Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Ravenous (2017)

Director: Robin Aubert

Writer: Robin Aubert (Screenplay)

Starring: Marc-Andre Grondin, Monia Chokri, Charlotte St-Martin, Micheline Lanctot, Marie-Ginette Guay


Plot: In a small, remote village in upstate Quebec, things have changed. Locals are not the same anymore – their bodies are breaking down and they have turned against their loved ones. A handful of survivors goes hiding into the woods, looking for others like them.


Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Slow With an Air of Tension


Story: The Ravenous starts in a remote rural Quebec village that has the starting moments of a zombie like outbreak, Bonin (Grondin) leads a group of survivors including Tania (Chokri), Zoe (St-Martin), Pauline (Lanctot), Therese (Guay) and Celine (Poupart) as they preparing to settle down for the long haul.

The zombies they are facing are not like anything we have seen before, they hunt in packs, waiting for their prey to make a mistake before whittling down their numbers, can the group stay alive long enough to make it to safety.


Thoughts on The Ravenous


Characters – Bonin is the man that leads thee survivors, he has lost people before, but this time he doesn’t want to lose them, with his keen hunting sense, he can figure out when the attacks are coming to lead them to safety. Tania becomes one of the survivors which is filled with four women with slightly different backgrounds but do fill similar. Zoe is the child that is found and taken along with the search for survival which does give them all a reason to fight for.

PerformancesThe performances from the whole cast are good, we never know which character could be picked off next which helps us because the performances never try to take centre stage of the movie.

StoryThe story here is the typical one you have hen you follow a group of survivors who are trying to survive in the beginning of a zombie apocalypse. This is a tried and tested formula which entertains and always has a slow pace about it, there are moments of uniqueness and randomness which will leave you wondering just what happened too. This does feel like we have tension throughout the film as we are waiting for something to happen.

HorrorThe horror in this film doesn’t strike us with full fear which it could, but it does have unsettling scenes.

SettingsThe film keeps us in a rural remote village setting which shows how the small residential groups might not get the support if the zombie apocalypse happens.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well with most being off camera with aftermath being seen.

Scene of the Movie –
The first moment when Bonin learns there is something else about the zombies.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The statues, what do they mean?

Final ThoughtsThis another zombie movie that tries to give us something new to the genre and for the most part it works, but it isn’t enough to break new grounds.


Overall: Solid zombie movie





The Captive (2014)

Director: Atom Egoyan

Writer: Atom Egoyan, David Fraser (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Greenwood, Mireille Enos, Kevin Durand


Plot: Eight years after the disappearance of Cassandra, some disturbing incidents seem to indicate that she’s still alive. Police, parents and Cassandra herself, will try to unravel the mystery of her disappearance.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Intenseless Thriller


Story: The Captive starts as we see the teenage Cassandra (Fast) locked in a room by her kidnapper Mika (Durand), she hasn’t left this room for 8 years. She gets to watch over her parent’s life in this twisted game Mika plays.

Flashback 8 years and we see the events leading up to this event of her disappearance as her father Matthew (Reynolds) is left feeling helpless as she is taken from the car, his wife Tina (Enos) blames him and the detectives Nicole (Dawson) and nearly appointed officers Jeffrey (Speedman) start looking into the case.

We then get to follow how Tina, Matthew, Nicole and Jeffrey have spent the next 8 years with the yearly arrival to meet and see if any clues have come up regarding her whereabouts, can the truth come out and the family know the truth or will they be left in the unknown forever.


Thoughts on The Captive


Characters/PerformanceMatthew is the father of the missing girl, he searches on every journey making sure any young girl he sees is safely returned home while also checking they are not his long-lost daughter. Tina has continued to work with the police as they search for clues to what happened, all while trying to continue her own life. Nicole is the lead detective working on searching for children who are put in danger and trying to shut down paedophile rings. Jeffrey is the new detective to the case but has been working on it for the full amount of time as he goes overboard at times. Mika is the one that has Cassandra, we learn this in the opening sequences so not spoilers with this information, but he is the one involved if the bigger picture.

Performance wise, Ryan Reynolds is good in this role because you can believe him as the desperate father, Rosario Dawson also is good in her role as we see how both known for light-hearted roles performing very well. Speedman is fine through the film without being likable and Mireille Enos does control to show she can be a leading role in a film. it is Kevin Durand however that is the true star of the show, being creepy throughout.

StoryThe story is told with a mix of flashbacks and current time events which can be very difficult to keep up on, it also doesn’t help that the film does follow a similar idea of parents and police officers searching for a missing child which is clearly much more intense in Prisoners. By jumping around all over the time line we are left just feeling lost following a story that should be intense from beginning to end.

Crime/MysteryThe crime story is something that is very dark which should be one of the more intense and shocking crime stories of recent times but the storytelling process loses that but we are kept wondering how big the mystery is behind everything going on.

SettingsThe snow filled setting shows us just how hopeless the search for a missing child would be during the winter and how easy it would be to hide people too.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that should have been a classic but in the end, it doesn’t reach all its potential because of the awful storytelling process.


Overall: Missed on too many marks.




ABC Film Challenge – Random – B – Black Mass (2015)

Director: Scott Cooper

Writer: Mark Mallouk, Jez Butterworth (Screenplay) Dick Lehr, Gerard O’Neill (Book)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane


Plot: The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Story: Black Mass starts as Kevin Weeks (Plemons) wants to give up his life of crime recounting his story of how he found himself working for Jimmy Whitey Bulger (Depp). Jimmy is the Irish crime boss expanding around South Boston whose brother is now a Senator Billy (Cumberbatch) who gets the information that FBI agent and old friend John Connolly (Edgerton) has been given the greenlight to bring down the Mafia who also own the street in South Boston.

We see how Jimmy makes a deal with Connolly to create an alliance with the FBI to take down the other gangs in South Boston with only his most loyal worker Stephen Flemmi (Cochrane) knowing the truth. With the freedom to build his empire Jimmy takes advantage of the FBI letting him run amuck through South Boston the rise of Whitey Bulger becomes clear.


Thoughts on Black Mass


Characters/PerformanceJimmy, James ‘Whitey’ Bulger whichever name you want to call him by is the ruthless gangster that lived and reigned in South Boston through the 70’s and 80’s, he is loyal to anyone he trusts but once you betray his trust he will kill you. He becomes an informant for the FBI and uses this to his advantage. John Connolly is the FBI agent that uses his connections in Boston to build his own reputation by making the deal with Jimmy to help him bring down the other gangs in Boston. Billy Bulger is the brother of Jimmy and a senator that keeps his brother’s connection away from his professional life. The rest of the characters are all the different parts of the story be it within the FBI or within Jimmy’s gang.

Performance wise, Johnny Depp gives one of his best performances in year but still doesn’t reach the levels we know he can do, Joel Edgerton continues to build his career to be creditable leading man with Cumberbatch making his presence know when needed, the rest of the performances are all good without being able to find a weak point in any of them.

StoryThe story of a notorious gangster is something we have seen before just replace the gangsters name and we know how this will unfold. I personally didn’t know who Whitey Bulger was going into this film so this was a learning process but as I am not a fan of gangster films I just didn’t get pulled into the story because we just don’t get enough of the story of why Jimmy is motivated to become the gangster in the first place and we are dealing with flashbacks from all the major characters in jail.

Biography/CrimeLearning part of the life of Whitey Bulger is interesting enough to learn but we don’t understand how far up the reign of terror got, the crime side does all look good though.

SettingsThe settings show us the time in which the film takes place is fine they all fit the era.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good look into the process but sadly doesn’t give us enough about what happened as Whitey grew in reputation.


Overall: Has plenty going on but misses too many important moments.