Jacob’s Ladder (2019)

This film entrances the viewer through colors and filters but falls short of the original’s impact. I did find the film enjoyable, just in a different way.  Jacob Singer (Michael Ealy) is a medical officer in the Afghanistan war. For those who recall 911, these wars followed in response to terrorism. It is a war even millennials can probably  recall. But that is the only updated theme from the original. This new film is its own animal, that’s for sure. Many reviewers have noted it wanders far off from the original but that doesn’t mean it was bad to wander. He seems responsible and strong which are clearly needed in this hell of a place. Events transpire that send him home but he can’t shake the fact that he saw his dying (or dead) brother before leaving the war for home. It’s evident how much horror is in war but it seems something more intense is afoot, Jacob’s mental health or a drug it’s not quite clear.

(Read the rest of this review at Horror News Net along with my other published horror reviews)


I Trapped the Devil, 2019 – ★★★½

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I’m starting my second sitting with this film. It was a truly “slow burn” for about 40mins but it’s just started getting very cool. You feel like you are i the house with this crazy man and his “3” captives.

Would you believe a family member who claimed to have the devil trapped in his basement. The more the characters develop the more it seems the main character is indeed a psychopath. What can they do? He has a gun and definitely believes in what he is doing.

The music turns the screw here, it is absolutely fabulous. I’ve never sensed such preparation and creativity in an indie horror film score. There are no jump scares (yet) and I have a feeling there won’t be. This one is meant to squeeze its viewer dry.

I have a feeling the ending will be awesome, maybe like KPax where the viewer has to decide if the supernatural is real. This has the creepiness I look for in movies, I highly recommend it. I rated it a 7/10.

At time of publish, this film is streaming on Hulu.

The Outsider, 2020 – ★★★

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An interesting series. It leaves a lot of open questions in the first few episodes. I feel genuinely heartbroken for Jason Bateman’s character. We shall see how his plight unfolds. What a horrifying prospect when a whole town tars and feathers you for something you couldn’t have done. But I’ve stopped watching at episode 3. I do recommend it for suspense fans but not much horror to see here. Then again, they haven’t revealed who the outsider is and when they do I have a feeling some more horror will deal into the hand. For where I am with it, I give it a 6/10.

Streaming at time of publish on HBOgo and HBO

The Invisible Man – and some other films

Here’s what I’ve been watching! Also available now on Youtube

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Transcript:

0:00:01.370,0:00:07.830
welcome to Riley on film
I’m your host Amy and Riley you can find

0:00:07.830,0:00:14.639
out more and subscribe for free
always at Riley on film calm now

0:00:14.639,0:00:26.550
on with the show so it goes on and on
and after a while about halfway through

0:00:26.550,0:00:33.290
it does start to get rather interesting
and that’s when you start to see

0:00:33.290,0:00:39.660
evidence of the Invisible Man
and it is very enjoyable at that point

The Invisible Man, 2020 – ★★★

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Elizabeth Moss is getting to be a force to reckon with in Hollywood. I’ve loved her stuff for years, the earliest I recall being “The One I Love” with Mark Duplass. That’s a crazy sci-fi movie too though nothing on the gigantic scale of Leigh Whannell’s “The Invisible Man.” I liked Moss in this and that’s what made the over 2 hours palatable. Unfortunately the cool stuff was saved until the end and anything else awesome was glittered few and far between.

The story has nothing to do with the 1933 classic version other than the man’s last name. It waits over half the film to show anything “invisible.” Moss’ expressive eyes keep us happy but hungry on the journey. When the shit goes down it’s pretty fun but not amazing. I really have no more to say about this film. It’s a fun ride but nothing like what it could have been.

I was hoping for a scoundrel out doing mischievous acts. Instead we have an invisible stalker messing with his woman for no apparent reason other than the fact that she has the balls to disagree with him (?) Leigh Whannell could have done much better in the screenplay chair. I must dissent from the masses on this one. You could miss this one. 6/10