“The First Purge” MOVIE REVIEW

Plot:

To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community. But when the violence of oppressors meets the rage of the others, the contagion will explode from the trial-city borders and spread across the nation.

Review:

As a fan of how The Purge trilogy progressed from a standard Break-in thriller to a horrific, anarchy filled action series- I was intrigued by the thought of a prequel exploring how exactly The Purge got created.

After seeing the original Purge movie with Ethan Hawke, I joked about how I could see something like The Purge happening in the next 10 years, but after seeing this movie- and seeing how the economic, political, and social unrest that’s portrayed in this film is mirrored by our own- I could see The Purge happening in the next 3 years…. and that’s the most horrifying thing about this film.

I thought my dude, Skeletor (Rotimi Paul) set-up the tone perfectly in the beginning of the film when he was being interviewed on whether or not he would participate in the experiment, and seeing how psychotic he was let me know I was in for a wild ride. He honestly stole the show for me the more I saw him in action.

Much like the first film, this movie starts as a thriller with political elements sprinkled in… Actually, sprinkled in might be a bit of an understatement because this might be the most politically driven film of the franchise- some of it is done subtly, others are blatant. Most of those blatant political themes have to do with President Trump- honestly I’m surprised I haven’t seen him tweet something about this movie yet… but even if he did, I guarantee this movie would use his tweet as promotion, which is somewhat ironic, but at this point, nothing really surprises me anymore.

I will say, there are two negatives to this film- The Architect (Marisa Tomei) created The Purge experiment as a social experiment for citizens to release their anger and frustrations- but when the Government sends out trained mercenaries to dispatch lower class citizens, she’s horrified… that bugged me because honestly, how else did you think your research was gonna be used? Another thing that bugged me was the ending was so flat, and I know it’s because they’re releasing a TV Show, but I just want some finality in my movie.

Once the action ramps up, that’s when I found myself really enjoying the film. I thought that Demetri (Y’lan Noel) was a total badass, and I really liked the costume designs in this film… one of them that really caught my attention was a dude dressed as Black Skull with the full leather jacket, Nazi garb leading a bunch of dudes wearing blackface masks. I chuckled a bit to myself when I saw this because of the sick, twisted, demented logic of it.

Grade:

I found myself enjoying this film more than I thought I would, but The Architect complaining about how her study was being used, and that flat ending really bothered me.

I’m giving The First Purge a 7.5/10 or a C+

“Hereditary” Movie Review | Genuinely Scary or Overhyped?

Plot: When Ellen passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited.

Review:

As a huge fan of horror movies, this was one of the films I was looking forward to this year- but based off all the horror films that have let me down this year (Winchester, Insidious 4, Truth or Dare) I was a bit skeptical of all the praise the film had gotten at the film festival it premiered at… Because to be honest, all the drunk hipsters tend to overhype movies they see at the festivals. One example of a film I actually liked from one of the festivals was the last film I reviewed, which was “Upgrade.”

Now let me just get this out of the way before I continue… “Hereditary” is NOT the scariest film ever made, it’s creepy and there’s some effective moments, but this film suffers in my opinion because of all the hype that those drunk hipsters provided for it. I honestly thought the trailers were much scarier than the film itself.

I could be wrong in my opinion, after all- fear is subjective… different things scare different people, and this film explores a pretty dark topic, which is family drama- the fear of inheriting traits from your family that you despise, and insanity in general. This film explores how the simplest mistakes can have dire consequences, and I thought that Toni Collette did an amazing job portraying all these moods as the mother who has recently lost her own mother and has to try to keep her family together.

Some of the creepiest shots and scenes in this film involves the miniature houses that Toni Collette’s character works on in the film, and there’s scenes with a wide shot where you may or may not see something peering from the shadows… those are the scenes that truly got the hairs on my neck standing up. But my problem with the film is that it starts to lead you in one direction, but towards the third act- goes into a completely different direction. To put it better, I felt that the ending to this movie was very contradictory to the story the film was telling.

Grade:

“Hereditary” may not be the scariest film ever made, but it’s a lot better than most of the horror films I’ve seen this year… it’s creepy and effective with what it tries to achieve- but like I said in my review, it suffers from the festival hype.

I’m going to give Hereditary a 7.5/10 or a C+

“Truth or Dare” Movie Review

Plot: Olivia, Lucas and a group of their college friends travel to Mexico for one last getaway before graduation. While there, a stranger convinces one of the students to play a seemingly harmless game of truth or dare with the others. Once the game starts, it awakens something evil — a demon which forces the friends to share dark secrets and confront their deepest fears. The rules are simple but wicked — tell the truth or die, do the dare or die, and if you stop playing, you die.

Review: Normally I like to lead in by keeping y’all guessing on whether or not I liked the movie I saw…. But I can’t in this case. Y’all have seen the trailers for this, so y’all know this is a bad movie. The surprising thing about this, is it’s unintentionally hilarious!!

Here’s all the things bad about the movie: none of the characters are likable, the stupid Snapchat face isn’t scary- it’s goofy looking to the point I laughed out loud in the theater every time it popped up, the rules to the game make no sense, how the game kills people is laughable, the origins of the game coming to life is completely absurd, and how to stop the game is so convoluted. And on top of all that, there’s every single horror movie cliche: stupid jump-scares, doing research on the ‘antagonist’, the old person who has all the answers, and a open-ended conclusion that makes no sense- and it’s only there for a possible sequel.

Look, I normally don’t do this- but guys…. PLEASE don’t see this movie. At least not in theaters, if you have to- just rent it for a beer and pizza night.

Grade:

I’m giving “Truth or Dare” a 6/10 or a D.

The only reason why this movie isn’t an F like “Winchester” is because I actually get some unintentional laughs in this movie- and I couldn’t in “Winchester” because that movie was SO BORING!

Trust me, I’m trying to help y’all here!

If it helps, I was literally the only person in the theater!

“Unsane” movie review

Plot:

Sawyer Valentini relocates from Boston to Pennsylvania to escape from the man who’s been stalking her for the last two years. While consulting with a therapist, Valentini unwittingly signs in for a voluntary 24-hour commitment to the Highland Creek Behavioral Center. Her stay at the facility soon gets extended when doctors and nurses begin to question her sanity. Sawyer now believes that one of the staffers is her stalker — and she’ll do whatever it takes to stay alive and fight her way out.

Review:

While doing my research about this film, I found out that this whole film was filmed on a iPhone, and while watching the movie, you can definitely tell that’s the case, but I felt like that worked in the movie’s benefit. There’s a lot of shots that are close and personal making it almost feel like you’re with the characters. There’s also a lot of really cool editing that plays with your sanity, making you question your own well being while watching the film. All those were done well, but everything kinda fell apart for me towards the end of the film. I know what they were going for, but I don’t really think they succeeded with their intent, which is a bummer since it was a fairly decent film until the final ten minutes.

Grade:

I’m going to give “Unsane” a 7/10 or a C.

I definitely feel like it should be seen at least once in the theater, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to see it, especially since I know that’s it’s not a film for everyone.

The Strangers 2: Prey At Night

Plot:

Mike and his wife Cindy take their son and daughter on a road trip that becomes their worst nightmare. The family members soon find themselves in a desperate fight for survival when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park that’s mysteriously deserted — until three masked psychopaths show up to satisfy their thirst for blood.

Review:

As a fan of the first ‘The Strangers’ film I was highly disappointed by this film. It’s been 10 years since the original came out and I feel like this was a bit of a step back. The main characters are lifeless and unlikable, there’s barely any tension, and there’s some weird shots of scenes that go on way too long. For example, the camera focuses on a mailbox with a smiley face on it for about 10 to 15 seconds, which would’ve been fine for about 5 seconds. Another issue I had is the fact that it shows the killers in the background too much where it would’ve cool a few times, but it’s overdone. Like I said, I’m really disappointed. Oh, and to top it off, that ending was so horrible I audible shouted “Wait, what?!” I was so baffled that they ended the film that horribly.

Grade:

You’re better off just watching the 2008 ‘The Strangers’ film, because this really wasn’t necessary.

I’m giving ‘The Strangers 2: Prey At Night’ a 6/10 or a D

Winchester

Plot:

In 1906 Sarah Winchester, the heiress of the Winchester repeated arms company builds a house with rooms that have no apparent rhyme or reason to them other than to keep the spirits that were killed by the Winchester rifle at bay. A doctor is sent to the Winchester mansion to check on the sanity of Sarah Winchester to see if there really are ghosts, or if she’s gone insane.

Review:

Y’all know I’m a huge horror movie fan, and there’s nothing I like better than a really good scary movie….. which is why it pains me to have to review the movie like this. I have to be honest, because it would be a disservice to me and all of you not to say how I really feel about this movie.

This film is really boring, it took all my willpower not to fall asleep during this film. All the ‘scary’ scenes are nothing more than jumpscares that are just lazy in my opinion. I’ve seen a hotel room be scary and effective (1408), how they dropped the ball with the ultimate spook house like The Winchester Mansion is beyond me. But the ultimate crime this movie commits is throwing a plot twist near the end which I felt was unnecessary, besides the fact that the directors also did ‘Jigsaw’ but in that movie I understood why it was thrown in… not this one.

This movie really let me down y’all.

Grade:

I hate to do this, but I’m giving “Winchester” a 5/10 or an F. It’s the first F I’ve given and I’m sure it won’t be the last (*cough* 50 Shades *cough*)

Insidious: The Last Key

Insidious: The Last Key is the fourth entry in the Insidious franchise and is a prequel in the Insidious storyline, but a sequel to Insidious part 3 (The timeline is a bit confusing)

In this entry to the series, Elise gets assigned to an investigation that’s in Elise’s childhood home- but little does Elise know that the entity that lives in her house is the same spirit that she released as a kid.

Review:

I thought some of jumpscares were effective, I thought the backstory of Elise was heartfelt, and I really liked the design of the new demon named Keyface.

That’s all the positive things I can say about this film, and I felt like this movie is the weakest in the franchise. I wasn’t a fan of the comic-relief sidekick characters, and I didn’t really understand the motivation behind Keyface (and I was disappointed we didn’t get a backstory to the demon.)

The small connections to the first movie was pretty cool, but there’s still some unanswered questions that this movie leaves, and I’m not sure if we’re gonna be getting another movie to answer them.

Grade:

So with all that being said, I’m gonna give this movie a 6/10 or a D