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Movie Review: “Get Out” is an Excellent Mix of Horror and Comedy

Image result for get out movie

Every once in a while a horror flick comes along that not only scares, but also includes plenty of laughs along the way. In the past few years, films like “The Visit” and “The Guest” have provided this full package. And now at the start of 2017, comedian Jordan Peele (“Key and Peele”) has captured this rarity again, and presented us with the gift of his directorial debut, “Get Out”.

Based on the film’s trailer alone, audiences knew we were in for some race-savvy satire that would lead to a number of awkward scenes. But, these moments of comic relief are so subtle and well executed that they blend perfectly with the eerie tension, while still keeping you engrossed in the suspense of the movie.

“Get Out” follows Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), an African American photographer who’s planning to meet his Caucasian girlfriend’s parents for the first time. They are set to head upstate to her family’s secluded home, and of course, Chris expresses his concern by asking if they know he is black? Rose (Allison Williams) laughs it off and assures Chris that her parents are totally cool. To give him comfort, she lets him know that her dad would have voted for Obama a third term. Oh good, now we all feel so much better… Chris’ best friend (Lil Rel Howery) even warns him not go, but he does not listen.

On the drive to her parents’ house they hit a deer, foreshadowing an unpleasant visit ahead of them. And it’s here that we get our first act of racism with a cop who insists on seeing Chris’ ID after the accident, even though Rose was driving. Luckily, Rose diffuses the situation in a pretty knight in shining armor way.

Image result for get out movie

Finally, they arrive to her parents’ home, and both are welcomed with open arms. Rose’s mom Missy (Catherine Keener) and her dad Dean (Bradley Whitford) appear to be nice. Dean comes across a bit foolish at times with a few ignorant remarks when trying to “bond” with Chris, but other than that the parents seem harmless. However, their two African American servants, Georgina (Betty Gabriel) and Walter (Marcus Henderson) behave in a very odd manner with forced smiles and unusual emotional breakouts.

Things just continue to get stranger. Missy offers to hypnotize Chris so that he can quit smoking. Rose’s brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) makes it blatantly clear that he does not care for his sister’s new boyfriend. Then there’s a disturbing party in which Chris is hounded by the many white people in attendance. Soon enough, everything begins to unwind.

Jordan Peele’s script is sharp, witty, and an effective horror. There are subtle Hitchcock-like notes in his story telling. Peele’s cast only furthers his film with their well-rounded performances. Keener and Whitford do an incredible job maintaining their creepy, Stepford Wives composure. Major kudos to Lil Rel Howery for being the character that hilariously speaks on behalf of everyone in the audience.

“Get Out” is a refreshing horror-comedy that will keep you on edge till the very end!

Rating: 4/5

“Get Out” opens in theaters February 24th.

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Movie Review: “The Visit” is a Welcoming Comeback for M. Night Shyamalan

the visit

M. Knight Shyamalan was once known for his great films such as The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs.  Unfortunately, his more recent projects have subjected us to some underwhelming, pieces of crap like The Happening and After Earth.  Well folks, I’m pleased to say that Shyamalan’s newest film, The Visit, succeeds as a highly entertaining horror-comedy!

Kathryn Hahn plays a single mother of two who has not spoken to her parents since she left home at the age of 19, and ran off with an older man.  Now, her parents have reached out to her through the internet and ask that her children come to visit their Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie), whom they’ve never met.

Per the kids’ wishes, the mom sends them to their grandparents’ isolated, Pennsylvania farmhouse in the woods for a week while she goes on a cruise with her new boyfriend.  The eldest child, Becca (Olivia DeJonge), is an aspiring filmmaker.  She takes this opportunity to document her entire trip, and hopefully uncover exactly what happened the day her mother walked out on her parents and maybe even mend their relationship.  Alongside her, as a second camera operator is her younger, germ phobic, rapping brother, Tyler (Olivia DeJonge).

The trip starts all well and good, Nana makes plenty of tasty treats and Pop Pop enjoys listening to Tyler’s ridiculously, hilarious raps.  Seems as though it will be a great week for the kids; that is until they discover why bed time is at 9:30pm.  Nana goes from a harmless, nocturnal sleepwalker to a straight up psychotic, creepy, crawler within each passing night!  And what exactly is Pop Pop doing when he disappears inside his mysterious shed?

As things are turning eerie fast, the kids are desperate to have their mother come get them before anymore craziness unfolds.

Shyamalan has not only redeemed himself as a filmmaker, but he has also brought originality to the found-footage genre.  His combination of humor and terror will have audiences uncomfortably laughing while still on the edge of their seats as they nervously anticipate what’s to come.

The acting is good overall, especially when it comes to the two kids, who could have ruined the whole film if they were wrongly cast.  Oxenbould was given some cheesy lines and potentially bad jokes, but his delivery and timing is so on point that you can’t help but enjoy every second he’s on screen.  But the real stand out here is Nana.  Dunagan gives an incredible performance as the disturbing grandmother who seesaws from sweet and nurturing to plain insanity.

The Visit provides comedy, horror, family, and best of all, a startling amount of effed up sh**.  Literally!

Rating: 4/5

The Visit opens in theaters on September 11.

Coming Soon: “The Babadook”

The Babadook

Director/ Writer: Jennifer Kent

Stars: Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Tim Purcell

Synopsis 

Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia is at a loss. She struggles to discipline her ‘out of control’ 6-year-old, Samuel, a son she finds impossible to love. Samuel’s dreams are plagued by a sinister monster he believes is coming to kill them both. When a disturbing storybook called ‘The Babadook’ turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the Babadook is the creature he’s been dreaming about. His hallucinations spiral out of control and as he becomes more unpredictable and violent, Amelia is genuinely frightened by her son’s behaviour. But when Amelia begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence all around her, it slowly dawns on her that the thing Samuel has been warning her about may be real.

“The Babadook” just won the Best Horror Feature, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Actress Awards at the 2014 Fantastic Fest.

Be sure to catch this terrifying psychological thriller when it hits theaters November 28th!  Direct TV subscribers will have a chance to catch the film in their house on Halloween!

*Movie Review will be posted closer to release date.

“The Babadook” Official Trailer HD

Interview: “The Houses October Built”

The Houses October Built

Director: Bobby Roe

Writers: Bobby Roe, Zack Andrews, Jason Zada

Stars: Zack Andrews, Bobby Roe, Mikey Roe, and Brandy Schaefer

Synopsis

Looking to find an authentic, blood-curdling good fright for Halloween, five friends set off on a road trip in an RV to track down these underground Haunts. Just when their search seems to reach a dead end, strange and disturbing things start happening and it becomes clear that the Haunt has come to them.

I sat down with Zack Andrews, Bobby Roe, Mikey Roe, and Brandy Schaefer to discuss their new film, “The Houses October Built.”

Click here for “The Houses October Built” Interview

 

Movie Review: “The Guest”- An Inevitable Cult Classic

Director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett have revitalized the horror genre with their exciting new thriller, The Guest.

Fans of Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) will be more than pleased with the surprising new side he shows in this sharp, jolting, retro thriller.  His insipidly charming good looks, accessorized with the all-American accent, are put to disturbing use.  Audiences won’t know whether to fear him or root for him.  His character, “David,” is almost like a suave Jekyll and Hyde.  Even if you’ve never seen Downton Abbey, gentlemen and especially the ladies will be in agreement that Dan Stevens has never been better.

The Peterson family is suffering a great loss.  The death of their son, Caleb, has set a somber tone in their household.  When David (Stevens) shows up on their door steps, claiming to be a close friend of Caleb’s from the army.  It’s almost as if they have received a gift from God.  Parents, Laura (Sheila Kelley) and Spencer (Leland Orser) view David as the perfect guest.  He is kind and helpful around the house.  Even their youngest son, Luke (Brendan Meyer), is impressed by the polished soldier when he puts his military fighting to use against some violent high school bullies.

It seems that only Anna (the outstanding Maika Monroe), the Peterson’s brooding, teen daughter, senses something is off with her family’s new found house guest.  Though David’s arrival has broken the cloud of mourning that had descended in their podunk, New Mexico home, a string of mysterious deaths occur during his stay.  A suspicious Anna starts to wonder if David could be responsible.

Last year, Wingard brought us the ingenious You’re Next, which like The Guest, is a horror that calmly lets things escalate to a state of restless violence.  Wingard and Barrett have admirably paid homage to the old-school slashers with their John Carpenter-influenced 1980’s styling.  From their music, to their by the numbers outline that follows the rules of the usual scary movies.  Plus, they have added a few secret ingredients that spice up the predicable horror flick recipe.

The Guest may be welcoming audiences to a familiar plot, but there is enough gusto in this story that makes for a surprisingly, hell of a good time!

Rating: 4/5

The Guest hits theaters September 17.

“The Guest” Official Trailer HD

Staying for Halloween? Here are the Top 7 Best Horror Flicks

Okay, let me just start off by saying this was one of the hardest list I have had to make.  There are so many good horror flicks, for so many different reasons.  Notice I could not pick 5, even though there are some honorable mentions.

I know some of us would rather take it easy on a Thursday night; Halloween doesn’t stop work from coming the next day.  So for those you who are just going to chill and pass out candy to the little ones, here are a few horror film suggestions to top off your night!

Note: All films must be watched in the dark and with proper focus for the full terror affect.

7. I know what you did Last Summer 1 & 2

Is he dead?

For the Slasher:  I know Scream is more preferred among fans, but I have always preferred the story-line in I know what you did Last Summer.  It is slightly less cheesy and in my opinion a scarier film.  Plus it stars four of the biggest celebs of the 90’s, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ryan Phillippe, Freddie Prince Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar. If you are going to watch the first one you must watch the second, it all ties together very well and you will be satisfied with the story.

6. Final Destination

You can’t run from Death

For the Deaths: I don’t even know how many of these sequels they have made now.  All I know is you must watch the original in 2D.  The idea of death chasing after you might keep you up tonight, but how these characters die will make you more cautious than usual.  The film will have you immediately engaged and on the edge of your seat.

5. Stir of Echoes

Does it hurt to be dead?

For the Twist:  Personally my favorite horror flicks are the ones with the best twists.  What Lies Beneath and The Uninvited are great examples.  You give me a mystery to follow and an ending I would not expect, all while having my eyes half opened, and I’m sold!  Stir of Echoes is the whole package kind of scary movie.  Good acting, original story, fear while watching, and a great twist.

4. The Ring

Seven Days…

For the Nightmares:  I can not guarantee that you will be as terrified as I was when first saw this film in 8th grade.  I can tell you that after I saw it, for two weeks straight I slept with the lights and TV on in my room.  I thought that would prevent Samara from turning it on her self and coming out of it.  Either way, you get my point.  The Ring will make you think twice before you dare to watch a tape that will kill you 7 days later!

3. The Exorcist

May the power of Christ compel you!

For the Classic: I feel like this one does not need much explaining.  If you’ve seen it you might wonder why it is not number 1.  Surprisingly enough 2 other films haunt me more.  The horrors that happen in The Exorcist can be prevented.  Just do not ever play with a Ouija board. Done!  I can sleep a little easier now.  None the less, this an incredibly well made film for its time and cult classic.

2. Paranormal Activity

It’s getting worse

For the Ending: Another scary movie with too many sequels.  But again, nothing beats the original.  Lets put aside the fact that this film only cost $15,000 to make and made $9.1 million its first week!  The acting is surprisingly good?  The story is so simple.  And the end is one of the scariest scenes I have ever seen in a film.

1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Who will survive and what will be left of them?

For the Chainsaw:  “Five friends visiting their grandpa’s old house are hunted down and terrorized by a chainsaw wielding killer and his family of grave-robbing cannibals.” Of course I am talking about the 1974 version of this film.  Imaging Leatherface chasing his victims with a chainsaw still haunts me.  This film is gruesome, disturbing and perfect for any Halloween evening!

Honorable Mentions: Child’s Play, Nightmare on Elm Street, Carrie (1976), It

Movie Review: “We Are What We Are” is a Horror Mystery that brings new meaning to Family Dinner

After watching the trailer for the new horror film, We Are What We Are, I assumed I would be in for a mix of dark humor with a heavy amount of gore and disturbing images.  I thought that there was no way this movie could be taken too seriously.  But audiences should be delighted in the fact that director, Jim Mickle (Stake Land, TransAmerica), actually gives us a well-told story with a very serious and somber tone.  We Are What We Are carries an unsettling feeling throughout the entire film without having to rely on an excessive amount of blood.

Set in a secluded small town outside of the Catskill Mountains, the film focuses on the Parkers, a reclusive but seemingly normal family.  The story opens with a horrible accident in a huge rainstorm, causing the mother to have a tragic death.  As if things weren’t bad enough, her death happens around the same time the family is just about to go through a religious ritual that has been performed by the eldest woman of the house for centuries.  Still grieving over his wife’s death, the overbearing father played by Bill Sage forces his not-so-willing daughters Iris (Ambyr Childer) and Rose (Julia Garner) to take on the responsibilities of providing meat for their family; and not the kind you can buy at the market.  As the family deals with their own transitions, they are unaware that their horrifying secret is in danger of being revealed.

We Are What We Are is a remake of a 2010 Mexican film that had somewhat of a following among horror fans. I have yet to see the original film.  But from what I have read, co-writers Jim Mickle and Nick Damici have used the same premise and just changed it up a bit. The main change is the gender of the characters has been switched around.  It was the father that died and the mother forces her son to carry on the awful tradition.  Either way, I am now curious to watch the original just for the comparison.

Overall the entire cast gives surprisingly convincing performances.  Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner carry this film.  Being able to sympathize for their characters is what makes the movie so interesting.  Often times when we see a horror flick, we have to endure villains that have no remorse for their actions, and you are just waiting for them to get their karma in the end. Your heart breaks for these girls as you watch their struggle.  The whole time you are second guessing whether or not you should be feeling this way.  You never truly know what these girls are thinking.  On the other hand, there is no questioning what Bill Sage’s character is thinking.  He does an amazing job as the controlling father who stands firmly by his “religious beliefs.”

The best part of this movie is the fact that you are never completely sure what is going on.  You have an idea at times, but you do not know the whole story.  And in all honesty the less you know about the details in the plot, the better.   It’s the constant mystery that adds to the creepiness of the film.  This a smart and serious story that may have some horror fans disappointed because of the lack of blood shed.  Don’t get me wrong, there is still enough blood and graphic scenes that you will wish you didn’t see; just not so much that you lose sight of the originality and intelligence of the film.

Currently playing in select theaters!

We Are What We Are 2013 HD Trailer

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com

Having a Rough Day? Here’s 5 Films that are so Entertaining, you’ll forget your Problems

We all have those days.  Work has been stressing you out and you feel miserable.  Your having relationship troubles. Your starting feel insecure about yourself. Overall, your in the dramatic “I hate life” mode.  Anytime I tend to get in this random mood for whatever reason, movies have always been my cure!  When you’re watching a great film, you get to have a wonderful escape.

In this particular mood, I tend to go for films that don’t require heavy concentration. Light-hearted, feel good or even a horror will help.  These are the five films that are so entertaining, you’ll be focusing on the story and the characters’ problems instead of your own for at least two hours or so.

Pitch Perfect

Get Pitch-Slapped!

 

For the Fun: Starring Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and Rebel Wilson, this film just represents “Glee”fulness.   The musical numbers are hilarious and actually really good.  In case anyone didn’t know, Anna Kendrick got her start on broadway.  After seeing the Oscar nominated actress in some strong, big screen performances, its nice to see her showing off both talents in this surprisingly, fun film.  Pitch Perfect is a happy, colorful movie that everyone will enjoy singing along to.  Throw in some major WTF moments and a cute romance, you will be singing to yourself, “what problems?”

Little Miss Sunshine

What makes you a winner in life?

 

For the Message: This Oscar nominated film is more than just breakout performances and inappropriate humor.  The story about this family of “losers” may start out a bit depressing, but as the movie continues you will find that winning the top prize doesn’t necessarily make you a winner in life.  Having people in your life that love and support you no matter what is often what winners and losers strive for.  It’s the message of this film that will leave you still thinking about it even when it’s finished.

Meet the Parents

You’ll be grateful your name is not Gaylord Focker

 

For the Appreciation: Whatever your problem is, it can’t be any worse than what Gaylord ‘Greg’ Focker (Ben Stiller) goes through in one of the most hilarious films of all time.  As if meeting your girlfriend’s parents wasn’t nerve-racking enough, having one of those parents be ex CIA, Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) is terrifying.  There are so many obstacles Greg goes through, including lost luggage, a lie detector test, broken noses and so much more that you will appreciate the fact that you aren’t in his shoes.  Besides feeling ultimate sympathy for Greg in this film, you may also think twice before checking a bag for your next flight.

Tommy Boy

Chris Farley in his little coat

 

For the Laughs: Chris Farley was a comedy genius and paired with David Spade, together they were a dynamic duo.  This slapstick comedy is a laugh out loud riot.  As these two are on a mission to sell an impossible amount of brake pads, they encounter so many ridiculous events from cow tipping to a deer fight.  Tommy Boy is a true underdog story, you root for Tommy and laugh at his pain.  There may be one disaster after another in this film, but there is also heart and friendship.  Just sit back and enjoy the catastrophe that these two characters go through, you will more than likely end still laughing and quoting lines.

Scream

What’s your favorite scary movie?

 

For the Scare:  A good scary movie can cure a lot of problems.  Really any horror flick will do the trick here, but one of my personal favorites is the cult classic, Scream. The opening sequence to this film is one of the best from any scary movie.   You may think all the comedy spoofs for these films will make you unable to take it seriously, but try watching it by yourself in the dark.  Regardless of the cheesy romantic scenes and sometimes predictable murders, it’s just a fun scary movie.  Scream has a great story, good mystery, lots of stabbing and it’s just scary enough for you to still be able to sleep easy after watching.  However, if you would like to have night terrors, try The Exorcist or the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.