The Curse of Hobbes House (2020) Movie Review

Director: Juliane Block

Writer: Wolf-Peter Arand (Screenplay) Juliane Block (Story)

Starring: Mhairi Calvey, Makenna Guyler, Waleed Elgadi, Kevin Leslie, Jo PRice

Plot: When down on her luck Jane Dormant learns about the death of her Aunt Alexandra she expects a life-saving inheritance but finds herself battling bloodthirsty Zombies instead, fighting for her life.

Tagline – Don’t wake the dead!

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Unique Undead Action

Story: The Curse of Hobbes House starts with the death of Aunt Alexandra (Hussey) a distant relative of down on her luck Jane Dormant (Calvey), ask to attend the will reading, Jane has an unexpected reunion with her social media celebrity half-sister Jennifer (Guyler) as they deal with they own disagreements in life, join by groundskeeper Naser (Elgadi) and Jennifer’s partner Nigel Thatcher (Leslie).

As the night comes the secret curse on the house comes to life, with darkness filling the halls and the shadows holding secrets of the undead, which will see the sisters needing to put their differences aside to survive the horrors.

Thoughts on The Curse of Hobbes House

Characters – Jane Dormant has struggled in life, she is now living in her car, with her latest job finishing, she doesn’t know where to turn next until she gets an unexpected call about the death of her Aunt and being left something in the will. She is street smart, showing she is up for the fight with the threat that comes their way. Jennifer is the half-sister of Jane, she is a social media celebrity going by the name of Journey, the two clash, like any siblings whose lives have gone in different direction. Nigel Thatcher is the partner of Jennifer, he fills the role of somebody who believes they are better than anyone else. Naser is the caretaker who was given a chance to learn about the curse and the one that does fill in the answer to what is going on.

PerformancesMhairi Calvey as the streetwise of the two sisters is great, while Makenna Guyler works very well as the social media celebrity, the two shows us just what would happen with sisters arguing. Waleed Elgadi and Kevin Leslie are both strong in the supporting roles, filling the required parts of the bigger story.

StoryThe story follows two sisters that must come back together for a will reading, only to learn they are being prepared for something bigger, which will see them fighting off the undead. This story does create its own mythology about why the curse is put in place, which is a very interesting start to the movie as we get to learn what will happen, while the characters must wait to see how things will unfold. When it comes to the sister dynamic and character action, we do follow the traditions of the undead rising formula, this is also seen in the characters decisions too. When we do get to the undead rising they do have a unique look, which would play into why and who they are, when they are rising. This is a story that has the seeds to be delved into deeper in the future too, with how important this location will be to stop the undead rising.

HorrorThe horror in the film does give us the undead rising, we get to learn about what causes this, which is usually one of the bigger weaknesses in the genre. The undead do have a unique look, with their glowing eyes too.

SettingsThe film is shot in one location, the remote house, it has a historical look, which only gets to play into the deeper picture of everything going on.

Special EffectsThe effects used in the film are used well, we don’t turn to them for the shock undead kill, rather, we focus on the story at hand.

Scene of the Movie – The first undead appearance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – How did the undead get upstairs?

Final Thoughts This is a horror movie that does bring something new to the undead concept, we have a greater built in mythology about what is causing everything, that doesn’t take clues to uncover.

Overall: Unique Undead Spin.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – S – Sukiyaki Western Django (2007) Movie Review

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Takashi Miike, Masa Nakamura (Screenplay)

Starring: Hideaki Ito, Masanoby Ando, Koichi Sato, Kaori Momoi, Yusuke Iseya, Renji Ishibashi

Plot: A nameless gunfighter arrives in a town ripped apart by rival gangs and, though courted by both to join, chooses his own path.

Tagline – An epic tale of blood, lust and greed.

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Way Over the Top

Story: Sukiyaki Western Django starts as a mysterious Gunman (Ito) arrives in a town, where two gangs the Genji and Heike fight for power, they both want to offer the services to the stranger the Genji who dress in all white, while the Heike dress in red.

When Heike leader Kiyomori (Sato) murders a Genji in cold blood, the war is escalated to when Genji assassin Yoichi (Ando) gets into the war between the gangs, where the Gunman has his own agenda between the gangs

Thoughts on Sukiyaki Western Django

Characters – The Gunman is a lone traveller who finds himself in the middle of the war, he is the quickest hand in the town now, protecting himself from any attack coming his way, he has his own reasons for being in town, none of which are the money being offered his way by both sides of the gangs. Yoichi is the assassin on the Genji side of the war, he can kill from nearly any distance with perfect aim to account for weather. Kiyomori is the leader of the Heike who is just as deadly, with both having their own unique style. Yoshitsune is the secretly skill assassin, that hides her abilities unless she is under threat.

PerformancesThe performances do help the film feel more over the top, which is a good thing because this is meant to be over the top and wild, we see the stars have a lot of fun with how crazed they need to be.

StoryThe story here follows a mysterious stranger that finds himself in the middle of a gang war who are both in search for a hidden treasure and now it is time for both side to go to war. This is a story that is way over the top and it is fun to see how this plays out, it isn’t anything we haven’t seen before, just everything amped right up to another level all together. Certain moments of the time jumps can halt the process of the storytelling as we find out small details about the characters by the sudden changes in time, but they are often details we don’t need to learn.

ActionThe action in the film is blood splatter, built flying moments, with plenty of slowdown for extra effects when it comes to seeing how the dodges happen.

SettingsThe film uses the setting to show the small town coming under attack by the rivalling sides in the war.

Scene of the Movie – One man and his gun.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many time jumps.

Final Thoughts This is a wildly over the top western styled action film which is filled with colourful characters, action and gore.

Overall: Stylish Action Film.

Sandbox Police – Episode 1

Director: Sharisse Zeroonian

Writer: Sharisse Zeroonian (Screenplay)

Starring: Sharisse Zeroonian, Evan Gabovitch, Amile Zaaf, Stephanie Wang

Plot: Three college graduates continue their college radio show on Zoom in podcast form, Flynn has a unique solution for Charlie to remember not to misplace his phone.

Runtime: 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun First Episode

Story: Sandbox Police starts as three friends Charlie, Flynn and Elle have turned to Zoom to continue their show, each episode is cut into sections where we get to hear different stories including a suggestion on how to help Charlie stop losing his phone, and a personal story about life.

Thoughts on Sandbox Police

Final Thoughts Sandbox Police shows the stories that can go through to help each other in life, giving advice and finding themselves getting into trouble with each other. This is only the pilot episode, which is cut into small chapters, we will have to tune in next time to see if Flynn can get herself out of trouble, she found herself in the end of the episode. Where this episode and idea can become relatable, is the fact, we are dealing and have the same conversations during the problems in the world.

Overall: Entertaining Web Series


Killbird (2019) Movie Review

Director: Joe Zanetti

Writer: Jessi Thind, Joe Zanetti (Screenplay)

Starring: Tahmoh Penikett, Aaron Douglas, Elysia Rotaru, Stephen Lobo, Jesse Inocalla, Reese Alexander

Plot: When a young woman’s car breaks down in back country Oregon, she finds herself at the mercy of a paranoid conspiracy theorist, who assumes she’s a government agent.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Keeps You Guessing

Story: Killbird starts when a woman Taylor (Rotaru) is on a birding adventure when her car breaks down, with the only house she can find being the remote cabin of Riad (Lobo), a man that is very uneasy to let her into his house, the two look to get to know each other, while Riad clearly has a secret, he believes Taylor to have one too.

What follows is a battle of wits between the two, as Riad is trying to discover if Taylor is telling the truth or not, while Taylor is trying to hide her own reason for being here.

Thoughts on Killbird

Characters – Taylor is a woman that is birding, when she gets stuck in a remote location, where she finds herself being held captive by the owner, she is trying to get information, while trying to understand his point of view. Riad is the lone man living in the cabin in the woods, he has been living there for years, working on something bigger, he has been working on a bigger conspiracy theory that has been left in place for years in America, with his own one he believes in, involves avenging his brother who took the fall for a major disaster.

PerformancesElysia Rotaru in the leading role is great to watch, we does keep us on edge about whether her character is innocent in everything or playing the bigger game, while Stephen Lobo shows us just how on edge his character is meant to be through the film.

StoryThe story follows a woman that finds herself in a remote cabin in the woods, where a lone man lives, off the grid away from the world, the two clash on who could be telling the truth and just how is in control of the situation. The story does keep us guessing to everything that is unfolding, we are not sure who to believe about what is happening, you never can put your finger on which one is telling the truth, or doing the right thing, which is refreshing. The biggest weakness, would be that we are focusing on the incident that is nearly 20 years old, it also doesn’t help that we focus on a real event, because it could become too personal for certain audience members.

ThrillerThe thriller side of the film focuses on just how the two are trying to keep ahead of each other, never letting us know who is truly in control.

SettingsThe film takes place in one location, the cabin in the woods, it shows how someone would live off the grid while working on a bigger idea, only for the problems of being away from the world could make you a bigger threat.

Scene of the Movie – The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The incident being real could be seen as too personal.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting thriller that could show how a conspiracy theory could spiral out of control with what could be true or not.

Overall: Conspiracy Theory 101