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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: Brightburn

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David Yarovesky’s ‘Brightburn’ is an intriguing thriller that puts a unique spin on the classic story of Superman, with the results turning much more sinister.

Dropping on May 24th, the film stars Elizabeth Banks, Jackson A. Dunn, David Denman, Matt L. Jones, and Jennifer Holland.

According to the synopsis:

“What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister? With Brightburn, the visionary filmmaker of Guardians of the Galaxy and Slither presents a startling, subversive take on a radical new genre: superhero horror.”

The chemistry among the characters is immediately evident, as the dialogue flows in a natural manner, helping the film move fluidly along as the story unfolds.

The origins of the Breyer’s son, Brandon, is kept a mystery throughout the film, as is the origin and purpose of the voice(s) he continues to hear as he unravels into an evil entity, which makes the film that much more intriguing and interesting.

Brightburn keeps itself footed in the horror genre with some gory kills and tense moments, such as Brandon stalking a classmate, that really stand out in a movie that seems to perfectly and consistently balance the varying tones of the film.

From start to finish the film delivers and packs plenty to like in it’s 90 minute runtime making Brightburn a must see as we head towards Memorial Day Weekend.

Fright Nerd Score
82.5 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
Brightburn keeps itself footed in the horror genre with some gory kills and tense moments, such as Brandon stalking a classmate, that really stand out in a movie that seems to perfectly and consistently balance the varying tones of the film.
Fright Nerd Score82.5
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REVIEW: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

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Last week, Netflix’s long-awaited film that centered on infamous serial killer Ted Bundy, from the perspective of his long-time girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, premiered and it was met with mixed reviews.

According to the synopsis: “A courtroom frenzy ensues and sweeps 1970s America when a young single mother reluctantly tips the attention of a widespread manhunt toward her longtime boyfriend, Ted Bundy.”

Zac Efron dazzles in his role of Bundy, creating a magnetic like-ability that made the real-life Bundy so appealing in the media. Efron, from angles, even looked eerily similar to Bundy, making his performance that much more powerful.

However, despite the performances of Efron, and Lily Collins (Kloepfer) this film seems “off”, muddying itself into a controversial arena that almost invokes sympathy for Bundy, one of the most evil and brutal killers in America history.

While it’s fair to argue that portraying Bundy this way accurately tells the story, as that is what made him so fascinating and captivating, the film spends too much time on certain events while brushing past others, creating a very odd and confused dynamic..

Directory Joe Berlinger seems to want to do so much in so little time, and although this was told from a certain perspective, it still deviates from that perspective to tell other details and stories, losing grip and direction of the film’s intent in the process.

While it falls flat in certain areas, and it certainly does, it is still a solid movie. But, I cannot help but feel as though Efron, Collins, and performances from Jim Parsons and John Malkovich were cheated out of something that could have been so much bigger, and so much better.

Fright Nerd Score
74 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
While it falls flat in certain areas, and it certainly does, it is still a solid movie. But, I cannot help but feel as though Efron, Collins, and performances from Jim Parsons and John Malkovich were cheated out of something that could have been so much bigger, and so much better.
Fright Nerd Score74
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REVIEW: ‘I Trapped The Devil’

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Josh Lobo’s indie thriller ‘I Trapped the Devil‘ officially hit limited theaters and VOD platforms this weekend and his debut film focuses on a man’s psychological unraveling as he comes to terms with whatever is locked in his basement.

Scott Pothress, Susan Burke, and A.J. Bowen star in the film set in the Christmas season, but centers on what appears to be a demon trapped behind a door in a man’s basement.

The movie is painfully slow to get rolling and takes a rather challenging road of trying to convey terror and suspense without relying on visual scares, jump scares or any real terrifying moments.

For the most part, this terror is implied, and forces the viewer to decide for themselves if this is simply one man’s mental breakdown into insanity, or something paranormal.

The intent of the film is respectable, as it ventures into a creative sector that not many horror films take to, which makes the interest of watching it palpable.

However, the film lacks any “meat” beyond the bones of it’s premise, and when it’s coupled with a slow-developing plot, a tactical slow delivery of dialogue, and is void of any true scares, it stumbles to establish itself as anything significant.

Lobo’s job behind the camera is solid, despite the underwhelming delivery of the story. Solid acting keeps things afloat, but the film simply has an uninteresting script and the story fractures into confusing, and overly boring, scenarios that seem intended to speed up a film to a panicked, frightful conclusion.

Unfortunately, the film didn’t challenge my thinking, but challenged my attention span and an underwhelming impact of an ending was further softened by the weak substance the film consisted of.

Fright Nerd Score
32.5 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
the film lacks any "meat" beyond the bones of it's premise, and when it's coupled with a slow-developing plot, a tactical slow delivery of dialogue, and is void of any true scares, it stumbles to establish itself as anything significant.
Fright Nerd Score32.5
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