Furious 7 (2015)

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Sean Boswell: If you get the guy who did this to Han, what are you going to do?
Dominic Toretto: Words ain’t even been invented yet.

Starring: Paul Walker as Brian O’Connor, Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto, Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs, Ludacris as Tej, Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce, Jordana Brewster as Mia, Michelle Rodriguez as Letty and Nathalie Emmanuel as Megan Ramsey, dir. James Wan.

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Cinematographers: Stephen F. Windon, Marc Spicer (Star Trek Beyond/Lights Out)

Lights Out (2016) Movie Review

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The Babadook & Insidious had a baby and that lovely baby’s name is Lights Out.

I remember watching & loving director David F. Sandberg‘s short film of the same name a couple years ago and when I first heard it was going to receive the Hollywood full-length adaptation, hesitation immediately washed over me… I am ecstatic to say that hesitation was proven wrong because Lights Out is an incredible movie.

Lights Out tells the story of a dysfunctional family who faces an entity that only appears when the lights go out, as the title would suggest. I don’t wish to delve any deeper than that because I believe horror movies are best to go into relatively blind but I will say, the concept of Lights Out is incredibly intriguing and I was honestly captivated throughout the film. Teresa Palmer and Gabriel Bateman portray siblings and oh man, their acting and chemistry were amazing. Palmer specifically had the most to work with and I thought she did brilliantly: ranging from being a melancholic, cool cat to nailing those severely intense emotional moments that pulled at my heart strings a bit. The relationship between her & her boyfriend Bret (Brad?) played by Alexander DiPersia aka I-Swear-That-Is-Daario-Naharis was refreshing to see because he was not just a dumb dumb boyfriend that is placed there solely for pseudo-conflict for the main character and her family.

When it comes to the actual story & progression of events, I loved every single moment of this movie. Since the runtime is essentially an hour and a half, there is virtually no wasted dialogue which translates to every scene having some level of importance to them, there is incredible development to the characters throughout the movie AND, what is arguably the greatest aspect to it, you genuinely care for these characters and their well being. Why I appreciated this movie so much is because the filmmakers made an effort to flesh out the characters and have themes the audience can potentially relate to, like mental illness and an overwhelming need to protect the innocent. The psychological aspects to it enhanced the movie immensely and I loved the various explanations sprinkled throughout of how the mother’s illness affected her family. There was a history to this family that you felt immediately and wanted to see their story & relationship progress more and more! I wish they expanded a bit more on the mythos of the entity, however I was satisfied with its backstory and how it tied into the relationship with the family.

Now the horror aspect to it… There were a few moments that had the toes curling & hair on the back of the neck stand up. Now I’ve mentioned this before in past reviews that I’m not a huge fan of boomWHUPPAH-type jump scares unless they are done well. There are many instances of such scares in this movie however for me personally, they really worked to enhance the horror aspect to it. It is also a gorgeous looking movie, probably one of the best looking horror films I’ve seen, rivaling that of The Conjuring (2013). This movie is honestly worth watching for the beautiful looking scenes alone, credit due to cinematographer Marc Spicer… There is also a sequence during the final act involving the boyfriend and his brilliant utilization of light that caused me and the audience I was watching with to simply be in awe.

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If you’re a fan of horror done with a story and characters you actually care about and want to feel invested in their world, check out Lights Out.


Lights Out receives 4.5/5 Matt Damon heads.

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The Conjuring (2013) Movie Review

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I recently rewatched this film, having originally seen it during its theatrical run and was curious to see if it held up to how much I remember loving it… Let me tell you, The Conjuring is a fantastic piece of motion pictureness and it exceeded what I remember.

I truly believed the love this family had for each other and could tell these people have had their fair share of hardships they had to overcome. Surprisingly, the child acting was rather pleasant and not annoying, an issue that seems to plague many horror films or film in general. Ron Livingston had a good portrayal of a hard-working father & husband, however there were a few times where I thought he could’ve improved a little bit. [SPOILER] dude, your wife/mother of your 5 children is potentially going to violently murder your child.. Would it kill you to put a little umph in your pleads??

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His ’70s-era hair impaired his emotion, I get it

The pairing of Patrick Wilson/Vera Farmiga was brilliant, you could tell these two have been through some shit and they know whether a situation is relevant to their work or simply some shotty pipe work in the attic making noise.

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I want to invite them over for dinner and cuddles

James Wan really showcased his directing chops as well, the amount of talent this guy possesses is ridiculous. He manages to create a refreshing take on what could have easily been a by-the-numbers paranormal flick, beautifully direct the 7th installment of a franchise that faced arguably the most difficult situation one could possibly face, and will now helm a superhero movie with Khal Drogo in the water… James, whatever MJ water you’re drinking, keep it up! The Conjuring really is directed beautifully with not too many BOOMWHUPPAH! scenes that make you say DAMN IT in frustration rather than scream in terror; it had just the right amount of tension & build up paired with the occasional jump scare that actually helped to enhance the film rather than hinder it.

If you’re looking for a horror film you may not have seen yet and would like to be feel actual suspense & thrill, watch The Conjuring this Halloween.. If anything, you can swoon over Patrick Wilson’s perfect sideburns. Boy, that man has some amazing sideburns..

gg


The Conjuring receives 4.5/5 Matt Damon heads.

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