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Reviews The Witches (2020), Tremors: Shrieker Island (2020), Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996) and The Blob (1988)



The Witches (2020)






It's been a while that I have read the book and have seen the adaptation. Although I do remember that both of them were very good. In my opinion this remake or reboot therefore is completely pointless. 

Honestly I wasn't really planning to watch this. Then controversy on social media sparked for its portrayal of three-fingered witches which many argue perpetuates negative stereotypes about people living with ectrodactyly. The whole outrage BTW is one of the most idiotic things these SJW's have complained about. Because this would mean that anything in a film that resembles a disease, culture or whatever could be seen as offensive and therefore should never be depicted. Even if this were true then so what? Sometimes films are intended to provoke you or confront you with the harsh realities that exist. Sometimes it's just a coincidence. Besides you can't and shouldn't shield people from truths no matter how painful or confronting. The real world and real life is hard. Better get used to it.

Had these SJW's not cried murder I probably would not have bothered with this film and not felt that I have wasted precious time. First of all there is nothing remarkable about the three-fingered witches. They aren't scary nor are they made fun of. And if they are ridiculed it's because of their terrible attitude and behaviour. There were some scenes where Anne Hathaway as the Grand High Witch goes ballistic with her insults towards Grandma. They easily could have been interpreted as racist. And guess what? Some people are like this. Should we never depict this just because some people are offended by this? The whole notion is ridiculous and pathetic. You can't rewrite history. But we should never forget and learn from the mistakes we made in the past and aim to do better. How can we better ourselves if you are going to pretend bad and evil things don't exist. And sorry to say but some of you really need to grow a thicker skin. 

Speaking of Anne Hathaway. For some reason she is doing some kind of accent. Sort of Bela Lugosi like with hints of French. I could have appreciated it if she had stuck to one accent. But hers changed from moment to moment. I have no real problems with Anne Hathaway. Actually I think sometimes she is a real good actress. However in this film she misses the mark completely. Perhaps she thought she needed to be theatrical and over the top. However that is not the same as dark and menacing. 

BTW I watched the 4K HDR version and most of the time the film looks beautiful. Especially when the scenes are taking place in daylight and CGI is applied. Although there are moments when you can clearly tell CGI is used and makes normal people look funny as well. Like in the scene towards the end when Mrs. Jenkins finds out her son has turned into a mouse. I know she is supposed to be shocked but was it really necessary for her to have a cartoon like face? The way they skip over such tragedy is a bit weird but could be that Roald Dahl had written that way. I can't remember.

In any case Anne Hathaway is terrible as the Grand High Witch. She is too ridiculous and cartoony. Never scary or creepy. The Witches from the original adaptation were far more terrifying. Sure there are some funny scenes but for the most part this remake is unimaginative and boring. 


  

Tremors: Shrieker Island (2020)






Not going to lie. I wasn't expecting much from this film. Still I was intrigued. It's the one franchise where I only had seen the original and for some reason never bothered watching the sequels. In hindsight I think this was a mistake that needs correcting since from what I have seen so far the sequels (Aftershocks and Shrieker Island) are pretty on par with the original. 

Michael Gross as Burt Grummer is almost just as iconic as Ash Williams played by Bruce Campbell in The Evil Dead franchise. He is the one who steals the show even when Michael Gross clearly has gotten too old for the role. But even if you didn't know anything about the legend he will make sure you will never forget. Yes, he is that impressive. Also kudos for Michael Gross being able to keep his character fresh and compelling at all times.

It's obvious the film had a low budget. However like with most films where money is tight people tend to be more creative and this is the case here. It does look like that they made the most of it with what they got. Apart from a few moments the creatures look real and menacing as they have been before. Plus like with every entry the graboids have proven to be very smart and seem to be constantly adapting. It's one of the elements that make them fun. And like with most horror films. Less is more. The fact that graboids aren't on the screen all the time makes them scarier. 

This last entry in the franchise (at least for now) is surprisingly good. Tremors: Shrieker Island also is a prime example how to deal with a beloved character and honour him properly. Take note Rian Johnson! A must watch for sure.





Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996)





Usually with franchises like this the sequels are nothing more than a repeat of original events in different settings with different characters. Aftershocks is the rare sequel that builds on the original but adds enough new and fresh plot to give a spin on previous events.

Aftershocks marks the return of Fred Ward without Kevin Bacon. Now Ward is partnered up with Chris Gartin. He is not bad but tries a little too hard to be funny which can be annoying at times. Fred is such a good professional though that he still manages to have good chemistry with him on screen. Burt Gummer also returns this time without his wife. His explanation about that is hilarious. In truth Reba McEntire was touring and therefore was written out. In hindsight that might have been the best move since it helped made Burt Gummer into an intriguing character. 

From start to finish Aftershocks is incredibly entertaining. Like Shrieker Island is a must watch for sure!





The Blob (1988)






For a long time I had no desire to watch the remake of The Blob. The original was something I had seen several times on Sky Channel since that one got repeated over and over again. I do have to admit that there is something really creepy about slow moving jello or jam killing everyone in it's path. Even when to some it might seem like one big joke, the film took itself very seriously. Normally this would make it campy. However in this case it made it an effective horror film. As much as I liked the original I couldn't see what more they could do with the premise.

But damn, The Blob (1988) not only improves upon the original it actually manages to be super creative with whatever the blob is made of. Maybe it's me but the creature does tend to look like certain sexual organs at times. The tentacles and penis shapes are rather obvious. But there are times the creature also resembles a vagina and clitoris. No, I am not imagining things. The way the creature moves and acts truly resembles those organs. I mean just look at the gif I made underneath and tell me I am wrong!





Point is that this blob is a force to be reckoned with as it can do more than just move and devour. They went crazy with the design. And make no mistake. I know that it seems comical but the terror and gore is impressive. There are certainly some scenes that can be considered disgusting and shocking. I liked it that despite the outrageous concept that the entire cast took the material seriously. The Blob is ruthless and relentless. And if you think about it could also be seen as social commentary on the government and how they inform us about certain matters in crisis situations like the one we are all in the middle of today. Can we always trust the government and should we blindly follow and uphold the rules concerning Covid-19? Or should we be vigilant and critical?

To me Kevin Dillon was never leading man material. However in this film he proved me wrong by playing a character I wanted to root for. The same goes for Shawnee Smith. She is actually likable in this. Unfortunately for the rest of the cast they barely get the chance to shine since they merely serve as food for the monster. Overall The Blob (1988) is a horror classic in it's own right and is still very relevant today.     












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