Thursday, October 8, 2015

Haunter (2013)


Number Rolled: 63
Movie Name/Year: Haunter (2013)
Tagline: Are you awake?
Genre: Thriller
Length: 97 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Wild Bunch, Copperheart Entertainment, Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, Haunter Productions, Movie Central, The Movie Network
Executive Producer: Vincent Maraval, Vincenzo Natali, John Raymons, Mark Smith
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Writer: Brian King
Actors: Abigail Breslin, Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Nolden, Stephen McHattie, Peter DaCunha, Samantha Weinstein, Eleanor Zichy, David Hewlett, Sarah Manninen, Martine Campbell, David Knoll, Michelle Coburn, Tadhg McMahon, Marie Dame

Lisa is living the same day over and over again. Wake up. Eat breakfast. Do the laundry. She can’t understand why she knows it’s happening, but her family doesn’t. Eventually, the routine begins to change and she searches for a way to break free.

Selina’s Point of View:
I was very much in the mood for a horror or a thriller since I had just finished watching the season premiere of American Horror Story: Hotel (2015). How awesome was that episode, by the way? Super graphic. SUPER graphic. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.

I digress.

Haunter has a very unique storyline. I know the above description makes it seem very Groundhog Day (1993), but that’s only because the Netflix description pissed me off. It tells viewers about one of the big twists in the movie, and I don’t jive with that. We take spoilers very seriously here at Trust the Dice. I definitely don’t think they should be included in the damn blurb.

Unacceptable.

Not only did the Netflix blurb give a significant spoiler, but it hurt my enjoyment of the film. At times during the movie I remember thinking that it would be a better experience if I didn’t know what Netflix told me.

Although the spoiler killed the first half of the film for me, the rest of it was decent. It had a few of the jump scares you expect, but the underlying plot was so creepy that it didn’t seem to be relying on the jumps.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad film. I recommend that anyone interested in seeing it refrain from reading the Netflix blurb.

Cat’s Point of View:
I was hopeful when this movie came up. The teaser summary appealed to me – this didn’t sound like it was going to be your average horror/thriller.  I am pleased to share that it certainly wasn’t; and it was amazing.

Alas, there isn’t a lot I can discuss in detail, regarding the elements that I adore about this movie, without spoiling things. Though, in watching the trailer after-the-fact; I am pretty irked that they included some scenes that probably should have stayed a mystery.

Imagine a dark and twisted version of Groundhog Day (1993).

Abigail Breslin (Rango, Nim's Island, Ender's Game) had me believing in her fear, confusion, and frustration. I was entirely sucked into her situation, and even gasped when she did a few times.

I am not so sure that I won’t have a nightmare tonight with Stephen McHattie (The Timekeeper, Immortals, The Strain) in it, after this. His performance was so sinister. From his expressions to his voice, he just embodied this boogie-man he was portraying. I felt my heart race a few times.

Fans of blood and gore won’t really find that sort of thing here, but the horror abounds. I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and would gladly watch it again.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 53%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 42%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

The Random Rating: PG-13

Movie Trailer:



Monday, October 5, 2015

Life Partners (2014)


Number Rolled: 73
Movie Name/Year: Life Partners (2014)
Tagline: One guy can ruin the perfect relationship.
Genre: Romance
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Haven Entertainment, Minerva Productions, Red Crown Productions, Sandia Media
Executive Producer: Daniel Crown, Anne O’Shea, Peter Touche
Director: Susanna Fogel
Writer: Susanna Fogel, Joni Lefkowitz
Actors: Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs, Gabourey Sidibe, Beth Dover, Abby Elliott, Kate McKinnon, Adam Brody, Mark Feuerstein, Elizabeth Ho, Greer Grammer, Jaime Reichner, Julie White

Paige and Sasha are best friends. They do absolutely everything together. Suddenly Paige begins dating a new man and things seem destined to change.

Selina’s Point of View:
There’s this myth in pop culture that says a person has to give up their closest friend in order to find love. I just don’t buy it and I think it’s crap.

I fell in love with John and our lives intertwined, but he always knew that my best friend was part of the deal. I had to make that clear from the start because my best friend is male and that puts a whole extra layer of stigma on the whole thing. Luckily, John’s best friend is a female, so he understood.

You know what a good significant other does? Exactly what we did. We befriended each other’s best friends. It erased the stigma for us, though there are plenty of people who still look at us through the haze of normality. Oh the comments we got when people learned my maid of honor was a guy and his best man was a girl. A few people even suggested we swap, but what was the point? The stuff John and Regina went through made them close, just as the shit Mike and I went through made us close. We’re family and we were determined not to ignore that just because people felt uncomfortable with something that wasn’t any of their business anyway.

It’s my unwavering belief that if a relationship cannot survive the strength of true friendship, then it’s not a relationship worth having.

I know, none of that actually explains anything to you about whether or not the movie is worth watching, but I felt it needed saying. My official advice: if a relationship requires you to give up all your friends, or even just your best friend, get out. Friends are important. They are your backbone. Never give them up.

Now for the film.

I thought Life Partners was kind of cute. I didn’t think it was very deep, but it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

In the end, the acting was fine and the story was fine. I found it to be right around the mediocre line.

Cat’s Point of View:
I liked this movie a lot more than I thought I would. I didn’t really have any preconceived notions or judgments going in. I’ve just been on a bit of a horror/thriller kick lately.

The dynamic between Leighton Meester (Country Strong, That's My Boy, The Judge) and Gillian Jacobs (Gardens of the Night, The Box, Visions) was believable and engaging. Their performances were solid, and that was the glue that held this film together.

I felt like I was right there on the couch with them, watching America's Next Top Model (2003-). (I actually love that show, and recognized the episodes they were watching. Don’t judge! We all have our guilty pleasures, right?)

Adam Brody (Jennifer's Body, Scream 4, Baggage Claim) also did well with his character as the adorkable boyfriend. There were points that the awkwardness between his character and Leighton Meester’s was practically palpable. An interesting piece of trivia to note is that Brody and Meester have been married since February, 2014.

I’m not exactly sure what was missing from this movie that would have pulled me in further. I found my thoughts drifting a bit.

Off and on during the film, I was debating with myself if Gillian Jacobs was the actress that plays Burgess on Chicago P.D. (2014-). She, of course, isn’t. Though, in this film she bore a striking resemblance to Marina Squerciati (Alter Egos, Night Moves, A Walk Among the Tombstones).

A random piece of 6-degrees trivia for you: Squerciati was in eight episodes of Gossip Girl (2007-2012), where Meester was one of the primary leads.

I think this film falls squarely into the ‘it was alright, I liked it’ category. I won’t be dashing out for the DVD.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 62%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 48%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 3.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

P.S. There’s a cute short scene after the very start of the credits.

Movie Trailer: