Gremlin (2017)

Director: Ryan Bellgardt

Writer: Ryan Bellgardt, Josh McKamie, Andy Swanson (Screenplay)

Starring: Adam Hampton, Kristy K Boone, Catcher Stair, Katie Burgess, Mike Waugh, Caleb Milby


Plot: A man receives a mysterious box containing a terrible secret, a creature that will kill everyone else in his family unless he passes it on to someone he loves to continue its never-ending circulation.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Twisted Creature Feature


Story: Gremlin starts as we meet the Thatcher family, Adam (Hampton), Julie (Boone), Anna (Burgess) Charlie (Stair) and grandmother Mary (Wilcox) who receive the mysterious box from their Uncle Jim (Waugh) as the family is grieving the loss of their child.

When a small creature emerges from the box it starts taking lives, one at a time as Adam must follow the warning of giving it to someone he loves to break the curse put upon his family, but the secrets will come out about what happened to their other child and the personal lives of the family. Can they escape from this curse before it is too late.


Thoughts on Gremlin


Characters/PerformanceAdam is the husband and father of the household, he receives the box as a gift but he has been dealing with the loss of his son by pushing his family away. Julie has been dealing with the family problems at home making sure the kids are coping with the loss and understand standing her husband’s flaws. Charlie is the son of the family who hides from the reality of losing his brother. Anna is rebelling against her parents in the typical teenage mindset which shows how she is pushing away from the family. This is a normal feeling family with their own problems through the day and now against this creature.

Performance wise, I feel the whole cast give good performances through the film, with the mystery behind what is occurring covering up any flaws.

StoryThe story does come off as original because we are left to see how the family must deal with a creature or Gremlin if you like that is coming out of a box killing loved ones at a random time during the day. We get new rules to the genre too with the idea you can’t kill the creature you can only pass it on which I do think adds a new level of terror to this story. I also like how the film doesn’t hold any punches when coming for the shocks but I would have liked to have seen more on the family looking at spiritual cures for the problem.

HorrorThe horror comes from the idea that a box will keep a Gremlin in that will kill your loved ones if you don’t pass it one, leaving our characters to battle with the idea of what they should do next.

SettingsWe have the home settings for most of the film because this is needed to show us just how close to home the horror will be for the family involved.

Special EffectsWe have a lot of CGI going on here and sure it isn’t the greatest but it does work with everything going on within the film. It is mostly all used for creating the creature which is menacing and terrifying through the film.

Final ThoughtsIf you want a new and original horror movie this is one for you to watch, it has morale questions as well as having the guts not to pull any punches.


Overall: Great addition to the horror world in 2017.




Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017)

Director: Takanori Tsujimoto

Writer: Makoto Fukami (Screenplay) Joe McClean (Adaptation)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Erin Cahill, Kevin Dorman, Jason Faunt, Matthew Mercer, Arnie Pantoja, Alexander Polinsky


Plot: Chris Redfield enlists the help of Leon S. Kennedy and Rebecca Chambers to stop a death merchant, with a vengeance, from spreading a deadly virus in New York.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Great Addition to the Animated Resident Evils


Story: Resident Evil: Vendetta starts as we see our soldier Chris Redfield searching a mansion for missing persons but the mission goes terribly wrong when the mansion is filled with the infected led by mercenary Glenn Arias who has a grudge with the system.

Chris teams up with Rebecca Chambers a scientist that has found a cure for the new virus being released in different areas of the world. The pair turn to Leon Kennedy to join in the battle against Arias, giving him a chance to finish everything once and for all.


Thoughts on Resident Evil: Vendetta


Characters Chris Redfield has been fighting the infected for years, he always has a trick up his sleeve when it comes into battling them and now his leadership skills put the team into battle. Leon Kennedy returns once more to put an end to the infection spreading around the world, the same infection he has been battling for years. Rebecca Chambers is a scientist that has discovered a cure for the infection but she doesn’t know everything. Glenn Arias is a man looking for vengeance for the death of his wife to be and now he has all the cards on the table to take down the people that ruined his life. I believe these four characters placed together make this feel like the game more than the live action films.

StoryThe story does feel like it could be part of the video game world created, we have three different good characters looking to battle one big bad with obstacles along the way. This story is a good watch and easily more entertaining and complete than the live action films (which I do have a soft spot for). One glaring story problem is the smart scientist is just a damsel in distress which disappoints in a game world that has created strong female characters.

Action/Horror/MysteryThe action is all good, not quite as big as Damnation but a lot closer quarters. The motorbike sequences are both strange and delicious to watch though. I would say this film hits many of the horror marks needed but does try very hard with the opening sequence. The mystery is easier to solve too but it doesn’t feel like a problem here.

SettingsMoving the biggest action sequence to New York City instead of the fantasy worlds shows us how the infection is starting to become a bigger threat.

AnimationThe animation does look great and does feel like a series of cut scenes from the games.

Final ThoughtsIf you are a fan of the Resident Evil games and or the animated films you will enjoy this outing but I would suggest not starting here.


Overall: Enjoyable animated movie well worth watching.




Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Static (2012)

staticDirector: Todd Levin

Writer: Gabriel Cowan, Todd Levin, John Suits (Screenplay) Gabriel Cowan, Andrew Orci, John Suits (Story)

Starring: Milo Ventimiglia, Sarah Shahi, William Mapother, Sara Paxton, Dominic Bogart, Oz Kalvan, Luke Barnett, Oz Kalvan


Plot: A couple facing marital problems after losing their child finds their life together further complicated by a mysterious visitor.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Slow Burning Final Twist Saving Film


Story: Static starts as we meet author Jonathan Dade (Ventimiglia) and his wife Addie (Shahi) who are grieving the loss of their son in their own way. Trying to work on their relationship they get interrupted by stranger Rachel (Paxton) who claims to be followed by some masked men.

Questioning her story only builds the tension between the couple until the lights go out and the intruders set their sights on getting into the house to take Jonathan and Addie too. Can they survive the night and what is the motives behind this invasion?


Thoughts on Static


StoryStatic goes down the home invasion angle for the story telling which is always going to be hard to top the big ones out there like The Strangers, The Purge or even Panic Room. This film clearly doesn’t reach these levels as it focuses on other trauma side to a couple’s relationship but I will say is saved by the final twist I didn’t see coming.

Horror/Mystery/ThrillerThe horror in this story comes from the idea behind everything the unknown home invasion which works in parts but when it comes to the horror rules they all get broken with bad decision making. The mystery comes from just not knowing what is going on and why first Rachel and then the couple have been targeted. The thrilling side of this story comes from the attempts to make us uneasy about what could happen next.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters put into this situation are generic ones as we see the grieving couple trying to make things work out which means this night could re-build their relationship while the intruders just come off very outsiderish which does help make us feel uneasy whenever they come onto the screen. The Rachel character does feel slightly out of place because why wouldn’t the couple know their neighbours. When it comes to the acting well this isn’t the highlight of the film and I am a fan of all the four leading actors (Mapother is barely even in the film) in this film but there just seems to be zero chemistry between the couple. Each character does make sense by the end of the film though.

SettingsThe film takes place in nearly the whole time in and around the house which makes it all feel isolated because the characters don’t have anywhere to run and adding in the darkness builds the atmosphere needed.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to special effects we don’t have or need many but the few we get all come off well enough for the final story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a home invasion film that has everything nicely put together for a good feel but due to poor acting and chemistry it just doesn’t come together to the level it should do. The twist on what the intruders want seem like it is waiting to happen from early on but ends up giving us a twist I didn’t see coming.


Overall: Saved by the final twist because getting there is very slow.




The Sublet (2015)

Director: John Ainslie

Writer: John Ainslie, Alyson Richards (Screenplay)

Starring: Tianna Nori, Mark Matechuk, Krista Madison, Porter Randell, Rachel Sellan


Plot: The Sublet is a suspense driven psychological thriller about Joanna, a new mom coping with her baby alone in an odd sublet apartment. As her husband neglects her to focus on his career, Joanna questions her sanity as she discovers a violent past to the apartment and suspects that the building may be haunted.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Paranoid Mother 101


Story: The Sublet starts as our couple Joanna (Nori) and Jeff (Matechuk) along with their baby moving into their new apartment with only a note from the owner. Jeff an aspiring actor spends his days on sets leaving Joanna home alone with the baby, where she starts to hear noises around the apartment as the weeks go by.

When the cops show up declaring Joanna has been reported missing the photo isn’t of her instead they are of a lady Joanna believes they are subletting from. We continue to see Joanna’s paranoia grow and are left to see just whether she is really paranoid of something strange is happening to her.


Thoughts on The Sublet


Characters/PerformanceJoanna is the stay at home mother that starts dealing with feeling like paranoid about her fiancé and the apartment, this is a traditional female character designed to be paranoid. Jeff is the partner who is busy with life, getting tired of dealing with Joanna’s action struggling to support her at times. Margaret is the former resident of the apartment that can be seen in photos and through the diary entries.

Performance wise, Tianna Nori must do most of the carrying of this film as she is the central character, she does a good job throughout as you do question her character’s mindset through the film. Mark Matechuk is solid but doesn’t get enough time to show what he could be capable off.

StoryStay at home parent becomes paranoid about their new apartment and is left to figure out the truth. This has been done before sure but they are effective means of storytelling. The film ticks all the boxes and has good use of music to pass the story along.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of this film comes in the paranoid side of the film a we are left wonder what is going on and is left in mystery to what is going on.

SettingsNearly the whole film is set inside the apartment which explains why we need to have the paranoid side of the film shining through.

Special EffectsOnly used when needed and effective enough, as most of this film is inside the mind.

Final ThoughtsThis is another good addition to single parent getting paranoid in a new apartment, which is fine for that audience.


Overall: Paranoid film that gets the scares needed.




Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – A Cure for Wellness (2017)

Director: Gore Verbinski

Writer: Justin Haythe (Screenplay) Justin Haythe, Gore Verbinski (Story)

Starring: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Ivo Nandi, Adrian Schiller, Celia Imrie


Plot: An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps, but soon suspects that the spa’s treatments are not what they seem.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Extended Mystery Horror Thriller


Story: A Cure for Wellness starts young executive Lockhart (DeHaan) is sent to a remote wellness centre in Switzerland to bring the CEO Pembroke (Groener) back to help close a merge in New York. After being involved in a car accident Lockhart finds himself with a broken leg and now a patient of the Wellness Program.

Still searching for Pembroke, Lockhart makes a deal with the director Volmer (Issacs) to stay for a couple of days to finish up the treatment for Pembroke. In this time Lockhart meets a mysterious young woman Hannah (Goth) the only other young patient who he tries to unlock the secrets of the program, which will test his own sanity.


Thoughts on A Cure for Wellness


Characters/PerformanceLockhart is the driven ambitious young man who has nearly reach the peak of his career at such a young age, he is haunted by his past which does include his father’s suicide and his mother’s death, this leaves him alone but in search for answers once he becomes the latest patient in the program. Volmer is the director of the clinic, he constantly remains calm through any incidents that occur and does have his own motives for the clinic. Hannah is the mysterious young woman also in the clinic, she is the only young patient there and she is Volmer’s main project but we are left to wonder about her past.

Performance wise, Dane DeHaan is good in this leading role and you can clearly see why he is tipped for a great career. Jason Isaacs always makes for a good doctor figure and this is no exception, while Mia Goth continues to make a name for herself in these stranger roles.

StoryThe story is filled with questions which always makes for a good story, I will have to point out that this is a long film nearing the 2 and half hour’s mark and even at that you can see how the pace can be questioned but it doesn’t feel long. We get a new look into the asylum genre which I feel is something we needed but the weakness is that we never hit the full levels of any of the genres involved.

Fantasy/Horror/MysteryThe fantasy elements of this film come from the world we are placed into, this also comes for the sci-fi side of everything too. The horror comes from see what happens within the walls which is quite shocking at times but the best use of the genres comes from the mystery element which keeps us guessing from start to finish as we simply don’t know where it will go.

SettingsWith most of the film taking place in the clinic we find ourselves trapped just like Lockhart in a place which doesn’t have an escape because being there means you don’t want to leave.

Final ThoughtsThis is one long mystery thriller that doesn’t stop you wanting to see where the film will go and then it will leave you shocked by the end.


Overall: A rewarding mystery thriller