Terrifier (2017)

Director: Damien Leone

Writer: Damien Leone (Screenplay)

Starring: David Howard Thornton, Jenna Kanell, Catherine Corcoran, Katie Maguire, Samantha Scaffidi, Pooya Mohseni, Margaret Reed, Cory DuVal

 

Plot: A maniacal clown named Art, terrorizes three young women on Halloween night and everyone else who stands in his way.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Blood Soaked Horror

 

Story: Terrifier starts when two girls Tara (Kanell) and Dawn (Corcoran) are planning to find a way home from a Halloween night of partying, the two stumble across a mysterious clown (Thornton) that doesn’t look our of place on this night, making them uneasy they see him as harmless.

When they car gets damaged Tara must call on her sister Victoria (Scaffidi) to save them, but the wait for her to arrive will let the clown, do what he does best, take bodies in his twisted desire or murder.

 

Thoughts on Terrifier

 

Characters – Art the Clown is the silent clown, he uses his expressions to get attention, he has a dark side which gets unleashed once he starts piling up the bodies while hunting down the girls. He has different styles for kills, some are planned and calculated while others are able to show his adaptability to the situation. Tara is the more responsible of the two-party goers, she won’t drink and drive, though she does think food will make herself sober enough to drive. Dawn would be considered the one that gets all the guys trying to hit on her, while batting them all off, can’t handle her booze either. Victoria is the sister of Tara, that instead of studying for her test ends up coming to help her sister in the time of need. It would be far to say the girls are traditional for the horror and are not portrayed with any strength.

PerformancesDavid Howard Thornton gives us one of the most disturbing and eye watching performances in horror, you want to see just where the character will go next. When it comes to Jenna Kanell, Samantha Scaffidi and Catherine Corcoran are all good even if they do fill the normal for a horror film.

StoryThe story takes place over one night as Art the Clown goes on his killing spree through the night. The idea is simple as we see how Art has different plans for different victims, though this could also be considered somewhat of a weakness because certain kills seem like they have a lot of preparation while others can be just what is at hand. The story keeps us playing along the idea of a killer keeping one step ahead of their victims and just how they can make sure they aren’t put in a position of weakness. This is also an extension of the story told in All Hallows Eve where we see the same clown do sadistic acts to his victims. This won’t be for the weak hearted and will only appeal to the horror fans out there.

HorrorThe horror side of this film follows Art the Clown on his rampage, we get different kills per victim each more unique than the last, there is blood and gore throughout which checks the horror boxes well.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in an old warehouse, not a location chosen by the killer, but a place where safety is searched for, the victims each have their own reason for being there which does make sense to the story too.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects we are mostly looking at the practical ones that were used and they were brilliant for the body cutting, slashing and piercing scenes.


Scene of the Movie –
Art’s actions in the dinner show us just how twisted he is going to be.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The preparation kills seemed like they did take too long to prepare for the time we watching Art do his thing.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for the horror fans to smile about, the kills are blood, brutal and the killer is one you won’t be forgetting any time soon.

 

Overall: Horror fans enjoy the bloodbath.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Romance – T -The Tourist (2010)

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Writer: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Christopher McQuarrie, Julian Fellowes (Screenplay) Jerome Salle (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff, Rufus Sewell

 

Plot: Revolves around Frank, an American tourist visiting Italy to mend a broken heart. Elise is an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: This was Rather Boring

 

Story: The Tourist starts as we watch Inspector John Acheson (Bettany) track Elise Flifton-Ward (Jolie) across Europe in search for a mysterious Alexander Peirce. While travelling to Venice Elise is assigned to find someone who looks like Alexander, which brings in Frank Tupelo (Depp) an American tourist travelling through Europe that ends up enjoying the company of Elise.

When Acheson knows that Frank is a nobody in his case, he continues his case tracking Elise but crossed information leads to Frank finding his own life in danger from a gangster who is searching for Peirce too.

Frank must escape and stay alive but Elise needs to get her job done but now wants to keep Frank safe with multiple people after them, you know what I lost the plot here.

 

Thoughts on The Tourist

 

Characters/PerformanceElise is a mysterious woman that has connection to a known and wanted criminal, she finds herself trapped in the middle of saving an innocent man she has gotten in the middle of her misleading plan or getting the job done. Frank is the widowed American tourist who gets pulled into the world of criminal activity all while being innocent.

Performance wise, Depp clearly is in the middle of his pay day run here never reaching the heights we know he can while Jolie isn’t too much better in her role.

StoryThe story is mostly about a femme fatale trying to keep everyone away from her boss but soon learns that this random man has stolen her heart. We have twists turns but you just don’t care about the operation going on through the film, which just makes everything come off plain.

Action/RomanceThe action is very basic and you wouldn’t expect any tension through the film with the romance almost getting thrown down our throats too much without being believable.

SettingsVenice makes for a beautiful setting but the film just doesn’t capture everything in its full.

Special EffectsThe special effects are again all basic never pulling you into the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a star driven action borefest, we rely on the idea that Depp and Jolie could pull in any audience member but then forget to give us an interesting story.

 

Overall: Easily forgotten movie

Rating

 

 

The Titan (2018)

Director: Lennart Ruff

Writer: Max Hurwitz (Screenplay) Arash Amel (Story)

Starring: Sam Worthington, Tayor Schilling, Tom Wilkinson, Agyness Deyn, Nathalie Emmanuel, Noah Jupe, Corey Johnson

 

Plot: A military family takes part in a ground-breaking experiment of genetic evolution and space exploration.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Pilot for a Show?

 

Story: The Titan starts as we learn that the world is facing extinction, Professor Martin Collingwood (Wilkinson) is conducting experiments to select a candidate to go through a genetic evolution that would make their body ready to land and survive on Saturn’s moon Titan.

LT Rick Janssen (Worthington) moves his family wife Dr Abi Janssen (Schilling) and son Lucas (Jupe) to the training camp as one of the candidates and easily one of the most promising. When the candidates start showing side effects, Abi starts investigating just what the experiments are about.

 

Thoughts on The Titan

 

Characters – LT Rick Janssen is one of the candidates selected because an unbelievable survival story, he quickly becomes the number candidate with his ability to adapt to change better than any of the others selected, though the change is hard on him and his family. Dr Abi Janssen is the wife of Rick, she isn’t involved in the experiment though does pick up on the idea that something doesn’t seem right with what is being done to her husband. Professor Martin Collingwood is the man running the experiment, he knows and believes this could be the last hope for humanity

PerformancesSam Worthington in the leading role is solid enough in the leading role without doing too much with his role, this is the same as Taylor Schilling who for the first half of the film she doesn’t do too much, but quickly becomes the standout of the second half. Tom Wilkinson in his scientist role is one he could do in his sleep.

StoryThe story here shows us how the end of the world is coming and we follow an experiment which is designed to hopefully offer humanity a new hope. Now this story is misleading because we are sold on the idea of the evolving to surviving on Titan, rather than just watching the almost training process for the change. This story will leave people wanting more and less because we are promised so much either from the race against time side of the film or the future we are searching for, with neither getting the focus needed. There is also a moment where the experiment gets challenged on ethics only to fall short and never follow through. This story has too many missed opportunities for a truly challenging sci-fi story.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of the film shows us just how the scientist are planning to find a new home for the human race when the world needs to become saved. This is solid enough idea, though never uses them enough.

SettingsThe film takes us to a remote base for the experiment, it has nothing that makes it stand out or make it memorable.

Special EffectsThe effects are solid enough for the most part, we do to see moments of change even though it isn’t anything that isn’t that much standing out here.


Scene of the Movie –
The underwater moment.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of time in space.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that feels like a pilot to a TV show, it has all the potential to be fantastic, only to not including the more fascinating parts of the ideas.

 

Overall: Fails to capture the potential.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – T – Tau (2018)

Director: Federico D’Alessandro

Writer: Noga Landau (Screenplay)

Starring: Maika Monroe, Ed Skrein, Gary Oldman

 

Plot: A woman is held captive in a futuristic smart house and hopes to escape by breaking into the computer programs that control the house.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Idea, Just Misses

 

Story: Tau starts when young thief Julia (Monroe) is captured and locked up in a mysterious house with a beacon like object placed in her neck. The house is owned by Alex (Skrein) who has been working on learning the brain patterns and with his other two subjects he believes he can change the planet.

After trying to escape from the cell, Julia ends up getting the rest of the subjects kill, forcing her to complete the tasks alone, as she spends the time interacting with the computer controlling the house Tau (Voiced by Oldman), with a time limit in place, can Julia trust Alex to get out of the house alive.

 

Thoughts on Tau

 

Characters – Julia is the streetwise thief, she works alone against the wishes of her handler, she gets captured and forced into an experimental program which using her skills, she tries to escape from the house which fails only leading her to need to complete the tasks which measure her brain activities as she continues to worry about her life once the tasks have been completed. Alex is the genius that owns the house, he has been trying to make a major break through in his field of brain activity and is now dealing with the pressure thrown on him by his company. Tau is the computer system that controls the home, it is forced to keep the place clean and makes sure the subjects remain in certain location. It starts to befriend Julia as part of her ideas on how to escape from the home as we learn that it is just as much of a prisoner as Julia.

PerformancesMaika Monroe is strong in this film, she appears in every scene and you can see how she is calculating her next move in each scene. Ed Skrein is good as we see him keep his character feel withdrawn from Julia through the film, he shows the arrogance needed too for a genius that believe he is bigger than the world. Gary Oldman’s voice work is good addition because he is such a well-spoken man, which works for the Tau computer character.

StoryThe story follows a young woman that is abducted and forced into an experiment which located in an advanced computer run house and we follow her attempts to escape. We do get into a relationship between a learning artificial intelligence and the woman that tried to help him which goes on longer than it needs to, we don’t seem to get enough of a focus on just what the experiment and tasks is trying to achieve which will leave things feeling empty by the end of the film. The story does have original concepts, but soon falls into the old we have seen this before problems.

Sci-FiThe film does use the sci-fi well because we get the artificial intelligence discussing situations with Julia in a futuristic world.

SettingsThe film is set inside the house for the whole time, which keeps Julia’s mind ticking as she plans for her escape from the evil genius.

Special EffectsThe effects are a mixed bag because certain moments do come off strong but then others look very weak.


Scene of the Movie –
The music discussion.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There are too many talking scenes between Julia and Tau.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi film that does have wonderfully potential, only it does end up falling short of the potential.

 

Overall: Sci-fi that misses the marks.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – T – Two Days One Night (2014)

Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

Writer: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne (Screenplay)

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Catherine Salee, Baptiste Sornin, Pili Groyne

 

Plot: Liège, Belgium. Sandra is a factory worker who discovers that her workmates have opted for a EUR1,000 bonus in exchange for her dismissal. She has only a weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses in order to keep her job.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful Performance Piece

 

Story: Two Days One Night starts As Sandra (Cotillard) a wife and mother gets informed by one of her close workmates Juliette (Salee) that her work colleagues were forced to vote on either their 1000 Euro bonus or keeping Sandra employed and all bar two picked the bonus.  

Sandra has just the weekend to try and convince other members of the staff to switch their votes in a hope to keep her much needed job to keep the house her and her husband Manu (Rongione) have worked so hard for.

 

Thoughts on Two Days One Night

 

Characters – Sandra is a wife and mother that works in a factory, her life is changed when she learns her boss has given the staff a choice, have their bonus or keep her employed, suffering from stress and depression from this she is forced to into convincing the rest of the staff to vote for her, making her feel like a beggar something she never thought she would be put through. Manu is Sandra’s husband, he supports her through this difficult time, knowing she has fought hard to be in the job even with the added stress this will add to their relationship. We do get to meet the rest of the staff who have their own struggles when it comes to needing the bonus or not too.

PerformancesMarion Cotillard is fantastic in this leading role, carrying the movie with her performance in every single scene. Fabrizio Rongione is wonderful too because his performance helps guide Sandra in the direction she needs while looking strong through the difficult time. The whole cast are brilliant here, giving a real feeling about everything that goes on through the film.

StoryThe story follows one woman who is about to lose her job thanks to a vote, she has one weekend to try and convince the rest of the staff to support her in the vote as she battles her own stress and depression about this decision going on. This is a very interesting story, it could play out in any language, any country and in any career field which is why it makes it such a captivating story to watch unfold, because it asks you the question ‘how would you vote?’. This is yet again a wonderful but hard to watch drama that shows the importance of thinking about more than just yourself.

SettingsThe film shows us the suburbs of Belgium where people work and struggle to make ends meet in an everyday situation.


Scene of the Movie –
The Vote

That Moment That Annoyed Me The idea feels illegal.

Final ThoughtsThis is a powerful drama that does test the audience to look at themselves, the performances are fantastic throughout and this is a must watch for anyone who sees themselves as cinema fans.

 

Overall: Must watch for all.

Rating