Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Static (2012)

staticDirector: Todd Levin

Writer: Gabriel Cowan, Todd Levin, John Suits (Screenplay) Gabriel Cowan, Andrew Orci, John Suits (Story)

Starring: Milo Ventimiglia, Sarah Shahi, William Mapother, Sara Paxton, Dominic Bogart, Oz Kalvan, Luke Barnett, Oz Kalvan

 

Plot: A couple facing marital problems after losing their child finds their life together further complicated by a mysterious visitor.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Burning Final Twist Saving Film

 

Story: Static starts as we meet author Jonathan Dade (Ventimiglia) and his wife Addie (Shahi) who are grieving the loss of their son in their own way. Trying to work on their relationship they get interrupted by stranger Rachel (Paxton) who claims to be followed by some masked men.

Questioning her story only builds the tension between the couple until the lights go out and the intruders set their sights on getting into the house to take Jonathan and Addie too. Can they survive the night and what is the motives behind this invasion?

 

Thoughts on Static

 

StoryStatic goes down the home invasion angle for the story telling which is always going to be hard to top the big ones out there like The Strangers, The Purge or even Panic Room. This film clearly doesn’t reach these levels as it focuses on other trauma side to a couple’s relationship but I will say is saved by the final twist I didn’t see coming.

Horror/Mystery/ThrillerThe horror in this story comes from the idea behind everything the unknown home invasion which works in parts but when it comes to the horror rules they all get broken with bad decision making. The mystery comes from just not knowing what is going on and why first Rachel and then the couple have been targeted. The thrilling side of this story comes from the attempts to make us uneasy about what could happen next.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters put into this situation are generic ones as we see the grieving couple trying to make things work out which means this night could re-build their relationship while the intruders just come off very outsiderish which does help make us feel uneasy whenever they come onto the screen. The Rachel character does feel slightly out of place because why wouldn’t the couple know their neighbours. When it comes to the acting well this isn’t the highlight of the film and I am a fan of all the four leading actors (Mapother is barely even in the film) in this film but there just seems to be zero chemistry between the couple. Each character does make sense by the end of the film though.

SettingsThe film takes place in nearly the whole time in and around the house which makes it all feel isolated because the characters don’t have anywhere to run and adding in the darkness builds the atmosphere needed.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to special effects we don’t have or need many but the few we get all come off well enough for the final story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a home invasion film that has everything nicely put together for a good feel but due to poor acting and chemistry it just doesn’t come together to the level it should do. The twist on what the intruders want seem like it is waiting to happen from early on but ends up giving us a twist I didn’t see coming.

 

Overall: Saved by the final twist because getting there is very slow.

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The Survivalist (2015)

survDirector: Stephen Fingleton

Writer: Stephen Fingleton (Screenplay)

Starring: Mia Goth, Martin McCann, Barry Ward, Andrew Simpson, Olwen Fouere, Kieri Kennedy

 

Plot: In a time of starvation, a survivalist lives off a small plot of land hidden deep in forest. When two women seeking food and shelter discover his farm, he finds his existence threatened.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tension Driven Drama

 

Story: The Survivalist starts as we follow our lone survivalist (McCann) who after the world is suffering from a great starvation has built himself a small garden off the grid to live in. when his peace and quiet is shattered by Kathryn (Fouere) and her daughter Milja (Goth) they enter his life in search of food, offering him sex in return.

After an incident, the survivalist becomes injured and the women decide to stick around but with the food only designed to feed one we are left building the suspense to what might happen when it runs out or when they get discovered by others.

 

Thoughts on The Survivalist

 

StoryThe story is very simple, the world has come to the near end and our one survivalist just wants to survive alone but when other people turn up he gets a glimpse into a new happiness that will ultimately be his downfall. It is all slow moving but you do just want to see what happens next throughout which is a huge plus for the film.

Sci-Fi/ThrillerThe sci-fi side of the film comes from the end of the world and you are left just wanting to know what will happen next from the opening scene till the final moments.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are all good all very much driven just to survive and always planning against the others to make sure they can. The performances of the three leads are all great because you are left hanging on their every word and action.

SettingsThe settings are all based within the woods showing how far away from the world out character wants to be.

Final ThoughtsThis is one tense thriller that will keep you on edge until the final outcome.

 

Overall: Thriller that is well worth watching for all the thriller fans out there.

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The Sublet (2015)

Director: John Ainslie

Writer: John Ainslie, Alyson Richards (Screenplay)

Starring: Tianna Nori, Mark Matechuk, Krista Madison, Porter Randell, Rachel Sellan

 

Plot: The Sublet is a suspense driven psychological thriller about Joanna, a new mom coping with her baby alone in an odd sublet apartment. As her husband neglects her to focus on his career, Joanna questions her sanity as she discovers a violent past to the apartment and suspects that the building may be haunted.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Paranoid Mother 101

 

Story: The Sublet starts as our couple Joanna (Nori) and Jeff (Matechuk) along with their baby moving into their new apartment with only a note from the owner. Jeff an aspiring actor spends his days on sets leaving Joanna home alone with the baby, where she starts to hear noises around the apartment as the weeks go by.

When the cops show up declaring Joanna has been reported missing the photo isn’t of her instead they are of a lady Joanna believes they are subletting from. We continue to see Joanna’s paranoia grow and are left to see just whether she is really paranoid of something strange is happening to her.

 

Thoughts on The Sublet

 

Characters/PerformanceJoanna is the stay at home mother that starts dealing with feeling like paranoid about her fiancé and the apartment, this is a traditional female character designed to be paranoid. Jeff is the partner who is busy with life, getting tired of dealing with Joanna’s action struggling to support her at times. Margaret is the former resident of the apartment that can be seen in photos and through the diary entries.

Performance wise, Tianna Nori must do most of the carrying of this film as she is the central character, she does a good job throughout as you do question her character’s mindset through the film. Mark Matechuk is solid but doesn’t get enough time to show what he could be capable off.

StoryStay at home parent becomes paranoid about their new apartment and is left to figure out the truth. This has been done before sure but they are effective means of storytelling. The film ticks all the boxes and has good use of music to pass the story along.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of this film comes in the paranoid side of the film a we are left wonder what is going on and is left in mystery to what is going on.

SettingsNearly the whole film is set inside the apartment which explains why we need to have the paranoid side of the film shining through.

Special EffectsOnly used when needed and effective enough, as most of this film is inside the mind.

Final ThoughtsThis is another good addition to single parent getting paranoid in a new apartment, which is fine for that audience.

 

Overall: Paranoid film that gets the scares needed.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Stitches (2012)

stitchesDirector: Conor McMahon

Writer: Conor McMahon, David O’Brien (Screenplay)

Starring: Ross Noble, Tommy Knight, Shane Murray-Corcoran, Gemma-Leah Devereux, Thommas Kane Byrnes, Eoghan McQuinn, Roisin Barron

 

Plot: A clown comes back from the dead to haunt those who took his life during a fatal party mishap.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Late Night TV Watch

 

Story: Stitches starts as we meet clown Stitches (Noble), he isn’t a very good clown and barely entertains the children’s party he is hired to perform at. The party goes from bad to worse as Tom whose birthday it is gets involved in a prank leading to his death.

6 years later Tom (Knight) is still being haunted by that day, and this weekend it just so happens to be his birthday once again and his mother is leaving him with a free home. With the party in full swing Stitches comes back from his grave to make his own guest appearance to get revenge on the kids that sent him to an early grave.

 

Thoughts on Stitches

 

StoryWhen it comes to the story we get a generic build up, lead character is traumatised by an event in their youth while others have moved on and dealt with it their own way. It leads to a party that evil spirit or ghost or this case zombie comes back to life to get revenge on the person who killed them. The build to the party shows the change the characters have been through while the party all works to have divided chaos for the revenge plan to happen. Overall the story is simple enough for the idea behind the horror comedy.

Comedy/HorrorWhen it comes to the comedy nearly everything comes from the over the top kills and pun like lines coming from Stitches, the kills are funny but the puns do feel cheap. When it comes to horror well it is a killer clown it will only work for people scared of clowns.

Characters/PerformancesTom is your typical lead for a horror as mentioned before with the traumatised youth still haunted, his friends are the cocky, the creepy and the fat comic relief. We also have the assholes and the love interest for Tom which all are by the book generic characters, Stitches is a good addition to the horror world without being on the level of the iconic killers with Ross Noble giving the starring performance here. Some of the acting comes off quite bad when it comes to the reactions and this definitely won’t be getting many awards.

SettingsMost of the film takes place inside the house which works having the whole party being the end for the character’s good time for the guests and the end for the victims.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the kills we get to see the special effects go for it with each kill trying to outdo the last with the umbrella being the highlight of the kills in my opinion.

Final Thoughts This is a simple to watch horror comedy that just never really picks which side it wants to be, the horror isn’t scary and the comedy isn’t that funny which leaves it feeling very much as a forgettable film in the long run.

 

Overall: Try it but just don’t buy it because it really comes off lazy but watchable.

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Seventh Son (2014)

seventhDirector: Sergey Bodrov

Writer: Charles Leavitt, Steven Knight (Screenplay) Joseph Delaney (Novel) Matt Greenberg (Screen Story)

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Antje Traue, Olivia Williams, John DeSantis, Kit Harington, Djimon Hounou

 

Plot: When Mother Malkin, the queen of evil witches, escapes the pit she was imprisoned in by professional monster hunter Spook decades ago and kills his apprentice, he recruits young Tom, the seventh son of the seventh son, to help him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fantasy Film ABC

 

Story: Seventh Son starts when evil witch Mother Malkin (Moore) escapes her prison and only Master Gregory (Bridges) can stop her, but this time she is stronger than ever. We move to meet small town farm boy Tom (Barnes) who is struggling with visions and he just happens to be the seventh son of a seventh son which brings Master Gregory to take him on his adventure.

As Gregory trains Tom, Mother Malkin prepares her troops which include her niece Alice (Vikander). We watch as both sides are coming together for a final showdown but Tom and Alice feel almost lost in the middle of the battle not understand why they are both involved.

Seventh Son is a fantasy film that really follows the ABC of basic fantasy but doesn’t make us sit back and go wow like other films have. This is slow running and with the heavyweight cast I think it would be fair to say we would expect more from stars of this calibre. There are some good moments but like a lot of films at the moment this really is just a builder for a franchise and doesn’t hit the marks needed.

 

Actor Review

 

Jeff Bridges: Master Gregory is the warrior that has been battling witches for decades, he is the last remaining fighter against them and is training an apprentice. He selects Tom his next apprentice who is the seventh son of a seventh son making him the best choice. Gregory has a history with Mother Malkin which makes their battle even more personal. Jeff gives a good performance what was it with that accent.greg

Ben Barnes: Tom Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and selected by Master Gregory to be his latest apprentice in the fight against witches. He is the son of a witch trained to fight against them while also falling in love with a witch. Ben struggles to make as much impact as the rest of the bigger named stars.

Julianne Moore: Mother Malkin is the Queen of the evil witches who wants complete rule over the world, she has been locked away by Master Gregory but with the blood moon arising she is ready to claim her throne winning a life time battle against Master Gregory. Julianne is making a habit of this villainous roles give the performance you expect but you would have to say this could be one to help fund her braver performances else.mother

Alicia Vikander: Alice is the niece of Mother Malkin, a good witch trying to understand why there is a war between the two sides, she falls in love with Tom but will she turn to the dark side of make her own path. Alicia uses this performance to show what she is capable of with such a poorly written character.

Support Cast: Seventh Son has a very creditable supporting cast of well-respected stars that all play basic supporting character clearly wasting their talents.

Director Review: Sergey BodrovSergey doesn’t give us the most convincing fantasy adventure film, with basic easy to make action sequences.

 

Action: Seventh Son has the action you would expect to see and in the most part have seen before.

Adventure: Seventh Son tries to take us on this big adventure that we really just don’t get excited about.

Fantasy: Seventh Son has a world full of fantasy creatures throughout.

Settings: Seventh Son puts us into a fantasy world we have seen plenty of times before.
Special Effects
: Seventh Son has great effects with the shapeshifting creatures al coming off looking very realistic.

Suggestion: Seventh Son is one that only fantasy film fans might like, this isn’t one of the best but far from being the worst. (Fantasy Fans Try)

 

Best Part: The effects are good.

Worst Part: Wasting top talented stars.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Left open for one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $95 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: When darkness falls, the son will rise

 

Overall: Basic fantasy film offering nothing new to the genre

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