The Sugarland Express (1974)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Har Barwood, Matthew Robbins (Screenplay) Steven Spielberg, Hal Banwood, Matthew Robbins (Story)

Starring: Goldie Hawn, Ben Johnson, Michael Sacks, Williams Atherton, Gregory Walcott, Steve Kanaly, Louise Latham

 

Plot: A woman attempts to reunite her family by helping her husband escape prison and together kidnapping their son. But things don’t go as planned when they are forced to take a police hostage on the road.


Tagline – Every cop in the state was after her. Everybody else was behind her.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smartly Drive Crime Thriller

 

Story: The Sugarland Express starts when Lou Jean (Hawn) breaks her husband Clovis (Atherton) out of early release prison, they want to travel to Sugarland to get their son back after losing custody. The plan seems simple until a police officer Slide (Sacks) pulls over their car leading to the couple taking him hostage.

It isn’t long before this turns into a state wide pursuit led by Captain Tanner (Johnson) that seems to have ever police car in the state leading to a chain of cars heading to Sugarland.

 

Thoughts on The Sugarland Express

 

Characters – Lou Jean has lost custody of her child, now she will break her husband out of prison to get him back, she is the desperate mother who even though she doesn’t have the complete resources for parenting she will give the child all the love in the world. Clovis is the husband that goes on the journey believing this will be the last resort, he will support her even if she doesn’t give him the complete story. Slide is the police officer that is taken hostage, he is helpless to follow instructions putting his fate in the hands of his Captain and captors. Captain Tanner is the man that must figure out how to bring an end to the events, he doesn’t want a shootout, he must control all the officers in search of a peaceful ending.

PerformancesGoldie Hawn in the leading role as the desperate mother doing anything she can to get her child back, we see how she plays the naïve nature of her behaviour for the characters age involved which helps us support her decision. William Atherton as the boyfriend is good in his role showing moments of confusion like his character would be going through. Michael Sacks as the hostage cop he keeps calm through all the scenes which is needed for his character. Ben Johnson as the captain is a good watch because we almost see him planning each move in his head.

StoryThe story here is based on a real event about a couple that take a highway patrol officer hostage as they plan to get their child back. We follow this story closes and how the police didn’t want to get involved in anything crazy as the couple are going about the situation in a peaceful manner. What we see in the story is just how far people would go to get their child back after and just how the story would take the country by storm, with the supporters coming from each town they travel through and for some reason the endless numbers of cops that will follow them. When we start looking at how this plays out, we would have a different outcome now, first it would have been a lot harder to break the husband out of prison and secondly you feel the police would be a lot more aggressive when we go across state borders. If you want a story that could easily be one that captures a nations attention this will be one.

CrimeThe crime side of the film shows us how the two petty criminals will go to extraordinary lengths to get their child back even if it means breaking the law in ways that will only get them in trouble for longer.

SettingsThe film takes us across the country in pursuit of a car which has taken a highway patrol officer hostage in an attempt to get their child, this is a questionable use of setting because we never really learn the scale of the distance travelled.


Scene of the Movie –
Going through the town with gifts.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not knowing how far they travel.

Final ThoughtsThis is an early look at just how talented Steven Spielberg was going to be, it is a crime film that keeps you on edge and one that make you have sympathy for the criminals.

 

Overall: Early masterclass from Spielberg.

Rating

 

 

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Blood Bound (2019)

Director: Richard LeMay

Writer: Richard LeMay (Screenplay)

Starring: Eden Brolin, Rosa Arredondo, Timothy Hughes, Gerald McCullouch, Kevin Spirtas, Vanessa Rubio, Joseph Melendez

 

Plot: Every 25 years, it begins. Bound to an ancient pact, a family of unlimited power descend upon a small rural town to sacrifice 4 human lives, one being a member of their own family. The ritual begins when 18 year old Kerry, finding herself pregnant, realizes her unborn baby is the target of a sinister plot.


Tagline – Pray For Her

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Eerie & Chilling

 

Story: Blood Bound starts when Raul (Melendez) and his family move to a new town, they find themselves targets of the local thieves Sean (Nelsen), Brian (Davis) and Kerry (Brolin), only for the plan to take a strange twist, when Raul leads a cult which impregnate Kerry.

After that night Kerry, Sean and Brian find themselves are the mercy of Raul and his family who are controlling their action, making it difficult to even try and explain what happened that night, Kerry soon discovers her baby is part of the plot which sees 4 human lives being sacrificed.

 

Thoughts on Blood Bound

 

Characters – Kerry is the teenager girl that is about to finish high school and involved with a troublemaking gang that rob houses. One night the latest job sees them taken control off by the home owners and she becomes impregnated by them, she is left to wonder whether to keep the baby, even if she knows the fate she will be facing. Raul is the head of the household, he controls everything for both sides which will see him select the victims to the scheme. Sean is the boyfriend of Kerry’s who forces her into the robberies, he is controlling, but after that night he can’t handle what happened that night. David is the man selected to father the baby, he tries to comfort Kerry in the decision that is going to be made, believing he has been selected for this moment.

PerformancesEden Brolin in the leading role helps us feel the unease her character is feeling, this is a theme through the film with her performance only helping us feel that. Joseph Melendez as the head of the household strikes up a presence which makes us feel uncomfortable through the film, Ross Wellinger and Eric Nelsen complete the main cast which shows both of the difficult decision making their characters must make.

StoryThe story here follows a young lady that becomes the target of a cult that want her baby to continue on their protection from a demonic figure that comes every 25 years. We see the strange goings on during the pregnancy which has an unease chilling tone to the events as Kerry learns about the family and what is going to be expected from her once the baby arrives, we see how the cut can force people into following their instructions no matter what and just how they have been getting away with this for generations. This does follow certain rules we have seen before, but with this story we do get to see moments of original ideas being used.

HorrorThe horror from this movie comes from the world of witches and cults who will sacrifice for their own greater good.

SettingsThe film uses the small-town setting, showing us just how they can get away with the crimes happening and just how the bodies never seem to get investigated.

Special EffectsThe effects in the movie are only used in small amounts, this does help because it creates the moments, we need them, but lets the tension shine through more often than not.


Scene of the Movie –
The demon arrives.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does seem strange the missing bodies are never investigated.

Final ThoughtsThis is one very eerie movie that has an incredible amount of tension throughout the film, it does follow certain known rules and does bring some of its own rules too.

 

Overall: Horror that has new tension.

Rating