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Review Silk a.k.a. Gui si (2006): Probably one of the best mystery films around you never heard of!

genre: horror, mystery, science fiction, drama

Silk is a Taiwanese film with a mixed cast of Taiwanese and Japanese actors. And often the Taiwanese actors will talk Japanese to make matters even more confusing. It does add an international flair or scale if you will.  Chances are however you haven't even heard of this title. It certainly deserves an International audience. Find out why.

Silk very successfully combines science fiction, drama and horror. The pacing of Silk is just right. From the start you want to know what is going on. There are certainly enough scares and surprises. However you should keep in mind that this only is the case if you go in blind. Meaning if you know very little or nothing about the film. It could be stated that Silk is a little too ambitious for it's own good where one is trying to deepen the themes and characters. And the attempt is admirable. Ultimately it distracts somewhat and even falls a bit short. One example is the subplot involving Chen Chang (Tung). It's too melodramatic and illogical to make an impact.  

The horror elements of the story are subtle but scary when it needs to be. There aren't many characters involved and that is a good thing so it's clear you should put the focus on. There are quite a few pivotal matters that are not explained in the story. Like for example the cube they are using in the movie.  It's not necessary for the outcome of the main story, but it would have been nice had they actually given us a hint or two of what it's origins are. 

But what really makes the film worth it is the acting. The cast is great. Chen Chang really carries the film. The actor who plays Hashimoto also is wonderful. You can see in his eyes that he is too obsessed with the case. You aren't quite sure whether too trust him or not. Yet you do feel like rooting for him since you can sense he is at the brink of discovering amazing. 

It could be that some horror elements are a bit typical compared to other Asian horror films. Honestly, I never had a problem with this since the few scares in the films are very effective. But these scares are secondary to the mystery. The mystery itself is very compelling and you very gladly want to dive into it. Even upon a second viewing the mystery elements remain strong. The horror ones little less so. However there is a little sense of dread and tension felt throughout.

Overall this certainly will be worth your time if alone for the wonderful blend of genres.

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Review Ocean's 8 (2018): I fail to see how this is a good heist film, it's barely a film in the first place!

genre: crime, heist, thriller

All I wanted was a fun or thrilling heist flick. What I got in return was everything but fun or thrilling!

Was I bothered with an all female cast? Not in the slightest. Although the connection to the original cast and films was extremely poor and weak but for the sake of my own enjoyment I would not let that get in the way. I was very accepting of the all female crew. Especially since all of them were very lovable. How can't it not be with top notch actresses like Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter? But the cast is not the problem. How they were written however is very problematic. None of the characters have meat and substance to them. You barely get to know them and they don't seem to have much personality at all. There hardly is any meaningful or compelling dialogue between the characters. Nor is there any banter between them. I mean everyone gets along fine even when most of them don't know each other. Not a hint of rivalry or jealousy between them. Come on that's just unrealistic and unbelievable. Part of the fun in heist films is how these characters act towards each other but in this film there is none of that. Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean probably is the weakest character since it never felt like she was this mastermind. The plot goes out of their way to remind you that she is but to actually show a situation where her brilliance is shown? Take her introduction for example. She checks in a hotel masquerading as a guest who changed their mind of checking out. Is it ballsy? Perhaps. But clever. Hardly. It's a shame how I was never made to invest myself into these characters. 

The same could be said about the big heist. There is zero tension, suspense or comedy. Because these thieves are perfect in what they do. And that would have been fine had they actually been confronted with unexpected and unforeseen events. No everything goes very smoothly which is boring as hell. I have to admit that I had to commit myself to this film and pinch myself not to fall asleep. I tried watching this several times before and each time I couldn't get into it. I finally managed to however it should give you an indication of how slow and boring this film is. Despite the slick and stylish cinematography. At times this felt like those fancy cinematic commercials where all the fun stuff is cut out. 

They could have put in monkeys or aliens in the film and it still wouldn't have made the difference to the viewing experience. Let that sink in for a bit. Ocean's 8 is an empty film. It's devoid of the elements that make heist films compelling. It's not even funny. Forget about this and watch any other Ocean's film including the original with the Rat Pack.

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Review Kill Zone a.k.a. SPL: Sha po lang (2005): I hate to say it but this is mediocre!

genre: crime, drama, action, martial arts

Sometimes you wonder how a film that is less than remarkable still manages to gain such praise and popularity. Granted there are some factors that could make you overlook some major flaws. However that doesn't negate the fact that SPL is pretty mediocre.

So do I really think this ia a bad film? No. It's not bad. But there is very little to no story and even less character development. Normally this wouldn't be that much of an issue had the story given us the action you normally expect in a Donnie Yen film. There are two proper fights and they hardly last. They are good for sure but worth the wait? Not by a long shot. I am kind of perplexed what the aim was. SPL has a very minimalistic approach to everything except the melodrama. It's too heavy handed and bleak. I would have appreciated this if the film actually would have bothered to give us strong characters and a story that was actually compelling. It's pretty generic stuff with the usual cops versus robbers shenanigans. They couldn't even be bothered to make Sammo Hung truly villainous. He is pretty tame. Wu Jing's special appearance as the hired gun was easily far more evil.

To make matters worse the characters we are supposed to root for hardly are good guys themselves. If not for the melodrama and good acting I would have no sympathy for them at all. Some are their actions are very questionable. But it is asked of you to not make a big deal of it since their end goal is a noble one. Well, I was very willing since Simon Yam, Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung and Wu Jing do give this production that something special that gives you the illusion it's worth your time. 

To me it seems that this film was one big test run for Flash Point. Because they are very similar in tone and atmosphere. Only the story, characterization and action are superior in every way. The official sequel Sha po lang 2 also is a better film than the original. Since next to the dramatic elements it never forgets to deliver the action and spectacle. And let's face it that is why you watch Donnie Yen films in the first place.

Overall SPL is very disappointing if you were hoping for an action extravaganza. As triad drama it also is far too lacking to keep things compelling.   

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Review Blood Fest (2018): It means well, but it's far from the classic it could have been!

genre: horror, comedy

Blood Fest has a very interesting premise. Unfortunately it never quite delivers on the goodies that are promised. 

Blood Fest should be seen as a film in the same vein as Scream and Cabin in the Woods where the horror genre is examined and made fun off. However apart from a few dialogues about typical horror cliches the story hardly goes anywhere. Instead it banks on the surprise factor and illogical events that are supposed to impress us. It would have, had they actually given a better explanation of how some events were made possible. They skip those quite quickly and expect you to accept whatever they tell you. I mean like more deaths and splatter. For a film called Blood Fest the splatter was very minimal. It doesn't even compare to the amount of gore and violence that occurs in a single episode of Ash vs Evil Dead. And honestly I was very willing to if they actually had given me something else to be distracted by. The horror elements for example are only effective in some scenes. And whenever you got the feeling chaos and mayhem would increase they would tone it back to a point that it slowed down the film considerably. Big contrast with the explosive and flashy start. It moved very quickly and then at one point it was starting to drags. Not that it's bothersome but mostly that I was waiting for things to happen. The few events that occur are hardly memorable or impressive which was a little disappointing There are a few surprises although some of them were revealed in the trailer so I do suggest to not watch it. Blood Fest does have a few twists and turns you won't see coming. However they lack logic and credibility. It's no use getting worked up about it since even if they are quite preposterous, they are effective. 

I do have one issue with one of the plot elements in which it's stated what influence horror films have on people. I am pretty sure it's meant to be a joke of some kind. Yet I do feel compelled to state that horror films don't have negative effects on people. There is no real evidence to support this unless you are one of those who have a political or religious agenda. A normal, stable person with some common sense won't be that easily affected and certainly not negatively. If a (horror) film compels you to do something chances are you would be triggered by many other things as well since you basically are psychologically disturbed already. 

Blood Fest has it's heart in the right place. I appreciate what it was trying to do. However it was a little too lacking to make a significant impact. I will keep an eye on writer / director Owen Egerton though since he shows promise. I enjoyed Blood Fest but it doesn't deliver on what's promised. So keep that in mind to avoid disappointment.

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Thoughts on the following games I finished: Prey (PS4), Yakuza Kiwami (PS4), Assassin's Creed Origins (PS4) and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PS4)

Here some brief thoughts about these games I finished these last months. It's my intention to do full reviews eventually but for now this will have to do.

Prey I finished a long time ago and it has been a game I have spent a lot of time on. Since the game encourages you to explore every nook and cranny in the world it presents to you. At one point it does get overwhelming so I haven't covered all of it. But at least I tried. That's why I find it so strange to hear that people only focused on the main storyline and did not even do any of the side missions. You are really missing out on perks and background stories that enrich the game world and the experience. Atmosphere is very strong in this one and provides most of the tension. That and the fact that you can easily be killed if you try to go in guns blazing. Stealth is a must. A big plus of the game is that there are many alternative ways to accomplish missions. You just have to be creative with the tools and skills you acquire along the way. I even dug the story. To some it's a cop out. I thought it was quite inventive as I didn't see it coming. This doesn't mean that the game is perfect. Far from it. It's very flawed.  Despite I had a blast with this game.

The Yakuza games are rich on story and character development set in a world where all kinds of people are craving to be beaten up by highly respected Yakuza members. But apart from the main story lines there are many different side stories where you get confronted with some truly funny and bizarre events. Yakuza Kiwame is a remake of the original game in the franchise that not only manages to capture the charm of the original but also has been able to add to it and make it appealing to new audiences. But to get the full experience you really have to spent a lot of time playing it. Think 80 to 100 hours. It's going to be worth it. Although they did leave in one frustrating mission where you suddenly have to shoot bad guys in a chase sequence. It's easily the hardest thing you will have to do since you are forced to replay the whole sequence if you screw up. And trust me you will screw up often. Another thing that starts out as fun and becomes annoying over time is the rivalry between you and Majima. Majima will challenge you over and over again so that you can regain all of your strength and skills you lost. These leads to many hilarious situations but also to major tedium. It gets real tiring having to defeat him so many times. It completely distracts you from whatever quest you are on and doesn't really add up story wise. Although fighting never gets old since you do gain many abilities and skills that make it fun. Yakuza really impresses with it's characters and the storytelling. You will learn to love and hate them. And no matter how cliched some story elements are you will get immersed because of the characters. So Yakuza Kiwami definitely was worth it every penny!

Assassin's Creed Origins is also one I have spent a lot of hours on. You kind of have to since you won't be allowed to kill people if you don't match the level that is required. But upgrading your character and gaining new skills is very fun especially if you are able to overpower the ones who went through you like butter. It took some getting used to the new combat system. You supposedly have more freedom. But that freedom exists of using different kind of weapons and tools. So especially in the beginning Origins will be challenging. However after a while you will get into it and see that core wise it is similar to the older games. Only you have more to explore and to do. Something I recommend because it's filled with secrets and easter eggs. Officially I am done with the main quest. But I still have to defeat some Egyptian gods who prove to be very deadly. Even if they do cheat a little. They simply deal a lot of damage and have huge energy bars. But the fact that these missions are in here speaks in favour of the game.

Then there is Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. I wasn't expecting much of this title since it had the appearance of DLC that was cut from Uncharted 4. It was intended as DLC for that game but it's not a simple add-on. You get a full game with it's own epic story although a little smaller in scale compared to the previous adventures. But to be honest it's filled with many spectacular action sequences you are used to from the games. Plus you get to know some familiar characters a little better. Chloe shows sides to her we didn't knew she was capable of. More surprisingly is that we learn that there is more to Nadine. I like it if we get to see more of a previous villainous character especially if it turns out that her intentions always were honourable. And on top there are some nice little surprises in the game. Like in Uncharted 4 you have the option to go in stealthy or go in guns blazing. That in itself gives the game a lot of replay-ability (including the game modifiers like bullet time). A must play if you ask me.

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Review And Now You're Dead a.k.a. Enter the Eagles a.k.a. Hun shen shi dan (1998): Decent Hong Kong production starring Shannon Lee!

genre: martial arts, bullet ballet, action

And Now You're Dead seems like it was an attempt to kickstart Shannon Lee as the action star to continue the legacy left by her father Bruce Lee and brother Brandon Lee. But as you might have guessed this didn't happen. In the first place because Shannon Lee herself didn't have the ambition too. Also by own admission because she wasn't nearly as talented and skilled as her father or brother. So how did she fare in this HK action flick?

To be honest, she does seem to have enough skills to have made it had she pursued it. Unfortunately they didn't really allow Shannon to fight that much. And the few fights she is in are filmed up close so you can't see that well what she is doing exactly. But I bought it. She did steal every scene she was in with her attitude, looks and charisma. Acting wise she was fine in most scenes. Apart from one dramatic one where the dialogue is delivered very poorly. Only she can hardly be blamed for that since in my version it wasn't her voice. Whoever did the dubbing needs to be slapped. I don't know what it is but when English actors dub for Chinese or Hong Kong films they often give them accents that sound horrible. Just say the lines like you normally would.

For some reason they had the brilliant idea to add Michael Wong, Jordan Chan and Anita Yuen into the mix. Wong is adequate but he easily could have been left out and it wouldn't have mattered much. Chan I suppose was intended as comic relief. I found him to be a little annoying. The best of the bunch is Anita Yuen who has real good chemistry with Shannon. The film should have been about these two. Instead it's all about Michael Wong trying to steal something for a ruthless client played by Benny Urquidez who also trained Shannon Lee. Read about that in this following article. Emerging from the Shadows of Bruce Lee, the Butterfly Spreads Her Wings. Then Jordan Chan and Anita Yuen get involved and things start to get real messy and chaotic. It's very obvious that they serve as padding since there is very little story to be told here. It doesn't really matter since it's the action that takes precedence. You can always rely on Corey Yuen to make it look good. He was signed on as director and like in most of his films he does his best to make it as exciting as possible. And he succeeded. The film also moves in quite a fast pace. You barely have time to wonder about the illogical actions of the characters. Especially the villains are relentless in the way they do business with their partners in crime.

It's a shame Shannon Lee has no ambitions to pursue this career. She has the charisma, energy and star power that would have made me watch whatever film she would be featured in. She definitely outclasses actresses like Charlize Theron and Gal Gadot when it comes to fighting skills. Overall a surprisingly entertaining action flick as long as it lasts. 

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Review Bad Samaritan (2018): Once again David Tennant is deliciously evil!

genre: crime, thriller

Bad Samaritan might not be groundbreaking or giving you something new it does manage to get you invested in the events. And there are a couple of reasons for this.

First of all. David Tennant. His American accent might not convince that much but everything else is top notch. Tennant likes to play the bad guy. He did a wonderful job as Kilgrave in Jessica Jones. But apparently he thought he could outdo himself and be even more creepier. Well, I have to agree with him. Tennant is incredibly dark in Bad Samaritan. You won't like him one bit since he is unpleasant right from the moment he is introduced. And yet I couldn't help admire his dominance and intelligence overall. Granted the story does help him a lot. But it's Tennant who gives Cale Erendreich some personality. Perhaps Cale is a little too dark and evil. I can't imagine someone with his kind of personality and attitude stay unnoticed. Then again, they do demonstrate a couple of times how it's possible he has managed to elude the police all this time. It seems that in order for the police and other authorities to get things done you need to make it political otherwise they won't do much. Quite sad if you think about it.

The second reason is Robert Sheehan (Killing Bono) as Sean Falco. He is a very likable character who really regrets his actions. Or rather his inaction in a very important event. It was nice to see a thief with a conscience who goes out of his way to help someone he doesn't even know. Apparently this is so new and outrageous that the police give him a hard time. You can't have small time crooks trying to do good. I mean it would make things far too easy for the police. Can't have that. It was also nice to see a real best friend who helps out as much as he can. Derek Sandoval might show very little respect for other people's property he won't abandon his friend whenever trouble hits the fan.

The direction. I had no clue Dean Devlin was involved. And while Geostorm was a disaster he shows he knows how to do thrillers. There is a real good build up of tension and suspense. I honestly didn't expected to be sucked in as much as I was. In fact I thought it was going to be generic and boring since it seemed to derive from Don't Breathe. As much as I enjoyed that film the premise restricts different outcomes. But somehow Devlin kept events fresh and engaging. 

Overall Bad Samaritan was a pleasant surprise. It actually is good. Certainly one I can recommend.

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Filmography Corey Yuen

This is the complete filmography of all the projects Corey Yuen has been involved in.

Dead or Alive (director, action director) - 2005 

The Transporter 2 (director, action director) - 2004

Into the Sun a.k.a. Yakuza (action director) - 2004

Twins Effect 2 (action director) - 2004

Rise to Honor (VG) (action director) - 2003

Bulletproof Monk (action director) - 2003

Cradle 2 the Grave (action director) - 2003

So Close (director, action director) - 2002

The Transporter (director, action director) - 2002

The Art of Action (documentary) - 2002

The Avenging Fist (director, action director) - 2001

The One (action director) - 2001

Kiss of the Dragon (action director) - 2001

X-Men (action director) - 2000

Romeo Must Die (action director) - 2000

Enter the Eagles (director) - 1998

Timeless Romance (action director) - 1998

Lethal Weapon 4 (action director) - 1998

Hero (writer, director, action director, actor) - 1997

The Black Rose (director) - 1997

Mahjong Dragon (director) - 1997

High Risk (action director) - 1997

Thunderbolt (actor) - 1997

The Saint of the Gamblers (actor) - 1995

My Father is a Hero (director, action director, actor) - 1995

The Bodyguard from Beijing (director, action director) - 1994

The New Legend of Shaolin (action director) - 1994

Women on the Run (producer, director, actor) - 1993

Fong Sai Yuk II (director, action director, actor) - 1993

Fong Sai Yuk (director, action director) - 1993

Operation Scorpio (action director) - 1992

The Moon Warriors (action director) - 1992

Fist of Fury 1991 II (producer, director, action director) - 1992

Ghost Punting (director, action director) - 1992

Angel Hunter (action director) - 1992

Savior of the Soul II (director, actor) - 1992

Legend of the Dragon (action director, actor) - 1991

Bury Me High (actor) - 1991

Top Bet (producer, director, action director, actor) - 1991

Lee Rock II (action director) - 1991

Lee Rock (action director) - 1991

Fist of Fury 1991 (producer, action director, actor) - 1991

Magnificent Scoundrels (action director, actor) - 1991

The Raid (actor) - 1991

Gambling Ghost (actor) - 1991

Savior of the Soul (director, actor) - 1991

Legend of the Dragon (action director, actor) - 1991

License to Steal (actor) - 1990

All for the Winner (director, action director, actor) - 1990

Shanghai Shanghai (producer) - 1990

She Shoots Straight (director, action director, actor) - 1990

Mortuary Blues (producer, action director, actor) - 1990

The Nocturnal Demon (actor) - 1990

Pedicab Driver (actor) - 1989

The Iceman Cometh (actor) - 1989

Lost Souls (action director) - 1989

Blonde Fury (producer, action director) - 1989

Spooky, Spooky (actor) - 1988

Three Against the World (actor) - 1988

In the Blood (director, actor) - 1988

Dragons Forever (director) - 1988

Couples, Couples, Couples (actor) - 1988

Mr. Vampire III (actor) - 1987

Eastern Condors (action director, actor) - 1987

Mr. Vampire III (cameo) - 1987

Righting Wrongs (producer,  director, action director, actor) - 1986

Where's Officer Tuba (actor) - 1986

Millionaire's Express (actor) - 1986

Yes, Madam (director, action director) - 1985

Heart of the Dragon (action director, actor) - 1985

Aces Go Places: Our Man from Bond Street (action director) - 1984

Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain (action director, actor) - 1983

Ninja in the Dragon's Den (writer, director, action director) - 1982

Dragon Lord (action director) - 1982

Pearls of the Sentimental Swordsman (actor) - 1982

Hit Man in the Hand of Buddha (action director, actor) - 1981

Tower of Death (assistant action director, actor) - 1981

Ring of Death (action director, actor) - 1980

The Buddha Assassinator (action director, actor) - 1980

We're Going to Eat You (action director, actor) - 1980

Six Directions of Boxing (actor) - 1980

Crystal Fist (action director) - 1979

The Dragon and the Tiger Kids (action director) - 1979

Dance of the Drunken Master (actor) - 1979 

Born Invincible (actor) - 1978

Grandmasters (action director, actor) - 1978

Drunken Master (action director) - 1978

Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (assistant action director) - 1978

Swordsman and Enchantress (extra) - 1978

Soul of the Sword (extra) - 1978

Heroes of Shaolin (action director, actor) - 1977

Snuff Bottle Connection (actor) - 1977

Instant Kung Fu Man (action director, actor) - 1977

Broken Oath (actor) - 1977

Last Strike (actor) - 1977

Battle Wizard (extra) - 1977

The Mighty Peking Man (actor) - 1977

To Kill a Jaguar (extra) - 1977

Death Duel (actor) - 1977

The Invincible Armour (action director, actor) - 1977

The Fatal Flying Guillotines (actor) - 1977

Jade Tiger (extra) - 1977

The Secret Rivals 2 (actor, assistant action director) - 1977

Deadly Angels (extra) - 1977

Clans of Intrigue (extra) - 1977

The Web of Death (extra) - 1976

Oily Maniac (extra) - 1976

The Magic Blade (extra) - 1976

Killer Clans (extra) - 1976

The Himalayan (actor) - 1976

The Drug Connection (extra) - 1976

The Criminals (extra) - 1976

Bruce Lee and I (actor) - 1976

The Young Dragons (extra) - 1975

The Man from Hong Kong (actor) - 1975

The Valiant Ones (actor)

Challenge of the Dragon (extra)

Super Kung Fu Kid (extra)

The Tournament (actor)

Naughty! Naughty! (actor)

Wits to Wits (actor)

The Shadow Boxer (extra)

Cub Tiger from Kwantung (action director)

Chinese Hercules (actor)

Death Blow (actor)

None But the Brave (actor)

Tough Guy (extra)

Hapkido (actor)

Brutal Boxer (actor)

Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (actor)

Fist of Fury (actor)

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Review Summer of 84 (2018): Wonderful throwback to Eighties horror!

genre: horror, mystery, drama

This is what I am talking about. Next to pure Eighties nostalgia and atmosphere you actually have a compelling mystery to chew on. If you liked Stranger Things then you definitely will love this one since it's far superior in every way. It actually does more in little time. 

Summer of 84 captures the Eighties perfectly. It looks, feels and sounds like the Eighties. Granted Stranger Things succeeded in this too. However Summer of 84 also shines in paying tribute to older Eighties films like Stand by Me and The Burbs. Maybe The Bedroom Window (with Steven Guttenberg) which was heavily inspired by Rear Window. More likely the latter. Like these thrillers the film takes it time to set up the characters and mystery. In hindsight this is a brilliant move because you get to know the main characters and you will root for them. The boys really made you believe they were good friends. I also liked how the relationship between Nikki and Davey was nice, sweet and friendly. I appreciated that she was depicted as a true friend instead of a forced love relation. 

Summer of 84 also adds a sense of tension and dread since you do feel things aren't quite what they seem. Maybe it's only me but at certain points I did let my imagination run wild since the film does allow you to come up with your own theories of what is going on. However it gives you enough subtle hints to steer you the right way. At the same time you are also being misdirected a lot to make you doubt whether main character Davey is right or not. He is kind of a conspiracy nut and is known for coming up with the most fantastical tales.. And naturally like always in films like these people very easily dismiss those but can't even be bothered to look at things logically. 

Another thing I liked was how the film took itself seriously. There was enough comic relief and other shenanigans.But it never let that get in the way of the graveness of the events. Because make no mistake. The film might start out light and charming it does become quite dark and chilling in the end. Purely because of the atmosphere. Proof that you don't need jump scares. Even if there are some effective ones. Overall Summer of 84 does more than simply throw back to that magical decade. It also manages to instil terror with very minimal means. A must watch for sure.

p.s. Turbo Kid was on my to watch list. But for some reason I haven't gotten around it. You can bet that after having seen this that I am a million times more motivated to watch Turbo Kid. Almost made me regret not having watched it sooner. Better late than never right?

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Review Hereditary (2018): For the most part it has you hooked but then derails in such a way that it becomes disappointing!

genre: horror, mystery, drama

Finally I got the chance to watch Hereditary and it had me going until something happened that made me burst out in laughter. I was aware that the situation was grave, dire and awful but I couldn't help myself since the way the event was depicted was downright ridiculous. 

Granted it took a while to get there however up until the moment Hereditary was slowly but surely building up tension and dread. So effectively that I was very willing to disregard the obvious clues of what direction it was heading. I mean this film very heavily borrows from Rosemary's Baby and wants you to be aware of this fact. The film does throw some misdirections at you and it was on these I had put all my hope of this film being more than your typical horror flick. There are some psychological elements that made every event more compelling and interesting. Even terrifying since the depiction of madness or insanity was done so well. All of the actors did a good job especially Toni Collette. It had me invested into her and the other characters. The neat camera tricks also made it seem that we couldn't trust all of what was displayed. You could sense something ominous was looming. 

Then that ridiculous scene occurs and whatever hope I had was gone. It's here where the film decides to abandon the psychological elements and go full horror on you. Meaning it comes up with one cliché after another. Not that these weren't exciting or thrilling. But they completely trivialized everything substantial that was built up to, including the ever increasing dread. Then it also feels the need to explain as much as possible to the audience like they wouldn't get it. And yes unfortunately I did encounter some poor souls who felt like they had seen something profound and thought provoking because they were amazed and impressed. This only tells me that they obviously have not seen the films Hereditary borrows from. But even if that is the case there is nothing special to sink your teeth in. BTW these films are Rosemary's Baby, Cries and Whispers, Don't Look Now, Carrie, Ordinary People, and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. And I think Red Letter Media also pointed out The Shining.Now I think about it. The film goes off the rails a little before the real ridiculous moment. However I accepted those scenes since they could be seen as signs of Annie (Toni Collette) completely losing it. Remember we can't always trust what we are shown.

It's a real shame that writer and director played it safe and familiar. There is nothing in the film that is truly original or creative. Can I really use this argument as criticism? In this case I can since for the most part the film is doing it's best to make you doubt and question what you see and experience. There are some scenes where suddenly a deep bass drops in that were a little disorientating. Probably to add to the tension. So it's not like this is a lazy production. On the contrary. This was a serious production with real good acting in it. However it ultimately fails to surprise and tell something new. I would not have mind ridiculous twists and turns if I hadn't seen it coming. Actually it's something I crave and applaud. I want to be impressed. 

Overall Hereditary is well worth your time. Apart from the way it ends. It's because of this that I have mixed feelings about it. How to judge a film that was going strong and then fails to commit to deliver what it was initially promising? Exactly!

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