Replace (2017) Movie Review

Director: Norbert Keil

Writer: Norbert Keil, Richard Stanley (Screenplay)

Starring: Rebecca Forsythe, Lucie Aron, Barbara Crampton, Sean Knopp, Adnan Maral, Agnes Kiyomi Decker

Plot: Kira’s skin starts to age rapidly, dry out and crumble away. But then she discovers that she can replace her own skin with somebody else’s.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Under the Skin Without an Alien

Story: Replace starts when young lady Kira (Forsythe) finds that the skin on her finger and hand is literally crumbling off, looking for answers after her one night stand vanishes, she invites a friend Sophia (Aron) to stay, where she makes a discovery, that the skin can be replaced, instantly attaching itself to her if placed on the crumbling parts. Turning to Dr Crober (Crampton) for answers, she doesn’t give her any which will help, only tests to look for them.

Kira continues to see the skin crumble spreading, which makes her turn to more dramatic ways of trying to cure the problem, one that will see her going to new extremes.

Thoughts on Replace

Characters – Kira is a young lady, with what seems like a normal life, until she starts getting a problem with her skin on her hand, starting small and spreading down her arm, as her skin starts to dry up. She tries to find a solution which sees her learn that she can replace her skin with others, forcing her to turn to drastic measures to make sure her skin doesn’t dry up. Sophia is a friend and lover to Kira, the only person that supports her with the problems she is facing, she tries to help find a solution and search for answers. Dr Rafaela Crober is the person that Kira turns to for help with her problem, like most doctors she gives the advice on how to cope with the problems.

PerformancesRebecca Forsythe is strong in the leading role, she shows the unsure side to what is going on, while also showing a devilish side at times. Lucie Aron makes for a great partner character, she fills in the advice like role we would be giving if it was our own friend. Barbara Crampton is the biggest name in the film and add her experience for her role which add the professional character to the film.

StoryThe story here follows a young lady that is struggling with her own skin after it starts crumbling off, little by little, she seeks medical advice, but finds her own way to fix the problem, before learning the truth. This is an interesting story that does go in a direction you might not see coming, for the first half of the film, the story has dark idea that is twisted with blood, only for us to get an equally as dark second half if not darker. It can best be described as Under the Skin without the alien side to the story, which does make us know what we are getting into, with how Kira is acting through parts of the film. By the end of the story, you will be left asking a question about what you would do, if you got this chance, but we won’t say what the question is in this review.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror in this film comes form a mix of just what is happening to Kira and what Kira does to try and solve the problem, the wounds and effects from the skin damage is difficult to watch too, the sci-fi side of the film comes on stronger in the second half of the film, it poses plenty of questions.

SettingsThe film does use the everyday settings which makes us believe Kira’s problem could happen to anybody.

Special EffectsThe effects are the standout here, watching the moments of the skin removal can make you look away, the crumbling effect is also very different to what we have seen before.

Scene of the Movie – The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We do get one too many attempts at twisting the story.

Final Thoughts This is a sci-fi horror that will make your skin crawl, it has a delightful style, even if it does have a easy split between the two sides of the story.

Overall: Skin Crawling Horror


The Curse of Buckout Road (2017) Movie Review

Director: Matthew Currie Holmes

Writer: Shahin Chandrasoma, Matthew Currie Holmes (Screenplay) Johnny Pascucci (Story)

Starring: Evan Ross, Henry Czerny, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Danny Glover, Colm Feore, Mayko Nguyen, Jim Watson

Plot: A college class project on creation and destruction of modern myth, turns terrifying when a trio of young people come to realize the urban legends surrounding the famed Buckout Road may, in fact, be REAL.

Tagline – The road less traveled… for a reason.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Creepy Horror

Story: The Curse of Buckout Road starts with the death of professor at the local college, Detective Roy Harris (Czerny) is leading the investigation, turning to his long-time colleague Dr Lawrence Powell (Glover) to just support his daughter Cleo (Provost-Chalkley) who is struggling to process the death of her teacher.

Dr Powell learns that Stephanie, Cleo and a pair of twins have all been having nightmares about the location of Buckout Road, which sees him start to investigate only for him to become another victim of the road, his grandson Aaron (Ross) takes over the investigation, joined by Cleo, Derek (Watson) and Erik (Mac) who are studying the idea of whether myths are real or not, with their focus on the Buckout Road one.

Thoughts on The Curse of Buckout Road

Characters – Aaron has returned home from his time in the military college, where he still has a strained relationship with his grandfather, he ends up getting involved with Cleo who is trying to unlock the myth behind the legend of Buckout Road. Cleo is the one struggling to deal with the loss of her teacher, with her project being on Buckout Road, she becomes drawn to the road with the only person that she can turn to is Aaron. Detective Roy Harris doesn’t seem to ever listen to his daughter and jumps to conclusion before hearing what could be going on, he doesn’t like Aaron, even though he has a strong relationship with his grandfather Lawrence. Dr Lawrence Powell once helps Cleo out with the death of her mother, he raised his grandson and now he is trying to put the pieces together when it comes to what is going on along Buckout Road.

PerformancesEvan Ross in the leading role does everything right without being a standout, he works well with Dominique Provost-Chalkley and when the pair are together it is the highlight of the film, but when they are alone, the performance from the both do seem to drop in places. Henry Czerny is great to see in another horror film this year following up Ready or Not. Danny Glover is here bringing some star power to the film.

StoryThe story here follows a group of college students that start investigating a myth from their local town, which does have a mystery about mysterious number of deaths, only to find themselves getting involved in the curse and it might not just be a myth. This story does try to focus on the idea that we do see a lot of horror films that focus on myths that could be true, which sees us trying to see the study it rather than just walk through it like others have. The weakness in the story telling process does seem like we are watching a series of repeating moments which does focus extending the previous version, or giving a slight twist to what we have already seen. We do jump around a lot in the story, which doesn’t help us get invested in what is happening through mix of reality and myth.

HorrorThe horror in the film does come through vision more than anything else, while it does look at a horrific look at the legend of the area.

SettingsThe film is set just outside of Buckout Road, it shows how the town is scared of the myth, but isn’t interested in investigating it further.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film do work with most being wounds, with certain sequences having an effect to make us be in the correct time frame.

Scene of the Movie – Lawrence is that you.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many flashes between reality and the past.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that plays into the cursed area idea that does jump between the present and the past a lot, too often at times, we get plenty of vision horrors, without any scary moments.

Overall: Vision based horror.

One Cut of the Dead (2017) Movie Review

Director: Shin’ichiro Ueda

Writer: Shin’ichiro Ueda (Screenplay) Ryoichi Wada (Play)

Starring: Takayuki Hamatsu, Yuzuki Akiyama, Harumi Shuhama, Kazuaki Nagaya, Hiroshi Ichihara, Mao

Plot: Things go badly for a hack director and film crew shooting a low budget zombie movie in an abandoned WWII Japanese facility, when they are attacked by real zombies.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Truly Unique Zombie Movie

Story: One Cut of the Dead starts on the set of a low budget zombie movie where Higurashi (Hamatsu) is seeking perfection from his stars Chinatsu (Akiyama) and Ko (Nagaya), which is seeing him push them to the limits. Calling for a break we see the actors bond with Nao (Shuhama), only to find themselves coming under attack by real zombies.

Higurashi has been using this location because of the rumours, which he now wants to help him get a more authentic horror movie, which turns into a real battle to survive the making of a horror movie.

Thoughts on One Cut of the Dead

Characters – Director Higurashi is the man trying to make this movie work, he is getting tired of his performers not showing enough fear, he pushes them to the limits with real zombies, which soon give him his perfect picture. Chinatsu is the star of the movie being made, she struggles to show the fear to start with, until she finds herself in a real zombie film. Nao is the production assistant that teaches the actors about the rumours about the area and joins in the fight against the real zombies. Ko is the lead actor in the film being made, he is meant to be the reluctant hero when the zombie attack.

PerformancesThis is a movie that has performances that do give the actors a lot to do, with a lot of different angles to be seen, everything is wonderful from the cast, that truly makes sense by the end of the film.

StoryThe story here follows the production of the low budget zombie movie until things take a turn, from fiction to reality. This is a story that is a breath of fresh air, because it goes in a direction you won’t see coming and does seem like something we needed for the zombie genre of film. The story does however start by feeling like something we have seen before, until we go in the different direction. We do get some wall breaking moments which adds everything to this story, which will make it one of the most original and smart ideas you will ever see.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in the film comes from most of the second half of the film, which will be constant laughs, the horror in the film does seem like a routine zombie movie, until things change, it doesn’t get as scary as it could, but then it doesn’t need to be.

SettingsThe film uses the settings perfectly to add to the film, we get to see so much from the abandoned warehouse setting, which only grows in the later parts of the film.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are everything you need for a low budget production, it is used to create and add extra comedy to the film too.

Scene of the Movie – The third act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – There really isn’t one.

Final Thoughts This is one of the most original and ingenious by turning everything you think you know, leaving you laughing with pure enjoyment of the events of the film.

Overall: Ingenious Zombie Movie.

One Cut for the Dead will get a one-night event in the US on the 17th September.

Stuck (2017) Movie Review

Director: Michael Berry

Writer: Michael Berry (Screenplay) Riley Thomas (Play)

Starring: Giancarlo Esposito, Amy Madigan, Ashanti, Arden Cho, Omar Chaparro, Gerald Canonico, Tim Young, Reyna de Courcy

Plot: An original pop musical film about six strangers who get stuck on a New York City subway together and change each others lives in unexpected ways.

Tagline – Sometimes it Takes a Stranger to Help You Find Your Voice

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Essential Viewing

Story: Stuck starts as the six strangers find themselves in a single subway carriage, we have the homeless man Lloyd (Esposito) that has been people watching on the subway for years, seeing people come and go for years, Sue (Madigan), Eve (Ashanti) who has been having personal troubles, Alicia (Cho) a dancer that has her own stalker in Caleb (Canonico) who has been designing his own comicbook superhero. along with construction worker Ramon (Chaparro).

When the train gets stopped, the six find themselves waiting, with Lloyd pushing them to let out their inner stories of what they are chasing in life, each person is from a different background, culture and ethnic group, where they each get to learn about life through another set of eyes.

Thoughts on Stuck

Characters – Lloyd is a homeless man living on the subway with his cart, we see him doing the everyday cleaning routine, while he people watches, knowing everyone that comes onto the subway. He likes to use song and performance to beg for money as he tries to bring the people together on their stranded time together. Sue comes from a professional job, being from an older generation that wants to accept everyone, but gets caught un in the political correct terms to address them on the subway. Eve is a woman that has found an unexpected twist in her life, suffering from relationship problems being very defensive. Alicia is a Korean dancer that is happy to close herself off from the world to follow her dream. Ramon is a Hispanic construction worker trying to balance three jobs just to give his daughter a better life. Caleb is a young man that is stalking Alicia, while he designs his own comic book about disabled superhero.

PerformancesWhen we look at the performances we have six very talented actors, each one from a different age or ethnic background which helps them connect to the story they are telling, we see that these people could be from anywhere and have their own story.

StoryThe story here follows six people that get stuck on a subway carriage, they are from different backgrounds, cultures and ethnic groups, they all have stories to tell, ones that you can only get to learn from talking to people. This story is one of the most important ones you will see this year, it shows you can never judge somebody until you learn their stories, you will never know the truth they are holding inside or the fights they have fought to be where they are. This will open your eyes to just what is out there and becoming accepting to everybody you meet, pass in the street or share a subway with, one that will show people can be there for you in life.

MusicalThe songs sung through the film show us the stories the characters are going through, you can tell the tone of the story through each song

SettingsThe story is almost set entirely on the subway, here we see the strangers trapped and getting to know each other, it is simple and effective to show how a simple conversation can learn a story.

Scene of the Movie – Sue’s story.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing

Final Thoughts This is one of the most essential viewings of the year because of just how easily it shows us that we should listen to other people’s stories in life.

Overall: Absolutely Delightful.