Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Deadline (2009)

logoDirector: Sean McConville

Writer: Sean McConville (Screenplay)

Starring: Brittany Murphy, Thora Birch, Tammy Blanchard, Marc Blucas


Plot: A screenwriter who travels to an abandoned house to finish a script on time, but a series of strange events lead her to a psychological breakdown.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Smart Story Wrong Genre


Story: Deadline starts by showing Alice (Murphy) our struggling screenwriter leaving the city to spend time in an isolated house to finish her latest work. Along with her friend Rebecca (Blanchard) who drives her we get to see the enormous house where she will be staying. Rebecca helps Alice settle in before leaving with the car to return next week to pick Alice up.

Alice alone in the house with the creakiest doors in the history of film it becomes clear that her week in the house will become difficult. The first night includes a nightmare and Alice starts to feel she isn’t alone in the house. We learn that Alice has an ex-boyfriend called Ben who is fresh out of prison who has done something to her in the past and Alice believes will come after her. Alice sees things in the shadows which lead her to discover the home movies of a couple called Lucy (Birch) and David (Blucas) before we find out about Alice and Rebecca real relationship.

Night two the hauntings escalate to hearing crying, seeing unusual images on her laptop, but this only drives Alice to stay and continue watching the videos. As Alice continues to watch the videos we see how David starts to change as the relationship continues as well as his obsession with filming moments of the couple life together. Alice has to try and figure out what happened between Lucy and David all while trying to battle her own demons which play out as a parallel to the story unfolding on the recordings.

Deadline offers up what looks like an traditional ghost haunting to solve a murder film and for the most part this is all that. Where this film takes a big change is in the final act which will leave you wondering about what happened. The biggest disappointment about this film is the idea that Alice has found tapes, watches them only to have the scene play out like we are actually there too. I do think if you watch closely you will see the hints about the end but otherwise this will disappoint on scares because most of the film is watching Alice watch the tapes. There was a lot more this film could have offered but in the end it falls short and never manages to decide what type of film it is meant to be. (4/10)


Actor Review


Brittany Murphy: Alice is our screenwriter heroine who decides to isolate herself from the world as she tries to finish her latest work. She isn’t as stable as we think as an ex is freshly out of jail that could come after her but when strange things start happening around the house we watch as she watches video recordings of a previous couple’s time in the house. Brittany does a solid job in one of her last acting roles but never reaches the level this film could have had with the ‘Don’t Say a Word’ level of acting. (6/10)


Thora Birch: Lucy is the wife from the videos who starts to see changes in her husband, she is also the ghost that seems to be haunting Alice warning her. Thora does a standard job as the victim but doesn’t seem to fit the role. (5/10)


Tammy Blanchard: Rebecca is Alice’s friend back in the city, she is the only connection to the real world Alice has and helps fill in the blanks to what was reported to have happened. Tammy gives a solid supporting performance without ever having enough time to excel. (5/10)


Marc Blucas: David is the unstable husband to Lucy who starts to question his wives faithful side before ending up becoming obsessed with the idea of not being able to trust Lucy. Marc starts out struggling in the role where it looks like David is normal but when he starts turning slightly darker it seems to bring out the best in him. (6/10)


Support Cast: Deadline doesn’t have anyone else turn up on camera in the cast.


Director Review: Sean McConville – Sean does a solid job directing it just seems like he wanted something fresh but went around reaching it the wrong way. (4/10)


Horror: Deadline starts out with very basic before moving away from the horror genre. (4/10)

Thriller: Deadline does try to keep you guessing and you are expecting a surprise by the end. (6/10)

Settings: Deadline creates a very isolated location for all the action to take place perfect for horror story. (9/10)

Suggestion: Deadline is a late night TV that you could give a go to but don’t expect anything great. (Late Night TV)


Best Part: Twist is clever.

Worst Part: Lack of horror.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $1.8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline: Focus your fear.


Overall: Deadline is a horror thriller that really lacks any horror or thrills but does have a smart enough story.

Rating 50

Welcome to the Punch (2013)

logoDirector: Eran Creevy

Writer: Eran Creevy (Screenplay)

Starring: James McAvoy, Mark Strong, Andrea Riseborough, Johnny Harris, Daniel Mays, David Morrissey, Peter Mullan, Natasa Little, Daniel Kaluuya, Ruth Sheen, Jason Flemyng

Plot: When a notorious criminal is forced to return to London, it gives a detective one last chance to take down the man he’s always been after.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Typical Criminal Film

Story: Welcome to the Punch starts with detective Max Lewinsky (McAvoy) trying desperately to stop criminal Jacob Sternwood (Strong), Max goes against orders to try and capture him ending up shot with Jacob escaping. When the dust has all settled Jacob is out of the country and Max is no longer the popular detective he once was.

Jacob’s son gets injured prompting him to call his father which brings Jacob back to the country. The police know he is going to return and decide to go after him even against Max and his partner Sarah (Riseborough) advice. When the mission goes wrong Jacob escapes yet again and heads back to England to see his son. Max and Sarah come up with the idea of using the son as bait putting him inside a public hospital even against their superiors Nathan (Mays) advice.

What follows is a game of cat and mouse with both Max and Jacob trying to bait each other into making mistakes so they can finish the rivalry, but not everything is what it seems because Jacob is also investigating what happened to his own son. Max also learns of a deeper conspiracy from within the force that he can finally put a stop to but and what cost, he must work with Jacob as they both untangle the conspiracy and discover the truth.

Welcome to the Punch ends up copy all the clichéd ideas that we are used to seeing the criminal film world. We have two enemies having to team up to solve a bigger crime even if they have personal problems with each other. I am going to end up on a rant with I would like to apologise before hand. Why is it we only meet the characters that are on the wrong side of the law, we could have a few false leads with actual good cops. I am tired of only getting introduced to the villainous characters. I have to say I am disappointed with the final film because in the end it just feels like all the rest we have seen before. (/10)

Actor Review

James McAvoy: Max is the detective that has been hunting down criminal Jacob and just when he thinks he has him captured he gets shot letting Jacob escape. Once he has recovered a sudden injury leads to Jacob getting returning to city where Max finally gets a chance to settle the score with Jacob. James continues his dive into the violent movies with this one but ends up give us a solid performance. (6/10)max

Mark Strong: Jacob is the criminal that shots Max as he escapes but when his son is injured he has to return to the country to find out what happened to him. This puts him back n Max’s radar but he also discovers that there is other people out to get him now. Mark fills the villainous role but in the end turning ally, he ends up giving us a performance we know he can give us. (7/10)jacob

Andrea Riseborough: Sarah is Max’s partner who ends up having to work with him to catch Jacob but this could make or break her career in the police department. Andrea does a solid job in the supporting role. (6/10)

Daniel Mays: Nathan is the lead detective who blames Max for the escape even if it means Max might have been right. He doesn’t let Max have a chance to redeem himself but is force to let Max handle the potential return of Jacob. Daniel gives us a performance you would expect from him in a criminal based film. (5/10)

David Morrissey: Thomas is chief of police making the final decisions on any police matter but is running low on patience with the Max over the situation. Why do people cast David in a shady role when we know he will become a villain. (6/10)thomas

Support Cast: Welcome to the Punch has a supporting cast that does end up filling the generic criminal world characters.

Director Review: Eran Creevy Eran gives us a traditional criminal conspiracy world film but never really ends up reach the potential it could have. (5/10)

Action: Welcome to the Punch is filled with over the top gun battles but doesn’t really end up being anything special. (7/10)

Crime: Welcome to the Punch puts us into the criminal world and nearly everyone is on the wrong side of the law. (9/10)

Thriller: Welcome to the Punch tries to keep you guessing but because you meet only villains you don’t have much to work out. (5/10)

Settings: Welcome to the Punch uses London as the main setting which works for the idea because London makes for an iconic setting for a criminal film. (8/10)

Suggestion: Welcome to the Punch is one to try but really wasn’t something I really enjoyed. (Try It)

Best Part: Final shoot out.

Worst Part: Lack of originality involved in the story.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final sequences.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $8.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline:  A Stunning, Intelligent Thriller

Overall: If you want to see just another criminal world film this is for you but nothing new here.

Rating 50

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