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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:41 am 
 

Teeth is a brilliant and socially pointed horror movie. Kind of a precursor to some of the ones we've gotten lately that are more metaphoric again like much older horror films - they're actually about stuff and have messages, as opposed to goofy stuff like a lot of the 80s and then mid-00s.
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demonomania
Metal newbie

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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:13 pm 
 

Watched "Nightworld" last night - an absolute piece of shit. And not in a fun way. Atrocious acting, especially from the lead who looked like the SNL guy who plays Bill Clinton. Guy had no emotions whatsoever, other than mildly irritated. The fact that any woman, let alone TWO, would be interested in him was the biggest plot hole of all. Robert Englund wasn't in it enough, other than the finale in which he makes one of the most inexplicable decisions I've seen in a recent horror film.

Ripoffs abounded (I noticed "The Shining" and "Insidious" most prominently, though I am sure there were more).

Like bitterman used to say, vapid...AVOID.
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acid_bukkake
SAD!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:31 pm 
 

I actually tried watching that. I love the premise (I'm a sucker for plots where agencies deal with the supernatural), but neither London twin has ever been what I'd call a good actor.
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ChineseDownhill
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:19 am
Posts: 667
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:34 pm 
 

Oh good, my various watchlists had grown too long anyway. Glad I can remove Nightworld.

The Collection - I wasn't likely to enjoy this since I didn't really care for the previous movie The Collector. This time a survivor from the original leads a private SWAT-ish team to rescue the latest victim held captive in Ugly Mask Man's evil lair. It kept cutting between the survivor and the kidnapped woman like it couldn't decide who the main character was, which kept me off balance and not really engaged.

These movies (Collector / Collection) both have IMDB ratings over 6 so somebody must think they're pretty good, but they don't do much for me.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:06 am 
 

ChineseDownhill wrote:
Oh good, my various watchlists had grown too long anyway. Glad I can remove Nightworld.

The Collection - I wasn't likely to enjoy this since I didn't really care for the previous movie The Collector. This time a survivor from the original leads a private SWAT-ish team to rescue the latest victim held captive in Ugly Mask Man's evil lair. It kept cutting between the survivor and the kidnapped woman like it couldn't decide who the main character was, which kept me off balance and not really engaged.

These movies (Collector / Collection) both have IMDB ratings over 6 so somebody must think they're pretty good, but they don't do much for me.


Both of them are legit some of the worst garbage I've ever seen.
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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:38 pm 
 

I was recently considering how much the world sucks by listing all the great movies from the 80's that have been raped by shitty remakes. Here's what I got so far, feel free to add more:

Robocop
Total Recall
Ghostbusters
Karate Kid
Conan the Barbarian
Clash of the Titans
Friday the 13th
Nightmare on Elm Street

If any of these movies are on your favorites list, as some are on mine, you now have to specifically mention that you mean the originals and not the dog diarrhea versions. :(
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aaronmb666
Veteran

Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 3:37 am
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:23 pm 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:
I was recently considering how much the world sucks by listing all the great movies from the 80's that have been raped by shitty remakes. Here's what I got so far, feel free to add more:

Robocop
Total Recall
Ghostbusters
Karate Kid
Conan the Barbarian
Clash of the Titans
Friday the 13th
Nightmare on Elm Street

If any of these movies are on your favorites list, as some are on mine, you now have to specifically mention that you mean the originals and not the dog diarrhea versions. :(


Halloween. I liked the TCM remake, but everything after is shit. I can't believe how "difficult" it is to make another Friday the 13th movie.

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acid_bukkake
SAD!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:07 pm 
 

That's a 70s flick.

I've passed the point where remakes bother me. Ghostbusters is my favorite movie ever and I raged at the remake, but only because I HAAAAAATE Paul Feig. His comedies are vanilla and lifeless and the only difference between his directorial vision and your average Chuck Lorre sitcom is that everybody knows Lorre's shows are milquetoast garbage. Feig, for whatever reason, gets praise, even though he has less artistic talent than Kevin Smith.

The funny thing, though, is that what's happened with those originals and their remakes is that people don't refer to the originals as "RoboCop, but the first one," they say "that RoboCop remake." Partially from the remakes' lower quality to the originals, for sure, but you can also thank the internet for exposing younger filmgoers to those classics long before the remakes.

So, my girlfriend and I did some blind buys tonight. All b-grade stuff since the plan is to get baked and watch some cheese.

The crap consists of...
-Alien Domicile, a cheapie take on Aliens
-Cybercity, a post-apocalyptic action flick with Roddy Piper and C. Thomas Howell
-Pinching Penny, a micro-budget crime caper that claims to be reminiscent of Snatch
-Psychopaths, where the paths of gimmicked serial killers cross on one fateful night

The last has me intrigued the most. Has the idea of murderers hunting each other been done outside of the various Most Dangerous Game descendents?
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ChineseDownhill
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:12 pm 
 

The original RoboCop is so great there was no way a remake could come close. I personally find RoboCop 2 more insulting to the franchise than the recent PG-13 version.

On horror remakes, I'm more lenient than a lot of fans. I think Friday the 13th 2009 is solid, Evil Dead 2013 is excellent, and even Elm Street 2010 doesn't anger me like it does to some people. Likewise, The Thing 2011 wasn't blasphemous to me like it was to Carpenter fans, especially since I think I saw the 2011 version before the Wilford Brimley one.

For a truly weak horror remake, I haven't seen much I'd rank lower than Prom Night 2008. I'm curious about the new, re-remake of Day of the Dead which has awful ratings everywhere I've seen. Anyone here seen it? Is it really that bad?

I kept telling myself I'd give the Ghostbusters remake a chance when it came to cable, but it's been on there for months and I never tried watching it.
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acid_bukkake
SAD!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:23 pm 
 

Nah, RoboCop 2 is still fine. It's not nearly as tight and well made as Verhoeven's classic, but it has the same spirit of graphic ultraviolent satire. RoboCop 3 is the shyte, with the jet pack and...no. Just no.

The TCM remake had a few good scenes, and it helps that it went a little in its own direction. R Lee Ermey has never disappointed me.

I admit I'm in the minority, but I thought the Evil Dead remake was lousy and unimaginative. There's some great effects and the reason to be at the cabin was fantastic. Even the lead is great, delivering the best actual performance in the entire series. But then they find the book and it becomes "stupid college kids die" volume 203. The switch from the book being a collection of summoning rites for Sumerian demons to THIS IS THE LITERAL DEVIL AND LITERAL HELL always annoyed me. The lack of atmosphere doesn't help it, which seems to be a problem of the director after seeing Don't Breathe (which I also thought was pretty bad).

The F13 remake is the most mixed bag. On the one hand, the motivations for the initial cast and then Sam Winchester a little later were solid, there were some fun references to the classics, and I even liked the tunnels. Overall, though, it's bland and lacks the punch of the original series.
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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:00 pm 
 

Yeah, I always thought the Friday the 13th remake/reboot/whatever was actually pretty okay...as long as you just look at it as another sequel instead of a remake/reboot/whatever.
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demonomania
Metal newbie

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:18 am 
 

Rewatched "Goodfellas" over the weekend - what an excellent movie.
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ChineseDownhill
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:05 pm 
 

Happy Death Day - It seems I've watched a few movies lately in which the main character starts out not very likable, then gets better as the story progresses. This was one of those. The lead actress did a good job and I was so entertained watching her "solve her own murder" I didn't bother trying to find logical flaws or unbelievable character motivation. This was handled about as well as a PG-13 horror / mystery with comedy elements could have been. The baby mask the killer wore would have been completely out of place in an intense R-rated slasher, but even that minor detail worked well here I thought. Solid 7 out of 10.
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demonomania
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:54 pm 
 

Also rewatched Fulci's "City of the Living Dead." Lotta great atmosphere, even if there were parts that could have used a bit of improvement/explanation. That intestine-vomiting scene is insanely disgusting to this day.
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acid_bukkake
SAD!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:48 am 
 

That has probably my favorite first third of any Fulci flick. The growing level of anxiety just from when the bar's wall cracks is wonderful.
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Resident_Hazard
Possessed by Starscream's Ghost

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:33 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:13 am 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:
I was recently considering how much the world sucks by listing all the great movies from the 80's that have been raped by shitty remakes. Here's what I got so far, feel free to add more:

Robocop
Total Recall
Ghostbusters
Karate Kid
Conan the Barbarian
Clash of the Titans
Friday the 13th
Nightmare on Elm Street

If any of these movies are on your favorites list, as some are on mine, you now have to specifically mention that you mean the originals and not the dog diarrhea versions. :(


While technically 70's, Dawn of the Dead, but also Day of the Dead.
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at the gaytes
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Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:07 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:50 am 
 

acid_bukkake wrote:
That has probably my favorite first third of any Fulci flick. The growing level of anxiety just from when the bar's wall cracks is wonderful.


Fulci is the master of creating such atmosphere of impending doom. The Beyond and Zombie also have that ominous feeling that the world is crumbling down around the unaware protagonists and they only realize it when it's too late.

Resident_Hazard wrote:
John_Sunlight wrote:
I was recently considering how much the world sucks by listing all the great movies from the 80's that have been raped by shitty remakes. Here's what I got so far, feel free to add more:

Robocop
Total Recall
Ghostbusters
Karate Kid
Conan the Barbarian
Clash of the Titans
Friday the 13th
Nightmare on Elm Street

If any of these movies are on your favorites list, as some are on mine, you now have to specifically mention that you mean the originals and not the dog diarrhea versions. :(


While technically 70's, Dawn of the Dead, but also Day of the Dead.


Dawn of the Dead remake is awesome

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:59 am 
 

I found the Dawn of the Dead remake interminably boring. Just so predictable.

The Ritual - Pretty solid horror movie. Very well made and suitably eerie and atmospheric. This was based on a book by Adam Nevill that I read a few years back, and they changed a lot of the details - it was actually kind of disappointing to me in that way, because while I don't mind them not sticking to the book, they really just stripped this down and made it a simpler story. There was a lot more they could've done and I felt they could've added in a lot more story beats and scenes to make it a richer experience. But it was enjoyable for what it was - definitely one to watch in the dark when you're alone.

Annihilation - Visually fantastic and with a mysterious, odd story, I was totally sucked in. This was the opposite of director Alexander Garland's last film Ex Machina. That film was a cold, hard-sci-fi conceptual film that explored themes of tech, society, etc - this was a visual, fantastical adventure that wove in its themes in a very different way. I couldn't take my eyes away from the screen on this and when I walked out, I felt like I'd come out of some other world myself. So fucking good.
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Xlxlx
Argentinian Asado Supremacy

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:05 pm 
 

Yo, The Ritual is fucking dope. Love how much character development the protagonist goes through, and it's got such a crushing, dreadful atmosphere that it's impossible for me to not like it. Also, big spoiler ahead:

Spoiler: show
They totally nailed effective creature design in this movie. That fucking giant elk corpse thing at the end was unbelievably eerie, and just, well, visually frightening, which is not something you see often nowadays. Just looking at that thing made me super uneasy. I also dig the apparent connection between the creature and the protagonist coming to terms with the death of his friend earlier in the movie. That's how you do a great fucking movie monster.
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CoconutBackwards
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:02 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:11 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Annihilation - Visually fantastic and with a mysterious, odd story, I was totally sucked in. This was the opposite of director Alexander Garland's last film Ex Machina. That film was a cold, hard-sci-fi conceptual film that explored themes of tech, society, etc - this was a visual, fantastical adventure that wove in its themes in a very different way. I couldn't take my eyes away from the screen on this and when I walked out, I felt like I'd come out of some other world myself. So fucking good.


I'll probably wait till it hits Netflix, but I'm pretty excited for this. Ex Machina was a huge mindfuck for me.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:14 pm 
 

^ I'd see it in theaters if you liked Ex Machina and have the ability to. The big screen lends a lot to the crazy visuals.

Xlxlx wrote:
Yo, The Ritual is fucking dope. Love how much character development the protagonist goes through, and it's got such a crushing, dreadful atmosphere that it's impossible for me to not like it. Also, big spoiler ahead:

Spoiler: show
They totally nailed effective creature design in this movie. That fucking giant elk corpse thing at the end was unbelievably eerie, and just, well, visually frightening, which is not something you see often nowadays. Just looking at that thing made me super uneasy. I also dig the apparent connection between the creature and the protagonist coming to terms with the death of his friend earlier in the movie. That's how you do a great fucking movie monster.


As cliche as it sounds, read the book if you want more of this - the movie was very good, but the book has a shitload more character stuff and back-and-forths, and didn't have the

Spoiler: show
frankly kind of dumb story about their friend who got murdered in the gas station being the sole reason for everything... the book was more general and went deeper into who they were as people, which I just found more interesting. I do hate to sound like a 'book was better' guy but eh.

But yeah the monster was really cool looking. They nailed that - always cool to have a new movie monster. I wish he'd gotten more screentime even.
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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:56 pm 
 

Okay, yeah, if there's more of that stuff in the book, even better. I'll probably look for it next time I go book hunting.
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Razakel
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:58 pm 
 

Annihilation is great. I was taken aback for the first while when I realized that it was completely different from the book, but once I accepted that I was able to just sit back and enjoy it. It was actually pretty cool because from that moment on I just had no idea what was coming. And it wasn't necessarily unfaithful to the source material, I saw it more as a different story set in the same world as the book. Not what I was expecting, but really good nonetheless. In the end I didn't like it as much as Ex Machina, but that's basically my favourite modern sci-fi movie, so it's not exactly a criticism against Annihilation. Alex Garland is on top.

Also hilarious that Paramount pulled out after Garland refused to Hollywoodize the ending, since the last act was far and away the best part of the movie. Seriously, that last 20 or so minutes was a tour de force. I was just bug-eyed staring at the screen. I can see it either making or breaking the movie for people, but I was 100% on board, holy cow.

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Necroticism174
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:57 pm 
 

The last 20 minutes of Annihilation was the best part, yeah. The music was fucking insane.
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Psyche_Dome
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:31 am
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:37 pm 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:
I was recently considering how much the world sucks by listing all the great movies from the 80's that have been raped by shitty remakes. Here's what I got so far, feel free to add more:

If any of these movies are on your favorites list, as some are on mine, you now have to specifically mention that you mean the originals and not the dog diarrhea versions. :(


I'm going to go in a slightly different direction on this one and say that I hope whoever manages to put Dune together does an amazing job of it; like how Denis Villeneuve created an awesome Blade Runner sequel.

I'm not saying that the '84 movie is all bad–there's a lot I like about it, and there's more good than bad, but it's far from perfect.

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Psyche_Dome
Metal newbie

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:38 pm 
 

Oh yeah! Rian Johnson butchered Star Wars; it's an appalling script and direction. How can you fuck it so badly?

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:15 pm 
 

Villenueve is also doing the new Dune movie. I never actually read or saw any of that... might have to try it for once.

New Star Wars was a better movie than the new Blade Runner.
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Psyche_Dome
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:05 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Villenueve is also doing the new Dune movie. I never actually read or saw any of that... might have to try it for once.

New Star Wars was a better movie than the new Blade Runner.


Hmmm! No! TLJ is an utter disgrace, from beginning to end. Right from the get-go, with Hux turned into a twat. Poe making dumb jokes! Dumb, bombing run, with dumb bombers. Fat Asian birds skinny sister dropping bombs, in space. Poe going against orders, then getting slapped! Luke flinging the light saber, with Mary Sue going, 'master Skywalker'. I could pan it on every level, however, it's been done all over the net.

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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:11 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Villenueve is also doing the new Dune movie. I never actually read or saw any of that... might have to try it for once.

Ooooooooooooh, man! Are we gonna get Dune done properly? I hope so.

Also, I think it's kinda pointless to compare Blade Runner with Star Wars, given that they have literally nothing in common save for both being sci fi movies, and even then, one is a space opera while the other one's a cyberpunk drama.
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Razakel
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:19 pm 
 

I think I'm somewhere in the middle-ground in terms of the new Blade Runner. It was really good but could have been great if it had maybe 20 minutes of needless stuff cut and if Jared Leto wasn't in it playing a corny mustache-twirling James Bond villain. But it was still obviously a whole lot better than The Last Jedi.

I think I'm of the unpopular opinion that Prisoners is still Villeneuve's best movie.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:19 pm 
 

Psyche_Dome wrote:
Empyreal wrote:
Villenueve is also doing the new Dune movie. I never actually read or saw any of that... might have to try it for once.

New Star Wars was a better movie than the new Blade Runner.


Hmmm! No! TLJ is an utter disgrace, from beginning to end. Right from the get-go, with Hux turned into a twat. Poe making dumb jokes! Dumb, bombing run, with dumb bombers. Fat Asian birds skinny sister dropping bombs, in space. Poe going against orders, then getting slapped! Luke flinging the light saber, with Mary Sue going, 'master Skywalker'. I could pan it on every level, however, it's been done all over the net.


Eh I thought everything was well done and it succeeded at everything it tried to do. Rich, compelling action flick. I couldn't agree with anything you just wrote. The new Blade Runner was ambitious but just didn't work as well for me.

Sicario is my pick for Villenueve. That shit was insane. Prisoners was great too though.
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Psyche_Dome
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:43 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Eh I thought everything was well done and it succeeded at everything it tried to do. Rich, compelling action flick. I couldn't agree with anything you just wrote. The new Blade Runner was ambitious but just didn't work as well for me.

Sicario is my pick for Villenueve. That shit was insane. Prisoners was great too though.


Yeah! It succeeded in butchering every idea J.J. Abram had. Suddenly, Ray's a Mary Sue, nobody, with no training, and no character development. Snoke is a nobody. Anyone can have the force. Luke is now a nobody. The Knights of Ren are nowhere. Leia can fly through space. Black slave and fat Asian girl get together after she stops him from leaving; hello! It's a resistance and he can leave if he wants. Then the fat bitch stops black slave from sacrificing himself, because she did it for love. The entire Canto bite sub-plot was pointless and awful! Who are these slave children? How dumb! And, Mary Sue gets a lesson from Luke where he tells her to reach out, and we get more appalling Marvel-esque humour! And, fecking porgs? And, milking the creature? And, dumb bombers in space so Johnson can have his bomber scene like the British murdering German civilians, on mass. Great! And, Ray can weild a sword and lift bolders.... And, Hux is turned into a mug! And, Admiral Holdo light speeding into a superstar destroyer? Yeah! Right! And, Holdo keeping the plan from Poe. And, Ray telling Ren to put his fucking shirt on. And, Finn has worked everywhere; on a Star Killer Base and on a Star Destroyer, cleaning the toilets. And, Finn's now a pilot? And, Poe's destroying a destroyers turbo lazers because? Turbo lazers are designed to destroy small fighters; it's what they are built for...

It's one plot hole after another, and so many badly formulated and pointless ideas. At least Gareth Edwards did something which was serviceable.

I swear, some big nose executive needs to sort this franchise out!


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Earthcubed
The Great Fearmonger

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:48 pm 
 

Only seen Prisoners and Arrival by him, but loved both.

For those who have seen Annihilation: would you recommend seeing it before or after reading the book? I know it's not super-related to the book but I'm unsure which to consume first. The book is short, so it wouldn't take much effort to power through it before heading to the theaters next weekend.
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Psyche_Dome
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Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:31 am
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:50 pm 
 

Razakel wrote:
I think I'm somewhere in the middle-ground in terms of the new Blade Runner. It was really good but could have been great if it had maybe 20 minutes of needless stuff cut and if Jared Leto wasn't in it playing a corny mustache-twirling James Bond villain. But it was still obviously a whole lot better than The Last Jedi.

I think I'm of the unpopular opinion that Prisoners is still Villeneuve's best movie.


Did Hugh Jackman get out of that hole in Prisoners?

Sicario was also good; Get Out's in that movie, I think... Get Out was a good movie , as well.

Get Out's in Black Panther; holy fuck! That is a dreadful movie.

Earthcubed - yeah!, Arrival - another good one

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acid_bukkake
SAD!

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:45 am
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:32 pm 
 

Cheap Thrills (2013)
Craig (Pat Healy) has a rough life. He and his wife live in a one bedroom apartment with their infant son, facing eviction for owing $4500 in back rent, and just recently lost his job at a car service shop (like a Jiffy Lube). Whilst delaying the inevitable talk with his wife, he stops at a shady dive bar for a drink, where he runs into high school friend Vince (Ethan Embry), a low level debt collector, with neither man having seen the other in 5 years. As they reminisce (and it becomes increasingly apparent why Craig severed ties), married couple Colin (David Koechner) and Violet (Sara Paxton) are celebrating her birthday. Soon, the couple begin daring the old friends to degrade themselves for money, taking the game back to their house as things spiral out of control.

An interesting byproduct of the torture porn craze has been the "dare" movie, a set-up usually for comedies but turned into horror with ease. While the best example of an effective dare horror is Would You Rather?, it's sad that this film is not spoken of with the same reverence. Embry has made quite a claim for his legacy as an actor since going into indie horror, offering a great cameo in The Guest and an even better starring turn in The Devil's Candy, but this might be his legitimately best performance to date. Not to be outshined so easily, Koechner also crafts one hell of a performance, utilizing his typical brand of comedy and turning it into something believably sinister.

In fact, that's one of the major sticking points that makes this work. Everything is believable. You believe that a guy like Craig would be willing to do what he does for money thanks to his obvious devotion to his family, you believe that Vince has no problem going along because of what his life has been, and the married couple are so perfectly casual about the night's festivities that it's clear this isn't the first time they've done this.

On a slightly more personal note, I'll add that some of the dynamic between Craig and Vince reminds me of my own relationship with my best friend from high school. Vince is brash and willing to do anything for a good time, taking his mind off how much he hates his life, and Craig is very logical and safe due to obligations both real and imaginary. That both acknowledge what they've let their lives become hit hard since their attitudes and positions aren't too dissimilar from ours.

See this. Soon.
8.5/10

Game Night (2018)
Hey guys, remember The Game? Remember how exciting of a thriller it was, and how the twist was actually well done thanks to important details hiding in plain sight? Well, so did screenwriter Mark Perez, who I'm going to refer to from now on as Vince Russo. Why? BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF VINCE RUSSO TRIED TO WRITE A REMAKE OF THE GAME.

Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) are a married couple who host a weekly game night, with both being extremely competitive at simple games (revealed at the start by their meeting at bar trivia where they both try to rig the game), with Annie leaving her date for Max and then continuing to invite that night's date to game night.

Is this important? No. Does the date have a name? No. Why am I even talking about it? No reason. The character has no reason to exist. It could very well be her brother, for all I know, but he's never seen again after the night Max proposes to her in front of him. RUSSO~

A year or two later and they're trying to have children but Max's sperm is having some problems. Their doctor, Johanna Chin, suggests that stress can sometimes prevent conception even if the swimmers are perfectly fine otherwise, and Max opens up about his Wall Street brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler), and the level of competitiveness the two have always had has risen again after Brooks tells Max he's coming to town. Dr. Chin then asks if Brooks is single because...funny? RUSSO~

Game night comes and their neighbor, a socially awkward police officer named Gary (Jesse Plemons), isn't invited. His ex wife, Debbie, was their friend, and Gary was just there. Will this come back later to mean anything? Yes. Will Debbie be anything other than a terrible joke? No. RUSSO~

Their friends Kevin, Michelle, and Ryan show up, along with Ryan's airhead date, and sneak into the house so Gary won't find out and get jealous. Brooks, though, shows up in a classic muscle car that was Max's dream car as a child, alerting Gary to the game night. After Brooks humiliates Max with an embarrassing childhood story, one Annie eggs on, they decide the next game night will be at the house Brooks is renting.

Then the actual plot kicks in. After only 20-something minutes of "comedy" and hack character building. RUSSO~

Of course, if you've seen the trailer, you know what's in store. Brooks sets up a murder mystery party, he actually gets kidnapped for real, and the game night friends have to rescue him. What the trailers don't show is how their friends are one note caricatures that PerezRusso tries adding depth to via their own side arcs. Kevin and Michelle have been together since they were 14 but Michelle takes a shot during Never Have I Ever when asked if anybody's slept with a celebrity. Ryan, wanting to win at game night for once, brings coworker Sarah in as a ringer, and the two play "will they won't they" the rest of the time.

Spoiler: show
None of the four matter. They could be replaced by hand puppets and nothing would change.


Blah blah blah, hijinks, "jokes," happy ending.

It's a shame Russo's script is so awful because the direction by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein is borderline great. With rare exception, the spatial awareness is palpable, letting the audience know exactly how rooms are laid out and have an overall sense of direction. This is an important trait to have in thrillers of all kinds, even poorly written "comedy" ones. Also, there are a handful of absolutely gorgeous exterior scenes where the cars and buildings are made to look like plastic set pieces from Monopoly and Life, visually amplifying the "game night" aspect. Even the few action scenes are handled with expertise, the camera close enough to fully frame the action but not jerking around.

No, this piece of shit falters in two extremely important ways: the writing and the casting.

I've made plenty of comments about the humor. It's awful, sub-Nickelodeon in scope and the obvious jokes are the typically the ones they go with. Beyond that (since a comedy lives and dies by the actual quality of humor), none of Max or Annie's friends are fleshed out, and only Ryan exists to serve the plot in any meaningful fashion.
Spoiler: show
That may even be stretching it, to be honest. He uses a situation to help Max get his brother back, but otherwise only serves as the "dumb pretty boy" trope. He's Kelso but without the charm. Sarah, too, is pointless, and their "will they won't they" is not only extremely forced, the two having virtually no chemistry, but the answer is never actually revealed.

Even worse? Kevin and Michelle only exist so Kevin can do his (admittedly great) Denzel impression. That's the celebrity she slept with, but they were on a break when they were 18 and it's okay...but it wasn't really Denzel, just a guy who vaguely looked like Denzel, and their entire role in the movie is to make that joke. Token black couple...odd how they chose Denzel instead of literally anybody else, but Russo must not think race mixing is okay because the obvious joke of Ed Norton, which would've been a good callback to Brooks' initial game night, would've been too out there.


What's even worse with the cast? Jason Bateman. He's not funny. His comedic timing is lousy, his screen presence is outdone by a fucking dog, and he's out acted by both McAdams and Chandler in every single scene they share (which is literally all of them). He's comedy cancer, plain and simple. Nobody says they watched Arrested Development because Michael Bluth was so captivating, Teen Wolf Too is garbage, and Horrible Bosses only worked because of Charlie Day and Jennifer Aniston. Bag on Adam Sandler all you want for how bad most of his movies are, but at least Sandler has been funny. Bateman? Not so much.

So, what do we have here? A shit lead, awful writing, cameos from people who would've made the movie that much better (Chelsea Peretti, Patrick Huston, and Michael C. Hall are completely wasted), bad writing, SWERVES UPON SWERVES BUT NO THIS ONE IS REAL I SWEAR...SWERVE GOTCHA YOU DUMB BASTARD, bad fucking writing, and Jason Bateman all working overtime to undermine a visually captivating film.

I've seen student films with better writing. Ones I made for digital media courses my sophomore year. Strongest recommendation to avoid...unless you really love derivative, milquetoast, gentrified garbage trying to pass itself off as having an edge.
3.5/10
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ObservationSlave
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Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:27 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:11 am 
 

Today is the first time I have ever heard of Annihilation (book or movie) when a friend suggested seeing it in the theater. I agree with others who have said visually it is incredibly stunning and captivating and I was completely drawn into the world. I was thoroughly entertained and was kept in anticipation at every turn. My only issue with the movie is that it is very unclear to me what point it is trying to get across.

Spoiler: show
Is this supposed to challenge our perceptions of the self? Our perceptions of biology and how it happens to work on our particular planet? How nature can be made of conscious beings but is not conscious itself and attributing motivations to it is some silly human tendency? It just comes off as one of those movies where one can claim it is "left up to interpretation" as an excuse for not really saying anything. With that said I still really enjoyed it. I just left with a lot more questions than answers, but maybe it is over my head.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:32 am 
 

^

Spoiler: show
I dunno what the books are like or are about, but I just took away from the movie the general, ephemeral sense of relationships breaking up and dividing, and how people change and don't really know each other anymore. Kinda vague but it was arty and intriguing anyway.
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Turd Blaster
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:48 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:47 am 
 

Anybody else pretty annoyed with this remake of The Strangers? I've never seen the original but the fact that Hollywood's running so short on horror movie ideas that they're having to remake films that are barely a decade old is really sad to me.
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acid_bukkake
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Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:45 am
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:18 am 
 

It's a sequel, hence why the title is The Strangers: Prey at Night. Same writer (Bryan Bertino).
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:22 am 
 

It was also a remake of a truly awful garbage foreign film called Them in the first place, so we can't pretend The Strangers was ever that original...
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