Writer: Padraig Reynolds (Screenplay)
Starring: Vanessa Grasse, Brendan Fletcher, Cole Vigue, Emily Tennant, Daniel O’Meara
Plot: After setting her serial killer boyfriend on fire, a paranoid delusional woman gets a job at an all-night gas station.
Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Thriller Keeps You Guessing
Story: Open 24 Hours starts when recently paroled Mary (Grasse) is looking to get a job, with her finding one in a nightshift in an all-night garage, she is suffering from visions of her past, which we only learn small amounts about, with her parole officer Tom Doogan (O’Meara) trying to put her back on the right path and her best friend Debbie (Tennant) supporting her on her first night.
As her first night starts, a storm hits, alone in the market, she starts to feel the uneasy with someone watching her, with the typical late night traffic coming through. Is Mary being stalked, or is she just seeing her nightmares come to life again.
Thoughts on Open 24 Hours
Characters – Mary is on parole after setting her boyfriend on fire, after learning about his true identity, she is trying to put her life back together, starting with just a job, only she is constantly haunted be the actions she witnessed, she simply can’t shake the feeling of being haunted, followed and stalked by the victims. Bobby is the fellow employee that checks up on Mary through the night, offers friendship in the new role, giving her someone to talk to about the problems in her life. James is the boyfriend that has been haunting Mary for years after the incident between the two, his actions led to Mary’s breakdown and now she doesn’t know what is real or not.
Performances – Vanessa Grasse as the leading lady does show us a performance that is filled with paranoia and fear, never letting us truly believe which side of the events are real. Brendan Fletcher, Emily Tennant and Daniel O’Meara fill the support cast up well, with Cole Vigue being the ex that isn’t letting Mary go, he feels disturbing through the whole film, no matter whether he is here or not.
Story – The story here follows a young woman who is trying to put her life back together after her time in prison, only to continue to be haunted by the man that drove her to commit the crime in the first place, we see her first night on a job, when she gets a visit from an unwanted guest. This is a story that does try to keep us guessing to whether Mary is seeing things or whether James has returned to continue his killing spree with Mary being forced to watch. We get a fine balance between the two ideas, with us guessing well, only we have a couple of glimpses that don’t give away enough towards one of the direction. The fact this all happens over one night doesn’t help, because you would have thought a serial killer would have played things out smarter, if he is as calculated as it is implied he is or was and if it is just in her head, certain acts don’t make sense. While certain parts might not make complete sense, if you just watch for a story that does keep you guessing, you will enjoy this one.
Horror – The horror in this film is the highlight, the brutal side of the actions of the killer brings buckets of blood, with uncomfortable scenes when it comes to his torturous actions.
Settings – The film does use one main setting, the all-night gas station, being night it means the visitors are few and far between, it does created an isolated feeling and has the shadows for the killer to be haunting.
Special Effects – The effects are very strong, with the kills looking as brutal as they are meant to be, not shying away from showing the full effect in action.
Scene of the Movie – First day drop off.
Final Thoughts – This is a nice horror thriller that does keep us guessing, even if we do get one too much attempts to spin what is truly happening.
Overall: Interesting Thriller.
FrightFest Presents presents Open 24 Hours on Digital HD from July 20th
Writer: Rebecca Miller (Screenplay) Karen Rinaldi (Story)
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Travis Fimmel
Plot: Maggie wants to have a baby, raising him on her own, but when she gets romantically involved with John, a married man, things get complicated and all the balance of Maggie’s plans may collapse.
Tagline – Chapter Three: A Change of Heart
Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Simple Romantic Comedy Drama
Story: Maggie’s Plan starts as we meet university professor Maggie (Gerwig) who is tired of not being able to meet the right guy has made the decision to inseminate herself, using her friend Guy’s (Fimmel) sperm. While her couple friends Tony (Hader) and Felicia (Rudolph) give her advice, but her life changes when she meets John (Hawke) a professor at the university, who ends up leaving his wife Georgette (Moore) to marry Maggie.
When Maggie and John do get married, they have their own child and the three parents must now work together to raise the children from his previous marriage, Maggie does start to wonder about her decision about going with John as her own career gets held back at times.
Thoughts on Maggie’s Plan
Characters – Maggie is a career woman that has never had any luck in love, she has decided she wants a baby and is happy to go through the process on her own, she does listen to advice from friends and family, she makes a new friend in John that soon steals her heart giving her a family she never believe she would get. John is an ambitious author in a loveless marriage who starts having the affair with Maggie before leaving his wife, it doesn’t take long before he shows that he ends up falling into the same problems he was facing in his last marriage. Georgette is a successful professor that is married to John, she has always put career first meaning John had to put his professional side on hold, she is against most people coming into her life. Tony and Felicia are the friends who have their own family who helps Maggie make her decision.
Performances – The performances in the film are good, with Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke and Julianne Moore all showing they can handle any sort of serious material put on their plates. The supporting cast are strong too without anybody in the film doing anything overly memorable.
Story – The story follows a professional woman that wants to start a life with a baby, she has a plan she wants to follow which seems simple in her head until she meets John who puts everything in a different direction and as the passage of time rolls on, she believes she might have made a mistake. This does show us how life doesn’t always go the way you plan and no matter how much you plan things, things will go wrong. This story isn’t the most interesting as we see how one woman deals with starting to date a married man before starting her own relationship with him, never truly sure what she wants in life.
Comedy/Romance – The comedy is solid, most of the comedy comes from Bill Hader who can hit dry wit in any film, the romance shows us how one woman sees love and the problems it brings.
Settings – The film doesn’t give us any clear settings which disappoints, though it does show how it is meant to be everyday life.
Final Thoughts – This isn’t the most interesting film, it does have strong performances from a talented cast, it just doesn’t connect with me.
Overall: Strong performances.