ABC Film Challenge – Horror – E – Exit Humanity (2011)

Director: John Geddes

Writer: John Geddes (Screenplay)

Starring: Brian Cox, Mark Gibson, Dee Wallace, Bill Moseley, Stephen McHattie, Jordan Hayes

 

Plot: A young man’s struggle to survive in the aftermath of a deadly undead outbreak during the American Civil War.


Tagline – History has a violent way of repeating itself.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow, But Enjoyable Zombie Movie

 

Story: Exit Humanity starts during the civil war, where Edward Young (Gibson) battled but the war bought the rise of the undead which Edward has battled successfully until they get his family, looking to get across country to spread his son’s ashes he sets out alone.

Along the way he meets a fellow survivor who has been battling General Williams (Moseley) and his men including Medic Johnson (McHattie) who believe they can control the undead, so know teaming with Isaac (Seybold) he sets out on helping him defeat these evil men, all while being narrated but Malcolm Young (Voiced by Cox).

 

Thoughts on Exit Humanity

 

Characters – Malcolm Young is our narrator, he tells the story like he is writing it in a book, Edward Young is the man who fought in the Civil War but now lives in an undead infested land where he loses his family but now he fights the undead in a quest to put his son’s ashes to rest. Eve is a lone woman living in the woods, she is believed to be a witch which built her reputation for the locals, she opens her doors to Edward and his party. General Williams is the man that believes there is a cure, but his evil ways lead to them experimenting on the living to find it. Medic Johnson is Williams’ doctor who performs these experiments.

PerformancesThe performances from the cast are good, we have the horror icons in Dee Wallace, Bill Moseley and Stephen McHattie that give us good performances throughout. Brian Cox narrating is engaging throughout while Mark Gibson as our lead is good with all the bigger named actors.

StoryThe story here is a zombie one, which we have seen plenty off, but it does take place in a Civil War era, which is an original spin on it. We have the journey our hero goes on, a villain that would end it and as always someone looking for a cure. The story is also told in chapter as if it was read from a book and strangely the narration side of the story being told in more interesting than the acting side of everything unfolding.

HorrorThe horror is a zombie world where the humans seem to be the bigger enemy, which works but isn’t on the scary factor.

SettingsThe film is set in the Civil War era, so we don’t have big strong structures for safety we are in the woods with our characters needing to find a way to survive without the ammunition the modern zombie films would have.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well which is mostly practical as we see how the zombies are created to fit the time.


Scene of the Movie –
I liked how the opening was narrated to us.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel like a long movie, with the muted action sequences.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting take on the zombie genre, it places us into a different era with the same threat but does feel at times like it is being told as something one of the great poets would have written in the era.

 

Overall: This is an interesting if take on the genre even if slightly too slow.

Rating

 

 

 

 

 

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Cherry Tree (2015)

Director: David Keating

Writer: Brendan McCarthy (Screenplay)

Starring: Anna Walton, Naomi Battrick, Sam Hazeldine, Elva Trill, Patrick Gibson

 

Plot: Faith’s world is turned upside down after she finds out that her beloved father is dying. When the mysteriously alluring Sissy Young becomes her field hockey coach, Faith finds a compassionate spirit and much-needed mother figure. Little does she know that Sissy is the head of a centuries-old witches’ coven that uses the fruit of an ancient cherry tree in a secret ritual that restores life to the dead and dying.


Tagline –  A young woman makes a fateful pact with a witches’ coven that can save her dying father’s life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Horror

 

Story: Cherry Tree starts as we meet Faith Maguire (Battrick) a school girl that is considered somewhat of an outsider but continues to try out for the field hockey team, where her new coach Sissy Young (Walton) gives her a chance. in Faith’s personal life her father is losing his battle with cancer which would leave her alone in the world but he Sean (Hazeldine) stays strong for her.

Sissy is no ordinary woman though, she is an ancient witch that offers Faith a chance to cure her father, but this is nothing like Faith had imagined as she finds herself being involved in a secret ritual for her coven.

 

Thoughts on Cherry Tree

 

Characters – Sissy is the new field hockey coach at the school, but deep down she is an ancient witch searching for the next victim of the ritual she performs to keep life, she constantly appears in Faith’s life to make good on the deal they make. Faith is the school girl, she is about to lose her father to cancer and while never fitting in at school she is offered a deal by the new field hockey coach but it isn’t anything like she had prepared for. Sean is Faith’s father he has been battle his sickness but it doesn’t look good until Faith makes the deal. He is a good man who wants to make sure his daughter has everything she needs when he is gone.

PerformancesAnna Walton is good in the witch role, we have seen her in these types of roles before but her look and presence is felt throughout the film. Naomi Battirck is good as the confused, hopeless feeling teenager that would give up anything to save her father. Sam Hazeldine is solid but we don’t get to see enough form his character.

StoryThe story does have elements of Rosemary’s Baby to it, but I feel there is a much more desperate desire from Faith to go through with a deal which comes from the supernatural side of the things. She must decide whether to give up her family or make a deal which any school kid would do to save a parent. This does follow the route you would expect but it also does go into folk law which is something that always entertains in horror.

HorrorThe horror comes from the idea of witches looking to unleashes the underworld with the creature of choice being the centipede.

SettingsThe settings do the best to make it feel like this could be an everyday location for a normal average school girl.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well through the film, be it that most are practical effects that add to the gore beautifully.


Scene of the Movie –
Witch released.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There are moments which feel too dark to truly see what is going on.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror, it has plenty of blood and gore as well as giving us a dark twist on a folk law which is a pleasure to see.

 

Overall: Good horror all around.

Rating

 

 

Serpent (2018)

Director: Amanda Evans

Writer: Amanda Evans (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Ainsley, Sarah Dumont

 

Plot: A romantic escape into nature turns into the ultimate moment of reckoning when a husband and wife are trapped in a tent with a deadly snake. Unable to escape and with certain death looming, the tent becomes a heated confessional to a cataclysmic truth. Betrayed, the couple finds themselves spiralling into a dark and dangerous space of which only one can survive.


Tagline – Love’s bite. Death’s Kiss.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Snake Versus Human Thriller

 

Story: Serpent starts as couple Adam (Ainsley) and Gwynneth (Dumot) go into nature for Adam’s job in search for a new discovery, treating the work as part of a romantic get away the two visit the beautiful locations in the South African country side.

Setting up camp with just the tent for protection the two think they are safe, until Gwyn gets up during the night no closing the tent correctly and a poisonous snake enters the tent. The couple must work together to survive which only becomes harder when the secrets they are keeping come to light.

 

Thoughts on Serpent

 

Characters – Adam is a wildlife expert who often heads of into the wild to make new discoveries, this time he brings his wife with him to see the wonders of nature, only once they get trapped in their tent, he must use all his knowledge to keep them both alive against a venomous snake. Gyenneth is the wife who we learn early on had an affair, we know she is know trying to get rid of the guy who has become overly attached and rebuild her relationship with her husband, she goes on the trip hoping to get closer, but it is her lack of experience with the wildlife which causes the problems.

PerformancesThis only has two speaking roles, we are sat with Tom Ainsley and Sarah Dumont for nearly every shot of the film, mostly in the trapped location, we need the performances o be simple, not panic filled, calm, but scared which is what they give us, we see the anger when they face the truth along with their guilt showing us even with the slightest movement they can tell us the story.

StoryThe story follows a couple whose marriage isn’t going a smoothly as it once was going on a camping trip which doesn’t go to plan as they end up trapped in their tent with a venomous snake which could become provoked by any movement. This is an interest idea for the isolated horror story, we have seen Buried and Grizzly Bear movies which have given us this idea, but now we bring a snake into the mix, we get something different. The more interesting side to the story comes from how the two must deal with the problem which led them to take this trip, which is as difficult to make happen without being able to react. The problems with the story come from that fact, it is a lot of just the snake moving a little bit without giving us any action to go with a reaction, it could have become more intense with certain escape plans.

ThrillerThe film does try to keep us on the edge of our seats for the most part, waiting to see just how far they will go to survive. It doesn’t get as intense as it should though.

SettingsThe film mostly takes place in the tent in a blocked off area in the wildlife of South Africa which is filed with deadly animals.


Scene of the Movie –
The escape plan which is what we have been waiting for.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There is certain twist in the story which could have been given more backstory.

Final ThoughtsThis is a strong thriller about a couple that needs to put their problems behind them to survive against a snake that will bite them with the any movement.

 

Overall: Strong thriller.

Rating