Book Review: The Anomaly by Michael Rutger

The truth? Who gives a fuck?

The Anomaly is a thriller science fiction novel by Michael Rutger. Nolan Moore is a documentary presenter looking for a big break in the media industry. When him and his team caught wind of a story about an explorer finding a mysterious cavern within The Grand Canyon, the team sets out to find the same cavern and try to document the mystery behind it.

The book starts out as your typical horror movie set up. A group of people heading to an exotic location, in their case to film a documentary and soon finds out something odd is afoot in said location. This book however is a lot more clever than expected.

The characters are likable and though they are types they’re all given personalities. The story itself is simple and though there are times where you think the book’s going a certain way, it manages to stay unpredictable until the very end.

Overall The Anomaly was very fun read, it’s highly entertaining and even though it starts off fairly slow it becomes a page turner halfway through. If you’re looking for a good science fiction/thriller/horror with some dab of comedy, check out The Anomaly.

Rating: 4/5

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Movie Review: Hereditary

I just don’t want put anymore stress in my family

Hereditary is the feature length directorial debut of Ari Aster. It stars Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Gabriel Byrne and Milly Shapiro.

When the Graham family experiences a loss, the family struggles to express their grief, in the meantime weird things start happening around the house affecting all the rest of the family.


The Good

Hereditary is easily one of the best horror movie to have come out this year. It is tense, it’s creepy but it’s also well shot and brilliantly acted. Toni Collette gives a powerhouse performance alongside Alex Wolff and the rest of the cast are also great.

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Though it doesn’t have a lot of jump-scares, it does deliver in terms of uneasiness. At times it’s uncomfortable and there’s a lingering feeling of dread throughout the movie as one bad thing leads to another.

Another great aspect of the movie is the cinematography, the movie uses creative shots and cuts to amplify the creepiness and once again it’s thoroughly effective.


The Bad

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Though majority of the movie works, the movie does have some flaws. When the third act kicks in, it becomes your typical horror movie having elements that you have seen before. In return, the movie becomes somewhat predictable and it can take you out of the movie.


Rating

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Overall Hereditary though slow, it delivers the scares, the creeps and the uneasiness. The acting and the cinematography is the movie’s biggest strengths. The story sucks you in with vice like grip and puts you on the edge of your seat and at times you’ll feel helpless.

Unfortunately the movie doesn’t maintain this throughout as the third act becomes your run of the mill horror flick. It has surprises that you’ll never see coming and scenes that are undoubtedly unforgettable and with that it all leads to a great horror film. If you love psychological horror, Hereditary is highly recommended.

Good Bad 4.8/5
    • Great Performances
    • Great Cinematography
    • Utterly Creepy
    • Weak third act

Movie Review: A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place is directed by John Krasinski and it stars himself and his wife, Emily Blunt, also stars Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe.

A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.


The Good

With 90 minutes running time, John Krasinski managed to direct a tight and very straight forward horror film which is pretty good. This movie had very strong performances from our four characters and kudos to John Krasinski for his direction as well.

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One of the stand out is Millicent Simmonds, who’s deaf in real life, she plays one of the children and she is great. Seeing as she doesn’t have any lines her actions and emotions are conveyed through her facial expressions and she does it incredibly.

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The creatures were terrifying and they blend seamlessly with the environment, the visual effects on them were impressive and no doubt would leave an impression to the viewers.


The Bad

The major issues are the convenient plot points, there are a few of them and at times they follow the same beats. There are also character decisions that are questionable and at times there are things that could’ve dealt with in smarter ways.


Rating

A QUIET PLACE

Overall A Quiet Place is a very good horror/thriller movie, the actors were great and again John Krasinski deserves every credit he gets for acting and directing and even some screenplay writing. Emily Blunt is very good and even the kids were good too. The scares can be a bit predictable but most of the time they deliver. If you’re a fan of creature feature horror movies highly recommend to check A Quiet Place.

Good Bad 4/5
    • Characters
    • Creatures and Scares
    • Convenient Plot Points

Movie Review: It

You’ll float too

It is the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s famous novel It. It’s directed by Andy Muschietti (Mama) and it stars Finn Wolfhard, Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis and Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise.

In the small town of Derry, Maine a string of disappearances are plaguing the town. However when a group of kids detected a pattern they are determined to stop the cause behind it,  a demon clown called Pennywise.


The Good

This movie was a lot of fun, one of the most surprising elements of the movie is the amount of comedy it had. One might think It will be a straight up horror movie but the amount of genre that this movie tackled was impressive, from comedy, drama, thriller and it can be considered an adventure film as well as a coming of age story and not to mention the horror side of it. It balances all these elements and it creates a meaty and and thoroughly enjoyable film.

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Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise was great, his creepy and scary portrayal of Pennywise was very fitting and he’s terrifying. Though the loser club also deserves a praise as they were all great, with seven characters to juggle from the movie manages to give each character a moment.

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However three actors stood out having performed great range of emotions. Sophia Lillis, the lone girl in the group was great, she represents a very mature side of the Losers Club while the comedic side was handled perfectly by Finn Wolfhard who plays Richie Tozier. On the other hand Jack Dylan Grazer who plays Eddie is the most sensible one and all these three actors were amazing.


The Bad

There’s not a lot of bad things to say about this movie and if there are it’s very minor however one subtle flaw of the movie is it does every other element of it good, to which the horror part becomes underwhelming. The movie delivers plenty of jump-scares and terrifying imagery. But at a certain point of the movie, you stop being scared as you become invested in the story.


Rating

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Overall It is a hIt, see what I did there, the surprising amount of humor in the film worked a little too well but it did help the movie’s pacing. The Losers Club was fun to watch the raunchy dialogue of the kids will have you laughing throughout the movie however Bill Skarsgard’s fantastic take on Pennywise will leave you terrified. Andy Muschietti is slowly cementing himself as one of the better horror movie director and with this being a huge success we will surely be hearing more about him.

It is a fun, scary and thoroughly enjoyable movie. It’s violent and humorous but it will also make you keep wanting more.

Good Bad 4.2/5
  • Pennywise
  • Terrifying Imagery
  • Hilarious Dialogue
    • Underwhelming Horror

 

Movie Review: The Wailing (Goksung)

When a plague is slowly affecting the villagers of a certain town, a police officer is absorbed in the case as his personal life is pulled in especially with the involvement of his daughter.


The Good

The movie had everything a horror movie should have, a competent story that pulls you right in. Tons of horrific images that will haunt you days after you’ve seen the movie. The right amount of humour to keep you at ease and brilliant performances from the actors and actresses involved.

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The story and the mythology involved in this movie is fascinating. They are integrated really well and it makes up for it’s long running time. You don’t feel that the movie is too long because you are too absorbed in what’s going on in the screen.

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Your actors/actresses are incredible, both Jong-Goo and Jun Kunimura gave an impressive performances. The down to earth nature of Jong-Goo’s character lets you empathize with him while the eerie and mysterious Jun Kunimura gives you goosebumps the moment he’s introduced on the screen.


The Bad

The major flaw with this film is it’s third act, though it’s still following the pace of the movie, there are moments that are filled with extreme confusion. Several events aren’t explained and though it is the director’s intention to leave you confused at certain scenes, it didn’t help especially with everything that’s going on in the movie.


Rating

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Overall Goksung is easily one of the best horror movies this year, the story is incredibly deep with layers and the execution is masterful. It’s subtle and haunting scares will leave you breathless and terrified yet, you still can’t take your eyes off the screen. It is one of the best movies of the year and it is one that will simply blow you away.

Good Bad 4.8/5
  • Great Performances
  • Deeply Enthralling Story
  • Confusing / Unexplained Scenes

Movie Review: Blair Witch

There’s something out there.

Blair Witch is the real sequel to the cult classic, The Blair Witch Project. Directed by Adam Wingard (You’re Next, The Guest) and stars James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez and Corbin Reid.

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Blair Witch follows James who recently acquired a footage of his sister who disappeared years ago. Accompanied by his friends, James ventures into the Black Hills forest in hopes to find his sister.


The Good

Glad to say Blair Witch provides some terrifying scares, it acts like a horror ride, with each section having a certain kind of scare and right when you think the ride is finished, it bumps up the scare factor to a maximum. There are moment of extreme uneasiness and the movie takes the most common phobias and puts our characters into those situations. To the movie’s credit, it works.

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The most impressive aspect of the movie, is the sound direction. Most of the jump scares utilize loud sounds and though it may be cheap it’s very effective as it can help deliver plenty of terrifying scares.


The Bad

Unfortunately for the movie, it’s not all great as the first two acts are incredibly dull. Though the movie tries to make you care about these characters, from the bad acting and poorly delivered lines, it’s difficult to care for them.

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It also gives you plenty of story in the first two thirds, however unless you’re interested in the mythology behind the Blair Witch, it is a story not caring about.


Rating

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Overall this movie is strikingly similar with the 1999 cult classic. Though the scares are a lot more terrifying and sometimes uncomfortable. The lack of depth within the characters and the uninteresting story drags this movie down tremendously. If the scares is something you’re looking forward to, it takes a while to get there but it’s there. However if the you’re looking for a competent horror film you will be disappointed.

Good Bad 2.7/5
  • Terrifying Third Act
  • Great Sound Direction
  • Bad Acting
  • Dull First and Second Act

 

Movie Review: Train to Busan

Train To Busan is a horror, thriller zombie flick directed by Sang-ho Yeon.

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A group of passengers try to survive a zombie infested train, hoping their destination, Busan City, can offer them relief from the zombie-infestation that’s plaguing the country.


The Good

If 28 Days Later and Snowpiercer had a baby it would be Train to Busan. This movie offered more than your typical zombie survival movie genre and added a much needed emotional pull to get the audience invested in it’s characters. Our protagonist are likable and you don’t have a problem rooting for them. However they’re also humanized as everyone are shown to have flaws of their own.

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The cinematography is great and delivered some memorable zombie chase scenes as well as intense and nail-biting sequences. The director did a wonderful job keeping you at the edge of your seat.


The Bad

Though very minimal the movie does have some problems, at certain times you can easily tell the CG zombies from the real ones and as impressive the practical zombie make ups are, being able to recognize the computer generated does take you out of the movie.


Rating

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Overall Train to Busan is a solid zombie film. Though you’ve seen similar stories before, Train to Busan still manages to deliver without being too cliched. The characters are likable, your human antagonists get on your nerves and the zombie sequences are a great plus. Train to Busan is a competently made film and highly recommend it to everyone.

Good Bad 4/5
  • Likable Characters
  • Great Cinematography
  • Intense Zombie Sequences
  • CG Zombies
  • Questionable Character Decisions