Archive for netflix

Review: Malevolent (2018)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2018 by Xander Woolf

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Starring: Florence Pugh, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Scott Chambers, Georgina Bevan & Celia Imrie
Directed by: Olaf de Fleur Johannesson

Netflix is killing it with their original content. Shows, mini-series and movies alike, Netflix knows content and has the budget to do these projects justice. Not the least of which is Malevolent, a horror movie about a young woman that inherited the medium gifts that eventually took her mother’s life.

What’s it about?
Brother and sister duo, Jackson (Lloyd-Hughes) and Angela (Pugh), decide to use their mother’s name to create a side gig for some extra cash. The children of a famous Scottish medium, they set Angela up to be the face who speaks with ghosts, while Jackson gets the gigs and their friends, Elliot (Chambers) and Beth (Bevan), help with the tech. They put on a show for their clients, then make off with the cash before it’s discovered that they didn’t actually do anything.

This all changes when they take on a job a little too big for their britches. Mrs. Green (Imrie) supposedly lives alone on a large estate. She used to run a girls’ school, but tragedy struck and all of the girls ended up dead, their mouths sewn shut. Now, she hears laughter and screaming and she just wants a quiet house. Jackson accepts the job, against Angela’s wishes, and the team heads to this remote estate in the Scottish countryside.

What awaits them, however, are mutilated ghost children and a revelation about what actually happened all those years ago.

Malevolent

What did I think?
Like with most movies, there are pros and cons to Malevolent. The ambiance is fantastic. The setting is perfect. It’s a very well-made film in general. It actually scared me. Give me Scottish ghosts and I’m putty in your hand.

It’s a fairly typical haunted house movie. The protagonists arrive, thinking none of the stories are real. We start with glimpses of ghosts and mini-jumpscares. Then, all of a sudden, the unknown becomes known and our protags are in very real danger.

While the acting was great, the characters themselves were a little off for me. Angela is quiet and angsty — straight out of a YA novel. Jackson is unfeeling and overconfident, despite his life being in danger after borrowing money from the wrong people. Elliot is the puppy dog that follows Angela around and Beth doesn’t really seem to add much value to the plot. They’re all a little two-dimensional.

Mrs. Green, on the other hand, was phenomenal. With a base need for quiet as her driving force, Mrs. Green is multi-faceted. Celia Imrie really brings her character to life, which is to be expected of such a celebrated and talented British actress.

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Despite all this though, the relationships between the characters felt real. There were times when tears came to my eyes because the raw emotion that Florence Pugh put forth caught me off guard.

Story-wise, I’m left with more questions than answers, which I’m not a particular fan of. If it was a series and this was the first part, I’d be okay with this, but it’s a standalone movie, with no plans that I can find for a sequel. The haunted house plot wrapped up nicely, but there are questions about Angela that I’d like answered.

Do I recommend it?
Yes. While it has its flaws, this movie pulls from classic horror archetypes and introduces some twists that I didn’t expect. It’s worth a watch, especially since you won’t spend any extra money on it. You can find Malevolent on Netflix.

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Review: Final Girl (2015)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2016 by Lilliandra Winters

Dir by: Tyler Shieldsfinal-girl.jpg
Writen by: Adam Prince (screenplay), Stephen Scarlata (story)
Starring: Abigail Breslin, Wes Bentley, Logan Huffman

I was browsing through my Netflix horror section and came across Final Girl. This was a film that I had passed several times. The cover picture has always caught my eye, especially since I recognized the lead actress for her earlier work (Haunter and Scream Queens). I was fairly sure she was a child actress (She is: Little Miss Sunshine) and I was interested in seeing what she had to offer as an adult. Not only that, but the description enticed me, as many do:

A man teaches a young woman how to become a complete weapon. Later she is approached by a group of sadistic teens who kill blonde women for unknown reasons. The hunting season begins.

It isn’t any longer than other movies, so why not? I instantly began to recognize other actors. Besides Wes Bentley, I also knew Cameron Bright and Alexander Ludwig. I wondered how this would all play out and hoped for the best.

The premise of the movie is interesting enough. A young girl’s parents die. She, being intelligent, was brought into what I can only assume is a special program. This is where the story ripples for me a little bit. It is suddenly years later and Veronica (Breslin) and William (Bentley), who originally brought the Veronica into the program, are obviously much older. I’m assuming late teens. Now, I would imagine that she was being trained all of these years, but that isn’t what is even remotely portrayed here. It actually comes off that she had little to no training up to this point and is just now learning, as he is explaining to her what she must do. This part is the most confusing. He seems to be cramming all the information she needs to succeed in her mission into a mere day or two, but why? Why not use the years you’ve had with her?

Here’s the long and short of it. Four boys (Huffman, Bright, Ludwig and Reece Thompson) love to dress in tuxes and take girls out into the woods and hunt them. After this group has killed many young women, Veronica is tasked with infiltrating and taking them down. Simple and elegant.

I very much enjoy the idea, but the execution is sloppy. The beginning of the movie doesn’t add up and it feels rushed. We don’t need a training montage of her as a child learning to kill people, but why does she begin her training so late in the game? She could have showed more skill if she had been trained for years. What happened in all that time? It almost seems that the middle of the movie was thought up first and they slapped together a beginning and an end. The end wasn’t confusing, but didn’t leave me feeling accomplished. The ending was honestly something I’d expect more from a TV show than a movie. So much is left unexplained that you end up questioning the entire experience.

That all being said, I enjoyed the dialog for the most part. I found most of the actors to be spot on, but Veronica felt off. Breslin’s role never clicked for me. Her choreography was well done and I was impressed at her fighting scenes, though. I enjoyed the glimpses into each character, which didn’t drag me down with unnecessary details; just enough to gain a small bit of understanding and intrigue.

I would like to tell you exactly how I feel about the movie as a whole, but, as I sit here typing this, all I can tell you is that I’m indifferent. I neither liked nor disliked the movie, which is an uncomfortable feeling, since I enjoy passing judgement in this manner. So, I leave you with a mostly well acted, but rushed story with good choreography?

I don’t know. Watch it for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below!

WintersOver4

The Most Underrated Horror Movies on Netflix

Posted in List with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2016 by Xander Woolf

horror netflic

Guest Post By: Cassie from Culture Coverage

Are you a fan of the things that go bump in the night? What about the ones that creep in the woods unnoticed? If you are, Netflix has got you covered with all things spooky and creepy to add to your queue and have a scream stream fest.

From an anthology of horror shorts to art house films on a super budget, these Netflix scary stories are sure to put a little jump in your step, and a just a tad of fear into your next Netflix & Chill session.

1. The ABCs of Death
Starting off with this delicious anthology, The ABCs of Death is like a giant kid’s storybook full of goodies, except these goodies come in the horror contingency from more than two dozen directors and spell out (literally) how to kill. For anyone looking for a good couple of shorts to bring big scares, The ABCs of Death is beautiful, deadly, and most of all, a horror flick lover’s dream.

2. The House at the End of Time
Spanish language horror flicks have never had a better run and The House at the End of Time is in the same vein that makes del Toro’s the most lauded (and awarded) horror flicks of all time. The main protagonist, Dulce, is a mother who learns of apparitions in her house, and after getting attacked, leaves the house. But later in her old age, she comes back to confront the demons who plagued her there and finally settle the score. For fans of thrillers like The Haunting in Connecticut and The Messengers, The House at the End of Time is a foreign masterpiece that belongs on your list of must-sees.

3. Monsters
A little bit of genre mixing goes on in Monsters, as this tiny indie horror flick takes place in a disease ridden post-apocalyptic world inhabited by alien creatures. As one road weary journalist seeks to take an American tourist to the safety of the US on the other side of the US-Mexican border. Premiering at South by Southwest in 2010 and being made over three weeks, in 5 countries, with a $500,000 budget, you can’t get much more homegrown than this—and it all pays off in a directorial debut by Gareth Edwards. For viewers that like the scare to be unpredictable, authentic, and deliberate, this is the flick for you.

4. Dead Snow
Nazi zombie movie? Check! Dead Snow is one of those traditional horror flick set-ups; medical students hoping for a break head into the icy woods for peace and relaxation only to come across stories of a band of Nazis getting lost in the woods and becoming the undead (sounds awesome, right?). For fans of zombie flicks and excellent historical epics, this just might be the movie to convert you into sitting down for the every zombie-historical crossover, and certainly for the next two movies in the Dead Snow trilogy.

Pro Tip: Not sure if you’ll be able to stream this wherever you are? Take into consideration a Virtual Private Network. It’ll work out all the kinks of wondering whether you’re going to get offered the same Netflix selection everywhere. Perfect for disabling geolocation, a VPN saves you from having to fret, and at the same time protects you from data stealing identity thieves on public WiFi. It’s a win-win.

5. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Vampires never had such a creepy awakening as in Ana Lily Amirpour’s Iranian flick self-labeled as a vampire Western. With the main character known only as “The Girl,” this story is as much about bloodsucking as it is about defining the human characteristics of the undead as the main falls head over heels for a mortal boy who’s embroiled in the care and keeping of his addiction rattled father. In the vein of vampire movies that speak as art house films, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night might be more terrifying, not for its inclusion of the extraordinary, but because of its humanity.

Still looking for more horror to binge on? Check out this list for great finds of the scary kind, or even just of the thriller sort. Great horror doesn’t always have to leave you shaking in your boots, but it’s generally a great sign if it surprises!

Happy watching!

About the Author: Cassie is an entertainment and online security blogger, who specializes in all things movies and getting around geo-restrictions. She is always open to new suggestions for which flick to watch next. Leave a note in the comments about a movie (or movies!) you love, and she’ll get right to watching or debating its finer points!