Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 29 (aka The Curse of February 29th) Review

Check out my updated review!

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: A tollbooth operator believes she is being stalked by a serial killer that murders victims every 4 years on February 29th.

Review: It sucks that last year was a leap year, but since my blog wasn't around then, and I'm not waiting another 3 more years before I get to this film, I thought I would shoehorn this one in at the end of the month. It's extremely difficult to properly describe the genre of this film since it's essentially an unusual combination of horror, mystery, and thriller. I say unusual because sometimes the movie is deliberately unclear on what it wants to be: throwing out jump scares while playing it slow with tension all accompanied by a mystery regarding what the hell is even going on! The story is surprisingly original as some journalist interviews the main girl, Jiyeon, from a mental hospital where she reveals to the audience the circumstances that led to her institutionalization. Jiyeon was a tollbooth operator working on some strip of road, apparently in the middle of nowhere, when she began to notice some woman with burn scars following her constantly wearing the same clothes as her. Then one night there is a momentary blackout at the tollbooth coincidentally at the moment a mysterious car approaches that turns in a bloody ticket. The police eventually collect the ticket as they reveal someone violently murdered another ticket operator not far from Jiyeon. It is of note that the detectives in this film are probably two of the most inept imbeciles we've ever seen in fiction as they handle evidence with no gloves, tell a suspect crucial facts, make the ridiculous claim that most murders turn out to be serial killers (quit watching too much TV buddy), and do one blunder after another. But it's fairly early into the film that the police, and even the audience, will begin to suspect Jiyeon herself is probably the killer since her story sounds crazy and she becomes increasingly unhinged. Then this mysterious car appearing and more people dying becomes a regular thing leading up to February 29th. Many plot elements will start to happen that may confuse the audience, but most will come to make sense by the end of the film and maybe even excuse the idiocy of the detectives. For instance, there is some legend about a bus full of prisoners that crashed and burned but one serial killer was unaccounted for that Jiyeon believes is either a ghost or a stalker; the film goes out of its way to make it unclear of which is true. The whole reasoning of why the ghost/stalker dresses like Jiyeon makes little sense especially since her friend claims she also sees the individual. Jiyeon becomes unnerved by the dark and has an apartment full of lights along with increasing hallucinations due to insomnia. I did feel a lot this was a bit detrimental to the story since not enough plot elements occur to change the audience's way of thinking away from simply suspecting Jiyeon. Anyway, by the end, the ghost or whatever appears, kills the detectives, and leaves Jiyeon in a state of insanity as she is blamed for all the murders. It is at this point that we are shown many moments from a different perspective implying that the police always suspected Jiyeon and were trying to catch her in the act. They conclude that there was a minor blackout only in Jiyeon's tollbooth which brought about a psychological breakdown after discovering she had been trapped underground for 5 days as a child. She had heard the tale of the undead serial killer from flyers being distributed by the mom (actually it's never clear if this woman was even a killer), and all the scenes of Jiyeon supposedly being attacked are then shown that Jiyeon was choking herself. But before you go thinking things are cut and dry and that Jiyeon must be guilty, there's never any physical evidence Jiyeon did the killings, they never deny the friend saw someone dressed like Jiyeon, they address the fact that the police were dumb and might be covering their asses, and they could never properly account for how Jiyeon got to the crime scenes and back unscathed. I felt that leaving the conclusion up to the audience was a nice touch, but the addition of a possible ghost felt a bit dumb as a forced element to throw into the mix; and let's not forget that fucking zinger that makes no sense at the end! For the love of god! I really like this film for effective atmosphere, creativity, and originality. The mystery could have been fleshed out more and less one-sided, but I understand what they were going for. The music helps build the tone effectively, and the scares are okay for the most part. On the other hand, things don't necessarily make sense by the end, the ghost/stalker is not scary looking at all, and too predictable plot twists. This film is most certainly worth a view just to see such an offbeat tale, but definitely go into this with the understanding that this is more mystery than a horror film.

Notable Moment: When we first see the killer pull up to the tollgate. The atmosphere was just right and the tone for the rest of the film was set nicely.

Final Rating: 6/10

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hide and Go Kill 2 Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: Students and teachers alike find themselves wrapped up in the mystery surrounding the "hide and seek alone" internet game.

Review: Having almost no connection to the first film, save for a few of the internet handles seen in the first film, this entry involves a teacher, named Ryoko, as students at her school begin to disappear due to the ghost summoning ritual known as "hide and seek alone." Anybody want to play? It is of note that the ritual seems to have been tweaked slightly with a few more rules added. The storytelling formula is mostly the same as before with unsuspecting idiots trying to hide from ghosts until they bite the big one, but the main change up comes in the fact that Ryoko is something of a medium, whereby she sees spirits, although, she appears completely oblivious to this fact. It is implied that ever since a friend from her childhood was found dead she probably had this ability, but how convenient that she and her friend were playing hide and seek, right? The same depressed, emo-esque vibe to the students is there as they are aimless, coping with a meaningless existence. This would appear to be a common theme examined in Japanese cinema, but it feels off-putting in a horror movie for me; I feel the subject matter should be better explored in a drama. However, there were two individuals that got to me: I would have liked to have seen the Ritsuko and Aikawa characters get together. I know they are only hanging out with each other over mutual depression, but can't they just shut up, stop being emo, and hook up?! Like the first film, the tone, mood, and atmosphere are all great except it is even better this time around. That deliberate, slow placing remains intact and it truly enhances the tension building with each scene; an improved, eerie musical work, however simple, greatly adds to this effect. The scares are improved and more frequent while implementing some creativity and originality. There was a more subtle attention to details as well that made many scenes memorable and on par with the legends like "The Grudge" and "The Ring." The ideas and story are more fleshed out as we understand the ritual to summon the ghosts a little better and there is a more concise storyline without tons of padding; speaking of which, the scenes of just text have improved as they are layered onto the screen so the audience is actually watching something and the story is moving as we read the internet messages compared to the shenanigans of part one. That's not to say that there aren't plenty of plot elements we are still left in the dark about. For instance, are the people that are still playing "hide and seek alone" from the first film stringing people along or are they genuinely surviving the encounters? I find it hard to believe as much as the ghosts start to cheat, wouldn't these individuals have been killed by now if they weren't somehow involved in coercing others into playing the game? If someone is hosting the website that started this all, then surely someone has masterminded a lot of this. I would have liked to see more of the origins explained or at least hinted at, but I guess you can't have everything. Perhaps if there is ever a third entry we may have more of the mystery developed. Also like the first film, I wanted so badly to give this movie a higher rating, but the last 10 minutes or so really dropped the ball. The climactic final ghost is not scary, and, in fact, the makeup effects on that particular ghost are bad not to mention the lighting was way off. Oh, and of course they just had to end on a fucking zinger that makes no sense given the previous scene! You gotta love it when that happens! There were so many great things going on here I don't understand how they could let it all fall apart at the end when it was most crucial! Despite this, there were too many good things going on that mostly make up for the lame ending, so, of course, I highly recommend this film; actually, watching these two as a double feature is great and makes for a more engaging experience. I saw these films a long time ago online, but sources seem to have disappeared and there's not even a wikipedia page so I suppose you might have to just cough up the money for these bad boys like I did!

Notable Moment: When the one teacher, Ms. Tamura, is watching the "hide and seek alone" webpage, and we see a ghost just slightly creeping out from behind a closet door. Then the screen jumps and we see the ghost at the window behind the teacher. Then the ghost is behind the teacher!

Final Rating: 7/10

Hide and Go Kill Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: Weary with life, students play a rumored internet game that supposedly summons ghosts.

Review: Let me start off by saying this film and its sequel have multiple alternate titles (like "Creepy Hide and Seek"), but, since this was the title on the DVD, I'm listing it as such. Essentially the story is three separate tales involving students who have participated in an internet game called "hide and seek alone" and the fates they meet as a consequence. The first girl kind of sets the tone as she hears about the game from her friend who loses her mind while playing the game. The buildup is good and helps establish how the rules for the game work to the audience. The second story is about a group of kids that try to film the process of playing the game which was nice even if the ghost coming at the camera scare has been done to death at this point. The last story involves a girl who wrote an apparently popular "phone blog" (whatever the hell that is) in which she first introduced many to "hide and seek alone" unintentionally. This one was the best so it was just right that they saved it for last and further explained why individuals would even try to summon a ghost. Basically, kids feel like there is no real meaning to life or they are lonely, and this weird phenomenon makes them feel alive or invigorated in a way. Unfortunately, we don't learn much more about how this game came into being or who seems to be running the show trying to get others involved. All we know is the last girl, Hanamura, saw a comment on her blog that led her to a website detailing how to play "hide and seek alone." I must applause the writer here because I found the story to be quite original and the ritual itself was imaginative. For those who would like to know (or perhaps try it out for themselves!) how to play "hide and seek alone:" you take a doll, cut it open and rip out the stuffing, then fill it with rice, sow it back up with red thread, wrap the remaining thread around the doll, name the doll whatever you want, then at 3 AM turn off all the lights and everything but the TV (they have classic static in the film), put the doll in something like a bucket or tub of water, then stab the doll with a knife saying "I see you what you named the doll," finally say, "now you're the devil" and then hide somewhere like a closet. I know, really complicated, huh? But hey, you might get to see a ghost...or look like a complete dumbass. If you want to know how to end the game...well you'll just have to see the movie! Anyway, at a glance, many may be put off by the slow pacing or even be bored, but the strongest part of this film is the incredible use of atmosphere as this movie and its sequel are prime examples of how to properly engage the audience instilling a sense of dread. While I count this as a massive positive, others may be turned off to it so fair warning. Pacing is always a delicate matter anyway, but it depends on the story being told to justify whether it is necessary to be slow or quick. The scares are subtle, and a bit scattered, but when you see them they are mostly effective. I especially liked the unsettling voice that is always chanting, "ready or I come" when the ghosts have appeared. The ending itself is interesting as it poses a somewhat introspective look at living with depression, or at least I interpret all this "loneliness" as depression. Of course the only solution to all of this is "hide and seek alone!" I definitely would have rated this film significantly higher if it were longer and with less filler. I mean, it's barely 70 minutes and that's with tons and tons of scenes of just text on the screen as people message each other back and forth! Oh come on! I understand some of it was for effect, but this could have been overlapped into scenes or something. I would have preferred more ghosts or at least something truly memorable to put it up there with the J-horror legends. Overall, this is a solid horror flick with a strong sense of atmosphere and a deliberately slow buildup meant for the more patient horror lover. This isn't for everyone, but there were some great ideas here even if they weren't realized to their truest potential. This one is most certainly worth a watch, and I recommend watching it with the sequel to further appreciate the creativity of the story.

Notable Moment: When Hanamura is playing the game then realizes she forgot her salt water and gets out of her hiding spot early. You could kind of already tell the ghost was in the corner, but it was still cool, and I liked the lighting effects.

Final Rating: 6/10

The Collection Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: The Collector continues to torment unsuspecting victims as Arkin is recruited to help track down a girl with the aid of a group of wannabe mercenaries.

Review: Let me say this about the film, if you are a big fan of the first movie, chances are you may not like this one since the two are nothing alike. The first film featured a calculated killer who set elaborate traps and toys with his victims savoring their deaths while having a little fun with them along the way. This film plays out more like an action movie as a little task force (that's too generous of a title for these idiots) is trying to rescue some rich bitch as they become stuck in the Collector's playhouse of sorts. Picking up a few months, I guess, after the events of the first film, the Collector is at it again. Oh you silly little Collector you! The difference in tone is set immediately as the Collector has somehow organized a private rave at a warehouse where he has designed some pretty farfetched killing devices, but I have to give them some credit for how hilarious it all was for me! Only one girl survives (the rich bitch) but not before she inadvertently frees Arkin, played once again by Josh Stewart, who jumps out a window where he is later hospitalized. Idiotically, they dismiss pretty much all the bullshit from the first film with Arkin's antics, his wife's debt, his daughter, and all the drama. This is funny because you'd think it would be kind of important to address these plot points, right? Nope! The wife is still played by the same actress okay, and Arkin's daughter isn't even mentioned I'm pretty sure. Well, the rich bitch's dad doesn't take too kindly to his precious daughter being kidnapped by our little Collector so he sends the worst group of "mercenaries" known to man to bring the fight to the Collector and rescue the girl; they use some lame leverage to force Arkin to help them since he knows where the Collector's hideout is now. I'm not sure if they were intentionally supposed to suck or were we to honestly assume they were trying their best?! I'm not even exaggerating here: give me a butter knife, tie one hand behind my back, blindfold me, and I think I would have stood a better chance than these goofballs do! This time around, the Collector has converted an abandoned hotel into his very own fortress loaded with all kinds of crazy traps and ridiculous schemes. There are some really cool traps, and the decor created by the Collector is creative, but once again I could not stand how the Collector seemed to have so many things precisely plotted out that it defied any sense of reason. I mean, he's seriously always 10 steps ahead of everyone, and each idiot falls perfectly into the traps. Oh well, the deaths were satisfying enough although the Collector did kill off some of his "projects" a little too easily. The Collector himself just felt like a different character this time around, but they continued to do that thing where they hide his face like it even matters! Anyway, suffice to say, it's not long before the loser brigade starts to dwindle in numbers as Arkin appears to be the only one capable of defending himself in the group. Even the rich bitch is more able than these fools as she escapes and starts to dodge a few traps of her own. By the end, once all the pathetic mercenaries have been killed, the Collector has had his fun, and the cops surround the building, Arkin and the rich bitch face off against the Collector in a satisfying final battle of sorts. A lot of this is so cheesy but in a good way,,,to the point that I had to smile over it all; in fact, it's all so ludicrous and over the top that scenes that should look stupid become pure awesome! The final scene involves the fact that Arkin has figured out the identity of the Collector, goes to his home, and abducts him in a box the same way it had been done to Arkin. Once again, it's so stupid that I have to love it! By no means is this a good film, but it is so entertaining that I had to rate it higher than the first. The difference between this one and the first is night and day as the only thing they have in common is the characters and that people die, but I had more fun with this time around. I like the increased action, the increase in kills, scope of the traps, creativity in the designs, and overall sense of playing with the original concepts. On the other hand, the characters are stupid, everything is over the top, they clearly did not take the material seriously, many contrivances, lack on continuity, and not true to the vision of the original. I suppose, make what you want with this one since I foresee this as a love it/hate it situation.

Notable Moment: Without a doubt, when the Collector uses an elaborate lawnmower-like device to make mincemeat out of a club full of ravers. Fucking ravers...can't take 'em seriously after "The Matrix Reloaded."

Final Rating: 7/10

The Collector Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: A thief and a deranged serial killer both target a rich family's home after recent construction work.

Review: At first glance this appears to be nothing more than a huge "Saw" ripoff, but, interestingly, this film was originally written as a sequel to that franchise. Eh, you can still see elements in there, and I hate to imagine how it would have all connected, but in essence, this felt more like an '80s slasher meets "Saw." The story is that some thief (with a heart of gold yet again!), named Arkin, is targeting a jeweler's (at least I think that's what he was) mansion-esque home while coincidentally the titular character is also targeting the family for his amusement of sorts. Both characters were pretending to be individuals working on the home's recent renovation which allowed Arkin to get to know the layout and location of the safe while the Collector strategized how to set his little traps. Arkin wants the money to help his wife from some debts or some shit like that, but all of this felt so contrived so that we would care more about Arkin surviving; there is even some bullshit about Arkin and his daughter and just ugh whatever! Honestly, it would have felt more sincere if he was just a regular thief who ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Did they not think the audience would cheer for a thief if his only motivation was greed? Anyway, when Arkin goes to leave the home, with loot in hand, he discovers many locks that were not on the outside of the doors. From here on out, Arkin witnesses the torture and killing of many characters as he lurks in the background trying not to be discovered by the Collector. It's kind of clever how every time Arkin thinks he finds a way out there is some elaborate trap blocking his way, and right when you think he's going to be caught the Collector thinks the commotion came from someone or something else. The traps were interesting enough and somewhat original, but I swear some traps were appearing out of thin air since I am certain Arkin passed by areas that were clear only later to be filled. This might make sense at first glance as you assume the Collector is setting them up as he goes, but we never see him with any gear, and he's always busy screwing with the family what the fuck?! Speaking of the Collector himself, he looks just like the guy from the original "Prom Night" to me, but I suppose he's reminiscent of some S&M attire. Either way, he's a hit or miss for me, because I did think he was weird enough to creep people out, but he felt forced like they were trying too hard to make him bizarre; I also hated that he seemed to perpetually outsmart everyone and have too intricate of a plan for it to be reasonable. As far as the kills go they are nothing we haven't seen before, but the approach was decent and the anticipation was done appropriately with the right amount of pacing. The film is short enough as it is, but the original ending was at about the 60 minute mark which is ridiculous so I'm glad they lengthened it. The final survivor of the household is the youngest daughter whom reminds Arkin of his own daughter so he tries to rescue her immediately after finally escaping the home; this is funny because the original ending had Arkin ditching her so I do believe they made Arkin more family-friendly in later drafts of the script. By the end, Arkin and the daughter have escaped with the police finally showing up, but the Collector crashes into Arkin's ambulance and abducts him in a similar way to a guy at the beginning of the film. We see a shot at the end of the credits of Arkin kicking and screaming in the box as we are left to imagine what the Collector has in store for our dear hero. Now if a film wants to have real balls, end it with the dumb daughter being caught and us left to wonder the what the fuck he will do to that's how you make a film memorable! Overall, this is a decent film in the vein of "Saw" while adding some interesting ideas. The Collector character isn't as cool as I had hoped, and the pointlessness of going out of the way to mask his face from the audience was annoying as if there was going to be some big reveal. This one's worth a view, but I feel it is overrated since it is already being considered a cult-classic.

Notable Moment: When the Collector is torturing Arkin and does some weird shit to him that doesn't seem to make sense except in the mind of a wacko.

Final Rating: 6.5/10

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Locker 2 (aka Shibuya Kaidan 2) Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: The cursed locker continues to lure in unsuspecting victims and idiots alike.

Review: After the shenanigans of part one, you would think this film would be even worse, but surprisingly it is much better. Like I wondered with the first movie, were these filmed back to back because the actors don't seem to have aged one bit and the continuity flows quite smoothly? Speaking of which, I greatly appreciate the excellent continuity and improved pacing when watching both films back to back feels complete. Picking up immediately where the first film left off, the cute Ayano character, played by Maki Horikita, takes center stage as Rieka handed her the key to the locker; I still don't understand why the locker-girl kills Rieka considering she seemed receptive to her embrace at the end of the first film. Ayano was probably the most likable character from the first film so it was wise that they decided to explore her character more as she tries to figure out what happened to Rieka and what all this nonsense with the locker is about. The thing that feels better about this film is that the scope has widened as we see more people using the locker and being killed, the doctor and his assistant play a larger role, and the same detectives remain as clueless as ever. The acting feels more solid, and there was an attempt to bring some real scares since the ghost is always in the little girl form from the beginning. However, the deaths still feel contrived, the ghost still looks too cute with the bad makeup effects, and there doesn't seem to be an overall goal to the story except to show random events. We learn virtually nothing more about the ghost besides clarification that it was born from a rape (which we kind of already could assume) and confirmation that it was abandoned in that locker five years ago. I felt like we should have learned more about what drives the spirit or more backstory to the pregnancy. I would have loved for there to be a connection between the ghost and some character but nope. And how did this urban legend even begin anyway? Instead, we see the story building toward some kind of revelation but nothing happens except more kids getting killed because they buy into this idiotic urban legend about the "lucky locker." In fact, this leads me to something I didn't bring up about the first one, that becomes increasingly annoying this time around, which is this lovelorn phenomenon that actually is quite common in many Japanese films/TV shows. Why is everyone so curious if someone has a boyfriend/girlfriend and always so shocked by the answer?! And what's with all the "wishing" for someone to love you rather than going out and making it happen? Ugh! Anyway, this film ends similarly to part one except at least we know the ghost wants to kill Ayano rather than in part one where we have no idea why the ghost tried to kill Rieka after sparing her once. Regardless, the ending still felt stupid since all of the sudden the ghost can now speak? For the most part, this is a vast improvement over part one, but it still suffers from many problems, including a few new ones, while not bothering to explore the mythos further. I felt as though there should be a part three that tells us more about why all of this is happening, but I don't see that ever coming together. I originally saw these movies one at a time long ago and hated them, but upon seeing them as a double-feature the films felt better and with a more cohesive story. So I continue to recommend that you try and watch these two together almost like a single movie to better appreciate the story. Eh, average films with average levels of entertainment I suppose.

Notable Moment: When the ghost appears at the karaoke bar. This is the only time the ghost looks remotely scary which is a shame too because they could have applied a better approach to her look more often.

Final Rating: 5.5/10

The Locker (aka Shibuya Kaidan) Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: A group of college kids accidentally incur the wrath of a vengeful spirit after using a fabled locker in Shibuya, Japan.

Review: Here we go again...yet another mess of a film. I can see what they were going for with a blatant Ring/Grudge wannabe plot while somewhat borrowing Hollywood cliches for the victim fodder. However, if you're going to try and play it safe, at least bring a little to the table to entice the casual viewer. Let's start with the annoying characters since they are probably the biggest detraction from the film as a whole. They are so unlikable and one-dimensional that I truly hope it was intentional so I would be glad when they died. I've seen over the top, obnoxious loud-mouth characters before in Japanese films, but something about these idiots made me want to help the ghost get on with her killing. Then, as I mentioned, there is this Hollywood fodder vibe as even the police mention how shallow the friendships of the characters seems to be; this cliche has been around for awhile where the audience wonders "how the hell are these people friends?" I know they say something like that some of them met over the internet, but nice try. We only get to know the main girl, Rieka, who is your typical good-girl of horror, and even her development feels empty since it is explored through her tutoring of a girl, named Ayano, who plays a much more significant role in the sequel. The other huge problem this film has is that the ghost is hardly seen and not scary at all! At first the ghost appears as nothing more than a sack moving slightly, which looks fake as hell, but then "grows up" into a little girl. The sack was a stupid idea and it annoyed me that it took so long for them to present us with the typical, long-haired-covering-the-face-ghost-girl routine! I know many are tired of this type of ghost, but I can appreciate it a hundred times over if done right each time which it certainly was not here. What little we do get to see of the true ghost, it is pointless because there is little effort in her makeup whereby she has yellow-orangish skin and covered in blackened veins. I guess my problem is she just looks too cute, and it is hard to take her as a serious threat. Couldn't they have done more to make her look inhuman or at least intimidating? Everything about the approach to the ghost is not scary and highly unoriginal while being borderline stupid at best. For example, the ghost seems to drag people off into locker-world only for them to reappear then die a little bit later? What the hell?! The film is already short yet still finds ways to pad the time with pointless plot elements and shots that last a good minute or so more than they should. I love the "longing stare" quite a bit (probably more than I should) but seriously, ease up and stop using it as filler! Also, this should come as no surprise, the ending was stupid and made no sense as fucking usual! Eh, despite failing at every corner, I couldn't help but to be mildly entertained. The story was kind of creative playing off typical Japanese urban legends, and there were a few interesting ideas. Actually, with a little work, this could have turned out to be quite a scary and memorable little film, but, instead, everything feels like a ripoff more than a serious entry into the realm of horror, and the scares just weren't there; in fact, there is a scene that is almost word for word stolen from one of the "Ju-on" films! I can't find a lot of information on these films, but I'm pretty sure the sequel was released at the same time as this one, so I can forgive some of the deadend plotlines a bit since they are fleshed out more later, but as a standalone film, this movie is weak. I'd recommend watching this and "The Locker 2" back to back to gain a better appreciation for the story, but don't go into this little double-feature expecting to be blown away.

Notable Moment: When one character is being pulled into the locker and he is kicking and screaming in the most ridiculous, over the top way. This scene is the perfect indication of what's wrong with this film; it's as if there was little to no direction at all.

Final Rating: 4.5/10

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wreck-It Ralph Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: The villain of an arcade game wants to become a hero for a change.

Review: I should once again preface that I loathe Disney for their shady history and brainwashing tactics, but they successfully lured me into watching one of their films by paying tribute to video gaming and a damn good tribute at that. I have to admit, the creativity was especially noteworthy as all the characters interact through a central hub which is just the plugs and that the villains and heroes of the games separate and are friends. The approach to the manner in which everyone hangs out and goes into each other games makes for some clever scenarios which I applaud for thinking outside the box. There are so many homages to classic and modern games strewn about that it would take forever to list them all, but suffice to say, a true gamer will be pleasantly impressed to the dialogue, background images, and straightforward characters featured like Bowser, Ryu, and the Pac-man ghosts. I personally liked when the main character, Ralph, was going through a box and pulling out things like mushrooms and the exclamation point sound effect. Speaking of which, Ralph and his game, Fix-it Felix Jr., was like the original Donkey Kong. I also loved that the arcade that the film is set in has many retro-type games mixed with newer games which I think really only works nowaday since there has been a wave of nostalgia for the past 10 or so years now. Any other time and this might not have worked, but it comes together as people have grown to appreciate the classics or a new generation wants to experience what the older generations had while everyone still wants to keep playing the newest things. The story is a little simpler than I would have liked given the material, but I'm well aware of how Disney likes to play their storylines out. Ralph wants to stop being a villain for a while and be appreciated since he feels as though he is a big part of the game's success, but others are worried he will become like a guy named Turbo who was jealous of other games and tried to get them shutdown. Since no one respects him, Ralph sets out to prove he's a hero by entering a new arcade game called: Hero's Duty; this game is essentially Metroid mixed with any of a million shooters out there. Inadvertently cheating to the games end, Ralph manages to receive a medal for winning at Hero's Duty which leads to him being attacked by the games antagonists, Cy-bugs, and fleeing into another game called Sugar Rush which is a racing game. Here Ralph wreaks more havoc as a Cy-bug escaped into the world to multiply while Ralph destroys everything in his path to get his medal back from a girl, named Vanellope, who is apparently a "glitch" in the Sugar Rush game. Ralph and Vanellope slowly garner a friendship as she is her game's outcast and Ralph can relate to her. Vanellope wants to win her game's preliminary race so she can be a featured character, but since she is a glitch they are worried it will ruin their game. Ralph decides to help her all the while Felix and the protagonist of Hero's Duty, Calhoun, try to find Ralph and kill the Cy-bug before it can destroy Sugar Rush. Ralph eventually betrays Vanellope because he becomes convinced by Sugar Rush's apparent main character, King Candy, that if Sugar Rush is shutdown, Vanellope won't be able to escape because she's a glitch so Ralph must hurt her for her own good. This eventually leads to the film's decent twist in which Ralph sees Vanellope featured on the games cover meaning she is not a glitch afterall and soon discovers King Candy is the glitch since he is actually Turbo! Needless to say, Ralph and crew save the day by defeating Turbo, restoring Vanellope as a real character in which she is actually the queen of Sugar Rush, everyone finally respects Ralph as a hero, and Ralph comes to a satisfying realization of who he is and his place in the video game world. I mean, how else was it going to end...this is Disney afterall! Surprisingly to me, this is a great film for everyone even if you only have a basic knowledge of video games, but is even more impressive if you're a more hardcore gamer. Even casual fans who know nothing of video games will still appreciate the strong story and fun adventure or if you are just a Disney fan in general. The characters are fun, there is a lot of creativity, and the lure established is so rich with possibilities that you could easily see future sequels being just as good or better. I definitely recommend this film even if it fits all the typical Disney and family film cliches.

Notable Moment: When you realize that King Candy is actually Turbo who escaped into yet another video game.

Final Rating: 7.5/10

The New Guy Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: A loser attempts to reinvent himself as a cool kid at a new school.

Review: This is one of those movies that you should probably hate because of how blatantly stupid the comedy is, but, for some reason, you find yourself enjoying it because of some hidden charm. It's kind of hard to explain at first, but then again you may just end up hating it flat out! The main guy, Dizzy, is one of the more unusual dorks of film, but he is played shyly by DJ Qualls. After starting his senior year, Dizzy immediately is made a fool of which included having has his dick "broken" (yes, it can be broken!) by an idiotic teacher. After such painful humiliation, Dizzy, goes through elaborate means to get expelled which he does. He is then sent to jail where he is taught how to change his image into a tough guy by a fellow tortured inmate named Luther, played by Eddie Griffin. I was always amused by the secret to becoming tough being "crazy eyes" in which you would give a scary look to anyone trying to fight you and they would back away. Anyway, Dizzy starts to call himself Gil, and with a lot of help from the prisoners, starts a new school where he will present his new image. It's worth noting that from here on out we see one hot chick after another flooding the entire film with special attention to the main girl, Danielle, played by the sexy Eliza Dushku and her friend, Courtney, played by Sunny Mabrey. I know I usually make a big deal about the hot chicks, but this film really goes out of the way to make you notice as well! Dizzy decides he needs to beat up the toughest and coolest guy in the school to gain respect right away which he does in an extremely roundabout way. From here on out, Dizzy goes from one ridiculous situation after another as he gains the admiration of all the people in the school who think he is this badass tough guy too cool for anything. One of my favorite moments is when Dizzy is asked to make out with Courtney, falls off a roof, and she thinks he rejected her. He then runs into Jerry and Charlie O'Connell (which is brilliant in itself) who are too complete idiots who think if Dizzy is willing to reject Courtney, he must get with the best babes there are. The guy Dizzy beat up earlier, Conner, doubts this until Dizzy shows him a picture of his "girl" who was actually just one of the prisoners dressed up as a woman. This whole situation just makes me laugh because of the O'Connell brothers since they are believing every word of it. Anyway, you think this film will get corny with Dizzy being too cool for his old friends and lame drama ensuing, but instead this film ditches that plot element early and instead Dizzy decides to use his popularity to bring together the losers and cool kids of his school and everyone becomes friends; I suppose this is where a bit of the film's charm comes into play. With Dizzy's help, his school's football team manages to defeat his old school's team in a championship which leads to Dizzy's old bully trying to seek him out for revenge and to expose him. This leads to the conclusion in which a video of Dizzy breaking his dick is shown and him finally coming clean about who he really is. None of it matters because Dizzy gets the girl, the people don't care, and everything just ends happily ever after. I know this is all so cheesy, but the movie works it for me somehow. I like the atypical storytelling, interesting cameos like Tony Hawk, hot chicks galore, and amusing setups even if the overall comedy is mediocre at best. On the other hand, it's not that funny, most gags fail, the comedy is too lighthearted, many ongoing plot elements are stupid and break up the flow, and there is quite a bit of questionable acting (but I guess it's possible some of it may have been intentional). If you like cheesy, offbeat comedies or if you're a fan of the actors involved give this one a go. Don't expect a lot as the comedy isn't really laughter inducing as much as it is merely amusing. I've mostly just been a fan because it features heavily a luscious Ms. Dushku at the height of her Buffy days!

Notable Moment: When Danielle is trying on the many different bikinis and giving a little dance to boot! What?! I am a simple man with simple tastes! This scene alone is worth watching the film for!

Final Rating: 5.5/10

The lovely Ms. Dushku:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The ABCs of Death Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: An anthology film comprised of 26 short tales from directors around the world with each tale represented by a letter of the english alphabet.

Review: If I could sum this film up in a single word it would be "ambitious." Unfortunately, too many stories are stupid which prevents this movie from going into legendary status; although, I'm sure this is a cult-classic in the making. I suppose there is only one way to do proper justice to this review, but should I really run down all 26 segments?! Sure, why not!

A-I have to give some credit to this bad boy because it uses one of my favorite concepts: the apocalypse! Some wife is trying to kill her undying husband while you can hear chaos outside the window. She implies that she's been trying to kill him for awhile so he wouldn't have to be there for the end. I liked the approach and was a nice way to start things off.

B-This one was just meh as some guy is trying to get his little cousin to sleep so he can bang, what I presume is, his girlfriend. The two tell the little girl a story about the abominable snowman wreaking havoc in Mexico which happens to coincide with some crazed killer coming to the house.

C-This made little sense as a guy sees some kind of portal in his backyard which warps time and space. Now while I might typically appreciate this, "C" can't represent "cycle" if we are shown the cycle ending, now can it?

D-This one was the first of the many weird ones to come. Some guy is in an orchestrated boxing-like fight against a dog which felt extremely bizarre. In the end, the man realizes the dog is his own pet and the two turn against the people running the fight.

E-This one annoyed me because it showed very little creativity since it was essentially just the telling of a timeless urban legend. Some spider lays eggs in the ear of a guy and they hatch. That's pretty much it.

F-At first I was like, "Oh yay, Japanese schoolgirl" and then she farted and I'm like, "oh god why?" This is just unusual to say the least. Some volcano explodes, the girl and her teacher flee to an observatory of some sort where she said she wants to be killed by the fart of her teacher. I suppose to each their own?

G-Some surfer has strapped on a backpack full of bricks and, I assume, commits suicide. I guess there's supposed to be a deeper meaning in there somewhere but whatever.

H-This one is for all the "furries" out there. It's a '40s b-movie-esque approach except uses dog costumes to tell the tale of a WWII pilot fighting some nazi stripper. Another weird one.

I-This one had some potential as it was apparently a man tying his wife to the bathtub and injecting her with drano or something like that. However, a lot is left unanswered as to why the guy was doing this and why he seemed to want to get away from her.

J-I have no idea what the hell was going on here. It appeared as though a samurai was committing seppuku (ritualized suicide) yet there was some other guy trying to execute him. Although there is a weird comedic staring contest of sort between the two men which I have no clue as what it is all supposed to mean!

K-This is the first of the animated entries and not exactly a good way to start things off. Some girl takes a shit and it seems to be tormenting her (go figure, right?). Apparently the shit just wants to go back up her ass which it does and kills her.

L-This one is completely fucked up! Random men are strapped to chairs for the entertainment of weird, masked individuals as they must compete in a masturbation competition whereby the loser is executed. To help provide "material" for the men, various people are brought in front of them to perform. At first it is naked girls but slowly becomes more and more grotesque with the likes of an amputee also masturbating with her own prosthesis and a little boy being raped by some fat dude. After finally losing, the champ of many rounds finds himself now the unwitting performer for a new group as he is raped by a woman with a chainsaw! Truly disturbing, but, you know, it wouldn't even shock me to learn weird shit like this goes on in reality.

M-This is probably the worst of the bunch since it is beyond short and simply involves a girl trying to flush a toilet while it is full of blood. Then we see the title "M is for Miscarriage" and we are supposed to pull it together. It is just stupid, short, and cheap. I expected so much more from this director.

N-This one was funny, but I wanted so much more from the acclaimed director of my favorite horror movie, "Shutter." A man buys his girlfriend a parrot and arranges for it to propose to her as he hands her the ring. Unfortunately for the man, the parrot begins to repeat the conversation he had with his "other" girlfriend. Needless to say, the girlfriend is not happy.

O-While this made virtually no sense and there's not much of a story, the visuals are quite impressive. A woman is receiving oral sex and we are shown various images that I suppose we could assume went through her head as she orgasmed? Felt a lot like "Requiem for a Dream."

P-This is another one of the more disturbing tales as we see the life of a prostitute and what she goes through to earn money to take care of her kids and make them happy. It's actually quite sad, but she eventually gets hired to dress sexy and kill baby animals while being filmed so I have little remorse for her pathetic life. I do appreciate the critique of the human condition on what people are willing to do to get by however.

Q-I really liked this one since it was not only funny, but sort of broke the 4th wall as the directors are playing themselves and discussing what they should do for their entry in "The ABCs of Death." I was laughing at the joke that they must be hated since they were given "Q." The two decide they will perform a real kill but wimp out and decide to kill a duck since it's "Q." While trying to gain the courage to shoot the duck, they accidently shoot each other. Short, sweet, and entertaining.

R-Once again I am perplexed by a story that seems to have no point yet I'm sure is supposed to have some elaborate "artsy" meaning I'm allegedly too stupid to understand. Some guy, who looks like a burn victim, is chained up at a hospital and doctors keep removing slabs of flesh that contain film within them. Eventually the man breaks free, kills everyone, ends up at a train yard, somehow has the strength to move a train, falls down dead, and then the sky rains blood. Uh okay...well at least the nurse was hot.

S-This is one of the best ones with some hot chicks fleeing from some demonic-looking man. We jump in as if it's in the middle of the action as the two try to escape from the guy but he is too fast. The man tells the one woman to come with him, and we cut to some crackhouse with the girls passed out on drugs as the one girl is dying from an overdose. I know this is the whole "it's all a dream" plot twist, but I liked the spin on that and it could have been an awesome reveal coming from a full length movie. I wouldn't mind seeing those girls again!

T-Done in claymation, this story focused on a little boy who was afraid to use the toilet because he imagined it turning into a monster and eating him and his family. I have to say, the toilet monster was cool and the deaths were incredibly gruesome...if only it would have been live-action! In the end, the dad keeps making fun of the kid and eventually the boy really does die from a shelf falling on his head. If you have a sick sense of humor you should appreciate this one.

U-While not exactly thrilling, I loved the creativity in the presentation of the tale in general. We are seen a first-person perspective of a vampire running around the woods trying to get away from his pursuers as they eventually get him down and kill him. So rarely are we given the chance to see through the eyes of the villains that it was refreshing. I'd love to see it further fleshed out with maybe more time or more of a budget and it could be great.

V-Now this is my favorite and probably the only one I could say should have been a full-length film. Set in a near future, a sexy female police officer and her robotic companion get the drop on a group of armed criminals and have a shoot out. We are shown flashbacks that reveal the freedom to give birth has been revoked and is now a crime without approval. These "criminals" were harboring a child and when hesitating to execute the child, because the cop had been approved to have a child but discovered she was infertile, they use telepathic powers to control her. The robot then goes berserk and kills the parents and rips the babies head off! As the cop comes to her senses, her superior and crew arrive and reveals that all the criminals were psychics and that they intend to collect their DNA for study. One of the police officers says they will reanimate the baby to properly harvest its DNA which causes the female cop to threaten to kill the superior, but he shoots her first. Then the baby comes back to life and starts to kill the police because apparently it's some prophesied  psychic savior. The film ends with the baby using his powers to kill the superior with the woman left as its mother. I really loved everything about this as this is how you properly present an anthology tale. Fantastic story, decent special effects, a lot of creativity, hot main chick, and all around awesomeness make this the best of the bunch!

W-If you're wondering what the "W" stands for, it shouldn't take you more than a minute to realize it stands for "WTF" or what the fuck! Although they are ripping off "Q" (or did "Q" rip them off?), this one also involves directors confused as to what they should do for their part in the movie. They throw around a lot of ideas and it was funny how it was presented. Eventually all their weird ideas combine and become reality which kind of has to be seen to be understood. But the highlight for me was of course the hot nurse and the hot warrior girl! It's cheesy as hell and may come off as retarded, but it worked for me.

X-This is another one I liked for its social commentary. We see a fat chick and daily life she lives with people tormenting her. All the while, the girl keeps seeing this woman in a bikini in commercials sort of antagonizing her. This bikini girl, played by Yasmine Meddour, is a drop-dead gorgeous goddess! If only I could find a photo of her online I would include it, but what few photos came up did not look like her; she was definitely the highlight of the film for me besides the "V" segment. Getting back on track, the girl then goes home and, in a fit of rage, cuts off all her skin so she will be skinny. She then obviously dies, but the meaning was easy to see even if exaggerated. A tough look at how influential what other people think can affect the thoughts of an individual especially when it comes to superficial expectations of women. Then again, I don't help anything by pointing out every hot chick now do I?!

Y-First off, I absolutely love the effective use of '80s music, lighting, and film quality in this entry even if it deters from how disturbing the story being told is. We see a shot of a school's mascot, which is a deer's head, and then a flashback to some sick pedophile helping some kid shoot a deer with an arrow before he rapes him. Slowly we see the pedophile eyeing more boys to, presumably, molest as he engages in a disgusting act I will discuss at the end. Finally, the boy he raped appears and gouges out the man's eyes with the head of the deer and then rips his head off and throws it in a basketball net (3 points!). It's fucked up, to say the least, but I couldn't help but be entertained by the over the top nature of it all accompanied by that wonderful '80s feel.

Z-I'd love to say this film closes out strong, but sadly the final tale is pure nonsense, but I wouldn't expect any less from this director (although I do like some of his work). I wish I could explain what is even occurring here, but I don't know how. There is something about a kind of hot chick with a body-length dick with a sword fighting some other naked chick shooting vegetables from her crotch. Random naked people, stuff about nuclear power, 9/11, the Japan tsunami, lots of rice, and a dude in a wheelchair make up the rest of the shenanigans. Like "R" I'm sure there's some supposed "meaning" I don't understand, but, once again, whatever. I might have forgiven it's sheer nonsensical presentation if it weren't the last tale, but since it is, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Overall, I need to give the directors some credit because there was definitely some creativity here even if many segments failed at the execution. This film definitely deserves some praise for its memorability as well. I've run down all the stories for you, so I will leave it up to you to decide if it seems to be worth your time. I did like the film because I appreciate the huge undertaking and what the creators were aiming for so I do recommend it. I really would love to see "V" properly realized, and I definitely want to see more of Ms. Meddour!

Notable Moment: I've seen a lot of fucked up shit in movies, but there was a moment during the "Y" segment that made me wince. This weird pedophile dude laps up ass sweat from some little boy in such a gross way. I'd love to say it was the worst thing I've seen in film, but I'll have to save that for another time (yikes!).

Final Rating: 6.5/10

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: The Joker has been let loose and Batman must contend with him, aging, a new commissioner, and Superman.

Review: Picking up immediately where the first part left off, this film is more focused than the previous entry as it centers on Batman's further struggle with aging, the Joker going on a rampage, and Superman being asked to end Batman's vigilantism once it becomes apparent the police cannot contain him. The Joker plotline presented here is especially dark as he is killing people left and right and in quite grisly ways. I don't know, the story was good and this was an interesting take on the character, but there was a certain charm lacking from this incarnation. He was just more of a psychotic madman rather than trying to tell a sadistic joke through his antics which took me out of the situation a bit. I suppose perhaps this had something to do with the fact that the Joker seemingly wanted Batman to finally give in and just kill him, but I couldn't figure out why he would decide this now. Regardless, Batman did finally give in and pretty much kills the Joker which kind of irked me since I am a purist; there were also more moments of Batman wielding a gun which seriously angers me even further than the first part did! It's also worth noting that the comedian Conan O'Brien cameos as the voice of a late-night talk show host that the Joker dispatches of. The Superman vs. Batman plotline was the obvious highlight to the film since it is the clash of the biggest titans of DC. I never liked this aspect of Superman being a lapdog to the government, but I suppose it works here. It was cool how Superman is presented as well since people often just refer to him as, you guessed it, "Him." Although, one would have to wonder, would the US government really be so concerned over Batman's activities especially after rallying the city's people to work together? Regardless, the fight is epic as Batman prepares a special suit to use against Superman and arranges for Green Arrow to use an actual green arrow, in the form of kryptonite, to take down Superman. Considering this is a Batman film, Superman is still presented respectfully for fans, but the match ends predictably with Batman as the technical winner. This leads me to the final plot element which is the aging Bruce Wayne. During the fight, Batman fakes his death since he finally acknowledges his time has passed as he prepares to let Robin and the former mutants be properly trained by him to uphold the defense of Gotham City. Throughout the film, as a whole, we see Bruce's further struggles to come to terms with his age, limitations, and the fact that he is obsessed; this was the best part in the first entry and continues to be a strong plot point this time around. I still don't like how bulky they make Batman since we see his agility and speed emphasized as his strongest abilities besides his intelligence, but I understand the want to be accurate to the comic. Overall, the story is compelling and fun and a definite recommendation if you liked the first part. There are some downsides that I have already discussed that prevent this from being truly memorable, but it is still a great interpretation of an aging Bruce Wayne as well as many of the other famous characters.

Notable Moment: When Batman and Superman fight. People really seem to want this fight to happen, but as much as I love Batman more than Superman, Batman would not stand a chance.

Final Rating: 7/10

Dalaw Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: A woman fears she is being haunted by the ghost of her dead husband after remarrying.

Review: First let me explain that "dalaw" means something like "visitor" in tagalog, but if any Filipinos out there want to give me better contextual clarification that would be appreciated! Anyway, this is yet another mixed bag since we have a plot dependent on a twist that I, or anyone could have, predicted within the first 10 minutes. As I've stated many times, if you can't properly execute a major plot twist, you should compensate somehow else along the way to make it feel worth the ride to watch the movie. Unfortunately, this film's only other form of entertainment was the scare-factor of the ghost who was not scary at all. Sorry, but a girl covered in mud with a ridiculous receding hairline does not work on any level, and was not the way to go, which sucks because there is a moment in the film where she did look creepy as hell, but could they not afford to make her look that way the whole film or did they seriously believe the mud looked creepier? You are led to believe that the main girl, Stella (played by the scream queen Kris Aquino), is being haunted by her dead husband, Danillo, when in actuality it is her current husband's ex-girlfriend who is the ghost. This is not a shock in any regard because the film doesn't even try to give you a reason to believe it's Danillo other than Stella's dreams and some bull from the housekeeper. In fact, the opposite happens because we are given no resolution on what became of the girlfriend (hint 1), the new husband, Anton, had ample reason to kill the girlfriend (hint 2), which he did, the ghost's profile is deliberately masked to make it ambiguous if it's male or female (major fucking hint 3), they idiotically choose to include the plot aspect that Danillo died under no mysterious circumstance (hint 4) when they could have played this up! With these four factors presented so early in the film they already ruined what could have been an awesome reveal; this is not to say there aren't even more clues as the film progresses but these stand out so blatantly early on. There were also many wasted scares and senseless throwaway ideas like this creepy cabinet and an old toy that seem to have no relevance by the end. Oh and big shock the film ends on a senseless zinger! My last gripe is what the hell was with the shoddy film quality or did I get some defective copy? If I didn't know the film was recent I would have sworn it was made in the '90s or earlier. On the other hand, the acting was good, the scares presented could have been great if the ghost looked more frightening, there were some interesting ideas, and the music was nice and ominous. This film could have been so much greater it's really quite sad. I would say give this one a view simply for the sake that we don't get enough decent Filipino horror movies, but I would have preferred Ms. Aquino get cracking on a "Sukob" sequel (even if her character is dead) or something better. I mean, we can get 14 "Shake, Rattle and Roll"s but can't even get a "Feng Shui" 2?! You're killing me Philippines!

Notable Moment: When the ghost of Lorna appears by Anton at the bar and actually looks pretty scary as she's screaming.

Final Rating: 5/10

Haunted Changi Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: A documentary crew investigates a notoriously haunted hospital in Singapore.

Review: Once again, for the billionth time now, we have wasted potential! There were even a few parts where I was really on edge because I thought they were building to something scary, but maybe I was too hopeful? As the documentary crew discusses within the film, the Changi Hospital in Singapore is real and has an interesting past ripe for potential; however, this film failed beyond miserably to deliver on an awesome set piece, a realistic setting, and the chance to play with some creative ideas. They could have at least played it safe with jump scares galore, and I'd still like it better than it turned out. Instead, we get almost no scares, predictable plot twists, and so(oooooooooo) much filler! I understand that they were going for realism which, to the film's credit, they did succeed somewhat at, but you have to plot this out better. This is supposed to be a found-footage movie, yet the opening shot is the ending scene of the film so if you're going to present the film as if it's a completed documentary, you can't show a shot like that at the beginning! Furthermore, I simply believe it was yet another chance to throw in filler since this film barely clocks in at 75 minutes. I can, and have, forgiven films for being too short if they can at least make use of their time, but this film fucks around constantly with the same establishing shot, pointless transitions, mindless scenes that drag, and cool setups with no payoff that eventually I have to label as even more filler! I'll give you a great example: the main guy is walking down tight corridors for (at least!) 3 minutes with so much potential for a final scary shot or any kind of jump scare along the way, but instead just sort of comes to an end and then that's it. Sorry, but as much as I love the tension, you must bring it to a conclusion...that's just blue-balling the audience! In all honesty, without this tension, I would have rated this film even lower because that's really all it has. There is maybe one real scare, and it loses all impact because the main character explains it away for the sake of the primary plot twist which anyone could see coming a million miles away! In case you're curious, they main guy keeps saying he's interviewing some girl who's squating at the hospital and big fucking shock she's a ghost! Ahh! I didn't see that coming! Come on guys, really? Eh, the acting is okay since sometimes it feels real while other times it's pitifully staged. As a major plus, the actors mostly spoke english, and I liked to see the diverse culture of Singapore. But believe me, there are much better horror films from Singapore so I'd say give this a pass unless for some reason all my detractions are not registering with you.

Notable Moment: When the "China lady" appears in the doorway, disappears for a second, then reappears right near the camera. It was pretty much the only scary scene in the whole film.

Final Rating: 4/10