Open 24 Hours (2018) Movie Review

Director: Padraig Reynolds

Writer: Padraig Reynolds (Screenplay)

Starring: Vanessa Grasse, Brendan Fletcher, Cole Vigue, Emily Tennant, Daniel O’Meara

Plot: After setting her serial killer boyfriend on fire, a paranoid delusional woman gets a job at an all-night gas station.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Thriller Keeps You Guessing

Story: Open 24 Hours starts when recently paroled Mary (Grasse) is looking to get a job, with her finding one in a nightshift in an all-night garage, she is suffering from visions of her past, which we only learn small amounts about, with her parole officer Tom Doogan (O’Meara) trying to put her back on the right path and her best friend Debbie (Tennant) supporting her on her first night.

As her first night starts, a storm hits, alone in the market, she starts to feel the uneasy with someone watching her, with the typical late night traffic coming through. Is Mary being stalked, or is she just seeing her nightmares come to life again.

Thoughts on Open 24 Hours

Characters – Mary is on parole after setting her boyfriend on fire, after learning about his true identity, she is trying to put her life back together, starting with just a job, only she is constantly haunted be the actions she witnessed, she simply can’t shake the feeling of being haunted, followed and stalked by the victims. Bobby is the fellow employee that checks up on Mary through the night, offers friendship in the new role, giving her someone to talk to about the problems in her life. James is the boyfriend that has been haunting Mary for years after the incident between the two, his actions led to Mary’s breakdown and now she doesn’t know what is real or not.

PerformancesVanessa Grasse as the leading lady does show us a performance that is filled with paranoia and fear, never letting us truly believe which side of the events are real. Brendan Fletcher, Emily Tennant and Daniel O’Meara fill the support cast up well, with Cole Vigue being the ex that isn’t letting Mary go, he feels disturbing through the whole film, no matter whether he is here or not.

StoryThe story here follows a young woman who is trying to put her life back together after her time in prison, only to continue to be haunted by the man that drove her to commit the crime in the first place, we see her first night on a job, when she gets a visit from an unwanted guest. This is a story that does try to keep us guessing to whether Mary is seeing things or whether James has returned to continue his killing spree with Mary being forced to watch. We get a fine balance between the two ideas, with us guessing well, only we have a couple of glimpses that don’t give away enough towards one of the direction. The fact this all happens over one night doesn’t help, because you would have thought a serial killer would have played things out smarter, if he is as calculated as it is implied he is or was and if it is just in her head, certain acts don’t make sense. While certain parts might not make complete sense, if you just watch for a story that does keep you guessing, you will enjoy this one.

HorrorThe horror in this film is the highlight, the brutal side of the actions of the killer brings buckets of blood, with uncomfortable scenes when it comes to his torturous actions.

SettingsThe film does use one main setting, the all-night gas station, being night it means the visitors are few and far between, it does created an isolated feeling and has the shadows for the killer to be haunting.

Special EffectsThe effects are very strong, with the kills looking as brutal as they are meant to be, not shying away from showing the full effect in action.

Scene of the Movie – First day drop off.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The final scene.

Final Thoughts This is a nice horror thriller that does keep us guessing, even if we do get one too much attempts to spin what is truly happening.

Overall: Interesting Thriller.

FrightFest Presents presents Open 24 Hours on Digital HD from July 20th

The Beach House (2019) Movie Review

Director: Jeffrey A Brown

Writer: Jeffrey A Brown (Screenplay)

Starring: Liana Liberato, Noah Le Gros, Jake Weber, Maryanne Nagel

Plot: A romantic getaway for two troubled college sweethearts turns into a struggle for survival when unexpected guests – and the surrounding environment – exhibit signs of a mysterious infection.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Chilling

Story: The Beach House starts when couple Emily (Liberato) and Randall (Le Gros) look for a weekend getaway, only to find a couple Mitch (Weber) and Jane (Nagel) sharing the getaway home with them for a weekend, getting to talk life questions, diving into the science Emily has been studying for her whole life.

After a night on drinks and drugs, Emily and Randall wake up to discover something is very different, when Jane and Mitch are showing the side effects of a bigger problem they have been going through in an environmental change none of them saw coming.

Thoughts on The Beach House

Characters – Emily has spent her education system working on her study in the field of science, she looks at both the evidence and the philosophy of what could be in the world. She is looking forward to a weekend away with her boyfriend, only to be the one that doesn’t want to push the new friendship past just conversation and drinks. Randall is the boyfriend that’s family owns the vacation home, he has always supporting Emily even if he hasn’t followed the same big plan for his own life. Mitch and Jane are the older couple that have been given access to the home, they do come off strange at times, which does give us an uneasy feeling around them, even though they can come off normal at other times.

PerformancesLiana Liberato in the leading role is great, showing herself to bring us a resourceful character through the film, outside of Liana’s performance, Jake Weber and Maryanne Nagel do give us the uncomfortable feeling we are expecting from their characters, while Noah Le Gros doesn’t get to make as big of an impact in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a young couple that are going on a romantic getaway, only for their time to be interrupted by another couple before finding themselves in a battle to survive against a much bigger problem. This is a story that teases us early on with what we are going to be going through, early on we get the same feeling we got from watching ‘The Visit’ only for us to dive into the bigger unknown, which is the strongest part of the film, leaving us wondering to what is happening, never giving us much to work off. When it comes to pacing, the story doesn’t seem to be as even as it could be, with a lot of the pace, dropping right off before getting back to the exciting levels we hit during the story.

HorrorWhen it comes to the horror side of the The Beach House, we get the feeling of one before being unleashed with another one, which shows us just how horror can flow between subgenres with ease and not letting things get out of hand, with a creation that will bring the chills to the world.

SettingsThe film uses the beach house as the primary location, we have a place that is meant for peace and relaxation, only for it to become the breeding ground for something much more sinister going on in the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are only used for a couple of sequences, with one notable scene, which is the highlight of the film.

Scene of the Movie – Aftermath of the swim.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The slow meeting.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that might have slow moments, but when we are unleashed with the true horror going on, we get chilling moments you will remember.

Overall: Chilling Horror.

The Waiting (2020) Movie Review

Director: F.C. Rabbath

Writer: F.C. Rabbath (Screenplay)

Starring: Nick Leali, Molly Raterman, Laura Altair, Michelle Feliciano, Mark A Marple, Bob Myers

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Beautiful Horror Romance

Story: The Waiting starts when down on his luck Eric (Leali) is looking to get back into dating, with a string of bad dates, but things look up when he gets a new job at a hotel, where Sally (Altair) is also on her first day.

The hotel does have a haunted room, with a reputation that you can only stay in a certain room for one minute, where Eric takes the challenge of going in the room, where he meets the ghost face to face.

Thoughts on The Waiting

Characters – Eric is a positive man that finds his love life not going well, jobs hard to come by, he is given a chance at a hotel, where his friendly nature sees him fit in with ease, Eric learns of the haunted room, which sees him try to solve the mystery behind it, showing he has a kind nature to both people in this life and after it. Elizabeth is the ghost that lives in the room, she has haunted it for years, until Eric starts to listen to her pain, she needs to escape the room going forward, only she is attached to the room in the afterlife. Sally is the fellow new member of staff on the cleaning team, she is scared by the stories about the room, which leads her to get Eric to try the room, she does see the good in the ideas about the actions. Steve is the manager of the hotel, he will take it easier on the staff once he hears about the bigger ideas for the hotel.

PerformancesNick Leali in the leading role is great, he brings to life a genuine nice guy that is always looking to help someone. Molly Raterman as the ghost figure gives a performance that is all about facial expression and body movement, which leaves you understand each emotion her character is going through. The rest of the cast are strong too, bringing about the extra twists in the story.

StoryThe story here follows a happy-go-lucky man that gets a new job in a hotel which is haunted, where he befriends the ghost to try and help understand its story to why it has remained in the hotel. This does bring a fresh spin on the haunted hotel room idea, as we know there are haunted hotel rooms around the world, we don’t get an overly aggressive ghost, we don’t have the investigation equipment, we have an attempt to communicate and learn the reason the ghost is here, with a story that has sadness involved. We do have twists along the way, when it comes to seeing how people have been acting, the idea of trying to do the right thing is going to come through strong.

Comedy/Horror/RomanceThe comedy does come from the nature of Eric, even if criticised, we will spin the reason into humour, the horror is with the idea of the haunted hotel room, though we don’t go to in depth with the horror elements. The romance circles around first Eric’s unlucky times in love and why the ghost is still in the hotel.

SettingsThe film does use the hotel as the one main location, the different rooms, be it the security room, the room 101 which the ghost occupies and where the other guest enjoy their stays at the hotel.

Scene of the Movie – The first ghost appearance has the best reaction.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could have gotten an extra scare on a guest or two.

Final Thoughts This is a delightful horror romance that shows the bigger picture of dealing with understanding why a ghost could be haunting a room in a hotel.

Overall: Horror that brings a light to haunting.

Homewrecker (2019) Movie Review

Director: Zach Gayne

Writer: Precious Chong, Alex Essoe, Zach Gayne (Screenplay)

Starring: Precious Chong, Alex Essoe, Tony Matthews, Kris Siddiqi

Plot: Two women befriend each other, but one becomes obsessed with the other.

Runtime: 1 Hour 16 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Lots of Screaming

Story: Homewrecker starts when Linda (Chong) and Michelle (Essoe) meet at a dance class, before trying to hit it off, with Linda getting involved in Michelle’s life, including her new marriage, while she is looking to start her own family.

What starts out as a friendly drink and social, soon turns sour, when Linda isn’t willing to let Michelle get on with her day, showing a more sinister side to wanting to keep her around.

Thoughts on Homewrecker

Characters – Linda is a lonely middle-aged woman that is desperately seeking friendship which sees her making the rash decision with Michelle, she doesn’t want to let her leave, wanting to recapture her youth, she does show an unstable side to herself with the more time the two spend together. Michelle is a young married woman that is looking to start a family, she reluctantly agrees to be friends with Linda, which sees her trapped in the house, forced into the games.

PerformancesWhile we can’t fault either of the actresses for their performances, we get the unstable from Previous Chong, which does feel uneasy through the film and Alex Essoe does make us believe she is a family person.

StoryThe story here follows a woman that befriends another one, hoping to trick her into coming back to her home for her own twisted game. This is a story that shows how an unstable person will go to extreme lengths to get the life they want from someone they are jealous off. The story will show the uncomfortable situation Michelle finds herself in and how she looks to try and get out of the world, while facing her own problems in her life.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy comes from the different levels, with seeing just how the Linda acts, which is awkward for the most part, with the horror sides coming from the different extremes Linda will go to, only most horrific moments are off camera.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in one location, the homes of Linda, where everything unfolds, filled with clues and memories.

Scene of the Movie – Party Hunk game.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not as strong as things want to be.

Final Thoughts This is a horror comedy that doesn’t hit the heights it could, getting caught up in the middle trying to be quirky, as sadistic, without hitting either on the length it could do for an impact.

Overall: Mostly screaming.

Silhouette (2019) Movie Review

Director: Mitch McLeod

Writer: Mitch McLeod (Screenplay)

Starring: April Hartman, Tom Zembrod, Jessica Dawn Willis, Savannah Solsbery, Kim Foster, Suzanne Racz

Plot: Silhouette is the story of Jack and Amanda Harms who, after the passing of their young daughter, set out into seclusion to begin their lives anew. Quickly upon their arrival, things go awry when the sins of their past come back to haunt them.

Tagline – This will hurt.

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Darkness Filled Horror

Story: Silhouette starts when Amanda (Hartman) and Jack (Zembrod) are looking to try and rebuild their life after the death of their young daughter, they find a new home, with an attempt to set up their own new home for a fresh start.

Amanda does start to see figures around the house, with most of them reminding her of their daughter Sarah (Solsbery) only for these moments to bring bigger fear haunting Amanda in the new home.

Thoughts on Silhouette

Characters – Amanda is the grieving mother that has been struggling more with the loss of their daughter, she is in therapy, as she searches for answers, she starts believing she is seeing her daughter, which makes her question her husband and own sanity. Jack is the husband that is trying to support Amanda, only she believes he is cheating on her, he doesn’t see the horrors that she is seeing, while being the one that tries to push her into starting again. Dawn is a neighbour that turns the head of Jack, Amanda takes an instant dislike towards her too, leaving her feeling sorry for trying to be welcoming.

PerformancesApril Hartman in the leading role, does show the grief and fear her character is going through well, where she shows the uncertainty about what is happening. Tom Zembrod is the husband and he shows the patient and frustration well through the film too, with Jessica Dawn Willis completing the main cast here as the friendly neighbour.

StoryThe story here follows a couple that are trying to start a fresh life after the death of their young daughter, Amanda is taking it harder, which sees her start to see things around the house and experience things at night, while her husband Jack seems to be moving further away from here. This is a story that addresses the problems with grief, how losing a child will change anyone in different ways, bringing out a side that can create anything. This will leave you with a shock conclusion that does take longer to reach than it needs to, because we do spend too much time dealing with the husband’s activities, not enough on the struggles of Amanda.

HorrorThe horrors in the film come from what Amanda is experience, we never get a clear look at what she is going through, which only adds to the horror, both in her head and in her reality.

SettingsThe film uses the new home for a fresh start idea, this does mean whatever is causing the hauntings is attracted to the person, not the building, showing us how even the best wishes for change, aren’t always going to help cure pain.

Scene of the Movie – The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too much attention to the Husband’s actions.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that builds up the tension in the film, filling the darkness with the unknown and showing grief will haunt someone for years.

Overall: Tension Filled Horror.