Cam (2018)

Director: Daniel Goldhaber

Writer: Isa Mazzei (Screenplay) Daniel Goldhaber, Isa Mazzei, Isabelle Link-Levy (Story)

Starring: Madeline Brewer, Patch Darragh, Melora Walters, Devin Druid, Imani Hakim, Michael Dempsey

 

Plot: Alice, an ambitious camgirl, wakes up one day to discover she’s been replaced on her show with an exact replica of herself.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Mystery

 

Story: Cam starts as camera girl Alice going by the name Lola (Brewer) is trying to improve her ranking among the cam girls by pulling off bigger stunts for her audience. Alice’s desire to get a hiring ranking is starting to consumer her and once her hits the top 50 her life takes a dramatic twist.

Somebody takes over Alice’s account while continuing top post videos in her name and the girl looks exactly like Alice. Alice wants to get back into her account getting nowhere in the process and soon her life starts falling apart showing how identity theft can ruin somebody’s life.

 

Thoughts on Cam

 

Characters – Alice is a cam girl who is trying to get her reputation online higher, she will try anything to get higher until her identity gets stolen, leaving her helpless to defend herself from the person who has stolen the identity and continues to us her in videos. Tinker is one of the highest tippers, he does help Alice with her own promotional up the ranks, even though he gets slightly too close to her. Lynne is the mother of Alice who is left disappointed by the fact her daughter has turned to this line of work, while Jordan is the younger brother is left a shamed once his friends learn what she has been up to.

PerformancesMadeline Brewer in he leading role fully commits to this role, we see how her consumption will drive her action in this film, grabbing our attention and making us want to know what will happen to her. With Madeline in every scene, it doesn’t give the rest of the cast that much to do other than to react to what Alice is doing.

StoryThe story does follow a camera girl who has her identity stolen and somebody is still using her on camera, leading to Alice to investigate and learn the truth to regain her identity. Now this does bring a new way to deal with stolen identity because the person hasn’t stolen anything material or using her money, they have just taken her position in the rankings for the girls. Away from this you could say there would be easy answers to getting help, but we didn’t and we don’t seem to get a proper answer to what happened, which is disappointing.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film comes from having your identity stolen, it shows how helpless a victim can be. The mystery revolves around just what is going on and by the end it feels like we are missing the true answer.

SettingsThe film creates everything to leave us in an everyday town, showing us how the person can be doing basic shopping and living the camera girl life in private.

Special EffectsThe effects are used simply which fit everything that happens through the film, with the final moments being a wonderful use of makeup.


Scene of the Movie –
Face to face.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Using suicide shows.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror mystery that has all the potential in the world only for it to come slightly short when it comes to giving answers.

 

Overall: Horror that does most of the things right.

Rating

 

 

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The House That Jack Built (2018)

Director: Lars von Trier

Writer: Lars von Trier (Screenplay) Jenle Hallund (Story)

Starring: Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman, Siobhan Hallon Hogan, Sofie Grabol, Riley Keough, Jeremy Davies

 

Plot: The story follows Jack, a highly intelligent serial killer, over the course of twelve years, and depicts the murders that really develop his inner madman.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Long & Dull

 

Story: The House That Jack Built starts as we meet Jack (Dillon) who is confessing his kills to Verge (Ganz) he goes on to tell him about five different murders he has committed, first was a stranded lady (Thurman) who constantly goes on about him being a serial killer. Second more daring, taking on a lady (Hogan) in her own home.

As Jack starts to see his OCD become less of a problem, he starts taking more risks when it comes to his kills, the more daring he becomes the easier they feel to him.

 

Thoughts on The House That Jack Built

 

Characters – Jack is a serial killer, he has killed dozens of people, with his acts becoming more daring as he becomes more confident in his skills to kill. He is confessing his actions to a priest, which gives us his mindset for each of his kills. Verge is the priest who is hearing the confession that is listening to the stories as he is learning whether Jack is the man he claims to be. We have plenty of victims which offer Jack plenty of different styles of kills, though none of them are very memorable.

PerformancesMatt Dillon is the only highlight in the film, where even he struggles to keep the attention of the audience, he is in nearly every scene which means he needs to be the best, only he doesn’t deliver well enough. The supporting cast is mostly forgettable because they are just the victims.

StoryThe story here follows Jack as he is confessing his murders to an unknown presence who feels like a priest. The story is told in chapter form which allows us to see each different murder and mindset which caused him to go through with his actions all while having an ending which will only leave you more confused from what we did see. The pacing of this film is awful, as it does drag on and on before getting to the point of the conversation, we could easily skip one of the chapters that offers up nothing to the main story. this is also meant to be a story with a lot of controversy, though I struggled to see just what that could have been.

Comedy/HorrorThis is classed as a comedy? I struggle to see why, but maybe there is something in this people could see being funny, the horror is a serial killer that likes to play with his victims, which are slowly waiting for him to do something, the way the story is told holds up the impact though.

SettingsThe film takes us to many different settings which each play into the hands of the killer waiting for his chance to kill, he uses his environment to select how he gets the job done. There is one final location which will confuse though.

Special EffectsThe effects are basic the kills are basic we don’t go over the top with them, though the final sequence is heavier on the effects.


Scene of the Movie –
The final sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Pacing is annoyingly bad.

Final ThoughtsThis is a poor serial killer movie that lacks pacing skills and engaging characters.

 

Overall: Boring horror.

Rating

 

 

The Demonologist (2018)

Director: J.M. Stelly

Writer: J.M. Stelly (Screenplay)

Starring: Brian Krause, Jared Bankens, Lara Grice, Scott Allen Perry, Thomas Francis Murphy, Jeff Pearson, Manon Pages, Dane Rhodes

 

Plot: Detective Damien Seryph investigates a string of murders that connects to a group trying to bring forth the 4 King Demons of Hell. Damien’s past connects him to those involved and will force him to become “The Demonologist”.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Slow

 

Story: The Demonologist starts as two detectives Damian (Krause) and Billy (Hoefer) stat investigating a string a ritual murders. Meredith (Pages) has been possessed and used by the demon preparing to bring his children back to Earth for the next stage in process of life, with the most loyal follower being Ian Parrish (Bankes).

As the bodies continue to pile up, Damian learns out that it has become personal and he learns about his own past with the fight against demons before the evil will rise.

 

Thoughts on The Demonologist

 

Characters – Damian is a police detective, he is about to get engaged with his latest case involving a ritual manner, going through the investigation it becomes personal and he must learn to balance the personal side with the professional side. He must also learn about his past with the work of his family having dealt with the demons before. Ian Parrish is the one leading the ritual murders, he is following the orders of his chosen demon waiting for his chance. Meredith is the vessel for the demon, using her sexy seductive ways to keep her followers doing whatever she needs done. Frank is the partner of Damian’s trying to keep him on the right path when the case becomes too personal, he is the friend that is always there for him.

PerformancesBrian Krause leads a cast that do just enough to get by without doing enough to make you want to see more from their character. Jared Bankes does look creepy, though we don’t get enough from his character, while Manon Pages brings the sexy side to the character, without getting to completely dive into her character.

StoryThe story here takes an unsuspecting police detective that finds himself getting involved a case which involved ritual murders, only to learn that he was always meant to be involved in this battle. The pace of this story is weak because it does feel like it is dragging along and unless you know the ritual world certain terms will go straight over your head. We do seem to get introduced to a lot of characters and ends up feeling like the pilot episode to a television show giving the character of Damian everything he needs for the first fight with this new light in his career.

HorrorThe horror involved in the film deals with possession and the potential rise of a demon from hell that will change Earth.

SettingsThe film takes us to a city which has the dark arts going on within it, it could be any city because it has no iconic locations used.

Special EffectsThe CGI used in the film does look weak and unconvincing throughout the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The number of characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weak horror that doesn’t get much help from the pacing of everything going on either, it feels like a pilot episode which cold turn into an interesting show.

 

Overall: Weak and disappointing.

Rating

 

 

Unearthed: The Curse of Nephthys (2018)

Director: Beau Yotty

Writer: Beau Yotty (Screenplay)

Starring: Beau Yotty, Cat Roberts, Tessa Gardenier, Amanda Michalek, Wayne Lundy, Dan Weisgerber

 

Plot: Don Slayer is tested to the extreme when he’s forced into battle with a powerful supernatural force, an ancient Goddess of Egypt.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 16 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappointing

 

Story: Unearthed: The Curse of Nephthys starts when archaeology student Jennifer Hicks (Michalek) is called to a ranch after the owner discovers a mysterious statue on his land, it does possess a power. Don Slayer (Yotty) on the other hand seems to have the ability to sense death before it happens, as he fights of evil beings.

When the statue is stolen, Jennifer tries to make out what she can from the photos, while the Goddess Nephthys (Roberts) watching and waiting to use the power to escape the statue, with only Don and Jennifer being able to stop it.

 

Thoughts on Unearthed: The Curse of Nephthys

 

Characters – Don Slayer can see evil before it acts, he saves lives with this ability, his latest vision brings him to Jennifer, as his gift is connected to the curse that is wanted to be lifted by the evil Goddess Nephthys. Jennifer is the granddaughter of a famous archaeologist who discovered an unusual burial that included the statue, she is studying to follow in his footsteps with this being one of her first solo investigations, as she might be the only way the Goddess can be released. Nephthys is the evil Goddess trying to get out of her prison to re-enter the world to continue her reign of terror, even trapped she has the ability to push people int her instructions.

PerformancesThis is a low budget movie and you can this in the performances, Beau Yotty writes, directs and stars in the movie, he doesn’t give his character enough of an edge which could have made him standout more in the film. Amanda Michalek suffers in her role because she is involved in the video calls which felt like the most uncomfortable conversation the two had ever had. The actors struggle to be given the time to make the impact in any of their scenes.

StoryThe story here follows a new discovery of a statue which contains an evil Goddess that wants to become free which sees her using her ability to control humans to locate the person who can get her out. When it comes to anything to do with Egyptian history, I have a soft spot because it does fascinate me, this story tries to build on the mystery behind certain unanswered questions only to not follow through with any threat because we are focusing more on stopping the threat even happening over trying to stop something big that has happened.

Action/Horror The action does bring us into the idea that we are in a race against time and evil, without being overly committed to show any full-blown action. The horror tries to focus on just what could happen with nothing ending up coming off scary.

SettingsThe film is set in Arizona which is nowhere near where you would imagine seeing an Egyptian artifact, but it does work for the film.

Special EffectsThe film knows is doesn’t have the budget to cope with big special effects and instead pulls away from doing which is good because we don’t need them for the most part either.


Scene of the Movie –
The history of the statue.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The video calls are painful to watch, the people don’t see to have any conversation skills.

Final ThoughtsThis is a low budget film that does show the ambition to do something different, the budget however does hold everything back too much and it feels like we are missing a big chapter of this movie.

 

Overall: Ambitious and Potential, only misses the marks.

Rating

 

 

Christmas Weekend – Silent Night (2012)

Director: Steven C Miller

Writer: Jayson Rothwell (Screenplay)

Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Jaime King, Donal Logue, Rick Skene, Ellen Wong

 

Plot: The police force of a remote Midwestern town search for a killer Santa Claus who is picking off citizens on Christmas Eve.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Horror Remake

 

Story: Silent Night starts in this small town where deputy Aubrey Bradimore (King) is forced to work Christmas Eve by Sherriff Cooper (McDowell), the town is overrun by Santa’s but we learn early on that one of them is killing he residents.

As the bodies start to build up Aubrey and Cooper must track down this serial killer Santa that has a past to the town that has caused the vengeful nature of the killer Santa.

 

Thoughts on Silent Night

 

Characters/PerformanceDeputy Bradimore is expecting Christmas off but that changes when she is forced into work, her day gets worse when a serial killer Santa starts killing people and she must face her worries to take down this killer. Sheriff Cooper is the heartless boss of the cops, he expects them to be good at his jobs and will stay loyal to them when they are in danger. The killer Santa is menacing through the film with his increased size making him a threat to anybody who gets in his way.

Performance wise, Malcolm McDowell is always a good for a horror film and he is solid throughout the film. Jaime King continues her run in horror remakes and is solid through the film too. The rest of the cast are fine but most only have the odd scene.

StoryThe original Silent Night Deadly Night is something of a cult classic now and these are the type of horrors you don’t mind getting a remake happen. This time we don’t get enough of the backstory to why the Santa has gone on the rampage, we also don’t have the best written characters as they all come of plain and the kills are all created to try and push some boundaries in the slasher kill list. The strong point is that this all happens over one day.

Comedy/Horror/MysteryCertain parts of the film will give you a laugh, this does include some of the kills too, the horror side is all slasher and a joy for the fans but does lack any suspense. The mystery comes into this one as we want to know why he is killing people.

SettingsThe small town setting does make for a good choice because the cops all know the victims and understand the trauma the families would be going through.

Special EffectsLooking at the effects the practical kills are good throughout but a couple of shots look very awkward CGI.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for all the slasher horror fans to enjoy, I can’t see a mainstream audience wanting to see this film. most of the kills are not Christmas related which you feel is part of the ongoing joke of this style of film too.

 

Overall: Drunk Slashing Enjoyment.

Rating