Sunday, May 07, 2023

Review: Freaky (2020)

Freaky, is, probably because filmmakers have no imagination, a riff on the Freaky Friday film - ie it's a bodyswap.  But this is a little more imaginative in that here, the teenaged victim swaps with the serial killer!

It all kicks off in a very familiar style, no real surprise as it's a Blumhouse film, and they tend to know their horror. So there's a killer, the Butcher, who targets teens at a prom, who comes back every so often to kill again ... and we're stalking a girl, killing her boyfriend ... it even has the Halloween style masked killer who cocks his head to the side to inspect a kill ...

But then we leap forward, and it's the turn of another group of teens to try and escape the killings ... but the killer uses an ancient sacrificial blade called la Dola and this causes his victim, Millie (Kathryn Newton) to swap with the Butcher (Vince Vaughn) ... The bulk of the film then follows 'Millie' as the Butcher reinvents her as a hot chick, out to find kids to kill, and 'The Butcher' as Millie tries to come to terms with what has happened and to recruit her friends to help her stop the killings!

There are some neat gore effects, but nothing too nasty or dwelt upon which I appreciated ... however the murder methods are quite nasty - cut in half on a wood saw, a meat hook in the eye ... The performances too are excellent, with kudos especially to Newton and Vaughn who seem to be having a great time, and who manage to make the volte face idea work.

The love of horror continues into the character names. Millie's boyfriend is called Booker Strode (no doubt after Laurie Strode from Halloween), and Millie's second name is Kessler (taken from David in An American Werewolf in London?). The film was inspired by the writer, Michael Kennedy, seeing Happy Death Day and liking the mix of slasher film with Groundhog Day (and that film and it's sequel are Highly recommended!). Thus Freaky is directed by the same man: Christopher Landon.

Well worth 90 minutes of your time, if you like horror with an 80s vibe but which manages to do something new and interesting, then this should be right up your street.

Friday, May 05, 2023

Review: Bloodshot (2020)

This Vin Diesel film is new on Prime and new to me ... it's a science fiction tale, but starts as though it's a straight thriller.

Diesel plays a soldier, Ray Garrison, out in combat, and he ends up kidnapped by the bad guy, who then kills his wife in order to try and make him talk ... but Diesel knows nothing so gets shot in the head for his trouble ...

But then, we discover that Diesel's body has been taken for scientific research and he's been given a hefty dose of nanobots which have repaired his body, and which make him superstrong and almost unstoppable ...

So what does he do? He heads off to find the guy who killed his wife to extract his revenge ...

To say more would be to spoil the film and to give away some of the twists ... needless to say it's not straighforward! It is, however, a hugely enjoyable action thriller of the type that Diesel does really well ... if you remember him in the excellent Pitch Black and XXX then this is more of the same!

The film also stars Talulah Riley as his wife Gina, and Eiza González as KT. The main protagonist is Guy Pierce as Dr Emil Harting, but there are strong performances from Sam Heughan and Lamorne Morris as well.

A very enjoyable evening's entertainment!  Recommended!