Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Possession of Michael King (2014)

Director: David Jung

Writer: David Jung (Screenplay) David Jung, Tedi Sarafian (Story)

Starring: Shane Johnson, Ella Anderson, Cara Pifko

 

Plot: After poor advice from a psychic leads to the death of his wife, a man vows to disprove the existence of the paranormal by allowing himself to be possessed by demons.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Possession Film

 

Story: The Possession of Michael King starts as documentary film maker Michael King (Johnson) wants to record as much of his family life with wife Samantha (Pifko) and daughter Elli (Anderson). When Samantha is killed in an accident, Michael blames a fortune teller that told Samantha to not travel because success will be coming her way.

Michael frustrated with the loss of his wife decides to enter a new documentary film, one where he investigation the proof of the demons and the afterlife, setting up cameras around his own home to capture any evidence.

Michael visits different people who claim to be able to communicate with demon, the dead or anything supernatural but then he finds himself losing his mind, believing he has been possessed by a demon of sorts.

 

Thoughts on The Possession of Michael King

 

Characters/PerformanceMichael is the grieving father that dives into the dark worlds in search for answers to why his wife was taken, this puts his daughter’s life in danger as the deeper he gets the darker the demons he discovers. When you look at the rest of the characters you only have the daughter that is there not doing much, the sister which is the same and the clips of the wife that try to guide him to light.

Performance wise, Shane Johnson is good in the leading role but it is hard to rate any of the rest of the cast as we spend nearly all of the film watching Michael’s action.

StoryThe story focuses on one man searching for the answers in the afterlife, this isn’t the most original when it comes to how everything goes down but it doesn’t reach level you wouldn’t expect it to go, I also did find the look at different ideas of summoning a demon as we follow Michael go through different ideas to learn how they can come about. This is one for the possession film fans to enjoy.

HorrorThe possession angles being used in this film are brilliant, but with certain moments of found footage don’t completely add up.

SettingsMost of the horror happens within the house which is all good, we the scenes outside show the different worlds that the demon community believe they can summon something from.

Special EffectsThe effects are good throughout and the found footage works to hide moments too.

Final ThoughtsThis is a possession film that does what you need it to, it goes in new direction in places because it doesn’t focus on an innocent victim becoming possessed rather focusing on someone searching for something to happen.

 

Overall: Enjoyable possession film.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Primal (2010)

primalDirector: Josh Reed

Writer: Josh Reed (Screenplay) Josh Reed, Nigel Christensen (Story)

Starring: Zoe Tuckwell-Smith, Krew Boylan, Lindsay Farris, Rebekah Foord, Damien Freeleague, Wil Travel

 

Plot: A group of friends travel into the Australian wilds to view ancient cave paintings but soon find a horrible sickness gripping one of their own, which leaves them with nothing in their mind but a primal blood lust.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easy To Watch Horror

 

Story: Primal starts as we see an ancient painter ruthlessly killed by something, fast forward to present day as we watch Anja (Tuckwell-Smith), Mel (Boylan), Chad (Farris), Kris (Foord), Warren (Freeleagus) and Dace (Traval) travelling to that site when one of the relatives discovers the paintings. Staying out in the Australian outback the group use this scientific discovery as a moment to enjoy the moment away from the world.

Everything is going smoothly until Mel decides to go skinny dipping leading to her getting covered in leeches, that night she starts getting a fever before getting worse through the night leading them to need to go for rescue. The friends find themselves stranded in this location needing to walk to safety after small bugs have been eating everything around.

It isn’t long before Mel turns ravenous attacking the friends leaving the final five friends trying to think of a way to solve the situation they find themselves in, but in a primal state can anyone survive what is waiting for them?

Primal is a horror film that takes the infected idea to a new level by making it turn the infected primal, but there is always a twist in these style of films which is leading up to something bigger. The story is very simple and the characters are painfully generic. I do feel like not enough questions are answered but I also think that comes off important in where the film goes because of the ancient evil involved. This is actually easy to watch for a horror fans and doesn’t take too long to get to the point but won’t live long in the memory.

 

Actor Review

 

Zoe Tuckwell-Smith: Anja is the leading lady with a tortured past, mostly comprising of bad boyfriends. This trip is a chance for her to get away from it all but she ends up being the voice of reason while trying to save her friend. Zoe makes for a strong lead but I think we needed that little extra for true horror leading lady.

Krew Boylan: Mel is what would be called the outward going of the group, she will take chances with her decision which does include skinny dipping in the local watering whole. This leads to her getting infected by something turning her ravenous against her friends. Krew goes through the most in this film which does gain her the most praise.

Lindsay Farris: Chad is the boyfriend of Mel, he seems like the complete opposite to her always coming off quite uptight. He can give her the cold shoulder at any time but deep down you can tell her loves her. Lindsay gives us a very basic but overly mood performance.

Rebekah Foord: Kris is the girlfriend of Dace who is on the trip to support him, she comes off though as one of the most random inclusion on the characters involved in this situation. Rebekah doesn’t do much wrong herself but I really don’t understand the point of her character’s decisions.

Support Cast: Primal only has a couple more cast members and both as good characters in their own right without being too involved in final outcome.

Director Review: Josh ReedJosh does give us an almost fresh take on the infected genre instead of just mindless zombies we get to see them become primal, I do think with a little bit large budget we could have got something on the level of the Descent.

 

Horror: Primal has blood filled gore scenes and that one awkward scene in the cave.

Thriller: Primal tries to keep us on edge but the suspense never grows in this one because it is non-stop action horror.

Settings: Primal puts our characters in the Australian outback which helps the story create the isolation because no one has been to this location in years.
Special Effects
: Primal has a mix of good and bad effects with the good coming with the gore and the bad with the creatures.

Suggestion: Primal is one for the horror fans to try, it is an easy watch. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Spinning the infected idea.

Worst Part: Part of the cave scene near the end, can’t say because spoilers and all.

Action Scene Of The Film: Chad v Dace.

Funniest Scene: Setting the trap like it is a Scooby Doo plot.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

Overall: Easy to watch blood filled horror.

Ratingcard

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Plague (2006)

plagueDirector: Hal Masonberg

Writer: Hal Masonberg, Teal Minton (Screenplay)

Starring: James Van Der Beek, Ivana Milicevic, Brad Hunt, Joshua Close, John P Connolly, Dee Wallace, Brittany Scobie, Arne MacPherson

 

Plot: Ten years have passed since the world’s children fell into a coma. Tonight they’re waking up and all hell is breaking loose. An unholy battle between the generations is being waged, and time is not on the side of adults.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard

 

Story: The Plague starts like any other morning when David (MacPherson) finds his son in a coma only to rush him to the hospital as we learn the world’s children under 9 have all gone into a coma like stance. Ten years later the world still has no children in it with all new-borns being born comatose.

We go onto meet Tom Russell (Van Der Beek) who has returned to this small town to rebuild his relationship with the people he walked away from with his brother David and doctor Jean Raynor (Milicevic). When all the children suddenly wake up Tom must lead the rest of the adults to safety because the children seem to be hell bent on killing their elders.  

The Plague has what I feel is a great concept for the film where the children become comatose and the human race looks like it will face extinction, but this all goes wrong when the children turn into blood thirsty monsters searching to kill any adults. I could see so much potential in this but not have a reason for what has happened doesn’t help this and then a series of terrible decision making pulls this film apart. This is such a standard zombie film that ends up offering nothing new to the genre.

 

Actor Review

 

James Van Der Beek: Tom is freshly out of jail for a manslaughter charge where he returns to his home town searching for a way to rebuild the bridges he burnt. When he returns the children just so happen to awake from their comas and Tom must lead the fellow survivors against the children who seem to be after blood. James is solid in this role but he doesn’t really pull off the bad boy image well enough.

Ivana Milicevic: Jean is the doctor who has been treating all of these patients during the coma spell, she has seen all of the side effects but stayed by their sides but now she must fight them off just to survive. Ivana is solid in this role but even as a leading character she seems to fall into a supporting role.

Brad Hunt: Sam is the brother of Jean and good friend of Tom’s whose been struggling with the effects when he needs to fight off the children. Brad struggles to make the true impact on this film really never looking like a leading man.

Support Cast: The Plague has a supporting cast which comes off very generic for the style of film which doesn’t help push the story along enough.

Director Review: Hal MasonbergHal gives us a very generic story that doesn’t push any boundaries when it comes to the zombie style of film.

 

Horror: The Plague has elements of horror but not enough to reach any of the real high points needed in the film.

Settings: The Plague tries to keep everything within the small town even though the story is going on worldwide.
Special Effects
: The Plague has very basic effects that come off looking cheap throughout the film.

Suggestion: The Plague is one to try when it is on late night on television because it doesn’t hit all the essential points but is an easy watch. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: Concept sounds good.

Worst Part: Just comes off like a genetic zombie film.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

Tagline: And the children shall lead them .

 

Overall: Bog standard zombie film that fails to use the concept well enough.

Ratingcard

 

 

Power Rangers (2017)

Director: Dean Israelite

Writer: John Gatins (Screenplay) Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney, Haim Saban, Shuki Levy (Story/Creators)

Starring: Darce Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G, Elizabeth Banks, Bryan Cranston

 

Plot: A group of high-school students, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities in order to save the world.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Filled Actioner

 

Story: Power Rangers starts as we meet our unlikely High School group of misfits, we have disgraced football star Jason (Montgomery), forgotten cheerleader Kimberly (Scott) social awkward genius Billy (Cyler), rebel without a cause Zack (Lin) and mysterious Trini (G), all five are serving weekend classes and detention, but one night will change everything when Billy help Jason unlock his ankle brace locator, the five discover something strange in a gold mine. The next day the five learn they have got new powers, increased strength.

As the five learn more about their powers they find Zordon (Cranston) teaches them that they are the new Power Rangers, chosen to protect Earth from enemies with Rita Repulsa (Banks) being the threat who wants to take all life from Earth. The Power Rangers must learn to work as a team to defeat her and learn their true destiny.

 

Thoughts on Power Rangers

 

Characters/PerformanceJason is the disgraced football star who could easily have walked into any college football team but his rebellious side leaves him in trouble but now he must take the leadership role of the Rangers. Kimberly is the former cheerleader who was pushed out of the team after being involved in a scandal, now she wants a new image and this will give her a chance. Billy is the smartest member of the team but he is also social awkward and makes the discover of the coins which give them power. Zack is a rebel who enjoys taking risks but at home he has his own responsibilities. Trini is the outcast, she keeps to herself because of her family moving a lot. Rita is the villain looking to end life on Earth by taking the life force from the planet, she is very creepy throughout and fits what we know in the Power Rangers universe. Zordon is the mentor of the rangers, once a former leader looking to continue to protect Earth.

Performance wise, all five of the ranger’s performers are good throughout the film show we have 5 young actors with plenty of potential. Elizabeth Banks looks like she enjoyed the villainous role through the film with Cranston always being a good choice for a mentor like role.

StoryThe story is the origin of the Power Rangers which needed fresh life away from the cheesy 90s show a lot of us grew up watching. We have characters that need to learn responsibility and this gives them that chance, we do have the generic training montage, singular villain that wants to end the world but this is everything we want from this film, we don’t need Shakespeare from a movie like this, just a fun story.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is big but not done with the comic production value we are used too, with the adventure being used as our characters go into a world they could never imagine and the sci-fi side of the story coming from the idea of monsters needing defeating from space.

SettingsThe small-town setting plays into the environment the original had as we only have the first villain for them to face here.

Special EffectsWe have a lot of special effects to make this work and they click for what we need the film to work.

Final ThoughtsThis is fun movie, you can truly sit back and enjoy this one without needing to think too much.

 

Overall: Sit back relax

Rating

 

 

Passengers (2016)

passengerDirector: Morten Tyldum

Writer: Jon Spaihts (Screenplay)

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia, Vince Foster, Kara Flowers

 

Plot: A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 90 years early.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Visually Stunning

 

Story: Passengers starts with the Starship Avalon heading towards Homestead II with 5000 passengers and 258 crew members on board. When the ship goes through an asteroid field the ship shows its ability to repair itself in any damage is received. But then the reset process goes through Jim Preston (Pratt) is awoken from his sleep chamber.

Jim entering the preparation process soon discovers he is the only one to have been awoken 90 years early. Spending over a year alone with only an android Arthur (Sheen) to talk to Jim becomes obsessed with fellow passenger Aurora Lane (Lawrence) and wanting to wake her up and once he finally goes through with it he wants to keep that a secret while other odd malfunctions are going on through the ship.

When the romance between the two blossoms, the truth comes out building the tension between the only two living awake humans on the ship but soon the real reason why Jim was woken up when Gus Mancuso (Fishburne) a member of the crew wakes up.

 

Thoughts on Passengers

 

StoryThe story side of this of this film does bottle down to one man alone for 90s years and what would you do to keep yourself busy? We do also end up falling into the ship is damaged and needs fixing which has been done plenty of times. I did enjoy the story in places but much like Oblivion is does feel like a really long music video.

Romance/Sci-FiThe romance side of this story does have elements which do feel slightly creepy in places because could you fall in love with the person that destroys you future? The sci-fi side of this story does show a side to real world where humans would need to find a new planet to live on and this tackles the idea of going on that mission which I did like.

Characters/PerformanceJim is a good everyday person who finds himself alone for the journey giving us the ultimate question if you could wake someone up to be with you would you? Aurora is a strong minded character whose character arc I do feel is very clichéd and I feel not every decision she makes would be realistic. We only have two other characters with Arthur the android who feels like he has just been ripped out of The Shinning and Gus who is only included to fill in the gaps. There are no other characters involved enough to make a real impact.

Looking at the performances we get what you expect from Pratt and Lawrence without reaching the highest levels of their abilities. Sheen fast becomes the star of the show as you do want to see his character as often as possible, Fishburne is good for his role but I was left questioning just what was the point in Andy Garcia being he captain who doesn’t even have a line in the film.

SettingsThis film is set entirely on the spacecraft which helps with the character decisions Jim makes because what would you do if you were alone in space with nobody to talk to or spend time with what would you do. The setting also looks fantastic as you fully believe every inch of the ship.

Special EffectsThis is one of the most visually stunning movies you will see and this is achieved with all the special effects used to make this happen.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great visual watch but it does lack the real depth in the overall story.

 

Overall: Beautifully shot movie that falls short in the depth in character stories because it does feel like a live action version of Wall-E

Ratingcard