Archive for high school

‘Wish Upon’: We hate high school, too

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, horror, Movies, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2017 by aliciamovie

wishupon

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Director: John R. Leonetti

Studio: Broad Green Pictures

MPAA Rating: PG 13

Review Rating: 7 out of 10

Spoilers are in the box!

A high school girl discovers a Chinese wishing box that actually grants her wishes – with horrific consequences!

Okay, so Clare Shannon (Joey King) is your very typical Carrie-like put-upon high school girl. A pair of devoted outcast friends (anyone else recognize Barb?!), bitchy H.S. rival enemies, a toooootally embarrassing father, and that angsty artistic temperament all lead to a depressed but relatable girl lead. Clare’s mom killed herself with that old hangin’ rope right at the beginning of the movie, but it sure looked like she had the wishing box first, which leads to all kinds of interesting speculations. Clare and her dad are noticeably poor, and Jonathon Shannon (Ryan Phillipe) dumpster-diving for treasure right in plain view of Clare’s school sure doesn’t help. The only real comfort in Clare’s life is her dog, given to her as the last legacy of her beloved and missed mother. And this is where we begin.

So inevitably, Jonathon found the wishing box on some dumpster dive and gave it to Clare to try and apologize for being embarrassing. And quite soon after that, the H.S. bitch that gives Clare such a hard time gave Clare an extra-hard time, and it’s one wish down. You really should be more careful with your wording, little leading lady, but then again, wishing for someone to go rot opens up all sorts of fine body-Horror opportunities for the movie. As much fun as it is to hear that bitch-fest is in the hospital, Clare needs to learn that all magic, especially of this magnitude, comes at a price. First up to go is Clare’s beloved dog, and of course Clare is devastated.

But not devastated enough to stop wishing, oh no. Our lead just happens to take Chinese language classes in high school (when did that become a curriculum option?) and so learns she’s offered seven wishes from the pretty box that plays haunting music at odd times after Clare’s made her wishes. Like any common put-upon high school girl, Clare’s wishes continue to be selfish in the extreme, whether it be insisting the handsome boy she’s had a thing for since elementary school fall head over heels for her, or turning the death of a neighbor into a windfall of cash and extravagance for her, her father and her two closest friends June and Meredith (Shannon Purser & Sydney Park), but the sacrifices are beginning to pile up and become impossible to ignore or explain away.

A friend from Chinese class, Ryan (Ki Hong Lee), with a super-obvious crush on Clare offers to take the box to his cousin for better language translation, who of course soon after gets spiked for her trouble. Even with the super-nasty death of one of her two true friends, and the very real possibility of the death of her father, Clare can’t seem to rid herself of the box, by means fair, foul, or even necessary. Her insistence she knows what to do, how to “fix everything” and rid herself of the box simultaneously, is a pretty standard “gotcha!” Horror trope by now, so we can all guess what happened to poor Clare after that. Still, the ending of the film was a nice little ba-zing! for fans, myself included, who thought Clare needed to get what was coming to her.

With a plot very much like The Craft and a bunch of zany death scenes that strongly echo the style of the Final Destination films, Wish Upon is a very good movie for a new generation of Horror fans to begin a lifelong obsession. (Though seriously, Ryan Phillipe in the Dad role makes me feel old.) Given the PG-13 rating and the eternal high school drama that Carrie ever despaired of, Wish Upon is a burgeoning entry into the Horror world anyone can appreciate!

Many thanks to the crew of Horrible Imaginings Film Festival for the pre-screening of Wish Upon, out in theaters now!

Movie Moxie’s 31 Days of Halloween – Day 4 – Disturbing Behavior

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, horror, Movies, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2013 by aliciamovie

disturbing_behavior_movie_poster001

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio:  Metro Goldwyn Mayer

MPAA Rating: R

Director: David Nutter

Rating: 7.5

Newcomer to Cradle Bay Steven soon finds fault in the methods of turning unruly students into Blue Ribbon winners.

Despite the fact that it’s yet another teenage high school mental horror kind of thing, I like this movie. The students are much more aligned with today’s ways, as evidenced by Gavin’s enjoyable rundown of the school hierarchy in the Cafeteria. James Marsden is Steven, disturbed over the suicide of his brother, concerned for his sister and in general just wanting to be left alone. Katie Holmes stars in her first major role as Rachel, Crooksridge trash with a nose ring that can still kick your butt. Nick Stahl is Gavin, paranoid stoner with every reason to be. And Bruce Greenwood is Dr. Calidocott, who believes he knows best for everyone and is willing to go to great lengths to give it to the town’s troubled teens, whether they want it or not.

I don’t think I’d care to be a Blue Ribbon, or Robot as Gavin and UV call them. Nice dated clothes, letterman’s jackets and pageboy cuts, bake sales and do-gooding, blech. Of course these are teenagers, which means the pheromones go through the roof and play wonky with the Caldicott implant, which leaves those Blue psychos to go, well, psycho and rape and kill. The cops are in on it too, Gavin actually isn’t that paranoid. And for some reason the janitor, Mr. Newberry (William Sadler), who is much more than he appears to be, turns out to be the savior of everybody, mostly. Even after that, the movie ends on an enjoyably potential sinister note. I won’t ruin it, go watch the film, it’s lots of fun, and the soundtrack is great too. Inevitably, there is a repeated playing of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall, but that is to be expected.

Excision

Posted in comedy, drama, Fantasy, horror, Movies, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2013 by aliciamovie

excision-poster

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: BXR Productions

MPAA Rating: N/A

Director: Richard Bates Jr.

Review Rating: 8

A disturbed teen girl just coming into her own sexuality with aspirations to become a great surgeon, struggles with a domineering mother, a terminally ill sister, a lackluster father and the strangeness of her own world.

It’s a hard movie to describe really, but it vaguely reminded me of a cross between that really sick and underrated gem May and the more stunning visual (and homicidal) aspects of The Cell. Pauline (AnnaLynne McCord of the new 90210, wrap your brain around that) has just recently turned 18 and decides, with all the subtlety of a brick, to lose her virginity to a chosen boy from her high school. Already being plagued, if that’s the right word, with visions of quite literal bloodlust turned to sexual fantasies, Pauline turns her first sexual encounter into something that that poor boy is unlikely to ever forget in his entire lifetime. Pauline has very blunt one-sided conversations with God, is forced into counseling from her local Pastor whom she delights in bothering as much as she can, and then there’s the required family dinners. Mother (Traci Lords, oh the irony abounds) is this blond polished prudish makeup’d thing who chews into Father every chance she gets, delights in the girlish things she can get sister Grace to do, and tries desperately to do the same with Pauline, with some very upsetting results. Father (Roger Bart, wow) is quiet and permissive, rarely talking back to anyone in his family especially Mother, letting his daughters do usually exactly as they please and avoiding confrontation at all costs. And then there’s Pauline’s sister Grace (Ariel Winter), who’s suffering the effects of cystic fibrosis and dying by inches. Grace is the one person in the entire world who accepts Pauline just as she is, who never ever receives a scathing word from Pauline and indeed, seems to be the only one Pauline loves in a way she simply can’t explain.

The film keeps having these moments where various characters, especially Mother, will reach out to Pauline in some way, and you fully expect there to be the sappy hugging and lovey background music. Instead, what falls from Paulines’ mouth in response cuts sharper than any scalpel, seemingly delighting in flaying away at the thin layer of societies politesse to the rot hiding just below the surface – for everyone. There is a beautiful moment for the demon-under-the-skin to show herself for Pauline, when after her home is toilet-papered and spray-painted in fairly common high school antics, Pauline rampages in the hallway and busts open a girls nose against a locker. Who hasn’t wanted to do that to that –expletive deleted– in high school at some point in their life? Unfortunately, Pauline’s response to those somewhat common high school antics (one would think her parents would be more pissed about a penis spray-painted on their houses front wall) gets her suspended from school. Which leaves her more time to obsess and be obsessed over, whereas Mother wants her to suddenly somehow poof! become a proper little lady, Pauline wants to jump start her career as a surgeon and save her sister in the bargain. How best to do that? By chloroforming the smarmy jump-rope girl next door into a donor of new lungs for her dying sister, that’s how. Father is given knock-out tea and tied up (I thought she might’ve killed him personally, you just never know with this movie), the one person in the world who truly non-judgementally loves Pauline is lovingly placed on a makeshift operating table in the garage of all places, and Mother is treated to a breathless explanation of what the would-be surgeon has done, all to gain her approval, when she comes home. It is truly a beautifully psychotic moment. For the epically strange movie lovers out there, Excision dives ecstatically into the crimson blood and bone-white world of one truly depraved teenagers mind.