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Paintball

Year of Release: 2009
Genre:  Thriller / Action / Horror
IMDB Rating: 3.9 / 10
Level of Awful: High
Breast-O-Meter: 0 / 5

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Oh dear, another interesting concept with dreadfully poor execution. There’s so much more that can be done in a movie centred around killer paintball with a slight dusting of Hostel for fun, but you’d be amazed at just how boring poor film making can make this concept. It suffers from a number of things: firstly, the camera work is shoddy. The cameraman actually moves bushes where no bushes should be moving. Secondly, the camera also appears to function as the microphone and as soon as anybody moves too far away it’s virtually impossible to ever make out what they’re saying. Finally, it suffers from that terrible movie affliction where the director tries to make it obvious just how distressed the characters are but the outcome is a bunch of whiny little people who scream (unintelligibly) at one another for the entire duration of the movie. Mr Paintball director, I do ask that before you try to make another movie that you and I have a chat so we can make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

These are not sexy times, ladies.

There comes a time in everyone’s life when you begin to question what it is you’re doing and what the purpose of your existence is. Thankfully many of these questions can be answered with a little intense paintball action. Turns out there are numerous places around the world that cater to individuals who just have that undying urge to shoot paint at moving targets, and our little story takes place somewhere in Europe where renegade paintball is all the rage. It’s a secret little society where the location is unknown, people are brought in blindfolded and made to rely on their teammates (who they’ve never met) and their wits. It’s an intense game of survival and only the best will come away unstained, but for some its just what you need to feel alive.

It's sad when an actor realises their career is dead in the middle of a forest.

And so our little team (whose names I can’t remember) set out on this new adventure to become the ultimate paintball champs. It takes all of 3 minutes before they start arguing with one another, debating on who gets to be leader, how to get to the flags and who can actually read a map. The situation is tense – the other team might be just around the corner and decisions need to be made quickly. The team makes their way to a spot in the forest filled with old cars and one derelict bus. They move with the precision of army commandos, but are about as quiet as howler monkeys during mating season. While searching the area the other team spots them and begins to pelt them with paint, and they duck for cover in the old bus. The action begins to diverge from usual paintball practice when the opposing team throw two smoke canisters through the bus’s window, followed shortly afterwards by a box containing a bullet proof vest. When things go quiet and the team begin to make a move they realise just how different this game really is – the opposing team has started to use live ammunition, and our little group is running in plain sight.

The ghosts of paintballers past.

Faced with this new terror our group does what they do best: panic and scream at one another. So they panic off as fast as they can, only to discover that the entire forest is surrounded by a highly charged electric fence. After screaming at one another they panic off in a different direction, but soon pause to scream about where they’re actually going. Some more panicking and screaming ensues, and nobody really knows what’s going on, and gradually they’re all being shot. Along the way there’s an Asian person who adds nothing to the story, and a few booby traps here and there to make things a little bit more exciting in this game of cat and mouse. But who would be so evil as to corrupt an innocent pass time like paintball? Surely such people have been sent by Satan himself to vilify what our dear, screaming characters once held to be so positive and character building? The answer, unfortunately, isn’t anywhere near as exciting.

LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Taking part in super elite, top-secret paintball tournaments is the absolute height of badassness.
  • Part of staying well hidden involves screaming at the top of your lungs wherever you go.
  • Part of hiding from enemy fire involves running around in the open.
  • Fat guys are always the first to panic when a paintball massacre breaks out.
  • Asian people make terrible paintball hostages.
  • The smaller your knife, the better your throat slashing abilities.
  • It’s incredibly difficult to speak when you have a machete rammed through your chest.

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Steel Trap

Year of Release: 2007
Genre:  Horror / Thriller
IMDB Rating: 4.5 / 10
Level of Awful: Low
Breast-O-Meter: 0 / 5

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

How to describe this movie? The best thing to do is imagine the first Saw movie. Remember when you watched it and had absolutely no clue what was going on right up until the very end but you were intrigued all the way through and stunned by how clever it was when it finished? Right, now take out the part with the cleverness and how stunned you were and essentially you have Steel Trap in a nutshell. The movie leans primarily on the Saw franchise in its layout with the occasional reference to things like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Carrie to spice things up and a twist in the tale that’s trying to be something along the lines of Scream. The problem comes in when it doesn’t deliver on the Saw premise like it was trying to, and the audience is left (more than a little bit) disappointed.

Oh sure, it looks perfectly safe.

Let me set the scene: it’s New Year’s eve, the countdown is about to begin and the crowd is kinda pumping; it’s here we find our cast of completely unlikable characters. First off we have Nicole, a cold bitch, and her boyfriend Robert, an asshole to start off with who only gets worse as the movie progresses. Then there’s Amber, a slut of note who looks a little bit like Ke$ha before the night gets going, and her latest lay Adam (who Nicole kissed a few moments ago so that Robert would pay more attention to her). Our final three characters are Kathy, a semi-celebrity chef that resembles Rachel Ray on a wild cocaine binge, Wade, the singer for the band that was playing Auld Lang Syne, and Pamela, a woman trying to leech off Kathy’s career and who’s as relentless as a Jack Russel with a tennis ball. Anyway the party was getting dull and all of them received a text message saying that another party’s going on downstairs and that they’ve been invited. Since the entire building’s abandoned and there can’t be too many parties going on in it the logical conclusion they all arrive at is that this other party must be very VIP, so they rush on as fast as their drunken (but sober) legs will carry them.

Yeah, I've thought of doing this when my sinuses act up.

Now one would think, given the odd situation our friends find themselves in, that they may pause for a moment and ponder how strong the chances of a children’s themed VIP party taking place in an abandoned building on New Year’s eve with just the 7 of them really are. Maybe I’m just not as hardcore as these people are, but it seems a little suspicious. Undeterred they gather round the little table with all its lovely balloons and wait for the rest of the guests to arrive, talking comfortably amongst themselves about the place cards that have been laid out for each of them with adoring pet names like ‘heartless’, ‘pig’ and ‘two faced’. When all 5 of the invited guests have arrived (Robert and Melanie are tag-alongs) they all decide to eat some of the delectable cupcakes that have been laid out for them by their gracious host who has yet to arrive. Upon eating the little cakes they find a paper doily underneath with a nursery rhyme that gives them a clue as to what they should do next. Unleashing their inner children the group is delighted to be involved in a scavenger hunt and prance off to look for their next clue. They’re so busy prancing that they don’t notice the man in the shiny mask with a hook hiding in the curtains staring at them and filming their every move…

Fuck off Bloody Mary, go find your own bad movie!

Anyone with two brain cells to rub together might have begun to think at this point that something isn’t quite right with this party, but even when they come across a rotting pig’s head with their next clue the only person who seems even mildly disturbed is Nicole. The group might have been more inclined to follow her advice had they seen Adam being attacked, drugged and having his lips sown shut by the man in the weird mask, but sadly they were too busy looking for the next clue at the time. They finally have some sense knocked into them a little bit later when they come across Adam’s body that’s been tied to the roof, trussed up like a pig and with a hook lodged in him. They now need to try and find a way out but since all of the exits have been booby-trapped and they are completely incapable of functioning as a unit more and more of them are picked off. I would also like to add that, despite this movie being a part of the Dimension Extreme family, there’s nothing particularly extreme about how they are killed. Who will survive? What are the killer’s motivations? Why the odd pet names on the place cards? All this and more with every edition of Steel Trap, available in stores now!

It’s not that I would recommend you don’t watch this movie, it’s just that it’s so middle of the road and such a weak impersonation of so many other movies that the only time I think you should watch it is when you’ve watched everything else, read every book in the house, it’s the middle of winter, it’s raining and your ill.

LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:

  • It can be very hard to find the strength to carry on when you have no one to kiss you at midnight on New year’s Eve.
  • Rolling over and spanking someone is a great way to deal with nightmares.
  • Nothing turns a person into a celebrity like a cooking and crafts show does.
  • People are drawn to creepy parties like moths to a flame.
  • No game that starts with a rotting pig’s head ends with a giant teddy bear.
  • When your phone says ‘Signal Blocked’ it often means that someone’s blocked the signal.
  • When someone’s trying to kill you in a clever way it’s a great time to be passive aggressive with your boyfriend.
  • When a couple’s being stalked by a killer an argument regarding vaginas is bound to break out.

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