Archive for jack

‘Clown’: This ain’t no kiddie show

Posted in horror, Movies, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2017 by aliciamovie

clown

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Director: Jon Watts

Studio: Cross Creek Pictures

MPAA Rating: R

Review Rating: 7 out of 10

A harried father, wanting to make his sons birthday not clown-less, dons an old clown costume he found in a house he’s renting and soon discovers to his horror, he can’t take the cursed thing off!

One would think, from that oversimplified version of the plot I just spouted, that the movie is just going to be a gore-fest of body-Horror-turned-hack-n-slash, which is fairly standard for Eli Roth’s MO. However, Roth had little to do with the film in the beginning and was half seduced and half strongarm-convinced to lend his name and reputation to Clown. While yes, there is plenty of body Horror, as poor hapless Kent discovers himself literally turning into a demon, and lots of hack n slash as Kent makes his way towards the sacrifice the demon demands, the story behind the clown skin is quite cool and very different, a welcome unexpected treat.

So Kent McCoy (Andy Powers) is your standard real estate contractor type, he sells houses and has a wife and son he loves; your average schmo who’s done not a thing to deserve this nonsense. It just so happens that Kent wants his kid Jack (Christian Distefano) to have the happiest birthday possible, and if that means donning a borrowed clown costume he found in the trunk of some house he’s renting and going out to be the entertainment his damn self, he’ll do it. Good for you, Kent. The trouble is, now, he can’t take the damned clown suit, or that idiotic nose and the rainbow hair, off. Kent’s early attempts to get the cursed suit offa him, or at least cover it up, are some of the bright spots of a very dark movie.

Kent’s wife Meg (Laura Allen), well of course she’s mighty concerned, and it doesn’t help that the bit of clown-nose she managed to get off Kent only to have it eaten by the dog, is now causing the dog to act funny too. Tracking down the costumes previous owner, Dr. Martin Karlsson, proves difficult, but his brother Herbert (Peter Stormhare) has some answers that Kent really doesn’t like. And here is where Clown takes an abrupt turn down a very different Krampus-like path – Herbert informs Kent of the legend of Cløyne, an ancient demon of Northern Europe that requires a sacrifice of five children, one for each month of winter where it comes from, to eat before it is satisfied. That clown suit that is now taking over Kent is no suit, it’s the actual skin and hair from a Cløyne demon, and that is precisely what Kent is becoming.

From there, we have a mix of hilariously dark moments where Dadclown is still trying not to turn into Cløyne by killing himself and it so doesn’t work, or Dadclown deciding to get some revenge for his kids bullying while getting his demon parasite fed at the same time, interspersed with some truly odd moments with Herbert showing back abruptly to try and finish Cløyne off himself. Things come to a showdown in a Chuck E. Cheese’s, of all places, and we are forcibly reminded that there are few things scarier in this world, even moreso than an actual demon, than a mother afraid for her children.

The makeup affects for the body horror and transformation in the film are astounding, and they had better be, considering there’s practically nothing in the way of CGI. The feeling of plausibility that comes across, this could happen to you too in the right (wrong) circumstances, is also well done and gives the movie that extra creepy kick. While the slaughter-y scenes certainly do have Roth’s signature on them, one would be hard-pressed to tell that from the rest of the film. Director of the film Jon Watts, who also did Cop Car (and directed and freaking co-wrote the upcoming Spiderman Homecoming movie), gives us a stylized Horror flick that he clearly felt passionately about. For all Watts’ love of the movie and the Cløyne legend of the demonic clown, we are treated, almost tricked, into a Horror flick that has a bit of everything, and that is what the dark carnival is all about.

Visit the legend of Cløyne in Clown on Netflix!

San Diego Asian Film Festival 2012 — Below Zero

Posted in Action, Fantasy, horror, Movies, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2013 by aliciamovie

belowzero

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Twilight Pictures

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Justin Thomas Ostensen

Review Rating: 7

A formerly popular screenwriter suffering writers block, locks himself into a meat cooler to be alone with his inspiration, but the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur as the temperature drops!

The film actually has a fairly nifty premise: the freezer, the ‘hack’ writer, miles of nothing around, and nothing in there but a laptop and his own inspiration. The trouble is, despite the main character being Edward Furlong’s Jack, and Frank the script character too, as soon as Jack is locked in and we the audience think he’s begun writing, the whole thing runs together less than smoothly. The stories Jack’s trying to write are presented in sliced vignettes, interrupted with other slices of what we think could be reality, but really it’s hard to tell for sure. It’s entirely possible that that was the whole point, but the whole “making a movie about how hard it is to make a movie, inside the movie” storyline gets on my nerves. The same storyline swirling about in attempted psychedelic horror circles, with only the slightest variations on the same theme, are tired.

A small number of actors grace the screen: Furlong as main Jack, Kristin Booth as hostess Penny, Michael Berryman as potential butcher Gunnar, Michael Eisner as friend Morty, and there’s a little boy who never got a name because he never spoke, I can only assume he’s Sadie Madu. His mute character is pivotal to the whole letting the audience know this isn’t real life thing, and yet they’re prepared to write him out of the whole movie nearing the end anyways. Jack goes round and round, sometimes getting help from another source, sometimes screaming in his own head, sometimes desperately writing in whatever he can literally get his hands on when his laptop dies, and yet. It turns out in the end that Jack really is a hack, for in the end, after all that mess, all Jack really learned was how to steal another persons idea and cover his tracks. Not bad for a horror jaunt, but instead of trying for the Saw “gotcha!” in the middle of each vignette, how about finding your own pace for a horror movie? We the audience love original creativity.

24 Redemption

Posted in Action, suspense, TV Movie with tags , , , , on November 24, 2008 by aliciamovie

24redemption

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Director: Jon Cassar

Studio: 20th Century Fox Film Corp
Age: 14+

Review Rating: 6 out of 10

 

Federal Agent Jack Bauer returns in the first 24 movie, a lead into the much-anticipated season 7 of the show!

 

Okay, so I watched 24: Redemption last night after my trusty Tivo taped it. And oh my god, KILL. I adored the show 24 when it was still around, Kiefer Sutherland does a fantastic job as Jack Bauer, the CTU agent who never shies from doing the hard thing to get the job done and make sure the world is safe for democracy, right? And yet here we have Jack Bauer hiding in a fictional area somewhere in Africa, acting a missionary to deprived children with his friend Carl Benton. Now I know, after the end of Season 6 of 24, Bauer certainly did have to run away from the US. He has done it before, in the name of keeping his friends and family safe and alive. But this, this is just ridiculous. Because, dear readers, it just gets worse.

Interspliced during the showing of the movie, there are commercials, of course with Kiefer Sutherland in them, advertising for malaria help in Africa. I understand the situation in Africa is bad, and I sympathize. But you folks are already using one of my more favorite shows here to preach to me, and all I see is a guilt trip. The oh so anticipated 24 movie was barely about Jack Bauer and the new president elect (who happens to be a woman, oooh) issues, but rather all about the desperate situations in Africa and how we need to do more to help them. I do not want a show, any show I watch, to shake a finger at me for not doing more to help the world. Yes, it is selfish and arrogant, I will admit it; entertain me, that’s all I want!

The only good thing about the entire movie, I’m sorry, was the brief preview for Season 7 at the very end of the movie. (Which got cut off, thanks to my Tivo’s timing.) And even then, yes, I have criticisms. It looked like Tony Almeda, a favorite character of mine, was going to be showing back up on the show, this time on the wrong side. And while, hey that’s great plot and all, they should’ve teased that out a bit longer, if for no other reason than to give die hard fans something to actually look forward to.

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For a TV series movie, it’s not bad. 24 Redemption kept to the same original plot and at least it still had Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer. But if they had attempted to end the show on that kind of movie note, instead of using it as an introduction for Season 7, I’d be livid.