Come Play

Vampire Owl: Strange people calling us to play at this point of time. Why?

Vampire Bat: Yes, I think that they are the brain-repaired zombies.

Vampire Owl: So, zombies now have their brains repaired?

Vampire Bat: Yes, they manage the repair with the brains that they eat.

Vampire Owl: I am still not sure why they would want us to play with them though.

Vampire Bat: Well, they want our vampire brains for further repair.

Vampire Owl: In that case, I would tell them to find some of those evil humans.

Vampire Bat: Well, evil humans are easy to find. We can refer them directly.

Vampire Owl: Yes, almost every one among them qualifies as evil according to the definition.

Vampire Bat: Let the zombies and humans meet each other soon enough through the next viral apocalypse.

[Gets a vegetable samosa and three glasses of oreo shake].

What is the movie about? :: Oliver (Azhy Robertson) is an autistic boy who cannot talk either, and uses a smartphone so that he can communicate with people. One night, he finds an app on his mobile named “Misunderstood Monsters” which talks about the story of a monster named Larry who is different, and therefore nobody wants to be his friend, even though the only thing that the creature wants is friendship. He does have his own episodes of screaming at night, and his mother Sarah (Gillian Jacobs) has some tough time with it. She also feels that her husband and the child’s father Marty (John Gallagher Jr) is just not doing enough for the troubled child, as he is almost always working. Oliver is troubled by his classmates who don’t like him as he gets special treatment due his disabilities. They also try bullying him, and also takes away his mobile phone, throwing it into the field near the school. At the same time, the relationship between Sarah and Marty only gets worse.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Sarah is not happy because she feels that Oliver only likes Marty, because he is the earning member of the family, and always brings the child the presents. As the tablet which Marty brought for him as a present identifies someone else with Oliver in the room with its face recognition software, there seems to be something wrong. The tablet actually starts talking to him using the same app which he was using to talk to others, and it identifies itself as Larry, who just wants to be a friend. As Marty who is bothered by Sarah’s talks finally decides to move out, the latter organizes a sleepover to help Oliver to become more social. But the chosen friends are the boys who had earlier bullied Oliver. Oliver hides the tablet as he is afraid of it, but the other boys find it, with a boy reading the story. It leads to Larry appearing, and things, as expected, can only get worse. But who would believe that Oliver is not responsible for all that is happening in house, and that there is a supernatural force at work?

The defence of Come Play :: There are some interesting scares added here and there in the movie, and some of them are more effective than the rest. The darkness and the sound effects are used well, as the visual effectiveness gets only better at the later stages of the film. The demon at work here is pretty good, and the idea that it can be seen in its original form through the tablet opens another dimension for horror very well. The idea of loneliness being spread through technology feels real, and as part of our present world. The demons from inside the technology – social media and the internet, mobile phones and laptops, they are all more real than ever. They might not be having an exact form these days, but they are present at all times, and even in the absence of the supernatural, the human evil shows its presence. Come Play’s monster can also be seen as a reflection of such evil humans, and the film also scores with a fine emotional side. It is not that easy to escape from such realistic monsters.

The claws of flaw :: Come Play could have added more effective creature horror rather than focusing more on those quick scares, and use of divergent creatures is nothing new, as we know from movies like Lights Out and It Follows. One does feel that something better could have been added with the creature detail, as better design only means the possibility of something better around here. With such a premise, it is not ready to take the risk, and that is surprising, because there was a lot that could be done with this particular monster. It could have gone beyond one family, and maybe it could have also had a background story – instead, we go for the safe zone with singular focus around here. An appearance of the monster at school, or at shops would have also been useful. The ending of the film also seems forced, and it doesn’t try to take a peek into the other dimension. All the build-up surely required more than this, as we look close here.

Performers of the soul :: Gillian Jacobs is very effective in becoming the motherly figure in a horror movie, and seemingly suiting the horror genre well. She is the one person who is there throughout the film as a mother who tries to understand, and is also the kind of person who would suit a horror film with younger cast, as she looks very much young. She does shine as the mother who has made some mistakes in the past, but does love her child and is ready to make all the sacrifices for him, as she also gets certain emotional moments which are of quality. John Gallagher Jr joins as the father figure well enough too. There are some moments for him too, especially with the creature making it to him. Azhy Robertson plays the child in trouble well, and Winslow Fegley plays his friend without much trouble. Some good performances from children also means that the horror story has better strength. The monster here is a fine performer all by himself, but a creature of electricity is surely capable of more – maybe the creature required a face too.

How it finishes :: Come Play might be a lesser known horror film in comparison to others, but is one effective work anyway. When children are involved, and when there is a monster from another dimension trying to come in through technology, one knows that this cannot be of lesser horror, especially with so many more people getting into technology due to the Corona virus pandemic and the related lock-down, work from home, schooling from home and more. Another film, Chathur Mukham has also dealt with the same thing, in Malayalam. Demons as part of technology can only get worse – we have watched Pretham and its sequel too. Let us have as many monsters are we need, because humans and the one virus spreading all over the world has made it much worse for the world. At least these monsters stick to a routine, but not those whom we see in real life. If you are looking for a similar movie with children and demons, you might also want to watch the Spanish film, Don’t Listen and the Korean one, The Closet.

Release date: 30th October 2020
Running time: 96 minutes
Directed by: Jacob Chase
Starring: Gillian Jacobs, John Gallagher Jr, Azhy Robertson, Winslow Fegley, Rachel Wilson, Jayden Marine as Mateo, Gavin MacIver-Wright, Eboni Booth, Dalmar Abuzeid

<<< Click here to go to the previous review.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Underwater

Vampire Owl: I am sure that this not the best time to go underwater.

Vampire Bat: Why would you think so?

Vampire Owl: Because there is Corona Virus underwater.

Vampire Bat: They are actually everywhere. You are never safe from them.

Vampire Owl: I have heard that they have infected the underwater kingdoms too.

Vampire Bat: I am pretty sure that they can’t go that deep.

Vampire Owl: An emergency has been declared in twenty one underwater kingdoms.

Vampire Bat: It should be due to the election process.

Vampire Owl: The virus might have spread during the elections.

Vampire Bat: Well, I wouldn’t deny that possibility, because the election process is the perfect super-spreader in any realm.

[Gets a strawberry cake and three cups of black tea].

What is the movie about? :: Norah Price (Kristen Stewart), a mechanical engineer wakes up in the morning only to find that the underwater research and drilling facility where she is staying and working is beginning to fall apart. Within a few seconds, Kepler 822 facility which is operated by Titan Industries at the bottom of the Mariana Trench has water coming in, and with great difficulty, Norah manages to seal herself inside the safe part of the facility and finds Rodrigo Nagenda (Mamoudou Athie) and Paul Abel (TJ Miller), as they make their way to escape pod bay. They find the captain W Lucien (Vincent Cassel) along with a researcher working as an intern, Emily Haversham (Jessica Henwick) and also another engineer Liam Smith (John Gallagher). They are not able to communicate anymore, and the escape pods are no longer an option. Their only option is to walk to the next area through the ocean floor and try to contact outside world from there.

So, what happens with the events here? :: The idea is indeed a risky one, but there doesn’t seem to be another option, as they would have the thermal reactor exploding very soon. They continue on their journey only to have the first person imploding due to a faulty helmet. The rest of the team finds a distress signal underneath, and goes to check out what seems to be an escape pod. But the only thing they find out is a dead body, and an unidentified creature which doesn’t seem to be of any known definition – a new species which seems to have some interest in human flesh. This leads to many doubts about the cause of the earthquake-like incident which destroyed most of the drilling facility and killed most of the people there. They had also come across some other strange sounds, and this could be even a pre-historic species which had come out from the ocean floor. Now, what would this mean for chances of their survival?

The defence of Underwater :: This is one of those movies which gets quickly into action, as we get the explosion of the drilling facility so early, without introducing us to anyone or anything. There is the feeling of terror spread throughout the world in here. The initial and the final moments are the best, and it is up to Kristen Stewart to make sure about it. Life so many leagues under the ocean is indeed a scary one, and this situation makes the whole thing the thriller that we had expected. There is fear at all corners here, but this could have actually been another franchise like Alien – yet, the movie doesn’t strive that much for the same. The movie has also included the elements from the weird tales of HP Lovecraft, which comes as a fine addition too. Underwater, despite the scope for improvement, is a movie that everyone should love at least up to a certain amount – it is a movie with the minimum guarantee, and with the sound effects nicely added, is worth more.

The claws of flaw :: There is no doubt about the fact that this movie could have used its resources better, to expand the idea well enough to bring an even bigger adventure, something of grand epic proportions. In the middle period, the movie does slow down, and the action could have been more, and could have had further intensity. The creatures could have been better defined, and there is too much of darkness for us to see them clearly, and provide that fear factor. The scenes under the ocean could have been clearer, because we are watching a movie, and not trying to know how it looks underwater without light. When you are waiting to see those monsters coming towards you, it is not nice that you don’t really get to see them with all the possible glory. If you think that the underwater world is not supposed to bring a visual splendour with terror, that is not the right way of thinking – after all, horror can be beautiful on many occasions.

Performers of the soul :: Kristen Stewart steals the show here, unlike what she did with her earlier movies like Twilight and its sequels, as well as those roles like that of Snow White which never had us wishing to see more of her. Underwater has her in a tough role, she does the job really well. The movie is centered around here, as she saves the lives of as many people as she can, when it is possible – there are also those ideologies that guides her really well. Jessica Henwick is also an appropriate addition to this movie, and her depiction is as realistic as her character can get. Vincent Cassel as the captain is quite a solid one. The other characters are of lesser importance when we consider what they do in this situation of crisis. It is to be noted that there are only six remaining human characters in this movie after the early incident. The ocean itself is the only other character and environment around here, later replaced by the creatures as antagonists.

How it finishes :: Underwater makes an interesting adventure under the ocean, and the idea makes one feel that there should be a sequel to this one, which is going along similar to the Alien method, with humanoid creatures not from outer space, but out of the ocean floor. This is time period when we have been worried more by the viruses than the bigger creatures, and so the impact of such huge monsters are rather less in comparison to the microscopic ones. As we face this year with more variants of the microscopic organisms coming up, let us make sure that we stay safe, with all the COVID-19 precautions. Considering what people have been during Christmas and New Year, one would feel that the virus has been gone for long. But, we know that it is not the case, and we have to remain careful at all times. It is more of the responsibility of each individual rather than the government.

Release date: 10th January 2020
Running time: 95 minutes
Directed by: William Eubank
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Jessica Henwick, Vincent Cassel, John Gallagher Jr, Mamoudou Athie, TJ Miller

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

<— Click here to go to the first Portuguese movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Italian movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Latin movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Polish movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Russian movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Serbian movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Russian movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Ukrainian movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Indonesian movie review on the site.

<— Click here to go to the first Norwegian movie review on the site.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Belko Experiment

Vampire Owl: I hope this doesn’t turn out to be something like those experiments from Doctor Frankenstein.

Vampire Bat: Well, Mr. Frankenstein has not equal, and so, there is no relevance for such a question.

Vampire Owl: I have never really liked him. You know how much blood the vampire community has to donate for his cause. A number of blood banks have been left with minimum resources.

Vampire Bat: But, it is for building a better future, of the vampire community.

Vampire Owl: Why would he even try to do that? He is no vampire, and he is not even distantly related to our community.

Vampire Bat: He is a good scientist. He made a monster, and now he wants to make something good.

Vampire Owl: He experimented on himself to keep staying alive for this long!

Vampire Bat: Yes, which is how he became very useful to us.

Vampire Owl: But I doubt his inner motives, which he isn’t showing to us.

Vampire Bat: Even if there is something, it is going to be nothing in front of the Belko Experiment. I am sure about that.

[Gets three cups of Vagamon tea with a piece of green apple cake].

What is the movie about? :: Belko Industries a vey famous American-based non-profit organisation which has branches all over the world, and facilitates American companies in South America in hiring American workers. It is a popular choice among freshers when looking for jobs, and has a high reputation everywhere. It is at one of its lesser known branches, the office building in Bogota, Colombia, which is located at a rural or rather remote setting that Mike Milch (John Gallagher Jr) and his girlfriend Leandra Florez (Adria Arjona) works. They find it strange tha there is a long queue in front of the office with the Colombian local workers being sent back, and new people being in charge of security. The two, along with the other employees including the newest employee Dany (Melonie Diaz) are all there, and when the last of the employees get into the office, things change.

So, what happens next in the movie? :: After the final employee is inside the office, a voice asks everyone to kill two of the co-workers in half an hour of time, or they will randomly chosen and killed. The building is covered by steel shutters from all sides, and all phones including the mobiles stop working – everything is cut off, including the air conditioning. The company’s chief operating officer Barry Norris (Tony Goldwyn) try to tell everyone that there is nothing to panic. But it is him who panics first as the head of four employees are blown, and he, along with two other workers, Wendell Dukes (John C. McGinley) and Terry Winters (Owain Yeoman) decide that it is only fair that they kill a few people if it is all that takes to make sure that they keep living for a longer period of time. Mike tries to take the tracer off with a knife, but the people in control finds out what is being done to the tag, and warns him against doing the same.

And what is to follow with a twist of events? :: They realise that the Colombian workers were sent back home, because only the American employees had the tracer put in them to find them in case they were kidnapped in another nation, and so only they could be manipulated here. The announcement is no longer considered a prank, as things turn too serious – thirty of them are to be dead within two hours in one way or the other, or sixty people will be killed, according to the voice. Barry, along with this newfound friends tries to get the weapons stored within, so that they can kill according to the demands of the voice, while Mike who is against it, along with his girlfriend, and the only remaining security guard Evan Smith (James Earl), as well as the tech worker Keith McLure (Josh Brener), tries to hang banners from the top of the building, only to get shot at, by the special guards outside. With people losing patience as well as hope, how many will be dead, and who all will survive?

The defence of The Belko Experiment :: This is one movie that begins the adventure right from the initial stages itself, and goes on to continue well right into the experiment within the building. There are so many thrilling moments in this movie, and it has us guessing what is to happen next for most of the time – as we know that there is no escape, and with a short run-time, things are surely progressing rather quickly. There is a fine concept at work here, and we once again get to see how much each person wishes to live, at the cost of the lives of others around. It is quite thought-provoking without doubt, and we keep wondering about our situation. Maybe this movie is more human than the rest of the movies, with people looking to earn money, and survive, with that survival getting a new meaning here – some of them just live up-to that too. The cast, as a whole works pretty good for this one, even though there is nothing big.

The claws of flaw :: There is a certain kind of predictability that comes in through the middle, going on, and there is also the limitation coming in, with not that much tried with its setting right inside a building. With people caught inside a huge building without any option to escape, and having chips inside their heads ready to be blasted, there was not that much of an option left – if there was at least one path left free, it would have been more interesting; without escape routes, this is rather one-sided, thus the movie removing its own options. There is a certain amount of sadism in this movie, which puts people against one another, and in the situation which make them kill or be killed, we feel the survival of the fittest in an office. The inherent evil in man comes out with a number of people here too. In this movie, we are without hope, and its sadistic experiment on human nature is something that not many people can stand. Better execution to keep the balance, maybe?

How it finishes :: The Belko Experiment is another one of those movies involving experiments, but not on the lines of Morgan or Ex Machina, as this one looks out for social behaviour rather than anything else. But in the end, we humans just got to give in to one thing or the other, whether it is is science, politics, religion or whatever else. There is all the action that happens in a building, the thrills, and along the violence, this movie leaves you with something to think about. Those people who are looking for some different horror or more of thrillers, are surely going to love this one. Among those movies which seem to go rather the same way, there is The Belko Experiment which travels a strange and depressing path, which is is more or less a reflection of human nature – darkness falls into humanity too easily when facing terror, doesn’t it? You don’t need much of an experiment to prove the same on most occasions.

Release date: 17th March 2017
Running time: 88 minutes
Directed by: Greg McLean
Starring: John Gallagher Jr, Adria Arjona, Melonie Diaz, Tony Goldwyn, John C. McGinley, Josh Brener, Michael Rooker, David Del Rio, Stephen Blackehart, Rusty Schwimmer, Owain Yeoman, Sean Gunn, Abraham Benrubi, David Dastmalchian, Gail Bean, Valentine Miele, Joe Fria, Benjamin Byron Davis, James Earl. Cindy Better, Kristina Lilley, Maruia Shelton, Brent Sexton, Mikaela Hoover, Lorena Tobar, Gamal Dillard, Gregg Henry

PS: The best of lesser known horror is at The Autopsy of Jane Doe.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

10 Cloverfield Lane

10cloverfieldlane-1

Vampire Owl: I have an intense desire to say no to this movie.

Vampire Bat: Why would that be so? Is it your death anniversary?

Vampire Owl: No, it is because I have watched the 2008 movie called Cloverfield.

Vampire Bat: This is the sequel for that movie, but is not really a continuation of the same.

Vampire Owl: That makes things quite bad.

Vampire Bat: A spiritual successor to the 2008 movie, as they say.

Vampire Owl: I couldn’t stand the 2008 movie. It was as terrible as the usual found foootage movies.

Vampire Bat: And we do wonder why the critics like such an immature genre so much.

Vampire Owl: You call it a genre? I call it a disaster.

Vampire Bat: Well, this one is not found footage. The camera is good here and they use it well this time.

[Gets three cups of masala tea with jackfruit chips].

What is the movie about? :: Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) drives through the countryside after having an heated argument with her lover whom she was hoping to marry, but meets with an accident on the road and losses consciousness. She wakes up with injury on her leg, chained to a bed in a cellar with no idea where is she is or how she reached there. Her questions are answered by a man called Howard Stambler (John Goodman) who comes there and unchains her. He tells her that he saved her life, as it was certain death out there. The world has been devastated by a massive nuclear or chemical attack, most possibly by aliens or maybe even from an enemy country. The air outside is contaminated and people are all dying out there. All those whom she loves should have already died and there is no hope outside.

So, what happens next? :: Michelle finds it difficult to believe him at all. Then she meets Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), how is Howard’s employee, who had helped him build this bunker and had forced his way in there when something terrible seemed to happen outside. She realizes that Howard has been planning this for a long time, as he got ready to face the apocalypse – he always believed that the world was going to end soon, and he had to surive; this idea from him had even kept his wife and daughter away from him. Howard shows Michelle two dead pigs outside the bunker with terrible sores on their bodies which seemed to prove that the air is contaminated. But at the same time, she sees the pick-up truck which had hit her car causing the accident, and it makes her wonder if it is all something planned to keep her a captive.

The defence of 10 Cloverfield Lane :: There are so many questions in 10 Cloverfield Lane, and there are twists all around, as the suspense is maintained right till those final moments in the bunker. Throughout the movie, there is the question if there is some attack going on outside the bunker, or is it just a lie used to keep the girl a captive – there is also the doubt about what all are outside – are they aliens, demons or an enemy nation bringing the war to the United States? You don’t know the exact answer for most of the movie. Despite this lack of answer, there is always the feeling of danger – we never really get to see the outside world till the final moments, but there is so much tension that we know that something really bad is going to happen, and the only question is if it is from an outside force or from the humans inside. The doubt is if they are safe inside the bunker or outside it. This is the mystery that you need.

The claws of flaw :: There will always be people who wishes for this movie to go the usual way, and there will be the fans of the first movie looking forward for this movie to follows the same path – but both of them are not going to happen here. There are also moments when you feel that the movie is stretched, and also those scenes outside the bunker which won’t do that much justice to this movie as a whole. There could have also been more scares, even without seeing what happens outside. There could be darkness and there could easily be nightmares that could have ruled the world underneath – but 10 Cloverfield Lane takes a more direct approach which is effective in another way, but without the quick and surprise scares. This movie also asks you to get into the setting, which you will need to do to get the maximum effectiveness – with the minimum resources and maximum effect, that may not be possible for everyone.

Performers of the soul :: Mary Elizabeth Winstead is the kind of actress whom you can choose for this kind of a movie without second thoughts – she has been nothing less than amazing in this role which had so much focus on her, as the central character – the leading lady as well as the protagonist; the survivor who needs to make it through the whole thing. Most people must have seen her as Bruce Willis’ popular character John McClane’s daughter Lucy in Live Free or Die Hard and A Good Day to Die Hard, the two of the last Die Hard movies. We remember her more for Final Destination 3 though – yes, the one with the roller coaster ride, and one of those five movies in which they all die a painful death. She is perfectly suited as the horror queen for this kind of a setting. John Goodman also brings a fine work here, and keeps us guessing about his past as well as the intentions. John Gallagher Jr. provides the needed support.

How it finishes :: The best thing about this movie is that it is not a direct sequel to the 2008 movie, Cloverfield. It would have been such pain to watch this one as a similar found footage horror movie which is the cheapest genre available. With this one daring to be different, and developed from a script titled The Cellar, manages to be a movie which has only a supernatural invasion as the one thing that joins the two. There is also the third movie in the franchise coming up in 2017, titled God Particle, which has a team of astronauts on a space station with Earth having disappeared – this one seems to be more or less a spiritual successor too, and lets see how it goes. As we wait for the next movie to come, we can watch 10 Cloverfield Lane and enjoy the variety in horror – there is always the need for the same, and this movie delivers that.

Release date: 11th March 2016
Running time: 103 minutes
Directed by: Dan Trachtenberg
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr., Suzanne Cryer, Bradley Cooper (voice)

10cloverfieldlane

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.