S.O.S. Survive or Sacrifice (2019) Movie Review

Director: Roman Doronin

Writer: Roman Doronin, Marcus Jerrome (Screenplay)

Starring: William Baldwin, Jeannine Kaspar, Zach Rose, Diljohn Singh, Loris Curci, Marianna Rosset

Plot: Two sisters living separate lives on different continents are reunited on a Mediterranean Island. The two barely have time to bond and revive family ties as Kate, the elder, meets a group of locals and agrees to an exciting ride on a hot air balloon. But disaster strikes and as the result of a freak accident, the balloon is carried far out to sea. Their cell phones out of range, and the balloon running out of gas, Kate and her friends are battling for their lives. While, back on land, the younger sister, Liz, has become an unwanted “material witness” to a crime. Matters then take a dramatic twist, one that will mark their lives forever.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: S.O.S. Survive or Sacrifice starts when Kate (Kaspar) and her younger sister Liz (Pinch) are travelling for the first time together in their lives, they have comes from different worlds, with this being a chance to try and get to know each other. With Liz asleep, Kate looks to go for a party where she meets local Myrianthy (Rosset) who encourages Kate to continue the party into the morning with a balloon ride.

Only for balloon trip takes a turn for the worse as the balloon floats of to the open ocean, while Liz wakes up alone with a strange man Jack (Baldwin) lurking around hotel room, Kate and Myrianthy must work together to survive, even if the original plan was to lure her away for Jack to commit the robbery.

Thoughts on S.O.S. Survive or Sacrifice

Characters – Kate is taking her estranged sister on holiday, she hasn’t been raised around her, with this being the big moment in their lives, she must take the parental figure out of the relationship, but still has a wild child side, which sees her going out partying, agreeing to go on a balloon ride, when things get out of hand, she proves to be the most resourceful of the people on the balloon in her desperate attempts to return to her sister. Liz is the younger sister that doesn’t want to be on this trip and wakes up to find herself alone with a stranger trying to break into their room, she goes on a mission with a social worker to locate her sister and prove she is a neglected child. Myrianthy is the woman Kate meets on a night out, who offers Kate a chance for a party time, only she is bait to lure people away from their rooms for the robbery for Jack to commit, Jack is the criminal who knows the plan is bust after getting caught, he is always doing something, but doesn’t feel like he needs to be part of the main survival story.

PerformancesWhen it comes to the performances, Jeannine Kaspar and Marianna Rosset are both giving a more physically demanding roles in the film, William Baldwin does have a strange role, which doesn’t always feel connected to the main story.

StoryThe story here follows two estranged sisters that are spending a holiday together, only to become separated when the older Kate gets involved with some locals and becomes standard on a balloon over the open ocean. This is a survival story which will see how people will need to figure out how to survive being trapped in a balloon that is going out to open water, without having anyone who knows how to pilot it. It does fit into the idea of a survival story and will get the praise it deserves for how everything is portrayed through the film. There is a side story about the robberies happening, which never feel as interesting as they want to.

AdventureThe adventure side of this film shows us what will happen if a good time adventure goes terribly wrong.

SettingsThe film uses the balloon stranded as the intense side of the story, while Liz trying to locate Kate does offer a few interesting locations, including the open water.

Scene of the Movie – The wind farm.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Worst Social Worker Ever.

Final Thoughts This is a film that does have an intense idea for survival, showing just how impossible the position might well be, with a series of excellently worked stunts.

The Vision Films action-thriller will release On-Demand and On-Digital on October 27th, 2020.

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – T – The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014) Movie Review

Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Writer: Robeto Aguirre-Sacasa, Earl E Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Addison Timlin, Veronica Cartwright, Anthony Anderson, Travis Tope, Joshua Leonard, Andy Abele, Gary Cole

Plot: 65 years after a masked serial killer terrorized the small town of Texarkana, the so-called ‘moonlight murders’ begin again. Is it a copycat or something even more sinister? A lonely high school girl, with dark secrets of her own, may be the key to catching him.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slasher 101

Story: The Town That Dreaded Sundown starts when Jami (Timlin) and her boyfriend Corey (Clark) are attending the drive-in-movie-theatre showing the movie based on the real murders set in Texarkana 65-years-ago, moving to lover’s lane the killer known as The Phantom catches them, murdering Corey, leaving Jami with a message and the town is thrown back into fear again.

When the Phantom strikes again, he leaves Jami with a warning that he stop until she gives up her own secret, with the town bringing in the Texas Rangers Lone Wolf Morales (Anderson) to hunt down the before more people are murdered, is this the original killer returning or a copycat.

Thoughts on The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Characters – Jami breaks the mould of the final girl, she is a survivor of the first attack being left with a message of trying to find Mary. Jami starts looking into the history of the town going in search of what happened 65 years ago, needing to decide about her own future in the town or going off to college. Jami isn’t a teenager that is going to be running, she is almost like the messenger for the killer. Lillian is the grandmother of Jami, she has raised her after her parent’s death, she wants what is best for her even though she might know something about the past. Lone Wolf Morales is a Texas Ranger that has come to the town in search of the answers, he has taken complete control of the investigation and will listen to any story which might uncover the truth about what is happening. Nick is the former classmate of Jami’s he works in the achieves where he helps Jami learn about the history of the town becoming a new love interest for her.

PerformancesAddison Timlin in the leading role makes for a great scream figure, while not just looking like a victim. Anthony Anderson does seem to bring a little bit of humour to the film, while the rest of the cast don’t put a foot wrong.

StoryThe story here follows a town which suffered from a serial killer spree 65-years ago, a film which bought back the memories and now a new killer has arrived killing mindlessly through town. This story might follow elements of the traditional stalker killer, which for the most part is an easy watch, when it jumps out to the next level of being a meta sequel, while also taking the story in a new direction, we get a nice mix of the three, with the idea that this is based on an unsolved murder spree, a reality check on a film that is about those murders and a potential copycat or supernatural killer, we are kept guessing. The story however is filled with weaknesses because we did get hints of people that would have been involved and they just seem to drop the potential of us having suspects, while the killer reveal is also largely disappointing by the end. This story does make us feel like we are watching a more serious version of Scream with how the world is created around us.

Horror/MysteryThe horror is a blood soaked slasher style, we get plenty of rules being broken for that genre too, with Jami not being killed in the opening attack, we also get to see how the killer isn’t slow and is predatory at times, with the mystery being around who the killer could be and why they have targeted certain people through the film.

SettingsThe film is set in a small town on the border of two states, this means we get the police arguing over who should lead the case, as well as being in a place with a history of a serial killer.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects, we know we are going to get plenty of blood with the kills that aren’t as bloody as they could have been, but show the brutality of the kill.

Scene of the Movie – The aerial field shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The killer reveal is weak.

Final Thoughts This is a slasher that is a joy to watch because it turns the rules of the genre on its head, even if the final reveal is the weak point of the film.

Overall: Slasher to Admire.