The Witch (2016) Spoiler Film Review


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Every year we get a couple of surprisingly different horror/thriller films, a director offering a new or forgotten style or unique stories that really terrify you. When this happens it becomes a trend to rave about it, last year we had It Follows, which was fairly impressive taking everything into account. This year it appears The Witch is that ‘different’ film, however ‘different’ doesn’t mean good, does it?

William and Katherin
William and Katherine

The Witch is Robert Eggers directorial debut as well as being written by him, the story is focused around a family that has moved to New England, the father William (Ralph Ineson), wife Katherine (Kate Dickie), son Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw), daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy) and twins Mercy (Ellie Grainger) and Jonas (Lucas Dawson). They live in a very remote area with woods surrounding their small farm, after several months Katherine gives birth to a baby boy and name him Sam. Thomasin is playing with Sam one day when the baby vanishes, this leads to questions and suspicions amongst the family, we as the audience get to see that the baby is stolen by the witch and smears herself in the baby’s mashed remains.

 

Thomosin finding CalebKatherine for days turns into a recluse, crying and praying to god all day in bed, never leaving. After one evening of hearing their parents argue about their situation with failing crops and loss of a child, Caleb and Thomasin sneak out in the early hours to go into the woods in search of food to help. Whilst out their dog spots a rabbit and chases after it which Caleb follows, somehow the horse Thomasin is riding is spooked and Calebthrows her unconscious. The following morning they haven’t returned and Thomasin wakes alone laying on the ground, while Caleb was lured by a witch. William is reunited with Thomasin but Caleb isn’t found until the following night by Thomasin when she goes to sort the goats out.

Thomosin asking for forgivnessOnce Caleb is found we are treated to a mini possession/exorcist moment which results in Caleb and the twins falling unconscious after claiming that Thomasin was a witch and had caused Caleb’s ‘illness’. This results in the twins and Thomasin getting locked in with the goats. Katherine spends the night hallucinating, seeing Caleb and Sam and proceeding to breast feed the baby, however we see the reality and a crow is actually pecking at her nipple. The next morning William wakes to find the Goat shelter destroyed, goats slaughtered, the twins missing and Thomasin with blood all over her hands. One of the goats named Black Phillip isn’t amongst the slaughtered goats and stabs William with his horns and then proceeds to kill and bury him under logs that were stacked by their house.

Thomosin bloodyKatherine comes storming out of the house and attacks Thomasin which leads to her hacking her mother to death. A broken Thomasin walks inside puts her head on the table and sleeps all day, she wakes at night and goes into what remains of the goat shelter and talks to the goat (yes, the goat) Black Phillip which reveals himself to being the Devil and changes to human form. Thomasin writes her name in a book with the guidance of the devil as she can’t write, she strips naked and walks into the woods where there is a coven of witches around a fire. She approaches and they all start to float into the air, as this happens she appears to be laughing, the film ends with them in the air, symbolising that Thomasin has joined them.

Thomosin walking into the woods

Black PhillipThere are many positives to this film but the main part, the story, isn’t one of them for me. Eggers in the past has had this idea rejected for being too weird and acknowledged that it would probably have to be made more conventional, but didn’t do that. Eggers and his team did something far more clever, they made a conventional trailer that would draw audiences in. It is fairly simply, the film won’t appeal to all.

Mother and TwinsThe film in some ways is extremely clever, portraying an unnerving New England and creating a sense of unease at times for the audience. The direction from Eggers is great, the film is very thought provoking but that almost leads to its own downfall. Filmmakers have the luxury of being able to make whatever they want or at least come up with any ideas they want. In some ways you can look at The Witch as a masterpiece but for me it lacked the constant eeriness that thrillers live and die by. The films content is of such a high quality that your everyday horror jump scares don’t exist, which isn’t a bad thing, the film just felt very slow paced with moments of hope but failed to delivery with an ending that was stretching the boundaries of believability in a film made very realistic and raw.

Caleb exThe acting and music are what redeem The Witch to some extent for me, if the acting had been bad this film would have gone to shit. There are different types of films, ones you can just stick on when you’re at home and watch away while texting or whatever and then there are the films that you need to concentrate on, and in the nicest way The Witch is hard work to watch. Ralph Ineson, Anya Taylor-Joy and Harvey Scrimshaw were fantastic, most likely because they had the most screen time but nonetheless, they nailed it.

I go back to what I said at the start about ‘different’ films and whether this is good because it’s ‘different?’ I’m sure that’s why many do like it but there are many things to like about The Witch, the acting, music and cinematography all deserving a mention. Having read other reviews many seem to slam people who didn’t enjoy the film and claim that their not intelligent enough however, just because something has information doesn’t mean it’s not boring. The Witch is not a film I’ll see again but I will look forward to more of Robert Eggers work and hope that there are no goats.

Rating: 5/10

Creed (2016) Film Review


Creed Logo

Apollo and RockyCreed is the latest film in the Rocky series that focuses on the son, Adonis ‘Donnie’ Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), of the late former boxer and friend of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). Struggling with not having a father we see a younger Adonis (Alex Henderson) in a youth prison where he is visited by Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad). Mary Anne isn’t the biological mother of Adonis, it is revealed that Apollo had an affair before he died, despite this she offers to take Adonis home with her.

Mary and DonnieThe film fast forwards seventeen years, Adonis has just been promoted at his office job however his passion for boxing leads him to pursue a career in fighting. After the loss of Apollo through boxing Mary Anne is disappointed in Adonis choosing to follow the same path. His decision leads him to moving to Philadelphia where he seeks out Rocky after hearing all the stories of his friendship with his father.

At first Rocky is adamant that he doesn’t want anything to do with boxing now and wont train Adonis however after persistence from Donnie, Rocky is convinced. The film has many motivational moments that would make the laziest person want to ‘get up and go.’ Michael B. Jordan is fantastic and really portrays the anger that the character has as well as the determination to become the best. Stallone plays the trainer/mentor role amazingly well coming across wise, and his usual friendly personality making him more and more likable in each film.

Rocky and DonnieJordan does really well to show the inner conflicts that Adonis experiences throughout his journey so far, one main issue being his fear of failing the ‘Creed’ name. This is a theme highlighted in the trailers with Bianca (Tessa Thompson), Adonis’ love interest, telling him that it’s his name so he should use it. Right from the off you get the impression that Adonis is ‘lost’ emotionally. Fighting under different names, using Johnson as his last name to steer clear of the Creed relation, this film shows a journey of someone accepting who they are and taking on any challenge that may come from it.

Jordon and Stallone have a great on screen relationship and Stallone arguably gives one of his best performances in a long time earning himself an academy award nomination for best supporting actor (Jordon being denied a nomination was a contributing factor to this year’s revival of #oscarssowhite).Rocky and Creed

Creed29389.dngThompsons character Bianca is someone that the audience will enjoy (maybe not her music), she has good chemistry with Jordan on screen and has a back story with a bit of pull. However, it may be that they were struggling to fit in some scenes to develop Bianca’s relationship with other characters, without giving away any of the story I can’t go into too much detail.

An area that was greatly improved in this film from the previous Rocky films was the choreography of the fighting. Some of the fight scenes are brilliant and the make-up is insane, especially in the final showdown fight against real life boxer Tony Bellew who plays the scouse ‘Pretty’ Ricky Conlan.

Creed is a solid introduction to a new lead character in this Rocky ‘reboot-spin off.’ Michael B. Jordan is a fantastic young actor with the potential to play this character for many years to come as well as be successful in other genres and areas. Stallone gave a phenomenal performance with a number of heart wrenching moments. With the success that Creed has had a second is just a matter of time and I can’t wait.

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewing Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe


The second phase in the Marvel Cinematic Universe gave us six new films, including an origin story for a new character, Ant-Man. This will just be a ranking of the six films, obviously films are subjective so it’s completely my own view.

  1. Thor: The Dark World (2013)Thor The Dark World

Despite being ranked the worst in Phase 2 Thor: The Dark World is not bad, in fact it is a good sequel. This instalment lacks what most Marvel films lack, a good villain. Trying to recall the information was difficult and that shows the importance of the story and how compelling the film was. Loki was brilliant in the film and works really well with Thor, they have an interesting relationship and bounce off of each other well. Overall Thor was a good sequel, arguably not as good as the first however not as good as the other films in this second phase of the MCU.

  1. Iron Man 3 (2013)

Iron man 3Iron Man 3 was a great Tony Stark story that highlighted the effects that the first Avengers had had on him, forcing him to have anxiety attacks. This reminds every one of his humanity, he’s not an alien, he is vulnerable to everyday human issues. Iron man 3 has one of the better Villains from the MCU in Killian, not a great villain in general but for the MCU was fairly interesting. The third Iron Man instalment also allowed for Tony and Pepper’s relationship to develop, showing the many dimensions to Tony Stark character.

  1. Ant-man (2015)Ant-Man

Ant-Man was probably the biggest surprise of phase 2, after the little promotion for Ant-Man there were a few worries over how well it would do. However word of mouth showed how valuable it is as many people went to see after the initial release and positive reviews. Ant-Man also brought something new to the MCU with a heist based origin film. The film provided a lot of humour as well, a unique type of humour that hasn’t been present in the MCU before, Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the first to have lots of humour but Ant-Man used the cast well and told an interesting story despite the villain yet again being average at best.

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy was the first big ‘risk’ that the MCU took, turning a mostly unknown comic book into a feature film. Marvel were able to pull together a brilliant cast including Chris Pratt who portrayed the main character Peter Quill. In hindsight the worry that surrounded how well Guardians of the Galaxy would do was silly, with the film making over $700,000 and becoming a fan favourite. The success of Guardians of the Galaxy has many fans hoping and wishing for an appearance of one of the characters in another film or post credit scenes, the anticipation for the second grows amongst fans every day, many realising that Ultron is likely to appear as he’s not likely to be in any of the earth based films yet. Guardians of the Galaxy was almost a perfect film but again was let down with its villain, Ronan the Accuser, who never really seemed like a real or ruthless threat.

  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers Age of UltronThe highly anticipated sequel for the Avengers did not fail to impress. Age of Ultron was going to be the next big deal in the MCU, and it delivered on that front, Ultron was a good villain that offered a unique outlook, a genuine reason for their actions, a belief that what they’re doing is for the benefit of the world. Seeing all of our MCU heroes on the big screen together is always great to watch, and also makes us as an audience feel that the stakes are higher. The new characters that are introduce added new dimensions to the teams. One of the main hiccups in the film was the Thor story line however it didn’t take away from the film too much.

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)Captain America The Winter Soldier

In the context of the MCU Captain America: The first Avenger wasn’t quite what everyone was expecting, almost portraying Cap as a little bit boring. However the sequel, The Winter Soldier, is arguably the best MCU film to date, providing the audience with a fantastic classic thriller type film. Chris Evans thrives in the role of Cap and delivers a fantastic performance along with Scarlett Johansson and Anthony Mackie. This chapter also has a different tone to the other MCU films, there are moments where the audience believes that the characters are in a life threatening situation, which is quite rare in this universe. Overall Captain America: The Winter Soldier is, for me, the best MCU film in Phase 2 and arguably to date, the film has really developed and increased the interest in Captain America and Black Widow.

The Gallows (2015) Film Review


The Gallows

The Gallows is a found footage horror film (apparently) that is based on a high schools production of a show called the Gallows that went horribly wrong when a student, Charlie (Jesse Cross), died by hanging at the performance in front of an audience in 1993.

The story revolves around Reese Houser (Reese Mishler), Pfeifer Ross (Pfeifer Brown), Ryan Shoos (Ryan Shoos) and Cassidy Spilker (Cassidy Gifford) twenty years later. I think the idea was to have the actors play characters with the same name to make the film seem more realistic and go along with the found footage illusion. It failed. Along with the rest of the film.

CastReese and Pfeifer are performing in the school’s first performance of The Gallows since the disaster in 1993, Reese playing the same role as Charlie, the boy who passed away. Due to Reese’s bad acting his friend Ryan suggests they sabotage the show so it gets cancelled preventing Reese from getting embarrassed in front of his crush, Pfeifer. Ryan comes up with the idea of entering the high school in the middle of the night through a broken door he discovered earlier that day and destroying the set. Ryan’s girlfriend, Cassidy, insists that she comes along leading to the three of them entering the school and destroying the set. However they discover Pfeifer that conveniently gets out of explaining what she is doing in the high school in the middle of the night.

THE GALLOWSThe story continues with the four of them trapped in the school encountering strange noises and a lot of nothing. There are hundreds of films that have a poor story and filled with jump scares that can make it slightly entertaining however The Gallows doesn’t even have the jump scares. The basic fundamentals of the film don’t make sense and the majority of the story is unclear. Charlie doesn’t provide any scares for the most part, and the character itself is questionable with an unclear and confusing ending, however the film wasn’t being intentionally clever it was just inconsistent and isn’t interesting enough to leave the audience intrigued.

CassidyIt’s hard to find positives for such a mess of a film. I’ve always believed that horror films are hard to get right and that trailers aren’t a true interpretation of what the film will be like. I’d argue that the best part of The Gallows is the trailer with Cassidy and the red lighting. The story is poor, the acting is poor, the idea has been overused now and it’s time for a change away from found footage.

Rating: 3/10

Ant-Man (2015) Film Review


Ant-Man_title

Ant-Man is the twelfth instalment of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and also ends ‘phase 2’ of that universe, directed by Peyton Reed and staring Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, a thief who is an expert with electrical equipment. Ant-Man has a completely different pace to Marvel’s previous film, Avengers: Age of Ultron which was pretty much action from the off. Despite Ant-Man being a slightly risky move for Marvel it seemed to have paid off with a classy, and probably the best, heist superhero origin story that the MCU has produced.

Hank and ScottAnt-Man concentrates on the ‘passing of the torch’ from Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), as Hank using the Ant-Man suit over the years has had a lasting effect on his body and is unable to use it anymore. Hank and Scott’s relationship is a strong aspect of the film regardless of it being a cliché, Both Douglas and Rudd bring great humour to the characters which enables them to bounce off of each other.

There is no secret from a majority of the marketing that Ant-Man largely relies on its comedic elements to add entertainment and possibly relies on it too much with its lengthy build up. Rudd portrays Scott, as expected, with large amounts of humour, however Michael Pena does a brilliant job of making Scott’s old cellmate Luis annoyingly hilarious throughout the film. Luis tries, along with his crew Dave (T.I.) and Kurt (David Dastmalchain) to help Scott get back on his feet by offering him a job which seems perfectly possible and profitable.

Rudd and LillyRelationships are a heavy theme throughout the film, whether It’s between Scott and his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson), Hank and his daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) or Scott and Hank. The relationships work well and also helps develop the character of Hope and Hank, revealing vital flash backs and explaining the frosty relationship between them both. Hope plays are large role in the film, training Scott alongside Hank to ensure he can use the suit to its full potential.

Scott and CassieAnt-Man uses all characters really well, each having an important ‘moment’ to ensure that plans go as they should or improvising for the good of the team. This also relates to some of the cameos during the film, cameos can sometimes feel forced in the MCU, just to show off a character. However Ant-Man is clever with its links to the rest of the universe, only having characters that could further the story in future films (this will make sense after the post credit scenes). Seeing and hearing links to Hydra and The Avengers gives that larger world feeling to a smaller scale film (no pun intended).

Yellow JacketThe film is not perfect, far from it, and unfortunately one of the biggest issues is something that is becoming a reoccurring theme for the MCU, poor villains. What saves the film is that it is mainly an origin story so the need for a villain is lowered but Darren Cross/Yellow Jacket (Corey Stoll) poses no real threat throughout the film. There are scenes that are meant to be tense and thrilling but aren’t and don’t really give the audience that feeling of fear for a character.

Another worrying thing for the MCU is that they have now done two risky properties in Guardians of the Galaxy and now Ant-Man, both are have heavy on the comedy front, is this going to become a reoccurring theme with risky material? There was a sense of repetition with Marvel going for the funny route after Guardians of the Galaxy did so well.

Ant-Man BathtubOverall Ant-Man is a well thought-out heist film that tells the story of how Scott Lang became the Ant-Man with lots of fun in the process. The CGI is fantastic, especially during scenes with ants and the slow motion stuff. The concept is brilliant and works a lot better than the idea of a man that can shrink to the size of an ant and control ants. It truly is an enjoyable family film that most could watch even if you’ve never seen a Marvel film before.

Rating: 8/10

Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015) Film Review


Title

Insidious: Chapter 3 is a Supernatural Horror film directed, starring and written by Leigh Whannell, the film is the third instalment of the insidious series, serving as a prequel to the other two Insidious films. The film sees the return of the old team including James Wan, Oren Peli and others all having a role behind the scenes. This chapter follows a family that recent lost its mother, the family includes the father, Sean Brenner (Dermot Mulroney), daughter, Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) and younger brother, Alex Brenner (Tate Berney).

Father and DaughterQuinn struggling with the loss of her mother, Lilith Brenner (Ele Keats), decides to seek out help to communicate with her. This leads to Quinn coming across a retired Elise Rainer (Lin Shayne) that has given up communicating with the dead and reaching out to the ‘further.’ After hearing Quinn’s story she decides to attempt communicating with Lilith and this leads to Elise abruptly stopping the process and warning Quinn about reaching out to the dead.

EliseThe film assists in developing Elise’s character and story which has positives and negatives, it’s successful in adding some new dimensions to her character however it takes away from the story that is unfolding, throughout the film the other characters in it become irrelevant. Additionally Elise is dead in real time, which poses the question why is this series not moving forward, it seems as if the team realised that the best character from the original film was Elise and are now doing anything they can to keep that character involved. The concerning thing is that Whannell has expressed his desire to explore more stories between this instalment and the first film.

Regardless of those negatives the film does deliver on some aspects, as always when I watch a James Wan film, the cinematography is fantastic, whether this is due to all of his cinematographers being great or his direction, it’s brilliant and I would feel confident saying he had an influence on it despite not directing this particular film.

specs and tuckerWhat Insidious: Chapter 3 does well (mostly) is link and tie things together, whilst developing Elise, the films shows the origin of Tucker (Angus Sampson) and Specs (Leigh Whannell) the two internet fake ghost hunters, well at least they are until they meet Elsie. The audience also get to the see the start of the Elise’s clash with the Parker Crane/Bride in Black (Tom Fitzpatrick), where Elise is told that her life will be ended by the Bride in Black. One attempt at a link that wasn’t needed (or fitted with the continuity of the film) was the appearance of Darth Maul, known as the lipstick faced demon outside of the Star Wars films, which fails to link due to the fact that originally the demon was haunting Dalton (Ty Simpkins), which is in the future of this third instalment.

The man who can not breatheIn terms of how scary this third instalment is, the majority of the film relies on cheap jump scares to entertain the audience with little tension building compared to the other Insidious films. In the horror genre it is vital to have a scary main figure, Insidious: Chapter 3 has this, arguably better than the first film, the man who can’t breathe (Michael Reid MacKay) is fantastic and is the only aspect of this film to provide some creepiness and fear.

Overall Insidious: Chapter 3 is a solid all around film, characters making up for an irrelevant story that was designed to develop previously known characters. Good cinematography makes up for the rushed jump scares and little suspense by providing shock with the angles and movements of the camera. Elise continues to be an interesting and pleasant character whilst also kicking butt at the same time, Specs and Tucker take a smaller role this time around and I felt the film lacked their humour at times which is why this is arguably the weakest of the three films so far. If there is too be future films it would be more interesting to have Elise as a ghost (like at the end of Chapter 2) and Specs and Tucker having a larger role with her assisting in solving the hauntings.

Insidious Elise

Rating: 7/10

Jurassic World (2015) Film Review


Jurassic World Great White (2)Jurassic World is a science fiction, adventure, action film set twenty two years after the original Jurassic Park on the fictitious island Isla Nublar, where InGen have opened the theme park Jurassic World. InGen was originally created by the CEO John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) in his image of being able to create Dinosaur clones from Fossilised DNA ember, after his death Masrani Corporation bought InGen and proceeded to build the theme park. Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the operations manager and also the Aunt of brothers Zach Mitchell (Nick Robinson) and Gary Mitchell (Ty Simpkins), who both come to visit her after not seeing her for seven years.

Jurassic World Indominus Rex eyeJurassic World’s chief geneticist Dr Henry Wu (B.D. Wong), the only character to have appeared in any of the other Jurassic Park films, and his team created all the dinosaurs in the park and also experiment with different DNA to create new dinosaurs. Due to the number of visitors to the park not being as high as expected the creation and reveal of a new dinosaur was expected to lead to a rise in visitor numbers. Prior to the disclosure of this new dinosaur named the Indominus Rex, which has a mixture of different DNA’s which are kept secret by Dr Wu, Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan), CEO of Masrani Corporation visits the park. Claire struggles to spend time with her nephews due her highly demanding job and this leads to them being left with assistant Zara Young (Katie McGarth), throughout the day, her meeting with Simon Masrani leads to him requesting that the Indominus Rex’s enclosure to be checked by Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), an ex-military turned Velociraptor expert and instructor, to make sure that nothing to do with safety has been missed.

Jurassic World Pratt and HowardThe film follows Owen and Claire who spend the majority of the film flirting, searching and running away on a mission to find Zach and Gary. Throughout the film their relationship grows and they end up becoming a team that work well together, there is no doubt that Chris Pratt improves this film with his comedic timing and serious attitude when needed. It was a good mixture, serious enough to make the character intelligent and believable, but also fun enough to make the character likable and exciting. Bryce Dallas Howard’s character was predictable but good, the stereotypical character that seems uptight, organised and strict but really has an exciting and risky personality when her life is threatened by a killing machine.

Jurassic World BrothersUnfortunately, Zach and Gary’s relationship wasn’t as believable despite a drastic improvement in the second half of the film. Zach, to put it nicely, was a dick to his brother for most of the film and the depth of story for the two was unnecessary as a teenage romance involving a teenage boy staring at a group of teenage girls was boring compared to the giant dinosaurs that were roaming the park. The brotherly bond improved once trouble started for them both and the other sub plots which in the end proved to be irrelevant were out of the way. The depth of sub plots gave a lot to think about through the film, with many sub plots that were relevant one minute, then forgotten the next.

Jurassic World Starlord vs Wilson FiskAlthough, some sub plots were extremely valuable and showed a new dimension to the franchise, offering new directions that the series could be taken in. Despite the film not necessarily having a cliff hanger, there is massive potential for more Jurassic World’s to be made (which they will after the huge opening weekend). Sub plots in the story allowed for more to be understood and also fill in the blank space that had been left between the previous films and this new one, showing what genetics lab had been doing whilst the park has been running, and also different motives for creating dinosaurs.

Jurassic World Johnson LapkusBarry (Omar Sy), Lowery Cruthers (Jake Johnson), Vivian (Lauren Lapkus) and Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) were all smaller roles however, were significant in their own ways, which really added to the experience and enjoyment of the film, particularly Johnson’s character, who was a humorous laid back tech-guy in the main control room overseeing the parks activity and also when thought about is probably one of the only characters that seemed qualified in their role. In all seriousness I don’t think there has ever been such military interest at any theme park.Jurassic World Masrani and Dr Wu

Jurassic World Indominus Rex MouthVisually, Jurassic World is exactly what you would expect, stunning. The CGI mostly is almost unnoticeable and even in the scene without CGI, the dinosaurs looks frighteningly realistic. It would be fair to say that the main audience of Jurassic World is children and the people that have seen the previous films. If a child, twelve and under, went to see this film they would be terrified I imagine. This isn’t a negative of the film, it’s just something that should be noted to give an impression of what the film is like.

Jurassic World Pratt, Blue, DeltaA large problem with the plot of the film is the unrealistic employees at the park, there are only a handful of animal/dinosaur experts and people used to working with animals throughout the whole film. This raises the questions about the practicality of Jurassic World, it’s not a spoiler or a surprise after seeing the staff at the theme park to reveal that the park turns into a hunting ground for some dinosaurs. The characters overall seem to link fairly well and are mostly incorporated from early on, not allowing for random new characters to just appear and have a pivotal role. This enabled the film to run smoothly generally, and all characters started to make their intentions and positions clear in regards to how dinosaurs should be used and strategies of how to keep everyone safe.

Potential sequel involving some original cast?
Potential sequel involving some original cast?

What Jurassic World really does well is leave a wide range of possible sequels. Without going into spoilers, there are a few different avenues that the next films could go down, Owen is a character I feel would have to be in any sequel, and after seeing how successful this new instalment has been it would be a nice touch for the old fans to see Dr Alan Grant (Sam Neil) and Dr Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) return. Dr Alan Grant, Owen Grady and Dr Ian Malcolm could potentially have an interesting and entertaining on-screen relationship. Depending on how they were incorporated it would also be interesting to see Alexis (Ariana Richards) and Tim Murphy (Joseph Mazzello) return, although the actors would likely be different depending on the profile the films could potentially have for those characters grown up.

Jurassic World Mr DNAThe film delivered after over ten years of development troubles, almost working better for it having an actor like Chris Pratt available. The film had some nice touches with the small cameo from Mr DNA (Colin Trevorrow), the little man that’s made out of DNA particles on the computer was in the originals and it was one nice to have connections to the original. There are other aspects to the film that connect to the original however I’ll leave that for you to find out yourselves. Visually the film is great and the dinosaurs really take a step up from the previous films, the idea behind customers demand and supply is very clever, something that will be understood more once the film has been seen. The relationship between Owen and Claire does carry the film at times, however their on screen chemistry works well and the film only benefits from it. There is a reason that this film has broken the record for the biggest opening weekend, I’m not sure that it’s as good as the money it’s made, however the money it has made all but guaranties future films.

Rating: 8.5

It Follows (2015) Film Review


It Follows Title

I knew nothing about It Follows when it was initially released, hence why this review is so late, and I only decided to watch it because of the feedback that I had been hearing, which shows what word of mouth can do for a film. It Follows is an American supernatural Thriller/Horror that explores the concept of a demon that follows people that obtained a ‘curse’ by sleeping with others that have it, the curse works in similar way to the Final Destination films, there is an order. The order in the film is that the most recent person to have had sex with someone who already has this curse, is then at the front of the list and if they were to die, the demon would then work its way down the list.

It Follows CarThe film centres around Jay Height (Maika Monroe) as she ‘catches’ the curse by having sex with Hugh (Jake Weary), this leads to Hugh knocking Jay out with chloroform. Jay wakes in a wheelchair tied up, this gives Hugh the opportunity to explain that the two of them sleeping together has passed on a curse which will result in her being followed by a demon that can disguise itself as anyone and anything.  Conveniently, the demon is close and Jay is able to experience the demon following her as Hugh pushed her around an abandoned building, trying to prove what he is saying is genuine. Hugh also goes into detail about the demon and general tips about how to be safe, or temporarily safe anyway.

It Follows TiedOnce home Jay is scared and doesn’t know what to believe, after a number of encounters with the demon that her other friends can’t see, they decide to go looking for Hugh. Jay, Jay’s sister Kelly (Lili Sepe), Greg (Daniel Zovatto), Yara (Olivia Luccardi), Paul (Keir Gilchrist) end up going away, with some still unsure of this alleged curse. The story advances and shows the different approaches that Jay and her friends take to the demon and curse, some involving attacking the demon and others involve running.

The film has a decent steady pace, not taking thirty to forty minutes to get into the story like some horror films, there are times throughout the film where it becomes slow and slightly boring however aren’t long enough to become a distraction. Despite the good performance from Monroe, there are times where the filming and acting from other cast members can really take the audience member out of the experience. Although, the tone of the film is fairly unique and connects to many different factual relevant issues. The writer and director, David Robert Mitchell, discussed how the film was inspired by the anxiety of being followed that he had experienced in his own dreams. There have been other comparisons made to STD’s from critics.

jays-first-vision-is-an-old-womanThe film has a great concept, which I feel is what makes it that little bit special and has created the buzz that it has had, however the execution of that concept hasn’t quite reached the level it could have. The idea of a demon that takes the form of anyone and no matter where they are they are walking in your direction, is pretty terrifying for anyone. The film restricts and also provides inconsistencies with the demon, in one scene being brutal and the next providing many opportunities for the cursed person to get away. The score for the film in my opinion was the worst aspect of the film, mostly not fitting the mood of the film and ruining scenes that had potential. Overall, It Follows was enjoyable and creepy at times but like all films had its issues, there is without a doubt that there could be more films based on the concept, whether that was to follow the same story I’m not sure if it would provide the opportunity to develop the idea further.

Rating: 6.5/10

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) Film Review


Kingsman Logo

Kingsman: The Secret Service is potentially one of the best films of 2015 and we are only two months in. This action-comedy-spy movie is loosely based on the comics named ‘The Secret Service’ which was only six issues long (for now) released over one year, mid-2012 to mid-2013. The film is centred around Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin (Taron Egerton) and Harry Hart or code name ‘Galahad’ (Colin Firth), an experienced member of the secret service Kingsman. Hart witnesses the sacrifice of his colleague and friend after Hart made a mistake when interrogating a threat, due to guilt Hart decides to take a bravery medal to the widow, Michelle Unwin (Samantha Womack), of his ex-colleague. The bravery medal has a number on the back and Hart, feeling in debt to Michelle, claims that she should call the number on the back and state ‘Oxfords not Brogues’ if they ever need help.

KSS_JB_D27_02661.CR2The film advances seventeen years and shows one of the Kingsman, Lancelot (Jack Davenport), attempting a rescue mission on his own. However he is violently killed by Gazelle (Sofia Boutella), a woman with mental prosthetic legs. Meanwhile Eggsy, who is now a young adult, still living with his mother who is now with an abusive boyfriend, Dean (Geoff Bell). Eggsy with his cockiness provokes a number of Dean’s friends to attempt to fight with Eggsy and his two friends in a pub. The film gives the impression that Eggsy often gets into fights due to his sarcastic and confident attitude, however he manages to avoid the fight in the pub and leaves with his two friends only for them to discover he stole the keys to Deans friends car. Eggsy and his two friends take the car for a joy ride eventually crashing after being chased by the Police, Eggsy encourages his friends to leave before they get arrested, which they do. Whilst Eggsy is in the police station he decides to call the number on the back of the medal, this leads to Hart preventing Eggsy from getting in further trouble. Hart introduces himself to Eggsy as he is leaving the police station, which leads to them getting to know each other more, although Hart knows most of what there is to know about Eggsy.

Due to Lancelot’s death the Kingsman hold a meeting which is chaired by the head of the Kingsman secret service, Arthur also know as Chester King (Michael Caine). The meeting concludes with each of them having to put forward a candidate that will undertake weeks of training and tests.After the meeting Arthur assigns Hart to the project that Lancelot was working on. They discover that the case is linked to the famous business man Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). Valentine is the head of a business and is well known for trying to improve planet earth and looking for ways to prevent further damage. Valentine creates his own theory to improving the plant and announces that he will be giving everyone a free sim card for their phone which will provide everyone with free calls, texts and Wi-Fi.

RoxyHart selects Eggsy as his candidate to go into the training and tests. This is where the story really starts moving and growing in depth and introduces some important characters. Roxy (Sophie Cookson) is another candidate that is up against Eggsy however they develop a good relationship from their first meeting. Eggsy also meets the man in charge of all the tests and candidates, Merlin (Mark Strong).

Kingsman shows a completely new type of spy film as it has serious themes, but doesn’t take itself too seriously. At times the scenes are very Tarentino-esque without the large amounts of blood. Some of the cinematography and filming is stunning, one particular scene in a church has some brilliant angles and also has that comic book feel to it. The majority of the fighting scenes are fast paced and smooth which just adds to the fun experience you get from watching this. The cast in the film are brilliant; Firth, Egerton, Strong, Cookson, Jackson all play their characters flawlessly with a number of the characters having interesting relationships that keep the audience engaged in the story. Matthew Vaughn did a fantastic job with this film, finding a brilliant balance of comedy and action whilst also at times poking fun at the classic spy genre.

EggsyKingsman: The Secret Service has created something that has the potential to become a very large and popular franchise. Egerton’s acting was brilliant as he was able to deliver two different characters in the sense that at the start of the film he was a chav, arrogant and reckless yet grew and developed into a gentleman. Firth’s action sequences were visually stunning, whether he did them all or not is another question but impressive regardless. I felt that Strong’s character Merlin was the biggest surprise for me, as the film develops, so does his character. Merlin develops a good relationship with Eggsy as the story grows, Merlin is at times unpredictable with the tasks that he sets for the candidates, which I think develops his character further. There is nothing more unnerving than a villain that thinks their doing the right thing, however Valentine is not necessarily a villain to be feared due to his unintimidating features such as his lisp and friendly nature. Kingsman is fantastic fun, combining a number of different aspects like comedy and action, the blend of the two are just right and don’t leave you feeling like you’ve watched a parody film or another Mission Impossible-James Bond film, but somewhere in the middle.

Rating: 8.5/10

Kingsman Charaters