Abattoir 2016 Quick Review

Abattoir 2016 Quick Review

Abattoir 2016 on Blu-ray

In Abattoir, an investigative reporter investigates why a good guy one day murders his sisters family. She teams up with a cop and the investigation leads her to learn things she should have left alone.

First, thing that stood out about The Abattoir was the hair and makeup. I know that’s odd for me to say. In the fist scene we meet the the wonderfully talented Jessica Lowndes’ Julia Talben character and her hair and makeup makeup is so 1940’s it just pops out at you. Not that I didn’t like it. It’s just that I think the director was trying to set the tone of those great noir films of the time too hard. In the very next scene we meet a cop played by Joe Anderson and his hat is an obvious throwback to the great fictional detectives of the time. It was just so much that for a moment I was taken out of the film and thought maybe this was set in the 40’s? Then I noticed the desktop top monitor in the background.

Jessica Lowndes in Abattoir with Joe Anderson in the background.

As I mentioned, this wasn’t a bad thing and I liked what it was trying to say about the film. It put me in the mood for a good mystery and that’s exactly what I got. Just think it could have been done more subtly. Aside from that there were no other glaring issues.

There was much to like about Abattoir. A solid mystery and ghost story. Solid acting and as usual Dayton Callie was excellent. I have enjoyed his work greatly since his standout role in Deadwood. He has been acting since the early 80’s. He was even episodes of CSI: Miami, The Practice and NYPD Blue. All shows I watched regularly but Deadwood finally gave him something he could really sink his teeth into as an actor. The whole, cast did a wonderful job in telling this story. And, how could not mention Lyn Shaye. Just awesome in everything.

I don’t recall much gore. I am sure there was some at the murder scenes. Nothing gratuitous. The visual effects were another standout. The last 20 minutes or so especially. And, the house. That could not have been more perfect. That design was outstanding. I think that credit goes to Jennifer Spence, the production designer. Fantastic. Makes sense, the work she has done over the years is incredible. Insidious 2, Lights Out, three Paranormal Activity movies to name a few.

Obviously I am recommending you see Abattoir. I didn’t find it to be too scary. But, it was wasn’t really supposed to be. It is however, very interesting, atmospheric and well worth the watching. A good solid mystery that with visually stunning scenery. And a top notch cast. Very well done. The perfect movie for rainy night in.

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Jessabelle 2014 Quick Review

Jessabelle 2014 Quick Review

Jessabelle 2014 Poster Image

Jessabelle 2014. After barely surviving a horrific car accident Jessie Laurent returns home to Louisiana to stay with her father while she recuperates. She discovers three old VHS tapes left to her by her late mother. They soon reveal that Jessabelle is being haunted and if she wants to survive, she will need to go down a dark path.

I saw Jessabelle about a year ago and what I remember most is how really, really good it was until the end. It wasn’t a bad ending, it didn’t ruin the movie. Just wasn’t the happy ending I was looking for. I would be interested in hearing what others think about it. Great story, good acting, creepy, scary with a solid spooky atmosphere.

The acting was good with a lot of character actors you’re sure to recognize. I don’t recall a bad actor in the bunch. I have Jessabelle on as I write this review and was just reminded of a few of those character actors. The story was strong. There’s a real mystery here. The best ghost stories have them. It’s all about the who and they why. These are the kind of supernatural tales I love the most.

Jessabelle Bathtub Scare Scene

The locations were beautiful. It’s supposed to be set in Louisiana but was filmed in North Carolina. I’ve been to Louisiana several times, never noticed Jessabelle wasn’t really filmed in Louisiana. Still they managed to capture the feel of Louisiana. Jessabele’s father’s house she works as creepy but not over the top. The outdoor scenes don’t disappoint either.

Everything about Jessabelle is well done. If you love a good ghost story, I think you’ll love this one. If you’re looking for some teens have sex and get killed, this isn’t it. Looking for a solid story that is creepy and scary. Watch this. Side note, there’s nothing wrong with horror movies with teens having sex and getting killed. Just saying, if you’re mood for one of the few horror movies that doesn’t involve that, this would be a great choice.

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The Autopsy of Jane Doe 2016 | Bad Horror Movies

The Autopsy of Jane Doe 2016 | Bad Horror Movies

The Autopsy of Jane Doe 2016 Poster Image

Father and son coroners find themselves pulled into a mystery of what killed Jane Doe, the beautiful young woman found dead and partial buried in the basement of what appears to some kind of murder suicide. It’s up to the

The Autopsy of Jane Doe centers around a beautiful young woman who is found partially buried in the basement of an apparent brutal murder suicide. The catch, Who is Jane Doe and what does she have to do with it? Her discovery seems almost unrelated to the murder suicide that happened upstairs. The coroners job is to determin cause of death. The further the father & son team get into the autopsy of Jane Doe the more they come to realize that how she died isn’t as important as who and what she is.

Director: André Øvredal
Writers: Ian B. Goldberg (as Ian Goldberg), Richard Naing
Stars: Emile Hirsch, Brian Cox, Ophelia Lovibond and Olwen Catherine Kelly as Jane Doe

I really enjoyed the The Autopsy of Jane Doe. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. I will say that it starts off with all the intrigue of films like Silence of the Lambs. Unfortunately it doesn’t sustain this level throughout the rest of the film. The Autopsy of Jane Doe is more about the the who and what Jane Doe is. It’s the journey in getting there that is what sets this film apart. Once the mystery is solved, the film goes from something special into just an above average horror film. What I am trying to say is that this movie could have been great. It was good, don’t get me wrong. It’s got some really good creepy scenes and it’s so interesting until the final act. Scary, weird, and morbidly fascinating. It’s just that the final act of the film, it’s where it goes from great, slightly above average stuff we’ve all seen before. It’s just hurt by not having as strong an ending as the rest of the movie.

Olwen Catherine Kelly, Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch

Things that make The Autopsy of Jane Doe great. The acting. Brian Cox is exceptional in everything he does. Emile Hirsch, I don’t really know him from anything he’s done. Though looking at his IMDb page, he’s in a few movies that are my list to see. It also stars Ophelia Lovibond. I LOVE her! Though her character isn’t around much, it was a surprise to see. Many will recognize her from as Alex from Guardians of the Galaxy. However, I recognized her as Kitty from Elementary. Just a strong cast in every role.

The story is so interesting. The suspense slowly builds and it’s just so oddly fascinating. What killed this beautiful young women? Who they hell is she? What in the hell happened to her. As the father and son coroner team discover as the autopsy progresses, the more interesting and creepy it gets. The storm brewing outside is matching the storm brewing on the inside. As they progress, strange this start happen. Unexpected sounds here and there. Those eerie freezer doors open for no explainable reason. Have some of the corpses reanimated?

Strange and creepy things are afoot at the morgue.

Now, the few things that I didn’t like. The Autopsy of Jane Doe has one scene that was so predictable, I saw it coming from mikes away. it was so obvious what was about to happen that it ruined any emotional impact the scene should have had. I sat there knowing it was coming and it just took me out of the film and that’s sad because it should have been a powerful scene and instead the emotional moment was ruined by its predictability.

This is how the third act ends. The Autopsy of Jane Doe was so great until this moment. The forth and final act, wasn’t bad. Had some interesting moments in it but with the conclusion of the 3rd act it becomes obvious this is now just a horror movie. Sure, we knew that going into the movie but it was on another level up until this point.

In conclusion, I really do strongly recommend The Autopsy of Jane Doe. It’s creepy with a slow methodical suspense that builds and draws you into the mystery. It’s got a little for everyone. It’s got gore, a solid and very interesting story with a lot of creepiness. It’s a must have for any horror fan’s collection

Sadly, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, at this point isn’t going to be released on DVD and Blu-ray until May 2nd, 2017. The good news is that you can rent on Amazon right now! I sincerely recommend it.

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The Monster 2016 Quick Review

The Monster 2016 Quick Review

The Monster Poster Image
A struggling mother battling her inner monsters. A young daughter who has been forced to grow up way too soon. On road trip they encounter a monster when their car breaks down on deserted road in the woods.

I’m going to try and make this a quick review. It’s going to be difficult because this movies deserves so much more time than I can afford to take a the moment. The cast of The Monster amazing. Some of the best performances you will see in a horror movie. The storytelling is so well done. The story itself has beed done before. An accident on a road trip, the car breaks down on a deserted road and then there’s a monster, creature, bad guys, pick your poison. The story’s been done before. What makes this different is the story telling. I expected a creature feature when I started watching. I got so much more than that.

The acting is what stands out the most so I will start there. Zoe Kazan is so amazing and so real in the movie. Most of all, she is completely believable. She plays a way too young mother struggling with bad relationships and alcohol. There wasn’t a moment in the film when I didn’t completely believe her. Then there’s young woman who plays her daughter. Played with equal brilliance by Ella Ballentine. The same can be said about her performance. A young pee-teen girl who loves her mother so much but has been forced to become the parent in the relationship. Ella Ballentine already has some credits to her name and I have no doubt she will become a household name over the next few years.

Zoe Kazan The Monster Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!!!

“‘Fuck You! Fuck You!’ this scene was so brutal and so honest it game the chills, I literally cringed.”

Now before I continue with all the love I have for The Monster, I just want to critique a few things that bothered me. There’s a couple of things that bothered me. First up. After the crash/car breakdown, mom let’s the daughter out of the car on a rainy night to go talk the tow truck who is working on their car. Not only does she let her do this. It was mom’s idea. She tells her daughter to go do it. Not a good idea. It’s a horror movie. Tow truck driver just happens to show up? Just not a good idea. I’m sure the writer would give the excuse that mom is dependent on the daughter. That mom doesn’t even recognize the level of her dependency or some other psychological excuse. Though that may in fact be the case, it didn’t play that way to me. It just played out as mom is an idiot. And, she’s not an idiot. Like most addicts, she’s self absorbed. A person that can’t get past her own struggles to see all that she actually has right in front her. Mom loves her daughter and I just don’t think in this situation she would have daughter do this as casually as she would ask her to grab her another beer from the fridge.

Second issue, I can’t get into too much detail about because I don’t want to spoil it. So bare with me here as I try to explain, while being a vague as possible about the actual circumstances. At one point, one of the characters, gives up. Thinks there’s no way out of the situation. This just after discovering a useful tool for protection, a tool that gives them hope for survivial. Their survival is just a few hours away. All they have to do is wait it out. It won’t be easy but they now have some protection, they can survive this. It’s so obvious they can survive this situation. But no, instead, a ridiculous plan is hatched. It’s supposed to be a moment of realization and clarity for a character, I get that. Again, it doesn’t play that way. It plays as if the character is an idiot.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way. Let me tell you all about the writing and directing and that makes The Monster one of the best creature features you are likely to see for a while. The writing. I know, I just shit on a few things the writer did in this story. But, that was it. The rest of the story had so much depth. I truly mean that. This isn’t one of those Syfi originals. This is a well made movie with rich, fully developed characters.

The story goes from present day to flashbacks. We get to see the relationship develop between mother and daughter. The things that led them to where they are emotionally. It was such a pleasant surprise. You just don’t expect that kind of depth in a movie like this. It made the movie that much more interesting and entertaining.

Then there’s direction. Well thought out camera angles. The suspense so is so well down. I don’t know how much of it is direction or the cinematography? So just in case, let me say this, Julie Kirkwood was the cinematographer on this film. Brilliant!

Cinematographer - Julie Kirkwood

My favorite thing about this film is the practical effects. If you’ve read any of my reviews or rants you know that I think CGI is overrated. It has it’s place. But, a good creature feature doesn’t rely on CGI it’s monsters are real. The Monster delivers a real monster that is terrifying! What’s great about the design is the believability. It could be a monster but it could also be some kind of deformed or mutilated creature, like a bear. It makes you wonder, “What is it?!” and that is exactly what a good creature feature does. Practical effects when done right add a sense of realism you just don’t always get with CGI. Sure, if you have a Jurassic World budget but even they still use practical effects.

In conclusion, this is a must see. Great acting, strong characters, great special effects and directions all wrapped up in a story that brings you in and let’s you care about the people you see on the screen. Just a good solid film. I think even those that don’t normally enjoy “horror” movies would enjoy this for the mother daughter story alone. The story between the mother and daughter is very real and can be hard to watch at times but it is written and played with such brutal honesty that it forces you to care about these these two.

Side note, I failed. Not a quick review. My bad.

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Wolfcop 2014

Wolfcop 2014

Wolfcop 2014…

Wolfcop Movie Poster 2014Wolfcop tells the tale of an alcoholic cop that drinks so much, most mornings he has no memory of how he even got home.  He is eventually attacked and becomes not just a werewolf, but Wolfcop!

I enjoy a good hood horror comedy. This movie made me smile. I’m not going to lie and say it’s the funniest or scariest movie out there.  It’s not.  I will say that it surprised me a couple of times with things I honestly didn’t expect or see coming.  It was an absolute pleasure watching this movie.  It’s not often I can watch a movie and not have it all figured out within a few minutes.  Wolfcop isn’t a work of genius but it sure was original in its own way.

The acting was fine, not a bad actor in the bunch and it was good to see to Jesse Moss again.  He will always be the asshole in Tucker and Dale Vs Evil to me but he’s so good at playing the asshole.  I first noticed him way back in 2006’s Final Destination 3 but he’s been acting a long time it was a good to see him show up in Wolfcop.

Then I smiled when I saw Jonathan Cherry of Final Destination 2 fame. FD2 was my personal favorite of the series. Loved his character in it.  Just instantly likable in whatever he does. That made his character in this film even better as Wolfcop’s new buddy.  He delivers another strong, fun performance in this.

Amy Matysio in Wolfcop 2014

Let’s face it, Wolfcop ROCKS!

It’s a good feeling when you start movie that you know very little about and just a few minutes into it you already see some old friends.  The nice thing about this movie was I feel as though I have made new friends that I will be looking forward to seeing again on the screen.

The special effects also stand out.  One of the reason it’s taken me so long to see Wolfcop is because bad special effects bother me.  I can accept them under certain circumstances and I probably would have enjoyed this movie even if the special effects weren’t that good.  Thankfully, there were pretty damn impressive.  Way better than I was expecting.  You can’t not be impressed by them.

The story could have been a little stronger.  The movie’s runtime is only an hour and eighteen minutes, that’s really short.  I’m sure that had to do with the budget.  Still, would have been nice to see a few more scenes of Wolcop out on patrol and some more investigative scenes with Amy Matysio character Tina.  She played the other deputy and I think a scene or two more with her investigating what’s going on would have strengthened the film.  She was awesome in this and I would have loved to see more of her. However, what they were able to do in that short amount of time was amazing.

Sarah Lind in Wolfcop 2014

I can’t even think of anything witty to say.

My only other complaint is a little on the shallow and immature side.  Okay, they’re a lot on the shallow and immature side.  Sarah Lind plays the hot Bartender/owner and she was just so insanely hot in this movie it almost hurt.  Being hot wasn’t the problem though.  The problem was the sex scene she was in.  Not the sex scene itself because it was great.  It was the teasing of it all that I had issue with.  I literally felt like a teenager again, thinking, “OMG, if they show her boobs I’m gonna die!”  I didn’t think they were going to go there. I didn’t think were would be Sarah Lind boobies.  There were boobies but sadly, they took me right out of the scene because those were stand-in boobies.  It would have been near religious experience to see Sarah Lind‘s actual boobs.  Instead, we get added in footage of someone else’s.  Not that they weren’t nice but it was obvious they weren’t the actresses. Sadly, it completely ruined the moment.  I know, I’m a perv, I’m not gonna deny it.  I’m just saying it was like driving cross country to see Walley World and then finding it closed when you get there.

So aside from my childish and pervy disillusionment at the use of a body double and the movie simply not being long enough, what a great time I had watching this movie.  If you’re looking for a fun movie night with friends or you’re an middle age loser such as myself you can’t go wrong with this movie.  It’s fun and and actually takes a couple of turns you won’t see coming.

The best news, as I understand it, they are currently filming the sequel and I can’t wait!

Cast of Characters:
Leo Fafard as Sergeant Lou Garou/The WolfCop
Amy Matysio as Sergeant Tina
Jonathan Cherry as Willie Higgins
Sarah Lind as Jessica
Aiden Devine as Chief Officer
Jesse Moss as Gang Leader
Corrine Conley as Mayor Bradley
James Whittingham as Coroner
Ryland Alexander as Terry Wallace