Poltergeist (2015)

This is not a bad film, it is just totally superfluous. The Hole (2009) did the exact same story but much better. Far less memorable than the original albeit better visual effects. The last half-hour is good although not enough to drag this above mediocracy. The only thing I didn’t like apart from the drab atheistic for the real world is the casting of the father in the family. The action and occasional horror was pretty cool.

My Bloody Valentine (2009)

This is not the best or most memorable film that stretches its content a bit too far but the 3D effects are fun and in-your-face with the gore being a little too tame in places. There is a slight anomaly where the shutter speed seems to have been lower than most films giving a slightly blurry feel to the faster movement, I suspect this was done to help reduce the noise in the darker scenes for the 3D. Sound design was great but nothing memorable. The actors were all quite dislikeable and not at all funny. It was far too serious for a fun gimmicky slasher. Worth watching in 3D but far from special.

Terminator Genisys (2015)

Not the best or worst film in the world. I applaud them for continuing the series rather than pretending some or all of the previous films don’t exist. I also like the original take on the story. Some of the action scenes are very good. The formula is pretty tired though, it doesn’t feel like anything original. The effects are mostly good but it does have a video game CGI feel, especially towards the end. They focus on the relationship between Sarah and Kyle which leads me onto what I hate most about the film. The casting is terrible. They replaced all the main characters with different actors except for the actual terminator. The new cast for Kyle, Sarah and John are nowhere near as good or memorable as the another of the other people that have played them. Kyle especially is a horrible miscast and is genuinely bad in the role to the point I wanted one of the terminators in one of the timelines to get him! Also, the pacing is not great, some really dull moments.

The Final Girls (2015)

This clever horror comedy is well paced and engrossing with an interesting but totally ridiculous story. Acting is brilliant with Adam Devine and the horror movie nerd being the most memorable. The relationship between the ‘final girl’ and her mother drives the story and their relationship is warming. The slasher tropes will appeal to a viewer of a certain age and will probably be lost on younger viewers although they will hopefully enjoy the comedy. This is good and very much reminiscent of Happy Death Day (2017) and Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010) but sadly not as entertaining or memorable.

Soylent Green (1973)

This was kinda funny. Only because of the outdated style. This is not a fast paced film. There are some exciting action sequences like in the factory at the end but nothing hugely amazing. The twist at the end is so predictable that it is laughable. They make so much big deal about the twist you would never guess and I guessed it without looking at the film itself – you just need to know that there is a twist and food to realise what is going on. Having said that I found the campy entertainment funny.

Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)

I could literally just copy and paste my review from the first film but I won’t. This looks amazing, the effects are great, the 3D looks beautiful. It sounds brilliant too. Problem is that it is pretty devoid of character. There is macho posturing and awkward ‘jokes’. Also there are some really boring sections. Apart from the giant alien and robots fighting it’s not a fun film full of filler. They made minimal effort to make the story unexpected, it’s not just aliens come we fight them. It’s the same as the first film, maybe slightly less exciting.

Fright Night (2011)

Mostly I don’t like exposition but sometimes you need something to explain character motivations, the film just jumps in assuming you know that the neighbour is a vampire, I honestly thought I had accidentally skipped 5 minutes of the film and had to check. It makes no sense as some parts of the film had me rolling my eyes with how boring or stupid the character and director decisions were. There are a handful of exciting moments and cool ideas but this is always juxtaposed with boredom. Not as memorable as the original film, a weaker remake on all fronts except technical, even that they don’t always get right, some of the CGI looks fake (especially the awfully directed pretentious ‘long take’ whilst they are driving the car). The vampire hunter and nerd are the only interesting characters. A few good scenes cannot save a lifeless film.

Dredd (2012)

I was expecting this to be terrible having associated it with the previous one, Judge Dredd (1995). But it was not! I was actually pretty darn good. It’s very violent, has an unexpected story, and interesting characters. It’s not too silly and not too serious. The action is exciting and the 3D is relatively well done. Some of the darker shots were a bit grainy but other than that the technical aspects were solid. It is gory which I was not expecting. The drug sequences were well done and memorable.

Funhouse Massacre (2015)

Oh dear this was not good. The film is riddled with plot holes and poor character decisions. The comedy is mild at best. Pace is pretty dire. On the plus side, the acting is actually okay, the vast majority of the effects are practical making them feel real and the core concept is quite good. The problems with the writing permeates into the whole film making it less than entertaining. It’s a low budget film but the technical issues are a bit unforgivable – some shots are out-of-focus and the sound design is a total mess. I realise that they have to prioritise dialogue but why is there large moments without a background noise? In the titular massacre there is no screaming or crowd noise at all. Not worth watching.

The Crow (1994)

It looks a little dated. Some of the visual effects are really poor! But it looks gritty which isn’t the best look for impressiveness. It is the only style that this movie could have had and so it looks amazing. It is good to see no computer generated effects. The sound has a subtle mix that can be very active when required. I liked the sound design in general a lot except that the dialogue was a little too quiet (not badly prioritised but overall too quiet). This is a true gothic masterpiece. The story is amazing, the concept is unbelievable, the acting is spot-on and the gothic atmosphere is the star of this classic movie. There is such a tragic story behind the film with is mimicked in the brooding moody and tragic story on-screen. A rare classic movie with a beautiful gothic noir style.