Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Haunter (2013)

haunterDirector: Vincenzo Natali

Writer: Brian King (Screenplay)

Starring: Abigail Breslin, Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Nolden, Stephen McHattie, Peter DaCunha, Samantha Weinstein, Eleanor Zichy

 

Plot: A teenager is stuck in a time loop that is not quite the same each time. She must uncover the truth but her actions have consequences for herself and others.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Twist

 

Story: Haunter starts as we meet Lisa (Breslin) a fifteen-year-old girl who has to live through the same day over and over even explaining to her family Bruce (Outerbridge), Carol (Nolden) and Robbie (DaChunha) what is happening.

Wanting to breakout of this cycle Lisa starts seeing strange events happening around the house even though she keeps restarting her day. When Lisa also sees the day running differently it is the arrival of the Pale Man (McHattie) giving her a warning that pushes Lisa to look into uncovering the truth. Lisa knows she is dead and wants to communicate with the new inhabitants of the home as Lisa is only one of the victims of this killer.

Haunter brings a fresh approach to the ghost investigation sub-genre of horror because we are only used to seeing it on the living characters side but this time everything gets turned on its head as we follow the ghost trying to communicate with the living to help them. While this does take away any of the peril involved in the film it does make for a very interesting to follow mystery. I do also feel this is slightly lightweight for a horror film but still on that can be enjoyed.

 

Actor Review

 

Abigail Breslin: Lisa is our teenage girl that we follow living the same day over and over, she knows something isn’t right and when she figures out she is in fact dead she has to wonder why the living are communicating with her. Abigail is good in this leading role and the clear star of the show.

Peter Outerbridge: Bruce is Lisa’s father who is stuck inside this world where he has to constantly fix the family car. Peter is solid but really doesn’t develop the character enough.

Michelle Nolden: Carol is the mother of the family who is always has chores for Lisa to do. Michelle struggles like Peter to really make an impact in this role.

Stephen McHattie: Pale Man seems to be the man holding Lisa in this world even being the man that murdered the family. He is always staying one step ahead of Lisa being able to communicate between both worlds. Stephen does make for a good villain shining through this role.

Support Cast: Haunter has a small supporting cast which are mostly just the other victims that Lisa has to communicate with.

Director Review: Vincenzo NataliVincenzo gives us a lightweight horror with a really clever story that could easily be a one off television episode.

 

Horror: Haunter has very simple scares which do work but having our leading character being dead you just never feel any peril in the haunting side of the story.

Mystery: Haunter does use the mystery side of the story to its advantage making us truly wonder just what is going on within the household.

Settings: Haunter keeps us within the house for the whole story even if we arrive there at different times of crimes being committed.
Special Effects
: Haunter has strong use of effects to blend the time periods using the times style of filming to its advantage.

Suggestion: Haunter is one I do think the horror fans out there will be enjoying but only if you like a good investigation style ghost film. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Old style filing for final showdown.

Worst Part: You never really feel the peril because she is dead.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

Overall: Nice twist on the ghost investigation film.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – House of the Dead (2003)

writtenDirector: Uwe Boll

Writer: Dave Parker, Mark A Altman (Screenplay)

Starring: Jonathan Cherry, Tyron Leitso, Clint Howard, Ona Grauer, Ellie Cornell, Will Sanderson, Enuka Okuma, Kira Clavell, Sonya Salomaa, Michael Eklund

 

Plot: A group of college students travel to a mysterious island to attend a rave, and end up getting trapped there because it’s been taken over by bloodthirsty zombies.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Is It Really That Bad?

 

Story: House of the Dead starts as we meet Simon (Leitso), Greg (Sanderson), Cynthia (Salomaa), Karma (Okuma) and Alicia (Grauer) as they try to get to a rave on an island because well they are late for it. The island has been a party home for a while but this time things take a turn when it turns out zombies have come to the island.

The five friends are joined by few other survivors to make it off the island alive in an all-out gun battles body pilling up fest.

House of the Dead is notorious for being one of the worst movie ever made but the question remains is it really THAT BAD? The answer is actually no, sure this isn’t anything amazing but it is something that can kill time and get drunk watching. Sure you won’t care too much about any of the characters and most of the kills seem to be off camera but the nonsense this film gives us it time killing entertainment on the level of a Transformers movie.

 

Overall: Easy to watch nonsense horror film that people will watch just to see if it is as bad as people say.

Rating30

 

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Hangar 10 (2014)

hangarDirector: Daniel Simpson

Writer: Adam Preston, Daniel Simpson (Screenplay)

Starring: Robert Curtis, Abbie Salt, Danny Shayler

 

Plot: 33 years after the infamous Rendlesham Forest UFO incident, three metal detector enthusiasts hunting for Saxon gold in the same region, capture incredible footage of UFO’s whilst filming their expedition. As night falls and with their navigation equipment failing, they find themselves facing a terrifying encounter with an unforgiving alien presence.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: How Not to Make Found Footage

 

Story: Hangar 10 starts as we meet Gus (Curtis), Sally (Salt) and Jake (Shayler) who are travelling around the countryside with their metal detectors, they just so happen to be near the Rendlesham Forest the location of one of the most famous UFO sightings.

When the friends have an encounter with something they can’t explain they find themselves wandering around the forest with either aliens or military tracking them down.

Hangar 10 is a perfect example of how found footage films are being made incorrectly. We get teased of the real events in the Rendlesham Forest which is all good work with it but no we just get the we are looking for gold so I accept the use of the cameras for that as the friends want to record what they find. Once the alien encounter happens the cameras should be put away and escape is the only thing that matters but no they decide to give us all motion sickness with shaky cams for no apparent reason. This idea works if the friends are investigating the Rendlesham Forest story but otherwise they have no reason to film anymore, we get nothing fresh to the sub-genre and because we are using the term found footage we don’t need good special effects which are used for the crafts.

 

Overall: This just sums up how found footage gets its bad name.

Rating15

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Havenhurst (2017)

haevntDirector: Andrew C Erin

Writer: Andrew C Erin, Daniel Farrands (Screenplay)

Starring: Julie Benz, Belle Shouse, Josh Stamberg, Danielle Harris, Douglas Tait, Matt Lasky, Dendrie Taylor, Fionnula Flanagan

 

Plot: A troubled young woman takes up residence in a gothic apartment building where she must confront a terrifying evil.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: New Horror Franchise?

 

Story: Havenhurst starts when Jackie (Benz) is released from rehab for alcoholism where she gets a chance to move into the Havenhurst apartment for people needing a place to stay after rehab, a place where her good friend Danielle (Harris) had been staying. The one rule here is if you fall off the wagon your contract is terminated otherwise you can stay till you die thanks to the manager Eleanor (Flanagan).

When fellow residents start going missing Jackie befriends young girl Sarah (Shouse) who has been living in the building with her foster parents for a while now and with the help of Jackie’s police detective friend Tim (Stamberg) they investigate the goings on within the Havenhurst apartments.

 

Thoughts on Havenhurst

 

Characters/PerformanceJackie is a reforming alcoholic who has dealt with personal loss by her own hand which makes for a great leading character for this film. the innocent character of Sarah works for this film because it gives Jackie an extra reason to fight for in her redemption story. Eleanor makes for a great mother figure in this film with the killers being strength in the fight making them a difficult enemy to overcome.

Performances we have good leading lady performance from Julie Benz, with Flanagan being full of all the menace without getting her hands dirty in this film. I do question what feels like the wasted use of horror icon Danielle Harris though.star

StoryWith most of my breakdown going to be positive I have to question certain parts of the story, while I did like the idea of a giant apartment for people fresh out of rehab getting a chance to live unless they lapse making them the victims. What I didn’t like was the fact the film wants to set up for a sequel more than finish the story it was telling in the first place.

Horror/Mystery The horror elements of the film are where we get the mix of scares, blood and gore mixing together nicely, the mystery is all about what is going on within the apartment which does make for the questions we need to see unfolding through the film.

SettingsAll the horror elements of the film are from within this apartment complex which does make for a good setting with the gothic look and hidden passages. When the horror remains in the one location it is always better for the audience.

Special EffectsThe special effects all come off looking bloody and gory which is all we want when it comes to horror, this saves these moments up to not to go for the overkill too.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable horror that could easily be the beginning of a bigger franchise because it has opened doors to plenty of ideas for the future, be it through the kills or how easy it would be to collect victims, so I hope we see where this can go.

 

Overall: Short and sweet horror that can be enjoyed by the casual horror fans out there.

Ratingrating

 

 

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

hacksawDirector: Mel Gibson

Writer: Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight (Screenplay)

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Hugo Weaving, Teresa Palmer, Vince Vaughn

 

Plot: WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Absolutely Amazing

 

Story: Hacksaw Ridge starts as we meet a young Desmond Doss who along with his brother Hal must deal with their abusive father Tom (Weaving), once Desmond reaches his early twenties Desmond finds his calling in life to become a doctor after saving a local man’s life, even though he hasn’t the education to do so.

Meeting beautiful nurse Dorothy Schutte (Palmer) he falls in love but like his brother is drawn to support his country in World War II. Desmond wants to be a field medic refusing to carry a weapon which Sgt Howell (Vaughn) and Captain Glover (Worthington) use to turn the company against him with Smitty Ryker (Bracey) leading the ribbing.

With everyone against Desmond he must fight for his right to go to war to save the soldier’s lives without using a firearm through court before he joins the forces in Japan. What follows is the incredible story of Desmond Dobbs as he risks his own life to save as many soldiers as he can during the battle for Hacksaw Ridge.

 

Thoughts on Hacksaw Ridge

 

StoryThe story we are shown is of one man’s act of heroism during the Battle for Hacksaw Ridge, we do get to see how hard Desmond had to fight to get the chance to even serve his country against all the odds. The film is split into two stories with the first being about being able to go to war and the second is for battle. You hardly notice the time pass through this film either.

History/WarThe film gives us a look into one of the many brutal battles through World War II this one on Hacksaw Ridge as we follow the hero of the battle who saved countless lives. The war side of this story is realistic throughout showing the full brutality of the events.

Characters/PerformancesDesmond Doss is one of the most heroic characters we have seen in any film and the fact he was a real hero makes this man more than just any hero. With most of the other characters all being the expected levels for a war movie. The performances are brilliant with Andrew Garfield giving a performance that will re-define his career. I think we get brilliant performance from both Sam Worthington and Vince Vaughn showing they both have all the ability given the right direction and I finally think Luke Bracey gives a great supporting performance as another member of the unit.

SettingsThe settings are used to show how brutal the battle was, everything is put together to make this feel like one of the most realistic war movies you will ever see.

Special EffectsWhen you look at the effects used to re-create this battle you are left to see just how difficult the battle was and just how brutal the combat would have been for the soldiers.

Final ThoughtsThis is by far the great war film I have seen in my life when it comes to the battle side of the film.

 

Overall: Breath-takingly amazing that cannot stop grabbing your attention.

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