His Dark Materials
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***THERE'S A POST-CREDITS SCENE***
Really good but could have been much much scarier if they had kept the villain wearing the head sack like last time. Instead of seeing the villains face (which makes him seem normal) the head sack automatically gives off a really dark vibe and that the villain is more than just a serial killer. Really loved Alexandra Daddario (!!!) in the role of the protagonist. She was very beautiful, strong, brave, etc. The plot is a blueprint from last film but there were 2-3 twists that really shocked me. And I loved the ending. Well worth a watch.
I had seen Malevolence and loved it and by accident stumbled upon part two Bereavement. I have to say that I loved it just as much as the first film, if not more. The characters were very believable and likable not just some goof off jerks no one cares for or relates to. The actors (a good looking cast) were great in their rolls, very realistic. Although I knew this was a prequel, there was plenty of suspense and twist in this film. It was scary in parts and sad in others and gruesome but it fits the story. Although there was gore and murder in this film, there was a story behind this instead of just killings. Now I canï¿ 1/2(TM)t wait to watch part 3!
Really not good. I did like the budding romance between Allison and William, but this movie was just awful otherwise. Stupid me for thinking it would have a happy (or happier) ending. At least Randy (the Millers' dog) was spared.
A psycopath suffering from schizophrenia abducts a young male child to help him to regularly clean his place up, and he has a lot of cleaning to do, his abducter is a mysogynistic abducterer and killer of young women. He convieniently lives alone (as they usually do in these slash and hack films) in his inherited former meat packing plant. Ideal if you want to exist as a ruthless misogynistic psycopathic murderer.
After 5 years of witnessing and receiving this abhorent education, the child develops an unemotional detatchment to the surroundings - the smells and the dirt and also to the fate of the victims of this gruesome individual. And this cold detachment further develops into an emotionless indifference to the inflicting of pain to himself. The making of another psycopath.
A film that is trying to get around an excuse to hack and slash the cast to bits by having some semblance of a decent story. Brett Rickarby is commendable as the psycopath Sutter, bringing out the mindset of a schizophreniac in a set of monologues that lifts the film out of the usual routine for this type of film.
For the rest of it, it's the usual expectation: plenty of the usual blood, guts and other nasty stuff to keep horror fans engrosed. Others might prefer something a little less frightening.
Satisfying prequel to Malevolence. Typical nature vs nurture study that the first was one, but it's cool to see it play out in a slasher like this. Once again Mena shows he has a real proficiency for building tension and some impressive looking shots on a low budget.
Stylish enough horror that suffers from interest value, but does just about provide enough.
Typical slasher horror about a young child who is abducted and forced to watch people being tortured and murdered.
Typical serial killer/slasher movie with better than average effects; how some of the victims stayed alive so long as they are being hacked didn't make sense. The plot is cliched, but the acting is decent. Really, the only reason this gets a passing grade is because of the loveliness of Alexandra Daddario and some of the cleavage baring tops she wears.
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.
Bereavement (Stevan Mena, 2010)
Bereavement is a prequel to Mena's 2004 Malevolence. In my review of that one, which I saw about four years ago, I hypothesized that it was the middle film in a projected trilogy, though I no longer remember what led me to that belief. I also, despite the film's many shortcomings (upon reflection, the two stars I gave it seem overly generous), posited that maybe it would make more sense once Bereavement came out. I have now seen Bereavement-very unusually for me, I am typing these opening sentences while the end credits of the movie are rolling, rather than letting it sit for a few days to see if my feelings about it change-and I can confidently say that the answer to the question I posted four years ago is "no". While it is obvious that Mena learned from a number of the mistakes made with Malevolence, he's still got a long, long way to go.
Plot: five years before the main action of the film, Martin Bristol (Bringing Up Bobby's Spencer List) is kidnapped from his backyard while his mother is interviewing a new nanny. Seems the boy has some attachment problems, as well as some physical anomalies that render him unable to feel pain the way normal people do. Fast-forward five years. Allison (Hall Pass' Alexandria Daddario) has just moved into town after the untimely passing of her parents; she's come to live with her aunt (You've Got Mail's Kathryn Meisle) and uncle (The Terminator's Michael Biehn), along with her young cousin Wendy (27 Dresses' Payton List, Spencer's sister). She's not thrilled with small-town life, but things pick up once she meets William (X2's Nolan Gerard Funk) and discovers a mystery-there seems to be a young boy lurking around a long-abandoned meatpacking plant. Unfortunately, her uncle isn't thrilled with Graham, whose father (Inside Moves' John Savage) is, as Uncle quaintly puts it, trailer trash, and no one believes her about the boy. What does an enterprising young high school girl do? Investigate!
The higher caliber of actor in this movie certainly helps it, when you compare it to Malevolence; there are a number of decent, if not stellar, actors to be found here (Savage, of course, is the best of the bunch, but don't let his name being close to the top of the marquee fool you; you can count the number of scenes in which he appears on one hand). The real surprise is Alexandria Daddario, who holds her own with the marquee names in the cast just fine; hopefully we'll be hearing more from her, and in better movies.
However, better actors can't solve all of Mena's problems. He also edited the film, and that was a mistake; a more professional editor might have been able to whip the film's horrid pacing into shape. The easiest example of this to point out is the end of the film. Or is it the end? Maybe that's the end. Or... you get the idea; this movie goes on about half an hour too long. Every time you think you've seen the closing scene, Mena tacks on yet another epilogue. (Including one after the end credits-I no longer remember, but I assume it is a recreation of the opening scene of Malevolence.)
Since I seem to have gotten myself into a good-bad-good-bad format here, I do have to give Mena credit for one very important thing here; it's obvious that he has put a great amount of thought into the building of this world, much more than one would expect given when is almost certain to be a trilogy of DTV movies rather than, for example, Star Wars. You've gotta give the man points for treating his source material as if it were Star Wars; the attention to detail comes out in a lot of ways, most of them good. He's also put a better structure in place with this movie; the romantic subplot between Allison and William never really gets off the ground (perhaps going to a little more detail there might have offset some of the movie's pacing problems?), but it still works, and what little we get of it feels real.
The romance, however, is not the main point of the film; would that it were. Bereavement is still a slasher movie, and it is that regard where it is most obvious that Mena hasn't progressed in the most meaningful ways he needs to in order to pull these movies above mediocre. The slasher plot in Bereavement is much less used than the one in Malevolence, and it draws less obviously from its primary source material, but this isn't anything you haven't seen before, from the psychological problems of the serial killer to the setting to the methods of apprehension and torture to...the works.
Once again I find myself saying that Mena put a number of pieces into place for a really bang-up movie, just as I did four years ago reviewing Malevolence. And once again I find myself saying that despite same, Mena didn't deliver the goods. There are some things worth watching here; both Savage and Biehn have been unjustly neglected actors for a couple of decades, and both have started turning in pretty darn good performances in the movies I've caught them in recently; this is no exception, though it may be in part the actors shining despite, rather than in tandem with, their surroundings, and Daddario does the best she can with the material she's given. When she's talking instead of screaming (and the amount of screaming in this movie is tiresome indeed), she gives a mighty fine performance as well. Unfortunately, however, you have to sit through Bereavement to see any of it. * 1/2