Werewolf (2018) Movie review

Director: Adrian Panek

Writer: Adrian Panek (Screenplay)

Starring: Kamil Polnisiak, Nicholas Prygoda, Sonia Mietielica, Danuta Stenka, Werner Daehn, Jakub Syska

Plot: Children liberated from a Nazi concentration camp have to overcome hunger, thirst and vicious dogs in an abandoned mansion surrounded by the forest.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Werewolf starts when a group of children are liberated from a Nazi concentration camp, finding refuge in a mansion in the middle of the forest, where they Wladek (Polnisiak), Hanys (Przygoda), Hanka (Mietielica), Jadwiga (Stenka) and others looks to hide out the rest of the war.

The children start to see enemies coming for them in soldiers, but more dangerously, a pack of ravenous dogs lurking in the forest, looking for their next meal, they children must work together to stay alive, despite running low on food, water and exits from the mansion.

Thoughts on Werewolf

Thoughts – Werewolf is a Polish movie with the original name of Wilkolak, we do get to see how the children have escaped from the concentration camp and are trying to survive by themselves, which in itself is a survival story, but add in the ravenous dogs, we get to see how they must band together, to evolve to survive the situation. The story shows how they will see other enemies coming too, need to deal with them, but one of the big things you will notice, there aren’t any werewolves in this film, the title is misleading. The performances from the whole cast is brilliant showing us just how difficult the lives they are living are and the desperation to survive they must show. There is an intensity to the dogs scenes, which is filled with the fear they would be going through too.

Final ThoughtsWerewolf is an intense survivor story.



The Ringmaster (2018) Movie Review

Director: Soren Juul Petersen

Writer: Carsten Juul Bladt, Soren Juul Petersen (Screenplay) Steen Landstrup (Novel)

Starring: Anne Bergfeld, Karin Michelsen, Damon Younger, Kristoffer Fabricius, Mads Koudal, Kim Sonderholm

Plot: During the night of the biggest sports final of the year, two girls working in a gas station experience strange incidents. Is it just staged pranks or is it something of a more aggressive intent?


Tagline – Entertainment knows no boundaries

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Ringmaster starts as we follow Agnes Berger (Bergfeld) and Belinda Andersen (Michelsen) as they are working a night shift at a gas station, they don’t get many customers and the ones they do get seem strange until they find themselves dealing with a couple of creepy men.

The women find themselves captured and placed into a twisted game run by The Ringmaster (Younger) where he will torture them for his audiences pleasure, they need to figure out how to escape before he gets to finish them off.

Thoughts on The Ringmaster

Characters – Agnes is looking to better herself with her education, using the time in the quiet shop to study, she does deal with the more difficult customers, and have to go through the more brutal parts of the torturous games. Belinda is the worker that is dealing with personal problems and her boyfriend that wants to use her, she is forced into being part of the game against her will. The Ringmaster gets the pleasure from torturing the victims, he listens to his audience and what they want and decides to make each action as twisted as he would like it to be.

PerformancesAnne Bergfeld and Karin Michelsen are both strong in the leading role, doing better with the pre-horror side of the film, over the torture moments. Damon Younger brings the charisma through the film which is key for the torture scenes, otherwise they would be very hollow.

StoryThe story here follows two gas station shop workers that get weird experiences through the night before finding themselves part of a twisted torture game run by the ringmaster who listens to his audience on what to do to his victims. This story does have time jumps which are more annoying than anything, with each visitor to the gas station, we see the slow emerging from the trapped contain before the game, this seems to be designed to keep us guessing as to who is involved in capturing them. When the games start, it isn’t anything overly fresh with what we are put through, but does make us feel like we are watching a performance.

HorrorThe horror in the film is all about the torture and what the ringmaster is willing to do to his victims, while one victim does go through seems more extreme than what they make the two women go through.

SettingsThe film uses the two main settings, first the gas station, which feels remote and isolated, making the victims seem like easier targets, with the second location being the performance stage, where the sick games occur.


Scene of the Movie – The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The jump between gas station and just moving around in a box.

Final Thoughts The Ringmaster is a torture fans entry movie, holding back on the brutality it could give us, never hitting the heights of a Hostel, but being twisted enough to show us how to get into the sub-genre.

The Ringmaster will be available on DVD & Digital Download from 30th November & In UK Cinemas from 2nd December

Game of Death (2017) Movie Review

Director: Sebastien Landry, Laurence Morais-Lagace

Writer: Sebastien Landry, Laurence Morais-Lagace, Edouard H Bond, Philip Kalin-Hajdu (Screenplay)

Starring: Sam Earle, Victoria Diamond, Emelia Hellman, Catherine Saindon, Erniel Baez, Nick Serino

Plot: Kill or be killed is the golden rule of the Game of Death. Sucks for seven millennials who ignored that rule. Now each one’s head will explode unless they kill someone. Will they turn on each other to survive, or will this sunny day be the last for the innocent people of their middle-of-nowhere town?


Tagline – Game of Death, it’ll blow your mind

Runtime: 1 Hour 13 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Game of Death starts as we meet the seven millennial stoners, Tom (Earle), Beth (Diamond), Ashley (Hellman), Mary-Ann (Saindon), Tyler (Baez), Kenny (Serino) and Matthew (Vallieres) who are involved in their latest party of drug filled fun. The friends find a board game, called The Game of Death and decide to play it.

The game requires the players to kill to make the counter of 24 down to zero, or the players will be executed, when the friends don’t look to commit the murders, they start to learn the consequences, when their heads start to explode, leading to Tom going on a killing spree.

Thoughts on Game of Death

Characters – Tom is the one that takes control of the situation, he doesn’t hold back to try and save the woman he loves, he will kill anyone to make sure the numbers on the game decrease and they can be together. Beth follows Tom in completing the kills, even if she doesn’t want to be the one to pull the trigger, until she starts seeing the friends die. Ashley and Tyler look to become the voice of reasons during everything, only killing if they are about to be the ones killed, looking to stop the violence when it isn’t needed. With these being the main group of friends, they whole group doesn’t seem overly redeemable or interesting.

PerformancesThe performances in the film are mixed with Sam Earle hitting the psychotic level easily, while Victoria Diamond and Emelia Hellman branching on to both sides of the characters mindsets. Nobody becomes truly great, but they do end up letting us see just how far they will make their characters go.

StoryThe story here follows seven friends who think they are playing a simple board game only for it to turn into a game that requires them to go on a killing spree or be killed by the game. This does show us how the young people will need to make a difficult decisions about survival, when they get caught up in the game of death, will they pull the trigger on a stranger or accept the fate which is coming towards them. It does have style to how the kills play out, with the number getting cruised over during one animated sequence.

HorrorThe horror comes from first seeing what will happen to the friends if they don’t complete the kills, along with how they start completing the kills.

SettingsThe film starts in what would be a normal family home for a party, before going to a location which would make sense if you were thrown into this game.

Special EffectsThe effects do look very good, with the head explosions being the standout moments in the film.


Scene of the Movie – The first head explosion, that comes from nowhere.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Glosses over certain parts of the kills.

Final Thoughts Game of Death is a stylish horror that makes Jumanji look like a children’s game.

Game of Death will be available on Digital Download from 26th November and can be bought here

Death of Me (2020) Movie Review

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

Writer: Ari Margolis, James Morley III, David Tish (Screenplay)

Starring: Maggie Q, Luke Hemsworth, Alex Essoe, Kat Ingkarat, Kelly B Jones

Plot: A vacationing couple must discover the mystery behind a strange video that shows one of them killing the other.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Death of Me starts when Christine (Q) and Neil (Hemsworth) are looking to move onto their next vacation spot before a series of events see them remaining in the hotel, where they discover a recording of one of them killing the other one.

As the pair look to solve the mystery behind the recording, they start to piece together certain parts of the night before, while finding themselves hallucinating through the search for the truth.

Thoughts on Death of Me

Characters – Christine is the wife in the couple, she has woken up from the rough night, while leading the panic to get off the island losing her phone and passport, she starts hallucinating around the island trying to discover the truth about what happened. Neil is the travel journalist that has seen this remote island as the choice for his latest piece, he is terrified by what is on the recording and is trying to help Christine escape. Samantha is the America that the couple rent the home from, she arrives back and offers them a chance to stay after the mix up, she knows everyone in the village, offering the friendship Christine needs to try and find her way out. We do meet plenty of islanders who fill in the information that the couple need.

PerformancesMaggie Q in the leading role is the strongest part of the cast with her performance which will see her needing to uncover the truth. The rest of the cast do seem to struggle to keep up with the Maggie in the leading role.

StoryThe story here follows a couple that are vacationing on an island in Thailand, when they lose the memory of the night before, finding themselves needing to learn the truth of the missing hours. This story does offer up a big mystery, which will keep us guessing to where things will end up going, showing us how the couple just don’t know what is real or not anymore. How everything unfolds does play heavily in traditions, beliefs and coincidence, letting us decide which one we believe is happening on the island.

Horror/MysteryThe horror comes from the events that Christine goes through with her visions, not being away of the truth they are going through.

SettingsThe film is set in the one Thai island that is covered in traditions with the beauty of paradise.


Scene of the Movie – Samantha taking Christine to the ferry.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not keen on the ending.

Final Thoughts Death of Me is a nice mix of the cultural traditions and the modern beliefs to keep a society together.

Signature Entertainment presents Death of Me on Digital HD and DVD from November 23rd

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – Q – Victor Crowley (2017)

This is under Q because of actor Brian Quinn appearing in the film.

Director: Adam Green

Writer: Adam Green (Screenplay)

Starring: Parry Shen, Kane Hodder, Laura Ortiz, Dave Sheridan, Krystal Joy Brown, Felissa Rose, Brian Quinn

 

Plot: Ten years after the events of the original movie, Victor Crowley is mistakenly resurrected and proceeds to kill once more.


Tagline – Return to his swamp.

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bloody Splattering Entertainment

 

Story: Victor Crowley starts 10 years after the events of the previous film, the lone survivor Andrew (Shen) in releasing a book, left in the position of being known as a potential candidate as the man who was Victor Crowley. Chloe (Booth), Rose (Ortiz) and Alex (Williamson) are planning on making a movie about the events, which it involves meeting Andrew at a book signing.

When Andrew gets a big money offer to be on a Real Crime Story show, he agrees to return to the swamp, while Chloe and her crew are playing on making their fake trailer, when the plane crash lands the Victor Crowley (Hodder) curse returns and he goes on another killing spree.

 

Thoughts on Victor Crowley

 

Characters – Andrew is the lone survivor of the murders in the first films (which were only over 3 nights), he was branded the killer and has written a book about his encounter, he returns to the events of the murders for a television show, being the only one that knows how the survive when Victor returns from the dead. Victor Crowley is the unrelating serial killer lurking in the swamps, he will rip arms off, cut heads off and wait for the easiest moment to take him kill count up. Rose is going to be the lead actress in the film being shot there, she is slightly dumb when, but is going to become the hardest one to kill for Victor, though she is a good person over most of the rest of the characters. Dillon is the tour guide want to be actor that is going to help with the movie, he gets the laughs for his bad impression of famous actors. The cast is completed with the crew behind the real crime team and the team making the movie. The biggest positive must be the fact it isn’t easy to tell who will get picked off in order, like many slasher films.

PerformancesKane Hodder is one of the horror icons, while he took over Jason in the past, it is Victor Crowley which he has made his own, with his presence being what strikes fear into the audience and this is like the previous films. Parry Shen returns to the franchise again, this time he does play a returning character, he gets to play the role well, similar to the one Neve Campbell bought back in Scream 4. Laura Ortiz brings her own style to the leading lady role which is better than trying to copy Danielle Harris. Dave Sheridan brings the comedy to this film which does work when required.

StoryThe story brings us something fresh to the franchise, the previous three films did happen over three nights, so this time we head into the future, well the present day as the murders are still being talked about, though the legend is considered finished. We get to see how film makers are trying to make the most out of real murders, victims are trying to make money of tragedy, which brings a social commentary to the film. once the bodies start flying the story takes the back seat and plays out like most slashers, only it does become harder to figure out who will survive.

Comedy/HorrorThere is a light amount of comedy in this film and that seems to come from the social commentary going on through the film, the horror is the body count and the brutal nature to the kills through the film.

SettingsThe film takes us back to the swamp, which is the home of Victor, it isn’t anything more than this really, the plane wreckage does add moments being a location to hide though.

Special EffectsThe use of practical effects is a huge plus here, it has be one of the important factors behind this franchise and one that can always be praised.


Scene of the Movie –
The respect played to horror icons.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The book signing goes on longer than it needs too.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brutal bloody sequel that takes the franchise in a different direction, while keeping the body count as large as ever.

 

Overall: Bloody and brutal.

Rating