Constantine: NBC Dooms Its English Exorcist #SaveConstantine

Constantine: NBC Dooms Its English Exorcist #SaveConstantine

Whilst getting ready to review the latest episode in the comic book NBC series Constantine, it was discovered that the network has taken the first steps to cancelling this out of the box program featuring its version of an English exorcist by cutting the first season’s episodes down to 13 hence the social media campaign of hashtag #SaveConstantine. This development, which was first brought to light in November, feels an awful lot like the Longmire debacle over on A&E, although not quite the same as the cowboy detective had a huge fanbase who were all the wrong age according to that network. Constantine, has been steadily growing in popularity, says zap2it’s TV by the Numbers in an article released on December 13.

Silent Hill Revelation 3D (2012): by Michael Smith

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I missed the 3D version of this film when it came out at the cinema. Which is a shame, as I think it would have looked even better than the 2D that I had to download via iTunes. Despite the lack of the 3D it was a surprisingly good sequel.

Written and directed by Michael J Bassett (he helmed the superb films Deathwatch and Wilderness) Silent Hill Revelation follows in the footsteps of the first Silent Hill film.

In this film, we get to see Heather and her father Harry as they come to another “new town” and new school for Heather. They’ve been on the run since the first film. Mum Rose is trapped in the netherworld of Silent Hill and we are treated to a flashback where Harry promises Rose that he’ll protect their daughter.

On Heather’s first day of school, everything goes disastrously wrong and she loses her dad, her helper, and her independence as she goes to Silent Hill to save her father.

The film has been blessed with a brilliant cast:

Adelaide Clemens
Kit Harington
Carrie-Anne Moss
Sean Bean
Radha Mitchell
Malcolm McDowell

Unfortunately all the “headliners” as it were are restricted to cameo roles, including Sean Bean who, with Carrie-Anne Moss) spend a bit more time on camera than Radha Mitchell and Malcom McDowell. *On a side note here – It was wonderful to see Ms Moss again, although admittedly I didn’t recognise her at first; starting at the screen and thinking who is that, she looks so familiar…)

Just like the first film, this edition of Silent Hill appears to have mixed several different iterations of the games together to flesh out the story. Although arguably they have really included some of the basic “sets” from each of the first three games. The fairground has been a feature of Silent Hill since the first game.

Where did this come from??
Where did this come from??

Although a tiny dream segment is spent on the “spitting” monsters (so tiny in fact it amounts to about a nano second) from the verse, more time is spent on the nurses and good old Pyramid Head (who appears to be twins in this film) with his giant killing tools and who some what amazingly appears as a Saviour at a couple of points in the film?!

Still, random character twists aside, the place looks like Silent Hill and sounds like Silent Hill. The melancholy music is present throughout (and I will unabashedly state that I love that piano riff) and the villains look like they could have stepped out of the video game. So overall, I did enjoy the film.

But.

I did have some problems with it.

Was it just me or did Adelaide Clemens look an awful lot like Arielle Kebbel? Although in one of the flashback scenes where she had brown hair, she looked more like a younger Maggie Gyllenhaal; and Kit Harington looked like David Boreanaz Junior with long hair. The fact that these two actors made me think of other people disturbed me a bit. Although nothing Clemens did convinced me that she could ever scream as good as Kebbel.

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I also don’t understand the use of Malcom McDowell. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the man. I just don’t see the reasoning behind using him in this film. Are they alluding to his recent Horror Film link in Halloween? Is this a nudge and a wink to his appearance in other horror films? I don’t know and it’s puzzling.

I was also disappointed to see that Radha Mitchell’s Rose had no more than a few seconds screen time. Not just because I adore this woman, but because I was hoping that she was going to explain how “Heather” got out of the predicament that both of them were in at the end of the previous film. Apart from the medallion device that is mentioned by Harry,Vincent and ever so briefly by Grandpa Leonard it is never satisfactorily explained. So points off for that little omission.

I do know that there will be a core of Silent Hill game fans who will detest the film just as much as they detested the first film. To them I say, plug your Silent Hill 2 in the old Playstation and enjoy that experience and stop waiting for films that are going to recreate the magic and the uniqueness that is the “old” Silent Hill verse.

Okay?

But apart from the very few things that put me off (not many really) I’d say that this gets a 4 out of 5 scary Silent Hill bunnies. Just because I’m a Silent Hill fan (of the game verse) and the fact that I love the use of the music; I’ll not take off too much for the lack of Radha Mitchell.

Scary Silent Hill Bunny!
Scary Silent Hill Bunny!

Case 39 (2009): Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice…Not

Case 39

Directed by Christian Alvart (he also directed PandorumCase 39 is a brilliant little horror/thriller. It stars Renée Zellweger , Ian McShane, and Jodelle Ferland. It is interesting to note that even though the film was actually finished in 2007. It did not get an American release until 2010.

The “Reader’s Digest” version of the plot is as follows:

Social worker Emily Jenkins (Zellweger) is overworked and tired.  She is assgined ‘case 39’ which deals with an innocent  ten year old girl, Lily Sullivan (Ferland) who is being abused by her parents. This abuse is confirmed when Lily’s parents put her in the oven to burn her to death. Emily asks her friend Detective Mike Barron (McShane) to help her. Mike and Emily rescue Lily and her parents are put in a mental institution.

CASE 39
CASE 39 (Photo credit: Galactinet Prensa)

Emily takes Lily home to look after her until a foster family can be found. Once Lily moves in, however, strange things begin to happen. Another case of Emily’s, a boy named Diego, kills both his parents. Detective Barron (McShane) tells Emily that the boy received a phone call just before he killed them. Emily suspects that Lily was somehow involved and arranges for her best friend, psychiatrist Douglas Ames ( Bradley Cooper fresh from  The Hangover  and moving right on to The A-Team and Limitless) to evaluate Lily. During the evaluation Lily soon gains the upper hand and starts evaluating Ames, finding out what his fears are. Later in the evening Ames gets a phone call and dies horribly.

Lily starts acting very strange. Her demeanor is that of an adult. As she begins to take over Emily and ultimately scaring her quite badly. Emily decides to talk to Lily’s parents. The body count begins to rise as Emily comes to the realization that Lily is not an abused child and is not at all innocent.

With a budget of $27 million and a box office of $28 million the film did just make it’s production costs back. I am a little puzzled as to why the film fared so poorly. Alvart does a cracking job with the film. The cinematography was sharp and well lit. The actors all gave top notch performances. Ian McShane, who has turned into character actor extraordinaire was very good and Bradley Cooper, in a part that was little more than a cameo, came across brilliantly as the doomed Psychiatrist. Jodelle Ferland did what she does best, be creepy. Her bona fides include Kindom Hospital (TV) Silent Hill and recently The Cabin in the Woods.

Of course Ms Zellweger gave a more than credible performance as the capable but overworked social worker. She makes the transition from strong and caring to terrified and confused with no problem. I was a bit concerned, I’ll admit, big name ‘stars’ do not generally do horror films and if they do (unless they are Gregory Peck) they look a little out of place. My only complaint was that I kept thinking of her as Bridget Jones.

I am slightly amazed that the film did not do better when it was released. We saw it via a rental and loved it. After we watched it we bought it. I realize that a lot of audiences don’t like films that deal with violence to children and honestly that is the only reason I can think of for the film to fare so badly.

I could not take my eyes off the screen while watching this film. I didn’t have a clue  who the “big bad” was until the film told me. The body count was not huge, but the casualties were well done and memorable. I would caution anyone who is thinking about adoption or taking on the role of foster parent to give this film a miss.

It could put you right off.