intentions). It could also be a play on the stages of life (the bird representing life and each version of the young man representing the common mind sets at each stage in life) or a play on the balance between yin and yang (black and white were used a lot and very symbolically). It’s very hard to pin down exactly what this film is about and these are only examples of conclusions I could come to while watching Valley of White Birds.

One very notable aspect of Valley of White Birds, is how beautiful and visually stimulating it is. The backgrounds are just stunning, you can tell a lot of time and love went into making this film. Without getting all artsy, I’m aware of the techniques you’d need to use, to achieve the backgrounds on actual paper. But the fact this film was probably done digitally, has me completely flabbergasted and makes me love it even more. The amount of work it must have taken to achieve that look, would have been crazy. You can really tell the creators were giving it their all while making this film. Even just on face value the animation and backgrounds, completely suck you in and sets the tone very well. The colour palette and use of shape, is incredibly pleasing to the eye and bring the film to a whole other level. It’s just one hell of a beautiful short film.

Overall, Valley of White Birds may be a little difficult to work out but is definitely worth watching, if only for its beauty alone. It an incredibly cute and stunning film, that will draw you and capture your attention, for the full 15mins. I would highly recommend checking Valley of White Birds out for yourself and seeing what you can conclude from this film.

Rating: 4/5

If you’re interested in watching Valley of White Birds, I’ve left a link to the film here
and a link to Wolf Smoke Studio’s YouTube channel here.

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Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

d91c2f21-3199-4c68-b757-60635b94777eVampires have always been something I liked from the horror genre. There’s just something about a monster that’s incredibly charming and looks human but can potentially suck you dry of your blood in an instant, that’s makes my skin crawl. So, for this review I thought I’d go back to the classics and share with you me thoughts on a movie about the Daddy of vampires himself, Count Dracula.

As you’ve probably guessed this film is closely based on the Bram Stoker novel Dracula. If you’re not familiar with the story, don’t worry I’ll fill you in. A young lawyer Jonathan leaves his fiancée Mina in London, to travels to Dracula’s castle to do a spot of business with the Count himself. When Jonathan arrives at the castle, Count Dracula tricks him into staying. However, Jonathan soon realises he’s being held against his will, when he tries to leave. Dracula then decides to travel to London, leaving poor Jonathan to be fed on by his lady vampires.

Once at London, the Count starts feeding on Mina’s friend Lucy, all while trying to win Mina favour. Eventually Jonathan escapes from Dracula’s castle and the vampire ladies and makes it back to London. However unfortunately, Lucy dies and becomes a vampire. Now faced with numerous vampires, a man known as Van Helsing steps in to lead the hunt for Dracula and his band of lady vampires.

Yeah, there’s a lot that goes on in Dracula, but is the film any good? All I can say is, it won’t be for anyone. Like the book it can be a little heavy and strange at times, which may put off some viewers. But if you love the book, I could see you thoroughly enjoying this film. It very closely follows the book, only leaving out a few details and even tries to maintain the letter/journal feel of the book. The only thing is, I don’t remember the book containing as much toplessness as this film. But I guess it depends on your own opinion, whether that’s a good or a bad thing.

6aaef467-e576-48a0-bfa4-8f36fb1e8c27The portrayal of Dracula himself is pretty good in this film. He starts off looking creepy as hell, sporting the famous Butt shaped hairdo, and gives of some real psychotic vibes. He then transitions into an extremely charming and attractive man, but still gives off a bit of a creepy vibe and by the end of the movie, he loses his charm and become a super gross batman creature. That’s pretty true to the book. However, unlike the book, the film doesn’t explain why Dracula’s appearance changes, very well and pretty much takes for granted that the viewer would know the reason for this. On a more positive note, the Film’s Dracula was a lot less ranty than the book’s and doesn’t go off on a tangent as much.

I must admit that the special effects in this film are a bit dated. However, they still look kind of cool, especially the play with Dracula’s shadows. The pacing also seems a little strange, feeling slow and heavy at times and kind of rushed at other times. But considering how long the book is, you can forgive the pacing.

Overall, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is an okay film. It does have its problems, but as book adaptations go, it’s pretty good. Sticking very close to the source material and leaving out only a few details (most likely for time-saving purposes). The film may now seem a little dated now, but if you’re a lover of the book or Dracula himself, you will most likely enjoy this film. Leaving me to recommend it, to anyone mad about vampires.

Rating: 3/5

The Jungle Book (2016)

thumbnail_f256818e-292d-4bc9-9033-81e02c0306bbAs Disney films go, The Jungle Book has always been one of my favourites. Out of all the Disney movies I watched as a child (which was a lot. I was a 90’s kid), The Jungle Book had the best soundtrack (followed closely by Mulan) and would really get you up and singing along. It’s pretty hard to believe that anyone could resist singing along to The Bare Necessities.

Watching the live-action version of a childhood favourite has put me in very sentimental mood. So, I thought since I’m sitting here reminiscing about the days of The Rugrats and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I might as well make this movie, this week’s review.

The storyline to the live-action film, is pretty similar to The Jungle Book (1967), I watched as a child. A baby boy (Mowgli) is left alone in the jungle and is raised by wolves. An old bigoted tiger (Shere Khan) shows up one day, notices Mowgli the man-cub and decides he doesn’t want any man-cubs in his jungle. So, demands the man-cub be given to him, so that he can kill him (Glob, that’s actually rather dark and twisted). Mowgli doesn’t want to endanger his wolf family, so sets out to return to the man village, escorted by his panther friend Bagheera. However, things do not go to plan and Mowgli ends up going on an exciting adventure through the jungle, meeting a range of eccentric animals on his journey.

thumbnail_3b0b1417-ea85-4d73-8fcc-d9fe415a14faThis film is very CGI, with only one non-CGI character (Mowgli). The rest of the characters are CGI animals, which in my opinion were done very well. Granted you could tell they were computerised, but they still looked really good and moved like the real animals (not like some films, were the animals move like robots). CGI King Louie, even managed to thoroughly creep me out and will forever haunt my dreams. He was like a terrifying ginger King Kong, that disturbingly wanted people’s red flower.

To be honest, I was surprised by how good this live-action Jungle Book was. It managed to capture the fun of the cartoon 1967 version, without making any of the characters seem too over the top. They even had a few of those great songs from the cartoon version, which was a very nice touch to the film. The Jungle Book without “The Bare Necessities” and “I wan’na be like you”, just wouldn’t have been the same and just wouldn’t have been as enjoyable.

thumbnail_9eb92bf9-5fff-4110-91af-10eb8367882cHowever, one thing I do have to say about this film is, it’s a hell of a lot darker than the 1967 version and has more action scenes. Although, in my opinion this just sets it apart from the other versions of The Jungle Book. The only other small negative, is that Neel Sethi (Mowgli), acting isn’t that great at times. But considering how young he is and the fact all the other characters are CGI, I think this can be over looked.

Overall, the live-action Jungle Book (2016) is a rather enjoyable film. It has the fun of the 1967 version, while still managing to set itself apart from that version. Granted it was a bit dark and creepy, at times and that King Louie would look at home in any horror movie. However, the film as a whole is good enough over look this, if you dislike the dark and creepy. Personally, I still prefer Disney’s 1967 version of The Jungle Book, but I would say that this live-action version is worth watching, especially it you’re a fan of The Jungle Book.

Rating: 4/5

10 Cloverfield Lane

thumbnail_99cd16f9-f5c4-4073-b3ce-0afa27a427a1Have you ever read a movie description and thought the movie seems really good, just to be left sadly disappointed after watching it? That feeling of disappointment, would pretty much sums up this film. 10 Cloverfield Lane sounds so promising, but it just doesn’t deliver. But hey at least, it gave me an excuse to draw an underground bunker (it was so much fun), so with that in mind. On with the review.

In 10 Cloverfield Lane, a woman (Michelle) awakes after having a car accident and finds herself locked in basement-like room, chained to a pipe by the kneecap. Her captor (Howard), claims he found her unconscious in her car, on the side of the road and saved her from a chemical attack, that killed nearly all life on earth.

After claiming to be Michelle’s saviour, Howard frees Michelle from her chains but won’t let her leave his underground bunker, saying the air outside is contaminated and would kill her instantly. Now trapped underground, Michelle slowly realises there is something very wrong with Howard and ends up being sucked into a deadly game of house. Is Howard telling the true about the chemical attack and will Michelle make it out alive?

To be honest, 10 Cloverfield Lane starts of really strong and set a truly unnerving tone, that would make for a good Misery type thriller. Having Michelle awake in a creepy room, chained to a pipe with a Saw-like contraption, really gives you the feeling, things aren’t going to go well for Michelle. However, this level of intensity gets lost somewhere, causing the movie to feel a little flat. Probably because it tries to push too many reasons for why Howard is psychotic, at the viewer. Making the whole plot feel a little confused and lacking direction.

thumbnail_94b4c701-80df-42c5-b3a1-43cf0a1e5869In saying that, John Goodman (who plays Howard), does a really good job of portraying a disturbing unstable psychopath. They really didn’t need to give the viewer a reason why Howard was psychotic. Just from the demeanour John Goodman gave off as Howard and from his facial expression and strange body language, it was pretty clear that the character Howard wasn’t stable and had some serious issues. At points in the film, it shows glimpses of Howard’s face and it’s enough to make your blood run cold. It’s just very disturbing, which really shows how well John Goodman played the role of Howard.

I can’t say much more about 10 Cloverfield Lane, without making this into a complete rant post, so I’ll quickly conclude and give you my final thoughts. Although, John Goodman does a really good job of making 10 Cloverfield Lane feel very unnerving and adding suspense to this film. The film itself just lacks direction and its very messy ending completely reflects this (it was like they had another 20 minutes of film to make, so they randomly threw an alien and its warship into the mix, just to make up the time). 10 Cloverfield Lane sounds like it has the potential to be a great thriller, but it just doesn’t deliver. For this reason, I would say if you’re looking to watch a thriller, look elsewhere. There’s just so many more better thrillers you could spend your time watching, other than 10 Cloverfield Lane.

Rating: Due to John Goodman great acting, a generous 2/5

The Thing in the Apartment (Short Film)

thumbnail_ec2a1929-a644-48f3-bc04-53efa6494674It’s not too often you come across a horror film that is genuinely terrifying, let alone a short film. Being less than 10 minutes long, The Thing in the Apartment still manages to give you Goosebumps and leave you a little afraid of the dark. It has been a while since a horror movie has scared me this bad, so I’ve decided to give The Thing in the Apartment a review of its own.

The Thing in the Apartment, begins with Sam getting a phone call from her friend (Lindsey), asking if she can come pick her up, because something happened in her apartment. Sam, being just a good friend, goes picks the frightened Lindsay up. However, in true horror movie idiot style, Sam decides it’s a good idea to go check the apartment out and as you can probably guess, things take a bit of a horrible turn from here.

From the offset, this short film is very creepy and gives you a really uneasy feeling. As the film progresses, it gets a lot more intense and is filled with jump scares. Leaving you very on edge and praying that nothing messed up, jumps out and grabs either of the characters. Having 5 jump scares in less than 10 minutes, this film will most likely send your heart racing (not the best if you have any heart problems) and have you cuddling your blanket for dear life.

As for true scare factor goes, this film feeds on the fear of the unknown, the unseen and being attacked while alone and/or helpless. So, anyone that has experienced sleep paralysis, has had the feeling something sinister watches them or feels uneasy when alone or in the dark, will most likely find The Thing in the Apartment absolutely terrifying.

The down side to this film is that the acting is not the greatest and it has a lot of stupid moments that makes no logical sense. Like, entering the apartment when there’s a suspected creeper inside and walking about in complete darkness. This made things slightly predictable and takes away some of its fear factor.

Overall, considering The Thing in the Apartment is a short film, I would say it’s worthwhile checking out, if you’re a lover of horror. Although, the acting isn’t great it still manages to leave you feeling very creeped out and wanting to sleep with the lights on. If you fancy a quick scare and have 10 minutes to spare, I’d recommend giving The Thing in the Apartment a watch. As I’m so nice, I’ll even leave a YouTube link to this film, somewhere in this post.

Rating: 3.5/5

The Great Gatsby

thumbnail_7e6362e9-ffd8-4438-85f6-d1c02ea56c15Have you ever watched a movie so unusual and captivating, that you really don’t know where to start in explaining it? Well, that’s exactly how I feel about The Great Gatsby. But before the irony in that statement kills us all, let me give you a little taste of the insane tale, that is The Great Gatsby.

Set in the 1920’s, The Great Gatsby begins with an aspiring writer (Nick) moving to New York, across the bay from his extremely wealthy cousin, Daisy. This leads to Nick being sucked into the world of the super-rich, where you party all the time and cheating on your significant other is only unacceptable if you get caught (Wow, this movie really makes New York in the 20’s, look wild and unruly).

Nick’s new next-door neighbour is a mysterious millionaire, that no one seems to know anything about. Except, for a bunch of wild rumours and that he throws the best parties. Soon after moving in, Nick is personally invited to one of Gatsby’s parties. Something that has never happened to anyone before (apparently Gatsby’s parties are just one big gate-crashing event). This eventually leads to Nick discovering who the mysterious Gatsby is and from here, the real mystery begins.

I really can’t say much more about the plot of this film, without completely spoiling it. But what I will say, is that it certainly kept me guessing. From who Gatsby was and how he made his millions, to how the story would end. I was constantly guessing and re-guessing. It was by far one of the best stories I’ve experienced in a while. The plot twists and delivery were just excellent and I really can’t find much wrong with The Great Gatsby.

thumbnail_3c8a774d-6393-4204-a024-2694c8aeea0aAnother very impressive factor in this film is its backgrounds and scenes. They are just so attention grabbing and so well done, making The Great Gatsby a real feast for the eyes. Especially, when the backgrounds are used to reflect the characters thoughts and emotions. Which also added a really nice feel to the movie, that completely sucks you in and has you very much amazed.

My only criticisms of this film, is that it’s a little slow and slightly boring at the start. However, once the film finally gets going, it turns out to be very exciting and enjoyable. Also, although I thoroughly enjoyed this films unique and quirky style, I don’t think it would be to everyone’s taste and some may find it a little too much and a little too strange for their liking.

Overall, The Great Gatsby was an amazing film and the best film I’ve seen in a while. From its endless plot twists and the mystery that is its storyline, to its dazzling and breathtaking scenes, I loved every bit of it. This film may be a slow starter, but from the second you lay eyes on the Great Jay Gatsby, this movie will hold you captive until the very end (in a good way though. Not in a scary hostage situation way). For this reason, I would highly recommend watching The Great Gatsby. It would make a great addition to any movie night.

Rating: 5/5

Hope you like my new shorter style of review. I plan on trying this style out for a while, as it should allow me to post more regularly. Reviews will still be the same quality, but just more compact and to the point and of course, I’ll still include some digital art.

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy this new style

Top 10 Favourite Festive Movies

thumbnail_b7b5fa60-a601-4c64-b956-822ac5e2497cIt’s that time of year again for some of us. Where we become wrapping paper ninja, where going shopping becomes a deadly game of “Don’t get trampled” and where we make one hell of an attempt to get nice and fat.

Although we all might celebrate different holidays this time of year, one thing we can all come together and relate to, is a good Festive movie. There’s just nothing like escaping the cold, with a nice warm blanket and a hot drink and snuggling down to watch a holiday classic.

For this reason, I give to you my Top 10 Favourite Festive Movies:

10-Jack Frost (1998)
A boy’s father dies and comes back as a snowman. The father and son mend their broken bond, just before the snow starts to melt and you can see where this is going.
This movie isn’t great, but has made it onto the list due to nostalgia. Every Festive season, since I was a child, this movie has been shown on T.V. and it’s never fails be heartbreakingly bittersweet. Not the best Festive movie, but one I’m sure all 90’s children will remember watching, during the Festive season.

thumbnail_fa3a4abd-59e1-4f03-b5b4-5edd3c0840ac9-Rise of the Guardians
An evil villain named Pitch Black, aims to destroy all the holiday guardian’s, so that the world will be thrown into darkness and despair. To stop this villain, the guardians must work together and reignite children’s belief in the guardians.
This list is a bit on PG side, but that’s mainly because families all come together over the festive season. I come from quite a large family, where children (my nieces and nephews) outnumber the adults. So, festive viewing has to be child friendly.
If it wasn’t for that, I probably would have never given this movie a look in. This film is surprisingly dark and may upset more sensitive children, but glob I love the villain in the movie (as children’s film villains go, he’s terrifying). The fact the main character and Elsa from Frozen, has similar powers is a bit suspicious. But ignoring that, it makes for a good festive movie, for when chaos in child form comes to visit.

8- Arthur Christmas
This is a very typical Christmas movie involving the big guy, Snorlax (No, wait that’s not right). I mean, Santa Claus. It’s pretty straight forward, Santa Claus forgets a child and he’s too exhausted, to sort this problem out himself. So, saving this child’s Christmas, falls into the less competent hands of Santa Claus’s son, his retired father and an elf.
Another film I would have ignored, if it wasn’t for child friendly viewing. As Santa Claus movies go, this is one of the better ones and is very entertaining. It makes for a great silly, jokey movie, that both children and adults can enjoy.

7-Frozen
By now we’ve all probably seen Frozen, so it needs little introduction. A hilarious little snowman, catchy songs and a story about two sisters love for each other. What’s not to love? However, this movie comes with an added bonus, Silence. Sounds weird, but stick with me.
When your living room has become a mad hatter’s tea party of screaming children, arguing over something ridiculous (like who gets to open the lid of the sweets). Putting on this film, is like having a magic mute button. Within minutes of putting on Frozen, the shouting and messing stops and the house becomes so quiet, that all you can hear is the rustling of sweet papers, as everyone enjoys some chocolatey treats.

thumbnail_bfab7d9a-711d-4d2d-b5a2-680d677f38d16-Gremlins (1984)
A father, gives his son a strange creature, that comes with a set of strict rules, regarding its care. However, the son accidentally breaks these rules, causing the creature to multiply. Unfortunately, these newer creatures are evil and hell-bent on causing chaos. Leading to a bunch of the evil creatures, running amuck in the town, on Christmas Eve.
It may be an oldie, but it’s definitely one of the best festive films, of its time and is still an excellent movie. Being kind of creepy but funny, it makes a nice change from the typical festive films, shown this time of year. It’s also the reason, I feel uneasy around furbys, but screw it. It’s too good of a film, to hold that against it.

5- A Christmas Carol (2009)
There are so many different version of this classical Christmas story, about an old grumpy, money hungry man, being visited by 3 ghosts, that make him face his heartless and greedy ways. Causing him to become so horrified by his own behaviour and its consequences, that he changes his ways and transforms into Mr Super Nice.
Out of all versions, this one really surprised me. Considering it’s animated, I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was. However, I was wrong and the animation, gave it a really creepy vibe, which made the film very enjoyable.

4-The Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king is fed up with life in Halloween town, so forms a plan to kidnap Santa Claus and take over the Christmas holiday.
I’m a huge fan of stop-motion and Tim Burton is one of my favourite directors, so it’s no surprise that The Nightmare Before Christmas, is on this list. The dark spooky undertone, great character design, dramatic singing and layers of hidden meanings throughout, are all things I love about this film. The Nightmare Before Christmas is just so magical and full of wonder. It’s not hard to see, why it’s also one of my favourite Tim Burton films.

3-Elf
A human raised by elves at the north pole, discovers he is not an elf and wants to return to the human world, to meet his real father. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know how things work in the human world (who ever actually does), which leads to him getting himself into some odd but hilarious situations.
This movie is kind of silly, but silly doesn’t mean bad. In fact, Elf is really enjoyable and is a great good mood movie, that will help relieve that holiday stress (It’s hard to be stressed, when watching someone so cheerful).

63aaf79a-039e-4ce1-9b87-28916246851f2-The Grinch (2000)
The Who’s of Whoville, repeatedly humiliate and treat the Grinch like dirt. So, he decides to get revenge, by stealing the Who’s Christmas.
The older I get, the more I can relate to the Grinch. There’s just times while watching this film, that you realise you’re as odd as the Grinch, have the same level of hatred for Christmas and have some of the same alone behaviours.
I find myself laughing more at the fact, I’m slowly becoming the Grinch, than at the comedy in this movie. However, it’s this relatability that makes this film so enjoyable and amusing. It’s like watching yourself, when you’re in a bit of a bad mood and having a bad day.

1-A Muppets Christmas Carol 
It’s the same classical story as the other A Christmas Carol on this list, except with the Muppets.
I watch this movie multiple times throughout the holiday season and love it for so many reasons. Some of the main reasons being nostalgia, I grew up watching the Muppets and Sesame street and now adore anything to do with puppets. Another reason is, how it uses great quotes from the book. I also love the book, so find this so fantastic.
However, the biggest reason is, the Muppets delivery of a classic Christmas tale. The delivery is just excellent in this film. They take a serious classical tale and add in some humour, without destroying overall tone of the story. It’s my favourite Muppets movie and an excellent festive movie.

Hope you enjoyed this list and feel free to tell me, your festive favourites in the comments. Looking forward to reading them.

District 9

thumbnail_83643c4b-a6e6-40f8-b991-bf8e716d2d7cI’ve been asked so many times if I’ve seen District 9, that I finally became curious enough to check it out for myself. Usually films about giant bug aliens, is a no go for me. Normal little bugs make my skin crawl, so the thought of giant intelligent bugs, horrifies me to my very soul. Movies like Alien and District 9, really makes me want to sleep with a rolled-up newspaper under my pillow and a can of bug spray on my nightstand.

Curiosity got the better of me this time and I am now reviewing a film, that quite frankly made me dry-heave, a few times. But not to worry, what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger (if insomnia, nightmares and night sweats, are the equivalent to stronger).

District 9, begins with an alien spaceship breaking down within the earth’s atmosphere. Being the friendly hospitable creatures, we are, the humans blow a hole in the side of the spaceship, to have a peep inside.

Inside the spaceship, a race of harmless giant grasshopper aliens, are found. (Later named the prawns, because no one knew what a prawn actually looked like and mistook grasshoppers for prawns. A very sad error to make, if cooking prawn rice). Being awesomely kind-hearted the human governments, decide to give the poor prawns somewhere to stay on earth. Allowing them to build a shanty town, ran by human warlords and for safety’s sake, surround it with a high spiky fence.

After 30 years, the shanty town becomes lawless and a threat, due to warlords exploiting the prawns cat food addictions. Promising the prawns cat food in exchange alien weapons. To eliminate this threat, the Multi-National United (MNU) aims to destroy the shanty town and move the prawns to a new tent town.

While giving the prawns eviction notices, MNU officer Wikus finds a strange piece of alien technology, which he unintentionally activates. Leading to him infecting himself, with an alien virus which causes him to slowly to transform into a prawn. The MNU then take Wikus away to experiment on him. However, he escapes and becomes a fugitive and must hide from the MNU, while finding a cure for the alien virus.

thumbnail_49996307-f309-4a00-927c-e1e58c19c610

What an actual giant friendly prawn alien would look like.

Glob, I feel like a crazy lady just writing that description and that’s only the first 20 minutes of the film. District 9 has a lot happening and from my description, you can probably tell, what this film is hinting at. Considering how sensitive of subject it is, I’ll save you from a lengthy interpretation of this film and just say, there’s a slight hidden meaning to its beginning.

My honest opinion of District 9, is that I could take or leave it. It makes a big flashy statement at the start, but doesn’t follow through. It’s as if the creators put all their efforts into making the beginning great, but just got a film irony template from Disney, for the rest of the film (I joke not, it the same formula used in films, like Freaky Friend or The Princess and the Frog). This didn’t completely ruin the film, it just seemed a bit strange. But I suppose the beginning of a film is important, and if a film formula works, why not use it.

What spoiled this film for me, was the main character Wikus, he just wasn’t likeable. He was a complete and utter tool (jerk) and very moronic, making him incredibly annoying. I also think they went a bit far with the grossness, in District 9. I really could have done without seeing a lady munching on a putrefied prawn arm. It just turned my stomach and made me want to turn the film off.

Despite its shortcomings, District 9 did have a few good things going for it. Mainly the design of the prawn aliens. They looked very cool, with their creepy grasshopper anatomy and were very bug like. I can really see why the prawns are so appealing, to fans of these sort of movies.

Distract 9 also plays around with some very interesting alien concepts, like alien reproduction, weapons, technology and how aliens would view the human race. This aspect of the film, was fascinating and for me, is what really saves this movie from becoming a complete loss.

To conclude on District 9, I feel it’s just another okay movie. It really didn’t excite me much. Although it had an under tone of meaning at the beginning, it didn’t follow through with this level of meaning and became rather typical of any other irony/ “don’t be a jerk or you’ll be punished” movie. It did have cool creepy aliens and some interesting concepts, but this didn’t fully make up for its irritating main character. In a nutshell, I wasn’t overly fussed on this movie and I could take or leave it. For that reason, I would rate it middle of the road.

Rating 2.5/5

Crimson Peak

thumbnail_65dfb950-d461-40fd-bde1-449ac3960c70The last review of this little Halloween horror adventure. A horror film about creepy ghosts, a lunatic with a knife and a helpless idiot, that breaks all the rules of surviving a horror movie, seems the perfect way to end this series. Crimson Peak had all this creepiness and alike bit more.

Crimson Peak is about a young woman Edith, who is hunted by the ghost of her dead mother. Her mother returns from the grave to bring her a warning of Crimson Peak. Although terrified by these ghostly visits, Edith decides to ignore the warnings and give it no more thought.

An English baronet named, Sir Thomas Sharpe appears out of the blue one day, at Edith’s father’s business. After only a few day Edith falls deeply in love with Thomas and after the mysterious dead of her father, she agrees to marry Thomas and move to his stately home in England, in a place known as Crimson Peak. Shortly after moving to Crimson Peak, Edith realises things are not as they seem and quickly discovers a horrifying secret about Thomas and the place called Crimson Peak.

With badly decomposed ghost skeletons jumping out from every corner, this movie should by terrifying. Unfortunately, Crimson Peak falls short of this and is more, creepy than scary. This film starts of good and set a scary tone, but sadly this doesn’t last long and is lost, when the film tries to become a psychological thriller. But before I end up ripping completely into this film, I think I should start with, what was good about this film.

The best thing about this film is the ghosts and the stately house. They’re both creepy as fudge and set a really nice tone for a horror film. The ghosts are these horribly mangled figures, that look more skeleton or zombie like then human. The house, you could not pay me to stay overnight in. It just looks like a place you’d meet a horrible bloody end in and screams haunted house. Perfect for a horror film and setting an eerie tone.

thumbnail_8992c439-92a4-4c04-96a3-7911508f1428When the film finally gets going, the storyline is pretty interesting. Before, Edith goes to Crimson Peak the movies a bit boring and not that interesting. However, when she finally arrives at Crimson Peak, things get very interesting and a very nice mystery is unravelled. Along the way, terrifying ghosts appear everywhere. Seemingly with the intent to hurt Edith. But things are not as they seem and the presence of these ghosts deepen the mystery even more.

Although, Crimson Peak has its good points, it unfortunately also has a lot of bad. I could go on and on about what’s wrong with this film, but that would get boring really fast. So, I’ll just touch on the two biggest problems with this movie. Crimson Peak didn’t seem to know what it wanted to be. It jumps between horror, murder mystery and twisted romance constantly. If this was meant to be a blend of genres, then they blended the genres very badly. At times it seemed like two different movies. One about a murder mystery with creepy ghosts and the other about jealous twisted love triangle. Making the movies direction seem confused and lost at times.

Also, the main character, Edith was incredibly annoying and a complete idiot. Edith receives numerous warnings from a ghost, but pays no attention. A strange guy and his creepy sister show up from nowhere, looking money. Then Edith’s father dies mysteriously after an argument with this guy. But for some crazy reason, Edith still agrees to marry this guy, despite only knowing him for a few days and the fact her father just died. That whole scenario stinks of black widow. More annoying, Edith even comments on the fact that this guy wants to appear to have money, but clearly doesn’t and you would also think she’d be wary of strangers, after being warned about an unfamiliar place. So, what the fudge was this lady at. She clearly has no sense.

When Edith finally gets to Crimson Peak, she just takes the complete biscuit. From doing ridiculously stupid things that always leads to injury or death in horror movies, to letting herself be treated and talked to, worse than a dog. She was clearly missing a back bone and possibly a brain as well. She had so many warnings and opportunities to escape. It was like was she wanted to be killed.

Overall, Crimson Peak was just Okay. It had an interesting mystery and terrifying ghosts, but seemed to missing that one thing that makes for good horror. It was also very confused about its direction and genre and at times was boring and predictable. However, in saying that, it did have some good going for it.

As a film for a Halloween horror binge watch, I would not recommend this movie. There is just so many other better horror films you could watch, that would more suitable and a lot scarier.

Rating: 2/5

World War Z

thumbnail_53651c8f-5636-4f24-b2f5-396cee4908baNo Halloween venture into the darkness, would be complete without a Zombie or two. In World War Z case, super-fast loud zombies, that can really utilise the power of the zombie pyramid. Pretty terrifying if you ask me. Roof tops aren’t even save from these guys. There’s really no escape from these horrifying creatures. Which makes this film, perfect for a Halloween scare.

World War Z is a zombie apocalypse film, about a retired U.N. investigator called Gerry (although you are given the impression, he was more of a secret agent than investigator). While leaving his children to school with his wife, zombies start attacking the city. Causing mass panic and chaos in the early morning traffic.

Luckily, they escape the speedy zombies and the chaos, and eventually find themselves on a floating military base, with Gerry’s old U.N. buddies. Far from the reach of zombies. Unfortunately, to keep their place in this base, Gerry must come out of retirement and help in the mission to find a cure for the zombie virus. This leads to Gerry jetting around the world, in the search for a cure. While of course fighting and escaping from massive herds of zombies.

I’m a huge fan of zombie films, and World War Z truly didn’t fail to please. But to shake this review up a bit, I’m going to review it in terms of the 5 things I look for in a good zombie film.

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I think I may have gone too far with the cat soup kitties. I might need to balance this out with the cute creepy drawing of the kitties.  

Zombie Quality
Plain and simple, the zombie in World War Z are terrifying. Being faster than the average human, surviving over a hundred feet falls and being surprisingly acrobatic, I would place them in the super zombie category. They also make horrifying noises, that will make your blood run cold. I for one, would absolutely not want to come up against one of these zombies. My baby legs would stand no chance at outrunning one of these guys.
Visually, the zombies look just as terrifying. Although most are computerised, the few that aren’t look incredibly freaky. Kind of like angry walking corpses. Making zombie quality, really good in World War Z.

Story
The storyline is pretty straight forward. Zombies attack, man decides he’ll find cure for zombies, man goes find cure, while avoiding becoming zombie food. It’s pretty basic, but is delivered very well. It gets the balance of action and story just right and has a nice twist near the end. My only criticism is that some of the action scenes move a little too fast, for the eye to keep up with. Meaning these scenes can be slightly confusing and it can be hard to tell, which characters have been taken by zombies.
Also, if you have a fear of flying, I would recommend staying away from this movie. There’s a lot of airplane incidents, that will completely horrify you and feed your fear even more.

Zombie Deaths
Sadly, there is no really good or gory zombie death in this film. I think this film is more about the chase then the kill. Meaning, it’s focused more on people running away from the zombies, then fighting the zombies. Although, there are a few one on one zombie kills, there’s none that really stand out. Making this film pretty disappointing, in terms of zombie deaths.

thumbnail_b10903e2-5c9c-49fb-8df2-8ac93baa5a9aAccuracy
I’m very passionate about microbiology (it one of the few things I miss from my time studying Biomedical science). How scientifically accurate a zombie film is, can be a real deal breaker for me. I don’t expect the writers to be experts, but just to get the basics right and at least know, the difference between bacteria and virus or anything a quick google search could tell them.
Luckily, World War Z was surprisingly accurate and had no crazy scientifically inaccurate comments. Best of all, it showed a very good understanding of microbiology and that they actually did their research. It’s probably one of the more accurate zombie films I’ve seen, making it very nice film in my eyes.

Surprise and Originality
It’s pretty hard to be original when it comes to zombie films. Nearly everything been done before, so the littlest bit of originality goes a long way. World War Z is rather typical of a zombie film; however, I’ve never seen zombie pyramids before and I haven’t quite seen someone travel around the world, during a zombie apocalypse. Its twist was also fairly surprising and somewhat original. Therefore, I would say that, World War Z is original as zombie movies get and will definitely please in this area.

Overall, World War Z is a rather good film. Its action packed and full of excitement, but is still focused on telling an interesting story. It isn’t very gory, yet still manages to make its zombie absolutely terrifying. It’s definitely one of the better zombie films I’ve seen and for this reason, I would highly recommend giving it a watch.

Rating: 4/5