Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)
Brian Cox, Emile Hirsch, Olwen Kelly, Ophelia Lovibond, Michael McElhatton, Jane Perry, and Sydney the Cat
Directed by: André Øvredal

So, I’d been wanting to see this film for years. But it was never on any of the streaming services I had (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Shudder). So yesterday I decided to check if it was on YouTube Movies and was happy to see that it was, and that it wasn’t expensive, so I bought it. And I have to say, it was worth every penny.

Tommy and Austin are a father and son coroner duo. Once evening, just when they think they’re done for the day, the sheriff brings in the body of a beautiful young woman who doesn’t seem to have a mark on her… at least on the outside. The further they get in the autopsy process, the more they realise that something is not quite right about this Jane Doe.

This was quite a good little film. You might think that a film that has basically just 2 characters in one room would be boring, but boring it definitely is not. It kept me on the edge of my seat most of the time, and actually managed to freak me out, something that’s very hard to do to this seasoned horror fan. The two leads were fantastic in their roles, and even Olwen Kelly, who had nothing to do but lay on a table, was great. I kept on staring hard at her when the camera zoomed on her face for any sign of a twitch, and there was none. It was creepy how still she laid. There were not many makeup effects besides that actual autopsy, but they were all done very well. The autopsy was done using some sort of mannequin instead of CGI, and it really payed off, it looked great. And finally, the explanation for what was happening was both awesome and heart-breaking (I won’t spoil it here). I highly reccomend you see this film if you love horror as I do and haven’t gotten around to seeing it yet. 9/10 from me, almost perfect.

M.

This film is currently streaming on Netflix if you live in the States. If, like me, you live in Canada, YouTube Movies is your best bet. Enjoy!

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Eli

Eli (2019)
Charlie Shotwell, Kelly Reilly, Lili Taylor, Max Martini, Sadie Sink, Deneen Tyler, Katia Gomez
Directed by: Ciarán Foy

When I first saw the trailer for this on Netflix, I was immediately interested, and put it in my watchlist. And forgot about it, like so many others. Last night, while flipping through for something to watch, I saw this again, and decided to give it a shot. I’d seen mixed reviews about it, some people loved it, others hated it. But thankfully no one spoiled the ending for me, which was great, since it really is something. I was going to include spoilers in this review, but I’ve decided against it.

Eli starts out as a rather generic, but well done, haunted house flick. Eli is an 11 year old boy suffering from a debilitating auto-immune disease. He’s basically, as one character puts it, “allergic to the world”. He and his family drive cross country to the home/hospital of Dr Horn, an immunologist, who says she can cure him. But almost as soon as Eli and his family arrive, strange things begin to happen to Eli. He sees shadows, hears breathing, and, soon enough, starts to see ghost children. Dr Horn tries to assure him that it’s only hallucinations brought on by the treatments, but he’s having none of it.

All of the haunted house tropes are there, creepy ghosts, creepy music, parents that don’t believe the kids. But it was just interesting enough with the auto-immune disease that I kept watching, and boy am I glad I did. The final payoff is ridiculous. Ridiculous good, not ridiculous stupid. The acting is mostly good all around, with young Charlie Shotwell holding his own against the adults. I’d been looking for something really scary to watch last night, and while this isn’t, it’s still very much worth your time. A very good 8.5/10 from me.

As a side note, my boyfriend, who generally doesn’t like horror films, liked this one. So I should probably have given it a higher score, just for that, hehe.

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Haunting of Hill House (season 1)

The Haunting of Hill House (2018 – )
(Season 1 cast) Henry Thomas, Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel, Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Elizabeth Reaser, Timothy Hutton, Lulu Wilson, Violet McGraw, Julian Hilliard, Paxton Singleton, Mckenna Grace, Annabeth Gish

I don’t think I can fairly express how much I love this show. I read the novel a quarter century ago, so the details might be fuzzy, but I remember I loved it. And while the show isn’t quite a faithful recreation of the book, it’s so good that I don’t really care. Everything is wonderful, from the acting to the effects. Netflix really let director Mike Flanagan create his vision as is, apparently sparing no expense.

The story is simple, something we’ve all seen before I’m sure. The Crain family, mom, dad, and five kids, move into a beautiful, albeit a little run-down, mansion with the intention of flipping it for a great profit. But things aren’t what they seem at Hill House, and almost immediately hijinks ensue. The story runs back and forth, from the young family to the older, where the kids are all grown up. Some people might get a little confused with all the jumping around, but I found it was done well enough that I personally didn’t have any trouble. The story may be familiar, but it has just enough intrigue, plus it’s done so well, that it really doesn’t matter.

The only thing I could possibly say about it that’s negative, is that there’s maybe a few too many monologues. The characters talk slightly oddly on occasion, like they’re part of a one-man show. But really, I’m nit-picking here. All in all, it’s a superb show, and it more than deserves the score I give it of 10/10. If you haven’t seen it, and are at all a fan of supernatural stuff, sit down and watch it. You won’t be disappointed.

M.

The Alphabet Movie Challenge – A to M

I’ve seen a few of these movie challenges floating around the intarwebs, so I thought it’d be fun to do, so I picked one in the bunch and started my picture hunting. And since it’s so long, I decided to do it in two goes (cause I’m a giant lazy-ass). Without further ado, here’s A to M in my Alphabet Movie Challenge. Enjoy! 🙂

A
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I’m a big superhero movie fan, especially the X-Men. Actually Marvel in general. DC movies (with the obvious exception of The Dark Knight) are kinda dull. Despite his awesome powers, Superman is actually pretty boring, but that’s not the point here. I’ve loved all the X-Men films (Even The Last Stand, which everybody seems to have hated, I dunno, I loved it), so I’m really, really looking forward to this one. It should tide me over on superheros till Avengers 2 comes out next year.

B
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This book is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s an amazing story, I can’t believe it hasn’t been turned into a film yet. Actually, now that I think of it, I don’t think any of Robert R McCammon‘s books have been made into films. It’s such a shame, too, cause his books are mostly awesome and, in the right hands, would make amazing films. I wonder if it’s the author who just doesn’t want his books “messed up” by a film-maker…

C
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I don’t think I really need to explain this one. Robert Downey Jr is just simply the coolest cat on the planet, and I’d like to say howdy.

D
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I may be cheating a little here since this pairing already happened, but really, this is the best actor/director pairing that could ever happen. Joss Whedon‘s writing fits RDJ like a glove. I sincerely hope that they’ll have a long career of working together (without becoming as predictable and tired as Tim Burton and Johnny Depp).

E
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I decided to forego all the obvious classics, and reccomend something that may be a little less known. The Ghost and Mrs Muir is an absolutely lovely story about a young widow who moves into a new house to find that it’s haunted by a handsome, if a little rough around the edges, sailor. After the initial shock of finding a ghost in her house, the woman comes to care deeply for the ghost, and he her. If you haven’t seen this wonderful little film, I really reccomend it.

F
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It may not be the franchise that has the most films in it (there’s only three), but its quality is unmatched. I don’t really think I need to explain why. If you’re one of the three people on the planet who haven’t seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy, go, now. Schnell!!

G
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I like a lot of different genres, but my favourite by far is horror. Fantasy comes in a close second.

H
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So, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert isn’t really a “hidden” film, I’m sure a good number of people have seen it, but I can’t really think of anything else off the top of my head. But, still, I’m sure there’s a lot of people who haven’t seen this yet, and to them I say: shame on you!! hehe This film is so fun and so touching all at the same time. Or watch it simply to see Agent Smith (and Lord Elrond) in drag :-p

I
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So I don’t really have a movie that helped me through a tough time, or really impacted my life in a huge way or anything like that, so I had a bit of trouble picking a movie for this category. So I went all the way back to when I was a wee little thing, to the first time I saw The Lost Boys. My mom bought it on good ol’ VHS when it came out, I was about 7 years old. She hid it instead of putting it with my other movies, telling me it was too scary for me. So, of course, when she wasn’t home I hunted for it till I found it and popped it into the machine. And there began my life-long love affair with vampires. Did my mother ever catch me watching it, you ask? Well, yes, she did. But not before I’d watched it so many times that I could recite almost the whole film word for word. Exasperated at me, she nevertheless let me watch whatever I wanted from that moment on, since it obviously wasn’t giving me the nightmares she’d promised I’d get after watching.

J
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Another little cheat here, but really, can you blame me? It’s not like there’s only one film I ever watch when it’s raining. But Netflix is perfect for those rainy/lazy/sick/sleepy days. With tens of thousands of movies and shows to pick from, slacking off has never been easier! hehe

K
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There was absolutely no way that I was going to be able to choose a single film for this one. There are so many awesome films from my childhood, and I still watch them all. And I’ve got my own child now, and I’m enjoying watching him enjoying them now. They don’t make ’em like this any more. Such a shame.

L
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Obviously. I wouldn’t bring beer, but oh, to sit on the moon looking out at the Earth. Or to float around space, seeing all the majesty of the planets, stars and everything else in the universe. In a protective bubble, of course. I want to see the majesty, not have it murder me.

M
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I had to sit and think about this one. I binge watch stuff often, but rarely do I do it with movies. In fact, I always wait till the end of a season to watch the shows I like, so I can watch as many as I want, without the frustration of waiting a week (or more) to know what happens next. But every so often I’ll watch a few movies in a row, and when I do, it’ll invariably be one of these.

That’s it for now, hope you enjoyed!

Stay tuned for part two, N to Z, coming soon(ish), hehe. No, but really, I’ll try kick myself in the butt to get it done. I’m such a lazy bones…. :-p

M.