Director: Francesco Giannini
Writer: Derrick Adams, Adam Kolodny (Screenplay) Francesco Giannini (Story)
Starring: Carolina Bartczak, Yumiko Shaku, Mark Gibson, Bailey Thain, Julian Richings
Plot: When a debilitating sickness spreads across a long hotel hallway, a few scattered victims fight for survival, and try to escape from the dark narrow stretch of isolated carnage.
Tagline – Fear Goes Viral
Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Hall starts as we meet a family Val (Bartczak), Branden (Gibson) and Kelly (Thain) who are staying in a hotel, where they meet fellow guest and soon-to-be mother Naomi (Shaku), who between them both have their own problems they are going through.
As the night continues, a mysterious illness starts spreading through the hotel, forcing the residents to suffer paralysing illness, which will have them crawling through the halls in a desperate attempt to survive.
Thoughts on Hall
Characters – Val is a mother and wife that has become trapped in an abusive relationship that she is planning on escaping from this relationship this weekend away with their daughter and is willing to be friendly with other people not showing signs of the abuse, she will do anything to escape once things get out of hand. Naomi is a pregnant woman that we see the early suffering of the illness, showing how much damage it will cause someone. Branden is Val’s husband that has control over her and their daughter sees him as a hero.
Performances – Carolina Bartczak is great in the leading role, showing us how much the potential escape could mean to her character. Yumiko Shaku brings the pain of the suffering to life, watching her crawl is agony can be disturbing.
Story – The story here follows a family and a pregnant woman whose simple stay in a hotel turns into a nightmare when a mysterious illness starts crippling the guests. This is a story that is trying to tell two main issues, the illness slowly taking over the hallways, which is horrific enough to show, we also look at how one person is trying to plan their escape from an abusive relationship and how they would need to make this happen. The jump between the two main characters shows the different struggles they are facing and leads us to a bigger message by the end of the film.
Horror/Mystery – The horror comes from seeing the effects of the illness, just how paralysing it is for anyone that is suffering from it.
Settings – The film is set within the one hotel, it seems like any normal hotel, which puts all the characters in a position where they don’t see any threat.
Scene of the Movie – The crawling.
Final Thoughts – This is a horror that brings to life a real problem in abusive relationships, while showing an illness that could spread suddenly with devastating effects.
Coming to BLOOD AND THE SNOW FILM FESTIVAL 2020
“You’re doomed! You’re all doomed! ” – Crazy Ralph
Number of Times Seen – 1 (5 Oct 2020)
Brief Synopsis – A group of counselors try to reopen a camp that was closed down after a tragedy twenty years earlier while a serial killer tries to stop them from succeeding in opening up for the summer.
My Take on it – As everyone who knows me is probably already aware, I’m not a fan of movies in the horror genre and stay as far away from them as possible.
On the other hand, I enjoy a good challenge, so when Darren told me that this was the theme for October, how could I refuse?
I’ve heard so much about this movie and its sequels over the years, yet never had the inclination to try and see what it was all about.
The first movies of these kind of series have usually been more grounded, so I chose to see what the film that started the Jason craze was all about.
The premise of the film is one that has been copied so many times over the past 40 years (even by other films in the series as I’ve been told).
The idea of making a slasher film in a summer camp is a great idea and has been reused numerous times because it allows for so much latitude along the way.
The cast is filled with lots of unrecognizable actors but it was great seeing Kevin Bacon in an early role as one of the counselors terrorized by this serial killer.
There are a few nice ‘scare’ moments in this film and the choice to not go too far with the gore worked well.
As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t seen any of the sequels, yet my understanding is that this is the most grounded of all of them and I’m glad that I finally got a chance to see what it was all about.
Bottom Line – Great idea that has been copied over and over during the course of the past 40 years. The idea of a slasher film in a sleep away camp has been reused so often (even in this same series), but they definitely get so much right here. The cast is filled with lots of unknowns, but it’s great seeing Bacon as one of the counselors. The film has a few nice ‘scare’ moments and I liked how they didn’t go overboard with them. I haven’t seen any of the sequels to this film, but my understanding is that this is the most grounded of the lot. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – While most of the cast and crew stayed at local hotels during filming, some of the most dedicated, including Tom Savini and Taso N. Stavrakis, stayed at the actual camp site. They had Savini’s Betamax VCR and only a couple of movies, such as Barbarella (1968) and Marathon Man (1976), on videotape to keep themselves entertained so each night they would watch one. To this day Savini says he can recite those movies by heart. (From IMDB)
Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)
Writer: Robert Gillings (Screenplay)
Starring: Dylan Walsh, Romeo Miller, Madison McKinley, Pancho Moler, Robert Scott Wilson, Luke Baines, Heather Ann Davis
Plot: Blood runs rampant on Halloween night when a small towns’ Fright Fest becomes real inside the walls of a long abandoned asylum.
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Frightless Fest
Story: Fright Fest starts when a washed up horror director Spencer Crowe (Walsh) is hired to create a haunted house experience in a small town looking to establish themselves with a year event called ‘Fright Fest’. Spencer brings his team including his production assistant Finkle (Moler) along with a group of actors Rico (Miller), Taylor (McKinley) and Steph (Wilson) to mention a few.
With the night ready for the grand opening, things take a dramatic turn after a group of mental patients being transferred break free and take up roles in event, killing everybody in the house of horrors, with one patient Mason (Baines) looking to stop the killing and make up for his own crime, he doesn’t remember committing.
Thoughts on Fright Fest
Characters – Spencer Crowe is the washed up director, he was once famous for his work in horror, but his drink & drug problems have caused him to fall off the face of the Earth, facing more criminal charges, he takes a job creating a haunted house event, which he doesn’t pay too much attention too, while watching the events unfold, seeing a movie he could only wish to have made. Rico and Taylor are two of the people involved in the project, like most of these characters we learn nothing about them. Finkle is the long suffering assistant of Spencer who has stayed with him for too long putting up with his nonsense for years.
Performances – Dylan Walsh is the only relatively solid performance in this film, watching him watch the events unfold is funny at times. The rest of the cast really don’t get anything to work with, they are so disposable as characters which makes it hard to see any of them standout.
Story – The story here follows a small town looking to put themselves on the map with a fright fest event, only to attract escaped mental patient who is looking to go on a new killing spree. While on paper this sounds like it should be a smart idea, it does fall pretty flat in the execution of the story. The problem comes where it has moments that do feel like a comedy, with how the visitors see the murders, which soon turns into something way too serious, with way too many bodies piling up, which makes it hard to get behind any of the characters in the film. Seeing a director about to lose his mind for the perfect shot is entertaining though, being the highlight of the film’s story.
Horror – The horror in the film does follow a mad man killing countless number of people, he is at least quick with his kills and doesn’t care who the people he kills are.
Settings – The film take place inside one location which does see the people trapped, it does have the horror environment created by the production team, which does make it easier for the killer to look in place.
Special Effects – The effects in the film are mostly used to show the aftermath of the kill, it does have blood splatter everywhere.
Final Thoughts – This is a largely forgettable horror experience, it does have a smart idea, only it falls apart way too quickly becoming difficult to care about any of the characters in the film.
Overall: Horror with no scares.