The Host (2020) Movie Review

Director: Andy Newbery

Writer: Finola Geraghty, Brendan Bishop, Laurence Lamers (Screenplay) Laurence Lamers, Zachary Weckstein (Story)

Starring: Mike Beckingham, Maryam Hassouni, Doughie Poynter, Nigel Barber, Suan-Li Ong, Togo Igawa, Tom Wu, Derek Jacobi

Plot: A opportunity arises for Robert Atkinson, a London banker who risks his bank’s money to leave the mundane behind to start a new life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Crime Horror 101

Story: The Host starts as we meet down on his luck Robert Atkinson (Beckingham) who has filled his life with bad decisions, including an affair with a married woman, stealing from his bank and gambling with money he doesn’t have, facing even more trouble, he gets offered a deal to make a delivery to Amsterdam.

Once in Amsterdam, Robert finds what seems like a simple delivery, taking a turn when DEA Agent Herbert Summers (Barber) picks him out and Robert is caught in the middle of completing the delivery or jail or something way worse.

Thoughts on The Host

Characters – Robert Atkinson is a banker that has spiralled out of control, he steals from work, gambles with money he doesn’t have and has cut ties with most people in his life. To get out of his problems, he is offered a delivery job, one that will clear most of his debts, it seems simple enough, but it does take a turn for the worse for him. Vera Tribbe runs the accommodation that Robert stays in, it is a giant house that is filled with secrets behind her welcoming nature. Steve is Robert’s brother that has tried to help him get back on the right track, no matter what he has done in the past, he will help him through the toughest time. Herbert Summers sees the delivery Robert is on and looks to use him to get what he needs in the battle against the gang running deliveries around the world.

PerformancesMike Beckingham takes the leading role, showing us just how desperate his character has become, Maryam Hassouni is the star performer in the film with her truly dark turn, where Dougie Poynter, Nigel Barber and Suan-Li Ong giving strong supporting performances too.

StoryThe story here follows a man who is down on his luck making a deal with a gang leader to make a delivery to clear his debts, only for this simple task to take a very dark turn. This does start out looking like it will be a routine crime thriller with somebody needing to clean up their debts, we get the mix Robert getting stuck in the middle of the criminals and the law. This story does take a big twist, which will surprise and go in a very different direction which is shocking to see. The story does try to blend the two together, but does struggle though because we focus on the crime side dragging us in, only for most of this to get forgotten through the horror side, which does take over the second half of the story.

Crime/Horror/MysteryThe crime side of the film does feel routine for the most part, only this takes the back burner once the horror side of the film is unleashed, which is surprising by what happens.

SettingsThe film is mostly set inside the mansion like house in Amsterdam, the house shows us the mystery with the size, the secret rooms and the eerie feel to it.

Scene of the Movie – Vera’s true nature.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The crime side of the story does seem to get forgotten once the horror comes out.

Final Thoughts This is a crime thriller that is covered with a big horror twist to everything going on which is nice, only it does seem to get stuck in the middle of both sides.

Overall: Killer Twist to the Crime Thriller.

THE HOST is available on demand from 17th April 2020

ABC Film Challenge – Action – F – Final Recall (2017) Movie Review

Director: Mauro Borrelli

Writer: Reggie Keyohara III, Sam Acton King (Screenplay) Mauro Borrelli (Story)

Starring: Wesley Snipes, RJ Mitte, Jedidiah Goodarce, Laura Bilgeri, Niko Pepaj, Hannah Rose May

Plot: When five friends vacation at a remote lake house they expect nothing less than a good time, unaware that planet Earth is under an alien invasion and mass-abduction.

Tagline – They’ve come to claim what’s theirs.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Weak Action Sci-Fi

Story: Final Recall starts as a group of friends, Brendan (Mitte), Charlie (Goodacre), Annie (Bilgeri), Rob (Pepaj) and Kara (May) head out of town to a lake house for a weekend away, they happen to clash with local Hunter (Snipes) who doesn’t welcome unwanted guests. With the group away from the world, there is a bigger issue in the world, an alien visit.

With a storm covering their arrival, it soon turns into a mass-abduction, where the five friends must turn to the Hunter to battle the aliens to survive, in a world that might not be there if they make it.

Thoughts on Final Recall

Characters – The Hunter was once an astronaut who is know living in the back woods, hunting for something unknown. He doesn’t take to the five friends, but has been planning for the visit of the aliens. He does fill in most of the holes in what is happening. The five friends are not given the deepest characters, with Brendan being the one that likes taking photos and uses the technology to see what is coming, Charlie is the broken young man that lost a girlfriend in the past, this is meant to be his grieving vacation, while maybe moving on with Annie who is here because of her best friend and has asthma (told you that don’t have much about them).

PerformancesWesley Snipes does play his character way over the top, this does make it hard to take him seriously. When it comes to the five young actors, they fill the generic side of the characters with ease.

StoryThe story here follows five friends that go to lake house only to find themselves clashing with a hunter, before finding themselves under attack from aliens, who have bigger plans for the species. This is a story that does try to play into one of the biggest alien conspiracies known to man, that aliens created man and will continue to experiment over the years visiting to check up on them, this is fine it works well through the story, only getting there is just a slug, we have such a basic idea behind the characters, that nothing really makes any sense before the attack and almost plays out like a parody of Predator at times. What seems like a story that just doesn’t get completed in the film, we could easily have seen this as an opening to television series that will offer even more answers.

Action/Sci-FiThe action in the film is weak, with mostly aimless chases through the woods, while any suspense filled moments finish instantly, which could be the same for the weak looking aliens used in the sci-fi elements of the film, along with the strange setting selected for the experiments.

SettingsThe film uses the random cabin in the woods locations, which doesn’t add anything to the film, in fact it makes it look like any other alien film, while the ship’s interior seems to big for what is meant to be going on within the walls.

Special EffectsThe effects are not good either, with most of the film looking very cheap when you think that we have an actor with a reputation of Snipes in the film.

Scene of the Movie – Wake up.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The aliens look bad.

Final Thoughts This is a low budget action sci-fi film that shows how weak the budget is, even though we have an actor in Snipes that could easily sell a movie.

Overall: Cheap looking throughout.

Abominable (2019) Movie Review

Director: Jamaal Burden

Writer: Joseph Daniel Ellis (Screenplay)

Starring: Katrina Mattson, Amy Gordon, Justin Prince Moy, Robert Berlin, Brandon Grimes

Plot: A research team embarks on a journey to obtain a plant that can advance medical research by centuries. While stumbling upon clues of the previous expedition, they discover that a Yeti creature lurks within the Himalayan mountains and will do anything to protect its terrain.

Runtime: 1 Hour 12 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Creature Feature 101

Story: Abominable starts as a research team led by Dr Smith (Gordon) arrive at the research facility to find empty and destroyed, the rest of the team including Sarah (Mattson), Pete (Moy) and soldiers start searching the surrounding area to clues to what happened, as we see the previous team getting picked off by a yeti.

As the team continue trying to complete the research, which would have medical advances beyond their imagination, they find themselves getting picked off by the yeti, how much will they end up risking to change history.

Thoughts on Abominable

Characters – Dr Smith is the one leading the team in search for the potential cure, she finds herself being kept hostage by the one person that wants more than the cure, she is motivated to find answers because of her illnesses, Sarah is the best friend of Dr Smith, she has followed her on her work, knowing it is for the right reason, trying to keep her safe, working with Pete to use technology to keep the surrounding area safe. Robert is the military man that is watching over Dr Smith, only he has his own reason for being on this mission.

PerformancesWhen it comes to the performances, we get the four main performers, they are doing the normal wonder around the woods, giving the back story well, but don’t fill you with the fear they might be experiencing during the events of the film.

StoryThe story here follows a research team as they look to uncover the truth about what happened at a research facility and finish the job, only to find themselves being hunted down by a yeti. With the story here we do have the idea of going to a remote location for scientific reasons, which will lead to a creature of sorts coming after them, balancing science with life, it is a tried and tested formula that works for horror, you just need to make your own characters with different motivations. The story might well feel routine, it does have a few twists along the way and plays out how every single film of this style would. Easy to watch, you know what you are getting, just enjoy it.

HorrorThe horror comes from the yeti attacks, well they are violent, they do seem to lack the scare factor a 7-9ft creature should give somebody.

SettingsThe film is meant to be set in the Himalayan mountain range, we are just in a random woodland area, which just doesn’t give us the location feeling in anyway during the film.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are strong with practical injuries being inflicted looking gory as they should.

Scene of the Movie – Bob versus the yeti.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – You never feel like you are on location the film is meant to be set in.

Final Thoughts This is an easy to watch horror that does everything by the book without being as scary as it should be.

Overall: Late Night Horror 101.