The Resident Evil film franchise is finally over and I for one couldn’t be happier. I really like the first one and it was one of the first films that I ever went to see twice at the cinema. I remember specifically going into the cinema in Lincoln and asking for a ticket months in advance, and even though they couldn’t sell tickets, I was there on the opening showing on the first day, and I loved it. Even now I think that this stands separate from the rest of the series, and can be viewed as a semi-decent zombie film on its own merits.

However, whilst the first was generally very good, in my opinion of course, the sequels were not so lucky. Gradually getting worse as the series went on, fans kept going in the hope that they would get better, and whilst I’m not going to share my opinions on the sixth film until the end of the year (I can’t criticise it whilst it’s still showing at the chain that I work for legal reasons), it isn’t going to stop me posting this list.

So this is what I hope will become a new feature on this site, the “Reasons” section. In this I will look at reasons as to why something worked, or didn’t work, so to open it up I’m going to start with 85 reasons that the “Resident Evil” franchise sucked overall. This ranges from general observations to plot holes.

Please note that these are not sorted into any form of order.

1) Despite being constantly in danger of death, Alice somehow always found time in between films to change her hair style and colour. Obviously over the space of ten years in-film time I appreciate she’d need to cut her hair every now and then, but is style and colour realistically something that the character would be concerned by?

2) Making the character of Alice have what are effectively super-powers for a significant portion of the franchise made her completely uncompelling. If you know that it’s exceptionally unlikely that she’s going to die, it takes any real tension out of any scene.

3) In their defence, the first two films do try to stick to the horror genre somewhat, but come the third film they’re basically action films. The Resident Evil franchise isn’t supposed to be action it’s supposed to be horror.

4) The first film faced a lot of criticism for the very few references to the games, so the next few films over-compensated by bringing characters from the games into the film. Whilst noble, none of the characters were really anything like their computer game counterparts, especially arguably the two lead characters of the games series, Chris and Leon. Whilst the latter character has an interesting relationship with Ada in the games, it just isn’t reflected at all in the movie.

5) Speaking of Ada, she is one of the most intriguing characters in the games due to her less than willing way to reveal the complete truth in various situations, but in the fifth film (the only one she features in) she isn’t the anti-hero from the games, she is just a generic secret agent that could be taken out and there would be no impact to the story at all.

6) Speaking of characters from the games, Jill Valentine is the primary protagonist of the first and third games, and also the secondary one in the second film. To be fair to the filmmakers they do make her look exactly how she looked in the games, but how does a suspended police officer (even if all off duty police officers are called in) get away with entering the station and just opening fire on people that she views as hostile, and not only that, shooting them fatally?


7) Anyway, time to try and establish some order in this process and now look at the films in some form of relative order. In the first movie there is an excellent scene with a corridor of lasers, arguably the most famous scene in the franchise. They tried to replicate that by bringing that corridor of lasers back for several of the sequels, but the issue is that unlike the first, there was no suspense or genuine intention to be anything more than a feeling of “going back to the well”. This reappears in the third and sixth films, and an alternate version in the fifth.

8) Shortly after that scene is an odd one in which the AI system knows that they’re about to unleash an EMP to shut her down and she warns them not to do it, all before taunting them with “you’re all going to die down here”. The system has one point at this stage, to stop the spread of the infection, so wouldn’t it make sense for it to warn the soldiers what turning the system off would actually do (release all of the undead)? By not telling them the system is risking the infection getting out.

9) One of the reasons that I like the first film is that in amongst the gore, it takes its time to develop some of the other characters, and especially the sisters-style relationship with Alice and Rain, but there’s none of that as the series goes on. For example, in the final film Alice asks a character how they learned to change a mechanical device, and ten seconds later you’d heard the only development that character is given, and yet when that character dies towards the end of the film, it acts like you’re supposed to have an emotional attachment to that character.

10) The less than subtle nature of the Alice in Wonderland references in the first film. The lead is called Alice, the virus is tested on a white rabbit the villain is called the Red Queen, they have to walk through a mirror (aka a looking glass) to get into the hive.

11) At the beginning of the first film Alice is shown to have a large scar on her shoulder that stretches several inches. She stands in front of a mirror (whilst her memory is still absent) and is curious about it herself. We never discover where the scar came from.

12) Not only do we not discover where the scar came from, it has completely disappeared in later films, with the exception of one scene in the sixth film.

13) In the first film, the very opening scene infact, a woman decides that because the gap in-between two elevator doors is just big enough for her head and one arm to fit through, her entire body will be able to squeeze through. She subsequently gets her head stuck and I’m sure you can all guess what happens next.

14) A major plot point is the memory loss of Alice and Spence. Whilst Alice gradually gains her memory back over time, Spence is completely oblivious up until the perfect moment for the plot.

15) One of the memories that Alice does get back rather quickly is that she entered into a plot with someone who wants to bring the company down from the inside. She then reveals this to the character of Matt at the first opportunity because it turns out that the woman was his sister.

16) She decides to do this without having any other memories, and is surprised that Matt would want to have his questions answered.

17) In the first film the licker mutates shortly after feeding on flesh, but the same doesn’t happen in the second film.

18) The speed of the undead changes throughout the films. In the first film they are quite slow, and yet in the sixth film, set ten years after the first and therefore a lot of decomposition time later, they are full on sprinting. The undead won’t get faster as their body parts decompose.

19) Speaking of decomposed bodies, the second film shows that several people that have been long dead somehow gain the strength to burst through their coffin and six feet of dirt with ease.

20) Not only that, but the second film also sees the first of many contradictions around the virus throughout the franchise. The one in this film is that not only are the dead coming out of the ground, but it would take a long time for the virus to seep down six feet to get to them, but this would be completely irrelevant as it is stated in the first film that the body has to be relatively fresh and have even the slightest amount of neural activity, which usually dissipates after several weeks. Most of the bodies that come out of the ground have clearly been buried for much longer than that.

21) Umbrella managed to set up the wall surrounding the city in the space of a few hours after the events of the first film, yet no-one seems worried that an agency has come out of nowhere and is starting to barricade them all in.

22) This is made even odder by the fact that the zombie apocalypse is clearly going on whilst they’re doing it because there is a newspaper report shown. There has been enough time for Umbrella to build a wall and a newspaper report on the dead coming back to life and eating people, get it approved, published and distributed, before people seem to try and escape the city.

23) Umbrella also sent several operatives in to help control the situation, which isn’t unusual, but what is that the character of Yuri got bitten on the right arm, but limping heavily on his left leg.

24) When Nemesis is given his first thing to do on screen, it’s to kill twelve members of the S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics and Rescue Squad). The person who unleashes the Nemesis literally says “they’re the best” and a minute later every single S.T.A.R.S member in the building is dead. What was the point?

25) Also, is it really a “Special Tactic” to all stand in a perfect straight line aiming at the big creature walking towards you? They can’t be that special if the make this glaring error.


26) A reasonable fraction of the film is spent in a church, a building that Alice enters by crashing a motorbike through a window. How did she get the bike through that window when exteriors of the church clearly show no ramps?

27) The third film is set in a desolate desert environment in which water seems a rarity, yet no-one seems dehydrated and everyone can afford regular showers (you can tell because everyone is clean).

28) In relation to the desert environment, the film clearly establishes most vegetation around the planet has died as a result of the virus, with many areas being reclaimed by the desert, but this issue doesn’t seem to carry over to the later films as pretty much each area has returned to “normal”.

29) One of the characters reveals that she never liked her original name and so instead chose her new name after where the rest of the crew found her, a K-Mart store. Ok, you don’t like your old name, you can change it to anything you want, but you just change it to a nickname of a store. Why go through that effort?

30) The only sniper will climb to a decent position above the battlefield, but also happens to choose arguably the only place that he wouldn’t be able to escape from if someone started climbing up. Guess what happened.

31) It turns out that Umbrella have created several clones of Alice and they are to be discarded once they are killed in several environments. There are around fifty Alices that are shown on screen in the ditch of dead-clones, not only has every one of them seemingly died on the exact same way (bullets from the flying turret), but not a single one has started to decompose.

32) In the final battle of humans vs zombies in the third movie, Alice gets “turned off” (for lack of better words) by Umbrella because they want to use her for data analysis, but stopping her dead in the middle of a battle with zombies means that they risk getting her body back after it’s been bitten several times by zombies, which could contaminate their results.

33) Magically disappearing characters. A character is a prominent part of one film, but is then never seen again. One such example is Chris in the fourth film. He plays a pretty big role, but is then not heard of again. Even at the end of the sixth film I have no idea whether he was alive because he is barely even mentioned in the final two film.

34) The third film ends with Alice having an army of clones, but those clones are killed off within minutes of the opening of the fourth film.

35) Then again, that’s not the strangest thing about the ending to the third film. The survivors are able to escape on a helicopter that can handle six people without an issue, yet there are significantly more than that who are escape on it at once.

36) Arguably the biggest “fuck you” to fans however was the Nemesis character in the second film. Nemesis in the game “Resident Evil 3 : Nemesis” is a seemingly unstoppable machine that will stop at nothing to get to you, but the film shows that with just a few memories of his former self, he will turn into a good guy and help the protagonists.

37) That’s not to say that the fourth film isn’t innocent in that regard. The enemy known as “The Executioner” is your first mini-boss in the fifth Resident Evil game and is a genuine challenge. He’s a towering bulk that moves quickly and menacingly. He is randomly implanted as a nameless antagonist in the fourth film but is nowhere near as intimidating as his computer game counterpart. He spends a portion of his screen time trying to break down the game, but instead of hitting it with any real force, he gently taps it….and yet it somehow causes the gate to come off of its hinges after a few hits.

38) He then battles Alice and Claire in the shower room in the prison and is taken out relatively simply after causing significant damage the environment, but none to either of the aforementioned characters.

39) The main characters then escape through tunnels that were dug by the undead. Yep, not only should they be long decomposed after however many years have gone by, but now they’re able to dig through the ground and up through a solid floor.

40) What makes that even more ridiculous is that the hole isn’t even subtle, and yet none of the characters notice it in the relatively small room that they’re all in at some point.

41) Their destination once they escape is a ship just off of the coast, but when they look at it through their binoculars there is no sign of life on a ship that is offering sanctuary from the infection. Strangely this doesn’t ring any alarm bells in their heads.

42) The opening scene involving Alice in the fourth film is all of her clones invading an Umbrella facility. Whilst on the face of it she has a lot of enemies to beat, the soldiers that she faces are awful and show no tactical awareness whatsoever. They can’t shoot in a straight line (only Wesker actually hits a clone with any bullets) and not once do they try and take cover.

43) The clones also have piercing holes in their ears. If they’re DNA replicas, they wouldn’t have piercing holes as they weren’t part of the original DNA. A quick brush up in post production would have sorted that out.

 

44) Alice starts the fourth film off with having her mutated cells returned to normal, and yet she is able to walk away from a helicopter crash without a scratch.

45) Having that said, her survival is no more miraculous than the characters that free fall about twenty storeys down an elevator shaft before hitting water, and yet they aren’t even slightly hurt.

46) Going back to the Executioner boss that I mentioned earlier, the battle with him takes place in the shower room that seems to have a layout that confuses the characters because they are surprise attacked several times whilst in that room, but all of the things attacking them have come from areas where they have just been standing.

47) The fourth film ends with Alice and the rest of the gang taking over a ship and declaring over the radio that there is enough food for everyone. She only arrived 20 minutes previously, spending most of the time looking around the test areas and beating Wesker, there is no way that she knew that there was enough food for everyone.

48) The fourth film also claims that a plane going at a speed that is flying fast enough to maintain itself in the air can go from whatever speed that is to nothing (with the help of a few ropes) in something that’s less than the length a football pitch.

49) Not to forget that one of the things that helps the plane stop falling over the edge is Luther jumping nearly double his height and grabbing the back of the plane, weighing it down. No human that can jump that high would weigh more than an engine and therefore the weight would still feasibly force the plane over.

50) Then again, it’s not as unfeasible as the plane re-taking off sometime later with pretty much zero momentum. I’m not a pilot, nor really know anything about what it takes to fly a plane, but what I do know is that a plane going no more than 20 miles an hour will not take off at all, even if it suddenly goes off of the edge of a building.

51) What is just as strange about the plane taking off again is the character that is in it subsequently mows through several zombies with the propellers and their blood spurts in his mouth….but the window and hatch is completely shut. How did the blood get through?

52) The acting throughout is laughable, with Shawn Roberts as Albert Wesker acting as though his jaw had been wired so that it couldn’t go beyond a certain point.

53) SSSSSSSLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWW MMMMMOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTTTIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNN. I didn’t notice until the fourth film just how much slow motion was in this franchise. It’s not too bad in the first film, infact I believe it’s rarely used, but it is considerably more noticeable in the latter half of the franchise, and I would love to know how long the fourth film would be if it was played at normal speed. I would go as far as saying it would be less than an hour.

54) This over-use of slow motion carries over into the fifth and sixth films. Infact, the first three or so minutes of the fifth film are completely in slow motion, then it shows you what happened at normal speed and it couldn’t have lasted longer than fifteen seconds.

55) Whilst slow motion isn’t ideal, it’s certainly better than constant jump cuts. The sixth film in particular is awful for this and at one point I counted eleven jump cuts in just five seconds. How can you possibly keep up with that? I wish I could even say it was a one off but it keeps happening throughout the entirety of the movie.

56) The fifth film in its general entirety. It’s basically just a “Greatest Hits” edition of the previous four films.

57) My biggest gripe with the fifth film is that is completely inconsequential. You could take this movie out and the rest of the series would, for the most part, stay exactly the same.

58) It is visually repulsive and I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire film was filmed on green screen as so much of it looks fake.

59) One of the early scenes sees Alice imprisoned in what is basically a giant cylinder, and for some reason Umbrella have decided to keep all of her stuff in a drawer that she has relatively easy access to. I highly doubt that they would ever release her, and even if they do I highly doubt that they would give her her stuff back, so what’s the point in keeping it?

60) It is established in the fifth film that the facility that they are in is controlled by Umbrella and that they can change each environment to make it as difficult as possible for the characters to escape, but none are truly made that difficult. If they wanted to then could make it a monsoon style weather system in each environment and force the characters into drowning, or change the temperature to either freeze or cook the characters alive.

61) One other zone consists of two “executioners”, but if Umbrella were truly intent on capturing or killing them then surely they could have had more than just two?

62) The problem with each of these scenes, as well as the others in the film, is that you never feel like Alice is in any danger of not killing her opponent eventually.

63) This isn’t helped by the fact that with the help of Ada, the movie feels like nothing more than a film equivalent of co-op in computer games. Co-op doesn’t work effectively in the games and certainly doesn’t help in the films.

64) Ada also doesn’t feel like a fully realised character, not helped by that Bingbing Li’s entire dialogue was dubbed. It is unfortunately very obvious that she’s not the one talking.

65) There isn’t even a satisfying conclusion to the film as there isn’t a primary antagonist throughout the movie, just several sub-bosses.

66) The inclusion of clones of “One” and “Rain” from the first film makes you genuinely question whether each was real in that film, making their plight somewhat less compelling.

67) The sixth film in its general entirety.

68) For some reason they decided to film almost the entire movie on a handheld camera rather than the normal set up. This doesn’t add anything so I’m not sure what they were trying to achieve.

69) One of thing that they certainly don’t achieve is revealing what happened after the end of the fifth film. All you find out is that Wesker betrayed them and then Alice emerges from a hatch, surrounded by the remains of White House.

70) Wesker, after being built as a very hard to kill antagonist, is taken out very easily in the final film.

71) Infact, Wesker doesn’t really do anything at all in the final film, and in reality he is largely irrelevant to the plot of the overall franchise. He barely makes a worthwhile contribution throughout.


72) One of the key plot points of the final entry to the franchise is that the Red Queen is constantly stating that in a certain amount of hours the last human settlements will fall unless the anti-virus is released, leaving just Wesker and co alive. How can she possibly know when they will fall, or indeed where every single settlement is? Yes, they have the satellite system, but if someone was in a underground settlement on their own, it’s highly unlikely that that system would know.

73) It even seems strange that the Red Queen knows about this anti-virus and has done since the first film, but didn’t think to mention it once, even though she clearly stated that it was her responsibility to make sure that the T-virus wasn’t spread.

74) Even if it were the case where it was definitely 48 hours, it would be too late to release the airborne anti-virus and have it reach those settlements in time for the humans in them to survive.

75) This entry contains yet another contradiction in the franchise as it claims that the Red Queen was modelled after the daughter of Dr. Marcus, but this contradicts the first few films in which they explain that it was modelled after the daughter of Dr. Ashford from the second film.

76) Alice also seems to go through something of a contradiction as she willingly puts all of the survivors at risk when she wants the gates open for one person that’s being chased by thousands of zombies, but this follows her blowing up a tank knowing that it’s full of survivors that are being held captive.

77) Soon after she also proceeds to cause an explosion in the other tank, thus killing all of the survivors in there, but all Umbrella operatives emerge within seconds with nothing more than a cough, even though they were right next to the explosions.

78) Then again, her even getting to the tanks is odd enough given that it is clearly shown that there are too many zombies for them to walk without banging into each other, but she somehow manages to land in the middle of a patch where there are no zombies.

79) The final film reveals that Alice and the Dr Isaacs we see in the third film were infact clones. Revealing that Alice has been a clone all along killed the connection that anyone realistically had with the character because you realise that you’re not following the original, you’re following a copy, and it takes a lot of the emotional connection out of the situation.

80) There are also two Dr. Isaacs’ in the sixth film, one of whom is a clone, but you again don’t find this out until much later in the movie. There are no real need for this.

81) When the characters in the sixth film reach the facility, Wesker decides that one way to kill them would be to reverse the polarity on turbines, therefore sucking all of the air in and meaning that they will be sucked in. One character is killed and Wesker decides that will be enough for then, but then gets confused and frustrated when all the characters end up in closer than he wanted.

82) There are numerous instances in the series of the characters being in a completely empty environment, only to then be completely surrounded on all sides by zombies. Either the zombies are super quiet, or we’re to believe that they just happened to come across them with such convenient timing.

83) Several characters in the series turn into zombies after only a handful of hours, whereas a few take several days.

84) The numerous product placements that aren’t even remotely subtle through the entire franchise, such as Sony products in the second and third films.

85) Arguably the least subtle however comes in the fourth when Alice is trying to figure out where she knows Luther from. After he unsuccessfully guesses that she is a basketball fan, he says “well maybe you’re a fan of fine time pieces” and the film then cuts to a poster with a massive Tag Heuer logo in the middle of it.

So that’s it, 85 reasons that I could find for the series generally sucking.

 

Whilst coming to the end of writing my first extensive look at why a certain “horror” franchise failed to produce quality films, I was made aware of a mini-craze amongst film reviewers on social media in which they reveal their favourite film from each year that they’ve been alive.

At first I had no interest in taking part, but then I thought that it might be fun to see what came out each year I was alive. One thing that I quickly realised that there are some years in which there were few standout films for me, 1990 and 2005 being particularly sparse, whereas I really struggled just to pick one from 1994 as as well as what I chose, there were so many entries that were not only great, but would top many top tens around the world.

So I was born in 1984 and will therefore start there. In the interest of fairness I am only going to consider films that were released at the cinema.

1984 – Ghostbusters
1985 – The Goonies
1986 – The Fly
1987 – Spaceballs
1988 – Willow
1989 – Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
1990 – Night of the Living Dead
1991 – Terminator 2 : Judgement Day
1992 – A League of Their Own

1993 – Jurassic Park
1994 – The Shawshank Redemption
1995 – Mortal Kombat
1996 – Star Trek : First Contact
1997 – The Fifth Element
1998 – The Truman Show
1999 – Fight Club


2000 – American Psycho
2001 – The Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship of the Ring
2002 – 28 Days Later
2003 – Pirates of the Caribbean : The Curse of the Black Pearl
2004 – Troy
2005 – Land of the Dead
2006 – Lucky Number Slevin


2007 – No Country for Old Men
2008 – The Dark Knight
2009 – Star Trek
2010 – Scott Pilgrim vs the World
2011 – Moneyball
2012 – Avengers : Assemble
2013 – Rush

Then we come onto those that I’ve seen since I started reviewing films for this site. Click on the below links for the full run downs of the top tens from these years.
2014 – Nightcrawler
2015 – No Escape
2016 – Captain Fantastic
2017 – TBD

We should be in a hostel someplace with dreadlocked, Austrian girls!

Year Released : 2014

Director : Mark Raso

Cast : Gethan Anthony, Frederikke Dahl Hansen and Sebastian Armesto

So I’ve gone from pretty much never reviewing films with a romantic theme to two in the space of a few days as I prepare to look into “Copenhagen”, which appeared on Netflix a few weeks back and has been on my list since.

The trailer isn’t very good, but the rating on IMDB is an excellent 7.2/10, a rarity for films that I review on this site as most fall below six. Infact I think that I’ve only ever reviewed five or six films that were above six on IMDB. That’s not to say that that is a guarantee that it will be good as a lot I tend to like some of the films with poor ratings, whilst finding those with good ratings somewhat dull.

But anyway, we’ll see.

Plot

William (Anthony) goes on a European backpacking holiday with two friends, but they soon become tired of his immature antics and leave him in Copenhagen. This is exactly where he wants to be however as he is searching for his grandfather, whom he believes lives in the city. William is struggling to find the address but soon meets Effy (Hansen), a young girl working in a cafe.

She helps him to the address on the letter, where he discovers from his great uncle that his grandfather was infact a Nazi.

Whilst trying to process the information, William finds himself falling in love with Effy, but he is horrified when it turns out that she is only 14 years old. He initially wants nothing to do with her but then finds himself being drawn back into her. Even the return of his friend Jeremy (Armesto) from London and calling him a paedophile doesn’t stop him from falling for Effy to a dangerous level.

 

So is it good?

I’ve never been someone who finds romance films that entertaining, so I sat there expecting to be bored for nearly 100 minutes, and the quite frankly awful trailer really didn’t really help that, but come the end of the film I was pleasantly surprised that I genuinely enjoyed a film from this genre.

What helps the level of surprise was that William and Effy actually seem to have a genuine connection, even if it isn’t obvious at first. The performances of Anthony and Hansen aid this as you can picture them being a couple off screen. Their dialogue flowed without being ridiculously obviously scripted, and it didn’t overwhelm you with cliches either. Everything about them felt natural and realistic, and that’s something that you can’t really teach. It was quite refreshing.

Once such example of the relationship building in a natural way is quite a funny scene where William asks Effy to teach him how to ask what someone’s name is in Danish, and she instead teaches him how to ask if they want to be his “sex buddy”. It actually made me laugh out loud and then again when he actually uses the line towards the end of the film.

There isn’t really a lot to say about “Copenhagen” to be honest. It’s a nice story about an immature man that falls in love with a girl who helps him grow up, only to discover that she is not grown up herself and dealing with his emotions afterwards. It’s quite an interesting dynamic in the sense that ultimately William is a paedophile as later on the film he and Effy do have a romantic encounter, but the film builds it so it doesn’t feel like that.

Long time readers will know that I often have trouble talking about films that I liked, so I hope that explains why this review is shorter than normal, but “Copenhagen” is the first film I’ve reviewed in a while where I never doubted whether I’d still like it by the end.

Summary

“Copenhagen” is a smooth and charismatic look at falling in love in another country. It isn’t stated, the length is about right at just shy of 100 minutes and it doesn’t feel into the usual cliches of two people falling in love.

The moral confliction that you feel when you realise that William has fallen in love with a 14 year old is quite unique. You don’t really feel like there is a good reason that they shouldn’t be together other than her age and that is because the build of their relationship is very natural and feels very genuine.

I’d definitely recommend “Copenhagen”, one of the easier approved stamps I’ve been able to give for a while.

You can’t keep putting aside what you want for some imaginary future. You’ve gotta suck it up and go with you gut

Year Released : 2014

Director : Lynn Shelton

Cast : Kiera Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell and Mark Webber

Those of you that read my breakdown of 2016 will remember/see that whilst I like Chloe Grace Moretz as an actress, it is very rare that I see her in a good movie. Infact, off of the top of my head I think it’s only the first “Kick Ass” and to a lesser extent “If I Stay” that I’ve enjoyed.

This isn’t the first time in which I’ve reviewed a film with her in for this site, but the other one, The Poker House, was one of the more boring movies I’ve reviewed for this site.

I can’t really put my finger on it because she is certainly not bad, I do enjoy her even in films that aren’t that good, but how long can someone go on making films that aren’t good and continue to have a career. Having said that, this might be the rare exception and it’s been on my Youtube list of films I want to watch for some time, and I’ve finally got around to it.

We’ll see…….

Plot

Working as a street-advertiser for her father’s accountancy firm, Megan (Knightley) is an unambitious young lady that is considerably less mature than her friends. She freaks out when her boyfriend (Webber) proposes to her and she sees her dad kissing another woman, and she goes to the local store. Outside she is approached by Annika (Moretz), who begs that she buys her and her friends some alcohol. Afterwards she decides to hang out with her and the two bond.

Several days later Annika calls Megan and asks she to pretend to be her mother in a parent-teacher conference, in which she realises that she is not happy and needs to assess her life, and she asks Annika if she can stay at her’s for a few days, and despite being initially appalled, her father Craig (Rockwell) agrees to this.

Megan and Craig eventually start to bond over the unusual situation.

Another Moretz flop?

I hate to say it but I’m struggling to find evidence that she makes great films and this isn’t going to strengthen any form of argument I have for the positive side.

‘Laggies’, alternatively known as ‘Say When’ is one of the least ambitious movies that are along a similar theme that I’ve seen in a while. I won’t claim to be a fan of romantic comedies, but at least with the ones I have seen there is generally something memorable about them, whereas ‘Laggies’ is ultimately as forgettable as the three main characters.

Let’s start with Megan, who to be fair is played relatively well by Kiera Knightley, is a pretty much one dimensional character, who despite seemingly not being arsed to go through anything at all, somehow managed to get an advanced degree. The character just isn’t believable because if you’re going to get qualified to that extent, you’re not a lazy person, and yet she is shown to be just that for most of it without making any real effort to find a meaningful job, and yet you’re expected to get behind her. She treats her boyfriend like crap for no good reason and doesn’t really have any likeable qualities.

Annika is a reasonable attempt at what I imagine an American teenage girl to be like, and to be fair CGM is probably the best thing about this otherwise lacking film, but even then her problems all seem inconsequential. Granted, her relationship with her mother is unique, especially as the mum tries to mend their relationship by giving her free lingerie, but it isn’t really explored any further after that.

They are the only characters that are really explored, with any male character just being a walking cliche. The thing is that no-one actually puts in a bad showing, everyone’s performance is fine, but it’s just the awful story that they have to work with.

The romance between Megan and Craig just isn’t believable and feels beyond forced. Knightley and Rockwell have pretty much zero chemistry and it’s hard to believe that they would ever be in a relationship either on or off screen. I’m in my 30s and can’t ever picture letting my teenage daughter (if I had one) hang out with people in their mid-twenties, let alone allow one to stay in my house and then start a relationship with them. It feels implausible, a word that I’m pretty certain I’ve never used on this site before.

Summary

‘Laggies’ is about a girl that feels lethargic in pretty much every aspect of her life, and unfortunately that level of energy finds its way into the way the film is presented. It’s lazy film making in many ways and you’re never once convinced that the build of the relationship is genuine.

Whilst not awful, ‘Laggies’ is very forgettable to say the least and other than a credible performance from CMG, there is nothing to really get excited by here. The acting is fine, but that’s about all that is.

There are much better romantic comedies out there.

Giving birth to a snake it’s not all about suicide. It’s probably the most wrong headed thing in all of human endeavour

Director : Various Directorslarge_sk9jhohni5u88smk4njkumcm7er

Year Released : 2016

Starring : Too many to list

Another one from my Youtube “films I want to watch” playlist, “Holidays” is not a film that I’m overly that fussed about if I’m being completely honest. In all reality I should have removed it from that list some time ago because it just never excited me.

However, it was still on there and it suddenly popped up on Netflix. I had nothing else to watch and review, so here you go, a review for a film that I didn’t really want to watch.

Plot

The film is divided into several smaller stories.

Valentines Day (Directed by Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer) – A young girl who is bullied develops a crush on her swimming coach with disastrous results.

St Patrick’s Day (Directed by Gary Shore) – A new pupil arrives in an Irish school and strangely cradles the stomach of her teacher with her head. The teacher soon finds out that she is pregnant with a snake.

Easter (Directed by Nicholas McCarthy) – A woman tells her daughter about the story of Jesus’ resurrection before bed and promises her that Easter will be the same as last year. During the night an egg rolls into the house and out hatches a demonic Easter bunny that makes the daughter a haunting offer.

Mother’s Day (Directed by Sarah Adina Smith) – A woman can’t stop getting pregnant, regardless of how safe she tries to be during sex. She is directed to a specialist clinic in the middle of nowhere that turns out to be a group of witches. They convince her to carry to term, but they seem to have ulterior motives.

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Father’s Day (Directed by Anthony Scott Burns) – When she receives a mysterious tape from her estranged father, Carol is offered the chance to re-establish their relationship. She is guided to a seemingly abandoned building…….seemingly.

Halloween (Directed by Kevin Smith) – A man runs an online sex cam business who arrives back at his base of operations and verbally abuses his workers. He is knocked unconscious when he attempts to rape one of them. He wakes up to find a vibrator superglued into his bottom and hooked up to a car battery, and they intend on making him feel as degraded as he forced them to be.

Christmas (Directed by Scott Stewart) – A man leaves it until the last minute to buy the latest in TV technology before he sees the last purchaser of it collapse and die. He steals the box instead of helping the man and takes it back to his ungrateful wife. His greatest desires soon come to the surface however.

New Years’ Eve (Directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer) – Two lonely people get together on New Year’s Eve and it goes awkwardly, but that doesn’t stop them ending up taking it home, little does she know that he is a serial killer…..but he is in for a surprise when he goes in her bathroom.

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Worth watching or not really worth fussing about, as I thought?

Those of you that have read my reviews for “The ABCs of Death”, both the first and it’s sequel, know that the anthology method of dtelling stories in films is very hit and miss. In some aspects you never know what you’re going to get and for all you know you might only have to sit through a few minutes of a story you hate before one you like comes along, but had I known that this was that method of film-making going in then I probably wouldn’t have watched “Holidays”. It’s not a style I overly been impressed with previously, but I certainly enjoyed it more than the two aforementioned movies.

It’s hard to really talk about them as if they are a normal film so I’m going to talk a bit about each. Before you watch this film, if indeed you choose to do so, it’s worth noting that the films are not linked to each other in any way whatsoever other than them revolving around various holidays.

I’m going to start with my favourite aspect of any of them and that comes from the “Easter” story and something that I on’t reference often, character design. The Easter Bunny in this section is genuinely haunting and creepy in it’s design. It’s so simplistic, but it looks disturbing in so many aspects, especially in that it has a very stigmata style appearance, with a crown of thorns and impaled hands. It’s a simple design, but it works. It was kind of unsettling in a very simplistic sort of way.

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I really enjoyed everything about “Father’s Day”, it builds exceptionally well throughout and you feel curious about what is coming next. The ending does feel somewhat predictable, but that didn’t stop me not feeling anything negative about it when it did happen. It is not complicated storytelling, and the tape-recording style feels relatively fresh. Visually it is also the best of the various sections.

“Halloween” is also fairly tense once they start taking revenge on their “handler” (for lack of better words). It’s feels much more justified than much of the “Saw” franchise that clearly inspired it, and the best part is that you feel like the character deserves everything that is happening to him, although it would have been better seeing him deal with the long term effects of what has happened to him.

I genuinely enjoyed a lot of the sections, although I found “Mother’s Day” and “Christmas” to be boring and just underdeveloped. “Mother’s Day” in particular is a momentum killer for the film as everything I had seen before then had been very interesting.

Overall, “Holidays” was much better than I thought it would be. I think it would have been more enjoyable had there been a link between the films other than the holiday seasons. The only bad thing about the better sections was that you get attached to the characters and then they’re gone.

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Summary

“Holidays” is a generally decent horror film, that despite it having a few poor sections.approved It is certainly a better-rounded film than both of the entries into the “ABCs” franchise.

I’m going to be generous here and give it the approved stamp. I can see why a lot of people on IMDB (current rating of 5.1/10) didn’t like it, and I think that this will divide anyone that watches it, but for me it works for the most part.

Don’t go in expecting to enjoy every single section of the film. There are sections that in retrospect you’d wished you’d simply skipped through, but there are some that you wouldn’t mind seeing extended into a longer movie.

 

There’s forty-five million pounds of chicken shit dumped into the bay each year!

Director : Barry Levinsonbay_ver2-2012-movie-poster

Year Released : 2012

Starring : Will Rogers, Kristen Connolly, Kether Donohue, Frank Deal, Stephen Kunken, Christopher Denham and Nansi Aluka

I’ve been debating for the last 48 hours whether to actually review this film as I saw that it had a relatively high number of votes on IMDB (more than 20,000) compared to most movies that I review on this site, but then I realised that it might be a while before I get a chance to review another and I don’t want to get into the habit of reviewing one and then taking several weeks off again, so here is it.

I had heard of the film in passing previously but had never actually tried to watch “The Bay” and never even watched a trailer, but then I saw it advertised on Netflix after I had finished reviewing “Land Mine Goes Click” and so I decided to go with it. Little did I realise that it was a found footage film, so I was already anticipating what I was about to watch and not in a good way, but you never know, I had been surprised in the past.

Plot

Donna Thompson (Donohue) is invited to talk about an incident several years prior at Chesapeake Bay in which most of the town dies sudden deaths. She recalls how she was an apprentice news reporter and she believed at the time that she was simply reporting a minor medical issues. It’s peak season at the bay but a lot of people are starting to go into hospital with various boils and infected wounds. Dr Abrams (Kunken) quickly realises that this might be something considerable more drastic when he realises that it is a parasite of some variety that is eating the body from the out and in simultaneous.

Abrams struggles to get an answer out of the government and they eventually start ignoring him as they realise that the town needs to be quarantined. Soon anyone who comes into contact with the water starts falling ill, coming out in boils and mysteriously their tongues eaten.

Can they find an answer in time to save anyone?

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So was it worth while or the same as most other found footage films?

I will give “The Bay” praise in that is is different to most other found footage films that I have seen as it doesn’t go with any of the usual stereotypes of the genre. There are no jump-scares, no more . It is also strange to have a narrator most of the way through the film, but this actually causes the main issue that I have with the film…..it nullifies any attachment that you have to the characters.

When Donna is introducing several characters as they appear on screen, she says that they die by the end of that night, meaning that you are automatically disconnected emotionally from them as you know that they are going to “snuff it” within the next hour and a bit. For example, one of the better and more interesting characters to follow is Dr Abrams, but you know from the first minute you see him that he going to die because we’re told it as soon as he appears. Why should I truly care about a character you’ve just told me is going to die.

This isn’t based on an historical event, such as “Titanic” and any set in World War 2, films where you expect most of the characters you see to die, this is a film where, whilst death is likely, it’s not a certainty, and it ruins it somewhat.

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The pacing really doesn’t help in this sense and it seems all over the place. There is also one scene in which a character is perfectly fine before he notices he is infected…..and then he dies within 20 seconds. It is either an amazing coincidence that he died just slightly after noticing this, but it feels more like an excuse just to kill off a character as one hadn’t died in a while.

I’m caught in two minds about this because I wasn’t actually bored by “The Bay” at any point, but the problem is that everything feels completely inconsequential. It is unlike any other “found footage” film I’ve seen, which is good in some respects, but in others it just doesn’t work. If it wasn’t for make up and prosthetic applied to create the illusion of flesh being eaten, you’d be forgiven for not really knowing what everyone was getting worried about and this isn’t helped by the lack of a major human antagonist. At least in normal “found footage” films there is something even remotely tangible for you to get terrified (or at least form a vague attempt to be terrified about).

I think that the best way to describe it would be “inconsequential” and in a year or so I will have forgotten that I spent just over 80 minutes watching this, with only the occasional browse through the “All Reviews” list reminding me about it.

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Summary

Whilst it does follow the same formula of most other found footage films, which is something to be commended, it is certainly not as engaging as other movies within the genre and I found it really hard to care about what was happening.

I’m not saying that “The Bay” is a bad film by any stretch, but it’s not good either.

If I could use one word to describe it then it would definitely be “meh”.

 

They don’t save whores!

Director : Levan Bakhialandm1

Year Released : 2015

Starring : Sterling Knight, Spencer Locke, Kote Tolordava, Dean Geyer and Giorgi Tsaava

I had first heard of “Land Mine Goes Click” last year when one of my friends said that they had watched it and they loved it, so my curiousity was automatically peaked, so when it appeared on my Netflix I decided that there would be worse ways to spend 100 minutes of my day off.

It’s also a rare chance to watch a film that is set and filmed in a country that you don’t often see represented in English language films, Georgia. I work with a girl from that country and so have a vague idea about the culture, so it will be interesting to see if it is correctly presented, but giving that these type of films don’t usually do that, I’m not going to get my hopes up.

Why do I get a feeling I’m about to waste 100 minutes of my life?

Plot

Daniel (Geyer) goes on holiday with girlfriend Alicia (Locke) and Chris (Knight), but little does he know that they are sleeping with each other behind his back. The day after an inpromtu wedding ceremony, the group’s tour guide Devi (Tsaava) goes to take a picture of them when Chris steps on a landmine. The guide claims he is going to go into town but quickly stops, and Daniel then fakes a phone call to the emergency services, revealing that he knows about the affair and he purposefully planted the landmine. He leaves and Alicia is forced to try and dig a trench for Chris to jump into.

A few hours later a local man named Ilya (Tolordava) comes along and offers to help, but he wants to all of Alicia’s underwear in return. Although initially reluctant, she eventually agrees, he keeps making increasingly disgusting demands, eventually leading to rape.

Can Chris get off the mine in time?

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Any good or a waste of 100 minutes of my life?

There are a few films during my life that I have seen in which the mood and tone changes completely, but I’ve never seen a film that skips from one situation to another so abruptly without giving a satisfactory ending to the first one as I did with “Land Mine Goes Click”. To explain this I’m going to have to tell you exactly what happens, to the next paragraph is ALL SPOILER. You have been warned.

So basically you see Ilya raping Alicia, and then the next thing you know you’re at Ilya’s house. Chris suddenly turns up after Ilya dropped his ID after raping her, and he then proceeds to torture the family as revenge. Unless I blinked and missed it, you don’t see Chris get off of the land mine, and you only learn about Alicia’s fate when Chris is forcing Ilya’s daughter to go through the same degrading experience that Alicia had. It’s such a dramatic shift in tone that it makes it feel like another movie all together. You get why Chris is doing what he is doing, but it feels like such an unsatisfactory end to the main storyline of the film.

Right, spoiler over. So yeah, in the opening two acts of the film, I was unsure whether I liked it or not. The film is well presented and you have a feeling of tension as you know that Chris is relatively powerless to stop what he is seeing. It makes you uncomfortable, but the problem is that whilst it achieves that, not once did I feel that excited or engaged by the film. This is probably due to the lack of character development throughout. There isn’t a single character with anything resembling a secondary characteristic, meaning that they are anything but compelling.

I don’t really have too much to say about this film as again, whilst not awful, it’s not great. I’d heard about it being reasonably decent from friends, but for me it’s nothing more than the 6/10 that is the current average on IMDB (well, 6.2 on there but I’ve rounded)

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Summary

A somewhat disjointed attempt at a horror-thriller starts off promisingly, but it’s almost as if they weren’t sure how to show Chris getting off of the mine and therefore just decided to skip straight by that part. It’s not a bad film and for a long budget films it is certainly on the better side, but it is most definitely not anywhere near getting my “approved” stamp

Racist? I’m not a racist!

Director : Mick Jacksondenial

Year Released : 2017

Starring : Rachel Weisz, Timothy Spall, Tom Wilkinson and Andrew Scott

Hello again all, it’s been a while hasn’t it? The reason for my lengthy break is due to moving home again recently and not having access to the internet. This means that I haven’t been able to scour Netflix or other sources for less-well-known films, and I’ve had to wait until I got a day off from work when I had nothing planned to be able to sit and write a review. Please note that I still haven’t got broadband at my new house and it doesn’t get installed until Friday, but after that I’m going to try to do a lot of reviews in a short space of time.

But anyway, onto the review.

“Denial” is a film that has been on my Youtube playlist of “Films I want to watch” for a long time, but even then I was genuinely surprised that it got a cinema release in my native UK, but I certainly wasn’t complaining and it gives me a chance to review a new film. It was also surprisingly popular at Leicester Square for a film that’s not well advertised, so I was even contemplating not reviewing it for the site, but I decided to go with it anyway as I don’t think it’ll be a film that the majority will know.

This became the 18th film I saw at the cinema in 2017, and only the second that I’m considering for my Top Ten at the end of the year (I’m currently at 21 for the year), that’s how much I liked it.

Plot

Back in the early nineties there was a war of words between historians Deborah Lipstadt (Weisz) and David Irving (Spall) in relation to whether the holocaust really happened. Irving confronts Lipstadt at a presentation she is giving, and later starts legal proceedings against her due to comments made about him in her book. Weisz spends her time defending herself from not only the press and the London based survivors of the holocaust, all whilst trying to find the proof for her legal team, headed by Anthony Julius (Scott) that Irving is what he appears, a Hitler-sympathiser that is trying to embarrass the Jewish people rather than just another racist.

The case starts with Irving representing himself, and over the subsequent weeks Lipstadt has to prove that Irving has lied on numerous occasions, therefore meaning that what was said was not libellous.

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Why is it good?

I’m going to start off with arguably my favourite part of the film and that is the portrayal of the characters. Each actor puts in a great performance of their respective characters, but the stand out character is clearly David Irving, the antagonist. It makes you really dislike Irving as a person, and much like the priests in “Spotlight”, he doesn’t seem to believe what he is doing or saying is wrong. There is a section in which a part of his diary is read out to the court and how he has taught his daughter numerous racist insults, and yet he doesn’t think that he has done anything wrong, and despite hearing what he has just written in his own words, he speaks with all honesty when he utters “I’m not a racist”. You actually believe that he believes that, even though all of the evidence points to the contrary.

I’d be really curious to see what Irving himself thinks of the portrayal of him in the film.

Make no mistake, this is not a film that will gauge the excitement that a lot of other courtroom dramas have in the past, but it is one that builds itself up effectively. Such simple scenes, such as one set in the camp at Auschwitz, give you a real feeling for the wider scale of things. It is a court case that has true implications world-wide instead of just a small scale issue that similar films focus on.

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The subtlety in this film is it’s key attraction, with such simple things helping you build an idea of the character, and one such example of this is right at the end when the court case is over and Irving goes to shake the hands of the opposing side, and they all walk off in disgust. This is an excellent portrayal of what would be a realistic scenario as, if you’d heard a person being racist on such a regular basis for the better part of three months, you’d be very disinclined to shake their hand, regardless of whether you won or not. You can just tell that they all just want to tell him exactly what they think of him, but the simple refusal of a handshake would tell him more than several well-chosen words ever could.

I’ve always struggled with talking about films that I like on here as it’s hard to put into words why I view it with esteem, whereas criticising films is very easy. I’m not going to sit here and claim that this is a brilliant film, because it isn’t quite at that level. It is however a very decent courtroom drama and whilst I will probably never go out of my way to watch it again, it’s one that I would recommend you watch if you get the chance.

If “Denial” is at a cinema near you then I would definitely recommend you spend ninety minutes of your time to watch it.

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Summary

“Denial” is a very good film that focuses on the characters in a courtroom situation, and the fight for the truth, but what I liked about “Denial” is that it showsapproved that the truth is subjective, and this is what makes Irving a very dislikeable antagonist. It’s simple, yet impactful storytelling.

Don’t go into it expecting a twisting plot that leaves you on the edge of your seat, it’s not that in the slightest. What it is however is a movie that will get you emotionally invested and on some levels very angry. I won’t claim to know the ins and outs of the whole case, afterall, I didn’t even know that this was a real case until the film had began, but it got me far more engaged that a lot of similar films did.

This is film-making done right, and whilst it’s nowhere near earning the “perfect” stamp, it’s definitely “approved”.

 

Put that gun down before I shove it down your throat!

Director : Michael Oblowitzthetravelerdvd

Year Released : 2010

Starting : Val Kilmer, Dylan Neal, Camille Sullivan, Paul McGillion, John Cassini, Chris Gauthier and Nels Lennarson

Those that have read the site for a while will know that my favourite film is ‘Willow’ and one of the reasons was the charismatic performance from Val Kilmer as the unwilling hero Madmartigan. I have always found him entertaining, even in movies that weren’t good.

So whilst browsing Netflix I came across this film of his that I hadn’t heard of before and so I got a bit excited. Granted, Kilmer hasn’t, with all due respect, been a major player in Hollywood for quite some time, but that doesn’t stop me looking forward to his releases and even more so given that his last cinema release in the UK came in 2009’s ‘Bad Lieutenant’.

However, those of you who are long term fans of the site might notice that ever since doing reviews of thirty-one horror films in as many days since the build up to Halloween in 2015, I haven’t really reviewed many horror films. This is mainly due to them seeming like a predictable mess. I sincerely hope that this isn’t the same.

Plot

A man (Kilmer) walks in to a police station and calmly states that he is confessing to murder. He remains silent for some time after before he starts playing mind games with various cops. Several start experiencing strange visions and it turns out the man, referring to himself as Nobody, has no fingerprints. Mugshots taken also show nothing more than clothes, and he jumps around from cell to cell with ease.

One of the cops notices that the man looks exactly like a drifter that the same six officers had beaten up a year prior whilst investigating the disappearance of Black’s (Neal) daughter. Minutes later Nobody is describing how he killed his first victim, and as he describes it Jack (Cassini) suffers that fate in the cell block.

As time goes on they realise that every time Nobody makes a confession, one of them dies, and he’s quickly making his way through them.

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A decent showing?

I’m going to start with the only real positive that I can think of for the film that the opening half hour or so. I really liked the build up early on to establish the eerie nature of the movie. It keeps you guessing as to what is happening and how the film will play out. That’s pretty much where my positive review ends.

This is not a good film, not in the slightest. The deaths are the main reason a lot of people get into horror films in the first place, but the body count here feels so lazily done and realised that it is hard not to notice the flaws in the various aspects of them. Once such death comes when one of the characters is trapped in a car and the remaining survivors are struggling to break through the windscreen. Whilst noble in their intentions, the characters are fucking idiots. They must have pumped at least fifteen bullets from different guns into that windscreen, and hitting it with their batons, all without making a slight dent. Surely they’d realise after two/three shots that the glass should have broken and then try in another area?

 

The ridiculous nature of the deaths is pretty much the same all of the way through, with the jump-cut nature of one or two of them, not to mention the obscured view for others, makes it hard to really get a true sense of what is going on. For example, one character is killed on a rooftop, but because it is heavily raining you can’t really tell what is going on.

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For lack of a better words, the long this film goes on the more boring it becomes. I really don’t like describing a film as boring, but unfortunately there are no other words that would be considered appropriate. After thirty minutes I was contemplating going against the 4.1/10 average on IMDB and giving this the approved stamp, but then it lost everything that made it even remotely interesting. This isn’t helped by all of the wooden acting on show from everyone. No-one seems to be enjoying the film making process, and their performances just don’t inspire anything that could be considered noteworthy.

I still enjoy Kilmer’s work, but even he seems exceptionally bored by the movie judging by his passive portrayal during the film’s ninety-one minute run time.

As the film goes on it gets less engaging as you don’t feel sorry for what is happening to the characters. They deserve what they are getting, and even the twist towards the end doesn’t really change that. It’s hard to really get behind these characters to survive and in the way that “Don’t Breathe” presents its central characters. They are pieces of shit so it is hard to feel sorry for them in the slightest.

I’m going to end this review by talking about the ending and how stupid that is. I shouldn’t really have to say this after just saying that, but SPOILER ALERT. Basically the only character left is Black, the father of the girl that they all believed was killed by the man they beat up the previous year. He decides to make himself deaf so that he can’t hear the confessions anymore, but this doesn’t work as he can still hear Nobody. He all of a sudden sees his daughter and it turns out that to defeat Nobody, all he has to do is say his name out loud. He does and then shoguns him through a window. What a poor way to end a film that was rapidly going downhill anyway.

Summary

What starts off as a reasonable horror film slowly turns into a snorefest that I struggled to find a single positive out of.

I can barely even muster the energy to come up with a summary, that’s how boring and forgettable this film is.

If you must insist on watch it, stop after the half hour mark, because fuck all interesting happens after that.

Every apocalypse deserves an after-party!

Director : Steve Barkerthe-rezort-1-500x760

Year Released : 2015

Starring : Jessica De Gouw,  Dougray Scott, Martin McCann, Elen Rhys and Claire Goose

You know when you see a trailer for a  film and you know exactly what films have influenced it, that’s basically the cast with “Rezort”. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this is clearly inspired by the “Jurassic Park” franchise and is basically the exact same film, but with dinosaurs replaced by zombies. As you can probably tell, I’ve actually watched the film before starting this review, which is very rare for me as I tend to want to do just the opening section first, and leaving the rest until afterwards.

I’m not going to say at this stage whether I liked it or not, but it would appear that if I do then I would comfortably be in the minority as “The Rezort” currently has an average rating of just 5.1/10 on IMDB from just over one thousand votes, comfortably a low ranking film.

So, before I get onto telling you whether I joined the majority, or was in the minority, I suppose I should tell you about the plot.

Plot

Several years after a worldwide outbreak of a zombie virus was finally stopped, one woman (Goose) saved several of the zombies that were created on an island just west of Africa. The resort, called ‘Rezort’, allows people to take their frustrations out on zombies, but one of the guests (Rhys) implants a virus into the system and it causes all safety measures to fail. All of the zombies are suddenly free to roam the island.

A group of tourists are trapped out in the park and their guide realises that ‘Brimstone’, a weapons based purge of the island, has been implemented and they only have a few hours to make it to the dock for a boat that is supposed to get staff off of the island. This is made even trickier when all staff on the island are killed, meaning that virtually no access routes to the boats are actually free.

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So, am I in the minority of people who liked it?

Whilst I will say that there were the odd bits here and there that I did like, I am definitely more in the camp that don’t like this film.

Now let’s address the obvious, this is basically a zombified rip of off the “Jurassic Park” franchise, right down to even minor things. Now don’t get me wrong, finding inspiration from another film is not a bad thing, afterall, my favourite film “Willow” has obvious inspirations from the “Lord of the Rings” novella by J.R.R. Tolkien, but unlike that “Rezort” doesn’t use that well.

Here are the similarities/blatant rip offs;

  • There is a boat that takes the staff members off of the island
  • There are fences separating large areas of the park
  • The computers are struck with a virus by someone who seemingly merges into the background
  • None of the other supposed computer experts can fix this
  • The characters end up in the control centre, trying to avoid those that are eating them
  • The characters go out into the park in a safari jeep
  • There are two annoying youths who are the only people competent with computers in their group.

I could go on and I’m sure if I was making a list as the film went on then I could easily fill a A4 piece of paper.

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The problem with this film is that is feels completely unoriginal and doesn’t offer anything that I haven’t seen before. Everything, even the bits which aren’t a blatant rip off of Jurassic Park scenes, feel like something that I have seen numerous times before and it’s hard to really get excited about watching it. Infact I would go as far as saying that whilst I wasn’t bored, I certainly wasn’t enthralled.

This isn’t helped by a bunch of stereotypes that are portrayed as characters. For example, Dougray Scott’s “Archer” is given little, if any, character development or story. He is just this guy that is a sharpshooter, rarely missing, but I couldn’t tell you a single thing about the actual character outside of this characteristic. In many ways he is similar to the character of Muldoon in “Jurassic Park” but without any semblance of a secondary characteristic. For example, Muldoon is quite clearly a very stern and to the point character, but he is humanised by a clear fear of the dinosaurs, especially the raptors, but Archer just seems to take everything in his stride. It feels effortless.

Deaths feel completely uninspired and out of the blue. There is very little tension created in the build ups to several the death of some of the characters, and the zombie attacks sometimes literally came out of nowhere.

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Summary

Even if you can ignore the blatant rip of the “Jurassic Park” films then you’e still unlikely to join a film that will feel very familiar. There is very little originality in the run time of this film and in the end I found myself not really caring about the fate of those on the screen.

There isn’t any real tension or anything remotely resembling a worthwhile plot.

As it’s on Netflix at the moment it’s not like you’ll need to go out of your way to watch it, but I would certainly not actively recommending that you select it for playing compared to the other zombie films that are currently on there.