Emelie (2015)

Director: Michael Thelin

Writer: Richard Raymond, Harry Herbeck (Screenplay)

Starring: Sarah Bolger, Carly Adams, Thomas Bair, Chris Beetem, Susan Pourfar, Joshua Rush

 

Plot: A couple’s replacement babysitter turns out to be more than they bargained for when she subjects their kids to a series of twisted activities.


Tagline – A parent’s worst nightmare. 

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disturbing Thriller

 

Story: Emelie starts when Emelie (Bolger) takes the place of the new babysitter for a couple Joyce (Pourfar) and Dan (Beetem) heading off for their anniversary dinner. The three children, Jacob (Rush), Sally (Adams) and Christopher (Bair). The night starts off like normal with Emelie letting the kids do what they want, but soon it takes a turn.

Emelie starts pushing the limits of what the children should be doing, making them go through an ordeal before we learn the motivation behind her action, but can the damaged be fixed before it goes too far?

 

Thoughts on Emelie

 

Characters – Emelie pretends to be the babysitter for an unsuspecting family for the night, she comes off like a nice caring young woman, who soon starts to show a darker side when she tries to test the children by putting them through experiences they are too young to understand, she does have a dark past for why she is doing this though. Jacob is the eldest of the children who is the first to sense something is wrong as he tries to get help for his younger siblings. Sally and Christopher are the younger two that see the night as a chance to break the rules more.

PerformancesThe performances are strong through the film Sarah Bolger gives us a woman on edge performance which is on edge about what has happened to her. The child stars don’t do anything wrong for what they are put through which was going to be the hardest part of the film to decide.

StoryThe story follows the idea that a babysitter isn’t what the parents believe her to be and while they have a lovely dinner, the children are being put through an ordeal by a psychotic woman. Now this is a story that will get most fear from parents that let a stranger look after their children, because the story shows the balance of how the time can be easily a moment of happiness for them, going against the horrors their children are going through. It does however have a few glaring mistakes which question parenting etc which you will get annoyed about. We do have moments that are shocking though because when you stop and think about what is happening, you will see the wrong it what is happening.

HorrorThis film uses the horrors of what children shouldn’t be going through as the biggest way to upset the audience and using the time of a romantic dinner only adds to how quickly things can go wrong.

SettingsThe film uses to key settings, the first is the home which turns into a nightmare, this adds to the horror because the children believe it will be their safe place, while the second location is the restaurant which shows how lovely the dinner the parents are on is.

Special EffectsWe only get little moments of effects, which are used well when needed, but this film doesn’t need to use them.


Scene of the Movie –
Fighting back.

That Moment That Annoyed Me What sort of parent lets there 12-year-old child have a pet snake.

Final ThoughtsThis is a psychological horror that shows the horrors that could be happening with your babysitter, when you are having a dinner.

 

Overall: Strong psychological thriller.

Rating

 

 

Eminence Hill (2019) Movie Review

Director: Robert Conway

Writer: Robert Conway, Owen Conway (Screenplay)

Starring: Barry Corbin, Dominique Swain, Lance Henriksen, Clint James, Owen Conway, Anna Harr, Charlie Motley

Plot: A trail of revenge leads a notorious killer and a lawman to a town of fanatics. Blood will flow.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Real Red Dead Redemption Chapter

Story: Eminence Hill starts when Royce Tullis (James) and his gang of outlaws including Gretchen (Swain) kill a couple for their land, kidnapping their daughter Ruth (Harr) to trade down the road, Quincy (Conway) a lawman talks Carson (Motley) into joining him hunt down the Tullis Gang after their latest killing spree.

As Royce and the gang are looking to escape, they stumbling upon Eminence Hill, where Noah (Corbin) runs a community that play by strict rules, which sees the gang being put through their own test, giving Quincy his chance to catch up with them, before a final showdown.

Thoughts on Eminence Hill

Characters – Noah is the leader of a religious group, he takes it into his own hands to play judge jury and executioner in his community and doesn’t take to lightly towards the Tullis Gang coming into his territory. Royce Tullis is the leader of the gang with his love Gretchen, they have been targeting jurors who sentenced his brother to death and now finishing their killing spree, they look to escape, only they both find themselves questioning their actions while being held captive by Noah. Quincy is the lawman that is trying to track down the Tullis Gang, he is uses his gun skills when needed and can read a person through any conversation.

PerformancesBarry Corbin does bring his character to life in this film to change the tone of what we had seen. Clint James and Dominique Swain are both strong as the outlaw figures, not being full blown crazy evil like members of their gang. Owen Conway is the star of the show with his calm calculated character.

StoryThe story here follows an US Marshall tracking down a group of outlaws, who have fallen into the hands of a religion community that want to make them pay for their sins. We do follow three different sides of the stories unfold, we get the outlaws planning their escape, they have US Marshall planning his way of capturing them and the religious group wanting to stay out of world’s view. We do get to see each side develop and with secrets behind certain ones being held back long enough. We do get to see just how every does feel like a chapter in a Red Dead Redemption chapter, where the outlaws meet a random group which will be the problem they need to overcome, while avoiding a fate coming for them.

WesternThe western side of the film is well designed, showing us the outlaws, bounty hunter and strange groups that could have been built up not knowing too much more outside their comfort zones.

SettingsThe settings are well crafted sets for the town, while the open plains represent the world in the era the film would be set in.


Scene of the Movie – Noah’s dinner offer.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could have spent more time on the Royce hunting down jurors.

Final Thoughts This is a western that plays everything out well, without being as edgy as the subject matter wants to be, the religious group could have gone a lot darker, with plenty of signs of this, while the Marshall is the most interesting characters of the whole cast.

Overall: Western by the book.

Echoes of Fear (2019) Movie Review

Director: Brian Avenet-Bradley, Laurence Avenet-Bradley

Writer: Brian Avenet-Bradley (Screenplay)

Starring: Trista Robinson, Hannah Race, Paul Chirico, Marshal Hilton, Elif Savas, Danilo Di Julio, Ian Heath

Plot: After inheriting her grandfather’s house, a young woman must confront the mystery of his sudden death and the evil that hides inside.


Tagline – Evil hides inside

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Wonderful Mystery Horror

Story: Echoes of Fear starts when Alisa (Robinson) inherits her grandfather’s house after his sudden death, she has little option than to prepare it for sale, which sees her move in to get his done, joined by her boyfriend Brandon (Chirico) the two start the preparations.

With Alisa only getting fleeting visits from Brandon and her friend Steph (Race) she starts to experiencing haunting, which sees her looking back through the diary of her grandfather to learn the truth about the house.

Thoughts on Echoes of Fear

Characters – Alisa sees her last family die suddenly, she must head back to the house where she was raised to decide what to do with it next in what seems like a routine, tidy up and sale plan. Her plans are thrown off when she starts hearing noises, suffering nightmares and experiencing visions, which leads to her wanting to learn the truth, going through the house to unlock the truth, which each clue becoming more disturbing for her. Steph is the best friend that can visit at times and will help her with the investigation. Brandon is the boyfriend who is happy to help plan the changes, looking for a quick sell and start of a new life. David is the neighbour that does offer a few answers and is willing to help Alisa with any problems.

PerformancesTrista Robinson is the star of the show, she is the one getting haunted, trying to solve the problems she is experiencing and you believe every moment she is going through. Nobody else is getting too much outside the simple to do, with none of them doing anything wrong through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a relative that inherits a home and soon starts getting haunted by the ghosts of the house, leading her to try and solve the situation. This is a story that does keep us wondering what is going on with us learning more just as Alisa does, which is why this story works so well, because it enters the most interesting sub-genre of horror, with the haunting helping unlock the mystery. We could have a couple of questionable moments including a bit of miss-direction when it comes to what could be going on, this doesn’t really add up, but is nice to guide us away from the truth. This story does try to break certain rules created and does a wonderful job at this too, but lets just ask, why is there a sniffer mouse?

HorrorThe horror side of the film does use a couple of ideas, with the haunting being the biggest moments, while others come off more disturbing by the end.

SettingsThe film does keep most of the action inside the house, being a location, that Alisa would know, but hasn’t been to in a while, with he changes adding to the horror of the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to create certain moments of horror, which most coming in the haunting moments.


Scene of the Movie – The final 20 minutes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The sniffer mouse is very strange.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that does keep us guessing, it has a disturbing outcome with the haunting being the highlight of the scares.

Overall: Horror with Plenty of Scares.

Eli (2019) Movie Review

Director: Ciaran Foy

Writer: David Chirchirillo, Ian Goldberg, Richard Naing (Screenplay)

Starring: Charlie Shotwell, Kelly Reilly, Sadie Sink, Lili Taylor, Parker Lovein, Max Martini

Plot: A boy receiving treatment for his auto-immune disorder discovers that the house he’s living in isn’t as safe as he thought.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Excellent Horror

Story: Eli starts as we meet young boy Eli (Shotwell) who has an auto-immune disorder which leaves him living in a bubble like world, not being able to go outside, along with his parents Rose (Reilly) and Paul (Martini) are taking him across country to see Dr Isabella Horn (Taylor) that is offering an experimental treatment.

In the hospital like house that the family are staying in, Eli starts his treatment and starts suffering the hallucinations that are meant to be a side effect of the treatment, which get increasingly worse for the young boy as he believes he is being haunted by a ghostly figure.

Thoughts on Eli

Characters – Eli is the young boy with the auto-immune disease, he does suffer nightmares about what would happen if he was outside, he lives in a bubble, which is his only safety in life. He is going through an experimental procedure which is meant to cure him, only for him to start suffering haunting visions and attacks by ghosts, he must figure out if they are trying to harm him or help him before he reaches the latest procedure. Rose and Paul are the religious parents that have given up nearly everything to make their son’s life better, trying to remain strong for him throughout the events of the film. Dr Isabella Horn is the doctor that is trying to help Eli, only her methods don’t seem to get explained to the family, while they are left to just believe anything she says. Haley is a girl from the neighbourhood that visits Eli, hoping to find friendship, though she does know the fate of most of the people in the house.

PerformancesCharlie Shotwell does a wonderful job in the leading role, suffering through medical procedures, hauntings and emotional problems with ease through the film. Kelly Reilly, Max Martini and Lili Taylor are all strong through the film, which we don’t see much away from Charlie from any of them. Sadie Sink is solid without having much to do, other than being a friend to talk too.

StoryThe story here follows a young boy with a medical condition who gets taken to an experimental hospital for treatment, when he starts getting visits from ghosts, where he might learn the truth about the hospital. This is a story which does keep you on your toes, you will constantly be thrown through different sub-genres of horror and it is excellent to see how the film can keep you guessing and leave you surprised by the ending, because if anybody saw this coming, they would be a liar. This is a story where not learning too much going in is even better because it does start with what could be a routine horror, but will leave you shocked by the end.

HorrorThe horror here does seem to jump through so many sub-genres of horror it is a joy to watch, because the transition is seamless throughout.

SettingsThe film keeps most of the film inside the hospital, this is an excellent location for the film to be set, which sees everything unfold down the dark filled hallways.

Special EffectsThe effects do come off well too with how everything happens, be it the ghostly figures or the more practical ones too.


Scene of the Movie – The ghosts in the mirror.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The abusive people at the start of the film.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that does truly keep you on your toes, it is great to see this too, we will get scares and surprises and you won’t believe how everything unfolds.

Overall: Surprising Throughout.

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – E – Escape Room (2017)

Director: Peter Dukes

Writer: Peter Dukes (Screenplay)

Starring: Skeet Ulrich, Sean Young, Christine Donlon, Randy Wayne, Matt McVay, Ashley Gallegos, Hayley Goldstein

 

Plot: Six friends test their intelligence in a game that takes a dark turn.


Tagline – Four friends. One room. One hour. One killer.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Could be Better

 

Story: Escape Room starts as four friends Jess (Donlon), Jeff (Wayne), Ben (McVay) and Angie (Gallegos) are taking part in an escape room run by Brice (Ulrich), an experience which will revolve around horror.

As the hour long experience starts, it seems to be going well until the mysterious killer in the room turns out to be a real killer, leaving the friends needing to figure out how to escape before the time runs out.

 

Thoughts on Escape Room

 

Characters – Brice is the owner of the escape rooms, he has been struggling of recent times, but with this latest player he hopes to improve his rating. When the camera goes out he is left wondering what will happen to his reputation if he opens the door early or what is going on. Ramona is the owner of the mysterious box which opens the doors for the nightmare. Jess is one of the reluctant contestants in the game because of her boyfriend’s eagerness to play, she must use her own puzzle solving skills to make it out alive.

PerformancesSkeet Ulrich became a horror icon with his performance in Scream, here he just looked mostly lost in the leading role, because he is meant to be on edge and you never feel it. Sean Young is more of a cameo performance which could have been done by anyone. The younger stars do there best to make an impact and due to the basic characters we never see their performance skills.

StoryThe story here shows us what would happen is an escape room experience went terribly wrong, with possession being a key part of this. The problem here is that, this real-time experience doesn’t feel real time and having to watch someone on the outside just makes us think lawsuit. The supernatural side is never that believable and by the end this does feel like an easy escape room to get out off.

HorrorBeing locked in a room with a killer is always going to throw horror in our faces, this movie shines from that idea, but then it also holds back too much.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in the one location, the escape room and if it was only set there I would say this is an excellent use of setting, but seeing events outside just drags us down.

Special EffectsThe effects are god enough for the film, we get the basic blood and gore working for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
First kill.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough focus on the real-time events.

Final ThoughtsThis would be a good enough late night movie, it is short and sweet which will feed the horror fans enough.

 

Overall: Late night movie

Rating