Director : James Wan – Cast Includes : Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young,
You just can’t beat the big screen experience, forget streaming the cinema is where you go to watch a big movie release… yesterday I was front row with a pretty good crowd in and I could smell the popcorn, feel the anticipation & when that first scare hits you can hear the anxious murmurs and the nervous giggles that all add to that ultimate film watching experience! and so to the film… MALIGNANT is a twisted, cocktail of horror from the finest exponent of the genre since Craven danced the dance… not only is Malignant the filmmakers most bloody & violent outing yet it’s also a real mixture of sub-genre’s that scatter the horror landscape, from it’s atmospheric almost supernatural start, the moments of unsettling domestic abuse, it’s killer slasher elements that gave off a De Palma & Argento vibe to that CRAZY final 30 minutes that if your squeamish then close your eyes… I loved it’s head spinning camera work by Michael Burgess (The Curse of La Llorona) that scene in the house where the camera is tracking Madison from above as she runs away from her assailant now that’s pretty darn cool, the vulnerable & terrifying performance by Annabelle Wallis to it’s blood lust carnage second half that delivers not only a high body count but huge amounts of gore Malignant’s director James Wan has given life to a new play thing… and this one BITES !! ★★★★½
A chilling true story of the supernatural, a violent murder and an unknown evil that shocked even the experienced paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren : If like me your a fan of The Conjuring franchise and invested in it’s characters and the horror universe it plays out in then Michael Chaves movie will get under your skin and deliver plenty of knee jerks, shivers and chewing of finger nails, yes of course I was disappointed to hear James Wan wasn’t returning to the franchise he started but after watching Michael Chaves brilliant directorial debut The Curse of La Llorona I was more than happy to enjoy another chapter of Conjuring : the third film of course sees the return of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed and Lorraine Warren a real life husband and wife team of paranormal investigators who are now looking into the possession of David a young boy from Connecticut and the alarming events that followed : I watched this movie on the big screen, allowing the darkness of the movie theatre to consume me I was ready…. or so I thought…. in typical Conjuring fashion those sudden ear bursting moments of screaching SOUND really caught me off guard, especially at the beginning of the movie when David is being tormented by some evil entity and Ed & Lorraine with the help of some family members & a local priest are trying to perform an exorcism really startled me…. and AGAIN when David goes all Regan on the dining room table the SOUND matching the horrific intensity of the scene, really standing my hair on end : loved the nod to The Exorcist early on as Father Gordon arrives standing outside the Glatzel house looking up at the window, so poetic, Ed & Lorraine’s love story arch with it’s emotion and early flashback are beautifully handled (that gazebo scene had me like niagara falls), the supporting cast that includes Fringe’sJohn Noble (when is he not great eh?) & Ruairi O’Connor who I last seen in Teen Spirit are excellent and along with the well worked screenplay written by Aquaman’s David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick it’s the chemistry of it’s two stars Wilson and Farmiga that once again deliver believable and emotional characterisation of the Warren’s, this third film has more backstory allowing both stars to grow their respective roles even further : overall THE CONJURING 3 is a superb entry into the franchise and one that has everything you’d want from a horror movie : it’s super SCARY, has a COMPELLING and facinating story and the ATMOSPHERE you could cut with a knife★★★★
Number 28 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further : the second movie on my list directed by James Wan and originally titled The Further Insidious is like the twisted twin sister of Poltergeist a film that has supernatural & astral dimension elements thrown together with a scary looking psychic played by horror veteran Lin Shaye, and a delightful pair of paranormal investigators who come together to help the Lambert family in their hour of need : Insidious was written by Leigh Whannell who also stars as Specs in the movie and took just over three weeks to film, the budget was an incredible $1.5 million and has since spawned a franchise including two further movies making a shit load of dollars in the process : Insidious is my favorite James Wan horror movie, the last quarter of which is haunting and unforgettable, we get to see Patrick Wilson’s Josh travelling into the Astral Plane to look for his son and hopefully bring him home, it’s pace slowly builds as Josh is seen creeping around the house inspecting the ghostly figures around him, some of which are quite distubing, then without warning and to a deafening screaching crescendo the film picks up pace and literally all hell breaks loose : the sound in the movie is unusual and quite eerie and the lighting helps give the film it’s atmosphere, there’s also the wonderful gift of Barbra Hershey in a small yet pivotal role (I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of Barbara later on my list) : overall Insidious is genius story-telling, a legitimate horror gem that has a great twist during it’s final act and will scare you half to death: you may want to stay around after the credits too ★★★★½
Number 31 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their new family home out in the country : Since the great John Carpenter gave up the director’s chair and Wes Craven left us for his new home in the sky, it’s my humble opinion that Australian filmmaker James Wan has delivered more consistent scares than most since SAW hit the screens back in 2004 : in typical James Wan style The Conjuring contains no sex scenes and when it came to the film’s rating the movie received an R for pure scare value alone, the film also contains very little violence just pure nerve jangling horror, filmed like a throwback to the 60s and 70s horror gems : Wan shot the movie in 28 days on a budget of just over $20 Million and to this day the film has grossed well over the $300 Million mark : The Conjuring(like most low budget pics) relies heavily on some creative storytelling and superb acting and there’s plenty of this on show with the reliable pair of Wilson & Farmiga along with The Haunting’sLili Taylor who really does look like she belongs in the Hammer Horror era overpowering the screen with her unique beauty & ability to switch between playing a loving parent to a raving looney in a nano-second, the scene’s where her character is possessed and the demonic spirit won’t let her leave the house is amongst her finest work, I was also impressed by Ron Livingston’s working dad performance, truly believable and adds so much to the film’s ensemble : I really dug the way James Wan gives the viewer a little taste into Ed’s treasure trove of horror at his home including that creepy demonic doll Annabelle and other items taken from cases Ed & Lorraine worked on : overall The Conjuring is one of the creepiest horror movies in the last 20yrs, the camera work especially inside the Perron’s house is quite brilliant (those upside down shots and inside the walls of the bedroom are terrifying), the film made me jump out of my skin on more than one occassion, and if you have a wardrobe in your bedroom it might be an idea to invest in some locks before revisiting this masterpiece ★★★★½
Having raved these last few years to anyone and everyone over James Wan and his ability to scare one half to death with his sublime horror movies The Conjuring, Insidious and Saw it’s actually quite satisfying to see him take on a huge comicbook adapation and completely and utterly destroy it – So I’ve just come out of AQUAMAN on Imax 3D and the first thing I have to say is what an incredible ride the movie is, it’s 143mins of mouth watering, adrenaline fueled action that’s looks totally insane on the big screen – If you take splashes of Pirates of the Caribbean, little drops of Phantom Menace and a tidle wave of Raiders of the Lost Ark then you get a comicbook adaption unlike anything you will have ever seen. I really dug the casting too from Amber Heard’s kickass warrior Mera who has an absolute ball alongside Jason Momoa’s hero, Nicole Kidman is great in everything and her role as the Queen of Atlantis was sublime, Patrick Wilson reuniting once more with Wan for a villanous turn as Orm the half-brother of Aquaman and I really enjoyed watching Yahya Abdul get his teeth into the role of Black Manta and boy doesn’t he do a great job. It never ceases to amaze me what they can produce in movies these days and James Wan’s Aquaman has so many WOW HOLY SHIT how on EARTH did they do THAT moments so do yourself a favour and grab a ticket as this movie REQUIRES some serious BIG SCREEN viewing….. ★★★★½
Since 2004 film maker James Wan has impressed & scared the holy moly out of me, in the horror genre he’s been a revelation, a breath of fresh air and dare I say the best horror director in the last ten years, a modern genius, dark and twisted yet alarmingly smart – he has this uncanny knack of getting it right, he knows his audience & how to tap into their fears, his haunting camerawork, clever use of casting and his usual heart stopping soundtracks add to the overall tension & creepiness of his narrative, I have not seen this consistently in the horror arena since Carpenter ruled the screens in the late 70’s early 80’s – his films including that devilishly fun & violent Saw, the twisted underrated Dead Silence, both scary ass Insidious movies and 2013’s spine tingling The Conjuring gave me nightmares for weeks after – so upon visiting the big screen for his latest offering expectations were already high, not only was this a new James Wan horror movie but this was a sequel and as any movie fans know creating that same vibe, that same intensity of any original movie is a hard task to get right but James Wan is better than your average film maker, his horror’s are uncomplicated, low budget but most importantly they will scare you in spades and guess what? THE CONJURING 2 is certainly no different, it’s Wan at his delicious, frightening best, a nail biting pillow hiding feast of supernatural horror at times reminiscent of the classics of yesteryear such as The Exorcist and maybe just maybe this will go down as one of the Best Horror Movie Sequels of all time – Once more at the heart of a James Wan feature, almost like a muse is the brilliant Patrick Wilson his chemistry with Vera Farmiga is a pleasure to watch, at times it’s like watching Tracy & Hepburn bounce off each other, their energy infectious, their acting sublime and their roles of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were just made for them two actors to play – there are too many good bits in this movie that scare and are downright creepy, from “The Crooked Man” to the “Nun”, to that “ghostly flooded basement” and that scary ass “Rocking Chair” all of which will make you look for that light switch but for me the opening scenes where Farmiga’s character Lorraine witnesses the AmityvilleMurders via a seance is as good as any of them, it’s heart thumping, spine tingling cinema, your glued to your seat, in the dark as you watch the camera pan from room to room, the echo of the gun going off as each of the murders are committed, the cinematography is spectacular yet completely terrifying – Overall: The Conjuring 2 is some scary ride, if your a fan of the supernatural and things that go bump in the night then James Wan’s latest will help raise your heart beat to a new level – also take note of this name Madison Wolfe one day soon she will be a huge star – Brilliant !!
Since I started collecting movies back around the age of fifteen (1986) I became fascinated by the Horror Genre, I loved watching the Hammer House of Horror films and started watching Hardcore Horror (well it was back then) from the likes of Fulci, Bava, Argento, Carpenter, Craven, Hooper and Romero these guys for me were the bees knees, the majority of their films have aged will and still terrify to this day – looking around at the modern crop of filmmakers I wonder how many of them truly stand out and make you white with fright or scare you enough to keep the lights on at bedtime? In recent years too many of the Horror Past Masters have turned to mediocre material to ignite their horror spark and have failed miserably – Wes Craven the guy who brought us Freddy Krueger in the early 80’s and who in 1996 re-invented the horror genre with his slasher flick SCREAM is one such example, his recent films Cursed, Red Eye, My Soul to Take and Scream 4 have been average at best and sadly the same can be said about Argento and Carpenter their movies in the late 70s and 80s are some of the best of the genre but in recent years it’s been a downhill slide – so WHO amongst the modern filmmakers are impressing in the scare department?
Over the last ten years my horror taste-buds have being actively looking for new exciting talent, filmmakers that can scare me, turn me on and elevate my heart rate to the point of explosion – during this period I have come up with 6 exciting movie directors, each with their own unique style and approach to the horror genre and each one of them at some point have managed to scare the bejesus out of me – from Left-Right and in no particular order we have JAMES WAN (Saw, Insidious & The Conjuring) I’m sure you will agree this guys creepy ass dolls are enough to scare anyone half to death, his imagination and camera work makes the hairs on the back of your next stand up – up next is ROB ZOMBIE (Devils Rejects, House of a 1000 corpses & The Lords of Salem) Zombie delivers hard hitting violent horror movies, if your squeamish & easily upset then don’t watch – onto one of my favorites, South Korean KIM JEE-WOON (Tale of Two Sisters and I Saw the Devil) these two films terrified me on so many different levels – next up MARCUS DUNSTAN (The Collector & The Collection) a surprise maybe but this guy is still only 38 and the two movies he’s directed have been blood curdling fun – next on the list NEIL MARSHALL (Dog Soldiers & The Descent) another modern filmmaker who’s violent & brutal horror will terrify and at the end of each you will have to retrieve your heart from your mouth – and lastly to SCOTT DERRICKSON (Sinister & The Exorcism of Emily Rose) Derrickson is a talented writer but an even better horror director – his 2012 horror Sinister is one of the best Supernatural movies in recent years….
Whether or not in twenty years time we will be talking about any of these filmmakers in the same light as Fulci, Bava, Argento, Carpenter, Craven, Hooper and Romero is debatable but with the old guard starting to fade a new chapter in the movie world of terror has begun….
Stars Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor and Joey King – a couple of paranormal investigators “The Warren’s” (Wilson & Farmiga) are called into help a young family who believe that their house is haunted – on investigating the house The Warren’s discover that a spirit of an evil witch named “Bathsheba” is looking to possess someone and create some holy carnage VERDICT at 36yrs of age James Wan the director of (Saw, Insidious & Insidious 2) has managed to scare the hell out of me with every picture he directs – his attention to detail married to his surreal vision of unorthodox camera angles and creepy ass movie settings always seem to produce unnerving results and overall The Conjuring is no different – it’s yet another James Wan scary masterpiece! – I particulary enjoyed the scene with the music box, the reflection and the scary notion that something or someone was going to jump out at any moment – this is truly great filmmaking, keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat, biting their finger nails or hugging the nearest pillow incase that notion becomes reality – role on the movies sequel….
Stars Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Danielle Bisutti & Ty Simpkins – continuing the woes of the Lambert family as they try to uncover the past in order to tackle the spirits that haunt them VERDICT James Wan’s sequel is pretty impressive, it’s shot on a lowish budget by Hollywood’s standards and it’s very scary – the movie also pays homage to some of the screens finest horror films including the likes of Poltergeist, The Shining and Psycho – Wan has once again demonstrated his eye for horror – taking the ghost story to a new level and showing that the modern horror film doesn’t need to have lots of blood and gore but can be delivered with a good story and genuine jumpy moments that come at you from all angles, Wan’s camera work is as good as any of his Horror Predecessors and his eye for a good cast that lends itself to the picture is spot on – in my humble opinion Insidious : Chapter 2 is slightly better than the first – I found the hairs on the back of my neck rising as Patrick Wilson character slowly transformed into the evil that was haunting him and Danielle Bisutti’s terrifying turn as the mother of Parker Crane was deliciously evil and her scenes are still giving me night terrors – overall this is a superior movie sequel that I would highly recommend but if your in any way squeamish or have a heart condition then stay away….
“I'm a mog - half man, half dog. I'm my own best friend” - Spaceballs (1987)
“I once stole a pornographic book that was printed in Braille. I used to rub the dirty parts” - Bananas (1971)
“Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm a schizophrenic and so am I” - What About Bob? (1991)
“Yeah I called her up, she gave me a bunch of crap about me not listening to her, or something, I don't know, I wasn't really paying attention” - Dumb and Dumber (1994)
“Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son” - Animal House (1978)
“Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes” - Naked Gun 33 ½ : The Final Insult (1994)
"Yes, it's true. This man has no dick" - Ghost Busters (1984)
"I have nipples, Greg. Could you milk me?" - Meet the Parents (2000)
"They called him 'Fast Eddie'... He was a winner... He was a loser... He was a hustler" - THE HUSTLER (1961)
"For Three Men The Civil War Wasn't Hell. It Was Practice!" - THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY (1966)
"The night HE came home" - HALLOWEEN (1978)
"All the power on earth can't change destiny" - THE GODFATHER PART III
"In space, no one can hear you scream" - ALIEN (1979)
"Be afraid. Be very afraid" - THE FLY (1986)
"Cruise like Thunder" - DAYS OF THUNDER (1990)
"Same Make. Same Model. New Mission." - TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY (1991)
"Houston, we have a problem" - APOLLO 13 (1995)
"The greatest fairy tale never told" - SHREK (2001)
"We've Sensed It. We've Seen The Signs. Now... It's Happening." - THE HAPPENING (2008)
DJANGO UNCHAINED is the first time in 16 years that Leonardo DiCaprio didn't get the top billing
In John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN Michael Myers' mask is actually a Captain Kirk mask which was altered for the film
On the set of 1982's THE THING the whole cast and crew was male
BLAZING SADDLES was shot on the same MOVIE set as Yul Bryner's WESTWORLD
The first TWILIGHT movie is the only film in the saga to not receive any Razzie Award nominations
In a deleted scene from James Cameron's ALIENS Ripley's (Sigourney Weaver) daughter was played by Elizabeth Inglis, Sigourney Weaver's real-life mother
Prints of the movie INCEPTION were shipped to theaters under the name "Hour Glass"
The Dude from the superb THE BIG LEBOWSKI says "man" 147 times in the movie