MONSTERZERO NJ’S 12 RECENT HORRORS/THRILLERS WITH ASS-KICKING HEROINES!

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Haley Bennett alone against a vicious cult in Kristy

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 12 RECENT HORRORS/THRILLERS WITH ASS-KICKING HEROINES!

Who doesn’t love a good final girl!? Most horror fans do! So, here are twelve recent horrors/thrillers where our heroines made an especially strong impact kicking the ass of evil!

 

Click on the titles here to go to the review page for the corresponding movie!

1. Kristy

2.Hush

3.Bound To Vengeance

4.Hellions

5.Final Girl

6.Don’t Breathe

7.The Guest

8.All I Need

9.Carnage Park

10.The Monster

11.Curve

12.Girlhouse

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Tina Ivlev turns the tables on female traffickers in Bound To Vengeance

-MonsterZero NJbars

BARE BONES: FINAL GIRL and THE STRANGER

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FINAL GIRL (2015)

Final Girl is an entertaining and stylish thriller about a girl named Veronica (Abigail Breslin) who lost her parents when she was eight and is taken in by a man named William (Wes Bentley). She’s trained for the next twelve years to be an efficient killing machine and then unleashed on her first assignment. There are four young men, led by the charismatic Jameson (Alexander Ludwig), who like to lure young women in the woods and then hunt them for sport, while wearing tuxedos. Veronica is to set herself up as their next victim and then find a way to take these serial killers out…but the odds are against her. Tyler Shields’ directorial debut is a bit too stylish for it’s own good at times, but overall this is a fun flick as we watch Veronica play a dangerous cat and mouse game deep in the woods with these four arrogant killers. There are some good fight scenes with petite Abigail Breslin holding her own quite well and making an impression once again. The rest of the cast are good with Ludwig being a detestable villain and Bentley making a mysterious figure as Veronica’s handler, William. A simple story and script written by four people that might have been a bit more fun had they kept us in the dark for awhile about Veronica’s origins, but it does entertain and still photographer Shields does give it an intriguing visual style. Not great, but fun and an interesting debut for Shields. Also stars Cameron Bright, Reece Thompson and Logan Huffman as Jameson’s fellow frat boy killers.

3 star rating

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THE STRANGER (2015)

Written and directed by Guillermo Amoedo and produced by Eli Roth, this flick is a strange and somber take on the vampire genre. A stranger (Cristobal Tapia Montt) arrives in a small town and stops at the home of Peter (Nicolás Durán) and his mother (Aleesandra Guerzoni) inquiring about a woman, Ana (Lorenza Izzo) who died around the time Peter was born. An encounter with a group of thugs leads Peter to believe this stranger, Martin, is something more than an average man. Now as Peter becomes fixated wit this man, he begins to learn there is something very unnatural about him and his reason for being there and Peter may be involved closer than he would like. The film certainly has some very effective moments and there is some effectively gruesome violence, too, but the film was a bit too somber to really draw one in. Even with the subplot of a vicious thug (Ariel Levy) and his dirty cop father (Luis Gnecco), who complicate things for Peter and Martin, the film is a little dull at times and never rises about moderately intriguing. The vampire aspects are treated more like a disease than a curse and the reveals are seen coming miles away. Not really a bad movie, but nothing overly memorable or thrilling.

2 and 1-2 star rating

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-MonsterZero NJ
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REVIEW: MAGGIE (2015)

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MAGGIE (2015)

Maggie is a poignant, powerful and heartbreaking film with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin both giving the performances of their careers.

Drama starts out in a world being stricken by the Necronambulist Virus which is effecting crops and humans alike. Crops die while humans become vicious and violent with cannibalistic tendencies. In the middle of it all, teen Maggie Vogel (Abigail Breslin) runs away from her farm home to the city and is bitten by one of the infected. Her father Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger) pulls some strings to get his daughter out of hospital quarantine to bring her home. With maybe only days, Maggie is slowly turning into one of the infected and despite the danger she may soon become, Wade is determined to be by his daughters side…even if it means defying the authorities that would see Maggie back in quarantine and destroyed.

Those expecting to see the Austrian Oak wading into armies of zombies with some huge caliber weapon will be sorely disappointed. As written by John Scott III and directed by Henry Hobson this is not a horror movie but, a quiet story of a father’s unending love for his daughter under the most horrific of circumstances…and as such is a poignant and utterly heart-wrenching tale. Hobson sets up the desolation and hopelessness of the situation quickly with some impressive and effective shots of burning crops and deserted city streets. This establishes the pervading atmosphere as we meet Wade Vogel in the hospital trying to get his runaway daughter and bring her home. He is sending his younger children away and he and Maggie’s step-mother (Joely Richardson), bring her back home, prepared for the worst. Hobson then delivers a subtle yet powerful tale of a young women changing into something out of a nightmare and a father who is already in that nightmare but, refuses to give up on his little girl. It is one of the most heartbreaking films I had seen in some time as we are shown the torment young Maggie suffers, as she knows what she is becoming and what she will be capable of, while her father suffers the anguish of watching it happen to one of the people he loves most. It is a story usually set for chills and thrills…though we get a lot of those…but, instead is about unconditional love and sacrifice… and there is a subtle beauty to the emotional story at it’s core, despite the outer horror film trappings.

On a technical side the film is moderately paced and that works perfectly with the nature of the story. It also knows not to waste time or hang around too long at slightly over 90 minutes. The cinematography by Lukas Ettlin is perfectly moody, the make-up portraying Maggie’s slow and tortuous transformation are excellent and there is a simple and atmospheric score by David Wingo.

As for the cast…wow! Arnold Schwarzenegger gives the performance of his career. He is simply amazing, especially in comparison to the type of movies we are normally used to seeing him in. He has a smoldering intensity that is mixed perfectly with the pain and sadness of a parent watching his child slowly become something inhuman. He is absolutely haunting. Abigail Breslin is borderline brilliant as a young woman facing a horrible fate yet doing it with strength and dignity. She knows what she is to become and she conveys the fear, confusion and terror perfectly, yet, not without compassion towards the ones she loves…as she knows full well what danger she will soon be to them. Equally haunting is that she is trying to enjoy the warm embrace of the people she loves and take solace from it as long as she can…even though it ultimately won’t help…and she knows it. Schwarzenegger and Breslin also have an onscreen chemistry together that is simply magic. As for the rest, Richardson is also strong as the step-mother who wants to be there but, whose love is becoming more overwhelmed by fear each day. Also really effective is Jodie Moore as Wade’s sympathetic doctor Vern who, buys time for the Vogels with the looming authorities and Douglas M. Griffin as the sheriff who is an old family friend and also tries to give Wade the time he needs to say goodbye.

I was blown away by this movie. Not only are their some wonderful performances and direction but, the film carries an emotional intensity that is powerful and effecting. Maggie packs a punch despite operating in subtly and is all the more refreshing for it. This is not a zombie movie, nor an action movie but, an intimate portrayal of a slow and horrifying transformation and the effect it has on the subject and those around them. It’s a powerful and emotionally draining film with a movie icon, as we have never seen him before…and more good work from a star on the rise. A great indie movie with some remarkable performances. Henry Hobson is a filmmaker to watch for sure! One of the best movies of the year and I can’t recommend it enough.

-MonsterZero NJ

  No puns or jokes here, a solid 4 star movie.

four stars rating

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SCHWARZENEGGER ZOMBIE FLICK “MAGGIE” GETS A TRAILER!

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Interesting looking Schwarzenegger flick has the Austrian Oak playing a Midwestern father trying to protect his daughter (Abigail Breslin) who has been infected during a zombie outbreak. Film is directed by Henry Hobson and written by John Scott 3. Maggie opens 5/22/15.

MonsterZero NJ

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BARE BONES: HAUNTER and SANITARIUM

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HAUNTER (2013)

Despite the interesting concept of taking a haunting/possession story and playing it from the ghosts’ point of view, Haunter is actually a bland and dull supernatural thriller with elements of Groundhog Day and The Others mixed in. After the repetitive first act, it seems that director Vincenzo Natali just starts making things up as he goes along in order to stretch the meager story out to a feature length film. Star Abigail Breslin tries very hard to carry the flick on her young shoulders but, the material and direction just isn’t there to support her. An un-spooky mess. Also stars Stephen McHattie as a dark and malevolent spirit.

2 star rating

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SANITARIUM (2013)

Horror anthology features three separate stories about three separate patients at a sanitarium presided over by a Dr. Stenson (Malcolm McDowell) who frames the stories. Each story is directed by a different director, yet all fit together in terms of style and when all is said and done, Sanitarium is a fairly well made and entertaining horror. Nothing special but, horror fans could do far worse for an evening of entertainment on the couch. Also stars John Glover, Lacey Chabert, Lou Diamond Phillips and Robert “Freddy Krueger” Englund.

3 star rating

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