Review: Stephen King’s IT (2017) (The Horror Film Of The Year?)

(SPOILER FREE)

“You want it to float, don’t you?”

Stephen King’s IT is one of my favourite novels. I could read it over and over again until the end of time. The first adaptation of the novel, the 1990 TV miniseries, failed to do the novel justice, despite a great performance by Tim Curry as the novel’s main horror, Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Twenty seven years later, we have been given a full-on Hollywood film adaptation (or, more accurately, a two part film adaptation). Does it do the novel justice? More importantly, does it deliver true horror? My answers to both questions are uncertain. There’s too much cut from the novel to do it justice (even given that it only tells the story of the children, not the children as adults). It also relies too much on jump scares and delivers an uneven tone throughout the film…

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Reaction: Stephen King’s IT – First Official Trailer

“When you’re a kid, you think the universe revolves around you”

The First Official Trailer for the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s IT dropped yesterday. We have seen a film adaptation before of King’s IT, but it was a made for TV movie. It’s average at best, elevated by a creepy performance by Tim Curry as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Without further ado, here’s the trailer:

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Review: Baywatch (2017) (Nothing Glistens In Emerald Bay)

“Our team is the elite of the elite”

Sometimes you need to see a bad film to appreciate the good ones. Of course, with cinema prices nowadays, one can only afford to see the good ones. Why waste ten pound (at the least) on a naff film? However, once in a while, a bad film is good for the mind’s equilibrium. And, let there be no doubt about it, ‘Baywatch’ is a bad film. Not even The Rock can save this update of a nostalgic property from sinking. Yes, Dwayne Johnson has been in some terrible films. But he’s shone through, his natural charisma curtailing the gap between the screen and the viewer. Here, however, he’s lost among the flotsam and jetsam of awful jokes, dialogue, plot, direction, editing…I could go on.

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Review: Ghost in the Shell (2017) (Another Dodgy Remake of a Japanese Classic?)

“It’s okay, just breathe”

Within a month or two, we’ve had two live action remakes of classic animations. The first was ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ which recreated the original faithfully but felt wholly unnecessary. Now, we have ‘Ghost in the Shell,’ a remake of the beloved 1995 Japanese anime. Yes, there were concerns about ‘whitewashing.’ Why cast Scarlett Johannsen as the main character? Why not a Japanese actress? But the whitewashing is one of the many problems that one encounters whilst watching ‘Ghost in the Shell.’ A lame script, an irritating Westernisation of the original’s plot and endless shots of the (admittedly impressive) futuristic city are among the other big problems. Continue reading

Review: Let Me In (2010) (I’d Rather Let The Right One In!)

let me in

“Are you a vampire?”

I am sincerely against American remakes of foreign horror films. First they poached Japanese horror films (The Ring, The Grudge etc), now they’ve moved a little closer to home. ‘Let Me In’ is a remake of the 2008 Swedish horror film Let The Right One In (apointless name change!), and as always, something has been lost in translation. In general, American horror remakes tend to explain too much, show too much, and fail to capture the atmosphere of the original. And ‘Let Me In’ makes all of those mistakes, and a few more. I wholly agree with the director of ‘Let The Right One In’ when he said that “If one should remake a film, it’s because the original is bad. And I don’t think mine is.” And he’s correct! Continue reading

Review: Ghostbusters (2016) (A Remake Too Far?)

ghostbusters 2016

“The first sentence is: ‘This is not a joke’”

The remake of ‘Ghostbusters’ is not a bad film. It’s not a good film. It’s just a film, produced by cash-hungry Sony to make a quick buck off a beloved franchise. Typical of Paul Feig comedies, it misses more than it hits. But it’s not the car crash of the film I believed it would be. It’s a decent dollop of harmless entertainment. However, it falls into the traps that many modern remakes fall into repeatedly. A far too high reverence to the original, coupled with CGI splurges that dull the senses, damage the film’s individual identity. We’ve seen it all before… Continue reading

Review: ‘Stephen King’s IT’ (1990) (The Film, Not The Book!)

it the film 1

(SPOILERS AHEAD!)

“Do they float?”

What’s there to do after you’ve just read one of your favourite books of all time? Well, watch the movie adaptation, of course! And then be terribly disappointed 90% of the time…and that’s the case with the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘IT’, a made for TV effort released in 1990. When I saw it as a young lad, I thought it was terrifying. Well, the first half and Pennywise The Dancing Clown. However, even back then the ending looked ropey, and the second half bored me. Now, with more mature eyes (I hope…I certainly can’t see as well as I could back then!), the flaws in the adaptation are even more glaring. Continue reading

Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) (Another Horror Classic Slaughtered?)

texas remake

“For them, an idyllic summer afternoon became a nightmare.”

I finally caught The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Or, rather, I caught the REMAKE of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Of course, I’ve seen the original, but after hearing the news of Gunnar Hansen’s death, I thought I’d watch it again. However, I couldn’t find the original, and have had the remake on Sky Plus for a while. I’ve not had the pleasure of watching the original and I hate remakes. But with no other option present, and a curiosity building inside of me, I settled down with some tomato soup, and got ready for the Michael Bay-produced remake (a bad omen!)… Continue reading

Review: The Last House on the Left (2009)

last house on the leftHow many horror films are going to be subjected to an awful remake? Of course, there is still the original to watch, but that’s not the point. Now, as a rule, I’m against remakes, unless I wants to watch a terrible film. There’s only so much quality the mind can absorb before it needs a Tank Girl, or even a Star Wars prequel. Sometimes your mind needs some trash to relax! And with ‘ The Last House on the Left’ remake, I received what I asked for: a truly dire film. Now, the original is not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a ‘classic’ horror film. It’s rough and ready, cheap and very nasty; it’s film-making on the hoof. There’s obviously a low budget, which accounts for the poor actors/actresses and such forth, but that’s also the key to its ‘classic-ness’. Continue reading

Review: Poltergeist (2015) (A Scare, A Scare, My Kingdom for a Scare!)

poltergeist_1sht_vera1_large(SPOILERS AHEAD)

“They’re here”

Another day, another horror remake. Surely there can’t be many more classic horror films to remake? Well, I can think of two big ones that haven’t faced the trauma of a remake: The Exorcist and Don’t Look Now. But I can’t imagine it will be long before we see them remade. Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Psycho, Halloween, The Evil Dead…all terrible to below-average horror remakes. The true horror is simply watching them and seeing a classic being massacred like the typical teenager in a horror film. The general rule is more gore, more CGI and more ‘backstory.’ It not only lessens the scares and the terror but also demeans the original. The remake of Poltergeist, unfortunately, is no different…
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