The Legend of Santa (2021) Short Movie Review

Director: Andrew de Burgh

Writer: Daniel Colyer (Screenplay)

Plot: When a compassionate bishop sees that his woodcarving hobby has the ability to brighten a poor girl’s life, he sets out on a journey to see that children everywhere have the same opportunity.

Runtime: 6 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Legend of Santa starts as we see how a kind-hearted Bishop Saint Nicholas used his woodcarving hobby to help put a smile on a young girls face, seeing the delight on her face, he decides to help his whole city, before going on his own journey to help children around the world.

Thoughts on The Legend of Santa

Final Thoughts The Legend of Santa is a short animated movie that does rely on the music to move the story along, we get to see one man who wanted to make a difference with a good gesture rather than for their own benefit. The animation technique is different to most you would have seen, which helps make what looks like a tale told through generations that would slowly start to lose part of its reality helping with the faded animation vision. Like I always do with short movie, is ask the question, could this be a full feature and the simple answer is yes, this could tell the same story with a bigger emotional impact. We could easily watch this before a full feature too, with the calming presence before the big story.

Welcome to the Circle (2020) Movie Review

Director: David Fowler

Writer: David Fowler (Screenplay)

Starring: Matthew MacCaull, Taylor Dianne Robinson, Ben Cotton, Cindy Busby, Hilary Jardine, Andrea Brooks, Matt Bellefleur

Plot: A random bear attack during a family camping trip leaves Greg (father) and Samantha (daughter) trapped by demon worshiping cult known as The Circle. Unbeknownst to all is that there’s an infiltrator in the cults ranks. She is communication with a former member on the outside named Grady. Grady’s plan is to lead a small group of rescuers into the heart of The Circle. But will they get there in time to save Greg, Samantha, and others from the demon known as Percy Stephens?

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Welcome to the Circle starts in the aftermath of a bear attack, Greg (MacCaull) is injured and taken in by a group living in the woods, while his daughter Samantha (Robinson) has become convinced to always wear a mask in the community.

When Greg learns that this community is a cult that believes in interdimensional travel, he wants to rescue his daughter before it is too late, only for an outsider to arrive, looking to bring down the cult too.

Thoughts on Welcome to the Circle

Final Thoughts Welcome to the Circle is a film that is looking to create a horror that tries to compete with ‘The Endless’ showing a cult that believe they can travel through dimensions and showing how a father, daughter find themselves trapped in the middle of the controlling power. Where this story ends up falling off short, is by trying to be cleverer than it wants to be, jumping between dimensions doesn’t make everything enjoyable to watch, while never going into the horror of a cult, it introduces characters late into the story, which are important to unlocking the truth and by the end, we are left going through a spoon feed answers that don’t seem to bring us anything fresh to the story. The acting in the film isn’t the strongest, with most of the cast not getting enough time to make the big impact in the film.

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – Z – Texas Chainsaw Massacre the Next Generation (1995) Movie Review

This is going under Z because of star Renee Zellweger.

Director: Kim Henkel

Writer: Kim Henkel (Screenplay) Kem Henkel, Tobe Hooper (Characters)

Starring: Renee Zellweger, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Jacks, Tonie Perensky, Joe Stevens, Lisa Marie Newmyer, John Harrison

Plot: A group of teenagers get into a car crash in the Texas woods on prom night, and then wander into an old farmhouse that is home to Leatherface (Robert Jacks) and his insane family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

Tagline – He’s back. You’re dead.

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Bad

Story: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation starts as prom night between Jenny (Zellweger), Heather (Newmyer), Sean (Harrison) and Barry (Cone) goes wrong, leading them to head down a road, having an accident, searching for help with Vilmer (McConaughey) taking one back to the farmhouse, while the rest stumble upon the farmhouse, where Leatherface (Jacks) is living.

The friends have become the latest victims to the psychotic cannibalistic family, where they need to try their best to survive or face becoming the latest dinner in the family.

Thoughts on Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation

Characters – Jenny is the shy member of the group, she always considered to be an outsider with the popular kids at school and is the only one that will do the rational things during the film, she understands how to get out of the problems, without being judgemental like the others. Vilmer is the leader of the family, he is out of his mind and is willing to hurt his own family to get the point across, he knows how to push everything to the limits. Leatherface does swing the chainsaw like we know, though he does seem to be the most human of the family, understand things might be wrong. Darla works in the local town, that will help the family with their connections.

PerformancesRenee Zellweger in one of her first roles here, does a good job as the final girl character without ever looking out of place. Matthew McConaughey is fun to watch as the villainous leader of the group, he is out of his mind with his character in this film. The rest of the cast are solid enough without needing to do much in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a group of prom aged students that end up becoming the latest targets of the cannibalistic family and must fight to survive. With this turning more into a slasher suddenly, we get the disposable characters in the friends, with the one final girl that is put through the most and has the biggest fight to survive from the family, it tries to build on the ideas in the previous films where the family is closer together with connection elsewhere, but ends up being too over the top for its own good. It can be watch to see just how bad it gets without needing to switch off though.

Comedy/HorrorThis is one film that could easily be a comedy because of how over the top everything is with McConaughey making you laugh more than he should, the horror doesn’t seem very effective in this film because of the comedic side of everything.

SettingsThe film does create the singular location for the family, which does look a dirty and you would imagine, the woods around though do make us feel like we are closer to society than the family would ever want to be.

Special EffectsThe effects aren’t the strongest, though being low budget you can let certain things off, because of camera angles certain scenes don’t work as well.

Scene of the Movie – Vilmer having the gun pointed at him.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too comedic for its own good.

Final Thoughts This is a bad horror film you can have a good time watching, it seems to just keep getting worse and you can’t look away.

Overall: Good bad Film.

Redwood Massacre: Annihilation (2020) Movie Review

Director: David Ryan Keith

Writer: David Ryan Keith (Screenplay)

Starring: Danielle Harris, Damien Puckler, Gary Kasper, Jon Campling, Tevy Poe, Benjamin Selway

Plot: Twenty years ago at the infamous Redwood Farm, the owner went mad and killed his family and himself. Shrouded in urban legend ever since, a stranger obsessed with the unsolved Redwood murders convinces a group of bereaved family members to venture into the wilderness in the hope of proving the existence of the notorious burlap bag-masked maniac. Their quest for truth sees a sinister turn of events, as the hunters become the hunted and a blood-soaked fight for survival ensues when they find that the sinister tales told of the axe-wielding psycho farmer are very real indeed.

Tagline – Death has many faces

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Redwood Massacre: Annihilation starts when author Tom Dempsey (Campling) gets information from a stranger in Max (Puckler) that might finally answer the questions about what happened to his daughter, which will see him turn to his other daughter Laura (Harris) to go on one final search for the truth.

Joined by long time friends Guy (Kasper) and Jen (Poe) the five head off into the wilderness to an abandoned army base, the only location they haven’t searched for answers, where they will end up biting off more than they can chew, when the killer returns for more bodies.

Thoughts on Redwood Massacre: Annihilation

Characters – Laura Dempsey has seen her sister vanish on a trip and she has been training herself in self-defence ever since, never giving up hope of finding out the truth, which has seen her become distant from her father, as the two have gone on different paths in looking for the truth. Max is the man that has a lot of information that Laura and Tom never received, he has the mask or sack the killer is rumoured to wear, having his own secrets about why he is helping the Dempsey’s. Guy is the long time friend of Laura’s he will always be ready for a fight, while having a joke along the way. Tom Dempsey has written books about the murders in the past, he is always investigating the disappearance of his daughter and now he might finally get the answers he is looking for.

PerformancesDanielle Harris is the biggest draw in the acting side of this film, she is one of the biggest stars in the horror community and it shows with her strength in a combat and dealing with the horror situations. Damien Puckler does give us a very unsettling performance in the film, while Gary Kasper does get laughs through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a father and daughter who might get to finally learn what happen to a family member who they believe was the victim of a mysterious serial killer. This is designed as a sequel, only it doesn’t feel connected in anyway other than the killer’s look, it does feel bigger, with a bigger mystery around what has caused the number of deaths. We do have the slasher ideas of the story, with the bigger group being created to have a few disposable characters, while trying to create a bigger world environment. The direction the story takes for Max, does feel like it came from ‘Creep’ which a times does get more uncomfortable, rather than scary.

HorrorThe horror in the film comes from the slasher side of things, we get to see how the killer will create the bloodbath in his path.

SettingsThe film does take us away from the farm which was the key location of the original, taking us to a military base, which feels bigger, but does take a lot away from the original idea.

Special EffectsThe effects are great seeing the injuries the killer inflicts with the blood pouring out everything in every kill.

Scene of the Movie – The first of the group kill.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not on the farm, which did create more environment driven kills.

Final Thoughts This is a bigger sequel that is targeting creating a bigger picture without capturing as much magic as the first film.