ABC Film Challenge – Horror – W – Where the Devil Hides (2014)

Director: Christian E Christiansen

Writer: Karl Mueller (Screenplay)

Starring: Alycia Debnam-Carey, Rufus Sewell, Thomas McDonell, Adelaide Kane, Leah Pipes, Jennifer Carpenter

 

Plot: When young girls start to go missing within a religious cult, older followers fear a long-told prophecy while the younger members suspect abusive elders are killing them off.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Horror Enjoyment

 

Story: The Devil’s Hand starts in a religious community away from the world still using non-technology based that live in fear of a prophecy involving the teenage girls of the community, Mary (Debnam-Carey) is one of these girls that suffers from fits that her friends are all aware of how to prepare for, but when they start becoming more common she gets horrifying visions too.

To make matters worse the girls start vanishing in the community leaving the girls coming together to figure out what the secret within the community is with local boy Trevor (McDonell) who isn’t part of the community.

 

Thoughts on The Devil’s Hand

 

Characters – Mary is one of the six girls born on the sixth day of the sixth month approaching her 18th birthday. When some of the girls start going missing the Mary must learn about the myth about her birth, her mother’s death and just how twisted the cult like life she is living in. Jacob Brown is Mary’s father, he has clashed with leader before and will do anything to keep his daughter safe from all the twisted ideas the community might have to stop the curse from coming true. Trevor is from the normal world, he helps where he can to try and being the Sheriff’s son is more of a convince than anything else.

PerformanceAlycia is making a name for herself in the horror genre now with this being the third horror based entertainment material I have seen her in and she does work for this film well. Rufus Sewell is good in the supporting role in this film with Thomas McDonell being good as the by the book love interest. It is the supporting performances that do come off the greatest with Jennifer Carpenter and Colm Meaney both being the best characters.

StoryThe story follows a small community that still live by the religious beliefs away from the technology of the world, they come together for the most part but when a legend and myth takes over the community the 5 remaining girls find themselves being targeted by something running riot through the community. The story does follow the traditional ideas of a potential evil or is it just someone evil idea which pushes the extremists away from the strict leader as everything turns into a control of power.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror side of this film splits between slasher as the girls seem to get picked off and the idea the devil is coming into our world.

SettingsMost of the film is set in the community which shows us how the beliefs of the people could be tested to new levels when they have never been able to experience the new world.

Special EffectsThe effects are only used at times and all well, they are no pointless CGI thrown in here which helps us understand just what is going on.

Scene of the Movie – The vision realization.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Everything just feels like nothing has happened until this moment for nearly 18 years.

Final ThoughtsThis does work as a horror thriller, it keeps us on edge, offers us twists and most of all balances the religion to reality beliefs.

 

Overall: Horror that sure works well through the film.

Rating

 

 

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Circle (2015)

Director: Aaron Hann, Mario Miscione

Writer: Aaron Hann, Mario Miscione (Screenplay)

 

Plot: Held captive and faced with their imminent executions, fifty strangers are forced to choose the one person among them who deserves to live.


Tagline – Fifty strangers held captive are forced to choose one person among them to survive execution.

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: High Tension Thriller

 

Story: Circle starts as 50 people wake up in a circle stood in red circles with a countdown selecting people every two minutes to die with the people voting for who should be dying next, as the people try to figure out who to select next it turns into a social experiment to figure out why these people have been selected in the first place.

As the numbers whittle down the tension starts to ramp up people search for flaws in people to help select the sole survivor in this twisted game.

 

Thoughts on Circle

 

Characters – The film goes out of its way to not single out any of the characters as the main characters trying to not include names for the most part only using people with different backgrounds, ages or race. We have plenty of people trying to make sense of the situation and try and swing the argument in their favour, some are good others are bad, the choice will be yours.

PerformancesThe performances across the board are great throughout, we don’t get too much over reactions from the stars while none of them try to take centre stage either.

StoryThis is a very interesting study into human behaviour, having 50 people needing to select who they will kill next as they need to figure who is worth saving as the number whittle down. This is a thriller that keeps you guessing to figure out who will go next while it is difficult to describe and learn who would be the best person in the group.

Horror/MysteryThe horror of the film shows us just how much of the film is the mystery makes for a horror and edge of your seat idea as the people face their own potential deaths as they are placed in a seemingly no-win situation.

SettingsThe whole film takes place in this room with no exit, this adds to the tension through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The final few.

That Moment That Annoyed Me No real answers to everything.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that keeps us guessing from start to finish, it plays out like a social experiment which is tension filled from start to finish.

 

Overall: Tension filled nail biter

Rating

 

 

Betrayed (2018)

Director: Harley Wallen

Writer: Harley Wallen (Screenplay)

Starring: John Savage, Billy Wirth, Richard Tyson, Blanca Blanco, TJ Storm, Harley Wallen, Kaiti Wallen

 

Plot: In an effort to control the city the Mayor opens the doors to the Russian Mob. It is not long until he realizes they aren’t going to follow his rules. To fix the problem he accepts an offer to set up the Russians and open the door for the Cartel. When the Russians find out they take the Mayors Daughter and then the real games begin.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Crime Thriller

 

Story: Betrayed starts when Mayor Alderman (Savage) wants out of his illegal affairs with the Russian mob leader Mikhail (Wallen) and Cartel’s Mr Stone (Tyson) which is a mix of sex trafficking and drug trafficking. He can’t turn to the police, and the mobs won’t take no for an answer, he calls in his fixer Mike Wolf (Wirth).

When the Mayor’s daughter Marie (Wallen) gets kidnapped by Mikhail, the battle to get out of the system increases and the detectives must chase down the truth in time to save the mayor’s daughter and clean up the city before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on Betrayed

 

Characters – Mayor Alderman has had his hands in many pockets, now he wants out of this line of business, but it isn’t as easy as that, he becomes the target of the mobs who want to continue operating in his city and must turn to a fixer. Mike Wolf is the fixer, he will do anything to get information, even things that will cross the line, his team will get the results when it comes to locating the mayor’s daughter. Mr Stone is the leader of the cartel, he doesn’t want to play the same games as Mikhail which will only ends up putting him in the bad position. Mikhail is the Russian boss that wants to continue operating in the city, with or without the aid of the mayor, he changes the game making it deadly then before.

PerformancesThe performances across the board are good for the acting, though the accents can come off generic in parts. John Savage as the mayor works well with Richard Tyson and Harley Wallen (who also directs) giving us god performances, it is strange with a large number of this cast also in a family friendly film ‘Bennett’s Song’ earlier this year and most of these roles are against what we saw in that film. Billy Wirth is the one that shines in the scenes he is in as the fixer who will get answers.

StoryThe story focuses on a mayor whose dealings with the mobs has come back to bite him as he tries to get out, he family become targets and he must turn to fixers to solve the problem and save his daughter. This does follow the formula well even if it would be fair to say we get introduced to too many characters, having the mayor, two sides of the mobs, five or six members of the mob, the victims, three detectives and the fixers, which just doesn’t give them enough time to shine, as we don’t hate the villains enough or support the heroes for long enough. The film does want to send a message about sex trafficking business going on in the real world.

Action/CrimeThe action in the film is a mix of shoot outs and fights which do the job without being anything ground breaking. The crime world is dark, because of the subject of the crime, the underground sex trafficking world.

SettingsThe film is set in Detroit which works, it is a big city in America, we do only see clubs, station, homes or warehouses where the victims are being held captive.


Scene of the Movie –
The final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain moments are blink and you miss what happened.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good solid action crime thriller, it tackles a dark subject and makes everything feel like real consequences could happen while tackling the problem.

 

Overall: Crime thriller in the dark underworld.

Rating