Review Club #5 – Jessabelle

jessabelle

 

Up first is the other Mel (hehe), from over at The Creative Fox Den:

Firstly, I have to say that I love Sarah Snook. She has some serious acting chops and I thought her performance in Predestination was incredible. Unfortunately, her performance in Jessabelle was not as inspired.

I have to admit that the movie started out reasonably well; it set the tone for the character that Sarah Snook plays and the overall feeling of the film. The audience even has hope for the father, even though we know that he has a very sordid past.

The fist scare of the movie is done really well, actually. When the “bathtub incident” occurs, I jumped out of my seat. I was genuinely scared and I anticipated that the rest of the movie would have similar moments.

Unfortunately, it did not. The horror is downhill from there. The father, that we somewhat familiarized with, becomes a completely unlikable character. Furthermore, the plot becomes very predictable.

Also, the fact that the romantic interest is married and obviously interested in the main character has little validity. It isn’t a relationship that is explored enough to merit the dedication that supports infidelity. What’s the purpose here? Are we supposed to be rooting for this couple? Because we aren’t.

Overall, there are probably two scary moments in this film. Does two frightening moments a scary movie make? I don’t think so. The ending is equally ridiculous and undeserving of praise for innovation. I wouldn’t recommend this one overall but there is some production value behind it.

Overall score = 4/10

 

Next, we have Rob, over at MovieRob:

Jessabelle (2014)

I am not, never have been, and probably never will be, a fan of horror movies; they just don’t appeal to me personally.

When Mel chose this as the Review Club film, I gotta admit that I was pretty scared because when going into a movie that you have no expectations or care about, how can you appropriately give an unbiased opinion?

So I decided to still give it a go since I felt that I need to sometimes do things that I don’t want to do in order to try and broaden my (movie watching) horizons.

And guess what…?

I LOVED this movie. It was one of the best movies I’ve seen and when it was over, I wanted to pop it back in and watch it again.

REALLY???? You may ask.

Welll………

Nah. It actually it met all of my sucky expectations.

The plot didn’t feel original at all and I was sooooo bored while watching this that I just wanted everyone to die sooner.

Thankfully, the movie wasn’t so long so I was able to endure without (too many) thoughts of slitting my wrists. 😉

This movie used the tried and true idea of someone revisiting their past home and awakening both feelings and spirits long buried deep down below.

The idea of found footage has also been way overused in the past and I didn’t feel that it added enough to make this movie feel unique in any way, shape or form.

The ending wasn’t much of a surprise for me and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t anticipate something like that.

Suffice it to say, watching this movie didn’t make me change my initial thoughts about the genre and although I may dabble in it every once in a while, don’t expect to see many horror flick reviews coming from me in the near future.

That being said, I’m not upset that I gave this one a whirl.

2/10

Tnx Mel!!!

 

Next up is Abbi, from over at abbiosbiston:

Here’s my review for Jessabelle:

On the day that Jessie (Sarah Snook) is supposed to move in with her boyfriend and start a family together they are involved in a terrible car crash. He dies and she loses her baby and the use of her legs. With no money and nowhere to go she is forced to turn to her estranged father (David Andrews) who brings her back to the creepy Louisiana home she grew up in. While looking around her room Jessie finds some videos her mother (Joelle Carter) made before she died. The creepy videos show her mother doing tarot readings for her unborn baby that suggest that very bad things are going to happen. At the same time Jessie is having terrible nightmares about a dead girl attacking her and spewing black shit all over her… but are they really nightmares and who exactly is this dead girl?

[HERE BE SPOILERS]

I am going to start by saying that there was absolutely nothing scary about this movie. I get freaked out easily but I didn’t even jump one single time. That might be because there is nothing original about this movie. We’ve all seen the creepy dead girl before. We’ve all seen the spirit reaching for someone through a curtain before. Even the voodoo stuff is old. And there was so much stuff I just did not get… like this:

– Why did Jessie’s mom have her own room in the house and why did she not find it weird that her parents weren’t sleeping in the same room?
– After her dad flipped out and threw her wheelchair in the swamp he gave her her mother’s wheelchair but it’s never mentioned that her mother was in a wheelchair and in the videos she’s walking around.
– Also I mean pushing a disabled person’s wheelchair in a swamp is pretty crazy behaviour, would Jessie not at this stage call her health worker for help?
– Why does Jessie not have a cellphone until Preston gives her his?
– If the real Jessabelle died as a baby why is she an adult dead girl?
– Supposedly Jessie’s dad adopted her as a child to cover up that he had killed the real Jessabelle… who was black… how on earth did no one notice the baby had changed race? Someone must have seen the original baby… like the doctor that delivered her. It’s a small town.
– Why did they write in a wife for Preston? It was just an annoying distraction.
– What the hell is up with Sarah Snook’s voice? She was so annoying.

I am going to strongly recommend that you don’t watch this movie because it is a load of crap. 0/5

Sorry I didn’t like it but I hope that someone does!!

Abbi

 

And finally, here’s mine!:

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Jessabelle
(2014) Sarah Snook, Mark Webber, Joelle Carter, David Andrews, Amber Stevens, Chris Ellis, Vaughn Wilson, Larisa Oleynik

Jessabelle

Let me start by saying that I didn’t hate it as much as the others did. True, it wasn’t very original, and the ending got a little silly (and a lot predictable), but I still kinda liked it. The acting was surprisingly good, especially for such a small production. It wasn’t very scary, which was disappointing, but it had one or two tense scenes. That’s pretty much it, though. Movies like this are alright while you’re watching them, and I don’t want my time back, but in the end, they’re ultimately forgettable, not inspiring me to write about it. Oh yeah, one last thing before I go. We saw WAY too much of the ghost. I’m of the opinion, as some of you may know by now, that less is more. A ghost that’s onscreen for that long just completely loses its scare-factor. All in all, a decent film, but nothing special. 6.5/10

This film isn’t currently on Netflix, but it is playing on TMN and TMN On Demand.

M.

And that’s it! Join us again in two weeks for more review goodness! 😀

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Review Club #3 – Dracula Untold

DraculaUntold

 

First up, here’s Rob from over at MovieRob:

I am by far not the biggest fan of movies in the horror genre, but ever since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed the “generic” stories of the “original” four; Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolfman and of course Dracula.

When this movie came out, I avoided it like the plague because I had heard so many crappy things about it that it just didn’t sound worthwhile to give it a watch.

…But then came Review Club

So I decided that worse comes to worse, I wasted 90 minutes on a movie (which happens now and again)

Instead, I found myself sucked in to the story, because it wasn’t a horror movie, it was instead a historical action/drama with a supernatural element to it.

I could empathize with the characters and although this isn’t a Braveheart or Gladiator, it was still a compelling movie about love, honor and protecting one’s family and loved ones.

This really is an interesting take on the Dracula myth and I liked how it all comes full circle at the end in order to open up the possibility of continuing the storyline.

It’s too bad that it seems that this will be the last of the series because the idea to reboot the “monster” franchises of days of old is a great idea.

7/10

 

Next up is Eric, from The IPC:

When I first saw the trailer for this, I blew it off as PG-13 CGI horseshit and never gave it another thought. Then I saw a couple of positive reviews from some writers I believe in and I was all “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!” You know – I dropped to my knees and aimed my head at the sky and screamed “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” much to the alarm of my co-workers. Eventually I composed myself and went on about my business and forgot that anything like that had ever happened and then Melanie started Movie Club and she took out her whip and snapped it a few times and said we had to watch this movie and I was all, knee dropping again and I screamed “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!” But, I am loyal and faithful to my friends so I ordered it up and it wasn’t too bad, actually. But I wasn’t really in love with this:

DU1

The opening and first third of the film was pretty good and I was buying into it. I thought it got a little dodgy when he killed 1000 men by himself but…. OK…. the rest of the thing wasn’t too bad – that part where someone falls off of the tower was pretty good but there were too many “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” moments for me. Would I recommend it? MEH. It’s better than I thought it would be, for sure, but it’s still a movie about how Dracula became Dracula filled with lots of CGI and melodrama. It’s a better vampire movie than that one Twilight movie I watched.

3 out 5 Men Screaming NOs

DU2

 

We continue with Abbi, from abbiosbiston:

Luke Evans plays Vlad, a fifteenth century Transylvanian prince who was once part of the Turkish army after being offered up by his father as a kind of hostage (like they do in Game of Thrones) as a child. During his rule his kingdom has been at peace with the Turks, mostly by paying them off. When the Turkish king, Mehmed (Dominic Cooper) – or I think he was the king anyway – decides he wants a thousand boys for his army, including Vlad’s son (again played by the kid who played Rickon Stark – he’s everywhere), Vlad cannot bring himself to acquiesce. He’s outmanned and outmatched though so he makes a deal with a vampire (Charles Dance) to receive his powers for three days. If Vlad can stay off the old claret for that time he’ll go back to normal if not he’ll be forever changed and the vampire will be released from the cave he’s imprisoned in. Vlad finds himself almost unbeatable but also tortured by an unslakeable thirst. Will he be able to resist and will it all be enough to hold off Mehmed’s horde?

So Luke Evans is super hot and Vlad has some pretty epic powers – infrared vision, sonic hearing, star gazing, he can turn into a fleet of bats… but that is about all that is good about this lacklustre film. The dialogue is stilted, most of the acting is wooden and there is zero character development. This movie is only 92 minutes long but it feels like it goes on forever, probably because it’s hard to give even a single fuck about any of the characters. I didn’t care about Vlad or his inspid wife or Rickon Stark and I half wished the Turks just mowed them down in the first 10 minutes. Oh and what was up with Dominic Cooper playing a Turk? He’s about as convincingly Turkish as I am, and it didn’t help that he’s been taking accent lessons from the Tom Hardy school of sounding not very Russian at all. What a load of batshit. 1/5

 

And lastly, here’s mine:

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Dracula Untold
(2014) Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadon, Art Parkinson, Charles Dance, Diarmaid Murtagh, Paul Kaye, William Houston, Noah Huntley, Ronan Vibert

sunburn

This film was torn apart by the critics, getting the abysmal score of 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience liked it a bit more, but still only gave it 59%, and only slightly better on IMDB, with a score of 6.4. And I truly don’t understand why. I thought it was great. No, it wasn’t Shakespeare, but really now, it wasn’t trying to be! Taken as what it is, a vampire action film, it succeeds very well. This origin story starts with the same base as a lot of the films, that Dracula was born from Vlad the Impaler, but everything else is rather new, and interesting. Most of the acting was quite good, the action scenes were fun (if a little over-CGI’d at times), and the characters were engaing enough to keep us caring about them. And yes, the two leads were plenty pleasant to look at. I’m a bit sad that then open end took us all the way into the present, I’d have liked another period piece as a sequel (if they do indeed decide to make one), but then again, Dracula films in the present are relatively few, so it’ll (hopefully) be something fresh. All in all, I thought this film was great fun, and it receives an equally great score of 8.5/10.

This film isn’t currently on Netflix, but is rentable on On Demand. Enjoy!

M.

 

And that’s it for this round! Join us again in 2 weeks for reviews of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters! 😀