Thursday, January 6, 2022

Top 10 Most Surprising Movies of 2021

According to: Selina
 
 
SPOILER ALERTBecause some of the surprises involved in the following movies have to do with plot points, there is a full spoiler alert on for this countdown.
 
10 My Little Pony: The Next Generation (2021) 
 

Reviewed on: September 29, 2021
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Animation
Rated: PG
Length: 90 minutes
 
IMDb Blurb: After the time of the Mane 6, Sunny--a young Earth Pony--and her new Unicorn friend Izzy explore their world and strive to restore Harmony to Equestria.
 
Who would have ever guessed a kids movie based around some ponies would be as insightful and relevant as this one was?
 
We expected My Little Pony: The Next Generation to be a decent offering for kids, but we had no idea just how good it would seem to adults as well. It blew our minds.
 
9 The Boy Behind the Door (2021) 
 

Reviewed on: July 26, 2021
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
Rated: Unrated
Length: 88 minutes
 
IMDb Blurb: After Bobby and his best friend Kevin are kidnapped and taken to a strange house in the middle of nowhere, Bobby manages to escape. But as he starts to make a break for it, he hears Kevin's screams for help and realizes he can't leave his friend behind.
 
In a previous countdown I mentioned that it’s tough to make kids committing violence something someone wants to see. In the case of The Boy Behind the Door, they managed to do it right.
 
During the first part of the movie, one of the boys manages to stab his kidnapper in the stomach – killing him. It’s an incredibly shocking scene. There was no way to see it coming. Sure, maybe one could have predicted an accidental stab, but for the kidnapper to die so soon? I have to admit, I may have cheered a little.
 
That wasn’t the last time the kids in this film were badass. But it was definitely the most surprising moment.
 
8 Blood Red Sky (2021) 
 

Reviewed on: July 28, 2021
Genre: Action, Horror, Thriller
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 123 minutes
 
IMDb Blurb: A woman with a mysterious illness is forced into action when a group of terrorists attempt to hijack a transatlantic overnight flight.
 
It’s not so much a specific aspect of Blood Red Sky that’s memorable, so much as the way it does things.
 
A good Nosferatu-style vampire is one of my favorite supernatural creatures. The storylines utilizing them are usually pretty basic, though. In this case, the creative team made the vampire sympathetic and threw in a heist-like aspect.
 
It was unpredictable through the use of a strange mix of elements and sub-genres.
 
7 V/H/S/94 (2021)
 

Reviewed on: October 4, 2021
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 100 minutes
 
IMDb Blurb: A police S.W.A.T. team investigates about a mysterious VHS tape and discovers a sinister cult that has pre-recorded material which uncovers a nightmarish conspiracy.
 
What made V/H/S/94 surprising was just how good it was.
 
After the first V/H/S (2012), the movies steadily declined in quality. It remained, for the most part, watchable… but not something you would go out of your way to find. We pretty much figured that V/H/S/94 would be along the same lines. At best it would be alright, at worst a train wreck.
 
We found a film that was crazy good instead. Never saw it coming.
 
6 After Midnight (2021)
 

Reviewed on: February 10, 2021
Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 83 minutes
 
IMDb Blurb: When his girlfriend suddenly disappears, leaving a cryptic note as her only explanation, Hank's comfortable life and his sanity begin to crack. Then, from the woods surrounding his house, something terrible starts trying to break in.
 
After the movie was just about over, and we decided there was nothing left for it to give us, After Midnight added one more twist.
 
It made us believe that the ‘monster’ in the movie was just about the main character battling a fear of commitment. He beats his fear and asks his girl to marry him. During the toast, in the last minute, an actual monster leaps from off screen and attacks the main character.
 
It was an extremely strange turn of events, and there was just no way to predict it.
 
5Hunter Hunter (2020) 
 

Reviewed on: April 14, 2021
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 93 minutes
 
IMDb Blurb: Joseph and his family live in the remote wilderness as fur trappers, but their tranquility is threatened when they think they are being hunted by the return of a rogue wolf, and Joseph leaves them behind to track it.
 
The ending of Hunter Hunter was insane.
 
Anne blacked out after being attacked. When she woke up, she frantically went searching for her daughter. When she did find her, the movie never actually showed what she found. This film that flat out showed a large group of nude and murdered women earlier on, along with some other devastatingly triggering stuff, decided whatever was in that room was too much for audiences.
 
After that, Anne goes after the guy responsible.
 
The movie ends with a scene of her flaying the responsible party alive. We see the whole thing happen, including a full look at the end product.
 
It’s such a savage scene that it’s impossible to look away, and so well-acted that it’s intensely shocking.  
 
4Kate (2021) 
 

Reviewed on: September 17, 2021
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime
Rated: R
Length: 106 minutes
 
IMDb Blurb: A female assassin has 24 hours to get vengeance on her murderer before she dies.
 
Kate was a John Wick-style film, following a female assassin as she fights her way toward some answers.
 
It was a decent movie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead delivers just as well as Keanu Reeves does in John Wick. Maybe it was a bit on the recipe side of things, but it definitely had potential to create a whole world. Sequels galore.
 
With the way producers have been going, wringing every single cent out of an IP before being forced to move on, it was expected that there would be sequel bait.
 
For the entire film, I wondered how they would find a cure for the poison that Kate experiences.
 
They don’t.
 
There’s not even a whiff of sequel bait. Not even an after-credits scene. In the end, she just dies. It’s glorious. An entire story is told, beginning to end, and there’s no swinging blade over it to keep us wondering if the sequel will destroy the plot.
 
It was truly surprising, and actually made the film so much better.
 
3Spontaneous (2020) 
 

Reviewed on: May 28, 2021
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Romance
Rated: R
Length: 101 minutes
 
IMDb Blurb: Get ready for the outrageous coming-of-age love story about growing up...and blowing up. When students in their school begin exploding (literally), seniors Mara and Dylan struggle to survive in a world where each moment may be their last.
 
Spontaneous paints itself as a teen romance within a comedy horror. The main character has her little crush, and people begin exploding around them.
 
It was an interesting, and unique, story… but it seemed to be going down a predictable route.
 
Until her crush explodes. Literally. With just over a half-hour left in the film.
 
Suddenly the genre’s changed. There’s a heaping helping of drama thrown in and it comes out of left field. I just about fell out of my chair.
 
2 The Suicide Squad (2021) 
 

Reviewed on: August 6, 2021
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: R
Length: 132 minutes
 
IMDb Blurb: Supervillains Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, Peacemaker and a collection of nutty cons at Belle Reve prison join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X as they are dropped off at the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.
 
Advertising for The Suicide Squad pumped everyone up. There were so many big names joining the cast and getting ready to play these completely obscure comic book characters. None of us could wait to see how they were utilized.
 
Then the majority of them died in the first act.
 
Those us following news about The Suicide Squad, expected the majority of the cast to die. James Gunn said in interviews that there would likely only be a few characters left in the end. Even then, the characters that DID make it, were not the expected ones (except Harley, of course).
 
Using the shock value of all that death was a smart decision and really made it FEEL like a Suicide Squad story.
 
1Slaxx (2021) 
 

Reviewed on: March 17, 2021
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 77 minutes
 
IMDb Blurb: When a possessed pair of jeans begins to kill the staff of a trendy clothing store, it is up to Libby, an idealistic young salesclerk, to stop its bloody rampage.
 
If you didn’t foresee this one hitting my #1 slot, you may have missed a few of the Year in Review articles.
 
Slaxx was a story about murderous pants, and it was GOOD.
 
I expected to giggle at Slaxx. Maybe enjoy it as a ‘so bad it’s good’ kind of project. Instead, I got a cohesive story, some comedy to laugh with, and a hell of an ending. I’ve watched it several times and practically thrown it at friends looking for recommendations.
 
NOTHING surprised me as much as Slaxx did this year.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

5 Most Divisive Movies of 2021

According to: Selina
 
 
5Skinwalker: The Howl of the Rougarou (2021)
 

Reviewed on: September 10, 2021
Genre: Documentary
Rated: Unrated
Length: 70 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 1
Cat’s Rating: 3
Difference: 2
 
IMDb Blurb: For centuries, stories have persisted throughout the southern swamps of something truly otherworldly: a terrifying, hirsute creature known by locals as the Rougarou. These legends predate the first immigrant settlers who made their way into the murky waters and dark forests of the south, yet the Rougarou has only recently made its way into pop culture via appearances in horror films, a regional festival and even a roller coaster ride.
 
It's almost unfair of us to paint this film as divisive. There’s a reason that Trust the Dice rarely covers a documentary.
 
I find most documentaries to be boring, monotone, and hard to concentrate on. If my husband puts one on, I’m likely asleep within the first fifteen minutes. I love learning, but I have an auditory processing issue that stems from my ADHD, so learning through lecture simply doesn’t work for me. If I am interested in learning about something, I have to read it.
 
Skinwalker: The Howl of the Rougarou was chosen for the schedule because it had some content that appealed to both me and Cat. I have always been interested in the mythology/legends of werewolves, and Cat is fascinated by subjects that explore Louisiana in any way. I thought having that innate interest would alter what lens I viewed the documentary through.
 
Cat seemed to enjoy the majority of it, though she had some issues with the transitions. I, however, simply couldn’t concentrate on it at all. Watching it, for me, was like sitting through a boring 8am history course in college.
 
Some films just don’t have a chance from the start. In this case, none of it was the fault of the creative team or the finished product.
 
4False Positive (2021)
 

Reviewed on: June 25, 2021
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 92 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 1
Cat’s Rating: 3
Difference: 2
 
IMDb Blurb: As if getting pregnant weren't complicated enough, Lucy sets out to uncover the unsettling truth about her fertility doctor.
 
I’ll admit that not much stuck with me from False Positive. The ending still sticks out in my mind a bit, but that’s all. If anything, the only thing that comes to mind when I think back to this film is a feeling: anger.
 
I don’t mind triggering subjects in film. In a lot of cases, I think watching a film showcasing something traumatizing could be cathartic. It can offer a viewpoint that is otherwise obscured to a victim, or it can offer up a revenge fantasy in a world where justice isn’t always in reach.
 
I’ve been a victim of violence in the past, and I can’t tell you how much a love a revenge story now.
 
That said, it needs to be done right. I did not believe False Positive had good intentions where the triggering scenes were concerned. I found them gratuitous and utilized for nothing more than shock value.
 
Cat, however, saw some benefit in what False Positive was selling.
 
Although she was not available to review it when I did, she watched it later. She lauded the acting and, despite admitting the ending was exceptionally bleak, believed the rest of the film did what it set out to do.
 
Different people with different experiences will always see things from different perspectives. In this case, Cat’s ability to see art through an optimistic perspective allowed her to absorb things about False Positive that I just couldn’t see.
 
3The Reckoning (2021)
 

Reviewed on: May 10, 2021
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 110 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 2
Cat’s Rating: 4
Difference: 2
 
IMDb Blurb: Evelyn, a young widow haunted by the recent suicide of her husband Joseph, is falsely accused of being a witch by her landlord after she rejects his advances.
 
The Reckoning did not stick with me at all. I had to pull it up on Shudder just to remember what it was. Even then, very little of my memory was triggered.
 
I thought it was way too melodramatic and so much of it was just unnecessary. There was a scene used as flashbacks over-and-over again. Repeating the same flashback with no alterations – especially one that’s relatively pointless to begin with – is just inexcusable to me.
 
I also felt like the story was a bit too convoluted to end as neatly as it did.
 
Cat was satisfied with how The Reckoning played out, though. She wasn’t in love with the fact that it was advertised as a supernatural story, since that was never a factor, but she otherwise saw it as a strong film.
 
The acting and settings allowed her to see The Reckoning as a movie that was not only worth watching, but one that was worth picking up a Shudder subscription for.
 
There were no huge differences that caused our varied responses to this film. She simply saw things differently. The things that caused me to roll my eyes, didn’t leave an impression on her at all. The things that stood out as exceptional to her, didn’t impress me.
 
Which of us did you side with?
 
2 Stay Out of the Fucking Attic (2021)
 

Reviewed on: March 10, 2021
Genre: Horror
Rated: Unrated
Length: 80 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 1
Cat’s Rating: 3.5
Difference: 2.5
 
IMDb Blurb: A group of ex-cons-turned-movers are convinced by their creepy client to pull an all-nighter. As the night progresses, they uncover the horrors that exist inside his old Victorian mansion.
 
It is my firm belief that awful historical figures like Josef Mengele should never be forgotten. As important as it is to remember the people who made a good difference, it’s more important to protect our futures from the kind of people that set out to destroy it. As a result, I think having horror stories and legends about them is fine.
 
Much like having triggering subjects, though, plots need to use those historical figures correctly. I was insistent that Stay out of the Fucking Attic did not do that. In fact, I thought it made Mengele less scary – which I find borderline offensive.
 
Cat doesn’t have the same hang-up that I do. So, she was able to watch Stay Out of the Fucking Attic with less expectations.
 
She had some issues with the dialogue, but otherwise got caught up in the building tension. She admitted that not everyone would be able to tolerate the amount of body horror involved, but otherwise thought it was a decent offering from Shudder.
 
Our different cultural backgrounds and ethical beliefs can be a huge factor in how we view art.
 
1Thunder Force (2021)
 

Reviewed on: April 9, 2021
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 106 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 1.5
Cat’s Rating: 4
Difference: 2.5
 
IMDb Blurb: In a world where supervillains are commonplace, two estranged childhood best friends reunite after one devises a treatment that gives them powers to protect their city.
 
Thunder Force was a huge mess in my eyes. It was super basic and full of cringe. I also thought the trailer lied to the audience. I’m guessing it was made before post-production had wrapped and they wound up changing things, but I found the distance between what was shown and what happened, to be unacceptable.
 
The bottom line was that I just didn’t find it funny.
 
Cat’s sense of humor is skewed in a different direction, though. Everything hit the right spots for her. She found it funny, she loved the action, and she thought the friendship between the main leads worked.
 
Everyone has a different sense of humor. What I might find obnoxious, someone else might find outstandingly hilarious. It’s all subjective.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

5 New Discoveries we Made in 2021 That We Wish We Hadn’t

According to: Selina
 
 
5Shortcut (2020) 
 

Reviewed on: January 11, 2021
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Rated: R
Length: 89 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 2
Cat’s Rating: 2
 
IMDb Blurb: Fleeing a devastating plague on Earth, an interstellar ark comes under attack from a new threat -- a shape-shifting alien force intent on slaughtering what's left of humanity.
 
We just couldn’t figure out who this flick was for.
 
On one hand, a group of young teens are exploring together and surviving in an, almost comical, way. It’s even listed as a family genre. The contents of the film, however, don’t always stay in family territory.
 
It just didn’t work, and there’s no telling who the main audience should have been.
 
4Breach (2020)
 

Reviewed on: July 14, 2021
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Horror
Rated: R
Length: 80 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 1.5
Cat’s Rating: 2
 
IMDb Blurb: A mysterious creature terrorizes five teenage friends after their bus takes a shortcut on a desolate road in the wild.
 
Do you remember when Bruce Willis had a name that inspired faith in a film? I held onto that for way longer than I should have, and now I’m a little bitter over it.
 
Breach was just a hot mess led by a barely trying Willis. It’s an unnecessary watch that we spent money to see on-demand. Don’t bother.
 
3 Monster Hunter (2020)
 

Reviewed on: January 19, 2021
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 99 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 2
Cat’s Rating: 2
 
IMDb Blurb: When Lt. Artemis and her loyal soldiers are transported to a new world, they engage in a desperate battle for survival against enormous enemies with incredible powers. Feature film based on the video game by Capcom.
 
I’ll be the first to admit that Monster Hunter wasn’t all bad. That said, it was about as disappointing as it could have been.
 
Nothing about the story seemed to match up with the game it was adapted from. When you’re just starting to feel like you could live with the new direction they took the plot in – the movie ends, right at the climax.
 
It just… cuts to black.
 
They were so convinced that there’d be a sequel that they didn’t bother to bring the first one to a conclusion. It’s ridiculous.
 
One can hope they learned their lesson, but I doubt it.
 
2 Killer Sofa (2019)
 

Reviewed on: April 2, 2021
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
Rated: Unrated
Length: 81 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 1.5
Cat’s Rating: 3
 
IMDb Blurb: A killer reclining chair becomes enchanted by a girl and starts committing crimes of passion.
 
After Slaxx, we thought we should check out a few more inanimate object horrors. Why not, right?
 
Killer Sofa was a lot more like what we thought Slaxx would be. It was just about irredeemable. Cat thought there were some ‘so bad-it’s good’ moments, but I couldn’t disagree more.
 
It was dumb.
 
1Sharkenstein (2016)
 

Reviewed on: January 18, 2021
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: Unrated
Length: 85 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 1
Cat’s Rating: 0
 
IMDb Blurb: Sixty years after the end of World War II, a small ocean town is plagued by a blood-thirsty creature that was built and reanimated by using the parts of the greatest sea-killers: the Sharkenstein monster.
 
Not only did Sharkenstein look like it was cobbled together in MS Paint, but it was also plagued with terrible acting and an awful story.
 
Granted, you can expect all those things from most B-movies. In fact, the producers of Sharkenstein were also responsible for The VelociPastor – a movie that shared many of those qualities. The big difference is that it worked. That’s why we opted to even give this one a try, because The VelociPastor was fucking hilarious.
 
They know how to make a good-bad film. They just failed with this one.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Top 10 Favorite New Discoveries of 2021

According to: Selina
 

10 Mass Hysteria (2019)
 

Reviewed on: October 22, 2021
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 66 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 4
Cat’s Rating: 3.5
 
IMDb Blurb: A group of Salem witch trial reenactors find themselves at the center of a modern day witch hunt.
 
Upon first look, Mass Hysteria seems to be a home-brew kind of film. Don’t let that deter you.
 
The script and plot make it more than just watchable.
 
It’s still a little on the corny side, but something you can return to time and time again. It has cult-quality.
 
9 Save Yourselves! (2020) 
 

Reviewed on: January 27, 2021
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi
Rated: R
Length: 93 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 3.5
Cat’s Rating: 3.5
 
IMDb Blurb: A young Brooklyn couple heads to an upstate cabin to unplug from their phones and reconnect with each other. Blissfully unaware of their surroundings, they are left to their own devices as the planet falls under attack.
 
Cat was a bigger fan of Save Yourselves! than I was, but I see where she’s coming from.
 
Upon looking back, I do remember this movie more fondly than I thought I would. The tribble-like aliens, the exceptionally bleak ending juxtaposed against an otherwise funny flick… it definitely had unforgettable aspects to it.
 
At the very least, there was no way to predict what was going to happen at any point in Save Yourselves! For no other reason, that makes it worth the watch.
 
8Hayop Ka! (2020) 
 

Reviewed on: August 1, 2021
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Romance
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 73 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 4.5
 
IMDb Blurb: In this adult animation, perfume sales cat Nimfa is torn between her macho askal boyfriend and a charming, philandering business dog.
 
I came across Hayop Ka! in my Fantasia Film Festival travels and it knocked me right out of my socks.
 
Despite some cultural stuff that flew above my head, the story really had me. I don’t know what I was expecting from an animated film of this type, but it was so much more.
 
It was closer to an anime than any kind of animated movie produced here in the states (in feel, not style). In design, it was all its own thing – gorgeous, but with a hand-drawn kind of flair. It felt both old-fashioned and updated at the same time.
 
It’s not an easy production to get your hands on in the west. You may need a VPN, but it’s worth it.
 
7 Greenland (2020) 
 

Reviewed on: April 7, 2021
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Rated: PG-13
Length: 119 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 4
Cat’s Rating: 3.5
 
IMDb Blurb: A family struggles for survival in the face of a cataclysmic natural disaster.
 
I expected Greenland to be basic. I thought the script would be copy and pasted tropes, with decent action. Instead, I got a story that concentrated heavily on the human aspect of a horrific situation.
 
It was more of a thinker than expect – but still badass.
 
6Hunter Hunter (2020) 
 

Reviewed on: April 14, 2021
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 93 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 5
Cat’s Rating: 3.5
 
IMDb Blurb: Joseph and his family live in the remote wilderness as fur trappers, but their tranquility is threatened when they think they are being hunted by the return of a rogue wolf, and Joseph leaves them behind to track it.
 
I heard people raving about Hunter Hunter for weeks before I got my hands on it. After a slow start, I didn’t quite get why – and then the thrills picked up and never stopped again.
 
The ending of Hunter Hunter is something I will never forget for as long as I live.
 
5 Kakegurui (2019) 
 

Reviewed on: August 12, 2021
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 119 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 5
 
IMDb Blurb: Hyakaou Academy is an institute where the academic ranking is based on the pupils' gambling winnings. Yumeko is new to the academy. Her pretty enchantress looks are only surpassed by her voracious appetite to gamble it all and win it all.
 
I fell in LOVE with Kakegurui.
 
The moment I found out it was a live action film based on an anime, I went searching for the show. I was thrilled to find it was on Netflix. I haven’t started watching it yet, but it immediately found its way onto my watch list.
 
Kakegurui as an adaptation is not something I can speak to. As a stand-alone film, however, it was insanely good. The second one, which came out this year, is even better.
 
If you’re a fan of anime-style movies, there’s no way you can miss this one.
 
4Spontaneous (2020) 
 

Reviewed on: May 28, 2021
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Romance
Rated: R
Length: 101 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 5
Cat’s Rating: 5
 
IMDb Blurb: Get ready for the outrageous coming-of-age love story about growing up...and blowing up. When students in their school begin exploding (literally), seniors Mara and Dylan struggle to survive in a world where each moment may be their last.
 
The title of Spontaneous was spot on.
 
What started out as a teen dramedy romance, turned into something completely different about three quarters of the way through. A genre change is not a simple thing to successfully accomplish. In this case, it worked.
 
Spontaneous told a fresh story. It had some pandemic-like aspects, but it was otherwise like nothing I had ever seen before.
 
3The Amusement Park (1973) 
 

Reviewed on: June 7, 2021
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 52 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 5
Cat’s Rating: 5
 
IMDb Blurb: An elderly gentleman goes for what he assumes will be an ordinary day at the amusement park, only to find himself in the middle of a hellish nightmare instead.
 
The lost George Romero film had me intrigued from the moment I got Shudder’s e-mail about it. I don’t think I have ever requested a screener so quickly.
 
What I found was a deep, and unforgiving, look at how the world treats its elderly residents.
 
The Amusement Park utilized troubling imagery to get its point across. If nothing else, it was a solid reminder as to why Romero is considered one of the greatest of all time.
 
2 Promising Young Woman (2020) 
 

Reviewed on: January 14, 2021
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 113 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 4
Cat’s Rating: 4
 
IMDb Blurb: A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against those who crossed her path.
 
I got to see Promising Young Woman in theaters.
 
More than once, I’ve explained why I love a good revenge story, but this one goes so deep into the revenge aspect that the main character almost becomes an antagonist herself. She’s still easy to relate to, but she’s significantly flawed and it’s those flaws that drive the story.
 
The movie was a little divisive among critics. Some believed that the ending was a bit convoluted – and it was. Never-the-less, I still think what happened really fit the film and brought the lesson to a close.
 
1Detention (2019)
 

Reviewed on: October 8, 2021
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 102 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 5
Cat’s Rating: 5
 
IMDb Blurb: In 1962 Taiwan during the White Terror martial law period, Fang Ray Shin, a female student at the hillside Greenwood High School is attending counselling with teacher Mr. Chang, and they gradually fall in love. It was a dangerous period where sensitive books were banned and free speech were restricted, but Mr. Chang secretly organized a study group for banned books, together with fellow teacher Miss Yin and male student Wei Chong Ting.
 
No one expects much out of a video game movie. In this case, however, they made something special.
 
Detention was outstanding. The entire world was portrayed as terrifying, even before the supernatural aspects kicked in.
 
Now, I’ve played the game. I LOVE the game. So, one could think I might be a bit bias toward it. Cat, on the other hand, had never heard of Detention before this film. She still adored the movie just as much as I did. And, because they went deeper into the story than the game did, Cat didn’t end the flick feeling like she’d missed something.
 
Detention was, by far, the best horror movie we saw this year.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

10 Worst New Movies of 2021

According to: Selina
 
 
10 Kandisha
 

Reviewed on: July 19, 2021
Genre: Horror
Rated: Unrated
Length: 85 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 3
Cat’s Rating: 2
 
IMDb Blurb: It's summer break and best friends Amélie, Bintou and Morjana hang together with other neighborhood teens. Nightly, they have fun sharing scary stories and urban legends. But when Amélie is assaulted by her ex, she remembers the story of Kandisha, a powerful and vengeful demon. Afraid and upset, Amélie summons her. The next day, her ex is found dead. The legend is true and now Kandisha is on a killing spree--and it's up to the three girls to break the curse.
 
Kandisha’s crime was mostly in being extremely basic. Aside from that, though, it painted most of the characters as unlikable. It became difficult to sympathize with just about anyone.
 
It did have a decent ending, but that wasn’t enough to save the whole project.
 
9 The Little Things 
 

Reviewed on: February 3, 2021
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 127 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 3
Cat’s Rating: 2.5
 
IMDb Blurb: Kern County Deputy Sheriff Joe Deacon is sent to Los Angeles for what should have been a quick evidence-gathering assignment. Instead, he becomes embroiled in the search for a serial killer who is terrorizing the city.
 
The Little Things was more mediocre than bad. If we’d had lower expectations, it probably wouldn’t have even been special enough to make this list. The only reason its here is because it was supposed to be something great.
 
It has a cast of people known to give 110% to all their projects, both in front of (and behind) the camera. So, the fact that The Little Things didn’t live up to even a mildly ok quality makes it unbelievably disappointing.
 
8 Hunted 
 

Reviewed on: January 13, 2021
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 87 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 2.5
Cat’s Rating: 3
 
IMDb Blurb: "The company of wolves is better than that of man." Once upon a frenzied time, Woman meets Man. Woman dances with Man. Man kisses Woman. Man grips Woman. Woman escapes Man. Man chases Woman - nothing new. Or is there?
 
The pacing in Hunted was some of the worst I’ve seen in a long time. It had a decent plot, and the end chase scene is one that still sticks out in my mind. It just took forever to get literally anywhere.
 
It felt like the creative team attempted to balance the graphic scenes with a slow build up in between. It didn’t work. It felt more like a meandering mess.
 
7 The Superdeep 
 

Reviewed on: June 14, 2021
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 113 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 2
Cat’s Rating: 3
 
IMDb Blurb: A small research team went down below the surface to find out what secret the world's deepest borehole was hiding. What they have found turned out to be the greatest threat in history. And the future of humanity is in their hands.
 
There were whiffs of Resident Evil, The Last of Us, and Doom in The Superdeep. By this, I mean the games – not the films. With that kind of an epic pool to draw from, this film should have been special.
 
Never-the-less, it managed to keep me from completely investing in anything. There was just nothing special to set it apart.
 
6Spiral 
 

Reviewed on: May 24, 2021
Genre: Crime, Horror, Mystery
Rated: R
Length: 93 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 2.5
Cat’s Rating: 2.5
 
IMDb Blurb: A criminal mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in Spiral, the terrifying new chapter from the book of Saw.
 
I don’t think I could ever fully express just how much Spiral disappointed me.
 
Where the Saw series is concerned, I’m a huge fan. There are certainly weak films in it, but they all have one thing in common: they feel like Saw films. You could start any of them up in the middle and know what series you’re watching.
 
Spiral didn’t share that feeling.
 
As a stand-alone film, it wasn’t the worst. It’s only when the creators decided to try to smoosh it into a Saw box that the problems started.
 
They should have left Saw alone and given this flick a different twist.
 
5 The Call 
 

Reviewed on: July 12, 2021
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 97 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 2.5
Cat’s Rating: 2.5
 
IMDb Blurb: In the fall of 1987, a group of small-town friends must survive the night in the home of a sinister couple after a tragic accident brings them to the couple's door.
 
The Call wasn’t the worst film, it was just disappointing. The story didn’t feel all that cohesive, and it felt a bit like Tobin Bell (Saw, The Sandman, Gates of Darkness) and Lin Shaye (Ouija: Origin of Evil, Gothic Harvest, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels) were wasted in their parts. Even when they added a bit of a scare to things, it didn’t land well.
 
So much of what happened in The Call felt like lazy writing.
 
The story should have been told from Shaye’s character’s perspective. Then we would have had something special.
 
4Agnes 
 

Reviewed on: August 3, 2021
Genre: Drama, Horror
Rated: Unrated
Length: 93 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 2
 
IMDb Blurb: Rumors of demonic possession at a religious convent prompts a church investigation into the strange goings-on among its nuns. A disaffected priest and his neophyte are confronted with temptation, bloodshed and a crisis of faith.
 
Agnes was a victim of bad advertising.
 
Coming attractions painted Agnes as an exorcism horror film – and it was not that.
 
After about a half-hour of exorcism-like storyline, everything flipped, and it became more of a drama based around loss of faith. At times, it even felt a bit preachy (in an abstract way).
 
Audiences were lied to. Plain and simple.
 
3 The Kissing Booth 3 
 

Reviewed on: August 11, 2021
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rated: TV-14
Length: 112 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 1.5
Cat’s Rating: 3
 
IMDb Blurb: It's the summer before Elle Evans is set to head off to college, and she has a big decision to make.
 
The Kissing Booth series started out decent. The first movie was not overly special, but it was cute. Then the second one came out and things got a touch more basic, the script became cringier. It was a case of sequelitis and I had hoped that the third one would bring things back to cute.
 
That didn’t happen.
 
The Kissing Booth 3 was awful. It was problematic, overdone, and completely unnecessary. It just took most of what happened in the second film and extended it.
 
I sincerely hope there’s no 4.
 
2Ankle Biters 
 

Reviewed on: November 12, 2021
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Rated: Unrated
Length: 91 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 1.5
Cat’s Rating: 2.5
 
IMDb Blurb: Four adorable little girls plot to murder a hockey player after they mistake an act of lovemaking as an attack on their mom.
 
There’s something unnerving about watching kids kill people. It serves up a feeling of wrongness like very little else can. If Ankle Biters was a single-genre horror, it would have been elevated by the concept.
 
Instead, the creators of Ankle Biters insisted on labeling it a horror-comedy, and that’s where things get hazy.
 
There was absolutely nothing comical about this flick. I’m not even sure which parts were supposed to be funny. As a lover of the horror-comedy sub-genre, I’m more than a little disappointed that this film is labeled as such.
 
1Dead & Beautiful 
 

Reviewed on: November 5, 2021
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 98 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 1
 
IMDb Blurb: A group of young and spoiled rich kids turn into vampires after a night out, changing the course of their lives and driving a wedge between them all.
 
Dead & Beautiful failed on nearly all levels. It was a vampire film that had nothing even remotely vampiric in it. It was a thriller with no thrills.
 
It tried to do what April Fool’s Day (1986) did but had no success.