ABC Film Challenge – Horror – M – Megalodon (2018)

Director: James Thomas

Writer: Koichi Petetsky (Screenplay) Thunder Levin (Story)

Starring: Michael Madsen, Dominic Pace, Caroline Harris, Ego Mikitas, Aimee Stolte, Scott C Roe, Sebastien Charmant

 

Plot: A military vessel on the search for an unidentified submersible finds themselves face to face with a giant shark, forced to use only what they have on board to defend themselves from the monstrous beast.


Tagline – You can bet she won’t eat just one.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Run Away Fast

 

Story: Megalodon starts when a Russian submarine captained by Ivanov (Mikitas) unleashes a megalodon in American waters, the US Navy is monitoring the location discovers the sunken submarine, with Captain Streeper (Pace) letting Commander Lynch (Harris) conduct a rescue mission.

When the rescue attempt goes wrong Streeper wants to save his team, while Admiral King (Madsen) refuses to let military personal risked to save people that are more than likely dead. The military battle on the surface conflicts with the one under the ocean as the race against time from the megalodon is on.

 

Thoughts on Megalodon

 

Characters – Admiral King is visiting one of his ships, he is welcomed with open arms, but when the push comes to the shove, he will let people die instead of protecting the men in his fleet. Captain Streeper will do anything to try and save the people of his ship even if it goes against the orders of the Admiral. Commander Lynch is the one that will risk her life to try and save the people on the submarine, she will go against orders to achieve the right thing for people in need of help. Captain Ivanov is the captain of the Russian submarine, he will not give up the secrets of his country despite being put through the questions by the US Navy.

PerformancesMichael Madsen is in this film, he was in Reservoir Dogs, how the mighty have fallen, what is this guy thinking. He however is the best of what is a terrible group of acting, which mostly just follows the actors wobbling like a Star Trek Tv Show and putting on generically week accents.

StoryThe story is US Navy versus Russian submarine and a megalodon, this is all we see, the Americans trying to kill the creature while the Russians try to escape. Trying to put a boring military angle into a basic monster movie only sucks the life out of everything, we spend more time fighting each other than deal with the megalodon which will eat them with ease. This could well be the most boring monster movie story I have ever seen. There are no redeem aspects in this story.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is mostly laughable the shark attacks are a CGI mess, the rest is just shooting guns. The horror is meant to be a monster movie, the fact this is just from watching is being the scariest thing about this. The sci-fi idea about the long thought of dead creature does make sense only for it to be something we see way too often.

SettingsThe film is set in a random ocean with military vessel being under attack from the shark.

Special EffectsThe effects are the normal terrible CGI rubbish we are used to seeing in the syfy world of movies.


Scene of the Movie –
Drunks meet the shark.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The CGI attacks are beyond laughable.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the worst outings that the world of syfy has given us, this is terrible from start to finish and fails to even be a bad monster movie.

 

Overall: Absolutely rubbish.

Rating

 

 

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Mandy (2018)

Director: Panos Cosmatos

Writer: Panos Cosmatos, Aaron Stewart-Ahn (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Ned Dennehy, Olwen Fouere, Richard Brake, Bill Duke

 

Plot: Mandy is set in the primal wilderness of 1983 where Red Miller, a broken and haunted man hunts an unhinged religious sect who slaughtered the love of his life.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Craziest Film of the Year

 

Story: Mandy starts as we meet Red Miller (Cage) a lumberjack who lives with the love of his life Mandy (Riseborough) living in the woods away from the world. religious cult led by Jeremiah Sand (Roache) sees Mandy and wants to make her the connection to his higher power, taking her and forcing Red through a traumatic night.

With Mandy murdered on front of Red, the cult leaves, but when Red gets free, he sets out on a revenge mission which will show that he is a deadly hunter with weapons that will give the most damage to anyone who was involved in Mandy’s murder.

 

Thoughts on Mandy

 

Characters – Red Miller is a lumberjack who lives a quiet life with the love of his life, this is shattered when she is murdered, causing him to go on a bloody revenge mission, he will not stop until he has killed everyone involved in his loves death. Mandy is the love of Red’s life, she is a dreamer and perfect for how Red sees life. Jeremiah Sand is the leader of the religious cult, he goes to the extremes for his belief searching for the higher power he believes he has made contact with, he followers will give their life for his. The rest of the characters we meet fill up the quota for the religious cult showing their devotion to their leader.

PerformancesNicolas Cage has been known for taking stranger roles in recent years, this is by far the craziest one yet and it is one that he shines in, you just can’t keep you eyes of his characters behaviour in this film. Andrea Riseborough does add the mystery to her character early one, which would make us understand her draw. Linus Roache gives us one of the more disturbing performances as the religious cult leader, one that is as unsettling as it should be.

StoryThe story her can be bottled down to a revenge thriller as we follow one man whose love of his life is murdered and he goes after the religious cult behind the murder. This is the simple side of the story, what we get sends us down roads we never imagine seeing as we focus on just how obsessive the cult truly is and how the one man will use anything and everything he can get his hands on to get his revenge. There are a few questions about how religious cults can be misleading to anyone that falls into one, while this does balance the line between what could be and what is very finely before we see the explosive bloody end.

Action/HorrorThe action in this film takes place once the revenge angle starts, we see Red go into battle with any weapons he can, with fight sequences that are as bloody as the are entertaining. The horror comes from seeing just what the cult will do, what the cult are doing and what the cult believe in.

SettingsThe film takes place in the 80’s in the woods which takes us away from people, making us understand just isolated both sides of the battle want to be.

Special EffectsThe effects are a perfect blend of practical bloody effects and well used CGI moments that don’t take away from the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Nicolas Cage’s crazy being used to perfection.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slightly too long.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the craziest films you will ever see, it does something many directors haven’t been able to do, use Nicolas Cage crazy performance correctly. You will see some of the strangest images that you brain will not be able to take everything in.

 

Overall: Just bonkers fun.

Rating

 

 

Malevolent (2018)

Director: Olaf de Fluer Johannesson

Writer: Eva Konstantopoulos, Ben Ketai (Screenplay) Eva Konstantopoulos (Novel)

Starring: Florence Pugh, Celia Imrie, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Scott Chambers, Georgina Bevan, Daniel Campbell

 

Plot: Siblings Jackson and Angela run a profitable ghostbusting racket; swindling the bereaved with fake detection equipment and Angela’s paranormal ‘visions’. Hired to investigate a haunted old foster home, the team uncover its terrifying past: young girls brutally slaughtered, mouths stitched shut; silenced by a sadistic killer. And Angela’s on the edge – sleepless, strung out and losing her mind, no longer certain what’s actually real; convinced she hears the girls crying out to her from the darkness… But supernatural terrors are the least of their problems when they discover the very real evil lurking in the isolated house


Tagline – A group of fake paranormal investigators suffer the ultimate reality check when confronted by the true horrors that lie hidden within a haunted orphanage.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow & Dull

 

Story: Malevolent starts as we get to see the fake ghostbusting team of Angela (Pugh), brother Jackson (Lloyd-Hughes), Elliot (Chambers) and Beth (Bevan) show their methods of getting people to give them money to pretend to rid them of ghosts. Angela does have a gift, but for now it is just about making money.

When Jackson finds himself struggle for debts he owes, he talks Angela into taking a big high paying job for Mrs Green (Imrie), this case however, turns out to be real and the full abilities that Angela possesses will be put to the test.

 

Thoughts on Malevolent

 

Characters – Angela has been given the same gift as her mother, the ability to connect to the dead, she uses the gift to help people rid them of ghosts, only her brother takes advantage of the people who believe. She has been struggling with the hauntings over the past few cases not wanting to take more, she reluctantly takes the next case to help her brother, though it will test her resolve. Jackson is the brother that runs the show, he keeps people believing everything they are doing no matter how wrong it might be, he has also collected debts which need to be paid off. Mrs Green is the latest client that needs help in her mansion where the secrets of her past only increase the hauntings.

PerformancesFlorence Pugh made a massive impact last year, so going into this film I was expecting something great, in the end she doesn’t do much to make us care, giving us a bland performance, we can’t support through the film. Celia Imrie is ok in her role, though we don’t get enough dimension about her character. Ben Lloyd-Hughes is ok the mostly disappoints not giving us anything in this role, which is the same the rest of the cast.

StoryThe story follows a ghostbusting team that pretend to help people for extra cash, facing a real situation with the ghosts of a mansion they must prove that Angela can communicate and save themselves before it is too late. This is follow the lines we have seen before it doesn’t do anything to make us feel like we are part of this atmosphere and it ends up feel like it rushes everything to try and get to the twist which doesn’t make the most sense and by the end of the film you will most likely forget anything you saw.

HorrorThe horror aspects of this film get sucked out of the film by telling us how the team fake their hunt, they try to explain things as pranks which just doesn’t make it interesting to watch. Anything horror related just doesn’t draw your attention at any point during the film.

SettingsWhen we get to the mansion we instantly get the isolated feeling about where the film could go, only it doesn’t use it well enough.

Special EffectsThe effects look disturbing at times, but we don’t get enough time for that shock value.


Scene of the Movie –
Preparing the victim.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The team is never believable.

Final ThoughtsThis is mostly a dull horror that doesn’t give us anything to really enjoy in this film. by the time the horror starts we will have lost interest.

 

Overall: Disappoint and boring.

Rating

 

 

Molly (2017)

Director: Colinda Bonger, Thijs Meuwese

Writer: Thijs Meuwese (Screenplay)

Starring: Julia Batelaan, Emma de Paauw, Joost Bolt, Annelies Appelhof, Andrew Dongelmans, Arnost Kraus

 

Plot: A girl living alone in a post apocalyptic wasteland finds herself hunted down by marauders who want her to fight in their fighting pit for their entertainment.


Tagline – The legend is real..

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Chaotic Gem

 

Story: Molly starts as we see how Molly (Batelaan) can defend herself in the post-apocalyptic world she is living alone in. she is a scavenger in this world with a hidden ability. This world is also populated by villainous figure with Deacon (Bolt) controlling a fighting put for the entertainment of his people, he is always looking for new victims to please the crowd.

Molly becomes his latest target as he sends his men in search for her, can she survive and escape this fate which could bring about her end or give her the freedom she desires.

 

Thoughts on Molly

 

Characters – Molly is the lone scavengers in the wasteland, she can defend herself against multiple enemies and just wants freedom, she does the right thing for the innocent people in the world, but her powers are what are required by the villainous ruler of the wasteland. Bailey is the young girl that Molly finds alone in the wasteland, she is waiting for her parents to return and must rely on help from Molly to survive when they don’t. Deacon is the ruler of the wasteland, he organises the fights between infected and the strong and after being embarrassed he wants a new fighter, picking Molly from her destruction of his men in the wasteland. Deacon isn’t as controlling as we would be used and for the most part we focus on him trying to remain in power while being on the edge. The rest of the characters we meet are the seemingly endless amounts of soldiers willing to die for Deacon, with Kimmy being the strongest of them all.

PerformancesJulia Batelaan in the leading role of the film is fantastic, we get to see how she can handle the fighting sequences while constantly looking vulnerable making her look like the unlikely hero. Emma de Paauw is good for a child star, she fits the innocence needed for this world and film. Joost Bolt as the main villain does come off as the weakest part of the film, he never feels threatening and goes over the top at times. Annelies Appelhof does make for a great strongest villain, the one that can go toe to toe with Molly which makes her the one you fear.

StoryThe story here follows a lone survivor in a wasteland that must go in head first to take on a villainous ruler of the wasteland. This does have strong connections to what we saw in ‘Turbo Kid’ which was fun and while this is played along the serious tone more, it can still be enjoyed because of the simplistic nature of the story. sadly, the villain is underdeveloped which is disappointing because we need to want to see him get what he deserves by the end of the film and he never feels like a threat. The protective nature of Molly to a young girl in the world is the highlight, showing she will risk her life to save a stranger. The style of the storytelling is what will keep people happy in this film as it can take the back burner for action sequences too.

Action/Sci-FiThe action in the film is the best part of the film, we start with small fights with each one stacking the odds against Molly, with the final act of the movie being one continuous take of chaos. This is in a post-apocalyptic world which is similar to many we have seen before, it does however give Molly powers which makes her unique to the world.

SettingsThe film uses a couple of main settings, we have the open wasteland which is along a coastline and the base which is used for the final sequence, with the tight corridors showing us just what we will be seeing.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show off Molly’s power, they are strong for the film showing just what is waiting for anyone that gets in her way as she starts to learn from them.


Scene of the Movie –
Base attack, wonderful continuous shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Never knowing just what Deacon has to offer outside the fighting ring.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun entertaining action film, it has a wonderful final act which barely lets you breath and a strong performance from our leading lady Julia Batelaan.

 

Overall: Must watch sci-fi gem.

Rating

 

 

Modern Day Miracles (2018)

 

Plot: Three children with correctable disabilities, living in the Dominican Republic, Niger and the Philippines, find healing in hospitals of CURE International


Tagline – How Jesus is still healing 2000 years later

Runtime: 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Look at the Good in the World

 

Story: Modern Day Miracles starts as we learn about CURE, a charity that has doctors mostly in Africa as well as the Philippines who are helping sick children get the surgery they require after suffering injuries that never healed medically.

In this film we follow three stories, one in Dominican Republic, one in Niger and one in the Philippines, we get to see how the team operate with the communicating and rehab process which will be long. They use the power of belief in God to help remain positive through the problems they are suffering from.

 

Thoughts on Modern Day Miracles

 

Final ThoughtsWe need to look at this documentary in two different directions, first we should praise the work the charity workers are doing for the children who don’t get the medical support in the small villages they are living in, this documentary shows how obstacles including language barriers and home grown beliefs about people of different races. We see how committed the team is to make this happen. On the other side of the documentary comes the religious side of CURE, where the people working use their belief in God to bring a spiritual happiness to the patients to make their time at the medical centres more comfortable. While I personally have no belief in any form of religion, seeing how giving the patients extra hope and smiles using it, shows how important it can be for somebody who is suffering. This is a documentary that should be watched by anyone that wants to see the good being done in the world and one that gives you hope about the people in it.

 

Overall: Documentary that gives us all hope.

Rating