The Vatican Tapes

thevaticantapes (1)

Vampire Owl :: It has been a long time since some horror, right?

Vampire Bat :: Yes, there are not many horror movies releasing here these days; sometimes, there is just none at all.

Vampire Owl :: The world was so much better during The Conjuring days. There was abundance of horror then.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, after that, a lot of horror movies didn’t release here. I have a long list of that.

Vampire Owl :: And there were a few which released too late.

Vampire Bat :: And also the rest which came to some theatres only; those multiplexes – only those where we couldn’t go.

Vampire Owl :: And there was like one show at times when it was not comfortable for us.

Vampire Bat :: And they got cancelled or disappeared completely just too soon.

Vampire Owl :: This is why we should find out own horror.

Vampire Bat :: Exactly! Otherwise, how can we recharge our strengths?

[Gets three cups of tea with tapioca chips].

What is it about? :: After showing a few videos with shots of possession and exorcism, we are taken into the story. A young girl, Angela Holmes (Olivia Taylor Dudley) begins to show some strange behaviour after cutting her finger with a knife during a birthday celebration. Her father Roger Holmes (Dougray Scott) and boyfriend Peter Smith (John Patrick Amedori) are concerned, but it seems to be more of her fear for the hospital as she hasn’t been there since her early childhood. But one day, she is bitten by a raven while traveling inside a bus, and it makes the injury even worse. Her weird behaviour just continues. One day, she doesn’t wake up at all and had to be taken to the hospital again only to cause a car accident. With that, she slips into a comma and doesn’t wake up for a long time, and in the end, the doctors decide to declare her dead.

So, how and where does things take a big turn? :: Roger meets a priest Father Oscar Lozano (Michael Peña) who used to be with the army earlier. The priest becomes suspicious of what has happened with Angela, but as the hospital declares her case hopeless, he decides to provide her with the last rites. But as he begins the same, it turns out that she is not dead at all. That surely makes everyone happy, but things don’t remain the same after her return to the normal life, as it gets worse. The hospital cameras identify her trying to hurt a newborn, and after seeing and questioning her about the same, a detective murders himself with two bulbs. She is moved to the asylum, and things don’t get any better – murders happen and so does chaos. The hospital abandons the case, and now there is only one chance left.

The defence of The Vatican Tapes :: There is a story smoothly told here, and there is no rush with its idea. The ending also signifies that there is scope for something bigger with a possible sequel. The Vatican Tapes also doesn’t go with the cheap scares, and uses it central idea to generate the fear. There is nothing jumping out of darkness, and there is no manifestation of the demons. Instead, what happens here is the realization of the horror that is warming up, and the unlimited terror which is going to be unleashed later. The usual horror characters, especially the annoying ones are missing, and the movie finishes with the rather realistic end to what could happen – a possible end of the world coming closer rather than the exorcists saving the day. The horror in this movie is more on the background and getting right into the viewer with the basic idea!

Claws of flaw :: The movie hasn’t really used its video footage to its advantage, as most of those videos could have been shot just like the rest of the movie. The exorcism scene also doesn’t bring that much strength as expected, and won’t satisfy people who keep seeing the same thing all the time. Something more brutal, or shocking; even something at least surprising was the need of the times considering the number of exorcism movies and the rest of the horror which have come to us in the recent years. There is also not that much information about the demon and the possession, except for bringing that Anti-Christ idea up – a better explanation was a lot in need here, especially with experts in such matters already there as characters; it was never going to be that difficult. Maybe, the sequel, if there is one, can solve some of it.

Performers of the soul :: Olivia Taylor Dudley is the big asset for this movie, as she comes up with some very nice and creepy moments with her performance as the one coming back from the dead, as well as the fully possessed person. We would remember her from the lesser known horror movie Chernobyl Diaries and the more recent Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. The Vatican Tapes has what might be one of her best works among those popularly known – there are those points which you will want to recollect. She will have a bigger job there if there is a sequel for this one. The next notable performance is from Michael Peña who plays the priest who comes to know about this particular possession. Peter Andersson has a smaller, but nice performance here, and lets look out for Djimon Hounsou in case of a sequel.

How it finishes :: The Vatican Tapes is surely an interesting movie, and it will appeal to those who like the movies concerning possession and exorcism. It might not be everyone who are looking for some terrifying events throughout its run, and it is surely better than how it is rated at IMDb and what the critics have said about it. There is also the presence of evil portrayed well enough without adding those ghostly or demonic images, and the connection there with the horror is really well-made – it is gloomy, and hope of something better is not easy to have in here. It does try to be different than a usual exorcism movie, as this one doesn’t end with evil. Yes, it is horror, and is not a pretendor to the genre like some movies which get heavy critical appreciation as horror or superhero movies, but in reality, they are not.

Release date: 24th July 2015
Running time: 91 minutes
Directed by: Mark Neveldine
Starring: Olivia Taylor Dudley, Kathleen Robertson, Michael Peña, Djimon Hounsou, Dougray Scott, John Patrick Amedori,Peter Andersson, Tehmina Sunny, Noemi Gonzalez, Bruno Gunn, Ashley Gibson, Daniel Bernhardt, Alex Sparrow, Jarvis W. George

thevaticantapes

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

John Wick

johnwick (1)

Vampire Owl :: May be we should watch Beauty and the Beast instead of this.

Vampire Bat :: Now why should you think so after getting the tickets?

Vampire Owl :: Because you can find more than one John everywhere, but a beauty is so rare to find.

Vampire Bat :: You are beauty-blind. You never appreciate any kind of beauty. Do you know that?

Vampire Owl :: That is not true. I find beauty even in a mortuary.

Vampire Bat :: It is exactly what I am talking about. And this is why you will find more beauty or the strange image of beauty in an action movie like John Wick.

Vampire Owl :: What about Jessabelle? I have heard that she is a beauty.

Vampire Bat :: It has been panned by critics, and might not release here soon. The same is the case of Horns.

Vampire Owl :: See, they don’t release the right movie here. You should arrange a mutiny while I am planning to owlify the world.

Vampire Bat :: Still doing better than the censor board.

[Goes into the theatre].

What is it about? :: John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is spending his life in sadness and depression after the death of his wife Helen (Bridget Moynahan) due to cancer. But he receives a puppy which his wife had left for him and decides to love it a lot. One day, a group of gang members ask him to name a price for his car in which they are interested. But John refuses and leaves them very angry. But at night, lead by Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen), they get into his home, beat him up, kills his dog and steals the car. Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist), the leader of the gang and the father of Iosef scolds him and tells him who John actually is. He was his best assassin, who was nicknamed the boogeyman, and this ruthless killer will come to get the one who attacked him, and there is no force that can stop him. He tries to talk to John, which fails, and therefore places a bounty on him – the two major assassins who seem to take the offer seriously are Marcus (Willem Dafoe) and Miss Perkins (Adrianne Palicki). But John Wick has already started his mission – he has been in the best in the business.

The defence of John Wick :: The world of John Wick is nicely created, and it is a nice and gory one full of action and violence which stands apart. It gives a special feeling as we are guided through that strange and lawless world with its own chaos as the right thing to do. It is stylish work, and its style doesn’t go too much and make it complicated – it is simple and nice, with some melee combat and lots of gunshots, never really trying anything spectacular. We do need a good action movie with a lot of action which doesn’t get overdone with flying bodies, people doing insance stunts and all, and here is it. For those who need a bloody revenge story, here it is. It might be the time to imagine all those who were bad to you this week getting shot – yes, it is a lot like a video game and the one that first comes to mind is Max Payne. There is that kind of a feeling going on, and there is even the shot of a man playing a first person shooter getting shot, all of a sudden. Shoot, shoot and save the movie – I would say that it is the motto of John Wick.

Claws of flaw :: There is drag, and there is absolutely no doubt about it. The slowness of the movie is rather awkward and there are also some uninteresting parts of the action sequences which are uncalled for. The movie does seem to offer a lot in the beginning, but that much is not provided – John Wick is this, John Wick is that, but he is not that smart as it turns out to be, but sometimes goes on like a kind of Chuck Norris, getting rid of people who are in his way. But in melee combat, he gets beaten up a lot, and one has to wonder why he was considered that scary. It is all because of his dog getting killed, and that is also strange considering how much of a murderer the protagonist has been. Then there is the ending, and the final scenes as well as the fights are not the better things in the movie, even as they could have been – and that is a let down. We think that it has ended, and it has not, and then there is the hope for another ending, and finally it ends, it is predictable, keeping us looking on our watches – there are boring moments, and the movie is a little too long.

Performers of the soul :: Here is a movie of Keanu Reeves which is all about him as the name itself suggests. He is once again at his best, and in action, he seems supreme. He has blended into this avatar so nicely that this might be his best performance for some time. There is still nothing like seeing him in The Matrix, Constantine and Speed though – sorry, couldn’t live without mentioning them here. Michael Nyqvist is fantastic as the gang lord. The movie does leave one hoping that Adrianne Palicki had more to do – the only thing she does here is to try to kill John Wick, but she is supposed to be a smart lady assassin, and should do more, and could have controlled a lot more in the movie, and her end is also too cold. I thought she was very good in G.I. Joe: Retaliation as Lady Jaye, and here she has a blunt character, but I liked the way she dealt with it. The same is the case of Willem Dafoe who was needed more – there could have been more with him and that sniper rifle. Lance Reddick is nice indeed in his scenes. Ian McShane also leaves a nice mark. I do wish Bridget Moynahan was out of John Wick’s mobile screen for a little more time.

Soul exploration :: This is a story of revenge, and how it goes in a violent manner – there is no chance for regret in this world of chaos and annihilation. There is the assertion of the truth that one’s past can’t be asked to go away, especially if it is violent in nature. There can be many things that a man can be, but being not influenced at least indirectly by his past is rather not possible – the grave where you hide these tend to come back as zombies, and John Wick is no exception for the same. The Malayalam word for “past” is “bhootham” which means ghost, and it keeps haunting us, thus making that name a worthy one. John’s attempt to escape from his past doesn’t prove to be good for his present, and keeps his future uncertain. Yes, worrying about the past is useless, but not when it is a terrible one, and you do have something left in you to take your mind and body back to it – that means that you have not changed. Unless you have not let go in a way in which there is no return, there is no escape, because ghosts will successfully feed on them some day. There are not many twisted things in this movie, as the plot is direct – find, kill, have your revenge, leave in one piece if possible.

How it finishes :: This weekend’s challengers for John Wick are from Nightcrawler and Beauty and the Beast. The remains from the past include Gone Girl which is still going strong, along with Interstellar, Big Hero 6 and Fury which should be of no challenge for this one. Among this week’s releases too, this one should have the advantage, with Keanu Reeves being back at what he has been doing the best and can accomplish with that certain amount of awesomeness – there will be a lot of Matrix fans who have been hoping for the same. It is also the only hundred percent action movie among all the releases. The releases in other languages also has none that belongs to full action. Lets hope that John Wick will bring a change in the action genre as it hasn’t been doing that well as the situation used to be, unless being mixed with science fiction or some random adventure into the unknown or fantasy. Do give John Wick a chance if you are a strong action fan, otherwise may be you can doubt.

Release date: 14th November 2014 (India); 24th October 2014 (USA)
Running time: 101 minutes
Directed by: Chad Stahelski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Dean Winters, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Willem Dafoe, Lance Reddick, Daniel Bernhardt, Omer Barnea, Toby Leonard Moore, Bridget Regan, Keith Jardine, Thomas Sadoski, David Patrick Kelly, Clarke Peters, Kevin Nash, Randall Duk Kim, Scott Tixier

johnwick

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.