100 Word Review – Green Room (2015)

From Jeremy Saulnier, writer and director of Blue Ruin, comes a thrilling horror that hits all too close to home.

Pat (Anton Yelchin), Sam (Alia Shawkat) and their band mates find themselves performing to a group of right-wing extremist skin heads in America’s deep South. When they see something they shouldn’t have, they come face to face with the club’s owner, the terrifying Darcy (Patrick Stewart).

Tense and horrible in parts, this film hits a nerve in the current political climate and the darker side of the world of punk music. It’s currently on Netflix and definitely worth a watch.

Advertisements

100 Word Review – Saw (2004)

Although Cary Elwes will always be Westley, this has to be counted among his best performances. Ignore the rest of the franchise and consider this as a stand alone work of art and horror.

Two men (Elwes and Leigh Whannell) wake up in a dingy bathroom to find they are chained to the wall as part of a sick game set up by a notorious serial killer, with only a saw to help them escape.

It’s emotional, visceral and twisted, with enough plot to keep you on your toes throughout. This isn’t a slasher; it’s a psychological thriller with gore.

100 Word Review – The Voices (2015)

The best word to describe this film is ‘weird’.

Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) is a likeable mentally unstable man working a dead-end job. When he follows the advice of his pets and pursues his office crush (Gemma Arterton) things get dark pretty quickly. And that’s just the beginning.

Written by Michael R. Perry (Paranormal Activity 2) and directed by Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis) it sits on a very stylised fence between horror thriller and quirky comedy.

If you don’t like bloody films, this is not the one for you, but otherwise do watch it. Anna Kendrick costars and Reynolds is magnetic as always.

100 Word Review – The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Best watched between Halloween and Christmas.

Jack Skellington (Danny Elfman), the king of Halloween Town, growing tired of the same old schtick every year, decides to branch out in to other holidays. With the help of Sally (Catherine O’Hara) and a host of other creepy characters he wants to capture Santy Claws and take over Christmas.

Directed by Henry Selick (Coraline, James and the Giant Peach) and from the twisted mind of Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride), this is a warped but family friendly feature full of strange twists and turns and songs you’ll be singing until New Year.

100 Word Review – Hocus Pocus (1993)

If you’re only going to watch one film this Halloween, make it this one.

Max (Omri Katz), with his little sister (Thora Birch) and a local girl (Vinessa Shaw), lights a candle and sets in motion an age old curse, resurrecting the Sanderson sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy), witches who have been dead for 300 years.

Corny maybe, but it is also hilarious. Full of enough jokes to keep adults thoroughly entertained and jumps to keep kids on the edge of their seats. Directed by Kenny Ortega (High School Musical, This Is It), it could be nothing less.

100 Word Review – Theatre Of Blood (1973)

Vincent Price at his most dastardly and most dramatic.  

A Shakespearean actor (Price) plagued by negative reviews fakes his own death and takes revenge on those who refused him critical acclaim, choosing methods written by the bard himself.

As the name suggests, be prepared for a gore fest that only the 1970s could produce. It brings together melodrama and absurdity that is absolutely thrilling to witness. The question moves from being is what is he doing, to exactly how graphically are they going to show it extremely quickly.

In this film, there is no such thing as a pleasant death.

100 Word Review – Coraline (2009)

Disappointed and frustrated by her life, Coraline (voiced by Dakota Fanning) discovers an alternate reality in which everything is the same but better. What dark secrets could such a place be hiding?

Based on a novel by the always remarkable Neil Gaiman (Stardust, Mirrormask) and adapted and directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach), this is a beautiful family animation with a dark and twisted underbelly only found in the best children’s stories.

Nominated for an Oscar and with some recognisable voices (listen out for French and Saunders) this film is quite simply brilliant.

100 Word Review – Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

Despite the fact that Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt both play vampires in this film, it is actually really good.

Daniel (Christian Slater) interviews Louis (Pitt), who tells him a tale of loneliness, betrayal and blood. His story starts in the 1700s, when he first became a vampire.

Adapted by Anne Rice (Queen of the Damned, Exit to Eden) from her own novel and directed by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Byzantium), it’s a brilliant example of modern vampires who are true outsiders looking in, in the vain of Bram Stoker, rather than glittery misunderstood heart-throbs who monopolise our screens.

100 Word Review – The Lost Boys (1987)

Long before they glittered, they hung around seaside amusements and tormented teenagers. 

Michael (Jason Patrick) moves with his mother (Dianne Wiest) and brother (Corey Haim) to a small coastal town in California which is plagued by biker gangs and mysterious deaths.

Kiefer Sutherland is mesmerising as David, leader of the gang, Edward Herrmann’s on top form, as usual, and what 80s film would be complete without Corey Feldman? Directed by Joel Schumacher (Batman Forever, Phone Booth), what’s not to love?

This film is huge amounts of fun, with a bit of gore, romance and horror thrown in for good measure.