AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS FROM 5TH OCTOBER 2020
AND ON DVD FROM 12TH OCTOBER 2020
Written and Directed by Jessica Swale
Produced by Guy Heeley and Adrian Sturges
Starring Gemma Arterton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Courtenay, Penelope Wilton, Lucas Bond and Dixie Egerickx
SUMMERLAND follows the story of fiercely independent folklore investigator, Alice who secludes herself in her clifftop study, debunking myths using science to disprove the existence of magic. Consumed by her work, but also profoundly lonely, she is haunted by a love affair from her past.
When spirited young Frank, an evacuee from the London Blitz, is dumped into her irritable care, his innocence and curiosity awaken Alice’s deeply buried emotions. Bravely embracing life’s miraculous unpredictability, Alice learns that wounds may be healed, second chances do occur, and that, just perhaps – magic really does exist.
Writer: Jonathan Ford (Screenplay)
Starring: Russell Floyd, Lisa Eichhorn, Fred Adenis, Timothy Morand, Angela Dixon, Etienne Fouillade
Plot: A retired couple are targeted by a cruel gang of street youths . A new breed of technological psychopath. This is the old generation vs the new.
Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Disturbing & Unsettling
Story: Offensive starts when a retired couple Bernard (Floyd) and Helen (Eichhorn) inherit a small villa in a village in France, with the stipulation that they must live there for one year, they meet a lonely widowed neighbour Patrick (Morand) before learning quickly about the youths in the area, that cause chaos, with franks, name calling and acts of violence, film their actions for their own entertainment.
Thoughts on Offensive
Characters – Bernard is a retired teacher who inherits a house in France from a family friend whose father fought with his in World War II, he sees this as a start with his wife for a healthy retirement, only once he learns about the troubles and gets targeted, he is torn between trying to walk away or fight back. Helen is the wife that tries to stop him getting revenge on the thugs, she wants to walk the moral line, trying to let the police solve the problems. Jean-Baptiste is the police officer trying to keep the peace, not knowing what is right about what is going on, trying to play everything down the line. Patrick is a neighbour that welcomes the couple, he has been clashing with the thugs, with what happens to him being the catalyst for Bernard to react.
Performances – Russell Floyd in the leading role is great, because he is playing somebody that is trying not to fight back and somebody that looks like he could be an easier target for the thugs. Lisa Eichhorn does well, though her character seems to be more about the moral decision behind everything going on. The young actors playing the thugs are disturbingly great to watch because you want them to get what is coming to them.
Story – The story follows a retired couple that find themselves being targeted by the villages group of thugs, which soon sees thing starting to get out of hand. Bought to us in the same kind of tone as ‘Eden Lake’ this shows us how the youth of today could start getting out of hand to new extremes, with violence being used in numbers, with the idea that technology lets them replay the footage again and again, this does make us get some horrible characters that you are wishing to be wiped of this Earth. This is all great to watch, when we start getting into the moral decisions going on, this just gets bogged down, nobody in their right mind would defend any of the actions done to these thugs it isn’t even worth a talk. For a revenge like horror this is one you can get behind what is happening, feeling complete sympathy for the retired couple and nothing for the thugs.
Horror – The horror here comes from the actions the couple must first live through and then proceed to get revenge for, the wounds we see suffered are brutal and feel like it is real, you may need to look away at times.
Settings – The film is set in a small French village, it shows the divide between the youth and the older generation, with just how they act towards them.
Scene of the Movie – The first fight back.
Final Thoughts – This is a brutal horror that plays into the revenge like mentality, it has the same tone as Eden Lake, with us only caring about the retired couple.
Overall: Brutally Disturbing Horror.
Writer: Shayne Armstrong, Duncan Kennedy, John Kim, S.P. Krause, Justin Monjo, Russell Mulcahy (Screenplay)
Starring: Richard Brancatisano, Xavier Samuel, Chris Betts, Sharni Vinson, Jullian McMahon, Dan Wyllie, Alice Parkinson, Phoebe Tonkin
Plot: A freak tsunami traps shoppers at a coastal Australian supermarket inside the building – along with 12-foot Great White Sharks.
Tagline – A tsunami just flipped the food chain.
Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: CGI Shark Attack Movie
Story: Bait starts when Josh (Samuel) and his fiancée Tina (Vinson) witness their best friend and brother killed in a shark attack, one year later, they live very different lives, with Josh stacking shelves and Tina moved on with her life. On this day Doyle (McMahon) has planned his robbery of the supermarket, on a tsunami hits the coast, flooding the store.
The survives find themselves trapped on the shelfs with Josh taking charge of the survival efforts, using his knowledge of water survival, with Tina needing to face her own fears of the water, with the water rising, things only get worse when they learn that a great white shark has become trapped in the store too, the race to survive is on.
Thoughts on Bait
Characters – Josh is the former lifeguard that sees his best friend killed by a shark, his life has been ruined with the guilty eating him up inside, when the disaster happens, he gets to help the survivors and reconnect with the love of his life Tina. Tina is the former fiancée whose brother it was killed in the opening attack, she has moved away which broke them up, her character is a strange one because it starts with her fear of the water, only to seemingly forget this once the shark arrive. Doyle is the thief who wants to rob the supermarket, he has lost control of his team which causes the robbery to go wrong, though he shows he never wanted to hurt anyone. We get lots of supporting characters that don’t really bring too much to the film if we are being honest, we have too many which only gives us too much shark bait or too many small side stories we don’t care about.
Performances – Xavier Samuel is the highlight of the performances here, he does have to do the action and emotional material as he is the one dealing with the loss of his best friend and life falling apart, he handles the action well too. When we look elsewhere Sharni Vinson, Julian McMahon and Phoebe Tonkin are fine with their roles and could have been interchangeable with a blink of an eye.
Story – The story does bring us elements of original material, a tsunami hits the coast trapping people in a supermarket which just so happens to get a great white shark trapped in too. Watching the survivors trying to figure out how to get out of the building is interesting to see, for a survival movie you can enjoy this, the problem comes from too many characters that are harder to keep up with because you don’t know who to invest in because some are not interesting, the couple in the car are just annoying and you start to feel like some characters don’t even have an idea between their ears. For a shark movie, this is an acceptable story to watch, it does work well without breaking any barriers.
Action/Horror – The action is the strangest part of the film, we get the shark moments sure, but the final attempt to escape is the highlight of the film. when you get to the horror side of the film, we get to leave it with how you feel about shark films.
Settings – The film keep us in two main locations, one is the supermarket and the other is the parking lot, they both have sharks in with little chance of escape until the shark is dealt with and the water levels rising.
Special Effects – The effects are the weakest part of the film, the opening shark attack is laughable and it doesn’t get much better from there.
Final Thoughts – This is a good late-night shark attack movie, you can enjoy this with a couple of drinks to get extra kicks.
Overall: Simple shark attack movie.