Movies out Today: 30 October 2015

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It’s (almost) all about Halloween this weekend! We have a surprisingly good meta-adaptation of the famously spooky R.L. Stine book series Goosebumps, a disturbing but beautiful horror love story from Guillermo del Toro, a sadly not-so-scary home invasion thriller, a movie about the dark allure of violent gangsters, and one Russian produced and Afrikaans dubbed animated movie about The Snow Queen randomly thrown in the mix.

  • Goosebumps

Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach’s comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange… he is a prisoner of his own imagination – the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it’s suddenly up to Stine, Zach, and Hannah to get all of them back in the books where they belong.

To say that Goosebumps is “not as bad as you thought it would be” is actually pretty high praise. From the meta-plot to Jack Black as the lead to the fact that the trailer made me roll my eyes, everything points towards being a complete disaster. But, somehow, it’s not. It’s really not. It’s engaging and funny with just enough horror to keep you on edge. Somehow, against all odds, this is actually a good movie. Like, 3.5/5 stars good from Kervyn. Huh, who’d have thought?

  • Crimson Peak

When her heart is stolen by a seductive stranger, a young woman is swept away to a house atop a mountain of blood-red clay: a place filled with secrets that will haunt her forever. Between desire and darkness, between mystery and madness, lies the truth behind Crimson Peak. From the imagination of director Guillermo del Toro comes a supernatural mystery starring Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam

With Guillermo del Toro at the helm, you know it’s going to be hauntingly beautiful. And yes, visually Crimson Peak is an absolute feast. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie doesn’t have the same strengths. All the extravagant design can’t quite make up for a seriously slow-moving plot that turns out to be more love story than horror story. With only 2.5/5 stars from Alwynne, it’s clear what happens when you choose style over substance. Nevertheless, del Toro has crafted a delightfully creepy, gothic and macabre world for you to spend Halloween, if you don’t mind that it’s mostly a Valentine’s movie instead.

  • Knock Knock

When a devoted husband and father is left home alone for the weekend, two stranded young women unexpectedly knock on his door for help. What starts out as a kind gesture results in a dangerous seduction and a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Aww, boo. I really thought Knock Knock would do better than this. It had a lot of promise, and most critics are agreeing that there was a sense of “it could have been more”. It could have been more satirical, instead it came out campy. It could have had deep characters, instead it came out with two dimensional walking plot devices. It could have been both sexier and gorier, instead it’s practically soft-core (in both respects). Both Eli Roth and Keanu Reeves could have done better than 33% on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • Legend

From Academy Award (R) winner Brian Helgeland comes the true story of the rise and fall of London’s most notorious gangsters, Reggie and Ron Kray, both portrayed by Tom Hardy in an incredible performance. LEGEND is a classic crime thriller taking us into the secret history of the 1960s and the extraordinary events that secured the infamy of the Kray Twins.

What’s better than Tom Hardy? MORE Tom Hardy! And that’s the best thing about Legend. The film might not live up to its name, but Hardy’s performance as both main characters is utterly mesmerising. As a gangster biopic it doesn’t fair too well though, only earning 62% on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • Sneeukoniging

Gerda en haar broer Kai stryd aansê tussen goed en kwaad. Die Sneeukoningin, wat graag ’n nuwe wêreld wil skep waar dit altyd winter is en waar die ysige Poolse winde die mense se siele afkoel en die skoon, koue lyne van die winterlandskap mense se emosies onderdruk, het die wêreld met ys bedek en beplan nou om alle kuns te vernietig. Maar ’n towerspieël het voorspel dat die meesterglasmaker Vegard, wie se spieëls nie net mense se voorkoms nie, maar ook hulle siele weerspieël, die Sneeukoningin en haar koninkryk bedreig. Op ’n dag waai die Poolse winde vir Vergard en sy vrou Una weg, maar hulle slaag daarin om hulle dogtertjie Gerda en babaseuntjie Kai weg te steek. Kort daarna ontdek een van die Sneeukoningin se bediendes vir Kai en sy glo vas dat hy Vegard se opvolger is. Nadat Kai deur die Sneeukoningin ontvoer en in haar paleis opgesluit is, vertrek Gerda op ’n reis deur die ysige wonderland, vergesel van Luta, haar troetelfret en Orm, die trol. Gerda kom voor ’n hele paar moeilike struikelblokke te staan en maak nuwe vriende in haar poging om Kai te bevry, maar sy sal die Sneeukoningin moet verslaan en die harte van mense orals moet verower om die wêreld te red.

So, this is kind of a weird movie. Originally a “Russian-French-American-Emirati-Iranian 3D computer-animated adventure fantasy comedy family film” made in 2012 by Russian based studio Wizart, it’s now been (kind of badly) dubbed into Afrikaans and brought to our shores. Why? I’m not entirely sure, but let’s roll with it. Although, this seems more like a Christmas movie than something to come out on Halloween weekend, but if the shops can do their decorations early I guess Christmas movies can be released too soon as well.

Read  Movies out Today: 03 November 2017

Last Updated: October 30, 2015

Tracy Benson

All about movies, board games, cider, sci-fi, fantasy and geek culture.

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