Rogue (2007)

This independent horror thriller crocodile film scared audience in theaters about a decade ago. It was your basic “gigantic animal terrorizes a small eccentric group” film, like Jaws. It’s great entertainment but does it compete with other successful movies like it?

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The protagonist is a travel writer who has never done more than a review in print. He’s on a wildlife boat tour with less than 20 others and they end up marooned being forced off their boat and out of the water by a huge crocodile.

The story consists of these people trying strategies to escape the crocodile with some having deadly results. This croc is big and he’s fast. For an independent film, the cgi is pretty effective. His body slithers and strikes deftly. He does “the death spin” when he gets a person on his jaws and that is terrifying.

This is a fun thriller. It has a list of well-known characters and the script if pretty good. It builds suspense with the help of a dramatic score and appears to have been filmed on location in Australia. As in most horror, the victims all have flaws and come from different levels of society. The monster, in this case a croc, is the great equalizer that cuts everyone down to size regardless of income or station. For fans of the horror/thriller genre, I definitely recommend this, it’s a lot of fun.

Fargo (TV Series) The Crocodile’s Dilemma (2014)

A good indicator of what promises to be an awesome show!


The pilot sometimes determines how good the show will be long term. If that’s the case here, I’m a lucky bastard. This show is now in its 3rd season and I’m a binge-watcher by passion. Fargo the film charmed audiences with small town, snowy themes juxtaposed with black deeds like murder and crime. The goofy police with their fluffy hats are out to get their man, and we love seeing if they can.

The characters and story are eerily reminiscent of those in the film. They are just different enough to keep me interested. Skeptics of the series would give it a try. The pilot has made me a believer.

There is a cast of thousands in this series. Every corner turned shows familiar face. They grind down the criminals with the same innocent charm but so far, it’s a slow burn. That;s not a bad thing though. I know they can expand a lot on the stories in the manner of a series. My understanding is each season has a new story line and a new set of characters/actors.

I can honestly say I recommend this show, especially to the folks who are fans of the film. I am looking forward to an awesome rest of season one!

9/10

Splinter

The best horror movies start with a creepy fear or thought like splinters in your fingers. From tat the director pushes it out far enough to scare people and get a response. Splinter is all that, a truly great horror flick in my opinion.

R | 1h 22min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller | 3 April 2009 (Turkey)
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Trapped in an isolated gas station by a voracious Splinter parasite that transforms its still-living victims into deadly hosts, a young couple and an escaped convict must find a way to work together to survive this primal terror.
Director: Toby Wilkins
Writers: Ian Shorr, Kai Barry
Stars: Shea Whigham, Jill Wagner, Paulo Costanzo

I’ve always been a fan of minimal sets and plot in horror films. This one fits right into that the way it takes place in a gas station. It’s the 7-11, Circle K, all American

The Neon Demon

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The Neon Demon
Cast

Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves

Directed by

Nicolas Winding Refn

Written by

Nicolas Winding Refn

Other Info

Horror, Thriller
Rated R
118min

L.A. looks like a cut-throat place for the fashion profession in this film. Elle Fanning plays a 16-year-old girl trying to break in by any means necessary. She’s willing to lie on documents about her age and hang out with dangerous people if it means a chance as a famous model. There’s some fake blood here and a startling wildcat that jumps by the window in the dark but neither of those things constitutes horror. You may be shocked by the ending but I doubt many would consider that a “scare” either. It’s more disgusting than scary. I’ll acknowledge right here that there may be intended metaphors and alternative interpretation going on here. I’ve chosen to not look into that. Mostly for the reason that the film made no attempt to explain it to me.

Keanu Reeves plays the landlord who appears to exploit kids. I thought he did a great job with his voice and movement. It was like he was a different person. That’s a sign of a studied actor. I think Keanu plays the same character again and again but in this one he is unique. So, if you’re a big Keanu fan, this might be worth your time. The celebrity photographer “Jack” is played by Desmond Harrington and he does a pretty decent job looking resolute and creatively twisted. Unfortunately for me, I binge-watched Dexter years ago and I got used to his character there night after night. I kept expecting him to call Jesse “Deb.” Amazon produced this film. I wonder if we’ll see much more of this from them. This film was a basic let down and bombed at the box office proving that hand over fist. The reviews have been polarized, mine unfortunately is closer to the South.

While this film may not be correctly labeled as horror, it is a neon art-film treat for the rods and cones. I was drawn in early on by the visual artistry of the film. Just when you think you’ve seen the best it has, it brings more. The colors are reminiscent of Tron. I think it’s meant to draw us in that way. The director is a visionary influenced by Kubrick, David Lynch and others who have done similar things with color and space. Unfortunately this story gets caught up in a fashion world and doesn’t explore what’s going on in the head of the protagonist. Beside that, the characters are underdeveloped. Having said that, it’s a pretty simple reason to be ascertained why they do what they do in the end.

It’s nice to see a film with a message against underage modeling and what it can do to women. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough horror here to justify being in the genre. I wonder if I speak for anyone else when I say I don’t care to go into a psychedelic reality of modeling, unless it’s Zoolander (I).

If you have patience and you are really interested in how women can exploit other beautiful women out of jealousy, this may be for you. Or, for those interested in an amazing visual experience (strobes and neons) you too may like it. For everyone else I don’t recommend this one, I was rarely entertained as I watched it and the end was quite disappointing.

Tracks

Title: Tracks
Genre: Adventure, Biography, Drama
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Year: 2015
Director: John Curran, known for “The Painted Veil.”
Top Billed Cast: Mia Wasikowska, known for “Alice in Wonderland,” Adam Driver, known for “Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens.”
Brief Synopsis:This is a true story of Robyn Davidson, a woman who went on a 1,700 mile walk with camels across the Australian desert. The movie is based on her book.
My Word to the Wise: This is an adventure but not in a Hollywood sense. Some time and patience is required to get the gold nuggets this film indeed has.

The rest of this review may contain spoilers.

Robyn’s journey made very little sense to me at first. She goes through years of preparation just to show that “ordinary people can do extraordinary things.” There is no inner dialog, no traces of why she is doing this. I think that would hae made it a better film but it is flawless besides that.

Girl power! In the 1970’s, the women’s movement was trying to show that women can do everything men can. By the late 1990’s this waxed and waned. Women had already proven it and they had the equal heart attacks and psychiatrist bills to show for it. Many women have now opted to be “SAHM”‘s. It’s important to remember this was less a choice and more a life sentence in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Robyn’s journey is her own and her experiences are encouraging to anyone with a dream of doing the extraordinary. Oh yeah, and the guy from Star Wars, Han Solo’s son, is the Nat Geo photographer but he really adds nothing to this amazing film.

31

A strength of 31 is its gritty kill settings, a weakness is its unrealistic plot. While an enjoyable horror movie as it is, it borrows from several plots like those of Saw, The Hunger Games, and The Purge. I found this distracting and it’s not good to be distracted when you’re trying to take in a horror film. Notwithstanding, this film is a fun, wild, and gory ride. I watched it on VOD and loved it.

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31
Cast

Malcolm McDowell, Richard Brake, Jeff Daniel Phillips

Directed by

Rob Zombie

Written by

Rob Zombie

Other Info

Horror, Thriller
Rated R
1h 42min

One thing I really enjoy about Rob Zombie is his ability to recreate an era. He is especially good at creating a flavor of the 1970’s. That’s why I was excited to see this film took place in 1976. People had vans like the one in the film. They did all sorts of things in those vans like smoke pot, have sex, and sometimes, they camped out or took road trips in vans. I think “the van” 1970’s style is a thing of the past now. Yuppies use them to stow their kids on trips but they don’t carry the same connotation. Those chracters alluded to by 1970’s vans are the characters in 31, part and parcel. It feels like we are being taken on a journey. It takes a little while before we start to realize where that journey will take us, and that’s when things get scary. As in so much modern media and literature, we are shown the rift between the rich and poor .

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The idea of rich people making bets about what poor people will do under duress is not new. I recall Dan Akroyd and Eddie Murphy being bet on in the 1980’s film Trading Places. That’s a comedy but the core idea is the same as the more recent Hunger Games. Every camera is on Katniss as she fights and kills. There is an element of that here. Malcolm McDowell is a rich oddball among others and he thrives on the same sort of “game.” All modern horror fans know the premise of Saw so I won’t bother getting into it.

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The characters are threatened and it seems they may be picked off and killed one by one but these stoner victims have a few tricks up their sleeves. It’s a fatalistic film in many ways and you’ll have to see if you agree with that in the last 3rd of the film, up to the final credit. This was a bummer. I’m not saying that horror movies are meant to motivate us, far from it. I am saying that a good horror movie operates under some sort over overreaching vision or sense. I really don’t know why these killings occur. It’s never explained. Could it be that these films have already set a precedent for a “death challenge game.” Perhaps it is common background knowledge that certain rich people out there would play murder games with our lives if we were guilty of nothing else than making a wrong turn.

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I guess I wanted more explanation of the game in the plot. Rob Zombie’s film expects too much from the audience. We need a little psychology of why certain people laugh as they watch murder. I can accept it is because they are crazy but the lessens the impact of the movie. The homicidal manias are being paid but what about the bosses? Why are they orchestrating such a game? I wish I knew what Rob Zombie’s answer to that is.

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To close this up, I’m a fan of Rob Zombie and I fully enjoyed watching this film. It is gore-filled, which is one of Zombie’s main colors he paints with. It tries to be cerebral but I think the owing to so many other film’s plots takes away from that thoughtfulness. It doesn’t feel entirely original at any point. It would have been 5/5 with me if it didn’t have the obvious plot pieces of other films. Having said that, it’s a fun film to see with your friends and family who like gore and the other works of Rob Zombie.

Your Name

I am not an anime fan in general but I am a love story fan. 


I was a little averse to the subtitles at first but once I started, it was easy to watch and really get into it. There are features in this film as deep as some of the most deep ones in American love stories and sci-fi. The concept draws you in immediately and if you pay attention, it starts to flow and flow and what a fun ride it is.

It uses some elements we have seen in a new way and the anime really helps to that end. I have to tell you that after about 5 minutes in, I forgot the characters were animation, they seemed real to me.

I found the two main characters charming. Again, I am not much of an anime fan. I have seen many of them but they aren’t my first choice. This would not only appeal to young lovers, like maybe those in love for the first time, but it will also rekindle those adolescent/young adult feelings in anyone who gives it a chance.

If you examine my history at IMDb or my own sites you’ll see I am not new at recommending films. Take it from me, this is an instant classic. The artwork is also way above the usually anime bar. Some of the special effects had to be done by paintbrush, or by hand however they did it. It was a feast for the eyes and the story did not suffer.

Having said all that, if you can’t give it your attention or you really have no interest to sit and watch subtitles, this probably isn’t for you.

Give this film your full attention as a love story with some sci fi elements and you will not regret it.