The Secret of Marrowbone (2018)

Director: Sergio G Sanchez

Writer: Sergio G Sanchez (Screenplay)

Starring: George MacKay, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Mia Goth, Matthew Stagg, Nicola Harrison, Kyle Soller

 

Plot: A young man and his three younger siblings, who have kept secret the death of their beloved mother in order to remain together, are plagued by a sinister presence in the sprawling manor in which they live.


Tagline – No One Will Ever Separate Us

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautifully Shot Horror Mystery

 

Story: Marrowbone starts as we meet the newly named Marrowbones, Mother (Harrison) and siblings Jack (MacKay), Billy (Heaton), Jane (Goth) and Sam (Stagg), they have escaped from England on the run from their father, they set up a home in the country away from anyone and look to stay in hiding.

When mother dies, Jack must take responsibility for the family, keeping them safe until he is 21, where he can now become the guardian, but things take a turn when an unexpected guest changes everything they want to keep secret.

 

Thoughts on Marrowbone

 

Characters – Jack is the eldest sibling, he will become the guardian to the rest once he hits 21, he does the jobs to keep food on their table, saving face about his mother and does everything he can to protect his siblings. Allie is the girl next door literally, she becomes friends with the family, but when Jack tells her mother is sick, she must stay away and the two keep their relationship secret from the rest of the town, she is very well educated for the time the film is set 1969 (we see the moon landing on a television) and she could leave the small town and achieve greatness. Billy is the hot-headed of the siblings, he will get the dirty work done, but is also get tired of being trapped in the home. Jane is the sister and does the general cleaning jobs around the house, she will also be Sam’s mother if anyone asked. Sam is the youngest of the siblings, bubbling bursting to enjoy his young life, everything is an adventure to him, but we learn early on he can mis-read shapes to be ghosts. Porter is the town’s lawyer that does have a crush on Allie, he works for the Marrowbone’s and starts getting nosier than he should have.

PerformancesThis movie has an impressive cast of young actors that are making names for themselves. George MacKay is the standout here, he shows incredible range and could easily have given one of the best male performances in horror this year. Anya Taylor-Joy continues to impress, while this character is more withdrawn from the horror side of things, she keeps us interested in her every action. Charlie Heaton, Mia Goth and Matthew Stagg complete the siblings list and each is great, when Stagg’s character is upset, you do complete feel with him too.

StoryTh story is one of the most interesting and fascinating ones to be watching this year, in the opening 5 or 10 minutes we learn where the characters have come from, what they are hiding from and just how much will change in a moment, all this before the title appears. We see how things unfold and how the secret needs to be kept, though nothing will prepare you for the direction this movie will end up going in. I just don’t want to get into any true details of this film, if loved the set up and you will spend the rest of the film trying to unravel the events of the opening sequence.

Horror/MysteryThis brings be to my only negative for the film, though it is surrounding in a positive, the horror in the film, while set up nicely is mostly predictable, though most of the horror in the early part of the film does try to get explained away as seen in the trailer, as a way to protect young Sam. The mystery is what we have come to see now, we are left guessing through nearly every scene and by the end, you will feel like you didn’t want to solve this mystery.

SettingsThe film puts our family in a remote mansion by the beach outside of a small town, we learn why they are off the grid and this gives us some of the most beautiful countryside shots you will see in a horror film.


Scene of the Movie –
Reading the Story.

That Moment That Annoyed Me One part feels slightly off, but it is spoiler heavy so won’t mention it.

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to horror films people will want different things, if you want blood and gore, this won’t work for you, if you want a beautiful story that has a horrific side to it, this one will be for you.

 

Overall: The most wonderfully shot horror of the year.

Rating

 

 

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Ouija Séance: The Final Game (2018)

Director: Andrea Mugnaini

Writer: Alan Cappelli Goetz, Andrea Fachinetti (Screenplay)

Starring: Alan Cappelli Goetz, Andrea Fachinetti, Holly Mumford, Gianfranco Quero, Katharina Sporrer

 

Plot: Sarah and her friends decide to spend the weekend at an old villa Sarah mysteriously inherited. After finding a Ouija Board in the attic, Sarah and her friends unknowingly awaken an evil force connected to the villa’s hidden secrets. To fight the unimaginable horror they will have to face their darkest fears and worst nightmares.


Tagline – Let’s Play One More Time

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Horror

 

Story: Ouija Séance: The Final Game starts when American student Sarah (Sporrer) just before returning home after cleaning up the sale of a mysterious villa owned by a distant grandmother she never knew she had. Joined by her friends Barbara (Mumford), Guilla (Goetz) and Rico (Fachinetti) who decide to spend the weekend at her villa for one final party.

Now in a villa in the middle of the woods leaves us the set up we need, a secret room completes this as the friend find a Ouija board and start to have strange occurrences around the villa as Sarah is filled with childhood memories.

 

Thoughts on Ouija Séance: The Final Game

 

Characters – When you create characters for horror films you generally get similar ones. Sarah is the student returning home after selling her inherited home, she is saying goodbye to her friends in Italy and doesn’t have many memories about her mother who died when she was very young. She gets questions in her life answered while dealing with the everyday problems. Barbara is the best friend, English student that loves to party, flirt and fills the box for the good looking insecure best friend that uses her body to cover her own personal problems. Guilla is the playboy friend and boyfriend of Barbara, he is your hot-headed character leaving us Rico who is the attempted nice guy though he is shady as well.

PerformancesThe performances across the board are basic, nobody is terrible, but the overreaction just seems to come off as laughable at times. Katharina Sporrer does the well with the serious moments in the film over the horror related ones.

StoryThe story here follows the horror clichés of going to a cabin in the woods, well this time it is a villa, we follow friends who go into a forbidden room unleashing some sort of evil, that does have a connection to a long-lost family member. Yes, this is by the book and no it doesn’t give us anything overly original. The use of the Ouija board itself doesn’t get used long enough to strike fear into the story and by the end we spend more time focusing on Sarah’s past than any sort of horror in the villa.

HorrorThe horror here is very basic, you could almost say it just doesn’t come off on the level you would expect because the jump scares are non-existent as are any moments of terror.

SettingsThe film does place us in a villa in the woods, which for horror is all we need, the phone signal is bad which causes the problems with trying to be rescued if things go wrong too.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are not the strongest either, though we don’t get thrown into the middle of CGI madness like low budget films can turn to.


Scene of the Movie –
The reading of the notes, clever background moment.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The title of the film implies this was planned rather than a stumble upon moment.

Final ThoughtsThis is a standard horror that doesn’t give us enough scares, misleads this the Ouija idea and just seems to end without that true climax.

 

Overall: Disappointing horror.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – I – Ils (2006)

Director: David Moreau, Xavier Palud

Writer: David Moreau, Xavier Palud (Screenplay)

Starring: Olivia Bonamy, Michael Cohen, Adriana Mocca, Maria Roman, Camelia Maxim, Alexandru Boghiu

 

Plot: Lucas and Clementine live peacefully in their isolated country house, but one night they wake up to strange noise… they’re not alone… and a group of hooded assailants begin to terrorize them throughout the night.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Addition to the Home Invasion Genre

 

Story: Ils starts as we meet our couple, school teacher Clementine (Bonamy) and aspiring writer Lucas (Cohen) who has relocated in Romania with an isolated house so Lucas can focus on his work, the next night turns into a nightmare when the couple get visited by a group of intruders/

The intruders set out to make their night hell by forcing them to hide in their own home wondering just what the motivation for the actions are and being prepared to fight if things get out of hand.

 

Thoughts on Ils

 

Characters – Clementine is the school teacher that is getting used to the new school and country, she lives with her husband in the isolated home where when they get invaded must fight to survive. Lucas is the writer partner of Clementine that spends his time at the home while she works, he works with her to escape the intruders that visit the home. We don’t learn much else about these two characters or even about the intruder’s other than they seem to be experienced in confusing their prey.

PerformanceThe two leads both do well but they only have to do the look scared and desperate to survive routine, it isn’t going ot be that difficult to pull off.

StoryThe story here is also minimal with it focusing on the idea that a couple get terrorised in and around their home by uninvited strangers. We are left to wonder just what are the motives but the simplistic idea behind this story makes it stand up to be counted in the story side of things.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror comes from how the couple get invaded by the strangers and being as clueless as us to just why. We also get the thrilling side of the film from this as we are left on the edge of the seats waiting to see where things will go.

SettingsMost of the film is set in the house which works but while it still stays intense the idea of leaving to the random tunnels loses the point of the film.

Scene of the Movie – Building space.

That Moment That Annoyed Me You kind of want to know more about the intruders.

Final ThoughtsThis is a short sweet home invasion film which keeps us on the edge from start to finish.

 

Overall: Good home invasion film.

Rating