John Carpenter Returns to Halloween

In a bit of exciting news, the master of horror himself, John Carpenter is returning to the Halloween franchise to reboot the series. He will be taking on the role of executive producer.

As you may know, John Carpenter is the one who created the Halloween series. The new movie has been in limbo since the second Rob Zombie Halloween movie. Would it be a continuation of that new mythos or a return to one of the previous mythologies. Who is to say but to be honest I wouldn’t mind if they were to forget all the movies after Carpenter originally left the franchise and continued from there. I also wouldn’t mind a new direction. I am just happy Halloween is returning.

John Carpenter Returns to Halloween via Halloweenmovies.com

The RPG Hub Movie Review: It Follows

It Follows is movie I read up a bit about a few weeks ago and was under the assumption It was pretty good. I went to the local video store and checked my all too favorite horror section and grabbed me a copy and I cannot help but say that I slightly regret it.

It Follows is a very, very basic horror movie cliché that a creature / thing stalks an individual and does not stop. The story revolves around a girl, Jay, who after intercourse with her date is chloroformed and tied to a chair. The boyfriend explains that he has now passed this on to her. What did he pass aside from a possible STD? Well apparently a supernatural being can now be sexually transmitted.

Ok so let’s take a moment to absorb that for a second. A supernatural being out to kill you can be sexually transmitted.

If you have had enough time to compose yourselves let us carry on. The date in question explains that this thing will not stop till she dies or passes it on like he has. With that being said he dumps her back on her front lawn and we get into the group dynamic of escaping this thing while never really understanding what it really is.

We do learn this thing takes the forms of those that people know of so it can get closer but apparently it does so in a way that nobody would ever want to get close to. An elderly relative in a nursing gown chasing you at school? Perhaps your naked mom?

Now that we have a very unsubtle supernatural entity following our leading lady, she of course decides to “pass it on” so to speak *wink wink*. Somehow though everyone she passes it on to does not last as long as she does and the entity returns to the chase. This is supposed to lead us to believe that we should be on edge throughout the movie to see if the entity will be back but we already know it will.

Eventually the gang confronts the entity and apparently defeats it but of course like all horror movie clichés we get a final scene where we see it is probably not over with yet.

I have to be really honest with you that watching the movie doesn’t seem as absurd as when you are actually trying to talk about it with someone because when you do, that is when you realize how god awful the movie is.

I like the idea of going back to the core concept of an entity / creature type coming after someone like in the old slasher days but there is literally no soul to this film whatsoever. While more classic movies would at least try to explain without divulging too much about the protagonist we literally have no motive, not one single iota of information. In a sense that is good right? Leave something for us to consider and ponder over till the sequel comes out and clarifies things but no.

The acting is very mediocre. You never particularly care about one or the other and there is no particularly huge development to them except whether or not they decide to pass the entity on which makes them morally horrible individuals for saving their own asses and condemning another to certain death.

While I was hoping that It Follows was going to be a surprise movie that I would enjoy when I actually got to see it I was sorely disappointed though highly amused. I have seen some outlandish horror movies in my time but a sexually transmitted entity is a new one for me. A positive though is that they went for a slow paced movie without rushing into action and it does have the occasional creepy vibe.

If you are simply looking for a time waster of a movie then this would be it but you could also watch a number of other scary movies out there and probably get more out of it then this one.

RPG Hub Movie Review: The Atticus Institute

Found footage movies are a dime a dozen and quite a few are not so great but I came across this particular gem by my good friend Neil during one of our hangouts. The concept of the movie seemed interesting; the Atticus Institute follows a group that studied psychic and telekinetic phenomenon in the 1970’s. While being deceived by one subject and losing focus the group comes across another promising patient but things are not what they seem to be. Soon they all discover that they are now way in over their heads where science loses out to faith.

Now while the film is found footage it is also filmed like a documentary reporting on these events that ended The Atticus Institute. I think with the sensitive materials that such a group possesses and also the involvement of the government that a documentary would probably not ever make it to fruition let alone former agents and army personnel speaking during segments.

The build is very good with you experiencing the wonder this group gets to participate in everyday and also when it fails. Finally when this new patient who has all these abilities gets into the mix you sense how on edge the institute got. While it was wonderful for some, others were uncertain and extremely fearful. Once the government gets involved when the institute reaches out for help, the pace picks up and things get even more out of hand which leads to the climatic ending.

While the build was good the filming was excellent. The team did a great job of getting the 70’s style down from clothing to equipment and then transitioning to the present day. You really felt the two distinctive era’s had their own life to it.

The acting from everyone was great and there wasn’t one person that didn’t feel out of place which tends to happen in these sorts of movies. You will also notice a lot of familiar actors & actresses from both movies and tv. It seemed all throughout the movie we were going “Hey it’s the principal from Buffy!” to “I can’t quite place him but I totally know I watched a movie or two with him in it”. It’s funny when you see people you know but you just cannot place them exactly.

The Atticus Institute is simply an awesome movie. A great popcorn flick if you’re into supernatural thrillers. It’s well paced, the acting is great and you almost wish they would make another one because it was that damn good. What makes a good scary movie is not the quantity of jumps but the build towards them. The Atticus Institute does exactly that and I highly recommend it to anyone.

RPG Hub Movie Review: The Lego Movie

I took my son to go see The Lego Movie and while the previews were entertaining I wasn’t expecting much from it. The preview had the typical laughs but would it really have enough to suck us in. Well I am here to say that The Lego Movie is simply amazing.

The Lego Movie follows Emmet as he goes about his everyday ordinary life but suddenly becomes the chosen one who will save the world. Along the way he pairs up with all sorts of people like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, a unikitty(yes a unikitty) and many more as they try to save all the lands that were divided by President Business. While all the characters seem like total opposites the story makes it all work that they can all coexist in the same universe.

All the characters are amazingly acted and there are plenty of laughs to be had. Some of the best laughs are from Will Arnett who plays Batman as well as some surprising cameos (and boy there are many). From Liam Neeson, Billy Dee Williams to Channing Tatum; it seems like everyone is in this movie and I don’t blame them. The movie is all the better for these surprising cameo’s. It’s not just for kids after all.

Toy Story reminded us of the pure joy of being a child and playing with your toys. The Lego Movie does the same in infusing the movie with so much heart and passion that we are equally reminded of how much we loved our Lego’s. You will pick up many nuances in the movie as parts are marked with their special Lego product code and even old Lego’s are referenced. In fact I have to give them a standing ovation on this. Maybe this is simply a side effect but while The Lego Movie obviously pushed the new Lego Movie sets, it makes it a marketing campaign for every other set out there. There is a heavy focus on a western setting in the movie and I couldn’t help but think maybe, just maybe they did this to push more Lone Ranger Lego’s which seem to me to be the less popular of the sets right now. It could have been simply coincidence though.

I cannot say how much I loved this movie. Lego is universal and this connects us all together in the enjoyment of this movie. There is more of a profound message to be found in the movie then the simple passion of the product but I refrain from spoiling things. If The Lego Movie is any indication I think we will be seeing more movies on the way in the future and even if there isn’t, it rekindled my passion for Lego and I will be sure to swipe some of my sons Lego blocks to build something.

As the movie often repeats…EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!

RPG Hub Movie Review: Europa Report

I love Netflix for certain things. The ease of which I can see movies, all the classics, not having to go the the video store but also because I have the chance to discover new things. Sometimes the best movies that you see are the ones you just pick out at random and Europa Report is one of them.

Europa Report is about a group of astronauts who are on a mission to Jupiters moon Europa to find signs of life. The premise is nothing particularly new mind you but it’s more in the presentation that reels you in.

The movie is filmed in a sort of found footage mixed in with standard style. Think of it more as a hybrid. You may be doing some eye rolling about now when you hear “found footage” but hear me out, it’s actually very well done and not in an overly exploitative way.

When I first started watching the first thing I remarked was that this seemed higher quality then usual for a movie I never even heard of.  I almost thought I had missed a gem in seeing this in the cinema. The found footage scenes I mentioned are all the camera’s on the ship or on the astronauts themselves. It makes sense and you never feel that they are carrying around camera’s “just because”. Their primary use is to keep the flow of the movie. Most of the camera’s for the found footage are all fixed so you don’t have the picture jumping around everywhere. This is a bit of a blessing as there is nothing more irritating then a shaky camera for an hour and a half. However I think some of the best shot scenery are those showing jupiter and Europa in a panoramic view. Beautiful work done depicting the scenery.

Tensions build as the movie progresses as there is more then meets the eye going on Europa. We all know from the beginning of the movie that something tragic happened but we slowly get to see how things ended up they way they did which I always find fun. Sometimes the best part is the journey and Europa does a great job of that.

All the characters are well developed and they all get to have their moment in the movie. I appreciate when they can make a movie like that and take time to make everyone important in some way as to not only help the movie progress but to be that much more involving. The acting by all  is very good.

The climax was rather predictable after a certain point which was a little bit disappointing. I don’t want to spoil it for everyone but I had a feeling that once we got that high note, it fell kind of flat. You just have that “ah well….” sensation. Maybe I was wanting to be more surprised by what they had found. Either way it doesn’t take anything away from the movie as a whole.

So if your looking to fill in some time during your night with a fun sci-fi movie then Europa Report is your next stop. It’s got good acting, a good story and may just surprise you. If anything it will make you wonder why you haven’t seen this sooner.

RPG Hub Movie Review: Rob Zombie’s Halloween

We all know the John Carpenter’s classic Halloween. There have been many movies made in the franchise which have been both good and outright terrible but the mythos of Michael Myers has lived on. However after the Halloween: Resurrection movie did…not so well, a new direction was called for and in came Rob Zombie. Yeah I know right? You may remember two of Zombie’s other works, House of 1000 Corpses and it’s sequel The Devil’s Rejects. We will get to those another time so let’s just talk Halloween.

The story of Zombie’s version of Halloween is not entirely different from what was already established by Carpenter. Michael kills when he is young, then he is institutionalized, then escapes, kills some more and voila. The only difference is that this version is a little more gritty and more dark. This is not a bad thing mind you but Zombie has tendency in all his movies to make everyone seem like raving hillbillies.

This is how we are introduced to Michael as he is in a rather dysfunctional family who has a father being a mega drunk douche that even hits on his own daughter and then the polar opposite in his mother who by the way works as a stripper. This somehow is all a catalyst to the killer Michael is to become. There are some elements which were somewhat intriguing in that he liked to wear masks when younger and even made masks for himself in the institution. All of this likely a way for him to protect himself. Once he escapes it’s slasher fest right till the end.

There seems to be three schools of thought when it comes to Halloween. Those who want a more rationalized Michael that can be explained, those who want a supernatural version and those who simply want him to be left unexplained. Zombie seem’s to take a middle ground between all these aspects.  As mentioned we are to somehow think his childhood may have played a role but we are always left wondering if that is the simple answer. Later as the movie progresses though Micheal is put through the wringer so to speak by being stabbed, shot in the body twice and a glazing head shot. None of course kills him. So does this mean there is something supernatural to him as well? Maybe he is just really fucking lucky.

One of the biggest logical drawbacks to the movie is Michael himself. We are to believe a child who loved the candy so to speak ended up a 7ft tall muscular power house when he showed no inclinations for physical activity whatsoever. It may not seem like a big deal but with the more grounded  / realistic approach that Zombie seem’s to be going for, it breaks any credibility he had going for him.

Though it may seem like I am griping a lot about the movie, Halloween is a fun viewing. The action is almost constant, Michael as a character is extremely imposing and the supporting cast of characters are all played quite well. Sheri Moon Zombie plays a sympathetic mother whose family is butchered but still has love for the child who committed those crimes.  Malcolm McDowell plays a new twist on Dr Loomis who is a bit a prick and is more out for himself then helping Michael.

I think with how convoluted the Halloween franchise had become I was glad they opted to do a reboot. I am just not sure that this is the version I would want future sequels to but I also cannot help but think it was still very enjoyable to watch. Sometimes that is the thing when classics are remade and that is we are afraid of change. Zombie has proven he can make a good horror movie but I would like to see him try newer elements then rehash similar themes from his previous movies.

RPG Hub Movie Review: The Innkeepers

This is one of those movies that I first discovered in the video store. It had that intriguing cover and an interesting story. But despite all that I kept getting other movies but it was always on my hit list. So when I got my first free month of netflix I managed to find it and voila, it was time to see this movie and boy was I glad I ever did.

The Innkeepers follows Claire and Luke as they spend the final few days at the Yankee Pedlar Inn before it closes. They not only work they but are also trying to investigate the potential haunting by a famous spirit named Madeline O’Malley. All they need is that one big break for them to prove her ghosts existence. The concept is typical for a ghost story but with the small town feel and charm of the building, it really works.

The pace of the movie is slow as you begin to learn more about the building and Madeline but there is always something going on so you never feel like the movie drags. What helps is that both Luke and Claire are very witty and enjoyable characters. You really feel like you could hang out with them. They are very down to earth with no extraordinary quirks and I think that works for them and the movie as you don’t have to digest some complex character along with the story. You really are here for the enjoyment of the movie. There are a few other characters but they have their purpose and like Luke and Claire have nothing that takes your attention away from what is happening.

As things begin to develop you do encounter some scares but nothing truly gory or grotesque. The scariness is purely atmospheric and the ghosts you see are nothing to cringe at. Everything is done is such a way that it makes this movie extremely accessible for those who don”t want to be grossed out. This is very rare nowadays where shock value seems to always be a priority.

The Innkeepers is one of those movies that I believe will stand the test of time. It doesn’t try to shock people and it doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. It just tells a damn good story that you can munch on your popcorn to. I highly recommend that you rent this on any given day and give it a whirl. You will not be disappointed.