Archives For 4 – 4.9 (Poor)

Piranha 3DD

May 22, 2012 — 17 Comments

Prehistoric piranhas make their way into a newly opened water-park in Piranha 3DD. Directed by ‘Feast’s John Gulager, and the follow up to the surprisingly enjoyable Piranha 3D 2010.

These sort of films are supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, over acted, and trashy, the story plot full of stereo typed characters and bad decision making, along with good measures of tasteless gore and dark humour. Yet having all the right ingredients doesn’t mean you can make a good cake. It takes a brilliance to balance these elements together and make something special, something marvelous. Director, Alexandre Aja, achieved this when he delivered Piranha 3D in 2010. Piranha 3DD does not. It feels like they’ve bought together a collection of not-so-funny one liners and cameo’s and written a story around them, filling in any gaps with recycled material from the first film and Jaws 3D. (Certainly an interesting decision, given that Jaws 3-D was a horribly disappointing sequel itself).

The production quality wasn’t bad, and the sound was okay. The CGI and effects were a bit dodgy in places, but on the whole, passable. The real downfall for this film is the script. The dialogue starts a little wooden, but becomes increasingly worse as the film progresses and towards the end it’s cringe worthy. The jokes are shockingly terrible, and I don’t mean offensive, as in edgy or dark, they’re just bad. The characters are two dimensional and dull with virtually no relationship building; it’s difficult to care whether they live or die. Piranha 3DD is just sloppy (or lazy) writing. It’s just a bunch of unexciting ideas that have been forced together to fill up 90 minutes. I never thought I’d say this, but by halfway through I was desperately hoping the piranha would sprout wings.

The humour might appeal to some, and there’s generous nudity throughout. Christopher Lloyd has some brief screen time and he is superb. It may be enjoyable with a group of guys over a few drinks and a stack of pizza, but I’d probably give it a miss and re-watch Piranha 3D instead.

Our Rating: 4.2 / 10

Hostel 3

December 29, 2011 — 13 Comments

Four friends go to Las Vegas for a stag weekend, where they meet two beautiful escorts who invite them to a private club off the main Las Vegas Strip. Once there, the group finds themselves tangled in a perverse game of revenge and torture.

Hostel 3 is the first film in the series not to be directed by Eli Roth. Scott Spiegel, who produced first two Hostel films (and once upon a time was the assistant writer for a little known film called Evil Dead 2), has taken the director’s chair in this straight to DVD sequel.

Hostel 3 opens with a surprisingly gripping and unpredictable scene which nicely sets the tone and pace for the rest of the film to follow. Unfortunately, Hostel 2 peaked at high school, from here on out the best bits are over.

For a torture porn film, the gore is a bit tame, probably due to budget restraints, but coupled with relatively mild sex scenes and the odd topless girls running around, you can’t help but wonder if this film warranted its 18 certificate. The dialogue is primitive drivel, and the ending is simply ridiculous. The overall production quality is better than most straight to DVD movies, and it draws on some interesting camera techniques, which are set to good use misdirecting the audience. However, Hostel 3 feels soft and glossy, lacking the gritty, isolated atmosphere of the first two movies.

In fact, except maybe in the first scene, Hostel 3 doesn’t appear to contain a hostel. The film doesn’t even follow on from the little plot its predecessors had. Overall, it feels as it has been hastily thrown together and given the ‘Hostel’ label to make some easy money out of a film that would otherwise, be largely ignored.

Our Rating: 4.2 / 10

11-11-11

November 7, 2011 — 1 Comment

American writer and atheist, Joseph Crone, receives word from his estranged brother, that his father is dying. He travels to Spain to see his father on his death bed, where he discovers that his younger brother has followed his fathers calling and become a catholic Pastor. Together they have established their own chapel on the grounds of their family home. Joseph’s life has been plagued with strange happenings and tragedies, which seem to be connected to the number 11. His intrigue soon uncovers deeper mythological and religious significance to the number and possibly his family.

11-11-11 is written and directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, who previously brought us Saw 2 – 4 and the superb 2010 remake of Mothers Day. Bousman has made skillful use of popular synchronicity around the number 11, where numerologists and string theorists believe that events linked to the time 11:11 appear more often than can be put down to mere chance or accident and has great symbolism in the universe.

The basic idea for the movie is engaging with lots of potential, unfortunately, this is where the films merits end. The plot becomes tedious and bland fast, holding this pace for the majority of the film. The scares consist of frightening faces appearing in the shadows or windows, but they fail to show any snap or shock value, becoming repetitive and tiresome early on. The special effects, especially the costumes and make up, feel amateurish and almost laughable a times. The acting and dialogue is decidedly mediocre, the characters are difficult to like or relate to in many ways. The twist ending of the movie was better than expected, however, it does not make up for its unexciting story and production short comings.  Overall a great idea, wasted.

Our Rating: 4.0 / 10

The Hike

October 27, 2011 — Leave a comment

Kate, played by Zara Phythian, meets up with five old friends after the sudden death of her partner, together the group of girls set off on a camping trip to a picturesque, remote area of the British countryside. As night falls they are attacked and captured, Kate is left for dead after being pushed from a cliff ledge, which she survives. The girls soon realise their survival depends on each other.  The Hike blends, I Spit on Your Grave with The Decent and is the first feature film written and directed by Rupert Bryan. Hostel favorite, Barbara Nedeljakova, won best supporting actress at The British Horror Film Festival for her role.

The movie begins with a gripping cold opening scene and slick opening credits. The five women that make up the group about to embark on their journey all look very attractive, are dressed to kill, if not somewhat inappropriately for hiking, in skimpy clothes and high heels. Their questionable acting coupled with the unimaginative dialogue are initially easily forgiven, as most fans of the genre would just assume these girls have been chosen by their readiness to take their clothes off and shoot scenes of graphic violence. This is not the case. In fact, the whole film is relatively tame.

It starts off well with good pacing and a reasonable attempt at character development. First-rate camera work, topnotch music and beautiful scenery give the low budget movie a refined, professional look. However, as the story unfolds further through a series of unsurprising twists, it begins to feel rushed, and in places, it becomes difficult to easily follow the action. On the whole, The Hike feels like exploitation / torture cinema for beginners, for those looking to gently warm to the sub genre but most fans will be disappointed by its unused potential.

Our Rating: 4.1 / 10