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Film Review: Prowl

 This was one of the films shown as part of the After Dark Horrorfest. It has a low-budget and a cast of mostly lesser known actors from British and US TV. The film is about Amber (Courtney Hope), a young woman desperate to break away from Famfield, the small town she grew up in, and mostly away from her alcoholic mother. She gets a chance to rent a flat in Chicago and so her friends decide to go with her for a crazy fun-filled road trip. Their van breaks down so they flag down a truck driver Bernard (Bruce Payne) who is talked into taking them in the back of his truck. Bernard might seem like nice guy but he’s being played by Bruce Payne so you just know something very bad is going to happen. Instead of taking them to Chicago the Bernard has taken them to a derelict slaughterhouse populated by creepy people with mouths full of razor-sharp teeth who pick them off one at time.

The group of friends are pretty believable interacting with each other and are only annoying in a realistic way though we really don’t get much of a chance to get to know most of them. This whole film centres on Amber, what she is going through, the choices she makes and what she discovers about herself and Courtney Hope does a fairly convincing job

The creatures were fairly well done. They were never identified by any name but they seem mostly like vampires. At first they seem very formidable crawling across walls and attacking at brutal super-speed. Bu t they were a bit under-used for most of the film. I’m not too sure about Veronica (Saxon Trainor) who seemed much more like a TV series character and only seemed to exist to explain the plot to the audience and henchman was barely more than stage dressing.

The pace in film is a bit up and down, starting with not much happening for a while then the action comes all at once a in rush of confusing fast cuts leaving the friends terrified and me a bit bewildered. After that the film drags a bit with scenes of listening in on important conversations and a lot of running and hiding and scenes shot with the dreaded shaky cam style. The film does recover a bit of pace towards the end for a neat little twist ending.

For all its faults I think it is worth watching. I can’t remember any significant nudity (booo!). There’s some gore but I didn’t find it excessive. One nice point I liked was the way the script avoids the cliché of mobile phones not working. It’s the little touches like that kept my interest to the end.

Rating  6/10

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1559033/

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2011 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Film Review: Hatchet II

Synopsis: Spoiler Alert – any discussion of this film’s story cannot avoid a major spoiler of the first movie so if you haven’t seen it and don’t want the plot spoiled then go see it first.
Now that they’re gone let’s be frank, this film gleefully follows the formula of the slasher film so closely that it’s hardly much of a surprise that there is only one survivor from the boat trip in the Louisiana swamps in the first film and this last girl standing, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) is out for revenge on Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder) – the vengeful ghostly deformed mutant from the first film. She enlists the help of Reverend Zombie (Tony Todd ) who assembles a team of victims a group of hunters to go back into the swamp to kill Victor Crowley.

In a gory slasher film the plot is just an excuse to set-up a series of grisly physical effects death scenes. This film does it with such a deliberate knowingness that it teeters on the edge between pastiche and parody (and crosses right into parody in a scene involving an unfeasibly long chainsaw). Each pair of characters get their bit of a set-up before being slaughtered in some bloody gruesome way.

There is a lot of humour in this film and that really is what carries it through. Kane Hodder does his job well but it’s Tony Todd who really stands out here as a great big ham. I enjoyed the ride even if there was little in the way of scares, just gore and gore and more gore and of course a few gratuitous naked titties.  I just wish the market for naked dick shots was a strong as the one for naked titties.

Rating comedy horror  7/10

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0051ZH40S

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1270835/

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2011 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Film Review: The Rain (2009)

This is also known as Dark Fields as you can see from the DVD picture

Aren't they all dark at night?

Synopsis: A town called Perseverance is suffering from a curse which affects all the adults that can only cured by rainwater which only comes if the townsfolk pay a terrible price.

The film looks at the story from three different times but still manages to bring the story together since the events in one time have their consequences later. David Carridine plays farmer with two young children in 1866.  Dee Wallace is mother of three girls in the 1950s. The third section set in the present follows a young student played by Sasha Higgins studying at a college away from town who finds herself coming down with the curse

The three parts of the film deal with subject in very different ways especially with regards to the supernatural element of the curse. The 19th century part of the film has a living breathing shaman who has struck deal with the town to bring rain and prosperity. In 50s it really becomes a type of psycho horror with a father who is decaying both physically and mentally. The present day section has supernatural spirit with various magic powers as the main antagonist.

The film is quite well done and I like the blending of the three times and styles. The make up effects were quite good and the CGI was pretty minimal in all except the present day scenes. There wasn’t a lot of gore so it’s not one for the gore hound or anyone looking for flashy spectacle.

Ratings
Horror 7/10

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004H0M2RS

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1212023/

http://www.deadwaitproductions.com/

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2011 in Entertainment, Film

 

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