Writer: Andrew Heckler (Screenplay)
Starring: Andrea Riseborough, Garrett Hedlund, Forest Whitaker, Tom Wilkinson, Tess Harper, Crystal Fox, Usher Raymond
Plot: When a museum celebrating the Ku Klux Klan opens in a South Carolina town, the idealistic Reverend Kennedy strives to keep the peace even as he urges the group’s Grand Dragon to disavow his racist past.
Tagline – Only love can drive out hate.
Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Important Message
Story: Burden starts as we head to a small South Carolina town, a place where the Ku Klux Klan has been operating with Tom Griffin (Wilkinson) being the leader of the Klan, the town does have a black Reverend Kennedy (Whitaker) who has been trying to bring change to the mindset of the locals to be equal to everyone, only for his plans to become shattered when Tom opens a museum for the Klan.
When one of the klan members Mike Burden (Hedlund) starts dating local woman Judy (Riseborough), he finds him allegiance to the klan being questioned, with the tension between both sides rising in the town.
Thoughts on Burden
Characters – Mike Burden is a member of the KKK, he is involved in opening the museum, which does build up the tension between the groups in the town, he starts to date a local woman, which sees him needing to refocus and see the mistakes in his past, turning to a black reverend for help to live a better life, even though the KKK start to turn on him. Jude is the local mother that works in the local store to make sure her child gets food, she doesn’t get involved in the problems in the town, she will always treat everyone equal, which sees her wonder if Mike can change. Reverend Kennedy is the black man that is trying to bring equality to the town, he has been against the KKK actions for years and is left needing to overcome a new problem, while being willing to offer former members a chance to redeem themselves. Tom Griffin is the leader of the KKK chapter in the town, he lets and encourages the members to target black people for violence, looking to start up his own war in the town
Performances – We do have a strong cast with Forest Whitaker being the star of the cast, he brings us the character with the biggest struggle to go through, while Garrett Hedlund brings to life the redemption arc character. Andrea Riseborough does well in the supporting role, while Tom Wilkinson makes us hate his character with ease.
Story – The story here follows a member of the KKK that learns the errors of his way and looks to correct his mistakes, even if it means he is left with nothing, with the only person that will help him, being a black reverend that he was once assigned to murder. This is based on the real person that went for a redemption, which is all fair enough to see somebody better themselves, only we don’t get into enough of the war between the two sides in the town, it almost seems like the more important part of the story only it ends up being on the backburner through the film. We do have the world created well, showing how everyone involved is struggling with everyday life and needs help, which is why they have created the groups we see both sides involved in.
Settings – The film uses the settings to show us that both sides are struggling to make ends meet, they are all on the poverty line.
Scene of the Movie – The redemption.
Final Thoughts – This is a strong redemption storyline, only it fails to show the true battle between the KKK and the black members of the town who are always being the victims of their actions.
Overall: Redemption 101.
Signature Entertainment presents Burden on DVD & Digital HD from July 6th
Writer: Matthew Kennedy (Screenplay)
Starring: Lily Collins, Simon Pegg, Connie Nielsen, Chance Crawford, Patrick Warburton, Marque Richardson
Plot: A patriarch of a wealthy and powerful family suddenly passes away, leaving his daughter with a shocking secret inheritance that threatens to unravel and destroy the family.
Tagline – Some Secrets Should Stay Buried.
Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Steady Thriller
Story: Inheritance starts with the tragic news of Archer Monroe’s (Warburton) death, seeing his children district attorney Lauren (Collins) and favourite child William (Crawford) being left large sums of money, with Lauren receive an extra gift Morgan Warner (Pegg) locked away on the grounds.
Thoughts on Inheritance
Characters – Lauren Monroe is the district attorney, she took this role against her father’s wishes, she is married with her own family given her share of an inheritance, $1million and a key to a room, a room that will turn her life upside down, she must deal with the reality of her father’s secret life and the decision on whether to let the stranger locked up free. Morgan Warner is the man that is locked up, held captive for years by Archer, left to Lauren, he has secrets that will shatter everything about Lauren’s life and her ideas of her father, he wants his freedom and needs to convince Lauren that he has never done anything wrong. Catherine is the wife of Archer, unaware of what he has been up to in life, while William is Lauren’s brother who did get a larger portion of the inheritance.
Performances – Lily Collins in the leading role is strong, she brings us an attorney we could believe, who shows the conflict of what to do. Simon Pegg is the highlight of the film, bringing to life the mysterious figure who is filled with stories. The rest of the cast don’t get as much time to make an impact in the story.
Story – The story here follows a district attorney that inherits something very strange, a man locked in the family bunker, a man that has secrets about the family, ones her father has kept secrets for years, left in a position on whether to let the man go or not. This is a story that is about deciding whether to do the right thing or not, it shows how somebody could bring destruction to a life, with truths and secrets can always ruining a reputation. We might well have a slower pace in the opening half of the film, but things do boil up over time with an intense conclusion.
Mystery – The mystery in this film is all around what could be happening, who Morgan really is and why has he been held for so long, it does keep us wanting to know more about him.
Settings – The film uses the captive bunker as a major setting, the most important conversations happen here, with everything outside this location, not giving us enough to get behind.
Scene of the Movie – The final act.
Final Thoughts – This is a nice mystery that does keep you guessing, carried by Simon Pegg’s turn in a role you wouldn’t normally see him in.
Overall: Mystery 101
Signature Entertainment presents Inheritance on Digital HD July 6th & DVD 13th July
Writer: Mitch McLeod (Screenplay)
Starring: April Hartman, Tom Zembrod, Jessica Dawn Willis, Savannah Solsbery, Kim Foster, Suzanne Racz
Plot: Silhouette is the story of Jack and Amanda Harms who, after the passing of their young daughter, set out into seclusion to begin their lives anew. Quickly upon their arrival, things go awry when the sins of their past come back to haunt them.
Tagline – This will hurt.
Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Darkness Filled Horror
Story: Silhouette starts when Amanda (Hartman) and Jack (Zembrod) are looking to try and rebuild their life after the death of their young daughter, they find a new home, with an attempt to set up their own new home for a fresh start.
Thoughts on Silhouette
Characters – Amanda is the grieving mother that has been struggling more with the loss of their daughter, she is in therapy, as she searches for answers, she starts believing she is seeing her daughter, which makes her question her husband and own sanity. Jack is the husband that is trying to support Amanda, only she believes he is cheating on her, he doesn’t see the horrors that she is seeing, while being the one that tries to push her into starting again. Dawn is a neighbour that turns the head of Jack, Amanda takes an instant dislike towards her too, leaving her feeling sorry for trying to be welcoming.
Performances – April Hartman in the leading role, does show the grief and fear her character is going through well, where she shows the uncertainty about what is happening. Tom Zembrod is the husband and he shows the patient and frustration well through the film too, with Jessica Dawn Willis completing the main cast here as the friendly neighbour.
Story – The story here follows a couple that are trying to start a fresh life after the death of their young daughter, Amanda is taking it harder, which sees her start to see things around the house and experience things at night, while her husband Jack seems to be moving further away from here. This is a story that addresses the problems with grief, how losing a child will change anyone in different ways, bringing out a side that can create anything. This will leave you with a shock conclusion that does take longer to reach than it needs to, because we do spend too much time dealing with the husband’s activities, not enough on the struggles of Amanda.
Horror – The horrors in the film come from what Amanda is experience, we never get a clear look at what she is going through, which only adds to the horror, both in her head and in her reality.
Settings – The film uses the new home for a fresh start idea, this does mean whatever is causing the hauntings is attracted to the person, not the building, showing us how even the best wishes for change, aren’t always going to help cure pain.
Scene of the Movie – The truth.
Final Thoughts – This is a horror that builds up the tension in the film, filling the darkness with the unknown and showing grief will haunt someone for years.
Overall: Tension Filled Horror.