Rabid (2019) Movie Review

Director: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska

Writer: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, John Serge (Screenplay)

Starring: Laura Vandervoort, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Greg Bryk, Stephen McHattie, C.M. Punk, Hanneke Talbot

Plot: What happens when you realize that to achieve your dreams you have to live a nightmare? Rose is a quiet, demure, unassuming woman in her looks and actions. Her dream is to become a famous designer in the fashion world, but a terrible accident leaves Rose scarred beyond recognition. She seeks out a radical untested stem cell treatment. The treatment is nothing short of a miracle and wallflower Rose turns into the belle of the ball. It all seems to good to be true. She is now everything she wanted to be. But everything in life comes at a price and this new found perfect life is no exception.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Best Practical Effects in Horror 2019

Story: Rabid starts when we meet shy assistant to a fashion designer Rose (Vandervoort) gets invited to one of the fashion parties, only for her to learn the motivation behind going, running from the party, being involved in a horrific car crash, leaving her jaw wired shut, while her jaw is being rebuilt. Rose is taken in by her foster sister and model Chelsea (Talbot) who is there for her, helping her find solutions including an experimental procedure that could re-construct her face.

The procedure is a completely success, making her even more beautiful than she was before, though it has come with a side effect, visions she can’t control, horrific ones, that seems to be blending reality with nightmares.

Thoughts on Rabid

Characters – Rose is the quiet assistant to a fashion designer, she has her own ideas that she does want to see made, the girls come to her to get small adjustments, but the designer treats her like a carpet. She isn’t seen in the same light as the models and often keeps to herself. She gets involved in an accident which first sees her horribly disfigured and secondly lose her job, desperate to fix this, she turns to an experimental procedure which fixes everything, giving her a new lease for life and a taste for blood. Brad is one of the co-workers that does try to help Rose come out of her shell by inviting her to the party before the accident. Chelsea is the foster sister to Rose that has been working with her too, she is the one that opens up her home after the accident, helping her get back on her feet, supporting her through the treatment, not looking away like most the others in her life would.

PerformancesLaura Vandervoort does give us a strong performance throughout, being able to balance the losing her mind and determined personality. Hanneke Talbot is strong too and the supportive friend, that does get to show the pushy personality her character has around Rose. Benjamin Hollingsworth does show us a strong friend or potential love interest in the film, while big names like Stephen McHattie and C.M. Punk make entertaining supporting appearance.

StoryThe story here follows a young lady that sees her life turned upside down after an accident leaves her disfigured, only for an experiment procedure bringing out a new version of herself and an unwanted side effect along the way. This is a remake and one story that can remain similar is places, while bringing the social side of the film to new heights, the fashion world does make a wonderful backdrop for the story because it reflects the world that image needs to be fix with surgery. There are certain ways the story does feel weaker, that is mostly seeing how everything is spreading, which is important, but it doesn’t follow Rose, which is the important side of the story.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror side of the film comes from the real world situation that Rose goes through, with the accident before hitting the graphic violence of what is happening to Rose, which is also the sci-fi side of the film, the changes Rose goes through.

SettingsThe film uses the fashion world as the main settings backdrop, it shows us just how important image is to Rose and the people close to her.

Special EffectsThe complete highlight of this film comes from the practical effects, which look as graphic as they can, the injury suffered by Rose is one of the worst wounds you will see in this year’s horror films. We should give a shout out to the team (According to IMDB) Graham Chivers, Jeff Derushie, Anahita Loghmanifar, Emily O’Quinn and Omar Roessler


Scene of the Movie – The first reveal from the injury.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We do move away from Rose, as the bigger problems spread around the city, we could have been given more fear from not seeing this, only hearing about it.

Final Thoughts This is a practical effects masterclass in horror, it will use some of the best you will see this year even if the story is a modernised look at a cult classic.

Overall: Bloody graphic horror.

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At the Devil’s Door (2014)

Director: Nicholas McCarthy

Writer: Nicholas McCarthy (Screenplay)

Starring: Ashley Rickards, Nick Eversman, Michael Massee, Mark Steger, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Naya Rivera

 

Plot: A real-estate agent finds herself caught up in something sinister when she has to sell a house with a dark past and meets the troubled teen who used to live there.


Tagline –  It’s looking for a home.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Messy & Confused

 

Story: At the Devil’s Door starts as we see teenage runaway Hannah (Rickards) planning to run away with her boyfriend, only to find herself in the middle cult like environment. Moving away from this situation Leigh (Moreno) an ambitious real-estate agent gets the chance to sale a house with a history, only to learn Hannah is haunting those hallways.

Hannah has been taken over by a dark force who has set her sights on her latest target, only this time it isn’t Leigh, it is her artist sister Vera (Rivera). What have they gotten themselves into, that is the question.

 

Thoughts on At the Devil’s Door

 

Characters – This was a hard film to figure out who the main character was until the end, so I will talk about the three biggest characters in no particular order. Hannah is the first one we meet, she is a runaway that finds herself in the middle of a demon worshiping cult, walking the halls of a house up for sale, she has a secret waiting to reveal. Leigh is the real-estate agent that is trying toe sale the house only to learn that there is a force in the house trying to control certain movements. Vera is the younger sister of Leigh, an artists that becomes the target of the presence that is haunting the land.

PerformancesWhile I don’t think the actors do a bad job in anyway in this film, the scorecard is being harsh on them, most of this complaint that the characters don’t become the main until late in the film which doesn’t give us enough time to get behind the actors. The three actresses do well with what they have without having that one moment that makes them stand out.

StoryThe story follows a potential demon being born into the world, I think, it would be fair to say this movie does put forward all the generic ideas that something is off with each scene, but as I was saying with the characters, we follow ones events only for the to mean nothing and these scenes go on for a healthy 20 odd minutes before we move onto the next character’s story, which only leaves us confused and feeling withdrawn from where the story is going.

HorrorThe horror is the normal, people walking around the empty houses following or running from noises, the only scene that stands out is involving the hospital.

SettingsThe film keeps us in a few houses that always seem to be empty, nothing is overly interesting with the locations being used.

Special EffectsThe effects are the strongest part of the film, it does have a couple of stand out moments which will make you look away but also make you want to watch.


Scene of the Movie –
Hospital time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not knowing the main character early on.

Final ThoughtsThis is a messy confusing movie that does try to break the mould because of the source material of demon trying to be born, we skip over the been there scene that parts but it takes too long to get there.

 

Overall: Not good enough horror movie.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – H – The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2013)

Director: Tom Elkins

Writer: David Coggeshall (Screenplay)

Starring: Abigail Spencer, Emily Alyn Lind, Chad Michael Murray, Grant James, Katee Sackoff, Morgana Shaw

 

Plot: A young family moves into a historic home in Georgia, only to learn they are not the house’s only inhabitants. Soon they find themselves in the presence of a secret rising from underground and threatening to bring down anyone in its path.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid, but Flawed Sequel

 

Story: The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia starts when the Wyrick family, Lisa (Spencer), Andy (Murray) and daughter Heidi (Lind) move into an historical home, Lisa like her sister Joyce (Sackhoff) has the ability to see and communicate with ghosts and as her daughter starts seeing them too, what is the message being sent?

Heidi befriends one of the spirits, one that previously lived in the home, but it is the history of the events of this house which will be the one that leads up to the true terror in this story.

 

Thoughts on The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia

 

Characters – Lisa is the wife and mother of the family, she does have an ability to see spirits with her mother helping her through these experiences. In her new home she starts to see more spirits that has trying to send her messages and must use her skills to figure out how to save her child. Andy is the husband and father, he is the only one that doesn’t have the ability to see the spirits which shows him taking on the situation as if there would need to be a logical reason behind it all. Heidi is the daughter of the family, that can also see the spirits and it is her visits which guide us to where the story goes this time, she is encouraged by her Auntie and discouraged by her mum. Joyce is the free-spirited Auntie that joins the family, she tries to embrace the idea of the spirits needing help and will guide Heide unlike her sister.

PerformancesThis is a sequel with no returning cast members, no connection to the original, so the cast is brand new. We do have a couple of known actors from television, Abigail Spencer, Chad  Michael Murray and Katee Sackhoff, they do what they can with the material, but the poor decisions they are forced to make doesn’t help. Emily Alyn Lind does well for a child star put in horror situation.

StoryThe story is based on real events or sold on this idea anyway. We have the events of the story taking place over short amount of time, as we see how everything seems to escalate, which is fine for a horror story. the idea the sisters and daughter can see spirits naturally is a good spin on the idea where only one can usually see the ghosts. The problems do some into this too as the one person who can’t see the spirits still sees them and most of the decisions being made are poor throughout. For the mystery behind everything it does keep us interested throughout and does give us shocks along the way.

Horror/Mystery When it comes to the horror in this film we get plenty of the normal jump scares, most of which just play out like you would imagine, the casual fan will jump along the way. The highlight is the mystery behind what is causing the hauntings because history is always filled with surprises.

SettingsThe setting for the film is good because it is an old house that is bound to be filled with history that could be a terrifying as what we learn as the film unfolds.

Special EffectsThe effects in this film are mixed because the way the flashbacks are shot does look do and feels different to current events, the negatives come from how the injuries can look while inflicted to the modern characters.


Scene of the Movie –
Cut the cord.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The moments Andy saw a ghost.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough sequel even though it has no connection to the actual first film, it does have smart ideas but terrible character decisions.

 

Overall: Horror fans should enjoy.

Rating