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  • Writer's pictureMaxwell J.

August 2021 Review: The Best and Worst Movies I Saw Last Month

Updated: Feb 6, 2022

August is always a rough month for me due to work. In the limited time that I did have to watch movies, I was pleasantly surprised by the offerings August gave me. Overall, I saw way more films that were good and great than I saw of bad ones, which is always welcomed! I even saw the best first time watch I’ve logged in years. Read to the end to find out which move it is and why I love it! Anyway, I saw 29 total films in August and without any extra fanfare here are the best and worst of them all.

WORST #3) Seedpeople (1992); Director: Peter Manoogian; United States

A small town in a remote part of Idaho finds itself at the epicenter of a strange invasion. Peculiar alien like pod creatures are popping up all over town and taking over its townsfolk. The Sherriff must investigate to ascertain if there is any hope at ridding the town of the extraterrestrial menace. With limited time and resources and ticking time bombs ready to explode and pollinate the town, can the residents ward off the alien invaders? In this Full Moon film, they’ll have to rely on the grit and determination of one man willing to risk it all to save those he loves. Truthfully, Seedpeople isn’t that terrible of a movie. Sure, the effects are outdated, the chase sequences are laughable, and the production values are clearly rock bottom, but there is a nice vibe to the film, even if that’s about all it has going for it. Its plot has been done both before and after its inception in much better and more unique ways. Take that with the fact that everything is positively mediocre about it and there’s no selling point on why to watch it, unless you are looking for unintentional laughs, which there are plenty to spare here. While you can certainly find worse B-movies to vie for your attention, Seedpeople isn’t one I would be rooting for anytime soon.

Overall Score? 4/10

BEST #3) Candyman (2021); Director: Nia DaCosta; Canada/United States

Please check out the full review here.

Overall Score? 7.5/10

WORST #2) Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988); Director: John Hough, Clive Turner; United Kingdom/United States

An author takes vacation in a sleepy mountain village only to find herself in the throes of multiple bad situations after suffering a breakdown. She initially plays off her concerns to her imagination, but soon she becomes increasingly convinced that something supernatural is happening in Drago. Battling her own demons, actual demons, and werewolves on top of that, she will need to fight for her life if she intends on making it out alive. There’s more to her haunting than meets the eye and she’ll have to figure it out and do it fast. I don’t know why I am torturing myself with this series. It must be hands-down the worst horror franchise I have endured. This movie is so unmemorable that I could not even think of its plot before I started typing this up. Par for the course, there is bad acting, design, plot, pacing, effects, etc, you name and Howling IV has got it! A good vacation and a long rest can cure a lot of things but taking a vacation to Drago should be the last thing on your mind if you intend on enjoying any amount of the 94 minutes of your life you are about to waste.

Overall Score? 3/10

BEST #2) The Night House (2021); Director: David Bruckner; United Kingdom/United States

Please check out the full review here.

Overall Score? 8/10

WORST #1) Voodoo Dolls (1991); Director: Andrée Pelletier; Canada

A teenager moves into an all-girls school with a devastating secret. As she tries to adjust to the irritations of changing schools, she cannot shake the feeling that something is off here. Soon, her classmates begin dying and she believes it may have something to do with a former headmaster. Troubled by the paranormal activity around her and scared that she may be the next victim, she must learn the truth behind the school’s history and reveal it before it is too late. Another truly forgettable yet awful film, this made-for-TV clunker is a by-the-numbers snoozefest that crams in too much yet yields very little in return for its troubles. There’s no discernable plot to be found here. Voodoo Dolls merely acts as a conduit for a series of sparsely connected scenes that I’m sure someone thought “sounded cool.” The story aside, the production values are bottom tier here. The acting is dreadful, the special effects are laughable, and the entire thing is filmed with the energy of an insurance commercial. Enroll elsewhere if you are looking to get schooled in real horror.

Overall Score? 2.5/10

BEST #1) Dead Calm (1989); Director: Phillip Noyce; Australia

After the traumatic death of their son, John and Rae decide to take an extended vacation out at sea on their boat. Shortly into their trip they meet a frazzled man who has abandoned a sinking ship claiming that everyone on board is dead from food poisoning. After John goes to investigate, he discovers quickly that the man’s story isn’t adding up and a tense game of psychological warfare wages amongst the three to get out alive. This movie absolutely rocks, and I had no expectations going into it, which makes it even sweeter. From the get-go Dead Calm is an uncomfortably tense film with strong characters and exciting set pieces. The plot never drags during its meaty 96-minute runtime, with every scene feeling important and director Phillip Noyce maximizing every ounce of dread one can get from the terrifying scenario. What makes this film so special to me is how resourceful and intelligent every character is throughout the film. There is no clear imbalance which makes it truly unpredictable at times. Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, and Billy Zane all give incredible performances and bring their characters to life in unique ways. If you’re looking for something to get under your skin, go with Dead Calm.

Overall Score? 9/10

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