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REVIEW: Insidious: The Last Key

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The latest entry of the Insidious franchise is coming to Blu-Ray and DVD soon, so we thought it was time to sit down and give the flick a Fright Nerd review.

In ‘Insidious: The Last Key’ the story again focuses on parapsychologist Elise Rainier, who receives a disturbing phone call from a man who claims that his house is haunted. The plot twist comes early as his address, 413 Apple Tree Lane in Five Keys, N.M, is where Elise grew up and honed her abilities under the watch of her physically abusive father.

Rainer brings her dynamic duo of paranormal investigators to go back and confront a demon that she accidentally set free when she was a kid.

The story has plenty of content to it, and the setup of the backstory is pretty thorough without being overdone, but it fails to capitalize with the normal level of scares that we are used to with a traditional Insidious movies.

There are a lot of layers to the long-standing hauntings of the house and, apparently (SPOILER warning), the demon has been forcing the men living in the home to carry out a spree of murders, leaving bodies shoved into a briefcase and hidden deep in the basement storm drains.

By the way, the basement in the home is quite epic, it looks more like the lair of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than any type of basement I’ve ever been in.

Back to the film, the story rolls on, and rolls on, and rolls on, and even drops in a little family reunion along the way. While it didn’t tie things together, it seemed a bit too layered and seemed to lack the consistent scares that horror fans may be expecting.

I couldn’t get into the movie, but I didn’t find it terrible. I’m not upset that I watched it, but I’m also not raising my hand to watch it again.

I suppose it’s a good option for any fan of Insidious and if there is absolutely nothing else better to watch on TV.

Fright Nerd Score
40 frights
Summary
I couldn't get into the movie, but I didn't find it terrible. I'm not upset that I watched it, but I'm also not raising my hand to watch it again. I suppose it's a good option for any fan of Insidious and if there is absolutely nothing else better to watch on TV.
Fright Nerd Score40

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REVIEW: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

This past weekend, and with much anticipation, Andre Ovredal’s ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ hit theaters.

According to the synopsis: “The shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large in the small town of Mill Valley for generations. It’s in a mansion that young Sarah Bellows turns her tortured life and horrible secrets into a series of scary stories. These terrifying tales soon have a way of becoming all too real for a group of unsuspecting teens who stumble upon Sarah’s spooky home.”

Despite the promising premise, I couldn’t find anything to differentiate this film from the run-of-the-mill Goosebumps installment, which left it lacking in many areas, and buried it so deep in stupidity that not even their strong displays of special effects made this a worthwhile time investment.

I couldn’t find a reason to care about any of the main characters such as Stella (Zoe Margaret Colleti) or Ramon (Michael Garza) because this film simply failed to hold my attention.

Rooted in compelling horror stories that may have done well if done completely different, this fill clunked and bored it’s way from start to finish.

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REVIEW: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ tore up the box office during it’s first weekend, and for good reason.

Tarantino’s latest film pays homage to the rapidly changing landscape of Hollywood in 1969, where TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his long-time stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) are dealing with being fazed out of a Hollywood that, at one time, adored them.

The cinematography alone is brilliant, but the chemistry between both Pitt and DiCaprio is something truly memorable, as their characters fluidly weave from humor, to drama, and back again almost effortlessly.

While some have panned the movie for the glutton of nostalgia, which I had no issue with because it’s set in a specific time, and maybe their portrayal of Bruce Lee (Lee’s daughter has taken issue with the film), I found little to no warts associated with the movie.

Keeping within the context of the time, and understanding that everything was different, in every way, back then, it’s easy to connect with the characters, regardless if they make you love or hate them.

‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ is simply a beautiful period piece, with impressive dialogue that keeps you engaged when the conversations are otherwise meaningless in the totality of the film.

Margot Robbie shines as Sharon Tate, so much so that Tate’s sister Debra, who has panned performances from others in the past (such as Hillary Duff), cried watching Robbie play her sister.

What makes Tarantino’s film so good, aside from all the meat and potatoes that make it up, is how, despite history, he gives the audience a bit of the karma that we wish saw play out in real life (sorry, won’t spoil that).

Plus, it’s good to see a pitbull play a hero role, despite the unfair reputation that has been create for them.

All in all, this will easily go down as one of Tarantino’s very best, and should garner award consideration for Pitt and DiCaprio, and rightfully so.

Fright Nerd Score
97 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' is simply a beautiful period piece, with impressive dialogue that keeps you engaged when the conversations are otherwise meaningless in the totality of the film.
Fright Nerd Score97
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REVIEW: Crawl

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Crawl

What is summer without it’s fair share of monster movies? Crawl decided to go the alligator route in their horror-thriller that hit theaters in July.

According to the film’s synopsis: “When a massive hurricane hits her Florida town, young Haley ignores the evacuation orders to search for her missing father, Dave. After finding him gravely injured in their family home, the two of them become trapped by the rapidly encroaching floodwaters. With the storm strengthening, Haley and Dave discover an even greater threat than the rising water level — a relentless attack from a pack of gigantic alligators.”

Coming to terms with what the movie is, prior to seeing it, didn’t help soften the blow of a moronic, predictable, and otherwise boring flick that seems to have won over a ton of critics, shockingly.

While it may seem moronic on my part to question the realism in a movie such as Crawl, I cannot help but express my irritation seeing the main character Haley (Kaya Scodelario) walking around during the initial touchdown of a Category 5 hurricane, with nothing but a raincoat, as if the high winds are merely a breeze, while others are evacuating.

From there Haley continues to stumble upon her incredible super powers, which apparently include finding passed out relatives under the foundation of a house….during a hurricane.

Yeah, the kills were cool, at times. But the balancing of killer alligators and a redemption story (of sorts) couldn’t save a movie that was completely unwatchable, and frustratingly boring.

While you’ll likely find more positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, IMD, and Google, I am just not in that boat.

This was terrible from start to finish.

Fright Nerd Score
35 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
Coming to terms with what the movie is, prior to seeing it, didn't help soften the blow of a moronic, predictable, and otherwise boring flick that seems to have won over a ton of critics, shockingly.
Fright Nerd Score35
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