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Bedlam - Series 1 [DVD]
Bedlam - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Charlotte Salt
Price: £5.95

16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So much wasted potential, 2 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Bedlam - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
The title of my review says it all. This is a series that is supposed to be about ghosts but, with the exception of one or two moments, the ghosts never seemed to be particularly dangerous. Generally, the worst they did was run up a huge bill for redecorating since all they seem to do is graffiti the walls in a variety of ways.

The series revolves around an old asylum that has been converted into flats. But parts of the building were shown as being completed while other parts were still in ruins; people were falling through floors, endangered by scaffolding etc. Many scenes feature Kate's dad, the owner of the project harping on and on about how they need to sell more flats and why aren't they selling enough flats. I found myself practically screaming at the screen; you're not selling any because you haven't finished building them yet!!! How can you have people moving into a block of flats that's barely even finished? In one scene the character of Mark goes next door to investigate a strange noise. His flat was shown to be completely furnished and comfortable yet the flat directly next door is a hollow shell, looking like something out of a warzone. When exactly does Kate's dad plan to finish them?

The characters themselves were either bland or horrible. The DVD blurb describes Molly as being unemployed and unlucky in love. The blurb has to tell us this because we couldn't learn it any other way. Molly is underdeveloped, boring and even useless. In one scene her bed is set on fire by a ghost. It is only a small fire, nothing that couldn't be put out with a bucket of water. But rather than simply climbing off the bed she sits there screaming for Ryan to come and rescue her. Why didn't she just get off the bed? And as an afterthought, if Molly is unemployed, how exactly is she affording to live in these flats? Those few that have been completed don't look as if they come cheap.

The character of Ryan was equally boring and atrociously acted. Let's be clear about this - Will Young absolutely cannot act! Not one single word did he deliver with even a scrap of believability. The character was also inconsistent - one minute he was straight, then gay, then straight. Pick a sexuality and stick with it. Or, failing that, at least show that the character is conflicted rather than simply swapping them from women to men and back again without any thought for consistency.

Charlotte Salt, playing the part of Kate, is almost as bad at acting as Will Young. How either of them were cast is beyond me. I can only assume that nobody else showed up for the auditions. The character of Kate was nothing short of disgusting. The DVD blurb would have you believe she is the main character but when watching the series I would argue that Jed is actually the main character. Kate is a spoilt, malevolent, selfish, cold-hearted, manipulative, spiteful and vindictive b****. Almost from the word go I was hoping a ghost would just finish her off and give her what she had coming. In one scene, Molly admits to Kate - her supposed best friend - that she has feelings for Ryan. Kate's reaction to this revelation is to wait until Molly leaves the flat before promptly trying to rip Ryan's clothes off. When Molly finds out, Kate's way of appeasing her betrayed friend is to give her the ring Kate's dad found during construction. Great, a second-hand ring. That's just what's needed to repair the broken trust between two friends. It also doesn't take long for Kate to decide that maybe she does like the ring after all and start wearing it herself. Nice.
In another scene where Molly is burned by a candle that she had lit in her room, Kate warns her that she'll have to pay for any damages if the candle has set fire to anything. At no point does she show concern for her injured and frightened friend.

And how many times can we see Kate having nightmares? They all end the same way; with Kate running off down the corridor. Watching it, it felt like this was just an excuse to show off Kate's varied collection of nightwear.

By far the most interesting character, and probably the most interesting part of the series, is Jed. Suffering from a damaged psyche due to his ability to see ghosts, Jed is a troubled character and there was a wealth of potential that could have been explored and wasn't.

The series was littered with endless subplots that go nowhere; Sadie's romance with Jed, the little girl that Jed rescued and the threats of her father to call the police, Kate's affair with a married man and subsequent campaign to destroy his marriage. None of them ever go anywhere and it's incredibly frustrating.

One scene in particular killed the series for me and should have won an award for sheer ridiculousness. Sadie becomes the victim of an angry ghost. Somehow this ghost manages to render her unconscious, then drag her through the whole block of flats and outside to the construction area, lock her in a coffin shaped box and stick her in a convenient coffin shaped hole in the ground to be buried alive by construction workers. This all happens in broad daylight and no one notices??!! And no one hears her screaming??!! And no one questions why they're burying a random box in a random hole when they should be getting on with the flats!!! The illogicality of it makes the viewers out to be idiots.

Above all else I feel I should warn any potential viewers about the end. I'm not giving the end away as there is no end. Just when you think you are getting close to answering some of the questions that have been raised throughout the series, the whole thing just stops. It doesn't conclude, it simply breaks off in an absurd cliffhanger. It doesn't make you want to watch the next series, it makes you want your money back!
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 3, 2013 12:58 PM BST

The Spell [DVD] [2008]
The Spell [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Rebecca Pitkin
Offered by American Beauty Int
Price: £1.25

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously???, 28 Mar. 2011
This review is from: The Spell [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
The synopsis on the back of this dvd states 'Jenny is a young girl who has it all - beauty, brains, a steady boyfriend and even her own flat at the age of sixteen.' Really? At the risk of sounding overly judgemental, the actress playing the lead character is most certainly not beautiful. In fairness she is just this side of plain. Nor does the character exhibit any signs of actually having brains. That annoyed me from the word go because I felt I had been deliberately mislead.
This film was, in a word, horrible. It was clearly low budget which isnt a problem except that it seems to want to be a character-driven film and, unfortunately, none of the characters are real or interesting enough to carry the film, nor are the actors/actresses talented enough. Not one of them managed to deliver a line with a single ounce of believability. Their utter lack of talent was greatly hampered by the laughable script and the poor sense of direction.
The plot seems to revolve around a teenage girl who has a spell cast on her by her ex-boyfriend. The spell is supposed to make her fall in love with him again but that does not appear to be the case. Instead Jenny starts seeing shadows on the walls and hearing irritatingly sepulchral voices at night. The special effects are ludicrous, made even more so by the very loud bursts of annoying music that is obviously supposed to be scary. During one scene where Jenny shouts at a priest who refuses to exorcise her, a random, very loud burst of angelical music is heard. Why the director thought this hideous music would add atmosphere is beyond me. All it did was snatch any credibility the film might have scrabbled up, and crap all over it. The film itself was poorly edited, punctuated by frequent shots of the council estate where Jenny lives. I lost track of how many times the film showed a shot of this estate. I get it, she lives in a council flat, stop showing pointless shots of it already!
The director also seemed to forget how old the central character is. One scene quite early on shows Jenny and her boyfriend visiting a club. Jenny is sixteen, not old enough to get into a club. In this day and age where just about anyone under the age of thirty is expected to carry ID, I find it very hard to believe the director expects the audience to believe this bunch of teenagers can get in without being ID. The club itself was so obviously a poorly put together set that I laughed out loud when I saw it, especially since it was filled with more teenagers dancing very awkwardly and looking anything but natural.
The question of her age is brought into question again when another man takes a romantic interest in Jenny. This man appears to be much older than Jenny but apparently has no qualms about dating a teenager.
If the actress playing Jenny had had a modicum of talent perhaps I might have been able to overlook the appalling acting and development of the other characters - I didnt have a clue who any of them where supposed to be - and the fact that although the film is supposed to be about witchcraft, there is very little witchcraft featured which left me feeling cheated. I might also add that when Jenny speaks in the voice of the creature that has possessed her it is supposed to sound scary but actually sounds more like a character from Looney Tunes! The climax is so empty and dull you can't help wondering why the idiot female lead didnt just try that in the first place. The 'plot line' with the ex-boyfriend was never really concluded nor was the witch element. It was never even explained why casting a spell had caused Jenny to become possessed by the cartoonish apparition.
The film itself looks like it was shot on a cheap camcorder by some students attempting their first feature and I would really advise anyone thinking about buying this not to bother. I could write for hours about everything else that's wrong with this film but I think I have ranted enough. Save your money and dont throw away an hour and a half of your life watching this truly awful film (I can barely even bring myself to call it that). If you do go ahead and buy it, more fool you. I guarantee you will regret it.

Shelter [DVD]
Shelter [DVD]
Dvd ~ Julianne Moore
Offered by wantitcheaper
Price: £2.85

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been so much better, 26 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Shelter [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this film based purely on the premise. Julianne Moore plays psychologist Cara Harding who finds herself investigating the case of Adam, a young man who seems to suffer from multiple personality disorder. But as Cara delves deeper into his strange case she soon finds that the answers to Adam's condition are far more sinister than she had ever imagined.
I hoped this would be a smart psychological thriller perhaps with a neat twist thrown in somewhere. I got a twist all right but it certainly wasn't what I had been hoping for. The most disappointing thing about this film is that somewhere in amongst the mess there is a hint of something better, something that never was. The first half the film is carried by Jonathan Rhys Meyers who plays Adam and all of his personalities. His perfomance in this film really was excellent. He slips from personality to personality with remarkable fluidity while managing to remain extremely convincing. His character switches were what convinced me to keep watching the film since I had been very unimpressed with the rest of it. It wasnt that Julianne Moore was bad - per se - but she was boring. The character had no depth or interest and this was highlighted all the more when she was up against Meyer's bold performances.
Unfortunately the film, which could have ben smart, then completely derails itself as it descends into a steaming pile of nonsense. The psychological element becomes the supernatural as Harding discovers that Adam's 'personalities' are in fact the spirits of murder victims. Even this might have been workable with a decent script but the directors seemed hellbent on destryoing their own film. The moment Harding goes running off to find a bunch of gypsies living in the mountians, and the wizened old crone that appears to lead them, I knew the film had dug itself into a hole from which it could not crawl out. No explanation is offered as to why the Harding character goes running off to visit these cliche gypsies and their even more cliche crone. How Julianne Moore sat through these scenes without laughing I honestly do not know.
Ultimately the film succumbs to the most irritating of horror tropes - let's run screaming through the spooky forest at night. This is a trope that I can barely stand to see in a horror film let alone a 'psychological thriller'. The supernatural explanation offered for the events in the film is poorly executed and downright silly, with characters constantly preaching about God and religion and will happen to a non-believer. The first half of the film is worth watching simply for Meyer's impressive performance but if you do switch off halfway through, you really wouldnt miss anything. The film promised so much and gave so little, ending with nothing but plot holes and the dropped jaws of the audiences who - like me - couldnt believe they sat through the whole hour and forty minutes for that pitiful conclusion.

The Haunting Of Molly Hartley [DVD]
The Haunting Of Molly Hartley [DVD]
Dvd ~ Haley Bennett
Offered by Bee-Entertained
Price: £3.14

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, misleading and downright stupid, 24 Mar. 2011
To be fair I wasn't expecting too much from this film when I bought it. I assumed it would be mildly entertaining, a teen drama with a supernatural twist. Sadly it failed to meet even my lowest expectations. The film centres around the titular Molly Hartley, a seventeen-year-old girl whose father moves her to a new town and new school for a fresh start, after her mother attempted to murder her. But there is something wrong with Molly. She hears voices and has strange nose bleeds and at times appears to hallucinate about her mother coming back to finish her off. Unfortunately that is basically all that happens in this film, eked out by pointless and very boring teen fluff. Haley Bennett who plays Molly is hardly an accomplished actress. She moves from scene to scene with the same sour look on her face as if smiling would kill her. Her character is never developed, nor are any of the other 'characters' though in all fairness I can't really call them that with a straight face. The blonde, bitchy cheerleader,the campus 'hunk', the bad girl who you know is a rebel because she has - shock horror!! - lots of holes in her tights, are all just cardboard cut-out stereotypes of every other bad teen film that has ever gone before. The director makes no attempt to flesh out any of the characters or give you any reason to care about them.
I found the film to be very misleading because the title clearly states 'haunting'. Let's be very clear about this. There was no haunting in this film. Hearing noises and having random nose bleeds does not constitute a haunting and I pity anyone that thinks it does. The whole way through the film I kept thinking, 'when is something going to happen?' There was literally no plotline, just a number of stupid jump scares like alarm clocks going off or random flocks of birds flying across the screen.
Finally towards the end it almost looked like something was going to happen as it turns out that Molly's parents made a pact with the devil and on her eighteenth birthday she will become his and be all-powerful. But no attempt is made to explain what the devil wants with a teenager with a face like a smacked backside, what her powers will be or what she is destined to do. She will simply be 'powerful'. And that is supposed to be the explanation for nearly an hour and half of painful tedium?
In short everything about this film was truly terrible. The cast was uninspired, untalented, and hampered by a diabolical script that seemed to consist of 'I have to save you' and 'I know what you are'. Well, I'm glad someone in the film knew what she was supposed to be because I sure as hell didnt.

Hex: Season 1 [DVD] [2004]
Hex: Season 1 [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Jemima Rooper
Price: £6.99

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst things I have ever seen., 9 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Hex: Season 1 [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
I bought Hex on impulse, thinking it looked like an enjoyable piece of viewing. How very wrong I was!! I tried to like this, I really did, but it was clear from just the first half an episode how appalling this was going to be. The script can only be described as shocking, written by people who dont seem to have any inkling of character and plot development.
As if it wasnt bad enough to put such a shoddy script to film, the series' makers then decided to cast the most dreadfully talentless bunch of 'actors' they could find. Their reactions were so unconvincing it was actually painful. The interactions between one other were forced and wholly unbelievable, probably because the characters themselves were under-developed, one-dimensional and downright dull. Their story arc is as rambling as the plot; Troy who seems to scorn Cassie for the first episodes then falls madly in love with her for absolutely no reason at all. It is frustrating that viewers are being expected to swallow this nonsense. The plot - if it can be called that - was a rambling mess that skipped from episode to episode with little sense of continuity or sense. First Cassie possesses telekinetic powers, then she is a witch, then she is destined to give birth to a child that for some reason will release two hundred fallen angels. It is not the plot itself that is so inconceivable, it is the poor mythology built up around the show, the lack of menace from the main villain, the lack of likeability from the 'heroine' and the general shambles of dialogue and acting. It seems hard to believe that anyone could have directed this and actually thought it was good. I can only assume all the crew were blind, deaf and dumb, which would explain why they couldnt see the diabolical acting of their cast.
This series started off bad and only got worse as it went on; cheesy sex scenes that look more awkward than anything, Jemima Rooper's ghost that can't touch people but still manages to hold solid objects and eat constantly. She also spends a lot of time trying to electrocute her best friend to stop her from being possessed. Last I heard electrocuting someone tended to kill them but apparently the characters of Hex are immune to this as they are electrocuted left, right and centre, with little or no lasting damage. Throw into the mix the bizarre school that just doesnt have any place in modern society - I mean, really, where exactly is this school supposed to exist? - and a pair of poorly conceived teachers that feel they have to concern themselves with the goings-on of their favourite student, who just happens to be the heroine.
Frankly I was so bored by the end I was hoping a decent character woud come along, kill all the students, vaporise Rooper's mopey ghost, slaughter the whiny, wimpy female lead and the ludicrous character of Azazeal along with her. Truly this is television at it's very worst. Hex? It should have been called Curse, because that's what it feels like when you're watching it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 17, 2011 3:47 PM GMT

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