Sinister (2012)

Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) is a true-crime writer that moved into a house with his family, not telling them that a horrible crime had been committed some time ago. Oswalt hasn't had a gig in a while, in fact, his life is going down the tubes.

Not telling anyone about this house is one thing, but finding the super 8 home movies that go back to the 60s is another different spectrum. Each short movie is about the death of the victims; More like a show and tell too what had occurred.

The film is one of the most disturbing films to date. It's a huge statement but that's the truth; Just look at the source material. It's amazing because of Ethan Hawke. The man who basically made the movie. The supporting actors were great, but Ethan Hawke really outdid himself in this film. No matter what happened this is the guy you want as a team leader. Anyway, the movie falls under horror, but it's very suspenseful.

Sinister highlights the vulnerability of people. Oswalt (Hawke) was curious which by then he succumbed by the power of the super 8 movies. Not the actual movies, but the pull it had. He watched them so much, it created an addiction. His finding of something evil in the videos, pictures created a sense of urgency.

All the writer wanted was a book, a desperate attempt to make something better. An adverse reasoning, but what he had established was dangerous. The curious Joe had gone too far deep, and now his family is nothing more than bait for the evil. Sinister has a different vibe, from opening the super 8s to realizing the entity in the film is out for blood.

Needless to say, this film is more than a horror movie. It can be real, although why would you want to even go near those movies unless something evil is behind it. The way it pulled you in. The horrible events leading to the final Act was terrifying. This film is low budget, a once in a lifetime thing. The events couldn't be defined as just a horror movie. This film feels all too real. Something to look at, just remember to watch it with the lights off, and complete silence. Some sequels don't do the film justice, and that was the case for Sinister. The second film fell completely off the grid. Not because of the characters, but the events which the story unfolded was really a one-shot deal. The originality of the film was lost in the second, and unfortunately, that's what happens, and is very common in the film industry.

Hope you enjoyed my picks this October. Like I mentioned early on I wanted something very different, a reach for the dark. Sometimes the same bores, and having the same movies each year as the top films is pretty lame. Unlike other sites, the Reeltime Movie Review keeps on moving with new and fresh ideas coming your way. Just stay with me as I continue to review movies to the core.


Misery (1990)

Paul Shelden (James Caan) is on his way home, he just finished his new novel. The winter storm increases in intensity, the novelist crashes. The cold takes hold of him. Looking up he notices a woman helping him, taking him to a remote house somewhere in the mountains.

Annie Wikes (Kathy Bates) is Shelden's number one fan. Her skills as a nurse helped her save the life of the author. She also is displeased at the new book, killing off the hero makes her extremely mad. Making it difficult for Shelden to escape.

Stephen King came out about the Misery novel, it's true theme was a representation of his addiction. The struggle he endured while he was wasted away. Either way, the movie version was so good. King later sold the rights to the movie company which ended up being a wonderful thing. The performances on film were amazingly beautiful.

James Caan performance as the novelist connected with Bates. Both actors knew how to work off each other. They both responded to perfection when tense moments intensified. Believe me, in this film those moments were pretty much every scene. The way they communicated, especially Caan tied to a bed. The acting was so good. goes to tell you that when push comes to shove, not everything is all about extreme action, or comedy.

The film had a sway, it was more than horror. It was almost real because in a way it can happen. What happens if a woman helps out anyone, and turns out she is a complete freak. Amazing isn't it. The film is more than just a woman with a weapon, or craziness. The sheer brilliance of both actors working off each other, especially when the crazy nurse goes nuts. The acting between these two is to level.

Misery had some huge contenders but I picked this film, not for its effects or even story per say. I picked it because two very different people coming from very different worlds have crossed paths, and sure enough those paths collide in a very unique way. The connection is the strongest feature here and for that reason, it made the top in the 90s.


The Thing (1982)

Winter 1982 a research team in Antarctica investigates a Norwegian station. Finding remains of a frozen abnormality. The American team of MacReady (Kurt Russell), Dr. Blair (Wilford Brimley), Childs (Keith David), Clark (Richard Masur), Nauls (T.K. Carter), Palmer (David Clennon), Dr. Copper (Richard Dysart), Vance Norris (Charles Hallahan), George Bennings (Peter Maloney), Garry (Donald Moffat), Fuchs (Joel Polis), and Windows as Thomas G. Waites. Takes in the abnormality only to find a creature that assumes the shape of its victim.

The crew takes in the creature and the kill count begins. Yes, the film is done so well that when the creature does change and when you see it, the grotesque shape-shifting scenes are just that, gross. I love Huskies and the dog in the in Act one changed, took shape of another victim really hit me pretty hard. The effects are amazing, it translated on film so good that when you see it, bring on the blankets, covers, run into a room and lock the door. Yes, the scare factor here is solid, enough to give you goosebumps.

John Carpenter directed this flawless film, it is the first of his Apocalypse Trilogy. Followed by Prince of Darkness (1987) and In the Mouth of Madness (1994). The trilogy has an H.P. Lovecraft feel to it, which is Cthulhu the monster in Lovecraft stories. In the Mouth of Madness conveys Lovecraftian idealisms throughout the film. His vision in this particular film is amazing.

My favorite scene is the huskie moving inside the facility unnoticed. His silence is unnerving. Anyway, he moves slowly to the outside of the animal cage. the stare that dog gives is scary as hell. I love that scene because it makes you nervous. What's going to happen? Is the dog going to attack, change, what? The answers came soon enough and the next scene you see the dog inside the cage. The other animals go nuts, and the very gross shape-shifting scene begins.

The film gross was horrible no thanks to E.T. It was the little alien from outer space, who made befriended a boy killed the Thing. Everybody saw the cute little alien. Meanwhile, the Thing didn't do well in the box-office, but it is revered as an underground cult classic. This film will scare the hell! out of you, that is my honest opinion of the movie. The story is engaging, effects are so good, and some scenes are really disgusting. Hey what can I say the filmmakers did their job.


Carrie (1976)

A film came out in 1976, it was called Carrie. The book was written by Stephen King. The studio confronted the author about his novel, and alas the film version of the book had hit the silver screen.

Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) a shy girl who only wanted to fit in. At school, she was picked on like no other. Humiliated in front of all her classmates making her change into an enraged person. The young adult only wanted friends, family, a normal life. Carrie's telekinetic abilities manifest early on making her enraged, destructive and dangerous.

Carrie's mother Margaret White (Piper Laurie) a religious zealot continuous emotional abuse creates a void between mother and daughter. Carrie fears her mother so much that she does everything and anything possible to please her, even if it means staying inside the house.

The film is very straightforward, it manages to bring you into the life of Carrie White. Her story can be justified as true events in our schools. The bullying of either girls or boys, an unfortunate problem that needs to be addressed today. Not saying that in 2018 there are no issues, but since the social media explosion, I believe the problem has grown since 1976. Granted this film is fictional but the themes within are not. The hate Chris Hargensen (Nancy Allen) conveyed throughout the film is amazing. She had controlled every situation except the end. Her hate became her undoing.

Carrie is one of those films you either like or dislike. It's dated, directed by Brian De Palma. The director of Scarface (1983) and many other great films. If you've read Stephen King books your one of those committed fans that no matter what will see his creation come alive on film. It's just what happens. The film translation was really good; I enjoyed Spacek's performance. She really made the film. Her fear, anger, all emotions were conveyed to perfection.

This film is just so good, I urge you to buy it. That's the truth, and only here on the Reeltime Movie Review. The gross of the film for that time says it all. The budget was about 1,000,000 and it took in about 33,000,00 and that's a broad estimation. The numbers are very positive, but even despite the numbers, the film is underrated. My job as a critic is to asses the film with no lies, just truth. Carrie is without a doubt a wonderful horror movie.


Venom (2018)

The alien introduced in comics and one of Spiderman's deadliest villains. Venom needs to bond with a host in order to survive. The host then becomes something powerful. Memories, of the host, are retained by the Symbiote. The alien is liquid in form until it attaches itself to the host. It bonds in such a way it's almost like the host has multiple personalities. IT has an autonomous defense, making it a dangerous foe.

Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) was a controversial tv host fired because of an interview with Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed). Bringing up allegations that were unnerving to the wealthy man. Brock also lost his girlfriend Anne Weying (Michelle Williams). His life went from being a huge man of the hour to a nobody. The bonding of both the alien who calls himself Venom and Brock will be a masterpiece in the making.

The story isn't a piece of art. That's because it's telling a tale about something strange from outer space. In the comics Spiderman, alongside the heroes of Earth fought a war, the Secret Wars against the one called the Beyonder. It was that war in another place, far from Earth that the Symbiote was able to attach itself to Spiderman, and later Eddie Brock.

In the film, a space exploration craft from the Life foundation crashes to Earth. Holding the alien symbiotes. Needless to say one of the aliens find a way to escape, and alas you have a slight introduction to one of the Symbiote.

So Eddie gets fired, and his distractions are the Life Foundation, and the head of the Life Foundation, Carlton Drake. Eddie finds his way to finally exposing the corruption. Dr. Dora Skirth (Jenny Slate) gives Brock the evidence he needs to bring down the man in power.

Without going deep into the simple plot, I'll have to say that the simplistic story is what I like the most. It's a black and white story, good versus evil kinda plot; With fight scenes that were really cool looking. The film reminded me of an 80s flick. Quick answers, let's move on to the next Act, and after we're done, continue with the same format. It works because the format is simple. The comedy was really good as well. I loved the elevator scene, it was fast and unpredictable enough to get in a laughter or two.

Venom is an anti-hero film with some comedic elements. It carries the film enough to entertain you. Remember the 80s movies where the film was short and snappy. Well, Venom uses that same format. nothing wrong with that. Critics that attacked the film for Eddie being a loser was wrong. They're all wrong. Eddie Brock didn't have confidence in the comics until Venom attached itself to him. The conflict was definitely there in the film, and to those critics who gave the film bad vibes, I say you're all insane. What did you expect, a Silence of the Lambs? I mean It's a villian from a major comic line. Get over yourselves, and get a life. Tom Hardy was awesome in this film, and as far as everyone else, they completed the film making it a strong hero or anti-hero movie. Go see the film, and enjoy the film for what it is. Trust me it's a good film. Nice movie ending the stream of MCU films from the summer.


The Predator (2018)

The opening sequence has two alien spacecraft flying in circles Star Wars style. One escapes through a wormhole of some kind. The other has lost the cat and mouse game. The damage sustained by the other ship is too much for it to handle, it crashes.

Our hero Quinn Holbrook (Boyd Hal, has a team ready to strike the drug cartels. Thanks to the alien ship. Mysterious cargo, another Predator, which is larger, stronger, faster. The viciousness of the second Predator is amazing.

The ambiance of the 1987 film was there, even the music but you inside the film. But as the film rolled along it almost came to a stop for me. Because of the characters actions. They kinda changed as the film continued. An example of this is Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn). She is a Biologist which is cool, I get it. The Predator had been moved from the craft for examination. First off you would think the Predator they restrained to a table couldn't break out. Yes, you guessed it, it killed almost everyone in the facility.

Casey Bracket (Munn) goes Rambo and retrieves a tranq gun. No fear, just pure adrenaline. She jumps on top of a moving Bus, a pure badass if you ask me. What happened to her character? There was no mention of her training at all. She just happened to go all Robocop and that's it.

The other misdirection is the story itself. the plot is simple I guess, or downright stupid. The race of Predators is evolving. The giant looking creature or hybrid Predator collects human DNA. Since the humans are endangered because of Global Warming the next step of the evolutionary process is one boy, the main connection in the film. Rory McKenna (Jacob Tremblay) is autistic. The son of the hero, Quinn Mckenna. Who in the first Act had stolen some of the Predator's equipment? I guess he figured it would safe with him.

The stolen Predator equipment has been activated by an autistic boy, sends a bing to the large Predator, and the game continues. Now the alien far, far, away from home targets his new location, Earth. The most important two people in the soldier's life and Quinn sends via mail, the equipment.

The film gets worse as it continues, one thing after the other. Like the super secret military base that has the alien ship. It takes off because of the Predator, he would know how to fly the dang thing. Anyway, the soldiers jump on top of the ship, trying to stop the thing from taking off. You would think these guys had some technology, blueprints or whatever. No, they jump on the ship and one of the guys gets killed in a poor way. I mean I saw it coming a mile away. The characters had more flaws than merits.

The Predator movie as a whole is so bad in so many ways. Not because of the acting, because of the bad screenplay. It tried to hold up in first Act but it fell apart as it progressed. Maybe if Shane Black would've just added actual true character elements, and scrap the global warming plot the film would've been more. When is big Hollywood going to understand that characters, plot, story, all elements that make a great film? They know what to do but instead, they continue to put out really bad movies.


The Gifted

The world is complicated as it is, so imagine that same place made up of Humans and Mutants. Humans are normal, some have advanced beyond making strides for humankind.

Mutants, on the other hand, have advantages like no other. Giving them the upper hand.

Even the Government services calling themselves Sentinels. In the comic, these were giant robots that would seek mutants. The first directive would be a priority with a kill order. In the show, the Sentinels are just plain FBI, CIA, Law Enforcement. The main point is a pure hate for the mutant community. The show has a strong grasp of the hate that it almost feels all too real. The mutants have extremely powerful people in their community, and that power scares a lot of humankind.

The set up of the Sentinel force, a group of mutants living day to day gather enough strength to protect and fight for their freedom.

The Gifted has a strong storyline that hopefully will continue this season. So far the cast is pretty strong. Reed Strucker (Stephen Moyer), Kate Strucker (Amy Acker), Eclipse (Sean Teale), Lauren Strucker (Natalie Alyn Lind), Andy Strucker (Percy Hynes White), Jace Turner (Coby Bell). The casting is probably the best TV has to offer.

Don't mean for any of this to be negative or even sound horrible. The TV show has a great cast, with ok special effects to go with it. The only real advantage this superhero show has it's the very strong storyline, and so far the show lives up to its hype.


Skyscraper (2018)

Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) a retired FBI rescue team leader, and U.S. war veteran. After the dire situation in Minnesota during a hostage situation, Sawyer starts over with Sarah, they have two kids. Sawyer invests his knowledge in security which grows and eventually gets a contract in Hong Kong, where he currently lives and helped with the construction of the tallest building in the world.

His best friend Ben (Pablo Schreiber) sets up a meeting with Zhao Long Ji (Chin Han), the vision behind the Pearl. The skyscraper is a sheer example of his architectural knowledge. The meeting was about the security of the Pearl.

Swayer finished his finishes his meeting, Ben turns and texts someone unknown.

Something is about to go definitely wrong. It's the feeling in the film. Almost like a Diehard film. You know something is going to go down, just not how. which is not the case for Skyscraper. In a way, you still get that feeling, but the predictability is there. I mean you could just call it right before it happens. The feel now turns into something very different. I believe if this film didn't have the actors it did, this would be a complete B-movie. Without Dwayne Johnson's fan base, and Neve Campbell this film would have done very badly. Unfortunately, that's Hollywood, it's all about the numbers.

Anyway, I thought the film was very good, it's a fun movie that had a Diehard feel to it. The way it went down was very predictable, but who cares, it was fun. Remember that feeling back in the day, where all you cared about was just that; feeling. The plot, effects didn't mean much.

When Sawyer jumped from the crane to the skyscraper it was not only unbelievable but cool. The Fast and the Furious moment. Unbelievable situations, extreme stunts all cool stuff. Normally I would rate films like this very low, but in this case that would be wrong. It still was a fun movie, granted the action scenes were off, but the story, characters made the environment, situations a whole lot better. The fast and the Furious films weren't fun for me. The super fast car going through a window in a sky-rise isn't fun, in fact, it's kinda stupid, boring, all that kinda stuff.

All in all this film to me was pretty good. It had a great beginning, middle, and a super end. It was enjoyable, made me laugh a bit, the action was awesome. What can I say, yes it had issues, but they're not major. It's an action film that has so many predictable situations, which was the main problem, but not so much for me. I still enjoyed the film.