Fear, Inc (2016)

Director: Vincent Masciale

Writer: Luke Barnett (Screenplay)

Starring: Lucas Neff, Caitlin Stasey, Chris Marquette, Stephanie Drake, Mark Moses, Abigail Breslin

 

Plot: A horror junkie and his friends sign up with a company that brings their customer’s greatest fears to life.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Terrible Horror

 

Story: Fear, Inc starts as we meet our stoner slacker Joe (Neff) who lives with his hard-working girlfriend Lindsey (Stasey) (I have no idea how they are a couple), while trying to find a haunted house event to create scares Joe receives a card from a mysterious man claiming to give him the best experience in fear.

Joined by friends Ben (Marquette) and Ashleigh (Drake) for a Halloween get together with drinks and drugs, Joe unleashes a call, which brings their biggest fears to life.

 

Thoughts on Fear, Inc.

 

Characters – Joe is a stoner that has been promising to find a new job while living off his girlfriend, he loves horror movies and is looking for real fear from a horror event, which leads him to make the mistake to call Fear, Inc, this is easily one of the most unlikeable characters I have ever seen in the leading role in horror. Lindsey is his girlfriend, she seems to have a successful job which we never learn and has been putting up with Joe’s problems, the two have no chemistry and seem like complete opposites. Ben is the best friend that gives the warning to Joe about what will happen if they get involved with the game.

PerformancesLucas Neff in the leading role gives us one of the most annoying characters I have seen in horror. Caitlin Stasey is usually a good actress to watch, but in this film, it just doesn’t connect with what we are meant to see from them. Chris Martquette is solid enough in this role without doing anything truly memorable.

StoryThe story here follows one man that wants to experience fear in this life and decides to get involved with a shady company promising to give him an experience unlike anything he has had before, how far will they go to get the scare? This is the question asked in this movie which doesn’t reach the potential it could as the led is the most unlikeable character you will see in horror, he makes everything out to be a joke never making us believe anything that is going on, even with the film having a great twist which should save it.

Comedy/HorrorThe film tries to give us moments of comedy to mix with the horror, but the horror doesn’t hit the peril feeling moments you need from what could be going on.

SettingsThe film tries to keep us around the house which clearly looks out priced for the couple involved, once we escape the house the film does become more interesting.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are good for what is created and could easily be the only highlight of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The final 30 minutes are the most interesting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Joe is annoying throughout.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror comedy that fails to deliver on the levels it needs to, making us not care about the characters in this situation.

 

Overall: Terrible and boring.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

The Furnace (2019 Movie Review

Director: Darrell Roodt

Writer: Darrell Roodt, P.G. de Jonge (Screenplay)

Starring: Jamie Bernadette, Luthuli Dlamini, Laura Linn, Thandi Puren, Armand Aucamp

Plot: Newlyweds Mary and Matt celebrate Christmas, and their passion for running, with two honeymoon tickets to Africa’s ultimate footrace, The Furnace. Their excitement to race together across the biggest animal reserve in the world has them inspired. Then in a horrific flash, everything’s gone including Mary’s purpose for living. A year later, Mary is grieving. Struggling to breathe with an oxygen tank, she cries out her anger at God. Standing nearby, a man sees her suffering, and shares his own story of loss. Once a doctor in Africa, he fled to America when civil war annihilated his town. Now known by the nickname, Coffin, he digs graves after losing his practice. Coffin urges Mary to keep on believing, push through and recover, offering his help as a doctor and friend. Over time Coffin’s dedicated support and intense training helps Mary grow strong, and live to run again. But what will it take to let go of her pain .

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Inspiring Faith Based Drama

Story: The Furnace starts on the first Christmas days after Mary (Bernadette) and Matt’s (Aucamp) wedding, who have plans to challenge themselves to a race known as The Furnace 150km across African wild reserve, tragedy strikes though, leaving Mary needing an oxygen mask to get through the days.

Spending her time at her husband’s grave Mary meets the gravedigger Coffin (Dlamini) who consoles her, telling her his own story, offering to try and help her recover to the levels of fitness she is used to, so she can use her new found faith to complete the Furnace herself.

Thoughts on The Furnace

Characters – Mary starts this film married and about to go on a honeymoon the pair had been dreaming off, this goes in an instant, leaving her needing an oxygen tank to get through the day, with any hopes of running dashed. Angry at the world, she starts to close off, finding any attempts at returning to her passion ending in hospital trips, until she meets Coffin, here she learns about faith and new technology to overcome her odds to compete in the race that was her honeymoon plan, one that is a test for even the toughest runners in the world. Coffin is a gravedigger in America, even though he is trained as a doctor back in Africa, he offers to help Mary get back to her former self, teaching her to pace herself, preparing her for the impossible sounding race. He must watch from the side lines, with hope that she will make it through each stage of the race. Raphaella is a fellow runner that Mary meets along the way, one to help support her over the course of the journey.

PerformancesJamie Bernadette steps away from the action horror roles we have seen her in recently for a much more serious role, one that does play into her strengths, she deals with the athletic demand of the performance with ease, while bringing the emotional impact of her character’s journey through the film. Luthuli Dlamini does a wonderful job in his role too bringing the calmness to help make Mary strong through the film.

StoryThe story here follows one woman that loses everything she had a dreamt off until she finds her faith and pushes herself to get back on the track and complete the race she was meant to do with her husband. This is a story that shows the inspiration of wanting to overcome tragedy and finding a way to achieve this in a world you wouldn’t normal consider. We do get a normal montage of training, while a large part of the story follows the race being competed in. we do get to see just how much needed to be overcome, though it could have given us more of a time frame and just what the injury Mary had, like how likely it is to overcome, or would it be something she was meant to be living with for the rest of her life.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us just how her life changes in America, while it does get the beauty shots of the African wild reserve seeing the different animals around area.


Scene of the Movie – The race final leg.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not getting a full look at the time frame.

Final Thoughts This is an inspiring story of overcoming tragedy to get back to the former strength, with powerful performances throughout.

Overall: Inspiring Throughout.

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – F – February (2015)

Director: Oz Perkins

Writer: Oz Perkins (Screenplay)

Starring: Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton, James Remar, Lauren Holly, Greg Ellwand, Elana Krasz

 

Plot: Two girls must battle a mysterious evil force when they get left behind at their boarding school over winter break.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Think I Misses Something

 

Story: February starts as two girls Kat (Shipka) and Rose (Boynton) are left at a boarding school over winter break, waiting for their parents to pick them up. We also see Joan (Roberts) another girl who looks lost in the world being taken in by Bill (Remar) as a man that lost a daughter looking to help her return to where she is from.

At the school Kat and Rose must deal with a mysterious presence that is drawing Kat to act strangely, while Joan’s story looks to become complete when she returns.

 

Thoughts on February

 

Characters – Joan is a lost girl that is trying to return home from a hospital which brings along a couple that want to help her to make up for the fact they lost their daughter, Kat is the emotionless quiet girl at the school who hasn’t heard from her parents before winter break and must stay there with Rose. Rose is the other girl that got left at the home, I feel she is older and expected to be the one to look after Kat.

PerformanceThe three girls Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka and Lucy Boynton are all good through the film, they each create their own personality for their characters which does make us care what they are up to however confusing it all gets.

StoryThe story here is very confusing, we follow two seemingly different story arcs about girls that find themselves becoming possessed by an evil spirit, we don’t get to focus on either of them enough and they don’t seem to meet up at any point to explain why we need to watch two different stories unfold. I do feel this does end up coming off attempting to be too smart for its own good leaving us with nothing important happening.

HorrorThis tries to play into the psycological horror but ends up falling slightly short because it ends up being confusing.

SettingsThe settings don’t help here either because we follow the two stories one is on the road while the other is around the middle of the home the girls are staying.

Special EffectsThe effects are good without being overused and mostly used for gore effects.

Scene of the Movie – Stop here, because it is shocking.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It was just too confusing.

Tagline – She Returns.

Final ThoughtsThis film is just too confusing really, it makes everything hard to follow which didn’t make it enjoyable to follow.

 

Overall: Too Confusing.

Rating

 

 

Forsaken (2015)

Director: Jon Cassar

Writer: Brad Mirman, Tari (Screenplay)

Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Michael Wincott, Brian Cox, Chris Ippolito

 

Plot: In 1872, an embittered gunslinger named John Henry Clayton attempts to make amends with his estranged father Reverend Samuel Clayton while their community is besieged by ruthless land-grabbers.


Tagline – Haunted by his past, searching for peace.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Westerner

 

Story: Forsaken starts when John Henry (Kiefer Sutherland) returns to his family town where his father Reverend Samuel (Donald Sutherland) has a strained relationship due to him not returning to help his mother on her deathbed.

With the Clayton’s discussion their own beliefs in God, James McCurdy (Cox) has taken over the town and starting to expand his empire with Dave Turner (Wincott) doing his dirty work, John refuses to go down without a fight and decides to challenge the rule of the town.

 

Thoughts on Forsaken

 

Characters – John Henry Clayton left his town for war, he never returned until his mother died, he has become distant from his father not believing in God, the town does fear his actions in the past, which has made him the threat to the gang controlling the town and when things become personal, he becomes the man people need to fear. Reverend Samuel Clayton is respected in the town which he has made a place believing in God, he doesn’t like his son returning, but learns that he hasn’t for a good reason. James McCurdy is the man running the town, he lets his men kill to get the property he wants. Dave Turner is one of the men that works for James, one that does play by honour over many of the shot first men in the gang.

PerformancesKiefer Sutherland in the leading role is fine, though his mumbling doesn’t help us care enough his character, opposite his father Donald who isn’t the most entertaining either. Michael Wincott was the most interesting character because he seems to get some development and want to see more from him. Brian Cox feels completely wasted in his role that gives him nothing.

StoryThe story follows a man returning home with a reputation while he needs to learn how to make a stand to protect his town which has become a problem overrun by a gang of outlaws. This does follow the generic idea of a returning man helping clean up his town without offer anything new, it keeps us seeing how the action are building up to the problems that will be facing before the final showdown. The pacing does become slow which does make things unfold at a snail’s pace which just doesn’t keep our attention for long enough.

Action/WesternThe action does feel flat, we just don’t get enough of it to make us believe it is action heavy movie, though the mood makes us feel like the western we are entering.

SettingsThe film does make us feel like we are the small town which has a community feeling about it.


Scene of the Movie –
Dave doesn’t like his men not following orders.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The mumbling from Kiefer.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow paced action western movie that just never gets going and ends up feeling the pace taking age to get through.

 

Overall: Slow and bland.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – F – Frank & Lola (2016)

Director: Matthew Ross

Writer: Matthew Ross (Screenplay)

Starring: Imogen Poots, Michael Shannon, Justin Long, Rosanna Arquette, Michael Nyqvist, Emmanuelle Devos

 

Plot: A psychosexual noir love story, set in Las Vegas and Paris, about love, obsession, sex, betrayal, revenge and, ultimately, the search for redemption.


Tagline – Love Obsession Betrayal Revenge

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Blank & Boring

 

Story:  Frank & Lola starts as we meet chef Frank (Shannon) who has started dating college graduate Lola (Poots) as they get involved in a strange relationship in Las Vegas, which sees her mother Patricia (Arquette) as questionable.

When Patricia brings her former partner to town, Lola wants Frank to help get revenge for something that happened between the two, as he has become more of a no nonsense type of person who gets offered a job by her new boss Keith (Long) which could solve his problems because of his brilliance in the kitchen.

 

Thoughts on Frank & Lola

 

Characters – Frank is a brilliant chef that has started dating the younger Lola, he gets jealous easily which makes him want to know who every man in Lola’s life is as he starts to look to solve her problems. Lola is a college graduate in fashion that is in Vegas, she is dating Frank and starts working for the charismatic Keith, she knows what will make Frank jealous as she starts to use him to get what she wants. Keith knows people in Vegas, he offers jobs to talent, which will see him follow a strict code of not trying to date them, he will always offer people job if he believes they deserve the change. Patricia is Lola’s mother that hasn’t always been as close with her daughter.

PerformancesWe have such a great cast here, Michael Shannon gives one of his most average performances of his career, Imogen Poots struggles to make an impact, Justin Long gets his moments, but not enough. Most of this comes from such dull characters they must try to bring to life.

StoryThe story is the hardest part to describe because it seems to follow a chef that is trying to do anything to clean up his girlfriends past, only to get caught up in the middle of just what might be true or not. The problem with the story comes from the poor dialogue which makes it hard to connect the story together, it seems to create scenes which put Frank’s mind in one direction only for the next one to change it, this happens too often and becomes annoying because we can’t get invested in his story. we did get some heavy themes which do just get glanced over which only confuses in the end.

Crime/RomanceThe crime side of the film comes from what Frank will do for Lola, he is driven by his love for her which shows him where to go with his actions.

SettingsThe film has two main settings, Las Vegas and Paris, both are used to show the busy side of the lives of the people we are follow.


Scene of the Movie –
Job offer.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story is too heavy on changing direction too often.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dull romantic thriller that just drags along at a snails pace, never using the talent to its strengths.

 

Overall: Bitterly disappointing.

Rating