Evil Wants Your Children! “Slender Man” review


A Massachusetts foursome of girls, Wren, Chloe, Hallie, and Katie, invoke the summoning of an internet lore named Slender Man after watching an instructional online video on how to evoke his presence to reality. After the video completes and the girls dismissively chalk this activity up as hoax-filled rubbish, an embattled and disconnected Katie vanishes a few weeks later during a school sanctioned field trip to a historical graveyard, thrusting the remaining three friends into investigating her abrupt disappearance all the while they each experience an ominous figure haunting them in and out of consciousness. As the continue to look for Katie, Slender Man keeps popping up into the findings. Wren’s convinced, after suffering from terrifying visions, that Slender Man wants the four who’ve contacted him and when her friends dismiss Wren’s frantic ravings, she employs Hallie’s sister, Lizzie, to assist in stopping Slender Man. All of reality is being skewed while Slender Man hunts them down one-by-one and if they’re not taken, those left in Slender Man’s wake will forever be deranged with madness.

Straight from it’s internet meme playbook origins comes the constructed next chapter in “Slender Man’s” mythology from the “I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer” director Sylvain White and written by David Birke (“Elle”) that feels very familiar to “The Ring” premise. Based of the mythos created by Victor Surge, aka Eric Knudsen, “Slender Man” fruition onto the Hollywood scene finds a home under Sony’s Screen Gems division, the same division that delivered the Paul W.S. Anderson “Resident Evil” franchise. While not a mega-glossy action horror piece for Sony and Screen Gems, White’s take on one of the internet’s most popular and mysterious spawns revels in it’s own crowd funded supernatural element and White is the grand puppeteer behind the scenes piecing the material together that builds upon, and extends, “Slender Man” canon into film and video visuals. “Slender Man” provides the character flesh, extenuating doubt where special effects can make monolith his presence of inception and flourish from imagination to terrifying reality. If looking outside the box, “Slender Man” could also be translated into symbolism for the online predatory habits men take towards young, sometimes teenage and impressionable girls. There in lies references to this notion with such in Katie, who is a runaway teenage girl with a fixation toward an obscured man from the internet, aka Slender Man, and also Hallie’s vivid nightmares of being pregnant with the very Lovecraftian-esque spawn of Slender Man as tentacles shoot out from her large, protruding stomach. Yes, she’s a high school girl…

“Slender Man” centers around a four female, high school age characters: Chloe, Katie, Wren, and Hallie. The latter being the leader, Hallie, played by Julie Goldani Telles, is an unwavering non-believer of Slender Man, contributing her visions and feelings as some sort of coming of age Freudian bizarro show. The now 23-year old Telles convinces to pull off a well adjusted teenage girl spiraling into Slender Man’s otherworldly oblivion and absolutely turns the corner when younger sister Lizzie, Taylor Richardson, becomes an unwitting participate. Hallie almost comes toe-to-toe with her confident and frantic friend Wren, a character bestowed to Joey King of “Quarantine” and “White House Down.” King’s townboy-ish approach has served well to keep her character apart in order to not clash with other warring personalities. Yet, there’s not a whole lot interesting aspects associated with the other two characters, Chloe and Katie. If audiences were expected to be concerned for Katie, then Annalise Basso needed her character to have more screen time. The “Ouija: Origin of Evil” actress barely had a handful scenes to try to convey a poignant life with an alcoholic father before she’s whisked away to never been seen again. Chloe had a slight more substance as means to exhibit the result of not being taken by Slender Man; “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s” Jaz Sinclair didn’t really add any pizzaz to her poorly written flat character.

Though Slender Man’s origins surpasses being a byproduct of an internet meme and becomes woven into a lore of all it’s own through a global, technological network, the very fabric “Slender Man’s” tech horror theme had laid a negligent foundation. Viewers without a hint of Slender Man knowledge will find the connection between the shadowy figure that stalks and kidnaps children and the domain from which it was born, witnessing the technology used in the film being wielded as a tool of evil rather than a conduit of to connect two worlds. What works for Sylvain White is his knack for shaping Slender Man into physicality in an applauding effort that combines chilling atmospherics, well timed visual and audio cues, above decent special effects, and the crunchy, contorted body of Javier Botet as the Slender Man. We’ve covered Botet before in “Insidious: The Last Key” as the antagonistic KeyFace creature. KeyFace and Slender Man, two similar but still vastly different villains, wouldn’t be as influential or be brought to such a horrifying fruition if Botet was not behind the mask and it’s because of Botet’s blessing, but also a curse, Marfan Syndrome physique that he’s able to accomplish a wide range of distorted and malformed characters.

Sony Pictures presents “Slender Man” onto HD 1080p Blu-ray under the Screen Gems label. The Blu-ray is presented in widescreen of the film’s original aspect ratio, 2.39:1. “Slender Man” doesn’t sell itself as high performance, resulting in more details in the range of textures rather than relying on a clean, finished look. Colors are remain behind a cloak of darker shades to pull of gloomy atmospherics, but do brighten when the scene calls for it. The digital film looks great, if not fairly standard, for movies of today. The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is quite high performance, like revving an engine on an imported roadster. Slender Man comes with his own cache of audio tinglers to send chills up your spin and invoke cold sweats. Every branch breaking ambiance and desperate and exasperated breath being took by the teen girls aligns cleanly and nicely with the visual representations. Dialogue is lossless and prevalent as well as being integrated seamlessly during more active sequences in a well balanced fit all with range and depth. Thin extras do put a damper on the release with a bland featurette entitled “Summoning ‘Slender Man:’ Meet the Cast.” The featurette doesn’t do much more than give the actors’ and White’s opinion of their characters and Slender Man. The shame of it is that the internet is a vast place of information and knowledge and, yet, the featurette doesn’t knick the surface of who and what is Slender Man. Plus, if remembering correctly, there are scenes omitted from this release; more intense and bloodshed scenes that would have granted a more adult friendly rating. This release doesn’t offer up two versions of the film. Despite embodying a rehashed, bi-annual story of supernatural and psychological tech horror of the PG-13 variety, “Slender Man” endures through with a sliver of appreciation for the easily missed facets that work as a positive in Sylvain White’s 2018 film, such as bleak atmospheric qualities and Javier Botet’s performance, but the diluted final product, released on Blu-ray, benches what could have an at home video entertainment home run for Sony Pictures.

Welcome to the Family. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Review

I want you all to try to go back to 1996. You just got your Playstation and you picked up the newest game called Resident Evil. You know nothing about it and when you start playing you have a wave of emotions hit you. You feel fear, excitement, and anxiety; but yet you keep playing. You were just introduced to the world of Survival Horror. Now it’s 2017 and we are now into seventh main installment of the Resident Evil franchise and sort of a moment of truth for Capcom. Last few years have been rough for Resident Evil so lets see how the latest installment stands.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. It is the seventh main installment in the Resident Evil series and was released on the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

2017-02-07_1456

The game takes place in the fictional town of Dulvey, Louisiana. You play as Ethan Winters who goes searching for his wife 3 years after her disappearance. The only information you have of her location is at the Baker estate, this is where your nightmare begins.

There is no denying that the RE engine is amazing. Resident Evil 7 passes with flying colors when it comes to visuals, the game is absolutely gorgeous. Realistic graphics with so much attention to detail really makes the atmosphere. Paired up with its excellent sound design which really puts you on edge, hearing random foot steps and loud bangs some where in the house can quickly make you stop what you’re doing and check behind you. Unlike older Resident Evil games, there really isn’t much background music. The only time i’ll hear music is either in the save rooms or during cut scenes, which is fine. No music really does build the tension and makes you listen to your environment.

2017-02-07_1455

The most controversial aspect of the game is its change to game play. Resident Evil 7 now puts the player in first person view, which this isn’t the first time they’ve experimented with this. Resident Evil: Survivor being the first one that was in first person, so I was quite interested when they said they were trying it again. As a big Resident Evil fan I can tell the skeptical fans that the first person view works. Resident Evil now feels even more immersive with it. The game still has its slow and sluggish movement, puzzle solving, save rooms , and combat just like the previous titles and the first person view fits perfectly. I haven’t played the game in VR because I’m broke but I have heard that game is even better with it, so now I guess I’ll have start saving up for one.

2017-02-07_1506

I feel I have to talk more about combat since I still see people complain how the game is like other non combat horror games, like Amnesia or Outlast. The combat feels just like an older Resident Evil, except Resident Evil 5 and 6. Thank god Capcom abandon the combat from the previous two and went right back to how Resident Evil 1 through 3 combat worked. Ammo and healing items are extremely scarce and you must manage your inventory to survive in certain situations. Enemies will move unpredictably and you must control your shots and keep your distance if you want to take down your foe. When it comes to difficulty, the game on normal is pretty easy, some parts can be a little challenging but if you’re careful and know where to go, then the game is a breeze.

Now Resident Evil 7 isn’t a long game. It took me about 7 to 8 hours to beat on normal difficulty my first time. It can easily be finished faster when you know where to go and what to do, There have been people who finished it in under 2 hours. But if you’re like me and like to explore then it will take you a while to finish. The story is where this game made me fall in love with it. This is by far my favorite Resident Evil story. The team they have behind this game is solid, the director behind the Revelation games is directing it and the writer behind the F.E.A.R 2 expansions made this a memorable experience and I hope Capcom keeps this team for future installments. Everything about the story is great, every character was interesting, and every location was awesome. The story to Resident Evil 7 is definitely more competent compared to the previous games.

As much as I love Resident Evil 7, I do have some minor gripes with the game. First one isn’t a big deal but I was a bit disappointed. Resident Evil has a tradition, when a player presses start on the main menu, they will hear a loud, deep voice reading the title of the game. Example:

Like I said this isn’t a big deal or a turn off for me but I was a bit bummed they broke tradition. Another gripe I had was the lack of variety with enemies. Before you always fought zombies, mutant dogs, and big hulking monsters. But now the only enemy you fight besides the Baker family are the ”Molded” which look very similar to Resident Evil 4 ”Regeneradors”. Yes these enemies are creepy and hard to take down but after a while you just get tired of fighting them and want something else. Hopefully in Resident Evil 8 we get a bigger cast of monsters.

2017-02-07_1507

In conclusion, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is a great game. I’m so happy that Capcom put the brakes on the franchise and went back to how it originally was. Unlike other companies that have completely abandon their horror franchises. I’m glad that I stuck with Capcom all these years and going through many disappointments to finally see my favorite horror series come back on top. Resident Evil veterans would love this and for new people I highly recommend it. It is a great starting point for newcomers to get invested into world of survival horror.

My final score for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is a 9/10

The terror continues. Resident Evil 7: Beginning Hour demo (Post final update review)

December is finally here and that means one thing. Well yes you could say the holidays but for me, it means we are a month away from Resident Evil 7! In recent years I never thought I would be excited for another Resident Evil game, seeing how downhill the series went and the disappointment I had with Capcom. Now that the demo is complete and Capcom is getting their game ready for release, let’s look at what this small teaser has to offer.Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour_20161205142042

The demo starts off the same. You wake up in the same room with a fireplace, piano and TV set, as well as the same objective; escaping from the house. The new addition in the final update is the locked door on the right is now unlocked and leads you into a creepy hallway. Already this is where I sort of felt like I was playing an old Resident Evil game. Walking into another part of this creepy house where I am greeted with a hallway or room that feels different from the previous one. Different wall colors, sounds and all around the feeling of something bad is going to happen.Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour_20161205142132

The First room on the right is a bathroom where for some reason is a blood filled bathtub with a bike in it. Cool. Anyway, between the bathtub and the toilet is a pipe missing a valve. Next to the pipe is a blood filled toilet which we need to flush to get what’s inside (spoiler alert: It’s a gun). So thus begins my journey of finding this valve and collecting my weapon. Continuing down this hallway and collecting several handgun bullets and other items we come to an iron gated door that leads to the house’s basement.Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour_20161205142450

Before entering the basement, I could hear something lurking inside the room and that feeling of dread came right over me. After opening the door and taking a few steps in, this room is just not sitting right with me. Bodies dangling from the ceiling, weird noises, the valve I’ve been looking for is right across from me and oh look; Black slime that we have seen before is dripping from the vent. This isn’t good. Just like the older games, I was preparing myself for what I am going to trigger by picking this valve up.Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour_20161205142504

Picking up the valve I walk to the door and see that good old Jack Baker has blocked me in with god knows what. The model of Jack is really well done and his facial expressions are amazing. He almost frightened me when he showed himself on the other side, laughing at me. Once Jack takes his leave and our first encounter with a monster begins, I manage to break out of the basement and back track my way to the bathroom to retrieve my weapon. After finally getting a gun I must go back to the basement and face the monster again.Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour_20161205142652

After going back into the basement and collecting a final item, I must fight the monster. The monster looks very similar to the regenerador in Resident Evil 4, but this is actually a new enemy called ”molders”. The design of the monster is nice and looks like something you really don’t want to run into. Fighting it can be pretty hard. It’s attack is pretty fast and being in a small room doesn’t help since it can grab you pretty easily. Along with the fast and creepy music playing during the fight it can really get your heart racing.Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour_20161205142225

Now we come to the end of the demo. After getting your items and fighting the molder you must get to the attic window and escape. There are two new endings in this update, which I will not spoil. Both endings are based on how you play the demo, one ending is the ”True” ending  and the other is the ”infected” ending. Each ending left me with more questions and wanting to continue on. Capcom did really well with this demo and did more than enough to show me that they care for this franchise. If you have a Playstation 4 please download this demo and give it a try, whether you’re new or a veteran. For Xbox One and PC players, don’t worry the demo is coming December 9th. Capcom I am ready to return to the world of survival horror.Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour_20161205142837

Resident Evil 7 trailer breakdown and theories.

Last night Capcom surprised us with the new Resident Evil 7 reveal trailer. After watching it 100 times, I feel the urge to analyze the video and see if there are any clues relating to the past games.

2016-06-14_1719

So first lets start with this image.  This to me is a throwback to the first game, when it showed the ”Raccoon Times” news paper with a headline about strange murders taking place around Arklay. Now it seems the residents of this new location cannot explain what kind of creatures they are seeing and they refer to them as ”ghosts”. Many people are complaining that maybe the new enemies will be paranormal. I for one do not believe that and still believe that the new enemies are the outcome of a biological weapon.

2016-06-14_1720

This shot I found interesting. To me it looks like someone holding a rifle with a flashlight and wearing tactical gear. Could this be Umbrella security trying to protect a testing site? Maybe a BSAA operative or it could be Hunk? I would be very excited if it is Hunk, a guy can dream.

2016-06-14_1725

Now could this be one of our protagonists? Many people are thinking this is Rebecca Chambers, which could be true since she is supposedly returning in the new Resident Evil: Vendetta movie. I have money on either being Rebecca or Moira Burton.

2016-06-14_1726

This I believe is more of symbolizing what has happened. A virus or whatever it is spreading over this couples photo, with the glass being smashed over the husbands face. Maybe the husband is behind what is happening in this house? From the demo one of the characters says something about their son ”Lucas” being a ”bad seed”. maybe this couple’s son had ties to Umbrella and therefore had his hands on some very nasty biological shit and came back home to spread it. Who knows, but this shot is interesting.

2016-06-14_1727

Here is the part in the trailer I’m sure had Resident Evil fans going crazy. This is obviously Oswell E. Spencer, founder of the Umbrella Corporation. I mean who else could this be? An old, balding guy in a wheel chair inside in the famous Spencer mansion. Does this mean Spencer is back even though Wesker killed him in Resident Evil 5? I don’t think so, I think this might be a flash back or who knows maybe he did survive and he himself is infected with a new virus.

13411662_1117356271664007_7942588232692293360_o

This isn’t from the trailer but I had to throw in. This is a screenshot I took while playing through the demo. While in the attic of the house I found this old photograph of what appears to be an Umbrella Corporation helicopter. Before picking up the photo there was a phone beside it ringing. I answered it and heard a mysterious female character telling me that ”Memories hold the truth. Do not let appearances mislead you”. I have an interesting theory about that and have written it below. Please skip ahead to the next picture if you do not want spoilers.

I am entering SPOILER territory now. So if you have NOT played Resident Evil Revelations 2, please skip down to the next picture. In Resident Evil Revelations 2, Albert Wesker’s sister was introduced as the main antagonist. She, like her brother dealt with viruses and all sorts of biological weaponry. She was obsessed with living forever and wanted to find a suitable person to transfer her mind into. Nearing the end of the game Alex was in the process of moving her mind into Natalia, a little girl who Alex picked as her new ”vessel”. During that process Alex then kills herself, to be free from her aging body. The very end of Revelations 2 it is shown that Natalia is slowly turning into Alex, showing that Alex’s experiment was a success. So could it be that Natalia’s mind has now completely transformed into Alex Wesker and she is behind this new viral outbreak? From what we are told on the phone, it does make sense but we’ll have to wait and see.

2016-06-14_1836

Another screenshot from the demo that I wanted to add. I took this one to show that no, we are not dealing with ghosts. This is one of the enemies that shows up in the cinematic cut scene at the end of the demo, judging from her face it looks like she has some vein inflammation (possibly from an infection?) and her eyes being blacked out. Who knows what the hell is going on, I know there are plenty of theories being thrown around and I honestly can not wait for this game. I am going to see if there are anymore secrets hidden in this demo.

 

Pre-order RE7 for PS4 on Amazon!

”Fear comes home again” Resident Evil 7 reveal trailer.

Well the Sony E3 conference just ended and all I have to say is wow. Just wow. Yes you read the title right, Resident Evil 7 was revealed with a very interesting trailer. When the trailer started I had absolutely no idea what it was about, then when it picked up and threw that awesome Resident Evil logo on the screen I couldn’t help but to jump and cheer.

Resident Evil 7 is the seventh installment in the main Resident Evil franchise. It is of course being developed by Capcom and will be released on PS4, XBOX ONE, and PC on January 24, 2017. This trailer is very interesting and I have to admit that I probably watched it about 50 times. I’ve noticed many people complaining about how different it looks from the others and I have to agree that it does, but so did Resident evil 4. Which ended up being one of the best in the series, so I would say that everyone should relax and wait until we get more information about the game. But as for me, I am incredibly excited and I salute you Capcom for going back to horror.