A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

Director: Ana Lily Amirpour

Writer: Ana Lily Amirpour (Screenplay)

Starring: Sheila Vand, Arash Maranadi, Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marno, Dominic Rains, Rome Shadanloo

 

Plot: In the Iranian ghost-town Bad City, a place that reeks of death and loneliness, the townspeople are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautifully Shot Modern Day Vampire Classic

 

Story: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night starts in a small Iranian town as we follow the drug culture sweeping through the city with Saeed (Rains) supplying all the drugs as Arash (Marandi) does all he can to help his junkie father Hossein (Manesh).

When a mysterious girl (Vand) arrives in the town she appears only at night searching for her victims as her addiction isn’t a drug but the blood of humans, she is a vampire that hunts on the bad people sparing the innocent ones, but she must work out just who are the innocent.

 

Thoughts on A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

 

Characters/PerformanceThe Girl is a very mysterious character, she stalks the people of the town at night as she witnesses the good and bad people do, but when she starts to see the grey in people’ actions she aims to learn more about who they really are before selecting her victims. Arash is a young man who works for a drug dealer to support his father’s addiction, he finds himself deep in the world once the Pimp of the town is killed but also having a connection to the mysterious girl. Hossein is the junkie hooked on the drug going around the town pushing his son away as his addiction is taking control of his life pushing him towards the bad ways.

Sheila is brilliant as the vampire girl that hunts for her victims, she is filled it the beauty of the innocence needed for the role and the fear needed for the feeding scenes. Arash Marandi is also great in this role showing how he could be going down the wrong path as well as seeing the light of a new future at the end of the tunnel.

StoryThe story is easy to follow, we have a small town drowning in sin, be it drugs, prostitution of just general depression. We also have a girl, well a vampire who comes into town to search for victims that have been sinning as she spares the innocent. This is a fresh approach to the vampire genre one that keeps us curious as to her actions throughout the film.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy side of this film comes from a vampire cleaning up a town, yes this isn’t overly great but it works. The horror side comes from the overall creepiness created by the mysterious girl’s appearance as we know just how deadlier she can be and watching her stalk the victims in just as frightening.

SettingsThe settings used are all within one small town that is one you can see people in their weakest states in, there is nothing pretty about this town it is down, dirty and full of people ready to give up on life.

Special EffectsThe special effects are not used that often but when they are we are left to see how the vampire attacks come off.

Final ThoughtsThis film has an excellent us of music to describe the tone of each scene, the black and white shooting is also a brilliant touch for the film, the fresh spin on vampires is another plus and I can safely say you should believe the hype on this film.

 

Overall: Easily one of the best modern day vampire films.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Possession of Michael King (2014)

Director: David Jung

Writer: David Jung (Screenplay) David Jung, Tedi Sarafian (Story)

Starring: Shane Johnson, Ella Anderson, Cara Pifko

 

Plot: After poor advice from a psychic leads to the death of his wife, a man vows to disprove the existence of the paranormal by allowing himself to be possessed by demons.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Possession Film

 

Story: The Possession of Michael King starts as documentary film maker Michael King (Johnson) wants to record as much of his family life with wife Samantha (Pifko) and daughter Elli (Anderson). When Samantha is killed in an accident, Michael blames a fortune teller that told Samantha to not travel because success will be coming her way.

Michael frustrated with the loss of his wife decides to enter a new documentary film, one where he investigation the proof of the demons and the afterlife, setting up cameras around his own home to capture any evidence.

Michael visits different people who claim to be able to communicate with demon, the dead or anything supernatural but then he finds himself losing his mind, believing he has been possessed by a demon of sorts.

 

Thoughts on The Possession of Michael King

 

Characters/PerformanceMichael is the grieving father that dives into the dark worlds in search for answers to why his wife was taken, this puts his daughter’s life in danger as the deeper he gets the darker the demons he discovers. When you look at the rest of the characters you only have the daughter that is there not doing much, the sister which is the same and the clips of the wife that try to guide him to light.

Performance wise, Shane Johnson is good in the leading role but it is hard to rate any of the rest of the cast as we spend nearly all of the film watching Michael’s action.

StoryThe story focuses on one man searching for the answers in the afterlife, this isn’t the most original when it comes to how everything goes down but it doesn’t reach level you wouldn’t expect it to go, I also did find the look at different ideas of summoning a demon as we follow Michael go through different ideas to learn how they can come about. This is one for the possession film fans to enjoy.

HorrorThe possession angles being used in this film are brilliant, but with certain moments of found footage don’t completely add up.

SettingsMost of the horror happens within the house which is all good, we the scenes outside show the different worlds that the demon community believe they can summon something from.

Special EffectsThe effects are good throughout and the found footage works to hide moments too.

Final ThoughtsThis is a possession film that does what you need it to, it goes in new direction in places because it doesn’t focus on an innocent victim becoming possessed rather focusing on someone searching for something to happen.

 

Overall: Enjoyable possession film.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)

takingDirector: Adam Robitel

Writer: Adam Robitel, Gavin Heffernan (Screenplay)

Starring: Jill Larson, Anne Ramsay, Michelle Ang, Brett Gentile, Jeremy DeCarlos, Ryan Cutrona, Tonya Bludsworth

 

Plot: An elderly woman battling Alzheimer’s disease agrees to let a film crew document her condition, but what they discover is something far more sinister going on.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Shock Filled Horror

 

Story: The Taking of Deborah Logan starts as the film crew Mia Medine (Ang), Gavin (Gentile) and cameraman Luis (DeCarlos) head out to record the Logan family with Sarah (Ramsay) arranging it all for the interview of Deborah (Larson). The concept of the documentary film is to study how Alzheimer’s diseases effects the victim and the family around them. When even stranger events than the effects of the disease start happening, the doctors are just as confused what is causing the problems with Deborah’s behaviour. As the days and night continue the events become strange and even more interesting as a link to a past unsolved case could hold the truth to what has been going on.

The Take of Deborah Logan is a found footage film that makes sense for the recording to continue as it starts off as a documentary about illness and solving the situation once it hits the supernatural side of everything. The horror side of the story comes through very strong throughout the film as we see just how far into the truth we go and the ending will leave you even more shocked than you could have imagined.

Jill Larson is truly terrifying in the title role with Anne Ramsay giving us a good performance as the one trying to care for her mother. Michelle Ang is good as the journalist looking for a story that actually cares for the family enough to risk her own life which comes through in her performance but it is this film where the men are written quite weakly with none of them getting too involved with the final outcome of the story. this is a horror that is filled with shocks and the final one is one of the most shockingly terrifying ones in recent cinema.

 

Overall: Horror that builds and builds till the shocking ending.

Ratingcard

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Appearing (2014)

Director: Daric Gates

Writer: Daric Gates, Matthew J Ryan (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Wallace, Dean Cain, Don Swayze, Quinton Aaron, Emily Brooks, Wolfgang Bodison

 

Plot: A woman once possessed by a mysterious entity uncovers a shocking secret about her past and must face the demon that dwells inside of her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Terrible ‘Horror’

 

Story: The Appearing starts with the school kids giving us the information about the haunted house and the truth about what happened there, because back story. we move onto meeting our main characters, Michael (Wallace) who is the new deputy escaping the big city with his wife Rachel (Brooks) to work under Sheriff Hendricks (Swayze).

The first day on the job Michael finds himself working a missing persons case when one of the high school girls has gone missing, while his wife is dealing with her own grief from their tragic loss back in the big city.

When the mystery seems to be connected, the answers might well be found in the mental home where Dr Shaw (Cain) or Father Callahan (Bodison) both know about the history of the town.

 

Thoughts on The Appearing

 

Characters/PerformanceMichael is the deputy that is trying to start a new life with his wife after the tragedy. He snaps easily when questioning subjects and not as friendly when it comes to dealing with the town’s people. Dr Shaw is the good doctor caring about his patients but otherwise plays the science side of the supernatural idea. Sheriff Hendricks has a good relationship with the town’s people but also has a dark past. Rachel is the wife of Michael who is suffering through the paranormal side of the story while dealing with the loss of their child.

Performance wise, well here is the questions because none of the cast are very convincing in the film, which full takes us out of the story involved.

StoryThe story here is also a problem, we spend way too much time with the missing persons case that when we finally get to see the bigger picture of the previous incident within the story. if we had started with this story I feel we would understand the connection earlier and be waiting for the twists in the past story too.

Horror/MysteryThere isn’t much horror going on here and the mystery angle is very misleading taking us in a direction we don’t need to go before the final outcome.

SettingsThe small-town setting is fine but not used to the full effect other than some beautiful shots early on.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all mostly flashing lights and never become believable as the story is unfolding.

Final ThoughtsThis was just bad, bad storytelling, bad acting and bad idea.

 

Overall: Appearing, I wish it was Disappearing.

Rating

 

 

A Long Way Down (2014)

Director: Pascal Chaumeil

Writer: Jack Thorne (Screenplay) Nick Hornby (Novel)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots, Aaron Paul, Zara White, Joe Cole, Sam Neill

 

Plot: Four people meet on New Year’s Eve and form a surrogate family to help one another with the difficulties of their lives.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Underrated Gem

 

Story: A Long Way Down starts on New Year’s Eve as disgraced TV celebrity Martin (Brosnan) is planning to kill himself only to get interrupted by the lonely Maureen (Collette), heartbroken Jess (Poots) and cancer stricken JJ (Paul) who are also using the same rooftop to plan their suicide.

All going against the suicide the four make a pact to not kill themselves until at least Valentine’s day and support each other through the six weeks once the tabloids want to make a story of why they were together. The four become good friends exposing their own secrets to why they want to escape their lives.

 

Thoughts on A Long Way Down

 

Characters/PerformanceMartin is the disgraced TV talk show host, his small mistake has ruined his career, his family and even finding himself in jail. Now out of jail he wants to kill himself to get away from the headlines. Maureen is a single mother spending everyday looking after her disabled son, not getting any real free time. Jess is the daughter of politician whose sister vanished a few years before, she is a lost soul in the world turning to the drinks and drugs. JJ is an American musician who can’t find his place in the world.

Performance wise, I feel all four of the main actors give brilliant performances, Paul and Poots both show that this could be one of their best of their careers in film, while Brosnan and Collette must have theirs put on their underrated performances of their careers.

StoryThe story shows the struggles everyday people can have with depression, it shows that you can get support from people you didn’t even know. I think this film tackles the issues of depression on a brilliant level, and shows just how you can find light in the strangest places.

SettingsThe settings are used to show just how different the location these four have come from, it shows just how important finding help outside your comfort zone can be.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film I didn’t expect too much from and I can say I truly enjoyed the film, the characters all feel real, their problems feel real and most importantly the answers to the problems didn’t cure everything they helped them realizes how important they are.

 

Overall: This is a very underrated film I feel people should be seeing.

Rating