Covadonga (2017)

Director: Sean Hartofilis

Writer: Sean Hartofilis (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Hartofilis, Lindsey Dumont, George Hartofilis, Matthew Montemaro, Phoenix Catherine

 

Plot: Mourning his wife and their stolen life at a secluded lake house, Martin Ravin watches a tipsy young couple commandeer his canoe. Only the boy returns to shore. As Martin’s dark past starts haunting his present, we’re left to wonder if his crusade is exacting justice or simply transmitting a tragic history.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 11 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Engaging Story

 

Story: Covadonga starts as we meet Martin (Sean Hartofilis), living alone in a lake house while grieving the loss of his wife Maggie (Dumont), he keeps himself busy with songs and housework dealing with things his own way.

Martin’s peace is shattered when a drunk young couple arrive to use his canoe, but when only the boy returns, Martin brings out a darker side one he has been hiding away from the world.

 

Thoughts on Covadonga

 

Characters – Martin lives alone in mourning for his late wife, he is going through his own process, which includes singing a lot of songs, keeping the lake house clean and remembering how special his wife was to him. He does have a darker side to his behaviour when he sees a crime committed on his land. The film mostly revolves around him, the only other characters we meet are the local detective, the boy who doesn’t return with the girl and the ghost of his wife.

PerformancesSean Hartofilis is the star on front and behind the camera, writing producing, having his hand in everything, he is the strongest part of the film giving us a performance we can both admire because we sympathise with his characters mindset. The supporting performances are good and help get the best out of Sean.

StoryThe story here shows the struggle one man is having with the loss of his wife, living isolated away from people. Most of the story he just watching him go about his time, which is interesting to see, things do change when he believes he sees a crime by a couple of drunk teenagers and watching him figure out what to do with the boy is interesting as he balances his mindset. As we said there isn’t too much more to the story, it just focuses on the ideas of how people can deal with losing a loved one and that is all it needs to be.

SettingsThe film is set at the lake house, which keeps the film feeling isolated like Martin and shows how the truth can be lost in the darkness of the night.


Scene of the Movie –
The songs.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is slightly too short.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice treat of a film, it gives us a look at grief with wonderful songs, it shows how the mind can change after loss, one that will grab your attention for the complete runtime.

 

Overall: Delightful treat of a movie.

Rating

 

 

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Camp Death III in 2D! (2018)

Director: Matt Frame

Writer: Matt Fream (Screenplay) Chris Allen, Katherine Alpen, Darren Anrichuk, Leonie Armstrong, Shawn Bordoff, Emma Docker, Kyle Fines, Matt Frame, Petar Gagic, Angela Galanopoulous, Deb Graf, Niall King, Dave Peniuk, Hans Potter, Nathan Robinson, Nikki Wallin, Starlise Waschuk, Molly Wilson (Story)

Starring: Dave Peniuk, Angela Galanopoulos, Darren Andrichuk, Emma Docker, Chris Allen, Starlise Waschuk

 

Plot: ‘Camp Death III in 2D’ is a comedy/horror parody of ‘Friday the 13th Part III in 3D’ and is proudly presented in two dimensions.


Tagline – Sometimes Terror Can’t Be Smelled.

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Requires Alcohol to Enjoy

 

Story: Camp Death III in 2D! starts as Camp Crystal Meph has closed down after a string a murders, now Todd Boojumper (Peniuk) re-opens his Uncle Mel’s (Andrichuk) into a camp for the mentally handicapped people.

When the campers start going missing, it isn’t long before the past comes back to haunt them as Johann Van Damme (Mullett) starts continuing his killing spree and it is up to the one person that stopped him last time Rachel (Galanopoulos) to finish him for good.

 

Thoughts on Camp Death III in 2D!

 

Characters – Todd Boojumper is the head counsellor at the camp, he is positive through each moment in the camp, making the kids feel welcome through each day at the camp, he doesn’t believe everything going on and must work with Rachel to save as many as he could. Todd gets to be about how over the top the counsellors can be in the slasher genre. Rachel has a connection to the previous murders at the camp, she is there to face her fears and now she must face Johann one more time. Mel is the grumpy loud Uncle of Todd’s he is inappropriate with everything he does showing us an older generation that would be slapped into horror.

PerformancesThis is a hard movie to judge performances because we are meant to be seeing wildly over the top version of the generic characters in films such as Friday the 13th, this does work and the cast make the most of their moments. The offense comes from the portrays of the handicapped characters.

StoryThe story sets up to play into the daft story telling in slasher genres where a camp is reopening after a mass murder with people not sure whether to believe the legend of the murders or not. You will need to watch this film with a sense of not wanting to see anything serious, you will be offended by the jokes at the mental handicapped expense in the film. if you have seen all the Friday the 13th you will understand most of the jokes and how easy they can be to poke fun at. The story isn’t going down as good, it can be enjoyed as a bad one though.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy is spoofing the slasher genre which was good, the problem comes with using mental handicapped figures which will cause offense for the wrong reasons. The horror doesn’t hit well, but it isn’t meant to be scary.

SettingsThe film is set in the remote cabin location for campers which makes us feel like we are part of a Friday the 13th film.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are weak, though they add to the humour of the film as they are trying to create unique kills.


Scene of the Movie –
Learning the truth about who is behind the killings.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The handicapped jokes.

Final ThoughtsThis is a spoof movie that knows where to poke fun at in the slasher genre, it gets certain laughs and understands what it wants to achieve, only it will offend too many people.

 

Overall: Parody that pushes the limits.

Rating

 

 

Cherry Tree (2015)

Director: David Keating

Writer: Brendan McCarthy (Screenplay)

Starring: Anna Walton, Naomi Battrick, Sam Hazeldine, Elva Trill, Patrick Gibson

 

Plot: Faith’s world is turned upside down after she finds out that her beloved father is dying. When the mysteriously alluring Sissy Young becomes her field hockey coach, Faith finds a compassionate spirit and much-needed mother figure. Little does she know that Sissy is the head of a centuries-old witches’ coven that uses the fruit of an ancient cherry tree in a secret ritual that restores life to the dead and dying.


Tagline –  A young woman makes a fateful pact with a witches’ coven that can save her dying father’s life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Horror

 

Story: Cherry Tree starts as we meet Faith Maguire (Battrick) a school girl that is considered somewhat of an outsider but continues to try out for the field hockey team, where her new coach Sissy Young (Walton) gives her a chance. in Faith’s personal life her father is losing his battle with cancer which would leave her alone in the world but he Sean (Hazeldine) stays strong for her.

Sissy is no ordinary woman though, she is an ancient witch that offers Faith a chance to cure her father, but this is nothing like Faith had imagined as she finds herself being involved in a secret ritual for her coven.

 

Thoughts on Cherry Tree

 

Characters – Sissy is the new field hockey coach at the school, but deep down she is an ancient witch searching for the next victim of the ritual she performs to keep life, she constantly appears in Faith’s life to make good on the deal they make. Faith is the school girl, she is about to lose her father to cancer and while never fitting in at school she is offered a deal by the new field hockey coach but it isn’t anything like she had prepared for. Sean is Faith’s father he has been battle his sickness but it doesn’t look good until Faith makes the deal. He is a good man who wants to make sure his daughter has everything she needs when he is gone.

PerformancesAnna Walton is good in the witch role, we have seen her in these types of roles before but her look and presence is felt throughout the film. Naomi Battirck is good as the confused, hopeless feeling teenager that would give up anything to save her father. Sam Hazeldine is solid but we don’t get to see enough form his character.

StoryThe story does have elements of Rosemary’s Baby to it, but I feel there is a much more desperate desire from Faith to go through with a deal which comes from the supernatural side of the things. She must decide whether to give up her family or make a deal which any school kid would do to save a parent. This does follow the route you would expect but it also does go into folk law which is something that always entertains in horror.

HorrorThe horror comes from the idea of witches looking to unleashes the underworld with the creature of choice being the centipede.

SettingsThe settings do the best to make it feel like this could be an everyday location for a normal average school girl.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well through the film, be it that most are practical effects that add to the gore beautifully.


Scene of the Movie –
Witch released.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There are moments which feel too dark to truly see what is going on.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror, it has plenty of blood and gore as well as giving us a dark twist on a folk law which is a pleasure to see.

 

Overall: Good horror all around.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – C – Creep (2014)

Director: Patrick Brice

Writer: Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass (Screenplay)

Starring: Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass

 

Plot: When a videographer answers a Craigslist ad for a one-day job in a remote mountain town, he finds his client is not at all what he initially seems.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 17 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull Enough

 

Story: Creep starts as Aaron (Brice) heads up into the mountains to record a video for Josef (Duplass) a man who doesn’t have much time on this Earth because of his latest cancer diagnosis. It doesn’t take long before it appears that Josef is not completely there and creepy but the pay day is important to Aaron.

When night falls the day should be over but when Aaron can’t find his keys he is left alone with this unstable man but this is only the beginning of the nightmare for Aaron.

 

Thoughts on Creep

 

Characters – Aaron is a cameraman hired to make a video for a dying man, he sees this as a quick day job for money but he isn’t prepared for what comes next as the man turns out to be a creepy and obsessive. Josef is the man that claims to be dying but as time goes by we learn he isn’t completely all there and starts stalking Aaron after their day together.

PerformancesKnowing this was just a two man film you are left seeing the two giving us a good performance through the film but when it comes to their other parts of the film you can see parts coming up short.

StoryWhen a man meets a creepy man we find ourselves in a weird talking situation. Here we have just end up follow the two around wondering why we are following the two and where things will go. We don’t get to not do much, not much happens it just has a small air of creepiness throughout.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror is on the creepy side of things but never hitting the heights it could.

SettingsThe two main settings work because the first cabin gives us an edge about things but once we leave it loses something.


Scene of the Movie –
Leave Now.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It just seems like we missed too much.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror thriller that doesn’t hit the marks it could have, it feels flat and never goes anyway in the end.

 

Overall: Misses the marks.

Rating

 

 

The Church (2018)

Director: Dom Frank

Writer: Dom Frank (Screenplay)

Starring: Clint Howard, Bill Moseley, Ashley C Williams, Lisa Wilcox, Deitra Leak, Holly Zuelle, Matthew Nadu

 

Plot: After a Pastor and select members of his congregation agree to sell his family’s 100-year-old church to a local developer, their sins begin to manifest in front of their eyes and hell breaks loose…inside the church.


Tagline – He is Watching

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Religious Horror

 

Story: The Church starts when real estate agent Ronald Lawson (Nadu) are trying to get a deal done purchasing a church from Pastor James (Moseley) to turn the church into the latest development for his company.

With the papers signed both sides find themselves trapped inside the church being tormented by an unseen force that isn’t happy the church is being sold.

 

Thoughts on The Church

 

Characters – Pastor James runs the church, he wants to be loyal to the followers, only he is seeing the numbers dwindle and his only option is to sale the church to the investor. Ronald Lawson wants to impress his father by being the one to get the deal done when it comes to buying the church, he finds a way, but his own personal problems cause him to be haunted by what is in the church. Elizabeth is the assistant to Roland who can help get a deal done, the rest of the characters we meet are different people who work for Roland, who are part of the deal from the developer’s side and members of the board in the church.

PerformancesBill Moseley is the horror icon that we know, he often appears in horror movies in support or cameo roles, here we do get to see him through the whole film which is good to see. Matthew Nadu takes the lead role and does a solid enough job. The film does get slightly saturated with too many characters which stops anyone becoming the main attraction of the film.

StoryThe story here follows a development group that wants to purchase a church and after a sale is agreed things turn sinister when an evil in the church refuses to let the people leave the church. This does ask us the question about whether a church should be sold to be demolished for developmental purposes, which is the highlight of the story. the story ends up being split into two, first half is showing us how the characters are thinking about the deal and the second is all the scares. Inside the church the hauntings don’t seem to completely explain or explained in anyway, just randomly occurrences. We do get too many characters meaning anything that does happen to any of the characters we don’t get enough time to process what happen either. The story has potential, but only turns into a quick bump and scare with an ending which will leave you rolling your eyes.

HorrorThe horror we experience in the film is basic, the positive come from the fact we do see the events happen in a group rather than solo moments being picked off, this can be scary but doesn’t feel scary.

SettingsOnce we are in the locked church the setting for the film works, we rarely see hauntings from inside a church, which is could be considered one of the smartest moves this movie makes.

Special EffectsThe effects are a mixed bag, because they are consistent when it comes to how the disappearance happen, but certain elements later in the film come off weak.


Scene of the Movie –
The first person taken.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple horror film, it does the basics well without doing anything that will make us go and scream. We have a good idea that doesn’t get executed to the best levels.

 

Overall: Simple horror with little originality.

Rating