The Terror of Hallow’s Eve (2017) Movie Review

Director: Todd Tucker

Writer: Zack Ward (Screenplay) Ronald L Halvas, Todd Tucker (Story)

Starring: Caleb Thomas, Sarah Lancaster, Annie Read, JT Neal, Mcabe Gregg, Niko Papastefanou

Plot: After a fifteen-year-old is brutally beaten up by High School bullies, his wish for revenge unknowingly unleashes the Terror of Halloween.

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Lacks the Punch

Story: The Terror of Hallow’s Eve starts as we meet monster enthusiast Tim (Thomas) who likes to play pranks around the neighbourhood, despite his mother Linda’s (Lancaster) wishes, after Tim accidentally dinks the car of high school bully Brian (Neal), his goons look to pick a fight, beating him up, leading him to make a wish with a pumpkin on Halloween night.

Little does Tim know, he summons the Trickster (Jones) who will bring him a chance to get revenge of the bullies all on one bloody Halloween night.

Thoughts on The Terror of Hallow’s Eve

Characters – Tim has always been interested in designing monsters, it has left has a bit of an outsider, that likes to use pranks to scare the locals, only he attracts the attention of bullies who beat him up. Upset he makes a throw away wish in a pumpkin that summons a monsters that gets the revenge, only he needs to figure out how to stop it when it gets out of control. He will also do anything to impress the crush he has too. Linda is the mother of Tim who has been struggling to keep everything together, needing work extra shifts, while making sure Tim doesn’t get himself into trouble. April is the crush that has always been nice to Tim through the years, but has poor selection in boys. Brian is the leader of the bullies, with his fancy car being the starting point, he will always look down on people no matter who they are, used women and pick on people smaller than him.

PerformancesCaleb Thomas might well have the best look for the role, he is the best of a weak cast, which is more about the weak story giving the actors very little to work, they just don’t get going in their roles, never coming off believable.

StoryThe story here follows a lonely high school student that accidentally summons an evil presence to get revenge on the people holding him back in life. The problem with this story is that the trickster doesn’t just go after the ones Tim wants revenge on and gets out of control, it just leaves you scratching your head about what is going on, is seems like everything happens way to fast, without giving us a chance to digest what happened and the sudden character change from harmless prankster to school loser, seems to sudden. It is just a story that just doesn’t get to live up to what it wants to be.

HorrorThe horror doe shave blood splatter, with a creature in The Trickster, only it just doesn’t feel as scary as possible.

SettingsMost of the film uses two locations, the shop which has the incident and the house where the horrors happen, it is generic and doesn’t use the environment to increase the horror.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are basic, with Doug Jones looking the creepy character involved being the only strong point in the film.

Scene of the Movie – The Trickster character.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The Trickster’s actions.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that doesn’t connect on the levels it wants to ending up feeling rushed and not scary at all.

Overall: Dull Horror.

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – Y – You, Me and Him (2017) Movie Review

Director: Daisy Aitkens

Writer: Daisy Aitkens (Screenplay)

Starring: David Tennant, Lucy Punch, Faye Marsay, Sarah Parish, Gemma Jones, David Warner, Nina Sosanya, Sally Phillips

Plot: In You, Me and Him we meet lesbian couple Olivia and Alex (Lucy Punch, Faye Marsay) who, despite their age difference, are very much in love. But as the question of pregnancy rears its head and their neighbour John (David Tennant) befriends them, they both start making some truly disastrous decisions.

Tagline – Two’s company, three’s a total nightmare.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Comedy That Takes A Dark Turn

Story: You, Me and Him starts as we meet successful Olivia (Punch) who is reaching 40 and living with her younger girlfriend Alex (Marsay) who is a struggling artist who has never made any money from her work, with Olivia getting to the stage where she wants a baby, she asks Alex if she is ready and even starts the early steps herself, only Alex gets drunk and sleeps with their neighbour John (Tennant) getting herself pregnant too.

As both woman aim to keep their babies, the plan is to have them together, while letting John being part of his own child’s birth, which only continues to see him getting in the way of their own relationship, can the three learn to get along for the baby’s sake.

Thoughts on You, Me and Him

Characters – Olivia is the successful career driven woman that sees her biological clock ticking, deciding she would like to have her own child with her girlfriend, she does make this decision without asking here, which shows that she is the bossier of the two, having everything in her life together more than Alex, she struggles to deal with the idea that Alex gets pregnant through John, not wanting him around their baby. Alex is the artist girlfriend that hasn’t been able to make much money, she drinks, smoke and gets high with her friends, she ends up getting pregnant herself with the neighbour on a drunken night. The two do seem very different for the most part showing opposites can attract. John is the neighbour who has just gone through a divorce. He is often in appropriate when talking to the couple and after the night with Alex, he wants to be part of the baby’s life, getting himself more involved in their life, even if Olivia doesn’t want him around.

PerformancesLucy Punch is strong in this film, you can see her bringing out the hysterics when her character is panic through most of the problems. Faye Marsay does bring the common woman to life, while her character might feel like she is out of a sitcom more than a film, she makes her one we want to support in the film. David Tennant does get the most laughs in the film, showing he can do the comedy with ease.

StoryThe story here follows a lesbian couple that decide to have a baby, only for both to get pregnant, with the man that got one pregnant wanting to be part of life, as the complication of pregnancy hits the couple hard. The story does follow the 9 months of the pregnancy which shows how the women are trying to sort out their futures ready for the serious next stage of their life. We do get to look at issues that are real and most people could have to go through, like parental approval, though we do have a very dark side to the story which can shock you once it hits. We do keep most of the story feeling British throughout which might see certain aspects missing for the worldwide audience.

ComedyThe comedy comes mostly with how the women see John and how John acts through the film.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the one location, which sees the everyday life of the couple, we see how close neighbours can be too.

Scene of the Movie – John’s football.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The dark twist is completely out of nowhere.

Final Thoughts This is a comedy that does tackle some serious problems in life, while getting to see how life can change when the pregnancy happens.

Overall: Nice Comedy.

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – X – Goon: Last of the Enforcers (2017)

This is under X because of the character Xavier.

Director: Jay Baruchel

Writer: Jay Baruchel, Jesse Chabot, Evan Goldberg (Screenplay) Adam Frattasio, Douglas Smith (Book)

Starring: Seann William Scott, Alison Pill, Marc-Andre Grondin, Liev Schreiber, Wyatt Russell, Kim Coates, Elisha Cuthbert

Plot: A hockey player plagued by injuries is confronted with the possibility of retirement when a tough new player challenges his status as the league’s top enforcer.

Tagline – Twice as hard as the first time.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Misses Most the Punchlines

Story: Goon: Last of the Enforcers starts when Doug (Scott) meets his match on the hockey rink in Anders Cain (Russell) leading to fresh injuries and him thinking about retiring when his wife Eva (Pill) is expecting their first child.

With Doug out of the game the team owner signs Anders, which starts turning the team including Doug’s best friend Xavier LaFlamme (Grondin) upset with the new style of management. Doug turns to his old enemy Ross Rhea (Schreiber) to help him rebuild his career before deciding the next step of his career.

Thoughts on Goon: Last of the Enforcers

Characters – Doug is the toughest ice hockey player in the game on the rink, off the rink he is one of the nicest guys of the sport, he looks after his team, he suffers an injury from a young upstart and is about to start his own family, he must consider his future in the sport and he finds it hard to walk away from the sport he loves. Eva is his ever-supporting wife of Doug that is expecting their first child and is happy to support him as long as he is there for her. Xavier LaFlamme is the goal scorer for the team, he knows he can trust Doug to get his back only for him to not enjoy playing under Anders. Ross Rhea is the old enemy for Doug, a man that he can see his life heading down the same path if he continues with his own injuries.

PerformancesSeann William Scott is the best part of the film, he can play this character with ease being the slightly dim-witted figure, while the friendly presence to the team. Alison Pill does give us a great supporting performance as the wife that does go through the fear of seeing her husband hurt. Marc-Andre Grondin, Liev Schreiber and Wyatt Russell complete the main cast of hockey players and they are all doing what is needed.

StoryThe story here follows Doug the most famous enforcer in ice hockey only after he gets knocked out by a young upstart, he must decide his professional future as he is reaching the end of his career, or return to get one over the man that took him down. The problem with this story comes from the fact we do have a smart idea about trying to decide whether somebody wants to stay in their sport or not, which is interesting, only for the story seemingly focusing too much on Anders daddy issues, which strangely does become the most important part of the film’s story. If you don’t understand the league system in hockey either, you will find a lot of this story confusing too.

Comedy/SportsThe comedy in this film does feel like very forced jokes that are not tonally matching everything that is going on, the sports side of the film only wants to focus on the violence inside the sport of ice hockey.

SettingsThe film is set in the locations you would see hockey players, their homes, their bars and their stadiums, this all works without being anywhere that takes the film away from the story it is telling.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are mostly around the fights which show the brutal hits, blood splatter and bruises covering the faces of the players.

Scene of the Movie – The last walk.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Focusing to much on the daddy issues that Anders has.

Final Thoughts This is a simple follow up to the great comedy, it tries to show the different lives that the players now have and how older players will need to face a new reality.

Overall: Simple but not funny sequel.


Lucky (2017) Movie Review

Director: John Carroll Lynch

Writer: Logan Sparks, Drago Sumonja (Screenplay)

Starring: Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston, Ed Begley Jr, Tom Skerritt, Barry Shabaka Henley

Plot: The spiritual journey of a ninety-year-old atheist.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Beautiful Tale

Story: Lucky starts as we meet Lucky (Stanton) who is an elderly man in a small town that knows everybody, has respect everyone in town and has remarkable strong health for a man his age. Lucky has started to see his friends Howard (Lynch) preparing for his future, while Dr Kneedler (Begley Jr) doesn’t know how he has remained healthy.

When Howard starts prepare for his future with his lawyer Bobby Lawrence (Livingston), Lucky starts to look through his own life, even starting to plan for his own next chapter, once he is gone.

Thoughts on Lucky

Characters – Lucky is an elderly man lonely man that has been going through a similar routine for years now, he knows everybody in his small town and when alone he spends time watching quiz shows, he hasn’t really planned for the next stage of his life, which he starts to see his friends do, he must decide to plan for his future before it is too late. Howard is Lucky’s best friends, he owes a tortoise that is named after presidents and is the one that is planning for more in his life once he is gone. Bobby Lawrence is the lawyer that has been helping the locals figure out their futures, he always tries to explain just how important it will be

PerformancesHarry Dean Stanton in the leading role is fantastic, he gives a performance that is filled with pain and sympathy, making him the true start of the show. We do have a nice supporting cast which includes big names from the acting world that are all good through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the days of an elderly man that live sin a small town that finally gets to realize that his own mortality isn’t going to be around much longer. This is a sweet little story that shows that elderly people could well be in denial about how much longer they will be around, it shows how the town will always be close to each other willing to help, banter and just check up on each other. This doesn’t have much more to the story, it is simple and friendly which is all we needed to see.

ComedyThe comedy in the film comes from the everyday life that the people are going through, laughing at certain little things happening in life.

SettingsThe film keeps us in a small little town, which just shows how close the people in the town are.

Scene of the Movie – The fiesta.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not much happens in the story.

Final Thoughts This is a nice little story that shows us real life, rather than giving us anything too deep with how an older man feels.

Overall: Nice and Sweet.

Game of Death (2017) Movie Review

Director: Sebastien Landry, Laurence Morais-Lagace

Writer: Sebastien Landry, Laurence Morais-Lagace, Edouard H Bond, Philip Kalin-Hajdu (Screenplay)

Starring: Sam Earle, Victoria Diamond, Emelia Hellman, Catherine Saindon, Erniel Baez, Nick Serino

Plot: Kill or be killed is the golden rule of the Game of Death. Sucks for seven millennials who ignored that rule. Now each one’s head will explode unless they kill someone. Will they turn on each other to survive, or will this sunny day be the last for the innocent people of their middle-of-nowhere town?

Tagline – Game of Death, it’ll blow your mind

Runtime: 1 Hour 13 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Game of Death starts as we meet the seven millennial stoners, Tom (Earle), Beth (Diamond), Ashley (Hellman), Mary-Ann (Saindon), Tyler (Baez), Kenny (Serino) and Matthew (Vallieres) who are involved in their latest party of drug filled fun. The friends find a board game, called The Game of Death and decide to play it.

The game requires the players to kill to make the counter of 24 down to zero, or the players will be executed, when the friends don’t look to commit the murders, they start to learn the consequences, when their heads start to explode, leading to Tom going on a killing spree.

Thoughts on Game of Death

Characters – Tom is the one that takes control of the situation, he doesn’t hold back to try and save the woman he loves, he will kill anyone to make sure the numbers on the game decrease and they can be together. Beth follows Tom in completing the kills, even if she doesn’t want to be the one to pull the trigger, until she starts seeing the friends die. Ashley and Tyler look to become the voice of reasons during everything, only killing if they are about to be the ones killed, looking to stop the violence when it isn’t needed. With these being the main group of friends, they whole group doesn’t seem overly redeemable or interesting.

PerformancesThe performances in the film are mixed with Sam Earle hitting the psychotic level easily, while Victoria Diamond and Emelia Hellman branching on to both sides of the characters mindsets. Nobody becomes truly great, but they do end up letting us see just how far they will make their characters go.

StoryThe story here follows seven friends who think they are playing a simple board game only for it to turn into a game that requires them to go on a killing spree or be killed by the game. This does show us how the young people will need to make a difficult decisions about survival, when they get caught up in the game of death, will they pull the trigger on a stranger or accept the fate which is coming towards them. It does have style to how the kills play out, with the number getting cruised over during one animated sequence.

HorrorThe horror comes from first seeing what will happen to the friends if they don’t complete the kills, along with how they start completing the kills.

SettingsThe film starts in what would be a normal family home for a party, before going to a location which would make sense if you were thrown into this game.

Special EffectsThe effects do look very good, with the head explosions being the standout moments in the film.

Scene of the Movie – The first head explosion, that comes from nowhere.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Glosses over certain parts of the kills.

Final Thoughts Game of Death is a stylish horror that makes Jumanji look like a children’s game.

Game of Death will be available on Digital Download from 26th November and can be bought here