Relic (2020) Movie Review

Director: Natalie Erika James

Writer: Natalie Erika James, Christian White (Screenplay)

Starring: Robyn Nevin, Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote, Steve Rodgers, Chris Bunton

Plot: A daughter, mother and grandmother are haunted by a manifestation of dementia that consumes their family’s home.


Tagline – Everything Decays

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Relic starts when Kay (Mortimer) and her daughter Sam (Heathcote) head to Kay’s mother Edna’s (Nevin) house after reports that nobody has seen of her for a couple of days, the pair find an empty house, which leads to a search in the local woodland, until Edna appears back at the home.

Kay is concerned about her mother, looking at options to offer her a chance of a calmer life, but Edna isn’t willing to leave her home, despite an uneasy presence around the home, as the three generations of women are looking for the best option for the family.

Thoughts on Relic

Characters & Performances – Kay is the overworking businesswoman and mother that is not only making sure her daughter is making the best life choices, but needs to make sure her own mother is ok, after she is reported missing. She wants to do the right thing once her mother returns, but is caught in the position of trying to do the right thing and do what her mother wants. Edna is the mother and grandmother that has gone missing, once she does return, she doesn’t remember everything what happened, or isn’t willing to let anyone know the truth, she is showing the early signs of memory loss which will lead to her reaction to certain moments of interaction between the family. Sam is the granddaughter that is still deciding what she wants from life, be it from the university studies or career choice, she doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life, but knows she wants to help her grandmother out, offering to be the one that stays close to her. Robyn Nevin, Emily Mortimer and Bella Heathcote give us three outstanding lead performances, each one showing us different generations of women in this story that is about their relationship.

StoryThe story here follows mother and daughter who go in search of their mother and grandmother which will see them exploring the home, before the return leaves an unease around the home about what might have happened. The story does dive into the generation divide between family members, showing us just how important each moment of aging can be, we get the usual ideas of dealing with the futures, while address different generations point of view of helping the older generation, the story does keep this air of unease through the film, which does help the story have a fine line between what could be happening in every scene.

ThemesRelic brings us a horror that isn’t a jump a minute, it is slowly built up movie, with the tension always being there from the first moment, to the final shot, we get the deserved reveal, which adds the extra horror to the film, with the idea of what might happen in each scene. We do keep most of the film inside the one house, which is isolated and full of history and secrets, with the special effects being used to give us the shocking moments of the film.


Best Parts

Robyn Nevin, Emily Mortimer and Bella Heathcote performances.

The final shot.

The tension being built up through the film.

Worst Parts

None.

Final Thoughts Relic is a brilliant tension filled horror, with deeper meanings behind any of the horror experienced in the film.

Signature Entertainment presents Relic on Digital HD 8 January and Blu-ray & DVD 18 January 2021

ABC Film Challenge – Catch Up 2020 – B – Bad Education (2019) Movie Review

Director: Cory Finley

Writer: Mike Makowsky (Screenplay) Robert Kolker (Article)

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Ray Romano, Welker White, Allison Janney, Annaleigh Ashford, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Geraldine Viswanathan, Alex Wolf

Plot: The beloved superintendent of New York’s Roslyn school district and his staff, friends and relatives become the prime suspects in the unfolding of the single largest public school embezzlement scandal in American history.


Tagline – Some People Learn the Hard Way

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Entertaining, But Shocking

Story: Bad Education starts as we meet Superintendent Frank Tassone (Jackman) and his deputy Pam Gluckin (Janney) who are popular in the school district. Pam has been using the budget to fund her own life, until her son gets caught using the card, leading to the school board Big Bob Spicer (Romano) needing to fix the problems.

A student for the paper starts investigating the figures, while the board look to cover up the problems to save face, but Frank hasn’t had his information given away too, in what shows the corruption going on within the school higher ups.

Thoughts on Bad Education

Characters – Frank Tassone is the superintendent at a New York school, he is very popular, he gets to know the students and has seen the district rise with his leadership. He has to cover up the discovery about Pam even though he has his hand in the pocket too, needing to convince people to side with him as it will be the best for the business. Pam is the deputy Superintendent that gets caught cheating the system, she has been for years and cleverly covering up the expenditures, until she is forced to leave the school to cover up for the school. Big Bob Spicer runs the school board, he is left shocked by the behaviour, not just going to be ruining his reputation but the school district he has seen become popular in the housing market with the change. Rachel is the student that looks to write a simple story about a skybridge, only to start digging deeper about what has been happening, being caught in the middle of the decision on whether to write the story or not.

PerformancesHugh Jackman is excellent in the leading role, he brings the confidence required for the role, while using this to hide the more sinister side to his actions. This is one of the best acted movies of the year, everyone is wonderful to watch throughout the film, all with their own story to tell.

StoryThe story here follows a Superintendent and his deputy that caught out in the middle of an embezzlement scheme at a public school, which will see them needing to race the consequences of the damage they caused. The story here shows how two likeable figures in the schooling system, managed to get away with committing a embezzlement scheme for years, without anyone looking twice, before they started making mistakes, which exposed the truth of what they were doing. This is shot in a way that shows the people responsible for committing the crime were the ones that knew how to get people to look away when things started getting too serious, trying to push guilt onto them instead of admitting their own mistakes. The true story is even more shocking knowing this happened without more people picking up on the errors is even more amazing to think about.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic side of the film shows us just how they got away with things, sometimes not even trying to hide what they were doing from anyone, which is done in a slightly comical way to make us laugh at the reality of the story.

SettingsThe film does keep us in and around the school and private lives of the two criminals, we see how they are living it up for their own benefit, which leaves bigger questions on why no one picked them up on it before.


Scene of the Movie – The truth on how it started.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – How no one saw this happening earlier.

Final Thoughts This is one of the more shocking looks at how corruption could happen, that is wonderfully acted and opens the eyes to how easily people think they can get away with it.

Overall: Surprising.

Hope’s Legacy (2020) Movie Review

Hope’s Legacy – Enjoyable Family Film

Director: Douglas D Maddox

Writer: Douglas B Maddox, Simon K Parker (Screenplay)

Starring: Dyan Cannon, Taylor Lyons, Allen Williamson, Ken Arnold, Jodi Dawson

Plot: Sometimes hope is all you need, but sometimes it can be hard to find. Faced with the death of her beloved grandmother, Lizzie now focuses on the farm, her horses and three day eventing. With her upcoming marriage to James threatened and challenged by a beautiful girl from James’s past, Lizzy must learn to stand on her own two feet but with Legacy by her side she can do it. It’s a competitive world but she’s determined to make it work in ‘Hope’s Legacy’. Lizzie will need to conquer her bullies and overcome 3 competitions including, show jumping, cross country and dressage with her young horse, Legacy. Her manger, is by her side all the way but her past catches up with her and Lizzie. Lizzie needs to make a choice to stop it all or go for the gold.


Tagline – Sometimes hope is all you need, but sometimes it can be hard to find.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Hope’s Legacy starts when Lizzy Evans (Lyons) loses her grandmother, leaving Lizzy the ranch including the horses, Hope and Legacy, Lizzy isn’t sure whether she can handle it, but with her boyfriend James (Williamson) support, she takes on the ranch, with Linda (Cannon) coming into to help including train her in dressage.

Lizzy’s life takes another turn when James proposes to her with both their family’s not always supporting this decision and the skilled rider Bethany (Reed) looking down on Lizzy taking part.

Thoughts on Hope’s Legacy

Characters & Performances – Lizzy has just finished college and now her life is moving so fast, first getting the ranch from her late grandmother, secondly getting engaged, third getting back into horse riding and finally dealing with trying to fit into the world created, seeing people warn her about the decisions she is looking to make. Taylor Lyons shows us all the uncertainty her character must go through during the film, needing to show us the biggest emotions she must go through. Linda is an old friend of Lizzy’s grandmother, show has returned and offered to help Lizzy on the ranch, she does have a secret about her life, one that Lizzy could help with, as she looks to create a chance for her own granddaughter. Dyan Cannon brings the wise character to the film well through the film. James is the boyfriend of Lizzy that looks to support her through her difficult time, proposing to her along the way. Allen Williamson does well to be the support character Lizzy needs through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a young lady that gets left a ranch and is left with plenty of big life decisions at a young age, with loved ones around her to support her prepare for life, earlier than she was prepared for. This is a story that will focus on the idea that life can come at young people fast, it is a sequel that picks up on Lizzy’s life after college, when she was looking to start and now she is given a chance to work in her passion. It shows that sometimes somebody can be left in a position of not knowing everything going on in their own life can make them feel insecure.

ThemesHope’s Legacy uses a lot of family based themes, showing us that family can always be there for each other through the difficult times, with most of the film set in and around the ranch, showing the beauty of the countryside around people.

Final Thoughts Hope’s Legacy Enjoyable family drama, that shows the importance of having people around you in the most difficult part of your life.