Nailbiter 2013

Nailbiter 2013

Nailbiter 2013

Nailbiter 2013 PosterJanet (Erin McGrane) and her children are on the way to the airport to pick up their father (Aaron Laue) when they are forced to take shelter from a tornado that is ravaging the area. They manage to find a storm shelter outside of a seemingly abandoned house, only for the group to become trapped by a fallen tree that prevents them from leaving the storm shelter. Things are made worse when they discover that they’re not alone in the house or storm shelter and the group is attacked by a monstrous creature.” – Wikipedia

I watched Nailbiter last week.  I got busy with other things shortly after watching it and wasn’t able to write a review on it until now.  Well, that’s not completely true.  I could have written review before now but to be honest, I had completely forgotten the name of the movie or even what in the hell it was about it.  This meant that I would have to take the time go through my DVD’s or online accounts like Netflix and so on in the hopes that I could recall the movie and I just didn’t have the time to waste doing that, until now.

Well, I found the movie and started to watch it again.  I decided to let it play in the background as I write this review.  My thinking was that it would help remind me what it was about it.  In a way, it did.  The very beginning reminded of everything about this movie.

So let’s start with the beginning of this horror movie.  After the logos of every production company that touched this film play out it fades to black and we are hit with that annoying Emergency Broadcast tone.  No picture, just a black screen and that sound.  It goes on for several seconds.  It was long enough that I started to wonder if somehow my TV paused the movie just so that I could hear this emergency broadcast.  I literally, hit pause on the movie to double check that it was the movie and not some weird shit going on with my relatively new Vizio TV.  For a split second my thoughts weren’t of the movie, it was more like, “Do they have to play this test 5 times a day now?”  But, nope, it was in fact the movie.  Not a good way for a film to start.  The movie had just started and I was taken out of it story.  The film does have some decent acting and directing.  But, once again, we have a film with characters that do stupid things and few things piss me off like characters doing stupid things.

An example of stupidity, one of our films protagonists is a mom traveling with her three daughters.  They are going to see their military husband and father who’s just coming back from deployment.  They stop in some small town for gas.  Mom already knows that bad weather is coming.  A deputy warns them that maybe they should find a good place to sit out the storm.  Mom of course ignores the warning and I am already thinking, she’s an idiot.  Ten minutes or so into the film and I already think the sympathetic mom is an idiot.

Nailbiter 2013 Erin Mcgrane As Janet Maguire And Meg Saricks As Jennifer Maguire

No one watching the road ahead. What could possible go wrong?

I don’t think that I am being too harsh here.  Think about it, when the Emergency Broadcast is telling you that shit is probably going to hit the fan, it’s a good idea to go ahead and listen to it.  When law enforcements warns you of impending danger, you should really listen to it.  But, this mom just has to make it to the airport to see hubby arrive even though she has got to be aware that hubby’s flight might be late or even cancelled but, nope she’s going to keep going.  This not only puts herself at risk but more importantly, her children.

Okay, I accept it, she misses him, figures what they heck it’s only a tornado.  She’s an idiot, but as I have said before if people didn’t do stupid things in horror movies, we wouldn’t have horror movies.  However, she continues to be stupid again.

Yet another example, while driving she notices the tornado behind her.  So instead of going faster while using her side and rearview mirrors she literally continues to drive while looking back over her shoulder.  I am not talking about the occasional look back.  You know how you turn in your seat when you back out of parking space?  She driving like that but going forward.  Can’t a see a thing ahead of her. She doesn’t have a single problem driving like that but the moment she looks forward she can’t drive in straight line to save her life.  Naturally mom crashes the car into the ditch.  It’s just one bad decision after another.  Less than 15 minutes into the film now and this mother is a walking disaster of stupidity.

The stupid continues… After the crash they have found a vacant cellar and seek shelter in it.  The tornado may have caused a branch to block the cellar entrance.  maybe it was something more sinister that used the branch to block their escape.  They realize they are in fact trapped and start try to get the owners attention.  The owner is home, they know this and panic starts to kick in.

An attempt is made to escape through one of the cellar windows.  However, the daughter attempting the escape is halfway out of the window when attacked by something and retreats back into the cellar.  Now we all know there’s a monster outside, at the very least a vicious dog outside.   The characters know something bad is out there  and no thought to maybe closing the open window with something?  No thought to looking around the basement for something that could be used as a weapon?  Nope.  After attending to said daughters wounds, everyone just kinda sits around.  The only one doing anything productive is the eldest daughter who keeps trying to send texts to her father in the hopes that he will show up and save them.  It’s at this point I started to root for the monsters.  The window the daughter tried to escape from, still wide open.

I will say that for a low budget horror movie, the quality is really good.  It has a lot going for it.  It tries to have some surprises at the end.  It’s not too heavy on the CGI and I like that.  If you can get past mom being kind of an idiot, it’s not too bad.  As mentioned I thought the acting was pretty good.  Erin McGrane as the mom, Janet Maguire, was a strong performance.  The actresses playing her children were good, I really enjoyed Meg Saricks as Jennifer.  She played the oldest daughter and the strongest character I thought.  I enjoyed her performance so much I plan to look up other things she’s done and take a look.

Nailbiter 2013 Meg Saricks As Jennifer Maguire

Shit is always way more dramatic in bad weather. Meg Saricks As Jennifer Maguire

Nailbiter is Directed by Patrick Rea and is written by Patrick Rea, Kendal Sinn.  The writing I think could have used some work.  However, if the rumor is true that a sequel is planned, I look forward to seeing it.  Unfortunately, I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this film.  I would like to have seen more gore, less stupid character judgment and better suspense.  Even though I would call this a bad horror movie I am on the bubble here. It’s entertaining, it’s not really, scary, there’s not really a lot of suspense or gore but the desire to know what they hell is going on with the crazy owners is enough to keep you watching.

I would also like to be fair and say that I have read quite a few reviews of this movie and I seem to be in the minority here.  Seems that a lot of people liked it much more than I did.   I can only go by what I thought while watching it.

As I mentioned I have the movie playing as I write this.  I have looked over a few times at the TV and I am still not seeing anything that makes this movie more memorable aside from the acting and production quality.  I want to like it more, I really do, I just can’t.

Cast of Characters:
Emily Boresow as Alice Maguire
Meg Saricks as Jennifer Maguire
Erin McGrane as Janet Maguire
Joicie Appell as Mrs. Shurman
Michelle Davidson as Dina
Ian Dempsey as Sean
Ben Jeffrey as Deputy Carr
Aaron Laue as Lt. Maguire
Allen Lowman as Tom
Zane Martin as Little monster
Mark Ridgway as Sheriff
John D. Barnes as Townsperson
Jason Coffman as Creature
Tom Conroy as Bartender
Anita Cordell as Traveler at airport

Don’t Blink 2014

Don’t Blink 2014

Don’t Blink 2014…

Don't Blink Poster Art 2014Ten people arrive at a secluded mountain resort to find it completely deserted. With no gas for the return trip, the visitors are forced to stay and investigate the mystery surrounding the abandoned lodge.

Well, this one was almost fun.  I was really enjoying right up until I realized how it going to end.  I am not sure what it was or how I knew.  I of course don’t want to give away the ending.  The best I can do for you is say that I didn’t like this for the same reason I didn’t like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Never mind, I have to spoil it a little.  So if you read further, do so at you’re own risk.

Here’s the deal.  The movie is a mystery of sorts.  A group of friends arrive at a vacation resort in the mountains and low on fuel.  Upon arrival the soon learn they are all alone up there.  No people can be found.  Food on the table as if people were right in the middle of the their meals when everyone suddenly vanished.  I am loving the movie at this point.  I can’t wait to learn or figure out what’s going on.  Sadly, it never happens.

I am sorry to Alfred Hitchcock fans for shitting on the ending to the birds and to the makers of this movie but it’s just weak writing and nothing else.  You don’t suggest a mystery and then not solve it by the end of the film.  It’s not deep, it doesn’t make you ponder anything, it’s just pathetic.  You have one job as a writer, write a story with a beginning, middle and end.  I don’t care what order you tell them in.  Just make sure that they are there.  If you can’t even accomplish that, you have failed.

As far as the acting goes, I thought everyone did a wonderful job.  I thought the directing was pretty good as well.  This movie had so much talent it makes it even more tragic that this movie had such a shitty ending.  Obviously there were people who cared about making this movie.  But, somewhere along the way they just decided to ignore how frustrating bad the ending is.  Just hoping people will like the movie so much that they will just ignore the shit ending.  Something people like need to realize is that it’s actually the reverse that is true.  You can take a shitty movie, give it a killer ending and people will recommend it to others.  Fuck the audience at the end unless you’re Alfred Hitchcock come back from the dead the movie is going to suck.

I was really enjoying the movie until I started to see that we never going to be told what in the fuck is going on.  We are left to guess that perhaps it’s some kinda something the government is aware of but that’s it.  Did the cause the phenomenon or are they just tracking it?  We certainly do know.  Now some will say, the ending is left up to your imagination.  I say, are you fucking kidding me?  I’m not paying to see your movie so I can just imagine it!  If I wanted to imagine it, I could have just stayed at home and imagined the whole damn movie and saved myself a trip to the fucking theater and a whole lot of cash.

Cast of Characters:
Mena Suvari … Tracy
Brian Austin Green … Jack
Zack Ward … Alex
Joanne Kelly … Claire
Robert Picardo … Man in Black
Fiona Gubelmann … Ella
David de Lautour … Noah
Leif Gantvoort … Sam
Emelie O’Hara … Amelia
Boots Southerland … Sherrif
Curtiss Frisle … Lucas
Samantha Jacober … Charlotte (as Samantha Jacobs)
Nathan Lorbietzki … Man in Black #2

Don't Blink 2014 Joanne Kelly

The beautiful and talented Joanne Kelly as Claire is having a bad day