NOS4R2 (UK) or NOS4A2 (US) by Joe Hill (2014)

Review by CJ

NOS4R2

Page count: 692 [Including the acknowledgments because if you skim or skip the acknowledgements you get a free trip to Christmasland. No, no – that’s not a good thing.]

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Gollancz

 

When Victoria ‘Vic’ McQueen was a young girl she had a gift for finding things. She would jump on her bike and cross the Shorter Way Bridge to wherever the lost item could be found. When Vic has a fight with her mother and father she goes looking for trouble and finds Charles Manx with a gift of his own. Manx has taken hundreds of children away from their parents to the Christmasland with the promise of a world where fun rules and unhappiness is against the law. Vic barely escapes from Manx and he is locked away in one prison or another until his death. But Charles Manx is not the sort of man to let a little thing like death stop him and now Vic must save her son from Manx before it’s too late. Before he can’t be saved. Before he doesn’t want to be saved.

Continue reading NOS4R2 (UK) or NOS4A2 (US) by Joe Hill (2014)

Grave Encounters (2011)

Review by CJ

Grave Encounters

Director:
The Vicious Brothers

Starring:
Sean Rogerson, Ashleigh Gryzko, Mackenzie Gray, Merwin Mondesir, Juan Riedinger

Other notable appearances:
Ben Wilkinson

Running time:
92 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
Paranormal Activity, Blair Witch Project, Chronicle

 

The Grave Encounters team are paranormal investigators who are filming the sixth episode of their television program at the defunct Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital. The crew go in with questions and are met with answers that will challenge their survival.

Continue reading Grave Encounters (2011)

Frozen (2010)

Review by CJ

Frozen (2010)

Director:
Adam Green

Starring:
Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell, Kevin Zegers

Other notable appearances:
Snow, ice, a chair lift and Kane Hodder

Running time:
93 minutes

Watch this if you like:
Movies that feel like they will never end

 

Three skier/snowboarders head up a chair lift for one last run down the mountain. The chair lift attendant switches places with another and due to a misunderstanding the three friends become stranded halfway up the mountain. With five days until the slopes reopen, the friends must decide how to make their way down before they freeze to death.

Continue reading Frozen (2010)

Dear Dracula (2012)

Review by CJ

Dear Dracula

Director:
Chad Van De Keere

Starring:
Nathan Gamble, Ray Liotta, Emilio Estevez, Ariel Winter

Other notable appearances:
Matthew Lillard, Marion Ross, Tara Strong, Yuri Lowenthal

Running time:
42 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
Hotel Transylvania, ParaNorman, Monster House, Frankenweenie

 

Sam (Gamble) is a classic horror movie aficionado who lives with his grandmother (Ross). When Sam begs for the latest Dracula action figure, his grandmother suggests that he writes to Santa and asks for the ‘doll’. However, with Halloween significantly closer than Christmas, Sam decides it would be a far better idea to write to Dracula instead. This leads to a washed-up Dracula (Liotta) deciding to pay young Sam a visit with his minion Myro (Estevez).

I watched Dear Dracula on a whim because it was free, available and looked like fun. I have never been more happy to judge a book (movie) by its cover (promotional image).

At only 42 minutes, Dear Dracula is a movie that is shorter than most television shows I watch. However, in doing so the creators have ensured it isn’t stretching for material that isn’t there. For the story that is told, the length is perfect and adding to it would only diminish the quality.

The story is endearing as Sam helps Dracula get his scare factor back and Dracula helps Sam get the girl. Dear Dracula also has some very funny moments, including Dracula explaining why vampires who sparkle are not okay.

The animation leaves a bit to be desired at times but overall the aesthetic is good, especially for an animation studio that isn’t Disney, Pixar or DreamWorks.

Overall, with its fun story, amusing characters and subtle undermining of the less than horrific horror/monster films, I would highly recommend Dear Dracula for kids both young and old.

Rating: 4/5

The Crazies (2010)

Review by CJ

The Crazies

Director:
Breck Eisner

Starring:
Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker

Running time:
101 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
Dawn of the Dead, Dreamcatcher, The Thing

 

David Dutten (Olyphant) is the sheriff for Pierce County when a virus begins to spread that causes the affected citizens to become violent psychopaths. When the military arrive to contain the infection and relocate the uninfected, David’s wife Judy (Mitchell) is flagged as a threat and apprehended due to a pregnancy induced fever. David returns to the quarantine area with his deputy Russ (Anderson) to rescue Judy and her assistant Becca (Panabaker) who has also been wrongly detained. The four survivors must find a way out of their town through a military with orders to kill first, ask questions later; infected citizens in  psychopathic frenzies; and their own paranoia.

Continue reading The Crazies (2010)

Bait (2012)

Review by CJ

Bait

Director:
Kimble Rendall

Starring:
Xavier Samuel, Phoebe Tonkin, Sharni Vinson, Julian McMahon, Dan Wyllie, Martin Sacks

Other notable appearances:
Sharks. A tsunami. Bad CGI.

Running time:
93 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
Shark Night, Jaws, Deep Blue Sea, The Reef

 

A coastal Queensland town is hit with a tsunami leaving several survivors trapped in a flooded supermarket with a 12-foot great white shark. The survivors must band together and overcome their pasts to keep from being killed by electricity, aftershocks and, of course, the shark.

Continue reading Bait (2012)

Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Review by CJ

Olympus Has Fallen

Director:
Antoine Fuqua

Starring:
Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman

Other notable appearances:
Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Ashley Judd

Running time:
119 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
The Die Hard series, Executive Decision, The Expendables

 

The White House has been taken by North Korean terrorists. President Asher (Eckhart) is a hostage in his own safe bunker. The President’s son, Connor, has evaded capture and is hiding somewhere in the White House. It’s now up to former Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Butler) to find Connor before the terrorists and save the President.

Continue reading Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Resistance is Futile.