Tag Archives: thriller

Movie Review: Split (2016)

Most movies in threatres have already moved on to the next scheduled film, but Split has continued to run in some others. In fact, it’s been real successful that its $9M budget has grossed over $140 million in the the box office. Wow!

Split is a psychological suspense movie that tackles on a character with Dissociative Identity Disorder or DID. In this film, 3 teenagers, Claire (Haley Lu Richardson), Marcia (Jessica Sula) and outsider Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), are kidnapped by “Dennis”, one of the 23 split personalities inhabiting the body of Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), a victim of childhood abuse with severe DID, and held captive in a cellar.

Hmm… If you have seen the film, you might have also heard ‘stories’ about it. And the biggest controversy is that people with this kind of disorder are presumed to be dangerous and violent. Medical and societal groups have been on the defense about it, saying that it is unfair to just judge ’em like that.

Then again, whether one has seen the film or not, the possibility of a DID patient being dangerous is quite possible. Seriously. Since you switch from one personality to another, what if the personality you switched on is kinda ‘violent’? Got the point?

As a 9-year-old boy, it's one of the 23 personalities suffered by the main character
As a 9-year-old boy, it’s one of the 23 personalities suffered by the main character

Thus, the more appropriate defense here would be its cure.

Anyway, these psychological films are ‘in’ again. Just recently, we had ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ and even decades ago, Kiss The Girls and so on. So, this is like a repeat, a cycle. With that, more than being a thriller, what would sell here is the educational side of the film. You know, information about the illness and how to deal with it. That’s why DID’s cure is the best defense for ’em medical and societal groups.

The abducted girls
The abducted girls

As for acting, ey, James McAvoy did well in his portrayal. Just hope it doesn’t affect his more ‘balanced’ Professor X image here. Hehe. The moviegoers’ question though is — what happened to the gunshots fired at McAvoy, how come nothing really happened? Did we miss somethin’? Still, if only the girls connived to take advantage of the main character’s switching personality then the portrayal of a DID patient would not have been, hmm.. dangerous and violent.

See? So, the production could have, indeed, brought up some ‘fairness’ to the disorder.

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Movie Review: Train to Busan (2016)

While there are those who would compare this film to ‘World War Z’, the movie that came to our minds was ‘Resident Evil’. The zombies. The infecting..

Anyway, even the trailer was good. Yeah, the presentation and stuff — just like a major Hollywood production! From the breaking up of the scenes to the texts on the board, it’s real ‘cool’! Indeed, it really gives you that urge to watch the film. So, let’s take a look.

Wow, have you seen this movie? Not yet? Yes? Well, you know what really makes this movie exciting? The zombies themselves.

Oh, not because they are zombies; but because they are a different breed compared to what we normally see, even those made from Hollywood. How come? They are faaaaast — with a capital ‘F’!

Okay, some of the make ups may not be perfect (as some are just too pale, you know, the blood) but since the pace is fast, not many would really notice it. Except for the old lady’s zombie acting, she should have been a little ‘fiercer’. However, what’s quite noticeable though is the pregnant lady’s prosthetics. It kinda becomes ‘square’ when she runs, or gets up and down something ‘steep’. Like the train’s steps and stuff. They could have tightened the binds a bit.

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The Cast from left: Kim Soo-Ahn (kid), Gong Yoo (dad), Ma Dong-Seok (husband), Jung Yu-mi (pregnant lady), Sohee (girlfriend), and Choi Woo-shik (baseball guy)

Also, could a pregnant woman actually get up and crawl on the side of a train’s baggage area?? Seriously. Then get down also?

Can’t really classify this as a horror movie, or even suspense. They were all locked up in a train, and so you’d know that with zombies on board, passengers are bound to die and you know how. It’s a matter of who, and so it’s a thriller — as even most of the lead characters, didn’t make it; which is actually what makes the movie great.

Kim Ui-Seong (C), the cause of many deaths
Kim Ui-Seong (C), the selfish COO

Nahh, of course we want those good guys to survive. But since t’is a film, doing so makes it predictable. In most films of such kind, you see, the main characters do survive — yet in an obvious manner. So, this film is cool! However, if only the production thought of a more creative way for even Gong Yoo (main actor) to survive then that would have made the film even better.

We liked the idea that zombies can’t see in the dark as well. They’re zombies, supposedly ‘dark-based’, so why can’t they see in the dark? That’s unique. It gives the ‘living’ time to maneuver and survive. And yeah, these zombies doesn’t even know how to open doors eh. These things only shows that once ‘dead’, they become ‘brain-dead’. Haha!

Human nature in crisis
Human nature in crisis

Just wished one thing. They could have also shown exactly how the ‘disease’ spread. Not just a deer coming back to life, or a phone call from Gong Yoo’s colleague telling him that it started from their plant. There should be something more concrete. Even a scene for it.

In the end, the movie was a nice depiction of human nature in crisis.

Absorbing.

Movie Review: Don’t Breathe (2016)

Again, another film with wrong values being sort of glorified as three Detroit delinquents make a living by breaking into homes. In short, these are thieves we are talking about — where justifying a wrong in return for someone else’s wrong is..

Okay, while the blind man (Stephen Lang a.k.a. Norman Nordstrom) whom they’ll rob has something like a ‘hostage’ — who incidentally carries his child — stealing is still not good. fd138a2ba-1

Hmm… See what happened? 2 of them died. One survived for the wrong of the blind man. Well, the producers themselves may not have even realized it when they covered the story, but things like this.. You know what it’s called? Karma.

Because Norman abducted a woman, his deed came back to him in the form of a house break-in. Again, this doesn’t justify the breaking in just because of the abduction. In the first place, the three thieves didn’t know about it. Second. Their objective was really to steal.

So, have you ever wondered why thieves always break-in through windows or doors? At least in films, you know. Couldn’t producers be a little more creative in this area? Then again, on the ‘creative’ side though, the plot is good as it used a ‘blind’ man as a supposed victim.

With just the thought of going up against a ‘blind’ man alone, yet being locked up in the house.. Thrill-seeking movie-goers would be pleased with the film despite the limited dialogue. T’was perfectly conceptualized and executed except for a couple of flaws..

Daniel Zovatto (Money), Jane Levy (Rocky) and Dylan Minnette (Alex)
The Thieves: Daniel Zovatto (Money), Jane Levy (Rocky) and Dylan Minnette (Alex)

One. Shooting the door lock was the dumbest mistake a thief could make. Didn’t he realize the noise it would produce?? Unless we’re watching ‘Home Alone’, then thieves are supposed to be careful and with everything mapped out — including counter measures.

Two. Why wasn’t the tape removed from the mouth of the abducted girl when she was freed? Just doesn’t make sense.

Three. To be able to catch up with Rocky (Jane Levy) who’s in the car (battling against the dog) after escaping is already pretty far for a ‘blind’ guy. Isn’t it just a little too much for his senses?

Well, obviously as they say, ‘when you lose your sense of sight, your other senses strengthen’. Kinda reminds us of Daredevil, huh?! If Norman is just as trained as Daredevil, then there should be some scenes that shows his past on this.

Stephen Lang
Blind man, Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang)

Definitely what makes the film suspenseful is because although the man is blind, it’s his house — so he is aware or he perfectly knows the in and outs of the house — to his advantage and to the distraught of the thieves. Not to mention the addition of the fierce dog who gives Norman even more advantage as he’d not only know where they are but have an ‘extra hand’ in overcoming the intruders.

In the end, we again confirm that while the blind has strong senses — his weakness lies in that strength as well. The sense of hearing is just too sensitive for the blind, so..

That’s one area where the sequel should find creativity in.

Movie Review: The Shallows (2016)

It is said to be the Jaws of the New Generation; and we’re talking of no other than ‘The Shallows’ — a thriller about a young woman surfing on a secluded beach — yep, stranded; and finding herself ‘attacked’ by a great white shark.

Know what? There are just obviously 2 reasons why movie-goers would watch this film. One, they bite into the thrill of being attacked by a shark. Or two, the lead role involves a pretty woman.

Hmm… The movie is more of story-telling rather than character building. The plot is kinda old, you know. Shark attacks. Still, it’d be good to see the film if more than just for those 2 reasons above — and that is to really learn more about ‘shark attacks’.

But what have you? Most are actually myths.

Great white sharks don't attack humans but seals
Great white sharks don’t prey on humans but seals!

Okay, shark attacks normally occur in shallow waters. Why? Because it’s where their preys are. No, not humans — but basically seals. Sharks have poor vision, so from afar, we look like seals to them. Thus, they take an exploratory bite.

However, once they realize that we are not their normal food as in fishes and seals, they actually let go. Then again, this is a film — so the story tries to keep viewers glued by making sharks ‘love’ to kill as many humans as they like. And mind you, we can’t really hide from sharks through jellyfishes! Hey, sharks got tough skin, they won’t be harmed by jellyfishes except in their eyes. But that’s only for a few of them since most sharks have tough membranes as well.

The bouy is a safer bet. This was something that Nancy (Blake Lively) could have gotten to while the shark was attacking other surfers — well, if only for surviving in the story. Otherwise, should trap the shark amongst the rocks, look for a crevice. Yeah, t’was good to have used the chain of the bouy — but that was way too long before it happened. Like just simply a means to extend the story.

Bouy: Your safer bet
Bouy: Your safer bet

Lessons. Don’t go to the sea alone. Don’t wear brightly colored swim attires — you’ll look like bright-colored fishes to the shark. Don’t swim early morning or late afternoon — it’s when sharks feed. Make sure you’re not bleeding as in your wound. And guess what? Swim during the hottest parts of the day. Yikes!

Movie Review: The Purge – Election Year (2016)

So, what were the movies you have watched lately? How ’bout thriller films, like ’em? Then you must have probably considered ‘The Purge: Election Year’.

The Synopsis. As a young girl, Sen. Charlie Roan survived the annual night of lawlessness that took the lives of her family members. As a presidential candidate, Charlie Roan is determined to end the yearly tradition of blood lust once and for all. When her opponents hatch a deadly scheme, the senator finds herself trapped on the streets of Washington, D.C., just as the latest Purge gets underway. Now, it’s up to Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo), her head of security, to keep her alive during the next 12 hours of mayhem. (As seen in the net)

Know what, yes, we are aware of what’s right and wrong. That it’s not good to murder or harm others in any way. But don’t you think the franchise is just too much? Yeah, there are other films that are even more violent yet this series is more of a ‘direct hit’.

Is 12 hours of legalizing lawlessness fun?

Okay, it’s just a film. But it’s already the third installment! Meaning, it’s already got a following. See, movies or anything we see in society that is accepted or appreciated does influence many. Others.. They don’t even realize that they’re already on the dark side!normal_Elizabeth_Mitchell_The_Purge_Election_Year_04

Okay, there’s no need to keep doing ‘Biblical’ films for that matter for reasons you already know; but what we’re saying is that if one wants to make exciting movies then do not give an idea to movie-goers on lawlessness that threads a thin line between violating God’s words and ‘acceptable’ revenge.

Observe society. And we’re not even talking about immorality!

By the way, the timing of Marcos assassinating Warren before he could slit Senator Roan’s throat is off. If you notice the screen shots, Warren was already way ahead in his actions but the ‘take’ seems to have waited for Marcos to shoot Warren before the next scene.

Movie Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Although its 2008 predecessor, Cloverfield, is a bit different from 10 Cloverfield Lane — both were actually pretty good, considering they were even low budget films and being presented in ‘found footage’.

Nonetheless, let’s dig in a bit into the synopsis of the 2016 version.

Following an argument with her fiance, Michelle consequently gets into a car accident — then wakes up in some underground bunker with 2 men, one of whom, Howard claiming to have saved her from a chemical attack that made the outside world uninhabitable. Soon, Michelle manages to escape and discovers the truth about what’s really happening up and out there.

Mysterious? Right. 10_cloverfield_lane_paramount.0

Hmm… The choice of characters were good as well. John Goodman was unbelievable in portraying Howard while Mary Elizabeth Winstead did justice to Michelle’s character of a resolute woman. But isn’t this something similar to 1997’s Kiss The Girls where the lead gets locked up? Although a different plot but still..

Anyhow, here’s some points to note. One. Howard was said to have created the bunker beforehand and for years, so it’s like he really has something to do with the ‘chaos’ — making him ‘believably’ bad. What with Michelle being sort of locked in a room and chained to a wall?! And he’s even got perchloric acid! Not to mention, an attitude. With these alone, Michelle would certainly be doubtful of him.

cloverfield5-xlargeYet somehow, Howard was ‘right’. The outside world was indeed under some attack — not by chemicals but by aliens! Staying inside the bunker would truly have made sense. Psycho thing. The above-the-ground shaking, too. Good one by the film’s producers.

Then again, ‘aliens’ as the perpetrators. What’s with monsters and aliens, why always them? If these are the only threats we know, then how about exploring? Like, would there be a need for UFOs, or how about the aliens’ graphics? Consider such before a sequel.

In all, it’s still a nice alternative to spend the weekend.