Jigsaw Written Review

Title Jigsaw (Saw 8)
Year 2017
Distributor Lionsgate
Availability In Theaters | On Bluray, DVD and VOD (Jan 2018 est.)
Director Spierig Brothers
Actors Tobin Bell, Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie
Review The much anticipated Jigsaw is here. Did it live up to the expectations?

We were cautious about this, to say the least. The Phantom especially, this being her favorite horror franchise. The previous seven films made so much sense together, that it was quite bold to add an eighth one. Especially since the only cast member to reprise his role is Tobin Bell, as Jigsaw himself. However, we were pleasantly surprised.

Does Jigsaw equal its predecessors in every sense? Not necessarily. The deathtraps are not especially inventive, but they don’t disappoint either. It’s not super gory, but it has some very decent kills. Does it feel like part of a whole? Absolutely (Phantom — not necessarily for BillChete it’s a stretch). They developed the story to fit the universe, even if there were some things that don’t quite click. We really wish they had brought more old cast members back, though, so certain parts would’ve made more sense. The end, we’re happy to report, took us completely by surprise, which is saying a lot. You definitely have to pay attention while watching, and even then they’ll probably fool you.

The acting in this movie is good, as usual, with only one mild exception. Even then, it’s not bad, just a bit overacted (we’ve seen reviews saying that there’s bad acting in this movie. They have obviously not seen bad acting). The feel of the movie is dark and completely Saw-esque. Of course, the pig mask makes an apparition, as does Billy the puppet, with some glowing eyes that we weren’t crazy about. Billy is just fine with his regular eyes, thank you very much. The Saw music is there too, even though it’s not as prevalent as in the previous ones. That is definitely a negative.

Should you watch Jigsaw and add it to your collection? We think you should. It’s a very decent addition to the family. As for the possibility of further development of the franchise, we think they should stop. If they choose to go on, however, they’d better bring back past members and have super brilliant ideas, because they could spoil one of the few franchises that feel like one cohesive story.

 

Ratings

BillChete
Lady Phantom
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The Scopia Effect Written Review

Title The Scopia Effect
Year 2014
Distributor Flynn Entertainment
Availability VOD Everywhere | DVD At Amazon
Director Christopher Butler
Actors Joanna Ignaczewska, Edward Stanton, Akira Koieyama
Review Lets start by saying this is a newly released indie (Oct. 3, 2017) that was in post production and distribution hell for 3 years. Tragic as that is it is all too common but the filmmakers of this film didn’t bow down and release it themselves almost guaranteeing no return on investment, so for that props for the patience and re-cuts to get a decent release.

The Scopia Effect is a complex movie. It could be said a secondary title could be “If you are thinking about hypnotism, don’t.” However, that would be doing it an injustice. It’s not as simple as that. At first it felt dis-articulated, but give it some time. It’s not. If you want to understand the film a bit better, pay close attention to the definition and explanation given at the start of the movie.

In a few words, this is the story of Basia, a girl who undergoes hypnotism to help herself heal from her depression by liberating memories of her mother. However, the procedure does much more than that. It liberates memories from long, long before. Her life becomes a living nightmare in which nothing and everything seems real.

This film is one of those that you may start by saying “what is this I’m watching?,” but it takes shape little by little. There are constant flashbacks, but the timelines don’t get confused due to an impeccable set design. The story moves around different times and countries, and in each one, it feels real. Make-up, sets, and cinematography are all outstanding- they made excellent use of the budget, which at an estimated £1,300,000, was not gigantic. It has good sound and music, and the acting is on point. The special effects are also fantastic, and the gore is just right. Unfortunately, the ending was confusing and jumped the shark. We feel it would’ve served a better purpose if the “reincarnation” angles stuck and it wasn’t more complex than that. However, the effect the movie has is still good.

As we said at the beginning, this is a complex movie. It’s not easy; you have to pay attention and give it a little thought. But it’s worth it. It’s definitely not a typical horror movie, but it’s scary at a deep, intimate level.

 

Ratings

BillChete
Lady Phantom
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Cold Moon Written Review – New Release

Title Cold Moon
Year 2016
Distributor Curmudgeon Films
Availability VOD Everywhere
Director Griff Furst
Actors Josh Stewart, Frank Whaley, Christopher Lloyd
Review Crime, check. Revenge, check. Ghosts that may or may not look like Beetlejuice, check. If you like all of these things, this may just be the movie for you.

Cold moon is a movie adapted from the book Cold Moon over Babylon, written by Michael McDowell, who also wrote Beetlejuice, The Nightmare before Christmas, and other movies. It’s a story that begins with the murder of a 16-year-old girl and unfolds in unexpected ways. It starts in the Larkin’s blueberry farm, from where Margaret (Sarah Catherine Bellamy) leaves one afternoon, never to return. We see her murdered by a masked murderer with a luxury of violence. Her family is worried when she doesn’t return that same afternoon. But when her body is discovered, tied to her bicycle in the bottom of the river, is when the story really starts.

At first it seems like the film may be a slasher, but that quickly changes. It’s an interesting mixture of crime, thriller, drama and supernatural phenomena. It’s not perfect, but it’s interesting enough to keep you engaged. The acting is, for the most part, excellent. We found ourselves wishing the role of Evelyn Larkin had been played by Marlyn Mason (Besetment), because she would have been a much better choice than Candy Clark. Other than that, the cast is solid. There are some familiar faces, like Josh Stewart (The Collector), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Frank Whaley (Vacancy), and Robbie Kay (Once upon a Time). Their performances, as well as those by the less known people, are solid. The only gripe is the struggle the actors had at pulling off a Southern accent, it felt forced by most.

There are also many special effects, many of which were credible. There is also some CGI that is less than perfect, but it doesn’t take you away from the experience. The sound is a shining point, bold and enticing. There’s a decent amount of jump scares and there were good kills, but a few of them were marred by the use of CGI. If there had been more practical effects and make up, it would have been a much better movie.

All in all, we recommend you give Cold Moon a watch. It’s interesting and fun, if not too scary. If snakes scare you, though, you will find it scarier.

 

Ratings

BillChete
Lady Phantom
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Killing Ground Written Review

Title Killing Ground
Year 2016
Distributor IFC Midnight
Availability Streaming: Amazon $6.99 | Google Play $6.99 – DVD & Bluray Released 11/07
Director Damien Power
Actors Harriet Dyer, Aaron Glenane, Stephen Hunter
Review Who knew that a camping trip could go so wrong, right, lol, maybe several umpteen times! Killing Ground is an Australian movie that gives us yet another reason to not go camping, ever.

A couple goes camping to some deserted woods. Everything seems to go fine, until two things happen: they realize they have a flat tire, and they find some random baby alone and dehydrated. What happens next only gets worse.

This film is a little confusing, since it moves between the past and the present, many, many times. It’s also a bit -or very- slow at times. It still manages to be scary; especially if you’re a girl and/or if seeing babies in danger makes you cringe. The ending was somewhat disappointing and it failed to tie some loose ends.

The acting in this movie was solid all around, especially by Harriet Dyer (Sam). The actors manage to pull you into the story, but there are a few plot holes that, in turn, pull you out. The kills were not as effective as they could’ve been, but they’re OK and look realistic. The film succeeds in making you feel how isolated the characters are, and the danger they are in as a result.

Killing Ground deserves a watch. It’s far from being a great movie, but it accomplishes its purpose.

 

Ratings

BillChete
Lady Phantom
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