Director: Julius Berg
Writer: Mathieu Gompel, Julius Berg (Screenplay)
Starring: Maisie Williams, Sylvester McCoy, Rita Tushingham, Jake Curran, Andrew Ellis, Ian Kenny, Stacha Hicks
Plot: A retired couple finds their isolated house besieged by a gang of young criminals. The thieves think it will be easy to make them give up the secret of their safe. But they have no idea the nightmare they’ve gotten into and soon need to fight to escape the house alive.
Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Owners starts when a group of young criminals Nathan (Kenny), Gaz (Curran), Terry (Ellis) and Mary (Williams) who is more dragged into the situation, look to rob a remote home, only to leave them to take the owners Richard Huggins (McCoy) and his wife Ellen (Tushingham) being held hostage.
While Mary is looking to get out of the situation before everything gets out of hand, it soon gets the tables turned on the people involved as the truth about the couple comes out.
Thoughts on The Owners
Characters & Performances – Mary is the girlfriend of one of the young criminals who is only here because she is waiting to go to work, she ends up getting drawn into the night in the robbery and soon wants out and to do the right thing, only to find herself needing to fight for her life when the truth is revealed. Maisie Williams is the draw and highlight of this film, we want to see where she goes after Game of Thrones, and this isn’t going to help her standout, even if she is the best performer in the film. Richard Huggins and Ellen Huggins are the couple who are being tormented, they do remain calm before they turn the tables with their overly friendly personalities which soon become the most disturbing side of the film. Sylvester McCoy and Rita Tushingham bring these two characters to life, even if they do seem way over the top for the nature of everything we are seeing. We also get to meet the young criminals who are causing the problems, with them filling the roles you would expect, the leader who isn’t in control, the unhinged one that is the most dangerous and the simple one that is in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Story – The story here follows the young criminals as they break into a house looking for an easy score off an elderly couple, only to find themselves dealing with a bigger problem, the elderly couple. When we see a story which revolves around young criminals taking advantage of somebody perceived as weaker than them, we automatically must think of ‘Don’t Breathe’ which got everything right about the shock reality of who they are targeting, this does try to bring us a surprise about who they are targeting, only it doesn’t get to the point of their actions until way too late, with very little battle to survive going on, we get caught up in the discussion about what is going on, instead of getting to the reality, which only holds the story down from exploding into life. We don’t get a fulfilling conclusion either, which will leave us wanting more from a story that does seem to just end, instead of keeping us wanting to learn more.
Themes – The Owners is a horror film that is going for shock value with gore, only for most of it to come off soft gore, more entry level if anything, it is all well created though. We do keep the singular location of the remote house, which does have secrets in each room, which does keep us guessing to what could be in each room.
Signature Entertainment presents The Owners is on Digital Platforms 22nd February and DVD 1st March
Stealing School will be available in the U.S. on VOD platforms from February 26, 2021.
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: Robert Zemeckis, William Broyles Jr (Screenplay) Chris Van Allsburg (Book)
Starring: (Voice Talents) Tom Hanks, Leslie Zemeckis, Eddie Deezen, Nona Gaye, Peter Scolari
Plot: On Christmas Eve, a young boy embarks on a magical adventure to the North Pole on the Polar Express, while learning about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.
Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Polar Express starts as a young boy who is starting to lose his faith in Christmas gets a visit from the Conductor of the Polar Express, offering him a ride to the North Pole, joined by other children, the boy gets taken on an adventure of a life time to visit Santa Claus at the North Pole in an attempt to renew his faith in Christmas.
Thoughts on The Polar Express
Thoughts – The Polar Express is a Christmas movie that tried something different with the animation techniques, this is by far the weakest part of the film, which ends up making everything feel lifeless in this animation. When we dive into the story, it is one that is here to try and help children keep their faith in the magic of Christmas, not being in a rush to grow up, we also get to see how children will need to learn that not everything is from the same position in life and Christmas might not have always been easy for everyone. Tom Hanks ends up taking multiply roles in the voice work, which does help make the Conductor even more charismatic. The Christmas message is clear and easy to see, but the animation ends up just making things feel lifeless.
Final Thoughts – The Polar Express has all the feel good spirit of Christmas.