ABC Film Challenge – Horror – Q – Quarantine 2: Terminal (2011)

Director: John Pogue

Writer: John Pogue (Screenplay)

Starring: Mercedes Mason, Josh Cooke, Mattie Liptak, Ignacio Serricchio, Noree Victoria

 

Plot: A plane is taken over by a mysterious virus. When the plane lands it is placed under quarantine. Now a group of survivors must band together to survive the quarantine.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Idea, Badly Acted

 

Story: Quarantine 2: Terminal starts as we meet our flight attendances Jenny (Mason) and Paula (Blair) who have a low number passengers flight across America, I think. We get to meet the different passengers including teacher that takes Jenny’s fancy Henry (Cooke), teenager travelling alone George (Liptak), the list does go on but most importantly this red eye flight is underway.

When one of the passengers becomes infected by an unknow virus the plane makes an emergency landing and finds themselves quarantined in the terminal. Jenny must keep the passengers calm as the tensions rise between them as they wait to see just how they will make it out of this situation.

 

Thoughts on Quarantine 2: The Terminal

 

Characters/PerformanceJenny is our main character a flight attendant who knows how to have a good time, she must keep her passengers calm through the situation but nothing can prepare her for these events. Henry is a teacher who gets to play out as a potential love interest for Jenny, he stands up for what is right when passengers get out of control. George is a teenager travelling alone and Jenny’s responsibility on the flight however much he wants to be left alone, when things go wrong he wants to stay protected. The rest of the characters are what you expect from characters that are trying to make an impact in horror movies. It would be fair we get introduced to slightly too many characters that makes it hard to give them enough development.

Performance wise, well the acting isn’t great or even good through the film but at least it isn’t just shaky cam now.

StoryBy now we all know the first Quarantine movie was a full remake of {Rec} the Spanish horror movie, but this sequel takes the franchise in a different direction, this is a good thing because by the end we learn that there is a bigger picture to everything that has unfolding. I am glad we went in a different location even if the idea is very similar it does have enough for world building even if not everything is shown to the full extent.

Horror/Mystery/Sci-FiThe horror side of the film continues the idea that people have become infected and will turn into blood thirsty monster, this is all good without being terribly scary. The mystery will leave us wondering what is going on and we do get answers through the film. the sci-fi well that comes out in the mystery.

SettingsThe film is set both on the plane and the terminal in which it lands, we get the lock down to put our character trapped with the infected trying to kill them as they look to either hide or escape, this all works for the genre.

Special EffectsThe effects show we have a bigger budget now and that we can get into creature new ways to kill the infected too, everything comes off well.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good idea for a sequel especially after the criticism the film got for the shot for shot remake the first was, now we get a film that could have built the world up nicely for sequels.

 

Overall: An idea that could have worked well.

Rating

 

 

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Escape Room (2018)

Director: Will Wernick

Writer: Noah Dorsey (Screenplay) Will Wernick, Noah Dorsey (Story)

Starring: Evan Williams, Annabelle Stephenson, Elisabeth Hower, Dan J Johnson, John Ierardi, Kelly Delson, Iris Avalee

 

Plot: Four friends test their intelligence in a game that takes a dark turn.


Tagline – Will you survive?

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Saw of Escape Rooms

 

Story: Escape Room starts with Tyler’s (Williams) birthday, Christen (Hower) surprised her boyfriend and their friends Natasha (Stephenson), Anderson (Johnson), Conrad (Ierardi) and Tabby (Delson) to attend an escape room.

With Christen setting the night up, she leaves the five friends to navigate their way through the escape rooms where they must look to save Christen before the timer runs out as the game turns out to be very real indeed.

 

Thoughts on Escape Room

 

Characters – Tyler is the birthday man he is highly intelligent thriving in being about to solve problems which does make the escape room a perfect choice for him. Being this intelligent doesn’t make him the most likeable character as he is often looking down on his friends. Christen is the one that arranges the escape room for her boyfriend, she knows it would be perfect for them and arranges to pay for them all, only she is the one being held captive in need of rescue in this game. Natasha is the friend that clearly has a crush or a past relationship with Tyler, she is there to try and be with him. Anderson is the smart but clumsy one of the group, he can help solve the puzzles, but is reckless in the way he goes about things. Conrad and Tabby are two of the other friends that are more interested in hooking up than anything else.

PerformancesEvan Williams in the leading role does the best job in the film, because we are meant to hate him and he makes us hate him through the film. The rest of the performances are not on a good level, mostly overreactions that are just panic riddled.

StoryThe story here follows a group of friends that put into an escape room for a birthday surprise, but it soon turns into a real battle of life and death. Think saw only as an Escape Room concept over just a serial killer testing people. It starts slow because just watching people do an Escape Room isn’t the most interesting thing to watch, once the stacks get raised we now want to know just what is happening. The problems come from the final reveal of what is going on, with an act that doesn’t seem to make the most sense when you look at the full story. we do have strange decisions going on and having the random girl naked in a cage only confuses.

HorrorThe horror in the film doesn’t start early, but once it does we can see the Saw fans enjoying elements of this film.

SettingsThe film is set in the Escape Room which already locks the characters away from safety and willingly for the most part of the film. the rooms are filled with clues on how the escape.

Special EffectsThe effects do come off strong once we see how real the game has become, which mostly looks at the traps being left in the escape rooms.


Scene of the Movie –
This is a real game, that moment makes things a lot more interesting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How are there perfectly placed cameras for Christen to watch.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror thriller that does take time to get going, once things intensify we are all in before a confusing conclusion which will leave you scratching your head.

 

Overall: Horror Thriller that falls flat in the end.

Rating

 

 

Angel Heart (1987)

Director: Alan Parker

Writer: Alan Parker (Screenplay) William Hjortsberg (Novel)

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet, Charlotte Rampling, Stocker Fontelieu

 

Plot: Harry Angel is a private investigator. He is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer called Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.


Tagline –  It will scare you to your very soul.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dark Mystery Horror

 

Story: Angel Heart starts as private investigator Harry Angel (Rourke) is hired by Louis Cyphre (De Niro) to locate a man Johnny, we follow Harry as he looks to track down this man using his skills along the way.

As the investigation continues Harry finds himself meeting Epiphany (Bonet) a lady that has a connection to the missing man and also deals in voodoo, taking Harry in a direction he never imagined he would go in, but can he solve the mystery before it is too late as everyone he seems to question ends up dead.

 

Thoughts on Angel Heart

 

Characters – Harry Angel is a private investigator, he gets the job done but is a shady in his methods, he gets hired to find a missing person but soon finds himself as the prime suspect in a string of murders with the people that have a connection to the missing man. Louis Cyphre is a mysterious man that hires Harry to search for the missing man but has an air of mystery about him. Epiphany is a young lady that has clues to the whereabouts of the missing man, but gets involved in a race hating state relationship with Harry while also practising voodoo.

PerformancesMickey Rourke does a great job as the private investigator showing the down and out figure needed for the desperate mindset his character ends up in. De Niro shines in the supporting role here giving a chilling performance where we only see him a few times but we are left haunted by his screen time. Lisa Bonet is great too as the young lady that knows some of the answers.

StoryThe story here does start with a standard looking investigation but it soon takes a twist involving different religious beliefs where one man must question his own sanity about what is happening. The investigation side of the film is what you would expect but the change it takes in the final act is the reward you get because things get built up nicely. This is a good mystery thriller that keeps us engaged from the start to the finish.

Horror/MysteryThe horror comes from the truth that comes out in the final act but the mystery we are watching unfold is what drives this film.

SettingsThe settings take us around America at times as we search with Harry about the truth.

Special EffectsThe effects come in the form of practical as we see just how the kills look once the killer has finished with the bodies.


Scene of the Movie –
Final act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I wanted more De Niro.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great mystery horror that does keep us guessing and taking us into a direction you wouldn’t see coming.

 

Overall: Enjoyable Mystery horror.

Rating

 

 

The Rack Pack (2018)

Director: Thomas J Churchill

Writer: Darrell Rackley, Thomas J Churchill (Screenplay) Darrell Rackley (Book)

Starring: C Thomas Howell, Nico Ford, Hunter Lee Manning, Wyatt Walter, David Schifter, Randy Jones, Cece Kelly

 

Plot: A children’s storybook author reminisces about his childhood adventures with his brothers and friends. In a time before kids spent hours watching television, on the computer, playing video games and texting, they went to the park to play with their friends.


Tagline – It was a bond of brotherhood we called …The Rack Pack.

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict:  Fun Family Film

 

Story: The Rack Pack starts as we learn about Darrell’s (Ford) time in the army school with a group of friends known as the Rack Pack, which only allows boys to be a part of, with his closest friends including, Gerald (Manning), Loren (Walter) and the one girl trying to be part of the group Tammy (Kelly).

The boys see Ted (Howell) lurking around an abandoned house after he discovers a secret map which could lead him to treasure, the boys go to battle against this team in an attempt locate the treasure first and have an adventure they love to have.

 

Thoughts on The Rack Pack

 

Characters – Darrell is the leader of the group, he keeps the group in line while letting them have their own entertainment, he is the one they turn to when they need ideas and the one that is telling the story of what happened when he was a kid. Ted is the criminal in search of the treasure, he doesn’t care who he upsets and will do anything to get what he believes he can take. Tammy is the only girl who can be part of the gang, she doesn’t get the same acceptance as the boys, but will do everything she can to be part of the gang.

PerformancesThe best way to look at the performances is looking at the audience the film is targeted for, the performances won’t win any awards, the child actors all look like they are having fun and enjoying getting one over the adults, while C Thomas Howell gives his character enough menace to fit the film well.

StoryThe story follows a group military kids that are always looking for adventure and this time they end up facing real criminals and must save the treasure from the thieves. This story does feel like the first of what could be many stories of the kids adventures in military school and this could easily be a pilot for a long running series. The fact that this film is targeted towards a younger audience makes the story work too because we get to see how they solve the problems and learn life lessons about team work.

Action/Adventure/FamilyThe action in the film comes from the imagination of the kids to keep themselves occupied in the battle against the criminals, this is the adventure they have been seeking only this time things become real. The tone of the film puts us in the family friendly zone even though it is targeted more towards the younger audience.

SettingsThe film keeps us around the military location, the small community that stays together through the times to make sure they are safe.


Scene of the Movie –
The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The museum scene is to comical in a weak way though.

Final ThoughtsThis is a family friendly film that the younger members of the family will enjoy, it doesn’t always hit the high points it could have with the older audience though.

 

Overall: Simple family film.

Rating