Lights Out – Movie Review: Sinister Or Shoddy?

The years between 2000-2007 were not exactly stellar for horror movies. Of course there were a few gems that came though such as Jeepers Creepers and What Lies Beneath but they were outnumbered by horror features that only reached a kind of middling level that made them come and go. American remakes of The Ring and The Grudge, Darkness Falls are just but a few of those.

In 2013 director David Sandberg produced a short movie that scared many internet users around the globe. The premise of that was very simple, a concept that was later transferred into it’s bigger brother, titled Lights Out which got its UK release last Friday. But does it fare any better? The short and simple answer? No. And deserverdly so.
For those that do not know the plot synopsis, here goes:

A young boy learns that his older sister experienced some traumatic paranormal experiences when she was younger. The same ones that he is currently undergoing whilst living with his mother! At first they blame their single parent, who has a history of mental illness, but the further they dig the more they realise that what they are experiencing is very much real and they soon find themselves fighting for their lives!

The reason for mentioning the earlier era in the opening of this movie review is because Sandberg seems to have a certain love for that era of horror movie making despite the fact that it wasn’t received very well by audiences. If we backtrack just a little bit and go back to the mention of Darkness Falls, it appears that Sandberg or whoever thought that nobody would notice that a lot of the narrative was ripped right out of that movie and placed in this one. Outside of what made the short movie effective, there is nothing else that could be considered of any primary substance. In fact, it appears obvious that screenplay writer Eric Heisserer struggled to come up with a compelling story to add to Sandberg’s talent for directing the more scarier moments.

As for the spine tingling scenes, they quickly turn into a chore to go through after about the third or fourth jump scare. Maria Bello delivers the only noteworthy performance playing the mentally tortured mother, Sophie, but the remainder of the performances feel quite generic as they normally are for an unimaginable horror flick. Running at a duration of a meagre 81 minutes, it does not feel modest. But that is what happens when most frames of the same movie are filled with the same things it has already tried tricking you with. This probably means that only the first 10 or 15 minutes of the movie is mildly entertaining. Anything after that is like a song that is being played over and over because there are no other songs on the record.

For those that enjoyed the 2013 short movie, it is recommended that you just stick with watching that and let your imagination run wild with all kinds of possibilities and ideas. The feature will only spoil what was supposed to be obscure with a dull narrative that has been told time and time again, eventually making what was supposed to be frightening into something that didn’t really even need explaining, let alone with a shoddy explanation.

It is with a degree of sureness that there will be some fans that did at least enjoy the American remake of The Ring and such. You may get your kicks out of Lights Out it if that was your thing, or even if you are still quite new when it comes to exploring the horror genre. If any hardcore fans wish to take their chances then it’s okay. You haven’t been whisked back to 2002. It may feel like it, though.

Let us hope that Lights Out is a one off and that any potential high box office return does not inspire studios to revisit the recent past. Judging by what I have witnessed on various forums related to this movie, it is something many of us definitely do not want!

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Patrick Stewart is Ruthless in the New Red Band Trailer for ‘Green Room’

GreenRoom_Poster_long(PCM) What started out as an ordinary gig for the punk band in director Jeremy Saulnier’s horror-thriller Green Room soon dissolves into complete madness and brutal violence in the newly released Red Band (18+) trailer.

Did we mention that the trailer also contains a ruthless and sadistic Patrick Stewart? Watch for yourself below.

Down on their luck punk rockers, The Ain’t Rights, are finishing up a long and unsuccessful tour and are about to call it quits when they get an unexpected booking at an isolated, run-down club deep in the backwoods of Oregon.

What merely seems to be a third-rate gig escalates into something much more sinister when they witness an act of violence backstage that they weren’t meant to see.

Now trapped backstage, they must face off against the club’s depraved owner, Darcy Banker (Stewart), a man who will do anything to protect the secrets of his nefarious enterprise.

But while Darcy and his henchmen think the band will be easy to get rid of, The Ain’t Rights prove themselves much more cunning and capable than anyone expected, turning the tables on their unsuspecting captors and setting the stage for the ultimate life-or-death showdown.

Intense, emotional, and ingeniously twisted, Green Room is genre filmmaking at its best and most original. Saulnier continues to build his reputation as one of the most exciting and distinctive directors working today, with a movie that’s completely different from his previous, highly acclaimed Blue Ruin, but which is just as risk-taking and even more full of twists.

The entire cast deliver first-rate performances, but Patrick Stewart gives a transformative and brilliantly devious turn as Darcy—elegant yet lethal, droll yet terrifying, Stewart makes the film simply unforgettable. (A24)

The film has received high praises from critics after its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May of 2015 and the Sundance Film Festival on January  22 and is currently sporting a high critics’ rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Leslie Felperin of The Hollywood Reporter gave Green Room a favorable review, writing: “As action, it’s niftily executed, the suspense neatly built, and the shocks expectedly surprising.”

Scott Weinburg also enjoyed Green Room, writing in his review for Nerdist: “A meticulously morbid and deviously entertaining piece of low-budget/high-quality action filmmaking.”

Green Room, starring Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Fright Night), Imogen Poots (Need for Speed, 28 Weeks Later), Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development, Whip It), Macon Blair (Blue Ruin), Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders), Callum Turner, and Patrick Stewart (X-Men, Star Trek: The Next Generation), opens in select theaters April 1 before expanding to a wide open on April 15.

Watch the new Red Band trailer below!

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Official Trailer For “Lilin’s Brood” Revealed

Lilins-Brood

(PCM) The official trailer for the upcoming film “Lilin’s Brood” has been revealed. The film will be released just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend on February 12 on both Amazon and iTunes.

Directed by Mansa Mojo Brothas, the film stars Martin Sensemeier (the upcoming MAGNIFICENT SEVEN), Maxine Goynes, Brent King, Melinda Milton, Alberto Barros, Catherine Paiz, James Wellington and Sandra Hinojosa.

A “New Media” news coverage team that is stranded near a beleaguered brothel in the middle of nowhere encounter a group or women with a terrifying secret.

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New Footage Debuts from Goosebumps in New International Trailer

Goosebumps_Poster(PCM) Sony Pictures India released a new international trailer for director Rob Letterman’s adaptation of Goosebumps, debuting new footage and monsters from the October 16th release.

Based on R.L. Stine’s beloved series of children’s horror fiction novellas, Goosebumps is directed by Gulliver’s Travels and Shark Tale director Rob Letterman and comes from the story by Scott Alexander (1408, Big Eyes) & Larry Karaszewski (1408, Ed Wood) with the screenplay by Darren Lemke (Jack the Giant Slayer, Shrek Forever After).

Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach’s comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series.

It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange… he is a prisoner of his own imagination – the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it’s suddenly up to Stine, Zach, and Hannah to get all of them back in the books where they belong.

Goosebumps is based on the also stars Amy Ryan, Ryan Lee, and Jillian Bell and will open in theaters nationwide October 16, 2015.

Watch the new international trailer below and visit Goosebumps-Movie.com and Facebook for more info! Also check out WherestheCreature.com to play a fun Goosebumps scavenger game.

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A24 Released the First Trailer for Indie Horror The Witch and it is Disturbing

(PCM) A24 released the first trailer for The Witch, and it is one disturbing ride.

Few things have the power to induce spine-tingling chills like the idea of a super-religious family living on the edge of the woods in 17th Century New England, especially with the addition of shape-shifting goats, black magic, a sinister kidnapping, and rampant paranoia.

Writer-director Robert Eggers packs all of these elements into his first feature-length film, The Witch, being distributed by A24 nationwide after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

Described as “A New-England folktale,” The Witch explores the downfall of a 17th century family, ostracized from their colonial neighbors and forced to lead life on the edge of the woods, rumored to be overrun with witches, away from the rest of civilization. After the youngest in the family, a newborn, is kidnapped right from under the family’s nose, tensions ride and paranoia turns to action as the family reaches the brink of sanity.  With teenage daughter Thomasin, played by newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy,  under suspicion of witchcraft, the family’s bonds are tested, and tested hard.

The Witch was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and Robert Eggers won the Directing Award for demonstrating “a consistent and excellently rendered vision, creating a story that was hauntingly detailed as it was masterfully executed,” and is currently sporting a strong rating of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Rodrigo Perez praised The Witch in his review for The Playlist, writing: “An evocative look at the nature of evil and the inescapability of malevolence, “The Witch” will dazzle and shake you right to your core.”

The Witch, written and directed by Robert Eggers, stars Anya Taylor Roy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, and Lucas Dawson. An official release date ha yet to announced.

Watch the new trailer for The Witch below and visit the official website, Facebook, and Twitter for more info!

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James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe Debut the First Trailer for Victor Frankenstein

VictorFrankenstein_Poster(PCM) Stars James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe introduced the first official trailer for 20th Century Fox’s Victor Frankenstein today, giving audiences their first look at director Paul McGuigan’s take on the classic science fiction horror.

Victor Frankenstein offers a very different take on Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus, than previous film adaptations, starring James McAvoy as the titular character and galvanizing scientist, Dr. Frankenstein, and Daniel Radcliffe as his assistant, Igor.

What makes Victor Frankenstein so different from its predecessors is its portrayal of Frankenstein and Igor; McAvoy’s Frankenstein is eccentric and touched with a little bit of madness but is also somewhat of a bad boy with a flippant devil-may-care attitude while Radcliffe’s Igor is probably the most handsome Igor to appear onscreen yet, swapping a hunchback for long hair and a more concerned personality than his friend and employer.

Directed by Paul McGuigan (Lucky Number Slevin, Push) from the screenplay by Max Landis (Chronicle, American Ultra), Victor Frankenstein is told from the perspective of Victor Von Frankenstein’s assistant, Igor, as he works alongside the young science student and watches him become the mad scientist he is known as today.

Described as a drama/horror, the first trailer for Victor Frankenstein makes the movie out to be more of an action-adventure/thriller in the vein of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, with the relationship between Frankenstein and Igor, the quick shots of reanimated flesh, electrical storms, snooping cops, and a handful of explosions.

Victor Frankenstein stars Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott, and Freddie Fox and opens in theaters nationwide November 25, 2015. Watch the first offiical trailer below and visit Facebook for more info!

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