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Scream 3 (2000)
Scream 3 (2000)
2000 | Horror
Characters – Sidney is now living off the map, helping women in need of a helping hand, when the killer tracks her down, she comes to help from her hiding where she will come face to face with the true killer. Dewey is now working on the set of the Stab films, he is helping one of the stars of the film understand her character and gets stuck into the investigation this time. Gale isn’t as cut throat as she once was, her career didn’t go as well as it could have, she must put up with the needy actress who is playing her in the film. Detective Mark Kincaid is the cop assigned to try and track down the killer willing to push boundaries to uncover the truth. We get a string of actors that will be playing to the roles of the characters in the franchise, with Jennifer Jolie preparing to be Gale being the highlight of these and if not the whole movie. Our suspect list is long which only adds to the mystery we might be seeing through the film.

Performances – Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette all return and give good performances through the film, they don’t build on what we know from them, Parker Posey however steals the whole movie, every scene she is in we want to see more from her. This film does suffer from having too many actors which does stop giving the stars the time required to truly shine.

Story – The story follows the production of the third ‘Stab’ movie which is from the series of films that are based on the events of the Scream films, that starts getting its own body count from a new killer with connections to Sidney’s mother. This could easily be considered the weakest story of the three so far in the franchise, this is mostly because of the idea of being on the film set with the actors and real people gets overly complicated and takes away from the suspense we previously experience. As for the twists we learn the rules that make things feel like a larger scale operation which even after seeing the previous film do fit together much like what many of the 80s slashers did.

Horror/Mystery – The horror in the film comes from the slasher side of things which are all routine enough and work for the film, with the mystery coming from just who is truly behind the murders.

Settings – Setting the film in Hollywood, mostly in and around a film set makes us relive the moments we have gotten to know through the years and most importantly show us how a film could be getting made.

Special Effects – The effects in the movie continue the style we have seen before, it gives us the blood we need to make look real without being over the top.

Scene of the Movie – The continuing reference to how difficult Scream 2 was to make.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Some of the supporting characters, mostly the actors don’t get much screen time.

Final Thoughts – This is the third part of one of the greatest horror trilogies, it continues to show us behind the curtain of horror movies with a twist we didn’t know about to keep the story feeling fresh throughout the film.


Overall: This is how to make a trilogy.
Black Christmas (2019)
Black Christmas (2019)
2019 | Horror
Verdict: All Over the Place

Story: Black Christmas starts as we meet our sorority sisters Riley (Poots), Kris (Shannon), Marty (Donoghue), Jesse (O’Grady), Helena (Adams) and Fran (Morris) who are preparing for the Christmas break, with Riley having history with the alpha sorority, which never got dealt with by the authorities.
They decide to get revenge through song and soon find themselves getting picked of by a masked killer, where they need to find themselves fighting to survive.

Thoughts on Black Christmas

Characters – Riley is previously a victim of sexual assault by one of the rich college students, 3-years-later she is still dealing with the effects, being the big sister to the rest of the sisters and is one of the few that worries about the locations of the other girls. Kris has been on a crusade to get equality, she spends most of the time preaching about how men have it easy and mostly gets annoying. Marty is another member of the sorority and like Jesse, we don’t learn much more about any of the other girls.
Performances – Imogen Poots is a talent actress when she is given something to work with, she is the strongest of a weak story, where nobody comes off like they are giving a good acting performance.
Story – The story is meant to be following a group of sorority sisters that get picked off and attacked by a masked killer over the Christmas break. Well, where do we start to break this story down, first thing, this isn’t any sort of remake or sequel to either movie seen before, it uses the location of the house and one look at a death, don’t think this is a remake. Secondly, we spend more time trying to get the message over about men thinking they can walk all over women and the only good men in life are nervous wrecks around the women. Thirdly, this is meant to be a horror and doesn’t even know what tone to stick to. Finally, the trailer gives away everything. This is a social message that uses an existing horror franchise to try and get a point over, without using any sort of subtitle approach.
Horror/Mystery – The horror in this film is almost non-excitant, it tries to use the slow slasher traits early on, which show glimpses, only to go, ‘you know what, we want to do an action horror now’ by the end. The mystery is also poor, because we get zero potential suspects and the only person it could be is revealed in the trailer.
Settings – The college location is fine, though it is the weird college I have ever seen.
Special Effects – When it comes to the effects, we get basic horror ones, sadly, the film decides to hide away from showing any actual gore, even though the injuries are designed to show it.

Scene of the Movie – Nate grabs an axe.
That Moment That Annoyed Me – The girls leave a party at what they say is midnight, we cut to one that left early and it is suddenly 10.45, seriously can people not tell the time?
Final Thoughts – This is a very bad social message horror that spends more time banging you over the head with the message, than actually giving us a coherent story or any scare.

Overall: Social Message, without a scare.
The Purge (2013)
The Purge (2013)
2013 | Mystery, Sci-Fi
Ethan Hawke is no stranger to the horror genre, in 2009 he starred in the Australian vampire flick Daybreakers, a film which promised so much, and delivered relatively little. Now he teams up with director James DeMonaco in a horror film that promises to be anything but ordinary; The Purge, but can it live up to its exciting trailer?

The Purge plays out like a poor-man’s Hunger Games. In the year 2020, America is prospering, crime is at an all-time low and unemployment is at 1%. The reason? Once a year, for twelve hours, all crime is legal and people across US can commit any atrocities they wish.

Ethan Hawke plays James Sandin, a security salesman who has capitalised on the public’s fear of being ‘purged’ by selling hi-tech safety equipment to the rich to ensure they stay safe. Lena Headey plays his wife Mary and his two children, Charlie and Zoe are played by Max Burkholder and Adelaide Kane respectively. In a moment of madness after the commencement of the annual purge, a ‘target’ (Edwin Hodge) is let into their home causing all hell to break loose.

Borrowing heavily from other ‘home invasion’ horror films such as When a Stranger Calls and The Strangers, The Purge really ‘gets going’ about two-thirds in when an army of killers swoop on Ethan Hawke’s impressive property looking for their ‘target.’ The family have one hour to reply before they all become ‘targets.’

Unfortunately, an exciting and unique premise is completely lost in a film that is riddled with many horror clichés, some of them blatantly obvious, (woman opening fridge door, door closes and harmless child shocks woman), some not so obvious. This is a terrible shame as the idea of all crime being legal is ridiculously exciting, but after about 40 minutes, we are locked in the Sandin’s home as they play cat and mouse with an array of forgettable serial killers and the original story is lost.

Another problem is the acting. Competent is the only word to describe it; Ethan Hawke is good in his role and his stern demeanour which has earned him so many acting jobs in the past is in full force here, but you can’t help feeling he was a budgetary decision rather than being who the producers actually wanted. Lena Headey seems to phone in a rather wooden performance, whilst the two kids do marginally better. By far the stand-out here is Rhys Wakefield, credited only as ‘Polite Stranger’ who is excellent and terrifying as equal measure; his facial expressions are enough to make you wince.

Overall, The Purge is an exciting film that delivers some unique thrills and spills mixed in with the usual horror clichés. Unfortunately, it doesn’t deliver on its unique and exciting starting point and delves into a generic slasher film around 45 minutes in. A stand-out performance from one of the cast isn’t enough to lift the acting above mediocre and the Sandin family are as characters, frightfully dull. It’s definitely worth a watch, but don’t let the trailer fool you; it’s not as unique as you might expect.

The new review system breaks down the film into categories allowing you, as the readers to see just where I have awarded points to the film. It is still in a testing stage, so if there are any categories you think could improve it, please let me know.
Unfriended (2014)
Unfriended (2014)
2014 | Drama, Horror, Mystery
Deeply Unnerving
When was the last time you watched a genuinely scary horror film? For me, Sinister, The Conjuring and You’re Next are three of the most terrifying movies to grace the silver screen in the last few years.

However, for every Sinister, there’s a One Missed Call. Bland, forgettable films litter the genre and we’re still waiting for a 90s-esque resurgence to kick-in. Here, Universal Pictures starts its summer movie campaign with Unfriended, but will it have you watching through your fingers?

Unfriended takes place in real-time on the laptop of a high-school student named Blaire (Shelley Hennig). Blaire, along with her boyfriend (Moses Jacob Storm) and a group of other conventional American teenagers gather together on Skype to have a chat.

However, a sinister account belonging to their deceased friend appears to join in the conversation on the anniversary of her suicide. The ensuing horror not only tests the limits of their friendship, but also their strength as human beings.

Levan Gabriadze directs the film brilliantly and in only using social media and webcam chat services, manages to create a horror movie that is genuinely unique and also impossible to predict, playing on our continuous use of modern technology as a plot device.

The result of this static camera work and point of view shooting is a hideously claustrophobic atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re also a part of the group’s terror – though take your glasses along if you have trouble reading from afar like I do.

Casting reasonably unknown actors in the roles was also a master stroke by the production team. In doing so, they have created a film that feels much more real, and in turn a lot more scary, with the characters coming across as just normal kids caught up in something truly awful.

Of course, the lack of feature film experience is evident in the whole of the cast. Some of the acting is decidedly dodgy and

to fully immerse yourself in what’s going on requires a slight suspension of disbelief in these sequences.

What Unfriended does have in its favour however is a plot featuring different tones. As it begins, it appears to be a typical teen-slasher movie like Scream or I Know What You Did Last Summer – but the clever editing and story that picks up pace from around 20 minutes in throws you off the scent of what is really at work here.

Unfortunately, this intriguing premise isn’t explored to its full extent and with a length just shy of 85 minutes there just isn’t enough time to flesh out the characters.

Much like 2013’s The Purge, Unfriended has a story that’s different to every other mass-market horror flick out there, but it feels like the creators chickened out a little before the end and hastily added in unnecessary violence to make it feel a little more conventional which is a real shame.

Overall, Unfriended is a genuinely scary, if slightly too brief horror film that manages to play on our fears of the unknown and what technology can really do if it gets into the wrong hands. If there was to be a sequel, and a look to the past tells me there may well be, let’s hope it’s more like The Purge: Anarchy than Piranha 3DD.
Scream 2 (1997)
Scream 2 (1997)
1997 | Comedy, Horror, Mystery
Characters – Sidney is back studying a college and over the events of the first film, she has moved on with a new boyfriend and new friends, that is until the ‘Stab’ movie is released. Sidney becomes the primary target of the killer and must use the experience with surviving a massacre before to make it out alive. Dewey still suffering the effects of his injuries in the first film, he is no longer a cop and with the events occurring he arrives back in Sidney’s life to try and help before the killer can get near her. Gale wrote the book on the murders, the one that the movie is based on, she is still trying to get a story, but does start to learn the errors in her way when she deals with other reporters. Cotton Weary does have a bigger part this time, as he is trying to piece his life back together after the wrongful accusations. Randy returns to give us the rules needed to make a sequel which an important part of the original. Of our new characters we get the new boyfriend in Derek who seems to be the best part of Sidney’s new life. Cici is the best friend at the college that is the more popular one at the college. This movie does have a larger cast than the first film which doesn’t always give the characters enough screen time.

Performances – Neve Campbell is still good in her role, she does make us believe she is the everyday student that is being tormented by the killer. Courteney Cox and David Arquette continue their good work in the supporting roles, where this film struggles to get the best of the of the supporting cast is by introducing too many characters, with Sarah Michelle Gellar seemingly filling the Drew Barrymore type role, where we expect to see her more in the film.

Story – The story picks up in a universe following the events of the first film where Hollywood makes movies on massacres, with this release we get to see the darker side of Hollywood taking advantage of real-life murders and how the innocent victims and survivor can be painted differently to cinematic purposes, well that seems to be the message I picked up on in this one. when it comes to the slasher side of things we get to watch the victims getting picked off by the killer, this does feel the same as before, while the references through this film focus on the idea of the sequels that Hollywood makes, and how they always story to improve on the last, though we do step away from the horror discussion this time.

Horror/Mystery – The horror side of the film comes from the ideas that people can take advantage of tragic stories for a bigger story, reflecting the events of the film, the mystery can keep us guessing to just who could be behind it this time around with plenty of potential suspects.

Settings – This time the film is set in a college that show us just where Sidney is now in her life which is important as she has moved on, but the event will always be part of her life.

Special Effects – The effects in the film once again show us how blood and gore can be achieved without going over the top.

Scene of the Movie – The showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many supporting characters this time around.

Final Thoughts – This is a sequel that is well worth the watch, it shows progression in the horror genre with a sequel that does make sense to how an everyday person would be moving on with their life after the events in the first one, while still having the tragedy on their shoulder.


Overall: Good fun sequel.
Black Christmas (2019)
Black Christmas (2019)
2019 | Horror
Back in 1974, a low-budget Canadian horror movie by the name of Black Christmas was released and was one of the first to define the slasher movie template that we've now become so heavily accustomed to. Black Christmas already got a remake back in 2006 and now we have another, coming this time from powerhouse movie studio Blumhouse and directed/co-written by Sophia Takal.

Black Christmas retains its campus setting as a group of sorority sisters, all seniors at Hawthorne University, prepare for the end of term and the Christmas holidays. While a group of girls are celebrating one night, one of their friends is being terrorised by a robed killer as she walks home alone down a quiet snowy street, adorned with Christmas decorations. It's all pretty generic stuff so far, and in terms of horror and suspense, that's all we get for about the next 30 minutes or so while the movie shifts down a few gears and tries to introduce us to some characters and some kind of plot.

Riley (Imogen Poots) is one of only a couple of characters who you'll remember come the end of the movie. After passing out at a frat party a few years earlier, Riley was sexually assaulted, and she and her friends are now preparing to sing at another frat party which her accused rapist will also be attending. While looking around the house for a friend who seems to have gone missing, Riley opens the door on a hidden room where she observes a strange ceremony - pledges, wearing medieval robes and masks, are being daubed with some kind of black goo that's oozing from the eyes of a bust depicting the University's founder. She leaves them to it, and heads back to the party, not before rescuing her lost friend from the unwanted advances of another frat boy in his room.

Riley goes on to perform with her friends, a routine which turns out to be a carefully choreographed prank song - worded as a call out to the toxic masculinity and frat rape culture that Riley and so many other girls have experienced first hand. Needless to say, this doesn't go down too well with the boys, even more so when a video of the routine goes viral the next day.

Meanwhile, another one of the sisters is currently in the process of gathering signatures for a petition, in an attempt to get their English professor (Cary Elwes) sacked for not including enough diversity in his curriculum. So, when some of the lesser known female characters begin disappearing, and our main cast begin receiving mysterious and threatening messages on their phones, there are certainly plenty of potential suspects to choose from. Eventually, the killer makes it into the sorority house where Riley and her friends are, and it's up to them all to work together in order to outwit and defeat the killer.

I'm a big fan of the 'final girl' movie, where the seemingly indestructible female lead goes from downtrodden victim to badass warrior (see 'You're Next', or this years hugely enjoyable 'Ready Or Not'), remaining as sole survivor once the dust has settled and the movie comes to its satisfying conclusion. I was really hoping for Black Christmas to follow in that vein, and it's clearly what the filmmakers were aiming for too. But, despite its well-intentioned premise, Black Christmas completely fails to deliver. Death scenes are rushed, not even particularly inventive, and because it is so drearily written and poorly directed, you barely know or even care who most of the victims are anyway. Following a slow and messy first half, the movie then takes a turn towards the supernatural, culminating in a frankly ridiculous final act and cementing this movie firmly in my worst 5 movies of 2019!
Show all 3 comments.

Lee (2206 KP) Dec 13, 2019

@Sarah 😂 I've definitely given some lower ratings - check out my rant about the movie 'Triple 9'! I've just watched the trailer again and yes, it does play out exactly like that, only not quite as intense as they make out 😊


Sarah (7517 KP) Dec 13, 2019

😆 will do! That’s very disappointing, I was hoping to at least be slightly surprised. I’ll look toward to an hour and a half of boredom then!

Child's Play (2019)
Child's Play (2019)
2019 | Horror
Thoughts on Child’s Play

Characters – Andy is a young teenager that has just moved to a new city with his mother, he hasn’t made any friends, turning to his phone to keep him busy, he does have a hearing aid, but it is never clear how bad his hearing is, he gets a Buddi doll that will keep him company as he starts to become friends with the doll. Once he learns of the evil inside the doll, he does all he can to make sure his loved ones are safe, as he starts to make friends away from the doll, he never seems to go to school though. Karen is the single mother that is working double shifts to keep Andy happy, she starts dating a new man, which doesn’t please Andy and does all she can to put Andy first when things start getting out of hand. Chucky is the Buddi doll that has been unleashed from his safety restrictions, he is constantly learning from watching people, which brings out his violent side, which will see him going on a killing spree targeting anyone that hurts or tries to replace him as a friend to Andy. Detective Norris visits the apartment building where his mother lives for dinner once a week, he does notice Andy around the apartment building making sure he is safe.
Performances – Aubrey Plaza as the single mother is strong in her role, she does bring added character to a character that could have come off plain. Gabriel Bateman is great too because he shows us the isolation that he is going through during the film. Mark Hamill does voice the character of Chucky well giving us an entertaining character that get plenty of laughs. Brian Tyree Henry does bring comedy to his role, which is usually a more uptight figure in the film.
Story – The story here follows a boy that given a Buddi doll which soon starts to go on a killing rampage after learning from the technology around him. I do have conflicting feelings about this story, on one side I am disappointed we have scrapped the serial killer trying to get his soul into another body, which I feel is the main part of the franchise. On the positive side we do get to dive into the world where people are letting themselves are being controlled by technology, connecting everything to one source where an error could break everything. seeing Chucky learn is interesting to see too because we see how he processing each clip, line and environmental side of the world. it does borrow from a lot of different films from the past which can be picked up on. This des come off very fun, only it could have been its own new doll instead of just using Chucky showing the lack of originality coming out of the Hollywood.
Horror – The horror in the film is mostly slasher material, we see Chucky getting kills with plenty of blood splatter, with some original kills along the way.
Settings – The film keeps the settings looking very similar with the apartment building showing how hard up the family is, the department store does bring us a great showdown location too.
Special Effects – The effects in the film are strong with the Chucky doll being both creepy and moving in a robotic motion which seems nature.

Scene of the Movie – Chucky has a present for Andy.
That Moment That Annoyed Me – No Serial Killer side.
Final Thoughts – This is a fun horror that does get laughs and blood splatter, it does frustrate though by having to use the Chucky doll for what is a completely original idea.

Overall: Blood Splattering fun.

Lee (2206 KP) rated Happy Death Day 2U (2019) in Movies

Feb 18, 2019 (Updated Feb 21, 2019)  
Happy Death Day 2U (2019)
Happy Death Day 2U (2019)
2019 | Horror, Mystery
A worthy sequel
Contains spoilers, click to show
The original Happy Death Day was a real pleasant surprise. A cross between Groundhog Day and Scream, with our heroine being killed by a baby face mask wearing killer every day, only to wake up again at the start of the same day. With a long list of potential suspects, and slowly feeling the effects of dying repeatedly, she set about trying to find the killers identity. Much of what made the first movie so enjoyable was largely down to lead character Tree, played by Jessica Rothe and the intensely hilarious way that she approached the whole situation. It wasn't exactly a horror movie, more of a comedy thriller.

In Happy Death Day 2U, we begin by following Ryan. Ryan was also in the first movie, bursting into his campus room each morning, interrupting roommate Carter and Tree after she'd spent the night there. As he makes his way to the room from the car he'd spent the night in - avoiding a barking dog, dodging a man asking for money and a boy riding a skateboard - it's pretty clear that we're setting up a series of events likely to be repeated time and again in a similar way that Tree experienced a very specific series of events each day in the first movie. During his morning at university, we discover that Ryan has been working on a Quantum mechanics experiment along with a bunch of nerdy students - a machine dubbed 'Sissy'. Turns out Sissy has been causing some very high power fluctuations and generated some very high readings the day before, the day in which Tree experienced her loop. Soon after, Ryan is killed by the baby face killer and wakes up in his car once again, experiencing the same events we've just seen encounter on the way to his room. When he explains what just happened to Tree and Carter, Tree sets about trying to help him figure out how Sissy caused the time-loop in the first place, and how it has now transferred to Ryan.

At this point you'd think you've got the rest of the movie pretty much figured out - with Ryan repeating his day, aided by experienced looper Tree. But surprisingly, the movie largely abandons its slasher story-line. Instead, we get a more sc-fi story with a varied mix of slapstick comedy and emotional drama. An accident involving Sissy opens up a portal to the multiverse and Tree finds herself caught up in her original loop once more. Only this time, it's in a slightly different universe to the one she's used to - her mum is now alive, and her boyfriend is dating her best friend. Not only does she need to work with Ryan and his nerd friends each day in order to determine how to put things right, she needs to once again work out who the killer is in this particular universe and, more importantly, make the difficult decision to either stay in the universe where her mum is still alive, or return to the one she knows and has lived in all her life.

Once again, Jessica Rothe as Tree is what makes this movie so enjoyable. From the emotional scenes with her mum, to the frustration of the loop, to the bad ass fighting back against it all, she pulls it all off wonderfully. We even get time to enjoy some very funny death scenes too - a particularly enjoyable one being a sky-dive out of an aeroplane, wearing only a bikini and then landing horizontally in slow motion while giving the finger to the camera!

It's difficult for me to say whether or not I enjoyed this movie more or less than the first. A lot of what made the original so enjoyable is present in this sequel. But there are also a lot of new elements introduced, some that work and some that don't. Overall I had a great time watching with this though - definitely a worthy sequel.
Show all 4 comments.

Dean (6164 KP) Feb 21, 2019

Doesn't show her Mum in the trailer


Lee (2206 KP) Feb 21, 2019

Not really a spoiler as such but take your point onboard. Have marked it as a spoiler just in case anyone else thinks it is

The Faceless Man (2019)
The Faceless Man (2019)
2019 |
7.0 (1 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Story: The Faceless Man starts when Emily (Thurling) a recovering cancer survivor who has starting to put her life back together is spending a weekend away with friends, Nina (Kauffeld), Kyle (Pittaway), Brad (Facciolo), Dave (Astifo) and Chad (Walia) are having a weekend away for parties.

It isn’t long before the group of friends have upset the local rednecks who decide to terrorize them, a ruthless drug dealer Viktor Nov (Goikhman) searching for them, while Emily is dealing with her own insecurities about her recover, which manifests itself in a faceless figure haunting her.


Thoughts on The Faceless Man


Characters – Emily is a cancer survivor, she made it with friends, not family and has just started to put her life back together, despite having the fear that one day it would return, which appears to her in living nightmares including a faceless man figure, out of the group of friends this is the only character that gets much outside the generics traits we learn, we have the friend that wants more of a relationship, the one that will push the limits of drugging people, a few jokers and the best friend who can’t handle their substances. Eddie is the owner of the rented house, he comes off creepy to the city slickers as he puts it, he doesn’t want trouble in his property and will deal with anybody that causes it. Viktor Nov is the ruthless drug dealer that has been hunting for his drugs which have a connection to the group of friends, he uses his muscle to kill anybody that disrespects him.

Performances – Sophie Thurling in the leading role is one of the highlights in the film, seeing Sophie balance the mindset of her character through the film will keep us wondering just what will happen next, Albert Goikhman as the ruthless drug dealer is fun to watch, we always know something violent is going to happen when he is on the screen. Andy McPhee does bring the awkward local to life well too.

Story – The story follows a group of friends that want to go on a drink & drug filled party weekend, only to end up in a town that isn’t happy with this lifestyle and that want to send a message to them, while we also see one character haunted by a terrifying looking faceless man. This story does have plenty going on, which works in and against it because you could easily drop one of the side stories and still have an enjoyable horror movie, but mixing them together does add to the mystery of what will happen next, because it does feel like nobody is safe from what is going on. We could have had more development on the group of friends, as it they end up coming off like your usual slasher cast. With the different arcs we do get plenty of violence which is what the film wants to pay respect to the Ozploitation era of cinema, which will help understand the tone of the film.

Horror – The most impressive part of the horror in this film comes from the Faceless Man himself, it comes early in creepy moments, but the reveal of the creature is one of the most terrifying figures in horror this year.

Settings – The film is set in a small town location, with most of the action happening in the one house picked for the party, it shows how things can get out of hand and how uninvited guests can cause more problems in life.

Special Effects – The effects to create the Faceless Man are brilliant, he will scare you, where this film also shines is by letting us imagine the damage being down, with the chainsaw scene being played out longer than needed, which only adds to the horror being inflicted.

Scene of the Movie – The Faceless Man, first full reveal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The group of friends are not that interesting.

Final Thoughts – This is a horror film built of paying respect to the Ozploitation era of cinema, it brings us plenty of blood and keeps us guessing along the way.


Overall: Ozploitation has returned.