Cinema Review Roundup–Phasmophobia, Acrophobia and Pteromerhanophobia

This week I managed to catch up with the “found footage” sleeper hit Chronicle, the “does what it says on the box” Man on a Ledge and see Daniel Radcliffe’s first post-Potter chiller The Woman in Black. Here are my views on all three.

The Woman in Black

I’ll admit it up front, I’m not a fan of scary movies especially ones that make you jump. I concentrate so much at being prepared for whatever is going to come next that I don’t get a chance to enjoy the film and get engrossed in the story. So, for a horror film to really impress me it needs to pull me in so much that I forget that a jump might be coming!

Sadly, The Woman in Black did no succeed at this and I found that it compromised coherent storytelling for atmosphere and chills. I think Radcliffe did a fine job as a leading man (although tragically miscast in this film though) and I didn’t think he was Harry Potter once. The setting was amazing and the use of shadows and backgrounds was very well played.

However, by the end of the film I couldn’t care less about any of the characters and it took a 30 minute discussion (at least) to untangle the plot to find out who was haunting who and why. This film could have done with a little more storytelling and a little less ghost.

6/10

 

Man on a Ledge

Sam Worthington plays an ex-cop who claims he was framed for a robbery and is facing a very long time in prison. Rather than face jail for a crime he didn’t commit he decides to escape custody at this father’s funeral and then climb on a very high window ledge and threaten to jump. As the negotiator starts to find out why he is doing such a drastic thing you find out that there maybe more to this than first thought.

This was a very average film that didn’t take itself too seriously. It’s shame though they it didn’t do more with what it had. Sadly it feels eclipsed by other films that did this kind of story better; The Negotiator and Phone Booth to name just two.

5/10

 

Chronicle

When I was first bombarded by the trailer for this film on YouTube my reaction was to dismiss it as another trash film that I’d never heard of. Thankfully I listened to some reviews and decided to give it a go and was so pleased that I did.

The basic story is of three students who suddenly get the ability to move objects with their minds. It starts off as a bit of fun to scare children and confuse people (in hilarious fashion) but as expected things start to spiral out of control.

Essentially this is a superhero origin story told well as three normal boys have to come to terms with newfound powers and how to use them. The unknown actors do a fine job and the special effects don’t disappoint even on a ridiculously low budget.

There are some negatives though: The found-footage approach is annoying and I could happily have done without that and it does suffer a little when it changes gear about two thirds of the way through the film but ultimately this was a very enjoyable 90 minutes at the cinema.

8/10

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