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Thursday
Jun062013

Review: Rites of Spring (2011)

 

 

A group of kidnappers abduct the daughter of a wealthy socialite and hide out in an abandoned school in the middle of the woods. But feelings of guilt soon overtake the kidnappers, dividing the group and putting their entire plan in jeopardy.

  • Starring: Anessa Ramsey, Katherine Randolph, AJ Bowen

  • Directed by: Padraig Reynolds

  • Runtime: 1 hour 21 minutes


 

 

The film opens in a similar vein to movies such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with some title cards informing us that back in 1984, several teenagers vanished without a trace. No bodies were ever found. However, no sooner had these unexplained disappearances begun, than they stopped. Until the following year, when the cycle started again. This pattern of disappearances has continued for 24 years.

 

 


It takes at least 15-20 minutes before anything interesting to happens.

Rites of Spring is a strange film, almost two different movies playing at once that then come together at the end.

 


In one plot two girls are kidnapped in the parking lot of a bar by unknown assailants. They are taken to a barn in the middle of nowhere and strung up, tortured, and drained of blood for a sacrifice to a local deity that comes out in the spring. One escapes, crosses paths with a group of kidnappers right in the middle of a ransom plot gone wrong.

 

 


The other plot is about the group of kidnappers who abduct the daughter of a wealthy socialite and hide out in an abandoned school in the middle of the woods. The evening doesn't go as planned and their poorly chosen hideout becomes a hunting ground for a mysterious creature that requires springtime ritualistic sacrifices.



A “B” Slasher film yet looks way better than expected.

kidnapping & torture, kidnapping & revenge, a monster, blood, and a little nudity.



Good suspense and overall a great film. Also there's a scene after the credits.

 If you are a horror fan and looking for a slasher/monster hybrid, Rites of Spring is well worth a watch.


 4.5 out of 5 stars

 

 

Saturday
Apr242010

Review: The Crazies (2010)

 

This is a 2010 remake of a 1973 George Romero film The Crazies.

    I did not see the original The Crazies, but what I liked about this remake is, It waited no time to start the action. Right out the gate "Boom" people just started killing going crazy etc.. when movies start off like that you get my fullest attention. It dragged a little bit in certain parts, but for the most part it was enjoyable.


     The two main characters are played very well, by two of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. Timothy Olyphant plays Sherriff David Dutton, and Radha Mitchell plays his wife Judy. They live in a small town in Iowa, where everyone seems to know everyone, and understandably so.


    While Sheriff Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) and his pregnant wife, Judy (Radha Mitchell), try to make sense of the escalating violence, the government uses deadly force to close off all access and won’t let anyone in or out even those uninfected.

    The town is Ogden Marsh, Iowa. Population: 1,260. It's one of those places where the people earn a living and life is simple. In due time, things start to go wrong. Some of the residents act ... funny. At first, it doesn't seem so bad; they space out pretty easily, and maybe they'll repeat something they just said a second earlier. But then, for no apparent reason, they begin to bleed all over, and what's worse, they become homicidal maniacs. What's causing this epidemic of insanity? The local sheriff, David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) and his deputy, Russell Clank (Joe Anderson), have reason to believe that the local water supply is to blame. Maybe it has been contaminated with an unknown toxin which resulted in transforming the infected persons into a vicious belligerent killers.


    While in the middle of a baseball game, David has a standoff with a local who has a history of being drunk, as he stumbles onto the filed with a shotgun. After David has to kill the man to defend himself, David realize something is wrong. This guy was a little crazy. Soon others around town start acting a little crazy too, and before we know it, the Military shows up to put everyone under quarantine.


    The residents of Ogden Marsh are rounded up and taken to a makeshift medical ward, where people are forcefully separated on the basis of whether or not someone has an elevated temperature. Sheriff Dutton's wife, Judy, falls into the second category, and she's taken away despite David's assertion that she's pregnant and prone to slight fevers. She soon finds herself strapped to a stretcher in an area designated for the already infected. Unfortunately, an attempted jailbreak results in some of the crazies escaping, and one of them is headed straight for Judy, a bloody pitchfork dragging behind him.



     It soon becomes a matter of survival, David, Judy, Russell, and a teenager named Becca Darling (Danielle Panabaker) pitted against an illness and a brutal military.


     If you're like me and you haven't yet grown tired of the zombie genre, then chances are "The Crazies" will not disappoint you. Indeed, it's a striking visual achievement, some of the most frightening scenes taking place in cramped, shadowy spaces. I also give the filmmakers credit for creating gore effects that aren't relentlessly campy. There's a sequence, for example, in which a crazed mortician starts wielding a working bone saw, and another involving a crazy and a can of gasoline, is surprisingly chilling.


    The final thirty minutes of "The Crazies" are problematic in that every scene feels like the finale; a resolution is overshadowed by another crisis, which is then resolved before leading to another crisis, and more and more and more than once I was hit with a new turn of events.


    The Crazies is generously sprinkled with truly frightening moments. Yes, it relies on a story that has been told many times before, but does so in an unexpectedly proficient manner: there is no dialogue uttered unless it directly furthers the plot; the gore is aplenty, but never crosses into the realm of disturbing.


  • Downsides:

    The plot jumps a little too quickly
    Would have liked to see more "crazy"
    A couple scenes were a little cliche
    It's a remake

 

I will give this one 4 out of 5.