The Strangers: Prey at Night. (2018)

Director: Johannes Roberts

Starring: Christina Hendricks (Cindy), Bailee Madison (Kinsey), Martin Henderson (Mike), Lewis Pullman (Luke).

The Strangers: Emma Bellomy as Dollface, Damien Maffei as the Man in the Mask and Lea Enslin as Pin up Girl.

Plot: A family of four are staying at a secluded mobile home park for the night, but their peace and quiet is soon interrupted by three masked psychopaths.

After the success of the first Strangers movie back in 2008, it’s easy to understand why you would want to make a sequel. With Johannes taking the reigns from the first movies director, Bryan Bertino, did PaN hit the mark?

I definitely think Prey at Night lived up to expectations, Johannes didn’t do a bad job at all, I think this instalment put a nice twist on the first one. It’s not a home invasion movie, but it does have the same kind of vibe as the first one. For instance, it’s set in a nice secluded location with no one around, making our family of four, pretty easy targets for our masked lunatics.

I thoroughly enjoyed the tone of the movie, it was all pretty dark and mysterious, then it all gets flipped around when the strangers appear on screen with their old 80s music blaring out, making their hunt seem more innocent and almost romanticised. I mean what’s more romantic than an axe wielding lunatic with a burlap sack over his face, blasting Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart?! I mean come on!

I think out of all this I would like one thing, and that’s a back story. I feel as though we could be missing out on so many key elements, as well as information regarding who these people are, and an actual insight as to why they kill people. Are they part of a cult? Were they abused as children? The information we have been given so far points to them just downright enjoying killing people, but I would love to be inside their heads, seeing things through their eyes with their knowledge. Maybe it’s an idea for the future, who knows.

So with some cool little action sequences, and some entertaining horror genre clichés, i.e he’s dead, but oh shit he’s back!! This movie kicked ass, the current IMDb rating is 5.5, which, for this movie is relatively low, I’m putting it out there at an 8. Am I being generous? Or did this movie just really rock my world? Watch it and find out!

Kinsey: Why are you doing this?

Dollface:…. Why not?

Also keep an eye out at the end for what I think to be a homage to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, you know, the scene at the end where Sally’s in the back of the truck and leatherface is swinging his chainsaw at her? Yeah that one.

Basically if you’re home alone tonight and want to stay awake all night due paranoia induced insomnia, then you need to watch this movie.

Anyway guys, that’s a wrap from me. Stay scary.

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Darling (2015)

Writer/Director: Mickey Keating

Starring: Lauren Ashley Carter as Darling, Sean Young as Madame, and Brian Morvant as The Man.

Darling follows a young girl’s descent into madness as she agrees to be a caretaker at a rather large, and rather strange house. The house itself has a history of suicide and occult rituals and practises.

So to get things started I’m going to mention the current IMDb rating for the movie, Keating’s monochrome flick sits on a rather undeserving 5.6 out of a possible 10. I believe that for such a visually pleasing movie this is a pretty shitty score, I understand it’s not some blockbuster starring Dwayne Johnson but damn it, this movie deserves so much more! (I’ll be posting my rating at the end).

So I love the fact that the whole movie is shot in monochrome, it just looks so pleasing, and it’s hugely reminiscent of the classics such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, which I think Keating drew a lot of inspiration from. Carter reminds me heavily of Norman Bates, she is staying in this huge house, all alone, as the loneliness sets in, the graphic history of the house gets inside her head as she begins the descent into madness.

Keating as a director really pulled it out the bag, the camera angles and the shots used, just look so clean; by this I mean something as simple as a shot of a wardrobe looks immaculate, Keating purposely places his subjects in the centre of the shot. The picture of Darling I have included above is another brilliant example of this little technique Keating used, it’s just mesmerising to watch and extremely pleasing to the eye. So the movie only really has one main location, that being the house Darling is looking after, everything is minimal, even the characters and their dialogue, we only really see two characters engaging in proper conversation, Darling and The Man. This makes it extremely easy to follow, there’s no confusing plot to follow and no pointless characters to distract you from the perfect imagery.

By being so minimalist with characters, dialogue, and locations, when we see Darling lose her mind, it creates a better atmosphere because she is the only thing you are focusing on, and Carter pulls the role off perfectly, she goes from a shy, reserved young lady, into a vicious, no holds barred psychopath, the development of the character is just genius, I won’t go into too much detail but there’s a knife and a hacksaw involved, and a whole lotta blood! There is a time when the story is a little unclear but it really doesn’t take anything away from this spectacular movie, and it only lasts for around 1hour 15minutes, so it’s pretty easy to watch in your spare time.

If you haven’t seen it already, go and give it a go, you will definitely be surprised!

My personal rating of Darling definitely has to be a 7.5 out of 10.

Until next time guys. Stay Scary.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

Starting: Emile Hirsch, Brian Cox, Ophelia Lovibond, Olwen Catherine Kelly.

Director: André Øvredal (Troll Hunter)

Plot: A father and son, both coroner’s, receive a body late one night, they are unknowingly pulled into a dark mystery while attempting to unravel what happened to the young lady that lay before them.

First things first, one main location, and a couple of main characters is what really brings this film together. Our opening scene sees the body of Jane Doe (Kelly) being discovered half buried, looking like a pretty normal corpse, it is then up to our dynamic coroner duo (Cox and Hirsch) to figure out what tragedy bestruck this young lady. So Cox and Hirsch are about to lock up for the night after doing 3 cases already, when a nervous looking sheriff turns up at their door. He has a right to be nervous because this Jane Doe in particular has had some pretty nasty shit done to her in her time. 

With their detective like skills, they set about slicing her open and seeing what the COD was. The pair unravel detail after grisly detail, with some pretty terrifying occurrences along the way,  bodies moving around by themselves, a freak storm, could it get worse? You bet your ass it could.  

With a stunning mix of greys and blues from the morgue walls and the pale skin of the corpse, the film leaves you feeling colder than the slab she is laying upon. Jane Doe herself is pretty normal looking, however, her wide captivating, grey eyes leave you with the feeling that she is always watching, like she knows all of your secrets and deepest fears, unleashing them through her mysterious powers. The whole aura of the film makes you so curious that you begin to question what happened to her right from the start, burying you in intrigue throughout.  

A massive 4 out of 5 toe tags for The Autopsy of Jane Doe!