Jeffrey Dean Morgan Weekend – The Possession (2012)

possesDirector: Ole Bornedal

Writer: Juliet Snowden, Stiles White (Screenplay) Leslie Gornstein (Article)

Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Natasha Calis, Madison Davenport, Matisyahu, Grant Snow

 

Plot: A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl’s father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Surprisingly Good

 

Story: The Possession starts as we see how the box has the power to make people possessed before we meet our main characters. We have recently divorced couple Clyde (Morgan) and Stephanie (Sedgwick) who are trying to keep their daughter’s Em (Calis) and Hannah (Davenport) happy through the difficult time.

After Clyde purchases a mysterious box his youngest daughter Em starts acting strange as the house seems to be getting infested with moths and she becomes very protective of the box. When Em’s behaviour gets worse we see just how the evil spirit is taking over and the possession is becoming deadly to all the people involved.

 

Thoughts on The Possession

 

StoryThis story is very loosely based on a real series of events in which an ancient cursed box caused nightmares and possession like symptoms in its owners. The story we get told is very simple for the possession genre of films with the youngest member getting taken over by the spirit and because of her parents’ divorce she is easier to target. The story does have good attempts at trying to balance the idea of a young girl acting out against the divorce but falls into the supernatural side of the story easily which tries to go with shock moments throughout. While this is one of the better modern day possession films it doesn’t reach the true shock value it could have.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror comes with the possession side of the story which is usually a side of horror I don’t find scary or interesting but this one at least has moments of interest because the real case behind this story is one that I find interesting. You do wonder where the story will go as in can it pull off anything shocking and original as the story unfolds. The MRI scene is the stand out scare scene though.

Characters/PerformancesLooking at the characters you get very little new, we have the divorcing parents who are trying to stay friends for their kids. We get the busy teenager who is too busy worrying about herself than her family. The main victim is the youngest and quieter of the two daughters whose behaviour starts out with it mostly being against the divorce, this character is the most important and must go through the most. When you look at the performances they are all good without being The Exorcist level.

SettingsKeeping the settings simple we get the homes which show that it could happen to anyone in their safe place with all the other settings being ones you would expect to see with events of the story, police station, hospital, church and schools.

Special EffectsWe have good special effects throughout without having to turn to them for every single scene going on through the film which other possession films do.

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to possession films this is one of the better ones out there, it shows the struggle the family go through without going over the top with the shock moments.

 

Overall: Enjoyable for all the horror fans out there.

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Personal Shopper (2017)

Director: Olivier Assayas

Writer: Olivier Assayas (Screenplay)

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz, Andres Danielsen Lie, Ty Olwin, Benjamin Biolay

 

Plot: A personal shopper in Paris refuses to leave the city until she makes contact with her twin brother who previously died there. Her life becomes more complicated when a mysterious person contacts her via text message.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Almost Pointless Story

 

Story: Personal Shopper starts as Maureen Cartwright (Stewart) is bought into a home to communicate with the dead in France for Lara (Bouaziz) on her first night in the house she does feel the presence. Maureen also works for a high society personal shopper in Paris where she gets to handle the clothing people could only imagine affording.

We see how Maureen is tired with her role in Paris is staying solely to communicate with her dead twin brother because the two made a pledge to communicate if one died the other would communicate to prove he was a medium to the dead. Maureen finds her life turned upside when she witnesses a ghostly image within the house but it is when she receives random text messages from an unknown caller.

 

Thoughts on Personal Shopper

 

Characters/PerformanceMaureen is a personal shopper who is desperate to learn if she can still communicate with her dead twin brother. She finds herself not enjoying her career choice and being pushed around by an anonymous texter. The rest of the characters are only in a few scenes which show the life that Maureen is going through.

Performance wise, Stewart is great in the leading role needing to carry the film being in every single scene. The rest of the cast do well but are not involved too much with each scene.

StoryMy personal overall feelings for this film are pretty clear, I found most of the film almost pointless, now I say these words because we do have three odd stories going on. First we have the search for the dead brother’s spirit, this is fine, then we have the whole game about trying on the cloths, again fine, and thirdly we have the idea the Maureen is searching for her own identity, again fine but mixing them all together we never get enough focus on what was going on between each part of the story and left wondering just which part of the story we are going to be picking up next.

Mystery/ThrillerThere is a mystery and when it comes forward we are interested but it does get forgotten in places. We are not going to be kept on the edge of our sea through our experience of this film.

SettingsWe are in Paris for most of the film which should make for a great backdrop but the truth is we could have been anywhere for this film.

Final ThoughtsThere is so much potential in this film but the truth is that it doesn’t hit the marks it needs to.

 

Overall: Disappoints on many levels.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Peelers (2016)

Director: Seve Schelenz

Writer: Lisa DeVita (Screenplay) Lisa DeVita, Seve Schelenz (Story)

Starring: Wren Walker, Caz Odin Darko, Madison J Loos, Cameron Dent, Al Dales, Momona Komagata, Kirsty Peters, Nikki Wallin

 

Plot: A small town strip club owner must defend her bar, her strippers and her life when violent infected patrons show up on the final closing night and all hell breaks loose.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: From Dusk Till Dawn With Infection

 

Story: Peelers starts as we meet the colourful characters in the strip club, owner Blue Jean (Walker), bouncer Remy (Darko), bartender Tony (Dent) and strippers Frankie (Komagata), Licorice (Peters), Baby (Wallin) and Tina (Gomez).

With this being the closing night the banter between the staff and customers is at a high with local miners attending for the very first time, but it isn’t long until the miners show the signs of their infection with violent consequences. Add in the bad boy son Logan (Loos) we watch as the group of survivors must face ravenous enemies they can’t explain just why they keep coming.

 

Thoughts on Peelers

 

Characters/PerformanceBlue Jean as the owner of the strip club works because she also has a past in sports with great respect from her staff, customers and even the law, all I could see was a female Sam Malone from Cheers. Remy is your typical bouncer who is clearly the biggest physical threat within the bar. Logan as the bad boy criminal son of Blue Jean is character that is the screw up but also the rebel without a cause. The strippers all make for a laugh through the film each making sure they are different from the other.

Performance wise I feel everyone is good, Wren Walker is the star of the show while everyone else does their job well enough to make their characters involved in the story.

StoryThe story is easy to follow, with it following the idea that the closing night of a strip club becomes a battle to survive against zombie like creatures. This does create a new origin behind the infection which does feel fresh but the core of this story is easy enough to understand without testing us with any twists or turns along the way.

HorrorWe have a nice check list here,
Gore
Blood
Over the top kills
Big Body Count
No One Being Safe
Infection causing Ravenous Side
this has plenty of material for all the gore horror fans out there to enjoy.

SettingsThe whole film is set within the strip club which helps us identify with all of the characters in the films and also explain why the characters would be out late at night in the club in the middle of nowhere.

Special EffectsHere is the potential weak point of the film where we get to see the certain moments of special effects looking very low budget.

Final ThoughtsSometimes you just want a film to be fun, this does that on all the levels you need it to be. We get laughs when needed without being a flat out comedy or gore fest.

 

Overall: Sit back and enjoy the blood bath.

Rating

 

 

Original v Remake – Poseidon (2006)

poseideonDirector: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: Mark Protosevich (Screenplay) Paul Gallico (Novel)

Starring: Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Jacinda Barrett, Richard Dreyfuss, Emmy Rossum, Mia Maestro, Mike Vogel, Kevin Dillon, Freddy Rodriguez, Andre Braugher

 

Plot: On New Year’s Eve, the luxury ocean liner Poseidon capsizes after being swamped by a rogue wave. The survivors are left to fight for their lives as they attempt to escape the sinking ship.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Glossy but Pointless Remake

 

Story: Poseidon starts on board the Luxury Ocean Liner Poseidon and we go through meeting al our characters Robert Ramsey (Russell) and his daughter Jennifer (Rossum) who is with her boyfriend Christian (Vogel), we also meet gambler Dylan Johns (Lucas), Elena (Maestro) who has snuck on board to be with her boyfriend Marco (Rodriguez) who works on the crew. Richard Nelson (Dreyfuss) is celebrating his trip away wanting a midnight call from his loved one even though he has had his heartbroken back home with Captain Bradford (Braugher) keeping everything calm. This character introduction feels very rushed and I am not sure if I want to cheer for any of these characters. Actually I want to see Richard’s story.

New Year’s Eve again and the celebrations start the new year before the disaster strikes as a rogue enormous wave strikes the ship rolling it upside down. As if all the characters we met are important they are the ones that survive and go out to search for a way out while the rest stay behind in safety so we have Robert, Jennifer, Dylan, Elena, Marco, Richard, Maggie (Barrett) and her son Conor (Bennett). It would be fair to say this is slightly too many characters to be dealing with so I guess we need to trim them down by having over the top deaths for the supporting ones, there we go it starts.

We are left to wonder which ones of the survivors will make it out alive even if we use the process of elimination we know which ones will make it to the end.

Poseidon is a remake of the classic disaster film and what this film does this time is go for the overkill on the characters that are not part of the main group, be it through the first wave, the survivors who didn’t want to go with the rest or just the less important characters have big, Hollywood style kills. The threat remains good because if your ship gets tipped upside down it is easy to create the peril needed for this film. It ends up being nothing but a Hollywood glorified over the top disaster film with under developed characters.

When it comes to the cast you see Josh Lucas get a leading role in an action film where due to poorly written character he is never good or bad with the way he behaves this can also be said about the Kurt Russell character with neither taking the roles filled by Hackman or Borgnine is the original. None of the other performance stand out with as I said before just being disposable characters throughout the film. This film almost feels like a pointless cash in remake for a film that never need to be remade as an action set piece rather than the quest to survive.

 

Overall: Easy to watch disaster film that lacks character development needed.

Ratingcard

 

 

Original v Remake – The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

poseidonDirector: Ronald Neame, Irwin Allen

Writer: Stirling Silliphant, Wendell Mayes (Screenplay) Paul Gallico (Novel)

Starring: Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, Roddy McDowall, Stella Stevens, Shelley Winters, Jack Albertson, Leslie Nielsen

 

Plot: A group of passengers struggle to survive and escape when their ocean liner completely capsizes at sea.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One True Disaster Film Classic

 

Story: The Poseidon Adventure starts as we are on board the S.S. Poseidon on route to Athens from New York as they find themselves going through a storm. With the storm calm we get to meet our main characters a priest that has lost his faith Reverend Scott (Hackman) short tempered detective Mike Rogo (Borgnine), lonely man James Martin (Buttons), singer Nonnie Parry (Lynley) and the Captain (Nielsen) trying to keep the cruise ship on time against the representative forcing his hand.

The night is New Year’s Eve when a sub-surface earthquake hits sending a giant wave straight for the linear over turning the ship in the middle of the ocean. Reverend Scott leads a group of survivors through the ship from the dining hall to search for rescue before they find themselves going down with the ship.

The Poseidon Adventure was one of the most influential disaster based movies of all time. It took something that seems so safe cruising in the ocean when a freak weather condition strikes causing the ship to overturn. This works because now it has created a fear in something people can be doing when a disaster could strike, the ‘adventure’ through the overturned cruise ship it a race to survive with characters that we have all come to know from disasters films we know and love.

Hackman shows he is the biggest name in the movie with a brilliant leading man performance while Borgnine was also fantastic in what fast becomes the most important character to have in these styles of film the aggressive angry character against the hero. While Buttons, Winters and Albertson are all great in the supporting roles it is the overreactions caused by the rest of the surviving members that comes off as the weakest point in the movie. The special effects for the time are still standing the test of time to make this a staple of any disaster movie discussion.

 

Overall: Stands the test of time as one of the greatest disaster movies of all time.

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