The Plague of the Zombies (1966)

Director: John Gilling

Writer: Peter Bryan (Screenplay)

Starring: Andre Morell, Diane Clare, Brooke Williams, Jacqueline Pearce, John Carson, Alexander Davion, Michael Ripper

 

Plot: Young workers are dying because of a mysterious epidemic in a little village in Cornwall. Doctor Thompson is helpless and asks professor James Forbes for help. The professor and his daughter Sylvia travel to Thomson. Terrible things happen soon, beyond imagination or reality. Dead people are seen near an old, unused mine. Late people seem to live suddenly. Professor Forbes presumes that black magic is involved and someone has extraordinary power. He doesn’t know how close he is: the dead become alive because of a magic voodoo-ritual, and so they must serve their master as mindless zombies…


Tagline – Only The Lord Of The Dead Could Unleash Them!

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Hammer Horror

 

Story: The Plague of the Zombies starts when Sir James Forbes (Morell) takes his daughter Sylvia (Clare) to Cornwell, to help a for student of his Dr Peter Tompson (Williams) with a string of cases which can’t be explained by the normal science.

When Peter’s wife Alice (Pearce) dies, the two try to figure out what killed her, only what they discover isn’t human. Soon it appears the village is being over run by the zombies and they must hunt down the master controlling them.

 

Thoughts on The Plague of the Zombies

 

Characters – Sir James Forbes is the respected doctor that gets called upon to help with an unknown medical case, he will help his former student uncover the case, he does believe something unusual is going on and starts to worry about his daughter. Sylvia is the daughter that goes on the journey, she becomes the target from the master who wants her to become his bride. She is the typical 60’s damsel in distress. Dr Peter Tompson is the one who called for help knowing his mentor wouldn’t let him down when it comes to figuring out the unexplainable. Alice is Peter’s wife that is the latest to become cursed with what is happening within the village, she makes it feel more personal for the two doctors.

PerformancesAndre Morell as the more experienced doctor is entertaining to watch through the film, he fits the wiser role with ease. Diane Clare fits your typical 60’s horror figure for the era, never doing much more than screaming. Brooke Williams doesn’t make his character feel like a doctor though.

StoryThe story follows a doctor that is asked to investigate a new outbreak of a disease in a small village, only to learn it has connection to voodoo and zombies. We must think that this story was put together before zombie movies had over taken the world, the idea behind voodoo and zombies was always a connection which works for the ideas being used in this story. the story might not be the most intense and does end up being rather safe with how everything being handled, never managing to reach any level of creepiness which could be associated with voodoo zombie creation.

HorrorThe horror in this film comes from the ideas of zombies and voodoo, which for the time, was one of the scarier elements of horror, even if it has been watered down in the modern era.

SettingsThe film is set in a small Cornwell village, which shows us how the community has become considered, while also showing how the community could stick together with a more evil idea going on.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film comes from the zombie creations, which show us a wonderful use of make-up, with other elements of the film coming from how injuries are inflicted.


Scene of the Movie –
Alice rises.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not as creepy as it could be.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that when released would have gotten more scares, now it has dated and just doesn’t connect the audience in the same way it once did.

 

Overall: Hammer horror 101

Rating

 

 

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Black Water (2007)

Director: David Nerlich, Andrew Traucki

Writer: David Nerlich, Andrew Traucki (Screenplay)

Starring: Diana Glenn, Maeve Dermody, Andy Rodoreda, Ben Oxenbould, Fiona Press

 

Plot: A terrifying tale of survival in the mangrove swamps of Northern Australia


Tagline – What You Can’t See Can Hurt You.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacking Suspense Animal Attack

 

Story: Black Water starts when Grace (Glenn) her husband Adam (Rodoreda) and her younger sister Lee (Dermody) are off on an adventure across Northern Australia, visiting a crocodile farm before heading out into the black water for a fishing day with guide Jim (Oxenbould).

When their small boat is capsized by a crocodile the family find themselves hiding in the trees waiting to see if the crocodile has gone before making their decision on how to escape.

 

Thoughts on Black Water

 

Characters – Grace is the married pregnant old sister, she is using the trip to make the announcement to her husband, once the attack happens she wants to protect her younger sister, while trying to think of a logical way out of the situation. Lee is the younger sister that is on the trip for her first adventure, she doesn’t have anything about her to make her feel unique other than that she seems to sleep a lot. Adam is the husband that suggest the trip, once trapped he wants to use the quick option to safety which might be the more dangerous one.

PerformancesWhen we look at the performances we must start with the negatives, it doesn’t help that the characters are written very weakly, which gives the three main stars very little to work with, must of what they need to do is sit in a tree have the same conversation.

StoryThe story here is simple, we follow three people that get trapped by a crocodile in the middle is the North Australian waters, they must figure out how to survive and this is sold on based on a true story. there are plenty of things which don’t help the story here, first we don’t get a chance to get to know the characters well enough, they are mostly just generic because we don’t know enough to care about them. We get the same conversation about what is the best idea for seemingly ages without any action being followed. We do get to follow the normal animal attack story which mostly revolves around screaming over anything else.

Action/HorrorThe action isn’t shot with the best style, we know what is happening, its just most of the action is off camera which makes it hard to believe the crocodile attacks.

SettingsThe film puts us in the middle of the black water in North Australia which is does put our characters in a place where rescue isn’t an option and escaping isn’t one either.

Special EffectsThe effects for the after attacks look like good strong practical effects, when we start seeing the attack in progress we lose something about what we are seeing.


Scene of the Movie –
The feeding night.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We see to have the same conversation 4 or 5 times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple animal attack movie that lacks that extra quality to make us truly disturbed by what we are seeing, we have dull characters and poorly shot action.

 

Overall: Simple animal attack film.

Rating

 

 

Midsommar (2019)

Director: Ari Aster

Writer: Ari Aster (Screenplay)

Starring: Florence Pugh, Will Poulter, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Liv Mjones, Anna Astrom, Julia Ragnarsson

 

Plot: A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown’s fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Wicker Man on Acid

 

Story: Midsommar starts when young lady Dani (Pugh) has her family die suddenly, turning to the only person left in her life, her boyfriend Christian (Reynor) who has started to move away from their relationship. Christian and his friends Josh (Harper), Mark (Poulter) and Pelle (Blomgren) are planning a trip to Pelle’s home in Sweden for a special mid-summer festival.

Christian trying to do the right thing for Dani, invites her along, but it isn’t long before the festival turns into a cultural nightmare for the outsiders who have never seen the customs before.

 

Thoughts on Midsommar

 

Characters – Dani is a young lady that has suffered a heart-breaking tragedy in her life, leaving her along in the world, struggle to get over the loss of her family, she is unsure about her relationship with her boyfriend and agrees to go with him on the trip to Sweden. Dani is trying her best to get on with her life, which is seeing her have the good and bad days, while on the commune she starts to relax more in life. Christian is the student boyfriend of Dani, he is starting to question the relationship about to end it before the tragedy strikes, he invites her believing she won’t go, while also hoping to find out whether they should stay together. Josh is a student friend of Christian, who has been working on his paper on different cultures, he sees this event a major part of his studies, only he doesn’t seem to respect enough cultures. Mark is the comic relief, he wants to go to Sweden to meet women, he is quick to turn to drink or drugs, while always putting his foot in it.

PerformancesFlorence Pugh is the star of the show, she does show the grief required in her role, which shows us how hard to is finding life. Jack Reynor has finished turning his career around after Transformers, with one that must make people take him seriously now. Will Poulter will make you laugh with nearly everything he says, while William Jackson Harper will make you dislike his characters arrogance quickly.

StoryThe story here follows a young woman dealing with grief of losing her family, trying to get away from her past by getting away from the world with the festival which soon sees her trapped with her friends with a cult that has strict rules. Much like Hereditary, we are tackling grief on a personal level, unlike Hereditary we find ourselves not seeing a timeline to make us understand the recover process that Dani is trying to go through. The story does have a huge problem for me though, is that this is a story which the people should just walk or run away after seeing the first major incident, not just calmly say ‘sure this is a different culture we should see what happens next’ this is easily one of the biggest let down in any horror. We also do spend way too much time just turning to drugs as an excuse rather than trying to solve the real problems and the students just being arrogant not seemingly wanting to do anything with their lives.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film comes from graphic imaginary that we see from the injuries, we do have tension growing and the make up team should be praised for just how real everything looks. The mystery comes from just what is happening with this cult and what they will do next.

SettingsThe film is set in the Swedish countryside away from the world, the only type of place a cult could operate in around the modern day. The sets are the best thing about this film because they are crafted which such love and you can’t help but think everything you see is a clue to what is happening.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film do bring us the graphic images of the injuries that people are going through. The make up team work wonders on this film.


Scene of the Movie –
Dancing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just using drugs to explain why these people are friends.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that is set and created wonderfully on the outside, only to fall short on the story which only drags along without reaching any levels of scares.

 

Overall: Not reaching the potential.

Rating

 

Bad Samaritan (2018)

Director: Dean Devlin

Writer: Brandon Boyce (Screenplay)

Starring: David Tennant, Robert Sheehan, Kerry Condon, Carlito Olivero, Jacqueline Byers, Tracey Heggins, Rob Nagle

 

Plot: A pair of burglars stumble upon a woman being held captive in a home they intended to rob.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tennant is a Creepy Psychopath

 

Story: Bad Samaritan starts when two burglars Sean (Sheehan) and Derek (Olivero) are running an operation as valets who break into houses while people are eating their dinners. When they pick their latest victim Cale Erendreich (Tennant) with his flashy car, Sean leads the look through his house, finding all the goodies the pair want, before making a shocking discovery, Katie (Condon) chained up in an office.

Sean get caught between doing the right thing and helping the woman, only to find Cale is able to talk the police away and breaking back into the house, the woman is gone and now his has become a target for Cale.

 

Thoughts on Bad Samaritan

 

Characters – Cale Erendreich is rich man that isn’t afraid to show his flashy cars around town, he is rude to people that he sees beneath him and he has a woman locked up in an office at his house. He likes to correct people and after Sean breaks into his house, he becomes the latest target, showing us that Cale is doing what he thinks is the right thing. Sean Falco is the thief that gets more than he bargained for on his latest job, he end up getting caught in the middle of a game which will see him become the target for the killer, seeing his life start to fall apart around him, Sean shows us what it is like when somebody wants to make it and just how far they will go to clean up the mess left behind. Katie is the woman that is held captive that knows that she will be put in more danger if Sean does rescue her at the wrong time. Derek is Sean’s best friend who works with him to select who to rob only he could get in more trouble if he is ever caught.

PerformancesDavid Tennant is fantastic in this leading role, he brings us a creepy psychopath figure that is completely calm, while being calculated in each scene. Robert Sheehan is strong as his character is put through a moral dilemma and he shows us the desperation he is going through. Kerry Condon does what she can in her role, it is harder for her to do as much because most of role is tied up. Carlito Olivera does everything asked of him without standing out in anyway.

StoryThe story here follows a small-time thief that sees his latest job go crazy after the person he is robbing from turns out to have dark secret which sees his life get turned upside down. This story is an easy watch and does go against everything you would imagine it going, watching the cat-n-mouse style unfold is interesting to follow as see how each side tries to get the upper hand and slowly starts to learn what the other might know about. It does soon pan out and just become a bigger case which is fine if you would like to get to learn more about the opening sequence. We do get to see just how dangerous technology will be in the wrong hands.

Crime/HorrorThe crime side of the film does show us Cale operates in this world, with the horror side of this coming from just how he can get away with anything if he knows how to.

SettingsThe film is set in Portland which shows how difficult the life can be for people that are struggling to make ends meet.


Scene of the Movie –
You talk too much.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It has a problem when it comes to learning about Cale’s back story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a crime horror that goes full-blown cat-n-mouse which does keep us guessing to just who will end up on top in this battle.

 

Overall: Interesting Cat-n-mouse chase.

Rating

 

 

Dolls (2019)

Director: Cuyle Carvin

Writer: Justin Hawkins, Josh Hawkins (Screenplay) Jeff Miller, Justin Hawkins (Story)

Starring: Thomas Downey, Dee Wallace, Trinity Simpson, Bret Green, Elise Muller, Melinda DeKay

 

Plot: A struggling children’s book author and his rebellious teenage daughter move into a house they’ve inherited and find mysterious dolls in the attic. The father and daughter soon learn that the dolls have a sinister – and deadly – past.


Tagline – When You Look Away They Play

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Creepy Dolls

 

Story: Dolls starts when alcoholic children’s book author Robert Holbrook (Downey) moves into his recently deceased mother’s home to start work on his latest work, when he is joined by his teenage daughter Sammey (Simpson) who wants to get away from her mother.

When Robert and Sammey discover three creepy dolls in the attic, Robert decides that he wants to use these characters to create his latest story, known as the Attic Dolls. When a sister of a former patient Margaret (Wallace) appears, she warns Sammey about the evil inside the dolls that come out to play when you look away.

 

Thoughts on Dolls

 

Characters – Robert is an alcoholic children’s author, he has made mistakes in his life which has left his family facing financial ruin, his daughter struggle to be able to face a college future, he has moved out to focus on his new book, which will see him being joined by his daughter. The latest book idea uses the creepy dolls found in the attic of his mother’s home, which will see him suffer nightmares as he looks to withdraw from his drinking problems. Sammey is his 17-year-old daughter who wants to live with him over her mother, she has been on certain medications, though it is unclear what is wrong with her to need them. She first gets scared by the dolls believing the story she hears about them, while trying to remain rebellious about her future. Margaret was the sister of one of the patient’s of Robert’s mother, she warns the family about the evil from the dolls which might be connected to the deaths.

PerformancesThomas Downey is strong through the film, we believe that he is going through troubles. Trinity Simpson is entertaining in her role, she brings the fear of what is going on to make us believe everything happening. Dee Wallace is the biggest name in the film, she is in a supporting role, which lets her bring the experience to the film.

StoryThe story here follows a family that move into a house of a deceased relative only to discover three creepy dolls in the attic, soon strange things start happening around the house as it appears the dolls come to life when people aren’t looking. This story does play into the creepy dolls genre of horror which does to use mental health and addiction to try and reflect the situation going on through the events of the film. It does start by going in one direction, but it does feel like it is going to target on a rampage, then throws another twist to them in and it does seem to rush a lot of the story going on through the film. it does end in a very confusing manor which could make most of the film feel almost redundant.

HorrorThe horror in this comes from the dolls which do feel creepy and make us feel uneasy wondering what they will be doing next.

SettingsThe film is set in the one location which is the house, it is filled with locations where the dolls could sneak around without being seen, only heard, which does play into the rules created.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are only used when they are needed, they are simply with certain small movements which does help the film unfold.


Scene of the Movie –
The dolls appearance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The ending.

Final ThoughtsThis is a new creepy doll movie, which has been the it feature at the moment, with Child’s Play and Annabelle in the cinema, this one does have a creepy feel to it even if the story does seem to be rushed.

 

Overall: Creepy Fun horror.

Rating