Friday, 26 May 2017

Estranged (2015)

There's no place like home. Apparently.

Estranged

From director Adam Levins (Population Zero) comes 2015 Brit horror, Estranged. When January has an accident while travelling in Europe - where she has been for six years - she is returned home, memory-less to her family to recuperate. Travelling with new boyfriend Callum, her family takes the two in, but with some apprehension. Something is afoot.

From the very moment January (Amy Manson - Once Upon a Time) pulls up outside the family estate there is clearly something wrong. But we, the viewer, are not let in on the secret. The family, led by patriarch Albert (James Cosmo - Game of Thrones) don't seem happy to see her. They're cold. Something is odd. And January believes that may have been why she left all those years ago. Perhaps the family are not loving, after all.


Happy families.

It's very clever in its story telling. This is slow burn horror at its best. There are no jump scares here. No cats leaping from cupboards. Just a sense of terror rising. And towards the end of the movie it goes dark.

Pitch. Black.

By far the standout performances come from Cosmo and Manson. The direction is solid. And after the movie breaks into the second half, the tension breaks, and the movie is terrifying.

It's new, and different to see a horror like this. And it's well worth seeing.





Friday, 19 May 2017

House (1986)

File this one under guilty pleasures:

House

Ex-vet Roger Cobb is a horror novelist. Has been since he left service. But his son was abducted from his family home never to be seen again, his marriage broken down, and his mother has taken her own life.

Roger is returning home to write his memoirs in solitude. But the house isn't empty.

One of the first horror movies that made a real impression on me was House. Unknown to me at the time, the horror comedy genre would become a mainstay love of mine, and Steve Miner's gem will be forever a favorite.

Right from the start of the movie, William Katt, cast excellently as Roger Cobb cuts comedy and serious perfectly. He's the believable every man. The believable hero. And he's thrust into some serious horror within the house.

Cobb comes to the house his mother committed suicide in to write a memoir. He meets neighbors, Harold (George Wendt), and Tanya, (Mary Stavin). Cursed by nightmares of his missing son, and Ben (Richard Moll), a fallen comrade in Vietnam, Cobb is attacked by forces in the house. His wife transforms into a goblin, his garden tools attack him, and he sees visions of his mother. Oh, and there's a really big monster in the closet.

Then he finds a gateway to...somewhere...in the bathroom.


It's a really big...raccoon??

Before the (fantastic) twist culminating in the climax of the film, the house itself is the villain of the piece. The attack by gardening equipment is well done. The special effect is good. The monster in the closet is exceptional. The FX, the character reactions from both Katt and Wendt, the humor injected. It's largely flawless.

The scene where Cobb's ex-wife turns into a goblin is by far the worst effect in the movie. It's just rubber suit territory.

Then, the climax.

Ben - Cobb's fallen comrade in 'nam, is a zombie. Yes. That's a twist no one saw coming. Back in the day (well, night, actually) Ben  was injured, and Cobb refused to take his life, leaving him to be tortured in a POW camp "for years". So Ben possessed the house (?) and took his son.

And it's beautiful.


Richard Moll

The effects laden Moll returns as Ben for a final showdown with Cobb who has his son returned to him.

The action in the climax is outstanding, Moll's makeup is great, and you just didn't see it coming.

The selling point for me, I think, is that the horror is light, the comedy well present, and it's fun. Fun isn't something many horrors (even horror comedies) do well. Horror is usually serious, I get that, however, horror comedy tends to bend towards silly, rather than funny and clever, and thus not a fun time.

If you haven't seen this, you should. It holds up pretty well today. And there's sequels. *cough* Of varying quality.






Friday, 12 May 2017

The Zombie King (2013)

And award for most misleading marketing goes to...

The Zombie King

From IMDB: Samuel Peters once an ordinary man, dabbles within the laws of voodoo to bring his wife back from the grave, he soon encounters the God of malevolence 'Kalfu', where he makes a pact with him to destroy the underworld and bring chaos to earth; in return he will become 'The Zombie King' and walk the earth for eternity with his departed wife. 

Samuel Peters (Edward Furlong - Terminator 2) and Kalfu (Corey Haim - The Lost Boys), pictured in glory on the DVD cover above have, perhaps, 5 minutes screen time between them in this British horror comedy.

Barely mentioned at all are the real stars.


George McCluskey / David McClelland / Michael Gamarano

The Zombie King has the premise above, but is actually the tale of a Postman, a Milkman, and a Traffic Warden trying to survive the zombie apocalypse, and their relationships with the people they meet along the way. 


Seb Castang / Jennifer Chippindale / David McClelland

Hell, three of the players wrote it. George McCluskey, Rebecca-Clare Evans, and Jennifer Chippendale are the credited writers.

I know, I know, star power and all.

Anyway. Played like a semi-sequel to Shaun of the Dead, the gags come fast, likewise the gore, as our intrepid three stumble upon another ragtag group of survivors. Each of them are given a backstory, some funnier than others, until they meet a priest, played with great gusto by Jon Campling who imparts why the apocalypse has happened, and how to stop it.

The actors do well, as many of them have few credits to their names, and although the best gags are written for McClelland, the stand-outs are clearly George McCluskey as squinting hard-nut Postman, Ed, and, drunk priest with a penchant for Voodoo, Jon Campling (who was a Death Eater, Potter fans).


Jon Campling

The film is not without problems, however. It's budget does mean that it is a little rough around the edges. I couldn't help but laugh when in one scene car licence plates are blurred out, for, I assume, legal reasons.

The worst part by far is the jarring transitions between the Feldman/Furlong story, and the rest of the film. The protagonists don't meet with the titled 'stars' of the film until the final reel, and the direction of the two is very different. It was like watching two different intersected movies, and at one point I wondered if either Feldman or Furlong were going to appear on screen with their English counterparts.

But that said the movie is very enjoyable. I was lucky enough to ask Jon Campling about the shoot, who said he "LOVED it. Got to meet T2's JOHNCONNOR!! And play a drunk priest!!"

And it showed. The UK cast are clearly having a blast.

When I spoke with Jennifer Chippendale she said "That was my first experience as a producer, I have learnt so much since doing that film." Well, Jennifer. We say: Good work.

I recommend you check it out if you're looking for excellent comedy horror. Just don't expect to see much of the Hollywood actors.







Friday, 5 May 2017

Rogue One (2016)

A long time ago...


Rogue One

...I watched a movie called Star Wars (later to be known as Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope). And I kinda liked it. Well, really liked it. What am I saying. Shit. I'm a massive Star Wars fan.

So anyway. Star Wars movies have an opening crawl. It looks like this:

This is the line in the first Star Wars crawl that is the plot to Rogue One

So, I was confused.

I have no problem with a SW movie based on the rebels stealing the Death Star plans. I don't. Actually, for the first 'Anthology' movie, I thought it was a pretty good idea. A movie that wasn't directly connected to the core nine, but sort of familiar. Great plan. What was it that The Force Awakens was? Do it the same first, but different, before you do it different.

Genius.

Then I watched it.

The movie starts in flashback to a period that I assume was in conjunction to the end (ish) of Episode 3. Okay. I can deal. Slightly different look. Okay. Good guys. Yep. Bad guys. Yep. Holy shit. They just murdered someone. On screen. That's...unusual. 

So, moving forward, that's sort of my main problem with the film. And I'll sum it up quite clearly:

Inexplicably linked to SW4ANH (if you will) is Rogue One. Rogue One is a depressing war movie where (spoilers) everyone dies for the greater good. And SW4ANH is a children's film. 


Don't get used to the cast. They die.

And while this is the biggest problem I had, I had others.

But let me clear this up. I want a dark Star Wars movie. I want Death Troopers. I mean really. I want adult SW. I want gangster SW. I was stoked for SW: Underworld. I want it. I want it all. And I want it now. But. SW (core nine) are children's films. Do dark, but don't do it there. 

Anyway. The other problems.

The direction and acting, the editing, they're all great. I can't flaw any of it. My problems come from story (and one other thing).

The opening 30 minutes of the movie is convoluted. Simple as that. It's unnecessary. 

Forest Whitaker's Saw Gerrera is a waste. I believe this comes down to the fateful after editing process - see Suicide Squad. But he's odd. The character makes no sense. 

Darth Vader sounds odd. I get it. James Earl Jones is older that last time he voiced him. But he needs to sound the same as he did in SW4.  He's also a super bad-ass force killing machine. Unlike in SW4. You'll notice that a lot of these problems come from SW4ANH being set the next day. 

But then there's the inclusion of Peter Cushing. Ethically, I have no problem with this. Visually, yes. Yes, I have a massive problem.  


Um....Peter Cushing?

It's uncanny valley.

So, no. Rogue One did not fulfill my Star Wars needs until the upcoming Last Jedi. Or, SW8TLJ. 

Come on Disney. Sort it out. 



I can't believe I have to give SW a three.

And I'm not putting a trailer up because half of the trailer wasn't in the film.



Friday, 28 April 2017

Roadside (2013)

Interestingly in line with Phone Booth.

Roadside. Not to be mistaken for Roadhouse.

Dan and Mindy drive through the desolate wilderness to meet with friends when they are held up by a gunman in the darkness. You're standing in the middle of the road. An unseen gunman has you in his sights. What do you do?

Largely, that is the entire premise. So, with so much to be held up by the cast, does it?

The couple, played by Ace Marrero (Triangles) and Katie Stegeman (Contracted) do so with some flair. Dan is clearly cheating on pregnant wife Mindy, and so the favor falls very much with her, and, given the predicament they are in, she could, save herself at any point. Although, interestingly, some small sympathy is garnered by Dan.

The gunman, voiced by Brad Douglas (Interestingly nothing of note) is chilling.

Director and Writer Eric England made some interesting choices. One that tips the movie over from being good, to being interestingly good. But more on that in a moment.

A well held up thriller, but - if you've seen Phone Booth - with this set up the end can make or break the movie.


Ace Marrero / Katie Stegeman

So. The end.

This appears to be a sticking point with some reviewers. You see, the film just ends. There is no resolution. Some have said it is merely sequel baiting.

Nah.

Eric England is clever.

Within the credits of the movie, a coy animated sequence plays - think the intro to Catch Me If You Can. And within the sequence is the end of the movie. Do they live? You find out. Who is the gunman? You find out.

In conversation with Dead Celluloid, England states, "I think most people either missed the whole movie or didn't want to sit through the final animation."

We say: Their loss.

For whatever reason England included this - especially the flack he's received by reviewers belittling the ending - it's like Marvel Credit Scene to the max. And especially rewarding.





Friday, 21 April 2017

Fled (1996)

KABOOM! 'splotions! Chasing! Shooting! THE 90'S!


Fled

A-Typical 90's action flick, Fled, starts with hacker, Dodge (!) and, um, criminal, Piper (!), breaking free from a road gang, and fleeing the law. What follows is 98 minutes of action. Cars explode on impact. Guns wielded at funny - yet extremely effective - angles. All meetings happening in strip clubs. Floppy disks. Yes. Floppy disks.

For it being about escaped convicts however, it couldn't be more of a buddy-cop movie.

Stephen Baldwin and Laurence Fishburne star as the two escaped convicts. Baldwin trying to carve an action man niche for himself, and Fishburne sitting comfortably in his. Baldwin has a mixed career, going well until the mid-nineties (starring in Bio-Dome in the same year, ouch), and then slowly drifting towards straight to DVD obscurity. Sadly, I mostly know him for the latter, so could have given this a miss, which would have been a shame. Fishburne is always likable, and his performance here reminds me of his role in 92's Deep Cover opposite Jeff Goldblum. As leads they're both capable and carry the film well.

The supporting cast is large, but not overly memorable, with the exception of always great Will Patton, and the sudden appearance of RuPaul, bizarrely.


Lawrence Fishburne / RuPaul


The film is as you would expect it to be. It has a little Lethal Weapon. A lot of generic 90's action. There are certain aspects drawn from earlier Die Hard II, which leads to comparison.

None of this is a bad thing. 

It is what it is. 90's action. Well enough made, and enough explosions to sate any Michael Bay fan.

If you've not seen it and want a fun action flick, go see it now. It's as good as any other of the period.










Friday, 14 April 2017

Bunnyman (2011)

The IMDB synopsis for this movie is: A couple of dimwitted teens get chased by a killer dressed in a bunny suit. 

I shit you not.


He's behind you!

This is a strange, strange, movie. The synopsis is surprisingly accurate, however, before we get to the couple there were six.

Six lonely travelers in a car doing twenty.

With no dialogue to speak of, which is not a bad thing because of the quality of the acting, six friends (whose names are so unimportant we aren't given them, nor do we know where they're going) get driven from the road by a large, lumbering truck - that they could have sped away from should the driver have known how to drive. They are then picked off by a man in a bunny suit.

BUNNYMAN.


Scary.

Trying its hardest to be the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and failing miserably, Bunnyman is simply a man in a bunny suit offing 'teens' with a chainsaw in the forest. A couple of the gore effects were okay, and I put that down to them being practical rather than CGI.

The acting is terrible, the direction as base as it can get, the screenplay non-existent, and the killer was in a bunny suit.

Says it all really.

Starring Cheryl Texiera (Girl Meets World) and Matthew Albrecht (The Eves) as the two final 'teens' and Carl Lindbergh (Director of Bunnyman) as Bunnyman, the movie hardly has a reason to be good. It tries, which is something, but comes off as a group of friends mucking about at the weekend with a camera.

It also spawned two sequels, which I now have to watch.

I can't recommend the movie, however, I feel a one star rating is a dupe. Only for hardcore bad horror fans, this one.






Friday, 7 April 2017

Lights Out (2016)

I might have pooped. Slightly.


Lights Out

To say too much about the movie is just a spoiler nightmare. Opening with the death - by possible supernatural forces - of Paul, it appears that a curse of sorts has befallen the family. The son is seeing the same force. The mother has a 'friend'. I'm trying to be vague.

A superior horror film is made, and of course, none other than producer James Wan is present. The man largely behind Saw, The Conjuring, Insidious etc. Of course it's good. The man has had a hand in most of the best horror movies of the decade so far.


Billy Burke as Paul
 
Based on the award winning short of the same name, below (2013), I honestly wasn't expecting much. Sure the trailer (below-er) is scary. But I couldn't see how it could be made...real. Feature length. It seemed too good to be true.

The short is nothing less than fucking terrifying. Here:






Anyway.

The movie is a distinct step aside from the short, but while offering a little plot, is a simple film destined to scare. 

Acting is well done. Teresa Palmer and Gabriel Bateman do a solid job. But this film's secret lies with direction and editing to make it scary. Director David S. Sandburg does a stellar job. He was the mind behind the short, and this is his first feature length presentation.

Good job, man. 

So what's the film about? It's a...ghost?...story. It doesn't matter. The film rates up there with The Conjuring, and Insidious. It betters The Babadook, in my opinion. 

It's new. Different.

Scary.







Friday, 31 March 2017

Tunnel Vision (2013)

Cristos. Is. A potato.


Do. Not. Watch. This. Film.

According to IMDB:

When a jury fails to convict the serial killer who savagely murdered his family, one man must rise above his desire for revenge and descend into the deranged world of a sadistic predator to uncover the truth and finally get justice. What begins as a classic revenge tale takes a dramatic turn into a haunting land of horror and murder.

Cristos (yes, just Cristos) plays the lead in Cristos vehicle, Tunnel Vision. Written and produced by Cristos, Cristos is Gabriel, a man/potato who rides a motorcycle...a lot...a man/potato who jogs feebly after serial killers...a man/potato with all the charisma of a bag of pickled onion flavored chips.

This film is so laughably bad, I'm trying to entertain myself while writing this.


Artist's Depiction of Cristos

Okay, so basically Gabriel is a bike mechanic (I think. It's not really made clear). While working one night, and riding the oh so long ride home, his house is broken into, his wife and kid murdered, and when he finally arrives, he's boshed over the head with a rusty pipe. Or something. I don't know, the cinematography didn't exist.

Later, after much moping - you know, dead family and stuff - he thinks he sees the killer in the local DIY store (!) and takes chase! It's stunningly uninteresting. Want to re-create it? Roll a potato down a wide alley.

Gabriel completely fucks up the court case, gives shoddy evidence and the guy is unsurprisingly let go.

What follows is 45 minutes of boring melodrama that doesn't go anywhere. Culminating in Cristos and the only police officer who believes him (played by Ion Overman - the best actor in the film by far), tracking down the killer - from the DIY store - and laying down justice. It sounds better than it is.

The problem is that the film doesn't know what it wants to be. The trailer, below, is cut together like a horror movie. It isn't. It has, in fact, every scene in it that isn't talking. The poster looks like an action film. Potato in an alley. I'm not even sure why it was called Tunnel Vision.

With no budget, and sadly little skill on show, the film comes off as little more than a student film.

Check out the trailer for some sweet, sweet, Cristos on a bike action.





Friday, 24 March 2017

Get Out (2017)

Damned white people.


Get Out


So this film is good.

Underlined by a deceptively simple horror premise, Get Out subverts genre norms, and plays the game a little differently. Chris Washington is going to meet his girlfriends parents for the first time. Troubling for all young men, I'm sure, but she hasn't mentioned he's black. But I'm sure it'll be fine.

Creep factor to 10 when the two of them arrive.

It soon appears that the girls family is racist, but in a strange way. Odd until the reveal. For the most of the running time you're just left with strange unease. Then the reveal comes just before the climax.


Star: Daniel Kaluuya

The genius of the film comes with the choices made by writer/director Jordan Peele. Firstly, not having major Hollywood star power involved allowed the viewer to be sucked into the film. Even Bradley Whitford playing the patriarch of the family was almost unrecognizable. Withholding the what-their-doing-and-why until the last moment is singularly genius. 

The sunken place is something we've never seen before.

Some of the acting is standout: Daniel Kaluuya as Chris is great, and Caleb Landry Jones gives his best performance to date. LilRel Howery as the comedy sidekick has perfect timing.

It's horror with no blood to speak of. It has a few jump scares, but the performances build stark fear by playing hard on the foreboding.

By far this is a step forward for the genre as far as being different. And I'm glad it's making money. I don't normally review films still at the cinema, but as it's still there, go and see it.

Now.








Friday, 17 March 2017

Don't Breathe (2016)

See. This is how you make a film.


Don't Breathe. Really. Don't.

Writer/director Fede Alvarez (who you'll remember directed the excellent Evil Dead remake) brings stark and satisfying horror in the form of Don't Breathe.

Basically a reverse home invasion movie, Don't Breathe is the simple story of three young criminals who decide to rob the home of a blind ex-military dude, who is sitting on a fortune (in cash - reasons) after being awarded recompense for the death of his daughter.

You can see where I'm going here, can't you?

Said dude is totally a skilled mercenary type (Blind Justice!), and the three criminals have to fight for their lives to survive. Nice.


Stephen Lang

The win here comes in two forms. Firstly is Alvarez. He deftly manages to make you root for the criminals. Well, two of them, anyway. I mean, they're robbing a blind guy. Why did I root for them? And the second is the excellent three main leads, Stephen Lang (The Blind Man according to IMDB) and two of the criminals, Jane Levy and Dylan Minnette. 

The story is simple to the point of not being there. But it doesn't matter. It's all in the acting, cinematography, and direction.

Until the third act.

If you've not seen this movie, then I must warn you about the final act of the movie. It gets nasty.

Really nasty.

Look. I'm not spoiling it. But you'll need a strong stomach suddenly. Alvarez ramps the ick factor with the flick of a switch, changes the balance and the tone of the movie suddenly, and then everything is different. 

And it makes it even better. 

The sudden third act twist will ensure this goes down as classic horror, and sets it aside from other similar movies such as The Purge or The Strangers. (I particularly liked The Strangers. Where's my sequel?)






Friday, 10 March 2017

John Wick (2014)

John Wick. Oh.


John Wicke

So it's light on plot. Who cares?

Reeves protrays John Wick, a retired mob hit man. His wife dies in the first few minutes of the movie of unmentioned natural causes, and delivers him a puppy on the day of her funeral from beyond the grave. Well, courier, anyway.

John must put his life back together.

The son of a Russian mobster takes a liking to Wick's car, breaks into his house, batters him, kills his new dog, and steals his car. This is the first 10 minutes of the film.

John Wick kills 77 people. This is the rest of it.


John Wick kills people.

Stuffed with outstanding performances (noticeably,  Michael Nyqvist, Willem Dafoe, and Ian McShane) and stunningly directed action scenes, John Wick may be the best action movie in years. The world placed before us has some interesting ideas - hotels for assassins, assassin currency, etc - but by and large, this is action the way it should be done.

And bloody good, it is.


John Wick kills more people.

Laced and littered with spot on humor, Reeves makes his best film in years. He stoically guns down people like he's playing whack-a-mole. And he should be. Supposedly the best hit-man in history. Not a man to piss off.

I can't praise this highly enough for being exactly what it is. Keanu Reevs cooly killing people for the whole running time. Massive kudos to the Director, Chad Stahelski (who has no previous directing credits, but was a stunt co-ordinator).

This is old school action. No jump cuts. No flash camera work. Just a great movie. Just great.






Friday, 3 March 2017

Suicide Squad (2016)

But the trailer looked so much fun...


 
Suicide Squad

A team of career criminals are assembled by the government to take down the threat of mysterious new villain: The Enchantress... You know. The Dirty Dozen, basically.

Sigh. Where to start? (Edit - this is a review of the cinematic release, not the extended cut)

Okay, I was suckered by the trailers. Hats off to the people in charge of marketing this movie. It promised fun. Humor. Action. A step away from the tonal problems of BvS. It lied. Blatantly. Look at the poster. Look at it. Doesn't that look like a fun film? Well it's not. It's so bitter in places, you'd think you were watching a Godfather movie. Tonally it's all over the place.

Right. Got that off my chest. Let me explain.

Firstly, the plot is pretty solid, but the screenplay is a mess. I have heard that this is a post-production hatchet job, so I don't know who to blame. The film is convoluted in places to the point of being unfathomable.

And one notable reason is the amount of film they tried to stuff into a two hour running time. Again, likely the hatchet job.

The squad (Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo, Killer Croc, Slipknot) all get a backstory of varying length. Split over the running time of the movie, I'd estimate that at between 20 and 30 minutes. The answer to the question of why they all appeared in this movie eludes me. It's clearly DC rushing to get their EU off the ground. Surely Quinn / Joker deserved more than a half-assed eight minute preview of years of backstory (although I wouldn't put it past DC to retread it time and again)? Deadshot Vs Batman was a shoe in for a movie if ever there was one.

Then they have to introduce the Governmental Dept. staff, led by Amanda Waller, Rick Flagg, and Katana, put the team together, introduce Enchantress, give her a backstory, her brother, mobilize the team, and then, fuck me, the film can start.

No wonder it's a mess.

And I haven't mentioned the side story of the Joker trying to rescue Harley throughout the whole movie, yet.

This, and the jarring tonal imbalances are major problems.


Some of this is PITCH BLACK dark.

The tonal imbalances come thick and fast. One major flaw is in the back story of El Diablo. Hernandez plays the character with extreme restraint. So much so, that sometimes his acting could perhaps be mistaken for mumbling. But that's an aside. Without delving too deeply into backstories myself, Diablo's is harsh. It involves the death of his whole family at his own hands. And I find it all so...unnecessary for what is at it's heart, a comic book movie.

But there is some good, too.

Firstly there are some standout performances. I mean, I have to apologize. Apparently Jai Courtney can act. It's just that up until now, he hasn't. He's excellent. Margo Robbie and Will Smith of course, taking center stage, and being very good too.

Amanda Waller is a strong character, played well by Viola Davis.

The action scenes are good, if a little too chopped up in editing, and the special effects stand out.


Jai Courtney / Captain Boomerang


The ending of the movie satisfies, barely, and heavily baits sequel. I don't know if we're going to get it. The more DC movies come out, the further they stray from longevity of story telling. It's too much too soon.

There was so much potential...







All in all, I fear this suffered the same as Batman V Superman. Being chopped up in post to make it a more sellable film has resulted in a mish-mash hotch-potch of a movie. I look forward to some redemption in the extended cut. But for now...




I know, I know... what did I think of Leto?

He was...okay. I'll say more when I've seen more.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Ghostbusters (2016)

She thinks it's a sliding door. She thinks they're all doors. That's sad - she's a scientist.

What the hell is with all the hate for this film?

No, this film is not without problems, but what's with the backlash? Someone shit on your rose tinted glasses?

The plot is simple. Ghosts appear in Manhatten just as our team of intrepid, slightly bumbling, ghostbusters appear like a well timed punchline. Our four busters go on to fight city hall for the right to fight, and take on a city destroying ghost plague.

So first off, I'm not sure if this is a remake, reboot, soft reboot, or sequel. That's not a problem, but as a fan of the original, I was a little confused. There seemed reference that this sort of thing had happened before, and how easily people forget. Then there is the cameos by the original cast, in different roles. But that was done in Ghostbusters by both Ackroyd and Murray (Yes, they appeared in dual roles in the film) but were cut from the theatrical release.

So franchise wide, it's not unheard of.

But that's just a niggle.


McKinnon / McCarthy /Wiig

The cast is strong. Weakest of the main early introduced three was McCarthy, taking to throwing jokes at the screen, as opposed to being 'funny'. Not her fault, one would argue, but the screenwriters. Kate McKinnon by far the strongest, throughout the whole film.

Then introduced was Leslie Jones. Seeing the trailer I was worried that the makers had thrown in an African American for the sake of it.

Jones

She was portrayed in the trailer as oafish. She didn't seem to have much in the way of 'character'. But I was wrong. I think it was a mis-step of the producers of the trailer. She is truly funny. Not only that but she supports the scientist characters with grace.

Then there is Kevin. Chris Hemsworth portraying the extremely dim - very pretty - receptionist. An odd character choice. Not that he exists, or indeed is played by Hemsworth - those are clever choices - but that he is so one dimensionally stupid. Like he couldn't live through a normal week "stupid". I felt the character was unnecessary.

But the "My Cat" joke is a classic.

The villain is uninspiring - until an event takes place involving Hemsworth - but much like the original Ghostbusters movie, it really has little to do with villain, but rather the impending doom caused by them.

And the special effects are stunning. There is the obvious slip up - namely with Stay Puffed - and perhaps Mrs. Slimer (?). But apart from that, this:


Astounding SFX


All round, the movie is not without problem. But it is not bad. In fact it is quiet good. Better than Ghostbusters II for sure.

It's funny. Surely that's the point? The jokes land. The parodies are there in abundance. What was everyone's problem?

If you haven't seen it, see it now. It's a blast.