Death of Me (2020) Movie Review

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

Writer: Ari Margolis, James Morley III, David Tish (Screenplay)

Starring: Maggie Q, Luke Hemsworth, Alex Essoe, Kat Ingkarat, Kelly B Jones

Plot: A vacationing couple must discover the mystery behind a strange video that shows one of them killing the other.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Death of Me starts when Christine (Q) and Neil (Hemsworth) are looking to move onto their next vacation spot before a series of events see them remaining in the hotel, where they discover a recording of one of them killing the other one.

As the pair look to solve the mystery behind the recording, they start to piece together certain parts of the night before, while finding themselves hallucinating through the search for the truth.

Thoughts on Death of Me

Characters – Christine is the wife in the couple, she has woken up from the rough night, while leading the panic to get off the island losing her phone and passport, she starts hallucinating around the island trying to discover the truth about what happened. Neil is the travel journalist that has seen this remote island as the choice for his latest piece, he is terrified by what is on the recording and is trying to help Christine escape. Samantha is the America that the couple rent the home from, she arrives back and offers them a chance to stay after the mix up, she knows everyone in the village, offering the friendship Christine needs to try and find her way out. We do meet plenty of islanders who fill in the information that the couple need.

PerformancesMaggie Q in the leading role is the strongest part of the cast with her performance which will see her needing to uncover the truth. The rest of the cast do seem to struggle to keep up with the Maggie in the leading role.

StoryThe story here follows a couple that are vacationing on an island in Thailand, when they lose the memory of the night before, finding themselves needing to learn the truth of the missing hours. This story does offer up a big mystery, which will keep us guessing to where things will end up going, showing us how the couple just don’t know what is real or not anymore. How everything unfolds does play heavily in traditions, beliefs and coincidence, letting us decide which one we believe is happening on the island.

Horror/MysteryThe horror comes from the events that Christine goes through with her visions, not being away of the truth they are going through.

SettingsThe film is set in the one Thai island that is covered in traditions with the beauty of paradise.


Scene of the Movie – Samantha taking Christine to the ferry.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not keen on the ending.

Final Thoughts Death of Me is a nice mix of the cultural traditions and the modern beliefs to keep a society together.

Signature Entertainment presents Death of Me on Digital HD and DVD from November 23rd

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – D – Daddy’s Home Two (2017)

Director: Sean Anders

Writer: Sean Anders, John Morris (Screenplay) Brian Burns (Characters)

Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, John Lithgow, Linda Cardellini, Alessandra Ambrosio

 

Plot: Having finally gotten used to each other’s existence, Brad and Dusty must now deal with their intrusive fathers during the holidays.


Tagline – They thought they had Christmas all wrapped up.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Almost Great Comedy

 

Story: Daddy’s Home Two starts when Brad (Ferrell) and Dusty (Wahlberg) have put aside their differences with the two-family dynamic down, until Christmas when one of the daughters reveals she doesn’t like two separate Christmas.

Brad and Dusty decide to have a co-Christmas which involves both their dads coming, astronaut Kurt (Gibson) Dusty’s father and Don (Lithgow) Brad’s father. The two get put to the test their friendship when Kurt starts pushing them over the Christmas, can the ever-growing family make it through?

 

Thoughts on Daddy’s Home Two

 

Characters – Brad is the step-dad that is a calmer more conventional father that gets involved with trying to solve the problems by talking, he has a closer relationship to his father than Dusty. Dusty is the father of the kids that has reluctantly become closer with Brad, when his father invite himself to Christmas, he must learn to learn about his past where he didn’t believe he was raised the same as Brad, which shows us just how he became the way he is. Kurt is Dusty’s father a former astronaut he believes his son should be a true man which shows his old school style of parenting. Don is Brad’s father, he is over affectionate towards and is keeping a secret from his son. We do meet the wives who do have a small side story along with the kids who have their own arc too.

PerformancesWill Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are both good together, they have great chemistry, they bring the characters back for more of their style which does work well. Mel Gibson plays a character that makes us believe he might be like this in real-life, playing into jokes around him. John Lithgow brings is always pleasant style of comedy, he does have a serious side to his character and shows that he can always balance the comedy and drama perfectly. The supporting cast are also good getting their moments to shine when needed.

StoryThe story continues to explore the step parent relationship between Brad and Dusty, it shows how they have put their difference aside to and now they must work together to solve a bigger problem the kids are facing, bring in their parents which only adds to the humour in the story. we get adults dealing with their problems caused by their parents and not wanting to repeat them on their own. While we do get some silly humour that can miss the heart of the story is still stronger than you think it would be. I will say the story does seem to forget that it is dealing with the kids issue to focus on trying to stir up the problems the guys are facing and least we forget how the women are just pushed to a side story that barely get mentioned here. Overall when talking about the story we are trying to show the real effects of step-parents can have on the kids and how adults would need to work together to solve them.

ComedyThe comedy has come to be looked at two ways, we have some good moments that poke fun at Gibson’s reputation, while we also have the moments that just don’t click at times.

SettingsThe film is set in the holiday home the family must put away their difference for the good of the kids.


Scene of the Movie –
Improv because of the important moment in the film.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The wife’s storyline just seems to background filler.

Final ThoughtsThis is a better sequel than it should have been, it does have good laughs a heartfelt attempt to show us the new way of step parenting through Christmas.

 

Overall: Fun comedy better than it should be.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – V – Dead End (2016) Movie Review

We are under V for the character Vijah in this film.

Director: Chris von Hoffmann

Writer: Chris von Hoffman, Aria Emory (Screenplay)

Starring: Aria Emory, Drew Harwood, Monique Rosario, James McCabe, Anthony Ficco, Rebecca Fraiser, Javier Gabriel

Plot: A pair of outlaw brothers seek temporary refuge in a desolate town inhabited by a small family of psychotic cannibalistic lunatics.


Tagline – Live in fear.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Aggressively Violent

Story: Dead End starts as a pair of brothers Miles (Emory) and Dominic (Harewood) and outlaws racing across the desert landscape in a world where a car is seen as a luxury item for the remaining survivors.

With Miles injured, the pair look for medical help which sees them stumble into a desolate town, where Vijah (Rosario) helps and warns them about the dangers in the town, with the leader Doyle (McCabe) having a much darker side than the brothers could imagine.

Thoughts on Dead End

Characters – Miles is the younger of the two brothers, he gets wounded in the opening scene, with his brother always bailing him out of trouble, he will need to learn to step up and fight back when needed or face becoming a victim to this world. Dominic is the older of the two, he will always fight to save his little brother, being a constant threat to anybody who messy with them, until this new town, where he meets his match after failing to following simple instructions. Vijah is the young woman that offers the brothers shelter and warns them about the danger in the town, she doesn’t want to be part of what happened there but is trapped there with no escape. Doyle runs the town, he is twisted man that uses his power to control a group of cannibals, who are always waiting for their latest victims.

PerformancesWhen it comes to the performances, Drew Harwood is strongest in the film, he shows the strong figure he is meant to be and how stubborn his character is meant to be, while Aria Emory is meant to be playing the more innocent, he does work well in this role for the film. Monique Rosario is strong too, without getting too much outside the box to do, while James McCabe does bring the sinister nature of his character to life.

StoryThe story follows two brothers in a post-apocalyptic world where cars are worth killing for as are supplies of any sort, they find themselves in a desolate town where they must try and survive the locals who are cannibalistic lunatics. This story does try to borrow from films like Mad Max and Book of Eli, only it doesn’t offer enough when it comes to the bigger questions of just what is going on, what has put the world in this situation or is this just a random desert town, is it even a post-apocalyptic world or not, these are big questions that are not answered here. When it comes to the actual showdown, things just seem to focus on trying to be edgy rather than telling a proper story, with parts of this feeling like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, while not having the guts to push things to the next level. It is by the book to say the least at plays on trying to be more violent that it needs to be.

Crime/HorrorThe crime and horror elements of the film mix together, because we see what are meant to be outlaws, (Still not sure if they were) being targeted by cannibals who don’t seem to have a stop button when it comes to their violence.

SettingsThe film does create the open and abandoned feel the world is meant to be in, which does show how hopeless some of the characters are left to feel during the film.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects, we are mostly focused on the wounds the characters suffer, which does look as brutal as it is meant to, though it could have been a lot worse for the audience.


Scene of the Movie – Dominic meets his match.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Borrows from too many movies, without making anything original when it comes to the concepts borrowed.

Final Thoughts This is a violent aggressive movie that wants to show more chaos than giving us an actual story, we are left to just wait for the next violent moment to happen, while borrowing scenes from bigger and better films.

Overall: Dead End, More like Dead on Arrival.

The Driver (2019) Movie Review

Director: Wych Kaosayananda

Writer: Steve Poirier (Screenplay) Wych Kaosayananda (Story)

Starring: Mark Dacascos, Julie Condra, Noelani Dacascos, Jeremy Stutes, Adam Zachary Smith

Plot: In a zombie apocalypse, one man desperately tries to keep his family alive.


Tagline – He fought the Baba Yaga. Now, he is fighting the undead.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Driver starts as we meet The Driver (Dacascos) a husband and father living in a small community during a zombie apocalypse, he goes on the trips to retrieve supplies or get rid of problems within the community, he wants to take his wife Sharon (Condra) and daughter Bree (Dacascos) away from this community, with information from the only two people he trusts Lee (Ruedpokanon) and DJ (New).

When the community comes under attack, The Driver is left with no option but to take his family and flee into the zombie infested world, a place where he will do anything to keep them safe, in his search for a safe haven.

Thoughts on The Driver

Characters – The Driver was once a hitman in everyday life, now in a zombie apocalypse he does runs for supplies or to dispose of the problems the community is facing, he wants to take his family away and after the community is attacked, he is forced to flee with his daughter, needing to prepare her for the outside world, he knows he has a race against time to find a new shelter. Bree is the Driver’s daughter, she hasn’t been exposed to the outside world and she must deal with a big loss, while getting a crash course on how to survive the zombie infested world. This does put a lot of focus on the father daughter relationship, with any other characters we meet getting used for information more than anything else.

PerformancesMark Dacascos has always been an action we have seen in horror films, John Wick Chapter 3 might well have elevated him into the mainstream at long last and here he proved why he has been in the action genre for so long, bringing to life the father that will do anything in a zombie infested world, having his own real life daughter Noelani Dacascos playing his on screen daughter adds to both of their natural dynamic throughout the film.

StoryThe story here follows a father that must find a new shelter for his daughter in a world filled with zombies after his current home comes under attack. This is a story that does keep everything simple, it focuses on the father daughter relationship to hold the story together, while the calm reality needing to get every message through, while in a world where zombies could be around every corner. It might not get to the deepest levels, and there is plenty more we could have learnt about the community at the start, but the point of the story is a crash course in prepare someone to this new world.

Action/HorrorThe action in the film is everything you would expect from a zombie movie, we have fast moving zombies being gunned down, with the attack on the community being the most standout moment in the film. The horror is all about the idea being in a zombie filled world, it doesn’t feel as dread covered as it should be for the situation though.

SettingsThe film uses the community, with the open roads to show us how empty the world is, we never go near big cities, which would be key to surviving this world.


Scene of the Movie – Community attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Certain things Bree does, don’t fit the world.

Final Thoughts This is an entertaining zombie movie that does focus a lot more on the relationship between the father and daughter in which the Dacascos family shine in showing us.



ABC Film Challenge – Horror – J – Donkey Punch (2008) Movie Review

This is under J because of star Jaime Winstone.

Director: Olly Blackburn

Writer: Olly Blackburn (Screenplay)

Starring: Jaime Winstone, Sian Breckin, Nichola Burley, Robert Boulter, Tom Burke, Julian Morris, Jay Taylor

Plot: Things go drastically wrong for a group of British holidaymakers in Spain.


Tagline – This party is going overboard

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Tension Filled Horror

Story: Donkey Punch starts as we meet our three women, Lisa (Breckin), Kim (Winstone) and Tammi (Burley) who is trying to get over an ex, having a girlie holiday in Spain, the three women meet four young men Sean (Boulter), Bluey (Burke), Josh (Morris) and Marcus (Taylor) who have their own yacht for the weekend, which sees the seven out to the open ocean for a party.

When the drunks have flown too much, mixed with the drugs, a sex session starts, with one of the guys trying something known as a donkey punch, which ends up killing one of the girls. The guys want to cover this up, while the girls are willing to fight back to stay alive.

Thoughts on Donkey Punch

Characters – Tammi is the girl that is trying to have a break from her life back home, she has just got out of a bad relationship, looking to have some fun with her friends, the one who is reluctant to go on the yacht and the one that doesn’t get as involved with the drinking and drugs, the voice of reason once things go wrong. Kim and Lisa are the two who want to go on the yacht and have a party, they are up for anything and everything, which leads to what goes wrong, though it isn’t their fault, they don’t show the support you would expect to see from friends helping their friend. The guys are all up for a party, they don’t care what happens that much willing to let the drinks and drugs mix without worrying about the consequences, until something goes wrong, when they will do anything to cover up what one of them did.

PerformancesThis film doesn’t have the truly strongest cast, we have the party performances, while the male actors are trying to act tough, while the women are showing us how they want to fight back or do the right thing.

StoryThe story follows three women that join four men on a yacht for a party, when after the drugs and drinks get out of control, one of the women gets killed and the tensions to cover up the death, shows how far people will go to save their own reputations. This is a story that focuses more on seeing how people will react to a situation, whether it is an accident or not on whether to do the right thing or sort out their own mess they have created. The characters are painted to be generic, with the men being all macho, while the women are written to not show a single sign of caution, that are willing to force their heartbroken friend into a position where they couldn’t say no. it does fall into the survival of the fittest when it comes to trying to stay ahead of the threat around them.

Crime/HorrorThe crime side of the film starts with an accident, which soon turns into how each character sees that action, which leads to murderous consequences in a horror filled race to stay ahead of each other.

SettingsThe film is set on one yacht in the middle of the ocean, it shows that the characters can’t run away or call for help and that money doesn’t give people the smartest brains.


Scene of the Movie – Life raft.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The plain characters.

Final Thoughts This is a film that shows the human condition once things go wrong in a situation and how they will always react in the worst possible way.

Overall: Horror that is waiting for people to do things wrong.