Movie Review: Hell and Back

This week I’m reviewing Hell and Back, an animated horror comedy. Here’s what it’s about:

“Two best friends set out to rescue their pal after he’s accidentally dragged to hell.”

This is a fun movie. I did enjoy it, although I can’t give it a spectacular review. Hell and Back was completely and totally predictable. The comedy was the same old same old, as if the writers stole a bunch of jokes an threw them in. At times I was bored and ready for the story to just move on because there wasn’t anything original going on.

I did liked most of the characters. Didn’t like the stupid demon theme though. Demons must be evil and funny to keep my interest. I have mixed feelings about Satan personified in two forms, although I think it was more the way he was portrayed in each form that was the issue.

I’m a huge fan of stop action animation and it was well done in this movie. In fact, it carried most of the movie and is what makes some of the more annoying things about the story line tolerable.

Anyway, I do suggest you watch it with lowered expectations and you’ll find it as fun as I did.

My Rating: 3 out of 5

Movie Review: The Stanford Prison Experiment

This week I’m reviewing The Stanford Prison Experiment. Here’s what it’s about:

“Twenty-four male students out of seventy-five were selected to take on randomly assigned roles of prisoners and guards in a mock prison situated in the basement of the Stanford psychology building.”

I have always been fascinated by how disturbing this experiment is. And right off, I was impressed by the format in which it was filmed. Something was missing though, in that I expected something a bit more horrific on the side of the guards. Something was missing about what they were going through in their transition into power. Billy Crudup’s performance as Dr. Zimbardo was stiff and one-sided and unprofessional in a sense.

The portrayal of the prisoners was well done. I felt for them as the horror of their circumstances evolved, especially knowing they had no idea what they were getting into. My emotions aligned as each descended to their personal breaking points. But I also wanted to come away with an equal level of anger for those in charge, and that was missing.

I didn’t hate the film. It provides some good insight into the experiment. Watch it.

My Rating: 3 out of 5

Movie Review: Oculus

This week I’m reviewing Oculus, an excellent mix of suspense and horror. Here’s what it’s about:

“The twenty-one year-old Timothy “Tim” Allen Russell is discharged from a mental institution by his psychiatric Dr. Shawn Graham completely healed from a childhood trauma where his father purportedly tortured and killed his mother before being killed himself by Tim. His sister Kaylie welcomes him in the parking area and brings him home. Then she tells that they need to destroy an ancient mirror that she has found through working at an auction house. She then steals the mirror and the reluctant Tim follows his sister and has fragmented recollections from their childhood, going back to when his father Alan buys a mirror for the home office of their new family home. Kaylie and Tim see a woman with their father in his office and the behaviors of Alan and Marie change, ending in a family tragedy. Kaylie blames the mirror and now she wants to destroy it with Tim. Will they succeed?”

If you’re looking for a twisted movie that keeps you guessing, Oculus delivers. The movie shifts in time throughout, showing the past events that got the main characters to the place they are in modern day. Everything about the movie is excellent including the storyline, acting, setting, and all around eerie feeling.

Mirrors are overdone in horror, but Oculus builds an awesome story around the reflections seen by the characters. What’s even better is the twisted way the characters hope to get the best of the mirror.

This isn’t a blood and guts movie, so don’t expect a lot of gore. It’s more of a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat start to finish. The movie is disturbing and the haunting affects will stick with you. I loved it! Watch it!

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Movie Review: Night of the Living Deb

This week I’ve got a goody, at least in my opinion. I’m reviewing Night of the Living Deb. Here’s what it’s about:

“After a girls’ night out, endearingly awkward Deb wakes up in the apartment of the most attractive guy in Portland, Maine. She’s thrilled, but she can’t remember much of what got her there. Pretty boy Ryan only knows it was a mistake and ushers her out the door… into a full-scale zombie apocalypse. Now, a walk of shame becomes a fight for survival as the mismatched pair discovers that the only thing scarier than trusting someone with your life… is trusting them with your heart.”

Okay, people, this is one that doesn’t deserve the whiny reviews. Lighten up. It’s a pretty damn fun romzomcom. If you’re late to this romantic zombie comedy label like me, it’s an actual thing in the Urban Dictionary. Maria Thayer who plays Deb was great in her part. She in particular made me laugh quite a few times. I also loved her friend.

I get really irritated when reviewers compare zombie comedy movies like this one to Zombie Land or Shaun of the Dead, and I saw a lot of that with Night of the Living Deb. STOP IT ALREADY! This movie is not trying to be either. It’s a corny romzomcom, and it’s cliche, but that’s part of it’s charm.

I’m really starting to enjoy the romzomcom, but I am a woman. Guys, if you don’t like romcom, why would you watch a romzomcom?

Anyway, I loved Night of the Living Deb. I laughed throughout. Give it a try.

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Movie Review: Freaks of Nature

This week I’m reviewing Freaks of Nature, a mishmash of  zombies, vampires, and aliens. Here’s what it’s about:

“In Freaks of Nature, we welcome you to Dillford, where three days ago, everything was peaceful and business as usual: the vampires were at the top of the social order, the zombies were at the bottom, and the humans were getting along in the middle. But this delicate balance was ripped apart when the alien apocalypse arrived in Dillford and put an end to all the harmony. Now it’s humans vs. vampires vs. zombies in all-out, blood-sucking, brain-eating, vamp-staking mortal combat – and all of them are on the run from the aliens. It is up to three teenagers – one human, one vampire, and one zombie – to team up, figure out how to get rid of the interplanetary visitors, and try to restore order to this “normal” little town.”

I have mixed feelings about this one. It’s got a pretty good cast and decent acting, but most of the storyline didn’t do it for me. I expected light comedy and instead got a few light laughs. I must have missed something because other people liked it. Other people laughed. Maybe it was a lack of consistency with the funny moments and that some parts were really slow. Then there’s the fact that I watched a month ago and found it hard to recall the movie at first.

Can’t say that I like this one any better than last week’s review of Little Dead Rotting Hood, so I’m giving Freaks of Nature the same rating. Glad I’ve got a few good ones coming up for the next two weeks.

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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