Unearth (2020) Movie Review

Unearth – Slow Burner

Director: John C Lyons, Dorota Swies

Writer: Kelsey Goldberg, John C Lyons (Screenplay)

Starring: Adrienne Barbeau, Marc Blucas, Allison McAtee, Brooke Sorenson, Rachel McKeon, P.J. Marshall, Lauren Valentine

Plot: A fracking horror story, “Unearth” follows two neighboring farm families whose relationships are strained when one of them chooses to lease their land to an oil and gas company. In the midst of growing tension, the land is drilled, and something long dormant and terrifying, deep beneath the earth’s surface is released. “Unearth” is about the horrifying repercussions sown by shortsighted decisions, and what our children reap from our actions.

Tagline – A sacrifice must be made.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Unearth starts as we meet the two farming families. The Dolan’s with Kathryn (Barbeau) still trying to maintain the traditions of the family with Christina (McAtee) wanting away, Tom (Marshall) and Aubrey (Wyche), while the Lomacks, George (Blucas) a car mechanic who would rather not get involved in the farming side, is forced into making money, leasing the land to an oil and gas company.

As the drilling starts, the families do find themselves pushed further apart, but the worst is yet to come, as the strange condition starts to infect the families.

Thoughts on Unearth

Characters & Performances – Kathryn Dolan is the owner of one of the farms, she has kept the business going for her family and wants to see both farms continue to work together to help each other thrive in the future, she is pushing for her children to want to do the right thing on her side, despite knowing they have their own dreams, trying to hold them back from them. Adrienne Barbeau is the horror icon that takes the centre stage here, where she brings the mature figure in the changing world to life. George Lomack is the widowed father that was left the farm, he isn’t interested in running it as farmland, keeping to his garage business, even though he needs money, which he will take where he can from a company that will start digging on his land. Marc Blucas is fine in his role, only he is just the beginning of what is a series of bland characters that don’t make an impact on the bigger story. The two families have their minor events going on, only they don’t seem to have that much making anything seem interesting enough for the grander side of the film.

StoryThe story here follows to neighbouring families that start to clash when one of them decides to lease their land to a gas and oil company, against the wishes of the other, leading to a strange series of events to turn the friendship into a rivalry filled with horror. This is a story that shows us the generations of change going on within the farming community, it will give us the ideas that money is becoming difficult and they will need to go against everything they were once taught. This side of the bigger conversation going forward, but the strange events are filled with the unexplained, which will leave us wanting to know more, instead of just getting a few shocking images.

ThemesUnearth uses the locations of the two farms to show us just how away from the busy world the two families are, which will play into the friendship turned sour. The horror side of the film comes more from what is happening when things start going wrong, leading to the big shock moments, despite not giving us any real information about what is happening.

Signature Entertainment presents Unearth on DVD and Digital Platforms 28th June

Unearth is available on iTunes Here

Unearth is a slow burning horror that leaves too many unanswered questions.

ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – V – A Vigilante (2018) Movie Review

Director: Sarah Dagger-Nickson

Writer: Sarah Dagger-Nickson (Screenplay)

Starring: Olivia Wilde, Morgan Spector, Kyle Catlett, C.J.Wilson, Tonye Patano, Betsy Aidem

Plot: After escaping her violent husband, Sadie makes it her life’s mission to help free others in danger. After months of rigorous training in survival skills, boxing, and lethal martial arts, she is back with a vengeance.

Tagline – She fights so you don’t have to.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Message Lost In Translation

Story: A Vigilante starts as we meet Sadie (Wilde) who is a specialist at dealing with husbands that abuse their partners, she will offer her services to make the man vanish to help the woman a chance to move on with life.

Each job Sadie does puts her through horrendous nightmares of her own experiences, though she doesn’t stop at just abuse to women, she will help children in need too, doing everything she can to help people who are left helpless.

Thoughts on A Vigilante

Characters – Sadie has been abused by her husband in the past, left her broken and their son dead, she has gone onto train herself to defend herself from ever being in this position again, helping other victims of abuse, by punishing the people that have caused the pain. We don’t meet anybody else enough to learn much about them, we hear about the abusers and each victim has their own story, but we only focus on Sadie.

PerformancesOlivia Wilde does do everything right in the film, she is head and shoulders above the rest of the cast, with the pain her character is going through.

StoryThe story here follows one woman who fights back against abusers in the world after surviving her own ordeal under a former partner. The story does have a clear message about how difficult spotting abuse can be and how people need to face the consequences of what they did. Where the story falls short is with how everything is handled, it tries to make it look like Sadie is a secret fighter, only it doesn’t seem to show enough of her planning or her action. The pace is all over the place and by the end you haven’t missed too much with the story.

Crime/MysteryThe crime follows the actions of Sadie taking the law into her own hands, with the mystery being more about what has happened in the past with Sadie.

SettingsThe film uses the isolated settings to show how Sadie could get away with what she is planning to do.

Scene of the Movie – The showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The messy plot.

Final Thoughts This is a simple crime thriller that doesn’t seem to put the plot in any order to make everything overly interesting, despite having a key message they want to send.

Overall: Missing too many marks.