Review: Lights Out (2016)

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“We’re living with a dead woman!”
– Rebecca

SYNOPSIS: When her little brother, Martin, experiences the same events that once tested her sanity, Rebecca works to unlock the truth behind the terror, which brings her face to face with an entity that has an attachment to their mother, Sophie. – via IMDB

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GRADE 2I didn’t expect much, but I didn’t expect it to suck quite this much. RIDICULOUS. I watched the short when that came out, and it was pretty good. Then someone had the real bright spark idea of stretching that short into a feature length film. A sloppy feature length film. Eighty minutes of film time, to be precise, which felt like the longest movie I had ever had the misfortune of watching. It felt like we were nearing the end, and I saw we were twenty minutes in. From that moment, I knew I was doomed to suffer through to the end. Every minute the movie progressed, it got cornier, cheesier, and more terrible. I cringed a few times. That someone actually put this in a movie… that someone actually wrote this script. Like when we got the explanation for Sophie? You can’t be serious! That’s what it was about? That?! Horrible, horrible, and so silly.

The story was beyond weak and flimsy, and the longer the movie went on, the more obvious this became. I didn’t like any of the characters, either, except maybe the boyfriend, Bret. The logic was totally broken, too, and not in the acceptable way of most horrors. This movie relied heavily on jump scares, too, which were just cheap. There was like no finesse to this whatsoever. There was nothing to redeem this. There was also so much stupid stuff going on the whole time. For instance, let’s also not forget the part where they armed themselves with a black light and a flash as a weapon. I actually scoffed. Very reminiscent of the trident flashlight in Under The Bed.

I can keep talking about this, but it won’t be pretty, and I just don’t have the energy to expend on such a useless experience. Meh. There is pretty much nothing going for this movie – it is messy, boring, way too long, sloppily written and badly executed, and I would highly recommend staying away from this one.

JB & The Chop Do: The Amityville Terror (2016)

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Once again JB and I delve into the Crimes Against Humanity section of movie making and take a look at The Amityville Terror. Is it bad?? Oh god yes! Is it the worst?? Well…. I hate to spoil things but that’s coming up soon. I thought this had some passable moments but it wasn’t good by any means. I think it’s funny that this franchise will never die and we’re attached to it despite all of our good intentions. There’s a line in a movie called Reign of Fire where Matty Maconougheyhey says “We have paid a terrible price….” and I think the two of us can both attest to that.

Let’s go!

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SYNOPSIS: When a new family moves to an old house in Amityville, they are tormented and tortured by an evil spirit living in the home while trapped by the malicious townspeople who want to keep them there. – via IMDB

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A perfectly happy family, living in peace on a sunny parcel of land in California receive news that the bank is foreclosing on them and they must vacate immediately. The mother and father ignore these messages and spend their days and nights pounding away at each other; in the bed, on the clothes dryer, in a pool of cold marsala gravy spilled on the floor, etc. The daughter gets sick of this so she spends her days dirt back riding. One day, while she is out in the hills riding her bike and collecting possums, the bank sends a bulldozer to the house, razing it to the ground, killing her parents. Distraught, but happy that all that constant banging is over, she moves in with her aunt in New York where she gets possessed and goes on a sick murdering streak until she is finally gunned down in a Bonnie and Clyde style shoot out on Amityville’s Main Street.

Sound good??? Well, it’s not and, honestly, none of that really happens. What does happen is this:

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Girl and family move to new town… into a house possessed by Satan…

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Girl meets boy…

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Drunken aunt bathes in acid….

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Someone has to deal with Satanic rosebushes…

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Someone gets a blowjob from his own sister then bangs her over the kitchen table….

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Someone somehow turns into some sort of growling witch with white eyes…

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OOPS!! How’d that get in there??

And then it is, mercifully over… or is it????

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I know it’s always fun to rag on a bad movie – and this one is BAD – but it’s not the worst of the bunch. The Amityville Playhouse was the worst of them all. This one is awful, to be sure, but it did have a couple of cool spots in it. Maybe three. The dialogue is pitiful. The CGI is THE WORST. Most of the story makes no fucking sense BUT it was better then Playhouse.

Things like this happen: a fully nude woman is taking a bath. Elsewhere in the house, her brother pours some drain cleaner down a sink. The tub fills with acid! “OOHMYGODOHMYGODIMBURNING!!!” she screams, falling out of the tub, exposing her shaved business. But she’s really not. Psych!

Later, a woman looks at her rose bushes. They are dead. So, as we all would, she starts screaming and moaning and pulls them out of the ground slashing her arms on the thorns and smearing blood all over her face. Quality!

Even later that day, the dad comes home from work after killing his boss in the worst fiery death you’ve ever seen. “I killed my boss today” he says. “How about i make you feel better?” she coos and gives him a blowy. Not satisfied, he pounds on her from behind for five seconds, makes his jizz and goes to bed. Uh oh! His wife is already in bed so he must have just boned his sister! Value.!

Yep – it’s bad. Is it #BazookaList bad? I actually didn’t HATE it like I hate some of these things I watch but it wasn’t good. I wonder how JB will react?

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Are you fucking kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me?! For reals. The Chop and I have been waiting for the release of Amityville: The Awakening in 2017 (maybe, if they ever get done with it). Waiting? Dreading. Sorry. I need to make amends. Anyway, I was minding my own business the other day when I got this:

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I was not shocked when that was followed by:

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I could not believe my eyes! This little movie hopped up out of nowhere and beat Amityville: The Awakening to the punch. ANOTHER FREAKING AMITYVILLE MOVIE, WITH ANOTHER FREAKING TERRIBLE TITLE?! This franchise will never die. Then I went to have a look see, and this is what I saw:

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It’s a freaking free for all! Just look at that! The list below was posted once upon a time in one of our reviews. These were all the Amityville films. Fourteen, if you count the one we are waiting for in 2017. Now? EIGHTEEN, counting the 2017 one. Four just popped up out of nowhere.

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Anyway, after all that, and educating both our readers and ourselves that we (apparently) have a shit ton  more of these crap things to catch up on, I will move on to the actual body of this review.

I totally thought that the one hour, twenty four minute runtime was doable. Heck, shorter than most of the others ones we have trekked through. Goodness, I should have thought about how that same runtime can feel like a lifetime if it is beyond boring. And let me just tell you, The Amityville Terror is less interesting than watching paint dry.

The intro for this movie is godawful, and pretty much set the tone for the rest of the movie. It did not improve at all. In fact, it went steadily downhill, with this silly girl playing the lead, an awkward family, a guy that fucks his sister somewhere along the way (really, they went for gold here guys), families sacrificed for witchcraft (I think), and a right hooker looking woman who has odd nipples that rents this death house out to unsuspecting victims.

The dialogue is super stunted, and made me cringe more often than not. I don’t know people who talk to each other like that, it’s not natural. Besides the dialogue being hinky, the interactions between the characters were utterly unbelievable and awkward to watch. The Amityville Terror knows nothing about finesse, and spends no time setting up a story. No, sir. Let’s just get right into the crazy. Not the good kind, mind, just the ridiculous kind.

The costume design was also something that had me wondering wtf. A lot of the women looked like they could do with a hell of a lot more material in their closets, the teenage girl could totally buy brands outside of Fox, and some people need to check their sizing and go shopping again. Gosh, I know how harsh that sounds, but the people even looked uncomfortable, which made things even worse.

As for the characters, I couldn’t stand any of them. Especially Hailey, that daughter. What a little ingrate man, and how rude can you be?! WOW! The characters took over and desperately tried to convince us that there was a story to be found here, which there totally wasn’t.

This movie suffers from bad, bad, bad, bad, bad writing. It is unforgivable actually. The writers stuffed the movie with shitty characters and nudity to try and hide it, and that was even worse. It was beyond stupid and ridiculous to boot, and features some of the best CGI and acting I have ever seen (PLEASE NOTE: Do not miss sarcasm). Like ho-ly shit. That being said, I can think of way worse movies in this godawful franchise. Not that it makes this one amazing or anything, but heck, it is infinitely better that Playhouse, the Chop is right, that was hands down the most offensive of the lot.

Jessica Jones: Season 1 (2015)

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What I liked:

  • The opening credits were pretty cool.
  • Kilgrave. While I feel he has been immensely overhyped, he is the best thing about this show, without a doubt. David Tennant did a great job here, when he was finally allowed to play with the character.

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What I didn’t like:

  • Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones. I don’t know, she came across as super forced, wasn’t hardcore or scary or cool or anything. If anything, she was annoying, which is a pity.
  • How preachy the show got about race at times. It was unnecessary.
  • The gratuitous sex all over the show. Really, like the third episode featured Jessica banging Luke four times. Four. In one damn episode. And it doesn’t contribute to the plot whatsoever, so it was totally uncalled for and awkward and useless.
  • The build up to actually seeing Kilgrave was way better than the payoff. The whole thing was just meh.
  • The characters. They are flat and uninteresting. I am really not a fan of any of them.
  • How magnificently everything just so happens to line up. Events, coincidences, etc. Not feeling right.
  • Kilgrave’s whole mission? He’s in love with Jessica. Really. After all that, it was some pussyfooting around that the show settled on.

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Rating:
GRADE 4
I started this hoping I was going to get another Daredevil. I should have known better. I don’t even know why I got my hopes up – just seeing Krysten Ritter should have been enough for me, but there were rave reviews, and I got hopeful. I mean, private investigator? Dark, gritty, violent? Check. Well, ouch. I really feel that the plot for this show is incredibly messy and all over the show, and introduces absolutely no characters to give a crap about, so it is an exceptionally hollow experience watching continually and not caring. It feels like I was investing my valuable time for no payoff, and that is not a feeling I wish to revisit again. This show is way too overhyped, and so is Kilgrave. While he is, undoubtedly, the best thing about this show, his introduction was sloppy, and his potential was never actually realised. I kept waiting for the really big bad to break out and make an appearance, which never happened. Krysten Ritter, too, is an actress that irrationally annoys the shit out of me (Abbi, you really should copyright that term). She brought nothing to the table, nothing to the character. She always came across as though she was trying too hard and uncomfortable, and not in a sense where you feel that from the character. Heck, she never believably became the character. Another thing I took major issue with is the gratuitous sex all over the show. I really don’t mind sex scenes, I would prefer them to contribute to the story, but we cannot all be so lucky. However, when there is just sex thrown in (four times in one episode!) because you have no plot to work with, things are no longer alright. It was over the top and gross, seriously, I know I sound like a prude but come off it. It contributed nothing. I honestly found Jessica Jones to be a bland affair that was a real chore to get through and brought nothing original to the table. There was potential, but poor casting decisions, storytelling and plot ruined it all completely. I cannot say that I wish to be watching more, and I am really not looking forward to seeing this join up with the vastly superior Daredevil.

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Rapid Review: The Final Destination (2009)

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“Something’s gonna happen, we are all gonna die! All right? ‘Cause there’s gonna be a crash!”
– Nick

SYNOPSIS: After a young man’s premonition of a deadly race-car crash helps saves the lives of his peers, Death sets out to collect those who evaded their end. – via IMDB

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GRADE 2Holy. Shit. This movie. The acting. The graphics and effects! Next level, I tell you. Gosh, I think it is relatively on par with The Wrath of Paul Bunyan. Impressive as hell. These movies have a relatively simple recipe, they do. A big tragic accident gets witnessed/seen in a premonition, someone freaks out and saves some people, then people start dying in the order they are supposed to, the original freakee realises this and tries to save everyone. Unsuccessfully. Without fail. So while the movies are a rinse and repeat of one another, they are cheesy fun. Until this one, that is. This one is just so damn meh, I didn’t actually even watch it too closely, to be honest. It was also worsened by the fact that the graphics and effects were given front and centre stage, and they were nothing short of cringe worthy. Take a look at the poster. See how heavily they are marketing the 3D angle? Yes, so you can just imagine what it is that we got… the above gif is an example of some of the finer points of the sketchy effects. Ugh. I hated this movie. The acting was beyond godawful, the dialogue was next level dodgy, the characters were all immensely unlikable, the deaths weren’t even that creative, and this movie tried way too hard all the time, and it failed. Terribly. I really don’t know what else to say about this movie. It was bland, unimaginative, boring, terribly executed and stupid to boot. There was not saving it, not even normal bad horror logic, and it was unforgivable. Seriously, these movies could have just remained a trilogy, or could really just have been a single movie without a million sequels. But no, money was afoot, and the studios threw money into something that evidently failed. Horribly. Especially in the form of The Final Destination. This was just unacceptable. Over the past few weeks, it would seem that most of you wonderful readers are in agreement that this movie is the worst of the lot. Definitely followed by the fifth one. I think. Should we take a poll here to ascertain this? I think we should. Let me know what your favourite movie is in this franchise, I will post the results next week with the final one!

Review: Blood Sisters – Graham Masterton

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Katie Maguire #5

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

SYNOPSIS: In a nursing home on the outskirts of Cork, an elderly nun lies dead. She has been suffocated. It looks like a mercy-killing – until another sister from the same convent is found viciously murdered, floating in the Glashaboy river.

The nuns were good women, doing God’s work. Why would anyone want to kill them? But then a child’s skull is unearthed in the garden of the nuns’ convent, and DS Katie Maguire discovers a fifty year old secret that just might lead her to the killer… if the killer doesn’t find her first. – via Goodreads

GRADE 2Alright, so I wished for this book on NetGalley and I was so happy when I was granted the book. I read some of Masterton’s work when I was younger, and I remember enjoying what I did read, so to find new stuff was pretty cool. However, things didn’t go quite as I had planned or hoped. I was not a fan of the writing style at all. It annoyed me endlessly. Then there was the issue of character naming. Just call the characters on their surnames or their names, not their entire title, name, surname and pedigree. Seriously. It makes for disjointed reading, and I was unimpressed. Not to mention how the story dawdles, like it has no real idea what it wants to do with itself. I read half the book and virtually nothing had changed – the same things were being continually repeated. To give you an idea – it took me the better part of three weeks to read this because I would read a few pages and then just find something, anything, else to do. I don’t know when last I read a book that annoyed me so much or made me procrastinate on the level that I did with this. It was not a tight story, though it had all the potential in the world, it was peppered with unlikable characters, not to mention a ridiculously whiny lead that did nothing to endear herself anywhere – I couldn’t care less what happened to her. The story went on and on and on and nothing was really happening. There was some silly reveal that was supposed to shock that fell flat, and there were plenty admissions and scenes littered throughout the book that I did not enjoy at all. I did not find this thrilling, creepy or anything to get under my skin, to make me think further. I was hoping for that, as there are few things I love as much as a crime thriller, especially when there is a dash of horror mixed into it. This novel just didn’t deliver the goods on that front. Overall, I feel that I wasted a lot of time with this and that sucks, because I was sure this was going to be a decent read. I am sure that there are people that will thoroughly enjoy this, but I was certainly not one of them. Rest assured, I will not be checking out any of the other books in this series.