I Spit on Your Grave: Vengeance (2015)

Director: R.D. Braunstein

Writer: Daniel Gilboy (Screenplay)

Starring: Sarah Butler, Jennfier Landon, Doug McKeon, Gabriel Hogan, Harley Jane Kozak, Michelle Hurd

 

Plot: Jennifer Hills is still tormented by the brutal sexual assault she endured years ago. She’s changed identities and cities, reluctantly joining a support group where she begins to piece together a new life. But when her new friend’s murderer goes free and the tales of serial rapists haunt her, Jennifer will hunt down the men responsible and do what the system won’t – make them pay for their crimes in the most horrific ways imaginable. Only this time, no jury may be able to save her.


Tagline – Vengeance is a bitch.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Sequel

 

Story: I Spit on Your Grave: Vengeance is Mine starts as we follow Jennifer, now going by Angela (Butler) trying to get on with her life after the events in the first film, she is haunted by the sexual assault she suffered and has living fantasies about killing any man that comes offensive towards her.

Joining a support group for rape victims, Angela meets Marla (Landon) who wants to make guys pay for their behaviour, while it starts with pranks and minor assault because Angela knows the consequences of full vengeance, though this change when Marla is murdered by her ex-boyfriend that walks for the crime. Angela turns to her vigilante way to get her own revenge for her friend’s death.

 

Thoughts on I Spit on Your Grave: Vengeance is Mine

 

Characters – Jennifer/Angela, is the victim from the first movie that got her revenge on her rapist, now back in the real world, she is still experiencing nightmares from sexual assault and fantasies of killing anyone that shows any sexual interest, be it a look or inappropriate touching. This becomes a reality once her new friend is killed and now she sets out to kill anyone that has victimised members of the rape support group. Marla is the new friend Angela makes, she has been a victim of an abusive ex-boyfriend and gets to show a looser side when working with Angela to get their message across to the guys in their lives. Oscar is a member of the support group that has seen his daughter raped before she killed herself and the rapist walked free, he talks the revenge game, never sure whether to take the step. Detective McDylan is investigating the murder of Marla and tries to help Angela when the suspect gets murdered, this is a generic cop figure.

PerformancesSarah Butler returns to the franchise (that what it is now?) she is clearly the star of the show here and continues to bring us a strong character in every scene. Jennifer Landon is good in her supporting role getting to be wild at times. Sadly, the rest of the cast are just fine, while the characters they are playing are interesting, we don’t get to see much from them as the film is centred around Sarah’s character and interactions with these characters.

StoryThe story here picks up with the life of Jennifer as she has tried to start a new life after the events in the previous film, yes, we skip the second films events all together. This brings us back to the real world where the hate she feels is still strong, though the motive to act on it is being held back, until her friend is murdered and now she needs to get back to her blood vengeance she is going through to help clean up the streets.

HorrorThe horror from this film comes from the horrors that the victims have been through and how Angela goes out to get her own justice.

SettingsThe film being set in the big city, is a big change, it shows us how the city can be filled with people you would never know their darker secrets and how cleaning them up can be difficult.

Special EffectsThe effects in this movie are used lightly, but when they are used they are brutal and effective to show the horror being put on the victim.


Scene of the Movie –
The first real murder, it is graphic as they come.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many dream sequences.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good sequel to a film that didn’t feel like it needed one, showing the lasting effects of what happened to Jennifer is the highlight of the film and something you do want to continue watching.

 

Overall: Nice sequel that works in the right ways.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – U – Unnatural (2015)

Director: Hank Braxtan

Writer: Arch Stanton, Ron Carlson (Screenplay)

Starring: James Remar, Sherilyn Fenn, Ron Carlson, Grahan Greene, Ray Wise, Allegra Carpenter

 

Plot: Global climate change prompts a scientific corporation to genetically modify Alaskan polar bears with horrific and deadly results.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Forgettable Creature Feature

 

Story: Unnatural starts with a global warming warning and something going wrong at a research lab, we go onto meet Martin (Remar) who has bought a photographer and his models to the snow filled location in Alaskan for a photoshoot. We also get the warning of polar bears create by the locals who use them as a warning, or in this case a myth.

When a creature eats one of the models and a guide, Martin must protect the remaining members of the photoshoot including photographer Brooking (Carlson) and stranger Dr Hanna Lindval (Fenn) from the threat outside, a mutated polar bear.

 

Thoughts on Unnatural

 

Characters – Martin is the expert in the area where the photoshoot takes place, he knows the wildlife and how to deal with any threats that come his way and must protect the people who are not used to the threat. Dr Lindval was part of the research team that created the polar bear, she is desperate to survive once it is free but does know more than she is letting on. Brooking in the photographer on the shoot, he does lack the guts to defend himself from the threat. We also have the models but they are here to look pretty through the terror.

PerformanceJames Remar is clearly the biggest draw in this film and he is good without being his best, when you look into the other performance we get the mystery from Fenn and the annoying wimpy guy from Carlson hitting the marks we are expecting to see in the film like this.

StoryGroup of people in Alaska with no escape must rely on one expert to keep them safe against an unknown creature for a set amount of days, well this is easy enough to go with and stops a lot of pointless discussion about trying to get help when there isn’t any, we also have the characters getting picked off in the random order like you would expect which is fine too.

Action/HorrorThe action is mostly running from the attacks from the creature which isn’t the most impressive either.

SettingsThe setting is the highlight as we have the group trapped with nowhere to run for the 3 days before the next plan arrives.

Special EffectsThe effects look mostly practical as we barely get to see the monster apart from in the shadows.

Scene of the Movie – The first attack is a fun moment.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t see enough of the creature.

Final ThoughtsThis is a forgettable creature feature that tries to ask bigger questions but doesn’t seem to want to try and answer them.

 

Overall: Not one of the best.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – T – Tank 432 (2015)

Director: Nick Gillespie

Writer: Nick Gillespie (Screenplay)

Starring: Rupert Evans, Steve Garry, Deirdre Mullins, Michael Smiley, Gordon Kennedy

 

Plot: A team of mercenaries confront nightmarish visions when they become trapped inside an armoured personnel carrier.


Tagline –  There’s no turning back.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fails to Deliver

 

Story: Tank 432 starts as we follow army squad Reeves (Evans), Gantz (Garry), Karlsson (Mullins), Capper (Smiley), Smith (Kennedy) and Evans (Meeten) as they are alluding an unknown enemy, in an unknown woodland area, where they come across the last squad while coming down with a sickness.

When the unit discovers an armoured vehicle they use it for shelter from the approaching enemy but also find themselves locked in the vehicle where they discover they may have been infected by something because they all start seeing nightmare visions.

 

Thoughts on Tank 432

 

Characters – Reeves is one of the younger members of the unit, he seems like the newest member often making rookie mistakes in the eyes of other members of the unit. Capper is the injured member of the unit, he is left to defend for himself as the unit needs to move out quickly. Karlsson is the medic in the unit needing to take care of the injuries to Capper and the mental state of the random girl they find. The soldier all hit the generics of what you expect without giving too much about their lives outside of the unit away.

PerformancesThe performances across the board are good enough for the film, with most of the cast trapped inside the tank it doesn’t give them much to do other than sit around talk and searching for answers.

StoryThe story follows the unit as they look to survive from an unknown enemy, this is where a lot of this films story falls apart because, we don’t know their mission, where it is or what they are running from. It spends too long inside the tank trying to figure out a way out without any threat coming from the outside, for this film to hit the marks we needed to see more of the nightmare effects of whatever is meant to be going on which would explain the fear they are facing but not enough is revealed until the final act.

Action/HorrorThe action isn’t as heavy as we would like it too be, we have random shooting and a driving sequence the rest is waiting for something to happen. The horror is there just not as much as we would like it to be, the moments of the vision offer something but don’t deliver in the final punch.

SettingsMost of the film is set inside the vehicle, which I can accept being good for a confined setting waiting for an enemy but we don’t see the enemy do anything against them.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well when needed but the film doesn’t turn to them, which is a good thing.


Scene of the Movie –
Capper’s return.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough happens.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that disappoints in the most part, it doesn’t hit the levels it could and we are left wondering just where the film was meant to be going for the most part.

 

Overall: Disappoint horror that misses the chances it had.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – S – The Sand (2015)

Director: Isaac Gabaeff

Writer: Alex Greenfield, Ben Powell (Screenplay)

Starring: Brooke Butler, Cleo Berry, Cynthia Murell, Dean Geyer, Meagan Holder, Mitchel Musso

 

Plot: After an all-night graduation beach party, a group of hung-over twenty-somethings awake to a beating sun, and a seemingly carnivorous beach that devours anything with a heartbeat that touches the sand.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Idea, Terrible Script

 

Story: The Sand starts when graduates Kaylee (Butler), Gilbert (Berry), Ronnie (Murell), Jonah (Geyer), Chanda (Holder), Mitch (Musso) and others have an all-night beach party the hangover is going to be the least of their worries.

The friends find themselves trapped on the whatever they can to avoid the sand which devours anything with a heartbeat that touches it, now the friends must figure out how to get off the beach before they can become victims of whatever is in the sand.

 

Thoughts on The Sand

 

Characters – College students, well we love them being the characters in horror films because even with their education they shouldn’t make panic filled decisions. Kaylee is the smartest and most responsible of the students who is looking forward to her final exams, Gilbert the big guy who gets wedge in a trash can, that is about his character rounded up, Ronnie is the one that just shouts out what could be causing the sand to react the way it is, we don’t really learn too much about any of these characters to be honest.

PerformanceLooking at the performances you can’t help but laugh because due to the awfully written script the actors don’t stand a chance in this film, the reactions from all are terrible, one character says they are in 1000x more pain than a jellyfish sting and it sounds just like they kicked their toe. The performance all around are terrible and you can’t see a single good thing about them.

StoryAfter trashing the script and performances this part will be strange, I did like the idea of the group of friends trapped on the beach with something waiting to eat them in the most painful way possible. I feel this compares to the Creepshow short with the friends trapped on the wooden island with the blob dissolving anything that comes into the water. The problem with the story comes from the characters involved who don’t make normal decisions, the logical ones are clear here and nobody bothers to take any of them one.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror does come from the fate the students will face if they touch the sand which dissolves anyone that touches it. The sci-fi side comes from just what could be in the sand is not of this world.

SettingsThe beach does make for a wonderful setting for this film because it is a normal location people go to and the new threat adds to something people could experience there.

Special EffectsThis is a low budget film so the CGI isn’t going to be great and you can see it through ever scene it is used in.

Scene of the Movie – Barrel of laughs.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The dialogue between the characters is so bad, it is either you slept with my boyfriend or is X alright just after they are dissolved.

Final ThoughtsThis film does have a good concept but it fails to use this idea to the full extent due to awful performance and dialogue between the characters.

 

Overall: Fails to use what is has, to become great.

Rating

 

 

Hugh Jackman Weekend – Pan (2015)

Director: Joe Wright

Writer: Jason Fuchs (Screenplay) J.M. Barrie (Characters)

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Levi Miller, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Adeel Akhtar, Nonso Anozie, Amanda Seyfried

 

Plot: Twelve-year-old orphan Peter is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and danger, and ultimately discovers his destiny — to become the hero who will be for ever known as Peter Pan.


Tagline – Every legend has a beginning.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacks That True Spark

 

Story: Pan starts when young Peter (Miller) is in an orphanage in London during World War II, he notices that the other orphans have been disappearing, when he final abduction occurs Peter is taken by Blackbeard’s (Jackman) men and taken to Neverland. Blackbeard is mining for fairy dust and using the orphans to make this happen.

When Peter breaks the rules he is sentenced to death which only unlocks his own powers to fly, where a fellow prisoner James Hook (Hedlund) helps him escape and search the land for answers about his mother with the help of the tribal people led by Tiger Lily (Mara) who have been at war with the pirates, Peter must unlock his own destiny to save the land.

 

Thoughts on Pan

 

Characters – Peter is an orphan during World War II, stuck in a boys home, he believes something is happening and wants to be reunited with his mother, taken to Neverland, he learns that he has an ability unlike anyone else, he just needs to learn to believe in himself. Blackbeard has been taking orphans to help him mine for fairy dust in Neverland, he runs a strict ship which Peter upsets, however this will put Blackbeard closer than ever to getting what he wants. Hook is one of the miners that helps Peter escape, he wants to be free with his own tragic backstory. Tiger Lily has been leading the war against Blackbeard for years now, she knows the secrets to the fairies and now must protect them at all costs.

PerformancesLevi Miller as the young Peter is good because he shows us the innocence needed for this film while dealing with the emotional impact his life is having. Hugh Jackman does seem to be having a lot of fun in this role even if he is overacting at times. Garrett Hedlund just can’t catch a break, his performance is solid enough, though it does feel like he just wanted to be the next Han Solo. Rooney Mara again is solid, it looks like a role which meant something to her and will help her take on the bigger roles.

StoryThe story is an origin story for Peter Pan and Hook, well it seems to be, Peter is in the human world where he is an orphan taken to Neverland to help fight in a war between the two sides who want control of the fairy dust, he works with Hook which is strange because he is a good guy. The film shows us why Peter never wanted to leave Neverland and just what is meant to him once he learns about his parent’s identity. When we look deeper at the story it does feel like a pretty safe story and by having Peter needing to learn his own identity before going on to be the character we know now. The problem comes from any moment of peril he is in or Hook we know they will make it out of there because we know their story is only just beginning. The additional problem comes from just how Hook is a good guy and doesn’t get given any moments to tease his villainous ways.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of the film is good because it shows a new life Peter could have away from the war his own reality is involved in, this does take us to the fantasy world of Neverland which only seems to have one unique animal in, but it has magic.

SettingsThe film uses the colour tones well, we see the darkness which shows us how bleak Peter’s real-life is, while giving us the bright open world of Neverland to show the hope of a future.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are solid enough without looking as flawless as they should, though the overly ambitious nature to it all doesn’t help.


Scene of the Movie –
Hook’s escape plan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not filling enough of the blanks between the time period.

Final ThoughtsThis is another cash-in on a franchise which feels overly done, it doesn’t capture the rue magic and only ends up confusing the time between the movies.

 

Overall: Magicless fantasy film.

Rating