Thursday, April 21, 2016

Indigenous (2014)

Number Rolled: 88
Movie Name/Year: Indigenous (2014)
Tagline: There are places you should never visit. This is one of them.
Genre: Horror
Length: 85 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Kilburn Media
Producer: Trey Bohn, Mark C. Manuel, Ted O’Neal, Bryan O’Reilly, James Samson, Matthew Therrell
Director: Alastair Orr
Writer: Max Roberts
Actors: Zachary Soetenga, Lindsey McKeon, Sofia Pernas, Pierson Fode, Jamie Anderson, Juanxo Villaverde, Laura Penuela, Yana Galuz, Michael Mealor, Jaime Newball, Mark Steger

Blurb from Netflix: When five American tourists take a pleasure trip to Panama, they ignore warnings by the locals and come face-to-face with a bloodsucking monster.

Selina’s Point of View:
Once again, I had no connection to this film.

The settings were fine, the actors were fine, and even the script was fine. But that’s all it was. It was fine. Nothing stood out. Nothing was super interesting. The characters were completely depthless. Even the big bad wasn’t super interesting. It looked like a cross between the original Nosferatu (1922) vampire and Gollum from the Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) trilogy.

I won’t be watching the film again and I won’t be recommending it to anyone looking for entertainment instead of background noise.

Cat’s Point of View:
I get excited when we come up with a creature feature. The majority of these movies tend to fall into the B-movie category. This film would definitely be one of those.

There were, unfortunately, few things in this movie that would transcend mediocrity.

The acting was ok, and the Panamanian setting was beautiful and lush. The film fairly accurately depicts how easy it is to get lost or separated in densely wooded areas – especially ones you are unfamiliar with.

The creature was…interesting. I think that Mark Steger (The Pact, 400 Days, Holidays) did a great job bringing that swiftly moving nightmare machine to life. My problem wasn’t with the performance. My issue was how they identified the creature. To me, at least, it didn’t seem to fit the mythos presented.

Further, you could almost feel that this movie was following a recipe. There were so many tropes going on. I felt like I’d seen the movie before (and I know I haven’t). The social media element made it a little more ‘relevant,’ but that’s a stretch.

I think I actually sighed a bit because the film had nothing original to offer me. I almost missed the decent ‘noises in the foliage’ and ‘getting lost in the dark’ suspense factors because I was so tempted to haul out my phone to play a game.

This movie wasn’t terrible; but it was vanilla. There wasn’t anything to set it apart among creature features to make it worth either watching again or recommending.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 14%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score2/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score2.5/5

Movie Trailer: 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Final Girl (2015)

Number Rolled: 92
Movie Name/Year: Final Girl (2015)
Tagline: The hunted becomes the hunter.
Genre: Horror
Length: 84 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: NGN Productions, Prospect Park, Final Girl Productions
Producer: Kim Breslin, Rob Carliner, Tara Cowell-Plain, Jeffrey Donnelly, Dureyshevar, Dion York Foley, Jeff Kwatinetz, Jack Nasser, Jacob Nasser, Joseph Nasser, Marco Torres
Director: Tyler Shields
Writer: Adam Prince, Stephen Scarlata, Alejandro Seri, Johnny Silver
Actors: Abigail Breslin, Wes Bentley, Logan Huffman, Cameron Bright, Alexander Ludwig, Reece Thompson, Francesca Eastwood, Emma Paetz, Gracyn Shinyei, Desiree Zurowski, Sean Tyson, Brett London

Blurb from Netflix: A group of sociopaths that’s been killing girls in the woods for sport sets its sights on a teen who turns out to be a trained assassin.

Selina’s Point of View:
When we rolled this film, I thought it was a different movie. I thought we’d rolled The Final Girls (2015) which is a different movie from the same year, with a very similar name also starring Alexander Ludwig (Lone Survivor, The Hunger Games, Race to Witch Mountain). I don’t feel so bad being confused about it because… seriously… wtf?

Anyway, The Final Girls isn’t even on Netflix, but Final Girl was on my “want to see” list anyway.

I don’t understand the reviews this film got. Critics and audiences hated it. I just didn’t. I didn’t love it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I’ll be the first to admit that there wasn’t any significant depth in it and there wasn’t much of a point to it, but it wasn’t made to be that kind of film. It hasn’t got its hands out begging for an Oscar. It’s along the lines of torture porn, but it’s more like revenge porn, I guess. Saw (2004) was nothing but torture porn and that movie was fine.

It’s not for everyone, but I enjoyed it. I thought the characters were interesting and I saw all kinds of influences from other works such as American Psycho (2000) and Donnie Darko (2001) in the way the actors portrayed their characters.

The scenes were beautiful as well. At times the director might have put more effort into the beauty of the shot than he did into anything else, but that beauty was worth it.

I don’t think I’d have been disappointed if I had seen this in theaters.

Cat’s Point of View:
This movie should not be confused with the similarly titled The Final Girls (2015), which also features Alexander Ludwig (The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, Vikings, Blackway). It seems to be a coincidence of timing that these movies were released in the same year. IMDb shows that Abigail Breslin (No Reservations, Rango, Maggie) was 16 at the time she filmed this; which would put the production year at 2012.

Moving on!

I really enjoyed this movie – from the nod to vintage slasher films in the movie’s title, to the female heroine, all the way through the concept of a living embodiment of karma.

One of my favorite characters in the film was “Danny Boy,” played by Logan Huffman (Refuge, Underdogs, Complicity). His character was completely unhinged and provided a bit of comedic relief (albeit dark humor). I was very impressed to learn that he improvised quite a bit of his performance. Further, a small, yet important, scene for his character in which he’s getting ready for ‘the big night’ was entirely his idea. This kid is going places.

This movie left me with lots of questions – and that’s a good thing. I was into it enough that I wondered about the story behind the story. Was Wes Bentley’s (There Be Dragons, Amnesiac, We Are Your Friends) character part of some larger organization? If not, it would suggest that there is a bit of a plot hole in time discrepancy – but I’d like to believe that this was part of something bigger. I didn’t even question that potential fudge until I was watching the credits roll.

I loved the woods settings with the ambient lighting in such a fashion that it provided crazy good profile shots with some of the scenes. It helped set the tone in the latter half of the movie.

There was only one element that distracted me from getting fully immersed in the story. Through most of the movie it was raining – and no one seemed to get wet! Sure it’s an aesthetics thing – but it’s the kind of little detail that just randomly gets under my skin. I would have enjoyed it more, and scored it higher had that not been the case.

Be wary of watching the trailer for this movie. It really seems to give away quite a bit that I think most watching this film would want to discover on their own as the story unfolds. 

I’d definitely recommend this film to horror fans who are in the mood for a good story and not as much gore as your typical slasher.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 27%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 22%

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

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

Movie Trailer: