1212 Entertainment, CBS Films, Double Dare You (DDY),

Zoe Margaret Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, Dean Norris, Gil Bellows, Lorraine Toussaint, Austin Zajur, Natalie Ganzhorn, Austin Abrams, Kathleen Pollard

PLEASE NOTE: This link to Amazon is for a documentary about the book series “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” not the feature film that was just released. The series of books has been around for many years, but the movie is brand new and is not yet offered on Amazon”

The years is 1968 and Nixon is struggling with the Viet Nam War problem, but in this small Pennsylvania town, life is still pretty simple. The story revolves around a dead girl, child in a very rich and famous family who owned the factory that keeps the town alive, who has a deep dark secret. Four teens while exploring the deserted “haunted” mansion of the Bellows family discover a book, written by Sarah, which one of them takes home. Once the book is outside the house, all hell breaks loose and people are dying one after another in this suspenseful horror story.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark comes from an anthology of books, and follows the general format of things like Tales From the Crypt or Urban Legends, but the way it is put together is really very well done. This is an extremely scary film, using all kinds of methods to scare the daylights out of us. Yes, there are loud sounds that startle you, but there are also some really creepy stories with lots of scares that build from the intensity bit by bit. It’s just a well done story. Now, the down side of all this is that it really is designed for the teens, that’s for sure. They actors are young, and the story is about the angst of bullying and typical high school problems, so it’s really aimed for a young audience (hence the PG-13 rating). However, it was really well enough put together, that as a “senior” (citizen) I was also pulled into the horror elements of the story. It’s a dang good ghost story when you get right down to it. I did enjoy this movie, and though it is billed as a suspense thriller, which it is, it also is a darn good horror film as well and really satisfied the horror fan in me. I enjoyed this movie, and I recommend it if you’re a horror fan. I think it was well worth my patronage.

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Bona Film Group, Heyday Films, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE),

Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Julia Butters, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Mike Moh, Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Al Pacino

Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood is a fictional tale of life in the movie industry quite a few decades ago back in 1969 in the days of the Beach Boys and TV Westerns, filled with lots of period music and tons of nostalgia. It’s based on a fading ex-TV star, Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his boy Friday part time stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) and their adventures trying to stay relevant long after Rick’s TV career is long over and he’s trying to do small spots in other TV shows since his film career hasn’t taken off. Accidentally the two of them get mixed up with a group led by Charlie Manson and things spiral out of control as things go really haywire really quickly!

Quentin Tarantino obviously wrote this film (and it’s a long one, close to three hours in total) and directed it, because no one else could possibly have done it. It’s extremely funny. Folks have long awaited for Leo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt to work together, and they are in nearly every scene of this movie, since both have them have appeared in Tarantino films, but never together. These two are so absolutely hysterical together, they are the best duo since Martin and Lewis or Laurel and Hardy! They are so hysterical together and play off one another perfectly. It’s really genius. Now don’t expect a historical biography of the Manson Family either, as they are just a side story (although an extremely important part of the film) and this is much more of a “how it could have been” type of story, rather than “what really happened”. The ending will definitely blow you away! It’s certainly a total fairy tale, but yet so much of it is actual fact of the times, and many of the characters and locations are absolutely real. Living in LA for the last 35 years, it was really amazing to me to see the places we see every day look like we were right in the middle of 1969. I can see how Simi valley where the Spahn Ranch is located hasn’t changed much, but making Hollywood appear like it was 1969 was also pure genius and very well done. I really enjoyed every second of this movie and really felt is was too short. I never wanted this to end. Now be aware that this is a Quentin Tarantino film, so it’s going to have EXTREME violent scenes and very bad language, so this is not a kids film by any means, but if you can handle the likes of Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill I and II, you’re going to love this film. I have to say I enjoyed this film more than any movie I’ve seen in the last 20 years, truthfully. I found this so darn funny, yet very nostalgic and extremely exciting. I am sure this movie will not appeal to everyone, but it was a perfect movie for me, and I can’t wait to see it again. Excellent acting by so many wonderful actors, but certainly DiCaprio and Pitt were amazing. If you can handle the violent scenes (which are extremely funny at the same time) then be sure to go see this movie as I can’t say enough about how much I really loved it. Best movie of the year in my opinion. I am so tired of super heroes and scary dolls, that this was simply refreshing to watch!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Paramount Pictures, Raimi Productions,

Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Morfydd Clark, Ross Anderson, Jose Palma, George Somner, Anson Boon, Ami Metcalf, Tina Pribicevic, Srna Vasiljevic, Cso-Cso, Colin McFarlane, Annamaria Serda, Savannah Steyn

Haley (Kaya Scodelario) is a self driven swimmer trying to make a name for herself in the sport. Her sister has married and headed off to the Northwest. The family is broken since Mom and Dad split up, and they don’t speak often. But a Category 5 hurricane is heading straight towards the little Florida seaside town where Haley grew up, and the sisters have not been able to reach their father to verify if he was somewhere safe. Haley recklessly heads to his condo, only to find he is not there and his truck is gone So Haley heads out to their old home next to the shore where he must be, only to hit the storm head on. Once at the house, with the water rising very fast, Haley finds that the town is abandoned and the town is quickly going under the storm surge and is filled with angry and hungry alligators that would love to have Haley for lunch. There’s no way out.

This is a bit of and unlikely story for many reasons, but it is a passable horror film if you gloss over the details and just enjoy the ride. The suspense and the action are top notch, and the scares are many. Like Jaws did for sharks, this film will fill your nightmares with snapping alligators. In fact, neither sharks nor alligators enjoy hunting humans for prey, but they make very horrific bad guys in this film. It is very fast paced and filled with extreme tension and suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Often, in horror films like this, the story is rather far fetched, but if the action and suspense are intense as they are in this film, I don’t really mind. I enjoyed this movie and had a nice time watching it on the big screen, and I do recommend this movie to folks that love to be scared to death and really get into highly charged suspenseful material like this. Well done, and I liked it.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Atomic Monster, New Line Cinema,

Linda Cardellini, Roman Christou, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Raymond Cruz, Marisol Ramirez, Patricia Velasquez, Sean Patrick Thomas, Tony Amendola, Irene Keng, Oliver Alexander, Aiden Lewandowski, Paul Rodriguez, John Marshall Jones, Ricardo Mamood-Vega, Jaydan Valdivia

A social worker receives a strange warning from a desperate mother wanting to protect her children, but she doesn’t pay attention to it as it seems too strange to believe. Soon she and her own children are drawn into a supernatural world where La Llorona is looking to replace her lost child. Thing go from bad to worse as they strive to fight this evil curse as the story blends modern day social work with an ancient curse in this chilling thriller horror film.

We have been spoiled of late with some top rate intense horror films, but New Line Cinema usually does a pretty decent job of bringing true horror to the big screen, and this film wasn’t a disappointment. Granted, there is a lot of competition out there lately as good horror films are arriving almost weekly, but this one does really stand out in a way similar to “The Nun” from a some months back, as it’s a really creepy story based on a very old legend. This film is actually a part of the same universe of films as the entire Conjuring series, and is comparable to the other films. There are a few references to the other films, and it shares a few of the characters, particularly notable is the priest Father Perez is from the first Annabelle film. The suspense is immense, as you would expect, and the horror is really unsettling. Scary, dark, and terrifying, this film does it’s job and is very well made. If you are a fan of horror, this is a film you must see, since although it is not the best of the series, it’s certainly good enough to command your attention. I found this film really intense, and I did enjoy it, and found it a bit different than the run of the mill serial killer flick. This was one movie I really enjoyed, and I certainly recommend it for horror fans like myself.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA), The H Collective, Troll Court Entertainment,

Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn, Abraham Clinkscales, Christian Finlayson, Jennifer Holland, Emmie Hunter, Matt Jones, Meredith Hagner

Tori (Elizabeth Banks) and Kyle Breyer (David Denman) long for a child but are thwarted by fertility problems. Just when it appears that they are never going to have a child of their own, through a strange occurrence late one night the find an alien child and bring him into their home as their own. But Brandon (Jackson A Dunn) is drawn toward a mysterious object in the barn and a strong desire to find out where he came from. It turns out the child is not as gentle and kind as he appears, and he finds he has some special abilities as things turn very bad for the Breyer’s and all they know.

This is a combination horror, science fiction film with the heaver side on the sci-fi side. This is an interesting story, though the resulting motion picture does suffer from some flaws that make it less than stellar. It has a really great setup, but it never seems to pay off at any point. The story is weakly told, and though the actors try hard, there isn’t enough substance here to make it stand out. Jackson Dunn does a really good job as the alien child, and does a decent job, and it is rather suspenseful and creepy, but the level of horror isn’t quite there. But even more so, there just isn’t enough meat to fill out the characters and make us really care about them. This is a nice video to watch after it’s available, and well worth seeing, but there just wasn’t enough there to make it worth the price of admission to the theater to see this, which is probably why it tanked in the box office. I was really looking forward to this This seems like it would be better served as a novel. This little boy could have been Superman, but instead he turns out more like Damien from the Omen. This is a decent movie, but just doesn’t quite stand out. This is a missed opportunity, I fear.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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