Mel’s 5 Second Review: Smile

Smile (2022)
Sosie Bacon, Kyle Gallner, Jessie T Usher, Robin Weigert, Gillian Zinser, Jack Sochet, Rob Morgan, Caitlin Stasey, and Kal Penn
Directed by: Parker Finn


Have you seen It Follows? Have you seen The Ring? Then you’ve seen Smile.

Rose Cotter is a seemingly workaholic therapist in an emergency mental hospital. Once day she gets a severely disturbed young lady as a patient who tells Rose that something is following her, smiling at her, telling her she’s going to die. Then she kills herself right in front of Rose, while smiling. From that point on, Rose herself becomes convinced that whatever had been following her patient is now following her.

I can’t tell you the amount of times I almost turned this film off. After a long spell of nothing happening. After the 20th jump-scare. But I decided to go through to the end, and while it did slowly get a bit better, I still feel like I wasted my time. Speaking of time, the film was just shy of 2 hours long, but to me, it felt like I was watching it for 6 hours. 30 minutes could have easily been shaved off this thing to make it more palatable. 


My biggest problem with this was probably the acting. Most of it was ok, but the lead was atrocious. And if I’d played a drinking game for every time she licked her lips, I’d have gotten alcohol poisoning. There’s also the famous suspension of disbelief, which already needs to be high for a horror movie, but come on. A string 20 people long of person witnesses suicide-person commits suicide in front of someone-that person commits suicide in front of someone-that person commits… you get my point. And no one noticed? No cops, no doctors, no reporters, no one? I also knew what was going to happen in the end, way before it happened. I had a thought that maybe she was going to defeat it by killing herself while she was alone, but then I thought, nah, this is a “bad guy wins” kinda film. And what do you know, I was right. And as a metaphor for childhood trauma, btw, having the bad guy win just says you can’t ever get over trauma and it’ll destroy you.

So. I didn’t absolutely hate it, but I didn’t really like it either. Which is a shame, cause it had the beginnings of a good idea. I’ll give it a 4.5/10, that little extra going to Kyle Gallner, who I’ve liked in everything I’ve seen him in.


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

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Jeepers Creepers Reborn

Jeepers Creepers Reborn (2022)
Sydney Craven, Imran Adams, Jarreau Benjamin, Ocean Navarro, Peter Brooke, Matt Barkley, Alexander Halsall, Georgia Goodman, Jodie Mcmullen, Gary Graham, and Dee Wallace
Directed by: Timo Vuorensola


Oh boy. I’ve got to stop making spur of the second decisions on what to watch, especially when they’re based on a sequel. Cause when I do, I end up watching movies like this one.

Laine and her boyfriend Chase are headed to a horror convention. While there, they “win” an evening in an escape room that’s supposed to be Creeper themed, based on the area’s urban legend. Little do they know that the Creeper is very real and wants Laine for a specific reason.

SPOILERS INCOMING because then you won’t have to watch this. You’re welcome.

The film opens with what’s essentially the opening of the first film, but with an old couple (one of whom is Dee Wallace. I guess everyone has bills to pay). But that’s just a video Chase is watching. He’s apparently obsessed with the legend of the Creeper, so much so that he’s dragging his girlfriend to a horror convention. She pulls over to throw up, and we’re introduced to a character who’s supposed to meet them there, I guess? She tells him on the phone to call her when he gets to the hotel. Then she never mentions him again. He, of course, is the first victim. So then there’s a creepy voodoo store lady who somehow knows that Laine is pregnant, and is apparently going to feed her to the Creeper. She rigs the contest to win the escape room, so off they go to the haunted house. What follows after that is a standard locked-in-a-house-with-a-maniac scenario.

First the good. The acting is not that bad. A few of the actors actually seem to know what they’re doing. And it looks like a film. meaning it’s pretty competently shot and filmed. And that concludes our section on the good. The Creeper makeup was awful. The teeth were so white, and they looked like they were going to fall right out of the face. The cgi was terrible, with oh-so-obvious green screen in a few shots that they should really be embarrassed about. And the story is so unbelievably silly, it hurt my brain. Cultists and visions and baby-eating monsters, oh my. I kept on wanting to turn it off, but then I figured it would make a good topic to rant about here, so I stuck with it. Thankfully, it’s not that long, clocking in at 1 hour 28 minutes. I might not have made it otherwise. Do yourself a favour: skip this one. It’s a (very generous) 2.5/10.


This movie, should you really feel like watching it even after my warning, is on Amazon Prime.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Barbarian

Barbarian (2022)
Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgård, Justin Long, Jaymes Butler, Richard Brake, and Matthew Patrick Davis
Directed by: Zach Cregger


So, I hadn’t really planned on watching this one. I’d heard of it, seen it mentioned a few times in my Facebook horror groups, but I didn’t really know what it was about, save the vague synopsis of the beginning of the film. But my mom started it last night (then walked away cause she doesn’t do horror), so I figured I may as well. And boy, what a ride.

Tess gets to the Airbnb she rented just to find out another person has also been booked for the same time. Against her better judgement, she decides to stay the night. She soon finds out that may not have been the best idea, since the house is not what it seems.

I’m not 100% sure how I feel about this film. Don’t get me wrong, it was very well done. Everything was great. Acting, atmosphere, makeup, all pretty stellar. But it was off-the-wall bonkers. And pretty gory, which I’m not a huge fan of. It’s a little slow in the beginning, but definitely not a slog. The characters are engaging, so even when they’re not doing much of anything, it’s still at least mildly interesting to watch them. At least until they do truly idiotic things, which, unfortunately, is a lot of the time. I was watching with my sister and dad, and the main thing that kept coming out of our mouths is “Why would you do that…?” There was also one laugh-out-loud moment that I won’t spoil, but if you’ve seen it, you’ll probably know what I’m talking about (it comes near the end). Now I’m not sure if it was intentionally funny, or if they were trying to be scary. If they were, it didn’t work. There was also the ENORMOUS suspension of disbelief that had to happen to get this story to happen at all. All I’ll say is: all those years. How?? It just doesn’t make sense. All in all, I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it. It gets a 7/10 from me.


This film is currently streaming on Disney+

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Grave Encounters

Grave Encounters (2011)
Sean Rogerson, Ashleigh Gryzko, Merwin Mondesir, Juan Riedinger, Mackenzie Gray, Ben Wilkinson, and Bob Rathie
Directed by: The Vicious Brothers


So, I generally don’t like found footage films. The blurry, bouncy camera work does nothing for me, except maybe make me slightly nauseous. But every so often I’ll get drawn into watching one, either because I’ve heard nothing but good things, or someone I generally agree with in movie tastes says it’s good. Which is what happened with this one. Darren from Flick Connection recommended it in one of his videos, and I mostly trust his judgement, so I decided to watch it.

For their ghost hunting reality show, a crew lock themselves in an abandoned asylum over night. They’re used to having to make up their own scares. This time they won’t have to.


First the not-so-good. The camera work was bouncy, just the way I don’t like it. They had a few static cams set up around the place, but it was mostly all hand-held. But I knew that going in, so I tried to ignore it and move on. Another down point was one of the characters, TC, was so thoroughly unlikable that it actually took me out of the moment in some places. He was so stereotypical that I just had to cringe sometimes.

Now the good. The rest, really. The story, while nothing new, was good. The acting was mostly good, the characters, save one, were engaging. I like the ambiguity of what happens to the characters. Are they dead? Are they now “patients”? Obviously Matt died, having jumped to his death, but the others? Lance is alive, in a sense, at the end. But we really don’t know what happened to the others, and I kinda like that.

All in all, I liked it. I might even look up the second one to see if it’s as good. I’d definitely recommend this film to anyone who likes found footage films, and/or ghost stories. I give it a solid 8/10.


This film is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

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


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!


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.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Ouija

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


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.


Mel’s 5 Second Review: Horsemen

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


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!


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.