Watched at the weekend, FrightFest edition…
Due to various bank holiday commitments I didn’t get to anywhere near as much stuff as usual this year sadly. I was there for opening night however, which was a lot of fun. Got to meet and chat to Barbara Crampton, who at almost 60 is still an absolute robo babe. Kane Hodder opened up proceedings and was very entertaining. Fiona Dourif (who looks uncannily like her dad) and Jennifer Tilly (who was an absolute maniac) were there amongst other members of the Cult Of Chucky cast and crew. There were a bunch of festival special spots and short films which were all good. My choices not as good as they could have been unfortunately.
Cult Of Chucky – it seems as though I’ve been watching Chucky films most of my life. With this, the seventh installment of the series, things are kept up to date and fresh – in fact, throughout the series the makers have managed to not repeat themselves too much. No mean feat when the set up has remained a possessed doll. The cinematography is surprisingly striking throughout and the score is excellent. Fiona Dourif is once again great as the protagonist, and there is more than enough Chucky to go around. Jennifer Tilly gets an entertaingly meta appearance, and the film ends on something of a cliffhanger which suggests that there is more to come in the series. 8/10
Death Note – only just a sneak preview, as this has now aired on Netflix. Remake of the Japanese adaptation of the mange, this falls into loads of the pitfalls that often beset US remakes. Shame as it looks and sounds great, plus Willem Defoe is suitably creepy as the death dealing demon. However it lacks all of the quirkiness of the original, the characters are extremely unsympathetic and the finales relies entirely on bombast. A real waste of director Adam Wingard’s (You’re Next/The Guest) energies. 4/10
Jackals – Stephen Dorff and Deborah Kara Unger boost this up from a d-list cabin siege thriller just about. Unfortunately, recent additions to the genre such as No One Lives and You’re Next have demonstrated that there is still fresh blood to be mined from this setup, whereas Jackals is content to stick with standard jump scares and gory deaths. Not a bad film (although some of the dialogue and delivery is jarringly amateur) but nothing particularly new to offer. 5/10