Moview Reviews 25

Revamped (2007)
A decent indy film about a guy who finds out his wife is cheating on him and as he drowns in self pity stumbles across a late night ad on TV that promises a better immortal life as vampire. He calls the number to get ‘indoctrinated’ and gets sucked in by a sultry vampire. But his plans for joining the undead after his funeral his a snag. As he had cut out his wife from his will prior to taking the plunge, she finds out she can’t afford the funeral as he lies in his coffin and instructs the undertaker to cremate his body instead. His ashes sit for 5 years in the funeral parlor (the wife didn’t bother picking up his urn), a botched satanic ritual leads to his revival as blood touches his ashes. He awakens to exact a bit of revenge on his wife and her lover, but must also face a new world with authorities hunting down vampires and two vampire societies, good and bad. The R rating and plunging neckline vampire on the cover led me to believe that there would be a lot more adult fare in this romp. But I didn’t mind as there were plenty of good one liners to keep to movie fun. It could have been better with a simpler storyline, but suffered the same ill that many an indy flick falls prey too: trying to do too much.

Slaughter (2006)
A bunch of young people set up a business as house cleaners and get a job to clean up a dilapidated house where a bunch of murders and suicides have occurred. Being a satanic site it isn’t long before one of the group unearths a skin sheathed book of the dead and recites aloud some sort of satanic verse. If everything the verse mentions occurs, there will be hell to pay. Of course, what was called for, does happen, leading a grand final Good vs. Evil battle. Unfortunately, those watching the movie have to endure terrible acting and a mediocre script. Conceptually, the story is fine, but the actual dialogue is terrible and full of clichés. Another problem is that the computer FX and CGI guys were a little to liberal with the keyboard and many FX shots are lame or overboard. I actually dozed off at one point. But I didn’t miss much, I assure you. I’ll tell you right away that in the end Good does win over Evil. Just in case you too, fall asleep, you won’t be inclined to wake up like I did. Enjoy your sleep!

The Host (2006)
This recent Korean entry into the Big Monster domain was well received by audiences (deservedly so) and managed to get a lot of international exposure. While the core is all about a pollution induced mutant creature delivering an environmental message, the tale is told around the lives of one particular dysfunctional family as it copes with the abduction of a little girl by the creature. The girls dad, Hang-du, is a hapless loser working with her grandfather in his snack shop in a park bordering a river. On a calm and peaceful afternoon one day, the creature suddenly emerges on the shoreline park and terrorizes the people relaxing in the park, wreaking havoc and killing people. Amid the confusion of the rampage, little Hyun-seo is grabbed by the creature and plunges into the river. But instead of being devoured, the girl is brought to an isolated industrial pit. From there she manages to make a phone call to her dad who are still in isolation with the rest of the family and the other park goers after the incident. But nobody believes her dad and the family. The family then goes onto an adventure searching out the girl while at the same time Hyun-seo must deal with the creature who has a few surprises of his own. This is much more than a typical monster movie in many respects, all positive ones.

Last House on the Left (2009)
Another remake of a 70’s Wes Craven classic for which I cannot compare the two as I have yet to see the original. The good news is that as good as the original may be I doubt there were too many complaints by the remake as it hits the mark. Upon arriving at the family vacation house, young Mari heads to town to meet up with her friend. They meet up with a young boy and despite her reluctance head over to his motel to get some weed. The boy is not the problem. But his recently escaped prison brother and his two friends are. When the brother unexpectedly arrives at the motel and find the two girls there, they have a problem. They set out to dispose of the witnesses but after killing her friend, Mari escapes, albeit only after being raped and shot. The escapee, his friends and his young brother are caught up in the woods during a storm and ironically make it to Mari’s family house where they are taken in by her parents who believe that young Mari is just staying the night with her friend. They soon learn the truth and take matters in their own hands. Part revenge, part survival, it is an emotional and frightening movie that manages to be entertaining despite the fact that we can figure out how most of it will play out. Great acting all around.

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