Possum (2018)

Director: Matthew Holness

Writer: Matthew Holness (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Harris, Alun Armstrong, Simon Bubb, Andy Blithe, Pamela Cook, Charlie Eales

Plot: After returning to his childhood home, a disgraced children’s puppeteer is forced to confront his wicked stepfather and the secrets that have tortured his entire life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Unsettling Throughout

Story: Possum starts when a puppeteer Philip (Harris) returns home after his latest performance has left him disgraced, his step-father Maurice (Armstrong) had been waiting for him to fail and now Philip wants to figure out of to destroy his puppet which does seem to have a mind of its own.

As Philip continues to look to get rid of his terrifying puppet it just keeps return and add in a new missing schoolboy report, Philip is let wondering if the puppet had something to do with this evil or not.

Thoughts on Possum

Characters – Philip is a puppeteer with one of the creepiest puppets you have ever seen, he is returning home to escape after his latest show went terribly wrong and it isn’t long before the strange events continue to plague him. He becomes a suspect in a missing persons case and the puppet he is trying to get rid of, keeps returning for him. Maurice is his stepfather that always pushes him too far, he always seems to be judging Philip. We only truly get to meet two characters with the puppet having a life of its own.

PerformancesSean Harris is genuinely creepy through this film giving a performance that is bound to get him placed in any horror film he wants for years to come. Alun Armstrong does well in the supporting role which does work very well in the film.

StoryThe story follows the puppeteer that is haunted by his own puppet while is clearly a metaphor for something else going on in his life. This is a strange film to say the least, it does deal with real issues that can be disguised and will keep you feeling uneasy throughout. We could spend time studying certain issues in this film, but that goes into full spoilers.

HorrorThe horror comes from the uneasy feeling we are getting through the film, with just what could be going on, the appearances of the puppet itself, which does look genuinely creepy.

SettingsThe settings for this feel only add to the atmosphere involved in the film, each place feels like something terrible could happen.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film come from the puppet creation and slow movements that it gives us through the film.


Scene of the Movie – Puppet first appearance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is slow in places.

Final Thoughts This is a movie that does leave you feeling unsettled by what we see with a puppet that just feels difficult to look at.

Overall: Creepy horror.

Rating

Patient Seven (2016)

Director: Danny Draven, Paul Davis, Omar Orn Hauksson, Dean Hewison, Joel Morgan, Johannes Persson, Nicholas Peterson, Erlingur Thoroddsen, Rasmus Wassberg

Writer: Paul Davis, Sam Dickson, Paul Fischer, Richard Falkner, Omar orn Hauksson, Jacey Heldrich, Dean Hewison, Barry Jay, Bran McAuley, Joel Morgan, Johannes Persson, Nicholas Peterson, David Steenhoek, Aidee Walker, Rasmus Wassberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Ironside, Jack Plotnick, Drew Fonteiro, Rane Jameson, Grace Van Dein

 

Plot: The film centers on Dr. Marcus, a renowned psychiatrist who has selected 6 severe mentally ill and dangerous patients from the Spring Valley Mental Hospital to interview as part of research for his new book. As Dr. Marcus interviews each patient, one by one the horrors theyve committed begin to unfold. However, Dr. Marcus soon learns that there is one patient who ties them all together – Sarah Pegram

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Horror Anthology

 

Story: Patient Seven starts as Dr Daniel Marcus (Ironside) visit a mental hospital to study six patients with their own different problems, we go through their stories one by one, first Jill who has killed her mother, who believed she saw something in their home, the second patient John Doe believed he was killed by a serial killer in London. The third is an Icelandic woman that claims to have been attacked by zombies.

As each story unfolds Dr Marcus starts to try and push the patient believing they are nothing more than just taking advantage of the system, either they are a killer or just trying to avoid a reality. The fourth patient is accused of killing her best friend even though she claims it was suicide. The fifth won’t talk because of an event with a haunting at a young age. The final patient believes vampires are real, with the stories together, just what is the connection with the seventh patient?

 

Thoughts on Patient Seven

 

Characters – Dr Daniel Marcus is the man trying to learn about six disturbed patients at a mental hospital, each story needs to be broken down in a different way, he is doing research for his book, but leaving us wondering what his motives are is the biggest mystery in this film. we do meet the different patients which all have different stories and we follow the events of their stories each different from the rest. We do meet the doctors, but as the film is an anthology we just don’t get enough time to look into their characters.

PerformancesMichael Ironside is the star of this film with his calming presence while interviewing the patients that can turn on them in a heartbeat. We have a couple of known names in the supporting cast with Alfie Allen in the second story being the highlight of the rest of the performances, while no one is bad in their roles here, they just don’t get the time they deserve.

StoryThe story here is told like an interview process to give us seven short horror stories, the fact each one goes in a different direction helps the audience find one they can enjoy even if the previous one isn’t for them. Vampires, ghost, spirits, serial killers and zombies are the main topics each one feels short enough to be entertaining, even if one did make me want to see a feature film about that character. For a horror anthology this does check the boxes well and is one that can be enjoyed.

HorrorThe horror in the story comes from the different stories, while we don’t always get the best build up to the horror moments, we do follow the horror guidelines well.

SettingsEach story does take us to a new setting which helps make the film feel fresh, though I don’t quiet understand how the crimes from England, New Zealand and Iceland ended up in an American mental home.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film across the different stories are great and make you feel like you are part of them.


Scene of the Movie –
The second story.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Some of the stories are slightly too short though.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror anthology even if the ending feel slightly flat, we get plenty going on and can enjoy the different ideals of horror.

 

Overall: Horror anthology does correctly.

Rating

 

 

The Possession of Hannah Grace (2018)

Director: Diederik Van Rooijen

Writer: Brian Sieve (Screenplay)

Starring: Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson, Nick Thune, Louis Herthum, Stana Katic

Plot: When a cop who is just out of rehab takes the graveyard shift in a city hospital morgue, she faces a series of bizarre, violent events caused by an evil entity in one of the corpses.


Tagline – The most frightening thing about an exorcism is what happens next.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Lost Horror

Story: The Possession of Hannah Grace starts when an exorcism on Hannah Grace (Johnson) goes horribly wrong forcing the death of Hannah, meanwhile newly hired former cop Megan Reed (Mitchell) takes a job in the graveyard shift of the city hospital after spending her time in rehab. The job seems easy enough for her, just processing the dead bodies in the morgue away from the distracts of life.

Megan starts having a strange set of experiences and when the body of Hannah arrives, the processing equipment doesn’t manage to work in the proper functional method.

Thoughts on The Possession of Hannah Grace

Characters – Megan Reed is a former cop that has been through rehab after struggling after her own experience in the field, cleaned up, she looks to get back into work on a graveyard shift at the morgue. Megan does start to have strange visits while on duty and becomes convinced strange things are going on, she is left to wonder whether she is having a bad experience from her drugs or is something supernatural going on. Andrew is the ex-boyfriend and fellow cop of Megan, he was left no choice, but to leave her, but will support her through her struggles. Hannah Grace is the young woman that went through the exorcism, she hasn’t remained dead though, searching for more victims in her afterlife. Randy is the friendly paramedic that offers support for Megan because of his own past.

PerformancesShay Mitchell does everything she can with her leading role without being terrible, just not getting much to do from it. Grey Damon doesn’t have much to do, neither does Nick Thune, though he does make the most of his limited time. Kirby Johnson does get extra praise for her ability to try and make her character creepy throughout.

StoryThe story here follows a cop fresh out of rehab that takes a graveyard shift in a morgue only to find her night become a nightmare when a corpse comes back to life to haunt them. The story is a true disappointment because we have one side of Megan’s story being that she might be falling off the wagon again, which would make everything going on great, only we get plenty of disposable characters that offer the corpse a chance to kill instead of building the tension of Megan losing her mind. This story does feel like a complete rip off The Autopsy of Jane Doe.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film comes from how the haunting figure is searching for the latest victim, only it never reaches the true level it could do. The mystery is meant to be around why the corpse isn’t remaining dead, only for it to end up feeling like it is the back burner.

SettingsThe film is set inside the city morgue, we do have the lights that only come on when you are in their sensors go off, though it does feel too large to get the most out of the environment.

Special EffectsThe effects are a mixed bag because the physical movement is great, but the CGI covers up too much in this film and it is weak.


Scene of the Movie – The first discovery.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We just doesn’t seem to get the smart enough decisions in writing here.

Final Thoughts This is a poor horror that just copies The Autopsy of Jane Doe, only to lose all the atmosphere in the film.

Overall: Disappointing throughout.

Rating

Pumpkinhead (1988)

Director: Stan Winston

Writer: Mark Patrick Carducci, Gary Gerani (Screenplay) Mark Patrick Carducci, Stan Winston, Richard Weinman (Story)

Starring: Lance Henriksen, Jeff East, John D’Aquino, Kimberly Ross, Joel Hoffman, Cynthia Bain, Kerry Remsen, Florence Schauffler

 

Plot: After a tragic accident, a man conjures up a towering, vengeful demon called Pumpkinhead to destroy a group of unsuspecting teenagers.


Tagline – The Demon of Revenge.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun 80’s Slasher

 

Story: Pumpkinhead starts when small town shopkeeper Ed Harley’s (Henriksen) young son is killed in an accident involving reckless motor cross riders, Joel (D’Aquino), Chris (East), Kim (Ross), Steve (Hoffman), Tracy (Bain) and Maggie (Remsen), with the one that caused the accident Joel running from the scene.

Desiring vengeance for his son’s death, Ed turns to the known witch Haggis (Schauffler) who offers him a chance to bring a demon called Pumpkinhead to life and destroy the teenagers that killed his son.

 

Thoughts on Pumpkinhead

 

Characters – Ed Harley is a hardworking shop keeper and single father, he gets on well with the community and enjoys the quiet life. His life is turned upside down when his son is killed in an accident, which pushes him to turn to the dark arts to avenge his son’s death, only he didn’t plan for what would be expected from him. Chris is one of the teenagers that wants to do the right thing after the accident, much like the rest of the teenagers they all blend into one, except for the one that caused the accident, who only wants to look after himself.

PerformancesLance Henriksen is the star of the film, he is easily the best performer as his character goes through the biggest trauma and shows the desperation for revenge and regret for his decision. When it comes to the rest of the cast, they are performed to the level most slasher films reached.

StoryThe story here follows a man that will do anything to get vengeance for his son’s death, which sees him summon the evil Pumpkinhead to kill the people that took his son, he soon learns the errors of his choice and must figure out how to stop the killing machine. For a monster creature feature slasher this is a simple story, we don’t get twists, we don’t need much character development as we are more interested in seeing the effects being used. It is nice have a story that remains simple in the horror genre at times too.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy elements of this film comes from the figure of Pumpkinhead that gets summoned to do revenge for people that believe they have been wronged, which plays hand in hand with the horror side of the film which is slasher elements which show just how deadly this figure will be.

SettingsThe film is set in a small town where we don’t have many people with the ones living their knowing each other and anyone coming from the outside being frowned upon.

Special EffectsThe effects are the highlight of the film, Stan Winston was known for his ability to create some of the most memorable creatures in film history and with him directing he brings us another terrifying creation.


Scene of the Movie –
The first imagine of Pumpkinhead.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The teenagers are stupid for how they acted for the accident to happen in the first place.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slasher that can be enjoyed by the horror community, it offers everything needed to just let us enjoy ourselves without challenging us like other horrors.

 

Overall: Simple, effective and fun horror.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – P – Perfect Creature (2006)

Director: Glenn Standring

Writer: Glenn Standring (Screenplay)

Starring: Dougray Scott, Saffron Burrows, Leo Gregory, Scott Wills, Stuart Wilson, Craig Hall

 

Plot: The vampire myth is given a stylish 1960s treatment, where a human cop partners with a vampire cop to stop a vamp bent on creating a war between the two “separate but equal” races.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Underworld Rip Off

 

Story: Perfect Creature starts in a world where vampires are known as the Brotherhood, an elite society that doesn’t feed on humans instead lives above them, for 300 hundred years this has been the way but now things are about to change. Edgar (Gregory) one of the brotherhood has gone rogue and started feeding on humans, Silus (Scott) his brother must team up with a human cop Lilly (Burrows) to stop him.

Once they capture Edgar, Silus learns more about the bigger plan in the brotherhood and the work Edgar had been working on. When Edgar escapes we get to see Silus team up with Lilly once again to save the outbreak of a virus that could wipe out both races.

 

Thoughts on Perfect Creature

 

Characters – Silus is the vampire from the brotherhood, he has a connection with his brother Edgar and will not let him take over once he becomes the blood thirty infected version of himself. Lilly is the nonsense cop that has suffered her own share of heartache with the viruses in the world, she doesn’t take any shit from anyone she believes to be guilty. Edgar is the brother of Silus that has become infected while trying to find the next cure for the human and Brotherhood medical problems which makes him the first member of the brotherhood to kill a human.

PerformanceDougray Scott is fine without being that impactful in the leading role and the same could be said for Saffron Burrows, the highlight of the film would be Leo Gregory as the Edgar the bloody thirsty crazy vampire.

StoryThe story does feel like it could be another chapter of the Underworld saga, it has the vampires of the world living in peace with the humans but when one goes rogue it becomes personal. This isn’t the most original and strays too far into the middle of the fantasy world we are trying so desperately to head towards. We don’t find enough time to create the fantasy world that could become a franchise let alone a new story because in the end this could have just been a crime thriller.

Action/Fantasy/HorrorThe action is fine, it mostly contains fights that try to offer an extra punch where needed but isn’t the most original, while the fantasy world doesn’t click for the story we are experiencing, the horror is tame too with it only being a couple of vampire like moments.

SettingsWe have murky settings which is designed to show us the different in class between the two races.

Special EffectsThe effects are all fine and at least the film doesn’t turn into a bad CGI moment film.

Scene of the Movie – The special gun that instant sleeps and enemy.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It just doesn’t seem to feel fresh in any way.

Final ThoughtsDisappointing movie that doesn’t connect with the audience on the levels it could have because it wants to be a fantasy film but plays out only like a dark crime thriller.

 

Overall: Disappointing film.

Rating