Emelie (2015)

Director: Michael Thelin

Writer: Richard Raymond, Harry Herbeck (Screenplay)

Starring: Sarah Bolger, Carly Adams, Thomas Bair, Chris Beetem, Susan Pourfar, Joshua Rush

 

Plot: A couple’s replacement babysitter turns out to be more than they bargained for when she subjects their kids to a series of twisted activities.


Tagline – A parent’s worst nightmare. 

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disturbing Thriller

 

Story: Emelie starts when Emelie (Bolger) takes the place of the new babysitter for a couple Joyce (Pourfar) and Dan (Beetem) heading off for their anniversary dinner. The three children, Jacob (Rush), Sally (Adams) and Christopher (Bair). The night starts off like normal with Emelie letting the kids do what they want, but soon it takes a turn.

Emelie starts pushing the limits of what the children should be doing, making them go through an ordeal before we learn the motivation behind her action, but can the damaged be fixed before it goes too far?

 

Thoughts on Emelie

 

Characters – Emelie pretends to be the babysitter for an unsuspecting family for the night, she comes off like a nice caring young woman, who soon starts to show a darker side when she tries to test the children by putting them through experiences they are too young to understand, she does have a dark past for why she is doing this though. Jacob is the eldest of the children who is the first to sense something is wrong as he tries to get help for his younger siblings. Sally and Christopher are the younger two that see the night as a chance to break the rules more.

PerformancesThe performances are strong through the film Sarah Bolger gives us a woman on edge performance which is on edge about what has happened to her. The child stars don’t do anything wrong for what they are put through which was going to be the hardest part of the film to decide.

StoryThe story follows the idea that a babysitter isn’t what the parents believe her to be and while they have a lovely dinner, the children are being put through an ordeal by a psychotic woman. Now this is a story that will get most fear from parents that let a stranger look after their children, because the story shows the balance of how the time can be easily a moment of happiness for them, going against the horrors their children are going through. It does however have a few glaring mistakes which question parenting etc which you will get annoyed about. We do have moments that are shocking though because when you stop and think about what is happening, you will see the wrong it what is happening.

HorrorThis film uses the horrors of what children shouldn’t be going through as the biggest way to upset the audience and using the time of a romantic dinner only adds to how quickly things can go wrong.

SettingsThe film uses to key settings, the first is the home which turns into a nightmare, this adds to the horror because the children believe it will be their safe place, while the second location is the restaurant which shows how lovely the dinner the parents are on is.

Special EffectsWe only get little moments of effects, which are used well when needed, but this film doesn’t need to use them.


Scene of the Movie –
Fighting back.

That Moment That Annoyed Me What sort of parent lets there 12-year-old child have a pet snake.

Final ThoughtsThis is a psychological horror that shows the horrors that could be happening with your babysitter, when you are having a dinner.

 

Overall: Strong psychological thriller.

Rating

 

 

Blood Bags (2019) Movie Review

Director: Emiliano Ranzani

Writer: Emiliano Ranzani, Davide Mela (Screenplay)

Starring: Makenna Guyler, Emanuele Turetta, Marta Tananyan, Alberto Sette, Salvatore Palombi, Denitza Diakovska

Plot: A creature stalks the corridors of an abandoned mansion. Two friends break in and discover that all exits have been sealed off and the creature that hunts them is growing hungry for their blood; there is no escape.

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Creepy Creature Feature

Story: Blood Bags starts when two students one American, Tracy (Guyler) a photography major and Petra (Tananyan) are in their final term, go in search of a new location to take the photos in, they find an abandoned mansion in the middle of the Italian city they are living in, but once in, they find themselves needing to hide from a bloodthirsty creature.

Joined by thief Alex (Turetta) who has become trapped in the mansion on his latest job, the survivors must stay ahead of this creature before becoming its latest victims.

Thoughts on Blood Bags

Characters – Tracy is an American student studying photography in Italy, she is fascinated by the older buildings and it is her decision to go in search of more work in this mansion, she doesn’t seem to care about the law, willing just walking into private property, she doesn’t seem to care about the culture, because she hasn’t learnt the language in her time there as well as making plenty of the wrong horror decisions. Alex is a thief that has become trapped in the house after his partner is taken, he has been waiting for his time to escape and with help from Tracy he could get out now. Petra is the best friend that at the university, she is considered the slutty friend who reluctantly agrees to go on the trip.

PerformancesMakenna Guyler is the best of the performers in this film where she gets to shine when dealing with the creature that is coming for her, even if the character comes off arrogant for the most part. Emanuele Turetta, Marta Tananyan and Alberto Sette lead the supporting cast which is solid enough in a film that focuses more on the creature appearance than anything else.

StoryThe story here follows two students and a thief that break into a mansion for various reasons, they learn that there is a creature lurking in the mansion that is looking for victims, with the people needing to figure out how to get out alive. This story has the simple message, don’t break into somebody’s house, the student’s behaviour comes off reckless, the thief well we know he isn’t going to be a good guy and the creature just lurks around waiting for stupid people to come into its house. Away from the frustrating characters, we do get to see creepy moments with the lurking around the mansion, while seeing something bigger going on in the walls. Everything unfolding is interesting to see and does have moments of suspense as we are waiting to see things unfold.

HorrorThe horror comes from seeing the creature lurking in the corridors stalking his latest victims. The first-person shots are the highlights of the film.

SettingsThe film takes place in the singular location being the mansion which is dark with positions where people could be hiding in the shadows.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show the creature, which is hidden for large parts of the film, which adds the fear to what it will look like.


Scene of the Movie – The first person searching from the creature.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Why hasn’t Tracy either bother or learnt any Italian in her time studying there?

Final Thoughts This is an atmospheric suspenseful horror that uses the location to its advantage to give everything an edgy feel.

Overall: Atmospheric Horror.

Mentally Apart (2019) Movie Review

Director: Joe Pomarico

Writer: Joe Pomarico (Screenplay) Joe Pomarico, Larry Bernardo, Christine James Walker (Story)

Starring: Christine James Walker, Larry Bernardo

Plot: A beatific couple are buried in a dream relationship, but when their love slowly descends into nightmares, strange things begin to happen in their apartment.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Thoughtful, Provoking Horror

Story: Mentally Apart starts when a young couple Luna (Walker) and Chuck (Bernardo) have their first date of a blossoming romance as we see how time continues to fly by in the relationship, leading up to wedding planning.

With Chuck busy writing his own book, he starts to notice strange things happening around the apartment, as it starts to put a strain on the couple relationship, leaving the mystery as to why everything is happening.

Thoughts on Mentally Apart

Characters – Luna is the woman with a past that can only be described as tragic, she sees hope in this new relationship. Chuck is the writer that is seen as a bad boy for Luna, he starts seeing the strange thing around the apartment. While we don’t learn much about the two outside their relationship, the two characters do show the highs and lows of the relationship.

PerformancesChristine James Walker and Larry Bernardo are our only two performers, they are both wonderful to watch, as they both show the chemistry a couple would have, they each get a solo moment or two to shine.

StoryThe story here follows a couple’s relationship as they first get to know each other along with the highs and lows, while not everything is what is seems for the couple. This is a story that will make you want to think about everything you are seeing, while certain parts might just be relationship conversations, be it long-term futures or who will take out trash, there is an uneasy feeling about how things are going, which will make you want to think about things more carefully.

HorrorThe horror in the film comes from certain visions that the characters are going through, they can come out of nowhere, which is a big plus, because at times the drama will make you forget we are in a horror film.

SettingsThe film is a singular location film, where everything takes place in the apartment the two decide to call home.


Scene of the Movie – Let’s dance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – A couple too many conversations about taking out the trash.

Final Thoughts This is a thought-provoking horror that shows how relationships can become a nightmare people aren’t willing to admit they are in, showing us how important each scene can be in a movie too.

Overall: Horror that Makes You Think.

This Is Our Home (2019) Movie Review

Director: Omri Dorani

Writer: Rob Harmon (Screenplay)

Starring: Jeff Ayars, Drew Beckas, Riggsby Lane, Simone Policano

Plot: A struggling couple’s weekend getaway goes awry when a child arrives in the middle of the night claiming to be their son.

Runtime: 1 Hour 13 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Lacks the Spark

Story: This Is Our Home starts when Cory (Ayars) and Reina (Policano) go on a weekend getaway at an old family home to put some of the struggles of life behind them. The two are trying to start their own family, without having much success until one night on the getaway when a knocking comes from the door, by a child, a child who claims to be their own.

Zeke (Beckas) claims to be their own child, that Cory has hurt him, the two take the boy in and offer support as they try to figure out if and where Zeke has come from. As the night continues the couple both starts acting stranger through the night.

Thoughts on This Is Our Home

Characters – Cory is the partner of Reina’s that has become distant in life, he does want to support his wife with this trip being a chance to try and make up for his mistakes. He gets accused of hurting the child that says he is their son, something he denies, and it wouldn’t make sense if he had. Reina is the partner of Cory and medical student; she has a weird thing she likes to do with her partner to practise and is returning to her own family home, where the dark secrets are what scare her most. Zeke is the boy that turns up at the doorstep claiming to be their son, he does seem to have an ability to make Reina believe this, as he tries to put himself into the family using the innocent child to help his case.

PerformancesThis is a hard film to judge the performances, mostly because everything is kept relatively simple with story, Jeff Ayars and Simone Policano both make themselves look like a struggling couple, showing both the best and worst moments from a relationship. Drew Beckas does bring the child character to life well and does make you wonder if there is more to his character or not.

StoryThe story here follows a couple that get a strange visit from a child claiming to be their own when they know they haven’t had any children. This story is strange because it does seem to lack that moment that could take it from this is unusual to, that makes sense. The couple are struggling which is clear to see, the child does seem to have some control over them, but it isn’t made clear why or how, add in the mysterious room that is key to everything, we are left with more questions than answers by the end of the film. The story never reaches the interest level of what is could have been which leaves it feeling disappointing more than anything.

Horror/RomanceThe horror seems to be slow building moments that just don’t pay off, while the romance is more about the relationship between the two and how much they have been struggling.

SettingsThe film is set in an old family home which shows us just how the couple needed the escape, it has a mysterious room which should hold more answers too.


Scene of the Movie – The arrival.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – No real answers.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that has all the questions lined up and fails to answer enough of them by the end of the film, it will leave you asking more than we got.

Overall: Disappointing Horror.

The Tokoloshe (2018) Movie Review

Director: Jerome Pikwane

Writer: Richard Kunzmann, Jerome Pikwane (Screenplay)

Starring: Petronella Tshuma, Kwande Nkosi, Dawid Minnaar, Harreit Manamela, Mandla Shongwe

Plot: Busi, a young destitute woman with dangerously repressed emotions, lands a job as a cleaner at a rundown hospital in the heart of Johannesburg. Desperate for the money so she can bring her younger sister to Johannesburg, she must cope despite the predatory and corrupt hospital manager. When Busi discovers an abandoned young girl in the hospital, who believes she is tormented by a supernatural force, Busi must face her own demons from her past in order to save the child from the abusive monster that pursues them both relentlessly.


Tagline – Where she goes it follows.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fairy Tale Horror

Story: The Tokoloshe starts as Busi (Tshuma) moves to Johannesburg to start a new life, where she gets a job in a hospital as a cleaner, where she is warned about the manager Ruatomin (Minnaar) predatory ways. Busi learns of the darkness within parts of the hospital, along with the children’s wing that includes children that have also been forgotten.

Busi starts to feel uneasy in her new surroundings where she is filled with the guilt of leaving her sister behind, despite her job being to bring her to the big city too, soon she learns her guilt and despair could have bought forward an evil spirit following her, one that preys on the weak.

Thoughts on The Tokoloshe

Characters – Busi is a young lady that has left her sister behind in hope of starting a better life for the pair of them, she gets a job in the big city and learns that she is going to need to face demons in both human and supernatural form. Busi is filled with guilt for leaving her sister behind and will do everything she can to support her, but she needs to fight her own demons first. Ruatomin is the manager of the hospital, he likes to take advantage of the women and uses his position of power to get away with it. Gracie is the young girl Busi finds around the hospital, she believes he is being haunted by the Tokoloshe and when she is left alone, the creature strikes causing her great pain, it will continue to follow her too.

PerformancesPetronella Tshuma in the leading role brings us a performance that shows the pain her life has been through, while willing to show just how much she wants the change. Kwande Nkosi as the young girl that shows the horrors she has been through, while Dawid Minnaar brings us the horrible manager making you hate his every scene.

StoryThe story here follows a young woman that heads to the big city to start a new life for her and her sister only to find herself needing to help a young girl that is being haunted by a mysterious creature in the shadows. The story does dive into a folklore of South Africa which tales of a creature that comes for child who are suffering. This story does address real life issues that Busi could be suffering from both in the workplace and at home with the problems her sister is facing. When it comes to the haunting side of the story we get to dive into the terror that could be experience by the people who are targets of the Tokoloshe.

HorrorThe horror does have a lot going on in the background, with the game of catch and with the being dragged along the floor poltergeist like haunting.

SettingsThe film does show the Johannesburg city being a place where somebody would go to make money, despite being one of the places where it isn’t as safe as she would want it to be, the hospital have plenty of haunting feelings and once we leave the city we get the area which includes extra horror.

Special EffectsThe effects are saved more for the final reveal, this is strong enough for low budget which does work for the film.


Scene of the Movie – The game of catch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The hospital has strange wings.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that does bring a folklore to life and the gloom involved in the film to show the horror we would be experiencing.

Overall: Gloomy Horror.