ABC Film Challenge – Horror – R – Ruin Me (2017)

Director: Preston DeFrancis

Writer: Preston DeFrancis, Trysta A Bissett (Screenplay)

Starring: Marcienne Dwyer, Matt Dellapina, Chris Hill, Eva Hamilton, John Odom, Sam Ashdown, Cameron Gordon

 

Plot: Alexandra reluctantly tags along for Slasher Sleepout, an extreme event that is part camping trip, part haunted house, and part escape room. But when the fun turns deadly, Alex has to play the game if she wants to make it out alive.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Horror

 

Story: Ruin Me starts as six people, couple Alex (Dwyer) & Nathan (Dellapina), horror expert couple Marina (Hamilton) & Pitch (Odom), Larry (Hill) and Tim (Gordon) take part in a Slasher Sleepout weekend, which is designed to scare the members like they are living in a horror film.

As the weekend continues it soon becomes a race to survive because the game doesn’t seem as friendly as they first thought, and they must figure out if they are in a real slasher event.

 

Thoughts on Ruin Me

 

Characters – Alex joins her boyfriend on this weekend, she isn’t the biggest horror fan, but a couples weekend, is a couple weekends, she has a past which has seen her struggle through events in her life, which will make her fit the typical final girl for a slasher experience. Nathan is the boyfriend that was going on this weekend with his best friend who paid for everything, only to drop out, he has always been loyal toward Alex, whatever her struggles. Larry is a lone man that has been on this style of weekend before and enjoys meeting the new people that take part in the games. Marina is one half of a horror fan couple, she does fill the slutty figure of the cast.

PerformancesMarcienne Dwyer in the leading role is strong through the film, we see her go through the range of emotions as her character becomes more complex as the film unfolds. When it comes to the rest of the cast they do hit their characters well and look like they fit into the horror genre.

StoryThe story follows six people that entertain a horror theme weekend of fun that soon spirals out of control as one of them finds themselves alone and wondering if this is real or not. This is an interesting story to watch unfold, we are entering a world where horror films exists which is important for the way of surviving what is happening. We will be left to wonder if this is real or not which is just what we want. This is a simple enough story that will keep us guessing and waiting to see how the events unfold.

HorrorThe horror in this film comes from knowing horror movies, which will see how the group look to survive the events of a horror film.

SettingsThe film uses the settings that are known in horror, including the woods which is one of the easiest slasher locations in horror.

Special EffectsThe film uses practical effects to achieve everything it wants to during the weekends events.


Scene of the Movie –
The beach.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The supporting members of the group feel too generic for the genre of horror.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun horror that really does try to push the limits of the audience by showing us just how people can become affected by a horror weekend event.

 

Overall: Enjoyable horror.

Rating

 

 

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Hugh Jackman Weekend – Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Director: Peter Ramsey

Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire (Screenplay) William Joyce (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher, Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Khamani Griffin

 

Plot: When the evil spirit Pitch launches an assault on Earth, the Immortal Guardians team up to protect the innocence of children all around the world.


Tagline – The Sandman Is More Than A Dream

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Animation

 

Story: Rise of the Guardians starts when Pitch or the boogeyman decides he wants to take back his role as the one children feared, the guardians of childhood memories, North (Santa), Tooth (tooth fairy), Bunny (Easter Bunny) and Sandy (Sandman) must bring in the newest guardians Jack Frost, the one that is being ignored as never believed in by children.

When Pitch starts to gain more power, the guardians must use all their abilities to fight back to keep the childhood hopes and happiness alive as Jack will find his place along side the guardians.

 

Thoughts on Rise of the Guardians

 

Characters – Jack Frost is the spiritual figure that nobody believes in, he keeps children happy everyday, but no one will remember him for his work, now he gets given a chance to become a guardian giving him the chance to be the hero the world needs. North is the leader of the guardians the first selected to help to replace Pitch giving the children of the world hope, even if he does feel like colossus from Deadpool. Pitch was once the one that struck fear into children, he wants his crown back and will look to take the belief out of any children in the world. Tooth, Bunny and Sandy make up the rest of the guardians that have mixed feelings towards Jack being chosen as their newest member. Using the iconic fantasy characters does make us understand what they thieve for, but is often used for a pun throughout the film.

StoryThe story here follows a reckless potential new guardian that must prove his place in the guardians with the much more experienced and famous icons of fantasy. While this does follow a generic idea, it is fun throughout and does play into the idea of childhood innocence keeping legends alive. The idea of Jack Frost needing to find his place in the battle is the strongest part of the film and is easily the one part of the film you want to see most of.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure that Jack Frost must go on brings him to the next moment of his stage of immortality, being on a level with a Santa or Tooth Fairy, this is him finding himself in this world that is full of fantasy icons that children will always be believing in.

SettingsThe film takes us to different lands which would be the ones you would imagine finding the fantasy icons, the north pole being the most iconic.

AnimationThe animation standard is top notch just like we are expecting from a major study involvement in a film.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me A lot of the jokes are aimed at how people would imagine talking to each of the guardians.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fantasy family animation that can be enjoyed by all, it doesn’t over test the audience and comes off fun throughout.

 

Overall: Fun family animation that will give you a smile.

Rating

 

 

Rabid (2019) Movie Review

Director: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska

Writer: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, John Serge (Screenplay)

Starring: Laura Vandervoort, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Greg Bryk, Stephen McHattie, C.M. Punk, Hanneke Talbot

Plot: What happens when you realize that to achieve your dreams you have to live a nightmare? Rose is a quiet, demure, unassuming woman in her looks and actions. Her dream is to become a famous designer in the fashion world, but a terrible accident leaves Rose scarred beyond recognition. She seeks out a radical untested stem cell treatment. The treatment is nothing short of a miracle and wallflower Rose turns into the belle of the ball. It all seems to good to be true. She is now everything she wanted to be. But everything in life comes at a price and this new found perfect life is no exception.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Best Practical Effects in Horror 2019

Story: Rabid starts when we meet shy assistant to a fashion designer Rose (Vandervoort) gets invited to one of the fashion parties, only for her to learn the motivation behind going, running from the party, being involved in a horrific car crash, leaving her jaw wired shut, while her jaw is being rebuilt. Rose is taken in by her foster sister and model Chelsea (Talbot) who is there for her, helping her find solutions including an experimental procedure that could re-construct her face.

The procedure is a completely success, making her even more beautiful than she was before, though it has come with a side effect, visions she can’t control, horrific ones, that seems to be blending reality with nightmares.

Thoughts on Rabid

Characters – Rose is the quiet assistant to a fashion designer, she has her own ideas that she does want to see made, the girls come to her to get small adjustments, but the designer treats her like a carpet. She isn’t seen in the same light as the models and often keeps to herself. She gets involved in an accident which first sees her horribly disfigured and secondly lose her job, desperate to fix this, she turns to an experimental procedure which fixes everything, giving her a new lease for life and a taste for blood. Brad is one of the co-workers that does try to help Rose come out of her shell by inviting her to the party before the accident. Chelsea is the foster sister to Rose that has been working with her too, she is the one that opens up her home after the accident, helping her get back on her feet, supporting her through the treatment, not looking away like most the others in her life would.

PerformancesLaura Vandervoort does give us a strong performance throughout, being able to balance the losing her mind and determined personality. Hanneke Talbot is strong too and the supportive friend, that does get to show the pushy personality her character has around Rose. Benjamin Hollingsworth does show us a strong friend or potential love interest in the film, while big names like Stephen McHattie and C.M. Punk make entertaining supporting appearance.

StoryThe story here follows a young lady that sees her life turned upside down after an accident leaves her disfigured, only for an experiment procedure bringing out a new version of herself and an unwanted side effect along the way. This is a remake and one story that can remain similar is places, while bringing the social side of the film to new heights, the fashion world does make a wonderful backdrop for the story because it reflects the world that image needs to be fix with surgery. There are certain ways the story does feel weaker, that is mostly seeing how everything is spreading, which is important, but it doesn’t follow Rose, which is the important side of the story.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror side of the film comes from the real world situation that Rose goes through, with the accident before hitting the graphic violence of what is happening to Rose, which is also the sci-fi side of the film, the changes Rose goes through.

SettingsThe film uses the fashion world as the main settings backdrop, it shows us just how important image is to Rose and the people close to her.

Special EffectsThe complete highlight of this film comes from the practical effects, which look as graphic as they can, the injury suffered by Rose is one of the worst wounds you will see in this year’s horror films. We should give a shout out to the team (According to IMDB) Graham Chivers, Jeff Derushie, Anahita Loghmanifar, Emily O’Quinn and Omar Roessler


Scene of the Movie – The first reveal from the injury.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We do move away from Rose, as the bigger problems spread around the city, we could have been given more fear from not seeing this, only hearing about it.

Final Thoughts This is a practical effects masterclass in horror, it will use some of the best you will see this year even if the story is a modernised look at a cult classic.

Overall: Bloody graphic horror.

Replace (2017) Movie Review

Director: Norbert Keil

Writer: Norbert Keil, Richard Stanley (Screenplay)

Starring: Rebecca Forsythe, Lucie Aron, Barbara Crampton, Sean Knopp, Adnan Maral, Agnes Kiyomi Decker

Plot: Kira’s skin starts to age rapidly, dry out and crumble away. But then she discovers that she can replace her own skin with somebody else’s.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Under the Skin Without an Alien

Story: Replace starts when young lady Kira (Forsythe) finds that the skin on her finger and hand is literally crumbling off, looking for answers after her one night stand vanishes, she invites a friend Sophia (Aron) to stay, where she makes a discovery, that the skin can be replaced, instantly attaching itself to her if placed on the crumbling parts. Turning to Dr Crober (Crampton) for answers, she doesn’t give her any which will help, only tests to look for them.

Kira continues to see the skin crumble spreading, which makes her turn to more dramatic ways of trying to cure the problem, one that will see her going to new extremes.

Thoughts on Replace

Characters – Kira is a young lady, with what seems like a normal life, until she starts getting a problem with her skin on her hand, starting small and spreading down her arm, as her skin starts to dry up. She tries to find a solution which sees her learn that she can replace her skin with others, forcing her to turn to drastic measures to make sure her skin doesn’t dry up. Sophia is a friend and lover to Kira, the only person that supports her with the problems she is facing, she tries to help find a solution and search for answers. Dr Rafaela Crober is the person that Kira turns to for help with her problem, like most doctors she gives the advice on how to cope with the problems.

PerformancesRebecca Forsythe is strong in the leading role, she shows the unsure side to what is going on, while also showing a devilish side at times. Lucie Aron makes for a great partner character, she fills in the advice like role we would be giving if it was our own friend. Barbara Crampton is the biggest name in the film and add her experience for her role which add the professional character to the film.

StoryThe story here follows a young lady that is struggling with her own skin after it starts crumbling off, little by little, she seeks medical advice, but finds her own way to fix the problem, before learning the truth. This is an interesting story that does go in a direction you might not see coming, for the first half of the film, the story has dark idea that is twisted with blood, only for us to get an equally as dark second half if not darker. It can best be described as Under the Skin without the alien side to the story, which does make us know what we are getting into, with how Kira is acting through parts of the film. By the end of the story, you will be left asking a question about what you would do, if you got this chance, but we won’t say what the question is in this review.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror in this film comes form a mix of just what is happening to Kira and what Kira does to try and solve the problem, the wounds and effects from the skin damage is difficult to watch too, the sci-fi side of the film comes on stronger in the second half of the film, it poses plenty of questions.

SettingsThe film does use the everyday settings which makes us believe Kira’s problem could happen to anybody.

Special EffectsThe effects are the standout here, watching the moments of the skin removal can make you look away, the crumbling effect is also very different to what we have seen before.


Scene of the Movie – The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We do get one too many attempts at twisting the story.

Final Thoughts This is a sci-fi horror that will make your skin crawl, it has a delightful style, even if it does have a easy split between the two sides of the story.

Overall: Skin Crawling Horror

Rambo: Last Blood (2019) Movie Review

Director: Adrian Grunberg

Writer: Matthew Cirulnick, Sylvester Stallone (Screenplay) Dan Gordon, Sylvester Stallone (Story)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, Yvette Monreal, Louis Mandylor, Oscar Jaenada, Sheila Shah, Sergio Peris-Mencheta

Plot: Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission.


Tagline – They Drew First Blood. He Will Draw Last.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Bloody Soaked Action

Story: Rambo: Last Blood starts as John (Stallone) has returned to a quiet life helping raise Gabrielle (Monreal) on his ranch, when she learns of the location of her father in Mexico, she heads down there becoming the latest victim of the Martinez brother Victor (Jaenada) and Hugo (Peris-Mencheta) and their prostitution ring.

John goes in search of her, starting a war with the gang, one that will have casualties on both sides, but will let him use all of his skills as a solider, unleashing the monstrous side to his time in combat.

Thoughts on Rambo: Last Blood

Characters – John Rambo is the war veteran we all know, he has retired to a small ranch away from the world, where he has created a series of tunnels, he has helped raise Gabrielle and wants her to achieve what he couldn’t in life, with college in her future. When she goes missing, John turns the switch he keeps on the off button, becoming the soldier that will kill anybody in his way, dealing with the traumas of war and not caring about the consequences, he starts a war with the Mexican gang, one that he is prepared to end. Gabrielle is like a daughter to John, he help raise her with her love of horse riding helping their bond, she is ready for college, but the one question she wants more than anything is why her father left her, which sees her go against John’s request to Mexico in search for him. She gets drugged at forced into prostitution, with no way of escaping her captors. Victor and Hugo Martinez are running the operation, they use the girls up and sell them, they use the gang numbers to deal with any unwanted attention, including John and if a girl escapes, they will make them pay. They are pretty much routine Mexican villains though.

PerformancesSylvester Stallone is back in one of his favourite franchises, he does keep John looking a lot more like a true veteran that is still haunted by his nightmares of war, even if he is mumbling his way through the film. Yvette Monreal fills her role with ease, naïve young girl, while both Oscar Jaenada and Sergio Peris-Mencheta don’t put a foot wrong in the villainous roles.

StoryThe story here follows a retired calm John Rambo that is called into action when his adoptive daughter gets taken by a gang in Mexico and he will go to any lengths to get his revenge at save her. When it comes to this style of action film, the story doesn’t need to be very deep at all, in fact the basic plot is broken down as war veteran takes on gang who took family member, lots of bodies left lying. We do get glimpses at the idea that John is still dealing with the traumas of his experiences in war, though they are very small, if we didn’t have these, we could have easily have had just another older military person doing the same thing, it didn’t need to be Rambo for the most part. Saying this, it was nice to see Rambo returning to what made his actions popular in the First Blood, with his stealth ability over the countless bullets flying around. This is everything you want and need from a Rambo movie when it comes to the story.

Action/WesternThe action in the film does take it time to get going, but when Rambo starts, my word this is one of the most graphic action movies you will see, certain sequences will make John Wick’s kills look like a Disney movie.

SettingsThe film does use the Mexico setting for the fish out of water when it comes to John wanting to take the fight to them, so he makes them bring to the fight to him, showing us how deadly he is when he knows the land. The settings are key to the final act of the movie.

Special EffectsThe effects are brutal, when it comes to the injuries people were wincing in the cinema at certain moments, they don’t hold back in anyway.

Scene of the Movie – Whole final act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Certain stories don’t seem to get an ending.

Final Thoughts This is one of the most violent action films that you will ever see, it uses the brutal action to highlight Rambo’s military skills and doesn’t hold back in anyway.

Overall: Graphic, Violent, Rambo’s Back.