Aftermath (2021) Movie Review

Aftermath – Predictable, While Entertaining

 

Director: Peter Winther

Writer: Dakota Gorman (Screenplay) Peter Winther (Story)

Starring: Ashley Greene, Shawn Ashmore, Sharif Atkins, Britt Baron, Diane Hopper, Jamie Kaler, Travis Coles

Plot: A young couple struggling to stay together, when they are offered an amazing deal on a home with a questionable past that would normally be beyond their means. In a final attempt to start fresh as a couple they take the deal.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Aftermath starts as Natalie (Greene) and Kevin (Ashmore) are struggling to put their marriage back together after an affair, which will see Kevin suggest buying a new home, one that has a dark history, but one that is affordable for the couple.

When the couple move into the new home, they both find their own temptations outside the house, but Natalie starts noticing strange events around the house, with each one becoming more intense, leaving them to wonder just what is truly going on.

Thoughts on Aftermath

Characters & Performances – Natalie is the fashion designer wanting to breakout in the industry, she had got caught up in an affair with her wanting to make sure she fixes her mistake, giving Kevin what he needs to get on the right path. Natalie is trying to be a good sister to her sister who has had problems and when strange things start happening around the home, she tends to get haunted more than Kevin. Kevin works on a clean up crew for crime scenes, he gave up college to make a life for the pair and has been struggling to forgive Natalie for the affair. He accepts a term to return to college to move into this new home to start a new life, even if it means finding himself busy all the time. Ashley Green and Shawn Ashmore do give us strong performances as a couple in the film, even if the couple tend to make strange decisions. Officer Richardson is trying to piece together everything, but the more that happens the less evidence they have to go on, being left helpless to most of the events in the film. Most of the supporting cast don’t get too much screen time, as they are used to helps the couple through their problems in life.

StoryThe story here follows a couple trying to rebuild their relationship after an affair nearly drives them apart by moving into a new home, only for strange things to start happening around home, leading to the pair to find a new level of problems, never truly knowing if they can trust each other. This does have a fresh approach to what we are seeing, by having the couple having the troubles, leading to a trust problem. This is the start and finish to the stronger side of the story, because when we dive into the events of the film, certain plot points complete don’t make sense and you can work out the outcome easily by the end of the film, even if we tend to get a few strange decisions along the way.

ThemesAftermath is a horror thriller, keeping the horror within the home of a couple, containing the scares here, while the couple have no idea what is going on. To us it does seem obvious, but what we see, does seem to get caught up between the supernatural and real horror, which will again, only leave you wondering how certain pieces get put together.

Final Thoughts Aftermath is a horror that is predictable despite getting confusing with how the scenes are presented.

From the Vine – Release News

From The Vine will be in UK Cinemas from 10th September and Digital Download from 13th September

The film sees Mark Gentile, an attorney and automotive company executive, travel to Italy after a major humiliation in business. He returns to the tiny village of Acerenza, visiting the vineyard where he grew up and finds it in a state of disrepair. Mark gets an idea to bring the overgrown property back to life and start producing wine again. Mark convinces various the citzens of Acerenza to aid him in this seemingly impractical effort, promising everyone a share in the business if it is successful.

ABC Film Challenge – Sports – J – Critical Thinking (2020) Movie Review

This is under J because of director John Leguizamo.

Director: John Leguizamo

Writer: Dito Montiel (Screenplay)

Starring: John Leguizamo, Rachel Bay Jones, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jorge Lendeborg Jr, Angel Bismark Curiel, Jeffry Batista

Plot: The true story of the Miami Jackson High School chess team which was the first inner city team to win the U.S. National Chess Championship.


Tagline – Chess is the great equalizer

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Critical Thinking starts as we meet Mr Martinez (Leguizamo) who runs a chess club for an inner city high school with a mixed diverse group of students, with the four standout players, Sedrick (Tuggles), Ito (Lendeborg Jr), Rodelay (Curiel) and Gil (Hochman), who all have come from a difficult background.

As the team start winning tournaments, it becomes clear the school isn’t going to fund them, leading to Mr Martinez needing to make things happen and the students must make their own decisions on their futures, ones that could see them go in different directions with the law.

Thoughts on Critical Thinking

Characters & Performances – Mr Martinez is the man that has been teaching the classes for years, he gives up his time to try and help them put the differences behind them and will fight to give them as bright of a future as other young people. He will encourage the students to compete in chess, bringing out a team ethic like the haven’t experienced before. John Leguizamo takes the teacher role and director role to make this one of his great performances and pieces of work. We have the students, Sedrick who is from a home with an abusive father, Ito that has fallen into the wrong side of town, falling towards the drug lords of the area. Rodelay and Gil who we don’t learn as much about, if anything about their personal lives, which is one of the weaknesses in the film, only pointing out the struggles of a couple of the main players. The actors all do a great job with their roles through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a teacher that looks to inspire a group of underprivileged students to take up chess, leading them into competition, giving them hope of a better life away from the one they find themselves facing. This story does fall into the category of the films which will see students that most people have given up on, given a chance to prove themselves and learn the life skills they may never have been given a chance to learn. This time it is chess and it shows that this is a sport that can see people from any background competing against each other to prove they are the best, while also teaching them teamwork through an individual sport. We get everything to make this one story we can enjoy, even if we don’t get the full impact of a couple of major developments about the characters.

ThemesCritical Thinking is a drama around playing chess, which will highlight the lesson people can learn from playing the game, but doesn’t always give us the best visual of how the game is playing out. The locations are used to show the homelife the students will be facing, ones that aren’t going to give them an easy future.

 

Critical Thinking is a great sports drama showing us the importance of giving people hope.

The Return (2020) Movie Review

The Return – Excellent Spin on the Haunted House Film

 

Director: BJ Verot

Writer: Ken Janssens, BJ Verot (Screenplay)

Starring: Richard Harmon, Echo Andersson, Sara Thompson, Marina Stephenson Kerr, Erik Athavale, Gwendolyn Collins

Plot: After the death of his father, a brilliant college student returns to his family home where he learns that the horrors from his childhood aren’t as dead and gone as he once thought.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Return starts when Rodger Emmerlich (Harmon) returns to his family home after the death of his father with his girlfriend Beth (Thompson) and childhood friend Jordan (Andersson) to look through the information about his past.

As the friends start exploring the endless amounts files, they start getting visits from a ghostly figure, which will have more answers in Rodger’s past, but what is the secret.

Thoughts on The Return

Characters & Performances – Rodger is a genius student whose parents were leading figures in science and physics, he has returned home after his father’s death, which will see him starting to get haunted by events from the past, before learning more about the mystery about his younger sister’s death in his childhood. He must dive into his once locked memories if he is going to learn the truth. Jordan is the best friend that has been with Rodger through the events of his life, always there to support him in his time of need, she will bring a laugh to break the tension, while being smart enough to know what to do in a horror environment. Beth is the girlfriend of Rodger’s she wants to be there for him in his time of need, but has never gotten a chance to learn about his past before, often feeling out of place. The performances from Richard Harmon and Echo Andersson are great, with the brooding Harmon dealing with the serious side of the story, while Andersson gets the laughs along the way.

StoryThe story here follows three friends that go to one of the groups family home after their father’s death to learn more about the past, only to find themselves getting haunted by a ghostly figure which will have a connection to the past. This story is one of the cleverest spins on the haunted house story I have seen in a long time, because it starts out like it is going to be a run of the mill style one, which will entertain, but never likely to hit the heights of the best. Instead, this story goes in a direction that will focus on a different part of the film being more important, one that will surprise and offer up a bigger question. This gave the story a refreshing feel to everything, one we could easily have gotten more from too.

ThemesThe Return is a horror film with a twist, with this twist the horror side does suffer more, because we generally get the same ghost moments every single time, which feels like it takes away the scares, even if this does make sense with the final reveal in the story. The film is set with all the horror moments within the one family home, which is filled with memories for Rodger.

Final Thoughts The Return is a smart twist on the haunted house film, giving us plenty to think about by the end.