Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Black Death (2010)

Director: Christopher Smith

Writer: Dario Poloni (Screenplay)

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean, Carice Van Houten, John Lynch, Tim McInnerny, Andy Nyman, Kimberley Nixon

 

Plot: Set during the time of the first outbreak of bubonic plague in England, a young monk is given the task of learning the truth about reports of people being brought back to life in a small village.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Medieval Horror

 

Story: Black Death starts with the plague sweeping across England, a young monk Osmund (Redmayne) is starting to question his own faith when the chance to join a group of soldiers led by Ulrich (Bean) who are requesting a man of faith on their latest mission. Ulrich and his men of colourful characters, that include a torturer, a family man and a man who would be happy to cut someone in half.

The mission is to search for a small group of people who don’t have the Black Death but are meant to be using the dark arts and sacrifice to keep them safe. As the journey continues the group learn that the plague isn’t the only thing that could kill them.

 

Thoughts on Black Death

 

Characters/PerformanceUlrich is a leader of soldiers who fight against the unholy for the bishop’s cause, he takes his work seriously and will kill anyone who crosses him or his men. Osmund is a young monk who has given his heart to a woman who gets stuck between his own faith and the woman he loves. Langiva is the leader of the small village who has the power to bring the dead back to life using her own ways to tempt the men away from their God. The rest of the soldier all fit the generic requirements with the villagers also fitting in them too.

Performance wise, Sean Bean is the star performer here showing he can carry any film, Redmayne is good but you can see how he was still learning with this performance, while Carice van Houten does make for a good seductive villain.

StoryLooking at the story, we get elements of how the world feared the Black Death and would turn to God or lose faith in him all together turning to another form of belief. That is the core part of this film as the soldiers refuses to give up on what they have come to believe to stop what is meant to be a wave of terror surrounding a small village. This does everything it needs to but does have moments that could come off original but others that you could see things coming.

Action/Horror/MysteryThere is small bursts of action mostly sword fighting, the horror comes from what could be happening and any torture scenes which are all off camera torture, the mystery does keep us going as we are left to wonder what is the truth.

SettingsEach setting makes us feel like we are in the current time this movie is set which is during the Black Death which is all we require and isn’t over used for any added horror.

Special EffectsThe special effects are mostly practical ones when it comes to the deaths, torture and potential witchcraft going on through the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good medieval horror film, it does look at the idea of religion being good or bad as well as how deeply away from it you could go. It is also good to see a young Eddie Redmayne in one of the leading roles.

 

Overall: This is a film well worth checking out even if it isn’t the absolute best in the genre.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Primal (2010)

primalDirector: Josh Reed

Writer: Josh Reed (Screenplay) Josh Reed, Nigel Christensen (Story)

Starring: Zoe Tuckwell-Smith, Krew Boylan, Lindsay Farris, Rebekah Foord, Damien Freeleague, Wil Travel

 

Plot: A group of friends travel into the Australian wilds to view ancient cave paintings but soon find a horrible sickness gripping one of their own, which leaves them with nothing in their mind but a primal blood lust.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easy To Watch Horror

 

Story: Primal starts as we see an ancient painter ruthlessly killed by something, fast forward to present day as we watch Anja (Tuckwell-Smith), Mel (Boylan), Chad (Farris), Kris (Foord), Warren (Freeleagus) and Dace (Traval) travelling to that site when one of the relatives discovers the paintings. Staying out in the Australian outback the group use this scientific discovery as a moment to enjoy the moment away from the world.

Everything is going smoothly until Mel decides to go skinny dipping leading to her getting covered in leeches, that night she starts getting a fever before getting worse through the night leading them to need to go for rescue. The friends find themselves stranded in this location needing to walk to safety after small bugs have been eating everything around.

It isn’t long before Mel turns ravenous attacking the friends leaving the final five friends trying to think of a way to solve the situation they find themselves in, but in a primal state can anyone survive what is waiting for them?

Primal is a horror film that takes the infected idea to a new level by making it turn the infected primal, but there is always a twist in these style of films which is leading up to something bigger. The story is very simple and the characters are painfully generic. I do feel like not enough questions are answered but I also think that comes off important in where the film goes because of the ancient evil involved. This is actually easy to watch for a horror fans and doesn’t take too long to get to the point but won’t live long in the memory.

 

Actor Review

 

Zoe Tuckwell-Smith: Anja is the leading lady with a tortured past, mostly comprising of bad boyfriends. This trip is a chance for her to get away from it all but she ends up being the voice of reason while trying to save her friend. Zoe makes for a strong lead but I think we needed that little extra for true horror leading lady.

Krew Boylan: Mel is what would be called the outward going of the group, she will take chances with her decision which does include skinny dipping in the local watering whole. This leads to her getting infected by something turning her ravenous against her friends. Krew goes through the most in this film which does gain her the most praise.

Lindsay Farris: Chad is the boyfriend of Mel, he seems like the complete opposite to her always coming off quite uptight. He can give her the cold shoulder at any time but deep down you can tell her loves her. Lindsay gives us a very basic but overly mood performance.

Rebekah Foord: Kris is the girlfriend of Dace who is on the trip to support him, she comes off though as one of the most random inclusion on the characters involved in this situation. Rebekah doesn’t do much wrong herself but I really don’t understand the point of her character’s decisions.

Support Cast: Primal only has a couple more cast members and both as good characters in their own right without being too involved in final outcome.

Director Review: Josh ReedJosh does give us an almost fresh take on the infected genre instead of just mindless zombies we get to see them become primal, I do think with a little bit large budget we could have got something on the level of the Descent.

 

Horror: Primal has blood filled gore scenes and that one awkward scene in the cave.

Thriller: Primal tries to keep us on edge but the suspense never grows in this one because it is non-stop action horror.

Settings: Primal puts our characters in the Australian outback which helps the story create the isolation because no one has been to this location in years.
Special Effects
: Primal has a mix of good and bad effects with the good coming with the gore and the bad with the creatures.

Suggestion: Primal is one for the horror fans to try, it is an easy watch. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Spinning the infected idea.

Worst Part: Part of the cave scene near the end, can’t say because spoilers and all.

Action Scene Of The Film: Chad v Dace.

Funniest Scene: Setting the trap like it is a Scooby Doo plot.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

Overall: Easy to watch blood filled horror.

Ratingcard

 

Four Lions (2010)

four-lionsDirector: Christopher Morris

Writer: Christopher Morris, Sam Bain, Jesse Armstrong (Screenplay)

Starring: Riz Ahmed, Arsher Ali, Nigel Lindsay, Kayvan Novak, Adeel Akhtar, Julia Davis, Craig Parkinson

 

Plot: Four incompetent British jihadists set out to train for and commit an act of terror.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Funny Comedy

 

Story: Four Lions starts as we meet four British Muslims working simple jobs in England, Omar (Ahmed), Barry (Lindsay), Waj (Novak) and Faisal (Akhtar) who want to going be Jihadists. Omar and Waj get the call to travel to Pakistan to go through the training with Barry keeping up the fight back in the UK recruiting Hassan (Ali).

When the group reunite, they plan their own terrorist attack in the UK but as things continue to go wrong with Barry’s extreme behaviour, while Omar wanting to be more calculated with his attack. When they finally put their difference behind them the group look to plan their attack with of course comical consequences.

 

Thoughts on Four Lions

 

Characters/PerformanceOmar is the calm leader who has the plan down perfectly and tries to do the right thing for his friend, Waj is the simple-minded character who is easily led astray by Barry and Omar. Barry is the true British extremist who enjoys the terrorist idea and wants to hurt as many people as he can, he is the true bad example of this whole film. we get to see the comic side of these hopeless characters who want to be terrorists.

Performance wise Riz Ahmed is brilliant in this role with Nigel Lindasy and Kayvan Novak being equally as entertaining through the whole film. I think the whole cast do a great job at how we can see the nativity behind the jihadists extremists.stars

StoryThe story shows us how naïve jihadists believe they can follow others into the terrorist’s idea when they are clearly just clueless about the whole situation. This is an advert about how people can be led astray by these extremist’s beliefs but never understand the true meaning of everything they are doing. The story is mostly parody which works all so well for the film.

Comedy/CrimeWe have laughs from start to finish in this film while the crime terrorist attack is being planned.

SettingsThe settings show how these men can come from everyday background to be the terrorists, we see whole London can be a target with the links to escape or find trapped.

Special EffectsThe special effects are only used in small places but they all work well for the film.genre

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to comedy this is by far one of the best you will see and I think everyone could enjoy even with a sensitive subject.

 

Overall: A must watch for all the comedy fans out there.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Hybrid (2010)

hybridDirector: Eric Valette

Writer: Neal Marshall Stevens (Screenplay)

Starring: Oded Fehr, Adrien Dorval, Ryan Kennedy, Melanie Papalia, John Reardon, Shannon Beckner

 

Plot: Late one night, a mysterious car is brought into the Chicago police impound garage after a deadly traffic accident. The on-call mechanics soon discover the car has a mind of its own. With hundreds of horsepower and two tons of reinforced steel at its command, it’s a seemingly unstoppable killing machine capable of outrunning — and outwitting — humans.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Horror

 

Story: Hybrid starts as a slick looking car drive to an ally to draw the attention of the couple of car thieves, who become the first victims of this car cruising the streets at night, but when the car is involved in an accident the Chicago Police Department have a new mystery on their hands.

The car gets taken to a local garage for the investigation where Ray (Fehr) runs the garage with Gordy (Dorval), Bobby (Kennedy) and Tilda (Beckner) all working there. When the car continues, its body count the survivors must fight to survive against the killer car and hybrid creature that lurks inside.

 

Thoughts on Hybrid

 

StoryWhen it comes to the story it does have good elements of original story telling, we do have parts borrowed from other films too though. We have the killer car which is obviously one of the more iconic killer objects in horror. Where this story becomes different is when we learn how the car can morph into any car it has seen making it turn into a deadlier predator.  When we look at what our characters aim to do the beat this creature it does become a power struggle of reluctant team work nothing outside the normal really. The story is smart and enjoyable throughout.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror elements used are the fact that we have a killer car and we find ourselves on edge as we wait to see what the car will become next.

Characters/PerformanceWhen it comes to the characters you know exactly what you are going to get from this film, we have the strong female lead, the asshole greedy boss, the kid, well the youngster one studying for more, the ‘dumb’ receptionist and the minority that gets killed off first. The characters are nothing special and as for the performances they are solid without exceling to the top level within the genre.

SettingsNearly the whole film takes place within the garage which our characters find themselves trapped inside creating the isolation from the outside world and having all the different cars it can pick from leads to the suspense being gained throughout.

Special EffectsThe special effects do have moments that leave you wondering but the budget does explain certain drawbacks when it comes to the creature animations.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable horror if you switch you mind of to what is logical in anyway, this is fun more than scary.

 

Overall: This is a strong and enjoyable horror but mostly fun.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Prowl (2010)

 

prowlDirector: Patrick Syversen

Writer: Tim Tori (Screenplay)

Starring: Courtney Hope, Ruta Gedmintas, Josh Bowman, Perdita Weeks, Jamie Blackley, Saxon Trainor, Bruce Payne

 

Plot: Amber dreams of escaping her small town existence and persuades her friends to accompany her to find an apartment in the big city. When their transportation breaks down, she and her friends gratefully accept a ride in the back of a semi. But when the driver refuses to stop and they discover the cargo is hundreds of cartons of blood, they panic. Their panic turns to terror when the truck disgorges them into a dark, abandoned warehouse where blood-thirsty creatures learn to hunt human prey, which, the friends realize, is what they now are the human prey fighting to save their lives the realize they must work together but will they survive.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Little Horror

 

Story: Prowl starts with Amber (Hope) looking for a new start but having to spend time with the friends she is leaving Susie (Gedmintas), Peter (Bowman), Fiona (Weeks), Ray (Blackley) and Eric (Hawes). The small town is getting to be too much for Amber who knows her future is going to be in the big city.

Needing a ride to get to the big city the six friends see this is a chance to go on a road trip but metres after leaving the town they breakdown but they get a lift with a truck driver showing that Amber could finally make it out of her town.

Well this is a horror film which means this road trip is never going to run smoothly as Amber, Susie, Peter, Fiona and Ray find themselves trapped in the back of the truck that is transporting blood and Eric, well he is dead. The friends find themselves lambs to the slaughter for blood thirsty creatures in a battle to survive, who will make it out alive?

Prowl is a horror thriller that follows the very basic needs for a horror, group of disposable teenagers, remote location, blood thirsty creatures and darkness. With all these checked off we off course have the strong leading character usually the female and this is no different who can suddenly become a survival expert.

Courtney Hope is good in the leading role with the rest of the cast being nothing more than glorified body count never getting enough time in the horror side of the story to show their characters in the crisis. The creatures seem to be a mix of infected and vampire keeping very human form with added abilities to make them deadlier predators. Having this set up like a training exercise for the creatures works because it opens everything up to a future threat from these creatures.

 

Overall: Blood filled horror that never stops once the creatures are unleashed.

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