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Movie reviews (titles starting with F)
02-10-2013, 03:49 PM (This post was last modified: 02-08-2017 03:17 AM by goodcop2000.)
Post: #1
Movie reviews (titles starting with F)
Fascination (1979)
3 remote castles

Fascination is a film from French director Jean Rollin. The plot is about a criminal on the run who seeks refuge in a castle occupied by two women. The man thinks he is in control of the situation but there is more to the women than meets the eye. Although there are a lot of plot holes, the story kept me interested to the end. Bad acting keeps me from giving this movie a higher rating.

The Ferryman (2007)
1 life jacket

This awful horror takes place on a chartered boat as the unwitting passengers face a mysterious enemy. My suggestion: Go for a walk. Have a snack. Read some comic books. Just find SOMETHING to do with that 100 minutes other than watching this dog of a movie.

Fido (2006)
4.5 zombie paper boys

Whoever first came up with the concept for this film is a genius. Fido is sort of Leave it to Beaver with domesticated zombies. The film is set in the 50's after a zombie apocalypse. Mankind has managed to win the war and has even found a way to make use of the zombies as manual laborers. The story focuses on a young boy who becomes very attached to his family's pet zombie, Fido. An unfortunate set of circumstances allows Fido's killer instincts to surface and the boy has to cover things up to protect Fido. The characters are complex and well-written. The acting is top-notch with especially impressive performances from Carrie-Ann Moss as the housewife, Henry Czerny as the leader of a corporation that regulates the domesticated zombies, and Billy Connolly as Fido. The zombie carnage is presented in a comedic manner so the movie is not scary at all but it is very funny and, at times, absurdly touching.

La Fin de Notre Amour (2003)
1.5 perplexing images

This is a 12-minute short film from directors Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani who went on to make Amer. The movie feels like a bizarre nightmare and is not my cup of tea.

The Final Conflict (1981)
2.5 ferocious beagles

In this third installment of the Omen series, the Antichrist Damien Thorn has grown to adulthood and a religious sect is pledged to stop him from rising to power. The plot is boring and predictable and the movie suffers from poor editing. Moments that are obviously supposed to be scary and intense fall flat. Sam Neill overacts in the role of Thorn and overall this is a weak entry in the series.

Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane (2007)
3.5 tasty brains

I came in with low expectations and I was very pleasantly surprised at how entertaining this film was. Flight of the Living Dead did a nice job with character development, although the characters were admittedly classic horror archetypes. There were touches of humor, especially from actor Kevin J. O'Connor who plays a prisoner, without overshadowing the horror. There was a nice transition from the setup to the action portion of the film when it turned into a bloody gorefest (in a good way). If you like bloody horror and people getting eaten, this movie should be right in your wheelhouse.

The Fly (1958)
4 sticky webs

The Fly tells the tale of a scientist whose experiment goes horribly wrong. The story is entertaining and the acting is good, highlighted by the performance of Vincent Price. The special effects are limited due to the era of the film. Even before I rewatched the film to prepare for this review, the memorable ending was already seared into my brain from many childhood viewings.

The Fly (1986)
4 double helixes

It seems nowadays that Hollywood can barely come up with an original idea when you see the stunning number of remakes/sequels/adaptations that come out every year. But once in a while the student can be greater than the master. This David Cronenberg remake of a darn good 1958 black and white film is really good. The very impressive makeup and special effects keep you immersed in this story of a man doomed to a slow, horrible transformation after an experiment goes awry.

The Fly II (1989)
3.5 hidden cameras

The Fly II serves up a surprisingly good story about Martin Brundle, son of doomed scientist Seth from The Fly. I really liked the performance from Eric Stoltz as Martin. The makeup and creature effects are good and some of the gore effects are great. Considering this is a sequel to a remake, the movie is quite entertaining.

The Fog (1980)
3.5 restless spirits

The Fog is another classic from horror master John Carpenter. The plot is simple but entertaining. It involves a coastal town facing an invasion by a group of spirits seeking revenge. The soundtrack is cool and contributes to a nice atmosphere which gives the feel of an old 1940s ghost story. The acting is decent with a cast that features Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Atkins, and Hal Holbrook.

The Fog (2005)
2 restless spirits

This remake of the 1980 John Carpenter film explains the spirits' backstory a little better, but lacks the eerie atmosphere of the original. It has some cool visual effects and images but also some poorly done CGI effects. Selma Blair does a nice job in the leading role but the rest of the acting performances are poor. Another big factor in my low rating for this movie is the disappointing ending.

Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion (1970)
3.5 secret meetings

This giallo is about a woman who becomes a victim of blackmail in order to protect her husband. The plot has a lot of twists and turns. While not as violent or bloody as an Argento film, the story is entertaining.

Forget Me Not (2009)
2.5 lost memories

Forget Me Not has a clever premise: when high school girl Sandy's friends start to disappear, she is the only one that remembers they ever existed at all. Sandy, played by Carly Schroeder, tries to figure out what is happening and how it is connected to a person from her distant past. The cast is attractive but not particularly talented. The makeup and special effects on the evil monsters that make an appearance are not bad, but the movie never reaches its potential for me.

The Forgotten (2004)
3 torn wallpapers

The Forgotten is a psychological thriller about a grieving mother who is told that her child never existed. There are a few effectively eerie moments and the story is interesting in an X-Files way but gets pretty convoluted toward the end. I am not a fan of most CGI effects and this film includes some poor ones. The acting is pretty good. Julianne Moore is particularly believable as the grieving mother. After watching both the theatrical version and the extended DVD version with an alternate ending, I prefer the latter. However, neither of the endings are very good.

Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971)
3 mysterious phone calls

Featuring a story about a man being blackmailed for an accidental murder, Four Flies on Grey Velvet doesn't have the same magic for me as most of Dario Argento's giallos. The plot is not bad and there is some interesting camera work but it's not one of his best efforts. The acting performances are pretty poor and the soundtrack is subpar. That being said, even bad Argento is better than a lot of other movies!

The Fourth Kind (2009)
2 alien probes

This movie really only has a couple of spine-tingling moments to offer. Unless you're a big fan of alien movies or you can't get enough of Milla Jovovich, you can skip this one.

Frankenhooker (1990)
3 assorted body parts

This horror/comedy about a man building a new girlfriend from the corpses of prostitutes is surprisingly amusing. The leading actor and actress are both very funny. The special effects are mediocre but the aim of the film is obviously to be funny, not scary. Although it was released in 1990, the hairstyles and clothing fashions are very 80s.

Frankenstein (1931)
4 dismembered corpses

Who can forget the mad Dr. Frankenstein yelling "It's alive!" Although it's not very scary by modern standards, this is a horror classic. I love the fact that by the end of the movie you feel as much pity for the monster as for his victims.

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
3.5 full moons

This was one of the classic Universal horror movies that I watched over and over when I was young. Lon Chaney, Jr. reprises his role as the cursed werewolf Larry Talbot and Bela Lugosi steps in as Frankenstein's monster in a fun movie featuring the two iconic monsters. The explanation for the Wolf Man's return is a little weak but I can forgive that as I nervously watch the desperate Talbot chipping away the ice to uncover the frozen monster. I recently watched this with my young kids and they loved it, too.

Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
3.5 striped sweaters/bloody axes

While this movie is not scary, it is absolutely fun! Watching Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees share the big screen is a blast. For reasons not worth going into, Freddy tricks Jason into coming to Springwood to bend, fold, and mutilate some teens. The local authorities believe Freddy is back, not realizing he is just half of their problem, so it falls to a group of young men and women to try to stop the carnage. Some of the dialogue is a little cheesy, but the acting performances are adequate for a horror. I particularly enjoyed seeing Katharine Isabelle who starred in the werewolf film Ginger Snaps. The movie maintains a dark atmosphere but does deliver a few amusing snippets. My favorite line, delivered after Jason hacks his way through a rave in a cornfield, is "Dude, that goalie was PISSED about something!" If you are a fan of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, or both, check this movie out and enjoy it for what it is.

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
3 striped sweaters

I believe the film makers really did mean to end the series with this film which was a good decision at that point. The storyline is that Freddy Krueger has literally killed every child in the town of Springwood, OH, except for one teenager who he plans to use as a way to expand his horizons. That teenager, played by Shon Greenblatt, suffers from amnesia and ends up in a home for juvenile delinquents where he seeks help from counselor Maggie Burroughs, played by Lisa Zane. The big weakness in the film is that it is just not scary. The overuse of comedy by Krueger that I disliked in A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 is even more plentiful in this 6th installment in the series. In fact, Freddy's Dead at one point features Krueger dressed up as the Wicked Witch of the West for a laugh. Zane gives a nice acting performance, as does Breckin Meyer who plays the stoner delinquent Spencer. Unfortunately, Spencer is also featured in the movie's most ridiculous scene in which Freddy uses a joystick to control Spencer in a dream video game. The only reason I rank this movie ahead of Elm Street 5 is that new details about Freddy Krueger's mortal life are revealed and Robert Englund is at his best in those scenes. There is also a very brief but entertaining cameo appearance by one of the stars from the original film.

Frenzy (1972)
4 knotted ties

Frenzy is one of Alfred Hitchcock's last films and is about a rapist/murderer terrorizing London. In keeping with the subject, the movie is more violent and openly sexual than any other Hitchcock movie that I've seen. The plot is nicely arranged and the acting is excellent. As usual with Hitchcock there are touches of humor and several scenes full of suspense, particularly a classic scene that takes place in the back of a truck full of potatoes. While you probably won't find Frenzy on most lists of Hitchcock's greatest movies, I found it highly entertaining and vastly superior to most modern thrillers.

Friday the 13th (1980)
3.5 bloody axes

While some of the later installments in the Friday the 13th series became somewhat of a joke, this original that started it all is a pretty entertaining horror movie. A group of young counselors arrive at Camp Crystal Lake to help get the summer camp up and running despite rumors about tragic deaths in the past. It quickly becomes apparent that somebody does not welcome the newcomers' arrival as blood begins to flow. The acting performances are not magnificent but adequate and the special effects are pretty good. The best portion of this movie is the ending which features a couple of unexpected twists. I wonder how many young kids refused to go to summer camps out in the dark, lonely woods after seeing this film.

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
3.5 bloody axes

This sequel introduces probably the most famous big screen killer in history. Jason Voorhees is all grown up and ready to slaughter silly teenagers who dare to venture near Crystal Lake. Early in his homicidal career, Jason has not yet adopted his signature hockey mask but instead wears a burlap sack over his head in this film. In addition to providing the expected murder and mayhem, the film does a nice job building tension in scenes and there are some good scares. The Friday the 13th franchise is a cornerstone in the slasher genre and this is an entertaining entry in the series.

Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
3.5 bloody axes

In this 3rd installment in the Friday the 13th series, the setting changes from summer camp to a farm where a group of teens travel to spend a fun weekend. Jason Voorhees, fresh from his murderous rampage in Part 2, ends up visiting the unlucky teens. The highlights of this movie include Jason acquiring his iconic hockey mask, some memorable kills, and a very entertaining final chase scene at the end of the movie. The mostly poor acting (even for a slasher film) and the lack of any real plot keep this from being a great movie. A side plot involving a motorcycle gang harassing the teens is somewhat ridiculous. In addition, the theatrical release of this film was in 3D. A few scenes may have benefited, but some gratuitous 3D effects (e.g. a yo-yo dropping toward the screen and popcorn popping at the viewer) are silly and make the film feel gimmicky.

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
4 bloody axes

This 4th installment and supposed "final chapter" is my favorite in the Friday the 13th series. Picking up right where Part III left off, we see killer Jason Voorhees taken to the morgue, but his stay is brief. Jason is nothing if not persistent and he returns to Crystal Lake to terrorize a family in one home and the crowd of bawdy, partying teens (of course) that are staying next door. Special effects wizard Tom Savini does a great job with Jason's appearance and the numerous death scenes are very well done. The cast of potential victims is more interesting than usual and includes Corey Feldman as young Tommy Jarvis, twin blondes with British accents, and Crispin Glover as a quirky teen. This is one of Feldman's best performances and Glover delivers a maniacal dancing scene that you will never forget. If you are a fan of 80's slasher films, you should not miss this one.

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
3 bloody axes

Many fans of the Friday the 13th franchise hate this 5th installment. Apart from overly campy acting performances from a couple of minor characters, I actually enjoyed the movie. It delivers the expected bloody elements of a slasher film and the story is pretty fun. After Tommy Jarvis survived the events of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, he grew up in mental hospitals, eventually arriving at a rural teen halfway house. Prone to violent outbursts and apparent hallucinations, Tommy is the prime suspect when his fellow residents start to die. After all, it's impossible for Jason Voorhees to be back, right?

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
2.5 bloody axes

The plot of Jason Lives follows Tommy Jarvis who has grown up into a disturbed young man since he violently killed Jason in The Final Chapter. Tommy is still obsessed with Jason and digs up his body to burn it. An ill-timed lightning strike instead brings Jason's decomposed body back to life and he wastes no time getting back to his favorite hobby: killing young camp counselors. In addition to the Keystone Kops treatment given to the local law enforcement, Jason's encounter with a group of goofball business executives playing paint ball in the woods is purely comedy relief but not particularly funny. In fact, Jason Lives is much more campy comedy than horror film. The acting is pretty bad, too, but that's really not the downfall of the movie. The ending is the best part of the movie, although it does set up Friday the 13th Part VII which may not be a good thing.

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
3 bloody axes

Thankfully, The New Blood gets away from the zany comedy that plagued the prior installment, Jason Lives. The protagonist in the film is the mentally disturbed Tina Shepard played by Lar Park-Lincoln. The guilt-ridden Tina has some extraordinary gifts, including telekinesis and prescience, that aid her in her battle against the immortal killer Jason Voorhees. One of my favorite Jason kills is found in this movie, when Jason grabs a young woman who tries to hide in her sleeping bag in a tent. Most of the film is rather boring, however, with Jason hacking and slashing his way through a slew of uninteresting characters. There is a cool scene when Jason's mask comes off and I enjoyed most of the final battle but the movie ends in a pretty lame fashion.

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
2.5 bloody axes

It is hard to be original when you are making part 8 of any series. I give the movie makers credit for at least changing up the scenery for Jason's carnage in Jason Takes Manhattan. The title is definitely misleading, though. Due to budget constraints, most of the film takes place on a boat which is carrying a group of very unlucky high school graduates to New York City. Freshly revived Jason Voorhees hitches a ride on the boat and provides his unique form of on-board entertainment. Friday the 13th fans may be happy to just watch Jason obliterate teens in many different fashions. However, if you are looking for actual scares, good acting, or a storyline that makes sense, look elsewhere.

Friday the 13th (2009)
2.5 bloody axes

I am starting to get tired of the endless parade of Hollywood remakes, especially remakes of landmark horrors from the '70s and '80s. This particular remake only briefly addresses the events of the first Friday the 13th, instead focusing on elements from several of the sequels. While I don't consider the Friday the 13th movies to be on the same level as John Carpenter's Halloween or Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jason Voorhees is deservedly a horror icon. This new version of the story offers nothing new other than some annoying changes in Jason's behavior. There are a couple of decent trademark kills, but the menu of young victims for Jason is mostly comprised of poor actors playing undeveloped and unsympathetic characters. While most of the films have featured some sex and drug usage, this version over-emphasizes both and features at least one scene that is basically porn. Fans of the original series will most likely be disappointed in this adaptation.

Fright Night (1985)
3.5 dripping fangs

Fright Night was a breath of fresh air in the mid-80's when the horror genre was awash with "slasher films". I loved the performances in the movie including Chris Sarandon as the stately vampire, William Ragsdale as the normal kid who discovers a dark secret and, of course, Roddy McDowall as the late night horror movie host. This movie is a nice mix of humor and horror.

Fright Night Part 2 (1988)
3 dripping fangs

Ragsdale and McDowall reprise their roles from the original film well but I just didn't find part 2 quite as entertaining. It's worth a watch if you liked the first one.

Fright Night (2011)
3.5 dripping fangs

It's always risky to do a remake of a popular film like the 1985 cult classic Fright Night. In this case, the film makers got it right. For those who missed the 80's version, Fright Night is about a young man (Charley Brewster) who starts to suspect that his new neighbor is a vampire and enlists the help of a gothic TV personality (Peter Vincent) to investigate. This remake has enough similarity in characters and plot to retain the feel of the original but enough new material to keep it interesting. The film is cast well and the acting performances are above average for a horror film. I particularly enjoyed Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Charley's friend, Evil Ed. I also have to give kudos to David Tennant who had the difficult job of replacing Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent. The special effects are pretty good, with some decent CGI that is not overused. As in the original film, there is some humor mixed in with the horror.

The Frighteners (1996)
4 restless spirits

I knew The Frighteners starred Michael J. Fox so I was expecting it to be a silly comedy but it's not and it's a much better movie than I expected. It has good special effects for its time, nice acting, darkly humorous elements, and an engaging plot.

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
3.5 dripping fangs

Although the movie is directed by Robert Rodriguez, the screenplay was written by Quentin Tarantino and it features his trademarks: snappy dialogue, copious violence, and a great soundtrack. The plot involves two outlaw brothers on the run (played by Tarantino and George Clooney) who hijack a vacationing family's RV to evade capture. Unfortunately for everybody involved, the police are the least of their worries. The acting is much better in this film than most horrors because the cast features a number of big names including the aforementioned Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Salma Hayek, and Danny Trejo. Seasoned horror fans will enjoy seeing appearances by special effects wizards Tom Savini and Greg Nicotero as well. While the movie is a bit campy, there is a lot of action and the story is fun. The CGI effects used for transformations are somewhat dated but otherwise the makeup and effects are excellent.

From Hell (2001)
3.5 mutilated corpses

Johnny Depp is very good in this movie about the investigation into the Jack the Ripper murders. It's nice to see some familiar actors (Hagrid from Harry Potter and Bilbo Baggins from Lord of the Rings) in a different setting. The movie is dark and creepy without being overly gory. I was impressed by how well the film conveys the misery and hopelessness of the prostitutes living in poverty.

The Funhouse (1981)
3.5 creepy carnies

Tobe Hooper, who also did the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist, directed this film. It is about a group of teens who visit a carnival and foolishly decide to spend the night in the funhouse for kicks. They get more than they bargained for when they witness a murder. The plot setup to get to the scary portion of the movie takes a long time, but the movie maintains a creepy atmosphere and fits a lot of action in at the end. The acting is average for a horror film. There are not many special effects but the movie has a nice soundtrack.

The Fury (1978)
3.5 secret government agencies

The Fury has an interesting plot similar to Stephen King's Firestarter. It involves a shadowy government agency trying to control and manipulate people with special powers. The movie has a great cast including Kirk Douglas, Amy Irving, and John Cassavetes and also features a terrific John Williams score. I found one scene involving an explosion unintentionally funny because it is shown over and over for dramatic effect.
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03-22-2013, 04:56 PM
Post: #2
RE: Full movie reviews (titles starting with F, G, H)
Spot on review for The Horde (La Horde)
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03-23-2013, 02:39 PM
Post: #3
RE: Full movie reviews (titles starting with F, G, H)
(03-22-2013 04:56 PM)samuraitrev Wrote:  Spot on review for The Horde (La Horde)

Thanks, Trev. It always cheers me up to know that as busy as you are, you check out some of my reviews. Watchmen02

“By the time I realized the danger, it was scratching at my front door.”
― Max Brooks, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
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