Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Windmill Massacre (2016)

Director: Nick Jongerius

Writer: Nick Jongerius, Chris W Mitchell, Suzy Quid (Screenplay)

Starring: Patrick Baladi, Ben Batt, Charlotte Beaumont, Fiona Hampton, Tanroh Ishida

 

Plot: Jennifer is an Australian girl on the run from her past who washes up in Amsterdam. In a desperate attempt to stay one step ahead of the authorities, she joins a coach-load of tourists embarking on a tour of Holland’s world famous windmills. When the bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere, she and the other tourists are forced to seek shelter in a disused shed beside a sinister windmill where, legend has it, a Devil-worshiping miller once ground the bones of locals instead of grain. As members of the group start to disappear, Jennifer learns that they all have something in common – a shared secret that seems to mark them all for doom.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacklustre Horror

 

Story: The Windmill Massacre starts as we meet our string of characters, Australian runaway Jennifer (Beaumont), the father son Douglas (Baladi) and Curt (Wright), ambitious photographer Ruby (Hampton), British soldier Jackson (Batt), Japanese tourist Takashi (Ishida) and artist Nicholas Cooper (Taylor) as they take a bus trip around Holland with Abe (Klever).

When the bus breaks down by a mysterious unmarked windmill the group find themselves being hunted down by a killer that seems to be making them pay for their sins. With tensions running high who will make it out alive?

 

Thoughts on The Windmill Massacre

 

Characters/PerformanceJennifer is an Australian on the run from her past through Holland, she suffers nightmares about her father which make her come off crazy, she must face her own demons to survive this night. Douglas West is an overworking businessman who has taken his son on holiday, he will do anything to protect his son, but finds himself easily distracted by work. Dr Nicolas Cooper has been studying the arts of Holland looking to create his own memorable piece of art, the rest of the cast all come off like out would expect for any horror too.

Performance wise, Noah Taylor is the big name in this film and easily becomes the one you want to learn most about and this is good even though he is only a supporting character. Charlotte Beaumont is fine in the leading role but you feel we could have had more from her, the rest of the cast are all fine but nothing that memorable.

StoryThe story behind this horror is similar to many horrors out there, characters needing to face their sins for their past, while facing the sins they learn about human emotion and we have blood and gore thrown in here now. This does create way too many attempts of having sinners responsible for people’s death in one journey for my liking. We also don’t get enough focus on the emotional effect of what these people did apart from Jennifer’s character.

HorrorWe have plenty of blood and gore going on here but this could have suspense, it doesn’t it just looks to go for the blood and gore kills we didn’t need to see for the idea in the movie.

SettingsWe are set in the middle of nowhere, this works for the horror and using the well-known Dutch windmills does help explain the main location.

Special EffectsThe effects for the kills do all look good, but it is the CGI effects which do look cheap through the film.

Final ThoughtsThis film had promise but does miss on the levels it could have reach and on the levels other films with similar ideas reach.

 

Overall: Solid Late Night Horror.

Rating

 

 

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Opinion Battles Results From Favourite from the Year 2000

Opinion Battles Results

From Favourite from the Year 2000

This round we have had an excellent selection of Favourite Films from the Year 2000, but just which one was the most popular?

3rd

Choice – Castaway

Players – Movie Rob, S.G. Liput

Points – 3

2nd

Choice – Requiem for a Dream

Players – Diana

Points – 6

1st

Choice – Battle Royale

Players – Milo, Table 9 Mutant, Emma

Points – 12

If you want to take part in the next years Opinion Battle, we are starting with our Favourite Oscar Winning Performance from Actresses in Leading or Supporting Role

send you choices to moviereviews101@yahoo.co.uk.

Closing Date – 6th January 2018

Here is the Final table (Drew – Drew’s Movie Reviews, Kim – Tranquil Dreams, J – Film & Nuance, Cinema Parrot Disco, Rob – Movie Rob, Damien Riley – Riley Film Reviews, Emma – Emma Explains It All, S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason, Rachel – 54 Disney Reviews, Tom – Plain Simple Tom Reviews, Kira – Film and Tv 101, Allie – Often Off Topic, Ben – Views From The Sofa, Mike – screenkickermovies.com, Carl Wonders – Listening to Film, Gill – Realweegiemidget Reviews, John – Johnrieber.com, Diana – DB Movie Blog, Milo – Stuff and That)

 

Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017)

Director: S Craig Zahler

Writer: S Craig Zahler (Screenplay)

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Don Johnson, Marc Blucas, Tom Guiry, Rob Morgan, udo Keir

 

Plot: A former boxer-turned-drug runner lands in a prison battleground after a deal gets deadly.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brutal as They Come

 

Story: Brawl on Cell Block 99 starts as former addict Bradley Thomas (Vaughn) loses his legit job and learns his wife Lauren (Carpenter) has been cheating on him, after getting through their differences the two are now expecting a baby and Frank is working as a runner for drug dealer.

When a deal goes wrong Bradley ends up in prison serving a 7-year sentence for just trafficking drugs, this is just the beginning of the time in prison when Bradley gets blackmailed by the drug lord which escalates the time Bradley must face and strict warden Tuggs (Johnson) doesn’t make things easy for him.

 

Thoughts on Brawl on Cell Block 99

 

Characters – Bradley Thomas is a former alcoholic, he has cleaned himself up trying to live a straight life, but that becomes difficult to make enough money, he starts drug trafficking knowing it can cover the money needed and his build should put off trouble. When he tries to do the right thing during a deal gone bad he ends up in prison, here he must use his boxing training to pay back the man who is blackmailing him. He comes off like a patriot, an honest guy that if you don’t cross he would be a good guy to have around, but you mess with him, he will become your worst enemy. Lauren Thomas is the wife of Bradley, they have been through some rough times, but now they are on better terms expecting a baby, she becomes the victim in the battle between the Bradley and his former employers. Warden Tuggs runs the prison with an iron fist, not willing to let his prisoners have any freedom.

PerformancesVince Vaughn is unlike you have ever seen him before, emotionless while still have moments of wise cracking, but it doesn’t fall into comedy, this could be a career best for Vaughn and easily the right path for a change for him. Jennifer Carpenter is good in her role and it is good to see her on the big screen. Don Johnson enjoys this role where he plays it out wonderfully in the supporting role.

StoryThe story follows one of the traditional ones we know, a good guy doing an illegal job ends up having to use his skills to do a job which involves leaving a pile of bodies behind him to get out of the criminal situation he finds himself in. The pacing gives us enough time to develop Bradley to a level we understand each motive he has and the blackmail put on him is the most twisted I think we have ever seen in a film.

CrimeThe crime involved is centred around the idea that Bradley does break the law and ends up in prison, here the violence starts as we see how things go from calm to violent in a blink of an eye.

SettingsThe settings are used brilliantly because we see the normal life struggle, the illegal life and the two different prisons that Bradley ends up going too.


Scene of the Movie –
Delivery of the blackmail.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How easy it was to swap prisons with one moment of violence.

Final ThoughtsThis was a brutally violent movie that checks the boxes for everything he needs to be, Vince Vaughn gives a career best performance and the director follows up Bone Tomahawk perfectly for his fans.

 

Overall: Wonderful brutal movie people should be seeing.

Rating

 

 

House of Salem (2016)

Director: James Crow

Writer: James Crow (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica Arterton, Jack Brett Anderson, Liam Kelly, Leslie Mills, Roberts Lowe, Andrew Lee Potts

 

Plot: A group of kidnappers become a child’s unlikely protectors, after finding out they have unwittingly been set up to take part in a deadly game of human sacrifice. As they start to uncover the truth of the safe house they find themselves trapped, they must battle demonic forces in the walls and uncover the terrifying truth of over a hundred years of murder in the name of the Devil.


Tagline – The Devil Has Come Home

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nightmare Building Horror

 

Story: House of Salem starts as kidnappers lead by Nancy (Arterton) kidnap young boy Josh (Kelly) with the plans to keep him in a safehouse until the parents pay the ransom.

The more time the kidnappers spend at the safehouse, the stranger things start to become in the house and the kidnappers learn they may have bitten of more than they can chew.

 

Thoughts on House of Salem

 

Characters – Nancy is in charge of the operation of the kidnapping, believing no one would get hurt and tries to protect her kidnap victim, she comes off as the misguided criminal. Jack is one of the kidnaping group he doe question just what the group is up to. Josh is the victim, kidnapped, but has strangely has a connection to his deceased brother and even know how the night is going to play out.

PerformancesJessica Arterton in the leading role is good, pulling of the sympathetic criminal well, while Jack Brett Anderson works well as the misguided criminal. Liam Kelly as the kid is good for a child star. The cast work well through the film to play out each generic criminal character.  

StoryThe story takes us on a kidnapping that takes a horrific twist, this is filled with ideas that you wouldn’t imagine because of the direction the story unfolds. The build up moments for the horror do play into the normal for horror involving these elements, but as the final twenty minutes show us just how twisted the film’s story will go.

HorrorThe horror side of the film comes from learning what the house is known for and why the people have been selected.

SettingsThe film takes place in one house in the middle of nowhere, it creates the isolation needed to add to the horror and they are there for a reason which makes sense for the story.

Special EffectsThe effects are mostly used for after effects of certain moments that have happened, or focus on the practical effects of the creation of the characters look.


Scene of the Movie –
Learning the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The support kidnappers are not the most original characters, the tough one, the insecure one, the one that would kill.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good low budget horror, it has a smart idea that could easily become something much bigger too.

 

Overall: Strong low budget movie.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – What I Enjoyed in 2017 – E

What I Enjoyed in 2017

E

This month I won’t be doing reviews at all, just a small discussion to what I enjoyed last year, you will be able to find my reviews by following the link HERE

Movie

The Elf

Why I’ve Picked this choiceThe Elf is a horror film from director Justin Price, it follows a family being attacked by an Elf doll following in the same trends as a Puppetmaster or Chucky movie. It is fun, has unique kills and a brand-new killer just in time for Christmas. For me this shows how you can create a new killer in horror which is something we haven’t had too often and is something I have always wanted to see.