Thursday, March 10, 2016

Horns (2013)

Number Rolled: 78
Movie Name/Year: Horns (2013)
Tagline: Love hurts like hell.
Genre: Drama
Length: 119 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Red Granite Pictures, Mandalay Pictures
Producer: Alexandre Aja, Riza Aziz, Joe Gatta, Joe Hill, Joey McFarland, Peter Measroch, Christian Mercuri, Justine Raczkiewicz, Cathy Schulman, Adam C. Stone, Shawn Williamson
Director: Alexandre Aja
Writer: Keith Bunin, Joe Hill
Actors: Daniel Radcliffe, Max Minghella, Joe Anderson, Juno Temple, Kelli Garner, James Remar, Kathleen Quinlan, Heather Graham, David Morse, Michael Adamthwaite, Nels Lennarson, Don Thompson, Jay Brazeau, Alex Zahara, Kendra Anderson, Christine Willes, Meredith McGeachie, Sarah Boey, Mitchell Kummen, Sabrina Carpenter, Laine MacNeil, Dylan Schmid, Jared Ager-Foster, Erik McNamee

Blurb from Netflix: Accused of murder, Ig Perish wakes up one day to find he’s grown a set of horns – compelling people to confess their sins to him.

Selina’s Point of View:
I can’t even put into words how much I loved this movie.

Logically, I know there were a couple of issues. My degree has to do with forensics and the crime scene mistakes did make me cringe a little bit. There was also some epilogue-type stuff I really would have wanted to know, but I feel like that might have been covered in the book.

Speaking of the book, I bought it and I’ll be reading it soon because, oh my god this movie.

The cast was perfect. Every single actor was on point and believable. The script was witty and intricate. The plot was original and creative. In fact, my ONLY issues were what I’ve already mentioned. Quite frankly, I feel like they didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the film even a little bit.

Horns may very well be one of my favorite movies now. I feel like I would have expected that if I had known the writer of the book, Joe Hill (Locke & Key, Tales from the Darkside, Pop Art), is actually Stephen King’s (Haven, Carrie, The Dead Zone) son.

Some quality fucking parenting right there.

Cat’s Point of View:
I had watched this movie before, and I remember enjoying it the first time around. I’m always up for giving a film another go to refresh my memory for the review – though, it’s a treat when I’ve wanted to watch one again anyway.

This movie is rich with symbolism, both subtle and blatant – without getting in the viewer’s face about it. One doesn’t come away from the film preached at, in spite of the religious elements.

I realized with this watch-through that this was based on a book of the same name, written by Stephen King’s (It, Christine, The Stand) son, Joe Hill (Abraham's Boys, Locke & Key, Tales from the Darkside). Talent definitely seems to run in that family.

This was the first movie that I had seen Daniel Radcliffe (December Boys, Kill Your Darlings, What If) in following his role as that famous lightning-scarred wizard boy. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I am glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised. I felt his pain and frustration and enjoyed his intensity. I will admit it was a little eerie for me at one point when he laughed and I practically saw his earlier role superimposed over this freshly-horned one. All in my head, of course. My dreams will be interesting again tonight, I’d imagine.

As a parting bit of trivia for those that might not recognize the vehicle that Radcliffe drives in the movie – it’s a Gremlin. I had a giggle over that.

If you enjoy a good ‘who done it’ flick with a supernatural twist, I would highly recommend this film.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 41%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 49%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Movie Trailer:

Monday, March 7, 2016

V/H/S/2 (2013)

Number Rolled: 91
Movie Name/Year: V/H/S/2 (2013)
Tagline: Who’s tracking you?
Genre: Horror
Length: 95 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: The Collective Studios, Bloody Disgusting, 8383 Productions, Snoot Entertainment, Haxan Films, Yer Dead Productions
Producer: Various
Director: Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sanchez, Timo Tjahjanto, Adam Wingard
Writer: Simon Barrett, Jamie Nash, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Evans, Jason Eisener, John Davies, Brad Miska
Actors: Various

Blurb from Netflix: Two private eyes investigating the disappearance of a student discover horrific content on a collection of evil VHS tapes in his home.

Selina’s Point of View:
So, we revisited the world of V/H/S (2012) tonight. It’s a world of found footage, first person perspective, and some serious horror.

I’ve made myself pretty clear about how I feel about shaky cam. I do not have a “love-hate” relationship with it, I have a “hate-hate” relationship with it. I hate that it exists and I hate when I have to sit through it. It makes me queasy and gives me a migraine. That being said, I’ll still sit through it for the blog.

The V/H/S series does make me think less about the shaky cam aspect and more about the story, which is a huge feat. I didn’t just sit through V/H/S/2, I actively enjoyed it. I still have a migraine, but it was worth it… for the most part.

I was amused to see that several of the people involved in this film also worked on one of the ABCs of Death (2012, 2014) movies. Mainly, I was amused because I believe that V/H/S and V/H/S/2 are what the ABCs of Death should have been. They’re creative, terrifying, and they push boundaries without crossing over to the “disgusting for disgusting sake” category.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’ve heard good things about this sequel. I had high hopes for V/H/S/2; though, after the last movie’s disappointment, I have to admit that I wasn’t holding my breath.

I’m glad I didn’t. I needed it to help me hold down dinner.

That might’ve sounded ominous, but I actually liked the movie a lot.

My issue was with the shaky cam and the swift swiveling camera motions at some points. I’m generally not squeamish, so the gore itself didn’t weird me out… but some of the scenarios where the gore came into play just made me squirm on principle.

There are just some things where having a first-person perspective ala GoPro gives intensity a new meaning.

The first V/H/S (2012) was a bit more blatant as an anthology. The connecting narrative wasn’t on its A-game. This sequel stepped it up a notch.  I found the reason behind the found footage was more well-crafted.

If not for one segment in particular, I actually could draw some lines to compose my own fan theory that the pieces were all part of a bigger puzzle. I found that fun to contemplate as I was watching; also in my lingering uncomfortable feeling that has followed since finishing the movie last night.

Though, at the end of a rather exhausting day, I probably shouldn’t have followed it up by falling asleep while watching Poltergeist (2015) on cable. My dreams were not exactly pleasant, to say the least.

Job well done, V/H/S/2.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 70%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 51%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 3/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

P.S. Some scenes during the credits, nothing big.

Movie Trailer: