REVIEW | Red Lights
I really liked the trailer for Red Lights but my favourite parts are those quieter, less trailer-worthy sections of the film. This should then, in theory, make this a superb film and for the majority of it’s running time it seems destined for such, but the ending fucks it right up. Murphy and Weaver play scientists (Olsen joins them as one of their students) who aim to expose those who claim to possess supernatural powers. De Niro plays the most famous of these psychics, and Murphy takes it upon himself to investigate him despite Weaver’s pleas. Cortes showed with Buried that he is a whizz with suspense and it shows again in this movie, taking a low budget and making the most of every possible opportunity. The acting is as good as you would expect from those involved and everything seems to make this an almost Sixth Sense level chiller, until Cortes goes for a big finale that never quite convinces and seems incredibly muddled and unfocused. Still, a mighty fine movie and further proof that Cortes may well be a director to keep a very close eye on.
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REVIEW | The Pact
Nothing really happens in this flick. In the beginning I put this down to them attempting to build tension and the lack of sound and claustrophobic surroundings seemed to back that up, but then fuck all happens for the majority of the film. A few cheap scares here and there but nowt original, instead relying on a mishmash of Paranormal Activity, The Ring and others like it. The lack of spoils and the nature of those on offer make this more of a chiller than that which was hinted at in the trailer and a naff one at that. By the end of the film the only thing keeping me interested was Caity Lotz’s tits and, in fairness, they kept me mighty entertained.
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REVIEW (from someone who doesn’t like the Alien series) | Prometheus
I find the Alien series to be incredibly overrated. Granted I have only ever seen Alien and Aliens and saw both of those only a month ago, but I found them slow, uneventful and lacking any real excitement. Alien seemed like an average sci-fi movie mixed with an average horror flick while Aliens was the same but with the additional average action sequences too. I wanted to like it, but I ended up drifting off. The same can largely be said of Prometheus. The beginning is slow and pretty uneventful, the middle is kind of awesome and the climax goes on so long it begins to hurt. Fassbender is incredible and Noomi Rapace is compelling and they manage to make this a film that I will return to despite my doubts that even the most devout Alien worshippers out there will give this a podium finish at best for the series.
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Streamer | Nightwatch
Currently available via Netflix
For me, Josh Brolin stopped making films after his debut in The Goonies in 1985 and then reappeared twenty-two years later in No Country For Old Men. I often wonder what he did with those years, whether he made his money perfecting his slicked hairstyle skills in an old-fashioned barbershop or possibly he became the acting equivalent of Sylar, hunting the bright young Hollywood starlets and devouring their drug-addled brains in an attempt to absorb their talents. A simple glance at IMDB suggests a far simpler truth, he was making films without getting the exposure that he quite possibly deserved. Nightwatch is one of those films.
Starring a young Ewan McGregor as a law student who takes a job as a nightwatchman at a morgue and somehow ends up as the prime suspect in the case of a serial killer with necrophiliac tendencies, this is a pretty standard chiller but a very easy watch. Part of this comes in the quality of the cast with Brolin playing his best friend in a twisted turn, Patricia Arquette playing McGregor’s girlfriend, Nick Nolte playing the police chief and John C. Reilly playing Nolte’s second in command, there are few characters but they are excellently portrayed and with Steven Soderbergh working as a co-writer there is talent behind the scenes too.
Watching this film reminds me a great deal of those movies watched late night on terrestrial TV after a Saturday night out either alone or with friends. Perfectly paced without offering anything that breaks the mold, this is an expertly created and yet somewhat forgetable chiller that breezes along and kept me thoroughly entertained throughout.