Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (18)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (8)
| Rotten (10)
Effective atmospherics don't rescue this formulaic slasher flick.
I'd sooner touch a nine-volt battery to my tongue than sit through this film again.
Bereavement -- miraculously as dull as its title -- is neither far gone enough to be funny nor well thought-out enough to be disturbing.
Virtually every shot in Bereavement -- a sort of prequel to Mena's Malevolence (2005) -- is the right one; the editing, also by Mena, is first-rate.
Evidence of a group of filmmakers who take their horror seriously.
while Bereavement is certainly a slasher, it is also a film about how monsters are made, in which every character, hero and villain alike, is figured as tragic prey to genes and circumstance.
Palinesque, bland and increasingly silly with oodles of unintentional humor instead of what every horror fan expects: palpable scares.
Gruesome in the moment, but your memory of it is easily wiped clean.
"Bereavement" is cruel and unusual.
The film is so laughably Freudian it could play as a parody of certain acclaimed horror film studies such as Men, Women and Chainsaws: Gender in the Horror Film.
"Bereavement" isn't a bad slasher film, but after a few stabs (no pun intended) at being something more, it settles for being just a slasher film. And that's disappointing.
In this deliberately paced horror movie, a big-city teen homes in on the darkness at the edge of a small Pennsylvania town, with grim results.
A small improvement over 2003's Malevolence, with more interesting characters and slightly better acting. Bereavement will satisfy die hard horror fans as a run of the mill gory slasher flick, but there's nothing here to attract anyone else, especially in the way of logic or an interesting narrative.
While I do think the film makes effective use of its atmosphere, for the most part, and it is well made with some solid cinematography, ultimately this movie did absolutely nothing for me. The main reason I didn't enjoy this movie was that there wasn't really a reason for anything that was happening. Of course if you're arguing for a more believable story, you could pull out the 'well, things in life happen for no reason sometimes'. And I think movies can get away with this if they're told effectively and you're at least having fun watching the movie, but when you're not really given a reason to invest in the characters or invest in the story, it makes it that much more of a chore to sit through. They do reveal some reasoning for what's happening at the end, but by this point you don't really care because everything has felt pointless. There's some cool visuals here and there, but that's not really enough to overcome the formulaic and uninteresting script that's chock full of cliches. Ultimately the film boils down to a slasher/evil kid horror genre. I do think there's an interesting concept here with the child being a murderer and whether that's due to his genetics or the environment he has found himself in for over 5 years. And I think the film tries to show that it is a combination of both things, such as it is in real life, that have made him the way he is. The fact that he cannot feel any kind of pain puts the idea in his mind that everyone must be like him, unable to feel anything and the fact that he's been raised by a homicidal maniac helps guide those thoughts in the kid's mind to its most extreme. And I thought that was actually a really cool aspect of the movie, an aspect of the movie you wouldn't pick up on if there wasn't a scene at the school where a teacher is discussing this same exact subject. Whether environment or genetics has an effect on how someone turns out. It's like they just STUMBLED onto this theme by accident and felt the need to point it out in one scene so they don't look completely clueless. It doesn't seem like something that was thought and planned out before the script was even written. It may have actually been intended, but it doesn't come across that way in the final product. And it's not like they do much with this concept, it's like they just PUT the idea into your mind, rather than doing something with it. Again if you don't remember that scene, you would miss an important part of Martin's development and a large reason for why he is the way he is. It's far more thought out than your typical 'evil child' nonsense. Regardless, it's not like THIS makes the movie really worth sitting through for an hour and 45 minutes of an uninteresting story that's more a chore than anything else. There's still some good ideas here, though and some cool visuals. But they're not enough to raise the movie from its slightly below average state.
"Brought home a boy from the valley. He's young enough to learn the business my way."
This recent entry in the "small town psychopathic serial killer" genre isn't exactly a game-changer and it doesn't try to be that scary, but it is a tense, nasty affair that will probably appeal to some horror fans.
We've got out deranged killer that preys on young women, a young boy he kidnaps to "assist" him, and a new arrival from out of town (Alexandra Dadarrio) that enjoys taking long runs alone that just happen to pass by a sinister looking and isolated rundown meat-packing plant. If you're guessing that's a recipe for blood, brutality and death, then you're right.
Bereavement is fine for what it is, but I doubt I'll be compelled to watch it more than once. There's nothing really exceptional about it, though some of the outdoor cinematography is beautiful, there's a concentrated effort to give depth and a back-story to most of the main characters, and Alexandra is undoubtedly nice eye candy (if there was an Academy Award for filling out a halter top, she'd have it in the bag). The bottom line, though, is that this is such a thoroughly bleak movie that it's almost too realistically grim and hopeless to find entertainment in. That's not necessarily a "flaw", but it's definitely something some viewers will respond less favorably to than others.
Oh, and I don't think I've heard this much screaming in a film in quite a while. Have your ears prepared to be assaulted.
I was really looking forward to this prequel to 2004's Malevolent, but was sadly disappointed. The premise of the movie is great and right up my alley. A twisted gore fest about a serial killer who abducts a child, in the hope of making him his predecessor. Sounds good, but in actuality, it was very slow and extremely predictable. I kept hearing about how scary and messed up this film was, did they watch what I just watched? There are a few bright spots here, mainly the cast, which was terrific, and the end of the film, which while predictable, was still really cool to see. Spencer List stars as Martin, the serial killer in waiting. At the ripe old age of 13, this kid has become a B-Horror star! He's this cute, quiet, innocent looking kid, and before you know it he's killed you. He has this way about him, in these types of movies that make it seem real, and he is truly scary. The cast was great, the last twenty minutes was cool to watch, but really there's not much else here.
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