Sunday, 16 July 2017


"Heidi" (2014, Daniel Ray, Neon Mirage, Wild Eye Releasing) is a found footage film about a haunted doll.

Two teenage YouTube pranksters find a doll in an old lady's attic and are then plagued by creepy happenings.

A found footage film which draws upon some elements of Chucky and other killer doll horrors. The idea is pretty good but the execution is mixed. But it's a low budget film, so I am inclined to be more forgiving. The build up, for instance, is pretty long winded and some of the supporting characters are not as well rounded as others, however, the main characters are pretty relatable and some of the scenes with the doll moving are pretty fun. The dolls scenes are made more effective by what they don't show. The film overall benefits from doing more with less.

At only 90 minutes the film isn't overly long, however there are scenes which felt a little drawn out. The main character also doesn't seem to get really freaked out until quite late on in the film resulting in a lot of late gore scenes. The film also goes over the same ground a few times with the doll coming back after being destroyed or disposed of over and over again. This did eventually become a little tedious.

"Heidi" has some good points, but overall loses its way and becomes a little unfocused towards the end.

[Image: Neon Mirage, et al]

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Mummy (2017)

"The Mummy" (2017,  Alex Kurtzman, Universal Pictures, Perfect World Pictures, K/O Paper Products, Sean Daniel Company) is the modern take on the infamous Egyptian-themed monster movie.

"The Mummy" 2017 is also what happens when mainstream Hollywood does "horror". Even with the historical links of Universal Pictures and horror, this movie fails to deliver either a fun, campy monster movie or any kind of scares. It sits in a chasm, lost in its confusing plot and satisfies neither the horror aficionado nor the intrigued, average cinema goer.

Nick (Tom Cruise) is a soldier serving in Iraq. He and his pal, Chris (Jake Johnson), happen across a buried Egyptian tomb. With the help of archaeologist, Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) and their other army friends, they accidentally set free the vengeful mummified corpse of Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella). Nick finds himself cursed by the Princess who is determined to reclaim her throne under the blessing of the God Set (Javier Botet). Oh, and for some reason Russell Crowe is Dr. Henry Jekyll because... reasons.

The movie's aesthetics are great. Boutella's mummy is beautiful and ambitious. The effects on her eyes are particularly cool and she gives a good performance. Unfortunately, the character is neither scary nor gross so her antagonist loses some effect.

Tom Cruise's character is pretty generic but I enjoyed his overall performance as a roguish asshole. However, the ridiculous plot robs Nick of any relatability and things quickly dissolve into action flick madness with little substance.

For me the best character was probably Chris who plays a small homage, in part, to Jack from "An American Werewolf in London" and gets in most of the best lines in the film.

All in all there was just so much going on which gave the film an overall feeling of being directionless. The inclusion of other franchise's characters *cough* Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde seem tacked on and pointless and the film lacked the gruesome qualities of the Brendan Fraser era Mummy films or the classic eeriness of the Boris Karloff Universal movies. The plot seemed stuck in a limbo where we weren't sure what kind of movie this was trying to be.

All in all too much of a weak mish-mash to consider a successful remake. But some of it was pretty to look at.

[Image: Universal Pictures, et al]