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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Notable Occurences


Poltergeist is being remade and Sam Raimi is producing.This news seems to lead to two common reactions – Dismay: Why do they have to remake everything? That film was a classic, well perhaps not a classic but I watched it when I was in my 20s and I’m sure that someone thinks it’s a classic. If people enjoy the film so much why can’t they just watch the original? There’s no need to remake it with modern CGI effects and ruin the original just for the sake of squeezing a few bucks of the saps that make up the modern audience. There’s just no originality left in Hollywood. Joy: Great news, man that is such a fantastic team-up of a brilliant film-maker and great story. I’m sure with him at the helm we’re sure to get a fantastic movie with modern CGI effects and it will far outshine the lame old original with its rubber monsters. I’ll just wait and see how this turns out.

Raimi himself is currently working on a prequel to the classic Wizard of Oz called Oz the Great and Powerful which will feature Raimi’s old buddy and fan favourite Bruce Campbell in a cameo role and is due to be released in March next year. The remake of Raimi’s low-budget classic Evil Dead seems to be carrying on with a darker grittier serious tone which may have already been undercut by the excellent Cabin in the Woods reconstruction of precisely this type of storyline. Without the childish humour there appears little to separate this from  all the other films in the “college dicks get killed” sub-genre, but at least they have cast some pretty young people to watch suffer such as Shiloh Fernandez and Jane Levy.

Global Asylum Pictures, the studio responsible for many cheap knock-offs of big blockbuster titles, are getting sued by Universal because they say that Asylum’s straight to DVD American Battleship is pretending to be Battleship, the over-priced over-hyped piece of CGI trash based on a Hasbro board game that is itself a knock-off of an old paper and pen game. Asylum does make a load of knock-off rubbish such as 100 Million Years BC, Paranormal Entity and Transmorphers but I seriously doubt that they fool anyone. They are also the studio responsible for such trashy gems as Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus and Sharktopus. I don’t know if Universal have much chance of success but I’m sure Asylum will milk it for all the publicity they can get and I wonder which film will get better ratings because the expensive one has been getting a slamming from the critics

Fox are going to reboot Daredevil with David Slade directing. Fox are also in talks about rebooting Fantastic Four with Joss Trank. While Fox’s efforts with the X-Men have been generally well received and their reboot/prequel X-Men First Class got positive reviews but the same cannot be said for the Daredevil and Fantastic Four films. I’m not sure how it works but if Fox don’t get films made based on these two comics then they lose the rights. I doubt Chris Evans will be returning to role of the Human Torch having done so well playing Steve Rodgers in Captain America, First Avenger and Avengers Assemble.

Anyone who had fun with the old school slasher Hatchet will be happy to hear that Kane Hodder and Danielle Harris have signed on for Hatchet 3. Other sequel news is that writer Max Landis is penning a script for Chronicle 2. Another sequel at the writing stage is The Dead 2 a sequel to  the back to the roots zombie film The Dead.  A bit closer to release is Grave Encounters 2 a sequel to  the low budget found footage film which is in production and scheduled for an October release date and I hope it appears in UK a lot quicker than the first one did.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: Dream House

When I saw the trailer for this film I thought it looked interesting but when I heard the negative reviews I was a little cautious but at least it had a great cast so how could it go too badly wrong?  I can’t go too far into this film without revealing spoilers and even if those spoilers are in the trailer I should really try to avoid revealing too much.

Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) leaves his job as an editor of a magazine to spend more time with his wife Libby (Rachel Weisz) and two young daughters in their new house in the suburbs where he wants to begin work on writing a book. Will becomes aware of strange things happening around the house and he thinks someone is watching the house.  It turns out that the house has a tragic history – the previous owner Peter Ward went mad and killed his family, or so everyone believes. Will uncovers the shocking truth with the help of his neighbour Ann Patterson (Naomi Watts).

Even though I knew the main twist in the story from the trailer I was sure that the film had a few more surprises in store and even though it does they are fairly dull compared to main twist. I though t it did a good job of building up as a fairly typical psychological thriller for most of the film but the climax of the film is just a letdown for me. There was no doubting the quality of the acting from the leads and the supporting cast. The problem for me is that the story just doesn’t maintain the promise of the first half. I don’t if I would have preferred to have experienced the film in total ignorance of the story since I can’t communicate with that version of reality but even if I had I’m sure the ending would still have had the same affect. It isn’t a horrible film but it’s nothing to get excited about either.

Rating 5/10

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: Camel Spiders

This DVD has “Roger Corman presents” across the top so it is clearly going to be a cheesy B-movie featuring spiders and after watching it I can say you get exactly what you’d expect, lots of giant spiders running amok and killing people. Actually that’s not strictly true because camel spiders are not spiders because they have ten limbs but they are arachnids and they are real but fortunately are not as bad as this film makes them out to be. They only grow as big as 12” which is the size of an LP record and not the size of a large dog like the ones in this film. Having seen LPs I can say that I really do not want to come across a real camel spider and I am not very comforted to read about one being found in a house in England and the family living there got so creeped out by it they ran away and claimed it killed their pet dog.

Anyway back to this stupid film. A squad of American soldiers are in a gun battle with a group of insurgents in Iraq when the group they are fighting start screaming and go quiet. Captain Sturges (Brian Krause) looks into it and all they find is a dead body lying where the insurgents where. There are bite marks on his face which a local soldier tells them is the bite of the camel spider which he claims is venomous (which it isn’t but in this film they are). They load up their weapons and ammo to leave the area and put a dead soldier in a crate to transport home but we see camel spiders creep into the crate unnoticed.

Next we’re back in American with Sturges in an army truck being driven by Sergeant Underwood (Melissa Brasselle). In back are the guns and ammo and the crate with body. As they are driving though a quiet rural road in the mountains a car smashes into them at a crossroads. The boxes fall out of the back and the crate breaks open and the spiders come out and run off. Sheriff Beaumont (C. Thomas Howell) arrives on the scene and makes sure everyone is okay. The army truck has damaged its clutch so Beaumont tells them about a motel they can stay at while they wait for the army to send help and escorts them there.

Enough of those losers, now we get to see the camel spiders in action. Two couples are out wandering round the mountains for some reason that probably relates to sex. One couple argue and she takes his car keys and leaves in his car. He gets attacked by a large group of CGI camel spiders of various sizes and killed. The other couple have gone on ahead and are snogging away happily. They ignore the screams of their friend being killed thinking it’s a joke but then the man goes to explore a rustling noise and is killed, then the woman is attacked and killed. The other woman drives to store and inside she finds the owner and his wife stuck in a giant web (since they are not spiders they don’t make webs) and she gets jumped and killed by a camel spider.

Beaumont takes Sturges to a diner to get something to eat for himself and Underwood. The diner is just full of stereotypes of the survivor horror genre, the bickering couple with a young daughter, two condescending prejudiced city boys, a pair of conniving businessmen, the friendly waitress and the loving couple who own the place. Oh yeah they have black cook so guess who gets killed by spiders taking out the trash. They soon realise they are being overrun by camel spiders and all the extras get killed off, including one of the city boys. Sturges radios Underwood for help and the core cast get away and hole up in a gypsum extraction plant.

This just yet another dumb movie and you might enjoy it if you can purt up with its many flaws such as the poor writing. The acting is very mixed with some really bad acting but Brian Krause plays it seriously as does C. Thomas Howell. The CGI is really cheap and unconvincing but no worse than I expected. The creepiest thing this film did was make me Google “camel spider” and find out about the real animal, a creature that can be as big as an LP with a nasty bite and that can run up to 14 kmph. Fortunately they can’t swim across the sea, even if one has been found in the UK.

Rating 4.5/10

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: The Cabin in the Woods

Quite a buzz has built up about this film pre-release in the media devoted to the horror genre and I have to confess to catching some this enthusiasm myself, so when it opened I got myself straight down to local multiplex. This film was made a few years ago by MGM but when they went bust a lot of their projects got frozen. Fortunately Lionsgate took over the distribution of this film so we all finally get to see it. Written by director Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, it has a lot of the witty dialogue you’d expect if you are familiar with Whedon’s TV shows. This review will be short because I don’t want to give any spoilers. Avoid the trailer if you can but it is probably too late for that

The set-up is so familiar and it is all the story I’m going to mention. A group five college students go for weekend break to a remote cabin in the woods. There are two pretty girls Dana (Kristen Connolly) the red-headed studious girl-next-door and Jules (Anna Hutchison) who is blonde and more in the mood for good time with her boyfriend Curt (Chris Hemsworth who is now Thor but this film was made before he got that role) a big gorgeous muscled athletic type. A second attractive jock Holden (Jesse Williams) has been brought along with the hope that he will hook up with Dana because he is also a quiet studious type. Lastly is Marty (Fran Kranz) the sarcastic stoner with an amazing collapsible bong / travel mug. On the way to the cabin they stop at a very run-down gas station where an obnoxious mad local man Mordecai (Tim De Zarn) insults them and implies that if they carry on it means their certain doom. Of course they ignore his warning and travel on to the remote cabin in the woods where a terrible fate awaits them

The Mighty Thor and Friends

If you have seen the trailer you may know that something more is going than this cliché set-up implies but you are probably not prepared for what this film delivers. I smiled and laughed and wanted to cheer many times when watching it. The acting is great and I really liked the dialogue, especially between the characters Sitterson (Richard Jenkins) and Hadley (Bradley Whitford). The ending is just total madness and a pure feast of blood and horror. If you like horror and have a dark sense of humour you will probably love this film and I highly recommend people go see it.

Rating 9/10

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: The Adventures of Tintin – the Secret of the Unicorn

As a kid I read Tintin books and enjoyed the adventures of the young reporter and his dog Snowy so when I heard that Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson were making a Tintin film I was very excited. Then I heard the script was written by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead), Steven Moffat (Dr Who) and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) and I could not see how this could be anything but brilliant

Tintin (Jamie Bell) is at a market in the town where he lives and he spots a model ship being sold at bric-à-brac stall. Just after he buys the model a gruff American tries to buy it from him but Tintin doesn’t want to sell it. The American warns him that possessing the model is dangerous and he seems genuinely scared and runs off before he can say anything else. That’s when the creepy Mr Sakharine (Daniel Craig) appears at the stall and he also tries to buy the model but Tintin insists the model is not for sale and takes it back to his flat, where it gets broken by the neighbour’s cat in a fight with Snowy, Tintin’s pet terrier and sidekick. The interest shown by the two men has Tintin intrigued so he looks into the story of the Unicorn, the ship the model was based on, a 17th century warship that was lost in a battle with pirates in the West Indies.

When Tintin gets home from his research he finds the model has been stolen. He goes to Sakharine’s home to retrieve his property and finds there that there was more than one model of the Unicorn and Sakharine is desperate to acquire all three. How desperate Tintin quickly discovers when the American that tried to buy the model from at the market gets shot to death on his doorstep while trying him about the danger he’s in. The dying man does manage to leave Tintin a clue to his killer but since the police that he reports the murder to are Thomson (Nick Frost) and Thompson (Simon Pegg) there’s little chance of them catching the killer. Thomson and Thompson are fully occupied with hunting down a pickpocket that has plagued the city which is very handy because Tintin’s wallet containing a parchment with an important to clue to the Unicorn mystery has just been stolen.

Tintin gets kidnapped and taken aboard a rusting cargo ship where Sakharine has his men search Tintin for the parchment. They fail to find it and Tintin refuses to tell them anything so they leave him for now. Fortunately Snowy comes to his rescue and they escape and find Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) kept inebriated in his cabin with a constant supply of whisky while his first mate Allan runs the ship under Sakharine’s command. Tintin, Snowy and Haddock are in a race against Sakharine and Haddock’s crew to track down the next piece of the puzzle but the last clue is locked in booze-addled memory of Haddock himself.

I just love this film and I regret that couldn’t get to see it in a cinema in 3D. The action and adventure could put Indiana Jones to shame with amazing stunts and thrilling incredible chases. The motion capture animation was just fantastic and the character designs are lifted straight from the Hergé books. I really want to see more Tintin.

Rating 8.5/10

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: Stonehenge Apocalypse

This disaster movie has a low budget and cheap special effects but that does not excuse the terrible script. It has a the feel of a cheap hastily filmed SyFy film and I can see why it only cost me £2 at the local supermarket

Stonehenge kills a bunch of tourists by zapping them with some sort of magic energy beam. It is doing this because it is really a part of a giant terra-forming machine left by the ancient astronauts and every ten hours it activates an ancient pyramid which then explodes and destroys the region it is in. This is the insane theory of this film’s misunderstood rebel scientist Jacob (Misha Collins who played Castiel in Supernatural)) so unfortunately it is true in the film. Of course the scientists and the military gathered at a primary school near Stonehenge don’t listen to Jacob. Dr ‘Stick up his arse’ Trousdale (Peter Wingfield) rejects his insane ravings out of hand because Jacob claimed NASA are covering up finding aliens on the moon. Jacob acts offended at this snub and points out it was an alien robot head that he claims that NASA found. He does this every time someone mentions it so it becomes an incredibly dumb catchphrase “It was a robot head.”

The scientists examine the stones with their equipment and detect a signal being transmitted between the stones that seems to counting down to some event. Jacob tells them that the event is the end of life on Earth. They start to take this seriously because he has a map of ley lines and when the first pyramid explodes that pyramid is on his map with a line drawn between it and Hull (?) (forget stuff about how his map is a projection and those straight lines are not straight on a globe. Some idiot actually claims it is strange that the two points can be joined by a straight line but this fact is always true. The farce is strong in this film). Trousdale and his team try interrupting the signal but the stones compensate and the attempt has to be abandoned. Next the try blowing the stones up but the stones just absorb the energy.

Their only real hope is to get an ancient artefact which is really a control mechanism to switch the machine off. Trousdale doesn’t believe Jacob about the artefact and convinces an American General Forshaw that they should hit Stonehenge with a nuclear bomb before the countdown ends but a female scientist Kaycee (Torri Higginson) believes Jacobs and she gets a British Major Peatman to help get them to the United States where the artefact is. Unfortunately another scientist Joseph Lesham (Hill Harper) is after the artefact too so he can create a sanctuary for him and his crazy religious cult inside the lost pyramid of Maine where they can watch the apocalypse.

This film is very dumb so I suppose you could just enjoy the dumb story, but the acting isn’t very good either and every character just a shallow stereotype with stupid unrealistic dialogue. The CGI effects were bottom of the range stuff and the CGI Stonehenge in particular was not very convincing. The disasters across the globe were very poor with a CGI animation of the pyramids moving then exploding followed by stock footage taken of real disasters. There no sense of real global crisis created at all. This film is just not recommended.

Rating 4/10

 

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Film

 

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Notable Occurences

Brad Dourif has confirmed there will be two more Child’s Play films getting made, one is another sequel to the series called Revenge of Chucky and the other is a remake of Child’s Play and he may be voicing Chucky for both of them. I thought that original Child’s Play movies were fun horrors with some dark humour but I liked when Bride of Chucky went full blown comedy and then Seed of Chucky had Jennifer Tilly appear in the film playing herself. It looks like the intention is keep the tone more comedic for both films but then I don’t think this franchise is suitable for a dark, gritty reboot.

Anchor Bay have announced that they will be remaking Silent Night Deadly Night and have cast Malcolm McDowall as a local sheriff hunting down the Santa-suited killer. The film will be called Silent Night and I have no doubt that they’ll try and release this as close to Christmas as they can with a PG rating. The original was not something that got me too excited and a remake seems just as unexciting. When the original came out the evil Santa concept wasn’t very original and now many years later the concept has been done to death

The success of The Woman in Black has got Hammer preparing to shoot a follow up story Angels of Death which is set four decades after the first film. I was reasonably impressed with The Woman in Black and it is great to see British horror being made by Hammer again.

Marvel are planning to release the sequel to Captain America in 2014. It will have be set in modern times during the aftermath of the Avengers film but it will feature some of that retro 40s setting during flashback sequences that helped the first one to its success. I’d love to see how they are going to squeeze any event into that timeline that we haven’t already seen

More sequel + remake news is that Platinum Dunes (Michael Bay) have taken over the Halloween franchise and are looking to hire writers and directors for the project. I am underwhelmed by that news

The trailer for A Fantastic Fear of Everything has been released. Starring Simon Pegg as a children’s fiction writer who switches to writing about serial killers and starts to think a killer is after him. The trailer seems to hint at elements of fantasy mixed with psychological horror and comedy and Simon Pegg is wearing some very strange hair. I also caught a quick glimpse in the trailer of Claire Higgins as Simon’s agent. The film is out 8 June.

Coming out in UK cinemas on 22 June is Red Lights featuring Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy as sceptical scientists dedicated to debunking paranormal claim who come up against a psychic played by Robert de Niro who is determined to prove his power is real. This is being released the same week as Lovely Molly, yet another shaky cam film and Chernobyl Diaries, a ‘tourists in danger’ film.

I loves me some time travel fiction so I am very interested to hear about Looper featuring Joseph Gordon Levitt as hit man hired to kill people sent into his time from the future and he gets hired to kill his older self played by Bruce Willis. This one is due out 28 September

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2012 in Film

 

Review: The Revenant

This is a zombie comedy. I know that there have been so many zombie comedies that it is becoming its own genre so I wasn’t expecting very much but this managed to keep my interest and I did a have few laughs. The characters are not the Romero-type zombies and are called revenants in the film title. They are just as smart as they were when alive but if they don’t feed on blood they rot. They also pass on the condition to those they feed on.

Bart (David Anders) was a soldier serving in Iraq when he got out of his tank to see if he might have killed a child on the road and he gets shot dead. At his funeral the minister is giving a poor taste sermon about how Bart is probably going to hell because he never said the magic words ‘I accept Jesus as my saviour’. The mourners include his girlfriend Janet (Louise Griffiths), his best friend Joey (Chris Wylde) and Joey’s girlfriend Mathilda (Jacy King) who all go to a bar to drown their sorrows. Joey says something that upsets Janet and she runs off outside. Joey follows her and they talk and Joey hugs and comforts her and hugs lead to kissing and we cut away from where kissing leads.

Bart wakes up in his coffin and breaks out. The gravediggers hadn’t actually buried him since their digger ran out of fuel and they just left his coffin in the open grave. Bart breaks into the nearby mortuary and cuts the thread stitching his mouth shut. He sees the state of himself in a mirror with poached egg eyes and pale peeling skin and is scared and confused. He heads for Joey’s house where Joey is a bit freaked out at first but he’s pleased that his buddy is back. Bart thinks it was all a big mistake burying him and that he’s still alive. He feels a painful hunger and Joey points out that he hasn’t eaten in two weeks. Joey finds some scraps of food and gives them to Bart who tries eating some of it but he ends up puking up black blood. Joey takes Bart to a hospital and he gets examined by a doctor who isn’t phased by his lack of body heat or the poached egg eyes but when he opens his shirt to reveal autopsy scars she freaks out and calls security. Joey quickly gets Bart out of the hospital before the police arrive and cause them any more problems.

Back at Joey’s apartment just as the Sun come up Bart collapses dead away. Mathilda comes to see Joey and she’s a Wiccan and detects her own sense of being creeped out by Bart but claims it is a force for evil that she senses. Mathilda tells Joey he must cut off Bart’s head and put a stake through his heart while he sleeps. Joey refuses and Mathilda warns him that Bart must feed on the blood of the living to survive. When the sun sets that night Bart wakes and goes to rob a hospital blood bank. He runs into nurse that tries to stop him by trying to recruit him into the Scientology cult but the sight of Bart’s eyes freaks her out so much that she lets Bart leave with the blood.

Drinking the blood lets Bart act almost normal again and he and Joey go out for night on the town and stay up so late that Joey has to carry Bart back home when he falls dead away at sunrise. The next night Bart and Joey try to figure what Bart is. After talking about how much he is like a vampire then a zombie, out of nowhere Joey comes up with revenant, an undead spirit who walks the earth in corporeal form and feeds off the blood of the living to halt the process of decay. Joey has an idea of where Bart can get blood and takes him for a drive around the poorer part of the city and tries to trick homeless beggars into their car but very few homeless people are stupid enough to get into a stranger’s car and anyway Bart is not happy about killing innocent bums.

A mugger tries to rob them and shoots Bart several times and is frustrated that he failed to kill him and while he is distracted Joey knocks out the mugger from behind with a wheel lock. Joey and Bart put the body into Joey’s car and Bart feeds on the man’s blood, then they dump his body into a reservoir. The following night they kill a liquor store robber much to delight of the store owner. After that they make the news and think they have got the perfect victims for Bart, violent criminals. Joey starts wishing he was like Bart and he gets his wish after getting shot by robbers. Bart feeds on him and that night Joey joins Bart feeding on the blood of violent criminals.

They become popular heroes in the media but of course things start going wrong when their girlfriends find out what they are up to and they find out that they have not been careful enough in disposing of their victims.

I liked this film because it did not go for the goofy comedy that many comedy zombie films go for and when it wants to be dark and disturbing it goes for it. The two leads were pretty convincing and had some funny dialogue but the girlfriends were a bit underdeveloped. The kills themselves were not very bloody and there were no zombies tearing flesh but it does have couple of ‘ugh’ moments and there’s some with completely unerotic male nudity. I recommend giving this film a watch.

Rating 6.7

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Posted by on April 6, 2012 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: The Thing (2011)

This prequel to John Carpenter’s classic science fiction horror film The Thing has confusingly adopted the same name as Carpenter’s film. It got a bit of a mixed reception when it came out and so I waited for the Bluray release to see it at home. This prequel really pays a lot of respect to the original film while still telling its own story. The film-makers have gone to some trouble make sure that the events in this film match up with what they discovered at the Norwegian camp in the original. If you are familiar with e original then there is very little that is new here but I still found it very enjoyable.

In Antarctica three Norwegians are driving their Snowcat across the ice searching for a strange signal they have detected back at their base camp. They stop at the location where the signal is strongest when suddenly the ice cracks and gives away beneath them and the Snowcat plunges down into the crack until it comes to a top, wedged tight in the crack. The men inside look down into the darkness and see a massive spaceship buried in the ice.

Next we get introduced to our main character Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who is a palaeontologist. Her associate Adam Finch (Eric Christian Olsen) introduces her to Dr Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen) who is the head of the Norwegian research base in Antarctica  and he needs her help but of course he doesn’t tell her there and then why. It isn’t until they get to Antarctica that Halvorson shows them the enormous space craft then eventually shows them the alien they found frozen the ice a small distance away from the ship. Time is critical because there is a storm approaching in a couple of days and the pilot of the helicopter Sam Carter (Joel Edgerton) wants away before it hits so they cut out a block of ice containing the creature and take it back to their base. Halvorson wants a tissue sample and ignores Kate’s warning that it might contaminate the sample. Drilling into the bock to take the sample cracks the ice and weakens it.

They all go back to the mess hall and celebrate the discovery in typical Norwegian fashion by drinking lots of booze and singing and dancing to Norwegian folk songs. Carter’s co-pilot Jameson (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) takes a break from the boozing and goes for a stroll down to look at the alien and we see that the ice is melting rapidly. The creature suddenly explodes out of the ice, breaks through the ceiling and escapes. We don’t get a good look at it but it looked vaguely like the xenomorph from Alien.

Halvorson wants the creature captured so he organises everyone into pairs to search for it. The unfortunate pair Peder and Olav who find the creature get attacked and the creature swallows Peder whole into its massive maw. Everyone else arrives and there is general panic as some want the creature killed and Halvorson doesn’t. Finally they bring out the flame thrower and burn the thing to death.

The smouldering remains are carried into the lab with Peder’s legs still poking out of the mouth. Halvorson starts cutting the creature open much to everyone else’s disgust, not so much at the autopsy but at his casual attitude to their dead colleague. Kate reluctantly assists him and they cut Peder’s body out of the rubbery tissue enclosing him. Kate notices a strange translucent quality to the man’s skin and is puzzled to find a metal orthopaedic plate lying next to the body. His colleagues confirm that he had a compound fracture in his arm which does not explain why it’s now outside his body.

They now turn their attention to Olav who was injured in the attack. He needs medical treatment so Sam, Jameson and Grimes agree to take him in the helicopter to McMurdo Sound. Meanwhile Kate is examining tissue from the creature and Peder under a microscope and sees the alien cells consuming then imitating the human cells. She shows it to Adam who isn’t sure about her conclusion first that the alien tissue is still alive then that it is imitating what it consumes. When she goes to the bathroom she finds metal tooth fillings lying on the floor and a shower full of blood. She hears the helicopter starting up and quickly realises that they can’t let the helicopter leave. She rushes out and waves frantically at Carter who has just taken off. Carter decides to land and that’s when the creature in the back of the helicopter bursts out of it human shell and attacks. The helicopter goes out of control and crashes in the distance.

Everyone is upset about the helicopter crashing, especially as it’s their only transport away from the base (apart from the Snowcats). Kate tries to tell them that alien consumes animals (including humans) and then imitates them but Halvarson doesn’t listen and Adam doesn’t back her up. It soon becomes academic as they realise Kate is correct very quickly and they have no idea who they can trust since anyone can be an alien creature.

As someone who is a fan of the original film I thought this did a great job creating this prequel and I appreciated the effort they went to. The special effects are a quite a nice combination of physical models and CG and they take it step further than the original one did.

Rating 7.5/10

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: The Awakening

This is not really a horror film. That is not to say that it does not have it share of tension and scares but just that this film deals more with grief than with horror. Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall) is an author who is interested with investigating paranormal claims and is especially obsessed with busting fake mediums scamming members of the public. The film starts with her busting one group and having them all arrested because pulling these sorts of scams used to be illegal in Britain. This is in 1921 and it is only 3 years after the end of the First World War where Britain nearly lost an entire generation of young people to a war conducted by rich people sitting in map rooms. There is a lot of grief and desperation for these ghouls to feed on but the victim of the con is not happy about the bust. The fake mediums were selling the woman hope but Florence has nothing but cold hard reality to offer.

Florence is a bit of an evangelist of science and rationality but she hates her victories against the supernatural because Florence lost her fiancé in the war and each time she finds a logical explanation or con trick to explain away any mysteries she comes across it confirms her belief and fear that death is really the end and that this is all there is.

She gets a visit from John Mallory (Dominic West) a history teacher at a boy’s boarding school. He wants to use her skills to bust the ghost stories at the school which have led to one boy at the school dying because of his fear of the ghost. She has been recommended to the school’s headmaster by the school’s matron who is a big fan of Florence’s books. Mallory himself is not a fan. He shows Florence the school photographs and each year the same ghostly figure can be seen at the end of the group of a boy the same age as the boys at the school. This intrigues her and she agrees to investigate the school.

At the school she gets introduced to the groundskeeper Edward Judd (Joseph Mawle) who drives Florence and Mallory from the station. Florence detects a frosty attitude between the men and it turns out that while Mallory fought in the war and was injured and lost all his friends Judd avoided being conscripted. At the school we see another teacher McNair (Shaun Dooley) who is supervising the boys while they run across the school’s grounds and he coughs and downs tonic. The matron Maud Hill (Imelda Staunton) is waiting for them at the entrance and she almost seems star-struck to meet Florence. Mallory takes Florence inside to introduce her to the headmaster Reverend Purslow (John Shrapnel) who greets her then leaves her in the care of Mallory.

Florence gets he equipment set up and start investigating the ghostly mystery that scared a boy to death. She does succeed in uncovering schoolboy pranks and doe manage to solve the mystery of the boy’s death but she has a sense that she is missing something and investigates further. Any more about the story would be a spoiler but I was not very satisfied with the way the film turned out in the last the third when the film springs a little twist on us. I may change my mind about this but I thought it was just not up to the standard set by the first two-thirds of the film. I’ll probably see it again because I think this film does need more than one viewing just to see if questions I have about the story are actually answered. If you like low moody ghost stories that are light in blood you may enjoy this.There is some sex and nudity both male and female so that’s either a warning or a bit of fan service.

Rating 7/10

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2012 in Entertainment, Film

 

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