Southbound (2015)

Directors: Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath, Radio Silence

Writers: Roxanne Benjamin, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Susan Burke, Dallas Richard Hallam, Patrick Horvath (Screenplay)

Starring: Chad Villella, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Kristina Pesic, Fabianne Therese, Nathalie Love

 

Plot: Five interlocking tales of terror follow the fates of a group of weary travellers who confront their worst nightmares – and darkest secrets – over one long night on a desolate stretch of desert highway.


Tagline – No matter which road you choose, it’s all going south.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Horror Anthology

 

Story: Southbound starts as we first follow two men looking to escape their past who become trapped in a loop returning them to the same gas station. This is a short a simple horror that has great effects which also dives into two different types of fears we will be tackling in this film.

The second story follows a three-piece girl jazz band, fresh with a hangover heading towards their latest gig, who must get help from strangers once they get a flat tire. This shows the struggle of musicians that could fall into the wrong household even for just one night.

With the third story we follow a man who was heading home who hit a woman on the road at night, he is guided on the phone to help the victim only to find not everything is what it seems. This story plans into the pure panic that an accident could cause that knows they could be the only one to save the victim.

The next story follows one man in search of his sister who he believes is in this town by holding up a bar, but this bar isn’t what he was expecting. This brings us to a one man on a mission against anyone who gets in his way, this feels like the most fun of the stories.

The final story follows a family who are on a vacation before their daughter goes off to college. Their quiet time turns into a nightmare when they become victims of a home invasion by a group of masked characters.

 

 

Thoughts on Southbound


Scene of the Movie –
This is tough because I loved the third story and where the fifth ones goes, so I will cheat and call it a tie. Plus the skeleton like creatures look fantastic.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I wasn’t a fan of where the second story went, like the intro though.

Final ThoughtsThe stories interlocking is the biggest plus in this movie, the transition feels seamless as they unfold, with the radio commentary giving hints to where the stories will go. The stories do work in short format because they do feel like they would be forcing the stretched-out story in a feature film. each story takes us into a different type of fear which I feel offers something for everyone too.

 

Overall: This is one for the horror fans to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

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Bonehill Road (2018)

Director: Todd Sheets

Writer: Todd Sheets (Screenplay)

Starring: Eli DeGeer, Ana Rojas-Plumberg, Linnea Quigley, Douglas Epps, Milles Milan, Gary Warner Kent, Dilynn Fawn Harvey

 

Plot: Emily and Eden Stevens escape one violent situation only to dive head first into another. Terrified and alone they are stranded in the dark woods only to be chased into a horrific scene in a house or horrors. They must work together to get out alive. But what is worse? What is on the inside or out?

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Low Budget Werewolf film

 

Story: Bonehill Road starts when Emily (DeGeer) escapes domestic abuse with her daughter Eden (Rojas-Plumberg) going on the run to her father’s house, along the dark roads they run into a creature which causes them to come off the road. It isn’t long before they become surrounded by werewolves as they seek safety in a farm house.

In the farm house they discover they are not as safe as they thought as they deal with psychopath Coen (Epps) that is planning his own fun, the desperate attempts to save her daughter becomes a new reality for Emily.

 

Thoughts on Bonehill Road

 

Characters – Emily is a mother and wife that has been getting abused by her alcoholic husband for years, today is the last straw as she plans on leaving with her daughter. She will do anything to protect her daughter from harm and this shows after the journey doesn’t go as plan. Eden is your typical teenage daughter, she has her problems which has started from her home life, she just wants to be left to a normal life, only now she is fighting for her life. Coen is a psychopath that has the women held captive, he wants things done a certain way and will punish those who don’t follow his rules. We do have a few other victims in the character list, though they don’t have too much to do compared to the mother daughter relationship.

PerformancesEli DeGeer is good in her role, she does show the motherly thought process her character must go through, Ana Rojas-Plumberg is good too, the whole cast is good for the low budget side of the film.

StoryThe story follows a mother and daughter trying to start a new life away from the violence they have been living through, the journey puts them up against werewolves and a psychopath in a battle to survive the odds. This does play out a lot like the movie ‘The Monster’ where a mother must protect her daughter against a creature, this keeps that theme showing us just how a parent will do whatever they can to protect their child. We get an addition problem to face because just werewolves aren’t enough, we need the psychopath that reflect just how they are going from one bad situation to an even worse to an even worse again. This is played nicely and playing into the grindhouse elements this story understands how to test the audience with what we see.

Horror The horror comes from just what the mother and daughter must go through, be it at home, on the road or in a place they see as safety. Each location puts them in a situation they shouldn’t have to go through.

SettingsThe uses the settings to add to the horror, the violence in the home, the unknown on a dark wooded road and the safety house, each location gives us a moment that our characters shouldn’t have to experience.

Special EffectsWe have practical effects on here, the transformation into the werewolf is clearly the highlight here and is one that works to great effect.


Scene of the Movie –
The transformation.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We could have had more werewolf fighting.

Final ThoughtsThis is a low budget film that plays into the grindhouse era of horror, it knows that it wants to go bloody and shock the audience and hits this every time it tries.

 

Overall: Nightmarish werewolf film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – O – The Other Side of the Door (2016)

Director: Johannes Roberts

Writer: Johannes Roberts, Ernest Riera (Screenplay)

Starring: Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeremy Sisto, Sofia Rosinsky, Logan Creran, Suchitra Pillai

 

Plot: After her young son is killed in a tragic accident, a woman learns of a ritual which will bring him back to say goodbye, but when she disobeys a sacred warning, she upsets the balance between life and death.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Average at Best

 

Story: The Other Side of the Door starts as our family Maria (Callies), Michael (Sisto) and children Oliver (Creran) and Lucy (Rosinsky) relocate to India for work, with things sounding almost perfect disaster strikes the family, Oliver the eldest son is killed in an accident, leaving Maria with nightmares of not being able to save him.

Learning of a ritual which would give Maria a chance to communicate deceased son she goes along with the idea. The ritual involves being able to talk through a door, but the rule is, you must never open the door.

Maria doesn’t follow this instruction and opens the door too early, upon returning home the Maria and daughter Lucy start believing Oliver has returned but with this comes consequences Maria hadn’t even began to imagine.

 

Thoughts on The Other Side of the Door

 

Characters/PerformanceMaria is a grieving mother still struggling with the idea that she couldn’t save her son from an accident, she even tries to kill herself but when she learns of a method to say goodbye she goes too far and releases the dead, now with a smile on her face she must face the consequences she has created. Michael is the husband but isn’t involved in too much of the events of the film. Lucy is the daughter that was saved in the accident and befriends the spirit Oliver.

Performance wise, Sarah is fine in the leading role but doesn’t go down as one of the better horror performances. Jeremy is fine but under used in the film while the rest of the cast don’t make much of an impact either.

StoryAmerican woman in a new country loses son and learns of a local ritual she could never understand that could give her one last conversation with her son but breaks the rules. This is ABC stuff with little to no twists along the way and tries to play into the idea that Indian culture can speak to the dead which I am not sure how actuate this is.

HorrorWe have simple scares that a horror fan will know are coming and end up just not hitting the marks it needs too.

SettingsThe film is set in India but apart from a couple of odd moments in the streets you could have guessed this would have been any location really.

Special EffectsThe effects are all fine, good when used and mostly practical.

Final ThoughtsThis horror misses the potential it could have had, the problem is trying to give us a new culture clashing with American making the mistakes but it just doesn’t click.

 

Overall: This horror mostly plain and not hitting the levels.

Rating

 

 

Terrifier (2017)

Director: Damien Leone

Writer: Damien Leone (Screenplay)

Starring: David Howard Thornton, Jenna Kanell, Catherine Corcoran, Katie Maguire, Samantha Scaffidi, Pooya Mohseni, Margaret Reed, Cory DuVal

 

Plot: A maniacal clown named Art, terrorizes three young women on Halloween night and everyone else who stands in his way.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Blood Soaked Horror

 

Story: Terrifier starts when two girls Tara (Kanell) and Dawn (Corcoran) are planning to find a way home from a Halloween night of partying, the two stumble across a mysterious clown (Thornton) that doesn’t look our of place on this night, making them uneasy they see him as harmless.

When they car gets damaged Tara must call on her sister Victoria (Scaffidi) to save them, but the wait for her to arrive will let the clown, do what he does best, take bodies in his twisted desire or murder.

 

Thoughts on Terrifier

 

Characters – Art the Clown is the silent clown, he uses his expressions to get attention, he has a dark side which gets unleashed once he starts piling up the bodies while hunting down the girls. He has different styles for kills, some are planned and calculated while others are able to show his adaptability to the situation. Tara is the more responsible of the two-party goers, she won’t drink and drive, though she does think food will make herself sober enough to drive. Dawn would be considered the one that gets all the guys trying to hit on her, while batting them all off, can’t handle her booze either. Victoria is the sister of Tara, that instead of studying for her test ends up coming to help her sister in the time of need. It would be far to say the girls are traditional for the horror and are not portrayed with any strength.

PerformancesDavid Howard Thornton gives us one of the most disturbing and eye watching performances in horror, you want to see just where the character will go next. When it comes to Jenna Kanell, Samantha Scaffidi and Catherine Corcoran are all good even if they do fill the normal for a horror film.

StoryThe story takes place over one night as Art the Clown goes on his killing spree through the night. The idea is simple as we see how Art has different plans for different victims, though this could also be considered somewhat of a weakness because certain kills seem like they have a lot of preparation while others can be just what is at hand. The story keeps us playing along the idea of a killer keeping one step ahead of their victims and just how they can make sure they aren’t put in a position of weakness. This is also an extension of the story told in All Hallows Eve where we see the same clown do sadistic acts to his victims. This won’t be for the weak hearted and will only appeal to the horror fans out there.

HorrorThe horror side of this film follows Art the Clown on his rampage, we get different kills per victim each more unique than the last, there is blood and gore throughout which checks the horror boxes well.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in an old warehouse, not a location chosen by the killer, but a place where safety is searched for, the victims each have their own reason for being there which does make sense to the story too.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects we are mostly looking at the practical ones that were used and they were brilliant for the body cutting, slashing and piercing scenes.


Scene of the Movie –
Art’s actions in the dinner show us just how twisted he is going to be.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The preparation kills seemed like they did take too long to prepare for the time we watching Art do his thing.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for the horror fans to smile about, the kills are blood, brutal and the killer is one you won’t be forgetting any time soon.

 

Overall: Horror fans enjoy the bloodbath.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – N – Nina Forever (2015)

Director: Ben Blaine, Chris Blaine

Writer: Ben Blaine, Chris Blaine (Screenplay)

Starring: Cian Barry, Abigail Hardingham, Fiona O’Shaughnessy Mandeep Dhillon, Katharine Bennett-Fox, Barry Castagnola

 

Plot: After his girlfriend Nina dies in a car crash, Rob unsuccessfully attempts suicide. As he begins to overcome his grief, he falls in love with a co-worker, Holly. Their relationship is complicated when Nina, unable to find rest in the afterlife, comes back to life to sarcastically torment them whenever they have sex.


Tagline – A fucked up fairy tale

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Return of the Dead Girlfriend Working Again

 

Story: Nina Forever starts as the employees of a store learn that Rob (Barry) tried to kill himself after the death of his girlfriend, where Holly (Hardingham) a student paramedic finds this to be a turn on wanting to get to know Rob unlike most of the other staff. The two do start hanging out together which does lead to a romantic story between the two.

When the two go to have their first night together things take a turn when Nina (O’Shaughnessy) appears from within the bed, but she is meant to be dead, why has she returned from the afterlife to stop Rob moving on?

 

Thoughts on Nina Forever

 

Characters – Rob is a grieving young man, working in a supermarket as he gets over his ex-girlfriend death, he has tried killing himself but didn’t get very far. He gets haunted by Nina once he tries to start dating again but must face the closure her spirit never got. Holly gets drawn to Rob and starts a relationship but it gets confusing for her once Nina arrive on the scene but it doesn’t scare her away. Nina is the deceased girlfriend of Rob’s who returns whenever he has sex with another woman, she doesn’t believe they are broken up believing they will be together forever.

PerformancesCian Barry is good in his role as the grieving young man trying to move on, he shows how difficult it could be for anyone in that situation. Abigail Hardingham is good in this role where she must show the support needed as well as the innocence for a young woman in her first relationship. Fiona O’Shaughnessy is also good throughout the film as the dead girlfriend that turns up during sex, being almost seductive at times.

StoryThe story enters into the idea of a loved one needing to deal with an undead version of their partner stopping them from starting a new relationship. It plays into a darker comical side rather than the light-hearted nature of other films such as Clinger, Life After Beth or Burying the Ex. This film does try to tackle the more serious effects of what could happen with dealing with the grief of losing a loved one.

Comedy/Horror/RomanceThe comedy comes from the darker side of the story because it takes things on a more serious side than it wants to. The romance side of everything comes from the idea of trying to move on with someone new you could love while still being haunted by the memories of the one that left you. The horror is there but mostly based on the undead being alive and lots of blood.

SettingsThe try to have everyday settings for the building of the relationship but it is the bedroom where the idea of Nina coming back comes from as we see her haunting the new couple.

Special EffectsWhen we look at the effects we will be diving into practical for the most part, we don’t get many either because we need to focus on the story over the effects.


Scene of the Movie –
Nina’s first appearance because it is a surprise for us to see how it comes about.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would have liked an extra laugh or two.

Final ThoughtsThis is yet another good addition in this new little subgenre in horror, the dead partner haunting the old partners new love interest. It does work well because it is different enough from the others because this takes a darker tone for the most part.

 

Overall: Nice addition to the dead girlfriend haunting ex-partner.

Rating

 

 

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