The Dwelling (2016) Movie Review

Director: Jeff Maher

Writer: Cody Calahan, Jeff Maher (Screenplay)

Starring: Colin Price, Alysa King, Gwenlyn Cumyn, Dennis Andres, George Krissa, Hamza Fouad, Alex Loubert

Plot: Four twentysomethings find themselves stuck on a haunted antique bed where leaving means suffering a gruesome death. Plagued with frightening hallucinations, they must figure out the bed’s secrets before they are ultimately picked off one by one.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice Twist to a Genre

Story: The Dwelling starts when four friends look to stay in a hotel for the night Ren (Andres), Fred (Krissa), Sandy (King) and Nancy (Cumyn), they stay in room 18 and have all been murdered, Virgil (Price) is leading the investigation into what happened, as we get to flashback to the events of the night.

As the night unfolds, Virgil tries to unlock the truth, when we see how the four friends had become trapped on an antique bed, where if they leave they will get picked off by something unknown and add in the spin that the friends start to communicate with Virgil from a different time.

Thoughts on The Dwelling

Characters – Virgil is a detective that is given the crime scene, he has his own tortured past which has seen him turn to substance abuse and his alienation of the rest of the team, he does figure stuff out the rest of the team doesn’t seem to pick up on and when he starts to speak to one of the victims, he finds himself trying to save them. Sandy, Nancy, Ren and Fred are the four friends that are in the hotel room, what starts as a night away, soon takes a turn when they become trapped, drawn towards something from their past or from their fears. Most of them have small additions to their character, but nothing overly memorable within their actions.

PerformancesColin Price as the detective is the strongest of the performers, he does make us think that we are going to see him look like an outsider through the film. When it comes to the four trapped in the room, not everything is as strong here because we don’t seem to feel the natural chemistry of the characters on screen.

StoryThe story here follows a group of friends that find themselves trapped on a bed in a hotel room, where if they get off the bed, they will die, until a cop gets in contact with them and starts to try and guide them out of the situation, which has seen them die. This is an interesting spin on the trapped genre, because we open the film knowing people have died in this room and now it is about cleaning up and solving the situation, but seeing the communication between the two sides shows how things have gone in a different direction to the normal. This does seem to start off seemingly like it is going to be a ‘saw’ like story, before turning more into a psychological story that will keep you guessing.

HorrorThe horror comes from seeing just what will be happening to the friends if they stay in this room for too long, we get moments of gore, but most in playing into the mindset of the characters.

SettingsThe film keeps most of the film inside the one location, a hotel room, mixing between the two different times with the events of the film.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are used well when needed, but this film doesn’t want to turn them too often.


Scene of the Movie – The first incident.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The four friends don’t seem to have much about their characters away from this night.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting spin of the trapped genre in horror and will keep you on your toes, even if some of the performances are not the strongest.

Overall: Genre Spinning

James Bond Month – Casino Royale (2006)

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Paul Haggis (Screenplay) Ian Fleming (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini, Caterina Murino, Simon Abkarian

 

Plot: Armed with a license to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007, and must defeat a private banker to terrorists in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, Montenegro, but things are not what they seem.


Tagline – The new Bond. Living for Love. Dying for Thrills.

Runtime: 2 Hours 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mission Impossible Bond Edition

 

Story: Casino Royale starts with James Bond (Craig) going on hi very first mission as the 007 which sees him look to track down a bomb making that is being financed by an unknown terrorist, James builds his own style which M (Dench) doesn’t agree with, though she does reluctantly leave him in the field to search for the banker, Le Chiffre (Mikkelsen).

James must work with Vesper Lynd (Green) to get close to Le Chiffre, in a hope to get information about the people he works with, James goes undercover in a mega stakes poker game in Montenegro.

 

Thoughts on Casino Royale

 

Characters – James Bond is back, only this time it is the first mission, he isn’t like the previous 00’s being more reckless than they are used to seeing, he must use his poker skills to take down a dangerous banker that is working with terrorists and learn the his ego can’t get in the way of his mission. This is the biggest lesson he will need to learn as a 00. Vesper Lynd is the British agent that is working with James, she decides whether he is allowed to spend more money, almost keeping on an eye on him for M. Le Chiffre is the banker for terrorists, he plays the stock market on their actions making him one of the most powerful men in the world, his weakness is that he likes to play poker at the high stakes end. M picks the agents, she has put James in the field and now she is left to decide whether she has made the right decision.

PerformancesDaniel Craig does brings us an entertaining tough agent character, though he never feels like he is James Bond, yes it is his first mission, but this performance could easily have been an original agent figure. Eva Green while looks beautiful doesn’t get the full Bond girl treatment and doesn’t get to make the biggest impact in the film. Mads Mikkelsen is a great villain, but he is easy to place in any film as the villain. Judi Dench continued to make a big impact in the Bond franchise with his being her best outing to date.

StoryThe story here follows James Bond going on his first mission for MI6, one which will see his skills at a poker table being used to get close a mastermind banker for terrorists. The story here is an interesting spin on the Bond franchise because we have always seen James as an established agent, seeing his first mission unfolding, shows us his imperfections as an agent, this is the biggest strength. The basics of getting close to the villain is one we have always seen and understand works for the franchise. It is when the story decides to become more like a Mission Impossible story than a Bond story which can take us away from the story. the poker scenes are also very difficult to watch because they just never come off as believable.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film is amongst the best in the franchise, we have stunt based action too with one of the most memorable sequences coming from the opening of the film. the adventure side of the film takes James around the world in his hunt for Le Chiffre.

SettingsThe film uses a few main settings, we get the Bahamas, Miami, Montenegro and Venice as our world tour.


Scene of the Movie –
opening chase sequences.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The opening credits are awful.

Final ThoughtsThis is a new start for the Bond franchise, it does go in a different direction, only it does feel like it just wants to become the British version of the more aggressive spy movies like Mission Impossible and Jason Bourne.

 

Overall: Bond only more serious.

Rating