Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Cursed

The Cursed (2022)
Boyd Holbrook, Kelly Reilly, Alistair Petrie, Amelia Crouch, Max Macintosh, Roxane Duran, Nigel Betts, Stuart Bowman, Tommy Rodger, Aine Rose Daly
Directed by: Sean Ellis

the cursed

First, let me say that the trailer for this film is incredibly misleading. I thought this film was a ghost story. Imagine my surprise when I found out it was nothing of the sort.

After a horrible slaughter of Gypsies, a small late-19th century town in France is plagued by what seems to be animal attacks. A pathologist comes to town to try help, but he seems to have an agenda of his own.

First the good. The film is beautiful. They take full advantage of the French countryside, the costuming is gorgeous, and most of the effects are great. The story is interesting, even if it’s a little basic. (I paused for a long time here, deciding whether I should include spoilers in this review or not. I decided against it.) The acting is quite good. And there were a few things that I’d never seen before in a film of this type, so that was surprising, and nice. The bad? Well, there’s not much, to be honest. The film is a little slow at times, but it never feels like a slog. The creature effects are a little janky at times, but whenever there’s practical effects, they’re great. The beginning was a little gory for my tastes, but they eased up for the rest of the film.

All in all, it was a pretty good film. Probably not one that I’d line up for a rewatch, but still quite good. 7.5/10

M.

This film is currently on Amazon Prime, and available for purchase on YouTube.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Conjuring, The Devil Made Me Do It

Conjuring 3The Conjuring, The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, Julian Hilliard, John Noble, Shannon Kook, and Eugenie Bondurant
Directed by: Michael Chaves

This is the third instalment in the wildly popular The Conjuring films. And honestly, it has not lost any of its steam. Or thrills.

After the intense exorcism of young David, Arne invites the demon into himself instead of the boy. Just when things look like they’ve gone back to normal, Arne starts seeing things, which escalates into him killing a man. Enter demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, who convince the defence lawyer to plead innocent due to demonic possession.

“Based on a true story”, and yes, I’m using giant quotations for that. I don’t believe a word of it, but I can’t deny that I love pretty much everything about this film. The love story between Ed and Lorraine is wonderful, even if in real life they were nothing but scam artists. Fans of the other two Conjuring films might find this one a little different, a little slower, but I found it great. All of the acting and effects were stellar, as expected. They did a good job making Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga 50-ish. I couldn’t tell if it was done digitally or with makeup, so job well done. The story was more detective-like, with Ed and Lorraine trying to figure out what happened. My dad actually found the film too slow, enjoying only the beginning and end, but I thought the pacing was just fine. But it’s true that if you don’t like slower films, then I would not reccomend to watch this. All in all, I thought it was bomb, and it gets an almost perfect 9/10 from me.

This film is currently available for rental and buying on YouTube (which is where I buy my films) and Amazon Prime. Enjoy!

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Seventh Day

The Seventh Day (2021)
Guy Pearce, Vadhir Derbez, Brady Jenness, Stephen Lang, Robin Bartlett, Keith David, and Chris Galust
Directed by: Justin P Lange

A young priest fresh out of seminary school gets paired up with a hardened exorcist to take on the case of a young boy who killed his entire family with an axe.

First, let me say that the acting was all around sketchy, even from Guy Pearce, who looked like he gave no fucks (but that could just be the character), but especially the possessed boy, who was downright cringe-worthy at times. I don’t like to be too hard on child actors, cause it’s a tough gig, but possession films are a hard enough sell without the possessed writhing around like bacon. The younger priest, played by Vadhir Derbez (who I’ve never heard of before), was, to quote another reviewer, “seemingly in a frozen, detached mode of vacancy”. I had a good laugh at that, since it’s pretty true.

What I can say good about it, is it had some good ideas. I was expecting a bland, “just an exorcism movie” kind of film, and while a lot of it is that, there’s just enough different to make it interesting. The makeup effects were pretty well done, I have to admit, all except the “smiles”, which you’ll know what I mean by that if you see it. But I don’t think those were done with makeup anyways, pretty sure those were done with (rather mediocre) CGI. And the end twist (cause every movie’s gotta have a twist!) was actually pretty good, even if I did see it coming. So I give it a 6/10, and would recommend cautiously.

This film is currently streaming on Netflix Canada.
M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Ouija

Ouija
(2014) Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff, Douglas Smith, Bianca A Santos, Shelley Hennig, Sierra Heuermann, Vivis Colombetti, Lin Shaye

ouija

So the beginning of this film is boring as hell. I was thisclose to turning it off. But I was watching it with my sister, and she was really enjoying it, so I settled in for the long haul.

First, the good. The acting was actually pretty decent from most of the players. The blonde girl was atrocious, but others held their own. While not scary, it did have one or two good, tense scenes. And the eye thing was pretty cool, it was something not seen too often, so that was good.

Now, the bad. Being, of course, everything else. {SPOILERS AHEAD} The “twist”, such as it is, is a total rip off of other, better shows, such as The Ring and an episode of Supernatural, in which we think the child is the victim, when in fact, they’re the evil one. It was also obvious from a mile away, I figured it out almost immediately. For movies like this, I’m usually able to suspend my disbelief for most things, we are talking about a film about ghosts, after all. But I have my limits. Nana just so happens to know exactly what to do to save them? Or, for that matter, believing their story at all? Just… no. And then, of course, the obligatory open ending, so they’re able to make more of these.

All in all, it didn’t completely suck, but was thoroughly unimaginative and forgettable. And so earns its score of 5/10, with an extra point going to the eye candy.

This film isn’t currently streaming on Netflix, but unless you really have a hard on for ghost stories, I’d say skip it.

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Horsemen

Horsemen
(2009) Dennis Quaid, Ziyi Zhang, Lou Taylor Pucci, Clifton Collins Jr, Patrick Fugit, Eric Balfour, Peter Stormare, Liam James

Horsemen

So, this was a pretty good film, better than I’d been anticipating, but still not as good as I was hoping. The premise was simple (a detective is on the trail of a serial killer who is using the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as his inspiration), but very good. The acting was decent to good all round, and the end twist is pretty awesome, and very well acted, even if I saw it coming a mile away. Ziyi Zhang was also very good, and uber creepy (and hot). The gore effects were very well done, and not too over the top save one scene involving a fetus, which I’d rather not think of. It was too much. Speaking of too much, we really didn’t need to start the film with a naked Dennis Quaid. This isn’t 1993, Quaid, sorry :-p I could have used a little more info about the cult, though. The film has a very good ending that I won’t spoil, but I could have used a little more clarity involving the actual group. All in all, it was a very decent piece of film, and gets a very decent score for it. 7/10

This movie is currently streaming on Netflix Canada. Enjoy!

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Les 7 Jours du Talion

Les 7 Jours du Talion (7 Days)
(2010) Claude Legault, Rémy Girard, Martin Dubreuil, Fanny Mallette, Rose-Marie Coallier, Dominique Quesnel, Pascale Delhaes

7 days

I generally don’t watch Quebec movies. I don’t like the acting style, and everything (save one or two exceptions) I’ve watched from here, well, sucks. Same with books. But one day I happened to pick up a book by author Patrick Senécal, and from that moment I was hooked. This is one of his books turned into film, and since it was one of the roughest to read, I wasn’t sure I wanted to see it. But when I saw it was passing on TMN, I couldn’t help myself. I can’t say watching the film was an enjoyable experience. The acting was surprisingly good, they stuck almost exactly to the book, everything was great. And yet I’ll never watch it again. It was one of those films that was just really hard to watch. Unless you’re a major fan of the torture porn genre, in which case I imagine this will be nothing for you, you freak. 9/10.

This film isn’t currently on Netflix, but there is a full version on YouTube. I highly recommend it.

I also recommend the book, cause it’s awesome. Other Senécal books worth reading are Oniria, 5150 rue des Ormes, Aliss, and, especially, Sur le Seuil.

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Spiderwick Chronicles

The Spiderwick Chronicles
(2008) Freddie Highmore, Sarah Bolger, Mary-Louise Parker, Martin Short, Seth Rogan, Nick Nolte, Joan Plowright, David Strathairn, and Andrew McCarthy

The Spiderwick Chronicles

Greatly under-rated, this film should be at the top with the other great fantasy films. But, and I’m not sure why, it was mostly overlooked when it came out. Most of the time if I mention it, I get a response of “The what? What’s that?” And that shouldn’t be. It’s a wonderful story with family ties at its core, but it doesn’t come off as preachy or saccharine. The acting is all wonderful and the creatures are all fun, with only Martin Short over-doing the voice work, which he always does anyways. If you like fantasy films, I highly reccomend this one. I give it a wonderful 9/10.

This film isn’t currently on Netflix, nor did I find a full version on YouTube, but it’s more than worth the price of a rental or buy. Enjoy! 🙂

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Frankenweenie

Frankenweenie
(2012) Charlie Tahan, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, James Hiroyuki Liao, and Conchata Ferrell

?????????????

So I finally saw this film. It’s been months now that I hardly watch movies anymore. I used to watch a few a week, now I’m lucky to watch one a month. But I digress… This film is a breath of fresh air coming from Tim Burton. His films have just been so tired lately, all style and no substance, so despite how cute the trailers for this film looked, I was reluctant to watch. But I’m glad I finally did, because it was quite fun. It’s a touching story of a boy and his dog… his undead dog, hehe. There are winks to classic horror films all over the film, from the obvious main plot and character names, to smaller things, like the way the science teacher looks and sounds like Vincent Price. Like the Asian kid making a giant reptile who stomps on cars. Like the poodle with Bride of Frankenstein fur. And etc, and etc. It had a few really sad scenes, and I actually laughed out loud a few times, they got some good gags in there. All in all, a fun little film, I reccomend it if you like weird stuff. And if you don’t, well, I reccomend it anyways. Who knows, you may be surprised! I give it a solid 8/10.

This film is not currently on Netflix, nor did I find it on YouTube. But if you’ve got Video on Demand, it’s playing there. Enjoy! 🙂

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies
(2013) Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, and John Malkovich

warm-bodies

So, I’m not the biggest fan of zombie movies. I’ve seen the original Night of the Living Dead, and while I enjoyed it, it’s definitely not my favorite anything. I just find the whole genre a little dumb. It has to be really good, and contain a lot more than just shambling dead folks to keep my attention. When I saw the trailers for Warm Bodies, I almost peed myself. A zombie comedy that also has a love story? I definitely had to see this. It was way funnier than I had even expected, while still managing to have some good, tense moments, and the romance, while really being the whole point of the “humanizing” that’s happening to the shufflers, is not shoved in your face. Anyone saying that this is just Twilight with zombies needs to shut up and actually go see the movie. It was well written, well acted, and well filmed. And it was really awesome to be able to pick out Montreal landmarks! Had I known it was being filmed in my home town, I may have enjoyed hanging around to catch a glimpse of the zombies in action. All in all, it’s a very entertaining film, and I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up! (And 10/10, hehe.)

This film isn’t currently on Netflix, nor did I find a version on YouTube, but it’s more than worth the price of a rental, or even to buy. The novel it’s based on, by Isaac Marion, is also worth your time. Enjoy!

 

M.

Mel’s (Slightly Longer Than) 5 Second(s) Review: Epic

Epic
(2013) Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd, Steven Tyler, Jason Sudeikis, Pitbull, and Beyoncé Knowles

Epic

First off, let me just say that I watched this film with my son at the in-law’s place, so I saw it in the Québec french version, which means the cast looks a little less like the names I wrote above, and a little more like this: Stéfanie Dolan, Xavier Dolan, Martin Watier, Denis Gravereaux, Sébastien Reding, Alexis Lefebvre, Garou, and Geneviève Désilets. Also, as is very often the case with translated movies, a lot of the jokes and subtleties are lost in translation, so much so that translated films lose much of their original charm, which is why I always prefer to watch films in their original language. Not to mention the fact that the voices never quite seem to fit with the character’s look and lip movement, and that drives me insane. It’s a bit less distracting in an animated film, but I do prefer hearing the original version, even if it’s in a language that I don’t know. I can read, and that’s what subtitles are for. I speak and understand almost perfectly in french, but sometimes they talk too fast, or use slang that I’m unfamiliar with, and I’m apt to lose bits and pieces here and there.

Alright, now that that’s out of the way, on to the review! The story reminds me a lot of Arthur and the Invisibles, which is not a bad thing at all, since I loved that film. Epic isn’t quite as good as that one, but it’s not far behind. The animation is lovely, in a slightly different style than we’re used to seeing, and the voice-acting, in the french version anyways, is good. It’s a wonderful tale of fighting to preserve nature, kinda reminiscent of Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, which is also not a bad thing. My son loved it (he’s the reason I sat down to watch it in the first place, he absolutely wanted mommy snuggles while watching the film, so I put aside my dislike of translated films to please him, hehe), and I enjoyed it enough that I’m going to go ahead and watch the original version, to catch all the things I may have missed in the translation. The characters are all likable, and there were a few laugh out loud scenes that had both my son and I guffawing. I was a little disappointed at the end of the film, (SPOILER ALERT!!) because I really wanted MK to stay with the little people. Actually, what I was hoping for was that she and her father would be welcomed into their world. The new queen didn’t even ask if she wanted to stay or not, and so MK and Nod had to say their goodbyes super fast, and only got a single kiss because of it. The romantic in me felt gypped, hehe. But all in all, it was a very entertaining film, and I give it a solid 7.5/10. And who knows, maybe once I see it in english, the rating will go up a bit 🙂

The film is currently streaming on Netflix. Enjoy!

 

M.