Archive for the Sequels Category

MOVIE REVIEW: TREMORS: A COLD DAY IN HELL

Posted in DVD, Gore, Monsters, Movies, Sequels with tags , , , , , , , on May 4, 2018 by darklordbunnykins

graboid in air

The timing of the announcement seemed both odd and strangely fortuitous. Just one day before the May 1 home video release of the latest Tremors sequel, A Cold Day in Hell, the Syfy network declared that it was not picking up the Tremors TV show after all, despite shooting a pilot with the original film’s star Kevin Bacon last year. And while the prospect of seeing Bacon reprise his Valentine McKee character was tempting, perhaps it is for the best, as two Tremors franchises would be just too many Graboids for anyone’s taste. Plus the film series, starring the first film’s other star Michael Gross as cantankerous survivalist Burt Gummer, is, against all odds, entertaining as hell in its own right.

Tremors 6

This sixth Tremors film sees Burt on the verge of having his property in Perfection seized by the government – truly his worst nightmare come true – when he receives a call from scientists in the Canadian Arctic who report Graboid sightings. An incredulous Burt, accompanied once again by his smartass son Travis (Jamie Kennedy) and a small arsenal, hightails it to Canada to deal with the creatures, who turn out to be ancestors of the desert varietals previously seen, this time stirred up by global warming.

burt and graboid

Helmed by Tremors 5: Bloodlines director Don Michael Paul, A Cold Day in Hell sticks to the series’ strength: lean, mean Graboid action and snarky banter between Burt and Travis. The creature effects are impressive, and Gross and Kennedy are endearing as macho idiots who every once in awhile let their guards down to acknowledge their humanity and love for one another.

graboid pounces on jeep

There are weaknesses. Despite plenty of our flags being on display, the film’s Canadian credentials are a bit dodgy. (Even the excuse of global warming cannot hide the fact that the film was shot, like Tremors 5, in South Africa.) And a subplot involving a local military base that feeds into Burt’s conspiracy mindset is never really explored.

But those issues aside, A Cold Day in Hell is a strong Tremors film. Gross’s Burt Gummer is one of the great action movie heroes; a man motivated by resentment and paranoia but also fear. Despite Burt’s bravado, Gross engenders real affection and pathos with his portrayal of a rugged individualist whose devotion to his ideals has cost him dearly.

Leaving that seriousness aside, Cold Day is also fun, with lots of ooey, gooey Graboid guts splattered across the screen. We’re not sure where the franchise can go from here (Graboids in space? ), but wherever Burt Gummer goes, we are sure to follow.

BLU-RAY REVIEW: DEEP BLUE SEA 2

Posted in Blu-ray, Gore, Movies, Sequels with tags , , , , , on April 17, 2018 by darklordbunnykins

 

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It may only be a coincidence that the long-gestating sequel to 1999’s Deep Blue Sea, first announced ten years ago, is finally coming out just four months before Warner Bros., home to both projects, unleashes their long-gestating big-budget shark movie The Meg. Or it may not.

In any case, Deep Blue Sea 2 is now available for your viewing enjoyment, or rather it would be if it was at all enjoyable, which it is not.

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Filmed in South Africa, DBS 2 introduces us to Misty Calhoun (Danielle Savre), a scientist and shark conservationist hired by pharmaceutical magnate Carl Durant (Michael Beach) to consult on the behavior of a cadre of genetically-modified bull sharks. It seems that the belligerent beasties, whom Durant nominally controls via brain implants, have been sneaking out of their aquatic pens and feasting on local fishermen. Of course the sharks, whose intelligence has been boosted exponentially by Durant’s meddling, are controlled by no one, and shark munching mayhem ensues once a significant number of victims have been gathered at Durant’s offshore research facility.

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The original Deep Blue Sea, which essentially had the same plot, was an A-budget B-movie that reveled in its outrageousness. It also featured – spoiler alert for those who have not seen this 19-year-old movie – a spectacular Samuel L. Jackson death. Like, absolutely no-fucking-way! spectacular. You could call it a guilty pleasure, except we feel no guilt. Deep Blue Sea is awesome.

But the law of diminishing returns (and budgets) means that Deep Blue Sea 2 is, pardon the pun, pretty toothless. It rehashes key scenes from the original – will that anesthetized shark chomp on the scientist sticking his arm in its mouth? Will there be a sudden shark-related death of a major character? – while adding little that is original. We expect sequels to use their predecessor as a jumping off point, sure, but Deep Blue Sea 2 is peculiarly shallow given the amount of time that has passed since we first saw Jackson dragged away mid-motivational speech back in the last century.

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More importantly, DBS 2 is just not fun. The script is weak, the cast is only adequate, and the CGI sharks are menace-free. It’s too bad, but Deep Blue Sea 2 has no bite.

Deep Blue Sea 2 is available on DVD and Blu-ray starting today.

MOVIE REVIEW: PACIFIC RIM UPRISING

Posted in Aliens, Eye Candy, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Sequels with tags , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2018 by darklordbunnykins

Film Title: Pacific Rim Uprising

No, Pacific Rim Uprising is not horror, but it has monsters – sorry, kaiju – so close enough for The DLB. It’s also not horrible, which was what I have to admit I was expecting from this sequel to Guillermo Del Toro’s only okay original. In fact, in many ways, it is a better movie that is even more fun.

Uprising takes place a decade after the Breach was closed. Jake Pentecost (John Boyega), son of war hero Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba, seen here in hologram), has been living a life of petty crime in a coastal city devastated by the giant monsters when he meets Amara (Cailee Spaeny), an orphan with a talent for making Jaegers out of junk. Arrested together, they are sent to Jaeger pilot boot camp where we learn that Jake washed out of the academy years ago, despite his potential. Now, in a bid to both honour his father and get out from underneath his shadow, he agrees to train a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including Amara. Activate redemption narrative now.

Film Title: Pacific Rim Uprising

Less obvious are some of the rather clever plot twists that follow, involving, sorry, cool new iterations of both Jaegers and kaiju. In fact, Uprising is surprisingly clever, despite a fellow critic’s not disrespectful pronouncement that it is “big, dumb, and fun.” Big and fun? For sure, but I also admired how director/co-writer Steven S. DeKnight and his team found a way to both honour Guillermo’s first film – which, to me, always felt more like one of his one-for-the-studio films, like Blade II, than, say, something personal The Shape of Water – and expanded that universe.

Film Title: Pacific Rim Uprising

Credit much of that success to Boyega’s charisma and humour, as well as expanded roles for scientists Hermann Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) and Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day). Their dynamic is particularly entertaining, even if it has changed significantly from the first film. (Go see it to find out what I mean.)

Film Title: Pacific Rim Uprising

Yes, there are some amazing new kaiju and some awesome mayhem, but the focus is as much on relationships and story, making Pacific Rim Uprising that rare sequel that, to my twisted mind, surpasses its predecessor.

 

MOVIE REVIEW: THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT

Posted in Gore, Movies, Reviews, Sequels, Soundtracks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2018 by darklordbunnykins

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A sequel to 2008’s The Strangers has been promised for years so a horror fan might reasonably wonder whether too much time had passed for us to care about another (mis)adventure in the twisted lives of the psychopaths colloquially known as Dollface, Pinup, and the Man in the Mask. The answer comes with today’s release of The Strangers: Prey at Night, and the answer is a (fairly) resounding yes.

The movie follows a troubled but loving family of four – mom Cindy (Christina Hendricks), dad Mike (Martin Henderson), son Luke (Lewis Pullman) and daughter Kinsey (Bailey Madison) – on a final family outing before Kinsey, exiled for some unnamed offense, is to be shipped off to boarding school. But their road trip to visit relatives at a deserted trailer park descends into hell when the kids discover the mutilated bodies of said relatives and a stalk-and-slash ensues, with the kids running, hiding, but ultimately facing off against the terrifying trio.

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Director Johannes Roberts proved himself a competent manipulator of tension with the surprisingly good shark movie 47 Metres Down. Now, working from a script co-written by The Strangers director Bryan Bertino and gifted with a strong cast, he has crafted a tight little thriller that works because we believe that this family – as flawed as they may be – is just like us, and their torture and murder is excruciating to witness.

The movie, like its predecessor, claims to be “based on true events,” but how true that is does not matter. What does is that, yes, evil is banal and good people die for no good reason, something that is proven every day in every newscast. Do these people deserve to die at the hands (and knife points) of remorseless killers? No. And that is what is ultimately so terrifying about this film.

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For fans of the original, yes, Prey at Night is consistent with its stylish predecessor. The killers have no reason for their atrocities, which they commit against a background of ’80s pop fluff by the likes of Tiffany, Bonnie Tyler, and Air Supply. More importantly, like the troubled couple played by Luke Wilson and Liv Tyler in the first film, we see that violence is random and that bad things happen to good people. That may be obvious in times like these, but if it gives us more reason to hold our loved ones closer – including in the dark of a movie theatre – all the better.

EXCLUSIVE! THE LAST EXORCISM PART II DIRECTOR SPEAKS

Posted in Devils, Ghosts, Interviews, Movies, Sequels, Supernatural with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2013 by darklordbunnykins

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The DLB had the chance to speak to The Last Exorcist Part II director Ed Gass-Donnelly last week in his hometown of Toronto about working with series star Ashley Bell, shooting in New Orleans, his vision for the franchise, and working with a low budget

First of all, tell me about New Orleans. Tell me about, obviously the typical thing is it’s a character in the movie, certainly Louisiana was very much a character in the first one, in terms of depression of Ashley’s character, Nell; talk about working there and New Orleans as a character in your film.

Well, the big thing for me is that you’ve got this girl in the first movie that has lived in such a repressed environment. Her father won’t even let her go to school and won’t let her listen to music that’s not Christian music, so I loved the idea of what would it be like for that girl to suddenly be…the movie starts with her sort of lost and feral in the woods, almost no memory of what happened, and then she gets put into a transitional home in New Orleans, so you go from like a cabin in the woods where you have no sense of culture, to suddenly being in the middle of Mardi Gras, and certainly what I love about horror movies is it a chance to explore bigger themes and ideas but in a very sort of pop culture environment, so to me this movie is sort of a metaphor for ultimately girls discovering their own voice and sexuality.

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WRETCHED REVIEWS: TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D

Posted in Gore, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Sequels, Serial Killers, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2013 by darklordbunnykins
Heather (Alexandra Daddario) is menaced by Leatherface (Dan Yeager)

Heather (Alexandra Daddario) is menaced by Leatherface (Dan Yeager)

TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D

Starring Alexandra Daddario, Trey Songz, and Tania Raymonde

Directed by John Luessenhop

Written by Adam Marcus & Debra Sullivan and Kirsten Elms

VVS Films

 

Nearly 40 years after its release, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is no longer “just” a horror classic. It is a brand, with the direct sequel Texas Chainsaw 3D, out today, just the latest iteration in a line of sequels, prequels, and remakes. The fact that this new Chainsaw manages to draw fresh blood makes it all the more impressive because, really, who thought this might actually be good?

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WRETCHED REVIEWS: SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D

Posted in Eye Candy, Gore, Movies, Reviews, Sequels with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2012 by darklordbunnykins

SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D

Starring Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington and Sean Bean

Written and directed by Michael J. Bassett

Alliance

 

Having been on the Silent Hill: Revelation 3D set, I can tell you that the people who made it were committed, enthusiastic, and looking forward to taking the legacy of the first Silent Hill film, as well as that of the video games upon which the franchise is based, and moving them forward with the sequel.

Unfortunately, they failed.

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