Archive for Mad Men

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.

MOVIE REVIEW: SUCKER PUNCH (2011)

Posted in Art, Beauty, Fetish, Images, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2011 by darklordbunnykins

SUCKER PUNCH

Starring Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish and Scott Glenn

Directed by Zack Snyder

Written by Zack Snyder and Steve Shibuya

Naming your film Sucker Punch is a dangerous move because it allows critics like me to write things like “Sucker Punch: emphasis on the ‘suck.’”

Now that’s a rather glib assessment of such a visually striking film, but it’s accurate. Sucker Punch looks fantastic, but unlike the quick, startling jab promised by the title, it’s more like a slap in the face to the ideas of character and plot.

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DEVILISH DVDS: SHUTTLE (2008)

Posted in DVD, Movies, Reviews with tags , , , , , , on January 11, 2010 by darklordbunnykins

SHUTTLE

Starring Peyton List, Cameron Goodman and Tony Curran

Written and directed by Edward Anderson

Mongrel Media



It’s not a compliment when critic Roger Ebert calls Shuttle “a relentless march into the dark” as part of his one-star-out-of-five review. Still, that quote adorns the DVD’s back cover, and it’s an accurate assessment. Writer Edward Anderson’s filmmaking debut is a tense thriller remarkable for its bleakness.

Peyton List (TV’s Mad Men) and Cameron Goodman play Mel and Jules, BFFs just back home from vacation. It’s late, the airport is deserted and they decide to accept a freelance bus driver’s offer (Tony Curran: Midnight Meat Train) to take them downtown. A handsome pair of bros the girls met earlier horn in on the ride against the driver’s objections. Their only other companion is a nervous accountant (Cullen Douglas).

Soon enough, though, the quintet find themselves on a journey to hell as their driver takes them on a circuitous route nowhere near their destination. Confrontations ensue, their driver pulls a gun, and soon enough his plan for the girls – and there is a plan – starts to come into focus.

First-time director Anderson is relatively skilled as a filmmaker, although it’s the idea of the film, as opposed to its execution, which is the strongest aspect of Shuttle. His characters are not completely sketched out, but List and Goodman create empathetic portraits of friends who just want to get home but find themselves subject to a greater horror than simple robbery. Likewise, Curran, best known to horror fans for his intense portrayal of the vampire Marcus from Underworld: Evolution, brings dimension to his unnamed driver; not just a remorseless killer, there’s a terribly pedestrian method to his madness.

Cameron Goodman as Jules

Shuttle is grim. Anderson offers the audience glimmers of hope as the tables are turned more than once in the girls’ favour. That things end the way they do is pretty devastating. There’s little entertainment to be had here, but, as an exercise in misery porn, it’s an effective reminder that happy endings don’t always happen.

Rating: 3/5