Room for Rent (2019)

Director: Tommy Stovall

Writer: Stuart Flack (Screenplay)

Starring: Lin Shaye, Oliver Rayon, Valeska Miller, Ryan Ochoa, Linda Cushma, Casey Nicholas Price

 

Plot: Lonely widow Joyce rents out a room in her house and becomes dangerously obsessed with one of her guests.


Tagline – All she wanted was a decent man.

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lin Shaye is Truly Unsettling

 

Story: Room for Rent starts when Joyce (Shaye) loses her husband, feeling left alone in her house that she needs to pay for the debt left behind, she decides to open her own Bed n Breakfast in her home. Her first guests are a couple which sees her become friends with Sarah (Miller) helping her with her problems.

Learning from her early mistakes with her bed n breakfast, Joyce upgrades certain parts and starts searching for more guests with Bob (Rayon) being her next one. Joyce starts to get an unhealth obsession with her guest who helps her deal with problems including the local teenage troublemakers Wayne (Ochoa). Will Joyce obsession take things too far or not?

 

Thoughts on Room for Rent

 

Characters – Joyce is an older lady that has lived her life with her husband for years, her husband dies which leads to her feeling lonely wanting attention. She is considered strange in her town, she turns her home into a bed n breakfast in an attempt to make new friends which she does, even if she starts to become obsessed with one of her guest, acting like a school girl trying to impress him. Bob is her first long term guest that Joyce takes in, he is mysterious about his personal life and does grab the attention of Joyce, he will stand up for Joyce with the local troublemakers. Sarah is the first guest that Joyce gets, she is an author working on her latest book which sees her need to decide on her own future, she stays in contact with Joyce becoming a pen-pal and visiting when Bob has been staying long enough, seeing how Joyce is acting differently.

PerformancesLin Shaye is fantastic in this role, we are left truly unsettled by here performance which sees her making decisions which seem odd. Oliver Rayon is left looking confused by Joyce’s character which is needed for the film. Valeska Miller completes the supporting cast with a performance that doesn’t do anything wrong.

StoryThe story here follows a lonely widow that opens her house to guests, only for her to become obsessed with one of them, making up her own stories to what is happening between the two. This story does make us feel unsettled throughout, we see Joyce become more obsessed with each passing moment, acting like a school girl trying to grab the attention of her crush. It must be pointed out there is a hint of grief of losing a life partner, which could see anybody do something out of the normal. The story does suffer in places because we get the ideas of certain side stories to why Joyce is the way she is, only they don’t seem to get completed to the most satisfactory levels for us.

ThrillerThe film doesn’t take long to build up the tension because Lin Shaye makes her character feel like she could be up to anything in the film.

SettingsMost of the film is set in the home, it does feel disturbing when you know how Joyce could always pop up somewhere.


Scene of the Movie –
When Joyce gets betrayed in her eyes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of follow through on one story about Joyce’s past.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the more disturbing and unsettling movies of the year, even though it doesn’t pull all the triggers it could.

 

Overall: Unsettling and chilling.

Rating

 

 

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The Silence (2019)

Director: John R Leonetti

Writer: Carey Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke (Screenplay) Tim Lebbon (Novel)

Starring: Stanley Tucci, Kiernan Shipka, Miranda Otto, Kate Trotter, John Corbett, Kyle Breitkopf

 

Plot: A family struggles to survive in a world terrorized by a deadly, primeval species who hunt only with their acute hearing.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Painfully Slow

 

Story: The Silence starts as we meet a family father Hugh (Tucci), Kelly (Otto) deaf teenager daughter Ally (Shipka), youngster child Jude (Breitkopf), grandma Lynn (Trotter) and Uncle Glen (Corbett), they are going through an everyday life situation, until the town comes under attack from mysterious creatures that are attracted by noise.

The family go against the advice of the television and look to get out of the city, which sees them needing to face difficult decisions to survive and learning to operate in silence.

 

Thoughts on The Silence

 

Characters – Hugh is the father of the house, he works in construction planning (I think, we get one 10 second scene of his job), he is getting worried about where his daughter will go to college. When the attack starts, he gets his family out of the city and must lead them on the quest for safety, he will have to do the risker jobs along the way. Ally is the teenage daughter who is deaf after an accident, she has adapted to life this way well and she turns out to be one of the few people in the world that can cope with the silence required to survive. Kelly is the mum, she is basically just a mum that is her character. Lynn is the grandmother that is sick, she will need to keep her medication up to survive.

PerformancesStanley Tucci does try hard in this role, only he just can’t get into the role, Kiernan Shipka is never believable in her deaf character role, this is just the beginning of terribly written characters that give nobody a chance to shine.

StoryThe story follows one family as they look to find safety after a new predator who hunts through sound that have taken over America. The story will feel like the early stages of ‘A Quiet Place’ even if this story was written first. Where it follows the first outbreak because it does build the panic, like every single zombie movie, which does make it feel like we have seen it before. The struggles have been done before, this does end up being one of the most done stories we have ever seen, going nowhere fast just becoming boring throughout the film.

HorrorThe horror in the film comes from the creatures which almost feel comical as we don’t get to see just how deadly they are.

SettingsThe film is set in the rural area in America which shows where safety is search for.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are poor too, the creatures are all CGI and just out of place on the screen.


Scene of the Movie –
The credits because it was over.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It was nothing new.

Final ThoughtsThis is a poor, boring and seen before horror movie that just never reaches the potential it wants.

 

Overall: Disappointing throughout.

Rating

 

 

Hellboy (2019)

Director: Neil Marshall

Writer: Andrew Cosby (Screenplay) Mike Mignola (Comic)

Starring: David Harbour, Ian McShane, Milla Jovovich, Penelope Mitchell, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim

 

Plot: Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge.


Tagline – Save the World for the Hell of It

Runtime: 2 Hours

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Goriest Comic Movie Ever

 

Story: Hellboy starts as we learn about the history of Nimue the Blood Queen (Jovovich) an ancient sorceress who clashed with King Arthur, leading to her being dismembered and scattered across the land. Move into the modern day and Hellboy (Harbour) is the reluctant hero taking on the paranormal under the influence of his father Professor Broom (McShane).

The latest case sees Hellboy reconnecting with an old friend Alice (Lane) who he once saved from evil forces, a British paranormal agent Major Ben Daimio (Kim) as they must race against time to stop Nimue returning to finally spread the disease on humans, so the creatures from the dark can rise up, Hellboy must figure out which side of this war he wants to fight on.

 

Thoughts on Hellboy

 

Characters – Hellboy is a demon from hell that came to Earth as a baby, which saw him raised to protect humans from the paranormal, multiple people want him dead, he is meant to bring about the end of mankind, yet he keeps fighting for the human race. He uses one liners to react (most of these miss though) and his does have an identity crisis because of Nimue appearance which could show him his own power, this story does give Hellboy a personal arc he must learn to control just how he sees his powers. Nimue is an ancient sorceress that was at war with the human race, betrayed, left trapped in boxes until she is freed. She has come back for revenge and this time she sees what could turn the table in her favour, Hellboy. She knows how to use beings to get what she wants and wile never getting into a physical fight, she will use her powers to inflict great pain. Alice is a friend to Hellboy, she once was saved and her own psychic powers and connections to the dead will prove to be a useful asset to have around. Major Ben Daimio is from the British side of the paranormal investigation, he doesn’t want to work with Hellboy, he is by the books, even if he does have his own secret. Professor Broom is the man that took Hellboy in to teach and use to fight back against the evil in the world.

PerformancesDavid Harbour stepping into the shoes of Ron Perlman, was always going to need to do something very special, he does everything he can which works for the darker side of the character, but he doesn’t hit the comedy Perlman could. Milla Jovovich always works in her own way for an evil figure, she isn’t truly challenged, but doesn’t seem to do much wrong. Ian McShane again suffers from stepping into big shoes, he does enough however to make this feel like his own version of the character. Sasha Lane brings the attitude to her character well, while Daniel Dae Kim could be the best performer in the film.

StoryThe story follows Hellboy as he must learn who is truly is when it comes to battle to stop the biggest threat yet, Nimue a sorceress that wants to wipe out humanity. The first thing that must be discussed when talking about the story, is the style, it does feel like we are watching a comic book unfold. When we dive more into the story it does fall into the story technique of, we must go here to do that, we must go there to do this, which soon becomes repetitive. However, what we lack in storytelling style, we do get in other areas which includes the pure bloodshed levels thrown into this story. there is an angle in the story which basically sees Hellboy being tempted into becoming the evil he was always meant to be, which is nice and does play into the anti-hero idea of Hellboy. The story works for the basics being told without needing to be anything complicated, we do fill in most back stories which could annoy people with the number of flashbacks.

Action/Fantasy/Horror/Sci-FiThe action in this movie is huge, be it Hellboy fighting giants, a giant pig or the creatures coming to inflict pain on the humans. This does play into the fantasy and we learn how Hellboy could be dragged into other locations to meet a friend or foe. The horror comes from the number of bodies that pile up, we never hold back when it comes to seeing the wounds being inflicted or the aftermath.

SettingsThe film does use the idea London will be the main destruction area, which is fine, we need a big city for reference, when we see certain other locations we do hit the weird secret locations that could only come from the mind of a comic book author.

Special EffectsThe effects are going to be one of the bigger talking points, we do have a major weak moment which will most likely be mocked, but this is one of the best practical effects movies you will see, the wounds, the injuries, the blood shed are brutal to watch and must be praised.


Scene of the Movie –
London creatures.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The trailer gives away Daimio’s secret skill.

Final ThoughtsThis can easily be called the goriest comic book movie ever, it does have a basic story though, which could hold back its greatness, we do go in a direction far enough away from the original two, which does help make this feel like its own movie.

 

Overall: Blood shed galore.

Rating

 

 

Pet Sematary (2019)

Director: Kevin Kolsch, Dennis Widmyer

Writer: Matt Greenberg, Jeff Buhler (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, Amy Seimetz, Jete Laurence, Naomi Frenette, Alyssa Brooke Levine, Maria Herrera

 

Plot: Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home.


Tagline – They don’t come back the Same. 

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fog Machine Screen Test

 

Story: Pet Sematary starts as the Creed family, Louis (Clarke), Rachel (Seimetz), Ellie (Laurence) and toddler Gage, move from Boston to a rural Maine town, to start a quieter life style. The family just so happen to have bought a property with its own pet cemetery, spelt wrong with the S and all. The neighbour Jud (Lithgow) is welcoming and after the family cat Church dies, Jud tells Louis of the powers, which sees Church return, only he isn’t the same.

When tragedy strikes the Creed family, it leaves them divided and Louis is drawn back to the power which could solve the pain, but he only unleashes the secrets of the hidden grounds.

 

Thoughts on Pet Sematary

 

Characters – Louis is a former ER-Doctor, he needed to get out of that life with his new role being a college campus doctor, this gives him more time with his kids as they grow, making his life more relax. He is the one that never believed or talked about the afterlife which is why it seems strange that he is the one that follows Jud through the secret cemetery. Rachel is the wife, she spends most of her time checking her phone, being the typical housewife, she does have a haunted past which still scares her to this day. Jud is the nice welcoming neighbour, he has lived in this house for his whole life and now, he wants to show the wisdom he has learnt from the cemetery. He is the catalyst to everything that unfolds. Ellie is the oldest child of the family, she likes to adventure which can get her in trouble, but what 9-year-old isn’t like this?

PerformancesThis discussion on the performances is going down like most in horror, the child star Jete Laurence doesn’t do anything wrong and is the star of the show. Jason Clarke as often been the go to guy for a reliable lead, doesn’t get tested, while Amy Seimetz gets no true character development, giving her little to work with. John Lithgow get a scene where we learn the cats name being after Winston Churchill, and the wink wink idea that he won awards for playing the leader.

StoryThe story follows a family that relocate to start a quieter life, they seem to have everything down perfectly until death starts coming into their lives, which only sees them needing to face ultimate decisions and figure out the power of the pet sematary in their back garden. This is obviously a remake of the Stephen King classic, so if you have seen the original or read the book, you will know the basics of this story. The story however seems to go off on wild side stories which don’t seem to have any connection to the pet semetery element of the story, it just gets confusing, there is such a large focus on Rachel’s past, which shouldn’t make sense in this film in anyway. Everything that returns from the original film works, it gets the required scare, but as I said the side stories just fill the empty space to make the film longer and get a scare from the audience.

HorrorThe horror in this film can be broken down, we have the jump scares, though they can be seen coming a mile off, we have a thinking horror side to something that happens, which over plays on the mind for no reason too.

SettingsThe film puts the family in a remote house, well one without many neighbours and a tight road that lorries steam down, this is effective for the first proper jump scare, which you would see in the original, for the rest of the settings the fog machine covers up the flaws here.

Special EffectsThe effects when practical look creepy and effective, we don’t get many, but much like the settings, the fog machine makes a big impact here covering up any true weaknesses in the special effects.


Scene of the Movie –
The lorry.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fog machine.

Final ThoughtsThis is a poor remake of a classic Stephen King horror, we don’t seem to get anything scary like other remakes and end up relying on cheap jump scares to try and maximise the impact.

 

Overall: Simple lifeless remake.

Rating

 

 

Serenity (2019)

Director: Steven Knight

Writer: Steven Knight (Screenplay)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Diane Lane, Jason Clarke, Djimon Hounsou, Jeremy Strong

 

Plot: A fishing boat captain juggles facing his mysterious past and finding himself ensnared in a reality where nothing is what it seems.


Tagline – On Plymouth Island, No One Ever Dies…Unless You Break the Rules

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Head Scratcher

 

Story: Serenity starts as we meet obsessed fisherman Baker Dill (McConaughey) who has been running low on money, which has risked losing his first mate Duke (Hounsou), the town however will work with him when he needs it. He turns to Constance (Lane) for comfort as they know what each other like.

When Baker’s ex, Karen (Hathaway) arrives in the small town, she comes to him to take her husband Frank (Clarke) out to the ocean to leave him there to save their son from his abusive nature. Not everything is as it seems though, as Baker is left to make a big decision.

 

Thoughts on Serenity

 

Characters – Baker Dill is a struggling fisherman, who takes tourists out, he can keep himself afloat, but only just. He is left in shock when his ex comes back into his life trying to talk him into killer her husband to protect his son, he is reluctant to accept left torn between what to do or not. Karen is the ex of Baker that is tired of her abusive husband that she can’t escape from, she needs Baker to do the job for her. Constance is Baker’s fling on the island, they keep each other company when they need it. Frank is the rich husband of Karen that has power to do whatever he wants and get away with it.

PerformancesMatthew McConaughey in the leading role is strong because he must give a performance of a man that is unsure of everything happening. Anne Hathaway, Diane Lane and Jason Clarke complete the main cast, they each have their key part to play which does work helping Matthew shine.

StoryThe story does start with a simple idea of a man who has been chasing a mysterious fish, which has seen him isolate himself and see his money run low, he gets a chance for a big pay day when his ex-arrives in town. Now, this is the simple side, a will he or won’t he follow her wishes, only everything gets turned on its head by a twist that makes you question nearly everything you have seen, really starting to blow your mind about what we are seeing. This puts the story in the middle of two different places because it is something we haven’t seen, something we couldn’t predict, the problems come from the idea that everything is so far outside the box many people might not like just how far things can go.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery elements of this film comes from just what is going on in this world, it gets even more complicated when the twist starts to unravel, this does turn this into a sci-fi element of the film because it does show us just what could happen.

SettingsThe film is set on a picture-perfect island called Plymouth Island which is perfect for fishing and has a close community that will know each other’s secrets.


Scene of the Movie –
The rules.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain side characters do seem to disappear in places.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi mystery that will leave you wondering just what the hell did I just watch and did you like it, it will be best to read on just how much you want to judge how you see the twist.

 

Overall: Mind blowing mystery.

Rating