Open House (2010)

Director: Andrew Paquin

Writer: Andrew Paquin (Screenplay)

Starring: Brian Geraghty, Rachel Blanchard, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Tricia Helfer, Gabriel Olds, Jessica Collins

 

Plot: A couple on the verge of a nasty divorce attempt to sell their empty love nest and move on with their lives, separately. After a successful open house they are horrified to discover, days later, that a potential buyer didn’t leave their home. While Alice is being held captive in the basement, the unannounced house guest moves in upstairs. She senses her capture is being kept a rebellious secret. She knows her way out, if only she can get out alive.


Tagline – Welcome to the neighborhood.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Unsettling Thriller

 

Story: Open House starts as Alice (Blanchard) is getting divorced and is looking to sell the couple’s home, things are not going well, but with her friend’s support she believes things will go well. Things take an early drastic change when Alice is held captive by David (Geraghty) and Lila (Helfer).

David and Lila decide to make the home their own, killing anyone that questions them about Alice, how long can they keep this up and how often have they been doing this?

 

Thoughts on Open House

 

Characters – David is the man that keeps Alice captive, he is being controlled by Lila, while also thinking for himself deciding to keep her alive against the wishes of Lila in look for companionship. David seems to be easily manipulated into doing what Lila says. Alice is the owner of the house, going through a divorce and looking to sell their home, she is held captive by the couple who want control of the house. She must follow the rules David gives her in a hope of making it through the ordeal. Lila is the woman who has moved into the house, she uses David to get what she wants and seduces any men that come near the home. The rest of the characters we meet are used to show what David and Lila are capable of, while have a connection to Alice.

PerformancesBrian Geraghty gives us an unsettling feeling throughout the film, he makes it difficult to put your finger on this character. Rachel Blanchard does a solid enough job, though she is mostly needing to look scared or be tied up. Tricia Helfer is good as the seductive woman controlling the situation. The rest of the cast don’t get much time on screen which disappoints when you see some of the talent we had.

StoryThe story follows a man and woman that hold a homeowner captive in their house while they make their own and continue their killer ways. Now this does bring us into the idea that somebody would take over your own home after a open house with people around you expecting you to be leaving you won’t get the support you would imagine. The pacing for the story is one of the weaker moments because we follow David’s interactions with both the women and it is very hard to put your finger on what he is up to through the film. the story however is better than 2018’s Open House which was just too slow.

CrimeThe film uses the crime elements because we see the man and woman killing people, talking like they have been doing this for years and know when to get out of the house before getting captured which is an interesting way to look at the story.

SettingsThe film takes place only inside the house, the place you are meant to feel safe, this is good for the story and easily the strongest part of everything.


Scene of the Movie –
Opening the freezers.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While it is implied, they have been killing for ages, it would have been nice to have it spelled out from how David is acting through the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid addition to the late night horror movies I like to promote, it is an easy watch you can enjoy it even if it doesn’t use the biggest names in the film to the best of their abilities.

 

Overall: Late night Crime Horror film.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – I – It’s a Wonderful Afterlife (2010)

Director: Gurinder Chadha

Writer: Gurinder Chadha (Screenplay)

Starring: Sanjeev Bhaskar, Steve Morphew, Steve Jones, Jamie Sives, Sendhill Ramamurthy, Mark Addy

 

Plot: A comedy centered on an Indian mother who takes her obsession with marriage into the world of serial murder.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Rom Com Horror

 

Story: It’s a Wonderful Afterlife starts with four mysterious Indian cuisine related murders, D S Raj Murthy (Ramamurthy) is bought into help get information from the Indian community but we learn early on that his old family friend Mrs Sethi (Azmi) is behind the murders as she is trying to find a husband for her daughter Roopi (Notay) and all the victims have insulted her daughter but are now haunting Mrs Sethi.

As the investigation points in Roopi’s direction the spirits haunting her mother works with them to find her a husband before she will confess to the murders giving the spirits a chance to be reincarnated and with Raj back in the life he makes for a perfect choice.

 

Thoughts on It’s a Wonderful Afterlife

 

Characters – D S Raj Murthy is assigned to go undercover in search for the killer that is killing people in the Indian community, he offers a love interest for Roopi but is also finding out if she is the killer. Roopi is the Indian woman that hasn’t gotten married yet with her mother trying to find her a husband, she is a kind woman helping others but just doesn’t believe in herself. Linda is the best friend that returns believing she can handle spirits and that she will be finding her partner. Mrs Sethi is the murderer, she is killing people that insult her daughter but finds herself being haunted by the spirits.

PerformanceThe performances through the film are great with Sendhil Ramamurthy from heroes taking the leading man role with ease, Shabana Azmi is also great as the concerned murdering mother. Goldy Notay does a great job too as the daughter looking for love but not searching for it and Sally Hawkins does seem to get the most laughs from her character.

StoryThe story uses the idea of arranged marriage being around in Indian culture still and this film takes things to the next level showing how a mother would kill to make sure her daughter would get married to the right person. It does have the usual misleading issues with our characters being involved in a murder case but otherwise things all go the way you would expect in the story.

Comedy/Horror/RomanceThe comedy comes from all the idea of the kills, the spirits haunting the mother and the arranging of finding Roopi a husband. The horror comes from the haunting of Mrs Sethi but is used for the comedy with the romance focusing on the idea of searching for the husband.

SettingsThe settings show how the Indian culture has become a part of England and the mix can work in harmony for the story.

Special EffectsThe effects are good through the film only being used to show interaction with the spirits.

Scene of the Movie – Carrie parody.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It focuses too much on the rom com side of things over the horror.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable rom com with a small part horror, it shows us about how people can go too far for the happiness of their own family with laughter and murder.

 

Overall: One to try for rom com community out there.

Rating

 

 

Halloween Midnight Franchise – Saw 3D The Final Chapter (2010)

Director: Kevin Greutert

Writer: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan (Screenplay)

Starring: Tobin Bell, Costass Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Cary Elwes, Sean Patrick Flanery, Chad Donella, Gina Holden

 

Plot: As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw’s brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen, a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror.


Tagline – The Traps Come Alive

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The End That Works

 

Story: Saw VII opens as we learn how Doctor Gordon (Elwes) survived, we see how Hoffman (Mandylor) fixes himself after the betrayal he faced in the last film from Jill (Russell), we also see how Jill spills the beans to the cops about who was John’s (Bell) apprentice.

Meanwhile Bobby Dagen (Flanery) is touring a book about how he survived one of Jigsaw’s game, but this has made him a new target for the games. With Bobby needing to complete his tests with rest of his team that made up his story, while we also see Hoffman trying to get his hands on Jill to end it all but there might be more people at play here.

 

Thoughts on Saw VII

 

Characters – John is still dead, but we learn how he wasn’t impressed with one of the so-called survivors gaining his fame from the story of being involved in the game, he does have a much smaller role though. Hoffman is known fully as the man working with John, scared after escaping the bear trap, he is playing the last gang now while keeping one step ahead of the law. Jill is in hiding with the police after Hoffman escaped the trap she placed him in, worried for her life she is willing to spill on everyone involved. Dr Gordon is back and part of a survivors support group, the fans of the series have been waiting for years to see him return. Bobby is a man that has been making money off claiming to have survived one of the jigsaw games but not he is being forced into going through one with his team.

PerformancesTobin Bell does have a much smaller part but is the drawn in the film. Costas Mandylor for me is now the star of these franchise as he is the most interesting character now. Betsy Russell is good without being as believable this time around. Cary Elwes brings the class back as we had been waiting for years for his return. Sean Patrick Flanery is also good in his role as the latest man being tested.

StoryThe Hoffman versus Jill storyline is the highlight of the film as now Hoffman is known by the police to be the bad guy he can do anything to anyone who gets in his way. The game does have a man that needs to be tested but the main victim he needs to save shouldn’t be in the game at all. This has been my problem for a while, the wrong people are being left in a place of choice. I will however praise how the film tied up at the end finishing the saga in a full circle.

Horror/Mystery The gore is at the highest level in this film, the 3D effects even add more to the gore being used, but some of it is just pointless. The mystery once again is the highlight of the film as we are kept guessing to where the characters will go next and why Dr Gordon has returned.

SettingsThe settings are a strange one here, the big game is normal location but the opening sequence is in broad daylight with the crowd running to see, not sure if this is designed to mock the fans that enjoy the torture porn general or not.

Special EffectsCan’t fault certain effects here but some are made just for the point of having 3D, when we didn’t need it.


Scene of the Movie –
Game Over.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The game is gore for the sake of gore.

Final ThoughtsWhile the game is poor, the conclusion of the story of who works for Jigsaw does work for this franchise that needed to end here.

 

Overall: Nice finish to the franchise.

Rating

 

 

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

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – W – We Are What We Are (2010)

Director: Jorge Michel Grau

Writer: Jorge Michel Grau (Screenplay)

Starring: Carmen Beato, Alan Chavez, Francisco Barreiro, Paulina Gaitan, Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Humberto Yanez

 

Plot: When the patriarch of the family passes away, the teenage children must take responsibility for the family chores: the preparation of the rituals, the hunting and putting the all-important meat on the table. These newfound responsibilities are even more daunting, however, when you live in the city and happen to be a family of cannibals.


Tagline – Young. Wild. Hungry.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darkly Disturbing Cannibal Movie

 

Story: We Are What We Are starts when the father of the family dies, Patricia (Beato) the mother of the family must get her sons Alfredo (Barreiro) and Julian (Chavez) to take over the business while daughter Sabina (Gaitan) steps up with the household responsibilities.

The family are cannibals and now one of the brothers will need to step up Alfredo is the eldest while Julian is the one that will take the chances when they are looking for their next meal, hunting the city for the easiest target to follow their ritual.

 

Thoughts on We Are What We Are

 

Characters – Patricia is the mother of the family she has seen her husband uses whores for the food, once he has died she wants her sons to take over and not use whores for their rituals. Alfredo is the eldest son, he is quiet compared to the others calculated and isn’t fully behind taking over in the same way Julian is. Julian is the younger brother, he has a short temper which has seen him get in trouble before, Sabina is the daughter of the family, she pushes Alfredo to take over knowing they need him to keep the family ticking.

PerformancesThe whole cast in this film are wonderful, we see the confliction, the determination and the belief in every action they go through, each cast member makes their character stand out in each scene too.

StoryThe story of cannibals is one we have see a few times, we usually watch how the innocent must learn to fight back against them (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) we have seen the high class elude the law (Hannibal trilogy) now we get to see how one family operates in a busy city full of potential victims and how they select the victims along with how they operate when the leader of the family dies. The story has a disturbing factor about it from start to finish and following the villainous figures of this family brings a fresh spin to the cannibal genre.

HorrorThe horror in this film comes from seeing how the cannibals operate, what they are planning and how they go about it, it feels disturbing in each scene.

SettingsThe film is set in Mexico in a busy city which shows us how easy to find victims can be to get away with it too.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well to not show us too much directly to the camera, this can both frustrate or keep things interesting as we don’t know the complete truth.


Scene of the Movie –
The final act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It would have been nice to see how the father operated in preparation for the ritual.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disturbing horror that brings new life to the cannibal genre.

 

Overall: Cannibal delight.

Rating