Chills and Thrills featuring Howl, Parasite, The Brass Teapot…

Welcome to The ScreenSlut’s Chills and Thrills, a monthly column of mini-reviews where I talk about movies and TV shows that I have found interesting, compelling, forgettable or just horrifically bad. This entry features a psychotic fan, a disaster tidal wave, demons that possess people through tech and a murderous AI.

The Brass Teapot

The Brass Teapot

The Brass Teapot reminded me of the black comedy film, Cheap Thrills. Except rather than bored upper class people manipulating with money, instead it features a magical teapot that rewards our protagonist couple for hurting themselves. The Brass Teapot never goes quite as dark as Cheap Thrills, although it does get pretty close at some points. The characters in this are a lot more relatable and likeable which really makes their journey towards the darker side more tragic to watch. It really does do a good job of shifting the tone of the movie from comedy to darker serious drama quite well.

Howl

Howl

Howl is a very British film featuring a werewolf attack after a train gets stuck in the middle of a forest. The characters are fairly unlikeable, which probably doesn’t help it to be as entertaining as it could have been. Perhaps it was a bit too realistic in its portrayal of commuters. A large portion of Howl is filled with arguing, and not enough action for me. Also the werewolf design looked a bit too cheap to feel truly scary. This was definitely a film that could have benefited from some sleight of hand when showing the monsters, and a some more adept character building to make the dialogue something the audience could feel invested in.

Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter

The name is pretty terrible and not very accurate after watching the film. The alternative title “Dark Was the Night” is more apt and sounds less like a cheesy creature feature, which this wasn’t. Set in a small town, an evil is unleashed upon the residents after a logging company disturbs the neighbouring woods.

Unlike Howl, the character development was really well done. But where this feel short was the lack of build-up, there are a lot of threats towards the main cop from this evil creature but the mounting tension loses some of its momentum when nothing drastic really happens until the end. They do not show the creature until the end, but yeah, the CGI was not the best. However, the last showdown was fairly intense, I just wish they had done more with it than just the final fight.

Haywire

Haywire

This is the movie that I probably fell in love with Gina Carano, who doesn’t love a woman kicking ass (I know I do). *Due to recent controversies surrounding her, I am not longer a fan.

You may know Carano from Fast and Furious and more recently from The Mandalorian, but I still feel Haywire is her best role so far. Carano plays a black ops soldier who is seeking payback after being betrayed by the agency she works for.

Pretty basic plot but it is really the fights in this that I am watching for. They are beautiful in their ferocity and violence, I would liken it a bit to The Raid fighting style but a lot more messy and realistic. This is definitely one of those movies where you can really feel the full force of the beating our main character doles out to her enemies.

Tidal Wave

Tidal Wave

Now this was a very odd disaster movie. As you can guess from the title – the residents of Busan are going to be hit with a tidal wave, but they only have a 10-minute warning before they are enveloped by the lethal waves. I have watched a few disaster movies lately that seem to want to ignore the disaster until the end, which this unfortunately did. But that wasn’t the worst issue with this, it was the tone of the film, which was completely all over the place. It was like it couldn’t decide if it was a serious film or a comedy and tried to mash them together with a lopsided effect, entertaining at times, but ultimately felt overly long.

The Order

The Order

This was my new favourite supernatural show until I found out it had been killed by the Netflix hammer again. I really feel like it could have been a supernatural classic, if it was only given the chance. Following Jack Morton who is seeking revenge for his mother’s death, he joins a secret order to hunt down the man he feels is responsible. But he soon finds himself in the midst of an ancient war between werewolves and practitioners of dark magic.

Yes this is a teen drama, but the great thing is that it doesn’t feel like a teen drama. The characters were all well written with comedic and serious sides perfectly balanced. I still recommend seeing it, just because good supernatural TV shows are thin on the ground. I will definitely be watching the director and writers to see what they will do next.

Debug

Debug

Another attempt at finding a hidden sci-fi gem with this entry, but it did not live up to expectations. Featuring Jason Momoa, as a vengeful artificial intelligence who takes hostage six criminals, who are working their sentence off using their computer hacker skills, it’s a fight to outsmart him. It was pretty decent for the majority of it. The acting was OK but not great and the characters were competent enough, but it really let itself down with the corny ending.

Parasite

Parasite

Now when this came out, there was a lot of hype around Parasite on social media. I choose to not watch it at that time, as I didn’t want to be influenced by any outside forces. It was a very interesting film, but I don’t think it lived up to it’s cinema-defining billing. A poor family who have to work for peanuts, come across a stroke of luck when they find a gullible family, who are looking for some staff members. With fake credentials and some acting, they worm their way into lucrative positions, but how long can they continue this scam?

For someone who watches a lot of foreign films, the story was not the unique genre bounding feature that a lot of reviewers have claimed it to be. Personally I feel like it only got the level of hype that it did because not a lot of people have delved deeply into world cinema. Don’t get me wrong, Parasite is a very interesting film and worth the watch, just don’t set your expectations too high.

Misery

Misery

An oldie but a goodie. I haven’t seen Misery in years, so I wanted to see whether it would hold up, decades later. Thankfully it did. Definitely one of the better Stephen King adaptations, perhaps the best. Though I will say that the violence in this was less shocking than the first time around. I think that is just because we have been overwhelmed in entertainment by excessive and commonplace violence. If you haven’t seen it, the story is about a novelist who is injured in a car crash. He is rescued by a fan of his writing, but he soon becomes a prisoner of his carer, whose obsession with his works goes too far.

Nekrotronic

Nekrotronic

The name sounded really silly to me, so at first I was like “no to that”. It was only when I saw that it was done by the same people who did Wyrmwood which I featured in my Halloween movies list, that my interest was piqued. The premise is pretty silly but trust me, it works. It follows two colleagues that get stuck in the middle of a war between demon-hunters and the demons who are stealing people’s souls through the internet via smartphone apps.

It is a mash-up between a lot of fan favourites such as Ghostbusters, The Exorcist and The Matrix but more on the comedy side. This film is a lot of fun that with its tongue firmly in its cheek, but with a lot of bloody violence to satisfy the gore fanatics. And considering its budget, the special effects are pretty good, possibly because they aren’t heavily reliant on CGI.

That’s all for this Chills and Thrills.

In case you missed anything last month:

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