Tag Archives: Nic Cage

Saturday is Horror Day #40 – Looking Glass

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Looking Glass

After suffering a devastating personal loss, Ray (Nicholas Cage) and Maggie (Robin Tunney) buy a motel in the middle of the desert to start over again. But things are strange from the get-go.  Ben (Bill Bolender), the man who sold them the motel, isn’t there on their arrival, having left the keys and a hastily scribbled note outside the door. When Ray calls him, he is very mysterious and doesn’t seem inclined to discuss anything, but wishes them well.

Even though they aren’t officially open, a woman arrives and Maggie checks her in. Then a trucker named Tommy (Ernie Lively) shows up. Apparently he’s a regular, and prefers to be in Room 10, which was always the arrangement with Ben. Ray has no problem with that and gives him the key.

Local law enforcement, Howard (Marc Blucas) shows up, looking for the pot of coffee Ben usually has going. Ray obligingly makes him a pot. The deputy says the coffee is so good he’s going to come by every day.

 

 

 

There is a lot of work to do on the motel, but Ray is handy. In looking around, he discovers an entrance that has been padlocked and chained shut. He cuts off the lock and heads inside to a storage area. But then he notices something weird, in the wall, close to the ceiling. He decides to investigate and discovers a small tunnel. Ray crawls through the tunnel and up a ladder to find himself peering into Room 10, where the maid is vacuuming. Something is very strange here, but what?

Ray and Maggie’s relationship is on edge. Ray sneaks off to the looking glass and begins to spy on 

various guests and what they do in that room, which makes him horny and sends him back to his wife. But when someone throws a dead pig into the motel pool, Ray realizes something is off here. He can’t reach Ben any more, and the deputy keeps asking to have Ben contact him. Suddenly Ray feels as though his world is spiraling out of control…

This wasn’t a bad film, but it is a sort of confusing one that could have benefitted from some clarification. Or even explanation. I confess to being a huge Nic Cage fan, so I’ll try anything he’s in once. I did like this better than Prisoners of the Ghostland. It makes more sense than that one. Even so, we are left with questions. Such as the true nature of their daughter’s death. Also, the motivation of the killer who is identified at the end. Like I said, not a bad film, but not great either. Worth watching for Nic alone, but even this isn’t necessarily his best effort. I’ll give it 3 Stars

Saturday is Horror Day #38 – Krampus: Origins, Jeepers Creepers 3, Prisoners of the Ghostland

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 Krampus: Origins, Jeepers Creepers 3

I am going to make these reviews short, basically because I didn’t finish either one.  Krampus: Origins takes place during WWI. There are soldiers, there are nuns, I think. Orphans. But mostly it has bad acting, bad writing, and a ridiculous story. I gave up after fifteen minutes.

I got farther with Jeepers Creepers 3 but also gave up, both because of problems with the disk and because I was really confused as to what was happening. I have the feeling this one takes place between the first and the second, which makes no sense to me, and it was boring. I’m not going to rate either one, just recommend avoiding both of them.

Prisoners of the Ghostland


Hero (Nic Cage) and Psycho (Nick Cassavetes) rob a bank, but things go horribly wrong. Hero hadn’t intended for anyone to get hurt, much less an innocent child. In attempting an escape, Hero unwittingly causes another child, a young girl, to be injured and her mother killed.

 

 

 

Years pass. The warlord of Samurai Town, the Governor (Bill Moseley) has a tight grip on the inhabitants of this pseudo Western town. But when his adopted granddaughter Bernice (Sofia Boutella) disappears, he calls on the only man he believes capable of finding her and bringing her back to him – Hero. He promises Hero his freedom when he accomplishes his mission. But of course there is a catch. Since he doesn’t trust the man, he has outfitted him in a special leather suit with some interesting modifications. Namely, explosive devices set to go off at pre-set times or under particular circumstances. He has three days to find Bernice, each passing day chiming on a wrist band. When he finds her, she has to speak her name into the wrist band, and he will have two more days to return her.

 

Another explosive device is around his neck, and another around his crotch – to make sure Bernice comes back pure and unviolated. He gives Hero the keys to a car, and he takes off. Hero runs into trouble and crashes his car, finding himself in a strange place with strange people. He shows them the picture of Bernice and asks if anyone has seen her, but no one is talking. There is something really off about this place. Some of the girls are dressed like mannequins. And some of the men are concerned with a giant clock and a prophecy regarding the starting again of time.

Hero locates Bernice and tells her she must come back with him… even if she doesn’t want to. She 


actually left Samurai Town of her own volition. But Hero is running out of time – and body parts – and he has to bring her back. But what is he bringing her back to?

I can’t say this is an uninteresting film, or that it doesn’t have some very unusual sequences and pretty shots. But I can say it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. As if someone edited out some of the important scenes that might have helped to create a more coherent story.

The basic premise is easy enough to understand. Hero needs to find Bernice and bring her back before his suit blows up and he will be set free from prison. But the subplots are … confusing at best. The large clock? Is that the atomic clock? Or it is making a statement that the people are all prisoners of time? I don’t know. There is a strange Japanese style Greek chorus, as well as the human mannequins. And from what I can tell there are references to the aftermath of the atomic bomb, whether the real ones that were dropped in 1945 or future bombs dropped at some indeterminate date. The backdrop of Samurai Town is almost like spaghetti Western meets samurai film, and then they threw in Nic Cage to play the part of the hero. 

Don’t get me wrong. I found the film worthwhile just to watch Nic Cage in action. The rest of it, though, is another matter. Hero feels guilty over the death of the little boy, even though he didn’t cause it, and the ghostly child keeps popping up. Why Hero is robbing banks in Japan, I have no idea.  Then there is the busload of prisoners who end up in an accident and become the victims of some sort of atomic radiation.

All in all, I would recommend it to Nic Cage fans, otherwise probably not for others. Just for that reason, I’ll give it 3 Stars, because I do love me some Nic Cage.