Tag Archives: Remake

Review – It (2017)

This review is part of our 31 Days of Horror series. You can check out the other posts by clicking these words.

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Review – Friday the 13th (2009)

This review is part of our 31 Days of Horror series. You can check out the other posts by clicking these words.

Today is Friday the 13th of October – I know this because when I was opening the kitchen blinds this morning, one of the fittings fell out of the wall, thus collapsing them onto my head along with a chunk of plaster roughly the size of a tennis ball. I don’t believe that this particular day of the calendar is cursed, obviously, as I’m a grown man, but I do believe in relentless, uncompromising bad luck, and if the Friday the 13th films have ever been about anything, they’ve been about that: Jason Voorhees, world’s unluckiest man.

Since the 1980 original, there have been another, what, ten of these things? And throughout them Jason has been drowned multiple times, sliced, clubbed, stabbed, cleaved, incinerated, struck by lightning (I think more than once), melted, shot, experimented on, cryogenically frozen, thawed, jettisoned into space and, as far as I can tell, has never gotten laid. There’s no wonder he’s irritated. Wouldn’t you be? The life of an outdoorsman is obviously fraught with peril.

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Review – The Hills Have Eyes

This review is part of our 31 Days of Horror series. You can check out the other posts by clicking these words.

The Carters are a typical American family travelling throughout the southwest. However, their trip takes a detour off the beaten path across the desert. They suffer a blow-out with their tyres and plough into a rock – an event that leaves them stranded in an area closed off from the rest of civilisation. The area was formerly used by the US government as a nuclear test site. It was thought to be empty – but they were wrong. The Carters gradually realise they may have fallen into a trap perpetrated by the disgruntled residents of the area, who are intent on carrying out a gruesome massacre.

I thought I was being brave when I set out to watch The Hills Have Eyes the other night, however it could be said I was actually being rather stupid. How naïve of me to think that it would be a terrific film based on the four-star rating the TV magazine had awarded it. I was mildly grossed out by the film, but was more disappointed than anything else.

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Completed #6 – Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition

Another World is an old video game; a stiff, arthritic puzzle-platformer that’s stuck in its ways. It means well, but like everything else that gets old, it’s faintly offensive. It demands pixel-perfect precision and an almost preternatural sense of what’s around each corner. There’s no margin for error. The only way to learn what it wants is to fail to it, again and again, until you’ve both got the message. You both shout at each other a lot. It’s the video game equivalent of your grandma letting the batteries on her hearing aids die.

The elderly smell, they’re ignorant of the last 40-or-so years, and they’re probably racist, but sometimes you have to defer to their wisdom. Another World is like that. This might be a game that includes a new-fangled checkpoint system which records your position on the screen but often not your progress in the game, so you still have to backtrack and repeat things even if you’ve accomplished them and moved on already, but it’s also a game that has a profound sense of visual storytelling. If I were to reach out and pluck a word to describe it, that word might be “cinematic”, which is a surprise considering that Another World – like most of these remasterings of classic games – allows you to switch between the old graphics and the new paint job. To look at those smudges of pixels, thumb-swipes of colour in the vague shapes of people, you’d assume that the cinematic label wouldn’t apply. The whole thing feels too far removed from contemporary game design; much more reminiscent of really old, exclusively goal-oriented titles than something interested in telling a story.

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Review – Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge Special Edition

Even though I said a large portion of what I have to say about Secret of Monkey Island, video game humour generally, and the benefit of re-releasing classic games in my review of the previous Special Edition, here’s some more of that stuff anyway. Because why not?

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge Special Edition (hereafter just Monkey Island 2, thanks very much) is a better remake of a better game. If you enjoyed the first one – in either its original or shiny, high-definition form – you’ll enjoy this even more. If you’d rather boil your own head than play a 90s-style point-and-click adventure… this probably won’t sway you. Yes, the game is better, but it’s better because the jokes are funnier and the puzzles make slightly more sense. The underlying format remains unchanged.

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Review – Sleepless

Hey, what’s this? Winter release, no advance screenings, generic one-word title, a gracefully-aging star at the helm? This is a dad-to-the-rescue movie! And an adaptation, no less. It’s a remake of the diverting French thriller Sleepless Night, which was set in a Parisian nightclub. Sleepless, which stars Jamie Foxx as the rampaging parent and Octavius J. Johnson as his misplaced offspring, transfers the action to a hotel casino off the Vegas strip, where the owner, Stanley Rubino (Dermot Mulroney), sweetens his high-rolling clientele with party favours from a local crime boss (Scoot McNairy).

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