American Exorcism (2017)

Director: Tripp Weathers

Writer: Tripp Weathers (Screenplay)

Starring: Braxton Davis, Michael Filipowich, Sicily Fontaine, Kate Tumanova, William McKinney

 

Plot: Damon Richter thought he left the world of possessions, exorcisms, and evil behind until an old friend arrives with frightening information about his estranged daughter knowing that only his otherworldly skills can save her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brand New Look at the Exorcism Movie

 

Story: American Exorcism starts as we meet Damon (Filipowich) a possessed father of one that uses his possession to fight other possessions for Father Padre (McKinney) but as his daughter is growing his wife Janelle (Morris) pushes him to leave that world behind him but his own personal tragedy gives him a reason to leave.

10 years later, Damon forced to leave Caroline (Tumanova) to go through the foster system but with her 18th birthday coming up Padre returns to Damon since the tragedy to work together to make sure she doesn’t possess the same inner demons her father does.

Damon must use his abilities to save his daughter from the same demon that took his wife from him before she finds herself killing too many people.

 

Thoughts on American Exorcism

 

Characters/PerformanceDamon is a possessed man who can control the demon that lives inside him, he uses this to fight other demons that have possessed the innocent and now must fight against one that has made it personal. Padre is the former father that worked with Damon before the tragic events but now he has returned to save Damon’s daughter. Caroline is the daughter of Damon who is now becoming possessed but she doesn’t know that Damon is her father.

Performance wise, Michael Filipowich doesn’t have the look of the leading man, he isn’t clean cut and this works for the because it needs an edge, McKinney is good but doesn’t get the time Michael or Kate get. Kate is good in the rebellious possessed daughter.

StoryI can safely say I do find the ABC exorcism movies boring, because they never push the boundaries keeping everything inside one house but this story feels fresh all over. The biggest plus points here are that we have a battle between the demon which isn’t just a priest but a film that does into the darker side of the battle, much like what we have seen from werewolf or vampire movies.

HorrorThe horror side of this film is good as we do see a different look at exorcisms but doesn’t come off a true terror.

SettingsI usually like my horror all in one location but this film benefits from going outside the tight surrounds because it makes it feel fresh.

Special EffectsThe special effects are consistent through the film, with the first look coming off weak but then it does seem to add to the film in the way the effects are used to show the demons.

Final ThoughtsI did like the fresh approach to the exorcism movie, I know some people will not enjoy this style but it does feel like the first time we have a battle between demons who are possessing bodies rather than good versus evil.

 

Overall: Great, fresh addition to the exorcism genre.

Rating

 

 

The Void (2017)

Director: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski

Writer: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski (Screenplay)

Starring: Aaron Poole, Kenneth Welsh, Daniel Fathers, Kathleen Munroe, Ellen Wong, Mik Byskov, Art Hindle

 

Plot: Shortly after delivering a patient to an understaffed hospital, a police officer experiences strange and violent occurrences seemingly linked to a group of mysterious hooded figures.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bloody Thinking Gorefest

 

Story: The Void starts as Sheriff Daniel Carter (Poole) finds the escaped young man James (Stern) taking him to the local understaffed hospital run by Dr Richard Powell (Welsh) with the nurses Allison Fraser (Munroe) and trainee Kim (Wong).

When a violent attack happens inside the hospital State Trooper Mitchell (Hindle) arrives on the scene but the remaining people inside the hospital find the hospital surrounded by hooded figures and joined the mysterious Father (Fathers) and Son (Byskov) who seem to have been planning for this event, but the question will remain, just what is going on? In what will be the longest night of these people’s lives as they battle to survive.

 

Thoughts on The Void

 

Characters/PerformanceSheriff Carter is a man that just wants to coast through his shifts but when duty calls he steps up to protect and serve, while he still battles with his own tragedy in life. Dr Powell has kept the hospital open for years after the staffing being cut who has also been suffering from his own tragic event. Allison Fraser is one of the nurses in the hospital who has been working to keep her mind of the loss of her unborn child. The Father has been working with the Son searching for everything behind the mysterious creatures within the town.

Performance wise, we have good performances from the whole cast with nobody looking out of place through the film but also nobody standing out as the most memorable member of it.

StoryThe story is a good horror one, you can see it borrowed from other films but let’s face it, what film doesn’t anymore? The idea of being trapped inside a building with an unknown threat works well for horror with the final act being massive but in places slightly complicated which is the biggest downer on this film’s story. there is plenty going on with you needing to think a lot about what has been happening.

Horror/Mystery/Sci-FiThe horror involved in the film is gore, hell and creatures something we love to see in a horror film that gives us a mystery and a sci-fi side of the story that keeps us guessing.

SettingsWith the whole film set inside the hospital we are left to see the horror becoming first hand for the characters involved as the deeper everything gets the bigger the horror elements involved are.

Special EffectsThe effects are all great with most being practical effects where we are left to see gore and blood fly off all the walls.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that will make you think with the final acts but if you just want to gore and blood flying you will go no wrong by watching this one.

 

Overall: This is a good horror that I think fans of the genre will enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Jeffrey Dean Morgan Weekend – The Possession (2012)

possesDirector: Ole Bornedal

Writer: Juliet Snowden, Stiles White (Screenplay) Leslie Gornstein (Article)

Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Natasha Calis, Madison Davenport, Matisyahu, Grant Snow

 

Plot: A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl’s father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Surprisingly Good

 

Story: The Possession starts as we see how the box has the power to make people possessed before we meet our main characters. We have recently divorced couple Clyde (Morgan) and Stephanie (Sedgwick) who are trying to keep their daughter’s Em (Calis) and Hannah (Davenport) happy through the difficult time.

After Clyde purchases a mysterious box his youngest daughter Em starts acting strange as the house seems to be getting infested with moths and she becomes very protective of the box. When Em’s behaviour gets worse we see just how the evil spirit is taking over and the possession is becoming deadly to all the people involved.

 

Thoughts on The Possession

 

StoryThis story is very loosely based on a real series of events in which an ancient cursed box caused nightmares and possession like symptoms in its owners. The story we get told is very simple for the possession genre of films with the youngest member getting taken over by the spirit and because of her parents’ divorce she is easier to target. The story does have good attempts at trying to balance the idea of a young girl acting out against the divorce but falls into the supernatural side of the story easily which tries to go with shock moments throughout. While this is one of the better modern day possession films it doesn’t reach the true shock value it could have.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror comes with the possession side of the story which is usually a side of horror I don’t find scary or interesting but this one at least has moments of interest because the real case behind this story is one that I find interesting. You do wonder where the story will go as in can it pull off anything shocking and original as the story unfolds. The MRI scene is the stand out scare scene though.

Characters/PerformancesLooking at the characters you get very little new, we have the divorcing parents who are trying to stay friends for their kids. We get the busy teenager who is too busy worrying about herself than her family. The main victim is the youngest and quieter of the two daughters whose behaviour starts out with it mostly being against the divorce, this character is the most important and must go through the most. When you look at the performances they are all good without being The Exorcist level.

SettingsKeeping the settings simple we get the homes which show that it could happen to anyone in their safe place with all the other settings being ones you would expect to see with events of the story, police station, hospital, church and schools.

Special EffectsWe have good special effects throughout without having to turn to them for every single scene going on through the film which other possession films do.

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to possession films this is one of the better ones out there, it shows the struggle the family go through without going over the top with the shock moments.

 

Overall: Enjoyable for all the horror fans out there.

Ratingcard

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Julia (2014)

juliaDirector: Matthew A Brown

Writer: Matthew A Brown (Screenplay)

Starring: Ashely C Williams, Tahyna Valentina MacManus, Jack Noseworthy, Joel de la Funete, Cary Woodworth, Darren Lipari, Ryan Cooper

 

Plot: A neo-noir revenge thriller centering on Julia Shames, who after suffering a brutal trauma, falls prey to an unorthodox form of therapy to restore herself.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Stylish Thriller

 

Story: Julia starts as we meet quiet girl Julia (Williams) who goes for an interview only to find herself beaten, bloody and left for dead by the men responsible. Broken Julia turns to drink but soon learns about a doctor who has an unorthodox method of helping rape victims by giving them the power back.

Julia has to go through a training process under Sadie (Valentina MacManus) so Dr Sgundud (Noseworthy) can decide whether she can become one of the fighters against the men of the world. Once trained Julia becomes a seductive killer with the other victims who all take out their own form of vengeance of rapist.

Julia is a real slick stylish revenge thriller that plays into all the ideas of how rapist should be treated. There is a twist in the story which makes everything stand away from what could easily be just another knock of version of ‘I Spit on Your Grave’. The revenge scenes all come off very sexualised and like all revenge films we get to see the consequences of the idea. Ashley C Williams shines in this leading role with the rest of the cast almost stuck in her shadow throughout the film.

 

Overall: Sexy, stylish thriller that is all about the visual revenge kills.

Rating65

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Stage Fright (2014)

casting card

 

Plot: A snobby musical theater camp is terrorized by a blood-thirsty killer who hates musical theater.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Glee Style Horror Musical

 

Story: Stage Fright starts as we see Kylie (Driver) performing on the opera while her children Camilla and Buddy watch on. When Kylie is murdered after the show musical producer Roger McCall (Meat Loaf) take the two children in. Ten years later Roger runs a camp for all musical fans with Camilla (MacDonald) who dreams of becoming her own singer and Buddy (Smith) who just wants to leave working as the cooks.

This year is special as the director Artie Getz (Uranowitz) has picked Phantom of the Opera the very musical that Kylie was performing on her death. He has ideas to take a fresh spin on it and when Camilla lands the lead role heads turn for all the campers. When Artie turns out to be just another pervy director we see the killer turn up making him the first victim before terrorising the camp.

Stage Fright brings us into the world that feels like a High School Musical or Glee feel to the horror genre. Lets face it this is never gonna be scary but does play on songs throughout. This isn’t going to be anything overly special but can be enjoyed if you go in to see the musical styled story. the twist on the killer I think Stevie Wonder would have seen which does take away the guessing game.

 

Actor Review

 

Minnie Driver: Kylie is the singer that is about to get her big break on front of her own children, she is a fabulous singer but she is killed by an unknown masked man. Minnie is good in this cameo like performance.

Meat Loaf: Roger is the producer that is now running the camp, he has taken care of Kylie children giving them jobs at the camp. He agrees to let his former show be made and Camilla, Kylie daughter take the lead role. Meat Loaf is solid in this role where we do get to see his singing ability.

Allie MacDonald: Camilla is the daughter of Kylie she has dreamed of becoming a singer just like her mother and now she gets the chance to perform to a real audience. Allie is good in this role where we get to hear her amazing singing voice.

Douglas Smith: Buddy is the brother who just wants to get out of the musical world but always stands there to protect Camilla. Douglas is solid in this supporting role without really fitting in with the movie.

Support Cast: Stage Fright has the supporting cast you would learn to know from a Glee style musical.

Director Review: Jerome SableJerome gives us a musical performance that is fun to watch.

 

Horror: Stage Fright has plenty of slasher style kills but never comes off scary.

Musical: Stage Fright is filled with songs but I do feel thee rock ones come off very annoying.

Settings: Stage Fright keeps most of the film on the camp site which helps with how the story unfolds for the horror side of everything.
Special Effects
: Stage Fright has good but basic effects when it comes to the kills happening in the film.

Suggestion: Stage Fright is one to try, I do think you will need to be in the right state of mind though. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Allie MacDonald has a brilliant voice.

Worst Part: The Rock side making rock music out to be the bad guy almost.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline: Sing Your Heart Out!

 

Overall: Original with musical side to horror but doesn’t reach the highest levels.

Rating

 card