A trailer has finally arrived for the sequel to Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe! Sequel is directed this time by Rodo Sayagues from his script with Alvarez. The two co-wrote the first flick with Alvarez at the helm. Don’t Breathe 2 is once again produced by Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert and seems to put the blind villain in more of an anti-hero role this time around.
Jeff and Maggie Vahn (Rupert Friend and Mamie Gummer) are two comic book creators who are separated and in the middle of a messy divorce, that includes a custody battle for their daughter Jenny (Violet McGraw). Jeff is out of work and when Maggie is killed in a hit and run, he has to find a job fast to keep Jenny from her rich, custody seeking grandfather (Brian Cox). Just as things start to turn around for Jeff, it begins to seem like a dark entity might be stalking he and his daughter…a spirit that might be his angry, dead, ex-wife.
Film is by-the-numbers directed by William Brent Bell (Wer, The Boy), from a script by Nick Amadeus and Josh Braun, and is far more run-of-the-mill family drama than supernatural horror. Bell does create a few spooky moments and has a nice visual eye, but the spooky scenes are very few and far between, till the climax, as we watch Jeff try to turn into an adult to prove he is capable of taking care of Jenny. Aside from a few effective but briefly seen specters, and a few nightmare scenes, there is nothing really all that scary here. When spooky stuff does happen, it is very cliché, such as jittery moving phantoms whose bones click and creak with each articulation and a child blamed for a ghost’s destructive hi-jinx. The end reveal is also no real surprise either and gives the feeling of being an afterthought. The cast are OK, with only little Violet McGraw and veteran Brian Cox really showing some screen presence, and Cam star Madeline Brewer appearing as the babysitter with feelings for Jeff, Samantha. Overall, the potential Bell showed in his first few flicks seems to have settled into a sadly familiar routine with his recent studio films, which, including this one, are kind of forgettable.
A trailer has finally arrived for the sequel to David Gordon Green’s Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills! The film was postponed from it’s October 2020 release date due to COVID 19 closures, but is now scheduled to hit theaters on 10/15/2021! Check it out below!
Bill (Robin Thomas) has just gotten re-married and has built a new house, over the site of another that burned down, for his new family. In the leftover shed is a dollhouse that unbeknownst to Bill is built as an exact replica of the infamous Amityville house. He gives it to his daughter Jessica (Rachel Duncan) for her birthday and let’s just say the miniature version is no less haunted than the original. Supernatural hi-jinx ensue.
While the premise is quite goofy, as are the proceedings, film is taken quite seriously by director Steve White from a silly script by Joshua Michael Stern. Aside from the ridiculous premise—and that the Amityville House was in Long Island, New York and this takes place in California, so where did the dollhouse come from? —we get giant mice, homicidal hornets, dads (Clayton Murray) returned from the dead, demons and overheated stepmoms (Starr Andreeff). We are also treated to overactive fireplaces, the dollhouse being a portal to a demon dimension and for exposition purposes, Bill’s sister (Lenore Kasdorf) Maria and her biker boyfriend (Franc Ross) just happen to be mediums that dabble in the occult—not that they are much help. Taken seriously by its director and cast makes it all the more fun as we watch this family tormented and terrorized by the demonic dollhouse and are treated to some decent make-up FX to represent walking corpse dads, burn victims and a pair of actual demons during its amusingly overbaked climax. Do we ever find out where the dollhouse came from and why it’s a demon doorway? No! —and who cares?! There is a lot of unintentional entertainment here as White, and company seemed to set out to make a serious horror and failed miserably. Entertainment is entertainment, intentional or not. The cast try hard to play the material straight and if some of the performances are a little over the top, who can blame them considering what they have to work with. The production looks solid, though it has a direct to VOD feel, and the budget benefits from being set mostly in and around the house.
Overall, this is a an unintentionally silly but fun horror that seems to have had every intention of taking its ridiculous story seriously. Win win for us, as it is entertaining in its preposterousness and with a few of the right beverages can be a hoot to watch. Streaming free on Tubi and Amazon Prime.
Mara was raised by shyster spiritualists and thus doesn’t believe in ghosts. She purchases Blackwood House, a structure with a past of murder and bloodshed and that is rumored to be haunted. The house comes cheap, for the down on her luck young woman, who rationalizes that a house is just a house. Her Christian boyfriend Neil warns her against living there, but she refuses to believe such superstitious nonsense. The longer she stays there, though, the more weird things start to happen and while determined not to let them shake her disbelief, she soon starts to question maybe the supernatural exists after all and that she might be in real danger!
Another delightfully spooky ghost story/haunted house chiller from Darcy Coates. She first throws in some really endearing characters, such as our heroine, the skeptical and independent Mara, who is in a relationship with the strong, sensitive and caring, Neil. A born Christian, Neil is the Mulder to her Scully. We then get an absolutely spooky old house that was not only home to a serial killer, but in a bizarre twist of fate was built by Mara’s spiritualist great, great grandfather, Victor Barlow. Darcy Coates knows how to describe a haunted house, so it comes vividly to life in our imaginations. She again takes the traditional tropes like footsteps in empty rooms, rocking chairs that rock on their own and bloody hand prints appearing on walls and turns them into a very effective and spooky tale. Add to that, Mara has abilities she refuses to acknowledge that not only attracts spirits, but gives her vivid nightmares of the past, that add to the already chilling atmosphere. It’s one of Coates’ best books read so far and a really spooky story to take to bed and enjoy while safely under the covers. It’s a fast read and another book that is also appropriate for young adults, too. This author has yet to disappoint!
Film takes place in England during the 80s when graphic horror films-referred to as video nasties-were heavily censored and edited. One such censor is Enid (Niamh Algar,From The Dark) whose sister Nina (Amelia Child Villiers) has been missing since childhood. She encounters a horror film by a filmmaker named Frederick North (Adrian Schiller) whose film has imagery that reminds Enid of the fateful day Nina disappeared and stars an actress (Sophia La Porta) that reminds her of her lost sibling. Now Enid sets off to find North and get some answers while those possible answers bring Enid to the edge.
Effective British horror is directed by Prano Bailey-Bond from her script with Anthony Fletcher. It is an unsettling film and while we’ve seen films about the search for elusive horror filmmakers, this one is more about Enid never having closure and how it’s affected her all these years. It’s about her finding the truth and, unfortunately, not wanting to accept maybe her sister is gone—or is she? Bailey-Bond creates a nice atmosphere of tension and dread and visually the film has some disturbing imagery and doesn’t skimp on the gore. There are some familiar plot elements, but the cast is very good, especially Niamh Algar, and the director knows how to make a spooky and unnerving flick. Censor is now streaming on Amazon Prime and definitely recommended for a creepy watch and a filmmaker showing some real promise.
Latest teen-centric horror is supposedly a remake of a Russian film, though seems like it could be a retread of a dozen recent movies. Flick finds a group of teens summoning an urban legend entity called the Queen of Spades and thus begin to fall victim to her. Sound familiar?
Film is decently directed by Patrick White from a script by John Ainslie based on the Russian film Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite by Svyatoslav Podgaevskiy. It could have been based by any number of recent flicks, though, where teens summon a malevolent urban legend specter. In this case it’s the ghost of a Russian woman, who ran an orphanage where she murdered the children and was brought to violent justice by local villagers. She can be summoned by the now traditional ceremony in front of a mirror that teens in these movies can’t seem to get enough of. A cross between Freddy Krueger and any number of the Creepy Pasta rogues gallery, she is a routine spook. It’s all very dull and uninvolving, even though the young cast tries hard and there are a few unsettling moments. Otherwise we’ve seen flicks like this far too often lately and this one is not innovative enough to get around the familiarity.
Indie comedy/drama finds author and married mother of two, Laura Keene (Rashida Jones) starting to feel something is off in her relationship with her successful, businessman husband Dean (Marlon Wayans). She turns to her playboy father Felix (Bill Murray) who hasn’t let being a grandfather get in the way of his philandering habits. Based on his own behavior, Felix suspects the worse, and so the two embark on an adventure to find out if Dean’s attentions are on business or pleasure.
Film is written and directed by Sofia Coppola, who has previously worked with Bill Murray in the wonderful Lost In Translation in 2003 and the Netflix holiday special A Very Murray Christmas in 2015. It starts off well enough, with some commentary on married couples falling into that mundane routine and losing sight of the romance they once had together. It also speaks about not losing one’s own sense of self when being a partner in a relationship and family. There is also Murray’s frisky and flirty Felix to remind us of not letting getting older age you and make you boring. Rashida Jones and Bill Murray have a wonderful chemistry together as the father and daughter and one wishes the script was stronger to support them. Much like Laura and Dean, after the first act honeymoon, the flick settles into a familiar and uninspired routine, with Felix constantly trying to prove Dean’s possible infidelities, while Laura follows along with his “investigation” hoping he is wrong. It sadly settles into an often tread pattern and loses it’s own identity that the first act set up so nicely. It should have been more about a woman rediscovering herself and that she doesn’t have to stop being herself, because of being a wife and mother. Instead it becomes an all too common “is my husband cheating” comedy/drama that we’ve seen countless times, as Felix and Laura go to embarrassing lengths to find out what Dean is up to. While still worth a look, the film ultimately wastes a wonderful pairing of talents whose delightful chemistry deserved better material.