Carnage Park (2016) Movie Review

Director: Mickey Keating

Writer: Mickey Keating (Screenplay)

Starring: Ashley Bell, Pat Healy, James Landry Hebert, Michael Villar, Bob Bancroft, Larry Fessenden

Plot: Part crime caper gone awry, part survival horror film, this 1970s set thriller depicts a harrowing fight for survival after a pair of wannabe crooks botch a bank heist and flee into the desert, where they inexplicably stumble upon Carnage Park, a remote stretch of wilderness occupied by a psychotic ex-military sniper.

Tagline – Out here, God don’t pick no favorites

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Basic Cat-n-Mouse

Story: Carnage Park starts as two criminals Scorpion Joe Clay (Hebert) and Lenny (Villar) are fleeing from a bank robbery when they find themselves on the land of Wyatt Moss (Healy), Wyatt has been waiting for more victims of his twisted sniper gangs in his open desert land, using the men as his latest, along with their kidnap victim Vivian (Bell).

What follows is an extra cat-n-mouse battle between the sniper and the victims, who will show the survival skills to make it out alive.

Thoughts on Carnage Park

Characters – Vivian is the innocent victim, first about to lose her land, then abducted and then forced to play along with a psychotic sniper’s game, she must use her knowledge of the land to try and outwit the killer, knowing it is life or death, putting up the fight he requires. Wyatt is the psychotic sniper that traps people on his land to play his games, where he looks to hunt them down for his own blood sport pleasure. Scorpion Joe Clay and Lenny are the two criminals on the run, they have always looked for quick scores and this has given them their chance for quick money.

PerformancesAshley Bell is strong in the leading role, she shows the determination required for the role, which does she her needing to balance someone who wants to stay alive with somebody who has been fighting her whole life. Pat Healy does a great job too, though it would have been nice to see more of his character or introduce us to him later. The rest of the cast don’t have much to do, but don’t do anything wrong.

StoryThe story here follows a woman that finds herself thrown into a twisted game of cat-n-mouse with a sniper in the desert, that has been waiting for more victims on his killing spree. This does feel like it should be an intense story to watch, the story does seem simply enough, though it does miss a lot of positive points, with time jumps and losing the idea of everything being about a sniper, very early, it turns more into a ground chase, rather than trying to allude a sniper, which does seem to be how the story is advertised.

Action/HorrorThe action in the film does follow the chase sequence between the sniper wanting to use military action happening, while this could have been a lot more horrific, it does seem to hold back at times.

SettingsThe film does use the desert location to help create the area in which the sniper hunts, it makes complete sense that he would use his own environment to his advantage.

Special EffectsThe effects do get to see blood splatter on the screen for bullet wounds, only we do a couple of these for shock value, rather than to create anything more in the world.

Scene of the Movie – From hostage to victim.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We don’t get enough sniper side of the world.

Final Thoughts This is an easy to watch action horror that does show us just how the world could be unfolding, only to give up on the sniper angle too early on.

Overall: Easy to watch.

ABC Film Challenge – Sports – A – Above the Shadows (2019) Movie Review

Director: Claudia Myers

Writer: Claudia Myers (Screenplay)

Starring: Olivia Thirlby, Alan Ritchson, Jim Gaffigan, Maria Dizzia, Megan Fox, Tito Ortiz

Plot: A young woman who has faded to the point of becoming invisible must find her way back with the help of the one man who can see her.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow Paced Fantasy

Story: Above the Shadows starts as Holly (Thirlby) a middle child sees herself literally fade away after her mother’s death, with nobody in life even knowing who she is anymore, growing up she enters the world with the same problems, until one day she finds herself meeting Shayne (Ritchson) a former UFC fighter, the only person that sees her.

Holly sees the chance to bring something to the world, she helps Shayne rebuild his career, giving her a purpose she hasn’t felt in years, but is still left wondering if this will make her visible to the rest of the world.

Thoughts on Above the Shadows

Characters – Holly grew up as a middle child, she saw her life change when her mother dies, leaving her alone in the world, with her friends, family and the world not seeing her anymore, becoming invisible. She has gotten used to be alone in the world before a chance encounter sees her learn that someone else can see her, a fighter who has seen his life start to fall apart. She works with him to try and rebuild his life. Shayne was once one of the biggest prospect in the industry, only for his life to spiral out of control after cheating on his celebrity wife and his fighting to see him lose his reputation. We do see the family of Holly that have gone on their own paths, seeing them not know who Holly is anymore, while bringing us the inside world of the fighting scene.

PerformancesOlivia Thirlby in the leading role is the strongest performer in the film, she brings the lonely feeling in her character to life with ease in this film. Alan Ritchson brings the fighting persona to life well, showing us just how hard the after the spotlight could be for a former fighter.

StoryThe story here follows a woman that became invisible in life, nobody sees her, she is alone after her mother died as a child, this changes when a fighter sees her, giving her a reason to care about life again, only showing her own insecurity of her only human contact in years. This could be an interesting idea for a movie, with the idea of showing the struggle of dealing with becoming invisible to the world, instead we just have one person who has been through the worst for years, with the reason for her becoming invisible to the world being more interesting than watching her try and put the life of a former fight back together. Sadly, we don’t seem to get into the reason for this happening, only dealing with a quite frankly boring side of the fighting redemption side of everything.

Fantasy/RomanceThe fantasy side of this film focuses on the idea of one girl turned woman that has become invisible to the world and everyone around her, dealing with the loneliness of her life, this is interesting, only we don’t get into it enough, with the romance not being that strong either.

SettingsThe film does show us how one person can live in a city, where nobody else sees them, we get caught up watching how the world is circling around her.

Scene of the Movie – Studying the family.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Most of the fighting side of things.

Final Thoughts This is a fantasy idea that could well give us an interesting movie, only for the film to spend too much time on the fighter redemption side of the story.

Overall: Bland fighting film.

Demonic – Release News

Signature Entertainment’s  Demonic opens FrightFest 26th August and is at UK Cinemas, Premium Digital 27th August and Blu-ray & DVD 25th October

Demonic is the first feature film from renowned genre director Neill Blomkamp since 2015’s Chappie. Acclaimed director and writer Blomkamp exploded onto the film world with District 9 in 2009, which was produced by Peter Jackson and nominated for four Academy Awards™ including Best Picture. Between those two releases came 2013’s hit science fiction epic Elysium starring Matt Damon. Demonic is a supernatural possession horror which follows a young woman who unleashes a terrifying demon as she enters the mind of her comatose, serial killer mother.  The much anticipated new feature stars Carly Pope (Elysium), Chris William Martin (The Vampire Diaries), Nathalie Boltt (District 9) and Michael J. Rogers (Beyond the Black Rainbow).

Knocking – Release News

FrightFest Presents and Signature Entertainment present Knocking on Digital Platforms 15th November

Synopsis: Knocking is a twisty, claustrophobic and gut-wrenching thriller streaked with horror, from director and Cannes Palme D’Or winner Frida Kempff (Winter Buoy), with a fierce and soul-baring central performance from Cecilia Milocco (Involuntary). A woman (Molly) who has just experienced a traumatic incident is unnerved by a haunting knocking sound from upstairs in her new apartment building. As the noises become more desperate and increasingly sound like cries for help, she confronts her neighbours, but it seems no one else can hear them. In an unsettling quest for truth, Molly soon realizes that no one believes her, and begins to question if she even believes herself – a realization that is perhaps even more chilling.