Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Frankenstein Theory (2013)

Director: Andrew Weiner

Writer: Vlady Pildysh, Andrew Weiner (Screenplay) Mary Shelley (Characters)

Starring: Kris Lemche, Roger W Morriessey, Timothy V Murphy, Heather Stephens, Christine Lakin, Luke Geissbuhler

 

Plot: What if the most chilling novel of all time was actually based on a true account of a horrific experiment gone awry? When he is suspended from his university job for his outlandish ideas, Professor John Venkenheim leads a documentary film crew to the rim of the Arctic Circle in a desperate effort to vindicate his academic reputation. His theory: Mary Shelley’s ghastly story, “Frankenstein,” is, in fact, a work of non-fiction disguised as fantasy. In the vast, frozen wilderness, Venkenheim and his team search for the legendary monster, a creature mired in mystery and drenched in blood. What they find is an unspeakable truth more terrifying than any fiction…a nightmare from which there is no waking.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Idea, Generically Told

 

Story: The Frankenstein Theory starts as Jonathan Venkenhein (Lemche) is looking to lead a documentary film crew including Vicky Stephens (Stephens), Brian (Henderson), Eric (Zuckerman) and Luke Hill (Geissbuhler) to the Arctic in search for his grandfather research that claims that the story of Frankenstein is in fact real.

Joined by local guide Karl McCallion (Murphy) the team head in from Canada to the Arctic circle. As the group spend time together we learn more about the case they are investigating which could be just a bear that has been attacking people or could the creature be real and are these film makers ready for what they find?

 

Thoughts on The Frankenstein Theory

 

Characters/PerformanceJonathan Venkenhein believes his ancestor was the real-life creature of the Frankenstein’s creature and now he wants to head off with a team to learn the truth, he is fully committed to believing his story putting his professional and personal life on the line. Vicky is the one hosting the documentary hoping it will be her big break. Karl is the guide that is filled with the warning about being in the wilderness alone. The rest of the team is who would expect, the cameraman, sound man and co-producer.

Performance wise, The cast are all good in their roles without any being brilliant but nobody being bad.

StoryI must say this story comes off like a smart idea because we always can have somebody look into a work of fiction and dive into the truth behind the story. This time we look at the idea that Frankenstein’s story is real and the creature is still lurking in the Arctic. With the idea in place and being something that is interesting, we do end up going down the Blair Witch route of just having ideas borrowed from other found footage films and the Creature acting just like Bigfoot.

Fantasy/Horror/Sci-Fi The fantasy idea of this film comes from bring the fictional story into reality, the horror side comes from all the found footage material we have seen before, the sci-fi side comes from the idea that this once again isn’t just a fictional story.

SettingsBeing set in the Arctic is fine because our characters have nowhere to run with all the terror going on and it shows the environment the creature could be living in.

Special EffectsMost of the violence happens off came so we do get good use of effects on the remains but the film doesn’t need them.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid addition to the found footage genre as the film does feel like it flows nicely.

 

Overall: Found Footage 101.

Rating

 

 

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The Maid’s Room (2013)

Director: Michael Walker

Writer: Michael Walker (Screenplay)

Starring: Paula Garces, Annabella Sciorra, Bill Camp, Philip Ettinger

 

Plot: THE MAID’S ROOM is a psychological thriller that explores the complex relationships between truth and justice, hubris and power, wealth and fear.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lifetime Movie 101

 

Story: The Maid’s Room starts as the Crawford family Mrs (Sciorra), Mr (Camp) and their son Brandon (Ettinger) hire a maid Drina (Garces) to keep their weekend residents clean, offering money, room and board for Drina.

When Drina is left alone with Brandon, he is involved in an accident resulting in a death, the family tries their hardest to pay Drina off to stay quiet but hold her prisoner as the family look to cover up their own crimes.

 

Thoughts on The Maid’s Room

 

Characters/PerformanceDrina is an immigrant from Columbia working as a maid for a rich family, she wants the best for her family but finds herself in the m idle of a moral question about what to do when asked to cover up a murder. Mr and Mrs Crawford will do anything to cover up their son’s crime while Brandon is the typical rash rich kid that thinks he can get away with anything.

Performance wise, this doesn’t have anything great in it, we have solid enough performance without being scene stealers from everyone involved.

StoryIf I am being honest, this film feels like it is a special in a soap opera, it tries to play itself of as a thriller and does have a fresh twist in its own way but that twist sucks all the life out of the film make you not really care what is going on.

ThrillerTries to keep us guessing but in the end, is nothing we haven’t seen before.

Settings – Nearly the whole film is set in and around the rich resident house which works but also adds to the soap opera feel.

Final ThoughtsIf I wanted to watch a long version of a soap opera I would watch one but in the end this doesn’t offer too much of a mystery and whichever direction is goes you are left think ‘so what, do I care’

 

Overall: TV movie that sky seems to be showing.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Night of the Living Deb (2015)

Director: Kyle Rankin

Writer: Andy Selsor (Screenplay)

Starring: Maria Thayer, Michael Cassidy, Julie Brister, Nan’l Meiklejohn

 

Plot: After a girls’ night out, endearingly awkward Deb wakes up in the apartment of the most attractive guy in Portland, Maine. She’s thrilled, but she can’t remember much of what got her there. Pretty boy Ryan only knows it was a mistake and ushers her out the door… into a full-scale zombie apocalypse. Now, a walk of shame becomes a fight for survival as the mismatched pair discovers that the only thing scarier than trusting someone with your life… is trusting them with your heart.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Horror Comey

 

Story: Night of the Living Deb starts as Deb (Thayer) is on a girls night with best friend Ruby (Brister), this night Deb finally goes after a guy she wants in Ryan (Cassidy). After spending the night together Ryan tries to get rid of Deb but her trip home turned into a nightmare as the undead have risen.

Deb and Ryan must put aside their difference to rescue their loved ones and make it to safety before becoming the victims of the zombie apocalypse.

 

Thoughts on Night of the Living Deb

 

Characters/PerformanceDeb is considered a geeky woman who finds a guy considered out of her league in Ryan, now her geek knowledge will help her fight the zombies. Ryan is a free-thinking son of a rich family, but his own beliefs will change how Deb thinks of the world. The rest of the characters including the family of Ryan who are involved with what is happening.

Performance wise, Maria Thayer is great in the leading role, she is funnier hitting on nearly all the comical moments in the film. Michael Cassidy is good in this role too but in places doesn’t click as well as Maria. The rest of the cast all work well with Ray Wise fitting the style of film very well.

StoryThe story is pretty much a routine by the book horror comedy with a zombie background. The idea that our characters know what a zombie apocalypse is does help the story but otherwise the only original angle is the opposites needing to work together. But this is fun and all we need it to be.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy hots for the most part here, we get plenty of pop culture reference and movie lines that add to the comedy too but on the horror, scale the attempts of horror fall into the idea that things are almost comically horror rather than scary.

SettingsThe small-town setting shows us just how the outbreak could happen with people not being able to escape if things got covered up.

Special EffectsThe film doesn’t use many special effects but the few times it does they are fine.

Final ThoughtsIf you like a good zombie comedy that completely understands what it wants to be this is for you to enjoy.

 

Overall: Horror Comedy Fans Watch.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)

Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly

Writer: Damien Chazelle, Ed Gass-Donnelly (Screenplay) Huck Botko, Andrew Gurland (Characters)

Starring: Ashley Bell, Julia Garner, Spencer Treat Clark, David Jensen, Tarra Riggs, Louis Herthum, Muse Watson

 

Plot: As Nell Sweetzer tries to build a new life after the events of the first movie, the evil force that once possessed her returns with an even more horrific plan.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Another Forgettable Exorcism Movie

 

Story: The Last Exorcism Part II starts by filling us in on the first Last Exorcism because most of us forgot or didn’t see it. Starting in the main film we learn what happened to Nell (Bell) as she is given a chance to recover at a young women’s halfway house as she learns to deal with her past.

Nell stats to make new friends with the other girls there with Gwen (Garner) taking in almost like a sister, but it isn’t long until Nell starts getting her horrifying visions return. Nell must battle the evil that has returned to her life that is also targeting her new friends.

 

Thoughts on The Last Exorcism Part II

 

Characters/PerformanceNell is an innocent young woman looking to understand the world once again after what happened to her, but she can’t escape what happened in her past as she must fight the evil within her. Gwen is the one girl at the home that offers friendship but this film sadly only surrounds Nell not the supporting characters.

Performance wise, Ashely Bell is fine in the leading role but you feel she doesn’t quite reach the levels needed for the horror involved. The rest of the performances are all fine without being anything special.

StoryYou know the story is confusing when it is called Part II and Last Exorcism, how can it be a second last one, shouldn’t the first have been called the second from last Exorcism? Anyway, this story isn’t the most appealing as we are left to go through the same old situation girl becomes victim needs curing, yawn.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror is all predictable as we know what we are going to get, noise, something moving in the background and well scary voices, nothing shocks in anyway here.

SettingsThe settings give us nothing to go on, we end up going through the same locations a drug addict would have gone through to recover.

Special EffectsThe effects are good at times but are also weak in other moments.

Final ThoughtsThis is just another exorcism movie that you will forget sooner rather than later.

 

Overall: Been here seen this.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Hacked (2013)

hackedDirector: Zachary Donohue

Writer: Zachary Donohue, Lauren Thompson (Screenplay)

Starring: Melanie Papalia, David Schlachtenhaufen, Adam Shaprio, Anna Margaret Hollyman, Matt Riedy

 

Plot: While studying the habits of web cam chat users from the apparent safety of her own home, a young woman’s life begins to spiral out of control after witnessing a grisly murder online.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Found Footage Done Right

 

Story: Hacked starts as Elizabeth Benton (Papalia) wants to get a student grant to spend her time experimenting on a social media site known as the Den. The idea is for Elizabeth to spend the time interacting with as many people from as any different places in the world.

When Elizabeth accepts the being able to chat to anybody in the world, she starts to experience the strange coming through as well as getting a repeat visit from the randomly generated chat selection with somebody hacking her computer to activate her account while she is sleeping. When Elizabeth witness what looks like a murder of one of the people she is chatting too, she finds herself freaked out and trying to solve the crime.

When Elizabeth’s boyfriend Damien (Schlachtenhaufen) goes missing he becomes the first of her friends and loved ones to be targeted by this serial killers.

 

Thoughts on Hacked

 

Characters/PerformanceElizabeth is the ambitious student attempting something different with her social studies course, she is committed to her idea but this does leave her outside her own social circle. She learns the dark side of the internet with her experiment. The rest of the characters are the generic boyfriend, bestie and or course family member. The next most interesting character is in fact the killers, as we want to learn about their motives.

Performance wise we have a great performance from Melanie Papalia who must be good or this film doesn’t work, she must carry everyone with her performance because she is in fact in nearly every scene, be it watching or taking part within. Saying this, I don’t feel anyone was bad they just don’t get the time.star

StoryThe story here shows how what can look like a harmless experiment is in fact the start of something much darker on the internet, we all know there is a dark corner to the internet and this shows how people can exploit it for their own sick fantasies.  This film also poses a warning for using random chatrooms because you could find yourself being a victim down the line.

Horror/MysteryThis film builds on the mystery as it just dives into the horror of what is really going on, slowly building the suspense until the final impact of this film.

SettingsThe settings are used very well because Elizabeth is only ever watching from her webcams which shows how helpless and almost clueless she is during the situation everything is unfolding in.

Special EffectsThe limited use of special effects are used when needed to make each attack or kill look just as shocking as it can be.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror film that is full of shock right until the final moments of the film.

 

Overall: Great horror that will give the found footage fans something to cheer for.

Ratingrating