The Night Comes for Us

A spoiler free review by Spencer Hackett

Action time, from Indonesia, on Netflix. I didn’t expect to see this turn up on Netflix, although they’re expansion into more and more “proper films” should have given the game away. Also this is the best time for action movies in ages, “Mad Max” gets Oscar nominations, “John Wick” lets me stare at Keanu Reeves, and we get all these badass Indonesian action films. Even so, I had no idea about this until some rave reviews started turning up. This Triad revenge, action, thriller comes to us from Timo Tjahjanto who brought us “Headshot” recently which was pretty good. Similarly to “Headshot” this stars Iko Uwais, who most of you will know as the star of “The Raid”series, but the lead here is Joe Taslim, another Raid cast member, and much of the rest of the cast either turned up in “The Raid” series or “Headshot”. This film is super violent, like really really violent so I’ll just lead with that. There are spoilers ahead, but I can’t really spoil the fight scenes, and that’s what you’ll watch this for.

I do actually like when films open with text that just sets up what happening, gets us over the hump really quickly, especially for an action movie like this.

Well this is a nice relaxing morning on the beach. This director really likes beach based openings. (Kind of the anti -Beat Takeshi – ed)

Thank god it’s subtitled, I can’t take modern films being dubbed. Older, crapper films are great that way, but it just looks cheap now.

That photo is most definitely photo-shopped.

And now the synth kicks in.

SCIENCE!

That was the calmest fight scene ever, in a really badass way.

Why are we speaking English now…

I think we need a new Mortal Kombat movie, now that we have actual really gory martial arts films. I think if you mixed these action scenes with camp technicolor ninjas it would be even better. Guess Goro is always going to cause issues, can’t really have badass fight with a bloke with extra arms stuck in his waist.

Toasty!

Ah so Iko is the baddy this time, that’s mixed things up.

Give this guy and eye patch and he’d be Majima from Yakuza. Also he just said someone had a familiar mug, and I really doubt that’s what he said in Indonesian. I always wonder how accurate subtitles are, not very probably.

That’s gonna sting.

Death by hoof.

Well I can see why this is an 18 now, this isn’t for the squeamish.

Did I just see an egg cup with boobs on, I think I did, that’s the weirdest bit of set dressing ever.

That was the worst trying to look inconspicuous ever, and I mean that. I’d have done better, and I look like a mug.

This is the point where someone sarcastically tells me this films a bit slow.

My word.

I’m sorry but that was appalling aim.

I don’t think anyone in this is just stabbed once, it has to be at least 5 times, and then they’ll still keep going. It’s got that Battle Royale (film not irritating gaming trend) thing that you could have an arm blown off and keep fighting.

You think what used to get banned in this country, and now you can stream this, unbelievable.

You know she’s hard core, she’s got bleached hair. And one of those fancy bendy knife things that always turn up in these films. Isn’t bleached hair a terrible idea for a killer, it’ll just become red. It has. (I believe it comes from blonde/bleached hair being seen as a sign of rebellion amongst Japanese youths – possibly spread across the far east from there – ed)

Oh my god whatever that thing is it’s badass. It’s like a death yo-yo.

The worst wrist injury since Green Room (another film worth a watch, but not if you like Martial arts).

Oh shit I forgot he was fighting as well. This films is literally just fighting at the moment, in a good way.

I’m guessing as we didn’t see him actually die, he isn’t actually dead.

I think you should put your wipers on.

This guy hates light bulbs. Smashing them must brighten up his day. I’m sorry I’ll get my coat.

Why do we keep swapping to English, it’s odd. At least they can speak English, not like in Shin Gojira. (Once again, massively recommended but DO NOT WATCH THE DUB)

We haven’t had a fight for like 5 minutes what’s… never mind. (This wasn’t me being funny, I literally was writing it and one started).

Oh my god it’s the villainess (it isn’t, but she’s dressed like her. That’s a great action film as well, got all the recommendations going today).

She’s got a point.

Oooo swanky transition.

Is it fight time again, I want it to be fight time again. No it’s arts and crafts time.

Now it’s fight time!!!

This isn’t gratuitous at all…

I’m sorry but how did they not see that.

Who knew pool tables were so useful for combat.

Oooo nards.

Can the death yo-yo be in more films please.

Where did her one sleeve go, that’s an odd fashion choice for combat.

Oh that’s bad ass.

The suit means he’s evil.

This a slug fest and a half.

Sorry for not writing much at the end there, was too busy watch fighting and making lots of ooh and ah sounds. But this is one of the best action films I’ve seen in ages, and that means a lot given what I said at the start. If you’re here for plot you’ll be very disappointed. I had little interest in why people were hitting each other here, and for a while that absolutely fine because it’s stays very simple. But it does wander in to some prolonged back story for about 15 minutes towards the end before the big fight, and personally I’d of just cut that out completely. But if it’s the fights you’re here for settle in for some of the best action has to offer. This is a visceral film and when that’s what it’s doing it’s amazing. The gore and violence is extreme, with a lot of spray, guts and more blood than you can shake a severed limb at. The best way I can describe this is “The Raid” meets “Brain Dead”. I’m hoping in the sequel we get the step up in storytelling we got between “The Raid” and “The Raid 2”. If this had a better story it would be an instant classic, but as it is it’s a fabulous action film with a lot of flair and even more blood. I have very high hopes for the rest of this trilogy and am very impressed that Netflix are backing this sort of thing. Very very impressed over all.

Bonehill Road

Sounds like a good old fashioned, not trying to be clever, horror, which is nice. 

The music does not fill me with confidence. Feels like it’s off the shelf. Special makeup effects by Mike Wulff? It’s like when John de Wolf joined Wolves.

Nominative determination at its best

There’s a lot of credits. There’s a lot of producers. Todd Sheets wrote, edited and directed. That’s three sheets…

This chap sure likes his effing and jeffing. 

That was a Reeves and Mortimer frying pan hit.

No you lying get
Spang!

He didn’t seem desperate to catch them. Probably had some more swearing to do. 

Was that shot of a phone charger on the counter to explain away the absence of a phone later?

My God. That “probably a werewolf” guy looks a lot like the creepy looking guy from town. Also reminds me a bit of Brian from Spaced. He’s wearing a tie with no jacket or waistcoat. Terrible look.

The dad’s a werewolf t… Oh. Got that revelation wrong. She’s pregnant. Disappointing. Was trying to figure out which Werewolf tribe he’d be in. Bone Gnawers? I reckon sweary guy in a white vest would be a Bone Gnawer.

Yep. Charger being left was mentioned. Dude, you showed it enough so that the audience knew. You could have trusted yourself and them that the shot was enough.

This wine is easy going. Strong notes of raspberry.

The director has gambled by only having two characters. Ordinarily, a film like this, you need expendable victims.

Shouldn’t a werewolf be able to track its victims by scent?

I’ve always preferred werewolves to vampires. Vampires are too mopey.

I mean, really. What is this sparkly bollocks?

Old time vaudevillesque music, because… Oh. I dunno. It’s a bit creepy.

Ah. We have our expendable victims. 

He knows kitchen-fu. The martial art I just made up, based on things you find in the kitchen. The towel-disarm is a high level move.

Her insides went outside.

I don’t think creepy guy is a werewolf. He’s just a serial killer thrown in for the same reason the music was.

The werewolves don’t seem to be that big a deal in this. 

One side of his collar is outside of his tie. He deserves to die.

If you don’t know some meat was human flesh, would you know when you ate it? A diet of human flesh is supposed to yellow the skin. Is that because you don’t get certain things the body needs, or is it because of something in the meat? Asking for a friend. I’m a veggie.

Serial Killer’s overacting annoys me.

This is a serial killer film with werewolf sprinkles.

Fox News Twitter is silent this evening. Some of these reviews are a document in time, like http://corkingmovies.com/reviews/gehenna-where-death-lives/. Let’s see how the story develops (Gehenna looked like war. It wasn’t. This looks like indictment sober edit – it wasn’t).

Is Granddad going to be like Lost Boys? 

One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach; all the damn vampires.

Some of the gore effects are top notch.

Oh. Werewolves are supposed to be the deus ex machina that allows them to escape. 

Not sure which is meant to be the important one. Werewolves or serial killer.

Granddad reports his own trouble before his daughter and granddaughter. My father wouldn’t do that. To be honest, he’d probably rescue my son, then he and my mother would take him to the beach and give him a wonderful time and email some photos to me. Only I’d be dead. Or a werewolf.

Love how granddad is very specific about the wood required. 

I think this was supposed to be a film about how mothers protect their babies, but sacrificing yourself when you are pregnant destroys that from a narrative sense, and having unnecessary boobs destroys it from a thematic one. I’m not a prude. Loved 80s horror, but if you’ve got a message, make sure you don’t do things to trash it (sober edit http://corkingmovies.com/uncategorized/monsters-dark-continent-drunk-review/ was a good example of this).

Daughter just went on about how she’d worried about her friends and school, but she never mentioned it! Show, don’t tell.

Montaaaaage!

Space Ghost
Montaaaaaage

Music at the end is like a crap Evanescence.

Who did the catering? Not asked that for a while. Feel the need to bring it back. The people involved deserve a cheeky Nando’s at best. Was it Jill Pancake? Hmph. No catering.

There’s a post credits scene. It may be the worst bit.

Halloween (2018)

Halloween (2018) A SPOILER FREE Review (for a change)
a guest review by Spencer Hackett

If you’d have told me I’d have been excited to see a new Halloween film a few years ago I’d have called you a liar. If you told me I’d be really excited about a new Halloween film made by the guys that made Pineapple Express, I’d probably have discounted anything you ever said or would say. But that’s exactly what has happened. So eagerly I got to the cinema as soon as I could to watch David Gordon Green’s rebooted, sequel thing that annoyingly has just been called Halloween (side note, can this stop, it was bad enough with games like Doom and God Of War, I don’t need it in cinema’s aswell). I’d avoided trailers and most reviews, other than seeing that mostly people had liked it, making sure my enjoyment wasn’t spoiled in any way. Anyway, to cut to the chase, it’s good, pretty damn good in fact. I know for some people that’ll be enough, but for anyone who wants a proper review, keep reading. This time I promise that there won’t be spoilers other than some character names and the scantest of plot details that I’ll need to even vaguely write this, but nothing that you won’t find from just popping on IMDB for two seconds.

I’ll start off with the fact I love the original, but that love came slowly. It was one of my least favourite slashers to begin with, lacking the camp, gory fun of Friday the 13th or the sheer terror of Texas Chain Saw Massacre. However that’s changed and I’ve learned to love it and it’s now probably one of my favourite films ever. I quite liked 2 as well and 3, although that’s ones not relevant to this conversation. I also do like Rob Zombies original remake, even if it doesn’t strike me as the most in keeping with Halloween lore and the eerie creepiness of the original. I know defending that has probably just lost me some credibility, but stick with me. If you found Zombie’s film ruined the mystique of Myers then you’re in luck. This is Halloween as Carpenter-esque as you can get without the master behind the lens.

Without spoiling the plot at all, this is mainly because this film treats Myers as the boogeyman he was in the original, an unstoppable killing machine that just looks awesome, whether he’s imposingly stood over a victim or ominously loitering in the background of shots. This film nails that mix of terror and excitement the best slasher villains have, and it’s all the better for it. Myers is a lot more brutal here than the original, mainly due to the obvious increase in budget, but this isn’t a gore flick, and you’ll be disappointed if that’s what you’ve come for. Myers is still more effective as just being freakily evil and emotionless, like that original incarnation. Myers is played by two actors here, James Jude Courtney for the heavy lifting, and Nick Castle, one of the many original Myers actors from the first film (he’s the one that is in most of the original). Just giving a shout out to the mask design for this as well, it looks worn without looking tacky, and really does capture the sense of the original design.

Plot wise we have two scenarios playing out, Michael versus the occupants of Haddonfield, and Michael versus Laurie Strode, played by a returning Jamie Lee Curtis (who’s clearly loving being in this, she gives the performance of her career in my opinion). Both work in their own right, I just wish they married up better. For once a horror film has teenagers that A. are actually likeable, and B. Reminded me of actual teenagers, which is amazing. Also we get a fantastic performance from a kid (Jibrail Nantambu) who literally steals the film out from under everyone to be my favourite character in any film this year,. Put this kid in more films, he’s ace. But sometimes these scenes feel so isolated from Laurie’s story, the clear central narrative, that they feel almost perfunctory. I don’t think they hurt the film in anyway, and it really helps the pacing as it means you get a kill every few minutes, I just feel that at some point they had more weight. This may have something to do with the roughly half an hour cut out for pacing reasons. That being said what characters we do get are really interesting, Allyson played by newcomer Andi Matichak is great and I hope she gets the scream queen status Curits gained for the original. I just wish it all tied together more, but then I’d have little to complain about at all.

On the technical side the films very well done. Green has an eye for set pieces and how to shoot them, including a lovely extended steady cam shot that has really stuck in my mind. Cinematographer Michael Simmonds clearly loves flashing police lights, but overall does well to keep a very dark film clear, something that cant be said for some big budget films I’ve seen recently. Seriously if you want to shoot in the dark that’s fine, but just make sure we can actually see what’s going on. Fortunately we don’t have that issue here. What we do have are lots of nice homages to not only the original, but a lot of the sequels as well, which is a really nice touch for fans. I’m sure you already know that Carpenter returned to score this film, along with band mates Cody Carpenter and Daniel A. Davies. It cannot be over stated how much this helps the film feel just like Halloween should. It was a joy to hear the iconic theme in an auditorium, along with many other familiar motifs. I rushed to order the soundtrack as soon as I got home from the screening, so that’s a sign that it’s ace.

Overall I think what we have here is a great, passionately made fan film. Don’t let that sound like a bad thing, this is a film made by fans of the original for fans of the original. I will advice anyone who wants to see this who hasn’t seen the original to watch it before hand. The new film makes little accommodation if you haven’t seen the original, and you’re just missing out anyway. But if you have seen it and were worried this was going to disappoint, don’t. It’s by no means perfect, I do think the film stumbles over its two plots, but my God does it pull them back together. I’ll end by saying that I’ve been disappointed by lots of horror film climax’s recently, that they feel like the worst part of the film. That’s not the case here, it’s one of the best horror finales I’ve seen in ages, for easily one of my favourite films of the year.