Abattoir (2016) Movie Review

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

Writer: Christopher Monfette (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica Lowndes, Joe Anderson, Dayton Callie, Lin Shaye, John McConnell, Bryan Batt, Michael Pare

Plot: An investigative reporter teams up with a police officer to solve the mystery of why a seemingly good man murdered her sister’s family.

Tagline – He’s been expecting you

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Such an Ambitious Idea

Story: Abattoir starts when real estate reporter Julia Talben (Lowndes) sees her sister and her family butchered in their home by a seemingly random man, joined by her on again off again detective boyfriend Declan Grady (Anderson), she learns that the house has be sold, with the murder room ripped from inside.

When Julia dives into the case more, she learns that her sister’s house isn’t the first one to be flipped quickly after a murder, she tracks the cases back to learn about Jebediah Crone (Callie) who was a cult leader in New English, with Allie (Shaye) filling in the gaps about what the cause was for.

Thoughts on Abattoir

Characters – Julia is a real estate reporter that wants to get into the crime side of reporting, she has been using the paper to search for her long-lost mother and is stuck in a relationship with a detective that isn’t going well. When her sister’s family is murdered, she learns of bigger problem going around and sets off to learn about the truth, which will fill in the answers she has been looking for. Declan Grady is the detective boyfriend of Julia, he seems to act like he is from a neo-noir story and will help her through the investigation even if he does leave her to do some on her own. Jebediah Crone is the man that holds the answers, with his motivations having a much bigger sinister motivation. Allie is the connection between the truth and what Julia discovers, she does fill in a lot of the blanks for her, while being a friendly host.

PerformancesJessica Lowndes in the leading role does everything right in the film, however with the pure amount required, it is hard to get the most out of her performance. Joe Anderson does seem to think he is a neo-noir style cop, which is a strange choice for the film. Dayton Callie gives us disturbing calm dialogue to everything that is happening, while Lin Shaye makes the most of her limited screen time.

StoryThe story here follows a reporter that does in search for answers after her sister’s family are randomly murdered in their house, which will see her learn more about her past. This does seem like a routine investigation horror movie, it checks off all the boxes within the opening thirty minutes of the story, but everything because such a bigger idea within the last hour, which sees the ambition behind the story shining through on new levels. We won’t get into massive details to what happens, but this story will keep you guessing through the story and leave you more interested in the backgrounds than just what the characters are going through.

Horror/MysteryThe horror comes from the truth behind the murders, this will bring up plenty of violent crimes from the past and show how they are important to the plan, which does unfold the mystery being unravelled.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us how the normal life can be turned upside and where the clues leave them, is such an ambitious idea, it looks brilliant.

Special EffectsThe effects are saved more for the later part of the film, this does include the ghost like figures that being used for the shock value.

Scene of the Movie – What is in the woods.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Grady’s feeling like he is in the wrong film.

Final Thoughts This is a horror film that does seem routine to start with before it dives into something ambitious that will leave you wanting more by the end.

Overall: Bigger than Expected.

ABC Film Challenge – Favourite – # – 2 Minutes of Fame (2020) Movie Review

2 Minutes of Fame – Brilliant Comedy on Chasing Dreams

Director: Leslie Small

Writer: Devon Shepard, Yamara Taylor (Screenplay)

Starring: Andy Allo, Keke Palmer, RonReaco Lee, Deon Cole, Madeleine Byrne, Katt Williams, Kimrie Lewis, Jay Pharoah

Plot: An up-and-coming stand-up comic moves to L.A. to pursue a film career after video clips of his act make him an online sensation.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: 2 Minutes of Fame starts as Deandre (Pharoah) a small-time stand up comedian who has been struggling to keep up with his rent with his girlfriend Sky (Palmer) and after losing his job, hoping his comedy will take him places, his latest work starts going viral, landing him a chance to enter the Laugh Out Loud Showcase in LA.

Deandre is at the crossroads of his career and his rising rivalry with superstar comedian Marques (Williams) turned failing movie star becomes the talk of the town.

Thoughts on 2 Minutes of Fame

Characters & Performances – Deandre is a YouTube comedian that doesn’t get too many views, despite his amazing talent, he works at a grocery store hoping to hold things together, his latest videos have attacked one of the most famous stand-up comedians, just as he gets his first big break in a Laugh Out Loud Showcase, where he must learn about his routine isn’t going to translate to the stage, needing to learn the respect for the people who grind everyday, while keeping his girlfriend happy back home. Jay Pharoah is brilliant at the stand-up routines, his ability to impersonate celebrities, through the film, but when it comes to the more serious scenes, things do not hit the same heights. Marques Black is the biggest stand-up in the world who has turned to movies which has seen his star power fall, becoming the target of Deandre’s rants online, he has let too many people control his decisions, forgetting how hard he worked to get here. Katt Williams brings the experienced comedian to life with ease. Eddie is the best friend and manager of Deandre, who gets him the chance, follows his career, keeps his head in the game. RonReaco Lee gets the extra life comedy moments, being the one holding everything together. Sky is the girlfriend of Deandre who has a career as a nurse, she is getting tired of him struggling to keep the money together, part nagging girlfriend, but also wanting to love him. Keke Palmer is great being one of the only people in the real world.

StoryThe story here follows an up and coming comedian that is trying to break into the industry, but is only a internet level comedian, he gets his big break, which he is looking at as one last chance to make it before giving it up and taking life more seriously for his son, we follow this last shot to make it as a comedian. This is a story about chasing dreams, which gets to put a firm look at how the modern day society can become celebrities over night without putting the grind in like the people their aspire to be, this is the biggest part of the story which feels fresh. We also get to look at the difficult balance of chasing a dream or giving up, to support loved ones, which is the most important side of the story, the film balances these two sides perfectly to bring everything together well for an enjoyable story.

Themes2 Minutes of Fame has brilliant stand-up routines which will get laughs throughout the film, it balances the comedy and drama well showing the importance of the two needing to work together to achieve the heart and soul of the story. The LA setting shows us the difference that Deandre must make coming from small town and internet fame to one of the biggest locations for stardom.

2 Minutes of Fame is an enjoyable comedy which will get people talking about Jay Pharoah as a serious comedy presence.