Tag Archives: violence

Review – You’re Next

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 – 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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Review – Martyrs (2008)

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

It feels to me that the disfigured ghoulish woman will be used in horror films forever. In the case of Martyrs, it inflicts terror on a young girl that has been missing for over a year, later found and brought in by an orphanage. It appears this ghoulish figure is the result of whatever happened to Lucie when she disappeared. Luckily, her friend Anna is aware of her complications. What isn’t so lucky is that fifteen years later, Lucie enters a family home and butchers each member to death with a shotgun. The ghoulish figure, which I would love to kick, returns.

Martyrs as a whole is a difficult film to comprehend. I was immediately brought in by its sadistic and slow-paced nature. The blood, the flesh, the constant fatality forced upon Lucie. There are many scenes of her battling this creature, and you feel helpless watching the bloodied spectacle. You can almost feel specks of blood hit your skin. Of course, the entire film seemingly celebrates itself as pristinely gory, but it contains itself respectfully whilst keeping the storyline moving.

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The Punisher Panel Gets Punished In Wake of Tragedy

The announcement sure to split fans and start fires on social media was made public today. New York City Comic-Con, along with Marvel and Netflix, have agreed to pull The Punisher from the show, thus depriving the fanbase of a highly-anticipated panel and a possible release-date announcement.

The Las Vegas shooting earlier this week is being given as the reason for the abrupt cancellation. The NYCC and Marvel have said the slot will be filled with something else. Though, seeing as how as how most comic book properties these days have violence in them, that message seems a little cloudy. As more details come out we will keep you informed.

There was also a Punisher related simulcast scheduled for Paris on the same day, that has also been cancelled. Whether or not this affects the release date of the show on Netflix remains to be seen. In similar fashion, the Ryan Phillipe-led show Shooter was affected in the same way last year, in the wake of other publicized shootings.

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Review – The Hitman’s Bodyguard

What’s this? 

Somewhere in an air-conditioned office in Hollywood, a bunch of sweaty executives trawled through a big pile of scripts and raised this one in the air: The Hitman’s Bodyguard. The next task was to ensure that this explosion-filled blockbuster was going to make huge profits. How about Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds? A comedy action genre? Bingo. Insignificant history was born.

Oh dear.

Okay, I am being intentionally sarcastic. The point is, there is no point in me sitting here writing an in-depth review about a movie that was not made to be critically well received. There were two reasons why this film was made; for money to be made, and mass audiences to indulgently eat popcorn and enjoy it. Money first, of course. Did it succeed in that? Well, I cannot discuss the money as it has just come out as I write this, but there is no denying that The Hitman’s Bodyguard is fun.

Okay, interesting. What’s it about?

Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is a triple A rated bodyguard. That’s until one of his jobs goes terribly wrong. Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) is a famous imprisoned hitman that has been selected by Interpol to testify against violent dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman). Despite their bitter past, Michael is forced with the task of protecting Darius as they go en route to the international court whilst the dictator has groups of corrupt men trying to stop them. That’s all you really need to know about The Hitman’s Bodyguard. The plot is irrelevant anyway.

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Review – Message From The King

What’s this?

Message from the King is a neo-noir action thriller. A Netflix Original. Wait, what? Yes, you read correctly. It appears the media giant is trying to distribute through every genre possible. It also stars Chadwick Boseman. Before he completely disappears into the Marvel Universe, we get to see him showcase his talents in this dark narrative. Intrigued? So was I.

What’s it about?

I am not going to lie. When I hovered over the thumbnail and read the description I rolled my eyes. I deliberated whether to press play. The Xbox Netflix app has this persistent feature where it either plays a snippet from the movie or starts the episode and, to my annoyance, it meant I had to press back a few times. Here is the basic premise: a South African man named Jacob King lands in Los Angeles to avenge his young sister’s death. It sounds like a typical action narrative that is good for the tired brain that cannot be bothered to concentrate. Here is how the premise really sets itself up: Jacob lands in LA, investigates the daily life of his sister in order to find her, ends up at a morgue as per advice from a local, identifies his bloodied and mutilated sister and gets extremely angry. Jacob is quite clearly a character that has more to him, yet reveals only grains of his personality. Who killed his sister is not clear, and who is important remains to be solved. The first twenty minutes of Message from the King gives you a convincing impression that we may have an absorbing thriller on our hands. I was surprised.

Did it deliver?

Yes, though with a few gripes which I will discuss later. The opening of the movie is immediate and straightforward. It does not begin showing his life in South Africa. It rolls from an L.A. airport where two unknowing border control men ask the suspicious questions and consider the shady answers. From there, it moves to Jacob investigating the whereabouts of his sister. Less is more because of the setting, the atmosphere between characters, and the slow revelations. It keeps you engaged. There is a moment in particular where Jacob passes his motel neighbour and she throws him the enquiring glance. He returns the favour so you know that she will be important at some point. By the time he finds his murdered sister you are ready. His pain and anger can be felt. Whether or not the slow build-up to the key moment was intentional, it works because when he first participates in an action scene you are exhilarated by his violent side. Message from the King wants you to know that this is not action reliant. There is a real character on display.

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