Posts Tagged ‘Film’

The 2013 film is pretty much the found footage type and I don’t review films often. This was one recommended to be watched via Lovecraft E-Zine. It is directed by Karl Mueller and written by him too, it was to DVD 2nd May 2014 and has a fairly simple beginning.

The characters played by Jon Foster and Sarah Jones are a couple that go into the woods to work on a film, but end up locked into a series of very strange events. It was inspired by the memory of a neighbour; the man lived in a cabin with no running water and who trapped animals and hung them up around the woods. They made up scary stories about him to scare themselves at night, helped by the fact he had a lot of old and unusual looking farming equipment.

The movie itself is one of those types that appeals to those with more of a surreal taste, it is also not for those expecting some sort of splatter gore. This is more about the characters and their discoveries than it is about monsters…

Mr Jones is an elusive character in the story; Penny and her boyfriend Scott are the main characters who are off to make a nature documentary. Penny realises that he has not planned it very well and is annoyed, she gave up her job to help him. They find Mr Jones’ place and the artist is an elusive man that was never identified. As they investigate it more he decides to make Mr Jones the subject of his documentary. Despite the people he interviews telling him to stay away it is inevitable that he does not, the story progresses as more events unfurl and I am not going to spoil it by commenting about the end result.

The two characters do not seem unlikeable so that makes the film watchable, unlike Paranormal activity where I positively didn’t care what happened to them. The interaction with them seems more realistic and if you are into one that makes you watch for the story not the free gore porn you will likely enjoy it.

It won’t be the best thing you have ever seen but as it was streaming on Netflix and I was enjoying it I think I’d say, watch it if you like those genres of film. Out of 5 I give it a 3.5 because I think it’s nothing amazingly new but as far as that genre goes it’s far better than many. If you are looking for a comparison then I would say for unusual films I’d put it alongside the 2010 film Yellow Brick Road.

Mr Jones 2013 horror thriller poster.jpg
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So for a Halloween treat I decided to hire a random film from On Demand. Flicking through I spotted it, expecting the usual cheesy rubber monster or bad CGI but at least it was going to be something new to waste some time on.

I didn’t really have a clue about what the plot was, I’ll try not to spoil anything in this review but I apologise if I inadvertently should. Basically the premise is that a bunch of
teens end up taking a somewhat dodgy tour around Pripyat, the nuclear plant explosion is well known so a quick youtube search will give you amply footage (or check my previous blog for more details about it).

For one reason or another, the tourists and their guide go via an alternative entrance to the area. They find themselves bypassing a rather freaky looking fish on the side of the contaminated river and then land in the town. The history the guide gives is brief but pretty much a quick bite size low-down to tell you how it ended up abandoned. Pripyat footage is stunning in this; I thought the location was a great one including a scene where the Reactor in the background is pointed out from a window in a block of flats. There was a little jumpy bit at the river with the fish but it’s not until things start to go wrong that it kicks into real “life” suspense.

Now I know a lot of people love to give massive criticism to the influx of these types of horrors but firstly, it’s not done in that overused Blair Witch/Cloverfield style.  Personally however I have to say I liked Cloverfield too, but the camera angles are mixed and the lighting used in what I thought was a clever approach of claustrophobia and strange noises. To begin with it looked like it was nature fighting back, dogs in the area scavenging a rather fun section with a bear and then it started to kick into live going very wrong for everyone involved.

My plus points on the film? Okay the fact you don’t see stupidly created models that make it all too fake, no arbitrary bloody scenes of gore that meant nothing in the face of the fears they were supposed to be enacting. The scenes with the dark lighting and the confusion from their actors when they are without a guide and the slow decline of health of the party all made it feel very scary. (I was alone with the lights out too, go me!)

The downsides? Well I guess some parts of the acting weren’t too strong as I didn’t really get too attached to the characters or their stories. The dark shots got a bit annoying at times as they were pretty dark, I am sure I could adjust the settings on my TV but that would have made the other scenes too bright. The ending felt a little bit rushed but I guess the counter argument to that would be that it was meant to be that way due to the events of the story.

Overall I think I’d watch it again if it came up and I wouldn’t put this down as a bad movie, and yes I have seen some terrible ones. I think if you like that type of film you’ll probably enjoy it like I did but if you are already looking at it from a downside you’ll just pick holes and flaws with it. My opinion for a mark out of 5 would be 4/5 purely because when I watched it on my own I did jump a couple of times and the things chasing them were far more realistic than a rubber costumed robot.

Oh yes he’s probably one of the most famous killers in history and there is no way I could do this justice in one post but I have decided to at least get a little down on paper for now.

1888 London, Whitechapel was by no means a nice place. In fact a hovel of debauchery, poverty and crime the one thing it has done is raise the profile of how awful it was to be poor during the period. With lavish inventions, curious contraptions and plays that sparkle in the eyes of the rich, just like many cities London was not exempt of the darker side. Indeed London’s underground scenes and rough streets make some of the most lucrative aspects of art and film in the modern ages. Not least of those subjects is Jack the Ripper, depicted by many famous parties in film, games and literature… the serial killers past is so clouded with mystery and intrigue that it’s hard to pass him by.

The name comes from a letter, widely regarded as a hoax, which was signed Jack the Ripper admitting to the hideous crimes but another name for Jack is Leather Apron. Both of which relate to the crimes of prostitutes that were viciously attacked and murdered with abdominal mutilations being the part that really sticks out as his signature. He has never been identified as a specific person and so the theories continue to be debated, perhaps this is the true essence of why he is so fascinating, we truly have the opportunity to play armchair detectives as there’s plenty of theories to test.

Whitechapel itself leads to a brilliant backdrop for the crime and it’s subsequent mystery of exactly who Jack the Ripper is, after all with an estimated 1200 prostitutes and 62 brothels in the area Jackie-boy had a brilliant selection and plenty of opportunities to plan his escapades. And there wasn’t just a problem with the ladies of the night, there was a terrible element of racism, class division and those of higher station merely regarded it all as immorality.

Five of many victims of the time are listed as his canon murders, due to the way in which they were found and mutilated though the true number could be far more and there are at least seven listed as part of the Whitechapel murders. Those considered canon (canonical) are Mary Ann Nichols, Anne Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly. I’ll be focusing on them in other posts as they really deserve more focus than a summary paragraph in my view.

What is interesting about each one is that whilst there was no identified sexual assault in terms of the murder being met with rape he had penetrated them with the knife and left them on display, suggesting the act perpetrated on females was still perhaps sexual in nature. It’s hard to disagree with it having some form of sexual motivation when considering their professions.

There have been numerous adaptations of this theme but I am going to comment on the ones I enjoy most. Certainly I enjoyed “From Hell” the name of which was a letter received by George Lusk at the time, the letter was signed From Hell. Johnny Depp plays the aspiring detective Aberline and it is dark enough to be interesting without turning into a terrible slasher like so many seem too. Another take comes from Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) a manga which has been adapted into anime, in which the murderer is a grim reaper working on behalf of a woman who can no longer bear children. A modern retelling came to the British TV in the form of a mini-series, a Jack the Ripper in the modern night replicating the details of the murders is hunted down.

Derek Bentley was the cause of outcry because it was considered to be a miscarriage of justice against the 19 year-old. Bentley was executed in 1953 and it was reported he came back to haunt the bedroom of his family home. The family dog would react to his presence and they would find the bedclothes in his room disturbed.

He was a retarded 19 year old (mentally aged around 11) and was convicted alongside 16 year old Christopher Craig. They were accused of the murder of PC Sidney Miles, Craig fired the shot as they were trying to rob a warehouse, the words he shouted were apparently “Let him have it Chris!”. He was old enough to be sent to the gallows and this was carried out despite many attempts to have the decision overturned.

In 1998 his murder conviction was quashed as it was determined that he had been denied fair trial. Perhaps Bentley just wanted to hear his name cleared before he could move on?

The Bell Witch Cave is a cave located in Adams, Tennessee close to where Bell Farm once stood. It is around 490 feet and whilst it is privately owned there are tours that are organised to allow some entry to the place. The cave is more famously known thanks to a legend of a witch there. Betsy Bell and her friends had gone to explore the cave and whilst doing so once of the boys got themselves stuck. A voice cried out, “I’ll get him out” the boy felt hands grasp at his feet and was pulled from the hole. The witch (invisible) proceeded to lecture the adventurers.

The Bell Witch legend brought the inspiration for the Blair Witch Project, a cult movie from the 1990’s.  The film whilst many are likely to disagree with me, does have an appeal that’s fairly unique but sadly poorly copied over the years forcing into the hammy styles of any predecessor, like Lost Boys now being nothing more than a vampire comedy for some.

I was one of the fortunate people, no one ruined the fact it was a movie not based on the truth so I saw it with the fresh eyes that made it appealing I guess. I don’t count the second film when I talk about considering it to be a good one either, in the same way I consider Highlander 2 to be a bad dream. Either way the legend of the Blair Witch (closely linked to the Bell Witch) are that a hermit, named Rustin Parr, kidnapped seven children in the area in the 1940’s and brought them home to torture and murder them. He confesses and pleads insanity saying that the witch Elly Kedward was tormenting him and promised to leave him alone if he murdered the seven children.