Cold Comes the Night (2013) Movie Review

Director: Tze Chun

Writer: Tze Chun, Oz Perkins, Nick Simon (Screenplay)

Starring: Alice Eve, Logan Marshall-Green, Bryan Cranston, Ursula Parker, Sarah Sokolovic, Robin Lord Taylor

Plot: A struggling motel owner and her daughter are taken hostage by a nearly blind career criminal to be his eyes as he attempts to retrieve his cash package from a crooked cop.

Tagline – Sometimes the fight of your life comes in the dead of night.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow Moving Crime Story

Story: Cold Comes the Night starts as we see struggling to make ends meet motel owner Chloe (Eve) who has been trying to raise her daughter against the states wishes in this location, her motel attracts the usual lowlifes that include drug dealers and prostitutes. When a mysterious criminal Topo (Cranston) is passing through, an incident happens inside the motel.

Topo sees his driver killed, now he wants his car back and is using Chloe to get the information about his car, which will see him hold her hostage waiting for her connection Billy (Marshall-Green) to get the car back, using this as her chance to get out of the troubles she has been facing.

Thoughts on Cold Comes the Night

Characters – Chloe is the motel owner that has been doing everything he can to make guest welcome and keep her daughter with a roof over her head, this doesn’t always happen with certain guests making her life difficult, social service worker wants take her daughter away and after a double murder on the premises, she gets forced into helping a criminal get their money back, hoping it would help get her out of problems she is facing. Topo is the mule that is just passing through town, he stays in the motel only to see his package go missing, needing to use Chloe to get it for him, he is a perfect shot despite being nearly blind, he was once the best man for the job too before stepping away before this latest job. Billy is a local cop that has been watching over and using the motel for his own benefits, he takes the money making him one the pair are trying to track down, but his greed is what will force him to make the worst decisions. Sophia is the daughter that does see her mum protect her from the world as much as she can.

PerformancesAlice Eve and Logan Marshall-Green are both strong enough in their roles through the film, they don’t get reach the full levels of other performers. Bryan Cranston is the true star of the show here, making his character as calmly calculated as you would imagine.

StoryThe story here follows a woman that has been struggling to make ends meet, who runs a motel and finds herself in the middle of a criminal incident that could help her escape this life she has for her daughter. This is a story that does keep everything the simple with how it unfolds, which doesn’t take too long to get going, while it does just follow the routine you would expect. It does pose the question of why somebody who does keep a roof over their daughters head, with food on the table would be getting investigated by the social services.

Crime The crime side of film starts with a murder, which soon sees people trying to keep money for themselves or getting a job complete.

SettingsThe film is set in Greene County New York, which shows that outside the big city life can be a lot tougher for the people trying to survive there.

Scene of the Movie – Topo’s perfect shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is too safe with how the story unfolds.

Final Thoughts This is a simple crime film, it doesn’t reach any of the levels of intensity that it could, while just getting the basics done easily.

Overall: Simple all along.

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – H – The Hexecutioners (2015) Movie Review

Director: Jesse Thomas Cook

Writer: Tony Burgess (Screenplay)

Starring: Liv Collins, Sarah Power, Timothy Burd, Tony Burgess, Boyd Banks, Walter Borden

Plot: Two disparate young women working for a company that conducts euthanasia are dispatched to a remote estate to perform a custom assisted-suicide ritual, but unwittingly summon the wraiths of a Death Cult that once inhabited the property.

Tagline – Dying is a Wild Night.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Hexecutioners starts a Malison (Collins) takes a role for a company that conducts euthanasia, which will see the process go wrong on her first day. Not sure this is the role for her, Malison is teamed up with Olivia (Power) an experienced member of the team, as they work for one of the biggest clients they have ever had.

When the women arrive in the mansion, they meet the strange caretaker Edgar (Burd) who quickly unsettles the pair, as they learn they might well be dealing with a preparation they aren’t prepared for.

Thoughts on The Hexecutioners

Characters & Performances – Malison is a quiet timid young lady that does live alone, taking a new job in a euthanasia company, a role she isn’t prepared for. She struggles on her first case, which leads to her suffering nightmares before getting given to an experienced member of staff, who will look to help her deal with the pressure she is facing. Liv Collins does give us the timid character with ease her, making us believe everything she is going through. Olivia is the woman that has been involved in this business for a while now, she has taken many lives and is asked to show Malison how to achieve this without the side effects. Sarah Power does bring the more controlling figure to life well in this film. We only meet one side character in Edgar who is the creepy caretaker that does have more answers to the strange events in the mansion.

StoryThe story here follows a rookie and experienced euthanasia employees that are taking one big job to pass on the experience, only for this job to go in a very different direction, one that will change both of the people involved. This is an interesting story, because it does dive into the ideas of paid euthanasia, seeing how the two people will both look to deal with the role they are working on. The mystery around the house is interesting too, seeing how it does become itself own character because of what has happened there before. With two interesting components, it does end up falling short at connecting them both, leaning more towards the haunted house and ignoring the bigger message about the role the two have taken.

ThemesThe Hexecutioners does have plenty of horror involvement, which will get to focus on what Malison is seeing in the house, partly because of the role and partly because of the house itself. Having most of the film set in a singular creepy mansion does help create the mystery and scares we find ourselves going along the way.

The Hexecutioners does bring us plenty of interesting ideas, they just seem to fail to connect to escape the normal haunted house film.