Evolution (2015)

Director: Lucile Hadzihalilovic

Writer: Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Alante Kavaite (Screenplay)

Starring: Max Brebant, Roxane Duran, Julie-Marie Parmentier, Mathieu Goldfeld, Nissim Renard

 

Plot: The only residents of young Nicholas’ sea-side town are women and boys. When he sees a corpse in the ocean one day, he begins to question his existence and surroundings. Why must he, and all the other boys, be hospitalised?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Shockingly Strange

 

Story: Evolution starts in a small community filled with women and boys, Nicolas (Brebant) discovers what he believes to be a dead body with his mother (Parmentier) showing him the truth before he is taken away by Stella (Duran) for a night in the hospital with other boys.

With his curiosity rising Nicolas finds himself going through medical procedures but at night he learns of what is going on, well he tries to understand what he sees with only Stella befriending him in the hospital.

 

Thoughts on Evolution

 

Characters/PerformanceNicolas is the curious young boy who in a world with little in it, finds himself questioning each part of it, he is the curious type. Stella is one of the nurses that takes care of Nicolas but finds herself becoming friends with him. La mere is his mother that follows the community’s rules.

Performance wise, Max Brebant is great as the young Nicolas keeping everything simple in this performance with Roxane giving a strong supporting performance. Most of all the performances in this film are done by expressions.

StoryThe story focuses on the mystery the most, and boy is it hard to describe just what is happening. This story is shocking, it does have twists and will leave you thinking about what you have just seen.

Horror/MysteryThe horror comes from just how shocking everything we see is but the truth is this film focuses most on the mystery involved as we are left to wonder just what is going on.

SettingsThe small village does make for a great setting because we don’t know how big the complete world this film takes place in is which again adds more to the mystery as it seems like the characters don’t know of anything else.

Special EffectsThe special effects here are all great when they are needed because they help improve the shock value of the mystery and story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very strange film that relies on the visuals to tell the story, it will shock you with what you see and only leave you with even more questions.

 

Overall: Well if you want something different this a must watch

Rating

 

 

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Exorcism of Molly Hartley (2015)

Director: Steven R Monroe

Writer: Matt Venne (Screenplay)

Starring: Sarah Lind, Devon Sawa, Gina Holden, Peter MacNeill, Daina Leitold

 

Plot: Taking place years after The Haunting of Molly Hartley, who now, as an adult, has fallen under the possession of an evil spirit and must be exorcised by a fallen priest before the devil completely takes her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Extreme Exorcism

 

Story: The Exorcism of Molly Hartley starts as we see how young priest Father John Barrow (Sawa) gets led astray during an exorcism, disgraced and banned from the practise. Moving onto meeting Molly Hartley (Lind) celebrating her 24th birthday with a promotion to partner with friends.

When the partying gets out of hand Molly wakes up to two dead bodies with the police ready to arrest her and Molly becoming possessed. Moly finds herself in a religious mental home, the same one where Father Barrow is trying to redeem himself.

Dr Laurie Hawthorne (Holden) tries to treat Molly which includes looking into her past and a previous possession, the only option Laurie can find is to turn to Father Barrow to perform an exorcism inside the mental asylum.

 

Thoughts on The Exorcism of Molly Hartley

 

Characters/PerformanceMolly is the over successful woman in business who finds herself possessed thanks to her past, that seems like all we learn about her. Father Barrow is a priest who wants to make up for his error in a previous exorcism.  Dr Hawthorne is just the doctor trying to get to the bottom of what could be wrong with Molly.

Performance wise, well this is going to be fun, first Sarah Lind just seems to follow every textbook on what an exorcism could look like and nothing more, Devon Sawa at least puts some effort in but doesn’t reach his Final Destination level. Gina Holden also seems to disappear part the way through this film.

StoryExorcism stories are always going to be hard because let’s face it The Exorcist is the granddaddy of them all, so everything just feels like it is trying to keep things up to that level without ever being able too. This story does keep the traditional exorcism routine while trying to balance the idea that she could just be an unstable woman, but sadly this does just fall into the mix of been here seen this, the main reason why I am not the biggest fan of the exorcism sub-genre.

HorrorDo you find exorcism scary, well if the answer is yes then you should get the horror elements out of this, if no you won’t get anything from the horror side of the film.

SettingsThe film is set mostly in a mental asylum which does give us a fresh idea of how to treat an exorcism but it doesn’t look into the doctor treatment with this location.

Special EffectsWe have basic special effects for horror but not much is needed for the film.

Final ThoughtsI personally don’t find many exorcism films scary so for me this just didn’t hit the horror marks for me

 

Overall: Simple exorcism film that isn’t memorable enough.

Rating

 

 

The Elf (2017)

Director: Justin Price

Writer: Justin Price (Screenplay)

Starring: Natassia Halabi, Gabriel Miller, Lassiter Holmes, Les Best, Joseph Daniel Ellis, Lisa May

 

Plot: Nick is haunted by night terrors stemming from a tragic murder he saw when he was young. After inheriting an old toy shop, he discovers a cursed elf doll sealed inside an ancient chest with a naughty list of his family’s names written on it. He soon discovers that the elf was an evil conduit meant to unleash a supernatural killing spree during the Christmas Holidays by whomever set it free.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Christmas Terror Delight

 

Story: The Elf starts as Nick (Miller) inherits a small toy shop, upon exploring what toys are in the shop, Nick discovers an elf doll with a speech burns a seal onto Nick’s arm once he finishes reading it. Returning home with his girlfriend Victoria (Halabi) the strange elf is in their home which only brings out the nightmares from his childhood.

The night is Christmas Eve and the couple are hosting Victoria’s family for the first time but with the elf turning up looking to cause terror on anybody that is in his way. Can the family be bought together to stop the elf from killing them all?

 

Thoughts on The Elf

 

Characters – Nick is our lead character, he inherits a toy shop from his grandfather but unwittingly unleashes the curse of a demon that uses an elf to do its bidding. His memories of a traumatic childhood still haunt him but this Christmas he will see them in a new light. Victoria is the girlfriend of Nick’s they haven’t been together that long and she still is learning about him but is willing to commit to spending their lives together.

PerformancesWe only focus on Gabriel Miller and Natassia Halabi, Miller is the lead and he is strong throughout the film playing the unstable trauma victim trying to live a normal life. Natassia is also good in her role as the girlfriend putting up with a lot but not taking the spotlight away from the Nick character. The supporting cast all give good performance without getting a chance to be too important to the main story.

StoryThe story follows an evil demonic elf terrorising a family over Christmas Eve as family secrets come out. We get a good backstory to why the elf is killing people over Christmas holidays with two characters that must work together to keep people alive while the personal problems from family try to build a divide between them. We do get a killer twist and the film never dives into comedy which it easily could have.

HorrorThe horror created is well built up through the movie with moments of creepiness, light gore and Christmas kills.

SettingsMost of the horror side of the film is set in and around the house which they family find difficult to escape due to a snow storm, which helps us understand the horror the family will face.

Special EffectsThe effects are great throughout the film with the elf creation and movement looking creepy through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Dealing with Christmas Carollers

That Moment That Annoyed Me I feel we did need more from the supporting characters.

Final ThoughtsIf you want a delightful Christmas horror movie, this will be your pick for 2017, its got moments of gore and a killer that will make you hate elves.

 

Overall: Great Christmas Horror.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Echoes (2014)

echoesDirector: Nils Timm

Writer: Nils Timm (Screenplay)

Starring: Kate French, Steven Brand, Steve Hanks, Billy Wirth, Caroline Whitney Smith, Kevin Brewerton

 

Plot: Struggling with horrifying, sleep-paralysis induced visions, a young writer retreats with her boyfriend to an isolated desert house. As the visions intensify, she finds herself on the verge of losing her mind…or uncovering a life-threatening secret.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Horror

 

Story: Echoes starts as we see Anna Parker (French) who has been suffering from sleep paralysis during the night and while trying to get her screenplay looked at past her agent Paul (Brand) during the day even if he is her boyfriend outside the office.

Looking to escape from the busy life the couple head out to a remote cabin to relax and focus on their relationship and work. When Paul must return to the city Anna finds herself alone in the cabin and it isn’t long before she starts getting haunted by a strange ghostly figure during her sleep paralysis. As the pieces come together we learn the truth about what happened to the ghostly figure haunting that home.

Echoes turns out to be just like most ghost investigation story where we have a ghost trying to get revenge on the people who were responsible for their death. There are not many scares going on during this film with most parts of the film just being designed to try and hide what is the most obvious conclusion of the story.

Kate does a solid job in the leading role while Brand is good in this role. The rest of the cast are just used as tools to help learn more about the bigger picture with none of them getting enough time to really make the impact on the overall story. this really is a simple horror film that doesn’t get any surprises along the way.

 

Overall: Horror investigation 101, nothing new, nothing fresh

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World Cinema Weekend – The End (2012)

endDirector: Jorge Torregrossa

Writer: Sergio G Sanchez, Jorge Guerricaechevarria (Screenplay) David Monteagudo (Novel)

Starring: Maribel Verdu, Daniel Grao, Clara Lago, Carmen Ruiz, Andres Velencoso, Miquel Fernandez, Blanca Romero

 

Plot: A group of old friends gets together for a weekend in a mountain cabin. Years have gone by and yet nothing seems to have changed between them. But lurking behind the laughter and stories is a murky episode from the past that continues to haunt them. A strange, sudden incident alters their plans, leaving them stranded and with no line of communication to the outside world. On their way for help, the group starts to disintegrate, just as a new natural order is unveiled before their astonished eyes.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Impressive Sci-Fi Drama

 

Story: The End starts as an old group of school friend reunite for the weekend we have Maribel (Verdu), Felix (Grao), Eva (Lago), Sara (Ruiz), Hugo (Velencoso), Sergio (Fernandez), Cova (Romero) and Rafa (Garrido) all in the cabin within the mountain region of Spain.

Their trip is interrupted by a sudden light and boom in the distance with all the phones going dead along with all of their cars. They all beginning to question an incident in their past with another student Angel known as the Prophet where the consequences of what they did are still being felt.

Finding themselves standard they look for a way down from the mountain top back to society but find unusual occurrences along the way, what has happened to make this happen and who will make it back alive?

 

Thoughts on The End

 

StoryThe story plays nicely into the idea that the end of the world has happened and people could be left behind, we have a nice mix of not knowing going on throughout the film and with the characters disappearing one at a time we are left wondering just what is happening within the film. This gives us a compelling story even if it isn’t the most original. The big plus point I u just not knowing who will go missing next or why these people have been left.

Sci-Fi/ThrillerThe sci-fi side of this story comes from the end of the world happening with people being left behind and just not knowing what to expect from being left behind. The thriller side is us left wondering just what is left for our characters to find and what is their fate.

Characters/PerformanceEach character is different in their own way but in a way where you could see them all being a group of friends. Each performance a great from the actors and by not knowing who most of these actors are it is hard at times to figure out who the most important ones will be early on.

SettingsThe settings are used to show us the remote isolated location our characters start in when the incident happens as well as showing us just how empty the world would look without humans in.

Special EffectsThe special effects all work well but the film focuses more on the drama of what is going on between the characters as they slowly disappear from each other’s lives.

Final ThoughtsThis films shows just what life is like as the people we once loved will eventually leave our lives at different stages of it, sure everything is put into an end of the world situation but the metaphor for growing older shines through in my opinion.

 

Overall: Very good sci-fi thriller that just keeps you guessing.

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