Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Primal (2010)

primalDirector: Josh Reed

Writer: Josh Reed (Screenplay) Josh Reed, Nigel Christensen (Story)

Starring: Zoe Tuckwell-Smith, Krew Boylan, Lindsay Farris, Rebekah Foord, Damien Freeleague, Wil Travel


Plot: A group of friends travel into the Australian wilds to view ancient cave paintings but soon find a horrible sickness gripping one of their own, which leaves them with nothing in their mind but a primal blood lust.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Easy To Watch Horror


Story: Primal starts as we see an ancient painter ruthlessly killed by something, fast forward to present day as we watch Anja (Tuckwell-Smith), Mel (Boylan), Chad (Farris), Kris (Foord), Warren (Freeleagus) and Dace (Traval) travelling to that site when one of the relatives discovers the paintings. Staying out in the Australian outback the group use this scientific discovery as a moment to enjoy the moment away from the world.

Everything is going smoothly until Mel decides to go skinny dipping leading to her getting covered in leeches, that night she starts getting a fever before getting worse through the night leading them to need to go for rescue. The friends find themselves stranded in this location needing to walk to safety after small bugs have been eating everything around.

It isn’t long before Mel turns ravenous attacking the friends leaving the final five friends trying to think of a way to solve the situation they find themselves in, but in a primal state can anyone survive what is waiting for them?

Primal is a horror film that takes the infected idea to a new level by making it turn the infected primal, but there is always a twist in these style of films which is leading up to something bigger. The story is very simple and the characters are painfully generic. I do feel like not enough questions are answered but I also think that comes off important in where the film goes because of the ancient evil involved. This is actually easy to watch for a horror fans and doesn’t take too long to get to the point but won’t live long in the memory.


Actor Review


Zoe Tuckwell-Smith: Anja is the leading lady with a tortured past, mostly comprising of bad boyfriends. This trip is a chance for her to get away from it all but she ends up being the voice of reason while trying to save her friend. Zoe makes for a strong lead but I think we needed that little extra for true horror leading lady.

Krew Boylan: Mel is what would be called the outward going of the group, she will take chances with her decision which does include skinny dipping in the local watering whole. This leads to her getting infected by something turning her ravenous against her friends. Krew goes through the most in this film which does gain her the most praise.

Lindsay Farris: Chad is the boyfriend of Mel, he seems like the complete opposite to her always coming off quite uptight. He can give her the cold shoulder at any time but deep down you can tell her loves her. Lindsay gives us a very basic but overly mood performance.

Rebekah Foord: Kris is the girlfriend of Dace who is on the trip to support him, she comes off though as one of the most random inclusion on the characters involved in this situation. Rebekah doesn’t do much wrong herself but I really don’t understand the point of her character’s decisions.

Support Cast: Primal only has a couple more cast members and both as good characters in their own right without being too involved in final outcome.

Director Review: Josh ReedJosh does give us an almost fresh take on the infected genre instead of just mindless zombies we get to see them become primal, I do think with a little bit large budget we could have got something on the level of the Descent.


Horror: Primal has blood filled gore scenes and that one awkward scene in the cave.

Thriller: Primal tries to keep us on edge but the suspense never grows in this one because it is non-stop action horror.

Settings: Primal puts our characters in the Australian outback which helps the story create the isolation because no one has been to this location in years.
Special Effects
: Primal has a mix of good and bad effects with the good coming with the gore and the bad with the creatures.

Suggestion: Primal is one for the horror fans to try, it is an easy watch. (Try It)


Best Part: Spinning the infected idea.

Worst Part: Part of the cave scene near the end, can’t say because spoilers and all.

Action Scene Of The Film: Chad v Dace.

Funniest Scene: Setting the trap like it is a Scooby Doo plot.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes


Overall: Easy to watch blood filled horror.



The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)

girlDirector: Colm McCarthy

Writer: Mike Carey (Screenplay) Mike Carey (Novel)

Starring: Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Dominique Tipper, Sennia Nauna, Paddy Considine, Anamaria Marinca


Plot: A scientist and a teacher living in a dystopian future embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: The Last of Us Film?


Story: The Girl with All the Gifts starts in a military compound where children are bound to wheelchairs as they are forced to remember numerical sequences, the smartest of all the children is Melanie (Nanua) who in her classes taught by Helen Justineau (Arterton) is always looking for stories of the outside world.

In this world, there is a secret going on with the children who are all flesh hungry when the adults are not wearing protective cream. Once we exit the military compound we learn that there is a zombie apocalypse outside the walls where the children are offering a potential vaccine for humanity but when the walls are breached Helen, Dr Caldwell (Close), Melanie and Sgt Parks (Considine) escape the chaos. The story then follows how the group of survivors must search for somewhere safe before their supplies run out.


Thoughts on The Girl with All the Gifts


StoryWhen you look at this story you can see the weak point in this film, that is slightly harsh to say but when you follow the story it does feel like it has followed the ABC of zombie survivor film. we do have a couple of twists in the story with the new look of the infected evolved children but otherwise this does have a striking similarity to the Last of Us video game.

Horror/ThrillerWhen you look at the horror side of the story you might find yourself slightly short of ever being scared in this film which isn’t a bad thing because you are kept on the edge of your seat waiting to see where the story will go.

Characters/PerformanceOur main four characters are like what we have seen before, we have the scientist desperately looking for a cure to complete all the sacrifice they have made, the soldier who doesn’t like the idea having the young girl with them, the sympathetic woman that wants the children to be treated like children even if this is slightly naïve about it. It is the inclusion of the young girl that is an evolved infected which feels fresh because while she is immune she is also infected which is new to the genre.

Looking at the performances now we have great performances from Arterton, Considine and Close for their character but it is new comer Nanua who shines as she shows she can keep you with the better-known cast throughout the film.

SettingsWhen you are looking for beautiful use of setting this could well be one of the best visual representations of the zombie apocalypse genre you will see.

Special EffectsThe special effects all look fantastic be it with the creation of the zombies known as ‘Hungries’ or the vast post-apocalyptic world that is created.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable zombie film that does have elements that feel fresh but does have moments you have seen before.


Overall: Good addition to the zombie sub genre.




Opinion Battles Round 20 Favourite TV Show to Movie

Opinion Battles Round 20

Favourite TV Show to Movie

Once again we dive into searching through Hollywood’s lack of ideas as they return to old television shows to make a movie, this does offer a show cancelled too soon to say goodbye to the hugely loved characters.

If you want to join the next round of Opinion Battles we will be take on What is your Favourite Ghost Film, to enter email your choice to by Saturday 14th October 2017.

Darren – Movie Reviews 101


Firefly was one of the most loved sci-fi shows that got cancelled too soon, we only got 13 episodes but Serenity gives us a chance to see our character one more time, they are bigger and better with a story that gives you everything you wanted for our characters.

Cinema Parrot Disco

Wayne’s World


I struggled with this one until I realized that one of my all-time favorite movies should qualify as it’s a part of a long-running American comedy sketch show. So my favorite TV show to movie film is Wayne’s World. And I’m not at all ashamed to admit it. Wayne’s World is excellent. Zang!


Kim – Tranquil Dreams

Veronica Mars

Veronica Mars is a great character played by Kristen Bell and the show ended in a way that there was such a lack of resolution. The movie did a great job at helping tie up some loose ends as well as a reason for a reunion for everyone. However, it was truly a movie for the fans. The characters would mean much less for those who haven’t seen the show and just hopping in. However, its a ton of fun. Veronica Mars and her sleuth skills is always awesome.


Milo – Stuff and That

Wayne’s World

One of the small handful of SNL characters to successfully make the transition to the big screen (sorry, Pat!), Wayne and Garth’s irreverent antics throughout led this flick to become one of my most quotable and effortlessly funny out there. Excellent!

Tom – Plain Simple Tom Reviews

The Simpson’s Movie

Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig . . .


I didn’t fully appreciate it the first time I watched it but this feature length excursion for our favourite yellow family, Lord knows how many years it took to make, is a very funny, easily watchable, exciting adventure.

The best thing is that it keeps on being funny through repeat viewings and you’re likely to even pick up on something that you missed the first time.

It may have a gazillion screenwriters but The Simpsons Movie is tons of fun and a shining example of TV to film done right. We need a sequel!!


Rob – Movie Rob

Star Trek

They took a goofy 60’s sci-fi show and turned it into one of the biggest movie franchises.


The character arcs got better as time goes by and then they rebooted the whole thing making it even better and more modern thus showing the power of the storytelling even after 50 years.


Rachel – 54 Disney Reviews

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm


My favorite TV to movie adaptation has to be Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. This is actually my favorite Batman movie and it is based on Batman: the Animated Series. What I love about this film is it treats Bruce Wayne as a real fully developed person with emotions and relationships. Often I feel like Batman and especially Bruce gets lost in Batman movies to the charismatic villains. Not here. The villains are important but nothing to Batman and his journey to walk the line between good and evil. 

The score by Shirley Walker is amazing. The animation is striking and beautiful. It’s just a great movie from a great show.

Emma – Emma Explains It All

21 Jump Street

Well it was either this or Jackass! Come on, how many great TV to film crossovers have there really been? Hmmm. 

In all seriousness, I love 21 Jump Street. Ok I never saw the original TV series but it’s still a great comedy film that I never mind watching. Happy to watch in fact. 

And having Johnny Depp cameo at the end was genius. 

S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason


While I may have briefly considered The Fugitive, the first and best TV show-to-movie that comes to mind is Joss Whedon’s Serenity. Who would have thought, after Firefly was canceled without even a complete first season, that it would get its own theatrical finale a few years later? Boasting both technical finesse (like that great tracking shot through the ship) and awe-inspiring action, Serenity tied up most of the loose ends left by the show and gave us one more grand adventure for Mal Reynolds and his crew

Gerald’s Game (2017)

Director: Mike Flanagan

Writer: Jeff Howard, Mike Flanagan (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, Bruce Greenwood, Carel Struycken, Kate Siegel


Plot: While trying to spice up their marriage in their remote lake house, Jessie must fight to survive when her husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her handcuffed to their bed frame.


Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Strong Solo Thriller


Story: Gerald’s Game starts as married couple Jessie (Gugino) and Gerald (Greenwood) head off to a remote cabin for a weekend away from the world to rekindle their marriage, but when Gerald’s fantasy involves a sex game he handcuffs Jessie to the bed but suffers a heart attack, leaving Jessie handcuffed and alone.

What follows is Jessie needing to find a way out of the situation where she starts seeing her husband and other creations from her mind and even looking into her past with her relationship with Tom (Thomas) as she looks to survive until there is rescue for her.


Thoughts on Gerald’s Game


Characters – Jessie is the wife that gets handcuffed to the bed to try and spice her marriage up but when her husband dies she must figure out a way to escape before she dies, be it from natural causes, dog or unknown presence. She must deal with her past, present and future to escape alive. Gerald is the husband that wants to kink things up in the bedroom but he dies but stays around in the imagination of Jessie. Tom is her father that has a relationship with the younger Jessie that leads to the back story of what causes her life decisions.

PerformancesCarla Gugino does a great job carry the movie throughout the film and at times playing a double role at times. Bruce Greenwood and Henry Thomas are good through the film too but never taken the shine of Carla’s performance.

StoryThe story follows how a sex game marriage goes wrong leaving one woman handcuffed to the bed needing to survive, having her face her demons while trying to look for an escape which makes sense in what is a Stephen King story. we do get the plenty of false ideas of what is going on but by the end it makes sense, you just need to focus on every detail.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror elements of this film are from what Jessie is experiencing while tied up while the thriller side of the film keeps us guess to just where it will go.

SettingsNearly the whole fil is set within the bedroom as, well Jessie can’t go anywhere and it is here she must face her problem head on using life experiences to help her and these do take us away from this solo setting.

Special EffectsThe practical effects in this fil are amazing there is one scene that you will need to turn away just because of how real it looks.

Scene of the Movie –
Handcuff escaping.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I feel she would be in a lot more pain than we see near the end.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great solo thriller that is a must watch for the Stephen King fans out there, great leading performance and one scene that will stay in your memory for years.


Overall: Must watch for Thriller fans