Hey, friends. Welcome to a new feature. The Cutting Room will be a monthly post where the three of us do short, single-person reviews for movies we’ve watched over the last month without the other two participating because why would we include each other?
We have a long list of films to review, and while the movies you see here haven’t come up quite yet, they may receive the full review treatment in the future. Stay tuned and let us know if there’s anything you think we should watch. We’re always looking for ways to get more content to you beautiful people.
Devil's Due (2014)
Jack’s Score: 4 Questionably Positive Pregnancy Tests
Eli Roth really liked this movie. Like, apparently, really liked it. I did not. It was not as bad as I was expecting, and I can’t say that I was unhappy to have watched the movie, but it did nothing for me. The movie is found footage, but it’s a fucking weird amalgamation of Paranormal Activity-style handheld cam, random security footage that’s thrown in for no reason, and the spy-cam footage of some goddamned weirdos that broke into the protagonists’ house for no apparent reason other than the main character decided he didn’t want to lug a camera around anymore when shit got intense. The movie can boast a few good scenes that were interestingly shot and worked quite well, but overall I can’t imagine remembering this a year from now.
Let Us Prey (2015)
Jake’s Score: 7 Matchsticks
This is a beautifully shot movie out of Ireland, and goddamn does director Brian O’Malley lay the stylishness on thick. From start to finish, you can’t take your eyes off the screen. This is mostly due to an absolutely awesome performance by Liam Cunningham who does not have a name in the film but is credited as “Six”. There is a lot to be discussed about this one and this isn’t the venue for review or spoilers, so I’ll say this: Though not without its issues, if you want a horror movie that is great to look at, well acted, really brutal and makes you think, Let Us Prey has you covered.
Turbo Kid (2015)
Jake’s Score: 6.5 Rainbow-Colored Turbo Gloves
Turbo Kid is an insanely fun entry from Canada/New Zealand. This team absolutely nailed the campy 80’s aesthetic they were going for and turned in one of the more over the top movies I’ve seen in quite some time. And it’s over the top in all the right ways. Think of a love letter to the midnight movie that’s firing on all cylinders, from absurdly gory violence to overacted, hilarious dialogue, to an incredible synth score. Sure, it’s extraordinarily kitschy and low-budget. It has its limitations. Maybe it’s because I’m nostalgic, but this nuclear ravaged, dystopian “future” of 1997 had me smiling the whole way through. Throw this one on with your friends and have a few beers.
Insidious Chapter 3 (2015)
Mark’s Score: 5.5 Tar Covered Foot Prints
I love the Insidious movies, but it seems they’ve been on a steady decline since the first one. Chapter 3 is actually a prequel to the first two, which makes the name a bit confusing, but what are you gonna do? Anyway, without giving too much away, this one brings in a new family as a means of showing the origins of the ghost busting team from the first two chapters. It certainly has its moments, but otherwise it’s a pretty standard story that relies heavily on special effects to get the job done.
Sinister 2 (2015)
Mark’s Score: 2 Bullshit HAM Radios
This movie was bad. Really bad. Really really bad. I actually liked the first one, but the writers for sequel drew on all of the wrong things from it, and this entry just plays like you’re reading a bulleted list of ways to torture-murder people. Yeah, the scenes are graphic and actually a bit creative, but they don’t have any of the mystery or suspense that the first film had. They are literally presented to you as a to-do list that you have to get through in order to move the story forward. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I think I would rather re-watch The Lazarus Effect.
Mark’s Score: 4 GoPros
This movie has a few things going for it. It’s found footage, which I love and will always rate higher than it deserves. It's also got a pretty unique concept - getting hunted by a sasquatch. Unfortunately that’s basically all it has going for it and the product ends up being very formulaic: horny 20 somethings, cabin in the woods with no cell phone reception, increasingly poor decisions regarding dealing with the situation, etc. You could easily replace the sasquatch with serial killers or hillbillies or another monster, and end up with a nearly identical product. There is a bit of a twist at the end that’s meant to justify everything I suppose, but it didn’t really add much to the movie.