The Pool (2018) Shudder Movie Review

Director: Ping Lumpraploeng

Writer: Ping Lumpraploeng (Screenplay)

Starring: Theeradej Wongpuapan, Ratnamon Ratchiratham

Plot: In an abandoned 6-meter deep pool, a couple is stranded there with a deadly predator.

Tagline – No water. No Ladder. No Way Out.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Intense

Story: The Pool starts as Day (Wongpuapan) is finishing off work on a film that is using the giant swimming pool, when he decides to relax while everyone heads off, little does he know that someone has started to flush the pool and before he notices, he finds himself too deep in the pool, with everyone else gone, he finds himself trapped in the pool.

Once the pool is drained, Day must care for his injured girlfriend Koi (Ratchiratham) who got inured diving in and he must deal with a hungry crocodile that is trapped with him, in a race to survive.

Thoughts on The Pool

Characters – Day is the slacker that finds himself stuck in the swimming pool, he has always not taken life too seriously, where he must try and figure out how to get out of the pool alive, save his girlfriend and escape from it add in a crocodile, he has everything to fight for. Koi is the girlfriend that gets injured, which needs protecting, she is kept in safety, while waiting for Day to take things more seriously.

PerformancesBoth actors are great with Theeradej Wongpuapan needing to get involved in the more physical side of everything in the film.

StoryThe story follows a couple that find themselves trapped in an empty swimming pool with no escape and a crocodile in a battle to survive. This story might well have been made before ‘Crawl’, but it does have such a similar feeling in the battle to survive. The story does keep everything super simple as it is just the survival against the odds. The plan to stay ahead does keep everything feeling intense and by the end of the film, you literally don’t know what will happen next.

Action/HorrorThe horror in the film comes from the crocodile attacking, showing how deadly it could be and how Day must try and stay ahead of the threat.

SettingsThe film is set in the swimming pool, it has no escape, the pipe system do offer a potential outcome, but with nowhere to go the battle against the crocodile.

Special EffectsThe effects are strong at times, but the crocodile never looks real during the proper attacks.

Scene of the Movie – The big battle against the crocodile.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Certain crocodile scenes seem too CGI heavy.

Final Thoughts This is an intense horror that truly keeps us on the edge of our seats during the incidents, being the one that people who liked Crawl, will love this.

Overall: Loved Crawl? Love This.

Lake of Death (2019) Shudder Movie Review

Director: Nini Bull Robsahm

Writer: Nini Bull Robsahm (Screenplay)

Starring: Patrick Walshe McBride, Ulric von der Esch, Iben Akerlie, Elias Munk, Jonathan Harboe, Sophie Lie

Plot: Lillan and some friends travel back to the remote cabin by the little lake, where her twin brother died last year, and soon after arriving strange things starts happening. Inspired by the 1958 classic horror film.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Cabin in the Norwegian Woods

Story: Lake of Death starts one year after Bjorn (McBride) disappears in the Norwegian forest that him and his sister Lillian (Akerlie) were raised around, she has returned with her friends Kai (Esch), Harald (Munk, Gabriel (Harboe), Sonja (Lie) and Bernhard (Andersen) for a weekend away and to do up the house ready to sell it.

When the friends start experiencing strange events around the house, they try to figure out the logical answers before learning they are against a force they can’t handle, one that has been waiting for victims to arrive.

Thoughts on Lake of Death

Characters – Lillian was raised around the lake with her brother, while the two are about to go separate ways, her brother goes missing under strange circumstances and now she has returned to the cabin for the first time since leaving him, she starts to see the strange events around the cabin and lake, getting worried about her friends, trying to figure out what is causing the events to happen. When we look at the rest of the characters we get the friends, they do fill the generic roles we would expect to see in horror films, only a lot more restrained from going over the top with them.

PerformancesIben Akerlie takes the leading role on the film, filling the role of the scream queen in the film, she is the one that goes through the most horror, has the most pain about her character. The rest of the cast do well through the film, with the joker always looking out of place with the friends, and the rest holding onto what makes them unique to the genre.

StoryThe story here follows a group of friends that return to a family lake house after one of the brother’s vanished a year ago, they soon find strange things happening around the house and need to get to the bottom of it before it is too late. We know the cabin in the woods has almost become a genre all on its own, here we get another dive into that genre with the traditional friends in the remote location and strange things happening, while the nightmare sequences do seem different, first with odd visions, which do offer something fresh and will make everything a lot more interesting, only when the rest of the friends start experiencing events, it just falls into something we have seen before, even if some of the scares are created well.

Horror/MysteryThe horror comes from the mysterious events around the house, most of the visions that Lillian go through are filled with the most horrific moments too, where the mystery comes, is on how the friends will make it out of the situation, can the solve the strange events.

SettingsThe film keeps the whole in film in and around in the lake house, we get to see how it is treated like the holiday home, with mystery around it, including the basement, which only asks more questions.

Scene of the Movie – Couple going swimming.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The aftermath decision.

Final Thoughts This is a strong cabin the woods style of movie, it has good scares, a creative idea behind them, even if it ends up following the path of many others in the genre.

Overall: Cabin in the Woods 101.

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – T – Titanic (1997) Movie Rob’s Pick

Head over to Movie Rob’s for more reviews

“No, there wouldn’t be, would there? And I’ve never spoken of him until now… Not to anyone… Not even your grandfather… A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets. But now you know there was a man named Jack Dawson and that he saved me… in every way that a person can be saved. I don’t even have a picture of him. He exists now… only in my memory. ” – Old Rose

Number of Times Seen – Far too many to count (Theater in Dec 1997, video, DVD, 7 Jul 2013, 6 Sep 2015, 24 Feb 2016, 27 Feb 2017, 12 Nov 2017, 3 Sep 2018, 27 Jan 2019, 30 Jul 2019 and 19 Jan 2020 and 19 Jul 2020)

Link to original review – HereHereHereHereHere, Here, HereHere and Here

Brief Synopsis – A poor boy living life to the fullest as he travels across the world falls in love with a 17 year old heiress on the maiden voyage of the Titanic.

My Take on it – This is a film that I have loved ever since I saw it for the first time in the theater 23 years ago.

I usually try and watch it at least twice a year and the three hour run time flies by so smoothly due to the way the story plays out.

This is a film that to me is the very best romance movie ever made and is always makes me feel as if these characters are truly able to fall in love over the course of the story in a more realistic way than how most movies portray a quick love affair.

The 180 minute runtime helps because it doesn’t feel rushed at all and is paced really well.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet have amazing chemistry in this movie and that also adds so much to the love story aspect of things because we can care so much about them along the way.

The story is presented in an epic way and using a real event as a backdrop for this story works so well because they integrate things together in ways that one couldn’t even imagine.

The story is paced really well and things are constantly in motion which helps the 3 hour run tie to literally flow right by in such a powerful and enjoyable way.

They are able to mix together romance, action, suspense and intrigue all together which helps enhance this story even more and raise the stakes of what will happen.

The special effects are so essential to making things feel even more realistic and we get the impression over and over that we are truly watching the maiden voyage of this doomed ship.

The music by James Horner along with the theme song sung by Celine Dion are superb and help make things feel so much more epic.

This film was absolutely deserving of its 11 Oscar wins (of 14 nominations) and it was able to tie the all time record set nearly 40 years earlier by Ben-Hur (1959).

The fact that only one other film has been able to reach that mark in the past 23 years [The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003 ] also says so much about that feat and now three films are all tied for a record which might never be reached again due to the way that the Oscars have been going over the past decade.

This is truly one of the best films ever made due to the way that it is nearly perfect in so many aspects which allows it to be so well rounded.

Can’t wait to see this again!!!

Bottom Line – Amazing love story that works so well. DiCaprio and Winslet have superb chemistry in this film and it comes across as being quite believable. The fact that the film gives them so much time to actually fall in love helps make thing seem so genuine and real. The film’s story is quite epic and manages to stay so enjoyable due to the way that the story flows so smoothly for over three hours. The story has a great mix of romance, action, intrigue and suspense that things are so emotional and poignant throughout.  The special effects enhance the story to a level where it all feels as if we are watching this ships real maiden voyage.  This film was truly deserving of its 11 Oscars (of 14) and tied the record for the most wins by a film that still stands today 23 years later. One of the best films ever made because of the way that it is nearly perfect is so many aspects.  Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In the scene where the water comes crashing into the Grand Staircase room, the film makers had only one shot at it because the entire set and furnishings were going to be destroyed in the shot. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – T – The Tempest (2010)

Director: Julie Taymor

Writer: Julie Taymor (Screenplay) William Shakespeare (Play)

Starring: Felicity Jones, Helen Mirren, Djimon Hounsou, David Strathairn, Alan Cumming, Chris Cooper, Ben Whishaw


Plot: Shakespeare’s epic play is translated from page to screen, with the gender of the main character, Prospero, changed from male to female.


Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Not Enjoyable


Story: The Tempest starts as Prospera (Mirren) sees her island visited by outsiders, the island she lives alone with her daughter Miranda (Jones) with their slave Caliban (Hounsou) a man that did once wrong them. With the strangers on the island Miranda gets to meet her first man outside of Caliban in Prince Ferdinand (Carney) to whom she falls in love with.

Prince Ferdinand isn’t the only visitor to the island as the rest of the crew including King Alonso (Strathairn) search for help with the spirit of the island haunting them as a chance to escape Prospera’s spell.


Thoughts on The Tempest


Characters – Prospera is the witch living on the remote island, she has been controlling people with spells which keep her daughter safe, until her chance of escape arrives. Miranda is the daughter of Prospera who can’t leave the island and has only ever see one man in her life, when she meets Prince Ferdinand she instantly falls in love with him wanting to leave the island with him. Caliban is the slave that lives on the island, he has done wrong in the past which leaves him being forced into the slavery role, with the visitors he believes he could become free. When it comes to the people that visit the island we get a group of different ranks through a royalty position, each has their own moments in the film.

PerformancesHelen Mirren is the best performer in the film, she has been working with this material before and shows she is one of the best for it. Felicity Jones gets one of her early roles where we get to see how much talent is there even with a restricted role. We have a very talented supporting cast who get to show their own abilities while Russell Brand is there too.

StoryThe story is a new version of the Shakespeare classic of the same name, it is one that I do remember enjoying reading while at school when we studied his work, the problem for me comes from the fact this didn’t connect because it was so outside the box of what to expect from the ideas behind everything, we do get plenty of random scenes which just miss for the most part which disappoints. The honest opinion is that we have just too much going on that never connects back to everything else. The themes for Shakespeare plays have always been a mixed bag because the time they were written you can understand them, but not all have aged to the modern era of life.

Comedy/Fantasy/RomanceThe comedy in the film is completely random, certain moments click really well others miss completely, the fantasy world feels messy for what it should be too, while the romance is just a side story with everything going on.

SettingsThe film is set on the island where Prospera lives, it has different elements of magic to make it full of peril for the visitors.

Scene of the Movie –
The Spells.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The spirit is annoying animated through the film.

Final Thoughts This is a Shakespeare story that didn’t work for me, I don’t blame the actors, it is how the story is presented that fails it.


Overall: Disappoint Shakespeare play.