Director: Nathan Hill
Writer: Nathan Hill (Screenplay)
Starring: Natalie Heslop, Sienna Stass, Nathan Hill, Damon Hunter
Plot: A newly married couple receive an unexpected visit from an old friend who has ulterior motives to end their relationship.
Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: I, Portrait starts as artist Carmen McKenna (Heslop) is looking for inspiration for her next piece, her husband Julian (Hill) a casting director who has been recruiting for years. When Carmen gets a visit from an old friend Stephanie (Stass) it seems like an enjoyable visit between the two friends.
When Stephanie starts to overstay her welcome the tension between the three increase, leading to the truth about the visit and why Stephanie has returned.
Thoughts on I, Portrait
Thoughts – I, Portrait comes into the world of why it is always hard to say anything bad about low budget movies, but sometimes you just can’t help it. The story on paper is there, but it never becomes intense, leading to a lot of the film feeling like it is filler, rather than builder to create big moments happening. The acting isn’t very good either, with some lines feeling like it is just an idea of three lines, but all three get spoken. When it comes to trying to show the intense moments, the fighting is awful, with the swings looking like first rehearsal over pretending to make it look good. This is just a film that was hard to get into, poorly acted, poorly written and never captures the thriller side it wants to.
Final Thoughts – I, Portrait is a bad movie that feels like a first draft of a poor Fatal Attraction rip off.
Director: Stewart Sparke
Writer: Paul Butler (Screenplay)
Starring: Lyndsey Craine, Michaela Longden, Lizzie Aaryn-Stanton, Daniel Thrace, Rose Muirhead
Plot: Sophie’s 18th birthday becomes a bloodbath when monsters descend upon her house and start to devour the party guests. Sophie and her friends must rally together to send their party crashers back to hell.
Tagline – Turning eighteen is going to be hell.
Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Book of Monsters starts as Sophie (Craine) reaches her 18th birthday, her best friends Mona (Longden) Beth (Aaryn-Stanton) decide to throw her a party, with the school bully Arya (Dawson) looking to ruin the event, while Sophie could finally tell her crush Jess (Muirhead) how she feels.
The party is about to be ruined by Arya’s plan, but the book of monsters has returned, releasing a host of creatures on the party goers, where Sophie will need to fight back with her friends to save the day.
Thoughts on Book of Monsters
Characters & Performances – Sophie has lived a traumatic childhood, which saw her witness her mother chopped up by a monster, where nobody believes her story, 10-years-later she is trying to hold her normal life, which will see her about to have her 18th birthday party, a quiet girl in the class, wanting to get to know her crush. She must face her past to make it through the night, one that will see her look to fight back against the monsters. Lyndsey Craine is great in this role, she will bring us the innocent fighter breaking out of her shell, which always makes for a great reluctant hero. Mona is the louder best friend and bad girl, usually getting herself in trouble, with Sophie getting caught up in her actions. She creates the party and helps everyone have a good time, while having her own fight. Michaela Longden works well in this role, being the confident member of the group. Beth is the third friend who doesn’t come into her own until the monster attacks start. We do have the typical supporting characters, the bully, the on running joke about Gary not being known by everyone, the random stripper and others from the class. Everyone makes this feel like a fun movie to watch.
Story – The story here follows an 18th birthday party that goes off the rails when uninvited guests arrive, before we get a monster attack, which will see a group of school kids needing to work together to stay alive and figure out what the monsters want. This is a classic monster splatter story, we get the back story of where the monsters might have come from and we see the group needing to complete tasks to stay alive, it is simple and effective, with the girl wanting to save the girl, the old anything for love idea. We don’t need a deep story, we just need the action and creations to look good.
Themes – Book of Monsters turns to the practical effects for the monsters, which will give us buckets of blood, unique designs and using the isolated location, we have everything we need for the action horror movie.
Final Thoughts – Book of Monsters is an enjoyable blood soaked horror delight.