Friday, 19 June 2015

It Follows (2014)

It Follows

IMDB rate: 7,2
Genre: Survival (?)
Starring: Keir Gilchrist, Maika Monroe, Lili Sepe

It Follows is claimed to be the best horror movie of 2015, so I thought it would be worth it to give this movie a shot. Every year there is one hugely hyped movie such as The Conjuring, Insidious, The Babadook; this year it's It Follows and I heard many good things about it. I think It Follows was a fun movie, it had some scary elements. The story itself was okay, it reminded a bit of the movie Contracted, but the outcomes of those actions were of course very different. It's more the fact that the actions before the outcomes were similar.

For nineteen-year-old Jay, Autumn should be about school, boys and weekends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her friends must find a way to escape the horrors, that seem to be only a few steps behind.

This movie is like a throwback to 70's and 80's horror movies, it reminded me a lot of Carpenter's Halloween. This isn't an exact copy of it though, not at all. Halloween is of course a slasher movie about the famous mass murderer Michael Myers, while It Follows is much more a psychological horror movie. The thing they have in common though is that you pay more attention to what's in the background ("is there something in the background?") instead of what's happening at the front row of the movie. It's a refreshing throwback where a movie didn't need to rely on jumpscares and insane sound effects to make things scary.

The funny thing with the storyline is that you keep wondering yourself what you would do to escape the 'follower', you come up with methods like hookers, traveling to the other side of the world and all kinds of things to escape this, but you know that eventually it'll catch up one way or another.

I actually had no idea for once how this movie was going to end. You know she has to get rid of it somehow, but will what she tries work? Will it get her killed eventually? You just don't know and I was actually surprised by the outcome of it.

What I expected from this movie was that it would be too slow-paced. Like when she tries to pass the sickness on with one of her friends, I thought that part would take forever, but it all happened very quickly actually, no hours of doubting the matter. They really did a good job at cutting things short were needed, something you don't see often anymore (hour long build up for very little action).

Impressive acting in this movie. Maika Monroe delivered a great performance as the young Jay. Someone else I noticed was the actor Daniel Zovatto, the was a fine actor, but the most outstanding thing was how much he resembled a young Johnny Depp. I tell you, we'll be seeing this guy in many more to come.

Most outstanding thing though was the way everything was filmed. It was calming to watch in a weird way, because it's a horror movie. It managed to make the background on points more interesting than the things happening on the front row, it was all very subtle. I thought it all gave a great perspective, the way it was filmed is definitely one of the reasons which makes it worth watching this movie.

I thought It Follows was a pretty good movie, I thought it would be one of those overhyped movies that are boring as hell (The Conjuring for example). I wouldn't say that this was a very scary movie, there were not really jumpscares or anything, but the movie did have a great.. chilly feeling over it. I had fun watching this movie and I would definitely recommend watching It Follows!

My rate: 8/10

Monday, 1 June 2015

The Pyramid (2014)

The Pyramid

IMDB rate: 4,7
Genre: Found-Footage, Survival
Starring: Ashley Hinshaw, Denis O'Hare, James Buckley

The Pyramid... well I actually was prepared for this one to be bad. Not only because I read some reviews about it explaining exactly how terrible it was, I actually didn't expect anything else after reading the summary:

A team of U.S. archaeologists unearths an ancient pyramid buried deep beneath the Egyptian desert. As they search the pyramid's depths, they become hopelessly lost in it's dark and endless catacombs. Searching for a way out, they become desperate to seek daylight again. They come to realize that they aren't just trapped, they are being hunted.

Why did I still watch it? First of all, I love stories about Ancient Egypt and the pyramids and stuff, second of all movies like these always give plenty of material to write about, also I haven't seen any horror movies about Ancient Egypt before so I gave this movie a shot!

People call this a found-footage (or mockumentary) movie, but to be honest that's hardly true. The movie starts out as one indeed, but for some reason it fails to keep pursuing that perspective. In fact, one second the movie is filmed with their camera, the next shot however is one from an angle that they couldn't have possibly filmed, and the shot after that turns back to their own camera again. It's kinda annoying after awhile and I think it's one of the biggest flaws in this movie. Just make a choice and choose a perspective, either one would've been fine, but just not both. A movie which combined these two perspectives well was [REC]3, where the beginning was filmed with a hand-camera and then there's a very smooth transition between that and the regular camera. Perhaps that would've been a better choice for The Pyramid as well.

The Pyramid is a very cliche movie actually, every time something was going to happen I just knew that that particular thing would happen in a few seconds. For example (spoiler!) when the tunnel to the pyramid opens, we just knew that something would hurt one or two people. It happened. When the woman started to climb to tunnel, you just knew she was going to be attacked and fall down. It was all way too obvious unfortunately. Another different sort of cliche that bothered me is the 'all men are dumb, but this strong woman will survive' cliche. I don't know but it seems some sort of new hype where this needs to keep happening.

I was actually surprised to see Denis O'Hare (American Horror Story, Dallas Buyers Club) in this movie. He's not a bad actor in my opinion so I based my tiny bit of hopes on him. Unfortunately, even he couldn't make this right again. His acting was fine though compared to the other ones, it was purely how bad the script was that made it all seem so terrible. The characters are very unlikable, their dialogues are unrealistic and everything seemed very staged. Also, the camera-guy only making witty comments is getting a bit boring as well.

This movie reminded me a bit of As Above, So Below, which wasn't such a bad movie actually compared to The Pyramid. I think the Pyramid could've been more enjoyable with a better script and some consistency in the filming style. The idea of the 'monsters' inside the Pyramid aren't too bad, they don't look too bad either, it's just that it gives a weird twist to the story itself. I wouldn't recommend wasting your time on this movie, although it is fun to see a horror movie, found footage style, that includes Ancient Egypt.

My rate: 4/10

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