Stranger Things (Season 2)

Ever since Duffer brothers announced the release date for the second season of Stranger Things, fans have been eagerly waiting for the Halloween weekend to come. The trailer too promised a darker and stranger sequel. So does it fulfill its promise? Let’s find out.

Almost a year after Will was rescued from the Demogorgan, he starts experiencing nightmares which connect him to an evil force from the ‘Upside Down’ world. At the same time, some strange things start happening in the town of Hawkins. Are these things connected? What does the evil force wants?

The writing and story structuring is almost perfect across the entire season. The story gets divided into multiple branches where different characters are solving different problems. At the end, all the strings come together seamlessly and connect the dots perfectly. You can also see the changes and the maturity in the characters as the story reaches the end.

The first two episodes are little slow which just connect the viewers to the first season and sets up the curiosity to binge race the entire season. Season 2 is bigger and better than the first season. Few new characters are introduced which are only supporting. The old characters truly drive the show with their superb acting. The essence of the story and the characters are maintained. Season 2 lives up to the expectations and even goes beyond. 

To summarize, Stranger Things still remains one of the best shows currently on Netflix and better than any other over-hyped shows out in the world. Like always, the ending will make you well up and wait eagerly for season 3.

Rating: ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹ & 1/2

_______________________

Genre: Science fiction, Horror, Supernatural

Created by: The Duffer Brothers

Starring: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono, Matthew Modine, Noah Schnapp, Joe Keery, Sadie Sink, Dacre Montgomery, Sean Astin, Paul Reiser

Music by: Kyle Dixon, Michael Stein

Advertisements

Gerald’s Game

This year we saw two adaptations of Stephen Kings novels, The Dark Tower and It, the former was failed to attract audiences and the latter became a box office hit. Unlike most Stephen King film adaptations, the new Netflix movie Geraldโ€™s Game doesnโ€™t announce itself as being based on a Stephen King novel until you reach the end credits of the film. And it works because this story is so different than the other King’s novels.

Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) are a married couple who are hoping to spice up their sex life by indulging in a dirty weekend away in the countryside. Gerald plans to handcuff Jessie to satisfy his sexual fantasy about which Jessie has no idea. But things go horribly wrong and Gerald has a heart attack while Jessie remains in cuffs. Will she survive or not? Head to Netflix and find out yourself.

One of the best things about this movie is its smallness. Almost the entire film takes place in a single room. It is a mixture of multiple genres and themes like horror, psychological, thriller, feminism, survival, childhood trauma, supernatural, etc. That’s the beauty of this film. The actors have done a fine job especially Carla Gugino. She keeps it real and believable.

Director Mike Flanagan, who has made critically acclaimed horror hits, Hush and Ouija: Origin of Evil, uses smart pacing and well-crafted storytelling to make this film engaging. In one of the scenes where a past memory is shown using a surreal solar eclipse filter, looks cinematically awesome and gives a tonality to the film.

Overall, Gerald’s Game is more than just a survival tale which you should check out to experience a new kind of storytelling.

Rating: ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹

_____________________________________

Directed by: Mike Flanagan

Written by: Jeff Howard, Mike Flanagan

Based on: Gerald’s Game by Stephen King

Starring: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Henry Thomas, Chiara Aurelia

Cinematography: Michael Fimognari

It (2017)


Based on Stephen Kingโ€™s novel of the same name, It takes us to the town of Derry, where children keep disappearing for many years and no one knows how.
The story follows the lives of a bunch of school kids, who call themselves ‘the Losers’. Bill, played by Jaeden Lieberher, cannot stop thinking about his younger brother Georgie, who also disappeared six months back. There is a mysterious otherworldly presence that seems to be haunting the town, and is responsible for the children’s disappearance. Itโ€™s up to Bill and his friends to figure out what the hell is going on and stop it. Do not read too much about the film before watching it. The less you know, the more you will enjoy it.

The feel of the movie is similar to Netflix’s Stranger Things where the kids in the 80’s are trying to find the supernatural happenings in their neighborhood, but minus the sci-fi elements. The movie has drama, comedy, and horror elements, all in right amounts. Unlike most horror films, It is a drama first and thatโ€™s refreshing.

The ensemble of the child actors is amazing and each character has a memorable quirk. Individual stories are nicely fleshed out and everyone delivers a strong performance. The character of the clown, played by Bill Skargard, is scary and menacing to watch.

Director Andy Muschietti does a fabulous job in only his second feature film after the average supernatural horror, Mama. He expertly balances the intensity of the scares at every step leading to the finale.

IT is one of the best horror movies of this year. Itโ€™s funny, warm, touching and frightening. You’ll be craving for a sequel.

It floats. Youโ€™ll float too.

Rating: ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹ & 1/2

_______________________________

Directed by: Andy Muschietti

Screenplay by: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, Gary Dauberman

Based on: It by Stephen King

Starring: Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgรฅrd, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor

Cinematography: Chung-hoon Chung

Annabelle: Creation

After the success of the spine-chilling horror-flick, The Conjuring, a sort of franchise was created which consisted of a series of nail-biting experiences with, Annabelle, The Conjuring 2, and now the prequel, Annabelle: Creation.

This film takes us back to the origin of the spooky doll and how it was possessed by an evil spirit. Mr & Mrs. Cullins are lonely for many years after the death of their daughter. To bring some happiness in their lives they welcome a Nun and some orphanage girls to stay with them. Slowly these girls start experiencing the evil residing in the house.

The story mostly focusses on Linda(Lulu Wilson) and Janice (Talitha Bateman). They are BFFs and you can feel their deep bond. It was a good setup but it wasn’t effectively used in the film.

The story offers some decent early jump scares. But eventually, the story becomes very obvious and predictable. The movie has many illogical loopholes with no attention to the causal-affect relationship of the events that proceed in the film. Lots of cliche horror elements are used like an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, creaky doors, a forbidden room and an old well.

The story lacks depth and the investigative touch which The Conjuring had managed to achieve and it is still the best film in the franchise. Director David Sandberg, who made the acclaimed horror film ‘Lights Out’, uses nearly every trick in the book to make the film scary. While some scenes are scary enough to make you close your eyes, but weak writing brings the film down.

Overall, Annabelle Creation promises to give some seriously scary moments and nothing much else.

Rating – ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹ & 1/2

———————————-

Directed by: David F. Sandberg

Produced by: Peter Safran, James Wan

Written by: Gary Dauberman

Starring: Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto

Music: Benjamin Wallfisch

Cinematography: Maxime Alexandre

The Mummy (2017)

The Mummy is a reboot of The Mummy franchise and the first installment in the Dark Universe film series. This time we have a woman mummy in the form of the evil Egyptian Princess Ahmanet, who is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert.

The story starts with Nick Morton(Tom Cruise) who accidentally reawakens the Mummy of Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) and immediately gets cursed. A young archeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), and the scientist Doctor Jekyll(Russell Crowe) come to Nick’s rescue. They are part of Prodigium, a secret society dedicated to hunting supernatural threats.

The story does excite you to some extent initially. But it doesn’t live up to the expectation when it reaches to the end. The character of Nick lacks purpose and isn’t properly fleshed out. His love for Jenny is never built up and lacks conviction. The character of Princess Ahmanet is very well designed but never used up to its full potential. The same goes with Doctor Jeykyll.

Sofia Boutella is compelling and immensely watchable. Russell Crowe manages to entertain too. But Tom Cruise fails to make an impression. It is probably one of the worst movies of his career.

The production design is impressive in many places and the visual effects are decent. But, the action sequences donโ€™t do justice to it. The climax is far too simple with nothing exciting to offer.

Overall, The Mummy is a bad mixture of comedy, action and horror. It is a one time watch for movie freaks for its visuals and nothing more.

Rating – ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹

_______________________________

Genre: Action, Horror

Directed by: Alex Kurtzman

Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance,Marwan Kenzari, Russell Crowe

Stranger Things (Season 1)

Stranger Things is a sci-fi, horror web series created by the Duffer Brothers. The story revolves around the disappearance of a young boy and the struggle of his mother, his brother, a police chief, and his friends in order to get him back.

Set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980s, Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) gets disappeared after he encounters a supernatural creature. His traumatized mother Joyce(Winona Ryder) along with Jim Hopper(David Harbour), who is the police chief, start searching for him. The investigation slowly uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments and terrifying supernatural forces. The most interesting characters are Will’s three best friends Mike(Finn Wolfhard), Lucas(Caleb McLaughlin) and Dustin(Gaten Matarazzo) who fearlessly try to find Will with the help of Eleven(Millie Bobby Brown), a young girl with psychokinetic abilities.

The show grips you from the first scene itself. As the story is based in the 80’s, we don’t see much of high tech gadgets and labs. Still, it is a pretty good sci-fi story. Not too much of VFX used, which makes it more real and believable.

Stranger Things is one of the best Netflix shows till date. It is a great blend of sci-fi, thriller, horror and drama. It is just perfect. You have to binge watch the series to satisfy your curiosity.

Rating – ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’‹ & 1/2

_________________________________

Genre: Science fiction, Horror, Supernatural, Period drama

Created by: The Duffer Brothers

Starring: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono, Matthew Modine, Noah Schnapp, Joe Keery, Sadie Sink, Dacre Montgomery