Animalistic (2018)

Director: Sonny Laguna, Tommy Wiklund

Writer: Sonny Laguna, David Liljeblad, Tommy Wiklund (Screenplay)

Starring: Hanna Oldenburg, Ralf Beck, Torbjorn Andersson, Niki Nordenskjord, Cheryl Murphy

 

Plot: Emma is kidnapped and imprisoned by a trio of psychopaths.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Rape Revenge 101

 

Story: Animalistic starts as ambassador Emma (Oldenburg) is finalizing a deal with a major oil company, in a country she doesn’t know, she picks up a taxi driven by Shirley (Nordenskjord), this is the beginning of her nightmare. Abducted by Jim (Beck) and Pete (Andersson), Emma will learn her fate if she doesn’t follow the rules.

Here she is raped, beaten and humiliated by her captors as she learns who is in control, waiting for her chance to escape her ordeal, taking her own vengeance on her captors.

 

Thoughts on Animalistic

 

Characters – Emma is a businesswoman from Australia, she has just completed a big deal and heading off to a press conference, the deal isn’t the most popular and then she is abducted by three psychopaths. she is raped, beaten but she won’t go down without a fight. Jim is the ring leader, he wants these women for himself and lets the other have them when he is done with them, he does seem to have a normal life away from this world too which means he would have something to lose if they got caught. Pete is the man working with Jim, he is mentally challenge which leads to Jim taking advantage of him, making him an easy target for Emma while she escapes. Shirley is the one that brings the victims to Jim, she gets her taste as her taxi seems like the one that would help a stranded young woman.

PerformancesWhen it comes to the rape revenge genre it is always down to just how much the victim character goes through, the leading lady in these must be a strong actress and she is for the most part, it can always be difficult to do more than scream at times. Ralf Beck does hit the psychotic side to his character at times. Torbjorn and Niki don’t get as much screen time that gets the job done without struggling.

StoryThe story here follows a young woman that is abducted, raped and beaten by her captors before finding a way to escape to get her revenge, we know how this story unfolds and the only thing we wait for, is to see how the victim gets their revenge. The big aspect of the story is that we could have added in a twist about the abductors being involved in the protest against her deal, but we missed a trick with this one. If you do like the ‘I Spit on your Grave’ films, you will go on to get what you want out of the film’s story.

HorrorThe horror from the film comes from just what Emma must go through at the hands of her attacks.

SettingsThe film stays in one location, the cabin where Emma is taken too, it creates the isolation away from anyone visiting and the fact she is a businesswoman visiting the country, she doesn’t know where to go.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are great uses of practical effects when it comes to the attacks with shocking moments throughout.


Scene of the Movie –
Wood chipper.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not much we haven’t seen before.

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes with to the rape revenge genre it is always going to be difficult to do something original because it is formulaic, it does check the lists for the fans and that is all we can ask for.

 

Overall: Simple Rape Revenge Movie.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – P – Piranhaconda (2012)

Director: Jim Wynorski

Writer: J Brad Wilke, Mike MacLean (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Madsen, Rachel Hunter, Rib Hillis, Terri Ivens, Chris De Christopher, Shandi Finnessey, Michael Swan, Noah Blake

 

Plot: Two piranha/anaconda hybrid creatures hunt down the scientist who stole their egg and a film crew; making a slasher film in the jungle.


Tagline – Part Snake! Part Fish! All Killer!

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Trash

 

Story: Piranhaconda starts when scientist Lovegrove (Madsen) takes a new snake egg of a piranha & anaconda hybrid, the snake heads off into the jungle island in search of it killing anyone who gets in its way. Elsewhere on the island Mile (De Christopher) is directing a low budget slasher movie with diva leading lady Kimmy Weston (Finnessey), add into the mix the local gang that are kidnapping people for ransom, we have three groups that are being targeting by the snake who must now work together.

 

Thoughts on Piranhaconda

 

Characters – Lovegrove is the scientist trying to study the eggs of a piranhaconda which only disturbs them from their home, he somehow manages to elude the snake unlike anyone else on the island and fills in information. Talia is one of the kidnappers, she is the right-hand woman and that is about it. Jack is the stuntman that is dating one of the behind the scenes woman while batting off the interest of the leading lady, he kind of becomes the reluctant hero. Rose is the crew member that is starting to date Jack who gets jealous of the leading lady. We also have the director, the diva star and the kidnapping locals.

PerformancesTime to rant without insulting, Michael Madsen has been in Tarantino movies, how did he end up in this? He is clearly her for some form of pay check as he looks like he just turned on at the resort one day and was given the role. Rachel Hunter fills the quota of just having models in the film, she does absolutely nothing. Rib Hillis is the strongest of the performers in this film with Terri Ivens doing the second best, even though I did enjoy watching the diva actresses played by Shandi Finnessey. Most of the performers are women in bikinis running around Hawaii.

StoryThe story follows unlikely group of people needing to work together to escape a giant hybrid piranha anaconda mix, superfast, super hungry and super aggressive. This is simple enough and for sure this is easy to watch if that was all we had, we don’t we have terrible character development as we spend half the story seemingly meeting random people on the island that get selected to be the next victim, usually hot women. The science behind the creation is loose to say the least and to say the storytelling process is smart would be an insult to anyone.

Action/Adventure/Horror/Sci-FiThe action gives us the shoot as many bullets at a creature whose skin just bounces bullets off with a couple of explosions. The horror would come off as the creature feature concept which has always worked well, but not this time. The sci-fi side of the film give us the idea of an unknown creature causing the problems.

SettingsThe film is set in Hawaii which looks pretty, but the reality is that it could be any jungle island.

Special EffectsThis is a sci-fi level movie, we know the level of special effects and this is particular weak because it just uses the same technique for every kill which gets boring quickly.


Scene of the Movie –
Most of Jack solo scene, because he knew what the tone of the movie is all about.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The kill move.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those truly bad low budget films, it has weak acting, effects and storytelling with only one actor seemingly understanding the tone of the movie.

 

Overall: Not even so bad its funny.

Rating

 

 

Upgrade (2018)

Director: Leigh Whannell

Writer: Leigh Whannell (Screenplay)

Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Melanie Vallejo, Harrison Gilbertson

 

Plot: Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem.


Tagline – Not Man. Not Machine. More.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fantastic Action Horror

 

Story: Upgrade starts as we go to the near future, with improved technology that isn’t too far away from reality, Grey Trace (Marshall-Green) stills like getting his hands dirty for work, while his wife Asha (Vallejo) has accepted this new life. On a routing journey home their self-driving car takes them to the wrong neighbourhood, causing a crash to which the locals murder Asha and leaves Grey paralysed.

Left feeling suicidal Grey gets a visit from a former client and technological recluse wizard Eron (Gilbertson) that offers to give him a revolutionary operation that will bring his mobility back to him through a chip known as Stem, which leads him on his own personal revenge mission with the help of Stem.

 

Thoughts on Upgrade

 

Characters – Grey Trace is a mechanic who in a technology heavy world, he would rather get his hands dirty than rely on the technology, he sees his wife murdered and left paralysed from the incident, he becomes suicidal like you would imagine believing his life is not worth living, he get a chance at revenge though from advanced technology even though himself doesn’t like violence or blood. He is our main character he will have Stem the chip control him in fights movements making him a deadly weapon. Cortez is the technology avoiding cop that is investigating the original case as well as the bodies piling up that could be suspects in case. Eron is the technology wizard that offers Grey a chance to get revenge with a chip to recover his movement. Fisk is a man hunting down Grey, he has extra abilities too which makes his hunt different to Cortez.

PerformancesLogan Marshall-Green is brilliant in the leading role because he takes full control of each and every scene, be it the talking to the voice in his head or handling the fighting. The rest of the cast are good with their scenes without taking any spotlight of Logan.

StoryThe story here shows one man given a chance to go on a revenge mission after getting a technological upgrade that cures his paralyzed position. This does take us into a realistic future with technology that does seem like it could be used in the future. Away from just the technology side of story we get a revenge film which follows the paths we expect, starting with a small fight leading up to a bigger more challenging fight by the end. We get twists and turns along the way which does keep us guessing. If you want to have a story that is fast paced throughout keeping us wanting more throughout the film.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action in this film just keeps getting bigger as the film goes on, we get combat which feel unique in how Grey performs it because of his characters ability or lack there off. The horror blends in with certain graphicness of the kills and the idea behind the sci-fi in an ever-increasing technology heavy world.

SettingsThe film keeps us in a city that has accepted new technology with self-driving cars, drones covering the area and most importantly everything still looks like a normal city.

Special EffectsThe effects are used wonderfully well too, we have different abilities which make for different attacks that shows just how deadly the additional technology could be if we don’t control it.


Scene of the Movie –
Stem take over.

That Moment That Annoyed Me With all the technology in play surely the ‘Off’ switch would activate quicker.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fast paced sci-fi action film that will fly by, it has great choregraphed fight sequences, good use of special effects and a performance from Logan Marshall-Green which you will remember.

 

Overall: Must watch Action Sci-Fi Horror.

Rating

 

 

Ahockalypse (2018)

Director: Wayne Harry Johnson Jr

Writer: Wayne Harry Johnson Jr, Craig Patrick (Screenplay)

Starring: Jesse Rennicke, Squall Charlson, Alex Galick, Gabrielle Arrowsmith, Kaylee Williams, Lindsey Kuehl

 

Plot: After winning the championship cup, Jonsey and his team must survive the zombie apocalypse.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 17 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Zombie Comedy

 

Story: Ahockalypse starts when our ice hockey team Jonsey (Rennicke), BJ (Charlson) and Wave (Galick) along with Mrs Johnson (Arrowsmith) and Jenny (Williams) are celebrating winning the championship only for the city to become overrun with zombies.

As the navigate the dark streets they look to survive in the humour filled battle with the undead and the locals taking advantage of the situation.

 

Thoughts on Ahockalypse

 

Characters – Jonsey is the captain of the team, the star player the scorer of the winning goal, he must keep everyone together through the outbreak with his friends and team mates listening to his ideas. BJ and Wave are the fellow teammates the two get extra laughs through the film with their reaction to different events in the film. Mrs Johnson plays into the idea of an older woman grabbing the attention of the players with her looks even though she is isn’t that much older than the guys.

PerformancesJesse Rennicke in the leading role is good, he gives the rest of the cast the comedy moments while being the only straight-faced performer in the film. while we get most of the laughs from Squall Charlson and Alex Galick who give us the best reactions to everything. Gabrielle Arrowsmith is strong too even if she does look way too young to be part of the cougar jokes.

StoryHow man different ways can you bring us a zombie apocalypse? That is what this movie askes us, by giving us an ice hockey team taking on zombies and of course this will have a comical tone. Now for a large part of the film we are facing the survive against zombie idea, one location seems safe, it isn’t which is fine, Shaun of the Dead used this to its advantage, this movie does too. The story does keep a clever on running joke about a random girl that is with the group and for some reason we have three random martial artists one in a mascot suit roaming the city too. For a zombie comedy this story is all we need to see and you will remember this being the only ice hockey players versus zombies movie.

Comedy/Horror The comedy in the film does have moments that reference other movies, wildly over the top reactions to things happening which is great fun, the horror side of the film does slip because of this with the comedy stopping many scenes being scary.

SettingsThe film takes place in the city which the locals would know where to go with a zombie outbreak, it shows us how people could react to an outbreak well to start with.

Special EffectsThe effects are low budget which you must understand for certain parts, but nobody every complained about practical blood baths.


Scene of the Movie –
The on running joke with the random girl with the group, it gets a laugh every time it starts slowing down.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It never has any horror related moments.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun and enjoyable zombie comedy that understands how to get a laugh from the audience and never taking things too seriously.

 

Overall: The best ice hockey team versus zombies movie.

Rating

 

 

Patient Zero (2018)

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky

Writer: Mike Le (Screenplay)

Starring: Natalie Dormer, Stanley Tucci, Matt Smith, Clive Standen, Frederick Schmidt, Frederick Schmidt, Agyness Deyn, John Bradley

 

Plot: After an unprecedented global pandemic turns the majority of humankind into violent “Infected,” a man gifted with the ability to speak the Infected’s new language leads the last survivors on a hunt for Patient Zero and a cure.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Promising Outbreak Movie

 

Story: Patient Zero starts as we enter the world with a global pandemic where an aggressive strain of rabies known as ‘Mad Dog’ has taken over the population, it infects within minutes and turns its infected violent. The human race is now in hiding, with the group we follow led by Dr Gina Rose (Dormer) searching for patient zero in hope of finding a cure, joined by bitten, but never infected Morgan (Smith) and surrounded by the military, this is a race against time, that isn’t being won by the humans.

Morgan has the ability to communicate with the infect which helps him search for the answer to just who patient zero is and now they are getting closer than ever, until the Professor (Tucci) turns up with his own agenda from the infected side of the battle.

 

Thoughts on Patient Zero

 

Characters – Dr Gina Rose is leading the search for the cure for the infection, she has been since the first outbreak, she demands to be in control of the base never letting any army member intimidate her. She is however taking her own risk with her love interest on the base. Morgan is a soldier on the base that once got bitten, though he never got infected, with this ability he gained the ability to learn how to understand the language the infected speak. He interviews the infected as they search for patient zero, hoping to be able to save his wife from the infection. The Professor is one of the infected, one that doesn’t act the same as the rest, he gets interviewed and tries to reflect the nature on the humans. The rest of the facility includes infected being interviewed, soldiers that are risking their own lives and would rather pull the trigger and survivors.

PerformancesNatalie Dormer in the leading role is easily the strongest part of the film, we believe her characters desperation to be the one that helps cure the world. Matt Smith on the other hand, well his acting is good, but his accent is horrendous don’t worry he isn’t the only one that loses his accent at times. Stanley Tucci is good to watch in this film, as soon as he appears he grabs your attention. Outside these three we get average performance for characters that were never developed fully.

StoryThe story in the zombie genre of films is always getting people trying to bring a fresh spin, the story here does start promisingly with the idea that this isn’t a full zombie movie it is an infection which causes rage, but can be controlled. Now searching for a patient zero to find a cure is good to watch and having the one man that was bitten and never turned being able to communicate with the infected does bring a fresh feeling. The problems with this story come from the ending which just goes the way all zombie style movies go and you will just lose the interest we have gathered from the early parts in the film. If you did see the movie ‘The Cured’ it touches on similar subjects even if it is further down the line of recovery.

Action/HorrorThe action falls into the generic infected/zombie panic stuff we have seen before. The horror never feels scary because we are focusing on the bigger picture over going for scares.

SettingsThe film keeps nearly all the action in the bunker which makes sense for the whole film, the only time we leave is with flashbacks showing the moments of infection, which are interesting scenes.

Special EffectsThe effects are very simple with the one big moment looks great.


Scene of the Movie –
The bite to the doctor.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The ending is cliched.

Final ThoughtsThis is a promising infection style movie that starts so, well only to fall into the generic style we have seen too often and the less we talk about Matt Smith’s accent the better.

 

Overall: Infection Film 101

Rating