Seventh Moon (2008)

Director: Eduardo Sanchez

Writer: Eduardo Sanchez, Jamie Nash (Screenplay)

Starring: Amy Smart, Tim Chiou, Dennis Chan

 

Plot: Melissa and Yul, Americans honeymooning in China, come across the exotic ‘Hungry Ghost’ festival. When night falls, the couple end up in a remote village, and soon realize the legend is all too real. Plunged into an ancient custom they cannot comprehend, the couple must find a way to survive the night of the Seventh Moon.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Camerawork Ruins the Film

 

Story: Seventh Moon starts as newlywed Melissa (Smart) and Yul (Chiou) are travelling around China for their honeymoon, we get the montage to show the best bits, before they take a trip with their trust guide Ping (Chan) who leaves them in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.

Getting concerned the two investigate only to learn not everything is as it seems and now they must battle to survive against the locals and their spirits that are visiting on the Seventh Moon,

 

Thoughts on Seventh Moon

 

Characters – We know horror movies don’t get the best character development and this movie shows why, we have American Melissa who would rather be swimming with dolphins than going to China the homeland of her husband, she is stronger when it comes to surviving horror, forcing her husband to do the manly thing. Yul is the Chinese American that married Melissa and is heading to his homeland for their honeymoon, she doesn’t speak fluent which shows during the non-English moments and needs to be pushed to do the right thing.

PerformancesDoes any remember when Amy Smart was shine in the teenage romantic comedies over the turn of the century, Road Trip and later Just Friends? Well this is where she ended up doing horrors which doesn’t involve too much actual acting. Tim Chiou doesn’t give the best of performances, again this is down to the material and awful camerawork.

StoryThe story wants to be something a lot bigger than what we got, in reality it is American tourist not understand culture and getting caught in the middle of a ritual they don’t understand, mostly running around the woods/forest screaming and hiding. When we watch horror, we don’t always need the best stories, granted but we do at least need something to care about, characters to root for an enemy we might understand. This gives us none of this and ends up feeling flat and boring throughout.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror in this film comes from what is in the woods/forest, it uses the myth of the Seventh Moon to say spirits will come out looking for fresh blood and these creatures are what we must see our character hide and fight against.

SettingsThe setting is the woods or forest, this is fine and works for the idea in the movie, we know that small communities will have different beliefs and while the settings are not used in the most terrifying way they suit the film we are watching.

Special EffectsThe effects are the confusing part of this film, this is because the make-up works very well for the creatures, but the camerawork makes this borderline unwatchable at times.


Scene of the Movie –
The creatures attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The camerawork is terrible.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid idea for a horror film, but the camerawork starts to make this feel unwatchable for the most part.

 

Overall: Camerawork ruins a smart idea that should work.

Rating

 

 

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I Trapped the Devil (2019)

Director: Josh Lobo

Writer: Josh Lobo (Screenplay)

Starring: AJ Bowen, Susan Burke, Scott Poythress, Chris Sullivan, Jocelin Donahue, John Marrott, Rowan Russell

 

Plot: A man descends into paranoia after trapping what he believes to be the devil in his basement, but things take a dark turn when his family unexpectedly arrive for Christmas.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Intensely Atmospheric

 

Story: I Trapped the Devil starts when Matt (Bowen) and Karen (Burke) visit Steve (Poythress) who has been living in the family home alone for a long time. Steve has been off the radar for a reason though, which is to do with the mysterious man he has locked in his basement.

Steve believes he has trapped the devil and must convince his brother and Karen to believe this person is in fact the devil and this is for the greater good.

 

Thoughts on I Trapped the Devil

 

Characters – Steve is the man who has lived alone for too long, he has isolated himself from the world, with a man locked in his basement, one he believes is the devil. He believes he has evidence to prove this and must convince his brother this isn’t a stunt looking for attention. Matt is the brother who has returned with his wife to celebrate Christmas, he is caught in the middle as he doesn’t want to give up his brother, but knows if this is an innocent person, they can’t be kept in the basement. Karen is Matt’s wife that wanted to see the family at Christmas, she gets put in the same position, while looking at the reality that this could well be the devil.

PerformancesScott Poythress as the brother that has trapped the man, completely performs in this role, we feel his characters paranoid nature through each moment in the film, while believing he has done what he has said. AJ Bowen is great as the brother caught in the middle, we see the conflict going on in his head, while Susan Burke completes the main cast with a role that makes you see how people do believe what they can be told.

StoryThe story follows one man that believes he has captured and locked up the devil in his basement, when his brother and his wife visit, he must convince them that this is the devil, while they question whether he has lost his mind or not. This story does get to pose the questions of what if somebody had captured the devil, would you risk letting them out or not? Would you risk letting the devil back into the world or is there no such thing as the devil. We get plenty of questions on how you could react, while also hearing the voice calling for help. We do get moments that are designed for shock, while most of the story is designed to keep more away from us, leaving our imaginations to run wild. This does help build the atmosphere through the film, because you just don’t know what will happen next.

HorrorThe horror in the film comes from seeing how each character reacts to what could be going on if this is in fact the devil, with Steve believing he is the one in the right.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings simple, we remain in the house for the whole film, this shows how the joint secret will need to be discussed, with the boundaries being drawn out.


Scene of the Movie –
The final shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We could have seen more of what caused the strain between Steve and Matt.

Final ThoughtsThis is an atmospheric horror that keeps us guessing by asking the difficult question about what would you do if you trapped the devil, even if it wasn’t the devil, could you risk letting them out?

 

Overall: Horror that makes you think.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – S – Stormageddon (2015)

Director: Nick Lyon

Writer: Neil Elman (Screenplay)

Starring: John Hennigan, Eve Mauro, Joseph Gatt, Robert Blanche, Ricco Ross, David Shatraw, Adrian Paul

 

Plot: When a computer program, Echelon, takes over America’s computer systems it gains the potential to manipulate the weather. Now two robots, Adam and Cain, fight to gain control of Echelon before its too late.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Sci-Fi Actioner

 

Story: Stormageddon starts as America gets attacked by their own drones make it an international problem, journalist Molly (Mauro) receives a tape from her deceased father telling her to look for a man by the name of Adam (Hennigan) after Able (Gatt) takes control of the system putting millions of lives at risk.

Adam must work with Molly to uncover her father’s work which holds the answers to prevent the destruction of the world, but it isn’t only the government trying to kill them, Able wants to stop them too.

 

Thoughts on Stormageddon

 

Characters – Adam is one of the creations, designed to look human, living a normal life, now he is the only one that can stop the computers that are planning to destroy humanity. He is part terminator and part action star. Molly is a reporter that finds herself in the middle of her father’s work that is trying to destroy humanity. She doesn’t get the much and quickly turns into the damsel in distress sidekick. Able is the creation that has become infected by the computer system, he is now causing the problems the world is facing and will kill anyone who gets in his way.

PerformancesJohn Hennigan is doing well in this action films, he can handle the action sequences well and the one liners, well he is getting there. Eve Mauro is good enough as the leading lady but doesn’t get the time you would like when it comes to being helpful. Joseph Gatt has the look of a villain and keeps the emotionless look from the start to the end of the film.

StoryThe story is simple enough to follow, it is a race against time to stop the destruction of mankind that has been using technology to stay make this happen. This is a by the book story that works without complicating anything like many other films could and is one you can just sit back and enjoy. The idea of technology trying to destroy humanity is always interesting to see unfold.

Action/Sci-FiThe action gives us a couple of fight sequences without being overly challenging on the stars while the idea of technology trying to destroy humanity.

SettingsWe do see the iconic landmarks destroyed which is key for disaster movies, but our characters are never in iconic locations.

Special EffectsThe effects are not the best, but we are not expecting great from the low budget.


Scene of the Movie –
Final twist.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain action moments are quickly cut taking away the action.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple easy to watch sci-fi action film, it borrows from other ideas but works if you just want to switch your brain off.

 

Overall: Easy to watch and enjoy.

Rating