The Unborn (2009)

Director: David S Goyer

Writer: David S Goyer (Screenplay)

Starring: Odette Annable, Gary Oldman, Cam Gigandet, Meagen Good, Idris Elba, Jane Alexander

 

Plot: A young woman fights the spirit that is slowly taking possession of her.


Tagline – Evil will do anything to live.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Fast Paced Horror

 

Story: The Unborn starts when young woman Casey (Annable) starts seeing visions and getting warnings about someone wanting to be born, with her best friend Romy (Good) and her boyfriend Mark (Gigandet) Casey starts to investigate and learns that she did in fact have a twin brother who died in the womb.

When Casey turns to a friend of her mother’s she learns about a spirit that is trying to find his way into the real world and she must turn to Rabbi Sendak (Oldman) for answers and a potential cure from the possession.

 

Thoughts on The Unborn

 

Characters – Casey is a young woman that seems to have a normal life until one day she starts seeing visions, getting strange messages, she must research her past to protect her future, a past that is filled with pain and loss as well as a secret she would never be prepared for. We do follow Casey for most part of this film, the problem with her character is that we don’t learn anything about her before the unusual starts happening, is she a good or bad person, we learn nothing, it just starts with her being visited. Rabbi Sendak is the man Casey must turn to for help, he understands how the exorcizing would need to be done while offering the basic advice to Casey before stepping in himself. Mark is the boyfriend, that is about all we learn about him, he isn’t as supportive of the supernatural side of the events. Romy is the best friend, she will help on everything Casey is going through in an attempt to save her friend from the evil haunting her.

PerformancesOdette Annable is the perfect fit for the leading role, she is a beautiful woman whose life is falling apart, she has a good horror scream and you believe it when she is scared. Gary Oldman, well the guy needs to make money, he does bring class to the role even in his limited role. Cam Gigandet is fine without doing too much Meagan Good gives us the only laughs in the film without being anything great in the supporting role.

StoryThe story here follows one young woman that gets starts getting haunted by visions of a young boy and must figure out how to rid herself of this haunting. This story doesn’t take long to start with us going instantly into the first haunting and this pace doesn’t seem to let off, we are constantly going from moment of scares or explanation to what is causing the haunting. This hinders the story because we don’t get a chance to learn anything about the characters we are meant to be supporting, mostly Casey we know nothing about her or what her everyday life is, making it harder to support her. The story follows the horror genre with ease and is saved by a strong twist ending.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film comes from jump scares, well attempted jump scares, most of the horror happens in the dark and is a small child haunting Casey, it does the basics well, though it won’t get the hardcore horror fan to jump. The mystery is more interesting as we must learn the truth about the haunting which goes in direction you wouldn’t see coming.

SettingsThe film is set in Chicago which only adds to the horror because of the big city feeling to everything Casey is experience showing that even in the biggest crowd people could suffer possessional activity.

Special EffectsThe effects have good moments, we the body folding moments being the highlights of the effects which gives us more towards the horror in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Sofi’s last night.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not learning anything about who or what these people do in everyday life.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic horror that gets the scares done simply, gives us weakly written characters and could pass the time simply enough.

 

Overall: Simple late night horror.

Rating

 

 

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The Dark Within (2019)

Director: David Ryan Keith

Writer: David Ryan Keith, Paul Flannery (Screenplay)

Starring: Paul Flannery, Kendra Carelli, Stephanie Lynn Styles, Mark Wood, Miko Foster, Lisa Cameron, Olivia Murray

 

Plot: A disturbed man with unknown psychic abilities tries to unravel the mystery of his parent’s disappearance while battling his own demons.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dark Shock Filled Horror

 

Story: The Dark Within starts after an experiment goes wrong leading to Marcus (Flannery) growing up facing troubled visions and illnesses, in search for answers his doctor, Dr Norton (Styles) is trying to find answers to his past, which sends him to his parent’s cabin in a remote woodland area.

In the cabin the memories come running back to Marcus through visions and he is joined by his ex-girlfriend Sarah (Carelli) that is willing to help him put his life back together, but the truth itself will be too shocking for Marcus to handle.

 

Thoughts on The Dark Within

 

Characters – Marcus is a disturbed man with unknown psychic abilities, he spends times in therapy trying to piece together the pieces of his past to understand just what happened to him as a child, he has made himself distant from his loved ones and in a final attempt to unlock the truth, he heads to his parent’s old cabin, which soon starts to unlock the shocking truth about his childhood, as he starts to lose sense of reality. Sarah is the ex-girlfriend that has a restraining order against Marcus, she decides to put that aside to help Marcus find answers, being the only person that will be there for him. Dr Norton is the lady that is trying to help Marcus understand his past, she suggests the cabin as a location in which could hold the answers he requires. Andrew is the father of Marcus, the man that was performing the experiment which saw him leave Marcus as a young child, he knew the value of his idea and the consequences once things started to go wrong.

PerformancesPaul Flannery in the leading role is great to watch, he gives us a performance of a man that is losing sense of his reality, with moments of desperate hope, while others are filled with fear and moments where he tries to remain calm, he pulls us through the film with his performance that is needed to help carry the film. Kendra Carelli does get time to shine, but like most of the supporting cast they are only used when required and make the most of their screen time.

StoryThe story here follows a man that has been losing sense of reality because of a childhood trauma, he goes in search for answers that will only leave him feeling shocked and needing to battle evil. One of the easiest ways to describe the story at times would be like watching ‘The Evil Dead’ one man trapped in a cabin trying to remain sane, while a host of different paranormal incidents come in his direction, this story does go deeper than just that though, because we get involved in a scientific experiment which has caused the events to unfold. There could be one side of the story which does get overused, which does frustrate, though it does only add to the unknown about what is going on. For a story that does revolve around the unknown mindset, this is one that does keep you guessing and does make you question everything you are seeing.

HorrorThe horror in the film does comes from the unknown hauntings Marcus is experiencing, each one of these become more shocking as the events of the film do unfold, with moments that are meant to disturb along the way.

SettingsThe film does use the one location for the setting, which is the remote cabin in the woods, which does create the isolation required for the film.

Special EffectsThe effects do show the budget the film is working with, they do work well for the film, when we get to the creature it will leave people feeling scared by the end of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The creature’s first appearance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Evil Dead laugh.

Final ThoughtsThis is an entertaining shock filled horror that is very enjoyable, we get a story that will keep you guessing and a creature that could strike the fear into the audience.

 

Overall: Horror to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – P – Paranormal Investigation (2018)

Director: Franck Phelizon

Writer: Franck Phelizon, Marie Durand (Screenplay)

Starring: Andrei Indreies, Jean-Baptiste Heuet, Pierre Porquet, Jose Atuncar

 

Plot: When a young man becomes possessed after playing a Ouija game,a ghost hunter investigated the evil spirit dwelling within him.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lifeless Found Footage Film

 

Story: Paranormal Investigation starts when a group of friends play with a Ouija board, one of them Dylan becomes possessed acting strangely, the friends call in paranormal investigator Andrei to try and learn what has taken over their friend.

As the investigation continues, Andrei turns to a priest to perform an exorcism to free Dylan from the soul which has taken over his body.

 

Thoughts on Paranormal Investigation

 

Characters – Andrei is the man leading the investigation, he has worked in the paranormal field before with this latest investigation becoming the toughest of his career to date. Dylan is the man that has become possessed by the evil which has seen him start to act aggressive towards his loved ones.

PerformancesThe performances in the film are hard to judge, mostly because a lot of the film is just behind a camera.

StoryThe story follows a possession case which sees a paranormal investigator trying to get to the bottom of the case. The problems with this story start early because we have seen everything that happens before, we get nothing new and just follow the basics over everything that was done in the Paranormal Activity franchises. This is dull to watch without making us care about either of the main two characters.

HorrorThe horror in this film is slow and ineffective, the final act of the film is the closest we get to anything remotely scary and just lets us feeling let down.

SettingsThe film is set in one house which seems like it is in one location, the house is on a busy street which does work, showing us this could happen to anyone. The problem comes it just feels like we are watching a moody person potential possessed.

Special EffectsThe effects are poor through this film, we could have good moments, only it fails.


Scene of the Movie –
Most of the final act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Final shot of the final act.

Final ThoughtsThis is just another poor found footage movie that just misses on every level it is trying to get to work.

 

Overall: Boring throughout.

Rating

 

 

Ice Cube Weekend – Ghosts of Mars (2001) Revisited

Director: John Carpenter

Writer: John Carpenter, Larry Sulkis (Screenplay)

Starring: Natasha Henstridge, Ice Cube, Jason Statham, Clea DuVall, Pam Grier, Joanna Cassidy, Richard Cetrone

 

Plot: In 2176, a Martian police unit is sent to pick up a highly dangerous criminal at a remote mining post. Upon arrival, the cops find that the post has become a charnel house.


Tagline – Terror is the same on any planet

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Silly Fun Action Horror

 

Story: Ghosts of Mars starts when the lone survive of a prison transfer Melanie Ballard (Henstridge) is recount the events of her mission. The mission was for Melanie, Jericho (Statham), Bashira (DuVall), Commander Helena (Grier) going to an outpost on Mars in the year 2176 to transfer Desolation Williams (Cube).

When the team arrives, they find the outpost abandoned, bodies hanging from the ceiling and the only breath people seemed to have become infected by something. This forces the team to work with Desolation to battle the infected people coming after them.

 

Thoughts on Ghosts of Mars

 

Characters – Melanie Ballard is one of the police officers sent to the outpost to transfer the prisoner, she does use drugs to relax her, she is the one telling the story of the events, where she must take control of the situation trying to get the people out alive. Desolation Williams is the prisoner they are meant to be transferring, he has been accused and cleared of murder numerous times, he will have to work with Melanie to get out of this situation, where he skills will help the people fight to survive. Jericho Butler is one of the more experienced soldiers that is the go-to guy for weapons and fixing problems. Bashira is the rookie on the squad, who must learn quickly as the situation becomes deadlier. We do have too many characters, which will lead to many blink and you miss it deaths.

PerformancesNatasha Henstridge does a strong job as the reluctant hero, she handles the combat well, while trying to be the tough figure. Ice Cube brings the type of character that we know he will bring to most of his roles. With the large cast, most of the rest of the cast struggle to make any real impact on the story.

StoryThe story follows a group of military police on Mars looking to transfer a prisoner for a trial, only for them to find themselves coming face to face with a mysterious evil that has taken over the locals turning them into crazed killing machines. This is simple concept for a sci-fi horror, we get both sides of the law needing to work together to get the job of survival done, we do get the explanation about where the evil has come from. The problem with the story is that we have way too many characters, we have somebody telling the story, which sees them seeing the story through multiply viewpoints which does become frustrating because at times you hear a scene on the radio, only to cut back to the scene happening, which makes it feel like filler, rather than parts of the story.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action here is plenty of bullets flying around, hand to hand combat and weapons which can see body parts flying off. The horror isn’t as strong as it could be because we don’t get the blood shed the film hints at, the sci-fi side of the film shows us how the colonies on Mars would operate.

SettingsThe film is set mostly on an outpost on Mars, it is remote, we know how long the team will be there before the transport returns, leaving us waiting to see how they could escape the situation.

Special EffectsThe special effects used in the film mostly from the body horrors the evil have been doing to themselves, it is strong use of make up but never feels terrifying like it should do.


Scene of the Movie –
Who is in charge now?

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those silly fun action films in which you can enjoy without expecting anything to be overly serious, it might have plenty of flaws but watch with enjoyment you can laugh along.

 

Overall: Easy to watch action horror.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – O – Office (2015)

Director: Won-chan Hong

Writer: Choi Yun-jin (Screenplay)

Starring: Ko Asung, Seong-woo Bae, Eui-sung Kim, Sung-woong Park

 

Plot: The investigation following a sales manager brutally killing his entire family leads to a track of mystery and tragedy in an overwhelmed work team at Seoul.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tension Fuelled

 

Story: Office starts when a section chief Byeong-Gook Kim (Bae) murders his family before going on the run, the police head to his office run by director Sang-Gyu Kim (Kim) to question the employees. Detective Jong-Hoon (Park) leads the investigation which sees him learning only good about the suspect.

Th newest intern Mi-Rye Lee (Asung) is question after being warned about how to answer the questions, which soon hints at a mystery surrounding the office and what goes on within the walls, as the manhunt for Byeong-Gook continues.

 

Thoughts on Office

 

Characters – Mi-Rye Lee is an intern in the office, she is the newest member of the staff, with the least knowledge of the accused murderer, she travels the furthest for this job seeing working in the big city as her dream. She knows the least about what the company and just what have caused the unusual behaviour. Byeong-Gook Kim is the section chief, he is the man that murdered his family before going into hiding, he was respected by his employees and seems to have a motivation for coming back. Director Sang-Gyu Kim wants answers and wants the company name kept out of the papers. Detective Jong-Hoon is leading the investigation into the murders which sees him asking the office the questions trying to figure out a way to understand how the office operates, he is honest in his approach which sees him searching for answers in places others would even think of looking.

PerformancesKo Asung is brilliant in this leading role of a character that is constantly evolving as the story unfolds, the range displayed is wonderful to see. Seong-woo Bae is haunting in his scenes in the film, you will be genuinely unsettled by his presence on screen. Sung-woong Park is the determined detective who shows us just how determined he is to get to the truth. Eui-sung Kim brings us the strict boss which seems to be his strength when it comes to movies.

StoryThe story follows an office that becomes the centre of attention after a murder by one of the member of the office, the investigation sees the truth slowly starting to surfaces with a shocking truth behind what is happening. This is a story that does truly keep us guessing through the film, it shows how an office could see extra stress placed upon the employees which would see the bickering between them increase, while the investigation shows just how far people would go for a promotion. Most of the story is spent wondering what the motivation for the murder in the first place was.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film comes from just seeing what happens when somebody is left alone in the office, with some uncomfortable tense scenes. The mystery surrounds just what is happening, why it is happening and whether it could be stopped from happening again.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around the office which see how close these workers must be at all times, no matter how they feel about each other which could see tension rise between them.


Scene of the Movie –
The late visit one.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel like not everything is answered.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the tensest movies you will see, it does keep you guessing, no matter what is going in and is filled with horror moments that drag you to the edge of your seat.

 

Overall: Edge of your seat thriller.

Rating