ABC Film Challenge – Horror – R – Ravenous (1999)

Director: Antonia Bird

Writer: Ted Griffin (Screenplay)

Starring: Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, David Arquette, Jeremy Davies, Jeffrey Jones, John Spencer

 

Plot: In a remote military outpost in the 19th Century, Captain John Boyd and his regiment embark on a rescue mission which takes a dark turn when they are ambushed by a sadistic cannibal.


Tagline – Bon apétit!

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tasty Addition

 

Story: Ravenous starts as Captain John Boyd (Pearce) is left disgraced during a battle gets set to a quiet military outpost to save face for the army. The Outpost is filled with a mix of different men including Cleaves (Arquette), Toffler (Davies) and Hart (Jones).

When a stranger Colqhoun (Carlyle) is rescued he tells the tale of his journey which saw his men turn into cannibals but he escaped the panic. The men set out to rescue the remaining survivors across the harsh snow-covered mountain range with Colqhoun as their guide. When Colqhoun’s true nature is released it becomes a battle to survive against the blood thirsty maniac.

 

Thoughts on Ravenous

 

Characters – Captain John Boyd is known to the people as a hero, but he is anything but that as survived rather than won his battle. He is relocated to a small outpost where he can work with the quiet group of soldiers but soon he finds himself needing to face his own demons when a sadistic cannibal starts picking off his unit. Colqhoun is the stranger discovered with a story of a cannibal group in the woods, but soon we learn he is a lone sadistic cannibal just looking for more food. The rest of the characters are just other soldiers in the unit that have different drive through the film.

PerformancesGuy Pearce is great in this leading role of a man who must face his own demons while also questioning his own sanity. Robert Carlyle is also great in this film, we see his calm ability to keep people listening to him even if he is the one doing things wrong. The rest of the cast are good without getting too much time to shine on the level of the two leads.

StoryThe story takes us into a world of cannibals and disgraced soldiers, we see how one man is left to battle his own demons while dealing with a sadistic cannibal that no one else is believing his true colours. This is a battle between the two men to stay ahead of the other and as things unfold we get twists on how they will stay ahead of each other too, which does keep us guessing to how this will play out.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy side of the movie comes from the effects of cannibalism on the characters with the horror showing us just how far a character could go to survive, including eating human flesh.

SettingsThe setting helps because our characters feel isolated through everything that happens which helps Colqhoun get around so easily.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show the horrors of what is happening with the most part being practical effects which helps us enjoy the environment we are placed into.


Scene of the Movie –
Mountain search.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Wasting David Arquette.

Final ThoughtsThis was a good fantasy horror involving cannibals, it does have a few tonal problems mostly with Colqhoun because one minute he is calm but the next he is blood driven and it flicks between the two too often.

 

Overall: Great addition to the cannibal movies.

Rating

 

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A Dark Song (2016)

Director: Liam Gavin

Writer: Liam Gavin (Screenplay)

Starring: Steve Oram, Catherine Walker, Susan Loughnane, Mark Huberman, Nathan Vos

 

Plot: A determined young woman and a damaged occultist risk their lives and souls to perform a dangerous ritual that will grant them what they want.


Tagline – Not everything can be forgiven

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Intense Ritual Horror

 

Story: A Dark Song starts as Sophia Howard (Walker) rents a remote house in the countryside, she hires occultist Joseph Solomon (Oram) to perform a yearlong ritual so Sophia can communicate with her late son, one more time.

With the rules set, the ritual begins leaving the two to need to be prepared for anything good or evil that they would summon from the other side.

 

Thoughts on A Dark Song

 

Characters – Sophia is the lady that wants to communicate with dead child, she has turned to an occultist to help her, she will go through as many different rituals to achieve her desired outcome. Joseph Solomon is the occultist that reluctant agrees to help Sophia with her ritual, he has plenty of experience and even when he knows she is lying he will help her.

PerformancesSteve Oram and Catherine Walker are the main two stars of this movie, their performances need to be strong for this movie to work. They both give us captivating performance where you are wondering where the characters will be going next.

StoryThe story dives into the idea of how far would you go to communicate with a dead loved one, would you turn to the occult knowing it wouldn’t be the best idea because of what else you could summon, or would you let the police punish the people responsible, these are the main questions being asked in this movie. When we follow the ritual side of the film doesn’t give us a full scale of the time the two are performing them, but then again the story doesn’t focus on the rituals that much, rather focusing on what would be the correct decision made by the Sophia.

HorrorThe horror involved in this movie is mostly about what could happen with rituals are performed, we only get a moment of actual horror late in the film.

SettingsThe settings keep the two in one house for up to a year which gives the characters the much-needed isolation for the rituals to happen.

Special EffectsThe effects used in the film are save the few moments that need them and seem to be great practical use of them too.


Scene of the Movie –
Cross the line.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While you are left waiting for something to happen, not much does happen.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that focuses more in the drama of what could happen and following to people that need to focus on letting the past lay over trying to scare us.

 

Overall: A horror that lacks the scares.

Rating