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Tag Archives: Bear Trap

the-final-girls-future-taissa-farmiga-malin-akerman-alexander-ludwig-nina-dobrev-alia-shawkat-thomas-middleditch-adam-devine-angela-trimbur-chloe-bridges-tory-n-thompson-lauren-gros-todd

The Final Girls: when a freak cinema fire leaves Max and her friends stuck inside a slasher movie she finally has a chance to re-connect with her dead ‘scream queen’ mum. The premise of the film is fantastic, allowing the movie to play with every trope from the classic slasher pictures: stock characters, language/dialogue, sounds, flashbacks, on-screen text and so on. It even gets the tiny details right, like how the ‘teenagers’ from the old film are older than teenagers. Like the original slasher films, every character is stock and all of the actors slot in to their roles perfectly; the sexed up girl’s Adderall-fueled Cherry Pie striptease was the highlight of the film for me. Director Todd Strauss Schulson handles both sides of the story with care (70s/80s era slasher nostalgia + modern cult/horror fandom) and the film looks absolutely fantastic with crazy-vibrant colours, tons of very striking visuals, and great camerawork – it sounds like a low blow, but it’s too well-made when compared to the films it’s homaging. The Final Girls is fantastic love letter to the great slashers of the 1980s; it’s great fun to watch, looks brilliant, and it can stand tall alongside recent postmodern horrors like of Tucker & Dale and Cabin in the Woods.

Score: 7.5/10

the-final-girls-camp-taissa-farmiga-malin-akerman-alexander-ludwig-nina-dobrev-alia-shawkat-thomas-middleditch-adam-devine-angela-trimbur-chloe-bridges-tory-n-thompson-lauren-gros-Todd Strauss Schulson

Housebound Kylie Bucknell and mum, Morgana O'Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Cameron Rhodes, Ross Harper, Ryan Lampp

Housebound: after robbing an ATM machine Kylie Bucknell is sentenced to house arrest for eight months, but her old family home appears to be haunted. All of the setup, paranormal and haunting stuff absolute dynamite; but has the side-effect that the murder mystery in the second half feels a touch inferior – although it’s still wildly entertaining. Branded as a “Horror Comedy” I’d argue that it’s more a black comedy that is set in a haunted house – although this isn’t a bawdy spoof. The comedy writing and delivery is outstanding (in a NZ deadpan way) with a lot of great genre and trope gags that create a fun and off-kilter tone where even things like a juvenile delivery of  “do they?” sends you properly ROFLing. The rickety house setting is reminiscent of Braindead (aka Dead Alive), but Housebound doesn’t lean on – or borrow from – it much, with only a few splashes of gore, and its eye firmly on the comedy prize. Housebound is a fantastic directorial debut: the story’s well told, it looks great, but most importantly – it’s really really funny, letting it stand proudly alongside Tucker and Dale Vs Evil and Cabin in the Woods. Believe the hype.

Score: 8.5/10

Housebound Cast Morgana O'Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Cameron Rhodes, Ross Harper, Ryan Lampp

Housebound Amos Pointing Recording, Morgana O'Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Cameron Rhodes, Ross Harper, Ryan Lampp

Fargo Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, Martin Freeman, Bob Odenkirk, Keith Carradine, Russell Harvard, Adam Goldberg, Rachel Blanchard, Oliver Platt

Fargo (Season 1): when a contract killer ends up in their small town he changes the lives of an insurance salesman, police woman, and grocery tycoon forever. This does well to instantly match up with the mood of the Coen Brother’s Fargo movie – there’s lots of crossover details that are familiar but not directly copied: pregnancy, outlandish hitmen, ice scrapers, car accident, salesman, the Mike Yanagita scene… It feels properly connected, instead of a forced spin-off.  It looks and feels very cinematic, even more so than the movie, and the score gives it even more heft – allowing this play more like a 10-hour movie than an episodic crime show. Although with this format it’s probably better to binge this as there’s a lot of nice and subtle callbacks to earlier episodes throughout the season. Given the screen time involved this is an actor’s dream; we spend lots of time seeing the main characters established and developed. Martin Freeman is great as the timid but very watchable asshole, but Billy Bob Thornton makes this show for me with a majestic performance as a creepy, dangerous and almost admirably smart hitman. Fargo’s lead and ensemble casting is stellar, and paired with the well-penned characters, really makes the show a joy to watch. The humour is also bang on; leveraging silly accents (a gift that just keeps on giving), and making the most of the trademarked ‘awkward, absurd, nihilistic, crimson coloured’ Coen style. This is the backbone of most episodes, however episodes 7, 8, and 9 feel a bit stretched and empty compared to the rest. Overall Fargo is one of the most promising new shows on TV, and I can’t wait for Season 2.

Score: 8/10

What if YOU’RE right, and they’re wrong?

Fargo Police Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, Martin Freeman, Bob Odenkirk, Keith Carradine, Russell Harvard, Adam Goldberg, Rachel Blanchard, Oliver Platt

Naked Killer 2 - Raped By an Angel - TOP Andrew Lau,  Simon Yam,  Chingmy Yau

Naked Killer 2 (AKA – Raped by an Angel, Super Rape & Legal Rape): A skilled lawyer tries to commit the ‘perfect rape’ by exploiting legal loopholes, planting / fabricating evidence etc. First off, this has nothing other than the ‘Naked Killer’ title tying it to the first movie; think less ‘Naked Killer sequel’ and more ‘Original Raped By An Angel’ film. To re-iterate for emphasis – this is nothing like the first film. Secondly: where ‘Naked Killer’ had a campy, tongue-in-cheek, bawdy, exploitation, cult feel – this one relies on nothing more than cheap in-yer-face shocks, mostly through talking about taboo subjects like rape, aids and blowjob techniques. Thirdly: over 11 minutes of cuts were made on the UK DVD release, so it’s like a CATIII film, but with zero CATII content! The script, editing, acting cuts, and subtitles made for confusing and frustrating viewing – it’s hard to tell what’s happening at the 45 minute mark, let alone where it’s going. This is the ultimate blot on everyone involved’s resumés – and one which I’m sure many will have tried to bury. All in all, Naked Killer 2 / Raped by an Angel is simply a shit film, with everything remotely 18 rated cut out of the UK DVD, and nothing more than a name in connection to the first ‘Naked Killer’ film. Avoid at all costs.

Score: 0.5/10

Note: uploading several DVD screenshots as there’s none online, anywhere at the moment.

Naked Killer 2 - Raped By an Angel DVD Screenshot Screencaps Stills Gallery 1 Andrew Lau,  Simon Yam,  Chingmy Yau Naked Killer 2 - Raped By an Angel DVD Screenshot Screencaps Stills Gallery 2 Andrew Lau,  Simon Yam,  Chingmy Yau Naked Killer 2 - Raped By an Angel DVD Screenshot Screencaps Stills Gallery 3 Andrew Lau,  Simon Yam,  Chingmy Yau Naked Killer 2 - Raped By an Angel DVD Screenshot Screencaps Stills Gallery 4 Andrew Lau,  Simon Yam,  Chingmy Yau Naked Killer 2 - Raped By an Angel DVD Screenshot Screencaps Stills Gallery 5 Andrew Lau,  Simon Yam,  Chingmy Yau Naked Killer 2 - Raped By an Angel DVD Screenshot Screencaps Stills Gallery 6 Andrew Lau,  Simon Yam,  Chingmy Yau Naked Killer 2 - Raped By an Angel DVD Screenshot Screencaps Stills Gallery 7 Andrew Lau,  Simon Yam,  Chingmy Yau

Note: this is post #500 since starting the site way back in July of 2009! To mark this, next week will feature guest reviews, several ‘feature’ posts as well as some more regular Paragraph Film Reviews. Thanks to everyone that reads, comments and visits the site, particularly the regulars. You folks are ace!

Seraphim Falls: a determined bounty hunter (Neeson) and his hired guns are chasing a skilled man (Brosnan) through the wilderness for reasons unknown. With two big actors centre screen you’d expect this film to play well… Broz takes his grunting to a whole new level as he’s on his own for most of his part – unfortunately, there’s also a scene where he’s genuinely out-acted by a horse! Pre-heroic re-invention Neeson feels miscast here, and in general everyone looks a bit disinterested. The writing is sloppy, and storytelling has a lot to be desired – an Indian and saleswoman appear – only to facilitate a showdown – and we don’t know why Broz is even being hunted for around 90 minutes – who should we be rooting for? With this, there’s not a whole lot of tension (essential for a decent cat-and-mouse story). It’s partially well-shot, making the biggest reason to watch this some great scenery of wilderness and breathtaking landscapes. Overlong, uninteresting and full of questionable acting, Seraphim Falls feels like a bunch of guys walking about in the words, then desert for the most part – it’s is nobody’s finest hour. 3:10 to Yuma is still the daddy of modern westerns!

Score: 3/10