The Rizen (2017)

Director: Matt Mitchell

Writer: Matt Mitchell (Screenplay)

Starring: Sally Philips, Bruce Payne, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Tom Goodman-Hill, Adrian Edmondson, Stephen Marcus, Bruce Herbelin-Earle, Christopher Tajah


Plot: The year is 1955. NATO and the Allied Forces have been conducting secret, occult experiments in a bid to win the Arms Race. Now, they have finally succeeded but what the Army has unleashed threatens to tear our world apart. One woman must lead the only survivors past horrors that the military has no way to control – and fight to close what should never have been opened.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Twist & Blood Filled Horror


Story: The Rizen starts as we dive into a facility under lockdown, blood flying and memories gone, we meet Frances (Swift) as she starts to look for an exit as creatures roam the hallways. Francis is joined by Professor Baughman (Tajah) and solider Briggs (Knowles) in the attempts to survive the creatures from beyond the grave.

With visions, flashbacks the story is filled in and we learn the truth about Frances and what was being created within the facility.


Thoughts on The Rizen


Characters – Frances is our leading lady, woken without a memory with only paperwork that tell her, her name and her job a cook in the facility, she attempts to lead the survivors out of the facility, while learning her true place and reason for being there. Briggs is a solider on the facility, he refuses to kill the innocent people within leading to him becoming court martialled, he joins the survival group where he shows his worth in battling the creatures. Baughman is the professor that is trying to survive, he does fill in blanks as his memory returns quicker than the rest, he also gives us plenty of comical moments with his reactions to decisions being made.

PerformancesThe performances from our main three stars trying to escape are good without being the most memorable in the genre, we have seen similar characters done better and some done worse, but for the budget of the film this works for the film.

StoryThe film is a mix of survival horror as we follow the group try to locate a way out of the facility, while also giving us an occult meets science storyline where we see how scientist handle getting the information. Think back to the original Resident Evil movie and you have a similar idea, just with much darker tones, settings across the board. The story does have twists along the way, but sometimes we get some just to have another one, which at times can leave you wondering if we needed this many along the way.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is battling the creatures which gives us plenty of blood splatter in the meantime, we start with one enemy and it seems to increase each time we lead into the next battle. The horror comes from the creature creations which are both terrifying and deadly especially with how they can create more. The sci-fi side of the film comes from how the occult and science clash to make what the creatures have used to come through.

SettingsThe film is set in the facility which shows how the characters have no easy escape with creatures hunting them down.

Special EffectsThe effects are a mix of practical effects which are delightful and bloody but the usage of effects to show memory loss are not a pleasant viewing experience.

Scene of the Movie –
The creation of the creature.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The regaining memory sequences, this is the camerawork for it.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good, fun, bloody splatter horror movie, it will be more for the horror fans to enjoy, but don’t be expected to be scared by any moments in the film.


Overall: Blood filled horror for horror fans.





Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Rupture (2016)

Director: Steven Shainberg

Writer: Brian Nelson (Screenplay) Brian Nelson, Steven Shainberg (Story)

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Chiklis, Kerry Bishe, Peter Stormare, Ari Millen


Plot: A single mom tries to break free from a mysterious organization that has abducted her.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Slow Thriller, Nice Finish


Story: Rupture starts as we met single mother Renee (Rapace) who is going to have an adventure of a lifetime as she is going skydiving after dropping her son off at his father’s. On route Renee finds her car braking down with a group of people led by Bald Man (Chiklis) abducting her from the side of the road.

Renee finds herself trapped in a facility, but she isn’t alone there are other victims being held captive here. The victims are being experimented on as this mysterious organization is search for a genre which only comes out during moments of complete and utter fear, Renee must look for a way out before she is pushed too far.


Thoughts on Rupture


Characters/PerformanceRenee is a single mother just trying to make ends meet while caring for her son, she has always been shy but she is going to take a huge rusk with her day, skydiving. She never makes it there because she is abducted and it is here where we get to see how resourceful she can be can be when backed into a corner. The scientists are all mixed with different key components but we do learn enough about them until the final acts of the film.

Performance wise, Noomi Rapace is the star of the show here and she is good throughout but never reaches the levels we know she can from her breakout roles. the rest of the cast all do their jobs well without being in too many scenes to either make a mistake or having enough time to make an impact.

StoryWoman gets abducted, woman gets experimented on and tests, well this isn’t something overly original, this also isn’t the most shocking either. The final third of the film is the most interesting side of the film but it does feel incredibly borrowed from another film, which I won’t mention because it will give away the whole film.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror side of this film is all about dealing with fears but nothing seems to hit all the heights needed on this side of the film, the sci-fi side of the film only gets revealed later in the film which does work for the film.

SettingsMost of the film is set within the facility which works for the style of the film even if it isn’t the most original idea.

Special EffectsThis is something pretty bad for this film, none of the special effects look real and does take away from part of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting concept that does fall short in the end, this does disappoint us because we could have a truly brilliant idea for a film.


Overall: Disappointing film that misses the marks too often.




Marion Cotillard Weekend – Rust and Bone (2012)

Director: Jacques Audiard

Writer: Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain (Screenplay) Craig Davidson (Story)

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdure, Celine Sallette, Corinne Masiero, Bouli Lanners


Plot: Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain’s bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Beautiful Drama


Story: Rust and Bone starts Alain (Schoenaraerts) moves to start a new life with his son Sam (Verdure), he moves in with his sister Anna (Masiero) until he can put enough money together. Working as a bouncer he meets Stephanie (Cotillard) after a brawl at his club. The two become friends after Stephanie a worker with killer whales suffers a tragic accident losing both her legs leaving her in deep depression. As Alain finds a way to bring the life back into Stephanie he looks to improve his financial situation by entering a kick boxing tournament which could help himself and Sam find their own place. The closer the two get the happier Stephanie finds herself with her new chance at life showing you can get anything out of a tragic event.


Thoughts on Rust and Bone


Characters/PerformanceStephanie works in an ocean tour park with killer whales but when she is involved in an accident she finds herself needing to start her life again. She dives into depression but a new friendship offers her a new look on life. Alain is a single parent not having much luck on the job front and ends up getting involved in underground fighter for quick money. He befriends Stephanie as he gets to see another way of life where he could settle down giving his son a stable future.

Marion continues to show her ability as an actress with this brilliant performance showing all the emotional levels need for her character. Matthias also goes a fantastic job here showing he is just as capable as Marion.

StoryThe story shows how two people can overcome problems in their lives, be it Stephanie’s life changing injuries or Alain needing to make a life for his young son. With this we get to see how a relationship between these two can motivate the two to make more of their lives and still enjoy the rest of their lives. It shows how you can’t let anything stop you doing what you want in your life.

Romance The romantic side of the film comes from the potential relationship the two could find themselves in, Stephanie wants something serious while Alain is happy sleeping around but can they put this aside and fall in love.

SettingsWhen you look at the settings most of this film is considered normal for the most part, they all have simple and do what they need without being anything special.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderfully shot drama that gives us two heavyweight performances and a story that shows you can overcome any injury suffered.


Overall: Wonderful film for all the drama fans out there to go and watch.




The Ritual (2017)

Director: David Bruckner

Writer: Joe Barton (Screenplay) Adam Nevill (Novel)

Starring: Rafe Spall, Robert James-Collier, Arsher Ali, Sam Troughton, Paul Reid, Maria Erwolter


Plot: A group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that’s stalking them.


Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Rollercoaster Ride of a Horror


Story: The Ritual starts as four friends Luke (Spall), Hutch (James-Collier), Phil (Ali) and Dominic (Troughton) head off to Sweden for a hiking holiday in memory of the fifth member of the group who was murdered in a robbery gone wrong. Along the Swedish hill range Dominic gets hurt leading to the group needing to look for a shortcut.

The shortcut takes them through the woods where strange things start to occur and before long the four friends find themselves suffering nightmares. The friends must remain calm to make it out alive but with a shimmering tension between them, it will be a true test of their friendship against an unknown evil force hunting them down.


Thoughts on The Ritual


Characters – Luke is or main character, he lives everyday with regret because he didn’t help their other friend during the robbery, he is on this trip because it was their wish and celebrate his life. Hutch would be considered the leader of the group when it comes to holidays, he takes control of the hike making sure everyone has supplies, rest and even finds the shortcut to help make Dominic’s pain less. Phil does feel like the state the obvious guy in the group, he likes to make a laugh out of everything but when things get serious he is the quickest to get paranoid. Dominic is the butt of most jokes, he gets nearly all the funniest lines in the movie but is the one that would say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Between these four character we do get excellent banter which helps us want to care about the guys on their trip.

PerformancesRafe Spall is the biggest name of the four guys and he shows with the most difficult role to play that he can shine through once again. Rob, Arsher and Sam are all good through the film showing they can make the most out of their own characters.

StoryThe story does feel cut and dry easy to follow, four guys on a holiday try to take a shortcut and walk into an evil they can’t explain. Simple, right, well that is all you need in horror, we get the lost in the woods idea once again but, what is wrong with that, it works, the evil or creature after them, does become original by the end. There is one small issue is had with the story and that would be that the banter is that good it sometimes feels like the film wants to be a horror comedy, but it also is way too dark to be a comedy.

HorrorThe horror builds up nicely here, we have the nightmares, hints of the creature before the final act gives us all the answers which is great for horror. The creatures look also must go down as one of the most unique new looks in any horror this year.

SettingsThe Swedish hill and woods make for the setting, the reality is it could be any woodland area but the camerawork makes each and every tree feel frightening at times. But this does all create the isolation needed for this style of horror film.

Special EffectsThe effects in this movie are very impressive, the create does look like it could have been practical at times, but the nightmare sequences work well mixing the shop with the woodland area too. We do have moments of CGI though but they don’t look bad at all.

Scene of the Movie –
The Escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The banter between the characters works but does make it feel like a comedy at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the surprises for me this year, I saw the trailer and only had bad thoughts about this movie, the film builds up to an excellent conclusion, brings us a new horror monster and most importantly entertains.


Overall: Horror fans will be enjoying this one.




Jeffrey Combs Weekend – Re-Animator (1985)

Director: Stuart Gordon

Writer: Dennis Paoli, William Norris, Stuart Gordon (Screenplay) H.P. Lovecraft (Story)

Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale, Robert Sampson, Gerry Black


Plot: A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: One for All Horror Fans


Story: Re-Animator starts as we see Dr Herbert West (Combs) latest experiment in Switzerland go terribly wrong he returns to America. Back in America he joins the class with highly regarded student Dan Cain (Abbott) to which he roommates with. It doesn’t take long for Dr West to clash with his teacher Dr Hill (Gale) who has been doing similar studies with different results.

When Dan learns of Herbert’s experiments he agrees to help in the studying much against his girlfriend Megan (Crampton) and her father Dean Halsey’s (Sampson) wishes, this leads to Herbert getting kicked out and lots of sneaking around, as they look to prove you can bring the dead back to life.

When Herbert and Dan bring someone back from the dead Dr Hill gets jealous and want to steal the abilities they have as his own research leading to the bodies to pile up because when people come back from the dead they are all the deadlier.


Thoughts on Re-Animator


Characters/PerformanceDr Herbert West is the scientist determined to prove you can bring the dead back to life, he is socially awkward and always believes he is correct. He will do anything to prove his science. Dan is the honest medical student who has a bright future a head of himself but soon finds himself caught in the middle of West and Hill experiments. Megan is the innocent girlfriend of Dan and daughter of the Dean. Dr Hill also believe he knows everything when it comes to dealing with the human brain but once Wet arrives he wants to learn from his ideas to steal them as his own.

Performance wise, Jeffrey Combs shines in this role as he is both creepy and brilliant in his delivery of his lines. Bruce Abbott is good as this character with Barbara Crampton makes for an iconic couple of scenes in horror. David gale is good as the jealous doctor fully making us believe his desires.

StoryThe story is clearly the next advancement of the Frankenstein idea with a scientist who wants to bring people back to life. This does have enough of twist to be its own story and brings in a fresh approach to how the reanimating is performed, we do also have the mad scientist and a love story that makes this a very entertaining horror film.

Comedy/Horror/Sci-FiThere are moments of comedy in this film and I sure people will have a laugh or two, the horror adds to both the comedy and sci-fi elements of the film because we get to see graphic kill and body horror in this film. the idea of bringing people back from the dead helps with the sci-fi side of the story.

SettingsThe settings used in this film do come off the normal for the style of film with the morgue scene being the most iconic of all of the settings being used.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all practical ones and they all look fantastic even after 32 years, this is just amazing to see what they did.

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to horror I do think this is something all the horror fans will enjoy, the effects are brilliant the graphic blood also makes it feel over the top too.


Overall: Must watch for all horror fans.