Monthly Archives: October 2009

Paranormal Activity – Movie Review

Once in a while a movie comes along that gives me the chills. Paranormal Activity is one of those movies.

While some have said that it was based on a true account, let me start by saying that it is entirely fictional, shot in the same style as Blair Witch.

This movie may have been overhyped a little bit, but I still found it to be very creepy and effective. There were several scenes that gave me the chills.

Oren Peli did a fantastic jon with his first feature film.  I for one will be looking forward to his next movie, Area 51, which comes out in 2010.

In the leads roles are Katie Featherston, and Micah Sloat, which, oddly enough, play the characters of Katie and Micah. great supporting role too by Mark Fredrichs, who plays the visiting psychic.

While it would be unfair to tell all bout the movie, I will share some of the scenes that got to me.

1. The first really loud “thump” and door slamming shut.

2. The “thump” during the daytime when the demon scratched their picture.

3. The shadow movement on the door.

4. The fast-forwarding when Katie was just standing staring at Micah for two hours the first time and she walks out the door, I wasn’t sure if she was going to come running back in or what was going to happen.

5. The time where Micah woke up when the door was opening and the demon stomped out and slammed the door.

6. The night where the baby powder footsteps appear. When Micah follows them into the attic and finds the burnt picture of Katie, everyone freaked out. As Katie states, there’s no way that photo would be in their house, because it was lost when her house burned down. As this scene pointed out, the entity demonstrated its obsession with her.

7. When the psychic enters the house, he is so frightened that he has to leave immediately. The scene expertly created a sense of dread, tension, and an overall feeling of utter hopelessness for the main characters. After that, you pretty much knew that there was no way to stop it, and that both Micah and Katie were doomed.

8.  And finally the scene where Katie gets dragged down the hall. In my opinion, this was the most frightening scene in the entire film. It made me wonder what it would do to her had Micah not come to the rescue. The thought alone just sends chills up my spine. Brilliant piece of work, and I for one would love to see how they actually filmed that.

Without further delay, the synopsis of this brilliant movie:

A young couple suspects that their house is haunted by a malevolent entity. They set up video surveillance to capture evidence of what happens at night as they sleep. Their surveillance and home videos have been edited into the 99 minute feature film “Paranormal Activity”

***ENDING SPOILER****

The video surveillance camera shows Katie and Micah asleep on October 8th, 2006. At 1:43 AM local time, Katie sits up in bed with a start. She gets out of bed and turns to face Micah, and the blanket slides off of him onto the floor without him or Katie touching it. Katie walks over to Micah’s side of the bed and stands over him, watching him, rocking back and forth, for 90 minutes. It is just before 3:15 AM when she leaves the bedroom and we hear the sound of very heavy footsteps. Suddenly Katie begins to scream at the top off her lungs. Micah jumps up and runs out of the bedroom, yelling for her. He suddenly begins to scream as well, but all screams from both of them halt very abruptly. There are more heavy footsteps before Micah is hurled into the bedroom against the wall, knocking down the video camera. Katie is standing in the bedroom doorway, the front of her shirt covered in blood. She walks over to Micah and kneels over him, putting her face against him. After a few seconds she looks up and crawls over to the video camera, smiling into it. Just as the screen goes black, there is a hint of her face turning hideous and lunging at the camera. A title screen says that police found Micah’s body on October 11th, 2006, and that Katie’s whereabouts are still unknown. The screen then shows the movie’s copyright protections and the movie ends, without any closing credits.

If you want to get a good chill, then check out Paranormal Activity. I give this 5 out of 5!

MV5BMjY1NjcxODQ4MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzUxNjM4Mg@@._V1._SX270_SY400_

Advertisements

Bronson – Movie Review

Bronson… When one sees the character name on IMDB, one would naturally be quick to think of the late legendary actor Charles Bronson. This is not the case. But still, this movie is based on the life of prison inmate, Michael Peterson, who, at the age of 19, decided to make a name for himself and become one of Britain’s most violent criminals.

The movie more or less begins with us being introduced to Peterson, and along the way we see him take on the new name of Charlie Bronson.

In the lead role is British actor, Tom Hardy. It is hard to believe, but Tom Hardy also played the role of Praetor Shinzon, in Star Trek  Nemesis.

Tom Hardy and director, Nicholas Winding Refn are the stars of the show here, taking the story of ‘Britain’s most violent prisoner‘ and twisting it into an explosion of style.

Tom Hardy plays Michael Peterson who was initially incarcerated for 7 years after robbing a Post Office but this sentence turned into a 34 year stretch after numerous cases of violence in prison. Of these 34 years 30 were spent in solitary confinement. In his short period outside he assumed the fighting name of Charles Bronson after the Death Wish star. It is his alter ego which dominates the film.

Hardy is magnificent, prowling around people almost growling, a hulking, brooding, unpredictable beast who almost doesn’t care what happens to him, preferring gaol where his is someone to the outside where he is no-one.

By the time the film ends we are unsure who to feel sorry for, lost in a world of hard lines and constant violence. A very interesting film that marks out Hardy and Refn as exciting talents in modern cinema.

Apart from the overuse of some of the most colorful metaphors known to man, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie… Twice.

MV5BMTMxOTA2MjA3OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODM4Nzc4Mg@@._V1._SX269_SY400_

Surrogates – Movie Review

Surrogates… Quite the unusual name for a movie, but hey, if it works, what the heck anyway. As for me I would have given it the subtitle “Life on Facebook” 🙂

Although this is a new movie, I can say that this type of movie has been done before. Movies such as Freejack and The Island come to mind as I write this. But, since it stars Bruce Willis it has got to be a good movie, right?

Well without going into too much detail and ruin the fun for everyone, I will say that the movie is:  Set in a futuristic world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots, a cop (Willis) is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate the murders of others’ surrogates.

As I watched this, I could not help but think that this is closer to our own reality than some would think. After all, with Social Networks such as Facebook, Tagged, Twitter, MySpace and all the rest of the SN Posse, it is common knowledge that there are some who spend every waking second of the day one or all of the popular SN’s.  Not that I have anything against that as I have been known to do my fair share of being zoned out on one or many of the SN’s at large. But there is also the real world that one has to live in, and although these sites are great, I try to maintain a healthy balance.

Hence why it can be understood that watching this film  hits home that living in a virtual world could soon become a disturbing reality 🙂

Brilliant performances by Bruce Willis, Aussie actress Radha MitchellRosamund Pike, and James Cromwell.

A movie I would definitely watch again.

Without further delay, here is the synopsis of the movie: The filmmaking trio behind the hit sci-fi sequel Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines re-team to explore a future in which humans live in isolation while only communicating with their fellow man through robots that serve as social surrogates and are better-looking versions of their human counterparts. Bruce Willis stars as an FBI agent who enlists the aid of his own surrogate to investigate the murder of the genius college student who invented the surrogates. As the case grows more complicated, however, the withdrawn detective discovers that in order to actually catch the killer he will have to venture outside the safety of his own home for the first time in many years, and enlists the aid of another agent (Radha Mitchell) in tracking his target down. Jonathan Mostow directs co-screenwriters Michael Ferris and John Brancato’s adaptation of the graphic novel by author Robert Venditti and illustrator Brett Weldele.

Movie Reviews Coming up next…. Zombieland and Bronson

Antichrist – Movie Review

A little while ago, a family friend had seen the movie Antichrist in a cinema in Moscow. Her feedback was that the movie was labeled as Horror. So you can imagine that I had been waiting to see this.

After all, William DaFoe is a brilliant actor, so this horror flick was something that I wanted to see…

Sadly, not all movies are great, and as for this one, it was a 109 minutes that I can never get back.

Okay, without giving everything away about the movie, this is the full synopsis:

Chapter One: Grief

At the child’s funeral, She collapses and spends a month mostly unconscious in the hospital. When she wakes, She is crippled with grief and He, a therapist, takes it upon himself to talk his wife through the grief process. He has her flush her prescribed medication down the toilet. After a less-than-fruitful time of catharsis at home, during which She tries to hide the pain with sex, He decides exposure therapy will be effective. She tells him that she is most afraid at a cabin in the woods at which she spent time alone with Nic the previous summer, whilst writing a thesis on gynocide. The couple travel to Eden, the cabin. During the journey He sees a deer which is mid-stillbirth – a calf is protruding from its rear end.

Chapter Two: Pain (Chaos Reigns)

When at the cabin, She again attempts to have sex with her husband. He does not comprehend her fear of the natural world and tries to solve her fears with psychotherapy, despite their relationship creating a conflict of interest. She becomes increasingly manic and grief-stricken. Meanwhile, the natural world surrounding the cabin continually proves itself to be forbidding and nihilistic; acorns pelt the cabin like gunfire, and at one point He comes across a self-disembowelling fox which seems to utter the words, “Chaos reigns”. He begins to understand his wife’s fear of nature: that the nihilism seen in nature is just as present in humanity.

Chapter Three: Despair (Gynocide)

While searching the cabin, He finds materials studied by his wife for her thesis: pictures of witch-hunts and a scrapbook filled with articles and notes on misogynist topics, in which her handwriting becomes more illegible as the pages go on. She, due to intense self-blame over Nic’s death, comes to embrace the belief that women are inherently evil. He confronts her with Nic’s autopsy report, which states that the bones in both of his feet were distorted. In a toolshed, He finds photographs of Nic, in which his boots are regularly on the wrong feet. She attacks her husband mid-coitus in the shed, crushing his genitals with a block of wood. While he is unconscious, She masturbates him until he orgasms, ejaculating blood onto her shirt and face. She then drills a hole through his calf, and bolts a heavy millstone to his leg. She flees outside leaving him unconscious in the shed, throwing the tool She used to tighten the millstone under the cabin.

He wakes up and drags himself away, finding a foxhole in which to hide. While She frantically searches for him, He finds a crow buried alive, which makes noise upon waking, giving away his hiding place. He beats it repeatedly but it survives. She finds him and tries burying him alive, but digs him up several hours afterwards.

Chapter Four: The Three Beggars

During a confrontation in the house, She takes a pair of scissors and performs a clitoridectomy upon herself, and curls up on the floor in agnonising pain.

During the night the couple are visited by “the 3 Beggars” (a deer who represents grief, a fox who represents pain and a crow who represents despair) and acorns again beat against the roof of the cabin. Hearing the crow under neath the floor board he breaks through the through the floor of the shed, discovering the tool with which to release the millstone from his leg, and then strangles his wife, killing her. He burns the body outside the cabin on a pyre, which was shown upon his arrival at the cabin.

Epilogue

He makes his way from the cabin, finding a patch of berries along the way and eats the berries from the ground. Upon reaching the top of a hill, he turns around and sees “the 3 Beggars” (deer, fox and crow) behind him slowly fading away until completely gone. He looks down to see hundreds of women rushing up the hill towards him, their faces white and blurred.

=================================================

If you are expecting a good horror movie, then to be honest I would wait for something more decent to be released.

If however, you like your films with a lot of slow-motion B&W sex scenes; rape scenes (she raping him); and what is apparently a lot of torture porn, thenI would still wait for this to go to BitTorrent or hire from your local video store when it goes to a weekly rental 🙂

MV5BMzc5NzcyODA2N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjcwMjM4Mg@@._V1._SX283_SY400_

COMPETITION: SAW VI:

Thanks to the Australian Horror Writers Assoc (AHWA), Author C.A.Milson has a double pass to give away to the new film Saw VI.

Saw VI

The story continues after the events of “Saw V”, where detective Mark Hoffman walks out of the glass box and leaves no trails leading to him as Agent Strahm’s murderer. Forensics have yet to discover Strahm and his missing body when a young teenager is found to be the latest survivor of the Jigsaw games. To Hoffman’s surprise, he claims that Jigsaw could not have tested the boy, since he knows he did not test him himself. The survivor, known as Garett, reveals the circumstances of his trap to Hoffman, who interrogates him. At this point, Hoffman is shocked to find Garett was targeted, even though Garett did nothing wrong in his life to make him a candidate for being “tested”. Fearing that he may make himself too obvious or that Garett could soon discover his secret, Hoffman throws him into a vast game in which hopefully his secret will die with Garett. However, we have yet to realize that Garett’s role in the games may have an unexpected turn of events in the “Saw” franchise…

The movie opens on October 22nd. Visit the official site: http://www.saw6film.com/

Send the answer to this question, and you will be in the running to win.

“Who is the director of Saw VI?”

Email your answer to authorcamilson@gmail.com.

Entries must be received by midnight, Tuesday 20th October.

Winners details published on this site

Note: This competition is open only for those in Australia.

Terms: Accepted by most cinemas in Australia, any time during the cinema run. There are often particular times that you wouldn’t be able to use the ticket, like Tuesdays and Saturdays after 5pm.

saw6a

Changes

It is amazing how things change over the years…

When I was young, I grew up in the Brisbane suburb of Kedron. Life was simple, pleasant. The familiarity of the street was something I was comfortable with. Yes, there were times of stress in the house, but the place held a certain knowing that this was the place of my belonging, at least for a time..

I had always thought that Kedron would be a suburb that would remain the same, despite how things seem to change.

I had always thought that the old house I grew up in on Tenth Avenue would stand forever. Our house was a two level, 3 bedroom brick/weather board home what was painted this tacky color of creme, and the wrap around deck that was painted almost dark purple.

The old tin shed in the backyard, and the old homemade brick barbeque, where I would spend countless hours practicing my bowling techniques for cricket (such as Don Bradman would do when he was young… Hey, this was Aussie, and what boy didn’t wanna be like the Don!).

In our backyard we had 2 trees. A large mango tree that I would always climb and knock down the mangos, and fruitbats used to haunt at night, and some other eyesore of a tree that looked like it belonged in a swamp… Then came the front yard of our house. Our two gardens were nothing to look at, and I mean that LITERALLY. I mean, we had two L-shaped gardens, one on either side of the yard, and nothing grew in them.. period. It was like the gardens were a present reminder that they belonged in the wasteland! It was not that they were tended to, because they weren’t, except for maybe twice or three times a year when I was pretty much told to dig the garden… which always involved using a pick and a shovel, and pretty much most of the entire day… I can still remember when VCR’s first came out, and one needed finance to buy one! (yes folks, we had a salesman sit in our house and tried to sell us a BETA!)

I remember my next door neighbors, Jack and Emma.  There was their nephew, Steven W who would visit them on occasion, and whenever he visited, we would spend hours and hours playing cricket in Jack & Emma’s backyard. (The amount of times the tennisball went crashing through their window was countless… and priceless! )  Steven must have been 2 or 3 years younger than me maybe, and he had a younger sister, Edwina. Of course, we never allowed her to play cricket with us, as this was a man’s game 🙂

Next door to Jack and Emma lived Peter Glenn, who owned a Nursery/ Shadehouse business.  From the size of his house, and the massive shadehouse in his backyard, I figured at the time that he must have been a millionaire.

Across the street, lived a boy around my age, Stephen Amos. To this day I wonder how it was that one week we would be best friends then the next week the worst of enemies at the drop of a hat.

I remember one time when Stephen introduced me to the world of computers. This would have been back in around 1982, or maybe 1983. Apple computer I think he had, with those floppy, saggy disks that took hours to load anything, that ugly green screen, and the dot matrix printer which was so loud you didn’t need an alarm!

The school I went to, Kedron State. It was simple. We had a cricket pitch at one end of the front of the school, and the other end the pool. Those were the days when we were not allowed to use a calculator to figure out mathematics, and to urk everyone the teachers would scratch the chalk across the blackboard.

Once a year, a visiting dental van would come, and stay a week. Everytime they came meant two pretty dental nurses for us boys to stare at, while we tried ever so hard to look manly.  One boy in particular, Craig M, was always called out of class. At the time we thought he was lucky and teased him with that he had a girlfriend. Of course, we knew that was never the case… Still, one had to envy him, sitting in that dental chair with two pretty nurses while he got his teeth choked-full of fillings 🙂

The house I grew up in, the area, were all things I had once desired my own son to see. But somehow, things are not that simple.

You can imagine my surprise when I used Google Street view tonight to look at the street I grew up.

That old house I once lived in has changed; the school I attended at the top of the street was changed, Jack & Emma’s house was gone, replaced with a couple of Townhouses… Even the house where Vicki lived on Eighth Avenue was gone.

…………………………………………….

The last time I was in Kedron was in 1988, just before my father sold the house on Tenth Avenue and we moved to Albany Creek.

21 years. It is amazing how things so quickly change in the course of a lifetime.

Gone is the cricket pitch at my old school, gone are the Purcell’s, gone are the days when I would run amock in that neighborhood.

One cannot relive those glory days, but one can always hold some fond memories of those young years 🙂

BookBanter Review

THE CHOSEN – RISE OF THE DARKNESS BY C. A. MILSON: Set in Australia, The Chosen – Rise of the Darkness is a story that can be told anywhere, in any country, on any planet, but it is a story that we are all familiar with; one of the war between good and evil, in a battle of power, might and magic, and the inevitable question of who will triumph?  In the small town of Winmont, the Ancient Legion has been awoken and will stop at nothing in its effort to destroy everything.  But in the balance of life and the world, there must be a good to fight the evil.  Alex Manning is The One – though he of course doesn’t know this at first – but in a world where the supernatural is an everyday existence that, if not respected, can take you life within a breath, he is the only one to stop this evil.  In this world knowledge is power: knowledge of the ways of the paranormal and how to fight them.  The question is whether the young Alex Manning will be up to the task of stopping the Dark Forces?
Milson’s style is a little unusual with head jumping and throwing the reader full into the story, providing little history or back story, but this kind of works for the story being told.  And while terms like “Dark Ones,” “The One,” and “The Elders” are cliché for a horror novel, Milson nevertheless has his own story to tell set in a world that is terrifying and threatening, where you just want to make sure you stay on the side of good, as those who are evil and twisted are beings you don’t ever want to meet.

Many thanks to Alex of BookBanter for the recent review.

THE CHOSEN – RISE OF THE DARKNESS BY C. A. MILSON:

Set in Australia, The Chosen – Rise of the Darkness is a story that can be told anywhere, in any country, on any planet, but it is a story that we are all familiar with; one of the war between good and evil, in a battle of power, might and magic, and the inevitable question of who will triumph?  In the small town of Winmont, the Ancient Legion has been awoken and will stop at nothing in its effort to destroy everything.  But in the balance of life and the world, there must be a good to fight the evil.  Alex Manning is The One – though he of course doesn’t know this at first – but in a world where the supernatural is an everyday existence that, if not respected, can take you life within a breath, he is the only one to stop this evil.  In this world knowledge is power: knowledge of the ways of the paranormal and how to fight them.  The question is whether the young Alex Manning will be up to the task of stopping the Dark Forces?

Milson’s style is a little unusual with head jumping and throwing the reader full into the story, providing little history or back story, but this kind of works for the story being told.  And while terms like “Dark Ones,” “The One,” and “The Elders” are cliché for a horror novel, Milson nevertheless has his own story to tell set in a world that is terrifying and threatening, where you just want to make sure you stay on the side of good, as those who are evil and twisted are beings you don’t ever want to meet.

Read the review on BookBanter

%d bloggers like this: