Dead Shack (2017)

Director: Peter Ricq

Writer: Phil Ivanusic, Davila LeBlanc, Peter Ricq (Screenplay)

Starring: Matthew Nelson-Mahood, Lizzie Boys, Gabriel LaBelle, Lauren Holly, Donavon Stinson, Valerie Tian

 

Plot: While staying at a cabin in the woods during the weekend, three teenage kids discover their neighbor is ‘feeding’ guests to her zombie family. In short order, the battle is on as the kids fight to save themselves and their family.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow & Mundane

 

Story: Dead Shack starts when Roger (Stinson) is taking his kids Summer (Boys), Colin (LaBelle) and friend Jason (Nelson-Mahood) with his new girlfriend Lisa (Tian) to a camping trip in a forest cabin. As the kids goes exploring, they find the neighbouring house, which has lone woman (Holly) living in it, that brings back young men.

When the kids clear what she is up to they learn that she is collecting people to feed to her zombie family and now they have become her latest targets.

 

Thoughts on Dead Shack

 

Characters – Jason is the quiet teenager that joins the family on their camping trip, he clearly fancies Summer and is good friends with Colin. He needs to learn to step up when it comes to dealing with the neighbour if he is ever going to impress Summer too. Summer is the sister of Colin and I want to say older one at that, she doesn’t take anything from any body sticking up for herself whenever she is in trouble, she is the bravest of the group. Colin is the loud mouth brother and friend, he will always put his foot in it with his weak jokes and insults. The Neighbour is a woman that brings victims to her house to feed to her zombie family, when any escape she can hunt them just to keep her secret safe.

PerformancesThe three kids are the main part of the film, Matthew Nelson-Mahood is fine in the group with Lizzie Boys and Gabriel LaBelle just giving the average you would expect to see. Lauren Holly doesn’t make her character as menacing as she could do either.

StoryThe story is simple, it follows three teenagers that learn their neighbour is a killer that is feeding her zombie family, only to become the latest targets. Think Fright Night with zombies and elements of a weak Stranger Things union between the friends, though the problem comes from the being older acting around their dad, I could see how the friends could use the language together, but around a father it does seem unlikely. The idea of suiting up to fight is acceptable without being anything new, it could do with being lighter hearted for a comedy, but the tone just comes off average and plain through the whole film.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in the film doesn’t hit very often, it does juvenile for the most part. The horror misses to because we are going with a comedy attempt we don’t aim to make anything scary.

SettingsThe film does take us to an isolated location which does work for what the neighbour is getting up to, other than that even the forest doesn’t get used well enough to create atmosphere.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film do work, they seem to be practical and while most are cuts or body horror, they do understand how to make us look twice.


Scene of the Movie –
The showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Colin is mostly annoying throughout.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror comedy that doesn’t seem to know which side of the fence is wants to settle on, it isn’t funny enough to be a comedy and isn’t scary enough to be a horror, which only makes it feel plain and forgettable.

 

Overall: Lost in the genre shuffle.

Rating

 

 

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Stuck (2017) Movie Review

Director: Michael Berry

Writer: Michael Berry (Screenplay) Riley Thomas (Play)

Starring: Giancarlo Esposito, Amy Madigan, Ashanti, Arden Cho, Omar Chaparro, Gerald Canonico, Tim Young, Reyna de Courcy

Plot: An original pop musical film about six strangers who get stuck on a New York City subway together and change each others lives in unexpected ways.


Tagline – Sometimes it Takes a Stranger to Help You Find Your Voice

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Essential Viewing

Story: Stuck starts as the six strangers find themselves in a single subway carriage, we have the homeless man Lloyd (Esposito) that has been people watching on the subway for years, seeing people come and go for years, Sue (Madigan), Eve (Ashanti) who has been having personal troubles, Alicia (Cho) a dancer that has her own stalker in Caleb (Canonico) who has been designing his own comicbook superhero. along with construction worker Ramon (Chaparro).

When the train gets stopped, the six find themselves waiting, with Lloyd pushing them to let out their inner stories of what they are chasing in life, each person is from a different background, culture and ethnic group, where they each get to learn about life through another set of eyes.

Thoughts on Stuck

Characters – Lloyd is a homeless man living on the subway with his cart, we see him doing the everyday cleaning routine, while he people watches, knowing everyone that comes onto the subway. He likes to use song and performance to beg for money as he tries to bring the people together on their stranded time together. Sue comes from a professional job, being from an older generation that wants to accept everyone, but gets caught un in the political correct terms to address them on the subway. Eve is a woman that has found an unexpected twist in her life, suffering from relationship problems being very defensive. Alicia is a Korean dancer that is happy to close herself off from the world to follow her dream. Ramon is a Hispanic construction worker trying to balance three jobs just to give his daughter a better life. Caleb is a young man that is stalking Alicia, while he designs his own comic book about disabled superhero.

PerformancesWhen we look at the performances we have six very talented actors, each one from a different age or ethnic background which helps them connect to the story they are telling, we see that these people could be from anywhere and have their own story.

StoryThe story here follows six people that get stuck on a subway carriage, they are from different backgrounds, cultures and ethnic groups, they all have stories to tell, ones that you can only get to learn from talking to people. This story is one of the most important ones you will see this year, it shows you can never judge somebody until you learn their stories, you will never know the truth they are holding inside or the fights they have fought to be where they are. This will open your eyes to just what is out there and becoming accepting to everybody you meet, pass in the street or share a subway with, one that will show people can be there for you in life.

MusicalThe songs sung through the film show us the stories the characters are going through, you can tell the tone of the story through each song

SettingsThe story is almost set entirely on the subway, here we see the strangers trapped and getting to know each other, it is simple and effective to show how a simple conversation can learn a story.


Scene of the Movie – Sue’s story.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing

Final Thoughts This is one of the most essential viewings of the year because of just how easily it shows us that we should listen to other people’s stories in life.

Overall: Absolutely Delightful.