The Hurricane Heist (2018)

Director: Rob Cohen

Writer: Scott Windhauser, Jeff Dixon (Screenplay) Anthony Fingleton, Carlos Davis (Story)

Starring: Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten, Ralph Ineson, Melissa Bolona, Ben Cross, Jamie Andrew Cutler

 

Plot: Thieves attempt a massive heist against the U.S. Treasury as a Category 5 hurricane approaches one of its Mint facilities.


Tagline – The ultimate storm for the perfect heist.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Special Effects Mess

 

Story: The Hurricane Heist starts as two brothers Will and Breeze witness their father killed in a hurricane as children. Present day Will (Kebbell) work on providing the earliest possible detection for storms, Breeze (Kwanten) is an engineer for the treasury and a drunk.

When a new storm looks likely to hit, it just so happens to be when a group of bank robbers plan to rob the treasury, leaving only Casey (Grace) to fight back, with the brothers helping in their own way.

 

Thoughts on The Hurricane Heist

 

Characters – Will is the younger of the two brothers, he wants to figure out how to save lives with his science to predict storms, he reluctantly agrees to help Casey when the robbery happens and will need to face his past and over come his fears. Breeze is the older brother of the two, he has become a drunk even though he served for his country, he never left town and uses his skills to fight back against the thieves. Casey is the officer that is forced into taking on the criminals trying to take the money, determined to do the right thing after making a mistake in her past. The crooks and criminals are generic as the come, either hackers who believe they know it all, tired employees and opportunists.

PerformancesI hate having to say bad things about these actors, I feel they do the best they can, Toby Kebbell gives us one of the most generic American accents you will ever hear, Maggie Grace handling the combat is the highlight of the acting in this film if we are being honest.

StoryThe story on paper should be fun, a heist with a hurricane in the back drop, this is like Hard Rain when it comes to this concept. The problem is the film does take itself too seriously and falls into a generic heist movie mixed with a confusingly painful disaster movie, what sort of hurricane is this? The story isn’t even the biggest problem with this movie.

ActionThe action tries to be very big, but only ends up feeling laughable for the most part leaving you losing interest in the action set pieces.

SettingsThe film is set in a town in America, it seems to be generic town 101.

Special EffectsWhen people laugh at Sharknado, the film knows it has bad CGI, this movie thinks it has good effects and they are barely on the same level as Sharknado.


Scene of the Movie –
Speed bump.

That Moment That Annoyed Me CGI is awful.

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie you will need to be wasted to get any enjoyment out off, it is dull, boring and a CGI mess.

 

Overall: This is why we can’t have nice things.

Rating

 

 

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House on Elm Lake (2017)

Director: James Klass

Writer: Shannon Holiday, James Klass (Screenplay)

Starring: Becca Hirani, Andrew Hollingworth, Faye Goodwin, Lorena Andrea, Tara MacGowran, Oliver Ebsworth

 

Plot: A couple and their young daughter move into a lake house that remained unsold due to the brutal, ritualistic murder of a family years ago. Soon, they realize that a dormant evil has awakened, a possessive force that has preyed on unsuspecting families like theirs for centuries.


Tagline – Lucifer will rise.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Low Budget Horror

 

Story: House of Elm Lake starts as family Hayley (Hirani), Eric (Hollingworth) and daughter Penny (Goodwin) move into a new lake house in hopes of starting a fresh, they have had their own difficulties in the past and this will start things on the right path.

Well that is the hope, it turns out that the house has a history of murder with the previous owners having the story of a family that had the husband kill the rest of the family. Now after they move in Eric starts acting differently leaving Hayley to make sure her daughter is safe.

 

Thoughts on House of Elm Lake

 

Characters – Hayley is the mother of Penny and partner to Eric, she has been going through a tough time while trying to stay strong for Penny and keep the family together, this side of her character is created well, you understand her trust issues, my only question about her character is whether she has a job or not, because we know Eric doesn’t have one at the moment and this house doesn’t seem affordable for to unemployed people. Eric is the partner of Hayley, he is coming to get a caretaker like job around the lake, he has made a mistake in the past which bought strain on the relationship, he starts to change as he remains in the house. Penny is the daughter of the couple, she is enjoying the idea of moving to a new house becoming the target of the evil presence.

PerformancesBecca Hirani in the leading role is good through the film, we believe her terror and her trust issues we see her character go through. Andrew Hollingworth does well through the film where for a large part we see him balance two different sides to him. The rest of the cast do well, they know their roles in the film and never make themselves the centre of attention away from the leads.

StoryThe story here does bring us into the idea of a new house with a past which does have a paranormal side. This seems generic which is fine it works, where this one does something different, is that we do keep everything in the home, we see a different type of possession happening which doesn’t focus on the woman being the easy target for evil. We can’t help but see the flaws which come in horror moments we always know, we could have decisions to stop certain things happening, like just leaving as there would have been a place to go.

HorrorThe horror used in the film is good throughout, mostly because we know what to expect and we do get moments which shock.

SettingsThe film takes place in a lake house which gives our characters a harder chance to escape and having help coming for them.

Special EffectsThe effects are mixed for me, the visual material are great, with the practical effects looking flawless, the sound editing gets annoying, because the demonic voice isn’t something you can see being believable for long enough.


Scene of the Movie –
The Babysitter’s night.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The cheesy sounding demonic voice.

Final ThoughtsFor a movie that is for £3000 this is very good, we get strong acting, great effects and good story that goes out of its way to be different. This film shows everything you want, the potential you can achieve with the budget, now lets see what this team can do with a bigger budget.

 

Overall: Horror fans enjoy this one.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – H – The Hollow Point (2016)

Director: Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego

Writer: Nils Lyew (Screenplay)

Starring: Lynn Collins, Ian McShane, Patrick Wilson, John Leguizamo, James Belushi, Heather Beers, Michael Flynn

 

Plot: A new sheriff of a small town along the U.S. & Mexico border investigates a drug cartel deal that went horribly wrong.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Little Crime Thriller

 

Story: The Hollow Point starts in a border town that has two cousins ammunition smuggling across to Mexico, but when one gets killed by Sheriff Leland (McShane) and the other goes missing, the returning sheriff Wallace (Wilson) must investigate what they were up to.

When Wallace is attacked by Atticus (Leguizamo) his everyday life is change and now he must work with Leland to stop the cartel trafficking going on through their town.

 

Thoughts on The Hollow Point

 

Characters – Wallace has returned to his old town to become the Sheriff, where he must rebuild the burnt bridges with the town’s people but most importantly he must stop the smuggling going on through his town. Marla is the old flame of Wallace’s, he has a connection to the missing cousins but lives a life of wonder as she has always waited for Wallace to take her away. Leland is the other sheriff in town, he has always found himself getting close to the line which has gotten him in trouble before, but now we see he has always been on the right side of the law. Atticus is the man responsible for the body count, he will kill anyone that gets in his way and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.

PerformancePatrick Wilson does seem to be a go to man for leading roles in edgy films and he is good in these role, Ian McShane is good as the older sheriff who will take nonsense from anyone, while John Leguizamo is great as the deadly villain of the film. Lynn Collins is the weak link of the film as she just seems to lack the impact the character needs.

StoryThe story follows two sheriffs needing to protect their town from the cartel wanting to clean up loose ends when a deal goes wrong. This story is a by the book type of story, it doesn’t offer twists but it doesn’t hold back with shock value when it comes to certain things that happen. This is loosely based on the crime which are happening on the border too.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime is all about what has been happening along the borders in America, we have a smuggling gone wrong that needs investigating while the two sheriffs clean up the mess the town could face.

SettingsThe settings show us the small town that could become trapped by a cartel wanting them to do their dirty work with the smuggling, it shows it could be any town along the border too.

Scene of the Movie – Atticus introduction.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Marla seems like a wasted side character just to have a female character in the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is an extremely watchable crime thriller that doesn’t hold back with the shocks being given to us, but it does follow a formula that we have seen before in the core of the story.

 

Overall: Crime thriller well worth watching.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Haunt (2014)

Director: Mac Carter

Writer: Andrew Barrer (Screenplay)

Starring: Harrison Gilbertson, Liana Liberato, Jacki Weaver, Ione Skye, Brian Wimmer

 

Plot: An introvert teen befriends his new neighbor, and together the couple begin to explore the haunted house that his family has just purchased.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid but Forgettable Horror

 

Story: Haunt starts as the Asher’s Evan (Gilbertson), Emily (Skye), Alan (Wimmer), Sara (Chuchran) and Anita (Harris) move into a massive new home, known for the Morello Curse where the family were nearly all killed in strange unexplained suicides apart from Janet (Weaver) the mother of the family.

Evan is the teenage son of the family and finds himself in the room where one of the suicides happened and after meeting fellow teenager and outsider Sam (Liberato) the two become close friends. Evan and Sam discover the equipment to communicate with the dead and soon find themselves talking and being visited by the ghosts of the Morello’s.

 

Thoughts on Haunt

 

Characters/PerformanceEvan is the son of the family that finds himself living in the room that previously had a murder, now after his family moves him there, he has no friends but soon makes one in Sam as he starts to learn the haunting side of the home. Sam is the local girl that has been dealing with abuse at home and sees Evan as her escape from that world. Janet is the doctor and lone survivor of the Morello Curse that has haunted the home.

Performance wise, Harrison Gilbertson is good in the leading role as the curious teen as is Liana Liberato through the film. the performance are all fine through the film.

StoryThe story focuses around the idea of a haunted house that a new family moves into and becomes the latest targets of the spirits haunting the home, well we have seen this before and this tie we don’t get to learn too much new in this film either, it plays out like an ABC of haunted house movies and you could see plenty of better ones.

Horror/Mystery/Romance The horror in this film mostly comes from slow building scenes that then turn into jump scares that don’t click to their full amount while there is a mystery behind everything but it isn’t the most difficult thing to solve and the early romance is fine but nothing overly serious.

SettingsMost of the film is set in this one house and this is an easy setting choice for a film about a haunted house, we don’t need to leave it because the scary stuff only happens in the house.

Special EffectsThe effects are mixed mostly because some are good others look weak even though the film is trying to create its own look.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that is similar to better ones so the simple way of looking at it is to say look at The Conjuring for the better option.

 

Overall: Simple Horror

Rating

 

 

Hide in the Light (2018)

Director: Mikey McGregor

Writer: Cynthia Bravo, Gonzalo Digenio, Mikey McGregor (Screenplay)

Starring: Alexis Sterling, Jesse James, Clayton Snyder, David Kaye, Mercy Malick, Chandler Massey, Lindsay Lamb

 

Plot: An adventurous group of friends dare to break into the abandoned orphanage and quickly find themselves trapped and fighting against unnatural forces.


Tagline – Trapped in the famous Witch’s House, a group of urban explorers soon realize that a thirsty demon hides in the shadows awaiting for new souls.

Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Haunted Abandoned Building Done Correctly

 

Story: Hide in the Light starts as the Urban Explorers group including Kate (Sterling) who picked this location, Adam (Kaye), Todd (James), Shane (Massey), Ryan (Snyder), Becca (Jones), Eric (Jones), Karen (Bravo) and Tiff (Schwartz) head to a former orphanage which mysteriously closed down in the 60s.

As the night goes on the friends investigate the many rooms to learn the truth about what happened, leaving them to battle against an evil force surrounded the mysterious Amanda, one of the orphans in the home.

 

Thoughts on Hide in the Light

 

Characters – The characters are large group of Urban Explorers that head off to nights in haunted or mysterious locations, they don’t go in search of ghosts, rather go in search of adventure searching for thrills. Apart from the brother sister relationships we don’t learn too much more about this group, other than that they enjoy this type of experience. This helps us because it keeps us guessing to who could be in for the next attack.

PerformancesThe performances are strong from the whole cast, it would be unfair to stay anyone didn’t stick out as the true star of the show, but no one came off like the weak link. Each performance made the film feel real throughout.

StoryThe story is one that in the past could have been one that goes in a couple of direction, we have had awful ones, we have had forgettable ones and on that rare occasion we have had that one that stands out. This is in the stand out group, because it takes away the details of ghost hunting to keep the story focus on a group that just enjoy exploring the abandoned buildings. The keep things simple as the film does everything to keep us guessing o just where things will be going and who might make it to the end which is, all we ask for at times.

HorrorThe eerie tone of the movie helps with the horror, we have the setting which makes each moment feel like we are trapped in a building which could leave horror around any corner. The horror also doesn’t hold back any moment, which will surprise you.

SettingsThe film is set in an abandoned building with a history to be mysterious, it keeps our characters in a location through the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are strong here, instead of using too many we are left to imagine what is happening in the scene.


Scene of the Movie –
Cellar doors closing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not knowing any stories of the previous adventures of this group.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the horrors to watch out for in 2018, this brings a forgettable sub-genre and makes it one of the best enjoyable and edge of your seat horrors of the year.

 

Overall: Early contender for Horror of the year.

Rating