Bob’s 2018 Retrospective: 200 Mini-reviews! [Part 1: The Average]

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Solid post-apocalypse action-drama. Good to see Kate Bosworth in a decent film against. The chemistry between her and Tyler Hoechin is strong and drive the film. Several well-done sequences elevate the film. Recommended.

Don’t Leave Home

Don’t Leave Home is an almost effective slow-burn. A young artist is obsessed about an urban legend in Ireland about a missing girl. She hunts down the priest who might be involved and the slightly off putting world around him including a dilapidated mansion and weird housekeeper. I appreciated the slow burn and general creep of the film, but also feel it didn’t ramp to an end. Slow burn that fizzles. On the bright side, it looks fantastic.

Double Date

This dark comedy horror premiered at one of my favorite film festivals: Bone Bat Comedy of Horrors at SIFF. It’s a fucked up tale of two sisters using blood magic to bring back their dead dad by tricking two horny boys to their secluded mansion. There is a wonderful awkwardness in the boys – one is nerdy and the weird, the other is more confidence and ladies man. That sounds stereotypical, but it works really welll. The humor is solid, the blood is good and love the climax.

Game Over, Man!

The new comedy from the Workaholics guys got trashed by other critics, floating at the bottom of Metacritic all year. But fuck it, I liked it. Yes, sophomoric and crude, a really low comedy. But it laughed hard and often. It’s a dumb and dumber Die Hard and wears it on its sleeve, not trying to be anything but. Defiantly not for all tastes but it hit my funny bone and that’s what matters.

Gonjiam, Haunted Asylum

Based on a real asylum (although not filmed there), known for an extreme haunting (likely a hoax though) before its demolition this year. The concept is familiar, a reality show (made up a good characters) goes into a haunted place. They’ve set up some fake scares. But the real ghosts are upset and chaos reigns.  Dammit, it has some great, legit scares and doesn’t talk down to it’s audience. It actually got to me som times. The issue is there is a little too much time to get moving. We all know it’s a set up so languishing on it for too long is troubling.

Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween – REVIEW

The first Goosebumps was far better than it ever deserved to be. Clever, funny, with some great designs, and a wonderful energy. The sequel is the film you cynically expected when heard Goosebumps was becoming a film. It’s a bit of rehash of the first film, with more nonsense and not as good look the creatures. I did have a good time, but it lacked something nonetheless, feeling like a DTV movie.

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

Would you believe the statuesque actress, singer, and model is 70! She doesn’t look it, nor does she live it. Dropping in on Jones’ life in in the last few years as she preps for a new tour. She’s got energy and is larger than life, but still relatible. Fascinating doc.

Hold The Dark

Jeremy Saulnier’s work in Green Room and Blue Ruin has been harrowing, disturbing, and messed up.(I’ve heard Murder Party is a fun blast though). Hold the Dark was well waited for with baited breath. Jeffery Wright anchors with a reserved, soul searching performance as a man lost in his own life first trying to find a wolf that may have killed a boy. There is much more to this story, As the layers are peeled off and a simmering madness is revealed, we the viewer feel more and more at unease. Many may be taken out by the slower pace and less direct action than the previous efforts. Hold the Dark digs into your soul with i’s infinite sadness.

 Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

People give them shit, but dammit I love the first two in this series. Loving tributes to the Universal Monsters with a beating heart ready to be staked, and against all odds – great voice performances by the Adam Sandler crew. The second film was solid work, if a little lesser.  Unfortunately, the third entry – moving from Dracula’s castle to a tour boat led by… gasp!… A VAN HELSING out for revenge (Katheryn Hayn in a year with two great voice performances by an actress I love). There are sections that work,but the story is loose, lackadaisically moving through jokes we had the first two times. Just a bit of a let down in comparison.

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