Wednesday, January 25, 2017

DVD Movie Review #205 Amityville: A New Generation

What is it about the Amityville series that makes me come back for more? I mean I must be an addict as I have been seeking out movie after movie in this series. One of the hardest parts as an Amityville collector is that many of these films are out of print, including this beauty. So in a bit of Christmas madness I ended up doing a bit of Amityville buying and got hold of a few more movies in the series so this time I give you the movie "Amityville: A New Generation".
We start out or movie with our protagonist, a starving artist with a secret past. Everything changes one day when he runs into a strange street person with an old antique mirror. After getting hold of the mirror many of the people around him seemed to keep dying as the curse of the mirror infects them all. In the end his strange and dangerous past comes back to haunt him in this strange and paranoia inspiring film.
These films are interesting as they really run the gammit. They range from really good to mediocre to just plain bad. There is one common theme here though and that is the theme of paranoia and agitation. Throughout the entire film I felt my anxiety rising as the film kept creeping towards its climax. I felt the main character's paranoia grow and after learning his dark secret it only made the feeling worse. I have to give this to the film as it got the feelings right overall. I also like the art motif in this movie with one art piece in particular having to do with a TV and a Shotgun. The creepy art and cast of strange characters lent itself to the atmosphere the film generated to its advantage. The effects were nothing special but then there were not a lot of needed effects to make this special and it had just enough to make this work. This film accomplished most of what it was going for and as an Amityville Spinoff that is a good thing.
The Acting was one of three drawbacks from this film. This was the main one as it almost ruined the mood of the movie at times such as with the scene above which nearly made me laugh instead of give me the feeling that I had earlier on watching this. Many of the characters were wooden in their presentation and a few even overacted leaving a pretty mixed presentation. The second drawback was the music. I usually try hard to not dwell on dated material being used in a film as it was good at the time and they couldn't know that it would be that bad. This movie had an obviously cheesy soundtrack that reflected the time of its making and it didn't translate well to the current time. Instead of filling us with the feeling the directors had intended this instead left us feeling cheesed out a bit. Finally I have to say that the ending was not as good as it could have been. I feel like many of these movies are overly predictable and this was still the case. The plot moved slowly and then because of it you could see the ending coming from way back at the half-way point of the movie.
This movie had a number of drawbacks yet it was still enjoyable and the director got across what he was trying to convey with all of these problems in play. I feel that this movie is one of the better movies in the Amityville series and definitely worth a watch if you can. In this case the positives far out weigh the negatives.

Rating:  7/10

Saturday, January 14, 2017

DVD Movie Review #204 Beware! Children At Play

Hello all and welcome back for the next installment of our DVD Movie reviews. This time I am covering the Troma film Beware! Children at Play. I admit I didn't know this was a Troma film when I found this beauty but after seeing the poster I really had to get it. I mean look at this thing! Can you not see it and say "wow! I gotta see this". This film was a little harder to find due to it being Troma and therefore out of print but It was wroth having in my collection. So here we have our review.
So we start out or movie with a little father and son time where a simple bonding camping trip leads to rampant cannibalism, you know like always happens. We then cut to our protagonists and their daughter visiting the countryside. They learn that many of the town's children have been going missing and soon they find that their very own daughter is at risk. Will they find out what is going to happen to the missing children? Will they live long enough to understand the dark truth?
 I must say I am reminded of a little film called The Children when I watched this film. The vibe of both films is very creepy and disturbing in their very nature making it worth the watch, though not anything new it is something that you don't see a ton of in the horror genre. I felt that with the budget they had and the fact that this is a Troma film it did manage to keep me interested for most of the time. You do have a good level of suspense and of course the graphic nature that is a Troma Film. The Acting is decent and believable so I am able to sit through this without any major issues and some of the child actors were breaths of fresh air overall. With that and the eerie plot having you wonder "just what is going on with these kids?" It is worth at least a single watch.
I did have a few issues with this film. I think that older horror moves a lot slower than we are used to in this day and age so it takes a little while before you really feel things ramp up. I am also no too keen on seeing the violence against children. One of the first pics you see if you do an image search for this film is of one of the kids getting their head blown off. I have decided not to show that one as it is a bit too graphic for here and I kind of got disturbed by it. (So if you must see it you can do your own google search). I was overall not as impressed with this as I wanted to be and I feel that this was not a good thing due to the unreal expectations given by that awesome poster!
In the end this movie is a nice little gore fest from Troma but If you are looking for something that is fast paced or you cringe at violence against children, or any Troma film I would recommend you look elsewhere. Though if those things are your bag find this gem it is worth seeing at least once.

Rating:  6/10