Monday, July 25, 2016

The Forest (2016)

:...when you see something bad, it's all in your head's not real...

Well, that's basically the driving theme to this movie, blogspot readers, to which SouthSide regrets renting from the library. Usually, she pick some good ones but this recently released on DVD movie was mediocre at best in trying to frighten this reviewer with it's haunting spirits within  a spooky forest that's totally real in Japan. The Forest definitely has rewritten the classic movie rules, blogspot reader, to the point the storyline and some of its characters left SouthSide scratching her head in confusion.

The premise is - a twin named Sara (played by Natalie Dormer) is in search of missing her twin sister (who's an American teaching in Japan) who took her students on a field trip to Japan's infamous Suicide Forest (actually named Aokigahara or Sea of Trees located at the base of Mount Fuji). The police believes she went there to commit suicide and is dead ...Natalie's character believes otherwise. She has this "feeling" (to which she emphatically repeats throughout the movie) that her sister is alive and is determined to find her as such. Those whom she meets on her journey to Aokigahara warn her that perhaps her sister doesn't want to be found. They tell her that strange things happen when you stray off the path might hear or see weird things that could be just your mind playing tricks on you.

Yet, warnings like those mentioned doesn't deter this twin from her mission especially when she decides to spend a terrifying night inside the forest against the sound advice of her Japanese guide. She's lucky to survive ...or did she?

Is her sister alive or dead?

And who is Taylor Kinney's character - Aiden suppose to be? Is he a "uri" (Japanese for ghost) or a reporter like he said he was?

Confusing questions that will NEVER be answered because this movie was messy with so much confusion, blogspot readers!

Granted, SouthSide did enjoy the surprising twist at the end of the movie ...but please - NO sequel. This particular movie doesn't even deserve one since it ends with many unanswered questions or perhaps, this reviewer should re-rent the movie for a second viewing.

Then again - perhaps not.

Some movies are just made to be viewed once and only once, blogspot readers. And she also understands why there was some strong opposition against the release of this movie. It does somewhat exploit of true historical significance of Aokigahara as the movie's horror backdrop and theme. Besides that, the characters especially between Natalie Dormer and Taylor Kinney had no real connection to each other. SouthSide felt she was watching two actors just going through the motions of hitting their lines without any emotion or depth. It was almost like that god-awful Prince of Persia movie again, blogspot readers. Despite the messy script and confusing characters, the scares within The Forest was okay ...some do grab at you but nothing that will leave you looking for a flashlight to keep you company. 

SouthSide recommends viewing The Forest if you want to see it to be seeing it. Rent it first before buying to add to your collection.

Until next time, support your local scene,

The Brood (1979)

Oh, the wondrous things you can discover while visiting your local library, blogspot readers, as SouthSide has recently done. She found a hidden gem though not really looking for any particular movie that fateful day to check out. Well, in her opinion, it was find of a lifetime that she had heard about but never seen ...until now.

David Cronenberg's 1979 film - The Brood.

This intense psychological horror shock thriller stars the late Oliver Reed as a radical medical psychologist, Dr. Hal Raglan, who treats his patients with a rare form of psychotherapy at a mysterious institute. Right there, blogspot readers, you should be shivering with delight or fright. Yet, it sounds good so far, huh? One of Reed's patients, Nola Carveth (played by Samantha Eggar) is also a mother of a 5 year old daughter  (Cindy Hinds as Candice Carveth )who's being terrorized by demonic beings.

Oh it's really getting creepy now.

Then toss in an estranged husband (Art Himdle as Frank Carveth) as he fights to save his daughter (as well as himself) from the frightening terrors that haunt her ...only to discover the SHOCKING secret involving his wife at the end. And SouthSide truly means - it's a gripping horrorshock that feature one of Cronenberg's  best horror grotesqueness of the OMG kind, blogspot readers, before shocking horror fans with other cult classics like Videodrome, Scanners, Rabid, Dead Ringers and more. 

The Brood, at first runs like two separate movies for your viewing pleasure where you're thoroughly immersed into Reed's intense psychotherapy sessions with Eggar while the next, your eyes are witnessing graphic scenes of murder committed by a little demonic thing ...about the same size as Cindy Hind's Candice character. Yet, as both scenarios move ever so closer together as one as you continue viewing this movie, you're gradually sucked towards one horrifying movie-viewing end that may leave you either scratching your head and wonder OR shaking scared from Cronenberg's gruesome fest.

Got to love Rick Baker the Monster Maker and his talented horror monster-making craft which paved the way for other movie work he did - ie Videodrome and Nightbreed (SouthSide's favorite go-to movie for bumps and chills), blogspot readers. The shocking revelation does give the heart a bit of a jolt  yet that's what Cronenberg and his movies do best. The Brood is the original "shock and awe" type of cinematic masterpiece you'll ever find. And just for that one particular scene (which this reviewer does suggest watching more than once to soak in the full effect of that 'shock and awe') at the end when you discover Samantha Eggar's horrific secret.

If your jaw doesn't drop or your stomach doesn't twist in knots, then something's horribly wrong with you, blogspot readers.

Won't reveal anything else in this review, blogspot readers, you have to find and watch The Brood yourself. SouthSide even dares you to watch it without the lights on ...she did. And it was even more frightening in the dark.

Highly recommend.

Until next time, support your local scene,

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

04 Jul 16 - The Purge: Election Year

***this review contains no spoilers***

"Purge and purify ...purge and purify..."

The Purge - pits you deep within the terrifying, nail-biting action as a family unexpectedly experiences the annual event due to their neighbors' jealous rage against them. 
The Purge Anarchy - three separate stories rolled into one plot as you experience the annual night of crime, murder and mayhem on the streets of Los Angeles while seeds of revolution sprout. There was SO much realism of what's happening to the poor and working-poor in this movie.

Both highly recommended viewing by SouthSide, blogspot readers.

Now, we have come to the third chapter of this series - The Purge: Election Year ...and once again, you're in for another nail-biting, "edge on your seat" ride of your life within this movie set in Washington D.C. And this time the subject of purging is on the forefront as a major election issue between two candidates - Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), a lone survivor of a purging in which murdered her family protected by Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo - the only returning character from Anarchy) and Minister Edwidge Owens (Kyle Secor), the creepiest political candidate ever seen on the movie screen (The Donald has nothing on this guy!) who wholeheartedly supports the NFAA (New Founding Fathers of America) annual event. 

The nation as a whole is torn between supporting and not supporting the purge, blogspot readers. Anti-purge movements and protests appear to be dominating the news on a regular basis and this has the NFAA sorely pissed off. And they're prepared to do whatever it takes (i.e. clean house) to make sure the annual night of purging remains in tact. Perhaps ...forever.

Meanwhile we meet other characters indirectly caught up within the election debate in this movie. Meet Joe Dixon - a deli shop owner who at the last minute has his purge insurance rates jacked up, Marcos - a Mexican immigrant who knows the key to winning the election for Senator Roan, Laney - who drives a makeshift ambulance to help purge victims reach an underground triage center and Bishop Dante - the organizer and leader of the anti-Purge movement. Though the stories are not somewhat connected, they do intertwined together by misfortune when the Purge finally begins.

It's a crazed scene, blogspot readers. 

It's race against race ...gender versus gender ...young versus old ...political candidate versus political candidate...

Yet, who really benefits from this night of mayhem, crime and murder? Well, definitely not those who are poor, unemployed, drug addicts, illegal immigrants, etc because it's was intentionally designed to "purge and purify" the nation, if you connect the subtle hints left throughout this movie. There's profit to be made if you're into the tourism aspect, blogspot readers. The Purge: Election Year introduces a creepy notion that this type of event would attract thrill-seeking Euros hopping across the pond to experience what most Americans have been doing for years now. As America, this where we hit a new low but in reality - it could happen. The United States has hand its share of being a bad influence on our European friends. 

SouthSide appreciates how director and writer James DeMonaco skillfully tapped into what's currently occurring in today's political scene, blogspot readers. It may be a movie but with SO much realistic tones and subject matter, it's downright frightening how our two-party political system can be. It's truly a "dog eat dog" type of duel to the death between a Hillary Clinton-like candidate and Donald Trump-like candidate being prominently featured on the big screen. SouthSide had chills when the scene of Lincoln Memorial was written in blood with the letters spelling P U R G E across the columns and dead bodies draped on the steps. Yet, you also witness how this annual event truly effects those helplessly as well as innocently caught in the middle at the underground triage center. The fact James picked T-Rex's "Twenty Century Boy" and Parliament's "Give Up The Funk) as well as David Bowie's "I'm Afraid of Americans" (a fitting homage to Ziggy's love-hate relationship with Americans) to instill some lighthearted fear and fun into this movie. SouthSide wasn't expecting to hear those three songs currently rotating on her playlist yet it was nice shocking surprise.

The Purge: Election Year does have its moments when you want to cheer and root for the good guys ...rejoice at the moment when the members of the NFAA get their comeuppance towards the end ...but it's still a horrifying, gory (at times) movies in which the actions of violence can touch a nerve. Definitely not recommended for kids under 14 even though SouthSide and her daughter saw moviegoers bringing their children as young as 5 to 9 to this movie. 

She highly recommends seeing The Purge: Election Year. 

Until next time, support your local scene,