Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Temple (2017)

Director: Michael Barrett

Writer: Simon Barrett (Screenplay)

Starring: Logan Huffman, Brandon Sklenar, Natalia Warner, Naoto Takenaka, Asahi Uchida

 

Plot: Three American tourists follow a mysterious map deep into the jungles of Japan searching for an ancient temple. When spirits entrap them, their adventure quickly becomes a horrific nightmare.


Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Stuff of Nightmares

 

Story: Temple starts as we see the Japanese having one of our America tourist in a quarantine like state, they need to learn what happened between Christopher (Huffman), James (Sklenar) and Kate (Warner) in their time in Japan. We learn how Chris got his hands on a book of folk ales which puts the frights on the locals, but this is a movie, so we get the book and head to the temple it is depicting.

Even after warnings and knowing nothing about the temple, the three Americas head off to find the temple in the remote Japanese countryside, the temple is the home of nightmares and the friends will learn the truth about this now.

 

Thoughts on Temple

 

Characters – Christopher has learnt Japanese for this trip, he is joined by his oldest friend Kate, he clashes with her boyfriend James, he does seem to come off like a young man who knows about what he is stepping into and someone who would be happy to go it alone, he also is the translator for the group. Kate is the lone girl on the trip getting to spend time with her oldest friend and boyfriend, she loves both of them who can offer them what they want in this adventure. James is the boyfriend of Kate’s that doesn’t seem overly interested in the countryside part of the adventure, he isn’t convinced on the type of friendship Kate and Chris have either, we also learn that he might not be the honest guy.

PerformancesWhen it comes to the performances, well this isn’t going to come off pretty, the three main actors are fine, they offer very little when it comes to exploring side of things and struggle once we got into the darkness that makes it nearly impossible to see anything.

StoryThe story follows three Americans who go into the woods of Japan in search for a temple only to learn the nightmare filled truth about it. Told in a flashback formula where one of the group recounts what they believe to have happened only confuses more, because if one person is telling the story how do they know what the other two are doing when they are not around? Yeah, this is very weak storytelling, a story that has been done plenty of times and a lot better.

Horror/History This is horror in the most frustrating sense, I say this because there could be a lot going on, but it is too dark to see too often, the moments we do see are good effects, but the mix of shaky cam, darkness and just screaming don’t bring us into this film.

SettingsThe Japanese setting should be perfect for this film, but this falls flat because we don’t dive into the true tradition that could bring us into the culture we are meeting in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Ummmmmm, finding the book?

That Moment That Annoyed Me The darkness makes it nearly impossible to watch.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror movie that gets confused on many levels, it tries to do a certain idea of looking back on what happened, but in this shows us what happened without this character present, it is shot way to dark and ends up feeling like a complete waste of time.

 

Overall: Poor horror that misses every shot.

Rating

 

 

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Black Mirror – Black Museum

Director: Colm McCarthy

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Douglas Hodge, Letitia Wright, Babs Olusanmokun, Jade Clarke

 

Plot: A woman enters the Black Museum, where the proprietor tells her stories relating to the artefacts.

 

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Twist Filled Tales

 

Story: Black Museum starts as British tourist Nish (Wright) finds herself in the middle of nowhere in America needing to recharge her car, she stops at a mystery Black Museum run by Rolo Haynes (Hodge), his museum is filled with artefacts that have stories with Rolo telling Nish his place he has been a part off, including the Dawson net which gave a doctor the ability to feel pain to solve cases.

We follow the tour as we learn about other cases that Rolo had been involved in and become part of this tour, we learn how he has been planning to try to break boundaries in his industry.

 

Thoughts on Black Museum

 

StoryThis does have three stories being told, each could easily have been their own chapter in the series, this is a positive and a negative, the positive is because we do get invested in these stories which have a twisted side to them all, the negative is waiting for the twist which while isn’t the easiest one to work out, but you can tell something must happen to complete this outer story. it is strange to say, but it does feel like this story is almost too busy to fully enjoy on a on time viewing.


Scene of the Episode –
The twist ending.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This one does need a repeat viewing.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most thought provoking of the stories in Black Mirror, this one will need a couple of viewings to get each detail of this episode, which is a good and bad thing, but if I was to go back through the show, this would be the first one to see for me. The stories do twist together nicely and do get the most out of the shorter formula.

 

Overall: Nice finishes to the show.

Rating

 

 

Black Mirror – Metalhead

Director: David Slade

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Maxine Peake, Jakes Davies, Clint Dyer

 

Plot: In the post-apocalyptic landscape of the Scottish Moors, a woman attempts the survive the land full of “dogs”.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fast Paced Thriller

 

Story: Metalhead starts as we follow a group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic Scotland, looking for supplies they run into a dog, a robotic hunter which leaves Bella (Peake) fighting for her life against this relentless killing machine.

 

Thoughts on Metalhead

 

StoryThe story doesn’t have too much to talk about, it is one woman trying to survive from a robotic dog that is relentlessly trying to track her down and kill her. This does keep everything having a fast pace about it, which is a good experience, but strangely just doesn’t feel like a black mirror episode, this could be any run of the mile mini series episode.


Scene of the Episode –
Dog introduction.

That Moment That Annoyed Me –  It doesn’t have the feel of a Black Mirror episode.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fast-paced thriller that does do its best to keep you on edge, it does succeed too, it does however feel like you needed that little bit more world building to care about the battle of Bella and just how many dogs we are likely to come across in this landscape.

 

Overall: Flawed, but entertaining thriller

Rating

 

 

Black Mirror – Hang the DJ

Director: Timothy Van Patten

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Georgina Campbell, Joe Cole, George Blagden

 

Plot: A new dating app hits the scene, but insists that singles need to meet before 12 hours.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Perfect Story on Love

 

Story: Hang the DJ starts as we meet Amy (Campbell) and Frank (Cole) two young singletons going into the world of dating with this new app that decides how long you are meant to be with the person they have a date with, the two have a wonderful date but are only assigned 12 hours together. They both feel the spark, but must follow the system and find themselves in longer relationship with their next matches.

 

Thoughts on Hang the DJ

 

StoryThe story here tackles modern dating and the use of apps to help find the so called perfect match. We know the systems are flawed when it comes to knowing being matched up, but this one takes us into a world where we are meant to go through with the full length of a relationship with our matches. As someone who is going or trying to go through dating this is a wonderful look at how the world of dating could go if technology takes over.


Scene of the Episode –
Looking at the clock.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The world could have been explained more, like do they have jobs or not, what is this world all about.

Final ThoughtsThis could easily be the best episodes of Black Mirror, it is one that takes a look at the real-world ideas of how internet dating can never compare to just meeting someone out of the blue, however hard that may well be. This is a story people can relate to moments, from different relationships and does this in a way like nothing we have ever seen before.

 

Overall: This will bring the biggest smile to your face in the series.

Rating

 

 

Black Mirror – Crocodile

Director: John Hillcoat

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Andrea Riseborough, Andrew Gower, Kiran Sonia Sawar

 

Plot: A woman interviews various people using a device that allows her to access their memories.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Suspenseful Thriller

 

Story: Crocodile starts as Mia Nolan (Riseborough) is forced to cover up an accident by her then boyfriend, 15-year-later she has moved on with her life, married with a child and a good career. When her boyfriend from her past wants to spill the beans, and let his guilt go, Mia can’t afford to let this truth out.

Shazia Akhand (Sawar) on the other side of things in an insurance claim investigator, looking into an accident from outside the hotel this same night, she uses a device which can use the memories to build a case, when the paths cross Mia could be the key witness, but her activities in the hotel room could expose the truth.

 

Thoughts on Crocodile

 

StoryThis is one of the first stories here that splits into two for the first half, this is good because we get good development for both Mia & Shazia characters, we also get the idea of two career women, one that is going to always be haunted by her past, while the other is looking at the bright future with her new born child. This is a slow burning story that escalates into one that keeps you on edge till the final moments as you are left wondering just how far things can go.


Scene of the Episode –
The meeting of Mia and Shazia, is a wonderful tense moment.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There does seem to be a couple of moments which don’t fit the pace we are looking to get to.

Final ThoughtsThis is one episode which does start slow and finishes with you on the edge of your seat, with the suspense ramped up the max. I was thinking this was going put this down as a disappointment only for it have one of the best final 15 minutes so far.

 

Overall: Deliveries in the final third.

Rating