David Lynch Weekend – Mulholland Drive (2001)

Director: David Lynch

Writer: David Lynch (Screenplay)

Starring: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Robert Forster, Ann Miller, Dan Hedaya

 

Plot: After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.


Tagline – A woman in search of stardom. A woman in search of herself – in the city of dreams. A key to a mystery – lies somewhere on Mulholland Drive.

Runtime: 2 Hours 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One Day I Will Understand This Gem

 

Story: Mulholland Drive starts as actress Rita (Harring) is involved in an accident but escaping the people trying to kill her. The apartment she takes shelter in is about to be taken up by aspiring actress Betty (Watts) who is staying in her Aunt’s apartment while trying to get on her feet. Director Adam (Theroux) is trying to get his next movie made but is being forced into casting Camilla Rhodes who no one can find.

Rita and Betty work together to find out the truth about who Rita is which brings them closer in an adventure across LA, while Adam is following a path to get his latest movie made and dealing with gangsters.

 

Thoughts on Mulholland Drive

 

Characters – Betty is the innocent young woman who arrives in LA hoping to making it in the acting world, but upon arriving she has an unexpected guest, she is kind natured and willing to help this stranger who ends up taking her to places she never thought she would go. Rita is the lady who has lost her memory, she is hiding out in the apartment that Betty is staying in and is helped along the way to regain her memory. Adam is a cocky director that believes he knows it all when it comes to making a film but he is pushed into making certain decisions which leaves him against what he wishes.

PerformancesNaomi Watts is great in the leading role working perfectly with Laura Harring as the two have great chemistry through the film. we get to see two different sides of the performance seeing how the two different sides of everything unfolds.

StoryWhat starts out as a simple idea of a mystery behind one woman’s amnesia takes a very different turn in the final act of the film which ends up throwing everything we thought we knew up in the air. Like a lot of David Lynch films you will need to watch the story a few times to understand everything putting the pieces together to make a film you can understand but that is why this is one for the brain to enjoy.

MysteryWe are left to figure out what happened, it does take time and I am sure on multiple viewings you will understand what happened.

SettingsThe film is set in LA which helps us understand the dreams and desires of the characters to succeed.

Special EffectsThe effects are only used a couple of times but the truth is they work very well through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Hitman’s mistake adds comic moment to a serious film.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain moments leave you wondering what was that.

Final ThoughtsThis is a mystery movie that I enjoyed so much because it just keeps you needing to rethink nearly every scene in the movie to understand what you just saw.

 

Overall: True mystery brain tester.

Rating

 

 

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The Open House (2018)

Director: Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote

Writer: Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote (Screenplay)

Starring: Dylan Minnette, Piercey Dalton, Sharif Atkins, Patricia Bethune, Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote

 

Plot: A teenager (Dylan Minnette) and his mother (Piercey Dalton) find themselves besieged by threatening forces when they move into a new house.


Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bad Decisions 101

 

Story: Open House starts as Logan’s (Minnette) father is killed in a traffic accident, leaving him and his mother Naomi (Dalton) in debt needing to live in a family open house to help clear debts they have. The house in question is in the middle of the woods, large and genuinely creepy.

When strange things start happening around the house, they believe it might just be people from the open house, but soon things take a sinister turn and the two must fight to survive against an unknown enemy.

 

Thoughts on The Open House

 

Characters – Logan is a star athlete high school student, setting paces that will walk him into any college and even one an Olympic hopeful, but his life is shattered when his coach and father is killed in a traffic incident, this seems Logan moving away with his mother as they try to rebuild their lives and Logan needing to learn the strain that both will be feeling with this loss. Naomi is the mother that loses a husband, trying to remain strong for her son she does the best she can to keep a roof over their heads, even if that means holding up his potential. We do only get small supporting characters through the film, which do play out like suspects in a way, but none get enough time to make you believe it will or won’t be them.

PerformancesThis movie on Netflix is heavily being sold on Dylan Minnette one of the stars of 13 Reasons Why, but his performance in only standard for the genre, never bring too much to his character, which could easily have been more interesting or supportive, Piercey Dalton is good without reaching the strongest mother figure role and for some reasons we watch her have three showers just to make the point that someone is messing with the water.

StoryThe story follows a family that suffer a sudden tragedy who must relocate to make ends meet, which involves living in an open house, only to find themselves being a stalked around their own house by a mysterious man and needing to find a way to survive. This is a basic story that never reaches any suspenseful moments that we needed, we have lazy character development and by the end it feels like this movie was designed to create a bigger project in the future.

HorrorThe horror is fine, but mostly fake jump scares which gets hugely frustrating as by the end you will be left going, well that’s it.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in a home in middle of the woods, we get moments that create isolation, including lose of phone, but even with an easy location it doesn’t get used well enough.


Scene of the Movie –
Couldn’t find one.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Would you really drivee while on the phone after losing a family member in an accident.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing horror, it doesn’t use the suspense it had and by the end you are just left thinking ‘meh’

 

Overall: Forgettable horror movie

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Facility (2012)

Director: Ian Clark

Writer: Ian Clark (Screenplay)

Starring: Aneurin Bardnard, Alex Reid, Chris Larkin, Amit Shah, Jack Doolan, Steve Evets

 

Plot: Seven volunteers find themselves fighting for their lives when a drug trial goes horribly wrong.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Missed Opportunity Here

 

Story: The Facility starts as seven volunteers Adam (Barnard), Joni (Reid), Arif (Shah), Morty (Evets) Carmen (Lourie), Katie (Roberts) and Jeb (Coleman) where they get a drug known as Pro9 with Dr Mansell (Larkin) conducting the experiment.

When something goes wrong, the subjects must now wait to see how they will be effected by the drug as each person gets different effects and who has been given the real drug or a placebo.

 

Thoughts on The Facility

 

Characters/PerformanceAdam is the post-grad student looking for a quick fix on cash, we follow his journey to the facility but otherwise learn little about him, this is going to be the case for all the characters. Joni is a young woman that has been going through different experiments so she knows the protocol, much like Morty, we also have a journalist, a student, a jock and Arif who could have been used better. The characters are easy to place in this film but not many get enough or any back story.

Performance wise, we have average at best performance through the film, nobody stands out or gets enough time to develop which is a shame but just not enough going on here.

StoryHere is the pitch, let’s lock seven people in a building, giving them a drug and see what happens as they start to go crazy, this sounds interesting it really does for a horror film, but in the end it just turns into a film that is desperate to find new ways to try and kill the victims without us needing or wanting to care about any of the subjects involved.

HorrorThe horror is there in idea but not in execution because everything just turns out to be flat when it comes to scares.

SettingsThe film is set inside one building but there is an easy escape which only disappoints because you don’t feel this is the experiment that can be contained.

Special EffectsThe effects are about how badly this film wants to have the extra gore kills but only fail while doing them.

Final ThoughtsThis is a bland horror that missed the marks, it has awful editing which just jumps around all over the place not making any sense to certain sequences either, the acting isn’t that good either and in the end you will forget this horror.

 

Overall: Poor horror that missed a chance to be great.

Rating

 

 

Butterfly on a Wheel (2007)

Director: Mike Barker

Writer: William Morrissey (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Maria Bello, Gerard Butler, Emma Karwandy, Claudette Mink

 

Plot: A perfect family’s dynamic is ruined by a kidnapper’s brutally efficient plot.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Thriller

 

Story: Butterfly on a Wheel starts as we meet successful business man Neil Randall (Butler) and his wife Abby (Bello) live their perfect little life where everything is comfortable for them, with Neil on the verge of a promotion to partner, the two head off the weekend.

The weekend takes a turn for the worse when Tom Ryan (Brosnan) holds the couple hostage with one of his partners keeping their daughter as a bargaining tool. Tom makes the two follow tasks around the city as we learn the motives of Tom’s ideas.

 

Thoughts on Butterfly on a Wheel

 

Characters/PerformanceNeil is an advertising man, family man but distant husband, he is about to get a promotion for all his hard work but once he is forced into playing the games we see his true nature unfold. Abby is the wife of Neil who has given up her career but with a new chance to start she finds herself being forced into playing the games. Tom is the man behind the games, he is forcing the couple to do everything he wants but the question remains why? This air of mystery makes him a very interesting character.

Performance wise, Brosnan is great as the cold-hearted man behind what is going on, Maria Bello is good too through the film showing she can be part of the leading lady in the film and Butler is strong throughout.

StoryThis story does follow the trends of the how far would you go to save your daughter routine, this does leave us with a good mystery about what we are expecting and happy to throw a twist or two our way. I feel the final twist is the saving grace of the film because we must rethink everything we have seen which is always a nice feeling with a film.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime side of this is kidnapping and abducting which work perfectly for the story and we are kept on edge through the film wondering just what are the motives.

SettingsEach setting unfolds to tell us the truth about what has been happening which works as we learn pieces of the puzzle.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that went under the radar, it is a good watch and one well worth watching if you are a thriller fan.

 

Overall: Enjoyable thriller with plenty of twists.

Rating

 

 

Curse of the Witch’s Doll (2018)

Director: Lawrence Fowler

Writer: Lawrence Fowler (Screenplay)

Starring: Helen Crevel, Philip Ridout, Layla Watts, Neil Hobbs, Claire Carreno, Michelle Archer

 

Plot: After a series of inexplicable events, Adeline Gray believes a haunted doll possesses the soul of a vengeful Witch. To have any hope of being reunited with her missing daughter, she knows she must defeat the evil curse of The Witch’s Doll.


Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Horror Tipped on it’s Head

 

Story: Curse of the Witch’s Doll starts during World War II Adeline (Crevel) takes her daughter Chloe (Watts) to a remote mansion whose doors are opened by Arthur (Ridout) to help them survive the blitz in the big cities.

When it becomes clear the mansion is haunted Chloe goes missing with a witch (Carreno) controlling Adeline forcing her to go through everything to learn the truth.

 

Thoughts on Curse of the Witch’s Doll

 

Characters – Adeline is the mother taking her daughter to safety during the war, she is protective like you would imagine any mother, but what she must go through is another battle she must face. Arthur is the owner of the mansion that has opened the door to Adeline and her daughter. Chloe is the daughter that doesn’t want to move and soon enjoys playing hide and seek.

PerformancesHelen Crevel is good in the leading role especially with where he character goes through the film. Philip Ridout is strong because his character becomes crucial in the second half of the film.

StoryThe story starts out just how you would imagine things going, but half way through this story gets turned on its head going into a direction you never see coming. This both keeps the story feeling fresh, but also takes away from what we experience in the opening part of the film. doing this does break away from the normal main stream story telling and could have given us the shocking twist only to fail to use all the potential it had.

HorrorThis does follow the early ideas of horror, it does play into the same scares mostly involving creepy noises or things being thrown on front of the camera, but the lack interest in the characters doesn’t help us care about whether the characters survive any scares.

SettingsMost of the film, in whichever part of the film takes place in the mansion away from the world, which helps create the isolation needed for the horror to take place in.

Special EffectsThe effects only seem to be used in small moments, anything that happens does seem to happen off camera to stop the need of too many effects being needed.


Scene of the Movie –
The doll image, while cheesy it also seems strangely effective too.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The last 10 minutes just see added for no reason.

Final ThoughtsThis is a clever idea for a horror, but it fails to capitalise on the smart twist it takes, this had potential to be original, but not following through takes away anything new.

 

Overall: Horror that missed the chance.

Rating