Friday, November 24, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Due to Thanksgiving, there won't be a post today. We hope you had a great holiday!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Unborn (2009)

Number Rolled: 50
Movie Name/Year: The Unborn (2009)
Tagline: Evil will do anything to live.
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Length: 87 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Rogue Pictures, Platinum Dunes, Phantom Four, Relativity Media
Producer: Michael Bay, William S. Beasley, Jessika Borsiczky, Andrew Form, Bradley Fuller
Director: David S. Goyer
Writer: David S. Goyer
Actors: Odette Annabel, Gary Oldman, Cam Gigandet, Meagan Good, Idris Elba, Jane Alexander, Atticus Shaffer, James Remar, Carla Gugino, C.S. Lee, Rhys Coiro, Michael Sassone, Ethan Cutkosky
Stunt Doubles: Nicole Callender, Marie Fink, Carl Paoli, Dave Pope, Deep Roy, Jeff Shannon, Jodi Starnes, Mark Steger, Rich Wilkie

Blurb from Netflix: Tortured by frightening dreams at night and a young boy’s ghost during the day, a teen turns to a spiritual adviser for help in this eerie thriller.

Selina’s Point of View:
A friend of mine warned me about this film about a year or two ago.

I can handle a lot in my horror films. Torture sequences don’t do much to me, neither do most jump scares. I have an issue with eyes and I have an issue with fetuses. Between the two of them, there was a lot for my friend to warn me about. Many of the horror scenes were based around my particular issues, which made this an incredibly difficult film for me to watch.

In general, if I didn’t have my particular brand of issues, I wouldn’t say it was all that different on the fear factor level than any other non-found-footage paranormal movie out there. It was mostly jump scares. Pretty much Exorcism 101.

The graphics, however, were kind of cool. There were a few things that could have looked corny, but they wound up having a more realistic touch to them that kept me from rolling my eyes.

There were some scenes that I feel didn’t made sense in the context of the story… and that did pull me out of it just a little bit. Not enough to dislike the movie, but enough to keep me from really being wowed.

Altogether, I’d say it’s a strong supernatural thriller with horror components. I might think to recommend it to someone with taste that goes in that direction.

Cat’s Point of View:
When you think of Michael Bay (I Am Number Four, Pain & Gain, Black Sails), it doesn’t exactly bring the horror genre to mind. There were no explosions or any of the other tropes that he’s well-known for. Then again, he was just a producer for this film.

The writing and directing credits go to the brilliant David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Invisible, Da Vinci's Demons). His body of work proves that he has a firm grasp on things dark and disturbing – things this film had in spades.

Seriously, there are a couple of scenes that will likely give me nightmares – again.

That’s right. Again. This wasn’t the first time I’ve watched this movie. It was more like the third or fourth time. I can’t remember which, but does it really matter? I was fairly giddy when the dice gave it to us this time. It doesn’t get old for me.

The creep-factor is real.

Unlike the film we reviewed for you last, this movie draws you into a cohesive story with interesting and engaging characters. For a minute, you might look at the young people and roll your eyes a bit with an ‘it’s going to be one of THOSE’ feeling – but then it takes a jog to the left. These, for the most part, weren’t flat stereotypes.

Can we talk cast here? The production team pulled out the big guns with Gary Oldman (Planet 51, The Book of Eli, Darkest Hour) and Idris Elba (No Good Deed, Beasts of No Nation, Molly's Game). You can look on IMDb and clearly see that Odette Annable (Cloverfield, House, The Truth About Lies) is a busy lady, as well. I can certainly see why. I’d have to say that it’s not often that a character in a movie simultaneously brings the thoughts ‘awww’ and ‘holy shit’ to mind; but Cam Gigandet (Pandorum, Easy A, Red Sky) pulled that one off here with his role as Mark.

If you’re looking for a solid movie with some roots in folklore and seriously creeptastic content, give this one a shot.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 10%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 30%
Metascore - 30/100
Metacritic User Score – 5.1/10
IMDB Score – 4.8/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4/5

Movie Trailer:

Monday, November 20, 2017

Ouija Experiment 2: The Ouija Resurrection (2015)

Number Rolled: 20
Movie Name/Year: Ouija Experiment 2: The Ouija Resurrection (2015)
Tagline: Hell will be unleashed.
Genre: Horror
Length: 84 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: La Luna Entertainment
Producer: Stuart Alson, Nicole Holland, Felix McNulty, Hareendra Samarasekera, Tom Zembrod
Director: Israel Luna
Writer: Israel Luna
Actors: Justin Armstrong, Gerald Crum, Sally Greenland, Ty Larson, Swisyzinna, Shanon Snedden, Jessica Willis, Eric Window, Eric Zettina, Tom Zembrod, Israel Luna, Chaselyn Wade, Nicole Holt
Stunts: Tom Zembrod

Blurb from Netflix: Audience members become hostages trapped in a theater when a rapacious spirit is summoned through a Ouija board and set on the loose.

Selina’s Point of View:
I normally love watching movies. Hell, it’s why I first got it in my head to start this blog in the first place. Even if the film I’m watching isn’t particularly good, I find some amusement in the awfulness.

I didn’t here. I found Ouija Experiment 2: The Ouija Resurrection to be completely pointless – much like the redundancy of the original title. Of course, IMDb has the newer title on file – The Ouija Experiment 2: Theatre of Death – which is much better. If only they’d made similar changes to the film.

The only good thing I can say about it, is that it works as a stand-alone film. Although it’s a sequel, they added a kind of ‘previously on’ that fit into the story relatively well. Unfortunately, it was a terrible story.

That’s all the good I’ve got. The rest of the news is very bad.


The acting was absolutely ridiculous. Not in a funny way, either. It was just incredibly painful to watch. The acting was even paired with an awful script. I rolled my eyes so hard at one point that I actively gave myself a headache.

I get what the film makers were trying to do here. It was supposed to be a meta jokingly-egotistical take on the first film, but that’s not how it came off. It felt like a fully narcissistic step in the wrong direction.

To make it worse, there were times I could swear the entire thing had been recorded on an old phone. There was horrific video and sound quality.

There’s not much else I can say. It was just… bad.

Cat’s Point of View:
In my review of The Ouija Experiment (2011), which we covered back in July of 2016, I expressed my hope that we wouldn’t land on its sequel. Well, here we are – with the sequel.

My primary gripes about the first movie seem to be about shaky cam, a soap opera atmosphere, and boredom resulting from my lack of being able to engage with the movie. I’m happy to report that history didn’t entirely repeat itself.

There were a few camera sequences that felt a bit spastic, but I was immensely relieved that they stepped away from the found-footage theme for this one. The soapy melodrama was also ditched, but I’m not sure if what it was replaced with was much better. There was some seriously stilted dialogue going on here. Some of it was painfully awkward beyond the cringe that seemed to be purposeful in the scene.

I wasn’t entirely bored with this one, and they did catch me with a few jump scares, but I still had trouble engaging with the characters. I think a chunk of that was due to the writing, or perhaps production choices. Some of the tale felt a bit disjointed. The background music choices did help add a little tension to the atmosphere, but all told it just wasn’t that scary.

For example, what was up with the accent Sally Greenland (Misfire, Terminal Legacy, Dawn Patrol) was using? 

I’m not very familiar with her as an actress, and IMDb is rather lacking on bio info, so I’m not sure if that’s her real accent and the writing mislabeled it as British or if she was trying for British and it just sounded like Aussie.

I did like the twist that brought Swisyzinna (Wops the Movie, Deceptions of Love, Lady Luck), Justin Armstrong (Art of Survival, Allegiance of Powers, Ghost Note), and Eric Window (In the Land of Fireworks, Sideline Confessions, Carter High) back as themselves on a promo tour for their small budget film.

It felt like an interesting fourth-wall break for the original movie after-the-fact.                
For a film that cost less than $1,000.00 to make, I’d say they did a decent job.  A lot of that success can likely be attributed to multi-faceted crew members such as Gerald Crum (Velvet Vengeance, Lake Fear, Blood Vow) who worked on set decorations, the sound department, and lighting – in addition to acting in the role of Danny.

I’m not entirely happy about this movie. It’s a toss-up as to whether I even liked it any better than the first. Needless to say, a snowball in Hades has a better chance than this film of getting a recommendation from me.

Speech Available: English, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish
Subtitles Available: English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, Spanish

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 4%
Metascore - None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 1.9/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating1/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating1.5/5

Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: PG-13

Movie Trailer: