TheDOMINATOR's Movie Review Thread

→ in

Hello, everyone. This is the thread in which I will provide my film reviews. Check back in from time to time, as I plan to post new reviews somewhat regularly.

My Rating System

Everyone's differs slightly I imagine, so here's how mine functions in some detail:

1/10 - Extremely bad, utterly horrible, not worth watching a full time through.
Example: Black Christmas (remake)

2/10 - Very bad, almost unbearable but can be viewed in its entirety. There may be some potential hidden under the poor dialogue/character development/camera work, but you have to struggle too hard to see it.
Example: AVP 2 (AKA Aliens Versus Predator: Requiem)

3/10 - Similar to the 2/10 rank, but slightly more watchable. There is more potential more clearly evident here, and there may be genuinely decent scenes/dialogue segments/plot details present, but very, very few.
Example: American Pie: Band Camp

4/10 - A bad disappointment. Evidence of a good movie may be present here, and there may be a few aspects of it that are genuinely "good," but ultimately they fail to do the movie justice in its entirety.
Example: Hatchet

5/10 - Not half-bad, but passable. One maybe to be seen for fans of the genre/type of movie, but not good enough to recommend specifically to anyone.
Example: Dead Silence

6/10 - Slightly below average, decent. Almost definitely deserving to be watched, but probably only once in a very long time (for example, like two years). It could have been much better but it wasn't, or it couldn't have been better but was "okay" for what it was.
Example: Elektra

7/10 - Slightly above average, good. Worthy of being recommended to a friend or family member. Enjoyment/intrigue/interest was found while viewing and/or afterward. Flaws are noticeable, but not enough to ruin the movie in its entirety.
Example: Commando

8/10 - Very good, not to be missed. There are a couple of things that don't work here or that maybe could have been a little better or different, but a vast majority is above and beyond "decent."
Example: I Am Legend

9/10 - Extremely good, worthy of a "favorites" list. Only one or two minor flaws or issues hold it back from a perfect rating. These flaws, if any are present at all, are easily forgivable.
Example: Fargo

10/10 - Extraordinary. Nearly perfect in every way. A 10/10-rated movie is a rarity.
Example: 12 Angry Men
For the 5-point rating scale conversion from my 10-point scale, all ratings ending in .5 are rounded down. This seemingly defies the laws of mathematics, but film ratings can be funny things.


-Fight Club (

-Gigli (

-30 Days of Night (

-The Mist (

-The Shawshank Redemption (

-The Strangers (

-The Incredible Hulk (

-Wanted (

-Journey to the Center of the Earth (

-The Dark Knight (

-Hellboy II: The Golden Army (

-Quarantine (

-The Blair Witch Project (

-Groundhog Day (

-The Lake House (

-Empire Records (

-How the West Was Won (

-A Walk to Remember (

-Terminator Salvation (

-Up (

-Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen (

-Poltergeist (

-District 9 (

-The Happening (

Nice reviews. Looking forward to seeing what else you post. Keep up the good work.
Thank you, sir. Except I'm having difficulties with formatting. Some of the text is magically turning bold!

The problem is with the tags you're using -- looking at the bb Code, you seem to have multiple redundant tags for your titles, some of them not nested properly. It looks like you tried to apply various types of formatting to certain lines more than once. I can't really piece together exactly what you did, but that seems to be the gist of the problem.

The best way to fix this would be for you to highlight each review, and hit the "Remove Text Formatting" button in the top-left-hand of the editor (it looks like two As with a red X through them). Then just apply your style changes to the title again.

More importantly, though: you really should break your reviews up into individual posts. This is a far more sensible way to display them.

The problem is with the tags you're using -- looking at the bb Code, you seem to have multiple redundant tags for your titles, some of them not nested properly. It looks like you tried to apply various types of formatting to certain lines more than once. I can't really piece together exactly what you did, but that seems to be the gist of the problem.

The best way to fix this would be for you to highlight each review, and hit the "Remove Text Formatting" button in the top-left-hand of the editor (it looks like two As with a red X through them). Then just apply your style changes to the title again.

More importantly, though: you really should break your reviews up into individual posts. This is a far more sensible way to display them.
Thank you, sir! Wow, I'm not sure *what* I did, but I think it's set up the way I'd like it now. And I'll post all future reviews in additional, separate posts. The original post is quite large, huh?

\m/ Fade To Black \m/
Awesome reviews dude keep up the great work, looking forward to see your next reviews.
~In the event of a Zombie Uprising, remember to sever the head or destroy the brain!~

~When im listening to Metallica, Nothing else matters~

N3wt's Movie Reviews New DVD Thread Top-100

Glad to help. I would strongly recommended breaking even the existing ones up, however. It's up to you, but I think a lot of people will be discouraged from reading them in this format, and I can't add them to the User Reviews area unless they're separarted, as well.

Glad to help. I would strongly recommended breaking even the existing ones up, however. It's up to you, but I think a lot of people will be discouraged from reading them in this format, and I can't add them to the User Reviews area unless they're separarted, as well.
In that case, I'll definitely break them up. Once I do, will you automatically include them in the "User Reviews" area (once you have the time), or is there a certain requirement that needs to be met on my end first?

Fight Club (1999) - 10/10

I don't know where to start. This movie was recommended to me by more than one member here, and solely because of that I went out and bought this movie soon afterward and watched it. I was blown away.

Everything from the dialogue to the musical score to the acting was just about flawless. The plot/storyline, while at first somewhat unclear, was enthralling after I began to really realize what it was all about; the action, while not action packed with incredible special effects, was very good and well-placed; and the characters were very relatable, complex, and force you to become intrugued by them and their actions in the movie due to their high likability and interest factors. All of that plus more about and in the movie was remarkable.

Brad Pitt delivered an excellent performance--one of the best of his career to date--and it goes without saying that Edward Norton nailed his role dead-on. Truth be told, Helena Bonham Carter's character I connected with the least and didn't like nearly as much as the others, but even her character was brilliantly portrayed by the actress, herself, and filled with detail and yet tantalizing mystery. Add in the very likeable "Bob" and you have yourself a movie filled with a great set of both characters and actors who play them alike.

That being said, as I mentioned above, during the first half-hour or so I found myself struggling to figure out what exactly was going on or what exactly the movie was even about. But as the Narrator began to explain things more in-depth as the movie progressed, and as the characters in the movie began to progress more toward the main plot, things quickly started to become more clear and understandable. From then on--from about 45 minutes to an hour into the movie and on--I was totally engrossed to the very end.

And what an ending it was, what--in my opinion--is one of the greatest endings of any movie in cinematic history. Like "The Mist," Fight Club has a totally insane, unexpected (well, for me at least) double-twist ending which contains two "major events." The first "event" will have you saying "Wow," and shortly afterwards "Ah, now I get it!" And the second "event" will just leave you breathless.


When I say two "events," I mean
Event 1: A certain someone realizes something.
Event 2: A certain few things go bye-bye.


My final thoughts on Fight Club is that it's one of the best movies I've ever seen, and I'm saying this after just having watched it a couple of nights ago for the very first time. It's dark, complex, highly entertaining, and demands that you truly think about what is going on at every moment. Awesome, spectacular, remarkable film on a level with other greats such as Donnie Darko that will remain one of my favorites forever.

Gigli (2003) - 7.5/10

If you've looked at its page on IMDB and have seen its average rating, you'd be shocked when comparing it to mine. I absolutely love this drama/romance/comedy starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. The acting is excellent, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez delivering, in my opinion, the best performances of their careers; the dialogue is often captivating and at times even philosophical, provoking a deeper thought which is near rare in movies; and, perhaps above all else, the musical score is phenominal and one of the best in any movie that I've ever seen. Gigli's musical score is often moving and of a variety that--when coupled with the right also-moving scenes--provokes goosebumps. I remember getting goosebumps twice.

Christopher Walken and Al Pacino play minor roles and, while Christopher Walken's performance I felt was a bit lacking, I thought Al Pacino's was extraordinary. Along with Walken's out-of-character acting, the plot being a little weak at times throughout are the only bad things I have to say about this movie, and these are the only two things keeping it from receiving that perfect 10/10 score. Other than that, this is a flawless film and one of the most ridiculously-rated movies of any I've ever seen rated online on IMDB or elsewhere on the Internet. Gigli is simply an extraordinary movie.

30 Days of Night (2007) - 8.5/10

This is, in my opinion, a very underrated movie. It has a couple of plot holes yes, and those God-awful "shrieks" the vampires make throughout the middle and end of the movie get rather annoying, but aside from that, I felt this was an excellent film. The vampires present here are not the nowadays average, "romantic"-style vampires, but rather they are bloodthirsty killers. This movie is genuinely scary in places and the blood and gore delivers a nice affect upon you, getting you to feel for the victim(s) while showing some really nice effects rather than being simply just blood and gore. It's a really good movie, and shouldn't be missed, especially by fans of horror movies.

The Mist (2007) - 8/10 (Revisited)

This film blew me away. I sat down to watch it thinking I was going to really, really like it and I ended up loving it. I loved Thomas Jane in the 2004 remake of The Punisher and this relatively new actor shocked me yet again in The Mist with a dazzling and memorable performance. The plot of the movie was awe-inspiring and the action, suspense, and horror were all superb. Each event involving the other-wordly creatures nearly literally had me on the edge of my seat throughout, and the events in-between involving the characters and the crisis at hand, and what they were doing about it, had my mouth hanging wide open, agape. In other words, I was totally enveloped in the movie and it had me enthralled, intrigued, and entertained throughout. And the ending? It's true--it's phenomenal, and one of the most shocking endings in all of film, in my opinion. The first major event that happens during The Mist's final minutes is breathtaking, and the second major event that follows seconds afterwards is unbelievable. You have to watch this movie for yourself to believe it.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) - 10/10

Major spoilers throughout; a synopsis as well as a review.

Fear can hold you prisoner; hope can set you free. Such is the catchphrase of The Shawshank Redemption, an epic story of faith, kindness, and salvation in which a man is wrongfully accused of murdering his unfaithful wife and her lover, and for it is condemned forever to prison; the prison of Shawshank. This film adaption of the short story Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, written by Stephen King, was directed by Frank Darabont who also directed Stephen King’s The Green Mile. Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, The Shawshank Redemption is one of the most magnificent, memorable stories ever told and is one of the greatest movies of all time because of its beautiful cinematography, gripping story, extraordinary performances, and deep underlying themes.

Tim Robbins plays Andy Dufresne, a seemingly quiet, timid but very successful banker whose life comes to a cataclysmic halt when the unthinkable occurs. Late one night Andy arrives home to find his beautiful wife cheating on him with a stranger. In total shock he staggers away, unseen, later that same night returning to his house drunk and packing a gun. He sits in his car in the driveway for a very long time, drinking and loading the small firearm, his face a contorted mess of anger and confusion. He stumbles out of the car, walking clumsily toward his home in which his wife is making love to another man, and then the scene ends, concluding the introduction to the antagonist of the film and setting the audience up for all that is to come.

We quickly learn that Andy is innocent of the crime he was imprisoned for through his elegant personality and refined interactions with the prison guards and other inmates. One inmate in particular finds Andy intriguing, unlike any new inmate—or “fish” as they’re called by long-time prisoners of Shawshank—to arrive at the prison. This inmate is Red, played by Morgan Freeman, who eventually befriends Andy, accepting him into his group of friends, a somewhat friendly faction of inmates including Heywood (William Sadler) and Bogs (Mark Rolston). Brooks, the prison librarian (who is also an inmate), is eventually introduced; a kind, seemingly remorseful old man that eventually befriends Andy as Red did. Andy is not without his enemies though, for a group of malicious men known as “the Sisters” torment and brutalize him throughout the film until an event takes place that decimates their leader.

Andy eventually finds himself in favor of the prison guards and even the powerful Warden for his vast knowledge of economics and “the system.” He eventually is granted an office in the prison of his very own within the prison library, and becomes Brooks’ first partner in the fifty years that the old man has been a convict. Within this office Andy helps the prison guards and the Warden with their complex financial business and inquisitions, such as with their taxes and W2’s.

The film comes to a cataclysmic turning point when a new fish joins Shawshank; a young hot-shot named Tommy (portrayed by Gil Bellows) who comes with a disquieting revelation: he knows that Andy did not kill his wife, and he can testify in open court to allow Andy a chance for freedom. With his great intelligence, Andy knows that now he has enough to request another trial and properly get it, so he meets with the Warden to discuss it. Naturally, the Warden is not happy; Andy is his go-to guy for help on taxes and with bank loans and such; he doesn’t want him leaving. An argument ensues and Andy finds himself in temporary solitary confinement and Tommy finds himself in a grave “accident.” These first stages of the film’s astounding climax are heart-racing, and what follows is an adrenaline rush until the credits begin to roll. In short, with the help of Rita Hayworth, Andy escapes the confines of the Shawshank prison using his keen intellect and prevailing determination and meets Red in Mexico as the screen fades to black. This beautiful conclusion takes place, of course, after the Warden found himself set up by Andy for the terrors he inflicted upon him which ultimately led to his (the Warden’s) death, and this is where Andy truly found his redemption.

Walt Whitman, one of the greatest poets of the 1800’s and of all time, once wrote: “For me the keepers of convicts shoulder their carbines and keep watch, It is I let out in the morning and barr’d at night.” (Song of Myself, 51) This can relate to Andy, as he “let out” (escaped) in the morning when he was “barr’d” (imprisoned within his cell) the previous night, all while the “keepers of convicts” (the prison guards) were keeping watch, but had no idea what was going on.

The underlying messages and symbolic metaphors sewn throughout The Shawshank Redemption are numerous and truly profound. Through acts of common decency while wrongfully imprisoned in a hell known as Shawshank, a man uses his keen intellect and wits to break free of the place and take down the men who have caused him so much anguish over the years. Not only escaping Shawshank was Andy’s act of redemption in itself, but bringing the prison down with him—setting the Warden and all the guards he’s ever helped up—was also his salvation, for now he is freed from their insidious grip. This central theme of the film is both powerful and universal, because at point in life, everyone desires redemption.

Technically, The Shawshank Redemption is as remarkable as it is on a philosophical level. The cinematography is flawless, Frank Darabont delivering excellent shots of everything depicted in the movie with smooth scene transitions and fantastic lighting. The acting is superb, the performances delivered by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman being the greatest among any performances ever delivered, and the plot and story of the film is nothing short of awe-inspiring, coming from the Master of Horror (who this time gave us something entirely different), Mr. Stephen King.

It is for all these reasons that The Shawshank Redemption is one of the most preeminent movies of all time and will remain a personal favorite forever. Writer Stephen King and director Frank Darabont gave the world something truly extraordinary, something ranked #1 on the Internet Movie Database’s (the largest movie web site on the Web) “Top 250 Greatest Movies of All Time” list, and something that will likely never be forgotten in the vast, never-ending world of film and, moreover, storytelling.

The Strangers (2008) - 7/10

Not having followed the rumors and plot summaries, etc. having to do with this movie that began to emerge before it hit theaters, I went to go see it sort of on a whim. I decided to do just that after having seen a couple of trailers for it one night on TV that looked pretty decent and that somehow intrugued me. Well, the movie itself was just that--pretty decent, in that it was good.

First off, The Strangers, I felt, was genuinely scary. It delivered several "jump in your seat" scares (which I did literally more than once throughout the duration of the film) and leaves you feeling tense and "at the edge of your seat" throughout. In short, The Strangers has a nervous, scary vibe while you're watching it--nearly from start to finish. While the two main characters are somewhat under-developed and shallow, somewhere throughout the movie I did start to care about them even though I was a little confused as to why they didn't seem to care very much about each other in the movie.


Apparently, they (the guy and the girl) had recently gotten engaged, but are now going through some kind of "problems" at the movie's start. It is never revealed as to what those problems are and/or why they don't seem to want to get married anymore; only vague hints to their complications are given here and there. Just for the confusion factor--especially since it's evident that they're going through some kind of relationship problems right away when we're first being introduced to them--it's a bit of a turn-off.


The "strangers" themselves I thought were utterly terrifying at times, but bleak and just there at others. Their lack of very much dialogue at all in the movie I thought added to their scariness and made them seem more intimidating. I read somewhere, however, that they don't wear their masks half of the time or something like that, thus revealing their faces for most of the film? That's untrue; one of the "strangers" we see unmasked near the film's beginning, but she is standing in the dark and her face is covered in shadows. We actually *never* get a good look at any of their faces.

Overall, I thought The Strangers was a good, "jump in your seat," genuinely scary movie that packed a good amount of thrills but lacks fully developed characters that can be easily attached to. The lack of any explanation at all as to why the "strangers" did what they did only added to my frustration with the movie; I like there to be mystery left at a movie's conclusion, but we didn't get any answers at all. The ending, itself was moving one moment, and then shocking the next and I liked it, although it could have been better if more answers were provided, even if those answers were in the form of a final paragraph or two appearing on-screen before the credits began rolling.

My final thoughts are that The Strangers was a good and scary horror movie, but nothing ground-breaking and nothing worthy of a favorites list, but definitely at least worthy to be seen, especially by fans of the genre.

The Incredible Hulk (2008) - 7.5/10

This is probably going to sound a little cliche considering the film I'm about to review, but this movie was incredible, and I liked it just about as equally as I liked Iron Man. Let me tell you why.

The action was breath-taking, and some of the most intense, on-the-edge-of-your-seat action found in any superhero movie to date. From the Hulk's first appearance as his not-so-jolly green self in the beginning of the movie to the final fight scene with the Abomination at the movie's climax, the action was truly epic. Each of the Hulk battle scenes were brilliant and loaded with awesome special effects, including the Hulk, himself and his appearance in the movie. This version of the Hulk, himself I truly found more spectacular and all-around "better" than the version of Dr. Banner's greener side in the 2003 Hulk movie. The detail (muscles, veins "popping" out of his skin, etc.) and facial expressions were top-knotch. And the Abomination, despite not sharing an appearance in common with what he looked like in the comics, was a sight to behold. He was one seriously awesome-looking badass of a beast, and his fight scene with the Hulk near the movie's conclusion was spectacular.

That having been said, I did feel that the story/plot was perhaps a little weak and lacking. The entire movie was pretty much just one long chase. That's okay, though, because that's what it was all about--Bruce Banner being chased by his adversary, the General, and then in the end, the Abomination--but seeing a deeper plot aside from the romance with Liv Tyler would have been nice. That plus the what at times seemed to be forced humor is what caused my rating to be what it is. I found a couple of the one-liners funny, but felt that some of them were ultimately unnecessary.

In conclusion, aside from those two minor issues, this movie was beyond merely decent, and action-packed with some of the best battle scenes of any superhero movie to date, and finds itself on the brink of being on a level with my all-time favorite superhero movies, including Iron Man and The Dark K night. I truly found The Incredible Hulk to be an awesome comic book superhero movie, but with its share of flaws.

Wanted (2008) - 7.5/10

Before viewing Wanted, I had a set opinion of Angelina Jolie that differs from most other people in general (meaning both men AND women ) on the planet. I just didn't find her attractive, really, or if I did, I found her attractiveness very overrated, and I wasn't a huge fan of her acting, either. This movie...has changed my opinion of this newly-found dazzling beauty. While Wanted and her performance within it hasn't converted me to a full-blown fan, you could venture to say that now I finally see the light in Angelina Jolie.

Concerning the movie, itself...what can I say? It was a very enjoyable thrill-ride of Fight Club meets The Matrix meets The Fast and the Furious. Wanted, seemingly a combination of all of those with yet more twists and innovations, starts off a little slow, but I feel this somewhat dragging beginning sets us up for what is to come perfectly, in that the main character is nothing but a normal person and--as we all well know from the start--his life is about to change forever. With that being said, the beginning was decent and even enjoyable, the main character narrating as the movie starts out, telling us about his life and providing a few laughs throughout, though again, still a bit on the slow slide.

As we get into the real "meat" of Wanted, as in when the action first hits us and doesn't let go, is when the movie really gets good. The racing scenes were near-breath-taking with some amazing special effects, and both the hand-to-hand and gun-to-gun (and even knife-to-knife) fight scenes kept me at the edge of my seat. This movie was definitely, as I mentioned earlier, a thrill ride. It seems as though, however, the action actually lets up as we get later into the movie rather than intensify which is the opposite of what I or anyone (I'd think) would expect, but still: cool action filled the big-screen from near-beginning to end.

The movie's conclusion was fantastic. Like Fight Club, the ending brings with it a major twist or two and a couple of huge revelations are made. I liked the ending and thought it fit the basic premise of the movie well, but despite that, I had one issue with it that I can't seem to let go:


I wish there was some work-able way that Angelina Jolie's character didn't do what she did to herself, but it did fit the message of the film and I can understand why it had to happen. I was just upset by it and wish it could have worked out differently with her character.


In conclusion, Wanted was an excellent, action-packed adrenaline-rush of a movie after overcoming a fairly slow start and then concluding with--what I found to be--a little bit of a disappointment, but still an excellent and fitting ending overall. The movie as a whole was very good, worth watching, and even worth recommending to fans of the genre.

Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) - 6.5/10

Going into the theater to see this movie my exectations weren't too, too high from the start, but I figured I'd give it a shot since I had some extra cash on hand at the time. But as it turned out, those same expectations weren't met. Due to that, this review won't be as long as most of the others.

Journey to the Center of the Earth was a pretty fun action/adventure experience with awesome special effects and killer 3D visuals, but the actual story, character development, and dialogue were all severely lacking and the movie was much too short. Things felt extremely rushed throughout the entire film, one moment the characters being somewhere in America, and in the very next scene, and without warning, they're sitting in a plane, and moments after that--also without warning--they're suddenly in a car driving down some desolate country road in Iceland. At times during the beginning and early middle of the movie I felt lost and/or confused.

Once the movie really got going, though--as in, when the trio of main characters enter "the Center of the Earth"--things pick up and get better, but the feeling of rushing-ness still remains, however to a lesser extent. That being said, again: the visuals were fantastic, but this "neat-o" eye-candy didn't save the film from falling far short of what it could have been had the story and the characters been more developed and the movie itself a little longer. If we actually got to see more of "the Center of the Earth" and had more sub-adventures taken place there in the movie, it would have been much better, but as it is, it's not worthy of a recommendation to see in a pricey IMAX theater.

The Dark Knight (2008) - 10/10 (Revisited)

I had originally not intended to see The Dark Knight in theaters, but after hearing (and reading) so many excellent reviews from both critics and friends alike, I ultimately decided to go. I'm glad I did; my expectations were exceeded, and I now have a new favorite "superhero" movie of all time.

The acting, the storyline, the dialogue, and the action especially--everything was fantastic. Christian Bale and Heath Ledger delivered powerful performances as Batman and The Joker respectively, and there were several goosebump-invoking quotes delivered in the film throughout. What towers above all else in excellence in The Dark Knight, however, despite how good everything else was, is the action. The film was almost non-stop action from start to finish, and the action still wasn't overdone considering this. The opening sequence left me blown away.


How each member of the gang of clown-faced robbers killed each other off in the beginning until only The Joker was left standing, just how it was done, was amazing. Rarely do movies start off with that much of a boom. And the "Why so serious?" scene? Forget about it.


I'm trying to think of specific negative things to say about this movie, but every time I try to, I fail. Still, though, I just can't seem to give it that perfect 10/10 rating. A second (and third...and fourth, and so on) viewing is definitely in order. Until then, my rating stands as a 9.5/10.

Overall, The Dark Knight was an excellent film and is perhaps the best superhero movie ever made as it promised it would be. If you were like me and questioned whether or not to see it in the theater, I'm telling you now: do it. And this is coming from someone who isn't even a huge Batman fan. While the film in its entirety didn't blow me away, certain scenes throughout did, and that's more than I can say about oh-so-many movies.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) - 6.5/10

First off, I'll start with the good: the effects were spectacular, the creatures all looked really cool (especially the Forest Elemental), and the fight scenes were very enjoyable to watch. I liked Abe better in this installment of Hellboy more than I did in the original, and I thought Krauss was an *excellent* addition to the movie; he was perhaps my favorite character in the film. He provided quite a few funny one-liners and was just a pleasure to watch.

However (and now we're getting into the bad, here), I felt the plot was considerably weak--not nearly as intense and original as that in the first Hellboy--and the climax was a let-down. I was expecting much more from the Golden Army but was left feeling a bit disappointed after witnessing the climactic battle. Also, some segments of dialogue throughout the movie bothered me a little and the actor who played "Young Hellboy" was atrocious.

Overall, I enjoyed Hellboy 2 but it has too many flaws and I have too many issues with it to think of it as "great." Therefore, it gets the fairly standard 6.5/10 rating, only proving to be "above the average film" due to its mesmorizing special effects and brilliant creature designs.

Quarantine (2008) - 7/10

I went into the theater to see Quarantine with the thought that it could potentially be one of the most genuinely scary films ever and a new personal favorite among horror movies. It didn't live up to those expectations, but was still a good horror movie viewing experience which delivered some very scary moments.

First, the bad. The plot never really gained much substance even after the "quarantine" began, and the character development was lacking at best; I never connected with any of the characters other than Jennifer Carpenter's. Performances were strictly sub-par and--in places--noticeably not-so-great, but again, Jennifer Carpenter is an exception who delivered a solid, very surreal and very believable performance throughout. There was some pretty decent humor mixed in the beginning of the movie which I found enjoyable, but it was nothing worthy of a "laugh-out-loud."

That being said, the final twenty minutes or so of the film was a breathtaking thrill-ride. Quarantine's final act was perhaps the most intense minutes in film I've ever experienced; I was shaky the entire drive home, which was about ten o'clock at night at the time. Everything leading up to this point in the movie was somewhat lacking in almost every regard, but it was all worth it to see this terrifying conclusion.

That being said, not even the conclusion was flawless. Elements of mystery--of "not knowing"--in horror films is a very good thing, but in Quarantine too much was left unexplained. Only vague clues were made evident in the film's final minutes as to the "hows" and the "whys" in the film, but these clues only left me with more questions.

Overall, I enjoyed Quarantine and think it to be a decent horror movie, but it didn't live up to personal expectations. That being said, my personal expectations were very, very high.