THE VIGIL – Coming to UK Cinemas 31st July

THE VIGIL is set over the course of a long, dark night in Brooklyn’s Hassidic “Boro” Park neighbourhood, following Yakov (Dave Davis, True Detective), a former Hassid, who has lost his faith, and isn’t eager to go back to the insular religious community he only recently fled. But when Reb Shulem (Menashe Lustig), a rabbi and confidante, approaches Yakov and offers to pay him to be the shomer (watching over the dead body of a community member) for a recently deceased Holocaust survivor, he reluctantly accepts the job. Shortly after arriving at the dilapidated house, Yakov realises that something is very, very wrong. This will not be a quiet vigil.

Described by Bloody Disgusting as “a fresh take on the religious/demon possession horror film”, THE VIGIL is the startling debut feature from Keith Thomas. With an unusual and evocative setting, it’s beautifully crafted, packed with fingernail-shredding scares (including a mysterious video message that’ll stand your hair on end), an ominous and eerie score, and features a standout performance from Davis as a man confronting evil. The words “You want some tea?” will never sound the same again.

This July, cinema audiences will be suitably spooked by supernatural Blumhouse horror (Halloween, InsidiousTHE VIGIL, when it’s released on 31st July 2020 in the UK and Ireland.

We Are Little Zombies (2019) Movie Review

Director: Makoto Nagahisa

Writer: Makoto Nagahisa (Screenplay)

Starring: Keita Ninomiya, Mondo Okumura, Satoshi Mizuno, Sena Nakajima

Plot: Four Japanese orphans form a rock band.

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Beautifully Unique

Story: We Are Little Zombies starts as four children Hikari (Ninomiya), Takemura (Okumura), Ishi (Mizuno) and Ikuko (Nakajima) all meet at the funeral other their parents, they strike up a bond, which sees them become friends instantly, as they all are dealing with the same grief in life.

The four decide to stick together, leaving their new lives behind and setting out on their own lives, which sees them on the verge of homelessness, here they discover their true calling, to be rock stars, using only the instruments from the local dump.

Thoughts on We Are Little Zombies

Characters – Hikari has spent most of his young life alone, he uses video games to get him through his alone time and after the accident which kills his parents, videos games continue to be a big part of his healing process, along with his new friends. Takemura and Ishi saw his parents die suddenly too, with them both having different people they need to impress in their new lives, people they both don’t want to be around. While Ikuko saw her parents murdered, with her one possession she would like back, being her piano. The four are drawn together to remain friends and show their new talents in music, a wave that will take over the country.

PerformancesWe have four wonderful performances from our young cast, Keita Ninomiya, Mondo Okumura, Satoshi Mizuno and Sena Nakajima, show a joyful chemistry that is surrounding their own problems they are going through in life and bring to life a new natural friendship.

StoryThe story here follows four orphans that meet at their parents funerals, they create a unique bond that helps them address their emotionless reaction to what has happened and end up turning to music to look for their future in the world. We have so many themes going on through the film it is one you would need a couple of times to pick up on all the subtle little ones, the major one is about grief and loss, needing to learn how to deal with losing loved ones, we have friendship being important too, we see how fandom can cause more problems for anyone in the spotlight and how people will turn to different ideas to escape the reality of the world. This is such a clever, unique way to tell a story, with the whole experience feeling like a video game, with each chapter displayed like a new level of life.

MusicWe have a musical theme running through the movie, with the orphans making a band, the songs mix video game music to create a unique sound for the band.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the different locations the orphans end up visiting as they look to find their location in the world to fix the pain they are going through.

Scene of the Movie – Little Zombies, the first song.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The introduction to the characters is slightly too long.

Final Thoughts This is an utterly unique movie that tackles difficult themes in life for teenagers in a way that you have never seen before in a way that you will never forget the experience it gives you.

Overall: Must Watch Movie.

The Beach House (2019) Movie Review

Director: Jeffrey A Brown

Writer: Jeffrey A Brown (Screenplay)

Starring: Liana Liberato, Noah Le Gros, Jake Weber, Maryanne Nagel

Plot: A romantic getaway for two troubled college sweethearts turns into a struggle for survival when unexpected guests – and the surrounding environment – exhibit signs of a mysterious infection.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Chilling

Story: The Beach House starts when couple Emily (Liberato) and Randall (Le Gros) look for a weekend getaway, only to find a couple Mitch (Weber) and Jane (Nagel) sharing the getaway home with them for a weekend, getting to talk life questions, diving into the science Emily has been studying for her whole life.

After a night on drinks and drugs, Emily and Randall wake up to discover something is very different, when Jane and Mitch are showing the side effects of a bigger problem they have been going through in an environmental change none of them saw coming.

Thoughts on The Beach House

Characters – Emily has spent her education system working on her study in the field of science, she looks at both the evidence and the philosophy of what could be in the world. She is looking forward to a weekend away with her boyfriend, only to be the one that doesn’t want to push the new friendship past just conversation and drinks. Randall is the boyfriend that’s family owns the vacation home, he has always supporting Emily even if he hasn’t followed the same big plan for his own life. Mitch and Jane are the older couple that have been given access to the home, they do come off strange at times, which does give us an uneasy feeling around them, even though they can come off normal at other times.

PerformancesLiana Liberato in the leading role is great, showing herself to bring us a resourceful character through the film, outside of Liana’s performance, Jake Weber and Maryanne Nagel do give us the uncomfortable feeling we are expecting from their characters, while Noah Le Gros doesn’t get to make as big of an impact in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a young couple that are going on a romantic getaway, only for their time to be interrupted by another couple before finding themselves in a battle to survive against a much bigger problem. This is a story that teases us early on with what we are going to be going through, early on we get the same feeling we got from watching ‘The Visit’ only for us to dive into the bigger unknown, which is the strongest part of the film, leaving us wondering to what is happening, never giving us much to work off. When it comes to pacing, the story doesn’t seem to be as even as it could be, with a lot of the pace, dropping right off before getting back to the exciting levels we hit during the story.

HorrorWhen it comes to the horror side of the The Beach House, we get the feeling of one before being unleashed with another one, which shows us just how horror can flow between subgenres with ease and not letting things get out of hand, with a creation that will bring the chills to the world.

SettingsThe film uses the beach house as the primary location, we have a place that is meant for peace and relaxation, only for it to become the breeding ground for something much more sinister going on in the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are only used for a couple of sequences, with one notable scene, which is the highlight of the film.

Scene of the Movie – Aftermath of the swim.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The slow meeting.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that might have slow moments, but when we are unleashed with the true horror going on, we get chilling moments you will remember.

Overall: Chilling Horror.

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – F – Far from the Madding Crowd (2015) Movie Review

Director: Thomas Vinterberg

Writer: David Nicholls (Screenplay) Thomas Hardy (Novel)

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge, Juno Temple

Plot: In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Costume Drama 101

Story: Far from the Madding Crowd starts as we meet the independent Bathsheba Everdene (Mulligan) who works on a family farm, with the neighbour of a shepherd Gabriel Oak (Schoenaerts) who becomes friends, leading to her first marriage proposal, only for her to refuse, wanting to remain independent.

After a tragic twist of events, Gabriel loses his farm, just as Bathsheba inherits her own farm, where Gabriel ends up working on. Bathsheba does continue to turn heads with William Boldwood (Sheen) being the latest man that wants to marry her and things get even more complicated when Sergeant Francis Troy (Sturridge) arrive on the property, leaving Bathsheba having three men wanting her love.

Thoughts on Far from the Madding Crowd

Characters – Bathsheba Everdene has always worked for a living, she has always wanting to remain independent, which sees her reject the first marriage proposal. She always attractions attention, even if that means she becomes everything she promised not to be. She will run a farm and isn’t afraid to get her own hands dirty, wanting to be fair to everybody who works for her too. Gabriel Oak is the quiet farmer that becomes friends with Bathsheba, he asks her to marry him before getting rejected and losing everything he owns, in a twist of events he ends up working for her, being her most loyal farmer, always putting the farm before rank. William Boldwood is a wealthy older man in town that wants to offer Bathsheba a chance to be his wife, he comes off fair with his offer, giving her the remaining independence, she requires. Sergeant Francis Troy is a full of himself soldier that has seen his love not turn up for their wedding, before turning his charm onto Bathsheba making her fall for everything he sells her on, never being the man she could be happy with.

PerformancesCarey Mulligan is great in the leading role, showing she is one of the go to actresses for a costume drama, while Matthias Schoenaerts continues to prove himself as one of the best actors in the business, Michael Sheen shines in the supporting role, while Tom Sturridge makes you want to hate his arrogant character.

StoryThe story here follows the lives of a farmers daughter and a neighbouring father as their fortunes change putting boundaries in their lives, when it comes to love and friendship. This is based on a classic Thomas Hardy novel and puts us into a world before women were allowed to independently think, with Bathsheba designed to go against the trends placed on front of her, only she doesn’t seem to make smart decisions, still trying to play into the traditions of what is known. The three love stories only have one of the three men being a sensible pick, with that same one being the only one with any sort of romantic connection about them. It doesn’t feel like this is anything we haven’t seen before, which just plays into the same old story we see all the time.

RomanceThe romance shows how Bathsheba must make up her mind on three potential partners, all from different background, even though she only has a spark with one of them.

SettingsThe film shows the farming like in the 1800’s and just what it would have meant to the people who run the farms, trying to find love and break boundaries.

Scene of the Movie – The storm.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Bathsheba does everything wrong in love.

Final Thoughts This is a typical costume drama which shows how the love felt should have just been followed, instead of leading us down a trail that was always going nowhere.

Overall: Costume Drama we have seen before.