ABC Film Challenge – Horror – H – The Haunting (1963) Guest Pick Movie Rob

This is one of the many guest reviews from Movie Rob, check he site out for many more reviews

“When people believed the earth was flat, the idea of a round world scared them silly. Then they found out how the round world works. It’s the same with the world of the supernatural. Until we know how it works, we’ll continue to carry around this unnecessary burden of fear” – Dr. John Markway

Number of Times Seen – 1 (8 Oct 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A Paranormal expert travels to a house that is perceived to be haunted in order to try and discover its secrets.

My Take on it – I will be the first to admit that I am far from being the biggest fan of films of the horror genre. In fact, I avoid them as much as possible.

I decided to watch this film because it was chosen as the LAMB MOTM for October and it’s always fun to have seen a film before I listen to a podcast of fans discussing the movie.

In addition, I could also use this film as an entry for Darren’s ABC challenge and therefore get away without having to endure yet another horror film that I probably wouldn’t enjoy very much.

Personally, I didn’t find this film thrilling at all and in fact, most of it seemed to just creep along at a pretty slow pace.

By the end, they had presented more questions than answers which is usually quite frustrating for me since I like having definitive closure instead of ambiguous strings of a plot.

The cast is quite competent here and makes us believe what they are trying to accomplish and I loved seeing Russ Tamblyn in a different kind of role for him.

The problem was I kept waiting for him to break out in songs about Sharks and Jets. 🙂

The special effects seem quite mild here, yet they do manage to make things feel realistic in a way that they can be interpreted as being possibly supernatural or just natural.

This film was probably perceived as being much more suspenseful when it was made 55 years ago, but watching it now, it doesn’t seem to come even close to having that same kind of effect.

Bottom Line – Not very thrilling IMHO. As with many horror films things creep along very slowly and even by the end there are more questions asked than answered. The cast is pretty good and it was fun seeing Russ Tamblyn in this film without the need to have him sing. The effects all seem quite mild and even if this film was perceived as being quite scary when it came out 55 years ago, it doesn’t manage to have the same effect now.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Claire Bloom was intrigued to the play the role of a woman who was attracted to another woman. She said she got along with everyone on the set, except for Julie Harris, who tried everything to avoid her and not talk to her. At the end of the shoot, Harris went over to Bloom’s house with a present and explained that the reason she had kept to herself was to stay in character, because Harris’ role in the film was that of an outsider that none of the others understand or will listen to. Bloom was happy to hear the real reason behind Harris’ behavior, since Bloom stated that she really liked Harris and could not understand what she herself had done wrong to be treated like that by her co-star. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – H – Hazard Jack (2014)

Director: David Worth

Writer: David Worth, Doug Vandegrift (Screenplay)

Starring: Amanda Maddox, Kevin James Sporman, Alison Lani, Macauley Gray, Jason O’Neil Hudson

 

Plot: A group of college kids get together for a weekend of booze and war games at an abandoned hospital. The hospital has become the haven for a PTSD stricken war vet coping and acting upon his delusions. Who will survive the game?

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Uninspiring Horror

 

Story: Hazard Jack starts as we follow a large group of college student who locate the abandoned hospital for a weekend booze, sex and wargames, our main characters would be the organiser Earl (Sporman), the new team member Stella (Lani) and the old couple Bridget (Maddox) and Dillon (Gray).

The problem the students will face is the war veteran living in this hospital who is struggling to deal with the consequences of war that he likes to kill anyone that enters into his home. Who will survive the wargames turned deadly.

 

Thoughts on Hazard Jack

 

Characters – Bridget is the one of the group who is least interested in going, she is have relationship troubles with her boyfriend and a easy final girl figure.  Earl is the smartest of the guys who has the location scouted for the best location for wargames. Stella is the newest member of the team which gives us a reason to be told all the characters name in an introduction style. We do have a lot of students I think there are actually 6 just to have sex whose names are forgotten quickly, we also have a gay couple who are painfully generic.

PerformancesIt would be fair to say none of the actors in this movie get enough time to perform anywhere near their best, we have a good selection of actors here just to get naked too.

StoryKids go to abandoned location for booze and sex weekend and end up being picked off by a crazed serial killer, been here seen this, it does work but we needed less characters to focus on so we could focus on so we can care about the ones who are still alive. This isn’t the strongest of the gorefest storylines.

HorrorThe horror is all blood and gore as we follow the villain butchering the students.

SettingsThe abandoned hospital does make for a good setting because the characters don’t have anywhere to run and can party as loud as they like.

Special EffectsThe effects are good blood filled effects but away from that nothing is overly impressive.


Scene of the Movie –
End credits were good.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple blood splatter movie which spends too much time on boobs than kills.

 

Overall: Boring blood splatter fest.

Rating

 

 

 

 

Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz (2013)

Director: Kieran Parker

Writer: Rae Brunton (Screenplay)

Starring: Bryan Larkin, Ivan Kamaras, Velibor Topic, Laurence Possa, Alec Utgoff, Johnny Meres, Michael McKell

 

Plot: In this third installment of the hit Nazi Zombie action horror movie, Outpost: Rise Of The Spetnaz, we discover the horrifying origins of these supernatural soldiers and see them in ferocious gladiatorial battle against the most ruthless and notorious of all military special forces: the Russian Spetsnaz.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sloppy and Poor Sequel

 

Story: Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz starts in 1945 as we follow a Russian special forces unit led by Dolokhov (Larkin) navigating the German forest looking for the secret base which has rumours of special experiments.

The plan doesn’t go the way they hoped, they find themselves captured or killed, waking in an underground bunker where they must find a way out joined by American spy Rogers (Lambert), they will learn the truth about the German experiments.

 

Thoughts on Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz

 

Characters – Dolokhov is the leader of the Russian military unit searching for the secrets to the German’s work during World War II, he is loyal to his men and when he starts seeing them killed he will fight back no matter what the odds. Captured he goes through the experiments proving to be the best candidate for the Germans. When we reach the rest of the characters, we hit the weaknesses here, we have the rest of the unit which gets picked off bit by bit, the German soldiers and scientist with only one standing out, that being the man running the outpost.

PerformancesWhen we look at the performances we must face the facts here, the characters are not that interesting which doesn’t give the actors must to work with, Bryan Larkin in the lead role is fine with the combat side of everything, but when it comes to the deep fake accent we see the weakness coming through too often. This is a problem for most of the stars of the film.

StoryThe story here tries to continue to build on the legacy behind this mysterious bunker which was the focal point of the very first Outpost movie, this time we follow Russians that are searching for the bunker only to become the latest victims. Now this has many problems early on, the first film we know this place is abandoned which makes the story interesting, this film tries to explain what happened in the bunker before the English unit finds the location, well I think that is what I saw. The idea that the German’s were doing experiments has been done too much which only leaves us thinking we have seen this before because of the lack of shock behind anything we see. This is a story which doesn’t give us enough investment in the characters to make us care about what is happening through the film.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is war based, with gun shots through the woods, fighting in the bunker and genre hordes of zombie fighting, certain scenes are shot badly with too many cuts and the action does feel clunky. The horror side of the film comes from seeing what the experiments were about and how the zombie like soldiers will not stop, this does play into the sci-fi elements of the film too as we see how far the Nazi’s were going in the war.

SettingsThe film mostly takes place in the bunker, or outpost if you like, it doesn’t feel as claustrophobic as the first film and the lighting makes this a harder watch too.

Special EffectsThe effects are basic and with the editing we lose the moments of gore we would like to see.


Scene of the Movie –
Unleash for the fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Nothing is exciting.

Final ThoughtsThis feels more like a pointless sequel in a franchise which has already gone on too long for its own good.

 

Overall: Dull and lifeless.

Rating

 

 

Malevolent (2018)

Director: Olaf de Fluer Johannesson

Writer: Eva Konstantopoulos, Ben Ketai (Screenplay) Eva Konstantopoulos (Novel)

Starring: Florence Pugh, Celia Imrie, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Scott Chambers, Georgina Bevan, Daniel Campbell

 

Plot: Siblings Jackson and Angela run a profitable ghostbusting racket; swindling the bereaved with fake detection equipment and Angela’s paranormal ‘visions’. Hired to investigate a haunted old foster home, the team uncover its terrifying past: young girls brutally slaughtered, mouths stitched shut; silenced by a sadistic killer. And Angela’s on the edge – sleepless, strung out and losing her mind, no longer certain what’s actually real; convinced she hears the girls crying out to her from the darkness… But supernatural terrors are the least of their problems when they discover the very real evil lurking in the isolated house


Tagline – A group of fake paranormal investigators suffer the ultimate reality check when confronted by the true horrors that lie hidden within a haunted orphanage.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow & Dull

 

Story: Malevolent starts as we get to see the fake ghostbusting team of Angela (Pugh), brother Jackson (Lloyd-Hughes), Elliot (Chambers) and Beth (Bevan) show their methods of getting people to give them money to pretend to rid them of ghosts. Angela does have a gift, but for now it is just about making money.

When Jackson finds himself struggle for debts he owes, he talks Angela into taking a big high paying job for Mrs Green (Imrie), this case however, turns out to be real and the full abilities that Angela possesses will be put to the test.

 

Thoughts on Malevolent

 

Characters – Angela has been given the same gift as her mother, the ability to connect to the dead, she uses the gift to help people rid them of ghosts, only her brother takes advantage of the people who believe. She has been struggling with the hauntings over the past few cases not wanting to take more, she reluctantly takes the next case to help her brother, though it will test her resolve. Jackson is the brother that runs the show, he keeps people believing everything they are doing no matter how wrong it might be, he has also collected debts which need to be paid off. Mrs Green is the latest client that needs help in her mansion where the secrets of her past only increase the hauntings.

PerformancesFlorence Pugh made a massive impact last year, so going into this film I was expecting something great, in the end she doesn’t do much to make us care, giving us a bland performance, we can’t support through the film. Celia Imrie is ok in her role, though we don’t get enough dimension about her character. Ben Lloyd-Hughes is ok the mostly disappoints not giving us anything in this role, which is the same the rest of the cast.

StoryThe story follows a ghostbusting team that pretend to help people for extra cash, facing a real situation with the ghosts of a mansion they must prove that Angela can communicate and save themselves before it is too late. This is follow the lines we have seen before it doesn’t do anything to make us feel like we are part of this atmosphere and it ends up feel like it rushes everything to try and get to the twist which doesn’t make the most sense and by the end of the film you will most likely forget anything you saw.

HorrorThe horror aspects of this film get sucked out of the film by telling us how the team fake their hunt, they try to explain things as pranks which just doesn’t make it interesting to watch. Anything horror related just doesn’t draw your attention at any point during the film.

SettingsWhen we get to the mansion we instantly get the isolated feeling about where the film could go, only it doesn’t use it well enough.

Special EffectsThe effects look disturbing at times, but we don’t get enough time for that shock value.


Scene of the Movie –
Preparing the victim.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The team is never believable.

Final ThoughtsThis is mostly a dull horror that doesn’t give us anything to really enjoy in this film. by the time the horror starts we will have lost interest.

 

Overall: Disappoint and boring.

Rating