The Blessed Ones (2016)

Director: Patrick O’Bell

Writer: Patrick O’Bell (Screenplay)

Starring: Dave Vescio, Andy Gates, Tamzin Brown, Jonathan Erickson Eisley, Michael O’Hare Wallace, Alex Essoe

 

Plot: The Blessed Ones shadows a tightly knit cult hiding in a remote desert enclave as they prepare for the impending apocalypse. Two dissenters try to escape through the vast desert wasteland as the cult embarks on a mass suicide pact.


Tagline – Death is only the beginning

Runtime: 1 Hour 19 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cult Filled Confusion

 

Story: The Blessed Ones starts as we learn from Spencer (Gates) about the cult run by Elyon (Vescio) who has arranged a mass suicide, that Spencer and Ursa (Brown) refused to take part in, they escape being chased down by the enforcer Draco (Eisley) who doesn’t want to see Elyon lose his followers.

While Spencer is recounting his time within the cult, we get a mix of flashback to other members on the cult who had been part of the suicide pact and wait to see if Ursa is still alive.

 

Thoughts on The Blessed Ones

 

Characters – Spencer is the one telling his side of the story, he escaped but refused to leave without the person that helped him get free of the compound. Elyon is the leader of the cult, he teaches his followers that they will find divine intervention if they follow his ways, while arranging the mass suicide. Ursa tries to escape with Spencer, but once they are separated she finds herself re-captured and held prisoner in the cult waiting for Elyon to finishes her off.

PerformancesThe performances here are no the best either with the guys who offer nothing new or the waste of the talented actresses from great movies, with Tamzin Brown from Tabloid Vivant or Alex Essoe from Starry Eyes.

StoryThe story is told in a way that is very difficult to keep up with, we jump around the timeline a lot, we follow characters shorter story which can go nowhere. The cult style movie has been done before and there is very little fresh you can bring to it by now which doesn’t help either. For m this is a disappointing step into the world, as you never believe the leader could have control over the followers and you end up with just a weak hard to follow film.

SettingsMost of the film is a mix of the desert or the compound, it leaves us wondering just which one has the biggest impact on the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Intruder.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Time jumping becomes too hard to follow.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that enters into the cult idea, but ends up coming off confusing from start to finish, it does try to have a brave finish, but by then you might have lost interesting in following this film.

 

Overall: Confusing is an understatement.

Rating

 

 

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The 5th Wave (2016)

5thDirector: J Blakeson

Writer: Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner (Screenplay) Ricky Yancey (Novel)

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Zackary Arthur, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Maika Monroe, Liev Schreiber, Maria Bello

 

Plot: Four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Another Young Adult Franchise

 

Story: The 5th Wave starts as Cassie (Moretz) shows just how deadly she has become before flashing back before everything has changed when alien ships turned up above towns. The first wave of the attack was taking out all the electricity in the world. The second wave was flooding the Earth. The third wave was a deadlier version of the bird flu crippling the surviving number. The 4th wave is the ‘Others’ becoming humans taking out any other survivors and this is where Cassie gets separated from everyone.

With Cassie along we see how Sergeant Reznik (Bello) building a new defence against the Others which is most child soldiers from the remaining survivors. This brings us to the 5th Wave and that is saved for a twist in the film but it this the beginning of the next franchise of young adult stories.

The 5th Wave is the latest in what feels like an endless run of them which luckily is dying out now. This one stands out slightly more because it jumps straight into the battle between the humans and alien invaders instead of wasting too much time building up to this in a later film. I do think this would be a good addition to the genre if we hadn’t had too much rubbish before it.

Chloe is good in the leading role but the character isn’t written as strong as she could have been, while the known adult actors are clearly having the story arc to make them the villainous roles. the rest of the teens are or children are very basic never really getting time to make the impact with the Robinson struggling to make the true impact in his role. This would be an interesting addition to the world of teen young adult films but came too late into the flood of them.

 

Overall: I do feel this would have been a good addition to the young adult genre but I feel we won’t see the whole story now.

Ratingcard

 

 

Blair Witch (2016)

blairDirector: Adam Wingard

Writer: Simon Barrett (Screenplay)

Starring: James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Corbin Reid, Brandon Scott, Wes Robinson, Valorie Curry

 

Plot: After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his vanished sister Heather, James and a group of friends head to the forest believed to be inhabited by the Blair Witch.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Prepare for Rant

 

Story: Blair Witch starts as we learn that James (McCune) preparing to continuing the search for his older sister who was the victim in the original Blair Witch Project. Now Lisa (Hernandez) is shooting a documentary with James and their friends Ashley (Reid), Peter (Scott), Lane (Robinson) and Talia (Curry) with the latest equipment to track and record from eye level.

As the journey into the woods starts it isn’t long before the witch of the woods starts playing games with them and the usual divide between continuing and giving up splits the group and they are going to become the latest victims of the witch in the woods.

Blair Witch is a sequel to one of the most popular horrors in the 90s that gave us an endless string of found footage films that really didn’t work. This is one of the films that I was never a true fan off because nothing really happens. Sadly, this ends up doing the same thing where we get plenty of running around screaming and shouting which ends up with shaky cam. This has all the potential to be one of the best sequels but in the end we learn very little extra and just get a draw a film which cash in for another horror franchise. I really wanted to see more because Adam Wingard is a great director with The Guest and You’re Next to his name but this film just fails to reach the levels of the two.

 

Overall: Disappointed sequel that just ends up being everything wrong with found footage films.

Rating30

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies (2016)

Director: Dominik Hartl

Writer: Armin Prediger, Dominik Hartl (Screenplay)

Starring: Laurie Calvert, Gabriela Marcinkova, Oscar Dyekjaer Giese, Margeaete Tiesel, Karl Fischer

 

Plot: Zombie action in the Alps: a group of young snowboarder is stuck in a remote mountain ski resort, where an all-night aprés-ski party soon turns into a hellish nightmare of zombie mayhem.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Horror Comedy

 

Story: Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies starts with locals of the alps trying to find a way to make fake snow to keep the tourist trade going strong. Meanwhile extreme snowboarders Steve (Calvert) and Josh (Giese) are performing for cameras with Steve’s girlfriend Branka (Marcinkova) trying to keep the hotshot in line.

When Steve’s latest showboat leaves the three friends stranded in a small alps resort that is the least of the problems, as the locals are slowly starting to turn into zombies thanks to the latest invention. Steve, Josh and Branka all must find a way to safety.

 

Thoughts on Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies

 

Characters/PerformanceSteve is the hotshot snowboarder who has gotten a reputation of being difficult to work with and this is no exception as he finds himself getting into trouble once more leading to his team being left on the mountain resort. Branka is the long-suffering girlfriend of Steve’s who is getting tired of him letting him down but this zombie outbreak gives him his last chance. Josh is the inexperienced snowboarder about to get his big break but only a supporting character.

Performance wise, I feel everyone is good in this film, they all understand their roles to make it all work without somebody trying to steal the show.

StoryThe story bottles down to snowboarders versus zombies, this is just the traditional zombie comedy by putting the location in a randomly unlikely place which can add different weapons into the story.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy comes from just what could be used to kill zombies in a ski resort with one incident involving ski sticks being very clever funny. The horror is all generic zombie material.

SettingsThe setting is important for this film because it adds to the comedy and unique style this film wants to have.

Special EffectsThe practical effects are all good but a couple of the snowboarding scenes you can the green screen being used.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun horror comedy that fits right in there with the best and enjoyable ones.

 

Overall: Horror comedy fans of the genre can all enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Pet (2016)

Director: Carles Torrens

Writer: Jeremy Slater (Screenplay)

Starring: Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo, Jennette McCurdy, Da’Vone McDonald, Nathan Parsons, Janet Song, Gary J Tunnucliffe

 

Plot: A psychological thriller about a man who bumps into an old crush and subsequently becomes obsessed with her, leading him to hold her captive underneath the animal shelter where he works. But what will the victim have in store for her captor?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Horror Film with a Twist

 

Story: Pet starts as we meet social awkward animal control warden Seth (Monaghan), he works at the local animal shelter where he connects with the animals more than the people. When Seth sees an old crush Holly (Solo) on the bus he enters her life in a harmless at first stalker way, turning up at her work, her ex-boyfriends bar before her home.

After constantly getting rejected and treated like a freak Seth decides to take things to a new level, by building a cage under the animal shelter. Seth abducts Holly locking her in the cage where no one can hear her, making her his own pet, so he can have the relationship he believes they have in his head as things take a twist along the way.

 

Thoughts on Pet

 

Characters/PerformanceSeth is the social awkward animal control warden who has never been any good with women but when he meets old school crush Holly, he decides to take her and try and save her so they can be together. Holly is the quiet waitress that Seth has a crush on, she recently broke up with her boyfriend but once she is captured we see a darker side to her character which helps take the film in a new direction. Claire is the best friend of Holly that helps her through decisions even when she is trapped in the cage.

Performance wise, Dominic Monaghan is good in this leading role where it becomes clear he is following Elijah Wood’s decision making by going into horror, even if the accent is slightly off at times. Ksenia Solo is good through the film as the potential victim but does a good job in the twist on the story.

StoryThe story follows what seems to be an awkward young man who abducts a victim to force her to fall in love with him, but the story does take a massive twist that makes it a psychological thriller as the two try to gain control of the situation and we are left wondering just how far this will go.

Horror The horror element is clear, girl get taken locked in cage by man, but it takes a turn as we learn more about the characters involved which shows how far people will go for love.

SettingsThe cage is under an animal shelter which does make for a brilliant setting because no one could hear her scream but the way the story goes leaves us wondering about the location needing to be that important.

Special EffectsThe effects are good when needed but are not overly important to the story.

Scene of the Movie – The moment one of the other employees discovers the cage and Holly.

I always get annoyed by one thing in a movie, this is that moment – I would say the police are incredible naïve here, they are watching cameras and never search every single possible room in the shelter when looking for the missing employee, this seems like a must do if they don’t believe they ever left.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror that gives us a good surprise with the twist, the lead acting is strong throughout even if the supporting cast don’t get enough screen time, it is one to watch and be left shocked by.

 

Overall: Twist filled horror gem.

Rating