ABC Film Challenge – Horror – H – Hazard Jack (2014)

Director: David Worth

Writer: David Worth, Doug Vandegrift (Screenplay)

Starring: Amanda Maddox, Kevin James Sporman, Alison Lani, Macauley Gray, Jason O’Neil Hudson

 

Plot: A group of college kids get together for a weekend of booze and war games at an abandoned hospital. The hospital has become the haven for a PTSD stricken war vet coping and acting upon his delusions. Who will survive the game?

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Uninspiring Horror

 

Story: Hazard Jack starts as we follow a large group of college student who locate the abandoned hospital for a weekend booze, sex and wargames, our main characters would be the organiser Earl (Sporman), the new team member Stella (Lani) and the old couple Bridget (Maddox) and Dillon (Gray).

The problem the students will face is the war veteran living in this hospital who is struggling to deal with the consequences of war that he likes to kill anyone that enters into his home. Who will survive the wargames turned deadly.

 

Thoughts on Hazard Jack

 

Characters – Bridget is the one of the group who is least interested in going, she is have relationship troubles with her boyfriend and a easy final girl figure.  Earl is the smartest of the guys who has the location scouted for the best location for wargames. Stella is the newest member of the team which gives us a reason to be told all the characters name in an introduction style. We do have a lot of students I think there are actually 6 just to have sex whose names are forgotten quickly, we also have a gay couple who are painfully generic.

PerformancesIt would be fair to say none of the actors in this movie get enough time to perform anywhere near their best, we have a good selection of actors here just to get naked too.

StoryKids go to abandoned location for booze and sex weekend and end up being picked off by a crazed serial killer, been here seen this, it does work but we needed less characters to focus on so we could focus on so we can care about the ones who are still alive. This isn’t the strongest of the gorefest storylines.

HorrorThe horror is all blood and gore as we follow the villain butchering the students.

SettingsThe abandoned hospital does make for a good setting because the characters don’t have anywhere to run and can party as loud as they like.

Special EffectsThe effects are good blood filled effects but away from that nothing is overly impressive.


Scene of the Movie –
End credits were good.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple blood splatter movie which spends too much time on boobs than kills.

 

Overall: Boring blood splatter fest.

Rating

 

 

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – D – Don’t Blink (2014)

Director: Travis Oates

Writer: Travis Oates (Screenplay)

Starring: Mena Suvari, Brian Austin Green, Joanne Kelly, Robert Picardo, Fiona Gubelmann, Zack Ward

 

Plot: Ten people arrive at a secluded mountain resort to find it completely deserted. With no gas for the return trip, the visitors are forced to stay and investigate the mystery surrounding the abandoned lodge.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Mystery, Not Solved

 

Story: Don’t Blink starts as our group of friends including Tracy (Suravi), Jack (Green), Claire (Kelly) and Alex (Ward) arrive at the ‘Last Stop’ lodge during the off season in a remote mountain top location, but the lodge is abandoned, food left on the table in a condition where it looks like everyone just vanished.

When the friends start disappearing from right under the noses they try to remain together but things only continue to get worse as the friends start to turn on themselves as the answer just continue to add to the mystery.

 

Thoughts on Don’t Blink

 

Characters – Tracy is the partner of Jack, she wants to use the weekend to announce big personal news as well as enjoying her time with friends. Jack is the partner of Tracy he also has an ex on the trip and must take control of the group keeping them calm when the friends start going missing. Claire provides the brains behind the logical side of everything going on as she understands what could have caused the problems. Alex is the loose cannon of the group being the panic side of everything, while the rest all fit the generic decisions that don’t go down well.

PerformanceMena Suvari is arguable the biggest name in the movie, she gives us a solid performance but doesn’t reach the levels we know of her, Joanne Kelly is most famous for her work in Warehouse 13 and this film doesn’t show her in the best light following the strong female lead from that show. Brian Austin Green is solid too and does bring the calm when needed.

StoryThe story revolves around the ten friends who find themselves in an abandoned lodge where they get picked off one by one as they just vanish. The story does test the friendships as everything unfolds and the pasts bring up moments that can have fingers pointed in all directions but it could be fair to say if you want a full answer you might not be satisfied by the end.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of the film comes from seeing you friends just vanish from literally under your nose, the mystery about it does point in one direction but we don’t learn the truth.

SettingsThe whole film is set in and around the lodge, they have no petrol which does create the isolation needed for the film.

Scene of the Movie – Amelia’s disappearance is sudden and shocking.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Casting Mena Suvari only to get rid of her within the first 20 minutes.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very good mystery film but doesn’t give enough answers to what has been going on.

 

Overall: Good mystery that needed to be solved.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – C – Creep (2014)

Director: Patrick Brice

Writer: Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass (Screenplay)

Starring: Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass

 

Plot: When a videographer answers a Craigslist ad for a one-day job in a remote mountain town, he finds his client is not at all what he initially seems.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 17 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull Enough

 

Story: Creep starts as Aaron (Brice) heads up into the mountains to record a video for Josef (Duplass) a man who doesn’t have much time on this Earth because of his latest cancer diagnosis. It doesn’t take long before it appears that Josef is not completely there and creepy but the pay day is important to Aaron.

When night falls the day should be over but when Aaron can’t find his keys he is left alone with this unstable man but this is only the beginning of the nightmare for Aaron.

 

Thoughts on Creep

 

Characters – Aaron is a cameraman hired to make a video for a dying man, he sees this as a quick day job for money but he isn’t prepared for what comes next as the man turns out to be a creepy and obsessive. Josef is the man that claims to be dying but as time goes by we learn he isn’t completely all there and starts stalking Aaron after their day together.

PerformancesKnowing this was just a two man film you are left seeing the two giving us a good performance through the film but when it comes to their other parts of the film you can see parts coming up short.

StoryWhen a man meets a creepy man we find ourselves in a weird talking situation. Here we have just end up follow the two around wondering why we are following the two and where things will go. We don’t get to not do much, not much happens it just has a small air of creepiness throughout.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror is on the creepy side of things but never hitting the heights it could.

SettingsThe two main settings work because the first cabin gives us an edge about things but once we leave it loses something.


Scene of the Movie –
Leave Now.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It just seems like we missed too much.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror thriller that doesn’t hit the marks it could have, it feels flat and never goes anyway in the end.

 

Overall: Misses the marks.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – A – ABCs of Death 2 (2014)

Directors: Rodney Ascher, Julian Barratt, Robert Boocheck, Alejandro Brugues, Kristina Buozye, Alexandre Bustillo, Larry Fessenden, Julian Gilbey, Jim Hosking, Lanclot Oduwa Imasuen, E L Katz, Aharon Keshales, Steven Kostanski, Marvin Kren, Juan Martinez Moreno, Erik Matti, Wolfgang Matzl, Julien Mury, Robert Morgan, Chris Nash, Vincenzo Natali, Hajime Ohata, Navot Papushado, Bill Plympton, Dennison Ramalho, Todd Rohal, Jerome Sable, Bruno Samper, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, Soichi Umezawa

 

Plot: Another 26-chapter anthology that showcases death in all its vicious wonder and brutal beauty.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: A Lot of Fun

 

Thoughts on

 

Favourite Letters – A – Amateur I liked this because it pokes fun at the slick nature people believe hitmen going through vents can be showing the truth about what you will find.
D – Deloused this is a delightfully twists animated tale that is everything from disturbing to disgusting.
L – Legacy, I liked this one because it is bold, bloody and entertaining.
N – Nexus, this is a well built up moment where we follow all the people involved before the final moment.
O – Ochlocracy, this short gives us a fresh look at the zombie genre.
S – Split, this is a story that could be run of the mill but clearly has the best twist of any of the short stories here.
T- Torture Porn
, this is one that went in a direction you didn’t see coming which adds shock value to it.
U – Utopia, this sums up modern society nicely for shocking effect.
Y – Youth, this is plain weird but also feels heart breaking throughout the story.
Z – Zygote, well this is a short story that is seriously twisted and delightful ending to these horror tales.


Hardest to Watch
H – Head Games, I think this is because it is bigger than expected because you could read into it the most.
K – Knell, I have this one here because I didn’t understand the end it at all.


Worst Letters
G – Grandad, this one just didn’t click and felt like filler.
P – P-P-P-P – Scary, this just felt like it was part comedy to full weird and not the type I like.

Biggest Disappointments
B – Badger, most because this felt like there was still five minutes to go which could have been the blood bath we got teased for.
I – Invincible, this is here much like B as it is a film you would like to have seen more from.


Ones That I Would Like to See a Full Feature – F – Falling
, this story feels like it could be a brilliant thriller that over a 90 minute could build characters up nicely for the climax.
Q – Questionnaire, this is an interesting one and could be turned into a very interesting horror film.


That Moment That Annoyed Me
V – Vacation, one because it is shot badly and two because the guys assholes.


Final Thoughts
In all fairness this has a lot of good chapters which are fun, bloody, gore and everything you like, if you like short horror stories go and enjoy.

 

Overall: Full fun horror chapter.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – W – A Winter’s Tale (2014)

Director: Akiva Goldsman

Writer: Akiva Goldsman (Screenplay) Mark Helprin (Novel)

Starring: Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe, William Hurt, Jennifer Connelly

 

Plot: A burglar falls for an heiress as she dies in his arms. When he learns that he has the gift of reincarnation, he sets out to save her.


Tagline – This is not a true story. This is true love.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Fantasy Romance

 

Story: A New York Winter’s Tale starts as we meet Peter Lake (Farrell) left an orphan in New York City to become one of the most notorious thieves in the city, working for Pearly (Crowe) their business agreement goes south and now he is after Peter, who is saved by a mysterious magical horse.

Needing to get out of town, the horse guides him to the sick Beverly Penn (Findlay) who changes his views on life, until he learns of his own powers that shine through in this world where fairy-tales are only on the surface.

 

Thoughts on A New York Winter’s Tale

 

Characters – Peter Lake is nothing more than a thief working in New York City, when he goes against the plans of his boss he becomes a wanted man on the run with only a mythical horse to guide him, this shows him the light and the power his possesses as he walks the world as an empty sole. Beverly Penn is an heiress that is going to be dying within the next year or so, she opens Peter’s heart to be the one thing he never thought he could steal, it is her that shows him where his life might go. Pearly is the man trying to stop any miracles happening in the world, part demon he controls the ability to have miracles happening with his gangster like persona.

PerformancesColin Farrell is good in this leading role, at it shows he can handle a role that isn’t in the stranger roles like he has headed towards in recent years. Jessica Brown Findlay is the least known of the big roles in this film and she is great opposite Farrell. Russell Crowe does make for great villain which is what we always like to see. We do have a great supporting cast performing that do work for the main roles.

StoryThe story gives us a blend of fairy tale ideas in a growing world, this is an interesting story of enteral love, meaning and placement on the Earth, which is something people can find themselves asking, their place in this world. This will give the romantic fans a happy story that will play on nearly every emotion and is one that does give you a feel good moment or two through the film.

Fantasy/Mystery/RomanceThe use of the fantasy in the growing world gives us hope that things could happen that surprise us, which is where the mystery comes from as we see where Peter ends up because of the love he once felt.

SettingsThe New York setting is used to show us that miracles could happen even in the biggest city in the world.

Special EffectsThe effects through the film are good without being overly used, even though certain moments do feel green screen heavy.


Scene of the Movie –
The miracle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While I think Russell Crowe is good in this film his accent seems to bounce around a lot.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good, feel good movies that will leave you with a smile, hope and enjoyment by the end of the film.

 

Overall: Fantasy feel good.

Rating