Dear Zoe – Release News

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Dear Zoe On UK digital platforms 7 November 2022

The undeniably brilliant, Sadie Sink, who recently stunned audiences with her powerhouse performance in the latest series of Stranger Things, gives another awe-inspiring, powerful turn as the lead in brand-new feature Dear Zoe. This heart–wrenching, endearing and compelling coming-of-age drama is set to receive its UK premiere this November, courtesy of Reel 2 Reel Films.

Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Philip Beard, and written and adapted by Marc Lhormer, who is joint producer with Brenda Lhormer (Bottle Shock), this absorbing and refreshing feature from director Gren Wells (The Road Within, A Little Bit of Heaven) features an impressive line-up of talent, including Justin Bartha (The Hangover, National Treasure), rising-star Vivien Lyra Blair (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Bird Box), Theo Rossi (Army of the Dead, Story, Sons of Anarchy), and Jessica Capshaw (Holidate, Grey’s Anatomy).

When Tess (Sadie Sink – The Whale) and her family suffer an unimaginable loss during a seismic historical event that changed the world forever, she finds support from a surprising source: her biological father, Nick (Theo Rossi) – a lovable slacker from the wrong side of the tracks.

Grief-stricken and guilt-ridden, Tess must grapple with her own devastating, life-altering loss while also navigating life as a budding young woman – and all the challenges that come with this.

As her family grieves in their own ways, Tess meets Jimmy (Kweku Collins) – the charming but edgy juvenile delinquent next door. Struggling to make sense of her own and her family’s grief, can Tess learn to forgive herself and move on?  

Filmed from the perspective of a young female protagonist, Dear Zoe tackles relatable and pertinent subjects – grief, pain, and relationships. Sink excels as an adolescent narrator who is savvy, naïve, compassionate, world-weary, funny, and heartbreakingly honest.

Dear Zoe is a poignant and commanding adaptation that explores loss, connections, and the bonds that break and break us in a sensitive, warm-hearted way that will stay with you long after the credits role.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season Two Review

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The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2

This season starts with the proof Elizabeth Kublek (Julia Ormond) destroyed the Campus Colony in a ruthless manner. Elizabeth shows the traitorous Huck (Annet Mahendru) and Hope Bennett (Alexa Mansour) what has happened. Claiming it was just massive columns of the undead, letting Hope decide if she wants to join them.

Elsewhere, Iris (Aliyah Royale), Felix (Nico Tortorella) and Will (Jelani Alladin) join forces as Iris and Felix learn what happened. They find a new shelter with Indira (Anna Khaja) a place that Will has found shelter in before, one outside the community’s control.

The series roles on seeing both Hope and Iris in their own stories, investigating the truth. They find themselves dealing with the changes in their environments. It is strange seeing the sisters so far apart, with their own stories. The partnership in the first series is what drove the journey forward, this season tends to spend time leading up to a bigger event. We get the typical reunions with Elton, Percy and Silas out on their own journey too. They learn their own life lesson while in the open world looking to survive.

Thoughts on The Walking Dead World Beyond Season 2

This season does play a lot into not being sure whom to trust, with nearly every character being designed to play both sides of the moral side of things. We get a return of a character we met in the parent series of The Walking Dead, one we wanted to see more from.

There is so much time spent on building the sides in the battle, always showing the different sides and what they want. It doesn’t seem to have any level-headed characters, focusing more on greed, as we had previously seen in the previous shows. In a world set further in the future, it would have been nice to see a different battle going on. Seeing a more stable society in this world would be important. There tends to be a repetitive concept in each story of going for a shocking kill, one that never seems to do enough to feel warranted. Add in the fact the show seems to forget Elizabeth Kublek is around, just replacing her with a character from the original series to do most of the lifting.

There is a very random end credits sequences that included footage from the original Walking Dead Season One. I am not sure why this is placed in the show unless it is looking to create yet another spin-off. The question about this being included is right up, as they know the show wasn’t going to be returning.

The Extras

When it comes to the Blu-Ray Release you will receive the following extras.

  • The Walking Dead World Beyond Comic-Con@Home 2021 Panel

Shot in the Dark (2021) Movie Review

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Shot in the Dark – Movie Review

Director: Keene McRae

Writer: Kristoffer McMillan, Keene McRae, Lane Thomas (Screenplay)

Cast

Plot: Two years ago, William Langston made a mistake that would affect the course of his life. Now, with a killer loose in his home town and his circle of friends falling away one at a time, William faces his greatest fears as well as his own mortality.

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Shot in the Dark starts when William Langston (McMillan) returns to his hometown to start a new life. Here, William must rebuild the bridges that were burnt when he left as he looks to remember things from his past.

This takes a turn when William is held hostage by a sadistic serial killer. William must learn what the killer wants. As he is forced to watch the increasing body count appear in front of him.

Verdict on Shot in the Dark

Shot in the Dark is a horror movie that lurks to reflect one man’s past on him, as he looks to battle to survive. The movie follows three timelines, one is the events that William finds himself trapped in. Second, the detectives trying to solve a murder. Finally, the third that shows William’s life before this incident.

The stories come together as different information is thrown out there for us to try and figure out what is going on. It might well give us a shocking reveal, but it doesn’t do enough to add all the intensity about what is going on. There is way too much of a divide between what is going on between the stories. That only leaves us scratching our heads about what just happened.

Final Thoughts Shot in the Dark tries so hard to a shock, it ends up leaving the connection in the story feeling flat.

Dead Bride (2022) Movie Review

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Dead Bride – Movie Review

Director: Francesco Picone

Writer: Francesco Picone (Screenplay)

Cast

  • Jennifer Mischiati
  • Christoph Hulsen
  • Douglas Dean
  • Sean James Sutton
  • David White

Plot: After her father’s death, Alyson, her partner Richard and their baby return to her childhood home. Following a few shocking supernatural events, Alyson discovers that she and her family have been living with a terrible curse, unleashed in the past by a bride killed by Alyson’s grandfather. Soon after Alyson’s child disappears and she has no choice but to embark on a frightening journey into the underworld, to free herself from the bride’s curse and to look for her daughter.

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Dead Bride starts when Alyson (Mischiati) and Richard (Hulsen) return to Alyson’s childhood home. Alyson finds herself reliving her childhood nightmares and starts to believe her baby son could be in danger.

Diving into her past, Alyson learns that Father Elbert (Sutton) once helped her father. This teaches Alyson that her family has become cursed by the spirit of her grandfather’s first bride. Alyson turns to Dave (Dean) a famed psychic in hopes of getting rid of the curse placed upon her family.

Verdict on Dead Bride

Characters

Alyson grew up in fear, finding herself frozen in fear at night and returning to the same experiences happening again. She learns more about her past and she battles to protect her baby. Alyson is willing to listen to different experts with ideas that will help, leaving her helpless in the battle.

Richard is Alyson’s partner who has been working late, not being around when Alyson needs her. He takes a while to get around to the idea that Alyson is seeing things that can’t be explained.

Dave is a psychic who has helped police discover dead bodies in the past, he offers to help the family deal with the problem they are facing. This role feels very similar to Elise in the Insidious movies.

Father Elbert has previously helped the family, he knows the family is cursed and wants to help them. He fills in the information that creates the horror the family must battle.

Performances

Jennifer Mischiati takes the leading role in the movie, she handles the horror moments well. Giving us plenty of screams, reactions and pure horror moments. Elsewhere, the chemistry with Christoph Hulsen isn’t as strong as it could be. Douglas Dean and Sean James Sutton are great as the two experts offering to help in different ways.

Story

The story follows a family moving back into a childhood home, only to learn that the family has been cursed and forced to face the consequences. This sees a young mother needs to figure out what has been going on within her family’s history to save her child.

The story does seem to feel a lot like ‘Insidious’ with the idea the family is cursed. It takes us to another world for answers to what is going on and involves a parent doing anything to save a child. This doesn’t mean anything here is bad, it truly has some great imagery and creates a genuine interest in how this can be solved.

Themes

Dead Bride is a horror thriller in a similar vein as Insidious. It takes us down a disturbing world of haunting within a family home. most importantly it takes us through an unexplained world and the unsure when dealing with the evil that is after a child. Even though this movie is set within one home, it uses every inch to create a different horror experience and keeps us guessing where the film will go next.

Where to Watch: Dead Bride will arrive on October 4 on digital, VOD platforms including iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Xbox, and Vudu, as well as local cable and satellite providers.

Final Thoughts Dead Bride is a great horror with plenty of scares along the way.

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – C – The Cleaning Lady (2018) Movie Review

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Director: Jon Knautz

Writer: Alexis Kendra, Jon Knautz (Screenplay)

Starring: Alexis Kendra, Stelio Savante, Rachel Alig, Elizabeth Sandy, Mykayla Sohn, JoAnne McGrath, Keri Marrone

Plot: As a means to distract herself from an affair, a love-addicted woman befriends a cleaning lady, badly scarred by burns. She soon learns, these scars run much deeper than the surface.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Cleaning Lady starts as love-addict Alice (Kendra) is trying to give up an affair she has found herself in with distractions, be it with work and a new friendship with Shelly (Alig) the cleaning lady she hires to help around her home.

As the friendship grows between Alice and Shelly, Shelly starts to show a darker side to her, one that had been created from her past that has left her traumatised and twisted beyond belief.

Thoughts on The Cleaning Lady

ThoughtsThe Cleaning Lady is a horror thriller that will show that some people will never recover from the pain they are put through as a child, however much they try to fix themselves, creating a disturb individual that believes they are doing the right thing to help someone. This will fall into the same realm as most stalker like movies, where it starts friendly before getting out of hand. The story will keep you on edge as you wait to see what will happen next between the two women and how far Shelly will go to get her moment of peace. We do have great performances from Alexis Kendra who brings the bubbly side to her character, with her flaws, while Rachel Alig brings a much more disturbed role to life. The clash of the two worlds will make for an entertaining yet disturbing movie.

Final Thoughts The Cleaning Lady is a disturbing horror thriller.

25th Anniversary of Kiss the Girls

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25th Anniversary of Kiss the Girls

On October 3rd, 1997, Kiss the Girls was released in the cinema. Kiss the Girls was directed by Gary Fleder who was fresh from Things to Do In Denver When You’re Dead. He followed this one up with Don’t Say a Word, Runaway Jury and Homefront. The movie is based on the Alex Cross character created by James Patterson. Kiss the Girls screenplay came from first-time writer David Klass, who only has a couple more credits to his name. They include, Desperate Measures, Walking Tall and Emperor.

The Story

Kiss the Girls sees Dr Alex Cross (Freeman) heads to North Carolina and goes in search of a serial killer that has branded himself Cassanova. The local detectives Ruskin (Elwes) and Sikes (McArthur) have been coming up short and Cross knows his niece has become one of the latest missing girls.

When Kate Mctiernan (Judd) is the latest woman abducted by Cassanova. She learns about the others being held captive and uses her own skills in self-defence to escape. After Kate escapes, she teams up with Cross as they search for the location, she was held captive.

This is an intense story, that deals with a serial killer and the hunt for them before they take their latest victims. It keeps us guessing and continues to bring twists along the way.

Box Office

Kiss the Girls was made from a budget of $27 Million and made $60 Million at the box office. This makes it the second most successful film in the franchise. Where Along Came a Spider brought in $105 Million, which does include the international box office, data not available for Kiss the Girls. The 2012 Alex Cross movie did a lot worse at the box office, only managing to make back its budget of $35 Million. Kiss the Girls was the 47th highest-grossing movie of 1997, again without international income. If we are generous and give it the same numbers as Along Came a Spider, it would put it around 36th for the year.

Alex Cross Legacy

Alex Cross went on to appear in two more movies, first Morgan Freeman returned for Along Came a Spider. Secondly, Tyler Perry took over in Alex Cross. Despite the strong Box Office return. It is strange that Morgan Freeman’s run never got to make another Alex Cross movie. The failures in the Box Office didn’t help the Alex Cross reboot get started.

Cast

Kiss the Girls did the right thing by bringing in Morgan Freeman for the role of Alex Cross. The 1990s saw him in many supporting roles, from The Shawshank Redemption to Se7en. This was one of his first truly leading solo roles. Ashley Judd was fresh off Heat and A Time to Kill. Before following up this role with a string of thrillers. The Princess Bride’s Cary Elwes had quite the following after that movie, despite it being ten years prior. He appeared in some of the most successful 90s movies before this with Liar Liar, Twister and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. There are also smaller roles for Entourages Jeremy Piven, Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s Tatyana Ali and American Pie’s Mena Suvari.

Critic Response

Kiss the Girls only received a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, Roger Ebert was one of the fresh reviews quoting ‘Freeman and Judd are so good, you almost wish they’d decided not to make a thriller at all — had simply found a way to construct a drama exploring their personalities.’ USA Today critic Mike Clark was less favourable though quoting ‘Even those engrossed by the build-up here are likely to kiss off the rest after suffering through Girls’ groaner of a wrap-up.’ The Rotten Tomatoes scores are nearly identical for both of Morgan Freeman’s outings.

Metacritic uses a different formula. One that gives films a chance to be more average, instead of only good or bad. 17 reviews, the score is 46, with 10 reviews being mixed, three negatives and four positives. The positives include Roger Ebert’s previously mentioned review with a score of 88. The scores match up with Along Came a Spider too, being only a couple out, with more mixed reviews than anything else.

Kratt (2020) Movie Review

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Kratt – Movie Review

Director: Rasmus Merivoo

Writer: Rasmus Merivoo (Screenplay)

Cast

  • Mari Lill
  • Nora Merivoo
  • Harri Merivoo
  • Elise Tekko
  • Roland Treima

Plot: Children are left at grandma’s house without their smartphones. Real life seems boring until they find instructions for kratt – a magical creature who will do whatever its master says. All they need now is to buy a soul from the devil.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Kratt starts when Mia (Nora Merivoo) and Kevin (Harri Merivoo) are sent to their grandma’s (Lill) for the summer. With strict rules about no phones or internet, the pair get restless quickly.

When the siblings make new friends in the small town, they learn about the Kratt. The Kratt is a magical creature that does whatever its master asks, and it takes the soul of their Grandma. They put the Kratt to work, completing all their problems in everyday life.

Verdict on Kratt

Kratt is a fantasy horror comedy that sees a group of children accidentally release a dangerous magical creature. It sees the siblings starting to enjoy their summer with the freedom created until they run out of ideas for the magical creature. Elsewhere, there is a battle between locals and a businessman who wants to take their sacred areas.

When it comes to the kid’s side of the film, there is plenty of fun with what they get to possess. It feels like a natural set of events they would use a slave creature for. When it comes to the cult side of things, it takes a different tone, which becomes almost too serious for the rest of the film.

In the performances, we get the wacky characters that come together, where the performances make everything even better.

Final ThoughtsKratt is a fun wacky fantasy horror comedy.

Bloodsucking Bosses (2015) Movie Review

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – B – Bloodsucking Bosses – Movie Review

Director: Brian James O’Connell

Writer: Sean Cowhig, Neil Garguilo, Ryan Mitts (Screenplay)

Cast

Plot: A down-on-his-luck cubicle worker and his slacker best friend discover their new boss is a vampire who is turning their co-workers into the un-dead.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Bloodsucking Bosses starts as officer worker Evan (Kranz) believes he will get the vacant sales manager role. Although he doesn’t get the role, an old rival Max (Pascal) is brought in for the role.

Frustrated about losing the role, he wants to expose Max, only to learn that the co-workers are changing. Some are going missing; others are becoming more assertive.

Verdict on Bloodsucking Bosses

Bloodsucking Bosses is a horror comedy that brings vampires into the office environment. The story will use the idea of missing out on a promotion, creating a sense of paranoia within one of the characters. Even though the ‘Stepford Wives’ approach shows the changes the turned characters would go through.

The vampire sub-genre in horror has been done many times before. Here, we get to explore the concept of office work sucking the life out of people, reflecting the vampire ideas in work life.  It will get a few laughs along the way, but most of the workers are full slackers that would be lucky to keep their job in the first place.

When it comes to the performances, Fran Kranz in the leading role gets to have a lot of fun. Showing us a character that is overworked, and who tries to balance friendship with expected workloads. Pedro Pascal strolling into the role, gets the laughs with his smug approach, as we know he is up to something. The rest of the supporting cast will get the laughs when needed, despite mostly being the slackers you would see in an office space. There is plenty of blood splatter, placed into the comedy involved in the helpless fighting back against vampires.

Where to Watch: Bloodsucking Bosses is available to rent on Microsoft or Apple TV. As well as to buy on Amazon and YouTube.

Final ThoughtsBloodsucking Bosses is a fun little horror comedy.

Camp Pleasant Lake – Trailer Release

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Official Trailer release for Thomas Walton’s “Camp Pleasant Lake” starring Jonathan Lipnicki, Bonnie Arrons, and Michael Pare. 

An enterprising couple, ‘the Rutherfords’ who decide to open a horror camp on the abandoned camp property (Camp Pleasant Lake) where a young girl ‘Echo Meadows’ was kidnapped, and her parents were brutally murdered 20 years prior.

Camp Pleasant Lake also stars Andrew Divoff, Robert Lasardo, Christopher Sky, Devanny Pinn, Mike Ferguson, Leila Almas Rose, Kelly Lynn Reiter, James Di Giacomo, Lacey Burdine, Maritza Brikisak, and Greg Tally

Produced By: Jared Safier, Thomas Walton, David M. Parks

Written/Directed by: 
Thomas Walton

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