Cornfields, killer scarecrows, generic characters, predictable story.......I feel like I should hate this movie on principle alone, but I can't. There was something about it that kept me entertained the whole time. Not to say this was a great film by any means, just very watchable.
Like I said, the story isn't all that creative in general, there are some small aspects of it though that give it a certain degree of legitimacy and individuality, but lets face it, when you've got a bunch of ghost powered zombie scarecrows trying to exact their murderous intentions on a group of very token characters you are not going to win any awards for originality. But the acting redeems a good portion of what the story lacks, once again, not award winning acting by any means, but solid none the less.
The visual feel of the film was definitely one of the better parts, it was glossy, crisp and professional. Not that a well done gritty B rate production can't be just as good or even better in many cases. But for movies as simple as this, I just like to see whats going on in full HD quality detail.
Which brings me to the violence, once again (at the risk of sounding like a broken record) good but not quite great. A lot standard of hack and slash stuff, well done, but nothing to scream about. I remain a bit confused as to how the scarecrows inflicted as much damage as they did with only a handful of carpentry nails, but whatever, they got the desired effect.
Sometimes playing it safe on a movie isn't absolutely horrible, and I think that is whats going on here. Never will this picture blow anyone away, but giving it a watch ain't gonna hurt nothin' either.
6.5/10 detached retinas
Botched is another one of those films that I had the pleasure of going back and watching again because, at the time I first watched it I had not begun reviewing movies yet. I had hoped going into this second watch that it was as good as I remembered, and it answered that question with a resounding YES!
I've mentioned before what a fine line it is to walk when trying to write a good horror comedy. I may be wrong, the creators of this film make it seem effortless. Stephen Dorff (Blade, The Gate) leads a mostly unknown but still all-star (at least in my mind) slapstick cast through a tale of robberies gone wrong, murderous Russian cultist weirdos and other general hilarity. The story is completely ridiculous, but it doesn't matter, In fact it adds strength to the script as it creates a lot of room to play with the characters and their situation without losing the audience to unbelievability. And play they do, with characters being murdered mutilated by one of the most hilarious villains I have ever seen. The funny isn't just brought by the villain either, the victims themselves are pretty riotous as well. But, by far the standout roll among them is the security guard......I think I probably will never be able to hear the phrase 'alpha male' again without laughing.
With all the comedic success this film enjoys one might think going into this that they may have skimped on the violence, well let's just say, one would be wrong. This movie is unrelenting in the splatter department. Miles of entrails, skinnings, beheadings and boatloads of other gory delights are all through out this picture. It really is glorious.
Get this movie, that's all I can really say. You're missin' out if you don't
8.5/10 detached retinas
Even though this movie wasn't really all that great, I'd still sit through it a thousand times over before I watched any of the Twilight films even one more time. I say this because I am in absolute opposition to the softening of image and mainstreaming that has been happening to the genre of late. Prowl, despite being poorly executed, at least gave the vampires a piece of their dignity as monsters back, and I commend its creators for that.
I could tell there was a concerted effort here to have a strong plot, it's just too bad so many of the other factors in the film took away from what could have been a real winner of a vampire flick. Mostly to blame is the acting and dialogue. Nobody really had any on screen chemistry with anyone else for the majority of this film, and the script didn't give them any help with that, throwing awkward lines at the actors and into the works like so many metaphorical wrenches. The story is solid and even bold at points, with some good twists and turns up until the very end where it kind of trails off almost as if they had written themselves into a corner, a corner that seemed pretty easy to write ones self out of, but never the less, that's the feeling I got.
Gore, yea, it's here and it's decent stuff. Not enough to overcome the films other flaws by any means, but still deserving of its due.
Bottom line, this movie wasn't that good, and yet somehow I came away from it feeling like the world was a better place for it, because every movie featuring vampires in their rightful monstrous for is a small victory against the mega market Hollywood tragedy that is.... you guessed it......Twilight........Twilight hater much, you ask? You better f**ckin' believe it!
4.5/10 detached retinas
This is another one of those movies that I feel like I should have liked more than I did. It was both classic and fresh with a story that resembled that of a fairy tale and yet was not tired or overdone at all, it was foreign, well acted for the most part and had really interesting and at times really brutal visuals. But for some reason certain scenes and actions by the characters, mostly the main one, kept rubbing me the wrong way and kept this film from really shining as brightly (or darkly) as it could have.
I think a big part of my dislike for the main character comes from his over the top view of his own misfortune. Pining away over his disfigurement and how it will keep him from ever attaining love, which considering his affliction is merely a purple discoloration on his eye and shoulder I'm thinking he's better off without any females that would find enough issue with that for it to be a relationship deal breaker. Had he had some sort of real disfigurement like a severely cleft palate, or an abnormal growth on his face or anything a bit more extreme than what he did, I may have had a bit more sympathy for him, but as it stands......I didn't, call me an a**hole but I've known people much worse off than him over the years who weren't half as depressed. BUT, as much of and issue as I took to that, it is about my only real issue with this film, the rest of it is very well done. The story centers around this young and unfortunate fella who lives in a morally decaying version of the U.K. and encounters some fiendish gang types who may be responsible for it. After several encounters with these ghoulish hell raisers (in which one of his mother is killed) he decides,in a rather cliched manner, "to take matters into his own hands" at which time an offer that is just as cliche comes up from a devilish character and.......you guessed it, he can't refuse it, at which point he discovers he's been tricked by the devil (really?!) and is forced to do some unspeakable things. Despite the clicheness of alot of this, these encounters are all organic and entertaining with alot of the characters being very engaging and well developed. And the story does have a certain freshness to it despite the way I may have painted it.
The violence in this film is kind of a weird entity, seemingly brutal in retrospect and yet it never really got much of a rise from me as I watched it, It all seemed a bit routine and disengaged me at points. But it was quality work nonetheless. It's just a bit strange that a movie included violence at this level and yet all I can remember really being all that gross was the fact the main character was always drooling all over himself.
I think I may be alone in a lot of my opinions on this one but I'm sticking to my guns on this one. This film had a lot of potential, and a lot of elements of success, but fell way short of anything I can really get behind.
6/10 detached retinas
"A horror film by Kevin Smith".....whether or not this movie is truly a horror film is up for discussion, but, that being said, based on the subject matter this is one of the more terrifying films I've seen this year.
I'm thinking Kevin Smith may have missed his calling, after the failures of his last few attempts at comedic and dramatic films, I had chalked him up to being done. Looks to me like he would have had a lot more successful last few years had he jumped on the darker side of things a bit earlier. And he didn't even have to completely abandon his patented wit and knack for dialogue to enjoy that success either. This film almost feels like Coen brothers doing horror because of the expert blending of levity and misery, that along with a perfectly selected cast of individuals who are all fair game as far as life expectancy goes makes this even more shocking and unpredictable......much like, well.....a Coen brothers film (and the presence of John Goodman in the cast does nothing to quell those comparisons). The plot is brilliant, multi layered and very socially applicable dealing with an ultra- right wing 'christian' group that resembles a truly worrisome hybrid of the Branch Davidians and the Westboro Baptist freaks (yea, the "god hates fags" guys but with a literal arsenal) who take 'god's will' into their own hands by capturing and dispatching of gays and other such 'sexual deviants'. At some point the government gets involved, and the movie kind of takes a turn from the horror side of things and heads more into a government cover-up, bureaucratic war of morals, stand-off type of deal. But at no point does it lose any steam, staying just as brutal and engaging from minute one to minute eighty eight.
Just as intense and engaging as the plot are the phyical aspects of this film, great ultra realistic violence is all through this film, with people getting offed at a clip that made my head spin. Like i earlier mentioned, no one is safe in this film and when they meet their respective demises there is no apologizing or skirting the issue, Mr. Smith makes damn sure of that.
If you're into a really smart, super brutal and not traditionally scary film, look no further than this one. I look eagerly foward to Kevins next offering to the genre.
8/10 detached retinas