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 Only because of the outdated style.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.

The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020)

This is a really great and fitting sequel. The first film had a proper ending but this continued the story in a new film and wrapped the new story up. I love films that finish properly! The pace is blistering, the acting memorable and epic, the characters (even the evil ones) charismatic and engaging. The film looks highly processed and digital giving it an unreal feel, this is not necessarily a bad thing just worth being aware of. This oozes style, comedy, action and excitement. Well worth watching, just make sure you watch The Babysitter (20117) first.

Saw 3D (2010)

This is not good. Pretty much the goofiest of the series. Nice to see the story go full circle but overall not worth watching. The first three in this series are the only ones worth watching. The effects are pretty gory and look solid but it doesn’t seem to dwell as much on the pain unlike others in the series. The acting is fine. The pace is okay. Nothing special but also not totally broken.

The Meg (2018)

The Meg is a giant prehistoric shark dinosaur thing. In modern times. The premise is as preposterous as it sounds. At least Jaws (1975) ‘could’ be true. This feels like a corporate movie made to make money, there is zero creativity for this film, just a whole lot of money thrown at it. It also feels like it was made for the Chinese who like American movies market. It has such broad appeal it is boring. Jason Statham annoying. The rest of the cast are totally forgettable. On the positive side the special effects and technical aspects are near-perfect. The pace is also fast and keeps you entertained. For a mindless film it works but as a society haven’t we moved on from this yet? Give me some depth and entertainment.