Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Charlie’s Farm (2014)

charliesDirector: Chris Sun

Writer: Chris Sun (Screenplay)

Starring: Tara Reid, Nathan Jones, Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley, Genna Chanelle Hayes, Allira Jaques, Madeleine Kennedy, Dean Kirkright

 

Plot: In an effort to do something different, four friends head into Australia’s outback to explore Charlie’s Farm, the site where a violent family met their end at the hands of an angry mob. Despite all warnings, they persist in their horror-seeking adventure.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hmmmmm

 

Story: Charlie’s Farm starts as we see four friends Natasha (Reid), Melanie (Jaques), Jason (Kirkright) and Mick (Coward) looking for a new adventure in Australia going in land to the infamous Charlie’s Farm. Here we know how the blonde lead, the slutty brunette friend, the caring boyfriend and the comic relief who is way out of his league with the friend.

When the friends find the farm it isn’t long before strange things start happening before they learn the truth about Charlie’s Farm when they come face to face with the deranged killer Charlie (Jones) and have to fight to survive.

Charlie’s Farm is a very basic slasher film that offers nothing new to the genre in fact it actually takes the genre backwards because we get a killer that is inconstant when it comes to his kills, a group of friends you really just don’t care about which all leads to a slow build and wham bam thank you mame to finish the film. We have the inclusion of two horror icons in Kane Hodder and Bill Moseley which are wasted in these roles. This film really ends up being slightly insulting to all the slasher fans out there because we all know where it will be going.

 

Overall: Another pointless slasher film giving us nothing new.

Rating20

 

 

 

Anton Yelchin Weekend – Charlie Bartlett (2007)

charlieDirector: Jon Poll

Writer: Gustin Nash (Screenplay)

Starring: Anton Yelchin, Robert Downey Jr, Hope Davis, Kat Dennings, Tyler Hilton, Mark Randall, Dylan Taylor

 

Plot: A rich kid becomes the self-appointed psychiatrist to the student body of his new high school.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant High School Film

 

Story: Charlie Bartlett starts as Charlie (Yelchin) finds himself expelled from a private boarding school for making fake driving licences, returning to live with his mother Marilyn (Davis) as he agrees to try a public school. Charlie makes an impression on his first day with his naïve nature to the high school experience, where he shakes off the bully and not having social status to continue his kind nature.

Charlie continues to find ways around his problems with Susan Gardner (Dennings) being the love interest, Murphy (Hilton) as the bully he confronts to deal with the problem where he comes up with the idea of selling his medication. Charlie’s new plan does become more difficult when the Principal Gardner (Downey Jr) installs cameras in the student lounge. Charlie starts his own business as a psychiatrist for the students holding sessions in the boys room fast tracking him to the most popular kid in school.

 

Thoughts on Charlie Bartlett

 

StoryThis story is a high school comedy drama about one boy coming from a wealthy family who enters the public high school system and using his own intelligence to help the kids with problems no one is listening to. We do get the typical situations going on with bullying, anti-social behaviour to certain students and a relationship between students with one being the principal’s daughter. The story really does look at how difficult the high school experience can be on the students and if the students could talk the problems through themselves they can help each other find what they want from life.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy going on through this film feels very much like a modern Ferris Bueller which all works because none of it feels forced. The romance is pretty much what you would call a standard high school romance angle.

Characters/PerformanceAnton Yelchin gives what could easily be considered his best performance of his career as the character shows confidence through each situation even if he is dealing with his own problems. Robert Downey Jr shows he can easily play a supporting character with this Principal character that works well because he is open to help with the problems. As for the rest of the cast each performer gives great performances making the character’s work for the story being told.

SettingsNearly all of the film is set in and around the high school setting which of course is all that is needed for a high school comedy drama.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most underrated high school comedy dramas I have ever seen, the character of Charlie shines through to be one of the most important characters in high school films I have ever seen with the power of Ferris Bueller but the smarts to keep everyone together.

 

Overall: Easily the most underrated high school movie out there.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Choose (2011)

chooseDirector: Marcus Graves

Writer: Brandon Camp, Mike Thompson (Screenplay)

Starring: Katheryn Winnick, Kevin Pollak, Nicholas Tucci, Bruce Dern, Richard Short, Alexi Wasser, Lenny von Dohlen, Cady Huffman, Billy Kay, Billy Magnuseen

 

Plot: A journalism student tracks a killer with the help of her detective father and a therapist.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Horror

 

Story: Choose starts as we see our serial killer hold a family hostage forcing the teenage daughter to pick which of her parents will be killed. We move onto meet journalist student Fiona (Winnick) who has taken an interest in the case going on and with her father being the Sheriff (Pollak) keeping her assured.

With the serial killer continuing to make people make an impossible choice while Fiona starts to make a connection with the killer and her own mother’s apparent suicide.

Choose gives us a good concept with a serial killer that forces his victims to choose between two of their loves having to give up one of them. On the downside we can see clearly which direction the story is aiming very early on and sadly Kevin Pollak plays his character like it is a comedy rather than a serious horror. I do think the horror fans out there will enjoy this enough but don’t expect anything truly breath taking.

 

Overall: Great spin on the serial killer weakened by the poorly acted characters.

Rating55

 

 

Citizen Kane (1941)

kaneDirector: Orson Welles

Writer: Herman J Mankiewicz, Orson Welles (Screenplay)

Starring: Orson Welles, Joesph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead, Ruth Warrick, Ray Collins, William Alland

 

Plot: Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Still the Classic?

 

Story: Citizen Kane starts in one of the most famous openings in any film as Charles Foster Kane (Welles) final word ‘Rosebud’ and how the world reacts to the death of the iconic man of the world. We learn all about how successful Charles was as we follow Jerry Thompson (Alland) who goes out to find the true understanding of the final word Rosebud.

Going back to when Charles was a young boy we see the full life he lived which made the key moments that helped him reach the very top of the media mogul that almost ran the world.

Citizen Kane is considered one of the greatest films ever made and the bench mark for any film maker going into Hollywood. The story of how one man made his own fortune to a level where people could only imagine what he had but deep down he still had one long lasting meaning behind his whole life that no one understood until they understood the meaning of Rosebud. This is undoubtedly one of the greatest movies ever made and you can see why it is held in such high regard. I would be suggesting this to all the film fans out there as one they should all go back and see even if they are only a fan of the more modern cinema.

 

Overall: It really is the classic everyone see it to be.

Rating90

 

 

New Years Bonus Review – The Covenant (2017)

covDirector: Robert Conway

Writer: Robert Conway, Owen Conway, Christopher R Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Monica Engesser, Owen Conway, Clint James, Sanford Gibbons, Maria Olsen, Shawn Saaverdra, Richard Lippett

 

Plot: After the tragic deaths of her husband and daughter, Sarah Doyle moves back to her childhood home with her estranged brother, Richard. It’s not long before Sarah begins to experience supernatural phenomena of a violent and hostile nature. Bewildered and desperate, Richard enlists the aid of a paranormal investigator who confirms that Sarah has become possessed by a powerful demon. Together, the three men will go to battle to save Sarah’s soul.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Possession Film Done Right

 

Story: The Covenant starts as Sarah Doyle (Engesser) buries her daughter with her husband blaming her before killing himself. Needing to start a new life she moves back home with her brother Richard (Conway) after years of no communication between the two.

While Sarah still grieves in her own way it leaves the doors open for a supernatural spirit to enters her leading Richard to search for help with Father James Burk (Gibbons) being the first option, but when he can’t help he sends Father Francis Campbell (James) to help with the possession she is facing.

 

Thoughts on The Covenant

 

StoryThe story shows how grieving person can become an easy victim for an evil spirit. The story keeps us guessing because we get different characters getting ideas of what is happening which gives us plenty of reasons to stay invested in what could be happening with the outcome of this story I did like this over most possession films which I will be honest are not my favourite sub-genre of horror but this one puts everything together to work staying shocking and entertaining throughout.

HorrorWhen it comes to the horror you have the possession side of the story being shocking in places with the blood and gore coming through very strong when needed to add to the shock value. There may well be a few easy scares going on in this film but they all work out well for us the audience.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are the usual victims for the possession genre of film with the emotional broken women becoming possessed with the caring loved one this time brother looking for answers, we also have the one priest that is too scared while the one who battles the evil is not scared of anything he battles. The performances are all strong in their own way with Engesser as the victim giving a strong horror performance.

SettingsThe film is most set within the house which shows that the spirit has found its own home that is meant to be a family home that never had the terror when they were young. While the house isn’t used for any pivotal scenes it keeps everything together for the shock and horror in the story.

Special EffectsThe special effects all come off great in this film showing us the quality use in make up to make each scene feel shocking throughout.

Final ThoughtsStrong possession film that is one of the first I have enjoyed for a while that is shocking, bloody and horrific all mixed together.

 

Overall: Easily one of the better possession films in recent years.

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