Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Clowntergeist (2017)

Director: Aaron Mirtes

Writer: Aaron Mirtes (Screenplay) Brad Belemjian (Story)

Starring: Brittany Belland, Aaron Mirtes, Monica Baker, Eric Corbin, Madeleine Heil, Burt Culver

 

Plot: Emma, a college student with a crippling fear of clowns, must come face to face with her worst fear when an evil spirit in the body of a clown is summoned terrorizing the town she calls home.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good, Fun Clown Horror

 

Story: Clowntergeist starts as we see the first clown attack on somebody who has a fear of clowns, we move onto to meet our main characters Emma (Belland) and her roommate Heather (Baker) two students that are working in an ice cream shop to make ends meet, while balancing their studies.

When the town gets put on lock down with police looking for a killer at night Emma finds herself being haunted by a figure, a clown like figure. Emma must investigate the previous case through Mr Randall the father of the last victim but she must face a ghostly clown figure.

 

Thoughts on Clowntergeist

 

Characters – Emma is the student making a living while studying, she has a terrifying fear of clowns which makes her the target of Ribcage, she must learn to face her fears in order to survive the haunting. Heather is the traditional best friend that our lead needs in a film, supporting her belief while helping solve the hauntings. Ribcage is the clown that is haunting Emma, but what is the demon that has taken control of the possessed spirit of the clown.

PerformanceBrittany Belland is good in the leading role for what is essentially a scream queen style of performance. Monica Baker does make for a good best friend performance being plucky throughout. Eric Corbin as the clown does create his own look with his movement leading up to his attacks.

StoryThe story is told with a countdown leading down to the attack, which as times does take away from moments of peril the film could have. Other than that we get the idea that we have a spirit version of a clown leaving messages telling the victims when he will kill them, in what is a film about overcoming your fears of clowns. You can see the direction the film will go with the story and we don’t get enough focus on any origin of the clowntergeist which while sometimes annoying in films is also needed at times.

HorrorIf you are scared of clowns this will get the instant scare factor for you, add in this is a demon spirit clown you have just hit all your worst fears, outside of that you do have the spirit haunting our victims fears which is good for horror.

SettingsWe have a small town location which is being locked down looking for a killer, so we have the people knowing each other making the killer feel more shocking when revealed.

Special EffectsThe effects do all work when needed even if most do look like they are just well constructed practical effects.

Scene of the Movie – Let’s escape

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not learning enough about Ribcage.

Final ThoughtsBringing clowns to us for another nightmare that will leave people will fears of clowns terrified.

 

Overall: Haunting Clown movie,

Rating

 

 

Circus Kane (2017)

Director: Christopher Ray

Writer: James Cullen Bressack, Zack Ward (Screenplay) Sean Sellars (Story)

Starring: Jonathan Lipnicki, Tim Abbel, Victoria Konefal, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Sinjin Rosa, Nicole Arianna Fox, Bill Voorhees, Scott Thomas Reynolds, Mike Jerome Putnam, Rigo Obezo, Jonathan Nation

 

Plot: A reclusive circus master invites a group of social media stars to his house of haunts. Anyone who can make it out before being scared into submission will earn $250,000 – but the stars soon learn they are not only competing for money, but also fighting for their lives.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Twisted Gore Delight

 

Story: Circus Kane starts as Roxy, Greg, Billy (Lawrence), Scott (Lipnicki) Eddie, Carrie (Fox), Tracey (Konefal) and Jake receive a mysterious invitation from Balthazar Kane (Abbel) to take part in a night of terror for a chance to win $250,000, with the contestants all having connection to promote Kane’s big return through their social media audience.

As the contestants continue with the game they learn that this is the deadliest haunted house they have come up against and now they must fight to survive the haunted house.

 

Thoughts on Circus Kane

 

Characters – Scott claims to be fearless, he is selected because of this but the house will test his lack of fear. Balthazar Kane is the circus magician that wants to bring his house of horror back but this time he will push the limits of fear, through the film we discover his motivation for the game. Tracy is one of the contestants who is involved game, she is telling the story which we learn about in the opening present day scene. The contestants are a mixture of the ones you would expect to be picked off during this style of horror too, but this works for the direction the film goes.

PerformanceJonathan Lipnicki made a name for himself Jerry Maguire as a child actor but now he is trying to make a name for himself as an adult, while circling indie films he does show that he can lead horror films with this good performance, Tim Abbel as the menacing Balthazar Kane is great once we see the true nature of his character, Victoria Konefal is good as the trademark ‘final girl’ through the movie, the cast does all does do well with film.

StoryThe story is follow a group of contestants entering a house a horror to win a prize but the game turns out deadly. The story is filled with a magician pulling the tricks with riddles as the group ust work together to solve the situation. It you could imagine Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meeting Saw that is just how twisted the story feels.

HorrorThe horror comes from the gore created through the house of horrors, most of it comes off great but there are moments you can tell it is just a bucket of blood being thrown.

SettingsThe house is isolated away from the world and even after one of the characters calls for help they learn they are 2 hours away from any sort of rescue. The location does help because it does show us the time limit the characters would have to escape.

Special EffectsMostly practical effects going on here and sure this is great throughout showing us you don’t need to be doing CGI gore, there is though one trap that does seem to rely on the CGI to become effective.

Scene of the Movie – Razor’s Edge.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The characters are selected for their social media followings but we don’t see them using it through the film, which did seem like the point, to make it feel like a live interaction experience.

Final ThoughtsThis is a delightfully twisted horror that is gore filled and by the end you will want to return through the film to pick out little clues you might have missed first time around.

 

Overall: Gore filled horror treat.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)

Director: Andrew Adamson

Writer: Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) C.S. Lewis (Novel)

Starring: Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Williams Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Sergio Castellitto, Peter Dinklage

 

Plot: The Pevensie siblings return to Narnia, where they are enlisted to once again help ward off an evil king and restore the rightful heir to the land’s throne, Prince Caspian.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Magic Lost

 

Story: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian starts in Narnia where Prince Caspian (Barnes) is taken away from the kingdom for his own safety when his Uncle Miraz (Castellitto) has a son. We move to London, post-war now as we meet the Pevensie children, Lucy (Henley), Edmund (Keynes), Peter (Moseley) and Susan (Popplewell) who find themselves magically transported back to Narnia, a different Narnia to the one they left though.

With Narnia on the verge of another war the children must lead the resistance against Miraz as they all wait in hope of Aslan’s return, but with a battle from within as Prince Caspian clashes with Peter as the children must answer questions to why they abandoned Narnia all those years ago.

 

Thoughts on The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

 

Characters/PerformanceThe children are now all back in London, they get called back to be the leaders Narnia thought they were going to be. The children all seem to have smaller parts in this film and just doing less of the more we saw first time around. Prince Caspian is a solid character but nothing too important in this battle with the villain just being human makes the threat not are scary as the first time around.

Performance wise, it would be fair to say we have nothing but average at best performances here, the kids are all fine coming off slightly too posh with the rest all feeling like no bigger name actors wanted to get involved in the film.

StoryI feel the story just doesn’t seem to have the magic we had first time around, first the idea the kids just go back after the war seems out of place because the first story seems to be about escaping the war. The battle within Narnia is just a power struggle again but the animals don’t talk as much and it is mostly a human battle losing all the fantasy elements which made the first fun.

Adventure/Family/FantasyThe adventure side of the film does feel lost here, as does the family and fantasy side which showed how Harry Potter was the dominate force at the time.

SettingsThe settings also don’t seem to be as well created as first time, nothing comes off memorable through this one.

Special EffectsWith this seeming to be a human battle the special effects are no as needed in what should be a big fantasy battle film.

Final ThoughtsThis was a huge step back, with a huge budget I just don’t get how it came off as dull as it did.

 

Overall: Poor sequel that should have continued what was created.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

Director: Andrew Adamson

Writer: Ann Peacock, Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) C.S. Lewis (Book)

Starring: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Williams Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent

 

Plot: Four kids travel through a wardrobe to the land of Narnia and learn of their destiny to free it with the guidance of a mystical lion.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Start to a Franchise

 

Story: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe starts as the Pevensie children Lucy (Henley), Edmund (Keynes), Peter (Moseley) and Susan (Popplewell) are evacuated to the country during World War II.

When the youngest Lucy discovers a wardrobe in the house she finds the magical world of Narnia and Mr Tumnus (McAvoy) who teaches her all about this winter ravished land with the evil White Witch controlling. With Edmund finding his way into Narnia he meets the White Witch (Swinton) who asks him to bring the rest of the children to her kingdom.

When the four children are reunited, they learn they must fight alongside Aslan the lion in a battle against the evil Witch in an adventure they could never imagine.

 

Thoughts on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

 

Characters/PerformanceLucy, Edmund, Peter and Susan are thee four children, they all have their difference but most of all they work together to succeed on their mission. They must look after each other through the human war and the fantasy war they find themselves fighting in. thee White Witch is a character that works on the villainous side of the story and with her deceiving white image we can get misled to her true nature. With any extra characters being the different fantasy creatures the children meet along the way we know the world we find ourselves in.

Performances now, the four children all do a good job in their roles showing each of the character’s strengths and weakness. Tilda Swinton always makes for a great villain with McAvoy giving us a good supporting performance.

StoryStory wise this plays into the idea of what children could find themselves doing when they have escaped from a war-torn country. I do understand that this is meant to be a real adventure they find themselves on but the reality is it can be looked at as an escape. The idea of a battle between good and evil is all fine and needed for this film as it is the start of a bigger set of stories to come.

Adventure/Fantasy/FamilyThe adventure is massive for these children as they find themselves in a fantasy world they could never imagine, this is one the whole family could find themselves enjoying.

SettingsThe settings all come off very well for this film as we see the bleakness of the world the children find themselves escaping from and the wonder of the fantasy world they find themselves entering.

Special EffectsMost of the special effects here are brilliant, we do have a lot of CGI which in the most part in flawless it would only be the voice acting for some of the creatures that I would question.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good starter for a franchise, it does go generic with the male children doing the fighting and the female being considered for magic and curing style but this franchise came at the wrong time getting buried by the Harry Potter one.

 

Overall: This is how you start a franchise correctly.

Rating

 

 

Chariots of Fire (1981)

chaiotsDirector: Hugh Hudson

Writer: Colin Welland (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers, Ian Charleson, Ben Cross, Daniel Gerroll, Ian Holm

 

Plot: Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dated Sports Biopic

 

Story: Chariots of Fire starts in 1919 Cambridge University as we follow Harold Abrahams (Cross), and Aubrey Montague (Farrell) in the elite university of England. Here we get to see how fast the Jewish Harold is, also in Scotland we get to see Eric Liddell (Charleson) a rugby player turned runner that is also in the elite of the racing speed but he is a devote Christian who doesn’t believe in playing sports on a Sunday.

What follows is seeing the paths both Eric and Harold take to become the best in the nation as they become favourites for the British team heading into the Olympics. The two become rivals but their own personal beliefs could become a barrier in going for the gold medal.

 

Thoughts on Chariots of Fire

 

Characters/PerformanceHaving the characters based on the real people makes it difficult to say anything bad about them, we have two men who have been forced to put aside their difference in religious beliefs to make an impact on the sport they love taking part in. this is a story of success which is easy to enjoy for all that are involved.

Performance wise everything is good without being anything truly special by anyone involved through the film.stars

StoryThis is a story about how two men put aside their difference to make their way to the top of the sport of athletes, it is easy to follow but does come off slightly too posh in places when you look at how the British come off.

Biography/SportsLooking into the way we follow the two men’s journey to the Olympics we get to see how the races unfold which is all good but I would say this is one of the more average biopics that I have seen.

SettingsThe settings show us the upper classes going into the sport of running, which is all good with the races at the Olympics coming off great for settings.genre

Final ThoughtsMy final thoughts are that this is slightly too British showing you had to come from money to achieve in sports at this time, I also don’t feel the film does enough to show us all of the characters involved.

 

Overall: Nice but no cigar especially when we prefer the struggle to make it and become the story of success, rather than the winner.

Ratingrating