A podcast on horror & other genres in a 50-something, plain spoken, off-the-cuff style.
Category: Movie Reviews
I write movie reviews here, they are are marked when they contain spoilers. I am a big fan of Roger Ebert and the way he talks about a movie while allowing the viewer to keep her/his own impressions. With his reviews as my guide, I seek to post conversation starters about the movies. To see the full list of movies I’ve reviewed click here.
Synopsis: A reality tv team of ghost hunters clash with an ancient malevolent spirit that gives the team a run for their money.
Review: Hell Girl is a new film that stands on the merits of characters like “Ghosthunters” on a reality show. It has a story within a story that may be hard for some to follow but is accessible if you have the patience and desire. For me, the film was a lot of false starts. Nonetheless, the humor shone through and ghost hunting young adults helped make it a bearable experience. The ancient ghost presence never really scared me but I respected the film as a paranormal reality show behind the scenes.
Read my full written review at: http://horrornews.net
Guys who’ve been friends since childhood go on a camping trip that swirls out of control when aliens crash the camp. These aren’t your average friends though, there are special powers afoot. Can they use these to fight the monsters though, that is the question.
Can “Dreamcatcher” actually suck as horror like most the internet says? I say no. In fact I find it to be an enjoyable film with some pretty awesome cgi. And of course, there is the freezing ambiance of snow that really gives you chills. I can see why most critics don’t like it. It’s fragmented and the many stories don’t mesh well into one but perhaps that wasn’t the intent. I say watch this creature feature horror film by Stephen King with an open mind, even when the eel opens it face to swallow people up. You may enjoy it like I did. I see it as a cross between “Stand by Me” and “Alien” though not as good as either individually. The set of kids that grow up with special telekinetic powers make this film work. At that same time, the eel-like alien creature packs the Ooooh Ahhh factor and rounds off this very fun horror film. Read my full written review at: Horror News
An incredible rendering of humanity through a WWI backdrop. I really loved this one. Listen to this current episode of my podcast for more of my thoughts on this impeccable film. Go see it and take someone.
Speaker 1: (00:01) Welcome to Riley on film. I’m your host, Damien Riley. You can find out more and subscribe for free firstname.lastname@example.org now on with the show,
Speaker 2: (00:22) please listen carefully today I saw a 1917 and what a film it is. I have to say, it looks kind of funny here on the screen of internet movie database because you have two years right next to each other in 1917 and 2019 I didn’t know that this film came out 2019 I figured it came out 2020 but apparently it came out right. Oh look at this. It came out the 10th of January, 2020 but they’re still listing it as a 2019 so I wonder what will happen there for Oscars. Definitely this thing is up for Oscars, especially the lead role, I believe his name is. Well, you know what, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I need to go down and check out what his name is, but I know he was in the horror film marrow bone. That’s what it was called. It had it all the brothers and sisters and it was kind of creepy, pretty good movie.
Speaker 2: (01:28) I didn’t think it was that great, but he uh, he was in that and he was okay and he’s just got these eyes that you remember well he does a much better job in this. Uh, I could of been the script, could’ve been the story, but boy, he just stands out in this and I definitely think he’s going to be up for best actor. So let me look down here and make sure I got his name right. Just like I’m let you all know. It looks like George Mackay. I got a tiny picture in front of me. I just blew it up. Definitely. This is George Mackay and George Mackay’s man and a lot of stuff. He’s a face. Many of you will recognize from captain fantastic Peter pan pride, how I live now and others including marrow bone.
Speaker 2: (02:17) This film is rated R. it definitely has some bloody scenes. Nothing too gory. But this is definitely a film that is not for everybody. I wouldn’t call it an out and out war film, but let’s just say it’s on the battlefield. Uh, people are killed. People kill all the rules of war. And we all know as we have heard that war is hell. Now, president Trump likes to pretend that if you’ve got enough money, you can buy enough war machines and nobody can topple you. Well, unfortunately for us, he may find that that’s not true in this film. We learned that war is hell and there’s no place it. But we also learned that there are small victories even in a hell like war. And we have George McKay taking us on that journey. This is an Epic drama. As I said, it is war based, but it is an Epic drama. It has an 8.7 out of 10. I call that a nine with 16,962 votes. And it only came out, I guess what’s that yesterday? I think today’s the 11th as I’m recording this. Yep. So it came out yesterday and there’s already 16,000 basically 17,000 votes.
Speaker 2: (03:37) And uh, so it has a nine out of 10 and it’s pretty secure. Nine because it’s got 17,000 votes. Now this is something I haven’t seen in ages. I haven’t seen a film that was this beloved by people who watched it cause I’m giving you votes of people who are members of internet movie database and who voted for this film. I don’t really waste my time too much on the other services like rotten tomatoes. But Metta score, I’ll tell you, gave it a 79 which is a really good score, not as good as a nine, but Metta score is usually a little bit lower than internet movie database voters.
Speaker 2: (04:20) It is described as two young British soldiers during the first world war. They are given an impossible mission to deliver a message deep in enemy territory that will stop 1,600 men and one of the soldiers brothers from walking straight into a deadly trap. It is written and directed by Sam Mendez. He shared the writing role with another person and I’ll say their name later when I see someone who has directed, I had written a movie. I have to give them a tip of the hat because that is amazing to imagine something, bring it all the way to fruition and get all those actors, all the music, everything together in the way that you envisioned it. Without anybody else writing, without anybody else directing just you. That is an element of a control I can’t even imagine. And when it’s a good movie like this, it’s again another tip of the hat. So Sam Mendez gets two tips to that. I’m a little embarrassed that I called him Sam Raimi after I saw the movie when I, I did a tweet and a couple of people called me on it. I was so embarrassed. But the movie put me in such a trance. That’s the space I was in. I wasn’t quite thinking straight, but it was a good trance and I have fixed it on social media.
Speaker 2: (05:41) Sam Mendez is best known for Skyfall road to perdition, which is a very dark drama, which is the best kind of drama that I like. The attribute of darkness is always one that I look for in movies. Not just horror movies, but in any movie revolutionary road, which was a very different and dark kind of a relationship movie and American beauty and many more. I think American beauty had a lot of original concepts for its time back in 1999 but now having got the directors accolades out of the way, I will tell you that I think 1917 is far and above anything that Sam Mendez has done up to. Now. One thing about the movie, I was talking to my daughter about it cause we just went and saw it together. My 14 year old daughter, I was surprised she liked it so much because it’s kind of a a war drama.
Speaker 2: (06:39) She’s more into the horror with me, but I was talking about the film with my daughter as we were driving home and I said, you know what? I think that whole film was filmed in one shot and I’ll have to check that out and see if it’s true. If anybody knows, please leave a comment. But Birdman with Michael Keaton was filmed that way, but this film is a journey. It’s a journey for the senses as well as a journey for the mind. You see George Mackay’s character traveling, traveling. There may be spoilers from here on out too, but as he travels, we all experience his travel. We are all travelers traveling at the speed of exactly 60 minutes per hour. That’s a quote from spider Robinson who wrote the Callahan Chronicles in case you didn’t know, but in this case we are catapulted back to 1917 and we travel through the war with George Mackay’s character leading us on.
Speaker 2: (07:45) There are some things in this film that we may not choose to witness in our everyday life if we have a choice, but I have never witnessed the death of a close friend and we go through that. It takes us on a journey through war folks. There’s a scene where he’s trying to get out of the water and someone shooting at him, a sniper and the bullets are just chinking off where his hand is holding on and it’s just so stressful to watch it, but at the same time it’s exciting. I mean, adrenaline gets pumping.
Speaker 2: (08:20) I want to cover a few of the cast members I’ve talked about. George McKay, just incredible actor. He just embodies the sentences as he sang them. It’s almost as if he’s writing the script as he says the things he says, and he has an unassuming demeanor, which for me allowed me to kind of see him as an every man, someone that I could get into his skin and experience what was happening in this film. I didn’t know very much about world war one going into this movie. I can say, I don’t know much more about it now except the fact that the French were our allies, a really touching scene with a wa French woman and a baby that she somehow acquired, uh, in the war and didn’t know who the parents were and she needs to feed the baby. Uh, it’s just, how can I describe it?
Speaker 2: (09:09) If you’ve seen it, you know the scene. You know what I’m talking about. You know about the milk, you know about the dirty hands and it’s just so well done. I wasn’t a huge salmon Dez fan before this, but I think I’m going to be one of his biggest fans now. Colin Firth plays a high ranking soldier and he officer and he is in it for about less than five minutes I think, but it’s nice to see him. The one that I wanted to mention doesn’t really have a big role. Uh, his name is Andrew Scott and he plays Lieutenant Leslie and he has such a unique voice. I hope we see him in a lot of films. He studied at a very high level of university acting, so this is a guy who prepared for where he is now and I, we see him in more and more things, but his name is Andrew Scott. If you want to look him up, you’ll see who I’m talking. Right. He plays Lieutenant Leslie and he’s also in a black mirror episode, I believe. It’s the one where there’s a gay couple and they want to adopt, if you remember that one. I’m just doing it from memory. I don’t have the time to go look it up, but he’s in a lot of the things that I’ve seen recently. I really like the way he looks. I like the way that he talks and he’s an excellent actor. So watch Andrew Scott.
Speaker 2: (10:29) There are many, many other actors, but really it only focuses on about three or four through the whole journey. And especially just one. George Mackay, he plays Lance corporal Schofield and he is traveling to warn of Italian to not attack because the Germans want them to attack and then they’re going after they’ve used up all their ammo or what? I don’t know the reason exactly, but it’s just something weird that they wouldn’t know. It’s like a trap. And so corporal Scofield is trying to go, uh, to warn them so that they want attack and then he will save thousand people. My favorite scene in this film is when Scofield is walking. He’s already walked so far and he’s already walked through these bunkers. Which way do you see these bunkers? Gosh, they’re so great. It makes you wonder how they dug them with just shovels. I mean that would take so long.
Speaker 2: (11:30) And I’m sure they didn’t bring in Caterpillar’s and cranes and such, they couldn’t have done that. So it must’ve been done with shovels. But they have all these bunkers that he’s walking through. And then he gets through that and then he walks to the water and then he walks through a barn and then there’s a fire and then his friend gets shot. And it’s just, you’re on a journey with him. It’s like there’s two of them that start on the journey and you’re the third person and you’re not just watching it from 30,000 feet above on a map. You are among them. You, you are one of them. And that’s a sign of an amazing direction. Amazing filmmaking. The cinematography is also totally incredible. Well, part of the cinematography that’s so incredible is when he’s walking into this forest and he begins to hear a song and it sounds a lot like Scarborough fair.
Speaker 2: (12:17) Somebody put on my Facebook what the name of the real song is and I, I don’t have access to it at this particular moment, but um, you know, I’m sure you can look it up if you’re interested, but it’s a beautiful song. And this young cadet, well I don’t know if he’s a cadet, I guess he’d be a private, probably he’s singing this song if he can imagine Scarborough fair being sung through the trees and the forest and you see all these young men soldiers with guns and everything just sitting silent, just watching him and listening to him and Scofield comes up and he’s just been through so much and he’s been wounded. So he just like collapses on a tree and is mesmerized and taken in by this song as was I. And then, you know, maybe that was the spot where I got confused and I wanted to call the director Sam Raimi cause it doesn’t sound Ramy and Sam Mendez.
Speaker 2: (13:09) But as actually this scene sort of put me in a hypnotic trance. I think I got hypnotized. And if you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. The song is amazing. The cinematography is amazing. And again, as I get toward the end of my review, I just wanted to tell you it, it’s not really a, it is about war, but it’s about a journey. And it’s about hanging in there through your journey, even through the horrors and the benefit of getting to the end of your journey and how some people really don’t give a shit when you’re at the end of your journey, but other people will look you right in the eye. And thank you. And that’s what I got out of it. I think it’s an amazing film. I haven’t seen a movie this good. I can’t think of what was this good.
Speaker 2: (13:54) I really don’t. It’s been years since I can remember being this affected by a drama. I can’t compare it to horror movies cause horror is totally different. But as far as drama goes, this is definitely one of the best films I’ve seen in years and I’m really glad it was made. So st thank you to Sam Mendez and uh, I always appreciate your comments. I hope you’ll leave me some on Twitter or on my, my blog itself and the podcast. And I guess that’s it for now, but definitely if you haven’t seen 1917 or if you’ve seen it, uh, go see it again and I will see you next time.
Stay Out Stay Alive, Sweetheart, Harpoon, Burying the Ex, and Borgman. I got behind on my weekly podcasts so here’s my reviews of 5 films in one show. I see these titles as odd so there’s your title!
Horror Oddities of Late
by RileyOnFilm | created – 4 hours ago | updated – 3 seconds ago | Public
I got behind so here’s my reviews of 5 films in one podcast. I see these titles as odd so there’s your title!Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven’t rated, etcSort by: List Order Popularity Alphabetical IMDb Rating Your Rating Number of Votes Release Date Runtime Date Added View: 5 titles
Jenn has washed ashore a small tropical island and it doesn’t take her long to realize she’s completely alone. She must spend her days not only surviving the elements, but must also fend off the malevolent force that comes out each night.
Shadowed by a haunting presence in the redwood forest, five young hikers discover an abandoned goldmine dating back to the Gold Rush and descend into madness and greed as the pursuit of easy riches consumes them.
With the new year slashing through to 2020, I thought it fitting (and fun) to record a podcast sharing with the world my top 10 horror movies of the past decade. Scroll down for the list created on iMDB. Check out (only by listening) what gets #1! I hope you enjoy listening to the podcast!
Top 10 Horror Films of the 2010’s
by RileyOnFilm | created – 21 hours ago | updated – 21 hours ago | Public
2010-2020 My Top ten horror picks.Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven’t rated, etcSort by: List Order Popularity Alphabetical IMDb Rating Your Rating Number of Votes Release Date Runtime Date Added View: 10 titles
An offbeat B-movie with a smokin’ hot babe, a somewhat recognizable star and the devil himself. This is the first film I got to watch for my new writing gig at HorrorNews.net Ok now I will just say it: Katheryn Winnick, if we ever meet around town, would you consider signing my ____ in Sharpie? You are a goddess.
In this episode, I’m going to walk you through Braid, well sort of a semi walk through, not as thorough as some of the other ones I’ve done, but if you do not like spoilers, then you might not want to tune into this one because there’s gonna be plenty of them.
First, a quick synopsis to wanted women decide to Rob their wealthy, psychotic friend who lives in the fantasy world they created as children to take the money they have to take part in a deadly perverse game of make-believe. I almost don’t feel qualified to talk about this film because a, it’s about young women who had childhood make believe that continued until adults and two, it’s just very disturbing and not usually the kind of film that I would probably do a walkthrough of. However, it’s recent, it’s out there. It’s on prime, and so I’m going to go ahead and do this one, recommend it to you. (Transcription of audio below may have errors, it is done automatically from the audio file)
01:31 Ironically, during the feel good Christmas season, I’m handling brewers in this and we have seen her in the Handmaid’s tale. He’s the one that loses her eye and her character is named Janine Lindo. He’s extremely disturbing. He’s a very beautiful young woman. But in that role it’s kind of hard to tell cause she’s got an eye poked out. There’s usually something bad to happen into her all the time. But the Handmaid’s tale would be a whole nother show. So I don’t want to get too on to that. She’s also in cam, she plays Alice and Lola and I recommended that in the past. I said, good, good movie. It’s on Netflix. So that’s another fail. I believe I did a show on that. If I have it in the archives. See what happened is I moved my show to a different server and it just took forever to do each show.
02:28 So not every show got moved over. But as I mentioned them, and as I see that I’ve done them, I’ll put them up. So I’ll try and put the cam show image in Waterhouse’s in this. She reminds me a lot of, she sort of reminds me of sort of like younger Jessica chasse, Dane or smaller Jessica Chasteen. I think she’s got a lot of work ahead of her and movies and she certainly shows a lot of potential and she’s one of the masterminds of this crazy plot. He’s also been in nocturnal. We may see a lot more from her. She does a great job in this and you have Sarah. Hey, one of the other girls, she’s in flesh and bone black Swan. I’m dying up here. Room one Oh four he did a great job in this and she herself is the actual master mind of this group.
03:17 Then we have Scott Cohen took me about four minutes to try and remember what I had seen him from and then thanks to my wife and daughters, I have a keen recollection of Gilmore girls. That’s right. He is the English teacher. Beau of ms Laura lie. They date and they have issues and they have conflict and if you’ve seen yo more girls, you know exactly what I’m talking about. That’s the guy he looks like he’s aged a little bit. I think they tried to make him look older because these girls are supposed to be older as well, so they made him look really older. What happens with him is quite interesting. The whole movie is interesting. So without any further ado, let’s go ahead and get into braid and what it’s all about.
04:13 How’d you know? I’m very fond of horror, so I’m always doing searches of whore and this was a search of a more recent horror. I came up with a few that I hadn’t seen but aren’t gee honest. I think I’ve kind of wiped it out. I need to see the light house. If you’ve seen the light house, send me a little message on that or make a comment or reply on Twitter. Just what do you think of lighthouse? Because it got such great reviews. However, friends of mine that I respect a lot are saying and not good sucked, not even worth the money. Anyhow, let me know what you think of the lighthouse. But having said that, this was a modern horror that I had not seen and it was streaming on Amazon prime. Ding, ding. Little light goes on because I have Amazon prime.
04:59 In fact, I just paid my annual membership. I believe it was $80 but I’m not quite sure. Such a good deal. You get free shipping on anything you buy, even if it’s just a pencil. It’s free shipping. You get the movies too, of course. But as I looked at this film, I did not like the short plot synopsis. I thought, Hmm, this doesn’t sound like one I’d probably like. So actually I’d actually put it on my watch list, but kind of bumped it down and wasn’t really looking forward to see it. But finally, when I ran out all these movies from 2019 I figured it was time to go ahead and give braid a try. I watched it and here’s what I got. Petula and Tilda live as young artists in New York, but make a living as drug dealers and were brought right into this. We see them counting money, we see them rubbing cocaine or meth or whatever it is, they sniff days on their top front teeth. I mean these girls are bad girls. The irony of it is they’re both hot. They’re in jeans, they’re very trendy looking
06:10 And they’re talking about all the money they’re going to make paying back their student loans. So in a way it’s like saying, yeah, these are smart criminals. Well, as they talk about it a little while and kind of share some gazes off into the the sides of the screen, you know, making you wonder what are they thinking about? What are they pondering? Something’s up here. And it’s definitely something they would get totally busted for. And it’s taking place in kind of an old beat up house that, you know, the fridge, there’s no furniture in it. It’s just a squatters place really. And then all of a sudden, bam, bam, bam, open the fucking door. Yep, that’s right. It’s a drug bust and you’re almost thinking, geez, I was just getting to like these girls, but they’re going to jail. There ain’t no way they’re going to get out of this.
06:58 I think they said the amount of money they had, there were somewhere around $70,000. Have to check my sources there. If I’m wrong, let me know. Let me know you’re alive by correcting me. But I think it is about $70,000 which you know, it’s a lot of, a lot of cash. So they barely escaped themselves from this drug West. They had to leave all the drugs and all the money behind. So they are now fugitives and also in debt with their drug supplier who we hear about. And that just seems scary cause you know he’s going to hunt them down. So now they’ve got that on their plate. So right. There should be an example to young viewers to not deal drugs. Well what can you do just to get $70,000 together? Not much. I mean I guess you could Rob a bank. You could Rob a family member, you could Rob an old friend from childhood who is mentally ill and pretends that she’s living in a house with a full on family. But she’s all by herself. Yeah, that’s right. A long sentence, but yeah, they have a, a friend who has gone mentally deranged and some for some reason she has gathered together a lot of cash and these two girls know about it. Her name is Daphne and she plays the role of a mother in a childhood game they used to play. The only difference between them and Daphne is that Daphne is still playing it. She’s lost her mind
08:37 To reconnect with Daphne and keep her distracted while planning the robbery. Petula and Tilda engage what names there are. I mean there’s weird names of 2019 but Tilda and Petula, my mind, mind,
08:56 They engage with her and they’re all childhood games. They go on and they start playing the games. She kind of makes a side view, look what she hears them come in wondering what the hell is going on, but she wants to play obviously so she plays along and I assumed at this point they’re going to be looking for the money somewhere in the house. Apparently one of them knows where it is in a safe and how to get into the safe. So they start to engage with her in their old childhood games. The one comes in, hello mother. I’m home from school and it’s very creepy, just the way they’re playing house. It sort of reminded me a little bit of Pleasantville what was going on there or the wife was supposed to do all the cooking and stuff, horrible times for, to be a woman in the 50s, but it looked like a 1950s place. And he was talking to the girl just like she was. Her daughter looks like it had nothing had ever passed since the time of their childhood, but little did she know this was going to take a very sadistic turn.
10:07 Yeah. [inaudible]
10:21 The local police, detective Siegel, who knew all three of the women as kids, which I found that very interesting. He’s a little older than them. He tracks down Petula until de to Daphne’s mansion when he shows up to arrest them and by that interrupts their game. And we’re skipping ahead a little bit. All three of them unite to murder him. Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we practice to DC and then they continue the game afterwards.
11:02 There is definitely some excitement in this film. There are some beautiful colors in the drug scenes where it appears as if PCP has made their vision go to tone blue. That stuff is pretty cool. Not because you should take drugs or that I take drugs is that I’d want to take drugs but it’s just cool the way they made it. Look on screen, it’s bloody, there’s a lot of stabbing that goes on cutting that goes on. It’s not always a pleasant will be to watch. It is rather disturbing. But as someone told me a long time ago, that is an aspect of horror, not just jump scares but sometimes disturbing content and is definitely there. If you also remember Brittany Murphy in girl interrupted, which was in 1999 a very, very well put together film and of course may Brittany Murphy rest in peace. He was too gorgeous to die and it’s just really sad that she left this planet so early.
12:11 We would have liked to have seen a lot of those eyes on screen. Again, it’s similar to that kind of twistedness how crazy this girl is and ultimately it ends up being a just fucked up movie. It’s a messed up movie. It does have horror. It was born teetering. I think it’s, it’s fitting that they got the guy from the Gilmore girls because it is teetering on being like a WB thing but it’s so violent and the subject matter is so dark that it sort of works its way out of that. Thank God it’s a little trendy but definitely something different and horror like I haven’t seen and weirdness like I haven’t seen really since I think tusk now this movie is not my favorite movie. Like tusk is my favorite horror movie. Like tusk is an insidious AR but it’s kind of creeping up there for being so original and that’s really what I liked about braid. So super enjoy it. If you managed to get her, you still haven’t seen it. I left a lot out, so I think you’re really going to enjoy the plots and terms and I didn’t give away the ending. So yes, there are some spoilers, but I didn’t go too crazy on the spoilers. I definitely would recommend it for me. This one earns a seven out of 10
13:40 Thank you for listening to Riley on film. I’m your host, Damian Riley. You can find out more and subscribe always for free at rileyonfilm.com now have a great day.