I Spit on Your Grave: Vengeance (2015)

Director: R.D. Braunstein

Writer: Daniel Gilboy (Screenplay)

Starring: Sarah Butler, Jennfier Landon, Doug McKeon, Gabriel Hogan, Harley Jane Kozak, Michelle Hurd

 

Plot: Jennifer Hills is still tormented by the brutal sexual assault she endured years ago. She’s changed identities and cities, reluctantly joining a support group where she begins to piece together a new life. But when her new friend’s murderer goes free and the tales of serial rapists haunt her, Jennifer will hunt down the men responsible and do what the system won’t – make them pay for their crimes in the most horrific ways imaginable. Only this time, no jury may be able to save her.


Tagline – Vengeance is a bitch.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Sequel

 

Story: I Spit on Your Grave: Vengeance is Mine starts as we follow Jennifer, now going by Angela (Butler) trying to get on with her life after the events in the first film, she is haunted by the sexual assault she suffered and has living fantasies about killing any man that comes offensive towards her.

Joining a support group for rape victims, Angela meets Marla (Landon) who wants to make guys pay for their behaviour, while it starts with pranks and minor assault because Angela knows the consequences of full vengeance, though this change when Marla is murdered by her ex-boyfriend that walks for the crime. Angela turns to her vigilante way to get her own revenge for her friend’s death.

 

Thoughts on I Spit on Your Grave: Vengeance is Mine

 

Characters – Jennifer/Angela, is the victim from the first movie that got her revenge on her rapist, now back in the real world, she is still experiencing nightmares from sexual assault and fantasies of killing anyone that shows any sexual interest, be it a look or inappropriate touching. This becomes a reality once her new friend is killed and now she sets out to kill anyone that has victimised members of the rape support group. Marla is the new friend Angela makes, she has been a victim of an abusive ex-boyfriend and gets to show a looser side when working with Angela to get their message across to the guys in their lives. Oscar is a member of the support group that has seen his daughter raped before she killed herself and the rapist walked free, he talks the revenge game, never sure whether to take the step. Detective McDylan is investigating the murder of Marla and tries to help Angela when the suspect gets murdered, this is a generic cop figure.

PerformancesSarah Butler returns to the franchise (that what it is now?) she is clearly the star of the show here and continues to bring us a strong character in every scene. Jennifer Landon is good in her supporting role getting to be wild at times. Sadly, the rest of the cast are just fine, while the characters they are playing are interesting, we don’t get to see much from them as the film is centred around Sarah’s character and interactions with these characters.

StoryThe story here picks up with the life of Jennifer as she has tried to start a new life after the events in the previous film, yes, we skip the second films events all together. This brings us back to the real world where the hate she feels is still strong, though the motive to act on it is being held back, until her friend is murdered and now she needs to get back to her blood vengeance she is going through to help clean up the streets.

HorrorThe horror from this film comes from the horrors that the victims have been through and how Angela goes out to get her own justice.

SettingsThe film being set in the big city, is a big change, it shows us how the city can be filled with people you would never know their darker secrets and how cleaning them up can be difficult.

Special EffectsThe effects in this movie are used lightly, but when they are used they are brutal and effective to show the horror being put on the victim.


Scene of the Movie –
The first real murder, it is graphic as they come.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many dream sequences.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good sequel to a film that didn’t feel like it needed one, showing the lasting effects of what happened to Jennifer is the highlight of the film and something you do want to continue watching.

 

Overall: Nice sequel that works in the right ways.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – V – The Veil (2016)

Director: Phil Joanou

Writer: Robert Ben Garant (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica Alba, Lily Rabe, Thomas Jane, Aleksa Pallandino, Shannon Woodward, Reid Scott

 

Plot: Twenty-five years after members of a religious cult committed mass suicide, the lone survivor returns to the scene of the tragedy with a documentary crew in tow.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Mystery

 

Story: The Veil starts as we learn about Jim Jacobs (Jane) and his religious cult that committed mass suicide at a place known as ‘The Veil’ only one person survived, a young girl. 25-years-later a documentary film maker Maggie Price (Alba) leads a team with the grown-up survivor Sarah (Rabe) back to ‘The Veil’ to learn what happened and why Sarah was spared.

Being back gives Sarah a few answers as she leads the team around the camp discovering a secret stash of videos which show what Jim Jacobs was up to in cult and not everything is what they were expecting as they start to find themselves haunted by the spirits of the cult.

 

Thoughts on The Veil

 

Characters – Jim Jacobs is the leader of the cult, he wants to prove the spirit can be separated from the body, did he die in the mass suicide or did he achieve his goal with the other members of the cult. Maggie the lead in the documentary team, she introduces the team and arranges for Sarah to return, she does also have a connection to what happened during the mass suicide. Sarah is the lone survivor from the suicide, she returns as a grown up even if she does seem to be happy to be back to learn the truth.

PerformancesThomas Jane is the highlight of this movie, his performance is filled with all the crazy needed for role. Jessica Alba on the other side of the coin is average to poor throughout, this role could have been played by anyone to a higher level. Lily Rabe does continue to make herself feel like she should be in horror films at all times.

StoryThe story follows the documentary team looking at new evidence which could explain what was happening on the site of a mass suicide. The idea of learning what happened through a mix of tapes which sadly don’t feel like found footage which is the biggest problem. The continuing idea works but the forced horror is the stumbling block here. The story does also have flaws including why didn’t the police investigate the property to find the tapes, I mean come on there was a mass suicide surely raiding every possible location is important in an investigation.

Horror/MysteryThe horror does feel forced for the most part and once we see the final scene feels almost unnecessary, this could easily have just stuck to the mystery thriller side of things and kept us on edge wondering where things will go next.

SettingsThe whole film is set on the Veil, it shows a place that has had mass suicides would be haunting to be around as well as have secrets people might have missed.

Special EffectsThe effects for the ‘found footage’ are way too high of a quality, this is mostly down to one moment feeling like it has the grainy effect but the next we are thrown into that time. The ghost activity is fine but nothing overly impressive.


Scene of the Movie –
The final moment.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I want to put a couple here, first why did the police not investigate the surrounding area? Why is Jessica Alba a lead actress? The horror is mostly plain old jump scares.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the book horror mystery thriller which would have hit higher levels if it had remained just a mystery thriller without the pointless jump scares that miss most times. We also have a forgettable supporting crew in the documentary team.

 

Overall: Try but don’t buy in.

Rating

 

 

Wounds (2019) Movie Review

Director: Babak Anvari

Writer: Babak Anvari (Screenplay)

Starring: Armie Hammer, Dakota Johnson, Zazie Beetz, Karl Glusman, Christin Rankins, Brad William Henke

Plot: Disturbing and mysterious things begin to happen to a bartender in New Orleans after he picks up a phone left behind at his bar.


Tagline – Don’t call it in.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Wait What?

Story: Wounds starts like most nights in Rosie’s bar, bartender Will (Hammer) has the locals including Alicia (Beetz) her boyfriend Jeffrey (Glusman) and rig worker Eric (Henke) who isn’t afraid to get a little bit rough at times, when a fight gets out of hand, the college students there, left leaving a phone behind, which Will tries to let them know about, only to get a strange string of messages.

What Will discovers on the phone will leave him shocked and needing to find the truth about what he finds on the phone, with his partner Carrie (Johnson) not trusting a single thing he is doing.

Thoughts on Wounds

Characters – Will is a bartender who is generally quite relaxed about what happens in the bar, he knows tricks which will keep people happy, he tries to give himself the cool persona in the bar, outside the bar he is cheating on his girlfriend, which has made his relationship toxic. Will discovers a phone left behind at the bar, which sees him dive into the rabbit hole trying to learn about what the message being sent is really about, which soon sees him start to lose his mind with what he is seeing. Carrie is the girlfriend of Will’s, she is studying at the moment and doesn’t trust Will’s behaviour even before the phone appears. Alicia is one of the locals in the bar, she does have a thing with Will on the side, which does make it difficult when she is around with her boyfriend. Jeffrey is the new boyfriend of Alicia’s that does have a similar path as Will, when it comes to the education side of things, trying to be a tougher man than he is.

PerformancesArmie Hammer is the strongest of the performers in this film, he does handle the calmer sides with ease, only when it comes to losing his mind, it seems safe over stronger, Dakota Johnson and Zazie Beetz both feel mostly wasted in their roles where they do the best they can without getting much out of their characters. Most of the rest of the cast struggle to get much more out of their characters.

StoryThe story here follows a bartender that finds a phone left behind at the bar which sees him starting to get strange message and experiencing unusually events, which sees his life spiralling out of control. This does start strongly because seeing the cool bartender that finds a horror video on the phone adds plenty of mystery to what is going on. The problems with the story comes from how it ends, because I don’t think it really ended in anyway, we do get to see a couple of looks at serious issues in life, but we don’t follow through with them on a strong enough level. This story will end up leaving you feel flat without anything seeming to finish.

Horror/MysteryThe horror does have a lot of dread through the film, but it just doesn’t get to the levels where it follows through, with the mystery being interesting to see, only never feeling like it got solved.

SettingsThe film uses the New Orleans backdrop which is one of best horror locations, only it doesn’t seems to use this to the full levels.

Special EffectsThe effects used are mostly to bring the number of bugs to the scenes, which don’t always look that good to see in the film.


Scene of the Movie – The video clip does give us a shock.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is really hard to read the text messages.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that seems to miss the vital part of the film, the conclusion which just seems to just end without wrapping anything up, despite giving us an interesting mystery to start with.

Overall: Falls Flat.

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – T – Tank 432 (2015)

Director: Nick Gillespie

Writer: Nick Gillespie (Screenplay)

Starring: Rupert Evans, Steve Garry, Deirdre Mullins, Michael Smiley, Gordon Kennedy

 

Plot: A team of mercenaries confront nightmarish visions when they become trapped inside an armoured personnel carrier.


Tagline –  There’s no turning back.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fails to Deliver

 

Story: Tank 432 starts as we follow army squad Reeves (Evans), Gantz (Garry), Karlsson (Mullins), Capper (Smiley), Smith (Kennedy) and Evans (Meeten) as they are alluding an unknown enemy, in an unknown woodland area, where they come across the last squad while coming down with a sickness.

When the unit discovers an armoured vehicle they use it for shelter from the approaching enemy but also find themselves locked in the vehicle where they discover they may have been infected by something because they all start seeing nightmare visions.

 

Thoughts on Tank 432

 

Characters – Reeves is one of the younger members of the unit, he seems like the newest member often making rookie mistakes in the eyes of other members of the unit. Capper is the injured member of the unit, he is left to defend for himself as the unit needs to move out quickly. Karlsson is the medic in the unit needing to take care of the injuries to Capper and the mental state of the random girl they find. The soldier all hit the generics of what you expect without giving too much about their lives outside of the unit away.

PerformancesThe performances across the board are good enough for the film, with most of the cast trapped inside the tank it doesn’t give them much to do other than sit around talk and searching for answers.

StoryThe story follows the unit as they look to survive from an unknown enemy, this is where a lot of this films story falls apart because, we don’t know their mission, where it is or what they are running from. It spends too long inside the tank trying to figure out a way out without any threat coming from the outside, for this film to hit the marks we needed to see more of the nightmare effects of whatever is meant to be going on which would explain the fear they are facing but not enough is revealed until the final act.

Action/HorrorThe action isn’t as heavy as we would like it too be, we have random shooting and a driving sequence the rest is waiting for something to happen. The horror is there just not as much as we would like it to be, the moments of the vision offer something but don’t deliver in the final punch.

SettingsMost of the film is set inside the vehicle, which I can accept being good for a confined setting waiting for an enemy but we don’t see the enemy do anything against them.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well when needed but the film doesn’t turn to them, which is a good thing.


Scene of the Movie –
Capper’s return.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough happens.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that disappoints in the most part, it doesn’t hit the levels it could and we are left wondering just where the film was meant to be going for the most part.

 

Overall: Disappoint horror that misses the chances it had.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – R – Ruin Me (2017)

Director: Preston DeFrancis

Writer: Preston DeFrancis, Trysta A Bissett (Screenplay)

Starring: Marcienne Dwyer, Matt Dellapina, Chris Hill, Eva Hamilton, John Odom, Sam Ashdown, Cameron Gordon

 

Plot: Alexandra reluctantly tags along for Slasher Sleepout, an extreme event that is part camping trip, part haunted house, and part escape room. But when the fun turns deadly, Alex has to play the game if she wants to make it out alive.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Horror

 

Story: Ruin Me starts as six people, couple Alex (Dwyer) & Nathan (Dellapina), horror expert couple Marina (Hamilton) & Pitch (Odom), Larry (Hill) and Tim (Gordon) take part in a Slasher Sleepout weekend, which is designed to scare the members like they are living in a horror film.

As the weekend continues it soon becomes a race to survive because the game doesn’t seem as friendly as they first thought, and they must figure out if they are in a real slasher event.

 

Thoughts on Ruin Me

 

Characters – Alex joins her boyfriend on this weekend, she isn’t the biggest horror fan, but a couples weekend, is a couple weekends, she has a past which has seen her struggle through events in her life, which will make her fit the typical final girl for a slasher experience. Nathan is the boyfriend that was going on this weekend with his best friend who paid for everything, only to drop out, he has always been loyal toward Alex, whatever her struggles. Larry is a lone man that has been on this style of weekend before and enjoys meeting the new people that take part in the games. Marina is one half of a horror fan couple, she does fill the slutty figure of the cast.

PerformancesMarcienne Dwyer in the leading role is strong through the film, we see her go through the range of emotions as her character becomes more complex as the film unfolds. When it comes to the rest of the cast they do hit their characters well and look like they fit into the horror genre.

StoryThe story follows six people that entertain a horror theme weekend of fun that soon spirals out of control as one of them finds themselves alone and wondering if this is real or not. This is an interesting story to watch unfold, we are entering a world where horror films exists which is important for the way of surviving what is happening. We will be left to wonder if this is real or not which is just what we want. This is a simple enough story that will keep us guessing and waiting to see how the events unfold.

HorrorThe horror in this film comes from knowing horror movies, which will see how the group look to survive the events of a horror film.

SettingsThe film uses the settings that are known in horror, including the woods which is one of the easiest slasher locations in horror.

Special EffectsThe film uses practical effects to achieve everything it wants to during the weekends events.


Scene of the Movie –
The beach.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The supporting members of the group feel too generic for the genre of horror.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun horror that really does try to push the limits of the audience by showing us just how people can become affected by a horror weekend event.

 

Overall: Enjoyable horror.

Rating