If there is one big flaw that keeps “The Garbage Pail Kids Movie” from being either really bad or really good, is that it’s never quite sure what to make of itself. The tonal imbalance and wildly inconsistent mood keeps the movie bipolar and surreal. It’s too gross for kids, and too tame for adults, so it’s right in the middle of nowhere. “The Garbage Pail Kids Movie” is based on the wildly popular series of stickers that were direct spoofs of the popular eighties franchise The Cabbage Patch Kids. The series of stickers presented buyers with their own disgusting, offensive, and grotesque versions of Cabbage Patch characters, and for many years they were a staple for folks that appreciated humor with a bad taste.
Empire and Charles Band always had a knack for creating Westerns, but the type of Westerns that just were not as traditional as you might think. They had every opportunity to deliver us a normal western, and yet they went the odd route delivering creative amalgams like 1994’s “Oblivion,” and mediocre fare like “Ghost Town.” Richard Governor’s “Ghost Town” watches more like an extended episode of a mediocre anthology horror show, and when you get right past the whole supernatural tropes, it’s another ordinary western that we’ve seen a thousand times over. It’s not a gem of the Empire/Band library, but it’s a unique diversion.
You’d assume ten years in to one’s career that a filmmaker would begin to mature as a storyteller. But here we are in 2015, and Eli Roth is still telling the same story. A bunch of inept Americans go in to a foreign country and get brutally massacred. It’s the same xenophobic, sophomoric, silly slop that Roth’s been feeding audiences since “Hostel,” and he doesn’t seem intent on changing the formula any time soon. Roth at heart is still a fan boy stealing from his favorite horror movies, while directing tonally uneven and ridiculous schlock with the intent to shock first and foremost. Really, the intent is to shock and nothing else.
Joel Edgerton’s “The Gift” is this year’s “Gone Girl.” It’s one of the most irredeemably dark and nasty thrillers made in years and one of the best films of 2015, easily. It’s packed to the brim with morbid undertones, despicable circumstances, and characters that always walk in shades of grey. Despite audiences being able to identify who the protagonists are, they’re brutally unlikable people that all pretty much build the foundation for truly dire consequences. I highly suggest to audiences that love a good mystery, that they completely avoid any and all spoilers, and really absorb the message and dread soaked mystery behind “The Gift” for themselves.
I really wanted to love “Gravy.” In fact during some rare moments it manages to win me over, especially with the way it uses its array of character actors to great effect. “Gravy” sadly falls under the weight of its own self satisfaction, eliciting a ton of flat improv, lame ad libbing, unresolved sub-plots, and a climax that goes nowhere very fast. We follow our heroine for ninety minutes all for absolutely zero pay off. Did Roday and co. run out of money or did they run out of ideas?
What “Goosebumps” accomplishes, is not just paying homage to the joy of “Goosebumps,” but to the joy of reading and writing as well. It’s not many movies that can convey the idea of writing as something purely magical, and “Goosebumps” pinpoints how books can be a portal in to something entirely otherworldly, especially if you’re a fan of the world RL Stine has built for his fans since the 1990’s. More of a meta-horror comedy than an actual series of tales, “Goosebumps” is set in Delaware where Zach and his newly widowed mother are preparing to start their lives over. With Zach trying to adapt to his new school, he meets the gorgeous Hannah (Odeya Rush), a neighbor who is home schooled by her reclusive and strict father.
“The Gallows” watches like a really bad “Fear Street” novel. If it were written by RL Stine at gun point. It’s beyond me that “The Gallows” managed to achieve a wide North American theatrical release with a pretty good ad campaign all around. Meanwhile, “It Follows,” a brilliant horror offering, had to rely on word of mouth. Beneath the hype “The Gallows” is a brutally boring and unscary attempt to cash in on the found footage fad that reaches the scares you’d find in a normal young adult novel. And I am being kind, since even young adult novels can often achieve some semblance of suspense and tension when they want to. “The Gallows” however is a forgettable and downright stupid effort that lacks in brains, common sense, and general creativity.
Justine joins Alejandro’s social activists group after seeing that they had real results at her university getting janitors health coverage. Soon she finds herself going to the Amazon forest in Peru to save a small village from being destroyed by a company wanting the natural gas found under the area they occupy. The group goes to Peru, does their thing, and then heads back home. However, they do not make it home as their plane crashes in the Amazon. A part of the group dies in the crash in various horrible ways. As the survivors escape the wreckage, the villagers they came to save attack them killing a few more and taking the six last survivors with them. It quickly becomes clear that the captives are meant to be breakfast, lunch, and dinner as the first member is dispatched gruesomely and cooked.